Selective Quotes, Out of Context Quotes

by IslandWoman 3 Replies latest jw friends

  • IslandWoman

    This is a well known problem with the Watchtower, taking a quote out of context or fishing around for quotes which suit their purpose but do not really give the full picture of the subject or the full view of the person their quoting.

    This thread though is not about the Society's problem with this but ours.

    Some of us also take quotes out of context and do not give the full picture. I have many of the older and current publications. There have been times that when checking a quote made by some here I have found that the poster left out material that did not support or contradicted the point they were trying to make with the out of context quote. I am not speaking about the fun or fluff threads, but threads meant to inform.

    Fictional example:

    Thread theme: Watchtower tells publishers there is no excuse for lateness at conventions.

    Watchtower Quote In Thread: "there is no excuse for lateness at the conventions" 4/2008 KM

    Unquoted material: "Brothers it has been reported that many are taking their seats for the afternoon session at the convention well after the session has started. This disrupts the friends who made the effort to be in their seats on time.

    It is recognized that many of the convention centers we use for our District Conventions have inadequate bathroom facilities which make it difficult for parents with small children to care for all their needs during the short lunch break, also the elderly may find it difficult. However, it is reported that teenagers and single adults are the ones most frequently to arrive late for the afternoon session rather than families with small children or the elderly!

    If families with small children and the elderly can be at their seats on time, really then for the rest of us, there is no excuse for lateness at the conventions"


    The quote was accurate but it sent an incomplete message. This practice is unfair to the rest here who labored for years under the Watchtower's habit of selective quoting.

    There is plenty wrong with the Watchtower without having to select out of context words and sentences here and there to sharpen as arrows against them. In my opinion, when that is done we do more harm to ourselves than to the Watchtower. In the Watchtower our thinking abilities were damaged and we were encouraged to only see things in black and white. Nothing is black and white, not even the Watchtower, and when incomplete or misleading selective quotes are held up as "truths", I think we hurt ourselves and others almost as much as the Watchtower did.

    Just my 2.


  • rocketman

    You make a very valid point, and credibility is quickly lost when quotes are taken out of context.

    In the fictional quote, the basic idea of 'no excuses' still came across as somewhat arrogant though, even with the whole "quote" (feels funny quoting quote) included. Therein lies the basic problem many here have with jw publications - they still come across as arrogant and/or misleading, even when the full context is considered.

    That said, I do agree IW that you make a good point. Accuracy is essential.

  • Simon

    I agree.

    All criticism should be fair and thought through. If people do look into some aspect of something and finds that it's been twisted to make them look bad, they will likely dismiss other things that they hear.

    There really is plenty of material to use without having to make anything up.

    I can also understand peolpe being eager to find things to expose though.

  • dedalus

    How about these quotes? Are any of these out of context?

    "Every kind of terror will be used to destroy the evil world--cloud bursts, lashing rains, overflowing floods, earthquakes, giant hailstorms and a rain of fire. There will be terror on the land, terror in the sea and terror in the air. With shocking surprise Armageddon will catch all those persons outside the New World society." -- From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained, 1958, p. 207.

    "On Satan's side will be all the rest of mankind, more than 99.9 percent, as we read, 'The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.' That includes all the governments of the world together with their supporters, the commercial, religious and social institutions. Even the professedly Christian organizations? Yes, because all such that are making themselves friends of the world are making themselves enemies of God." -- Watchtower 10/15/58, p. 614-5.

    "Do not conclude that there are different roads, or ways, that you can follow to gain life in God's new system. There is only one. There was just one ark that survived the Flood, not a number of boats. And there will be only one organization--God's visible organization--that will survive the fast-approaching ‘great tribulation.’ It is simply not true that all religion lead to the same goal … You must be part of Jehovah’s organization, doing God’s will, in order to receive his blessing of everlasting life." – You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, 1982, p. 255.

    "Never forget that only God’s organization will survive the end of this dying system. Act wisely, therefore, and make plans for life eternal by building your future with Jehovah’s organization." – Watchtower 7/15/84, p. 20.

    "Only Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the ‘great crowd,’ as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural home of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil. (Revelation 7:9-17; 2 Corinthians 4:4) They will make up the ‘flesh’ that Jesus Christ said would be saved through the worst tribulation in human history." – Watchtower 9/1/89, p. 19.

    "The masses of people facing annihilation if they fail to respond to the good news include out unbelieving relatives, neighbors, workmates, schoolmates, and acquaintances. But our concern is to reach out to ‘all sorts of men’ in imitation of God, who manifested his love for the entire world by giving his Son, Jesus Christ, as a ransom for all (John 3:16). We must zealously invite all to flee to God’s place of safety. By fully carrying out the preaching work, we can avoid bloodguilt." – Kingdom Ministry, September 2000, p. 1

Share this