The Watchtower Letters, part 1
Recently, I was going through some very old files, and I came across a folder containing correspondence I had with the Watchtower Society, mainly back in the 1970's, when I was a true-blue believer. I wasn't shy about writing to them for answers back in those days, whenever an issue arose that I couldn't resolve in other ways. Some of the letters are that sort of two-way correspondence, others are things like form letters from the Society to pioneers, and other stuff like that. I thought it might be interesting to scan some of this correspondence for posterity, and to share it with you folks on the board. I have "whited out" my personal information, such as my name and address.
The first entry is one of the most interesting, imho. It chronicles the beginning of the end for me as a JW, even though it took me over 20 more years to break completely with the organization. A couple with whom I was conducting a Bible study went to hear Bill and Joan Cetnar speak at a nearby church, and came back to me with a list of questions they wanted answers to. Unable to answer the questions on my own, I wrote to the Society. The answer took longer than usual to come back, and when it did, it was written on WTBTS of Pennsylvania stationery. Most letters I had received from the Society had been on WTBTS of New York stationery. Also, there was no desk symbol, the internal code they use to track who wrote individual letters. I have the sense today that this letter was written by someone very high up in the organization, maybe even Freddy himself.
Another minor point of interest is that the letter answers a question I did not ask. I never mentioned 1975 in my letter, but the second last paragraph of the response attempts to justify the teaching.
Anyway, without further ado, here are the scans of my letter to the Society, and its response. I'll try to offer scans of other letters in this series as often as I can.
And the Society's response:
Please keep posting these! Their dizzying logic is unprecedented in what I have read so far!
“Russell predicted or prophesied of the coming of a grand jubilee, as prefigured by the Jewish type, but was he wrong in such a prediction? HE WAS JUST OFF DATE AND NOT DOCTRONALLY WRONG”
I read that and went…WHAT?!?!?!?
The DATE was a BIG part of The PREDICTION! It wasn’t about DOCTRINE as much as it was about being the one who PREDICTED The End!!
They must have thought people really dumb! Ok….They Really think people are dumb!
Dang….I can’t believe I believed all their crap.
Keep these coming Neon!
My daughter and I are starting a site and would like to post your letters but only if you will allow.
So far we have these damming talks we are editing Brother and Sister’s personal names out of because we wouldn’t want them to hear that their name is on an Apostate Site. We’re also editing out names of places unless it is part of the anecdote.
So far we have a CO telling young ones not to go to collage and parents do not be proud if your child becomes a doctor or a lawyer. He tells them to only be proud if their children become Pioneers or work at Bethel. I was glad I saw this CO give this talk during a visit to a KH because at The Assembly he gave the talk toned down a tad.
I have recorded a DO setting the cong up for the kill. He got them all relaxed and talking about hobbies and dreams they’d want to do. He had them laughing, smiling, really enjoying themselves and then out came the blade for the jugular! He let them know the Preaching Work came 1 st and they should save those things for The New System! He even chose a specific elder to pick by calling on that elder asking him his hobby…saying Oh, Yeah I know you love that…..moving on to others and then ending with saying he’d love to do this hobby (the elder’s passion in life) But “This”(The Preaching Work) Is more important!
I got the same said DO down playing in a pitiful manor Those Who Died Because They Refused Blood! He had a sarcastic mocking voice and went into how sure your willing to DIE for Jehovah BUT are you willing To LIVE For Him!
Anyway, We are adding our own commentaries to these recordings about the atmosphere and the people they were giving these talks too. We’d really love to add your letters if possible.
Thanx Neon let us know,
Sure, go ahead and use the letters on your website if you'd like, I'd just prefer that you not use my personal info (which I've redacted from the letters anyway).
Also, be sure to let me know where the site is; it sounds like it will be pretty interesting.
These critics who pick at such a small item make themselves ridiculous, plainly imbalanced.
Looky at who's calling who imbalanced!
I couldn't even wade through the whole date-part of the letter they sent you... I was getting that glazed-brain-deer-caught-in-the-headlights-of-a-Mack-truck feeling I haven't felt in a while and I had to stop.
No wonder that was the beginning of the end for you.
Thanks for sharing...keep 'em coming!
In order for the Society's sound doctrines to be more acceptable, there will be no more date settings (like 1975). Of course, we all know that dates have nothing to do with doctrines. Just take a close look at the book "Revelation Its Grand Climax at Hand!," (for samples see pages 140-141, 146-147, 149, 159, 165-166, 173, 183, etc., etc., etc.)
I refuse to read this stuff again, and again, looking for little nuances. I have always felt that I am bright enough that if they are trying to tell me something straight, then I will understand. But I read that letter from the Society looking for an answer to your first q. It ain't there. Of course not, it can't be there. The publications prophesied that the men of old would return in 1925. They even built
Rutherford's retirement homeBeth Sarim for the drunk to retire tothe returning princes. (I love the thought process that ended with ' ... and of course they'll want to rule the earth from San Diego.') That prophecy didn't come true. There's no way around that.
Truth be told though, I love reading how they toss in the 'there is no zero year' whenever they need you to be totally confused. We all remember being in. Remember reading such tripe and walking away thinking something like, 'of course, no year zero, that proves that they weren't wrong about the returning princes.'
To this day, my head shakes when I think that at one time I tolerated that crap.
"He was right at foretelling that the Gentile nations would be destroyed at Armageddon......"