JW Education Status

by Scully 37 Replies latest jw friends

  • Scully

    This was posted on alt.religion.jehovahs-witn, just thought i'd share it with you:

    The following figures from an article in NEWSWEEK represent the number of college graduates within each religious group in America. Can this be used to relate the intelligence of the membership of each religion? Damn right it can! And hey, I bet everyone reading this had a pretty good idea who would place last:

    Unitarian 49.5
    Hindu 47.0
    Jewish 46.7
    New Age 40.6
    Episcopal 39.2
    Agnostic 36.3
    Presbyterian 33.8
    Congregationalist 33.7
    Buddhist 33.4
    Eastern Orthodox 31.6
    Muslim 30.4
    National Average 24%
    Evangelical 21.5
    Methodist 21.1
    Catholic 20.0
    Mormon 19.2
    Churches of Christ 14.6
    Assemblies of God 13.7
    Nazarene 12.5
    Baptist 10.4
    Pentecostal 6.9
    Holiness 5.0
    Jehovah's Witness 4.7

    I'm sure we all knew JWs would rank quite low (wow, last place!!), but I'm surprised at the <5% figure. The WTS opened the way for JWs to attend college (albeit with conditions) over 10 years ago and I would have hoped to see the numbers improve in that time.

    Love, Scully

    It is not persecution for an informed person to expose a certain religion as being false. - WT 11/15/63

  • Joyzabel

    Thanks Scully for sharing this.

    LOL its no surprise the low ranking. How sad. I'm not letting my kids be in that group!


  • TweetieBird

    You know what is sad? These statistics will be on an assembly part as a good thing.

  • Pathofthorns

    I guess they rationalize that "God chose the foolish things of the world..."

    Talk about shooting themselves in the foot. When their future survival depends on lawyers and money donations, they have effectively succeeded in reducing prospects for both.

    Then again if they encourage education people leave out of success and if they don't eventually they leave out of desperation and disillusion.

    It must be a bad time to be a policy maker for this religion. Ironic that 'world wide education work'.


  • RunningMan

    I simply cannot believe the 4.7% number. This means that one out of
    every 21 JW's is a college graduate. In my experience, the number appears
    to be closer to 1%. Even then, the 1% with an education is usually on the
    fringe of the organization. Could this survey have been taken somewhere
    that is not representative of the whole?

    By the way, I seem to recall seeing this number posted in an article on one
    of the web sites several years ago. Are you sure about the Newsweek

  • RunningMan

    I knew it was out there somewhere. Here is the link:

    link: http://www.freeminds.org/psych/miseduca.htm

    It appears that JW's are not just less educated than everyone else,
    they are also poorer. Here is the entire article:

    reprinted from the Sep/Oct 1996 Free Minds Journal

    The Miseducation of Jehovah's Witnesses


    John F. Kennedy said: "A child miseducated is a child lost." If that is true,
    hundreds of thousands of children born into Jehovah's Witness families are
    lost. Not only are Witnesses the least educated of major religious groups,
    they are also the poorest of the poor. A recent study revealed that Jehovah's
    Witnesses rank dead last in aggregate social status. This finding is as
    understandable as it is deplorable, given the Watchtower Society's long-standing
    hostility toward education. Their aversion to education means that Witnesses
    have suffered significant economic disadvantages.

    The Watchtower Society teaches that Jehovah will soon destroy all non-Witnesses and that Witnesses will be the only ones left on the planet. They believe that the earth will be transformed into a paradise populated only by Jehovah's Witnesses. This theology is the basis for their belief that it is not a good use of time to pursue a college education or pursue a career. Since their start in 1884, Jehovah's Witnesses have believed that God's destruction of the world in a fiery Armageddon was just a few short years off. Therefore, throughout their history, very few have sought an advanced education.

    The printed policy of the Watchtower until 1992 is shocking. The 1969 Watchtower said this: "Many schools now have student counselors who encourage one to pursue higher education after high school, to pursue a career with a future in this system of things. Do not be influenced by them. Do not let them brainwash you with the Devils propaganda to get ahead, to make something of yourself in this world. This world has very little time left . . . make pioneer service, the full-time ministry, with the possibility of Bethel or missionary service your goal." (March 15, 1969, p. 171)

    The Kingdom Ministry (06/69, p. 3) said this: "In view of the short time left, a decision to pursue a career in this system of things is not only unwise but extremely dangerous . . . Many young brothers and sisters were offered scholarship or employment that promised fine pay. However, they turned them down and put spiritual interests first."

    In 1993, researchers published the result of a massive survey of trends within major religious groups. Barry A. Kosmin and Seymour P. Lachman conducted a National Survey of Religious Identification. The survey had a sample size of 113,000 people. Of the thirty religious groups included in the survey, Jehovah's Witnesses had the lowest percentage of their members graduate from college. (Kosmin BA, Lachman SP. "One Nation Under God," p. 258)

    Educational Rank - Religion - Percentage of members that are college grads:

    1. Unitarian Universalist: 49.5%

    2. Hindu: 47%

    3. Jewish: 46.7%

    7. Agnostic: 36.3%

    18. Catholic: 20%

    20. Lutheran: 18%

    21. Seventh Day Adventist: 17.9%

    27. Baptist: 10.4%

    28. Pentecostal: 6.9%

    30. Jehovah's Witnesses: 4.7%

    In the last few years, the Watchtower Society has started to relax their rules and now some Jehovah's Witnesses are allowed to go to college. However the underlying attitudes persist, and very few Witnesses seek a college education. Why do so few Witnesses still not go to college, despite the softening of the Society's official position on college education?

    The Society continues to warn of the dangers of college and remind followers that college education will not be necessary in the paradise, which they predict will come soon. Note these recent quotes from the Watchtower: "In the present system of things under Satan's control, there are many things that may seem to promise fine benefits but can actually be damaging to our relationship with God. Such things as climbing the corporate ladder, pursuing higher education to advance one's position, courting unbelievers, or engaging in questionable business schemes can easily lead to a loss of faith and an eventual fall from Jehovah's favor. We must carefully count the cost when confronted with such temptations. A few years ago, a young Christian man in a large city in the Far East had the opportunity to go abroad to further his study. Though he already had a good secular education and a well-paying job, he felt that this was not enough; he wanted to better his lot in life. Fellow Christians tried to reason with him in line with the Scriptural points we have just considered, but he was adamant and went ahead with the plan. Though he tried to hold on to his faith at first, gradually he lost his appreciation for Bible truth, and doubt began to set in. In just a year or so, he lost his faith completely and claimed to be an agnostic." (Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1992, p. 28-29)

    Instead of encouraging young people to plan for the future, the Watchtower Society encourages people to seek part-time menial labor so that they are more free to spend time pioneering. Typical of the advice that the Watchtower gives is this: "Many pioneers support themselves financially by means of part-time jobs. To sustain himself in the ministry at Corinth, Paul worked as a tentmaker along with his fellow believers Aquila and Priscilla. Today, spiritual brothers are often happy to offer pioneers part-time secular work. Other pioneers obtain such work through employment agencies that offer temporary jobs. Faith in God is essential, and so is earnest prayer for his guidance in making employment decisions." (Watchtower, Sep. 15, 1993, p. 29)

    Young Jehovah's Witnesses are given this model to follow: "Whenever I read about pioneer experiences in the Society's publications, I found that my desire to become a full-time servant of Jehovah was aroused. . . . I was working full-time, and this provided the extra income needed to maintain us. I realized, however, that unless I also obtained a part-time job, full-time service would not be possible . . . Success in pioneering is mainly a matter of faith that Jehovah will care and provide for us. So he suggested that I resign from my full-time job." (1993 Yearbook, p. 235) The anecdote goes on to say that she did get a part-time job, and that she is now very happy pioneering.

    Closely associated with the Watchtower's disdain for education and the institutional discouragement of establishing a career is their view of money. The Watchtower states: "Many people want a substantial bank account, feeling that this will give them security. Yet, recent history shows this not to be so. In the Great Depression thousands of banks closed all over the world, with severe loss to depositors. And an economist recently stated: "The banking system . . . has shown a continued deterioration since the end of World War II." Also, the value of money has been eaten away by inflation, just as a block of ice melts away in the sun. Truly, the history of money is summed up in one word: insecurity. For no matter what actions authorities may take to patch up today's economic systems, the fact is that soon they will all totally collapse, and this time forever. The day is fast approaching when, as has happened before, "into the streets they will throw their very silver, and an abhorrent thing their own gold will become." (Watchtower, Apr 1, 1977, p. 204-205)

    It should not be surprising that The National Survey of Religious Identification found that the annual income of Jehovah's Witnesses ranks 24th out of 30 religious groups surveyed. (Kosmin BA, Lachman SP. "One Nation Under God," p. 260) According to the same survey, Jehovah's Witnesses ranked last in aggregate social status. (Kosmin BA, Lachman SP. "One Nation Under God," p. 262) Aggregate social status was based on four sets of data: home ownership, annual household income, college graduation, and percent working full-time.

    Aggregate Social Status (Rank)

    1. Unitarian Universalist

    2. Disciples of Christ

    3. Agnostic

    4. Congregationalist

    5. Episcopalian

    13. Catholic

    26. Baptist

    27. Pentecostal

    28. Seventh Day Adventist

    30. Jehovah's Witnesses

    The negative attitude of the Watchtower toward education extends to High School education as well. Among Jehovah's Witnesses it is socially acceptable to drop out of high school. The Watchtower culture places more value on pioneering than on finishing high school. The National Survey of Religious Identification found that only 67.6% of white Jehovah's Witnesses graduate from high school, compared to 80.9% for non-Witnesses. (Kosmin BA, Lachman SP. "One Nation Under God," p. 272)

    The Watchtower has admitted that it was common for Jehovah's Witnesses to drop out of High School. In the same article that they softened their rules related to seeking a college education, they said: "It has been reported that in some countries many well-intentioned youngsters have left school after completing the minimum required schooling in order to become pioneers. They had no trade or secular qualifications. If they were not helped by their parents, they had to find part-time work. Some have had to accept jobs that required them to work very long hours to make ends meet." (Watchtower, Nov. 1, 1992, p. 18)

    Even those students who do stay in high school, do not get the same well-rounded education as those not controlled by the Watchtower Society. The Watchtower Society prepared a booklet for Witnesses to give teachers to explain what they could and could not do in school. The list of prohibited and cautioned activities is quite lengthy, and in aggregate serves to severely restrict the quality of education. The booklet says: "You may have noticed that most Witness youths do not participate in extracurricular activities sponsored by the schools . . . 'Bad associations spoil useful habits.' And, as noted before, we try to comply with Christ's statement to his followers: 'You are no part of the world.' These principles shape the view of Witness families toward the school's extracurricular activities, including the following." (WTB&TS, School and Jehovah's Witnesses, p. 22) Then the booklet goes on to list all the activities that Witness children may not be allowed to participate in: Sports, cheerleading, homecoming, school dances, dating, school clubs, school plays, blood donations, raffles, patriotic music, religious art, combat instruction, birthday parties, Christmas activities, and national holidays.

    In summary then, the anti-education policies of the Watchtower Society have produced the largest religious group in the United States populated by poverty-stricken, under-educated people. The education level of Jehovah's Witnesses is exceptionally low, and the high school drop-out rate is very high. This leads to poor career prospects, low social status, and poor self-esteem. This is just one of the many ways that the Watchtower Society causes injury.

    Lord Brougham said: "Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave."

  • Scully

    As I noted at the beginning of the post, the reference to Newsweek was posted in the Usenet Newsgroup alt.religion.jehovahs-witn

    I have requested references from the poster, and await their reply.

    Love, Scully

    It is not persecution for an informed person to expose a certain religion as being false. - WT 11/15/63

  • ThiChi

    I agree with RunningMan: I don’t believe the claim of 4.7. How did they arrive at this figure? As an Elder, I do not remember any survey being conducted or this type of information being collected. I have asked some current elder friends and no such information has been collected.

    “Cancel my subscription to the resurrection. Send my credentials to the House of Detention, I got some friends inside.....” The Doors

  • belbab

    My wife who is a very intelligent artistic and creative, and grew up within JWs and was encouraged in high school to take commercial courses. She ended up hating with a vengeance commercial work, it did not fulfill her potential and abilities. Only after she left the JWs was she able to further her education somewhat and do work that was more enjoyable.


  • Scully

    This is an interesting follow-up to the 1990 survey:


    Thursday October 25, 2001, 11:00 am Eastern Time
    Press Release

    SOURCE: Graduate Center of the City University of New York

    Graduate Center Survey of Religion in America Complements U.S. Census

    NEW YORK, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Fifty-two percent of adults in America are Protestant, 24.5% are Catholic, and 14.1% adhere to no religion, according to the latest American Religious Identification Survey, 2001 ("ARIS 2001") just released by The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Those giving their religion as Jewish are 1.3% and those as Muslim or Islamic are 0.5%.

    With a sample of over 50,000 randomly selected respondents aged 18 or over, ARIS 2001 is the most comprehensive portrait of religious identification in the U.S. today. First conducted in 1990 and repeated this year, the survey fills a gap left by the Census, which does not ask about religion. Nearly 95% of those interviewed were willing to indicate their religious identification and views on important questions about their beliefs. The findings, weighted to be representative of the 208 million U.S. adult population, include national and state-by-state examinations of religious identification in relation to racial/ethnic identification, education, age, marital status, voter registration status and political party preference. The complete report will be available on The Graduate Center's web site at http://www.gc.cuny.edu/folio/index.htm

    ARIS 2001 is closely modeled on The Graduate Center's 1990 National Survey of Religious Identification (NSRI), permitting many comparisons:

    * Catholic adults increased from 46.0 million to nearly 50.8 million, but their proportion in the population fell by nearly two percentage points.
    * Although Protestant and other non-Catholic denominations remain the majority, with more than 105.4 million adult adherents, their proportion slid sharply from 60% to 52%.
    * 2.8 million adults give their religion as Jewish, down from about 3.1 million in 1990. Another 2.5 million, who say they have no religion or identify with another religion, are of Jewish parentage, were raised Jewish or consider themselves Jewish.
    * The number of adults who identify with a non-Christian religion rose sharply, from about 5.8 million to 7.7 million. However, their proportion remains small, 3.7% up from 3.3% in 1990.
    * Muslim/Islamic adults total 1.1 million -- nearly double the number in 1990. Those identifying their race as black are 23% of the group; the others overwhelmingly identify as white or Asian.

    One of the most striking 1990-2001 comparisons is the more than doubling of the adult population identifying with no religion, from 14.3 million (8%) in 1990 to the current 29.4 million (14.1%). The 1990 figure may be downwardly biased due to a slight change in the wording of the key survey question in 2001. In seeking a more accurate measure of identification, the clause "if any" was added this year to the question, "What religion do you identify with?" The prior wording may have subtly prompted respondents to name some religion.

    ARIS 2001 goes further than its predecessor in investigating such new territory as membership in a place of worship, change of religious identification over one's lifetime, and religion of the spouse or partner of respondents. Findings reveal, among other things, a huge gap between religious identification and affiliation with a place of worship. Although 81% of America's adults identify with a religion, only 54% reside in a household where anyone belongs to a church, temple, synagogue, mosque or other place of worship. About 20% of those who say they have no religion (including many atheists and agnostics) nevertheless report that they or someone else in their household is a member of a religious congregation. About 40% of adults who describe themselves as "religious" report no membership in any religious congregation. Other noteworthy findings:

    * Catholics are the majority in Rhode Island (51%) and the largest single category in Massachusetts (44%); Mormons are the majority in Utah (51%) and Baptists are the majority in Mississippi (55%).
    * New York is home to more of America's Jews (25%) and Muslims (24%) than any other state. New York is also home to the largest percent of the nations Taoists (26%), and Greek Orthodox (17%).
    * California has the highest percent of the nations Jehovah's Witnesses (17%) as well as of Hindus (30%). California also has the nations largest cluster of those with no religion (15%).
    * Pennsylvania has the largest number of the nation's Mennonites (18%) while Wisconsin has the largest clustering of Lutherans (10%).
    * The median age of all adults is 43 years. For Catholics it is 42, for Jews its is 51, and for Muslims it is 28. The median age of those who identify with no religion is 36 years.
    * Married adults and others living in a couple relationship are most likely to have a spouse or a partner of a different faith if they are Episcopalian (50%) or Buddhist (47%).
    * Jehovah's Witnesses have the highest proportion of female adherents (68%), followed by Church of God (64%); the highest proportion of male adherents is among Muslims (62%) and Buddhists (61%).
    * Adherents of Assemblies of God are the most apt to describe themselves as Republicans (59%); Jews are the most Democrat-leaning (56%), and Buddhists are the most independent with respect to political party preference (48%).
    * Black adults are most likely to give their religion as Baptist (47%) or as no religion (11%); Native Americans are most likely to give their religion as Baptists (20%) or as no religion (19%).
    * Hispanics are most likely to give their religion as Catholic (57%), followed by no religion (13%).

    The study was directed by Dr. Egon Mayer, Professor of Sociology at The Graduate Center and Brooklyn College, and Dr. Barry Kosmin, who also directed the 1990 religion study, along with research fellow and demographer Dr. Ariela Keysar. Dr. Kosmin was co-author, along with now State Senator Seymour Lachman, of One Nation Under God: Religion in Contemporary America (Harmony Books, 1993), the widely referenced book on the 1990 NSRI. He is currently a visiting professor in the Study of Religions Department at University College in Chichester, England.

    As in 1990, the data were gathered on behalf of The Graduate Center by the ICR Survey Research Group in Media, PA. The survey was funded by the Posen Foundation.

    The Graduate Center is the doctorate-granting institution of The City University of new York. The only consortium of its kind in the nation, The Graduate Center draws its faculty of more than 1,600 members mainly from the CUNY senior colleges and cultural and scientific institutions throughout New York City.

    SOURCE: Graduate Center of the City University of New York

    It is not persecution for an informed person to expose a certain religion as being false. - WT 11/15/63

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