The Vietnam War and “Higher Education”

by My Name is of No Consequence 11 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • My Name is of No Consequence
    My Name is of No Consequence

    A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a brother who is well into his 80’s. He went to college, got his Bachelor’s Degree and was a school teacher for many years. During that time, he was an elder in his congregation, had many privileges and cared for his young family. This was back in the 1950’s. Nobody ever gave him a hard time about “higher education”. He was saying that the witnesses prior to the late 1960’s could go to college and nobody (usually) would give him/her a hard time about it. Very few people at that time went anyway.

    So I asked him what changed the org’s stance on college. He told me that the Vietnam War changed everything. In the late 1960’s many college campuses were hotspots for protests, drug abuse, violence and free spirit. So at that time, the general feeling about going to college was frowned upon. The reason he gave was that since all of this was going on at colleges throughout the U.S. in the late 1960’s, Christians should stay away from college altogether.

    After the Vietnam War, the org never changed their anti-college stance. Even now, the org still uses drug abuse and free spirit as reason to not go to college. They have also added that it takes away from spiritual pursuits and that it opens your mind to “the world’s thinking”.

    The funny thing is that the org always suggests going into the trades. I have worked around the unions and trades. Believe me when I tell you, I have heard some of the worst language in and around the trades. Drug and alcohol abuse also runs rampant. If you are a laborer, you sacrifice your body every day and can be unemployed for up to 20-30 weeks a year. Please don’t get me wrong; I admire tradesmen and women and the work that they do. My point is that if you join the trades, is that really a “better” alternative to college?

    In conclusion, I never made the Vietnam connection to college until I spoke to this brother. What are your thoughts?

  • Iown Mylife
    Iown Mylife

    Seems like there was an arrangement back then to get a deferment if you went to college, so you didn't have to join the military? College students were called draft dodgers a lot, according to the wikipedia i just saw about deferment.

    Well maybe that way of avoiding military service would be seen by the GB as a loss of power over JWs. Because they liked being the ones that said if a brother could avoid the draft. The elders would tell the draft board whether or not a brother was really a minister, according to how well he served the wt cult as a pioneer, etc.

    So if he's enrolled at college, learning about how to have a profession, and avoiding the draft at the same time, he's independent of their rulership AND not selling publications door to door or bringing in new victims members.

    What they really liked was having brothers thrown in jail for conscientious objector. That way they could claim persecution, like in Korea now, i think that is still going on. The boy turns 18, refuses conscription, gets thrown in the tank for years.

  • truth_b_known

    All of that may be true.

    However, I believe the modern reasoning stems around the fact that college education leads to high paying careers in a profession that might take 40 to 60 hours a week from your life. You should get a job as a window washer making minimum wage working 20 hours a week and share a one bedroom apartment with 3 families in the slums so you can pioneer.

  • James Mixon
    James Mixon

    The turbulent 60's most of the brothers that became JW were college educated or had some college experience. That is what impressed me about the religion, but most of those men left years ago. This was the case in my area.My sister started witnesses to me while I was in Viet Nam and began a study with my wife, so my wife was on her way to become a JW when I returned. I went to college after getting out of the Army and do not recall any heat from the Elders, maybe because I was new.

  • Iown Mylife
    Iown Mylife

    THEN you're meek and humble, lol. Don't want to be reaching out for a better life, looking materialistic, oh my no.

  • Wayward

    I am a tradeswoman, a carpenter, and I can honestly say I wish I'd gone to college. The pay is decent, when I'm working. Therein lies the problem. New home construction is non-existent in my area and has been that way for years. The area I live in is dying. Jobs are leaving. People are leaving. No one is moving here. I'm laid off right now and not sure if I'm going to be called back. I may have to find a new line of work. Probably should.

    I'm 40 years old and have been in this field since I was 16. It takes a terrible toll on your body. So kids, be smart. Please. Get an education. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't or shouldn't. Trust me. Being unemployed and struggling to pay your bills is no fun.

  • stuckinarut2

    Higher education teaches people HOW to think, rather than telling them WHAT to think.

    Such a skill results in people asking rational questions.....and therefore gullibility to fairy tales is negated...

  • Finkelstein

    Obtaining knowledge contravening and objectionable to the teaching of cults, is seen as a potential threat to these cult leaders .

    The WTS heads have known this for awhile now so that's why discourage higher education. On the other hand they promote construction trades so those people can be used to build Kingdom Halls etc.

    The WTS is always trying to support itself when it can and show apathy and unconcern for the rest of humanity.

  • joe134cd
    Just a further question to this topic. I heard the reason for the ban on men growing facial hair was because it was associated with hippies and their life style. It wasn't until I came on here that I realized the ban in beards was set in place well before the 1960s. Did anybody else hear the hippie story with facial hair.
  • exjwlemming
    Join the trades, learn a construction skill, and if you are fortunate, you can help us build our real estate empire for free.

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