By Srecko Sostar
In the OT, there is a direct command, “Thou shalt not kill (murder)!” This command should contain God's view of human life, which emphasizes that life is holy, sacred before God, but also that people must have the same feeling about the lives of other people around them.
By reading the Bible, which describes the events before and after the occurrence of this commandment, we can see that this commandment has no absolute power. Within the same set of legal provisions, there are other commandments that were binding on the Israelites, too. For example, commands like; "Don't steal, don't lie, don't commit fornication ...". These commandments should never have been ignored or mitigated by some extraordinary circumstances.
The specificity of this commandment, "You shall not kill," is evident in the fact that it was not of valid, obligation for all men and for all circumstances. Powerful individuals in Israel sometimes making their own decisions to go on military campaigns against others (Israelis and non-Israelis) The law also justified killing for revenge.
In some other places, God commands the death penalty against an individual. Also, the Bible describes that God instituted great actions that justified killing of other people. These were most often military actions aimed at killing soldiers of the enemy army, but also their families. The killings of these other tribes and people were justified on the basis of several facts: 1) they were not Israelis 2) they lived in territory that the Israel nation were to conquer for themselves, 3) they belonged to other religions.
The execution of the death penalty for a crime still exists today in some societies and legal systems. Obviously, the death penalty decision is based on balance. The one who killed must be killed. But from some other biblical examples we have seen that murder is not the only crime punishable by death. The disobedient child was also sentenced to death. Different religious affiliations or different religious beliefs also led to the death penalty. Adultery was punished by death.
From what we have described so far, we can see how the command, "shall not kill," had a stretched meaning. It is therefore necessary to look at religious practices that are not new but may draw some parallels in symbolism and meaning. As you may already guessed, it is about an act of symbolic "killing" that is carried out in such a way to exclude (disfellowship) another person from a particular social (religious) group in a specific way - by ignoring aka shunning. Shunning (this is about JW organization in particular) can be made because of two conclusions.
The first conclusion is reached by an individual JW member who believes that another member of the congregation has wronged/sinned against the Bible and its principles to the extent that he / she personally presents a spiritual anomaly (in the form of a spiritual illness or threat) and decides to "label" particular person as inappropriate for him to have socializing contacts. He seeks to avoid contact and minimize any literal and spiritual communion.
In second conclusion, the conviction of the inappropriateness of a member is made by the body of the elders. The judgment may be based on the morally inappropriate behavior of an individual member, or it may be that an individual no longer agrees with the ideological and organizational structure or with the theological solutions of the organization what made him/her as "hostile element".
This is when a person is removed from congregational members aka "spiritually killed" in such a way to excommunicate (dfd) them (he,she) from the community and impose a ban on almost every contact with the dfd person. The ban has few variations and interpretations of how the shunning should be carried out. But the very core of such a demand not to contact the excluded person is evident from the widespread practice that JW members have consistently implemented - the excluded (dfd) is not even greeted with the simplest “Good afternoon” greeting (hallo) on the street.
JW's want to be peaceful people who go to jail in some countries because not want even to carry weapon in mandatory military service. They don't want take self-defense courses even for protect themselves when attacked. But they are motivated to be active in using spiritual weapons and warfare against ex members who are in a disagreement with doctrinal issues. And "killing" them with shunning.
What are your thoughts?
By The Librarian
Part of a series on:
We didn't capitalize the "w" until the 1970's except in a title or a quotation from someone who didn't know the "rule."
At the Bethel Library when it was at 124 Columbia Heights (before it moved to 25 and then Patterson) there was about 20 feet of shelf space dedicated to Jw court cases, and even on the outside cover you would see titles like "Supreme Court Cases of Jehovah's witnesses" and the outer spine of the cover would have it abbreviated as "Jw's" or "J.w.'s."
Although my day-to-day assignment at Bethel was to do artwork, I sometimes
helped out the proofreaders and it turned out that the year I came to Bethel was the same year we made the change from J.w.'s to J.W.'s. Some of the writers weren't used to it yet, and there were also translation issues. There was a legal reason behind the change, too.
If you check the Watchtower Library CD, you'll see that the change happened between the printing of the March 15 and April 1 issues of The Watchtower in 1976. (And between the March 8 and the March 22, 1976 Awake!) The lower case "w" rarely shows up any more unless a new publication is directly quoting an older publication in a place that has it, and even then we will sometimes go ahead and capitalize it in the quotation.
For those who find such trivia interesting, here is a reference from that time period. Note the only exception to the rule in the following 6 examples:
*** g76 3/8 pp. 21-22 A Conspiracy Thwarted in “the Land Down Under” ***
He had written on behalf of the Methodist people of his district, who had . . . supported a Tasmanian government request . . . that Jehovah’s witnesses be declared illegal. . . . Another Australian clergyman, objecting to the zealous public preaching of Jehovah’s witnesses, wrote to Mr. W. M. Hughes, then Attorney-General of Australia: “The sect calling themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses are a distinctly disloyal lot of people and in my estimation ought to be declared as such.”
These letters from clergymen did not contain any evidence of subversive or illegal acts on the part of Jehovah’s witnesses. . . ."
The Commonwealth Archives show that the Attorney-General had been pressured also by the Catholic clergy to suppress freedom of religion enjoyed by Jehovah’s witnesses. However, in a direct reply to the then Catholic archbishop of Sydney, N. T. Gilroy (later elevated to be a cardinal), the Attorney-General confirmed that the government had no legal grounds to restrain the Christian activity of Jehovah’s witnesses.
*** end of quote ***
via @JW Insider Link
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Church ‘shuns‘ 15-year-old, then father – ends up in court
Posted by SDD Contributor on November 9, 2019 at 4:20 am
The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments Thursday in a lawsuit against a religious congregation’s “shunning” practice, but the congregation and several other groups contend the justices had no right to even take part in the case.
Randy Wall, a real estate agent, filed the suit against the Highwood congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization in Calgary, Alberta.
Wall was expelled from the congregation for getting drunk and not be properly repentant, court records said. He pursued an appeals process through the Jehovah’s Witnesses then went to court because he said the Witnesses’ “shunning” — the practice of not associating with him in any way — hurt his business.
He explained his two occasions of drunkenness related to “the previous expulsion by the congregation of his 15-year-old daughter.”
A lower court opinion said: “Even though the daughter was a dependent child living at home, it was a mandatory church edict that the entire family shun aspects of their relationship with her. The respondent said the edicts of the church pressured the family to evict their daughter from the family home. This led to … much distress in the family.”
The “distress” eventually resulted in his drunkenness, Wall said.
Wall submitted to the court arguments that about half his client base, members of various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations, then refused to conduct business with him. He alleged the “disfellowship had an economic impact on the respondent.”
During high court arguments Thursday, the congregation asked the justices to rule that religious congregations are immune to such claims in the judicial system.
The lower courts had ruled that the courts could play a role in determining whether or not such circumstances rise to the level of violating civil rights or injuring a “disfellowshipped” party.
The rulings from the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeals said Wall’s case was subject to secular court jurisdiction.
A multitude of religious and political organizations joined with the congregation in arguing that Canada’s courts should not be involved.
The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms said in a filing: “The wish or desire of one person to associate with an unwilling person (or an unwilling group) is not a legal right of any kind. For a court, or the government, to support such a ‘right’ violates the right of self-determination of the unwilling parties.”
Previous case law has confirmed the right of religious or private voluntary groups to govern themselves and dictate who can be a member.
But previously rulings also reveal there is room for the court system to intervene when the question centers on property or civil rights.
The Association for Reformed Political Action described the case as having “profound implications for the separation of church and state.”
It contends the court should keep its hands off the argument.
“Secular judges have no authority and no expertise to review a church membership decision,” said a statement from Andre Schutten, a spokesman for the group. “Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere.”
John Sikkema, staff lawyer for ARPA, said: “The issue in this appeal is jurisdiction. A state actor, including a court, must never go beyond its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court must consider what kind of authority the courts can or cannot legitimately claim. We argue that the civil government and churches each have limited and distinct spheres of authority. This basic distinction between civil and spiritual jurisdiction is a source of freedom and religious pluralism and a guard against civic totalism.”
He continued: “Should the judiciary have the authority to decide who gets to become or remain a church member? Does the judiciary have the authority to decide who does or does not get to participate in the sacraments? Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere. Here we need separation of church and state.”
The Alberta Court of Appeal, however, suggested the case was about more than ecclesiastical rules.
“Because Jehovah’s Witnesses shun disfellowshipped members, his wife, other children and other Jehovah’s Witnesses were compelled to shun him,” that lower court decision said. “The respondent asked the appeal committee to consider the mental and emotional distress he and his family were under as a result of his duaghter’s disfellowship.”
The church committee concluded he was “not sufficiently repentant.”
The ruling said “the only basis for establishing jurisdiction over a decision of the church is when the complaint involves property and civil rights,” and that is what Wall alleged.
“Accordingly, a court has jurisdiction to review the decision of a religious organization when a breach of the rules of natural justice is alleged.”
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
The Supreme Court Rejected a Case About the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Sex Abuse
By Hemant Mehta October 8, 2019 Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced that it would not take up a wild case concerning the organization that oversees the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We can breathe a huge sigh of relief that the case won’t be overturned. (In that link, it’s case 19-40 on page 42.)
The case, which involved child molestation and religious secrecy, centered around an incident that took place on July 15, 2006.
J.W., a nine-year-old girl with Jehovah’s Witness parents, was invited to her first slumber party at the home of Gilbert Simental. He had a daughter her age, so that wasn’t too weird. Two other girls (sisters) were also at the party. These families all knew and trusted Simental because, while he was no longer a local Witness leader, he had spent more than a decade as an elder in the faith. He was a religious leader who stepped down, he said, to spend more time with his son. They believed him. They all respected him. It’s why they allowed their girls into his home.
During that party, everyone got into a pool in the backyard… including Simental. And he proceeded to molest J.W. and the sisters. He did it again later that night. The sisters eventually told their parents, who reported Simental to local Witness elders (which is what they’re taught to do in these situations).
Simental confessed to some of the allegations, and the elders basically gave him a faith-based slap on the wrist: a reprimand that had no meaning outside church circles.
Things changed only when the sisters’ school principal learned about what happened and, as required by law, reported the abuse to local law enforcement. Police soon contacted J.W.’s family asking for their story, but after consulting with the Witnesses, her father chose not to speak with the cops.
It was a year later when J.W., then 10 years old, told her parents what Simental did to her in the pool. It infuriated them, and they told the Witness elders that they wanted a restraining order against him. The elders told him not to do that since it would require informing the police about what Simental did — and they preferred to keep his actions private.
Here’s the bigger problem: There’s reason to believe the Witnesses were aware that Simental was a child molester… and they kept it from the families. Simental was allowed to be a religious leader — earning respect from the community — even though higher-ups in the religion knew that he shouldn’t be around children.
It raised an important question: How much blame did the Witnesses deserve for what happened at that pool party?
J.W.’s family eventually filed a criminal lawsuit against Simental and a separate civil suit against the Watchtower Society (the Witnesses’ governing organization). They basically said the Witnesses should have informed congregation members about Simental and stopped him from being around children. They never should have allowed him to be a religious leader.
The Watchtower Society’s argument? They didn’t know Simental was a child molester, and the pool party occurred after he was no longer a religious leader, and the slumber party wasn’t a church-sponsored event, so leave them out of this.
(To be clear, I’m simplifying the details of this case and the legal journey quite a bit.)
When this case went to trial in California, J.W.’s family demanded that the Watchtower Society produce documents relating to what they knew about child molesters within the faith. The Witnesses had already admitted to keeping lists of problematic leaders along with their specific “crimes” — similar to the Catholic Church. If Simental was on that list — from 1997, nearly a decade before the pool incident — it would essentially be a smoking gun showing the Witnesses knew he was a threat to kids but did nothing about it.
But the Witnesses refused to hand over that material. They treated it like Catholics treat confession: It’s private information, they argued, and to reveal what was said internally would violate their religious beliefs.
J.W.’s family didn’t buy that argument. The information they wanted wasn’t bound by clergy-penitent confessional privilege. It’s not like Simental told the elders what he had done in order to confess his sins. He was caught. The Witnesses were merely shielding him from legal punishment.
In the criminal trial, Witnesses elders were forced to admit their practices and that the private discussions they had about abusive clergy members were not considered confidential under the law.
Mark O’Donnell, writing at JWSurvey, explained what happened next:
Simental’s appeal got him nowhere. He’s in prison today. But there were still so many questions about what responsibility the Witnesses had in this whole matter.
J.W.’s family wanted to know why Simental, a known pedophile, was promoted within the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why did they allow him to be around children? Why didn’t they warn families? Why did they just give him a slap on the wrist?
In 2013, the civil trial began against the Watchtower Society, but again, the Witnesses didn’t want to provide necessary documents. They eventually lost the case. In 2015, the Riverside Superior Court of California awarded J.W. a judgment of $4,016,152.39. This past December, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in California upheld that decision.
You get the idea: The Witnesses refused to hand over internal data, presumably because it would’ve been like handing over a loaded gun. So the courts had no choice but to assume the plaintiff was telling the truth and the Watchtower Society was negligent in their handling of Simental.
Earlier this year, in a Hail Mary attempt to reverse their punishment, the Watchtower Society appealed to the Supreme Court. They wanted the justices to say that documents relating to child abuse within a religious group can be kept confidential.
Here’s how the Witnesses’ attorney introduced his case to the justices. (You don’t need a law degree to see how he just completely dismissed the molestation.)
Watchtower attorney Paul Polidoro said the Supreme Court needed to consider whether California violated the Constitution when it held the Jehovah’s Witnesses responsible for what Simental did “during non-church activity,” forced them to hand over internal communications, and punished them for protecting everyone’s “privacy rights.”
J.W.’s attorney responded to that brief asking the Court to flat-out reject this case.
Indeed, that’s what the Court decided. When the first set of orders in the new term was released yesterday, there was this case among many many others, in the list of those which would not get heard this term.
It was the right move. There’s nothing further to debate here. Finally, this case has been put to rest.
(Image via Shutterstock. Large portions of this article were published earlier)
By The Librarian
The Coming of the Name Jehovah's Witnesses - Talk by A.H. MacMillan (Editor of the Watchtower with C.T. Russell)
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity.
Jehovah's Witnesses are directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders in Brooklyn, New York, which establishes all doctrines based on its interpretations of the Bible; They prefer to use their own translation, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. They believe that the destruction of the present world system at Armageddon is imminent, and that the establishment of God's kingdom on earth is the only solution for all problems faced by humanity.
See also: Jehovah's Witnesses vs. Jehovah's witnesses
The group emerged from the Bible Student movement—founded in the late 1870s by Charles Taze Russell with the formation of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society—with significant organizational and doctrinal changes under the leadership of Joseph Franklin Rutherford. The name Jehovah's witnesses, based on Isaiah 43:10–12, was adopted in 1931 to distinguish ourselves from other Bible Student groups and symbolize a break with the legacy of Russell's traditions. The name appears to be first coined by H.A. Ironside in 1911 in "Lectures on Daniel the Prophet" when referring to the Jews whom the promises of Isa.43 would be fulfilled, noted on page 152:
"These shall be Jehovah's witnesses, testifying to the power and glory of the one true God, when brother Christendom shall have been given up to the strong delusion to believe the lie of the Antichrist."
Jehovah's Witnesses are best known for their door-to-door preaching, distributing literature such as The Watchtower and Awake!, and refusing military service and blood transfusions. They consider use of the name Jehovah vital for proper worship. They reject Trinitarianism, inherent immortality of the soul, and hellfire, which they consider to be unscriptural doctrines. They do not observe Christmas, Easter, birthdays, or other holidays and customs they consider to have pagan origins incompatible with Christianity. They commonly refer to our body of beliefs as "the truth" and consider ourselves to be "in the truth". They consider secular society to be morally corrupt and under the influence of Satan, and most limit thier social interaction with non-Witnesses. Congregational disciplinary actions include disfellowshipping, their term for formal expulsion and shunning. Baptized individuals who formally leave are considered disassociated and are also shunned. Disfellowshipped and disassociated individuals may eventually be reinstated if deemed repentant.
The religion's position regarding conscientious objection to military service and refusal to salute national flags has brought it into conflict with some governments. Consequently, some Jehovah's Witnesses have been persecuted and it's activities are banned or restricted in some countries. Persistent legal challenges by Jehovah's Witnesses have influenced legislation related to civil rights in several countries.
In 1870, Charles Taze Russell and others formed an independent group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to study the Bible. During the course of his ministry, Russell disputed many beliefs of mainstream Christianity including immortality of the soul, hellfire, predestination, the fleshly return of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the burning up of the world. In 1876, Russell met Nelson H. Barbour; later that year they jointly produced the book Three Worlds, which combined restitutionist views with end time prophecy. The book taught that God's dealings with humanity were divided dispensationally, each ending with a "harvest," that Christ had returned as an invisible spirit being in 1874 inaugurating the "harvest of the Gospel age," and that 1914 would mark the end of a 2520-year period called "the Gentile Times," at which time world society would be replaced by the full establishment of God's kingdom on earth. Beginning in 1878 they jointly edited a religious journal, Herald of the Morning. In June 1879 the two split over doctrinal differences, and in July, Russell began publishing the magazine Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, stating that its purpose was to demonstrate the world was in "the last days," and that a new age of earthly and human restitution under the reign of Christ was imminent.
From 1879, Watch Tower supporters gathered as autonomous congregations to study the Bible topically. Thirty congregations were founded, and during 1879 and 1880, Russell visited each to provide the format he recommended for conducting meetings. As congregations continued to form during Russell's ministry, they each remained self-administrative, functioning under the congregationalist style of church governance. In 1881, Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society was presided over by William Henry Conley, and in 1884, Charles Taze Russell incorporated the society as a non-profit business to distribute tracts and Bibles. By about 1900, Russell had organized thousands of part- and full-time colporteurs, and was appointing foreign missionaries and establishing branch offices. By the 1910s, Russell's organization maintained nearly a hundred "pilgrims," or traveling preachers. Russell engaged in significant global publishing efforts during his ministry, and by 1912, he was the most distributed Christian author in the United States.
Russell moved the Watch Tower Society's headquarters to Brooklyn, New York, in 1909, combining printing and corporate offices with a house of worship; volunteers were housed in a nearby residence he named Bethel. He identified the religious movement as "Bible Students," and more formally as the International Bible Students Association. By 1910, about 50,000 people worldwide were associated with the movement and congregations re-elected him annually as their "pastor." Russell died October 31, 1916, at the age of 64 while returning from a ministerial speaking tour and inspecting a recent gold mine investment.
In January 1917, the Watch Tower Society's legal representative, Joseph Franklin Rutherford, was elected as its next president. His election was disputed, and members of the Board of Directors accused him of acting in an autocratic and secretive manner. The divisions between his supporters and opponents triggered a major turnover of members over the next decade. In June 1917, he released The Finished Mystery as a seventh volume of Russell's Studies in the Scriptures series. The book, published as the posthumous work of Russell, was a compilation of his commentaries on the Bible books of Ezekiel and Revelation, plus numerous additions by Bible Students Clayton Woodworth and George Fisher. It strongly criticized Catholic and Protestant clergy and Christian involvement in the Great War. As a result, Watch Tower Society directors were jailed for sedition under the Espionage Act in 1918 and members were subjected to mob violence; charges against the directors were dropped in 1920.
Rutherford centralized organizational control of the Watch Tower Society. In 1919, he instituted the appointment of a director in each congregation, and a year later all members were instructed to report their weekly preaching activity to the Brooklyn headquarters. At an international convention held at Cedar Point, Ohio, in September 1922, a new emphasis was made on house-to-house preaching. Significant changes in doctrine and administration were regularly introduced during Rutherford's twenty-five years as president, including the 1920 announcement that the Jewish patriarchs (such as Abraham and Isaac) would be resurrected in 1925, marking the beginning of Christ's thousand-year Kingdom. Disappointed by the changes, tens of thousands of defections occurred during the first half of Rutherford's tenure, leading to the formation of several Bible Student organizations independent of the Watch Tower Society, most of which still exist. By mid-1919, as many as one in seven of Russell-era Bible Students had ceased their association with the Society, and as many as two-thirds by the end of the 1920s.
On July 26, 1931, at a convention in Columbus, Ohio, Rutherford introduced the new name—Jehovah's witnesses—based on Isaiah 43:10: "Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen"—which was adopted by resolution. The name was chosen to distinguish his group of Bible Students from other independent groups that had severed ties with the Society, as well as symbolize the instigation of new outlooks and the promotion of fresh evangelizing methods. In 1932, Rutherford eliminated the system of locally elected elders and in 1938, introduced what he called a "theocratic" (literally, God-ruled) organizational system, under which appointments in congregations worldwide were made from the Brooklyn headquarters.
From 1932, it was taught that the "little flock" of 144,000 would not be the only people to survive Armageddon. Rutherford explained that in addition to the 144,000 "anointed" who would be resurrected—or transferred at death—to live in heaven to rule over earth with Christ, a separate class of members, the "great multitude," would live in a paradise restored on earth; from 1935, new converts to the movement were considered part of that class. By the mid-1930s, the timing of the beginning of Christ's presence (Greek: parousía), his enthronement as king, and the start of the "last days" were each moved to 1914.
As their interpretations of scripture developed, Witness publications decreed that saluting national flags is a form of idolatry, which led to a new outbreak of mob violence and government opposition in the United States, Canada, Germany, and other countries.
Worldwide membership of Jehovah's Witnesses reached 113,624 in 5,323 congregations by the time of Rutherford's death in January 1942.
Continued development (1942–present)
Nathan Knorr was appointed as third president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1942. Knorr commissioned a new translation of the Bible, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, the full version of which was released in 1961. He organized large international assemblies, instituted new training programs for members, and expanded missionary activity and branch offices throughout the world. Knorr's presidency was also marked by an increasing use of explicit instructions guiding Witnesses in their lifestyle and conduct, and a greater use of congregational judicial procedures to enforce a strict moral code.
From 1966, Witness publications and convention talks built anticipation of the possibility that Christ's thousand-year reign might begin in late 1975 or shortly thereafter. The number of baptisms increased significantly, from about 59,000 in 1966 to more than 297,000 in 1974. By 1975, the number of active members exceeded two million. Membership declined during the late 1970s after expectations for 1975 were proved wrong. Watch Tower Society literature did not state dogmatically that 1975 would definitely mark the end, but in 1980 the Watch Tower Society admitted its responsibility in building up hope regarding that year.
The offices of elder and ministerial servant were restored to Witness congregations in 1972, with appointments made from headquarters (and later, also by branch committees). In a major organizational overhaul in 1976, the power of the Watch Tower Society president was diminished, with authority for doctrinal and organizational decisions passed to the Governing Body. Reflecting these organizational changes, publications of Jehovah's Witnesses began using the capitalized name, Jehovah's Witnesses. Prior to this, witnesses was consistently uncapitalized, except in headings and when quoting external sources.
Since Knorr's death in 1977, the position of president has been occupied by Frederick Franz (1977–1992) and Milton Henschel (1992–2000), both members of the Governing Body, and since 2000 by Don A. Adams, not a member of the Governing Body. In 1995, Jehovah's Witnesses abandoned the idea that Armageddon must occur during the lives of the generation that was alive in 1914.
After the death of Governing Body member Jack Barr in 2009 the organization relaxed many of the previous taboos such as dancing in Kingdom halls and Assembly Halls as well as a more "fun" party like atmosphere at official meetings. Previously avoided evangelistic style choirs were embraced for the first time to entertain the delegates and even used at the Annual meeting. Children's choirs began to appear at the Annual meeting and other events. Formerly corporate and somewhat secretive Annual meetings changed. Starting in 2013 they began to be events where releases were made of publications and other media. In October 2014 televangelism, which was previously avoided and even scorned by the witnesses for decades, was embraced with the new tv.jw.org known as JW Broadcasting. Most witnesses embraced the sudden change pointing out the difference that JW TV does not ask for donations to be sent in such as other TV evangelists have traditionally done to enrich themselves.
Rejection of blood transfusions
Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and blood transfusions
Jehovah's Witnesses refuse blood transfusions, which they consider a violation of God's law based on their interpretation of Acts 15:28, 29 and other scriptures. Since 1961 the willing acceptance of a blood transfusion by an unrepentant member has been grounds for expulsion from the religion. Watch Tower Society literature directs Witnesses to refuse blood transfusions, even in "a life-or-death situation". Jehovah's Witnesses accept non-blood alternatives and other medical procedures in lieu of blood transfusions, and the Watch Tower Society provides information about current non-blood medical procedures.
Though Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions of whole blood, they may accept some blood plasma fractions at their own discretion. The Watch Tower Society provides pre-formatted Power of Attorney documents prohibiting major blood components, in which members can specify which allowable fractions and treatments they will personally accept. Jehovah's Witnesses have established Hospital Liaison Committees as a cooperative arrangement between individual Jehovah's Witnesses and medical professionals and hospitals.
Organ Transplants and Jehovah's Witnesses
Vaccinations and Jehovah's Witnesses
Aluminium and Jehovah's Witnesses
Controversy surrounding various beliefs, doctrines and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses has led to opposition from local governments, communities, and religious groups. Religious commentator Ken Jubber wrote that "Viewed globally, this persecution has been so persistent and of such intensity that it would not be inaccurate to regard Jehovah's witnesses as the most persecuted group of Christians of the twentieth century."
Main article: Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses
See also: Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Nazi Germany
Main article: Supreme Court cases involving Jehovah's Witnesses by country
Several cases involving Jehovah's Witnesses have been heard by Supreme Courts throughout the world. The cases generally relate to their right to practice their religion, displays of patriotism and military service, and blood transfusions.
In the United States, their persistent legal challenges prompted a series of state and federal court rulings that reinforced judicial protections for civil liberties. Among the rights strengthened by Witness court victories in the United States are the protection of religious conduct from federal and state interference, the right to abstain from patriotic rituals and military service, the right of patients to refuse medical treatment, and the right to engage in public discourse.
List of United States Supreme Court Cases
Federal case in Puerto Rico regarding Municipality Gates
Publication: Preparing for a Child Custody Case Involving Religious Issues
Similar cases in their favor have been heard in Canada.
Child abuse lawsuits against Jehovah's Witnesses started to hit the finances hard starting in 2014 with the Candace Conti lawsuit in California. See Jehovah's Witnesses and child abuse
Newspaper or Media Reports Involving Jehovah's Witnesses (in the old wiki. For newer articles see the JW News section in this forum)
New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
Notable Brothers and Sisters
How to Donate to the Work
Watchtower Real Estate News and an example of it's investment portfolio strategy
Twelve members as of September 2005 (See The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 26) Schroeder died March 8, 2006. (See The Watchtower, September 15, 2006, page 31) Sydlik died April 18, 2006. (See The Watchtower, January 1, 2007, page 😎 Barber died April 8, 2007. (See The Watchtower, October 15, 2007, page 31) Jaracz died June 9, 2010. (See The Watchtower, November 15, 2010, page 23) Barr died December 4, 2010. (See The Watchtower, May 15, 2011, page 6) Sanderson appointed September 1, 2012. (See The Watchtower, July 15, 2013, page 26) Raymond Franz (In Search of Christian Freedom, 2007, p.449) cites various Watch Tower Society publications that stress loyalty and obedience to the organization, including: "Following Faithful Shepherds with Life in View", The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, page 591, "Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect."; The Watchtower, September 1, 2006, pg 15, "Have we formed a loyal attachment to the organization that Jehovah is using today?"; "Your Reminders Are What I Am Fond Of", The Watchtower, June 15, 2006, pg 26, "We too should remain faithful to Jehovah and to his organization regardless of injustices we suffer and regardless of what others do."; "Are You Prepared for Survival?", The Watchtower, May 15, 2006, pg 22, "Just as Noah and his God-fearing family were preserved in the ark, survival of individuals today depends on their faith and their loyal association with the earthly part of Jehovah’s universal organization."; Worship The Only True God (Watch Tower Society, 2002), pg 134, "Jehovah is guiding us today by means of his visible organization under Christ. Our attitude toward this arrangement demonstrates how we feel about the issue of sovereignty ... By being loyal to Jehovah’s organization, we show that Jehovah is our God and that we are united in worship of him." 2013 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. p. 178. "During the 2012 service year, Jehovah’s Witnesses spent over $184 million in caring for special pioneers, missionaries, and traveling overseers in their field service assignments." A common example given is a baptized Witness who dates a non-Witness; see The Watchtower, July 15, 1999, p. 30. Raymond Franz cites numerous examples. In Crisis of Conscience, 2002, pg. 173, he quotes from "They Shall Know That a Prophet Was Among Them", (The Watchtower, April 1, 1972,) which states that God had raised Jehovah's Witnesses as a prophet "to warn (people) of dangers and declare things to come" He also cites "Identifying the Right Kind of Messenger" (The Watchtower, May 1, 1997, page 😎 which identifies the Witnesses as his "true messengers ... by making the messages he delivers through them come true", in contrast to "false messengers", whose predictions fail. In In Search of Christian Freedom, 2007, he quotes The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah—How? (1971, pg 70, 292) which describes Witnesses as the modern Ezekiel class, "a genuine prophet within our generation". The Watch Tower book noted: "Concerning the message faithfully delivered by the Ezekiel class, Jehovah positively states that it 'must come true' ... those who wait undecided until it does 'come true' will also have to know that a prophet himself had proved to be in the midst of them." He also cites "Execution of the Great Harlot Nears", (The Watchtower, October 15, 1980, pg 17) which claims God gives the Witnesses "special knowledge that others do not have ... advance knowledge about this system's end".
"Court Trial Testimony Redwood City". Superior Court of the State of California. February 22, 2012. "I am general counsel for the National Organization of Jehovah's Witnesses out of Brooklyn, New York. ... We are a hierarchical religion structured just like the Catholic Church." 2014 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 2013. pp. 185–186. Sources for descriptors:
• Millenarian: Beckford, James A. (1975). The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. pp. 118–119, 151, 200–201. ISBN 0-631-16310-7.
• Restorationist: Stark et al.; Iannaccone, Laurence (1997). "Why Jehovah's Witnesses Grow So Rapidly: A Theoretical Application". Journal of Contemporary Religion 12 (2): 133–157. doi:10.1080/13537909708580796.
• Christian: "Religious Tolerance.org". "Statistics on Religion".
• Denomination: "Jehovah's Witnesses at a Glance"."The American Heritage Dictionary"."Memorial and Museum AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU". . . . Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. Routledge. p. 22. ISBN 0-415-26609-2. Beckford, James A. (1975). The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 221. ISBN 0-631-16310-7. "Doctrine has always emanated from the Society's elite in Brooklyn and has never emerged from discussion among, or suggestion from, rank-and-file Witnesses." "Focus on the Goodness of Jehovah's Organization". The Watchtower: 20. July 15, 2006. Retrieved 2012-06-16. "Jehovah's Witnesses". The Columbia Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-7876-5015-5. "The Witnesses base their teaching on the Bible." Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. London: Continuum. p. 100. ISBN 0-8264-5959-5. "Predictably, mainstream Christians accuse the New World Translation of inaccuracy, as if their own translations were thoroughly reliable. Jehovah's Witnesses will engage in discussion with others using whatever translation is available." Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. pp. 70, 123. "This was the Witnesses' own translation of the New Testament ... now that the Society has decreed that they should use the New World Translation of the Bible in preference other versions, they are convinced their translation is the best." Tess Van Sommers, Religions in Australia, Rigby, Adelaide, 1966, page 92: "Since 1870, the Watch Tower Society has used more than seventy Bible translations. In 1961 the society released its own complete Bible in modern English, known as The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. This is now the preferred translation among English-speaking congregations." Edwards, Linda (2001). A Brief Guide to Beliefs. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 438. ISBN 0-664-22259-5. "The Jehovah's Witnesses' interpretation of Christianity and their rejection of orthodoxy influenced them to produce their own translation of the Bible, The New World Translation." Our Kingdom Ministry, November 1992, "When we read from our Bible, the householder may comment on the clarity of language used in the New World Translation. Or we may find that the householder shows interest in our message but does not have a Bible. In these cases we may describe the unique features of the Bible we use and the reasons why we prefer it to others." "Jehovah's Witness". Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2007. ISBN 978-1-59339-293-2. Michael Hill, ed. (1972). "The Embryonic State of a Religious Sect's Development: The Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain (5): 11–12. "Joseph Franklin Rutherford succeeded to Russell's position as President of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, but only at the expense of antagonizing a large proportion of the Watch Towers subscribers. Nevertheless, he persisted in moulding the Society to suit his own programme of activist evangelism under systematic central control, and he succeeded in creating the administrative structure of the present-day sect of Jehovah's Witnesses." Leo P. Chall (1978). "Sociological Abstracts". Sociology of Religion 26 (1–3): 193. "Rutherford, through the Watch Tower Society, succeeded in changing all aspects of the sect from 1919 to 1932 and created Jehovah's Witnesses—a charismatic offshoot of the Bible student community." Isaiah 43:10–12 Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. pp. 274–5. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 64 Singelenberg, Richard (1989). "It Separated the Wheat From the Chaff: The 1975 Prophecy and its Impact Among Dutch Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Analysis 50 (Spring 1989): 23–40, footnote 8. doi:10.2307/3710916. "'The Truth' is Witnesses' jargon, meaning the Society's belief system." Penton, M.J. (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 280–283. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. "Most Witnesses tend to think of society outside their own community as decadent and corrupt ... This in turn means to Jehovah's Witnesses that they must keep themselves apart from Satan's "doomed system of things." Thus most tend to socialize largely, although not totally, within the Witness community." Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. London: Continuum. p. 5. ISBN 0-8264-5959-5. "The Jehovah's Witnesses are well known for their practice of 'disfellowshipping' wayward members." Gary Botting, Fundamental Freedoms and Jehovah's Witnesses (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1993), pg 1–13 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 6. ISBN 978-0094559400. Beckford 1975, p. 2 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 37–39. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Bible Examiner October, 1876 "Gentile Times: When Do They End?" pp 27–8: "The seven times will end in A.D. 1914; when Jerusalem shall be delivered forever ... when Gentile Governments shall have been dashed to pieces; when God shall have poured out of his fury upon the nations and they acknowledge him King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Studies in the Scriptures volume 4, "The Battle of Armageddon", 1897, pg xii C. T. Russell, The Time is at Hand, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1889, page 101 Heather and Gary Botting, The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984, p. 36. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 18 Zion's Watch Tower, July 1, 1879, pg 1: "This is the first number of the first volume of "Zion's Watch Tower," and it may not be amiss to state the object of its publication. That we are living "in the last days"—"the day of the Lord"—"the end" of the Gospel age, and consequently, in the dawn of a "new" age." 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, Watch Tower, pages 38–39 Zion's Watch Tower, September 1884, pp. 7–8 Studies in the Scriptures volume 6 "The New Creation" pp. 195–272 C.T. Russell, "A Conspiracy Exposed", Zion's Watch Tower Extra edition, April 25, 1894, page 55–60, "This is a business association merely ... it has no creed or confession ... it is merely a business convenience in disseminating the truth."] Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses by George D. Chryssides, Scarecrow Press, 2008, page xxxiv, "Russell wanted to consolidate the movement he had started. ...In 1880, Bible House, a four-story building in Allegheny, was completed, with printing facilities and meeting accommodation, and it became the organization's headquarters. The next stage of institutionalization was legal incorporation. In 1884, Russell formed the Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, which was incorporated in Pennsylvania... Russell was concerned that his supporters should feel part of a unified movement." Religion in the Twentieth Century by Vergilius Ture Anselm Ferm, Philosophical Library, 1948, page 383, "As the [unincorporated Watch Tower] Society expanded, it became necessary to incorporate it and build a more definite organization. In 1884, a charter was granted recognizing the Society as a religious, non-profit corporation." Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 19 A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States Greenwood Press: 1996. pg. 35: "Russell is naturally media literate, and the amount of literature he circulates proves staggering. Books, booklets, and tracts are distributed by the hundreds of millions. This is supplemented by well-publicized speaking tours and a masterful press relations effort, which gives him widespread access to general audiences." The Overland Monthly, January 1910 pg. 130 Penton 1997, p. 26–29 W.T. Ellis, The Continent, McCormick Publishing Company, vol. 43, no. 40, October 3, 1912 pg. 1 Religious Diversity and American Religious History by Walter H. Conser, Sumner B. Twiss, University of Georgia Press, 1997, page 136, "The Jehovah's Witnesses...has maintained a very different attitude toward history. Established initially in the 1870s by Charles Taze Russell under the title International Bible Students Association, this organization has proclaimed..." The New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1910, vol 7, pg 374 Penton 1997, p. 26 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 31. ISBN 978-0094559400. Penton 1997, p. 53 A.N. Pierson et al, Light After Darkness, 1917, page 4. Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. p. 101. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Penton 1997, pp. 58, 61–62 The Bible Students Monthly, vol. 9 no. 9, pp 1, 4: "The following article is extracted mainly from Pastor Russell's posthumous volume entitled "THE FINISHED MYSTERY," the 7th in the series of his STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and published subsequent to his death." Lawson, John D., American State Trials, vol 13, Thomas Law Book Company, 1921, pg viii: "After his death and after we were in the war they issued a seventh volume of this series, entitled "The Finished Mystery," which, under the guise of being a posthumous work of Pastor Russell, included an attack on the war and an attack on patriotism, which were not written by Pastor Russell and could not have possibly been written by him." Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 84–85. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. "One of Rutherford's first actions as president ... was, without reference either to his fellow directors or to the editorial committee which Russell had nominated in his will, to commission a seventh volume of Studies in the Scriptures. Responsibility for preparing this volume was given to two of Russell's close associates, George H. Fisher and Clayton J. Woodworth. On the face of it, their brief was to edit for publication the notes left by Russell ... and to draw upon his published writings ... It is obvious ... that it was not in any straightforward sense the result of editing Russell's papers, rather it was in large measure the original work of Woodworth and Fisher at the behest of the new president." "Publisher's Preface". The Finished Mystery. "But the fact is, he did write it. This book may properly be said to be a posthumous publication of Pastor Russell. Why?... This book is chiefly a compilation of things which he wrote and which have been brought together in harmonious style by properly applying the symbols which he explained to the Church." Penton 1997, p. 55 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 44. ISBN 978-0094559400. Franz, Raymond (2007). "Chapter 4". In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1993. pp. 72–77. Chryssides, George D. (2010). "How Prophecy Succeeds: The Jehovah’s Witnesses and Prophetic Expectations". International Journal for the Study of New Religions 1 (1): 39. doi:10.1558/ijsnr.v1i1.27. ISSN 2041-952X. Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. p. 144. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Salvation, Watch Tower Society, 1939, as cited in Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, page 76 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. pp. 39, 52. ISBN 978-0094559400. Herbert H. Stroup, The Jehovah's Witnesses, Colombia University Press, New York, 1945, pg 14,15: "Following his election the existence of the movement was threatened as never before. Many of those who remembered wistfully the halcyon days of Mr Russell's leadership found that the new incumbent did not fulfill their expectations of a saintly leader. Various elements split off from the parent body, and such fission continued throughout Rutherford's leadership." Reed, David, Whither the Watchtower? Christian Research Journal, Summer 1993, pg 27: "By gradually replacing locally elected elders with his own appointees, he managed to transform a loose collection of semi-autonomous, democratically run congregations into a tight-knit organizational machine controlled from his office. Some local congregations broke away, forming such groups as the Chicago Bible Students, the Dawn Bible Students, and the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement, all of which continue to this day." Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave, William J. Schnell, Baker, Grand Rapids, 1956, as cited by Rogerson, page 52. Rogerson notes that it is not clear exactly how many Bible Students left, but quotes Rutherford (Jehovah, 1934, page 277) as saying "only a few" who left other religions were then "in God's organization". The Present Truth and Herald of Christ's Epiphany, P.S.L. Johnson (April 1927, pg 66). Johnson stated that between late 1923 and early 1927, "20,000 to 30,000 Truth people the world over have left the Society." Tony Wills (A People For His Name, pg. 167) cites The Watch Tower(December 1, 1927, pg 355) in which Rutherford states that "the larger percentage" of original Bible Students had by then departed. Penton 1997, p. 50 Rogerson 1969, p. 37 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. London: Constable. p. 55. "In 1931, came an important milestone in the history of the organisation. For many years Rutherford's followers had been called a variety of names: 'International Bible Students', 'Russellites', or 'Millennial Dawners'. In order to distinguish clearly his followers from the other groups who had separated in 1918 Rutherford proposed that they adopt an entirely new name—Jehovah's witnesses." Beckford 1975, p. 30 "A New Name". The Watch Tower: 291. October 1, 1931. "Since the death of Charles T. Russell there have arisen numerous companies formed out of those who once walked with him, each of these companies claiming to teach the truth, and each calling themselves by some name, such as "Followers of Pastor Russell", "those who stand by the truth as expounded by Pastor Russell," "Associated Bible Students," and some by the names of their local leaders. All of this tends to confusion and hinders those of good will who are not better informed from obtaining a knowledge of the truth." Beckford 1975, p. 31 Penton 1997, pp. 71–72 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 109–110. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Beckford 1975, p. 35 Garbe, Detlef (2008). Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 145. ISBN 0-299-20794-3. 1943 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1942. pp. 221–222. Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1959. pp. 312–313. Beckford 1975, pp. 47–52 Beckford 1975, pp. 52–55 Penton 1997, pp. 89–90 George Chryssides, //They Keep Changing the Dates//, A paper presented at the CESNUR 2010 conference in Torino. Chryssides, George D. (2008). Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses. Scarecrow Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-8108-6074-0. Penton 1997, p. 95 Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 46. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. Awake!. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. October 8, 1968. p. 14. "Does this mean that the above evidence positively points to 1975 as the complete end of this system of things? Since the Bible does not specifically state this, no man can say... If the 1970s should see intervention by Jehovah God to bring an end to a corrupt world drifting toward ultimate disintegration, that should surely not surprise us." "How Are You Using Your Life?". Our Kingdom Ministry: 63. May 1974. "Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly, this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world's end." Franz, Raymond. "1975—The Appropriate Time for God to Act" (PDF). Crisis of Conscience. pp. 237–253. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Retrieved 2006-07-27. Singelenberg, Richard (1989). "The '1975'-prophecy and its impact among Dutch Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Analysis 50 (1): 23–40.doi:10.2307/3710916. JSTOR 3710916. Notes a nine percent drop in total publishers (door-to-door preachers) and a 38 per cent drop in pioneers (full-time preachers) in the Netherlands. Stark and Iannoccone (1997). "Why the Jehovah's Witnesses Grow So Rapidly: A Theoretical Application" (PDF). Journal of Contemporary Religion: 142–143. Retrieved 2013-07-16. Dart, John (January 30, 1982). "Defectors Feel 'Witness' Wrath: Critics say Baptism Rise Gives False Picture of Growth". Los Angeles Times. p. B4. Cited statistics showing a net increase of publishers worldwide from 1971 to 1981 of 737,241, while baptisms totaled 1.71 million for the same period. Hesse, Hans (2001). Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses During the Nazi-Regime. Chicago: Edition Temmen c/o. pp. 296, 298. ISBN 3-861-08750-2. The Watchtower. March 15, 1980. pp. 17–18. "With the appearance of the bookLife Everlasting—in Freedom of the Sons of God, ... considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. ... there were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility. It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated. ... persons having to do with the publication of the information ... contributed to the buildup of hopes centered on that date." Chryssides Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 32,112 Chryssides Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses, p. 64 Joel P. Engardio (December 18, 1995), "Apocalypse Later", Newsweek Penton 1997, p. 317 John Dart, "Jehovah's Witnesses Abandon Key Tenet", Los Angeles Times, November 4, 1995. ---------
Penton 1997, p. i Reasoning From the Scriptures, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pages 70–75. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 91 Muramoto, O. (January 6, 2001). "Bioethical aspects of the recent changes in the policy of refusal of blood by Jehovah's Witnesses". BMJ 322 (7277): 37–39.doi:10.1136/bmj.322.7277.37. PMC 1119307. PMID 11141155. Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1993, page 183. United in Worship of the Only True God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1983, pages 156–160. Bowman, R. M.; Beisner, E. C.; Ehrenborg, T. (1995). Jehovah's Witnesses. Zondervan. p. 13. ISBN 0-310-70411-1. Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 29–30. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "How Blood Can Save Your Life," Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, pages 13–17 "Questions From Readers—Do Jehovah's Witnesses accept any medical products derived from blood?". The Watchtower: 30. June 15, 2000 Sniesinski et al.; Chen, EP; Levy, JH; Szlam, F; Tanaka, KA (April 2007)."Coagulopathy After Cardiopulmonary Bypass in Jehovah's Witness Patients: Management of Two Cases Using Fractionated Components and Factor VIIa"(PDF). Anesthesia & Analgesia 104 (4): 763–5.doi:10.1213/01.ane.0000250913.45299.f3. PMID 17377078. Retrieved 2008-12-30. "The Real Value of Blood". Awake!: 11. August 2006. Durable Power of Attorney form. Watch Tower Society. January 2001. p. 1.Examples of permitted fractions are: Interferon, Immune Serum Globulins and Factor VIII; preparations made from Hemoglobin such as PolyHeme and Hemopure. Examples of permitted procedures involving the medical use of one's own blood include: cell salvage, hemodilution, heart lung machine, dialysis,epidural blood patch, plasmapheresis, blood labeling or tagging and platelet gel (autologous) Our Kingdom Ministry (PDF). November 2006. pp. 5–6. Retrieved 2009-06-21. "Jehovah's Witnesses and Medical Profession Cooperate". The Awake. November 22, 2003. Retrieved 2009-10-24. Kim Archer, "Jehovah's Witness liaisons help surgeons adapt", //Tulsa World//, May 15, 2007. Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Society. 1996–2014. "Question Box–Should a family Bible study be reported to the congregation?".Our Kingdom Ministry (Watch Tower Society): 3. November 2003. "Question Box—May both parents report the time used for the regular family study?". Our Kingdom Ministry: 3. September 2008. U.S. Religious Landscape Survey Religious Affiliation: Diverse and Dynamic. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. February 2008. pp. 9, 30. The Association of Religion Data Archives David Van Biema, "America's Unfaithful Faithful," //Time// magazine, February 25, 2008JumPEW Forum on Religion and Public Life. U.S. Religious Landscape Survey: Religious Affiliation: Diverse and Dynamic. The next lowest retention rates, excluding those raised unaffiliated with any church, were Buddhism at 50% and Catholicism at 68%. Beckford 1975, pp. 92, 98–100 Beckford 1975, pp. 196–207 Bryan R. Wilson, "The Persistence of Sects", Diskus, Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions, Vol 1, No. 2, 1993 "Comparisons". U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. Pew Research Center. Retrieved 15 August 2012. Jubber, Ken (1977). "The Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Southern Africa". Social Compass, 24 (1): 121,. doi:10.1177/003776867702400108. Penton, James (2004). Jehovah's witnesses and the third reich. Canada: University of Toronto Press. p. 376. ISBN 0802086780. Garbe, Detlef (2008). Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 484. ISBN 0-299-20794-3. Shulman, William L. A State of Terror: Germany 1933–1939. Bayside, New York: Holocaust Resource Center and Archives. Holocaust Education Foundation website. Hesse, Hans (2001). Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses During the Nazi Regime. Edition Temmen. p. 12. ISBN 3-86108-750-2. Kaplan, William (1989). State and Salvation. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press. Yaffee, Barbara (1984-09-09). Witnesses Seek Apology for Wartime Persecution. The Globe in Mail. p. 4. Валерий Пасат ."Трудные страницы истории Молдовы (1940–1950)". Москва: Изд. Terra, 1994 (Russian) "Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom",chapter 22,page.490 "Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses 1991",page.221 Claims that Jehovah's Witnesses chose a deliberate course of martyrdom are contained in:
Peters, Shawn Francis (2000). Judging Jehovah's Witnesses: Religious Persecution and the Dawn of the Rights Revolution. University Press of Kansas. pp. 82, 116–9. ISBN 0-7006-1008-1.
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, Visions of Glory, 1978, chapter 6.
Whalen, William J. (1962). Armageddon Around the Corner: A Report on Jehovah's Witnesses. New York: John Day Company. p. 190.
Schnell, William (1971). 30 Years a Watchtower Slave. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids. pp. 104–106. ISBN 0-8010-6384-1 Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1993, pp. 679–701. Botting, Fundamental Freedoms and Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 1–14; Shawn Francis Peters, Judging Jehovah's Witnesses, University Press of Kansas: 2000, pages 12–16. "Jehovah's Witnesses and civil rights". Knocking.org. Retrieved 16 August 2012. Botting, Fundamental Freedoms..., pp. 15–201 "Following Faithful Shepherds with Life in View", The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, page 591, "Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect ... in submitting to Jehovah's visible theocratic organization, we must be in full and complete agreement with every feature of its apostolic procedure and requirements." "Loyal to Christ and His Faithful Slave", The Watchtower, April 1, 2007, page 24, "When we loyally submit to the direction of the faithful slave and its Governing Body, we are submitting to Christ, the slave's Master." Beckford 1975, pp. 89, 95, 103, 120, 204, 221 "Exposing the Devil's Subtle Designs" and "Armed for the Fight Against Wicked Spirits", The Watchtower, January 15, 1983 "Serving Jehovah Shoulder to Shoulder", The Watchtower, August 15, 1981, page 28. "Jehovah's Theocratic Organization Today",The Watchtower, February 1, 1952, pages 79–81. "Avoid Independent Thinking". The Watchtower: 27. 15 January 1983. "From the very outset of his rebellion Satan called into question God's way of doing things. He promoted independent thinking. ... How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God's visible organization." "Avoid Independent Thinking". The Watchtower: 20. February 15, 1979. "In a world where people are tossed about by confusing winds of religious doctrine, Jehovah's people need to be stable, full-grown Christians. (Eph. 4:13, 14) Their position must be steadfast, not shifting quickly because of independent thinking or emotional pressures." The Watchtower: 277–278. May 1, 1964. "It is through the columns of The Watchtower that Jehovah provides direction and constant Scriptural counsel to his people, and it requires careful study and attention to details in order to apply this information, to get a full understanding of the principles involved, and to assure ourselves of right thinking on these matters. It is in this way that we "are thoroughly able to grasp mentally with all the holy ones" the fullness of our commission and of the preaching responsibility that Jehovah has placed on all Christians as footstep followers of his Son. Any other course would produce independent thinking and cause division." "Will You Heed Jehovah’s Clear Warnings?", The Watchtower, July 15, 2011, page 15, "brothers are 'mentally diseased,' and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings. (1 Tim. 6:3, 4)." The Watchtower (8/15). August 1988. The Routledge History of the Holocaust, Routledge, 2010, "Labeling the Jehovah's Witnesses as totalitarian trivializes the term totalitarian and defames the Jehovah's Witnesses." "Messengers of Godly Peace Pronounced Happy", The Watchtower, May 1, 1997, page 21 Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Society, 1993, page 708. "Execution of the "Great Harlot" Nears", The Watchtower, October 15, 1980, page 17
By Srecko Sostar
GB claims how they are not "inspired". They also claim that the Organization is "spirit-guided". There is also an idea that God has always had his organization on Earth, the first being the Old Nation of Israel, and then First Assembly at the time of the Apostles, and after long centuries of darkness organization appeared again in 1879 as WT Society. So, we have three organizations in three time periods.
Who has guided, led these organizations? We see that organizations were guided by people. The first was Moses, then the Judges and Prophets, the Kings, and then the Apostles and today is The GB. According to the present claims of this modern organization of God, it is logical to conclude that both of the previous two organizations had been guided by God by the same principles too, meaning, that no inspirational/uninspired people were at the forefront of a spirit-guided organization.
Which tools are used to run today's organization? Thousands and thousands of pages of written text and public and private talks. All of these published texts and speeches were/are not "inspired", in fact, they presented many erroneous teachings and instructions, in the face of claims, that the organization is/was spiritually driven at the same time. So we have a God's spirit-guided organization that teaches the wrong things.
What does this have to do with past God's organizations? In the past, members of those two perished Organizations also wrote texts and held public and private speeches. Did those texts and the words been "inspired". If we judge according to today's GB teachings and the way how God, supposedly, leads a modern organization, we could rightly say that, how past leaders were not "inspired" when writing and gave speech. Because God has no need to "inspire" imperfect servants when He already has "spirit guided organization" :))
What is "inspired" in that, if someone had wrote what he has seen or heard during her life? Or if they write down their memories after a few years after the event? Most of the biblical text is precisely this - writing what someone saw and heard personally or that writing came through the oral tradition, something that other people have seen, heard, and spoken in some period of time. Only in exceptional cases, the authors of certain parts of the script, claimed that the instructions/revelations/prophecy were received through dreams, visions or God or angel directly addressed them. So, for a very small part of the text in the Bible, we can say that it is "inspired" by divine supernatural power. The vast majority of the text in the Bible is actually a retelling of the events that have been experienced - either from oneself or from other people. And for such, there is no need for extra "inspiration", but a good memory of those who recount the event and a good memory of the one who later writes it.
To bring claim that God, with his spirit, has led each of these three organizations, but that only the Israeli representatives (and writers) and representatives of the 1st Assembly (and the writers) had "inspired" directly with His spirit to make the written and spoken content, but how God changed his mind in the 19th century and gave up from doing the same way of managing his organization, it seems strange. Why would God be inconsistent with his principle of how to lead his earthly organizations? Why would God "inspire" Moses and the John (and all the rest between) to speak and write, but today he does not want to "inspire" his Anointed Representatives who sitting in GB? Was theirs time more difficult than today? Do not we live in the end time when all is much worst than before? :)))
If JW members considers that it is quite right and normal for God to lead his organization through "not inspired" texts of today's "servants of God" whose "research and knowledge was multiplied" and become far greater, clearer and safer because of more and more "Brighter Lights" that is far more advanced than before, of all what previous generations of God's servants knew and understand, then it is strange that today's texts and public speeches are so inaccurate and unsafe and need to be continually changed and corrected.
From this WTJWORG idea of how God has kept his earthly organization in continuity since Moses' time, it is not difficult to doubt the accuracy of the texts that people have collected and incorporated into a single book, the Bible. In fact, if today's WT Society (WT is equal to God's Organization) texts contain both, accurate and incorrect things, then we could assume that the old records, "publications" and "public and private talk" of Old Time Organizations, in their content were subject to the influence of the human factor too. The idea may seem strange and impossible (because "God with the spirit" leads his organizations) but that not give guaranties that such Organizations will not End Up in Some Form of Slavery (to inside and/or to outside Masters). Recall yourself how had ended previous 2 God's Organizations.
But what do you think that after 1 or 2 thousands of years from now, when we all become old dust and ashes, someone came up with the idea of choosing certain WT Society texts and create a modern "Bible" for JW?
By Srecko Sostar
Inspired ....spirit-driven.... spirit-guided.....motivated.....to have spirit of....lead up by spirit....to feel that spirit leads us ..... spirit impelled him .... he came in the spirit....sent out by the spirit....spirit did not permit them.....bound by the spirit...he was in the spirit....carried him away in the spirit... and many more other phrases in the Bible.
Why JW's mostly, generally think that "inspiration" is action reserved only to JHVH and Jesus or devil and demons?
"Inspiration" is state/condition of some person soul, mind and emotions. The biblical / religious state of inspiration comes mainly out of the will of the people. But do you think how this is something that can be achieved/put on/force upon only by the actions of superhuman powers?
JW's are very occupied with their religion in own life and have specific relationship to this word and have specific (organizational) understanding of the concept about this special word - inspired. They think, I think that they do think :)), about this word only in religious sense and consider how it is about or only about some sort of divinity or divine holiness (or devil evil) in background.
Because they attach great importance to this word in only one direction, they forget that there is also a very powerful influence of another force. It's the spirit of man. JW's must recall themselves more often that people are created on the image of God. And that all people in themselves have a strong spirit (of divine source by birth and genetically inherited). This human spirit is powerful and can inspire other people (earthly spirits) around them. You, as individual can be inspired by people around you or by people about whom you hear about, you are watching, you read about.
Also it is interesting how some other things can inspire people. For example; nature, music, poetry, stories, events, animals, imagination.
Please, join to this topic and give, express your thoughts. Let your spirit free and let's inspire others :)))
Something I thought might be relevant since we are studying the God's Kingdom book. Not long ago, in a WT article, it was mentioned in reference to the "Kingdom being preached in all the inhabited earth" that this will not mean that literally everyone on Earth would have heard about the Kingdom before Armageddon starts.
When one does a bit of mathematics (not my forte) and calculates the percentage of current Jehovah's Witnesses in comparison to the World's population we arrive at 0.1%. This is a very small percentage indeed. (8 million JW to 8 billion population)
If we were to assume some averages, and use the United States as a fair example, then we can assume the ratio of 1 publisher to roughly around 400. This seems a fair number since "only a few are the ones finding the road to life". However, as we know, there is practically a non existent ratio when it comes to India and China, two of the world's countries with a population of over 1billion each (the majority of whom have never heard of the Bible, never mind Jehovah's Witnesses). If we would assume the same ratio of 1:400, then this would immediately create over 3 million Witnesses in each of the two countries, i.e. over 6 million in India and China alone, bringing the total of JWs to over 14 million. If we were to also add 650 thousand in Indonesia, 485 thousand from Pakistan, and 402 thousand from Bangladesh that adds another 1.5 million bringing the total to over 15 million, almost doubling the Witnesses today.
If we go by the fact that all people are equal in Jehovah's eyes, and that no nation is above another when it comes to salvation, and that all people are basically the same, then we have to assume that there are people in those countries who, if given the chance, would embrace the truth and put themselves on Jehovah's side and create that ratio of 1:400.
With that in mind, it is evident that either there is going to have to be a lot of preaching done, verging on the miraculous, in order to bring in over 7 million new Witnesses within the allotted time of the "Generation", or, Jehovah will judge their hearts and allow nearly HALF of the people, (agnostics or believers in false Gods) entry into the new world without them even needing to know him.
Or, is "this Generation" a lot longer than we think.....
Any scriptural thoughts?
1888 "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove; Firstly, that at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, Thy Kingdom come, will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be set up, or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions." (The Time Is At Hand, 1888, p. 76, 77)
1889 "Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14) which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God's word." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, The Time Is At Hand, 1889 Ed., p. 101. The 1915 Edition of this texts changed "A.D. 1914" to read 'A.D. 1915')
By The Librarian
Though there isn't any specific law, Jehovah's witnesses don't celebrate birthday because 2 Timothy 3:16 clearly states that we can use the inspired Word of God as a guiding tool in everything we do. From the two (2) celebrations recorded in the Bible, specifically Gen. 40:20-22 and Mark 6:21-27, we can easily discern that the two celebrants here, Pharaoh and King Herod, were pagans. You can also note that there is no record in the Bible about Christian celebrating birthday. Even Jesus did not command his disciples to celebrate his day of birth but instead he commanded them to observe his memorial death. For me, this is the simplest way to answer the question.
In view of last weeks WT study "Do you have the facts" (August 2018, page 3) and thanks to @Gone Away for highlighting the following reports, I thought I would put this in a separate and concise topic to show an actual and recent example of misinformation.
NEWS REPORT: (I cut it a little short because the article went on about the ban in general. You van read the whole thing here: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/five-jehovah-s-witnesses-detained-in-russia-investigators-10812938)
MOSCOW: Five Jehovah's Witnesses have been detained in Russia and charged with possessing weapons and running an extremist group, investigators said Wednesday (Oct 10, 2018), in the latest case targeting the banned religious movement.
They were arrested in the Kirov region northeast of Moscow, where authorities said they found two grenades and a landmine in searches of their homes.
The Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian denomination that originated in the United States in the late 19th century.
The Russian authorities consider the movement a totalitarian sect and last year the country's supreme court banned the Jehovah's Witnesses from operating in Russia.
"They had been conducting meetings and called on others to join their organisation," Yevgenia Vorozhtsova, a spokeswoman for regional investigators, said.
She said officials were investigating how the members of the Jehovah's Witnesses had obtained the ammunition, but declined to provide further details.
Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a member of the European Association of Jehovah's Christian Witnesses, said it was the first time the Russian authorities had accused members of the movement of possessing ammunition.
"We were shocked," he said from the Latvian capital Riga. "It is both funny and strange. Why mines?"
One of those detained was a Polish national residing in Russia, he said.
THE FACTS: (here I took the liberty of slightly adjusting the translation by Google, so it made more sense)
On October 9, 2018, in the city of Kirov, during a search of the house of retired Vladimir Bogomolov, a collector of artifacts from the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), investigators seized fragments of obviously unusable rusty shells. The man was searched because his 69-year-old spouse (the only one of her entire family) professes the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. The woman does not share her husband's fascination with antiques. Thus, the report that the ammunition was seized allegedly from Jehovah's Witnesses is not true.
Jehovah's Witnesses do not take weapons for conscience reasons. For this position they appeared before tribunals of different countries and went to concentration camps. They will be grateful to the media for clarifying the misunderstanding .
Vladimir Bogomolov, from whom the relics were confiscated, was in the past an active participant in a search movement (aimed at burying the remains of the soldiers who died in World War II), he was the brigadier of the search party. The activities of his squad were written about in newspapers. On October 9, 2018, upon the discovery of the artifacts, a criminal case on the illegal possession of weapons was instituted, it was allocated in a separate proceeding. The items were sent for examination.
By The Librarian
United Arab EmiratesÂ
Today Presidents Trump and Putin meet for summit, and the New York Times tells of an exiled Jehovah's Witness who proposes Trump ask Putin a simple question: "Why are Russians who pay their taxes, follow the law and embrace the Christian values promoted by the Kremlin being forced to flee their country?"
A simple [and single] question. To propose that Trump do this is exactly the non-confrontational style of Jehovah's Witnesses, and is proof in itself that they are not extremist. Moreover, because the goal is so modest, it is not impossible that it could happen. Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is not everywhere, but where it is, it is draconian, with police dressed in riot gear breaking down doors to arrest them.
Meanwhile (and irrelevant), I did a google search of "New York Times Jehovah's Witnesses." The second hit is an article from 1958, telling of (I think) the largest Christian assembly in history.
Remember, Google is personalized. Your results may vary.
By The Librarian
As you read this.... remember PERCEPTION is 90% of everything. Sometimes it even trumps the truth itself for centuries. It is that important.
I suspect we should consider that most businesses no longer require suits (business casual and clean is now ok for most jobs)
I try to not bring my electronic devices to my business meetings. It sends the wrong message I think.Â What is wrong with the Bible and songbook (actual books)?
Let's also consider what a Kingdom Hall full of Mercedes and Audis appears like to the public.
I remember how I felt as a regular pioneer showing up in California one day at a KH with all their expensive cars. WRONG MESSAGE!!!
Remember what Jesus said about the RICH?
Just some random thoughts when I saw this on Facebook.
View the full article
By Guest Nicole
The Jehovah’s Witnesses community in the Netherlands will not hold an independent inquiry into the sexual abuse of members, despite being urged to do so by justice minister Sander Dekker. By last month, 267 reports of sexual abuse involving Jehovah’s Witnesses had been made to a hotline set up by the Reclaimed Voices foundation in 2017 after Trouw published a report on the growing scandal. Dekker told RTL Nieuws on Tuesday that the organisation’s decision is ‘disappointing’ and that it is ignoring the victims who want to be heard. He has no powers to force the organisation to hold an inquiry.
Read more: https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2018/05/jehovahs-witnesses-reject-calls-for-independent-inquiry-into-sexual-abuse/
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
FSB starts detaining Jehovah’s Witnesses on Kola, dozens flee to Finland
Criminal cases are initiated after FSB and Rosgvardia raided six addresses in the closed navy town of Polyarny.
By Thomas Nilsen - The Independent Barents Observer
April 20, 2018
Last April, a ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout the country, arguing the religious group to be extremist.
On Friday, Murmansk regional authorities’ newspaper Murmanski Vestnik reports about raids made by FSB and the National Guard of Russia (Rosgvardia) in Polyarny on the Kola Peninsula.
Two local residents were detained under suspicions of being members of the administrative centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, organizing teaching and meetings where reading of banned religious literature took place. Searches were carried out at six addresses in Polyarny.
The town is home to a naval yard and several of the diesel-powered submarines and other warships of the Northern Fleet have Polyarny as homeport.
The extremist law banning Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia provides for a maximum sentences of 6 to 10 years in jail.
Meanwhile, a wave of practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses are fleeing Russia. More than a thousand people are now seeking asylum in several European countries, including Finland, the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported earlier this winter.
It all started last summer, and that’s when the first Witnesses sought asylum in Finland, spokesperson Veikko Leininen with the organization’s Finnish branch told the newspaper. Many dozens at least are still to come, he said.
Press adviser Therese Bergwitz-Larsen with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) can’t go into details about particular reasons for asylum seekers coming to Norway.
Unfortunately, we can’t say anything in general on the background for reasons to apply for asylum, since the number [from Russia] is so small, Bergwitz-Larsen tells the Barents Observer.
Statistics from UDI show that 15 persons came from Russia the first three months this year. In 2017, 58 Russian asylum seekers came to Norway.
In Russia, the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated to about 175,000. That be, before the organization was declared extremist. Viewed with skepticism for denying military service, voting and refusal to take blood, the members are seen as both a threat to themselves, their children and public safety.
Also during Soviet times, the Witnesses were persecuted.
Human Right Watch recently called on Russian authorities to drop charges against Danish citizen Dennis Christensen adherent for practicing his faith. Christensen has been in pretrial custody for 11 months in the town of Orel. Human Right Watch argues that Russia is a member of Council of Europe and a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, and therefore is obligated to protect the rights to freedom of religion and association.
My note: Russia passed a law in 2015 that basically stated that any CE or ECHR resolution or ruling they disagreed with could be ignored. I think it is a very good idea when governments start rounding up people for gas chambers, concentration or slave labor camps, or prison ... just be somewhere else.
You may have to abandon everything you and your family ever worked for, with the clothes on your back, but at least when they upholster the living room furniture you left behind ... it won't be with YOUR SKIN.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
(New news ....) A MONTANA Judge Orders Jehovah’s Witnesses to Turn Over Internal Documents Related to Childhood Sexual Abuse
April 12, 2018
On April 5, 2018, Judge James Manley of Sanders County, Montana ordered the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization to produce documents and testimony related to internal reports and investigations into the childhood sexual abuse of NPR’s two clients.
In this case, the two Plaintiffs were sexually abused as children by a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Elders in the local Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Thompson Falls, Montana were aware of the abuse and failed to report it to the police, choosing instead to handle the reports and investigations internally pursuant to Jehovah’s Witness guidelines. Their decision not to report the abuse to authorities allowed the perpetrator to remain in the congregation and continue to abuse one of the Plaintiffs.
Throughout this case, and similar childhood sexual abuse cases across the country, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have refused to produce documents related to their internal handling of reports of sexual abuse and related investigations and disciplinary actions claiming that the information is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Through briefing to the court, NPR convinced the Judge that Defendants’ privilege claims were unsupported and improper under the law. The Court agreed that Defendants could not blanket everything related to their investigations in secrecy and that they must turn it over to the Plaintiffs. Often, this is the very evidence that can win or lose a case like this against a religious institution.
The case of Nunez, et al. v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, et al. is set to go to trial in September of 2018.
The plaintiffs in this case are represented by NPR partner D. Neil Smith and associate Ross E. Leonoudakis.
A Jury of 12 held in public view ... or a tribunal of three held in complete secrecy.
Which would YOU choose, to get Justice?
By Guest Nicole
Helene Gotthold, a Jehovah's Witness, was beheaded for her religious beliefs on December 8, 1944, in Berlin. She is pictured with her children. Germany, June 25, 1936.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Which Pill Would We Take ..... The Red Pill? .... or the Blue Pill?
In the political world, more and more people are rejecting "Fake News" as provided by CNN (Clinton News Network), ABC (All 'bout Clinton) and NBC (Nothin' but Clinton), etc., and are seeking the truth about what they are being told ..... wherever it may be found.
Today John Stossel had an article about this on Foxnews which is incredibly important ... not only for the political ramifications ... but every manner of philosophical thought ....Â and our very view of how the Universe works, and what "makes it tick".
If you have seen the movie "The Matrix" .... a MUST SEE movie .... you already know the common expression "Red Pill? Blue Pill?".
If you don't ... YOU SHOULD.Â
The concept behind the expression is incredibly important ... as to whether we live in and artificial fantasy construct world ... or a world of what is actually REAL.
JOHN STOSSEL: More people tuning out mainstream media, embracing 'truth'
Oh ... and if you have not seen it .... get a copy of the movie, so you will actually get a "feel" for the depth of the now commonly understoodÂ idiomatic expression.
(For those in Rio Linda, that has nothing to do with sex, it has to do with basic understanding .....)
By Sergey Christosenko
After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.Â 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb!Â (Rev. 7: 9-10)Â .
Today, on the ground there are thousands of religions that have made billions of people slaves of their religious teachers.Â Even atheism is as much a religion as everyone else, just atheists do not believe in the Creator, and the existence of a certain matter, which is magically formed our very complex and surprisingly organized universe, including living organisms and humans.Â The slavery that exists on our planet thousands of years, is in the most bizarre forms, and at first glance it seems freedom.Â But who, in reality from the people in the world, rich or poor, smart and silly, important and simple free from the bondage of sickness and death?
In the world there is no free people!Â There are only slaves, because the people is not available, and dependent creature creator.Â Just a few know about it, and most of the other does not know about it until the time comes to get sick and die!Â When people do not know their future, they are easily fooled.Therefore, Jehovah's Witnesses religious teachers deceive the flock, saying that "great crowd" of Revelation 7: 9, are members of their religion.Â who survived a bloody Armageddon.Â But can there be such slaves to religion, were free from death?
Of course, it can not be!Â That is why the leaders of the people and their leaders, including religious and trying to convince people the idea that they can be free, including from disease and death.Â Of course, God is well aware of this, so he ordered to be written in His Word - the Bible, about who are the religious leaders of all religions existing on earth, and especially such a religion, as Jehovah's Witnesses:
Â 17 These are waterless springs, and mists driven by a storm: they prepared the gloom of eternal darkness.Â
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure in the lusts of the flesh and much wantonness, those who are just escaping from being misled.Â 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption;Â For if a man who is defeated, he brought in bondage.Â (2 Peter 2: 17-19)
Is it not a very exact words with which religious teachers of Jehovah's Witnesses are described as "wells without water", ie have no life, "cloud", which quickly appear and disappear quickly, because their speech is "great swelling words of vanity," with by which they deceive their religious lie even those "who barely, that is quite a few, have lagged behind in error a variety of false doctrines, such as atheism with his theory of evolution, without any evidence, and such as Christianity, with its one God from three heads,Â each of which then by itself, then acts together.
Therefore, the apostle Peter writes about the right of all religious leaders, and in particular, the leaders of Jehovah's Witnesses, they "promise their followers the freedom" are themselves being slaves of corruption, that is, diseases and death !.Â And then the apostle writes about the sad fate of the religious leaders, who seem to have rejected the deceitfulness of the godless world, and seems to have acquired a knowledge of Jesus Christ, but again and again, like dogs srygnuvshie food, keep returning to eat that vomit them previously.Â That's why these people are completely in vain learned about Yehovahe - the God of Israel and sent them to the people of renegade Jesus Christ.Â
20 For if they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the first.
21 It would be better to them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.Â 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog returns to its vomit, and: washed pig [is] wallow in the mud.Â
(2 Peter 2: 20-22)
And why slaves freedom, if they see the happiness of the people in bondage?Â So today in bondage to the American Watchtower Society held in slavery around 20 million people, with 8.5 million of them, so to speak, active slaves who show diligence in the execution of the will of their religious teachers of the Governing Body.Â Teachers of the Christian sect, as well as other Christian faiths, seduce his students that promise to release them in the near future and from diseases and poverty, and on crime and violence, and even death, the promise of eternal life in paradise on the ground.
But as you know, none of the promise of these religious teachers, as well as all others, no one will.Â Just because they are in bondage to death.Â They are her slaves, despite the fact that they are trying to present the case so that they are holy and righteous before God.Â In fact, there is none of the people living on earth today, neither holiness nor righteousness before Yehovahom - the God of Israel.Â There are just silly religious fantasies, in which some people naively believe!Â
Freedom from disease and death of the people can only give the Creator - Yehovah.Â So he gives to those who are worthy of the people, by virtue of its divine or holy spirit to adopt them as his adopted children.
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.Â 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage, [to] again [to live] in fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, "Abba, Father!"Â
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are - children of God.Â
17 And if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him, to his glory.Â
18 For I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory which shall be revealed in us.Â (Romans 8: 14-18)
That is why stupid to become a disciple of any particular religion, but should only become a disciple of the sole mediator in the adoption, by the power of Yehovaha, a man named Yehoshua Anointed One, or as it was called Greeks, Christ Jesus.Â Only the teaching of Jesus Christ, which bears no relation to Christianity or any other religion, is able to free man from the slavery of human teachings, and hence from the slavery of death!
And what is happening in religions?Â And in the religions, all religious teachers - leaders of these religions, prevent, so you can be free to follow Jesus Christ, repeating his steps, making adherents to live the commandments, the long-dead law of Moses, and they invented rules.Â Therefore, even taking the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, a person staying in one religion or another again loses this freedom, and returned as the "dog to his vomit", following the instructions and tips are not the Christ, and their religious leaders.
For example, in the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses, religious teachers force their students to live according to the precepts of the Mosaic Law, requiring them to knock each other elders of the congregation, prohibit blood transfusions, forbidding to marry with someone who is not in the religion, are forced to proselytize - in proselytizing, and other nonsense, which have no relation to faith in Christ as their only teacher and mediator.Â This is why the disciples of the American Society of watchtower flies not freedom in Christ, and only the yoke of slavery!Â
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, if ye be circumcised, will not do you any good from Christ.Â 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he should do the whole law.Â 4 You are justified by the Law of Moses, were without Christ, they have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.Â 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, but faith working through love.Â (Gal 5: 1-6) The Gospel of Luke tells us that after his baptism in the Jordan, Jesus Christ forever leave his collection to the city of Nazareth, where he taught from the age of 12 the Pharisees and scribes of the Jewish religious system of worship Yehovahu - the God of Israel.Â Therefore, today, those who really got the spirit Yehovaha rather than imitates this event, pretending to be a party to the New Testament, as a guarantee of its adoption, become his anointed, that is Christ, and forever leave their religion.Â Well, why do they promise which the people if he Yehovah gave them the spirit of their adoption?Â
21 establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us [there is] God,Â
22 who also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.Â (2 Corinthians 1: 21.22)
As is well understood by those who read the Bible carefully, rather than across the page, with tea and scones, God is going to raise a limited number of anointed ones, that is, people who have, so to speak, on his brow seal Yehovaha.Â The total amount of those of them who remain faithful until death, all of the first apostles of Christ is limited to 144000 of 12 conventional (the number of the Apostles) tribes of Israel.Â What this means for the rest of the people who have ever lived on the earth?Â
This means that they "looked forward to the revelation of the sons Yehovaha who begin their reign as kings in heaven with Jesus Christ in his 1000 year kingdom.
18 For I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory which shall be revealed in us.Â 19 For the creation waits with eager children of God, revelation, 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now;Â 23 And not only [it], but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for adoption, the redemption of our body.Â 24 For we are saved by hope.Â But hope that is seen is not hope;Â For if someone sees it and hope that it?Â
(Romans 8: 18-24)
Only in the end of the 1000-year reign of Jesus Christ, "the whole thing", that is, all creation Yehovaha can finally get rid of the bondage of disease, poverty, crime, death and old age.Â Here is how this painting the liberation of mankind from the bondage of the book of Revelation describes the prophet John.Â
9 After this (after 1000 years) I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.Â 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb!Â (Rev. 7: 9.10)
Thus, we see a great many are not Jehovah's Witnesses, and in general people do not consist of any one religion.Â They all praise Yehovaha - the God of Israel and Jesus Christ as their savior.Â Their white clothes makes it clear that they are far from any religious system that people have created on earth for thousands of years.Â But religious leaders are not satisfied.Â So they, like all children of the devil uses deception to deceive humanity and forced under threat of eternal torture, or threat of bloody Armageddon, to serve them, to be their slaves.Â
Yehovah is a spirit;Â and where the spirit Yehovaha, there is liberty.Â
2 Corinthians 3:17
By Noble Berean
The February 2017 WT had this to say about the GB:
Compare this to the November 2016 WT which had this to say about the GB's authority:
The GB wants the unquestioned control and the credit for leading God's organization, but they also wants total freedom from accountability when they are wrong. The existence of the org is based around everyone accepting this premise.
But how is this premise not 100% illogical and absurd? The GB is presenting itself in 2 completely conflicting ways:
The GB is uninspired, fallible, and errs, so they should not be blamed for incorrect direction. The GB should not be questioned by JWs, and there is no place for independent thinking. The GB cannot state they make errors in their direction and simultaneously demand unquestioned obedience to their direction. That doesn't make any sense. If anything, JWs should be skeptical of the GB's directions because of their history of incorrect direction. However, critical thinking is discouraged as a negative trait in organization literature--even when that thinking is based on the Bible.
If there is a God, then surely he is just, and I cannot imagine he would structure an organization on such an illogical premise.
Think of how this premise negatively affects JWs. Adherents are essentially commanded to follow direction that may be 100% wrong. They are told to "wait on Jehovah" if they have doubts. This also means that a JW could be punished for having a correct idea that is currently not in harmony with the GB. I'm sure this has happened with JWs over its history.
Also, isn't it disturbing that the GB have set things up so that they have maximum control and minimum accountability? It's the definition of plausible deniability. Everyone here is well aware of the legal issues with blood transfusion rejection and the sex abuse. In these legal matters, it is pretty clear that the organization is distancing themselves from any accountability and is instead placing the burden on the individual JW. This flies in the face of the culture of the religion where everything a JW does revolves around supporting the organization. There is no room for personal opinion. To suggest otherwise in legal cases is very dishonest and shady. Moreover, it goes against the idea that their is an equal relationship--we're supposed to die over organizational doctrines but the GB won't even acknowledge their role in court proceedings?
The very fact the organization uses plausible deniability in their literature is highly suspect. The fact that they can force JWs to follow their direction, but when it's wrong they can point to a WT and say, "See! We said we were fallible and uninspired!" It all smells dishonest and shady.
The God delusion- are Jehovah's Witnesses the exception?
Religion seems to be more divisive and destructive than any other belief system. Why does the beliefÂ in a superhuman powerÂ bear such "rotten fruit"?Â
Each religion claims they are the one and only true religion. Is there such a thing as the onlyÂ true Religion, and one that actually bears "good fruit"?
Please watch the documentary below and feel free to shareÂ any observations you might have, or comment onÂ the problem of religion and belief you have identified and/or the areas where Jehovah's Witnesses differ....etc.
At the end of the video Dawkins asks imploringly, appealing to our sense of gratitude:Â Â“People sometimes say there must be more to this life....but how much more do you wantÂ”?
I guess you can present that question to someone who was born in poverty and disease, and has no way out. Or you can ask someone who has been diagnosed with a fatal illness and has no way of getting better. Or you can ask someone who has lost loved ones who cannot be brought back. Â I am sure they would tell you they wished for more.....Â Â
By Guest Nicole
IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - Two years ago Mary Kurtz suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease making daily activities unbearable.
"I would wake up with terrible terrible pain in the chest area, it wasnÂ’t a heart attack, I knew that, but it took my breath away," said Kurtz.
Typically a surgeon could perform an open surgery by making a long incision in the abdomen to prevent acid reflux. However this wasnÂ’t an option for Kurtz.
"Being a witness, we abstain because in the Bible it tells us in Acts 15:20 to abstain from blood through digesting it or taking it in as a medical use and this is our belief," explained Kurtz.
After consulting with non-witness and witness friends, Kurtz came across Dr. Fanous who could offer a TIF surgery where her esophagus could be worked on by entering through the mouth.
"TIF or Transoral incisionless fundoplication where we use the device called the EsophyX HD device to go in, use the patient's tissues to construct the valve between the stomach and the esophagus," said Dr. Medhat Fanous.
Currently Aspirus is the only program in the UP that provides this new option for surgery. Not only is it safe and durable but done as an outpatient procedure.
"It was the best thing IÂ’ve ever done," said Kurtz. "After two years, I have no pain I have no acid reflux, I can eat things that I never even thought about touching before."
And Kurtz isnÂ’t the only one who seen the benefits of the TIF procedure, in just under two years, Aspirus has helped more than 150 patients go through similar surgeries.
"ItÂ’s a tight community and the word of mouth is very strong but the fact weÂ’ve seen 150 procedures, itÂ’s a testimony to the quality of our work," said Dr. Fanous.
Recently Dr. Fanous published a study regarding the safety of the TIF with Jehovah witnesses and Kurtz couldnÂ’t be more thankful for his work and consideration of her beliefs.
"I am happy that Dr. Fanous went along with this, because it is a big thing for us."
Here is a 14 year-old girl who sexted an explicit picture of herself to her boyfriend via Snapchat - and he spread it about widely. Guys will do things like that and girls should not be dumb.
She is looking at 10 years felony jail time for violation of Minnesota's child-porn law. The ACLU spokesperson defending her says this is a "teachable moment" for parents to inform the girl that her actions have consequences. Tell me about it.
It is also a "cautionary tale," the ACLU adds. Yes. It IS cautionary for a 14 year old trying to live in an insane world supplied her by adults that pushes powerful social media tools, a sexually promiscuous culture, and then ten years for making use of them.
Only RT.com picks this story up (besides local media), probably in a quest to embarrass the West, but that is hard to do because the West routinely embarrasses itself yet feels no embarrassment. To the contrary, it parades around in its wisdom. Meanwhile – ‘wisdom from the mouth of babes’ – the girl says “Sexting is common among teens at my school, and we shouldn’t face charges for doing it. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’m going through.” Of course. It is a no-brainer. It is not that what she did wasn’t wrong – it is that the entire adult world should be prosecuted ahead of her. That way, there will be no room left in jail for the child.
In a greater context, the story highlights the absolute failure of the world to vanquish pedophilia, which it has declared public enemy #1 - with its frothing take-no-prisoners, pulling-their-hair out frustration over making no dent in the pandemic, and so wildly overswinging to compensate. It is the frenzied carpenter who misses the nail and then furiously hammers ten times more, again missing each time. This is how it is with zealots who see their cause and nothing else – and the world is full of such people.
It mirrors the Arizona law of 2015 criminalizing contact with the private areas of any child under 15 REGARDLESS OF INTENT. Prosecutors did not back down even when it was pointed out that the law criminalizes parents changing diapers. No “sane or reasonable prosecutor” is going to misuse the law that way, they said. That is reassuring, but what about the insane and unreasonable ones? Will the law be repealed? Not easily. Just try repealing it and political enemies will scream you are being soft of pedophiles – no politician dares risk that.
Meanwhile, Jehovah’s Witnesses, of all people, get caught in the cross-fire of pedophilia for doing what no other religion attempts to do. Where there are reports of wrongdoing in their midst, they investigate, so as to keep the congregation morally clean – an obligation they feel before God. There is the unfortunate by-product that their name is always attached to pedophiles within their ranks, something that happens nowhere else. No other faith dreams their members should actually apply Christian conduct in their lives. No other faith looks into such things – preach Sunday and be done with it - and thus rarely learn of them. Thus pedophiles, who appear to be every third person on the planet, especially when the statute of limitations is forever, and the 14-year old and folks changing diapers are included, are never ever identified with any religion (unless they are clergy), with but a single exception.
The book I am almost finished with about Witness persecution in Russia will contain individual chapters on all charges made against Witnesses. ‘Pedophilia’ will be one of them, even though the subject did not arise there, strangely. It has arisen most everywhere else and it is only a matter of time there. The Russian embassy to the U.S. recently did mention the topic in a tweet, attempting to justify its ban – the first such mention I have ever seen, despite years of flinging dirt in that country to see what will stick.
Even my shoving match with @Ann O'Maly over who has the best child-protective video is in the pedophile chapter.
By Guest Nicole
I have posted this issue before, but it was during the time of the hot topic of the persecution in Russia and maybe got overshadowed by it. A poster brought it up again in one of the threads so I thought I will try again to post it as a topic. My goal is not to sow doubts, nor to promote some false ideas, but rather to get to the bottom of this as I feel it is a valid question. The summary of the problem can be seen in the quotes below:
Referring to people leaving their religion to join Jehovah's Witnesses:
"No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family". Awake 7/09 page 29
Regarding those disfellowshipped from Jehovah's Witnesses:
"Really, what your beloved family member needs to see is your resolute stance to put Jehovah above anything else - including the family bond.....Do not look for excuses to associate with a disfellowshipped family member, for example, through email" p.16, paragraph 19, Study WT Jan / 2013
In the above situation we are assuming that the reason for disfellowshipping was because of changing one's religion and/or apostasy (not because of immorality etc.)
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