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Information Control: JWs form a barricade at JW Melbourne protest to keep rank and file JW's from seeing "apostate" signs

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5 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

before he says it’s not any of them doing anything—you could do the same were you in their place—but it is Jehovah who should get all credit.

I haven't watched it yet. Did he really say that, because that's what I've always said. Some people didn't like that though, unfortunately proving that they were kind of "worshipful" of the GB, and believed the GB were ultra special and more than anyoe else. 

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1 minute ago, Anna said:

haven't watched it yet. Did he really say that, because that's what I've always said. Some people didn't like that though, unfortunately proving that they were kind of "worshipful" of the GB, and believed the GB were ultra special and more than anyoe else. 

One of three questions they asked me at my Reinstatement was (paraphrased) "What is your opinion of the Governing Body?"

I replied  (paraphrased) " I would have to agree with them in the February 2017 Watchtower, that they are neither inspired of God, or infallible.".

I believe that if I had phrased that differently, all other things being equal, I would NOT have been Reinstated.

By actual test, I would agree with you, Anna.

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22 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Michael wouldn't even speak abusively of the Devil and yet these people are going to go further than that and think it's OK to speak abusively of Jesus and the angels?

I think that’s very unlikely. I mean, come on, are you going to cuss out an angel—dare him to a fight? Unless you no longer believe in angels, but then the phrase loses its meaning.

22 hours ago, JW Insider said:

It's also possible that the leaders (elders) are considered the "glorious ones" but this makes less sense to me.

I think it makes more sense, partly because of the above reasoning and partly because of the aspect of Law that Paul recalled when he cussed out the high priest: “You must not speak injuriously of a ruler of your people.” These ones of Jude had no problem with it.

22 hours ago, JW Insider said:

And are you proud of it? [tolerating a case of incest] Should you not rather mourn, so that the man who committed this deed should be taken away from your midst?

I think that expression is probably like what your mother used to say when upbraiding you for some act of disobedience, prefacing her scolding with: “I suppose you are proud of yourself, are you?!” She doesn’t actually think you are proud—just disobedient, maybe that you think you know better. And in the case of those Corinth elders, negligent—perhaps with some self-exalted view of “tolerance” as you suggest or perhaps just plain negligent. Arguing for the latter is the fact that when they did lower the hammer on this lout, Paul had to counsel them to let up in his next letter—the rebuke of the man had had its effect, but they were slow to see that—or perhaps just negligent once again in the other direction. Negligent is as negligent does.

On 12/10/2019 at 9:57 AM, JW Insider said:

Jude did not write about whistleblowers. Jude WAS the whistleblower!

I played a little loose with the term, admittedly. Actually, to the extent that the GB are the successors of those who brought the truth of God’s word to us in the first place, they are the biggest whistleblowers of all time—blowing the whistle on the deceptions of religion claiming to represent God.

A lot of detractors today pose as “whistleblowers”—unheeded reformers, who say they do not have anything against Jehovah’s Witnesses—they just want to curtail what they think are wrong practices. It’s hard to ferret out who’s who, here, because these persons mix here with ones who truly would like to see the whole JW structure AND the message they spearhead blown to smithereens. It is easy to overgeneralize, as @Arauna perhaps has done. Still, Shultz on my Twitter feed (of deVienne & Shultz) observed that whistleblowing in the case of JWs is often just a blind for not wanting to live the morals and principles that Witnesses do.

It’s hard to believe that those slimy ones of Jude’s letter would have acquiesced to Jude’s description of them. It is far easier to believe that many of them would have repackaged themselves as reformers, whistleblowers, even escaped cult members. The congregation they left was simply too strict, too unyielding, even abusive in “forcing” its version of morality on others, and they would change that.

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11 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I think that’s very unlikely. I mean, come on, are you going to cuss out an angel—dare him to a fight? Unless you no longer believe in angels, but then the phrase loses its meaning.

Maybe this was in the sense of these "bad elders" rejecting the counsel given by "good elders" who were quoting Bible books and the Mosaic Law (as transmitted through angels), or these "bad elders" were speaking out against sayings of Jesus and inspired writings of the apostles, as if they held no value to this time they were in, so many decades after Jesus originally spoke them. Also (less likely) Jude quotes the book of Enoch, specifically a part about the judgment of angels, and he appears to refer to another book about the "Assumption of Moses." We don't know how much more of those books were accepted other than the portions referenced, but these books were part of a genre that gave names to dozens of angels and referenced many more hierachies of thousands of angels.

11 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

the aspect of Law that Paul recalled when he cussed out the high priest: “You must not speak injuriously of a ruler of your people.”

Good point!

11 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

“I suppose you are proud of yourself, are you?!” She doesn’t actually think you are proud—just disobedient, maybe that you think you know better.

I doubt it. There are too many scriptures, and too much context that shows what Paul was up against in trying to get the congregations to accept and understand the concept of "grace" or "undeserved kindness." (Along with "law" "legalism" "works" "righteousness" "sin" "conscience" etc.) Paul had to write chapters, nearly whole long letters, on the subject, and it even put him for a short while at odds with the Jerusalem council.

11 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Still, Shultz on my Twitter feed (of deVienne & Shultz) observed that whistleblowing in the case of JWs is often just a blind for not wanting to live the morals and principles that Witnesses do.

Probably it is sometimes. But I'd guess there are some exceptions, too. For example, the whistleblowing of the CSA cases all over the world has drawn attention to a lot of things that go on in the world where the abused victims felt powerless. In many institutions, including once-hostile work environments, this is actually changing for the better. The threat of monetary sanctions has made even rich men who could once get away with anything (as Trump claimed), think twice. It has definitely helped in some suburban schools and even corporations I once worked for. I suspect that many priests and elders who once thought they would get away with anything are now more apt to think again before abusing persons.

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10 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:
17 hours ago, Anna said:

Did he really say that,

Word for word.

Yes. Just watched it.

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

But the whistleblowing of the CSA cases all over the world have drawn attention to a lot of things that go on in the world where the abused victims felt powerless. In many institutions, including once-hostile work environments, this is actually changing for the better. The threat of monetary sanctions has made even rich men who could once get away with anything (as Trump claimed), think twice. It has definitely helped in some suburban schools and even corporations I once worked for. I suspect that many priests and elders who once thought they would get away with anything are now more apt to think again before abusing persons.

I like that you talk about the broad effects of the impact whistleblowing has had in this particular area. It's not just the Witnesses, but many institutions. Many guilty people would have probably got away with sexual abuse 20 years ago, but not so much today. Even royalty have been put under the microscope. History is rife with stories of rich dirty old men having sex with underage girls and getting away with it.

When enough people make noise, it can't be ignored.

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21 hours ago, Anna said:

unfortunately proving that they were kind of "worshipful" of the GB, and believed the GB were ultra special and more than anyoe else. 

I’m not really sure what “worshipful” means. 

When celebrities come into town, they are mobbed by fans. Are those fans worshipful? I might say yes, but the fans themselves will just say they they are flocking to them out of respect for their accomplishments. If brothers pose for selfies with the GB members (much to the latter’s annoyance, I am consistently told, someone said with the possible exception of Lett) are they “worshipful?” It’s in the eye of the beholder, I think.

Though I have a great many faults, admiring personalities is not one of them. I would love to have a GB member stay at my house so I could ignore him. “There’s your room—make yourself at home. If you’d like to visit, that works fine, but you have many things to do and if you ignore us completely that also works fine with us,” 

Probably there are few words they could hear that would please them more.

And no, @James Thomas Rook Jr., I wouldn’t present them with a list of my QUESTIONS that, as MEN of HONOR, they are obligated to answer,

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23 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

It’s hard to believe that those slimy ones of Jude’s letter would have acquiesced to Jude’s description of them. It is far easier to believe that many of them would have repackaged themselves as reformers, whistleblowers, even escaped cult members. The congregation they left was simply too strict, too unyielding, even abusive in “forcing” its version of morality on others, and they would change that.

An interesting take with a lot to say for it.

When Jude mentions these "rocks beneath the surface" for example, it always reminds me of the first time I read "Paul and Thecla" while at Bethel, but at the NYPL, via a book about Christian widows in Early Christianity. Paul and Thecla is an early Christian short story or novella with Thecla, not Paul, as the hero. It's one of a few stories of this type, probably written by and for women in the early Christian congregations. The antagonists of some of these stories are the 2nd century "circuit overseers" who would go from congregation to congregation saying all the right things from the "platform" but then they would also quietly worm their way into the houses of well-meaning sisters and widows, and try to take advantage of them sexually.

I was quite surprised when the Watchtower last year mentioned Paul and Thecla for the second time in nearly 100 years, and was again surprisingly supportive of the work as containing possible reflections of true traditions believed in the 2nd century:

*** w18 March p. 13 par. 3 Questions From Readers ***
The Acts of Paul and Thecla was highly regarded in early centuries, as confirmed by the fact that 80 Greek manuscripts of it exist, as well as versions in other languages. Thus, our artistic presentations are in line with some ancient indications of what the apostle looked like.

I personally have never experienced a "bad" circuit overseer. All of them have been exemplary and I have always looked forward to their visits, especially when hearing a new one for the first time. But I think all of us old-timers have had experience with congregational drifters, and we often look at them with the same kinds of suspicions. Sometimes it's a young brother who is very vague about his last congregation and who quickly latches on to an association with another eligible sister. Sometimes it's a more elderly brother, perhaps even a special pioneer, looking for an alternate congregation, hoping the trouble he caused in the last congregation won't get reported in too much detail. (Speaking from a real example, this elderly brother also latched onto a "relationship," and place to stay, with a family of sisters: a sister with an unbelieving and ailing husband, and a couple of daughters. It was a recipe for disaster.) The younger brother caused some heart-ache by getting engaged to a sister, and the engagement was later broken off. 

It's hard for me not to imagine such cases when I read Jude. So, at first, it was hard for me to see them as drifters into forums like this one to cause other kinds of trouble, but I can definitely see a similarity now.  

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