A relative of mine recently asked me to comment on what was said in the final talk at the latest convention. I obviously didn't attend the convention, but I was able to get hold of a recording. Here is a transcript from a recording of the final talk, entitled God's Kingdom Will Crush All Other Kingdoms - When? The talk was given at a convention in the UK, but it was evidently based on a manuscript and therefore would have been given at conventions around the world...
"The traditional ironlike rulership of the AAWP (Anglo-American World Power) has been forced to listen to common people! Common people want their say in the government that rules over them! Civil rights campaigns, labour union pressure, independence movements from the common people have all undermined the ability of the AAWP to act with the strength it once had. Sometimes with very close election results and opposing ideologies even popular leaders don't have a clear mandate to implement the policies they would like. Clay and iron do not stick together! There is no sticking together of the authoritarian rule that has been the symbol of the AAWP and the common people who have risen up in recent times."
The talk goes on to discuss a changed understanding from that expressed in pages 57 to 60 of the book Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy (see the section "A Fragile Amalgam"). The society once held that the feet made of "iron mixed with clay" represented different kinds of rulership, namely "authoritarian or tyrannical" governments versus "claylike" democratic governments, denoting the politically fragmented world in the time of the end. They now believe that the feet represent the AAWP, as do the lower legs, in that "devisive elements" within the AAWP undermine it's ability to "act as it would like". On listening to the talk, what hit me was not so much the change in understanding. The society are constantly changing their minds on prophecy and quickly losing all credibility in their efforts to decipher scriptures. What hit me more was the worrying depiction of current world events as seen from the eyes of the governing body! According to the governing body, the following can be collectively said of Britain and the USA:
- Democracy is a relatively new concept, and only in "the time of the end" have these two countries been forced to listen to their people
- Civil rights campaigns, labour union pressure and independence movements are hindering these two countries from acting decisively
- A very close election result, or a "set of opposing ideologies" has led to "a popular leader (or leaders)" not being able to implement his (or their) policies with a "clear mandate", and this somehow relates to the prophecy of the immense image
- "Authoritarian rule" is a symbol of Britain and the USA
- The common people (in Britain and the USA) have "risen up in recent times"
I could go into each of those points in detail and demonstrate how ludicrous, inaccurate and sensationalist each of them are, but I don't think I need to. What disturbs me is that the lives of 7 and a half million people around the globe are being controlled by a group of men who's view of the world around them is completely warped and paranoid. How can they interpret bible prophecy and decide on sensitive doctrinal issues if they can't even get a handle on reality?
I should also mention that it was made very clear in the talk that the points in the outline would feature in a future Watchtower, so even if this has yet to be published, it soon will be.