Thinking, Oh No!

Norman Hovland

Thinking? Not for Jehovah's Witnesses!

As most of us know there is hardly anything that makes the Watchtower Society leaders frown as much as "independent thinking". They have time and again informed us that this abomination was invented by the Devil:

Exposing the Devil's Subtle Designs
Avoid Independent Thinking
20 From the very outset of his rebellion Satan called into question God's way of doing things. He promoted independent thinking. [The Watchtower, January 15, 1983, p. 22]

The wanting of independence from God is not new. It is almost as old as man. The spirit of independence was introduced by Satan the Devil. [The Watchtower, November 1, 1985, p. 4]

Now what would be the sign of this kind of thinking? The Watchtower gives a very good example:

21 How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God's visible organization. [The Watchtower, January 15, 1983, p. 22]

Aha, so questioning the counsel of the Watchtower Society would be such a manifestation of this devilish influence. Let us see if the Watchtower elaborates the point:

19 As we study the Bible we learn that Jehovah has always guided his servants in an organized way. And just as in the first century there was only one true Christian organization, so today Jehovah is using only one organization. (Ephesians 4:4, 5; Matthew 24:45-47) Yet there are some who point out that the organization has had to make adjustments before, and so they argue: "This shows that we have to make up our own mind on what to believe." This is independent thinking. Why is it so dangerous? [The Watchtower, January 15, 1983, p. 27]

According to this Watchtower quote, the very idea that any individual human being must investigate and then make up his own mind about what to believe, is an idea from no less than the Devil! Most enlightened people understand that being able to make up our own mind about things is of course the very essence of any free man and woman. Yet the Watchtower Society leaders actually claim that this is the ultimate evil! Amazing! But I can promise you that it gets even more insane when you read the following quote from the Watchtower:

Fear has a great hold on the people. People are afraid of what their neighbors, their friends, relatives and clergy might think if they were even so much as to read the Bible on their own. For centuries the clergy have dominated their lives, told them what they can read, what they should believe and do. To ask a sound religious question is a demonstration of lack of faith in God and the church, according to the clergy. As a result, the Irish people do very little independent thinking. They are victims of the clergy and fear; but freedom is in sight. [The Watchtower, August 1, 1958, p. 460]

Imagine that. The catholic Irish clergy had dominated the Irish people's lives to such an extent that they had told the people, "what they can read" and "what they should believe and do"! Furthermore this clergy had the audacity to say that: "To ask a sound religious question is a demonstration of lack of faith in God and the church"! And here comes the most fantastic statement of them all. This very arrogant and oppressive behavior from the catholic clergy had the effect that: "As a result, the Irish people do very little independent thinking."

Wow. And even more interesting is the statement that because of the lack of independent thinking the Irish people had, according to the Watchtower, become "victims of the clergy and fear"!

Now, with this in mind we might again take a fresh look at the Watchtower statements from the eighties again. According to the Watchtower magazine from 1983, "questioning the counsel that is provided by" the Watchtower Society is a manifestation of "independent thinking". In other words, to ask questions about the Watchtower religion is a demonstration of lack of faith. Why was it wrong when the Irish clergy told the people, "what they can read" and "what they should believe and do", but when the Watchtower leaders do the same, it is all right? Why was it the lack of "independent thinking" among the Irish that turned them into "victims"? Why should the Irish people imitate the devil and exercise "independent thinking"? Wouldn't the Irish clergy have the same right as the Watchtower to claim that their followers should "Fight against independent thinking"? Or, is "independent thinking, i.e. THINKING, permitted for everybody but Jehovah's Witnesses?

According to the Watchtower, the Irish people's lack of "independent thinking" made them victims of the Irish clergy. This is of course very true. The same lack of independent thinking makes every Jehovah's Witness a victim of the Watchtower Society. In the very best of the Irish catholic clergy tradition they write things like this:

18 In a world where people are tossed about by confusing winds of religious doctrine, Jehovah's people need to be stable, full-grown Christians. (Eph. 4:13, 14) Their position must be steadfast, not shifting quickly because of independent thinking or emotional pressures. [The Watchtower, February 15, 1979, p. 20]

Of course this next quote must be for non Jehovah's Witnesses only:

Man possesses a mind and a heart, not controlled automatically by instinct, but capable of independent thinking and reasoning, making plans and decisions, exercising a free will, building up strong desires and motivation. That is why you are capable of exercising the fine qualities of love and loyalty, of devotion and integrity. [The Watchtower, March 15, 1972, p. 170]

A pity this doesn't apply to any of the faithful followers of the Watchtower Society. But the next and last quote show us in all its detail how much alike the Watchtower Society leaders and the Irish clergy are, no doubt because they have exactly the same motives. They want to gain power over and control their victims:

It is through the columns of The Watchtower that Jehovah provides direction and constant Scriptural counsel to his people, and it requires careful study and attention to details in order to apply this information, to get a full understanding of the principles involved, and to assure ourselves of right thinking on these matters. It is in this way that we "are thoroughly able to grasp mentally with all the holy ones" the fullness of our commission and of the preaching responsibility that Jehovah has placed on all Christians as footstep followers of his Son. Any other course would produce independent thinking and cause division. [The Watchtower, May 1, 1964, pp. 277-278]

Like the Irish clergy the Watchtower Society leaders don't want "division" caused by people who think. Every Jehovah's Witness must simply blindly accept that the Watchtower magazine is the word of Jehovah.

The student must express himself as he understands the truth. (Gal. 6:6) He cannot have independent thinking. [The Watchtower, September 1, 1962, p. 524]

As this last quote show us, unlike the Irish people a true Jehovah's Witness can't have "independent thinking". And right here on H2O we are daily reminded of the success of the Watchtower Society when it comes to implement this. YK, ABK, etc are living examples of people who have had a tremendous success in totally abandoned thinking altogether. It can be done folks, but of course it only applies to Jehovah's Witnesses!

The rest of us can apparently indulge in this activity if we don't want to be victims of the "clergy".