Back in th 1980s, the answers at the Watchtower Study & the Book Study seemed much more interesting. More personal experiences that somehow related to the question being asked. Nowadays it seems all answers are just repeated from the text, or consist of reading a Bible verse. Has the FDS officially cracked down on original, interesting answers? Also, I was told by a MS recently that the new policy is to only call on 2 children during the Watchtower Study. Supposedly this is because 'the meetings are for adults'. Anyone else aware of this?
Why such boring & canned answers at the WT Study?
I left many years ago, and the answers have always been canned, They were so "spoon fed" that they had to keep saying to "use your own words" but make the point given to you in the writings.
There never has been an air of free tought answers, If you did you would have been show the door to the wood shed. LOL
from what I understand the extra comments have been discouraged for quite a while
With so much of their past haunting them from their own publications I think their need to control the flow of info presented has grown drastically.
Just one more form of mind control.
If I recall correctly, as of the last time I commented at meetings, they wanted ONLY the information presented in the current material. I knew of many jw's that were very knowledgeable of past printed pages that did alot of research for the wt. It seemed then that the wt conductor would thank them for that , BUT please stick to the current article.
Repetition is an excellent indoctrination tool.
If you are only responding with sentences directly from the WT then it acts as a reinforcer.
nomoreguilt is correct...answer only from the article and answers should be 30 seconds or less.
Because it's a boring and canned cult. I was in it during the '60s and '70s, and the answers were boring and canned then too.
This recent directive may be reason behind why less external information is now given.
Letter to Elders April 3 2007 "RE: Guidelines for Watchtower Study Conductors":
- "But this does not mean that he should introduce additional material from his own personal research and thus possibly overshadow what has been published in the magazine. Extensive research has already been involved in producing the study article, and the points to be emphasized are those included in the paragraphs under consideration. When outside material is introduced, it often detracts from what "the faithful and discreet slave" has prepared for the congregation. (Matt 24:45-47) The impression may be given that the additional information from the conductor's research is of equal or greater value."
I was WT study conductor for a few years (about '95 through '98,) and I think the Society has two reasons for wanting everyone to "stick to the script."
1) In each congregation, a fair number of contributors consider "good comments" to be "long, meandering, I'll-get-to-the-point-eventually-and-only-if-I-can-remember-it-by-then comments." One older sister in one congregation would give comments/answers that really were actual "talks." Purely from a practical perspective, there just isn't time for this stuff. Apart from those contributors, it was also occasionally a problem with WT study conductors. The one I replaced was not happy until he had injected several, deeply personal, only-slightly-relevant insights while conducting. Without exception he would have to try and jam four or five paragraphs into the final five minutes of the study--and would end up going way overtime.
As conductor, I came to recognize my primary job as keeping things moving. I'd make sure the specific answer came out in a comment, look for one or two brief supporting comments--and ask an auxiliary question only if I thought people weren't getting something--or there was extra time to do so. Any extra comments I made were extremely succinct. (Good, little zombie.)
2) With every passing month, and by degrees, this organization becomes more and more controlling. It really is a policy with a long history of failure, but they see no other way. Instead of admitting failures or altering policies--instead of "leaving it in Jehovah's hands"--they think they need to tighten their grip on the flock in areas of speech, personal choices, general conduct, and even thought. As time goes on--and unless enormous changes occur--those within will be faced with increasing pressure to conform to The Slave's dictates--and abandon whatever makes them individuals.
Nice, tight, drooling, drone-like paragraph repetitions accomplish that nicely.