30 years after leaving utterly unrecognisable

by Number 6 32 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Number 6
    Number 6

    This is the first time I have posted on here in many years....

    I seldom visit now although this forum was instrumental to me in gaining my sanity in the early 2000's and recovering from the Watchtower religion.

    By chance tonight I was on YouTube and caught a JW.org video which out of curiosity prompted me to look at the official website and amongst other things I looked up the music section.

    Why that I hear you ask? Music is my passion and nothing reminds me more or evokes more memories than the Kingdom Songs I grew up listening to.

    I am 49 years old and my mother was baptised in 1974. I grew up in the era of pink songbooks and green bibles. Of the theology of Fred Franz and types and anti-types. Anyone who couldn't explain 1914 and the 7 times was considered weak. We studied the yellow book "Gods Kingdom of a Thousand Years" and other "deep" material at our group studies. Watchtower Studies were 40 paragraphs long and regularly overran on Sunday mornings.

    But above all else it was the songs that evoked the most memories of that era.

    When I got online in 2000 it was amazing to me that the 1995 "generation" teaching had happened, but overall, the religion I grew up in was still that: recognisable to me as such.

    Now in 2019 it has changed to the point i no longer recognise it. Nothing. Presentation and media dominate. Teachings take second place to appearance.

    And above all else all the songs have changed.

    I despise this religion and all that it represents. But..... when i listen to those old songs I remember a time in my youth now long gone; and its really weird.

    I hope there are those my age out there who know where I am coming from.

  • neverendingjourney

    I'm 10 years younger than you and have been out since the mid-00s. The sidelining of doctrine was inevitable.

    One of the advantages we had was the general public's ignorance. We could soak up the fake wisdom and knowledge of the WT and feel like intellectual giants because the public was ill-prepared to provide a solid counterargument.

    Looking back, I remember how big an impact on my faith it was to encounter the rare individual who'd studied Witness teachings and could push back. Being unable to easily dispatch them with a proof text was humiliating. Sure, I pushed it all back into the part of my brain where I shoved things I didn't want to voluntarily access again, but the impact was real.

    Fast forward 20 years and more information than even those rare people possessed is available to anyone willing to spend 10 minutes reading the JW wikipedia page. Return visits would get derailed by having to respond to info the householder found online.

    So instead of updating the doctrine, which is too hard to do, especially for a group run by a committee that requires a supermajority to act, you push doctrine to the sideline and make it all about the community.

    The religion's appeal is much more limited that way. They'll manage to recruit emotionally vulnerable people who don't care about doctrinal consistency, but the real push is in retaining captive born-ins. But the walls are starting to crack there, too.

  • Anna Marina
    Anna Marina

    They are giving out a very green message though. They keep a few scriptures to maintain the collective, then squew the message to polar ice caps.

    Do you remember the Panda Tract? What struck me was that the panda was the symbol of the World Wildlife Fund. Maybe they haven't changed that much - maybe that was always there, underlying things.

    You never know Number 6, they may bring out a Green Bible again.

  • stillin

    I miss the old "types and antitypes" days. If you carried out the complete "type" you usually could draw a completely different conclusion than the WTS did. But that was only if you were thinking at all.

    The music...ah yes, the music! I remember congregations trying their best to make the singing beautiful, using only an aspiring pianist and their actual voices. Harmonies! Not any more. Singing harmony is almost the same thing as being apostate. We must all be mediocre or the less-talented ones may get to feeling badly...

    There actually were some songs that were a pleasure but that may have been commensurate with the worship of Jehovah, rather than the Organization. Things have changed...

  • eyeslice2

    I've been out for the best part of twenty years and don't recognize this religion any more.

    What I find most disturbing is the total lack of any flexibility when it comes to the meeting parts. The elders conducting the meetings have to strictly stick to a fixed, rigid outline. No room for real local application even. How can material developed in the USA simply be translated into say some Indian language and be relevant to the local environment? It's beyond me.

    Still the governing body knows best, or so they think.

  • blondie

    I have kept up with the changes, but I still see the WTS of the 60's and 70's does not resemble what I saw see now. The WTS has massaged their own policies and doctrines so much that if Russell were alive today he would be kicked out of the organization as an apostate.

  • dropoffyourkeylee
    I find the ‘new’ religion devoid of any emotion. It just doesn’t connect to people anymore.
  • Vanderhoven7

    Number 6

    Nice pic. Danger Man, Patrick Mcgoohan was one of my favorite actors

  • resolute Bandicoot
    resolute Bandicoot

    Number 6 said-

    Watchtower Studies were 40 paragraphs long and regularly overran on Sunday mornings

    Ooh. That must have been so painful.


  • days of future passed
    days of future passed

    I'm older than you #6 and the WT's dragged on long before you. You think your salvation is at hand when you look back at the clock and it's 5 to 12. 5 minutes that somehow dragged on for another 10. Then the long prayer.

    I remember assemblies that proved the Trinity wrong. Who Babylon the Great was. The types and anitypes. Declarations against false religion that brought thunderous clapping around the stadium. Loud joyful singing. Remember the song that had as the ending chorus "What shall we bring, Jehovah's kingdom?" sung by the brothers and then the answer by the sisters - "Triumph and truth and righteousness" Then all would sing the end. That was back in the day before 1975 and people had a firm belief that soon, yes soon Armageddon would bring relief and the end of death.

Share this