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The Librarian

JW’s are now allowed to have beards and publicly preach....

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The Librarian -
TrueTomHarley -

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Yes and to think they let congregants smoke tobacco into the 1970's without a problem, even though they knew it was totally wrong in the late 1800's.  But no beards, just to prove they were the boss. It's called dictatorship, nothing else. 

 to quote TTH " Though nowhere forbidden by scripture or Bible principles, no "rule" was applied with more vigor than the "no beard" rule, "

Dictatorship Tom. Domineering at it's best. 

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15 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

To make a very long story very short, almost to the point of abbreviation .... and trying to stay on topic ....

In the past 57 years, I have been in the "little back room, Room 101", about 17 times, being "counseled" by Elders that did not like "something" about me ... that I worked a lot of overtime, that I rode a Honda 350 motorcycle to the Kingdom Hall, that I "refused" to provide a telephone for my wife,  ad nauseum ... and I REALLY HATE BULLIES! ... but I digress ... and about 8 or so of those times it was to get me to cut off my beard.  One time it was because of my mustache. During the 60's it was because my hair came down just perceptively below the collar.

In one congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I had no problem with the beard ... and even got a recommendation letter to go work at the Bethel Branch Office construction in Peru ... and in all others, I was castigated, and even forbidden to go out in Service until I shaved off my beard.

After eight discussions, and no valid scriptural reasoning, all joy in doing what I was doing was destroyed ... but it bothered me A LOT that stuff like this was being inflicted on the global Brotherhood, in almost EVERY congregation I had ever attended. 

If they could do it to me... they WERE doing it to other Brothers ... and things similar to this.

Based on all available real evidence, it seemed to me that in order to be a watchtower approved Elder you had to be qualified as follows:

1.) clueless

2.) petty

3.) irrational

4.be a "Company Man", through and through.

5.) and have no pangs of conscience whatsoever for being a bully.

To be fair, I have also run across Engineers and Doctors that shared these traits, but they did not operate in an environment that ENCOURAGED this behavior.

The other day I mentioned in a comment that I envied Anna, and she replied that she knew that ... because she still seems to have the joy in the Truth that has been systematically beaten out of me.

I miss the man I used to be.

A lot!

I did have a choice, however ... either "get with the program", or keep my self respect.

It has gotten better over the years, but only marginally, but I have endured things far, far worse that these things I have mentioned ... and I will endure things like this also.

When my Dad died, about ten years ago, he asked me to shave off my beard ...  he also never liked it .... and  I have been clean shaven since then.

I loved my Dad.


I am 72 now, and in marginal health .... and can see the end of the "conveyor belt" on which I stand, and it bothers me.

I am too old and fragile to carry on my back bags of heavy stones for someone else's entertainment.





Luke 17 v 1&2. 

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2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Mature ones would not be stumbled by his eating meat that had been sacrificed to an idol.

With beards, the situation was the complete opposite. New ones and unbelievers generally had no problem with them, but mature ones would balk.

Good observation there TT

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3 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Though nowhere forbidden by scripture or Bible principles, no "rule" was applied with more vigor than the "no beard" rule, and I am glad to see it go.

.... the hand of justice is slow but attainable ..... after cca 100 years. 

or ... God is Almighty and He decide how His People is finally ready to accept this big change in theocratic instruction matter

or ....Finally Heavenly Chariot made 180 degrees move and surprised JW Brotherhood because this news will strengthen their Unity  


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8 hours ago, The Librarian said:

The first time I have heard this. Interesting thought.

The usual treatment of the subject follows the idea that it was just a natural part of the mid-to-late 19th century style for men.

*** g00 1/22 p. 24 A Close Shave ***
In ancient Greek society, beards were normally worn by all except the nobility, who were often clean-shaven. In Rome the habit of shaving seems to have started in the second century B.C.E., and for several centuries thereafter, a daily shave remained the custom.
With the fall of the Roman Empire, however, the beard once again prevailed, doing so for 1,000 years until the second half of the 17th century, when shaving became the vogue. The clean-shaven look continued through the 18th century. But then, by the mid-to-late 19th century, the pendulum began to swing the other way. Hence, photographs of C. T. Russell, the first president of the Watch Tower Society, and fellow Christian W. E. Van Amburgh show both men wearing stylish, well-trimmed beards that were dignified and appropriate for their time. In the early part of the 20th century, however, shaving enjoyed a resurgence of popularity that has endured in most countries to our day.

But here's is what those who were there at the time remembered about Russell and Rutherford. We already know that a cult had developed around Russell, and it included persons wanting to dress like him and look like him:

*** jv chap. 6 p. 65 A Time of Testing (1914-1918) ***
Others, on account of their deep respect for Brother Russell, seemed more concerned with trying to copy his qualities and develop a sort of cult around him.

This  example is A H MacMillan telling about Rutherford's ideas in 1918/1919, wanting to crush all this worship of Russell, when MacMillan still did not believe he could do it. (From Faith on the March, 1957, p.106. Further excerpts are included from later chapters.)


. . .


. . .


, , ,


. . .


I threw in a few more excerpts than I needed to, because it gives the correct idea that the primary way to push the Russellites out was to get them used to more humble and mundane types of preaching, similar to the way that colporteurs had been distributing the books from door to door, rather than only preaching as elders who would dress up in long black frock coats and beards and imitate the manners of C.T.Russell.

*** yb74 pp. 97-98 Part 1—Germany ***
But more equipment was needed. For that reason Brother Balzereit asked Brother Rutherford for permission to buy a rotary press. Brother Rutherford saw the necessity and agreed, but on one condition. He had noticed that over the years Brother Balzereit had grown a beard very similar to the one that had been worn by Brother Russell. His example soon caught on, for there were others who also wanted to look like Brother Russell. This could give rise to a tendency toward creature worship, and Brother Rutherford wanted to prevent this. So during his next visit, within hearing of all the Bible House family, he told Brother Balzereit that he could buy the rotary press but only on the condition that he shave off his beard. Brother Balzereit sadly agreed and afterward went to the barber.

*** yb75 p. 148 Part 2—United States of America ***
He says: “Modification of viewpoints respecting scriptures and matters of procedure seemed to be constant during these years. For example, it was in 1927. . .  For that matter, the year before, during the London, England, convention of May 25-31, 1926, Brother Rutherford spoke from the platform while attired in a business suit, instead of the formal black frock coat that had long been worn by public speakers among Jehovah’s Christian witnesses. Another change in viewpoint involved the “cross and crown” symbol [popularized under Russell's presidency].

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Brother Rutherford spoke from the platform while attired in a business suit,

Soon we will have to ditch the business suit since it is becoming fashion relegated to lawyers, courthouses etc...

The most common "business suit' now is Khakis ....

I won't even mention the IT world.

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@The Librarian @JW Insider The whole idea of you guys following other men as to what is "permissible" is repugnant to people who have been taught critical thinking skills.

Science has left religion and customs of desert nomads from 5,000 years ago literally in the dust.

Time to find newer books to spend your days on.

Have you considered learning a new skill in coding? Maybe medicine / health?

Much more productive than spending your time as a people wondering if beards are ok or why you are all forced to wear suits and ties for walking down the street.


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