Did I imagine a brief thaw in the Watchtower injunction against going to university?

by slimboyfat 37 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • slimboyfat

    Scare the bejesus out me why don't you scotsman.

    Sorry for being lazy. I was also just asking impressions.

  • slimboyfat
    JWFACTS to the rescue! So it seems the thaw lasted roughly from 1992 to 2005. Apart from one critical KM article in 1999. But as we know the KM is produced by the service committee and sometimes pursues more hardline policies than the writing committee. As well as Lloyd Barry's influence, I've seen it suggested that the thaw over higher education coincided with Judah Ben Schroeder being sent to law school. And the end of the thaw coincided with the ascendancy of Jaracz on the GB.
  • scotsman
    Scare the bejesus out me why don't you scotsman.

    which bit was scary? Invoking the Shanks?

  • Quarterback
    Yes, that's right. The ORG layed off all those Bethellites and said they couldn't use uneducated ones anymore so get out in FS. But, you had to read it between the lines.
  • slimboyfat
  • Tenacious

    The elders and spiritually anal retentive brethren will initially frown upon college enrolled/seekers then come around and try to use them for the nice things they acquire later on DUE to that college education.

    Hypocrisy knows no bound.

  • blondie
    Just remember that the WTS speaks out of both sides of their mouth. That the Writing and Teaching Committees have been at odds before, and then add Legal to the mix. Then there are the BOEs that make their own path, and individual elders who make exceptions for their own families.
  • Spectre

    They never ease up on anything.

    If it appears that they are on any subject matter its so they can use it in a court case to say, "But look, we said this here, so we aren't insane."

    Whether it be for blood, child custody cases, education or a number of other things, everyone in the hall knows the real score.

    .....and I know saying that I come off as some conspiracy theory nut. But it isn't hard to find them saying the complete opposite a few weeks later.

  • Mephis

    Barbara Anderson wrote an interesting article about the reasons behind the thaw: http://www.freeminds.org/doctrine/education_anderson.htm

    Relevant quote:

    "One member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Lloyd Barry, now deceased, attended university in his youth in New Zealand. In the early 1990s, he expressed himself privately to some members of the Writing Department at the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organization in Brooklyn, New York, about a needed change of attitude towards supplementary education, but not because he had attended university. Lloyd Barry was empathetic towards the low-paying job plight of Witnesses as expressed in personal letters received at headquarters, and from Jehovah’s Witnesses branch office communiqués from around the world. He said that in certain European countries jobs were not available to Witnesses, even in fast food restaurants, if they could not produce a resume which showed supplemental education after high school. Due to difficult economic changes in a world that Witnesses could not escape from, Lloyd Barry, along with the rest of the Governing Body, authorized the November 1, 1992 Watchtower article that changed the view of Witnesses towards higher education.

    Interestingly, another Governing Body member, Dan Sydlik, shared with a friend that the Watchtower Society was finding itself in a difficult position because this mammoth publishing company needed skilled technical people but couldn't find them in the Witness community. So it was decided to allow a somewhat more liberal attitude towards a college education, knowing that some percentage of students with the necessary technical skills would eventually volunteer to become part of the staff at headquarters"

    I used it in the mid-90s to move away to university and then drop the borg. It was still very much frowned upon in comparison to the joys of being a window cleaning pioneer. Still had to justify post-16 education by choosing some courses which fitted the 'serving where the need was greater/I really want to work in Bethel as a translator' figleaf of an excuse one could use.

    My apologies to those younger than me who found the door closed because I, like so many others it would seem, used it to get the hell out of dodge. >_>

  • DarioKehl
    There absolutely was a thaw and I took full advantage of it. Obtained my 4-yr degree while serving as an MS and was even interviewed with another JW (who was living on campus; I merely commuted) on a convention part about balancing our priorities. We both specifically mentioned "college," "university" and "degree" more than once. Only in the last 3 years or so have they started tightening the noose again.

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