We’ve all heard comments about Jehovah’s Witnesses being “brainwashed”. That always seemed like an outrageous claim to make. And of course there are the comebacks, such one a circuit overseer used to use the comeback, “The world is such a filthy place- maybe our brains needed washing out when we came into the truth!”
The idea of brainwashing goes back many years. Here is a comment about its possible origins:
“During the Korean War, Korean and Chinese captors reportedly brainwashed American POWs held in prison camps. Several prisoners ultimately confessed to waging germ warfare — which they hadn’t — and pledged allegiance to communism by the end of their captivity. At least 21 soldiers refused to come back to the United States when they were set free.”
I heard this quote many years ago and it came to mind again recently so I did some digging on its origin and meaning. It resonated with me for a number of reasons, the chief one being that humans know what they know due to this principle, and we as servants of God and Christ can and have benefited from it as well.
all the way back in the 1970s the Watchtower had two excellent articles explaining the true and accurate meaning and depth of John 17:3. So why is it that 99% of the friends don’t really know what this verse means, and relegate it to the “Study the Bible” scripture? Just because most of us have it memorized doesn’t mean we understand it. And how accurate is the unusual rendering given to this verse by the New World Translation?
An outstanding Watchtower article that is in direct conflict with the WTS policy of today is partially quoted below.
The written Word of God, therefore, does not need the addition of traditions which are the private interpretations of men and of religious organizations.
…Had the oral traditions of religious men been necessary to complement the canon of the Bible, Paul would not have said that the inspired Holy Scriptures were profitable to the point of making the men of God perfect in faith and devotion to God. It would have been inadequate and would have left the man of God unperfected…