"Mentally diseased" article to be published in The Independent tomorrow
Just some things to keep in my mind.
From a PR/Academic standpoint. Importantly, what has begun, is moving what once was a topic for blogs and posts, which go unoticed and can be duly considered started by a fringe group of disgruntled individuals, into the public square of debate.
Moving something like this into the public sphere is an essential starting point and an initial success in a PR Strategy - Now that mainstream jounralism, newspapers largly respected more for thoroughness and accuracy if not objectiveness. So, this is a great moment and huge success. At par with the Ray Franz milestone in this organization's history.
So, the follow up to keep the conversation growing, expanding, and in front of key opinion leaders, will come by the validity of the claims. So, I encourage all to continue to reach out to other organizations, especially news entities, appealing to common sense and isolate just a few talking points, avoid a heavy use of statements that make the arguement sound as if it were just sourced in what can be felt as a vengeful motivation, as that would defeat the purpose. - This would also combat the risk of being guilty of slander, etc. (I saw someone show concern about that on this thread.)
"Cover the Coverage"
Now that one, and then several, major entities covered the topic, the next strategic step mentioned above is called 'cover the coverage.' Encourage others to read what respected journalists and authorities have reported and quote their statements. Be as accurate as possible when using attribution. If anything, highlight what makes this an issue for world attention. Remember, churches and other community organizations are given implied trust by citizens in civil society. Thus, inciteful statements, like the ones being made in their literature and meetings, their stance on child abuse (Australia compliance is a huge point as it seemingly highlights their lack of proactive concern), etc. call in to question the merit of such public trust, especially if they are known for commonly approaching us in the public setting to share those ideas and beliefs, and even hope to be invited into our homes.
Lastly, I am posting something that I myself recently posted. In the actual response I made to a professed JW who commented on The Independrnt's article, I point out just the facts and what occured by the publishing of this story by The Independant. Stick to those types of talking points and then use personal stories to put a face to those points, adding actual experiences, and how it feels. Below is my second re-post on the story's comments section, where I include those intial comments to the JW and the result it had on his comments.
This was my entire summary, second, re-post:
"I find something interesting as I read through the almost 700 posts, how much professed Jehovah's Witnesses are adding to the discussions. It strikes me that there isn't much understanding of simple reasoning or common sense on their part. They lack knowledge of what Journalism is and the Ethics involved before an article like this passes editorial committee reviews, fact-checking and later its publication. The public journal is a public trust. So I felt the need to reply to the post a professed member of this religion as he pledged his loyalty with 'pride' to his organization and his onward determination to spread their teachings, as lives were at stake, he said. Including a direct statement to the reporter, "as is yours." Referring to his life. It gave me a feeling that there was a threat in that somewhere.
So, as an academic I felt the need to reply and said to him/her:
'This journalistic piece is not commenting on 'scriptural' authority or whether it is inspired of God. Nor does the reporter, seemingly, pretend to expound on theology. It is about an organization where its leadership has instructed by official congregational doctrine that all who dissent or disagree are 'mentally diseased.' And the outcry by many inside and outside of that organization.
However, I think it is worth pointing out that the following paragraph of the article in question, where the 'mentally diseased' label is introduced, paragraph 7, that same leadership states "What is involved in avoiding false teachers? We do not receive them into our homes or greet them. We also refuse to read their literature, watch TV programs that feature them, examine their Web sites, or add our comments to their blogs. Why do we take such a firm stand? Because of love. We love “the God of truth,” so we are not interested in twisted teachings that contradict his Word of truth."
It seems that maybe you are not as proud or as obedient to the instructions provided in that same article, of July 15, 2011, of The Watchtower, as you might think.
You obviously are of the group that believe you should be free from being told what to do, or what not to do, based on your ignoring the strong admonishments found on that same page of the journal. As participating through technology as is done on this thread is later classified in paragraph 15 as being guilty of falling to 'Satan's tactic' of being 'Unoccupied, gadding about.'
He soon thereafter deleted his post.'
Again, this is just as an example. I'm sure you all have even better ways of approachin this, I only wanted to share some thoughts with all of you as you have my deep admiration for pursuing this!
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Widely attributed to Margaret Mead
Nice contribution, Scholar.
I've seen some of the JWs rationalizing that posting on this article does not conflict with the admonition in the Watchtower for the following reasons:
- The website is not an apostate website (or blog), rather a news journal.
- The article seems to be balanced and quoted the Watchtower magazine accurately.
- Apostates are twisting the article so we must defend our faith to the public.
- We as JWs don't want to be misunderstood.
It's funny, though, because at the meeting where this article was discussed, several JWs commented on the danger of even reading the comment sections of ANY articles related to JWs.
Also, as Scholar pointed out, the JWs that are posting on these articles are displaying attitudes quite similar to those who choose to leave the Organization. Many on this board are here because they realized that to be a JW, they have to obey the Governing Body, despite their own personal convictions. Not wanting to be hypocrites, or live a lie, they decide that the JW religion is not for them. As for JWs interacting with apostates, we have clear examples of making the religion fit the person, when it should be the other way around. It is ridiculous to practice willful disobedience to the Governing Body while trying to justify the rightness of the JW religion.
Watching this play out proves to me that this religion is definitely not worth my time and energy.
I was just scrolling through Google, has anybody else picked up on the video version of the story?
Thanks for the link cedars . . . nice to see some more bad press.
The JW had to have the last weasely word uncontested, unfortunately . . .
But the net effect can only do us "apostates" good . . . WT$ bad.
I have also posted on a separate thread about an apologist website's rant about the mentally diseased campaign.
I really appreciate all that you are doing. It is truly a huge amount of work and tons of stress to do what you have accomplished. I have tried to contact the new media where I live and I know the work you have put into it is HUGE.
Thank you so very much.
That aside something I was thinking about yesterday was all those on this board who say "well this will all just blow over just like Dateline in 2002 and NBC in 2007, yad, yad, yad, yad. The best you can hope for is a month, etc. Maybe some come back from the GB like that letter they sent out in 2002 for all congregations to have read or the Awake that came before the 2007 NBC news. But it will all just blow over like those two events did. This will all truly mean nothing in a month or so."
When I have read those's posters responses I have thought well maybe they are right but it leaves you flat, like there truly is no hope to stop the hurt and pain and suffering this religion is causing. Then I thought what a minute, the letter that they sent out because of Barbara Anderson's 2002 Dateline was HUGE! She also caused them to print a Awake on child abuse in 2007. Again that was HUGE not just some month and it just blew over but it was huge and it did cause the GB to sweat.
Then I thought the difference about what you have just done is that every month much less year that goes by so does the growth of the internet. Now most people have it on their phones. It is not like it was in 2002 where many still did not even have it in their homes. It was easier back in 2002 for the GB to control the members to stay away from the internet. Even if a family had a computer usually many members in that family used it and for someone to have doubts and to go to some web-sight that was questionable would have been too scary. Now with the internet on our phones we have so much more freedom to check the fact without fear of some other family member finding out and turning us in.
So for all of those who say this is no big deal and it will just blow over in a month, times are truly different then in 2002 or even 2007 more people are more connected then ever. Also this is truly causing another huge chink in the WT's armor and every chink weakens their strength.
Thank you again for all that you have done.
Peeps,,,, many comments are still being posted.
This is a great opportunity to spread the word .. about the truth about the Truth TM
check it out!
life is to short - I don't really think too much about people saying that it won't achieve anything, I just tend to get on with it. It might last a couple of days, it might last a week - maybe it's already reached its zenith? Only time will tell. Even if it was just a flash in the pan, it was worth it if it made ONE PERSON think again.
I have posted a thread on how the spread of the internet is notably impacting on publisher growth. In my view, it's only a matter of time before the Society folds, and becomes nothing more than a tiny movement perpetuated by a few hardcore zealots. The only question is, how much time? It certainly won't happen by itself, and anything we can do to accelerate this eventuality is welcome. I personally don't think I've done much. Probably people assume I've done more than I actually have. I tend to look at it in terms of "if we can accomplish this much with minimal effort, what might we achieve if we REALLY try?!"
The grip of the Governing Body is weakening, and it is the enthusiasm and positive attitude of people like you that will bring about their fall from grace more quickly.