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Open Club, Private Club, JW club

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TrueTomHarley -
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OK, not really a topic, but I'm confused :( 

J W's Open Club ?  this one that I've just joined.

What happened to the other JW club ?  Do you know I cannot even remember what it was called.

Was it JW's Private club ?  Any way did i miss something happening and if so what, when and why ??? 

Thanks. 

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3 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

OK, not really a topic, but I'm confused :( 

J W's Open Club ?  this one that I've just joined.

What happened to the other JW club ?  Do you know I cannot even remember what it was called.

Was it JW's Private club ?  Any way did i miss something happening and if so what, when and why ??? 

Thanks. 

There IS something strange going on. I think the Librarian (the old hen) is trying to separate warring factions for the sake of decorum. I had to “join” a club to confront the malcontents, in a forum where anything goes & so I suspect that anyone can join here.

You might find it harder to join the “loyal” JW forum, because you have proven that you can speak about only one thing, and, as often as not, you insert it where it is completely irrelevant.

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1 minute ago, TrueTomHarley said:

There IS something strange going on. I think the Librarian (the old hen) is trying to separate warring factions for the sake of decorum. I had to “join” a club to confront the malcontents, in a forum where anything goes & so I suspect that anyone can join here.

You might find it harder to join the “loyal” JW forum, because you have proven that you can speak about only one thing, and, as often as not, you insert it where it is completely irrelevant.

It's never irrelevant Tom, the truth is you find it a thorn in your side as do all JW's. I don't hate, well I try not to hate anyone, but I do hate the 'goings on' in the JW Org, the hidden things that congregants are not supposed to know about. 

A bit cowardly though not being open to debate. But only to be expected from JW's that are hiding from the truth. 

I hope you are well Tom and having a good start to this new year. I know it's only numbers, years that is, but each January does give some folks new hopes. 

Each day is another day closer to Judgement Day / Armageddon. I do hope the JW Org is sorted out in time, or another Org is formed to take its place. 

So are we only going to read comments from people that find fault in the JW Org here ? 

Are the rest of you going to be on the 'Loyal' forum, having your ears tickled :) 

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1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

A bit cowardly though not being open to debate. 

Debating is not the same as refusing to shut up once your point has been addressed.

It is as I close out my books, speaking in the third person for the sake of sounding more majestic than I actually am - in an attempt to forestall people like you:

“Sometimes people disagree. He can live with that.”

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6 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Debating is not the same as refusing to shut up once your point has been addressed.

It is as I close out my books, speaking in the third person for the sake of sounding more majestic than I actually am - in an attempt to forestall people like you:

“Sometimes people disagree. He can live with that.”

Very good Tom, nice sense of humour :) 

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38 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

“Sometimes people disagree. He can live with that.”

Would this mean for everyone? or just a few that wouldn't have a problem with debating in the level as it is given.

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18 minutes ago, BillyTheKid46 said:

Would this mean for everyone? or just a few that wouldn't have a problem with debating in the level as it is given.

Seems like there are different levels coming as it seems the JW debates are being divided into the Open JW's and the Loyal JW's. Unless that was a wind up. But Tom writes books, to earn money I would imagine, so of course 'he can live with that'. 

Would be such a shame if all the loyal ones go and hide though. Would mean they are not seeking truth at all, just wanting their ears tickled. 

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I've just noticed I've been shunned on this very forum. It's so funny. The JW's Only, Closed club.  Wow, i really am laughing. 

So the 'loyal club' does exist. Such a shame that they cannot face truth as it is now. So easy to hide behind closed doors. 

Oh well, so be it. Have fun patting each other on the back and pretending the JW Org is so so wonderful. But remember that it is God that judges, through Jesus Christ,  so not much point in you congratulating each other if you don't have God's approval. 

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13 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

I've just noticed I've been shunned on this very forum. It's so funny. The JW's Only, Closed club.  Wow, i really am laughing. 

So the 'loyal club' does exist. Such a shame that they cannot face truth as it is now. So easy to hide behind closed doors. 

Oh well, so be it. Have fun patting each other on the back and pretending the JW Org is so so wonderful. But remember that it is God that judges, through Jesus Christ,  so not much point in you congratulating each other if you don't have God's approval. 

Interesting point John, I mean if the "closed" club is only comprised of jws that support the gb and the wt, then what is there to discuss? They all nod their head to the same line of reasoning or lack there of. So no progression in thought, only regurgitation of what the gb says. What a boring forum that would be. 

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37 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

But Tom writes books, to earn money I would imagine, so of course 

TrueTom vs the Apostates is free.

Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia is free.

 I will put them into audio version someday. That will not be free. I am not Bethel. My smooth crooning is not to be squandered lightly. Maybe a print version in time. But the plain text will always be freely available in some format. 

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38 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

So the 'loyal club' does exist. 

I think it was formed specifically with you in mind, because if the discussion veered toward the UN, you would return it to your ONE AND ONLY TOPIC.

If it went towards the immortality of the soul, you would return it to your ONE AND ONLY TOPIC.

If a pleasant discussion of Mozart ensued, or Plato, you would return it to your ONE AND ONLY TOPIC.

Nobody could hear themselves think with your perpetual crying. What choice did anyone have?

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Perhaps it’s meant to keep the slander and lies to a bare minimum from opposers that have nothing good to offer, except self-acclaim with distortion of scripture to boot. At least I know one person here that believes he is the Messiah with time prophecy. I remember a time when the PONTIFF had the same veneration to be equal to Christ.

Therefore, if JW’s want to lift their spirits with God’s truth, there is nothing wrong to think along the lines as the rest of Christendom that have about 1.2 billion members, and known of them want to hear negativities.

For those that believe the Org is hiding something, that’s been proven to be personal opinions. The Watchtower hands over when asked through the courts to supply the required information. Sometimes, voluntarily. Sometimes, there are overreaches of the courts that compel a lawyer to adhere to common laws. This in itself is in compliance with 1 Peter 2:13. Common law does not recognize biblical standards. Government standards have a different process. A process of checks and balances that every court is obligated to adhere to. There are no shortcuts. There is an order on how courts are conducted. This is a legislative problem, not a Watchtower problem.

This is where the opposition has a problem, enough to criticize. A least one person here has offered a disdain for anyone that hides the truth directly or indirectly. This person has become a judge. Romans 2:1 I feel ashamed to think this kind of a person could be a JW. There are also, witnesses that are no longer in good standing that exasperate or compound the problem with lies or half-truths because they don’t understand structured law. They only look at biblical law, one-sided.

If they understood how a judicial committee operates instead of looking at it on what they have read, they would understand that each case is different, and the majority of cases don’t require a two witness rule. In some cases yes, but not all. That “ALL” is framed by ex-JW's and has no place in the realism of the organization.

The same condition to reject the GB even though scripture CLEARLY states Hebrews 13:17 I don’t expect a JW that has renounced his/her religion to understand. For no true JW follows men, but the instructions were given them through God’s Holy Spirit. There is a big difference when opposers wanting to make it the same.

Where would you see the scriptural spiritual fellowship with such conditions? So, I see no problem having the fellowship have their own space.

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18 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I think it was formed specifically with you in mind, because if the discussion veered toward the UN, you would return it to your ONE AND ONLY TOPIC.

If it went towards the immortality of the soul, you would return it to your ONE AND ONLY TOPIC.

If a pleasant discussion of Mozart ensued, or Plato, you would return it to your ONE AND ONLY TOPIC.

Nobody could hear themselves think with your perpetual crying. What choice did anyone have?

Tom I think you are blind to my reasoning. I spoke on many topics, not just Child Abuse. 

But it seems that i have made an impression on you in that regard, which is good. 

On another topic recently i mentioned many different things that give people reason to dislike or distrust the GB of JW Org. 

The shunning problem, the blood issue / blood fractions, the misuse of scripture, the changing of meaning of many scriptures. The denial that Elders are a Clergy Class. The 'Clergy privilege'  excuse for hiding pedophiles within the Org.  There are lots of things that are wrong with the GB and it's JW Org.  Accusing two adults of fornication when NO witnesses are available. Allowing 3 year olds to put in Report slips as a means to make up the drop in numbers of JW's in the Org. Just a few there to start with.

So please don't tell lies by saying my only point is the Child Abuse. The Child Abuse was the main reason i left the JW Org that's all.

To balance things I did say that the protests in London were wrong. I even got into trouble on one of my own FB pages for saying that homosexuality is wrong in God's eyes. I've even said that some of the scriptural teachings are good and make sense.  And I still believe in Armageddon but think it will be a long while yet. I even think it is possible for God to cleanse the JW Org and use it. 

So, ok sometimes I rant, but it is out of pure frustration, because so many JW's are blind to the faults of the Org. Not faults due to human imperfection, but faults due to deliberate turning away from serving God. 

So anyway enjoy your JW's Only Club. 

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50 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

I even got into trouble on one of my own FB pages for saying that homosexuality is wrong in God's eyes. 

You’d better get on board with that. Fewer and fewer hold the line on homosexuality. The ones that do all have certain tools of discipline that you cry about.

Embrace what you have chosen. And don’t stop there. You now have 50+ genders to choose from! Most of your fellow malcontents here are cool with it, or at least they are cool with homosexuality, and they will be in time with the 50 genders, having spurned an anchor.

‘In Defense of Shunning’ is a chapter of the book. There is a place for disfellowshipping, as a last ditch method of discipline when all else has failed: 

    Hello guest!

 

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1 minute ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Ahh...brothers, isn’t it nice and peaceful now that the loudmouth @JOHN BUTLER is not around.  Boy, he sure could...YIKES!! I’ve posted in the wrong club! Abort, Librarian (you old hen) abort! Take this down!

Tom I know you meant to post it here. You are a funny man. 

But of course some of us will be spoken about in your 'posh' private club. So be it. It seems you need to regroup to think up moe rubbish to hide the faults of your GB and you JW Org.  Cowards, but there you are. 

God will, when He is ready, sort out the Org and the GB. Just as He sorted out the Pharisees. So it's not really a problem for me.

Finding real truth is more important to me that worrying myself about people that bury their heads in the Org. 

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1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

The shunning problem, the blood issue / blood fractions, the misuse of scripture, the changing of meaning of many scriptures. The denial that Elders are a Clergy Class. The 'Clergy privilege'  excuse for hiding pedophiles within the Org.  There are lots of things that are wrong with the GB and it's JW Org.  Accusing two adults of fornication when NO witnesses are available. Allowing 3 year olds to put in Report slips as a means to make up the drop in numbers of JW's in the Org. Just a few there to start with.

For what it's worth, I noticed that you did bring up several other issues besides child abuse. Child sexual abuse (CSA) seemed to be the issue that remains most unresolved for you, and it spilled over into discussions of elders, GB, the congregation fear of elders, two-witness rule inconsistency, clergy privilege, etc. To be fair these other topics were often already related to the CSA issue.

1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

And I still believe in Armageddon but think it will be a long while yet. I even think it is possible for God to cleanse the JW Org and use it.

Jehovah can use any of us, and any government, ruler or organization to accomplish his will. He can use our mistakes to accomplish his will, and he can use our feeble and foibled attempts to minister to him, too, of course. I think Jehovah continues to cleanse "JW Org" every time we show humility as an organization and show ourselves malleable to his will. (Like the potter's vessel illustration from @Bible Speaks you commented on.) You made a comment under that topic to the effect that Jehovah does not "mold" us to his will through congregation elders. This made no sense to me, because the utilization of congregation elders is very much a part of Jehovah's will as we can see in the Biblical direction given to congregations. Of course, if there are specific things elders do, you could address those things, but the generalization is not scriptural.

On the issue of Armageddon, there is a range of belief among Witnesses, so I assume you mean the standard idea that Jehovah destroys all the wicked, especially the wicked organizations, and only Jehovah's people survive. That range of belief might include questions about who really get counted as "wicked," who really get counted as Jehovah's people, or whether a large number of JWs actually do not survive, too. What happens with children and those who remain innocent by lack of hearing, or inability to comprehend? What happens with those who would gladly have joined us, but who were stumbled at haughty elders, or false prophecies, or issues of child abuse that seemed to them to be the fault of an organization, rather than just the perpetrators?

Also on the issue of Armageddon, you know that while it might not be dangerous to think that it might be a long way off, it is dangerous to live our lives according to the idea that it might be a long way off. The point is to keep it close in mind because it could come at any time, without further warning. We are warned that it will arrive, but we have absolutely no warning as to the times and seasons. This makes me wonder about what several members have done on this forum by speculating about what things are "obviously" going to happen in the near future that will prove this or that scripture to have been accomplished. I think this is also a mistake, because even if we think a certain action on the part of a government, a person, the UN, or anything else must happen first to fulfill some Bible prophecy before the end, then I think we have failed to understand that Armageddon can actually arrive 5 minutes after you fall asleep tonight. And it must be just as wrong to speculate that it must happen before the deaths of the entire second group of anointed who overlapped with an earlier group of anointed who would later admit that they misunderstood what they saw happening in 1914. This is just as un-Biblical and therefore un-Christian because it claims we know something about the times and seasons with respect to the time of the end.

1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

So, ok sometimes I rant, but it is out of pure frustration, because so many JW's are blind to the faults of the Org.

An organization is not a person with motives you can judge. Yes, many JWs are blind to the faults of the Organization. But you should know members of the "Private" club for JWs as opposed to the "Public" club for JWs (now called "Open") is just as apt to discuss faults of the Organization as it is in the Open Club. As TTH pointed out, it has actually become easier to discuss these criticisms without people changing the subject at will, or asking people to defend their choices on some barely related topic.

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@TrueTomHarley I quote you "Most of your fellow malcontents.. " 

It is you that is part of an organisation not me. I do not have fellow anything. I stand alone. 

You seem to have to link me with others. Is it a fear you have ? Are you afraid to deal with a man that can actually stand on his own ?

It seems you have to take comfort in thinking that i am part of a movement, a clan, or revolution or something. Sorry to disappoint you but I'm not part of anything, I am just me.  I have my own thoughts and do my own deeds. 

The Elders seem to act the same way as you are acting. Demanding that everyone that leaves the Org is shunned. Pretending that everyone that leaves the JW Org has forsaken God. Lumping them all together, just as you seem to be doing.

Homosexuality is wrong, fornication is wrong,  smoking is wrong, drinking too much alcohol is wrong, telling lies is wrong, physical violence is wrong, child abuse of any sort is wrong, stealing is wrong, and so much more. 

I've left the JW Org Tom, I haven't left God or Jesus Christ. Bible principles still stand true in my life. 

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27 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Ahh...brothers, isn’t it nice and peaceful now that the loudmouth @JOHN BUTLER is not around.  Boy, he sure could...YIKES!! I’ve posted in the wrong club! Abort, Librarian (you old hen) abort! Take this down!

I wonder. I believe they eliminate AllenSmith34. Why not this one? or does this mean anyone can apply for work, lol!

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@JW Insider Quote "To be fair these other topics were often already related to the CSA issue." 

That is the whole point. All the topics are interwoven.  TTH seems to want all the topics separated but it's not possible. 

As the GB has made its own rules on most things then they all seem to interrelate. 

But even biblical issues interrelate in a similar way. When you talk about Love, it involves many facets. 

As for Armageddon, well I'm 69 now, 70 this year, and I've started writing a sort of life history. I hope I will not be alive when Armageddon arrives, in fact to outlive this year would be a shame. My feeling is that God gave us 70 years and that mine is up this coming October. Time will tell. 

But as you were saying about who will survive. At this moment in time I do not believe that being a JW makes any difference at all. And if a person is not a JW because that person sees genuine faults in the JW Org, then i would think that the 'Judge' would take that into consideration. IF however the JW Org was fully cleansed and could be seen as being used by God, then maybe a person should be inside that Org. Along those lines, is one reason that i think Armageddon is a long way off. Because God has to either clean out the JW Org fully, or, God has to build a new org. 

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      I have been given this information :-
      Somewhere between 18 months to 2 years ago, a young man that is a member of Honiton Congregation (my ex congregation) committed a sexual offence against a young girl that would have been around 7 or 8 years old at that time.. 
      The young man was visiting the home of this child and he went up to the girl's bedroom and asked the girl to have sex with him. I do not think that sexual intercourse took place but from the information that I've been given, he laid her on the bed and got on top of her and 'humped' her as if he were having sexual intercourse with her.  
      The incident was reported to the Elders and the police were not informed. I have no idea what action the Elders took but the congregation were not informed.
      The young man ( who's name I have ) would have been in his very early twenties at the time, but his mental age is lower. He is a bit slow in learning things and possibly has mental disorders. That is not meant as an insult, but i do know this young man personally and he does act a bit strange sometimes and frightens people.  
      The young man's father was a single dad of three children ( i knew this man quite well ), but he invited a foreign lady (a sister in the JW Org) over to the UK, and they married. The marriage did not go well as the woman wanted to 'be the boss'. They split up and she went back to her country of origin. But then she came back to have a 'second try' at the marriage.  I do not know the marriage situation at this time. However the whole issue would have been totally upsetting for the three children, especially for this young man that found it difficult to cope with some situations. 
      The person that gave me this information, in my opinion, is completely trustworthy, and once again in my opinion, would not have any reason for making up a 'story'. As I was given the young man's name, and i know the young man and his father, it all seems quite genuine to me.
      Now i come back to the duty of care.  For, in my opinion, it is the duty of anyone that has any information concerning child abuse to report it to the police. 
      This could be just a one off incident, but it could be the start of a young man becoming a pedophile. I honestly don't know where my duty is here. 
      The young girl that was the victim of this assault may need help getting over the situation. The information was also that the father of the victim does not want 'any trouble'. Hence he did not want the police involved. That helped the Elders to keep it secret, well almost. 
      Now this young man may commit sexual assault again, within the JW congregation or outside of it.  And that young lady will be in fear of him and yet still have to attend that Kingdom hall where she will see him every week. 
      So should i report what i have been told to the police or not ? Of course I would have to tell the police it is only third hand information.
      BUT, if the police could get hold of the 'records' / paperwork from the Kingdom hall regarding the incident, then it would be proved as true. 
      I do not expect that the Elders would willingly hand over paperwork, so I've no idea how it would work out in the end. But it's my actions that I'm concerned about here , my responsabilites. What should i do ?  
       
       
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      This topic is aimed toward asking ADMIN these questions. I do not know who Admin are. Some folks here seem to have made friends with Admin where as I just use the forum. 
      Why was Jehovah's Witnesses Private Club set up ?
      Should it be 999% about Jehovah's Witnesses and their Organisation, which would include the GB ?
      Am I therefore wrong when i only talk about Jehovah's Witnesses and have no interest in other religions ?
      There are those on here that regularly 'bite my ears off' because i only talk about the JW's, but I thought that was the intention of this forum.
      Admin please clarify these matters for me, please ...... 
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      YELM, Wash. — Authorities on Wednesday were investigating after someone tried to set fire to the Kingdom Hall of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Yelm.
      This comes after four other recent attacks on Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Thurston County that are being investigated as hate crimes.
      In the latest incident, authorities were called around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to the report of an attempted arson at the Kingdom Hall on Vail Road SE in Yelm.
      The ensuing investigation closed a large section of Vail Road for most of the day.
      Church elders had arrived to find fire logs stacked up against an outside wall that was smoldering. They doused the logs with water and prevented any further damage to the building.
      The elders reported finding a suspicious device placed on the ground on the west side of the building. It “had the appearance of being an explosive device,” so deputies called the bomb squad to the scene.
      People living nearby the church told Q13 News they were told by law enforcement to evacuate for their own safety.
      “I got woken up by my roommate Zachary saying there was a device on the church next door to our house and we needed to evacuate,” said Richard McIntire.
      McIntireÂ’s shared his concern about living so close to whatÂ’s become a repeated target.
      “I don’t understand why people have to target churches,” he said.
      Neighbors in rural Yelm expressed their worries about the attacks and hoped police would soon make an arrest before someone gets hurt.
      By late afternoon investigators determined the suspicious device wasn’t dangerous. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office later tweeted, “The suspicious device was made to look like a real bomb but in the end, it was found to be fake.”
      Read more: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Many of the children described conditions at US Customs and Border Protection facilities, where they were taken and processed during the first days after crossing the border. In the reports they were only identified by their first names. Timofei, 15, from Russia, who sought asylum on the border with his parents for his beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses, said they were crowded night and day in the closed and crowded room, detained along with other boys. He said there was only one window that opened onto an empty hallway and that they did not have soap in the bathroom, and that only sometimes, they gave him a toothbrush for individual use. He also said that he was offered a shower when he arrived at the facilities in San Ysidro, California, but he did not and the second or third day there did not allow him to do so.
      https://www.clarin.com/mundo/trataron-chicos-separados-padres-frontera-relatan-dias-detenidos-unidos_0_SJh7dyam7.html
    • By Ann O'Maly
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      BY  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. APRIL 20TH 2017 The Supreme Court of Russia has a decision to make this week about whether to label the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization and liquidate its assets. This act would transform the religious community into a criminal network, and make individual Witnesses vulnerable to arrest simply for speaking about their faith with others. While the court case has attracted recent media attention, this move is the culmination of two decades of increasing state hostility to Witnesses. In the late 1990s, Moscow took the Witnesses to court to deny them legal standing in the city limits. After several years of court hearings, the city banned the organization. In more recent years, anti-extremism laws drafted in the wake of domestic terrorism have been turned against Witness magazines and books. Currently, over eighty publications have been placed on the federal list of extremist materials. Even their website is now illegal. So is My Book of Bible Stories, an illustrated book for children, listed alongside publications by terrorist organizations.
      If the state criminalizes the Witnesses, it will represent a major deterioration in religious toleration in post-Soviet Russia. It will also put Russia at odds with the European Court of Human Rights, which has repeatedly ruled in favor of the Witnesses in the past two decades. It may make other minority faiths vulnerable to similar legal challenges. In the 1990s, scholars spoke of a newly opened religious marketplace, in which post-Soviet citizens, freed from the constraints of state-enforced atheism, shopped around among the faith traditions. It is fair to say that these days, this marketplace has fewer customers, fewer stalls, and more regulations.
      If history is any guide, Russia will find it nearly impossible to eliminate Jehovah’s Witnesses. Soviet dissident author Vladimir Bukovsky once admiringly wrote of the Witnesses’ legendary persistence under ban. When the Soviet Union barred religious literature from crossing its borders, Witnesses set up underground bunkers to print illegal magazines for their congregations. When Soviet officials prohibited Witnesses from hosting religious services, they gathered in small groups in their apartments, often in the middle of the night. Sometimes they snuck away to nearby woods or out onto the vast steppe, where they could meet with less scrutiny. When the state told believers that they could not evangelize their faith to others, Witnesses chatted up their neighbors, coworkers, and friends. When these actions landed them in labor camps, Witnesses sought out converts among their fellow prisoners. Witnesses are certain to revive many of these tactics if placed in similar circumstances in the future.
      Moreover, technology makes it far more difficult for Russia to control the religious practices of its citizens. Although the Witnesses’ official website is no longer available in Russia, individual members can easily share religious literature through email or dozens of other social media platforms and apps. While Soviet Witnesses had to write coded reports and hand-deliver them through an underground courier network, Witnesses today can text this information in seconds. Technology will also facilitate meeting times for religious services in private homes.
      The Russian government simply does not have the manpower to enforce its own ban. It is hard to imagine that local officials could effectively prevent over 170,000 people across more than 2,000 congregations from gathering together multiple times per week, as Witnesses do worldwide. The case of Taganrog is instructive. Several hundred Witnesses lived there in 2009, when the city declared the organization illegal. A few years later, it convicted sixteen Witnesses for ignoring the ban and continuing to gather their congregations for services. The state spent over a year in investigations and court hearings for sixteen people, a tiny fraction of the total congregation, and then suspended the sentences and fines rather than waste more resources in following through on its punishment guidelines. There are not enough police officers in Russia to monitor the daily activities of each and every Witness, and the Witnesses know it. Under a ban, everyone will face more scrutiny, a few will be dealt more serious consequences, and most will continue practicing their faith regardless.
      Russia may nonetheless decide that all of this conflict is worth it. After all, Soviet officials were fairly successful in relegating Witnesses to the margins of society. Few Russians will complain if Witnesses no longer come to knock on their door. After all, even Americans rarely have kind words for religious missionaries at their own doorsteps. In my own research, I have never heard a single Russian, other than a scholar, say anything positive about Witnesses. For the record, my experience with Americans has been similar. On a more basic level, Russian citizens may not even notice the Witnesses’ absence from public life. While the post-Soviet period saw a religious revival for all faiths, far fewer joined the Witnesses than the Russian Orthodox Church. For all their recent growth in membership, the Witnesses remain a tiny minority in a largely secular society.
      The vocal determination of Witnesses not to acquiesce to state demands should not cause observers to overlook the very real damage a ban would do to this community. Yes, Witnesses have faced similar challenges before and have dealt with them. For decades, they held their baptisms in local rivers and lakes under cover of night. In the post-Soviet period, new members were finally able to celebrate their baptisms in full view of their fellow believers at public conventions. A long-time Witness who attended one of these events in the early 1990s recalled, “What happiness, what freedom!” A new ban would mean a return to this underground life, to a hushed ceremony in cold waters. This is not what freedom of conscience looks like in modern states.
      Emily B. Baran is the author of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Her work explores the shifting contours of dissent and freedom in the Soviet Union and its successor states. She is Assistant Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University.
    • By The Librarian
      Is Russia clamping down on Jehovah Witnesses? BBC News
      Russia’s Supreme Court has begun hearing a government request to outlaw the Jehovah’s Witnesses and declare it an extremist organisation. The justice ministry has already placed its headquarters near St Petersburg on a list of extremist groups.

      Forum to discuss in detail located HERE
      Via
    • By Kurt
      GENEVA (4 April 2017) – Moves by the Russian Government to ban the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses using a lawsuit brought under anti-extremism legislation have been condemned as “extremely worrying” by three United Nations human rights experts*. 
      “This lawsuit is a threat not only to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but to individual freedom in general in the Russian Federation,” the experts said. 
      “The use of counter-extremism legislation in this way to confine freedom of opinion, including religious belief, expression and association to that which is state-approved is unlawful and dangerous, and signals a dark future for all religious freedom in Russia,” they stressed. 
      The condemnation follows a lawsuit lodged at the country’s Supreme Court on 15 March to declare the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Centre ‘extremist’, to liquidate it, and to ban its activity.  
      A suspension order came into effect on that date, preventing the Administrative Centre and all its local religious centres from using state and municipal news media, and from organizing and conducting assemblies, rallies and other public events. 
      A full court hearing is scheduled for 5 April and if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the authorities, it will be the first such ruling by a court declaring a registered centralized religious organization to be ‘extremist’. 
      Concerns about the counter-extremism legislation have previously been raised in a 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  by the three experts to the Russian authorities on 28 July 2016.   The Suspension Order imposed on 15 March is the latest in a series of judicial cases and orders, including a warning sent to the organization last year referring to the ‘inadmissibility of extremist activity’. This has already led to the dissolution of several local Jehovah’s Witness organizations, raids against their premises and literature being confiscated.  
      “We urge the authorities to drop the lawsuit in compliance with their obligations under international human rights law, and to revise the counter-extremism legislation and its implementation to avoid fundamental human rights abuses,” the UN experts concluded. 
      (*) The experts: Mr. David Kaye (USA), Special Rapporteur on 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Mr. Maina Kiai (Kenya), Special Rapporteur on  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and Mr. Ahmed Shaheed (the Maldives), Special Rapporteur on  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .   The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.   UN Human Rights, country page: 
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    • By Kurt
      TRANSCRIPT
      In an earlier Vortex, we reported between the years of 2008 and 2014, 3 million Catholics left the Faith in the United States. So we went digging to see what the numbers are for the the last 15 years, since the turn of the century — essentially one generation.
      Brace yourselves here: According to the most recent data from solid sources, in the year 2000, 18 million Americans identified themselves as former Catholics — those who had left the Faith. One generation later, as of 2016, that number had swelled to 30 million.
      Elevent million more Catholics have left the Faith since the turn of the century. There are more Catholics over 50 than under 50. And there are more Catholics over 65 than under 30. And the percentage of young people — those under 30 — in the Church is a smaller percentage than almost any other religion.
      Only Jehovah's Witnesses and mainline Protestants have a smaller percentage of young people comprising their ranks than Catholics, and even there, Catholics are a hair's breadth away from being dead last.
      17 percent of the Church are people under 30. 16 percent of mainline Protestants are people under 30. 15 percent of Jehovah's Witnesses are people under 30. Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and the Eastern Orthodox all have larger percentages within their ranks of people under 30 than the Catholic Church does.
      Over the next 15 years, we can expect to see the raw number, the straight pure number of Catholics begin to drop off more dramatically. One of out every five Catholics right now, today, is over 65. Almost all of those people will be dead in 10–15 years. And they aren't being sufficiently replaced. Additionally, we're beginning to reach the moment where there will be more Catholics who have actually left the Faith then there are those who claim to still be in it.
      Although there are conflicting data on the actual number of Catholics in the United States, a safe number is about 73 million. Thirty million Catholics, as we said before, no longer call themselves Catholics. Just another 6 or 7 million leaving the Faith, and there will be more former Catholics than those who still identify as Catholics.
      At current trends, which show no slowing up or changing, we will reach that moment in about three years — right around 2020. We already know from surveys during the campaign that the percentage of Catholics relative to the overall U.S. population has slipped from the historically stable number of 25 percent to roughly 20 percent, and the percentage of Catholic voters dropped from 26 percent to approximately 21 percent.
      This is a Church in full-blown retreat.  
      Eleven percent fewer parishes since 2000; 18 percent fewer priests; and only two thirds what priests there are are in active ministry. The other third are too old for active ministry. Graduate-level seminarians essentially flat lined. The slight increase in the numbers of priestly ordinations is nowhere near enough the number needed to replace those dying — not by half, in fact.
      Infant baptisms off by a third. Adult conversions down by 40 percent. First Holy Communions and confirmations also both down. And marriages — perhaps the most significant barometer for the future life of the Church — down almost 50 percent since the year 2000. In fact, the only two sacraments that there aren't officially horrible numbers for are the only ones no official records are kept for: confession and anointing of the sick.
      But any Catholic with working eyes knows the number of confessions has also fallen off the cliff. Even the number of Catholic funerals since the year 2000 has dropped by 16 percent.
      This entire disaster — and that is what it is — must be placed squarely at the feet of the U.S. hierarchy, who have done nothing meaningful to arrest the decline and have in many ways helped speed it along. What business would tolerate such horrible results from its managers and directors? It would have fired them more than a decade ago for complete incompetence.
      We here at Church Militant often get blamed for causing division, often times by many of the bishops and their staffs. Look at these numbers, Your Excellencies, numbers largely taken from your own data, and own them. Don't blame us. The vast majority of Catholics have no idea who we are. It's not causing division to point at the house burning down and yell "Fire!"
      Your lackluster, protestant-minded, false ecumenism, happy-clappy, fake-joy, heresy-accommodating, tradition-hating strategies are responsible for this failure. You and your staffs have caused the division — not us, not others. You!
      You have given young people nothing to commit to, other than embracing worldly causes, which they don't need you to tell them to do. You have abandoned or destroyed one tradition after another to the point that now, we have arrived at a point where there is no longer any Catholic identity to speak of. You have allowed and even encouraged a flood of abuses in the liturgy, the seminaries, religious houses, schools and colleges so that young people have no idea what being Catholic means, so understandably they have no loyalty to it.
      You have not taught. You have not encouraged. You have not loved. And accordingly, your sheep are abandoning you. You have ground underfoot the patrimony of tens of millions of Catholics from former generations and sold it off. And you rip into loyal Catholics who point this out to try and wake up what few remaining Catholics there are before it's too late — if it isn't in fact already too late.
      Your ill-advised, protestant-based evangelization efforts and emotional theatrical presentations won't turn this around. All you are doing is putting into high gear what you've already been doing since the year 2000. In the next 15 years, when most of you will have been judged by Almighty God, you will stand before Him and be directly responsible for a Church in America that will be unrecoverable owing to your spiritual cowardice.
      You will have to explain to Jesus Christ, one by one, how you embraced the world instead of converting it. Your lampstand has been taken away. You need to meditate on that in the quiet of the night, when there is no one around except you and God. And you need to tremble and quake at the fate that awaits you at your judgments if you don't reverse course immediately.
      Pray for them, Catholics; pray that the majority of them will wake up before they all die in their sins in a few years.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The organization faces a ban in all of Russia

      The supreme court in Russia’s Karachay-Cherkessia declared the local Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization on February 10 and ordered for it to be dissolved and its property forfeited to the state.
      Earlier, the republic’s prosecutor office had accused the organization of producing and disseminating extremist materials. The Witnesses were then forced to pay a fine and had their literature seized, however, as they wouldn’t give up what the prosecutor’s office referred to as “extremist activity”, the matter was taken to court.
      The Russian prosecutor general’s crackdown on Jehovah’s Witnesses started with a notice of “unacceptability of extremist activity” sent to the organization’s management last April. Citing religious discrimination, JW representatives appealed against the notice. However, Moscow’s city court on January 16 upheld it, ordering the organisation to “fix the violations” unless it wanted to be banned on the entire territory of the Russian Federation.
      Seven of JW’s regional branches have been closed down in Russia by courts. In the southern Russian city of Taganrog, 16 Witnesses were convicted for failing to comply with the ban. Four criminal cases have recently been launched against several members of the organization for “inciting hatred” and “creating a non-commercial entity violating citizens’ rights”. 
      In 2005, a Moscow court ordered the dissolution of the capital’s JW community. In 2010, the European Court for Human Rights found the court in violation of the European convention. And in 2015, the community finally had its registration resumed. 
      There are 100 to 150 thousand Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. The Christian denomination emerged from the Bible Student movement, founded in 1872 by Charles Russel. It reports a worldwide membership of more than eight million adherents.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      When Audrey Butler dedicated herself to becoming a Jehovah's Witness seven years ago, she knew she would never accept a blood transfusion—even if that meant making a choice between life and death.
      "Well the scriptures do tell us that the blood is the soul. So that's how precious blood is to us. It's your life. It's the person's life," she explains.
      Butler and other Jehovah's Witnesses believe that several passages in the Bible forbid them from consuming blood in any way, including via blood transfusions. This belief can be at odds with standard medical practice; during the course of surgery, some patients require blood transfusions in order to combat blood loss.
      At age 46, Butler began suffering from pain and stiffness in her knee. Doctors told her she had arthritis, and that she would likely need a knee replacement in the coming years.
      Butler avoided surgery for as long as possible, enduring painful knee injections and doing her best to live with a limp. But eventually, she began to feel that her limp was slowing her down significantly. Her arthritis was having a considerable impact on her quality of life. 
      Butler knew she needed the knee replacement. She also knew she was unwilling to abandon her faith.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Éloïse Dupuis was giddy with excitement the day before she gave birth to her first child, a son she and her husband named Liam.
      In a Facebook message to her aunt Manon Boyer, the 27-year-old said “she couldn’t wait to see him, to hold him and to rock him.”
      “She said the dream of her life was about to come true and she couldn’t wait to introduce him to me,” Boyer recalled, one week after her niece died in a hospital following complications from a difficult delivery.
      Dupuis was a Jehovah’s Witness and had signed a document, when she became an adult, saying she would not accept a blood transfusion. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that passages in the Bible order them to abstain from taking blood, even when their life is in danger.
      The young woman died six days after giving birth in a hospital in Lévis, near Quebec City, after being transferred from a birthing centre when complications arose. The exact cause of death has not yet been determined. However, reports suggesting she didn’t accept a blood transfusion have created a stir in Quebec, with friends, some family members and politicians questioning whether she made the decision freely. 
      Her parents, her husband and her in-laws were with her for six days before she died, Boyer said.
      “I don’t believe she would have refused blood after having her baby if she knew her life was in danger. I don’t think she had the capacity to make a free choice because she was ill from two surgeries. The family never notified us that she was ill.”
      Boyer said she is happy that coroner Luc Malouin is investigating her niece’s death, because he will probably question the nurses and doctors who treated Dupuis at the hospital. Boyer said she has already spoken to Malouin about the death.
      Boyer said she felt that something was amiss when Dupuis, and her niece’s mother, failed to answer Facebook messages she had sent inquiring about the birth on Oct. 6.
      “I sent a message congratulating her on being a grandmother, but she didn’t answer,” Boyer recalled. “The next day, I sent a message saying I know they’re busy, but could they let me know if Éloïse is fine. But that wasn’t answered either.” 
      A few days later, Boyer noticed a message on Dupuis’s Facebook wall, congratulating her and her husband on their second wedding anniversary. However, the person who posted the message said that they knew “it wasn’t a happy time but that the couple would have other times to celebrate.”
      Boyer said she was confused by the message, so she replied to it asking for news about her niece.
      “Why isn’t it a good day to celebrate when you just had a baby?” she wondered.
      It was then that someone wrote that Dupuis was fighting for her life and had lost a lot of blood.
      Boyer said her daughter called the hospital to find out what was going on. A nurse said she would ask a member of Dupuis’s family to speak to her, but family members refused to come to the phone, she said.  
      “The nurse said we could come to the hospital to visit, but she said that Éloïse’s heart was beating slowly and it was just a question of hours before she would die.”
      After hearing the news, Boyer contacted Cassandra Zélézen, a childhood friend of her niece. Zélézen and her two sisters, who are triplets, drove to the hospital from their home in Rawdon, in the Lanaudière region, to try to see their ailing friend.
      Zélézen told the Montreal Gazette that Dupuis’s father refused to allow them to see his daughter. Dupuis’s husband told the triplets that he had regrets about having the baby at the birthing centre and wondered about the decision not to have a blood transfusion. 
      “Now, it’s too late,” Zélézen recalled the husband saying.
      Her friend died a short time later. 
      While at the hospital, Zélézen said that Dupuis’s husband showed her a note that Dupuis had written, while intubated, after having her uterus removed. 
      “It’s OK, we can adopt,” the note read.
      After Dupuis’s death, her friends messaged her aunt saying: “She’s dead, she’s dead.”
      On the day Dupuis died, three elders from a Jehovah’s Witness congregation were present at the hospital, according to Zélézen.
      John Redwood, a former Jehovah’s Witness from Maryland who wrote about Dupuis’s death on his website, said the organization has a Hospital Liaison Committee made up of trained elders who are dispatched to hospitals any time a Witness may require a blood transfusion.
      “Their purpose is to support the family in their decision (and) to avoid being coerced into taking blood,” said Redwood, 49, who left his congregation three years ago. “They may not have ever met the patient, but these are the enforcers of the policy.”
      He said there is a second committee, called the Hospital Visitation Committee, made up of members who visit and pray with sick patients but don’t “interfere with blood policy.”
      Simon Picard, a spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada, denied that elders are sent to hospitals to ensure that blood transfusions do not take place.
      “We have members who will be there to provide support, but the choice to not have a blood transfusion is an individual choice,” he said. “When you’re in a crisis situation, you like to have members to support you in a decision you have made.”
      Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard called Dupuis’s death “terrible,” but said it was important for society to respect the law and individual choice.
      “The jurisprudence has been very clear: if a person of sound mind refuses medical treatment, even if it costs them their life, we can’t go against their will.”
      In Quebec City, the Coalition Avenir Québec described the incident as “troubling,” and said it raises serious questions about the health care system.
      “I don’t have answers today, but I say to myself: ‘How can it be that we let someone die in Quebec for religious reasons?’ ” CAQ Leader François Legault said. 
      Nathalie Roy, the CAQ critic for secularism, wondered whether Dupuis “had really given free and clear consent. Are there people who spoke for her, who decided for her? Did she know she was going to die leaving her child there?” 
      Dupuis, whose immediate family could not be reached for comment, had moved to the Beauce region two years ago, following her marriage, but still remained in touch with Boyer and her family.
      “It’s unbelievable that you could die a few days after having a baby,” Boyer said. “The baby will be raised by them (Dupuis’s family) and we will never see him. We have lost a beautiful girl. She was full of love and was ready to help anyone, anywhere, any time.”

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      (QUEBEC) The Government does not intend to restrict access to hospital rooms to specific groups, religions of the disciples, said yesterday the Minister of Health, Gaétan Barrette.
      “You ask me to decide on a person can receive visits from his entourage. You are going away, “said Mr. Barrette briefing. Mr. Barrette has acknowledged that as a physician, he had already faced JW representations to patient.
      Earlier in the National Assembly, the caquiste MP Simon Jolin-Barrette had claimed that Quebec clearly gives hospitals the right to restrict access to patients. In addition, a judge should be asked to intervene to assess if a patient refuses treatment rightly whose life may depend, proposed caquiste Member for Borduas.
      The young Eloise Dupuis, died last week at the Hotel Dieu de Lévis, refused a blood transfusion because she was a follower of Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, shortly before his death, the young woman had been in the hospital, visiting senior members of the sect. This “Jehovah’s Witnesses Hospital Liaison Committee” had pressured the young woman to conform to the dogma and refusing to receive blood. The Sun reported yesterday that relatives of M me Dupuis had indicated that members of this group were found in the room of the young mother until the final hours of his life.
      “We know that a font of blood is present in Québec hospitals,” said Simon Jolin-Barrette, caquiste Member for Borduas.
      “[The policy of blood] put pressure on patients and their families, it denies access to people who are not members of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the patient’s room,” reported Mr. Jolin-Barrette. According to him, access to in-patients should fall away. Can not let the “blood police” control access to rooms.
      It exceeds certain limits”
      According Gaétan Barrette, it is an exaggeration to talk of “blood police”; the opposition would, in fact, create a “police visits.” But the patient is “autonomous in his choice must be done independently.” It is a “situation is dramatic.”
      “But to use inflammatory language, when we talk of” blood police, “I think here we exceed certain limits,” said Gaétan Barrette.
      A coroner examines the circumstances of his death.
      For the PQ member Agnes Maltais, not need a judge. “Decisions on the free and informed consent, he takes daily by doctors, and it faces, in general, this kind of situation. We do not agree with the position that says that they can attack the doctors. The doctors do their job. In this case especially, we know very well that there were lawyers, there was an ethics committee and there were doctors who intervened, “said she summarized.

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      Would you date a reproved?
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