Baptismal candidates at the South Korea international convention symbolized their dedication in giant bibles
Baptismal candidates at the South Korea international convention symbolized their dedication in giant bibles

Photos have been released online showing a curious arrangement of bible-shaped baptism pools at the recent 2014 international convention in South Korea.

It is unclear precisely who made the “bible pools,” or how much time and expense was invested in their construction. What is certain is that they were a prominent feature at the Watchtower-sponsored event.

The bizarre structures seem to have doubled-up as elaborate props for announcing the release of the revised New World Translation in Korean.

The video below shows volunteers removing a black cover from one of the giant bibles to reveal the latest silver design against a backdrop of applause.

 

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This website has already noted the extraordinary lengths Watchtower is now going to in promoting their international conventions. The rulebook regarding kingdom hall decorum has been thrown out the window, with big-spending delegates entertained by ‘worldly’ music, and even line dancing, by some congregations. Souvenirs and trinkets are also becoming the latest craze, with the JW.org logo assuming a prominence on badges, bracelets and pendants that would have been considered idolatrous a few years ago.

As the organization continues to depart from its more austere traditions and encourage a frenzy surrounding its website and promoting the JW.org brand, those of my generation (and previous generations) will be left scratching their heads at the apparent hypocrisy of it all. If Armageddon is truly imminent, due to strike at any moment, and warning people of this mass slaughter is the primary occupation of Witnesses, why is it proper to spend so much time, energy and resources constructing giant bible-shaped stage props?

 

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Further reading…

125 thoughts on “Bible-shaped baptism pools take center stage at the South Korea international convention

  • September 17, 2014 at 11:01 am
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    Cedars, the difference between you and the org is that you are upfront and they are not. We love that about you!!

  • September 18, 2014 at 3:18 am
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    To Cedars. I want to make it clear that I am not this ‘Jimmy’. That’s why I put a ‘G’ on the end

  • September 18, 2014 at 3:34 am
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    Jimmy,

    Thankyou for your comment regarding the financing of JW Survey. It is important for us to reassure ourselves that John Cedars is not buying yachts and penthouses on our donations.

    I wonder if you know what the WTBTS spends its BILLIONS of dollars on every year?

    I wonder which articles you have been reading? I have not read a “hateful obsession” article here and I do not believe that John converts any monies he receives “into filthy lucre.”

    How is exposing the disgusting child protection policy of the WTBTS a “hateful obsession”?

    How is exposing the domestic violence cover ups a “hateful obsession”?

    How is highlighting the emotional and psychological harm of the WTBTS’ shunning policy a “hateful obsession”?

    These are genuine questions, Jimmy. I would very much like to read your answers. Only through open, honest and polite debate will we be able to move forward together.

    If you are a religious person, doesn’t the bible tell us to hate what is bad? God does. Jesus does.

    We must hate the bad that people do, not the people themselves.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  • September 18, 2014 at 4:08 am
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    Well Said Excelsior! I just want to add one other thing. I don’t think Cedars even ever asks for donations. I’ve been reading this blog for years and didn’t even know that donations could be made. (The watchtower was asking for donations and free labor even after collecting over 1 BILLION dollars from real estate sales) Anyway
    , now I found the web site and made a donation. He can use it for whatever he wants. Maybe his baby needs new shoes. Jesus says the worker deserves wages.

    • September 18, 2014 at 5:51 am
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      Thank you very much indeed for the kind donation, married-to-a-JW – very much appreciated!

      I don’t like to make a big deal of the money side of the website. I like the idea of it always being a free resource where visitors aren’t bugged to part with cash, but can do so if they wish to help out. I do intend for my activism to eventually become my career, but I see my yet-to-be-published book as the main vehicle for that – not this site.

  • September 19, 2014 at 4:00 am
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    Hi Cedars. I was googling how many books to make the best seller’s list and it’s about 1,000 books sold the first week on Amazon. We can help boost the sale of your book. There are so many people who want to help bring down the Watchtower and we can all get together when your books is released and force the world to take notice. If 1,000 people could buy just one book or 100 people buy 10 books we can force the world to sit up and take notice and there are thousands of us out here who are willing to do that to bring down the Org. If your book becomes a best seller, more and more people will be interested in buying it and it’s a way to force the rank and file to see what the world knows about them that they themselves don’t know. You have the perfect avenue on your youtube channel and your web site to promote it.

    • September 19, 2014 at 4:15 am
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      Thanks so much anonymous, I do appreciate your enthusiasm. However, I believe the success of the book rests on my shoulders and no one else’s. Part of the reason it’s taking so long is because I want to make a good job of it. I know if I release a book just for the sake of it lots of people will buy it, but I want to write a book that even non-JWs and active JWs will want to buy because they’ve heard good things about it. Ultimately it’s down to me to make sure it all works out. I would never ask anyone to share that burden with me.

  • September 19, 2014 at 5:24 am
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    When it comes out, it will be good, I know it. It’s better to be a book that is really good and will appeal to the masses and you are right to take your time and do it the way it will have the best effect. Thank you so much for telling us that you are working on it. I was hoping for it and it makes me sooooo happy to know it that it’s in the works!!!! But, still when you do come out with it, we can help to push the sales because there’s so many of us behind you in the cause.

  • September 19, 2014 at 6:52 am
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    Cedars, are there any old books that you could use in your research that you don’t have such as Light Vol. 1 by Rutherford, Children by Rutherford, The finished Mystery or The time is at Hand? I am also getting Watchtower bound volumes from 1951 to 59 and 61-64 that I can send to you and I’d pay for the postage so you wouldn’t have to worry about that. I also have a lot of the books from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s that you can have too if it helps.

  • September 19, 2014 at 6:57 am
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    I forgot. I also have Government by Rutherford if you can use it.

  • September 22, 2014 at 1:05 am
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    What a hater. Who cares if they had bible shaped pools. And who cares if that’s not how you think they should be spending their money. My dad thinks video games are a massive waste of money. I don’t agree with him. How many people go to fake plastic Disney land for $100 a day now. I think that’s a waste of money. What about comicon or star trek conventions? You must think you are the smartest person alive to think every single person at these conventions are idiots. How arrogant.

    • September 22, 2014 at 1:07 am
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      “You must think you are the smartest person alive to think every single person at these conventions are idiots.”

      Your only way of attacking me is to put words in my mouth? Interesting.

  • September 22, 2014 at 1:25 am
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    Do you know what the WTBTS spends its money on? I was just wondering. Last I saw was those old men eating every day with the rest of their oh so easily brainwashed converts. I even saw one of those old men who tricks all of these mentally incapable persons, separating hangers in the watchtower laundry sitting in the corner with a paper food service hat on. But I know they secretly fly off in their private jets to their opulent penthouses and estates that they bought with all of their donation money. They MUST be whooping it up living the good life. Oh yeah the US government must be in on it too since real estate records are public access, we would know where the governing body members secret mansions are but they are nowhere to be found. My god they have simple rooms at bethel but I heard they really have underground lairs made out of pure gold where they count each and every donated penny those sick old men. Down with the Org!!!!!!!!!!!

  • September 22, 2014 at 1:27 am
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    Well apparently they need to be woken up. They are to simple to realize they are being conned right? Seems to be the gist of it

    • September 22, 2014 at 1:32 am
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      joe, please answer my response to you on the Brett King thread, which explains undue influence. If you can’t answer my question (regarding the Cedars Challenge), and have a meaningful dialogue with me or others, then I will assume you’re simply here to spam us with your ignorance and I will block you accordingly. I work too hard on this site to hand it over to indoctrinated JW kids who don’t know their organization or its history, and can’t be bothered to do any research.

  • September 22, 2014 at 1:42 am
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    But its OK for YOU to attack the beliefs of all of these people? You really want to take away the one thing that means so much to many of these people because you feel it is not right? Because your dad is shunning you? Isn’t that his choice as sucky as it is? What if I succeeded in getting Disneyland shut down because I absolutely dislike their horrible TV shows, would that be fair? My nephews and nieces only want to go there and they love it. I would rather go snowboarding and I feel Disneyland is disgusting but that doesn’t make me right. People have free will to believe what they want and live how they live. How arrogant of you to spend all of your time tearing down something millions of ‘deluded’ obviously love. You don’t like their brand of Christianity, then move on. You think they are doing potentially dangerous things, that’s their choice. They only thing the government should intervene in on is blood transfusion, but its funny how many cutting edge hospitals are opting for bloodless procedures.

    • September 22, 2014 at 1:46 am
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      Again, you’re ignoring my reply to you on the Brett King thread, in which I said that either the Witness faith is true or it isn’t. If the Witness faith isn’t true, then it is harmful, because it is tearing apart families like mine through shunning for no good reason, and even killing people through needless adherence to the blood doctrine. If, on the other hand, it is true – please enlighten us by answering my Cedars Challenge below.

  • September 22, 2014 at 1:58 am
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    You can think of much better ways to have fun….wow. These poor people just need you to fill the giant funless void in their stupid little lives. If you had your way you would probably force everyone to live how you do. Incredible the arrogance.

    • September 22, 2014 at 2:03 am
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      Ok, this is getting silly. Despite repeated requests to prove the JW faith true by answering the Cedars Challenge, your answer seems to be “la la, I can’t hear you.”

      I feel sorry for you, joe, and I hope you one day realize that you are in a damaging cult that wants to suck all the time, energy, money and potential from you without giving you anything in return but empty promises. Hopefully one day you will wake up, or at least be willing to have an adult discussion, and you will then be welcome to drop me an email and start commenting again. Until then, I won’t have you spamming us with your ignorance rather than participating in a meaningful dialogue and responding to questions that are asked of you. Take care.

  • September 22, 2014 at 2:10 am
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    Joe, how old are you? I stuck up for the “truth” for 48 years of my 68 years of life, thinking it was the truth but something I can’t abide is the disfellowshipping of Carl Olof Jonsson who was an elder and pioneer for many years because he proved to the Society with 17 separate lines of evidence that Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586/587 because he “ran ahead” of the Organization but all the Society has to go on is as “Let Your Kingdom Come” published by the Society in 1981 from page 187 in the appendix

    “even if the discovered evidence is accurate, it might be misinterpreted by modern scholars or be incomplete so that yet undiscovered material could drastically alter the chronology of the period.”

    The Watchtower religion would crumble and fall tomorrow if it was proved that Jerusalem was destroyed in 585/586 and they have ZERO EVIDENCE FOR FOR 607. That is why Carol Olof Jonsson was disfellowshipped. How can you defend that??????

  • September 22, 2014 at 2:20 am
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    Joe,

    If anyone is doing “potentially dangerous things” don’t you think that a good citizen would be concerned about that?

    Indeed, the “dangerous things” aren’t even “potential”, are they?

    I think that denying children justice and concealing child sexual abuse through the two witness rule is a “dangerous thing”. Further, I think it is truly a disgusting thing!

    Joe, you are right, people can choose to do what they wish to do. But when what they choose to do harms others, then it is right and proper for their behaviour to be challenged and sanctioned if necessary.

    I do not hate Jehovah’s Witnesses. I pity them. I comment on this site to help and encourage others to learn the truth about their religion and make an informed choice as to what they will do with that knowledge.

    I hope that you will think carefully and freely about what you have learned and I wish you well in your journey of discovery.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  • September 22, 2014 at 2:24 am
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    OK, you’ve misunderstood me. I’m not concerned if anyone believes if the witness faith is true or not. Everyone is entitled to their own belief. I wasn’t even trying to come to your site to begin with. The majority of my family are catholic and Mormon. I also have a lot of friends who are Buddhist and even atheist. I respect your belief or non belief. I just find it incredible that a person such as yourself, who looks like a tolerant person can so passionately seek the demise of an organization that means so much to many people. I don’t agree with most of the things Mormons and catholics do but I wouldnt spend my time trying to force others to do what I think is right. Besides, you won’t succeed anyway. Maybe make yourself look more presentable and take your video in front of a solid clean wall instead of looking like a vagrant in front of some beat up brick and mortar wall and screen door. How is anyone to take you seriously. If you are dead set on doing this then at least look presentable or the people with clout that you really want to help you may be turned off by your appearance.

  • September 22, 2014 at 2:48 am
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    Now you look silly. I’m not trying to prove the witness faith right. You fingers are in your ears maybe because you know that everyone has a right to believe what they want yet you are so bitter that you want the demise of this horrible cult. You arrogantly assert that all of these people are to stupid to realize the danger they are in and so need to be woken up. I guess I am just a naive construction engineer. I don’t know but its funny though, that a few old white men can keep 8 million people around the world on the same page studying the same watchtower with all of its lies and changes and contradictions with that sorcery of theirs. And as much as you would like to tell your blog readers that more and more witnesses are leaving, there are also way more witnesses now than when I was a kid 35 years ago. And yes I do enjoy video games and star trek

  • October 1, 2014 at 10:14 am
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    married to a JW – I thought that is a lovely suggestion about donations, maybe his daughter needs new shoes and yes, the worker deserves wages!

  • October 29, 2014 at 3:58 am
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    This is an estimate and my estimate is that Watchtower have a minimum weekly income of 140 million dollars per week coming in to them via worldwide donations. I Come to this conclusion because there are 7million active publishers some poor, some wealthy, some middle of the road. So im saying that an average donation is maybe $20. Apart from this they are continuosly having peoples estates left to them etc.
    It would really be nice what really actually is happening to all this money where is it actually going

  • October 29, 2014 at 4:05 am
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    Is there any possible way that the finances of this organisation can be investigated as it would really be nice to know the truth of the matter. Has it ever been taken up before?
    It really does need to be addressed as they are getting away with all this money just scamming people?

    • October 29, 2014 at 5:14 am
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      If you don’t have the finances, how do you know it’s a money scam? And where is the $20 guess based on? Per week, really? Maybe per month (per household?), but people also donate for their local congregation maintenance etc. And in most groups, donations of the rich are relatively little versus the many small donations of the average Joe. People simply cannot be pioneering *and* donating lots of money.

      I’d also like to know the finances, but random assumptions aren’t helping anyone. As there are indications that the organisation needs to save (branch closures, shorter conventions)… You shouldn’t draw conclusions this quickly without facts.

      • October 29, 2014 at 9:54 am
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        Religions equal $$$

  • December 12, 2014 at 1:45 pm
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    Cedars.
    I happened upon your website, spent a few minutes checking out your stuff. But I couldnt leave without letting you know how I feel. If you think the witnesses are spreading false information and deceiving others through their works, I’d say you need to take a bold and honest look in the mirror. Soooo many of your claims are off base, and it’s not fair to the people who give their entire lives to try and help others simply to know the truth about the bible.
    If you feel a moral obligation to share “the truth” with your readers, then pay a visit to their world headquarters in Brooklyn, NY and ask whatever questions you have. Or, for that matter just go to your local Kingdom Hall. You have a personal grief with Jehovah’s Witnesses. That’s clear. But it seems selfish and shortsighted to allow your personal feelings to cause you to spread false information to others.

    • December 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm
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      J somebody – allow me to give you a warm welcome to JWsurvey! Thank you for your frank and heartfelt comments.

      You will be thrilled to learn that there is a simple way to have this website, and my “John Cedars” YouTube channel, wiped from the internet forever. All you need to do is answer the fairly simple “Cedars’ Challenge” in this video. Since you have already expressed your firm belief that Jehovah’s Witnesses have “the truth” you should find it relatively straightforward and succeed where others have, well… not even tried! I look forward to receiving your response! :)

  • December 12, 2014 at 6:35 pm
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    @ J somebody. I see you only spent a few minutes checking out Cedars’ website and if you spent some quality time here, you would see that it’s set up so that all of us Witnesses and ex-witnesses have a voice, which the Watchtower Society doesn’t give us.

    Most of us commenting here, have been Witnesses for many, many years and speak with the unique experience of being in the “truth” for a very long time.

    Being in the Watchtower religion, you must be familiar with the secrecy that we all must maintain if we are to be in good standing. That means that no matter how much we have been hurt by some experience in our lives, we can’t talk about it to anybody.

    For most of us, it was a godsend to find this web site where we could talk about our experiences and find out that we weren’t alone in our pain. Being able to talk about it here, is the only way that most of us have of expressing ourselves and it helps us to know that others that have had the same experiences and can help each other out to keep our heads above water and survive.

    Being in the “truth” for many years and finding out that the Society has lied to us and then not being able to talk about it to anybody else on the threat of being disfellowshipped for it, is devastating for us.

    You need to check out your religion to make sure it’s really the “truth”. If you were to buy a watch and you were going to spend a lot of money on it, wouldn’t you check out the reviews of it on Amazon? What if the one that is selling you the watch tells you not to check out the reviews of the watch because the reviewers would be lying, would you buy that watch???? What about your religion? When you have a religion that forbids you to check out your religion by going on the internet to find out the “other” side or forbidding you to read books that are not favorable to the “truth” or telling you that you are forbidden to ask why different people left the “truth”, doesn’t that throw up “red flags” to you? To ask Cedars or anyone of us to go to the Kingdom Hall to ask the questions, is to go to the seller of the watch. Would you buy that watch on his say so????? Why aren’t you allowed to test out your religion???? We asked all those we studied with to do that with their religion so why aren’t we allowed to do that with our religion????

  • June 11, 2015 at 4:03 pm
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  • November 22, 2015 at 5:59 pm
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    Thanks , I’ve recently been searching ffor info ablut this topic
    for a while annd yours is the best I’ve found out so far.
    But, what in regards tto the bottom line? Are you positive in regards to tthe source?

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