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JW Insider

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Posts posted by JW Insider

  1. For anyone not aware of the context, check out this site owned by jw.org:

      Hello guest!

    I don't actually know the latest. But I do know someone who knows a couple who just got sent home (unexpectedly) from their work assignment on the project. The surprise was based, I think, on delays. Covid-19 may have played a part in meetings with the town of Ramapo, or supply chains, or whatever.

    My son was interested in the solar and geo-thermal projects which were part of the plan (see the site above). He's already been involved in several solar projects, and one is paired with a geo-thermal project, also in upstate NY.

      Hello guest!

    If the site is up to date, then little has been documented about anything since May 2021. Maybe that's OK, but I hadn't heard any updates for a while, and was concerned about the delay I just heard about.

    • 5/26/2021  Presentation to Town Board
    • 5/10/2021 Public Hearing Notice for DEIS, Zoning, and Comprehensive Plan Update
    • 4/28/2021 Draft Environmental Impact Statement Appendices
    • 4/28/2021 Draft Environmental Impact Statement
    • 4/28/2021 Notice of Complete Draft Environmental Impact Statement and SEQRA Hearing
    • 12/9/2020 Final Scope for Watchtower DEIS issued by Lead Agency on 12/9/2020
    • 10/16/2020 Comments on Draft Scoping Document
    • 9/23/2020 Informational Meeting Presentation
    • 9/10/2020 SEQRA Notice 2
    • Resolutions Adopting Positive Declaration and Extending Public Comment Period  8/12/2020
      • Positive Declaration 8/12/2020
      • FEAF Part 1
      • FEAF Part 2  8/12/2020
      • Zoning Petition
      • Concept Site Plan 
      • Draft Scoping Outline 8/5/2020
  2. A few weeks ago, I mentioned to my wife and kids that I found a person on craigslist selling a $900 Celestron 6SE telescope for $400-something and I offered him $300 to see what he might say.  He said he couldn't get the motorized finder and computerized mechanism to work, but that the lens/mirror/scope/accessories were in perfect shape and never really used. He sent pictures and agreed on $350.

    Then I was embarrassed, and actually not that happy that I had to drop the deal because my 3 kids all quickly pitched in and got me a new one from B&H Photo. 

    Well, it got its space debut tonight since it's clear, not too cold, and all my kids and two grand-kids were over at the house. It was an easy setup, even though it's a lot heavier than anything we've had before. (What we had before was a`cheap model we got for the kids when they were actually kids. And that cheap one was like one I had when I was a kid 50-some years ago.)

    So this one was quite a different experience for me. If I had taken the time I could have aligned it with just 3 sky objects and I could then punch in names or coordinates of up to 40,000 stars and galaxies and it would automatically point me right to them and keep them tracked as the earth turns and they move across the sky. But the grand-kids couldn't stay up too late and I figured it would be quicker to just manually aim with the side-scope and go. Turns out that the thing is too big to move around manually at small sky objects when the tripod is on soft ground and grass.

    Long story short, I'm no longer angry that they spent extra to get a new, fully-working, automated telescope. Even though I didn't set up the automation yet, I was still able to use the remote for easy manual movement up, down, left, and right in small increments. This made it a breeze to point at something big like the moon and then use the remote to slowly scan the sky for new starts and planets.

    We started this at only 8:30pm when the sky was still bluish instead of black and we also have some street-lights that can make visibility in the telescope less than idea. But it was still picking up thousands of stars we couldn't see with our unaided eyes.

    The moon was bright and gorgeous, and I was happily satisfied that everyone got a chance to see the craters and hills so clearly. But then I maneuvered with the remote quite a distance to the right and Jupiter with 4 moons were as clear as day. Then about half that distance again to the right and down a bit we saw Saturn and you could distinguish the separation in the rings. Perfect stargazing night, and we didn't need to stay out past 9:30.

    Next time, I'll hook it up for some clusters, galaxies, nebulae, etc.

  3. A blogger here has a picture of Sister Claus where apparently her husband is obscured in the photo.

    (Not important to this topic, but I was baptized in Tulsa in 1967, and got bit by a dog while out in door-to-door service there. (Age 10.) Somehow, the police showed up almost instantly, and I remember my brother and I talking the police out of calling animal services to have the animal put down. The householder was crying because the police were insistent.) 

      Hello guest!

      Hello guest!

    The other pictures includes an article from a Tulsa paper advertising Rutherford's speech which (as @Space Merchant already mentioned) had actually happened on Monday, just prior to the major part of the riot. Notice as an aside that Tulsa had a population of 70,000 and it was promised that "thousands" of persons from Tulsa, if they lived another 4 years, would never die. 




  4. As you may have already known @Space Merchant there is a bit more context here:

      Hello guest!

    On Tuesday, May 31, 1921, what came to be called the Tulsa Race Massacre erupted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A., after a black man was jailed and charged with assaulting a white woman. When a mob of more than 1,000 white men clashed with a smaller group of black men, the fighting spread quickly to the black neighborhood of Greenwood, where more than 1,400 homes and businesses were looted and burned. The official death toll was 36, but the actual number may have been in the hundreds.

    Brother Richard J. Hill, a black Bible Student and resident of Greenwood, related what happened: “On the night of the riot, we had our Bible study class as usual. After the class was over, we heard shooting downtown. We went to bed listening to it.” By Wednesday morning, June 1, the situation had worsened. “Some folks came and stated that if we wanted protection, we had better go to Convention Hall at once.” So Brother Hill along with his wife and five children fled to Tulsa’s Convention Hall. There, an estimated 3,000 black men and women were housed by the National Guard, who had been called in to restore order.

    About the same time, Brother Arthur Claus, who was white, made a courageous decision. “When I heard that rioting squads were running about throughout Greenwood, looting and setting fire to homes, I decided to check on my dear friend, Brother Hill.”

      Hello guest!

    Using The Harp of God, Arthur Claus taught a study class of 14 children

    Arriving at Brother Hill’s home, he encountered a white neighbor holding a rifle. The neighbor, also a friend of Brother Hill’s, assumed that Arthur was one of the rioters. “Why are you in this man’s yard?” he shouted.

    “Had I given him an unsatisfactory answer, he would have shot me,” Arthur recalled. “I assured him that I was Brother Hill’s friend and that I had been to his home many times.” Arthur and the neighbor successfully protected the property against the looters.

    Soon Arthur discovered that Brother Hill and his family were at Convention Hall. Arthur was told that black people could not leave there without an order signed by General Barrett, the officer in charge. Arthur related: “It was a real task to get to see the general. When I told him my plans, he asked: ‘Will you watch over this family and take care of their needs?’ Naturally, I heartily agreed.”

    With the order in hand, Arthur rushed to Convention Hall. He presented it to an officer who exclaimed: “Why, this is signed by the general himself! Do you know that you are the first person to take anyone from this place all day?” Brother Hill and his family were soon located. All of them crowded into Arthur’s car and headed home.

    Brother Claus made sure that Brother Hill and his family were safe. His example of fearless brotherhood had a good effect on others. Arthur related: “The neighbor who helped protect the Hill’s property drew closer to the truth. And a number of people got interested in the Kingdom because they saw that there were no racial barriers, that all of us stood equal among God’s dedicated people.”

  5. 19 hours ago, NoisySrecko said:

    The easiest way to explain Jesus words in Matthew is, one generation literally heard Jesus speak of Jerusalem destruction, while another generation actually saw that destruction.

    If that's true, then one generation heard Jesus in 33 CE and another generation saw the destruction 37 years later in 70 CE. So you are speaking of two generations in the space of 37 years. This could mean you are thinking of each average generation as short as 18.5 years each, but probably longer, I'm guessing. (18.5+18.5=37)

    You might have a point, since there is evidence for a Jewish practice near that time period that suggested 18 years of age for the husband and as young as 13 for the wife.

    Marriage took place at a young age for the ancient Jews. Most rabbis proposed 18 as the most appropriate age for men to be married, but it wasn’t uncommon for them to be younger, especially in times of peace. Young women were married almost as soon as they were physically ready, approximately age 13. 

      Hello guest!

    Without birth control, the first child would probably be born when the husband turned 19 and the wife turned 14, giving birth to the next generation. (Oh look, the birth of something around 19&14. That could be significant. Maybe they would have 6 o' 7 kids, too.)

    But if each generation could be under 20 years, this would mean there have now been, not TWO, but FIVE generations between 1914 and 2021. (107/20=5.35+) And counting from 1914 and adding Noah's 120 years would be SIX generations, at that rate.

    4 hours ago, NoisySrecko said:

    These are all hypothesis for entertainment purposes, not to be viewed as literal or by any other form. Students of the Bible need to wait and see, just like Christ himself.

    Exactly!! Excellent point!

  6. 5 hours ago, Arauna said:

    So explain to me how it is possible that we are living in 2021 and we have x-generation, millennials, and baby boomers (overlapping generations) living together!

    Isn't that exactly the problem with the current explanation? We currently have overlapping generations living together, but are we therefore contemporaries with the (US) Civil War generation who finally all died out around 1960? (I was born in 1957 and actually met one of them while out in service in 1964.) Are we currently living together with the generation of new babies who will be born after we die?

    If I made a speech today in front of all the contemporary generations alive today, and I said that THIS generation is going to see people living on Mars, but it doesn't happen until 121 years from now . . . then could anyone read my speech in the year 2142 and claim that I was right?

    It's difficult to imagine that someone could have great-great-great-grandchildren in 2142 and that those children would be saying to one another that their own great-great-great-grandmother actually knew someone named JWI who correctly predicted that we, in this very generation in 2142, would see it come true. That JWI was brilliantly correct! 

  7. 6 hours ago, Anna said:

    Where can I find this?

    *** ka chap. 11 pp. 209-210 par. 55 “Here Is the Bridegroom!” ***
    In the year 1943 the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society published the book “The Truth Shall Make You Free.” In its chapter 11, entitled “The Count of Time,” it did away with the insertion of 100 years into the period of the Judges and went according to the oldest and most authentic reading of Acts 13:20, and accepted the spelled-out numbers of the Hebrew Scriptures. This moved forward the end of six thousand years of man’s existence into the decade of the 1970’s. Naturally this did away with the year 1874 C.E. as the date of return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the beginning of his invisible presence or parousia.


  8. 51 minutes ago, Anna said:

    think the society is trying to word it as "contemporaries".....two groups of people, one group old, the other group younger and both groups having experienced the signs of the times.

    I wonder if they are going to get rid of the idea that the first group "readily discerned the sign of Christ's presence in 1914." I expect that the new phrasing will become simply "they were alive to see the sign of Christ's presence in 1914."

    *** w14 1/15 p. 31 pars. 15-16 “Let Your Kingdom Come”—But When? ***
    The first group was on hand in 1914, and they readily discerned the sign of Christ’s presence in that year. Those who made up this group were not merely alive in 1914, but they were spirit-anointed as sons of God in or before that year.—Rom. 8:14-17.
    16 The second group included in “this generation” are anointed contemporaries of the first group. They were not simply alive during the lifetime of those in the first group, but they were anointed with holy spirit during the time that those of the first group were still on earth.

    It took until 1943 to get rid of the idea that Jesus' presence had started in 1874. So how could anyone in the first group readily "discern" the sign of Christ's presence in 1914?

    Of course, there really were contemporary (overlapping) generations in 1914, just as there were contemporary (overlapping) generations who were alive when Jesus spoke of "this generation" in 33 CE. In Jesus' day, they were the generation of grandparents, the generation of parents and the generation of children, all alive together in 33 CE. Therefore, if we're honest, then, it would have been the generation of grandparents, parents, and children alive in 1914 who made up those contemporary (overlapping) generations in 1914. That means that any anointed persons born after 33 CE were NOT, strictly speaking, contemporaries with those who heard Jesus talk about the generation. And anyone born in 1915 or later was NOT, strictly speaking, a contemporary of those anointed who were alive in 1914.

    I'm also wondering why they set up a rule restricting it to anointed only. Was it only anointed persons who heard about Jesus prophecy in 33 CE, and who survived until 70 CE to see that he was right? And, for an example, let's say that Jerusalem hadn't been burned by Rome until say around 150 CE, when all those actual contemporaries alive in 33 CE were long dead. Would we be defending Jesus' words with the idea that the apostle John must have grown old and died around the year 100 CE, but some babies who never met John were born just before he died, and those "babies" lived as contemporaries of John and were still alive in 150 CE?

    Maybe, we would. But I think it's more likely that someone would think about the 120 year "generation" of Noah's day, and would take note that 33 to 150 CE is just under 120 years. 😉

  9. 3 hours ago, Patiently waiting for Truth said:

    Would you be kind enough to tell me the 'official standpoint' / teaching / doctrine of the Watchtower/GB/Org, as to who will survive Armageddon and what Armageddon will consit of.  Or where would i find the answer ? 

    Sure. The official standpoint is found on jw.org under these headings, below. No one repeats the idea of 99.9% anymore. There is no new number to replace it, except for several [welcome] admissions that we just don't know, and it's not up to us, since we are not the judge:

      Hello guest!

    Did Jesus say there are many roads leading to salvation?

      Hello guest!

    The Bible explains who have the opportunity for salvation.

      Hello guest!

    Learn how tolerance identifies true Christians.

    Each of those short articles points to several longer articles that go into the topics a bit further.

  10. 15 hours ago, Patiently waiting for Truth said:

    Noisysrecko = Rando = Billy the kid = a dozen other Aka's :)  It's so funny.

    Patiently is confused about Rando (who is not NoisySrecko/BillyTheKid) . . .

    15 hours ago, BroRando said:

    I think someone has gotten her goat?   Nice try Pearl

    And BroRando is confused about Patiently who is not "Witness" or "Pearl."

  11. On 10/9/2021 at 1:45 PM, Anna said:

    I think similar to you, that Rutherford may have meant people who were not yet Bible Students could be saved. At that time, as you know, there were no "Jehovah’s Witnesses", only Bible students associated with Russel and Co, Rutherford and Co, IBSA and WT. I think it must have been kind of ambiguous and not clear cut as it is today.

    JFR was probably not even including those who were already Bible Students (proto-JWs) to be numbered in those millions. ALL of the Bible Students were included in the 144,000 going to heaven, but in those days the persons we now identify as "the great crowd of other sheep" were also anointed and going to heaven. In fact, all Christians were going to heaven according Bible Student teaching of that time. This meant all Christians who were not Bible Students were anointed and also going to heaven.

    But the scriptures taught that all who go to heaven must die first:

    (1 Corinthians 15:35-37) . . .Nevertheless, someone will say: “How are the dead to be raised up? Yes, with what sort of body are they coming?” 36 You unreasonable person! What you sow is not made alive unless first it dies. 37 And as for what you sow, you sow, not the body that will develop, but just a bare grain, whether of wheat or of some other kind of seed;

    That verse would have especially applied to the "seed," the 144,000, and to repeat, ALL of the (few thousand) Bible Students in 1920 were considered to be a part of that 144,000. And Jesus along with the rest of 144,000 were "The Christ." Jesus was the head of the Christ, and the 144,000 were also "The Christ" (the rest of Christ's body).  

    The Christ consists of Jesus glorified, the head, and the members of his body, which constitutes the church.   -- "Millions Now  Living Will Never Die, p.76


    Since the Bible Students were in the 144,000 and considered to be "The Christ," they were also part of the propitiatory sacrifice, and would have especially fulfilled the verse about how it is reserved for men to die once for all time.

    (Hebrews 9:26-28) . . .Otherwise, he would have to suffer often from the founding of the world. But now he has manifested himself once for all time at the conclusion of the systems of things to do away with sin through the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is reserved for men to die once for all time, but after this to receive a judgment, 28 so also the Christ was offered once for all time to bear the sins of many; and the second time that he appears it will be apart from sin, and he will be seen by those earnestly looking for him for their salvation.

    But at that time it was believed that the great crowd would also die at Armageddon which can still be found on jw.org:

    *** w66 2/15 p. 118 par. 13 Identifying the Present-Day Beneficiaries ***
    In 1930, the book Light, in two volumes, gave a verse-for-verse commentary on the book of Revelation, but it still applied the “great multitude” of Revelation 7:9-17 (AV) to a spirit-begotten class of professed Christians who, after a martyr’s death at Armageddon, would each “get life as a spirit creature,” but secondary to the Bride of Christ.

      Hello guest!

    The issues that come into play are about how many non-Christians were expected to be saved through Armageddon. Russell had given his opinion that only a very few would be "slaughtered" and that the vast majority of mankind living would accept the government that came to the fore after Armageddon (and Rutherford had not yet adjusted this view). In fact, as late as 1928, Rutherford could claim that he had not changed "a jot or tittle" from Russell's "Studies in the Scriptures."

    But I think he was already hedging his bet on the number who would be saved through Armageddon. He said that "hundreds of thousands" of those alive in NYC in 1920 would never die. Look closely at the wording of the 1920 advertisement in the New York World newspaper below, and here on jw.org:

      Hello guest!


    NYC had a population of 5.6 million at the time. But smaller cities, a tenth as large, like Pittsburgh (pop 588,000) could only be conclusively proven to see "tens of thousands" never die.


    Under Knorr/Franz, the expectation changed from what appears to be at least 5% to 10% surviving, down to about 0.1% surviving. (99.9% of the world population to be slaughtered, as FWF put it.)

    *** w55 11/1 p. 648 Using Wisely the Reduced Time Left ***
    or in trying to perpetuate this old system of things is wasted, and that is what more than 99.9 per cent of this earth’s population are doing.

    *** w58 10/15 pp. 614-615 What Will Armageddon Mean for You? ***
    THE ARMAGEDDON FORCES . . . On Satan’s side will be all the rest of mankind, more than 99.9 percent, even as we read: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” That includes all the governments of the world together with their supporters, the commercial, religious and social institutions. Even the professedly Christian organizations? Yes, because all such that are friends of the world are making themselves enemies of God.—1 John 5:19; Jas. 4:4.

    That number apparently came from the fact that the number of Witnesses compared to the rest of the population was also about 0.1% therefore 99.9% non-Witnesses. Today, if you include all Memorial attendees, the number begins to approach 0.3%. So maybe only 99.7%?

  12. 13 hours ago, Peter Carroll said:

    as a jw  ,i know it is impossible to kill spiritally anyone else ,as always, it is up to yourself as it was for adam ,if you bother to go to any meetings ,you will hear this ,that it is up to yourself to take care of the spiritual life you have,

    I like this way of putting it. Of course, we know it's possible for us to stumble others, which is likened to causing spiritual death, but each one of us stands or falls on our own. In fact, it was in the context of doctrinal disagreements which could potentially result in stumbling others where Paul was still able to say:

    (Romans 14:4) . . .To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Jehovah can make him stand.

    People can come into an association with our Christian brotherhood for all the wrong reasons, and never develop a true personal love for Jesus and Jehovah, but this doesn't mean that anyone should claim it was negative experiences in the organization that killed them spirituality. That would negate another of Paul's statements.

    (Romans 8:37-39) For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers 39 nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  13. 8 hours ago, Anna said:

    I was always under the impression that he was predicting exactly what he said, that millions living at the time he wrote those words, would never die. You already mentioned that he believed 1925 would be the year when mankind would be blessed and vengeance brought upon the wicked (and the ancient worthies would be resurrected and live in San Diego). 

    As Arauna has said many times, you can't just easily answer a question about past beliefs without the context of the times. Most Witnesses, I think, tend to read a lot of our current beliefs into Rutherford's words. Even the idea that "vengeance would be brought upon the wicked" in 1925 seems to impose our current view of Armageddon onto the view held in the early 1920's. It's similar but with important differences.

    But you are right that he was predicting that millions of people in 1919, 1920, etc. would never die, but would continue to survive. The advertising campaign in newspapers was a bit funny, because it seemed to make use of a formula that was based on a certain percentage of the population of a city, and predict that thousands, or tens of thousands would never die in that particular city.  

    The reference to the recent "100 Years Ago" article about the "Harp" book was just a point about how we keep referring back to the time period. Yes, there are a few hints in the images of the questions, but I was referring to the entire purpose of the book: to prepare people for the "miracle" of everlasting life that was already in effect for millions of persons. Those were persons NOT currently associated with the Bible Students, but who would cooperate with the new government, already legally established.

    My two copies, like many online images of the book, include the phrase about the "Millions" embossed onto the cover:



  14. 8 hours ago, Anna said:

    I was always under the impression that he was predicting exactly what he said, that millions living at the time he wrote those words, would never die. You already mentioned that he believed 1925 would be the year when mankind would be blessed and vengeance brought upon the wicked (and the ancient worthies would be resurrected and live in San Diego).

    I think that you are right, and that even and "Srecko" and "Patiently" already have a good idea, too. When I said that most of the brothers and sisters don't really know what JFR meant, I was referring to those don't have much interest and those who don't go to the trouble to look up things for themselves.

    1 hour ago, Patiently waiting for Truth said:

    Unless JWI enjoys the power :) of knowing things we don't know.  

    I really didn't think this was anything you didn't know already. Besides, the question has already been discussed previously on the forum. I didn't mean to come across like I was "teasing" or "irritated" but you gave me the impression that you had some information that you already knew must have been true, but you wanted a Witness to admit to it, so that you could use it to somehow prove that JWs are false prophets, or at least blame the GB. You've done this many times already. It just seemed silly that you would go to a time 100 years ago to somehow prove what we are now.

    Also, I was truly interested in what other Witnesses thought, and I was glad that a few others weighed in. I didn't expect you to be so impatient, Patiently.

  15. 1 hour ago, Patiently waiting for Truth said:

    An original copy of The Harp is available on ebay UK for less than 20 GBP. I'm tempted to buy it

    There are at least 20 places I found online where you can get "The Harp" (1921) for free.

      Hello guest!

    You can also get the booklet "Millions Now Living Will Never Die" (1920) for free

      Hello guest!
    and a few other places.



  16. 8 hours ago, ComfortMyPeople said:

    It is humanly impossible to have such an ability to do so many things. I already told you once to explain to me how you made time to sleep.

    Doing a lot of things is no indication that I do them well. Nor do I do enough of the all the right things. In English there is a derogatory expression "Jack of all trades [and master of none]" from a Shakespeare line that was originally a compliment: a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

    I admit to having a sleeping problem. So I can answer at least that question you once asked about sleep and finally "put it to bed," as they say. I always have a slew of current projects on a list, and I spend about as much time making and remaking lists as actually accomplishing what's on them. I went for several years staying up until about 2 to 3 am, and then waking up as late as possible before rushing off to work. Now that I'm retired I try to get to bed earlier but if I wake up around 3, I'm anxious to start on things I wanted to read, to sketch, research, learn, etc. Last night I was asleep at midnight, but woke up at 3 and since I knew I wouldn't go back to sleep, I got up and had coffee and breakfast. My wife is always up by 5 so it's not so different than when I would have been woken up anyway. In fact, I've been up by 3:30 every day this week, and I haven't made up for it yet with any naps. My wife tells me that this is terrible for my health, and I know I should listen, but it's probably a kind of stress, or ADD, or ADHD or some other thing that ought to be diagnosed.

  17. 6 hours ago, Arauna said:

    The UN was assured by China it will not happen any longer when irrefutable proof emerged of forced transplants....

    Not only did that never happen, the clams of China's atrocities against Falun Gong members was irrefutably debunked.

    Although I believe what I just said, I just gave an example of the kind of thing that just wastes time in a discussion forum:

    I answered the same way that a lot of people would answer, but it can just go back and forth like this unless someone is willing to point to research and/or evidence, and not just unsubstantiated claims and opinions. It must have also been about 20 years ago when I saw the Falun Gong protests in the streets of NYC during the years I worked in Manhattan, and I was fooled for quite some time by their sincere-sounding cries, and all the posters with "photographic" evidence. It didn't take long to discover that the photographic evidence was just from actors "re-enacting" claims. But I'm made doubly suspicious by watching who helps them fund-raise over this issue, and the way they have been caught "red-handed" lying about and denying their direct association with various culture performances, newspapers, Cable TV stations, along with YouTube and Twitter and Facebook spokespersons.

    What I just did in that last paragraph is a bit better, but it is still just counter-claims (albeit, more specific) with no real evidence for my own view. At least someone who might be interested can now say, for example: "Hey wait a second, give me one of those examples of FG members lying about their association with FG."

  18. 8 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

    And some games with racing cars.

    I remember when the kids were younger my job in IT was multimedia and this work included testing of multimedia improvements on a few new laptops every year. We were allowed to keep the excess, and I still have literally 15 old laptops that work (worked?) with Windows 3.1, Win 95, Millennium, 98, NT, plus 3 Macs. But in those days, even before the popularity of Internet downloading, you could get a $5 CD with literally 1,000 shareware/freeware games on it. My kids were always finding racing and simulation games, and you just reminded me that I enjoyed playing race car (go kart) games with them.

    Even today, when breaking out the flight simulation again, I found myself flying down the Hudson River, and flying under the bridges instead of taking the easy route over them. I flew low through Central Park and so had to dodge skyscrapers at 150 MPH (240 KM/H) all the way down through Manhattan and made it under the Brooklyn Bridge again before circling the old Brooklyn Bethel stomping grounds. Google flight simulator doesn't crash you if you hit most obstacles (except hills, water, ground without landing gear) but you can still enjoy the maneuvering.  

    I thought of posting one of the videos of the building maneuvers, but 9/11 is still too close in people's minds which might distract from enjoyment.

  19. @Arauna, I love it that you are a thinking person who is willing to get input from a variety of non-typical, non mainstream resources. You also show yourself willing to engage in dialogue with those holding non-typical opinions without running away with your hands over your ears. You stand up for what you believe and you give your reasons.

    I am very aware that I will not gain any friends or followers by being an "apologist" for China, and it will surely lower my credibility in other areas where years of reading and research has forced me to hold unpopular opinions, such as those I now hold concerning our own traditions regarding Bible chronology.

    In fact, that reminds me of a perfect example that highlights why I appreciate the difference between your style and others. As you probably know I'm engaged in an off-and-on discussion on the subject of our chronology with someone else on the closed part of the forum. He is an example of nearly the opposite. When he disagrees with evidence, he merely finds a variety of ways to basically say: I disagree with you; I'm right; you're wrong; my view has all the best evidence behind it. But he never directly engages with any of the evidence.

    What I'm saying is that I hope you don't take my opinions personally in any way. I hope my disagreements with your political views don't make you think you are offending me. I actually enjoy the dialogue, as you probably already suspected. I hope you haven't engaged with so many obtuse people here that you think your input is wasted on all of us.

    Personally, I always agree with much of what you say. Often what I disagree with is still intriguing enough to make me want to look into it more. It may not sound like it because I don't usually respond to things I already agree with, only the things I have trouble with.

    Your last post is a great example. I agree with much of it, but you also give a few lines I'm so tempted to respond to. This particular topic isn't the place, but I look forward to another topic at another time, soon.

  20. 26 minutes ago, Patiently waiting for Truth said:

    It really does prove that you are frightened of my questions.

    If you think people are really frightened from your question, then this might go to motive. I can answer your question and I just might, but what of it if Rutherford was all wrong? What if he was partially right? What if you are sure you'll be able to make the case that he was a false prophet? I'm pretty sure that this is where this is going. I'm pretty well-known for presenting a lot of old mistakes made in our publications, but I do try to put them in context. Technically, he was wrong. He was making a false prediction. It's because he was so sure of the short amount of time before 1925, and he was so sure that the system couldn't go on as it was past 1925 without a divine intervention of some kind.

    Your question is interesting to me to the extent that I think most of the brothers (and even several of the sisters) don't know what he was predicting, and I've found this to be a little bit funny, since we give so much attention to our past history in our publications. The 100 years ago today article in the WT recently highlighted the "Harp" book (1921), which gives the answer perfectly. I'd like to hear a few guesses by you or others before giving more details that were documented at the time. I know I understood this wrong for several years and I was surprised at the answer.

  21. This didn't have to be a JW Club topic, but I'm interested in whether any Witnesses here, especially those over, say 50 years old, play any video games. As an old fogie myself, I have always tried to discourage it in my children, but one of my sons although he is going to be 30, started playing video games again last year. He's an attorney, and doesn't have the time now as he travels between various court houses all day. But through most of Covid courthouse closures he worked everything from a home office on Zoom. My youngest son lives far enough away that I don't know for sure, but he apparently takes no interest in either sports or video games. My daughter doesn't really like any of them, but has trouble pulling her five year old away from the iPad on weekends. It's forbidden through the week.

    My older son bought me an Oculus VR headset this year, and I haven't made much use of it. It's good for more than games, but I just haven't taken the time.

    There are two games I play where I figure I don't have to feel guilty because I can easily relax with them and listen to JW videos, news, radio, etc. One is chess, and the other is a flight simulator.  I don't have a working version of MS Flight Simulator any more, of if I do, it's hasn't been tried for 15 years. But I do play the flight simulator on Google Earth. It's so much better than it used to be years ago. if you fly from JFK through most of NYC and several other urban areas, the AI has produced 3D versions of every house and even the trees all over NYC and Long Island and Jersey.

    I enjoy flying over places I read about anywhere in the world. Or revisit places I've traveled to (Haiti, Turkey, Sydney) or places I lived in (CA, MO, NY). Today, I flew from NYC JFK up to Tuxedo and Warwick. I 'visited' Bethel, doing a couple of flyovers. The scenery is taken from almost exactly a year ago, so you can see the leaves start to change.

    I just recorded a part of that flight, and it was a couple of gigabytes, but if I can chop a small piece of it down to under 20 MB, I might post a part of it below. In the VR headset, I give it a curved screen and a much wider 180 degree view, so that it resembles a cockpit, but the video (if I can post it) will just be a flat view from the middle of the screen.

  22. 15 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

    Lot of bad stuff coming out of that land these days, per BitterWinter. Religious curriculum being rewritten to glorify the state & whoever doesn’t comply being slowly, sometimes quickly, erased.   Sometimes I think it is like Herod with the infant boys. He doesn’t really know how to find who he’s look for. Wiping them all out is his answer.

    Communism has a terrible reputation, and much of it is well deserved. There have been terrible communist regimes. They rarely did better, and often did much worse, than the regimes they were trying to replace. One of the initial ideas, of course, was that religion was all "superstition" that would get in the way of human progress. Humans make bad leaders in general, and although false religion permeates leadership in most places, at least most countries will give lip service to faith and spirituality.

    It's not that I just want to speak up when claims are made that might be only partially true or even completely untrue. I read or hear 100 things a day that are probably untrue, and never bat an eyelash. When I do speak up it is usually when these types of dubious claims are leveraged as the basis to make even more grandiose claims. The more fearsome predictions are taken to a much higher level and then "cemented" with a Biblical or prophetic assurance.

    That bothers me because there is a long track record of Western dishonesty about communist regimes that is appalling. Even if 95 of the last 100 negative claims in mainstream media about China are completely debunked, they continue to be repeated because they work. The most trusted news sources in the United States, for example, can be counted on to give a constant barrage of anti-China stories, and the next one, no matter what, will be believed even if most of them can be shown to have never been true.

    What people will instantly and unquestionably believe about HK, Taiwan, Mongolia, Tibet, Falun Gong, and Uyghur Muslims is amazing to me.  Every year China's economy is predicted to fail. Every few days on PBS, NPR, or NYT there is fearmongering about how China will erase all the gains made by the US on climate agreements (when it's been the opposite for years now). You can always find a story about Uyghur being slaughtered by the millions.

    What is amazing to me about that last one (the Uyghurs) is that every story about supposedly MILLIONS of persons always finally boils down to less than 12 interviewees, and even those 12 seem to be copies of just a couple of different stories. You'll have "Bitter Winter" people like Massimo Introvigne claim he knows how bad it is, but he also is dependent on the same few individuals. Where else in the world could a million Muslims be slaughtered and yet you can find Muslims voluntarily leaving and returning by bus to these same "concentration camps"? How is that you can find Muslims in nearby India and Pakistan who approve of China's methods of handling Muslim fanatics. And how is it that thousands of random pictures from Muslims come out of this same province through Twitter, Flickr, etc., where the Muslims in the background are seen going on with their daily lives, and there is no flood of refugees to nearby countries.

    What country has sponsored and built more Muslim mosques and schools than any other country in the world? China.

    President Xi speaks out regularly against the prejudice that many Han Chinese have against non-Han, including Muslims. Xi constantly points to and celebrates the diversity of the Chinese people. He personally promotes celebrations of Muslim culture and Mongolian culture. Mongolians themselves have nearly lost their traditional language, yet the government has made sure that signs in Mongolia are bilingual. The signs in Xinjiang province (where most Uyghurs live) are also in their own language.

    Like Ancient Rome and Modern Russia, China only approves historically long-standing traditional religions, and does not trust new religions. In China, they are especially harsh with "new" religions whose backing and publications ultimately come from the United States. If they try to proselytize others with an anti-communist philosophy, they are going to have even more trouble. Falun Gong is rabidly (and openly) anti-communist, and many have been jailed for promoting an illegal religion. This policy has not been good at all for JWs there, and several have also been jailed for proselytizing or smuggling in the literature. Chinese Baptists and their missionaries have been jailed for the same, even though they have been around more than twice as long as JWs.

    The details of investigations about Chinese policies could go on for 100's of pages. (But this is a thread about Kazakhstan, so I'll only do one or two pages.) The Chinese track record on religion is not good. But it doesn't mean that fear-mongering is correct about supposed concentration camps and organ harvesting of mass disappearances of people. More than one person in the CIA has claimed that their job was, as one put it, to make up stories and promote the idea that "communists eat babies." I don't think there is any reason to believe that such stories are still promoted in one way or another. (A recent NYT "documentary" on the Uyghurs was found to have blatantly mistranslated official Chinese documents related to the programs in Xinjiang.) It doesn't mean that terrible things don't happen in China, but such stories are intended to make it look like communism is 1,000 times worse.

    The intent of that propaganda has been to make it easy for citizens of Western imperialist nations to easily accept warfare against communist nations whenever it's deemed to be useful for Western interests. Currently, terrorism is the war catalyst, but who knows when we'll need another red scare?

    When I see unsubstantiated claims along this line, I sense that it is part of warmongering, even though unintentional by those who repeat the claims.

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