university-educated congregations?

by ID Crisis 6 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • ID Crisis
    ID Crisis

    Does anyone know of (eg central city) congregations that have many people with uni degrees and/or professional careers/occupations? If yes, can you comment on how the anti-university talks are delivered in these congregations?

  • JeffT

    My first congregation was in Pullman, WA; home of Washington State University (I became a dub the year I graduated and stayed there for a number of years). Pullman is a bascially a small rural town with 20,000 or so University students tossed in. The economy of the whole town revolves around WSU. I worked there taking care of lab animals, one of the elders worked in the finance department, another was head of on-campus housing, a couple of other guys had jobs there as well. None were academics.

    It is interesting that at the time I was there, the general buzz around the congregation was about how bad the students were: they drank, smoked dope, and had sex with each other as often as possible. Well OK, its mostly true, but its also true that most of them were learning as well. I don't think the anti-education message was toned down much. The elder who worked in finance was a decent guy, he did the talk at our wedding and tried to really help people. He was forced to step down when his kid went to college.

    Eventually we moved, and as our kids got older the anti-education message was the thing that first got me seriously questioning.

  • stillajwexelder

    One congregation I was in had 5 people that were university educated

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    I attended a congregation several years ago that had a high percentage of educated witnesses that had careers, not jobs. Along with that, several were in the entertainment industry. When outside speakers gave their talks it just rolled off everyone's back. Hardly heard counseling other than to be careful about the schedules these careers may demand. I remember one elder commenting on the diversity of employment shared by our congregates.

    Now this obviously is not the party line. In fact we did have one MS who sported a goatee, the only thing the elders told him was that giving talks out was an impossibility as other congregations did not share their same opinion of facial hair. He eventually shaved it off.

  • hamilcarr
    If yes, can you comment on how the anti-university talks are delivered in these congregations?

    They say there's no problem "as long as uni education doesn't interfere with kingdom interests".

  • yknot

    My original KH was .....and ones I later attended in California were too.

    Better educated KHs donate more money.

    When I contacted one of my older KHs I was told the outline was only briefly mentioned and downplayed by the CO. When the topic comes up in the WTs, usually an Elder or Conductor will offer a short dismissive rebuttal.

  • Gozz

    Interesting. One of the rather exciting congregations I've been in was one located near a university. More than 80% of the JWs and other friends were full-time students at the university nearby. The congregation was usually be in a state of sth like flux, with a student staying for 4 or 5 years, and a few proceeding for advanced degrees (Masters and Phds) at the university. It was always exciting to be there, and the level of contributions (comments, that is) during the meetings was solid, intellectual, and sharp. The rather less educated elders appeared to be more reasonable in handling judicial matters; they were however less accomodating in dealing with themselves; the power struggle was legendary.

    The brother/sister students were an exciting bunch; there's always stuff going on. Disfellowshippings were painful and tough; there were two or three that were well-known in those days; more than a few students tooks sides, ignoring the shunning rule, discretely keeping up some form of communication with the disfellowshipped. Reinstatements were quite swift. At least two of the JW students in those days had worldy love interests who attended meetings; there were no widespread talk of misconduct (make of that what you will...) but it was clear this was no ordinary congregation. WT studies were exciting, with interesting spins to study article points; this necessitated two/three of the more intellectual MSs conducting the WT studies.

    Much of what's happened since then have made nonsense of what was an interesting group. It couldn't smply have been that once torn away from that intellectual environment, many of these regressed to being "regular" JWs, or that their new congregations got to them. For many, the university was a hurdle to scale, a temptation to resist, until they returned to the "real" JW world.


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