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JW Insider

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  1. They should definitely be always finding better ways to use dedicated funds. I agree. But I never thought that doing something because it "saves money" implies hoarding money up somewhere. When the GB and accounting offices at Bethel have announced cost-cutting measures, they are saying that it "saves" money to be used elsewhere. When they have announced that money coming in isn't keeping up with money going out, they are definitely not in a position to hoard money. But I have never had the impression, as Anna has, that they are completely hiding this idea of needing to find new ways to save money. It also seems like a bit of a sacrifice for some of us in more affluent countries is helping to fund new and better Kingdom Halls in countries where the Kingdom Halls are in need of repair. I also think that some funds had been put into several translation offices which has obviously paid good dividends in terms of results. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but because of my son's work project in Anguilla, I have been going there just about every year for a few years now, and last year spent a week of the time in St. Maarten, where most jets land, because Anguilla's airport is so small. The Kingdom Halls in St. Maarten were still in terrible shape even after some remodeling and rebuilding, and I was surprised at this. I saw one on the French side of the island, too, in bad shape. The brothers told me that it's not good to build something that looks so much nicer than the neighborhood around you. Perhaps Melinda knows if this is typical in the Caribbean.
  2. 620 MPH would be amazingly fast. Currently China's bullet trains only manage about 250 MPH peak, although they are working on a maglev design that would allow a max of 600 KmPH (372 MPH). Their test trains already reach 311 MPH. Of course, one difference is that the current bullet train service in China already carries people, not just packages, and already connects all the major cities in China. Google/Wiki says: China's 10 Fastest Trains — World Records and Benefits for You. Shanghai Maglev trains are currently the fastest trains commercially operated in the world, with a top commercial speed of 431 kph (268 mph) and a top non-commercial speed of 501 kph (311 mph).
  3. The more typical saying from people in Christendom who learn about the possibility of heaven is something like this: "I don't care if the Lord just wants to use me as a doormat, I just want to be with Lord because I love him."
  4. This is usually true in the common usage of the term, and in the majority of Bible uses, too. I was only going by the definition, and how it is used in ancient Greek and sometimes in the Bible. *** it-1 p. 126 Apostasy *** This term in Greek (a·po·sta·siʹa) comes from the verb a·phiʹste·mi, literally meaning “stand away from.” The noun has the sense of “desertion, abandonment or rebellion.” (Ac 21:21, ftn) In classical Greek the noun was used to refer to political defection, and the verb is evidently employed in this sense at Acts 5:37, concerning Judas the Galilean who “drew off” (a·peʹste·se, form of a·phiʹste·mi) followers. The Greek Septuagint uses the term at Genesis 14:4 with reference to such a rebellion. [(Genesis 14:4) 4 They had served Ched·or·la·oʹmer for 12 years, but they [[apostasized, LXX]] in the 13th year. However, in the Christian Greek Scriptures it is used primarily with regard to religious defection; a withdrawal or abandonment of the true cause, worship, and service of God, and hence an abandonment of what one has previously professed and a total desertion of principles or faith. The religious leaders of Jerusalem charged Paul with such an apostasy against the Mosaic Law.
  5. I was just remembering how easy it is to criticize, and how it made us feel superior that we could make fun of the beliefs of others. I also remember how it struck me that the Watchtower had been teaching this same thing for about HALF of its existence (50 out of 100 years) when I first learned that Russell had defended another point of view from the Bible. According to you, if Russell had the spirit of Jah he would have understood it, too, but he never did. I don't judge him that harshly.
  6. It sounds like a lot of JWs are treating all of you as if you were all apostates. I've seen situations in households that sounded similar where the persons who were not disfellowshipped were still associated with as a way to continue to keep tabs on other persons. I've see situations where the non-disfellowshipped members had the exact same views as the disfellowshipped but family members continued to associate with the non-disfellowshipped ones as a means to continue having the semblance of some kind of family: especially to see children, grandchildren, etc. Also, I have seen cases, and this includes one of my now deceased uncles, who was baptized young, and disfellowshipped when he left as a teenager. Long before I was born, he would say stupid and terrible things about JWs and Jehovah, just to get a rise out of my mother and grandmother (his sister and mother). But over the years he settled down, got married, raised kids, took good care of his wife and his share of taking care of his mother and other elder aunts and uncles of his. But he couldn't come back to the JWs if he wanted to, because he was now an "affirmed" atheist/agnostic with no interest in religion - but no interest in speaking out against religion, either. By the time I was growing up, we never went out of our way to visit him and his family, but they were often over at my grandmother's house. So, a disfellowshipped person, who is now an atheist and who doesn't focus on JWs is somewhere near the middle of this spectrum. Some of the groups on the spectrum therefore include: JWs in good standing who apostasized from other religions. Former JW's who were not DF'd, but who drift away because they have no interest in speaking out against JWs. These would not really be distinguishable from those who drift into inactivity for unknown reasons. Former JW's who were disfellowshipped and or who left because they couldn't live up to moral standards. Former JW's who were disfellowshipped for any known reasons but so long ago that a kind of unwritten "statute of limitations" has run out, especially for purposes of associating with family and relatives. Former JW's who were "stumbled" by something they saw, or experienced: abuse, 1925, 1975, changed teachings, etc. Former JWs who didn't want to be disfellowshipped, but who were "cast out of the synagogue" because they felt a conscientious need to speak out against one or two specific teachings or practices. (Those who did not "push" away but who were "pushed.") Former JW's who speak out against specific teachings or practices, but for whom their confusion is chalked up to a mental illness they have no mental capacity to overcome. (I'm talking about an obvious mental illness handicap of some kind, not merely an accusation.) Those DF'd for apostasy, but who we never hear from again. Those DF'd for apostasy, but who continue to make noise against JWs. Those NOT DF'd for apostasy, but who make a lot of noise and accusations specifically against JWs Then we also have a category, of those who are truly apostate, but who are not found out and remain in full association. Perhaps they find ways to undermine fellow JWs or manipulate, sometimes in a more subtle way, perhaps by a haughty attitude, perhaps by giving them a bad reputation in the way they take advantage of others. Some may find semi-anonymous settings in which to create contentions, and make strong judgments to "curse" others. Some may get away with their own immoral practices and defend themselves in ways that draw in the vulnerable. These are like the rocks/reefs in Jude 1:12: When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. (New Living Translation) There are some who do speak up and offer false or confusing teachings, or maybe even true teachings but in a way that creates disorder and confusion. We should remember that there were those who would speak up in the early Christian congregation with a saying or a bit of knowledge or a tongue, or a translation for someone who had been moved to speak in a tongue. Not all of these bits of knowledge would make sense to everyone. Paul knew that. John knew that. Not everything would build up. Sometimes the utterance would be worthless, or worse, might appear to have been from a demonic spirit. These gifts were causing confusion, and Paul wished to bring some order to the congregations. Ultimately, a simple solution was apparently implemented. If it promoted Jesus Christ as Lord, let it stand. (1 Corinthians 12:1-3) . . .Now concerning the spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 . . . 3 Now I would have you know that nobody when speaking by God’s spirit says: “Jesus is accursed!” and nobody can say: “Jesus is Lord!” except by holy spirit. (1 John 4:1, 2) . . .Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired statement, but test the inspired statements to see whether they originate with God,. . .2 This is how you know that the inspired statement is from God: Every inspired statement that acknowledges Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh originates with God. (Revelation 19:10) . . .For the witness concerning Jesus is what inspires prophecy.” Because of the wide variety of persons both inside and outside the congregation to watch out for, I think a lot of the onus is on individual Christians to decide who is good or bad association for themselves. The apostate may feel himself under no obligation to stand off from us, so we have to "apostasize" from them, especially those who continue to associate. We "mark" them. But if they have not stood away from us, and still want to associate, then technically they might not even be "apostates" and we should not judge them so harshly. But if we feel they are not building us up spiritually, and we seem not to be able to offer them anything, then they can be to us like a man of the nations or a tax collector. We can therefore associate as needed, but always, as with anyone, we keep a view to how this association might build us up or tear us down, and therefore we are very careful of such associations. When we use the expression, "they went out from us because they were not of our sort," we have to be careful that we are referring to the sort of people we should be. We should be the sort of persons who will continue to show love to all kinds of persons, even our enemies. We have to be careful that we have not become the sort who judge harshly, or who push people away just because we don't understand them, or because we are too haughty to be questioned.
  7. This is an important statement. In actuality many persons are on the "apostate spectrum." Some religions, just like gangs, or the mafia, don't allow one to just drift away. You have to be attacked and in effect, "neutralized." With religion, it's usually fine to drift away if it highlights that the religion has moral standards that are hard to live up to. Then those who don't come back will sometimes even be seen as a kind of a badge of honor to the religion. (Not individuals, but in general.) But if there is any danger that the person will speak out against the teachings, practices or the basis of organization, then that person must be neutralized in some way so that few persons will listen to them. Scientologists are famous for going after persons in a threatening way, or through legal means, to keep people from speaking out against their teachings or practices. In the same way, a whistleblower must be fired (by any means necessary) so that they suddenly become no more than a "disgruntled former employee." The Scientologists took over the entire C.A.N. (a huge online Cult Awareness Network forum) after forcing it into bankruptcy, because it was a haven for Scientology apostates. But back to the benign end of the apostate spectrum. Apostasy, by original definition, is a "standing away from." When Revelation 16 says to "get out of her, my people," this is a command to become apostates from false ideologies. Therefore, at the benign end of the apostasy spectrum are those who realize that apostasy can be a good thing, by definition, in that all persons who convert to JWs from another religion, for example, are apostates from that other religion. Also, any who leave JWs because they can't live up to the moral standards or levels of activity expected, are "apostates" but JWs consider them generally harmless. Then there are those who leave because they no longer believe the teachings, but who don't say anything, and plan to keep very quiet about it, because they KNOW they might be seen as "malignant" apostate if they spoke up. Frederick Franz was infamous for trying to get persons declared apostate for even "thinking" that 1914 might be wrong, or some other teaching specific to Witnesses. But now, because of the phrase, "apostates do not drift away from the truth," those who "drift away" should not be seen as "apostates." Apostates, for purposes of the warnings in the talk, do not include those who drift away. The absurdity of this idea has often been a talking point I would use with Bible Studies. But I realized that Russell and Rutherford also believed that all Christians went to heaven, not only the 144,000 but even the great crowd of Revelation 7:14. The idea was that they would rule over the 20 billion people or more from "history" would be resurrected to the earth, including the faithful Hebrews of old, and of course the millions of persons then alive who would NOT be part of the great crowd, but who would never die because by 1925, the millennium's resurrection to earth would begin and living "worldly" people would stop getting sick. It was not clear that any Christians would remain with them on earth until the early 1930's.
  8. Yes, that has to be a big part of it. But we also have to look at why the stable job ended. There are a lot of historical factors surrounding the issues. Too many to try to pin it on any one thing, of course. But this was definitely one of the important points. Ayn Rand and her student, Alan Greenspan, and Ronald Reagan's crew combined during this period to convince "the 99" percent that it really doesn't matter what the rich do, or where they move their factories, or how much pay a CEO needs, or how much greed their decisions can reveal, because "the little dogs will eat the scraps from the rich man's table." (Trickle down economics.) After Ike's tax rates were dismantled, and Kennedy's accepted a Keynesian economic cure-all, Reagan and conservatives like him (Thatcher, too) saw a chance to push an economic agenda that allowed a free-for-all for the lifestyles of the rich, at the expense of the working poor (who had once been candidates for a true middle class) A good portion of middle class and expected-to-be middle class fell for the propaganda, and didn't realize that it was already making the old house-dependent "American Dream" less and less viable. And now, with common sense regulations gone, there was a 1 percenter at the top of every business chain whose new goal was to see how much Americans would give up without really noticing. And after that, how much could they be tricked into giving up, even if they did notice it. And it wasn't just Reagan, it was Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama, etc. Every one of them did more and more harm to the working poor and middle class. Owning a house is no longer as important as a component of the American Dream now that it can no longer be seen as an appreciating asset. And the prices are purposely set to be nearly out of reach for most. The same thing happened with the price of a university education, health care, medicine, credit cards, etc. And the wage of the average worker got cut when we average in the number of hours worked, hours available, lay-offs, furloughs, switch from salary to no-benefit part-time, etc. Well, I seem to be on a rant of sorts. So I'll pick this up later to read other person's comments.
  9. The graph pulled from the article is surprising, in that, while the trend is very real and the reasons given for the trend are real, it's a longstanding trend, not something that is just now surprising the market. It's always presented as if this just came out of the 2008 Great Recession, or the Housing Crisis, or "Millennials," but we can see the roots go a lot farther back into the 1980's. In the mid 1980's, I was working for the Trump Organization (and various NYC Landlord Organizations: LeFrak, Helmsley) through a consulting firm A.D.Little, (Cambridge) and the basic goal was to use housing data (US Census, DHCR, etc) to defend Reaganomics and simultaneously defend the squeezing of the highest possible percentage of American's disposable income into rent. There were cycles when pushing the envelope on higher rents, actually drove more people back into house/condo/coop purchases. But longevity and generational issues (baby boomers) were another factor. In a new book called "Homewreckers," (Aaron Glantz) there is a good review of the recent 2006/2007 housing crisis which also shows that most of the exact same precursors are being repeated again in the current market, including the bundling of risky mortgages into hedge funds. Some of the same players who got bailed out by Bush and Obama are back at it, and three of them are in Trump's White House (Cabinet) after Trump gave them all million-dollar tax breaks. And one of them who is not part of Trump's White House, went on 60 minutes last night to present himself as a "boy scout" in all of this.
  10. I thought your post made a lot of good points. We know about God's mercy but we don't want to purposely take advantage of it for selfish purposes. (Of course, we can never get into the mind of the person committing suicide to know whether they were motivated by selfishness, even if the person leaves a lucid note. We leave it to Jehovah to read hearts.) Also, wanted to point out that Paul never used the word "some" (in case anyone would have read your words to imply that). Either way, though, I think your point is still valid.
  11. No, not at all. I referenced 8 because this is the version that I also downloaded and use from my desktop.
  12. If this picture is actually 1990, it might be just a few months before the Trump Taj Mahal entered bankruptcy in 1991. But it came back out of bankruptcy in October 1991, and Trump had to give up his majority ownership. It died again anyway, so the whole billion dollar project was a waste, but Trump himself only had to lose a couple hundred million. A very short version of the story is on Wikipedia: Later in 1988, Trump acquired the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in a transaction with Merv Griffin and Resorts International.[43] The casino was opened in April 1990, and was built at a total cost of $1.1 billion, which at the time made it the most expensive casino ever built.[44][45] Financed with $675 million in junk bonds[46] at a 14% interest rate, the project entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy the following year.[47] Banks and bondholders, facing potential losses of hundreds of millions of dollars, opted to restructure the debt. The Taj Mahal emerged from bankruptcy on October 5, 1991, with Trump ceding 50 percent ownership in the casino to the bondholders in exchange for lowered interest rates and more time to pay off the debt.[48] This was one of several casinos he bankrupted. Although Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy, hotel and casino businesses of his have declared bankruptcy six[52] times between 1991 and 2009 due to its inability to meet required payments and to re-negotiate debt with banks, owners of stock and bonds and various small businesses (unsecured creditors).[53][54] Because the businesses used Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they were allowed to operate while negotiations proceeded. Trump was quoted by Newsweek in 2011 saying, "I do play with the bankruptcy laws—they're very good for me."[55][56] The six bankruptcies were the result of over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City and New York: Trump Taj Mahal (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (1992), Plaza Hotel (1992), Trump Castle Hotel and Casino (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009).[52][57][58] Trump said "I've used the laws of this country to pare debt. ... We'll have the company. We'll throw it into a chapter. We'll negotiate with the banks. We'll make a fantastic deal. You know, it's like on The Apprentice. It's not personal. It's just business."[47] If you've stayed in the Trump Plaza in Las Vegas you'll notice that it's a bit off the strip, and is the only large hotel that doesn't have gambling inside. I've stayed here on business trips, and the rumor about the restriction is that he could never get a Nevada gaming license because of openly admitting to his use of bankruptcies as a tactic. The "shady" persons he did business with were also cited, but in reality, Nevada puts up with a measure of this anyway.
  13. I think it wooden matter. Several groups of "Russellites" use a convention that you'll see in the HTDB (Harvest Truth DataBase) which can be found here:
      Hello guest!
    If a link starts with an A through F, then it refers to Russell's Studies in the Scriptures series. Therefore the D in D543 is the 4th volume ("The Battle of Armageddon") and the next numbers are the page number in the edition printed closest to 1916. R refers to the Zion's Watch Tower and the "Watch Tower" reprints, which were in several volumes, but the page numbering runs from 1879 to 1916. R362 is a very early one (June 1882) and R5527 is a very late one in Russell's career (Sept 1914). Q is the Question Book. (Actually it's a compilation called "What Pastor Russell Said.") I just use the links the same way they are used on htdb.
  14. If he's honest, he surely admits that he has caused people to view scripture differently than how Jesus taught it. Otherwise why would he give a talk in October 2014 where he said that a very well ingrained method of teaching the scriptures was about to change? And the basic reason for the change was because he said it didn't currently line up with the style that Jesus used when he taught. It was NOT the way of teaching that God approved. Somewhere between 100 and 200 doctrines changed, based on that talk he gave in 2014. They were changing because, as his theme scripture stated, the Governing Body was to become more faithful and discreet and follow Luke 10:21 which was tied to "how Jesus taught" and which said: "Yes, O Father, because this is the way you approved." Now if he was changing 100 doctrines to become aligned with the teaching method Jehovah approved, then he must have believed that he was previously NOT following the teaching method that Jesus used: the method that Jehovah approved. If you don't believe this, then you might as well say that the change was made just so that things wouldn't seem stale. Of course, based on our history, it's always quite possible that some teachings have been currently been added which cause us to view scriptures differently from the way it was taught in Scripture itself. What caused us, for example, to decide that the "higher powers" or "superior authorities" were God and Christ when Russell and nearly a thousand years of Christian commentary had it right. Surely, you admit that the teaching in 1961 was wrong, and this is the reason it was changed in 1962. Up until a few weeks ago, we taught that the "locusts" of Joel 2 referred to Jehovah's Witnesses, and just now Brother Splane (
      Hello guest!
    ) has stated that the locusts refer to God's enemies, just as nearly 100 percent of Christendom's commentaries have been saying for hundreds of years. This teaching was already "clarified" in 1961. (
      Hello guest!
    ) and is still on the website as current in the "Revelation . . . Grand Climax" book. (
      Hello guest!
    ) Again, you might have guessed that Russell had already claimed that the locusts could not be God's people. D543 R362:3 R5527:1 Q23:7 So this is not really clarification at all. Russell teaches that the "superior authorities" are secular not God & Christ. Rutherford "clarifies" this (1929) to say they are God & Christ and not secular. Then in 1962, it is "clarified" again to say that it is secular and not God & Christ. Same with the locusts. Russell teaches that they cannot be God's people. Then the Watchtower "clarifies" that these locusts are God's people. Then Brother Splane "clarifies" that these locusts are not God's people. So far, the website only says the following. Brother David Splane clarified our understanding of the prophecy recorded in Joel chapter 2 describing a swarm of locusts. We look forward to studying this clarified understanding when it appears in The Watchtower. I think it's easy to see that this will clarify that the teaching was wrong up until a few weeks ago. A wrong teaching is always misleading. But it does not necessarily follow that the person teaching it wrong is "mentally diseased" as you said would be true of any who taught something misleading. Several would say that the overlapping generation teaching is wrong the way that Brother Splane explains it. You might say that anyone who teaches that this explanation is wrong is misleading by the teaching of Christ and God's words. But what if Brother Splane, next October, begins to agree that the way he explained it was wrong, and says that a new "clarified" teaching is now going to be taught? It seems like you would say that the persons who were right were misleading, and Brother Splane was not misleading when he was wrong.
  15. Revision is a great thing if we are revising something that was wrong before. Otherwise, there is nothing stale about the original most basic understanding of the Scriptures. Even the most basic message about how Christ Jesus fits into Jehovah's purpose is exciting, comforting, wonderful, and never needed anything to be added or removed from it. (Revelation 22:18) . . .“I am bearing witness to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll; (2 John 9) 9 Everyone who pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. The one who does remain in this teaching is the one who has both the Father and the Son. (Philippians 4:9) 9 The things that you learned as well as accepted and heard and saw in connection with me, practice these, and the God of peace will be with you. (Colossians 1:23) . . .not being shifted away from the hope of that good news that you heard and that was preached in all creation under heaven. . . . (1 Thessalonians 2:13) 13 Indeed, that is why we also thank God unceasingly, because when you received God’s word, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God, which is also at work in you believers. (2 Timothy 1:13, 14) 13 Keep holding to the standard of wholesome words that you heard from me with the faith and love that result from union with Christ Jesus. 14 Guard this fine trust by means of the holy spirit, which is dwelling in us. (Hebrews 2:1) . . .That is why it is necessary for us to pay more than the usual attention to the things we have heard, so that we never drift away. (1 John 2:24) 24 As for you, what you have heard from the beginning must remain in you.. . . (2 John 6, 7) . . .This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should go on walking in it. 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, . . . (Galatians 1:8) 8 However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed. (2 Corinthians 11:4) . . .For as it is, if someone comes and preaches a Jesus other than the one we preached, or you receive a spirit other than what you received, or good news other than what you accepted, you easily put up with him. (Hebrews 13:9) . . .Do not be led astray by various and strange teachings, for it is better for the heart to be strengthened by undeserved kindness than by foods, which do not benefit those occupied with them. Sorry about all the scriptures. Feel free to just pick any one of them. 😊 Also, beyond the basic message about Christ, there are some very important teachings that needed revision, not because the original text of Scripture was ever wrong, but because so many religions had veered away from truth. (Think: Trinity, Hellfire, Halloween, Easter Bunny, eternal soul, all good people go to heaven, God is on our side when we go to war, etc.) But if all of that had been perfectly noticed in 1919, for example, I don't think Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses before us would feel that things had gotten stale, and that we needed to go back and forth on some of these items. It would have been just fine, if all these things had been seen right away, with no need for revisions.
  16. This is probably true (up to a point). I think of the anti-God books of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, although I have no idea if these persons were ever religious. They are "apostate" if they left a ideology of faith and have disowned that ideology. Although I haven't read the books, I understand they are based on very simplistic argumentation that doesn't even try to understand scripture before trying to make fun of it. But if we take your definition too far we would have to include men like Brother(s) Russell, Rutherford, Fred Franz, Ray Franz, and even David Splane, and many others. Every time there is an adjusted belief, it means that the previous belief is now considered to have been misleading. For proof of that, what would we think of someone who still tries to deliberately teach the previous teaching before it was adjusted? We would have to admit that the person was deliberately misleading away from the teaching of God and Christ.
  17. True,up to a point. I heard the same thing you posted from the convention and took it to mean that we no longer think of the millions of persons who have left because of no longer believing as apostates. The speaker said that we do not include those who "drift away" as apostates. Only those who deliberately push away with a bitter, haughty, defiant attitude. There are several of those persons, but at least it effectively cuts down on the number of exJW apostates by as many as, who knows, two million? It's a tautology, but it sounded like we should only consider the mentally diseased apostates as mentally diseased. Those we could safely judge as part of Satan's seed. Personally, I can't judge anyone I know that harshly, but I'm sure they exist. And I suspect a couple of people might be in that category. And not always because they are so obvious, but sometimes because of how crafty they are.
  18. If that's the case it's more understandable. Of course, many of these abused ones go on to inflict abuse themselves, which according to your own statements, would make them "mentally diseased" too. But I was referring especially to the inordinate hatred of all elders that he shows, when no one can rightfully blame all elders. When I said "certifiable" I was referring specifically to some very disturbing stories about the "leader" of silent-lambs. These are not stories coming from JWs, but from what I have read coming from exJWs, too.
  19. Hate to say it, but @Witness is right on this. The Watchtower source is very recent, and I have previously quoted it on the forum. I assume "Witness" has quoted it here too. Unfortunately, you would be wrong on that question, too. "Witness" says he was referring to the more subtle meaning of setting oneself in a position of authority like God, which is not done with a direct claim. But there are quotations from quite a bit further back in the Watchtower which taught a direct equivalence between the words of the Governing Body, and the words of God. Prior to that, the Watchtower claimed that those of the higher calling, the Bride of Christ, could be spoken of as the "Mighty God" and the "Everlasting Father" and the "Prophet Greater than Moses."
  20. A brother in charge of the PR department at Bethel for a while told me that probably 90 percent of those who drift away because they no longer believe what they once believed are never heard from again. The 10 percent who make noise probably make noise mostly because they are angry that they have been cut off from the love of their family. They can no longer see their grandchildren, their children, parents, or grandparents, or cousins, aunts and uncles. To him the apostate problem was the loud voices, the negative interviews they gave, and the protests at assemblies and headquarters. He thought we could resolve almost all of the apostate problems if we merely changed the one rule about cutting of the natural affection of the family. There was some vacillation on this point for a while. In those days, he said that the only two serious negative issues to deal with for a PR department were "blood and blood." (Meaning blood transfusions and blood relatives.) His worst nightmare was when a baby died, or a child died, when all evidence showed that it was because the parents refused a blood transfusion. Pregnant mothers died from lack of a transfusion, too, after a delivery, and this was almost as bad. Custody issues also tended to focus on the way one parent, the Witness, would handle a blood related emergency. The other topic, stated above, was about cutting off family members who were disfellowshipped. Today of course, there might be other issues people are speaking up about, such as CSA. I tend to agree that it is mostly those who harbor some kind of anger who rant on about 1874, pyramids, the Millions/1925 campaign, Miracle Wheat, Salon Society, Beth Sarim, Blood, Transplants, etc. A tiny percentage had their own issues with blood, but the people who scream about blood policy the most are those hurt by being rejected from family ties, not because they had any experience with the blood issue. Today, I'm guessing that most of those who make noise about CSA have never had a personal negative experience with CSA. Obviously there are exceptions, and who knows about the 90-percent/10-percent estimate anyway? But I think we should be careful about judging everyone who leaves by the noise that the noisiest apostates make. I've never seen a crowd of apostates bigger than 40 or so, and some of these same persons make plans to travel around the world to keep the numbers of protesters looking large. Compare that to the MILLIONS now living who no longer believe the JW doctrines. I also get the feeling that many of the loudest voices don't really even believe that CORRECTING Witness doctrines is all that important. Perhaps "Witness" and "Pearl" are exceptions, but I think most of the loudest voices don't really think that correcting JW doctrines is any more important than correcting Catholic or Mormon doctrines, because they most likely have no specific Christian anchoring of any kind. But they focus on JWs because that's where their anger or even hatred is focused. I read something from one of the loudest voices against CSA (whose last name is a type of tree). There is a real hatred for elders. It's obvious. At the assembly, we were told that it wasn't about those who had drifted, but those who "push" away and show prideful arrogance and bitterness. I think we've seen cases where prideful bitterness and arrogance and hatred have been nurtured to truly become a mental disease. Diagnosable and certifiable. I won't point to any specific names, but there's that guy who stuck his name on "silent lambs" for example, if the stories I've heard are true. Still, we can't judge generally of the millions who have drifted away, and just don't want to revisit something that has become painful to them. Even among the brotherhood, there is more and more evidence of perhaps hundreds or even thousands of Witnesses who are PIMO (Physically in, mentally out). A few months ago, I had no idea that there was such an expression, but I just "reddit" and discovered that there are many who plan to leave quietly, without raising their voice, and not making a scene. Mostly it looks like they do this to keep the family bonds intact. Relative to "sickness" it reminds me of this verse: (1 Corinthians 11:30) 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and quite a few are sleeping in death.
  21. At the regular meetings, the words are highlighted on a video monitor (TV screen). Although we still have printed songbooks that include the music, too, not just the words. In this case, the GB were singing a song that had not yet been published in the standard songbooks. For a few years there, we were printing out these new songs like this to hand out at the meetings for those who were not reading it from their smartphones or tablets.
  22. Wow! Then you were one of very few who saw it back in 1980 when it was a makeshift "9th floor" of the 8-story factory building at 117 Adams. I only saw it because I would sometimes give special request tours. I seriously don't believe that more than 50 brothers out of 3,000 New York Bethelites had ever seen it. It was even left off the route of those who did night guard duty, and they provided their own janitorial services. It was not really even gaining traction yet by 1980, and ultimately would not be end-to-end testable until 1985. Also, back in 1979 and 1980, persons from the Home Art Department got a tour of the APS5 machine that would someday hook up to Wallkill's MEPS system for typesetting. As early as 1978, artists could go down to the "Photoplate" department's large camera darkroom, where they could use a small manual machine to "set" headline type, one letter at a time, exposing it from a negative strip of letters and shining it down onto a piece of film below. This way one could use a calligraphy font for example, and get the letterspacing just right, and then use other darkroom cameras with exposure tricks to produce special effects, to create an outline font, Gaussian blur and drop shadows, for example. By 1985, it was well tested, and before they declared a success, they wanted to make sure that any of the machines could produce disks to work on any other machine. They had every conceivable accent mark for all languages that the Watchtower was printed in by then, and made a big splash in 1986 by setting several of these machines in branches all over the world. The small team of brothers in Wallkill had a huge success, and all training on the machine would be handled up at the Farm. It was delicious irony that all the experts had been down in Brooklyn for most of this time. The most important thing is that it "got the lead out." For many decades, all typesetting for the publications had been done with small metal blocks that were lined up the way newspapers had done it, and these columns of blocks created a "mold" that was dipped in hot molten lead, then electroplated with zinc to last a bit longer. Some factory floors literally contained a ton of lead. The presses also were fitted to run with these lead plates, so that probably 25 percent of the factory workers handled lead during some part of the process. The new typesetting machines could now use a computer keyboard, and film could now be moved directly to "offset" plates made out of film for offset presses. By the early 1980's, no more new letterpress presses would be purchased. Offset was closer to a mimeograph process, but so accurate that you could line up 3 and 4 colors onto the same rolls of paper. (Playboy had been using 5 colors, I learned from one brother in charge of an offset process.) Sometimes "spirit and wisdom" was deemed to be the equivalent of the "number of years managing a small corner of a factory bureaucracy." Ultimately, a world-class typesetting solution was delivered, by volunteers, and it still works today, 35 years later.
  23. Definitely not dropouts...... one can keep learning without going to university. One can get very talented people who have NO degree.......in science or art but still attain an extremely high level of competency. Did I mention that my youngest son was accepted to each and every Ivy League university in the United States? Just wanted the excuse to mention that again if I didn't state it before. 😊 His final choices were between MIT, CalTech, Harvard, and he chose Harvard because he also writes/performs music and studies history. He graduated with his degree in theoretical/engineering physics (with a minor in music) and was almost immediately contacted by another Ivy League university graduate who has worked at each Bethel site in upstate NY. Through this particular circumstance I have come to learn of several more university graduates working at NY Bethels. The engineers and environmental specialists, even IT specialists at various Bethels, have become more and more "infested" with Ivy League graduates. These are not always full-time positions, but are persons added to the team. At one time they were given only a consultant role, or advisory role, and often ignored, but the Society has learned through very expensive mistakes, to give them leadership roles in these teams. When I was at Bethel in Brooklyn many years ago, a flailing Computer/IT department was just starting up and a lot of expensive mistakes were being made when a couple of brothers with a lot of "spiritual" seniority were chosen to lead the new department. After about a half-million dollars worth of mistakes, they started to ditch the "decision by seniority" paradigm and gave more decisions to a brother who had a high position at IBM, but who was also arrogant to a fault. And they brought in a new bunch of fresh college graduated kids from around the country. One was a sister that my brother knew from Missouri, and one was a brother I had known from Missouri. (A brother who had not pioneered or even been very active.) We had a four person room at Bethel and he became one of the four roommates. My roommate would commiserate with the sister and another member of the Computer department about the ridiculous arguments and decisions of the day. As it turned out, Arauna, you were right. A lot more practical progress was being made from a small team of computer hobbyists from up at the Wallkill Watchtower Farm in upstate NY. My roommate and the sister thought this was hilarious because there was a lot of prejudice against the "farm boys" even though the difference between who got assigned to the farm and who got assigned to Brooklyn was often just as random as a name in a hat. The "untrained" farm boys actually finished a home-made computer that started to computerize typesetting flawlessly through the APS5. This was a huge breakthrough project that Brooklyn had already wasted half-a-million on.

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