The Brit JWs are not the Friends. I wonder where and when this expression came into vogue.
Jehovah’s Witnesses and “the Friends”
It's actually quite simple. A lot of these terms come from the area of the cult's inception. You have to understand the religious demographic of the time, in the state of Pennsylvania and New York area. CT Russell was exposed to a multitude of different religions and groups of this area. They all had their impact on him, his not-so-unique belief structure, etc. We have Quakers, Adventists, Calvinists, Christadelphians, and various Masonic Orders and Lodges. ALL of these influenced CT Russell.
Saying "The Friends" is quite common in Quaker and Christadelphian Meeting Houses. And oh gee, "Meeting Houses" sure sounds familiar, huh? JW's attend "Meetings" and listen to "talks", instead of going to Church and hearing sermons? In the early days, CT borrowed a TON of imagery directly from the Masons. Back then, they were waiting for the "New Order", (now New System) to come. New World Order, is completely Masonic, as are "Assembly Halls", etc.
The belief in adult baptism (as opposed to child baptism and confirmation) is Ana-baptist, as are other beliefs stemming from Calvinism. Arianism and end-times BS are purely Adventist Annihilationism.
So you see, many of these terms have filtered down thru the years from the times in which this religious order began. Now, it's a full-blown CULT. Back then, I'd say it was an odd, but uniquely pieced together (from everything else around here) religious Order.
It illustrates the lack of unity.
Does it also scream of the ignorant, parochial attitude of the cult and it's leaders?
...............answers on a postcard.....................
Its another terminology of brothers and sisters and yes the reason they would use this is because they are in a highly controlling cult.
......And yes other religious cults also would use the same identifier.
I have worked for a lot of Mennonite people where I live and surprising they use the very same self descriptive wording.
Great post wingcommander!
Excellent points you made.
By the way, "Order" is a term used in this area (Pennsylvania, Ohio) to describe certain sects. We have Old Order Amish, Old Order Mennonite, etc. They also use the term "Friends". Again, you'd have to be familiar with the multitude of religious movements and their history as it pertains to Pennsylvania.
I just recently visited PA for a family affair and did some sightseeing.
You are very accurate in your description of Jehovah's Witnesses being derived from all the sects, orders, etc. you mentioned that came from Pennsylvania...I always felt the same way myself and it's so obvious it isn't even funny.
JWs are and were nothing more than a new spin on the same old story but with a new name slapped on it. Too bad more people don't realize this.
Well, just look at the names of most of the Governing Body Members that have ever lived. Sounds like some old German WWII troop reunion. Russell, Franz, Knorr, Henschel, Loesch, and the list goes on and on. It's only recently that they've included some British/Australian accents and (gasp!) an actual man of colour! You really have to research the history and period of time that the IBSA (Bible Students, AKA JW's) developed in order to truly understand their terminology, origins, and seemingly unique belief system. Here in Pennsylvania, we actually still have Dawn Bible Students around!! There are also Quaker and Christadelphian Meeting Houses, but they are few and far between, and some even museums due to being so old and historic. Boston also has quite a few, as America's founding fathers were usually Quakers, Christadelphians, Puritans, or Atheists. Most all were slave owners ironically.
In England they always say brothers and sisters. Or the congregation.
friends seems fucking weird mate.
There is an American saying,
"With friends like that, who needs enemies?"