Constant out-of-context quoting; how do Writing dept. cope with that?

by Anders Andersen 27 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • sparrowdown

    There are only a few possible explanations really.

    The WT writers and the people who sign off on them are very ignorant of what it means to present an article that is journalistically sound.

    The WT writers know full well what they are writing is questionable but are under instruction to present the info that way.

    I find it very difficult to believe that the WT writers are that stupid or ignorant, but I do believe the WT heirarchy is that deceptive and the writing department does what it is told. IMO.

  • ttdtt
    For at least 4 years I have seen that most quotes are completely out of context. Like when you hear a scientist say evolution is wrong. It's hard for me to not feel that the writers are not doing this with full knowledge.
  • Cadellin

    I wondered the same thing when I was first waking up. I just could not fathom how anyone with (1) enough of an education so as to be able to write a publishable article, and (2) at least some degree of conscience could take quote after quote out of context. I realize that we're not talking about one person but about whole committees, which actually makes it even worse.

    I think the writers conceptualize it as a case of the end justifying the means. Remember that these writers themselves are not seeking truth or questioning the basis of their beliefs. The whole "truth" belief system is Absolutely True. So filching a quote that isn't quite what the original writer intended BUT that supports The Truth is okay, not just because it furthers the cause of Truth but because, even if the original writer didn't intend for that quote to say what it does, if, by itself, it harmonizes with Truth, then it must be True.

    Whew! I need a drink.

  • slimboyfat
    I see what you mean but I am not sure this is a great example. Arguably they could be emphasising that pagan gods are capricious whereas the God of the Bible is not. "Meaningful and purposive" would not contradict this sort of distinction but confirm it.
  • sir82

    Remember that the members of the writing department have little or no formal education. Their primary qualification for landing the job they have is how "spiritual" they are.

    In JW-world, being "spiritual" is exactly, 100% equal to being "obedient".

    When some poor schlub with a high-school education, but with an above-average natural talent for spelling or writing coherently, is plucked from the laundry or construction crew or whatnot, they are trained in the "Bethel way" of writing.

    What is the "Bethel way"?

    Regarding quotes: "Is the stuff between the quotation marks accurately transcribed? Read in isolation, does it support our preferred point? Then use it!"

    Of course, anyone trained as a writer in a university, or heck, anyone who has a passing knowledge of ethics, would not do so.

    But remember the point made above - "spiritual" = "obedient".

    The newbie writing department schlub figures, "Hey, these guys [instructing me] have way more experience, and are far more spiritual than I am - if they say it is OK, it must be OK!"

    And so he learns to do that, and does so for 10 or 15 years....then it is time for him to train another newbie schlub from dishwashing or housekeeping as a "writer". And the cycle continues.

  • Vidiot

    As far as the WTS is concerned, they're at war.

    And all's fair in love and war.

  • steve2

    Two different problems become merged in threads like this:

    (1) Misquotes (changing an author's actual words) and (2) Partial quotes (accurately quoting the author but taking the words out of context and thereby creating wrong impression).

    Seldom has the organization misquoted a source. Commonly, however, the organization parades a partial quote to imply an author was stating something very different from their original work.

    The distinction betwen these two problems is crucial in questions of whether and to what extent Awake writers know what they are doing. For example, a writer could accurately claim to not misquote a source but provide only a partial quote which, out of context, appears to support that writer's viewpoint.

    In my view, partial quotes are the province of the poorly educated because it is likely that when they first read a source, the really do believe it is supportive of their view.

  • Vidiot

    Once again, for the newbies, lurkers, and trolls...


    ...if you have to cheat to defend your beliefs, your beliefs don't deserve to be defended.

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