The "routine", The failure

by Pathofthorns 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • Roamingfeline

    >Anybody remember that Watchtower study in which >we were taught not to say: "The Society said >this, the Society teaches us that....."

    >Instead we were supposed to say: "The Bible says >this, the Bible teaches us that...."

    Yes, I very well remember this. And I felt at the time, and STILL feel, that they were trying to convince people to do this, because it was beginning to sound too much like a Cult, when people would constantly parrot the "Society".
    If it looks like a cult, and talks like a cult, and bullies like a cult, what would people think?

    You guessed it...

  • waiting

    Dear Roaming,

    Just an observation, when posting to Martini, you said: "get people in and convince them to contribute their income."

    I've never been around that idea - care to elaborate with WT source?

    We have been taught to keep our lives simple - and that translates, much of the time, to keeping our time at work, i.e. our income, to a minimum.

    I'll agree that contributions are asked for - but I was raised a Catholic - and they published how much each family gave each year in a journal and gave it to every member. That was in my parish, and not necessarily in all others.

    Thanks, free cat.

  • Roamingfeline

    Dear Waiting,

    I was referring to what seemed like the constant pleas for money and contributions that were being begged from the platform last time I was attending meetings regularly. They asked everyone to "sign a slip" of what they would faithfully promise to give every week and put it into the contribution box. They then reminded everyone of how much publishing the books cost, as in how much it would cost you to buy it in "the world" conveniently forgetting that the world doesn't have their books made on free labor.

    They were especially upset that brothers were ordering the computer programs that the Society puts out, but not contributing enough for the cost of them in the Contribution box. It got so bad that I felt they were like the merchants in the church selling doves and such in Jesus' day. The ones he lost his temper with and threw them out of the temple. It was disgusting!

    We all know that it costs next to nothing to put a program on a cd. But they were asking AT LEAST 100.00 per program ordered, to be put in the contribution box. This was going on WEEKLY in our KH.

  • Pathofthorns

    Such weekly asking for money might be the result of some "over-zealousness" (LOL) on the part of some elders in your hall. While I am personally familiar with the remarks you've made, I see no agenda in the Society to ammass wealth and fortune.

    I see any concern over money as a guarding their interest in keeping the Organization in existance. This has been noted in the number of cost-cutting measures which have been introduced over the last several years. It appears that countries where there is increase, interested ones might lack sufficient monnies to cover costs. At the same time many other lands are experiencing zero or negative growth which is further depleting the source of many contributions.

    I see money as an issue simply of necessity. The real issue in my opionion is authority. If their authority is weakened, so is everything else, money, assets, number of members. People are already giving evidence of independance, disagreement, frustration. The claim to divine authority is what must be enforced and guarded at all costs.

    The intent of my post was can one follow the Highest Authority, while still doing everything required by the Organization? Is there any time left to do anything that is not "required routine", but a Christian work motivated by love?


  • Frenchy

    Money is necessary. I dont' think any of us would argue with that. I can sympathize with them on that particular problem. It's difficult (putting it mildly here) to operate a business with assets in the billions and not be involved with money. However, God is directing them, is he not? Doesn't he give them divine direction on financial matters that are vital to maintaining THE organization (HIS organization) responsible for carrying out his will on earth? We are told that He's giving directions on just about everything else, from explaining His authored statements in the Bible on the use of blood (now God is qualifying his once 'simple and direct' statement and breaking down blood into fractions and primary components) to what sexual practices can and cannot be practiced by married couples to birth control as in the article in the WT about vasectomies. Why not on Finances? He was telling them years ago that they should not use aluminum pots although he doesn't seem to mind it today with the exception of a few C.O.'s which make it know in their letter to the P.O. that they do not eat anything cooked in an aluminum pot. (I guess they don't eat in restaurants). He told them years ago that vaccinations were poison to the body (wait, I believe He changed his mind on that too) He triedto tell them about what would happent to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah but somehow the signals got a bit confused but I hear that the matter has finally be resolved and the message has now been decoded. He also gave them divine direction on organ transplants but somehow that message got confused and it was corrected a little later on. Why not help them out with financial direction? After all didn't He provide divine 'light' on the meaning of the 'sheep and the goats'? No, wait, that was another communications glitch. Scratch that. But He did reveal to them the sacred secret of that mysterious year, 1914. He did give them privileged (no one else knows about it!) information about all those that witnessed that providential cataclysm being around when Armageddon (so close at hand now!) comes. Hey, it wasn't His fault no one up there had a dictionary to look up the word 'generation'! So I say again, why not some divine direction on the finances?
    So, you see, there is nothing to worry about barring any glitches in the communications line. I'm sure they have a dictionary by now.

  • waiting

    Frenchy, guess you aren't gun shy?

    Thanks for the paragraph. Never thought about there being a diving financial advisor. Thought that's what bankers are - at least my gay banker thinks he is divine.


  • RedhorseWoman

    I used to believe as Pathofthorns does, that the Society obviously need money to keep things running, and there is no intent to amass wealth.....UNTIL I started checking some of the sites available concerning the Society's real estate and business holdings around the world.... UNTIL I started comparing the actual cost of producing literature against the "donation" suggested/required for the literature....UNTIL I saw statistics on the vast wealth the Society has managed to accumulate.

    There was always much ridicule of other religious organizations concerning their wealth. I used to feel pretty smug that I belonged to an organization that eschewed these material things and concentrated on spreading the Good News.

    Finding out the actual truth of the situation was an eye-opener, and it really felt like a betrayal.

    RoamingFeline mentioned the cost of the CD-roms. Burning a CD costs almost nothing. Granted, there is work involved in compiling the information to go on that CD-rom, but all of the labor is supplied free. To charge $100 for a CD is akin to robbery. You can get a an actual program from a secular company for around $20....especially once their R&D and production costs have been covered. Why should a $.50 CD require a donation of $100?

    Does any of this sound out of line to you? It certainly does to me.

  • katchoo

    Why yes, it does sound out of line.
    And yes, it did seem impossible to me to live up to the expectations of the Watch Tower Society.
    I know that some of you have discussed the perspective of an adult in the organization... raising children, providing for a family, keeping a marriage going and still doing all of the things you're expected to do as a JW.

    Now think about this. You're sixteen. You are very interested in boys, and they are likewise interested in you. But you can't date, you can't go anywhere, you can't have friends over, you have no way to relate to others at school because you have been so sheltered that you don;t even understand what the other kids are talking about most of the time.

    You have an overactive sense of guilt. You feel guilty every time you fall short, and you ALWAYS fall short. You're supposed to obey your parents, go to all the meetings (where you are virtually ignored as a young girl, unless your skirt is too short, and then you;re back in the library with a contingent of elders to be counseled), go out in service ALL THE TIME since you "don;t have to get a job yet" and pioneer pioneer pioneer!!! There is no option for people like I was, girls who want to learn, go to college (anything but tech school was harshly discouraged by the elders).

    I was told by one local elder to "get married and pioneer, that's the only option open to you."

    Add to that the fact that I was a child who had been traumatized and abused, and what do you have?
    A teenage suicide waiting to happen.

    I am really not trying to be melodramatic, though this is sort of coming off that way.

    maybe I should illlustrate this way. No matter what your age group, it's not possible to do what you;re supposed to do because you can NEVER be good enough as a JW. And if you are looked at in the congregation as an "example" (esp. young people) then you are heavily chastized for ANY misstep. At least that was my experience.


  • waiting

    Hey, Katchoo,

    Glad to meet you, read your other post also.

    My 3 kids were raised in the truth. My girl, beautiful, smart, (rather snotty) and married at 18 to a ministerial servant and divorced and disfellowshipped at 21. I pushed her to be baptised at 16 - she was not ready for either.

    I didn't push my two others, one got baptised, one didn't. Neither are in the truth.

    They are all great kids - motivated and getting along well (as can be expected for snots) in their careers, lives, and calling their mother.

    Take care, I've talked to very few teenagers who like their lives - in or out of the truth. But your talking about school sounded so much like my kids, trying to slightly fit in or be made fun of.

    When my son decided to go forth with music, he did, and made friends. He never made friends easily anywhere (like his mother). The JW's at his school really gave him a hard time - almost unforgiveable in their cruel gossip.

    He was so hurt by their insidious remarks. Young people can be go cruel to each other when one doesn't fit in - and it's so unnecessary - look at us - we don't fit well together, does it really matter?

    Welcome here. By your looking for an option other than isolating yourself does tend to show a positive outlook. Hang in there, girl.

  • katchoo

    hi waiting.
    I am glad to hear that your kids made it through that horrible teenage thing. I did too, but only just barely. :)
    I am currently 23 (as of tomorrow) and I have just been married to a wonderful (and strange :)) man..

    But I though offering my perspective as a teenage witness might add to the discussion.

    Nice to meet you too.


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