Re-reading "Crisis of Conscience" again....

by ziddina 30 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • ziddina

    Heh heh... Thank you, Loz, for "keeping things on-topic"... Not that I mind an occasional meander off-topic, anyway...

    As to Alice/Rachel/Renaii/whomever's comments, her ignorance clearly shows every time she opens her mouth - er, taps her keyboard...

    I will post more items from the book, in a few days... I'm in the chapter titled "Double Standards", all about the bizarre disparity between the Watchtower Society's advice to the Mexican brothers regarding their practice of bribing Mexican government officials to "endorse" their military cards, indicating that the brothers had "served" in the military, therefore fulfilling their requirement...

    And the Watchtower Society's blasé disregard for the excruciating violence that the Malawian brothers and sisters were going through at around the same time, all over a so-called 'political' card that had no more significance than a DRIVERS LICENSE...!!

    That information ALWAYS infuriates me!! Zid

  • ziddina

    Wow, DGP, thanks for giving us that insight...

    I was wondering how the average person [non-JW], who might pick up that copy that I just donated to the library, might view the book.


    psst... MooManchu... Yup. Bad...

  • boyzone


    If you ask dumb questions, expect a few sarcastic answers in reply. Read CofC for yourself and find out which God Ray Franz is referring to.


    I donated CofC and Christian Freedom to my library but they're either both checked out all the time or the local dubs have nicked them. I like to think the former.

  • jookbeard

    keep those snippets coming Ziddina, it's a literary classic , how many lives could one single book have saved?



    If you ask dumb questions, expect a few sarcastic answers in reply. Read CofC for yourself and find out which God Ray Franz is referring to."

    I get the gist of the novel simply from the book's synopsis. Most people disillusioned with Christendom's churches dissent from religion altogether but the dissent of Ray Franz from a religious movement to Christendom's churches is flip flopping in the mind of most seculars. I'm more comfortable with their point of view because they're more honest than the Christian assessment of a cult. I posted this on another thread but it has more application here. If Crisis of Conscience is a book about the struggle between loyalty to God and loyalty to one's religion, how does God factor into religion if Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult.

    The word cult has more than one definition.

    The word cult pejoratively refers to a group whose beliefs or practices are reasonably considered strange.

    This here is strictly in the mind of the beholder as many religions teach very different things. To me everything Jehovah's Witnesses teach (comprehensive view of existence) makes perfect sense.

    By the 1940s the long held opposition by some established Christian denominations to non-Christian religions and supposedly heretical Christian sects crystallized into a more organized "Christian countercult movement" in the United States. For those belonging to the movement all new religious groups deemed outside of Christian orthodoxy were considered "cults".

    In the late 1980s psychologists and sociologists started to abandon theories like brainwashing and mind-control. While scholars may believe that various less dramatic coercive psychological mechanisms could influence group members, they came to see conversion to new religious movements principally as an act of rational choice.

    A person who is a member of a religion out of rational choice can easily debunk theories like brainwashing and mind-control that others try and apply to them. To me, a cult is a religious group that confuses loyalty to institutional church leaders with loyalty to God. Some members of clergy appear to have deified themselves considering titles like Holy Father and the Infallible Pope as only God is infallible.

    [The Church] was also much concerned with man, with man as he really is today, with living man, with man totally taken up with himself, with man who not only makes himself the center of his own interests, but who dares to claim that he is the principle and [the] final cause of all reality. Man in his phenomenal totality ... presented himself, as it were, before the assembly of the Council Fathers.... The religion of God made man has come up against the religion--for there is such a one--of man who makes himself God.

    And how did the Council respond to this specter of godless man, of "man who makes himself God"? Far from condemning this falsehood and asserting the superior claims of the Christian faith, the Council, said the Pope, was filled only with an endless sympathy. The discovery of human needs--and these are so much greater now that the son of the earth has made himself greater--absorbed the attention of the Synod.... We also, we more than anyone else, have the cult of man...

    Thus, alongside God, the Church had added a second Lord, man, with everything ultimately focusing on man instead of God. Archbishop Karol Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II, fully subscribed to the Vatican II doctrine, having been one of its leading framers. In his first encyclical after becoming Pope, he repeated the theme of Gaudium et Spes, declaring that human nature has been permanently "divinized" by the advent of Christ.

  • mrsjones5

    Golly, back round to the catholic church again! Me thinks Alice secretly wants to be a catholic.

  • Soldier77

    I continued on reading the last couple of nights and I have to say that the chapter of his decision was the most hard hitting. The letter wrote in appeal by Rene Vazquez was heart-wrenching. Not to mention the lies and deceit the GB JC's were spewing. Simply a witchhunt. Absolute disgust overwhelms me anytime I think of the atrocities or anything related to JWs.

    I hope to finish up the book either tonight or tomorrow, depending on how much I can stomach.

  • ziddina

    As I stated earlier, I'm on the chapter entitled "Double Standards", but I thought I'd backtrack to Chapter 5, "Tradition and Legalism", because there are significant points made there, also...

    Early in this chapter [page 95], Ray Franz describes a common viewpoint of the Governing Body's sessions, entertained by the rank&file: "Most of Jehovah's Witnesses envision Governing Body sessions as meetings of men who spend a great amount of their time in intense study of God's Word. They think of them as meeting together to consider humbly how they can better help their brothers understand the Scriptures, to discuss constructive and positive ways to build them up in faith and love, the qualities that motivate genuine Christian works, doing all this in sessions where Scripture is always appealed to as the only valid[,] final and supreme authority. ..."

    But he goes on to state: "So, too, members of the Governing Body know, better than anyone else, that the picture described in the preceding paragraph differs measurably from reality.

    Going over the records of meeting after meeting after meeting, the most prominent, constant and time-occupying feature found is the discussion of issues ultimately coming down to this question: "Is it a disfellowshipping matter?"..."

    Hmmm... That explains a great deal... It is a revealing indication as to why the WTBTS seems focused on disfellowshipping, instead of building up its erring members... And thereby retaining them...

    He continues, on page 96, "Many Governing Body members admitted that they found themselves so occupied with various matters that there was little time for Bible study. It is no exaggeration to say that the average Member [Governing Body member] spent no more time, and sometimes less, in such study than many Witnesses among the so-called "rank and file". Some of those on the Publishing Committee ... were notable in this regard, for a tremendous amount of paperwork came their way and they evidently felt that they could not or should not delegate this to anyone else to review and present conclusions or recommendations.

    On the few occasions when some purely Scriptural discussion was programmed it was generally to discuss an article or articles for the Watchtower [magazine...] that an individual had prepared and to which there was some objection. In these cases it regularly occurred that, even though notified a week or two in advance of the matter, Milton Henschel, Grant Suiter or another member of this Committee felt obliged to say, "I only had time to look this over briefly, I've been so busy". There was no reason to doubt that they were truly busy. The question that came to mind was, How then, can they vote in good conscience on approval of the material when they have not been able to meditate on it, search the Scriptures to test it out? Once published it is to be viewed as "truth" by millions of people. What paperwork could equal this in importance?..."

    Wow... Talk about putting the cart before the horse... And to think that many of these ill-informed, poorly researched decisions meant that many "rank & file" ended up being disfellowshipped, cut off from family and friends...

  • ziddina

    (Again, this is from my 1983 copyright date "Crisis of Conscience"... Just in case some of you have a copy that has a later copyright date...)

    The next points that Ray Franz makes, are extremely significant... [still on page 96...]

    "But these brothers were by no means alone, for the discussions themselves clearly demonstrated that by far the majority of the [Governing] Body had done little else than read the material written. The subject was often one that had originated and developed in the mind of the writer without consultation with the [Governing] Body, even though it represented some "new" understanding of Scripture, and often the writer had then worked up all his arguments and put the material in final form without having talked things over, tested his thinking, with even one other person."

    O - Kaaaay, does anyone else see a MAJOR problem in this??? This situation makes me wonder what the hierarchical structure was within the "Writing Department" - whether certain writers were chosen based upon their way with words, their ability to generate large volumes of text, their ability to create intricate, difficult-to-understand interpretations of Scripture??? They certainly weren't chosen based upon some qualification gained from a thorough education gained at a fully-accredited theological school... No ability to read, write, and speak Aramaic, or Greek... And NO "peer-review" process??? That is the VANGUARD of scientific progress!!! That, and replicable results!!!

    Anyway, Ray Franz brings out these points... "The argumentation was frequently complex, involved, of a kind that no superficial reading could ever allow for sufficient analysis to test its validity and determine if it was Scripturally solid or just a case of 'acrobatical logic', a skillful juggling of texts that made them say something other than what they really said. Those who had only read the material usually voted in favor; those who had done extra study and research were those most likely to raise serious questions. ..."

    "Acrobatical logic"... I like that term... Frightening that those who hadn't really reviewed the material to any great length were blindly approving of it...!! The "Sheeple" mentality starts at the top...

    Ray Franz goes on to state [page 97] : "A second reason for lack of real Bible discussion, follows obviously...from the preceding one. ...most of the [Governing] Body were actually not that well versed in the Scriptures..." (!!!!!!!) "In my own case, ...I had been on such a "treadmill" of activity that I found little time for truly serious study. But I think the matter goes deeper than that. I believe that the feeling prevailed that such study and research were really not all that essential, that the policies and teachings of the organization - developed over many decades - were a reliable guide in themselves, so that, whatever motion might be made in the [Governing] Body, as long as it conformed satisfactorily to such traditional policy or teaching, it must be all right. ..."

    I think that in those three paragraphs, Ray Franz lays his finger on the essence of the Watchtower Society's tendency to "flip-flop" on many of their "official Theocratic" positions... It sounds like some loose cannon - or loose cannons - in the Writing Department, attempt to impress their superiors with some complicated, new "understanding". Said "new understanding" comes up for review before the Governing Body. If this "new understanding" can be shown to have been a valid belief at some point in the Watchtower Society's past, the "new understanding" becomes (Ta - DAAAAA!!!) "NOOOO LITE!!"

    Sheeesh... That's all I can stomach, for now... Zid

  • sooner7nc

    Anyone with that loose of a grasp of reality must have some serious issues focusing on anything at all. In short, if you can't take someone disagreeing or asking simple questions, I recommend that you might try turning off the computer and trying to get a handle on the "reality" thing.

    Boy oh boy, T-Shirt Hell is getting quite a workout tonight.

Share this