The Governing Body are shown together for the first time on film on the new JW Broadcasting website
The Governing Body are shown together for the first time on film on the new JW Broadcasting website

The new “tv.jw.org” website is barely off the ground, but it is wasting no time in posting some intriguing content.

I have already discussed the October broadcast featuring Steven Lett in one of my latest YouTube videos. As I mentioned, giving members of the Governing Body increasing prominence could easily backfire as perceptions of their supposed ‘humility’ erode – especially among older generations of Witnesses who can remember a time when even a group photograph in the publications was a rarity.

A curious example of the Governing Body’s apparent appetite for the limelight can be found in the latest video to be uploaded to JW Broadcasting – namely the full four-hour recording of the 2014 Annual Meeting.

In the closing stages of the meeting, all seven members emerge on stage to sing along to one of the new songs. “We notice we have seven honorary members to our chorus here to my right,” says the choir conductor as the leaders walk on to applause.

This is the first time (at least, to my knowledge) that all incumbent members of a Governing Body have appeared side-by-side on film. I have a feeling it won’t be the last.

governing-body-singing

The full video can be watched on this link.

There is a nagging sense of irony in seeing seven men whose authority must never be challenged on pain of punishment by family estrangement singing “Jehovah, Jehovah, there is no God like you. There’s no other in the heavens, or on the earth below. You alone are God Almighty, and this all men must know. Jehovah, Jehovah, we have no other God but you.”

It would be easier to take these words seriously if the Governing Body were not falling over themselves to get in front of the camera at almost every opportunity, and chastising any Witnesses who refuse to show them the loyalty they crave.

To those like me who feel the effects of daring to defy these men on a daily basis, they seem very much like Gods “on the earth below” – especially when they are free to decipher the thoughts and commands of the Almighty without any need for their conclusions to make sense, stand the test of time, or even correspond with the scriptures.

The shameless adoration of the JW.org symbol marks a departure from previously held warnings against idolatry
The shameless adoration of the JW.org symbol marks a departure from previously issued warnings against idolatry

Then there is the remarkable onus on the logo for the JW.org website, which is increasingly used as a vehicle for their publicity. A cursory glance at the “jw_witnesses” instagram page shows an unnerving devotion to the symbol in its various settings, whether affixed to a kingdom hall or branch office, or adorning a tote bag or t-shirt.

Adoration of a man-made symbol that would once have been considered idolatrous, a denial that there is “no other God like Jehovah,” is now deemed perfectly kosher – and all because it has the Governing Body’s seal of approval.

The Watchtower organization of 2014 is quickly becoming unrecognizable from that which I grew up in. Surely it wasn’t that long ago when even the Watchtower symbol wasn’t given too much prominence, and any depiction of the Governing Body in the literature or videos was greeted with surprise.

I can only hope that my sense of bewilderment at the ever-more obtrusive exploits of Dave, Tony, Geoff, Sam, Mark, Steve and Gerrit, and the increasingly gaudy outfit they preside over, is shared by at least some indoctrinated Witnesses – perhaps prompting some soul searching on their part.

When the ‘humble’ men you are pinning everything on start morphing into the same tacky televangelists they once delighted in taunting and condemning, you know it’s time for a reality check.

 

 

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Further reading…

 

114 thoughts on “Governing Body takes to the stage together in newly-released Annual Meeting video

  • October 16, 2014 at 4:46 am
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    but wait again.. All of those speakers were saying that before the Great Tribulation starts, all the anointed will be magically beamed up to heaven. Boy, how can a thinking person keep up with all that finer “tuned” (Jackson’s words) and up to date information from Jehovah???

    At the beginning of talks at assemblies, they always say that you can’t record the talks. The thing about putting these talks on tv though, is that you can take them apart word for word and the Society is counting on the fact that most people won’t do that and just take the Society’s word for it that they know what they are talking about and are smarter than the average Joe.

    It’s much the same as a 80 page contract that people just skip to the last page and sign it. They think all the legal words are over their head and too hard to understand so they skip to the end and sign it blindly.

    The Governing Body are no smarter than anybody else sitting in any Kingdom Hall and if you take their talks apart, there is plenty you can point to that doesn’t make any sense. The Society is counting on the fact that almost everybody in the Borg has left their thinking caps at the door.

  • October 16, 2014 at 4:51 am
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    but wait again…All of those speakers said that before the Great Tribulation begins, all the anointed were going to be magically beamed up to heaven. Boy, how can a person keep up with all the “new light”???

    Before assemblies, everyone is told that they can’t record the talks but the nice thing about these talks being put on tv, is that you can take them apart, word for word and there’s plenty to pick apart and analyze that doesn’t make any sense if you study every word.

    The Governing Body members are no smarter than any other person sitting in any Kingdom Hall but they are counting on the fact that people have left their thinking caps at the door. It’s like skipping to the last page of an 80 page legal contract. People think they aren’t smart enough to understand it and just skip to the last page and sign it.

  • October 16, 2014 at 4:53 am
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    Sorry for the duplicate. I thought my comment didn’t register but it was going to the 2nd page so I did it again.

  • October 16, 2014 at 6:05 am
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    The Finished Mystery 1917 / Light 1930 /. Babylon the great
    has Fallen Gods Kingdom Rules 1963 / Then is Finished the
    Mystery of God 1969 / Revelation it’s Grand Climax is at
    Hand 1988 /.

    Five books all purporting to be the definitive interpretation of
    Revelations . Advocating many of the “ideas” in those books
    today, could get you accused of apostasy, as a proponent of
    false doctrines.

    Given time the same will be true of their present “notions”
    ( If you can figure them out.)

    As the inspirer of Revelations, God must certainly know it’s
    true meaning. And would have revealed it to his one true
    channel without the need of constant revision Amos 3 / 7

    If Jehovah had said the Mystery is Finished , then it would
    been so.

  • October 16, 2014 at 6:30 am
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    Cedar You say that the governing body is boasts. But you’re the one who looking for your own glory by posting yourself on the Internet in order to fight them. Take care of yourself may be at war against jehovah himself.

    • October 16, 2014 at 11:25 pm
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      Thanks for the warning, which could be leveled at anyone who makes a stand against anything harmful in life. If I carry out my activism anonymously, I am accused of cowardice and underhandedness. If I carry out my activism openly with my real name and likeness, I am accused of “looking for my own glory.” It’s a no win situation I’m afraid. So tell me, “Baby,” if Watchtower WERE a cult, how would you expect to find out about it?

  • October 16, 2014 at 8:51 am
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    It is interesting when you listen to the Governing Body’s talks and how many times they say “seems” in referring to what is going to happen before the Great Tribulation and before and after Armageddon.

    One of the meanings of the word “seem” is presume.

    Rev. 22:18, 19 warns against either taking away from the prophecy or adding to it.

    Presumptuousness in the Insight book Vol. 2 page 680 says presumptuousness is related to haughtiness, arrogance, pride and forwardness. It’s antonyms are meekness and modesty.

    In the 1984 Watchtower pages 12-23 under the Titles of developing Modesty, it says on page 22, paragraph 14 “..a lack of modesty offends others, makes them uncomfortable. Since we do not want to offend those we love, genuine brotherly love will make us modest. Lack of modesty stirs up competition, rivalry, or causes others to feel inferior to us” and continuing on the next page it says “But faith in Jehovah will keep us from pushing forward presumptuously or immodestly. Rather we will leave matters in Jehovah’s hands.”

    If one of the rank and file guesses what is going to happen before or after the Great Tribulation, we are counseled to not push ahead as this is presumptuous on our parts but that counsel doesn’t seem to apply to the Governing Body.

    It is okay for them to presume or guess what the scriptures say when it doesn’t come right and say it and this is evident by the fact that they say “it seems this and it seems that”…..

  • October 16, 2014 at 10:50 am
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    The GB members, when talking in the 2014 Annual Meeting, are all looking a bit unhealthy, a bit abnormal in their way of expressing themselves and of smiling. Are they all using medicines for treating depression ? I have never been in the States to compare them with other people. Or is it just my point of view as a Native European ?

  • October 16, 2014 at 11:02 am
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    Penny, beautifully expressed. Many thanks.

  • October 16, 2014 at 12:59 pm
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    To “Interrogative”, the GB’s are always smiling and seem medicated because they are treated like royalty, live in upscale suites, don’t have to do any manual labor, get all their meals made for them, and believe they are magically selected by Jesus. I might smile also. Of all of them I knew Steve Lett when I was in bethel. I do have to say he was very friendly and nice, he didn’t seem to be haughty.

  • October 16, 2014 at 3:05 pm
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    Finally the Governing Body are willing to go before a TV Camera! Usually their so modest when camera crews want some interview or clarification dealing with their twisted scriptures!

    If Brother Rutherford was alive he would fire every one of these “creatures desirous of worship” so creepy!

  • October 17, 2014 at 9:27 am
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    (4th try)

    One of the previous commentators mentioned “Baptism for the Dead” and “Special Underwear.” That was exactly what I thought. All this serves the “Keeping up with the Jones’ “-scheme. Look under “Mormon Channel”, or – if you got a ROKU-box – there they are as well for quite some time now. What WTS is now doing is nothing but monkeying what the LDS have been doing for a while, but with much more noise. Of course, to JW, in their total focus on themselves, their self-worshiping navel-gazing, when THEY do it, it’s unique, one-of-a-kind, inimitable, revolutionary, it comes next to the Big Bang. Oooooooooooooh yeah – the “Heavenly Chariot” is on the move again, fast and faster, hurtling and dashing through space and time, dragging the WTBTS Inc. in its boiling, agitated wake towards eternal hyperspace. I just wonder WHOSE chariot – or wheelchair – of the self-appointed Central Committee it is that is dashing through the Warwick office corridors too fast, causing it’s “Governing Rider” thrill of speed-triggered hallucinations and outerworldly visions. Is it Tony’s – or Gerrit’s – rolling device that is zigzagging through headquarters – which, of course, has been prophetically foretold in Ezekiel chapter 1, and which is causing the rest of the universe to get out of breath with trying to keep up? Well, I am definitely not going to.

    To all tunnel-visioned JW: Get rid of your GB-mandated omphaloskepsis and look beyond those steel blinders of yours that have been welded to your nobs through years of wt-“study” and see that is has all been out there for quite some time. Your mother-org has not reinvented the wheel, nor done anything extraordinary. You ARE NOT the pioneers and trailblazers you think you are – others have been doing it since long before, and quite well so. Lets’ just stop all this fuss and buzz about a TV-website, or a mobile app – for crying out loud! NASA was flying to the moon, now people are preparing to go to Mars. Some Nobel Prize guys just released real important research about the brain’s navigational system that might help cure Alzheimers (including Tony’s, Steven’s, Gerrit’s, …), and another one made it possible to watch processes in living cells through a microscope, now THAT’s what I call real accomplishments – not cobbling together a TV-studio, or cranking out yet another cellphone app. GUYS! Come on … be for real.

  • October 17, 2014 at 9:16 pm
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    Let me just say this: Back in the 80’s the GB went out of their way NOT to brag or boast about themselves. It was wrong in Jehovah’s eyes they were to be humble, and NOT worshiped! I can remember studying the Revelation Book where there was NO face ANYWHERE in reference to Jehovah because the GB taught that No man has seen God’s face and live and No one has seen the face of God so there were no faces on any picture that was suppose to relate to Jehovah such as his being upon the heavenly throne. As a witness for 30 years you MUST understand that we were taught that those who were on television such as priest and evangelical Christians were NOT doing what was right in Jehovah’s eyes because they were not engaging in the door to door work as the Bible taught and they were raking in millions of $$ by soliciting funds. Well what I am seeing now is no different from what those evangelical preachers do on TV. The JW.org is being worshiped like the golden calf of the Israelites and the GB is being worshiped like Gods on earth and now they are on their own broadcast station. Pardon me but I have been a JW for some 30 years and I never thought I would live to see the day when the GB did a 180 on ALL the things I was taught as wrong in the “truth” Look either it is right or it is wrong but it can’t be both ways! Not only that but the GB just bought a mansion for 1.46 Million $$. WHY? I think they are fleecing their flock and living in luxury while the rank and file members are paying for it all. So maybe some are enamored with the GB but I am NOT. I feel that these men are fake and that they have no more holy spirit on them than Jim Baker or Oral Roberts or any other preacher. Next their slogan with be “Praise the Lord and Pass the Loot” which is exactly what they are doing!

  • October 20, 2014 at 8:46 pm
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    My Son has just come back from the Melbourne International con, they have said that they now have 29 helpers as they are getting old, i think i have already read this here, i have checked the new book on the history & note the claring differences between it & the proclaimers book, nothing on 1914 comming from the adventists, nothing on 1925 Millions now living will never die, “Lie”, also i was able to get hold of my mums aid book, it makes for some interesting reading, i do note though that the points under the heading, “generation” are the same as the insight book, published in 1988, now the flip flop as we all no, i guess its a matter of time untill they rewrite the insight book, i spoke to an elder about the aid book & he just laughed it of, but the same men who wrote it, wrote the bible, are we to write this of as well, also my son reported that at Melbourne they had a mexicon wave at the end of it, that would never happen in the past, it seems they are working very hard to drag the youth in.

  • October 20, 2014 at 9:55 pm
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    One thing Lett said and I appreciated when quoting from the Life everlasting, he said “millions now living WILL never die” instead of MAY never die, which we know they changed, either it was a slip up or he was being honest.

    He also gave a talk on anxiety but was a blame game, not doing enough in field service, meeting attendance, living a double life viewing pornography, being materialistic, or pursuing a higher education, all these are reasons for anxiety, quoting Matt 6.

    No mention that anxiety could very well be a medical condition needing professional help. We have had quite a lot of talks on anxiety among the b/s, it is very common, and of course leads to depression, and other problems, panic attacks and worse.

  • October 20, 2014 at 10:10 pm
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    The amount of JW’s that i know of that suffer from depresion is scary, we also seem to attract the nutters, a lot of people here have taken their kids out of school to “Home School”, then they can’t/don’t want to work and become misfits, all waiting for this promise, just like sticking the head in the sand, they cleave so heaverly to the promises, well its 100 years now, & very shortly many more will pass.

  • October 21, 2014 at 12:45 am
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    I have also noticed a lot are attracted to the cult that do a mental illness, and those that don’t end up with depression or worse, those already with the problem of mental illness seems to be ok or helpful for a little while, but once they realise that the initiation party is over, they have to come down to earth and realise that its not the loving org they thought, this only makes the illness worse, for some its impossible to keep up with all the demands of time, money and rules, but in the back of their minds its the truth and where else to go, out in the world with Satan and many feel like they are bad and can’t fit in, its a real bad deal for sure.

  • October 21, 2014 at 12:59 am
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    An interesting combination of terms… Governing Body.
    and Annual meeting.

    These terms are generally used together with corporation
    secular Governmental regulations for profit and non-profit
    corporations.

    Governing Bodies are required in secular corporations also Annual meetings are required.

    These are part of Governmental requirements. To be adhered to and controlled by Governments.

    One would think for a spiritual organization to fuse secular and spiritual together goes against
    Christ, when he said his Kingdom is no part of this world.

    Another example of how mixed up the Watchtower is,
    fusing secular & spiritual together with Governing Bodies and Annual Meetings. Required by Secular Authorities, not required by Christ.

  • October 21, 2014 at 1:13 am
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    Interesting comment Willows, yes mixing the both is really playing in the world of corporate rule, the name GB is really (JW speak) worldly, any wonder they had to find anything in the bible to try and pass that one of, and yet what really gives me the pip is how they treat JW like utter idiots, like all businesses they have to abide by laws, but the GB are a law to themselves when it comes to obeying Gods word, be interesting to see just how many more goofy teachings they have to come up with now 2014 slips of the radar.

  • October 21, 2014 at 1:32 am
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    I would have to agree as Cedars said, when you see morphing [surreal sequence], it is time for a reality check.
    Out there, is so much evidence printed by the Watchtower
    that it is time to do your own thinking.

  • October 21, 2014 at 4:24 am
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    Great article Cedars,

    I like the point you make about the jw.org logo and idolatry……apparently many were trying to get GB members to sign their bibles, isn’t that idolatry also. Together with revering them on telly.

    Lots and lots of idolatry IMO.

    Kate xx

  • October 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm
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    I think the GB are doing this (stepping out into the limelight) in order to counter accusations that the Watchtower Society is a ‘secret society’.
    This new approach allows them to say “We are in the open! Look at us! We have no secrets!”.

    *and yet still…they maintain their ‘secret’ pedophile files…

  • October 22, 2014 at 8:57 pm
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    Just watched the new release DVD, while family were at the meeting, i hope to see more comment on this peice of crap, their is no way they can show it in third world country, shows a very normal family who seem to have everything and are growing apart, well as kids get older that happens, but the dad & mum need to simplyfy their lives like the old elder who is now going to rent a room in their house, well if we all simplyfy our lives then where are all the people going to live & who is going to pay for it. Complete dribble, and its all Dads fault as its not in his heart, here’s a reality check people we need to work & provide, not stick your head in the sand like they did in 1975 & wake up 40 years latter with nothing, see why all the KH flats are being kept for old co’s, they have nothing after years of toiling

  • October 23, 2014 at 7:44 am
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    I remember so many times from the platform how we were told to simplify and not be materialistic and to always do more for the organization, and so many people just ate it all up and sold everything and rented a basement suite and worked part time -and then started the struggles and the marriage problems and the anxiety and depression – all for a corporation that cares nothing for them, as individuals, at all.

    On the flip side, we are now seeing flashy videos of an organization that is extremely wealthy, with new digs, and billions of dollars in real estate and this organization appears to be very very materialistic.

    I saw through this and left, but unfortunately, so many are still not seeing the true colors of this religion.

  • October 24, 2014 at 7:39 am
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    Well cry baby hiding pedophiles is not a problem for the so called self anointed class who now had said that Christ did not inspect the organization in 1919,Now are we to conclude that after 100 years of lying by the watchtower,that God’s holy spirit, all of the sudden change his mind and Christ gave this organization the thumbs up?

  • October 24, 2014 at 10:32 am
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    Stephen Letts talk in the first ever JW.Org broadcast, focussed
    on teenagers. Encouraging them to have a personal relationship
    with Jehovah, which in effect meant devoting their life to the
    organisation. This fact was made clear in his conclusion, —
    “We look forward to ( using ) you more and more in Jehovahs
    Organisation”.

    It’s obvious that youth defection, or disaffection, is a big problem
    but Letts talk won’t have helped, the manner of his delivery was
    of one talking to a 3 or 4 year old, it was patronising, and
    embarrassing to listen to.

    There was no countdown to Armageddon. Instead we were shown
    a video of a deceased gov, body member who had gone to his
    heavenly reward? after a lifetime of service, also a video of an 87
    year old convert, delighted with all his new found friends.
    So there’s a shift away from an almost imminent reward, which has
    been the main draw for over a hundred years.
    To accepting the “Christian” life as the being the best option.

    The word “Using” aptly describes their dealings with people. The
    closure of over 20 branches when many Bethel workers were given
    their marching orders with little support is one example.
    Human casualties are a low priority in a business corporation.

  • October 28, 2014 at 9:24 am
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    I spent 26 years in this faith I believe in Jehovah I don’t trust governing body

  • October 28, 2014 at 9:31 am
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    After I read about the Candice conti trial and verdict I was completely shocked regarding the policies the governing body sends to elders in handling cases such as these . If this a Governing is covering things up they should face criminal charged

  • October 29, 2014 at 3:41 am
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    They got a life of luxury on the backs of all their gulible members

  • November 12, 2014 at 7:25 am
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    I wonder if the GB will follow the Mormon church in publishing online some the shady origins and beliefs of the religion in order to combat all the info that is out there already on “Apostate” websites:
    “”There is so much out there on the Internet that we felt we owed our members a safe place where they could go to get reliable, faith-promoting information that was true about some of these more difficult aspects of our history,” Elder Steven E. Snow, the church’s historian, told the New York Times. ”
    http://gawker.com/mormon-church-joseph-smith-had-40-wives-including-14-1657405725
    An interesting article, worth the read.

  • November 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm
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    It amazes me how the organization has changed. I was a Witness over 20 years ago and a Ministerial Servant in a Spanish congregation and seeing how the Society has made use of the Internet, the way they now advertise with the JW.org logo and display their literature in public would not have been looked up very well back then. The way they promote themselves looks no different from any other large corporation. I guess this is the new meaning of being “no part of the world”.

  • November 19, 2014 at 9:31 am
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    I was baptized in 1987 in NYC. My mother studied and my dad studied they did not get baptized. I find it absurd that no one can contact a governing body member, I know I’ve tried I got put on hold and even they even hanged up on me WOW! Wasnt Jesus always available and yet these professes christian men are not. I needed help at one time during the winter it was -17 deg outside and 32deg in my apt. My congreg didn’t help me at all. 6 elders knew of my situation and no one helped me

  • November 19, 2014 at 9:38 am
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    To all persons that read my post please accept my apology I’m not proficient in texting and at times I make grammatical errors. Thank you

  • November 25, 2014 at 10:53 am
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    I haven’t attended a Kingdom Hall meeting since March 2014. I recently made call Bro Cogley of highland park congreg I left a message expressing my disgust at the way things are handled well sure enough Bruce called Bro Alarid and Bri Alarid calls me and leaves me s message. Hey guys I’ve been gone since March 2014 all of a sudden now you want to talk to me WOW!!!!!! To bad you can’t

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