I just don't see how a Millenarian Apocalyptic Fundamentalist Mind Control Cult can go "mainstream", while encouraing a black and white, "Us vs. Them" worldview.
Could WTS Become a Mainstream Religion?
Two rules that history shows are seldom ever broken:
1. The sect of today will become the mainstream church tomorrow.
2. If the sect doesn't become mainstream, it either disappears or becomes increasingly marginalised.
Evidence: The road to the "Millenium" is littered with exhausted and disillusioned doom merchants:
- First century Christianity was referred to as a sect at the time;
- Protestants were charged with sectarian heresy (i.e., apostasy) a mere few centuries ago;
- Methodists were labelled divsive extremists;
- 7th-Day Adventists were once vocal and unyielding promoters of their allegedly 'sectarian' views;
No. The reason is that the suspicious and condescending mindset of Brooklyn is too ingrained. The leaders of Mormonism realized that they needed to drop the weird stuff, or at least keep it real quite, in order to become more acceptable to the mainstream. Brooklyn seems to revel in their oddball status. If there was ever a chance for a change, it was in the 50s. I believe that Knorr and Franz did more to stunt the growth of JWs than anything with their insatiable lust for power. This can be seen when administration became more centered in Brooklyn than in the local congregations.
It's funny that everything that the R&F identified as a problem and moved to remedy was almost always taken over by Brooklyn. The prime example are the Quick Build Kingdom Halls. I went to a number of these prior to the Society taking over, and they were fun. It was trully enjoyable to work and eat with other JWs. One word describes my time at those Quick Builds: joyous. This time made the WT study on Snday afternoon more enjoyable because you saw a true brotherhood coming together for a common goal. I went to one Quick Build after the Society took over. It was not the same. It became sterile and joyless. It became more about getting it up, than having fellowship and putting the Hall up.
The point I am taking so long to get to is that Brooklyn has to have total control. They do not trust the R&F to do the right thing. This is the thing that I see which prevents the JWs from becoming more mainstream, like the Mormon church.
This is the thing that I see which prevents the JWs from becoming more mainstream, like the Mormon church.
Beware of the trojan horse. The greatest threat and/or potential for change comes from the outside masquerading as part of the inside. Look, my long deceased JW grandparents' generation (Bible Students in the 1920s, thence JWs after 1931) simply would not recognize the organization today. It has changed soooooo much.
They'd loudly denounce it fro becoming trendy, superficial and yes, wishy-washyl (compared to what is was back then). The JWs of today are wimp-minded softies who cannot string a coherent argument together without running for the hills and dulling their minds with TV. Whether you expect it to happen or not, it's already happening. The Mormons once were a literal-minded, paranoid bunch of arrogant peddle merchants. Now look at them, as rationale and persuasive as the next m,ainstream church. Bor-ing. The Mormons are "only"a few decades ahead of the JWs. That's all. Give the JWs 50 more years tops and the continuing changes would have turned the organization inside out. Watch the trojan horse work wonders!
The quick build comment was interesting, and I totally agree. I took part in a few some years ago, and it made great fun. Some of us were not the most effective guys on earth, and basically we spent the second half of the day undoing what we had done the first half - but we had a great day. Some 500 turned up, two or three times as many as they had work for - but everybody loved it.
Now, it is the same group of 70-100 people who are summoned, and the rest of us know nothing about it. and the projects are not really quick build any more, it takes more days to do it and it is more just another work like aby other work.
I have noticed the difference, but did nt give it much thought till I saw the posting on it here.
NO WAY HOSEA
theyve been evolving as they go since they were invented, the rules and doctrines have changed and as the old ones die off the young ones dont even know the history of their own 'religion' or doctrine. their own old literature is disregarded or classed as apostate as the new stuff comes in.
the book publishing business has become a sideline of lawyer based legals who dont wait on their own 'god' but slog it out in the courts.
it really is like the writing on the wall of the animal farm book by george orwell.
and the jws on the net these days bear no resemblance to the old school jws that were around when i was a dub (theyre either dead,dying off or left to their own devices and forgotten once theyre past useful), they so dont make em like they used to lol.
in my lowly opinion give it a couple more generations or so and jws will be a very shadowy version of their former selves.
it really is like the writing on the wall of the animal farm book by george orwell.
What was the horse's name again - the real hero of the saga?
OK Let's start at the beginning
I read threads about reform and needed changes.
Just because some JWs and others recognize a need for reform and changes doesn't mean the WTS leadership recognizes that. If anything I think they are becoming less mainstream, more rule oriented, and stricter.
I don't like the idea. I personally think that a harmful dangerous mind-control cult should not find some way to moderate slightly to keep their membership.
I don't like the idea either.
It's tough to say that because I don't want harm to come to those that stay within WTS. At the same time, I personally feel that the revolving doctrines and extremes do more to cause people to leave.
Could WTS actually become just another denomination of Christianity?
Nope. Too many rules, too much control.
Someone mentioned addictions and I think that is important. Addictions are about control. Either you are the one with the control and knows it or you are the one with no control and don't know it. i.e. the alcohol controls the person but the person believes they have the control.
We can also look at this in terms of abuse, in this case spiritual abuse but it is still abuse and follows the same patterns of abuser and victim. The WTS uses its control to manipulate its victims. The control information, feelings and behaviors. When they see their victims not obeying the rules the last thing they do is consider their rules are wrong. They blame the victim and tighten the reins. Already too many JWs are finding the real truth about the WTS on the internet. Too many are leaving due to the burdens the WTS puts on them. The WTS is struggling to maintain control over the ones they have. And like all abusers the less control they think they have the stricter they get.
Just think about all the talks at the conventions about the dangers of the internet, dangers of education, of talking to DFed and DAed ones. They have gone so far in information control that they now have a public WT and a JW only WT. Heaven forbid the world reads what the WTS really teaches. They publicly say one thing about what are "conscience matters" but we all know that the term is merely a dressing up. If JW really did all those things that are "conscience matters" an awful lot of them would be in front of JCs real fast. Like the abusive husband who tells his wife, "Sure you can go see your family", what he really means is "Sure you can go but be prepared for what happens when you get home."
Could WTS become a mainstream religion? How?
Example: JW's admit their buildings are the same as a "church" and don't stop members from attending any services anywhere else. They recognize that holidays of Christendom are fun for kids and make them all optional. This could allow members to share holidays with non-JW family.
Not going to happen. Non-JW family has more access to information than JWs do. Many have DF/DAed ones in the family. And once they have left they may have a lot more info about the WTS than the average JW. The abusive WTS cannot allow the JW to have access to that information. They might lose their victim. Abusers are not about to tolerate grey areas. Everything is black or white. Choices are not allowed. Only total obedience is tolerated. The WTS just can't tolerate Family A going off to celebrate the holidays with the family while Family B, C and D obediently go to meetings and put in their required time knocking on doors. I bet it wouldn't take long before Family A is marked as bad association.
How can they change?
In all my years as a counselor to women and men who had been abused by the adults around them not one of those abusive adults really apologized and did what they could to make amends and CHANGE.
It's not impossible. It does happen. But the likelihood is minuscule. That the chance I give the WTS to change. Minuscule