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JOHN BUTLER -
JOHN BUTLER -
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I was going to add this to another topic but remembered we are told to start new topics, so I've done that.

Hope this hasn't been added before but it would take me a month to go through all the topics to see if its on here.

It is about the baptism of children, but I also thing it involves making children go on the ministry. 

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    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I find it interesting when so much is compared between the Jews and the JW's.
      But in my opinion, one big difference between being a Jew before and in the time of Jesus, and being a JW, is choice. 
      If a person was born into the Nation of Israel, they were born under Law and ruled over by the Religious leaders (and the Romans) at that time. There was no choice of being a Jew or not being a Jew. They were born into it. So of course many of them, probably all of them, committed 'sin' and had to make sin offerings. God had chosen that Nation, those people had responsibility but not of their choice. 
      Now, people that enter the JW religion do so voluntarily.  ( Unfortunately for those born into it, they have to go through the motions of serving the JW Org until they are of an age whereby they can leave home. Then, when of age they too can volunteer to be a JW or chose to leave the Org.). 
      There is a big difference from being born into a Nation which you may not like, than voluntarily joining a religion which you do like.
      So the big question is, if 'millions' of people voluntarily join this JW Org, why do so many commit child abuse, adultery and many other sins ? 
      If this is supposed to be 'THE true religion', why are the people not guided by God through Jesus  Christ ?  Just reading comments on here from so called JW's makes me laugh. There is no love, no mercy, no understanding, no respect even. 
      Being an ex JW and seeing things from both sides i have found more genuine love, kindness, friendship, respect, warmth, understanding etc outside of the Org than inside. Inside the Org people have to be told to 'love one another', outside the Org people do it anyway. 
      It has amazed me how JW's can really believe that God is with them when they are so cold and selfish.
      With the Jews that were born into that Nation, they had no choice about their way of life. It was basically a dictatorship by God. The Laws were from 'above'. Obviously for the right reason, to bring forth Jesus Christ who in turn would 'rescue' the human race from complete destruction. But it was a totally different situation to the JW Org today.
      So now all you 'JWs', think on it. Do you truly believe you are in this' special environment' within the Org ? Do you really think that your Org has God's approval ? 
      Think deeply about all the problems within JW Org. All the disgusting things being done voluntarily by all the volunteer JW's. 
      Now ask yourself, are you really a volunteer JW or are you trapped in the Org for fear of losing all those 'so called friends' ? 
      You know that you can only have your family and 'friends' as long as you are a JW.   Do you feel like the Jews must have felt, trapped in that Nation ? 
      As we know many of the Jews left the Jewish religion and way of life to follow Christ, but it was difficult for them. However, they did have God's approval and God, through Christ made this known clearly. And it seems that many are leaving the JW Org to seek God's approval too. 
      But remember that all JW's are volunteers, or should be, so why oh why is there so much trouble in that Org ? 
       
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      Having read lots of comments on this forum it is very easy to see that all that Jehovah's Witnesses have is their belief in their Governing Body and it's Writing Department. 
      If they believe, as a certain cowboy would have it, that a person can gain no true knowledge from the bible itself, then how else does a person gain true knowledge ? 
      It would seem that Jehovah's Witnesses rely totally on their GB 'boses' and on the Writing Department of same, to tell all JW's what to believe and when to believe it. 
      Why do i say 'and when to believe it' ?  Well you have to keep up you know . What is said to be 'truth' by the GB and co one day,  will be said to be totally untrue the next day or week.
      JW's have nothing, no proof of any 'enlightenment' from above. They talk proudly about having 8.5 million members earthwide, but how many Muslims are there earthwide ? How many Catholics earthwide ?  Numbers prove nothing as it can be clearly seen. 
      Yes I was once fooled by all the 'niceness' of a few brothers and sisters. But once I got to know those people properly I soon found out that they are no better than people in the world. 
      The JW Org is no better than any other organisation that pretends to serve God, but the JW Org is in some ways more dangerous.  It wraps itself around people's lives and restricts people's freedom of thinking. It pretends to have 'special knowledge' from God that no other organisation has.
      But then if one looks closely one can see it is all just a smoke screen. The JW Org only has 8 men in America dominating it, and 8.5 million people worshiping those 8 men. 
      I do feel a bit foolish having wasted years of my life believing all of it's lies and deceit, but I congratulate myself for not being frightened to ask questions and do research for myself. 
      No matter what any Jehovah's Witness tells you, the truth is, all they have is a belief in their GB, and they follow their GB's orders via all the others in charge including the puppet men Elders. 
      At meetings, conventions, assemblies, on the ministry et al, all they do is use the literature provided for them by the GB and the Writing dept. Without question they pump this 'information' into other people. When conducting a supposed 'bible study' it is actually a book study, studying the words of the GB / writing dept, not studying God's written word properly. They spend more time reading the paragraphs and answering those questions than they do reading scriptures and focusing on God's words.
      It is a horrid way of brainwashing people, washing out the common sense and replacing it with lies from the GB / writing dept. Dictating, giving orders and pretending it is God's will. 
      Removing the love that people have for one another and replacing it with discrimination. Shunning family members, turning their back on anyone that is not a JW by saying all other people are just 'part of the world' and therefore wicked. 
      Frightening people with threats of 'armageddon' killing them. 
      And now it seems that they are almost begging for contributions as they seem to be getting short of money. Well paying off millions in compensation for the Child Abuse / Pedophilea of course. Selling off Kingdom Halls too as funds run low. 
      Oh how low that religion has sunken. Are they really stupid enough to believe that God is with them ?  
       
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      In February, a Russian court sentenced a Danish citizen who was a legal resident of Russia to six years in prison for such an extremist offence as organizing other Witnesses to shovel snow from their church’s property.
      A month later, Sergei Skrynnikov, a Russian and allegedly a Jehovah’s Witness, was charged with “participating in an extremist organization,” an offence under Russian law that could earn him up to six years in prison. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been fleeing Russia and seeking asylum in Germany and Finland to escape such harsh sentences.
      In China, state authorities harass Jehovah’s Witnesses and raid their meetings. Authorities also deport foreign Witness missionaries from countries such as South Korea.
      South Korea has only recently dropped a 2003 law prohibiting conscientious objection to fighting in its armed forces, a law that confined young Witness men — as well as other men — to jail.
      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.

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    • By JOHN BUTLER
      This brings me to an interesting question then.
      Can anyone baptise anyone else ?  If not then it brings  us back to the Clergy Class once more. 
      So, does a person need to be part of an Organisation to be able to baptise others ? 
      If we go back to Russell or Rutherford, whichever one of them it was that said an Organisation was not needed, then did they baptise others, even though they were not part of an Organisation ?
      And another question. What makes a person a Minister of God's word ?  Or a person able to baptise others ? 
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      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. 
    • By The Librarian
      *** w1955 7/1 411    Christian Baptism for the New World Society *** 
      15 A Christian, therefore, cannot be baptized in the name of the one actually doing the immersing or in the name of any man, nor in the name of any organization, but in the name of the Father, the Son and the holy spirit. This shows, among other things, that Christianity is not a denominational affair, that sects have nothing to do with it. “Does the Christ exist divided? Paul was not impaled for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I am thankful I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name.”—1 Cor. 1:13-15, NW. 
      *** w1966 10/1 603-4  Serving with Everlasting Life in View *** 
      15 This is what we mean when we dedicate our lives to Jehovah. We do not dedicate ourselves to a religion, nor to a man, nor to an organization. No, we dedicate ourselves to the Supreme Sovereign of the Universe, our Creator, Jehovah God himself. This makes dedication a very personal relationship between us and Jehovah. 
      --------------------------------------
      *** w1958 8/1 478  Baptism *** 
      22 It is essential that with the mouth a public declaration of faith be made. Two 
      questions are therefore asked the candidates: (1) Have you recognized yourself before Jehovah God as a sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ? (2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit? 23 Everyone who can answer “Yes” to these questions is eligible for baptism and should take this step without hesitation or delay. 
      *** w1960 5/15 308  "What Prevents Me from Getting Baptized?" *** 
      23 The first question is: Have you recognized yourself before Jehovah God as a sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ? 
      24 The second question is: On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit? 
      25 Everyone who has answered “Yes” to these two questions is eligible for baptism and should be baptized at that same circuit or district assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses. 
      *** w1973 5/1 280  Baptizing Follows Discipling *** 
      we suggest that you consider the following two questions, which are asked of 
      candidates for baptism: 
      (1) Have you repented of your sins and turned around, recognizing yourself before Jehovah God as a condemned sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his SonJesus Christ? 
      (2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation, have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit? 
      If you find that you can answer “YES” to these questions, then it would be appropriate for you to speak to the presiding overseer in the congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses with which you associate, with a view to getting baptized. 
      ------------------------------------
      *** w1985 6/1 30     Subjecting Ourselves to Jehovah by Dedication *** 
      The first question is: 
      On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will? 
      The second is: 
      Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization? 
      Having answered yes to these questions, candidates are in a right heart condition to undergo Christian baptism. 
      *** w1987 4/15 12  Gaining Peace With God Through Dedication and Baptism *** 
      By baptism you identify yourself as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s worldwide congregation.
      *** w87 4/15 12  Gaining Peace With God Through Dedication and Baptism *** 
      Recently the two questions addressed to baptismal candidates were simplified so that candidates could answer with full comprehension of what is involved in coming into intimate relationship with God and his earthly organization.
      *** w1989 1/15 13  What Prevents You From Getting Baptized? *** 
      for the first of two questions the speaker asks them is: “On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?” Only if the individual answers in the affirmative and also understands that his dedication and baptism identify him as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization can he acceptably undergo water immersion. 
      *** knowledge 176  18 Make It Your Aim to Serve God Forever *** 
       Baptism ‘in the name of the holy spirit’ signifies that the baptismal candidate 
      recognizes Jehovah’s holy spirit, or active force, as God’s instrument for carrying out His purposes and for empowering His servants to do His righteous will in association with His spirit-directed organization.
    • By Jack Ryan
      Modern JW Baptismal question contradicts previous Watchtower claims
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      OK, I've sort of shot myself in the foot by saying I'm now going to take this forum as a joke and have a laugh. In most ways i will continue to do so BUT.
      This evening I was given some information that 1.maybe I shouldn't have been given. 2. Maybe i wish i hadn't been given. 
      Some of you may say I'm telling lies. Some of you may say I'm just after attention. Some may say I'm just trying to put down the JW Org.
      However i have to think on something i say a lot. DUTY OF CARE. Care of everyone, in or out of that JW Org. 
      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
      The JW Org / GB say that Armageddon is very close. They also say that Jehovah is speeding up the work in these 'last days'.
      Now, it seems I'm not one for knowing truth from lies, so people keep telling me, but this webpage/site seemed interesting to me.
       It seems to show more of a decrease in JW's, but more importantly it seems to show more of a lack of faith, or lack of action / 'works' of JW's. It also shows a large number of people leaving the JW Org. 
      If this video or page has been used before then I apologise for any repeat. But I thought it was of interest. 

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    • 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
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      I was told by some other sisters that I have to wear a black T-Shirt instead of the normal bathing suit. Is this true?
    • By Queen Esther
      Very  rare  and  never  seen  in  Europe...   a  SO  young  sister  before  her  baptism !
      But  I  saw  it  in  pic's  and  reports  -  its  really  true !!   I  will  soon  post  it  here...
      Its  great  -  how  mature  the  kids  in  Asia  and  Africa...    wow ! 
    • By Anna
      Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that despite this informative document recently made available to download in several languages on the JW website, there is not too much of a mention of it by any of the opposers and "campaigners" against child abuse in the JW organization.
      Here is the entire document:
      JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES’ SCRIPTURALLY BASED POSITION ON CHILD PROTECTION
      Definitions: Child abuse may include neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse.
      Child sexual abuse is a perversion and generally includes one or more of the following: sexual inter-course with a child; oral or anal sex with a child; fondling the genitals, breasts, or buttocks of a child; voyeurism of a child; indecent exposure to a child; or soliciting a child for sexual conduct. It may include sexting with a minor or showing pornography to a minor.
      In this document, references to parents apply equally to legal guardians or other persons who hold pa-rental responsibility for a minor.
      1. Children are a sacred trust, “an inheritance from Jehovah.”—Psalm 127:3.
      2. The protection of children is of utmost concern and importance to all Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is in harmony with the long-standing and widely published Scripturally based position of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as reflected in the references at the end of this document, which are all published on jw.org.
      3. Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and view it as a crime. (Romans 12:9) We recognize that the authorities are responsible for addressing such crimes. (Romans 13:1-4) The elders do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the authorities.
      4. In all cases, victims and their parents have the right to report an accusation of child abuse to the authorities. Therefore, victims, their parents, or anyone else who reports such an accusation to the elders are clearly informed by the elders that they have the right to report the matter to the authorities. Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.—Galatians 6:5.
      5. When elders learn of an accusation of child abuse, they immediately consult with the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses to ensure compliance with child abuse reporting laws. (Romans 13:1) Even if the elders have no legal duty to report an accusation to the authorities, the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses will instruct the elders to report the matter if a minor is still in danger of abuse or there is some other valid reason. Elders also ensure that the victim’s parents are informed of an accusation of child abuse. If the alleged abuser is one of the victim’s parents, the elders will inform the other parent.
      6. Parents have the primary responsibility for the protection, safety, and instruction of their children. Therefore, parents who are members of the congregation are encouraged to be vigilant in exercising their responsibility at all times and to do the following:
      • Have direct and active involvement in their children’s lives.
      • Educate themselves and their children about child abuse.
      • Encourage, promote, and maintain regular communication with their children. —Deuteronomy 6:6, 7; Proverbs 22:3.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses publish an abundance of Bible-based information to assist parents to fulfill their responsibility to protect and instruct their children.—See the references at the end of this document.
       7. Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not separate children from their parents for the purpose of instruction or other activities. (Ephesians 6:4) For example, our congregations do not provide or sponsor orphanages, Sunday schools, sports clubs, day-care centers, youth groups, or other activi-ties that separate children from their parents.
      8. Elders strive to treat victims of child abuse with compassion, understanding, and kindness. (Colossians 3:12) As spiritual counselors, the elders endeavor to listen carefully and empathetically to victims and to console them. (Proverbs 21:13; Isaiah 32:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; James 1:19) Victims and their families may decide to consult a mental-health professional. This is a personal decision.
      9. Elders never require victims of child abuse to present their accusation in the presence of the alleged abuser. However, victims who are now adults may do so, if they wish. In addition, victims can be accompanied by a confidant of either gender for moral support when presenting their accusation to the elders. If a victim prefers, the accusation can be submitted in the form of a written statement.
      10. Child abuse is a serious sin. If an alleged abuser is a member of the congregation, the elders conduct a Scriptural investigation. This is a purely religious proceeding handled by elders according to Scriptural instructions and is limited to the issue of membership as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A member of the congregation who is an unrepentant child abuser is expelled from the congregation and is no longer considered one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (1 Corinthians 5:13) The elders’ handling of an accusation of child abuse is not a replacement for the authorities’ handling of the matter.—Romans 13:1-4.
      11. If it is determined that one guilty of child sexual abuse is repentant and will remain in the congregation, restrictions are imposed on the individual’s congregation activities. The individual will be specifically admonished by the elders not to be alone in the company of children, not to cultivate friendships with children, or display any affection for children. In addition, elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individ-ual.
      12. A person who has engaged in child sexual abuse does not qualify to receive any congregation privileges or to serve in a position of responsibility in the congregation for decades, if ever. —1 Timothy 3:1-7, 10; 5:22; Titus 1:7.
      13. This document is available upon request to members of the congregation. It is reviewed at least once every three years.
      Source:
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • By Witness
      Each year in mid-summer the two little bergs in my area swell to the bursting point for a period of two short two days.  Ordinarily, the total count of inhabitants within a 15-mile range is less than 500 people.  But during what is called, the “Death Ride”, the entire county becomes a swarming nest of thousands of people and bicycles, along the major roads that traverse up the mountain passes in the area.  Many of its contestants spend every spare moment preparing for this race, and once the hint of warmth arrives in the spring, local bicyclers begin appearing along the highways in preparation for the big day. 
      For those who participate in the race, they live fully for the moment they succeed in reaching their goal of traversing their choice of 1, 2, or up to 5 mountain passes, and up to 129 miles. Everyone is a winner, according to the goal they individual set for themselves.   Even though it is considered a “killer”, the Death Ride is enjoyed for its momentary exhilarating challenge and pristine mountain setting. After this grueling bike race finishes, life returns to normal for local residents.
      Last summer, the JWs convention was entitled “Don’t Give Up” and showed a runner on the invitation to attend, which was distributed worldwide.  This year’s circuit assembly topics are “Don’t Give Up Doing What is Fine” and “Don’t Give up in Fulfilling the Law of Christ”.  What is the underlying drive behind these titles?  Well, a few days ago a JW revealed the true “race” that Watchtower members are participating in.  Within his statement, he included  “….brothers and sister that serve the org.….”    JWs, is the endurance of your faith measured by the selective avenues of the “race” you participate in when serving the organization; such as qualifying as a pioneer, or making all the meetings, or striving to be an elder, or serving at Bethel?  Do you believe reaching out to meet such goals is a ‘fine thing’, and your preaching work fulfills the law of Christ?  Ironically, this is exactly what your dedication at baptism expects of you.
      A new Watchtower magazine (3/2018) addresses baptism, just in time for this year’s upcoming summer convention.  It focuses on potential candidates but especially targets children; preparing them for the ritualistic baptism into the organization.  You must be aware, JWs, of Watchtower’s spurious and hypocritical teachings regarding this critical step, which they promulgate as entering the race leading to eternal life. 
      Watchtower quote: “Yes, it seems that hundreds of his followers were present when Jesus gave the commission to make disciples. Jesus thus revealed that baptism would be a requirement for those who accept the yoke of Christian discipleship. ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) Anyone who wished to serve God ACCEPTABLY would have to acknowledge and accept Jesus’ role in the outworking of Jehovah’s purpose. After doing so, that person could get baptized. THIS WOULD BE THE ONLY WATER BAPTISM HAVING GOD’S APPROVAL."
      Let that sink in a moment.  One’s dedication to God must not be enhanced in any form, by additional words of men, or it loses God’s approval by transgressing His purpose, and the law of Christ. 
      As the magazine states: “After all, it is each individual’s dedication, baptism, and FAITHFUL SERVICE TO GOD that will bring him in line for being MARKED FOR SALVATION during the coming great tribulation.” — Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Par 16
      At one time many years ago, the organization followed scriptural direction when baptizing individuals, but since 1985 the questions had been altered to include dedicating oneself to the organization. Yes, deceitful men have added a footnote to your acknowledgments of Watchtower’s pagan ritual.    Under the article’s topic, “Baptism, Requirement for Christians” it addresses the first question only, asked of each candidate:
      “On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?”
      It then quotes Matt 16:24 “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and keep following me”.
      What does it mean to pick up our “torture stake” and follow Christ?
       Pearl Doxsey’s article entitled “Dedication – Happiness” states:
      “Imagine that you hear, or read on the news,
      that a race is approaching which guarantees the winner a prize of unlimited wealth, health, a removal of all life's problems, and happiness. ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ).

      You also learn that your father greatly desires for you to have this prize, due to his love for you ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ). He promises to contribute his own resources to support you, guaranteeing success (should you accept the challenge) ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  A;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ).

      But then the race is described to you. It is grueling, long, and perilous ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ).
      It will demand tremendous dedication, self-control, endurance, and sacrifice ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ).

      Does the race lead to short-term happiness? Certainly not!
      But then what if you heard that winning is possible and that everyone who crosses the finish line, wins? ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. )

      For those chosen by God ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ), this race also includes accepting an assignment of work ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ). That work must be done during the race. In addition, all runners must deal with an opposer and his cohorts, who constantly do all they can to make the road to the finish, impossible ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ). (4womaninthewilderness)
       
      When an individual joins the organization, the “race” one enters is not based on a dedication to Christ or the Father, but on serving an organization, which was made clear by the JW’s comment above.  However, Watchtower calls it, serving God; and they do it thusly:
      “When presenting themselves for baptism, such new disciples confirm that they have disowned themselves and are determined to serve God with all their strength, means, and abilities. ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) FOR THESE REASONS, BAPTISM CANDIDATES ARE ASKED TO CONFIRM THAT THEY HAVE DEDICATED THEMSELVES TO JEHOVAH TO DO HIS WILL.”
      How is this asked of JWs?  The second question not mentioned in the article to the unknowing candidates is:
      “Do you understand that your dedication and baptism IDENTIFY you as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in association with GOD’S SPIRIT-DIRECTED ORGANIZATION? Having answered yes to these questions, candidates are in a right heart condition to undergo Christian baptism."
      Simply, this type of water baptism does not have God’s approval, but God’s condemnation.  I hope you can perceive this, JWs. Watchtower’s allegations go beyond Christ’s words, expecting your devotion to another Master.  Matt 6:24; Deut 4:2; 12:32; Rev 22:18   Please, notice how you are “marked”, not for survival but for slavery to men and their self-driven desires for unrighteous gains.  Jer 17:10-13 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      From the 1950 Watchtower publication, “This Means Everlasting Life”:  “When a justified believer is baptized into the “body of Christ” and so becomes a member of the Theocratic organization, he comes under Christ Jesus the Head and so comes under certain responsibilities and cannot act independently of the one whom God as made Head of the organization to direct it.  HE MUST SUBMIT HIMSELF TO ORGANIZATION INSTRUCTIONS…”  p. 126
      I am appalled at these words I have come across.  They admit to the early beginnings of the “trampling” of the Temple of God – the anointed priesthood and Body of Christ. Matt 24:15;Dan 9:27;11:31; 2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 11:1-3   Watchtower’s “theocratic organization” empowers a false priesthood to demand obedience to itself, as a “god”.  It is the counterfeit to the Body of Christ – the Body of Satan. 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
       Pearl Doxsey – “The GB has laid a new foundation for themselves...
      They have made themselves the cornerstone ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ), being benefactor to a NON-anointed Organization of counterfeit priests ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. )...
      creating a foreign temple to a "foreign god" ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ).
      They have erected a counterfeit Mt. Zion ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ), ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. )
      and a decoy "Kingdom" while Satan yet rules.”
      (From “Discerning the Body-A God of Order”)  4womaninthewilderness
      Please, I ask you to consider, JWs; that you, and the authentic, anointed Body of Christ, have picked up the wrong torture stake.  Not until it is realized what “mark” you bear, does the real torture stake then present itself.  Your “opposer and cohorts” will come into focus, if you choose to enter the authentic race leading to life. Jer 17:1;  Rev 13:1,3,4,10-17; Exod 20:1-7; Luke 4:8 
      The race JWs presently run, their comparative “torture stake” in a “spiritual paradise”, is soon to come to an abrupt, and tumultuous end.   1 Thess 5:3; Rev 6:12-17; 8:8; Zech 4:7; Job 9:5,6; 14:18-22
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      (Mark of Slavery 4womaninthewilderness)
      I wrote down these thoughts just this morning when reading James chapter 1:  
      When we wake up to Wt.’s deceptions, mulling over in our minds how to deal with them; we have two choices; to either step onto the course leading to life by slaving only for God, or settle with our conscience and continue running Wt’s categorized routes, explicitly showing faith in the organization as salvation.   Deut 6:6,8; 11:18; Exod 13:9  When this choice is apparent, it is then that the Beast/org.’s threatening stance looming over us, is perceived.  Can we bear being called a “loser” by the Beast and everyone we love if we draw out of the race? Matt 5:11; Rev 11:7;13:15  Who really is it, that loses out on eternal life?  
      Tonight, I find this comment regarding a JW “sighing and crying over the detestable things” in the organization (Ezek 9:3,4):
      “Whoever the bozo is that wants to quit...go ahead and do it loser. You are "already gone"
      “A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those WHO WORSHIP THE BEAST (organization) AND ITS IMAGE, (spirit-directed “Jehovah’s organization) OR FOR ANYONE WHO RECEIVES THE MARK OF ITS NAME.” 
      This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who KEEP HIS COMMANDS AND REMAIN FAITHFUL TO JESUS.”  Rev 14:9-12
      “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”  James 1:12
      “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  For, ‘In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.’
      38 And, ‘But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.’  39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” Heb 10:36-39
       
       
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A video has emerged apparently showing Libyan children enacting a mass execution, resembling those carried out by Islamic State, with one child shooting kneeling “prisoners” in the head with a toy gun. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8ynr
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Children who eat fish tend to sleep better and score higher on IQ tests, a new study has found.
      Using self-administered questionnaires, researchers collected information on fish consumption among 541 Chinese boys and girls ages 9 to 11. Parents reported their children’s sleep duration, how often they awoke at night, daytime sleepiness and other sleep patterns. At age 12, the children took IQ tests.
      Read more: 
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    • By Jack Ryan
      In the Gospels we find John the Baptist baptizing people in the Jordan River. But where did the concept of Baptism originate? Was this a command from God that we are not told about? Did John develop the concept of Baptism? Was baptism being done before the New Testament? Why was John baptizing people in the Jordan River? Because the Bible is silent on these issues, Churches have created their own doctrines concerning baptism.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Schoolchildren who read and write at home with their parents may build not only their academic literacy skills, but also other important life and learning skills, a recent study found.
      The project, a study by researchers at the University of Washington, followed children for five years, either grades one through five or three through seven. It looked at their reading and writing activities at home, their school progress and their skills, both according to their parents’ reports and according to annual assessments.
      In the study, published in May in the Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation by Nicole Alston-Abel and Virginia W. Berninger, parents were asked to rate their children’s ability to pay attention, set goals, control impulses and regulate their level of activity. Dr. Berninger, who is professor emerita of educational psychology at the University of Washington, said, “It’s not just the skills the parents teach at home, it’s also how they help their children’s self-regulation, sometimes called executive function.” Writing, she said, was just as important as reading, and the children in the study tended to struggle harder with writing, and to get more help with those assignments from their parents.
      Well over 20 years ago, when we started using books at pediatric checkups, we called it literacy promotion. Then for a while, “school readiness” was the buzzword and the byword, so, not unreasonably, we talked about school readiness. And as more and more attention was drawn to early brain development, it seemed clear, as we talked about getting books into children’s hands and children’s homes, that what we were really trying to do was help foster the language-rich parent-child interactions that build children’s brains.
      Read more: 
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    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      10+ yrs polar bear.pdf

      10+yrs bike by tree.pdf
      5-10 yrs kids_Africa.pdf
      5-10 yrs kids_Lorikeet.pdf
    • By Bible Speaks
      Children have been compared to “arrows in the hand of a mighty man.” 
      ????????????????
      An archer has the arrow in his bow for only a relatively short time. To hit the target, he must quickly let it go. 
      ????????????????
      Likewise, parents have only a relatively short period of time to develop in their children heartfelt love for Jehovah. 
      ????????????????
      After what seems to be just a few short years, the children grow up and leave home. Will they hit the target—that is, will the children continue to love and serve God after they leave home? 
      ????????????????
      Numerous factors influence the answer. Much depends upon the skill of the parent, the environment in which the children are raised, and the way the ‘arrow,’ or child, responds to the training he or she receives. - Psalms 127:4.
      JW.Org  
      1 GIF TAP ON FOR ACTION — Enjoy! 


    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      For example if  children are noisy during the meeting, parents may take them to the restroom or outside the Hall  and hit them with a belt or hand?
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      You read that right. There is a whole talk on the topic.
      Outline: Safeguard Your Children From “What Is Evil” 
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    • 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.
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