Could the Internet be Partially Responsible for the Change in BS?

by AK - Jeff 9 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Here is my reasoning on this:

    Many seem to think - and apparently the society has even stated now in so many words - that they wish to lessen the 'burden' on the brotherhood by elimination of the additional night of meeting attendance. Oh, sure, they threw out some bullshit about the price of gas - we all know that is a load.

    But perhaps in a way they have seen a hole in the dike that we didn't perceive clearly? In an effort to do all the work required to be an elder, could it be that the society is actually driving some elders to the Internet? There are places on here that contain 'canned research', a Cliff's Notes version of the book-study, Watchtower, and TMS programs. With all the prep that elders are expected to do, could it be that some are being driven to the 'Evil Internet' for help?

    How would a relatively Internet newcomer find such help? Type in "Book Study preparation Jehovah's Witnesses" once. See what you come up with. If this is the reason - and it may be part of the reason IMO - they are trying to protect themselves from an assault that they created by too much pressure on the already overworked elders.

    I don't know where to find those sites that contain the preparation for those studies - but I have heard they are here somewhere. I would assume that many have heard that, but not knowing where to look, have found 'other interesting things to research'.

    Just a theory.


  • FlyingHighNow

    I've said on other threads on this subject, that they must know from reading on the net that the meetings are such a burden on active members that many are leaving. We say it all the time here at JWD. The burdens they placed on me personally? They drove me into a physical breakdown and severe depression. And maybe, just maybe, they think they'll lure some of us back? Or they don't want the rest to leave as we did.

  • jgnat

    I haven't seen it mentioned much, but I believe paranoia is part of the reason the society is moving the book study back in to the hall. They may have perceived that there's just too much opportunity for independence and splinter groups in the home study.

    Moving it back to the hall and joining it with the other meetings is a mistake on several levels. Churches have known for some time that people are more committed in a smaller group where they get to know each other personally. Small groups is a very successful format for retaining members. Also, the cultlike repetition begins to fade in as short as two days. The person will be independent and free-thinking for greater periods during the week.

  • nomoreguilt

    I, personally don't believe that there is much preparation needed be done by an elder to conduct the BS. My observations over the years were that the conductor actually had only done the minimal preparations necessary to ask the questions. Most elders have had enough exposure to wt doctrine that they pretty much know the slant of the scriptures and the heading of the study.

    However, as many have posted before, I believe that they are trying to consolidate their control over the flock as a whole by bringing them together for the minimizing of personal comments and speculation in a larger, more public forum.

    We all know how at the BS many people have gone off on tangents of speculation and have gotten off the material really fast. The atmosphere has been more laid back and thus the friends have become more FAMILAR with one another and ESPECIALLY with the ELDERS conducting the BS.

    Another thing that I have observed over the years, was that many cliques have formed by this famialarity in a more relaxed and intimate setting. Many of the friends have been alienated when some less expierenced jw makes a comment and is then ridiculed in this SMALLER setting by others MORE ENLIGHTENED ones.

    Just my thoughts.


  • fokyc

    Tuesdays are going to be reserved for private study of the Internet

    and watching Football on TV - in the UK with a few jars of


  • OnTheWayOut

    I don't know about "canned" bookstudy research.
    Most dubs just underline the answers quickly beforehand.

    I do know that I used the internet to find all the materials for
    the TMS so that I could print them and have them at my fingertips
    without cracking all those WTS books or having to find each
    week's lesson on the computer WTLibrary.

    So I suppose others might have been sharing outside research
    on bookstudy material via the internet.

    I think the GB hopes the average dub just stays too busy to do
    any research at all for the mega-meeting (3-in-1) and just
    underlines the answers beforehand, and those that do even less
    than that still are forced to attend the bookstudy now if they
    show up for the mid-week meetings, so they will still get some

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Another thought. They can now proclaim a 'significant increase in meeting attendance' for some of the meetings. I imagine the overall attendance is better at the TMS/SM than it ever was for the BS. So, technically, they could use this statement to rally the troops. Stating how 'Jehovah has blessed the arrangement.'

    As far as the Internet is concerned. I am speaking strictly about the elders who conduct the studies. I know that many of them are well versed, and can spout the dogma without ever carefully studying it each time. I was in that category. I also know of many who want to properly 'Lord it over' the sheep - carry the big scripture cases - and look as Pharisaical as possible. These are the ones who might try and do 'deep' research to make it look as if they are great leaders.


  • besty

    My own tuppence worth: (actually a cut and paste from

    William J Schell writes about the transition from Christ to organization in 30 Years a Watchtower Slave Abridged Edition 2001. In 1926 “No longer, as in the old Bible Student days were we following the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 to disciple the nations for Christ, to become Christians. … They had better get in with us as God’s Organization or suffer the consequences which would automatically accrue to Satan’s organization in Armageddon!” (p.69) “Home Bible study was discontinued for Book studies, with the Societies books and textbooks in place of the Bible, and the Bible relegated to a position where it was restricted almost exclusively to reference use.” (p.101)

    So perhaps there is a 'genuinely motivated' theological shift by the younger GB to get back to the early days of the Org with more focus on the Bible. Side benefit - its costs a lot less than producing yet more books and they have nothing new to say anyway it appears. It would be great if new light would flash up so we could have some deeper theological critique.

  • Terry

    Where is a splinter group most likely able to flourish with troubling doubts about the Governing Body?

    Where is apostate news about the U.N. or child molestation most likely to be generated?

    Unsupervised private book study groups!

    The bottom line is CONTROL!

    Cults must control all thought and behavior.

    Individuality is to be expunged.

    Read Ayn Rand's ANTHEM.

  • Gordy

    I received an e-mail from a fading JW (used to be an Elder). They were having a vist from the CO also at the time. In speaking to him the CO said that the reason for the change in meetings, was that after the child abuse cases they settled. It was found that the WT could be held responsible for anything that happens in a home were a WT authorised meeting is held.

    How true this view is we can only guess. You know how JWs are on making excuses and rumour.

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