CLAM Video: Aug 8-14 2016 – “Older Ones - You Have an Important Role”
This video portrayed an elderly widowed sister who was a former pioneer and now reduced to submitting field service reports of 15 minute increments. She was also portrayed as quite frail in that she ambulates with the use of a quad rollator frame. She was very neatly attired and groomed and what the video showed of her apartment conveyed everything perfectly tidy to a level which would have relaxed an OCD sufferer. Her attire and domicile also suggested that she was financially secure, despite her (and I think her husband’s) many years in pioneer service.
The video was exploring what role such an elderly and frail sister might pursue in her congregation within the limits of her functioning. The camera focused on a young sister at a pivotal point in her life. She had envelopes with papers pointing out for the camera. One such was an application for university, the other for pioneer service. Such a dichotomy from the WTBTS / GBoJW didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was that the video then identified the role of the elderly frail sister in persuading the young sister to forsake an education and pursue pioneering.
This veneer of a paradigm might have been attractive to some in the audience. It avoided the possibility (some would say likelihood) of financial difficulties later in life by portraying a picture of an elderly and former pioneer who seemed financially secure. It also legitimizes and puts a nice face onto the WT’s nihilism about further education. Many an individual at the age of that elderly sister would perhaps extol a higher education, affirm the youngster for considering such, and help her to honestly examine the pro’s and con’s of whatever decision she decides to make. But no such balanced approach in this video. Using the extolled silver hair and wisdom paradigm to put across the WT’s disdain of further education is truly heinous!
The reaction in the audience of the local kingdom hall – flat, blank, vacant, glazed. No, nobody seemed impressed or encouraged in the slightest.
This really struck a chord with me, since I was once like that young girl and financially secure "older ones" in the hall were urging me to pioneer.
When I look back on it, these older sisters had a non-JW husband who worked to provide them financial security. Some man worked 40 years to provide them with a pension. If the husband was a JW, he may have come into the religion after he earned his living and was close to retirement after which he joined his wife in full-time preaching.
Nobody takes into account that a young woman STILL in this modern age needs to either find a career to support herself OR she needs to get married and have a man support her. And she has a relatively small window of time in which to do this. Nobody thought about this, but I did.
In my case, I let everybody's unwanted advice go in one ear and out the other! I also resisted everybody's attempts to get me to do favors for these old ladies and other users in the congregation. This is the role the religion tries to force on young single women there.
Today I am two years retired and am grateful I ignored Jehovah's Witnesses and held onto my full-time job until the end. These "older ones" were certainly not providing for MY future! And all the other ones who avoided me as "not spiritual" can go ask their so-called spiritual friends for money. They would never get a dime from me.
The OP has sound observations. Where is the video? It's not showing on my tablet.
When I left home for college, in 1966, I continued my Bible study and attended meetings in San Francisco, CA. I spent a good deal of time with an anointed couple, originally from Europe. They were well-to-do and encouraged me to stay in college. My first year had been paid in full.
I wish I had listened to them. Their son was a college professor.
Not everyone is of the same opinion, although I acknowledge that those were different times, even in WATCHTOWERLAND.
Yes, once again, this simplistic presentation fails to show THE REALITY of life!
You can not survive on "good intentions". They don't pay the bills.
The society's discouragement of education is downright despicable!
Elders can only get so close to younger sisters without arousing suspicion. It makes sense to have older sister--who has tons of spare time-- befriend younger sister and get her to spill guts to older sister. Then because older sister is so loyal and indoctrinated she will feel compelled to snitch to the elders as she is trained to do. Younger sister is hauled into a JC before she knows what hit her. A very important role, indeed.
in this modern age needs to either find a career to support herself OR she needs to get married and have a man support her.
It's not quite so black and white in this modern age. Women can acquire an education, make a career for themselves, get married (or not), have a family and have the expectation that her partner will match her effort in providing for their needs.
All that you say is true nowadays with regard to women's choices.
I was referring to it in the context of the Jehovah's Witness religion and single women ending up impoverished if they fell for the religion's bill of goods - which I'm glad I didn't.
In a similar vein, elders that became financially secure because of education they had prior to joining the organisation giving public talks about the dangers of education for young jw's. These elders, while happy to preach a life of poverty and struggle for impressionable kids have no intention of quitting their own lifestyle and becoming window cleaners.