Dateline Precursor: CBS 60 Min. w/Leslie Stahl

by Room 215 24 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Room 215
    Room 215


    It's fascinating that you've retained a tape of the segment in question. My question is whether you've marked down the date it ran.

    And no, I don't understand why this thread wound up on this forum.... best regards, 215

  • Dino


    I just wanted to add that I felt the same way at the time.

    I HATED Lesley Stahl until I saw the light.

    Now, she's my hero!



    Room 215:

    My question is whether you've marked down the date it ran.

    Good question. I just pulled it out and the earliest date I have recorded on the label is April 15, 1996, however, I have a few other pieces on the tape with dates showing June, 1999 and one from October, 2000---stuff I wanted to keep. I'll re-view the tape and see if I can pick up from the broadcast when it actually ran. I won't be able to do that, though, before the week-end, but as soon as I have I will post it. I am curious myself as my recollection seems to be that the broadcast was longer ago than 1996, but obviously I could be mistaken.


  • Seeker4

    I remember the 60 Min piece with Stahl. I even remember talking with other JWs about it. They thought it was one sided. That's not at all unusual. At times I find, if I'm covering a controversial story, that both sides will feel I slanted things toward the other side. To me it just says I was fair to both sides.

    At the time of the 60 Min. piece, I think diehard Witnesses, like many here, were upset. That story may not have driven you out of the Witnesses, and Dateline may not drive others out. But for some it will be one more pound of doubt building toward their inevitable split from the Witnesses, and for others it will be the last straw.

    Don't expect any great exodus though. Most will just remain as they are. But there can be no coubt that it is a huge piece of bad PR.


  • Room 215
    Room 215

    Amnesian and Dino...

    I completely understand your initial reaction; it seems that as JWs we were so arrogant in our conviction that we had THE TRUTH we expected people to fall down in front of us and wither away in the face of our ``powerful arguments.'' Any trained journalist will tell you, however, that Leslie's questions were hard-edged but basically fair. JWs tend to be floored when their explanations are challeged with follow-up questions.

    No, Dateline will not cause the demise of the WT... it's just another nail in the coffin and a testimony to the inernet's power of disclosure, as mroe and more disaffected and questioning JWs compares notes and experiences under the protective cloak of anonymity.

    It's a new era far different from the one existing when 60 Minues did the piece in reference above, and the genie cannot be put back into the bottle.

  • waiting

    Hi Room,

    Hmmm and waiting: What an inane response! That a widely read, well-traveled, well-educated and affluent demographic group like dentists would limit their social interaction to fellow dentists! -room
    Huh? Are you agreeing/disagreeing with us and Diane Sawyer? Either way, for the WTBTS to say that it limits it's followers & their children to their own likes - like dentists most likely do- makes them jerks imho.

    Appreciate you're bringing this segment up - sets the tone for Dateline.


  • Room 215
    Room 215


    I agree with you.... it was the JW lawyer's response that I refer to as ``inane.''

  • waiting

    Oh, ok........I'm still on pain medication.......and I started out fuzzy

  • bluesapphire

    Amnesian, would you be willing to copy it for me if I send you a tape. I would love to see it.

  • Nicodemus

    One thing that must be remembered is that, for a show to be successful in accurately pointing out flaws of the JWs, it must not only pick the issues it raises carefully--ensuring that they are both legitimate and of some weight--but it must also use good reasoning and logic in challenging the given JW position or practice.

    While I don't remember every last detail of the Leslie Stahl show precisely now, my recollection is that the show "shot itself in the foot" by taking some almost childish, petulent digs at the Witnesses. And, because of that, even many non-Witnesses were not too impressed.

    One specific example that I recall: The show posited that JW parents were terrible parents because they required their children to accompany them in the door-to-door ministry. The shows' reasoning for this position was that at least some children did not like having to do this. If memory serves, I believe they even had a couple of on-camera comments from kids to that effect. For parents to do such a thing, it was argued, was certainly unkind, if not downright abusive.

    However, parents from many walks of life ask their children to do all kinds of things that the kids don't like. Included in this are things like going to school, brushing their teeth every day, or eating their vegetables. Would it be alleged that such requirements were abusive?

    Now, it might be argued that the above are either legal requirements, or common sense health matters. Let's go a step further then. What about the parent who "forces" their kid to join Little League Baseball? Or soccer? Or to take piano or violin lessons? None of these things are legal requirements. And, it could be argued, the parents' requirements in these scenarios might be more an expression of their life values and beliefs than those of their kids.

    The point is that all types of parents require their kids to do all kinds of things, not all of which the kids would choose on their own. This does not necessarily make the parents bad parents.

    And that gets back to my main point. If an "expose" show is going to be successful, it has to be of a little better quality than was that 60 Minutes episode.

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