“At that time, the lifesaving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.
“Now is the time for any who may be putting their trust in secular education, material things, or human institutions to adjust their thinking. The elders must stand ready to help any who may now be wavering in their faith.”
—Watchtower, November 15, 2013, p.20
It’s customary, here at RCL, to poke a little gentle fun at some of the statements made by our good friends the Governing Body. But the quote above has stolen our thunder; it surpasses in ridiculousness any remark we might make.
For those too indoctrinated to see this, I will elaborate.
Someone is telling you to trust them even if what they tell you to do appears unsound.
They are telling you not to trust any education you may have had. (Why did you get an education anyway when they’ve been discouraging this for so long?)
They are telling you to obey any instructions you may receive from “the organization” (though it’s unclear whether this includes local elders, or just the Governing Body.)
Doesn’t that scare you a little? It scares me a lot. But Witnesses are used to this. They already sacrifice their children for unsound reasons: the blood policy, disfellowshipping, and the “two witness” rule. But in such cases the Watchtower has at least attempted to justify these “instructions” through sophistry. Now they are preparing their gullible followers to “obey instructions” whether pseudo-reasoning is provided or not!
“Don’t think: OBEY!”
They are saying that even if what you are told seems wrong to you, you must do it anyway!
So where has personal integrity and morality gone? Out the Kingdom Hall window, that’s where.
This is exactly the sort of thing I’ve been railing against for years–and not just in this context. When people obey commands that run contrary to their own sense of right and wrong–their empathy–they are liable to commit atrocities. That’s what happens with soldiers. Soldiers are trained the same way: “Don’t think: Obey!” Then, when they are ordered to slaughter a village full of women and children they do it out of a sense of duty and displaced responsibility.
Can anyone read the above Watchtower quote without recalling–with a shudder–the Jonestown incident?
The Watchtower has come a long long way from the ideology of its founder:
The liberty or privilege of choosing, exercising our wills, is one of the grandest blessings accorded to humanity, and it is an important element in man’s likeness to his creator … the human will … includes, especially, decision in respect to the higher moralities, taking hold of questions of justice and love which affect and influence all of life’s affairs.
—Pastor Russell’s Sermons p. 755
Let each fellow servant and each member of the household of faith use his consecrated judgement in accepting or rejecting this exposition, or any other exposition we may ever offer, according to his ability or inability to recognize in it the voice of our great shepherd.
—Watchtower, 3/1/1896 p. 47
And remember that this religion claims to be based solely on the Bible. According to the Bible, did Jesus say to trust an earthly organization and blindly follow whatever instructions it issued even if they seemed wrong to you? No; here is what the Bible reports him as saying:
Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?
Trust is something that is earned by someone who proves themselves trustworthy over time. Has the governing body done this? Has the Watchtower? Look at their history; “by their fruits you will know them.” They have an unbroken record of lies, cover-ups, responsibility-shifting, and false prophecies. Time and again they have led their followers into fatal mistakes such as claiming that vaccinations and organ transplants (and still today whole blood and platelet transfusions) were against God’s law. Only later to reverse themselves. They have not earned our trust.
Even when someone has earned our implicit trust (which the Watchtower certainly has not), our own sense of right and wrong must still prevail over anything they might order us to do. Anyone demanding such foolhardy obedience has overstepped the boundaries of common sense and human responsibility, and has thereby lost all right to our trust.
Read the quote from the November, 2013 Watchtower again. Then decide, in your heart of hearts, if you really want to belong to an organization that would issue such an outrageous statement. Are you prepared to take responsibility for your own actions, and decide–based on your inherent sense of empathy–what is right? Or will you meekly gulp down the Kool-Aid or whatever else they ask you to swallow or to do?
4 thoughts on “Whom Do You Trust?”
Mickey Hudson • 4 years ago
Isn’t it amazing how many of us instantly think Jonestown? That says volumes.
EnochEnochEnoch • 4 years ago
WatchTower Society’s arrogant teachings, predictions and policies seem to come back to bite them. Their arrogant confidence to request such absolute obedience shows how far their cult mentality has developed.
William • 4 years ago
One of the marks of a mind-control cult.
Evie Bklyn • 4 years ago
“Not from a human standpoint” If not human then what ? They make it sound like it is coming from a “spirit inspiration” . That begs the question ,Who is that inspired message coming from then? According to their own Bible whatever God wanted us to know he spoke through prophets long ago and then His son and that it is ! Heb 1 1,2. So the Bible is all you get kids! No messages from beyond ,so don’t go out and buy those Nikes just yet! LOL (Heavens Gate Cult) Just another WT fear tactic to keep you close to the congregation so you don’t miss “the divine directions”! Think before you obey,not the other way around! 🙂
Arno du Toit • 4 years ago
Too scary to think that it could be funny, Steve. What troubles me is that these guys comprising the GB are absolutely incapable of admitting to what a hoax this whole WT has been through the years, not even to mention the GB itself. It really is horrifyingly scary to say the least…and then that the *other sheep* just continue stumbling forth after them. Thank GOD I with so many others saw the real light and listened to the admonishing cry: “COME OUT OF HER, my people…” Well, okay, at least that’s what my take is on this whole Babylonion WT clothed in sheepskins.
Another sobering thought is the likelihood that this present GB is preparing the *flock* for something closely related to the future where the *flock* will have to trust them (the GB) implicitly…
This is really a scary thought in the back of my mind. I have an ex-wife who’s still steeped into this cult. My daughter in Grade 12 (matric) is still living with her mother, but fortunately has not sold out to the WT….but it remains scary considering the fanaticality of it all 🙁
buttercup • 4 years ago
Jonestown will not happen in the watchtower and I tell you
why. One jw in Patterson in the Finance dept. said for every new convert, add approx.
$540 a year contributions per person. That approx. balances the poor countries
with the other countries. Some years more than that. Multiply that by 8 million publishers. This
does not cover anomalies like rich individuals contributing $1000s a year or
Wills, Trust funds, Real Estate, Businesses, Stocks, etc. that are donated
every year It does not cove Real Estate
transactions or interest and capital gains they receive for the money they
invest. It does not cover the income
received for business ventures they are a part of that its members are not
aware of. And the best part, they don’t
have to report their net profit to the rank and file. Do the math. Their number
one priority according to an ex-jw lawyer who worked there is to protect their
assets. A Jonestown incident could reveal the organization for what it is and
the cash inflow could come to a complete stop or just to a trickle. There are
too many people on top that will protect that cash inflow at all cost. So the
probability of your love ones still in and going through a Jonestown incident
are very small. Of course anything can happen but it is unlikely. Cash is King.
Bubba Gump • 4 years ago
Jonestown just waiting to happen all over again. Scary because I didn’t see it when I was in. I do now.
Jude • 4 years ago
The greatest irony in that Watchtower quote is that, in the second paragraph, it discourages the idea of putting trust in “human institutions” . . . right after having just told Jehovah’s Witnesses that they need to put their trust in the direction coming from the organization – a wholly human institution, as its track record shows.
But most JWs are blind to this irony because in their minds “The Organization” = “Jehovah’s Organization” = “Jehovah”. This is evident by the fact that they always speak of the things provided by the organization as being provided by Jehovah; and one who leaves the organization is said by them to have left Jehovah. They are so captive to the concept. What a pity!
Ronald Day • 4 years ago
I agree with most of this; it makes me shudder to think that the Watchtower leadership has taken the very opposite position that the orignal Watch Tower in Russell’s time had. Indeed, one of the major reasons Russell created his Watch Tower magazine was to preach against this kind of authoritarian organization. Just before his death, Russell stated the following concerning the Watch Tower Society he had created: “Let it be borne in mind that the Society exercises no authority, makes no criticism, but merely gives advice; and that in the interest of the Lord’s Cause and the Lord’s people.” (The Watch Tower, August 15, 1916, page 248) This all changed after Russell died.
William Ronald Day • 4 years ago
Raymond Franz’s ‘Crisis of Conscience’ and ‘In search of Christian freedom’ should be required reading by all JWs and ex-JWs and potential JWs and concerned Christians. WT forbids it, JWs steal it from libraries and destroy it, but it is insightful from an insider who knows what few JWs know about how WT really works.
Amie lesjw • 4 years ago
Thank you for this post. The paragraph is indeed frightening. But I fear it will blend over unthinking ears during the wt study. We’ll have to see.
I can’t imagine what they are talking about in the paragraph, and I find that confusing and pointless.
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