I agree with Searcher
Anyone been watchtower conductor
I was a Watchtower conductor. Even though there was a lot I didn't agree with at the time and I knew some things were wrong, I didn't fully know TTATT. I could conduct the Watchtower while knowing TTATT easier than I could give a public talk. My talks were forceful - from the heart and well-reasoned. I was real. I believed the info and it came across that way. I could not deliver talks like that now, knowing TTATT. I don't see how some on this forum do that. They can't be delivering talks with real feeling unless they're speaking about general things that they agree with.
One thing you can do, though, is play dumb. I always deplored the bad writing in Watchtower pubs, including bad grammar. One time when studying for the book study, I noticed a bad grammatical error in a question. I didn't want to just deliberately point out the bad grammar during the study, so I played innocent and dumb. When asking the question, I acted as though I stumbled on the grammatical point, just noticing it. I said something like "hmmm... I think that should be (whatever it should've been); oh well, the proofreaders must have missed that one."
Actually, according to instructions, Watchtower conductors should basically just ask printed questions and use side questions sparingly and judiciously. By far, the majority of Watchtower conductors I've been exposed to talk too much. When I was in pioneer school, one of our instructors (an old-timer, the real deal, smart, etc.) related the following experience he had:
"I was excited because I was given the opportunity to go to a Watchtower Study that Brother Knorr was conducting. I was going to learn all this wonderful new information and get all this insight and all these extra details. I couldn't wait. So I went and heard Brother Knorr conduct the Watchtower Study. And do you know what he said...??? Nothing - Nothing. He basically just asked the questions."
Watchtower conductors seem to think they're not doing a good job if they don't bring out side points, expound, explain, etc., but they're not supposed to do that. They're conductors. Music conductors don't make the music; they conduct it.
So if you keep that mind, you should be OK. As I said, it's different from a public talk. You don't really have to show feeling, etc. when conducting a Watchtower study. You can view it as teaching a point of view that you don't agree with. Maybe like teaching a literature class on a piece that you might actually think is bad.
Saltheart Foamfollower: If I can help one to escape it would be worth it.
How can you help someone "escape" when you yourself don't know how?
I understand your dilemma, I really do. Possibly better than you do.
Family situations such as yours are difficult. This is exactly why WT policies are what they are. They hold people of conscience hostage. To leave is anathema. If you do, you will be shunned. If you stay, you compromise your personal integrity.
It's a lose/lose situation for the individual.
I know a couple that stayed in the organization for a while because they thought the other one wasn't ready to leave. When they finally were able to speak openly to each other, they realized they'd wasted much valuable time.
Don't make the same mistake.
Just to put my situation into a little bit more context, I have been mentally out for about 15 years now (used to lurk on newsgroups back in the dial-up days) Searcher - any conscience I had has been well and truly buried. I realised fairly quickly that I was comfortable in living a lie if I could get in some genuine truths/facts every now and then. To do that I need to be an elder. I can't judge how much of an effect, but if no one listens, why are they so worried about individuals reading apostate literature/web sites? My favourite approach is to use the borg against itself. If I was taking tomorrow's watchtower, in the paragraph about the generation, I would ask how you would prove that to someone. Most would look blank and forget it. Some would just repeat what the watchtower says. One or two might go away and do research and realise they cant prove it because it is nonsense.
Oubliette - I really am greatful for your concern and advice. I haven't decided yet, but it will be my decision and not the borgs. BTW, did the brother get couselled for going over time with his talk? It would be just like them to totally miss the point.
Yeah I was wt conductor. I actually liked it when I was in. Of course when I look back I was nothing more than a smiling parrot dressed in a suit.
My profs used to talk about the importance of asking "hard" questions. If you ask questions in a certain way, it may not matter what the content is. You cannot be a Witness if you ask "hard" questions. My profs in both college and law school sneered at robotic answers from the text. Questions were more important than answer. When I interviewed incoming law students for a scholarship, I devised a question with no correct answer. My face was blank so they could not read me. I could ask no "hard" questions when I started college. Now I am proficient at it.
I could not do it b/c I don't think I could stop from rolling my eyes or saying something insulting to WT propaganda. It could be more important than knowing the info at JWFacts. I have a feeling that you would be removed in short order. Well, you know your local KH better than anyone. High school questions could floor them.
Sound like a cool thing to do and at the same time torturous. My brain finds the cognitive dissonance I experience to painful to conceal to fake it through an entire study while standing on stage in front of a bunch of brained dead indoctrinated sheeple.
I guess it all depend on the level of clear and logical thinking you have come to develope after finding out the truth about the truth. If one is still heavily indoctrinated and just comming out of the fog, the CD one experiences may not be that great but as more progress is made to free up one's mind from the bullshit the pain will increase and slow personal progress.
I conducted the watchtower at someone's home long time ago. Twenty People were there. Thats all.
SF, I'm glad you're taking my comments in the spirit intended. I'm not being judgmental. On the contrary, I am trying to save you a lot of completely avoidable grief that I went through myself.
BU2B did NOT, in fact, get counselled for going overtime on his talk. The TMS Overseer was apparently more concerned about HOW the talk was delivered--he seemed overly tied to his notes--than about WHAT was actually said.
More emphasis on FORM over CONTENT.
During the whole time I was an elder I never once conducted the Watchtower. I cannot imagine a worse assignment.
My recommendation based upon years of listening to bad conductors is don't dwell too much on the first 5-10 paragraphs. The reason for the article (aka - the zinger) is usually embedded in the second third of the article. Focus on paragraphs 12-16.
And, never do what I have seen way too many times - spend so much time on the early paragraphs so that you need to dispense with reading the last 5 paragraphs.
The hardest part is remembering people's names.
Always remember a good study is a soon forgotten study. So, my final advice is to be forgettable.