Partying in the kingdom hall – why OK for convention delegates, but not newlyweds?
avatar

partying-kingdom-hall

A kingdom hall in Michigan momentarily resembles a pentecostal church, as convention delegates dance to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

A YouTube video recently uploaded by a delegate to one of the 2014 international conventions is causing a stir among current and former Witnesses alike.

Now with over 11,000 views the video, shot on June 6th by a delegate to the Detroit international convention, shows an entertainment event being hosted in what appears to be a kingdom hall.

Jehovah’s Witnesses from three different congregations are shown partying with their delegate guests to a series of songs, mostly comprising ‘worldly’ hits from the Sixties.

Classic hits such as “Stand By Me,” “Up On The Roof” and “Stay” are performed by a musical ensemble led by an older brother on the drums, who introduces each song as though it has a ‘theocratic’ angle. Delegates are told that “Stand By Me,” for example, has “lyrics that emphasize the closeness that we have to each other in Jehovah’s organization.”

Once the band has vacated the stage, the kingdom hall later erupts into dancing to the song “Happy” by rapper Pharrell Williams (see time marker 29:55). This is the same song that was recently danced to by a number of former Witnesses, including yours truly, in a special video.

Interestingly, as any relatively well-informed Witness will tell you, kingdom halls (as buildings dedicated to worship) are usually deemed as fitting venues ONLY for regular meetings, ‘theocratic’ arrangements, weddings or funerals.

And as the following excerpt from page 127 of the Shepherd the Flock of God elder’s manual shows, even couples getting married should not expect the playing of so-called ‘worldly’ songs at their ceremony.

p127-2

After reading the above, you might be tempted to see the YouTube video as evidence that Watchtower is becoming more relaxed and mainstream. But if this is the case, please don’t get your hopes up!

As already explained in a recent article, international conventions are a huge money-spinner for Watchtower. Those wealthy enough to be “delegates” (and who meet the physical and ‘spiritual’ criteria) must fork out eye-watering sums of money to stay at Watchtower-approved hotels, and in some cases will pay a premium on their flights if they book through one of the organization’s prearranged travel agencies.

I write with some personal experience on the matter after being told how much a close relative from the UK once paid to attend an international convention as a delegate in mainland Europe. The amount he paid Watchtower for an event only two hour’s flying time away was closer to what I would have expected him to pay to jet off to Australia.

Unsurprisingly, those who are willing to pay handsomely for the privilege of attending an event where they have an opportunity of rubbing shoulders with a Governing Body member (which is the only significant difference between an international and a regional convention), are treated like royalty.

After all, Watchtower wants these elite individuals to also consider being delegates for future events, and not become disillusioned.

And so it is that the rulebook can so easily be thrown out of the window where international convention delegates are concerned.

A couple getting married are not giving hundreds or even thousands of dollars to Watchtower, so they don’t get to walk down the aisle to Celine Dion. An international delegate, on the other hand, is lining Watchtower’s pockets quite nicely, and so can expect some bang for his buck when it comes to entertainment and ‘hospitality’.

And when it comes to keeping their wealthy backers happy, the Governing Body are only too willing to oblige.

 

new-cedars-signature2

 

 

 

 

 

 

***UPDATE – Since this article was published the following video has been obtained showing line dancing at a kingdom hall in Euless, Texas, to entertain international delegates***

Bookmark the permalink.

143 Responses to Partying in the kingdom hall – why OK for convention delegates, but not newlyweds?

  1. They all look happy but being an ex JW know the “real truth” Sorry to say but JW’s brought up in this cult from childhood are not allowed to speak out, ask questions or think for themselves. trying to leave the organization at age 17 found me in a back room with several Elders and I telling my parents I would have to choose my family and stay in their faith or my parents could have no contact with me (this was 30 years ago btw) or any of my siblings. I do know not all congregations are mismanaged as the one I attended but being forced apart from your family is not a loving or Christian action (I only left upon visiting the Watchtower and tract society in NYC and seeing Christian crosses printed at the top of all literature when Russell was president had me asking a lot of questions that could not be answered and the more I asked the more I was told to be quiet and not talk about it) so that was the beginning of my doubt and many more questions. The JW religion was founded(invented)in 1872 by Charles Russell-mankind has been around hundreds of thousands of years and suddenly this Man has the answers? Not likely. The children are brainwashed and most adults entering this cult are looking for something in life and can’t think for themselves. They are followers and want an easy out. Leaving was the absolute best thing I ever did and have never looked back. The first day I was gone felt like the first time I had ever breathed oxygen. I still have no contact with family and I’m fine with that. I wasn’t looking to go out and live a wild lifestyle…I would have chosen death than live another moment as a JW. I know Truth and this is not it!

  2. They all look happy but being an ex JW know the “real truth” Sorry to say but JW’s brought up in this cult from childhood are not allowed to speak out, ask questions or think for themselves. trying to leave the organization at age 17 found me in a back room with several Elders and I telling my parents I would have to choose my family and stay in their faith or my parents could have no contact with me (this was 30 years ago btw) or any of my siblings. I do know not all congregations are mismanaged as the one I attended but being forced apart from your family is not a loving or Christian action (I only left upon visiting the Watchtower and tract society in NYC and seeing Christian crosses printed at the top of all literature when Russell was president had me asking a lot of questions that could not be answered and the more I asked the more I was told to be quiet and not talk about it) so that was the beginning of my doubt and many more questions. The JW religion was founded(invented)in 1872 by Charles Russell-mankind has been around hundreds of thousands of years and suddenly this Man has the answers? Not likely. The children are brainwashed and most adults entering this cult are looking for something in life and can’t think for themselves. They are followers and want an easy out. Leaving was the absolute best thing I ever did and have never looked back. The first day I was gone felt like the first time I had ever breathed oxygen. I still have no contact with family and I’m fine with that. I wasn’t looking to go out and live a wild lifestyle…I would have chosen death than live another moment as a JW. I know Truth and this is not it!

  3. Mara Jacobs-Proctor says:

    Watching the posted video was so unbelievably annoying I couldn’t sit through the whole thing. The main reason why is that it was obvious the ‘delegates’, were being treated like rock stars. If these same Witnesses moved into the area where this took place, I guarantee you that within a couple of months they would be treated like day old meatloaf by the majority. But because they are labeled ‘delegates’, suddenly everyone fawns over them. I have observed this behavior in my area and I attribute it to the fact that most Witnesses don’t use their own thinking ability. If the WT acts like something or someone is special, which in this case is in the interest of financial gain, the friends follow suit. Monkey see, monkey do mentality. If you asked them why these people deserve what seems to approach adoration, they probably couldn’t answer you! (Reminds me of the mindless clapping on command at conventions.) It’s nice to be hospitable, but this goes way beyond common courtesy! Scary! Then add to this the fact that these are financially well off Witnesses…guess you don’t deserve to be adored if you’re low on cash. ‘The poor man is hated even by his neighbors, But many are the friends of the rich person.’ – Proverbs 14:20. Sad!

  4. Billy says:

    What is the big deal… Get over it. How many churches have rock bands on Sunday morning? Bingo, basketball courts for members?
    What is the big deal?
    So they allowed this… Their religion… Why not. Maybe it was in print but for a special occasion maybe they relaxed it… It wasn’t written on stone tablets
    Why not leave these people alone to worship as hey wish

  5. My Plastic Mic says:

    Billy, I personally vow to let them worship as they wish when they apologize for not allowing every other church on earth to worship as they wish. Jehovah’s Witnesses condemn the very churches you refer to(rock bands, basketball courts, etc) yet they now act just like those churches. Just as you ask to let them worship as they want to, then let this site and it’s guests blog, comment and run it how they want.

    P.S. Jehovah’s Witnesses would also condemn you for visiting this website.

  6. anonymous says:

    Billy, it wasn’t that it was “allowed”, they were told to do it. There is a big difference. All of these witnesses should have realized that this would be going against their consciences from what they have been taught all their lives in the Society. They were TOLD to do it and since the Society told them to do it, they did it against something they knew was wrong to do. It’s no different then a church telling it’s parishioners to fight in a war that their consciences tells them is wrong to do but since they equate their minister as being told to do it by God, then they can go and kill with a clean conscience. That is how wars are fought. The churches, under the guise of “speaking for God” dull people’s consciences to the point that these people think it’s God who is telling them to do something they should know is wrong so they can kill with a “clean” conscience and not feel guilty about it. The Society had to know it was evil to ask these people to entertain these delegates with worldly songs in their Kingdom Halls but they did it anyway, showing they have no respect for their own directives and thus not a theocratically run organization, but a man-made organization.

  7. Art Fern says:

    Hold onto that thought, I agree 100% Mr Blow. A sackful of junk given with lots of smiles takes those lingering doubts down a few notches while bathing your frontal lobe in that sweet, sweet, anesthesia, group love.

  8. Art Fern says:

    I am very grateful for the Jewish Community Center of Tucson or one near Denver for providing the space for teaching first aid and CPR and offering swimming lessons to me and my family. For those Mormons and Catholics who built outdoor playgrounds I played baseball on, in many different areas of the country. The parks were open to anyone believers or not. I learned how to use my athletic talents and to keep my body strong as well as sportsmanship, functioning as part of a group, and many behaviors that served me well in my career. I used to look for a Mormon Church when I moved into a new town and I’d stop by Tues-Thurs evenings after 9pm to play pick-up basketball with members and their non-member friends or people who, like me, knew that there would be games going on those nights. The court was sectioned off from the chapel, so I didn’t see any desecration going on. I have been to Baptist, Pentecostal services where they had c&w music going on during the service and they were all darn good performers, but never rock. I really don’t get the difference but that’s just me. Part of my family is Catholic so I have been to dozens of funeral masses, weddings, ordination of my cousin Danny a priest, etc. What seems to trouble most of you is the double standard, if I were a true believer I might feel the same way. I had never seen anything quite like this in a sanctuary, chapel, or sacred place of a church building. I did like the joy I saw and spontaneous dancing, moving to the music. I think music touches something naturally present in each of us, I don’t see the Tower as having a friendly attitude towards spontaneity, so this was refreshing and freeing. I condemn teaching what is clearly false in any church along with forced obedience to irrational rules, but I can’t trash the simple worship service that fills some need to help the folks get through their week, no matter where its held or by who.

  9. Dean says:

    kind of upsets me as at the time i was told i could not get married in the KH..as being told i was not up to standards..and i see this,yes music is good i do agree but how can all this be,i,am glad to say i,am no longer a part of all this cult

  10. CT says:

    The truth is JWs are bored. Their God is the watchtower organization . They are such a depressed group of people that many. eventually end up leaving.the kingdom hall altogether. They. Can’t enjoy anything in life because. their leaders condemn everything that’s on. God’s earth?, i.e, (can’t dance, can’t celebrate , can’t work. for. the. government , can’t prosper ). I pray they will wake up and leave. their. cult .

  11. Warren says:

    did they play hotel california?, by the eagles?

  12. PureStrongheart says:

    @ Warren: Yes, Hotel California always does remind me of “The Truth,” as, sure enough, ‘you can check out, but you can never leave’ (without lasting repercussions)

  13. Searcher says:

    I said this on another thread: A wise man once told me started working a company, “Around here, the rules only apply to you and only when convenient.” I think that also applies to the attitude of the GB when they say you can’t do this or that in a kingdom hall. Doesn’t surprise me at all. This is the typical way that hierarchical organizations work. JW’s are no exception as they claim to be.

  14. happy ex jw says:

    This is the same organization that once banned Chubby Checker’s The “Twist”

  15. Paul Sampson says:

    I am a Witness and this is shocking . I understand congregations were given the ok to do this . I was raised the Kingdom Hall was dedicated to pure worship. The same Pharell in the song Blurred lines blasting over the speaker system ? Unbelievable.

  16. Just being me says:

    Well said!

  17. Doc Brown says:

    I was raised a Witness but broke away before I was baptized at the of 16. This never would of happened in the 1980′s. I was always told how everything was bad, birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, all Holidays, etc. My sisters KH in MD had a costume party and she posted it on FaceBook but it wasnt Halloween so I guess its ok.

  18. Wychowana w prawdzie says:

    Dla mnie to jest skandal! To jak zabawa Izraelitów przy złotym cielcu. Pewne rzeczy są niezmienne i Sala Królestwa to nie miejsce na takie imprezy. Do czego to doprowadzi? W USA poziom JW jest tak niski – poniżej krytyki, a mamy nie być częścią świata.

  19. Max says:

    Here is evidence normal people lurk underneath the veneer of adherence to a corporate religion.

  20. Excelsior says:

    Max,

    I hope you are right. However, this “partying” is WTBTS sanctioned and is only for the love bomb explosion for the International delegates who have coughed up exhorbitant amounts of money to be there.

    The rules on married couples has not been changed yet.

    I agree that it’s good to see the poor old rank and file Witnesses having some fun for a change, but it is being used for nefarious purposes and I think it will come back and bite the WTBTS.

    Once you give people a taste of this kind of fun, they’ll want some more!

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  21. Jovanna says:

    Ha! Typical. I am so glad that I am no longer a JW. JWs are in fear, brainwashed, and act like puppets on a string. It was the best day in my life when I walked out two years ago next month. I still live in fear from having bad repercussions from the JWs also known as The Box.

Add Comment Register



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

applications-education-miscellaneous.png

Comment posting guidelines:

Kindly observe the following requirements before posting any comments to our articles or pages:


  • ABUSIVE COMMENTS - Do not post comments that include swear words or may be considered abusive, lewd, blasphemous, obscene or threatening
  • ILLEGAL COMMENTS - Do not post comments that condone or propose illegal activity, or that breach copyright law
  • OFF-TOPIC COMMENTS - Do not post comments that are off-topic and bear no relation to the page or article
  • RELIGIOUS NEUTRALITY - Do not post comments that are evangelical in nature or may be construed as imposing one person's religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over those of another
  • LANGUAGE - Visitors from all countries and language groups are welcome. You may post comments in languages other than English, but we would appreciate if you could make any such comments brief. We would also be grateful if you could run any such comments through Google Translate and convert these to English, but this is not an absolute requirement.
  • LINKS - You may post links to third party websites, so long as (1) you limit these to 2 links per comment, and (2) the content on these links doesn't contravene ANY of the first four points. Specifically, you may not post URLs to websites that are evangelical in nature. Our links page has an extensive list of such sites for any who are curious about Christian beliefs in the context of Jehovah's Witnesses.

JWSurvey.org thanks all visitors in advance for respectfully observing these guidelines. Any who persistently fail to do so, despite warnings, may find themselves blocked from making further comments at the discretion of the site moderators, whose decision will be final and not open for debate.