“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?