Thought Control (A simple test for JW's)

by TD 143 Replies latest jw friends

  • bohm


    Well, i have taken several multiple choice quizzes in school, i think its possible to construct questions in such a way it is possible only to give a very limited number of options. Asking if two statements are in agreement with another or not seem to be one of those places.

    My point with the stuff i wrote was to demonstrate that the two questions, ie. TD's type and the wife-beater type, are radically different. Let me give you an example:

    Are the following statements in contradiction:

    Statement A: "I did NOT have sex with that women, ms. lewinsky" - Bill Clinton
    Statement B: "Right from the start, i admitted i had sex with Ms. Lewinsky" - Bill Clinton sometimes later

    a) true,
    b) false
    c) not sure.

    Such a question would be fair and not of the wife-beater type, right?

    Now with respect to the actual questions TD asked, i think its fair to say that the type of question is a-priori fair. I will give you that it is possible TD has taken things out of context, fabricated quotes, that the bible students believed both was true at the time, etc., but assuming that is not the case, it is a question that should be answerable with a yes/no answer, true?

    If there is a problem with TDs questions, it should be possible to make a d) option that is short at least. Like "The statements are fabricated".

    UPDATE: Can we at least agree that the wife-beater and the trinitarian-god example are radically different types of question than the one TD is phrasing? (see the notation and comments i made in the previous post where i tried to make that clear)

  • peacedog

    "Nothing in Alice's cut-and-pasted comments changes (or really even relates to) the fact that the WTS claims that prior to 1914, they pointed forward to 1914 as the time for the second coming. In actuality, prior to 1914, they DID NOT point forward to 1914 as the time for the second coming; they claimed it had already happened, in 1874."

    Funny, my previous comment is just as relevant after several more cut-and-paste comments by Alice.... :)

  • peacedog


    Prior to 1914, did the WTS teach that Jesus would return invisible in 1914?

    Simple 'Yes' or 'No' please.

  • bohm


  • TD

    Hi Earnest,

    As always, I appreciate your viewpoint and constructive criticism. I think what touches a nerve here is that in taking this "test" an active JW will be forced to either:

    a. Deny objective reality

    b. Admit that offical church literature in the postwar era has misrepresented the developmental timeline of present doctrines.

    The strong conflict between 'a.' and 'b.' is obviously the whole point and basis for a parallel with the novel, Nineteen Eighty-four. The JW parent organization certainly does not physically torture people into a denial of objective reality like the character O'Brien did with Winston Smith, but whether or not an element of mental coercion strong enough to induce a similar level of denial is a open question.

    I think this year's Bible drama presented to JW's at their convention further legitmized that question because the allegorical lesson certainly appears to be that JW's are expected to agree with what they are told even if their senses tell them otherwise.

    Hence the test: Will a JW agree to an untrue statement themselves rather than admit that their organization has? An honest JW would ostensibly not want to do either, so there is an automatic internal conflict where they are forced to choose which of the two options is more important to them.

    But does that conflict constitute the logcial fallacy of interrogation (aka Plurium Interrogationum, fallacy of complex question, etc.) which occurs in your example? That fallacy occurs when an unproven assumption is built into the question in such a way that any possible answer will constitute agreement with it.

    When did you stop falsifying your income taxes?

    Are you going to admit you're a thief?

    Did your professor realize you cheated on the final?

    It's neutralized by breaking apart the two propositions implicit in the question in a way which affords the person a chance to deny the unproven proposition:

    Did you cheat on the final exam?

    If so, did your professor realize it?

    In the test I proposed, there is no unproven proposition to deny. The developmental timeline of current doctrines is a matter of record and the conflict between the statements is therefore a matter of simple math.

    I understand perfectly well why an active JW would be tempted to deflect the issue into a question of whether it was wrong to teach the dates 1799, 1874, 1878 in the first place. It's a very human defense mechanism. But that's not the issue here and I've been clear on that. The problem is not that these dates were once taught, the problem is that modern literature sometimes asserts that what JW's believe today is what the Bible Students believed right from the start; which for all intents and purposes, is a claim that the older dates were never taught at all.

    You can find examples of the same phenomenon in almost any human organization. The differences between Joseph Smith's handwritten account of his first vision and the version that is presented to potential converts today is a good example from another religion.

    (I've also pointed out in other threads how xJW's are falling into the same trap themselves by repeating misstatments that strengthen their side of argument over and over to the point where they become "Common knowledge" The idea that blood fractions weren't allowed until the year 2000 or that Russell started with 1914 and counted backwards to 606 B.C. are two good examples. )

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    TD, your initial post and many subsequent reiterations/clarifications have been more than clear.

    That some still can't see it speaks volumes.


    Jehovah`s Witness`s consider any question that shows the WBT$ for what it is..

    An unfair question..

    It`s obvious to anyone,with nothing to protect.....TD`s questions were neither closed or loaded..

    Jehovah`s Witness`s will go to any lengths,to protect the WBT$..

    Including looking Stupid..

    ........................... ...OUTLAW

  • peacedog

    BTTT for Alice:


    Prior to 1914, did the WTS teach that Jesus would return invisible in 1914?

    Simple 'Yes' or 'No' please.

  • thetrueone

    Perhaps all JWS should review this list and see if its relevant to their organization of which they are associated with.

    Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.

    1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

    2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

    3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.

    4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

    5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

    6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

    7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.

    8. Followers feel they can never be "good enough".

    9. The group/leader is always right.

    10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

    Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader.

    1. Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.

    2. Individual identity, the group, the leader and/or God as distinct and separate categories of existence become increasingly blurred. Instead, in the follower's mind these identities become substantially and increasingly fused--as that person's involvement with the group/leader continues and deepens.

    3. Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as "persecution".

    4. Uncharacteristically stilted and seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the group/leader in personal behavior.

    5. Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.

    6. Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supercede any personal goals or individual interests.

    7. A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.

    8. Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.

    9. Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.

    10. Former followers are at best-considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.
  • bohm

    This thread is extremely interesting on many levels. I hope some of the brains here will turn it into an article on freeminds and it gets a place in the best-of section.

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