Once upon a time there was a "Kiai Master" who trained his students how to knock people over - no touch - with purely the power of his chi. How he came to think he actually had telekinetic powers - or how his students became accomplices in his self delusion - I have no idea. But he was so convinced he could actually do these things he issued a challenge and put up $5,000 for any martial artist who could beat him. An MMA fighter accepted the contest and stepped into the ring with him . . .
I find this affair a strangely analogous to life in the WT. I remember when I was a teenager I went out in field service with the circuit overseer. As he was telling me that I should apply myself so I could get into Bethel we knocked on the door of a women in her sixties. The issue of the Trinity quickly came up and the circuit overseer proceeded to pull up some scriptures showing it wasn't true. I remember in the moment being glad I was with a real heavyweight who could knock this one out of the park. Surely if there was someone who could show the Trinity was man made it was the Circuit Overseer. But then something strange happened.
Every scripture he looked up and read aloud the women would cite - from memory - the surrounding scriptures showing that his context wasn't quite right - and then she would proceed to recite another scripture rebutting the point he was attempting to make. They went back and forth for a few short minutes and then - abruptly - the circuit overseer proceeded to excuse himself. As we wondered back to the car I wasn't sure what to make of the whole thing and then the Circuit Overseer said, "There's just no use in arguing with people who have their minds made up."
I remember thinking, hey, we were the ones who knocked on her door. It was our job to convince her we had the truth. We shouldn't be disparaging her as "hard hearted" just because she had the audacity to know something about the Bible. If we couldn't reach someone who cared about the Bible - then who could we reach?
That wasn't the end of the faith for me. But it was one of the first notches in the tree of self delusion. After so clearly having our ass' handed to us I knew that "Jehovah will give you the right words to say" was a load of crap. And that if I wanted to convince people I had the truth I would have to really study and know the Bible. It took me a long time to get around to such serious study - but once I did the whole thing quickly came crashing down.
While I get a strange sense of pleasure of watching the "Kiai Master" get totally owned - I can't help but feel bad for him. Many of us used to think we had special powers too. Perhaps the easiest person to fool is yourself. Clearly this man is a victim of buying into his own BS. As are his students. I'm just glad I never managed to fool anyone with my own BS. Or the BS of the WT.