Birthdays & the Cult of the Diminished Indi...

by joelbear 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • joelbear

    Yesterday was my birthday. I got greetings from a number of friends from here in Atlanta and also from people who had never met me from around the world since my birthday announcement was carried on a couple of the central Bear pages on the internet.

    There is clearly no prohibition against birthdays in the Bible. The reason the Watchtower prohibits birthday celebrations is the same reason they discourage college, extracurricular activities in school, etc. They don't want people to be recognized for individuality.

    It is a central theme that runs through all of their doctrine and policy.

    Sublimate the individual into the group. Make the individual dependent on the group. Hold possible expulsion from the group over the individual's head their entire life.

    Diminishing the individual keeps the focus on the value of the group.

  • Matty

    Very good point jb. Some of the older ones in the congregations may remember the "Daily Manna and Birthday Record". This was the predecessor of the "Examining the Scriptures Daily" book. I was told that you had to make a note of everyone in your congregation's birthday, and you had to give them a card. The brothers and sisters in a big congregation would have to buy cards pretty much on a weekly basis, and so some of them were quite relieved when the birthday ban came, because it was an expensive business! I wonder if this was the true reason for the axe, i.e. plain stinginess?!

    I have never heard of one satisfactory reason for the birthday ban coupled with the wedding anniversary obsession other than the insidious reason you mention. To me they are the same thing.

  • minimus


  • joelbear

    Weddings and anniversary celebrations reward behavior that the group finds acceptable. That is why the pagan rituals surrounding courting, weddings and anniversaries are not played up the same way birthday rituals are.

  • Joyzabel

    Belated Happy Birfday , Joelbear.

    Thanks for sharing that point about group thought. Excellent point. (explains one of the reasons why it is a very high control group, imho)

  • AjaxMan

    First, let me say Happy Belated Birthday!

    Second, You have brought valid points about why the WTS prohibits birthdays as well as going to college. Like you said, the WTS is against individual thinking or individual achievement. Yet, that view (from the WTS part) is very hypocritical. You see: The Williams sisters are (or claim to be) JWs, but yet I don't think the WTS will say squeak about their achievements in tennis. Why? My guess would be the amount of $$$ that these two can bring to the JWs and the WTS. A poster, I think wrote a thread that his niece (an active JW) is going to college on a scholarship and shuns her grandfather though he's not a JW. That is very hypocritical too from the WTS part because it is allowing some people to go and forbidding others to go.

    A very valid point you also brought up is about the pagan rituals surrounding courting, weddings and anniversaries. I may add they claim that they forbid anything that has pagan origins.

    buncha hypocrites, the WTS.

  • mommy1

    Happy Belated Birthday Joelbear!

  • Scully

    Happy Belated Birthday, Joel

    I happen to agree with you wholeheartedly about the reason why birthdays are not recognized by JWs. Anything to get the individual to 'not think more of oneself than is necessary'. Keep that self-esteem from developing. Teach kids that they are only as valuable as the number of hours they put on a monthly service report, and have no value beyond that.

    BTW, does anyone remember the entire WT magazine that was devoted to the WTS's 100th "birthday"?? Bloody hypocrites.

    Love, Scully

  • Matty

    It was the 100th anniversary in '79 not their 100th birthday! Just like when you invite bruvvas and sistas over it's a get together not a party.

    Edited by - matty on 20 August 2002 10:25:46

  • Farkel

    Happy birthday Joel!



    Yes, and as I've already pointed out, the WTS is wise to ban birthday parties because even when children have them, one risks a more-than-normal chance of a beheading at those events which tends to somewhat spoil the festivities.


    Edited by - Farkel on 20 August 2002 10:29:41

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