Awake = college education?

by seattleniceguy 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • seattleniceguy

    We've all heard the JW claim that a lifetime spent reading the Awake! magazine is equivalent to a college education. Is this really true?

    First, let's consider what you'll get from a typical mainline course at your local community college. In most college courses I've taken, the following were pretty standard:

    • A 200-300 page primary textbook.
    • Many hundred pages of supplementary reading (in one 10-week course I read about 3000 pages once!).
    • Weekly "seminars," which are moderated class discussions of the material. Kind of like the WT study, but in a circle, and you can express views that don't agree with anyone else's. Just be prepared to back them up with references.
    • Weekly response papers and essays to show that you understand the material fully.
    • In science classes, weekly labs to prove the material experimentally.
    • Daily lectures.

    When I took my first college courses, I was totally blown away by how much I learned. After one short quarter, you will know immensely more about a subject than you knew just 10 weeks before. And you will be a stronger, critical thinker, since you will be expected to provide convincing arguments in your discussions and essays.

    In the space of a 10-week college course, you would read about five copies of Awake! How does that break down?

    • 160 pages (= 5 x 32).
    • Some brief overviews of various African animals.
    • Perhaps a 4-page history of the Fur Trade in North America.
    • Five cover stories about current events, which will be almost exactly the same as every other cover story you have ever read in Awake! before. They will be replete with references from "a newspaper in Ukraine," "one famous actor," and "a Christian youth named Tony* (*names have been changed)."

    Don't get me wrong - I always liked the articles in Awake! that contained real content, like the ones on the animals. But the fact of the matter is, reading a 3-page gloss about cheetahs is nothing, nothing like taking a zoology course at your local college. By design, articles in Awake! must start from a position that the reader knows nothing on the topic. Therefore, no depth can ever be achieved, because you're starting from scratch every time.

    This is the precise opposite of college, which focuses on giving you depth and clarity regarding a single topic of interest. If you take a biology course, then you are going to learn a lot about biology, my friend. And this is something that Awake! can simply never give you, no matter how long you read.

    Anyway, I just thought the comparison was interesting. Comments, anyone?


  • FairMind

    It is true that you can learn much from some of the Awake articles. Their articles on time-management, budgeting your money and basic economics for example provide practical information for the readers. They won’t however prepare you for a career or profession, which college courses do. Comparing an education gained by reading Awake magazines to a college education is like comparing the 8 th grade to a year in college.


  • rebel8

    Yeah, that was one of the things I always thought was a big, fat lie. My stupid elder cousin (who had a BA degree) used to say he learned more in the theocratic ministry school in one year than he had in all his years at college. At the time, I was suspicious of that and all similar claims by the JWs; I thought they were making the claim to discourage college and to make themselves feel important by claiming they had a college-level education.

    After going to college, boy did I prove them wrong. You are so right about learning an immense amount of info in 1 10-wk course. Don't forget, a college course is a lot more objective than anything the JWs produce, which just makes college that much more valuable. I recommend all ex-JW take Philosophy 101 if they can. It teaches you how to think--something I definitely didn't learn from the JWs.

    "Awake=college education" is truly one of the dumbest claims they have ever made.

  • Pole

    I'm not sure what American colleges are like, but here in Poland no JW would dare make such a claim.


  • xjw_b12

    All I know it's going to take twice as long to get an Awake sponsored College education, once they go to publishing once a month.

  • Incense_and_Peppermints

    oh brother. you can get just as enlightened reading "Ladies Home Journal". that Awake magazine is a rag...

  • truth_about_the_truth

    I wonder if whoever it was that originally made that claim ever went to college?

  • ValiantBoy

    Yeah...I got a BS in theocracy from it

  • Elsewhere

    And the reason one cannot put "Awake! Educated" on a Resume and get a high-paying corporate job with benefits out the wazzo is because of an ongoing and pervasive anti-Jehover's Witness conspiracy perpetuated by False Religion and the Wild Beast in the form of the United Nations.

    The horror... the horror...

  • RunningMan

    "It has been said that by reading the Watchtower and Awake magazines, along with other publications of Jehovah?s Witnesses, a person will receive, over a period of years, a considerable and broad education." - Watchtower 06/15/83 p31

    It then launches into the remarkable experience of a person who passed a high school equivalency exam after only a grade 9 education.

    ' "Helpful as guides to daily living." That is what a woman from Toronto, Canada, called the publications of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. She added: "I am a university graduate, and I must shockingly admit that I have learned much more through your publications than through all my years of study." ' - Watchtower 06/15/88 p32

    The same article was repeated, almost word for word, in the Watchtower of 02/15/91, p32. Even the picture was the same. So, now we know the memory capacity of a witness - 2 years, 8 months.

    You're a big liar. "It has been said" and "a woman from Toronto" attest unequivically that reading the magazines is not just as good as, but actually better than a college education.

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