This week Witnesses start to study the July issue of the Watchtower Study Edition. A while ago, we published a review of a secondary article in this issue which you can view below. However, something just came to light which has taught me to be more careful in accepting Watchtower sources as presented in the publications.
In the article, a resource is cited with what turns out to be a very judicious and self-serving application of ellipsis. The relevant quote from the Watchtower article is:
“Keep in mind that Satan does not want you to think clearly or reason things out well. Why? Because propaganda “is likely to be most effective,” says one source, “if people…are discouraged from thinking critically.” (Media and Society in the Twentieth Century.)
(ws17 07 p. 28)
Those with a background knowledge of JW thinking will quickly see why the ellipsis was needed to hide the inconvenient elements of this expert’s findings:
“Therefore, it is likely to be most effective if people do not have access to multiple sources of information and if they are discouraged from thinking critically. Michael Balfour has suggested that the “best touchstone for distinguishing propaganda from science is whether a plurality of sources of information and of interpretations is being discouraged or fostered.” (Media and Society in the Twentieth Century. – page 83)
If you are unfamiliar with the Organization’s position on research, allow me to explain that Witnesses are actively discouraged from reviewing “multiple sources of information” and of considering “a plurality of…interpretations”. Anything that disagrees with Watchtower doctrine is considered as apostate material and viewing it is equivalent to viewing pornography.[i]
Of course, use of ellipsis is valid at times. I just used them to avoid repeating the same phrase a second time. They can also be used to avoid including information irrelevant to the matter under discussion. However, using them to conceal information that it both relevant and damning to the case one is making is nothing short of intellectual dishonesty.
So the lesson we can take from this is to always check the full text of the sources referenced in the publications of JW.org to ensure one is not getting a distorted view of the truth. A good resource for doing this is google books. Make sure to frame the quote in quotation marks to restrict the search.
[i] w86 3/15 p. 14 ‘Do Not Be Quickly Shaken From Your Reason’
Why is reading apostate publications similar to reading pornographic literature?
Nice catch. I found that article quite interesting how it went as far as to invite people to think critically! Wow! Thanks
Warmest Greetings to All-I’ve been following this site for over 1 year;Dear Brothers and Sisters….Words cannot convey my gratitude to you,for the evidence of Holy Spirit,it’s fruitage among you.Gratitude to our Father and Christ.An apology for simple words and brevity…I’m a veerry s-l-o-w typer!Blessed with a gift as a fine Artist,I emote and absorb,empathically,releasing it in ‘visual’language more than ability seen here(haha)…your comments at sometimes the very hour…minutes!I’ve felt/realized the same?Voila…someone here writes it down.As Children of God,relatives in Christ,these are precious proofs.It doesn’t matter my age;gender;the fiery trials,the refinements-ongoing…Ultimately:True Love expressed in our walking our Master’s footsteps,and 2ndPeter 3:11-13.Love,Devora.
Welcome Devora. You’re expressions of appreciation are well received. We look forward to your continued comments.
Welcome Devora. Nice to hear from you. Why don’t you post a picture if you feel that expresses your feelings better! ?
2 Thess 2:9-12
2 Cor 11:14-15
Nice catch Señor Meleti!
I believe I’ll make an exception and comment on this when it comes up.
Of course, I’ll then read the entire quote and explain to all why we are in fact really protecting ourselves by not allowing outside reading/research despite our writing committee’s setting the precedent for it.
That ought to get me a free pass into the little room!
Will keep all posted…
Critical thinking requires two points of view to compare and contrast, or in the case of science, independent confirmation of a theory by experimentation for repeatability of findings by other investigators. So if the Watchtower publishes a “theory” of interpretation, or takes a dogmatic position as “Biblical” by decree, or claims authority as the appointed slave, then critical thinking demands the right to examine the scriptures and the history of the idea presented, or to question the authority of 7 men to decide all issues for 8 million others, without the right to raise an alternate view or explanation. A… Read more »
I dont want to come across as crazy but im sure Satan is the one behind this deception millions of unknowing minds enslaved, and thats just JWs never mind the other denominations spewing the same tactics.
2 Corinthians 11:14
The question is, how exactly does Satan carry this out? How does he manipulate the minds of some so that they mislead others and serve as his ministers?
I think this would be a great discussion to have.. Everyone has their personal opinions but are there scriptures that can clearly point to:
How does Satan manipulate and mislead?
I agree. I’ll see about opening a topic on this and see where the comments take us.
Hi Lucas… I’ve wondered this myself. Is there truly a ‘dark force’ leading and directing this organization? Or is it just plain ego and ignorance? With all of the letters written into the society about false teachings, and the prevalence of ‘ex-jw sites’ on the internet revealing false teachings… is there any reason they can claim ignorance at this point? If not, this leaves the ‘ego’… Perhaps they are so far in over their heads that any changes to their teachings would be detrimental to keeping the org above water, so they blatantly disregard the ‘truth’? Are humans their own… Read more »
I have wondered that for years, especially since Witnessess say it so much. Satan is to blame for practically everything. How does he do it? I have researched it and have not been able to come up with a satisfactory answer. Thanks Meleti for taking up the challenge. 🙂
Before you try to determine how Satan does what he is blamed for, here is a simpler question: Is there any incontrovertible proof, whatsoever, that Satan ever actually did anything? Is there even ONE provable, documented event, at any point in human history, that Satan and the demons did any one particular thing? As far as I can tell, the answer is No. I also have found it extremely peculiar that “being possessed by demons” seems to start happening totally out of the blue, right around the time Jesus shows up, and with the exception of the account in Acts… Read more »
“Is there any incontrovertible proof, whatsoever, that Satan ever actually did anything? Is there even ONE provable, documented event, at any point in human history, that Satan and the demons did any one particular thing? As far as I can tell, the answer is No” Have you forgotten about Eve…Job? How about when Satan entered Judas? How about Jesus words at Luke 22:31? How about Satan’s opposition to the anointed ones at Zechariah 3? How about Heb 2:3? How about Paul’s words at 1 Thess 2:18? How about who is responsible for teaching lies, blinding people, misleading the whole earth,… Read more »
Thank you, Yehorakam.
Yehorakam, I would by no means ever discourage anyone from having faith in the Bible. Far from it. So, when you bring up scriptural passages about Eve and Job and Judas, do I dispute these? No. However, these passages are not proof in the objective sense. They are articles of faith. The idea is, if one has faith in the Bible, then by extension we have faith in everything it says, including the parts about Satan and the demons. However, my question is more along these lines: Set your Bible down, and using only the means available to the average… Read more »
I can understand what you are saying Robert. It is true that Satan puts wicked thoughts in the mind of individuals and they carry it out. But you also have to think: if Satan or the demon in question hadn’t put that in their mind, would they have done it? Most cases the answer is no. So who carries the heavier responsibility? Satan even succeeded in putting an idea in a spirit anointed ones head…Moses killing a man thinking it was time to free Israel, David with the illegal census. He can put things in our heads too. We can… Read more »
“The Witnesses erroneously think Satan cannot read our thoughts, and for example our prayers are private. Wrong. Satan can read our thoughts.” Can you provide me scriptures to prove this? So when I was praying to Jehovah to give me a sign that the Watchtower Organization was His earthly organization and that I should worship Him via this religious group and shortly after I found myself on the JWfacts website, which completely de-bunks the WT religion, how do I know if this was ‘God’ showing me the truth or ‘Satan’ showing me a false truth? If Satan can hear our… Read more »
Hi Seasons of Grace. I have had the very same dilemma. It can leave you a little unsteady at times. I felt I had prayers answered through the org when I was in it, with the effect that it convinced me it was the truth, and then I’ve had prayers answered that have shown me to leave that very org. I think either God answered the first prayers, or he answered the latter. I don’t think both if the answers have 2 opposite outcomes. So how do I find out? My main recourse has been God’s Word and that’s why… Read more »
Hi Robert-6512, You said: “Satan didn’t give rise to World War II and Hitler and Stalin and Mussolini – these men made their own choices. Satan didn’t invent airplanes with machine guns, or nerve gas or atomic bombs – people made them. Satan didn’t create a pseudo-Christian organization that deceptively uses God’s name to deceive its followers, to deny Christ and to blasphemously follow men in Brooklyn, who among other things offer cover and protection to child abusers. Men did these things all by themselves.” The fallacy in this logic comes from your assertion in the belief that we cannot… Read more »
Jesus acknowledged Satan exist by answering his questions in the desert whilst the wicked one was trying to seduce Jesus to give him one act of worship. We as Christians are told to put on our armour of faith because our fight is against the bad forces of the air. Ephesians 6:10-18New International Version (NIV) The Armor of God 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,… Read more »
Hey mate…please see comment above…
Thanks for the heads up Meleti
It’s hard to believe you could be a part of something for so many years and come to find out how deceptive they have been. But gosh darnit the proof has been in the pudding. Thanks Meleti