Why Aren`t The G.B Members Representive Of All Nations ? and not just America ?

by smiddy3 41 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • slimboyfat

    Leo Greenlees was Scottish? I thought he was Canadian. You may be confusing him with a different Greenlees family.

    I didn’t realise Karl Klein was born in Germany

    I think Ewart Chitty was English

    Martin Poetzinger was German

    Wasn't Lloyd Barry Australian? No google says born in New Zealand

    Did George Gangas grow up in Greece? His bio says born in the Ottoman Empire, he was that old.

    John Barr was Scottish, as mentioned

    Geoffrey Jackson is Australian

    Gerrit Loesch was born in Austria

    And Stephen Lett, a badly kept secret, is from the planet Neptune

  • sparky1

    Wouldn't a more accurate question be:

    Why has the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses always been comprised mainly of individuals of Caucasian Anglo-Saxon descent from 'Westernized countries/cultures'? It does seem though that through the years, White Americans have mostly been in control of this religion.

  • fulano

    I think it could be that they have to fit in in the American Culture at the HQ. Frankly I think it would not be easy for a brother, how faithfull and company guy he might be, from Africa or Japan, would fit in this group. Even europeans are sometimes considered to relaxed to work there, not on the GB I mean but in general.

  • slimboyfat

    Well from a historical theological perspective, Jehovah used mainly Jewish leaders throughout the OT and NT, and Romans 9 says that Jehovah chooses whoever he wishes to fulfil his purpose. Even Acts 10 that extends God’s message to all ethnicities, is followed by chapter 15 where Jews are still in leadership roles. So it’s not necessarily wrong from a biblical perspective that God should use people from one culture for leadership. It’s objectionable from a liberal non-biblical perspective. Not only does the GB fail to be democratic or representative of the people they lead, but their teaching makes a virtue of this fact. In particular their interpretation of the statue of Daniel deplores the weakness of democracy as a system of government because it is responsive the views of ordinary people. The GB believe they comprise a theocracy and are accountable to Jehovah alone, not to a worldwide membership with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

  • blondie

    No people from non-European (original) sources that I am aware of. These are listed from 1971 onward on the WOL. Some are now deceased and others are current; all the others were from the US. Don't assume that because they lived in the US as GB members that was their country of origin. NY/USA has been the headquarters of the WTS since about 1909.

    Barber UK/England

    Barry NZ

    Fekel Austria-Hungary

    Gangas New Ephesus, Turkey

    Klein Germany

    Poetzinger Germany

    Sullivan Canada

    G Jackson Australia

    Losch Austria

  • Gorbatchov

    You asked why we are all Caucasian Anglo-Saxon?

  • slimboyfat

    Not all caucasian because of Samuel Herd, of course. Plus there is a pretty funny chapter in Firpo Carr’s book arguing that William Jackson was black even though he looked white.


    What's pretty amazing is the lack of Hispanic GB members, despite large numbers of Hispanic JWs in the US. I wonder if there are Hispanic members of the US branch committee.

    A lot of it may simply be down to the fact that white western JWs make up the majority of memorial partakers that the GB are still selected from.

  • Vidiot
    slimboyfat - "In particular their interpretation of the statue of Daniel deplores the weakness of democracy as a system of government because it is responsive the views of ordinary people."


    I realized much later in life that my loyal JW father had such a dim view of democracy directly because of this idea.

    Throw in the conservative axiom that humanity is - deep down - fundamentally bad, and you end up left with the conclusion that any such system is both inherently unethical and doomed to fail because it couldn't help but inevitably reflect the basest, most awful aspects of said "ordinary people".

    Is it any wonder, then, that "theocratically"-minded individuals would dislike democratic systems so much?

  • blondie

    The WTS did not branch out to non-English venues for preaching until they had exhausted the English-speaking ones. It was not really until then that other Christian religions said the WTS was poaching from their flocks in those countries, those that did not speak English.

    Even when WTS missionaries went to non-English speaking countries, they were directed to seek out English-speaking people first. Many if not most WTS missionaries sent to such countries, were woefully deficient in speaking the local language(s). It took years before some could do a simple presentation, besides making return visits and starting bible studies. Men from those missionaries had to use either simple local words or give talks/parts phonetically (based on my informal interviews of current and ex-Gilead missionaries). Unless the missionaries actually lived their daily lives in these non-english speaking communities, and stayed in the Bethel home or associated socially with mostly english-speaking jws, they never progressed much.

    Many find the culture shock too much and come back even before their mandatory 5 years.

    Edited: I forgot to add that because of segregation, by law or custom/prejudice, white jws preached to white jws and black jws to black jws. Because the vast majority of Bible Students/jws were white, you can see why so few black people became anointed jws up until 1935. I can't remember any in my area (my grandparents were Bible Students until 1932). And informal interviews with other people in the congregation during that time, looked surprised that I even thought there were any. Imagine being the only black jw in an almost white community. What congregation could you attend? Who would go with you in the d2d? Would you have to have meetings by yourself?

  • vienne

    In mom's work - A chapter that will appear in Separate Identity 2 - she and her writing partner point to missionary activity in Ottoman Europe, Liberia, China, Singapore as early as 1881-2.

    An article by B. W. Schulz, mom's writing partner, on the early work in Liberia appeared in The Nsukka Journal of History, published at the University of Nigeria. Volume 4, 2017.

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