WT's 2 BOE Letters Flip-Flop!

by JW GoneBad 37 Replies latest jw experiences

  • JW GoneBad
    JW GoneBad

    Everyone knows about the recent across-the-board okay to use electronic devices in JW worship. Few, though, know about how not long ago it was considered a taboo.

    First, there was that DC talk a couple of years back where they nearly demonized simply the ownership of a smart phone, ipads (i phones, blackberries, etc) let alone the use of them at meetings. They brought out that they were a waste of time, expensive and that they exposed a Christian to Satan's world on the internet. Then came the following November 8, 2011 BOE letter where they say that using 'electronic tablets' and the like at meetings would open the way for 'class distinctions' or give the appearance of a 'showy display of one's means of life'. Read for yourself:

    Christian Congregation

    of Jehovah’s Witnesses

    2821 Route 22, Patterson, NY 12563-2237 Phone: (845) 306-1100

    November 8, 2011


    Re: Use of electronic tablets

    Dear Brothers:

    We have received inquiries on the use of an electronic tablet, such as an iPad, when conducting the Watchtower Study or for viewing notes when giving a public talk. Herein we wish to provide some guidelines concerning this matter.

    There is no objection to the use of an electronic tablet by an attendee in the audience as a means of following along with the material being presented. However, at this time, an electronic tablet or other similar device should not be used on the platform, such as for reading the paragraphs at the Watchtower Study, conducting a meeting, or giving a talk of any kind.

    In addition to the possibility of a technical problem occurring, it is felt that using an electronic tablet from the platform could prompt others to feel that they too should invest in such a device. Additionally, since many brothers cannot afford such a device, using one prominently from the stage could, in effect, create “class distinctions” or appear to be a “showy display of one’s means of life.”—Jas. 2:4; 1John 2:16.

    Thank you for noting this direction. We send our warm Christian love.

    Your Brothers,

    Christian Congregation

    Of Jehovah’s Witnesses

    ......Then came the flip-flop

    At this years' AGM the acceptance of these devices was officially demonstrated when the head of WT's geek sqad displayed on a table the acceptance for use in worship anything from a laptop to a ipad to a smart phone and everything in between. Then came the following October 12, 2013 BOE letter:

    Christian Congregation

    of Jehovah’s Witnesses

    2821 Route 22, Patterson, NY 12563-2237 Phone: (845) 306-1100

    October 12, 2013


    Re: Use of electronic tablets

    Dear Brothers:

    Electronic tablets have become increasingly common in many parts of the world. So the Governing Body has decided that the use of such devices from the platform at our theocratic events should be left to the individual discretion of each program participant. This is not something for which elders would need to establish a rule. However, sensible steps should be taken so as to avoid distracting anyone in the audience. For example, the user (whether on the platform or in the audience) should set his device to a mode that would not emit sounds, and he should void electronic alerts, such as incoming e-mail notifications. Additionally, it may be wise for a brother using such a device during his talk to have a backup hardcopy of his notes for use in the event he experiences a technical problem.

    If a brother will be giving a talk in an area where he knows such devices are not commonly used, it would appropriate for him to inquire if his doing so from the platform would not be advantageous.—Compare 1Corinthians 10:24; 1 Timothy 3:2, footnote.

    Thank you for noting this direction. We send our warm Christian Love.

    Your brothers,

    Christian Congregation

    Of Jehovah’s Witnesses

    With all these 180 degree turns on whats' good or bad, whats' right or wrong-it really makes you wonder who is running the show!


    I am amazed that this would even qualify for a discussion among the GB/FDS/Amazing 8. Then again, when you beat people into ignorance and submission, you have no right to bitch when they can't make decisions for themselves. Also, since when has the GB worried about class distinctions???


  • pixel

    "This is not something for which elders would need to establish a rule." (From the second letter).

    But they were the first to establish a rule in the first place. Oh the ignorance!!

    Thanks for posting these two lettes side by side.

  • Tech49

    So this is a subject that has bothered me to some extent as well. In one breath, the almighty GB determine that it is "not appropriate" for the reasons stated, and then shortly thereafter "change their minds". Oh um, well, we like tablets now, .... so..... I guess you PEONS can use them too.....just turn off the SATAN mode.....

    Elders now cannot "make a rule"., whereas previously, only months prior, they had no problem making rules and browbeating anyone who dared to "show their means"! So sayeth we all! ( the 8 on the GB, of course) Sheesh.

    Yes, then the wonderful "Steve Jobs" type self-annointed promo at the AGM that we had the "privilege" of sitting thru as part of a "meeting"...cause apparently we are all too stupid to figure out how to download an APP to our phones or tablets.... Give me a break already, flip flop flip flop.

    Hey almighty GB, how about we stop freakin micromanaging EVERYTHING! For goodness sake already. Makes me ill.

    And I agree full-heartedly with DATA-DOG..... why is this even a TOPIC FOR DISCUSSION at the HQ !???!!! Dont you kingly types, annointed with the full power of the Holy Spirit, have better things to discuss??! Ya, cause I'm sure the Almighty Creator gives a rats a** about Tablets and Ipads!

    Good grief!!

  • WingCommander

    Well, seeing as how Tablets were good enough for YHWH to write upon on Mt Ararat, I guess the Governing Body can allow them.

    Freakin' retards.

    - Wing Commander

  • Yan Bibiyan
    Yan Bibiyan

    Got their ass covered, don't worry.

    In first letter:

    However, at this time, an electronic tablet or other similar....

    Times changed, what's your "Apostate problem", huh?

  • JW GoneBad
    JW GoneBad

    pixel: 'Thanks for posting these two lettes side by side.'

    Thanks to jwleaks, Atlantis and the many others who make these BOE letters available.

    On my Christman-wish-list this year are copies of letters that go directly to & only to COs and DOs from 'Mother'. Boy there has got to be some juicy stuff in those letters...eh!

  • jw07

    My impression is that the Governing Body, being the old, ignorant turds that they are probably just recently caught on to the rise of tablet usage, probably thinking at first that it was just a fad. Prices will continue to fall, more and more people will start to use them, and connect to the internet to cross-check what they are being told. How do they combat this? By 'embracing' technology.

    The rhetoric has changed vs even 5 years ago. Using the internet was once a taboo, now the policy is: use the internet, but remember to only use our site for 'your own research'.

    Phone and tablet use were taboo 2 years ago. Now the policy is: oh, you can use them, but make sure to use our apps and website.

    They have made their own app for goodness sake. My prediction is that in the near future they will have hyped, Apple styled version releases. What's new in this version etc etc.

    They cannot defeat Moore's law and the rise of technology. The best they can do is try to ride the wave of tech to push propaganda.

  • NVR2L8

    Just a few years back there was a MS in the local congregation who used a handheld device that contained the NWT and WT publication CD to which he referred to during the meetings. He was approached by the elders and told that the use of the device could cause a distraction and that he should use the printed page of the Bible. Surely as a MS he would want to be exemplary in the use of the Bible and surely he would not want to start a trend...such BS...it wasn't OK because he had the idea...now it's OK because the GB says it is.

    On another note, using a tablet or smartphone to read a speech or give a talk can be catastrophic. I went to a JW wedding where the father of the groom and 3 best men attempted to give their proverbial speech from their mobile device...what a major snafu for people who are supposedly the best trained public speakers! Their devices went on sleep mode, they were always loosing their spot causing them to repeat...Instead of trying to look cool by showing off their iPhones or iPads they could have spoken genuinely from their heart.

  • Oubliette

    A flip-flop from the WT?


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