What is their official explanation for not allowing beards?

by keyser soze 53 Replies latest jw friends

  • Stealth

    I grew a goatee while still an active JW. Many in the congregation said it looked good on me and didn't understand why they didn't allow it. Since I was not a MS or Elder, there was nothing said to me about it. I was in a liberal congregation.

    What I did notice was they would only schedule TM talks in the 3rd school down in the basement and when I tired to make arrangements to go out door to door with elders they would not show and make some arrangement ahead of time for me to work with someone else but never bothered to tell me in advance.

    Rutherford who sold encyclopedias door to door as a young man took the same model for creating his JW sales force to peddle his WT propaganda understood the image of first impression. Russel obviously had no issues with the beard.

  • blondie

    WESAYSO Corporation


  • Londo111

    The origin of this likely had to do with beardless Rutherford wanted people to look more like himself, instead of his bearded predecessor (Russell). Cult members ultimately fashion themselves to look like thier leader.

    Today that origin might be lost is the myst of time and it is a self-perpetuating tradition.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    When I was a teenager/early 20s, I was told that growing a beard was 'rebellious' - this might be related to the 70s 'hippie' explanation. They were frowned upon, especially if grown by teenagers. If a middle aged/elderly brother had facial hair, that was allowed because he had it for a long time. Teenagers, with their faddishness and willingness to try out new things, were to be talked down to.

    But I think the WT's frowning on beards goes back even further.

    Didn't Rutherford dislike beards? It seemed to be his desire that all JWs were to look like Barclays' employee of the month.

    I don't have any quotes from the lit but I'm sure someone like Blondie does. Even if there's nothing in print there is still the spoken rule.

  • JWdaughter
    Skirts, suits, briefcases. . .when I was a kid, the story was that it was businesslike attire. Back in the 70s people were big into dress for success corporate wear. Hippies wore beards, IBM exec did not sport beards or go without hose(seriously). Now, the business standard is comfy, Starbucks baristas and yahoo employees have benefits and beards. Techies wear sandals to work with shorts and make $200k a year. Businesslike attire is saved for special occasions. Like retirement parties, funerals and MLM meetings in hotels on Tuesdays. And JWs.
  • fastJehu
    *** w75 8/15 pp. 500-501 par. 9 Do Not Let Yourself Be Ensnared by Fads and Entertainment ***
    9 Extreme hair styles can easily lead one into a trap of the Devil also, and cause others to stumble. For example, a young man in the United States was making fine progress in his study of the Bible, and he was moved to share with an experienced Witness in preaching to others about the good things he was learning from the Bible. From early youth he had let his beard grow, and since some in the business community wore beards, he felt that his wearing one in preaching to others would be acceptable generally. But in speaking to a lady he was unable to do more than introduce himself, when she said: “I’m sorry, young man, I do not want to become involved in student revolt.” No amount of explanation after this sufficed to clear up the misimpression. After the conversation ended with the closing of the door, he asked the experienced Witness what had happened. He was invited to consider his appearance in relation to what he claimed to be, a servant of God. Not wanting to be responsible for even one person’s being stumbled so as to miss the way to everlasting life, this new Kingdom publisher shaved off his beard. Would you be willing to do the same or to make similar adjustments if your appearance gave the wrong impression in a certain community?
    *** yb74 pp. 97-98 Part 1—Germany ***
    But more equipment was needed. For that reason Brother Balzereit asked Brother Rutherford for permission to buy a rotary press. Brother Rutherford saw the necessity and agreed, but on one condition. He had noticed that over the years Brother Balzereit had grown a beard very similar to the one that had been worn by Brother Russell. His example soon caught on, for there were others who also wanted to look like Brother Russell. This could give rise to a tendency toward creature worship, and Brother Rutherford wanted to prevent this. So during his next visit, within hearing of all the Bible House family, he told Brother Balzereit that he could buy the rotary press but only on the condition that he shave off his beard. Brother Balzereit sadly agreed and afterward went to the barber. During the next few days there were several cases of mistaken identity and some funny situations because of the “stranger” who was sometimes not recognized by his fellow workers.

  • SecretSlaveClass
    I think the fuss about beards is a joke when every illustration they have in the publications show Jesus and othe biblical characters with beards, CLEARLY sending the message that it was OK for Jesus to grow a beard but PLEASE do not follow his example! Sorry but this bloody cult is purely for morons who would rather follow the asshole of the lemming in front of them of the cliff than realize what it amounts to is they're just following some asshole.
  • Vidiot

    @ SecretSlave...

    It might interest you that back in Rutherford's time, WT illustrations even showed Jesus as clean-shaven.

    I suspect, however, that his immediate successors - despite preserving the tradition amongst the rank-and-file - even then realized that portraying a First-Century Middle-Eastern guy as Wally Cleaver was pretty f**king stoopid.

  • SecretSlaveClass
    Vidiot I wasnt aware of that. Still, why show illustrations of Jesus with a beard and say a beard is wrong? So jesus was wrong? Again, complete morons.
  • Splash

    Not just back in Rutherford's time either.

    (1986) Worldwide Security under the Prince of Peace (picture) p.164:

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