“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”
― Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass (Dialog between Humpty Dumpty and Alice)
And in the transcripts of the Australian Royal Commission investigating institutional child abuse, we argue that we meet Humpty Dumpty Incarnate .
As Mr. Geoffrey Jackson officiates over the JW writing committee and "consults" in behalf of the teaching committee, it must be conceded that gentleman on the video with the stentorian, Down Under Voice has a facility, if not power of words. Beginning his career in the missions of Polynesia as a translator, Mr. Jackson set the foundation for his career in the JW publications translation department, which in the commission transcript he proudly points out several hundred languagetranslations of the Bible or NWT and hundreds more of WatchTower publications.
It was difficult to really read the face or thoughts of Mr. Jackson in testimony. Everything he said was in a stentorian monotone, frequently prefaced by "And may I point out..." At the very least, we surmise that he is thankful for the choice and consequences of serving in Polynesia and mastering Polynesian languages. It certainly awarded him a place in life where he had opportunity to wear a dark 3-piece suit.
But at the same time, the suit, the booming voice and evasions exposed his vulnerable nature.
It's all a bluff. A bluff that lasts as long as those in Kingdom Hall can be cajoled into believing he speaks for God because a blind and mute Jehovah is captive in the GBs Brooklyn basements and the evasive explanations for his selection were pointed out by the Same in an invisible sign language - which only the governing board can master.
But Mr. Jackson and his colleagues power really rests on one thing. Just like it did for other demi-gods (e.g., the President of Ceaucescu of Romania). When that wave of shock and amazement passes through the crowd - their power is suddenly gone.
Ceaucescu never made it to his plane out of Bucharest in winter 1989-90 and fraternal, socialist republic operated to his benefit was gone.
In the testimony of Day 8 of the inquiry, Mr. Jackson attests that he was born in 1955...
44 Q. And you were baptised as a Jehovah's Witness in
45 Queensland in 1968?
46 A. That is correct.
1 Q. And you left school at the age of 15 and commenced
2 pioneering work for the Jehovah's Witnesses in Tasmania; is
3 that right?
4 A. That is correct.
From all appearances, Mr. Jackson spent much of his career translating between English and languages prevalent in Tasmania.
Mr. Jackson, despite his appointment to translation and writing positions, never establishes his credentials as a translator of Scriptural Languages or as a Biblical scholar. And the times he speaks ex cathedra, as it were, as a member of the governing board in these specialties, his pronouncements have a great many holes and cracks.
1 obviously, I was appointed on the Governing Body because of
2 my spiritual qualifications. So my role as a consultant
3 with the teaching committee and personnel committee
4 involves me evaluating recommendations that are made to see
5 if, first of all, they are scripturally accurate and
6 correct, and, secondly, whether they are translatable.
8 Q. So would that be with regard to all business and
9 decisions of the committees on which you serve ‐ you would
10 fulfil that function you have just described?
11 A. That is the function that I fulfil.
13 Q. So, in other words, to give guidance and ensure that
14 the decisions and work of those committees are scripturally
15 accurate and correct?
16 A. As well as translatable.
18 Q. And by "translatable", do you mean translatable into
19 various languages of the world?
20 A. Yes, just ‐ you probably are aware of the fact that
21 Jehovah's Witnesses translate their material into nearly
22 900 languages ‐ I think it's something like 893 translation
23 teams that we have ‐ and our magazine, The Watchtower, is
24 translated into approximately 250 languages, so at times
25 these committees need my input with regard to how things
26 will be translated into other languages.
28 Q. As I understand it, your input on those committees is
29 not restricted to the question of translation; it would
30 cover all the business of those committees; is that right?
31 A. It covers all the business in the aspect of me
32 analysing the scriptural basis for decisions.
29 Q. You have said that the Governing Body presently has
30 seven members. How is it determined how many members there
31 will be from time to time?
32 A. There can be any number of members on the Governing
33 Body. In the past few decades ‐ for example, when I was
34 appointed on the Governing Body, there were 12 of us.
35 I believe the number has been 18 at one stage. But the
36 qualifications of a member for the Governing Body ‐ it
37 involves someone who is considered an anointed Witness, who
38 has worked in scriptural, with a scriptural background,
39 either as a missionary or a full‐time servant for many
40 years, and is able to fulfil the role of the Governing
41 Body, which is, may I state, a group, a spiritual group of
42 men who are the guardians of our doctrine, and as guardians
43 of the doctrine, look at things that need to be decided
44 based on our doctrines, which are based on the constitution
45 of the Bible.
47 Q. I take it if the Governing Body is to be increased in
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1 size, that that will be a decision of the Governing Body
3 A. That is correct. But obviously, we would get
4 information from other fields.
6 Q. And is it the case that the Governing Body then
7 appoints new members of the Governing Body?
8 A. That is correct.
28 Q. Do correct me, Mr Jackson, if I misunderstand this,
29 but this does seem to me to suggest, in the use of the
30 words "brothers select for yourselves seven reputable men",
31 that a broader congregation of believers would make the
32 selection, rather than the seven themselves?
33 A. Well, this is one of the difficulties we have when
34 a secular Commission is trying to analyse a religious
35 subject. I humbly would like to mention that point. Our
36 understanding of the scriptures is these ones were
37 appointed by means of the apostles. Your point is well
38 taken. Let's assume, hypothetically, that others selected
39 these seven men, but it was at the direction of the
42 Q. Do you, as members of the Governing Body, regard
43 yourselves as being appointed by Jehovah God or under the
44 capacity or authority of Jehovah God?
45 A. What we view ourselves, as fellow workers with our
46 brothers and sisters ‐ we have been given a responsibility
47 to guard or to be guardians of doctrine. So just the same
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1 with elders, they are referred to as being appointed by
2 holy spirit, as you probably are aware, we believe that
3 means that when an elder is in harmony with what the Bible
4 says is required of an elder, then he is appointed by the
5 holy spirit. So the same is true with the Governing Body.
24 Q. You have the Bible there. If you go to 1 Timothy
25 chapter 3 ‐‐
26 A. Yes.
28 Q. ‐‐ verse 4, there is a discussion of a man presiding
29 over his household having his children in subjection. Now,
30 what does that mean?
31 A. That's a very good question, your Honour. Biblically
32 speaking, the word "subjection" infers respect and
33 a willingness to comply with direction. It does not ‐‐
35 Q. Your Bible then provides a reference back to Ephesians
36 chapter 6 verse 4?
37 A. That is correct.
39 Q. Which imposes the obligation on fathers to bring their
40 children up in the discipline and admonition of Jehovah.
41 What is the "discipline of Jehovah"?
42 A. Your Honour, the original language, discipline,
43 indicates a process of teaching, educating, making
44 a disciple.
46 Q. Well, from that reference in Ephesians, your Bible
47 takes us back to Proverbs chapter 13, verse 34?
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1 A. Yes.
3 Q. And the exact quote is:
5 Whoever holds back his rod hates his son.
7 What does that mean?
8 A. So, your Honour, you will notice there is an asterisk
9 there on the term "rod", and you see the footnote.
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. "Discipline or punishment". So in the application of
13 this, the term "rod" is used as a symbol or a metaphor to
14 indicate the authority to give some punishment. For
15 example, in a modern‐day setting, my father could say to me
16 I don't go to the movies because I had broken some of the
17 rules of the home.
19 Q. So it's not about inflicting corporal punishment,
21 A. It absolutely is not about inflicting corporal
24 Q. It would have been when first written, wouldn't it?
25 A. How people applied it back then, at that time, of
26 course is open to question.
28 Q. Well, what you are telling me, as I understand it, is
29 that your religion, your church, is prepared to interpret
30 the Bible having regard to contemporary social attitudes
31 and standards; is that right?
TO BE CONTINUED