Friday, December 14, 2012
The Watchtower CUSTOMER Battles. By Terry Walstrom If we think of Jehovah's Witnesses as salesmen and their books and magazines as Product and their purpose as gaining customers we can gain several important insights into their proprietary Theology and its gradual development over time. Who were Pastor Russell's customers and what product did he offer? Thousands of people in America were the beneficiaries of new inventions in technology in the 1870's. The typewriter, the telephone and the light bulb would change how people communicated and how much time was extended for personal study of religious publications. Russell's customers were people in turmoil who were frightened by monumental changes. The Civil War had turned brother against brother in bloody unchristian demonstrations of incredible devastation. The Watchtower corporation would come only 14 years afterward. Simple people who understood the world through their own religion were upset, puzzled and scared about what was happening! Russell had a knack for titillating simple folks by drawing them in to the notion everything was understandable as SIGNS OF THE END. Studies in the Scriptures were sold door to door like any other product. These books were said to make the Bible "understandable" and were of greater value than the Bible itself! Gradually, using the Great Pyramid as god's witness in stone, Russell patched together his theology toward a date: 1914. Adventist sectarians were particularly interested in this. The daily newspaper was the number one source of information used by citizens of the world to gain understanding of what was going on. Russell used this to great advantage to gain new customers. In fact, by 1913 it was estimated that through 2,000 newspapers Russell’s sermons were reaching 15,000,000 readers! By using door to door salesmen (colporteurs), public discourse, books, magazines, newspapers and personal charisma Russell was able to cobble together a CUSTOMER BASE. After Russell's death in 1916, J.F.Rutherford sought to gain access to this customer base for purposes of building his own business interests. Rutherford knew CONTROL of information access was vital--but--various bible student groups were independent of central authority. How could he seize leadership of independent groups who went their own way without outside influence?? 1.He sent emissary's with offers of "help" in a series of outreach, venue change, policy adoption and re-organized the many into the one. 2.He created us vs them paranoia. The enemy of my enemy is my friend as the saying goes, so, Rutherford finger-pointed to ENEMIES everywhere in Government, churches, demons and among their own brethren--who should be resisted, opposed and removed. 3.He replaced bible study with the study OF the bible using official Watchtower publications. 4.He rode the coat tails of Pastor Russell admiration by claiming that Russell himself was supervising from heaven itself! 5.He created a sense urgency and life or death immediacy for End Times. The Products he sold were Time-Sensitive! 6.He crafted a personal theology of ONLY true religion in a world of demon controlled false religion. 7.He turned the members into radical contrarians who did the opposite of mainstream Christianity so that the bridge back to "normal" worship was impossible. The crazier the beliefs were---the easier it was for ordinary Christians to oppose and persecute them. The PRODUCT of the Watchtower organization became PARANOIA. The theology was one of vast Conspiracy theories through history. Jehovah had narrowly preserved a tiny band of pure worshipers with correct understanding since the time of the Apostles. Jehovah's Witnesses were being led by such a group! The central engine of this pure truth amid a lying world was Maria Russell's idea that the "faithful and wise servant" was actually a person selected at the End of Time to tell people (customers) the truth (sell books). This "remnant" had God's spirit and were His instrument. If you wanted access you had to pay for access. The religion of JW's was one of being customers served by a Central clearing house of the Jehovah channel. This was a closed intranet. Each subsequent President of the Watchtower Society has sought subscribers to service with this channel of VITAL warning. There were only three things that would make this work. 1.THE END (Armageddon) must always be just about to happen. This made the subscription to the channel one of urgent emergency information of life-saving importance. 2. The subscribers had to have a password to access their account. This meant a public advertisement speaking the word JEHOVAH (which is the brand) and demonstrating that branding by contrarian activities in regard to holidays and theology and lifestyle. 3.Referrals (new customers) must be added through the word of mouth testimonials of current members. 4.Strict observance of policy would lead to termination of account and blacklisting! (disfellowshipped). The actual product has to be New and Improved from time to time (New Light) and old product discarded to insure a steady sense of better and better service and customer satisfaction. Most importantly, loyal customers must be encouraged to see all competitors as liars with bad faith false claims that can poison and misrepresent the goodness of the genuine product. Disgruntled Ex-customers must be advertised as untrustworthy mental defectives because it is the only way to explain dissatisfaction with the Watchtower mangagement. The business of the Jehovah's Witnesses today does not differ much at all from a Mary Kay cult of weird religious activity. The product today has two markets: outside and inside information. The unclaimed customer gets one Watchtower and the insider gets special editions. The "profit" of the non-profit corporation is converted into real estate and leveraged against the worldwide salesforce's future earnings. In any business, Risk is assessed as an ACTUAL NUMBER. This is evident in the obsession over statistics in preaching and bible study success of salesmen in the field. Preaching Goals are merely Sales Goals. The enemy of business is UNCERTAINTY which is the UNKNOWN number whereby risk cannot be assessed. Recent lawsuits have cast a long shadow over risk assessment. As in any business, risk management has followed with the compartmentalizing of each tier of leadership from actual liability. Evidence of Leverage is manifest in pleas for money. As never before the "profit and loss" is squeezed out of the shadows by downturn in business futures. This Religion is merely business as usual.