Stop bashing Awake! (You just might be making it better.)

by Open mind 8 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    The August 2011 Awake! contains the most secular article I've ever read in this magazine. It's entitled "Ibn Battuta Reveals His World". The three page article reads like it could easily have come straight out of National Geographic for Kids. It's a biographical essay about a 14th century Muslim man whose claim to fame was traveling. He racked up 75,000 miles during his lifetime, "a feat unequaled before the age of steam".

    The first thing I did when glancing through this article was to jump to the final paragraph looking for the usual JW sales pitch. It wasn't there. Next I scanned for scriptural references. Not a single one. My interest now peaked, I actually began reading the article slowly and carefullly. (Yuck, I know.) 99.5% of the article shows no bias in favor of the Bible, Christianity and certainly not JWs. Nor does it bash Islam one iota. Only one little word betrayed the providence of this article as being the Watchtower Writing Department. Here's the quote. See if you see the same thing.

    "On his way to Jerusalem and its Dome of the Rock shrine, he stopped at Bethlehem, where he noted the veneration that professed Christians gave to Jesus' birthplace."

    Professed? That's right. Per WT dogma, by the 14th Century "true" Christians pretty much didn't exist anymore.

    But hey, other than that tiny little bit of deeply veiled self-promotion, this article was about as neutral and secular as anyone could ask for.

    I'd love to hear anyone else's review. Also, I'd love to hear ideas about how or why an article like this made it into Awake!


    p.s. I'm sure the article is available to anyone on

  • james_woods

    Maybe some young writing committee inductee was instructed to come up with a "filler piece" - can we be sure this was not copied word for word from some un-named source?

  • InterestedOne
    Stop bashing Awake! (You just might be making it better.)

    I have debated whether or not to post dissections of the various WT articles. On one hand, it helps people to see the problems in the articles, and I thank others who have helped me by posting their analyses. On the other hand, it could help the writers to become more deceptive. I have always wondered if they watch this site and pull ideas from it.

    Yes, I caught that Open mind, "professed." Makes my skin crawl, and I'm not even a Christian.

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    james-woods: "can we be sure this was not copied word for word from some un-named source?"

    Anything's possible, but I doubt this is very likely. Now re-writing and paraphrasing? Oh yeah.

    InterestedOne: "I have always wondered if they watch this site and pull ideas from it."

    Plenty of threads have been done on this topic. At minimum, someone (perhaps a paid non-JW 3rd party provider) keeps an eye out for copyright infringements and WT has taken legal actions to protect their rights. It's also pretty easy for a non-believing poster here to make a casual comment to a well-connected COBOE who talks to a CO who talks to the Branch. Enough CO reports pile up and even the bloated bureaucracy that is Watchtower may slowly make a change. Just not big enough or fast enough, IMO.


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Awfully strange article for Awake! I vote for copied.

  • RayPublisher

    @Open Mind - You live up to your screen name. There are many many examples of articles about nature, science, history, etc. I especially like the ones that ask "Could it have evolved? Or was it Designed"? These just inform and ask legitimate questions.

    Also many articles on marriage, forgiveness, etc. are also good. Too bad the rest is 98% junk lol.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Awake! magazine has been, as the OP says, "National Geographic for Kids" for quite some time now. The shift in focus came when they changed it to a monthly instead of bi-monthly, and the Watchtower changed to having a Kool-aid Study edition and a Public version.

    The current "Public" Watchtower is like the love-child of the previous form of Watchtower and the old school Awake!

    The current Awake! is almost an entirely new animal.

    What's funny about the "for kids" designation is that the JWs think the stuff is high-level science. They don't even realize the new brochures are written at a preschool level.

  • Chariklo

    I really like the Awake magazine, and I've learned a lot of natural history that I didn't know before.

    In spite of being a keen amateur naturalist all my life! To be honest, I like much that is in the public WT too.

    I know there'll be a torrent of contrary opinion, but I have to speak as I find.

  • palmtree67

    It makes me wonder what they're up to......

    The last time they wrote a "favourable" article, it was in praise of the UN. We didn't find out what that was all about until years later.

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