For you ol' timers: How has the WT changed in your view?

by logansrun 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • blondie

    On a graphic note, the magazines and books have color illustrations and the paper is a better quality. The WTS depicts people of color and other nationalities more frequently when showing families, groups at the KH, and elder bodies. The older pubs showed nary a black person and never an Asian unless it was in national costume.

    The articles in the magazines are more closely tied in timing with the KM and assembly programs as well. So if it seems so very repetitious, it is, even more so.


  • Room 215
    Room 215

    I agree that overall, the quality of writing has deteriorated while the graphics and visuals have improved greatly. The published rhetoric with respect to the ``faithful and discreet class" has been ramped up to near-idolatry. The inexorable ticking of the clock has eroded the plausibility of their chronology, so that far fewer JWs can recite the once-basic JW 101 mantra of 607 minus 2520 plus no zero year = 1914; and reference to it is much less frequency. Searching the Bible for ``types and antitype" and strained analogies which were once staple fodder (who remembers the book ``You May Survive Armageddon into God's New World"?) has all but ceased. There's an increased propensity to attach labels, and asa result JWs are more inclined to think of their collagues as ``i.e. ``elder," ministerial servant" ``pioneer, ``unbaptised publisher" and so on, rather than simply ``brother" and ``sister"and as a result the congregations are much less egalatarian than 30 or 40 years ago (when's the last time you saw a male in good standing but without a position be called on for prayer?).

    Overall, the literature and especially the so-called public talks have turned inward in their emphasis, focusing on JWs to the virtual exclusion of the public, resorting frequently to theocratic jargon and terms unintelligible to the public. Sunday talks seldom deal with basic doctrine and the broader issues; they're much more like the Satruday night ``service talks" delivered by visiting Bethel speakers and intended mainly for the congregations, notthe public. The Society's public talk outlines, which in the 50s were really that, skeletal outlines, double spaced on barely one side of paper , allowed for, indeed expected that the speaker do considerable personal research to complete, have become virtual manuscripts. I rememebr how strenuously we public speakers were admonished never to use Theo-speak jargon in public talks and never read directly from the Society's publictions while on the podium, merely used there a reference/research resources. No longer; the opposite has become the rule.

    There's much more insistence on mndless obedience to authority, increased adulation of that authority, to the point of veneration (see the Isaiah Book, Volume 2, page 260 for one prominent example); much less latitude for the individual to decide issues on the basis of ``trained conscience," etc., etc. These changes have come about imperceptibly with time, but if one stands back and makes a diret compartison with the way thigns were 40 years ago ad the way things are today, the contrast is stark-- and not for the better.

  • PurpleV

    I picked up a set of WatchLiar and Snooze! magazines last week from street workers and read through them for the first time in many years. I must agree with everyone else's comments.... there's much more DO MORE, YOU'RE NOT DOING ENOUGH type stuff in them. I notice the guilt machine is turned up a couple of notches.

    One thing is the same, though: they continue to overuse the word 'hence.'

  • minimus

    The stress has changed from the date 1914 to 1919. That's about it.

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    It's more than that, Minimus; it's worse, much worse, and ain't likely to get better.

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