News Bulletin: Fessler versus Watchtower – Opening Statements and Motions in Jehovah’s Witness Child Abuse Trial – Day 1
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City Hall, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

On a cold Philadelphia morning the 7th of February, 2017, Stephanie Fessler walked into the Court of Common Pleas of Pennsylvania, First Judicial District, Civil Trial Division. The time was 9.45 a.m. according to the clock which sits atop the historic City Hall courthouse in the center of Philadelphia. But there was another clock running – it was the clock of justice, the timepiece which measures just how long it takes for a person or organization which has damaged another person’s life to be called to account for what they have done, or possibly what they have not done.

It has been 13 years  since congregation elders in Spring Grove Pennsylvania first learned of the inappropriate relationship and abuse perpetrated by Terry Monheim, aged 49, and her victim, Stephanie Fessler, who was just 14 years of age when the abuse began. Stephanie was dragged before elders in 2004 and 2005 to answer for her relationship  with her abuser, but with grotesque disregard for the law, elders knowingly failed to report the suspected abuse to the police, to Pennsylvania’s Childline, or to any other authority. Instead, they forwarded what they knew to Watchtower’s legal department, who wantonly disregarded Pennsylvania State law, and also failed to report.

Instead of protection the victim from further harm, local elders in Pennsylvania issued a private reproof in 2004, then another public reproof in 2005. The victim, Stephanie was crucified and devastated, having been denied protection from the authorities who are trained to protect minors, and prevent further injury and mental distress. The local elders and the Watchtower organization victimized Stephanie, and more than once. Her participation in the abuse was viewed as a sin, and not a crime. Stephanie was a sinner, they said.

At 9:52 a.m. 25 Jurors entered the court of Mary C. Collins, and were instructed regarding the nature of this case, and were read the list of witnesses who would likely testify. By 10:25 a.m. all but 10 jurors were dismissed, and the final jury was complete. Eight jurors with two alternates will decide the fate of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, The Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Spring Grove Congregation of JWs –  and to a lesser extent, the abuser Terry Monheim.

Pre-Trial Motions

Just prior to opening arguments, without the jury present, the attorneys for the plaintiff, Stephanie Fessler, and the defense battled out more than a dozen motions before judge Collins. These motions set the stage for which evidence can be introduced during trial, and that which can’t.

The battle did not take long to become heated when Spring Grove defense attorney Jud Aaron argued vocally against the introduction of a new witness, who was an elder in York County PA.  Mr. Arron argued that this was a “bombshell” witness introduced by the plaintiff, whose testimony is irrelevant, and who had not been deposed by defense. Judge Collins agreed with the defense that his evidence would not be permitted during the initial phase of the trial, but will be allowed during the punitive stage of the trial. The stage was already beginning to set for Watchtower’s inevitable defeat, even before the jurors heard a single witness testify.

In another motion, the defense attempted to preclude the testimony of detective Lisa  Layden, an expert witness, stating that her testimony is “just an opinion” and should not be permitted. After a concise rebuttal from counsel Jeffrey Fritz, Judge Collins agreed, and the defense motion was denied. Lisa Layden will testify.

It was no surprise that the defense attempted to argue that the statements made to elders by the plaintiff were privileged, and entering them into testimony would violate clergy privilege laws, which protect confessions made to clergymen. This claim erupted in a furious rebuttal by Stephanie’s attorney Jeffrey Fritz, in which he informed the judge that clergy privilege has no application in this case, as there was no expectation of confidentiality when the elders hauled Fessler into an elder’s meeting and questioned her about her relationship with Monheim. When elder Eric Hoffman was deposed over 2 years ago, he never once advised counsel that he would like to invoke clergy privilege, and in fact he violated that anyway by spreading every aspect of Stephanie’s testimony to multiple elders as well as the Watchtower legal department in New York. As the steam settled from Mr. Fritz’ forehead, Judge Collins told counsel that Fritz was “right on point” about this issue, and that clergy privilege could not be invoked. As Watchtower has attempted to claim clergy privilege in the past, this was another defeat for the Jehovah’s Witness  organization.

In a somewhat surprising defense strategy, defense attorney Jud Aaron claimed that the plaintiff’s counsel is putting the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses on trial by introducing dozens of Watchtower and Awake articles into evidence. It was a desperate move, but Judge Collins did not fall for it.

The Trial Begins

From the private, backrooms of the courthouse the jury entered the room. Three black men, two white women, and five black women entered and took their assigned seats. Judge Collins congratulated them for their service to the court, then reminded them that during the trial, she decides on all matters of law, and they must obey her decision. However she reminded the jury that they are the sole determiners of the facts of this case. Collins explained the definition of “preponderance of evidence,” then gave the jury an illustration of a scale, with the plaintiff and defense on either side of center. She stated that if the scale tips ever so slightly in favor of the plaintiff, then the plaintiff has met her burden of proof, and defense will be found guilty.

Following a lunch break, the court reconvened at 1.45 p.m., at which point Judge Collins read the statute for mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse to the jury of 10. The plaintiff was now given the floor, and attorney Gregg Zeff made his opening statement to the jury. Mr. Zeff explained that a member of clergy must report suspected abuse of a minor, and that elders should never keep suspected abuse secret to protect the Jehovah’s Witness organization. Zeff introduced a letter to the body of elders, dated July 1, 1989, which reminds elders that due to lawsuits, strictest confidence must be maintained by elders. The letter advised elders against the “improper use of the tongue”

Zeff explains the timeline in which the elders first learned of  the suspected abuse of Fessler in 2004, activity which included hugging and kissing. Elders from both the Spring Grove congregation (Stephanie’s congregation) a those from the Freeland Maryland congregation (Terry Seipp-Monheim’s congregation) were aware of the relationship, but failed to contact the authorities. Instead, they formed their own committee and reproved both the victim and her abuser.

Attorney Zeff then played a video deposition taken a few years ago when this case was filed, in which the plaintiff’s mother Jodie Fessler stated that elder Eric Hoffman never once advised her that authorities must be contacted.

It was not until 2011 that Stephanie Fessler was finally able to contact the police, at which point Monheim was arrested and jailed. Testimony from detective Layden will advise the jury that elders should have immediately obeyed the law and contacted the police and Childline. Instead, Zeff stated that rules were broken to protect the congregation and keep it out of harm’s way.

Evidence will show that Stephanie, at 14 years of age attended public school, but was otherwise completely insulated from after school activities and association with non-Witness youths. Instead she was left to care for her Jehovah’s Witness mom, who had a history of mental illness. Stephanie looked to Terry Seipp (Monheim) for  emotional support, but Seipp soon broke that trust by entering into a sexual relationship with Stephanie. Stephanie had no prior relationships. The plaintiff will examine professional therapist Debbie Bauer, who will discuss the damages to Stephanie, not only for the initial abuse, but for the protracted relationship of over two years which caused Stephanie permanent psychological damage.  Co-Defendant Terry Monheim was remorseful, having served her time in jail, but the plaintiff will argue that the defendants, Watchtower, the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Spring Grove congregation are to be held responsible for their failure to report the suspected sexual abuse of a minor.

Defense Opening

Attorney for the defense of Spring Grove congregation opened with the statement “In life there are consequences for not telling the truth.” Jud Aaron argued that therapist Lori Barton’s notes will prove that there was NOT a sexual relationship occurring at the time elders in Spring Grove first learned of the affair between Fessler and Terry Seipp (Monheim). As a result, Aaron said “You can’t report what you don’t know.”

Aaron further stated that by 2005, the “relationship” between Fessler and Seipp was over. In a moment of great emotion, the plaintiff Stephanie Fessler sat just a few feet away from Jud Aaron as he then stated “Stephanie Fessler did not tell the truth…As a consequence, no report was made.

As if to hammer this point down to the jury, Mr. Aaron replicated his earlier comment in a final statement: One things is crystal clear – Stephanie did not tell the truth, so the elders had nothing to report. The elders could not protect Stephanie Fessler because she did not tell the truth.”

Next up was Mr. John Miller, attorney for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Miller, a Jehovah’s Witness elder himself and a member of the Patterson New York JW legal department, explained that Jehovah’s Witness are a Christian religion, and that the jury will here that Watchtower “owns some things up there” in New York. After offering his explanation for the various Witness owned corporations, he then echoed the words of his co-counsel Jud Aaron and stated that Terry Monheim will not show up in court to defend herself here. He further stated that the Watchtower and CCJW did not have any duty to report what they had heard from congregation elders.

Miller also reiterated that the key to the defense is contained in the notes of therapist Lori Barton. Miller in his best courtroom dramatics stated emphatically “Records don’t lie.”

Attorney Miller intensified his plea to the jury, closing with the statement: “We (the Watchtower) have nothing to do with this case.” Miller quipped that elders are “just lay persons,” closing his remarks with “Watchtower and CCJW don’t even belong here.”

Attorney for CCJW (Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses) Louis Lombardi made no opening statements to the jury. He sat silently between Aaron and Miller at the defense counsel table, leaving one to wonder if he will ever make an appearance in the defense of the Jehovah’s Witness organization.

Stay tuned for more as we report on the ongoing defense strategy, and the courtroom antics of Watchtower’s first witness, Thomas Jefferson, Jr.

 

[Further Reading: Please see our introductory article on this case:

http://jwsurvey.org/child-abuse-2/breaking-news-jury-selection-complete-in-fessler-versus-watchtower-child-abuse-case-trial-date-set

John Redwood

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301 Responses to News Bulletin: Fessler versus Watchtower – Opening Statements and Motions in Jehovah’s Witness Child Abuse Trial – Day 1

  1. ruthlee says:

    This may not be on topic and I have not done the research but I think it is relevant. My husband informs me that last Sunday’s watchtower discussion said all are declared righteous now. When did they slip that in? Does that not mean they have eternal security and Holy Spirit therefore can be directed by God himself? Does anyone know anything about this new-fangled baloney? My point is that if all are declared righteous then all are spirit directed so don’t need a gb or elder to interpret the bible for them. They are grown up sheep already!!!It also means you can join any Christian religion that claims to be born again as all in those churches are declared righteous.WWhoooohoooo let’s all join the evangelicals and really p*ss them off. See you in church with my goblet and crust. Cheers Ruthlee

    • messenger says:

      That’s always been the belief of every Christian denomination, at least every one I know of, including JWs. People are declared righteous if they accept and believe in Christ as Lord and their savior. It’s the most fundamental Bible doctrine, and the most important, because according to scripture it determines whether a person is SAVED. It has always been taught among JWs. Russell broke up with his early partner, Barber, over Barber’s denial of an issue dealing with this.

      Plus declared righteous is not the same as being righteous. Sometimes the WT phrases the idea as ‘righteousness is imputed to them.’ The same idea applied to Abraham and other friends and believers in God who were ancient Jews…but now it applies to those who believe in Christ.

  2. twistedsister69 says:

    This may be somewhat off-topic. Totally understand if it’s yanked. I’m just using the excuse that it ties in nicely with cultish psychology & intimidation tricks/techniques. It’s a display (and witty analysis) of Our Favorite President attempting a lame, childish, Psychology 101 trick on Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. BTW kudos to Mr. Trudeau for not falling for it. In spite of the PM’s looks (he is rather gorgeous), Mr. Trump was evidently unaware that he was dealing with a seasoned BOXER, not unused to physical confrontations. Go Canada!!!

    • twistedsister69 says:

      ha ha ha Just noticed. The looks on their faces says it all. Trump looks all butthurt & constipated. Trudeau looks like a wolf that just ate a lamb.

      • kay says:

        yes we do have a very hunky PM 🙂

      • Winston Smith says:

        @TS69
        Trump seems have that expression fairly often, doesn’t he? One thing you and I CAN agree on: Trump certainly doesn’t have looks working for him, does he? Fortunately Melania makes up for what he is lacking in looks.

        JWSurvey editorial staff: we need some new articles. The subscribers getting bored, I think!

        WS

        • twistedsister69 says:

          ha ha ha Well, at least he got rid of that Day-Glo orange pumpkin-head look. But his mouth still resembles some kind of sphincter (no kidding – just watch when he talks). He looks to me like he would be a shoe-in for a spot on the GB. As for Melanomia, it’s hard to tell what she looks like with those 8 layers of makeup (same for the other Trump Women). 😀 Conspiracy Theory #273: Melania Trump is really a vampire. She sounds like one. And peel away all that expensive makeup, I’ll bet she’s pale as a ghost! Visitors to the White House, take heed: Wear high collars / turtlenecks!!! That is, whenever Her Royal Highness deigns to actually LIVE in the White House.

  3. twistedsister69 says:

    Too Bad. So Sad. All the hubbub over this latest wt legal defeat will cause sooo many of the jw rank&file to lose respect for the ‘elders” “authority”. And the ‘elders’ do NOT appreciate anyone disrespecting their AUTHORITAH.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNYGLdsVU2o

    AWWW, don’t get all butthurt, ‘elders’, just “turn the other cheek”. 😀 After all, I’m SURE your WIVES still respect your AUTHORITAH. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

  4. Jado says:

    “The Role of Conditioning in Sexual Arousal”
    This study can help us understand that we call “mind control” in JWs is actually “sex control”!!!!! See how “conditioning of sexual arousal” works in both Nonhumans na Humans ( http://www.indiana.edu/~kinres/chapters/Hoffmann.pdf ) !

    That’s the power of Watch Tower Society which says “The sex drive is a most powerful force.” (See w64 3/1 p. 141 par. 13)!!!!!

    • Ricardo says:

      @Jado,
      Can I guess that when you were a witness and commenting at the kingdom hall, most of your comments were about sex, no matter what the subject matter being discussed? Did the elders ever approach you to discuss your comments?

      • Jado says:

        I guess you are prudish about sex!! Unfortunately “The God of the Bible” is not prudish about sex. He/She/It uses sex as a weapon of war, instead.

        Look up some verses for yourself to testify that:
        (Jeremiah 8:10) . . .So I will give their wives to other men, Their fields to other owners; For from the least to the greatest, each one is making dishonest gain; From the prophet to the priest, each one is practicing fraud. . .

        I can give you bulk of such verses but hot that one is enough for you to get rid of prudish attitude about sex.

  5. Ted says:

    Elders appointed by Holy Spirit ? Sounds very grand
    doesn’t it, Some time ago I had a visit from an elder
    (One of the zealot type). I made It plain that I didn’t want
    to talk to him, he didn’t like the rebuff to his assumed
    authority. He said “Don’t you know, I, have been appointed
    by Holy Spirit. It was as if it was a direct appointment
    from God, like someone being knighted by the queen,
    It was evidently an ego trip for him. I’m certain it would be
    a huge blow to his self importance, to realise he’s regarded
    as one of the also ran’s, one of the laity.

    The reality of elder appointments is this. When the body are
    considering recommendations, the very first thing considered,
    the thing of prime importance is the individuals FS Report.
    If that report fails to show targets , set by the org, (not by God)
    then the recommendation goes no further. Qualifications
    for overseers at 1 Timothy and Titus are irrelevant unless that
    organisational condition, is FIRST met.

    Furthermore an already appointed elder who persistently fails
    to turn in a satisfactory FS report will be removed by the same
    org, reps, who put him that position. God, Holy Spirit has no
    part in any of it.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Ted,
      An elder was telling me an example of a young brother who time and time again was not considered when it came to being an MS. The young guy complained that he was told to just keep on doing what he is doing, but still he can’t qualify.

      See, the elder said, the holy spirit can see something inside him which is rotten, something we can’t see, and so he doesn’t get appointed.

      And yet I know of brothers who are involved in fornication and yet are recommended as ministerial servants.

      What can we conclude? Not that the holy spirit is not involved. But rather the holy spirit is schizophrenic and Jehovah doesn’t seem to have any moral standards. How can God appoint a fornicating brother as MS, and yet another brother who is trying hard isn’t considered?

      Blame Jehovah. It’s his holy spirit.

      • mesenger says:

        Here’s a solution which might help keep all these brothers satisfied.

        When I was a little lad of eight, those in authority at my grade school made me a safety. They strapped a round safety badge on my arm. It was held by an attached elastic strap. My job was to stand next the stairs, at the building’s entrance, and to tell the kids not to run if they started to, even the big kids, the 6th graders.

        What if the congregations got some cheap badges and strapped those to the arms of the mic carriers and sound men. That way, even if a brother is never appointed the badge can reinforce in his mind that he IS SOMEBODY, and that might make him be less likely to be saddened or offended when overlooked.

        I’ve had this idea about giving them a badge for some time. What we need are badges for the brothers!!!

        • Ricardo says:

          @messenger,
          In Asia I was teaching English to a couple from the Jesus is Lord Church. In their church they also have elders, but the elders aren’t greatly involved in the teaching side of things, more in the monitoring side. Talks were presented by brothers who were not elders, but the elders were in the audience listening that what was said was correct.

          If our elder arrangement was modified, it could be a much happier arrangement for everyone. As teachers, most of them are quite pathetic, although they are supposed to be appointed because of this skill.

          Some arrangement where they are properly trained, regularly scrutinized (incompetents being deleted) and possibly time limits on how long the position can be held for would be worthwhile changes.

          Badges for all the brothers with responsibilities? I don’t think that is the issue.

          • Messenger says:

            @Ricardo

            Just joking about the badges Ricardo, joking but also using the joke to illustrate that status is developed in kingdom halls.

            I don’t considered what’s done at the kingdom halls as teaching. There speeches are given, and from the stage discussions are lead by servants. Most of the material considered is already known to most of the audience, and there is not much assessment of their audiences’ understanding, nor is much correction given to their misunderstandings.

            Teaching implies learning new material….material known can be reviewed, but no new learning takes place. The process of teaching involves explaining, usually using guided practice as one of the methods, and that method is not used at the halls. Its not much needed since the material is frequently already understood by the audience (students). Teaching also involves assessment and evaluation of student learning. If a teacher determines proper learning didn’t happen upon assessing then re-teaching, re-assessments, and re-evaluations are part of the teaching process, and I hardly see any of that taking place at kingdom halls. At kingdom halls someone gives a wrong answer and the teacher (elder, MS, or CO) goes on to take the next commenter, without ever returning to the student (publisher) who did not understand. He does not know if understanding has occurred even after the next answer was given.

            I’m not implying elders don’t have the ability, I’m stating the process is not teaching. It wasn’t designed to do that.

          • Ricardo says:

            @Messenger,
            Why are you sometimes Messenger and at other times mesenger?

            If the purpose of the meetings is not to teach, what is it?

          • Winston Smith says:

            @Ricardo and Messenger:
            “If the purpose of the meetings is not to teach, what is it?”

            Ah, now you come to the crux of it. The same issue seemed to exist in Jesus day: “When Jesus had finished this sermon, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, because He was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes.”

            I recall that once in a while you would get an elder or other speaker who actually taught something and the rank and file loved it. They really wanted to be taught. Truly, “they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd.”

            The problem is that, today, the purpose of the meetings is not to teach. Rather it is to condition. To reinforce cultish doctrine over and over until the rank and file are fully programmed to blindly follow big brother. It’s sad.

            If you read chapter 4 of “In Search of Christian Freedom” by Ray Franz, you will see how the overall attitude toward the rank and file gradually changed from the early days of Russell down into one of authoritarian control. Teaching and the law of love no longer took precedent. Rather it became about control and ‘lording it over’ others. Truly ‘oppressive wolves.’

            WS

          • twistedsister69 says:

            @Messenger

            Hey, don’t be too quick to dismiss your arm-badge idea. I mean, it worked well for the Nazis! 😀

          • twistedsister69 says:

            You know, a nice blue armband with “JW.org”. Oh, the HONOR!
            I better shut the f*** up. I might give them ideas.

          • messenger says:

            @ Ricardo,
            mesenger was a misspelling. I took a typing class when I was 14, but then I didn’t type after that until I was in my 20s. By that time I forgot how to properly use the keyboard the way it is taught. So, I’m a pecker, but doing so with both hands at the same time. I sometimes hit wrong keys, and I don’t always read over to edit everything. I obviously didn’t catch that misspelling before I sent the message.

            You’re aware that Hebrews 10 states Christians are to gather together to incite to love and fine works. But in my comment I wasn’t commenting on the reason for the meetings we attend, I was commenting on how I view what takes place there. Merely giving speeches is not an effective way of teaching. Otherwise we can say every political speech can be consider an act of teaching, but no one views them as such. Plus how many organizations do you know about, in any field, that repeatedly teach the same information over, and over? In public school’s, colleges, and universities. students learn new information on a daily basis.

            The common phrase at the hall after or during a lesson is that Jehovah taught us, or something similar, as though we just learned it. I say, I didn’t, I already knew WT’s view before I got there, and that without previously looking at the material under consideration, because I’ve heard it countless times before.

            Also, if the discussions led, such as during the WT or book study are designed to be attempts to teach, then WT’s process doesn’t work effectively. Their process is effective because they hardly teach something new most of the time they review. Its practically impossible to get any 35 minds to comprehend new material in the short time the meetings are conducted, let alone 100 minds or more.

            That’s why real teachers assess, evaluate, re-re-teach and repeat all of those processes until understanding has taken place with each individual student in our public primary schools. If students qualify for college they’ve already learned to teach themselves, so it’s true far less of ALL those processes are used. In the colleges and universities the process is closer to WT’s but still quite different. Assessments and evaluations are always used, even in universities. And teachers, even in universities, evaluate the effectiveness of their lessons, making changes in some to become more effective when some lesson’s teaching method(s) didn’t work. If the elders are teaching we might consider that Donald Trump is also. I’ve heard a lot of his speeches.

            Here’s an interesting bit. Ray Franz wrote that the greater amount of time he spent in meetings with the GB they were considering whether something would be decided as a disfellowshipping offence or not. Things like this for instance: Can a Coca Cola delivery driver deliver Coca Cola to a military base and remain a JW. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Then of course they had to consider different aspects of whatever they had under consideration. I’m making this one up to give you the idea: Can he deliver the soda if he has multiple accounts but he also has the military base on his route? But if having only the military base as his customer should we consider him supporting the military and disfellowship him if he doesn’t stop delivering to it?

          • messenger says:

            @TS
            I say ‘badges for the brothers’ should be our rallying cry!!!!

          • Ricardo says:

            @WS,
            That makes sense. I haven’t learnt anything from the meetings for years. I remember about a decade ago wondering why I go to meetings, and I’ve been asking myself the same thing after every meeting I have gone to. My mother will sometimes mention something that is new for her, but it always something that we have been taught for years and she just hadn’t understood properly.

          • messenger says:

            @ Ricardo,
            Wouldn’t it be nice if they reinstated Jado, had him work some doors with a CO, and let jado reveal his truths to him?

          • Ricardo says:

            @messenger,
            I wish Jado could be the CO. I would love to be there to hear his talks. I’m sure the kingdom hall would be full and he would lead us in some sort of mass orgy.

            That would be a meeting to remember.

      • mesenger says:

        @ Ricardo,
        Here’s a line you can lay on that elder if he explains that reasoning to you again. Say, you’ve got something rotten in you also. It’s called food that’s turned to crap.

    • Big B says:

      Exactly right Ted;

      The organization from Rutherford’s dictatorship has always placed greater emphasis on time spent in the field ministry and taking the lead in this activity rather than the Scriptural qualifications or knowledge required. That was part of being the ‘company servant’. Check out this site of how things were organized back in 1949.
      http://www.a2z.org/wtarchive/docs/1949_Counsel_On_Theocratic_Organization.pdf

      Does anyone remember the huge chart (30×42″?) displayed near the platform which had two sets of colored numbers, red and black, that compared your congregations efforts monthly with the monthly national average? How about the goals of the publishers? To be a ’10-10-10 publisher’ in good standing your monthly field service report should reflect 10 hours, 10 magazines and 10 back-calls (return visits).

      This ‘business’ is just that, a business. The names of the positions may have been changed but the goal of the WTBTS is the same that it has always been. Namely, to make idiots work for them for free by promising them delusions of life everlasting on a paradise earth that they themselves can’t fulfill.

  6. Doc Obvious says:

    When the Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on your door, people in the neighborhood need to come out of their homes and say in a loud voice, “Watchtower. Unclean! Unclean! Child abuse is wrong.” Then repeat it. Get your neighbors together and keep saying it out loud.

  7. Doc Obvious says:

    This just in…

    Jehovah’s Witness, Serena Williams, goes topless in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

    Serena Williams Goes Topless, Shows Off Super Toned Figure in ‘Sports Illustrated’ Swimsuit Issue: Pics!

    • dee2 says:

      Did she thank Jehovah for the opportunity to show everyone her boobs?………….just saying.

      • twistedsister69 says:

        ha ha ha Maybe the Writing Committee will include a coupla those pics in the next “Watchtower”!

        • Winston Smith says:

          Can’t do that. All those sexually repressed men in the JW org would probably loose control right there during the Watchtower Study.

          WS

      • twistedsister69 says:

        Shouldn’t she get a proper stoning for that? Or are they going by, “Let he who has no bikini throw the first stone”?

        • Tranquillo says:

          Twistedsister I’m falling in love with your sense of humor!!
          really twisted! I like your comments.
          on a more serious note, the example about the 10th commandment is really the most outstanding example of how everybody reads into the Bible what he/she really wants to read.
          Everybody would agree that this commandment is valid for both husband and wife, while it is really not. It is ludicrous to read “you must not desire your fellows woman’s husband”. A man belonging to a woman? in middle-east? back then? com’on

          • twistedsister69 says:

            Agreed.
            BTW it’s not hard to develop a “twisted” sense of humor. Just watch copious amounts of Monty Python, Mel Brooks, and Big Bang Theory. As optional material, I also recommend Spaceballs, A Fish Called Wanda, Catch-22, An American Werewolf in London, and Louis CK. Enjoy. 😀

      • dee2 says:

        Those pics just might be a turn-on for the angels……….some Nephilims just might reappear on earth!

  8. dee2 says:

    Messenger,

    [ ” Remember who Christ was speaking to when he said he would send the helper, the holy spirit to bring back to their minds all he had shared with them…and to lead them into all the truth. He was speaking to people that were with him. Many of them would write the Bible, and all of them would start the Christian church. “]

    However, when Jesus was speaking to his disciples and people who were with him, about his second coming and the end of the world, he was not actually speaking to and referring to the generation way back in the time frame in which he lived.

    Instead, Jesus was addressing his statements to a remotely distant generation of people?

    This Bible interpretation thing is getting easier and easier by the minute. I will be able to start my own church in no time…………denomination number 40,001 here I come!

    • dee2 says:

      Messenger,

      Before I start my church, I need some tips:

      Please, tell me, how do you know:

      – When Jesus was speaking to people who were with him

      versus

      – When Jesus was addressing his statements to a remotely distant generation of people?

      How are you able to tell the difference?

      • messenger says:

        His statements were for all that did and would hear them. Remember the Holy Spirit brought Christ’s words back vividly into the minds of his disciples so that they could be recorded for all humanity.

        • dee2 says:

          Messenger,

          In your statement on February 15, 2017 at 6:15 pm, which I quoted above, you specifically stated that Jesus

          WAS SPEAKING TO PEOPLE THAT WERE WITH HIM

          when he said he would send the helper, the holy spirit to bring back to their minds all he had shared with them..…and to lead them into all the truth (John 14:16 – 17, 26, John 15:26, John 16:7,13 – 15).

          So, when Jesus stated:

          “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the DISCIPLES came unto him privately, saying, Tell US, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto THEM………..Verily I SAY UNTO YOU, THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS, till all these things be fulfilled. ”
          Matthew 24:3 – 4, 34 ( parallel versus Mark 13:3-33, Luke 21:5 – 32 ),

          who was Jesus speaking to?

          – Was he speaking to and referring to the generation way back in the time frame in which he lived?

          OR

          – Was he addressing his statements to a remotely distant generation of people?

          • messenger says:

            @dee 2

            All scholars and every Christian position that I’m aware of, with the exception of some on this site, have the same general opinion about this scripture, especially if we remove the groups like WT that claim to pinpoint that generation.

            Speaking to someone as Jesus was doing, has no bearing on who that person (Jesus) spoke about. Those groups or individuals can be the same groups, but they can also be different groups. So, If that’s all you’ve got as the basis and reason for the position you’re taking, then as a reasonable argument it is very weak, to the point of being a faulty argument.

            Example: I’ll speak to you right now of someone else. Are you married, or have you ever had a husband? If so when did you marry__________? I spoke to you, but I asked a question about your husband…and of something in the past not our present.

            Surely you’re not basing your claim on this suggested reasoning are you? You must have more than that, since you apparently have a few followers.

            “This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” Since Christ included The Sign Of The Son of Man that all on Earth would see…his second coming…which Thess., Rev.. Daniel and other Bible books reveal would destroy this system, and since that has not happened, it hasn’t been difficult at all for Christian sects to retain a consensus on who he was talking to and who he was talking about.

            Christ was addressing his apostles while knowing his words would be recorded for us. Other statements Christ said, even in that conversation show the generation was a future one. I already directed you to Luke chp 21 where he stated in that conversation Jerusalem would be trampled on , the Jews would be dispersed among the nations until the appointed times of the nations were fulfilled. Did you ever rebut that in your claim? If they were dispersed among the gentile nation, and then had to be re-gathered before Christ second coming, reasonably how short a time span might that be. Jesus died at 33 years, Jerusalem was destroyed in 70CE, some 37 years later. It’s not likely the appointed time of the nations would be that short, is it? Plus all these thing that he spoke of included more than the tribulation in Jerusalem, even as included in the proceeding thought. But there was also more!

            But consider the generation Christian denominations and scholars believe would be the one Christ referred to. That’s billions of people having essentially the same thought. That’s my answer. Christians got that one right. Its pretty easy. A future generation that NO ONE KNOWS, except God per Jesus’ words.

            Now I just wrote you on another thread. There I asked you for proof or at least some rational explanations for your position on this issue. I also asked if you know of any sizeable population that accepts your position. How about answering those for me?

            From the question you just put to me it appears part of your reasoning is that Christ was speaking to his apostles about their generation, is that correct? I hope you don’t draw that conclusion just because he said THIS generation, that it had to be theirs. I already addressed the faultiness of that reasoning. Do you have anything else?

            If you find time I also raised about 6 or 7 points of inquiry into your other beliefs. They can be found on the article about the young homosexual man that is getting married. There are four inquiries raised near the end of those comments, and two more in one of our conversations before that.
            best wishes

          • messenger says:

            @dee2
            Look in your Bible to see when John’s books were written. Let’s see, if I remember correctly he lived to be about 98 years, at least in his 90’s (not looking it up). One of his books was written in 98AD.

            Wouldn’t you agree his generation was pretty much done when John died? And yet who sent him the revelation that he wrote down, the vision we call Revelation? In Revelation another tribulation is described..I believe starting at cht 4. And the ALL THESE THINGS that Jesus referred to when speaking on the Mount of Olives to his apostles are fulfilled in account of John’s vision. They were not fulfilled upon the generation Christ of his apostles. Just one of the reasons there is a consensus among Christian denominations about who that generation refers to.

            Now of course those who don’t believe the Bible is inspired and carries the message it claims may disregard this point and the hundreds of other Bible points to support Christianity’s understanding of ‘this generation’ But God gives all the privilege of choice, the free will we discussed previously.

      • Meredith J says:

        Ha ha dee2, excellent question. I think that is for us to ponder and work it out for ourselves. Mind you, there are heaps of Christians out there in internetworld who have pondered the same things and written their ideas which are very helpful. But the more I read the Bible and try and work out the significance of the words for us today, the more it comes alive to me. It is not like the Witnesses hardsell mind control words. It is much more real to me and relevant than I ever thought possible.

        Take Trump for instance, if you examine everything he does, he follows very closely to the Bible’s principles. To me this has to be very significant to the prophecies somehow because there is no other leader acting like this right now. Is he one of the ‘Kings’ spoken of in Daniel? Time will tell, but you will never hear this from the GB.

        God has given us cryptic clues in the bible because he knows we enjoy working them out, including who Jesus was really talking to when he said stuff.

  9. Thinking of leaving says:

    There was a rumor going around that the case had been settled out of court. Obviously this was incorrect.

  10. Ted says:

    @Ricardo, you give a good example of how elders and MS,
    are chosen. I can’t ever remember the the Bible Qualities
    at 1 Timothy being discussed, even when the CO, was in
    on it. Nepotism, the old boys club, played a part and of
    course FS hours, which God forgot to include in the
    Qualifications.

    I think the sisters came nearer to those Bible standards
    than most of the elders in our cong, Sisters were more
    spiritual, more genuine and straight talking. I was put in
    my place many times with a few straight words from the
    gentle sex, and all the better for it.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Ted,
      Can you see the problem when we are told that the elders are appointed by holy spirit, or that the elders are in Jesus’ right hand? When the man is found to be incompetent or to have major faults, then who is to blame? Of course, Jehovah and Jesus.

      Remember how we are taught to think: If Adam and Eve ate the fruit they would die. So if they didn’t eat the fruit? How long would they live?

      Now use the same reasoning: If the elders are in Jesus’ right hand, meaning he has full control over them, then who is to blame when an elder abuses his position? Who is to blame when an elder abuses us?

      By explaining things this way, the GB is actually bringing dishonour on Jehovah and Jesus, as it seems these two guys are not doing their jobs.

      The real fault lies with the GB, who are unwilling to take responsibility for anything.

  11. Eyes opened says:

    Hi dee2,

    Let me start by saying you have done a tremendous amount of research and I’m not sure I can respond at that level, however I will try to address your question to me. As far as Jesus coming and the kingdom, I have the understanding that it was established in heaven upon Jesus resurrection and subsequent return to heaven in 33ce. There are various scriptures where both Peter and Paul acknowledge Jesus authority over everything on heaven and earth. Matt. 24 did a lot of explaining about the things to shortly take place including the son of man coming on the clouds. Jesus said that generation would see it. I realize this opens up an endless opportunity for discussion especially where we are in the stream of time but I’ll try to keep it to what you asked.

    When praying for Holy Spirit, Jesus indicated it would be given to us. I’m not one for thinking anything special is going to happen. My take is that we will understand that ring of truth when we hear or read it. How many times we’ve read something in the Watchtower and scratched our heads because even if it did make sense, it just didn’t seem right. For example overlapping generations or the faithful slave only being the governing body since 1919, what really??? And yet when reading the scriptures without the Watchtower influence things seem to fit and fall into place. I think Holy Spirit is a factor in recognizing that ring of truth.

    It’s truly interesting that the sermon on the mount indicates leading a good life that benefits others i.e. Looking after orphans and widows, providing for ones family, showing hospitality, etc. is what gains Gods approval. Many, many people do this even without the influence of belief in God or the Bible. I was recently told of a study revealing the most altruistic people are atheists. And why not, Paul said we all have a law within ourselves to do what is right. Do I think people will be condemned for not believing in Jesus even though they do good works? No I don’t. In your comment you mentioned only actions and attitudes matter. They show by actions that they lead the type of lifestyle Jesus admonished. Since I do believe in God, then I trust he will read hearts and judge righteously and reward such praiseworthy actions.

    At the time the gospels were being written, belief in Jesus was needed to be saved. There was a change taking place from the Jewish system to Christianity. The chosen ones were being selected, and knowing and believing in Jesus was a qualifier at that time. Again according to Matt. 24 I think those chosen ones were all selected prior to the destruction of Jerusalem.

    I certainly haven’t figured everything out for myself. I still think and contemplate on what it all might mean. You are making me think and dig…that’s a good thing.

    Regards

    • outandabout says:

      Hi Eyes opened, well, I believe that Jesus existed but I’m an atheist. I believe Jesus was just an excellent orator with a crazy vision. Ignorance and superstition was the norm and people would listen to anyone that showed intelligence and conviction. Miracles?……no way.
      Why did Jesus allow himself to be crucified when he apparently had the power to save himself.
      If Moses had the power to part the Red Sea, why didn’t he just turn around and zap the Egyptian army then sit down and have a picnic.
      To me it’s like, say, a Vampire movie where ten minutes into the movie the audience is screaming to themselves ‘don’t open that coffin’, but of course the coffin has to be opened otherwise the movie finishes after ten minutes. Moses can’t zap the army and live happily ever after because the story-line will be ruined.
      Thank you for pointing out that most altruistic people are atheists. We can be, and we do it without thought of a reward but what we don’t like is a bunch of righteous people like the Witnesses viewing ‘worldly’ people in black, white and gray and on death row.
      That sort of thinking is a sickness.
      Cheers.

      • Eyes opened says:

        Yes it was truly freedom to ditch the us vs them attitude. 🙂

        • outandabout says:

          Well that’s good, Eo, but I’m curious, I take it you reject the notion of WT’s invisible Jesus as being totally ridiculous, but are quite happy with the guy walking on water and turning water into wine?

          • Eyes opened says:

            @outandabout, I’m a little bit of both. I believe the miracles Jesus performed were for the purpose of proving who he was. Also some of those miracles gave evidence of what the kingdom would do. I do believe Jesus is ruling invisibly from heaven, what I reject is him waiting till 1914.

            I’m thinking things are way different than Watchtower teaches. When I first took the wbts glasses off, some of the conclusions I was coming to were disturbing but as I read and researched and studied I became more comfortable with them. And I am so grateful to be able to do my own thinking.

            Regards

    • messenger says:

      @Eyes opened

      Let’s set the truthfulness or lack of it in scripture aside for a moment, and let’s reasonably consider your position as to whether or not belief in Christ is necessary for salvation, if we agree to accepting just one thought in scripture as being true and valid, the thought that Christ will one day rule the whole world. But for now, as stated, we’ll disregard any scriptural thought about the necessity to believe in Christ for salvation.

      If we do that, what was just suggested, then it makes sense that a person’s life might be spared when Christ’s second coming arrives, and this world is destroyed by his incoming government even if they don’t know or believe in him. Again, let me qualify, it makes sense to a person that reasons things out that way, and disregards what scriptures say about it. But it doesn’t make any sense at all for someone to take the position it is unnecessary to believe in Christ after his government takes control of Earth and all that is on it. That would be similar to saying you don’t believe in your current government, and yet it exists. But one making that claim would mean something else, wouldn’t they? In that situation their meaning would be they don’t agree with the government, not that they doubt its existence.

      You claimed you believe Christ already started ruling which is true, and he always has. But he has allowed, for his own purposes and his father’s, rebellious governments to coexists for a time. The government the Bible refers to at his second coming changes that. If a person does not agree with the reality of the situation, that Christ is ruling, then it’s unreasonable to believe Christ will not let them stay around. Why should he? The purpose of the change is to get rid of the mess created by rebels, not to perpetuate it. Belief in Christ would be absolutely necessary to do that. Belief in Christ means (among other things) you agree with the changed circumstance. A person not believing doesn’t.

      If a people keep repeating actions that obviously do not work they are___________.

      • messenger says:

        take the word ‘not’ out
        Christ would (not) let them stay around.

      • Eyes opened says:

        I’m sure my comment may have seemed a little weird, like I said I’m still working things out for myself. I suppose you could consider the non-believers who get to live under Christs rulership, immigrants, lol. Seriously Christ conquered the world, just like man can conquer a land, the citizens don’t have a choice. But it’s better for them to become peaceable citizens, and that is their choice.

        You mention a second coming, my stance is that he came in power and glory in 70ce. I also think Revelation was written pre-70. But that’s a whole other subject. However that does affect my views.

        Regards

        • messenger says:

          A few questions please eyes open.

          1. You stated Christ conquered the world, a recorded statement he made while he was alive as a man. What meaning do you give to your use of that statement, and in your opinion is that what Christ was referring to when he made it?

          2. You also said the citizens don’t have a choice; I guess you mean they don’t have a choice to live under Christ’s authority as ruler since he already conquered the world and began ruling in your view. How do you square that idea with facts like: There are many individuals today who don’t believe in Christ; There are human governments that have laws restricting Christian worship; There are people in the world that kill Christ’s followers because they simply are Christians.

          3. You said those who don’t believe in Christ live under his rulership anyway, without believing in him, but it would be better if they were peaceful. What’s different about that situation than any other time in human history? If Christ is ruling those people they certainly don’t know it, and the world in general doesn’t know it or acknowledge Christ rules them. Some Christians follow his teachings, but there are no consequences that do not already exist because of breaking a similar government law if they didn’t, except lesser church sanctions.

          I’m trying to rationalize your beliefs into a single coherent idea. I don’t think I know enough about your beliefs to do so.

          Revelation speaks of Christ’s kingdom leading people to a condition when there is no more ,and no more pain, where there is a resurrection from the dead. According to those scriptures the former things like pain will be done away with. I’m wondering if you still believe in that, or you believe this situation we currently live under is all there will be. If this is the extent of the effect of Christ’s kingdom then from my point of view, Christ didn’t accomplish much more than becoming famous, because nothing has change in the world since he gave his message. The moral laws he taught were already known. All those are contained in our conscious anyway. So, if this is all his kingdom will do, really what effect did he have except to make a name for himself, start a movement that became popular, and affected our calendar dates?

          If I had that belief there would be no motivation for me to follow him, for, as I said, his moral teachings are part of our conscious already. In that case I would consider his story like my friend outandabout, a good story but that’s all it is.

          But if that is the case there is something else about it story. It is a LIE. It would be one of the greatest deception pulled on humanity, and if that were true, or I even believed it to be true, I would consider it one of the largest piles of horse dung…way worse than what WT did to us.

          I can totally understand the feelings of atheist who have been Christians if they believe that. Because if true, they certainly would have been tricked with the biggest deception of their lifetimes.

          I’m not an atheist myself, but if they believe what I just covered-not speaking of your thoughts- then I can relate to their contempt for religion and contempt for mankind’s belief in, and spreading of the message of Christianity.

          Thanks for your thoughts. It has been nice sharing with you.

          Best wishes!!!

          messenger

          • Eyes opened says:

            Hi messenger, I will take a crack at answering your questions to me. But understand my answers may not be in the least convincing. They are my comfort zone for beliefs.
            1. Jesus conquering the world… yes he made the comment while still alive but the time had come for his sacrifice and there was little doubt as to whether he would remain faithful. His disciples were distressed at the situation and he was comforting them and assuring them that he would soon be in kingdom power and would prepare their place. The world as it were would no longer be able to destroy the kingdom (Jesus) and would not be able to prevent God’s arrangement for salvation from coming to fruition. So Jesus in kingdom power would be in control. The governments existing at God’s will.

            2. Since I believe the kingdom by Christ exists, people are indeed living in that arrangement…to a point, whether they are believers or not. At this time we are still under the various governments of the nations. I do not think Satan is the ruler of the world. I think his heyday was from the time of Christ’s death until Jerusalem’s destruction. After that there was still persecution but there was no longer a fear of Christianity being completely destroyed. And as we know, other religions/beliefs were allowed to grow and develop as well. BTW I believe the destruction of Jerusalem was Armageddon. That puts us in the “new system”. Certainly not like what the society taught and that means a 1000 yrs. is really a verrrry long time. 🙂 Even though todays rulers/leaders are supposed to be God’s ministers that doesn’t mean they will do their job well, persecution is rampant on all kinds of religions and why God hasn’t stepped in I don’t know. The last part of Revelation is what I feel we are still waiting for, the things that take place at the end of the “1000” yrs.

            3. Kind of answered in #2. As you stated people have a law built-in. So anyone can make the choice to do what is right. Since I believe in a Creator that put that law in people, I would think they would get rewarded the same as any believer. After all they are acting in harmony with the way they were made.

            You say you are trying to rationalize my beliefs into a coherent idea. Not sure about that one, Haha. There is still so much I’m trying to figure out. For the most part I reason on the New Testament. I think the Hebrew scrips have many words of wisdom and even comfort. I accept that they helped to identify Christ. The New Testament for me is about establishing the kingdom and life lessons. According to Matt. 24 I feel the kingdom was set up then and the chosen ones were selected during that time. While I think we are in the “new system” I really have no idea where we are in the stream of time and even less of an idea when anything will change. I focus on life lessons Jesus taught, be peaceable, hospitable, love and care for you family and others. We are all in a place where we choose our life course and if we live to judgment day maybe we will find favor. If we don’t live till judgment day or if it never comes, at least I can live a life that gives me joy and fulfillment and perhaps benefits someone now and then.

            I’m sure my thoughts would be very foreign to some. And I don’t have all the answers. But I sure enjoy the search. Have a great day.

            Regards

          • messenger says:

            Thank you for your response Eyes Open.

            messenger

  12. WideAwake says:

    The only “holy spirit” the charlatan GB are involved with comes in a bottle labeled Whiskey, Scotch, Gin, Tequila etc.
    They wouldn’t know true holy spirit if it smacked them upside the head.
    Their use of this “fictional power” is to mislead the sheeple into believing they have Gods backing.
    The only backing they have is financial and they can pay their way out of all the child abuse lawsuits for a long long time.
    Most rank and file JW clones don’t have a clue as to what is going on.
    Politics like religion is about 3 things: Power, Control and money.
    And how do they keep the sheeple in bondage? Fear, shame, obligation and guilt.

    • outandabout says:

      The only thing Witnesses are witnessing is the unraveling of a Cult.

    • messenger says:

      Why don’t they ever discuss the experiences they had when God’s spirit bore witness with their spirits?

      • Big B says:

        In a couple of words, messenger; they didn’t have the experience to begin with.

        Oh, WideAwake;
        “The only “holy spirit” the charlatan GB are involved with comes in a bottle labeled Whiskey, Scotch, Gin, Tequila etc.
        They wouldn’t know true holy spirit if it smacked them upside the head.
        Their use of this “fictional power” is to mislead the sheeple into believing they have Gods backing.

        The only backing they have is financial and they can pay their way out of all the child abuse lawsuits for a long long time”.

        I concur with your assessment 100%. This cult is truly unraveling right before everyone’s eyes. Won’t the sheeple be surprised when their Kingdumb Halls are padlocked with a ‘for sale’ sign posted in the front lawn.

        The WTBTS will be forced to liquidate their properties paying out fines and judgments to victims for a long time to come. Where will the money come from, the sheeple? No the selling of properties like the Kingdom Hall. They will have to meet in a larger venue like the circuit assembly hall.

        • Ricardo says:

          @Big B,
          We’ll probably be told that this is the great tribulation and we’ll take safety in our secret cellars, only to find that years and years go by and the new system still hasn’t come. But I’m sure the new light will come to explain all that: “Upon further research it has been found that Jesus invisible presence didn’t happen in 1914 as we once thought. The holy spirit has guided us to understand that actually happened in 2014. Since then we have been attacked by the nations.”

          You can imagine the scenario. What has happened will happen yet again.

          • Big B says:

            I believe you are on to something, Ricardo.

            “Upon further research it has been found that Jesus invisible presence didn’t happen in 1914 as we once thought. The holy spirit has guided us to understand that actually happened in 2014. Since then we have been attacked by the nations.”

            A perfectly plausible scenario considering how much ‘NEW LIGHT’ and adjustments in teachings the Witnesses have received in the past.

  13. twistedsister69 says:

    Moses: “Honor your father and your mother.”
    George Carlin: “Wouldn’t that be contingent upon the performance of the parents?”
    Interesting. Why is there no Commandment ordering parents to respect their (and OTHERS’) children? To NOT abuse their (and OTHERS’) children? To NOT molest their (and OTHERS’) children??? Simple. ‘Cause the “10 commandments” are NOT from God!!! They are the product of a misogynistic, male-dominated, patriarchal cabal who served the Ancient Demon-God Yahweh. Another perfect example – this is a direct quote (Copy & Paste) of the 10th commandment straight out of the New World Translation: “You must not desire your fellow man’s house. You must not desire your fellow man’s wife nor his slave man nor his slave girl nor his bull nor his donkey nor anything that BELONGS to your fellow man.” OK, I capitalized “BELONGS” for emphasis. My point being, the wife is here listed as a BELONGING, PROPERTY, along with BULLS, DONKEYS, SLAVE men, and SLAVE girls…AND…his freakin’ HOUSE – an INANIMATE object!!! Personally, I would find that quite insulting, AND offensive! But that’s me. JW ladies, if I were a woman, I honestly don’t believe I could put up with that crap for too long. Like it or not, ADMIT it or not, except for the occasional stoning, the JW cult is very closely modeled after the extinct ancient Hebrew culture, which means … If u ain’t a MAN, u ain’t SH*T.
    Think about it. Am I lying? Is this just more “apostate lies”? If so, please feel free to correct me. Straighten me out. Set me straight. Clue me in to your ‘secret wisdom’. ‘Adjust my thinking’. Please, please, enlighten this poor, deluded, “mentally-diseased” apostate. I’ll be here all day. My flight to Bora Bora got cancelled.

    • twistedsister69 says:

      Still waiting.
      All quiet on the Western Front.
      I can hear a pin drop.
      Crickets chirping.

      • twistedsister69 says:

        TIME IS UP.
        The invitation to enlighten me is OFFICIALLY RESCINDED
        … FOREVER ….
        Just to be CLEAR:
        I NEVER INVITED JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES INTO MY LIFE.
        And I SURE as S*** do NOT owe a single ONE of them a GODDAMNED thing.
        So BUGGER OFF.
        & DON’T come a-knockin’.

    • Winston Smith says:

      @TS69
      Carlin’s rant on the 10 commandments is classic. My favorite: ‘Try really hard not to kill anyone, as long as they don’t pray to a different invisible man than the one you pray to.’

      WS

      • twistedsister69 says:

        LOL You must be psychic. I was just thinking earlier today that religion is probably responsible for more war deaths than all other ’causes’ combined. I mean, even starving nations are less likely to invade their neighbors for FOOD, than to attack them because they pray to a different god!

  14. Doc Obvious says:

    25 Jurors now know more about Watchtower’s handling of Child sexual abuse than the average citizen. 25 Jurors will no doubt talk to their priests, neighbors, newspaper columnists, and family members about how the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not take care of things in their own church after the trial. Even though Watchtower settled the case with the plaintiff, damage has been done. More Watchtower cases with jurors, please.

  15. OntarioNB says:

    I don’t quite understand.Watchtower settled with the plaintiff,but did they and the elders get fined for breaking the criminal laws,or will that be a separate trial ?

    • twistedsister69 says:

      @OntarioNB

      I believe this was a Civil (“Common Law” or “Tort”) trial, rather than a Criminal one. As wt settled, this particular matter is closed, since no one (strangely) has brought any actual Criminal charges.
      But ……. Who knows what the future holds?

      • twistedsister69 says:

        Not a legal professional myself, but I would guess that one problem with laying Criminal charges is that now you’re getting into the whole “clergy-penitent” & “religious privilege” crap, dragging everything into a very GRAY area, with the potential of setting some very DANGEROUS precedents.
        …Dangerous for organized religions & cults, that is.

        • outandabout says:

          If WT were forced to appear in court to prove their case, they would surely lose. I don’t see a gray area, TS. It’s an open and shut case, that’s why they settle out of court. They’re on the back foot and their heyday is over. Nothing but retreat and retract from now on. How long it will take is anyone’s guess.
          Keep up the onslaught.

        • messenger says:

          Yes TS. Also in a criminal case a DA would have to convince ALL jurors to win his case and get a conviction. A civil case in California wins with only 9 out of 10 jurors deciding the same way. I googled the ratio in Penn., and the page I saw stated 5 in 6 or 10 out of 12 were needed. But JR said 8 jurors plus alternates took their seats, so I don’t know the real ratio there, but its not 100% like in criminal trials. That makes it more difficult to get criminal convictions with the same evidence.

          • messenger says:

            ooops I mis-stated. A civil case in CA wins with only 9 out of 12 jurors agreeing NOT 9 out of 10.

    • John Redwood says:

      This is a civil case, not criminal. With reference to the possibility of criminal charges being filed, it is our understanding from speaking with the plaintiff’s legal team that charges against the elders are not likely to be filed. That’s about all we can say on the matter at this point

      JR

  16. Ted says:

    @Eyes opened, I enjoyed your posting very much,. I get that
    You are not a dogmatic person, as you say, “You still think
    and contemplate on what it all might mean” that’s
    commendable and probably applies to all who comment here.

    You refer to the Sermon on the mount and to leading a life that
    benefits others and I agree there’s substance in that philosophy.
    And if God exists I’m sure he’d attaché more merit to that than
    figuring out which of the thousands of religions is true, or whose
    got the right interpretation of the Bible.

    In my humble opinion. If the Bible was Gods communication
    to mankind it would not lead to the confusion that it obviously
    does. Nature speaks to people of all languages in the same way.
    The rising and setting of the sun can be calculated to the second,

    when to sow and when to reap is known the world over
    because the seasons are dependable. Any communication from
    God would also have such dependable clarity.

    Again a personal opinion. Religion and all its “Holy Books”
    are a barrier to a relationship with God, ( Again assuming he’s
    really there,) it’s just men setting themselves up, usurping
    your conscience killing it with a raft of inflexible rules that stifle
    any personal expression toward God. Jesus understood that.

    Was he divine? I have strong doubts, but like you he was a
    deep thinker, a contemplator, and a searcher after truth.
    Best wishes T.

  17. Ted says:

    @Eyes opened, I enjoyed your posting very much,. I get that
    You are not a dogmatic person, as you say, “You still think
    and contemplate on what it all might mean” that’s
    commendable and probably applies to all who comment here.

    You refer to the Sermon on the mount and to leading a life that
    benefits others and I agree there’s substance in that philosophy.
    And if God exists I’m sure he’d attaché more merit to that than
    figuring out which of the thousands of religions is true, or whose
    got the right interpretation of the Bible.

    In my humble opinion. If the Bible was Gods communication
    to mankind it would not lead to the confusion that it obviously
    does. Nature speaks to people of all languages in the same way.
    The rising and setting of the sun can be calculated to the second,

    when to sow and when to reap is known the world over
    because the seasons are dependable. Any communication from
    God would also have such dependable clarity.

    Again a personal opinion. Religion and all its “Holy Books”
    are a barrier to a relationship with God, ( Again assuming he’s
    really there,) it’s just men setting themselves up, usurping
    your conscience killing it with a raft of inflexible rules that stifle
    any personal expression toward God. Jesus understood that.

    Was he divine? I have strong doubts, but like you he was a
    deep thinker, a contemplator, and a searcher after truth.
    Best wishes T.

  18. dee2 says:

    @Eyes Opened:

    The following are some of Jesus’ own sayings from the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) which show his sole criteria for salvation as being totally dependent upon good works alone.

    There is however one passage that appears to imply that both works and faith are needed – an explanation of this passage is given. There is also one passage with parallel verse which implies that both belief in Christ and the act of baptism are needed. And there is one passage which requires repentance.

    Hope you’ve got your reading groove on ’cause there’s a bit of stuff coming your way 🙂

    – Matthew 25:32-46:
    The “sheep and goats parable.” It appears to refer to the Final Judgment when people from all over the world will be gathered before Jesus. That would also involve people of all religious faiths, and none.

    The sole criterion that is used to separate those who will attain Heaven from those who will be sent to Hell is whether they helped other people in need. That is, a person’s salvation is based solely on their good deeds while they were alive on earth.

    Matthew 25:34-45 is perhaps the most difficult to harmonize with a faith-based salvation belief system because it is so clear and explicit. The literal, straight-forward interpretation of this passage reveals that salvation is by works, not faith.

    According to the parable, the population of “all nations,” that is the entire human race – Christians and non-Christians – will be gathered before Jesus when he comes to render final judgement. It describes the exact criteria which Matthew believed will be used at the Final Judgment when Jesus separates all the people of the world into two groups: those who will enter heaven and those who will spend eternity in hell.

    Salvation is solely based upon a persons acts of charity to others; it is in no way dependent upon what the individual believes about Jesus’ status, or what God – if any – the person worships. So, Matthew 25 implies that Agnostics, Atheists, Baha’is, Buddhists, Christians, Deists, Hindus, Muslims, Satanists, Wiccans, and others will attain Heaven after death if they are kind to others by observing their faith’s Ethic of Reciprocity – the Golden Rule.

    The literal, straight-forward interpretation of this passage reveals that salvation is by works, not faith. This is a profound thought, which leads directly to religious inclusivism and pluralism.

    This conflicts with the teachings of many religions that only their followers will attain Heaven. Also, fundamentalist and other evangelical Christians generally teach that salvation is by faith, not works.

  19. dee2 says:

    @Eyes opened

    Mark 10:18-25:

    (This passage appears, with a few differences in Matthew 19:16-23 and Luke 18:18-24).

    “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.”

    And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”

    Jesus taught that personal salvation is by works only: Jesus first lists five of theTen Commandments as instructions that must be followed in order to gain salvation. These are all related to works that one must do or avoid. Using the Protestant/Eastern Orthodox sequence of Exodus 20:

    Exodus 20:12: 7th commandment: Do not commit adultery.

    Exodus 20:13: 6th commandment: Do not kill.

    Exodus 20:15: 8th commandment: Do not steal.

    Exodus 20:16: 9th commandment: Do not bear false witness.

    Exodus 20:12: 5th commandment: Honor one’s parents.

    It is notable that Jesus does not list any of the first four commandments as being necessary for salvation. These are related to one’s relationship with Yahweh:

    To worship no other God than Yahweh.

    To not make images and bow before them.

    To not take the name of Yahweh in vain.

    To keep Saturday, the Sabbath day, holy.

    The implication appears to be that one’s beliefs about, and responses to, God are not important to one’s salvation. Only one’s works – particularly those activities involving other people – that are important.

    Jesus also does not include the 10th commandment as needed for salvation. It states that one is not to covet any of one’s neighbor’ possessions: their house, wife, male slave, female slave, animals, etc.

    Jesus adds three additional requirements for salvation. Again, all are “works:”

    “Defraud not.” Jesus adds this requirement between his reference to the 9th and 5thcommandment. He may have considered it to be a type of corollary or a commentary on the 9th commandment. Defrauding someone might be considered a type of false witness. On the other hand, some commentators somehow believe that defrauding others is equivalent to coveting other’s possessions; they suggest that this is a reference to the 10th commandment.

    “Sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor.” This appears to mean that one is to convert any assets not absolutely needed to maintain a simple standard of life, and give the proceeds to those in need. However, some suggest that the sentence should not be interpreted literally; it really means that one should value God more than one’s riches.

    “Come, take up the cross, and follow me” This apparently means to become a member of Jesus’ inner circle, accept a life of simplicity and poverty, and travel the countryside with Jesus and his disciples. This option does not appear to be applicable to people alive in the 21st century, unless it is interpreted symbolically.

    According to these statements attributed to Jesus, salvation is by doing good works:

    Dispose of your assets and give everything that you can to the poor.

    Honor your parents.

    One must also avoid certain evil activities:

    Adultery.

    Killing.

    Stealing.

    Bearing false witness.

    Defrauding others
    Religious duties have little or no impact on one’s salvation. It does not matter whether one:

    Worships Yahweh, or another God, or a Goddess, or perhaps no God at all.

    Creates statues and other images and bowing down in front of them.

    Takes the name of Yahweh in vain.

    Does not keep Saturday, the Sabbath day, holy.

    Jesus taught that salvation is purely a matter of the balance between ones good and bad works. A person’s beliefs and practices concerning God do not matter. Thus, followers of any religion – or none – have an opportunity to go to Heaven/be saved. The only criteria for salvation are the acts that one performs which involve other persons – particularly one’s parents, the disadvantaged etc.

  20. dee2 says:

    @Eyes opened:

    Many additional verses in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke reinforce the concept of salvation by good works only:

    Luke 10:25-27:
    This passage gives Jesus’ precise response to a lawyer who asked what one must do to inherit eternal life; i.e. to attain salvation and spend eternity in heaven. Jesus had him recite “The Law” from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) which requires a person to:Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. This is a slight misquotation from Deuteronomy 6:5:
    “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (NKJ)Love their neighbor as they love themselves.

    This is derived from Leviticus 19:18: “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself…” (NKJ)

    The lawyer then asked the obvious question: who is my neighbor? The Leviticus passage implied that one’s neighbors are restricted to one’s own nation or tribe. Jesus disagreed with the passage in Deuteronomy, and responded with the well-known Parable of the Good Samaritan, which indicates that all humans are one’s neighbors.

    The parable describes a man who had been attacked by robbers and left half dead. Two Jewish religious leaders come upon the man: a priest and a Levite. The Jewish law forbids holy men from touching a dead person; it would be an act of ritual impurity, a serious defilement.

    They walk on the other side of the road to avoid any contact with the victim. A Samaritan comes by, bandages the man’s wounds and helps him to a place where he can recover. The Jews of the day despised the Samaritans, regarding them as semi-pagan, inferior and persons of little worth.

    Jesus told the lawyer to be more like the Samaritan than like the Levite and Priest. That is, to make compassion for others the highest priority in life, and to downgrade religious rules and regulations to a lower level of importance.

    Jesus makes clear in this passage that one attains eternal life in heaven by loving God and loving all humans, particularly the poor, needy and broken.

    Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” . The Amplified Bible defines “poor in spirit” as being humble and rating themselves as insignificant.

    Matthew 5:10: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The Amplified Bible defines “righteousness” as being and doing right.

    Matthew 5:20: “…unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven”.
    The Rheims New Testament translates the Greek as”unless your justice abound more…”.

    Matthew 7:12: “…do onto others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” One might assume that by following this “Golden rule”, one meets all of the requirements of the Hebrew scriptures, and thus might be saved.

    Matthew 16:27: “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” (NKJ)

  21. dee2 says:

    @Eyes opened:

    Matthew 19:16-17 “Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, ‘Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?’…Jesus replied…If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

    Jesus then repeated 5 as being of particular importance (Commandments 5 to 9 Jews, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Baha’i s, Buddhists, Hindus etc from Exodus 20:12-16) and added a new commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” 4 of the 6 involve actions to avoid; the remaining two list who one is to love.

    Jesus then goes further and urges the man to sell his possessions, and give the money to the poor, so that he would have “treasure in heaven.”

    Matthew 24:45-51: In this passage, Jesus tells a parable about an evil overseer who beats his fellow slaves. His master comes back at an unexpected time and “and shall cut him asunder, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.” (ASV)

    This implies that when Christ returns, individuals who treat others with consideration will be rewarded (presumably with access to the Kingdom of God).

    An evil person who treats others poorly or is a drunk will be punished (presumably by denying them access).

    Mark 9:42-48: Jesus recommends that if one’s hand or foot or eye cause them to commit a sinful act, then they should cut off the offending member. Verse 47 says:”…It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell…”

    Mark 10:17-25: This is essentially identical to Luke 18, which is described below.

    Mark 12:32-34: A man said that to love God and one’s neighbor is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices. Jesus replied in Verse 34 “…You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

    This implies that if one loves God and humanity, then they are close to salvation.

    Luke 13:27 “Away from me, all youevildoers” The Amplified Bible renders this word as wrongdoers. The verse describes how people will be turned away from the Kingdom of God, because of their evil behavior and wrongdoing.

    Luke 18:18-22 This is similar to Matthew 19, except that the advice to sell everything and give the proceeds to the poor is not an optional add-on but a requirement.

    Luke 19:8-9: “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I havewrongfully exacted aught of any man, I restore fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, To-day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham.”(ASV)

    Zacchaeus cares about others, giving half of his possession to the poor. And he is honest: if he shortchanges anyone, he returns the shortage four times over. Jesus indicates that because of these two acts of kindness and generosity, he has been saved.

    Matthew 19:27-30: Peter had said that he and the rest of the disciples had left everything to follow Jesus. He asked what would happen to them. Jesus replied that his followers would sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Verse 29 continues:

    “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Some ancient manuscripts of Luke said “everyone who has left…mother or wife”).

    Mark 10:28-30: This is similar to Matthew 19:27-30; Luke 9:59-62: “Then He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.’ And another also said, ‘Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.'” (NKJ)

    Jesus seems to be implying that to attain the kingdom of God, one is expected to drop everything and follow Jesus. This was so important that a person should violate a Jewish laws by not giving priority to burying their father.

  22. dee2 says:

    @Eyes opened:

    One passage appears to imply that both works and faith are needed:

    Luke 7:44-50: Jesus described to Simon Peter how a woman who had lived a sinful life had treated him with loving care. She washed his feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair; she continually kissed his feet and she anointed them with oil.

    Jesus said in verse 47-48: “Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, (the same) loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.”

    The implication is that because of her kind acts, her sins are forgiven; she will attain the Kingdom of God. But then an obvious addition was made to the story in Luke 7:50: “And he said unto the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”

    This verse appears to be an afterthought, added after the original gospel was written. It contradicts the previous verses that based her treatment on her kind acts, not her faith. Perhaps the intent was to bring the story into line with the developing Christian theology, which had begun to emphasize faith over works.
    __

    Other passages imply that both belief in Christ and the act of baptism is needed:

    Mark 16:15-16 (parallel Matthew 28:19 – 20):

    “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.” (ASV)

    These verses state that there are two criteria that must be met for salvation: to be baptized and to believe the gospel. Repentance of sins and good works are not needed. It is unclear, however, what the fate of persons will be if they have never heard of the gospel and thus have neither accepted or rejected it.
    ___

    Repentance required:
    Luke 24: 45 – 48:

    ” He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
    ____

    These are just some of Jesus’ own sayings regarding salvation based on good works alone according to the synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark & Luke.

    • eyesopened says:

      Oh Dee2, So much to digest! My response is not very elaborate but I will briefly address some of the things you’ve said. Before I start I just want to say we have drifted so far off the subject of this article and out of respect I will try to limit my comments that are off topic.

      Matt. 25, in the first century Jesus and his apostles traveled a lot, offering any hospitality and kindness was to be rewarded. These things are mentioned along with the return of Christ in glory when sheep and goats would be separated. According to Matt. 24 I believe that was the generation that would see it. Something noteworthy is that reference to all the nations aka entire inhabited earth had to do with the Roman Empire, (that is actually on the watchtower library cd). That’s why Paul could say he had preached to all creation under heaven.

      The passage in Mark is very interesting. This young man was doing all the right things. However his unwillingness to give up his possessions could be viewed as an indicator that he would not be able to leave these things behind and rely on God as Matt. 6:33 states. That time would arrive when they would see the disgusting thing stand where it ought not and have to get out of Jerusalem. Again 1st century.

      While the commandments and the law were done away with, the law of love and principled love and the golden rule would be enough reminders for people to do what they should. Facets of that love are highlighted in the list of qualities of the fruitage of the spirit, against those things there is no law.

      I believe works are what’s most needed. Faith in Jesus and baptism I view as essential in the first century because there needed to be a clear distinction between the Jewish system and the new Christian ways.

      I truly do feel that the writings of the apostles were meant for the Christians prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. Today I appreciate the scrips as a guide to live an approved life. I say approved because I do believe in a Creator. God said to listen to his son. But will people today who don’t believe in Jesus, but live life in harmony with his law of love still be rewarded? I would think so. As the saying goes “actions speak louder than words”. So where does that leave us today? Still working on that one for myself :)

      Back to topic…In closing the GB and others in the org make grand statements of faith but what about their actions with reference to the child abuse??? I believe this is a subject where actions are all that matter.

      Regards

  23. dee2 says:

    @Eyes opened:

    My final comment is awaiting moderation. I hope it will be released soon.

  24. mesenger says:

    @ dee2

    Presenting an overabundance of information to establish your point does not validate your position, not when you leave out an equal amount of information from the same source you used that invalidates your claim whole claim.

    I can understand your disbelief in the Bible. What comes across as disingenuous, yes deceptive, is the way you attempt to prove your points. And seriously do you believe you prove them? You must realize that about half the information from the source you chose is left out, but not just any half; you left out the half that clearly proves your claim is false.

    Here’s the method of your argument: Let’s see, I believe in X, my source comments on X & Y, but since I don’t believe in Y I’ll only present information from my source on X and tell my audience Y is not presented in my source……Great argument dee2, for getting folks to agree with you that already believe your way…..but don’t expect anyone else to buy it.

    Doesn’t someone else we know teach that same way? Oh yea WT…..I never learned from WT what R Franz or Cedars told me….WT only told me what they wanted to.

    And didn’t WT also claim Y didn’t exist? That their pedophile problem is apostate lies?

    Same tactic dee2….if its not different than the WT tactic what’s different about the two, between yours and theirs?

  25. Ted says:

    @Ricardo, I see your point. If elders are truly in Jesus
    right hand (Under his supervision, or control) then when
    they screw up, commit evil acts, it reflects back on him,
    not on the org,

    Another aspect is the cunning way they use flattering
    language to manipulate and get cooperation from people.
    “Elders you are stars in Jesus right hand”. WOW!
    swoon, swoon, I’m all yours!

    The stark reality is that where elders actually are, is in the
    orgs, pocket. And if they ever wise up and resist, they will
    be discarded just like the detritus that accumulates in the
    pocket.

    This was made very clear when elders at Menlo Park protested
    at the orgs, take over of their K,Hall and financial assets.
    a perfectly justified reaction since it was the contributions of
    the local members that had financed the building. The elders
    objections resulted in their disfellowshipping.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Ted,
      I am glad we can see the point. Why can’t the others, those sitting in the kingdom Halls? When they hear something so illogical as the elders are in Jesus right hand, why doesn’t their brain tell them this is rubbish? I can’t understand the typical witness.

      They are taught, when they were first contacted, to discriminate between what is fact and what is false. They realize their beliefs are wrong and thus become witnesses. They then turn off their ability to reason, their ability to discriminate fact from falsehood, and simply swallow down everything.

      An example: an elder was part of a symposium, but also the chairman. After the symposium he thanked all the brothers who had a part in the symposium by name, reading out his own name. He sounded like a fool. I said to him afterwards that it seems crazy to want our Bible students to open their minds, while you have lost the ability to use your own. He said, “Ricardo, by reading what I was instructed to read, I showed submission.”

      The most important lesson to learn as a Witness is submission. Not love. Not thinking ability. Just turn off the lights in your brain and sit there nodding. If you are not submissive you will not get anywhere.

      • Winston Smith says:

        @Ricardo,
        The problem is that you are assuming that most people’s conversion was based on a rational decision. For most it was not. Many were born-in (like me) and given the choice to either accept it or be kicked out of the only family and social circle they have ever known. Others were drawn in by some other aspect: the love bombing, the fact that they were made to feel like they had special insight or special information, the fact that their friends or relatives were already members. This is not the way organization based on reason gets and retains members. It’s the way a mind controlling cult does so.

        Most people in the organization are not there because they really believe in everything they hear (some are and you find those same people in every religion). Many are there because they are afraid to leave, afraid of Armageddon, afraid of the world outside.

        Either way, it’s easier for them to just blindly nod and follow along. Critical thinking takes too much work and can lead to results that are difficult to deal with.

        WS

      • messenger says:

        @Ricardo

        A long time ago, shorty before or after I was baptized, I was working with a sister in my congregation, and she said she believed most JWs were Witnesses because they were afraid of Armageddon, not because they loved Jehovah. I was shocked by her statement. That’s why I still remember it all these years. Back then I thought all Witnesses loved God and believed the ‘Truth’ absolutely. Once I was working with a CO, and I told him I couldn’t understand how someone could learn the truth and then stop believing it. His response, “It happens.”

        From what I’ve seen I believe most JWs love God and that’s why they worship him. To me it’s obvious that most JWs also sincerely believe the WT is God’s one true religious group one Earth.

        I see two reasons why they don’t agree with you Ricardo. First it’s not logical to expect Christ to have absolute control over the elders. God’s never done that with anyone. Look at the Bible examples of faulty Jewish kings, and even Satan. Secondly, I’m here-at this site- and your here, because we saw something within the organization that’s caused doubt about important claims it makes. The most important one being the claim that they’re acting as God’s sole channel of communication with the world; and their teaching of the necessity of being part of their group to please God.

        Most who comment on this site believe those claims are false; that’s why they’re here. You probably at least doubt those claims. The brothers and sisters in the kingdom halls, for the most part, do not doubt those claims. And until they do, making allowances for the sins and mistakes in others, including elders, is biblical and sensible. In the Bible there was always all sorts of crap happening and the leaders were often a contributing factor.

        messenger

  26. mesenger says:

    Here’s what you left out, in its most minimal form:

    1 John 2:22 “Who then is the liar? It is he that says that Jesus is not the Christ. This one is the enemy of the Christ-he rejects both the father and the Son, For whoever rejects the Son also rejects the Father; whoever accepts the Son has the Father also.”

    dee2 Your claim is that belief in Christ is not necessary for salvation, according to the source you chose the Bible. Is that what this scripture states?And, who does this scripture say makes your claim?

    2 John 7 ” Many deceivers have gone out over the world, men who do not declare that Jesus Christ CAME as a human being. Such a person is a deceiver and the Enemy of Christ. Watch out for yourselves, then, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT LOOSE WHAT YOU HAVE WORKED FOR, but will receive your REWARD in full. Anyone who does not STAY with the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God.”

    2 Cor 11:3-4 “I am afraid that your minds will be corrupted and you will abandon your full and pure DEVOTION TO CHRIST-in the same way Eve was deceived by the snakes clever lies. For you gladly tolerate anyone who comes to you and preaches a different Jesus, not the one we preached; and you accepted a spirit and a gospel completely different from the spirit and gospel you received from us!”

    So dee2 why didn’t you share this information or the hundred other scriptures that prove the Bible refutes your claim? What’s your game?

  27. Ted says:

    @Big B, I remember that big chart, displaying the cong,
    FS averages. As assistant cong servant it was my job to
    keep it up to date every month. The org provided stick on
    numbers for the purpose.

    It was also my job to chase up any late reporters, I got a right
    rollicking from one old sister who said reports were all I was
    bothered about. It was the same at the C,Os meeting with the
    committee as it was then, no elders. >>

    The main item on the agenda was FS figures, one C,O didn’t
    like the averages and said, if there was no improvement on
    his next visit he would remove us from our positions and put
    sisters in our place.

    We explained that the bros, had families and had to work
    overtime to provide for them. His reply was, “If I had to work
    overtime to keep my family I wouldn’t be much of a man” .
    only he didn’t have a family! You can imagine we were full
    of joy, filled with Holy Spirit after meetings like that. But that’s
    all it would be, Imagination!

    • twistedsister69 says:

      ha ha ha Typical know-nothing, do-nothing BONEHEAD! And the GALL to criticize OTHERS!!! That Circus Overseer didn’t have a family? He didn’t even have a !@#$ing JOB!!!!! He was a BEGGAR, at BEST.

    • Big B says:

      @ Ted & twistedsister69;

      Typical of those who have never walked in another man’s shoes before making judgement. Stupid is as stupid does (says).

      Reminds me of the time we had a Circuit Convention in Richmond, VA. in the dead of winter. Our circuit which included southern Tidewater Virginia (Virginia Beach, Norfolk) and parts of North Carolina (Outer Banks) had to travel over 100 miles to the Assembly. However, the Virginia State Police said that due to inclement weather (huge snow fall 12″+) NOT to travel northwest (towards Richmond) and issued a “travelers advisory” to that effect. In other words ‘stay off the damn road to avoid accidents or fatalities as we won’t be able to help you if you’re stranded and snow removal equipment will be taxed to the limit.’

      A great many brothers & elders in my Circuit followed the advisory as we do not have and it’s not required to own or install snow tires as it is in say, Richmond or Northern Virginia near D.C.

      The C.O. at the time, was absolutely livid as we did not attend the Circuit Assembly and made it plain to all that we should have made the effort and ignored the State Police and the state’s ‘bad weather advisory even though Richmond had only 2″ inches the real snowfall (10″) was between Richmond and Tidewater as the weather travel advisory warned about.

      Now I understand why the scathing we received from the C.O.; the WTBTS did not receive their seminar fees that they charge per head for these conventions. (At least $8 -$10 per publisher). As fecal matter flows downhill so does the wise-ass, know-nothing lunacy given by the C.O. (just following WTBTS instructions).

      Obviously, the C.O. was told by the WTBTS that monies lost (non-collections) for non-attendance was more important than possible lives lost attending a stupid Circuit Convention; which is nothing but a midweek meeting with Sunday talk and filler fairy-tale talks.

      • twistedsister69 says:

        Didn’t “Jesus” himself mention something about the Pharisees imposing all kinds of rules, regulations, and demands that they themselves were unwilling to follow? Sounds like that CO was just another Armchair Rambo.

  28. Ted says:

    The thing about a scriptural discussion is, it’s a
    bit like a game of whist. I play a jack, that gets
    trumped with a queen , Someone tops that with a
    king, then out comes the ace,

    Is that the end of it? No, we just shuffle the cards
    and start all over again.

  29. Ted says:

    @twisted sister69, That particular CO weighed around
    252 pounds, and he was assigned a talk on obesity at
    one of the big assemblies. He was obviously embarrassed
    because he said “Maybe I’m not the right one to be
    giving this talk”.

    • twistedsister69 says:

      OMG – LMAO … Don’t tell me, everyone thought that was SOOO witty, charming, and endearing, enjoyed a grand old chuckle, and that’s how they so easily brushed off the Cognitive Dissonance that started knocking at their mental door. No wonder he had no family. He probably ate them.
      BTW I’m sure his size helped him dominate others. Sheeplike people, like most Witnesses, are easily intimidated by physical stature, even if the imposing individual happens to resemble Jabba the Hut.
      They don’t understand that “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog”.

  30. Jado says:

    @Ricardo, you need to know more on sex to understand the secrets of the universe…

    May I recommend this study: “Classical conditioning of sexual arousal in women and men: effects of varying awareness and biological relevance of the conditioned stimulus.” ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14739689 )!

    You do not need to spend years among JWs and exposed to the GB teaching to be sexually conditioned, few verses are enough to condition a member!!!

    Start observing sexual behaviors of JWs (male and female) you will discover terrible things.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Jado,
      We can’t have the both of us talking about sex. That’s for a different web site, isn’t it?

      If I go further with your study material I will start looking at the brothers and sisters in a different way. It’ll do my head in. I’ll start giving answers in the meetings about sex.

      I’ll become Jado2.

      It’s good to see you keeping away from that jw.org site, Jado. That one definitely trips the mind.

    • twistedsister69 says:

      @Jado

      I wanna party with you, man!

  31. WideAwake says:

    Yes Ted, fatso wasn’t a good fit for that talk. In fact, he was a big, fat hypocrite!
    Tell me, please somebody….JW.ORG disfellowships for so many things but is silent on the SIN of gluttony.
    Why? Can anyone give me a reason?
    You can be a pedophile and molest all kinds of children but if you’re SORRY you get a free pass and can go on molesting because who is going to complain?
    The parents and child have been silenced through fear and the ol’ “don’t bring reproach upon J’s name” horse sh**!
    They want the rank and file idiots who can’t think for themselves to be like the 3 monkeys who cover their eyes, ears and mouths. Yes, they don’t want the sheeple to point out the evil hypocrisy in the ORG empire.
    Seems to me the GB pick and choose what they will disfellowship for, (a made up word by the way that isn’t even in the bible!)

    • twistedsister69 says:

      @WideAwake

      Yeah, just like Sergeant Schultz in Hogan’s Heroes: “I see nothing, I hear nothing, I know N-O-T-H-I-N-G!!!” & “I saw NOTHING. I was never HERE! I…did…not…even…get out of BED this morning!!!”

  32. Ted says:

    @WideAwake. Good question why is gluttony over looked?
    I think the main reason is, they’re hung up on sexual sin,
    adultery, fornication. These things are gossiped about
    both in the cong, and in the neighbourhood. Gluttony is
    not all that interesting.

    They do put sex sin in a special category. The instructor
    on the elders course at Bethel admitted this. He asked
    “Why do we put sexual sin in a special category”? Then
    he answered his own question saying ” because the Bible
    does”. So gluttony is under the Bible radar according to
    them, but there are 30 or so texts condemning it. They
    make it all up to suit themselves don’t they? Best not to
    look for reasonable answers

    • Openmind says:

      From my understanding, JW thinking is that being obese doesn’t necessarily mean you are a glutton as it could be due to other, possibly medical, reasons. We all know of course that the majority of overweight people are those who over indulge, but can that be proven 100%? Imagine if all obese JW’s were disfellowshiped! How many of them would be left? How many of the GB would need to be replaced? Are 2 witnesses required in dining rooms?

  33. twistedsister69 says:

    Good advice in avoiding living in a dream world:

    “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau

  34. Ted says:

    @Ricardo, You got to the crux of WTs objective. It’s not to
    cultivate genuine love, but to develop submissiveness.
    To dull the brain, and not to Think of what’s right, but to
    be Told what’s right, and hand over your conscience to them.

    I just celebrated my 85th birthday and had visits and cards
    and little presents from my non JW children and grand children
    and it was wonderful, strengthening family bonds.>>

    But from my still in daughter, not even a phone call.
    I don’t blame her, I love her, I know she would dearly
    love to join in the family celebrations and wish her father
    a happy birthday. But her natural affection, her love has
    been supplanted, she’s not her real self. She’s controlled
    by others.

    I blame myself for lacking the intelligence to see the snare
    I was getting into many years ago and for brainwashing my
    my children with lies.

    • twistedsister69 says:

      @Ted

      At least you’re leading by (good) example now. She may come around one day.

    • messenger says:

      No one that believes it knows that a lie is a lie.

      It appears Job’s sons celebrated each ones birthday with family members. Job 1:4

      There is a song that Miles Davis played called, Someday My Prince Will Come. If you still believe in God you have that hope, and the hope that things will eventually get better.

      Best wishes…happy birthday!!!

      messenger

      • Ricardo says:

        @messenger,
        You have a law background. If the GB was to change the way judicial committees are held, so as to make them more public, thereby resembling the pattern of the older men sitting at the city gates of Israelite times, would there any possible legal ramifications?

        • messenger says:

          @Ricardo

          Hey Ricardo, I never claimed to have a law background, anymore than anyone else here. My dad and grandfather were both criminal trail attorneys, but my dad didn’t raise me, I was hardly around him or my grandfather.

          I took one paralegal course that was very simple and easy material. It was a correspondent course. I got all but one question correct the time I stayed in it. When the course administrators marked one of my answers wrong, I didn’t agree with their reasoning and quit, because I was not much interested in it anyway.

          My experience with the law is in dealing in it. I’ve sued profeesionals and organizations before for breach of contract and negligence leading to personal harm. I’ve been involved that way in more than one case. I learned things about the law in those processes.

          So, in answering your question I give only an opinion. As a matter of fact, one thing that correspondent course taught is that it is unlawful to offer legal advice without a law license.

          My guess is they couldn’t legally do that-although the possibility exists because of the hands off approach governments take with religions; and my opinion is they shouldn’t even if there are no laws against it.

          That would be like what was done to that poor woman in the story The Scarlet Letter- she was publically ostracized.

          The WT legal problems arouse because of WT policies, not because of the issue you raise. Airing publishers dirty laundry in public might cause them more legal problems. They won’t do it.

          • Ricardo says:

            @messenger,
            It is clear to me that there is a problem with the judicial committee system. If the process could include more than one person against three elders, it would be fairer.

            In the world there are lawyers who represent us in a court of law. In a judicial committee there is no one allowed to give support, so the elders can get away with outrageous conduct, especially with regard to lying, but also in regard to the type of questions they ask. Fancy asking, “Did you enjoy it?” to a rape victim.

            So how to correct the judicial committee system so that the elders can no longer get away with lying and their usual shenanigans? The system must be opened up to include more people, to be more transparent. I can’t imagine it is difficult to do. I can’t imagine why the GB refuses to change it. They’ve changed a lot of other things.

            By the by, I saw the interest you showed in the court cases, and the comments you made displayed a more than superficial knowledge of the law system. I thought it indicated something.

          • messenger says:

            Ricardo

            When I stopped doing business after 20 years I thought I would become a lawyer, or a_____(don’t want to name my profession to conceal my identity). I researched info and laid out the case strategies, and then handed those over to lawyers in both my superior court cases. So those strategies were my own, not from those lawyers. Also, I’ve represented myself in smalls claims court a half dozen times. I also learned things about the law while involved in one of my superior court cases, because my attorney liked to have hours long meetings with me and explain legal issues, like estoppel that JR mentioned. He probably did it to run up my bill.

            In my opinion WT needs to get rid of all their made up LAWS. And for Bible LAWS they need to get rid of their stringent sanctions. As Christians we’re suppose to help people not punish them. And Christ said not to judge each other. He didn’t do it when here, so why are we as a congregation doing it? I believe Christ exists, and I’m no judge, but I believe the gb is going to pay and possibly the elders also, for what they’re doing.

            Christ is always painted as peaceful, that’s untrue. He’s not the type of being that takes a lot of crap, and neither does his father. My opinion is that those guys are in a very dangerous position, probably more much dangerous than the leaders of many churches they call Christendom.

            What WT doesn’t acknowledge is the individual aspect of how and why salvation works. They pay lip service to it. It’s all about the ORG to them, and the org isn’t going to save anyone. They even pay lip service to who Christ is, in their attempt to usurp his position and authority.

            I suggest being very careful around these guys, because their carrot (offering positions) is a trap. I wouldn’t be overly concerned with how they act. Now, they are too big for you to have any impact on them… and if sucked in there’s a better chance they’ll have an impact on you, than vice versa.

            The sin WT preys on is pride in brothers, the lie they tell when playing on it is unity inside God’s org, the carrot is an appointed position, the result could be your soul, because to keep your position they own that. As examples of this read the testimony from most of the brothers in WT court proceedings. If they lie there, they’ll lie anywhere. And they’ll do practically anything for WT-some of those things required are sins (judging is one, sanctions another).

            The elders that lied to me were not accusing me of sinning, I accused them. They were in fact guilty, but not one admitted it, and I saw that repeated more than once, maybe a half dozen times. Guilty but lied. Why? Pride. Afraid I would get them in trouble, because they thought I was like them. The irony is I would not have, I only reported ones that lied. If they hadn’t lied I would have forgiven them and overlooked their sin.

          • messenger says:

            I meant arose

          • Ricardo says:

            @messenger,
            I really appreciate your way of reasoning. If you lived somewhere nearby it would be a pleasure to meet up with you and run things by you for your opinion.

            Thanks for your efforts.

        • messenger says:

          Hi Ricardo,

          I think when you’re remembering the elders at the gates hearing judicial cases you’re remembering the Jewish way people were judged.

          But the JW way still doesn’t agree with Christ’s directions. Christ said for us to speak to the sinner in private first, not to tell elders about it. True he specifically said if the offenses are against us, but those he described were serious enough to warrant expulsion from the church, after going through a process that began by confronting the sinner privately.

          The JW procedure is to turn in people-tell the elders-if we know they committed a serious sin against us. Different instructions…whose to follow WT or Christ?

        • messenger says:

          @Ricardo

          It’s nice working with you on the site too Ricardo. Just keep serving God, and we’ll meet up in the new system. Don’t get blown out by the boobies. That’s Satan’s plan to take you down.

          Remember I go by messenger. And I’ll look up Ricardo, in Australia, at that future time.

      • outandabout says:

        Things will get better, and then they’ll get worse, and then they’ll get better, and then…. etc, etc. This is how it’s always been and that’s how it will always be, messenger.

        Imagine a beautiful newborn fawn, prancing around all full of life and joy. You’ve never seen anything more beautiful. Suddenly a tiger leaps out of the bushes and sinks it’s fangs into it’s neck. That is life!… in all it’s beauty and horror. It is what it is and there’s no need to be afraid of it because we are actually part of it also.

        He’s not coming back. He’s dead. Believing he will may be hope, but it’s a false hope.

        Love ya!

        • messenger says:

          @outandabout

          I love you too outandabout, but still say your statement about the future is opinion not fact. And your opinion is based upon limited experiences not all encompassing eternal ones. I have my opinion also, one that is not just based on Bible interpretations, but also my experiences.

          I was shown my future by something that was not human. Part of the future I was shown happened already (I lived through it), another part didn’t happen yet. In my personal opinion it was God, Christ, Holy Spirit (which is the same thing as one of them), or one of their spiritual representatives who made contact with me.

          I don’t expect you to believe the claim. In all honesty if the shoe was one the other foot, and you made such a claim I wouldn’t believe it. I might believe you, but not your claim.

          But with what happened to me I could see no other logical explanation for than the one I’ve made…maybe one, only one other logical explanation. If there are invisible beings that can see the future, communicate thoughts through dreams, and telepathically while their recipients are awake, float in the air, move real fast, and travel through walls, read peoples’ minds, and if those beings are out to trick people then it wasn’t God or his rep. But I don’t believe that.

          In the future I saw things weren’t the same. In the future I saw some dead were alive.

        • messenger says:

          @ outandabout,

          This is why I claimed my explanations to my experiences are the only logical ones, and that prior to having those experiences why I would not believe if you told me you had the same experiences. In that case I would believe you read more into your experiences than was really there, and that there was some psychological reason for what I would consider hallucinations you suffered, with its possible explanation being you suffered schizophrenia.

          However, in the future that I was shown, that came true already, there were too many things and those included too much detailed information (exactly as they looked and occurred) for those things to have come about by coincidence. There was even a time component. If particular circumstances didn’t exist in my life inside approximately a 30 day window of time, then the time component would not have existed as true. There was an object, (home) building, with unique architecture, furnished in the exact same way as the dream when it materialized. And there was a unique occurrence, a condition in the dream, that I don’t wish to share, that also materialized. If part of the dream did not materialize I’d agree, it could be coincidental, but everything occurred exactly as it would years after I saw it. And it occurred in stages. I told others what I had dreamed, the parts that occurred as I saw them materializing, and the finality that would occur before it really happened. And it was after this finality that other contacts with me were made.

          In the last contact I was visibly shown, while I was awake, the source of the thoughts that were put into my head while I was sleeping. It looked solid, but it floated and performed the acts I describe above.

          If mental illness, why no occurrences before or after these events? And being rationalize, I could rationalize that could be true, but looking at it logically I cannot rationalize another logical explanation for that first dream with the other occurrences.

          Scientists believe the universe arranged itself as it did, including life forms, because of having an immense amount of time to do it with random acts of chance. My life does not include that sort of time component that would allow for an infinite number of chance developments to create infinite possibilities for real circumstances arising in my life.

          best wishes!
          messenger

          • outandabout says:

            Well obviously I can’t dispute your experience, messenger, but why does that experience have to be bible related?
            Let me ask you this…how is it that Europeans and Asians have Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA in them but Africans don’t. By all accounts, sub-saharan Africans are the purest race on Earth. The theory is that humans evolved in Africa and moved out and mated with other species in Asia and Europe.
            The question is, where do Noah’s genes fit into this and if Africans are the only pure breed, is God black?
            Time may not tell, but science certainly will.
            Cheers.

          • outandabout says:

            I can’t get past Gods bottom line, messenger…
            ”I love you, but if you don’t love me back, I will kill you”.
            Try coming out with that one on a first date and see how far you get. If the person stayed after hearing that, it would only be out of fear. Nice. Religion is fear based.

        • messenger says:

          outandabout

          I like the way you word things outandabout, your choice of words and sentence structure.

          Addressing your two concerns.
          I would not bet my life on the interpretation or some groups understanding of any particular Bible story. There are way too many allegories that we call parables there to do that. What if the account of Noah did happen but happened in a certain location effecting only a certain population? Don’t count me in for staking my life that couldn’t be so. I’m not that stupid.

          But interestingly, in the Bible’s defense, you claimed scientists believe humanity originated in one location; similar to the Bible’s claim is that one.

          This belief about God’s position of love me or I’ll kill you I don’t buy into. My belief about God is that his intelligence and demeanor is not the type that needs, or even wants, other beings sucking his tit, so to speak. I’m not that kind of being and I don’t think he is either. I think he gives a lot more consideration to making things work successfully than the issue you raise. He speaks about that as fulfilling his purpose or his purposes.

          God’s idea on that is defined in scripture where Christ is recorded saying, “If you love me you’ll keep my commandments.” In their (God’s and Christ’s) idea to create a better world that would be necessary, for without it we have our current world, or something similar to it.

          Don’t know if you know the Pete Townsend lyric, “Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss.” The Bible message, and I think history, proves that is what happens when we, as humanity, are left on our own. Things just don’t change all that much. And forget about us conquering death, that’s not going to happen!

          So, the love that you speak of, I look at as God’s love for us, not our love for God. Our love for God is just a response to his. He is willing to make things better…not that he needs tit suckers to make him happy. The same idea applies to believing in Christ for salvation. Those who won’t believe would essentially be rebels in a new world, and we see what rebels do in governments; some are terrorists. But in God’s government even if decenters don’t become a terrorists would the world become any different if we didn’t agree to be different? Don’t think so. To me that’s what loving God is about. I think that’s where he’s coming from with scripture on that point.

          Christianity’s definition of free will is different than Cedars’ and dee2s’. We simply define it as persons having an ability to make their own decisions…in or out of harmony with Christ and God. They attach the caveat that you must exercise it to please God or else, so that you are, in a sense paying God when following him. I don’t buy it, God’s paying me. I just decide to work with him; because I want to; because I do have a love for God and Christ for what they’ve done. And working with them also makes the most sense to me. Christians define free will as choices made voluntarily by beings possessing it, irrespective of outcome. So in our definition Satan has it, while not agreeing to obey God.

          Yea those experiences were something. I didn’t believe that sort of thing happened today. The WT teaches it doesn’t and I used to believe them. One reason I doubt that the gb are what they refer to as anointed, is because of that teaching of theirs. I know I’m not the only one contacted. There are others out there but not likely members of the gb.

          I always like reading your comments…like I said I like the style in choice of words.

          Hey and whether we agree or not we’re all related in a sense. In Prince’s words, “We’re all trying to get through this thing called LIFE.”

          take care brother.
          messenger

  35. twistedsister69 says:

    I just had a really spiffy experience I gotta share while it’s still fresh. I ran into an old JW bud from back in the day. I must admit, my old Cong. did have some cool folks. We did have some good times back then. Of course, we were all young & more than a little crazy. Anyway, I and this fella reminisced a bit, and shared a few more laughs (I brought him up to speed on the Chuck Norris jokes lol). He knew I was no longer involved, don’t think he was aware I had DA’d. Anyway, the conversation inevitably rolled around to the ‘pep talk’. He seemed to be under the impression that I had drifted due to having been offended or hurt by someone. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I was simply done serving a superstitious cult created by a Bronze-Age tribe of devil-worshipping goat herders. Would not have penetrated anyway. So, I sat thru the usual rigamarole, u know, “jehovah” created everything…blah blah blah…we live for him, not for ourselves…blah blah blah…we must show our appreciation by endlessly studying the bible & following pointless rules…blah blah blah…and won’t everything be just peachy & perfect in the “new system”…blah blah blah. But I learned something. I learned I had grown. In the past, I might have been offended or irritated at a coupla things he said. I probably would have interjected at some point. But I didn’t. Resisting the urge to look at my watch, I quietly heard him out, smiling & nodding, smiling & nodding, smiling & nodding. I knew there was nothing he could say that would phase me. Somehow I knew the OUTcome, right from the OUTset. Absolutely nothing. I KNEW I would not be phased. I KNEW I would not be irritated. I KNEW I would not be intimidated. I KNEW I would not be swayed. I KNEW I would not be manipulated. I KNEW this guy was not a threat. And I CERTAINLY was not falling for the ol’ “bible study” nonsense. After all, my eyes were wide open now, and I was no longer 10 years old. But the most amazing thing was how I felt. I felt like a “worldly” person who had never heard “the truth”, experiencing “First Contact”, yet with total freedom of choice. I felt invincible. It felt … pretty cool. Like I had come full circle. I could sum it all up in my own words, but I think Darth Vader said it best:

  36. Ricardo says:

    I just heard some bad/good news about Russia. Well, bad news for Witnesses, good news for anyone who doesn’t like them.

    Source à http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2257

    16 February 2017

    RUSSIA: JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES TO BE LIQUIDATED?

    Russia’s General Prosecutor’s Office appears to be moving to liquidate the Jehovah’s Witness headquarters body as “extremist”.

    I hope jwsurvey can tell us more.

    • twistedsister69 says:

      ha ha ha “LIQUIDATE” – sounds ominous – still maybe an “old guard” (KGB) influence in Russia? Sounds a bit like “TERMINATE – with extreme prejudice”.

  37. Ted says:

    @Ricardo
    Russia’s General Prosecutor’s Office appears to be moving to liquidate the Jehovah’s Witness headquarters body as “extremist”.

    What Russia is planning is just peanuts compared to what JWs are
    are hoping to see. They are proclaiming the LIQUIDATION of ALL
    other religions and governments along with billions of non JWs,
    and only they will survive to rule the entire planet.

    Of course they’ll scream persecution, failing to mention that several
    other sects both Christian and Muslim are getting the same treatment.
    just as they fail to disclose the 1000s of pedophile cases in their
    ranks.

    Persecution is not the way to bring them down, but knowledge,
    publicity, disclosure of the rottenness at the core of this org,

  38. Ted says:

    How about the way THEY persecute ex members labelling them as
    MENTALLY DISEASED people, who need to be avoided, SHUNNED
    even by their own families. It creates emotional distress, mental
    torture that has led to many suicides. They intimidate by using
    extreme and emotive language,>> “What if a doctor told you to
    avoid someone who had a contagious , deadly disease
    you would strictly heed his warning”. WT, July 15, 2011.

    These views are repugnant and incite a strong reaction, and while
    not agreeing with banning them, opposition to them is understandable.
    The whole structure is rotten, it will eventually collapse on its own.

    • outandabout says:

      It will eventually collapse, Ted, and yesterday wouldn’t be soon enough.

      It is an extreme religion. Just look at what they do….go door to door in the community attempting to convince people that dying while upholding the faulty beliefs of a 21st Century cult is a noble and essential thing to do and that everybody should do it.

      I think the JW’s and radical Islam would be the only ones in the world that demand death? They can deny that as much as they like, but hospital liaison committee’s are there to enforce the rules, not bring flowers or get well cards.

      Go Russia! and hopefully other countries will grow some gonads and follow suit.

      • messenger says:

        Yep outanabout. We had an elder giving a public talk recently and he lied and said Christ went from door to door knocking on those doors. There is no reference whatsoever in the Bible of him doing that. As a matter of fact the Bible doesn’t show any Christians did it either. The scripture they misinterpret speaks of Paul teaching publically and from house to house. Those were the meeting places for Christians in his day, in the areas he preached. They didn’t meet together as a group in synagogues with Jews. That’s why he said he taught from house to house. That’s where his Christian groups met.

        I’m not saying its wrong to go knock on doors. I’m saying its wrong to lie about the origin of the idea. And WT knows the truth about this.

        • Big B says:

          @ messenger;

          To my knowledge messenger the Bible does not state that anyone went door to door preaching the Gospel. I, for one, agree with your comments.

          ” The scripture they misinterpret speaks of Paul teaching publicly and from house to house. Those were the meeting places for Christians in his day, in the areas he preached. They didn’t meet together as a group in synagogues with Jews. That’s why he said he taught from house to house. That’s where his Christian groups met.”

          This door to door phenomenon (read FUBAR) started with Rutherford “Advertise, Advertise, Advertise the King and His Kingdom” and continues on until this day. Even though it (the door to door work) has been shown to be an absolute waste of time and resources for the number of adherents gathered the ‘sheeple’ continue to do it. Why?

          It’s because “that is what Jehovah’s Witnesses are famous for”. And what is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

          • Ricardo says:

            Viv Moritz on the weekend said that the preaching was for our benefit. By going door to door sharing our faith, it is making our faith stronger.

            Doesn’t seem to be working, either. Not by the number of Youtube videos of witnesses explaining why they are leaving.

            So, by preaching, we aren’t gaining many new members, and it isn’t stopping the old members from leaving.

            Sounds like insanity. I think you’re right.

  39. Sven Grundin says:

    The stupidity of religion!

  40. Art Fern says:

    Trey Bundy’s has a good summation of today’s activities:
    https://www.revealnews.org/blog/jehovahs-witnesses-settle-lawsuit-alleging-coverup-of-child-sex-abuse/

    My head is spinning wildly (MHSW) as I try to make sense of the Watchtower’s defense. Is it possible that this strategy, in the end, will shift responsibility to the members and not the ORG? Otherwise it makes no sense whatsoever to keep denying the existence of an organization according to Jefferson. I remember in one of the trials in California, Slammin’ Sammy Herd was ordered to appear, instead he sent a letter to the judge claiming to not have any role in directing the Watchtower or making any decisions for the group. Could this be leading to the conclusion that Jehovah is calling the shots everyone else just follows order so don’t serve the GB, you have to serve the mythical Jehovah? Back to that trial, when the judge ordered the WT to surrender the names of the 26,000 child sexual abusers or pay $4,000 a day. They are still being fined right? What an organization lie, cheat, steal*, and protest molesters; can you get anymore righteous than that? *especially from the taxpayers

    • messenger says:

      One reasons to read this site is for chuckles like those arising from the mention of ‘Slammin Sammy.’ I bet he’d like that name, and he might even read from here himself to see it.

      But it as Gerrit Losch that refused to come to the CA trial. He was called because he was the longest serving gb member at the time.

      My guess is that the plaintiff’s attorney was asking so many questions attempting to determine the authors of the WT letters was so he could prove guilty as many corporation WT owns as possible. If the letters contained a WT letterhead he’s already got that one corp. But what other corporation or CORPORATE OFFICERS might have been involved from other corps WT owns. The lawyer is after the money. Even if he sued the individuals the corps are the ones with deep pockets.

      Another reason to sue all guilty parties is so they can’t shift the blame to another corporation who doesn’t have a seat at the trial. For instance, if he just filed suit against WT then WT may have tried to say CCJW was responsible for the policies not WT. Some law cases are won by defendants that use that strategy. A plaintiff’s attorney fails to file against one guilty party that was involved in the wrongdoing, and the defendant attorneys at trial convince the jury that the seat that was not filed against is the guilty party not their client. Even if they can convince the jury that there is a party that shares some of the guilt with them they have an argument to lessen the judgment against them. With all the corps WT owns that’s a tactic it might try. The attorney for the plaintiff has been around the block and knows these strategies.

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