The WT Society is Extreme for a reason.

by Giordano 8 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Giordano

    Most of the following is fairly well known but with so many new ones on this site as well as non JWs with questions about the culture and beliefs the following information may be useful.

    The current GB's paranoia with 'apostates' or apostate-like behavior (like thinking independently) has it's roots in the early history of the WT Society. The truth of the matter is that the Watchtower Society has had a checkered history in retaining members and between 1909 to 1931 a number of groups broke away.

    A simplified chart of historical developments of major groups within Bible Students.

    The memory of those schisms is a firm part of the WT corporate memory and hence it's culture. Under Rutherford, then Knorr, Franz and the GB obedience to Current theology was and is obligatory to this day. When the WT speaks the thinking is done.
    After the great schisms and then the successful rebuilding work the Society wanted to make sure that people who disagreed with the publications would not be tolerated.
    During the 1954 douglas-walsh tria l the WT representatives were grilled about the amount of control they now exercised over it's members: They were surprisingly candid:
    • HAYDEN C COVINGTON - Former Lawyer for the Watchtower Society

      • Q. Is it not vital to speak the truth on religious matters?
        A. It certainly is.

        Q. You have promulgated - forgive the word - false prophecy?
        A. We have. I do not think we have promulgated false prophecy, there have been statements that were erroneous, that is the way I put it, and mistaken.

        • Q. It was promulgated as a matter which must be believed by all members of Jehovah's witnesses that the Lord's Second Coming took place in 1874?

          • Q. And that had to be believed by the whole of Jehovah's Witnesses?
            A. Yes, because you must understand, we must have unity, we cannot have disunity with a lot of people going every way, an army is supposed to march in step.
            Q. Back to the point now, a false prophecy was promulgated?

            A. I agree to that.

            Q. It had to be accepted by Jehovah's witnesses?
            A. That is correct.

            Q. If a member of Jehovah's witnesses took the view himself that that prophecy was wrong, and said so, would he be disfellowshipped?

            A. Yes, if he said so, and kept on persisting in creating trouble, because if the whole organisation believes one thing, even though it be erroneous, and somebody else starts on his own trying to put his ideas across, then there is a disunity and trouble, there cannot be harmony, there cannot be marching ...... Our purpose is to have unity.

            Q. Unity at all costs?
            A. Unity at all costs, because we believe and are sure that Jehovah God is using our organisation,the governing body of our organisation, to direct it, even though mistakes are made from time to time.

            Q. A unity based on an enforced acceptance of false prophecy?

            A. That is conceded to be true.

            Q. And the person who expresses his view, as you say, that it was wrong, and was disfellowshipped, would be in breach of the covenant, if he was baptised?
            A. That is correct.

            Q. And as you said yesterday expressly, would be worthy of death?
            A. I think....
            Q. Would you say yes or no?
            A. I will answer yes, unhesitatingly.

            Q. Do you call that religion?

            A. It certainly is.

            Q. Do you call that Christianity?
            A. I certainly do.

            • FREDERICK W FRANZ (President 1978 - 1999 )

              Q. Can you tell me this; are these theological publications and semi-monthly periodicals used for discussion or statements of doctrine?
              A. Yes.
              Q. Are these statements held to be authoritative?
              A. Yes.
              Q. Is their acceptance a matter of choice,or is it obligatory on all those who wish to be and remain members of the Society?

              A. It is obligatory.

              • Q. Is it for that reason that Jehovah's witnesses accept without question doctrines and Biblical interpretations as expounded by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society through its Directors?
                A. Yes.

                Q. In publications both periodical and in book form?
                A. Yes.

                The more recent draconian measures date back to the Raymond Franz affair when private bible study groups were discouraged and or punished by being expelled from Bethel as well as calling for DA persons to be shunned. Information was obtained by use of coercion.

                Shunning is not voluntary among JW's ................coercion is used to enforce shunning.

                Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner by use of intimidation or threats or some other form of pressure or force.

                Today's JW is highly aware and very familiar with the shunning policy. Unity at all costs is alive and enforced in all congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses. Based on it's history it seems that it is the only way the Society can keep control of it's membership.

  • sir82

    This illustrates perfectly why Losch refused to appear in court.

    No one outside of "apostates" knows about, or cares about, the transcripts of the Walsh trial.

    But that was in 1954. Even if brought to a JW's attention now, the response would be "But that was 60 years ago - old light new light Proverbs 4:18 yargle bargle..."

    Imagine how many people would rip apart similar & current GB testimony recorded in publicly available documents in the internet age?

  • Finkelstein

    The reason why the WTS is extreme is that its core doctrines were devised to attract attention to literature which the WTS published, hence these doctrines were strongly protected and rigidly enforced.

    Speak out against these doctrines and you were sure to receive a demeaning characterization of being evil, even against god's will by his spiritually directed chosen ones , the editorial heads of this religious publishing house.

    To this day the WTS frowns on education particularly on bible theology, for you might come to know more than what they know. Remember J Rutherford who created the name and started much of the JW organizational structure, was not a well trained bible theologian he was a lawyer. What he learned as for as bible theology was taught previously by the past president of the WTS. who himself was only a amateur bible theologian .

    So there you have it, a religious organization that is framed upon unsupported bible interpretations but developed into world wide religious publishing house with billions $$$ of financial assets holding it all together.

  • blondie

    The WTS would like jws to think that it has always been one big happy group at the WTS. 1909 was the start of a big leaving of the WTS. When CTR wife was campaigning for him then and later against him.

    There were various groups that broke off...Bible Students.

    People leave and other fools join in.

    The only history that is kosher is the one with the WTS spin...all others are liars. Has anyone ever done an honest scholarly writing about the WTS?

  • millie210
    Thank you for starting a thread on this topic Giordano. I had heard bits of this before but never had it laid out so nicely and easily to read.
  • PokerPlayerPhil
    blondie9 hours ago

    The WTS would like jws to think that it has always been one big happy group at the WTS. 1909 was the start of a big leaving of the WTS. When CTR wife was campaigning for him then and later against him.

    There were various groups that broke off...Bible Students.

    People leave and other fools join in.

    The only history that is kosher is the one with the WTS spin...all others are liars. Has anyone ever done an honest scholarly writing about the WTS?"

    Nice quick history lesson on the Watchtower, thank you!

    Even as a kid I never felt welcome or close with the witness Congregation because everyone was so busy living their lives and I respect that. I respect people have family obligations and need to pay their bills, live their lives but don't tell the World "We have found the love Jesus said would be the identifying mark during the End-Times" because most of us can vouch how superficial all their love is. i was reading a book on Cults and one of the keys they mention is "New members are often love-bombed" honestly that never happened in the Congregations I attended as I saw new or visiting witnesses get completly ignored or shunned. The Watchtower is a social club for the selfish and stingy members of Society who don't want to part with their money. The Watchtower allows it's members to feel good for doing absolutely nothing worth talking about.

    How can the Watchtower think their doing something good as they pass by all the homeless and hungry members of the World while their guzzling their Starbucks with a snickering comment about "Oh, if he was a witness that homeless man would have a job and a home because Jehovah take's care of everyone. Instead he's probably a drunk or drug addict, "oh Lord I thank you I am not like him!" as they drag their literature cart past all who need help and park that cart way out of reach, far out where nobody has access to their Phantom Missionary Work

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  • Vidiot

    Giordano - "The WT Society is extreme for a reason..."

    Sure it is.

    Non-extremist movements aren't able to inspire rabid followers to advance their agenda.

  • crazyhorse
    This is my first time seeing this transcript and I'm shocked at Hayden Covington's answers! The WT was truly founded on crappy roots.
  • Vidiot

    Every time I read Covington's testimony in the Walsh Trial, I feel very conflicted.

    There's a weird blend of grudging respect for the guy for being so ballsy and honest about his views, and angry disgust for the guy for having such asshole views in the first place.

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