Was this ever a good religion to be in?

by whatistruth 27 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • wobble

    I am almost as old as Farkel (= Methuselah) and remember the religion in the early 1950's. It was a strange cult even then, though as I knew nothing else I only recognise that fact with hindsight.

    But the mood was so very different from today, we were a small band of people fighting against the predjudice and complacency of established religion, the religions which had supported , or even caused the World War just finished, the adherents of our religion did not support the war, we were for peace, and for God's Kingdom.

    We worked as a small team to get places to worship in, we went from door to door despite the awesome number of doors that needed knocking on, and there was a tremendous Esprit de Corps.

    That all gradually disappeared as time went on, the organization got bigger, as did individual congregations,and it got more impersonal.

    I think there never was a good time to be in the religion, you always would have been vastly better off outside of it, but I think that there was more reason for many to join the religion back then, now you really need to be an oddball to get sucked in.

  • yknot

    Here is the deal....

    JWs (formerly Bible Students) consists of 'R&F' they are not true leaders, only followers and yes many of them are very kind and sincere individuals whose only true motivation was attempting to please God.

    WTS is a Corporation and it is like any other corporation being that it's sole purpose is to maintain existence (and when there was still intelligent leadership at the helm....relevancy too!)

    The love of money, power and influence is always corrupting.....

    Short answer: No, Chucky had an agenda and the rest have rode his coattails adding swatches to mend the many holes (discrepancies, false interpretations, avoidance of taxation) with each leading personality.....

  • shamus100

    Could get get the terminology correct, please? I consider them a high control group, others a cult. Use that term, not church or religion.

    Thank you for your kind attention to this matter. :D

  • drewcoul

    I have to agree w/ Bro Dan. I was raised as a JW and only left a few years ago. When I was a child, I remember the older ones in the congregation who were very adamant about preaching, not about what you can or can't do, but about how God's Kingdom is the only solution to mankind's problems. It was a little simpler back then (in the late '70's and early 80's) at least as I remember it. As I got older and more involved, I learned that listening to the GB was essential to salvation. I also learned that, and this is a direct quote: "If the society tells us to plant our cabbage upside down, we plant our cabbage upside down!" I can't believe it took me another 10 years to get out after hearing that. That being said, I have always said that I don't discourage my son who is 17 and baptized from being a JW because I view it as a protection. I know for a fact that being a witness throughout my teen years kept me out of a lot of trouble that I know I would have gotten into.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    My mom's family has been associated SINCE the Bible Students day. Those publications truly freaked me but I was born much later. Old children's books freak me, too. She said dissent was tolerated. There was hardly any repression from Brooklyn or Pittsburgh. Most of the mind control stuff started with Rutherford. She had JW Christmases. I had tremendous loneliness. She truly felt it was fundamentalluy better. The woman hating intensified under Rutherford. This was an adult-child conversation. I found my great uncles, with occult symbols and pyramids. I was utterly shocked. She never believed in her heart so my childhood was the Soceity teaches this but don't be zealous b/c this happened to me or we know this and other witnesses, don't/

    We definitely had an air of superiority. I knew the family would win any showdowns with local brothers. Once a Witness sister was snippy about 1975, which was supposed to be guaarded. I asked her if she would mined while I called Bethel for verification. We kew the big shots on a first name basis. Only high ranking brothers at brother were good for marriages and funerals.

    It is not a scholarly viewpoint. Just word of mouth.... I never, ever found it fun, unless perhaps a smidgeon of fun for easy access to Bethel. When I was young, all I wanted to do was type at Bethel. I started attending Bethel mtgs at conventions when I was seven years too young to apply. Oh, besides the big shots, both my parents expressly forbid me to have anything with the amoral, wild crowd at Bethel. We always sat around the kitchen table with more distant relatives, hearing Bethel stories.

  • Lozhasleft

    Many religions teach good family values as standard...the JWs monopolise families and have no qualms about destroying them...for me that makes them evil.

    Loz x

  • garyneal

    I listened to my wife, her mom, and two of her aunts do their WT study when they all came to visit one time. One cannot deny the sincerity many witnesses have in wanting to serve God and live a moral life. However, people in other religions have this same sincerity.

    My wife was confronted by a coworker who, upon learning that she was a witness, went on and on about how this coworker's sister cut off associations with her non-witness family after becoming one. Judging from some of the posts on this thread, it would appear that this assertion is not that far from the truth (in spite of my wife's skepticism).

    I feel sorry for my wife for being in this predicament without much support from home. I get the impression that she is trying to reel me in while I am busy trying to free her mind. Oh well, that is another topic.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    Stevenson, in his book 1975 - Year of Doom? summed it up one sentence:

    " no other religious group demands so much of its members, in return for so little."

    Also, according to Raymond Franz in Crisis of Conscience, the then WTS president, Nathan Knorr, once volunteered that the JWs "do not look after their members."

    In other words, the JW religion is described by some at the top as being one that cares nothing at all about its members' welfare, and yet is insistent on squeezing as much out of them as is bodily possible.

    That should answer the above question!

    As to previous times - in many ways, the JWs were once even more demanding than they are now.

    There will be some here who can recall how pre-1971, to be classified as a "Regular Publisher", you were required to put in at least 10 hours a month, place at least 12 magazines, and conduct at least one bible study (this ended about the time I first began attending the kingdom hall).

    It goes without saying that if you did not qualify to meet the requirements of being a "Regular Publisher", then you were one of the lowest forms of life imaginable!

    - the congregation had on display a blackboard that listed how it had performed during the previous month,

    - and if any of the performance indicators were below target, the "Congregation Servant" would read the Riot Act at the next Service Meeting.

    (Look out if you didn't place your twelve magazines - it would be "ten laps of the parade ground, holding your rifle above your head!")

    What good can it bring to be a member of a religious group that is organised and run like a business?


  • wobble

    I remember that old chart thing, my Dad used to stick the figures on at one time in the fifties.

    Your comment about the Parade Ground is perceptive too, many who were Congregation and other "Servants" (today they would be Elders) were ex-Army etc. and brought into the religion the idea of discipline and order, I think too that their military background made it preferable for them to accept what came from "senior officers", brooklyn or Co's etc, without question.

    They felt too that all in the congregation should do the same, so the culture of swallowing any old crap thrown at you from the WT grew up.

  • doofdaddy

    Great comments!

    One elder I knew (way back) was literally one of Hitler's guards (he was actually Danish by birth ((and a war criminal who got away with it)). This religion fitted his fascist mindset perfectly. What a cruel monster he was. His face would show real pleasure in making people feel small. He followed every order from the gb to the letter. Never did I see him use imagination or show tenderness or compassion. He lived to a ripe old age.....

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