Thursday, March 27, 2008

Letters to Body of Elders dated March 1, 2008 Regarding Congregation Finances

Even though the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society owns billions of dollars in real estate, they still solicit money from even the poorest congregations.

Here are excerpts from the letter:
"For an number of years, an arrangement has been available to congregations to place funds on deposit with the branch office. However, a recent analysis shows that only 10 percent of congregations in the United States are taking advantage of this provision."

"...At best though, each congregation acting on its own will only achieve a limited return on its excess funds. Therefore, we are encouraging all congregations to give serious thought to participating in the funds-on-deposit arrangement with the branch office."

"There are significant advantags to participating in this arrangement. First of all, each congregation would only need to operate one checking account for its monthly financial activity. Congregations would not have worry about opening savings or other accounts and becoming involved in investment decisions. Second, by consolidating funds, the branch office is able to earn additional interest at rates above what a congregation normally earns by acting on its own. The funds earned by the branch office would then be available for use in building Kingdom Halls in lands with limited resources or for covering other necessary operating expenses. All of this is accomplished by making full use of funds that have already been contributed but now may be idle, earning little or no interest."
(details follow on how to set this up electronically, via

A couple of pages of Q&A follow.

Of most interest is no. 2:
"Question 2: If we currently have a checking account for our monthly expenses and a savings account for our excess funds, do we have to close the savings account and send those funds to the branch office? What if we prefer to keep the interest for local congregation needs?"

"Answer: You are to be commended for making wise use of funds dedicated for Kingdom interests. While we leave the decsion to the local body of elders, we encourage all to look beyond local circumstances. There are congregations in other lands where greater material needs than we have here inthe United States. By applying the Scriptural principle found at 2 Corinthinas 8:8-15, we hope to achieve an equalizing for the entire brotherhood. At best, a local congregation will only be able to earn interest at the local rate. The branch office has access to higher rates of interest because of volume and pricing, and by consolidating any excess funds into the funds-on-deposit arrangement, more interest can be generated collectively to benefit the worldwide work."

So, what about "waiting on Jehovah"? Isn't that what Witnesses are taught? This is just another example of greed from a money hungry corporation. Now the organization even wants the interest money on congregation bank accounts.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jehovah's Witnesses Elders Must Testify In Murrieta Milestation Case, Judge Rules

10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, March 25, 2008
By TAMMY McCOYThe Press-Enterprise
Leaders of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation must reveal what a Murrieta man suspected of molesting two girls told them, despite their claims the conversation were protected by clergy confidentiality, a judge ruled Tuesday.
The congregation leaders must testify in the man's trial on child-molestation charges, said Riverside County Judge F. Paul Dickerson.
The defense attorney says he will appeal.
Experts say the ruling raises compelling legal questions.
"It is an interesting legal issue that does need to be clarified by the court," said Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
She said an appeals court could decide if the law should extend beyond a traditional confession into this type of hearing.
California law protects statements made to clergy members who are required by their faith's practices to keep them secret.
In his ruling, Dickerson said testimony from Elder Andrew Sinay showed the Jehovah's Witnesses' judicial committee system is not designed to keep information confidential.
Dickerson said this was not a case where Gilbert Simental went to the elders seeking forgiveness or guidance.
"This was the opposite," he said. "It was more like a third-party investigation into immoral conduct."
In this case, the judge said, the elders' duty was to determine guilt and to protect the congregation, not to keep the communications under wraps.
"It's an investigative, fact-finding body without regard for confidentiality," he said. "This was a tribunal designed to protect the congregation."
Dickerson's ruling came in response to prosecutor Burke Strunsky's request to force the elders to testify. Jury selection is already under way in Simental's trial at the Southwest Justice Center in French Valley.
"This case highlights the perils of interpreting this privilege in an overly broad fashion," Strunsky said.
Simental, 49, is charged with molesting two of his daughter's friends when they came to his home for sleepovers between July 2005 and July 2006, according to court papers. The girls are sisters who were 9 and 10 at the time, the records show.
The Press-Enterprise does not publish the names of minors who are believed to have been victims of sexual abuse.
After the ruling, defense attorney Miles Clark said he will appeal Dickerson's decision.
"My client relied on the elders to keep his statements confidential," Clark said.
Jehovah's Witnesses should not be treated differently from members of other faiths simply because their practices are different, he said.
Clark said Simental's statements to the judicial committee should be treated the way the statements a Roman Catholic makes to a priest in a confessional are.
During the hearing at the Southwest Justice Center, prosecutor Strunsky questioned Sinay about the congregation's practices and how information obtained during a judicial committee is handled.
Sinay said they share information obtained during judicial committee proceedings with the Jehovah's Witnesses office in New York and with committees that are called on in an appellate capacity.
Strunsky also questioned the parents of the two girls.
The girls' parents testified that after the children came to their mother with their allegations, she met with Sinay and Elder John Vaughn, who agreed they would inform the couple of the outcome of the inquiry.
The girls' mother testified that Sinay later told her that Simental had made a full confession.
While Sinay did not provide her with a verbatim confession, she said Sinay did tell her that Simental had confessed.
Clark asked whether Sinay ever said that Simental had confessed to molesting her daughters.
The woman said he did not use the word "molest" during their conversation.
The girls' father testified that during a meeting with Sinay, Vaughn and another elder, he was also told that Simental confessed during a judicial committee meeting.
The elders also told the father that Simental had never done this before and was no danger to the community, he said.
If convicted of all charges, Simental faces 45 years to life in prison.
Simental is charged with a similar allegation in another criminal case. That case is currently awaiting trial.
He is free on $1 million bail.
Staff writer Jessica Logan contributed to this report.
Reach Tammy McCoy at 951-375-3729 or

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hypocritical Jehovah's Witnesses Denounce Mennonites for Shunning When They Do The Same Thing!

*** w05 9/1 p. 24 Mennonites Search for Bible Truth ***Certain colonies forbid radio, TV, and music. Some even forbid learning the language of the country they live in. "So as to keep us under their control, the preachers don’t let us learn Spanish," commented one colony resident. Many feel oppressed and live in dread of being expelled from the community—a terrible prospect for one who has never experienced life outside
*** w05 9/1 p. 25 Mennonites Search for Bible Truth ***Later, during a family discussion about the pressure the Mennonite elders were putting on them, one young man spoke up. "I don’t know why we complain about our church elders," he said. "We all know which is the true religion, and we haven’t done anything about it."
*** w05 9/1 p. 25 Mennonites Search for Bible Truth ***A few days later, the church elders came to the home of Johann’s family with an ultimatum for the interested ones: "We heard that Jehovah’s Witnesses visited you. You must forbid them to return, and unless you hand over their literature to be burned, you face expulsion." They had had just one Bible study with the Witnesses, so this presented a formidable test.
*** w05 9/1 p. 26 Mennonites Search for Bible Truth ***"We cannot do as you ask," replied one of the family heads. "Those people came to teach us the Bible." How did the elders react? They expelled them for studying the Bible! This was a cruel blow indeed.
The cart belonging to the colony cheese factory passed by the home of one family without collecting their milk, denying them their only source of income. One family head was dismissed from his job. Another was turned away from buying supplies at the colony store, and his ten-year-old daughter was expelled from school. Neighbors surrounded one home to take away the wife of one of the young men, asserting that she could not live with her expelled husband. Despite all of this, the families who studied the Bible did not give up their search for the truth.
The article goes on to cite how after the Mennonites were shunned, the Witnesses were there to pick up the pieces.
Another notable mention of Menonites in Watchtower literature :
*** w04 6/1 p. 8 ‘Step Over and Help Us’ ***At first, many of the Mennonites did not welcome the visits. But repeated efforts have helped them to appreciate what the Witnesses have to offer.

So, when Jehovah's Witnesses are dismissed from the congregation because of studying with another faith or simply because they no longer wish to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses, their dismissal is warranted. When the Mennonites are dismissed from their congregation because they study with Jehovah's Witnesses, there leaders are acting cruelly. Remember please when a Witness is dismissed from the congregation he is shunned by his family and friends, if he works for a witness he is forced to quit his job and when one spouse is disfellowshipped it sometimes breaks up the marriage. And, they have the unmitigated gall to talk about the Mennonites!