I no longer feel smart as a JW, I feel dumb...
- I have met the brother who wrote the insight books as well as other stuff . He said the ones left are just idiots. With out fred franz, dulap, franz and a couple other that all left or died theres no one left to write anything of substance.
Good rant. Don't apologize; I enjoyed it.
The new Thursday nights is even worse! You no longer give what you learned from the bible reading. It's two pre-made answers followed by two specific questions. It's no longer what you found in your reading.
That's because they want it all controlled. They know their doctrine has too many holes in it. Can you imagine what the meetings would be like if the weekly Bible reading was completely open to honest analysis, questioning, etc.? The org fears that so it formats the meetings such that that can't happen.
Even though I admire the older brother and prefer the old-timers like him and I agree with your general point, the sad truth is that what the old brother did was probably not really "in depth". He probably just pointed to single word translations and doesn't know anything about grammar, syntax, etc. - about the way whole clauses, sentences, and passages are translated. He probably couldn't in the least show that the NWT is well-translated.
JWdom is embarrassingly dumbed down now, but as I look back, I realize we were really "dumb" in the older days, too, even though the material was meatier. We thought we were Bible scholars, but I now realize that was an illusion.
sparrowdown: When they went into more detail with their literature and meeting talks it wasn't because the information was more intellient it was just bolder and more unapologetic in its lies. The dumbing down of the information you are observing just means they know they can't get away with as much anymore so they keep it vague and superficial.
Excellent insight and analysis! It was just bolder back then, and it had a confident, unapologetic, almost cocky tone. You're so right. The dumbing down is because they know now that if they try that bold, really specific stuff, they'll get pulverized and exposed online, in arguments, etc.
thedepressedsoul: Cart witnessing we're being taught not to get into any doctrine issues but to just focus on getting the individuals information and leaving him with literature. In door to door if someone argues, we just leave now.
That's because of what sparrowdown said (see above). The boldness is gone. They (the org and individual JWs) run from challenges now.
If JWs are right, then doesn't it seem that they should be getting bolder, louder, more confident, etc. since with every passing day they supposedly get closer to the end??? Instead, they get weaker, wimpier.
TheMark: In the past it only seemed in depth because they had all these calculations and prophecy interpretations applied to themselves. They kept going on about all that 1914 stuff until it became evident to everyone that the generation was not what they thought it was. After that, maybe starting 1994 or so, they had nothing left to say.
cofty: We were instructed that when a "householder" raised an objection to get the book out and read the answer. I was a pioneer at the time and I never took the book out ever. I prided myself on being able to answer anything from the bible alone.
Exactly the same with me.
It seems to be 100 times worse now. I couldn't stand it.
I agree that it is way worse now, and I couldn't stand it, either. It got so dumbed down that I just couldn't take it anymore; I had to get out of there.
The other thing to be aware of is that ignorant people are easier to control. Do yourself a favor and research all WT teachings using non-WT sources. Really get your teeth into it and you will be shocked at how deceptive they are.
Don't apologize. Your rant echos my thoughts as well as many others. Even my still very "in" JW mother says that the information presented in the literature and at the meetings is "fluff". The society knows that the new converts can't handle anything that involves much Bible research and merely relies on pulling on their heart strings. It's pathetic, really.
When I went to Thursday night meetings, I at least felt like I was a student, that I was learning how to speak publicly, I could prepare my own comments, I could answer points that I learned from the weekly bible reading.
Judging from your OP, you are also a good writer! You're still smart. It's the organization that's gotten dumb. It's a 19th century apocalyptic sect that has survived into this 21st century by evolving. After all of their failed prophecies and now all the information on the Internet, they can't attract intelligent new recruits. So they have to go with "simplified" everything and appeal to emotions rather than intellect.
They used to be much better disguising themselves as a religion. The internet has blown their cover. Now they are just a publishing & real estate empire in a clown's masquerade as a quasi religion (cult -- everyone in the "world" sees them as a weird cut).
we're being taught not to get into any doctrine issues......In door to door if someone argues, we just leave now.
Pretty soon it will be a DFing matter if you get into doctrine or discuss anything if anybody brings up opposition or counter argument. The GB will say something about how satan has become super smart and has taught all the worldly people lies so powerful if anybody has a discussion with one who aren't sheep bible students who will unquestionably accept anything they are told, then it's as bad as talking to an apostate, etc. They are getting desperate since anybody who googles jehovah's witnesses will know more then members themselves.
- I suspect that people who refuse to comply with the dumbing-down of the cult are the most likely to leave in the near future. Those who stay are mostly interested in being part of a very bad social club.
George Carlin, the comedian, used to say that government leaders everywhere want their people smart enough so they can be productive and follow directions, but not so smart to a degree where they can easily perceive the overall state of corruption ever-present in their governments.
The same with the WT Society. They want their followers to be equally productive and follow directions at all costs, but they don't to want their followers smart enough where they can easily sense on their own the fragile doctrinal base supporting the WT Society. No deep study! No private studying without the faithful and discreet slave guiding them. Thus, the ‘dumbing down’ of their message as a result.
I like your comments depressedsoul
The Watchtower has gotten even worse. I'm not even sure the point of it anymore.
It does seem to be functionally pointless. Their one claim for existence was to announce 1874 as the invisible coming of Christ! If it was created to serve the God of the universe (as if he needed helpers) then the JW organization over their entire history have instead pitifully misled mankind.
It's more about gloating about the organization and doctrine, then actually teaching you something.
The fact they gloat over the achievements and doctrines which they consider significant, indicates the lack of any external acclaim, for no one outside thinks them to be worthwhile. And the shameful and offensive boasting which so characterizes the org today, indicates the insecurity and inadequacies of a fumbling leadership declining in influence.
All they know is blind dogma and indoctrination...archetypal blind guides is what they are.