A report in the 2013 Yearbook implies that a Witness family who survived a plane crash that killed more than 150 people experienced “Jehovah’s hand”

Usually when tragedy strikes, it brings out the very best in people. We remember our common bond of humanity and how easily the precious gift of life can be snatched away from us, and we show sympathy for those who have suffered loss – remembering that we could just as easily have experienced similar calamity.

However, if you are a high-control religious group that wants its followers to believe they have God’s backing, you might not always show the greatest humanity or sensitivity when disaster strikes. In particular, the Watch Tower Society seems to excel in caring only about the welfare of Jehovah’s Witnesses, repeatedly insinuating that such ones enjoy special protection from Jehovah – especially if they put kingdom interests first. A classic example of such self-interest and lack of empathy can be found in the latest 2013 Yearbook, now available for download from JW.org.

Pages 29 and 30 relate an experience from one Witness family whose home was destroyed when a plane crashed into their building in Lagos, Nigeria – killing all 153 passengers and an unknown number on the ground. The following CNN news report reveals the chaos following the accident, and the difficulty in retrieving the bodies from the wreckage…

A newspaper report of the incident can be found here.

It is clear that the timing and location of this tragic crash were entirely coincidental, caused by either mechanical failure or human error. Local residents interviewed in the above report could count themselves extremely fortunate not to have been in the plane’s trajectory when it slammed into the packed Lagos suburb. Most people who heard of the accident all over the world will have felt overwhelming sympathy for those unfortunate to have lost their lives in this unforeseen catastrophe – not to mention their families and loved ones.

While individual survivors living nearby who are religious may feel inclined to thank God that they survived the incident, it is wholly inappropriate for an organization like the Watch Tower Society to attempt to capitalize on the tragedy by implying that one Witness family’s survival was due to divine protection because they had loyally attended their Sunday meeting. While this is not spelled out in the 2013 Yearbook article, it is unmistakably implied.

The final two paragraphs in the article read as follows…

“‘If we had been at home,’ said Chinyere, ‘we would surely have died. After the disaster, we were left with only our meeting clothes, but we have our lives. The circuit overseer immediately set up a relief committee, and the brothers took good care of us. We are very grateful.’
Collins said: ‘My relatives who had been opposed to my being a Witness have changed their minds. One of them told me: ‘Your Jehovah answers prayers. Hold on to your God because he helps you.’ Another person said: ‘Whatever you have been doing to serve God, continue to do it whole-souled.’ We have truly seen Jehovah’s hand in our case. I am very happy.'” – 2013 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, page 30.

Witnesses reading the above will no doubt point to the article’s title, “The Brothers Took Good Care of Us,” and claim that any sentiments expressed in the experience allude to the gratitude of the family for the way their brothers supported them in the aftermath of the incident. However, when you read the above paragraphs at the end of the article, you notice that the “relief committee” set up for the family by the local Circuit Overseer is just a sidenote in the real purpose of the article, which is to drill home the importance of doing “whatever you have been doing to serve God” – meetings included.

Facebook reaction reveals the true intent

If proof were needed of the true message behind this article, namely that attending meetings will protect you from catastrophic events, this is abundantly supplied by the reaction of ordinary Witnesses in comments made online. When one Facebook group called “Theocratic Ministry School” posted a copy of the experience, the post received over 500 likes. Here are some of the responses from Witnesses…

  • Potebele Solomon We should not forsake our christian;s meeting for any reasons.
  • Ibeh Ndubuisi Godson Our meeting are surely protective
  • Jennifer Chuka This show dat Jehovah deliver his people in a different ways.
  • Fayese Olaitan Abayo Jehovah will keep delivering his ppl
  • Justina Bisade Phillips Jehovah’s name is realy ‘a strong tower’ protecting his people.
  • Keisha Dj-Bubblelic Ious-Stith This is truly a lesson in obedience. This family clearly understood Jehovah’s instructions about not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together. This clearly served as a protection in more ways than just one!
  • Huldah Efenudu Jehovah really saves,cares….
  • Russell Ogbonna Stan firm (in the truth) and see the salvation of Jehovah
  • Makinde Taiwo Jehovah’s hand is never 2 short 2 help and rescue HIS PPLE.
  • Glory Festus It is very gud 2 obey Jehovah and nt 2 mis metings 4 any reasons
  • Eunice Olanrewaju Jehovah really cares about us and he loves us. may we never miss christian meetings cos nothing can be compare to it.
  • Cheryl Lebo Chidoba jehovah provides escape for the loyal….his servants will see what a mighty crag is he#singin# song 131
  • Adaeze Cessa Omoba Jehovah has always been our refuge and he will keep delivering his people

The above comments, which show complete ignorance and lack of empathy for the 150+ non-Witnesses who lost their lives in this tragedy, demonstrate that the true purpose behind the article was achieved. The Society wanted to convey the message that “Jehovah’s hand” protects those who obediently attend meetings, and this is precisely how it was understood by most Witnesses reading it.

In fact, if you are able to view the Facebook page, I would recommend that you take a moment to do so. A few conscientious and sensitive Witnesses actually tried in vain to quell the ignorance of their fellow worshippers by reminding them that “time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all.” (Eccl. 9:11) One poster called Janai Hall was accused of being an apostate simply for trying to be one such voice of reason. Overall, the brainwashed victims of Watchtower propaganda seemingly prevailed against the few who dared to contemplate the incident in context.

Where was Jehovah’s hand in Miami?

Another conscientious poster, Zach Broxton, reminded the Facebook group of a recent tragic accident in Miami on December 1st 2012, in which a bus carrying 32 Jehovah’s Witnesses to an assembly crashed into an overpass, killing two Witnesses and leaving four others severely injured. The JW.org report on the incident is available on this link. An NBC news report of the crash can be viewed below…

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The obvious question would be, “where was Jehovah’s hand when this tragedy happened?” Again, you have Witnesses obediently following the Slave’s instructions to “not forsake” gathering together, but through a freak event they end up paying for their loyalty with their lives.

Both the Miami bus crash and the Nigeria plane crash were tragic accidents that could not have been foreseen. Both resulted in the loss of precious human life – one on a much larger scale than the other. In one of those incidents a Witness family survived by attending a meeting – in the other two Witnesses died and four were injured for showing the same loyalty. It is therefore beyond any reasonable doubt that Jehovah does not grant special protection to Jehovah’s Witnesses who obey the Watch Tower Society by congregating at meetings and assemblies, and yet this is what is unmistakably implied in the 2013 Yearbook article, as evidenced by the reaction of Witnesses on Facebook.

A terrible witness

How would relatives of those who died in the Nigeria plane crash react if they read the 2013 Yearbook?

I shudder to think what relatives of the plane’s 153 crew members and passengers (or indeed those on the ground who died when it collided) would make of the Yearbook article after reading it. Imagine yourself reading the article through their eyes, and seeing one Witness family claim to have experienced “Jehovah’s hand” in the incident because they were spared a horrible death. Likely, you would be distraught by the insinuation that, for some reason, your loved one wasn’t counted worthy enough of Jehovah’s protective “hand,” thus compounding your pain and anguish.

Yes, the Yearbook article is a shocking example of propaganda on the part of the Society. It is a shameless attempt to promote the benefits of being a Witness by exploiting a deadly catastrophe that claimed the lives of many dozens of innocent people. I am only grateful that at least a small number of Witnesses were able to fight the indoctrination, and had the courage and soundness of mind to try to reason with their deluded fellow worshippers who appear to be well and truly under the grip of the Watchtower’s propaganda machine.

 

70 thoughts on ““We have truly seen Jehovah’s hand” – the shocking side of Watchtower propaganda

  • January 5, 2013 at 5:28 am
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    Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. There is nothing but sadness here.

  • January 5, 2013 at 5:41 am
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    Google:*Jehovah’s Witnesses family murders*,for the many accounts of violent murderous deaths commited by Jehovah’s Witnesses.JW also have serious issues with alcoholism and mental illness.

    Danny Haszard born 3rd generation Jehovah’s Witness,been there!

  • January 5, 2013 at 5:44 am
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    Cedars, you are so right. Thanks for sharing this information, about the propaganda of the brothers. They insult all the JW ‘s and other people who died being at the wrong time at the wrong place or being sick. Why did my family members died? God was also near them. I Hope the false tactics of the watchtower organisation will be stopped.
    Gorby

  • January 5, 2013 at 7:20 am
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    Am I missing something ?

    SEARCH = Nigeria plane crash: Was age of aircraft an issue? (+video) – CSMonitor.com

    Hopefully this isn’t the report the WT is using.

    Why?
    Because news-media says , ALL were killed.

    Can’t find any other recent plane crashes from Nigeria .
    Sincere
    apologies if I’m wrong.

    • January 5, 2013 at 7:23 am
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      Hi Susanna – yes the Yearbook reports that all were killed too.

      Cedars

  • January 5, 2013 at 7:31 am
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    Interestingly,the Fb posters forget that only a few months ago in the same country if Nigeria, over 20 JWs, including children lost their lives tragically in a road accident while on their way to a district convention onthe back of truck. ..a few years ago 6 JWs and their non JW driver lost their lives in a road accident in Uganda on their way from the branch office dedication,they included four missionaries,a bethelite, and a branch committee member’s wife. .these sad events weren’t even mentioned in the yearbook…I wondered how the affected families thought when reading the yearbook report on the branch dedication with no mention of their loved ones who had devoted their lives to the full time ministry
    This only shows just how the WBTS is insensitive and only cares about promoting their selfish agenda. .
    All persons affected by such tragedies, whether JWs or not, are human beings with real feelings.

  • January 5, 2013 at 7:45 am
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    Great article, Cedars. I remember hearing dire stories about JWs who decided to skip a meeting and met with harm. Accomplishes a similar goal.

  • January 5, 2013 at 7:53 am
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    They’re masters of propaganda. Fear and false promises are their primary tools of manipulation.

    • January 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm
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      Icould not agree more with your comment. Fear and false promises that’s what keep some ignorant and naives ones from leaving this destructive cult. Hope one day their eyes will open and leave this f. cult

  • January 5, 2013 at 8:14 am
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    It’s a classic example of BEHAVIOR CONTROL!!
    JW’s are told to keep busy with theocratic activity constantly. Meetings, Service, Study and etc.
    This is exploiting a tragedy to re-enforce that!

  • January 5, 2013 at 10:50 am
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    The thought that they can imply thoughts without clearly making them makes me wonder why? It is to push members along a path of thinking without physically doing so. In many of the literature I studied over the decades it had implied strong emotions or views but always had a disclaimer of sorts in it. In the early 90’s a study article mentions the end is near and we all can almost touch the finish line. The WTBS are notorious for painting visual pictures and then the members fill in the blank. This is how our brain operates in order to understand things in our world. We must always guard our hearts and minds from all forms of misguided truth. Regardless of being a member or not, if we are to be a True Christian this type of careless thinking can have dire ramifications. Cedar makes a valid argument because he shows that evidence in one case versus another result in a different conclusion. Yes this family was spared but what about others out shopping or visiting friends. I will hope that some realize our love for each other crosses over member lines. Love is unconditional but in this situation it shows some have lost their way and show none. In the past I was once encouraged by experiences I read in the yearbook but as a True Christian it is your responsibility to protect yourself. In the end we all will be judged for our own actions and not that of others.

  • January 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm
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    Those Facebook comments from JWs contradict what the WTS teaches that Jehovah does not save individuals but his worshippers as a group or something like that.
    So how come the witnesses in Uganda & Nigeria mentioned by Naima were not saved? They were after all coming from a branch dedication and an assembly respectively.
    It’s really difficult to understand how Jehovah chooses to save some and not others. WTS propaganda is very confusing.

    • January 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm
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      WTS propaganda is for illetrate or people with limited education. This is why they don’t encourage their followers to further their education, so they can continue to fool them. In the case where witnessed died in tragic accident they quickly said Jehovah protect his organisation as a group in the spiritual sense, when there are survivors they said Jehovah”s hand was there to protect his faithful obedient servants. I called that propaganda or simply B.S.

  • January 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm
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    There was someone who gave a sensible comment on FB:
    Aaron Davitian Careful everyone. Suggesting that Jehovah had something to do with their survival while he allowed others to die, is not only unkind, but isn’t accurate. We had brothers beheaded in a foreign country last year. Did they NOT have Jehovahs protection? Lets not be naive about this. I am glad they lived. It was a coincidence they were at the meeting.
    I gave him a like…..

  • January 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm
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    It appears that the Watchtower is Flip-Flopping again. They say one thing one minute and a different thing the next. When I had a fire many years ago and my trailer was on fire – I had this gut feeling that something was wrong but did not know why I was so upset. I was working nights at the time and my baby and husband were both sleeping. I called the house but my husband was a heavy sleeper and would not answer the phone. So the bad feeling kept getting worse until my manager told me to go home because I was so upset – but still did not know why. When I got home, I found my trailer was on fire – and my baby’s bedroom was burning first. So I grabbed the baby and woke my husband and then ran out. I mentioned this story to two elders recently and implied that it was a miracle – And they told me that Jehovah does not perform miracles anymore and that he has not performed miracles since the days of the apostles. And now this article is implying a “miracle” ? Sounds like double talk to me.

  • January 5, 2013 at 6:31 pm
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    FLIP – FLOPPING in regard to their view of the MEDIATOR – Watchtower publications are filled with their tendency to say one thing one minute and the opposite the next. Their comments about “THE MEDIATOR” is a good example of that. — MEDIATOR – ”CHRIST OR THE WATCHTOWER” – http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/mediator.php
    A watchtower article stated that the governing body was the mediator between the anointed and God. The Bible only mentions Christ as being the only mediator between God and man. No one else died for us except Christ -Watchtower 1979 Apr 1 p.31
    “There is one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all.”
    1 Timothy 2:5,6
    …….
    .
    “There is one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all.”
    1 Timothy 2:5,6
    …….
    ” So in this strict Biblical sense Jesus is the “mediator” only for anointed Christians.” Watchtower 1979 Apr 1 p.31
    …….
    – The Law Covenant foreshadowed the New Covenant. It was established for the nation of Israel, and required Moses as Mediator to offer atonement. It was not limited to Priests; it covered all the nation of Israelites and also could include the Alien resident. Exodus 19:6 “And you yourselves will become to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
    …….
    – Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1 p.72 Alien Resident – “Jehovah provided Jesus Christ as the perfect sacrifice to take away sins. This is a specific provision of the “new covenant.”” Watchtower 1980 Nov 1 p.31
    …….

    Jesus mediates on behalf of all humankind . Jesus is Mediator and High Priest of the New Covenant. All people can avail themselves of forgiveness of sins through the new Covenant and thus have Jesus as their Mediator and High Priest. The New Covenant can only be applied to mankind by Jesus, not by any other humans. (1 Timothy 2:5)
    …….
    The Watchtower contains an inconsistent view of the mediator. The Watchtower view is quite unique in that it separates Jesus role for different classes; Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 2 p.362 Mediator
    •Mediator only for the 144,000
    •High Priest on behalf of all
    …….

    – FLIP – FLOPPING” “he will bring blessings to others of mankind, for all the nations are to be blessed by means of Abraham’s seed.” Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 2 p.362 Mediator …….””Christ does NOT act as Mediator of the new covenant toward them,. (Compare James 2:23.)” Watchtower 1991 Feb 15 p.18

    ……….

  • January 5, 2013 at 6:44 pm
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    Beware, satire:
    Alms Akimbo and his family lived in the apartment hit by the plane, when the accident occurred they were at the local shopping mall.

    “If we had been home” said Alms “we would have surely died. After the accident we were left with only our shopping clothes, and the weeks worth of groceries that we bought. Thank the great West End Shopping Mall Fairy that She led us to be at the West End Shopping Mall that day, and graciously provided for us by enabling us to purchase groceries that kept us well fed for the next week!”

    “Our relatives and friends who used to be opposed to West End Shopping Mall (they had favoured East End Shopping Mall for it’s slightly lower prices and more convenient Car Park) have since changed their minds. One of them told us: “Your West End Shopping Mall must be the best Shopping Mall, keep going there as it saved your lives!”, another person who was pretending not to be from West End Shopping Mall’s marketing division said: “Yes West End Shopping Mall is amazing and the prices really aren’t that much higher than East End, you should keep going there, and do it even more often!”.

    Akimbo continued “Yes we truly have seen the value of shopping at West End in our case, we are very happy! And there’s a sale on next Sunday too!”

  • January 5, 2013 at 8:05 pm
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    Thank you Cedars
    ok got it now.
    “If “they hadnt gone to the meeting they would have beeen killed.
    Another one of those ” if ” stories.

  • January 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm
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    Another excellent article. It really made me sick to read all of those ridicules comments where they have no concern for the ones who lost their lives and the loved ones they left behind. What really makes me sick is that I use to buy into that crap!

  • January 6, 2013 at 1:58 am
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    There still appears to be no mention of this road accident in the news section on the JWs official site.

    • January 6, 2013 at 2:15 am
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      Hi Kim, yes the bus crash did receive a brief mention on the JW.org news section. A link to the page is provided in the article above.

  • January 6, 2013 at 2:10 am
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    To be fair, the JWs aren’t the only ones who spread dumb stories of this kind. People are saved because they prayed, went to church, etc. – the ones who aren’t as lucky are never mentioned because that of course would imply they weren’t true believers.

    • January 6, 2013 at 2:14 am
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      Thanks dubless. I understand you are trying to add perspective. However, the “everyone else is doing it so why can’t we?” approach doesn’t really wash with me. The very fact that other religions resort to similar tactics merely underlines that JWs are no better than any other religion.

  • January 6, 2013 at 4:08 am
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    Thank you Cedars for your tireless efforts to keep us Informed of the real Truths.. . A typical example of the Society being misleading and members being miss led. I know of two Incidences personal of a dear old sister dying in an accident on the way home from A convention. And Just recently a whole Family on way home from Sunday meeting at KH. Not to mention many others I have heard of including Lockerbiy airplane bombing the Brother there was killed on his last flight before he retired to start his own Business. AND the win towers there were several Brothers Killed. So what are we to believe then? The Bible clearly states ” time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all.” (Eccl. 9:11) Even JW’s…

  • January 6, 2013 at 6:27 am
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    Watchtower seeks to feed the superstitions they have created. Witnesses are people who have left off all kinds of other belief systems with their associated superstitions to join Watchtower and trade them in for Watchtower fairy tales. Like the Governing Fairy.

  • January 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm
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    Cedars, I am a keen follower of your blog, and sometimes cant wait to read the next one. But I have to say, I did not like this one in particular because it lacks objectivity. Yes, I agree that the WT will do anything to transmit baseless ideas in the minds of witnesses by using all sort of trickery. It is what they do, we know that.
    I think your article reads too much between lines and comes across as if written by an angry and resentful ex witness, who picks at anything to try and make a point.
    The last paragraphs taken from the yearbook quoted from those who saved their lives because they were in the meeting…that is a fact. and we should feel grateful for that. As for those who died…well life is like that..and that’s a fact also.
    Your article tries to demonstrate, by indirect implication, what the WT supposedly implied. That is not fair either.
    Then your comment: “It is therefore beyond any reasonable doubt that Jehovah does not grant special protection to Jehovah’s Witnesses”…as if your poor evidence showed what Jehovah does or not.
    I have enjoyed though, your previous blogs where you implied less and provided facts more. I hope my feedback helps in what you do.

    • January 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm
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      heroe – are you saying that Jehovah protects those who attend meetings and asemblies? In that case, what about the two people who died in the Miami bus crash. Did you even read the entire article?

    • January 18, 2013 at 6:57 am
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      Heroe, thanks for your comment, but I also can’t follow your line of reasoning. Let’s illustrate it this way:

      Suppose there are two witness families living in the same town. One is the family of faithful, God-fearing Job. The other is the family of his friend, Elihu.

      On a particular Sunday, while they’re at the meeting, Job loses everything – his possessions and children – in a series of disasters.
      His friend Elihu is totally untouched.

      Now, according to WT reasoning – Elihu experienced the “protective hand of God. By natural extension, this unmistakably implies that JOB DID NOT.

      Put yourself in Job’s position. In addition to his indescribable grief and pain – there is now the burden of wondering “Is Jehovah displeased with me?”. Cruel, cruel, cruel.

      The WT Society has a track-record of monstrous inconsistency. When something bad happens to a believer, they cite the scripture “time and unforeseen circumstance befall us all.”

      When it suits their propaganda, they take situations where people survived life-threatening events, and imply “they enjoyed God’s protection.”

      All said and done, THIS LINE OF REASONING SHAKES PEOPLE’S FAITH IN GOD. No doubt about it. Because, if you think it through, the WT Society is using exactly the same line of reasoning as did Job’s supposed “comforters”.

      Suggest you read through the account of Job. His comforters talked about “messages from the spirit realm”, and implied that Job’s suffering was a punishment from God.

      Last thought: there are far more tragedies than “miraculous” escapes. Is GOD PARTIAL?

  • January 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm
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    Yes this article is considering the facts of implied meaning of protection to faithful witnesses in certain examples. We can be critical of just about everything in this world. It also establishes critical thinking abilities to argue multiple views while achieving your main goal. I personally acknowledge that many groups do the same thing as this is nothing new to these various groups. I believe Cedars point to us all is not to blindly believe when told these stories. We all realize that stories can all have spins to whatever we limit the reader to read. I do like that the responses from others on this accident proves a wide array of views. If we simply accept this as the Hand of Jehovah guiding his people away from danger then why ignore those that die in other circumstances? I respect all that question as this is a good form of testing our resolve. I love that we all see things differently and I embrace that difference. The Yearbook 2013 is designed for encouragement and to stimulate more activity in the field ministry. I can understand why they select examples to encourage others in the preaching work. Tragic events happen but these examples are not an encouragement in this work unless an ending is positive. If you are still involved in this organization the point I take away is be careful not to get wrapped up emotionally by throwing away reason. I try my best to remain neutral but at times I can be bias. So in conclusion this is just typical of WTBS but I was ashamed that members came across uncaring of those that loss their lives. It just confirms all Jehovah’s Witnesses are not the same and hold different views about what is shared in WTBS publications. Good or Bad the truth lies within all of our responses.

  • January 6, 2013 at 6:49 pm
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    The Watchtower is doing exactly what people like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and those nasty, horrible, disgusting people from Westboro Baptist Church have done – take a natural disaster, a mass murder, or a horrific accident – and then make some inane statement that God/Jehovah made it happen to punish or not protect a group of people because:

    (a) the USA has become a godless nation, (b) we haven’t killed off all of the homosexuals who live here, (c) we allow women to control their own bodies with contraceptives and selective abortions, (d) we’ve elected a godless “Muslim” as our president, or, (e) we’ve tried to take military rifles out of the hands of racists, insane people, or criminals.

    For years the Watchtower taught that the doctrine of “predestination” was not a biblically supported teaching – that, in fact, we all lived by “chance and circumstance.” But no longer – Jehovah now redirects natural events to specifically punish the wicked and those JWs who are not giving the Watchtower enough of the hours or money.

    Now that they want to make sure they have full control over the rank and file, the Governing Body is trying to convince that every little failure on a JW’s part could leave them vulnerable to some horrible event, unprotected by Jehovah.

    If that is the case, then we should expect a lot of horrible things to happen in Patterson, Wallkill, and Brooklyn over the next few years as Jehovah fails to protect the Watchtower due to their lies and failure to protect the children and women among their membership.

    • January 19, 2013 at 9:04 am
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      Thanks, John, enjoyed your comment.

      Compare with one made by a Circuit Overseer: “is it a co-incidence that world conditions have got much worse since women got the vote?”

      Now, he was a genuinely good guy, and this was very uncharacteristic. Then I remembered that he had just come from a meeting with the Top Brass. There is evidently some very “interesting” reasoning going on in those committee rooms.

      Sort of like when the Catholics and the Islamic Leaders voted together, against a motion to promote birth control at the World Population Conference in Cairo some years back.

  • January 6, 2013 at 11:08 pm
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    Good article!! We should not be surprised. Watch Tower teaches lying is not a sin when it is for the kingdom interests… What is simpler or less tolerable between LYING AND MANIPULATION?

  • January 7, 2013 at 6:33 am
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    I’m sorry, but if Cedars is not right and the point of the experience is not to imply that we’ll be protected if we obey, then there is not other reason whatsoever for including it in the yearbook.

  • January 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm
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    Where was the protective hand of god when some criminal bombed the kh in Sydney those years ago. all the people in there were ‘obeying’ by being there after all.
    Jehovah must have different depts looking after different areas?

  • January 8, 2013 at 8:18 am
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    No, I’m not saying that and yes I took the time to read your article as I did with other of your articles…some of which I enjoyed reading.
    My point is that your reasoning is similar to that of the wt by taking this out of context without looking at what the yearbook actually says.

    This is just constructive criticism. Hope you can take it coz I know some fellows in NY who can’t.

    • January 8, 2013 at 8:40 am
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      I can take criticism, but it’s always easier to take when it’s justified.

      It’s very simple…

      Watchtower published an article in the Yearbook using a tragic plane accident to imply that those attend meetings experience God’s blessing. Nearly everyone commenting on the article agrees that this was the implication, and the comments of JWs on facebook also clearly demonstrate that this was the message WT was trying to get across. As one person commenting on this thread has already pointed out – if the experience was just about one family receiving support from the congregation when their home was destroyed, then why would this be an exceptional story to report on?

      I then pointed to a recent example of JWs who tragically died on their way to an assembly to underscore that the idea of “Jehovah’s hand” protecting JWs who attend meetings is nothing more than propaganda. It’s all logical, rational, and supported by evidence. I fail to see how I’ve misled anyone or been deceitful in any way.

      Cedars

  • January 9, 2013 at 9:12 am
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    cedar, i remember an article in awake in the 80’s about a khol in australia , that a bomb/grenade was explode in the stage during a meeting. many witnesses injured and also a witness died.this shows that attending khol meeting will not guarantee that a witness will avoid accident.

  • January 9, 2013 at 2:27 pm
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    I always enjoy reading your take on these issues Cedars. While the Watchtower Society makes official proclamations “of time and unforseen circumstances” they have always had these kind of stories in Yearbooks, and repeated by Circuit Overseers.

    The bus crash with over 20 JW deaths was a HUGE story that was buried by Watchtower.

    P.S. Congrats! This blog was the #2 Google news Alert item for JWs this AM on my office computer

  • January 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm
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    ¿Y de esto que dirian?

    Diario ABC

    19-02-2012 / 20:50 h EFE
    Al menos 27 personas han muerto y otras 30 resultaron heridas hoy en un accidente de tráfico ocurrido en la provincia ecuatoriana de Imbabura, al chocar un autobús y caer por una pendiente, han informado a Efe fuentes de los Bomberos.

    Al parecer, el autobús en el que viajaban tuvo problemas en el sistema de frenos, chocó contra un muro y luego cayó por una pendiente, ha dicho Víctor Bazantes, del cuerpo de Bomberos de la ciudad de Ibarra, que citó versiones de varios viajeros.

    El accidente del autobús ocurrió en la vía Ibarra-San Lorenzo, que une la provincia de Imbabura con la de Esmeraldas, esta última fronteriza con Colombia.

    Tres niños fallecieron en el accidente, que ocurrió a la altura de la comunidad de Cuajara, próxima a la ciudad de Ibarra, la capital de la provincia andina de Imbabura.

    Los heridos fueron trasladados a centros de salud cercanos al lugar del accidente, pero dos han sido trasladados en helicóptero a Quito, según Bazantes.

    Un familiar de las víctimas dijo al diario El Comercio que las víctimas pertenecen a los Testigos de Jehová que viajaban a un acto en una parroquia.

  • January 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm
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    O de este otro ya se olvidaron…..

    Diario EL PAIS

    VIERNES, 1 de marzo de 1996
    Casi todos los muertos en Bailén siguen sin identificar
    29 personas fallecieron al chocar frontalmente un autocar con un turismo que se salió de su carril
    Jaén 1 MAR 1996
    Archivado en: Testigos De Jehová Autobuses DGT Guardia Civil Accidentes tráfico Vehículos Fuerzas seguridad Tráfico Transporte carretera Accidentes Administración Estado Sucesos Transporte Cristianismo Administración pública Religión Justicia

    El choque de un turismo y un autocar en el que viajaban. 58 personas, la mayoría testigos de Jehová que venían de una excursión en Sierra Nevada, se cobró en la noche del miércoles 29 víctimas mortales. A cinco kilómetros de Bailén (Jaén), un Opel Kadett se salió de su carril y chocó frontalmente contra el autocar, según la primera versión. El choque produjo un incendio en el turismo. Las llamas pasaron al autocar y lo convirtieron en una pira de fuego y humo. Los pasajeros que no pudieron salir fallecieron asfixiados y carbonizados, lo que ha dificultado extraordinariamente su identificación. Ayer sólo se había identificado a tres. La lentitud de esta tarea retrasará la celebración del entierro, previsto para hoy. El autocar cumplía todos los requisitos legales.

    MÁS INFORMACIÓN
    Unas medidas de seguridad desconocidas por los viajeros
    Entre los fallecidos hay dos familias completas, una formada por ocho personas y otra por seis. Diez de las víctimas mortales son niños y jóvenes menores de 18 años, y la de más edad tenía 48.Un equipo de la policía judicial y otro de científicos de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid se desplazaron a Bailén para colaborar en la identificación de los cuerpos.

    La Casa de la Cultura de Bailén tenía ayer en una de sus salas 29 féretros, a la espera de que terminaran las labores de identificación.

    El accidente se produjo a las 22.15 en el kilómetro cinco de la N-323 (Bailén-Motril). Del total de víctimas, 28 viajaban en el autocar, que se convirtió en una trampa mortal. El otro fallecido es el conductor del coche que presumiblemente provocó la colisión.

    Aunque todavía no hay versión oficial definitiva, los primeros testimonios indican que fue el turismo con matrícula J-6105-W el que, por causas aún no determinadas, invadió el sentido contrarío de la calzada y chocó de frente con el autobús, matrícula J-0487-W.Puerta cerrada

    Tras el choque, un grupo de pasajeros del autobús pudo salir por el parabrisas, que quedó destrozado, pero quienes intentaron bajar por la puerta trasera se la encontraron bloqueada y no dieron con el mecanismo de apertura.

    El incendio y el abundante humo que invadió el autobús provocó la muerte de 28 de los 58 ocupantes del autocar, y heridas de distinta gravedad en otras 18 personas. Sólo cinco permanecen ingresadas en el hospital que atendió a los heridos, el San Agustín de Linares. Uno de los internados está en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos y es el que se encuentra en estado de mayor gravedad .

    “Ya llegábamos a Bailén cuando se cruzó un coche. Todo salió ardiendo enseguida”, relató una pasajera en el hospital de Linares. El accidente se produjo, cuando faltaban cinco kilómetros para que la excursión llegase a su lugar de destino. El autobús circulaba por la antigua carretera Bailén-Motril, en lugar de por la autovía, porque por este camino se acortaba la distancia de entrada a la localidad.

  • January 11, 2013 at 2:22 am
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    Translation to English of the above comments…
    Or from this one already forgot…

    Diario EL PAIS

    Friday, March 1, 1996
    Almost all the dead in Bailén still unidentified
    29 people died by colliding head-on a coach with a tourism which ran off its track
    Jaén 1 MAR 1996
    Filed under: witnesses of Jehovah buses DGT Guardia Civil accidents vehicles forces traffic safety traffic transport road accidents State events transport Christianity administration public Religion justice

    The clash of a tourism and a coach they were traveling. 58 people, mostly Jehovah’s witnesses who came from an excursion in the Sierra Nevada, claimed on the night of Wednesday 29 fatalities. Five kilometres from Bailen (Jaen), an Opel Kadett ran off its track and collided head-on with the coach, according to the first version. The shock came a fire in tourism. The flames went on to the coach and became a pyre of fire and smoke. Passengers who could not leave died asphyxiated and charred, which has extremely hindered their identification. Yesterday had only identified three. The slowness of this task will delay the holding of the funeral, scheduled for today. The coach met all legal requirements.

    MORE INFORMATION
    Safety measures unknown by travellers
    Among the dead there are two entire families, one formed by eight people and another by six. Ten of the fatalities are children and young people under 18 years of age and older had 48.Un the judicial police team and other scientists from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid moved to Bailén to collaborate in the identification of bodies.

    The House of the culture of Bailén had yesterday in one of their rooms 29 coffins, awaiting that completed the work of identification.

    The accident occurred at 2215 on kilometer five of the N-323 (Bailen-motril). Of the total victims, 28 travelled on the coach, which became a death trap. The other deceased is the driver of the car that presumably caused the collision.

    Although there is still no final official version, the first testimonies indicate that the tourism was with tuition J-6105-W which, by still undetermined causes, invaded the sense I contrary walkway and it collided head-on with the bus, license plate J-0487-W.Door closed

    After the crash, a group of bus passengers could exit by the windshield, which was shattered, but who attempted to down the rear door found is locked and they didn’t with the opening mechanism.

    The fire and the abundant smoke that invaded the bus causing the death of 28 of the 58 occupants of the coach, and wounds of varying severity in 18 others. Only five remain entered in the hospital attended to the wounded, the San Agustín de Linares. One of the boarding schools is in the intensive care unit and is found in a State of greater gravity.

    “Already we arrived at Bailén when a car crossed. Everything went burning right away”, told a passenger in Linares hospital. The accident occurred when missing five kilometres to make the tour arrived at its destination. The bus was circulating the old road Bailen-motril, rather than by the motorway, because this road shortened the distance from entrance to the town.

  • January 13, 2013 at 11:32 pm
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    In your recent article about jwsurvey being shut down by the witnesses for copyright issues – I noticed that there was mention of the 2 witnesses necessary rule for making judgments against pedophiles – Well they don’t practice what they preach in a very serious issue with my family either –
    According to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ legal rules – there are 2 witnesses needed – to prove any accusation that is made upon another witness. Well they did not give me or my family the benefit of 2 witnesses when they accused and tried my daughter on a charge of sexual immorality.
    …….
    Valerie was still in high school when a young baptized boy accused her of being involved in a sexual orgy with other class members during a party.
    …….
    She had just started to attend meetings when this happened. She had gone to a pizza party after school with my permission. There were about 15 girls there. There were no boys at the party. The parents were home and I had stopped by during the party to see how things were going and then I left.
    …….
    The parents were not witnesses but they were very nice, “christian type” parents. Pictures were taken of the party by the girl’s mother. All the girls were dressed modestly in jogging outfits. Two rolls of film (35mm) were taken (1970’s) for a total of 24 pictures.
    …….
    When the accusations were made – The boy kept changing his story. AT first he said that both boys and girls were there and they were all having a sexual orgy together, including Valerie. Then the next visit – he said it was Just Valerie and this one boy who were having sex, while the others watched. On the 3rd visit, he said that there were no boys there but only girls and the girls were having sex with each other, and in the Final Visit, he claimed that It was just my daughter alone having sex with herself – masturbating in front of the other girls.
    …….
    The 2 elders and the boys Father (also an elder) all sat there each time and listened to the boy change his story.
    Yet they never seemed surprised or questioned the fact that his story kept changing. To me, the truth remains the same and does not change. It was not that he added more details to embellish the story – but rather a complete change in the accusations.
    …….
    I even went to the parents who hosted the party – to do my own investigating – going to the source where this was all supposed to have taken place. I was just trying to see if there was any truth at all to this boy’s accusations.
    …….
    I even went to the schools principal to see if I could find information about the boy’s character and his reputation at school. I was shocked to learn that they had a folder in their files with the boy’s name on it that was filled with reports of his troubles at school. The folder held accounts where he had cursed at the teachers and even at the principal, where he had stolen money from the teachers and other students and where he was caught stealing and eating other student’s lunches, etc., etc.
    …….
    Word got around at school about the accusations made against Valerie. Even the boy bragged at school that he had gotten her into trouble.
    …….
    Eventually the Elders found out that I had consulted with the parents and the principal. They said it was a congregational matter and it should have been kept within the congregation. The brothers said that I was making the witnesses look bad in front of worldly people and bringing reproach upon Jehovah’s name.
    …….
    I got the pictures and offered to show them to the elders. They refused to look at the pictures. They finally ruled that the boy had told the truth and they disassociated her. They gave her a card which she had to hold up at the meetings – in case anyone tried to talk to her – that warned them NOT to – because of her being a bad association.
    …….
    We stopped going to the meetings shortly after that – and found out 3 years later that the boy finally confessed that he had lied – and yet we never got an apology.

    …….

  • January 15, 2013 at 11:36 pm
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    Cedars,
    I agreed with the point you made that time and unforseen occurances befall us all just as the Bible says and that there are no special circumstances that SAVED anyone – they just happened to not be home and had they been home, they would have died – end of story! Going to the Kingdom Hall did save them but had they gone to the grocery store, THAT would have saved them also – so nothing special about that! But the WTS wanted people to think that just because they were at the Kingdom Hall that they were DIVINELY protected – yeah right! I was a JW over 40 years and I used to believe all this BS from the WTS and since I left them, in the last 5 years, I feel like a bad joke was played on me – having spent my entire life in the JW grasp and suffered lots of abuse – especially sexual abuse as a child and teenager from “brothers” in the congregation. My Dad was an Elder all his life as an adult, but he died of a broken heart after the way he was treated by other JWs that he gave his all to and they used him and then threw him away when he got sick. My mom died of cancer and had she been “allowed” to have a bone marrow transplant, maybe she would have lived also. But, my mother, especially, was fooled completely and even said that if the WTBTS told us to drink the “koolaide” with CYANIDE in it, she would be the first one in line! When she told me that, I KNEW then – that it was just another CULT! I stayed in the religion until both of my parents died and then I left it and have NO RELIGION at all now! I have a SPIRITUAL relationship with God and Christ, but I feel like I cannot trust another religion after realizing my life has been a big lie! It hurts beyond words and I am terribly lonely and don’t really know what to believe anymore. My trust in what I thought was the TRUTH is completely GONE! I don’t even know what to believe about the future anymore. Very little joy now. Sad. Sincerely, Deb

  • January 16, 2013 at 7:11 am
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    Hi somehow your blog came across my email and I read only this particular post. I have to wonder why you are blogging as you are so intent on accusation and insult. I see all religions thanking god when surviving such an ordeal…Catholic, Mormon, Methodist, and JW. All religions tout “bad things” happen to those who do not follow the guides of each particular faith, this the belief in hell.
    Thus the reason I left organized religion. However who are you to deem someone’s faith in something wrong? In any organization you will be able to find fault and even corruption, but if the belief that they hold betters their life and brings them happiness let it be. Keep blogging about what you beleive about the organization but keep personal attacks out. Respect everyone’s right to beleive what they want and use their actions as a measure of whom they are or you risk becoming the same as The WTS in disassociating yourself by religious beliefs.

    • January 16, 2013 at 7:20 am
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      Guy, I’ve heard the “I’m not a JW but…” intro from Watchtower apologists countless times, so that doesn’t wash with me I’m afraid. If you’re not a JW, then you have absolutely no reason to be (a) on this site, or (b) sticking up for the Society. Period.

      As to your “All other religions are doing it, so why can’t we?” line of reasoning, that is extremely flawed logic. This is supposed to be God’s true organization, cleansed and elevated above all other human religions. You’re basically saying, “All other religions lie and exaggerate stuff, so we can too!”

      And saying I should leave off attacking the Watch Tower Society on grounds of religious freedom is extremely ironic, since this organization robs the personal religious freedom of all its converts to the point of threatening them with sanctions if they choose to leave.

      Cedars

  • January 16, 2013 at 7:30 am
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    Hello Guy
    As an outsider you obviously have no understanding of the extent of the lies put out by the Watchtower society which claims to be the ONE and only true faith, directly ordained by GOD himself! They entraps honest hearted TRUTH seekers. CEDARS has every right to inform people about the dangers of belonging to this sect. I therefore suggest before you make comments on this site you read and learn what is going on in the WT etc especially the child abuse cases!

    Buzz

  • January 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm
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    Great article, Cedars. Here we see a prime example of the WTBTS trusting in the strong arm of the Law, not in the salvation of their God. The Bible warns against God’s people making alliances doesn’t it?

  • January 18, 2013 at 6:27 am
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    BRILLIANT!!!

    In the middle ages they would be planning to burn you at the stake for that little bit of fun.

    Would love to see some more in the same vein.

  • January 18, 2013 at 11:18 am
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    Naturally when someone survives a tragedy, we say God spared them or he was looking out for them, on the other hand when someone falls victim of a tragedy, we say all you have to do to die is , be alive.

    so i see nothing wrong with that.

    ☺We say the same thing when a brother dies, the unforeseen happens to all of us

  • January 18, 2013 at 11:50 pm
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    Great job! Frank I would like to see you give this short speech in front of the 7millions of WTS followers and see how many would continue to follow WTS false teachings/propaganda.

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