Today I was reminded of a man by the name of Joseph Goebbels, former Reich Minister of Propaganda under Hitler, who in 1943 gave a speech at the Berlin Sportpalast with which he tried to enthuse his audience for the "total war". Before entering the Sportpalast, he asked his escort about the composition of the auditorium to decide "which record" to put on. Of course he also had different "records" ready for different audiences and occasions. He was a capable propaganda minister and rhetorician.
Why was I reminded of this man? I read "Our Kingdom Service", the Jehovah's Witnesses Governing Body's Internal Communications and Instruction Sheet, October 2008 Issue, page 8, which deals with the topic that sounds so good for Christians: Studying the Bible personally and as a family is vital! And one can confidently assume that Jehovah's Witnesses will tell with conviction everywhere that their "faithful and understanding slave" spurs them on to Bible study, even calls it vital.
But does the governing body mean what it says? At first it seems so; in paragraph 2 it is said:
Husbands and fathers are encouraged to face up to their responsibilities before Jehovah and to ensure that the family regularly studies the Bible together with a well thought-out, solid program (5 Mo 6:6,7). Even unmarried brothers and sisters with no family responsibilities can enjoy this time [meaning the evening freed up by the abolition of meeting book study]. D.Verf.] to do research in the Bible. Taking every opportunity for study and deep reflection to strengthen our friendship with Jehovah is enormously important to all of us today, "because the days are evil" (Eph. 5:15, 16).
So it sounds up to this point, and so the witnesses will also argue to others. For them it is not conspicuous, because of course what is then expressed in paragraph 3 under the reference "What comes into question for it", even advised and instructed:
With the index of the Watchtower publications or with the Watchtower library on CD-ROM, you can put together a program for your study times that will really please everyone in the family. You can review articles from the Watchtower together, for example the series "Keys to Family Happiness", "For Conversations with the Children" and "For Our Young Readers". Also the series "young people ask themselves" or interesting articles about the wonders of creation from awakening! are well suited.
Or another opportunity for indoctrination according to Watchtower theory. Paragraph 4 also refers to the possibility of watching videos of the organisation. So that this "is a pleasure for everyone in the family"? Or so that the constant sprinkling by the slaves is still strengthened? Does the slave or the governing body really mean what they say about the study of Bible? In the "implementation regulations" the Bible is no longer mentioned.
I would also like to recall the statement of the Governing Body from Our Kingdom Service in September 2007; the question was asked in the Question Box section: Does "the faithful and understanding slave" approve of Jehovah's Witnesses joining together on their own to study and debate biblical issues?
Remember: the answer was a clear No! It was: ... Therefore, the "faithful and sensible slave" does not approve of any literature, websites or meetings that are not produced or organized under his direction.
This is known to all witnesses, even to the subconscious: Do nothing that is not sanctioned by the slave! At the same time they are convinced – because the slave says so – that they will be invited to the Bible study. And why shouldn't they call the contemplation of the Watchtower literature Bible study? The slave does that too, because the real book study taking place in the future will be called Assembly Bible Study from 1.1.2009 (this reminds me of someone who renamed his pig into fish in order to be able to eat it meatless on Good Friday).
The Bible asks Christians to speak truth (Ephesians 4:15+25); it warns against a deceiving, deceitful, deceptive and split tongue, against lies (Psalm 52:6; 120:2; Proverbs 6:17; 12:19; 17:20). Who uses deception here? It may be that some witnesses know what the slave means when he speaks of Bible study; but outsiders have a different idea of it and are misled just as the teachers in the schools are misled when they are told that the organization is educational because there is a "library" in every assembly.
Who is the master of this slave? The Lord of truth, who could say of himself that he was the truth? Or is it rather the Lord of deception? You must give yourself the answer!