I just watched the new DVD. I thought it was quite poor, even compared to the last one. Is this the last DVD in the series or is there another one to come?
It seems to just fizzle out toward the end. The last date they mention is the 1970s when the governing body replaced the president in having the most power. Is that what they deem the last significant event to have taken place in the organization? It makes it look as if the organization became totally bland and non-eventful ever since the end of the Second World War, with nothing much to report except "theocracy's increase" and brief mention of Africans and Japanese joining the organization. The only part when anyone is really animated during the video is when Jack Barr talks about how much he enjoyed the street campaigns, saying that was the best time he had. Which made you want to ask him: why don't they still do it then?
Although there was a picture of Fred Franz I don't think his name was mentioned at all. Even Covington got a brief mention but not Franz. The natural place to mention him would have been in connection with the NWT, but I suppose they are still maintainging the whole anonymity thing surrounding who translated it. Not to mention Franz at all seems a glaring omission.
One thing I found surprising was how prominently they featured the conflict with the Catholic church in the 1930s, even mentioning Rutherford's rhetoric about the Church plotting with fascists to rule over the whole earth. Usually Witness histories tend to dwell more on the "neutrality" stance and how this led to conflict with states. But this video seemed to acknowledge there was a deeply political dimension to Rutherford's critique of the churches and governments at the time.
Perhaps the most striking thing about the video is how America-centred it was. It is almost as if the organization has no history to speak of outside of North America. Even Witnesses in Nazi Germany hardly got a mention. And apart from the governing body it was the members of the American branch who were interviewed the most. Are they being given more prominence in the United States in recent years?
Altogether this video was really bland, superficial, and uninspiring. Even if I was still a JW believer I can't imagine I would not be disappointed with it.