Edited by - Pathofthorns on 1 August 2002 21:18:32
Edited by - Pathofthorns on 1 August 2002 21:18:32
You got mail.
Marvin, I agree with your remarks. The WTS's action is one of "extreme and obscene immorality". There is something very, very wrong in Watchtowerdom. They would have to pass out "Kool-Aid" to the friends for there to be any stronger indication of the depth of the problems in the organization. The wheels are coming off the cart and it is careening out of control. As the last remnants of sense and reason escape, the vacuum is filling with stupidity, arrogance and fanaticism. It is time to leave.
Yes Lee very arrogant, and only a person who is convinced that they speak for God can behave in quite such an arrogant fashion.
It must be noted however, that none of the problems mentioned above can be addressed or even understood successfully unless the thinking of the GB who are a reflection of the thinking of the vast number of JWs is accurately understood.
To them the issue is not about child-abuse, blood transfusions, disfellowshipping etc., the issue is that in their view Jehovah's Organization, and subsequently his Holy Name, is being attacked by his enemies and they must do everything in their power, in fact anything in their power to protect Jehovahs interests upon this earth. Interests of course, that they fully believe that have been placed exclusively within their hands.
Being wrong or right about the issue at hand is NOT the main criteria to them. In fact when I broached my concerns regarding another important issue with a member of the GB two years ago and tried to impress upon him that the PR battle was being lost, his retort was that "I know that changes need to be made, but they will be made by Jehovah in his time, not at the behest of our enemies. To the GB the Organization being mistaken about a particular doctrine, or modus operandi, is not the issue. Of primary importance to them is how people stand in their relationship to the Organization, it is this that is the touch-stone that validates or invalidates criticism toward them. Most of the GB and other senior members that I know, firmly believe that what is happening at prsent is that God is forcing his persecutors to identify themselves just prior to Armaggedon and that Satan is merely using these issues to attack Gods people and besmirch His name. They have always believed this during periods of 'persecution' and it has driven them on to even further excesses.
A poster noted recently that they believed that the GB did not believe half of what they preached themselves, unfortunately this is not true. If it were true, well that thinking would be far less dangerous.
Yes, many people within WTS are disgusted, some will walk away, but we must never underestimate the fervor of the convinced heart, or the WTS cunning ability to turn its grossest failures into Godly successes in its followers eyes.. An elder a University educated man, a very decent man as well, contacted me after the Panaroma program and after expressing dismay at the information presented on the programme, responded to my question - "Well! What are you going to do about it", with, "Wait and see what directive we receive from the Branch.
When a child is frightened, it clings to the legs of its father. The father is as frail and suspect as any human on the planet, but it is all that the child knows. This is the greatest strength and also the greatest weakness of the GB. They have kept their adherents emotional infants who in turn cling to the legs of Brooklyn in fear and this is the problem, but look out for children, they grow up and get wise!
Best to you all - HS.
Edited by - hillary_step on 1 August 2002 18:21:35
I find it interesting that time and again those who have come forward on this issue have been accused by the Society of the desire for prominence and money. I have been chastized time an again for having a donation icon on my website as a way of profiteering off the stories of abused children amoung other things.
For Joe, Barb, and myself I ask you the reader what prominence have we gained? We were all well known in the organization, Joe and Barb far more than me for that matter, yet when any of us would attend a convention you could not walk around without having hundreds of people reconize and renew conversations and memories of years past. Joe and myself worked in management jobs. At my last DC I headed up the parking department and directed well over 100 brothers in that assignment, not to mention Joe's work as a key overseer and bethel elder when he was there. Barb's work for the writing department was a key prominent position few women even known or will ever see as part of the organization. I was PO, top on the food chain in my local congregation, Joe was WT conductor a coveted position generally given to well seasoned brothers in the congregation who are fine teachers. Together our resume was quite "prominent" by JW standards, ex-pioneers, ex-bethelites, many years devoted to special service.
Now my point to all of this is if we really wanted "prominence" wouldn't it have been smarter just to keep silent and enjoy the ride? I mean all the years of effort and hard work was basically what established our "position" within the JW community.
Secondly, comes the issue of money, as JW's we never really cared for money, we tried to keep our lives simple because we believed in working for a higher purpose. In so many words, money does not buy happiness. For my family JW's bought candles from us from all over the world, JW's worked in our business, JW's helped us to be successful from a financial point of view. So to with Joe as a plumber, if he had spent all those years making money instead of working for free at bethel, he could be retired at this moment, instead of having to work five days a week crawling under houses at 67 years of age. I spent ten years in the corporate world always holding back and cutting corners to spend more time working in the organization, if I had applied myself more fully, where would I be today, if money was the motivating factor?
Now let's turn the headlights to the organization, where are they when it comes to the money and prominence department? Do you think the Governing Body has to worry about paying their electric bill this month? Do you think when they travel by air they actually sit in a "coach" seat? How about when they arrive at the convention, do you think they have to share a bed with another witness just to be able to have a place to sleep? What about any other brother who is in "management" positions for the organization? New car? Medical insurance? Free housing? Green handshakes? How are these "superfine" brothers treated when they go in public? When they make a request, how important is it that it be complied with? If the tells you to do something, what are your options? If you are an elder can you just not show up for a CO visit? What would such rampant disrespect for his prominence dictate?
It seems the quickest way to hide a crime is to accuse someone else. As they attempt to defend themselves the criminal escapes unnoticed. Watchtower leadership is the largest abuser of prominence and money. They have created an organization that masturbates themselves with praise and dollar bills in an orgasmic frenzy that seems to never end. This blind lust for power allows them to annilate anyone who dares to threaten the foreplay of stroking their prominence. Then to add insult to injury, the use the very thing they are guilty of to discredit those who get in their way.
Joe, Barb, and myself have no prominence and no money, if we wanted those things all we had to do was stay quiet, allow children to be molested, and say raped children should remain slentlambs. We could have kept all our friends, family, positions, and tenure as long time witnesses. You see, honor and integrity are the sacrifice of prominence and money, a sacrifice long made and destroyed by the wicked actions of the Governing Body.
So for a time they have enjoyed the toilet paper world they have created, yet soon the flush of truth will in a matter of moments will do away with the stench of their actions.
You hurt children and God will get you for it.
"how people stand in their relationship to the Organization, it is this that is the touch-stone that validates or invalidates criticism toward them."
The problem is,
No one, not even Ray could make an important criticism.. that could be validated without negatively effecting his/her "standing".
All significant criticism is invalidated...
As Ray mentioned in the TIME magazine "you can only bend so much". His "standing" was very good initially... the reason he was given the GB position.
Any solution, or alternative approach?
He worked on the two best books ever published by the WT. Aid and James commentary.
The fact of the matter is that all children who are Jehovah's Witnesses are abused and always have been.
Sexual abuse among the witnesses provides a catalytic metaphor for exposing the horrendous psychological manipulation
that the Watchtower and their representatives have been guilty of since their beginning.
If I was still in, I would probably be only vaguely aware of the whole mess. I wouldn't have watched Dateline, I certainly wouldn't have looked at the internet, I think my coworkers sensed my embarrassment at being a JW so they never asked me any JW questions (and believe me, I didn't tell).
I think a lot of JW's are like I was, just keeping their heads in the sand and waiting for the Jehovah to destroy them at the big A because they didn't do enough.
Yes, what I am saying is that criticism does not scare the WTS, it actually feeds it. It underlines the paranoi and persecution complexes that pass for 'theocratic' loyalty at senior level. The WTS has survived worse than Panorama and Dateline. It lost almost one-third of its adherents in the five years after 1975 and rose from the ashes to double in size the following twenty years.When the UN debacle took place, the Board cried victory when the WTS withdrew from its NGO relationship with the UN, but it was an almost laughable issue. The WTS was fractionally shaken but not stirred by these events, and actually once again won the PR game within its walls by managing to convince the average JW that Satan was up to his tricks, but 'Stand firm and see the Salvation of Jehovah'...lol . The argument 'change the heart and you change a nation' is very valid, but these hearts are not for the changing. Basically they survive only because most people view them as a rather eccentric bunch of irritating salesman but who are hardly societies most dangerous enemies.
As for an alternative approach, I think that the WTS will naturally, by social evolution gradually change its face and over this it has no choice. As time goes on and Armaggedon leaves for vacation again, it will alter its more anti-social doctrines and develop a far more socially acceptable image This process can be speeded a little by pressure from without, but not to any great degree. One weakness however, that has not been exploited to any great effect as yet by opposers is to research in great detail the WTS's monetary state. It is losing money and this is worrying it. I know for example of three very loyal JW's who stopped contributing to the WTS after Patterson was built, due to what they believe was a wicked waste of their money. A web site that deals exclusively with WTS provable financial issues will be read with greater ease by a lurking JW, who may be inclined to vote by witholding contributions. That is what will really hurt them and hurt them now.
ExPat Brit, is I know already deep into researching these areas.
Best regards - HS
Edited by - hillary_step on 1 August 2002 19:57:58
The problem I see here of why you cannot budge the WTS is not simple. Who actually runs the WTS (and it is not Jehovah or Jesus)? Can you really pinpoint one person? I know some say Jaracz has a huge influence. But if he dropped dead today, what then? There would just be someone or several someones who step into his position of influence, hand-trained either by Jaracz or someone like him. It's like the many-headed Hydra of mythology, cut one head off and 2 grow back. The people at the top have too much invested to say anything without losing everything they have worked so hard to get. Their conscience either finally pushes them into leaving or they deaden themselves to its proddings and lose their humanity.
The good I see coming out of this is this: people who have already been given the runaround by their BOEs or the WTS regarding child abuse will know they are not the only one, they are not alone and there is someone and somewhere to get support as JWs. Next, the R&F watch and wonder, start to see evidence in their own congregation or circuit; they see what is said but what is done. It will vary with individual, but eventually they will see the organization cannot be fixed. Now they will have to make a decision, stay and be part of it and have their conscience deadened to nonexistence, quietly leave, or leave with a bang.
I have been dealing with the child abuse issue for over 35 years within the WTS and outside in society in general. The most important thing I have learned, don't sell your soul to the Devil, and be courageous in protecting children from abuse. Most people will readily say they would jump in front of a car to pull a child to safety but the same person will shut their eyes to child abuse.
I also agree with what HS says about how many in the WTS view this. The sacrifice of a child is considered nothing if by protecting them you bring reproach on the WTS (in their eyes, Jehovah). JWs believe that persecution proves you have God's blessing.
So be outraged, be angry, but don't forget the reason behind this, the abused children and helping them to heal no matter what age they are.