How Knowledge is Dissipated in Talks
Londo111 » Each congregation has a “talk coordinator”. Talk coordinators will coordinate with other talk coordinators in order to find speakers to give the public talk on Sunday. Typically, they come from the general area: the circuit or a nearby circuit. So it would not be possible for a stranger to show up on Sunday and give a talk.
Even the content of the public talk does not originate with the one giving it. The content comes from Headquarters in New York. Basically, Watchtower gives dozens of outlines, and a speaker must select or be given one of those. While there is some room for variation, basically the speaker must deliver the points of the outline, albeit in their own words. Even circuit overseers are given outlines…although they have more freedom for variation.
In another thread, Londo and Flipper provided some fascinating nuggets on how one is chosen to dispense knowledge, and how they do it through talks. This is an enormous amount of control and I had a question.
Let's say that you've studied a topic for years and have become proficient in it. Let's say the topic revolves around the Old Testament, how we got it -- how the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah were written. And let's say you have a doctorate in the field of ancient scripture, and that you've written papers on it. You decide to do a fireside at your home and you do it as an open house. You open it to people of any faith, including fellow members of the Kingdom Hall, yet you're careful to explain you're doing it under your own auspices, and not of any church.
You don't post flyers at the KH, you do it by word of mouth.
An elder discovers you are doing this. What's he going to do? Since you're doing this yourself, are you in the clear?
Or two, let's say some members ask you to give a fireside at one of their homes. They're careful to say it's not sponsored by the Watchtower Society, but is a private fireside. Would that be permitted?
I'm curious if they would try to reel you in anyway. Some people might speak on the Adventist movement, William Miller, Ellen White and her visions, etc. It's completely legal, and there's nothing in the Bible that would be again it.
What's the story? Especially for some of you elders out there?
You would be told to desist. There would be a local needs talk. If you did not comply you would be DFd for causing division or any one a few possible offenses.
100% agree with cofty. They don't even want you studying the bible in small groups.
One tip off is that's how the Society cleaned house back in 1880 at Bethel. Small groups started to meet to read and discuss the Bible. Bible discussions freaked out the heavies at Bethel so they went on a witch hunt.
The Society has no record of being liberal when it comes to bible knowledge......... it's their way or the highway.
Frustrated by what he viewed as the Governing Body's dogmatism and overemphasis on traditional views rather than reliance on the Bible in reaching doctrinal decisions, Franz and his wife decided in late 1979 they would leave the international headquarters.
In March 1980, Franz and his wife took a leave of absence from the world headquarters.............. The following month, a committee of the Governing Body raised concerns about "wrong teachings" being spread by headquarters staff and began questioning staff about their beliefs. Staff were also questioned about comments Franz had made that may have contradicted Watch Tower doctrine] On May 8, 1980, Franz was told that he had been implicated as an apostate. He was called back to Brooklyn on May 20 for two days of questioning by the Chairman's Committee. According to Franz, the discussion involved allegations that some Witnesses were meeting privately to discuss various teachings of the Watch Tower Society that may have constituted apostasy.
On May 21, 1980, Franz was called to a Governing Body session where he was questioned for three hours about his biblical viewpoints and commitment to Watch Tower doctrines. Consequently, he agreed to a request to resign from the Governing Body and headquarters staff. Franz refused the Watch Tower Society's offer of a monthly stipend as a member of the "Infirm Special Pioneers". The Governing Body investigation resulted in the disfellowshipping of several other headquarters staff.
On September 1, 1980, the Governing Body distributed a letter to all Circuit and District overseers stating that apostates need not be promoting doctrines to be disfellowshipped. The letter stated that individuals who persisted in "believing other doctrine despite scriptural reproof" were also apostatizing and therefore warranted "appropriate judicial action".
To copy and past what I wrote on the other discussion:
As the September 2007 Kingdom Ministry says:
“Does ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate? No, it does not …“the faithful and discreet slave” does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight."
Curious what is the Societies stand today on disassociations?
"The Watchtower, September 15, 1981, page 23, "One who has been a true Christian might renounce the way of the truth, stating that he no longer considers himself to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses or wants to be known as one. When this rare event occurs, the person is renouncing his standing as a Christian, deliberately disassociating himself from the congregation ... Persons who make themselves 'not of our sort' by deliberately rejecting the faith and beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses should appropriately be viewed and treated as are those who have been disfellowshiped for wrongdoing."
“Does ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate? No, it does not…“the faithful and discreet slave” does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight."
Yes, but a one-time fireside is hardly engaging in scriptural research or debate. It's one guy giving one lecture to a group of mixed listeners. Would the statement above include book clubs, lectures on astronomy and other non-scriptural topics? Just talking about the history of the scriptures and not scriptural exegeses should be okay. I'd be out the door if a group tried to do that to me.
I'm astounded...and I didn't think that was possible.
If it were some sort of Bible study with the intent to convert the non-JWs, perhaps it would be okay. But only two JWs would be able to "count their time".
However, even a one-time meetup of independent Bible research, if come to attention of the elders, would likely result in them talking to the person. And a mixed theological discussion (JWs and non-JWS) might be viewed as "interfaith": a huge no no.
A non-religious meetup (book club,ect) would not bear that kind of stigma. However, most likely, a JW would be counseled at having unnecessary association with non-JWs and 1 Corinthians 15:33 would be trotted out.
Exactly Londo! This is one of the things that makes it a cult. It's really difficult for non-JWs to truly understand the level of control they exert. Just check out the beard discussion. I still can't believe I ever allowed them that level of control.
I'm astounded...and I didn't think that was possible
Let's review - The JWs are a cult, just like the Mormons but different.