Paranoia of today's WT study!
Thanks for pointing out the "disclaimer" in paragraph 15:
Should we, however, be suspicious of our fellow Christians, second-guessing the genuineness of their loyalty to Jehovah? Absolutely not!
I have a different take on this twist. I see it as more of thier deliberate mental and emotional manipulation of the R&F.
Consider the context. The WT writer(s) has just spent a dozen paragraphs instilling doubt and suspicion in our minds by using powerful references to well-known Bible accounts concering apostates and fasle Christians. They repeatedly talk about apostates and "counterfeit Christians" in the congregation. It is only natural at this point for a person to begin looking around the congregation and sart wondering about who may or many not be an "apostate."
The WT writer knows this and the proof is what they do next:
It would be wrong to entertain baseless suspicions about our brothers and sisters.
They deliberately planted a thought our minds and then tell us it's wrong to have that thought!
Imagine that I tell you, "There is a criminal in the room and that the criminal is thinking of the color blue. Who do you think it might be?" Next I tell you, "Being suspicious is one indication, or sign, of a criminal mind," and then ask, "By the way, you're not thinking of blue are you?"
Well of course you're thinking of blue! I told you to think of it and you obediently did as you were told. This is classic mental manipulation. And now I've got you doubting yourself, thinking that mabybe, quite possiblibly YOU ARE TEH CRIMINAL!
Notice how the WT writer skillfully continues the mental-manipulation and builds on this subconscously suggested self-doubt:
What is more, having a tendency to distrust the integrity of others in the congregation would be harmful to our own spirituality.
While they've "got you on the ropes," mentally so to speak, they continue the psychological beating by intructing you to take over their role of psychlogical inquisitor by saying:
Each Christian should “examine his own actions.
And while you're at it, take a good hard, long look in the mirror and notice what kind of person you really are:
Because of our sinful inclinations, there is always the potential for inadvertently adopting traits that are less than sincere.
You are sinful and less than sincere. In othere words, YOU CANNOT BE TRUSTED.
Of course the beatings must continue:
So from time to time, we might examine our motives for serving Jehovah. We may ask ourselves: ‘Do I worship Jehovah out of love for him and in recognition of his sovereignty? Surely we can all benefit from examining our own actions and removing any vestiges of hypocrisy from our heart.
In summary, we have an article that ostensibly starts out discussing bad examples of notoriously bad people in the Bible, individuals that Jehovah put to death for their evil ways. They gave us both OT and NT examples just to emphasize the point.
Then they draw a parallel to the modern congregation, raising suspcion and doubt in th eminds of their members only to chastize them for doing exaclty what they were told to do. Finally they cause you to believe that maybe, just possibly, it is YOU that are teh "apostate and/or "counterfeit Christian."
This is mental manipulation at it'ss best.
Let's review: Its acult!
Nice point, Oub. I was thinking the same.
Brothers and sisters, whatever you do...DO NOT THINK OF THE COLOR BLUE.
Yes Oubilette you are so right....
it reminds me of in court where a lawyer says something they know they shouldnt and the opposing lawyer objects but - its in the minds of the jurors.
Which is why they do it of course.
Same as the writers of the Watchtower.
I was so very struck by that today!
oubliette, during the shortlived 1000 year reign of the Nazis, , the Allied interrogators discovered that a surprisingly small numbers of real gestapo enforcers was neede to keep the population under control, it was the mind control that made everyone afraid and an willing even scared Informer. your comment hints at that.
DD, Millie and prologos,
Thanks for your comments.
The common thread all of us are seeing is that the writers of the WT publications are very skillful manipulators and their actions are deliberate and carefully calculated.
This makes it clear that, not only are they extremely hypocritical, but they are worthy of the designation: evil men.
All I have to say are these lyrics I recently wrote about both the rise of Islamic State and my experiences of waking up to the JW Cult.
Don't trust your eyes It's an Illusion.
Come with us see what's real Don't trust your mind it's a delusion. Come with us get your seal believe in us come get your rust concede the lust no more feel believe in us or be the dust confess to us bend and kneel
Too true Oub, and there is simply no way they could be any kind of beleiver in Big J or Little J and write as they do, and for the G B to approve this stuff, it says the same for them.
They are all along for the luxury ride of a secure, all expenses paid lifestyle.
Oubliette: writers of the WT publications are very skillful manipulators
So true. This harsh reality helped me to finally get over the optimism that I held onto for a while after learning TTATT. When you see accounts again and again of deliberate manipulation it removes any doubt of their being innocent of knowingly continuing the charade.
WBF, you make a very important point, and one that emphasizes the truly insidious nature of mental manipulation: it really does cause you to doubt your own mind!
I distinctly remember that I went for years thinking, "Something's just not right here," but always defaulting to the belief that it must be me that was wrong because "It just couldn't be the F&DS!"
“It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” – Mark Twain
Once we finally admit to ourselves that we've been fooled, and get over the intense humilation that goes with that, then anger generally follows, first at ourselves and then at the correct object of our anger: our abusers, the leaders of the WTBTS.
When I was chatting with my sister today, she initiated a converstaion about the WT study. (I haven't looked at the article, wasn;t planning on doing so but played along). Here's how it went:
Sis: "Did you have a chance to read today's study article"
Me; "No not yet"
Sis: "It's about those who belong to Jehovah. I didn't understand it at first. I had to re-read it a few times before the points started falling in place. And I kept thinking there was something about the illustration on page 9 but I couldn't get it. Until I looked up 2 Tim 2: 18,19. And I think it was the first reference that it talked of how Paul warned Timothy about the apostate influence of Hymenaeus and Philetus. And I realized that they were two of the individuals in the illustration and it made sense" .