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On 11/23/2018 at 4:20 PM, Jack Ryan said:

Clinical Psychologist Discusses Jehovah's Witnesses

“Fear tactics and the promotion of hate...” So much for the religion of love. It really is the religion of fear and hate, I’ve known this for years. Glad to see a psychotherapist state it!

1:16 min ....WT 7/15/2011 quotes  that Only if you have strong friendship with JHVH you will be happy and only JHVH will solve all your problems."

"So it is only when we have a strong friendship with Jehovah that we can really be happy and safe. Only Jehovah can help us with all our problems." - simplified edition

"Only in a strong relationship with him can we find genuine security." - normal, complicated edition

 Compare it and you will see how with term "genuine security", reader in fact can not understand fully  what this include. It seems how simplified edition is not only for people who are weak in English language, but it is for all other too. Because author of article with term "genuine security" building special meanings in 3 area of human life, that is: 1) Life Happiness, 2) Life Safety, 3) Life Problems. 

Does term "genuine security" including also:   justice, economic welfare, job for all, safety place for children, no domestic violence, medical care for all, education for poor people too, etc? In simplified edition Writing Department explained how "genuine security" means/comprises how your religious belongings to JW religion and worshiping JHVH as your Friend, inside WT Company, will provide you all blessings about "happy, safe and problems" issue. But still, despite such claims in article, JW members are not sure that they are happy and safe, and they have not all problems solved despite their friendship with JHVH.     

And not to forget one small detail that JW member will achieved all this goals ONLY IF OBEY ALL GB directives. :))  

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“The Witness organization has said that it does not instruct parents not to associate with their disfellowshipped children. But they have produced a video of specific circumstances in which a parent ignores a phone call from one of them. What to make of this? Detractors will say that they are lying through their teeth with the first statement. I think not. I think they should be taken at their word—parents will reach their own decisions on the degree of contact they choose to maintain, since they can best assess extenuating circumstances. It becomes their decision—whether they find some or none at all. Specifically, what the Witness publications do is point out that there is no reason per se that normal counsel to avoid contact with those disfellowshipped is negated simply because there are family connections. That is not the same as “telling” families to break contact. It may seem like splitting hairs, but the difference is important.

“That statement finds further support in the many Witnesses who have departed and subsequently report that, though they were never disfellowshipped, they still find themselves estranged from the family mix. Effectively, they are "shunned" without any announcement at all, evidence that a "cult" is not telling parents what to do, but it is their appreciation for Bible counsel that triggers that course. The specific mechanics of avoiding associations with those who have spun 180-degrees on prior spiritual convictions may be arguable, but the general principle is not. When no verbal direction is given, Witnesses defer to the general principle, so it becomes plain that it was the general principle all along, rather than the commands of eight tyrannical men at headquarters. “What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?” says Paul, referring to two polar-opposite worlds and those who would choose between them.”

 

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@TrueTomHarley Sadly what you write is the problem with this religion:

It ignores Jesus strict counsel to "Stop Judging Lest Thee Be Judged"......

IMG_3231.jpg

 

Check yourself before you wreck yourself...... You wouldn't be the first religious zealot to feel that he is doing a service to God when in reality you are just being plain EVIL.

 

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2 hours ago, Jack Ryan said:

You wouldn't be the first religious zealot to feel that he is doing a service to God when in reality you are just being plain EVIL.

 

The fact that you feel strongly about something does not make your opponent evil. 

This is most clearly seen with Obama vs Trump people eternally hurling epithets at one another. Surely the villains aren’t all on one side.

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8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

“The Witness organization has said that it does not instruct parents not to associate with their disfellowshipped children. But they have produced a video of specific circumstances in which a parent ignores a phone call from one of them. What to make of this? Detractors will say that they are lying through their teeth with the first statement. I think not. I think they should be taken at their word—parents will reach their own decisions on the degree of contact they choose to maintain, since they can best assess extenuating circumstances. It becomes their decision—whether they find some or none at all. Specifically, what the Witness publications do is point out that there is no reason per se that normal counsel to avoid contact with those disfellowshipped is negated simply because there are family connections. That is not the same as “telling” families to break contact. It may seem like splitting hairs, but the difference is important.

“That statement finds further support in the many Witnesses who have departed and subsequently report that, though they were never disfellowshipped, they still find themselves estranged from the family mix. Effectively, they are "shunned" without any announcement at all, evidence that a "cult" is not telling parents what to do, but it is their appreciation for Bible counsel that triggers that course. The specific mechanics of avoiding associations with those who have spun 180-degrees on prior spiritual convictions may be arguable, but the general principle is not. When no verbal direction is given, Witnesses defer to the general principle, so it becomes plain that it was the general principle all along, rather than the commands of eight tyrannical men at headquarters. “What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?” says Paul, referring to two polar-opposite worlds and those who would choose between them.”

 

Lets have plain talk not riddles. JW congregants shun those that leave the JW Org because those still in the Org are FRIGHTEND of the response by the police, sorry, Elders. The Eders act like policemen and they also lord it over the congregations. That is fact. 

As none of the 130 ish congregants from my ex congregation talk to me i can't ask them. But I would ask them to show me 3 scriptures that give them reason not to talk to me. 

I also dispute your term " avoiding associations with those who have spun 180-degrees on prior spiritual convictions ... "  But it does show how you are brainwashed into thinking that the JW Org own spirituality and own a person's love for God and Jesus Christ. Please remember that communication to God through prayer, is via Jesus Christ, not via your Governing Body or your organisation. And asking for the guidance of Holy Spirit to help when studying God's written word, has nothing to do with JW Org either. 

The Elders will call someone an apostate so as to stop other congregants talking to that one. That is well known knowledge. Well yes you could say that a person that leaves the JW Org has become apostate to that religion, BUT what the Elders are implying is that the person has rejected God and Jesus Christ, which may not be true. 

As for your very first sentence "The Witness organization has said that it does not instruct parents not to associate with their disfellowshipped children", well the Witness organisation says lots of things, many of them are untrue. I will not go to the obvious example. 

As for your bit about splitting hairs, simple answer is GB imply something, Elders enforce it. So maybe not a written rule as maybe GB are frightened to put it in writing for legal reasons.... But Elders use it to frighten congregants, by threatening congregants with being disfellowshipped themselves if they should disobey their masters the Elders.

What triggers the course of congregants is fear, fear of being reported by other congregants, to the Elders. An example here is one of our daughters that got disfellowshipped. She was reported to the Elders by one of our other daughters. The daughter that reported her didn't even contant her mother or me, she just went straight to the Elders.  Some JW's are sooooo brainwashed that they do not know love, mercy or reason. They just think they can score points for reporting people. 

So give me three scriptures to prove why people should not talk to me them Tom. I'm not pretending to be part of the JW Org, and i left because of disgusting things taking place in the JW org.  Jesus said 'Love your enemies'  and i think the scriptures say i should be treated as 'tax collector'. Jesus ate meals with sinners and tax collectors. Jesus healed sinners and tax collectors. 

And lastly Jesus and his disciples were apostate to the Jewish religion. BUT all the Jews still spoke to Jesus and his disciples, otherwise how did the message of the Kingdom get spread around. If all the Jews had refused to accept Jesus and his disciples then they would not have received God's word and got baptised. The disciples would not have found work as tent makers and would not have been fed and offered accommodation.  But your bosses, those 8 men in charge, think they know best, and it's people like you that are soooo blind which gives those 8, mainly american men, their power. 

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2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

The fact that you feel strongly about something does not make your opponent evil. 

This is most clearly seen with Obama vs Trump people eternally hurling epithets at one another. Surely the villains aren’t all on one side.

Why are you getting political about it ? Ah it's because politics is a distraction from truth. 

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4 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Well yes you could say that a person that leaves the JW Org has become apostate to that religion, 

There you have it then. 

Did they become Jehovah’s Witnesses because they figured the Presbyterians had the truth? If you just want to do a Jesus and Holy Spirit thing, each one according to his own interpretation, you don’t become a Witness in the first place.

4 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

So maybe not a written rule as maybe GB are frightened to put it in writing for legal reasons.... 

Or maybe you are smoking something. Read my two paragraphs again. That is the way it is. It doesn’t deny disfellowshipping’ it only tells how it works & how to relate it to family members. But all policies are in writing. If it is not in writing it does not exist. There is some variation with “brazen conduct.” With regard to disputes, it simply means that you can’t grab hold of the wheel of the bus.

Let us be neither silly nor paranoid:

“Paranoia strikes deep. Into your soul it will creep.

it starts when you’re always afraid.

Step out of line, the men come to take you away -

You better stop, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going on.”

Sheesh. I mean, maybe it’s not them.

As for your three scriptures, dig up one of the articles explaining the arrangement...there were a slew of them in 91, I think, plus periodic applications and updates. There you will find many scriptures in support. When you want to quarrel with each and every one of them, do it with someone else. At one time, you thought they were the coolest things since sliced bread. I suspect it is not the scriptures that have changed.

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11 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

There you have it then. 

Did they become Jehovah’s Witnesses because they figured the Presbyterians had the truth? If you just want to do a Jesus and Holy Spirit thing, each one according to his own interpretation, you don’t become a Witness in the first place.

Or maybe you are smoking something. Read my two paragraphs again. That is the way it is. It doesn’t deny disfellowshipping’ it only tells how it works & how to relate it to family members. But all policies are in writing. If it is not in writing it does not exist. There is some variation with “brazen conduct.” With regard to disputes, it simply means that you can’t grab hold of the wheel of the bus.

Let us be neither silly nor paranoid:

“Paranoia strikes deep. Into your soul it will creep.

it starts when you’re always afraid.

Step out of line, the men come to take you away -

You better stop, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going on.”

Sheesh. I mean, maybe it’s not them.

As for your three scriptures, dig up one of the articles explaining the arrangement...there were a slew of them in 91, I think, plus periodic applications and updates. There you will find many scriptures in support. When you want to quarrel with each and every one of them, do it with someone else. At one time, you thought they were the coolest things since sliced bread. I suspect it is not the scriptures that have changed.

So maybe you have become a follower of SM, breaking down a persons written sentence to suit your own purpose. I'll just leave the original sentence here for you to think on. 

Well yes you could say that a person that leaves the JW Org has become apostate to that religion, BUT what the Elders are implying is that the person has rejected God and Jesus Christ, which may not be true. 

Quote "At one time, you thought they were the coolest things since sliced bread. I suspect it is not the scriptures that have changed."

You are right scripture does not change or should not. BUT the JW organsation has changed. I keep telling you I haven't left God and i haven't stopped believing in God's written word, I've just learnt that JW Org is not serving God properly. 

As for scripture not changing and it doesn't of course, but the meaning of some scriptures constantly change according to your GB. I'm sure I don't have to remind you of how they misuse many scriptures and then change the meaning when it suits them. 

Quote "Did they become Jehovah’s Witnesses because they figured the Presbyterians had the truth?"

And tell me 'did they become JW's just to get abused ? Sexually, emotionally, mentally abused. 

Quote "As for your three scriptures, dig up one of the articles explaining the arrangement" 

You are deliberately misusing the point. My point being that most congregants have no idea why they shun others.They do it because they are told to do it. They follow blindly because they are frightened of the Elders and frightened of being disfellowshipped. Was it Peter that disowned Jesus, out of fear. Well it is certainly the congregants that disown those that leave, out of fear. 

I'll go back to your last point again :-

Quote At one time, you thought they were the coolest things since sliced bread. I suspect it is not the scriptures that have changed.

Be careful Tom, do not mix up the Scriptures from God, with the words and traditions of men, namely your Governing Body and others 'in power' over the JW flock.   God's word will always stand and always be true, unlike your GB and it's bad ways of ruling.

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      "What a joy-inspiring addition or enlargement to the good news now to be preached! Now has come the victorious kingdom of our God together with the authority of his Christ, his Messiah! As for Satan the Devil and his demons, they have only a short period of time until they are bound and imprisoned in the abyss after the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Armageddon. All this additional wonderful information has been true since the end of the “appointed times of the nations” in 1914, and particularly since World War I closed in the year 1918. Not before the “appointed times of the nations” ended in the fall of 1914 could the good news be preached of the newborn, established heavenly kingdom of God and of his Messiah. This, then, must be the good news that Jesus Christ in his prophecy said had to be preached first in all the nations. (Mark 13:10) This generation of human society that has seen and experienced the world events since the Gentile Times closed in 1914—this is the “generation” that will not pass away until all the things foretold have happened, including the preaching of the good news first in all nations.
      4 Jesus’ prophecy in Mark 13:10, “Also, in all the nations the good news has to be preached first,” has not been undergoing fulfillment during the past nineteen centuries. It is only since the second decade of our twentieth century that this prophecy has been undergoing fulfillment. This began to be realized by the International Bible Students Association and the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society since the end of the second decade of our century. In the magazine issue of July 1, 1920, of The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence the article was published entitled “Gospel of the Kingdom” and based on the theme text, “‘And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’—Matthew 24:14.”
       It is for this reason that the organization is chained to the 1914 teaching. As the scripture I quoted above demonstrates the Bible says that one who teaches a good news that is false is cursed. If the organization admits that the 1914 and 1919 teachings are false they will have to admit that not only were they not selected as gods channel but that they have been teaching a false good news for the majority of their existence. It is for that reason that they disfellowship and shun people who cannot conscientiously remain in the faith. It's easier to just eliminate the opposition then to actually address the real issues with your theology. 
      *** w86 4/1 pp. 30-31 Questions From Readers ***
      Why have Jehovah’s Witnesses disfellowshipped (excommunicated) for apostasy some who still profess belief in God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ?
       
      "Approved association with Jehovah’s Witnesses requires accepting the entire range of the true teachings of the Bible, including those Scriptural beliefs that are unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses. What do such beliefs include?
       
      That the great issue before humankind is the rightfulness of Jehovah’s sovereignty, which is why he has allowed wickedness so long. (Ezekiel 25:17) That Jesus Christ had a prehuman existence and is subordinate to his heavenly Father. (John 14:28) That there is a “faithful and discreet slave” upon earth today ‘entrusted with all of Jesus’ earthly interests,’ which slave is associated with the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Matthew 24:45-47) That 1914 marked the end of the Gentile Times and the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the heavens, as well as the time for Christ’s foretold presence. (Luke 21:7-24; Revelation 11:15–12:10) That only 144,000 Christians will receive the heavenly reward. (Revelation 14:1, 3) That Armageddon, referring to the battle of the great day of God the Almighty, is near. (Revelation 16:14, 16; 19:11-21) That it will be followed by Christ’s Millennial Reign, which will restore an earth-wide paradise. That the first to enjoy it will be the present “great crowd” of Jesus’ “other sheep.”—John 10:16; Revelation 7:9-17; 21:3, 4."
       
      This is supposedly a list of the fundamental doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses that all are required to believe. You will in most cases be disfellowshiped for not believing in one or more of them. Unfortunately the truth is most of them are false.
    • Guest
    • By Jack Ryan
      If the love you have for your children is predicated on their beliefs, you don't love your children you love YOUR beliefs
    • By Anna
      When a judicial committee is formed, why does it only consist of three elders (usually) but does not involve the whole body of elders? And is there a scripture this is based on?
    • By Jack Ryan
      In previous decades, when someone was disfellowshipped, they were told their time would be 6 months. Now it’s a full year?
      Why did that change from 6 mo to a year? and are they getting more ppl to come back with the increased time? With the less members staying in the org, you would think they want to lower the “jail time “
      Also are there any other religions that gives you months or years of time out, if you commit a sin, even if you actually want to come back?
      Also any former elders here? Why is there a standard set time for everyone? And why can they reject someone’s letter who wants to come back? Don’t they need more members ?
    • By Jack Ryan
      Jehovah's Witness Organization Redefines Shunning to Falsely.mp4
      Every JW visiting this page should MORALLY comment below and publicly state that this JW Lawyer is LYING through his teeth to the Canadian Supreme Court.
      If you don't, YOU participate in this gross sin. Because you ALL KNOW this is a false statement.
      Remember as well that this JW Lawyer is also an Officer of the Court.
      What the courts do not know is that JW's consider outright lying in court a part of "theocratic warfare" just like Muslims do. So it is a virtue to them.

      SMH.
      Can you spell P-E-R-J-U-R-Y?
    • By Jack Ryan
      "Sunday, December 30
      Asa’s heart was complete with Jehovah all his life.—1 Ki. 15:14.
      Each of us can examine his heart to see if it is fully devoted to God. Ask yourself, ‘Am I determined to please Jehovah, to defend true worship, and to protect his people from any corrupting influence?’ For example, what if someone close to you has to be disfellowshipped? Would you take decisive action by ceasing to associate with that person? What would your heart move you to do? Like Asa, you can show that you have a complete heart by fully relying on God when you are faced with opposition, even some that may seem insurmountable. You may be teased or ridiculed at school for taking a stand as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Or colleagues at work may taunt you for taking days off for spiritual activities or for not often working overtime. In such situations, pray to God, just as Asa did. (2 Chron. 14:11) Remain firm for what you know is right and wise. Remember that God strengthened and helped Asa, and He will strengthen you.
      w17.03 3:6-8 "
      https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/dt/r1/lp-e/2018/12/30
    • By Jack Ryan
      This was a case where in June 1987, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the Witnesses' right to shun those who fail to live by the group's standards and doctrines, upholding the ruling of a lower court.
      http://openjurist.org/819/f2d/875
      Has there been any cases after this, where DF cases went to court? Have there been cases in other countries were DF decisions were challenged and reversed?
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Here in the United States we have Cable TV with such things as "History Channel", "Discovery Channel", "Scifi Channel", and "A&E" the "Arts and Entertainment Channel".  Apparently around November 13 of this year they had a famous (?) TV star, Leah Remini,  who had been a Scientologist since she was eight years old turn Apostate, and she has done at least two TV seasons exposing the ills of the Church of Scientology", do an Expose' of Jehovah's Witnesses.
      I do not watch TV as a rule, and missed it, and I spent a few days looking for it and trying to download a copy.  It was not on YouTube, but I did find it under "Aftermath Jehovah's Witnesses" on the Russian equivalent of YouTube, "Rutube.ru". It would not download with my usual download software, so I had to find a free screen capture software, which took about four hours to get the settings just right, and I was able to download the two hour program from my monitor, as it was playing.
      Therefore, I watched the TV program three times, as I experimented with the settings to get a good screen copy to my hard drive..
      I could see both sides of the program viewpoints presented, and did not find us to be misrepresented in any way whatsoever ... but if there was EVER a clear example of the Law of Unintended Consequences, the horror the Governing Body has caused in disfellowshipping the way that it is currently done ... by ripping families apart, and creating  irreparable damage that can never be corrected with reinstatement, was chilling, and puts us in the same class as Scientologists ... which completely disregarding the horror and hardsip, and cruelty without any mercy whatsoever it creates locally, shames Jehovah's Name and Reputation over the whole planet.
      I don't believe there is anything a local Jehovah's Witness could do ... rob a bank ... have a harem ... have sex with horses ... etc., ad nauseum ... that would besmirch Jehovah's name and reputation globally as much as our current blatantly cruel public policies of destroying whole families for the sins of one person.
      I am very glad to have the education I have to know that the TRUTH is still the truth .... even though the 85% drivel has rotted and fermented into rotten sewage.
      Most JWs do NOT have this educational advantage ... so their lives are permanently destroyed.
      I don't expect much from people, and almost NOTHING from groups of people .... so for me, like getting one of those great salads at the Olive Garden Restaurant, and finding a big chunk of solid sewage in it ... I hold my nose, and eat around it.
      This TV Special is global news .... what could I possibly say to the average person that would clear the Name of God, that the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, NOT THE TELEVISION PROGRAM, has corrupted by its Pharisaic policies that have real world consequences?
      The exact same thing happened in ancient Israel, and a system that God blessed and supported for a thousand years and more was abandoned by God.
      The exact same thing.
       
       
       
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      CAN A PERSON ... OR SHOULD A PERSON . BE DISFELLOWSHIPPED IN ABSTENSIA?
      Here is the situation .....  a person REPORTED to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses is accused, and NOT convicted ( ... because he is a fugitive from Justice ...) .....

      Apparently he was at one time in a "Position Of Authority", which possibly alludes to his being an  "Elder", and he may have relocated to another State or even another Country. Possibly using an alias.
      The  various Congregation Elders cannot find him, the Society cannot find him, and the U.S. Marshal's Service cannot find him.
      Not having any indication to the contrary ... at least from the information given in the pseudo-Wanted Poster shown above, he is possibly still officially one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
      Whether he is or not, his bad example raises an interesting  aspect of trying to figure out how the disfellowshipping "system" protocol actually works.
      Can any of the Congregations  he went to disfellowship him without his being present  to answer charges ?
      ... and SHOULD he be?
       
    • By Srecko Sostar
      Watchtower religion has some terminology and wording that not existing in Holy Scriptures text. That is the case with word Disassociation. This word is impossible to find in Bible. 
      Disassociation
      Watch Tower Publications Index 1986-2018
      meaning of term: od 142: 
      30 The term “disassociation” applies to the action taken by a person who is a baptized member of the congregation but deliberately repudiates his Christian standing by stating that he no longer wants to be recognized as, or known as, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Or he might renounce his place in the Christian congregation by his actions, such as by becoming part of a secular organization that has objectives contrary to Bible teachings and therefore is under judgment by Jehovah God.—Isa. 2:4; Rev. 19:17-21. - https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102014944#h=41:0-41:511
      If you going to read this two Bible verses you will find that there is nothing about JW member who decide not to be member of JWorg any more. JW (WT GB) policy about people who stopped to be JW member is Artificial rule imposed by WT leaders. 
      It is interesting how WT explanation is that disassociated person in fact "shunning" JW bros and sis and congregation. It is good to notice how person who left JWorg are not shunning people who stay to be JW members. Many ex JW members are ready to give smile and greetings to JW when they met them on the street, or to go for a glass of drink with them. If some do "shun" :))) it is for/to those JW who have orthodox and corporative characters, who are fanatics and purposely blind. Such disassociated ones are decided to separate self from WT Corporation and doctrines that are questionable or wrong. 
       
       
       
       
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      DO  WE STILL  DISFELLOWSHIP  THE  MENTALLY  ILL ?
      I was a teenager in the 60's,  and I had a good friend that on Scout camping trips I introduced to the Truth, and I was there in NYC at Yankee Stadium when he was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witness. He was a true "straight arrow", and pioneered, always dressed immaculately, and eventually over the years became an Elder.
      One night, at an Elder's Meeting, he announced to the other Elders that he was Jesus Christ, and that his mother was the virgin Mary, and of course he was disfellowshipped.
      He spent several years in private mental institutions until his insurance money ran out, then in a State institution for several years.
      He called me up, and told me the story, and I told him I was the Great Turtleman, and every November, before I hibernated, I rose from the swamp and gave toys to all the good little boys and girls.  I was just pulling his leg, but he was dead serious.
      Later, he was in England, while his wife was trying without success to get him to take his medications, and fell over a balcony at Heathrow Airport and got killed.
      DO  WE STILL  DISFELLOWSHIP  THE  MENTALLY  ILL ?
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      from 2016 the year that they started the return to Jehovah brochure.
    • By Jack Ryan
      a heartbreaking video has emerged online showing how far reaching and deeply ingrained this shunning policy is; a video showing JehovahÂ’s Witnesses clapping in applause as a little girl announces she is shunning her own sister.
      Little Melody, and the sister she doesnÂ’t have.
      The incident appears to take place at one of this years Watchtower conventions. The video was posted on youtube by the girls parents, apprently eager to share with the world how they had trained one of their children to pretend her sister didnÂ’t exist purely on the basis of religious dogma.
      The video was comment-protected once viewers began expressing concern and displeasure at what they saw, but at the time of writing the video itself is still live and can be viewed below on the family’s youtube page. (EDIT 11/09/2017 – The video has been removed, but we have linked to an alternate site which has a copy)

      t shows a little girl called Melody. She is ten years old, and was apparently baptised when she was 9. This means that Melody is now committed to the religion for life, and will be shunned if she ever leaves, or “unrepentantly” breaks any of its vast array of detailed rules.
      During the interview, Melody explains that she has a sister who was “disfellowshipped,” which is the Witness term for one who is excommunicated; someone who was thrown out of the faith rather than leaving of their own accord. We are not told the reason for the disfellowshipping, but one can be subjected to it for a wide range of reasons such as pre-marital sex, celebrating Christmas or birthdays, voting, taking a blood transfusion, joining the military, or simply questioning any of the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      Melody states that her sister was trying to contact her, and asking her to stay in contact despite Watchtower decreeing that she be shunned. Remember, MelodyÂ’s sister has probably lost all her family and friends at this point; everyone she ever knew and loved.
      Melody admits that she misses and loves her sister, but states that she was afraid that if she didnÂ’t cut her sister off completely, she might be tempted to keep some form of relationship going. Thus, she has decided to shun her completely, as Watchtower demands. She claims that this was to protect her relationship with Jehovah.
      The audience of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses watching this announcement applaud.
      Source
    • By Jack Ryan
      This comes from the final talk at the Birmingham, AL Convention. Herd talks kind of low and there is some background noise, so here is a transcript starting at about 1:25.
      I thought this was interesting because it doesn't appear to be in the talk outline. Admittedly, I just skimmed through the outline quickly, so it might be in there. Either way, there is something twisted about comparing the shunning of children to casting out demons from heaven.
      Edit: For those wondering, this talk is from August 5. The part before when the transcript starts is Herd talking about King Asa removing his grandmother from her position.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The Supreme Court of Canada Thursday heard arguments in a fight over a church’s “shunning” practice, and said it would release a ruling later, but the congregation involved and several other groups argued that the justices had no right to even take part in the fight.
      The fight is between Randy Wall, a real estate agent, and the Highwood congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization in Calgary.
      Wall was expelled from the congregation for getting drunk and not be properly repentant, court records said. He pursued a church appeals process, unsuccessfully, then went to court because he said the church’s “shunning,” that is, 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 explained, “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 “much distress” eventually resulted in his drunkenness, Wall said.
      See the WND Superstore’s collection of Bibles, including the stunning 1599 Geneva Bible.
      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 say that congregations are immune to such claims in the judicial system.
      The lower courts had ruled that the courts could play a role in determining if, and when, 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 the 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 ability 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 is one of property or civil rights.
      The Association for Reformed Political Action, described the case as having “profound implications for the separation of church and state.”
      Its position is that the court should keep 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 fight 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 The Librarian
      OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada says a Jehovah's Witness who was expelled from his Calgary congregation cannot take his case to a judge.
      In a decision today, the high court says the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench has no jurisdiction to review the congregation's decision to shun Randy Wall over alleged drunkenness and verbal abuse.
      Several religious organizations took an active interest in the case, given questions about the degree to which the courts can review such decisions by faith-based bodies.
      Wall, an independent realtor, was summoned in 2014 to appear before the judicial committee of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, a four-person panel of elders.
      He admitted to two episodes of drunkenness and, on one of those occasions, verbally abusing his wife -- wrongdoing he attributed to family stress over the earlier expulsion of his 15-year old daughter from the congregation.
      The judicial committee told Wall that he, too, would be expelled because he was not sufficiently repentant.
      https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/jehovah-s-witness-cannot-appeal-expulsion-to-a-judge-supreme-court-1.3953336
    • By Jack Ryan
      Mike MartindaleUpdated 6:11 p.m. ET Feb. 16, 2018 Keego Harbor Â— A quiet residential street became a horrific crime scene Friday with news that four people — a couple and their adult children — died in what police are describing as a triple murder-suicide.

      By late afternoon, some yellow police crime scene tape remained around the two-story wood frame bungalow in the 2300 block of Cass Lake Road where police were sent about 8:10 a.m. on a welfare check after a relative became worried about the family, Keego Harbor Police Chief John Fitzgerald said.
      One of four bodies is removed from the home of the 2300 block of Cass Lake Road. (Photo: Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News)
      “A relative had concerns and asked us to look into it,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s tragic and our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
      Inside the house officers found four bodies who neighbors identified as Daniel Stuart, 47, his wife, Lauren, 45, and their children, Bethany, 24, and Steven, 27.
      Fitzgerald said the “perpetrator” was among the dead but would not provide details other than to stress “we think we know what happened here and there is no danger to neighbors.”
      Fitzgerald said police have recovered what is believed to be the murder weapon but would not elaborate. He said all the deaths remain under investigation.
      Keego Harbor Police Chief John Fitzgerald briefs the media on the murder-suicide. (Photo: Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News)
      Neighbors John and Jackie Tristani said they awoke Friday to learn police were outside the victimsÂ’ home.
      “My son said police were repeatedly calling out ‘Lauren, come outside,’ " said John Tristani. “When she didn’t respond they (police) went inside. A few minutes later, they came back outside, shaking their heads.”
      Tristani said he had been watching television late Thursday night and never heard anything from the Stuarts' home.
      Sources close to the investigation said the family pet, a dog, was also slain by the killer. Investigators also found a note which may help explain what led up to the deaths. They would not discuss its contents.
      The deaths puzzle the Tristanis, who knew Lauren Stuart as a “hard-working” neighbor who could often be seen working in her yard and remodeled the house largely on her own.
      “She would often come over and borrow tools – a saw, a pickaxe – whatever,” said Tristani. “She was always doing something.”
      The Tristanis said in one of their first meetings with Lauren Stuart a few years ago she attempted to “recruit” them into the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      “I said we were Catholics and weren’t interested,” he said. “She accepted the answer and it was the end of that.”
      Lauren Stuart worked at an area gym, he said, and her husband was involved in some form of medical business in the Ann Arbor area.
      Darlene and Dennis Buck, who live a block away on Cass Lake Road, said they were enroute home from a trip to northern Michigan when they learned of the murder-suicide.
      “We have lived here since ’74 and nothing like this has ever happened in our neighborhood — not even close,” said Darlene Buck.
      Jackie Tristani said she found it all “scary” – not just the deaths but that something might have been going on in a neighbor’s home without her knowledge. She had tried to get Bethany a job at her workplace and her son knew both Bethany and Steven. There was never any mention or indication of trouble inside the home, she said.
      “I would hope that if there was a problem inside there someone would have reached out, we would have tried to help,” she said, her voice quaking. “Maybe we could have done something.
      “But you never really know everything there is about your neighbors, do you?”
      http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/oakland-county/2018/02/16/4-dead-keego-harbor-murder-suicide/345756002/
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    • True, however, testing the spirit does not include drawing one's own conclusions outside scripture. I have not found an insistence where the Watchtower has gone beyond what is written. Do they try to simplify certain things, yes they do. That doesn’t mean they are stepping away from the context. Another thing is with the comparison made. The GB are following the true spirit of God like the apostles. Therefore, they have NOT taken the position of the Jerusalem counsel. If you have, then you sit in Moses seat. Matthew 23:2 If the passion is to correct, as God corrected his people, Then I would suspect there is a resemblance to be equal to Christ as the Pope seems to indicate. The GB do not hold themselves in that high regard as to think, they can question God's motives for humanity. I would recommend studying the issue further. There are areas that haven’t been included with many presentations here. Since you claim the Watchtower is misrepresenting an issue that has become an obstacle to your personal faith, then I would make light of JTR and TTH comments about contacting the Watchtower directly. Feeding an assumption only emboldens the God of this world, no one else. Correct. There is only one way to view scripture. Anyone deviating from that is causing personal harm to the spirit of others. It doesn’t matter if those individuals hate the Watchtower, it’s by their own spoken words and actions of clear and concise misinterpretation of scripture, and misapplication of the Watchtower literature where they fail to see the difference. Removing themselves from the context of scripture to argue with the strength of hate and discourse is the sole definition of scripture when Christ clearly stated not to and to stay away from. Those are the dangers when we engage in an open forum. We like to think it is to discuss issues. However, the ever present danger will always be, the influence of the devil. It is one thing to defend the truth, but quite another thing to defend the truth when one’s heart is conflicted. Merely following that conduct disqualifies anyone from stating they are Christian. That is the kind of Christian Jesus spoke of as a danger. The confusion would lie with how the public perceives the Watchtower under the direction of the bible Student association. The word “association” should give anyone, pause to rethink, Russell and Rutherford belonged to the International Bible Student Association. A reason, Rutherford dismissed the edger pyramid scheme straight up. Russell, used it as a comparison, nothing more. Another thing that witnesses should consider, those works were made by not allowing Christendom’s view of scripture. Therefore, Russell essentially started from scratch. There are far more reasons why those dates were accepted. Mainly, by events of that time. Bible Students still believe, the Jewish nation has a pivotal role in the last days. According to Christ everyone became relative in the last days including the Jews. They are not the sole reason for the last days as Christendom exerts. Remember, even the most conservative view which is Bishop Ussher, his calculation referenced 586BC as the 3rd instance of judgment by Nebuchadnezzar. The third, not the first nor the second as historians and scholars claim, but the third. This is why history itself is flawed, since they continue to insist, there were only 2 campaigns against Judea and Jerusalem. Mainly 597-587BC. I will not beat on the bush with this one. I am confident we both know what limitations are imposed and previous actions taken.  
    • An interesting take with a lot to say for it. When Jude mentions these "rocks beneath the surface" for example, it always reminds me of the first time I read "Paul and Thecla" while at Bethel, but at the NYPL, via a book about Christian widows of the 2nd century. Paul and Thecla is an early Christian short story or novella with Thecla, not Paul, as the hero. It's one of a few stories of this type, probably written by and for women in the early Christian congregations. The antagonists of some of these stories are the 2nd century "circuit overseers" who would go from congregation to congregation saying all the right things from the "platform" but then they would also quietly worm their way into the houses of well-meaning sisters and widows, and try to take advantage of them sexually. I was quite surprised when the Watchtower last year mentioned Paul and Thecla for the second time in nearly 100 years, and was again surprisingly supportive of the work as containing possible reflections of true traditions believed in the 2nd century: *** w18 March p. 13 par. 3 Questions From Readers *** The Acts of Paul and Thecla was highly regarded in early centuries, as confirmed by the fact that 80 Greek manuscripts of it exist, as well as versions in other languages. Thus, our artistic presentations are in line with some ancient indications of what the apostle looked like. I personally have never experienced a "bad" circuit overseer. All of them have been exemplary and I have always looked forward to their visits, especially when hearing a new one for the first time. But I think all of us old-timers have had experience with congregational drifters, and we often look at them with the same kinds of suspicions. Sometimes it's a young brother who is very vague about his last congregation and who quickly latches on to an association with another eligible sister. Sometimes it's a more elderly brother, perhaps even a special pioneer, looking for an alternate congregation, hoping the trouble he caused in the last congregation won't get reported in too much detail. (Speaking from a real example, this elderly brother also latched onto a "relationship," and place to stay, with a family of sisters: a sister with an unbelieving and ailing husband, and a couple of daughters. It was a recipe for disaster.) The younger brother caused some heart-ache by getting engaged to a sister, and the engagement was later broken off.  It's hard for me not to imagine such cases when I read Jude. So, at first, it was hard for me to see them as drifters into forums like this one to cause other kinds of trouble, but I can definitely see a similarity now.  
    • I’m not really sure what “worshipful” means.  When celebrities come into town, they are mobbed by fans. Are those fans worshipful? I might say yes, but the fans themselves will just say they they are flocking to them out of respect for their accomplishments. If brothers pose for selfies with the GB members (much to the latter’s annoyance, I am consistently told, someone said with the possible exception of Lett) are they “worshipful?” It’s in the eye of the beholder, I think. Though I have a great many faults, admiring personalities is not one of them. I would love to have a GB member stay at my house so I could ignore him. “There’s your room—make yourself at home. If you’d like to visit, that works fine, but you have many things to do and if you ignore us completely that also works fine with us,”  Probably there are few words they could hear that would please them more. And no, @James Thomas Rook Jr., I wouldn’t present them with a list of my QUESTIONS that, as MEN of HONOR, they are obligated to answer,
    • Just for interest, here is an interview with prince Andrew. It's acutely embarrassing the excuses  he makes and the denials.... Read comments, they are entertaining  
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