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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/06/2020 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    The organization allegedly directed elders in all of its United States congregations to send detailed reports on members facing an allegation of sexually abusing a child to its headquarters. Since the late 1990s blue envelopes from Jehovah’s Witness congregations across the country have been sent to the organization’s headquarters. But, it’s the information inside those envelopes that contain damaging secrets. The blue envelopes contained detailed reports of members within the religion accused of child molestation. Officials scanned those documents into a database of files for each congregation, according to a sworn deposition by an official with The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society obtained by Reveal, the website for the Center for Investigative Reporting. But the specific details within that database have largely remained a secret—despite court orders and calls from the public to release its contents, leading some to accuse the organization of concealing suspected child abusers. The child abuse files were collected after the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society—the organization that oversees the Jehovah’s Witnesses—sent a request in March 1997 to all of its United States congregations requesting that each congregation write a detailed report about anyone within the religion who had been accused of child molestation and send it to the headquarters in the special blue envelope, according to The Atlantic Full article:
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  2. 2 points
  3. 1 point
    The public talk title today was, " where can you find security in this world?" The brother giving the talk gave a very nice illustration, inspired by a true event. Psalm 91:1 states, "Anyone dwelling in the secret place of the Most High, Will procure himself lodging under the very shadow of the Almighty One." So what is that Secret place? and how can you find security there? This illustration also makes it clear as to how we should deal with each other in the christian congregation if any misunderstanding or conflicts arise.And here it is: Imagine that you are at the kingdom hall or any other place with some brothers and sisters, and suddenly war broke out, rebels are moving all over the place with guns and knives, randomly killing everyone they saw.Now all present started to search for a place to hide, and finally found a place and all hid themselves. It was a tight, dark , cold room, not enough space for anybody to move. Then one of the brothers/sisters decides to move a bit, and steps on your foot, and that hurt you alot. WILL YOU SHOUT? Will you start complaining that its a tight, dark room and you can't stay in there? You know that rebels are all over the place searching for people, and you know what will happen if you SHOUT. Of course, if you decide not to shout, then all of you will be safe. And if you decide to shout, well you know what will happen. Likewise, the christian congregation today serves as a "secret place" for Jehovah's people. You can be safe from the pressures of the world around you. And you might have conflicts or misunderstanding with some brothers or sisters, you might get insulted, judged. Now will you SHOUT? in another sense, will you COMPLAIN? You know that satan, the REBEL, "walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone", ( 1 Peter 5:8). If the REBEL, sees any signs of discouragement or hears any complaining, he will creep in and cause division, or may drift you away from the "SECRET PLACE". But if you keep quiet, then all will be safe. So next time a conflict arises between you and any of your brothers or sisters, WILL YOU SHOUT ??
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    The original post about manipulating—who does it, to what degree, and whose is the most serious, brought out some predictable comments on the ‘never is heard a discouraging word’ website. ‘Unity of belief means brainwashing?’ one woman said. She thought not. She suggested that convincing followers to drink poisoned Kool Aid so they could all go to heaven was brainwashing. She suggested that flying your hijacked airplane into the Twin Towers so as to achieve the same goal was also brainwashing. She thought withdrawing from society to live in communes was brainwashing, as well. But she thought that if you live, school, and work in the general community, plus directly visit members of that community one-on-one to discuss your hope with them, plainly making connections in the Book that everyone has (or did) but almost nobody understands, that is not brainwashing. How bad can the ‘manipulation’ be, someone else observed, if it results it results in people unselfish, with good family values, respectful of laws, honest, peaceable, and so forth? Why—if people were manipulated to be like that, you wouldn’t have to fear going out at night, you could lighten up on carrying keys for everything under the sun, and in general enjoy much less stress. The old trite saying even came out that ‘given the state of our brains, they can use a good washing.’ It may be trite, but that does not mean that it is untrue. Witnesses have been nothing but benefited by choosing adherence to God’s direction. Jehovah’s Witnesses make a mistake should they take to heart the cry of their opposers about ‘manipulation.’ Essentially, the cry is no more than the accusation that Witnesses march to the beat of a different drum, which none of them would deny. The manipulation that is detrimental is in just the opposition direction. “We know that we originate with God,” says John, “but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) Must “the whole world” not be ‘controlled’ or ‘manipulated’ for that to be the case? “The Devil is misleading the entire inhabited earth,” states Revelation 12:9. So when the cry is made that “Jehovah’s Witnesses are manipulated!” simply translate it as “Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the Bible” and you will be fine—the two statements are equivalent. Witnesses are no more than the modern counterpart of Joshua, famous for his Declaration of Dependence: “Now if it seems bad to you to serve Jehovah, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve...but as for me and my household, we will serve Jehovah.” (Joshua 24:15) Furthermore, stick it right back to those who favor independence from God to produce the fine world that their independence has brought them. Don’t settle for shallow answers such as pointing to clever gadgets like the iPad that I am putting to excellent use right now. Don’t settle for the admission that things may be getting worse right now, but the world is about to make a brilliant turnaround. Were that to happen, would it not be akin to a cry of ‘peace and security’ that I have read about somewhere? Learn to apprise the world’s offerings as did the Joker in the art gallery, flipping through paintings and rendering instant judgement: “crap, crap, crap, crap, crap.” In doing so, you will not be far from the Bible’s own conclusion—that there is a generation pure in its own eyes that has not been washed from its own filth. (Proverbs 30:12) Don’t walk around all glum as though there is no joy to be had in the present life, for that is plainly not so and JWs do not carry on as though it were. But don’t be ashamed to proclaim the real life of 1 Timothy 6:19, and don’t let modern opponents manipulate you into thinking that this life is the real one. No. This one is the irretrievably broken one set to be replaced when God’s kingdom comes. Tell your critics to produce evidence of the child sexual abuse and human trafficking epidemic that they have stopped dead in its tracks. Ask them even to show how they have reached their laudable goal of no longer objectifying women—perhaps they will point to the Super Bowl halftime show (2020) as Exhibit A. How about the drug abuse problem that they have vanquished, or the homeless problem? “Why is it you Jehovah’s Witnesses always have to insist that things are getting worse?” one brother was asked by a detractor. “What does that view do for you?” He replied that it helped him to explain why the Doomsday Clock was set at 90 seconds to midnight (the latest revision) and not 10:30 AM.
  6. 1 point
    @Isabella Thank you for this information which has been discussed on this forum previously but it's nice to have a refresh. There are many things that I don't quite understand about the GB / their lawyers and JW ORG. (An interesting side note here is this :- Mr Tom Harley, the very sarcastic story teller, tells me that I know nothing. However I do wonder if his attitude was the same toward people when he was an Elder. ) To continue : This American GB / JW Org Database was, so we believe, started in 1997. = 23 years ago. However the Australian Royal Commission, that found 1006 CSA accusations in JW Org Australia, went back 50 years. Now JW Org is an American based religion. It started in the USA. So, if Australia Bethel has Paedophilia reports going back over 50 years. WHY does American Bethel only have a database going back just 23 years ? Next point : I do not have knowledge of how the ARC obtained the 50 plus years of information. Did the Aus Bethel offer the information or did the ARC demand the information ? Either way and even if, court proceeding occurred, the information was obtained by the ARC and was used to make a full investigation. Now here in the UK, I understand that when the Charity Commission asked for similar information from the UK Bethel, that the UK HQ refused to hand it over. I understand that a court case occurred and that the UK Bethel lost the case and had to hand over the information. That is how I understand it, and I've never dug deep into it. But in both case, Australia and UK , the records of Child Sexual Abuse were handed over to those people in authority that were investigating the JW Org. The scripture relating to being in submission to the Superior Authorities would fit well here. It should also be noted, or so my information has it, that the Charity Commission has not closed it's investigation but it is ongoing. Add to this that the IICSA investigation is also in progress here in the UK. So where does that leave the GB and it's Lawyers in America ? We could ask many questions about God's role in all this, and the role of Christ Jesus. In my opinion, God and Christ have washed their hands of it all. How can that which is Holy be involved with that which is not holy. We now know that the GB and their Lawyers are not inspired of God. We also know that the GB has given permission or instruction for the Elders to deliberately tell lies. They are calling it 'spiritual warfare'. Is that really God's viewpoint ? It seems though that there is now a big divide in the different Bethels / JW HQs around the earth. Each country is no longer living 'as one organisation earthwide' all serving God. But each Bethel is 'doing it's own thing' when it come protecting itself against the courts and media coverage concerning Child Sexual Abuse within the CCJW. It seems as if the GB are losing control. The news about the UK congregations money and their properties being taken over by an outside source seems to fit in well here.
  7. 1 point
    "Where can you find security in this world?" As I sit here typing my phone sits beside me, with the message "Tornado warning - TAKE COVER NOW !!" I am listening to WBT radio on the internet, and there is a tornado 7 miles from where I sit, one is over Charlotte, and one is about 20 miles North of Charlotte, and South of me in South Carolina there is tornadoe(s), massive lightning setting fires to buildings, and buildings have been destroyed, and people are trapped in their cars with trees and live electrical wires on top. People are advised not to get onto Interstate 85 as there is no place to hide if the Tornadoes pass over the freeways I didn't think about it too much, as there is a LOT of space, and I take up very little I consider the expectation of "security" an unreasonable fantasy, leading to unnecessary anxiety, fear, and poor mental health. "STUFF HAPPENS" ...get used to it PS: If there is a war going on, best not to all huddle in a room packed with people ... The bad guys might splash gasoline on the doors, and set the thing on fire. PPS: If you don't hear from me again, you will know what happened.
  8. 1 point
    Kosonen

    Revelation: Babylon the Great, etc.

    Yes, that is interesting to do and should just get clearer as time goes on. Really various end time prophecies should become more and more easy to understand thanks to events in the end time.
  9. 1 point
    The Librarian

    THE DEVIL’S BEST TOOL

    It was announced that the Devil was going out of business and that he would offer all his tools for sale to whom ever would pay the price. On the night of the sale, they were all attractively displayed and marked with a price, even so, they were a bad looking lot: Malice, Hatred, Envy, Deceit, Jealousy and Sensuality and all the other implements of evil were spread out. Apart from the rest, lay a harmless looking wedge shaped tool. Much worn and priced higher than any of the others. Someone asked the Devil, "What is that?" That is "DISCOURAGEMENT", THE DEVIL REPLIED! "But why do you have it priced so high?", the prospective purchaser inquired. BECAUSE SAID THE DEVIL; " It is more useful to me than any of the others. I can pry open and get inside a man's soul with it. I can do this when I can not get near him with any of the other tools I possess.. Once I get inside his mind with discouragement, I can use him in whatever way suits me best. The reason this tool is so worn, is that I can use it with nearly everyone. So, very few know that it belongs to me! It hardly needs to be added, that the Devil's price was so high for discouragement that it was never sold. He still owns it and uses it today! - contributed by email - Many thanks Jenni
  10. 1 point
    The rebel Luhansk People's Republic – which denies registration to many religious communities including all Protestants – threatens to cut off gas, electricity and water to places of worship belonging to unrecognised communities. The rebel authorities have allowed the only Catholic priest to return to the territory, but have not said if he can remain permanently or only for three months. In 2019 the rulers of the unrecognised self-declared Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine cut off or threatened to cut off gas, electricity and water supplies to religious communities which had a recognised place of worship but which failed to gain registration under LPR laws. Gas supplies were cut off in 2019. In late 2019 the LPR authorities also threatened to cut off electricity and water supplies. "Officials argue that they cannot supply gas, electricity and water to organisations that don't officially exist, as they can't have contracts with them," Baptist Pastor Serhii Moroz told Forum 18 (see below). In December 2019 Culture, Sport and Youth Minister Dmitry Sidorov, revealed that of the 195 registered religious organisations, 188 are from the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate. The others are Muslim, Old Believer, Jewish and Catholic. No Protestant, Jehovah's Witness, Hare Krishna or other communities are allowed to get registration No registration – no gas, electricity, water Religious communities which had a recognised place of worship but which failed to gain registration under LPR laws had their gas cut off in 2019, Baptist Pastor Serhii Moroz, who is originally from the region but now lives in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, told Forum 18 on 4 February 2020. In late 2019 came the threat that electricity and water too would be cut off. "Officials argue that they cannot supply gas, electricity and water to organisations that don't officially exist, as they can't have contracts with them," Pastor Moroz told Forum 18. Communities which met in church members' homes have not had gas, electricity and water supplies cut, Pastor Moroz added. Inna Sheryayeva, head of the Religious Organisations and Spirituality Department of the Culture, Sport and Youth Ministry in Luhansk, told Forum 18 she had not heard that gas, electricity and water supplies have been or are threatened with being cut off to places of worship that have not been able to gain registration.
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  13. 1 point
    I for one, have cut my contributions back to about 1/3 of what I normally intend to contribute. My wife and her mother left the Catholic Church forever because the priests could not stay zippered ... and I am sure many here on this forum, such as yourself, have already voted with their feet.
  14. 1 point
    You are wrong, TTH. The blue envelopes were ONLY for CSA reporting. Isabella is correct. "Normal" disfellowshipping reporting to central control is done on a standard form. If you have some references to the contrary, please provide them, and I will beg your humble pardon.... when they are checked out.
  15. 1 point
    There were blue envelopes but they were for relating the disfellowshipping of any person for any reason. The idea was that someone disciplined for any sort of wrongdoing could not just slip into a new congregation as though a rebuke had never happened. Presumably, the envelopes were blue for privacy’s sake, so they would be forwarded to the right persons. Today, It is painted specifically as though it was for CSA. That was not the case. It was for any type of wrongdoing.
  16. 1 point
    agreed that is how it should work, right? So why then is it not this way? Classic definition of insanity.......just saying. These statements of yours have a taste of disdain, but yet in the same breath almost an acceptance as that's just how it is. If that is just how it is, who is going to " ... is vote with their wallets ........ and their feet." ?
  17. 1 point
    This hardly applies to Child Sexual Abuse which is a crime and a sin, not some conflict. Didn't you know that?
  18. 1 point
    Nice poem, but it was not by C.T.Russell. It had already been published in the Christian Science Sentinel in 1899. It had already been published in a Theosophy journal in 1904. The Oregon Law School Journal in 1902. The Current Literature magazine of October 1890 published it with the added information that it had come from "The Fireside Magazine." I assume it was published anonymously in the Fireside, because it shows up in several other places from the 1890's even up through very recently.
  19. 1 point
    Kosonen

    Revelation: Babylon the Great, etc.

    @JW Insider I have seen that there are always those who do everything to discredit whistleblowers, no matter the subject. Plus, all this confirm that there is an entity that has power over the kings of the earth. (Revelation 17:18) Different people that have investigated the subject point to what they call 'Wall Street'. It is a 3D chess. These "secret power-brokers" travel around the world and meet with presidents and primeministers and party secreterians. I was amazed about 2 years ago when I learned that Kissinger had visited Putin 26 times. I can't say if everything all these whistleblowers say are pure facts, some of what they say are their opinions based on their intuition. But in general they are right.
  20. 0 points
    Well, in the face of such a confident challenge (given that you always speak that way).....I’m not iron-clad sure, big boy. But I think so. I was an elder for 20 years until about 2000. I served as secretary for most of those years. Blue envelopes were well-known to me and to the elder body. Yet I never sat in on or forwarded any judicial case involving CSA. So I start to revert back to what I said in the first place—for me to recall them so well, even submitting them I think, they would have had to have been for any form of wrongdoing. Furthermore, had there been a specific request, in 1997 or any other time, to write detailed reports of anyone in the congregation who had.ever been accused of CSA, I certainly would have remembered it, because I would have been the one charged to do it. I would not have been like Pilosi ripping up the letter. I took letter-writing seriously, something that should hardly be a surprise to anyone. So that’s my evidence. I could be wrong—20 years time is enough to forget details—but I don’t think so. What is your evidence? Do you have any? Or are you just repeating what you have read on the internet?
  21. -1 points
    See @TrueTomHarley you did it!

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