The average Jw puts a lot of weight to what their local elders or Co/DO says. They usually feel he speaks for the Org. ( mother) They have always followed men. In the long gone past they used to allow more discussion of things without one being accused of being an apostate. That all changed in the 70's.
is this true in view of the gb claims
They don't believe in apostolic succession for other relgions.
But they believe they are divinely appointed to the line of the apostles.
None of us would identify the actual persons who comprise the leadership of Jehovah's witnesses for a very good reason.
Like most gangs of thugs there is safety in the corporate threat of the body of enforcement. The individual is weak by comparison.
So, the fear the rank and file experience is a weight of burden imposed from the top down in defiance of Jesus' claims: My yoke is light.
The pronouncements of the Governing Body are words detached from context. This makes their words all the more powerful because they require constant interpretation. From who? From the Governing Body itself!
What they say must be followed. Or what?
Or else what?
Or else we remove you from under our authority and you get to make your own decisions.
Why is THAT frightening?
Because the ability to make rational decisions about life had been surgically removed by indoctrinations!
Jehovah's Witnesses are like blind people who are helpless without their guide dog. They cannot see their guide dog, as such.
They simply grab the harness and follow.
While the average JW does not "recognize" the leaders because they don't know their names nor have they really seen them except from a distance, their entourage of ass-kissers announce their presence ahead of them wherever they go.
So, the members will know they are there.
As far as I'm concerned, the GB serves the same purpose as the Pope. They have made themselves mediators. JWs might as well be Catholic and praying to the saints, of course the saints you actually know things about. The GB could be anybody we don't know their history or anything, yet they go so far as to say that you can't have a relationship with god w/out them.
I guess my question to a JW about that would be, "How is the role of the Pope different to the GB?"
Well the Pope claims to be the Vicar of Christ, in other words he vicariously leads for Christ and speaks for Christ.
The GB/FDS on the other hand ......................OOPS !
They quote Mat. 23:9 all the time "Do not call anyone your father on earth, for one is your Father, the heavenly one." That was to take care of the Catholics.
But they never read the verses before or after.
Verse 8: Do not you be called Rabbi, for one is your teacher, wheresa all you are brothers.
Verse 10: Neither be called 'leaders,' for your Leader is one, the Christ.
Even their own interpretation of 144,000-only-anointed breaks down under their GB "theocratic arrangement":
Rev 14:4 says that the 144,000 follow the Lamb wherever he goes. But the GB demands that the non-GB anointed must follow them when they direct them to just as the R&F have to.
None of these scriptures moved the elders when I brought them up before I left.
"That said, they avoid personal recognition so that they can avoid accountability."
Maybe in times past, but they are becoming more prominent.
They do seem to be making themselves more prominent.... photos in publications, DVDs, etc. Also the teaching of the Faithful and Discreet Slave is currently being slowly twisted away from its original stance. Instead of the entire F&DS being a single class just under Jesus, the GB represents the F&DS, thus putting themselves on a pedestal that did not previously exist.