This is an addendum to my "Jehovah's Witnesses and the Malawi incidents" blog where I discussed how Mexican JW's were given permission to bribe the government and become members of the 1st reserves of the army,while in Malawi JW's were raped tortured and killed for simply refusing a military card by command of the society.This is a little addition to that.So let's examine something else that went on with the Jehovah's Witnesses in Mexico until recently.(all quotes from "Crisis of Conscience" by Ray Franz)
"As a result of the Mexican Revolution and the Catholic Church's long history of holding immense quantities of land and other property in the country,the Mexican Constitution until recently forbid any religious organization the right to own property."-p.164
Ray goes on to point out that because of this the powers that be(aka an administration in Brooklyn) in the WT corporation decided to present themselves,not as a religious organization but as a "cultural" one instead,which ultimately led to JW's not being able to speak of having religious meetings but rather "cultural" ones.This also led to NO prayers or songs at meetings or assemblies,no bibles in the field service,no congregations but rather "companies,"no baptisms but rather "symbols."This was all done to avoid simply following government regulations of allowing the government to hold custody of church property.Keep in mind JW's fought tooth and nail in the US for the rights to offer their literature everywhere and to use sound cars even though these things weren't done by early Christians,who they CLAIM is their sole inspiration.Needless to say,Christ's disciples didn't require WT literature for salvation or a governing body for truth.
To quote Ray again(certain portions condensed for brevity)
"Congregational and group prayer WAS a primary religious practice in early Christian meetings.The Mexican government said nothing against prayer at religious meetings.JW's,however,were instructed to say that their meetings weren't religious."-p.166
Keep in mind Daniel risked everything to be able to pray to Jehovah.Interesting then that the society deemed something as significantly spiritual as congregational prayer as expedient.By sacrificing prayer and song and using other peculiar and clandestine tactics as mentioned,they were able to retain ownership of their property.Other religions complied with the government and didn't have to resort to such things.
"JW's were willing to say that their organization was not a religious organization,that their meetings were not religious meetings,that their witnessing activity was not religious activity,that baptism was not a religious act-when in every other country of the world JW's were saying just the opposite."-p.166
Proverbs 20:23 Two sorts of weights are something detestable to Jehovah, and a cheating pair of scales is not good.
After half a century of this,the JW's finally changed their status in Mexico to one of a religious organization.The WT magazine described how thrilling this was,bringing "tears of joy."The article in the WT was conspicuously missing what the status had been before,the fact that it was the organization and not the government of Mexico itself that had wanted the previous status all along,that their headquarters organization chose it that way voluntarily.The WT ,as usual, painted a sanitized picture of everything,one that ,to quote Ray,"was as misleading as the pre-1989 practice of pretending to be something other than a religious organization while knowing full well that they were."-p169
Conveniently,they changed their status for pragmatic reasons as opposed to spiritual principles because,you guessed it,under a new constitutional amendment churches were once again allowed to own buildings and property.
Keeping in mind what the Malawians suffered,what the Mexicans were told to do,and how the WT society has behaved dubiously,
Ray words things so beautifully and appropriately:
"It is men in authority who accord THEMSELVES the right to be of divided opinion,but who exact uniformity from all others;men who express mistrust of others' use of Christian freedom of conscience,but who expect such others to put implicit trust in them and their decisions,while they grant to themselves the right to exercise their conscience to condone illegal maneuvering and obvious misrepresentation of fact.I could not personally comprehend how grown men could fail to see inconsistency in all this,could fail to be repelled by it ,could not be deeply moved by its effect on people's lives."Organizational loyalty" can allow people to rationalize away the grossest of inequities,relieving them from being affected by the suffering their policies may cause."-p.167-168
How do you feel as a JW that the WT misrepresented what and who they are just to hold ownership of a property instead of letting the government,essentially rendering prayer,bibles,& baptisms(Christian realities) obsolete for them(at least in an honest manner)?How do you feel about the fact that they could have been a truthful integrity ridden organization,WITH these Christian realities intact the whole time,if only they'd relinquished ownership of the property,essentially making prayer,bibles and baptisms okay in Mexico without all the concocting behavior?Should ownership of property OR the ability to pray,dispense bibles and baptize in an honest as opposed to a clandestine manner be more important to a Christian?How,as a JW,do you feel about the fact that when the WT decided to report all this they hid what the actual reality in Mexico had been and that they VOLUNTARILY gave up what Daniel in the bible would have fought tooth and nail for just to OWN PROPERTY?Would it have killed them to let the government own their property so that they could behave as Christians should,without lying,without hiding,without misrepresenting their entire reality when they didn't HAVE to?
Why do you think the WT did all this?Why do you think the WT glossed over the truth about it all in their literature?And why is any of it okay?How many injustices and fact-glossings and "uninspired" false predictions and hypocrisies will it take to make you question whether or not these men are God's channel of communication?