Past Organized Attempts to Level the Playing Field with WTBTS

by Band on the Run 24 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I am new to JW dissidents. A couple of weeks ago I created a post asking what attempts have been made in the past to organize some opposition. Personally, I don't feel it would be fruitful to challenge the WT First Amendment benefits. The reports from Europe, though, show inroads. Has anyone thought of meeting with Senators and Reps at the federal and state level to lobby for more critical thinking skills in public school? They have strong defenses as a religion but a neutral campaign might work. Other orgs. may share our interest in stopping cults.

    A public affairs type approach, PAs, talk show appeareances to raise consciousness against all cults. I'm assuming this has been done in the past. People are always complaining about the WT's legal department. They have expertise and ready memos b/c they are a repeat player. It is their full time job. Everyone here must have special skills or an idea where the WTS is vulnerable. It strikes me that rather than complain about the First Amendment, which I feel is a good thing, the same results may be achieved by going in another direction.

    The Hassan type of thing. Perhaps not emphasize doctrine but the Kafkaesque encounters Jehovah's Witnesses have with the WTBTS.

    What do others think?

  • Honesty


    The best way to curb the cult's appetite for new recruits is public awareness on a personal level.

  • kurtbethel

    The WT is their own worst enemy. Publicizing what they say about getting an education, and some of the manipulative things they tell people will go a long way in starving them of new victims. Then let the attrition bleed them of members. Die hards who refuse to think and want to be told what to do, they can have their little club.

  • ziddina

    Uhm, if there was an effective way to alert potential converts of the hazards of the Watchtower Society...

    Oh. Silly me. Of course there is a VERY effective way to alert people - especially young people...

    It's called the "internet".

    I think that's the most effective way - and I agree with Honesty's assessment of the situation. Personal education is the best route - and the internet the best teacher, at this time.

    But I'm open to other suggestions...

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Personal education does not happen by accident. Birth control, depression, gay issues were all outside even polite conversation among friends when I was young. Groups did public education campaigns so people started discussing issues with their friends.

    I agree word of mouth is the most potent. It is what I give the most points towards my conclusion. I notice stores like QVC now allow critical and positive reviews. This would have been ad heresy for most of my life.

    MY criticism of the Internet is that we rarely know the posters to know how to evaluate their stories. Filtering the stories through a reputable source such as a newspaper, magazine, certain Web sites gives them more credibility in my eyes.

    The Witnesses are working at their position 24/7. Only a few hours here and there could slow them down. Most people think this is only an internal dispute among people crazy enough to be Witnesses.

  • Nickolas

    It may be a bit of a stretch to think it could be achieved through legal or legislated channels, in particular if the context is North America - I am not familiar with the long reach of religious freedoms in other areas of the world. A pertinent example is the deaths of infant boys in NYC in 2005 caused by a mohel infected with genital herpes. This 57-year-old man provided the service of orthodox circumcision in which he severed the foreskins of baby boys with a scalpel, placed their penises in his mouth, sucked off the amputated flaps then spat the bloody mess out into a pan. At least three infants died, dozens more infected. Horrified, the medical community (including several doctors who were Othrodox Jews) called out for the practice to be banned, but Mayor Bloomburg quashed any attempt to do so, citing the priority that the free expression of religious belief should not be infringed. This is the sort of mentality you are up against.

    The playing field will be leveled but the mechanism will be populist or subversive. I agree with zid. We mustn't look to government, only to ourselves. I also agree with BotR, though. We need to push the envelope on what is legally allowed with respect to free expression, much like what the Brazilians did with their anti-Watchtower billboard campaigne.

  • MrFreeze

    This site and other JW sites are great teaching tools and the only effective way to curb new membership.

  • ihadnoidea

    I agree with everyone here that its probably best with education, but I noticed you said you were a lawyer in another thread. I was wondering, could the WTBTS be sued for keeping the flock book secret? Considering that every JW will will be judged by that book, it does not seem right that only elders have access to it. Now, I know they could argue that the watchtower and awake cover the same topics, but they do not go and spell out what exactly is a DF offense vs a minor sin in great detail like that book does. It really is more like a rule book, the rule book you will be judged by.

    Another question, related to the above. Could some one challenge the disfellowshipping arrangement on the basis of being judged by a secret rules book they never saw? Kind of like being fired from a job due to a rule that was never disclosed to you.

  • Nickolas

    Another question, related to the above. Could some one challenge the disfellowshipping arrangement on the basis of being judged by a secret rules book they never saw? Kind of like being fired from a job due to a rule that was never disclosed to you.

    Doubtful, because it goes to freedom of worship and belief, which has been upheld in the higher courts of several nations. That does not mean your question is irrelevant. Quite the contrary. All advanced societies espouse some sort of "age of majority" position with respect to what people are and are not allowed to do, whether that be voting, driving a car, serving in the military, having sex, drinking alcohol or what have you. But those same societies uphold a religious group's right to disfellowship and shun an individual who disagrees with it solely on the basis that the individual is contravening an earlier commitment he made through baptism, even if he was a minor child when he was baptised and could not possibly have understood the full implications of his commitment. Society might one day change or restrict that religious right, but we may have to wait awhile.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    Education is indeed the best tool. What we need to lobby for is better education in schools and compulsary attendance. US schools are currently the worst in the first world, European schools won't even accept transfers from high school, colleges or University with at least 1 or 2 years additional training. I don't know how people get through college without learning critical thinking or how someone gets out of high school without knowing how to read and speak properly, do basic mathematics without a calculator or just plain common sense.

    Evolution, quantum physics, astronomy is showing us clearly that it is very inconceivable to have an intelligent God "create" everything. There are much better explanations that fit better with our chaotic Universe where we are most likely not alone.

    Thankfully even other evangelical Christians are waking up to the facts that humans could not have been produced from Adam & Eve (since our genome has been decoded, scientist will find where we DID come from but they already found it's not from 2 people) and more and more people are starting to see that the Bible is contradicting both science, human nature and itself.

    As far as legal challenges to disfellowshipping - it has been outlawed in many countries when it is on the basis of medical treatment or freedom of religion but it's very hard to force someone to engage in social contact if they don't want to (or are told not to want to) so the WT still has the proverbial stick to whack with. The US has off course upheld it. What people need to learn is that it is not Biblical and that is what my '3rd student talk' is going to go over tonight (the subject is following God and Christ in good manners).

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