Convention gimmicks, trinkets and souvenirs – If the end is truly ‘imminent’, why waste time on them?
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Two sisters show off their haul of souvenirs from an international convention

Two sisters show off their haul of souvenirs from an international convention

If ever you find yourself at a loose end with some time to kill, I highly recommend scrolling through the “jw_witnesses” account on instagram.

Scanning the heavily manicured pages of JW.org is one thing, but if you want a more realistic glimpse into the bizarre (and often troubling) world of Jehovah’s Witnesses, this web resource is as good as it gets.

Of particular interest is the array of photos showing the souvenirs that have been created and distributed for delegates at international conventions.

Then there are the various images showing elaborate painted backdrops and vintage cars emblazoned with ‘theocratic’ slogans, all apparently put on show simply to give convention delegates a gimmicky photo opportunity.

Here are some examples…

As someone who spent more of his life in this religion than I now care to admit, it all seems rather perplexing. Just how can all the time and money invested in gimmicks, trinkets and souvenirs be justified by an organization that claims the end of the world is “imminent?”

Don’t forget the aim of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as emphasized by this year’s convention (and ironically emblazoned on many of the souvenirs) is to “seek first the kingdom.” Precisely how is this goal achieved by spending hours making elaborate pendants and fancy bookmarks for convention delegates when 7 billion non-Witnesses around the world are in line for wholesale annihilation at any moment?

“Ah, but none of this is sanctioned by the organization. This is just the work of a few over-enthusiastic individuals” – some of you may retort.

If only that were true.

Watch the JW.org video below, particularly from 0:28 to 1:34, and try to tell me that the making of souvenirs for international conventions does not have Watchtower’s approval and oversight…

Then look at the image below (which can be enlarged by clicking on it), and try telling me that this letter from the Hospitality Committee of the 2014 London International Convention, posted to a congregation notice board as far back as January, does not urge brothers to spend their time making gifts with a “theocratic or London-based theme.”

hospitality

If you read the above letter you will notice that no less than 2,321 volunteered to make “memorabilia” for one convention alone. Imagine the total number of hours that were lavished by all these people stitching, gluing or painting the initials “JW” on whatever paraphernalia they could get their hands on.

And lest we forget, none of this is for the benefit of non-Witnesses who are awaiting divine execution for their unbelief, or even for regular Witnesses who happen to be attending the event. As the above letter expressly states, the souvenirs are intended for distribution to “delegates from other lands.”

As a recent JWsurvey article pointed out, those who are willing to spend big bucks on a week-long stay in a Watchtower-approved hotel are treated like rock stars. The usual rules and protocols, particularly governing ‘worldly’ music in kingdom halls, go out of the window if there are well-heeled brothers and sisters to be entertained.

Indeed, according to the above letter there was no shortage of volunteers at this year’s London International Convention to provide such entertainment.

But eyebrows must be raised among thinking Witnesses who are sincere in their beliefs. How is it possible to explain the veneration of a wealthy elite of worshippers in this way? And how can “Jehovah’s organization” commission the devoting of so much time and energy for the making of cheap paraphernalia when, according to the Governing Body, the clock is ticking and billions of lives are at stake?

 

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144 Responses to Convention gimmicks, trinkets and souvenirs – If the end is truly ‘imminent’, why waste time on them?

  1. Lydia says:

    The whole trinket thing does seem out of character for the organization. My hubby and I were wondering if it’s a distraction technique. After all, some of the signs were celebrating the fact that it’s 100 yrs of “theocratic rule”…100 yrs since 1914. Could it be a distraction like “Yay, it’s 100 yrs of theocratic rule!” instead of “oh boy, 100 yrs have dragged on since 1914…our predictions were so off base…we hope no one notices”?

  2. life's about choices says:

    Exactly cedars…anon I sadly think youve missed the point.
    these small silly things are important.
    could we have imagined jesus holding a field service group prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and saying ” now remember my children, any spare time you have please use wisely in making trinkets and gizmos for the survivors”?…
    Sadly it seems that in an effort to keep ones interested rather than straying , worldly influences have crept in….
    the simple time tested question we were all asked was
    “Would jesus do this?”
    exactly!!!!!

  3. kat says:

    Lydia that was a a very interesting observation and probably true.

    After all, some of the signs were celebrating the fact that it’s 100 yrs of “theocratic rule”…100 yrs since 1914. Could it be a distraction like “Yay, it’s 100 yrs of theocratic rule!” instead of “oh boy, 100 yrs have dragged on since 1914…our predictions were so off base…we hope no one notices”?”

  4. Ted says:

    Nit picking, Not a good analogy to describe the exposing of
    inconsistencies in this organizations conduct, though to some, the inconsistencies may seem minor.

    A nit is, the “Egg of a louse, or other parasitic insect
    especially the head louse” (Common among school children), My mother would spend hours keeping the heads
    of us four kids free of these parasites, she would use special
    soap, fine tooth combs, but the only sure way was to look
    through the hair and Pick these things out, we would
    protest, we didn’t like it, but we we’re never shamed at
    school as being the scource of any infestation.

    Is it something trite, to create a “Carnival atmosphere”
    around the assemblies?, (There’s stalls with free gifts,
    Come on and have the time of your life,) when at the same
    time they’re hinting at a global “Holocaust” (could this be
    our last memorial before the system ends,) “Holocaust” is
    their own word, Awake, 8/22/1984.

    Years ago in the ministry, I was told by a clergy man that
    we were like the Nazi party, at that time I couldn’t see the
    connection, If nit picking exposes hypocrisy and nastiness
    I’m all for it, let’s have more.

  5. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    On the SOUVENIRS, is anything like the following written on them:
    1. (Judges 16:1) . . .One time Samson went to Gaz′a and saw a prostitute there, and he went in to her. . .
    2. (Zephaniah 2:4) . . .For Gaz′a will be an abandoned city;. . .
    3. (Zechariah 9:5) . . .Gaz′a will feel great anguish,. . .

    I hope the Watchtower does not tell us that What I see in Gaza was foretold by prophets before.

  6. Rosie says:

    RE Excelsior’s comment;

    “A teenage JW wedding” – yet another repercussion of Watchtower’s control and repression in allowing it’s young members to grow and be free to blossom into maturity. I feel very very sad that a young (and inexperienced in life) JW thinks they must choose marriage as a way to become their own person and also as the only way they can satisfy the hormones that are only natural at that age.

    Recently I attended a “worldly wedding;” the bride and groom were around 30+ yrs old and had been in a relationship together for several years. (Not one where courtship must be carried out under the eagle eye of a chaperone). Thus, the step of marriage was not chosen to satisfy “lustful needs”.

    I couldn’t help but contrast this wedding with other JW weddings that I once attended many years ago.

    The bridal party arrived at the barn (not a KH – so much more welcoming!), where the wedding ceremony was being held, in the brides VW camper Van, (no need to be pretentious). As the bride arrived, her sister played a sweet and simple love song on the guitar. (no requirement for Kingdom Melodies). The lady Registrar, (not a suit clad smarmy Elder), wearing a casual trouser suit (a no-no for JW women) performed a short, simple and dignified non-religious service. (No Bible required).

    Throughout the entire wedding, the focus was upon family and the closeness between all family members and even those sick and unable to be present, were still remembered.

    The wedding favours laid at each guests place-setting were little cards with a message of a donation that had been given to a cancer charity. With Cedars latest post in mind, it made me wonder if the trend for wedding favours at JW weddings will soon be for little cards or hand-made JW-Org inscribed trinkets with donations made to Watchtower on behalf of the wedding guest?

  7. gary says:

    Young Jehovah’s witness minds do ur self’s a favour. If you don’t believe it’s “the truth” fair enough. Understood. Don’t become a ‘Methademic’.

  8. skywalker says:

    @ Cedars, about your comment on believing in God, as an R&D engineer, it seems absolutely impossible to me that all the complexity, diversity,interdependence and functionality of the living world came about through the simple process of mutation and natural selection. Scientists are as zealous and fanatical in their faith in evolution as any religious believer. As to why there is so much violence, evil and injustice in the world, nature, from the tiniest creature to the top of of the food chain, (US) is a struggle for existence, kill or be killed. Maybe God created it that way to amuse himself . If everything was peace and happiness all the time, it would be too boring

  9. skywalker says:

    just one example, pit vipers have infrared sensing organs capable of detecting differences of around 0.001 degC to catch their prey. Even the cleverest guys at NASA can’t come up with anything anywhere near that sensitive.
    The product of blind accidental evolution or designed for a purpose, to find warm furry tasty little meals in the dark?
    Romans 1;20 God’s invisible qualities are clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,in the things that have been made.

    • Cedars says:

      skywalker – you seem to be latching on to a reply I made to another poster who asked me whether I believed in God, to which I replied, “In answer to your question, I now base my beliefs solely on evidence. If someone can show me evidence that a supreme being exists who is interested in the minutiae of our lives, including what we do with our genitalia and with whom, while allowing 9 million children to die every year before they reach the age of 5, I would be happy to look at it.”

      By failing to satisfactorily answer anything I have said above, but rather imposing your ignorance regarding evolution (which wasn’t even up for discussion), you are making a blatantly off-topic remark.

      That said, I love a bit of fun and I can’t let some of the ridiculous things you’ve said off the hook so easily. My absolute favorite of your comments is this…

      “just one example, pit vipers have infrared sensing organs capable of detecting differences of around 0.001 degC to catch their prey. Even the cleverest guys at NASA can’t come up with anything anywhere near that sensitive.”

      Your problem with this is not that it absolutely fails to disprove evolution, because the validity of evolution is not predicated on how complex organisms can become. Your problem is that it disproves the very book (the bible) I assume you are trying to defend.

      By all means look up Genesis 1:29-30 (which describes how all living things were created as vegetarians), and explain to me how God originally designed and made the pit viper with sophisticated infra-red technology for deployment in seeking and hunting down… what, warm turnips?

      The intelligent design argument has been repeatedly overturned time and again through logic, reason, and our growing understanding of how the natural order works. Nature doesn’t work from the top down, it works from the bottom up. If an organism needs a certain attribute in order to survive in its environment it can and will evolve that attribute through successive generations given vast amounts of time and the right combination of mutations. If you haven’t been listening, that is nobody’s fault but yours.

      As to this comment: “Scientists are as zealous and fanatical in their faith in evolution as any religious believer.”

      This comment is completely without foundation and easily disproved. Watch the video clip below (from 4:52)…

      http://youtu.be/VyZjX2e7Kx8?t=4m52s

      In case you missed it, Ken Ham was asked “What if anything would ever change your mind?” Ham answered by saying, “Well the answer to that question is, I’m a Christian…” before rambling on in an answer that ultimately left the impression that nothing could sway him from his beliefs, not even hard evidence. Bill Nye (advocating science) answered by saying “we would just need one piece of evidence.” In other words, far from being “zealous and fanatical,” Nye was willing and eager to bend his views if evidence made this necessary. How does this correspond with your assertion that scientists are under the spell of “faith,” which according to Hebrews 11:1 is belief without evidence, or belief in “realities that are not seen?”

      To put it another way… the other day I saw a meme on Facebook of a church sign that read “Evolution is a lie!” Some witty person had printed out a response and pasted it to the sign, which read something like, “If you have evidence to disprove evolution, write it down, get it peer reviewed, and collect your Nobel prize.” The point is hopefully obvious. Evolution stopped being open for debate a long time ago. It is scientific fact, and observable in the world around us. If you can disprove it, this would be a major scientific breakthrough! But the fact that nobody CAN disprove it, only take pot shots at it from ignorance that is largely imposed on them by religion, should speak volumes.

      As to your remark that a loving God lets 9 million children die every year before they reach the age of 5 because “if everything was peace and happiness all the time, it would be too boring,” I will let that vulgar comment stand on its own merits.

  10. skywalker says:

    Yes I guess my comment was a bit off topic so I apologize for that. What I meant in commenting on your reply to the question, is that just because there is so much evil in the world such as” 9 million children dying every year before age 5″, that does not prove there is no creator or supreme being. I was saying that it is possible that the world was created just the way it is , evil and all. I’m not defending the bible, I view it as a collection of religious propaganda containing some historical context and some incredibly insightful philosophical wisdom. It took a while but I have unlearned the JW mindset that “all scripture is inspired of God”. What I meant by quoting Rom 1;20 is that the the personality of the creator (if there is one) is revealed in his creation as a whole, in other words all of nature, which evolutionists see as “survival of the fittest” I did not mean it to be vulgar, but my comment that peace and happiness might be ” too boring” from Gods point of view is that we should keep an open mind as scientists, engineers, spiritual searchers or others, as to motivation a hypothetical creator might have had for creating the violent world we live in.

    • Cedars says:

      I’m glad you have at least figured out that the bible isn’t to be taken literally, but I’m afraid you’ve still got one foot in the JW mindset. The issue of the evil in the world precluding a loving God and the validity of evolution as actual confirmed science are two completely different subjects, which you seem intent on merging together. For example, you can have a deist God who did play some role in creating the universe, including the mechanisms that produced life on our planet, but even if you make that assumption you have ALL your work still ahead of you to insist that this God created the entire cosmos with planet earth and our species in mind, that he cares who we have sex with and in what position, what we eat or don’t eat, or whether we partake in certain rituals or observances. The deaths of 9 million children every year before they reach the age of 5 doesn’t preclude the idea of a deist god, but it certainly at least raises serious doubts about the existence of a theist God who is a caring custodian of our world. To allow such carnage, a God would need to be either impotent or indifferent.

  11. skywalker says:

    As far as I can see, yes,the evil and injustice in the world does preclude a loving God. There is no moral argument that can justify it, especially the JW and bible version of it being because a talking snake convinced a stupid woman to eat a piece of fruit. Having looked at the issue carefully and objectively, as someone who is scientifically literate, the theory of evolution simply does not explain how we got here satisfactorily either so we are left with the question, Were we created by some intelligence and if so, for what purpose? It’s very difficult to separate the two issues.
    JW’s are dogmatic and have closed minds and so those of us who have moved on from that mindset should be careful not to fall back on that way of thinking.

    • Cedars says:

      “the theory of evolution simply does not explain how we got here satisfactorily either”

      The theory of evolution DOES satisfactorily explain how all present forms of life have evolved over millions of years. Abiogenesis is another matter entirely, and anti-scientists who try to denigrate evolution are very fond of lumping the two together. Abiogenesis is NOT proven, answers are still being sought for how life might have arisen spontaneously, but we get nowhere by presupposing that the ONLY answer must be that life originated directly from a divine source simply because an ancient book tells us so.

      “so we are left with the question, Were we created by some intelligence and if so, for what purpose? It’s very difficult to separate the two issues.”

      It’s easy to separate the two issues. If life on earth was caused by an intelligent originator of the universe, evolution confirms this “creation” as being indirect and unintentioned at best – especially if it turns out that life is thriving beyond our planet (something we have yet to establish). As to the question “what is the purpose of life,” this is actually a non-question, in that it presupposes that life has a purpose. If I admire a beautiful cloud formation, I can ask “what forces created those shapes?” but I can’t ask “what purpose does it serve?” because there is no purpose to it. Those are just clouds that find themselves in a particular formation.

      Getting comfortable with the idea that we can’t survive our own death and that the purpose of your life is whatever you decide can be quite sobering, but I promise you – it’s worth it.

  12. Sara Shelton says:

    You really are peculiar,you “don’t want anything” to do with the organization,but that’s all you concern yourself with,even with the things that has nothing to do with their beliefs,things all friends do for one another… Give gifts?? Obsessed much?

    • Cedars says:

      “You really are peculiar” – I agree, but at least I don’t believe that 7 blokes in New York are God’s earthly representatives just because they say so. Peculiar I am, gullible I am not.

      “you ‘don’t want anything’ to do with the organization,but that’s all you concern yourself with” – I don’t recall ever saying I don’t want anything to do with exposing the harm, deception and hypocrisy of the organization. Not wanting to be a part of the organization itself is something else entirely. Do you need me to draw a diagram?

      “even with the things that has nothing to do with their beliefs,things all friends do for one another… Give gifts?? Obsessed much?” – This particular issue has everything to do with the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As I explained, JWs believe Armageddon will strike at any moment, that time is of the essence, and that the preaching work is of the utmost urgency. If the making of souvenirs were a personal thing undertaken by individual JWs under no instructions from Watchtower that would be one thing, but hopefully I have proved beyond reasonable doubt that this is not the case.

  13. Sardec says:

    Preferably the diagram would contain the measurements of the great pyramid and Pleiades constellation. Along with a representation of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s supposed dream.

  14. Cedars says:

    To Les Hoy – please stop trying to post anti-science creationist propaganda on this site.

    This is your final warning. Try it again and you will be blocked from posting.

  15. Les Hoy says:

    I am not posting anything “anti” at all, but if we are to form our own understanding through our own critical thinking then let’s see both sides of the coin.
    I fail to see Cedars why you can post your own philisophical understanding by posting short clips of videos… (without seeing the WHOLE video debate?) and if this is what your site is about then it is all about YOU!
    ….. yet others are not allowed to have their own analysis and critical thinking to formulate their own understanding?

    ….isn’t what you are doing exactly what The Watchtower is doing and continues to do ? so if i don’t accept exactly how you say it is ……….. i am shunned !!

    • Cedars says:

      I was asked a question by a commenter to this article, and I answered it succinctly.

      I was cross-examined on that question by skywalker, and he made a number of arguments/observations that I felt inclined to address.

      The links you tried to post twice were indeed anti-science – creationist propaganda endorsed by the likes of Ken Ham who was utterly defeated in the debate I pointed skywalker’s attention to – and anyone is welcome to find the full debate for themselves on YouTube.

      Compare me to Watchtower, the Governing Body, Satan, Hitler, I don’t care. Ken Ham and his creationist pseudo-science does not get equal time on a website that is dedicated to pointing people towards verifiable truth.

      As I said earlier… if you have evidence to disprove evolution you can write it down, get it peer reviewed, and collect your Nobel prize. You don’t get to bypass this requirement by spamming JWsurvey with links to creationist sites, thus making this website a vehicle for Ken Ham and his cronies. No way.

      Any more complaints? Feel free to post one and see what happens.

  16. Les Hoy says:

    Dear Cedars,
    the link i was posting was simply giving BOTH sides to the questions for anyone to evaluate themselves with their own critical thinking and free to agree or disagree in their own minds.

    but it seems that if anyone does not agree entirely with YOUR philosophical understanding grown by your own experiences and issues ………. they are shunned.
    I thought this was a site to have free thinking, i was wrong!

    well folks i am free and therefore i can leave this site.

    Thankyou all who have added to my Life and those i still continue to write to. I will spend my time doing what i should be doing.
    God bless you all.

    • Cedars says:

      The creationist video you were trying to promote wasn’t trying to give “both sides” as you put it. It was a product of “Living Waters Publications,” AKA Ray Comfort – the worst of the worst when it comes to promoters of creationist pseudo-science. Like seemingly all of Ray Comfort’s productions, the film (called “Evolution Vs God”) features Ray Comfort poking a microphone in the faces of atheists and agnostics, probing them with questions, keeping all the bits that make them look startled and confused, and editing out any comments or answers that show him up for the fool he is.

      If Ray Comfort, denier of evolution and believer in a 6,000-year-old Earth, is your idea of the benchmark in critical thinking, then you clearly don’t know what critical thinking is.

      Anyway, you ignored my warning, complained and threw your tantrum, so off you go. I will block you anyway since you have shown a willingness to spam us. If you ever feel like coming back to us and NOT trying to hijack the site as a vehicle of creationist propaganda, by all means send me an email and I’ll get you unblocked.

  17. Patrice says:

    This site is being used by some to push their own views, which of course they are entitled to. But most of us are simply here to be informed and to re affirm our reasons for wanting to break free from lies and deceit. I for one am not looking for another religion to follow or scientific idea, evolutionism etc etc. I am here because I was brain washed for twenty years, and still feel controlled by this organisation. Every little bit of information Cedars prepares and presents is ………setting me free. Please dont have a go at him. He is not interested in you following him. He is just able to reveal truth and lies to us. That is all. The end.

  18. jw says:

    To All JW’s this site is owned by apostate! leave this site!!

  19. kat says:

    goodbye the jw! don’t you know your disobeying your GB rulers, how hypocritical of you.

  20. Patrice says:

    @jw

    What are YOU doing mmmmmmmmm. Having a peep, ooooooohhhhhhhh. Then ordering everyone off it. Ahhhhhhhh flee to the mountains. This is what I have escaped. People telling me what I can and cant do, look at, even feel. Do you think I’m going to listen to you. Jehovah is watching yoooooooooo.

  21. skywalker says:

    John,you obviously believe very strongly in evolution, whereas I have come to a different conclusion, we are all entitled to believe what we choose to. I respect your philosophy, it does make sense, there are some aspects I agree with, some I don’t. Biblical creationists really do give the whole scientific concept of creation a bad name unfortunately. Life doesn’t necessarily have to have an overarching purpose, but it would be nice to know why mankind has made such a mess of things here on earth.
    As far as surviving after our own deaths, if it happens I’ll deal with it when it happens, and if not, I wont know anyway.

    • Cedars says:

      Thanks skywalker. You have been very civil despite me giving you a good roasting. I apologize if I was unduly forthright.

      I’m afraid it’s not so much a case of “believing” in evolution as accepting it as the reality it is. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, though abiogenesis is far from proven, evolution became proven and observable a long time ago. The fact that it is called a “theory” in the scientific sense doesn’t make it any less true or provable than, say, gravitational theory. Unfortunately there are people well into this 21st Century who continue to rally against it for religious reasons, Watchtower included. I won’t bend my knee to creationists by shying away from discussing evolution as factual, because I believe in telling it like it is no matter how unpopular my words might be.

      It’s worth remembering that evolution does not necessarily preclude religious belief, as there are many people who embrace the reality of evolution while still maintaining a belief in God as a prime mover.

      Of course, if you or anyone else wish to present evidence that disproves evolution, you all have the JWsurvey email address (on our contact page). On receipt of this evidence I will not only recant my heresy but make sure whoever sends the information gets their Nobel prize.

  22. Excelsior says:

    Folks,
    John is being balanced in his response. He removed my pro evolution comment with the same fairness as he removed some pro creationist comments.

    I am not complaining, John. It’s your site and your rules and I respect your decision.

    My last paragraph called on us all to concentrate on our shared goal of exposing the truth about the WTBTS. There are victims of child abuse, domestic abuse and cruel shunning that should be our concern. It is of great comfort to me that folks who believe in Creation and those who do not can unite on this site and work together to effect change. I will work with any right hearted person to see success in our goals.

    Thanks for your site, John. I appreciate your hard work and your fair and enlightened stance.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  23. Ted says:

    Posting to trumpet ones own ideology is a distraction from the
    real objective, Karen Morgan had the right motive for going
    public, She hoped telling of her experience would prevent others
    suffering the same abuse, and said she would never give up
    trying to bring about changes in that organization.

    If such determination is to be wrongly labelled as “Obsessive”
    then it’s the Obsessives we have to thank for bringing about
    some of the most beneficial changes to human society.

    Many who contribute to this site have personal experience of
    either use or abuse, or both, through being involved with the
    W,T, Organization, and hopefully their experiences can help
    others see through it, and avoid any distress.

    Very recently I was speaking to a young woman who was brought
    up as a J,W, She was visibly upset in telling me her family would
    not speak to her, She said I haven’t done anything immoral, I
    Just don’t believe it anymore and the elders got involved and now
    they (Her family) won’t have anything to do with me. – I know her
    family very well and they’re very good people,

    It’ s just the insidious poisonous indoctrination that affects the
    mind, causing people to do cruel and inhuman things and it
    needs exposing, with a determination, and without being
    sidetracked.

  24. Excelsior says:

    Ted,

    I agree with you about not being sidetracked.

    However, if there is compelling evidence that calls into question the very Deity that the WTBTS claims tells them to cover up child abuse, domestic abuse and shunning, then it is a fit topic for discussion.

    I will limit my comments on evolution to articles that discuss that topic. Then, folks will know what the topic is, and can decide if they want to read it or not.

    We all want positive change and an end to the cruel rule of the GB. We can and will work together to achieve our goal.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  25. JW-4EVER!!! says:

    Cedars is more cerebral when it comes to the nuances of JW theology than most JW’s are. His mission is to expose the inconsistencies and hypocrisy of the organization. I believe in that pursuit it may awaken a greater interest in many of us of knowing more about our beliefs and having the unintended consequences of making us more of a JW,LOL.

    When I read this trinket article, Cedars showed me the things the brothers were doing. This is something I didn’t even know and it made me feel happier as a result. The Irish brothers were incredibly creative. I didn’t know this. The artwork was truly impressive. Case in point-unintended consequence.

    Thank you,
    Cedars

    Now please I would like to read a well crafted article with much investigative work on the functionings of the varied corporations and their relationship to one another and to the ORG. This is an area of mystery for many of us. What are their balance sheets like? What is actually going on there? Inquiring minds would like to know. Take your time. No rush on that one. I feel it is a tall order to fill.

    • Cedars says:

      Irish people can be incredibly creative = clear evidence that Jehovah’s Witnesses are God’s sole organization! Interesting!

      As for Watchtower’s balance sheets, these aren’t published I’m afraid, much as I wish they would be.

  26. Excelsior says:

    JW -4EVER,

    Do you believe that Armageddon is imminent? If so, do you think it prudent for my dear old Mum to have spent at least 100 hours making trinkets for delegates to her International Convention? Shouldn’t she have been out saving souls from having their eyes pecked out by birds? 100 hours is a long time to hand out literature etc.

    Shouldn’t every delegate get a trinket?

    When, in your opinion, is Armageddon going to start? Is it “just around the corner”?

    Who will survive? Who will be killed?

    We are all very curious about the financial arrangements of the WTBTS. I would urge YOU to research just where the money goes, and which corporations work with the WTBTS.

    I appreciate the kindness of the folks making the trinkets. It is good to make visitors to one’s country feel welcome. It is wrong, in my opinion, to love bomb well heeled Witnesses who can afford the exorbitant add ones to the cost of attending the convention that following the WTBTS’ instructions. Listen, obey and be blessed indeed!

    I think it is in very poor taste to make trinkets when children and women are being abused with no justice for them. I would suggest that protecting children and women from abuse is much more loving than making mementos.

    What would Jesus prefer?

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  27. Excelsior says:

    JW-4EVER,

    Part 2!

    I have re-read your comment. On second reading it is even more offensive!

    You make the point that hypocrisy and inconsistency make you want to be a Witness more!

    Think about what you wrote for a minute. So, the more hypocrisy and inconsistency that Cedars exposes, the more you want to be a Witness!! What!? Really?

    If your view of the Christian Faith is that it should be inconsistent and hypocritical, then you are in exactly the right religion for you. Enjoy!

    As for me, I see the Christian Faith very differently. I do not see inconsistency in Christ, and I certainly do not see hypocracy. What Gospels have you been reading?

    Your comments are crass and objectionable to me. If you think that your comments contribute to the Christian cause, then you are deluded. Your comments have confirmed for me that JWs are NOT Christians. You follow seven men, not Christ.

    So, here’s a quiz, oh holy JW!

    Do you think it is right to cover up child abuse? Do you know what the child protection policy for your religion is? If so, what aspect of it best protects children? Should rape victims be disfellowshipped for fornication if they did not cry out? Should men be able to beat their wives and children?

    I am very interested in your response.

    Let’s hope it is better informed and less offensive than your previous post.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  28. JW-4EVER!!! says:

    E-I have re-read your comment. On second reading it is even more offensive!
    ME-Don’t re-read posts that you find offensive. It’s not good for the coconut (metaphor for brain).

    E-You make the point that hypocrisy and inconsistency make you want to be a Witness more!
    ME-You misread. That’s Cedar’s mission. I don’t see hypocrisy. Let me say, I don’t agree with all things lock, stock and barrel as you will see in this post. I feel the seven men as you refer to the GB are sincere, humble, simple men. What I meant is that his mission has unintended consequences as the one I stated.

    E-Think about what you wrote for a minute. So, the more hypocrisy and inconsistency that Cedars exposes, the more you want to be a Witness!! What!? Really?
    ME-Yes, because I don’t see it as hypocrisy. He does. That is too harsh of a word for me. Now, are there inconsistencies? I can agree with Cedars that there may be some. But because I am reasonable I can agree with Cedars on some of those points.

    E-If your view of the Christian Faith is that it should be inconsistent and hypocritical, then you are in exactly the right religion for you. Enjoy!
    ME-Thanks I will enjoy and keep enjoying my JW faith. I’m a happy camper. I hope you are happy too :-).

    E-As for me, I see the Christian Faith very differently. I do not see inconsistency in Christ, and I certainly do not see hypocracy. What Gospels have you been reading?
    ME-I’m happy if you’re happy. Truth be told that if there was no inconsistency regarding Christianity, there would only be one Xtian faith. There are so many Xtian religions that non-believers point to this as proof of inconsistency. I think Cedars would point to this also as proof of inconsistency within Xtianity itself.

    E-Your comments are crass and objectionable to me. If you think that your comments contribute to the Christian cause, then you are deluded. Your comments have confirmed for me that JWs are NOT Christians. You follow seven men, not Christ.
    ME-Well, it wasn’t my intention to be crass and objectionable. On the other point, my comments were not confirmation to you that JW’s are not Xtians. You came to that conclusion a long time ago or at least before you read my post,LOL. So, please be honest on that point.

    E-So, here’s a quiz, oh holy JW!
    ME-Great, I love quizzes.

    E-Do you think it is right to cover up child abuse? Do you know what the child protection policy for your religion is? If so, what aspect of it best protects children?
    ME-Of course not!! It is absolutely wrong to cover up child abuse. Because of the 2-witness rule, the ORG has made a terrible mistake. They should turn over all documents and information they are privy to regarding molesters within our ranks to the police immediately. Now, their objective is not a cover-up. It is not purposeful and intentional. It is a byproduct of adhering to that 2-witness rule. It is a horrible mistake.

    E-Should rape victims be disfellowshipped for fornication if they did not cry out? Should men be able to beat their wives and children?
    ME-Rape victims having to cry out? You sure you referring to us. Men who beat their wives and children are obviously in violation of our principles and the law.

    E-I am very interested in your response.
    ME-Thanks, at least someone is interested in my responses.

    E-Let’s hope it is better informed and less offensive than your previous post.
    ME-I don’t think there is anything I could write that would fulfill your expectations so don’t hold your breath.

    E-Peace be with you
    ME-LOL, After you roasted me royally, I think I need a lot of that “peace”.

  29. Excelsior says:

    JW4EVER,

    How can the Faithful And Discreet Slave, heads of a “spirit directed organisation” get it wrong about the two witness rule? Who made the mistake? The “Spirit” or the seven unaccountable Men?

    Remember, it is you who think that these seven men are Anointed and the sole spokespersons for God, not me!

    You failed to answer all of my questions. When do you think Armageddon is coming? Who will survive? Will those slain be left for the birds to eat? How many will be killed?

    Have you read the “Shepherding the Flock of God” elders’ book? In its pages you will find that there are sections on child abuse allegations that do not fit with a Christian ethos whatsoever. You will find other gross violations of Human Rights and Christian morals that will not have you laughing out loud.

    Sorry, but their purpose is a cover up of child abuse. It is totally intentional.

    Do you think that a child should have to “wait on Jehovah” if there are not two witnesses to their abuse? No, you don’t. That is to your credit. I am glad that we agree on something so important. That shows that there is a chance for us to work together.

    Cedars has produced an excellent vlog about the GB and their claim to be spirit directed. I would suggest that you take a look at it.

    I left the WTBTS twenty years ago. I saw the bullying by elders, and the frankly offensive beliefs of mass destruction of non Witnesses at Armageddon as the greatest of their crimes. How wrong I was! Child abuse cover ups, domestic abuse cover ups, and these are cover ups. They are not trying to help anyone but themselves. They certainly do not help potential other victims of these paedophiles by not informing the police or the congregation.

    JW4EVER, you seem to me to be a decent type. You have followed a religion that you thought was right. I respect that.

    However, you are beginning to understand the full gamut of the WTBTS’ crimes against innocent children and women. You have to decide how you will respond to what you have discovered. You will have to ask yourself why it is apostate sites that give you both sides of the argument, and reveal to you the truth about the truth you so love.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  30. anonymous says:

    @JW Forever. Quoting from the 1968 June 1 Watchtower, page 347 under attempted rape: “Resistance is imperative, because the rapist is after, not just money, but your virtue. An issue of integrity to Jehovah’s laws is involved here. So by no means would it be proper quietly to submit to rape, as that would be consenting to fornication. – 1 Thess. 4:3……The principle is like that set out at Deuteronomy chapter 22. There it states: “In case there happened to be a virgin girl engaged to a man, and a man actually found her in the city and lay down with her, you must also bring them both out to the gate of that city and pelt them with stones, and they must die.” Why would the girl have died under that Law covenant? The scripture continues: “The girl for the reason that she did not scream in the city.” If she did not make the effort to scream, she was viewed as consenting to fornication. But if the woman screamed and resisted and nonetheless was overpowered, then she was not guilty of complicity: “The girl …screamed, but there was no one to rescue her.” Deut. 22:23-27. Would it be different if the man had a weapon and threatened to kill you if you did not submit? No, the scriptures plainly state that Christians are under obligation to “flee from fornication.” (1 Cor. 6:18). It is true that you face the possibility of death in this case. But you have no guarantee that if you meekly submit, your assailant will not kill you anyhow to avoid identification.”

    The men on the governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses, have never claimed to be inspired. They only claim to be “anointed”. Anointed with what? Are they anointed with Holy Spirit?” I don’t remember them ever saying they were anointed with Holy Spirit, but just “anointed”. If they were anointed with “Holy Spirit”, then they’d have to say they were “inspired” but they can’t do that because then they’d be just the same as Bible writers and not subject to making mistakes. They are just men, no different or wiser than any other men in the Organization so a lot of their “wisdom” printed in the Watchtower is imperfect human reasoning. The problem is that nobody is allowed to openly disagree with their very human and imperfect proclamations and decisions without being threatened with being disfellowshipped for apostasy.

    The Governing body have taken it upon themselves to be not the “slave” but the “governing body” over all of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide under the guise of “unity” and because of the fear of being disfellowshipped for apostasy, the rank and file meekly submit to their authoritarian rulership. Something that anybody who insists on being a JW Forever must realize is that the Governing Body are not “inspired” but only human men who lack any humility whatsoever. You are probably more “spiritual” than anybody on the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Governing Body does not care about the “silent majority”. They look down on you. That is a sad fact. Try and talk to anybody on the Governing Body on the phone and see how far you get.

    • Gareth says:

      Note that I’m not a JW apologist, but this watchtower is “old light”. See for example wt03 2/1 pg31, http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2003087. “Therefore, a victim who was unable to scream but otherwise did all she could under the circumstances can leave matters in Jehovah’s hands.”

      A similar article has been published in 1983. But still, remains a fact that the watchtower once had this policy, still isn’t too clear about it, and that is a troubling thought.

  31. Excelsior says:

    JW4EVER,

    Firstly, thank you anonymous for referencing the relevant WT article, detailing the UNCHANGED policy on rape held by the oh so righteous Governing Body.

    You see, JW4EVER, what is really happening? You were rightly shocked when I listed this policy along with the child abuse and domestic abuse debacles. You thought that it wasn’t a JW policy, but it is. It is yet another example of sexism in the WTBTS.

    Consider this. You believe that the Law Covenant was nailed to the torture stake, don’t you? So the old Mosaic Law does not apply today. Is it loving to compell rape victims to convince a Judical Committee that they cried out? Because if they don’t, then they face disfellowshipping for fornication.

    Do you really believe that Jesus would want this to happen? I cannot believe that Jesus would be supportive of this policy. I know that I am appalled by it, and I am sure that you are too.

    You need to think about what you really believe, rather than what you think you believe. You need to do what is right, in line with your Christian conscience, rather than follow seven men who claim to be “anointed” and the sole conduit for true worship on earth. These same men have presided over the mass cover up of child abuse, domestic abuse and a whole unholy host of other serious and disgusting crimes, all in the name of Christ.

    You seem to me to be a decent human being and someone who truly wants to have a relationship with Christ. I urge you to think about what you have discovered in line with his principles, and ponder what is the right way to move forward.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  32. anonymous says:

    Gareth, I read that entire article and saw nothing in it that indicated it was “old light”. If a female is raped, she stands the chance of being impregnated and will have to report the rape to the elders and then the elders will have to determine if she screamed in order not to be guilty of fornication. This is not a “conscience” matter that she reports the rape to the elders. She is required to. If she is married, then the husband has the choice of determining if she resisted and screamed and if the elders determine that she didn’t resist, he has the choice of divorcing her on the grounds of fornication. If you can find any article that tells me different, I am all ears. What is the most disturbing about the “old light” is that a female is supposed to take death over being raped if the man has a weapon. That “old light” is still “new light” as far as I know and I keep up with all the articles. What a bunch of disgusting old cowardly men who could even say such a thing about a girl or woman. It was Fred Franz who came up with that rule and he was never even married and never had a little girl to worry about. He hated women and had no compassion for any little girls or women. Anyone who stands behind edicts like that in the Watchtower make me ill. The Governing Body can say anything they want to in the Watchtower and there is nobody who can even question it for fear of being disfellowshipped for apostasy. They disgust me. Find another article please so I don’t hate them so much and then where is the apology to all those girls and women who had to face a committee meeting because they survived the rape and were disfellowshipped for surviving the rape and couldn’t prove they didn’t “want” it and committed fornication or the humiliation of a wife who had to feel guilt over having committed “fornication” because she didn’t have 2 witnesses to her attack and then her husband having an excuse to divorce her.

  33. Excelsior says:

    Gareth,

    Thanks for your research. I will leave this information with JW4EVER, and let them consider what we have discussed carefully.

    anonymous, thanks for your input in this thread. Your experience and knowledge is invaluable.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  34. Marius says:

    So I’ve been browsing instagram and twitter a bit for the usual JW hashtags. And the thing that strikes me most is what you get as a general impression from the (younger) JW population: they tend to be in groups, they wear nice suits and dresses, they carry tracts around and advertise a website in more or less creative ways. And that’s it. That’s all they do.

    As an outsider, I’d be wondering: what else do these people do? It looks very much like a sales organisation, Amway or something like that, except you don’t get money and boast nice cars, so what’s the point here?

    I don’t see JWs helping the community in any way. Or feeding the poor. Or doing anything at all that’s useful for people outside of their echo chamber. 9 out of 10 pictures show JWs posing for JWs, at JW events.

  35. KateWild says:

    I think the whole souvenir thing is tacky and creepy. I don’t think it exudes a professional front. This calls into question the motives of the GB.

    Keeping members busy doing work for them using their own resources and doing their advertising for them.

    Anything for free advertising, very unprofessional. Just like WT to do something like this.

    Kate xx

  36. Not your business says:

    Don’t you have anything better to do than write info about Jehovahs Witnssess? Get a life please !!!!

  37. Melissa says:

    That’s my aunt and uncle in the one of the car!!!!! I haven’t seen them since my grandma died.

  38. LAC says:

    After listening to the 2014 Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses I have to scratch my head and wonder why the buildup of J.W.Org and why the trinkets and the God dishonoring music in the KH. The Convention was the same old information regurgitated. I couldn’t believe they didn’t have anything more exciting to say but “Be a Pioneer,” “Preach,preach preach” especially with the situation in the Middle East where Christians are getting their heads cut off by ISIS you would think the WT had alot more to say about “The End” instead they have completely ignored what is going on and the fact that Christians are being killed in that region. I am really dumb struck by their lack of information. I am really confused by their lack of care and at this point all I can think of is that they want money like any other religion!

  39. LAC says:

    Why does J.W. Org have the same colors as the U.N. Flag?

  40. Excelsior says:

    LAC,

    The WTBTS are consolidating a dwindling flock. They do not want to rock the boat. But they do want to increase the authority of the GB. The talk about the thrones on Friday was a power grab of epic proportions!

    I’m sorry to say this, but you are right. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are just another religion. Rather, they are an extreme cult of a religion.

    One hundred years of Kingdom rule? That is the lamest bit of spin doctoring I’ve heard in a long time! As if Jesus would be up there for a century and let all this horror persist.

    The good news is that you are beginning to see the truth, and it is that truth that shall set you free. You also have a thriving ex JW community that encompasses many different viewpoints there to help you on the web.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

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