Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Complete Scammer's Guide - by "Pastor" Russell

Most of us are reasonably familiar with reports of scandalous goings-on of that old jellyfish lecher, the founder of the Watchtower Cult, the one and only Charles Taze Russell.
But, are these stories true?
This thread is going to be devoted to his allegedly scurrilous activities. So, bookmark it, please, Bro' Focus is in possession of Noo Light, and we're going to explore Russell like you've never seen him explored before.
We're approaching his 100th Death Anniversary, and for all I know this virtual exhumation may lead to a real one. We know where the body lies.
Why bother, it is so long ago, do I hear?
Since Russell's the only reason God allegedly picked the Watchtower Society in the first place, rather than any of other Millenarian (and Millerismic - the link via Storrs is obvious) charismatic cults of the time, he merits close examination. Very close examination indeed!

During our exploration of the morals and ethics of the good "Pastor", you are going to become familiar with "his" local paper, the BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE.
This newspaper had more than a warm relationship with Russell - it was a positively hot one!
We move to a hitherto unreported (online) and apparently unnoticed account from 1911 of a scam Russell pulled - it took years to come out:

BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 5, 1911.
PASTOR RUSSELL A CLEVER FINANCIER
Duped Prominent Pittsburg Clergymen Into Supporting Cemetery Scheme.
HIS "DUMMY" TRANSACTIONS.
Ministers Didn't Know They Were "Boosting" Deal of Man They Opposed.
(Special to The Eagle)
Pittsburg, November 4 - That "Pastor" Russell succeeded in getting the four leading clergymen of Pittsburg, including , the Episcopal bishop of this diocese and the Rev. S. Edward Young, now pastor of the Bedford Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, to lend their names and influence to further the financial prosperity of a cemetery which he controls, is shown by some hitherto unpublished records on file in this city.
The story of this cemetery deal involves a variety of dummy transactions that would do credit to a Wall Street banking expert.
So cleverly did Russell manipulate the deal that the Rev. Cortland Whitehead the venerable Episcopal bishop of this diocese; the late Rev. Dr. B. F. Woodburn, for forty years a lender of the Baptist clergy here; the Rev. S. Edward Young, the leading clergyman of the Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. J. W. Witherspoon, the leading minister of the United Presbyterian Church, which is probably the most powerful church organizatlon of this city. All of whom were bitterly opposed to Russell's teaching and methods, accepted the position of trustees on the Russell cemetery board before they found out that they had been duped.
The "Pastor" Sees a Good Chance for a Cemetery.
"Pastor" Russell, who has always been counted as a good judge of Pittsburg real estate, a few years ago discovered a plot of ground lying along the old Ruysville road, which is a continuation of Federal street just beyond the city limits, that appealed to him as admirably adapted for cemetery purposes. He figured that there was a good opening for a cemetery in Pittsburg and was looking for a suitable plot of ground to get one started.
The property was purchased for $27,000 by Brother W. E. Van Ambergh, who was a railroad man in the South before he became a Russell Pilgrim and assumed the important duties of treasurer of the Peoples Pulpit Association, which is one of the big Russell corporations. Van Ambergh is now one of the big financial men in the Brooklyn headquarters.
Van Ambergh was pretty well known In Pittsburg as a Russell satellite, so it was not deemed advisable for him to hold title to the property. Morever, Van Ambergh is one of those who are supposed to be serving the "Cause" for $10 a month and expenses, and it might have occasioned surprise to find him the possessor of a $27,000 piece of property. At any rate Van Ambergh, very shortly after acquiring the property, sold it for $30,000 to the United States Investment Company.
Courts Declared Transfers of Russell to Be Frauds.
This Investment company is a dummy corporation to which "Pastor" Russell transferred a lot of oil stocks, mining stocks and other property at about the time his wife was trying to collect the alimony awarded to her by the courts Some of transfers which "Pastor" Russell made at this time, were made, the courts declared "in fraud upon his wife." Although it at one time held property worth more than $50,000. this company is capitalized for only $1,000. Of this total "Pastor" Russell holds $990. Brother Bohnet, of Miracle Wheat fame, holds $5 and Brother Ernest C. Henninges (who married Rose Ball and departed with her for Australia shortly before Mrs. Russell's suit for separation came to trial, owns the remaining $5.
It is from the United States Investment Company that the Rosemount. Mount Hope end Evergreen United Cemeteries bought the land, which thus lost all direct association with "Pastor" Russell's name. Through some of his friends and followers "Pastor" Russell had persuaded the four eminent Pittsburg divines to lend their names to the cemetery project. In some way not clearly explained this cemetery was supposed to benefit poor people. On April 18, 1905, the Rosemount, Mount Hope and Evergreen United Cemeteries was incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania by the following: John G. F. Kuehn, John G. Messner, J. H. Giesey, C J. Woodworth and J. Adam Bohnet, all Russellites. The original board of trustees included John G. F. Kuehn, John G. Messner, J. H Giesey, C. J. Woodworth. C. T. Russell, W. W. Giffen, H. A. Guepner, William M. Wright, Francis Winton and the four Pittsburg clergymen to whom reference has been made - Bishop Cortland Whitehead, the Rev. S. Edward Young, Dr. B. F. Woodburn and the Rev. J. W. Witherspoon.
So far as can be learned, the four reverend men did not attend any of the meetings of the board of trustees, which were held at the Russell headquarters, in the Bible House, on Arch street, Alleghany. If they had, they might have learned that, by virtue of a secret agreement, duly filed in the proper recording office in Pittsburg, although its text is known only to the real insiders, the United States Investment Company retains an important measure of control over the property it sold to the Cemeteries Corporation. The agreement carefully prescribes what the Cemeteries Corporation may do with the property, and forbids its sale without the consent or the United States Investment Company.
''Treasurer and President" Was Only a Figurehead.
J. G. Messner, an insurance agent, with an office at 324 Fourth avenue, who was president of the board of trustees, says that he himself knew precious little about the business.
"Russell told me to act as treasurer and president of the board of trustees," he said to an Eagle representative who questioned him about his connection with the cemetery deal.
The business was all done somewhere else. Then one day Russell telephoned to me: 'Messner,' he said. 'I know you're a busy man. I've got a girl in the office here who can handle the money for the Cemeteries. Just send me a check for what money you have on hand, and I'll take care of the business from now on.' I sent him a check for several hundred dollars, which, for some reason, he kept on hand and didn't cash. I only learned of this later, when I got notice that the bank in which the money was deposited had failed."
Messner was asked what had become of the property.
"I believe it is being run by some of Russell's local representatives." he answered. "I understand they are selling a good many lots and doing quite a business. It has a beautiful location and probably was a good investment."
It was this cemetery deal which helped to open Messner s eyes to Russell's operations, and he severed his connection with the Russellites soon after it was put through.
Pastor Had No Idea Russell Was Connected With Scheme.
The Rev. S. Edward Young, pastor of the Bedford Presbyterian Church of this city, when shown the above dispatch at his home at 1035 Prospect place, wrote out the following statement:
"I recall that several years ago - probably seven or eight years - I was asked to serve as trustee of a new cemetery which had some such name as the Rosemount, Mount Hope and Evergreen United Cemeteries; that Bishop Whitehead of the Protestant Episcopal Church diocese of Pittsburgh, Dr Woodburn, pastor of the First Baptist Church, Alleghany, and other ministers and laymen well-known to me, were to be fellow trustees.
"Upon being persuaded in my own mind that the enterprise was hardly the sort of one I had been assured it would be, I served notice that my name should be dropped from the list of trustees. I never attended a meeting of the trustees or any meeting with anybody in connection with the matter, and really do not know what became of the enterprise, whether it took actual form and became operative or not. I put no money in it, had no stock in it, no promise of stock or other interest. The Eagle's dispatch is the first intimation I have had of Pastor Russell's relation to the properties."

A true old time scammer and swindler, who knew how to sell and promote money making schemes.
His biggest fraud was what the WTS. produced, exploiting the established public belief in the bible
to promote the WTS's publications..
Jesus didn't return back then but a swindler/charlatan operating his own publishing house did appear and
founded a pseudo religion based from his deceiving commercial aspirations.

Monday, June 23, 2014

TLC Network Looking for Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses for New Show

 My name is Shauna Woods and I work for Hot Snakes Media, an acclaimed television production company based in New York City. We have developed and produced hit content for TLC, Discovery, and Travel Channel among many others.

I saw you were an administrator for the New England Ex-Jehovah's Witness Group and wanted to tell you about a new real-life series we're developing surrounding people who are in the process of leaving their faith — this includes individuals who recently left, in addition to those who plan to leave in the near future.

Essentially, anyone one looking to create a new path for themselves outside of their religion is of interest to us. I was hoping you could share our casting notice with your network or a specific person you may have in mind who would be interested in this project.

We’re open to any thoughts, insight, referrals or suggestions you may have to point me in the right direction. If you need any further details, please do not hesitate to contact me at shauna@hotsnakesmedia.com, or 212.204.2557 .

Have you lived your entire life devoted to your spiritual beliefs? Do you constantly find yourself following along with your religious order even if you don’t necessarily agree? Whether you simply don’t believe in the customs and traditions, or are looking to branch away from your ”extreme” religious lifestyle in a quest for self-empowerment, we want to hear from you.

An acclaimed television production company is searching for individuals who want to leave their religious communities. We are especially seeking people with unique personalities and compelling back-stories, who have the courage to stand up for what they truly believe in.

To be considered, or to nominate someone, please write to us at shaunawcasting@gmail.com with the following information [**if you are nominating someone else, please be sure to include their contact info, as well**]:

•First & last name •Your city & state of residence •Brief cover note discussing your story and religious background

•A few current photographs

•The best phone number(s) at which to reach you

Monday, June 9, 2014

Secret Watchtower Pedophile Letter Made Public

The current Jehovah's Witnesses official child abuse handling procedure letter to all bodies of elders (October 1, 2012) has been placed into public domain by the Australian (Victoria) government "Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious Oganisations".
Official government web site link to letter:
http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/fcdc/inquiries/57th/Child_Abuse_Inquiry/Submissions/Steven_Unthank_Supp_A_Appendix_1.pdf
Short link:
http://goo.gl/rH8Ivc
This means that anyone, anywhere around the world is free to republish and distribute the letter as long as they quote the source.

JW Leaks
www.jwleaks.org
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"There is nothing carefully concealed that will not be revealed, and secret that will not become known." - Jesus
Soon ... since 1879

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Brothers who are 80 years of age or older will no longer serve as a coordinator of the body of elders.


http://www.sendspace.com/file/vql475
TO ALL BODIES OF ELDERS
Re: Coordinator of the body of elders
Dear Brothers:
The Governing Body appreciates the fine brothers who serve as congregation elders and the work they do in advancing Kingdom interests. Many elders have served in this capacity for decades, and we benefit from their wisdom and fine example of faith and loyalty in caring for Jehovah’s sheep.—Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2, 3.
As the organization continues to expand, there is a need for more brothers to reach out and a need for those who now serve as elders to take on more responsibility. To assist in this effort, the Governing Body has decided that, effective September 1, 2014, brothers who are 80 years of age or older will no longer serve as a coordinator of the body of elders. Of course, a coordinator of the body of elders who is not yet 80 years of age might also modestly decide that it would now be best to have another brother take on this role.—Mic. 6:8.
If, in view of the foregoing, it will be necessary to recommend a change in the brother serving as the coordinator of the body of elders, this matter should be given due consideration at an upcoming elders’ meeting. If the next visit of the circuit overseer to your congregation will not be until after September 1, the recommendation could be held until his visit.— ks10 chap. 2 par. 13.
In the Shepherding textbook, chapter 2, paragraph 11, after the first sentence, each elder should insert “He must be less than 80 years of age.”
We thank you for your loyal support of these theocratic refinements. (Isa. 60:17; Rev. 1:20) Please accept an expression of our warm Christian love.
Your brothers,

Sunday, April 27, 2014

CONFIDENTIAL 2014-04-22 Adjustment in process for appointing elders and Ministerial Servants

April 22, 2014
TO ALL CONGREGATIONS
Re: Adjustment in process for appointing elders and ministerial servants
Dear Brothers:
With regard to Paul and Barnabas’ visit to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, Acts 14:23 states: “They appointed elders for them in each congregation, offering prayer with fasting, and they entrusted them to Jehovah, in whom they had become believers.” Titus and Timothy evidently are also recorded as taking part in appointing elders in the congregations. (1 Tim. 5:22; Titus 1:5) In accord with this Scriptural precedent, the Governing Body has decided that effective September 1, 2014, circuit overseers will be responsible for the appointment and deletion of elders and ministerial servants. Additional information will appear in the November 15, 2014, issue of The Watchtower.
We request your continued prayers on our behalf as the preaching work is speeding up and more and more people are beginning to worship God by going to “the mountain of the house of Jehovah.” (Isa. 2:2) Please accept an expression of our warm Christian love.
Your brothers,
c: Traveling overseers PS to body of elders:
Please arrange for this letter to be read to the congregation at the first Service Meeting after its receipt or after the next Watchtower Study, whichever comes first. This postscript should not be read to the congregation, and the letter should not be posted on the information board. If the circuit overseer is visiting your congregation, he will read this letter at the conclusion of the next congregation meeting. At circuit assemblies and special assembly days, the letter will be read by the last speaker on the program at the conclusion of his talk. We would appreciate your keeping this matter confidential until the letter is read to the congregation or circuit.
In due course, further direction regarding the aforementioned adjustments will be provided to all bodies of elders.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fraud Alert

This alert involves a particular form of fraud known as affinity fraud that has been perpetrated upon multiple congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Northern California (USA), specifically Circuit 13*, by persons professing to be servants of Jehovah God.
Affinity fraud is defined as a scam that preys upon the trust and friendship that exist in associations, such as religious groups. Those who utilize affinity scams typically are - or pretend to be - members of the group and often use respected religious leaders within the group to promote the scheme by convincing the members that a fraudulent investment is legitimate and worthwhile (See g02 5/22 p. 29 under the heading Theft in the Name of God; also g97 9/22 pp. 9-10).
Sadly, an affinity fraud scam manifested during my congregation’s engagement with Regional Building Committee #7 (2009 – 2011).
Having observed this firsthand as a participant in the RBC engagement and as an officer for the congregation’s non-profit religious corporation, I am shedding light on this situation since the wrongdoers, including overseers within the English - Menlo Park Congregation, Regional Building Committee and Circuit 13*, continue to cover up their misconduct. They have done so to avoid scrutiny from persons in the organization with greater responsibility, unsuspecting congregation members as well as the secular authorities.
Understandably, the following information may be difficult for some to believe. As a lifelong servant of Jehovah, I find this situation hard to believe myself. Nevertheless, it has occurred.
In Matthew Chapter 13, Jesus warned of false Christians when providing the illustration of the Wheat and the Weeds. At 2 Timothy 2:20, 21, Paul speaks of vessels “for an honorable purpose” and other vessels “for a purpose lacking honor” within the same house. At Acts 20:29 Paul spoke of “oppressive wolves” entering in among true Christians that would not treat the flock with tenderness.
This alert is intended to provide a general overview of the problem. Further details will be provided in subsequent postings.
In the spirit of Leviticus 5:1, the goal is to overcome the current cover-up of this situation so that upright brothers in positions of organizational oversight can become aware of this problem and take the appropriate action.
The scam involves theft by false pretense (1, 2), private benefit, excess benefit transactions and self-dealing - in short: white collar crime (1, 2).
It appears that participants in this scam occupy strategic positions of responsibility at varying levels of the organization, which may explain why all requests to the Service Department for a special committee to be formed to investigate and resolve this situation have gone unanswered.
Jehovah’s organization itself is not perpetrating this scam, rather a group of deviant, self-willed individuals therein are doing so. Such persons insidiously exploit the arrangements, procedures and infrastructure of the organization to execute their schemes - to their own benefit.
The Scam: Phase 1
The scam often targets Kingdom Hall properties that are fully paid for. A “trigger man” is required to set the plan in motion. This may be the circuit overseer, an RBC representative and/or members of a local body of elders. The trigger man may be complicit in the scam or may simply be directed by complicit persons above him to unknowingly set the stage for the scheme.
The trigger man then initiates a discussion of maintenance needs invariably steering the flow of the conversation toward completely remodeling the Kingdom Hall and/or selling it to purchase new land and build a new one.
If the existing body of elders agree, all is well. If they do not then the non-conformists are arbitrarily deleted as elders and/or diluted by new elders  predisposed to proceed with the desired building project that are directed to move into the congregation. This dilution can also occur under the guise of merging congregations.
The newer elders typically become the officers in the congregation’s non-profit religious corporation. In doing so, they amend the articles of incorporation changing the name of the corporation and the by-laws ensuring that the local branch office is named as the recipient of all assets, including the Kingdom Hall property and proceeds from the sale of such, upon dissolution of the corporation. This enables the schemers to acquire operational control of the corporation and thereby assume effective ownership of the Kingdom Hall property.
The Scam: Phase 2a
Next, complicit RBC representatives provide a proposal for a complete remodel of the Hall when, in reality, a more modest project would suffice in-line with organizational directives (Policy Letters dated 4/6/2009 & 12/11/2009). This proposal is approved by the body of elders as a matter of course, per the scheme, regardless of the undue financial burden that is placed on congregation members.
The costs of the building project are inflated with specific intent to exceed the congregation’s available funds thus manufacturing the need for the congregation to obtain an interest free loan from the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Inc.
For example, the actual costs of a modest remodeling project for Kingdom Hall “A” is $35,000. However, complicit RBC members unnecessarily recommend a complete remodel that, in actuality, should cost no more than $100,000. Yet, the RBC representatives specify a project cost of $250,000. This amount exceeds the congregation’s available funds and so they are then directed to obtain an interest free loan from the local branch.
The project proceeds and the work is done for the actual cost of $100,000 – or less. However, the congregation is now responsible for a loan of $250,000 due to the misrepresented project costs.
By inflating construction costs for a project that the congregation doesn’t actually need and then finalizing a loan that will be paid monthly for the next 10 – 25 years, the scam fraudulently creates a revenue stream that constitutes a surreptitious form of tithing, something that Jehovah God and his organization do not approve of.
Based on what occurred during the English - Menlo Park Congregation's RBC engagement, sham building projects have also been used as a means to reposition liquid assets specifically to obscure their source and/or final destination. Such transactions can enable tax evasion especially when performed under the guise of religious non-profit activity, something else that Jehovah God and his organization do not approve of. (See w11 9/1 pp. 21-23)
The Scam: Phase 2b
Alternatively, once the perpetrators of the scam acquire operational control of a congregation’s corporation, thus assuming effective ownership of the Kingdom Hall property, they direct the congregation to finance upgrades to the Kingdom Hall and then sell the property for a substantial profit, anywhere from 200 – 300%. With the original congregation and corporation dissolved at the direction of complicit branch personnel, the publishers are then merged with a neighboring congregation and the perpetrators move on to the next “building” project.
Conclusion
My efforts to expose this problem have been met with stiff opposition. My family has been insidiously undermined and attacked by the perpetrators of this scam. These attacks have included false accusations intended to destroy my reputation and credibility (See g90 5/22 p. 12 - Fallacy Number 1). Nevertheless, the importance of James 1: 2, 3 remains.
While others in Circuit 13 have the basis to do so, at present, a total of seven persons can and will bear witness to the authenticity of this problem. (John 8:17) All that is required now is someone in a position of responsibility within Jehovah’s organization, whose fear of God exceeds his fear of men, who will listen and take the appropriate action to investigate matters. (Matthew 10:28; w01 12/1 p. 23 pars. 17-18)
If such corruption can manifest in this one cited area, there may be cause for concern in other regards. A special committee under the direction of the Governing Body, would be able to investigate these matters and determine the actual extent of the problem to the end of fully resolving this situation. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
An old saying states that “Sunshine is the best disinfectant” - which is to say that a good way to impede underhanded activity is to shed light on it.
If anyone has knowledge of this situation, or others, please notify your congregation elders, circuit overseer, district overseer, local branch, and anyone else who may be positioned to help. If you have the basis to communicate directly with any member of the Governing Body, PLEASE do so as their involvement will be needed to solve this problem. (Leviticus 5:1)
Individuals are also encouraged to participate in a brief survey intended to assess whether or not the scam described herein or other forms of fraud have occurred outside of Circuit 13*. Personal contact information is not requested or gathered therefore survey participants will enjoy complete anonymity.
Friends - In being created in Jehovah God’s image, each person has the fundamental basis and inherent potential to be a force for good.
Jehovah God sees what is taking place and he will soon act for the sake of his own name. (Ecclesiastes 12:14) Take care to be standing on the side of truth when he does.
* Circuit 13 is located on the San Francisco Peninsula and consists of English congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Mateo and Burlingame.