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JW Insider

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  1. I think you are wrong here. I think that there are fewer apostasy disfellowshippings than you think, so the net effect can't be determined. Also, among JWs, there is a great appreciation for the good that comes out of association with others of like faith in the brotherhood. I'm sure you think this is irrelevant, but it would override any effect a few more or a few less disfellowshippings. In fact, I think the effect could be opposite. Membership roles might even increase as persons who had been pushed away would feel more comfortable associating again where they can now feel more supported, even if it weaknesses in their faith that caused their doctrinal deviations. It does not mean that less DFings would necessarily be right, because there are many who are only interested in disruption, chaos, contentions, and causing trouble and discomfort. These ones are not conducive to the comfort and encouragement of the brotherhood, and they should go. It might produce a more flexible theology as it sounds like there would be less enforcement of deviations. But it would take a while for most JWs to be comfortable with the idea of any kind of deviations, anyway. For the most part we already have a high appreciation of what has been given to us through the organization. This is even true of those of us who recognize the GB as elders handling some specific necessary ministries, and do not think of them as the "governors of our faith" or the exact equivalent of the FDS. When it comes to deviations of current doctrine, even "overlapping generations" would probably take some time to go, because no one has offered a consistent acceptable replacement yet. Witnesses are generally very comfortable with their leadership. We actually appreciate the humility it takes to remind us that they are imperfect and will make mistakes and that not all the food will be perfect. It would be considered even more discreet to stop DFing for certain kinds of apostasy. Of course, the Bible already gives us a guide that shows there are also very serious kinds of apostasy, and therefore we would always expect nearly complete and unanimous approval about some disfellowshipping for apostasy.
  2. I think you know that past WT articles have used a sense of apostasy that is not the equivalent of "rebellion against God." I could point to a post here where I discussed an "apostasy spectrum." But you are already aware that the WTS has stated that the "apostate" need not have specifically tried to turn away from God, but they are expressing a desire to leave the organization. (This is enough, and it is even reflected in the new way of announcing those who leave.) @Arauna even made a point I've heard before that any organization has a right to expel persons for conduct or representation that the organization deems to be detrimental to its interests. A "Golf Course" can expel persons for its own reasons.
  3. I like that you included some of the articles from the Awake! and mentioned that persons associated with the WTS sometimes could and should have been more aware and more careful. This is often very true, and parents should be very alert to potential child abuse. On the front lines, as it were. Also they know the personality of the child, assuming they are involved with them, and communicating with them. If something is wrong a parent who is in close daily communication with their children will often sense when something is off. Of course, during the ages when children are often abused, they are often going through personality changes that are difficult for parents to navigate with them. Also, I noticed you made a big point out of the specific term "grooming" as if the Awake! had used this term before it was ever used in "the law." You said: And you highlighted the timeline where you indicated that the Awake! had been discussing this in 2004 and 2007, implying that the law didn't catch up to the Awake! until 2009. There are a few points to consider: 1. The Watchtower publications are not using the term in a legal sense, they are only copying the way in which the word had recently been used in worldly news reports, publications and newspapers. 2. There is nothing special about the term, since it's merely the equivalent of various descriptions of the way a predator might prepare a victim and make them feel more and more comfortable in a situation where they will be further victimized. A single term that involved a range of activities is a time-saver, and can help communicate the need for a law, or help to effectively communicate the guilt of a person who is involved in activities that might otherwise not be prosecuted on their own. It's only when they can be seen as part of a pattern that the predator uses to escalate opportunities to find and create victims that they are seen as prosecutable. 3. The argument that knowledge of the term should make parents and guardians more aware, can backfire back onto the elders or other leaders of congregation activities, when they, as leaders and teachers, should even be more aware of everything printed in the publications, even those publications like the Awake!, that are not studied in a congregational setting. You are potentially arguing that elders are potentially more guilty for creating and permitting situations when grooming can take place. Going to point number one, we find a description of the grooming process in discussions of child sexual abuse going back to the 1970's and probably before. The actual term "grooming" shows up in the 1980's, about 20 years before the Awake! used it. The Oxford English Dictionary includes this definition of grooming: Of a paedophile: to befriend or influence (a child), now esp. via the Internet, in preparation for future sexual abuse. 1985 Chicago Tribune 28 May v. 8/2 These ‘friendly molesters’ become acquainted with their targeted victim‥, gaining their trust while secretly grooming the child as a sexual partner. 1996 A. Mullender Rethinking Domest. Violence vii. 200 Children have been ‘groomed’ by their abusers to associate abuse with apparently harmless topics that can continue to be mentioned in letters and cards. 2005 Big Issue 3 Jan. 18/2 While ‘stranger danger’ does exist—like internet chat-rooms where abusers groom children—sexual abuse often involves people intimate to the family or even within the family. Legally, you can also see that the "idea" of prosecuting for "preparation and influence" goes back to discussions of predators in the AOL chat rooms of 1999. The following site points to a legal precedent from 2011 in footnote 3. But that footnote looks at sets of precedents from before: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_interest/child_law/resources/child_law_practiceonline/child_law_practice/vol-34/november-2015/understanding-sexual-grooming-in-child-abuse-cases/ Footnote 3 points to https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/218946/united-states-v-chambers/ That 2011 precedent was based primarily on a 2006 ruling (over a much earlier precedent, see the end of the post), which already did everything except use the actual term "grooming": 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b), which makes it a crime to use interstate commerce to attempt or to knowingly persuade, induce, entice, or coerce any individual under the age of eighteen to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any individual can be charged with a criminal offense. The idea that activities in these preparatory steps might seem not to be serious enough on their own for prosecution was taken care of with: United States v. Rovetuso, 768 F.2d 809, 821 (7th Cir.1985) And further research tying it all back to what was now called "grooming" went back to 1998: Grooming refers to deliberate actions taken by a defendant to expose a child to sexual material; the ultimate goal of grooming is the formation of an emotional connection with the child and a reduction of the child's inhibitions in order to prepare the child for sexual activity. Doe v. Liberatore, 478 F. Supp. 2d 742, 749-50 (M.D.Pa.2007); Sana Loue, "Legal and Epidemiological Aspects of Child Maltreatment," 19 J. Legal Med. 471, 479 (1998). ------------- United States v. Robert Owen Bailey, 228 F.3d 637 (6th Cir. 2000) Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Filed: October 3rd, 2000 Note that this very similar case from 2000 refers to 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b), which has amendments but actually goes back to 1910. In the 1940s the version already had statements that could easily be applied to the Internet: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2422 Whoever knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual to travel in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, to engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. (b) Whoever, using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years, to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 10 years or for life. ---------- A 2002 book discusses "Grooming" in excruciating details in its many stages: Protecting Your Children From Sexual Predators By Leigh Baker
  4. On this forum, we have seen this critique a few times. It was clearly claimed by @JOHN BUTLER, who sadly was "DF'd" from the forum. It is similar to what has been said by @4Jah2me more recently, and @Witness, too. The idea is that if Jesus had in mind an ongoing feeding program from an appointed "faithful and discreet slave" where these teachers of the kingdom would teach things both old and new, then they should be inspired in the sense of having something like a "double portion of Jehovah's spirit." This does not mean "inspired" in the same sense as "apostolic succession" but aliases associated with @AllenSmith-38 have argued for something very close to "apostolic succession" or at least "apostolic precedence." I think that TTH's blog was actually dealing with a real question about an idea that the GB should really be inspired, even infallible, and that they should produce "perfect" food, which of course, they don't claim to do.
  5. I'm sure it's been pointed out under the many prior 1975 topics in this forum. The fact that the prediction was for the 1970's, not 1975 is easily seen from the articles called, for example, "What Will the 1970's Bring?" and the Circuit Assembly badges we wore that asked: "Who Will Conquer the World in the 1970's?" The reason for 1970's instead of 1975 was because of articles and talks that made the following points: *** Watchtower 1968 August 15 p. 499 par. 30 Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975? *** 30 Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year period of man’s existence coincides with the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ. . . . It does not necessarily mean that 1975 marks the end of the first 6,000 years of Jehovah’s seventh creative “day.” Why not? Because after his creation Adam lived some time during the “sixth day,” which unknown amount of time would need to be subtracted from Adam’s 930 years, to determine when the sixth seven-thousand-year period or “day” ended, and how long Adam lived into the “seventh day.” And yet the end of that sixth creative “day” could end within the same Gregorian calendar year of Adam’s creation. It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years. If that difference between the end of six thousand years since Adam, and the end of the "sixth day" could not be a matter of years, then this means that it must be less than two years from the autumn of 1975. After the autumn of 1977 it would have become a matter of years, not just months. Then, especially after the 1970's, the focus of the prediction moved to a time before the year 2000: The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah p. 216 "Shortly, within our twentieth century, the "battle in the day of Jehovah" will begin against the modern antitype of Jerusalem, Christendom." Watchtower 1984 Mar 1 pp.18-19 "Some of that "generation" could survive until the end of the century. But there are many indications that "the end" is much closer than that!" "Let Your Kingdom Come" (1981) p.102 "But now in our 20th century, we have come to the time for harvest "a conclusion of a system of things, and the reapers are angels"!" Watchtower 1989 Jan 1 p.12 "He was laying a foundation for a work that would be completed in our 20th century."
  6. Yes. But with no change to the meaning or interpretation of the term "high crimes and misdemeanors" as we can see by every example of those officials who were impeached during the years when that phrase still held the British meaning. And we can also compare every example of those officials who were impeached in Britain during the centuries and decades leading up to the US Constitution, and beyond. I should also add that I think Trump is guilty of many abuses of power. If he was right about the way that he says Obama was guilty of abuses of power (and I think he was) then Trump must be guilty by his own admission. I also think that Trump definitely had in mind a quid pro quo with Ukraine. This doesn't mean that he got his way, however. The people around him often tend to reel him in, or just end up doing the more politically legal thing, even if Trump is ready and proud to do something illegal or unethical. Even if Trump only did the right thing after he was "caught" as Democrats would like to say, it doesn't make the desire to do the wrong thing, or even the request "impeachable" on its own. Trying to do the wrong thing, is not the same as doing it. One can point out the fact that aid was held up, and even that it was held up so that he would get something he wanted of personal benefit. But if the other side did not give him what he wanted, then we don't have the crux of the quid pro quo anyway. Personally, I don't even think it's the right thing to give aid to Ukraine. The whole point is to paint Russia as an evil adversary or enemy when we are not at war, or shouldn't be. We keep a proxy war going through Ukraine only because we (and especially Democrats) love the idea of a powerful bullying empirical power that shows it wants to stand up to Putin, even if this teases out a WWIII. The Democrats want to look even stronger against Putin, because they are still stuck on this missed chance to make it look like Trump is weak on Putin, or somehow in cahoots with Putin. Trump actually tends, most of the time, toward a foreign policy that is less hawkish than Democrats. Of course, that probably doesn't sit well with several of the military agencies and contractors who "need" more war. Many of Trump's "walkbacks" have been over times when he wanted to scale back military operations and expenditures, but came back the next day to show that it wasn't a real scaling back. Some say they can see a pattern which was especially predictable with Bolton, Pompeo, etc. As his advisors and cabinets change personnel, his own statements will still always be unpredictable, but his "walkbacks" are less so. After listening carefully to a few minutes of the testimony today, I'm thinking that Biden's son was picked by Burisma for the same reason that a corrupt company like Theranos put Reagan-era George Schultz on its board. It is a way to pay for some credibility or even protect from too much inquiry or investigation. And after watching him become the most hated mayor in America, Giuliani is just about the kind of person I would expect to be looking for these same kinds of deals for his friends and relatives. Also I got the impression that the phone transcript of Trump's "perfect" call is not the full transcript. There was too much legal activity going on immediately after the call to make sure that transcript would become legal. There were some hints in the way legal-savvy people word their answers that raised some flags for me.
  7. Here's just a few off the top of my head, and I could include a dozen more: We got back to the higher powers (superior authorities) being secular in the very early 60's. Made smoking a DF offense, which has probably improved the health of thousands. We went back to an elder arrangement. We dropped the District Overseer. We reduced the quotas for various pioneer titles. We replaced the separate meeting for the "book study" to be replaced with personal/family study and more focus on field service. Allowed our consciences to accept blood fractions, which has probably improved health or even saved 1,000. We opened up the possibility of the first resurrection from 1918 to a wider range of dates between 1914 and 1935 with the possibility that it could be even as late as the great tribulation. We opened up our understanding of the first resurrection to include the possibility of a "rapture" (as long as we don't use the word). We now see the cleansing of the temple as no longer tied to the situation in the organization in 1918. We now read several prophetic concepts that were once tied to 1914, 1918 and 1919 as no longer fixed to those years, with one now reaching back to the end of the first century, and a couple others now tied to the time surrounding the great tribulation. We got a much more accurate Watchtower history book which helps researchers understand the context of several of the major accomplishments along with several of the mistakes in our history. We now tell parents and guardians that they are free to inform authorities about child sexual abuse without concern for anyone's reputation. We now include elders informing authorities as part of the process wherever it is the law to do so. It was a core concept with Frederick Franz. Everyone else knew that our chronology doctrines were always the most susceptible to change. Changing, moveable doctrines can hardly be core. It was serious. But many are too embarrassed to admit it was serious, and are happy to repress their own reactions, or the fact that it came from the WTS, not rank-and-file members of the congregation who were pushing ahead. But you should know that there never was a "prediction of 1975 Armageddon." The prediction was for the 1970's based on 1975 being the end of the 7,000 years since Adam. When that failed, the prediction was for the period up to the year 2000. There never was a specific 1975 prediction. I see nothing wrong with thinking of the GB as anointed. Saul was anointed. David was anointed. Judas was anointed. Peter was anointed. Thomas was anointed. I'm sure they diligently try to live up to the reputation of a faithful and discreet slave. I think Jesus meant for the phrase to apply to all of us, including them. Most JWs probably know that we all need to be faithful and discreet slaves, but that this is a way of seeing their particular ministry as special.
  8. I certainly didn't bring him on board, nor do I have the authority to bring someone on or kick them off. And I don't believe for a minute that Tom would have or could have either. But I will gladly vouch for you, that you have been as behaved as any of us would be expected to be when the challenges get to be so direct, "in your face." And AlanF's language is likely to turn most of us off completely. (There are ladies in the room!) Still, I mostly hope that you two don't bring up each other's blood pressure. Also, I thought you were right on the "quire" thing immediately. It's a bit archaic, and probably never got used "naturally" within the expression "preaching to the choir." But I think the Anglican prayer-book still uses the spelling quire to mean choir. And a few poets used the spelling into the 1800's. I was referring to Cesar Chaves. I expect that if TrueTomHarley continues to debate you, it will be in his own style, and he'll remain civil no matter what you think of him or he thinks of you. But, if you remember Allen Smith who was also working under a few different names at the same time he engaged in debate with you, then you will know that he has a unique ability to turn a debate into chaos. Unfortunately the owners of the site have put him on a kind of "watch" it seems, because they have been quick to remove some of his accounts as soon as they sense any kind of initiated provocation. Perhaps this time they will see you as the initiator and he will be safe in this most recent incarnation. Yeah. I was kidding with the euphemism for liar. What Arauna had said about calling a spade a spade because she was African would have come across as racist back where I'm from. I'm glad no one pointed that out. OED: c.2.c More forcefully, in colloq. phr. to call a spade a (bloody) shovel: to speak with great or unnecessary bluntness. 1919 W. S. Maugham Moon & Sixpence iii. 12 We did not think it hypocritical to draw over our vagaries the curtain of a decent silence. The spade was not invariably called a bloody shovel.
  9. AlanF and Allen or César Chávez, I forgot exactly what happened last time between you two. But I think that there must be a way to keep this a little bit more civil and still make your points. I find, for example, that replacing the word "liar" with "disingenuous person" goes a long way, and takes longer to read, too. 😎
  10. I think that if there were a lot of new things, many folks would just complain that it represents things we had wrong and had to change. The basic foundational beliefs have been around for quite a while, and we wouldn't expect any big changes in any of these. But we've gained a simpler message even though most of the "deeper" ideas are not discarded. I think that we can be a bit humbler now because we aren't so often trying to compare our level of scholarship with others. We are not into the scholarship that proves the Trinity wrong, or Christmas wrong, even though we understand that our position on these things is much better than Christendom's. I think we are wrong on a couple of less important doctrines that should be revisited in a scholarly manner. But if the WTS decided to never revisit some of these things, and could help us completely replace our concern instead with showing love to our fellow believers, and then showing love to our neighbor, and helping us learn patience, humility, peace, joy, love, kindness, moral cleanness, I would not care at all about a couple of mistaken doctrines.
  11. I do not participate in the large "JWN" forum. I've tried but there is no way to actually have a Biblical discussion due to the number of non-believers and ridiculers of all things spiritual. I have participated in forums for studies of the Ancient Near East (ANE) and Biblical Greek and Hebrew, but it's been years since I tried to get questions answered there. I got invited to a chronology forum based on a correspondence with Rolf Furuli. This "theworldnewsmedia" is the only one I have looked at in months. I think it makes a good place to write out my own opinions and concerns and usually get some thoughtful feedback. It's not too crowded, and I'm pretty sure it's small enough so that no one from HQ will take much interest. I'm sure it's not run by elders, btw. Mon 25 @ 11:50 Ong
  12. It is possible to come up with a list of new things learned that are not merely a matter of losing unnecessary doctrine. Even when doctrines are removed, there is a positive reason for them. For example, when the couple-hundred doctrines that highlighted "class distinctions" by turning every parable and narrative in the Bible into a prophecy about various classes of people, we actually gained the ability to see Bible principles that applied to any and all of us. But there is still a lot to be said for what Arauna is saying about merely removing the focus on less important things. The theme of Love at the last convention was very simple, but additional ideas for opportunities to show love were gained. Even if they hadn't been, that simple focus motivates each of us to look for new ways to show love for one another. We SHOULD be in a position now to have plenty to think about, and yet allow our Christianity to help us "keep our eye simple." *** w11 1/15 p. 25 par. 16 Empowered to Fight Temptation and Cope With Discouragement *** 16 Jehovah’s Word urges us to “make sure of the more important things.” (Phil. 1:10) Likening the Christian life course to a long-distance footrace, under inspiration the apostle Paul recommended: “Let us also put off every weight . . . , and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Heb. 12:1) His point was that we must avoid needless pursuits, needless weights, that will tire us out.
  13. I have no idea who she really is, but she is a name known from the big exJW forum (Simon something-or-other) and I have seen the name on a private yahoo forum run by Witnesses where I have discussed chronology. I haven't checked it in a couple of years, but it has included some Rolf Furuli defenders. (Furuli is a JW with a PhD who has tried to make the Watchtower chronology seem possible. No one outside of a few Watchtower defenders have ever taken him seriously.)
  14. OK, I agree that I must have sounded a bit anxious to get feedback from a blatant apostate. I remembered his disdain for all things sacred but forgot that you'll end up trapped in an inextricable whirlwind of words. If you try to get the last word, at least you will probably keep him around long enough to get some good material. Funny that I see scholarJW's name pop up in the "who's online" box, and each time I think he might be ready with something new on 607/587 in which case, I always expect to learn something when he's challenged by persons like AlanF and Ann Omaly. I'm always anxious to learn, but I think I was too willing to overlook the way he treated you and Arauna last time.
  15. Per Wikipedia, The Constitution says: "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." When the Constitution was written, the terms "high crime" and "misdemeanor" were both used in senses that are quite different from the way we've come to think of them today. The original sense came from the laws that the framers had themselves been under, the British laws, which had used the term since as far back as 1386. It was originally a phrase to highlight the fact that almost any kind of "maladministration" --even things we might think of as NON-crimes-- could have a magnified effect due to the "high office" of the official, judge, president, etc. Most of the items that were considered "maladministration" would not be considered much of a problem at all if you or I practiced them. But they could become a perverting of justice or subject the populace to the ill effects in a way that only a person in high office had the ability to do. When James Madison discussed the formulation of the "constitution" with Mason, they started out with only Bribery and Treason, but Mason argued that the definition of Treason is too narrowly tied to enemies when at war, and that this would hardly cover situations when a president "attempts to subvert the Constitution." So the British term "maladministration" was suggested and then, after discussion, changed it to the more formal British term "high crimes and misdemeanors." According to the Wikipedia article on "Maladministration" it means the following in UK law: The definition of maladministration is wide and can include: Delay Incorrect action or failure to take any action Failure to follow procedures or the law Failure to provide information Inadequate record-keeping Failure to investigate Failure to reply Misleading or inaccurate statements Inadequate liaison Inadequate consultation Broken promises That's such a vague definition that Madison said it would be the equivalent of just having a President who served at the pleasure of the Senate. It would "normalize" impeachment, and therefore the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" was deemed closer to the idea of "subverting the constitution." The phrase was definitely intended to narrow the reasons that the Senate might try to impeach a President, but was also a way to include things that would not nearly reach up to the definitions of bribery and treason. In Britain the phrase meant abuse of a high office even if the abuse did NOT violate any criminal laws. So this is how legal scholars have also applied it to the US presidency, usually with a focus on any subversion of the Constitution. The Wiki article on "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" includes the following that gives an idea of how the original framers understood it: Benjamin Franklin asserted that the power of impeachment and removal was necessary for those times when the Executive "rendered himself obnoxious," and the Constitution should provide for the "regular punishment of the Executive when his conduct should deserve it, and for his honorable acquittal when he should be unjustly accused." James Madison said that "impeachment... was indispensable" to defend the community against "the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief Magistrate." With a single executive, Madison argued, unlike a legislature whose collective nature provided security, "loss of capacity or corruption was more within the compass of probable events, and either of them might be fatal to the Republic."[10] The process of impeaching someone in the House of Representatives and the Senate is difficult, made so to be the balance against efforts to easily remove people from office for minor reasons that could easily be determined by the standard of "high crimes and misdemeanors". It was George Mason who offered up the term "high crimes and misdemeanors" as one of the criteria to remove public officials who abuse their office. Their original intentions can be gleaned by the phrases and words that were proposed before, such as "high misdemeanor," "maladministration," or "other crime." Edmund Randolph said impeachment should be reserved for those who "misbehave." Charles Cotesworth Pinckney said, It should be reserved "for those who behave amiss, or betray their public trust." As can be seen from all these references to "high crimes and misdemeanors," the definition or its rationale does not relate to specific offences. This gives a lot of freedom of interpretation to the House of Representatives and the Senate. The constitutional law by nature is not concerned with being specific. The courts through precedence and the legislature through lawmaking make constitutional provisions specific. In this case the legislature (the House of Representatives and the Senate) acts as a court and can create a precedent. In Federalist No. 65, Alexander Hamilton said, "those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself."[11] The first impeachment conviction by the United States Senate was in 1804 of John Pickering, a judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, for chronic intoxication. Federal judges have been impeached and removed from office for tax evasion, conspiracy to solicit a bribe, and making false statements to a grand jury.[12]
  16. Earlier in the day yesterday, someone had just asked me privately about some details that came out of the Lloyd & Ted drama. I wrote up an answer containing most of the information in the post to AlanF. I mentioned in that answer that although I thought my source or sources were excellent, I still thought some of the details seemed a bit contrived and hard to believe. Later in the same day, AlanF shows up here, and I recalled that he, or persons in his family, had met a lot of these same people. So I copied what I had already written and then tried to edit it quickly. As it turns out I don't think AlanF could add much to it. And I don't get the impression that he's into the kind of quiet, reasonable discussion I was hoping for. 😞
  17. It's very probable that other people know certain features, and can help validate pieces of the story. But neither you nor I have any knowledge that this is already out there somewhere, so I already knew you were bluffing. (It reminds me of the style that "Allen Smith" often utilized to bluff and bluster.) I'm sure that you just don't realize that the portion of this story that puts it in perspective is fairly recent. I'm sure a lot of people knew that it was TJ behind the intimidation campaign, but he clearly didn't want his name involved, so that limited the number who could tell what was happening, even from within the Service Department. From the "field" people might have known and complained about Beagle or Pierce, but how could anyone in the "field" have ever known that this was part of a campaign that included targeted areas in the Midwest. I can also name the victim, and I searched on this victim's name, a dozen different ways and although I can find the name, it is not associated (yet) in any public way with these allegations or with these other persons. I think that there is a very good reason that no one has ever offered these same talking points. And there is a very good reason that you can't point to them either. Curious spelling of condone. Reminds me of how Cesar Chavez would have pronounced "Columbus" as "Colon," where the m and n move in the other direction. The Knorr idea has been suggested before. I have my strong doubts, but I have heard it pointed out that he always surrounded himself with tall, good-looking men: The Adams family (all three brothers), Max Larson, etc. There was another widely known homosexual Branch Servant at the time in Canada, Percy Chapman, who did such a good job managing the Branch that no one seemed to care. But I think it was Knorr who finally had him removed (not that this proves anything about Knorr, one way or another). I have never heard of Rutherford being accused of homosexuality. I didn't search, but it was never one of the accusations floating around inside Bethel. My own table head (the Bethel Elder at the head of every morning and lunch table) worked with Rutherford and claimed that he was a drunkard, a womanizer, and a contentious blowhard, but this is the first I have ever heard of a complaint of homosexuality. It can be proven that at least one husband divorced his wife over all the time that his wife was spending alone with Rutherford. True, but he seemed to have some details I had never known anyone else to mention, but they match things I heard about before exJW websites existed, and before the Web existed. And an attending witness could actually provide a lot of useful help here.
  18. I think that several items of information in my last post cannot be found in ANY of the thousands of ex-witness websites. I have never mentioned the Pierce, West, Lett, Beagle incidents before, and I doubt that C.A. has publicized anything. I would be extremely surprised if you found the case of the mother who got a letter from TJ about her daughter, or even which circuits that Beagle and Pierce were sent to, and which circuits West and Lett went to. In a previous version I gave the state and even an indication of how the story came up again recently. I removed it because I realized that it involved too many specifics about a living person.
  19. @AlanF Haven't seen you around these parts for a while. I see the name @scholar JW pop up in a "Who's Online" box now and it always reminds me of the fact that he seemed to love a 587 debate, wherever he could find one. I always appreciated your knowledge on that topic (although, you also scare me with your evolution/atheism arguments). But back to the point. I did not know that you knew this much about the Lloyd Barry and Ted Jaracz situation. I was going to start avoiding using so many names but, yes, of course you are talking about the same people. In case you are even more aware of some of these details I would like to run another situation by you, especially since it sounds like you might be aware of details that would clarify or adjust what I think I know. I had just decided earlier today NOT to share this part of the story because of how unbelievable and contrived it might sound. But I'm going to go ahead and put it out here, and I'll take a cue from you and use names this time: And by the way I don't know if you know C.A. (still alive) but he is the WTS source for most of this particular story, either directly or indirectly. He is currently living in a residence just off the Bethel campus, and is not doing that well health-wise. I prefer that his name is not spelled out here, because I'm sure he would have preferred that these issues were not widely publicized in a forum such as this. I embarrassed myself in front of him on my first day at Bethel over 40 years ago, by telling him about a problem with the pay phones in the Bethel lobby. He listened and then shrugged as if he could not have cared less about it. I don't know why it still embarrasses me so much, but it doesn't matter, we got along very well from that point until even long after I left Bethel. He himself got involved in some even more embarrassing situations at Bethel, which I think you know about. He was in the Service Department under Miller and Jaracz, and shortly after I left Bethel, he was "promoted" to the Writing Department. But this story is primarily from back in 91 to 92. After the 91 article, brothers and sisters thought it was good to start telling their stories of sexual abuse to the elders, to the Society, and to professional therapists. The situation was very unnerving for the Society and for local elders too, especially when the accused were those they knew and wanted to defend in some way. There was a big new controversy over repressed memories and whether all these accusations could actually be false. Elders in California, and a couple other states were actually starting classes in "repressed memories" and trying to learn what they could about psychiatry. Victims were coming out of the woodwork. So Brother Jaracz who tried to keep it "anonymous" from the rest of the Service Department, talked to several of the brothers who were known to be on the rise and who had requested or were being considered for Bethel positions in the Service Department. These were Brother Pierce, West, Lett and Beagle, possibly among others. Pierce and Beagle were sent to California to handle circuits that TJ had been in, and West and Lett were assigned to Wisconsin, at least, there might have been other areas and brothers involved too. To give you an idea of who these people were, Beagle, Pierce and Lett were called in to work as C.O.s and D.O.s around the NYC area. (West may have been too, but I don't know what happened to him.) This is a commonly known sign that they are being watched and in close communication with the Service Department, and Bethelites "in the know" start guessing at this point that they will soon be called in to Bethel for "top jobs" CA, in fact, predicted when Beagle would come in (he was immediately assigned to the Service Department) and CA guessed in advance that Pierce would go straight to the Governing Body. I think he may have had some inside information. The two most intimidating were Beagle (six foot six) and Pierce (short but a bulldog with a smile). The intimidation campaign actually produced letters complaining about both of these persons, which was another reason for moving them to NYC. Pierce (from the Salem OR area) had a range of complaints about his "weirdness." An old accusation from 1991 actually ended up revealing clearly that it was TJ behind the anonymous campaign, as he sent a letter on his own letterhead (his codes) to a sister (a victim's mother) whose daughter was sexually abused by more than one elder since she was young. The mother died, and the daughter is in possession of letters between her mother and the WTS, including at least one from TJ. And based on the content of the letters, she recalled that it was West and Lett who met with her to warn her and her mother that they would be disfellowshipped if they exposed the story. This part of the story, if true, would provide further confirmation that Lett and West were involved in the same intimidation. I already knew something of Pierce and Beagle because of relatives in California. Brother Beagle, by the way, (young) died suddenly of a heart problem shortly after he began his assignment in the Service Dept. Brother Lett, of course, is now on the Governing Body and made himself famous to this victim (and exJWs, and probably other victims) by implying that apostate lies were behind the spread of rumors about the WTS covering up child sexual abuse. [edited to remove some of the state locations and too many specifics about the victim and victim's family. If you copied a previous version, please reload the page to get the edited version.]
  20. I was talking about a situation from 40 to 50 years ago, and it might have been a good thing, in that it revealed the tension that is seen before a necessary transition. There had been a time up until the years before 1975, when the strongest voices in the Writing Department and from the Vice President were considered to "gospel" for the Service Department. The Service Department was in charge of pushing higher and higher activity goals and was given a lot of credit when goals and quotas were met. But the Service Department also handled correspondence for serious lifestyle questions that came in, and ultimately handled disfellowshipping rules and practices. This tended to "bleed" back into the Writing Department so that "suggestions" and "principles" were being turned into Watchtower dogma. (For example, question about marital practices in the bedroom, or organ transplants based on the musings of Fred Franz turned into matters of disfellowshipping, when they probably should have been left up to the couple or individual. But after enough disfellowshippings over such things, the rules had to be set in stone.) The head of Service wasn't ready to stop being a hard-liner when the Writing department had begun to realize that they had no reason to be hard-liners on every topic. So the tensions were necessary to get clarification, and hopefully the Writing department would win out on certain flexible points at a time when the Service department wanted to be unbending. There was a time when elders all around the country sometimes said "The Society is actually Harley Miller" because it was Harley Miller who was in charge of the way questions were answered when the elders needed clarification. The brother I mentioned before took over for Harley Miller. (Sorry about that, I am trying to no longer use names but I've already mentioned FWF and HM.) It seems to me now that the WT is much less likely to promote harsh handling on several of these points they once fought over. The Service/Correspondence departments are now evidently completely in line. And one of the reasons I think of the current GB as less likely to have "pedophiles" in their midst is that there are fewer, they appear to get along better, and I think they realize they must be much more careful about past mistakes and past reputation. When questionable persons were asked to join the GB during the 1970's, there was a rule that past mistakes of elders could be ignored if they were long enough in the past and they were not currently causing a reputation problem in the congregation. The point was that there was no need for any type of public reproval that the congregation needs to know about if it were far enough in their background. This is no longer true of any connection with child sexual abuse. No exceptions are to be made CSA, even if they were in the past.
  21. I think that such cases will be very rare based on the new processes. As much as I am concerned about how closely elders seem to accept WTS processes as "law" it's good when these rules have been corrected and we can expect them to be followed to the letter.
  22. The motive should not matter, if the charges are truthful. The difference in motive will sometimes show up in the level of carefulness and honesty. So badly motivated persons will often make claims that are not going to be useful as "constructive." They may even backfire in a court of law and discredit the usefulness and value of claims that could have otherwise been constructive. We often use a scripture that we apply to the congregation, when it actually appears to have more of an application to "secular" authorities: (Leviticus 5:1) . . .“‘If someone sins because he has heard a public call to testify and he is a witness or has seen or learned about it and he does not report it, then he will answer for his error." So, there is precedent for bringing to light those activities that "love" the darkness.
  23. This is a good point. I agree with it. When people keep talking about child sexual abuse and it becomes the big topic in the news, then it is easy to kind of impose child sexual abuse as the intended meaning even when we hear the term child abuse, which does not necessarily imply sexual abuse.
  24. Actually, @4Jah2me and @Witness are right in this case. *** w09 10/15 p. 5 par. 10 “Be Aglow With the Spirit” *** . . . the “other sheep” are not part of the composite body of Christ . . . . And @Witness is right that this is a difference between the Watchtower teaching and the "theology" that Allen Smith has claimed to believe. And if Allen Smith thought this was right you can best believe that it will also be defended to the nth degree by: @Bogdan11 @John H Slaughter @Alithís Gnosis @DespicableME, @alvi languore insanabili @Grey Reformer @Tom Henry etc., etc., etc.

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