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JW Insider

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JW Insider last won the day on April 26

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  1. I'm saddened by the loss of Rachael de Vienne, but I'm thrilled to hear that at least the second volume of Separate Identity will be available soon. I'd love to read whatever else you publish.
  2. Absolutely. Quite a loss of someone who knew how to bring value out of historical sources by being thorough rather than taking shortcuts and extrapolating assumptions from just a couple of snippets here and there. Instead of 3 snippets and an assumed conclusion, her work manages to bring 30 snippets, no matter how trivial they might have seemed -- but offers no personal assumptions unless they are obvious, and unless they help guide you away from sloppy conclusions already made by pretenders to the profession. Although I never commented on it, I read and kept up with the truth history blog on a fairly regularly basis in the last couple years. I bought both of the books and love their work. I know that another volume of "Separate Identity" was planned, even though it was pretty obvious that time and cost would make it unlikely. But at least they covered some of the most difficult time periods, which were also the most vulnerable to obscurity. I think they missed very little between them, although a few items have shown up since their writing. But they would change very little -- nothing very substantial, anyway. I like your comment above, and I notice that the version of this comment that you put on the blog gets cut off fairly early. Perhaps it's a character count limit. If it can still be edited your comment makes more sense in full, rather than in the way it's cut short. I understand why you wouldn't want to just link to your own longer version under the circumstances, of course.
  3. Ah those memories. I bought an Apple IIe back in 82 or so for too much money even though I bought it used. I used it with a modem to submit my programs to the "mainframe" at school. My first work "PC" was also an Osborne, that looked much like the above picture, but it was running an early MS-DOS by then rather than CP/M. I bought it from my boss, and it was not something to take on trips. Took it to Boston once or twice. A luggable, they called it. In 1985 my job at ADLittle/Trump bought me one of the first HP laptops.
  4. Ad copy: Fish tend to avoid it because it slows down the current . . . Translation: The biggest problem is the way it kills so many fish who come up to it because it slows down the current (and might even jam up the turbine, turning it into dam of rotting fish). . . Still, if they can solve that problem with a non-capturing convex rather than a concave mesh screen, for example, it might be an excellent source of off-the-grid power.
  5. That experience could be used at the next convention. Of course, it could be for other reasons. I know some Witnesses here who don't want other Witnesses doing their lawns and landscaping out of concern for privacy among the friends, or just to avoid business dealings and potential misunderstandings. We also had a brother in our congregation who ran a gas station only a quarter mile from the KH, and he was so taken advantage of that an announcement had to be made from the platform that brothers should pay their debts and not expect credit when doing business with fellow Witnesses.
  6. OK. I see where you are coming from on this now. I don't know that the GB instructed the hiding from authorities and others in the congregation, but they certainly have known about the hiding, and have gone along with it, and could have ordered exposure of the problem instead of continued hiding. (In the past, hiding apparently happened in most, but not in all cases.) From that perspective, exposure of such crimes and sins would undoubtedly have reduced the problem. Especially the problem of repeat offenders. There are some cases that will probably never come to light in this system due to the systemic nature of trying to protect the reputation of an organization and leaders at the expense of protecting children. They were late in their correct responses to this problem, in my opinion, but they do see it as a problem. Even if it's exposure and cost. But I know that many have seen it as a problem of justice for the victims, too. Unfortunately, that had previously been dismissed by some in power as less important. Just an analogy to show how someone can be both right and wrong at the same time. There are huge scriptural problems with this claim of the GB to be the exact and complete fulfillment of the FDS. I've dealt with that elsewhere. But we can't forget that it is a Christian duty to try to feed spiritual food to fellow Christians. The GB truly believe this is their duty and they also know that they are not perfect, and must admit to providing wrong guidance at times and sometimes bad spiritual food, too, in the form of false doctrines and false predictions. They probably thought them right at the time, but you are right, that it was not all 'food at the proper time.' People guided by God have made mistakes in Biblical times, when the very same persons had the privilege of seeing Jesus personally, or were even inspired at other times to write books of the Bible. Yet, the GB make no such claim about themselves that they are inspired in this same way. They feel that intensive Bible study, organizational experience, faith in Jehovah, meditation and prayer will all combine in some spiritual way to guide them. Other people have made claims that they claim inspiration, and the distinction gets blurry. And some Witnesses teach "present" truth as immutable in such a way that they, too, have blurred the distinction. In any case, God is not misguiding. It's just that people are so imperfect that we must learn to trust and obey God as ruler rather than sons of men in whom no salvation belongs. No. The inability to question something is often because something just seems so clear and obvious that we just can't imagine that it could ever be wrong. Or it has been repeated so often that we can't imagine it could be wrong. We don't question things we are "sure" of. It happens to all of us, and then we might be surprised some day to find out we were wrong after all. But by not questioning, we probably will never have to find out. So the early Corinthian congregation must also have been an unclean organization. Jesus' organization of his apostles must have been an unclean organization, too. I think it will come close to that. It won't come immediately, but there will be some countries soon, I think, where we won't be allowed to preach unless we stop shunning family members for example. We will agree, and shunning will become a personal, private thing. Most Witnesses don't want to shun, we just do it because we are told it is loving. When there is no longer any threat of getting in trouble for not shunning, most of us will see that it is more loving not to shun. The change will happen organically from that point. Food at the proper time.
  7. You probably know that there were infamous cases of immorality that Paul referred to in his letters even to the very Corinthian congregations that Paul himself had "planted." So it doesn't seem reasonable that if the GB had acted as Paul was saying that Child Abuse / Pedophilia would somehow no longer be a problem. No, I don't see it as just collateral damage. But when the Org sees it as a problem, I do think it's necessary for its leaders to do all they can to remove it, and "progress" in processes and procedures that can be seen to help eliminate it. I had said that "the core of the religion itself is one that does perhaps the best job of all religions in fighting the machinations of the Devil" to which you replied: You are asking how it can be logical I guess that someone can be right on some things and not on others. I think you probably already know of many examples. Isaac Newton was right on a surprising number of things, but was wrong on some things, too, and only partially right on many things that he could not have been fully aware of at the time, so that he is still considered right for all practical purposes on many of those things. Aristotle, Pythagoras, St. Augustine, Jerome, Attilla the Hun, Martin Luther, Charles Taze Russell, probably even Hitler were both right on things and wrong on things. We remember them for their overall value or detriment to people or societies. Misinformation reaches us from liars, but usually from people who truly believe the misinformation, even if it does NOT suit their own purposes. Can you imagine that Rutherford really thought he was lying when he predicted that the "Old Testament" princes like Abraham and David would come back in 1925? If so, he was preparing to be made fun of, to be seen as a fool. He evidently even admitted that he had made an a** of himself, according to the Watchtower. That doesn't strike me as trying to suit his own purposes. Just as with Rutherford, I can't see how it "suits themselves." It's because of misinformation that they have believed for the same reason that we have believed it. GB are chosen not because of their ability to question, but because of their "loyalty." In other words, they are chosen for their reputation of not questioning. But when they get into that position, they realize that questions do come at them that are difficult to answer. Except for the "generation" fiasco, I think most changes since around 2000 or so have been for the better. And the only reason for the "generation" fiasco is the inability to question 1914. It seems like just too much of a coincidence. It took a while, but I think they've almost gone as far as they can as of the most recent Watchtower article that covers this topic. It's now just a matter of fully implementing the processes that have been put in place. There is still a matter of compensating for the past, and this is a difficult issue to be discussed elsewhere, I hope. I think we agree completely on shunning. I have no doubt at all that we have been implementing the shunning practice in an unchristian, unscriptural, and unloving manner. I can see our practice as OK from an "OT" perspective, but not at all from a "NT" perspective. If I get in complete trouble with the Org, it will be because I refuse to shun beyond what is written in the scriptures. I am more concerned about being in trouble with Jehovah than with humans in an organization. And even then, if I am shunned, it does not mean that I will shun in return. As far as it depends upon us, we should work what is good toward all, but especially toward those related to us in the faith. No. Very serious. I think that moral cleanliness is preached correctly, even though we see that there are exceptions to how it is practiced. Many Witnesses lead double lives. Many are involved in adultery, fornication, child sexual abuse, spousal abuse, violence against children, cheating, lying, drugs, etc. But most aren't, and most appreciate the value and reminders we get from the platform. Most of us appreciate the association of like-minded persons who also wish to remain clean. I have heard persons say that they wish they could only hire Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses, one time from a person who didn't know I was a Witness. I know of worldly persons who have come into the congregation to try to find a wife from among JWs, based on admiration of their morals. I would never claim we are more moral than any other group of people. But I think we have the best advantage in terms of an overall call to morality that includes not only personal morality, but a realization that we should not even be tainted by immorality of commercial greed, nationalistic murderous wars, etc. Sure. It might turn out to be a temporary sacrifice for some of us. Some of us might have found ways to question and avoid any consequences. If enough Witnesses perform their Christian duty, however, even a mass of disfellowshippings will automatically produce changes. Open questioning of doctrines at Bethel became common as early as 1974 when it was obvious that 1975 would not likely turn out as Fred Franz had been repeatedly hinting at, even though he didn't predict "1975." (He only predicted what must happen before the 1970's were complete, because of 1975.) Questions became open at Bethel tables, and around Bethel "water coolers" until a crackdown began happening in mid-1978 through 1979. People got dismissed and disfellowshipped in large numbers, but this also resulted in a backlash and exposure of the witch hunting and star-chamber methods. I think the Internet itself is already resulting in a flood of questions all over again that are proving very valuable. It is these that have been been driving many of the new (and better) doctrinal changes since 2000.
  8. I saw an example of that after Outta Here made a complaint about a post with profanity and I saw a lesser example of his (Ryan's) profanity in the past. I hate to see profanity here too, especially because it pushes people away who might otherwise add something more valuable here. But there is a big difference between profanity against an ideology and directing profanity at a specific person. For example, you are well aware, I'm sure, that that "Allen Smith" was banned after repeated warnings not about profanities but about wild, raging rants that were directed at specific people. Allen acted the part of a cyber-bully. He was not just judgmental but was threatening. Personally I felt badly for persons who might have felt bullied and threatened, but I also considered that all the persons who participated here had already seen many examples from him, that ranged from pathetic to deranged. Therefore, it was likely understood that his threats were not actually meaningful and they therefore carried more "entertainment" value than anything else. This is why I was against banning Allen, because I thought it more likely that his readers here were mature enough to see through him. For those who didn't want to be entertained in such a way, they could personally block him. I also thought that some of his ad hominem attacks (against the person instead of attempting to respond to an argument) actually strengthened the other person's argument with Allen inadvertently admitting that he could think of no actual response to the evidence itself. It was only after the warnings that he would be banned that Allen started using profanities. Allen's surprising profanities may have helped some other people think they understand why he was banned, but they were not the real reason. The real reason was always the bullying, in my opinion.
  9. That's a very revealing statement about where you would love to live, but it would certainly explain a Lot (and Lot's wife, even more so).
  10. If I didn't know better, I'd say you didn't have a disgusting and filthy mind. The reason I stood up for Allen Smith and all your (his) aliases was made very clear. I always defended your right to say what you wanted. Of course, you had to know, and still know, that the content of what you were saying would be open to countering opinions that could contain criticism, facts and evidence. Even if some of the statements made by some of your aliases have been deleted, none of my own were, and this is how you can see that I never insulted you of made fun of you. I never made fun of your grammar either, which is something that some of your aliases kept repeating, and for which you always failed to produce evidence. I admitted that I could not always understand what you were saying. Several people here had the same problem understanding you sometimes, not just me. I have apologized to you every time you have pointed out an error. This goes for all your aliases. And I'm not saying this because I think you have never pointed out an error. There have been several occasions when you were right and I was wrong. I still apologize for these mistakes, and have corrected them. By the way, I do not ask the same of you. You could say whatever filthy and disgusting things that might come into your mind. I might point them out, and sometimes I might just ignore them, but I won't ask you to apologize. This reminds me of typical corporate-sponsored news outlets, and other forms of propaganda, in which people obviously believe, hypocritically, that if they repeat a falsehood often enough, it will probably have some "sticking" effect. Thanks. I have already done so from the first day you took up this last alias. But it does make it a bit easier to refer to you again, Allen.
  11. For what it's worth, my opinion is that @JW Insider works for both sides in a different sense. I like the way Paul put it: (1 Corinthians 9:19-23) . . .For though I am free from all people, I have made myself the slave to all, so that I may gain as many people as possible. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew in order to gain Jews; to those under law I became as under law, though I myself am not under law, in order to gain those under law. 21 To those without law I became as without law, although I am not without law toward God but under law toward Christ, in order to gain those without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, in order to gain the weak. I have become all things to people of all sorts, so that I might by all possible means save some. 23 But I do all things for the sake of the good news, in order to share it with others. Early Christianity started out in the context of Judaism, which had become steeped in end-of-the-world eschatology, and the legalism of the Pharisees. But end-of-the-world eschatology, although dangerous to Christianity on its own (per Jesus), still naturally drew out crowds of people who sighed and groaned over the injustices of their world. They wanted a new heavens and a new earth, and they wanted it as soon as possible. So early Christians would be mistaken to focus on eschatology, but many good Christians, desirous of a new heavens and new earth, would naturally come to Christianity through this path. Jesus gave several illustrations showing why focusing on eschatology was so dangerous to true Christianity, and we have the words of Peter to explain how Christians must transform into those who would be the very same type of person they ought to be, whether the parousia came in their own lifetime, or whether it came 1,000 years after their own lifetime. Another major focus of Jesus' illustrations and teaching was about legalism. Early Christianity was still steeped in Judaism, and still attempted to put Christians under law, even after it was recognized that the Judaic system didn't apply to gentiles. Jesus' illustration in Matthew 24:45 of the unfaithful servants --who would beat their fellow slaves and try to lord it over them when the master was gone-- is a good illustration reminding us of the dangers of both eschatology AND the dangers of legalism/Pharisaism. Paul played both sides of Pharisaism/legalism because he was accused of being an apostate from Judaism. So they asked him to pay for some legalistic customary preparations for the persons going with him to the Temple. (Acts 21:20-24) . . .but they said to him: “You see, brother, how many thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and they are all zealous for the Law. 21 But they have heard it rumored about you that you have been teaching all the Jews among the nations an apostasy from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or to follow the customary practices. 22 What, then, is to be done about it? They are certainly going to hear that you have arrived. 23 So do what we tell you: We have four men who have put themselves under a vow. 24 Take these men with you and cleanse yourself ceremonially together with them and take care of their expenses, so that they may have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there is nothing to the rumors they were told about you, but that you are walking orderly and you are also keeping the Law. So rather than claiming that the GB have gone off track, I believe they are continually getting more and more ON track. I believe they naturally started partly off-track as would be expected with a very eschatological Russell and a very legalistic Rutherford. But all the while, it was the right kind of heart condition being attracted to and joining into the religion -- a religion with a greater focus on the type of person we ought to be for Jehovah, for ourselves and for one another. This was much like the form of Judaism that naturally made persons fit for transformation into Christianity. Legalistic Judaism was like a tutor leading to Christ. But we must still be transformed. Paul played both sides in order to win more persons over to Christ. To Jews he became a Jew. To Greeks he became a Greek. Still the core of the religion itself is one that does perhaps the best job of all religions in fighting the machinations of the Devil: avoiding taking one side over another in politics and war, pointing out the unchristian influences on supposedly Christian traditions, and pointing out the value of Christian morality, and unity of purpose in preaching, meeting together, etc. To me these are the most important things. Granted the Pharisaism still keeps us hanging on to rules (like turning in time so that our right hand and our left can distinguish different types of Christian service, and misuse of the two-witness rule so that mercy and protection of children has often been sacrificed, etc.). And eschatology will keep rearing its head now and then, too. But these things are getting better over time, getting more on-track, not off-track. Pharisees don't want to be questioned, but we must all take our Christian duty and responsibility very seriously. We must question. We must make sure of all things. And we can only expect more questioning as more persons from all walks of life keep coming into the organization. I find that this forum is still a fair enough place to question and get feedback to help test whether those questions are on the right track.
  12. Yikes. Yikes, again. This is pretty much correct as I remember it, too. It was JTR who made fun of you (while you were using a different name). It was about "meds" at least once, and he also made fun of you on another occasion in a similar vein. You called him out on it at the time, so I didn't see a need to. You actually called him out on it a second time a few months later and JTR denied that he had ever said what he actually had said. But again, you were already calling him out on it. I called out John on his "drunk" reference, just as a reminder that these things sometimes escalate and someone ends up getting disciplined and then there are hurt feelings for a long time to come. And what's worse is that sometimes the escalations can get out of hand and people leave or get locked out of the forum. I hate to see such things. But as I think about it, I was wrong to mention anything to John. It wasn't my place. And perhaps it was even a bit sexist of me to step in for Anna as if she couldn't respond for herself. As you say, it's not like I try to step in for every little thing. Even when you say things I don't like about me personally, I let about 90 percent of them go without mentioning anything. (In fact, when I tried to respond to about 30 percent of your claims in a recent thread, it was John who stepped in to censure both of us for unchristianlike fighting.) So, @JOHN BUTLER I would like to apologize for involving myself in an argument that was not for me, in the first place. I have my own prejudices like everyone else, perhaps more than you. Some person's comments I hardly ever even read. So I could never be a fair moderator anyway.
  13. OK. No it's not OK. I didn't happen to see that one, but I don't doubt you. I've seen similar from him. If you thought that what he said was unnecessarily harsh and judgmental, I hope you or someone else said something. Even if he would have felt like "elders" were trying to dominate him, he should know that such statements are as hurtful as more blatant types of bullying. It's the unnecessarily harsh judgment of the person's motives or state of mind that I think we should avoid. I think I remember that from him -- a couple of times, in fact. I didn't take it as overly harsh but I was sensitive to your reaction. Sometimes we choose to reveal a portion of our background and experience in order to add credibility to our comments. In such cases, we legitimately open up that background itself to scrutiny and assumptions about its relevance, or import. BTK regularly tries to discredit my own experiences and background as either false or ill-motivated. He has that right, because I have given him that right in choosing to share my experiences as they relate to my opinions. I think that to some extent you open yourself up to criticism about your own views when you admit that they are based on experiences. If we don't like your opinions on a matter we might feel cornered by your first-hand knowledge of the issue, at least anecdotally. So our best defense is to say that your opinions are "tainted" by your experience instead of "informed" by your experience. It's a very weak response, but for those who come here to learn about people's experiences, the weakness of that kind of argument against the opinion/experiences probably becomes obvious to others. I'll let her answer that. I admit there were some weaknesses in her argument, with respect to addressing your view of the organization, just as I suspect there were weaknesses in all of our responses. But I appreciate you bringing it back to the basics of what she was saying.
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