When the JW Broadcasting website was first announced at last year’s annual meeting I immediately relished the prospect of seeing Tony Morris in front of the camera in glorious technicolor for an hour-long show.
I consider myself Tony’s number 1 troll. He is, in my opinion, the most deluded, controversial and intellectually-challenged of all the Governing Body members, and I unashamedly thrive on his misadventures.
As Tony’s train-wreck performance at the 2014 U.S. branch visit showed (which has yet to find a place in the “on demand” section of tv.jw.org), his unguarded rants are an Achilles heel when it comes to exposing the authoritarian, backwards thinking of the Governing Body.
I was nearing the end of my recent stay in Belgium when the news came through that the new January 2015 episode of JW Broadcasting was Tony’s slot. I immediately watched the first 10 minutes with one question on my mind: “Would they let him speak his mind, or would they write his script for him and keep him on a tight leash?”
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this was indeed an authentic Tony Morris offering of verbal flatulence of the type other Governing Body members struggle to replicate. Here was a man whose ignorance was on show for all to see; who had no qualms about uttering such ‘pearls’ as…
“If we are in continued association with those who do not believe the same, it can erode our thinking and convictions.”
“It is one thing to work on a job with others, and quite another matter to immerse oneself in an institution of ‘learning’!”
“I have long said: the better the university, the greater the danger. The most intelligent and eloquent professors will be trying to reshape the thinking of your child, and their influence can be tremendous.”
The above three quotes show in a nutshell why Watchtower is so terrified of young Witnesses going to college and university. They know full well that the critical thinking skills gained, which are an essential part of learning, can equip a person to quickly see through their propaganda.
Put simply, education is Watchtower’s enemy. Knowledge is the antidote to their indoctrination techniques.
Nothing spells this out more clearly than the scripture chosen by Tony as a ‘basis’ for the prohibition on higher education. When the Apostle Paul, himself the beneficiary of a good education (or so we are told), spoke about “bad associations spoiling useful habits” he was apparently issuing a call to arms against the Ivy League. (1 Cor. 15:33)
The flimsiness of this scriptural invocation should by itself tell parents and budding students everything they need to know about Watchtower’s motives. Watchtower’s notion of “bad association” in this context is spending time with clever, well-read people who will help you to think for yourself.
But if there is one thing you should never underestimate, it is the potency of Watchtower’s coercion techniques on its indoctrinated prey. And in Tony Morris’ half-hour rant against eduction, these were out in full force.
A classic example can be found between 07:25 and 08:20, where Tony regurgitates a hypothetical scenario (repeated from earlier talks, see video below) in which parents drop off their child to attend university, and enroll him/her at the local kingdom hall only for ‘disaster’ to ensue once the child makes a break for it and starts missing meetings.
“My question is,” bellows an indignant Tony, “who dropped them off at the university?”
Thus the “three F’s” of a Tony Morris talk are deployed:
- FEAR MONGERING – “Let me tell you about a nightmare scenario that could happen to you one day unless you shape up.”
- FINGER POINTING – “Allow me to single out those who fell short of Jehovah’s expectations in this scenario, and who will pay the price for doing so.”
- FAULT FINDING – “Most importantly, here are the main culprits in this whole sad story who bear the most responsibility and need to explain themselves to God.”
- There is a fourth “F” in a quintessential Tony Morris talk, but to spare your blushes I will refrain from telling you it.
As transparent as these methods may be to you and I, it is sad to consider that they will work only too well on Witnesses who are stricken deep within their indoctrination.
As I express in my video rebuttal to Tony’s speech, Watchtower’s prohibition on higher education is an abhorrent manifestation of the organization’s all-encompassing greed and solipsism. To hijack the hope, promise and potential of young people in this grotesque manner by stifling their opportunities and assimilating them into their propaganda machinery as “pioneers” is utterly reprehensible and immoral.
I can only hope that a fortunate few among the ranks of young Witnesses will see straight through Tony’s nasal oratory and seize their chance to make a break for it, and make something of themselves before the opportunity passes them by.
- Friendly Atheist article on Tony’s higher education rant
- Deluded or dangerous? My thoughts on Anthony Morris III following his Rome visit
- After his branch visit performance, is “Tight Pants Tony” now a liability for the Governing Body?
- Watchtower continues crusade against higher education