"What If The WT Told You to...
... get your gun out and go to any church of Christendom on a certain Sunday a few weeks after the publication date of the Watchtower that was making the demand, and open up on the congregation?"
That question was asked of active JWs in good standing by Richard Hickman, whom many of you know, when he was doing research for a book he was writing. Strangely enough, the most common answer went something like this:
"Well, the society would never do something like that, but if they did I would do it."
Can you imagine?
How many of you have experienced anything like this?
I don't believe any Witnesses said they would do it.
Let me quote my dad, a staunch, died in the wool JW elder: "I'm just following orders." Rocky asked him if he had joined a club. His reply was affirmative. He's ex military, but pre Vietnam. With all the bad press Vietnam got with the US military gunning down innocent villagers you would think more people would think twice before 'just following orders.' I don't think most rank and file JWs would follow through with the gun thing, but there are some who wouldn't question the WTS generated life and death issues. Remember Malawi.
As unhappy as I've been with the WBTS I honestly don't think the rank and file membership would ever do such a thing. The basic witness I recall wasn't a killer. Would they empty their bank accounts? Many would do that.
I asked many witnesses such type of questions when I was one. The normal answer is they wouldn't ask such a thing and if they did, then I'd know satan has taken over and I'd leave.
Satan is way slicker than that
Never Squat With Yer Spurs On
Some would and some would not. My own guess is that of of newly baptized JWs only 1 in 20 would shoot people if the Watchtower Society ordered it, of JWs in general only 1 in 10 would, but of Elders 2 to 3 in 4 would, of Circuit Overseers 4 in 5 would, of District Overseers 90% would, of those higher up 95%. So it depends on whom you ask and who you yourself are (regular JW/Elder up) when you do the asking, thus skewering the possible results.
When I was a witness, I only supported the 'fds' because I thought they were part of god's arrangement at this time. I believed that the gb was a scriptural entity. However, I always believed that the Bible was the ultimate authority. From my reading of scripture, I could never do such a thing because, imo the Bible does not support such actions by Christians. My dad asked me about this once in the only conversation I've ever had with him about my religious beliefs. He feared this same thing. I would never do such a thing, no matter where the directive came from.
"it's like the one thing we all have in common is that we
got played by a cult and a bunch of old men and no matter what it will
always be a part of us no matter how much we distance ourselves from it"~ Ghostquote
Very intersting question Francois,
I asked myself a similar question just before I got out. I remember this religion in Africa where the leader killed several hundred of his followers by burning them alive in the churches. He had help from some of his loyal followers. After the political campaign to complain about the taxes in France I wondered if the Society would one day ask people to do something bad and then what would the reaction be from the rank and file members.
This is one of the things that allowed me to start questioning things in my own mind. I thought it was wrong of them in France to ask everyone to show up and give them an assignment without telling them what it was before hand. I imagined that if someone was not comfortable with this political propoganda campaign they would not be able to say no because of the tremendous peer pressure that situation would create. I would love to hear the thoughts of someone who did participate in that event.
That kind of power and the willingness to use it for self preservation scared me. It still does.
I think that the OK to kill would come from a different set of criteria than just an order to shoot someone. They would probably draw an analogy with ancient Israel's killing of any dissidents. I could see them bumping off Kent Steinhaug through a secret JW "mercenary of Jehovah", they would then claim that the killer was unbalanced (took the emblems, that sort of thing)and deny any knowledge.
Might work, scare the hell out of newbie lurkers, that's for sure.
Scare the shits out of Kent too.
Bring on the dancing girls!
You know the Society has dreamed of doing Kent. After all, they have a picture of him falling into a deep hole during Armageddon. Watch your back Kent!
"Hand me that whiskey, I need to consult the spirit."-J.F. Rutherford
My DF'd sister swears that if the Society commanded (ahem, I MEANT, in theocratic-speak..."exhorted") the congregations to line up and shoot their DF'd family members execution-style, my dad would do it. Said dad is also a diehard, dyed-in-the-wool longtime elder.
It's a funny coincidence...we discussed this shortly before this topic was posted!