A recent letter to elders in selected congregations in the United States urges them to encourage Indian nationals to return to India

The Watch Tower Society has circulated a letter, dated May 11 2013, to selected bodies of elders in the United States. The letter’s subject heading is “Request for Indian nationals to serve in India.”

The brief letter, which stresses that its contents should be kept confidential, urges elders to make “exemplary” Indian Witnesses aware of their “opportunity” to return to India due to the “potential for further growth” in that land.

Indian elders, ministerial servants and regular pioneers are to be particularly encouraged “to consider whether their circumstances may allow them to return to India to assist with the preaching work.”

India is home to one seventh of the world’s population. It is also one of a number of countries in Asia where the Society is floundering in its attempts to attract new publishers. According to the most recent report for 2012, India averages only one publisher per 33,708 people. The situation is considerably worse in Pakistan (1 in 205,540) and Bangladesh (1 in 885,071).

This website has already pointed out the enormous “black hole” in worldwide publishers, which encompasses one third of the global population. An immense zone of governmental opposition to the preaching work sweeps across 33 countries from West Africa right across to East Asia, as demonstrated in the map below…

As you can see, the zone of opposition (where the average is one Witness per 70,000 people) bypasses the Indian subcontinent. However, the disappointing figures in the Society’s own statistics for that region indicate that Witnesses are even struggling in Asian countries where their work is not currently under ban. This latest plea for Indian emigrants to return and bolster the numbers seems to represent an attempt to redress the balance.

This news should also be considered in the context of the Society’s conviction that Matthew 24:14 has already been fulfilled in readiness for Armageddon. If the “good news of the kingdom” has truly been preached “in all the inhabited earth,” then why is a third of the world’s population virtually untouched by the preaching work, and why are publishers even being asked to return to their country of origin in an effort to compensate for flagging growth?

 

58 thoughts on “Watchtower urges US elders to ask Indian nationals to consider returning to India

  • May 22, 2013 at 5:11 am
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    Good article Cedars! Concerned Indian nationals will not escape the pressure from Elders, The “gifts in men” as says the Text for Tuesday, May 21, 2013. The text goes on saying “One way you can show your gratitude for these gifts is by listening intently to talks given by the elders and by trying to apply the points they bring out.”!

    Let’s hope this article will open the “Indian nationals” to witness for themselves hypocrisy and manipulation behind this watchtower’s HIDDEN AGENDA!!

  • May 22, 2013 at 5:33 am
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    A lot of power in the hands of a few.

  • May 22, 2013 at 5:43 am
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    Once again the Watchtower are caught speaking out of both sides of their mouth. They have said in the past, that the good news has been preached in all the earth, as there is a presence of JWs in just about every country.
    But here they are showing that it is not enough to just have a few witnesses in some of these lands, they want to have members in large numbers all over the world. They clearly want their organisation to grow, and as the developed world has almost stopped giving them increase, they want to gain new members from the undeveloped lands.

    • May 22, 2013 at 5:47 am
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      Very true Alan. There is another similar duplicity in this development. When it comes to closing branches, they have indicated that national boundaries don’t matter as regards where offices are located. A single branch can therefore serve multiple countries. However, when it comes to rebalancing the numbers of publishers worldwide, suddenly national boundaries are important again.

  • May 22, 2013 at 6:25 am
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    once they drove down the bethel in India because of tax problems. and now they urge indians to go back into a land of poverty. surely in the US they have better living., in india their women possibly get raped

  • May 22, 2013 at 6:39 am
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    En inde, il y a des gens très pauvres mais aussi de gens très RICHES et ce sont surtout les riches qui sont ciblés.

    [Translation: “In India, there are very poor people but also very RICH and it is mostly the rich who are targeted.”]

    • May 22, 2013 at 8:39 am
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      Oui, the rich and the influential. As I have remarked to others, this is a prime reason that Russell tied many of the Masonic emblems to his publications. The influential members of local and regional areas were often members of the secretive Lodges and Orders. These individuals could open required meeting auditoriums and endorse a promoted event so that citizens would attend an event otherwise ignored and shunned at the suggestion of the local pastors. Compare this to the struggle the Watchtower had in South America and Africa where they pursued a strict neutrality policy and shunned involvement with influential regional members who may have been associated with opposing political or civic organizations.

  • May 22, 2013 at 7:20 am
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    It’s also a refine and subtle way of racism, we don’t want foreigners in United States. Return to your country.

  • May 22, 2013 at 8:33 am
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    Despite segments of the country having poverty and suffering poor infrastructure, India is considered an industrial giant–hosting the many jobs lost from USA and European continent and competing for petroleum resources with China, USA, Europe, Russia, and Brazil. Indians who can afford it [and there are some wealthy and royal households] often hold advanced degrees from prestigious US universities or Indian universities. Also, India is deeply conservative culture where “arranged marriages” persist. Pakistan and Bangladesh are more open Islamic neighbors of India–formed when the independence of India drove out Muslims from among the remaining Hindus and Buddhists. All three nations offer the challenge Mr. Cedars highlights in his closing remarks regarding whether the Watchtower’s “gospel” is spread far and totally, or not. It’s no longer if there is a presence, it’s whether the Witnesses have a substantial and significant presence to rival SDA, Assemblies of God, Baptists, Catholicism, or Mormonism.

    One thinks they would be wise to know that they would need not only Indian nationals but a bouquet of Indian nationals derived from the various spiritual spectrums–Hindu, Buddhist, Islam, and Christianity.

    Good to know…racism is alive and well at the Watchtower.

  • May 22, 2013 at 11:35 am
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    Rancid and Life Threatening Desperation! It pours out every crack and hole of that organization like the broken and decaying vessel that it truly is!
    When the Titanic was sinking, I heard stories that some of the first ones in the lifeboats were not women nor children, not even weasely crewmembers but the Rats! Even vermin know how to save themselves better than humble sheep!
    Ever more hole patching and I expect that we will see more…

  • May 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm
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    India is no Pakistan. It has the tenth-largest economy, the second largest workforce, and an industrial base that makes most other nations around them green with envy. (biotech, pharma, software…) No, it makes perfect sense for the GB to be encouraging members, especially Elders, to go back and try to increase their slice of that pie.

    As for racism, meh. It’s easy to slap that label on, but tough to make it stick. This is a pragmatic decision, pure and simple. And it’s not a foolish one, either.

    • May 23, 2013 at 12:48 am
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      Thank you Tim for explaining what I have been thinking since I saw this post. Of course the gov body are not racists, they regularly use people of all races for their top jobs. They are purely concerned at growing this organisation. They will do it by whatever means they can. For years they have suggested witnesses move to areas where they can do more good, so it is obvious to try to get witnesses to relocate back to their own countries if they would be more use there.

    • May 23, 2013 at 1:16 am
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      Thanks Tim, that’s a good synopsis.

  • May 22, 2013 at 9:08 pm
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    It is prejudicial and biased generalization, if not racist, in the sense of assuming all India nationals (nationalized, or born in the USA) would be able to identify with the cultures of India. It’s akin to saying that any US Citizen with German ancestry should want to migrate back to Germany and recruit for Watchtower.

  • May 23, 2013 at 7:55 am
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    There is just so much Cognitive Dissonance here! No, God is involved here, No, this is just people, No, God…God? Where are you? Are you really here??? : )

  • May 23, 2013 at 10:09 am
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    Yes, “by whatever means they can”. Last year, a friend of mine (disfellowshipped) whose wife is a JW tried to attend a JW wedding ceremony and was EXPELLED from the ceremony. However, the man is ALLOWED to attend meetings, conventions and even the memorial of the death of Jesus!! Can you see terrible hypocrisy there! Do JWs perceive a wedding ceremony HOLIER THAN THEIR MEETINGS OR CONVENTIONS? No, this is a subtle tactic they use to ATTRACT ATTENTION OF NON-JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES TO START NEW BIBLE STUDIES!!

  • May 23, 2013 at 10:15 am
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    I feel for those who are considering this, because of the overwhelming guilt trip the WT is laying on them! “Jehovah needs you brothers!”

  • May 23, 2013 at 11:18 am
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    Anyone who can’t see the desperation and sense it in the general writings of the Socity and need for secrecy as well as the poor judgement being taken at all quadrants needs to stand back and take a hard look at the big picture.
    These aren’t cool, calculated “business as usual and we’re just streaming along” activities as they would be made to appear.
    Why don’t they do this where the opposition is great and many more people, but the economy is even stronger? Such as China? Or elswhere?
    Not that these aren’t good things but I’m just saying…

  • May 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm
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    “Revelation” of the Watchtower book on page 165 describes the renewal see Zerubbabel and Joshua. Figure describes the situation at the site. Facilities in Brooklyn, had to be expanded. You can look for yourself. How far Jehovah’s Witnesses explain the sale of those same objects. Another detail on the website of “jw.org” give partial information about the shunning of family members. A blood transfusion also provide partial information. Not describe that person can die if he does not accept a blood transfusion. Their God is obviously not sincere. Always hiding something. Imagine a situation when the Assembly read this letter and Indian brother says he does not get to go to India. How will it look fellow believers? You might think he is not a believer and does not want to go. It will all be crazy situation. Or Indian brother says another Indian brother: “I go to India and you want to go with me.” Jehovah is asking us to take on this task. It will all make a mad house in their heads. And in fact it is again on some partial information.

  • May 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm
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    Let’s go to India to tell them: “This publication is not for sale. It is provided as part of a worldwide Bible educational work supported by
    voluntary donations. “voluntary donations, voluntary donations, voluntary donations … do not forget the” voluntary donations “.

  • May 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm
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    My relatives are the whole day saying to me that the situation is very bad and that it is going to continue deteriorating, that the end is closely together. How is it at the time that ” good New ” have not been preached in all the land? Or perhaps that there are one or two publicadores in a country already account as preached country? Sad what!

  • May 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm
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    Racism is defined as “views, practices and actions reflecting the belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological groups called races and that members of a certain race share certain attributes which make that group as a whole less desirable, more desirable, inferior or superior.” The intent may be sincere drive to make more recruits, but the impact is racist because the assumption is that some Indians will share the same cultural instincts and be instantly aware of what will make the Watchtower message more desirable and convert Indians to Watchtower.

    And, by some Indians, let’s also define what a “national” means: a national is a person who is entitled to hold a country’s passport, thus someone eligible to get a passport into India. This is not targeted at green-card or Visa holders, but persons who renounced their Indian citizenship, or hold dual citizenship, so it is an assumption that because individuals are of an ethnic group, or share origin, they will be able to assimilate and communicate better than “other” missionaries.

    But, this is not a pragmatic decision, it’s a desperate decision, because pragmatism would lead us to question and analyze why the current business model is not working, then act on reason, not a hunch. It gets back to the point Cedars is making that the global ministry is not as successful as the literature prints in regard to fulfillment of biblical prophecy as interpreted by the Watchtower.

    • May 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm
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      So now any Indian witnesses in good standing is going to feel all guilty if they don’t ‘prayerfully consider’ moving to India.

      • May 26, 2013 at 8:10 am
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        That’s the GB’s power. Playing on people’s emotions and ignorance in a subtle way.

  • May 24, 2013 at 12:32 am
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    Oui Erik, exactement “coupables”. Comme moi en 1964. Avec le père de mon fils et mon fils baby 2 ans, nous avons fait entrer des publications en clandestinité dans un pays d’Europe qui était totalitaire et surtout contre Wachtower au péril de notre vie à tous les trois. (Pour sauver des gens d’harmaguégon annoncé pour 1975, pour ne pas se sentir coupables)

  • May 24, 2013 at 1:40 am
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    If you go to JWs and tell them that their organisation is racist, they would quite rightly laugh in your face. I am a staunch opponent of the Watchtower, but even I know that their aim is to unite all witnesses worldwide and do away with national barriers.
    Getting American Indians to go back to where they were brought up and taught the Indian culture, is purely a sensible thing to do from their point of view. Who best understands Australia and the Australian people, clearly those who were brought up in that country. They understand the way the country works, it’s likes and dislikes. But would you call the Watchtower racist if they suggested American Australians went back to help out there. I don’t think you would, and it is no different asking American Indians to do the same.
    The society has one agenda, to grow the organisation by whatever is the best means.
    Asking witnesses to preach where the need is greater is no new thing. They have always done it, and if witnesses are not responding to this call, the Watchtower just turns up the pressure a bit and suggests that maybe witnesses could go back to the country of their birth and help recruit more in that land.

    • May 24, 2013 at 8:06 am
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      I agree Alan V. The whole racist thing is a side issue. The accusation of racism is overused in my opinion lately. I respect the devotion to God that has moved some of my friends to uproot and move to China, and now to India possibly. I hope that they are richer for their new experiences, even if they later come to see the wtbts in a different light! I am richer for my experiences that came from interacting with the wide variety of “householders” here in America-much more so than my experiences inside the kingdom halls…

  • May 24, 2013 at 10:29 am
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    @alanv ~ “If you go to JWs and tell them that their organisation is racist, they would quite rightly laugh in your face”

    Until they have been physically assaulted, physically ejected and banned from a Spanish congregation (Spanish North in Phoenix, AZ) for wanting to see a Spanish speaking Sister as I have. I am white…
    Or many of the racial issues that I have seen and had to contend with!
    Racism is part… of the fundamental basis for my losing everything I owned once again, ending up homeless again and being Disfellowshipped…

    • May 24, 2013 at 10:47 am
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      I guess there will always be exceptions, and am sorry you have been through that. But generally speaking, witnesses are well known for the fact that most times they accept all nationalities into a congregation. It can be seen most at district assemblies when often witnesses come from abroad to join the occasion.

      • May 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm
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        I do remember a time when a brother fell in love with a Korean sister whose mother was also a JW. Her father told her “No” she could not marry him. He and his family were angry. They felt she should have gone against her father for love. But she did not. After awhile she married a Korean Witness boy, as her sister had. I think it was a cultural thing.

        • May 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm
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          *I meant to say that the “brother” was angry that she chose to obey her (non-witness) father.

  • May 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm
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    Woohoo! My homeland of India here I come. I bring you the word of God and slurpee

  • May 25, 2013 at 10:40 am
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    why don’t the GB learn the language and go themselves, what a bunch of slave drivers!

  • May 25, 2013 at 6:13 pm
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    alanv, i agree, most JW’s — even myself at one time–would deny any racism exists in the “organization” and will point to their bringing international representatives to conventions, etc. And, frankly, I’m examining this issue from the perspective of someone who can think–outside the Watchtower.

    Those presentations at international assemblies were, and are, scripted and not spontaneous; also, there are individuals who do not exhibit racism inside the organization yet lack knowledge regarding other cultures because they’ve never met these cultures face-to-face. And, if you ask most Christians if they racist, they will say “no” and deny that their church is racist–after all, “God is Love.” However, facts speak for themselves–churches remain the most segregated institution in USA, and Sundays remain the most segregated day of activity. And, inside the Watchtower, the leadership at the top remains predominantly European-Anglo based males with pale skin–no Asians, no South Americans, one African-descent.

    In this specific case, let’s ask ourselves what criteria/profiling will be used to lead an elder to assume someone is an “Indian national”? Is there a record-keeping of ethnicity and racial demographic that the rank-and-file or elders have access, or HQ?

    As you state, and obviously, the group is sincere in asking “natives” to take up the cause, but Indians (like Africans) were scattered to the four winds by the colonial powers imposing slavery and indentured servitude, so it is possible to have an Indian in UK, Europe, South America, or else where–without knowledge of native Indian languages or “living in India”. Like, Africans, simply because someone has appearances that tie them to an ethnicity does not mean they will have a better and instant knowledge of communicating the message of the Watchtower. And, that is the essence of racism–good intent or evil intent–where we look at someone’s appearances or dialect to determine their “fitness”.

    Bottom-line, the Watchtower is similar to other institutions–social, religious, cultural or political–in having pedophiles, subtle racism, alcoholism, mental health issues, etc., so they are not unique and “chosen” in any sense of fulfilling biblical prophecy, and the drive for profit pulls up all these little “evils”.

    I’d also note that the “accusation of racism is overused” is an attempt to shutdown any thought-provoking dialogue on the issue, because we can find proof in the literature that the Watchtower has written racial-focused statements attributing good or bad same as the majority culture held.

  • May 26, 2013 at 12:18 am
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    JBob, several points I would like to make. Firstly Samuel Herd from the governing body is clearly not Anglo European and nor is their main spokesperson J R Brown, the guy they rely on to deal with the world’s media. Also generally speaking they use local elders in the branch offices rather than fly in American or European white men.
    The assemblies I was talking about was not talking about those giving talks although black and white brothers regularly do deliver them. I was talking about the way they encourage witnesses from different countries to attend, including African and Asian brothers.
    You mention the churches. We are not concerned on this site with other religions, we are dealing with JWs and if they are racist.
    You also mentioned I think about whether the governing body members know the cultures of Asian countries. That is the whole point. Because they don’t know, they are asking witnesses who have come from those lands to go back and witness, as those ones do know the culture and the way things work in their own lands.
    You mention at the end that Watchtower has written racial focused statements. I would be interested in seeing where they have done that in recent years.
    Finally we need to remember, that it is just a suggestion from the society that those who are able and financially secure go back and witness in their home land where they themselves moved from years ago. They are not being told that if they don’t go they will lose their positions in the congregation.
    The governing body are a lot of things, but I do not believe they are racist in any way.

  • May 26, 2013 at 5:44 am
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    Why then GB has turned Indians. Why GB seek financial area of the Indians to consume for the Society. WTS did you not get enough of somebody else’s financial area.

  • May 26, 2013 at 8:07 am
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    You say “You mention at the end that Watchtower has written racial focused statements. I would be interested in seeing where they have done that in recent years”. Let me give you an evidence you are requesting for. Get a copy of the book “Revelation Its Grand Climax At Hand!” and go to page 52. You will see there a picture of “kings” ready to destroy the world!! Do not be distracted by the demon’s hand you will see, notice all the kings are white? The picture looks racist!!

    • May 26, 2013 at 8:29 am
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      You are kidding right. You have found one picture which is 25 years old, and from that you decide the Watchtower must be racist. The society have produced thousands of pictures over the last 25 years, and they make sure they portray people of all races whenever they wish to put across the unity of witnesses worldwide.

  • May 26, 2013 at 10:53 am
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    Thanks, alanv, and yes, I had acknowledged that there is ONE non-Anglo-Euro as part of the GB. One in one hundred-plus years–oops, since 1970, so 40-plus years. And, the international visitation is an orchestrated event–if not scripted, because in the past, the Watchtower had requested attendees appear in “dress costume of native lands”. So, visitors were easily spotted in non-Western attire and pick-off by Western media photographers. These visitors, just like attendees from USA to international conventions, were hand-picked by elders, also.

    But, you didn’t address the question on the criteria elders will use to determine who is an Indian national, or not? Identifying members of the Indo-Aryan speaking ethnicities? So they can plant a Watchtower “cell”.

    Maybe this approach is a good sign–we can look forward to the GB sending gay, lesbian or trans Witnesses into neighborhoods to recruit and speak that language.

    • May 26, 2013 at 1:21 pm
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      Whether Indian nationals go back to their home country has nothing whatsoever to do with the elders. If they want to go back, and have the means to support themselves then they may decide to return, either as single witnesses or as families. I say again there is nothing new in this. The society have always encouraged witnesses to serve where the need is greater. It should be obvious to everyone, that if you actually come from that land originally, it is going to make it easier for you to succeed in getting new converts.
      J R Brown is actually the coloured representative of the governing body, and there is no way they would use him if they were all racists.

  • May 26, 2013 at 1:41 pm
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    Well, I will only say that the vast majority of pain and suffering that I have seen and, or endured inside that organization which also caused the deaths of some people was driven by either factors related to: (in no particular order)

    Race issues
    Age bias and abuse
    Gender bias in either convenient direction (Misandry or Mysogyny)
    Mental Illness issues and abuse
    Jealousy
    Sex

    Or more directly the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society’s unwillingness to deal with crime, impropriety or misconduct and abuse that was taking place in the congregation as they were duly and fully informed and particularly with regard to Elders or Ministerial Servants.

    One of the very real concerns that I would like everyone to consider is this:

    The potential risk for violence in a desperate and climactic scenario such as has happened in the past with Jim Jones, David Koresh and other such groups who were forced under compulsion to face either justice or public accountability for their failures and crimes and abuses.

    Now I realize that I posted this link once before but we never really took the time to examine it.
    I would like you to read the entire US House of Representatives report on the Congressman Leo Ryan shooting in Guyana by the Jim Jones cult which we know ended in mass suicide:

    http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/AboutJonestown/PrimarySources/HouseReportText.html

    And specifically take note of this section and while doing that, in light of the use of operatives such as “FH Chandler” on topix.com and others on various sites and the escalating, bizarre and desperate behaviour of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society? Most of which is being constantly tracked and updated here on JWsurvey.org …Ask your self if anyone has a cause for concern.
    Yes, these are different times and people with a different organization and circumstances but fundamental Human nature does not change! Look for similarities and not differences:

    “C. Opponents and Media Intimidated; Public Officials Used

    As part of Jones’ constant and pervasive effort to control people and events, the evidence obtained by the Staff Investigative Group established that he persistently intimidated and harassed those who left People’s Temple and anyone else, especially the media, who he felt were opposed to his interests. This clear pattern of intimidation and harassment was reinforced and compounded into success by the widely held belief by People’s Temple defectors and opponents, that government officials were friendly toward People’s Temple or had in some way been compromised. Consequently, attempts at early efforts to alert the public to the nature of People’s Temple’s activities were largely ignored and/or rejected.(See Appendix III-C in classified version only.).­

    Typical of some of Jones’ tactics to intimidate and harass People’s Temple defectors who were actively opposed to him were the following:

    – Undermining of their credibility as witnesses by spreading false­hoods and releasing the so-called “confessions” they had signed while members of People’s Temple.

    – Fear campaigns generated through break-ins, late night phone calls, and unsigned letters threatening beatings and even death. One such break-in carried out against a couple who had left People’s Temple was done with the help of their daughter who remained in the organization.

    As a result of such tactics People’s Temple defectors were frequently frozen in fear and severely hampered in their efforts to counteract Jones. The problem is illustrated in the following example which points up the desperate lengths to which opponents of People’s Temple were driven as well as the degree to which officials in San Francisco appear to have been involved: Afraid to contact any public officials for fear that they were tied-in or friendly to Jones, one individual went to the length of writing consumer advocate Ralph Nader be­cause he could not think of anyone else he could trust. The letter to Nader outlined many of the allegations against People’s Temple which were later proven true. It also indicated that the letter writer feared for his life. It closed as follows:

    If you want to help us, please write in the personal column of the Chronicle to “Angelo” and sign it Ralph and then we will respond and talk to you.

    Rather than do that, Nader sent the letter to the District Attorney’s Office in San Francisco. By some means, the letter filtered back to Peo­ple’s Temple and the writer soon thereafter received a threatening phone call that said “We know all about your letter to Angelo.”

    In another instance People’s Temple defectors hired a private detec­tive to surreptitiously observe their meeting with Jones’ representa-…­”

    (Continued in the report)

  • May 26, 2013 at 5:24 pm
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    In light of the post above one may want to research and compare such documents as this:

    http://www.icsahome.com/infoserv_articles/bowen_william_jehovahsandfreespeech_0602.htm

    Jehovah’s Witnesses Lose Court Battle to Suppress Freedom of Speech

    William Bowen

    “In a Denmark court ruling, December 2006, Jehovah’s Witnesses lost a key decision to suppress freedom of the press. They were ordered to pay legal fees of 50,000 kroner to one of the largest newspapers in Denmark, Ekstra Bladet [1] . Ekstra Bladet had published a series of articles on the epidemic of child abuse within the Jehovah’s Witness organization. Since May of 2002, media worldwide have circulated reports of child-abuse problems. Stories include those from The New York Times, Dateline, and eight different countries offering testimony from sexually abused kids within the religion.

    In the autumn of 2004, the Denmark newspaper ran a series of articles that blasted the religion for polices of covering up abuse allegations. The Jehovah’s Witnesses local Branch Office Committee in Denmark filed a 350,000-kroner slander lawsuit against Ekstra Bladet and the editor of the newspaper. The religion went further and attacked victims of abuse who had been interviewed for the newspaper articles. Victims were told they would be sued into poverty if they did not retract the stories of being raped as children, which they had given to the newspaper. Because of intimidation, one girl withdrew her story, and other victims went into hiding.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses have long touted their record as an organization that is a defender of “freedom of speech.” They currently claim on their Website that they have won more than 50 lawsuits that supposedly establish the freedom of people to speak as they wish or to practice their faith. A film/propaganda piece is circulating around the United States of America called Knocking that will soon air on PBS; the piece touts how Jehovah’s Witnesses protect freedom. Yet another side the public are not informed of is the inverted use of these legal victories to punish and humiliate people the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not like.

    “Disfellowshipping,” a word created by Jehovah’s Witnesses, is used as a weapon within the religion to destroy families and silence members through intimidation to obey whatever they are told to do. If members are disfellowshipped, all family and church members view them as dead and will not acknowledge their existence; even if a disfellowshipped son walks into the same room with his mother, she will not speak to him. The shunning is indefinite until the deposed members renounce anything the church tells them to and submit totally to church leadership. For example, victims of child abuse have been disfellowshipped for attempting to expose the member who molested them. The victims’ freedom of speech was indirectly taken away because no church member was allowed to talk to them; and in some instances, their families put them out on the street at the direction of church leaders. The right of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion to diminish such freedom of speech of certain members has in large part been won by the sect’s successful Supreme Court litigations [2].

    How could a documentary film on Jehovah’s Witnesses miss this common practice in the religion? Jehovah’s Witnesses are well known on their Website for press releases that tout their legal victories in the international courts [3]. Sadly, however, there is no reference to the Denmark decision anywhere on this Website. In recent California court decisions, Jehovah’s Witnesses have also lost key court rulings on civil child-abuse litigation against the church; but again, this information has been omitted from the Jehovah’s Witnesses Website [4].

    When the Jehovah’s Witnesses lose their court battles to suppress freedom of speech, they appear to be silent. Could one of the reasons be that they misuse donated funds to hurt people? When a Jehovah’s Witness calls at your home, he has been taught to memorize this commentary at the end of offering you some free literature: “Our literature is offered without charge, but we would gladly accept a small donation for the Worldwide Work of Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

    When the public reach into their pockets and make donations to this group, they are funding many different things. Although part of the money goes to make more magazines and books, a significant amount goes to fund litigation. In the past five years, more than 70 lawsuits that involved the mistreatment of abused kids were filed against the Jehovah’s Witnesses. When you donate to the “Worldwide Work,” you may be funding the defense of child molesters. In the Denmark litigation, 50,000 kroner of “Worldwide Work” donations will be spent to pay legal fees, the goal of which was to suppress newspaper exposés of the organization’s child-abuse policy. Would anyone who understands what is actually happening wish to donate their money to assist people who may be pedophiles and suppress freedom of speech—even if just a few cents of each dollar they donated were involved?

    At silentlambs, we call for the immediate cessation of funding for such defense litigation and attempts to suppress freedom of speech. We hope this “slap on the ear” is a wake-up call to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and anyone else who wishes to silence victims of abuse and to misuse “good faith” donations to hurt the innocent. The next time Jehovah’s Witnesses happily approach you to offer their magazines, accept their offering if you are inclined, and then inform them that you prefer not to donate to their “Worldwide Work” until they stop hurting victims of abuse.

    So while Knocking, a Jehovah’s Witnesses-endorsed documentary, airs on PBS and provides accolades for court victories that make the group champions for freedom of speech, the facts show that lawyers funded by a multi-billion-dollar corporation are making a mockery of the U.S. Constitution. They use the Supreme Court as a knife to cut out the tongues of people who are victimized by this religion. Professor Marci Hamilton’s online article at FindLaw notes the irony of the Denmark case:

    It is extraordinarily ironic, then, that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have recently, in Denmark, taken the position that speech, including speech by the press, should be punished and suppressed. It appears that when the topic is alleged clergy abuse within the organization, its position on freedom of speech makes a 180-degree turn. Apparently, the Jehovah’s Witnesses support free speech for themselves, but not for their critics. [5]”

    ——————————————————————————–

    [1] To read the article, go to http://debat.religion.dk/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=02112006&Number=116623&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&vc=1.

    [2] Read more about disfellowshipping policy at http://www.watchtower.cc/DF_DA.htm.

    [3] Available on the organization’s media Website, http://www.jw-media.org.

    [4] Read about the court ruling at http://www.silentlambs.org/courtrulingnapa.htm.

    [5] http://writ.news.findlaw.com/hamilton/20070125.html

  • May 26, 2013 at 7:24 pm
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    Reread the letter, alanv. It

    urges elders to make “exemplary” Indian Witnesses aware of their “opportunity” to return to India due to the “potential for further growth” in that land.

    This puts focus on any Witness family to do their “sacred duty,” regardless.

    How critical is the situation?

    CIA Factbook
    1,220,800,359 (July 2013 est.) of population (CIA Factbook)

    Religious percentages:
    Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1% (2001 census)

    Christian population = 28,078,408~
    —end CIA numbers

    Note the figures from the posted 2012 YB figures for India are quoted as:

    India total pop of 1,224,239,000 peak publishers reporting count of 36,319 (a higher population count dilutes percent of peak publishers and raises ratio per publisher)

    Suffice to say, the exact population count is all over the place, but can really be approximated as 1.2 Billion. Considering that other industrialized nations number “peak publishers” in the hundreds of thousands with far less population and greater land sq km of acreage and India has less than hundred thousand count, the real question is whether its the number of “boots on the ground” or whether its the mission that is cause for losing the battle.

    I wonder what could be wrong?
    http://www.indiaeveryday.in/video/p/jehovahs-witness-nathan-knorr-1914/CBsiDatS1mU.htm?ss=true

  • May 26, 2013 at 10:39 pm
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    Who is now changing the mind. The Watch Tower Society or Jehovah? Both keep changing in a vicious cycle and I am afraid by the time I will finish answering you they will have reverted to their initial position. You are kidding!

  • May 27, 2013 at 9:15 am
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    She became a role model for those who realized it’s OK to be nerdy. She became a trend-setter, starting a run in which 10 of 14 national bee winners have been Indian-American, including the last five.
    We are talking about Nupur Lala, reported today on CBSNEWS.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57586293/former-spelling-champ-people-want-to-be-nerds-now/

    Today, she’s 28 and finishing up a master’s degree in cancer biology with plans to enroll in the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. She now aspires to be a physician scientist.

    There have also been a disproportionate number of recent winners interested in the brain and medicine, including several who said they wanted to grow up to be neurosurgeons. Lala pursued an undergraduate degree in brain, behavior and cognitive sciences at the University of Michigan, in part because of her experiences from the bee.

    I don’t know what is better: the door to door preaching or research in medicine, computer science, engineering or math.
    I can tell you that US is winning with a growth in numbers of persons willing to upgrade their well being and the improvement of others.

    ———–
    …10 of 14 national bee winners have been Indian-American…

    Strike two ! WTO.

  • May 29, 2013 at 12:58 am
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    If the Holy Spirit was directing the org, they wouldn’t need to ask Indians to go to India.

    • June 14, 2013 at 10:58 am
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      Hear! Hear! This is not supposed to be a problem or an issue under a SPIRIT DIRECTED THEOCRACY!

  • May 29, 2013 at 8:45 am
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    Also, why not request individuals with the specifics required–language skills (assuming that’s the problem with recruiting efforts and why the numbers are down)? But, with 36,000+ members and a dense population where anything viral is pandemic, why aren’t there millions (hundreds of millions) of Witnesses comparable to the 316,668,567 (July 2013 est.–CIA Factbook) to 1,203,642 ratio in USA, we’d expect 1.2Bill to 4million figure [pack-up and move the HQ to India, huh–or Mexico]?

    Mexico has a population of 116,260,000 with peak count of 772,628, nearly equal to USA’s 1Mil with 1/3 less people? Or, is this the result of another CCofJW letter to the elders asking Mexican nationals to return to their native land?

    • May 29, 2013 at 8:51 am
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      It has always been easier for witnesses to make converts of those already having a Christian faith. As the vast majority are not Christian it clearly is hard work to change their religion. In fact Ray Franz in one of his books, said that the societies instructions to missionaries was to go to the ‘Christian’ people first then worry about the other religions after. Much easier to get people interested who already new and agreed with much of what the bible teaches.

  • May 29, 2013 at 11:09 am
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    Julia Orwell May 29, 2013 at 12:58 am
    “If the Holy Spirit was directing the org, they wouldn’t need to ask Indians to go to India”

    Well,
    Maybe that’s why they need to try to keep things like this secret! And always did in the past…

  • May 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm
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    That also highlights the “heritage” and origins of the Witnesses, which sprang from a movement within Christianity to identify the chronology of the Second Coming. Although Millerism and Adventism claim that there was a worldwide movement regarding the end-times, the Second Coming would only have relevance for Judeo-Christian-Islamic world not Hindus or Buddhists, or Sikhs, who would have no basis for being “frightened” into a belief. I compare it to the Pentecost movement–you would need the initial foundation belief in Christian elements like Holy Spirit and Pentecost to have any relevance.

    The other factor for a call for non-English-speaking, or struggling to speak-English, inhabitants to become missionaries is that the publishing complexities and costs of distributing literature and administering a multiple-tiered and multilingual network of congregations gets reduced. We must assume there are Hebrew, Russian, Armenian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Urdu congregations in the states with a focus on those groups.

  • May 31, 2013 at 7:31 am
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    Nice!
    Arvind Mahankali, wins U.S. spelling bee 2013 title and becomes the sixth consecutive Indian-American winner and the 11th in the past 15 years, a run that began in 1999 when Nupur Lala captured the title in 1999 and was later featured in the documentary Spellbound.

    Arvind’s family is originally from Hyderabad in southern India, and relatives who live there were watching live on television.
    An aspiring physicist who admires Albert Einstein, Arvind said he would spend more time studying physics this summer.

    Pranav Sivakumar, who like Arvind rarely appeared flustered onstage, finished second. The 13-year-old from Tower Lakes, Ill., was tripped up by “cyanophycean,” a word for a blue-green alga. Sriram Hathwar, 13, of Painted Post, N.Y., finished third, and Amber Born, 14, of Marblehead, Mass., was fourth.

    And this is to you WTO: The 2, 3, and 4 runner ups are Indian- American.
    Quite young people to go back to India.

  • June 14, 2013 at 11:15 am
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    I would like to add that the many ethic backgrounds that you see amongst JW,s is very impressive on the surface but that is as far as it goes. Racism in the truth is just as rampant and as bad as it is anywhere else on the planet. Before Jehovah, this arrangement will not be hailed up as an example for anyone interested in living in unity for a thousand years.

  • June 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm
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    Lol… Huge Simpsons fan here. Much love, Apu!

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