Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Watchtower — Destroy the document!

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Like any other organization, from time to time the Watchtower organization updates it policies and procedures. Such updating requires notice and it is not unusual to find directions that certain items be removed from a policy/procedure manual or file.

The Watchtower organization, however, goes beyond simple updating and removal of documents; Watchtower directs its local appointed representatives (“elders”) to destroy documents.

In year 2001 there was a particularly intriguing incident involving document destruction.[1] Notwithstanding that one incident, it is longstanding policy for Watchtower to have elders destroy documentation in various forms, including items documenting historical positions on its blood doctrine[1] as well as other policy and procedural concerns.[2-7]













Document destruction is not practiced by an organization concerned with truth.

Marvin Shilmer
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References

1. What Happened at Watchtower in 2001?

2. Watchtower letter dated August 27, 1990.

3. Watchtower letter dated January 15, 1998.

4. Watchtower letter dated April 15, 1998.

5. Watchtower letter dated June 30, 1999.

6. Watchtower letter dated August 2, 2004.

7. Watchtower letter dated January 14, 2011.

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14 comments:

StandFirm said...

The action you depict is normal practice for any organization that does not want its representatives to be confused by outdated or incomplete information.

But thanks for revealing how quick you are to accuse your brothers.

Marvin Shilmer said...

StandFirm writes:

“The action you depict is normal practice for any organization that does not want its representatives to be confused by outdated or incomplete information.

“But thanks for revealing how quick you are to accuse your brothers.”

Organizations who pride themselves on truth do not destroy documents that are part of its history, which the documents in question are. Rather, to manage potential confusion organizations priding themselves on truth have outdated documents removed from policy/procedure manuals and relegated under separate file.

Thanks for giving this matter your attention; it deserves attention. But it does not escape notice of this author that on occasion you have made open request for documents Watchtower does not want you to have access to. You have even asked this author directly for some of this material! Yet now, in effect, you ridicule me for pointing out a practice that my disregard of provides you an outlet for information deemed useful by you. Don’t you find such behavior by you a tad contradictory with your complaint aimed at my work?

Marvin Shilmer

Anonymous said...

The religion of truth that has re-written its past so many times, and as for new light, what happened when they gave illumination on the subjects they were so confident about before?

Destroying these letters, its a bit like the Nazis when they chose to destroy certain materials, but by then it was way too late, as there were too many copies of what they had done that fell into the wrong hands.

The Proclaimers Book is a prime example of how they re-wrote history so as to give themselves a whiter the white appearance, but with the internet now, the internet helps give access to areas of the Watchtower history and its practices. No matter what they do, no matter how they cover up, what they have done and said is never going away, there is now a permanent record of it.

Special thanks to Marvin Shilmer in making this record possible for all to see.

Elijah Returns

Anonymous said...

Thanks for shining a bright light on the dark corners of Watchtowerland. You provide a much needed service and I thank you for all your efforts. The WTBTS has always bragged about its finer points, it is high time its more unsavoury aspects were given equal time - thanks again.

Anonymous said...

"any organization that does not want its representatives to be confused by outdated or incomplete information. ...." Whaaaaat??? Take a look at history - American history - for example. Revisionism hasn't kept Americans from learning about America's internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII; the slaughter of innocent civilians during WWII and the Vietnam war... If the Watchtower Society can't live up to the standards of truth that a "worldly" nation that is part of "Satan's world" lives up to, then what does that say about the level of hypocrisy and evil in the leadership of the Jehovah's Witnesses?! "...representatives to be confused by outdated or incomplete information..." In effect, that confirms the low mental level that the general membership of the Watchtower Society has sunk to...

StandFirm said...

I do not recall ever asking you for something I at the time of asking knew was under a 'destruction mandate'. But even if I did, it is not relevant since it is not as though every trace of the old document on earth was to be destroyed, but simply those in the local congregation's file.

The organization has not destroyed anything. Its directive applies to LOCAL CONGREGATIONS.

With that said, the bottom line is this: When the organization comes out with new information which supersedes old, incorrect, and/or incomplete information, the question naturally arises, What do we do about the old information?

Doing nothing would result in a multitude of cases of confusion due to some reading and following old direction. So SOMETHING has to be directed.

Why should they direct to save it in a separate file? It would accomplish no good whatsoever. It would take up valuable space. It may still serve to confuse some. Why SHOULD it be saved?

I understand you are concerned about destroying the past, but only one place needs to have old stuff on file: Bethel.

Anonymous said...

Stand Firm is a follower of Robert King [another psycho wacko Watchtower nut]. King is an advocate of the Watchtower and Stand Firm is another one of his hanger on's that has been fooled into believing that the Watchtower Religion is the one and only true religion, and seeks the public to give him money to promote this idea. If King really believes that the Watchtower really is the true religion, then why isn't he a part of it?

King is under investigation with regards sending harmful material over the net relating to the abuse of children. Should these facts be destroyed, or, should they as Stand Firm maintains, be held on Bethel files only?

Marvin Shilmer said...

StandFirm writes:

“I do not recall ever asking you for something I at the time of asking knew was under a 'destruction mandate'. But even if I did, it is not relevant since it is not as though every trace of the old document on earth was to be destroyed, but simply those in the local congregation's file.”

Have you no shame? You have not only asked me for documents Watchtower had instructed to have destroyed, you have asked me for documents Watchtower expressly stated you should not have access to. At least have decency to own your actions and not whine about it when it is pointed out that those actions are contrary to statements you make of others!

StandFirm writes:

“The organization has not destroyed anything. Its directive applies to LOCAL CONGREGATIONS.”

It applied to ALL local congregations, which is the problem with this. Such widespread document destruction is, in effect, a whitewashing of history.

StandFirm writes:

“With that said, the bottom line is this: When the organization comes out with new information which supersedes old, incorrect, and/or incomplete information, the question naturally arises, What do we do about the old information?”

The answer to your question is: remove the superseded document from the policy file. Anyone so incompetent they cannot keep that straight is far, far too incompetent to do the work of a congregation elder.

StandFirm writes:

“Doing nothing would result in a multitude of cases of confusion due to some reading and following old direction. So SOMETHING has to be directed.”

Watchtower stipulates that some documents be removed from the file, and it stipulates that other documents be removed from the file and destroyed. There is good reason for the former; there is no good reason for the latter.

StandFirm writes:

“Why should they direct to save it in a separate file? It would accomplish no good whatsoever. It would take up valuable space. It may still serve to confuse some. Why SHOULD it be saved?”

There is no more a need to have a secondary file than there is to tell elders to destroy documents. If the documents should no longer be kept as part of the policy manual then telling elders to remove those documents from the policy file should suffice. As for the documents removed, elders should be left to keep them or not for, if no other reason, historical value.

StandFirm writes:

“I understand you are concerned about destroying the past, but only one place needs to have old stuff on file: Bethel.”

I’m sure the Roman Catholic Church, RJ Reynolds, Philip Morris, Jimmy Swaggart Ministries and lots and lots of other former and current influential organizations would happily agree with the sentiment you share. Fortunately there are those who, like me, disagree.

Thanks for giving this subject your attention.

Marvin Shilmer

BloodOnTheirHands said...

Destruction of liturgical documents is not typical for a church, especially one that should have nothing to hide and claims to never have contradicted itself.

"almighty God. His religion is one of right belief and is harmonious in all its expressions, just as true physical science is harmonious and not self-contradictory. The true religion of the one God does not disagree with itself, deny itself or get divided with itself. If it had internal disagreement, contradiction and disunity, it could never stand; it could not be simple truth; it would disagree with the scientific laws of the universe; it could not triumph in the long-drawn-out conflict between true religion and false."--Watchtower 11/15/1963

spiritualbrother said...

It is a cult after all.

Tears of Oberon said...

None of these documents appear to be 'liturgical' at all, and their destruction does not appear to have any major significance as far as 'gotcha' facts go. They are mainly all just minor policy or legal changes.

We have updates dealing with:

1. Field service reporting
2. Volunteer service questionair forms
3. Accounting instructions
4. Advanced Medical Directives
5. Trespassing law
ect.

As Standfirm already correctly mentioned, there is no practical purpose whatsoever in keeping old versions of legal and policy letters alongside current versions. On the legal matters especially, all it does is create RISK that the old letter will be referred to instead of the current, and that could cause serious trouble or confusion.

For example, what if an elder went to get some Advance Medical Directive documents, but ended up grabbing the old, legally outdated version instead of the newest? That could cause big headaches and lots of problems all around for the family, hospital, ect. Or what if an elder consulted an old, legally outdated version of the no trespassing policies and guidelines, instead of the latest? He could end up getting somebody in serious trouble.

Anonymous said...

"For example, what if an elder went to get some Advance Medical Directive documents, but ended up grabbing the old, legally outdated version instead of the newest?"

--- Could this sort of mistake happen in a Spirit-Directed organisation like the Watchtower? I'd think that because of the seriousness of the situation, the Spirit would let the elder use the correct document, or, heck, shouldn't the truth be in the elder's heart already?

Victor Silva said...

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