More worship of men and framing as means of conveying pedagogy

by mortimer 5 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • mortimer

    In the latest study article 51: Enjoy a Hope Without Disappointment, we're treated with a paragraph describing the previous president of the Watchtower, Frederick Franz, as an example of a 'brother' who cherishes the hope of his heavenly appointment. We are further treated with a picture of this man meant certainly to evoke a sense of reverence for him (and by extension the organizations' leadership). The watchtower is very purposeful in how it frames any point it makes in its published work. Often, the framing is the real message as the words themselves are often larded with generalities and floating signifiers. It's also an insidious mechanism for mind control since the audience is focused on the words but lacks the critical thinking skills to understand that the pedagogy is often carried in the framing.

    Here's what I mean, the portrayal of Frederick Franz here sets him up as an object of reverence. A type of idol that the JW's are told not to regard, yet the framing here with no written words to the effect, is that Franz is worthy of our reverence and really, in fact, worthy of a type of worship. Witnesses are told not to do this with celebrities by hanging their posters on walls or give any man worship-like reverence as only Jehovah is to be th object of our worship. Yet, here we are, and it happens quite often that the GB and past presidents are held up to us, through framing, as human-deities.

    Does anyone else see this? Comments, thoughts?

    As an aside, the paragraph in the study article goes on to quote Franz, paraphrasing, as willing to wait millions of years (or really a long time) and it is all worth it. Here we get another subtle framing: if the end doesn't arrive within a generation of 1914, a pillar doctrine of the JW's falls apart. It's already fallen apart, but the GB was courteous enough to give Jehovah more time with its Generation of Generation doctrine (laugh track rolls here). Anyways, the use of Franz's quote here that it could take a long, long time, is part of the framing, without having to declare it, that they have little idea where we are in the timeline. So now, they've implanted into the rank and file that it's the generation of 1914 (sort of), but it could take a long, long time, so not the generation of 1914 (but consistent with the made up cover-story of 'generation of generations'.)

  • Ding

    So much for "you will never grow old in this system of things."

  • Listener
    Anointed Christians cherish that hope. One of them, Brother Frederick Franz, said from his heart: “Our hope is a sure thing, and it will be fulfilled fully to every last one of the 144,000 members of the little flock to a degree beyond what we have even imagined.” After serving God faithfully for decades, in 1991 Brother Franz affirmed: “[We] have not lost our sense of value of that hope. . . . We are appreciating it all the more the longer we have to wait for it. It is something worth waiting for, even if it required a million years. I evaluate our hope more highly than ever before.”

    He was 98 at the time he spoke those words. He believed he was going to heaven in a very, very short time. It's no wonder he was excited and his expectations were even greater than before. As for most other JWs, their expectations of living through to a paradise earth were slowly disintegrating or being revised.

  • NotFormer

    My understanding is that the blood doctrine was Franz's hobby horse. Rutherford wouldn't contemplate it (perhaps he needed transfusions late in life). Knorr allowed it as a favour to his young protege/sidekick/yes man. (Don't ask for sources; it's a vague memory of a discussion that was probably on here)

  • BluesBrother

    I don’t see it as idolising Franz although they hold him up as an example. However I find their reasoning strange. Franz was talking about his heavenly hope which is different from the hope we grew up with . They mention Abraham who , according to their teachings had an earthly hope but their is nothing to suggest he expected it in his lifetime.

    We were promised that “ You will never grow old in this system “ ..... We all know how that turned out !

  • neat blue dog
    neat blue dog

    Ironic since Franz openly disagreed with the concept of a GB and even was caught on tape speaking against it in a Gilead talk.

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