Jehovah as a Brand

by berrygerry 2 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • berrygerry

    IMO, one of the most brilliant things that Rutherford did was to capitalize on the somewhat obscure, but in many ways legitimate, word Jehovah as being the personal name of God.

    As Jehovah's witnesses (small w) morphed into Jehovah's Witnesses (capital W), other religions that had previously used Jehovah in church names and church worship began to diminish its use.

    This in turn only continued to distinguish Rutherford's religion.

    In addition, the Watch Tower Corp's continued and relentless intertwining of "Jehovah" and "Jehovah's organization" is nothing short of sheer brilliancy.

    Search WT Library or for "Jehovah" and "organization" together with words such as "please" "obey" "serve." The interplay is endless.

    In the recent post from a former missionary / CO, he states:

    "As far as the organization and Jehovah, I was like everyone else. I saw no difference between the organization and Jehovah and I used the terms interchangeably for years in my talks and in conversation. I really honestly could not see the difference and until it was pointed out to me I never even noticed it I did it."

    The Finished Mystery, 1917, p. 144 - 8:3. And another angel. -- Not the "voice of the Lord," mentioned in the preceding chapter, but the corporate body -- the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, which Pastor Russell formed to finish his work. This verse shows that, though Pastor Russell has passed beyond the veil, he is still managing every feature of the Harvest work. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is the greatest corporation in the world, because from the time of its organization until now the Lord has used it as His channel through which to make known the Glad Tidings."

    Rutherford was freaking brilliant.

  • steve2

    Rutherford perhaps discovered by chance that, when he stamped his autocratic mark on the organization, there was some short term loss of adherents, but growth in the longer term.

    The principle was - is - compelling: Come down super-hard on some issue and, yes, some will fall away as a result, but the bulk of your adherents will see your hardness as absolutely necessary to get the job done and they will recruit others as never before.

    Rutherford tarred any who questioned him as seeking an easy way out. He mocked their reluctance to publically preach whilst championing the rank and file's getting out there and publishing the kingdom.

    It worked - probably far, far better than even he anticipated. Knorr continued the pattern, albeit softening some of the harder edges - think: fist in velvet glove. You can accomplish a lot through more psychological approaches (e.g., FOG = Fear, Obligation and Guilt).

    So, nowadays when JW organization doubles down in defense of some controversial topic - e.g., the two witness rule's application to allegations of child sexual abuse - JW leaders know full well some will quit in disgust, but the bulk of JWs will barely blink an eyelid.

    Of course, the downside is, JW organization has risked alienating itself from potential converts because the tide is turning against autocratic leadership. The organization can squeeze compliance out of born-ins but its reach outside its walls is increasingly limited. Fewer and fewer people are attracted to autocratic leadership styles.

    JW organization's growth heyday is over to be followed by a slow demise as the decades pass and 1914 be seen more clearly as an irrelevance to everyone but the unquestioning rank and file.

  • scratchme1010

    What I thought when I saw the title of this thread:

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