How the Watchtower and Big Tobacco conspired to propaganda techniques to survive the exposure of their dangers

by TerryWalstrom 12 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • TerryWalstrom

    The Tobacco Industry held in thrall millions of addicted smokers for decades with an almost endless litany of false claims reinforced by propaganda and bad science.
    It is informative and eye-opening to examine this brilliant but insidious strategy.
    1. Exploiting controversy
    The Tobacco team focused on "Conflicts of Interest" to create a distraction and exploit mistrust so nicotine addicts own confirmation bias would work in their favor. This strategy of producing scientific uncertainty undercut public health efforts and regulatory interventions designed to reduce the harms of smoking.

    The Watchtower easily did the same thing by exploiting the confusing doctrine of The TRINITY and pointing to the corrupt history of the Catholic Church. The malfeasance of Christendom, the proliferation of sects and participation in wars were cited--as though this guaranteed the JW's
    were superior rather than merely different.

    Image result for 1975 false predictions in watchtower publications

    2. Creating alternative facts
    This is more than "Is the glass-half-empty or half-full" which is a POV opinion. The Tobacco companies hired their OWN scientists and conducted their OWN experiments and represented the results of their biased endeavors as a counter-balance. The Watchtower religion built its own Bible, the New World Translation. By changing the wording of Bible passages in favor of quirky doctrinal teachings and declaring this to be superior to the other translations the JW's felt their decision to trust the GB was well-founded and safe.
    An alternative green Bible for only a dollar was a brilliant move, IMHO.
    Image result for reen new world translation

    3. Reliance on massive advertising
    The Tobacco industry presented its product as beneficial, soothing, sophisticated, and smart in all Media available.
    Image result for advertisements smoking is good for youImage result for advertisements smoking is good for you
    By the same token, the Watchtower has utilized its FREE VOLUNTEER evangelizing and door to door distribution of printed propaganda through the use of clean-cut families at your doorstep smiling and chatting about Paradise on Earth.
    Watchtower KNEW THIS WAS ADVERTISEMENT from the very start!
    Image result for advertise advertise advertise the king and his kingdom

    Image result for advertise advertise advertise the king and his kingdom

    4. Exploiting CONFLICTS of INTEREST
    The basic tenet of the highly articulated public relations approaches the companies deployed centered on the notion that if the current cultural context was inhospitable to the product, one could—through shrewd and creative public relations interventions—change the culture to fit the product.

    Tobacco and Watchtower created an alternate universe of false choices and lifestyles out of thin air!
    In the course of this transformation, the tobacco companies successfully defined and exploited critical aspects of a new consumer culture. Within the industry, marketing experts had developed a powerful notion of social engineering, what early public relations theorist Edward Bernays had called the “engineering of consent.”
    HOW? Manufacturing and exploiting personal CONFLICTS of INTEREST.
    Jehovah's Witnesses were told they were "no part of this world" because the world was ending, was corrupt, and its treasures and rewards would
    soon vanish in a cataclysm called Armageddon. So--why bother pursuing a career or education?
    Risk VS. Reward is very powerful.
    Image result for JW propaganda
    5. Cherry picking quotations
    Tobacco industry hired Public Relations experts suggested cherry-picking "experts" who could disagree with Scientific Findings inimical to the
    product and its cancer prone effects.
    Watchtower writers did exactly the same thing in promoting 1975 as the END of 6,000 YEARS of HUMAN EXISTENCE by citing worldwide famine
    predictions, overpopulation of the globe, increased lawlessness, earthquake statistics, and an endless list of isolated passages in seemingly reputable
    scholar's published works.
    We now know how fraudulent these cherry-picked "facts" have been over the years.
    For Tobacco companies, identifying the most vocal and visible skeptics of the emerging science of smoking and disease. These scientists (many of whom turned out to be smokers themselves) would be central to the development of an industry scientific program in step with larger public relations goals.
    American Tobacco began to collect the public statements of scientists who had expressed skepticism about the research findings indicting5. tobacco. The company's own public relations counsel understood that it would be critical to create questions about the reliability of the new findings and to attack the notion that these studies constituted proof of the relationship of smoking to cancer

    6. Self-serving PR statements
    American Tobacco put on a sincere face of concern and used 400 newspapers and magazines to declare:
    We accept an interest in people's health as a basic responsibility, paramount to every other consideration in our business. We believe the products we make are not injurious to health. We always have and always will cooperate closely with those whose task it is to safeguard the public health..

    Watchtower Governing Body representatives are keen on self-serving announcements too.

    It is an obligation of the Tobacco Industry Research Committee at this time to remind the public of these essential points:

    1. There is no conclusive scientific proof of a link between smoking and cancer.
    2. Medical research points to many possible causes of cancer….
    3. The millions of people who derive pleasure and satisfaction from smoking can be reassured that every scientific means will be used to get all the facts as soon as possible.

      7. WHISTLEBLOWER effect
      In 1995, a Tobacco company whistleblower named Jeffrey Wigand, spilled the beans on 60's Minutes broadcast.
      In 1983, Raymond Franz, Governing Body member, did the same thing exposing Watchtower corruption in his book



      In view of the above parallels between The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's efforts and American Tobacco, this
      analogy reinforces a bold realization that it is quite possible to fool people by a conspiracy to cover your own ass
      through clever and resourceful advertising, publicity, false controversy, and labeling of your opponents as
      maleficent and evil.


      How many at-risk cigarette smokers and how many delusional JW's are left in the world?
      However many there are, they are convinced they are persecuted unfairly.

  • GrreatTeacher

    Terry, I love the way your mind works.

    "Get 'em addicted young." Works for both scenarios, too.

  • AverageJoe1

    Speaking of Tobacco, Tight Pants Tony is the grandson of the founder of the biggest tobacco company in the world I believe.

  • slimboyfat

    Good thread Terry.

    And interesting about Morris, averagejoe. If Morris is personally wealthy it puts an interesting complexion on his 2017 annual meeting speech about WT cutbacks. He basically suggested that magazines and yearbooks were being cut because JWs were not paying enough to keep them going. Would Morris be in a position to dip into his own pocket for the organisation if he wished? Would the recent lack of Watchtower success be offputting for a man who grew up aware of family success? He did come across as almost contemptuous of the situation, either Watchtower failure, or JW lack of contributions.

    Plus I wonder if the forum has ever explored JW tobacco connections in Southern Africa. Apparently JWs were big tobacco growers in the region at one time.

  • Finkelstein

    Another good analogy Terry , your on a role.

    The point is when people are trying to protect and promote their product which is integrated toward financially supporting themselves, they get rigidly selective and biased toward any relevant information.

    The WTS inherent endeavor was being a commercialized false prophet and strategically devised its own public sales Representative (JWS).

  • TD

    Great topic. Great post.

    Another tactic of the tobacco companies was to exploit the inherent weaknesses of soft science.

    That smoking increases the chances of lung cancer across an entire population was provable, but at an individual level it's impossible to say with certainty if someone's cancer was caused by tobacco. For years and years, this made it virtually impossible to successfully sue a tobacco company for damages.

    JW's hide behind the same uncertainty with their deadly teaching on transfusion medicine.

    --And they get away with it because of the broad protections we afford religion.

  • AverageJoe1

    Thanks Slim.

    Interestingly the initials for the company spell out PMI (physically, mentally in).

    Both PMI & WT (and TPT 3rd for that matter) are responsible for a heck of a lot of lost lives. Tony with his supposed war action then later with his harmful WT doctrine being taught as God’s own truth).

  • LV101

    Did Watchtower inherit tobacco property (in US) or stocks and keep yrs. ago? I know they have Rand - defense/military or something. Who would ever know the facts!

  • TerryWalstrom

    The young JW's I have contact with regularly actually have nightmares about Armageddon and a Trump Militia banging on their door.
    Yep, I am not kidding.
    If nothing else, FEAR is such a factor in real terms, present-day Dubs who risk leaving the Org "so close to the end" over-ride their own best interests in exploring what the world holds for them in a prospective better life.

    I had a heart-wrenching phone call with a 23-year old DF'd male JW today who started crying telling me how much he appreciated what my conversations with him had done to make his life better and give him a freedom to even have a chance at life.
    I thanked him for saying that--but he is the one who had the open heart and mind to listening and doing the heavy-lifting of research. Many of his friends (Brothers in the 'Truth) have great misgivings but way too much fear of losing their family support if they go rogue.
    The iron grip of the GB is much worse and more real today than when I was a JW.

  • Vidiot

    Once again, for the newbies, lurkers, and trolls...

    ...if you have to cheat to defend your beliefs, your beliefs don't deserve to be defended.

Share this