1984 And The Watchtower.
Let me ask you: Have you ever read the book 1984? If you have, many things may now be going through your head in regard to the Watchtower. Is he trying to connect the Watchtower and Big Brother? Indeed I am.
In the book 1984 by George Orwell, the world has been divided into three governments called Oceania, Eurasia, and East Asia. These three governments are always at war with one another. Although the book doesn't go into the divisions of the countries, I came to the conclusion that Oceania was made up of the former North America, South America, and West Europe and possibly Africa or parts thereof and Australia. The rest of the world was made up of East Asia and Eurasia. It was mentioned in the book that an East Asian man had oriental features.
The state of Oceania was where the main character, Winston Smith, lived. He resided in a rundown apartment complex sparsely decorated with necessary furniture including bed, kitchen table - and the all important telescreen.
"Winston turned a switch and the voice sank somewhat, though the words were still distinguishable. The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely."-Part 1, Chpt. 1, para. 3
The interesting thing about the "telescreen" was that, while it worked like a regular television, it was also two way.
"The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live -- did live, from habit that became instinct -- in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."-Part 1, Chpt. 1, para. 5
It is mentioned in the book that fear-inducing propaganda is visible everywhere.
"On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran...Outside...The blackmoustachio'd face gazed down from every commanding corner. There was one on the house-front immediately opposite. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption said, while the dark eyes looked deep into Winston's own.-Part 1, Chpt. 1, para. 2, 4
Interestingly, aren't we kept in fear all the time by our own "Big Brother", the Watchtower Society? They say that we have relative freedom but then we realize that don't. Case in point, a study that we had in the book, Keep Yourselves in God's Love.
"As servants of Jehovah, we rightly want to look our best, which means dressing in a way that is neat, clean, in good taste, and appropriate for the occasion...Above all, we want to bring honor to Jehovah and his people and to recommend ourselves as God's ministers, doing "all things for God's glory"...Our dress, grooming, and cleanliness are even more important when we are engaging in the field ministry or attending a Christian meeting. Ask yourself: 'Do my appearance and personal hygiene draw undue attention to me? Do they embarrass others? Do I consider my rights in these areas to be more important than qualifying for service privileges in the congregation?' "-Keep Yourselves in God's Love, Chpt. 5, para. 11-15
The paragraph ends by telling us that it is up to us - our own personal choice - how we want to dress. However, did you see the threat at the very end of the above paragraph? They pretty much say, 'You can dress however you want as long as we tell you that it is okay. If you do not dress in a manner that we approve, you will lose all of your privileges in the congregation.' It was so subtle that many didn't notice it for what it was. Now, is the Society wrong for telling us that we need to dress in a manner befitting to a Christian? Absolutely not! That is Biblical. But we are not allowed to dress how we want to. We even have a list of appropriate dress and grooming at Bethel and, we all know how we should dress at congregation meetings.
Little things like that show that this is a form of control. In 1984, the form of control is, 'if you do not do what we command we will kill you." It is true that the Bible says, "If any man is reaching out for an office of overseer, he is desirous of a fine work." (1 Timothy 3:1) We should want to receive privileges in the congregation - there is nothing wrong with that. However, the Society makes everyone overly excited about privileges, even making it seem like if someone has not received privileges or been appointed, that something is wrong with them.
The Bible does have a list of qualities that a man needs to display (or not display) before he can become an elder or ministerial servant. (1 Timothy 3:2-13; Titus 1:6-9) I was held off from being appointed by things other then what Paul presented in his two list. I had even made auxiliary pioneer time for months and was still kept from being appointed. This, obviously, disappointed me for some time until I realized that it doesn't really matter. The Society makes us want appointments so bad, mainly because it will allow us to stand out. We yearn for it and get jealous when others get it and we don't. We do everything they tell us to so we can hear our names called from a platform. They use this to control us.
There is an example of this in 1984. In the book, not everyone is controlled by Big Brother. There is a street people in the book that live in a government-sanctioned area called the "Proles". To keep the Proles in line, preventing a revolution, which would have succeeded due to sheer numbers if they had enough sense to rise up, Big Brother created a lottery scam, awarding large sums of money to fake people.
"The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention...Winston had nothing to do with the running of the Lottery, which was managed by the Ministry of Plenty, but he was aware (indeed everyone in the party was aware) that the prizes were largely imaginary. Only small sums were actually paid out, the winners of the big prizes being non-existent persons..."-Part 1, Chpt. 8, Para. 18
This lottery, for the Proles, really was the only thing that gave them hope. They had no reason to live except on the hope that they would win even some small fortune from this game. Can not it be said that many people remain in the Truth only to bear the title of Ministerial Servant? I know I did, until I realized that being a Ministerial Servant or an Elder was not truly important. When I stopped trying to be one of these - stopped trying to win the "lotto" - my life as a servant of Jehovah took on a new meaning. Indeed, the "pay-offs" of this "lotto" are the small sums, not the big prizes, which are always given to "non-existent person".
Another thing that is forbidden by the Society is something that George Orwell named "Thoughtcrime", or the idea that anything you think in your head, even if you never utter it nor plan to teach it, is an offense.
"He had committed -- would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper -- the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed for ever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you."-Part 1, Chpt. 1, Para. 45
Thoughtcrime is something that we all know is condemned by the Society. In his book, Crisis of Conscious (of which I have only read excerpts of on the internet), Raymond Franz mentions how "thoughtcrime" was labelled and then condemned under the threat of disfellowshipping and being labelled an apostate. The letter, presented in his book, says this:
"Keep in mind that to be disfellowshipped, an apostate does not have to be a promoter of apostate views...Therefore, if a baptized Christian abandons the teachings of Jehovah, as presented by the faithful and discreet slave, and persists in believing other doctrine despite Scriptural reproof, then he is apostasizing. Extended, kindly efforts should be put forth to readjust his thinking. However, if after such extended efforts have been put forth to readjust his thinking, he continues to believe the apostate ideas and rejects what he has been provided through the 'slave class', then appropriate judicial action should be taken."-Letter to Circuit Overseers, 1980
This letter effectively banned free thought. Now, even thinking things contrary to what "the faithful and discreet slave" (Governing Body) says can get you disfellowshipped! Raymond Franz said, This "is something like saying that a man's accepting and obeying a King's written message is no guarantee that he is loyal; it is accepting and obeying what a slave messenger claims the ruler meant that decides this." (Crisis of Conscious, Chtp., para. ) Yes, even if you firmly believe that what you believe is backed up by God's Word, you are still dissenting against Jehovah - because you are abandoning "the teachings of Jehovah as presented by the faithful and discreet slave."
While we have freedom of speech (and thought) under the Bill of Rights, this was hindered in the Watchtower Society because it would cause people to leave the Truth as presented by, not "the faithful and discreet slave" but the Governing Body.
Other things that were done in George Orwells book was that Big Brother would say one thing was factual until it no longer suited them and then they would completely contradict themselves but everyone would believe that what they were now teaching was the absolute inerrant truth until, of course, they said it wasn't. To do this, the masses would have to employ "blackwhite" and "bellyfeel."
Blackwhite, as described by George Orwell himself is "a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this...also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past." Bellyfeel is a blind, enthusiastic acceptance of an idea. Together, these two terms describe what the Watchtower demands of us when it has "new light."
Take for example the "generation" teaching. It has changed numerous times - 1927, 1942, 1949, 1995, and 2008 - five times in all! Each time only a small fraction of people leave the Truth, the rest blindly and enthusiastically accepting the new idea. Why? The Watchtower uses one out-of-context Bible verse to support their flip-flopping doctrine: "But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established."-Proverbs 4:18
The Society has quoted this verse over and over, drilling it into ours heads all the while giving us a false interpretation. They claim that this was a prophecy about our time, even though the context of the Scripture leaves the reader considering otherwise. This is a Bible truth, not a prophecy. Certain issues of the Watchtower magazine alluded to this verse after making a statement that we can consider a correct interpretation, namely, that as each individual follower of Jehovah grows in the Truth, his spiritual understanding will grow, illuminating the Truth more and more until "the day is firmly established."-Proverbs 4:14-19; See the Watchtower of Nov. 15, 2008, pg. 11, para. 14; Dec. 1, 2008, pg. 30, para. 6; Feb. 15, 2000, pg. 27, para. 7
As followers of Jehovah, he expects us to find out what is Truth and what is not. He commands that we do this as the Beroeans did, searching the Scriptures always in our continued spiritual walk. (Acts 17:11) Only by doing this can we truly know if what we are being taught is truly God's Word or if we're being cheated.
One example of this involved me. About two years ago at an assembly, a certain parable of Jesus recorded at Matthew 13:47-50 was explained. As they explained it one way I kept thinking that this wasn't right, it couldn't be right. The parable would make no sense if what the brother from the stage was saying was correct. About a year later a "refined" explantion came out. This can be found in the Watchtower of July 15, 2008, page 20. When I was at the assembly, the explantion as put forth in the aforementioned article was almost exactly what I was thinking of. The only difference between the 7/15/08 Watchtower and the explantion that I hold is this: The article says that the separating work is now, I say that it is in the future. Why? Jesus said that the separating work will be done "in the conclusion of the system of things" when "the angels go out and separate the wicked from the righteous." This means that there will be unrighteous ones within the congregation at the conclusion and they will be winnowed out at Armageddon - completely destroyed. Of course, the Society cannot admit that Jehovah is allowing wicked ones to remain in the congregation or it would cause problems.-Compare Matthew 13:24-30
It is sad that so many people give in to what George Orwell called blackwhite. One prime example of blackwhite is presented in Raymond Franz's book, Crisis of Conscious. He related an experience that he had heard of.
"Perhaps epitomizing the spirit that the Society's pronouncements, including this letter, produced is an incident occurring at a Circuit Assembly meeting for elders of a section of Alabama. The District Overseer, Bart Thompson, held up a Society publication that had a green cover. He then said to the assembly of elders, 'If the Society told me that this book is black instead of green, I would say, "Y'know I could have sworn that it was green, but if the Society says it's black, then it's black!" ' "-Chapter 12, pg. 345, para. 1
This District Overseer would willingly use blackwhite, willingly convincing himself that black is white (or in this case green is black) because the Watchtower, Big Brother, said so.
There are many other examples that could be listed to show the similarities between Big Brother and the Watchtower but this, perhaps, will suffice.
George Orwell was a brilliant man who perfectly created a dictatorial society. The Governing Body has fallen right into that mold, perhaps unknowingly. The only difference is, we do not have to be controlled by the Watchtower like Winston (the main character of 1984) was controlled by Big Brother. Yes, if we want to help liberate people from the perfect mind control used by the Society, we need to stay in the congregation in good standing and not voice our beliefs for all to hear.
The Jehovah's Witnesses have much of the Truth. They do not have all. Is that bad? No. The Bible tells us that no one can have the entire Truth. (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Daniel 12:4) The Jehovah's Witnesses have more of the Truth then any other religion that I have ever seen. This is the way Jehovah wants us to worship Him, as His Witnesses and not as Watchtower-ites. Do not leave the organization of brothers and sisters because of the sins of the Watchtower. The Bible indicates that at the end there will be wicked people among us but they will be exposed. Trust the Jesus and his angels will know what they are doing.
I beg: Be found among us when the end comes.-1 Peter 4:17
With Sincere Christian Love and Affection,
Brother Ebed Abodah