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JW USA: A Witness responds to Lloyd Evans about JW and global climate change

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4 minutes ago, BillyTheKid46 said:

Therefore, whose fault is it that the earth is eroding faster than it would naturally? That affects climate change and enhances the effect of natural disasters.

Billy ... climate change may contribute to accelerated erosion ..... but accelerated erosion DOES NOT CONTRIBUTE TO CLIMATE CHANGE.

"Everybody says" that because the CO2 levels are rising, the earth is getting warmer.

THEY ARE WRONG

The Earth is getting warmer because it is a natural cycle, due to orbital mechanics of our planet, and the variability of our Star, the Sun.

BECAUSE it is getting warmer, bacteria is flourishing  more than when it is cooler.

Bacteria exhale CO2, just as we do.  Then the trees use CO2, strip off the carbon to make wood, and exhale oxygen.

You are fixated on erosion.

There is an expression for this phenomena of perspective.

"When you are a hammer ... EVERYTHING looks like a nail."

 

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22 minutes ago, BillyTheKid46 said:

There is no pseudoscience with climate change and only people like EVANS would think so.

Here is all that anyone needs to know about Evans:

The most abusive of the major players is Lloyd, though perhaps that is because we have already crossed paths enough for me to consider him my nemesis. He is certainly not the most abusive of the minor players. One of the Redditt latter said: “F**k you! Call me:” and then supplied phone and email. “It is not as though you have given me fine incentive to do so,” I replied. Did he seriously expect a response? What is it with these characters? One thing that will be said of my remarks is that I do not run anyone into the ground, I do not call anyone a liar, nor do I call anyone I disagree with a “disgusting human being,” as Lloyd does with me in a heartbeat.

TTH: It is the common mark of a zealot to demand full agreement in every particular and denounce anything falling short of that as evidence of “a disgusting human being.” It is common practice for such a one to slash & burn, while offering nothing in replacement.

LE: Tom, you stood up for Rutherford over his vile antisemitism, so it's no surprise to see you standing up for written, documented policies that put children within reach of the most depraved of humanity. You are an utter disgrace. Thankfully, nobody's listening to you.

TTH: It’s a little too soon to tell who is listening. You will probably never know, nor will I. There are many people in the world. They form & change points of view as new things comes to their attention. Nobody turns on a dime.

LE: As obnoxious as Tom’s sniveling apologetics for antisemitism and the cover-up of abuse may be, laced as they are with dishonesty, cowardice & a total abandonment of logic &  humanity, it’s hard not to pity him. He’s a boy in a man’s body trying to feel important.

He raised the antisemitism charge several times, apparently thinking that it got under my skin. It refers to a letter Rutherford wrote in 1933 to an infant Nazi government in which he assured them that Witnesses were apolitical and not a threat. He did not avoid derogatory stereotypes of the day regarding Jews. This was long before anything of the Holocaust took shape, and a former director of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, Rabbi Michael Barenbaum, has declared it insignificant to the overall picture.

https://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2019/01/the-1933-letter-to-the-fuhrer.html

TTH: Aside from those minor points I am actually very likable. And [I finally indulged myself] the anti-semitism charge is drivel, you infantile idiot.

I noticed some tweets had vanished and I am unaccustomed to seeing this:

LE: Ste blocked you due to realizing what I’ve known all along: that you’re disingenuous & bereft of reason & humanity. I’m entertained by you, which is why I’m not blocking you. Ste thought he could persuade you and has better uses for his time and indulging your brain farts.

Hmm. Could that be? Nah:

TTH: I didn’t come after him. In no way was I a troll. I have never had to block anyone in my life, even if they were not entertaining. No, I think it is for my first reason. [that he had tagged some journalists and now he didn’t want them to see answers to charges he had made]

But Lloyd told me that Ste blocked me because I was odious and that he “has the right to manage his social media experience,” as though his Twitter feed was an artistic tapestry that would hang on his wall for posterity.

TTH: Demonization & abuse of the ideological enemy happens everywhere. It is played out in many areas, most notably today (but not limited to) national politics of right vs left. It is a good thing to follow these other concerns, both sides, for it enables one to see the overall picture.

LE: Again, I’m not demonizing you. I’m merely giving you a rare dose of reality. You’re little more than an anomaly lurking in the Twitter shadows terrified of going public lest your elders give you a spanking in the back room. It bothers me not whether you wit or carry on, because—follows a gif of a Spongebob character: “Nobody cares!”

TTH: I would say that writing two free books IS going public. The pen is mightier than the podcast, especially when the host of that podcast has an affinity for taunting gifs. I mean, how far is one going to get on such a podcast?

LE: As you know, the podcast invitation has long since been withdrawn now that I know how disingenuous and morally-bankrupt you are. And it’s cute that you think the public are remotely interested in your e-books, one of which lauds you as the self-proclaimed vanquisher of apostates. 

Just how stupid does he think his followers are? He worked tirelessly to get me on his podcast and was as nice as pie until it finally dawned upon him that I was not going to take the bait. That invitation would reappear in two seconds if he thought that I would take it now. He lives to tear to shreds those he opposes, and his followers know and relish it.

After an interval, when he thought my back was turned (but it wasn’t) he tweeted to a chum:

LE: I love your ability to see the best in people but Tom’s not really a nice guy IRL or elsewhere. If you’re a “nice” JW and you discover Rutherford’s antisemitism, you keep quiet and chalk it down to human imperfection. Tom, on the other hand, defends & minimizes it. Nasty

sigh…

TTH: You blockhead. It’s the same thing! “Human imperfection” WAS my defense! What! One should be crucified for human imperfection?

 

Don’t misunderstand. I didn’t knock the ball out of the park. I think it is pretty clearly demonstrated who the bigoted bully is, but that does not mean more will not side with him then with me, for the topic is nasty, the article is actually well-done, and the figures within are portrayed as ones who have suffered mightily in their unrelenting quest of whistleblowing. That sort of thing plays well today. Besides, he had already clearly shown his bullying tactics when he tweet-bombarded certain woman’s groups for 52 straight days with counsel that they should denounce WT for some council to women that he found appalling. He even kept hammering them after one of them said: ‘We’ll look into it.’ He even kept hammering after I appended my tweet to his: “It’s as though Lloyd says: G*d****t, ANSWER me when I’m talking to you!!” But he has tons of followers. There is considerable infighting in that community and I suspect his side puts up with his swaggering because he gets the job done.

No, I didn’t hit any grand slam home runs. On the other hand, I didn’t tell myself that I was going to. I simply appeared to present a contrasting take. Otherwise, the take is monolithic, and it is presented over and over and over again.

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4 hours ago, JW Insider said:

It's not fully analogous, but some TV Science channel once ran a special about how you could kill the Sun with a chunk of iron.

It would have to be a small star sized chunk of iron .... probably not something you could get at an automobile scrap yard.

Further, when a star collapses, it can go Nova, or Supernova, which is how we get elements heavier than iron.  This is the natural life cycles of Stars, and there is NOTHING we can to to speed it up, slow it down, or ANYTHING ... except watch.

I suspect in the New System, with perfect people, and 10,000 years of scientific advancement, this will STILL be true.

Same with "Climate Change", AKA "Global Warming.

There is nothing we can do except watch .....

and perhaps move to the mountains, or buy a boat.

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14 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

I suspect in the New System, with perfect people, and 10,000 years of scientific advancement, this will STILL be true.

As you may know, the current organization purposes that many of its deeds will extend right into the new system.

I’ve been assigned to work on this problem. I just about have it figured out.

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6 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

There is nothing we can do except watch ..... 

I agree, so far, with everything else in that last post except this claim that there is nothing we can do but watch. I think that, as Witnesses, we should have faith that these problems will be completely resolved by the end of the thousand year reign. I don't think it is the responsibility of Witnesses to be climate activists, but we should be aware of the science and do our best to understand it ourselves, or find trustworthy sources to inform us on the topic. I'm sure you feel this is what you have done.

It is difficult to be fully informed on our own, and this is true of most subjects. Fortunately, my son graduated with his degree in physics and he teaches physics and math. He also stays in contact with classmates (former roommates) who have already gone on to work in areas of physics that have a bearing on the topic.

I still need to do a lot more work on the claims about water vapor being the only greenhouse gas that has any significance. From what I have seen so far, this has been a common claim of those who deny the consensus of climate scientists. However . . .

Water vapor is a completely different kind of greenhouse gas that doesn't trap heat in the same way as methane and CO2. Besides, even though it does trap heat to some extent, it also releases it, cools it, dissipates it, and because clouds are white, it even manages to reflect a lot of solar heat back out away from the earth. There may be a lot of water vapor, but within our current atmosphere, it has surprisingly little effect on the question of why we are seeing a rise global warming and the melting of polar ice. (Except to the extent that water vapor protects us from runaway effects of those greenhouse gases that are much more efficient at trapping heat.)

But I also see another point worth mentioning, I think. Climate science consensus deniers (yes, it's a prejudicial term, but you know what I mean) they have written as if this is something that climate scientists have ignored, as if it's something brand new to them that they have never factored in. I found that implication (or explicit claim in one case) to be totally without basis. So far I haven't seen any treatments of climate change by "consensus" climate scientists who have in any way ignored the actual "numbers" and effects of water vapor. But I will admit to needing a bit more of my own research on this topic.

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8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

  you stood up for Rutherford over his vile antisemitism,

Tom, people like Loyd Evans will take anything, and everything JW's have ever done, said, and written for the last 100+ years and insinuate either bad motives, sheer ignorance, or evilness.

The stunning thing is that nothing, absolutely nothing we have ever done, said, and written has ever been good in their eyes. I think Hitler would fair better. The thing is, LE is an obsessed activist, that's all he does with his life. (I am not sure he even works...) but you already know that. The sad thing there is absolutely no reasoning with him, I think you already know that too. As regards the Rutherford letter, I will have to dig up an apologist explanation for Rutherford's seeming sympathizing sentiments. It was written by a non JW, you may have seen it, I will dig it up and post a link to it here. 

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1 hour ago, Anna said:

I will have to dig up an apologist explanation for Rutherford's seeming sympathizing sentiments. It was written by a non JW, you may have seen it, 

No.

Lloyd certainly seems to me a nasty piece of work. Still, he represents kicking over the traces and partnering with authority, rather than submitting to it. Those things are all the rage today.

I never engage with him for the sake of engaging with him. There is always another purpose. And it doesn’t happen often. The important thing is to never retaliate. Then his nastiness stands out all the more clearly.

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47 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:
2 hours ago, Anna said:

I will have to dig up an apologist explanation for Rutherford's seeming sympathizing sentiments. It was written by a non JW, you may have seen it, 

No.

Here you go: http://www.jwhistory.net/english/yonan-journal1999.htm

It's a little off topic here...maybe when you have copied it I should make a new topic?

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9 hours ago, Anna said:

It's a little off topic here...maybe when you have copied it I should make a new topic?

Nah, not for my sake anyway. Scoundrels always disassociate remarks from the settings in which they were written so as to create a false impression. I’m willing to accept that in JR’s bluntness (for he certainly was that, wasn’t he?) he failed to steer around some negative stereotypes of the day.

It wasn’t his purpose to give PC lectures. It was his purpose to remove roadblocks to the spread of the Bible message.

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      All these states violate international laws that protect religious freedom, including the freedoms of unpopular minorities. Article 18, 1 of the 1976 United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights protects everyone’s freedom to “have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice” and “to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.”
      A long history of persecution
      Jehovah’s Witnesses were among the first groups the Nazis persecuted. There were about 25,000 to 30,000 Witnesses in Germany in 1933. About half of those who did not flee were convicted of various crimes and between 2,000 and 2,500 were sent to concentration camps, where about 1,000 died. About 250 were also executed.
      Some years ago I met a Jehovah’s Witness in the city where I live who told me the Nazis had beheaded his grandfather. Germany’s Jehovah’s Witnesses were not merely passive religious group that refused to adopt the Nazi ideology: they also actively tried to expose Nazi atrocities.
      In the 1960s and ‘70s in Malawi, entire villages of Jehovah’s Witnesses were burned, and many villagers were raped, tortured or murdered as they tried to flee. Their crime was refusal to participate in rituals of loyalty to the newly independent Malawian state and its president, Hastings Banda.
      The Malawi government denied me a visa in the early 1980s when I told its High Commission in Ottawa that I wanted to know what had happened to these Witnesses for research for my book, Human Rights in Commonwealth Africa.
      Many Witnesses in Rwanda, both Tutsi and Hutu, lost their lives during the 1994 genocide, many trying to hide people at risk of being murdered.Even now, Rwandan authorities expel some Witness children from school and have fired some Witness teachers because they refuse to sing the national anthem or participate in religious training.
      Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada
      Here in Canada, Jehovah’s Witnesses have not always enjoyed their rights to freedom of religion and expression.
      During the Second World War, Witness children were banned from schools in several locations because they would not salute the flag, sing the national anthem or repeat the pledge of allegiance. A Witness father sued the Hamilton Board of Education on behalf of his two sons, who had been expelled from school in 1940. In 1945, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, saying the Board was required to excuse students from participating in religious exercises to which their parents objected.
      https://theconversation.com/jehovahs-witnesses-neglected-victims-of-persecution-114141
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Local and federal authorities are investigating a string of acts of violence against Jehovah’s Witness houses of worship in Washington state ― including multiple suspected arsons.
      The latest attack gutted a Jehovah’s Witness building in the city of Lacey, near Olympia. The fire reportedly broke out . No injuries were reported, but the building was deemed a total loss, .
      The Seattle division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has . 
      BREAKING: A fire has destroyed the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Lacey. This is the SIXTH attack on Kingdom Hall’s in Thurston County since March. Five fires, one shooting.
      — Alex Rozier ()
      The fire in Lacey brings the total number of attacks in Thurston County against Jehovah’s Witness centers, called kingdom halls, to six this year, . In March, arson caused minor damage at kingdom halls in Tumwater and Olympia. Four months later, a blaze worship space. In August investigators discovered a fake bomb at a kingdom hall in Yelm, . The incident was determined to be an attempted arson.
      In May someone shot about 35 rifle rounds into the Yelm center, causing more than $10,000 in property damage, .
      Jason Chudy, a spokesperson for the ATF’s Seattle field division, told HuffPost that the organization believes all the incidents could be related. The attacks were probably “meant to send a message,” he said. 
      “We believe that the suspect or suspects has or have a grievance related to the Jehovah’s Witness community, or about another issue they think is important,” he wrote in an email. “Before these fires, the person or persons involved are likely to have shared these strong feelings with others through comments and conversation.”
      Chudy said the ATF also believes that the suspect or suspects may have exhibited changes in behavior in the hours, days, weeks or months since the fires, including unexplained injuries, changes in normal routines and dramatic and unexplained altering of physical appearance.
      The ATF is investigating the incidents, along with Thurston County police. Investigators are offering $36,000 in combined rewards for information that leads to a suspect’s capture. 
      During a press conference on Friday, Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza urged the public to call in with tips.
      “It makes you feel really ill,” . “How frustrating is it that people who find a solemn place of worship, and now it’s being destroyed?”
      Dan Woollett, a member of the kingdom hall in Lacey,  that the important thing is that congregants are safe.
      “It’s just a building ― buildings can be replaced,” he said. “Things can be redone. So we just move ahead with the ministry that we have that we’re involved with.” 
      https://herdongazette.com/cops-investigate-attacks-against-jehovahs-witness-buildings-in-washington-state/320121/
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      A young Jehovah's Witness in her twenties remains in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of San Jorge Hospital in Huesca, without the specialists being able to carry out a blood transfusion to try to save her life due to the instructions that the patient left before being intervened. The facts, released by the Heraldo de Aragón, were put this week in the knowledge of the court of guard of the capital of Aragon by one of the doctors of the UCI hospital HOSPITAL before the impossibility of consulting directly with the patient.
      After being operated on a few days ago, the girl suffered acute peritonitis that led doctors to induce a coma and to consider the need to carry out a blood transfusion. However, the patient left written in her living will and, according to her beliefs, her position of absolute rejection of blood transfusions, which Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept for religious reasons.
      Sources of the Superior Court of Justice of Aragon (TSJA) reported on Thursday that the holder of the Court of Instruction No. 1 of Huesca received the medical report while he was on duty and was warned of the refusal of the young woman to a transfusion, under of the Patient Autonomy Law. According to these sources, the magistrate, in view of the documentation provided, resolved to dismiss the claim on the understanding that there was no legal problem in relation to the patient's situation.
      These sources, in addition, do not make any reference to the position of the family of the young woman regarding the situation in which her daughter is currently. On the other hand, the Prosecutor's Office of Huesca, after receiving the report from the specialists of the ICU, decided not to intervene after assessing that the patient is of legal age and is entitled to make a decision regarding the medical treatments to be received.
      According to other judicial sources informed to Efe, the court of guard today in Huesca would not have received any other written referred to the case, reason why the specialists lack of options to be able to carry out the advised transfusion. These sources have pointed out that this case is not the only one that has been registered in the Aragonese Community over the last few years in relation to Jehovah's Witness patients, whose beliefs lead them to reject the mixture or intake of blood.
      This case occurs 25 years after the death of 13-year-old Marcos Alegre, deceased after his parents, residents in the Huesca town of Ballobar, did not accept that his son received a transfusion that specialists considered necessary to save his life. In the context of a debate that leaped into the media, the parents were acquitted of the crime of imprudent homicide that the prosecution charged them with, but were sentenced two years later, at the request of the public prosecutor's office, with a penalty of 2 years and 6 months. prison for these facts.
      Finally, the parents accepted a government pardon, before being definitively acquitted by the Constitutional Court, which based its decision on the right to religious freedom. This situation, previously assessed by the Board of Prosecutors before filing their appeal before the Supreme Court, motivated Circular 1/2012 of the State Attorney General's Office, referring only to the cases of minor Jehovah's Witnesses who reject blood transfusions. This circular urges prosecutors to explore all legal avenues at their disposal to try to save the lives of these minors whenever there is a medical possibility that allows it.
      https://spainsnews.com/a-young-jehovahs-witness-in-critical-condition-in-huesca-after-refusing-a-transfusion-society/
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Una Riley, 67, of Akron, passed away on March 20, 2019. Una was a member of Akron Central Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. She retired from FirstMerit Bank after 15 years of service.

      Una is survived by her loving husband, Tyrone; siblings, James (Connie) Mathews, Otha Loftin,David (Candace) Mathews, Marilyn Oliver, Walter Mathews, and Harold Garrett; honorary son and daughter, Daniel and Lenora Lewis; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

      Una was preceded in death by her infant daughter, Francine; parents, Howard and Otha Garrett; and siblings, Gloria Johnson, Harry Mathews, and Barbara Gibbons.

      The family would like to thank everyone who supported them during this time of sorrow. A special thank you to the Cleveland Clinic Hospice, and Una's caretaker, Tammy, and special friends, Charlotte Holling and Alesia Stevens.

      A memorial service for Una will take place on Sunday March 31, 2019 at 2pm at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at 1170 Eastwood Ave, Akron, OH 44305.
      https://www.newcomerakron.com/Obituary/170084/Una-Riley/Akron-Ohio
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      EATONVILLE, WA - Pierce County firefighters battled a 15-acre brush fire near Eatonville on Wednesday night, one of dozens of fires that have broken out across Western Washington amid record-breaking March heat.
      Wednesday's fire near Eatonville burned near the intersection of SR 702 and Jackson Road, which is just west of SR 7 near the Jehovah's Witnesses temple.
      "Firefighters urge residents on Jackson Road to evacuate as this fire continues to grow," the Pierce County Firefighters union wrote on Twitter.
      Washington State Patrol officers were heading to the scene to assist with traffic control.
      On top warm temperatures, strong breezes have blown steadily since Monday, feeding and spreading fires.
      https://patch.com/washington/across-wa/large-brush-fire-threatens-rural-pierce-county-residents

    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Name: Yuriy Belosludtsev
      Born: [to be determined]
      Current status: [to be determined]
      Detained since: 18 March 2019 
      Current restrictions: pre-trial detention
      Currently held in: [to be determined
      https://jw-russia.org/en/prisoners/belosludtsev.html
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Despite recent surgery, retired widower, Jehovah's Witness Shamil Khakimov, is in pre-trial detention in Khujand under criminal investigation for "inciting religious hatred". If tried and convicted he faces five to ten years' imprisonment. His arrest followed widespread raids, interrogations and torture of local Jehovah's Witnesses.
      On 28 February, two days after his arrest, a court in the northern city of Khujand ordered that 68-year old Jehovah's Witness Shamil Khakimov be held in pre-trial detention for up to two months. Prosecutors are preparing a criminal case against him on charges of "inciting religious hatred", charges he rejects. Khakimov, who suffers from high blood pressure and recently underwent a leg operation, faces between five and ten years' imprisonment if eventually tried and convicted.
      Khakimov is currently held at Khujand's Investigation Prison.

      Khujand Investigation Prison
      Google/DigitalGlobe
      Judge Abruniso Mirasilzoda, who acceded to the Prosecutor's Office request to put Khakimov in pre-trial detention despite his medical condition, refused to explain her decision to Forum 18 (see below).
      A panel of three judges at Sogd Regional Court upheld Khakimov's pre-trial detention on 12 March. None of the judges were prepared to discuss with Forum 18 why they approved the detention of the 68-year-old, given his serious state of health (see below).
      Forum 18 was unable to reach Nosirkhuja Dodokhonzoda, Investigator of serious crimes at Sogd Regional Prosecutor's Office, who is leading the criminal case against Khakimov (see below).
      Police opened the case against Khakimov after widespread raids in January and February on homes and police interrogations of Jehovah's Witnesses across the northern Sogd Region. Some of the interrogations involved torture.
      Organised Crime Police seized Khakimov's Bible and other religious literature during a raid on his home after they interrogated him (see below).
      After the raids and interrogations, so far none of the Jehovah's Witnesses were given any punishments or faced any charges except for Khakimov. "The authorities probably want to punish a Jehovah's Witness more seriously in order for this to be a show case, a lesson for the rest of the Jehovah's Witnesses," Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18 on 19 March. "This may be why Khakimov was singled out."
      Jehovah's Witnesses in Khujand are still being regularly summoned and questioned by the Organised Crime Police, Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18. The Police summon individuals for interrogation "without written notifications".
      Organised Crime Police prepare Khakimov's arrest
      Trouble began for Jehovah's Witness Shamil Rasulovich Khakimov (born 30 August 1950), a retired widower, after police stopped two Jehovah's Witnesses on the street in Khujand in early January for sharing their beliefs with a passer-by.
      "The Police seized the phones of the two women and called the numbers in the phone, and this is how they found Khakimov," Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18. "The authorities allege that he is the leader of Jehovah's Witnesses in Khujand."
      On the evening of 28 January, Khakimov received a call from an unknown person. "The caller requested him to leave his flat and come out onto the street. It was dark so he hesitated, but the calls kept coming," Jehovah's Witnesses said. "When he decided to come outside, there was no one on the street."
      Later the caller identified himself as Nekruz Ibrokhimzoda from the Organised Crime Police of Sogd Region.
      The next day, 29 January, Organised Crime Police officers summoned some of Khakimov's friends (who are not Jehovah's Witnesses) and fellow believers, and questioned them about him.
      At lunch time on 1 February, three days after this, the Organised Crime Police's Khujand office summoned Khakimov, where officers searched him on arrival. Lieutenant Colonel Sukhrob Rustamzoda then interrogated him, including about his personal history, how he became a Jehovah's Witness, and the structure of the organisation.
      "During the interrogation, officers refused to allow Khakimov to use the services of a defence lawyer," Jehovah's Witnesses complained.
      Investigator Rustamzoda refused to comment on the case. "I cannot discuss it with you over the phone," he told Forum 18 on 19 March. "You need to talk to Sogd Regional Prosecutor's Office. They are investigating the case now." When Forum 18 insisted, asking why Police opened a case against Khakimov and why he was refused a defence lawyer to participate during his interrogation, Rustamzoda put the phone down.
      Officers seize Khakimov's property
      After the interrogation, the Organised Crime Police brought Khakimov to his flat in Khujand. Officers seized his tablet device, laptop computer, his Bible and several religious books and brochures, as well as his passport. Officers did not give him a copy of the seizure record, Jehovah's Witnesses said.
      The Police "detained him overall for eight hours the same day," Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18. "He had not fully recovered after the thrombophlebitis surgery on his legs and his bandages needed to be changed."
      Moreover, Khakimov "could not receive money transfers to continue his necessary medical treatment, since officers seized his passport".
      Prosecutor's Office ignores complaints, opens case
      On 3 February, Khakimov filed a complaint with the Regional Prosecutor's Office against the actions of the Organised Crime Police officers. "No answer has been received to this day," Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18.
      "Instead at around 9 am on 7 February, four days after his complaint, the Organised Crime Police officers once again arrived at Khakimov's home. They threatened him to open the door," Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18. "As the Police officers refused to provide the official summons, he decided not to open the door." 
      During the same day, the Police "repeatedly called Khakimov demanding him to come to the police station."
      Khakimov filed another complaint to the Regional Prosecutor's Office on 7 February against the actions of the Organised Crime Police. "At the Prosecutor's Office he was asked to write an additional statement on his faith and religious activity." The Prosecutor's Office, however, "refused to give him a note that he was asked to write a statement and that it had received his complaint."
      The Prosecutor's Office has "not responded to this complaint to this day either".
      Arrest, pre-trial detention
      On 26 February, 19 days after his second complaint, Police arrested Khakimov and put him in custody "despite his advanced age and poor health".
      The following day, on 27 February, the Organised Crime Police went to Khakimov's flat again. "Without showing identification documents - in the absence of Khakimov and the presence of his roommate - seized Khakimov's international passport without drawing up a record of it," Jehovah's Witnesses said.
      On 28 February, at the request of the Sogd Regional Prosecutor's Office, Judge Abruniso Mirasilzoda of Khujand City Court ordered that Khakimov be held in pre-trial detention. He is being held in the Investigation Prison in Khujand.
      Judge Mirasilzoda told Forum 18 from the court on 19 March that "his custody may last up two months while the investigation proceeds, and if need be his arrest can be prolonged." She refused to explain why Khakimov needs to be held in custody. Asked why he cannot be at home while his case is being investigated, she told Forum 18: "I gave my decision, and it entered into force."
      Asked why she did not take into account that Khakimov is an old man who recently underwent an operation on his leg, Judge Mirasilzoda replied: "His lawyer informed us about this orally, but did not present documents." Asked whether had Khakimov had the documents, she would not have ordered the pre-trial detention, she responded: "I do not want to discuss my decision further."
      Jehovah's Witnesses say the court was fully aware of Khakimov's medical condition. "On 28 February our lawyer did not yet have the documents from the doctors on Khakimov's operation, so they told Judge Mirasilzoda that Khakimov can open the bandage on his leg and show the wound, as well as producing the documents later. But she went ahead with her decision."
      Khakimov's address in Investigation Prison:
      Ya/S 9/2 Investigation Prison
      Khujand
      Sogd Region
      Tajikistan
      Why pre-trial detention?
      Jehovah's Witnesses appealed against the 28 February decision to place Khakimov in pre-trial detention. They presented in court documentation on his operation and health condition. But on 12 March, a panel of three judges at Sogd Regional Court, Ismoil Rakhmatzoda, Maftuna Rakhmatillozoda and Khotamsho Sattorzoda, upheld Khakimov's pre-trial detention.
      Asked on 20 March why the Court upheld the pre-trial detention of Khakimov, an ailing old man, Makhrambek Jumazoda, Secretary of Judge Rakhmatzoda, took down the question and Forum 18's name. Then, after consulting with an official in Judge Rakhmatzoda's office, claimed to Forum 18 that the Judge is "busy in a meeting". He then refused to talk further.
      Judge Rakhmatillozoda on 20 March also refused to explain their decision. Asked why the Court did not take into account the official records of Khakimov's condition and upheld his pre-trial detention, she responded: "I just came into my office. Can you call back in 15 minutes?" Called back later, she told Forum 18 "I cannot talk to you," and put the phone down.
      Judge Sattorzoda was adamant that the Court "correctly took the decision to put Khakimov in custody". Reminded that Khakimov presented to the Court the documents confirming his medical condition and that he is an old man, Sattorzoda repeated his previous response: "We took the decision correctly." He refused to explain the decision to Forum 18 and to answer further questions.
      Inciting hatred?
      Nosirkhuja Dodokhonzoda, Investigator of serious crimes at Sogd Regional Prosecutor's Office, is leading the case against Khakimov. On 7 March, one week after Khakimov's arrest, Dodokhonzoda officially informed him of the charges against him.
      Dodokhonzoda is investigating Khakimov under Criminal Code Article 189, Part 2 ("Inciting national, racial, local or religious hatred or dissension, humiliation of national dignity, as well as propaganda of the superiority of citizens based on their religion, national, racial, or local origin, if committed in public or using the mass media" when performed repeatedly, by a group or by an individual using their official position). Punishment is imprisonment of between five and ten years, with the possibility also of a five-year ban on specified activity.
      Prisoner of conscience Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov, who led a Protestant Church in Khujand, was punished under Criminal Code Article 189, Part 1 for allegedly "singing extremist songs in church and so inciting 'religious hatred'". Khujand City Court sentenced him to three years' imprisonment in July 2017.
      Asked why the Prosecutor's Office asked for Khakimov's pre-trial detention, and why it did not respond to Khakimov complaints on the Police illegal actions, the official (who did not give his name) who on 19 March answered the phone of Khobibullo Vokhidov, Prosecutor of Sogd Region, took down Forum 18's name and asked it to wait on the line. Moments later, he told Forum 18 that "Prosecutor Vokhidov is busy; call back in an hour or so."
      Called back later, the Prosecutor's phone numbers were all switched to a fax machine.
      Prosecutor's Office Investigator Dodokhonzoda did not answer his phones on 20 March.
      Health concerns
      Jehovah's Witnesses express concern over Khakimov's health. "He recently had an operation on the veins in his legs and suffers from high blood pressure," they told Forum 18 on 19 March. "At the moment he is still suffering from high blood pressure, and the doctors have told him not to stand for too long because of the operation."
      Jehovah's Witnesses added that although Khakimov is "doing well", he still feels pain in his leg after the surgery. "Our lawyer talked to the prison doctor and he said that he will make sure that Shamil Khakimov would not have to stand up every time officers enter the cell for checking."
      Earlier raids, interrogations
      The Organised Crime Police Department of Sogd Region interrogated about 17 Jehovah's Witnesses for periods of up to 14 hours in January and February across the northern Sogd Region, including in Khujand and Konibodom. Police also confiscated mobile phones, personal computers or tablets, and internal passports from those they interrogated.
      One female Jehovah's Witness was interrogated two days running for 14 hours. Because of the extreme stress imposed on her, she suffered a stroke, leaving her unable to walk or speak. She was then taken to hospital.
      Jehovah's Witnesses lodged a formal complaint about the police actions and torture to Sogd Regional Prosecutor's Office. "But it has taken no action and given no response to this day," Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18.
      "After the female Witness complained to President Emomali Rahmon, the General Prosecutor's Office informed her in early February in writing that it is investigating the complaint," Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18. "However, she has not been informed on the course or the results of the investigation to this day."
      Asked on 20 March about the investigation of this case and Khakimov's case, officials at the General Prosecutor's Office reception (who did not give their names) referred Forum 18 to its international relations section's Makhmudzoda and Karimzoda (first names were not given). The officials' phones went unanswered the same day. Called back, the reception officials refused to put Forum 18 through to any other officials to discuss the cases. (END)
      http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2463
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      An EU citizen has been placed in solitary confinement, denied visitation with his wife and subjected to a grueling daily regimen while awaiting trial in central Russia, the Jehovah’s Witnesses told The Moscow Times.
      The federal penitentiary service of Kirov region did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
      Andrzej Oniszczuk, 50, was one of several adherents of the religious group detained in the Volga region of Kirov on extremism charges in October 2018. Russia labeled the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization in 2017, leading to raids nationwide and the sentencing of a Danish national last month.
      “Andrzej has been kept in solitary confinement for over five months,” Jehovah’s Witnesses spokesman Jarrod Lopes said in an emailed statement.
      Prison authorities prohibit Oniszczuk from lying down for 15 hours during the day, withhold the Bible and allow showers only once a week, the spokesman said. Oniszczuk’s wife has been denied several requests to visit him, Lopes told The Moscow Times.
      He said Polish diplomats were “finally” allowed to visit and assist the EU citizen despite Oniszczuk’s initial signature “under duress” to refuse visits from embassy staff.
      The organization said a total of 24 Jehovah’s Witnesses are currently held in pretrial detention in Russia, where 150 believers are under investigation on extremism charges.
      Lopes said in February that investigators in Siberia had stripped, suffocated, doused with water and applied stun guns on at least seven believers detained on extremism charges. Russia's Investigative Committee has denied the claims.
      https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/03/19/eu-citizen-abused-in-russian-jail-jehovahs-witnesses-a64855
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Were you or a loved one sexually abused by Gonzalo Campos, an elder with various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations in the San Diego area?
      Legal Support For Alleged Victims Of Gonzalo Campos
      After admitting to molesting at least 8 children during the 1980s and 1990s, Campos fled to Mexico, evading criminal justice here in California, but some sexual abuse survivors may still be eligible to file suit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.
       
      The Watchtower, the national organization for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, has already settled at least two lawsuits involving Campos’ misconduct. In March 2018, the organization came to terms with two of Campos’ victims, men who claimed the elder abused them decades ago. Neither the Watchtower nor the plaintiffs are allowed to disclose details of the settlement.
      Experienced Attorneys Launch Full Investigation
      Our compassionate sexual abuse attorneys believe that other victims of Campos may still be able to pursue justice, accountability and compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. We have opened a full investigation into the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society to understand how Campos was allowed to remain around children, even after serious sexual abuse allegations had been filed against him.
      We understand the powerful storm of emotions that sexual abuse can cause. You may still be struggling to deal with painful feelings of embarrassment and shame, rage or depression. You do not have to go through this alone. Our committed legal team is here to help.
      You may have powerful legal options. The prospect of stepping forward to report the abuse may seem terrifying, but it can be a powerful step on the road to recovery. You deserve justice. You may also be entitled to financial compensation. Filing a civil lawsuit can help you take control of this terrible situation. The Watchtower should be held accountable.
      Watchtower Hit By Court Penalty For Withholding Evidence
      The Watchtower has already been accused of hindering investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse. In the cases involving Gonzalo Campos, the Watchtower was ordered to pay a penalty of $4,000 every day because it refused to turn over internal documents containing information about church leaders who had been accused of child sexual abuse.
      This was not the first time the Watchtower failed to stand up for sexual abuse survivors.
      Critics say Gonzalo Campos was allowed to abuse at least 8 children in San Diego between 1982 and 1995, even though the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations he belonged to were aware of his misconduct. After abusing a 7-year-old in 1994, Campos was removed from the Church, but he was reinstated by church elders who claimed he was a changed man.
      In their lawsuits, two men who said they had been abused by Campos accused church elders of knowing about Campos’ misconduct as early as 1982, but covering it up and allowing him to continue working with young children. We believe the victims.
       
      https://abuseguardian.com/jehovahs-witnesses-gonzalo-campos/
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Serena Williams’s daughter Alexis Olympia turns 1 this week – but we shouldn’t expect any extravagant party pictures on the ‘gram.
      The tennis legend has confirmed that she will not be celebrating her baby girl’s first birthday, due to her beliefs as a Jehovah’s Witness.
      Serena was speaking at a press conference at the when she was asked whether she has thought about she’d be celebrating Olympia’s first birthday.
      Responding to a reporter asking: ‘Is there a birthday party planned?’, the 36-year-old said: ‘Olympia doesn’t celebrate birthdays. We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we don’t do that.’
      It is believed Serena’s husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, is now practicing with his wife, despite not growing up in a religious household.
      Advertisement Advertisement
      Speaking to Vogue last year, Serena said: ‘Being a Jehovah’s Witness is important to me, but I’ve never really practiced it and have been wanting to get into it.
      ‘Alexis didn’t grow up going to any church, but he’s really receptive and even takes the lead. He puts my needs first.’
      Jehovah’s Witnesses believe God is the Creator and Supreme Being, and reject the Trinity doctrine.
      They do not celebrate religious holidays like Christmas and Easter, and do not observe birthdays or national holidays, feeling that many of these customs have pagan origins and do not celebrate God.
      https://osburnoracle.com/serena-williams-confirms-she-will-not-celebrate-daughters-first-birthday-due-to-jehovahs-witness-beliefs/25494/
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Based on official documentation dated March 1, 2019, the Russian federation has seized the Jehovah’s Witness administrative center campus worth $30.4 million US dollars. The property has been transferred to the Federal State-funded institution Almazov National Medical Research of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation. According to a representative from JW, “the Russian government has schemed to effectively steal this property from our U.S. corp, claiming the U.S. corp’s ownership was invalid and that the property was really owned by JWs in Russia.”

      Read more at World Religion News: "Russia Confiscates $30.4 Million Property From Jehovah’s Witnesses" https://www.worldreligionnews.com/?p=59873
       

    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Name: Khasan Abduvaitovich Kogut
      Born: 1983
      Current status: accused
      Detained since: 6 February 2019
      Time spent in prison: two days in the temporary holding facility in Berezovskiy
      Current restrictions: house arrest
      5 March 2019
       
      Case of Kogut in Berezovskiy
      Region: Kemerovo Region
      Locality: Berezovskiy
      Case number: 11907320001000083
      Current stage: preliminary investigation (pre-trial proceedings)
      Suspected of: according to the investigation they participated in religious services, which is interpreted as organising and participating in the activities of an extremist organisation (with reference to the decision of the Russian Supreme Court on the liquidation of all 396 registered organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses)
      Article of the Russian Criminal Code: 282.2(2)
      Case initiated: 6 February 2019
      Investigating: Investigative Department of the Directorate of the FSB of Russia for the Kemerovo Region
       
      https://jw-russia.org/en/prisoners/kogut.html
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