By Jack Ryan
“Error always seeks the dark, while truth is always enhanced by the light. Error never desires to be investigated. Light always courts a thorough and complete investigation. Light and truth are synonymous”
- J.F. Rutherford. "Millions Now Living Will Never Die", page 14.
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)
The Lord told Watchtower President Joseph "Judge" Rutherford to start the individual hour requirements and return visits for JW.orgBy Jack Ryan
Pg. 205, July 1 1943, Watchtower
By JW Insider
This forum currently contains a recent topic where the subject of the 1918 imprisonment and 1919 release of Rutherford and his associates has come up. There is a lot of misinformation under that topic. I'm no expert on the subject, but it's still obvious that even some who present themselves as experts can be misinformed.
There is plenty of documentation and verifiable information out there on the topic, and while there's no real shame in being misinformed, we should be careful not to present ourselves as experts. When a person presents themselves as an expert, their misinformation becomes disinformation. We should strive for honesty.
And it's not that going back to this history is necessarily all that important, but our publications have made it part of fulfilled Bible prophecy, and therefore any mishandling of information about it becomes all the more serious. Also, sometimes when such historical topics are brought up some Witnesses are quick to complain that there is no reason to go back and rehash that old material. Note however, that it is our recent books and Watchtower magazines that regularly bring up such material for review. The "God's Kingdom" book discusses it. Even one of the most recent Watchtowers brings it up again (October 2019 Watchtower):
*** w19 October p. 3 1919—One Hundred Years Ago ***
While the eight brothers were imprisoned, faithful Bible Students circulated a petition calling for their release. These brave brothers and sisters gathered more than 700,000 signatures. On Wednesday, March 26, 1919, before the petition was submitted, Brother Rutherford and the other responsible brothers were released.
In a speech to those who welcomed him home, Brother Rutherford said: “I am convinced that this experience we have all gone through is merely to prepare us for more strenuous times. . . . Your fight has not been to get your brethren out of prison. That was merely a side issue. . . . The fight you have been making has been for the purpose of witnessing for the Truth, and those who have done it have received a wonderful blessing.”
The circumstances surrounding the trial of our brothers may give indication of Jehovah’s direction. On May 14, 1919, the appeals court ruled: “The defendants in this case did not have the . . . impartial trial to which they were entitled, and for that reason the judgment is reversed.” The brothers had been convicted of serious crimes, and these judgments would have remained on their records if they had only been pardoned or if their sentences had merely been commuted. No further charges were laid. As a result, Judge Rutherford retained his legal qualifications to defend Jehovah’s people before the Supreme Court of the United States, something he did many times after his release.
I won't personally get back to this topic for up to a day or so, but welcome anyone with information to present what they know about it, or have heard about it. We can start with our own publications and Wikipedia, of course. But anything that seems like valuable information or interesting questions could be presented for evaluation by all who are serious about such history.
By The Librarian
Location: CA, US Date taken: 1947 Photographer: Loomis Dean
By Jack Ryan
Billy Green Bush was a character actor on everything from M*A*S*H to The Dukes of Hazard, but the 84-year-old divorcee didn’t have homeowners insurance when the house he’d built decades ago burned down. He’s still having trouble qualifying for FEMA assistance, which is capped at only $34,900, because one of his adult children is also on the lease. Bush told me he doesn’t have the stamina to rebuild himself, and he doesn’t trust anyone else to build to his standards. He’s been living in his 1957 Dodge van since the fire with his dog, and the van was having trouble starting when we spoke. But even in these circumstances, his fire story slid easily into evangelism when asked about his plans for the holidays. “You should give thanks every minute of every day,” he said, “I’m a Jehovah’s Witness, and every day is Christmas for me.”
Don't worry Billy.... just send in your money to the Governing Body via JW.org and God will bless you.
Just ask any Jehovah's Witness near you in rich California and they will explain how they dedicate so much money to charities and helping people in need.
"Keep warm and well fed"!!
Oh.. and thanks for the acting work in MASH. Loved that show. Have you tried reaching out to the studio to see if they can fix your van?
By Jack Ryan
Few Witnesses are aware that Rutherford had a reputation as a drinker. In his book “Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” retired professor Jim Penton remarks…
Penton goes on to relate an open letter of complaint to Rutherford by Walter Salter, who had been one of his closest friends and confidants before breaking with him over doctrinal issues. In his letter, dated April 1, 1937, Salter complained of Rutherford’s excessive drinking, and of the fact that he bought large quantities of alcohol using Society funds. He bemoaned the fact that Rutherford “sends us out from door to door to face the enemy while he goes from ‘drink to drink’ and tells us if we don’t we are going to be destroyed.”
via .ORGWorld News
By El Bibliotecario
La policía en el Condado de Orange, California, estÃ¡ investigando un crimen violento que ocurriÃ³ dentro de un McDonalds durante el fin de semana. Un anciano fue apuÃ±alado varias veces en el baÃ±o.
El sospechoso captado en cÃ¡mara se escapa de la escena del crimen. La policÃa quiere que le eches un buen vistazo a este hombre. Dicen que golpeÃ³, luego apuÃ±alÃ³ a un extraÃ±o de 92 aÃ±os varias veces en el baÃ±o de hombres dentroÂ de este McDonalds de Garden Grove sin ninguna razÃ³n aparente.
Carl Whitney, de la policÃa de Garden Grove, dijo: "la vÃctima estaba usando el baÃ±o lavÃ¡ndose las manos. El tipo que lo atacÃ³ por detrÃ¡s nunca le dijo nada. No sabemos si el motivo fue un robo, pero sabemos que esto fue totalmente no provocado. La vÃctima no conocÃa al sospechoso ".
La policÃa dice que la vÃctima era un anciano testigo de JehovÃ¡ que estaba desayunando con su grupo de la iglesia, como hacÃa todos los sÃ¡bados por la maÃ±ana a las 10:30. La vÃctima dijo a la policÃa que vio al hombre parado en el baÃ±o contra la pared y dijo hola. El sospechoso lo ignorÃ³, luego lo apuÃ±alÃ³ casi hasta la muerte. Dice que el sospechoso nunca intentÃ³ robarle.
La Ãºltima vÃctima fue reportada en condiciÃ³n estable, pero crÃtica. El sospechoso fue descrito como un hombre hispano de entre 20 y 30 aÃ±os de edad y 6 pies de altura y constituciÃ³n media. Cualquier persona con informaciÃ³n sobre su paradero debe ponerse en contacto con la policÃa.
By The Librarian
(Orignally posted in 2014 in the jw-archive.org) Introduction This alert involves a particular form of fraud known as affinity fraud that has been perpetrated upon multiple congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Northern California (USA), specifically Circuit 13*, by persons professing to be servants of Jehovah God.
Affinity fraud is defined as a scam that preys upon the trust and friendship that exist in associations, such as religious groups. Those who utilize affinity scams typically are - or pretend to be - members of the group and often use respected religious leaders within the group to promote the scheme by convincing the members that a fraudulent investment is legitimate and worthwhile (See g02 5/22 p. 29 under the heading Theft in the Name of God; also g97 9/22 pp. 9-10).
Sadly, an affinity fraud scam manifested during my congregation’s engagement with Regional Building Committee #7 (2009 – 2011).
Having observed this firsthand as a participant in the RBC engagement and as an officer for the congregation’s non-profit religious corporation, I am shedding light on this situation since the wrongdoers, including some overseers within the English - Menlo Park Congregation, Regional Building Committee No. 7 and Circuit 13*, continue to cover up their misconduct. They have done so to avoid scrutiny from persons in the organization with greater responsibility, unsuspecting congregation members as well as the secular authorities.
Understandably, the following information may be difficult for some to believe. As a lifelong servant of Jehovah, I find this situation hard to believe myself. Nevertheless, it has occurred.
In Matthew Chapter 13, Jesus warned of false Christians when providing the illustration of the Wheat and the Weeds. At 2 Timothy 2:20, 21, Paul speaks of vessels “for an honorable purpose” and other vessels “for a purpose lacking honor” within the same house. At Acts 20:29 Paul spoke of “oppressive wolves” entering in among true Christians that would not treat the flock with tenderness.
This alert is intended to provide a general overview of the problem.
In the spirit of Leviticus 5:1, the goal is to overcome the current cover-up of this situation so that brothers in positions of organizational oversight can become aware of this problem and take the appropriate action.
The scam involves theft by false pretense (1, 2), private benefit, excess benefit transactionsand self-dealing - in short: white collar crime (1, 2).
It appears that the participants in this scam occupy strategic positions of responsibility at varying levels of the organization. All requests to the Service Department for a special committee to be formed to investigate and resolve this situation have gone unanswered.
Jehovah’s organization itself is not perpetrating this scam, rather a group of deviant, self-willed individuals therein are doing so. Such persons insidiously exploit the arrangements, procedures and infrastructure of the organization to execute their schemes - to their own benefit.
The Scam: Phase 1
The scam often targets Kingdom Hall properties that are fully paid for. A “trigger man” is required to set the plan in motion. This may be the circuit overseer, an RBC representative and/or members of a local body of elders. The trigger man may be complicit in the scam or may simply be directed by complicit persons above him to unknowingly set the stage for the scheme.
The trigger man then initiates a discussion of maintenance needs invariably steering the flow of the conversation toward completely remodeling the Kingdom Hall and/or selling it to purchase new land and build a new one.
If the existing body of elders agree, all is well. If they do not then non-conformists may be arbitrarily deleted as elders and/or diluted by new elders predisposed to proceed with the desired building project that are directed to move into the congregation. This dilution can also occur under the premise of merging congregations.
The newer elders typically become the officers in the congregation’s non-profit religious corporation. In doing so, they amend the articles of incorporation changing the name of the corporation and the by-laws ensuring that the local branch office is named as the recipient of all assets, including the Kingdom Hall property and proceeds from the sale of such, upon dissolution of the corporation. This enables the schemers to acquire operational control of the corporation and thereby assume effective ownership of the Kingdom Hall property.
The Scam: Phase 2a
Next, complicit RBC representatives provide a proposal for a complete remodel of the Hall when, in reality, a more modest project would suffice in-line with organizational directives (Policy letters dated 4/2/2009, 4/6/2009 & 12/11/2009). This proposal is approved by the body of elders as a matter of course regardless of the undue financial burden that is placed on congregation members.
The costs of the building project are inflated with specific intent to exceed the congregation’s available funds thus manufacturing the need for the congregation to obtain an interest free loan from the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Inc.
For example, the actual costs of a modest remodeling project for Kingdom Hall “A” is $35,000. However, complicit RBC members unnecessarily recommend a complete remodel that, in actuality, should cost no more than $100,000. Yet, the RBC representatives specify a project cost of $250,000. This amount exceeds the congregation’s available funds and so they are then directed to obtain an interest free loan from the local branch.
The project proceeds and the work is done for the actual cost of $100,000 – or less. However, the congregation is now responsible for a loan of $250,000 due to the misrepresented project costs.
By inflating construction costs for a project that the congregation doesn’t actually need and then finalizing a loan that will be paid monthly for the next 10 – 25 years, the scam fraudulently creates a revenue stream that constitutes a surreptitious form of tithing, something that Jehovah God and his organization do not approve of.
Based on what occurred during the English - Menlo Park Congregation’s RBC engagement, sham building projects have also been used as a means to reposition liquid assets specifically to obscure their source and/or final destination. Such transactions can enable tax evasion especially when performed under the guise of religious non-profit activity, something else that Jehovah God and his organization do not approve of. (See w11 9/1 pp. 21-23)
The Scam: Phase 2b
Alternatively, once the perpetrators of the scam acquire operational control of a congregation’s corporation, thus assuming effective ownership of the Kingdom Hall property, the congregation is directed to finance upgrades to the Kingdom Hall and then sell the property for a substantial profit, anywhere from 200 – 300%. With the original congregation and corporation dissolved at the direction of complicit branch personnel, the publishers are then merged with a neighboring congregation and the perpetrators move on to the next “building” project.
Thus far, all efforts to report this problem through standard organizational channels have been met with stiff opposition in the form of retaliation. In my case, my family has been insidiously undermined and attacked by the perpetrators of this scam. These attacks have included false accusations intended to destroy my reputation and credibility (See g90 5/22 p. 12 - Fallacy Number 1). Nevertheless, the import of James 1: 2, 3 remains.
While others in Circuit 13 have the basis to do so, at present, a total of seven persons can and will bear witness to the authenticity of this problem. (John 8:17) All that is required now is someone in a position of responsibility within Jehovah’s organization, whose fear of God exceeds his fear of men, who will listen and take the appropriate action to investigate matters. (Matthew 10:28; w01 12/1 p. 23 pars. 17-18)
If such corruption can manifest in this one cited area, there may be cause for concern in other regards. A special committee under the direction of the Governing Body, would be able to investigate these matters and determine the actual extent of the problem to the end of fully resolving this situation. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
The old saying “Sunshine is the best disinfectant” emphasizes that a good way to impede underhanded activity is to shed light on it.
In being created in Jehovah God’s image, each person has the fundamental basis and inherent potential to be a force for good.
If anyone has knowledge of this situation, or others, please notify your congregation elders, circuit overseer, district overseer, local branch, and anyone else who may be positioned to help. If you have the basis to communicate directly with any member of the Governing Body, PLEASE do so as their involvement will be needed to solve this problem. (Leviticus 5:1)
Jehovah God sees what is taking place and he will soon act for the sake of his own name. (Ecclesiastes 12:14)
* Circuit 13 is located on the San Francisco Peninsula and consists of English congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Mateo and Burlingame.
If everything you say is true, I am sure a member of the Governing Body at the United States Branch Office, would be more than willing to listen to you.
via .ORGWorld News
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
BOULEVARD, California, EE.UU. (AP) — Setenta y siete personas que ingresaron a Estados Unidos de forma ilegal fueron encontradas atestadas en un camión cerca de la frontera de California con México bajo un calor sofocante, y el conductor fue encausado por transportar a personas para obtener un beneficio económico, informaron las autoridades.
Cinco menores estaban entre las personas que fueron halladas el lunes por la tarde en el compartimiento de carga de un camión que estaba pintado de café para asemejarse a un vehículo del servicio de mensajería UPS, de acuerdo con las autoridades.
La Patrulla de Caminos de California detuvo al camión debido a que no tenía placas y estaba zigzagueando sobre una autopista de la pequeña y desértica comunidad de Boulevard, en el condado de San Diego, a 8 kilómetros (5 millas) de distancia de la frontera.
Un agente de la Patrulla Fronteriza que pasaba por la zona se detuvo y le ofreció su ayuda al elemento de la patrulla de caminos, indicó el periódico The San Diego Union-Tribune, citando una denuncia penal.
Leer más: http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2018/Encuentran-a-77-inmigrantes-dentro-de-un-cami-n-cerca-de-la-frontera-del-estado-de-California-con-M-xico/id-bf9d1bb47cba47a097c6d7d062d26cc5
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