Is A 'Moderate' Opinion of the Governing Body Possible?

by metatron 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • metatron

    Radical circumstances push people into extreme frames of mind.

    It seems to me that, for some time now, the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses has been surrounded by increasingly more difficult circumstances and hardships. They have cut magazines, literature, sold off real estate, dumped long term Bethelites, dumped paid subscriptions, railed against Facebook, condemned college attendance, and begun to sell off Branch Offices.

    A moderate, reasonable viewpoint of these changes is easy to come up with: the rank and file are broke, burned-out and dispirited. Furthermore, the increasing depth of these changes would push any reasonable person to conclude that the Organization is in quiet decline - far from any realization of Heavenly Intervention.

    The above would logically push a reasonable person towards the conclusion that the 130 year doomsaying history of the Watchtower Society is a pious fraud at best. I cannot see how such a personal conclusion can be avoided by any sane, reasonable person so involved. In time, such a person would be forced to think that he is part of a fraud, a money-making scheme and little different from a con-artist.

    UNLESS ..........!

    Unless, that person decides to become ever more extreme, stubborn and fanatical. Far from concluding that they were mistaken and accepting a deep depression in the knowledge that they have deceived themselves and others, they react by becoming ever more extreme and egotistical.

    So, could it be that they are building tunnels and bunkers and making secret plans for a sudden prophetic intervention? Well, such a thing would fit into a 'we CAN'T BE WRONG' sort of viewpoint. Do they need more future elders but place ever more burdens (no college) on them? Again, this looks like a 'WE CAN'T BE WRONG' sort of extreme egotistical position.

    Do you lurkers and Watchtower Apologists understand my point? It appears to me that, especially after the death of Barr, no 'moderate' opinion of the Governing Body is logically possible. Circumstances must, of necessity, push them towards personal recognition that they are frauds OR push them towards extreme fanaticism. The 'middle' is being rapidly excluded.

    I will be interested to read your replies.


  • sir82

    I am far from a "Watchtower apologist", but I'll take the liberty of replying anyway...

    There seems to be a strong push towards the GB's direct representatives - COs, DOs, elder school conductors - to stress words almost exactly like these:

    "The Governing Body is convinced that we are very deep into the last days, and that there is very little time left for this system of things"

    I keep hearing words to that effect over and over and over again at virtually every event that has a speaker / teacher of higher rank than "congregation elder".

    Either they are completely off-the-deep-end cynical and malicious....or....

    They are really that paranoid, desperate, and "believing their own hype", and really are expecting "fear-inspiring signs from heaven" any day now.

    I'm not sure which is worse - either way, the organization is just going to get crazier.

  • doinmypart

    I have a few relatives that are still serving as elders or at Bethel. They believe their own hype. In the week long KM schools being held in various places around the U.S. the same hardline rants against education, DF members, congregation procedures are being taught.

    The incessant drumming up of this system's end is reaching a fevered pitch. The folks running the show have so much invested, and believe in the Organization as God's tool that they have no other options. There is no moderation, reform, or anything of the like coming any time soon.

    The entire situation is sad.

  • alanv

    Hi metatron,

    You have to remember what attracted most people to the society in the first place. For many they were under achievers and mostly without much ambition.

    The JW org fitted in very well with their take on life. The org will do just about everything for you. You don't have to think or work out much yourself.

    So those rank and file really want that situation to continue. The society tell them bad things are hapopening in the world, and hey they are right. It matters not that most things are better, the society and the sheep only look at the bad things. The rank and file are told they will be persecuted and hey they are. Even if it is something as trivial as going to a birthday party. If we ask them why not they can't go, they view that as persecution.

    So I am afraid things need to get a lot worse in the org. before most of them will start to ask questions. When all said and done they are still seeing some increase and that will hold a lot of them in. Most of the other things will be put down to restructuring, which other organisations are doing as well.

    The uni and college thing has been going on for years. All witnesses know that it could take them out of 'the truth' so as far as they are concerned the society is right to warn them about it.

    I know it's depressing , but let's hope things do get a lot worse for them in the near future, and we can get our friends and family back who have been caught by this false religion.

  • wobble

    The motives and perceptions the GB may have aside, they have painted themselves into a corner by sticking to 1914, which of course would have been impossible to ditch without denying their claim to being chosen by Jesus.

    They still had the choice awhile ago of going more mainstream, letting 1914 fade into the background, and carry on much as the Mormon church does. but they have already shown that they have chosen the route of more and tighter control, and shriller warnings about the shortness of time.

    This tactic may see out the present GB, but it can only run for so long, it makes you think that they have the gamblers false hope, if they can hang on just a little more it will come true.

    The gambler has more chance of hitting a winning streak, after all the Universe is random, but the GB's predictions are based on something a little less tangible than hot air, i.e nothing.

  • james_woods
    Is A 'Moderate' Opinion of the Governing Body Possible?

    Not if you have read Crisis of Conscience (about Governing Body actual sessions) and have a reasonably cognizent mind.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    This is to be expected. Remember the Marian Keech UFO Cult?

  • brotherdan
    They are really that paranoid, desperate, and "believing their own hype", and really are expecting "fear-inspiring signs from heaven" any day now.

    I agree with this statement. As someone that met most of the GB while at Bethel, I can say that they are VERY faithful to their own message. Here is the deal though... EVERY ONE of the GB alive now is new-ish. They were all elders, CO's, DO's, or branch committtee members before joining the GB. They learned "the truth" and were very faithful to it before being invited to the GB.

    I wish people would listen when I say, "THEY BELIEVE IT ALL!!!!" They ask others to pray for them not to make bad decisions because they know that they are only imperfect men. They take their responsibility seriously. Yes, they are DEAD wrong. But they don't think that. They don't think they are frauds. They feel like they have been entrusted with a divine assignment.

    I know it is more "fun" and "exciting" to believe that there is a big conspiracy and they know what they are doing. It makes for good stories to say that they are just in it for the money. But the fact is is that they believe it all. I listened to GB members give their morning worship talks every monday-wednesday! They were very well prepared and it was extremely evident that they believed what they were saying.

    Instead of attacking them by saying that they are just this evil group of men that are trying to control the minds of millions of people (which they DO), we all need to recognize that they too are captives of the same concept and so they too can learn to come out of it. How great would it be to have another Ray Franz? A modern one that can show how things work now. Really, we have been in the dark as far as how the GB operates since the early 1980's.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    We may not have received any 'new light' regarding the GB's day to day operations since Ray left, but if history is any guide, things probably haven't changed much.

    I agree with you that these guys are just like any other JWs in their beliefs, BUT because of their rank they bear a greater responsibility and therefore a greater amount of blame. Another thing many people forget (or don't accept) is that these guys are NOT IN CHARGE. The organization is a well-established bureaucracy that is self-perpetuating. If Legal Department perceives a particular need, IT GETS DONE, either through the GB or in spite of them. Service Department isn't far behind in power. Writing Department appears to be a tool of those three (Legal, Service, GB).

  • stuckinamovement


    I think that is a good point that the middle/ moderate ground is rapidly shrinking. With every day that passes, stronger evidence emerges that the foundation of all of their beliefs is eroding.

    Many people will say that the spiritual viewpoint is to view each day as being closer to Armageddon. The reality is each day that passes without the end coming is proof that the claims that we are in the end times and the end is imminent is bunk. Many of us are realizing that this is so and it must scare the GB that they no longer have the same grip on the publishers as they once did.

    I cannot imagine that the GB Members do not have a measure of cognitive dissonance themselves. Most of them grew up with the same empty promises. They must feel that they have an obligation to ensure that the organization that was built by their spiritual fathers does not collapse. The problem is that to do so they have to perpetuate a lie.


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