What is the number 3 talk?

by carla 24 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Done

    I've always wanted the bro's to have to do a talk with a "householder"

    I thought they did start this? Right about the time I left, 2015. I remember it being announced the change to school was coming but I was gone before it started

    Did it not go through?

  • AudeSapere

    @Carla: Years ago, when there were 5 full-hour length meetings (Plus song and prayers), most congs' Thursday night meetings were 'The Theocratic Ministry School' and 'The Service Meeting'.

    As best I recall, the TMS consisted of 5 talks randomly rotated among the enrolled students.

    Talk #1: Instruction Talk - always given by a male, usually an elder or ministerial servant. This talk was training for Public Talks given on Sundays. (10 or 15 minutes, I think.)

    Talk #2: Bible Reading - always given by a male, usually a young child or a newly interested man (usually not yet an MS). It was a sequential reading of about a page in the bible with an introduction, reflection/explanation in the middle, and a conclusion. (5 or 6 minutes)

    Talk #3: Skit depicting/exemplifying discussion/impromptu preaching to an acquaintance - always given to a female of any age and any degree of JW maturity. The talk was assigned to a female student and a specific 'householder' (always a female student) was also designated. The assignee had to review the assigned material, come up with a setting for discussion and then write a script (or outline) for the 2 women/girls. The talk had to have a clear intro, a theme, and a conclusion.

    Talk #4: Same as #3 but might be re-assigned to a male to handle same as #5.

    Talk #5: [Mini Sermon. I forget the real name.] - always given by a male, usually an MS or well-experienced (advance) TMS student. (5 or 6 minutes)

    Timing/Length of each talk was critical. Students were expected to conclude within 10 seconds of the allotted time. If not, it was noted from the platform by the School Overseer in the public counsel given immediately after each talk.

    Attire: Proper Christian Attire was required. It was one of the 20 or 30 counsel points. For women, improper length of dress and modesty could result in being replaced at the last minute by someone else (or the School Overseer himself).

    At some point, I think the school was reduced to just 4 talks. I also seem to recall that talks 2-5 originally were 6 minutes and then reduced to 5 minutes. But I could be wrong. It's been awhile.

  • AudeSapere

    Sail Away wrote: Then there was the alcoholic sister that, even with my note cards in front of her, asked the wrong opening question. I said, 'That's an interesting question, we can cover that in next week's study.' And gave the talk filling in her parts.

    OMG! That is too funny. Perfect response by you.

    I remember one of my last talks was with a good friend of mine who was and still is an uber-JW and the most diligent student of JW doctrine. The talk was given from the platform (main hall) and was something about Armageddon. In the talk I referenced the scripture about 'the war of the great day of God the Almighty'. After reading the scripture in Revelation, I asked my householder: "So according to the bible, who's war is it?'

    In her most confident voice, my householder responded: "Well... it's obviously Satan's war."

    That was not the script. She said it to punk me.

    And it worked. For about 2 seconds. Haha!

    In that 2 seconds I had a crisis of doctrine. 25 years of indoctrination and I had to regather myself and realign my understanding of that verse.

    'Well... Let's re-read that verse again.' And I re-read it, clearly enunciating every word - for my own benefit - and slowly emphasizing the words that gave the right answer.

    When it was over, I laughed. It was funny and I passed the on-stage impromptu hurdle. But there was a moment of panic when she intentionally fed me the wrong line.


    Another talk... I remember rehearsing with an older, very long-time JW. (She might have been 2nd or 3rd gen.) It was my talk and she was my householder. I don't remember the topic but somewhere in the visit to rehearse we were talking about some personal problem and I mentioned (as all good JWs do) that fortunately we have the New System to look forward to when we won't have to deal with the troubles of this wicked world.

    Her response?

    "Oh, Aude... You don't really still believe that, do you?"

    I think it was the beginning of my seeing flaws in JW doctrine and faith.

  • Sail Away
    Sail Away

    AudeSapere, as far as I can tell you nailed the format of the school back in the day. Man, the JWs have it easy now! The 10-second timing rule was what caused me the most duress, that and "extemporaneous speaking".

    I recently took a yearlong meditation teacher training. They assigned a five-minute talk. We had to use the theme from a slip of paper drawn from a bowl, and we only had an hour to prepare. I was already so anxious, because it felt so horribly familiar, and then the teacher said that since there were so many students, that the five-minute mark was a "hard stop". I dissociated (PTSD). The teacher said he was waving his arms trying to get my attention, but I was just staring straight ahead.

    I started the "school" when I was nine-- pre-1975. You are right, it's a "F'n, lying, child-hating cult."

    Also, I think more and more elderly JWs are realizing it's bogus, and they are going to die, including my father-in-law. His wife died in February this year, and his doctor just put him on antidepressants. He doesn't even go to meetings any more, and he won't even invite the elders in for a "shepherding call".

  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim

    ''Also, I think more and more elderly JWs are realizing it's bogus, and they are going to die, including my father-in-law. His wife died in February this year, and his doctor just put him on antidepressants. He doesn't even go to meetings any more, and he won't even invite the elders in for a "shepherding call". '''

    This is quite a stark, sobering, eye-opening realization, isn't it?

    When you invest 5 or 6 decades of your life into a purpose, which doesn't come to fruition.

  • Sail Away
    Sail Away

    Beth Sarim, my in-laws were in for 60 years, converted in their 30's, so my husband was raised in since age five. My MIL was in the ministry school and made the unleavened bread for 50 years and was proud of it. Those are the bread crumbs given to JW women. She died an isolated, lonely, bitter woman. She would have loved to travel, but never did other than to go to the District Convention at the Polo Grounds in 1958. What wasted lives. So sad.

  • cha ching
    cha ching

    I kinda wish I was still in.... I would have so much fun doing "talks"!

    I think I would just read all the scriptures to my 'householder' (haha!) and just say at the end, "so, do you understand?" she would reply "yes" and we'd walk off the stage! It seems like a Monte Python fun time!

  • cha ching
    cha ching

    I use to try to explain how stinkin' hard it was to do these number 3 & #4 talks to my husband. He just could NOT understand why it was so hard! I use to have nightmares trying to think of a 'setting' that would seem so 'normal'.

    My sister & I were laughing.... Your talk is on the 70 weeks of years.. You go to your Bible Study's house, and they are talking about planting 70 irises in their garden... "Seventy?", you say.... "That reminds me, have you ever heard of the 70 weeks of years?"

    Notice how many men (not) are commenting on this thread?

  • Sail Away
    Sail Away

    cha ching, you made me choke on my tea! At least you have a sense of humor about it!

    My school overseer invented and assigned his own settings, like 'informally witnessing in a supermarket to a Muslim woman' (about the 70 Weeks of Years or some other inane topic that would never come up). Tell your hubby it was brutal!

    Hope to meet you at Flipper's Apostafest sometime soon!

  • _Morpheus

    The men arnt commenting because we used to give hour long dissertations on the same stupid topics. If you think its hard vamping for 5 min with someone to interplay with try doing it for an hour with nothing but dull looks from a hundred people.

    Truthfully by the time i got appointed as an elder i had realized it was never about “the information” it was all about how you made the audience FEEL. Nothing else mattered. If it was a happy fun time talk, all you had to was hype them up with some fluff and put on a happy performance, end it up with some upbeat remarks nail the conclusion strong and they applaude like seals and go home FEELING upbeat. I swear it was so easy i stopped writting talks. I would wing the hell out of it and got rave reviews. I used to write assembly parts the day i practiced in front of the CO and would just add whatever his little remarks were before the actual assembly.

    Nobody really cared what you said as long as it made them feel like it was supposed to. Read a few scriptures, parrot some org doctrine and maybe throw in an illustration and you were a grade A speaker.

    Even when i was a full on believer i knew how jaded and borderline hypocritical it was but when you have a full time job and the org wants you to work another fulltime for free you do what you have to make it all fit a day.

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