Education or propaganda?

by Anders Andersen 5 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen

    Looking for some material to post on Facebook or at least share with my wife to somewhat inoculate her mind before the convention this weekend.

    Found this's as if the writers are apostates reasoning against the tactics used at this years convention.....(probably old news to many here....quite new for me).

    The cunning propagandist loves such shortcuts—especially those that short-circuit rational thought. Propaganda encourages this by agitating the emotions, by exploiting insecurities, by capitalizing on the ambiguity of language, and by bending rules of logic. As history bears out, such tactics can prove all too effective.


    Another very successful tactic of propaganda is generalization. Generalizations tend to obscure important facts about the real issues in question, and they are frequently used to demean entire groups of people.


    Some people insult those who disagree with them by questioning character or motives instead of focusing on the facts. Name-calling slaps a negative, easy-to-remember label onto a person, a group, or an idea. The name-caller hopes that the label will stick. If people reject the person or the idea on the basis of the negative label instead of weighing the evidence for themselves, the name-caller’s strategy has worked.

    Even though feelings might be irrelevant when it comes to factual claims or the logic of an argument, they play a crucial role in persuasion. Emotional appeals are fabricated by practiced publicists, who play on feelings as skillfully as a virtuoso plays the piano.

    For example, fear is an emotion that can becloud judgment.

    Hatred is a strong emotion exploited by propagandists. Loaded language is particularly effective in triggering it. There seems to be a nearly endless supply of nasty words that promote and exploit hatred toward particular racial, ethnic, or religious groups.


    Thus, such symbolisms as the fatherland, the mother country, or the mother church are valuable tools in the hands of the shrewd persuader.

    So the sly art of propaganda can paralyze thought, prevent clear thinking and discernment, and condition individuals to act en masse. How can you protect yourself?


    THERE is a difference—a big difference—between education and propaganda. Education shows you how to think. Propaganda tells you what to think. Good educators present all sides of an issue and encourage discussion. Propagandists relentlessly force you to hear their view and discourage discussion. Often their real motives are not apparent. They sift the facts, exploiting the useful ones and concealing the others. They also distort and twist facts, specializing in lies and half-truths. Your emotions, not your logical thinking abilities, are their target.
    The propagandist makes sure that his message appears to be the right and moral one and that it gives you a sense of importance and belonging if you follow it. You are one of the smart ones, you are not alone, you are comfortable and secure—so they say.


    If “authorities” are used, who or what are they? Why should you regard this person—or organization or publication—as having expert knowledge or trustworthy information on the subject in question? If you sense some appeal to emotions, ask yourself, ‘When viewed dispassionately, what are the merits of the message?’

    But this article was in fact in Awake!
    Are these writers so dense and blind, or really really dishonest and creepy?

  • Sevan

    Thanks for this!

  • smiddy

    It`s sad to say that all this very good information would just go over the head of the average Jehovah`s Witness.

    They would see it as applying to people of all other religions but not to them .

    As an example : When a JW is convicted of a crime the stock answer is " Well he/she wasn`t really a JW otherwise they wouldn`t have committed the crime"

    If a member of one of Christendoms religions is convicted of a crime they say " That just proves how wicked false religion is."


  • Saename

    This article describes the organisation quite well. Accordingly, as I was reading it, I thought how hilarious and ridiculous it would be if it were from a Watchtower publication. Imagine my surprise at the end...


    I remember reading all about this when learning TTATT. This was probably 4 years ago. I was struck by these quotes, because they describe JWism to a tee.

    Was an "apostate" on the writing staff? Did someone hope that we would read these words in the future? Or, were the writers so delusional that they actually studied propaganda techniques, and applied them to every other religion and organization?


  • stuckinarut2

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