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Subliminal Images in Watchtower Literature

    Pork Chop posted Fri, 01 Aug 2003 02:51:00 GMT(8/1/2003)

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    Yeah, and they're run by the Masons and they run the Trilateral Commission.

    JCanon posted Fri, 01 Aug 2003 03:34:00 GMT(8/1/2003)

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    Yeah, and they're run by the Masons and they run the Trilateral Commission.

    Hmmm...wouldn't be surprised. I wonder just how much connection there will be between the witnesses and exposed Babylon the Great--the "illuminati-driven' Freemasonry influence over the UN? Biblically there seems to be a connection but I haven't seen anything overt other than perhaps some financial issues. Wouldn't be surprised if they were involved in some huge scandal connected with all that. Interesting they were UN members not too long ago. Canon

    M drwtsn32 posted Fri, 01 Aug 2003 03:58:00 GMT(8/1/2003)

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    I believe our minds tend to find patterns where nothing intentional actually exists. Remember one of those plane explosion scenes from 9/11? It looked like a demon head was coming out of the smoke. Obviously a coincidence, but it looked pretty "real."

    Still, I wouldn't put it past some prankster artist to plant subliminal imagery in his/her paintings.

    F Swan posted Fri, 01 Aug 2003 04:30:00 GMT(8/1/2003)

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    Dr. Watson

    Still, I wouldn't put it past some prankster artist to plant subliminal imagery in his/her paintings.

    The image of this 1983 Watchtower was something I examined quite closely, believe me. The graphic on the website just doesn't really do it justice. It was definitely a drawing of a face made by an artist, and not some trick of the mind. Remember the Highlights children's magazines in the doctor's office. They had the hidden picture page. Well this face I saw was like that, but even more sophisticated in it's drawing. I wish now I hadn't thrown out that old Watchtower. I could show it to you on Saturday if I still had it. It really made me doubt. But when the Society said they weren't there after all (and that they never actually said 1975), that really shook my faith in them.

    I believe our minds tend to find patterns where nothing intentional actually exists.

    This is true. That's why we have the Man on the Moon, the Face on Mars, and so many pornographic clouds.

    Tammy

    jwsons posted Fri, 01 Aug 2003 12:17:00 GMT(8/1/2003)

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    Revelation scan ? Try Here

    Gamaliel posted Fri, 01 Aug 2003 15:24:00 GMT(8/1/2003)

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    The problem with the theory is how it would have to work in practice. I can't figure it out based on my own experience working with brothers in Writing, brothers and sisters in the Art Dept, and brothers and sisters who photographed and prepared the artwork for printing.

    1. One of the writers in the Writing Dept is asked to write an article (or a special assembly talk, etc.) which may eventually become an article or included in a publication. (Are all the writers supposed to be in on the "secret" or just a few -- or just one? Is there some member or members of the GB who are in on the secret? I think most people would be surprised at how little the GB are involved in the Writing Dept or in the writing process.)

    2. The original article is printed out with the initials of the writer and at least one set of initials from the "approver(s)" in the Writing Committee. By the time the Art Dept gets it it has usually already been proofread, and may have even cycled back to the writer at least once, the proofreader's initials are also there, sometimes with a few brief marks or questions. If the artwork is going to be substantial, or if it needs to run in the next issue or ASAP, then rarely, the Art Dept may get a draft or early version of the article. The artist is also expected to read the article carefully to offer appropriate ideas. I always had to give 2 ideas, sometimes 3, before being allowed to really start. (Since everyone in the Art Dept can easily figure out who is responsible for the original article, and all the approval initials along the way -- and they also know which artist is working on every piece of artwork, any conspiracy would break wide open unless everyone in the Art Dept was in on it. That would have to include new brothers and sisters just starting in the Dept. This is one of the reasons I consider this to be silliness, because it would have included me and every person I knew in the Art Dept from 1976-1980, and even people that I still know there in the Dept.)

    3. Artists almost never speak to the writer directly. Although sometimes the writer might want to speak with the artist directly, it was almost never initiated in the other direction, except through overseers. In fact, even though we all recognized the initials, it was kind of an unwritten rule that we pretended we didn't know who wrote what. It was considered bad manners to be so indiscreet as to say anything that showed we could identify the writer. People worked openly, near each other, not locked up in their own room. It was always possible to see what someone else was working on. (This climate would have made it very noticeable if a GB member, an Art Dept overseer, or a writer himself needed to converse covertly with an artist.)

    4. When the artwork was finished it was sent over to the 8th floor of the factory at 117 Adams where it was given to "Photoplate" to be photographed. Photoplate also served as an auxiliary Art Dept when the artists in 124 needed some help. It was also where a lot of the simpler "graphic arts," special headline typesetting, stat photography, and other technical support for the artists actually took place. (Also, this was where some artwork was reversioned slightly for some of the foreign issues of the magazines.) Color artwork was shot (with various combinations of color filters) on the camera for each color printing plate that was used. We were just moving to 4-color and offset in those days and had a lot of trouble getting rid of the very kinds of printing anomalies that people see as subliminal images. Getting rid of "accidental" objects and discolorations or "drop-outs" or "fill-ins" or images that looked like faces often took a lot of extra shots and camera settings.

    This is where the real trouble would have been for anything that was supposed to show up subtly, because a slight change of dot size or "screen angle" or inking issues might have made a subtle image way too overt, or make it disappear. In truth we did often try subtle stuff, but we often had trouble. By subtle I mean things like trying to get steam to look realistic coming out of a cup a cup of coffee, or smoke from a factory or cigarette. Even clouds could look like rocks if the process wasn't watched carefully at every step. So now the biggest trouble with subliminal images is getting past Brother Bill Gehrig, Brother Robinson, or Sister Judy Martin looking at the last negative under a magnifying glass to ink out dozens of tiny, extra spots before the art made it to the printing plate. Then you'd expect them to have to let each of the foreign edition printers know about it, so they can also be careful not to ruin the subliminals. (Some foreign editions need to manipulate the artwork to fit longer or shorter titles, captions, or run text right through a lighter version of the artwork, or they need to reduce the size of artwork or cut out some artwork altogether to fit the text on fewer pages, or for monthly vs. semimonthly, etc. etc.) I mention names just as a reminder that there are lots of real people who would have to be just as involved in a conspiracy, or even more so, to finally get those subliminal images on paper. Yet these people, if you knew them, were hardly "loyal" to WT policy in every sense of the word.

    5. And there were many more poeple-- film developers, offset platemakers, people running the initial paper press proofs, the factory proofreaders who had to see final typeset page in context with artwork. Then it finally got to people like Tom Cabeen, Randy Watters and at least a dozen more folks in the pressroom who would have to make sure those subtle pictures were coming out OK. Tom was running the pressroom; he was in charge of the printing from the metallic imaging processes AND then the offset imaging processes. He would have to have been a key player in the subliminal images conspiracy. Yet Tom is a very serious yet outspoken ex-JW (and friend of mine). Why doesn't Tom know anything about them? Randy Watters had a lot of responsibilities in the pressroom along with Tom. Randy runs a huge exJW website, freeminds.org which plays the subject down except for showing one or two pictures claimed by someone else, but without personal comment by Randy. (Randy does let Derek Barefoot sell his book on the site, so I can't say I know exactly what Randy thinks about it.)

    If you are a JW, by all means be offended and leave the JWs over any reason you can find, but please make it something a little more substantial than subliminal images!

    Just my opinion,

    Gamaliel

    M SadElder posted Fri, 01 Aug 2003 19:46:00 GMT(8/1/2003)

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    When I was at the House in the early '80's,an artist was either demoted or dismissed (don't remember now which) for inserting their own little signature in each piece they did. I believe this was a little bunny, worked in ever so skillfully. This was not malicious,just something they had done for years prior to Bethel, and they thought they could get away with it at Bethel too.

    Gamaliel posted Fri, 01 Aug 2003 22:21:00 GMT(8/1/2003)

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    When I was at the House in the early '80's,an artist was either demoted or dismissed (don't remember now which) for inserting their own little signature in each piece they did. I believe this was a little bunny,

    Sadelder,

    I didn't know about that one. Are you sure the House you speak of wasn't the Playboy Mansion? Any examples in printed magazines of the bunny or did it get caught in time?

    Gamaliel

    logansrun posted Sat, 02 Aug 2003 00:16:00 GMT(8/2/2003)

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    Gamaliel, you bring a touch of sanity to this board. Don't ever leave us.

    Bradley

    JCanon posted Sat, 02 Aug 2003 01:04:00 GMT(8/2/2003)

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    (Since everyone in the Art Dept can easily figure out who is responsible for the original article, and all the approval initials along the way -- and they also know which artist is working on every piece of artwork, any conspiracy would break wide open unless everyone in the Art Dept was in on it. That would have to include new brothers and sisters just starting in the Dept. This is one of the reasons I consider this to be silliness, because it would have included me and every person I knew in the Art Dept from 1976-1980, and even people that I still know there in the Dept.)

    I think you're right, but I don't see it that way. I think that certain artists are hired BECAUSE they can do subliminal art and they are asked to do it. Whether they understand the dog in the side of Jesus while impaled means something specific or specifically different to who would view it is not known but they wouldn't have to be in on the higher levels of the "conspiracy" any more than if I asked my secretary to spell a certain name differently for some secretive purpose of mine. If she was too curious, I'd give her any best excuse I could come up with.

    That having been said, I think the subliminal intentions through the artwork would have always been part of the art department and probably artists without good subliminal art concepts wouldn't be considered for the job. They would be like any other talented dubs doing what they are told and not asking for any true explanations.

    This is very much like the Freemasons do as well. For instance, the symbolisms on the dollar bill! We see them all the time. Does the person commissioned to do the actual artwork understand what it means? Probably not. They are just talented. Same thing with the ":winged disc" and other symbolisms. We see the crown and cross and know its a Knights of Templar symbol but do we really know what the true meaning behind it is? Some webpages claim it's sexual along with lots of other Freemasonry symbols. Something even the WTS claims about the "cross" as well.

    So....

    I agree with you, but seems it would not be a big issue as an artist to be asked to do the subliminal stuff. Some of it is very well done, of course! That's again why I say they probably recruited the subliminal artist from the get.

    Canon

    JCanon posted Sat, 02 Aug 2003 01:13:00 GMT(8/2/2003)

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    So now the biggest trouble with subliminal images is getting past Brother Bill Gehrig, Brother Robinson, or Sister Judy Martin looking at the last negative under a magnifying glass to ink out dozens of tiny, extra spots before the art made it to the printing plate.

    You know, I agree! But when you consider this "subliminal" stuff started with Russell and got refined over the years, they wouldn't hire anyone in the art department who wasn't already a subliminalist and who understood this. Perhaps they were all supportive of the secret meanings; after all, it might only mean something to someone who really knew and around Bethel they think they are fighting against demons and persecutors all the time so no telling what alterior well-intentioned purpose they found in providing the subliminal art. So I think everybody generally concerned was involved if they even got to be part of the art department. Maybe you couldn't get into the art department unless you were part of this special service.

    As far as the difficulty in making it all work out just right, they seem to be doing fairly well at it.

    As a final comment, if I were to look at the art, in fact, the images tend to dictate other aspects of the overall picture. But it is "clever"! As if several were given the same assignment to put a dog in the side of the Messiah while impaled and the best concept got taken. Someone came up with making the dog's head, his nose Jesus' nipple the ears the armpits, etc. It wasn't an afterthought.

    Canon

    M observador posted Sat, 02 Aug 2003 07:20:00 GMT(8/2/2003)

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    Gamaliel,

    thanks for the insight. I am very skeptical of this subliminal img conspiracy theory as well.

    I think that things get a little confused sometimes: hidden images versus subliminal. Russell having used masonic symbols, which are not hidden, but are in plain sight for everyone to see, is different from these alleged hidden images. And quite often the former is put as proof of the latter.

    Observador.

    mizpah posted Sat, 02 Aug 2003 16:23:00 GMT(8/2/2003)

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    What I really don't understand by those who hold to the theory of subliminal images in the literature is what do they think would be accomplished by it? Do you seriously consider that it would have been done with the approval of the leaders in the Watchtower Society? To what end? Would Jehovah's Witnesses who looked at them turn to demonism? Would the Society who has published numerous articles against the practice dare risk the exposure if it was true?

    M NeonMadman posted Sat, 02 Aug 2003 20:43:00 GMT(8/2/2003)

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    Gamaliel:

    If you are a JW, by all means be offended and leave the JWs over any reason you can find, but please make it something a little more substantial than subliminal images!

    That all sounds very reasonable, and I know that Tom Cabeen (who is a friend of mine, as well) is rather skeptical about the images, too. One of these days, I'm going to have to corner Tom for a more detailed discussion of the issue. I would note in passing, though, that the images started to appear during the early 1980's, after you, Randy and Tom were no longer in Bethel.

    The problem I have with all this rationality is that some of the images are quite clear (e.g., the picture of Zeus in the woman's coat), and can't be explained by the eye making images out of normal lines in the drawing. The face is clearly there, it doesn't even fit into the drawing where it is, but seems unquestionably to be an insertion. How did it get there? Somehow, it had to have made it through all of the processes and security checks you describe, and gotten into the magazine as published. So how did it happen? It really is a mystery - perhaps the only way for it to get through all of the security checks would have been for the governing body to demand that it be that way, but then, you'd think that one of the "apostates" out there who used to be in Bethel would be talking about it.

    It's confusing, and I can't really think of a reasonable explanation, but some of the insertions are just too detailed and obvious not to have been intentional.

    M Valis posted Sat, 02 Aug 2003 20:56:00 GMT(8/2/2003)

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    Sincerely,

    District Overbeer

    M seven006 posted Sat, 02 Aug 2003 23:24:00 GMT(8/2/2003)

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    JCanon,

    You're coming off as an authority on this subject is as amusing as you have come of in others. I have been a professional illustrator for over 25 years. I owned an art materials manufacturing company in the 80's as well as worked as the national marketing manager for two of the largest art material companies in Europe and Japan for 14 years. Iv sat on many boards ranging from the National Art Material Trade association to the national society of illustrators. My work has been published in some of the most prestigious art related magazines and books printed on illustration. In short, I know what the hell I'm talking about.

    In 1984 the Watchtower society flew me back to Bethel to do some training and some consulting in their illustration, graphics, and photography departments. I reported directly to Dean Songer the head nut in charge. After spending a lot of time with the so called artist I gave my report to Dean covering what I thought about all three departments and the level of professionalism in them. My visit was cut short after reporting the truth they didn't want to hear. A few months after that I left the religion for good.

    As far as the subliminal images in the watchtower publications, it's all wishful thinking on the part of some exJW's with over zealous imaginations. Iv seen the book about it as well as several of the original illustrations. What you have here is a simple case of "bad art" and "creative imaginations." Most of the people working in the illustration department are far from professional. The little images some think they see in folds and body parts are nothing more than the lack of expertise by the artist and poor use of light, shadow and texture. Out of all the artist I worked with there were only two that I considered half way proficient at what they did. As with most people working at Bethel, the illustrators are not professionally trained. That was the hope of the boys in Brooklyn that I could help some of these hobby artist become professional. I turned down their offer to move back there and try to make a difference. After the report I gave, I'm sure they were happy I did.

    Through out the history of art people have claimed they have seen secret little images in some obscure piece of art. In some cases little hidden elements are done on purpose. Iv done a few myself when I knew I could get away with it and the image was not that critical. I wouldn't think of slipping in something on an illustration I do for Nike, Adidas, Disney or any of my bigger clients. It would mean death in the illustration world. There are a few famous cases from Disney that are used as examples in college illustration courses as well as a few workshops I taught in, in some of the 100 universities I lectured at. I have also seen these originals in some of my many visits to Disney studios. What someone thinks they see as opposed to what the illustrator intended is usually far from the same.

    The Watchtower society (as far as I have been told and from what I have seen) has not used professional illustrators in the past or present. They would rather save a buck and have one of their slave hacks do it than a good job they had to pay someone for. They do buy stock photo images for their publications when it is warranted. Everything else is either shot in the watchtower photo studio or illustrated by their unprofessional illustrators. The elders who run those departments are also not professional and if their life depended on it, couldn't see a wrinkle in a robe that someone might think has a monster head in it. You have unprofessionals guiding unprofessionals. That is why you have people thinking they are drawing and painting imaginary things in the watchtower art. If you think you see a dog's head in the side of Jesus so you can rant and rave about homosexuality, knock your self out. It's stupid and completely unfounded, but that's just a professional opinion.

    If you think about it, it's pretty stupid for a religious organization to try and purposely slip negative images in their art. I know if any person in the art department did something like that on purpose they would loose their brass key to the magic kingdom and be sent back to reality land. Besides, from what I saw, those people are afraid of their own shadow and wouldn't think of, or be clever enough, to slip in something they weren't supposed to. One guy (who was one of the two decent artist in the group) use to paint himself into some of the large scenes, but since they use other Bethel slaves as models for their art, nobody had a problem with it.

    Nice try, but you don't have a clue what you are talking about on this one.

    Have a nice day.

    Dave

    Gamaliel posted Sun, 03 Aug 2003 00:41:00 GMT(8/3/2003)

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    seven006,

    Thanks for a very well written piece on this subject. I've seen many of your posts and didn't realize your background. We probably know/knew several of of the same people. Many would take a bit of offense that you lumped all but two of the 1984 group as unprofessionals, however. Of course, I know you were right, but I was able to work professionally on several college textbooks immediately after Bethel, and had sold a couple paintings and painted signs professionally when I quit school (at 16).

    Of course there are extremely unlikely, but still possible explanations for ghost images and unwanted overlayed pictures that can happen accidentally in the darkroom or with a freshly reused but partially damaged offset plate, but the probability is miniscule and too many other people would still have to see it before it makes it out to the trucks. If an image was truly meant to be subliminal all of Bethel would know about it, and what kind of subliminal effect would it have if everyone was looking at it?

    I know these images are sacred cows for a lot of people, in fact one of the subliminals actually looks like a sacred cow, literally. Thanks for adding your voice to the fray,

    Gamaliel

    M rem posted Sun, 03 Aug 2003 01:27:00 GMT(8/3/2003)

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    The problem I have with all this rationality is that some of the images are quite clear (e.g., the picture of Zeus in the woman's coat), and can't be explained by the eye making images out of normal lines in the drawing.

    Sure it can. Human beings are exceptionally skilled at finding faces - our brains are hard-wired for it. So it's no wonder that out of hundreds of pictures the Society has produced a few will have artifacts that look like deliberate drawings of faces even though they aren't. You can probably find just as many people who are not convinced that they were deliberate as those who think they were - I know I'm not convinced. I think the face in Valis' photograph is more convincing.

    rem

    M seven006 posted Sun, 03 Aug 2003 01:40:00 GMT(8/3/2003)

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    Gamaliel,

    Your right, I shouldn't have been so harsh and lumped everyone in the art department as hacks. There was definitely some undeveloped talent there. The two I remember the most is the older guy who did the pastels on a sheet. I told him he needed to change to pH neutral linen because the sheets he was illustrating on would eventually fall apart because of the acid content. That guy had some real talent. The other guy (I think his name was Joe) did oils. His work was top notch. He's the one who kept painting himself in a lot of his paintings. I told him he could make some money in the real world. The rest of the people had some potential if they got a little education. Back then the society still wasn't much on education.

    I'm never that harsh when talking about most artist. In my own way, I was defending them as far as the subliminal issue. I remember talking to some of the artist who did the illustration work for Mormon publications. They were all professionally trained and use to laugh at the Watchtower art. More for the goofy Leave it to Beaver 50's sitcom composition than anything else.

    I have a huge dislike for the Watchtower bullshit so I was a lot harsher than usual when it comes to talking about an artist work. One older lady in the art department really pissed me off. She thought she was better than anyone else because she was married to some big shot at Bethel and she was probably the worst artist in the whole department. I couldn't tell her anything because she felt she didn't have to listen to anyone. I don't remember her name But in a conversation with Barbara Anderson she knew who I was talking about.

    If it was not for the fact the artist were a part of the Watchtower I wouldn't have said what I said in the manner I did.

    You're right, I don't think an intentional image that would be considered subliminal could get out the door. I have told those who swear by the so called subliminal image theory to try and focus on the real issues of the corrupt religion and leave the made up nonsense to the religion. There is enough real bullshit in it to work on in a way to expose the cult. Making stuff up about what they "think" they see only makes those who work hard exposing them in a legitimate manner look stupid.

    Id like to see some of your work sometime. If you have jpg's, send them to me. I just took my main web site down a month ago so I can work on a new Shockwave one. I have a few pieces that are a little out dated on one of my rep's site. They are done in a 3D program I'm still battling with. Most of my well known work was done in Airbrush. Unfortunately, that look is dyeing a slow death and everything nowadays has to be digital. You might be able to pick up one of my old videos on airbrushing at a local art store. I did them for Iwata airbrush about 16 years ago.

    Here is the link to my rep's site if you would like to see a little of the 3D stuff.
    http://schunagroup.com/

    Sorry if I offended you in any way, except for the relation to the Watchtower, I never do that to artist....well ...almost never.

    Take care,

    Dave

    M SixofNine posted Sun, 03 Aug 2003 01:53:00 GMT(8/3/2003)

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    The problem I have with all this rationality is that some of the images are quite clear (e.g., the picture of Zeus in the woman's coat), and can't be explained by the eye making images out of normal lines in the drawing.

    That image looks very much like a printing anomaly to me, it doesn't look contrived at all.

    Valis picture explains this all quite well.

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