By Srecko Sostar
The National Secular Society has urged Britain's charity regulators to ensure the restructuring of Jehovah's Witnesses (JW) charities does not obstruct victims of child abuse from claiming compensation.
The NSS has raised the issue with the Charity Commission for England and Wales and the Scottish charity regulator, OSCR, after a report on BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme this week.
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. substantial amounts of property and land that it owns. As part of a significant restructuring of the organisation, each congregation is being asked to dissolve its charitable status and merge – along with its assets – with the Kingdom Hall Trust. The trust is a registered charity whose aims include being a "custodian trustee holding title to freehold and leasehold properties acquired as places of worship".
The assets mentioned on the Sunday programme included kingdom halls, which are used for worship and meetings.
An abuse survivor and lawyers who spoke to the programme expressed concern that such a restructuring could leave JW charities unable to pay potential liabilities.
A number of JW churches worldwide have been subject to investigations regarding their handling of sexual abuse allegations in recent years. In Australia, JW organisations have consolidated and sold properties worth millions of pounds amid a series of legal claims and a damning report from a royal commission.
NSS chief executive Stephen Evans said: "It is clearly not in the public interest for charities to be permitted to restructure in ways that may impede victims and survivors of abuse within these communities from claiming compensation.
"We therefore urge the Charity Commission to use all available powers to ensure that the restructuring of JW charities does not impede abuse victims' and survivors' ability to obtain settlements."
Jehovah's Witnesses and abuse in Britain
JW communities' handling of abuse allegations will come under increased scrutiny next month, when the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse is due to conduct hearings on the issue.
In 2018 scores of alleged victims accused the JWs of a
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. of child sexual abuse. Earlier this year at least 20 former JWs Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. over abuse which they say they suffered. In 2017 the Charity Commission
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. the New Moston Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in Manchester over its handling of allegations of abuse. And in 2016 the Supreme Court ruled that the Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society of Great Britain, which oversees JW congregations,
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. over its handling of abuse allegations. This week's episode of the Sunday programme is
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ; listen from 5:20 to 21:45 for the relevant section.
The whereabouts of the ark of the covenant has been a source of fascination and intrigue for centuries. It is thought that during King Manasseh’s reign, the ark was removed from the temple, either by the priesthood or by Manasseh himself, to make way for his idols. (2 Chron 33:7,9; 2 Kings 21:4) From there, it is said to have been moved to Ethiopia, and to this day is kept under guard by a succession of monks at a Catholic church. Yet, King Josiah who reigned after Manasseh, referred to the ark no longer being a burden on the shoulders of the priests. (2 Chron 35:3) Some speculate that this meant Josiah may have become aware of a future Babylonian siege. He then hid it in an alcove built by Solomon located under the temple mount; or he transported it to a cave near the Dead sea.
In the latter half of the 20th century, one man claimed to have found the ark sequestered within the tunnels under Jerusalem, hidden there by Jeremiah during the Babylonian siege. This man chose an alternate hill as the location of Jesus’ death on a tree (Acts 10:39), where he states that the shed blood of Christ seeped through a rock crevice, eventually pooling on the “mercy seat” of the chest buried underneath the mount (“Day of Atonement” Lev 16:11,14). He claimed to receive a vision where he was told to ensure his find remain locked away until the “man of lawlessness” would be revealed in the last days.
There are many speculations where the ark disappeared to, and the possibility of counterfeits built down through history; but the chest’s significance today is only that of a historic and archaeological treasure, since it is no longer God’s “throne”, or the symbol of the divine presence of God, which was called the “shekina”.
The ark of the covenant, or ark of the “testimony”, was built by Moses according to the heavenly “pattern” shown to him on the mountain. (Ex. 25:10-22; Heb 8:5) Inside and out, the acacia box was wrapped in pure gold. On the cover, two cherubim faced each other with wings touching above the ark.
“You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. 22 And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.” Exod 25:21,22
There are many miraculous events associated with the ark. When Joshua’s priests stepped into the waters of the Jordan river, it parted, allowing the nation of Israel to cross into the Promised Land. At the battle of Jericho, God’s spiritual presence was with his faithful people, as the ark was carried on the shoulders of the priests. The walls of Jericho were brought down on the seventh day of marching around the city, when the priests blew their trumpets in unison. (Josh 3:14-17; 6:2-5)
God’s word also shows evidence of allowing the enemy to overtake Israel, even though the ark may have been present during battle. When young Samuel was under the care of Eli the high priest of Shiloh, God told Eli that his descendants would not thrive because of his weak attitude toward the wicked behavior of his two sons, who were also priests. His unfaithfulness toward God’s decrees brought disgrace on him, as well as the nation of Israel. (1 Sam 2:29-31) His corrupt priestly sons are described as idolaters and fornicators who “did not know the Lord”. (1 Sam 2:12) The account of their sacrifices offered for the people, shows an abhorrent lack of righteousness practiced before God. (1 Sam 2:17)
After an initial defeat by the Philistines, Eli’s son’s Hophni and Phineas rashly remove the ark from the tabernacle putting faith in the presence of the literal ark itself, to bring them to victory. They treated it as another idol, as the physical manifestation of God. Because of Israel’s sins, it was defeated by the Philistines and suffered great loss of life, including the lives of Eli’s sons. (1 Sam 4:1-11)
The ark was confiscated and placed in the Philistine temple of the god of Dagon. By God’s spirit, the statue toppled and was destroyed, causing fear among the people. (1 Sam 5:4,6) Within a matter of seven short months, they sent the ark back to Israel after suffering disease and plagues wherever they desperately moved the ark. (1 Sam 5:11)
Eventually, and under trial, error, and the unexpected loss of life, David was successful in returning it to Jerusalem. (1 Chron 15:11-15; 16:1) When Solomon finished building the temple, the ark was brought from the City of David and placed in the inner sanctuary, under the protection of two cherubim:
“ Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. 7 For the cherubim spread their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles.
Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.” 1 Kings 8:6,7,9
Only the Levitical priesthood was to bear the ark, as David realized when bringing it back to the City of David, veiled under a large cloth. (1 Chron 15:13; Num 4:5,6) The priesthood role was to convey God’s messages to the people, spoken from above the ark, and teach His decrees written on the stone tablets that the chest preserved.
Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying: 9 “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, 10 that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, 11 and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.” Lev 10:8-11
Under the new covenant established in Christ, God’s chosen priests symbolically carry God’s laws hidden within their heart. (Isa 43:10,21; 1 Pet 2:5,9; Heb 8:10;13:15) These laws are sourced in the Word, Jesus Christ, the Head of God’s Temple of mobile “living stones”. (John 1:1;14:15,23,24; 1 Pet 2:4,5; Eph 2:10,20-22)
Today, God’s priests have abandoned their duty as God’s teachers. (Ezek 44:10; Mal 2:8,9) A false priesthood/elder body assumes to “carry” God’s laws spoken by false “christs”/prophets, who subtly compare themselves to Moses leading the nation of spiritual “Israel”. (Num 3:10; Rom 2:28,29; 2 Thess 2:3,4) (Matt 24:4,5,23,24; Rev 13:11,12) God’s priests imbibe in “intoxicating drink” offered by this Harlot; and in their drunkenness, they have allowed God’s sanctuary to be violated by the “unclean”. (Ezek 44:6-9,21,23; Isa 28:7,8; Luke 21:34-36; 1 Thess 5:7; Rev 8:10,11)
Until researching the ark of the covenant, I had never related “Jehovah’s organization” as an “ark” of testimony, promising to lead JWs safely against the religious and political entities of the world, and on to a victorious finish. I view it even more so, as their “spirit-breathed” guiding idol of protection, enforcing the decrees of men; and like the example of Hophni and Phineas, it reveals how little God’s anointed priests “know” God. (Jer 2:8; 9:5,6; Rev 13:15)
The practice of spiritual immorality has resulted in the trampling of God’s Word in Christ, bringing truth down to the ground, and exalting the doctrines of men. (Dan 8:12,13,25; Mark 13:14; 2 Thess 2:9,10; Isa 2:22)
His priests do not bear the mark or portray the “image” of God’s Temple City of Truth. They bear the mark of a counterfeit temple of two blasphemous Beasts. (Deut 6:6,8; 11:18; Exod 13:9; Rev 14:1; Rev 13:1,11,12,16,17; 17:3,5)
Do you understand that it is blasphemy, when the wicked steward wrongly claims to be God's faithful slave (Rev 2:2; Matt 7:15; Rev 13:11), or when those not spiritual Jews (Rom 2:28,29; Ezek 44:7-9)
falsely claim to be God's Temple
(Rev 2:9; 3:9; 2 Chron 13:9; 23:6; Mark 13:14; 2 Thess 2:4; Dan 8:11; Rev 13:7; 11:2; Jer 7:4)
...when in truth, they are an abomination of Satanic deception!
Such Gentile "elders", blaspheme against the genuine saints and priests of heaven (Heb 12:22,23; Eph 2:6; Phil 3:20; Rev 13:6)
... "killing" all who refuse to worship and serve their collective "image", as God's "spirit-directed" organization (Rev 13:15).
That "abomination" is successful in destroying the life prospects of God's genuine people (Rev 13:7,8; Matt 24:4,5,24,25,22).
That's why Jesus called it, "the abomination causing desolation", "as spoken about by Daniel the prophet" (Matt 24:15; Dan 11:31; 8:13) (Jer 12:10-12; Matt 10:34; Rev 2:16; 19:15,19; 16:13-16; 13:10; Isa 63:18; Jer 6:3; Luke 19:43,44; 21:20,24,22; Rev 11:2).
This is, the "operation of error" / "deluding influence", of 2 Thess 2:11
(2 Thess 2:4; Dan 8:11,12; Rev 13:1,4; 2 Thess 2:9-12).
Pearl Doxsey - “Who Are God’s People?”
Prov. 25:11 – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures (“images”) of silver”.
Jesus gave us warning that both good fruit and bad fruit would be exposed in the last days.(Matt 7:15-20) Those slaves who are attached to the “vine”, who remain connected with their Head, will be projecting the “image” of God’s words of truth in Christ. (John 15:1-5; Col 1:18) Truth is the foundation of the Temple. Each “living stone” sealed into it would speak in harmony with Christ’s truth. (Matt 16:18; John 14:6; 1 Tim 3:15)
“And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.” Ps 12:6
In the inner sanctuary, as well as on the “mercy seat” of the ark of the covenant, were the two cherubim which appeared to guard God’s “testimony” of Truth which the ark carried inside.
John 8:17 – “It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.”
A symbolic “two witnesses”, Revelation’s messenger servants of Christ, “trumpet” the need for God’s Temple priests to submit to Christ’s admonition, to “buy gold refined in the fire” (Isa 58:1; Matt 24:31; Rev 3:14-22)
“Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
2 “But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner’s fire
And like launderers’ soap.
3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
He will purify the sons of Levi,
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the Lord
An offering in righteousness. Mal 3:1-3
The tree of life represents God's gift of life through Christ (1 John 4:9; John 6:57; John 3:16; 5:26; 1:4; Acts 3:15).
That gift is also represented by the ark of the covenant, guarded by "two cherubim" (1 Kings 8:6; 6:27; 2 Kings 19:15; Ps 80:1; 99:1; Ezek 10:1)
When the symbolic garden of Eden is restored, and the trees of life are accessible again,
the sanctuary is "opened", and living waters/manna/the law tablets (Heb 9:4; 2 Cor 3:3)), once again "flow" from the throne of God, and from the sanctuary in heaven.
(Ps 18:6,10; 80:1; Isa 37:16; Ezek 10:1; Rev 11:19; 15:5; Ezek 47:1; Rev 22:1,17; Heb 8:5; Jer 3:15-17).
So when we read that the "tree of life" was guarded by cherubim, we can hopefully perceive that this reality is prophetic and spiritual, and is still very much with us.
It is the "two cherubim" (Rev 11:3), that determine who it is that are permitted to receive of life's provisions
(Matt 16:19; Mark 10:37,40; Zech 4:3; Matt 17:2,3,11; Isa 61:4,3; Jer 1:10; 2 Cor 10:4; Rev 2:26,27; Zech 4:3,14; Rev 11:4,3),
thereby guardians of the "ark of the covenant" AND the "tree of life" (Rev 22:14; Ps 118:20; John 10:9,7; Rev 21:12; 22:14; 1 Cor 4:1; Luke 12:42).
Not all are permitted access to the "tree of life"
(Matt 13:11,12; 10:13-15; 7:6; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:11; Isa 29:11; Luke 8:10; John 6:65; 1 Cor 2:10; 2 Cor 4:3-6; Rev 22:15; 21:27; Isa 52:1b; Joel 3:17; Nahum 1:15)
Pearl Doxsey – “Garden of Eden”/New Creation/Seven Spirits/Tree of Life/The True Vine”
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the advice of the wicked;
nor does he stand in the way of sinners;
nor does he sit in the assembly of mockers.
2 Instead, in the law of YHVH is his delight,
and on His law he meditates day and night.
3 And so, he is like a tree planted by streams of water
that gives its fruit in its season;
its leaf also does not wither.
Therefore all that he does prospers.
4 Not so the wicked.
Instead, they are like the chaff that the wind scatters.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for YHVH knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.”
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Who is the target of God’s four plagues of Revelation? (Rev 18:4) See: “Sodom”/”Four Horsemen”
“Teach the Distinction!”
“The fallen star”
By Srecko Sostar
Geoffrey Jackson in his talk comparing GB with "watch dog who barking for no reason in a middle of the night" in 3:04 of this video. He send message how watch dog and FDS have similar "enthusiasm". :))
It is funny, but also very concerning if you are member of organization under such religious Leaders.
By Srecko Sostar
"The scores of branch office buildings, hundreds of Assembly Halls, and tens of thousands of Kingdom Halls around the world provide tangible proof that God’s Kingdom is real and is now ruling." -
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. This same words was told by GB Helper Alex Reinmueller on JW TV.
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. in 32:31 of this video. Where in Bible and in Jesus' words you can find confirmation how construction program and buildings will be tangible proof about God's Kingdom reality on Earth?
Does Watchtower's worldwide possession of properties, real estate (buildings) is part of "sign" of the Last Days ?
By Srecko Sostar
GB member Stephen Lett went "in deep" explanation about climate changes and weather on Earth. He said how JHVH lovingly control of weather for His people blessings stopped in long past (I think Mr Lett had Adam and Eve time period in mind). After, satan became ultimate cause for natural disasters until today. Obviously with, at least, one exception - Noah Flood. That was for sure "so called natural disaster" caused by God. Or by satan? Who will know that after Mr Lett "clarification".
Also, Jesus mentioned something about his Father who giving sun and rain (natural phenomena that contribute in regulating weather and to "so called natural disasters") to both good and bad people, to righteous and unrighteous. I wonder, what Jesus could say about his Father's "weather control" . According to Bible, it seems how his Father giving bad and good weather to both group of people, and He doing this without exemption.
Now, who you will trust, who you need to trust?
By Srecko Sostar
Article from 1/24/2020: Jehovah’s Witness abuse victims unhappy at lack of care, report shows
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .....The Dutch branch went to court to try to stop the publication of the report but judges on Thursday ruled that it could be published in the public interest.....
Below is final part of that report.
Results in context
International studies conducted in Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom show that the issue of sexual abuse in the Jehovah's Witness community is not restricted to the Netherlands. Furthermore, studies conducted within the Dutch Roman Catholic Church and the youth care sector in the Netherlands show that the issue of sexual abuse is not exclusive to the Jehovah's Witness community.
Our study and the international studies show that the Jehovah's Witness community can be characterized as a closed community. Each of these studies shows that fixed structures and protocols have been established based on the Bible.
Furthermore, all of the international studies showed that the Jehovah's Witness community does not adequately handle reports and complaints of sexual abuse against minors and that victims find themselves in a vulnerable position.
Our study and the studies conducted in Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom also suggested that the closed nature of the community hinders transparent handling of reports of sexual abuse. At first glance, this closed nature also seems to have a negative influence on the willingness to file a police report. International studies into the Jehovah's Witness community have found that there are very few opportunities to make such complaints outside the community and that doing so involves a very high risk of shunning and exclusion. The victim-support mechanisms within the community appear to be insufficient, no support is provided to enable external reporting of sexual abuse and according to many respondents, external reports are discouraged.
The obligation to notify the authorities of suspected or actual sexual abuse is a vital measure that has been taken by or recommended to the Jehovah's Witness community in Australia and Belgium. The Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands has also been advised to introduce a notification obligation. Since the studies in Australia and the United Kingdom were conducted, the Jehovah's Witnesses have set up a protocol to determine how elders must handle allegations of child abuse. The effects of the measures taken by the Jehovah's Witness community in Australia, the United Kingdom and Belgium in order to improve child safety are not yet known.
When we look at the three Dutch studies examining communities (closed or otherwise) that were examined during this study (the Roman Catholic Church, the youth care sector and the Netherlands Ministry of Defense), we note that being in a closed community hinders people from reporting a variety of offences. At the time, the minors who reported sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church community seemed to be in an extremely vulnerable position (due in part to the lack of personal counselling), which - among other factors - discouraged them from notifying external parties. Studies within the youth care sector and the Netherlands Ministry of Defense indicate that non-religious organisations also have structural inadequacies concerning the protection of members against undesired conduct and external reporting of such conduct. Furthermore, it can be carefully concluded from the studies within the Roman Catholic Church and youth care sector that the weak levels of procedural transparency concerning issues, such as to whom the incidents should be reported and how the reporting process is conducted, appear to have negatively impacted the willingness to report offences.
Utrecht University Conclusions
▪ A total of 751 participants shared their experiences of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community via our contact point. These experiences included 292 accounts from people with personal experience of abuse and 459 accounts from people who know somebody who suffered abuse.
▪ 80% of the participants in the study reported their experiences of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community. ▪ 30% of the respondents notified the police and 27% of the respondents filed a police report.
▪ Three-quarters of the victims awarded a score of 5 or less for the handling of their report by the Jehovah's Witness community (average score: 3.3). ▪ 63% of the victims awarded a score of 6 or more for the handling of their report by the police (average score: 6.4).
▪ Compared to internal channels (80% report the offence within the community), a relatively small proportion of the participants in the study engage external channels (30% notify the police and 27% file an official police report). There are reasons to assume that the filing of a police report is hindered by the closed nature of the community and the risks involved in informing external parties. However, our study does not provide causal evidence for this factor and follow-up studies would be required for such evidence.
▪ According to our respondents, the closed culture within the Jehovah's Witness community can also be linked to the problems concerning the handling of reports of sexual abuse. The board has now put protocols and instructions in place to establish procedures for responding to reports of sexual abuse, although these mainly seem to focus on protecting the community - and, by extension, the culprit - rather than the victim. As a result, victims receive limited support and insufficient recognition, which can result in secondary victimization.
▪ While the community has taken steps over the past 10 years to improve how reports of sexual abuse are handled, the Jehovah's Witnesses' formalistic system still provides no guarantee of an adequate response to sexual abuse.
Based on the findings and conclusions in the study, we have formulated recommendations for the Jehovah's Witness community and for the Dutch government.
▪ We appeal to the community of Jehovah's Witnesses to ensure better support for and recognition of victims and alleged victims via measures such as the following:
o Providing more explicit information regarding the options for reporting the abuse externally or filing a police report and/or seeking external help as well as providing clear assistance with these external channels.
o Setting up an internal reporting centre for victims of sexual abuse, with adequate knowledge of the subject and of the internal and external options for victims. Clear agreements must be established within this reporting centre concerning timely engagement of external parties for the purposes of reporting the offence and/or supporting the victim.
o Compiling annual reports regarding the activities of the internal reporting centre in relation to its own website, fellow believers and the public.
o Training and educating elders in how to handle in cases of sexual abuse, in order to better equip them to provide support to victims.
o Investing in openness and transparency in relation to sexual abuse and how it is handled.
o Initiating cultural change that establishes a clearer position for women.
o Engaging in discussions within the community and with other parties - such as politicians, the police, the authorities and the Reclaimed Voices foundation - concerning how to prevent and handle sexual abuse.
▪ Furthermore, the results of this study could help to ensure relevant parties - such as the municipal health services and the police - are better informed of the influence of closed communities on victims of abuse.
▪ The Netherlands board of Jehovah's Witnesses actively cooperated with our study. The board also stated that it complies with the law of the land and the Reclaimed Voices foundation confirmed this policy principle. This situation provides the Dutch political system with the opportunity to take action and enter into talks with the community about patterns, church rules, other rules, customs, structures and their consequences for the willingness to report sexual abuse within the community of Jehovah's Witnesses. Within this context, a law is being considered that would make it mandatory for the Jehovah's Witnesses and other organisations to report instances or suspicions of sexual abuse to the police. Other countries have already introduced this type of law. Assessment of the usefulness and desirability of this instrument for the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands will require further research.
▪ Finally, we recommend supplementing the independent scientific research presented during this report with additional future research. After all, the number of missing values/responses for a number of variables and the self-reports presented here imply that establishing truth is not the purpose of this report. Furthermore, no solid causal links concerning willingness to report sexual abuse can be derived from this report. Further research would be necessary to determine how applicable the findings concerning sexual abuse are to the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands and in other countries, as well as within other organisations. However, the research presented in this study into sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands provides ample grounds for future research to establish a more comprehensive picture of the people reporting sexual abuse, the people not reporting sexual abuse, and the perpetrators of sexual abuse among Jehovah's Witnesses in the Netherlands and in other countries.
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