The Self-Made PARADOX Of "Witnessing" Without Television Or Radio.
By Terry Walstrom\JWN.
What if I asserted the following as true?
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has no interest in an effective evangelical program of conversion.
Would that sound silly? Aren't they all about knocking doors and placing magazines for bible study?
However: those two are not one and the same.
An event, such as the collapse of the twin towers in New York on nine eleven, could be seen AS IT HAPPENED by anybody who was near a television screen. Instant communication has been with us for decades.
If Jehovah's Witnesses believe they have the most important and urgent message in all of history; why do they deliberately choose to use the least effective means of delivering that message?
Statistically, (using the Watchtower's own figures) it takes 1000's of hours of door to door preaching to create one convert!
What is wrong with this picture?
How many preaching hours does it take to convert a person to a Jehovah's Witness?
WHAT IS THE ACTUAL PURPOSE BEHIND THE JW MINISTRY?
In 1884 Charles Taze Russell applied for incorporation for his association "Zion's Watch Tower Society". He stressed the limitations of the corporation in the following manner:
"Zion's Watch Tower Society is not a 'religious society' in the ordinary meaning of the term; for it has no creed or confession of Faith. It is purely a business association, whose mission is to serve in a business manner the wishes of its beneficiaries, who are represented in its officers"
Russell's successor, Rutherford, published wild claims using the corporation's presses:
"The corporate body - the WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, which Pastor Russell formed to finish his work. This verse shows that, though Pastor Russell has passed beyond the veil, he is still managing every feature of the harvest work."
Rutherford penned an article of extreme controversy titled The Birth of The Nation. The editorial committee would not approve it. Ruthford moved swiftly to remove them! The absent men's names, however, still appeared in the Watchtower magazine as though the were still functioning until 1931.
Now that Rutherford controlled absolutely the "faithful and discreet slave" throne of dictatorial supremacy with the corporation he could now 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 ID.
How many honest and innocent believers were injured, killed, imprisoned, mocked, persecuted or otherwise maltreated because of Rutherford's mania for spectacle? It is difficult to know. The aim of the Watchtower Society was the purpose of Rutherford: become a famous religion with him at the helm.
Today it is easy for any Hollywood celebrity to capture headlines by engaging in some outrageous act of indecency or personal tragedy. But, in Rutherford's day, he discovered this process and used it for his own personal celebrity by capturing the attention of astonished churchgoers around the globe. He insulted ordinary believers, ridiculed them and flung pretzel-logic scriptures in their faces. He held up his own army of faithful slaves, Jehovah's (i.e. Rutherford's) Witnesses as willing to march into the jaws of hell if he told them to. It was the ultimate high for a megalomaniac drunk on power (and often alcohol)!
With Rutherford's death a change occurred. 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 marvelous "machine" you could pour money into and make it disappear in the form of the preaching work.
CONSTANT EXPANSION was the key!
What was the purpose? POWER INVESTMENT!
The Watchtower was a corporate Donald Trump. It could grow dollars and not have to pay taxes on them. It could point to a worldwide work as evidence of money well spent (which wasn't really "spent" at all.) It could account for the cash flow by pointing to new projects in development and new acquisitions ostensibly for more and more publishing effort.
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 villification 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!
But, there was a fly in the ointment.
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.
TOO MUCH PUBLICITY in the age of the internet is a TWO-EDGED SWORD.
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 curiosity. 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.