Thirty Years a Watch Tower Slave

by JAVA 26 Replies latest jw friends

  • JAVA

    HCM, James, outnfree, & Patio: Glad you liked the segments posted from the book. HCM, I might do other sections of the book when time permits.

    TR: I saw the book in the library when I was a JW years ago, but didn’t have the good sense to read it. However, Schnell’s preachy style would have been a real turnoff at that time, and I only tolerate it today because of the historical content.


    Of course when Schnell “found Jesus” he found another butt to kiss.

    You have such a way with words! Thanks for adding the WT quote. What date and page is it from?

    Jan: I agree, Schnell’s book lacks documentation and cannot be considered scholarly. It’s a shame, because his timeline and conclusions are mostly on target, but without documentation the book is reduced to interviewing someone who was there. It could have been so much more if he spent time documenting and less time preaching. He’s an example of jumping from the frying pan and into the fire. However, I think Norm expressed it better than me!

    RR: Your point about Schnell living in Germany, and Germany being a prototype of things to come are of interest. Schnell claims this in the book, but I wonder if he was being a little egocentric because that’s where he lived most of his Tower days. I don’t understand why Rutherford would use German JWs as trial balloons when he had most of the eastern states in the US full of gullible subjects. Some changes might have started first in Germany, but I wonder if it had more to do with the systems already in place, and less to do with prototype planning?

    Englishman: Your library experience is so interesting. Maybe you could start a “30 Years WT Slave Reading Club” in Leigh Park. Put an add in the local, and see how many show up!

    trevor: Really enjoyed your comments, and your poem certainly speaks to the place Schnell’s book holds in the line of witnesses exposing the Tower. Indeed, 30 Yrs was one of the first songs of the lark.

    PS: Treavor, the picture is Nimrod out of From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained, the Tower's 1958 book on how to scare the hell out of little JW kids. I thought Nimrod was a good "hunting" for hours icon at the Coffee Shop.

    cocolocoii: Don’t be too hard on Fred. He’s our court jester, and I don’t want to get him into trouble with the elders. I’m just trying to figure out who turns the computer on for him!

    ...counting time at the Coffee Shop

  • RR

    To those interested, an abridge version of the book can still be found in some Christian book stores, I know I picked one up a few years ago, and I was able to pick up a first addition for 10 bucks on ebay, I haven't read it to compare with the small abridged version, some day I will.

    You can order the abridged edition from Religion Analysis Service, Inc. []

    Here is the blurp on the book:

    30 Years a Watchtower Slave by William J. Schnell.

    Abridged edition of the shocking confession of a converted Jehovah's Witness. It is truly one of the most significant confession books of this generation. 192pp

    JW-39 $5.95

    And a direct link:

    Less Religion and more Jesus!

  • Osarsif
    What date and page is it from?

    The Watchtower, August 15, 1935, page 256.

  • JAVA

    RR: Thanks for the URL and info. The second edition of the book has 207 pages. The abridged version has 192 pages; I wonder what was cut? If it's the Forward, you're not missing much.

    Osarsif: Appreciate the WT issue date and page. My WT CD only goes back to 1950; guess the Tower didn't have light before the '50s when Jehovah appointed them the F&DS.

    ...counting time at the Coffee Shop

  • Tina

    Hi java ,
    A good friend recently lent me his copy! What a slice of WT history. Im re-reading it onemore time before I send it back,thanks,Tina

  • TR

    Hey, Osarif,

    You're advertising one of my favorite albums of all time!


  • JAVA

    I found another interesting tidbit from the book to share about the so-called unity of the Witnesses. The paragraphs below are taken from pages 106-7:

    The Testimony Card
    As a result we have the origin of the familiar testimony card. The mental activity of the Kingdom Publisher had declined to such an extent that it became almost impossible for him to present his own message as he went from door to door. The result was the testimony card, prepared at headquarters. The Witness could present this card to the householder in explanation of the current book offer, as does the deaf mute in an effort to sell his wares.

    This testimony card was a vicious thing with pathetic results. During World War II, when I accompanied conscientious objectors to examination boards where hearings were held to determine the validity of their claim of being ministers, I realized to my consternation that most of such Jonadabs were incapable of answering even the most rudimentary questions about the Bible. It was appalling to realize how little Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Jonadab class knew about the Scriptures and how much their knowledge was limited to things discussed in the Watchtower magazines and Society issued books. I was actually ashamed to sit there and listen to their hemming and hawing. One board member once said, “You mean to tell me that you are a minister and cannot tell me where to find this passage of Scripture?” “We do not use this method of preaching. We use a testimony card,” cockily replied the Jonadab.

    That testimony card graphically showed the nadir to which a whole people had sunk who had once prided themselves in their Scriptural acumen and knowledge. Instead of being begotten “with the word of truth” (James 1:18), the Jonadabs were begotten of the Theocratic spirit of a mass organization, by seeds other than the word of God, mass seeds of Watch Tower books, booklets and magazines. … Since their viewpoint emanated entirely from the opinions and conclusions which they read in the Society’s publications, their brain became totally washed of any other ideas they might ever have loosely held about the Bible, themselves or other people. Their own thoughts were thus replaced by a narrow sphere or circumscribed area of thought, or as the Watch Tower put it, a “channel.” They became “Organization minded.” (pp. 106, 107)

    ...counting time at the Coffee Shop

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