Did you notice the expression "intelligent disobedience" in the febuary 2017 broadcast (at 7:30)?
It was used with the illustration of a guide dog for blind persons, that sometimes has to disobey it's owner.
What a fine example for us!
George, the things now being found in recent GB patter such as this subject of “intelligent disobedience” can be read as a trend.
In contrast with the black and white dogmatism which historically describes the Watchtower cult and which in the past had made decisions for true believers simple to make; the push seems to be towards “think for yourselves”.
One conclusion could be that the WT writers are actually thinking at a primitive philosophical level and exploring the consequences of moral choices independent of WT dogma. This is unlikely!
A second thought would be that a sense of despondency is pervading the org and the writers are unwittingly or even deliberately betraying the authoritarian norms of cult control methods. Possible but perhaps not yet!
I think a more likely interpretation is that they are creating a defence to their critics in the courts against the charge that they are dictatorial in all of their dealings. By printing or publicising a recommendation to use common sense or even disobey them could provide contrary legal evidence that the GB are not totalitarian. Contrary that is, to the standard WT practice, which is still expected, for absolute obedience.
What the GB print or broadcast is not necessarily what JWs do. JWs are driven to conform by the existing, historically molded cultural norms which are enforced socially and by elder opinion at the congregational level. Interpretations are always done in solidarity with the local group-think.
No doubt the impending landslide of litigation because of their dire handling of sex abuse problems, figures heavily in the minds of the GB. What the GB think can be deconstructed from what they demand in the Watchtower.
To actually adopt an anti-WT directive and have JWs making their own moral choices would truly be the thin end of the wedge for GB authority and would permit the downfall of the cult. Let’s hope the litigation forces this.
Veey interesting comments, HalfBanana! It sure sounds plausible!
And have to laugh at their illustration! "Blind owners!" !!!
"You know, we can compare our training, our power of reason, to a blind person using a guide dog. Now an untrained dog would be very helpful to a blind person. It would bark when others were around, for example. However a dog trained in specific skills is amazingly helpful. The dog knows when to stop at curbs, walk around obstacles that the person right (sic) run their head into. A guide dog is also taught a skill called 'intelligent disobedience', and even if the blind person encourages the dog forward it won't obey, but it will pull the person back from danger.
Now, it can take a year or more of training for the dog to learn the amazing skills that are so helpful to a blind person. Likewise, our raw, untrained power of reason can help us to a degree. However, it can be amazing if we take the time to train it."
Oh when I saw that I immediately thought of the problem that the JW culture has with the superior authorities.
Wow! What an appropriate illustration the GB uses!
Wasnt there a scripture that says "blind guides....leading all into a pit"!?
How funny that they speak of guide dogs!
Who does the man represent in this illustration, and who is the bitch that is leading him about?
Could it be that this is their way to try and weed out the not-so-obedient? This is not the first sort of article on the matter that we have seen
To actually adopt an anti-WT directive and have JWs making their own moral choices would truly be the thin end of the wedge for GB authority and would permit the downfall of the cult.
The thing is that a decision made in a coerced, uninformed and ill-intended manner is still a decision made by a follower. I see little liability in people deciding "for/by themselves" doing things that harm themselves or their families. Coverups for illegal activities and events, that's a different story.
Could there be a category of unintelligent obedience? I've known many Witnesses who rather than reason on a "matter of conscience", would just treat anything under that banner as being bad.