How The Watchtower Corporation Really Works (Beginning To End)
By Terry Walstrom(JWN)
In 1925, Judge Rutherford penned an article of extreme controversy titled The Birth of The Nation.
The editorial committee (Russell had created) would not approve it.
Ruthford moved swiftly to remove them! He then hid his massacre cleverly:
The absent men's names, still appeared in the Watchtower magazine as though the were still functioning until 1931.
Rutherford controlled absolutely the "faithful and discreet slave" throne of dictatorial supremecy. Inside the corporation he could plot the takeover of local congregations (called ecclesias) to wield his will there as well.
On the local level all deacons and elders were elected by voting. Since Russell did not believe in religious organization as such there existed no lists of membership at all. Slyly, Rutherford moved to change all that. From 1919 onward the local congregations were asked to register as service organizations with the Watchtower Society. Nothing drastic, right?
Next, Rutherford appointed a Service Director (not subject to yearly election) as an arm of the Brooklyn oversight to function at the local level. Rutherford's man on the scene could usurp local control in this way by "helpfully" organizing the preaching work, assigning territory and encouraging participation in the field work in the congregation.
Thus, the actual purpose of the door to door work was a ruse to link up Judge Rutherford with complete autonomy over local congregations under the pretense of making the preaching work more organized.
This plan carried with it Rutherford's de-emphasis of local public discourses from scripture. These were replaced by studies of Rutherford's organ of propaganda in the form of Watchtower Studies. Instead of referencing the bible per se, it was the fantasy mindset of one man, Judge Rutherford, who would be indoctrinating the former Bible Students with his own peculiar brand of humbuggery. The purpose of all this, as we have seen, was consolidating personal power. But, to do what?
Interestingly, the system of local elective elders was completely eradicated and replaced by something now called a service committee. These men took their marching orders from the throne room in Brooklyn, NY.
The book CONSOLATION (penned by Rutherford) says this: (Consolation 1940 p.25)
"The Theocracy is at present administered by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, of which Judge Rutherford is the president and general manager."
History shows that Rutherford embarked upon a plan which included:
1.Replacing the theology of C.T. Russell (mainly concerned with Adventist demonstrations) with his own.
2.Turning the Watchtower into a personal blog filled with crackpot ideas, schemes, poison-pen fulminations, rants and speculations dressed up as prophecy.
3.Creating a method of churning publicity out of throwing people of conscience willy-nilly into dangerous situations. (Avoiding military service, refusing blood transfusions, ridiculing other religions, railing against political parties, refusals to salute the flag, decrying the cross, etc.)
4.Renaming his Frankenstein monster of a religion Jehovah's Witnesses revealing his penchant for awkward phraseology.
Rutherford used religion as a bludgeon. Rutherford used people within this religion as weapons and victims to demonstrate the extreme reach of his EGO.
With Rutherford's death a change occured. Nathan Knorr took over the helm of this Society; this Organization called The Watchtower.
A new invention took place at this time. A new terminology was introduced as if by magic: THE GOVERNING BODY.
Seven men became a Board of Directors of a Corporation disguised as a religion. This corporation/religion visibly existed for the purpose of making an urgent messege available as effectively as possible: Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom as having arrived in 1914 and warning of the impending event Armageddon.
This Corporation was made legal in its already existing powers for another purpose entirely. Corporations acquire legitimacy by earning a profit.
In the case of a religious corporation the "profit" must not appear as mere monetary gain.
There has to be a public service aspect to generating millions of dollars that will escape taxation! Ordinary coporations must demonstrate to the Board of Directors that cash flow is equitable to investors and a justifiable return on investment has been made. The Watchtower Corporation had to generate a kind of marvellous "machine" you could pour money into and make it disappear in the form of the preaching work.
CONSTANT EXPANSION was the key! This was a kind of maniacal pyramid scheme to grow and grow ahead of the curve of waves of $$$.
Watchtower rank and file members would be used as volunteer labor staying very busy appearing to be doing something important.
What they were really doing was generating publicity which served to hide the actual purpose of the Watchtower corporation.
To the rank and file there was no Bill of Rights. The could be worked to death grinding out book and magazine sales. In fact, they had no choice but to comply since their very identity as Jehovah's Witnesses depended on demonstrations of door to door sales and hours devoted.
Further, every once and awhile a GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE would have to be run.
This would be in the form of date setting.
Date setting (determining when Armageddon was to arrive) was an Investment.
The publicity was golden.
The threat level was heightened.
The cash flow was extraordinary.
The need for more investment property increased. The grip of absolute power was made real.
The downside was practically nil!!
Whatever number of members who balked and left in disgust; the upside was greater! How so?
1.Only the "weaker" members would leave and that is no loss at all.
2.The disfellowshipping would serve as a warning to other members and make threats appear very real.
3.An outside body of Apostates could be created as a target for vilification that served to drain off anger as a target away from the Governing Body itself. This Apostate group would feel the brunt of frustrations and not the actual perpetrator's of date-setting fraud.
4.A mindset of cognitive dissonance would be reinforced because anybody who stayed would have to justify being made a fool of for believing in the Faithful and Discreet Slave nonsense in the first place.
5.Any slowdown in the worldwide conversions would be a bonus since it would "signal the end" of the preaching work was drawing near and that would mean Armageddon really was imminent!
THE MESSEGE could not be made available all at once to everybody or the work would implode!!
1.The public at large must have only a vague idea of who Jehovah's Witnesses really are (or the public eye would see through the corporate treadmill and start asking where the money went.)
2.The rank and file must always bear the burden of selling the books and magazines to keep them busy.
3.The use of martyrs has a limited purpose. If the relatives of martyrs start suing in court: the game is up!
The legal situation got out of hand suddenly when people started questioning the backpedaling on delicate issues such as child molestation policy and medical emergency policy.
A buffer of protection was needed to separate the Governing Body from legal responsibility for their hurtful policy making edicts.
Thus, the re-organization came and went without much publicity reaching the lower ranks and all was well.
Which brings us back to the question: Why no TV ministry?
As we have seen the purpose of the Governing Body is to generate investment capital through real estate ventures. A TV ministry would dry up that money machine quickly by generating a high-profile examination on the part of the newly well-informed public. An actual full-frontal presentation of the weirdness behind JW thinking would kill the vague persona of citizen do-gooders who clean up after themselves at conventions. The scrutiny would become intensely focused on Brooklyn NY and the actual men who are power brokers on the throne of power.
Publicity has served the corporate purpose when they can frame that publicity as Kingdom Work. Publicity of a different nature could destroy them!
The lawsuits and exposure by internet sites dredging up failed prophecy and policy waffling are a sore point. Governing Body power can only deal with rank and file unrest by clamping down with threats and a tightening grip. It cannot control non-members curiousity. It cannot ignore penetrating questions of authority by threats if the press starts bombarding them with high-profile questions hanging in the air unanswered.
That is why there is no TV ministry for Jehovah's Witnesses. It is a kind of self-fashioned paradox that the Watchtower claims to be heralding an important and urgent message and yet demonstrates an absolute horror of making that message public effectively by using the best technology available.
Note: at one time the Watchtower promoted a subscription policy for the door to door
ministry. The interested householder filled out the subscription form and the WT and Awake! arrived in the mail. Pioneers were urged to obtain as many of these subscriptions as they could.
The end of subscriptions coincided with the change to "voluntary donations". The increasing expense of mail delivery hurt their bottom line at the same time that they needed to raise prices. Consequently, they ended subs to reduce expenses and publishers could now spend extra time, count more RVs, and place more individual copies of magazines. It was a win/win for them. Their expenses down, individual placement counts up.
The recent change to separate Public and Privte editions of Watchtower is designed to get the increasing cult control hidden away from the eyes of unbelievers. Increasingly, there are different messages in those different issues.
In the pre 1975 explosion of Newbies into the Kingdom Halls the indoctrination process was honed down to a maximum of 6 months from door-knock to baptismal dip. Hoardes crowded in to await the expected arrival of Armageddon and the 1000 year reign Suspiciously, at the very same time, the Society was buying and selling real estate and beginning new LONG TERM building projects AS THOUGH Armageddon were a long way off! This would be brought to a screeching halt--not by the arrival of predicted End Times events but by the nearby collapse of the World Trade Center at ground zero. Too close for comfort.
When 1975 proved to be a disastrous bust these NEW CUSTOMERS started spreading a word of mouth counter-advertising backspin which threatened to bring down the flag.
In effect: "Why did you tell me 1975 was a big deal? You got me inside this Kingdom Hall only to tell me 'go out and bring more people in'...but, for what? You got it wrong this time, why would next time be any different?"
This is when the whole strategy changed. Instead of SPEEDING UP NEW RECRUITS the Watchtower leaders slowed it down and concentrated on clamping down with strong authoritarian controls to KEEP the remaining believers in constant control and fear.