Governing Body 2.0

by drew sagan 65 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • drew sagan
    drew sagan

    You mention that the Bible Teach book does not include references to the F&D slave, but overall references to the Slave have gone up. I have noticed a strong upwards trend to mentioning that the Slave is guided and must not be questioned. This is an important point IMO, similar to there being a Private and Public Watchtower.

    I do wonder, however, if there has simply been a shift towards using F&DS directly rather than through more subtle forms of rhetoric. The Revelation book (1988) only uses the phrase 8 times, while the phrase "John class" (an alternative phrase for F&DS) appears 119 times. Also keep in mind that the number of references to the F&DS grew only slightly from the 90s to 00s. The 1980s seems to be lower, but my analysis is for the Watchtower publication only. Without a comprehensive analysis of say, all Watchtower study articles from the 80s through 00s, its hard to say exactly what has been changing. Real research can be pain in the...

    In terms of what the group presents to new converts I do believe there has been a shift. I was a JW from 99 to 06. During those years I noticed a growing emphasis in the number of suggestions aimed at rebranding the JWs image. As a new JW I openly welcomed the suggestions, believing that they could possibly help break down stereotypes people in the field had regarding the movement. For example, here is a gem I remember from 2001:

    *** km 12/01 p. 1 par. 3 Handle God’s Word Aright ***

    3 Read Directly From the Bible: You might try going to the door without a book bag. You could put the featured literature that you wish to offer in a slim portfolio and carry the Bible in your hand or pocket. Then, when you engage someone in conversation, you can bring out the Bible without causing the person to feel that you are trying to preach a sermon. Position yourself in such a way that your listener can follow along in your Bible. Perhaps ask him to read a verse aloud. A deeper impression is made when he can see what the Bible says rather than just hear it from you. Of course, to help him understand the point of the text, stress the thought-conveying words.

    In regards to your other point:

    New recruits do not have the importance of the hierarchy highlighted to them. This does not become introduced until the recruit is already somewhat entrenched with the Organization.

    I believe that in the era of GB 2.0 Watchtower teachings have essentially bifurcated. Essentially, there is an increasing separation between doctrines regarding the nature of God and his works from the narrative of the organization. In the days of Franz, Knorr, and especially Rutherford, the organizational narrative was at the center of the groups experience. Even the "Live Forever" book (1989) had an entire chapter about "Gods visible organization." I believe that growing anxiety about the nearness of armageddon is weakening the power of this narrative within the group, while shifts in societal norms render the story as less appealing to outsiders. Specifically, people today are less anxious about the perils of modernity (nuclear war, famine, destruction of the earth, etc.). Concepts linking mankind's salvation from these problems through a definable earthly organization may have less of an appeal. Of course, this is just a guess. There may be others reasons for why the two components of belief are splitting within the organization.

    The response, however, has been clear. The organization has pulled back from incorporating the narrative of God's organization into its public message. And, as we have already noted, Watchtower publications have increasingly been focusing on generic discussions regarding the nature of God and morality. I am skeptical regarding the assertion that the Watchtower is simply playing a "bait and switch" on new converts. While this may be what functionally occurs, the true intentions of leaders within the sect may not be as clear. It's just as possible that they simply believe in a change of focus for the message, something that inadvertently creates gaps in what new converts learn about the movement. That's the problem with trying to judge the actions of GB 2.0, the are a secretive group of individuals that only insiders can provide the details on.

    I also wanted to make a point about the growth of Jehovah's Witnesses in non-western countries. While the growth of western religion in non-western countries is often attributed to impoverished people grasping onto a fresh message of hope, there are multiple factors to consider. One factor I have though about is the Witnesses extremely Western image. Some of the appeal JWs have abroad may stem from new converts desire to become modernized westerners. This is just speculation, I have not data to back it up. A literature review on the growth of Christianity in the third world probably would reveal what really is going on.

  • wannabefree

    Maybe the bugs will be worked out by GB 7.0

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Greetings, Drew:

    I borrow the phrase GB 2.0 from AllTimeJeff, who used it
    yesterday in the post about Theodore Jaracz's death.

    I cannot readily locate that [individual] post [or did you mean thread?], and, as a result, have not learned what the term GB 2.0 means. Kindly explain.

    Your clear and intelligent writing [and that of respondents] has me hooked on a thread I normally would have passed over, given my propensity toward fiction over fact.

    Jehovah's Witnesses is a fact-based faith ... correct?

    Thank you.

    Compound Complex

  • leavingwt

    -- Sexual abuse: still requires two eye-witnesses and elders may or may not report it

    -- Blood Cards: JWs and their minor children still ride around with suicide cards in their wallets

    -- Shunning: The mandatory institutionalized shunning is ripping families and friends apart all over the globe

    -- Anti-Education: Young people are skipping educational opportunities to pioneer, etc.

    -- Anti-Children: One of the most basic aspects of family life is considered to be a negative thing within the WT culture

    The above items are what need to change for me to think it's becoming a different moster.

  • neverendingjourney
    However, I wonder what you mean when you say:
    "The religion changed from being one that welcomed and nurtured intellectual curiosity regarding its doctrine to one that simply demanded obedience without proof."

    I was going to type out a response to your question, but sir82 indirectly answered it better than I could in his post above, particularly where he says:

    It's getting progressively harder to talk about anything to any level of depth at the meetings. All meetings (except the WT study) have been shortened substantially, meeting parts are all shortened (service meeting parts are rarely more than 10 minutes, compared to 20 or 25 in the past), and even the WT itself has been dumbed down to a 4th grade or so reading level.
    At private gatherings, any talk of "deeper" things is met with suspicion, unease, and silence.

    Perhaps my choice of words wasn't the best. I'm not sure the WT ever truly "nurtured" intellectual curiosity, but it was not discouraged. So long as you stayed within the confines of WT literature, it was okay. In the mid 90s I used to meet with other bright young Witnesses to study various doctrinal themes using WT materials, of course. I never felt that this was inappropriate in any way. At the time, the Society was not that far removed from Fred Franz, so there was still a semblance of an effort to maintain doctrinal consistency and to keep the teachings up to date. Since no one could fill his void, the teachings became more and more stale with time. By 2005, the year I stopped going to meetings, attempts at "deep study" became increasingly uncomfortable because the doctrinal flaws became more easily apparent. Instead of "fixing" it by updating the doctrines, the GB decided to clamp down on this type of research instead.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Anybody, please:

    I cannot readily locate that [individual] post [or did you mean thread?],
    and, as a result, have not learned what the term GB 2.0 means. Kindly



  • neverendingjourney

    Software generally follows a naming convention whereby the initial version is a 1.0. It's upgraded to version 2.0, then 3.0, and so forth.

    The point Drew was making is that since the GB's formation in the 70s, newer members were not added until the 90s. All but one of the "original" GB members on the board as of the 1970s are dead. Therefore, it's this new batch of GB who now run the show. Hence, GB 2.0, GB 1.0 being the GB in place during the early 70s.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    CC, GB 2.0 is a play upon the way common computer software updates are numbered, the new overlapping generation doctrine, and the fact that all but one of the old-time GB members are now dead. (For instance, Mac OS 10.5 or Windows 7). The current Governing Body is GB 2.0 because they're all young guys who are part of the second-half of the overlapping generations of anointed.

  • drew sagan
    drew sagan

    cc: Facts are overrated for sure.

    Here is the link:

    nej: As content within the organizations publications have simplified the scope of approved has definitely narrowed. The newer Watchtower publications essentially set approved boundaries for discussion. Study and talk outside those boundaries and you are stepping into unapproved territory.

    As a newer convert I found myself wishing that the movement would embrace the "deeper" materials of previous years. I remember my interest in reading copies of older Watchtower books from the 70s that I found in the Kingdom Hall basement, specifically The Nations Shall Know that I am Jehovah (1971). I joined the movement primarily because I wanted to study and learn the deeper things, and increasingly became disappointed the more I heard generic information repeated over and over. Of course, this was a personal experience that occurred outside of the organizations development. I never was active during the years when the group engaged in deeper study, and only pined for it personally.

    Another point of conjecture:

    Will the GB 2.0 wait another 20-30 years before appointing new members to the GB? Or will they instead appoint new members as it becomes necessary? While it appears that the GB 1.0, which was established in the 70s, waited until after the failure of the generation doctrine to make changes (probably because they never thought new leaders would be needed), the actions of GB 2.0 may be more routine. There is no longer a doctrinal reason for resisting new appointments. To the contrary, they now have a framework that allows them a never ending supply of newly anointed candidates for the job.

  • Gayle

    How long will it be before the GB 2.0 has to update to a GB 3.0? A spiritual, mental, emotional 'virus' has been in both programmed groups.

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