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Is it ok for JW's to play Pokémon Go?

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      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.
       
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      Residents to move into a 'green' facility this September
      WARWICK — The new Jehovah's Witnesses World Headquarters located in Sterling Forest will be completed in August, thanks to the help of more than 25,000 volunteers from across the country who contributed to its construction. 

      Some of the volunteers have stayed at the site since ground breaking three years ago, such as spokesperson for Jehovah's Witnesses, Richard Devine, and his wife, while others have come for a week or a three-day weekend. With more than 1.2 million Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States, many of which own construction businesses or work in construction, there is a high skill level working on the project.

      “As Jehovah's Witnesses,” Devine said, “we feel it's a real privilege to help with the building of the headquarters.” 

      The entire campus, which borders Sterling Forest Lake (Blue Lake), consists of eight buildings, including four residence buildings and a large office building, where the 800 to 850 Witnesses will live and work. There are also two maintenance buildings and a parking garage. 

      Those that will be living at the 1.6 million square-foot world headquarters will start moving in this September, with the entire Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society slowly moving out of Brooklyn, the organization's location since 1909. Residents all have taken a vow to be members of a religious order, according to Devine, and as they accomplish their ministerial work in connection with the headquarters, the order in turn provides housing, meals, health care, and a small allowance each month to cover incidental expenses, like toothpaste and socks.

      And as far as children, Devine said that even though Jehovah's Witnesses in general are very family-oriented, the world headquarters staff is made up of only single or married adults. If any couples decide to have children, they would leave and settle down to a more traditional home life elsewhere. There is no stigma attached to deciding to have children and no longer living at the headquarters, he said, and it is considered to be a personal decision.

      “It's a way of life that's different than most,” Devine said, “but it is very rewarding.”
       
      'Going green'
      One of the goals for the world headquarters campus was to make it efficient, both for workers getting around and energy efficiency. The first was accomplished through connecting the buildings with covered walkways, some of which are above ground while others are below. Devine said this helps workers easily get around the campus, especially elderly residents in the winter. 

      Being an energy efficient campus was created in a number of ways, one of which was through storm water control.

      “We're not allowed to release storm water at any faster rate than it was in it's natural setting,” Devine said, “so we've incorporated things like this permeable paving ... and there's a couple feet of gravel below this so as the rain comes, it will just immediately go back into groundwater and won't runoff into the streams.” 

      There is also a large amount of underground water storage. Around the lake, there is a double row of black silt fencing, which keeps mud and dirt from flowing into the lake, and keeps the rattlesnakes out.

      As far as the landscaping around the campus, Devine said they were not allowed to use any plants that are not native to Sterling Forest. And one of the most “green” additions to the headquarters is the installation of a growing medium on all of the flat roofs, containing little succulents and other similar plants.

      “The whole idea is when it rains, the roof holds the moisture up here and then the plants can aspirate it over time,” Devine said. “By and large, we like to hold in as much water as we can and then that avoids having to discharge it into the streams or into our underground storage.”

      There's also a geothermal field on site. Using about 125 wells, each 500 feet deep, in the wintertime, the system pulls heat from the ground used to heat the buildings and make hot water, and in the summertime, heat is put into the ground. With just one plant providing heating and air conditioning to all eight buildings, it is more energy efficient and requires less personnel. 

      With all of this green technology installed, according to the headquarters' engineers, the site will most likely receive four green globes, the highest rating given by the Green Building Initiative, an organization similar to LEED. Aspects like the use of recycled materials, construction practices, the use of green roofs, landscaping and storm water retention are all taken into account.
       
      Why Warwick?
      The main features that drew the Watch Tower Society to the Warwick property were its size and location, according to Devine. The property is 253 acres but only between 40 and 50 acres were used to build. 

      It's not too far from the city, so there's easy access for intrastate and international visitors. It's also in a scenic location near a lake, creating an aspect of privacy, Devine said, with shopping for the residents still close by. 

      Traffic to and from the site will be minimal, since residents work on site, except for visitors, which Devine said they expect to have quite a few. 

      Another important component is that there's a lot of local congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Northern New Jersey and Southern New York.

      “All of our staff support local congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses,” Devine said. “So they'll travel quite a distance actually to worship with our neighbors. I go to a congregation up here in Monroe. But right here is kind of an ideal location because you have Northern Jersey with all the suburbs and we have many congregations nearby, so it just works out really well.”

      With the group beginning to move out of Brooklyn, the Jehovah's Witnesses sold their longest-held building in Brooklyn, 124 Columbia Heights, with its iconic tower atop the roof, for $105 million in April, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. And according to the New York Post, the 733,000-square-foot world headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights and the 1.1-million square-foot as-of-right development site at 85 Jay St. were sold for $700 million. 

      These were among the 16 properties the organization owned in Brooklyn, which will all eventually be sold. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society also has a location in the Ulster County hamlet of Wallkill, where many of their printing services are located. This large complex includes residence buildings as well. 
       
      Neighbors
      Even though the Watch Tower Society is a tax-exempt organization, Devine said, “We try to be good neighbors.”

      And the response from the community has been positive, Devine said. 

      “I think everybody was wondering who are these people and how can you build something like this using volunteers,” Devine said. “And I think everyone, including the building department, was skeptical. But we've won them over and the quality of the work, I feel, is very, very high.”

      According to Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton, the group has been exceptional throughout the whole planning and building process. 

      “They did everything the planning board asked them to do, they have been exemplary really in their construction activities,” Sweeton said. “We've had a monitor on site pretty much the entire time and our building inspector also visits a couple times a week. And everything that we've ever asked or wanted, they've done.”

      The Witnesses have also helped with certain public facilities in town. When Warwick needed some material to build one of last sports fields out at Union Corners Park, Sweeton said he contacted the Watch Tower Society.

      The group responded by providing all of the material the town needed as well as hydroseeding the soil, which allowed the grass to come in very nicely and much more quickly than had the town done the work - all at no cost to taxpayers. 

      Devine said that the group also has built a press box at the Little League field near the headquarters.

      There are also basketball courts and picnic pavilions being built on the property because part of the group's agreement with the town was to have on site recreation, helping to avoid overloading the town's' parks with additional residents. 

      Currently, the Watch Tower Society is working with a Greenwood Lake Boy Scout Troop to refurbish the east shore of Greenwood Lake, offering their assistance in terms of material and volunteer trade help.

      As far as impact on the town economically, Sweeton said that because the site itself was tax-exempt already, tax-wise, the headquarters won't have a huge impact on the town. 

      The Watch Tower Society also is providing some on site medical services and have made arrangements with the Greenwood Lake Fire District; it is also working with the Tuxedo Fire District. 

      If any of the Headquarters residents decide to move off site to have children, they then would pay taxes and their children would likely go to the Tuxedo school district. 

      “The town has been great to deal with,” Devine said. “They've been very open and honest with us, we've tried to be open and honest with them, and I think we've got a great relationship.” 

      As soon as the facility is completely done and the bible museum, which will be part of the headquarters, is finished, Devine said they will begin giving free tours to visitors, probably next spring. The bible museum will feature a first edition King James Bible printed in 1611.

      “We look forward to inviting the whole community to come,” Devine said, “and probably have a big invitation campaign that will welcome everybody.”
      Who are the witnesses?
      About 8 million Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide
      1.2 million Jehovah's Witnesses in United States
      The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania is the nonprofit corporation formed in 1884 under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is used by Jehovah's Witnesses to support their worldwide work, which includes publishing bibles and bible-based literature.
      Basic beliefs:
      The Bible: All Scripture is inspired of God. 
      The Creator: The true God has given himself a personal name—Jehovah—that distinguishes him from false gods
      Jesus Christ: He is the Savior, “the Son of God,” and “the firstborn of all creation.” 
      God's Kingdom: There is a heavenly government with a King—Jesus Christ—and 144,000 corulers, who are “bought from the earth.” They will rule over the earth, which will be cleansed of all wickedness and will be inhabited by many millions of God-fearing humans.
      Bible prophecy: What God foretells always comes true, including the Bible prophecies concerning the end of the present world.
      Preaching: It is an honor to share “the good news of the kingdom.” Whether people listen or not is their own choice. 
      Secular authorities: Obey the laws of the land when these do not conflict with God's laws.
      Source: jw.org
       
      Source: http://www.chroniclenewspaper.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20160609/NEWS01/160609944
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The Jehovah's Witnesses have just put onto the sale market a development site in the heart of DUMBO, 69 Adams St.
      The building that now occupies the site has a four-story recreational facility and an 84-space parking garage.
      Its rooftop is graced with an open-air tennis court — which is topped by a fence so cars and pedestrians down below don't accidentally get pelted with over-exuberantly hit balls.
      The Watchtower recently posted the sale offering online without alerting reporters.
      According to the posting, 69 Adams St. is “a 157,410-square-foot development opportunity adjacent to the iconic Manhattan Bridge.”
      The Jehovah's Witnesses did not offer any comment about their sale offering to the Brooklyn Eagle when asked about it. They did give the Eagle permission to publish their images of 69 Adams St.
      Zoned for as-of-right residential development
      The city Landmarks Preservation Commission doesn't have any control over what is built at 69 Adams St. because it is located outside the neighborhood's historic districts.
      Because of the site's zoning, “a new luxury residential tower with commercial, community facility and retail uses” can be built as-of-right, the Watchtower's online description of the site notes.
      The religious organization, which has had a major presence in the area for more than a century, is in the throes of selling off its once enormous property portfolio in Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO. That's because the Jehovah's Witnesses are relocating their headquarters to upstate Warwick, N.Y.
      The 69 Adams St. site has 103 feet of Front Street frontage. It's caddy-corner to upscale food market Foragers, and shares its block with a handsome residential tower, 85 Adams St.
      If a residential tower is built at 69 Adams St., it will have views of Lower Manhattan's skyscrapers, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the East River and the Midtown Manhattan skyline.
      According to city Finance Department records, the site has belonged to the Watchtower since 1991, when the organization purchased it from LI Machine & Pattern Works Inc.
      Another Watchtower property recently sold for $105 Mil
      The Jehovah's Witnesses began a new round of property offerings this past December. Since then, the organization has closed on the $105 million sale of 124 Columbia Heights, a 10-story residential building on the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights, to Florida Panthers hockey team owner Vincent Viola, Finance Department records indicate.
      Also, the Watchtower has made a handshake deal to sell its Brooklyn Heights headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights and a nearly 1 million-square-foot development site at 85 Jay St. in DUMBO for roughly $700 million, the New York Postpreviously reported. The buyer is Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.     
      In addition to 69 Adams St., the other Watchtower property that's currently available for sale is 107 Columbia Heights, a 154,000-plus square-foot residential property in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District.
      Several other Watchtower properties in Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO have not yet been put up for sale.
      Source: http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/2016/5/16/jehovahs-witnesses-put-69-adams-st-dumbo-sale




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    • Here's a start. But I can't get into Daniel 4 without something like the following as a "preamble:"   "What Does Bible Chronology Indicate About the Year 1914?" The Bible’s answer I will come again and will receive you home to myself, so that where I am you also may be. (John 14:4) For the creation is waiting with eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19) Bible chronology is a topic that has intrigued many Bible readers for centuries. The desire to see Jesus return has driven many to focus on combinations of Biblical numbers and dates so that these combinations will usually point to Jesus' return in their own lifetime, or at least the very near future. Now that we are 2,000 years from the time that Jesus walked the earth, preached, and died, there are very few ways to manipulate prophetic numbers so they will reach our own time period. There are the 1,260 days of Revelation and Daniel, which are also called "three and one-half times." And there are some other periods mentioned in Daniel including the 1,290 days, 1,335 days, and 2,300 evenings and mornings. The common method for making such periods end in our own day has been to turn each day into a year. But this leaves us in the "middle of nowhere" if we were to count back from today. For example, 2020 minus 1260 brings us to 760 C.E. somewhere in the Middle Ages. Adding 1260 to the date of Jesus' birth, baptism, death or resurrection would similarly bring us to dates in the 13th century C.E. Using the number 2300 from any event in the lifetime of Jesus life would point to a time nearly 300 years in the future, and this would have very little appeal to a Bible scholar or anyone with an eager expectation. And pointing back 2,300 years from today takes us to 280 B.C.E., another point that is nearly 300 years before Jesus and as much as 300 years after any major event in the kingdom of Israel or Judea.  Other "clever" methods have been used to reach modern times. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was common for Protestants to point back only 1,260 years to reach some seemingly important events in Catholic history. (For example, 1800 CE minus 1,260 years brings us to 540 CE., when the Holy Roman Empire was losing its grip on Europe.) Another method was to look at the number of years between the time of Jesus and a "modern" date, and then look at that same period of time in the B.C.E. period, looking for a potentially significant event. In other words, if it were nearly 1843 CE, for example, they would look to see if anything interesting might have happened in 1843 B.C.E. If this method pointed near to anything significant (like the birth of Jacob/Israel or the death of Jacob/Israel) then there was only a need to adjust a few years in either direction to find many other potentially significant dates that were "exactly" a certain number of years before events in Jesus' life. Counting forward that same number of years might be expected to result in dates of parallel significance in their own modern times. A natural goal would be to find a Biblical time period that was either closer to 2,000 to reach events in Jesus' lifetime on earth, or as high as 2,600 or more to reach back to the end of the kings of Israel or Judea. In the 19th century, several writers and preachers began looking for just such a period of time, and they found it in the "seven times." After all, if "three and one-half times" was 1,260 days, then "seven times" would a period that was twice that long: 2,520 days, i.e., 2520 years. This was an ideal way to reach from the 19th century back to the final kings of Jerusalem. Some found that 2,520 reached back to King Josiah and found significance there. Some found it reached back to the time when Babylon began attacking the kings in Jerusalem and found some significance there. Ideally, it would seem more significant if the event were even more spectacular, such as the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple which almost all scholars in the 19th century were dating to about 586 BCE or so. 100 years later, this is still considered about the most accurate date by almost all scholars of that period, especially after thousands more pieces of evidence have come to light. Any date 2,520 years from the destruction of the Temple (the end of the line of kings in Jerusalem) was too far in the future for most Bible chronologists of the 19th century. It reached as far as 1934, which was 90 years after the peak time of speculation in the United States: 1844. But after 1844 had failed, there were still small groups who had continued their speculation. One of these groups had focused on a version of the BCE-to-CE "parallel dispensations" method and had a chronology system that therefore already included 1844, 1874, 1878, 1881 and 1914. With only a 20-year adjustment to the time when all scholars were pointing to 586 BC, they decided to use the date 606 BC for Jerusalem's destruction and therefore made it fit the 1914 date which was already part of their chronology system.
    • Friday, Dec. 6 — crypto markets have continued to rebound after a sharp sell-off on Dec. 4, with Bitcoin (BTC) briefly reclaiming $7,500. The bullish momentum is observed across all the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, with just Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC) and Unus Sed Leo (LEO) seeing some losses at the time of writing. Meanwhile, Chainlink (LINK) and Cosmos (ATOM) are reporting the biggest gains among the top 20 over the past 24 hours, both up around 4%, according to Coin360. Market visualization. Source: Coin360 After trading around $7,400 price point for the better part of the day, Bitcoin spiked to hit an intraday high of $7,576 in a matter of minutes. At the time of publication, the major cryptocurrency is up 1%, trading at $7,450. Despite renewed upward movement, Bitcoin is still down over 3.5% on the past seven days as it failed to retest $7,800 on Nov. 30. Over the past 30 days, Bitcoin is still down around 20% from $9,286. Major U.S. financial regulator approves a new BTC futures-focused fund The new spike in Bitcoin’s price comes alongside news that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission approved another Bitcoin derivatives fund. As reported by Cointelegraph, BTC futures-focused NYDIG Bitcoin Strategy Fund is now allowed to offer its shares to institutional investors. The upward movement on crypto markets may be caused by the approaching Christmas holidays, according to a new report from analysts at crypto exchange SFOX. According to the researchers, Bitcoin searches on Google usually peak before holidays, not after. As such, on Nov. 28 — Thanksgiving in the U.S. — Bitcoin saw three consecutive days of price growth, the firm stated. Meanwhile, Twitter crypto personality Bitcoin Macro recently predicted that 2020 will be a “mind blowing year for crypto,” while “2019 was, and still is, the year to accumulate.” ... The total market capitalization accounts for $202.5 billion at the time of publication. Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here Speaking at ELEV8CON in Las Vegas on Dec. 10, founder and CEO of Celsius Network Alex Mashinsky said that there is a war brewing between centralized and decentralized networks. "The centralization of the Internet by companies such as Facebook and Google has created a distorted reality where fake news and blatant lies get the same treatment as documented truths,” said Mashinsky. Mashinsky said that the rise of centralized social media networks has resulted in an increase in fake news, causing a great deal of confusion regarding the basic facts of issues and events. Mashinsky also noted that fake news stories tend to increase reader engagement, which is then gets converted into huge profits for companies like Facebook and Google. “If such lies bring engagement (which is immediately converted into huge profits) then they deserve to be pushed and promoted by the world’s best algorithms, which work tirelessly to extract every dollar out of them. No need to worry about our democracy or human rights, corporate mega-profits can cure all ills if we just issue PR that we donated 1% of what we made to a school or the disabled,” said Mashinsky. A blockchain-based solution Mashinsky told Cointelegraph that a blockchain-based data platform is the only solution capable of combating fake news. A system such as this can verify the identity of users and the authenticity of data, bringing a much-needed layer of transparency to the online world. Mashinsky mentioned that a project like EOS Voice, which uses blockchain technology to record the inner operations of its network, will be one of the first decentralized applications to bring trust to the internet. EOS Voice is a social media platform that was unveiled by EOS creator Bock.One. The beta version is scheduled to launch on Feb.14, 2020. Unlike centralized social media networks that extract personal user information without permission, all operations across EOS Voice are recorded on the blockchain. Moreover, while Mashinsky noted that social networks are vulnerable to fake news due to the fact that anyone can post whatever they please, EOS Voice users must verify their identities. This provides a way to decrease fake accounts and illegitimate content, as everything posted can be traced back to specific people. Yet while platforms like EOS Voice are being brought to market, Mashinsky pointed out that gaining user traction remains a challenge. “Platforms designed to protect us and act in our best interest already exist. We are just waiting for 7 billion people to discover them. When they do, the entire internet will become an application on the blockchain” said Mashinsky. Blockchain economics To his point, Mashinsky presented a slide during his keynote entitled, “Blockchain Economics.” Written on the slide was “E=MC2”. In this case, E stood for Ethereum, M stood for members, and C stood for Consensus. “If you want the Ethereum blockchain to ever be valuable you need members and consensus,” explained Mashinsky. Mashinsky ended his keynote by explaining that we already went through the blockchain hype curve, but that we still need to cross the chasm. He noted that stable coins are a great stepping stone to get people to understand the potential of cryptocurrency. He also recommended to stop using centralized networks entirely: “The amazing thing is that if we stop this addiction, Facebook will lose their power and disappear just as fast as they got hold of it. How do I know that? I helped make the old phone companies that charged $700 a month to disappear. Now, it’s free because [Voice over IP] allows us to take the power back and leave these toll collectors behind. It is up to us to decide if the future will be more centralized or decentralized.” https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-briefly-breaks-above-7-500-after-sec-approves-btc-fund
    • I was there about a month ago, having flown into Orlando for the wedding of my nephew. I arrived near closing time, and was only able to walk around the outside of the fort. But I had just before came from Ft Matanzas, about ten miles south, party closed due to hurricane damage. The next day I went to Ft Caroline, outside of Jacksonville. Ft Caroline was French. They send a raiding party to the Spanish Ft Matanzas, but the party got upended in a squall. When the Spanish discovered that, they took those French soldiers captive and slaughtered most of them. (Matanzas literally means ‘slaughter’—landmarks, businesses, and roads all around that area are named Matanzas this or Matanzas that.) The docent at Ft Caroline told me the Spanish commander sent a letter to the French king saying the prisoners were killed, not because they were French, but because they were Protestant. The few captured French soldiers that were Catholic were spared.
    • Hahahahahaha! Thanks Space Merchant, I needed that! It is so much fun watching snowflake liberal's heads explode all over the ceiling at the slightest thing that is actually funny! It is like watching the movie "Mars Attacks", when granny is listening to the radio in the nursing home, and yodeling comes on the programming. CNN was once my very favorite Cable News Network, for their superb coverage of the First Gulf War, but now they are pathetic, and a comedy show of utter and total cluelessness.. If they did not have contracts to be in most of USA Airports, supplying equipment and programming, I suspect ONLY Democrats who consider it the "Clinton News Network", (.. which CNN is ...) would watch it.   I downloaded the CNN video from the YouTube link ... Don Lemon's reaction is PRICELESS!  
    • One can only open someones eyes if they are really searching for the truth.  I apologize if I have become too skeptical about the motives of people who contribute on this forum.  There is enough evidence here to suggest that I may be correct. 
    • Jesus said they will know my disciples because the love among them. What kind of love? The love of Jesus which is self-sacrificing love.  Yes, I am prepared to give my life for my brothers. This is love in action. During the Rwanda genocide brothers hid other families from the other tribe under their homes in holes..... if they were found out they faced immediate death by machetti  or gun.... this is self-sacrificing love amongst our African brothers. Do the other churches in USA teach this kind of love?  I bet your grear great grandmother who lived then (if she lived in USA) was a great racist.... just indicating that historical context does matter. 
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