Don't you hate it when they just comment from the paragraph?

by toto555 30 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • toto555

    Isn't that just annoying? Can people even comment in their own words anymore? How bad is it where you're at? Can people even talk anymore without reading something verbatim from the watchtower or the book study?

  • Magnum

    It's bad where I am. Very annoyiing. We have one sister who reads the entire paragraph. She tries to change a word or two and say it like it's her words. She has no idea what she's saying.

  • Robert7

    I refused. To me it was insulting to my intelligence to parrot verbatim out of a paragraph written at a fifth grade level. I would only comment if somehow I could insert a commentary or some kind of thinking, but that was becoming more and more frowned upon. Needless to say I commented very Rarely.

  • stuckinarut2

    Yes...I hate it so much!

    But in our cong, if you go off even a little from the paragraph, you get accused of "soap-boxing" or "grandstanding"!!!

  • Crazyguy

    Yep there really that stupid!!

  • berrygerry

    We are repeatedly reminded that the first comment should be short, and the direct answer from the paragraph.

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    "According to the paragraph, that is just annoying. People can't even comment in their own words anymore. How bad is it where you're at? Can people even talk anymore . . . "

    hmm hmm . . . let me take that again:

    " . . . people can't even talk anymore without reading something verbatim from the watchtower or the book study!"

  • jonahstourguide

    If you do comment in your own words the wt conductor then says

    "what does the paragraph say bruvvas?" and re asks the question !!!!

    thats in my neck of the woods anyhow


  • JWdaughter

    I used some independent thinking when I was about 8 and got shut down for it. The thing is, I made more sense than any of them did. It was just a comment on something I had learned about some topic-not even challenging as I recall. I remember being mystified about what the issue was as my mom was trying to explain why I needed to stick to the scripted material (she had been counseled about me). She really didn't know what the problem was, so how could she explain it to me? I hadn't done or said anything wrong or bad or even challenging. And it was topical. I remember my mom telling me beforehand tht it was ok since it was related, etc. Oh, well. If they need to counsel an 8 year old for simply thinking outside their paragraphs, it's no wonder the adults are sticking to the scripts! They know all the rules.

  • Joe Grundy
    Joe Grundy

    I've only ever been to one JW meeting (oh, and a 'memorial') - in about 2006 in Cyprus (nominally English-speaking). I was invited by my neighbours, lovely people but ardent dubs, who I think had hopes for me.

    As an informed atheist (they knew this) I looked forward to it to hear informed discussion.

    I was sadly disappointed, of course. I can't remember what the subject was, but it was mind-numbingly boring - perhaps deliberately made so by the format. The leader/preacher read from the magazine, an old guy* read the paragraph, now and then he read a quote from the bible, the printed questions were asked and various people responded by reading the paragraph back out loud. There was a frisson of excitement when one old lady answered a question by eulogising C T Russell but I got the impression that she was regarded as 'somewhat eccentric' (as we Brits politely say) and things moved quickly on. Some obviously better-off CY ladies (elderettes perhaps?) had brought their Filippina house-maids with them and there was much approval when the Filippinas commented. (Actually, the Filippinas tended to have better English than their employers).

    There were a few moments when I wanted to comment 'Hang on - how do you reconcile what you/the paragraph says with (bible quote) or what JWs used to teach?' but I was dissuaded by my hosts. They would have lost status by being seen to have introduced a questioning voice, perhaps.

    It reminded me very much of the TV footage you used to see of public demonstrations of thousands of Chinese waving aloft their 'little red book' (The Thoughts of Chairman Mao).

    'Informed discussion' it was not.

    I think I lost my attractiveness as a potential recruit when I lit up a cigarette outside after the meeting.

    *The old guy (a Brit) who had been charged with doing the reading out loud later committed suicide by loading his pockets with stones and drowning himself in the swimming pool of our apartment complex. His widow (the stronger dub, I suspect) had been (still may be for all I know) charmingly and systematically ripping-off absentee apartment landlords for whom she acted as agent for years. When I left CY she was hosting sessions for Filippina ladies where they could 'study' the magazines. And yet (to my surprise, at least) when minor day-to-day stuff needed doing it was us 'worldly' neighbours who were called upon.

Share this