Hair today, gone tomorrow...
Thanks for posting that quote, anglise.
So if we take a look at the time that article was printed, what time era are we talking about?
Wasn't the hippy movement in vogue in the years preceeding it? Youth rebellion was a sign of the times, and a male growing his hear long was a sign of rebellion against authority. Compared to the conservative 50s and 60s, the hippy movement was the ultimate sign of rebellion.
Fast forward now to today.... the hippy movement is not what it used to be. Beards are now accepted in general business practice, just as women wearing dress slacks is acceptable. Beards DO NOT have the social stigma they once had.
So for elders, COs and the "powers that be" to rely on info from 25 years ago to say what is socially acceptable is a sad indication of what time frame their minds are living in.
Your comments are right on, Prisca.
From time to time over the years I've taken quick counts of the ratio of bearded to non-bearded men in the engineering business meetings I attend. Usually it amounts to 25%-35%. Since engineers tend to be a conservative lot, and most of the bearded engineers I know are as conservative as the rest, this shows how stupid the Society's outdated cultural restrictions are.
A couple of months ago I attended a Sunday meeting, partly at the invitation of a JW who has called at my door a few times. At one poin the guy who gave the public talk gave the usual spiel about why you don't see JWs wearing beards -- they're signs of being rebellious against society. The guy who invited me leaned over (I wear a beard) and hemmed and hawed about why I shouldn't be insulted, since it was pretty obvious that the speaker was saying that anyone who wears a beard is a lousy human being. I just chuckled.
The thing about beards is that the old men who run the WTS grew up in a time when not wearing beards was a sign of being modern, and was itself a rebellion against the old, beard-wearing establishment that didn't die out until the 1920s. In the early part of the 20th century, being clean shaven as seen by the younger generation as a very hip thing. So when the old men of the Governing Body rail against facial hair, they're being hypocritical.
So how would the average elder/co treat CT Russell today?
Cut off his privileges one assumes judging by their current record.
This is an interesting thread. Down here in New Orleans hairstyles are a big thing in the congregations. When I attended meetings 3-5yrs ago in one congregation the Service Overseer would not allow any of the young men in the congregations wear what is popularly called a the "fade" hairstyle, many here may recognize it as a crewcut. I remember being councilled about it by this elder as he was of the opinion that this hairstyle was "worldy". I was never one to rock the boat so I acquiesced to him.
However when I tried to explain this to my stepdad(not a jw) he proceeded to say, and quite insightfully so, that really every haircut is worldly. I mean all haircuts come from the so called world of humanity separated from the Society. That just about summed up the entire situation. Also this occurred before i had noticed some pics of GB members giving talks in the 30's 40's and 50's. It showed one of them( I think it was Milton Henschel) with a crewcut or a fade. I was floored! I wish I had been going to that hall still I would have liked to see his reation to that pic.