I just finished a book entitled "Extraordinary Groups - An Examination of Unconventional Life Styles," by William M. Kephart & William W. Zellner (1991). Of course the BORG was mentioned, but before I get into that I just want to thank ??? ( I forgot her name) for mentioning The Oneida Community in a previous thread, which sparked my interest in that community and lead to the purchase of the book :)
First, the very funny parts from the book regarding JW's:
"states: masturbation can lead into homosexuality. In such instance the person, not satisfied with his lonely sexual activity, seeks a partner for mutual sex play."
"Witness children are warned that masturbation can inhibit a happy marriage"
"When members are asked how they know they are part of the "remnant," the response is always, "you just feel it."
"Witness congregation save money in many ways. For example, they do not hire janitors. In most congregations, janitorial and maintenance duties are assigned to Bible study groups on a rotating basis. Most Witnesses are skilled or semiskilled laborers, so maintenance is never a problem for them, and thus, the Kingdom Halls are well cared for."
"Sister are considered the weaker vessel...asked if she resented the secondary role assigned women by the Society, if she didn't think it was unjust that she couldn't counsel, in a official way, those who falter, or that she couldn't hold a leadership position in the church. "Oh, no!" she replied, and looked at the interviewer with a somewhat puzzled expression. "Women are not emotionally strong enough to handle those kinds of things."
"Sickness and secular employment are acceptable excuses for missing, but if too many meetings are missed, a flagging Witness can expect a visit from a group of brothers."
"Ushers, usually teenagers and always males, carry microphones....If a the child responds correctly, everybody beams approvingly....this process of question and response is an important "support of faith," and often takes the form of friendly competition. Many Witnesses preread the questions and then underline what they think is the appropriate response. No Abstract thinking is required."
Some interesting items I never knew about or thought about concerning the BORG:
Interestingly, Witnesses never use B.C. (before Christ) or A.D. (anno Domini) as calendar designation. their preference is for B.C.E. (before common era) and C.E. (common era) . B.C.E. and C.E. are equivalent to B.C. and A.D., respectfully;"
"Members are, however, permitted to practice birth control. Witnesses are opposed to abortion, so birth control must not include the use of intrauterine devices (IUDs), on the grounds that these devices act to abort the egg after fertilization has occurred."
"A similar episode involved Russell's endorsement and sale of a cancer cure, a compound of chloride of zinc, which may have sped some of his followers to an early reward. Not only was the caustic paste ineffective as a cure, it was damaging to those who used it."
"The original building on the site (headquarters @ B'klyn) was the manse of the noted abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher."
"Anyone who donated ten dollars to the Society was eligible to cast one vote at board elections. Contributors could cast one additional vote for each ten-dollar increment contributed above a minimum donation."
"When one of the elders was asked by an observer why a press center had been established, he said that the Society had taken positions against draft registration and the Equal Rights Amendment, and they wanted the public to understand that their views were based on Scripture."
"It appears, also, that most converts share many of the Society's social values before encountering the group. For example, the Society generally rejects voting; only two of the Witnesses interviewed voted before joining the group....All believe that the male should be dominant in the family unit...Joining the Society adds groups affirmation and justification for a life-style already chosen."
Peace and Security - LL