The "Bait and Switch" tactics of the Watchtower Society

by drew sagan 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • drew sagan
    drew sagan

    Now I understand were you are coming from slimboyfat. You make some very good points.

    As time has progressed their 'grand narrative' has lost its cohesiveness, at least as compared with the Franz.

    Of course the old Franz model still is present in the Revelation book, it's just not that precise. They still believe divine powers chose them during certain years and such. I think the fragmentation of the narrative has actually perpetuated much of what I talked about in my original post. By breaking up different doctrines that tell how they are part of the divine cosmic story, the seek to make it a side point to potential members. Over the years they have relegated this narrative to the 'members only' sections of their belief system.

    At this point in time most JWs know there is a divine story following their religion, but are not very prepared to defend or explain it. The leadership tells them that other doctrinal issues are more important to preach and so it is never really discussed in public. When books like Revelation, Its Grand Climax are read the JWs are impressed at how scriptures are interpreted, but have no way of piecing it altogether. I remember being in book studies where people would simply remark that such information was 'beyond them'. It's readily accepted but since it is not comprehend it is quickly forgotten.

    The way I see it, the Watchtowers non stop insistence that it is part of a divine narrative coupled with their complete failure to define it and teach it to their members in an easy to understand way is the biggest problem facing their religion. How can you continue to claim your religion is at the center of the universe without having cohesive arguments that take you there?

  • ringo5

    Good thread. I have to agree with Slimboy here. The story used to be more interesting. Now the selling features are so watered down, the rank and file are hard pressed to get excited about them anymore. And salesmen who aren't excited about their product, don't make very good salesmen.

    I forget the details now but there is a laugh-out-loud funny claim somewhere in there that Jehovah sent a message to the Watchtower leadership about where to base the headquaters by the amount of coal that was available - or something weird like that. They just don't make the books like that any more that's for sure.

    That was a knee slapper SBF! I found it for you...



    Upon Brother Rutherford’s return to the Society’s Pittsburgh offices, he instructed the Society’s vice-president, C. A. Wise, to go to Brooklyn and see about reopening Bethel and renting premises where the Society could begin printing operations. The conversation went like this:

    "Go and see whether it is the Lord’s will for us to return back to Brooklyn."

    "How will I determine as to whether it is the Lord’s will for us to go back or not?"

    "It was a failure to get coal supplies in 1918 that drove us from Brooklyn back to Pittsburgh. Let’s make coal the test. You go and order some coal." [In New York coal was still being rationed at the end of the war.]

    "How many tons do you think I should order to make the test?"

    "Well, make it a good test; order five hundred tons."

    That is just what Brother Wise did. And upon making application to the authorities, he was granted a certificate to get five hundred tons of coal. Immediately he wired J. F. Rutherford. That much coal would ensure operations for a number of years. But where could they put it all? Large sections of the Bethel home’s basement were converted into coal storage space. This successful test was taken as an unmistakable indication that it was God’s will that the move to Brooklyn be made. So it was, as of October 1, 1919.

  • integ

    I don't agree that they ease you into the faithful slave crap.

    In EVERY meeting; during the prayer, the talks (even public), they always talk about the "slave" and how they are God's chosen ones etc.

    A person who actually goes to the hall for the first time will get hit right away with the fact that the "special ones" of the Governing Body are God's spokesmen.

    No wonder not many come back for a second trip. Unless they are real slow kind of folks. Like literally half retarded or mentally disabled. And I'm not even trying to be funny. Just look at the hapless weirdlings that are introduced as "studies". You hardly ever see anyone that might be considered normal.

  • drew sagan
    drew sagan
    I don't agree that they ease you into the faithful slave crap.

    In EVERY meeting; during the prayer, the talks (even public), they always talk about the "slave" and how they are God's chosen ones etc.

    I can attest to the fact that to a potential member, these types of things go right over your head. I had gone to the Kingdom Hall for over two years and had no idea what the faithful slave was until I was taught 1 on 1 by my 'bible study' conductor. Even then I had a hard time grasping the idea. There was only one paragraph or two that discussed it in the 'Knowledge' book, and now that has been completely removed from their 'Bible Teach' book, which is their #1 publication to study with potential members.

    Potential members are given an information overload. They are provided with books, magazines, meetings, tacts and brochures that are teaching hundreds of different things. If a new member buys into the idea heavily that the Witnesses believe 'nothing but the Bible' they will begin to take the advice of active members that things they don't understand will be "comprehended in time".

    It is a matter of routine practice for Witnesses to tell potential members that they should join the group even if there are things they don't understand. I remember telling people I wanted to wait and they simply urged me to put my cares aside.

    Those teachings may appear to be right there for the potential member to examine, but their lack of emphasis during the 1 on 1 study especially hinders the chance that people will question it. So much information goes over your head when you are new to the Kingdom Hall. It is all so new and there is no way to grasp much of it. Not to mention that JWs have their own 'language' per se, with special words and phrases that sound pretty simple but hold different meanings within the social experience of their group.

  • ldrnomo
    The tendency is to "go along with the crowd".

    You make a good point. I remember a study that was done years ago at the University of Michigan where a group of ten were put into a room to answer multiple choice questions, nine were told what to answer for each question even though the answer would be wrong, the other person was not told anything. The video shows the agnst this one person went through when each person around the room gave the same answer but it was not the right one.

    At first, the person gave the correct answer despite the 9 wrong answers but as the questioning went on this university student finally succumbed to the peer pressure and went along with the group even though he knew he was giving the wrong answer.

    The questioning went somthing like this:

    The capitol of Michigan is:

    A. Grand Rapids

    B. Kalamazoo

    C. Detroit

    D. Lansing

    Each person answered A and when the uniformed was ready to answer he said A also though he knew the correct answer was D


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