Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pay attention to the words ...



            There are, I think, things you do not understand. Let me clarify issues for you.

            Some of you believe this project depends on me. You think that because I am principal blog editor. What is posted here appears under my rather silly post-it name. From the beginning this project has depended on B. W. Schulz – not on me. He conceptualized it. He was and remains the principal author and guiding light of this work.
            We often write in tandem, writing the same chapter or parts of the same chapters. We mold our separate writing into a unified presentation which we hope (and I believe) our readers cannot easily assign to either of us. So when you praise me for this work, your adulation is misplaced.
            Some of you misread my comments. I usually write exactly what I mean. I expect that my words have meaning; injecting contrary understanding into them is at least irritating and at its worst it abuses the gift of language, occasionally an unforgivable sin. I did not say I was withdrawing from the current project. I said that after it is finished, I will not remain to complete book three. So all the distress expressed in private emails is misplaced. And one of you said that you would not support Mr. Schulz if he moves on to book three, tentatively called On the Cusp of Fame.
            I am lead on this blog to relieve Mr. Schulz of some burdens. He is aged, infirm, and stubborn as a mule. He also continues to research, write, and guide this project. Some of you act as if he has turned vegetable. Stop it.
            Without being offensive, I cannot clearly tell you how upsetting it is when you attribute Bruce’s work to me. I take credit for my own work; I do not take credit for the genius of others.

            Another issue must be addressed. One of the friends of this research, a retired history professor, lives across the Columbia River from me. He pointed me to comments on a controversialist chat board. Nice things were said about our work. I appreciate the kind comments. However, there was other nonsense there that exemplifies the ethical and procedural issues attendant on historiography. Another writer, I think not a trained historian, is writing about the post-Russell controversies. Someone should write about that, but the approach noted there is faulty.
            He rejects A. H. MacMillan’s testimony as given in Faith on the March because MacMillan was ‘old’ and his memory faulty. MacMillan wrote exactly 40 years ante. He was not particularly old. And if he was, age is not reason to question memory. Mr. Schulz, my father, and others of my acquaintance are far older than MacMillan was in 1957. No-one can fairly describe them as mentally challenged. If you read hardcore science, you’ve probably read one or more of my father’s books, many of them written when he was well-past MacMillan’s age.
            Discounting evidence because it does not support your point of view is unethical. Don’t do it.
            The same writer fell into the trap that lures many. He hasn’t followed the trail to the end. He separates some issues that cannot be separated. He comments on the nature of the Watch Tower board of directors and the election process. The Society was incorporated in 1884 under the laws of Pennsylvania as formulated in 1876. Corporate law changed in 1906. The new laws changed Watch Tower Society legal obligations. This gives the issues of 1916-1918 a new color.
            If we write to our pre-conceived ideas, our history will be flawed. Seriously flawed. Go where honest research takes you. Do not write to an agenda.

            Now ... do you all feel scolded?

            I see that I’ve omitted a thought. Most of you know that I am not a Witnesses. I’m a professional historian and educator. I write to be read. I do not write to further a religion, not even my own. I do not write out of ‘principle.’ I’m a storyteller at heart. That’s what I do. Storytellers want to be read and appreciated.

1 comment:

jerome said...

OK, so there are misunderstandings at times, but what you can certainly take from people's comments and queries is that a lot of people are genuinely interested and concerned about this project, and also genuinely concerned about YOU. Set the record straight by all means, but be encouraged!