minimus : Earnest, the poster, who I believe was associated with Watchtower and maybe became a Dawnist??
This is news to me.
minimus : Earnest, the poster, who I believe was associated with Watchtower and maybe became a Dawnist??
This is news to me.
Dis, you really need to think about what you are saying. Either you are being humorous or you are just unreasoning.
The Society takes all the money from Kingdom Halls , conventions and assemblies as well as any donations including wills, homes, jewelry and anything of value. What a racket! And they are tax exempt. They have enough money to pay off molestation charges. With all the research you do, you should know these things and if you don’t know it, look it up. I have the feeling that no matter what you see, you will defend the Organization. Regarding the biblical sense of being a false prophet, they clearly are and they continue to speak in the name of Jehovah while they bear false witness. Everytime they teach what a prophecy means and then simply change their minds they are nullifying the prophecy. For many many years the “anointed remnant” prophetically pictured or were foreshadowed by something and just like that a few years ago. Witnesses were told to ignore a lot of their past pronouncements as they couldn’t say for certainty what a prophecy was meaning. BS! If you as a Witness questioned whatever their prophetic understanding was and didn’t accept their view, you were disfellowshipped for apostasy!! Prior to 2010 they weren’t a cult to you? They fulfilled ever definition of cult prior to and including now.
Earnest, I may have been thinking of someone else, Roland? Anyway, just to straighten me out, what is your background? We’re you ever a JW or Russellite group?
Earnest, after rereading Farkel’s topic, I really enjoyed your research and way of putting things.👍👍
Minimus, I was baptised by Jehovah's Witnesses fifty years ago and have associated with them since. I never associated with a Russellite group although I have an interest in their history and theology.
Rocketman123, you say the non-profit WT corporation is
commercialized but where it the evidence of such? I have seen no evidence of such.
Since its beginning the WTS sold its literature to the public, such as yearly subscriptions to magazines, books, cassette tapes, dvds, they asked for donations and people did such as their wills, land properties and the latest scam asking children for money.
That's called commercializing and expanding your operations.
There is an operating business model working within the organization which has to be accepted.
What they commercialized is their own version of the gospel of Jesus Christ, tainted with apostasy.
If you cant see that you really are delusional in not a good way.
Thanks Earnest, I didn’t realize you were a baptized Witness that still associates.
Maybe I was thinking of Frank and Ernest :)
Hi minimus. Yes know that the WT has collected money since its beginning, but they classify such as donations rather than proceeds from sales.
minimus and Rocketman123, some of the WT's Kingdom Ministry issues and/or Kingdom Service issues say (in answer to questions) that when offering the WT literature JWs may give them away at no charge if the JWs discern that the person is sincere in asking for the literature and in not having the money to donate for them. The WT has to (I think) handle matters that way rather than truly sell the products, since the WT is registered as a tax-exempt nonprofit instead of as a for-profit. As a result, while engaged in field service I sometimes handed out WT literature at no charge and without donating my own money to compensate for not receiving a donation/contribution from the householder, except that when I obtained the WT literature in the KH I made a donation for it.
In later years (starting in the 1990s?) the WT stopped asking for specified donation amounts for products, including at the KH literature and magazine counters. They also instructed the JWs to stop asking for such while in field service, though to inform the householders that the work is supported by voluntary donations and to ask the people if they would like to make such a donation. Furthermore when we asked them if they wanted to make such a donation we informed them (at least some times) that making such a donation was not a requirement for receiving the literature. Years after I stopped going out in field service the JWs entirely stopped asking for donations from the public, offering the literature free of charge. However, maybe the WT expects individual JWs to make donations for the literature that is given away free of charge.
Rocketman123, I agree with you that the WT had been operating using a business model, at least (and especially) since the time of Rutherford until the time that they stopped asking a specified donation amount. But I don't believe they have entirely been operating from a business model after the time they stopped asking for specific donation amounts, and especially after they stopped asking for donations from the public.
minimus, corporations classified as nonprofits are allowed to receive donations including cash donations in exchange for handing out printed literature and other items. Since they are registered as a nonprofit I didn't think the word "commercialized" could be correctly applied them, since I thought the word "commercialized" can only be applied to for-profit entities. After reading posts in reply to my post I looked up on the internet the word "commercialized' in reference to nonprofits and I discovered that the the term can applied to them also. As a result I now believe that the WT, despite being registered as a nonprofit, is commercialized. I also know that the WT is listed in the wills of a number of people and that as a result the WT has obtained shares of stocks and mutual funds, and other assets from a number of people, probably even including shares of stock in companies which make weapons for the military.
I got baptized in my mid-teens and I was raised as a JW from infancy. While I was contemplating whether or not to get baptized I knew that many non-JWs consider the JW religion to be a cult. I asked myself 'is it a cult?'. I knew even then that the religion is very controlling, that its governing body claimed to be anointed of Jehovah God, that the WT claims its governing body receives a measure of holy spirit, and that in some (not clearly specified) way it claims to be directed by Jehovah. I also knew what the scripture in Deuteronomy says of the definition of a false prophet. I knew that the WT made false predictions (including being wrong about the significance of the year 1975) and that they have changed numerous doctrines of theirs. But I also knew that the WT (and its governing body) did not, unlike the top leadership of the LDS (Mormon) church and unlike the claim of Mohammed to have received a revelation from Allah by way of the angel Gabriel, claim to have a received a revelation from Jehovah. Since they did not claim to receive any revelations for God, then technically they had not spoken in the name of the god in the sense of being a prophet (or claiming to be a prophet) of the god - despite coming extremely close to such. I accepted the WT's narrow definition of the word "prophet" and their narrow definition of the word "cult". Using those narrow definitions I thus agreed with them that they are not a cult (though they have some characteristics of cults) and not a prophet and not a false prophet, despite their failed predictions and changed doctrinal teachings, and despite their being extremely controlling - including their labeling as apostate the JWs who openly disagree with them and including their disfellowshipping such JWs. I still believe that they are not technically a cult, except that they became virtually a cult after they said the governing body and only the governing body is the faithful and discreet slave.
For example, the WT and/or it's governing body never said (at least during my lifetime) something like the following. "The Lord Jehovah God spoke to us audibly (or in a vision) the following. 'Proclaim unto my people, my chosen witnesses the following. "The Lord Jehovah Gods says ... " ' ".
Though the WT nonprofit non-prophetic corporation is wealthy (and even profitable, despite being registered as a nonprofit or as not for profit), I need evidence that it's governing body (or some others in the corporation) are making a financial profit from the corporation and/or have obtained wealth from it. I agree that Rutherford did obtain person use of substantial wealth from the WT, if not actually obtained wealth from the WT. For example, his use of the Beth-sarim house and the expensive cars are personal use of wealth, even if the WT owned those assets instead of Rutherford. In fact Rutherford would likely benefit more by having the WT own those assets while letting Rutherford use them, than paying those assets to Rutherford as income to Rutherford. That is because if they were paid to Rutherford, then Rutherford would likely have to pay taxes on the income and he wouldn't be able to obtain as many tax deductions on the expenses of those items.
The books in the Rich Dad Poor Dad series urge people to start their own business in part because of the greatly increased tax benefits one can get by doing so. When conducting their business they can travel (at company expense), and drive a car (at company expense), and use a home (at company expense if they work from the home), with the business claiming a tax deduction for each of those items/categories and without the business person having to claim personal incomes for those items. At least such is one of the impressions I got from those books. Also corporate effective tax rates tend to be much lower than those for personal income taxes on wage/salary earnings of high income people. The WT has no income tax (at least not in general, but I read they now have to pay some tax to some government entity or entities).
Since they did not claim to receive any revelations for God, then technically they had not spoken in the name of the god in the sense of being a prophet (or claiming to be a prophet) of the god - despite coming extremely close to such.
Sorry guy but they have proclaimed that they are guided by god's holy spirit and they have claimed in their literature they are modern day prophets.
Since they say things that god has not given them to say or preached/teach things that are against Jesus's own instructions for preaching his Gospel, they are identifiable as false prophet apostates according to scripture.
It all depends on what you take to heart, their words or the bible's words.
Jesus's or theirs .
minimus, it is true that I need to "make sure of" certain things before accepting them as true, but not for all things. The stronger the claim and/or the greater significance to the claim to me, the more evidence I need to convince me to accept/believe the claim. If the claim is a strong one and/or a very significant one then I don't want to believe it upon hearsay (or second-hand) evidence, unless I consider that source of evidence to be reliable (such as a news organization that I trust).
By the way your statement of "make sure of all things" reminds me of the WT book called "Make Sure Of All Things - Hold Fast To What Is Fine" (1965 edition) and the Bible verse (1 Thessalonians 5:21 [1961 NWT edition]) it is based upon. I am impressed by that book (in regards to the approach it uses to convince people) because for the most part it merely quoted Bible verses rather than engages in argumentation/reasoning. It lets the Bible speak for itself, on specific topics.
Regarding whether the WT/JW religion is a cult, whenever I look up the Jehovah's Witnesses religion in a dictionary or an encyclopedia, no matter which dictionary or encyclopedia I use, the dictionary never says they are cult. Instead the dictionary or encyclopedia says they are a sect (or a more benign word or phrase is used instead). Furthermore, I own two college sociology textbooks. One of them mentions the JWs and when I look at what it and other college sociology textbooks say about the JWs they never say they are cult. Instead they say they are a sect, or use a more benign word or phrase - such as "a new religion".
One college sociology textbook which I own is called Experience Sociology: SOC 204 Sociology in Everyday Life, SOC 205 Social Change in Societies (copyright 2013). Pages 330-331 of that book says "Those with power in society--including established churches---sometimes label small religious communities whose beliefs and practices are at odds with the dominant culture as cults, often to discredit them." The italics and bold face in that quote are included in the book. That sentence in the book is the only place I saw the book use the word "cult".
The other college sociology textbook I own is called Essentials of Sociology - Fifth Edition (copyright 2002). On page 334 in a box called "Concept Summary: Distinctions Between Churches and Sects" it classifies sects as having the following characteristics. "Degree of tension with society" - "High"; "Attitude toward other institutions and religion" - "Intolerant; rejecting"; "Type of authority" - Charismatic; "Organization" - Informal; "Membership" - "Alienated", and "Examples" - Jehovah's Witnesses, Amish, Nation of Islam". Notice it lists the Jehovah's Witnesses as an example of a sect and notice that is its lists of the characteristics of a sect excellent fit the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Page 332 of the same textbook under the heading of "Sectlike Religions" has the following paragraph.
"Within the category of religious organizations that have greater tension with society there is great deal of variability. We can distinguish three levels of tension. First are cults, with the greatest tension, then sects, and finally established sects. The latter begin to approach institutionalization."
The subheading of "Sects" has the following two paragraphs.
"Within the general category of sectlike religions, those called sects occupy a medium position. They reject the social world in which they live, but they embrace the religious heritage of the surrounding society. The Amish are an excellent example. They base their lives on a strict reading of the Bible and remain aloof from the contemporary world.
Sects often view themselves as restoring true faith, which has been mislaid by religious institutions too eager to compromise with society. They see themselves as preservers of religious tradition rather than innovators. Like the Reformation churches of Calvin and Luther, they believe they are cleansing the church of its secular associations. However offbeat it may be in comparison to mainline churches, if a religious group in the United States uses the Bible as its source of inspiration and guidance, then it is probably a sect rather than a cult." [The boldface in that quote is by me, the boldface is not in the quoted passage of the book but the sentence is.] By that sociology college textbook [Essentials of Sociology - Fifth Edition (copyright 2002)] the JWs are explicitly called and defined as a sect and not a cult.
The edition of the high school textbook which I used in my high school's required course in government/civics is called "Magruder's American Governemnt - 1978" (copyright 1978). On multiple pages it mentions the Jehovah's Witnesses. On page 133 it says the following. "Many important religious freedom cases have been carried to the Supreme Court over the years by Jehovah's Witnesses, a fundamentalist group which very actively promotes its beliefs. Perhaps the stormiest controversy the sect stirred came from its defiance of compulsory flag salute requirements." Note it says it is a sect.
The JWs are a sect which denies being a sect. They are also a very high control religious group which is now very cult-like, but they are still not a cult according the vast majority of sociologists (scientists of sociology) and according to me.
'I rest my case'.