JW.org has released a video promoting the Annual Meeting at which the new Bible revision was released
JW.org has released a video promoting the Annual Meeting at which the new Bible revision was released

JW.org has released a polished new publicity video showing highlights from the 2013 Annual Meeting, at which the revised New World Translation was revealed by Governing Body members.

The video, which runs to just over seven minutes, ends with footage from various English-speaking lands showing members of the 1.4-million-strong audience waving and hugging their new Bibles enthusiastically.

One clip, which can be seen at 6:18, even shows a woman from Canada holding her new Bible to her face. Thinking Witnesses will be wondering why unbridled adoration of what is essentially a revision of an existing book is quite so necessary or admirable.

Curiously, the video of this ‘historic’ meeting does not feature certain parts of the program that left listeners like myself bemused and disturbed.

For example, at 0:55 Guy Pierce is shown promising that Bible truths will be refined, but the video doesn’t show him asking his audience to follow him in reading Proverbs 4:18 – thus heightening expectation for “new light” on the scriptures that would never be revealed.

Gerrit Lösch is similarly treated kindly by the filmmakers. Visitors to JW.org who watch the video will be spared from seeing him tell his audience that they should “not let family ties overshadow bible principles,” and that “relatives who are not in the truth and not on the way to accept it could exert a negative influence in our lives.”

Geoffrey Jackson’s joke about the new Bible being “sister proof” is also notably absent, as is the same speaker’s bizarre insinuation that Jehovah manipulated the weather at Wallkill so that more copies could be printed. Sadly and predictably the makers of this video have stripped their production of virtually all the most cringeworthy elements in the Annual Meeting, leaving only the feel-good moments and adulation.

And it is not the first time that Watchtower history has been altered through some nifty editing.

The vanishing flags of Cedar Point, Ohio

In the opening sequence of the new video, footage is shown from Watchtower’s recent “Faith In Action” DVD series to depict “pivotal” events in the organization’s history. It should be noted that film footage exists of Charles Taze Russell, Joseph Rutherford AND Nathan Knorr – but none of this was used by the filmmakers. Instead, re-enactments by actors were cleverly selected to depict key moments in a polished and sanitized way.

For example, at 0:16 you will see an actor portraying Joseph Rutherford delivering his famous “advertize, advertize, advertize” speech at the 1922 convention at Cedar Point, Ohio. The footage, lifted directly from the 2010 “Faith In Action” DVD (Part 1), shows the stage at Cedar Point with plain wooden boards at either side. You are doubtless thinking, “Yes, but what is the significance of this?”

If you turn to page 299 in the Daniel Book (Pay Attention to Daniel’s Prophecy), or page 259 in the Proclaimers Book (Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom), you will notice that American flags were originally draped either side of the stage at the Cedar Point convention of 1922. It is difficult to make them out because the photos are in black and white – but they are unmistakably there.

But in Watchtower’s recent sanitized version of its history from the DVD, the flags have vanished. In the space where they would have been draped either side of the stage, wooden boards are cleverly inserted.

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The purpose in removing the flags was undoubtedly to avoid ‘stumbling’ any Witnesses by presenting them with uncomfortable evidence that the organization was once not quite as politically neutral as it would like to admit.

Some would argue that this is only a minor issue and Watchtower was doing nothing wrong by re-writing its history in this way, but consider the following words from page 13 of the 2011 Yearbook…

“In summary, the Writing Department insists on using only material that is accurate and truthful, even regarding seemingly insignificant details. As a result, ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ can consistently supply spiritual food that brings honor to ‘the God of truth,’ Jehovah.—Ps. 31:5.”

Image over substance

Why do I highlight the above discrepancy? Because it demonstrates perfectly what Watchtower is increasingly becoming – a vain organization that is pre-occupied with spin and self-publicity rather than the interests of its adherents.

The inclusion of the doctored Cedar Point re-enactment at the beginning of this latest video sets the stage (if you will excuse the pun!) for what is to follow – a carefully manicured piece of propaganda designed to stir the emotions and gloss over any idiosyncracies.

Geoffrey Jackson holds aloft the revised New World Translation
Geoffrey Jackson holds aloft the revised New World Translation

When listening to the Annual Meeting program in its entirety, it was apparent that the Governing Body were cleverly building anticipation for the new release from the beginning.

Jokes were made by Governing Body members about the shortage of Bibles without any apology for the decision to keep ordinary brothers in the dark as to what was happening. Such unwarranted secrecy led to confusion and distress, to the point where some wrote to Bethel to ask what was going on – but even this reaction was made the subject of joking and flippancy.

Then, as shown at 2:50 in the video, Geoffrey Jackson teased his audience by implying they would need to wait to receive their new Bibles before pulling his grey rabbit out of the hat. “You don’t have to wait at all – here it is! The newly released revised New World Translation!”

Immediately after this point in the video children can be heard singing “we thank you Jehovah” – rather cheaply and cheesily reinforcing the idea that God is directly responsible for the new Bible.

Against the backdrop of children singing and applause, at 3:00, 3:05 and 3:15 women are shown wiping tears from their eyes. The melodrama and hype is tangible.

Adulation of the Governing Body then ensues as sisters are shown (at 3:54) laughing hysterically and clapping at Steven Lett’s joke about Guy Pierce “twisting” the new Bible. This is followed at 5:15 by Anthony Morris reminding his audience that the new Bible is a “wonderful gift God’s given to all of us.” And at 5:49 a sister beams with awe as David Splane delivers some feel-good words. “The Great Jehovah can cause you to succeed at any assignment he gives you whether at Bethel or in the field.”

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Scenes from the new JW.org show adulation and hysteria over what is essentially a book

As the video reaches its climax, the focus on adulation of the new Bible becomes more obvious. Once the sister in Canada has held her new Bible to her cheek at 6:18 a number of scenes follow to the sound of recorded applause and a string accompaniment.

At 6:26 another smiling Canadian sister clutches the new Bible to her bosom. At 6:38 a group of brothers and sisters hold their Bibles up for the camera. And at 6:43 an entire audience of brothers in Britain flap their Bibles in the air in a scene reminiscent of Chinese crowds at communist rallies.

The video ends with a young red-headed Canadian boy smiling at the camera as he holds aloft his new Bible as the closing captions fade in, and the string music reaches its heart-tugging conclusion.

Too much to ask?

Some will say I am being harsh and over-critical in calling attention to the clever editing, rewriting of history and appeals to emotion in this video. But I do so because I believe this and other videos represent a dangerous attempt to deceive people through the tried-and-trusted means of propaganda. And it is my Witness family who will be among those swept along by the fervor and hype.

If Watchtower wants to publish a highlights video for what was essentially a glorified pep rally, where the Governing Body rode to the rescue to solve a problem they themselves had created, they are more than welcome to do this. But can’t they at least try to do it honestly, and include the less savory moments? I don’t think I ask too much.

After all, 1.4 million may be an impressively large audience, but it is still only less than a fifth of Witnesses globally. The majority of Witnesses will be completely in the dark as to some of the more disturbing elements of this year’s Annual Meeting, which betrayed a side of their leaders most are unfamiliar with. And by the looks of this new video, that is precisely how the Governing Body wants them to remain.

 

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Further reading…

94 thoughts on “The JW.org 2013 Annual Meeting video – honest highlights or bible-hugging spin?

  • November 12, 2013 at 6:58 am
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    This fairy tale book is an abomination of God’s word. They have removed scriptures and changed the meaning of words to match the teachings of the cult. They have completely ignored the warning in Rev 22:18-19 which says if they do this they will not be written in the book of life. Amen

  • November 12, 2013 at 7:05 am
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    So glad that you watched it and I did not have to, thanks Cedars!

  • November 12, 2013 at 7:19 am
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    This revision seems just like the one they did at the Ministry of Truth in Orwell’s 1984… rewriting history with a video, so as if that past didn’t actually exist, and only what is said now has always been the truth.

  • November 12, 2013 at 7:46 am
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    Does anyone know how many changes have been made to it? I’ve only heard of one, where a Proverb’s been changed to “I need a drink.”

  • November 12, 2013 at 7:47 am
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    Seriously, they always surprise me, even when I think they can’t do anything more ridiculous.

    Very good points about the flags, Cedars, I did not notice that before. It reminds me of my first commemoration in the US back in 2005, after I move from Colombia. My congregation in Texas rented a hall for the most important event of the year, so you can imagine that I was aghast when I saw the American flag in one side of the podium. I just could not comprehend why they would not do anything about removing it (which then I learned it was illegal), or finding another space for that matter. How could we have a flag in the most sacred event in the world!!! Then I had a conversation with my parents when they told me that my grandma, who lives with one of her non-witness daughter, used to have the book study in her house (in the old days!), and they took it from her because her daughter -the provider of the house- decided to display a christmas tree. The elders could not aprove of a pagan symbol to be in the same house of a Jehovah’s meeting!

  • November 12, 2013 at 7:59 am
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    The Bible hugging and veneration is in keeping with many traditions in Christendom. In Padua some years ago I found the crowds pressed round the tomb of St. Anthony, anxious to touch or even kiss it, whereby to benefit from the late saint’s saintliness, rather disturbing. Protestants, with their ‘sola scriptura’ foundation are natural Bibliolaters. JWs are simply a variant on this. They are ‘New New World Translationolaters’.

  • November 12, 2013 at 8:16 am
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    Movies are made in editing as so much of its message is from the music, dialogue, shots, and how they are all edited in, or not in. A great PR campaign toward the new revision, and leaving out the reality of the “sister proof” comments and ignoring the needs of the R&F for bibles and ministry support.

    Just so hypocritical of the GB and its JWorg.

  • November 12, 2013 at 9:12 am
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    I dont see why they are excited…… theywill change again (thier bible) in less than another 30 years,lol.

    Great Article Cedars!

  • November 12, 2013 at 9:14 am
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    @ Babs

    Read without prejudice the Bible itself, whatever translation it may be, is an abomination against quality literature, common sense and humanity. An open-minded rereading of the Bible coupled with an equally open-minded examination of science and history soon after I left the Watchtower actually was one of the main reasons I no longer believe in God.

  • November 12, 2013 at 9:27 am
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    I am new here and have enjoyed the information very much. I am a fader, as they call it. I have been gone for almost 17 years and have never returned as an active member but went to an assembly over 5 years ago. I didn’t leave due to erroneous information but dub to the lack of love shown for someone in need of spiritual assistance. Rather than show help they encouraged the elder body to withhold it, and the rest has been quite peaceful thereafter. Regarding the above information, it makes me think of North Korea. With all the changes to just about everything this year alone, I am glad I left. I never want nor will belong to another religion. I will take my chances with God and Christ.

  • November 12, 2013 at 9:31 am
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    It is awful he Governing Body would alter history and be selective in what they put in the video. It is like any other propaganda video. I am not at all surprised.

  • November 12, 2013 at 9:54 am
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    At 3:47 — WHAT is the guy doing with his right hand as he spoke? Hmmmm….

  • November 12, 2013 at 10:07 am
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    I would disagree and say it was a very impressive effort to deliver the program worldwide to more than a million as well as have Bibles for them. Compared to other religions such as adoration of the pope or going to their sacred cities – this is an organization putting Bible education first – I really can’t think of anything they do that is comparable. It is easy to spot shortcomings in a human but in the first century Paul was criticized too for his appearance was ‘weak’ and speech ‘contemptible’ (2 Cor 10:10). As for the flags, it was legally required back then to have flags in public auditoriums; it was hardly a choice they made. (note, this ‘survey’ site welcomes JW opinions. I do not read comments after leaving my opinion)

    • November 12, 2013 at 10:29 am
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      Rob – first it wasn’t “worldwide,” but to English speaking countries. Check the map at 0:47. Streaming a program to 1,830 locations may seem like a miracle to you, but remember that almost anyone can stream stuff nowadays thanks to the internet provided there is someone interested in receiving the stream at the other end. Or do you think the Governing Body alone is responsible for the “miracle” of the internet?

      It’s also interesting that you should mention “adoration of the pope” (ahem, Governing Body) and “sacred cities” (ahem, bethels). The ability of apologists to miss the increasing similarities between Watchtower and the catholic church never ceases to amaze me.

      Once again the bruised and battered “leave them alone, they’re only human” argument is wheeled out. As I said to one of your fellow apologists shortly before ejecting him from the site – that argument does not hold water for those who are prepared to think, of whom you will find plenty on this website. How many times do I need to say it before the likes of you understand – you CAN’T have it both ways. If the Governing Body are only “human” and imperfect, then they should be acting accordingly, and offering their teachings humbly on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

      Instead they demand absolute subjection to their authority as those “taking the lead” in God’s earthly organization, and slur as “mentally diseased” any who dare to disagree with them. Most unforgivable of all, they dish out the most barbaric and sadistic punishment to those who defy them – estrangement from loved ones. So don’t you dare come to me with “they’re only human.” It simply doesn’t wash, and I won’t hesitate to block you from making further comments if these turn out to be similarly misleading and insulting to our intelligence.

      And if flags are compulsory in public auditoriums, which is hogwash by the way (have you seen how many flags there are in that auditorium in some pictures?) – why not hold the meeting in the open air, if Christian neutrality is so important? And if your explanation is so innocent, why didn’t Watchtower “man up” to having the flags in their DVD re-enactment? In stooping to defend the indefensible, your arguments soon unravel.

  • November 12, 2013 at 10:12 am
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    I regularly comment on the Topix website in the Jehovah’s Witnesses forum, and one of the points that came up recently was how Watchtower change their written history if it suits them. There were several examples of this given and not one JW was willing to challenge what ex JWs had shown them. Cedars has shown that the governing body are still at it today. Anything to make themselves look good. Honesty is not a word they seem to understand.

  • November 12, 2013 at 11:26 am
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    Cedars,
    Whew! You sure unloaded on me. I thought I should check comments in case you weighed in.

    OK as I understood it, it was an English language Bible so English speakers were the only ones invited. So my congregation was not invited (foreign language cong in the US). We had a kindly reminder not to get worked up about it but ‘rejoice with those who rejoice’. Yes I know about podcasts and live streaming but try to put a book in everyone’s hands simultaneously.

    I have commented elsewhere about the ‘human’ argument. The first century congregation had similar men. It is all Jesus has to work with! Paul had certain issues *with* the ‘older men and apostles’ in Jerusalem because they needed to be corrected. He said “James and Cephas and John, the ones who seemed to be pillars” (Gal 2:9). Yes, Cephas, Peter, the man with the keys of the Kingdom.

    I have also commented elsewhere on ‘estrangement’ or DF. Please read my experience. I have relatives who are DF but are not practicing sin and we are not cold or mean to them. But if they were a pedophile do you think I would let them babysit my child? Is the counsel 2 Jo 10 to ‘not even say a greeting’ then even more inhumane? I’m trying to fit my reasoning in with the Bible.

    Regarding the flag, that’s all I know; that it was required by law at that time in the US. I really can’t see how it was a compromise. Would they have to go to the extreme of having their summer convention in an open fairground with no seating or shade? I guess we can all make our own judgement.

    As for the re-enactment scene, funny story in the news that is kind of like it. Obama recently gave a speech a Georgetown and required all the religious symbols be covered in the camera images (http://tinyurl.com/8xkg9uj). I personally don’t see that as a huge issue but it is one of the reasons I visit your blog because it *is* interesting.

    • November 12, 2013 at 11:42 am
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      Rob, I apologize for “unloading” on you, but you must understand – this is the wrong site to be playing the “leave the poor Governing Body alone, they’re only human” card. If you want to personally believe that the Governing Body are akin to Christ’s apostles that’s up to you – but please don’t go foisting such absurdities on everyone else just because that’s how you’ve been trained to think. Ask yourself – what is the evidence? Zero. Christ supposedly came to Earth in 1919 and selected a drunk, a bully and a racist named ‘Judge’ Rutherford to be one of his faithful and discreet slave, just so he could spend 94+ years cleansing his organization so that in 2013 it could have a new gray Bible and a School for Kingdom Evangelizers. PLEASE think about this logically! It’s totally ridiculous to all but the most indoctrinated!

      I say again – if the Governing Body want to play the “we’re imperfect” card they had better do so by fully acknowledging their errors – and this involves NOT punishing any who disagree them in the most perverse and sadistic manner possible – by weaponizing their families against them.

      Congratulations – you’re a reasonable person and defy the Governing Body by keeping contact with your disfellowshipped family – but please be pragmatic enough not to assume all Witnesses interpret Watchtower’s commands in the same liberal way.

      I’m glad to see a bit of reasonableness in you, but I ask you please to do some thinking and not leap immediately into “must defend nonsense” mode when confronted by information that challenges your beliefs.

      As to the flags being compulsory – Watchtower advised Witnesses in Malawi to endure rape, murder, and theft of homes and property rather than purchase one “compulsory” party card in a one-party state. Think on that.

  • November 12, 2013 at 11:51 am
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    Whenever the Governing body boasts that they alone are
    “Gods Channel” of info to all of mankind.

    They are describing a PROPHET . But they whine that despite numerous false prophecies they are only human.

    They want to have it both ways . What egregious hypocrites they are .

    They are cunning deceivers and charlatans . They are everything they hatefully call their well informed critics.

  • November 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm
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    If they are putting Bible education first, then why do they insist on publishing vast amounts of literature that AREN’T Bibles? Especially when they must continually update their old, erroneous teachings with “new light”? Shouldn’t they just be publishing Bibles only, and teach directly from that?

    • November 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm
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      Hi Tami, I’m afraid if you mention that to a JW they will remind you of the story of the Ethiopian Eunoch who was helped by Philip to understand the prophet Isaiah. They will say that shows you need help understanding the bible which is what their literature is for.

  • November 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm
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    I think it’s pretty easy to respond to the Ethipion Eunoch story. Right after He was baptised, Phillip was taken away. So, he didn’t stick around and disciple him. So all the guy needed to hear about was Jesus. They did not have the New Testament then, so the Eunoch didn’t have access to the information that he needed.

  • November 12, 2013 at 1:02 pm
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    Rob commented “(note, this ‘survey’ site welcomes JW opinions. I do not read comments after leaving my opinion)” seems to be pretty clear that he doesn’t read comments left after he has made his, sort of like a drive-by comment. That comment seems to be…how shall I put this delicately?…a lie.

    Oh wait, he is only human after all. He is not held to a higher standard than any of the rest of us.

    On the other hand, the governing body, which is the direct link to Jehovah God and his earthly organization, the mouthpiece of God, (so to speak), is not held to any higher standard than the rest of us mortals either.

    I know I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box, but something is wrong with this picture. Is any other person or group of people on earth right now in 2013 claiming to be in such a privileged position that they have a direct channel to God?

    If they do have this direct channel to God, why does God keep on making human errors….like lying and clever deception?

    I too, believe I will take my own chances with Jehovah God and Jesus and not use the governing bodies channel….their communication system seems to have a glitch.

  • November 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm
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    I bet you dont! Cant take any criticism,just like the organization you serve. Its all about apperances, it always is. If the organization was truly interested in its followers and the real truth, it would be honest about its past, not break families apart… you cant compare this organization with faithful people in the bible, Anyone or religious group could do that to explain shortcomings. I dont think anyone expects perfection…just honesty. The organizations roots are steeped in “paganism,” and untruth. Its strange that it the reason Christmas isnt celebrated in that organization, and when it comes to “overlooking” its own past…theyre ALL for it.

  • November 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm
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    Some quotes from George Orwell’s 1984:
    “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”
    “Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
    “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
    “If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?”
    “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

    It has been my opinion for many years that the leaders of the Watchtower have studied 1984 very closely and have patterned their choice of words and processes using what it teaches. If they can convince their followers to only believe what they say, no matter what they say, then eventually they will control those minds. As Orwell described in his book – no matter how bad or wrong they might be, they are the “truth” because they say they are the “truth.” And that is the definition of “truth.” All other truths (differing opinion, science, physical evidence, verified and documented history) are all “lies” because the Watchtower says they are “lies.”

    I strongly suggest that everyone read (or re-read) Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm and then think about those parables in terms of the Watchtower Society and its techniques.

  • November 12, 2013 at 3:48 pm
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    Hypocrites! So correct, one of the main reasons I got away from them.

  • November 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm
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    how many fingers am I holding up.
    four

    correct

    but I say five

    how many fingers am I holding up

    five

    wrong but correct

  • November 12, 2013 at 5:38 pm
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    (be surprised when the number of casualties was disclosed on the “newsroom”.) it is so sad to hear that a lot of JWs died in the philippines when typhoon Haiyan hit its central part. and they say “Jehovah has brought good weather so they can print bibles.”

    Totally awkward!

  • November 12, 2013 at 6:53 pm
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    “… the Governing Body rode to the rescue to solve a problem they themselves had created…”

    This is a very profound statement that struck a chord with me. It reminded me of what Dr. Thomas Sowell once said regarding intellectuals. He essentially stated that intellectuals create a demand for themselves and hold absolutely no accountability for the disastrous results of their ideas and philosophies. It is explained much more in depth in his book, Intellectuals and Society.

    Here is a link to a YouTube video of him explaining this idea:

  • November 12, 2013 at 9:01 pm
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    I think you mean God’s word is a fairy tale. I am not in the business of defending the JW’s, but it is rich when a ‘normal’ Christian makes a snidey comment about a belief system that is almost indistinguishable from his own. Pot, kettle, black

  • November 12, 2013 at 10:55 pm
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    The GB are musters of publicity and manipulation. About “The Simplified Watchtower” in the article “The Simplified Watchtower—Why Introduced?” You can read:

    “A sister in England who was baptized in 1972 wrote regarding the simplified Watchtower: “When I read the very first issue, I felt as though Jehovah were sitting beside me with his arm around my shoulders and we were reading it together. It was like an earthly father reading a bedtime story to his child.” (w12 12/15 p. 29; http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/l/r1/lp-e?q=w12+12%2F15+p.+30).

    The question is: Why does the GB put sisters in the middle of all these harmful propaganda? Psychologist will tell.

  • November 13, 2013 at 1:36 am
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    I can appreciate that you need to moderate the comments on this site mate but telling people they will be ejected should they voice and opinion you don’t agree with isn’t, in my opinion, helping your cause.
    Also as someone who was not brought up as a witness but came in afterwards it’s interesting to see the difference in some of the commenting from either side.

    • November 13, 2013 at 1:43 am
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      Liam, Cedars has very clearly listed the guidelines for postings. Most sites have to have guidelines for fairly obvious reasons. Most people on this site abide by those simple rules, but now and again there will be someone who just wants to have a rant and not care about the guidelines. This site is not for people like that.

    • November 13, 2013 at 2:01 am
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      Hi Liam – thanks for your observations. For the record, I don’t recall telling anyone they will be ejected simply for voicing an opinion I don’t agree with. I welcome the opportunity to explore both sides of the argument, and I am happy to make corrections to articles if any errors are pointed out.

      What I can’t abide is those who seek to hijack this site and use it as a platform for Watchtower propaganda, especially when I work so hard and spend so much time researching and writing to make sure everything is factually based. Having someone then come on and start spouting Watchtower propaganda with no regard for the other side of the argument is like watching someone defecating on your oil painting, if you will excuse the crude analogy.

      If people want to express a viewpoint that favors Watchtower, and they can do so in a calm, respectful, non-insulting way, and in a way that acknowledges and invites other viewpoints – that’s perfectly fine. But we’ve had a sudden influx of apologists recently (2 or 3 daily) who have most certainly not met that criteria, and I have blocked them accordingly.

      Watchtower certainly has enough people sticking up for them and giving their side of the story. I won’t allow their apologists to overwhelm this site and snuff out our flame of logic and reason. I hope you understand.

  • November 13, 2013 at 3:50 am
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    Your flag story makes no sense. For example in the Northern Part of the Netherlands District conventions were (till recently) held in a ice-skating stadium Thialf in Heerenveen. This stadium ceiling is decorated with dozens of different international flags and are part of the decor. So in rented facilities, on many occasions they dont remove the decor. (http://www.thialf.nl/)

    • November 13, 2013 at 3:57 am
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      Emeth – you are welcome to believe that the Bible Students were forced into renting a venue with American flags either side of the stage with no available alternatives in Northern America if this gives you comfort, but I for one refuse to buy it.

      As I said to Rob, Witnesses in Malawi were asked to be raped, beaten, murdered and robbed before making the tiniest concession on neutrality by buying a political party card in a one-party state. Bowing to any perceived local laws regarding flags, even if this claim can be proven, would be an act of extreme hypocrisy in this context.

      And even with the “flags are compulsory” argument aside, there is still no excuse for deliberately re-writing history by taking the flags out of the re-enactment and replacing them with wooden boards. This is the height of intellectual dishonesty.

  • November 13, 2013 at 4:31 am
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    Shakeem thanks for that video excellent, it really does make one think, the book actually can be downloaded pdf Thomas Sowell “Intellectuals and Society” excellent read! and can see how it can configure with the GB of JW.

  • November 13, 2013 at 4:35 am
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    I agree with Cedars. This is a classic spin.

    But it isn’t anything new. The Old Testament is full of spin about a bunch of goat herders, and how they conquered the Promised Land under Joshua. There are many other examples.

    What chance do the poor individuals in this cult have if they base their entire religion on a book that is full of spin!

    The bible makes outrageous claims about what happened on this earth long ago, that have been disproved by science.

    Giants? Demon dads and people that lived into their hundreds? Please! A worldwide flood? Absolute nonsense.

    So, yes, Cedars, they are spinning their awful religion in a feeble attempt to make it more palatable for the rank and file.

    May your site continue to hold up the WTBTS to scrutiny.

    However, the elephant in the room is that the basis for their beliefs, the Bible itself, has been proven to be wrong on a plethora of points.

    Jesus said that a house built on sand will tumble. Well, I believe the bible itself is so full of inaccuracies that anyone basing their life SOLELY on the bible will find it very difficult to live a moral life in modern society.

    The bible has some merit, but it is not the arbiter of morality that it once was thank the goodness of humanity!

    It is time for us all to cut the apron strings and acknowledge that the bible has some good advice, but that it is littered with myths and inaccuracies.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  • November 13, 2013 at 4:49 am
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    Im a country girl.
    You are pretty smart, you are out and you are not defending the indefensible.
    As for the defence of the flag, no one seems to have answered, why, if it can be ignored as an issue, that it has been air washed out of the new video? Recording history can be embarrassing. I wonder which bright spark, made that decision, perhaps they will be admonished down the road for lying?

  • November 13, 2013 at 5:17 am
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    Isn’t Sowell, the black conservative intellectual, from Stanford University? It was said of him, I think, Sowell likes history but he likes it on post-it notes. There is a useful review of his book here.
    http://chronicle.com/article/Skewering-Intellectuals/64113
    “In the Conservative Series on American Politics, Sowell has given us the Idiot’s Guide to Intellectuals, Big Print Edition. We should take him at his word. This is not a book for intellectuals. It is a gift item for conservatives who do not read”

  • November 13, 2013 at 6:18 am
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    Cedar’s I like your views about this DVD. I haven’t had the stomach to watch it yet. But now I have the bone I am better prepared.

    70wks

  • November 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm
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    Dear Cedars! Polish EXJW’s and Faders are sending warm greetings! All the best to you and all “brothers” on this good planet! May Jehovah bless you all with Watchtower that will have two pages and will be issued every six months! Keep up the good work! :)

    • November 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm
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      well said there. Rob can rant his throat out..the watchtower magz must collapse.

  • November 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm
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    Cedar wrote: “As I said to Rob, Witnesses in Malawi were asked to be raped, beaten, murdered and robbed before making the tiniest concession on neutrality by buying a political party card in a one-party state.”

    As I commented, we are going to the Zimbabwe International Convention next year. Malawi seems close by and we also have personal friends who are missionaries in a close by country. I will try to get interviews with them on the issue.

  • November 13, 2013 at 5:38 pm
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    Sue:

    John Cedars’ statement about the Governing Body members toward the end of his article is what prompted me to cite Dr. Thomas Sowell’s book, Intellectuals and Society. Inasmuch as he essentially argues, as explained in the YouTube video above, that intellectuals create a demand for themselves by fostering the idea of a crisis in their minds. The leaders of the WTBTS persistently inundate JW’s with information suggesting that the end is imminent (the crisis) and that the only way to survive Armaggedon and make it into the “new system” is through them. (the solution)

    Whether you agree with his stance on political issues or the argument he presents in his book is a discussion to be had on another blog. Out of respect for Mr. Cedars, it’s only right that you focus your comments on the information being discussed in his article.

  • November 13, 2013 at 5:49 pm
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    Saying JWs are ok because they’re ‘better than the other religions at least…” is like saying at least cocaine is less destructive than heroin so it’s ok to use.

    Guess what, it’s still destructive…

  • November 13, 2013 at 10:57 pm
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    Those who believe JWs are better than other religions are victims of Watchtower’s propaganda.

    “when the image of the beast first appeared, the churches of Christendom—an influential part of Babylon the Great—dominated the Western world. Today, the churches and their ministers have lost the respect and support of the masses. In fact, many people believe that religion contributes to or causes conflict. An increasingly vocal and militant group of Western intellectuals is calling for the end of religion’s influence on society.” (w12 6/15 pp. 17-18 par. 16; http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/l/r1/lp-e?q=w12+6%2F15+pp.+17-18+par.+16).

    Here, the GB is insinuating JWs is not concerned! I believe JWs are among the worst religions, killing silently. Jesus said “(Matthew 7:15) 15 “Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to YOU in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves.”

  • November 13, 2013 at 11:59 pm
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    One of the many good things about being out of JW’s is that you are allowed to think, comment and voice an opinion. Essentially, I agree with your argument. Although, I would say knowledge does not necessarily mean a person develops an intellectual mind. I also think there is nothing wrong with having an intellectual mind.
    Sowell has an agenda, just as the JW’s do, so for me it was relevant to question the analogy. I would not presume to suggest what Cedars thinks. His articles are well researched and thought out, and as far as I could see he did not reference Sowell.

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