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    • By Jack Ryan
      https://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/100719zor_m648.pdf (p. 42)
      It was to be expected.
      To know more about that case, read the petition, subsequent papers and lower courts' decisions (added as appendices to petition) here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docket/docketfiles/html/public/19-40.html
      UPD. Brief summary of the case: Plaintiff, a minor, sued Watchtower in California over abuse commited by an elder (a former elder, as Watchtower claims) during a slumber party. The trial court ordered Watchtower to produce "all documents received by [Watchtower] in response to the Body of Elders letter dated March 14, 1997.” Watchtower refused claiming, among other things, that "running computer searches for relevant documents caused the computer system to crash." The trial court then declared that Watchtower automatically lost the case, and awarded the plaintiff $4,016,152.39. The appellate court affirmed that judgment. Watchtower asked the federal Supreme Court to hear and review the case; the Court refused.
      The Court's decision to deny the petition doesn't create any precedent and it won't directly affect other cases. But Watchtower has lost its first, to the best of my knowledge, attempt to bring a child sexual abuse case to the SCOTUS.
    • By Jack Ryan
      I've been able to get my hands on these pictures of the new printed Study Bible which was released at the Annual Meeting yesterday. Has a light brown cover rather than the grey tone of the regular bible. The page edges are gold rather than silver. And it only includes Matthew-Acts. Surprisingly, while many of us were expecting the Org to reduce printing operations even further, this actually wasn't the case this year. Although apparently they did mention that due to the "high resolution colour pages and high quality materials", the Bible is rather "expensive to produce".




    • By The Librarian
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    • By Jack Ryan
      2019 BRD Newsletter
      https://docdro.id/zCdI01Y   2019 BRD Visitor Center Newsletter https://docdro.id/WQpmfDD   2019--S-147-19-05-E https://docdro.id/Vrx3fVG
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      China’s religious persecution extends to all religions without discrimination.
      Not only are Jehovah’s Witnesses facing a severe crackdown in China, but the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is also supporting other countries’ similar crackdowns. As Bitter Winter reported earlier this month, a Russian court sentenced Danish citizen Dennis Christensen, a Jehovah’s Witness, to six years in prison for extremism. While international organizations and democratic countries condemned Russia’s crackdown, the CCP-connected anti-xie jiao website, published an article in support of Russia.
      The exact number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in China is difficult to ascertain; they’re not included in the list of the xie jiao, but their activities are regarded as illegal. Missionaries from abroad are considered “hostile forces” and often deported, as part of China’s campaigns to crack down on foreign religious infiltration.
      On December 26, 2018, two police officers from a city in eastern China’s Shandong Province stormed into the home of two Spanish Jehovah’s Witnesses missionaries, asking them about work they did and why they were staying there while earning so little. The officers then ordered them to leave China within two weeks on the grounds that “foreigners are not allowed to do missionary work.”
      “They [the missionaries] felt that their deportation was very sudden. They just contacted some people to talk about faith; there is no record that they violated any regulations or broke the law,” said one believer.
      “They felt very reluctant when leaving China,” another believer added.
      As for the foreign missionaries who have not yet been arrested or deported, they’re still facing a difficult time. Worried about being followed by the police, one South Korean missionary told Bitter Winter that she is extremely careful every time she goes out. Another South Korean missionary has suffered multiple recurrences of gastric illness as a result of being under too much pressure and is planning to return to South Korea in the near future.
      To prevent being discovered by the police when they hold gatherings, Jehovah’s Witnesses have not only installed a thickened security door at the meeting venues but have also used a foam board, measuring two meters high and ten centimeters thick, to keep sounds from carrying.
      Still, believers don’t dare to sing loudly.
      They also specially arrange for believers to keep watch at the meeting venue’s entrance – if any danger is detected, they’ll immediately notify others to end the gathering. The believers also use hand gestures to signal each other to turn off the lights.
      In May 2018, a Jehovah’s Witnesses meeting venue in Shandong’s Linyi city was raided by the police. Without presenting any credentials, eight preachers were summoned to the local police station. The visas of four Japanese missionaries were annulled, and the police ordered them to leave China within ten days, prohibiting them from returning to China to do missionary work.
      Around the same time, the United Front Work Department of Xinxiang city’s Party committee in central China’s Henan Province, the municipal State Security Bureau, and other related departments formed eight working groups to investigate the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      On May 5, they carried out a concentrated operation in which seven meeting venues were raided and shut down. One Japanese missionary was detained for 15 days, fined 20,000 RMB (about $2,857), and ordered to leave the country.
      In mid-October 2018, a Jehovah’s Witnesses meeting venue in Harbin city of northeastern China’s Heilongjiang Province was also raided by the police. Officers from the local police station and officials from the local Religious Affairs Bureau stormed into the meeting venue and demanded that all the believers show their ID cards. Three South Korean missionaries were taken to the local police station for questioning and were deported later that month.
      In November, a government official in Harbin city’s Shuangcheng district encouraged villagers to report foreign missionaries to the authorities as soon as they discover them.
      Reported by Li Mingxuan
      https://bitterwinter.org/jehovahs-witnesses-hunted-down-and-deported/

    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      wow!
      It's been NINE years since the first "Shepherd the Flock Of God" Elder's handbook came out, that was so top secret that non-elders were forbidden to read it, and sisters were not even allowed  to touch it, and to this day, most Jehovah's Witnesses are not aware that the book even exists.  At the same time copies were given to the Finnish Department of Justice, and the Department of Education, and the Australian Royal Commission on Child Abuse.
      Here it is 2019, and the latest 2019 version is out, available all over the Internet in PDF format, but I have not had a chance to read it yet.    
      I still do not know what all the top secret hub-bub was about .... I read the 2010 version and the subsequent updates, and found it a fine publication that ALL Jehovah's Witnesses would benefit from reading.
      I did not mention I knew of the 2010 version's existence until they started giving out copies to lots of government officials, my reasoning being that the Society had thereby "declassified" it.
      Does anybody know if the Society has given the OK for the general Brotherhood to read this book, by which we are governed?
      Can any Brother or Sister at the Kingdom Hall request, and get a copy?
      I will ask at my Weekend Meeting, in two days, and let you know what I have found out.
    • By Jack Ryan
      Here some points I noted not sure if these r different from the previous edition:
      medical marijuana is a personal choice
      Any allegations of child sexual abuse r to b given to the legal department to tell the elders how to proceed.
      Also specific instructions to not make abused persons face their accuser
      The elders should all b made aware of any sexual predators and if they move the new congregation elders should b made aware including parents of children in the congregation. This is only done if the legal department says to.
      Victims of abuse or their parents r to b advised that they can go to the police and r not to b discouraged from doing so.
      Masturbation is not pornia and is not really covered. Not sure if this is new and the org is backing away from discussing it.
      Probing sexual questions r to b avoided during a judicial committee
      Sexual offenders r not to receive any major privileges in the congregation, possibly minor ones such as handling mics after an extended time has passed.
      The elders r to clearly tell people that they r being invited to a judicial committee and what the meeting is about up front.
      Things they r still clinging to:
      Still sticking to the two witnesses rule for child abuse
      it says that attempted suicide victims may b subject to a judicial committee ( someone that has mental illness should not b subject to more trauma I find this to b so disgusting)
      Of course all the other ridiculous invasive restrictions we all have experienced
      Highlights from the book above (2019 links added)
      The three year rule is re-iterated without specific mention of "three"
      An elder or MS will be removed if he allows his adult DA'd child to move into family home
      An elder can be removed for filing for bankruptcy
      The language around the definition of rape is better - no more references to the woman having to scream
      The stayover rule is still there. If you stay in the house of a member of the opposite sex, and two people know about it, it's a judicial matter.
      "Abhorrent" forms of porn are now a DF offense. Gay, Lez, child, violent, bestial.
      Gluttony is now listed as a DF offense. Not sure if it was there before
      They have narrowed the definition of apostasy: " Deliberately Spreading Teachings Contrary to Bible Truth " the end of that sentence used to read "as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses"
      I think this the first time they explicitly stated that marking talks can be given based on misconduct from unbaptized minors
      There's a whole new section on CSA. It seems like an improvement overall and includes the child no longer having to confront her rapist in most cases, but it still doesn't have the promised female representation from Jackson's promise to the Australian court.
      Willingly taking blood remains an automatic disassociation offence.
      Reinstatement is "several months, a year or even longer"
      Ownership of kingdom halls. They make clear that regardless of what it says on the title, a congregation does not OWN their own kingdom hall.
      jw.org email - all correspondance between elders is now via the elders private account on jw.org. I guess they want to make sure they know EVERYTHING
      Congregation file: Still they say the best place to keep it is at the KH. Therefore, paper records of all judicial matters should be in those files. ALL CSA RECORDS HAVE "DO NOT DESTROY" WRITTEN ON THEM
      Here's the entire section on legal action as a result of judicial action. I think it's worth noting that it demonstrates that they will leave you alone if you write a legal letter:
       
      IF THE ACCUSED THREATENS LEGAL ACTION 18. If the accused threatens legal action against the elders, the elders should suspend proceedings and promptly telephone the Legal Department. 19. If a member ofthe media or an attorney representing the accused contacts the elders, they should not give any information about PREPARING FOR JUDICIAL HEARINGS CHAPTER 15 “SHEPHERD THE FLOCK OF GOD” the case or verify that there is a judicial committee. Rather, they should give the following explanation: “The spiritual and physical welfare of Jehovah’s Witnesses is of paramount concern to the elders, who willingly provide spiritual assistance to congregation members. The elders extend this spiritual assistance confidentially. This makes it easier for those who seek the elders’ help to do so without worrying that what they say to the elders will be divulged later. Consequently, we do not comment on whether elders are currently or have formerly met to assist any member of the congregation.” If there is a need to do so, the elders may obtain the inquirer’s name and phone number and inform him that their attorney will contact him. The elders should then promptly telephone the Legal Department. 20. Ifthe authorities request confidential congregation records or ask that elders give testimony regarding confidential congregation matters, the elders should promptly telephone the Legal Department.
       
      This seems like a big change below as it codifies what we have all been hearing about ownership of KH's:
       
      OWNERSHIP 2. A Kingdom Hall is dedicated to the worship of Jehovah. Whether the property title, or deed, is held in the name of a local corporation or by means of a trustee arrangement or it is held in the name of a legal entity managed by the branch office, no congregation should conclude that it “owns” the Kingdom Hall. However, it is the responsibility of the congregations using the property to care for it and see that it is used in harmony with Kingdom interests. 3. As many as three or four congregations may be assigned by the branch office to use the same Kingdom Hall auditorium in order to make full use of the facility and to keep expenses to a minimum. The branch office will generally correspond with only one of the congregations using the facility regarding legal, property, and related matters. Usually, this contact congregation holds the documents related to the Kingdom Hall and the property on which it is located. This is for practical reasons only and does not provide a basis for the contact congregation to make unilateral
    • By The Librarian
      This issue contains the study articles for May 6 to June 2, 2019
      Source
    • By The Librarian
      Consider some of the challenges that face us and what it will take to make this world a safe and secure place to live.
      Source
    • By The Librarian
      This issue contains the study articles for April 8 to May 5, 2019
      Source
    • By The Librarian
      The Bible book of Ezekiel contains many prophecies that focus on the restoration of pure worship. How do these prophecies involve us?
      Source
       
       

      Pure Worship of Jehovah—Restored at Last!
      Title Page/PublishersÂ’ Page
      A Letter From the Governing Body
      Contents
      Explanation of Special Features

      CHAPTERS VIDEO DOWNLOAD LINKS


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    • By John Houston
      Was curious if there would be a posting of the upcoming season of assembly talks. It would benefit us who may be unable to go, for personal study and research. Any answer would suffice. Thanks for your time.
    • By The Librarian
      This publication is designed to help sharpen your skills in public reading and in the arts of speaking and teaching.
      Source
    • By The Librarian
      What you do every day can make God’s heart rejoice.
      Source
    • By The Librarian
      This issue contains the study articles for March 4 to April 7, 2019
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    • By The Librarian
      General instructions for how the midweek meeting should proceed.
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    • I was referring to natural babies. The Bible says that in the days before the Flood, men were marrying, and women were being given in marriage. A natural outcome of such natural marriages includes natural children. Every Christian should let their reasonableness be known: (Philippians 4:5) 5 Let your reasonableness become known to all men.. . . If a doctrine produces a contradiction then it is reasonable to question that doctrine. It is unreasonable not to question it. There is no need to claim uniqueness, or to make an unreasonable claim that prophecy was relayed directly from God to any individual who notices the contradictions. And there is no need to pretend that noticing the 1914 problems is something unusual. I'm sure that THOUSANDS of Witnesses have seen these contradictions. I'm hoping that more of those thousands will be able to freely question because it is our Christian duty as Witnesses, to show our reasonableness, be noble-minded, keep testing, keep proving, and to make sure of the more important things, and hold fast to what is fine. Exactly! And when we understand it, we can see where he made such far-reaching mistakes when it comes to his published chronology, almost ALL of which we have now abandoned. This is why the Watchtower has abandoned the very groundwork for the faulty system that Barbour laid out for Russell to accept. The basic groundwork was the "double" (Hebrew, "mishneh") found in Jeremiah, Isaiah, Zechariah, etc. It was understood that this referred to a duplication of time: Thus understood, the Prophet's declaration is, that from the time of their being cast off from all favor until the time of their return to favor would be a repetition, or duplication in time, of their previous history, during which time they had enjoyed divine favor. (Studies in the Scriptures, V.2, p.218) In this now-abandoned scheme, natural Israel had received favor for 1,845 years, from 1813 BC to AD 33. Events in this period would exactly parallel events from the new dispensation for another 1,845 years from AD 33 to AD 1878. Adding the 37 years from Jesus death to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70, meant that Russell could add 37 years from 1878 and reach 1914/1915, as the farthest extent of man-made rule by the nations. As shown in the accompanying diagram, the period of their favor, from the commencement of their national existence at the death of Jacob, down to the end of that favor at the death of Christ, A.D. 33, was eighteen hundred and forty-five (1845) years; and there their "double" (mishneh) —the repetition or duplication of the same length of time, eighteen hundred and forty-five (1845) years, without favor —began. Eighteen hundred and forty-five years since A.D. 33 shows A.D. 1878 to be the end of their period of disfavor. A.D. 33 plus 1845 = A.D. 1878. (p.218) .  . until the Times of the Gentiles be fulfilled," and hence, though favor was due and began in A.D. 1878, the Jew will not be received back into full favor until after 1915. Thus their rise again to favor will be gradual, as was their fall from it. It is remarkable, too, that these two periods of their falling and rising are of exactly the same length—the falling was gradual, with increasing momentum, for thirty-seven years, from A.D. 33, where their national favor ceased, to A.D. 70, where their national existence ended, the land was desolated and Jerusalem totally destroyed. History thus marks the beginning and ending of their fall, while prophecy marks both ends of their rising—1878 and 1915 —showing an exact parallel of thirty-seven years. (p.221) So, yes, it was "meticulous" but it was meticulously false, which is why we now consider it to be just a lot of numerology for the trash heap. (The edition quoted was the one closest to 1914, which is the main reason that the dates had already been changed from 1914 to 1915.)  
    • ....   TTH: So that is your better idea, eh? Again you miss the point of trying to solve a problem with a solution to a problem that does not exist. Furthermore, it is painfully transparent and obvious that you do this to avoid having brought to the light of day facts that are painful for you to admit, that would be exposed by following my suggestion. I already know the answers that you will get from my suggestion. You do too. We are BOTH ashamed of what we will learn as part of this exercise that would cost about $50 ... NOT the cost of a single stamp, and would require  a full day to do it right. I have already done what I suggested several times in the past, with other issues,  and as I sent my little "torpedos" out into the dark, what lit up on the horizon was not what I wanted to see, either. .... but it was IMPORTANT information. Information based on TRUTH ... not rumors, innuendo, legends, wishful thinking, and second, third, and fourth hand accounts from unknown or unverified sources. The question at hand was trying to get honest answers about a HIGHLY controversial aspect of our history, and the people involved, straight "from the horses mouth", INSTEAD of hearsay, which facts you consider heresy. Your suggestion would be a meaningless exercise, just as your attempt at diversion from an obvious outcome being documented in truth and honesty is a meaningless exercise, merely a  political obfuscation for the sake of obfuscation, as we have seen recently in the News.  
    • Question: What is a TV show that ruined the lives of many people in general? If we are actually talking about shows that have ruined tens of thousands of lives then there’s no way to avoid bringing up televangelists. These individuals have had people so desperate to help, to healed or to be “saved” that they have: Drained their pensions and retirement accounts Mortgaged their homes Liquidated their assets Borrowed money from family, friends and even financial institutions. Gone without food and medication Some of the worst offenders are: This Is Your Day - Benny Hinn Hinn has been controversial for decades and is only now receiving the scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service and the Postal Inspectors that he’s deserved for years. Your World With Creflo Dollar - Creflo Dollar A Georgia-based pastor who actually begged his followers for a $65 million private jet to help him “minister to the faithful”. Believer’s Voice of Victory - Kenneth Copeland Basically instructs people NOT to seek medical assistance, and states that prayer will help them overcome illnesses. Enjoy Everyday Life - Joyce Meyer Has been under investigation for many years for possible misuse of collected funds. Has been on air for nearly 30 years and has collected tens of millions of dollars during that time. Paula White Today - Paula White Both White, and her ex-husband Randy White, take in millions of dollars annually and have been under scrutiny by tax officials for decades. The Whites are actually one of the most subdued of televangelists, although they are also some of the most successful. Frankly, so many people have given, and will give, their money to these individuals that they easily are among the worst predators ever to be aired on American television.
    • Would this mean supernatural babies would not have received judgment because they are babies? Babies that turned into giants that caused the deaths of countless humans, including babies by a power given to them, they shouldn’t have received? Does everyone that possess the Holy Spirit have the ability for prophecy? No! That is made by design by God. 2 Peter 1:20-21, Romans 12:6 It would be unusual for a witness to be distinct to such honor and speak of prophecy as though it was relayed directly from God to that individual. Countering the written words of Paul. God gives that privilege, it is not taken by man. John 3:31-35 With that said, faithful witnesses should understand the meticulous groundwork that Pastor Russell laid-out for everyone to see. There are 2 instances within scripture of 1260. Revelation and Daniel. What witnesses shouldn’t do is project their independent understanding of prophecy, when they are not given that power of prophecy by God. However, I have seen where some people use genesis and Ezekiel as a reference guide. Therefore, there is no contradiction to Paul's words since the understanding of being enthroned in 1914 versus having taken control are two separate issues. Then, AD 1914 stands on its own Biblical merit.
    • I have a better idea, big boy. You write a letter—that way I do not have to—and ask about the specific reasons that Tim Cook was made part of the Governing Body. Specify that you want details.. Do not settle for “he was a pioneer for so many years, then a missionary, then a Bethel servant.”  No. Ask about specific praiseworthy deeds, abilities, or accomplishments that made the others think: “We have to get this guy on the GB!”  How bout it, sport? Write that letter. Make it certified. Send a copy to the BOE. Send a copy here, even, so that we can all see the answer. Hold their feet to the fire! My guess is that you will not get anything more than the generic, and you may not get even that. Instead, you may get references to verse like 2 Corinthians 10:12  For we do not dare to class ourselves among some or compare ourselves with some who recommend themselves. Certainly they in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves with themselves have no understanding. or there might even be counsel not to fall into the pattern of “admiring personalities.” (Jude 16) When you get this reply, fire off another letter to them about how as MEN of HONOR, they owe it to you to SPILL when you say SPILL. Remind them of their scriptural obligation to TRUTHFULLY answer anyone who asks a question. Tell them that since you are asking them about good things, and not bad things, there is NO REASON for them not to oblige you.  The reason that they still will not satisfy you is that they are not into honoring persons. It is very hard to get the laudable specifics about any individual. They view humans, even themselves, as placeholders used by God, and when this or that is accomplished, credit goes to Jehovah, not the GB character or helper or branch servant who dreamed it up or got the job done. You have only to watch Sam Herd giving the Gilead talk in the most recent broadcast, shaking his jowls like Nixon, parodying those slobbering over the “Govnin Body” —a skit that I am still trying to get down pat for imitation—before he says it’s not any of them doing anything—you could do the same were you in their place—but it is Jehovah who should get all credit. They are not into zeroing in on the accomplishments of humans. Humans are placeholders. The good things they do are attributed to Jehovah, the bad things to human imperfection. I doubt you will get specifics for either.  Be a sport, JTR. Give it a go. Save me a stamp.  
    • Wouldn't a core doctrine be one in which we put "unwavering" faith. This is the whole reason I mention "core" or "key" doctrines. If we were to be killed unless we publicly renounced our faith in Jehovah God as the Creator, and Jesus Christ as the one through whom the Ransom comes, we should be willing to die for that doctrine. I would not be willing to die over my certainty that Jesus was only using hyperbole when he said that the men of Sodom would do better in a resurrection of the unrighteous on Judgment Day, than persons in towns that rejected Jesus during his earthly ministry. (Only the most diabolical of inquisitors would ask such a question anyway. I think I would go for "theocratic war strategy. 😉 )
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