Jump to content
The World News Media

Time Magazine has just run an article about afterlife topics (soul, psyche, Sheol, Gehenna, heaven, hell) that mirrors almost exactly Watchtower publications


Recommended Posts

  • Member

After praising me for bringing the thread back on topic, JWI will maybe curse me for branching it off again—and Arauna, too, for that matter, because it really is a branch. He may even use his secret powers to make this a separate thread—I could live with that if he did.

The fork in the road here is Aruana’s link to Time Magazine. Enticed by an absurdly low rate, I subscribed to Time two years ago, with the thought I would cancel when the auto-renewal hit. When it hit, I did cancel, because the magazine—once a powerhouse, now upstaged amidst the digital revolution, seemed no more than “same-old same-old” to me. My curiosity had been peaked by the low subscription rate. 

I think it is because a sale was pending. Mark Benoif has bought it, he who is the Salesforce company founder—a guy worth 6 billion, I am told. He joins Bezos who bought the Washington Post, and Lourene Jobs (widow of Steve) who bought a majority stake in Atlantic.

    Hello guest!

Not sure how the new owners will change the brands they bought, however Time Magazine has just run an article about afterlife topics (soul, psyche, Sheol, Gehenna, heaven, hell) that mirrors almost exactly Watchtower publications—I can’t picture this in the old Time (or in fact, anywhere).

And—the author is my new nemesis: Bart Ehrman! The occasion is the release of his latest book (he has over 30) ‘Heaven and Hell.’ 

    Hello guest!

 I have not been especially kind to Bart, and maybe I should walk some of it back. Or maybe I should double down. Is he coming around in his views? Or is he (more likely, I think, but only suggested—far from proof) ripping off the views of the Watchtower without crediting them? 

Not that he would accept the Watchtower as a source in itself, I don’t think. But what I can easily picture is him keeping abreast of their writing and the explanations that only they have, then tracing it back to original sources, whereupon he verifies it all and presents it as though his own research—which it would be, minus the credit for who put him on the right track in the first place. 

A few segments for the Time article, which I think is quoted directly from his book:

Neither Jesus, nor the Hebrew Bible he interpreted, endorsed the view that departed souls go to paradise or everlasting pain.

Unlike most Greeks, ancient Jews traditionally did not believe the soul could exist at all apart from the body. On the contrary, for them, the soul was more like the “breath.” The first human God created, Adam, began as a lump of clay; then God “breathed” life into him (Genesis 2: 7). Adam remained alive until he stopped breathing. Then it was dust to dust, ashes to ashes.

Ancient Jews thought that was true of us all. When we stop breathing, our breath doesn’t go anywhere. It just stops. So too the “soul” doesn’t continue on outside the body, subject to postmortem pleasure or pain. It doesn’t exist any longer.

The Hebrew Bible itself assumes that the dead are simply dead—that their body lies in the grave, and there is no consciousness, ever again. It is true that some poetic authors, for example in the Psalms, use the mysterious term “Sheol” to describe a person’s new location. But in most instances Sheol is simply a synonym for “tomb” or “grave.” It’s not a place where someone actually goes.

and later: 

Most people today would be surprised to learn that Jesus believed in a bodily eternal life here on earth, instead of eternal bliss for souls, but even more that he did not believe in hell as a place of eternal torment.

In traditional English versions, he does occasionally seem to speak of “Hell” – for example, in his warnings in the Sermon on the Mount: anyone who calls another a fool, or who allows their right eye or hand to sin, will be cast into “hell” (Matthew 5:22, 29-30). But these passages are not actually referring to “hell.” The word Jesus uses is “Gehenna.” The term does not refer to a place of eternal torment but to a notorious valley just outside the walls of Jerusalem, believed by many Jews at the time to be the most unholy, god-forsaken place on earth. It was where, according to the Old Testament, ancient Israelites practiced child sacrifice to foreign gods. The God of Israel had condemned and forsaken the place.

In the ancient world (whether Greek, Roman, or Jewish), the worst punishment a person could experience after death was to be denied a decent burial. Jesus developed this view into a repugnant scenario: corpses of those excluded from the kingdom would be unceremoniously tossed into the most desecrated dumping ground on the planet. Jesus did not say souls would be tortured there. They simply would no longer exist.”

Is Bart just taking our stuff? You know, I think he is. If I do a quick search of this site—

    Hello guest!
, nothing about Jehovah’s Witnesses comes up, apart from a post about the name Jehovah itself, where he misses entirely the import of God having a name rather than a title, to focus on its Latin letters, and thus declaring it “false.” But I found nothing else. Nobody espousing on these ‘afterlife’ views like Jehovah’s Witnesses, and apart from them almost nobody does—and yet he never mentions them. I suspect we have found the ‘secret source’ that points him to much of his scholarship. 

Where are these items found in our own literature? I find it hard to keep track of anything, these days, now that all is digitalized and we have taking to presenting matters in bitesize tidbits. Basic study guides will show up much of it, however, and certainly the Insight Book—a Bible encyclopedia. But a favorite of my for being both concise and complete is the 1974 book ‘Is This Life All There Is?’ We were there light years ahead of him, on all topics except for those in which he is muddled, such as:

“Some thinkers came up with a solution that explained how God would bring about justice, but again one that didn’t involve perpetual bliss in a heaven above or perpetual torment in a hell below. This new idea maintained that there are evil forces in the world aligned against God and determined to afflict his people. Even though God is the ultimate ruler over all, he has temporarily relinquished control of this world for some mysterious reason. But the forces of evil have little time left. God is soon to intervene in earthly affairs to destroy everything and everyone that opposes him and to bring in a new realm for his true followers, a Kingdom of God, a paradise on earth. Most important, this new earthly kingdom will come not only to those alive at the time, but also to those who have died. Indeed, God will breathe life back into the dead, restoring them to an earthly existence.” (italics and bolded text mine. “Some mysterious reason”—he doesn’t know that?! after nailing it on so many other points)

Not to mention his muddled:

“And God will bring all the dead back to life, not just the righteous. The multitude who had been opposed to God will also be raised, but for a different reason: to see the errors of their ways and be judged. Once they are shocked and filled with regret – but too late — they will permanently be wiped out of existence.” Sigh...it is as Anthony Morris said: “just stick with publications of the slave, and you will be alright.” The moment he goes off-script he comes up with some half-baked “nah nah—told ya so!” diatribe from his born-again days.

Part of me wants to get my head around this more. Frankly, he’s got a good gig going—I’m jealous over some of it—and so I wonder where his head is at. He presents as an agnostic/atheist in his Great Courses lecture series. I’ve written about ten posts, none of them kind, with several more in the hopper that I may or may not ever get to. Most of them I posted here as well as on my site, but I can find them easier on my site: 

    Hello guest!

Now—back to those Uyghurs...

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Views 507
  • Replies 13
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

After praising me for bringing the thread back on topic, JWI will maybe curse me for branching it off again—and Arauna, too, for that matter, because it really is a branch. He may even use his secret powers to make this a separate thread—I could live with that if he did. The fork in the road here is Aruana’s link to Time Magazine. Enticed by an absurdly low rate, I subscribed to Time two years ago, with the thought I would cancel when the auto-renewal hit. When it hit, I did cancel, because

@TrueTomHarley @TrueTomHarley Yes I'd noticed that JWs on here were creating a smoke screen by talking about China etc, instead of looking at the faults in the CCJW and the problems with the GB. Very 'political' to shift the attention on to others that are doing bad things, but very expected of JWs. I wouldn't say that moaning about China was part of 'Keeping on the watch', more like 'being part of the world'    As for all this rubbish about some one copying the Watchtower. You, and others,

All one has to do is read this sample statement of Bart already quoted: “Most people today would be surprised to learn that Jesus believed in a bodily eternal life here on earth, instead of eternal bliss for souls, but even more that he did not believe in hell as a place of eternal torment.” Why would they be “surprised?” Because such things were never taught, despite a multitude of scholars most churches defer to. Instead, the near-universal teaching of church Christianity is that whe

  • Member

@TrueTomHarley @TrueTomHarley Yes I'd noticed that JWs on here were creating a smoke screen by talking about China etc, instead of looking at the faults in the CCJW and the problems with the GB. Very 'political' to shift the attention on to others that are doing bad things, but very expected of JWs. I wouldn't say that moaning about China was part of 'Keeping on the watch', more like 'being part of the world' :)  

As for all this rubbish about some one copying the Watchtower. You, and others, seem to find it impossilbe to believe that anyone outside the W/t and CCJW has a mind of their own. Your Org, your GB, the Watchtower, must be copying the Bible in 'some' of it's teachings, only some though :). So is it then impossible for someone else to do the same ?  Remembering that your GB are not inspired, and besides which, most of the 'beliefs' in the CCJW were set up way before the words Governing Body were used publicly... 

Why are people, in your opinion, supposed to read their Bible, if they cannot make any sense of it ? But when some one does make sense of it and then puts it into words, you say they are copying the Watchtower. Even i can make sense of the 'simple bits'. 'The dead are conscious of nothing at all' is quite easy to understand for instance. 

I'll go along with what you said here "I’m jealous over some of it" , Yes I think you are. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
6 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

As for all this rubbish about some one copying the Watchtower. You, and others, seem to find it impossilbe to believe that anyone outside the W/t and CCJW has a mind of their own

All one has to do is read this sample statement of Bart already quoted:

Most people today would be surprised to learn that Jesus believed in a bodily eternal life here on earth, instead of eternal bliss for souls, but even more that he did not believe in hell as a place of eternal torment.”

Why would they be “surprised?” Because such things were never taught, despite a multitude of scholars most churches defer to. Instead, the near-universal teaching of church Christianity is that when you die, you go to heaven if you were good, and hell if you were bad. That is what just about everyone of “Christian” background thought before becoming a Witness, because apart from some occasional deviation on some minor point, that is what nearly all churches taught.

I have said since that, given the universality of the heaven/hell teaching, you would almost expect it to be on every other page of the Bible. Instead, apart from a handful of verses that can be tortured for that meaning, one never encounters it. Bart says something similar in his article, which I did not quote above: 

There are over two billion Christians in the world, the vast majority of whom believe in heaven and hell. You die and your soul goes either to everlasting bliss or torment (or purgatory en route). ...The vast majority of these people naturally assume this is what Jesus himself taught.”

You have forgotten entirely the typical experience of most who become Witnesses, excepting only those born into the faith, of amazement at learning the truth of the scriptures for the first time. Some of them had made a lifelong search, and the crystal clear explanations of the Witnesses they had not seen anywhere else. I will grant that there may be a few quirky backwater faiths that have a piece or two of it, but nobody that has put it all together into a coherent whole. That typical experience is where the expression “coming into the truth” originates. It is an expression still in common use by Witnesses, and used no where else that I know of. Nobody says they have “come into the truth“ when they become a Methodist, for instance

There was a pesty fellow who used to challenge me a lot on trinity and other church teachings. One day he sent me a video of “4 famous church leaders“ hubbubing in conference, which he said acknowledged that everlasting life on earth was known to them, too, as the Bible hope—it wasn’t just JWs who taught it. I told him I’d take his word for it. Though these leaders knew and discussed it, this fellow pointed out, the problem was “Bible illiteracy” among the masses, he said. 

If the problem is Bible literacy among the masses, I replied, why don’t they fix it? Isn’t that their job as leaders? Our religion manages to keep its people on the same page.

No, this accurate take on scripture is not found just anywhere, for anyone to pick up on. In its entirety, it is found in only one place. You must have known that at one time, if you became a Witness in the usual way. But I fear, in harping on human imperfection, you have long ago gone the path of Titus 1:15:

“All things are clean to clean people, but to those who are defiled and faithless, nothing is clean, for both their minds and their consciences are defiled.” You just keep harping on one thing, and so plainly can’t see the forest for the trees. 

6 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

Even i can make sense of the 'simple bits'. 

Unfortunately, you have shown time and again that you cannot.

6 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

'The dead are conscious of nothing at all' is quite easy to understand for instance. 

You would never have found it on your own. You would have been thoroughly flummoxed by church doctrine that sweeps away the verse as though it Is nothing. An evangelical relative of mine, for example, attributes it to Solomon losing God’s spirit as he started multiplying wives for himself and saying some sour things that he would never say were he in his right mind.

Your typical oversimplification of everything means that you miss most points:

6 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

As for all this rubbish about some one copying the Watchtower.

I never said that. I said just the opposite:

8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Not that he would accept the Watchtower as a source in itself, I don’t think.

Okay? He didn’t “copy.”

8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

But what I can easily picture is him keeping abreast of their writing and the explanations that only they have, then tracing it back to original sources, whereupon he verifies it all and presents it as though his own research—which it would be, minus the credit for who put him on the right track in the first place. 

Technically, he’s doing nothing wrong—if indeed, he is doing what I theorize.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member

@TrueTomHarley you do have a serious problem don't you ? You do worship your Gb and it's Org. 

You really have either been brainwashed or have deliberately blinded your self. 

It's in the BIBLE Tom, it is not from your CCJW or Watchtower. Your Leaders did not invent it. Your Leaders were not the only ones to find it. And it may be that your Leaders have got some things wrong too. 

You make false presumptions that people only learn 'truth' once they 'enter the Org'. And you make false presumptions that all people are misled or misguided by some church or other. Most people I know have never been to church for the teachings, only for weddings and funerals. Stop fooling yourself Tom, people are not as stupid as you like to think they are. Well here in the UK they are not so stupid anyway. 

Just because this man says Most people today would be surprised to learn ", you jump on that as being true. You are no different than anyone else Tom, you use the 'statements' from people to suit your own purpose. Somewhere else you might say that 'most people don't believe in God anymore'.  

I do find it funny that you tell me I would never have found scripture on my own. But I think you forget about how many lies I was taught in the Org. 7000 year creative Days, Armageddon coming in the 70's.

And it seems most likely now that 1914 means nothing, and that Jesus was given his authority in 33 C. E. 

Matthew 28 v 18

Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth. 19  Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, 20  teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”

Think on this scripture for a while Tom. And then think on how your Org baptises people. And then think on how your GB tells the Anointed not to gather together for study or prayer, and how your GB says it would be 'working against the spirit'. 

As for  the expression  “coming into the truth”, it's a con Tom. A very clever con. It's a bit like your user name. 'True... You follow the Org's example of the same con. When people become JWs they are brainwashed with the expression 'coming into the truth' or 'I'm in the truth'.  It's a con because it makes people drop their guard. New JWs automatically accept ALL CCJW / W/t teachings without question because they are told it is 'truth'. But as I've mentioned above it is not all truth. 

Or is he (more likely, I think, but only suggested—far from proof) ripping off the views of the Watchtower without crediting them? 

Those are your words. Doesn't that mean copying them ? Or does it just mean stealing them ? 

Have a great day Tom, but please open your heart and mind a bit, think outside the CCJW / W/t box.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
12 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

It's a bit like your user name. 'True... You follow the Org's example of the same con.

Originally I wanted just TomHarley as a username, but it was already taken. I thought of RealTomHarley, but it sounds too much like Trump. So I settled on TrueTomHarley. I never intended the moral implications that the name carries—that was just an unanticipated plus.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
On 8/8/2020 at 1:22 PM, TrueTomHarley said:

And—the author is my new nemesis: Bart Ehrman! The occasion is the release of his latest book (he has over 30) ‘Heaven and Hell.’ 

I saw that. I don't think all of this is that new to Bart Ehrman. I caught some of this on his site. But I had never noticed before, that he now sees Jesus' actual words in pretty much the same sense that JWs believe.

I gave in and subscribed to his site for a month. I think it was $5 which he claims goes to some non-religious charity. But I did it to be able to question him on his blog. There are actually several questions that must have come from JWs and several more from ex-JWs, too, on his blog. So he does have some "direct" exposure to JW beliefs.

You pointed out a few of the differences already. I think that in earlier statements it seemed like he was always aware that the Hebrew Bible had no "hell" in the torturous sense. But he also believed there were no references to resurrection (Ezekiel and Daniel, notwithstanding) or living forever on earth. Psalm 37:10,11,29 would have been taken as an eternal inheritance for righteous persons, not eternal life. He assumed, if I remember right, that references to eternal consciousness in Gehenna and Tartarus and Hades were a Greek-influenced development between the time of the OT and the NT and are reflected in the NT, but not by Jesus himself, who was more traditionally Jewish. I assumed he thought that some of what is written and attributed to Jesus was not actually his own words, or they were adjusted to fit a common 2nd century belief about torment of the wicked. (This doesn't seem impossible, as Trinity beliefs crept into the text by the 3rd century, and superstition about the use of God's name might have crept in as early as the 2nd century or so.)

I always wondered why Jesus would have brought up fire and torment in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus and Abraham, knowing that such beliefs had become common among Jews in the previous two centuries. It would be like you giving a public talk and telling a story that starts out in the style of a "Pearly Gates" joke: "Jeff Bezos, and a JW are in a car accident and both get to the Pearly Gates at the same time, to see how they will be judged." (I wouldn't put it past Jesus to get people's attention in almost this same way.)

At any rate, I think that the Watchtower (Bible Students and JWs) have done an enormous service to the religious world by "putting out the fires of hell." It has taken the last 100 years, but I believe that there are a lot of churches where the Watchtower has provided a strong influence so that those churches and their teachers are not so likely to emphasize the teachings that make God seem like a monster. For good or bad Ehrman does has influence, especially on new students, and this last book might even help a bit in opening up some opportunities for our own work.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member

In Bart Ehrman new book, it seems he has a problem with his own morality and wants to find a way to believe in the afterlife, regardless if its impression is to go to heaven, or have a rebirth. Either way, most of his writings deal with the exploits of none canon material or the early church fathers understanding of Hades, Sheol.

That in itself presents a unique problem with what was eventually misunderstood by early Christian writers deviating from the original copyist as to its subscribed content.

That is what his new book 2020 Heaven and Hell, a history of the afterlife, reflects on.

However, it does become more of a curiosity with those that are nearing their earthly cycle to want to consider what lies ahead. Will god’s judgment be instant upon death as to whether, or not our soul will be inscribed in the “scroll of life” or merely have to wait in a deep state of nothingness (unconsciousness) and to be awoken in resurrection to have judgment passed?

For those that are chosen to be kings in heaven, it would seem to be a term of preparation to achieve their goal. Those that are raptured in the end, after their bodies die will be the last remnant gathered, and won’t need preparation but rather a fulfillment. Everything set in place. Those would have already been judged in order to enter into heaven as cleansed souls, (Perfect-Sinless State).

Jesus works indicate all those that faithfully follow him even unto death, will have a place on earth, by following Gods commands and obedience. If this is questioned by some, then those that question god’s promise lacks certain inner faith, since the performance of Jesus resurrection was made visual for people to accept Gods truth and write about Gods promise to that truth through his son.

Do I believe Dante’s (Inferno) description that “Judas Iscariot” is in the ninth circle of hell where only those that become “traitors” belong? Of course not, but it does make for a justifiable means to an end.

What people need to understand is the extent of meaning to each word definition.

1.       Heaven (Sinless Beings-Spirit child-Chosen and Elevated Mortal child)

2.       Hades (Grave, God of the dead, or Ruler of)

3.       Hell, (Multi-Layer)

4.       Gehenna (Present state of man’s anger, leading to Gods judgment)

5.       Paradise (Original State)

6.       Purgatory (In-between-Wait Station for the Damned, man)

7.       Sheol (Grave, or God of),

8.       Tartarus (Spiritual beings, torment)

9.       Fire and Brimstone (Direct Judgment for man)

10.   Lake of Fire (proposed Judgment)

Hades and Seoul mean the same. The difference is between Greek and Hebrew. You will find that most of Bart’s book can be summarized by Dante’s Divine Comedy.

“At the most basic level, the Comedy relates the story of a man lost in a dark wood and saved by the ancient Roman poet Virgil, who had been commissioned by a whole hierarchy of saints. The pilgrim—Dante himself—travels through hell, climbs the mountain of purgatory, and rises through the spheres of heaven on his way to see (and be seen by) God. All of these realms and landscapes through which the pilgrim passes are neatly ordered. Each terrace or descending level corresponds to and gives flesh to the moral philosophical principles of Dante’s day. In fact, one of the great readers of Dante in our time, Roberto Antonelli, has argued that Dante had the basic blueprint of the whole work in his mind even before he began writing! The poet spent almost fifteen years working on the poem, but he was able to write lines for Inferno that would anticipate verses he would write over a decade later for Paradiso, because he had a framework for his imaginative world provided to him by the moral philosophy of his day. It is this palpable and concrete architecture of the afterlife that Florentine artists for centuries after Dante loved to try to map out as accurately as they could.”

Is Bart a good writer? I certainly don’t. If I had to guess about him taking pointers from the Watchtower, I would believe he “read” the 2013 Book by J. Harold Ellen’s: Heaven, Hell, and the Afterlife Eternity in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in 3 volumes.

Since he doesn’t know better than thinking, whatever centric you use, it’s supposed to be temporary for either the angelic realm and or human creation until paradise earth lives to its greatest expectation of fulfillment. One example can be, “hell” is in the center of the earth, that’s simple enough.

How about a “black-Hole”. Can it not be applied as an abyss? Wouldn’t that be a torment to a spiritual child?

I would rather consider, when Jesus was enthroned in 1914 in Heaven by Pastor Russell’s insight that was NOT a JW, by which the angelic battle contributed to the mayhem on earth thereafter, Satan and his demonic Angeles were hurled to the proximity of the earth as described in Revelation 12:7-9, would be Hell, Seoul, Hades, Tartarus, Lake of Fire all rolled into one common place.

Where could all those elements come together? The SUN. The outside, NO! The core. Why? The woman is clothed with the sun and the moon beneath her feet.

All in all, the Watchtower has a better grasp in understanding all those components, separate or together, well done Watchtower. The Holy Spirit of God continues to dwell with your faithful servants. This is why I appreciate the effort of the GB while only praising Jah! for giving them that ability.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
2 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

I think you will find that 1914 has been knocked into touch long ago. The CCJW / Watchtower may be clinging onto it but its a lost cause. 

Perhaps to outsiders. To the faithful, it continues to be an accurate fulfillment of prophecy. You might be confusing some within that don't understand and reject it. I don't bother with opinions that have been proven false. However, we are talking about Hell and Bart. Let's stick to the subject…

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member
19 hours ago, César Chávez said:

In Bart Ehrman new book, it seems he ...wants to find a way to believe in the afterlife...most of his writings deal with the exploits of noncanon material or the early church fathers understanding of Hades, Sheol.

Bart comes from an evangelical background. In his blog, he speaks rather poignantly of tragically losing his faith, something that happened once he began to examine the Bible through “critical thinking.” 

He never had a firm foundation to stand on. I would lose my faith, too, if I had to uphold all the nonsense that is part and parcel of church teaching. One can almost feel sorry for him—but one does not, because he does not feel sorry for himself. He has a good gig going—top selling author, nifty website with a paywall that donates to charity, a reputation that prompts the Great Courses Lecture series to engage him as a professor, chair of a university religion department, where he destroys the faith of his students—but since it was founded mostly on the doctrines of churches, it was barely defensible in the first place. No, he has a good gig. Nobody has asked me to chair a Great Courses series, nor (I assume) you.

If not atheist, he certainly is hard-agnostic, unless he has had a recent change of heart. I often wonder what would have happened if those now atheist had been presented accurate Christian teachings first—would they have gone atheist in that case? A naive me once assumed that the answer would be no. 

Sometimes it does work that way, but these are crazy times, and if you keep up with atheists, you find that they are likely to detest JWs most of all! It does not help that JWs have “accurate” Bible teachings. The allure of breaking free from any “control” is just too enticing to be countered by a fresh look at Bible teachings. There is no way that those on the “cramped and narrow road” are not going to be derided as “cult” members by those on the broad and spacious one. This is so predictable that I kick myself for not having predicted it long before—it is so obvious. 

To break free of “control” holds irresistible appeal today, and the atheists add (and even put foremost) those who would claim to represent God, as our brothers do, “controlling “ people by that means.. So, to them, JWs are the worst of the lot, because most churches have watered down “speaking in God’s name” to “God works in mysterious ways,” and have pretty much learned to roll with whatever happens, being content to add a smiling “God” emoji to events. Most have made their peace with the world—they seek to hopefully modify it for the better, and think the view of JWs far too extreme—even “murderous”—that God means to replace it. 

I see happening in these threads that 4Jah hopes I will comment on—but I probably won’t because they are “same-old same-old,” and few, if anyone, had written on the topic more that me, it forming a significant portion of ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates’—I see arguments included that are irrelevant to the topic of concern, such as how various ex-JWs strive to present the picture that obedience “to men” is essential if you are a JW, how they are under enormous pressure always from top leaders, and how JWs terrify children with expectations of Armaggedon. (How about when Newsweek surveys the world scene, and presents the magazine cover “

    Hello guest!
” I countered.)

The “obedience” that JWs are expected to render is no more than following directions of the teacher, the coach, the mentor, the employer, the counselor, the traffic cop—something that was once the most unremarkable thing in the world, but is now presented as selling out one’s soul. JWs have not changed—the world has. One may look no farther than it’s collective response to Covid 19 to see what chaos follows. Mark Benioff, the Salesforce founder, the fellow who purchased Time Magazine, has stated that if everyone had masked up for just three weeks, the virus would have been defeated. Of course, this is what JWs have done, because being obedient to authority is not an issue for them, but the illness is out of control today because the world ridicules obedience and challenges the authority of any who would advance it. The very first sign that this would escalate to disaster occurred very early on—when toilet paper sold out, despite knowledge that the virus doesn’t hit people that way. I told Hassan, the CultExpert, he of the “FreedomofMind” hashtag, that my people have behaved far more responsibly than his—you don’t think some will use their “freedom of mind” to tell the government where they can go with their “rules?”

It doesn’t matter if the world’s obsession with “independence” ends in disaster—as it surely will—as it is with Covid 19. To be free of “control” is just too strong a pull. Those on the broad and spacious road—that’s what makes it broad and spacious, ones on it listen to no one but themselves—will invariably present those on the cramped and narrow road as manipulated by a cult.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By Arauna
      It seems they have removed True Tom Hartley's last comment to another thread?  Like any conversation, it does deviate a bit and then come back...to the main subject...... so  What is the purpose of the strict enforcement of draconian rules? 
    • By 4Jah2me
      I do hear occasionally on this forum, the expression of, (oh dear it's gone now), I'll say Basic beliefs, Foundation beliefs, of Jehovah's Witnesses. 
      My point being, when were those basic foundations started ?  Yes we have Russell and Rutherford et al. So who decided what was what and when ? 
      We have things like 'hell fire' eternal damnation' ' soul in continual punishment' etc. But who basically found the truth from God's word about 'The dead are conscious of nothing at all' ?
      Then we have the 'resurrection of the dead',  those being split into heavenly and earthly. Who decided these things from scriptures ? And when ? 
      It would probably take me 10 years, which I probably do not have left, to research all the things I wish to know. 
      So here is a question. From 1960, what new serious Bible knowledge do we have from those whom regard themselves as the F&DS or top of the tree ?
      What have they given to the congregation that is of extreme importance ?  BUT, more importantly what have they given that they haven't changed since giving it ? 
      So we've lost the 7,000 year creative days. We've lost Armageddon in 1975, We've lost no blood / replaced with blood fractions. We've lost the Superior Authorities as God and Christ, and probably lots more. BUT what important beliefs have we gained since 1960 ? What IMPORTANT SCRIPTURAL input have those at the top made since 1960 ? 
       
    • By TrueTomHarley
      The Bluetooth keyboard won’t connect. The printer won’t print. As though in a conspiracy to infuriate me, they both rebel at the same time. So as to thwart them, I will deal with them just one at a time.
      The pre-installed batteries that power the keyboard couldn’t possibly be bad. I know this because all the online reviews say that they last four years—essentially, the life of the iPad—and I have only had this thing for 6 months. Besides, when I ask the geek at the store whether it is the batteries, he says “no”—it is the keyboard itself. “You think so?” I ask. “I know so,” he says. 
      He must know what he is talking about. The online reviews tell me the same—the batteries are supposed to last 4 years, not 6 months. It must be the Slim Folio keyboard. I buy another—the are not too expensive. When I get it home, I discover (so I thought) what was wrong with the first one. There is a Bluetooth key on the upper row. When I hit it, it makes a connection. I didn’t know there was such a key. It must also have been preset. I must have switched it off by mistake. 
      I take the purchased keyboard back to the Best Buy. Do I have the receipt? No. The clerk with the tattoos hadn’t given me one, and I didn’t say anything because I know that they send receipts by email these days. They searched and couldn’t find it. Why not? Because they had on file the old Juno email account that I haven’t used since Jesus was born, and for whatever reason, can’t get into anymore. I think I changed the once-simple password to something more intricate and then forgot it. As I recall, retrieval proved near impossible due to an archaic interface and a since-replaced laptop that crashed if you looked at it wrong.* At last, the salesperson finds it and the return is made.
      Back home, I find that my fix—the Bluetooth key—was just a red herring. Yes, I did get more life out of it for a few minutes, but it presently started to act up as before. It’s going to be embarrassing buying the keyboard again, and I am starting to think that maybe I should try batteries before I spring for a new board after all. They are the little coin-like batteries that I never use, and another reason that I just bought a new keyboard—now returned—is that I figured they probably cost as much as a Prius battery. 
      Amazon can get me the batteries I need, also the printer ink, but it will take two days. I want them both now. I want the keyboard battery so that I can type on my iPad, not on my laptop as though a caveman. My wife wants the printer to work so that she can print out a letter from an expert saying that another refurbishing job that she paid through the nose for is no good and that she should get her money back. 
      The Best Buy has those particular coin-type batteries, but only in a package of eight. They are not nearly as pricey as I thought—I found that out via Amazon—but I don’t need a 20 year supply of them. Wasn’t there a Steve Martin movie featuring him being hauled to the police station because, thinking that the world was out to get him, he had torn open either a hot dog package or a hot dog roll package so as to buy only the matching number of each that he wanted? And batteries are more expensive that hot dogs or hot dog rolls!
      If Best Buy doesn’t have them, with all of the electronics that they sell, there is no way that Target will have them. But the Target is right next door—it is silly not to at least check. Target does have them, and in just the number (2) that I need. The battery display says $4.60, only a dollar more than Amazon, and I can get them right now, even though I may not need them and have no other use for them should that be the case. The self-service kiosk rings it up for $6.99. I must have picked up the wrong pack, I suppose, and I go fetch another one. No, I did not pick up the wrong pack. It, too, rings up for $6.99. I return to the display. It turns out that the battery is being re-introduced in a new package alongside the old and both are ringing up at the new price that only the new one is supposed to ring up at. I don’t want the new. I want the old, and the old price. 
      You wouldn’t think that one could get paralyzed over two dollars. But it is not two dollars paralyzing me—it is the thought of being played for a chump. “Forget it!” I mutter after a few trips back and forth to the register kiosk. I can get it through Amazon—why don’t I use them all the time, since aggravations like this so frequently happen?—and in the meantime I can make do with the laptop. I mean, for years and years I typed on the laptop, perfectly content. I can do it again for two days. Upon making this resolution, I leave to pick up some groceries at Aldies. The batteries might not solve the problem anyway—the geek told me they would not solve the problem—so if I am going to chance just throwing money away, it should be as little as possible, not the $6.99 Target wants just because they put them in a fancier package.
      After grocery shopping, I return to Target. In the greater overall scheme of life, two dollars is not the end of the world, and it is worth two dollars to use my iPad today and not my laptop because, long ago, I ripped the laptop cord from the laptop one too many times while removing it from my lap, and it will now only stay connected if I firmly tape the cord in place with duct tape. The repair will cost over $200! Forget it. Taping the way I now do is enough to power it, but not enough to keep its battery (another battery!) recharged, so I have acquiesced to the laptop being no more portable than a desktop, because if I even look at the thing wrong, the cord connection breaks even with the duct tape and, having no battery, the machine crashes and I lose anything I have not saved—the only benefit being that I have learned to save after virtually every sentence. So I want to use my iPad, which is portable, and I will pay two extra dollars to do that. 
      Still, I grumble at the self-service line over the two dollars. “Do you want me to look it up for you?” the attendant who oversees four of these kiosks asks. I tell her no—it is just a price change, that I know this sort of thing happens—it is irritating but it is not her fault—why make trouble for her? Still, she can look it up if she likes, I tell her, mostly just so that she will get out of my hair and let me get on with shelling out the $6.99 that heaven has decreed I must before I change my mind again. 
      She DOES look it up. She scans my package with her phone. She has software (I think) that permits her to see the display, and she sees the original price. Nah—that can’t be—still, she somehow figures the original price. She changes it for me right there at the kiosk, punching in some codes—using her powers. Finally! A hero in a world of villains! When she is busy doing something else, I double back to tell her that she truly made my day, that she didn’t have to do it at all, that I never expected her to, and that she would never know how much such a gesture of service meant unless I told her, which is why I did.
      At home, I put in the new batteries and the old keyboard works good as new. Even though the geek had said he KNEW that batteries were not the problem! Even though the online reviews said it, too, with batteries supposedly lasting the life of the iPad! (To be sure, I use it a lot.)
      One problem down—only one more to go: the printer that won’t print. I know it is not out of ink because it has an icon that keeps track of ink, discoverable in several different ways, albeit with effort, and each of those ways returns the same result—there is still 3/8 of a tank left. So I spend three years pouring over online documentation as to how to fix the sullen thing. Cleaning the heads does nothing. The store geek who does not know a dead battery from a keyboard is not going to try his hand at my printer—I refuse to even think of taking it there—even if he will do it for less than a million dollars. As a last ditch attempt before escalation, even though gauges say that there is no way that is it out of ink, I buy some more ink. Of course, I buy the wrong package, a package number that came up when I searched the printer model on Amazon. 
      Why has not someone taken a stand on the biggest scam of all time—printer ink? Why are there dozens and dozens of printers, each one of which will take only a single specific pricey cartridge out of the dozens and dozens available? It is as though every single can of Campbells soup is unique and you will die if you eat any other than one out of 100. The politician that runs his platform on blowing the lid off this scam wins, as far as I am concerned.
      Funny, the printer model itself is not on the cartridge package that Amazon says should work, I note at the Best Buy, though every other model on the planet is. “Ah, well, if it is not the right one, I can always take it back,” I say, and indeed I do take it back the next day. I pop the new cartridge into the machine that insisted it did not need one, and it immediately prints like the New York Times running down Trump.
      Total price in money? Twenty six dollars
      Total price in time? Twenty six years
      Total price in aggravation? Twenty six thousand grey hairs.
      Total number of heroes? One—the kiosk monitor at Target.
      (Best Buy emerges from this post with a mild black eye, so I should point out that I have nothing against them. Their sales associates are polite, not pushy, and invariably will answer whatever you ask them. The point I am making instead is that tech is complicated and nobody knows everything. It was even a Best Buy sales associate who answered to my satisfaction why Microsoft gives me so much trouble (I have had updates that take hours) whereas Apple does not (I don’t think I have ever had an update lasting more that a minute or three). Microsoft is much more ambitious in the scope of what they offer, she told me, plus they have low price points that Apple does not. That satisfied me. 
      It is annoying, though, that when you grouse about Microsoft online, thieves immediately show up insisting that they are them and ask for all sorts of access so that they can help you, and when they follow up with a phone call later, their English is indecipherable. One would think that Microsoft would shut them down, since it tarnishes their reputation. Later, I read that Microsoft did shut them down—it was an operation out of India—but later I saw that they had resurfaced—it is probably next to impossible to eliminate. Some less scrupulous companies have been known to kneecap scoundrels who tarnish their good name, but Microsoft is apparently too ethical to do that.)
      —————-
      *The old laptop: Modified from my book: “No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash”—the most autobiographical of them all:
       
      “The stupid thing is always pestering me that is nearly out of disk space. How can that be? It’s new—and I haven’t used it for anything other than writing this book! [Tom Irregardless and Me] The suggested tool to handle the error message launches into a circus of undiscovered galaxies! It’s like that Black Friday netbook I bought last year - another scoundrel! It harangued me unceasingly about loading Windows 10. Finally, I said ‘All right all right’ - load the stupid thing!’ It wheeled and cranked and whirred like Dr. Who’s spaceship, only to declare at last: ‘You don’t have enough disk space!’ and then launched a tool which took me to another planet! 
      ***~~~***
      “Just puttering along editing my document. Save a tweak and I get the message: ‘A file error has occurred.’ So? There’s no clue what to do about it. Or the consequences. Will a bomb detonate with the next keystroke? Or is just some tiny worthless snippet of software somewhere that feels it has to speak up from time to time so as to justify its existence? Aha! Close the document. Then re-open. I have saved every tweak up to that point, so it shouldn’t be a big deal. But when I reopen it, the changes I have saved have not been saved! No wonder people go mad! Before closing, it says a temporary file will be available! Where? On Jupiter? Open Word from scratch – it’s nowhere to be found! I have to re-treat the whole chapter! 
      ***~~~***
      “Okay, it doesn’t exist. That reassuring fix they were cooing about last night? That ‘solve-all’ dialogue box? It doesn’t exist! Or rather, it probably does, but only inside the 3rd module of the 15th lobe of the program designers brain. It’s impossible to find! Sure, I could find it in three days, possibly, but I don’t want to do that! I could have fixed the chapter by now by just writing it again! And I knew that’s what I should have done, I knew it! But, noooo – here’s some fine instructions – let’s follow them! See where it gets me!
      ***~~~***
      “I have one book to write on my new laptop. Just one book! So I didn’t buy the $14,000 model. I bought the basic model, the cheap one. I’m not gaming with it. I’m not putting movies on it, or music, or photos, or even tweets! Just one book! One! And that’s not even on the hard drive, it’s in the cloud, and on thumb drive updates every two seconds, because you can’t trust this ‘Save’ feature as far as you can Spit! So why does it tell me every two seconds my hard drive is getting full? It just wants to make me mad! It didn’t say ‘Sucker Model’ at the store. It didn’t say ‘Gotcha’ Model. I asked the clerk if there were electronics inside the case, and he said there were! ‘Are you sure it’s not just gerbil cage shavings inside?’ I asked. He said he was sure! What a liar!”
      (Originally posted on my own blog)




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.