Propaganda Techniques for Replacing "Old Light"

by Ding 10 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Ding

    Another thread got me thinking about the process the WTS uses in changing important teachings or long-standing practices.

    First, the GB decides that some teaching or practice needs changing because (a) it's obviously wrong (example: 1975) or (b) it's time to tighten the grip (Example: harsher rules on DFing)

    Once they come up with the new teaching, they have to decide what to do with the "old light" which they so dogmatically promoted as truth.

    Here are some propaganda tactics they have used effectively over the years:

    1. Outright denial: "We never said it."

    -- Examples: "Russell never claimed to be the FDS himself."

    2. Die out: Just stop mentioning it.

    -- Example: Ban on vaccinations

    -- Example: "New light never extinguishes old light" teaching of Russell

    3. Attack "Christendom": For believing the old light.

    -- Examples: Use of the cross; worshipping Jesus; celebrating holidays and birthdays, all of which the WTBTS used to do

    4. Blame Satan: Point out how clever he was in deceiving even devoted followers of Jehovah.

    Example: Rutherford changing many of Russell's teachings, especially regarding the importance of Russell himself

    Example: Great Pyramid as "Great Stone Witness of God" (Russell and Rutherford) denounced as a satanic, pagan monument (Rutherford)

    5. Praise the FDS organization for its vigilance in detecting and countering Satan's clever lies

    -- Example: Tacking in the wind article in the WT

    6. Quote Proverbs 4:18 regarding "light getting brighter and brighter" to justify changes

    -- Many examples

    7. Praise the FDS for its humility:

    -- How grateful we should be that the FDS is led by humble men who admit their imperfections, unlike the wicked clergy of Christendom...

    8. Praise Jehovah by name:

    -- For revealing new light to the FDS at the proper time, of course, thereby proving once again that God's theocratic organization is His sole channel of communication on earth today

    Would anyone care to add to the list?


    9. Change it when printing the Bound Volumes and CD Rom. WT Jan 1989 the preaching work would be completed in the 20th century

  • Ding

    Thanks MMXIV. I forgot that one.

  • exwhyzee
    9. Change it when printing the Bound Volumes and CD Rom. WT Jan 1989 the preaching work would be completed in the 20th century

    Does anyone have a scan of that quote?

  • simon17

    "Does anyone have a scan of that quote?"

    Also would be interested thank you...

  • BluesBrother

    Alas I never kept a copy of the original single copy Watchtower that had the infamous wording. (Jan '89)

    I clearly remember though, at a group study a year or two later that a sister raised her hand and said that the WT had made this prediction. It had not been prominent and a keen young Bro, in whose house we met later dug out his bound volume to see it . Guess what ? the volume read completely different! The sister was mortified and insisted that her magazine at home said what she said it did. We all looked at her as if she had gone batty.

    However , keen young lad got his car and drove her home to collect her copy. When she arrived she triumphally flourished it and said "There- see what it says !"

    We all had to admit we were wrong...but we knew now that the bound volume had been doctored. Keen young lad was miffed that his bound volume was not a facsimile copy of the original and wrote up to the Society. They replied saying that they since realised that the original had been an error and they did not want to perpetuate it in the volume.

  • drewcoul

    i brought up this point last week. ynot posted a scan of each. it's in friends thread under "my first post" i think from friday. i dont know how to put a link up from my phone.

  • sd-7

    November 15th, 1950 Watchtower, page 439, "Subjection to the Higher Powers":

    "The clergy also quote the apostle's writing at Romans 13:1: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." This scripture, they explain, declares that Caesar and like political authorities are the higher powers ordained by God, and Christian souls must be subject to them, rendering full obedience to them."

    Of course, this article contains part of what the current doctrine is, which is that Christians should obey God rather than men if the government tells you to do something wrong; it's just that the 'higher powers' are viewed as God and Christ rather than the government. Upon examination, one could argue that they had it half right, from the current JW point of view. It just seems odd that even while being dead wrong about this issue, they basically downed the clergy for having the correct understanding of who the 'superior authorities' were, when arguably, both Christendom and the JWs were half-wrong. It just underscores the idiocy of religious bickering to me.

    Same article, page 441:

    "Up till 1928 they [Jehovah's Witnesses] too had held to the ecclesiastical interpretation of Romans 13:1-7 concerning the higher powers. But that year this scripture was taken under examination, especially in view of the fact that the times of the Gentiles had ended A.D. 1914 and God's kingdom by Christ had then been established in the heavens to bring in a new world with eternal blessings for obedient men of goodwill. The conclusions arrived at were published in the June 1 and 15, 1929, issues of The Watchtower in the article, in two parts, entitled The Higher Powers...The expression 'the higher powers' is now understood to mean primarily the Most High God and his reigning Son Jesus Christ. Surely there are no powers or authorities higher than these."

    Page 444:

    "The political powers of this world are, therefore, not the superior authorities to whom Christian souls are to be subject in every demand they make...Any law and demand made in conflict with the superior laws and commandments of God they will not obey, for that would mean to render to 'Caesar' what belongs to God." <--Hence what I mean by saying they were 'half right' at that time.

    Note the aftermath of the adjustment, which comes after they realize they were wrong about the identity of the 'higher powers'. May 1, 1972 Watchtower, page 272, "How Your View of Authority Affects Your Life":

    "Sometimes persons speak against the understanding of certain Scriptural teachings that the Watch Tower Society has set forth. For example, there were those who had difficulty accepting the change of understanding regarding the "superior authorities" of Romans 13:1. Some even stumbled from their dedicated relationship to Jehovah over this matter. They did not have the proper view of the authority of Jehovah's organization for providing spiritual "food at the proper time." When some of the disciples had difficulty accepting what Jesus was teaching on one point, saying: "This speech is shocking; who can listen to it?" they "went off to the things behind and would no longer walk with him." Peter, with the right view of Jesus' teaching authority, realized there was no other place to go for truth and so remained in the way of life.--John 6:60, 66-69."

    There's a propaganda technique in there somewhere. Probably more than one. First, those who speak against the Society are demonized as people who apparently don't want to recognize the Bible's teachings or they even stopped serving God altogether. They then go on to assert that their authority is the relevant issue, and whether they are right or not, they have authority, and that alone justifies following them without question. They even successfully replace Peter's decision to continue following Jesus, a person, with the organization, a place to go.

    In other words, if you can't deal with our teaching something that requires us to reinvent the Christian wheel, you have the wrong view of our authority. Which, by the way, is total, absolute, and to be accepted without question, despite the fact that we are certainly not infallible.

    Not to mention the false analogy--Jesus was not teaching falsehood and then in need of revising his words. He merely said something that was misunderstood by some in his audience as literal and not symbolic. Unless the governments were symbolically Jehovah God and Jesus Christ from 1929 to 1962, this analogy is completely devoid of meaning.

    There. How many Governing Body members does it take to replace a light bulb? Well, for now, it's 9.


  • sd-7

    Oops. The answer is 6--two-thirds majority. My mistake!


    The WBT$ loves to blame their own Cult for screwing things up..

    "1975 is the Jehovah`s Witness`s fault..They ran ahead of the organization!"..

    "Godam Jehovah`s Witness`s can`t get nothin right!"..

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

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