Subliminal images - why and who are the individuals behind it?

by UnshackleTheChains 105 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    Most cited cases of subliminal images is nothing but pareidolia. I have noticed a few weird images in the Live forever book. But these images are actual images and not subliminal. I think they were probably done as a joke/prank by some member[s] in Watchtower's art dept.

    What I see some doing by taking mirrors and aligning it unto Watchtower artwork to look for demonic faces is total rubbish! Take any publication with artwork and scrutinize it meticulously and you're bound to see images of faces and other creepy things due to confirmation bias and pareidolia.

    Lastly, this notion that subliminal images have some kind of power over our minds to get us to do things has been long studied and shown to be blown greatly out of proportion at best and total pseudoscience, at worst. Subliminal images are useless for any purpose other than artistic fun.

  • OrphanCrow
    IslandMan: this notion .....has been long studied and shown to be blown greatly out of proportion at best and total pseudoscience, at worst.


    Sounds like it would be right up the WT's alley. Perfect fit

  • scratchme1010

    So my question is why? What is the purpose? And by whome? Is it just some individuals playing around? Does anyone on this forum know of anyone at bethel doing it just for laughs etc?


    Very, very simple. Those images are created so people can say things like:

    I honestly thought it a load of bs until I checked out one glaringly obvious image of a creepy skull in clouds within the knowledge book. I was shocked and even showed my wife at the time who thought it was creepy.

    I just don't know how/why people keep falling for it.

  • Incognito
    Take any publication with artwork and scrutinize it meticulously and you're bound to see images of faces and other creepy things due to confirmation bias and pareidolia - Island Man


  • compound complex
    compound complex

    As I pointed out earlier, there are opinions stated on both sides of the issue. In my eleven years on this and other forums, I have rarely witnessed calm and rational discussion of this subject. It's interesting that the observations made by professional artists -- myself included -- have not been commented on, at least that I've noticed.

    I'm not one for controversy or unpleasant exchanges, but if you say "no" to hidden imagery, kindly provide a reasoned argument against.

    Comments on the letter below?

    Originally written for elders and WT officials, the letter below was written by Michael Graves, who studied commercial illustration, graphic arts and photography at Bakersfield College. His professional work includes medical photography, photo-micrography, illustration and commercial photography.

    The letter is addressed "To whom it may concern," 21 February 1992:


    "At first glance the illustrations [Watch Tower 'commercial art images depicting religious scenes'] I examined appeared quite normal, but after closer examination, it became apparent that there are many images and symbols integrated into the scenes. Upon further investigation of the illustrations, I noticed a consistent motif and repeatability of these same symbols in every illustration I studied. Some of the symbols and images are so obvious they interrupt the normal flow of lines, shape, and form of the artwork. It is quite apparent the illustrators would use highlights and shadows in the scenes to conceal the symbols in such a manner that they are not clearly distinguishable. However, armed with the knowledge that the symbols may be present, it becomes quite easy to distinguish and isolate these images from the given illustration.

    "In conclusion, it is my professional opinion that these figures are present in the illustrations, not by coincidence, but by clear conscious efforts by the originators of the artwork."



    Michael Graves

  • zeb

    perhaps artist who are not allowed any 'licence' to be creative..?

  • Incognito


    I acknowledge certain shapes or combinations can suggest a face or random item to a viewer. Anyone viewing clouds will often remark on how the shape 'looks like 'the Queen', 'a Bat signal', 'a giraffe', whatever.

    Some of the things suggested to appear as ' ...' within WT literature, I agree to being a stretch, very vague and difficult to be consistently recognized as being the item claimed. We all are unique in both experience and in how we view things. One person in ten may see something which the 9 others cannot, even when the person seeing it tries to point it out.

    There are however, too many images which are too obvious to ignore. It's one thing to see portions of something such as a human eye or other facial part, but it's another matter when it's a complete face or other object which is plainly recognized, even if after being pointed out to a casual observer.

    I recall my father (an elder) had possession of a published book on WT hidden or subliminal imagery, given to him by another elder. That was over 40 years ago. I remember that book was filled with examples, many of which were plainly evident. I also recall, there was a certain 'appearance', 'style' or 'emotion' to each, which seems to be consistent even to the more recent ones I've seen.

    I won't speculate on reason(s) why images would inserted, but this has been going on for too long and with a high enough frequency, for it to be a matter of coincidence.

    While some may foresee someone from the illustration department leaving bethel and 'spilling the beans', who is to say the entire department would be involved. Perhaps there are a few 'special' illustrators who are trusted to review and modify the work of others. This now could easily be done anywhere in the world, compared to the past.

    With regard to images in other publications, what other publications are these types of hidden images consistently observed?

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel

    The question of who's responsible goes hand-in-hand with why. And even more curiouser is what does the Governing Body do about it? Once these subliminals are discovered, it's not like them to just let the matter slide without doing anything about it. To them it would represent a loss of control or at least it would be an aspect over which they had no control, and that might...trouble them.

    It's one thing to put in smiley faces, quite another demonic heads and twisted claws. I'm sure they'll be interesting topics of discussion on Paradise Earth in the Ministry of Theocratic Affairs, Historic Division. They could cover it up, but why bother? Everything will be perfect...delightful, in fact.

    Or will they cover it up out of habit? After all, why complicate things on Paradise Earth? The last thing Theocratic Ministry or the Council of the 144,000 need is another rebellion on their hands!

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    A lot of it is pareidola, kind of like seeing Jesus in a toasted sandwich.

    I do know from an artist at Bethel that there were images which have added "Easter eggs" as a signature of the artist, that was especially the case when artists at Bethel were commissioned to do artwork for Kingdom Halls (back when they still did that) although they were always lighthearted. The practice of being able to purchase custom artworks for Kingdom Halls, mostly enlarged reproductions, ended some time in the 90s, I remember them being quite expensive too.

    I personally don't believe anyone has added too much of a nefarious thing, finding demons and claws and faces is mostly coincidental. I'd like to see proof to the contrary, but beyond someone quoting they found it I haven't found much details.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Thank you, zeb, Incognito, Cold Steel, Anony Mous, for what you have written, and how you wrote it.

    I surely have never had a total nor satisfactory explanation for the whys and wherefores regarding this anomaly, or whatever it really is. And yes -- absolutely -- we truly do see (or NOT see) things differently. The pareidolia occurring in my own impressionistic art is simply that; I never intentionally insert anything that might suggest otherness.



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