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Happy New Year!

I heard that OWS retook Liberty Park (Zuccotti Park) last night.

Looks like fun!  Wish I had been there.  But I’m going to the January 17 Occupy Congress event so there’s plenty of fun coming up.

In fact, I see signs that many people are starting to feel their Cheerios this year.  The VastApostateArmy of former Jehovah’s Witnesses have an event planned in February that I will tell you more about later because it deserves it’s own post.  If you are a former JW, you won’t want to miss this one.  The thing that set it off is an upcoming lesson in the February 2012 Watchtower and it will make your blood boil. Heads up New Agenda, The Feminist Majority and Freedom from Religion Foundation, this is a protest worthy of publicity.

I’m really enjoying the VastApostateArmy direct action videos.  For years, apostates and disfellowshipped members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been told they’re mentally diseased because their consciences choked on false dogma and coercive compliance techniques.  They recently have taken to youtube after years of shame as if to say, “Hey, wait a minute.  We’re not insane.  The Watchtower really is a greedy cult pretending to be a religion” (More on that angle later as well)  They have banded together on a rescue mission and seem to have taken inspiration from the Occupy Movement.  So, good job, OWS, it’s working.

As the 1% seem determined to keep a stranglehold on our money and our lives, the 99% are pushing back.  Jane Caro, Australian writer and former advertising creative said recently, what we are seeing is “a struggle between authoritarianism and small “l” liberalism”.  I find it very interesting that both Caro and the guy who started the Occupy movement, Kalle Lasn of AdBusters, were formerly in the ad business.  But this makes perfect sense because they recognize the campaign against us.  The ad business is all about persuasion and emotion and the authoritarians have the money to conduct a massive ad campaign to make us eat a high control culture.  They’ve been at it for decades now and they are pretty close to achieving their goal.  This may be the pivotal year where we either band together and push back hard to reassert the principles of the Enlightenment or we submit to authority once and for all and the opportunity never comes up again.

Maybe the Mayans were right.  But if they are, let’s not go down quietly.

Are you with me?  All right, Let’s fight.

18 Responses

  1. Happy New Year all!
    “May all your troubles during the coming year be as short as your New Year’s resolutions.” 🙂 🙂

  2. Happy New Year to you all.

    Resolutions? We don’t need no steenkin’ resolutions.

  3. This is good for the soul.

    Foreign Policy: The Shadow Superpower

    Forget China: the $10 trillion global black market is the world’s fastest growing economy — and its future.

  4. So I’ve always wanted to ask a former JW — how are current members taught to regard the early works of Charles Taze Russell and “Judge” Rutherford?

    When I was in college, I ran across some very old books written by those guys. The doctrine propounded way back when was rather at odds with what was taught in the late ’60s – early ’70s, when I had a JW friend. (And THAT doctrine differs from the current stuff.) Russell must have been awfully disappointed when the Messiah did not pop up during 1914.

    And that brings us to the really ticklish question. I sometimes hear that we cannot criticize Israel because of the Holocaust. Well, the JWs were killed in large numbers during the same tragedy. I think you can see where I’m going with this…

    • First, I want to make it clear that although I was raised a JW, I never considered myself one of them. I was never taken in by them for a moment. Even from a very, very young age I knew that I was different. Maybe I was just precocious or maybe children and dogs really do know what’s up.

      As far as I can tell, JWs are not supposed to delve too deeply into the history of the Watchtower and how it got started. Witnesses who have done that start asking questions and then are quickly disfellowshipped. My mom started to dig around in all that stuff after Armageddon didn’t come in 1975 and as a result, she voluntarily disassociated herself by letter. That made her an apostate to other witnesses, which is something she should have carefully considered- before she converted half of her family. They can no longer talk to her. But then she turned to fundamentalist evangelical Christianity and believes in the Rapture so, you know, she still playing the same game, she’s just wearing a different uniform. And yes, they practice a different kind of shunning but it’s no less hateful and disgusting.

      You can criticize Israel here as long as we don’t start dragging up the Holocaust. Clearly, the Holocaust has had a profound emotional effect on Jews. Similarly, the Irish Potato Famine had a profound and long lasting effect on the Irish. That doesn’t mean that talk about politics and economics is off limits.

      JWs *were* persecuted in Nazi Germany and were sent to concentration camps. They were targeted because JWs are pacifists and are to segregate themselves from “the world”. This means they could not serve in the German military, couldn’t swear oaths to the Reich and wouldn’t use the Nazi salute. So they were sent to concentration camps. I really have to admire the ones who bravely stood up against persecution. We should all have such courage. But it would have been better, IMHO, if they did it because they were good human beings and not some crazy cult. A similar situation happened in the 70’s in Malawi and Mexico City. In Malawi, JWs were persecuted, killed and raped for failing to possess a party card. Since political activities are strictly verboten to JWs, they were told by the Governing Body of the Watchtower society that they couldn’t buy the card. So, a lot of Malawian JWs died. I remember the stories about this from the lectern of the Kingdom Halls on Sunday. What we *didn’t* know about was that in Mexico City, JWs males were supposed to possess a card that showed they had participated in mandatory military service in the Mexican Army. Since JWs are strict pacifists, they couldn’t serve but the Mexican government made no exceptions. So, the Mexican JWs petitioned the governing body and asked if they could bribe officials to purchase a card showing they had served when they actually hadn’t. And the governing body gave them permission to do so. So the Mexicans were spared by the Malawians were raped and murdered. There’s a book on the inner workings of the governing body by a guy who was one of them and went apostate. His name was Raymond Franz and the book he wrote is called Crisis of Conscience. All active JWs are told that it is apostate literature and possessed by the DEVIL!! So, many of them are afraid to read it. Seriously. But the ones who actually do read it usually quickly find that they are on their way out because there’s just too much dirt in the Watchtower and they come to realize they’re in a matrix and had just taken the blue pill.

      If you want to know what my upbringing was like, here’s a video of what growing up JW was like from 1960-2010. I made my mind up to NEVER get baptized. I was a Catholic and made my 1st communion when I lived with my grandmother temporarily. Weirdly enough, I credit Catholicism with saving my sanity. Leaving the JWs is extraordinarily hard for young JW’s in their 20s who have become apostates. In short, you become dead to your family. I am not kidding. As soon as you disassociate or get disfellowshipped as an apostate, no one in your family is allowed to acknowledge your existence. They make exceptions for children under 18 but when you hit 18, they throw you out on your ass and you are left to fend for yourself. For kids who grew up witnesses and are told that every worldly person is a disciple of satan, this is very hard. I call it emotional and mental abuse.
      Anyway, here’s the video:

  5. “You can criticize Israel here as long as we don’t start dragging up the Holocaust.”

    Oh, I wouldn’t criticize Israel HERE. I haven’t even done it on my own site lately. In part, that’s due to cowardice (hot button blog posts can deep-six paying gigs, and I’m living on pasta these days) and in part that’s due to the fact that my current interests are elsewhere.

    My question was more along the lines of a general inquiry. A lot of people think that if a group has a history of genuine suffering and persecution, all members of that persecuted group gain a permanent exemption from criticism. We veterans of the online wars of 2008 know all about that, don’t we?

    Catholicism saved your sanity? I think that’s the first time I’ve heard anyone make that claim. You don’t go to that church to take a mental health sauna. You go for the art.

    Actually, there’s some good illustration work in JW publications. I’ve heard that they have a couple of Disney guys on their team. Please forgive my bad habit of judging religions by their painters.

    I’ll watch that video now…

    • I think you misunderstood what I said or I wasn’t clear enough. Catholicism was a more sane alternative when I was a little kid. Since I aphad been baptized catholic and went to mass when I lived with my grandparents temporarily, I acquired a magic shield of protection against JW mind control. They couldn’t give me a new religion because I already had one and the one I had wasn’t into needlessly killing children at Armageddon because they didn’t eat their peas or start going door to door for his earthly corporation. Catholicism allowed me to step back and evaluate the claims of the watchtower society more rationally because I was no longer afraid of their terrorizing images of Armageddon. The images did still give me nightmares but when I was awake, I just didn’t get scared silly by that shit. I thought it was just crazy to live your whole life around some event that was not going to happen. And I didn’t want to go to the New World with a bunch of Jehovah’s witnesses for eternity. It just never appealed to me. Maybe this would have been more compelling if it had been another group of people. But to be around a bunch of unimaginative, obedience addicts with no sex or competition or education for the rest of eternity, like, FOREVER? What kind of paradise is that? What was I supposed to do with all my free time?
      So, the product they were selling didn’t pique my interest. At all. I don’t think they thought through their cosmology very carefully. They were targeting a certain kind of person and I wasn’t it. I just happened to have the great misfortune to be a kid to a person who was sucked in. Of all the religions in the world she had to choose from, she had to pick THAT one.

  6. And now for something completely off-topic:


  7. This is in regard to the dialog between Catfish and RD the other day when Catfish insisted there must be some command and control structure behind OWS and RD insisting there’s no evidence of that so far as she’s seen. Early in the occupy movement I stumbled across some interesting links…I wish I’d saved them, but didn’t…to an international group that started in Kosovo that has been providing strategic advice to various popular movements in Europe and the Middle East. Here’s something I ran across on TED that may give you sleuths out there a place to start looking:

    • Most enjoyable and informative. Thanks.

    • Sharon, there is a group of people who organized this. But this movement does not have any characteristics of a high control group. There is no leader, no rules of behavior, no membership criteria, no proselytizing, no phobias, etc. Maybe some of these things will appear but from what I can see, the occupiers with the most formal organization are the unions. The occupation couldn’t even get their drum circle to limit themselves to a few hours a day.
      Myiq wants there to be some evil obama campaign group behind OWS and I see no evidence of that nor do I think that would work out for Obama. Furthermore, it’s not even an exclusively American phenomenon. Are we to assume that Obama’s AstroTurf army is responsible for a global Potemkin occupation as a brilliant setup? It just doesn’t make any sense.
      It is possible to be too cynical. Any movement that organizes however loosely is going to require a large group of people acting together for some purpose for a sustained period of time. And because this is a protest group that is setting itself against a global power with all of the control on information and with the means to suppress, it’s going to be irritating and will have to develop a set of skills that will allow it to adapt and grow.
      That doesn’t make every group that tries such a thing something devious.
      I just think myiq got on the wrong side of the issue, took some bait, jumped on the “we hate dirty fucking hippies” bandwagon and helped to suppress a movement. He should know better. Or he’s cooperating with the tea party on purpose.

      • It’s rather amazing how many people still hate DFHs after all these years. A neutral observer who knew nothing of US history might think the DFHs had won their struggle, given how sore the actual, right-wing winners are. 🙄

      • I agree with you, RD. This movement doesn’t have characteristics of a high-control group. If we’re looking for influencers…as opposed to controllers….I find the idea that OWS organizers may have had guidance and support from a larger community committed to non-violent resistance appealing and plausible. I find myiq’s and Catfish’s idea that OWS is part of “Obama’s astroturf army” less appealing and far less plausible.

  8. I do not get the embed thing here. Sorry.

    • Just put the link in the post, on it’s own line, with no embed code and it should work.

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