The "WOW!!" moment...Theocratic Ministry School was a sham!

by Terry 98 Replies latest jw friends

  • Terry

    I just remembered something from long ago....

    I moved to California in 1974 after I had been in "the Truth" for 11 years, having full-time pioneered and also having served time in Federal Prison over the so-called christian neutrality issue.

    I felt completely confident that my bible education was the best on planet Earth. I had honed my skills by door to door preaching, discussion, arguments and attendance at the Theocratic Ministry School.

    I began working as an artist in a huge company that manufactured all kinds of art, sculpture and wall hanging. The head of the artists was a wonderful young man, skilled artist and devout christian who took me under his wing. Interesting discussions began and exchanges of viewpoint. I avoided arguments and rebuttal because this was friendly and I valued where these exchanges were taking me in my thinking.

    In California I made my first "worldly" friends in many years. Devout christian friends who helped my family immesurably gave me a glimpse that the official characterizations by the Society of christendom's christians was way off kilter.

    Anyway...a very sincere Presbyterian friend invited me to speak informally at his bible study group with his young friends. (We were in our 20's).

    He wanted me to teach the group the best methods of studying the bible. I jumped at the chance to share my (obviously) superior knowledge and training thanks to the Theocratic Ministry School I had benefitted from since 1963.

    About 20 people showed up and I began sharing the JW methodology.


    What an epiphany!

    Inside of ten minutes the questions and discussion began. It was quite neutral, friendly and earnest in tone.

    The bottom line was this; THEY KNEW MORE THAN I DID!!!

    I was flabbergasted.

    This group had bible dictionaries, commentaries, hermeneutics texts, references and skills far beyond anything I'd ever seen before!!

    I suddenly felt like those hominid apes at the beginning of Kubrick's 2001 Space Oddysey when the giant obelisk appears!!

    An amazing LEAP FORWARD in my personal evolution was taking place and I could feel my brain tingling.

    My eyes opened up and my brain exploded!

    I had been embedded in a STRONG DELUSION of education that was nothing more than pitiful parochial cult indoctrinations!

    WOW and double WOW!!

    That was a genuine light bulb moment!!

  • journey-on

    Obviously you hadn't read enough Awake magazines! Didn't you know reading four years' worth of them is equivalent to a university education!

  • snowbird

    AmWay could take some lessons from the TMS.

    Oh, maybe it did!


  • Honesty

    It is evident that you were asleep during both the TMS and the Watchtower Study...

    For helpful suggestions on how to study, see pages 27-32 of the book Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    JULY 15, 2005 WACKTOWER

    PAGE 24

  • grewupjw1969

    I was just talking to a friend about this yesterday. I know JW's who think they know their Bible. The magazines and books are not well written. I have taken a couple courses on religion this last year and learned more than when I have attended the meetings.


  • Terry

    The moment I realized I was CULT EDUCATED I had a panic attack!

    It is like those dreams we all have that we are sitting in the classroom at school taking a test and we discover we are stark naked!!

    I was suddenly mentally naked!

    There I was LEARNING THINGS from people who had no access to JEHOVAH'S TRUTH---how could this happen?

    The group was composed of ministry students who attended Seminary. Their grasp of early christian history, the early church fathers, the languages of the bible and the methods of breaking down a text and pulling out the various aspects of "meaning" and context was mind-boggling.

    I had a real sense of how PATHETIC the Theocratic Ministry School was in giving us parrot methods of regurgitating jargon instead of knowledge.

    The Watchtower Study too was an empty sham.

    Instead of thinking for ourselves by having personal curiousity stimulated and our OWN questions applied to text---the Watchtower Method is to

    read their PROVIDED QUESTIONS which short-circuited all inquiry.

    MY MIND had been undernourished by Watchtower indoctrination. Personal views had been stunted. Intellectual curiousity had been circumvented.

    I was simply a tape recorder with legs; a book salesman and a talking head.

    More than anything else I've experienced in life, this self-revelation did more to spur my intellectual growth in a positive way.

    Have you ever watched AMERICAN IDOL and seen what happens when somebody sings for the judges while thinking they are GREAT......and they are NOT?

    How do they take the FIRST CRITICISM they have ever heard? Total disbelief, denial and rationalizing immediately takes place, right?

    Well, not with me.

    I instantly knew the implication meant I WAS AN IDIOT and a DUPE.

  • JeffT

    Fifteen years as a JW and I had never heard of either hermeneutics or exegisis until I left.

  • prophecor

    Admittedly, in a church I recently joined, there were those who treated it more like a social club, but there were shining examples of individuals who seriously took to studying scripture. There was one who turned me on to a book by Clarence Larkin if I'm not mistaken. He had an original copy that dated all the way back to before 1914. Dispensational Truth was the title of the book. It was so old, but the teachings in there were absolute fascinating. Even a chapter on the teachings of pyramidology which helped me to appreciate why CTR may have believed there was some hidden spiritual meanings and secret knowledge within the contruction of those pyramids. There are those within the walls of those Churches who are well equipped and can run circles around a lot of Jehovah Witness theology.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    If all you knew of the Christian churches is what you learned from the WTS, then you would indeed have a totally skewed view of things:

    - a bit like having looked through a builder's dumpy level at the reflection of an object off a distorted mirror; instead of looking straight at that same object!

    It took a bit longer for the message to hit home for me, but finally hit home it did; i.e. that nearly everything we were told about the Christian churches was incorrect - particularly as regards bible scholarship. I can remember even being told that, "once you back your preacher into a corner over bible doctrine, he will probably say that The Bible is a lot of nonsense." It was even being touted by the JWs that the churches were claiming that "God was Dead."

    The reality, however - as Terry discovered in one evening, and I found out over a longer period - was quite different.

    Still, what can you expect from an outfit that has no scholarship, and nothing but disdain for academic learning?


  • scotoma

    Kind of like the Old Soviet Union. "The government pretends to pay and the workers pretend to work"

    Elders pretend to teach and publishers pretend to learn.

    Have you ever sat behind a chronic head nodder? Irritating. Classic introjection.

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