Royal Commission findings: Watchtower policies place JW children “at significant risk of sexual abuse”

Angus Stewart, senior council at the Royal Commission, has delivered damning summary findings detailing Watchtower's mishandling of child abuse
Angus Stewart, senior counsel at the Royal Commission, has delivered damning summary findings detailing Watchtower’s mishandling of child abuse

The summer of 2015 saw The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse hold an eight-day hearing focusing on the Jehovah’s Witness organization.

Far from being a dry legal debate, the hearings made headlines around the world for good reason. It emerged that since 1950, the Australian branch of the Watchtower had failed to report over 1006 alleged child abusers in its membership to the authorities, and that this was not merely due to incompetence but rather a deliberate result of Watchtower policy and doctrine.

Now, almost six months later, the Royal Commission has published the Submissions of Senior Counsel Assisting the Commission, Angus Stewart.

The way this process works is that the Senior Counsel Assisting the Commission submits to the ARC what he feels the findings should be, based upon evidence gathered. Then the other involved parties get to respond to his submissions. Thus on the Royal Commission website you can see that both Watchtower and one of the abuse survivors, BCG, have submitted their requests for changes to the submission. These will be taken into consideration by the ARC, with modifications made where appropriate, and presented to the government.

This means changes might occur between now and final publication, but given the rather feeble nature of the Watchtower’s counter-submission I wouldn’t expect much watering down of the key findings.

In total, there are 77 findings, each supported by explanatory paragraphs. To examine them all in detail would take many articles, but in this series of three articles I have chosen to focus upon three areas, the first of which will be covered below:

The child sexual abuse policies and practices of Watchtower

To fully understand the gravity of Senior Counsel’s findings, we must first establish a little context about Witness culture.

One of the goals of the ARC was to establish why none of these 1,006 alleged abusers had been reported to the police. After all, even if it was the self-stated policy of the Watchtower for elders not to report (for reasons explored and debunked elsewhere in the submission), surely the outraged parents and their children would still be rushing to law enforcement? Why then had so many survivors and their families not done this?

As the hearings progressed, an answer emerged; a picture of a religion that on one hand tells its followers to obey secular laws, but adds caveats that the laws of the religion supersede secular laws, and that any person or organization outside the faith is potentially a tool of Satan, wicked and untrustworthy.

Thus, the first finding of the submission identifies what many exJW’s know all too well:

F1: The Jehovah’s Witness organisation presents its members with conflicting and ambiguous teachings regarding their relationship with secular authorities, thereby fostering a distrust of such authorities.

Given the explicit policy of not reporting abuse to the authorities, and with deep distrust of those authorities indoctrinated into Jehovah’s Witnesses, this meant that often the only measures available to Witnesses to investigate allegations, sanction abusers and protect children were those taken by the religion itself. This places even greater responsibility on Watchtower to ensure that these steps are effective in protecting children and sanctioning abusers.

How did Watchtowers internal processes hold up to scrutiny from the independent experts of the ARC?

Not well, to put it mildly.

Lets take, for example, the now infamous two witness rule. This is a Watchtower policy stating that any crime or sin must have at least two witnesses to the act before any judicial action can be taken, even if the investigating elders believe the accusation to be true. The religion justifies this policy as being a direct scriptural command found in Matthew 18:16, Deuteronomy 19:15, as well as in 2nd Corinthians and the book of Timothy.

The obvious problem here is that sexual abuse rarely occurs in the presence of two witnesses.

Much back and forth went on during the hearings between the Commission and senior Watchtower officials about whether this policy could be changed, and indeed as to whether Watchtower’s application of the scripture was even true to the original intent of bible writers. Watchtower made it clear that, despite their acknowledging the serious flaws inherent in the rule, it was nonetheless set in stone.

Due to the importance of this specific issue, the full submission of Senior Counsel is replicated below. It’s hard to see how it could be more damning. (Bold is mine)

F42  The requirement that two or more eyewitnesses to the same incident are required in the absence of a confession from the accused, the testimony of two or three witnesses to separate incidents of the same kind of wrongdoing, or strong circumstantial evidence testified to by at least two witnesses (i.e. the two witness rule):

a) means that in respect of child sexual abuse which almost invariably occurs in private, very often no finding of guilt will be made in respect of a guilty accused 


b) causes victims of child sexual abuse to feel unheard and unsupported when it results in allegations of child sexual abuse not being upheld 


c) is a danger to children in the Jehovah’s Witness organisation because its consequence is that very often nothing is done about an abuser in the organisation 


d) does not seem to be applied by the Jehovah’s Witness organisation in the case of an accusation of adultery, which suggests that adultery is taken more seriously by the organisation than child sexual abuse, and

e) needs to be revisited by the Jehovah’s Witness organisation with a view to abandoning it or at least reformulating it to ensure that safe decisions as to someone being guilty of child sexual abuse can be made more easily.

The Commission also found that the policy of a male-only judicial committee interrogating a female survivor and investigating the accusation “is a fundamental flaw in the process which weakens the decisions by excluding women.”

With Watchtower’s investigative process judged dangerously flawed, what of the sanctions applied to offenders? The ARC was told that, should an abuser somehow be found guilty in spite of the two witness rule, they faced two possible sanctions from the religion: Reproof if they are considered to be repentant, and disfellowshipping if not.

Let’s start with the sanction of reproof. How did it fair up under Royal Commission scrutiny?

Not well.

It was established that, whilst a reproof would be announced to the congregation, the reason for the reproof would not be. The problem here is that a reproof can cover a vast spectrum of behavior; from simply getting a little drunk at a party at one end of the spectrum, all the way up to crimes such as child molestation and rape on the other. Thus there was no way for the congregation to know if the reproof meant there was a child abuser in their midst, and thus take steps to protect their children.

Thus, the Senior Counsel finds:

F52  The sanction of reproval therefore does nothing to protect children in the congregation and in the broader community.

Let’s say, however, that the elders do not judge the abuser to be repentant. In this case, they would disfellowship the person. Now, it must be admitted that since all in the congregation would then utterly shun this person, the children in the congregation would probably no longer be at risk from this abuser. However, as became painfully obvious during the interview with elder Kevin Bowdich on Day 149, there is still a massive problem with this sanction.

(Excerpt from Transcript Day 149)

Senior Counsel Angus Stewart: In your decision on whether or not to disfellowship someone, you don’t take consideration of children outside of the congregation? 


Kevin Bowdich: We do take consideration of them, but what ability have we got to protect every child in Australia?

Thus, the Senior Counsel finds:

F54  The sanction of disfellowshipping does nothing to protect children in the community.

So, to summarize:

  • The Watchtower judicial process is usually prevented from taking place due to the two witness rule.
  • If the process does take place, it is not fit for purpose.
  • The sanctions available to the judicial process are in most cases meaningless from a child protection standpoint.

Hardly surprising that of the Watchtower policies overall, the Senior Counsel finds: (Bold is mine)

F67 The practices and procedures of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation for the prevention of child sexual abuse, and in particular for the management of the risk of an abuser reoffending, do not take account of the actual risk of an offender reoffending and accordingly place children in the organisation at significant risk of sexual abuse.

The Senior Counsel's findings reveal that Watchtower's child abuse policies do more harm than good
The Senior Counsel’s findings reveal that Watchtower’s child abuse policies do more harm than good

 

Oh, and one other quick finding to discuss before we go…

The hearings explored what would happen if an abuse survivor, disgusted and wounded from her treatment by Watchtower, wanted to leave the religion. The Watchtower representatives questioned on this point tried to spin and misrepresent their policy as being enlightened, kind and respectful of religious freedom, allowing people to choose another faith without serious repercussions.

Did the Senior Counsel agree?

If you are currently being shunned, or feel that you are being forced to shun someone despite your conscience, this is what an independent legal investigative team with no skin in the game finds on the question of the JW shunning policy. (Bold is mine)

F69  Members of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation who no longer want to be subject to the organisation’s rules and discipline have no alternative than to leave the organisation which requires that they disassociate from it.

F70  The Jehovah’s Witness organisation’s policy of requiring its adherents to actively shun those who leave the organisation

a) makes it extremely difficult for someone to leave the organisation

b) is cruel on those who leave and on their friends and family who remain behind 

is particularly cruel on those who have suffered child sexual abuse in the organisation and who wish to leave because they feel that their complaints about it have not been adequately dealt with

d) is not apparently justified by the Scriptures which are cited in support of it

e) is adopted and enforced in order to prevent people from leaving the organisation and 
thereby to maintain its membership, and

f) is in conflict with the organisation’s professed support for freedom of religious choice and 
the belief that Jehovah God is a compassionate God who recognises the worth and dignity of all human beings. 


If you are an active Jehovah’s Witness, perhaps reading this article because you are having doubts, or because you are seeking to better understand the accusations you have heard about your organization, please read the findings contained in the submission. Read the transcripts available on the same website. Watch the videos of the testimony available on youtube. Then ask yourself:

  • Were you aware that Watchtower dealt with child abuse in this way?
  • Do you think an organisation that treats perpetrators and survivors of sexual assault in this way can have the approval of a loving God?

 

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Further reading…

180 thoughts on “Royal Commission findings: Watchtower policies place JW children “at significant risk of sexual abuse”

  • December 8, 2015 at 6:04 am
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    Thanks for the work you have put into this article. I will read it all this evening. In the meantime, I wanted to express my gratitude for this. Thanks again!

  • December 8, 2015 at 6:21 am
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    Will the findings reach the UK newspapers?
    This should be much more readily available rather than havng to search for it.

    • December 8, 2015 at 8:57 am
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      That’s a good question. The original story in August ran in a number of newspaper and online UK sites. I know the Australian branch of The Guardian has run a story about the new report, so hopefully the UK arm will do the same. Trey Bundy has run a report on this as well, so the story is circulating the news world. Hopefully it will get some UK exposure.

      • December 8, 2015 at 10:02 am
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        If I’m not mistaken there’s a prosecution ramp up in the States which has a similar approach in holding the elder body accountable for neglecting to report abuse charges for investigation.

        http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2015/11/09/judge-weighs-religious-exemption-child-abuse-reporting/75452974/

        As highly emotionally charged as this issue is becoming, I would like to use the extreme and absurd parallel. Let’s say instead of a young child reporting someone “inappropriately touching them” or perception that it was an inappropriate touch, it is a mature adult (elder, perhaps) that confesses, “I participated in violating and murdering numerous young (anonymous) women (hikers or prostitutes); I disposed of them, so they’re just “missing”.

        Two witness rule? There’s no evidence of it–does the elder body dismiss it as a case of mental troubles? attention-grabbing attempts?

        There’s a long-standing tradition also that the leadership of the Watchtower ignores any “what-if” speculations (yeah, but guessing the end of the world…right?) and only deals with actual cases. Well, it would seem there are enough cases stacked up that someone would’ve put a policy or procedure in place to deal with severe criminal allegations or confessions which did not entail hiding the predator.

        And, I know I’m sick and tired of hearing excuse that “well, this is still God’s chosen organization, even though there are humans that fail within it and do things that aren’t godly”, so despite your “hurt feelings” come on back (for more?). Yes, well, that’s true–people do bad things, so you’ve acknowledged it, now get something in place to protect those innocents who are impacted by humans that abuse their power, privileges–something that counterbalances the natural political (socialization) “I got your six, buddy” of powerful individuals protecting and sheltering each other against the “little people”.

        Had to vent—

        Good job, Covert Fade.

  • December 8, 2015 at 6:26 am
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    Well written. Continue to keep your eyes on what the Watchtower is doing. I hope many are reading.

  • December 8, 2015 at 6:32 am
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    Glad to read this piece thank you Covert Fade. I knew an article would be coming soon as the findings were released over a week ago.

    These findings are particularly damning once one sees the videos or reads the transcripts. Every active witness should be aware of what’s happening but they are not and they WILL not be told by the organization.

    I enjoyed the description of Geoffrey Jackson’s testimony. Whereby it says that although he said he had empathy. The fact that he didn’t bother to read bcg’s file says otherwise. Also the dismissal of Dr. Applewhites “defense” of watchtower policies.

    This has got to sting all over for watchtower. The recent Portugal debacle doesn’t help their case either. The gb will be downfall of their own corporation. They are SO deluded that they feel untouchable. Besides “let the local witnesses set the matter straight”- David Splane in Portugal.

    That’s right witnesses! The gb can’t be bothered to set the matter straight so they leave it up to YOU the publisher. How fair is that?

    • December 8, 2015 at 7:10 am
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      Yep, Angus cuts Jackson to bits in the report, which will be the topic of the second of the three articles I’m doing on this subject. :)

      Also, I totally agree that the fine, wise men of the Governing Body are probably the best weapon that the exJW community could hope to have against the the cult. If these nincompoops had any self awareness they would have stayed behind the curtain, but now they are out in the spotlight, racking up gaff after gaff. So many recently exited JW’s, such as Daniel Genser, have mentioned the GB’s public lunacy as being a factor in their awakening.

  • December 8, 2015 at 6:37 am
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    WONDERFULLY DONE! I finally took the action of separating myself from all Jehovah’s Witness associates. None of them wanted to read the articles or watch the videos of the hearing. In doing so, they have blinded themselves to the truth about the organization and I can no longer take it. I am using my real name now and could care less if I am labeled an apostate. I can not believe the willingness of members to just automatically follow whatever the wbts says. It is a cult. I loved this article. All I can say Mr. Cedars is THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

    • December 8, 2015 at 6:57 am
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      Yes, it’s EXACTLY like someone stated in an earlier post: The GB and their followers ‘cover their eyes’ and then think no one else can see them. Foolish…

    • December 8, 2015 at 7:31 am
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      That is exactly how I feel. I have started using my real name for everything. Being a witness for over 30 years , there is one thing I learned from the Borg: to seek the truth and live the truth. So that is what I am doing, seeking and speaking the truth. I will scream it to the 4 winds, the truth about the Governing Body. I am not at all upset with the brothers, poor things, they are just under mind control. After reading Steve Hassan’s books, I can only feel pity for them. They are slaves of the Borg, so I cannot hold them accountable. That is why I refuse to discuss doctrine with them. They are blind. All I will continue to do is speak the truth. For the sake of those that are beginning to study with them or show any type of sympathy towards them. JW’s as individuals are for the most part very nice people, they are just unduly influenced by a mind controlling organization.

      • December 8, 2015 at 8:48 am
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        theres more to life than jws. start thinking again before life over.

    • December 8, 2015 at 10:37 am
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      did you actually try and get them to read the articles and see the videos? did they automatically stop talking to you after you tried to get them to wake the hell up?

  • December 8, 2015 at 7:02 am
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    This is an excellent piece of journalism and I congratulate Covert Fade for bringing out the facts of the Royal Submission. As I stated in the last post, I feel that donating to a religion that permits such wickedness is not giving the right message to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. We need to reduce our donations by 80%. They need to feel the economic woes when they do not handle things appropriately. A judicial fine is not enough. The reason for the fine is to force compliance with the laws. When we donate more, we are lessening the financial implications imposed by the judicial process. We are telling Watchtower that it is ok to do wickedness when we donate. That is not the message we want to give. We need the fine to be a negative reinforcement, not a positive one.

    • December 8, 2015 at 7:05 am
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      I tend to agree that the only things Watchtower seem to understand are legal threats and financial pain. That tells you a lot about Watchtower.

    • December 8, 2015 at 7:07 am
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      Excellent suggestion. It’s called ECONOMIC POWER!!

    • December 8, 2015 at 7:33 am
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      Who is donating at all to WTS? Not me.

      • December 8, 2015 at 7:37 am
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        Neither am I. I do think they need to at least eat some food.

      • December 8, 2015 at 7:40 am
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        Don’t think I ever have lol

        • December 8, 2015 at 7:50 am
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          My blasted husband still donates quite a lot out of out joint account much to my disapproval ! ruthlee

          • December 9, 2015 at 4:24 am
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            A few years ago I found out my Pioneer Crazy wife Took $40k from my bank account and “LOANED” it to the WT. I only found out when I saw a “THANK YOU” letter from them for the interest free loan!
            I immediately demanded it back from them and they did send it back but they said the check for legal reason it had to be in her name. Doc Obvious you said cut the donations by 80%? Why even give them anything? To help them pay for their lawsuits? Use the same reasoning the WT would say about giving to any charity.. They would say oh we don’t want to support “FALSE RELIGION” or give to the Red Cross or Salvation army bc we do not know how they will use the money and we would support false religion! So Stupid. So Don’t sup[port the WT and do not give hem any $$.

    • December 8, 2015 at 7:37 am
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      I was asked by the Elders at the Kingdom Hall the following question: Don’t you believe that the governing body is the Faithful and Discreet Slave class? They told us they were. Now, I have 132 pages of facts that they are not the Faithful and Discreet Slave. Part 11 of the Submission Report is a significant summary of all 77 Findings from Angus Stewart.

    • December 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm
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      I wouldn’t waste my spit on them if the GB were on fire. Donations?
      Hot lead !

    • December 9, 2015 at 7:38 am
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      @Holy Connoli. I agree with no money. However, these publishers need some direction on reduction. We have to remember, they are followers not leaders.

      • December 9, 2015 at 2:47 pm
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        Right around the the time of my awakening, I recall sitting at a special assembly day and hearing a bethel speaker just completey bash going to college. I said to myself, “Well since my income is totally based on my college education, my funds are tainted and you must not want them.” Haven’t donated a cent since that day. (Although I think my JW wife may still be quietly giving them a small amount of funds and not saying anything to me about it)

        WS

  • December 8, 2015 at 7:05 am
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    Jehovah’s Witnesses: WAKE UP! What if your Doctor told you that he had some bad news for you? Would you say, “I don’t want to hear it”, then walk away??

  • December 8, 2015 at 7:18 am
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    This should be made easily accessible to people everywhere in Africa.

  • December 8, 2015 at 7:35 am
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    Thanks CF for this. I hope it reaches further than Australian news. Here in Canada it made hardly a ripple, although a publisher did quietly ask me about it.

    • December 8, 2015 at 10:50 am
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      When I first found out about the ARC and mentioned it to my in-laws, they went into total denial and refused to believe it.

      When I mentioned that the WTS gave them the 1006 cases after being subpoenaed, they still did not believe it. All lies.

      That is what you are dealing with. It is very sad. Intelligent very nice people who actually go out of their way really helping physically other people but live with the horse blinders on. They have chosen the Blue pill.

      I have chosen the Red pill, but unfortunately cannot swallow it. I just plug along keeping everyone happy.

      • December 9, 2015 at 9:05 pm
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        @ deep,

        The shakels and chains are tight, sad to say.

        Keep hope alive!

        Let’s see what surprises 2016 has for Watchtower Corporation. More lawsuits, fire sales of RE, reductions, who knows and who cares.

        JWSurvey = “Unity in Freedom for Truth”

        Peace out,

    • December 8, 2015 at 12:54 pm
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      Hi Tara, as always i enjoyed your comments, greeting from Canada

      • December 8, 2015 at 5:05 pm
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        Hey findme – I’m here in Canada :) Nice to find another Canuck :)

  • December 8, 2015 at 7:40 am
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    @ Baby

    lol No, I seriously doubt the GB, overseers, and elders have any idea what the future holds…

  • December 8, 2015 at 7:43 am
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    Excellent summary Covert Fade. The WBTS seems to have almost totally forgotten in the submission what they were directly advised by one of the commissioner’s:

    “But the starting point is to identify where you or your client accepts the problems are – and some of those are blatantly obvious from the words, not according to the practice, and then, moving on from there, what steps your client might take to bring its processes and its documentation up to an appropriate position.”

    They will be appearing again to explain their response, or, as seems most likely, lack of it. Disgraceful really in comparison to even other religions who have begun the process of trying to protect children better than they have done in the past.

    • December 9, 2015 at 8:15 am
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      I know, their counter submission is a joke. I’m going to need so much popcorn once they get called back before the ARC…. :D

  • December 8, 2015 at 7:44 am
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    @ Baby

    Re: ‘Apostates always lie. Even when they tell the truth for a moment…’ — WOW, u seem to have it all figured out!

  • December 8, 2015 at 7:46 am
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    WOW!!! So many victims and it took so many years for the Watchtower to be outed for their injustice and cruelty.

  • December 8, 2015 at 8:12 am
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    As always another fine article of the continued policy blunders and cover-ups of the seven mental midgets calling themselves “the faithful and discrete slave”.

    Has anyone noticed, besides myself, that these problems (child abuse, financial woes, lack of increase and corporate downsizing) have been highlighted since the uncovering of the Watchtowers involvement with the United Nations (scarlet colored wild beast) as a NGO? How does one recognize false religion, namely “Babylon the Great”, except by finding out who are the religious organizations supporting (riding)U.N.?

    Firstly, this cult does not believe its own doctrine.
    Secondly, this cult defames the name of the very God whom they profess to have loyalty to.

    Really then, these seven mental dwarfs at the world H.Q. are, in fact, the UNFAITHFUL and INDISCREET slave (read “wicked slave class”). Verily, “their chickens have truly come home to roost”!

    • December 8, 2015 at 8:23 am
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      Ironic that the Watchtower Society is considered an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), since they truly have their own internal Government. Anyone remember, during the Aussie Royal Commission, Geoffrey Jackson raising his bible and proudly asserting, “This is OUR Constitution!”?

      • December 8, 2015 at 10:08 am
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        That just sent an horrific chill down my spine, because that sort of defiant ‘tude is exactly the same thing we saw out of the Branch Davidian leaders and those fundamental Latter-Saints movement groups that eventually had violent confrontations with the legal authorities in the States.

        • December 8, 2015 at 4:18 pm
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          @JBob…it is terrible to think about but the JW’s are programmed to follow the GB without question…who knows how far that kind of indoctrination could go

          “We need to obey the faithful and discreet slave to have Jehovah’s approval.” Watchtower 2011 Jul 15 p.24 Simplified English Edition

      • December 9, 2015 at 9:21 pm
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        @ G.Jackson (GB) limited education – 8th grade level.

        The word You used ‘constitution’, this means;
        The way in which a thing is composed or made up; makeup; composition: the chemical constitution of the cleanser.

        JWSurvey, is user friendly and to all levels of education. Not a simplified version of your Sunday worship program.

        JWSurvey = “Unity in Freedom for Truth”

        Peace out,

    • December 8, 2015 at 10:59 am
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      I believe it wasn’t the NGO affair. Most JW’s are unaware of that.

      What I believe has happened is two things.

      1. The JW’s live for End of the World dates, and December 12, 2012 on the Mayan Calendar was the final date for many. There just are no new dates that they can get anyone excited about.

      2. The Internet has demystified everything. It is so easy to check up on anything to see if is true or not.

      It is only the very young or very old that are getting baptized today. Not enough to sustain continual growth.

      • December 9, 2015 at 9:35 am
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        I actually believe it was several things. But this new teaching of an overlapping Generation may have been the tipping point . An overlapping Generation would not make any sense. Especially if one believes that Jesus illustrations are simple, and if he use the word generations with his follows in the bible, there is NO way they would have thought he was a referring to an overlapping Generation in the end times.

      • December 10, 2015 at 4:54 am
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        @deep thinker. Yes it is only the very young getting baptized or th very old. Most of the very young will leave the JW as they mature and more than 1/2 will be DF’d by the timer they are 20 years old and the very old do not have much time left to live. They are recruiting in 3rd World countries bc the people there are not normally educated enough or have the internet to do their own research and make a intelligent decision and see what the “truth about the truth” is! I think the year 2016 will be very revealing for the JW’s and the WT. I hope the Good people of the JW’s wake up as to the enslavement they are in.

  • December 8, 2015 at 8:12 am
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    Wow! WOW! Covert Fade what I loved about this is how it sticks to the facts and anyone can read it objectively. I will be sharing this with many active JW’s who have hit that first level of “Wtf is going on?”. This was so clearly and easily written. Thank you!
    *cheers*

  • December 8, 2015 at 8:24 am
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    Thus the old saying, “What comes around, goes around.”
    The GB and WTS are reaping what they have sown for so long. They cannot hide in the age of information and education, their worst enemies.

  • December 8, 2015 at 8:26 am
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    One other thing I’d like to say:

    I understand that there may be some active JW’s or defenders of Watchtower who may wish to post in the comments here and challenge these findings. Obviously, the final decision as to whether a comment infringes guidelines and gets removed is Lloyd’s, and I will support any action he takes.

    Speaking for myself only, if you wish to dispute these findings, I am happy to engage with you if you:

    A:) keep a civil tone.
    B:) back up your arguments with evidence.

    Simply stating “these are all lies” has no credibility as Geoffrey Jackson, your own Governing Body member, admitted under oath, as recorded in transcript and video, has stated that the basic facts reported upon here are not lies. That is; the facts of the case as regards Watchtower policy, and the facts of the case as regards the 1006 abusers.

    You are free to debate with me as to whether WT policies are harmful or not, or to debate scriptural interpretation. I will engage in good faith, keep my tone civil and respectful, and assume good motives on your part.

    But to deny that these policies exist as stated, and that 1006 abusers were not reported, even in the face of Jackson’s explicit endorsement of these facts, removes your credibility, and I will not engage with you.

    Over to you :)

    • December 8, 2015 at 9:34 am
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      Maybe it’s time to overturn the money boxes (contribution), and drive all the jw.org paraphernalia out of k.halls before the Romans (government ) comes and takes it all away.. (taxes/ligation ).

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:29 pm
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      @ JW Defenders, or challengers of these findings.

      You must take it one step further.

      You Must See the ARC – JWs testimony in its entirety, have Your facts in order. Then rise the challenge.

      JWSurvey = “Unity in Freedom for Truth”

      Peace out

  • December 8, 2015 at 9:06 am
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    But how can a Witnesses even feel good debating the fact and defending Jeffrey, when he himself said it would be presumptuous for the GB to say it is God’s only spokes person on earth! Personally that statement in and of itself should wake people up! Finally the GB has tried tempered this child abuse exposure by getting out in front and stating on a broadcast this is all lies. Finally what really blows me away about the whole thing is if one is truly a Christian and read the bible, even God’s own chosen people did disgusting things such as offering their children up as sacrifices. So instead of trying to hide bad things, the Org should work to correct them that would be much more noble. NO organization is perfect.

  • December 8, 2015 at 9:44 am
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    Great article! For so long the Watchtower has been carrying on in such a reckless and destructive manner with the attitude that they have “Theocratic Immunity”. Well the house of cards is starting to crumble…good on them.

  • December 8, 2015 at 9:57 am
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    Thank you for posting this, and for taking the time to research and review the ARC documents. Very much appreciated. Articles such as these are what make JWSurvey, JWFacts, and the other ex-JW websites and YouTube channels invaluable. Keep exposing the WT corporation fronted by the religious cult name of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Much love from Southern California.

  • December 8, 2015 at 10:38 am
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    Fantastic win for the movement, congrats to all involved. Now it is the job of everyone reading these findings to spread them everywhere they can. Time to start contacting the local media and convince them to cover this story.

  • December 8, 2015 at 11:05 am
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    Please do so. Maybe some more JW’s will wake up because of this. I have realised that i am not upto the task of helping my cousin. The last 1 Year i tried my best but to no avail. It is time i step back. Dealing with a cult member has to be one of the most difficult things i have ever done. It is like ramming your head against a brick wall. Thanks to cedars, robert67, caroline,dee ,jb reezner. You guys are really great. As for me, time to forget about JW . Hopefully my cousin may have some doubts and stumble upon this site.

  • December 8, 2015 at 11:17 am
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    As the GB “dumb down” everything, the average Witness just gets dumber and dumber. Lowered expectations…
    The Watchtower is desperately trying to expand the ranks of its soldiery, while the quality of the individual soldier is exponentially deteriorating.

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:39 pm
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      @ G.Jackson (GB) limited education – 8th grade level.

      The word used by a4, “dumb down”, this means;
      Lacking Intelligence or good judgment; stupid; dull-witted.
      Lacking the power of speech – often offensive when applied to humans: a dumb animal.

      JWSurvey, is user friendly and to all levels of education. We are not a simplified version of your Sunday worship program.

      JWSurvey = ” Guardians-of-Scripture ”

      Peace out,

  • December 8, 2015 at 11:36 am
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    So I recently dug up some Sacred Scrolls in the Holy Land. They say that we should all do the Will of Mickey Mouse, and that Donald Duck is the Devil. They tell of a Great Man who walked on water, named Walt Disney. Also, there are rules, like if someone commits a heinous act, it cannot be revealed unless there were 273 witnesses. Hey, if somebody 2 or 3 thousand years ago went to all the trouble to write this stuff down, it MUST be TRUE, RIGHT??!
    P.S. How easy it is to start a new religion!! Just 60 years ago, L. Ron Hubbard, a SCIENCE FICTION NOVELIST, started HIS own religion. I can imagine 2000 years from now, there may be millions or billions of followers, every one claiming that it is God’s Own truth!

    • December 9, 2015 at 2:26 am
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      Well done TJ Curioso. Let’s hope many read it.

  • December 8, 2015 at 1:19 pm
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    I had to share my experience today. I shared this article with a family member who is having issues with the elders. They were shocked by the investigation – but I started to laugh and then wanted to slam my head against my desk when I read the following text.
    “This is horrible! Do you think some apostate has worked their way to the top and is promoting these harmful policies?”
    ^ I never realized how deep indoctrination can make a person fit a square into a circle with thinking like that. It is obvious to us what is going on – and even when faced with hard cold facts – that family member found a way to spin it and protect the organization and the GB. arrgh!

    • December 8, 2015 at 1:23 pm
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      Wow!
      Well, the good news is they’ve acknowledge the problem. The next article will reference the fact that Jackson confirmed all the policies were official and from the Governing Body, so if they’re looking for apostates, there are 7 of them…

      • December 8, 2015 at 2:04 pm
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        Covert Fade I also wanted to thank you for engaging in the comments section as well. It’s awesome.

        And you are correct – it is a good sign this family member was willing to read this article. I think we live in an amazing time where information is readily available. And the Gov Body is truly shooting themselves in the foot everytime they appear in public. It truly feels like they are taking the magic and charm out of “A perfect organization.”

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:55 pm
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      @ PR,

      Keep your head up, and keep hope alive.

      Covert, quoted the scripture of Deut. 19:15, right?
      Share your family and friends a few verses before at 18:20, “however, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name (god) a word that I have Not commanded him to speak that prophet must die”.

      Watchtower Corporation loves to pick and choose scriptures for there benefit – not yours.

      Maybe one day sooner than later, many will awaken to the truth.

      JWSurvey = ” Unity in Freedom for Truth ”

      Peace out,

  • December 8, 2015 at 1:23 pm
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    Wonderful article and thank you so much! I’ve been waiting with bated breath for this. The Royal Commission is fantastic and did a superb job. Does anyone know what happens next with this issue?

    • December 8, 2015 at 2:05 pm
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      Next stage in the process is for the ARC to finalise this report. Watchtower have challenged almost every point, but their rebuttal on the website is long on words, doublespeak and emotional manipulation, and very sort on the sort of arguments that would actually sway the ARC.

      After that, sometime in the next 24 months another public hearing will take place where the cult is summoned back before the ARC and will be publicly asked what it has done to fix the problem…
      …that should be fun.

      Lastly, the Royal Commission will deliver a final report to the government in two years. It’s highly expected to press hard for statutory financial compensation for victims, and can actually make any other recommendations it thinks are needed, including the passing of new laws. Expect Watchtower Australia to take a serious financial hit on that, and possibly face laws that make reporting mandatory.

      Oh, and I won’t spoil it too much because I’m hoping to cover it in the final article but…if you read the report in full, you might notice direct mention of Vince Toole, Watchtowers Senior Lawyer who used infamously used “theocratic warfare” on the “theocratic warfare question put to him by the ARC.

      Tool’s future in law looks a little…uncertain. :D

      • December 8, 2015 at 2:31 pm
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        I hope Australia outlaws the shunning practice. Then, life could be interesting in the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. This whole investigation clearly blew up in Watchtower’s face. The ARC web site is chock full of documentation. The United States judicial system needs to take notes on how it is really done.

        • December 8, 2015 at 4:13 pm
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          Hey, don’t be too hard on the USA. After all, the U.S. and the other Western “Powers” are busy fighting the Grand and Glorious “War on Terror”, leaving folks like us to do the gruntwork of taking on much less “glamorous” terrorists like WT. (Too bad WE don’t get to use drones) ;) Gotta hand it to the Aussies though. At least someone is “pulling their weight”. I guess that Outback heritage makes a person TOUGH.

          • December 9, 2015 at 5:46 am
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            Gotta be the convict heritage I think.

        • December 9, 2015 at 7:26 am
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          I’m wary of any law that would outlaw shunning.

          At the end of the day, as repellent as I find the practice, the Government cannot enforce a president that FORCES you to hang out with people you don’t want to. That way lies something even scarier than Watchtower.

          I think the way to defeat this policy is simply to throw the spotlight on it until it becomes so socially unacceptable that WT backs down, or becomes so unable to recruit new members that they die out.

          I do, however, think that a religion that teaches shunning should not qualify for charitable status, and that it should be a factor in greatly increasing any payouts to victims of abuse who end up trapped with their abuser because of the doctrine.

          • December 9, 2015 at 8:55 am
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            If the use of shunning as applied by the JW were enforced, say upon Muslims – I have friends who are Muslim btw…. because of the bad publicity surrounding them… there would be a public outcry. I say JW.Borg should be named and shamed for this practice. Along with the abuse of course. People don’t get it that, that nice couple on their door, who appear harmless, if not annoying, could be ruining someones life because of this vile act.

          • December 10, 2015 at 9:18 am
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            You are correct. You cannot outlaw shunning, but you can outlaw “sharia” law or should I say religious law.
            How that would work I am unsure.
            The more effective way is to have them not as Charity anymore – since they don’t really do any Charity work.

      • December 8, 2015 at 2:40 pm
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        Thank you so much! You’ve made my day, my year, in fact. I’m so happy about this. I also read where the less than bright Dr. Applewhite’s testimony was rejected. Glad to see that, as she had no clue what she was talking about. I’ll be watching closely and I can’t wait to see the final outcome. I feel like I’ve just won the lottery! Thanks again, Covert.

        • December 11, 2015 at 3:44 am
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          The ARC report on Applewhite gives us one little bit of extra info that I didn’t have time to include: She apparently was invited to re-submit her findings to the ARC once she’d modified them to be suitable.

          She declined.

          Apparently she was “too busy.”

          I don’t think she’s going to appear on behalf of Watchtower again…

      • December 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm
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        Very encouraging. I just wish the time period was 24 days or 24 weeks rather than 24 months. I have 6 nieces and nephews who are currently being brainwashed to take up “pioneer service” after they leave high school. This has been going on since their pre-teens. It disgusts me. So I would LOVE to see WT pull a “Titanic” and sink to the BOTTOM OF THE SEA! Never too soon for me!! In any case, the clock IS ticking for WT. Tick…tock…tick…tock…tick…tock…Can you smell the fear?

      • December 8, 2015 at 5:13 pm
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        Yes I read that bit about Toole – what a tool indeed lol. Right spanner in the works is that one but the ARC will wrench him out of it. and back to the eggnog and rum for me :)

  • December 8, 2015 at 3:36 pm
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    I find it stunning that the Watchtower Society has contested just about every single one of Angus Stewart’s findings. I don’t know why I am so surprised, but what it shows is that even after the ARC dismantling their policies, and having had a further four months to consider everything, they still remain entrenched in their unscriptural, unloving, god-forsaken position. No repentance, no contrition, no apology, no change.

    And did anybody pick up this little gem from the August 2015 Watchtower, page 32 – Geoffrey Jackson’s life story? The very month that he was sitting in front of the ARC, after his minions had gone to great lengths to keep him out of the dock because his work is “only with regard to the translation of matters”, he states in his life story: “I can no longer serve as a translator.” Although he goes on to say “I thank Jehovah that he allows me to continue supporting the worldwide translation work” – this just illustrates that his role if far greater than just translation – as if we didn’t know that already. But I just can’t believe the barefaced cheek of them using that as an excuse when the Watchtower that very month contradicted their testimony.

    I really hope they get criminal charges laid against them, I think this is the only way to break through and hopefully wake more people up. And I really hope this sets a precedent for other nations to follow. As I watched that commission here in Australia, I found myself for the first feeling proud to be an Australian, but ashamed to be a JW (which I no longer am.) In the end, Angus Stewart was a more Christlike man than any of them – he left with his integrity and dignity in tact (along with Jutsice McLellan), which is more than I can say for any of those “shepherds.”

    • December 9, 2015 at 7:22 am
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      The catch 22 for Watchtower is: If they apologise, they publicly admit that Lett and Morris were lying to the Rank and File. The size of the club that “apostates” would have to hit them with would be huge, and they would without doubt loose members as a result.

      But if they DON’T apologise, the ARC will crucify them. It’s possible that it could even factor into the size of the payouts they are required to give should a national scheme be implemented.

      I’m really curious as to which way the cult will go on this, coz either choice is going to shred them to the bone.

    • December 9, 2015 at 8:37 am
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      Umm if criminal charges stick and they all went to prison it would be history regurgitating itself like way back . They were made out as heroes for their faith blah blah.and then revamped the org. Too bad they didn’t go to heaven in their little row boat the, would have saved us 100 years of crap! ruthless/ruthlee

      • December 9, 2015 at 9:43 am
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        I think going to prison for charges of covering up child abuse would be a very different kettle of PR fish to going for prison for the charge of conscientious objection or religious freedom.

        Note: I don’t think we’ll see that as a result of the ARC, but any elders who DO end up going down for this, now or in the future, are going to be WAY less happy about announcing to the prison population as to why they’re locked up!

        Additionally the WT PR machine probably won’t try to gather a publicity storm the way they do when JW’s are (wrongly and indefensibly) locked up for genuine issues of religious freedom.

        I mean, can you imagine the JW.org press release?

        “Six brothers in the United States are still in prison for not informing the authorities of a child abuser in their congregation. We call upon the United States to recognise their freedom to ignore child rape, and force the survivor to live side by side with her attacker, and release their brave brothers at once.”

        That AIN’T gonna happen.

  • December 8, 2015 at 3:44 pm
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    I grew up as a Witness, was sexually assaulted by a fellow Witness at the age of 10 and nothing was done about it other than the family trying to say it never had happened. I lived my life until I ran away from home at 17 when my parents disowned me and I was disfellowshipped watching this man get further and further up the ranks of our congregation. There was so much hypocrisy within the organization yet because I wanted to leave it I was viewed as evil and to the day of my parents deaths they held resentment and shame towards me simply because I wouldn’t believe in their version of God and live in a cult. I struggle to this day with feelings of guilt, shame, fear, and remorse due to having been brought up as a Witness and I think it is the most awful thing you could do to another human being.

    • December 8, 2015 at 6:12 pm
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      If you had your chance would you report it Beks? I am so very sorry for your suffering. Believe me when I say I have empathy with you.

    • December 9, 2015 at 6:06 am
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      You bet Becs. Your story sadly is so common from what I have seen of JW child abuse victims. Brainwashed parents ditching their kids. Elders making the victims look guilty of sinning somehow. You tell me, how can a child come to the conclusion that they will have sex with an adult? It is impossible. The emotional trauma of having gone through this must be too much to bear at times.

      And to top it all off is that your parents chose the Watchtower over your precious soul. May God forgive them for their very bad judgement. Remember God says that vengeance is mine. I will repay. He will. Believe that. My heart goes out to you for all that you have suffered.

      Jesus talked about the false shepherds who run away when threatened, but the good shepherd will lay down His life for His sheep. Jesus cares for His sheep and loves them, especially those who have been mistreated and knocked about. He loves you. Glad you found this site.

    • December 9, 2015 at 7:20 am
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      Beks, I am so sorry to hear of the pain you have suffered as a result of Watchtower actions and indoctrination. There is no excuse for the actions of your attacker, and no excuse for the actions of those who shielded him. Please know that we are here for you. Have you sought out professional help to address these lingering feelings? Many exJW’s (including many here) have found such help invaluable, and in circumstances such as yours, as an abuse survivor, it might be an even more powerful tool to aid in your recovery.

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:10 pm
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      I’m so sorry to hear your story Beks. Unfortunately it sounds exactly like so many sexual cases that happen in the Kingdom Hall. I hope the people that abused you are punished and I hope that you can forgive your parents. How and why this cult can get parents to turn against their own children is simply incredible. If governments could immediately get the Watchtower to stop doing that one thing, so much grief would be saved.

  • December 8, 2015 at 4:46 pm
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    Definition of Theocratic Warfare: Lying about “The Truth”

  • December 8, 2015 at 5:01 pm
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    Bottom line however is that the GB are getting by with all of it. Where is the revocation of their charity status? Where are the class action suits? Why haven’t they lost their non-profit status in America? Why isn’t this all up front center news like the recent shooting by Muslims in California?

    In the end, the Watchtower has gotten by with it all…..
    ………..or ???

    • December 8, 2015 at 9:28 pm
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      Many people are asking the same questions…

      • December 9, 2015 at 7:59 am
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        Keep in mind that the ARC process isn’t over. You’re conflating a lot of separate issues into one post there, and to be realistic these things always take time.

        No-one was ever going to flip a switch and “pop,” not more Watchtower.

        But If you look at what’s happened over the last five years, we’ve seen a whole litany of victories agains the cult we never thought would happen: The ARC, multiple lawsuits going public, multiple news reports, the cult coming more into the public spotlight for it’s worst excesses, the GB making idiots of themselves in public, the WT clearly having financial problems, shutting branches, dropping Bethelites.

        And this year, the growth has pretty much stopped.

        I don’t think that this religion will ever fully vanish, but I do think that within our lifetimes (and maybe with a couple of decades) it will be little more than an obscure fringe group with a few thousand members, just the way it started off when Russell was pulling the strings and measuring pyramids.

  • December 8, 2015 at 5:27 pm
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    @ Beaks,
    Hang in there. You have no reason to feel guilty .You are at the right place and time to get assistance from the fine foke’s on this site. I left the org last year and still have family in. No lie, it has not been easy but you will receive true comfort here. Take care.

    And by the way great article CF.

  • December 8, 2015 at 5:52 pm
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    I thought you might like to know, a family member of mine is in Terry O’Brien’s congregation. Apparently he has been as sick as a dog these past few months, and his wife has had shingles. He has a knee operation recently, which no doubt contributed, but my family member mentioned that they had both looked “very stressed” this year. I’m not surprised given that he was caught out deliberately misleading the court. I wonder if cognitive dissonance is setting in? One can only hope so.

    I want to say for the record that I have met Terry twice and he is a genuinely warm and caring person. It saddened me to see him respond the way he did to the ARC, but also demonstrates the conflict of loyalty such men are suddenly confronted with in these situations. At the end of the day, he is captive too. Unfortunately, history has shown time and time again that good people do bad things when they are held captive to a false belief system and being controlled by an elite ruling class which cannot be contradicted or challenged. History has also shown that the defence “I was only following orders” is not good enough.

    I would rather have questions that I cannot answer, than answers that I cannot question.

    • December 8, 2015 at 6:06 pm
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      “I would rather have questions that I cannot answer, than answers that I cannot question.”

      Brilliant Eric. Ill remember that saying.

    • December 8, 2015 at 6:06 pm
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      I don’t know how to reply to this one. Part of me says ‘well he brought it on himself’, but the part of me that knows the way the Borg. manipulates people has me wanting to show pity for him and his wife. It’s like having a dog that bites you and when you go to chastise it, it wags it’s tail feebly and shows you those doggy eyes. The question is, where do you draw the line. I felt total contempt for the man as I watched him on the ARC. but I guess he is as much a duped slave to the Borg. as any one of us is or has been. Karma is a bitch isn’t she.

      • December 8, 2015 at 9:35 pm
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        You just answered your own dilemma. It becomes simply a question of “drawing the line”. After all, you may feel sorry for that dog, but YOU are the one who got bitten!

        • December 8, 2015 at 9:57 pm
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          Don’t forget he placed pedophiles over children, no pity for a pedo enabler. They should all face lawsuits along with the watchtower, none of this “I was just following the gb’s orders” excuses. Children’s were abused, lives were destroyed, monsters were protected.

          • December 8, 2015 at 10:57 pm
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            You are both totally right. I am a gentle soul at heart but children come before tired old men with sore knees.

          • December 9, 2015 at 5:55 am
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            I couldn’t agree more Robert67, the message just isn’t getting through to the top. I wonder if the GB would be prepared to go to prison for their “faith” like all the followers they have sent to prison for obeying their direction, like those in South Korea right now, and many more over the past 100 years. Apparently we, including the ARC, are all apostate liars according to Lett, so these men who fronted up to the ARC (including Jackson) shouldn’t have any problem accepting their sentence if they get convicted. Either that or they may finally make the necessary changes (because that is what it really takes to bring about change in this organisation.)

    • December 9, 2015 at 2:03 am
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      We mustn’t forget that there are many many dear sincere brothers serving as elders and honestly believing that they should follow orders.

      Not everyone is clever with words or able to manage the intensity of being in court- it’s a very intimidating place to be for even the most switched on and articulate of people. The questions can catch you out and it is very easy to slip up even if ‘schooled’ ahead of the hearing.

      I am sure Terry Obrien and his family have been shaken by the whole thing and are suffering.

      Geoffry Jackson however had the benefit of not actually being present other than by video link- who knows who was in the background helping him out.

      For those of who are fading/ faded/ left -we must remember the kindness and sincerety of so many brothers and who find them selves totally out of their depth. And then in trouble and open to criticism.

      Throughout my nearly 60 years and being in 8 congregations before fading I can think of so many elders who were kind, sincere and did their best.

      They have been ‘skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd’

      • December 9, 2015 at 3:58 am
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        @Sister drifter UK, I see so many wonderful and giving brothers and sisters and elders who would die for me and my family too and it kills me that they are being led along by a bunch of skilled religious schemers in New York just to extend their real estate empire and there is no way that I can open my mouth to warn them because they are so brainwashed by the Society.

        It just kills me.

      • December 9, 2015 at 4:46 am
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        @ Sister drifter. I was a Elder for over 12 of my 20 plus years as JW.I did sincerely try to help my bros and sisters back then. I know many would come to me and said I was very approachable and they felt they could tell me their issues. Sometimes that caused and overwhelming amount of time spent trying to help but I did the very best I could out of love for them. On the other side there were many many elders I served with who were almost like DICTATORS AND YES MEN WHO WOULD TREAT PUBLISHERS VERY RUDE OR BAD.
        Most Elders are yes men and trained not to think for themselves and become COMPANY men for the BORG. If an Elder gets sued for WT policy the WT will not provide legal aid. You are on your own.
        THE WT is a JOKE and cruel.

    • December 9, 2015 at 7:15 am
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      It’s a difficult issue isn’t it.

      I find myself somewhat conflicted on the issue of the extent to which senior Watchtower men like O’Brian, Toole and Spinks should be held accountable for their actions. On the one hand it is true that most witnesses are, at heart, kind people with genuine motives, victims of a cult rather than cackling perpetrators of evil. One of the reasons I reject “Aggressive Activism” is that it unleashes rage and suffering upon the victims of the cult and not the perpetrators of that suffering.

      On the other hand, the higher up the Watchtower food chain one goes, the less of a defence one has. A rank and file publisher genuinely had no idea about some of the awful things Watchtower practices, and no clue as to the extent of the hypocrisy and double standards in areas such as finance, child abuse, the UN and so forth. The only see the cult as defined through the lens of the propaganda it spews.

      Someone like Senior Legal Council or Branch Chairman however, comes face to face with these issues on a regular basis and by definition has to collude or turn a blind eye if they wish to retain their position, even in the face of the suffering and trauma such an action will cause. I do not doubt O’Brian’s genuine motives, but when a man has full possession of the facts nonetheless lies to the ARC (as he clearly did) over an issue where the stakes are so high (potentially an abuse survivor taking their own life due to the policies of the cult) , I cannot excuse his behaviour on the grounds of motives alone.

      It looks like he will escape legal sanction over his obvious purgery, but were a custodial sentence to be given to O’Brian, Toole and Spinks for their clear deceit during the ARC hearings, I would not contest it.

    • December 9, 2015 at 7:19 am
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      Hi Eric,
      You make some valued points that the elders are warm and loving people. Yes, they may have good intentions or ruthless evil intentions at heart. We all are human and have both of these characteristics within us. The problem here is RESPONSIBILITY for one’s actions. There is a lack of responsibility, no matter what the intentions are. Let’s say if I were to commit a murder (of course I would hope I wouldn’t), I could feel remorse and ask the family for forgiveness; but I know I would still need to take responsibility and pay for the crime with my freedom. This is completely missed by the GB and WTS leadership. They see themselves set above and apart from the rest of human society. Forgiveness in their mind is enough and two witness rules are law to them. Unfortunately, that does nothing for deterrence of future pedophile criminals. The WTS takes NO responsibility in anything that makes them look bad. The leaders ignore their own dogma of justice when it comes to themselves by rationalizing from of the bible. This to me is even more disgusting than a criminal that begs for forgiveness after being caught. These people need to face their crimes with the same humility that they tend to show all their parishioners. This is the heart of the problem. They feel they are above the law, because they have super ceded the law. Now, the ‘chicken has come to roost’ so to say. They are now FORCED to face the ugly truth now, and it hurts.

      • December 9, 2015 at 8:06 am
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        I think your point that Watchtower demands total authority, but accepts no responsibility, is a very salient and damning one. Jackson was the very epitome of that in his ARC testimony. He sits at the top, but nothing was “his field.”

        • December 9, 2015 at 9:55 pm
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          I know I have said something similar before, but I reiterate that nearly everyone in the organization is a victim of cult mind control, likely most of the members of the GB too. I am not defending their actions, but likely they also suffer from their own cognitive dissonance.

          The system itself is self perpetuating in this type of behavior. Most of the GB today were not serving in this capacity back when these rules were made and these wicked acts were perpetrated. But because they are deluded into thinking they have been passed the torch of divine direction, they continue to defend and perpetuate these abhorrent policies. That’s why this system continues: it’s bigger than any one person or a few people.

          If the 7 GB members all disappeared tomorrow, there would be 7 more waiting to take their place and continue their traditions. The only way it can be stopped is if the entire system implodes on itself, very similar to the way communism in Russia and Eastern Europe imploded. Maybe these current issues can help topple it.

          WS

          • December 10, 2015 at 6:35 am
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            We can only hope for sake of those in it.

  • December 8, 2015 at 6:03 pm
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    I note that the WT will face punitive financial measures and long overdue as many others have already said. Yet they are crying for money. My understanding is that at Warwick or Wallkill they have built on a toxic dump, anyone know if it has been cleaned up at all? If it hasn’t been cleaned up, then occupation would be hazardous, which makes little sense (they haven’t shown much sense for sometime now) but the building continues?
    Just a few good tid bits, the strong rumour is that the WT is selling the Australian Bethel property and no longer keeping a branch in Australia????, supposedly happening 2016, but I have no more details than that. If that is true, and I haven’t been able to confirm that, then will they cry poverty and and have no money and no assets to pay anyone. WT so far has shown its major propensity is to fight (legally) on every front. I have no doubt that asset protection is way ahead of sex abuse compensation on the priority scale. I am of a mind to think that since the Bible doesn’t mention child sex abuse the WT figures it is not their problem
    The WT has also been setting up some sort of Company/Corporation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as some sort of holding company- speculation being that Aust KH titles may be transferred to some obscure Company Incorporated there with no links to WT and therefore possibly out of reach by the ARC/Govt if the WT defaults on any proposed compensation package to victims of child abuse.
    Malaysia is not WT friendly so the move definitely seems to be strategic and not much info has emerged yet. The last piece I can confirm because I have seen the letter, the WT in Australia wants to know if the BOE’s know of any qualified barristers, solicitors, chartered accountants or CP accountants who are in good standing, married, whether they have children or not and could the BOE’s quietly notify the Branch without revealing this to the congregations at large. Accountants??? Sounds like help in needing money transferred to tax havens.
    Lawyers sound like they are wanting to fight (someone or something) possibly the ARC and its delivered findings as to what the WT has done to help child victims. They certainly are fighting on a lot of fronts and I notice that 3 other Brooklyn properties have been put on the market. Where is all the money going? They have looted the KH funds. How much do they need?
    Reply

    • December 8, 2015 at 6:12 pm
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      Thanks for all that information “Enuffsenuff”.
      All good stuff…I was rather hoping for a wooden stake, soaked in Holy Water driven into their cold hearts however.

      I think you are right. They are definitely on the ropes.
      Reminds me of the Nazis in the final days. “Grab assets and run”…..The Watchtower is looking for its legalistic “South America” where it can hide out in financial shelters…but I think they are more like cockroaches running around in a shoe box looking for shadow and shelter…….

      • December 8, 2015 at 9:55 pm
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        “New Light” is shining forth and the cockroaches are scurrying wildly to their corners. Too bad they are running out of places to hide.

        • December 8, 2015 at 9:58 pm
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          When the grass is cut the snakes will show.

          • December 8, 2015 at 10:11 pm
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            Hmmmmm. Wonder if there’s any Agent Orange left over?

    • December 8, 2015 at 6:53 pm
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      Yes! It’s confirmed that watchtower has put all of its remaining portfolio of properties up for bid. This was on Google news in my inbox yesterday. There are into negotiations with a real estate consortium.. There are selling out lock, stock and barrel and heading out of dodgecity..Heading to toxic Warwick boot hill. Lol
      Nd

      • December 9, 2015 at 9:59 pm
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        “Toxic Warwick” seems a fitting place for them to set up.

        WS

      • December 9, 2015 at 10:14 pm
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        My understanding is when a newly built Kingdom Hall or Watchtower building, or assembly Hall. These buildings are dedicated to – you know who (god).

        They no longer belong to WT Corporation, right? Recently there was a WT clarification on this. They belong to god.
        Everyone’s on board?

        Then, how can WT Corporation sell god’s real estate when his signature (gods,) is no where to be found.

        Is this not forgery?

        I’m I the only one seeing this, or is it the bad mota.

        Need clarification, are these properties been stolen from God?

        Peace out,

    • December 8, 2015 at 7:50 pm
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      Sure enough, a news item went up on jw.org two days ago, in the news section. It is basically a Real Estate Ad masquerading as a news item.

      I would love to see that letter to the Elder bodies also. If these rumours are true, not only is it the height of hypocrisy and shows that they are more interested in protecting their assets and brand than anything else, but also another example of them utilising the very skills of qualified people they condemn for having obtained higher education!

      I read this outstanding article online recently. I would highly recommend it:

      http://thinkingwitnesses.org/organisation-sponsored-my-higher-education/

      • December 9, 2015 at 1:30 am
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        Absolutely nothing new for the organization to do something like
        1) ask/ demand money
        2) ask for lawyers

        The letter that was sent in the U.S. maybe a year ago even came with a disclaimer! “This does not mean we are encouraging a higher education to become lawyers”.

        When there were (and still are)dozens of lawsuits down the pipeline that letter was sent to all congregations. This is a DISASTER for the org and they can’t keep a lid on it no matter how hard they try. The U.S., Australia, Portugal and the U.K. same scandal. Brazil is going to be another tragedy for them because of the Portuguese documentary.

        We are seeing the signs of an organization in panick mode. One that has ZERO faith in what its selling. Self preservation first. Screw everyone else. Including children! Disgusting filthy vile men.

    • December 8, 2015 at 10:05 pm
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      Don’t worry, if the GB are unable to live on a toxic waste dump (how ironically and poetically appropriate BTW), I’m sure the Government will be happy to put them up in the Concrete Condo.

    • December 9, 2015 at 2:47 am
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      Thank you enuffsenuff. Last week my husband and I visited an old Witness friend and his wife to help them build their shed. Nobody else wanted to help them so we did.

      After lunch, I got to talking with his wife who was a good friend of mine once upon a time. We got to talking and started mentioning how hard it was when we were actually in the ‘truth’. I asked her if she had read anything about the Australian Royal Commission and she said “No. There’s child abuse in all religions.” I said not like this one. You should see the Royal Commission. It’s all over Youtube.” I have no idea whether she got curious and looked but I am so tired of that expression “But there’s child abuse in all religions.” yes, but this one is supposed to be the cleanest of clean or so they want everyone to believe.

      It is so hard to get through to them. I have had discussions with my son and his wife. They hate me bringing it up. They say the same old tired answer too. Where are they getting this from? It is obviously being repeated from the platform.

      Like it or not, they will have to contend with this report sometime soon. Thank you once again for an informative article, one that we can get our teeth into. I wonder what will happen from this.

      enuffsenuff, for some reason what you have said brings me great joy. Finding out about their intentions for the Australia Branch and trying to hide money away like any stinking corporation that wants to dissolve itself and take the money and run is something that could seriously cause a huge walkout from congregation members. Hopefully, my family and friends will question their allegiance to a an empty shell.

      • December 9, 2015 at 9:18 am
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        I’m wondering if with all of these pending lawsuits, the ARC can act to freeze their assets.

    • December 9, 2015 at 8:43 pm
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      enuffsenuff,

      What I find interesting is the way that they are trying to be so secretive about looking for lawyers & accountants from the rank & file members. It’s like they don’t want them to question anything so that they can keep them in the dark about whats going on.

      God they treat people like idiots!

      • December 9, 2015 at 10:22 pm
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        Rumor has it, the reason for WTs turmoil is – the lawyers and accountants.

        Don’t see, hear, or speak. Dont ask dont tell.
        Run away with your money, oops your donations.

        WT did show them there billions. Ouch.

        Peace out,

  • December 8, 2015 at 6:39 pm
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    There’s definitely too many flawed policies within the organization. And the main reason these out of date harmful policies continue to proliferate, is due to the ingrained indoctrination and fear.That it’s tantamount to incurring death by being in non compliance with the slave/ Governing body dictates and that of the so-called spirit appointed men/elders, who many of them bask in the glory of having power over the flock, many of whom stand in worshipful awe of these deluded men.These men boast that their are the stars in Jesus hand. Alluding to, that they have a special connection with Christ.This in effect causes many to suffer abuses in silence.
    Because of the power of prestige that has been bestowed on these men.This prestige of power is alluded to in song # 123. Entitled.” Shepherds gifts in men. ..Then there is song. #120 “listen, obey, and be blessed” And many more subtleties..Thank God that many have broken free of this stupified spell. Shedding light on the evil monstrosity that’s deeply entrenched in watchtower. So many know things are wrong.But are too afraid to leave for fear of the cruel reprisal of shunning, being labled Apostates.Being in fear of dying a horrible death at Armageddon because of unfaithfulness to an organization. Its hard for non jws to get a grip on the mind numbing effects that exsist in jwdom..Just ask us who been there and woke up..Got our senses back through tears, pain, and research. And praise the commission to being able to shine the light. seeing through the fog of watchtower spin doctors and doctrine. Boldly exposing the dangers. Lets Applaud the brave souls. Who said enough is enough!! Coming forward to seek justice for the wrongs they suffered and were made to endure.

    • December 8, 2015 at 11:53 pm
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      I wonder if the GB will be able to dismiss their financial troubles as “apostate lies”. Cold hard Math is hard to argue with.

    • December 10, 2015 at 2:28 pm
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      @Caltanzee
      Good points on those “Kingdom Songs.” I recall that when the new Songbook was released I was just starting to wake up. It almost seems like the entire book was designed do further asert GB control. I remember feeling uncomfortable with the new songs. They just rubbed me the wrong way.

      WS

  • December 8, 2015 at 7:44 pm
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    Excellent article, Covert Fade! Thank you very much for the time you put into this. I’ll be eagerly looking forward to the next two articles. This is all very exciting and hopeful. Angus Stewart is my hero (seriously). And he’s become my favorite Angus too. Sorry, Angus Young– AC/DC is cool, but the Australian Royal Commission is even cooler.

    But ease up on the America bashing, folks. When Donald Trump becomes our next president, he’s really going to straighten this country out. Ah, I laugh to keep from crying…

    • December 8, 2015 at 9:49 pm
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      Goodbye Watchtower, Hello Trump. Aaaaaaaaahhhhh!
      Who knows, if The Donald’s Presidential bid doesn’t work out, WT may swing some kind of Real Estate deal with him. Maybe a Watchtower Casino? LMAO

      • December 8, 2015 at 10:50 pm
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        Lol, that could work. In fact, it could turn out to be a MUCH quicker way to take people for everything they have. Enough of this little-bit-at-a-time stuff…

        • December 9, 2015 at 8:49 pm
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          I was wondering if Trump would be interested in the Brooklyn properties and it looks like his son has already bought at least one of them.

      • December 9, 2015 at 10:25 pm
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        You mean – gods casino.

        Correction @ G.Jackson (GB)

        Peace out,

  • December 8, 2015 at 10:23 pm
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    It always mystifies me how so many people are running around speaking for God. I for one have never met God. In fact, I have never met anyone who has met God. Yet each of these folks acts as if he or she is God’s golf buddy. Like they have afternoon tea with God. Or belong to the same bowling league or chess club. What blind arrogance! What mind-numbingly blind arrogance to presume YOU speak for the Almighty Creator of the Universe. To these people (of any religion or cult) I say: Can you STOP IT? Can you just STOP IT??!

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:06 am
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      As a Christian of strong faith, I agree with you entirely. As Jackson himself stated in his testimony to the ARC, they are self appointed men who vote on turning left or right without any heavenly input.
      Those of us familiar with scripture already know them as false prophets who twist the Bible to match their companies prophet line. They claim to be agents of Christ, but still adhere to Old Testament laws that Christ said he replaced. Christ said love, love, love and forgiveness above all else and that is the opposite of what this printing company is.

      These findings are irrefutable proof of their willingness to trample over children to protect their fabricated holy reputation. What would Jesus do?

    • December 9, 2015 at 10:01 am
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      Actually, God is my copilot , when I am texting or surfing the Internet (while driving)…He takes over…..but, he’s not my caddie, He does help me pick lotto tickets though. (But. He refuses to use his foreknowledge abilities, so we’re gonna have to stop that practice. )

      • December 9, 2015 at 1:32 pm
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        @POW
        A Cannonball Run fan by any chance? That’s what Sammy Davis Jnr said to Dean Martin, to which he replied: “God is our copilot? It’s a two-seater car; where’s he going to sit?!”

  • December 8, 2015 at 11:47 pm
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    @ Tara

    P.S.: If you’re ever wondering when to “draw the line”, the fact that you’re asking that question means the time is NOW.

    • December 9, 2015 at 9:28 am
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      I went to the meeting last night just because my daughter felt we should as it was the CO’s visit and I have to admit I was curious as to what garbage he would throw out. He mentioned quite a lot about not going into higher education… not vocational, one year courses etc but four year courses for Uni. stuff. He mentioned about avoid tabloids and media that told lies about the Borg… I mean Org. How it’s not a case of knowing when Armageddon comes but having faith that it will. That we should not become involved in anything that would draw us away from this. How donations are helping push the work forward….

      I sat and smiled as all the bobble heads nodded in the correct places and how after the meeting the same bobble heads rushed up to visit with him and lick his Warwick, tainted shoes.

      My line has been penciled in for a long time now. Most of it is now in permanent ink but I still hurt for some who are gentle souls, being led by ruthless (not our Ruthless ;) ) men who will grab what they can and then run. It’s funny but typing that it made me think of two characters in two movies… both bad in JW eyes lol go figure…. Benny – in The Mummy and The master of Lake Town’s toady. Both fawning, money grabbers who cared not for the people or their friends when the chips were down. Both ran to save their own despicable necks.

      _______________________________________

  • December 9, 2015 at 12:01 am
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    The GB, overseers, elders, their wives, and all their ardent followers were never “spiritual” people. More like Madonna, they are “material” girls (and boys) living in a “material” world.

    • December 9, 2015 at 10:17 am
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      I want to see that meme.

  • December 9, 2015 at 1:29 am
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    [evangelical comment removed – please read our posting guidelines before commenting again]

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