According to the current theology laid out in Watchtower publications, members of the Governing Body are individually appointed by Jesus to serve as part of his “faithful and discreet slave” – his earthly representatives charged with dispensing spiritual “food at the proper time.”
The trouble is, when you carefully scrutinize the words of these men from the platform and acquaint yourself with their idiosyncrasies, it’s hard not to reach the conclusion that either Jesus has NOT chosen these men, or he is a very poor judge of character.
Take for example the following misogynistic remarks made in a talk by Samuel Herd. The recordings in this playlist are believed to date back to 1971* (before Herd was appointed to the Governing Body) in a talk entitled “The Value of Our Theocratic Sisters.”
If I were to walk up to a woman in the street and suggest to her that getting married and filling the needs of a man are among the primary reasons for her existence, that to do so was her desire from childhood, that she lacks the attributes to compete with men or that a man’s cranial capacity is bigger than hers~ I would both expect and deserve a firm slap in the face, whether the year was 1971 or 2014.
That a man who freely voiced such backwards, misogynistic opinions should be personally singled out by Jesus for a role in his ‘faithful slave’ is both laughable and insulting to Christians, because for Jesus to select and endorse such a person without requiring him to publicly recant this nonsense would make Jesus just as much a male chauvinist as Herd.
For those of you who suggest that Herd must surely have shed his disturbing eccentricities since this recording was made, this is not obvious in the following recording from 2005 in which Herd describes the plight of a Witness woman (who “has it in the right places”) being wooed by a worldly man…
If it were only Herd who has been caught making comments of a chauvinist nature that would be one thing, but sadly he is not the only Governing Body member with an appetite for making degrading remarks about women. Consider the following video in which Stephen Lett jokes about “women’s lip”…
Considering that recordings of talks given by Governing Body aren’t exactly a dime a dozen on the internet, one can only imagine what other sexist remarks have been uttered into the microphone by individual components of the “faithful slave” over the years without being caught on tape.
One thing is clear from the above, namely that the source of the humiliating treatment of women in the Witness organization requires little investigation.
It is one thing to invoke bible verses (mostly those of Paul) so that women are barred from taking on a teaching role in a congregation. It is quite another to insist that women should not be allowed to wear trousers, or should be barred from participating in some of the most menial tasks necessary within a kingdom hall, such as distributing literature or handling the sound equipment or microphones, unless no men are present.
Curiously if the microphone stand has the microphone removed from it, and a mop head is affixed in its place, suddenly a woman is miraculously allowed to make use of it.
It is remarkable enough that Watchtower indoctrination is able to convince so many women to put up with such demeaning treatment. But it is even more remarkable that Witnesses should venerate those responsible for it, who even voice their misogynist views from the platform, as hand-picked representatives of God and Christ on Earth.
*I personally doubt that the recording dates as far back as 1971, because this would have meant Herd was only 36 when this talk was given. Such relative youthfulness isn’t obvious in Herd’s voice, but the date does correspond with when he was known to be involved in the traveling overseer work (between 1965 and 1997).
~Though studies have shown that there is a slight statistical increase in the cranial capacity of men compared with women, this does not make men smarter. Women generally have a thicker cerebral cortex and less “dead space” filled with cerebro-spinal fluid. For more information on the subject, click here.