Watchtower falsification of its history

by jwfacts 75 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • cedars
    cedars

    wannabefree has hit the nail on the head and (thank goodness) grasped the point here. Anyone can play these things down and say they don't matter. The "History Channel" was used as an anology in one post, which Old Goat apparently stands by. However, when you combine what the society do with who they claim to be (God's channel of communication) and what they stand for in their own publications (accuracy and truthfulness, even in "seemingly insignificant details"), THEN it becomes an issue.

    I notice his attitude has been commented on by a few posts now, so I don't need to get embroiled in another exchange with him, but here (for the record) are a few of the wackier things Old Goat has come out with recently...

    Calling a post silly and calling the man silly are not the same thing.

    True, but they're still both belittling, patronizing, and condescending - especially when used to express the idea that your issues are more relevant.

    I am interested in seeing the best arguments put forward. Weaker arguments cloud the issue.

    Old Goat again asserts that this is a weak argument. For the reasons expressed by everyone above - it isn't. It would be a weak argument were it not that seldom is there a more clear-cut way of showing someone in a direct comparison of picture A with picture B how the society "sanitizes" its own history to appeal to people, in direct contradiction of a sweeping pledge of honesty in a recent publication. In the modern world (from which old goat appears somewhat detached), people like to be shown things clearly and simply, and they like to see things that are in circulation now rather than what was in circulation 50 years ago. This is now, this is current, and it is a clear case of deception, no matter how the society would choose to spin it if they were challenged directly on the issue.

    He also makes the case that "weak arguments cloud the issue". I think he puts his cards on the table here. He's upset that this discussion has even been posted because it detracts from the case that he would prefer to make against the society. I'm sure at some point over the years this "old goat" has had his "day in court", and yet the society continues on as before. Maybe his approach all these years has been flawed, and the "little things" DO all add up and help to present people with the real picture that the society don't want us to see. By all accounts the society aren't the only ones who don't want us to see this, bizarrely it would seem that old goat doesn't want us to see it either!! Apparently this information clouds his wonderous exalted arguments and treads on the toes of his personal crusade. In the eyes of old goat, jwfacts is like a streaker on the beaches of Normandy, prancing around and making it difficult for he and his allies to mount their glorious liberation. Sorry old goat, but I don't see it that way. I think you're the only one who does.

    If he's so keen on playing the age card (I've been around since such-and-such-a-book, blah blah) then I will too - maybe he should stand aside, take a well earned rest for his decades of effort, and let the young ones have their turn at deciding what is and isn't relevant. In the meantime we value his input, experience and insight - but so long as it is expressed in a way that is respectful and not condescending.

  • sizemik
    sizemik
    Calling a post silly and calling the man silly are not the same thing.

    Well . . . technically not. But I don't see a whole lot of daylight between the two . . . posts don't write themselves

    A point in isolation may be seen as one mans "trivial" . . . and to another, as part of a greater whole.

    If you think it's trivial fair enough . . . but does that necesarily require that it be labelled "silly"?

    It's not a "weak argument" . . . because there is no argument . . . it's a simple exposay

  • Old Goat
    Old Goat

    An exposé of what? That the Society photoshops? That they're amateurish videographers? That they brag about their expertise in area where it does not exist? Did they purposefully remove the flags? Of course they did. Did they do it to evilly hide their history? Please! They did it (in my opinion) because they didn’t want a flood of letters asking about flags.

    If you want to press the issue of how the Watchtower presents its history, look to more valid things. For instance, W. H. Conley and C. T. Russell’s involvement in the 19 th Century Faith Cure movement is nowhere discussed by Watchtower writers. The sex scandal involving Conley’s hand-picked Faith Cure house manager is outside of any story the Watchtower tells. That Russell’s prize convert, A. D. Jones, ran a charity that the newspapers characterized as a fraud is left unexplored as is his divorce for adultery. While these two events do not reflect directly on Russell, they at least show what sort of person he chose for an associate.

    How about the polygamy scandals in Africa. This is a long-running story that started with the first Bible student in Africa, Edward Seton and continued in various places until the 1950s.

    The Watchtower’s presentation of its history is mythology created to preserve the idea that Russell was divinely chosen. On this forum and elsewhere Russell is called an Adventist as if being an Adventist were somehow worse then being a Methodist. The claim is made that he lied when he denied ever having been one. In point of fact he was a One Faith believer from 1871 until he met Barbour and maintained most of his One Faith beliefs afterwards. Does this relieve him of scandal? Oh hell no. But making a false claim undermines “our side.”

    I don’t even care if we find great faults. I care that the myth of Russell’s special anointing exists. I’ve pointed to the Truth History people before. Their blog is the best history site out there. The blog owner is a Witness, but he presents this stuff without a blink. How he can continue to see the Watchtower as the repository of the truth after doing this research, I do not know. That’s his problem, not mine. I think his book on Nelson Barbour is intensely interesting because it strips away myth and replaces it with historically verifiable detail. I came away from reading it with a sigh of relief. No great scandal is uncovered. But you don’t see an implicit claim that Russell was divinely led either. You have to ask to join the blog. He doesn’t ask who you are, and the rules are simple. Don’t rant, don’t copy his material, comment in a meaningful way when you can.

    And Cedar, I though you were through with this. Apparently not. If you reasoned as badly as you do here while within the Watchtower organization, you probably had endless anger and never “got” anything right. Some things do not change. Of course I do not care if you “see” this bit of photoshopped propaganda. Does it prove the Watchtower wrong when it says that it is super accurate. Yes. Will it change anyone’s mind? Highly doubtful. Most active witnesses will shrug this off.

    I am sympathetic with the complaint that the Watchtower people manipulate their history. I wish that those who post on that would focus on what they have written, or events they hide, instead of photos or illustrations that supposedly have hidden images. (Here’s a good place to say that I’ve seen the original painting behind some of the Watchtower illustrations. That stuff isn’t there.) It is much more effective to say, “Brother Smith, can you explain what the society meant when they wrote this?” (pointing to some half-assed, oddball claim) than it is to say, “Mom! Look! The left out the flags!” This is especially so because they have published the photo with the flags elsewhere.

    A problem that “apostates” face is self-justification. We’ve left an organization to which we gave our lives for sometimes decades. We tend to feel a sort of ill defined guilt. For a few there should be guilt. There is a difference between getting tossed out on your ear for being a naughty boy and leaving because you found the doctrines untenable, the behaviours wrong, and the leadership hypocritical. We are led to find anything to justify leaving. That leaves them still in control of our lives. Do you want them to have that control? I don’t.

  • Earnest
    Earnest

    I have keenly looked forward to posts by 'Old Goat' ever since he came to my attention about two years ago. He has a phenomenal knowledge and experience of Watch Tower history as can be ascertained by anyone who cares to look at his posts. The only reason this thread caught his attention, I believe, is because of its reference to the falsification of Watch Tower history.

    I know he is more than capable of defending himself but, like jwfacts, he has made invaluable contributions to this forum and he should know that those of us who have been here more than a day really appreciate that.

  • Old Goat
    Old Goat

    and sizemik ... you are right about "silly." I think we have a cultural difference here. Silly is not a strong word to me but quite mild. But I should have chosen another.

  • sizemik
    sizemik

    An exposé of what? That the Society photoshops? That they're amateurish videographers? That they brag about their expertise in area where it does not exist? Did they purposefully remove the flags? Of course they did. Did they do it to evilly hide their history? Please! They did it (in my opinion) because they didn’t want a flood of letters asking about flags.

    So you have an opinion . . . great!

  • Old Goat
    Old Goat

    If that's supposed to be a picture of me you do need to photoshop it. He needs to be really old, with silver hair, balding on top, a bit chubby, quite tall, and maybe you should put a bit of a scowl on his face. Give him gold rimmed glasses. And that casual shirt has to go. White shirt, stripped school tie. A nice gray sweater would be nice. Give him the look that makes my students tremble. It's a no-nonsense, you're dog did not eat your homework and i know it, look.

  • cedars
    cedars

    Old Goat - thanks for climbing down on the use of the word "silly" - I appreciate it. I apologise for getting worked up.

    I'm still not sure why Russell's mates and what they got up to is of more significance that this, but at no time has it been my intention to be disrespectful to you. If I have been in the heat of the moment, I'm sorry.

  • jwfacts
    jwfacts

    OLD GOAT In point of fact he was a One Faith believer from 1871 until he met Barbour and maintained most of his One Faith beliefs afterwards.

    Interesting, I have not read too much about that. Can you point me to some reliable information about it on the web?

    Whilst what you say about Russell's history is valid, it does not matter to most young JWs these days. I remember hearing about the Miracle Wheat as a JW. I just dismissed it as lies. Anything that Russell preached that was incorrect or did that was wrong is further dismissed as "old light". That is why I feel a point like leaving flags off a reinactment can be more effective for some current JW's. It is interesting and somewhat disturbing that they were supportive of the US government, but more important is that when they hide these details it undermines their integrity.

    However, no one strategy works for all JWs. What is important for one person is irrelevant to most others. A lot of former Witnesses that I come across don't care about the history or doctrine at all, and simply left because they did not find the people in their congregation to be loving. That is why a multi-pronged approached is required.

  • sizemik
    sizemik
    If that's supposed to be a picture of me

    Sorry if it's a disappointment . . . but no.

    It was simply a graphical representation of how must of us receive anothers opinion . . . ie; in one ear and out the other.

    And sadly . . . how a small number deal with the facts.

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