Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jehovah's Witness named Rhodes Scholar

Monica Marks grew up among fundamentalist Jehovah’s Witnesses in Eastern Kentucky — craving books and learning in a community where education wasn’t valued.
Today the University of Louisville graduate is the state's latest Rhodes scholar, the winner of one of the most coveted awards in academia.
“Growing up, the discussion wasn’t about what college you would go to, it was whether or not you were even going to college,” she said. “The idea of going to university and getting a degree, much less getting a Rhodes, didn’t even fall within our purview.”
At 23 years of age, her studies in Islamic law have already taken her around the globe to places like Jordan, Tanzania and Tunisia. She’s now studying in Turkey during her year as a Fulbright Scholar — the prestigious academic award she won last year.
It’s far from her youth in Rush, Ky., where she went on sales calls with her father Jesse, who owns a small business that sells plastic bags and other janitorial products. She helped him on “floor jobs,” what they called the cleaning jobs he did on weekends to make extra money.
Neither of her parents graduated from high school, and no one in her extended family went to college.
As a child she begged her parents to send her outside of her own school district — to Russell Independent Middle and High schools — because they were the best schools in the area. And she said she constantly asked her parents for books to feed her voracious appetite for reading.
Marks credits her father with letting her stray from church teachings to make a better life for herself.
Jesse Marks was an elder in the local Jehovah’s Witness church — a church she said focused on preparing for the apocalypse.
“They believed that college was unnecessary and you were derided for pursuing college,” she said.
Many saw college as “a prideful waste of time” and a means to acquire the material goods that the church frowned upon, she said.
“I was an insatiable reader and my parents got me books,” she said. “I read all the things I wasn’t supposed to read about — philosophy, feminism … I realized at an early age that I didn’t just want to read about things, that I would have to explore bigger things and that education was part and parcel to that.”
She learned she won the scholarship Saturday, after an interview in Indianapolis along with other finalists from Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.
“They lined up the 10 finalists — almost like a beauty pageant — and announced who won,” she said.
She’ll spend the next two years at Oxford University, in England, studying for a master’s of philosophy degree in modern Middle Eastern culture.
She tried to call her father first after learning she won, but he had turned his phone off. So she called Patricia Condon, her mentor at U of L.
When she finally reached her father, she said Jesse Marks had to put down the phone for a second.
“He came back on and said, “You won a Rhodes Scholarship?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I can’t believe it either.’”
Marks’ two years at Oxford will follow a career at U of L that has made her one of the school’s most decorated scholars.
University of Louisville Jim Ramsey called her “a superstar at U of L” and said the school is “very proud of her and we just congratulate her.”
He said Marks’ Rhodes Scholarship “is a reaffirmation of our ability to recruit the best students from across Kentucky … and a reaffirmation of the quality of our undergraduate programs.”
Marks came to U of L through its Hallmark Scholars Program that gave her full tuition and room and board.
She attended the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania in 2006-07 with the support of a National Security Education Program scholarship. And she won a Critical Language Scholarship from the State Department in 2007 for a summer immersion program in beginning Arabic at the Centre d'études Maghrebines in Tunisia.
In 2008, she participated in a summer Arabic course at the Qasid Institute for classical and modern standard Arabic in Jordan. She has also studied Latin and Kiswahili, and taught herself Turkish.
After her Fulbright scholarship year, Marks said she had planned to finish her master's degree in Islamic law at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies. She’ll now forego that to take part in the Rhodes program. Her scholarship to the University of London will go to another U of L student.
She plans to eventually attend law school, where she will continue to focus on Islamic law.
Her current studies concentrate on comparative human rights law as it relates to Islam.
Marks traces her interest in Islamic law to growing up in a fundamentalist religious community in eastern Kentucky.
She said her upbringing “made me sensitive to religious fundamentalism. When you start reading Islamic legal texts, you’ll see that it uses the same sort of language as the Bible and the Talmud. … Fundamentalist Judaism, Christianity and Islam have a lot in common.”
Marks won’t be in Kentucky long, On Monday she flies back to Turkey to continue her studies there.

2010 Theocratic Ministry School Workbook

For all who are interested, the Workbook is now available at this link.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Faithful Witness Comes To His Senses

Peter Gregerson’s Wise and Painful Departure from the Watchtower
Family and business man, Peter Gregerson of Gadsden, Alabama has a story to tell. It is a story of spirituality, deception, confusion, and wisdom. It is a story shared by many others who have caught a glimpse of a freeing pathway from the deceiving clutches of the Watchtower and have walked that lonely road out. It is a story that needs to be experienced by those who consider leaving the organization, those who have already exited, and those who desire to help others escape.[1]A Faithful WitnessPeter Gregerson, born in 1928, was the oldest child of an “anointed witness.” His father, Harvey Gregerson, was one of the 144,000 of the heavenly class, according to Jehovah’s Witness theology. This was a prestigious position, and one that made young Peter all the more proud to be part of God’s exclusive organization.[2]While living in Clinton, Iowa, as a new fifth grade student in Franklin School, Peter refused to salute the flag with the rest of his class, claiming that his only allegiance was to Jehovah. The teacher was so dismayed at such disrespect and lack of patriotism that she placed Peter in front of the class every day and attempted to force him to salute the flag, littering him with scorn. At the age of eighty, he reflects back: “That was the longest year of my life.”In his mind, this treatment was just part of being a good Witness. His father knew about this kind of treatment. He was something of a local “legend” who was regularly persecuted by drunken mobs, one of which desired to lynch him. His mother, brothers, and sisters were all faithful witnesses as well. Alienation from non-Witnesses is part of what it means to commit oneself to the Watchtower. In fact, in their minds, it is this exclusivity and imagined superiority that sets Jehovah’s Witnesses apart from others – the wicked of the world.As Peter aged, he became more involved in the work of the religion, becoming a pioneer (or full time domestic missionary). He logged thousands of hours selling the message of the Watchtower, and was even called upon in his youth to visit various congregations and help them with diverse problems including discipline issues. He was a natural leader, extremely zealous for the faith. But his zeal led to some financial difficulties for his family. Though he was working as a janitor and had a little income, he also spent so many hours publishing the teachings of Jehovah that it became difficult to feed his family.In a humorous personal story he tells how he would often buy canned vegetables that were missing labels, because the price would be reduced. When the label fell off, stores would write the name of the product and the price on the outside of the can (for example: GREEN BEANS $.10). Once he bought a can that had been labeled this way and brought it home to Janet, his wife, and their two children. He was both surprised and embarrassed when he opened the can to realize it contained dog food instead of green beans! Such sacrifices are to be expected in the lives of committed believers.Despite his early experience with poverty, Gregerson’s story is one of rags to riches. He is a clever and inventive business man who, over a period of years, saw success in the grocery industry. He moved his family to Anniston, Alabama in 1968 and soon opened his own store, Gregerson’s Warehouse Groceries, which grew into a popular local chain of stores in northern Alabama for the next thirty years; until Wal-Mart dropped the guillotine on many locally owned and operated businesses.Throughout these years, Gregerson remained faithful to the Watchtower. He served as an Overseer of two congregations in Gadsden and as a Circuit Assembly Overseer, a position that earned him great influence over the congregations in the region. This influence was reinforced by the fact that he taught the elders school as well. He also developed many personal relationships with the central powers in Brooklyn, partly because of his great devotion to the religion, and partly because he could obtain food in large quantities for the various conventions. The Watchtower often wrote to him in great appreciation for his services, and asked his advice concerning matters of the church. His family was considered a model of a family raised in “The Truth.”[3]However, the 1970’s brought a crisis of conscience not only to Peter Gregerson, but many others caught in the web of Watchtower organization and doctrine. For Gregerson it was a decade-long sunrise that would lead to a radical change in his life.Crisis of ConscienceAccording to Watchtower teaching, frequently published in their magazines, Armageddon was to come in the fall of 1975.[4] Gregerson openly confessed that this doctrine was highly upsetting to him, since they taught that all non-Witnesses would be killed in this cataclysmic event. As an elder in charge of teaching Watchtower doctrine at local Kingdom Hall congregations, his conscience would not allow him to convey this dooming message. He often conveyed to the congregations that he was not up to attending, in order to avoid teaching engagements. His dilemma: how is it that a loving God, who had come to seek and save the lost not condemn the world, was going to destroy 99.9% of all people, just because they had not picked up a Watchtower magazine and become a Witness?[5]One of his closest friends had set his pension up to drain over the several months leading up to “Armageddon.” Many other Jehovah’s Witnesses did the same. However, when the end did not come, a great number of people saw the fraudulent nature of the organization and left, including Gregerson’s friend. If there was a time when the entire organization might have crumbled, it was in those days just after the failed prophecy of 1975.Since Gregerson was considered by the Watchtower as one of the “gifts in men,” he was called to Brooklyn in the fall of 1976, along with other key leaders from around the country, to meet with Milton Henschel, then Chairman of the Governing Body.[6] Because of the disaster of the unfulfilled prophecy, the leadership was open to speaking honestly, and listening to suggestions for the direction of the organization (however no discussion of 1975 was allowed).During these meetings, Peter thought deeply about some of the injustices that were occurring around the country in various Kingdom Halls. Elders were essentially treating members with great contempt and spite, rather than with love and gentleness. These stories, and the sheer number of them, broke his heart, and he began to ask the troubling question: “Why did the ‘Faithful Slave,’ under the direction of God’s Holy Spirit allow this?”[7]His faith in the Watchtower was further shaken by his thoughts, which often kept him awake at night, that if he were pressed on the issue of blood transfusions, he could not prove that the Watchtower was the faithful slave and must be obeyed unconditionally.[8] Though he never had to face this unthinkable reality, he was often afraid of the possibility. His son David was known as a fast driver, and Peter would often imagine him in an auto accident in which his young son (Peter’s grandson) was injured and needed a blood transfusion or he would die. What would he do? What would he tell his son David to do? These nightmare scenarios made Gregerson confess, “I realized that in my fifty years I had never really done my homework.”[9]During the late 1970’s, Gregerson’s soul was in turmoil over these doubts. His reservations were growing, but he also knew that leaving the Watchtower, after nearly fifty years of loyalty, would not be easy. His wife and her family, his children, many of the managers at his grocery stores, and most of his closest friends were all Witnesses. And in their eyes, to leave the Watchtower is to turn one’s back on Jehovah himself, and to be essentially given a death sentence. If a person is disfellowshipped, other members are no longer allowed to speak with that “wicked” person.During the late 1970’s Gregerson developed a relationship with reclusive Witness scholar, and member of the Governing Board since 1971, Raymond Franz, whose uncle Frederick Franz was highly influential in the development of the teachings and practices of the religion.[10] Raymond had come to a crisis in his own faith that reached an intense level in late 1979. In March 1980, he took a leave of absence from Brooklyn and lived on Gregerson’s property in Gadsden, doing yard work as a means of earning a living. Eventually, after a great deal of unfair treatment and deep injustice from the leadership in Brooklyn, Franz “resigned” his position from the Governing Body.A year later, Peter’s conscience won the day; he decided to resign from the organization to which he had devoted his entire life. In March 1981, he wrote his letter of resignation and called Bethel headquarters to inform them of his decision. David Olsen, an overseer in the Service Department spoke with Gregerson and expressed his grief that Peter was leaving, stating, “We love you and hope you will be back soon. If you do, there will be many blessings in your future.” But Gregerson’s decision was final, this was a permanent farewell.Raymond Franz was also disfellowshipped after he was “caught” eating a meal with Gregerson, who was, by that time, considered by the organization to be a wicked man. As a result of his experiences, Franz authored a book documenting those difficult days; a book that opened the door of the secretive and destructive practices of the Watchtower leadership, and that was “banned even before it was written.”[11] Many do not realize, however, that this book, aptly titled Crisis of Conscience, was written at the strong suggestions of Gregerson, who even paid Franz a weekly salary in order to enable him to write the book. This book, now in its fourth edition and translated into 12 languages, has become a classic volume and has been used to shake many Jehovah’s Witnesses out of the dark stupor cast over them by the Watchtower.[12]A High Price to PayThe months after leaving the organization were painful for Gregerson, especially since his was a high profile exit. The February 22, 1982 edition of Time magazine ran an article written by Richard N. Ostling called “Witness Under Prosecution,” featuring Raymond Franz’s story and mentioning Gregerson.[13] Also, Larry King, who was hosting a national radio show at the time, conversed with Gregerson on the air about his departure. In Peter’s mind this was unfortunate because the interview happened at a time when he was extremely angry at the Watchtower and he made some regrettable comments in the heat of the moment, which his sister heard on the broadcast and later held against him. Leaving the Watchtower brings with it an extremely high price to pay in the social realm.[14]Janet Gregerson’s mother had once conveyed that she would rather see her daughter’s family spread out across the road in a horrible automobile accident than to see them ever abandon the teachings of the Watchtower.[15] In spite of this disappointment, Janet followed her husband out of the tight grasp of a false prophet. Relationships for the Gregerson’s, however, began snapping like twigs.Peter’s close friend, mentioned above, who had left the Watchtower after the failed prophecy of 1975, had since returned to the organization. He did so because his son had committed suicide and the cult informed him that the only way he would ever see his son again was to rejoin God’s organization. He did, but with one condition – he wanted the right to speak to his old friend Peter one last time. This happened one day when they both happened to be in the same medical office. “Peter,” he said, “I love you. Good-bye. I will never speak to you again.”Likewise, Gregerson’s sister, the same one who had heard the King broadcast, came to Alabama attempting to persuade her brother to return to Jehovah. Peter treated her with great kindness, but maintained his stance against the Watchtower. In spite of their many years of closeness, she also vowed never to speak to him again, and in the more than twenty-five years since she made it, she has kept her vow. These types of heartbreaking moments are all too familiar for those who leave the Watchtower.On a more positive note, Gregerson speaks about his seven children with a sparkle in his eye. All seven of them came out of the organization. This was of great importance to Peter, since he, and his wife Janet would have been counted as dead to them. The fact that all seven exited was truly miraculous, because many of his children were in leadership positions in the organization, and some had married other Jehovah’s Witnesses and so were deeply entrenched in the faith. Nowadays, they gather on special occasions (especially Christmas) with all the children, and with the twenty-two grandchildren, praising God that not one of them was left within the deceptions of the Watchtower.In spite of the painful cost of leaving, Gregerson believes that the price is worth paying. The “Faithful Servant” is a false organization that deceives in order to control millions of people. The pain of leaving is a pain that they cause. It is difficult and confusing to depart, but the end result is much better. Living under the domineering reign of a false organization is utterly devastating.A Unique VoiceIn the years since his departure, Gregerson has lent his wisdom and experience to helping others who are trapped in Watchtower mire. In his labor, he speaks from a distinctive perspective. This is so, first of all, because of his long association with the organization. He was not a fly-by-night member or a short-term guest just checking things out. Rather he spent fifty years of his life as a faithful and zealous worker. In all of his years of membership and service, until his resignation, he was never disciplined for any action, but rather was appreciated and promoted.Secondly, Gregerson brings to the table the expertise of an insider. He was not an average Kingdom Hall attendee, but rather rubbed elbows with people on the highest rungs of leadership. Besides his association with Raymond Franz, he was also close friends with the longtime editor of Awake magazine, Colin Quackenbush. Why is this important? Many Jehovah’s Witnesses are unaware of the inner working of their organization, but Gregerson knows it well. He has seen the deception and cover-up in a close and personal way. And because of his long and faithful love for the organization, he would have no motivation to lie about the things he saw.Thirdly, Gregerson speaks with a unique voice because he is a careful researcher. As an elder, he was considered for years to be the teaching authority in several congregations. His departure from the Watchtower came about partially because his study of the Bible did not mesh in many places with official Jehovah’s Witness positions, especially when it came to the issue of Armageddon. After he left the organization, he was instrumental in gathering together a group of mostly former Jehovah’s Witnesses to study the Scriptures. Biblical Research and Commentary International (www.brci.org) was born from initial meetings at his lake house. This group continues to hold annual conferences and help many people out of the Watchtower.His careful research can be seen in a speech prepared for the BRCI 2008 convention, in which he asks and answers the question, “Is the Watchtower God’s Only Organization?” This speech is not only personal, but also detailed and meticulous; showing that if the Watchtower is not the “Faithful Slave” of Matthew 24:45-47, then the entire organization falls. He explains how the Watchtower takes these three verses out of context and essentially extends ownership over all things, including people, on the basis of their belief that they are the “Faithful Slave.” He then smashes their argument by showing that the book which was supposed to have established them as the “Faithful Slave” in 1918-1919, The Finished Mystery, is nothing more than a collection of silly sayings and false prophecies. This is why Gregerson says with tongue-in-cheek, “The Watchtower doesn’t even make this remarkable book available for purchase.”[16]Because of his careful research and analysis of the Bible and Watchtower literature, Gregerson has concluded that the organization is a false prophet. He would urge Jehovah’s Witnesses to utilize their God-given reasoning ability to see this fact. He offers this advice: “When a false prophet has been exposed and condemned by God – the Bible says, ‘Be not afraid.’”[17]One final reason for Gregerson’s unique voice is his loving and gentle spirit. In spite of some of his more heated comments early after his departure, he is not angry with the people in the Watchtower, but still considers many of them to be dear friends. He does not convey ill feeling but rather longs for people to be free from the noose of false religion. One of the first shadows of doubt that flooded over him concerning the truthfulness of the Watchtower came in the wake of the way members were often treated harshly by elders. Gregerson cares about people and reads in the Bible about a God who cares about people, and could not make sense of such harsh treatment. This type of gentleness and love is exactly what people need who leave and are then alienated by Jehovah’s Witnesses.ConclusionOn Sunday, July 27, on his eightieth birthday, Peter Gregerson was baptized at the First Baptist Church of Gadsden, twenty-seven years after his departure from the Watchtower. The bumpy road he has traveled, and the story he tells, is one to be deeply considered. His crisis of conscience was not unique, but his voice is. It is the voice of one who was formerly faithful to a false prophet, whose careful research (along with the grace of God) led him from the clutch of deception. May his gentle and experienced voice be used of God as a beacon of hope to any who are stuck in the swamp of Watchtower control, and are looking for the way out.Online resources for those considering following Peter Gregerson:Biblical Research and Commentary Internationalwww.brci.orgMr. Gregerson can be contacted via e-mail through this website.Witnesses for Jesus, Incwww.4jehovah.orgThis site contains many other stories of those who have left the Watchtower.Free Minds – Watchers of the Watchtower Worldwww.freeminds.orgThis site contains a number of articles revealing details of Watchtower deception through the years.The Jehovah’s Witnesses Reformation Movementwww.jwreform.orgThis site was constructed by current and former Witnesses who are seeking to change the structure of the organization from the inside. They believe that the Watchtower is still valid as God’s organization, even though its reputation has been shattered by the many false prophecies and scandals littering its history. Though its stance is misguided (if the organization is a false prophet then it is most certainly invalid) it is included in this list to show that concerns about the validity of the Watchtower come from both without and within the organization.[1] A list of some helpful resources is given at the end of this article.[2] Much of the personal information in this article was given in a personal interview with Mr. Gregerson, conducted July 25, 2008 in Birmingham, Alabama.[3] Peter V. Gregerson, “Is the Watchtower God’s Only Organization?” This is a speech presented at the 2008 BRCI conference in which Mr. Gregerson quotes snippets from several letters written to him from the Brooklyn headquarters. One of these stated, “The society is looking for stories for publication involving brothers who successfully raised families in The Truth. You’ve successfully raised a fine family of seven children. Your wife has been an excellent example also,” 5.[4] For example, in Awake (October 8, 1968), 14: “How can it be determined when 6,000 years of human history will end? According to reliable Bible chronology, Adam and Eve were created in 4026 B.C.E. This would leave only seven more years from the autumn of 1968 to complete 6,000 full years of human history. That seven-year period will evidently finish in the autumn of the year 1975.”[5] John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.[6] Henschel would later be named president, a position he held from 1992-2000.[7] Gregerson, 6.[8] The belief that receiving a blood transfusion is the same as eating blood, and therefore a transgression of Leviticus 17:10, was introduced into Watchtower doctrine in 1945.[9] Ibid., 7.[10] Frederick Franz served as president of the organization from 1977-1992, and is often considered one of its chief theologians. He was an active participant in their New World Translation first published in 1950.[11] David Reed, “Crisis of Conscience,” http://www.freeminds.org/sales/most_burned.htm [accessed July 26, 2008].[12] Raymond Franz, Crisis of Conscience, (Atlanta: Commentary Press, 2002). Mr. Gregerson’s story is told briefly on pages 295-296. Plus, several letters photocopied in the appendix, 415-427, from Mr. Franz to the Watchtower authorities, discuss the eating incident with Mr. Gregerson that led to Mr. Franz being disfellowshipped. For reader’s comments, see the book’s Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Crisis-Conscience-Raymond-Franz/dp/0914675044.[13] Richard N. Ostling, “Witness Under Prosecution,” Time, February 22, 1982, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,922767,00.html [accessed July 31, 2008].[14] Franz, Crisis of Conscience, 1-7.[15] Her reasoning was theological, since the Watchtower teaches that if a Witness dies before Armageddon, there is a possibility of resurrection.[16] Gregerson, 21.[17] Ibid., 32.Copyright 2008

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Truth Of "Serving" As An Elder

Who the hell are "the elders"? Being an elder is supposed to be a "privilege". Elders are supposed to be "shepherds" who care for the flock. They are supposed to "serve" the needs of the flock. I do believe some men are sincere about their appointment but unfortunately being an elder means simply being an "Organization Man". A "good" elder cannot decide for himself that a person is truly needy or sorry about a particular act. He needs to get the body of elders to be involved. Doing something for someone without permission or approval from the other elders is a no-no. That's called "running ahead, independent thinking" and not "waiting on Jehovah".
What was supposed to be a "gift in men" has turned into a bureaucracy. Meetings are set up to determine whether you should be judged as unrepentant or not. The elders exert so much control that they can make your life a miserable nightmare! If you "question" the elders on a matter or hint that you might disagree with their viewpoints, you are labeled as "disorderly, immature, weak, or apostate".
The Theocratic Organization made mere men believe that they are something special, appointed by God and his holy spirit. These very imperfect men forgot who they really were. They bought into the hype of "being used by Jehovah". Questioning them or their authority is the same as questioning Jehovah God Himself.
When I look back at my years as an elder, I can't help but see how foolish we all were! We were no different than the priests of Christendom. At least most of the clergy have a degree and went to school and became educated. Witness elders are proud of the fact that they wash windows, floors and toilets by day and wield enormous power by night. It's a huge head trip. Thankfully many of us have seen the error of our ways and with humility have recognized how dumb we were really were.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

There is only one timeframe that matters to a Jehovah's Witness: the present.
"So what if we taught that in 1993? This is our present truth!
Jehovah's Witnesses are being conditioned to think that the organization's history is unimportant, "the way Jehovah is blessing the work now proves that this is his organization".
Here's a question: If you were born into a Catholic family in 1922, lived 70 years and died in 1992, what is your current standing before Jehovah according to JW doctrine? You have been released of your sins because the wages of sin is death and you await a resurrection.
Here's another question: If you were born into a Catholic family in 1922, converted to become a Jehovah's Witness in 1952, lived 70 years and died in 1992, what is your current standing before Jehovah according to JW doctrine? You have been released of your sins because the wages of sin is death and you await a resurrection.
That's right! The preaching work carried out from the 1870s into the 20th century was pointless. All those people are now dead and their status is no different to their comtemporaries of the time.
The past is irrelevant. Only the immediate future matters to Jehovah's Witnesses.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Did the Watchtower Really Predict 1975 as the End Of The World?

What the Watchtower does not want you to know about 1975:


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Watchtower Study, June 7, 2009

Paragraph 15: Satan was the first creature to turn apostate. Modern-day apostates display characteristics similar to those of the Devil. Their mind may be poisoned by a critical attitude toward individuals in the congregations, Christian elders, or the Governing Body. Some apostates oppose the use of the divine name, Jehovah. They are not interested in learning about Jehovah or in serving him. Like their father, Satan, apostates target people of integrity. (John 8:44) No wonder servants of Jehovah avoid all contact with them!--2 John 10, 11.

The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses is completely unaccountable to the flock and demand unquestioned submission. Debate, discussion, questioning and criticism is allowed by the Governing Body inside their boardroom, but not for anyone else. Anyone who actively critiques and exposes flaws of certain Watchtower teaching/policies is associated with Satan and labelled an apostate.
There is a difference between bitter and twisted false accusations and lies, and healthy criticism and debate. This article makes no allowance for the difference.
The scriptures actually exhort the flock to test those in apostle-like authority - Revelation 2:2. Christians are told to keep testing every inspired expression and to keep testing whether they are in the faith - 1 John 4.1
How can JW's be sure they are not being deceived by their own leaders unless there is some questioning and debate? How can incompetent and even corrupt elders be exposed and removed unless their is criticsm of them where warranted? It is grossly unfair and a distortion to label 'criticism' of elders and the GB as basically satanic and apostate.

Monday, June 1, 2009

05-31-09 Watchtower Study (PRAISE FOREVER)

3. Jehovah rewarded Jesus with something that his Son did not have in his prehuman existence--indestructible life in heaven. (Heb. 7:15-17, 28) Jehovah was pleased to do this because Jesus had kept perfect integrity under severe tests. Jesus thereby provided his Father with the best, yes the complete, answer to Satan's lie that humans serve God with selfish motives and not out of unbreakable love.--Prov.27:11.
I don't really follow this logic. Jesus was the perfect Son of God who had the power of the holy spirit flowing through him and angels supporting him throughout his ministry. He had a pre-human existence for millions of years. He therefore had a huge advantage in resisting Satan's temptations than imperfect, weak, sinful humans. But Job was an imperfect, sinful human born under Adamic sin and he remained loyal and obedient, without all the knowlege and power Jesus had. So Job really provided a much better answer to this issue than Jesus did.
6. “Happy is the man in fear of Jehovah in whose commandments he has taken very much delight. Mighty in the earth his offspring will become. As for the generation of the upright ones, it will be blessed.” (Ps. 112: 1,2) Note that the psalmist first mentions an individual "man" and then changes to the plural "upright ones" in the latter part of verse 2. This suggests that Psalm 112 can refer to a composite group made up of many individuals. Interestingly, the apostle Paul was inspired to apply Psalm 112:9 in connection with Christians in the first century. (Read 2 Corinthians 9:8, 9.) How well this psalm depicts how Christ's followers on earth today can be happy!
The Society takes a scripture from Psalms, written when there was no heavenly hopetm then applies it to first century Christians, when there was only a heavenly hopetm , and then applies it again to "Christ's followers (JW's only!) on earth today", 99% of whom have no heavenly hopetm. Most JW's would read "Christ's Followers" to mean all JW's, yet if you research this you will discover that it is really only the 144,000 who the Watchtower teaches are truly "Christ's followers". According to Watchtower doctrine, Psalm 112:9 really only applies to the remnant, those who partake of the memorial emblems, yet nearly all JW's reading this paragraph today took it to mean themselves.
7. As indicated at Psalm 112: 1, these true Christians experience great happiness as they walk "in fear of Jehovah." To keep a righteous standing with God we must exercise faith in Jesus’ shed blood. ...
Notice how Jesus' role in all this is reduced to his shed blood. How do you exercise faith in a liquid? Jehovah's Witnesses are rarely, if ever, told to simply exercise faith in Jesus the person, the saviour, the Lord. Instead, they are told to exercise faith in Jesus 'blood' or his 'ransom provision' etc.
10. Anointed Christians along with their companions do not keep their spiritual riches to themselves. Rather, they have "flashed up" in Satan’s dark world "as a light to the upright ones." They do so by helping others to benefit from the spiritual treasures of wisdom and knowledge of God. Opposers have tried to put a stop to the Kingdom-preaching work but have failed. Instead the fruitage of this righteous work will stand forever! By enduring in a course of righteousness God's servants can have the assurance of living permanently standing forever (sic).
There is not a single scripture which uses the term "Anointed Christians" (all Christians are implicitly anointed in the NT) and there is not a single scripture which refers to "companions" of "anointed Christians". These are completely extra-biblical terms and ideas created by the Society's unscriptural teaching that there are born again and non-born again Christians.
Notice the "assurance" of living forever by following a "course of righteousness". In other words, JW's will definitely live forever by continuing to follow the Watchtower organisation's programme of works: meetings, answering up, field service, and being on the Theocratic Ministry School. And in other places the Society will tell you that everlasting life is not assured at all no matter how good a JW you are, it is only a probability!
11. God's people both the anointed slave class and those making up the "great crowd" have proved to be generous regarding material things.
Since 1995 the Society has officially taught that the "great crowd" does not form until the Great Tribulation, so why is it referring to the great crowd as if it already exists??
16. God's righteous ones also have to put up with the hatred and lies spread by opposers, but this has failed to silence true Christians and will continue to fail Rather, God's servants continue steadfast and unmovable in the work Jehovah has given them--to preach the good news of the Kingdom and to make disciples of all who respond. No doubt, the righteous will experience increased opposition as the end draws closer. Such hatred will reach a climax in the worldwide attack of Satan the Devil in his role as Gog of Magog. Then, at last, we will 'look on our adversaries' as they go down in humiliating defeat. What an experience it will be to see the complete sanctification of Jehovah’s name!--Ezek. 38:18,22,23.
How many JW's honestly still believe that a global attack on all religion engineered by the UN is imminent with a final attack on their religion as its climax. The Watchtower has been spouting this absurd nonsense for decades.
17. How enjoyable it will be to praise Jehovah unitedly, without opposition from the Devil and his world! Such enjoyment will be the everlasting lot of all who maintain a righteous standing with God. They will not bow down in disgrace and defeat, for Jehovah also promises that the "horn" of his righteous one "will be exalted with glory." (Ps. 112:9) Jehovah’s righteous one will exult victoriously on seeing the downfall of all enemies of Jehovah’s sovereignty.
Yes, how Jehovah's Witnesses will exult to see 7 billion fellow humans slaughtered by God for all eternity. How they will cheer when they walk past all those rotting corpses of children, massacred because their parents did not listen to Jehovah's Witnesses. Pol Pot and Hitler, eat your heart out!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Murdered Woman Left Disassociation Letter

St Thomas Times-Journal
Decision is final: slain wife
Posted By KYLE REA, Times-Journal
Eugena Smith expected "wagging tongues to flutter with delight" after they read the letter she wrote saying she was leaving the Jehovah's Witness church.
That comes from a five-page draft of the missive, read aloud to a trial jury on Wednesday and addressed to the Watchtower Bible Society of Jehovah's Witnesses. It was found by investigators lying among a pile of clothing on the floor of Eugena Smith's bedroom, shortly after the 33-year-old St. Thomas woman was found murdered in her 9 Balaclava St. home in June, 2007.
Her estranged husband Michael Smith, 37, is on trial for first-degree murder in the city's Superior Court of Justice.
The couple's daughter, who was three-and-a-half years old in June, 2007, wasn't home at the time.
Justice Peter Hockin is hearing the case, which is expected to last five weeks.
The Crown argued in an opening statement Tuesday that Eugena Smith was trying to leave both her husband, and her church, just days before she died on June 7, 2007. Michael Smith, the Crown says, thought she was having an affair.
Among a mountain of evidence presented in court on Wednesday, Eugena's draft letter stated "I no longer wish to associate myself with the (Watchtower) organization" and urged people not to persuade her to come back.
"My decision is final."
Wednesday also saw testimony from Const. Terri Hikele and Const. Marc Vaughan, two St. Thomas identification officers who investigated, photographed and video-taped both Eugena Smith's home and Michael Smith's Talbot Street apartment. The court heard cellphones, computers, medication and clothing were seized by police.
Some objects, such as a black woman's shirt cut from neck to waist, a pair of thong underwear, stained bed sheets and wads of toilet paper with a red substance on it, all found in Eugena Smith's bedroom, were sent to the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto for testing.
Swabs taken from Michael Smith's penis and a sexual assault test kit with samples taken at Eugena Smith's autopsy were also sent away to be tested, the court heard.
Photos, video and items seized from Michael Smith's apartment were also presented to the jury. One of those items included a letter from Michael Smith's father, Joseph, addressed, "To my son."
Read aloud for the jury by Vaughan, the letter asks forgiveness for a "previous outburst," and talks about a heated argument involving Eugena Smith and her inlaws. In the letter Joseph Smith worries he won't get a chance to see his granddaughter again.
"Don't make (her) pay for a few words."
The trial continues today.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spanish JW’s Upset Over Bethel Move

On April 1, 2009 a letter was sent from the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses to congregations in Spain informing them that the printing, shipping, and storage of Watchtower publications would be discontinued at the Madrid Branch office. The letter expressed confidence that the Spanish Witnesses would, despite the move, continue to generously support the world wide work and ends with an appeal to remain united under the direction of the Witness leadership.
At a glance, this story may seem like a non-issue, perhaps, just another example of reorganization and consolidation within a multinational corporation; however, the dissolution of the printing branch has caused considerable hard feelings among some of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Spain. To understand the reason we must first look at the history behind the branch office and external factors that some feel prompted this abrupt move.
Early in their history, Jehovah’s Witnesses began printing their trademark Watchtower magazines and associated books and tracts in-house at their ”Bethel” headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. As the religious organization grew and expanded overseas, “branch offices” and printing facilities were established in different locations across the globe to support the preaching work in those territories. Such was the case in Spain in 1980, where the need for a local printing facility was explained at Spanish district conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
At the time, expansion at the headquarters in New York left the Watch Tower corporation without the finances to build offices and a printing facility in Spain and so the Spanish Witnesses were solicited to follow the example of the Israelites in bringing their gold, silver, and valuable items to Moses in order to build the Tabernacle. (Exodus 35:5-9) The 1983 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, reports the generous way that the Spanish Witnesses responded to this appeal.:
At the close of the conventions, people were lining up to contribute their jewels, gold and silver rings and bracelets, so that these could be turned into cash to finance the new project. At the convention in San Sebastián in the Basque country, an elderly sister handed over a heavy gold bracelet. When asked if she was sure that she wanted to donate such a valuable item, she answered: “Brother, it is going to do far more good paying for a new Bethel than it will on my wrist!”
With the unsparing financial support of the Spanish Witnesses a new branch office and printing facility was later constructed in Madrid. Being financed within the country, this new Bethel was a source of pride for the Spanish Witnesses. Many would make special trips just to tour the facility. Now some are hurt to watch as the printing presses that they gave their precious heirlooms to buy are shipped to Germany and the Bethel that they sacrificed their savings to build is anticipated to be sold, with the proceeds of the sale returning back to the US Watch Tower corporation that was originally unable to finance its construction. This situation might not be near as bitter if it were not for the events that transpired in Spain that some feel to be the impetus behind this relocation.
In December 2007, after an investigation, the Social Security office of Spain issued a ruling that the Madrid Bethel was required to provide a pension for those who worked in its printing facilities. Historically, Bethel workers receive no such benefits. Upon joining the Bethel “family” they take a vow of poverty and are inducted into a religious order, not unlike a Catholic monastery. While at Bethel they receive a small monthly stipend for personal items in addition to room and board. Though they are working in a modern printing operation, they are viewed as religious volunteers and have no workers’ compensation benefits or pension to support them, if injury, health, age, or other circumstances should force them out of their Bethel “home”.
In recent years, the Watch Tower has seen a fair share of corporate downsizing. This has been particularly felt in the United States headquarters, which has experienced significant cutbacks within the New York Bethel family. Many men and women in their youth were encouraged to make service at Bethel a “life career”, at the expense of family, education, and a secular career. They entered Bethel with the idea that they would stay there for the rest of their life, making it their “home”. Now as older adults they are feeling the sting of cutbacks as they are asked to leave their Bethel home, starting all over again in the secular world without pensions or without having contributed toward retirement or Social Security. This is the current situation in Madrid, where it is estimated that up to 200 Bethel workers are being asked to leave without reassignment.
The Spanish Social Security office’s decision to hold the Madrid Bethel responsible for providing benefits for printing factory workers and other members of the order presents a considerable financial hit in a religious organization that has already experienced hardships in tough economic times. This has caused some Spanish Witnesses to believe that the decision to relocate printing operations to another country is specifically motivated by the fiscal implications of the Social Security office’s decision, despite what the Branch Office claims about the reorganization being motivated by other factors such as simplification.
The Spanish Witnesses who might normally completely trust the decisions made by the organization’s leadership have reason to be suspicious. After losing their petition against providing Social Security benefits to Bethel workers, the Spanish Branch Office of Jehovah’s Witnesses sent a letter to the local congregations announcing the new provision. In the letter, Witness leadership implies that it was they who petitioned Social Security for entry into the system in order to provide benefits. The congregations were kept in the dark about the real reason that these contested benefits were being provided to those in the religious order.
A similar situation occurred in the United States in 1990. At the time, Jimmy Swaggart Ministries was in the US Supreme Court, challenging taxes assessed on publications sold by the popular televangelist. Unknown to US Witnesses, the Watch Tower, filed a “friend of the court” brief (amicus curiae) in the Swaggart Taxation case, because the ruling would open the door for taxing the Watch Tower, as Jehovah’s Witnesses went door to door selling their Watchtower magazine and associated literature. When Swaggart lost the case, the Watch Tower, quickly adopted a new “donation arrangement”, where the magzines and literature were offered without a specified cost, and a donation request was made.
In a letter sent to all US congregations the Watch Tower explained the new arrangement saying,
“By adopting a method of literature distribution based completely on donation, Jehovah’s people are able to greatly simplify our Bible education work and separate ourselves from those who commercialize religion.”
No mention was made of the connection between the new “donation arrangement” and the Jimmy Swaggart case, and to this day, this is relatively unknown among Jehovah’s Witnesses. Similar to the way the Spanish branch handled the Social Security ruling, the US branch office spun the “donation arrangement” as a way of simplification without revealing the real reasons.
The Spanish Witnesses feel slighted that the religious organization they gave their life and finances to is now treating them so carelessly. Equally they are hurt by the lack of candor and honesty coming from headquarters about the current situation. Currently the discontent among the religion are organizing and making their case that any funds coming from the sale of the Bethel facility should be go back to the ones that financed it the first place. They suggest that such money could be used in a charitable way, such as providing a retirement facility for those in their ranks that are now aging, without provision, having giving their life in service of the religion. Ironically, they are vying to provide the very care that Witness leadership itself is reluctant to give.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bethel Workers Are Entitled To Compensation If They Are Injured

Read the following news article. It will give you an indication of what is presently happening in Spain with Jehovah's Witnesses.

Church may be forced to pay millions BY JESS WISLOSKI
DAILY NEWS WRITERS A 46-year-old woman who devoted her life to the Jehovah's Witnesses said she was forced to move from their Brooklyn compound after she was seriously injured while serving the church. But a judge's ruling this week that she is entitled to worker's compensation payments could end up costing the church millions of dollars. Brenda Upton and her husband, Michael, took a vow of poverty and moved to the Witnesses' Brooklyn headquarters in 1998 to work as chiropractors for other church members. She injured her spine while running to catch a bus at an upstate church compound later that year. "They take wonderful care of you up to a point, and then you're on your own," Upton said. "That's why we wound up going to court." She said she suffered debilitating nerve injuries that have left her barely able to carry a laundry basket. The church took care of her medical care until 2001, when she and her husband were asked to leave and were given a $79,000 stipend. But Workers' Compensation Law Judge Stephen Goldstein ruled Wednesday that Upton is entitled to $400 a week in workers' compensation payments. "I'm finding they were not religious volunteers," Goldstein said. "They were engaged, particularly Dr. Brenda Upton, in a number of work-like activities." The Witnesses vowed to appeal the ruling, saying Upton and the other 5,800 Witnesses who live and work in the church's New York operations are volunteers, not employees. But if the decision stands, the Witnesses - and other religious organizations - could potentially face millions of dollars in workers' compensation insurance premiums and payments, said church lawyer John Miller. "It'll pretty much put religious orders out of business," Miller said. "It would certainly impact whether we would ever want to continue operations" in New York. The church owns about 40 properties in downtown Brooklyn and has plans to build a huge new structure on a vacant lot. Miller would not speculate how the workers' compensation case would affect those plans. "We don't have a spiritual conflict," said Upton, who has moved with her husband to Washington State. "Our problem all along has been medical-legal. We are still active Jehovah's Witnesses."

2009 District Convention Drama

1. There's no Bible-times costumes this year.
2. It's all modern day and its a tear-jerker "prodigal son" theme.
3. Two kids leave "da troof" and one comes back.

Governing Body Member Had A Stroke

On May 19th, Theodore Jaracz had a stroke.

He's in very serious condition in the hospital.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

All countries should have laws like this!

Parents prosecuted for forcing girl to join religious group
30 April 2009
Zlin, South Moravia, April 29 (CTK) - A Czech couple is prosecuted for oppressing their 18-year-old daughter for her refusal to join the religious society of which they are members, the Zlin police told CTK Wednesday.
The parents reportedly urged the girl, a secondary school student, to join the Jehova's Witnesses grouping. After she refused to do so, they expelled her from home.
If found guilty they face up to six months in prison.
The parents left the girl without financial means. They told her she may return home only on condition she joins Jehova's Witnesses.
"The daughter has already come of age, but she does not yet work to earn her living, therefore the parents are still obliged to support her," police spokeswoman Jana Bartikova said.
She said the crime of oppression, when a perpetrator abuses the someone else's dependence or emergency situation to force him/her to do something, occurs only rarely in the Zlin region.
Jehova's Witnesses present themselves as genuine Christians.
The Christian churches generally consider Jehova's Witnesses a sect, oppose their interpretation of the Bible and criticise their totalitarian organisation and ways to spread their views.
Headline: CzechRep extends ways to punish unlawful steps by distrainersDate released: 29.4. 2009Time released: 10:37Key words: Czech; Chamber; law; distraint; PHOTOID: T200904290245201Service: ccePriority: 3Category: eng
CzechRep extends ways to punish unlawful steps by distrainers
Prague, April 29 (CTK) - The Czech state will have more chances to punish the Distrainers' Chamber for steps contradicting the law, under the amendment to the Distraint Order that the lower house passed in a shortened procedure Wednesday.
The law empowers the Justice Ministry to suspend the Distrainers Chamber's decisions which it would suspect of contradicting law.
Afterwards it would be up to a court to decide whether the discrepancy really exists and possibly to abolish the Distrainers Chamber's decision.
The law also reinforces the supervision of distrainers' work. The supervision is no longer the task for the Justice Ministry only, but also for court chairmen.
The ministry, which initiated the amendment, says local courts have the best information about the performance of individual distrainers in the respective localities.
Before the vote Wednesday, outgoing Justice Minister Jiri Pospisil told deputies that the amendment provides instruments for solving problems that have recently arisen around the Distrainers' Chamber.
It is meant as prevention, not witch-hunt, Pospisil said.
The draft amendment was supported by 151 lawmakers. No one voted against it.
Pospisil said the Distrainers' Chamber breached the ministerial directive by failing to launch a central registry of distraints in December.
However, a gap in legislation has made the ministry unable to force the chamber into observing the legal requirements.
The newly passed amendment enables to impose fines of up to 10 million crowns.
Copyright 2008 by the Czech News Agency (ČTK). All rights reserved.Copying, dissemination or other publication of this article or parts thereof without the prior written consent of ČTK is expressly forbidden. The Prague Daily Monitor and Monitor CE are not responsible for its content.
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Friday, March 27, 2009

THE WITCHTOWER - April 2009: The Lake of Fire, The Union of the Two Towers, etc.

The new issue of The Witchtower is ready for download!

The Lake of Fire - A Symbol of Everlasting Destruction? Who will come into the fiery lake? How will the devil be tormented by the "false prophet"?

The Union of the Two Towers: The prophecy of J. R. R. Tolkien came true!

More Than Just Letters: Protect your children from certain magazines!

Questions From Readers: Should a Christian wear clothes made of blended fabric? Should Christians eat?

From Our Readers: Isn't it harmful to abstain from washing hands?

God's Judgment by "the Wild Beasts of the Earth": For what purpose will wolf and lamb reside together, and why only "for a while"?

Bringing Order into Jehovah's Household: How the "faithful and discreet slave" was foreshadowed by Abraham's slaves after Sarah's death.

The Antitypical Pharisees: Is there any difference between the Pharisees and Jehovah's Witnesses?

How Would You Answer?, Important Questions, Classifieds

All previous issues: http://svhelden.gmxhome.de/e

Friday, March 13, 2009

Former teacher jailed for trying to abduct girl in Holywell
Mar 12 2009 by Our Correspondent, Western Mail
A FORMER teacher, businessman and senior Jehovah’s Witness who tried to abduct a five-year-old was yesterday jailed for six years.
Robert Edward Bill, 54, was told by a judge that he was still in denial about his predatory interest in young children despite a series of convictions.
He has been found guilty at separate trials of the attempted abduction of the girl in Holywell two years ago, of indecently assaulting a seven-year-old 10 years ago, and of possessing 730 pornographic images of children.
Prosecuting at Caernarfon Crown Court, Simon Medland described how the girl had been returning home from a playground when Bill, “for malign purposes”, drew up in his car and asked: “Have you seen a cat?”
By chance the girl’s uncle arrived at the scene at that moment and her mother, who had been watching from a window, ran to her.
Mr Medland said Bill of The Roe, St Asaph, Denbighshire, had been driving slowly around areas where he was likely to come into contact with children that same day. He’d claimed that he was trying to fix a mechanical problem with his car.
A police inquiry had revealed the car had also been driven in an “odd manner” at Flint that day, stopping when children came into view.
Mr Medland said that when Bill had a playground equipment company he had been warned off a Towyn holiday park by police after officials there became concerned about his conduct with children.
The barrister said the indecent assault had occurred at St Asaph. Although the girl had recalled seeing a camera there was no evidence it had been used.
David Potter, defending, pointed out the offences did not involve touching, grabbing or coercion.
He said Bill had hoped to return to teaching, but this would now be impossible.
Bill had also run two successful businesses in the past, but his last one had now been effectively wound up. He was a family man, a grandfather described as being devoted to his wife of 30 years.
Since his arrest in June 2007, Mr Potter said Bill had had a torrid time. He accepted the need for his behaviour to be monitored in future and that his actions had brought fear and suspicion for his family and church, while the nightmare of his arrest would be a constant reminder that his life would never be the same.
Judge Philip Hughes imposed a four-year sentence for attempted abduction, one-and-a-half years for indecent assault and six months for possessing the pornographic images most of which, he said, were of the lowest category.
He said: “The nature of your offending demonstrates you have an unhealthy sexual and predatory interest in young children which, despite your convictions, you continue to deny.”
Bill, who has been in custody for nearly 18 months, will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order was made which limits any contact with children.
Bill, in a neat grey suit and tie, had wept during part of the evidence. As he left the dock to begin his sentence, he embraced his son and kissed his wife as he passed behind where they sat awaiting their sentences.
Jacqueline Bill, his 51-year-old wife, received a suspended six-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to trying to pervert the course of justice by destroying a laptop hard drive, and must do 250 hours unpaid work.
Bill’s son David, 24, of Mount Road, St Asaph, must do 150 hours unpaid work after also admitting that he tried to pervert the course of justice.
Judge Hughes told them: “I recognise that you were both in a misguided way trying to protect a husband and father.”

Friday, February 13, 2009

New Letter To The Body of Elders

Unfortunately I have no scanner. But I thought y'all might like a glance into the latest mind of "mother".
I won't type out the whole thing, but just select pertinent parts to quote:
"To all Bodies of Elders
"Re: Christian Parents permitting unbelieving relatives to live in fornication in their homes
"[Usual blather about 'works of flesh']...If Christian parents were to allow their unbelieving son or daughter to practice fornication in their home, they would thus be giving tacit approval to immoral conduct. This would also be true of Christians who allow a son or daughter or other relative to commit fornication while visiting their home. Such parents would surely not be exemplary Christians...
"When congregatoin elders come to know of such a situation, they sould patiently provide scriptural counsel. [Blather about the good effects if such counsel is applied]
"Perhaps the parents are genuinely concerned that what they hve been allowing may be a cause for stumbling. For certain reasons, however, they may feel they have no recourse at the present time. For example, elderly Witness parents may need the assistance of an unbelieving son or daughter. Under such circumstances, no judicial action would be taken, but the qualification of the parent to serve in an exemplary position would be reviewed by the body of elders.
"Suppose the parents, upon being approached by the elders, manifest a brazen attitude, not really caring if others are stumbled. Even though these parents do not encourage others to do what they themselves are doing, the elders may decide to arrange for a talk to be given that serves as a warning to the congregation [references to 'marking' from 7/15/99 WT]. On the other hand, if the baptized parents actively promote the practice of allowing individuals who are living in fornication to move into a Christian home, then the matter could be handled judicially on the grounds of condoning fornication, causing divisions, and, in effect, speaking against 'the teaching of the Christ."
[Standard conclusion].

1) Must be a growing problem if it elicits a Body Of Elders letter with such explicit examples and directions
2) Note the last sentence quoted above:
(a) "condoning fornication" is not a Disfellowshipping offense in the elder manual - they seem to be establishing a new precedent here.
(b) "Causing divisions" is a catchall reason, along with "loose conduct", for Disfellowshipping someone you don't like, but you don't have any valid grounds.
(c) "the teaching of the Christ", as contained in the gospels, mentions absolutely nothing about parents whose children are "living in fornication". But there's plenty of information in Watchtowers, Body of Elders letters, and other literature. Thus, the subtle connection is made - Watchtower literature is really "the teachings of Christ"

There's really nothing particularly surprising here, but it is interesting to note that the micromanagement and desire to control all aspects of members' loves continues unabated.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Article On Jehovah's Witness Growth In The United States

Article title
Institutional versus Contextual Explanations for the Growth Of the Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States, 1945-2002
Sturgis, P.W.
Journal title
Bibliographic details
2008, VOL 49; NUMB 3, pages 290-300

The author argues Witness postwar growth in the US is mainly due to Watchtower organizational initiatives rather than US demographic trends. But isn't this a statement of the bleeding obvious - I mean surely it is a given that an increase from about 50,000 to 1,000,000 cannot be explained on the basis of the increase in the US population alone. I am sure there are more interesting things could be said about JW growth than simply that.
He does make the interesting observation that 12% of US Witnesses are foreign born rather than 7% for the US population in general. That would seem to indicate immigrants account for a significant but not overwhelming amount of the postwar Witness growth in the US.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

KM 2009 - misrepresentation on blood transfusions

In the Feb 2009 KM there is a 10 minute part entitled "Answering Questions about Blood Transfusions"

Notice the part I've highlighted in red. Exacty what transfusions do JWs allow their children to have? Their whole reasoning is a pathetic attempt to appease the householder without saying they flat out refuse blood.

rs p. 74 - p. 76 Blood If Someone Says—

‘You let your children die because you refuse blood transfusions. I think that’s terrible’

You might reply: ‘But we do allow them to have transfusions—the safer kind. We accept the kind of transfusions that don’t carry the risk of such things as AIDS, hepatitis, and malaria. We want the best treatment for our children, as I am sure that any loving parent would.’ Then perhaps add: (1) ‘When there is severe blood loss, the greatest need is to restore the fluid volume. No doubt you realize that our blood is actually over 50 percent water; then there are the red and white cells, and so forth. When much blood is lost, the body itself pours large reserves of blood cells into the system and speeds up production of new ones. But fluid volume is needed. Plasma volume expanders that contain no blood can be used to fill that need, and we accept these.’ (2) ‘Plasma volume expanders have been used on thousands of persons, with excellent results.’ (3) ‘Even more important to us is what the Bible itself says at Acts 15:28, 29.’

Or you could say: ‘I can understand your point of view. I suppose you are imagining your own child in that situation. As parents we would do everything possible to safeguard our child’s welfare, wouldn’t we? So if folks like you and me were going to refuse some sort of medical treatment for our child, there would certainly have to be some compelling reason for it.’ Then perhaps add: (1) ‘Do you think that some parents might be influenced by what God’s Word says here at Acts 15:28, 29?’ (2) ‘So the question is, Do we have enough faith to do what God commands?’

‘You people don’t believe in blood transfusions’

You might reply: ‘The newspapers have published stories about some situations in which they felt that Witnesses might die if they did not accept blood. Is that what you have in mind? . . . Why do we take the position we do?’ Then perhaps add: (1) ‘Do you love your wife (husband) enough that you would be willing to risk your life for her (him)? . . . There are also men who risk their lives for their country, and they are viewed as heroes, aren’t they? But there is someone who is greater than any person or thing here on earth, and that is God. Would you risk your life because of love for him and loyalty to his rulership?’ (2) ‘The issue here really is loyalty to God. It is God’s Word that tells us to abstain from blood. (Acts 15:28, 29)’

Or you could say: ‘There are many things that are rather common today and that Jehovah’s Witnesses shun—for example, lying, adultery, stealing, smoking, and as you mentioned, the use of blood. Why? Because we govern our lives by God’s Word.’ Then perhaps add: (1) ‘Did you know that the Bible says we should “abstain from blood”? I would like to show it to you. (Acts 15:28, 29)’ (2) ‘Perhaps you recall that God told our first parents, Adam and Eve, that they could eat from every tree in Eden except one. But they disobeyed, ate that forbidden fruit, and lost everything. How unwise! Now, of course, there is no tree with forbidden fruit. But after the Flood of Noah’s day God again set out one prohibition for mankind. This time it involved blood. (Gen. 9:3, 4)’ (3) ‘So the real question is, Do we have faith in God? If we obey him, we have before us the prospect of eternal life in perfection under his Kingdom. Even if we die, he assures us of a resurrection.’

‘What if a doctor says, “You will die without a blood transfusion”?’

You might reply: ‘If the situation is really that serious, can the doctor guarantee that the patient will not die if he is given blood?’ Then perhaps add: ‘But there is someone who can give a person life again, and that is God. Don’t you agree that, when face to face with death, turning one’s back on God by violating his law would be a poor decision? I truly have faith in God. Do you? His Word promises a resurrection for those who put faith in his Son. Do you believe that? (John 11:25)’

Or you could say: ‘It may mean that he personally does not know how to handle the case without the use of blood. If possible, we try to put him in touch with a doctor who has had the needed experience, or we engage the services of another doctor.’

This is not the sort of reasoning that an average brother or sister comes up with out of their own originality. What makes it worse are the GB and those in the writing dept. who have to think of all these excuses to make their disgusting doctrine palatable. I'll never forget the brochure, "How can blood save your life?"

Any thinking person who didn't know about JW blood doctrine and saw this booklet would conclude that blood can save your life when ironically, it is just the opposite considering that taking blood incurs Jehovah's wrath and could end your prospects of everlasting life.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Another prominent mark of the beast .. is the honoring of the special class, the clergy, with special honors and titles. They are known as Revs., Divines, etc., but Jesus, the divine, said: 'Ye call me Lord and Master, and ye say well, for so I am.' 'Be not ye called Rabbi, neither be ye called Masters, for one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren (Matt. 23:8 ). These titles are assumptions fashioned after those of Papacy."- Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, January 1880, p6-7 - the words are those of Charles Taze Russell, the first President of the Watchtower Society. The Watchtower Society has had six Presidents. Let us look at the "Classes" invented or officially used by just one of them - the same Charles Taze Russell:

144,000 Class
20,736,000,000 Class
Abel Class
Achan Class
Aggressive Class
Altar Class
Amaziah Class
Ammonite Class
Amos Class
Ancient Class
Ancient Worthy Class
Anointed Class
Anointed Remnant Class
Antagonistic Class
Anti-pas Class
Antitypical Levite Class
Apostatized Class
Apostle Class
Arisen Class
Aryan Class
Beloved Class
Betrothed Class
Bird Class
Bitter Class
Blemished Class
Body Class
Bride Class
Bridegroom Class
Brier Class
Brother Class
Caleb Class
Camp Class
Carnal-Minded Babes In Christ Class
Chaff Class
Changers Class
Chief Class
Chieftain Class
Child Of God Class
Childlike Class
Chosen Class
Christ Class
Christian Sanctuary Class
Christiania Class
Church Class
Churchianity Class
Composite Class
Conqueror Class
Consecrated Class
Cream Class
Created Class
Creditor Class
Critic Class
Cultured Class
Dan Class
Dangerous Class
Darkened Class
David Class
Dead Class
Debtor Class
Deceived Class
Dependent Class
Depraved Class
Desirable Class
Dictator Class
Dignified Class
Disciple Class
Disfavored Class
Dishonorable Class
Dispensable Class
Disreputable Class
Dog Class
Eagle Class
Earthly Class
Earthly Hope Class
Edom-Idumea Class
Edomite Class
Elder Class
Elect Bride Class
Elect Class
Elijah Class
Elijah-John-The-Baptist Class
Elijah-Like Class
Elisha Class
Enthroned Class
Envious Class
Esau Class
Esther Class
Eunuch Class
Evil Slave Class
Exalted Class
Ezekiel 44 'Gate Shut' Class
Ezekiel Class
Faith Class
Faithful and Discreet Servant Class
Faithful and Discreet Slave Class
Faithful and Discreet Steward Class
Faithful and Wise Servant Class
Faithful and Wise Steward Class
Faithful Class
Favorable Class
Favored Class
Feet Class
Fighting Class
First Class
First-Born Class
Firstfruit Class
Flock Class
Foolish Virgin Class
Foreknown Class
Fourth Class
Gershonites Class
Glorified Class
Glorious Class
Goat Class
Goats Class
Gold Class
Governing Class
Great Class
Great Company Class
Great Crowd Class
Great Multitude Class
Great Restitution Class Great Teacher Class
Groom Class
Ground Class
Harvest Class
Heavenly Class
Heavenly Hope Class
High Angel Class
Higher Class
Highest Class
Hireling Class
His Bride Class
His Jewel Class
Holier Class
Holiness Class
Honored Class
Hopeless Class
Humble Class
Hypocrite Class
Improper Class
Infant Class
Influential Class
Inspired Class
Intractable Class Isaac Class
Ishmael Class
Israel Class
Jacob Class
Jehu Class
Jeremiah Class
Jerusalem Class
Jew Class
Jewel Class
Job Class
John Class
Joint-Heir Class
Jonadab Class
Jonathan Class
Joshua Class
Judas Class
Judge Class
Justified Class
King Class
Kingdom Class
Kingly Class
Laity Class
Lapsing Class
Large Class
Lazarus Class
Levite Class
Levitical Class
Little Class
Lord Class
Lordly Class
Lords over God's Heritage Class
Lower Class
Lowest Class
Loyal Class
Lunatic Class
Man Of Perdition Class
Man Of The True God Class
Man With the Writer's Inkhorn Class
Many Class
Mediator Class
Messiah Class
Messianic Class
Millennial Age Class
Ministers of the Gospel Class
Minor Class
Mordecai Class
Mordecai-Esther Class
Moses Class
Mustard Seed Class
My Bride Class
Mystery Class
Naomi Class
Needy Class
Neglected Class
Nehemiah Class
Nephilim Class
Nethinim Class
Nicodemus Class
Nominal Class
Nominal Temple Class
Non-Elect Class
Numerous Class
Obedient Class
Obscure Class
Official Class
Opposite Class
Opposition Class
Ostracized Class
Other Sheep Class
Outcast Class
Overcomer Class
Overcoming Class
Parent Class
Pastor Russell Class
Peculiar Class
Penitent Class
Permanent Class
Peter Class
Pharisaical Class
Pharisee Class
Philistine Class
Preacher's Class
Preaching Class
Priest Class
Priesthood Class
Priestly Class
Principal Class
Prodigal Class
Prophet Class
'Prophet' Class
Prophetic Class
Prophet-like Class
Putty Class
Reformer Class
Reigning Class
Religious Class
Remnant Class
Reproached Bullock Class
Reputable Class
Resident Class
Restitution Class
Restless Opposition Class
Royal Class
Running Class
Ruth Class
Ruth-Naomi Class
Sadducees Class
Saint Class
Saintly Class
Salt Class
Salter Class
Samaritan Class
Sanctified Class
Sanctuary Class
Saul Class
Scapegoat Class
Sea Class
Seashore Class
Second Class
Second Company Class
Second Death Class
Secondary Class
Seed Class
Seeking Class
Select Class
Separate Class
Servant Class
Servants of the City Class
Sheep Class
Silver Class
Simon Magus Class
Sinner Class
Sister Class
Slave Class
Son Of Heaven Class
Special Class
Specific Class
Spirit-Begotten Class
Spiritual Adultery Class
Spiritual Class
Splendid Class
Spurious Class
Standfaster Class
Steward Class
Submerged Class
Subordinate Class
Subsidiary Class
Suitable Class
Superior Class
Swine Class
Tare Class
Tarried Class
Temple Class
'The Man in Linen' Class
'Thee' Class
Third Class
Tribulation Class
True Bride Class
True Wheat Class
Unfaithful Class
Unprincipled Class
Unsaved Non-Elect Infant Class
Unsuitable Class
Upper Class
'Us' Class
Vile Class Viper Class
Virgin Class
Watchman Class
Wheat Class
Wicked and Slothful Servant Class
Wicked Class
Winnowing Class
Wise Virgin Class
Worldly Class
Worst Class
Worthies Class
Zealous Class
Zerubbabel Class
Zionistic Class
What chaos! A total of 325 Classes (and more may be discovered - my sifting work is not quite completed; I am tarrying awhile), drawn only from the published writings of just the Watchtower's first president (including a handful drawn from his one "posthumous" work) - all OFFICIAL WATCHTOWER SOCIETY PUBLICATIONS. Bear in mind that:
"God is not the author of confusion" - 1 Cor. 14:33

And further - all these classes from the same person - the very founder of the Watchtower Society - who attacked the Catholic church for having classes! Here is what Lord Jesus Christ said to men like this shameful founder of the Watchtower Cult: "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." - Matthew 7:5

And here is the clear scriptural warning to brainwashed Jehovah's Witnesses, following as they do an insane, blasphemous, dangerous, wicked, mind-controlling, soul-destroying cult that is based on the teachings of the amazingly presumptuous HYPOCRITE (as proven above) Charles Taze Russell: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4

Spiritual Ponzi Scheme

Over the past couple of weeks as the Bernard Maddoff scandal has been unfolding I couldn't help but see the parallels between his ponzi scheme and the WT Society's behavior over its history. The WT Society and the Governing Body have perpetrated a scandalous spiritaul ponzi scheme on some of the most vulnerable members of our society and others who were just good hearted, idealistic people wishing to see a better world.
Just like Maddoff, the WT Society (and by extension the Governing Body):
1. created an "elite" club that could only be joined if you met certain very high standards and were invited to join
2. has always sought the implicit, blind trust of its "investors"
3. encouraged "investors" to invest all the fruits of their lives in the scheme
4. has known in their "heart of hearts" that the whole pitch was/is based on empty promises
5. has kept moving the "prize" so that it is always tantalizingly within reach
6. like many ponzi scheme perpetrators, perhaps started off with honest intentions but then had to twist, distort, and lie to keep the whole thing afloat
7. is remorseless for the uncounted ruined lives, shattered dreams, and stunted potential they have mercilessly imposed on the rank and file
8. will escape adequate justice for the swath of destruction they have left in the wake of their scheme

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Watchtower Study, January 11, 2009

Sadly, some who seemed to appreciate Jesus' sacrifice and made a dedication to God no longer associate with the Christian congregation. Discouragement, health problems, or other factors may have weakened their zeal and caused them to become inactive. However, only as part of God's flock can they enjoy the serenity and happiness that David spoke of in the 23rd Psalm. For instance, he sang: "Jehovah is my Shepherd. I shall lack nothing." (Ps. 23:1) Those in the flock of God lack nothing in a spiritual way, but that is not the happy lot of sheep who have strayed.

What's so interesting about this paragraph, is that the rank and file will not notice the oxymoron here. They claim that "only as part of God's flock can they enjoy the serenity and happiness that David spoke of..." while completely ignoring the fact that David himself was not a Christian, nor a Jehovah's Witness. They try and make Jehovah's Witnesses feel special by saying that only Witnesses are happy. No one else in the whole world is happy except Witnesses because they are busy attending meetings and going from door to door. Is this true? Of course it's not. Despite all his failings, David apparently enjoyed a good relationship with God without attending 5 meetings a week or knocking on doors Saturday morning. My god, he even had a beard!

It is really love that motivates Christians to as­sist inactive ones to return to the congrega­tion? Or is it just because it's a directive from the Governing Body? Is it not true that most things that Witnesses do that should come from the heart, are done mainly because the Governing Body tells them to do it?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Interview With Watchtower Attorney Hayden Covington

In 1978, Jerry Murray, a Jehovah Witness elder, interviewed Hayden Covington, the Watch Tower attorney who had a prominent role in legal matters for the Watch Tower Society before the U.S. Supreme Court. For those who have never heard this interview before,the Murray interview is seventy-five minutes long and now can be found on the following website, http://www.watchtowerdocuments.com/.

Scroll down to the year, 1978.
It's a great interview because Covington states little-known facts that I think anybody researching or studying Watch Tower history will appreciate. Helps to add some previously missing links to the history of the Rutherford years that only somebody on the inside like Covington would know about. Listen to him talk about who took Rutherford's body back to New York from San Diego and they all went first class.
Complete speculative quiry on my part, but it's fun: What if the coffin on that train was empty? After all, we should not forget when a visitor to Bethel asked Freddie in the 1980s, "Where is Rutherford buried?", he didn't hesitate and said, "In California!"

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Magazine for Witnesses

I came across a German magazine called "Erbrechet!".
("Erbrechet!" means "Vomit!" but sounds like "Erwachet!" which is the German title of "Awake!".)
Some of the best articles have been translated into English and publish those as a new magazine called "The Witchtower".
Here is the first issue:

The first issue covers the following topics:

Clothing – Is it for Christians?
Thinking – Be aware of the dangers!
Are you ready to fight for the sanctification of Jehovah’s name?
Young people ask: Kingdom Melodies – Are they for me?
Carnival Celebrations – How important for christians?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Straight From The Watchtower Magazine

From The Official web site of Jehovah's Witnesses:
Nowhere does the Bible command Christians to procreate. God told the first human couple and Noah’s family: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth.”
But this command was not repeated to Christians. (Genesis 1:28; 9:1)
Hence, married couples may decide for themselves whether they will raise a family, how many children they will have, and when they will have them.
The Scriptures, likewise, do not condemn birth control.
From a Biblical point of view, then, whether a husband and wife choose to use some nonabortive method of contraception is really a personal decision.

So, there we have it, commands in the Old Testament are meaningless if they are not repeated in the New Testament.

It makes one wonder why they reversed their teaching on vasectomy and say any brother who had one was not eligible to me a MS or Elder? If its the couple decision "and no one should judge them" why do they forbid it?

Isn't it clear that the Governing Body just makes this stuff up as they go along?

Here is a really ridiculous line of reasoning from the Watchtower:

1941 The prophetic picture seems to set forth the correct rule, to wit: The three sons of Noah and their wives were in the ark and were saved from the flood. They did not have any children, however, until after the flood. They began to have children two years after the flood. (Genesis 11:10,11) No children were taken into the ark and none were born in the ark, and hence none were brought out of the ark. Only eight persons went in and eight came out of the ark. (1 Peter 3:20; Genesis 8:18) That would appear to indicate that it would be proper that those who will form the "great multitude" should wait until after Armageddon to bring children into the world. (Children; 1941; 3,000,000 ed.; p. 312-313)

Oh, yeah! That makes sense!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 Memorial Invitation (Spanish)

Latest Jehovah's Witness Get Rich Quick Scheme

Thought you'd like to know about the latest fad rippling through the JW community. It is home-based get-rich-quick business offerings.
A WHOIS search at Network Solutions (http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp) shows the owner of the following websites. It turns out this owner is a well known Congregation Coordinator (aka Presiding Overseer).
Of course, nowhere in the greed-stirring online spiel is Jehovah mentioned, or all the advantages of living a contented life free of materialistic lust for more money. I wonder how many of his millions or billions he donates to the poor and hungry? (Yes, he does imply he is either a millionaire or a billionaire.) I wonder if he includes his get-rich advice in public talks for the benefit of "the brothers"?
Following is another link where, near the bottom of the page, the same elder is the point of contact to "GET RICH IN 2008." By the way, take a look at the name of this web site: dubbsmarketing.com. Is that irony, or what?
We should call the Watchtower Society and ask about this elder's "GET RICH IN 2008" plan and whether it is still good for 2009? Watchtower's phone number is: 1-845-306-1100. According to sources at Patterson, this elder was among early candidates for the new elder's school. Guess he's putting his new organizational and promotion training to good use. This is Witness marketing at a whole new level.