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    • By Srecko Sostar
      Inquiry announces new investigation into child protection in religious organisations and settings
        2 May 2019 The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has announced a new investigation into child protection in religious organisations and settings.
      The investigation will be thematic and will review the current child protection policies, practices and procedures in religious institutions in England and Wales.
      Organisations falling under the remit of this investigation will include non conformist Christian denominations, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, Methodists, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism. This investigation is separate from our investigations into the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.
      Religious settings such as mosques, synagogues, churches and temples are in scope. Places of faith tuition such as Muslim madrassahs and Christian Sunday schools and places where children and young people gather in connection with their religious beliefs, including youth groups and camps will also be investigated by the Inquiry.
      More than one in 10 survivors of child sexual abuse (11 per cent) who shared their accounts with the Inquiry’s Truth Project reported sexual abuse in a religious institution. Of this group, almost a quarter (24 percent) told the Inquiry they were abused in institutions in scope of this new investigation, including Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, Methodists, Judaism and Islam. Not all participants provided details about the religious denomination of the institution or perpetrator.
      Organisations and individuals are being invited to apply for core participant status. Core participants must have a significant interest in this investigation and have special rights defined by legislation.
      A preliminary hearing will take place at 2pm on 23 July 2019 and public hearings will take place in 2020.
      source: https://www.iicsa.org.uk/news/inquiry-announces-new-investigation-child-protection-religious-organisations-and-settings
    • By admin
      How many of you in the UK are ready for Brexit?
      How do you think it will all go down?
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A new worship centre for Jehovah's Witnesses is coming to Gloucestershire.
      Plans were approved earlier this week (June 19) by Gloucester City Council to build the place of worship in Kingsway.
      The development will be the second Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Gloucester, the first being based in Abbeydale.

      The plans for the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Kingsway (Image: Gloucester City Council)
      The proposal includes a single storey building to be used by Jehovah's Witnesses as a place of worship and religious education, as well as five car parking spaces.
      The developer, Elevation One building design, said the building will resemble a site used by the religious group in Dover.
      A planning statement submitted by the firm said two new halls like the proposed have been built in the last year and another 14 nationwide have been planned.
      The site fronts Thatcham Avenue and abuts the southern boundary of Kingsway Primary School.

      The plans for the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Kingsway (Image: Gloucester City Council)
       
      It is not clear when building works will begin.
      It will be the ninth Kingdom Hall in Gloucestershire with others in Cirencester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Dursley, Blakeney and Lydney, in addition to the existing on in Gloucester.
      https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/new-jehovahs-witnesses-kingdom-hall-1707220
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      If you’ve been in Newcastle city centre recently, you will have noticed them.
      Happily handing out copies of The Watchtower from carts, Jehovah’s Witnesses are taking to Newcastle’s streets in their droves.
      And the reason for the recent increase is simply due to a change in tactics.
      For years, members have gone door-to-door to spread the word about the faith.
      But now members are heading into the city to try and reach out to more people.
      “We feel the use of carts allows us to reach people we perhaps wouldn’t meet at home due to their work schedules or other factors,” said spokesperson Andrew Schofield. “The carts also provide the public with the choice of approaching us or not, which some people appreciate.
      Read more: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/more-more-jehovahs-witnesses-middle-14627882
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have left hospital after the arrival of their third child, a boy.
      The couple's second son, who was born at 11:01 BST, weighing 8lb 7oz, is fifth in line to the throne.
      Prince George and Princess Charlotte had visited their brother at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London.
      Leaving the hospital Prince William said the couple were very happy, before holding up three fingers and joking he had "thrice the worry now".
      "We didn't keep you waiting too long this time," he added.
      When someone asked him whether the couple had decided on a name, he said: "You'll find out soon enough."
      Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43864933

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Michael John Hewitt was described as a significant risk to young children and a dangerous offender.
       
      A man who took advantage of his position of trust in a Surrey branch of Jehovah's Witnesses and sexually abused three young girls has been sentenced to 15 yearsÂ’ imprisonment on Monday, 12 March at Croydon Crown Court.
      Michael John Hewitt, 71 and now of Fremington in Devon, was found guilty of eight counts of indecency with children who were all aged under 16 years at the time.
      He will be on the sex offenders register for life and have a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and Restraining Order served.
      The court heard that in the 1980s Hewitt, who previously lived in Wallington, was a member of the Jehovah's Witness Congregation and abused his victims over several decades.
      Two of HewittÂ’s victims were as young as five when the abuse started. He sexually abused all three of them in his and their home addresses, undetected by family members.
      He later sold his home in Surrey and moved to Devon.
      On January 11, 2016, two of the victims reported what had happened to a family member, who then contacted police. Hewitt was later arrested in January 2016 and bailed pending further enquiries.
      Following extensive research by detectives from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, the third victim was identified and came forward when told Hewitt was under investigation for two similar offences.
      In May 2017, Hewitt was charged with eleven counts of indecency with three girls under 16 years old. He was later acquitted of three offences.
      Whilst sentencing Judge Flahive described Hewitt as a significant risk to young children and a dangerous offender.
      Detective Constable Janet Williams, the investigating officer from the Met's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command said: "The victims were abused by Hewitt at a very early age. Only when they were older were they able to understand what Hewitt subjected them to. Hewitt abused his position of trust to exploit the young girls for his own satisfaction.
      "I would like to pay tribute to the victims who had the courage to report these distressing crimes to police. I hope today's conviction gives the victims a measure of comfort and closure."

      Read more at http://talkradio.co.uk/news/michael-john-hewitt-paedophile-jehovahs-witness-jailed-15-years-18031324822#oKZhFYx0KmfTr538.99
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Independent investigators in the United Kingdom are weighing whether to launch a new investigation into the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.K. after receiving a “considerable number” of abuse allegations.
      The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, or IICSA, a government-sanctioned investigative panel in England and Wales, told The Guardian that it had gotten a “considerable number” of reports from both the public and elected officials about the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.K. A spokesperson told the newspaper the panel would “consider calls for a Jehovah’s Witnesses–specific investigation carefully.” 
      It was unclear how many reports the watchdog group had received. When contacted by Newsweek, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ public information office did not immediately comment.
      Kathleen Hallisey, a lawyer who brought charges against the Jehovah’s Witnesses for sexual abuse in 2015, said she suspected there are thousands of such cases in the U.K., The Guardian reported. 
      “The Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to recognize the issue of child abuse in their organization or to create robust safeguarding procedures to protect children,” she said. “An investigation by IICSA into the Jehovah’s Witnesses is an opportunity for the inquiry to effect real change in an organization that refuses to shine a light on child abuse and protect children.”
      News of the possible investigation comes weeks after the nonprofit religious transparency organization Faithleaks leaked 33 letters and internal documents revealing a pattern of sexual abuse by one Jehovah’s Witness member, and the lengths the church went to cover up the scandal. 
      Those documents detail communications among church leaders and several legal entities—collectively known as Watchtower—between 1999 and 2012. In one letterto Watchtower dated November 14, 1999, the Palmer Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses from Brimfield, Massachusetts, said it had reviewed claims by two women who alleged their father sexually abused them as children. The group found those claims to be true. 
      “Our impression upon speaking with both girls was similar. That they are both quite rational. It certainly appears that these were real events,” the letter said. 
      In that case, church leaders pressured one of the accusers not to report the abuse to police. Years later, the church held an in-house trial and briefly excommunicated the father. 
      That victim was not the only person pressured to remain silent. 
      In the U.K., several alleged victims had come forward with similar claims in November 2017, according to The Telegraph. 
      “Frankly, I would equate this to a scandal and a cover-up akin to the Catholic Church,” Hallisey told The Telegraph at the time.
      http://www.newsweek.com/jehovahs-witnesses-child-sexual-abuse-investigators-allegations-united-kingdom-837351
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Plans to build a new place of worship on a storage container site in Ingoldisthorpe have been given the go ahead. West Norfolk Council’s planning committee approved proposals for the new building and car parking spaces at Coaly Lane at a meeting on Monday. The plans, submitted by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, said the new Jehovah’s Witnesses premises would provide a replacement facility for the existing meeting place at Hunstanton Road in Heacham. According to reports submitted to the committee, the building would be located on the western end of the site which has no standing containers at present. Andy Griffin, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said: “They have been searching for a suitable premises to replace their current one for over 12 years. “It is badly in need of renovation with no parking provision, so elderly people find it very difficult to walk there.” The committee was told that the parking arrangements at the current premises are unsuitable, meaning that vehicles are often parked at the side of the road. Mr Griffin said on average there would be 15 cars attending main meetings twice a week, but the plans included 30 spaces to ensure there is an “oversupply”. He said the absence of commercial vehicles would “further improve” the safety of Coaly Lane for pedestrians. Committee member Avril Wright said she disagreed with the suggestion that there is heavy traffic on Coaly Lane. “There is hardly any traffic on that road now – it’s mostly used for dog walking and leisure use,” she said. Relocating the meeting place would also benefit traffic in Heacham, one member claimed. Terry Parish said: “By moving this hall, you would remove the traffic problems on Hunstanton Road.” Members expressed concerns regarding tree species at the site, as well as light pollution. The committee voted to approve the plans, with conditions that the premises only be used between 8am and 10pm, that the trees on the site be protected and that the authority would receive full details of a lighting scheme.

      Read more at: https://www.lynnnews.co.uk/news/plans-for-new-place-of-worship-in-ingoldisthorpe-given-green-light-1-8371888
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Children who were sexually abused by Jehovah's Witnesses were allegedly told by the church not to report the crimes.
      Victims from across the UK told the BBC they were routinely abused and that the religious organisation's own rules protected perpetrators.
      One child abuse lawyer believes there could be thousands of victims across the country who have not come forward because of the "two witness" rule.
      A spokesperson for the church said it did not "shield" abusers.
      'Bring reproach on Jehovah'
      BBC Hereford and Worcester spoke to victims - men and women - from Birmingham, Cheltenham, Leicester, Worcestershire and Glasgow, one of whom waived her right to anonymity.
      Louise Palmer, who now lives in Evesham, Worcestershire, was born into the organisation along with her brother Richard Davenport, who started raping her when she was four. He is serving a 10-year prison sentence for the abuse.
      The 41-year-old, formerly of Halesowen, West Midlands, said when she told the church of the abuse she was told not to go to police.
      Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-42025255
    • By Bible Speaks
      A Brother was murdered of a Kingdom Hall in England by a mentally handicapped person 
      900 Attened  his funeral.
      http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-42027285
       

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Mrs Mortimer was undergoing a hip operation when she refused the blood transfusion
      A Jehovah's Witness lost her life after she refused a blood transfusion during a major hip operation due to her religious beliefs.
      Barbara Mortimer, 69, went against doctors' advice and sadly died on May 24, 2017, shortly after a hip replacement.
      A final hearing was held at The Old Courthouse in Hatfield yesterday (Wednesday, October 18) before Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan.
      The court heard that in January of this year, Mrs Mortimer visited her GP Mark Penwell with "severe left hip pain."
      Doctor Penwell said: "She was struggling to walk with it, even using a stick.
      "The only useful intervention was a hip replacement."
      He admitted however, that he had concerns about Mrs Mortimer, of Portland Road, Bishop's Stortford, who would decline any blood products due to her being a Jehovah's Witness.
      Mrs Mortimer also suffered what was thought to be a heart attack in 2006 and acute coronary syndrome after having chest pain in 2010.
      For her hip, Mrs Mortimer was referred to consultant orthopaedic surgeon Rajeev Sharma.
      He said: "She came to see me in the clinic on Thursday, March 23.
      "She came in with a diagnosis of hip arthritis on one of the sides.
      "She had an X-ray that showed the joints were worn out."
      Risks associated with the procedure including displacing the hip, heart attack and most commonly infection, were discussed with Mrs Mortimer.
      Mrs Mortimer chose to ungergo surgery, but was taking aspirin at the time which thins the blood. There was also a risk that she would need a blood transfusion during the operation.
      Steps included administering tranexamic acid, swabs soaked in adrenalin and a spinal aesthetic as opposed to general, as these all help to prevent and restrict blood loss.
      Mr Sharma said: "We needed to be sure our surgery is in such a manner to prevent bleeding.
      "It was safe to proceed providing we take all the necessary precautions."
      The procedure went ahead with Mrs Mortimer's haemoglobin levels being within an acceptable range.
      But during the operation after the joint was dislocated, the living part of the bone began to bleed.
      The bleed then became "exponentially massive," according to Mr Sharma following the removal of hard cartilage.
      The adrenalin swabs, an alternative method to stopping the bleed due to Mrs Mortimer's belief's, were inserted to constrict the blood vessels as well as a plastic membrane.
      Mr Sharma said: "We continued with the procedure, it was the best way to stop the bleeding.
      "I could not think why such a lot of bleeding would take place.
      "Was it the aspirin? Would it have had a significant effect on her or was there an anomaly in the pelvic bone?"
      Following the surgery, Mr Sharma spoke with Mrs Mortimer's family.
      "The recommended blood products were declined," he said.
      "We were struggling to keep her alive if we can't give her any blood. Persistent refusal was risking her life."
      Mrs Mortimer faced the decision of accepting blood products or hope that the fluids given to her post-operation would stimulate cell production after such a huge blood loss.
      She died during the early hours of the morning at Rivers Hospital in Sawbridgeworth.
      Mr Sharma was challenged in court by Counsel Kate Smith, who asked whether further enquiries should have been made prior to the hip replacement due to her age, religious beliefs, medical history and the fact she was taking aspirin.
      Ms Smith presented a booklet in court regarding Jehovah's Witnesses and surgery.
      It said "should avoid any medication that could increase blood loss," referring to aspirin which thins the blood and makes the likelihood of needing a blood transfusion more likely.
      Mrs Mortimer signed a refusal form indicating her religious convictions that "no blood transfusions are to be administered in any circumstances".
      Mr Sharma said in "hindsight" there are things that would have been done differently but at that stage all the safety precautions had been made.
      The operation was also not considered to be life-threatening.
      He was also challenged whether Mrs Mortimer needed to be on aspirin. The decision to take this course was made working on the basis that she had suffered a heart attack – later found to be untrue.
      Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan, said: "I cannot see a short form conclusion.
      "The adequate way to my mind is a narrative verdict to encompass blood loss [from the] surgical procedure and declining of blood products.
      "She was admitted to Rivers Hospital, she had advanced decision not to accept blood products, and asked to consider accepting blood products, but declined to do so."
      http://www.essexlive.news/news/essex-news/jehovahs-witness-dies-after-refusing-654766
    • By The Librarian
      A man who is accused of murdering an electrician as he was working at a Jehovah's Witness hall is to be moved to hospital for a psychiatric assessment.
      Keith Beviss, aged 54, of Woodhayes Drive, Honiton, is currently on remand at Long Lartin Prison but is likely to be transferred shortly.
      He is due to be tried at Exeter Crown Court on November 27 for the murder of 55-year-old Philip Ryan at the Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall in Dowell Street, Honiton, on Tuesday June 6.

      Mr Ryan, a married electrician from Westward Ho!, North Devon, was found with fatal stab wounds. He had run Ryan Alarms and Electrical Services with friend Chris Ley for 30 years after moving to Devon from Henley on Thames.
      Beviss appeared at Exeter Crown Court by video link from Long Lartin and spoke only to confirm his name.
      Mr Simon Laws, QC, prosecuting, said a report has been received from consultant psychiatrist Dr John Sandford, who examined Beviss on behalf of the defence.
      He said the Crown hope to obtain their own report from a second consultant psychiatrist, Dr Philip Joseph, who hopes to interview the defendant after he has been transferred from jail to a psychiatric hospital.
      Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, adjourned the case for a further hearing on November 3, when the arrangements for the trial will be finalised. He remanded Beviss into custody.
      http://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/man-accused-murdering-jehovahs-witness-517994
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      UK - Conservation work set to silence much-loved Big Ben for four years
       
       
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      UK - Big Ben sounds its midday bongs for the last time in four years... and it upsets many Brits!
       
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      An expected audience of around 3,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses and members of the public are beginning to arrive at the Westpoint Arena for their three day annual Exeter Convention.
      This year’s Convention theme is “Don’t Give Up!”
      “Challenges in life can rob us of peace and even cause some to think about giving up,” states David A. Semonian, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses at their world headquarters in Warwick, New York. “Our convention this year will benefit both Witnesses and non-Witnesses because it promises to empower individuals not only to keep enduring but also to cope with challenges productively.”
      Last weekend 3,800 Witnesses and others from Cornwall and South Devon attended their Convention at Westpoint, this weekend it is the turn of delegates from across Somerset, North, and Mid Devon to enjoy the same uplifting program. It is one of 21 such Conventions across the UK, in total the program will be presented in 24 different languages. Last year over 13 million persons attended the Witnesses Conventions worldwide, more are expected to attend this year.
      The program is divided into 52 parts and will be presented in a variety of formats, including brief discourses, interviews, and short videos. Additionally, one segment of a three-part feature film designed to help families will be shown each afternoon. Of special interest will be a discourse especially for the public at 11.20 on Sunday morning entitled “Never Give Up Hope!”, as well as the public Baptism of new believers on Saturday at 11,45 a.m. The program lasts from Friday through to Sunday and begins at 9.20 each morning.
      Admission was free and no collections are taken
      Watch a video about our conventions and see a complete program schedule at jw.org
      https://www.theexeterdaily.co.uk/news/local-news/jehovahs-witness-convention-exeter
    • By The Librarian
      NORTH KENSINGTON, London – Not less than four members of Jehovah’s Witnesses survived the inferno that ravaged the 24 storey Grenfel Tower, London killing at least 79 people.

      None of the witnesses died in the inferno, which has led to revolution and evacuation of about 25 other blocks that have failed fire resistant test in London.
      The 4 witnesses however lost their apartments and properties in the fire. 
      “Witnesses that live near the now fire-gutted apartment building provided food, clothing, and monetary aid to their fellow members and their families that were affected. The Witnesses are also offering spiritual comfort to the grieving members of the North Kensington community”, the JWs said on their website.Jehovah’s Witnesses are known worldwide for their speed in mitigating the affliction of their neighbours worldwide.See full statement below.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses are assisting victims of a catastrophic fire that engulfed the Grenfell Tower, a 24-story apartment building in the North Kensington area of London, in the early morning hours of June 14, 2017. Authorities are reporting that at least 79 people were killed.
      Four Witnesses were evacuated from the apartment building, two of which were residents of Grenfell Tower. Fortunately, none of them were injured, although the Witnesses’ apartments were among those completely destroyed in the blaze.
      Witnesses that live near the now fire-gutted apartment building provided food, clothing, and monetary aid to their fellow members and their families that were affected. The Witnesses are also offering spiritual comfort to the grieving members of the North Kensington community.
      http://starconnectmedia.com/four-witnesses-survive-grenfel-tower-fire-in-london/
    • By Jack Ryan
      In Newcastle town centre. UK.
      The Chronicle Live. 15 June 2017.
      A council worker will stand trial after he was accused of being drunk at the wheel of his road sweeper in Newcastle city centre.
      John Paul Carruthers, who has since resigned from his post at Newcastle City Council, was allegedly over the legal drink-drive limit when he ploughed into a Jehovah’s Witness stand on Northumberland Street near to Haymarket Metro Station.
      Prosecuting, James Long told Newcastle Magistrates’ Court: “The allegation is that he was driving a Newcastle City Council road sweeper when he collided first with a Jehovah’s Witness stand next to Haymarket Metro Station. He carried on then a short while later was detained on Ridley Place and was said to be aggressive.

      READ MORE: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/newcastle-council-roadsweeper-drink-drive-13183193
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    • Yes, Russell does make a distinction for 1844 that goes a little beyond just suggesting it was only a great disappointment for the second coming churches. Yes. He absolutely does. He says that according to the Lord's prediction it was 1844 when the Wise Virgins went out to meet the Bridegroom, 30 years before his arrival in 1874. In the parallel dispensations, of course, this mapped to the time when Jesus was born until his baptism at age 30. 1878 mapped to Jesus' death and resurrection. No. Russell was definitely going beyond the scriptures when he spoke of what may be expected around 1910. (But then, he was going beyond the scriptures with all the other dates, too.)  True. They probably do that just because so many of his early associates were Adventist leaders, preachers and publishers. It's important to note that Russell himself claimed to be embarrassed and ashamed by Adventists, not only for all their failed dates, but for exactly what they were expecting on those dates. It was pretty much ONLY in the area of chronology could we say that Russell remained trapped in Adventist thinking for his entire life after the 1870's. For this reason, Russell had some trouble distancing himself from the failures of Adventism, especially after beginning an early publishing venture with NH Barbour, who had been a Millerite Second Adventist and continued to use Miller's chronology as a foundation for his own, including the year 1844. He absolutely used it as a basis for comparison. He published that it was the wise virgins who came out in 1844, at the same time that the foolish virgins came out in 1844. But he compared the wise and the foolish by saying that those who only stayed stuck on 1844 were foolish, but those who went ahead and began believing that 1874 was the actual date for his arrival (after 30 years of tarrying) were the wise virgins. Being WISE meant accepting the 30 years from 1844 to 1874. Being FOOLISH meant only accepting 1844 and giving up, letting their oil lamps burn out. The LIGHT in their LAMPS was the truth about 1874.
    • For a brief time, Mike Tussin was a roommate of mine. He drove me nuts in taking literally the admonition to read God’s Word “in an undertone day and night.” In time, he learned that he had better not do it in my presence. I logged some of his exploits in No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash. He was one of the most squirrelly characters that you will ever hope to meet, and yet—people are a mix—he had the most telling common sense, knack for nailing aspects of human nature (though mixed with an odd naïveté), no fear whatsoever of man, and the ability to simplify the complex. I can hear him now explaining to someone or other just how it worked with the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, composed of anointed Christians. This would have been in the early 1970s. “They study and study their Bibles and one of them notices a point and discusses it with the others. They continue to turn it over and over. If their discussion reaches the point of agreement, that idea finds its way into the Watchtower—that’s how God’s people are fed spiritually today. “Now, in your own personal study, you may have noticed that point, too, maybe even before they did. And if this was Christendom, you’d go out and start your own religion over it.”  He captured it. I like the idea of ‘they’re not the only people who can think’ as well as the notion of waiting on headship and not running ahead. Present your idea, but if it doesn’t get adopted, don’t lose your cookies over it. The ship cannot sail in every direction at once. Rumor has it that Sputnik came up for discussion at the Bethel table after 1957, but it was aborted before takeoff. Might that date not be a milestone in the last days stream of time commencing with the outbreak of World War I in 1914–a year marking the first time in history that the entire world went to war at once? Throw in the greatest plague of history, the Spanish flu of 1917, the colossal food shortages that always accompany colossal war, and viola!—one is powerfully reminded of Luke 21:10: Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another food shortages and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.”  Might 1957 Sputnik mark a mighty exclamation mark in “fearful sights and great signs from heaven?” It certainly scared the bejeebers out of the Americans, and within 3 years President Kennedy declared that the US would not play second fiddle to the Russians. They would join—and so make it—a “space race” by sending a man to the moon. It is worth a simulated launch, I guess—presenting the idea at Bethel—three GB members batted about the idea, I’m told, but I’m glad that it blew up on the pad. The “fearfulness” would have been lost on most people. Did the race have military implications? Relatively few catch the implications of anything. They take it at face value, as it was popularly repackaged just a few years later: Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before! On a flight to Damascus, Bill had a vision of such. Some strange fellow that he probably took for an angel presented the idea to him right there as he was riding in the Shatner seat. Like Saul, it disoriented him completely for a time, and the other passengers heard of the disturbance, sure enough, but witnessed nothing themselves. As a boy, I never once trembled when they launched a rocket from Cape Canaveral. I always took it in the spirit of advancing technology, advancing exploration, and so forth. It’s one of the few major accomplishments of men that has NOT been quickly put to military use—though that could ever change—the way that airplanes were. No sooner had they been invented then they were strafing the towns of Europe and dogfighting each other in the skies. In contrast to 1957, World War I was not only perceived by just about everyone, but it was instantly perceived as a negative. Probably that’s what the other GB members pointed out, sending the three Bethel “astronauts” pitching the notion hurtling off like Darth Vader in his crippled craft, careening off to the pantry for a donut or two. Hmm. Maybe an update could incorporate robocalls from the cloud. What year did they begin? Truly, they cause men to raise their faces and curse the heavens. Truly, they too, are instantly perceived as a great evil, as any time-share owner in the Everglades knows. You know, as I read the 1960 speech, I can see how the idea might come up for discussion at Bethel. Despite my innocuous take expressed about it—a take that has mostly played out (but may someday not)—there certainly were military overtones—overtones that just might make some tremble—in JFKs speech rallying Americans to support a moon launch. Everything must be considered in its own historical context. I’ve added italics to his words that play this way: “We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours. “There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?  “We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.” ..... Yes, you could read a measure of terror into that speech if you were of a mind to, though I did not as a boy. The President says: “Space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.” What are the chances of that happening?  
    • You know, I can see how the idea might come up for discussion at Bethel. Despite my innocuous take expressed about it—a take that has mostly played out (but may someday not)—there certainly were military overtones in JFKs speech rallying Americans to support a moon launch.  We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours. There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.
    • Good start. Just noticed the latest post. Does Russell make any distinction for 1844 other than to suggest it was a great disappointment for the second coming churches? Did he use 1844 to further his calculation? Does he mention 1844 to be part of his calculation? Does he stipulate 1910-1911 is referenced in scripture? It far more interesting, that some continue to project Russell as an Adventist, when Russell was “clearly” criticized for having a negative view of Adventist. It speaks volumes to those that continue to portray a false narrative. “So today, when prophetic time or anything relating to the Lord’s Second Advent is mentioned, many Cry ‘Adventist,’ as if to say, ‘Can any good thing come out of Adventism?"- even though they admit that many prophecies containing time are not yet fulfilled, and that the second coming of the Lord is the most prominent topic of Scripture." "We have great sympathy for both the First Adventists (the Jews) and the Second Adventists, though only a few of either realized the truths they So nearly apprehended, yet failed to grasp, each being blinded by false expectations. Our Adventist friends have failed to recognize both the manner and the object of the Lord’s return as taught in the Scriptures; consequently they have not been expecting to ‘see him as he is,’ but as he was. They consider the object of his coming one which will fill the hearts of all except the saints with dismay and terror; that his object is to gather the elect, destroy all others of mankind, and burn up the world."   Interesting how conflicted people start with William miller’s account of chronology, 1844. I wonder if Brown and Miller were the only ones to make calculations on the 1260 days, 2520 days. CHRONOLOGY--Prominent Dates. Q76:1: QUESTION (1910)--1--Should we consider it necessary to call attention to other Prominent dates than 1874, 1878, 1881 or 1914? Should 1911 be included?   ANSWER--I am glad that question is there, my dear brothers and sisters. You will notice that in my own teachings and writings I am careful to avoid any other dates than these. I know nothing about other dates. In the third volume of Scripture Studies there is a suggestion, but it is offered only as a suggestion, merely that a certain measurement in the Pyramid (not in the Word of God) Looks as though it might point down to 1910 or 1911, but we do not say that it does mean anything, but merely throw out a suggestion. Don't anticipate, don't say things are to occur, for we do not know, at least I don't, and don't believe anyone else does. My advice is to follow the Apostle when he says, "We speak those things that we know." Don't say anything about those things that you do not know. Quite likely you will wish you had not after a while. Nineteen hundred and fourteen is the time when the "Gentile Times" will end. What does that mean? I do not know, but I think it is when God lets go in a general sense of the word, and permits things to take their course; and we can readily suppose, as the Apostle says, that the course of nature would be set on fire, because of strife. In the world of mankind, I shall expect a time of great trouble, which the Bible marks out as having its beginning about October, 1914, but I think, dear friends, that it is more important, instead of telling of the time of trouble, to tell about the good things. The poor people who get into the time of trouble will have all they want of it then. I have enough now, and so have you. The Scriptures say that through much tribulation shall we enter the kingdom, and if we pay attention to our duties, we will get enough without taking time to tell them about the time of trouble. The world will not be profited by our telling, either. We do not wish to scare anybody. It is indeed a spectacle, when that kind of suggestion is made by a conflicted person. Were there any earlier works of Miller 1844 disappointment? History shows, there were some. Some that paint a more precise picture than that of Miller. Therefore, Russell did not have any influence with Miller’s 1844 prediction nor did Russell use it as basis for comparison. "When the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; when the earth and the works that are therein shall be burnt up."   At the present time the blessings of peace seem to be nearly general throughout the nations of the earth. This I deem a very favourable sign. War, however, with its train of abominations, may not finally terminate till about A. D. 1914, or perhaps A. D. 1956; neither do I think that the seventh thousand years, or great Sabbath of the world, or the beginning of Christ's third day, will commence before A. D. 2046 ; and this belief or conclusion I take to be no less deducible from a variety of the prophetic numbers, than from the figurative language employed by Christ concerning the three days, and the three measures of meal, during the time of which the whole world shall be gradually leavened by the kingdom of God.   As I have calculated the prophetical numbers, it will be 206 years from A. D. 1840, before the beginning of the seventh thousand years, or the great Sabbath of the world, when God's rest shall begin to be glorious, and when Christ, that glorious Sun of Righteousness, by the brightness of His coming into those temples, It is indeed sad when people try so hard to end up empty. As stated earlier by an architect of misrepresentation said, it’s an embarrassment. I agree it is.
    • It is worth a simulated launch, I guess—presenting the idea—but I’m glad that it blew up on the pad. It would have been lost on most people. Relatively few catch the implications of anything. They take it at face value—“Space: The final frontier: these are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise—it’s continuing mission: to seek out new world’s, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” On a flight to Damascus, Bill had a vision of such. Some odd fellow that he took for an angel presented the idea to him right there on the Shatner wing. Like Paul, it disoriented him completely for a time, and the other passengers heard of the disturbance, sure enough, but witnessed nothing themselves. As a boy, I never once trembled when they launched a rocket from Cape Canaveral. I always took it in the spirit of advancing technology, advancing exploration. It’s one of the few accomplishments of men that has NOT been quickly put to military use, as airplanes were.  In contrast, WWI was not only perceived by just about everyone, but it was instantly perceived as a negative. Probably that’s what the other—how many were there then—GB members pointed out, sending Bert and his co-astronauts scuttling off to the pantry for a donut. Robocalls from the cloud, on the other hand, ARE perceived as an instant evil, as any time-share owner in the Everglades knows.
    • If you think they use it for their own purposes then why do you donate?  That is not logical. It depends on what you define as own purposes, private purposes, public purposes, necessities, etc.  I think you really should be more thankful to be associated with the organization and what it does for us.
    • My donations are always by check, and written thereon is "for local needs". It's like paying taxes, some of which are used to make hydrogen bombs, and ICBMs. Not my problem. Jesus and the Apostles needed NONE of those things you mentioned, Arauna. If you are NOT inspired of God, as the GB admits they are not ( February 2017 Watchtower), you do need all of those things you mentioned. They are actually essential, as I would freely admit. .... and HEY!, I am just guessing about all of this ... as is everyone else. And Arauna .... did you get NOTHING out of the "Follow Jesus" Assemblies? Jesus set the example . We are either following that example, or ..... WE ARE NOT. The fact of the matter is that the GB DOES use the billions for their own purposes. but, I am, as you stated, "no one to criticize" ... as I do not follow Jesus' example either. If I had that kind of money, I would buy a Chinook double rotor helicopter, instead of Rolex watches, and cartoons of Caleb and Sophia, etc. uh ... for Witnessing on beautiful Pacific Islands, of course ....    
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