Those of us who think too much and feel too little are all too often swayed by those who feel too much and think too little.
What is the WTBTS about?
I think for the leaders it is more about power and control more than money. The money is a by product, and I would like to know as much as anyone else what happens to the money. Do they just bank it all? Invest in in more real estate? Where do they really stand, are they as cash poor as some posters claim? All questions for another thread...
How can they exist, trapping so many otherwise intelligent people into their ranks? Seriously, looking at the diversity and the questions asked AFTER the fact on this board, it's difficult to understand how these people went into this in the FIRST place.
I think much of this has to do with the nature of cults in general. The WT spells out right in their literature to recruit people when they are down and out. The jobless, struggling, depressed, etc are the so called reason for witnesses to go door to door, because then they just might listen to your apocalyptic cult nonsense.
"Lost your father in death? Start studying with us and you get to see him again...and you can have a panda bear and a kangaroo in your backyard to boot!"
Once you are in though, then its hard to leave. You drop your "worldly" friends, your family, sometimes your career, all for the sake of Jehovah. Then you get new friends, who all think like you, who all parrot the advice to simplify, do more, pioneer, reach out, basically work your ass of for the cult. You are now invested. Its the everlasting life carrot that keeps the hard core believers in. They won't give it up for anything. The Governing Body is a nothing more than a modern peddler of the Fountain of Youth, and they have millions of willing buyers.
Fortunately, this WTBTS business model is grinding to a halt because of the internet, and of course all of their failed prophecy. Sure through the 50s, 60s, 70s even into the 80s the MLM printing business worked. Every recruited person has to sell product and recruit others. Elders keep an eye on the sales force and make sure they meet their quota. "Keep at it rank and file, you won't have to work much longer" said the Governing body, "You'll be done by 1975, before the generation of 1914 passes away, before the generation that overlaps the generation that saw 1914 passes away".
Now they have no growth in the USA and Western Europe, where the money is. Like most business models, they were successful for a time. The printing business was huge in the 20th century, not so much for the 21st. They took their money and invested wisely in real estate in Brooklyn, and that will carry them for a while. But the writing is on the wall. Time is the enemy of the false prophet.
I'm very impressed with the intellect I see of the JW's. Most cults are filled with.....................Why? It's in my family. Why? They can't see the forest for the trees.
Great comment LG, it totally compliments my previous comment.
Those of us who have been told our whole lives "You're so smart" by our loved ones are also constantly asked by the same people "if you're so smart, what the hell is wrong with you"? That's the whole point. Don't tell me my greatest gift is my mind then tell me the Most Loving Almighty God of The Universe will obliterate me for using that gift.
You're totally right FP. For the most part, JWs tend to fit into two categories: So Smart It's Scary and So Goddamned Dumb It's Scary. There isn't much room for those of us who are in the middle (or almost in the middle). It's a VERY polarizing religion, no doubt about it. Fortunately for us moderates, the current leadership, so far as I can tell, unequivocally fits into the So Goddamned Dumb It's Scary category.
The MLM approach is a good analogy for the recruitment process. Everyone got points and kudos for bringing another person in. The Society offered an alternative for people seeking a religion. It had answers for the troubling theology of the Churches. And it developed a social context in times of war and hardship. The big International Conventions were a big draw.
There seems to be two main thoughts about the origins and the Leaders. 1. they were charlatans and conniving hucksters from the beginning 2. they started off with good intentions and became a full on cult- power corrupts. Russell may have started off with good intentions and then went nuts, Rutherford seems the total and complete megalomaniac personality, Franz the Mystic Seer, Knorr was the ultimate Inc. Man whose vision of the Kingdom of God on Earth was very powerful and seductive. Now this 3rd and 4th generation of Governing Body are bent on perpetrating the illusion, these are the Wizards of OZ, guys who know full well what they are foistering on the membership.
Perry, more thoughts on your subject on here,... see what you think.
Look forward to the thread about their money problems. Hard to imagine, but maybe there's hope.
The facts seem to indicate that it's 7 million people under destructive mind control. As for me, I fully believed it when I was a JW, for 26 years. All of my friends REALLY believed this was God's organization. We believed that there was no alternative, and there was no where else to go.
As long as everybody follows directions, the perfect cult enviroment is maintained. Then again, everybody has to follow directions. If they don't, they are kicked out. So anybody that gets sucked in, from the rank and file all the way up is trapped in a cult. Unless they allow somebody else to help them to awaken, they are trapped.
Further, everybody that I know who has figured out this is a cult has left. They may have remained in for a time, because of family or other reasons, but they certainly were not actively recruiting others into it.
Blondie is right: It's all in the BITE. It's really just that simple.
It's pretty much all about control and using the bible to have that control over people. Its so sad. My parents dont see. My brothers dont see. But I do.