What Religious Trajectory Are The JWs Following?

by millie210 40 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cha ching
    cha ching

    Yes Millie, I agree... When I was in school, the Catholic Church ruled! No meat on Fridays.... Ex-communicated meant "lose your families forever." The Pope.... kiss his pinky ring? hmm? Blessed by the Pope/ Priest/ elders?

    I totally see the connection/ parallel between the old Catholic Church and the GB of today ;-)

  • millie210
    Because it has no historical links or counterparts, and especially since it believes it has destiny ensured by the Almighty in opposition to the world around it, whatever similarities the Watchtower has to Roman Catholic Church parts at a critical junction: the Governing Body does not bend.

    I appreciated every word of your post although I have to admit it took me two reads to feel I grasped it. Very deep and very informative. I never knew the close links to Judaism existed.

    I agree that the Catholic church has adapted and changed (bending) whereas the Org shows little ability to do so.

    Or perhaps not fast enough?

  • millie210

    Coded Logic,

    I was thinking today about that song "Listen, Obey and Be Blessed".

    That title sounds so cult like and robotic once you have some time and space away from the Organization.

    It saddens me to think of children standing at Regional assemblies this summer singing that song, unaware of the indoctrinating thoughts it conveys.

  • millie210


    I agree with you that if there is any comparison, it would have to be the Catholic church of long ago.

    The two today have no resemblance to one another. In my original post I was thinking of the Catholic churches actions and attitudes in centuries gone by not modern day Catholicism, I didnt make that clear.

    When you mention the Church of Christ, Scientist - I am not sure who you mean. Is that the Christian Scientists?

    I do see your point about pragmatism and reinvention though.

  • millie210
    I think they will soon be facing a drop in membership. This will be hard to stop given that they don't appear willing to compromise or drop unsustainable policies, instead focusing on fear and control.

    I think you are correct and I am guessing we will see this drop a lot more after the summer assemblies, when people have a chance to really digest how those videos.

  • millie210

    Thank you cha ching!

    Im glad you see it to. You know whats funny? I always had Catholic Bible studies when I was a JW.

    I think now that it was because I "understood" the dogma and hierarchy because my own religion had it -although I didnt consciously see it at the time.

    I am glad you mentioned no fish on Friday...I forgot all about that one!

  • David_Jay

    Thanks, Millie. Sorry if I pontificated a bit.

    I also would like to add that the similarities between what you have noted may be due more to how humans naturally act than the fact that we are comparing two religions.

    Organizations and especially governments of various types can often have the same type of signature: a hierarchy that seems to control all, a belief system that must be embraced lest you get cast out and even divided from your family, even a "we-have-the-truth" vs. the world philosophy.

    For instance, North Korea has these same earmarks. Imperialist Japan up through WWII had them. The Third Reich and even the Soviet Communist system and countless other secular regimes have been like this.

    What you are seeing is not similarities of religion in and of itself, but the abusive exercise of power by human beings. Religion and secular philosophies are like guns. They kill no one on their own unless a human operates them.

    The Roman Catholic Church did not begin as an oppressive system. On the contrary, it was the oppressed and persecuted and outcast. When the tables turned, it found itself with more than merely the freedom to worship. It found itself with power. When humans get power, the bad seem to find their way to the top in order to grab the reigns.

    When the Enlightenment occurred, nations became more secular. The Church lost its power. With only its freedom, the Catholic Church is now similar to what it originally was or at least in a place where it can be what it was once intended. Just becuase Pope Francis is at the wheel steering, it doesn't immediately wipe away those bad humans who rose to the top. These types all like to call "shotgun" and make it hard for a good driver to steer straight. Until they die or you kick them off, the car never travels well, and sometimes the bad passengers attempt to kick out the good driver.

    As the other examples I previously mentioned demonstrate, it doesn't have to be a religion to be this way. It can be a secular business that is crooked, even a regime that claims to bring freedom to the masses by liberating the people from religion, only to make themselves the ruling deities.

    What you may be seeing in common is what evil looks like, not necessarily a similarity in religions.

  • shepherdless

    Thanks Millie,

    My first post was a bit blunt, in retrospect. It was not intentional.

    Yes I believe the official name for the Christian Scientists is "First Church of Christ, Scientist", or "Church of Christ, Scientist". Such an ironic name. I can't think of a christian religion with dogmas so contradictory to science and so easily provable as scientifically incorrect.

    Just to expand on what I said before:

    • For a whole raft of reasons (some already mentioned by others), Watchtower can't or won't become more moderate or mainstream.
    • Watchtower's publishing business has gone from a key revenue earner to a liability, and so (unlike eg Seventh Day Adventists and Exclusive Bretheren) it has no other business to fall back on.
    • The Watchtower business has a very high number of (low paid) employees, and consequential costs for a religion of its size. (This may be an issue worthy of its own thread.)
    • Watchtower is trying to be a media company, which is what nearly sent Christian Science broke in the 1980's.
    • I gather that the biggest problem for Christian Science at the moment is that the adherents are old and dying off. The 2014 Pew report shows that median ages of JWs in USA are well above the general population and have increased to a point that would suggest the same may start happening to the JW's.

    Hence I think the better guide for the future of JWism, is Christian Science, not the Roman Catholic church.

    I also agree with David Jay's analysis, by the way.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    I agree that the pattern of administration in high control groups necessarily share similarities but, the Roman Catholic Church is also the archetypal and preeminent religious cult. It has been working on public relations ever since its beginnings with the superstitious Emperor Constantine and his apologist lackey Eusebius back in the fourth century. It was and remains the very model of religious power and propaganda with the lure of heaven and threats of eternal damnation should you slide from its grip.

    Eleven years after the 1975 debacle, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society moved from being nominally a collective of independent congregations regulated by Brooklyn HQ to become an organised or hierarchical religion just like its arch rival the Catholic Church which it formerly castigated for the very reason that it was hierarchical! The reasons for this assertive turn around, was surely to take control of the money and property rights of all congregations world-wide. The resulting boost in confidence I think led to the overarching ambition of the WT for political acceptance among the responsible players in the religious and financial world. The word hubris springs to mind.

    One clear example of the new mood at the tail end of the last century was in joining the UN as an NGO (non-governmental organisation). This was to facilitate their expansion into countries where the body politic would naturally have barred cults like the WT. The astonishing hypocrisy of publicly condemning the UN for years and then joining it; is almost without parallel even in WT history. The exposure in the British newspaper the Guardian in October 2001 possibly marks a turning point in constraining their worldly ambition.

    Significantly up until this time, the old guard governing body had been in thrall to the religious fantasies of Fred Franz up to the last and 6th president Henschel. At his death in 2003, the power was left in the hands of the governing body which had formerly been a weak force since its beginnings in 1971 but now it had taken hold of the reins of power.

    A couple of years previously, their seventy five year long mantra of “the generation of 1914” had fallen off its pedestal and into the rubbish bin. What was left for the governance of the WT? Their fondness for prophetic ineptitude had been reinforced and not at all helped by the risible excuse that Jesus meant to say “overlapping generations” when the scripture unequivocally says “the generation”. The death of the 1914-generation-hope died with its proponents and left the prophetic credibility of the WT in tatters.

    To survive as a corporation it needed authority which was not dependent on doctrine or disastrous prophesies. Like any business with a mass following they turned to PR companies for help. Even with professionally advised TV presentation and sassy new logo their authority has no tangible basis. Doomsday cults can never deliver and therefore can never be proved right. The RC Church although also waning in influence, only furnishes its mystical blessings to the believers but is never cursed to be dependent on Armageddon’s imminent arrival.

    Also at the turn of the century the demise of printed material due to information technology as well as the prospect of taxing the sales of magazines, began to reduce income which could only force evolution in the business model for the Watchtower. This demanded they get with the revolution and in the last couple of years it has become an electronic religion to the horror of the elderly faithful.

    So here we are...the Watchtower lacks authority because it always fails in its prophetic claims, it therefore shows no special evidence of divine appointment. To overcome this it uses its new electronic propaganda machine called in USA “televangelism”. The Watchtower is an unreconstructed doomsday cult and consequently has to perpetuate the imminence of Armageddon at the forefront of all things to give hope to its followers, without this dangling carrot, the Org will die. Very likely the public will also fail to be interested in Watchtower promises.

    Mille, you ask what direction the WT will take. Well since they are up against declining religious belief even in the USA, the big Watchtower enemy is free information on the internet; along with the rise of education standards, they form a disaster for a doomsday cult. The internet also exposes the unsound foundations of literal belief in the Bible. The JW org is in the public eye for child abuse and its heartless response to the feelings of the abused. The JW org will increasingly look out of step with progress in the Western world where social concerns are greatly improving and personal responsibility and personal growth is encouraged. The Watchtower by contrast is intellectually bankrupt, it gives nothing to society except its false hopes and it is possibly losing its income and wealthy sponsors and is having to sell its capital assets.

    Remembering an illustration from Monty Python, the outline of a sauropod starts off with a small and brainless head at ground level, then rises to a big hump and then declines to a small trailing tail. I think we are now situated just beyond the hips and descending the tail. It’s downhill from here on.


    Things in common with JW and Catholics

    1-They believe the bible is the word of God

    2- They believe Jesus is the messiah

    3- I think that's it

Share this