What did you think of "Simplification" ???

by Swan 30 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Swan

    I know now what was behind many of the simplification procedures that were adopted at the assemblies over the years. The books and food were given away to avoid tax problems. I know that now. But what did you think about it when you were a JW?

    Here is what I thought. When the society eliminated the orchestra for canned music, it was a shame because the quality just wasn't the same. What happened to art? Eliminated for cost reasons. The music our orchestras produced had soul, and now we had canned "art." Still, it saved those poor brothers countless hours of practice, so I accepted it.

    Then other changes came. Books that used to be plentiful, we could only have one per family "because Jehovah's organization was growing."

    Unlike Jesus turning water into wine and multiplying loaves and fishes, nutritious meals were miraculously transformed into junk food. It was explained that because they now had so many people to feed in such a short time, that they had to adopt the marketing strategies of McDonald's. Didn't that make you think? Didn't you begin to wonder? My nephew called it "the pudding meeting." All of those cafeterias we worked so hard on in all of those assembly halls! What good were they now? So we started eating sandwiches mashed in tin foil. So there we were at assemblies sucking our brains out on frozen orange juice. And the only thing on the menu that could actually be considered nutritious was the fruit bag, except most of the fruit in it was still green. After eating it you had to make extra trips to the restroom, where we were allowed only one towel.

    Did you begin to feel like less of a person and like more of a number? Did you begin to resent that you had extra meal tickets unused on Sunday because they "ran out of food?" Did your stomach ever growl on Sunday because you hadn't found any hoagies left? Basically now those tickets were a donation, unless by chance you were one of the few who liked Shasta lemon-lime.

    I began to dread assembly time, and the KM that announced more simplification procedures. I began to resent my hard earned vacation time being used up for these days of hardships that left you hungry for more than a gassy burrito and bone weary at the end of the day.

    Go this way. Turn that way. Don't park there. Keep moving. No talking in the halls. Take your seats when the canned music starts (25 minutes before the talk). I got so blasted tired of it!

    Why? Why? Why? I asked myself. It didn't used to be this way. We used to be able to eat what we wanted, get hot vegetables with our meals, and dry our hands. What happened?

    "Jehovah's organization is growing by leaps and bounds!" was the answer. I really began to wonder then. 6 million JWs worldwide and Jehovah couldn't take care of us? He did with the Israelites? What was going on here? What was he going to do after the big A? How would the WTBTS take care of us after armageddon? What would happen when all of those people were resurrected? If the WTBTS couldn't handle large numbers now, how would they ever manage in the "new system?"

    Sitting there at those boring assemblies I thought about all these things. The next summer I didn't use my vacation days to go to the District Convention. I made up the excuse that I had a project I was working on that I couldn't afford to take time off for. I went only on the weekend.

    The summer after that, I didn't go at all. By the next January I sent in my DA letter.

    So did you think there was something wrong when the simplified stuff started?


  • Elsewhere
    Jehovah's organization is growing by leaps and bounds!

    Yet the resources kept getting more and more scarce... This tells me that the $$$ per Person being gathered was going down, down, down.

  • iiz2cool

    With all of that so called simplification, I have to wonder why circuit assemblys in the Toronto area, that use an assembly hall owned by the society and that has been paid off long ago, continue to have 'expenses' in excess of $4,000 per day. Multiply that by the number of days it's used in a year, and they're raking in over $400,000 a year on one building alone.

    Not a bad business, eh? Maybe we should start our own cult and make some $$$


  • Blueblades

    Remember the announcement in the Jan.15,2001 WT.It concerned the reorganization in which "certain members of the Governing Body who had been serving as directors and officers voluntarily stepped aside from the boards of directors of all the corporations used by the 'faithful and dicreet slave'in the U.S.A."

    I was at that special meeting when that announcement was made back in Oct.2000.

    The reason given for this was so that the 'SLAVE' could give undivided attention to the sheep and prepare the spiritual food for them.This was a new form of simplication.

    However,what has changed,what has been forthcoming since they now have had their undivided attention toward the sheep spiritually?

    It's been four years,nothing have been given the sheep.Rather things have been taking away from the sheep,freedom has been tightened,rules have been changed etc

    .How many of the rank and file are even aware that the Governing Body made this commitment at that time back in 2000 as to the reason they were stepping aside


  • micheal

    Simplification is just another way of saying "We're running out of money"

  • minimus

    Simplification is actually "downsizing". Swan, that was a great post! I could relate to everything you said! It's really all about the numbers game and I don't mean the Bible book.

  • anglise

    Brilliant post Swan.

    I just wish we had read more into the changes at the time and we might have got out sooner.

    The one thing we did understand was the change to paperback books. We then saw this as cost cutting and not "simplification'". I cant remember what year that happened though.


  • Swan
    The one thing we did understand was the change to paperback books.

    Really? I missed that change. It must have happened after January 1994 (my DA). It makes sense though.

    Hardbound books are made to last longer, and the new light changes too fast nowadays to need the old light to stay around for very long. I heard that the Live Forever book has even been replaced now.

    Also, why put the extra cost into hard-bound books that you now have to give away for free due to tax-law changes?


  • Scully

    Having an orchestra at an assembly never cost the WTS one thin dime. Getting rid of live music performed by individuals seems to me to have been a tactic of keeping people with any kind of talent from "showing off" or drawing attention to themselves. We can't have people with some spark of imagination or creativity, now can we??

    When we left, the books were still hard cover. The binding was done very professionally, with special sewing machines. The books were designed to last a long time. Now the pages are glued to the spine and the books are paperback bound. They'll fall apart before any New Lightâ„¢ starts to flicker. People will toss them as soon as they start to lose a couple of pages, and there will be fewer "original" editions out there to compare newer editions to for changes. That was a very clever move on the WTS's part.

    Bringing your own meals to conventions... again, this is just another way of saying "This facet is not bringing in enough revenue". I seriously doubt that any sisters who have get up earlier in the morning to prepare meals for their families and drag the food around in a cooler consider their lives to be "simplified" where conventions are concerned. Particularly when they are already responsible for the most part for making sure all the children are dressed properly before leaving for the convention, usually get up earlier and go to bed later than anyone else in the family.

    Love, Scully

  • stillajwexelder

    I actually thought simplification was a good idea -- in general it led to less central control -- and I hate the control-freak tendencies of the borganization -- so I was all for it.

Share this