My DEATH as an Intellectual

by Terry 63 Replies latest social entertainment

  • cantleave

    Terry I read almost every post you write- they usually challenging, interesting and always well thought out. I love the way you think, I beleive there is nothing wrong with starting a thread, standing back and watching the fireworks.

  • cult classic
    cult classic

    Ditto that.

    I don't have lots of time to read and post. So I can't get involved with too much discussion on the board. I actually prefer the topics that are wrapped up neatly within a few paragraphs or posts.

    Every blue moon I have time to read the threads that go on endlessly with no resolution.

  • Terry

    I like to hang out with people who really have a passion for learning and who know a helluva lot more about something than I do.

    One huge problem with being a JW is that everybody shares the same food dish.

    You can't transcend. You can only take on more burdens. It is like an asymptote. Always approaching the goal and never quite getting there.

    There is no true analysis of information inside a Kingdom hall and only the illusion of learning.

    I size fits all.


    In my congregation in Ft.Worth there was a brother named Joe Tosti. His enthusiam for knowledge was scintillating! He could pack more

    real information into a Watchtower comment than anybody else. He did it with enthusiasm and verve. He had panache.

    He wasn't a servant or elder, either. He was a barber by trade.

    He would correct me on my verb tenses. I would say something like "None of us were laughing at the joke."

    He would look at me with his bifocals down on his nose and say, "Terry, the word None is singular and the verb must agree. Say

    'None of us WAS laughing at the joke'." It stung, but I loved it. I was learning something!!

  • Finkelstein

    What you get taught at the Kingdom Halls is emotive sensationalized ignorance, quite apart from reality and rational critical thinking,

    which subsequently mutes people's own intellect.

  • kurtbethel

    An intrepid editor type person could compile a couple dozen of the best Terry posts and make an ebook, the Best of Terry or Wit and Wisdom of Terry, and publish it on Smashwords and Amazon. They can split the revenue from this venture and it might even cover a bottle of Chivas Regal.

  • BroMac

    Terry, great OP. I'm no intellectual.

    Ding - enjoyed your post. I hate how the literature (WT+Study) supplies answers to their own questions

  • Terry

    An intrepid editor type person could compile a couple dozen of the best Terry posts and make an ebook, the Best of Terry or Wit and Wisdom of Terry, and publish it on Smashwords and Amazon. They can split the revenue from this venture and it might even cover a bottle of Chivas Regal.

    By the time that gets done we'll have to split a box of Dependz instead:)

    Retitle: The Blatherings of Braying Ass (more accurate)

  • OnTheWayOut

    Recently, my wife started talking about someone from my early JW days. "Remember Frank?" she said. (It fit into the conversation we were having, but it was trivial, so I forget what brought it up.)

    I pity Frank. He was (and probably still is) viewed as such a "deep thinker," a real scholar for Jehovah. I mean, Frank could dig into his brain to find the right words from the right Watchtower to say in the worst of situations to make people feel better about the situation.

    Frank had a special bond with me, he wasn't quite my best friend or my father, yet he kind of felt like both of those.

    I had an occasion to revisit the area of my JW early days. My wife visited the Kingdom Hall that Frank was attending. I came back at the end of the meeting to pick her up in the rental car and I waited in the parking lot. Frank was looking for me. He didn't ask me anything about why I didn't come into the meeting. He didn't chastise me for slacking off in serving Jehovah. He dug into his Watchtower intellect and had a conversation with me about doubt in general and about how important it is to remember Jehovah while we can.

    The magic was gone. I could have countered every point he made with things I learned from jwfacts or Ray Franz' books or Steve Hassan's books or from other readings. It was all still fresh in my mind- my retention of such is lower today because I just don't rent so much space in my head for such baggage. Frank was just good at remembering circular logic and Watchtower cliches. He didn't change, but he wasn't the deep thinker I remembered him to be.

    I didn't bother arguing with Frank. It would have soured that relationship we had. Rumors would have spread, worse than the ones that probably did spread. I still had in-law family in the area and didn't want to give them a reason to shun me.

    Frank could have made decent money as a televangelist with his skills, or a wonderful lecturer on whatever subject. But he was happy, maybe. Or he may have realized he was like you, Terry, at one time and had not realized he could stop the madness.

  • Apognophos

    I wonder how many folks here have read S. M. McRoberts' "Falling in Truth". The person you are all describing is basically Brother Olson in that story. A very knowledgeable person, who should know better, "and yet I still believe...", as he says towards the end.

    I certainly knew a few brothers who had great untapped potential. One used to work for [redacted -- a famous science-related place]; he decided that he didn't believe in God when he was probably the same young age as Einstein when he decided the same. But as he got older, he let sentimentality and the influence of certain people convince him that JWs had the truth. He was no longer using the cynicism that he developed as a child and was simply happy to be accepted into a group of nice people and given privileges.

    Others that I knew were not satisfied with saying, "Oh, what a nice convention that was", and would look for deeper topics to discuss in the car group and at gatherings. They enjoyed speculating on what the distant future would reveal about God's purposes, getting into the realm of science fiction (as well as reading it). They asked interesting questions about God's design choices ("Why does God allow us to tell lies?") to provoke conversations.

    One man who came into the "truth" and joined my former congregation was a bigshot in the world of computers; a very smart man. It had taken years to get him to the point of accepting the "truth" and getting baptized because he asked every hard question he could think of, but now he was a proud and happy Witness. I think his own extroversion betrayed him; he enjoyed associating with the friends too much and his naturally optimistic personality prevented him from applying skepticism or reading critical information on the Internet. I don't know what the future holds for him, but I would not be surprised if he follows the same path that Terry did -- a rise to fame as a gifted speaker, followed by a slowly increasing dissatisfaction and loss of enthusiasm and faith. Sadly, in the meantime he is devoting years of his life to the organization.

  • Terry

    I'm almost finished with a surprisingly good book, Arnold Schwarzenegger's autobiography TOTAL TRECALL (My Unbelievably True Life Story.)

    He is the embodiment of what an ambitious man can do with goals, hard work and visualization. I wish I'd had a father like him.

    There was no ambition in my family at all that I could detect.

    Jehovah's Witnesses don't even think in those terms. It is yanked out of you and expunged.

    Avoiding negative people and seeking the company of those who want to improve themselves has always been my favorite thing.

    I like being around people who are smarter than me. Otherwise, how am I going to be challenged or learn anything new??

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