gotta love it
The Gradual Change From Worshiping Jehovah To The Worship Of the Governing Body
The other thing to notice beyond the WT exalting themselves to be God is the demotion of Jesus from status as God over the last hundred years or so.
These come to mind
John 5:23 (English Standard Version)
23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
Isaiah 14:13-14 (English Standard Version)
13 You said in your heart,
'I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.'
The change in the baptism vows got my attention. I too had noticed the emphasis on the F&DS/GB/Mother etc, but when I saw the vows change it really made it crystal clear for me. We were followers of men, not God. Also, when they declared Jesus was only the mediator for the 144,000 and not the rest of us. I could never wrap my mind around that one.
To me this worship of the GB was the greatest source of dissonance that led me to break free. Every prayer, every WT article, and most talks keep mentioning the GB to the point that the GB was actually being worshipped. Deep down it felt so wrong.
Actually, frankie, organization worship goes back to the days of Russell, though perhaps it was more subtle then. It is also present in the book The
Finished Mystery, which is nine parts Russell worship to one part organization worship. Since then it seems to have been on a rollercoaster ride
with more emphasis at certain times and less at others.
Of course you are very right. In my opening post I was merely examining it from my 3 decades as a JW perspective.
Even the WT says that Rutherford didn't allow beards because Russell had one and many of the brothers were having the same type,(and is no doubt an under lying reason for no beards allowed today in the organization) as that was suppose to be a form of creature worship!(as if God could really care) And yes Russell was promoted and worshipped as the F&DS in the WT while Russell was the editor of it.
So It seems that history is repeating itself which is quite logical seeing that it is a mind controlling cult.
Durring my time with the cult the emphasis was with the end being very close and the date 1975, as time ran over that date and left it in the dust attention needed to be directed elsewhere to keep the member captive and obedient and so naturally worship of the collective GB and obeying its every command and avoiding independent thinking would serve that purpose, at least for a limited time until they run out of brain power and disappointment becomes unbearable and the whole ship begins to sink from the weight of broken dreams and unfulfilled expectations.
About the only thing I disagree with, is the fact that the WT or JWs org. was never about giving glory to God.
I didn't see your comment to villa.
yadda yadda 2
I've heard the organization called "mother" many times. Once at an assembly hall construction meeting, all in attendance were told to obey the instructions coming from "mother". If you search the CD ROM (use the words 'organization as mother' no quotation marks ) you will find numerous references to this.
Here's one for your amusement (you can't make this stuff up):
We must always keep the hope of life in God’s coming new world alive in our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 5:8) I have also learned not to give up in the fight against any tendency to become discouraged. I have learned to view Jehovah as my Father and his organization as my Mother. I have come to realize that if we make the effort, Jehovah can use any one of us to be an effective servant of his.
I was working on an article for my own "therapy" and I had included a section about how to create your own religion, there's much more but this section should remind you of something:
You can create your own religion. I’m giving you the following pointers if you want to try. I know they work because I have lived them. Here are a few of the key ingredients you will need:
1. A unique interpretation of the Bible. If you have one and you are passionate about it, you can get others to follow you in your esoteric beliefs. If you can’t be original then borrow ideas from others. Jehovah’s Witnesses “borrowed” a number of their beliefs from the Second Adventists, so it’s ok to do this.
2. Convince others that you have a direct connection to God. This is easier than it may seem. I’m convinced that Yogi Berra had a following based on his ability of prediction of the future. With phrases like: “Prediction is very hard, especially about the future” (this makes as much sense as any prediction of the date for the time of the end that I’ve ever heard), you could create your own subculture that believes that they must go through you (the one true channel) to get to God. It will help your cause if you use the word “faithful” in your official title. Add another word to faithful such as “faithful and discreet” and nobody will question your authority.
3. Create ‘secret’ rituals, a special language, mantras, etc. and you can have your followers believe they are part of a special group. Insist that they use this special language at all times. Jehovah’s Witnesses call this the “pure language” (Zephaniah 3:9) or sometimes as “pure language of truth”. You can use it too, it’s from the Bible, and it’s not copyrighted.
4. Tell your group that it alone is selected by God for salvation and set apart from the rest of the “unbelievers” or “infidels” on the outside (world). You get major bonus points if you can convince them that everything outside of your group is controlled by Satan. Your followers can then be easily isolated from the rest of society and convinced that they are accepted and loved only by “the group” (your group).
5. Most important of all, you must have a date for the “end of the world”. This is not the end for your followers; they are special and will be saved. You’ll need a good story here; perhaps the manner of “saving” them will be by a space ship or some kind of an ark. You could call it the “ark of salvation”, I don’t think this is copyrighted so I’ll give this to you for free. This will keep your followers excited and in the fold, waiting eagerly to see what’s going to happen next.
One caution; please don’t kill everyone on the date you have selected for the end of the world by telling them they must drink poison kool-aid to get to God. This will work because it has worked, but don’t do it! When the date comes and goes all you really need is a good story. After all, you want your followers to continue supporting you and the life-style you now have. You could say that the end came “invisibly” and because of a lack of faith, your flock was unable to see it with “eyes of understanding”. In other words, blame your flock for the failure of your prediction (none of this is copyrighted so feel free to use it). I’m giving you a bonus quote here that you can use to deflect the charges that you are now a “false prophet” for missing the date for the end: “I didn’t really say everything I said.” (this is another Yogi Berra quote).
For reference purposes only, I’m presenting to you a masterful, clever, piece of work that the “Faithful and Discreet Slave” of Jehovah’s Witnesses came up with after their failed prediction of the end in 1975. Notice how they blame the followers and not themselves for the failure (don’t use this in your religion, this is copyrighted):
11 It may be that some who have been serving God have planned their lives according to a mistaken view of just what was to happen on a certain date or in a certain year. They may have, for this reason, put off or neglected things that they otherwise would have cared for. But they have missed the point of the Bible’s warnings concerning the end of this system of things, thinking that Bible chronology reveals the specific date.
15 But it is not advisable for us to set our sights on a certain date, neglecting everyday things we would ordinarily care for as Christians, such as things that we and our families really need. We may be forgetting that, when the “day” comes, it will not change the principle that Christians must at all times take care of all their responsibilities. If anyone has been disappointed through not following this line of thought, he should now concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint, seeing that it was not the word of God that failed or deceived him and brought disappointment, but that his own understanding was based on wrong premises.
Do you see how this works? The Watchtower, in numerous publications and for years previous to 1975, presented the year 1975 as the “appropriate” time for the end to come. The followers didn’t create the date, didn’t write about, didn’t give presentations to large audiences about it, the leaders did. Personally, I think Yogi Berra (“I didn’t really say everything I said”) wrote the magazine.
Besides Jehovah’s Witnesses, you may know of people that have done much of the above in creating their own religions:
James Warren " Jim " Jones was the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple, which is best known for the November 18, 1978 death of more than 900 Temple members in Jonestown, Guyana along with the deaths of nine other people at a nearby airstrip and in Georgetown.
David Koresh , born Vernon Wayne Howell , was the leader of a Branch Davidian religious sect, believing himself to be its final prophet. A 1993 raid by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the subsequent siege by the FBI ended with the burning of the Branch Davidian ranch outside of Waco, Texas in McLennan County. Koresh, 54 adults and 21 children were found dead after the fire.
Heaven's Gate was an American UFO Religion based in San Diego, California, founded and led by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles. On March 26, 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult, all of whom had died by apparent suicide. The group's end coincided with the appearance of Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997.
If founding your own religion is not for you, then you need to find truth.
Good points for WAC to follow, but you forgot to mention that he would have to conduct lots of indoctrination sessions and make them do lots of work so that they don't have time to think on anything else, thus they won't have much time for critical thinking. The WT has a great system for this in the preaching work, conducting home bible studies, quick builds, bethel service, pioneering, giving talks, and at one time 5 meetings a week.
These very effectively keep the brain and body occupied and hold them captive. Make them feel that taking time to program themselves with the literature they publish somehow pleases God and is a requirement for salvation is a very effect ploy.
They say Jim Jones used to give talks for hours to his congregation in this way he could get them to be like zombies,, mesmerized and all thinking alike. And in this mental state keep their minds like putty in his hand so much so that he could have sex with all the women in his cult and make them think they were fucking God. While it had its pleasure it is also hard work and so I hear JIM Jones also took a lot of speed to keep him going.