Monday, January 31, 2011

Watchtower praises the donation and feeding of blood as heroic

Sunday October 19, 1924 was tragic for the Kelty family. While traveling in San Bernardino, California their automobile left the highway sending its passengers careening down a 900 foot canyon. Mr. Kelty was killed instantly. Mrs. Kelty and her 5-year-old niece, Meredith survived but by the time they were discovered 3 days later both were near death from injuries and exposure.

Mrs. Kelty and Meredith were left helpless and immobile at the bottom of the canyon. During the crash Mrs. Kelty had suffered wounds that were bleeding. For sake of the child she intentionally kept her wounds open and bleeding to provide sustenance by having Meredith suck blood from her wounds.

It is more than ironic that in 1924 Watchtower taught Witnesses the heroism of donating blood to save life. Contemporary Watchtower policy is a diametric opposite. Today Watchtower doctrine condemns Witnesses as unfaithful if they conscientiously donate whole blood for transfusion or for accepting the same from others. Watchtower enforces this doctrinal position under threat of organized communal shunning.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kingdom Ministry School Program For Congregation Elders

Friday, January 28, 2011

Elder Rveals His Secret

Elder reveals his secret
January 28th, 2011

By “Shadow Elder, Jr.”

A few weeks ago, my father and I were out working together in the door-to-door preaching work. That morning only four of us showed up at the Kingdom Hall –my dad and I, and a married brother and sister. The other couple announced that they only had a little over an hour available for service and had some return calls to make. They would go off on their own while my dad and I would visit a territory a few miles away in a more rural area.

I am the youngest in my family. I was born into the Jehovah’s Witnesses, as was my father, and his father before him. Dad would not allow any of us to be baptized until we were at least sixteen years old, just to make sure that we truly wanted to dedicate our lives to Jehovah’s service. My oldest brother was baptized when he turned seventeen. My other brothers have not been baptized, although they do go to meetings and occasionally take part in field service. I was baptized the summer before I went to high school.

But back to my story…

My father silently chewed on his lower lip as we drove toward the territory. I could tell that something was definitely on his mind and he seemed troubled. I asked if he was feeling OK. I suggested that he might want to stop and get a cup of coffee before we started knocking on doors. He denied that anything was wrong, but agreed that a cup of coffee might do him some good.

One of our favorite little coffee shops was on the way. I’m not much of a coffee drinker. And when I do have a cup, I put so much sugar and creamers in it that I can barely taste the coffee itself. Then I find myself totally “wired” all day. But for some reason, I felt today was definitely a day when a coffee break was needed.

We sat at a little table off in a corner while we had our coffee and shared a cinnamon roll. Dad looked at me and then surprised me with “What do you think about going back to school? You always got decent grades in high school, and…” he paused, “I was wondering if you had any plans about going to college?”

“Gee, I don’t know, Dad,” I answered. “I haven’t really thought too much about it because I know the Society frowns on anyone going to college – especially a 4-year school. I don’t want to get into any trouble at the Kingdom Hall. After all, you’re an elder – I don’t want you to get into trouble either.”

Dad was deep in thought as he gazed over my head, watching people pass by the window of the coffee shop. He’d start to say something, but failed to form any words. I worried that he was going to tell me he had cancer or that my mother had some terrible disease. “Dad – what is wrong? Are you OK? Is everything OK?”

That’s when he told me that he was in mental turmoil. As an elder, he should have a strong faith in Jehovah and the Society, and set a good example as a faithful Witness. “Look, son – I’m having some doubts about things – mostly Watchtower teachings. I guess you know what that means and the problems that could cause our family, right?”

I was shocked. My dad having doubts? My dad? I had no idea. I sat silent as he tried to find ways to tell me how he felt and what exactly was bothering him.

“I’m not sure that the Governing Body and the rest of the Society are right about everything. I sometimes find it hard to believe that they are really being guided by Jehovah’s Holy Spirit. I have real problems with a few things they are doing and teaching right now.”

“Why are you telling me this now? How long have you felt this way?” I asked.

“Actually, I’ve been troubled in mind and spirit for quite a while. Sometimes I feel like a total hypocrite – feeling this way and still being an elder. I’m not sure that I should even be telling you this. But you are my son, and I trust you to keep this between us. If you don’t, you could destroy our family.”

Dad was becoming emotional. His normally robust voice was choked and he was blinking away tears. I knew at that very moment he was being totally honest with me.

“Look. I’ve been thinking. With the economy so bad right now, I’m thinking this might be a good time for you to go back to school and work toward getting a degree. You could continue living at home and your mom and I would provide for you. At least until you were able to get out on your own. I worry that you’ll miss the opportunity to go to school now while you still can – thinking that Jehovah will judge you harshly. But, you know, I just don’t believe it. I don’t think Jehovah wants his people to be uneducated. After all, I wouldn’t have the job I’ve got if I hadn’t gotten a degree. I went to night school all those years. I’d still be driving a truck or working in a warehouse somewhere if I hadn’t.”

Anyway, “to make a long story short,” that morning my dad and I never went to a single door. We just sat in that coffee shop and talked. We occupied that table for so long we had to order lunch to keep the waitresses from chasing us away.

That was the day I got to know my dad for real. In Jehovah’s Witness families, fathers are so totally into being “head of the household,” or “spiritual leader and example to the family,” that they will be very distant, cold, and often cruel to their kids. Even my dad could be that way at times – but I think he felt he had to act that way, even though his heart wasn’t in it. I sometimes feared my dad, but I always knew that he loved me – at least a little.

For a long time, my dad was really into being an “elder.” He was even a primary overseer for a while. But he asked to be relieved of that level of responsibility because of long hours at his job due to a promotion he got a few years back. I did notice that he seemed to have lost enthusiasm for going to meetings and in field service, but he’d force himself to go door-to-door at least once a week. He never turned down any assignments that he was given as an elder. I also knew that he really hated being on a “judicial committee.” I remember him coming home and locking himself in his bedroom – and then throwing up – after having to disfellowship a young JW sister earlier that day.

Now I knew that my dad was entering a new phase in his life as a Jehovah’s Witness. I found out that he turned the corner when he told me he had written an article on the Internet. “Yeah,” he said, “and it’s on an apostate’s web page!”

You could have knocked me over with a whisper. My dad? Writing an article for an apostate website? No freaking way! It was true, he said, but he thought it actually might do some good for other people who were also having doubts. “If they know that someone like me, a lifelong JW who’s an elder, has questions and concerns about the Truth, then maybe they will feel better about their own doubts and fears,” he told me.

“I doubt that anyone around here will figure out who I am, or what Kingdom Hall I go to, but you never know,” he said. “The guy who runs the web page promised to keep my identity private and to delete any of my emails after he reads them. I believe him and think he will protect my identity.”

“So exactly what did you write, Dad? I want to know!”

“I wrote about a lot of things. I wished I could have done more, but I think I touched on the main issues that were bothering me. I guess my number one issue is the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses, even elders like me, can’t ask too many questions. We can’t challenge anything the Watchtower leaders tell us. I can’t sit down and have a talk like this with another brother, even someone who has been a close friend all my life, without fearing that he will blab it all over the Kingdom Hall, creating gossip and dissension. I might even be disfellowshipped. How would I deal with your mother and the rest of our JW family members if that happened? I’m not ready for any of that - not as long as you’re still in school.”

“Does Mom know?” I asked. “Does she have any idea how you feel and that you have doubts? Does she know about the article you wrote?”

“No. No, and no,” he replied. “I don’t think your mom is ready to deal with any of this yet. I think that if I asserted my ‘husbandly authority’ over her, she would give in eventually. But right now? No. She’s not ready.”

We finally left the coffee shop and drove to a branch library nearby to use a computer they had available to the public. My dad logged into and showed me that they had thousands of visitors who wrote articles and comments about the Watchtower and about JW life. “I’ve learned more from that bulletin board than I ever did reading any Watchtower books. Here, let me show you my article.”

Then he logged into, typed “shadow elder” in the search box, and suddenly a link to an article appeared on the screen. “Look, the guy who runs it even put in a little picture of a shadow guy with a brief case walking in front of the factory in Brooklyn. I guess that’s supposed to be me. Hah! Now go ahead and read the article and tell me what you think.”

As my dad sat beside me and looked over my shoulder, I read through the article from top to bottom. In his story he covered a lot of subjects that included how the Governing Body makes decisions, what it’s like to go to a Witness funeral, and his feelings about how some apostates – and even Jehovah’s Witnesses – appear to outsiders. “Yes,” he said, “I’m afraid that some of the younger and angrier apostate writers might actually ‘stumble’ people INTO the Organization – instead of out of it – just because of the way they present themselves. Some of them are very angry. It shows in the way they write.”

He told me that he’d read comments about his article on “Yeah, a lot of people on that bulletin board thought I was a fake or that I was being unfair to apostates, and even to many Jehovah’s Witnesses who write poorly. They felt I was really full of myself and was being hateful to others. One person even called me a ‘typical JW elder’ because of my attitude. I think they missed my point, but I’m OK with their criticism. I have to admit that it hurt a little, but I think they meant well. At least I hope so.”

It was getting late. Mom called us on Dad’s cell phone. She was wondering where we were and what we were up to. Dad just told her that we were just enjoying the day together and would be home soon. For me, it was probably the most fun I’d ever had alone with my dad. That day I discovered he was very different than I’d imagined. He was still my dad – but for me he became my very special friend and confidant that day.

Dad and I still keep our little secret – at least for now. I am now going to the library at the junior college and checking out some of the “apostate web sites.” Dad was right – you really learn a lot of secret truth about the real story of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society. I try to read as much as I can – every chance I get.

A few weeks later I signed up for some classes in English, Spanish and Accounting at the community college. My dad got in a little hot water over that at the Kingdom Hall, but he just told the other elders that I was studying to become a “bookkeeper” and had to take those other classes as well. I’m not sure how I can go to a 4-year college without getting myself and my dad in trouble at the Kingdom Hall, but hopefully I will eventually find a way.

One thing changed for the better: Now I love going with my dad in the door-to-door preaching work. My mother has noticed my apparent enthusiasm for the preaching work – and so far hasn’t guessed the truth about what my dad and I are up to.

Another thing has changed as well: I’ve never been as close to another human being than I am now with Dad. I know that I will follow his lead, no matter where it takes us. If we stay in the Truth, then I guess that’s what we’ll do. But if Dad decides to disassociate and leave the “Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” then that’s what I will do as well.

Deep down – that’s what I’m hoping our final decision will be. I look forward to the day “I can be free to be me!” and escape the control of the Watchtower Society.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Changes In The Blood Doctrine Over The Years

There have been myriad changes to the blood doctrine:

1892 - The Watchtower's first mention of the blood issue. Russell's view was that the injunction at Acts 15 was a temporary measure to promote unity during the transition from the Jewish age to the Church Age (Watchtower 1/15, pp. 349-352).
1909 - Br. Russell comments on Acts chapter fifteen indicating his belief that observing the prohibition did not "MAKE THEM CHRISTIANS", but served to preserve the body of Christians and Gentiles.(Watchtower 4/15/09, p. 4374)
1919 - Clayton J. Woodworth becomes editor of the Golden Age Magazine (Watchtower 2/15/52, p. 128)
1923 - An article entitled "The Vaccination Fraud" begins the Watchtower's opposition to vaccination (Golden Age, 1/3, p. 211 #35). Sample quote: "When it has been shown conclusively that there is no such things as rabies." (Golden Age, 4/22, p.455, #15).
1925 - The man who frequently donates blood for transfusion is commended. (Golden Age, 7/29, p. 683, #52).
1929 - Vaccinations are again condemned: "Thinking people would rather have smallpox than vaccinations, . . . Hence the practice of vaccination is a crime, an outrage and a delusion . . . it has never saved a single life" (Golden Age, 5/1, p. 502, #40).
1931 - Vaccinations are a violation of the Eternal Covenant God made with Noah. (Golden Age 2/4/31, p. 293)
1931 - The Society acknowledges that Genesis nine and the "Eternal Covenant" is not really about eating blood. "All reasonable minds must conclude that it was not the eating of the blood that God objected to, but it was bringing the blood of the beast in contact with the blood of man." (Golden Age, 2/4, p. 294, #42).
1935 - Vaccination is a direct injection of animal matter in the blood stream and a direct violation of the law of Jehovah God. (Golden Age 4/24/35, p. 465) For seventeen years Witnesses refuse smallpox vaccination until the Society, after the death of Br. Woodworth, reverses the vaccination ban. As it turns out, the smallpox vaccine wasn't even manufactured from blood. During this period, many cartoons appeared in the Golden Age magazine showing things like piles of pock marked babies, damaged by vaccines. Other cartoons depicted "dope doctors" holding syringes labelled "puss." Today we can scarcely imagine just how incredible of a situation developed around this issue. Children were not able to attend school without a vaccination certificate, Witnesses could not leave or enter countries, and Witnesses in prison were placed in solitary confinement.
It's important to remember how serious a problem smallpox was at this time. In 1921 there were 100,000 cases of smallpox in the U.S. alone, with mortality as high as 40%. It is not known how many Witnesses suffered real physical harm or even death as a result of conforming to the Society's ban on vaccination.
1940 - Report of a doctor donating a quart of his own blood during an emergency. It was portrayed as heroic (Consolation, 12/25, p. 19, #53).
1945 - Blood transfusions and blood products are officially banned as "pagan and God-dishonoring." (Watchtower 7/1/45, p. 198-201)
1949 - Organ transplants are discussed as unobjectionable and "wonders of modern surgery." (12/22/49 - "Spare Parts for Your Body")
1951 - Clayton J. Woodworth, editor of the Golden Age/Consolation until it became Awake in 1946, passes away and is buried on December 18, 1951. (Watchtower 2/15/52, p. 128)
1952 - In a letter dated April 15, 1952, vaccinations, such as smallpox, are now officially allowed. Many Witnesses have already been taking them for a dozen years or so, and the Society has known that smallpox vaccination does not contain blood ever since being advised of this by a Witness named William Cetnar. It is certainly reasonable to speculate that the ban wasn't officially lifted until 1952 out of respect for Clayton J. Woodworth who was so strongly opposed to vaccines. Watchtower 12/15/52 P. 764
1953 - "Vaccinations are no longer considered feeding on blood and no longer considered related to sex relations. (Make Sure, P. 48, #47).
1954- Blood serums are not OK. "We are told that it takes one and a third pints of whole blood to get enough of the blood protein or "fraction" known as gamma globulin for one injection... its being made of whole blood places it in the same category as blood transfusions as far as Jehovah's prohibition of taking blood into the system is concerned."- Awake! 01/08/1954 p. 24
1958 - An answer to a "Questions From Readers" explains that an anointed sister should be allowed to partake of the emblems at the memorial if she has had a blood transfusion, reasoning that she is simply immature. (Watchtower 8/1/58, p.478)
1958 - Blood serums are OK. Important ruling on blood serums like diphtheria antitoxin and gamma globulin states that these may be used as a matter of personal judgment. (Watchtower 9/15/58, p.575)
1959 - Blood has to be poured out, therefore, it would be wrong to remove one's own blood, store it and later put it back. (Watchtower 10/15/59, p. 640)
1961 - Accepting blood or a banned blood product is made punishable by disfellowshipping. (Watchtower 1/15/61, p. 63-64)
1961 - Organ donation is a matter of conscience. (Watchtower 8/1/61, p. 480)
1961 - Personality traits, the impulses to commit murder and suicide are transmitted in the blood. (Watchtower 9/15/61, p. 564)
1963 - Blood serums are not OK. 1958 ruling is overturned. Any fraction of blood is now considered as a nutrient and forbidden. Ruling does not apply to vaccines. (Watchtower 2/15/63, p. 124) Note: Published comments from the WTS in 1961 had created much confusion about blood serums.
1964 - Blood serums are OK. Just 21 months later the position reverses again. This is the fourth complete reversal in seven years. (Watchtower 11/15/1964 pp. 680-3)
1964 - Witness doctors may administer transfusions to non-Witness patients. (Watchtower 11/15/64, p.682)
1966 - Blood transfusion is referred to as cannibalism (Watchtower, 7/1, p. 401, #57).
1967 - Organ transplants are now cannibalism. Another reversal. Organ donation is now strongly advised against. (Watchtower 11/15/67, p. 702)
1971 - The heart is not just a pump, it is linked to the brain through nerves and is the actual organ where affections, motivations, desires and emotions are literally formed. (Watchtower3/1/71, p. 133-135)
1974 - Another reversal on blood serums. They are once again a matter that must be left for each individual conscience, though the article seems to suggest that they are not such a great idea. (Watchtower 6/1/74, p. 352)
1975 - As to the treating of hemophilia with plasma factors the Society says that true Christians do not use this treatment, heeding the Bibles command to abstain from blood. (Awake 2/22, p.30, #74).
1975 - Four months later a reversal. The Governing Body decides that blood fractions for Hemophiliacs are acceptable as a matter of conscience. Beginning in the early 1970's brothers were told that they could accept a one time only treatment. Those phoning the Society after June 11th are told that they may make a personal decision about whether or not to use Factor VIII and IX. This policy will not become official for three more years. Those who have written about using factor VIII and IX are contacted directly by the society. Those who called by phone cannot be contacted and many die.
1975 - Those who accept organ transplants and blood transfusions may suffer a personality transplant as well. (Watchtower 9/1/75, p. 519)
1977 - Blood transfusions are now considered organ transplants, and parents must be allowed to refuse blood transfusion for their children. ( Jehovah's Witnesses and the Question of Blood, p.41)
1978 - A softer position on serums. They are apparently not a method of "sustaining life." Hemophiliacs now officially learn that may accept treatment with blood components or fractions, if they had called the Society they would already have learned this some 3 years before, if they didn't call, then they would not know. Witnesses may use heart-lung machines if primed with non blood fluids. (Watchtower 6/15/78, p. 30-31)
1980 - More new light on organ transplants. In a complete reversal, they are no longer to be considered cannibalism, and elders should not take judicial actions against a Witness who has one. (Watchtower 3/15/80, p. 31)
1980 - The Society is now setting up hundreds of HLC's or Hospital Liaison Committees. Lists of sympathetic doctors are kept, and the committees will endeavour to circumvent doctors of social service agencies who try to intervene on behalf of minors.
1982 - The Society introduces it's doctrine of major and minor blood components. Minor products are allowed, major ones are forbidden. Hemodilution is listed as objectionable. (Awake 6/22/82, p.25)
1984 - Bone marrow is discussed as a matter of conscience, but seems to be discouraged. (Watchtower 5/14/84, p. 31)
1984 - The Society quietly abandons the idea that literal heart is responsible for affections, motivations, desires and emotions. (Watchtower 9/1/84, p. 6)
1985 - AIDS is seized upon to give credibility to the Society's position on blood. (Watchtower 6/15/85, p. 30)
1988 - AIDS has become a world-wide problem the Society frequently sites as proof of the correctness of their doctrine, and claims that their policy has protected Jehovah's Witnesses from AIDS. They acknowledge that some 10,000 Americans with severe Hemophilia have been infected. What they fail to mention is that these individuals were infected because of treatment with Factor VIII and IX, which have been on the approved list for the past ten years or more. The Society's position was no protection at all for these Witnesses and several dozen will have contracted AIDS in this manner. (Awake 10/8/88, p. 11)
1989 - The Society appears to open the door to some intraoperative autologous transfusions. Though not mentioned by name, it is implied that use of scavenging techniques are permissible. (Watchtower 3/1/89, p. 30,31)
1991 - Witnesses are encouraged to rehearse what answers they will give if questioned by a judge. (KM - 3/91)
1992 - The Society tells us not to be concerned about whether or not food contains blood unless we have good reason to suspect that it does. (Watchtower 10/15/92, p. 30)
1994 - "Youths Who Put God First" - Article about Witness youths who have died as a result of the blood prohibition. (Awake 5/22/94, p.3-15)
Discussion of RH factor (made from blood serum). Article states that "this journal and it's companion have commented consistently on this matter." (Awake 12/8/94, p.27) Note the RH injection was absolutely forbidden until 1974, and still discouraged until 1978. Witnesses who receive this type of blood transfusion are typed and receive the same identifying wrist band as any other transfusion recipient.
1995 - A Witness may have his own blood transfused back into him under certain circumstances. Acute Normovolemic Hemodilution (ANH) and autologous blood salvage procedure (Cell Saver) are acceptable and involve brief storing of the blood outside of the body. (Watchtower 8/1/95, p. 30)
1997 - Elders encouraged to help and provide understanding for those who have accepted blood transfusions. In judicial cases elders will remember that love is the backbone of Christianity, and they will temper firmness with mercy. (Watchtower 2/15/97, p. 20)
1997 - Dan Sydlik, Governing Body member, fails to respond to a plea for assistance in reforming the blood issue. On February 23rd, the web site NEW LIGHT ON BLOOD, comes on line, and the reform movement begins to organize.
1997 - The Watchtower Society allows a Jehovah's Witness in Australia to accept a new therapy involving the transfusion of white blood cells. These are still listed as a prohibited blood product by the Watchtower. The procedure is called "autografting", which sounds more like transplants than transfusion, and the setting of leukapheresis is for CD34+, rather than usual granulocyte.
2000 - In the spring, Circuit overseers in the United States receive a letter instructing them to inform local bodies of elder not to disfellowship anyone who accepts blood transfusions. If their conduct becomes known and they are deemed unrepentant, they will be considered to have disassociated themselves.
2000 - In June the Watchtower institutes sweeping reforms of its blood policy. "...when it comes to fractions of any of the primary components, each Christian, after careful and prayerful meditation, must conscientiously decide for himself." This lays the foundation for members to accept oxygen carrying hemoglobin solutions. (Watchtower 6/15/00 p.29-31) Reports soon filter in from the media confirming the new policy on hemoglobin. In September it becomes evident that the WTS will permit the use of bovine hemoglobin.
2000 - In October the Journal of Medical Ethics publishes what amounts to a crushing defeat of the Watchtower's position in the medical ethics community. These groundbreaking articles open the door to the larger medical community.
2001 - In January the British Medical Journal (BMJ) publishes the article "Bioethical aspects of the recent changes in the policy of refusal of blood by Jehovah's Witnesses". The article is published online and extensive debate quickly ensues in the BMJ rapid response publishing system.
2004 - The June 15th Watchtower expands on the June 15, 2000 article. For the first time, the rank and file Jehovah's Witness learns that the single largest blood component (hemoglobin) is now permitted as a matter of personal choice. JW's have been using Polyheme and Hemopure where available in clinical trials as well).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Family ties cut for ex-Jehovah's Witness

A 24-year-old man has spoken of his sadness and frustration leaving the Jehovah's Witness which has resulted in him losing all contact with his family.

When Nathan Phillips decided to leave he was told by the elders that he would be disfellowshipped immediately.

He said: "It does make me feel very angry, not with the people so much and not with mum but the way the religion works."

The elders in Wells and his family have refused to comment about the issue.

Smoking and drinking

Nathan was disfellowshipped by the Jehovah's Witness in May 2009. Prior to this, he had stopped attending meetings for six months because he had stopped believing in the faith.

"My beliefs had changed; my views had changed - it just wasn't for me."

He had also taken up smoking and drinking.

Smoking goes against the rulings of the faith and although drinking alcohol is permitted, it is only allowed in moderation.

Each congregation of the Jehovah's Witness has a group of elders who are regarded as spiritually mature and are responsible for leading the congregation.

"I was called into a judicial committee of three elders.

"They sit in front of you like a panel and asked me questions to see if I had been smoking or drinking - basically they sent me out the room and when I came back in they said they'd decided to disfellowship me.

"Obviously I did explain to them about the impact this would have on my family but none of that was taken into consideration.

"It was a shock to begin with, and I hoped it would turn itself around, but they believe it so much I don't think it ever will."

'Upside down'

Nathan was brought up in the Jehovah's Witness faith and had been baptised at the age of 15.

After being disfellowshipped, all contact with his friends and his mother's side of the family ceased despite his efforts to stay in contact with them.

"It's turned my life upside down really. It's like losing your mum in a way because I have no contact at all.

"It affected my work and it took me quite a few months to get back on track but I've kind of got my head around the fact that's what it's going to be."

Now Nathan hopes to shed light about the religion.

"There's a lot of nice people in the witnesses, I'd never bad mouth them. Jehovah's Witnesses are very well-known for knocking on people's doors and for speaking to people out in the streets and they always come across as being very nice people.

"But what people don't realise is this part of it [disfellowshipping process] and how it goes on behind closed doors."

Wrong reasons

Nathan said he did not believe the situation would change and recently met with the elders.

"About three months ago I arranged a meeting with the judicial committee again and pleaded with them really that I was finding it very hard and thought that I could cope with it but couldn't and they said the only thing I could do was come back.

"Again I explained to them I was coming back for the wrong reasons and the only reason I wanted to come back was to be able to see my family but they said there was nothing they could do."

BBC Somerset asked his mother and family for a comment but they refused, as did the elders in Wells.

A spokesman for the Jehovah's Witness headquarters in London said Nathan's situation was a "private matter" between him and his mother.

But it is not just a "private matter" between mother and son. In the new elder book it says that contact with a disfellowshipped family member is cause for being disfellowshipped. This happens to many people who leave the organization. They cannot just leave. No, they have to be punished for leaving. A kind of theocratic blackmail. To add insult to injury, the organization calls shunning an act of "love".

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Unsubstantiated Gossip Passed Along By A Bible Student

The Bible Students say something big is about to happen at the London Bethel. The society lost a case with the London Supreme Court that dealt with a pedophile that was big in England. They wanted the pedophile to be able to go to the Kingdom Hall with an elder sitting with him. They lost the case. This man is one of the worst pedophiles in London.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2010 Worldwide Service Report in 2011 Yearbook

Some of the countries with no increase or with a negative number:

Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Czeck, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Lebanon, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland. Several other smaller islands, or small countries.

U.S. listed with 2% increase, but their numbers before "rounding up" would be 1.7%. U.S. avg. auxilary pioneers decreased 11.6% (so probable the reason for their new idea to do trial effort in April with lower hour requirement of 30). Memorial Attendance increased .6%, Baptisms increased 1%.

I'll try to post a scan later.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

April 15, 2011 Watchtower

Page 11, Paragraph 11 states:
"If a brother has been baptized at least one year and to a reasonable degree meets the Scriptural qualifications for ministerial servants outlined at 1 Timothy 3:8-13, he can be recommended for appointment." Didn't Paul specifically warn against appointing a "newly converted man"? Paul, of course, was referring to elders, but the Watchtower usually groups Ministerial Servants in with that scripture.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Secret Call From Bethelite Hiding In Closet At Bethel

This is a little long and it takes about 15 minutes of listening to the woes of a sister who recently left for it to really get going. But it is well worth the listen. The Bethelite lets us know that everything is not so rosy at headquarters.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Watch Out For "Brother Paul"

Police: Man scammed elderly woman
By ANDREW GANT, Staff writer
December 10, 2010 12:05 AM

A Crescent City man scammed a DeLand woman out of more than $250,000 after knocking at her door with a Bible in hand, according to an arrest report released Thursday.

Francis L. Paul III, 46, was charged Wednesday with exploitation of an elderly person after a more than four-month investigation by DeLand police.

Paul fooled the 84-year-old woman into signing away her savings and stock holdings -- totaling about $255,000, according to the report.

Detective David Hiers wrote that the woman -- who is not being named because she is vulnerable -- was willing to sign several blank pieces of paper he handed her without explanation.

"It became apparent that (she) could be talked into signing anything," Hiers wrote.

A son visiting from California discovered the thefts in July and reported them to police, the report states.

The Department of Children & Families declared the woman mentally incompetent and police said she "suffers from the infirmities of aging."

Police said Paul -- who also goes by the name Francis P. Lipani III -- "showed up at (the woman's) door one day with a Bible in his hand" and befriended her. In an interview with police, the woman said she "liked him and was comfortable around him" and signed some papers he provided so they could "go into the lawn business together."

Subpoenaed documents from several banks -- Paul used at least seven, investigators said -- showed the beneficiary on many of Paul's accounts was theWatchtower Bible and Tract Society, an organization of Jehovah's Witnesses.

His arrest report listed his occupation as a salesman.

Paul posted $15,000 bail Wednesday at the Volusia County Branch Jail, an official said. The phone number on his arrest report was disconnected.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

BOE LTR Dec 26, 2010 "Increased Activity April 2011"

Re: Increased activity during April 2011

Dear Brothers:
Serving Jehovah is the greatest privilege that we could possibly have. With good reason, the faithful and discreet slave has long encouraged Christians to involve themselves in the ministry, even serving “more fully” whenever possible. (1 Thess. 4:1) We wish to commend you for the loyal support and diligent efforts you put forth in sharing the “good news of the Kingdom.” (Matt. 24:14) The 2010 service year report is evidence that Jehovah’s people are ‘offering them-selves willingly’ in his service.—Ps. 110:3.

It is encouraging and comforting to remember that Jehovah accepts our whole-souled service prompted by a cheerful heart. [Read 2 Corinthians 9:7.] Even so, our circumstances may prevent us from doing all that our hearts yearn to do in serving him. How we appreciate Jehovah’s assurance that he values the unselfish service of each of his faithful servants. More than anyone else, he understands our limitations. What does Jehovah expect? He expects something that all of us, regardless of our situation in life, can offer: “Whatever you are doing, work at it whole-souled as to Jehovah, and not to men.” (Col. 3:23) To better understand the principle, consider the example of Mary, the sister of Lazarus, and that of the poor widow who contributed two small coins. Mary demonstrated her deep love for Jesus by pouring “very expensive” perfumed oil on his head and feet. (Mark 14:3; John 12:3) On the other hand, the poor widow dropped “two small coins, which have very little value” into the treasury chest. (Mark 12:41, 42) Was one woman more devoted than the other? No. Both women did what they could, and both are portrayed favorably in the Bible record. In God’s eyes their gifts, though of differing value from a human perspective, represented whole-souled service.

In an effort to increase the praise and honor to Jehovah and Jesus Christ at the time of the Memorial, the Governing Body has arranged for a special period of increased activity during April 2011. (km 2/11 p. 1) Perhaps you have taken the opportunity to auxiliary pioneer in the past during the Memorial season. Or maybe you have long had the desire to share as an auxiliary pioneer, but your situation prevented you from fulfilling this goal. You will be pleased to learn that during April 2011, publishers who wish to serve as auxiliary pioneers may indicate on the application whether they will be working toward a 30-hour or 50-hour requirement for the month. This is a special arrangement for the month of April 2011 only. Additionally, if the circuit overseer is visiting your congregation in April, all who are serving as auxiliary pioneers, whether with a 30-hour or a 50-hour requirement, are invited to attend the entire meeting the circuit overseer has with the regular pioneers.


Re: Increased activity during April 2011
December 26, 2010
Page 2

What will you do with this special opportunity? We urge each one to prayerfully contemplate whether he can expand his ministry during April by serving as an auxiliary pioneer. No doubt you will agree that exerting ourselves vigorously in the ministry during the Memorial season is an excellent way for us to honor Jehovah and Jesus Christ. (Luke 13:24; Heb. 13:15) We believe this will be an especially good time to auxiliary pioneer, since the month of April has five Saturdays. It is our hope that with good organization and planning, many more—both older and younger ones—will be able to “taste” the privilege of serving as auxiliary pioneers during this special period. (Ps. 34:8) May our resolve be that of the psalmist who stated at Psalm 145:21: “The praise of Jehovah my mouth will speak; and let all flesh bless his holy name to time indefinite, even forever.”
Your brothers,

Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses

cc: Traveling overseers


Re: Increased activity during April 2011
December 26, 2010
Page 3

PS to body of elders:
It is the desire of the Governing Body that all publishers learn of this special arrangement during the same week. To that end, the Governing Body has directed that the letter be read to the congregation following the Watchtower Study for the week of January 10-16, 2011. It should also be read at the following Service Meeting. Thereafter, it should be posted on the in-formation board. This postscript should not be posted on the information board.

In the majority of congregations, the letter will first be read on Sunday, January 16. If your congregation’s Watchtower Study is scheduled earlier in the week, you may read the letter whenever your Watchtower Study is held. If the congregation will be attending a circuit assembly that weekend, the letter will be read by the district overseer at the end of his concluding talk. If a special assembly day is scheduled, the visiting speaker will read the letter at the conclusion of the program. If your congregation has the visit of the circuit overseer, he will read the letter following his concluding service talk. No changes are being made in the qualifications to serve as an auxiliary pioneer. Neither are any changes being made to the Application for Auxiliary Pioneer Service (S-205b). When announcing the names of those whom the Congregation Service Committee approved to serve as auxiliary pioneers during April, no mention should be made of the hour requirement they have selected. Likewise, when reporting to the branch office the activity of the auxiliary pioneers for April, no distinction in hour requirement should be made.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011