Do the Governing Body believe their own teachings or know it's a lie? Are they atheists?

by BucketShopBill 43 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • designs

    What kind of teacher is Jesus when his words and ideas can be taken in so many ways. Why would he do that when, supposedly, everything is riding on "doing it right".

  • Londo111

    The most sensible answer seems to have come from Ray Franz: The GB are “Captives of a Concept.” However, I wonder if he had limits to what he knew…after all, he only worked in the Writing Department. Or I wonder if things have drastically changed since his departure 34 years ago, perhaps several times over.

    I’ve heard rumors, some which seem credible, that seem to say that there’s more to it than “Captives”, that the Governing Body are not in charge, or they or the real showrunners know exactly what they are doing. In this view, the Watchtower conglomerate is very money driven, and may be able to wield hundreds of millions in profits via investments each year, not to mention money from donations. This might give them more power and influence than we even know.

    Personally, I don’t know. Some days I want to go with the sensible answer presented by Ray Franz, but when looking at how ruthless the Watchtower can be, especially when it comes to its money, I have to wonder.

  • designs

    What you have in Christianity is a construct regarding The Church as an entity that needs to be filled with followers- 'On this Rock I will build my Church' Matthew 16:18, everyone since who has followed Jesus interprets that statement to mean some type of collective. So it matters little if it is a single individual or a Home Church or the Wt. or the RCC it all boils down to the same.

  • Vidiot

    You can come to believe the craziest things in the world if you surround yourself solely with individuals who are never allowed to disagree with you.

    Plus, I've come to the conclusion that authoritarian leaders don't experience cognitive dissonance they way regular people do...

    ...i.e., they can actually be aware that many aspects of WT ideology are genuinely wrong, yet believe it's "true" anyway, and more importantly, not feel emotional discomfort at the inherent contradiction.

  • hoser

    You can come to believe the craziest things in the world if you surround yourself solely with individuals who are never allowed to disagree with you.

    like the emporer who had no clothes on

  • Vidiot

    There's another reason I'm convinced that the GB really do believe what they say (I'd actually posted this about an hour ago on a different thread, but I'll repeat it here)...


    ...the WTS seems to have an institutionalized inability to plan well for the long-term future.

    They've had to deal with the Law of Unintended Consequences more times than any other organization I know; I would even argue that it's been the primary driving force behind virtually every single doctrine/policy change for the past 75 years.

    I think the GB really are "True Believers", because if you didn't really subscribe to the ideology you advocated, your decision-making process would inevitably reflect that (like Glenn Beck selling gold, 'cause the US dollar's gonna supposedly tank ).

    Hoewever, if you really did believe that you were God's chosen organization and that the end of the world was immanent, you'd inevitably make all kinds of lousy short-term decisions (that seem like a good ideas at the time), because you wouldn't be overly concerned about dealing with any long-term internal or "worldy" blowback, since the Big A was gonna come along and bail you out any day, now, anyway.


    They are, in effect, making decisions that only make sense if they don't expect those decisions to ever come back and bite them on the ass.

  • Apognophos

    It's interesting: many of us ended up losing faith in the org. by learning various things about the history of the religion which overwhelmed our desire to keep believing in the religion. The Governing Body knows most, if not all, of those things. So it's natural to tend to assume that they must be insincere hucksters for knowing about all these problems, past mistakes, and current dubious teachings.

    But I suspect that the tolerance for TTATT varies according to dosage, which would explain why GB members can be sincerely deluded while knowing what they know. Let me explain.

    Speaking from personal experience, I knew a lot of the history of the organization from reading the Proclaimers book, listening to old-timers talk, etc. When I came onto this forum I was surprised to see that some people were so stumbled by learning those same facts that they left the religion, or at least started doubting. Because I had known them from such a young age, and had learned them over time (a lot of what I read in the Proclaimers book as a teen was already old news to me), these facts could not stumble me. I had received low dosages of TTATT, which my mind had shrugged off.

    When I finally visited JWfacts as an adult, as well as doing other research in the same period of one intense, sleepless week, it was a massive dosage of TTATT. I knew a lot of what was on JWfacts and already had counter-arguments prepared for those facts, but I couldn't come up with anything to excuse the Society for the organ transplant flip-flop that cost people their lives. I hadn't ever heard of that particular sordid fact before, and it was enough to shake my faith in the org.

    Now: imagine that you have grown up close to the org. -- you've gradually learned all the old sordid facts about 1975, Beth Sarim, the use of the cross, celebrating Christmas, Russell's pyramidology, etc. -- and you either don't ever look at apostate information, or only in small doses. Meanwhile you rise through the ranks to become an elder, CO, DO, and GB helper. By now you know all the dirty facts that most JWs do not, but you've had plenty of time to rationalize them away.

    If you had learned all those facts, say, as a teen before you chose to get baptized, you probably would have taken off running out of the Hall; but the slow dosage prevents you from having a bad reaction to TTATT.

    It's been pointed out here that the GB members are in a sort of bubble, but I believe that it was the manner of their rise to power that really explains why they're able to remain believers, despite having seen the man behind the curtain (and it is themselves!). If they'd learned all these things at the outset of their "theocratic career", they wouldn't be where they are today. The process itself filters out the ones who can't shrug off TTATT or who encounter it too soon, too quickly.

  • Phizzy

    Politicians do the same thing, and they don't believe the End of the World is soon.

    Short-termism is endemic, it is in Business as well as Politics and Religion. (to a large degree you see it in Sport too, the Premier League Football Manager who has a long game-plan, like Aresene Wenger at Arsenal has been , is a rarity, for obvious reasons I know.)

    Yes, the G.B and the top guys at the Headquarters have always been re-actve, but I think this springs from their never having been in the real world. Even the shadowy advisors who pull the strings, legal and financial "experts" perhaps, but they too are in the main JW's, and have had the good fortune to have the WT Scam as their main, and sometimes only, client.

    None of these people are trend spotters, nor do they have a chrystal ball.

    All of the above should show any JW that Holy Spirit does not "direct" the JW Scam.

    But none of it is proof they actually believe their own bullshit, or that they don't. They simply are as clueless as the rest of us.

    Probably more so, at least us guys are in the real world.

  • OneEyedJoe

    Apognophos - I think you are largely right on the money. I think another element to it is in how much you have invested in the organization when you learn particular bits of TTATT. If you're extremely reliant or invested in the org then you're more likely to try to rationalize away anything you learn. That's one reason why the org wants everyone to pioneer or go to bethel or be an elder. The more time you invest into the org, the more traumatic it would be if you learned it was all a sham, so you're more likely to rationalize away anything you do learn.

    That's also why they have secret elder's books, and secret elder's training and they keep the goings-on at bethel secret. By the time you get to the level where you are allowed to know the secrets, you've already invested so much in the org that you'll find a way to rationalize it. If someone is studying and was handed a fully annotated elder's manual to read, they'd almost certainly leave the organization, but if you take that same study, wait a few years, get them to pioneer for a while, then hand them the elder's manual and have them annotate it themselves, they're almost sure to stay on board.

  • sparky1

    Apognophos and OneEyedJoe.........................If you consolidate your posts together I think that you both have 'hit the nail on the head'!!!!!

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