News Bulletin: California Appellate Court Slams Watchtower, Jehovah’s Witnesses Fined, Ordered To Produce Child Abuse Docs
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“Watchtower has abused the discovery process. It has zealously advocated its position and lost multiple times. Yet, it cavalierly refuses to acknowledge the consequences of these losses and the validity of the court’s orders requiring it to produce documents…And, in a further act of defiance, Watchtower informed the court that it would not comply with the March 25, 2016 order requiring it to produce documents…”

So stated the California Fourth Court of Appeal in a decision where the Watchtower organization has been held responsible for refusal to hand over its database of child abuse files, specifically those it has been collecting since March of 2001. The court penalized Watchtower in the amount of $4,000 per day, a fine which has been accruing over a year, and which may surpass two million dollars.

This is in addition to significant legal fees paid by Watchtower to Morris Polich & Purdy, the California firm retained for their defense. The November 9th ruling further stipulates that Watchtower must pay the legal costs incurred as a result of their appeal, a hefty price to pay for their adamant refusal to turn over child abuse files.

The Case

Abuse victim Osbaldo Padron filed suit against the Watchtower Organization following the discovery that Congregation elders in the Playa Pacifica Spanish Congregation, along with Watchtower officials in New York, had known for more than a decade that Gonzalo Campos had molested multiple boys. Neither the police nor child protective services were contacted by church elders, or by Watchtower. Instead, Campos was elevated from congregant, to Ministerial Servant, and finally to Elder by June of 1993.

Gonzalo Campos

Gonzalo Campos admits crimes during deposition

Not long after Campos’ appointment, Padron was molested at just 7-8 years of age.Details of multiple counts of abuse by Campos and additional victims were documented by JW Survey in July 2013.

In 2011, Campos admitted on camera to allegations of pedophilia, but has since fled to Mexico and is presumed to be an active Jehovah’s Witness. The congregation elders who protected Campos, along with the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society are being held responsible for the willful neglect which led to the sexual abuse of multiple victims.

While some victims have already settled with Watchtower in private, undisclosed agreements, two victims of Campos opted to file civil lawsuits in an attempt to hold the Jehovah’s Witness organization accountable both financially and legally. The two victims are Jose Lopez and Osbaldo Padron.

Jose Lopez filed a civil suit in February of 2013, in which attorney Irwin Zalkin and his team obtained subpoenas for documents related to Watchtower’s knowledge of the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse within its organization. Additionally, Zalkin obtained an order to depose Governing Body Member Gerrit Losch as the Person Most Qualified (PMQ) to testify for Watchtower.

Watchtower refused to cooperate, failing to produce the requested documents in full, and Losch denied that he had any connection to Watchtower. In 2001, Watchtower removed Governing Body members from their New York and Pennsylvania corporations to insulate them from legal responsibility. The Superior Court of the State of California did not find this tactic amusing, and issued a default judgment for Lopez, awarding him 13.5 million dollars.

Watchtower’s Costly Mistake

Watchtower appealed the Lopez verdict and argued that the terminating judgment was unfair, that it did not give them a chance to defend their position. The court agreed that lesser sanctions should have been tried first in an attempt to pry loose those documents. Watchtower eventually released four years’ worth of heavily redacted files, from March 1997 to March 2001.

Why only four years?

Watchtower made a costly and damaging decision when it released a letter to all congregations dated March 14, 1997, in which congregation elders were advised to submit reports on all “former”  or “known” child molesters who had relocated from a different congregation.

Congregations were instructed to allow all elders access to information regarding child molesters, while also forwarding details to Watchtower Headquarters inside a “special blue envelope.” Elders were instructed not to discuss this information with any congregation member.

This official edict from Watchtower provides the legal starting point for the document discovery process, despite the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses had been collecting child abuse and other sensitive documents at headquarters for decades.

Faced with the choice of compliance or writing a check for 13.2 million dollars, Watchtower released those documents, but redacted them excessively, and stopped with March 2001. This was the year that the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (CCJW) was formed. Watchtower’s legal team argues that once CCJW was formed, they no longer had access to or control over child abuse documents.

Osbaldo Padron

Meanwhile, victim Osbaldo Padron filed suit against Watchtower in September of 2013. Among the allegations were negligence; negligent supervision/failure to warn; negligent hiring/retention; negligent failure to warn, train, or educate; sexual battery; and sexual harassment.

Watchtower officials and multiple congregation elders had significant knowledge that Gonzalo Campos was a sexual predator, yet did nothing to protect Osbaldo Padron, the congregation, or the local community.

As with Lopez, Padron demanded that Watchtower release all of it’s child abuse documentation from March 1997 forward. Watchtower refused to comply, arguing 1st amendment protection, clergy-penitent privilege, and attorney-client privilege as a basis for non-compliance.

Senior Watchtower Service Department official Richard Ashe declared that Padron’s request for these documents was unreasonable, and that it would take a full time worker at headquarters up to 28 years to search through the files of over 14,400 congregations, and retrieve the abuse cases demanded by the plaintiff. The court rejected Watchtower’s arguments, including the attempt to disclose only documents from the state of California.

As mentioned earlier, Watchtower released redacted documents from the period of March 1997 to March 2001. Watchtower continued to maintain that it had no obligation to produce documents after March 2001, claiming that Watchtower and CCJW are separate entities.

The court appointed discovery referee disagreed, describing Watchtower and CCJW as “alter egos.” The court agreed with the referee, and issued an order dated March 25th 2016, demanding complete document release by Watchtower.

Watchtower refused.

The legal battle continued, with the court ultimately deciding that sanctions against Watchtower were both justified and necessary. The court stated:

“In this case, there is a clear failure to comply with a discovery order
on the part of Watchtower. First, Watchtower failed to properly
comply with the court’s March 13, 2015 [order] and produced
documents with excessive redactions. After the court adopted the
Discovery Referee’s Recommendation as an order, Watchtower has
unequivocally stated it will not comply. By the time of the hearing
on the motion for sanctions, it will have been over a year since the
initial order and almost three months since the Recommendation was
adopted. In the period since the Recommendation was adopted,
Watchtower has shown no effort or willingness to comply with the
discovery order.
“Based upon the history in this case and Watchtower’s statements at
the April 8, 2016 [hearing], the court finds that Watchtower’s failure
to comply is willful. Watchtower argues that its failure is not willful
because it has no control over CCJW documents. However,
Watchtower clearly has control over the documents it has already
produced and could revise the redactions with regard to those
documents. This is obviously and clearly within the scope of
Watchtower’s powers which it chooses not to exercise. Continuing
to repeat its prior unsuccessful arguments in opposition to the
discovery order further illustrates Watchtower’s obstinacy in
compliance. Further, based upon the unambiguous statements made
by Watchtower’s counsel, there is no reasonable dispute that
Watchtower is simply refusing even to attempt to comply with the
court’s order.”

With this declaration, the court decided to punish Watchtower in the following manner:

The court therefore sanctioned Watchtower $2,000 per day for every day Watchtower did not produce responsive documents and $2,000 per day for every day Watchtower did not search for responsive documents.

This fine was deemed fair and just in consideration of the court’s awareness of more than 1.3 billion dollars worth of real estate owned by the Watchtower organization.

Estoppel Traps Watchtower

Not surprisingly, Watchtower strongly objected to being fined $4,000 per day for failure to produce documents related to child abuse. Unfortunately this objection violated the legal principle known as estoppel. According to the court:

“Judicial estoppel precludes a party from gaining an advantage by taking one position, and then seeking a second advantage by taking an incompatible position.The doctrine’s dual goals are to maintain the integrity of the judicial system and to protect parties from opponents’ unfair strategies.”

The court explained further how Watchtower violated this legal principle:

“Here, we find all the elements of judicial estoppel present. Watchtower has taken two positions. In Lopez, supra, 266 Cal.App.4th 566, it argued monetary sanctions, untethered to the plaintiff’s reasonable costs, were appropriate. In the instant matter, Watchtower now claims the superior court was not authorized to issue such sanctions. Watchtower has taken these contrary positions in two separate cases before this court.”

The reality of the situation is that Watchtower’s attorneys were boxed in due to the $13.2 million dollar judgment in the Lopez case, and felt they had no other recourse but to claim that the court should have fined them a lesser penalty. But when they were assessed this lesser penalty in the Padron case, they strongly objected. The patience of California’s justice system had run thin, as the court finally declared:

“Here, it is beyond debate that Watchtower has abused the litigation process and has shown little respect for the superior court’s authority.”

Reaffirming that the financial penalties imposed by the Superior Court of California were justifiable, the court declared:

“Nonetheless, Watchtower refuses to comply with the court order and maintains the court was just wrong. In this sense, it refuses to acknowledge the authority of the court and repudiates the procedures and rules all litigants are supposed to follow in superior court. In these extreme circumstances, we
conclude the superior court was authorized to issue the monetary sanctions”

It is clear that the California appellate court was well aware of Watchtower’s intentional obfuscation when it blurred the lines between the Watchtower Organization and the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (CCJW). The attempt to claim that Watchtower had no access or control of documents possessed by CCJW was an attempt to mislead the court.

“The representations of Watchtower’s counsel as well as the declarations of Watchtower agents clearly indicate that Watchtower has access to responsive documents from 1997 to present. We thus conclude substantial evidence supports the discovery referee’s finding, adopted by the court, that Watchtower was in “custody and control” of responsive documents beyond the March 2001 creation of CCJW.”

Watchtower Versus Watchtower

Further substantiating the legal gamesmanship taking place in an attempt to circumvent justice and mislead the court, Watchtower sent a letter to its alter ego, CCJW,  in a measure feigning compliance with the document production order of March 25th 2016.

The first letter, dated July 2nd 2016 was sent from Watchtower’s California law firm, Morris, Polich & Purdy, to Anthony P. La Rocco, attorney for CCJW:

 

July 2, 2016 Letter from Watchtower Attorneys to CCJW

July 2, 2016 Letter from Watchtower Attorneys to CCJW

 

This letter was followed by a reply from the firm representing CCJW, in which Watchtower’s California counsel was informed that CCJW was not a party to the Padron Case and had no obligation or duty to respond to the document production order:

 

July 11th 2016 Letter from CCJW to Watchtower

July 11th 2016 Letter from CCJW to Watchtower

 

Once again, the court was not tricked by these tactics, and called attention to Watchtower’s inconsistent stance:

“We find it curious that the existence of CCJW and the March 2001 cut off only became an issue after Watchtower produced documents and Padron complained that the production was not sufficient. It appears Watchtower argued that it had access to the documents after March 2001 when it was to its benefit to support its burden argument, but only after losing that argument, it claimed to not have access to documents after a certain point of time to justify its limited production. Such gamesmanship has no place in civil discovery. “

In other words – Watchtower originally claimed that it was excessively burdensome to search ALL their documents from 1997 to the present, revealing that they did indeed have possession of these documents. They then attempted an alternate strategy by declaring that they did NOT have access to these documents, and that CCJW could not legally produce them.

Judgment Day

As a result of the proceedings outlined above, the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal has affirmed the lower court’s ruling that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. is responsible for the payment of the $4,000 per day fine assessed back in 2016, along with all costs associated with this appeal.

The court concluded its judgment by stating:

“On the record before us, we are satisfied that the superior court’s order was not arbitrary, capricious, or whimsical. To the contrary, the superior court has shown great patience and flexibility in dealing with a recalcitrant litigant who refuses to follow valid orders and merely reiterates losing arguments. We therefore affirm.” [bold ours]

The judgment was entered November 9th 2017. Watchtower has 40 days to file a petition for review with the California Supreme Court. Jose Lopez and Osbaldo Padron continue their civil cases against Watchtower in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego.

 

Read the complete appellate court judgment  here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Coverage:

 

https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Jehovahs-Witnesses-Face-LegalFinancial-Penalties-in-Court-Case-456790543.html

 

 

 

Watchtower: In Focus Episode

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145 Responses to News Bulletin: California Appellate Court Slams Watchtower, Jehovah’s Witnesses Fined, Ordered To Produce Child Abuse Docs

  1. Chiafade says:

    I may have missed something. Does this mean that watchtower merely gets to pay the fine and walk away? If so this was a monumental waste of time. No production of the requested documents means that an organization with enough money can stick their middle finger up at the courts and get away with it. I hope I’m just misunderstanding all of this. It is past midnight here.

    • ready_4_to_fade says:

      That would make absolutely no sense. I highly doubt that is the case. I’m sure this fine is in addition to producing the documents, since the fine amount would be determined by the day when they are finally produced.

      • nullandvoidboy says:

        They pay the fine, up to this point. They pay all legal fee’s, up to this point. They have to hand over all requested documents past 2001 and not with heavily redacted passages. They continue to pay additional fines until they comply….hopefully it gets to the point of arresting gb member Losch, who “isn’t” affiliated with WT….that’s a hoot…for a charge of contempt….everything about this borg reminds me of the loving actions of jesus

    • messenger says:

      @Chiafade

      I read over the appellate court’s decision yesterday afternoon. WT’s argument (claim) was that WT should not have to pay the fine-4k a day. That’s what the appellate court was deciding. The court was considering whether the issuing judge in the other court made the proper legal decision in fining WT 4k a day for not cooperating by turning over its docs. The appellate court said the decision was proper. That means WT not only has to pay those fines that accumulate and already have accumulated on a daily basis, but WT must continue to respond to the plaintiff’s original complaint, including all court orders, including the order to pay 4k a day until it looks for and turns over the docs, divided 2k+2k, or 2k for either failure (looking & turning over).

      This court order included that WT must turn over those docs. That still stands for it was not the center issue of WT’s motion, the fine was. I’m not going back to reread the appellate court’s decision, and I have not read JR’s comments above yet, but if I remember correctly the appellate court confirmed that should WT continue to refuse to turn over the discovery docs the presiding superior court judge (of the original court) could issue a terminating sanction, the most severe of all sanctions. That’s the type of sanction that was previously issued against WT in a San Diego Case involving Campos, where the judge refused to continue to hear WT’s side of the case argument and ordered it to pay 13.5 million to the plaintiff. That order was later overturned in favor of this type of lesser sanction first, in an attempt to force compliance with court orders, prior to issuing the more severe terminating sanction.

      I do remember for sure that the Court’s decision here referred to the possibility of terminating sanctions that could be issued in cases such as this, where a party refuses to turn over discovery docs after it is ordered to by court (as in this case). I just cannot remember if the decision suggested that as a remedy in this particular situation if WT continues to refuse. But this decision referred to terminating sanctions issued for noncompliance to court orders to turn over discovery documents several times in its decision. The court also listed a lot of stare decisis cases that uphold the legality of it’s decisions regarding its comments concerning terminating sanctions for noncompliance with discovery court orders as well as other aspects of this decision.

      The long and the short of it is WT is screwed. WT’s legal arguments to defend itself so far in this case are not legal, rather merely wishful thinking or fantasy. WT lawyers were not proficient in handling this case. This one case has cost WT millions so far (see Lloyd’s ticker) and it’s not even half over.

      “Stare decisis is a Latin phrase that means “to stand by that which is decided.”. When a court makes a decision, it establishes a legal precedent that is used by subsequent courts in their deliberations.” web quote

    • No, it does not. This is just the fine they pay because they are ignoring the Judge’s order to turn over documents as evidence, in order for the court to proceed with the lawsuit. They seem to think they are above the law. You know, because, “the entire world is going to be destroyed by Jehovah anyways, so why bow down to a bunch of dead people” attitude is screwing themselves over. Their arrogance is amusing, and is proving to be their downfall.

  2. Sarah says:

    Both this and the latest debacle in Ireland demonstrate Watchtower’s disregard for the authorities. They act against their own rules: Romans 13:1-4: ‘the existing authorities stand placed in their positions by God. Therefore he who opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will receive judgment to themselves.’

    • Sister drifted says:

      What’s happened in Ireland?????

      • Openmind says:

        See John Cedars video on youtube posted 31st October 2017 – The Irish Cover-up Watchtower in Focus Episode 5

      • Sarah says:

        Elders reported child abuse to the police. Those elders got removed from their positions! It gets worse – see Cedars youtube video. It was in the Irish newspaper Sunday Business Post.

        • PW says:

          This story in Ireland is true. It happen in my congregation here in Celbridge Ireland so I know First hand.
          Only one elder reported it to the police. The branch told the elders not to go to the police and all but one elder disagreed with this and he went to the police alone. He was removed for being disloyal.
          He was our best elder. The best teacher, shepherd and most caring of all the elders. These are the qualities that drove him to do what was right I’m sure. But none of these meant anything to the Branch. Just the fact that he didn’t follow their (not Jehovah’s) orders. Jehovah’s orders are to obey the law and protect widows and orphans among us. He did this but the branch are going beyond what is written so they will have to answer for this and for punishing the congregation by taking away a good elder like this one.
          The other elder that was deleted was the coordinator. He didn’t go to the police but gave a statement when approached by the police. He was removed for not being sound in mind because he couldn’t control his body of elders and also for not calling the branch before talking to the police. The other elders refused to talk to the police when they contacted them. All of these elders have gone against the scriptures and they are all disqualified as they are not above reproach or Free from accusation. Yet this does not matter.
          I would love to see a prosecution come from this and bring the elders to Court.

          • nullandvoidboy says:

            @PW…I hope you keep us posted as to the feelings of the rank & file in your congregation..I’m sure these elders will now be subpoenaed whenever this goes to court, to give their testimony…..what is WT going to do to them? DF them for telling the truth? That would be a travesty….I hope that all the publishers in your congregation will see WT and the body for who they really are….

    • Also Abused says:

      I am trying very hard to sort out whether these guys – Governing Body, are totally deluded, thinking they are sincerely applying the Bible to this situation “do not reveal the confidential talk of another” and that “we must obey God as ruler rather than men”.
      However, if they are sincere, they also know that, as everyone knows, because its common sense, that there are limits to confidentiality, where life is in danger, or serious abuse is taking place – where effectively serious sin, ie a crime is taking place.
      Knowing this they have enforced the “2 witness rule” and take no action without proof of at least 2 witnesses.
      HOWever . . . though the Bible DOES say ” at the mouth of 2 or more witnesses let every matter be established” it ALSO says to the girl raped on her own in a field (NO witnesses ie) ‘to her you must do nothing” ie she did nothing wrong. (No caveats either – was she wearing a short skirt-type arguments) Rape is always wrong – a witness was NOT required. So the Bible requires that the girl is believed, but they do not “believe” or support child victims of rape, though clearly the Bible shows categorically that they should!
      THEY are cherry-picking which scriptures to follow / which to ignore, and trying to rationalise it. But “by their fruits you shall know them” Don’t believe the Child Abuse Policy document – look at what they DO, not what they SAY they do. THEY WILL NOT GIVE UP THE 2 WITNESS RULE!!
      The ONLY reason I can see for what amounts to abusive evil behaviour is to maintain ‘confidentiality,’ so abuse within the organisation is KEPT covered up.
      That is wicked, and totally against scripture . . “now in case a soul sins . . or he is a witness or has seen it, or has come to know of it, if HE DOES NOT REPORT IT, he must answer for his error” Lev 5:1
      The elders primary purpose is to keep the congregation clean, pure . . . so their policies are leaving child molesters at large all over the world in congregations everywhere, and JWs have no idea at all that this is going on.
      They have created a paedophile paradise.
      The dam is about to burst over WT and they know it.
      Make this mainstream knowledge every way you can, bless you.

      • VIdiot says:

        “…The only reason I can see for what amounts to abusive evil behavior is to maintain ‘confidentiality’…”

        There’s another possibility…

        …that the problem is so widespread and endemic that if they actually WERE to more stringently screen out past or present offenders, they’d run out of “qualified brothers” able to keep the Org functioning at the grassroots level.

  3. Linda says:

    An alcoholic must first admit they have a problem and be honest about it before they can recover and heal. The JW org is doing the opposite and lying to both their members and the public. The Governing Body has brought great reproach upon God’s name, the name they claim to honor! After watching the entirety of the Australian Royal Commission and in particular Geoffrey Jackson lying at least 12 times and getting caught by the judge himself and told to stop lying, it was a major wake up call to many Jehovah’s Witnesses that they will lie, and it is not “theocratic warfare” they are using but lying directly to the government to cover up this massive child abuse scandal. How many JW Broadcastings have they had covering this massive scandal? Zero. You know why? They rather lie about it and call it “apostate lies” than to admit they have a problem. Reducing magazines, cutting everything to the bone, selling property around the world while claiming they need more money to build new Kingdom Halls is vile and disgusting.

    How do they scam their members? “Jehovah needs more money!”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APb1RpfjCrA

    I know a lot of people will disagree with me about this but I believe that Russia’s ruling against them is the right thing. This is a cult – NOT a religion. They masquerade as a religion so they can get their tax exempt status approved and the status of being a religion which is protected status in many countries, but they are a cult. The evidence is overwhelming.

    I also think this is another calculated move by the WTBS to hide their guilt but I believe it will backfire on them. Paying $4k per day amounts to only $1.5 million per year. That’s nothing compared to what they rake in from their faithful members like my grandmother from Tennessee who writes them weekly checks of $200 while she eats cat food to survive.

    They are guilty and there is no way out for them.

    • sirius says:

      >>>”After watching the entirety of the Australian Royal Commission and in particular Geoffrey Jackson lying at least 12 times and getting caught by the judge himself and told to stop lying,”

      Reads like another so call religion using justifiable lies. In the other, it’s permitted to lie to non-believers by the use of the tongue and not the heart. More so when one is in great fear!

      IMHO

      dogstar

    • chantal says:

      Linda, I too watched almost all of the ARC proceedings, most of them live.Led to my final break with WT. Unless one has watched them, it is impossible to see the scope of lying, cover up, deceit, cultish behaviour, etc. I tried in vain to show this to a few close “sisters”. I was met with shock at my behaviour, shunning, and told to “wait for Jehovah” to make it right. I finally after two years told one of them, Jehovah has nothing to do with these criminals, so there is nothing to wait for him to do. Yes, they have taken God’s name without his consent and brought reproach upon it. I am so sorry your mother is so ensnared in their evil cluthches

    • messenger says:

      4k a day might not hurt WT. But if WT starts to receive and continues to get hit with terminating sanctions at about 10 mill a pop, along with loosing some class action suits at tens of millions a pop, those figures might add up to quite a smack to the buttock of WT. It’s quite possible that WT stands to lose between 100-200 million due to it’s child protection policies.

      This court order includes info claiming WT owns about 1.3 billion (1,300 million) dollars worth of real property assets. I also saw its stock portfolio once-millions of dollars there also, unless that’s been sold by now which is very unlikely. So, I think you are correct. Let’s say WT looses 300 million behind this stuff. According to court docks WT could still own outright 1000 million dollars worth of real property plus potential stocks worth millions. Money is not WT’s short suit.

  4. Excellent article. It is an outrageous show of dishonesty that the Watchtower flaunts at the Courts—AND to the victims of abuse and denial of any form of justice.

  5. Morris says:

    I stumped a couple of elders the other day about the blood issue. Yes, the Bible does mention to abstain from blood but it was in the context of eating/draining. So, I asked these elders and showed then the pic of how we (yes I am a JW) show whole blood is not allowed, red, white, etc … are not allowed but fractions of each are allowed. I said we can all agree based on the pic that fractions come from whole blood – but where does this whole blood come from? It’s not synthetic and JW don’t donate blood so it comes from worldly people. Don’t use science to justify why fractions are not whole blood anymore, etc … Just change the doctrine to make it a matter of conscience as to whether or not to take blood. This will never change since they painted (and continue) to paint themselves in a corner but point fingers at everyone else when back peddling is needed.

    Very very sad all around and many are blind and can’t think for themselves. If all the GB go to jail the rank and file will rejoice and say God is cleansing his organization and continue as though nothing ever happened.

    Many can see the writing on the wall ~ well, I can plus all I talk with. A resolution was read in Sept about the 14 dollar per publisher donation needed for various emergency items, etc … but yet the God’s Rule book states the following. Never an answer. It went like this … (or send out letters ~ see below).

    “It Will Never Beg nor Petition Men for Support”

    7, 8. Why do Jehovah’s people not beg or petition others for money?
    7 Brother Russell and his associates refused to imitate the money-raising schemes so common in the churches of Christendom. In the second issue of the Watch Tower, under the heading “Do You Want ‘Zion’s Watch Tower’?” Russell stated: “‘Zion’s Watch Tower’ has, we believe, JEHOVAH for its backer, and while this is the case it will never beg nor petition men for support. When He who says: ‘All the gold and silver of the mountains are mine,’ fails to provide necessary funds, we will understand it to be time to suspend the publication.” (Hag. 2:7-9) Over 130 years later, The Watchtower and the organization that publishes it are still going strong!

    8 Jehovah’s people do not beg for money. They do not pass collection plates or send out letters of solicitation. Neither do they use bingo, bazaars, or raffles to raise money. They hold to what the Watch Tower long ago said: “We have never considered it proper to solicit money for the Lord’s cause, after the common custom . . . It is our judgment that money raised by the various begging devices in the name of our Lord is offensive, unacceptable to him, and does not bring his blessing either upon the givers or the work accomplished.”*

    • Ricardo says:

      I made a comment at the meeting about that.I said: Since I was young I understood that Jehovah owns everything, and like Bro Russell said, Jehovah will use what he has to support true worship. Like Bro Russell said, good people will support something they see as good. So I was very disappointed to see Steven Lett of the governing body asking for money the other month.

      Straight away 3 or 4 elders put up their hands and made comments supporting Rubber Face’s outrageous behaviour. What a bunch of brainless zombies.

      • John Redwood says:

        That was a bold move Ricardo. You should try that and record all the follow up comments. That is, if they still call on you after this 🙂

      • Man from the lions pit says:

        Let us know how your story ended Ricardo because you will get a shepherding call for sure !

        • Ricardo says:

          @John Redwood & Man from the lions pit,

          Unfortunately, I had been counselled by the elders a few weeks before this, about my comments. Because I gave a scathing condemnation of the elders in the congregation who had secretly produced a false letter from the GB and had used it to try to silence my friend. So the elders had told me to not be critical and don’t single out any individual in my answers. Well, silly me, I was critical of Steven Lett, even using his name.

          The elders who answered after my comment (about being disappointed with Steven Lett asking for money) said things like: we are very happy to know when there is a need so as to give our assistance, etc.

          I expected the elders to meet up with me about my comment, but then what happened was that my friend mentioned above (an ex-missionary and ex-elder) punched an elder in the Kingdom Hall. While he had the elder by the throat and against the wall I yelled out loudly, “This is what happens when the shepherds abuse the sheep,” several times. We didn’t hear anything from the elders for weeks, until suddenly my friend got a phone call inviting him to a judicial hearing. The committee d’fed him, he appealed, the appeal committee agreed with the disfellowshipping, and so he has appealed to the branch.

          He and I have been meeting up with our friend Jimmy, part of our group of Underlapping Generation members, who was recently d’fed. We were seen and reported to the elders. So I got a phone call the other day from an elder saying he was with another elder and they had been told I was seen having a meal with Jimmy. I tore the battery out of my phone, so could not continue the conversation with the elder. Since then he has sent me a message wanting to meet with me about a serious matter (this matter was brought up during the committee hearing of my friend also). I have ignored that message and temporarily stopped going to meetings.

          Tonight the elders called at my door at 8pm, but luckily my son and I were sleeping so we didn’t answer. My publisher cards are still in Australia in my congregation there, and I have another 3 months in this country in Asia before I move on. Hopefully I can escape the interrogation and not be d’fed and get out of here to fight another day.

          • Me says:

            It’s simple just tell them you will sue them for deformation if they contact you again or if they try to DF you.
            Elders book says that if someone one threatens legal action to step back from it.
            They can only bully you if you let them. Don’t empower them.

          • Shibboleth says:

            Ricardo,
            I knew it was going to catch up with you sooner or later. The elders are being told to weed out all those who will not be compliant. “It is futile to resist, you will be asimilated”. And if you resist to be assimilated into jw culture, you will be cast off. Almost everyone in the congregation i assisted is shunning me, because they are told to be loyal to gods arangement of discipline. I have been inactive for 10 mos now and the jws i meet on the street are afraid to talk to me! Heaven forbid if i encourage them to use their common sense! There will not be a way to fade away, they will make sure of it. One of the women in the hall told me the last public talk was so good, and i asked her what it was about. She said, “the end is very close, we must be ready!” I felt such a sense of sadness to see her so hyped up. I am slowly coming to the conclusion that religion is not a necessity in life. People will be who they are with or without religion, it is what it is. Cast off the shakles Ricardo, your deliverance is near!!

          • Ricardo says:

            @Me, the elders book says that if someone threatens legal action, stop the meeting immediately and contact the branch. I believe that the branch will then communicate to you via your lawyer, to tell you that you are d’fed. Which doesn’t solve the problem. The elders here have gone very paranoid and are getting rid of all the trouble makers. Such a pity, we were having such a good time.

        • Ricardo says:

          My friend who appealed to the branch has had confirmation that he is d’fed. So we see a situation where the elders acted dishonestly, even forging a letter from the GB, but to seek justice means being d’fed. You just can’t win. This was just a case about elders lying. Can you imagine if the elders had sexually abused a child? Justice is impossible in this organization when the shepherds are doing the bad things yet the shepherds hold and abuse the power. We are supposed to just sit quiet and kiss the elders’ backsides in the appropriate way.

    • outandabout says:

      Hi Morris…..this JW blood issue……Leviticus also says not to eat fat. You can bet WT would like to ring Rutherfords neck for his stupidity. Watchtower have themselves in a jam with the blood issue as well as the child abuse issue. They cannot change their stance on the blood because they risk being sued by furious families which not only could cost them dearly but would publicly shine another spotlight on them. So it looks as if the JW’s can continue to have bread, they can continue to have butter, they can continue to have jam, but they aren’t allowed a jam sandwich (referring to blood fractions) They can also continue to die in order to save the Watchtower money.

      Nice Cult you have there, Brothers and Sisters.

      • Morris says:

        off topic but my thinking. Blood = Life.

        John 15:13
        No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his life in behalf of his friends.

        Lev 17:11
        For the life of the flesh is in the blood

        For the life of every sort of flesh is its blood, because the life is in it

        • outandabout says:

          True, Morris……life is in blood, but not only blood. In ancient times blood would have been viewed as sacred because it was noticed that if blood was lost, you died, and it is very easy to lose blood and die. The effect is immediate and noticeable, hence ‘blood is sacred’. If say a person in ancient times contracted a deadly liver disease and died as a consequence, there is no way those people of old could have known what killed that person, but, if they did happen to know a diseased liver could cause death, it would also be ‘livers are sacred’ and ‘though shalt not take liver’, or kidney or any other organ.
          This ancient blood edict is borne of mans ignorance at the time, not enlightenment.

  6. Free Thinker says:

    To me, this entire sad affair demonstrates once again the truthfulness of applying the statement in Romans 2,24 “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles BECAUSE OF YOU” to “God’s own and only organization”. The JW.Org herself has made her own “JEHOVAH”-trademark (which she “proudly bears” by pushing and shoving it down people’s throats, accompanied by making lots of noise and clamor) A STENCH, so much that people turn away in utter repugnance and disgust whenever & wherever the J-Wort flies.

    Once just needs to briefly taste the vocabulary used in the media with regard to this latest of JW.Org’s sneaky ruses, dirty tricks and outrageous stratagems of “theocratic warfare” to get nauseated:

    – Obfuscation
    – Abuse
    – Refusal to acknowledge
    – Refusal to comply
    – Acts of defiance
    – EGREGIOUS (!) behavior

    Is this how “Giving a good witness” which the org demands of her rank & file without letup looks like??? “You who are teaching others – do you teach yourself?”

    This is utterly dishonorable and shameful to the ultimate degree, to say the least. It has become evident even to the last remaining blockhead on this planet that the JW.Org has nothing – NOTHING – to do with such lofty things as moral rectitude, decency, goodness, ethical behavior … that’s simply not her nature, not in her genes. She is a mercilessly Machiavellian entity, ruthlessly set upon pushing, pursuing and enforcing her own manmade, egocentric, egomaniac and self-serving agenda at all costs. This has NOTHING to do with God, Jesus Christ, with the Bible nor with Christianity. It is what the NT calls the “wisdom that does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic” (Jms 3,15).

    We already knew about the org’s true nature before, but this current MESS, this new JW.Org- descent to new lows of cunning and sneakiness lifts the notion of her hypocrisy, her slyness and wiliness to new heights. It is simply disgusting.

    • Shibboleth says:

      As taken from the court documents, We can add another vocabulary word to the list above to describe Watchtower.org/CCJW…

      Recalcitrant…adj. – having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority or discipline.

      According to the New Oxford American Dictionary

      Touche’

  7. Doc Obvious says:

    A religion that thinks its above the law. At least now, the legal system is getting the same type of treatment from Watchtower that it imposes on its members. Now there are lawyers that are seeing the “real” Watchtower.

    My advice is to put liens on all Watchtower’s properties. In this way, when Watchtower tries to sell their properties, they will receive no money from the sell.

    • Fooledmeonce says:

      It is so nice to see the ‘elders’ having to go to their own “judicial committee”, except this one is for real. And you’re right, now everyone can see how squirmy the Jehovah’s Witnesses are and how frustrating they are to deal with!

  8. Fangoffenrir says:

    Maybe I haven’t looked hard enough, but Is there anyway links could be provided to any and all court docs so that I can back up this article to my heavily indoctrinated family with as much official evidence as possible? Thank you guys for this article btw. Keep up the good fight

    • John Redwood says:

      Fangoffenrir

      Thanks for your support and nice comment! For the court document from last week’s ruling, just scroll up to the top of the article and click on the hyperlink where it says “the November 9th ruling” – or you can go to the bottom of the article and I have it posted there as well. If you have any difficulty locating this, just email us at contact@jwsurvey.org.

      JR

  9. Whip It says:

    Interesting, i have a close friend who has just finished a 5 day elders school, so will quizz him on the latest on child abuse, one would have to say that it would have been discussed at some point, & will be interesting to see what was said.

  10. barry says:

    Bravo! Thank you for your work. As always look forward to more.

  11. Doc Obvious says:

    I was at the 2017 Circuit Assembly this morning. The morning session was all about pornography. It seems that Watchtower has a problem with porn at Bethel.

  12. Man from the lions pit says:

    Thank you John ! Good recap.They are sneaky snakes and they used ,use and will use all means to play game and drag this to the unknown I positive they will appeal ! Hope they will loss and they will take it to the federal court and loss it there…or they can pull it to supreme court ?Time will show.

  13. Bruce Wayne says:

    We have one of these guys in our Kingdom Hall in Stockbridge, Ga and the elders gather the families with children one at a time to tell them that we have a child abuser sitting among us in the meetings and to treat him like a brother. To me that is null shit ! This is a criminal not a sinner like they think.

    • Bad Penny says:

      Bruce – nice one Batman! At least these parents have been warned. The congregation I used to attend had two disfellowshipped paedos sitting at the back. We sisters never knew what their ‘sin’ was and allowed our children to roam free. Disgraceful! The place where we thought we had sanctuary from the world has proved to be no sanctuary at all. More like a dwelling place of demons!

      • Bruce Wayne says:

        Watchtower govern body loves to preach the following bible text :

        Rom 13 : 1 Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.
        And
        Proverbs 11 :1 Dishonest scales are detestable to Jehovah,But an accurate weight brings pleasure to him.

        BUT THEY DONT FOLLOW IT THEMSELVES !

  14. Kick says:

    Watchtower is always in protection mode. One year my mother was helping at the hall doing spring cleaning. She slipped off a ladder and fell on her back. The elders told her to go to the er when she could to get checked out. I guessed they assumed their insurance would cover it. Well she did go to the ER. Then when the bill came she let the elders know. The elder called the branch. The first question out of the branch contact (likely a lawyer) was; “who’s ladder was she on?” You see she brought her own ladder. Which most witnesses do. So they would not submit the bill to her insurance. My mom was upset. But she did not want to bring reproach on Jehovah. So nothing came out of it. So are people protected if they volunteer to work on the Hall? Watchtower works off of the idea that people would not sue them as they would obviously face being called an apostate.
    ———- I have another story. Years ago I worked on quick builds. Some scaffolding was not put together well and collapsed on this young girls leg breaking her leg. Because my family was higher up in the ranks and part of the RBC club. I was privileged to overhear a group of RBC members discussing the incident. I was completely shocked when most of their conversation was regarding escaping legal action against them. Their biggest fear was that a nonbelieving father might sue them. Rather than the welfare of this poor girl. I found it very disturbing especially since they let some un skilled person put together the scaffolding. No acceptance of responsibility for the incident. But the problem is the watchtower doesn’t back up it’s own people. It’s like they send you into a battle without a bulletproof vest. Then when problems arise they basically say well they don’t work for us. Or they acted independently from the watchtower. They always have a way out protecting their own interests.

    • outandabout says:

      like a self serving cult,kick?

      I’ve just learned that the only reason we wear clothes is because of Adam and Eve’s sin. Does that mean that when we’re perfect again in Jehovah’s Paradise there won’t be a need to wear clothes anymore? Thats probably right because there won’t be childbirth anymore so I guess our genitals will be zapped away and we’ll have nothing to hide.
      I’m so excited at the thought of all this that I keep letting out little bits of wee! Can’t wait!

  15. ScotWm says:

    “Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. is responsible for the payment of the $4,000 per day fine assessed back in 2016, along with all costs associated with this appeal.” This statement indicates that Watchtower hasn’t paid anything except for its attorney fees. The ongoing appeals seem to be an effort to avoid paying both the $4 thousand per day sanctions and the $13.2 million judgment. So far, the Watchtower’s defence strategy has been to stall, stall, stall. Hopefully, the frustrated court will soon issue judgment liens against Watchtower properties to force payment.

  16. outandabout says:

    To all Jehovah’s Witnesses – Morality is doing what is right regardless of the consequences.
    Religion, particularly yours, is doing what you are told regardless of what is right.
    Child rape is a crime of the worst kind and yet you are told it is a mere sin.
    Under the guise of ‘leave it to Jehovah’ you are told to keep child rape quiet so as not to expose the lies you’ve been believing and then deserting and bankrupting a self serving cult. You owe it to society to bring this cult to justice otherwise you are no more than part of the problem you say you are tying to fix.

    How much longer are you going to deny your intelligence? You can smell the wrong. Do something and show the world what being a Jehovah’s Witness is really about or continue as a bunch of cowardly fools.

    • Ricardo says:

      I couldn’t agree more, outandabout. Fellow Witnesses- wake up! Wake up and deal with reality. Own, accept the wrongdoings being done by our religion. Even if you can’t do anything about it, at least be aware, and show the victims some respect and empathy, if not decency.

      • outandabout says:

        If only Witnesses realized it is they who have complete and utter power over the GB, not the other way around. No congregation = no GB. No GB means simply finding another one.

  17. messenger says:

    The 13.2 mill judgment has already been overturned by the appellate court. WT doesn’t owe it. However, if WT keeps refusing to turn over the court ordered docs I expect another terminating sanction against WT along with a new and rather large monetary award to the plaintiff. One award like that probably won’t hurt WT much, but what if the same thing happens a dozen times? Ooch! Eventually WT would call uncle and cave in to submission to court orders.

    A legal strategy lawyers working for large corporations like WT use is to to dilly dally with court motions to use up their adversaries’ money, even when those adversaries have contingent lawyers, because the amount of time those lawyers spend on those cases needs to be represented by compensatory monetary payoffs in order to be worth it for those lawyers. Most lawyers want to scare their defendants into settling for that reason. I believe I read Zalkin said WT is not attempting to settle these two cases involving Campos that we’re considering. And he doesn’t know why?

    WT’s also is hiding because those docs could cause WT to pay more to other plaintiffs it is currently fighting, and plaintiffs that might arise in the future. Zalkins already agreed to only uses them for this case, but what would stop him from requesting the same discovery items in other cases he’s handling? I don’t see anything that would.

    I suspect that if WT does not have enough liquid assets to pay the courts and plaintiffs it gets ordered to then it will file a reorganization bankruptcy allowing it a number of years to pay off its debt without forcing it to sell properties.

  18. Ricardo says:

    @Messenger, any kind of bankruptcy arrangement would have a severe influence on the morale of the brotherhood. No matter which spin the GB would put on it, there are so many of us who know what’s going on, and news spreads like wildfire among the masses in this organization, there can be no hiding. Like my CO friend said: the longer the GB refuses to take action, the more damage that will get done.

    • messenger says:

      Here is a possible WT strategy to get over the hump it’s riding that lines up with WT’s recent actions (those over the last several years-since Candace Conti court case):

      1. Cut printing expenses by saving money not only on employee costs but also other overhead costs, principally the acquisition and maintenance of buildings, printing material costs, and transportation costs.

      2. Maintain the same amount of revenue coming in that was coming in before the printing cost cuts, or even increase the revenue through frequent reminders to donate, implementing policies that enforce more control over KH building and remodeling projects, not allowing congregations to hoard donations in congregation bank accounts, dismiss congregation loans and coerce congregations to pay the amounts they previously paid for those loans as donations with no cut off dates for those payments (now called donations).

      WT definitely has a strategy for dealing with expenses incurred due to their inadequate child protection policies. We can disagree with its policies, but WT does have policies to protect itself long term. And it will continue to change those policies as it accesses their effect and WT needs. The most powerful policies of WT are those involving its theology. Once people who desire to follow Christ mentally accept WT’s definition of the “faithful and discreet slave” parable WT controls their lives- and so gets their money to use as WT sees fit.

      • outandabout says:

        they have a strategy alright, messenger, but it will only delay the inevitable. They face attack from multiple sources, from outside as well as from within.
        Their policy of shunning is being squeezed by the common sense and decency of a ‘hideous’ worldly society which wishes to put and end to bullying.
        Their blood policy has long been known by WT as Rutherfords mistake, hence all this rubbish about blood fractions which is no more than an attempt to muddy the waters and legally distance the society from the blood ban and proclaim it was a personal choice while at the same time keeping up hospital liaison goons to appear to the followers as if they haven’t actually changed their minds on anything and are relentlessly following gods word and so therefore must be the one true religion. Meanwhile, Witnesses die for the sole purpose of keeping up the Watchtowers charade as the one true religion and also to avoid costly litigation from furious families. Money comes before lives.
        They’ve always relied on New Light and scripture to excuse their mistakes (fraud) but there is simply no scripture to excuse the child abuse and this is going to cost them dearly for ‘following gods word’ and refusing to show sense and decency, but, they can’t change their mind anyway because they can’t appear to follow advice or orders from Satans wicked system otherwise they are not the ‘one true religion’. They’re stuck on a runaway train with no brakes. They’ve orchestrated their own doom.
        The biggest threat for them comes from the internet with the free exchange of thoughts and ideas on all religious persuasions without the fear of shunning, jailing or death. Children can think and reason and are secretly or openly refusing to be sucked in anymore, even Islamic children. Non- belief is now the third largest group of people behind Christianity and Islam and growing exponentially because of the internet. The old die out with no one to take their place.

      • nullandvoidboy says:

        @messenger….as to a possible strategy that you mentioned in bullet point #2 “not allowing congregations to hoard donations in congregation bank accounts”…….they already do that…..congregations are only allowed to keep a certain amount of operating expenses in the bank….all excess funds MUST be sent to the Masters….err…I meant Slave

        • messenger says:

          Yes I know. They’ve already done all the things I mentioned there. WT has already employed the strategy I’ve mentioned, and probably others as well to pay for its settlements and fines due to inadequate child protection policies.

          It’s quite possible that WT was never short on funds when Steven Lett announced via the broadcast WT didn’t have enough money to accomplish everything it had planned for that service year; I believe it was in 2015. It’s possible that was part of the WT plan to accumulate funds to pay settlements and court judgments. WT would not have stated that is what it wanted the money for if that was the case. The cutting back on employees (volunteers) after that call for money was a smart move also. It caused some publishers to donate more, because of believing WT was in financial trouble, or at least that it needed more money to further the “Kingdom” work. I personally know of many thousands of dollars that were donated shortly after that call by people I personally know. The printing cuts were phased in incrementally.

          My personal belief is that WT is going to be around longer than we will. I do side with outandabout’s belief though that the bad publicity on the web causes many people not to join and others to stop believing WT’s dogma. That’s been the case with me.

          • Ricardo says:

            It would be a real headache if I were to get d’fed and then WT went bankrupt and into non-existence. How would I ever be reinstated?

  19. outandabout says:

    This Governing Body reminds me of Hitlers reign and eventual defeat. There were several attempts on Hitlers life during the war and every assassination attempt he survived just reassured and convinced him even more strongly of his destiny. He became an invincible god in his own mind and felt all he had to do was keep going no matter the cost.
    The Watchtower have enjoyed immunity for decade upon decade, ‘winning’ court cases ( wearing the opposition out with shady maneuvering more like)) becoming wealthier and wealthier and becoming convinced that out of 40,000 different christian denominations worldwide, they just happen to have been chosen by god.
    These classic scenario’s have been playing themselves out since forever and Watchtower is just another human folly. For them, the Russians (the Internet) are now racing across the plains towards Berlin.
    Another classic human folly – Socrates being forced to take hemlock after being found guilty of ‘refusing to recognize the god’s recognized by the State’ and ‘corrupting the youth of Athens’. How utterly familiar, and yet……. nobody today recognizes Greek gods. How many millions have been put to the sword because of Mans fear of death, the dark and the unknown. Surely, if we remove those fears they cannot be used against us anymore.

    • Peggy says:

      @Outandabout, Thank you for your thoughts. It made be happy to hear from a like minded person. Fear should not be a factor in my journey to discovery.

      • outandabout says:

        No problem, Peggy. Good luck on your journey of reason, on which the path just gets wider and wider and the world as it really is opens up.
        One thought – if not for the promise of life after death, do you think anybody would be a christian? I don’t think they would and so the whole thing is revealed as a purely selfish pursuit with fake smiles and fake charity. The formalized panic around the fear of death. If Paradise was removed the vacuum created by the the pews emptying so fast would cause the church walls to collapse inwards.

        • messenger says:

          You argue both sides of the coin. That is unless you believe that the majority of humanity that believes in God is morally inferior to the minority that do not.

          In several past posts you expressed your belief that humanity will create a moral utopia. In the comment above you wrote your belief is that charity and you imply that civility only exists among mankind as means to selfish (self-serving) ends.

          I only see your beliefs existing as compatible if you believe a moral utopia consists of selfish people.

          See Rev 12:10 and Job 1:9-11 and you’ll find a like mind in scripture.

        • messenger says:

          “and so the whole thing is revealed as a purely selfish pursuit” your quote outandabout

          What reveals it as such outandabout, your speculative beliefs? You presented no evidence to back up your statement about that revelation just your beliefs or opinions. That does not reveal anything to an aware audience that has seen no proofs themselves.

          According to scientific speculations do you know where the universe came from? Remember, scientists stopped believing in the “steady state theory” some time ago. So, do you know where they now believe the universe came from?

          Answer: They believe it came from another universe. They believe its origin is from another universe. And they believe it is presently held together by dark matter and dark energy that cannot be observed by people John 3:8

          • outandabout says:

            Sorry for offending you, messenger. I should have chosen my words with more care. There’s nothing fake about you or indeed most sincere believers, and…….
            I think it’s been well established that religious folk are no more moral not those who aren’t.
            Let’s put my observation another way, then. If you said to your child that god sent his only son to earth to be killed in order to save us from himself and so we must believe in him and there was no reward of paradise for that belief, only being dragged along to a boring church while other kids play on their bikes, how many kids would go to church as adults? I think you’d find the the world would be a different place. Paradise has been put in place to pull people along while the threat of death for not believing is used to do the pushing. Being pushed and pulled at the same time.
            If there was no paradise, it would be no use god saying ‘love me or I’ll kill you’ because we die anyway. We could choose love just because we want to, not because we must or be killed. Forced to.
            To be forced to love someone we fear is the essence of sado- masochism, and that’s inescapable. We should not be terrorizing unformed and undefended minds with threats of death. If we let them reach adulthood and the Truth is all it’s cracked up to be, it will be there for them loud and clear and there will always be those who will travel the length and breadth of the country dragging a seven foot cross with a wheel on the bottom and there will be those who find their peace in crystals, rainbows and dolphins, but at least it will all be of their own choosing.
            Peace, Brother.

          • messenger says:

            @ outandandbout

            You’ve never offended me brother. To do so I would have to believe you purposely took actions against me with the intent to do me harm. I never felt that about our exchanges of ideas. And discussing ideas with people that don’t agree with me I do not find offensive. I was commenting on the truthfulness of your position, I was not implying your position was offensive to me, and I doubt it would offend many other people.

            But I disagree with your beliefs. For instance, above you’ve restated a frequently stated belief of yours that God sent his son that we must believe in him so that we could be saved from God attack on us-his killing us. My belief is that, that is a mischaracterization of the Bible’s message. I believe God sent his son to save us from ourselves, from harm caused by other people, and from death and sickness. I look at God’s son coming and what he did here as a gift and expression of love not as a demand for servitude or else. God does not have to kill you. You’ll die anyway left on your own. His only decision regarding you, which in reality is not his but Christ’s decision is whether or not Christ lets you live beyond your death. And that depends more on your choices than Christ’s choice.

            The biggest mistake the Witnesses have made, and they’ve made this from their origin but over the years have compounded this fallacy is that they teach and believe that Christians must perform a cascade of WT prescribed actions to gain God’s approval and from that approval attain life. I can see you drawing your conclusions about the Bible’s message from that WT false concept of Christianity. Those prescribed actions taught by WT include refraining from actions prescribed by WT not Christ, such as smoking, voting, carrying hand guns, not serving in the military, no blood transfusion, no university educations, and the rest of a plethora of ideas WT says we must not do, along with the prescribed actions WT says must be done such as door to door evangelizing, submitting to WT authority, and supporting all unbiblical WT doctrines and false teachings.

            The Bible example of how Jesus related to people in his ministry, what he said to them, along with the teachings of Paul and other apostles reveals that Christians are only save by and because of what God and Christ has done, not because of what disciples of Christ do other than they must respond to God’s loving arrangement by believing in Christ as their savior. And why does that requirement make sense? Because without some universal morality which could remove harmful actions against people there is no morality. Everyone choosing their own morality is no morality at all. It’s borderline anarchy and does not even exist inside any government on Earth. Because God exists he is the most knowledgeable person to understand what morality works, and what will not long term for the betterment of society.

          • outandabout says:

            Are saying there was no morality before Christ, messenger? I think you’ll find that man learnt morality the hard way all by himself well before the bible supposedly invented it. All the bible does is state the obvious and then somehow claim morality as it’s own. The Greeks and the Egyptians knew right from wrong and tribes before that and tribes of modern times who’ve never heard of Christ evolved their own morality. Developing morals is all a matter of noticing what works and what doesn’t. Too easy.
            Now you’re going to ask ‘well why isn’t it working?’ Well buddy, what you have to remember is we’re doing Life 101. We’ve never done it before. Take those ancient Greeks for example…..fancy them killing people for not believing in non existent gods! What sort of crazy deluded belief system would cause such lunacy? Oh, hang on, how about another crazy deluded belief system which took over from that one. How did that happen, messenger? I guess there became just too many gods for people to deal with so when the idea of a single all encompassing one came along, people jumped at it. So much more convenient to just have one god to cover the lot but the new belief system was still hostile to inquiry and killed those who dared say ‘now hang on a minute’. These belief systems have held back the advancement of society for centuries by killing the thinkers. Religion is dying in the West because we have knowledge now and religion cannot sustain the lie in the face of it. Trouble is, seeing the death of it’s cousin, Islam could become even more insecure than it already is and may view us as more of a threat and who knows where those apocalyptic beliefs will lead.

          • messenger says:

            No I didn’t mean there was no morality before Christ by my comment outandabout.

  20. JBob says:

    “Watchtower refused to cooperate, failing to produce the requested documents in full, and Losch denied that he had any connection to Watchtower. In 2001, Watchtower removed Governing Body members from their New York and Pennsylvania corporations to insulate them from legal responsibility. The Superior Court of the State of California did not find this tactic amusing, and issued a default judgment for Lopez, awarding him 13.5 million dollars.”

    I recall back in 2001 this tactic was labelled in literature and by the r/f as relieving the GB of the day-to-day operational burdens. What the astute individual would probably have observed is that around this time, courts and juries in the USA had begun to pierce the corporate veil and place criminal and civil liabilities on the doorstep of corporate agents and managers–from Chairmen, CEO and Directors to leading managers and employees (especially for harassment where fines of $250,000 USD are possible). Hint, hint, a “paulper” GB member would have to sell all their Rolexes and Armani’s to start restitutions.

  21. eyes opened says:

    Just thinking…obviously the documents exist. Someone has control over those documents…so if the GB are difficult to connect the dots to those documents…then what about going after the President of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society? Bet there might be some scrambling over that. They can’t all be untouchable. The victims have very bright lawyers, there must be some reason they haven’t tried this already..?

    • messenger says:

      Lawyers name responsible parties in their complaints. Those responsible parties with the deepest pockets are always the preferred defendants listed for obvious reasons. WTBS is responsible for corporate policies. It has much deeper pockets than the president of that corporation.

      I believe some lawyers did list GB members, and maybe they have not listed the WBTS president. But the money mule that is responsible is that corporation and possible some affiliated corporations such as CCJW.

      I believe if the state would charge some of these folks, even local elders, with criminal prosecutions, and get convictions from those prosecutions then WT would immediately change its policies regarding child protection. Many elders are not going to the hoosegow or paying criminal fines behind WT child protection policies.

    • messenger says:

      A second reason might be that no evidence has bee uncovered showing the president of the WTBTS controls child protection policies. Evidence has been revealed that the GB members control at least some of those policies, such as the “two witness rule.” Maybe that’s why GB members have been named in some of these suits while the president of WTBTS has not.

      • Bad Penny says:

        There is no president among the GB nowadays. They all have the same status.
        On a side point, I heard a rumour that the preaching work is now over and it will be a warning message from January??? Any comments?

        • messenger says:

          I have not been going to the KH much recently, just once in the last several months. So I don’t know what’s new with WT. But if WT plans to claim that message it means some high up members are also now claiming to be inspired of God, something they’ve never claimed before. WT has previously denied being inspired of God on many occasions, in print , and from GB members recorded on film or digitally.

          That is a message WT has in the past planned to deliver at the start of the great tribulation or directly preceding it and during it. So, if they start delivering it in two more months who do they believe told them it would start next year, God? That proclamation would be a drastic divergent behavior from WT’s prior positions and claims. My understanding is that WT does not plan on delivering that message until it believes the great tribulation is imminent, and there is no evidence that is the case, unless they are now claiming a revelation from God.

          Eyes Opened was speaking of the president of the WTBTS not the president of the GB. The WTBTS should have a president to meet a legal requirement for corporations. USA corporations must have officers of those corporations to fulfill legal requirements, and president is the position one of those officers holds in a corporation here-president CEO or some similar title.

          Take care Bad Penny. I think someone has heard an overzealous WT elder say something he should not have, or he was misinterpreted. But let us know if you hear more about that.

        • John Redwood says:

          Bad Penny – no the rumor you heard about the JW preaching work is just a rumor. If we hear anything to the contrary we will let you know. 🙂 Cheers
          JR

        • Doc Obvious says:

          The Governing Body are horny for Armageddon to come. They believe God is interested in preserving Child Sex Abusers so that they can do their thing in the “new system”. Therefore, it would not surprise me, none the least.

  22. Doc Obvious says:

    Taking On Tony III: ‘Don’t Say We’re Dogmatic!’ is an excellent review of Anthony Morris III’s morning worship segment. I would agree that Watchtower is full of dogma. As Douglas Adams stated, “If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.”

    • Doc Obvious says:

      Further, the definition of “dogma” according to Watchtower Babble and Tract Society’s Anthony Morris III is an example of circular reasoning often leading the listener confused and asking more questions.

      A previous circular reasooning was when Watchtower tried to define the words, “unreasonable” and “humble”. The definitions of such words left the listener clueless what reasonableness is, or what the definition of humility.

  23. Bruce Wayne says:

    They are going to run circles around the court system in California this is what they are known for since the 70’s until know nothing has changed, but there day is coming you will see. “Dogma”

    • messenger says:

      My money would be on the CA court system and Zalkin, the plaintiff’s lawyer. So far WT’s lawyers have been completely inept in this case with one exception. They have stalled for a time. If WT’s tactic is to extend the stall tactic with the intent of getting the plaintiff to take a settlement then it’s tactic stands a good chance of being effective. If WT intends to win a jury trial and they get in front of a jury they will get their butt handed to them on a silver platter.

      I live in CA. I once set in through a murder trial as the 12th juror. The defendant was also a pedophile, and though the jury was ordered not to make a decision about his pedophilia the prosecutor presented as much evidence about the pedophilia as he did the murder, because the crimes were linked. The defendant was accused of killing the mother and also shooting the step-father of the child he had molested.

      When we, the jury, went into deliberation all of us immediately agreed the defendant was guilty. I’m confident that CA jury if it heard the evidence Zalkin has incriminating WT it would convict WT just as quickly. If WT does not reach a settlement and gets in front of a CA jury watch what happens. That will be the stupidest thing WT could do in this case.

      CA is primarily a liberal state but you don’t want to get into trouble with the law here, enforcement agencies or the courts. Compared to the legal system WT is like a flea on a lion’s rear, with the court being the lion. As far as the court system, it’s going ring WT through the ringer pretty soon if it continues to be uncooperative. If WT lawyers are intelligent enough to be lawyers they’ll talk WT into paying the lowest settlement the plaintiff will take and end this case. If not and those docs are presented they will be called on many subsequent cases, creating easy wins for plaintiffs in those cases.

      If I had a business, and it was WT, I’d look at that business as being between a rock and a hard place; there is no safe way for WT to get out of this mess it’s in now. The best WT can do is immediately change its policies so that 50 years from now all the current victims that have a legal claim against it will have died. That is unless there are statutes of limitations against child molestation, but even then those statues would be different in different locales. The GB is approaching this like it doesn’t much care what happens to WT after current members die.

      You may be a JW and so think WT is strong. It’s not. The only things it has going for it is its money, assets, and continual money stream. In every other area WT is extremely weak in this situation it now finds itself in (facing these type of cases). If this happened to any org that did not have big money the org would be over, or at least broke. Most commenter here believe these cases will break WT. I don’t because of its money. Eight million loyal followers will help keep it afloat also. But WT can do nothing to stop the bleed for some time, and if they don’t change its policies the bleed will never stop. That could put WT under. It could bleed to death. That will be up to what the GB does.

      • outandabout says:

        I agree with you when you say WT has too much money to go broke right now messenger, but what they don’t have is the Truth and more and more people are finding that out. Their downfall is more likely to come from attrition as the young and the more awake or less deluded among them refuse to believe their b.s. and the die-hards simply die out. One only has to witness whats happening with the Catholic Church.

        Increasing knowledge won’t help WT either. News this week tells us that Russians have discovered bacteria on the Space Station that they say doesn’t come from earth. This needs a proper experiment now of course but hey, how long have we been suggesting the seeds of life are floating around the Universe until they find fertile ground. It’s Life, messenger, but not as we know it but don’t tell the children, aye. Can’t have the children knowing more than we do.

      • messenger says:

        I read WT settled all the cases against it except these two were considering. It could be they decided not to settle these two and instead participate in lengthy litigation to communicate to lawyers all over the world that if they take similar cases against WT then lengthy litigation is what they will likely face. Zalkin claimed WT didn’t attempt to settle these two cases, and not doing so to make that point to lawyers is a smart move. Sometimes actions that look foolish are really intelligent moves when the motives are understood. Just a possibility, but a likely one.

        Did someone above say WT called for money again at one of the recent meetings, a month ago or so? I read something about $14 per publisher.
        I haven’t been going, so I didn’t hear it. But if so that’s very interesting.

        8,000,000 X $14= $112,000,000 or 112 million dollars if all publishers comply.

        • messenger says:

          The cases I refer to are those involving Campos. I mistakenly wrote WT settled all cases, not true. But I read it settled all involving Campos the pedophile, except these two.

        • brucewayne71 says:

          If you like to know what is going on in the meetings and what is announced just go to You Tube to Theocratic Meetings and it is all there. They even record the announcements that are made. Yes, you could see all the midweek meeting and weekend meetings as well. I will not be surprised if WT is asking for money.

    • Doc Obvious says:

      Watchtower Porn and Tract Society. Sad.

    • JBob says:

      Now I understand why my parents kept close watch over me as I hung around them and this religious group. JW’s recruit individuals who are often on the fringe or left out of other mainstream churches and social groups. Lonely? Need instant friends? Need to be able to have absolute authority over your quarry? Have I got a cult for you!

  24. Whip It says:

    Sickening Article Shibboleth, 2 many of them in the world, getting worse, sadly i have had to attend a couple of meetings this week due to the CO being in town, the theme, “Loyalty” here we go again, more FOG, on Sunday his PT is “What is the future of Religion”, if he mentions child abuse in the other churches i will front him after & ask what about us, on a scale of numbers, Members to offenders we are worse than a lot of other churches.

    • outandabout says:

      Whip it….I think you’l find the pedophile problem has been with us since forever and has been unknown or hushed up and only because society has learnt the damage pedophilia causes and is now doing something about it and with pedophiles being exposed left right and centre, there’s the mistaken perception the problem is getting worse. It’s not getting worse, it’s being exposed and not with the help of the supposedly morally superior churches. Quite the opposite, as you know. Any help now given by churches has been forced upon them by a supposedly decaying world. If there was any truth in their Truth, it would be the other way around.

    • John freeman says:

      We have circuit visit next week.im interested in a comment on u tube that said the loyalty was 1 to marriage mate 2 loyalty by shunning 3 loyalty shown by reaching out by brothers. If the shunning is mentioned i will report it to the charity commision as shunning even children was mentioned and as for reaching out .the term sends me into PTSD .after my experiance as a m servant years ago..so i see fun time ahead..im thinking of recording it..

      • Imgonaburn says:

        John, can you let us know what is said next week? I left the religion 5+ years ago. My husband and 2 eldest adult kids remained. My 2 younger kids (14 and 17 at that time) left with me.
        My daughter had a baby last year and after the shunning convention of 2016 she and her husband decided to cut all ties with me. I was forbidden contact with my grandson. It was horrendous!
        Long story short, I couldn’t live like that. It ruined my relationship with my husband. I left him and forced him to choose between me and the religion. Fortunately he chose me. So, for showing loyalty to his wife, he too has been shunned by my daughter and her JW husband. My husband and I are NOT dfd. There’s been no marking talk about either of us. My daughter and sil told my husband to stick with Jehovah and He would fix our marriage! .
        They told him if he stopped going to the meetings (even temporarily) they would treat him the same way they treat me. We are not dfd but they treat us as if we are! My husband still has the same lifestyle as when he was going to meetings. He doesn’t smoke, swear, celebrate birthdays or Xmas etc he just hasn’t attended meetings for about 9 months. They shunned him from day one of us getting back together. I’ve done all of the above when I first quit but not any more. I’m still shunned. It’s like they’ve completely ignored the command to ‘honour your mother and father…’
        My eldest son and dil are still active JWs and after a short period of little contact with us they now visit and contact us occasionally- much to the annoyance of my daughter!
        When my husband asked elders for help re seeing our grandson he was told that my daughter has to obey her husband so there was nothing they could do.
        Jesus hasn’t ‘brought this sword’ that seperates us. We have NEVER opposed them practising their faith. We haven’t persecuted them for THEIR religious beliefs. It’s quite the opposite.
        I would be interested to know what is said about remaining loyal to your marriage mate because it seems to me that there’s a double standard there somewhere.

        • Me says:

          Send your Son in Law a letter and ask him what 1 Tim5:8 says. Someone who doesn’t look after his own family of worse than a man without faith.
          You are not df so this scripture is to be applied over the principle of not talking to a df person.
          He has in fact now disassociated himself as a JW because the scriptures say he is worse than a man without faith.
          How can he stand before Jehovah and think he has a clear conscience?

          • Imgonaburn says:

            I don’t think that would work with my son in law. He’s never liked us and has gone to extremes to seperate our daughter from us. If I’m honest I think he’s manipulated the situation re shunning to his own advantage and used the religion as a means to alienate us from her and our grandchild.
            Apart from that though, I’m not a ‘widow’, I’m under the age of 60 and not a member of his household so they will think it doesn’t apply to them.
            I will mention 1Tim 5:8 to my husband because it’s not an angle that we’ve discussed.
            My stance on it is -How can they think that their sacrifice to Jehovah will be acceptable when they know that they have been a cause for stumbling? Their behaviour was a major contributing factor in our decision to turn away and be resolved never to return. The final straw.
            I don’t believe that Armageddon is coming any more but they do! How can any jw believe that inflicting such pain will serve them well with a ‘loving’ God? ‘Honour your mother and father so that it may go well with you’ pfft! The whole shunning/df doctrines is a sham. It makes them feel like they’re remaining loyal to Jehovah whatever the cost. Integrity?! It’s a joke! Non Jehovah’s witnesses are dumbfounded when I tell them of our experience. As word spreads about the insidious dark side to this cult then fewer and fewer people will get sucked in.
            Maybe the ‘little one that becomes a thousand’ should be taken literally! Perhaps their numbers will decrease from millions into merely thousands in time.

  25. Whip It says:

    Outandabout, many thanks and sound reasoning, the PT was always going to be interesting, “What is the future of Religion”., no mention on child abuse, i wonder if they have been directed to say nothing on it, possibly yes, 1st Point, False Prophet, hang on what about the JW, biggest false Prophets in history, 2nd point, immorality condoned by the church, again what about child abuse, to do nothing is to condone, 3rd & final point the use of Gods name, we are not the only organisation that uses, check out the Byington Bible, & others. Sheer arrogance as we have come to know to well.In the congo here i have just learnt that their is nearly 50 inactive ones, out of around 100 Publishers, & yet no encouragement from anyone, this place is dying very fast, maybe a lot of people are seeing stuff & being quiet. I haven’t been door to door in years, i could not & will not defend them if asked by a member of the public.

  26. eyes opened says:

    The news is overcome with allegations of sexual assault in the political and entertainment industries. The WBST have always been finger pointers over such conduct. They have set themselves above all other organizations of any kind as God’s chosen ones and they have set themselves above the law…above obedience to the superior authorities. Their conduct toward sexual abusers and the victims deserves the same headlines and even more so since they have established themselves on such superior moral grounds. I’m preaching to the choir here, but religion should be called to account on the front page like everyone else. The movie Spotlight was a start but perhaps the main headline on CNN would garner more attention and maybe bring about some much needed public shock and awe. Strip off that morally superior attitude and expose the vile conduct and the devastation that accompanies it.

    Regards

    • messenger says:

      Most of us presently are, or have been, affiliated with WT. And WT had a tremendous influence on our lives. To the general population WT means nothing. We hear about the politicians and news personalities because the news media can sell those stories; even though those stories are nothing more than salacious gossip to most people. Again, WT means nothing to most people. Not even as much as one famous celebrity. We heard about the Catholic pedophiles a lot because Catholicism boasts almost 18% of the worlds population. WT’s number? Far below.

      I took a journalism class that taught people are far more interested in stories about events that are closer to them than those farther away, and that involve people that are similar to themselves-e.g. while Californians and Americans were fixated on the first OJ Simpson trial (and the deaths of two people in CA) they paid no attention to the slaughter and genocide of hundreds of thousands of people (approx. 800,000) in Malawi Africa that occurred at the same time. WT means something to us because most of us were Witnesses. Other people have nothing in common with it and therefore to the media the story is not major news.

  27. outandabout says:

    True, messenger, nobody cares a hoot about Watchtower and the Jehovah’s Witnesses because they’re generally viewed as being a sandwich short of a picnic because of their beliefs. A Witness will have no trouble at all unraveling and scoffing at the lies of Mormonism and their book of golden plates but will firmly believe the equally ridiculous proposition that an invisible Jesus inspected and approved the works of Russell……and vice versa.
    The WT have done a fine job of convincing Witnesses that the WT is a major player on the world stage and have had huge influence at shaping world events for the betterment of mankind while the reality is the WT is no more than a self serving religious cult bent on it’s own survival at all costs and will even kill it’s own members by being too afraid to rescind a ridiculous blood ban which was introduced by a sod of a man long dead, at a time of comparative ignorance.
    Help is on the way. We’re in a paradigm shift and all this crap will get left in the dust. Maybe not in our lifetime, but it’s started and it’s unstoppable. Even if all sites like this one disappeared, it will still happen as a natural course. We’ll become educated, wake up and refuse to give our tax money to parasitic cults and organisations and they’ve be left begging and eventually die a natural death and it’ll be goodbye Jehovah, give my regards to Zeus.

  28. Doc Obvious says:

    My recommendation. It is time for the judicial system to turn off Watchtower’s utilities (electricity, gas, and water) or levy liens on their assets at Warwick and Patterson. The prevailing attitude that Watchtower displays is so commonplace with publishers that now the judicial system is experiencing the same negative attitude. This is a great progress of dismantling the amount of control that they have on individual members and the legal system. The placing of conditions on Watchtower is priceless. What a reaction from Watchtower!

    • messenger says:

      Doc WT’s reactions to these cases shouldn’t mean much at this point. Except that its strategy will affect how plaintiffs will agree to settle-whether agreeing to a little or a lot.

      The number of jurors needed to convict on civil offenses varies from state to state in the USA. Here in CA the plaintiff needs 9 out of 12 jurors to side with him/her to get a conviction. To get a criminal conviction in CA 12 out of 12 jurors must agree.

      The problem WT has now is that it’s lost some of these type of cases, therefore precedents have been set. The same way as if the GB decides that if you do something it does not think Christian it can kick you out, and then also believes that it can kick out every Witness for the same offense. This is why WT’s butt is in the ringer. No matter what strategy it takes it will lose now, because it’s already been decided in multiple courts that its policies are against the law.

      To me it seems as though WT is attempting to tread water in hopes those fighting it will give up and settle, for the least that’s possible. As far as this strategy working with the court system anywhere, it won’t.

      Scientology was successful in fighting the government (but not the court system) because Scientology filed about 2,500 lawsuits against the government (IRS and its employees). WT is not in that same position. Civilians are bringing these suits against WT not the government as it did to Scientology. So, there’s no way for WT to go to stop this. The court system is only making the decisions; it’s not filing the suits. Plaintiffs will continue to rise up and lawyers will gladly take on a solid case that is almost impossible to lose, or that they can force their defendant to settle.

      There will be more WT calls for money from the flock unless WT can lower its overhead further. Its cut in printing costs did a lot. Maybe they will eliminate printing altogether. WT might also consolidate congregations. They’ve been talking about that for a while. I side with outandabout’s idea that the biggest hurt will come from attrition. So, its health seems to depend on the rate of attrition.

      Take care brother.

  29. outandabout says:

    That would perhaps help, Doc, but really, all we have to do is wait because the religious scene is changing. People with no religious affiliation are now the third largest group in the world behind Christianity and Islam. – 1940’s – 5%, 1990’s – 8%, 2012 – 20%. Pews are emptying at an exponential rate and non believers will eventually outnumber believers and a stage will be reached when Atheist politicians don’t have to court religious people anymore and will be able to put forward motions to abolish state funding of churches and cults and that could be a death knell for them. A recent Irish census reveals the number of people with no religion has risen 73.6% in five years. Americans are said to becoming more secular with 50% feeling alienated by organised religion and the number of non-believers has doubled in ten years. A similar story across the UK, Europe and Australia. Sweden is 85% atheist and Japan about 65% and is it a coincidence that these two countries are among the most peaceful in the world.
    These figures may differ depending on the source but the trend is clear.

  30. outandabout says:

    I watched Lioyd’s Warwick video and thought it was well done. As for the WT headquarters. I thought they were no more than a monument to stupidity and comparable to the Creation Museum in Kentucky which is a joke and an insult to intelligence. How many lives could have been changed for the good with those millions.

  31. messenger says:

    @ Nancy

    Nancy I attempted but failed to post a reply to the post you made on your blog at 5:43pm today. I believe sometimes you are a reader here, so you might coincidentally read my response here. The editors on this site are quite accommodating and will likely allow this comment, though it is directed to your post on your site. You feel no one cares about or supports truth. My response to you addresses your belief from a biblical perspective. But you can see from other comments here that many people who do not believe in the Bible believe in and support factual information (truth). Here’s the post I attempted to upload on your site:

    “Truth is what is factual, the good, the bad, and the ugly. God and his son use all truths-every factual thing- to fulfill their purposes. No truths are not used by them in fulfillment of their purposes, not even rebellions, false directions by others, and lack of faith in God by atheists or his servants. The same way God used the ill fate of Moses, Daniel, David and others to fulfill his purposes he uses all things to fulfill his purpose. He knows all things and uses all things. So, when you say no one supports truth, in a sense all things do. All things real are factual, and God uses all real things to fulfill his purposes.

    To argue every intricacy about every truth concerning God is futile. Man cannot know all of that, and different opinions are many. Therefore Christ simplified the search for truth and what proper arguments should be held about that subject, those arguments that are acceptable to God on that subject, when he said, “I (Jesus) am the truth.” No other factual information is necessary to know God to the point of pleasing him and being saved by Christ or being “born again.”. Jesus is that truth.

    Please forgive me if I do not respond to future posts here on your site. I happened to stumble upon your site while researching info on JWSurvey.

    Best wishes to you Nancy. It’s my belief there are millions of people who support the truth as I’ve outlined it here, maybe even billions.”

    • outandabout says:

      So is it true that god sacrificed his son for the betterment and continuation of mankind which brings the christian belief into line with the Aztecs and others who offered sacrifices for the same reason….. and then somehow Christianity claims the high moral ground, messenger?

      • messenger says:

        Outandabout See Matthew 21:33-39

        The Aztecs killed people in sacrifice. God did not kill his son (in sacrifice), people killed Christ. Both Christ and his father live outside of time dimensions and foresaw Christ’s death as the above scripture indicates. God allowing it is much different than God killing his son. The scriptures above comment on why Christ died. He was not sacrificed by God.

      • messenger says:

        Christianity is the only religion I’m aware of that teaches salvation is a result of acts from God (Father and Son) and not because of practicing loving moral acts by the recipients. If man could attain salvation because of his own acts, what’s he doing on Earth to die for in the first place? The fact that we’re here suggests that’s not considered possible by any God other than some human God’s.

        In the Bible acts by God (Father and Son) are bringing about salvation (John 3:17), partly do due to their love and compassion. And that reveals a higher presence of morality by the Bible’s God than those other God’s.

        • outandabout says:

          Isaiah 53:10, messenger – God sacrificed his son. And Romans 5.8 describes Jesus taking a bullet for the betterment of mankind. and then as a continuation of that we have the inquisitors who imagined they were doing god’s work, knowing that ‘reason is the Devil’s harlot’, stamping out the spread of reason to prevent innocent people losing faith and the gift of everlasting life and so doing their bit for the betterment and continuation of mankind in the name of a god. – killing a few for the greater good. The same psychopathology of ancient, uneducated human minds at work between Christians and Aztecs. And it goes further – all gods everywhere are invisible, control everything, created everything, are in need of constant praise and recognition and are prone to irrational temper tantrums just to prove their power and quite a few have virgin births and a Paradise attached as well.
          It seems that in the absence of a suitable explanation for ‘why are we here’, we invent gods.
          Anyway, are you up for a fishing trip this weekend?

          • messenger says:

            “then as a continuation of that we have the inquisitors who imagined they were doing god’s work” Your quote outandabout

            I’ll address different aspects of this thought that you claim, which is the human behavior of “the inquisitors” is a continuation of God’s behavior. And I’ll address God’s real behavior regarding Christ’s death. First, is that idea that there is a correlation between the inquisitors’ behavior and God’s accurate? I find it interesting that some people who do not believe in God blame God for what they know humans are responsible for. First thought, if God does not exist people are responsible for every wrong they do. That’s simple logic. And arguing that they would not be so unrighteous if they were not following a make believe god does not help your position. You have no proof they would not be so unrighteous if they were atheists. They may be more barbaric once that god chain is removed. But since God does exist it’s irrational to say he is responsible for the actions anyone does except himself since he claims in his word, and this idea is highlighted in almost every Bible story, that God has given mankind and angels the privilege of acting independent of his will, making decisions for themselves, just like you do. Your comments are an example of that fact should God exist- your point of view (if God exists), not my belief; so please don’t repeat that thought (out of context) implying it is my belief in future posts.

            Now to address what actually happened to Christ and consider God’s and Christ’s part in it. The Bible clearly states Christ was killed by men, and his death was observe with the approval of men and women that were present. Unlike the Aztecs that did kill people in sacrificial rituals God nor Christ (who is also a god or more biblically accurate God) killed Jesus. Those points are not worth repeating or arguing over since those points are so clear in Bible accounts.

            Now let’s consider the intent of language in the scriptures you refer to, since the killers of Christ should be obvious to all readers who read the gospels let’s leave that thought by agreeing men killed Christ. First consider the way you described the words at Rom 5:8. You wrote, “Rom 5:8 describes Jesus as taking a bullet for the betterment of mankind.” (outandabout) Does that scripture actually say Christ took a bullet? No, for bullets were first invented in the 1800s. Your intent was that Christ died for the benefit of mankind. And that’s a true and biblical thought. Now, did God actually “crush” Christ as Isa 53:10 says? God no more crushed Jesus than Jesus took a bullet like you said. I’ve already established he was killed by men. And the reason he was killed is not because God wanted him sacrificed, it was because of the way people reacted to Christ’s message and behavior. I brought that scriptural point out earlier in a post above this one. So, in what way then, according to scripture, did God take delight in crushing Christ? In the analogy I referred to in the above post Christ stated not only the son (himself) but also hired hands (prophets) were sent to retrieve something that was valuable to God from individuals that were tending the fields. Unlike the messages and deaths of the prophets that were sent before Christ (the son), Christ’s message retrieved the produce in the field that was valuable to God. That field produce was followers (men and women) for God, hence Christ’s message, “No one comes to the father, except through me.” Even though Christ was killed, and the killers thought they could stop God’s plan, they failed to do so. So, right before before Christ died he stated, “It’s been done.” God took delight in the result. The valuable produce in the field was retrieved by his son, despite that death. The death means nothing if nothing was retrieved. The retrieval of human hearts is what God wanted and took delight in. A consequence was Christ’s death.
            Finally the Catholic inquisitors investigated and punished other Christian groups and their own members for heresy, and they did also with members from different religions (e.g. Jews). The only way the inquisitors’ actions relate to your comment is, that is what the Jews did to Christ-investigated his teachings and punished him for heresy. In no way was God punishing Christ for heresy. Again, that point is so clear in scripture it’s not worth discussing.

            It’s difficult, but not impossible, for you to have any idea how God or Christ thinks because you don’t believe in either one. Therefore, in your reasoning you never consider that beings that see the future of every living creature would never make decisions like you do from your extremely limited vantage point, by comparison.

          • outandabout says:

            well that was certainly a mouthful, messenger. Interesting, in order to explain the parts of the bible which get ‘taken out of context’ which also happens to be the ones which get Christians uncomfortable the most, it would take a book five or six times larger than the bible itself.
            Christianity is sacrifice based, tries to close a circle about itself with a virgin birth and gives meaning to itself by way of an afterlife or paradise, but this is a theme in most belief systems now and throughout history and which runs through all of mans attempts to explain where we came from and what our purpose is simply because we didn’t have a clue about anything.
            Paradise simply would not work for the human mind. Triumphs and tribulations are essential for our mental well being. Take those away and place us in a homogeneous situation where everything is the same forever and ones existence becomes a living death with no escape. Man got that carrot totally wrong.

  32. Imgonaburn says:

    Looks like they’ve sprung a leak in Russia too! $15m worth of properties confiscated by Russian Govt.
    https://www.rt.com/news/412539-russian-court-jehovahs-witnesses-assets/

  33. Whip It says:

    Can’t wait for the spin on that

  34. Ricardo says:

    I watched Lloyd’s video about the local needs talk given at the northern England congregation where 20 people have just left. In the talk the elder mentions 7 things that apostates focus on. One was an inordinate interest in the child sex abuse taking place in the congregations and the court cases Watchtower has lost. He said, “Of course the courts are not going to like us. We are no part of the world. The courts are part of Satan’s world. ”

    Great! So when I started to find out about the sex abuse cases, initially I felt surprise. Then when I learned of how prolific it was in the congregations I felt shocked. Then when I read Watchtower’s defence in the court documents I felt disgusted. But I cannot share that surprise, shock or disgust with anyone, not even ask an elder about it, or I will be viewed as apostate. What a religion!

    Is it wrong to be disgusted when you find out that your religion has been covering up, and continues to cover up, so many cases? Can the law courts be blamed if it is US doing the wrong thing?

    To me this shows the difference between being a Christian and being a Witness. Is Jehovah concerned about the child sex abuse and the victims? Too right! As a Christian is it wrong? No! But as a witness it is wrong because you aren’t showing loyalty to the organization.

    Thank goodness we can feel surprise, shock and disgust but know we aren’t displeasing Jehovah, we aren’t turning our back on Christianity. We are just making the seven dwarfs, the golden calf, unhappy.

    • messenger says:

      It could be that elder is monitoring so called JW apostate sites, or the WT is and has informed elders of topics considered on those sites. If so, that elder could be relating those topics in the way buzz words are used. In essence telling the congregation that, if a brother or sister brings this topic (one of these topics up) he/she might be reading apostate sites and is therefore bad association.

      In the congregations I’ve attended in the USA I was never aware of the type of resistance to WT shown in the congregations by single brothers or by a group of them that you have seen and been a part of. Here in the USA it appears the WT has control over the loyalty of its publishers. It’s probable most of those no longer believing in WT stop attending. I have seen that.

      • Ricardo says:

        @Messenger, I would call the brothers here ‘radicalized’. I have never seen brothers let down the tyres of a car belonging to a Judicial Committee elder before. And tomorrow a group of brothers go to the Immigration Department to try and get the foreign elders kicked out. This degree of anger and frustration has to be seen to be believed. They say: You guys abuse us, so we will complain to the Immigration Department and Religious Department about you. We will gladly wave you goodbye.

        • outandabout says:

          bloody hell, Ricardo, it’s becoming like Atheism which has split into thousands of different groups with each fighting and squabbling and killing the other over which is the correct way to not worship something that doesn’t exist. Ban Atheism and it’s peace bringing ways! Peace is terrible. Peace is empty. Can’t have emptiness.

          • Ricardo says:

            @outandabout, I think banning elders would be a good first step. That would bring peace.

          • outandabout says:

            Can’t get rid of Elders, Ricardo. Elders are WT’s source of the general mood of the congregation and any worries or whiffs of dissent among the sheep are quickly headed off in the next issue of Awake with the appropriate propaganda.
            Crowd Control and Spying are the Elders chief role as far as the WT is concerned. Nicely done and true Cult behavior.

    • Fleur du male says:

      Putting a lid on truth is how authoritarian regimes do it. Recommend reading Orwell’s essay on freedom of speech:
      http://orwell.ru/library/essays/prevention/english/e_plit

      I must say, Ricardo, your words resonates well with those of Ezekiel: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/ezekiel/9-4.htm

      Thanks for your honest reflections!

      • outandabout says:

        putting a lid on the truth, Fleur….interesting…could you please do me a favour and name a belief system not hostile to inquiry about itself and which doesn’t have in place mechanisms which stifle uncomfortable questions?

    • brucewayne71 says:

      Ricardo,

      I am in the same situation as you, can’t even talk about it to my own wife just so I won’t be viewed as apostate.

      • messenger says:

        Brucewayne 71 I talk about it with my wife anyway. Being viewed as an apostate for Christ, because of having correct views of the scriptures while WT does not and sharing that is part of being a Christian. [You will be taken before governors, also members of your household will be against one another and betray one another] paraphrased words by Christ.

        If, or should I write because, WT is so scripturally wrong in its condemnation of members of all other Christian denominations, along with its demand that its own members bow to men enforcing manmade rules coming only WT not God, then WT has no authority bestowed on it from God or Christ. All WT’s authority comes from what men allow it to have because of the false claims made by those WT puts in authority. The enforcing of its authority causes the family and friend separations and false accusations Christ prophesied would occur.

        The GB is not what they claim the parable about the “faithful and discreet slave” is referring to. Their claim is too illogical. “By their fruits you will recognize those men.” Christ warning us how to recognize the false Christians in charge.

        • messenger says:

          No but wait claims WT. We are as imperfect as you, and we do constantly receive “new light” from God. (paraphrased)

          I say go back to Christ’s words. He said, “by their fruits you will recognize those men,” (the bad ones). So do we follow Christ’s advice or WTs’ pleas to forgive its wrongs even though WT forgives no one else’s wrongs. All disagreeing with WT are going to hell per WT.

          Christ also said, if you do not forgive neither will you be forgiven. WT not only does not forgive, it also never asks for forgiveness for its wrongs, rather it pleads imperfection and “new light.” The huge fallacy is why would that only work before Christ for WT but not for anybody else? Does that make sense? If WT gets away with claiming imperfection, and receiving “new light” to change its beliefs and behaviors while never asking forgiveness for its wrongs why can’t anybody get away with that before God?

          “By their fruits you will recognize those me, never does a good tree produce rotten fruit, and never does a rotten tree produce good fruit. A good tree cannot produce rotten fruit, neither can a rotten tree produce good fruit.” Christ.

          Most probably read and comment here because they’ve noticed rotten fruit produced by WT. Therefore, if you are a Christian who should we follow, the beliefs of Christ, or the claims of WT?
          And are you actually an apostate if you choose to follow Christ before WT?

          • outandabout says:

            All very good points, messenger, and may I dig even deeper on that? Thanks. In the news we have yet another man who has slain his estranged wife for leaving him, the message being – if you don’t love me, then I will kill you.
            Why is it ok for god to murder 7 billion people at Armageddon for the exact same reason and yet at the same time condemn these types of actions from us? Whats wrong with following gods ‘fine’ example?

          • messenger says:

            The killing of 7 billion people at Armageddon is a WT philosophy. That idea is not taught by any other brand of Christianity that I’m aware of. Today and in past generations there are billions who profess Christianity. You assume WT is correct in teaching only JWs are Christians, while all those others are apostates (false Christians). If you don’t know for sure your idea is biblically correct you might assume JWs are the apostate Christians and all those other denominations are the real Christians, or you might assume JWs and all the others are real Christians. Either way that greatly diminishes the number you say will be killed (by God or Christ) at Armageddon.

            Let’s cut the number further by eliminating all of WT’s ideas on that point. Rev.3:10 states Christ will remove some folks from a hour of test coming upon the whole world. Theologians accept that test Rev 3:10 speaks of as the great tribulation. And Armageddon only comes after that test.

            If theologians that are not Witnesses are correct all the ones left on Earth after Christ removes those who believe in him are non-Christians, or people who thought they were Christian but were mistaken. There are not two classes of Christians. People are either Christian or not. The two flocks Jesus referred to were the Jews he preached to and the non-Jews the apostles converted. Those two classes did not denote a heavenly class and an Earthly class as WT teaches.

            That word test at Rev 3:10 is different than the word judgment or condemnation as Armageddon speaks of. Tests are given to assess the test takers. Tests are also given to teach. Most Christians believe that a great crowd of people, that is not numbered in scripture, will come out of the Great Tribulation. Since most Christians believe when the great tribulation starts only non-Christians will be on Earth to experience it, then this great crowd will have to be people who changed their beliefs and accept Christ during the great tribulation. If these other Christians are correct there will be a huge number that are converted because of the great tribulation.

            If all the other Christians are correct on this point and WT is wrong then the number of people you claim will be destroyed is far less than the one you arrived at.

            People that view God through Christ’s image see him as love and a helper. People that do not only see a God of judgment. Because of not wanting to follow him they only see judgment if they believe the Bible at all.

            On a related topic. It wasn’t that God needed a sacrifice as you claimed in a previous post. Rather God sent Jesus to show who he (the father) is, and for Jesus to lead people to him. The Bible refers to the sacrifice often because they both foresaw it and yet accepted it. The accepting of it is what was the sacrifice they both made. The same way you might die saving your child from a burning building. But God and Christ knew it would happen, not just that it could happen, that’s what made their sacrifice greater than if you died by chance in the situation I mentioned.

            See John 3:17- The scriptures prove you wrong.

          • outandabout says:

            Thanks for that, messenger. But is not clear that god will kill those who don’t love him? If that’s the case, what is an acceptable number that will be killed for not loving Him? He;s clearly going to kill some, so how many before divine justice becomes crime? By His own reckoning, killing someone for not loving another is a crime. Why can a person be the nicest person on earth but still be murdered for not loving Him. Something about this story clearly has not been thought through. JK Rowling would have done a better job, it seems.
            Are you sure the answer is not – God is Man and Man is God. Gods personality has all the traits of Man and Mans personality has all the traits of God. Man creates God in his image. How did Jesus get to be a blonde haired blue eyed white guy when he was a Palestinian? You see what we’re capable of, messenger?
            But anyway, you have a Merry Xmas.

          • messenger says:

            “what is an acceptable number that will be killed for not loving Him?” outandabout

            You seem to be hung up on that idea. God is much more pragmatic than you give him credit for. And the people that follow him are also.

            You follow and are confined by rules in your society. That is unless you live a lawless life. And even if that is the case you still abide by some of society’s demands like paying taxes, or you wouldn’t be on this site. You’d be in jail. Therefore you believe in following rules given to you by those in positions of authority. If God kills someone it is for the same reason your government does when it kills outlaws. And yet I don’t hear you complaining about that.

            You also believe every barbaric thing man has done is because of man, not God. You believe God has nothing to do with the hurt man causes. And yet you put your faith that people will somehow reach a state where that does not happen. Religion is not to blame. If It wasn’t here people would still be the same. Religion didn’t cause the Europeans to invade nations and kill each other, or the Europeans to kill the American natives and steal their land, or the Africans and Asians to commit genocide.

            No doubt you believe the scientific claim that hominoids have been on Earth for over four million years. So, when is this utopia brought about by man that you believe in going to occur? It’s very unlikely. People who believe in God believe he will do what it’s apparent mankind cannot. Those people, like God, are pragmatic. They believe in and are seeking what works. So, you can choose to follow man, as you’ve been doing, or you can open up to the possibility of God’s existence..

            Like I’ve claimed in pasts posts God’s provided evidence of his existence by contacting people and sharing future events with them. He did so with me. And all those others like me are witnesses to that.

            I’ve heard from several sources that there are encrypted words and phrases in the Hebrew Bible. For instance, it is said that in just 12 verses of Isaiah chp 53 all the names of Jesus’ apostles are encrypted along with several other words and phrases such as crucifixion, Joseph, and I believe Mary is there also, with and more. I have not looked into it myself, but I think I’ll get a book on the subject. You might google it to check it out. Maybe that will be proof to you of God’s existence.

            Take care buddy.

          • messenger says:

            One final thought on your idea about “Why can a person be the nicest person on earth but still be murdered for not loving Him.”

            Suppose there was the nicest person on earth. There is no guarantee that his/her offspring would be nice. Neither is there a guarantee that his/her associates with similar beliefs about societal arrangements would be nice. Take for example how much WT has changed since it began, due to different personalities belonging to the same group bringing in different ideas. So, that nice person would put us right back where we as a global society are today, that is right back to where those who are not following Christ find themselves. Some becoming liars, murders, and thieves, and all the rest suffering the consequences of that.

            It’s not all about love. It’s about doing what works. God in his wisdom and foresight happens to know love works. A question you might consider, why wouldn’t a nice person follow God, since God’s given him/her everything they have along with the promise of a better life? Why wouldn’t that person love God?

  35. Ricardo says:

    I just heard that the peak publisher numbers increased by over 116,000 this year (120,000 last year). How is that possible when I know so many who are leaving but noone who is coming in?

    • Imgonaburn says:

      Maybe the increase is children becoming publishers. It doesn’t seem to be a problem for wtbts to just blatantly lie so that’s another possibility.

    • outandabout says:

      I’m wondering in what part of the world those increases were, Ricardo. There’s still a lot of ignorance in the world yet and WT and the likes are ready to exploit that. The Vatican are doing it as we speak.

  36. Doc Obvious says:

    We are seeing Jehovah God removing his protection from the Watchtower Babble and Tract Society. The legal community is seeing how the “real” Watchtower works. Doing absolutely nothing to prevent this issue also lands you in court in this case. The Governments of this world are turning their attention to Watchtower’s bad example.

  37. Karloz says:

    Hi folks,

    Did anyone hear of Leah Remini and her show on Scientology, are going to digress and focus on other cults? And guess what cult is going to be the first one? Yes, you guessed it! The Jehovah’s Witness cult.

    BTW, this article is starting to get a little old. Come Cedar’s and co., how’s about some new fresh material!

  38. messenger says:

    Thanks for the info. Her show gets a lot of traction. I sent one or two tweets in my lifetime. Both were sent to her asking her to do that. I went on her page and saw my tweets were there but were soon deleted after that. Maybe she deleted them because I hash tagged the words Jehovah’s Witnesses and she didn’t want that to be the focus. I don’t know if that’s correct, just my guess.

    My wife and I watch her show with interest all the time. And my wife who is a JW likes it (it’s one of our favorites). I’ll let you know what she thinks when the spotlight is on Witnesses. I’ve told her our shunning policy is similar to Scientology’s disconnect policy, but for some reason she doesn’t get it and still believes there’s a difference.

    It would be great if Leah stayed on WT as long as she’s focused on Scientology!!! Seems to me Leah could get a bunch of Scientologists together and encourage them to file a class action suit for unlawful detentions and physical assault. Her show revealed Scientology locks some members in a room and beats them up per church policy.

    If you hear of the airing dates please inform.

    Thanks