GB's Attitude Toward Suffering of "Foreign" Brothers

by compound complex 20 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • zagor

    I don’t think they have any sense how much that destroys a young man’s life, how many times some of them almost lost their lives whilst upholding ways of watchtower, being sent to hell and roasted alive, beaten while not being allowed to defend themselves, threatened to have their throat cut by other prisoners etc, Then years later still waking up with nightmares and seeing death and destruction all around you. Then when you finally become “normal” for the rest of your life you have to keep explaining why you went to prison and why you have a “criminal record” even if you are not longer a witness. Every time you have to enter another western country you have to go through the same drill all over again and explain it all. And for what? For some crazy idea that they keep changing their minds about. FUCK YOU WATCHTOWER!!!

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    What, then, was the final outcome? At the October 11, 1978, meeting, of the sixteen members then on the Body, thirteen were present and nine voted for a change in the traditional policy, four (Henschel Jackson, Klein, and Fred Franz) did not. This not being a two-thirds majority of the total membership, no change was made. On November 15, the vote showed eleven of sixteen in favor of a change, a two-thirds majority. The motion voted on was one of several suggested and happened to be one I had submitted. It read:


    That where the superior authorities in any land, acting through whatever constituted agency they use, order a brother to perform some form of work (whether because of his conscientious objection to military service or for other reasons), there will be no congregational action taken against such a brother if he submits to that order, provided always that that the work he is ordered to do is not in violation of direct commands or clear Scriptural principles found in God's Word, including that at Isaiah 2:4. - Matt. 5:41; 22:21; 1 Cor. 13:1 7; 1 Pet. 2:17; Titus 3:1; Acts 5:29.
    We will continue to exhort our brothers to guard against becoming a part of the world and that in whatever circumstances they find themselves they must keep God's kingdom foremost, never forgetting that they are slaves of God and Christ. Thus they should seek to avail themselves of any provision that allows them the greatest freedom to use time, strength and funds for that Kingdom. - John 15:17-19; Acts 25:9-11; 1 Cor. 7:21, 23.

    A two-thirds majority had voted in favor of the motion - but the two-thirds majority did not last long. During a momentary break in the session, a member remarked that there evidently was going to be a change in the vote. He quoted President Franz (who was among those not favoring any change) as saying, "It isn't over yet; Barry has had second thoughts." Lloyd Barry had been among the eleven voting in favor of the motion. Why the change? Since the decision could make the difference between men going to prison or not going to prison, I think it is enlightening to realize just what sort of things can happen in a religious governing body holding power to affect the lives of thousands of persons.
    You will note that in the cited texts at the end of the first paragraph of the motion the citation "1 Cor. 13:1-7" appears. I had meant to put "Rom. 13:1-7" but, perhaps because of familiarity with Paul's well-known description of love in First Corinthians chapter thirteen, I mistakenly wrote it down as I did. Someone called the matter to my attention during the intermission and the Body was informed of the need to correct this one reference.

    When we reconvened, however, Lloyd Barry stated that he would not vote in favor of the motion with Romans chapter thirteen listed in the citations. Given the opportunity to speak, I suggested to Lloyd that we could simply eliminate the reference completely or remove ALL the cited texts if need be to make the motion acceptable for him. Without explaining the basis for his objection, he said he would still not vote for the motion and that he was withdrawing his previous vote. Other members endeavored to find some conciliatory adjustment but were unsuccessful. Though no provision had existed for withdrawal of one's vote after a motion had passed, we acceded to Barry's action. The two-thirds majority was gone. After further discussion, when another vote was taken it read: Nine in favor, five against, one abstention. [Lloyd Barry had left on some business matter and so was not present for this vote made necessary by his withdrawal of his previous vote. The five voting against change were Carey Barber, Fred Franz, Milton Henschel, William Jackson and Karl Klein. Ted Jaracz abstained. See also CRISIS OF CONSCIENCE, page 102, footnote 7.] Though still a definite majority it was no longer a TWO-THIRDS majority. Though only a MINORITY of the Governing Body favored the continuance of the existing policy and the sanctions it applied toward any who accepted alternative service (unless sentenced thereto), that policy remained in effect. Year after year, hundreds of men, submitting to that policy although neither understanding it nor being convinced of its rightness, would continue to be arrested, tried, and imprisioned - because one individual on a religious council changed his mind. Witness men could exercise their conscientious choice of accepting alternative service only at the cost of being cut off from the congregations of which they were a part, being viewed as unfaithful to God and Christ. [ibid., p. 269; emphasis: RF.]

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    BTTT in order to shed some light on threads regarding ban in Russia.

  • therevealer

    this thread deserves a look by newer ones here

  • Marvin Shilmer
    Marvin Shilmer

    The GB's attitude toward suffering of "foreign" brothers is nowhere more evident than shown in the online article titled Malawi — Savage Betrayal by Watchtower?

    It's available at

    Watchtower's Governing Body is no less than traitors to the brotherhood of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Marvin Shilmer

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Thank you, therevealer and Marvin, for posting.

    We appreciate the links, MS, to what, I am sure, are articles both revelatory and damning.



  • dozy

    Thanks for the links.

    I often wonder what would have happened if the US government had conscription or national service with an alternative service option - I suspect that the WTBTS would never have adopted their hardline approach. It is so much easier when the problem is in "a far off country of which we know little".

    I met a brother once who had been imprisoned for the WTBTS policy, abused in prison & then suffered for years because his "criminal record" made potential employers unwilling to employ him. I wondered how his life could have been far better if he had been allowed to work in a hospital or in other duties , now permitted by the WTBTS.

    So many broken lives................

  • compound complex
    compound complex
    I felt this was relevant, given what we were told last night regarding the GB's interest in the concerns expressed by branch overseers relative to the needs and problems in their respective countries.
  • Listener

    Thanks CC.

    Earlier in the thread is a discussion about whether changes should be made from the top down or be allowed from the bottom up.

    Jackson made to comments that relate to this unfortunately the transcript isn't up so I can't be exact. The first being that a lot of information and ideas about procedures come from the Branch's and also the GB helpers. In many instances the GB simply read the proposals and give their approval. In a contradiction he said that scriptural changes were the domain of the GB only.

    Jackson also made the claim that if they (the GB) were not acting in accordance with scripture then all JWs would know. He failed to explain how this would then be addressed.

    Now we have a third player as established by the Royal Commission. Through the RC the Government has been able to highlight inadequacies in their policies and amazingly enough were able to highlight scriptures in support of change, particularly on a social evolution level., as well as demonstrating moral obligations.

    Jackson supported this approach and indicated there would be change. He has undermined their authority on a theocratic level as being from the top down.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Likewise, Listener, do I thank you for your excellent observations!

    The RC surely has done its homework. My bewilderment is why one of the "elect" was so lacking in knowledge as to certain aspects of the workings of the organization. Perhaps the simplicity of the Gospel has become lost in the enormous, unwieldy machinery of Committee and Corporation.

    I was hoping for a Trumanesque declaration that the buck stops here, that Christ's "brother" would make it his personal resolve to effect change.

    Who knows, . . . the night is still young. . . .

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