What is the WT's Motivation? Who Benefits?

by InterestedOne 56 Replies latest jw friends

  • InterestedOne

    Another thing my JW friend says to me when I question the WT is, "what would their motivation be? They're so humble and no-one gets paid except a basic living allowance for the workers at Bethel. They're not like those other rotten 'ministries' whose leaders get paid a lot of money, etc."

    I know the WT is a nonprofit. So, here is what I want to know: why does the org bother to perpetuate itself? Who might be getting paid from this? I have a few ideas, and was wondering what others have to say about it. Here are my ideas:

    1. The GB members, although they can't be too ostentatious because they need to look "spiritual" and fulfill an idealistic notion of humility, are set for life and don't have to worry like most other people do about making a living. I could see why this would motivate them to be careful not to rock the boat for fear of being kicked out and losing their living support.

    2. Lawyers? How do the lawyers get paid?

    3. Real estate middlemen?

    4. What about the actual president Don Adams and other people involved in the administration? Is anyone taking a salary from this nonprofit?

    Any other ideas? I'm having a hard time believing this is all just for "love of neighbor" mainly because they don't seem to be interested in truly educating people. They seem more interested in getting people into their organization which I assume would maintain donations, etc. but if it's a nonprofit, who benefits? Why bother?

  • simon17

    Maybe I'm naive but I truly don't believe anyone (or hardly anyone) is benefitting from the JWs financially in any sort of shady way. What are they getting?

    1) Most honestly believe they are serving God in the only correct manner

    2) (for the R&F) The feeling of belonging to something special

    3) (for the higher ups) The feeling of power/authority/respect and influence

    4) (For the higher ups) Lack of real monetary worry

  • factfinder

    simon17-good answer!

  • InterestedOne

    I wasn't implying anything shady. I was more wondering if there are perfectly legal ways that people connected with the society are benefitting financially such that they would have motivation to preserve it regardless of whether its teachings are really true. Part of my reason for asking is that I'm trying to figure out why they are so set on maintaining doctrines that don't seem to make sense & keep coming up with clever explanations. Why not just scrap it? I figure somebody has to be benefitting from maintaining the status quo.

  • PublishingCult

    Nothing can really explain the futility of what they are doing when you look at it from a logical and historical standpoint. These men have access to every single word published, every lie, every false prophesy, every doctinal change and flip-flop. They know the history of the org better than anyone. I refuse to believe these men do not know and understand the lies they're perpetuating, and I ESPECIALLY refuse to believe that those working in the legal department do not understand that it's a big con they have been retained to make look spotless and legit.

    I think the answer to your question is in the core teachings of the WTBTS. I believe it's a puzzle with every single peice before our eyes . . . hiding in plain sight. It's in the teachings, derived and influenced of other organizations, and evidenced in the results they are getting at the lowest levels of membership.

    More later . . .

  • simon17

    I refuse to believe these men do not know and understand the lies they're perpetuating, and I ESPECIALLY refuse to believe that those working in the legal department do not understand that it's a big con they have been retained to make look spotless and legit.

    Well then why aren't there leaks and defectors from these people to expose everything that is secretly known by the inner circle. If this was some big conspiracy that only the select inner few know and have conspired to perpetuate upon the masses, then they have a 100% retention rate for no reason. And when someone DOES defect (like Ray Franz) he paints a picture of people who are simply blinded in the belief they are speaking for God. His portrayal of the GB are that they may not be 100% united on issues and may have their own doubts about certain things, but he certainly DOES NOT portray a picture of a bunch of guys knowing they are peddling bullshit and trying to cover it up (especially for any sort of hidden material agendas).

    I think those of us who are out WANT to believe someone is behind all this. Its all so destructive and harmful that it couldn't have come about randomly. It can't be that people all the way up the line just believe in the same stupid lies we believed in. But thats how it is. Its almost like the creationists argument. How could all this come about by chance... there must be someone behind creation and humans and original sin and the origin of the rainbow. Well, folks, I'm sorry but there isn't; and there isn't some grand conspiracy behind the walls in Brooklyn. The JWs are an idea that grew from nothign to the complex web of lies that it is today, ensnaring everyone from your mother-in-law to the 8 men sitting around the Most Holy in brooklyn bethel.

  • InterestedOne

    I wasn't implying a grand conspiracy either. Part of what prompted my question was when Bill Maher pointed out how Glenn Beck seems to be switching over to the religion business because its an easier gig and the money is better. I thought of how C.T. Russell had a successful clothing store business but switched over to doing religion. I can't say if he was sincere or not, but I read a little something about how, in addition to the nonprofit, he had a for-profit company called "Tower publishing." I was simply wondering if there are plausible reasons why the people connected to the WT would want to keep it "in business" so to speak regardless of whether they believe it or not. I agree with you that it's possible that the org is nothing more than a group of deluded people all the way up the line. However, I was thinking it could also be possible that there are people connected to it who are a little smarter and realize they can have a steady gig, i.e. make a living, off it. That's why I was thinking about lawyers, real-estate people, etc.

  • PublishingCult

    So, it's simply mass mental illness, mass delusion, a billion dollar organization whose hierarchy is utterly devoid of self-knowledge and awareness. Got it :)

    I think it’s fair to say that Ray Franz held tightly to his belief in God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible- and held a microscope and/or focused mainly on the differences between JW teachings and what he believed to be true Christian behaviors and attitudes. He exposed the unchristian attitudes and actions of the GB, and shown a spotlight on their contradictions. His books are fantastic for this purpose, and gave us never-before heard of insights into the inner workings of the WTBTS, but we shouldn’t fail to take serious notice that Franz also reported instances of deliberate and cognitive duplicity on the part of the governing body where political and doctrinal matters are concerned.

    Anyway, I am not suggesting a grand conspiracy. I have questions, however, and if mine or anyone’s questions are to be answered I still say that one should take a good close look at their core beliefs, the trauma-based mind control techniques and perhaps the origins of such, the principles of eugenics they propose in their doctrine, their obsessive use of bait-and-switch techniques, programmed into members- these are simply not accidental behavioral tools the GB invented unconsciously for they are being consciously employed and reinforced systematically and with utter precision.

  • Never_Enough

    Simon17 gave a very good summary of the reasons.

    1) Most honestly believe they are serving God in the only correct manner
    Very true for most (but not all) JW's. About the purest motive you could list, but probably the weakest one as well.

    2) (for the R&F) The feeling of belonging to something specialWe hear about this all the time from the platform, because it's a known motivator: the "united international brotherhood" that only we, as a special group, are part of. This feeling of being part of an "inner circle" within society as a whole is very powerful. For those who are socially disadvantaged (broken families, nomadic upbringings, or pretty much any born-in JW), having a prepackaged set of 'friends' lovebombed to you upon baptism

    3) (for the higher ups) The feeling of power/authority/respect and influencePeople can get drunk off having Power, Recognition and Influence, however petty (or significant) it actually is (remember Hall Monitors in school?) In an environment where cleaning the toilets is a privilege, any smidgen of authority becomes incredibly potent.

    4) (For the higher ups) Lack of real monetary worry...Add to this a level of luxury not readily visible to the rank-and-file publisher. Rutherford's excesses are well-known, what with his depression-era Cadillacs, or Beth-Sairim - but even now, who among us really knows how the higher-ups live and travel? Want to visit Europe? I've never been, but I'm sure any one of them can appear at any Convention or visit any Branch they want, and it's a done deal. I doubt those at the helm sleep two-to-a-room in cramped dorm-style rooms - their living standards likely surpass 90% of the 7+ million members they represent.

    They proudly announce there are no salaries, true; but as any HR rep will tell you, "a salary is only one part of your Total Compensation."

  • ziddina

    There are several excellent threads on this subject; unfortunately, I'm exhausted and can't think of their titles, right now...

    The Governing Body has a great deal of power over 7 million people. That's quite an ego-stroker; and in addition, they get to think that they're "holy" and "doing 'god's' will" in the process.

    Every where the Gov.Bod members go, they're feted and lauded, applauded and ego-stroked. I suspect that's quite an addictive drug, all that power and positive approval and reinforcement of their 'positions'...

    They live VERY well when they're away from Bethel; in fact, the move to upstate New York might provide even better living quarters for the Gov.Bod members and their wives...

    The "jewelry" mentioned in Ray Franz' "Crisis of Conscience" - I've often wondered, whether any of that jewelry made its way onto the wife - wives - of Gov.Bod members...

    They are chauffered around in some very nice cars - no Rolls Royces nor limosines - anymore - but they are "important" enough to be relieved of the "chore" of driving themselves... Of doing their own laundry... Of doing their own taxes... Of cleaning their own dwellings... Of doing their own landscaping - or mowing the lawn...

    They're cared for, in almost every conceivable way... Almost like babies in a crib... Perhaps its no surprise that they attempt to "infantilize" their followers; for the Gov.Bod members are practically spoon-fed every day of their lives...


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