Self Delusion

by Coded Logic 10 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Coded Logic
    Coded Logic

    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.

  • Simon

    It reminded me a little of Sam Harris' latest podcast where he talks about some of the martial arts that are more of a ritualized dance where people pretend to hit / be hit and react accordingly but practitioners seem to imagine they could actually fight some as though they are untouchable. That vs the "genuine" marshal arts which are often less like a kung-fu movie and more ugly (choke holds etc...)

  • stillin

    Good story, Coded Logic. I've been there, too. Somebody raises a legitimate question out in service and they're treated like they were the devil himself. And we aren't prepared to discuss matters with the Devil, just ignorant people who are desperate in their lives. Low-hanging fruit.

    But Witnesses march on down the road as though they had just won the Olympics, while what they have actually done is failed in every way. They failed to respond to a living, thinking person. And by failing to connect they are simply punching out their points with marshmallow gloves.

    Invincible! Because nothing actually happened!

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen

    Great find, and great commentary!

  • The Searcher
    The Searcher

    Just as your C.O.'s attitude proves, J.W.'s have been programmed to refuse to be challenged on anything which their "faithful slave" has taught them is [current] "truth." Their justification is "don't cast your pearls before swine." Sadly, they haven't examined the "pearls" to discover that many of them are man-made.

    The demi-gods in Brooklyn have the same mentality as any despotic dictator, past or present - they demand total loyalty & obedience from the masses and will not hesitate to eradicate anyone who questions their authoritarianism.

  • shepherdless

    I guess sometimes reality hits you in the face. Literally and repeatedly, in this case.

    Strange that the Kiai Master believed his own b.s. I think a key element in his self-delusion is that he had so many sycophants (ie his students) supporting that delusion. There is an obvious parallel there with JWism and other cults, in that regard.


  • LoveUniHateExams

    This springs to mind ...

    P.S. the actual fight vs the MMA guy was pretty funny. I guess that's what happens when who've got a hangover from too much green tea and your yin and yang aren't balanced.

    Ah so ...

  • OneGenTwoGroups

    My quest was always to find somebody with a brain that would actually have a conversation with me in the door to door work. I can't remember it ever really happening. Smart householders would simply say: "not interested", or not answer their door.

    That reality was another straw on the camel's back for me, as I saw the pattern of "dumb and desperate" that filled my RV book.

  • slimboyfat

    That was an intersting watch, and read.

    I'm curious about the follow up that explores the reaction of his students to his defeat? You'd think they'd suddenly see sense and abandon their master. But instead cognitive dissonance kicks in and they explain the defeat in various ways: it was bad energy at work; or did the master lose on purpose; is he trying to teach us an important lesson by deliberately losing? Their faith and devotion to the master is thus made even stronger!

    Such is life.

  • cofty

    The first few minutes of the video reminded me of the psychological trick that TELevangelists use called "slaying in the spirit".

    I remember one man who just stood and looked at the preacher and despite numerous attempts he refused to play along and fall down. Priceless!

    I believe stage hypnotism works in a similar way.

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