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  1. ZIONIST RESTORATION IN PALESTINE 1878-1914. By December 1879, (WT quoted below) it was noted that Spring 1878 was also close to the middle of the period from October 1844 to October 1914. This idea allowed more focus on those prophecies supposedly coming true for Zionism in Palestine. To build up Zion implies a process, and so far as relates to the earthly Jerusalem, includes the restoration of the Jewish nation of Israel according to the flesh, in all its parts; and we believe in its application to the Gospel church, the same must be true. That from 1878 to 1914 is the last half of the last trump, has often been shown, and also that this is the period during which Jerusalem is to be restored. "The last, or seventh trumpet covers the day of wrath, angry nations and the time of reward for prophets, saints and them that fear God's name, small and great." Rev. 11:18. . . . . Some are to be counted worthy to escape the tribulation [144,000/Bride], . . ., while others are left to pass through the fire, wash their robes, and come up out of the great tribulation [great crowd]. Another WT contributor from Barbour's paper was B.W.Keith and he wrote that the 144,000 were natural Jews, and the great crowd were gentiles. See WT June 1880, p.R108: [Note that he uses the term "apology" in the sense of the Greek word "apologia," meaning "defense" or "explanation"/"reason".] The apology for presenting this subject, is, that the return of the Jews, and the time of trouble are becoming apparent facts; and it is believed that the two facts will be the means, in the next 35 years, of the conversion of the 144,000 Jews, and the great multitude of all nations, who will come up out of or after the great tribulation, with their robes washed white in the blood of the Lamb--Rev. 7. B. W. K. Paton produced a kind of compromise solution in the same December 1879 WT (p.R58). I include the comment by Paton here because it shows he was not ready to produce a single year for the prediction about the date of their "change" or "translation." Apparently he saw the entire period now from 1878 to 1914 as a time for building up both natural Jews and the nation of spiritual Jews. The making up suggests a gradual and not an instantaneous work; as also, "when the Lord shall build up Zion he shall appear in his glory." Ps. 102:16. This doubtless refers primarily to the restoration of the earthly Jerusalem during thirty-seven years, or from 1878 to 1914, which, according to the prophetic arguments, is the last half of the sounding of the seventh. But there are two Jerusalems --an earthly and a heavenly; a mount that could be touched, and a mount Zion that could not be touched. (Heb. 12:18,22.) We believe these are related to each other; the one outward and Jewish, the other inward and Christian; and that both are to be built up during the same period, "the last trump." According to the parables of the "two Dispensations," Christ was due to enter or come into the office of king in the spring of 1878, the parallel of his riding into Jerusalem in fulfillment of "behold thy king cometh;" and the same king who has the power to restore the natural Jerusalem, has the power to build up the spiritual Jerusalem; and it is declared that he will reward the whole church--prophets, saints and them that fear his name, small and great"--during the seventh trumpet, (Rev. 11:18)--the same period in which it has often been shown that the earthly Jerusalem will be restored. This will help explain why Paton was initially against setting expectations for the date 1881. Next post.
  2. Personally I think that BroRando removed his own topic, probably because it was not very supportive of his predictions for 2034. And there were so many off-topic comments (a lot from me) that were not supportive of 1914. (His 2034 speculation depends on the accuracy of 1914.)
  3. J. H. PATON APOLOGY FOR 1878 After that July 1879 Watch Tower issue supplement where Russell explained his involvement in the 1878 promotion, 1878 was mentioned again in the October 1879 issue. Here is where Paton explains the 1878 failure and proposes a meaning that "salvages" the failure, and would become the new 1878 doctrine until well after Russell died. But there is a kind of apology buried in there, too. First of all for those who don't know the context of Paton's presentation, the "doubles" theory said that because the time from the death of Jacob to the death of Jesus Christ was 1,845 years, then the time from Jesus' baptism (his appearance as the Christ) until his invisible presence was also 1,845 years. Therefore 29 C.E. + 1,849 = 1874. And therefore the time from Jesus death/resurrection (his "change") in the spring of 33 C.E. until the spring of 1878 must also be 1,845 years. Later of course, this same parallel would be used to show that the "favor" to the Jewish nation lasted until "Cornelius" in 36 C.E. and therefore those 7 years of "Jewish harvest" would correspond to the 7 years of "Gospel harvest" from 1874 to 1881. And even after the Bride class was translated to their spiritual bodies a time of trouble would continue for the nations for the remaining 33 years of harvest from 1881 to 1914. This corresponded to the time between 36 until Jerusalem was finally destroyed in 70 C.E. 1 BC + 1,845 = 1844 + 30 = 29 + 1,845 = 1874 + 3.5 = 33 + 1,845 = 1878 + 3.5 = 36 + 1,845 = 1881 + 33 = 70 + 1,845 = 1914 + 3.5 = 73 + 1,845 = 1918* *As 1914 approached, it was remembered that some Jews had survived Jerusalem's 70 C.E. disaster until Masada in 73 C.E., which supported a new date of 1918. Russell didn't actually support 1918, but Rutherford did, and it was a big part of the predictions found in "The Finished Mystery" (7th Volume) published in 1917. Hopefully that helps to make sense of what Paton wrote in 1879. But remember that up to this point (1879) only the years 1844, 1874 and 1878 and 1914 were officially considered to be part of the application. 1881 hadn't been spelled out yet. Barbour never mentioned it in "The Three Worlds" although he did propose it as the new "end of the harvest" in August 1878. The first time the Watch Tower will mention 1881 will not be until May 1880. But even then the WT was not supporting the date. It was an article by J.H.Paton to say that this new date that Barbour was predicting was wrong. Later, the WT will accept 1881, but not in the exact same terms it was being predicted by Barbour. So back to the point, here is Paton explaining 1878 in the October 1879 Watch Tower, starting with p.R37: THE TEN VIRGINS Many of our readers are more or less familiar with the application of the parable of the ten virgins (Matth. 25), to a movement in this last generation in reference to the Lord's coming. . . . This is specially important now, because some of what has been considered the well-established features of the parable, are being discarded by some of our brethren, and a new departure is by them being made. Translation: 1878 failed and some people are departing and rejecting features of the application of this parable. It is confidently predicted that we will discard the whole application, but we see no reason for so doing. . . . This will be apparent presently to all who understand the former application, and the new position taken, and who are free enough from bondage to accept the truth as from the Lord, irrespective of the vessel in which it is conveyed. Naturally, I would always recommend reading the entire original WT article, but I will quote long portions of the passage and try to edit it down to something more readable: To appreciate the strength of the former application, we must see the place or time in the gospel dispensation, where the parable belongs, and to appreciate the weakness of the new departure it is necessary to see the parallelism of the Jewish and Gospel dispensations. The chart on which that beautiful bible argument is illustrated hangs before me as I write. We regard it as a clear, simple and strong definite time argument. From the death of Jacob to the death of Christ, --1845 years,--is the measure of the first or twelve tribe dispensation. From the death of Christ in the Spring of A.D. 33, until the Spring of A.D. 1878, is the measure of the second-- another period of 1845 years. The two dispensations are equal in length, the second beginning where the first ends, at the cross, or death of Christ. ...The two cherubim made "of one measure and one size" (1 Kings 6:25) placed with wings extended on either side of the mercy seat, illustrate the equality of the two dispensations. Types are exact, for being a feature of the law, they must be fulfilled even to the jots and tittles,... From the death of Jacob to the birth of Christ is equal to the period from the death of Christ to the Autumn of A.D. 1844,.... Each of these points was marked by an important event in reference to the coming of the Lord. The tarrying of Jesus for 30 years before his baptism and entrance on the harvest work, has its parallel in the tarrying time between 1844 and 1874, at which later point the harvest of the gospel dispensation began. Christ's personal ministry of 3-1/2 years, ending at his death, has its parallel in the 3-1/2 years of harvest from the Autumn of 1874 until the Spring of 1878. At his birth Christ came in the body prepared for sacrifice, tarried thirty years, and came as Bridegroom and Reaper, and three years and a half later he rode into Jerusalem as a King....The Anglo-Turkish treaty of 1878, made about the time of the Berlin Congress, securing certain legal favors to the Jews, opening the door for their restoration, is certainly in harmony with the application, and we are not ashamed of our rejoicing at its confirmation. We regard this whole affair as a remarkable confirmation of the truth of bible prophecies, and of the gospel of Christ. No one who is at all familiar with this argument, can fail to see that whatever tends to weaken or set aside the parallelism, weakens the whole position. As the former closed with its three stages of the coming of Jesus, so this one closes with three stages. In 1844 he was due to leave the most holy place. ... He was expected to come to earth, and to do a great many things that were not due, by those who had not learned that the law, which was a shadow, required that the High Priest should tarry in the holy place to cleanse it (the sanctuary means the holy place,) after he had done his work in the most holy and left it. (See Lev. 16.) That the tarrying was thirty years or from 1844 until 1874 has often been shown. ...Man did not make the parallels, but with the Lord's help found them. Thus then they stand related to each other;--at the end of the Jewish dispensation Christ came first as a babe, second as Bridegroom and Reaper, and third as a King; at this time, and points of time exactly corresponding, Christ first came from the Most Holy, and tarried in the Holy place, second as Bridegroom and Reaper, and third, as King. Granted that this is not a pure apology but it acknowledges that the prediction was wrong, and that people were leaving over it. And the WT position was that these persons were, in effect, throwing out the baby with the bathwater. And the dates in the application were said to be from God, not man, and that anyone rejecting the truth of these dates (1844, 1874 and 1878) was still in bondage and not free enough to accept the truth from the Lord. He goes on: All who understand the arguments, admit that the tarrying of the parable began in 1844, and ended in 1874, and it has always been urged in favor of the cry which pointed to 1874, for the coming of the Bridegroom, being the "midnight cry," because it began at midnight,--1859--which is a very consistent reason. . . . Now brethren, all who can hear me, I want it clearly understood that I have not given up the application of the parable, and can see no sufficient reason for so doing. I believe the going forth ended in 1844, that the tarrying ended in 1874, and therefore the cry pointing to 1874 was the midnight cry, and I believe it was consistent that the name "midnight cry" then disappeared from the publication, because, as stated at the time, it had done its work; but in harmony with that faith I also believe that Christ came in the character of a Bridegroom in 1874. . . . It is admitted by some that going into the marriage is not translation, but there is a special reason in their minds for placing that going in yet in the future, and the coming of the Bridegroom, also in the future, even though they teach as do we that the tarrying time ended in 1874. That special reason is the basis of the new departure we have mentioned. Since the Autumn of 1878, there has been a very clearly marked difference of opinion on the subjects of Atonement, Resurrection and Restitution. While we have not felt disposed to disfellowship anyone on account of a difference of opinion on these things, or for any other opinion as long as we are satisfied of the christian integrity of brethren, there has been difference enough to prevent the same hearty co-operation. . . But the effort is now put forth to create a division before the Bridegroom comes (which is supposed by them to be future) such as will justify the claim that we are the "Foolish Virgins" of the parable. The fact that this subject of the wedding garment is now agitated, and especially since the Spring of 1878, is to us significant. We regard it as one of the circumstantial evidences that it is due here, and that the midnight cry movement is past as is the cry itself. Paton makes much of that doctrinal division in the year 1878, the same year that Russell and Barbour had begun to break ties. Paton, of course, had left Barbour and gone along with Russell, as did several former contributors to the Herald who now contributed to the Watch Tower. Paton wants to make this about something other than the chronology, because he tacitly admits that the chronology expectation on its own would have made Russell, Barbour, Keith and Paton look like the foolish virgins of the parable. Up to this point, there is no real apology, but at least in the next article on the "wedding garment" we see more acknowledgement of the problem created by the failure: This is an important question, and one which is receiving much attention at present from all who have been interested in the "Harvest" message, and who believe that in the Spring of 1878, a point was reached in the history of the gospel church, parallel to that of the Jewish church at the death of Christ. Though the faith of some has been severely tried, and some have perhaps been led to doubt the correctness of the position referred to above, we believe no good reason can be shown why the space of time covered by the "Two Dispensations," --Jewish and Gospel, as represented by the Cherubim, did not end in the Spring of 1878. However much we differ from some of our brethren in regard to the present position or the light that was due; at the end of the Jewish double, we still believe that future events will vindicate that the movement based on such an application of the prophetic periods and parallels was and is of the Lord. Our faith in the movement is deeper than our faith in men. So Paton actually admits that the expectation was a part of "our mistakes" and might even be including himself as one of those "too many" who treated others as not "in the light" for NOT expecting it (as he obviously did). He is perhaps also saying that he (and therefore Russell and Barbour at that time) were being too "dogmatic," just because they felt so "sure." That translation was not due in the Spring of 1878 is certain, and yet too many were inclined to treat others as not "in the light" for not expecting it then. Being positive or dogmatic does not make anything true, even if it does make an impression. Shall we not learn wisdom by our mistakes? We felt sure once that the gathering of the wheat into the barn by the angels, was translation, but now we are convinced that Omnipotence alone, in His hands who is higher than the angels, can give immortality, and therefore the angels can only gather into a condition of readiness for the great change. That point about the angels becomes a curious transition (or diversion) to potentially blaming the angels for letting in humans who didn't actually have the wedding garment. After all the angels weren't above mistakes, since they can't read hearts, he says: Some are just as positive yet that going in to the marriage is translation, but we are inclined to consider being "in" to the marriage the same as being "in" the barn, and we believe that some--perhaps a very small number--represented by one without the wedding garment-- will be cast out after being in. The "going forth" to meet the bridegroom, before the slumbering was not a movement from one place to another, but an act of faith, on account of prophetic light. The slumbering was a lack of the exercise of faith; and the "going out" to meet him under the midnight cry was also a movement of faith. If the going out to meet him was of faith, it seems consistent at least that the going in with him should also be of faith. We are quite sure that there is no reference whatever to translation in the parable of the ten virgins. That the expectation of translation is the proper attitude of those who are gathered in may be true, but it seems that even the angels are not infinite in knowledge. Some things "the angels desire to look into." 1 Pet. 1:12. And the Lord answered them indefinitely. (Dan. 12:7.) I am not sure that the angels are in all respects above mistake. They are sinless, but there is a great difference between purity and infallibility in knowledge. God and Christ can "discern the thoughts and intents of the heart;" but can the angels? We think not. And here seems a key: The angels gather in (let me suggest) those who have the light in theory, but the Lord causes to be put out into "outer darkness" (even what they have is taken from them) those who are not right in spirit. I don't believe the admission of making mistakes and being too dogmatic and sure is very sincere. That's because I don't see any point in admitting mistakes but then quickly changing the subject to how the angels may also make mistakes. Further, he makes a point that the expectation was an act of faith. It showed the right spirit, and they showed they had spiritual light because the "theory" was still correct. Going out to meet him during the midnight cry was too early but showed the right spirit. Not going out in expectation showed the wrong spirit. In later Watch Towers, the difference between the foolish virgins and the wise virgins would become the difference between those who believed in 1874, 1878 and then 1881, (wise) and those who didn't (foolish).
  4. THE 1878 "APOLOGY" We'll take Russell's stated view of 1878 first. Russell explains it in a supplement to the very first issue of the Watch Tower, July 1879. This was especially addressed to the former readers of Barbour's paper. In this supplement Russell's goal is to explain the breakup with Barbour "rather suddenly" as he calls it. He says he was awakened to Second Advent preaching in 1869, through Jonas Wendell, but didn't convert to his teaching about the "burning of the world" in 1873. And he wasn't convinced of that 1873 the prediction either (and he knew that Barbour, another Second Adventist, had been preaching that same 1873 date). But then came 1876. (A year we see Russell beginning to write time predictions for George Storrs' journal, The Bible Examiner.) Russell says that up until this year he ignored the time predictions, having thought them unworthy. But he was already convinced that Jesus' advent would be in two stages: (1) the church/Bride/saints would be "withdrawn/changed/translated" (raptured) well "before (2) there would be an open manifestation to the world." In 1876, after examining the "time proofs" with Barbour and Paton, Russell says he became convinced of the truth of these proofs. The 1874 date for Christ's coming still held, in other words, but it must have been invisible as Barbour, Paton, B W Keith were saying. Since 1874 was now a "proven fact" in Russell's mind, he was convinced that the next step, their change from physical to spiritual bodies, must be 1878. And there was less than two years to get the word out. Br. B[arbour] and I talked over various methods of promulgating these truths and finally decided to travel and preach them wherever men and women would hear, and to thus spend (D.V.) the remainder of the harvest, which we then supposed was three and a half years, and would close in 1878. While I was arranging my affairs, brother B. returned to Rochester to prepare for publication of the "Three Worlds." (We found during the Philadelphia meetings that such a book was necessary to furnish hearers with chapter and verse for what was claimed). . . We, Bros. Barbour, Paton and myself, traveled, lectured, etc., for some months, when it seemed advisable to us all that a paper should go continuously to those who were hearing, thus keeping alive and watering seed sown. This seemed good to us all, and while brother Paton and I continued lecturing, brother B. went to Rochester and fitted up our office, type, etc., for which I furnished the money. Russell then begins to make an issue of the many problems he had with Barbour. He mentions that as of July 1878, the publication of "The Three Worlds" in magazine/tract format had paper dropped Russell's name and now only mentioned Barbour. He mentions that he doesn't know where the money went from selling the old printing setup. He mentions that he sent Barbour money several times without keeping track either on paper or mentally, and that he also "presumably" replaced $100 that Barbour once lost from his vest pocket. All told, Russell thinks it was $300 or $400 he sent. He also complains that Barbour considered a $660 joint bank account, which Russell made for convenience of all three of them, to have been a gift to Barbour's paper (The Herald). There are so many numerous complaints about Barbour's style, his patronizing attitude, his mishandling of money, misfiling of subscriber names. Russell complains that Barbour ran down the bank account when the Herald had also profited from about $260 worth of the sales "The Three Worlds," hymn books, etc. Russell says that it's true that Barbour did almost all the work for Herald, but that he was also making his own living from the Herald, albeit living frugally. Barbour had publicly called "young" Russell "immodest" in trying to give his own name a higher place in the Herald. Russell prints a response letter from himself to Barbour where he offers to buy Barbour out and take over the Herald, or to sell his own interest in the paper and to start his own paper. This letter, dated May 22, 1879 in the supplement just a few weeks before Russell starts Zion's Watch Tower on July 1, 1879, which he began with the mailing list of the Herald (along with having arranged to take over the subscription list of Rice's paper, due to Rice's failing health. Responding to Barbour's accusation that young Russell was immodest and had learned all the wonderful doctrines and chronology from Barbour himself, Russell very ably defends the fact that these truths (except maybe the specific interpretation of the chronology) go back to Joseph Seiss, George Storrs, Henry Dunn, and others. And some of this was written in the 1850's: At the time the above was written Bro. Barbour was entirely uninterested in these matters, a gold miner in Australia, and even since his return to the United States, and his interest in the second coming of Christ, his preaching and teaching has, until quite recently, opposed rather than favored these doctrines. So, I think a lot of this will seem petty today, but that's the point. Amidst all the bickering one can lose sight of the fact that there was also a serious doctrinal difference about the exact nature of the "Substitution" doctrine. It's the only time when Russell goes into so much detail about when and how he promoted 1878, and yet it says nothing about the biggest problem with the 1878 doctrine: That It failed to happen as Russell predicted.
  5. This happens to me all the time too. When reading a topic about Russell, you find links to bunch of related topics listed below it, and they could be several years old. I saw this topic come up too, but far be it from me to want to talk about Russell.
  6. I think I can explain what happened. Michael Krewson started the topic about a Mexican Cave. Judging by the other topics he has started, I think he couldn't care less about JWs and C.T.Russell. So when you changed the subject to C.T.Russell an owner or admin of this forum thought they would keep things in order by removing this religious topic over to the JW Open Club. I suspect that the original owners of this forum wanted it to be a place where anyone could come by and discuss any newsworthy topic, but the most active contributors (mostly a half-dozen pro-JWs and another half-dozen ex-JWs, apparently) appear to have turned it into a place that has so many JW references, it tends to chase off all the potential contributors who want to talk about science, bitcoin, finance, natural history, popular culture, etc. JW-related comments continually seep into non-religious topics. The least an admin can do is to push off-topic posts into a new topic area. This means that an admin will have to make up a title for the new topic. I'm sure admins have pretty much given up by now in trying so hard to keep order here. I should add that I haven't seen you (PWfT) making this mistake much any more. Maybe that's because there are so few topics started outside of JW-related forums.
  7. Russell's references to apologies and the topic of apologies In the last few days, I have at least skimmed and mostly re-read every article in the WT that referred to one of Barbour's and Russell's chronology and dates. I have done the same with almost every paragraph in his books, and most of his Sermons. But I have also "cheated" by using a single text-searchable file containing every article of every Watch Tower written under Russell's supervision. (1879-1916). I have another one for his books. I made use of it to search for every form of the word apology, apologized, apologies, regret(s), regretted, error(s), err(ed)(ing), mistake(s)(n), (a)shame(d), wrong(s)(ly), stumble(s)(d), revise(s)(d), retract(ion)(s)(ed), etc., etc., etc. This exercise surprised me in that some of those word groups (like, "mistake*") are used over 1,000 times, which could give someone the wrong impression that "mistakes" were the primary subject of the magazine. It also helped that I still have my notebooks that I kept from work I did at Bethel on the topic of Russell's chronology and other doctrines. And I usually re-read parts of Russell's original sources before making any comment about Russell on the forum, so that much of the information I have been looking at had already been reviewed in the last couple of years. (But that's not saying much for a 64-year-old memory of someone who also tends to rush, and skim and skip through any number of subjects in a day.) When Russell used any of those forms or synonyms for "apology" it was usually about others. Of course, there also a few apologies for not answering letters sooner, or a delay in publishing a promised tract, article, or book. But literally hundreds of cases are in the published letters to Russell where the writer apologizes for not doing more, not being able send more money, or for having doubted Russell on a specific topic, or "uncharitable thoughts" toward Russell, or having once rejected his books and teachings. Similarly, Russell often quoted other religious leaders who apologized for incorrect views, or not being able to defend their views very well. There are so many of these, that someone (else) could create a kind of psychological study, I'm sure. And several other types of exceptions were in the context that God's true servants don't have to apologize, because they are workmen with nothing to be ashamed of. There are a surprising number of phrases against apologies which say something like: God doesn't have to apologize and neither do his ambassadors, his true servants . . . [WT p.R921] This is meat in due season for the household of faith and I won't apologize for it. "We need offer no apology for the interest which we feel in this grand subject, which is the center upon which all the testimony of divine grace, through all the holy prophets, is focused. Rather do they need to apologize who, knowing that the second coming of the Lord and the resurrection of the dead hold the most important places in the Scriptures." [WT p.R2359, repeated on p.R2973] Russell also gave more experiences than I had remembered where others had slandered him or disagreed with his handling of a matter. In several of these Russell added, in his (and their) defense, that the person later apologized to him. Russell also accused more than one person of slander and asked for an apology. But to the point, Russell many times correctly published that any Christian who had said or done anything wrong should always apologize to the person wronged, at least in private. This is consistent throughout his writings from 1879 to 1916. Here's an example published from one of the first issues in 1879: "I wonder who among those who are making this new application, and say they have as much confidence in it as in any part of the application, will be honorable enough to confess as publicly as the former application was made that they were mistaken? "We thought that was light, we thought the Lord led us into it, but we were mistaken, and it was all darkness." Certainly if one position is light the other must be darkness. Does the Lord lead his people in opposite directions? Would it not be wise to be less dogmatic, and less severe with those who cannot see as we do? We may all safely learn a lesson from this sad affair. Those who have advanced light can afford to be patient." [WT, October 1879 p.R40] [In the above case the article is about how others should apologize. The article below is the general correct counsel for all.] "We understand that it is the Lord's will respecting us that we should carefully scrutinize our thoughts, words and actions. If we find that we have injured another with our tongue or in any manner, we should go to that person, and to any to whom we have spoken, and make it right, make proper apologies, putting a penalty upon ourselves --a penalty that we shall not forget. If the penalty requires considerable humility, so much the better. If we neglect to punish ourselves, this would show that we are not in the proper condition; and the best thing the Lord could do for us would be to give us a severe chastisement." WT, p. R5519
  8. So now we can look more closely at those dates which Russell himself had promoted a specific future expectations, and which were not fulfilled. So, if there were any apologies for jumping ahead of Jehovah's timeline, or inadvertently misleading others, we might expect to find an apology attached shortly only after any of the following dates: 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914, 1915. 1878 [p.124] But we did expect translation . . . And as we journey on a little further, deliverance may come any time between this and the end of the “harvest,” in 1878. . . . [p.143]With this message the “the mystery of God will be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” And from August, 1840, to the spring of 1878, or 37 and a-half years, will consummate this part of the work. Then look out for “angry nations,” “and the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest reward thy servants the prophets, and the saints . . . . [The Three Worlds, written by Barbour in 1876-77, and financially promoted by Russell beginning in 1877.] The year A.D. 1878 . . .clearly marks the time for the actual assuming of power as King of kings, by our present spiritual invisible Lord -- the time of his taking to himself his great power to reign. [The Time is at Hand (1889), SiS, v.3, p.239] If the contention of his [Russell's] opponents concerning chronology is right, then . . . the tenure of office of Israel's kings must be changed in order to agree with some historians who were agents of Satan. Such a change would put out of joint all our chronology, and destroy the value of the dates 1874, 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914, and 1918. [WT, 5/1/1922, p.139.] 1878 was also the year identified for the "first resurrection" (3.5 years after October 1874), which later changed to 1918 (3.5 years after October 1914). The brackets around the term "[from 1878]" in the next reference are in the original: "...blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth [from 1878] ; ... they rest from their labors [from the toil and weariness of Labor], but their works follow with them." They shall not asleep, but they shall be changed instantaneously from the human to a glorious spiritual body.-Revelation 14:13, 1 Corinthians 15: 51, 52. [1878 bracketed in the original, WT 1922, p.207. This date (1878) was therefore kept as prophetically significant by Russell until his death and was referenced by Rutherford as correct even in the 1920's. The expectations for this date were the catalyst that influenced Russell to sell many of his business interests (the year prior) to help finance the publishing of Barbour's work that explained those important expectations for 1878, as the "end of the harvest," and the "end of the gospel age." When these expectations failed, Barbour would again run out of money, and Russell struck out on his own with Zion's Watch Tower in July 1879. Among all the things Russell said about 1878, I see no record of any specific apology by Russell for helping to create and promote the expectation that Christians would see their "change" from physical bodies to glorious spiritual bodies during the spring of 1878. Russell had promoted that date in publishing "The Three Worlds" even though he didn't write it personally. The WT publications today, still indicate that Russell and his associates taught that they would receive their heavenly reward in 1878: *** jv [Proclaimers book] chap. 28 p. 632 Testing and Sifting From Within *** Based on the premise that events of the first century might find parallels in related events later, they also concluded that if Jesus’ baptism and anointing in the autumn of 29 C.E. paralleled the beginning of an invisible presence in 1874, then his riding into Jerusalem as King in the spring of 33 C.E. would point to the spring of 1878 as the time when he would assume his power as heavenly King. They also thought they would be given their heavenly reward at that time. When that did not occur, they concluded that since Jesus’ anointed followers were to share with him in the Kingdom, the resurrection to spirit life of those already sleeping in death began then. It was also reasoned that the end of God’s special favor to natural Israel down to 36 C.E. might point to 1881 as the time when the special opportunity to become part of spiritual Israel would close. Although Russell didn't write it, Russell published an article by contributor, J.H.Paton that did present a kind of apology about the mistaken promotion of the 1878 date. This will be the topic of one of the next posts. Russell himself, wrote about the expectations for 1878 in the 1879 supplement to the first issue of the Watch Tower. Before getting to the details of that, I noticed some interesting things about Russell's many references to apologies.
  9. To be a little more comprehensive, let's start with a quick review of Russell's 19th century dates, and also try to get a sense of Russell's attitude towards them. For comparison, and reference, we might also want to look at the WTS attitude toward some of these dates after Russell died in 1916. 1799 "The time of the end" embraces a period from 1799 A.D., as above indicated, to the time of the complete overthrow of Satan's empire and the establishment of the kingdom of the Messiah. [1921 Harp, p.231] "The indisputable facts therefore show that the time of the end began in 1799." [WT 3/1/22, p.73] So 1799 was defined as the beginning of the "time of the end" from Russell's day until well after Russell's death, and until Rutherford changed it (in 1929) to the year 1914. Russell's view on it never changed, and we would therefore not expect an apology. 1700's - 1859 For the same reasons, we can pretty much skip certain other dates which were also only seen to have been prophetically important in the past: November 1, 1766 (the great earthquake in Lisbon) May 19, 1780 (when the "sky darkened" and the moon "turned to blood") November 13, 1833 (stars fell from heaven - a meteor shower) 1844 (the unwise virgins of the Millerite movement) 1859 (the "midnight cry" of Matthew 25). Russell only spoke about these dates occasionally, and since these "fulfillments" happened before Russell's own time, we shouldn't have to check for apologies about them. He apparently accepted them from Barbour and Russell kept believing them for the rest of his life. (Russell actually did stop publishing any defense of the 1859 date as the specific date for the "the midnight cry," probably because it was supposedly fulfilled in specific events in Nelson Barbour's life. It was later spoken of as a more general date between 1844 and 1874, not the midpoint between the two.) 1872 This volume presents evidences that:--Six Thousand Years from Adam ended in A.D. 1872 [The Time is at Hand (1889), SiS, v.3, Intro.] The end of the 6,000 years of man's existence. This was later adjusted to 1873, but with no explanation I have seen, and therefore no apology. Expectations for the "end" had been set to 1873 by Barbour, especially, but this was before Russell was directly involved with those expectations. See below. 1873 "The great Seventh Day, the thousand years of Christ's Reign, began in 1873." [The Time is at Hand (1889), SiS, v.3, p.ii] Since this was 6,000 years from Adam's creation, Armageddon was expected to begin in Barbour's view, and the 7th "Millennium" was said to have already begun to dawn in 1873. Therefore, they were still in the Millennial "Dawn" as light from the "Day-Star" would rise more and more visibly. The Second Adventists who had associated through Barbour also initially expected 1873 to be the time of their "change" to the a glorious, immortal "spirit" body. When nothing happened in 1873, more emphasis was placed on 1874. The same thing had happened to the original Millerite Second Adventists which had predicted 1843, and then created even more emphasis on 1844. There was no Watch Tower back in 1873, and Russell personally had nothing to apologize for, but these events were reviewed in the February 1881 WT, p.R188: Looking back to 1871, we see that many of our company were what are known as Second Adventists, . . . that there would be a second advent of Jesus-- that he would come to bless and immortalize the saints. . . . This, they claimed would occur in 1873, because the 6,000 years from the creation of Adam were complete then. Well 1873 came . . . but prophecies were found which pointed positively to 1874 as the time when Jesus was due to be present,and the resurrection of Daniel was also due as proved by the ending of jubilee cycles and the 1335 days of Dan. 12. 1874 After the failure of 1873, Russell says he was still not convinced of the chronology that moved it to 1874, and he indicates that he was not involved in promoting the "change" in 1874. Russell distances himself from those who did promote it as an "end" date. We only know for sure from Russell's own words that he was strongly defending the 1874 date as the year of Jesus' invisible presence. But that wasn't until 1876, not in advance of 1874. "They are, we believe God's dates not ours." [WT, July 15, 1894, p. R1677]. Russell was referencing 1874 along with 1878, 1881, and 1914. "Our Lord, the appointed king, is now present, since October 1874 A.D." Day of Vengeance/Battle of Armageddon (1897), p.621) "The Scriptural proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 A.D." [Rutherford, not Russell, in Prophecy, 1929] Bible prophecy shows that the Lord was due to appear for the second time in the year 1874. Fulfilled prophecy shows beyond a doubt that he did appear in 1874. Fulfilled prophecy is otherwise designated the physical facts; and these facts are indisputable. [WT November 1, 1922, p.233 - Rutherford, not Russell] Russel believed that Christ's invisible presence had begun in 1874, and he kept this belief until his death, and even Rutherford and Frederick Franz continued to accept this as a proven fact until the 1940's, so then there is no reason to expect that Russell ever would have reason to apologize for this date. It's true that people, especially Second Adventists were disappointed, but Russell had nothing to apologize for, as he had not begun writing for publications until 1876. He had apparently never promoted it as a date for the "change" or "translation" from physical to spiritual bodies. What Russell was accepting about 1874 was that it must be more than just a coincidence that so many chronology pointers surrounded 1874. (The "6,000 years" in 1873, the 70th Jubilee in 1875, the Great Pyramid measurements, the Zionist movements clearing the way for Jews to return to Palestine which would end the Gentile Times, the 1260/1290/1335 days(years) of Daniel, and the "doubles" of the Jewish Age and the Gospel Age.) [Those "doubles" referred to the parallel dispensations that mapped events in the Jewish age to events of equal length to the Gospel (Christian) age.] 1875 It was not just the closeness of October 1874 to the year 1875 that allowed Barbour and Russell to reference 1875 and 1874 almost interchangeably. Barbour and Russell usually counted Jewish years from fall to fall, but sometimes they found reason to count years from spring to spring, as expressed here in "The Three Worlds" p 102: The special use of 1875 was often mentioned as a supporting factor to 1874 because it was connected to the 70th Jubilee Cycle, each individual cycle lasting 50 years (or 49 years)* --creating a kind of "Jubliee of Jubilees!" The Jubilees were to have started when Israel crossed the Jordan which was about 50x49=3,450 years prior to 1875 (Therefore a 50-year Jubilee could be identified with 1875, then 50 years later in 1925, and even 50 years later in 1975.) ----Interesting side point: CTR said Jesus was here on earth in 1874, not in heaven----- Russell believed Jesus' invisible presence was not about being invisibly present as king in heaven on a heavenly throne. Jesus was invisibly present on earth. Note one of these places where that is mentioned in the August 1880 WT: The "Jubilee Cycles" prove that the great jubilee or "times of restitution of all things" was due to begin in 1875. It is a clear,strong argument based upon both "the Law" and the Prophets; No one has ever yet been able to overthrow it. I believe that no one can overthrow it, nor even show a weak point in it, because it is of the Lord. Now, remembering this, turn to Acts 3:21, and hear Peter under inspiration, say: The heavens shall receive Jesus until the times of restitution of all things. Now, is it not clear that if the restitution times began in 1875, the heavens do no longer retain Him. He is here present? Q.--That is strong, surely; but, are there any evidences that the restitution work began in 1875? A.--Yes; we understand that before the human family are restored or even begin to be blessed the present kingdoms of earth which now bind and oppress mankind will all be overturned and that the kingdom of God will assume control and that the blessing and restitution come through the new kingdom.The work of demolishing human empire is beginning. Therefore, Russell's direct involvement in promoting dates with the express purpose of influencing the expectations of others was for the dates: 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914, and 1915. Apparently, these are the only dates for which he personally created or promoted unfulfilled expectations, and which might have therefore become the subject of an apology. -----An interesting, but mostly unrelated point about the jubilees-------- *Just for reference, note that the Jubilee cycles were either considered to be 49 years or 50 years, depending on the interpretation of the jubilee as the 7th of 7 yearly sabbaths (7x7=49 years), or a pointer to a jubilee year that happened immediately after the 49th year (49+1=50 years). In putting his name on "The Three Worlds" Russell was promoting a hybrid solution that included a mix of some 49-year jubilees and some 50-year jubilees.
  10. We should also look for statements about some of the other dates that Russell made claims for. For example, @Srecko Sostar made some statements about Russell's dates, which included the following quotes from Russell: @Thinking responded to Srecko as follows: In an earlier statement @Thinking had also indicated that it was not the 1914 date, specifically, but one of those other dates:, So I'll be looking for any apologies by Russell for dates around 1874, which will include 1878, 1881, 1910, and 1914 itself, for good measure.
  11. I'd first like to begin with BroRando's statement from that post linked above. In reality Russell did think 1914 would be an end date. He predicted for many years that the year 1914 would finally see would be the "end " of the day of vengeance, etc. He had stated that point many times. In fact, he indicated that it would be the "end of the world" but not in the sense that many religions understood this. He made sure that he clarified that it would not be the so-called "burning" of the world that many expected. Even well after 1914 (and Russell) passed, Rutherford would call 1914, "the end of Satan's system." Throughout most of his writings, Russell taught that 1914 would be the farthest limit of man's rule, and that 1914 would see the "end of the time of trouble, not the beginning" of it. But about a decade before 1914, he started to teach that the 40-year harvest work from 1874 to 1914 should go on without much interference by this time of trouble, so the time of trouble was moved from pre-October-1914 to post-October-1914. It was therefore supposed to begin in October 1914 and go on for several months, and he indicated that it would likely finish by the end of the calendar year 1915 (later changed to 1916) in a time of chaos when no more earthly governments would be in power. (Except for a Jewish based government in Palestine that would have Jehovah's blessing.) However, there were a few months between November 1913 and July 1914 when Russell admitted that he was questioning his own expectations about 1914, and he even suggested that perhaps things could just go on for another century, and he wondered what people might think of all these predictions "100 years from now" (which would be 2014). Another time he mentioned what things might still be like if the time of trouble went on for 120 years (which would bring one to 2034). A review of what Russell stated after the failure of all the 1914 expectations should make it clear that Russell did not really think anything specific was supposed to happen in either 2014 or 2034. Russell gave no specific significance to those periods except to make the point that he no longer had as much confidence in the 1914 date. In late 1913 and early 1914 Russell suggested that there quite probably just wasn't enough time for all these preliminary expectations to come true in the remaining few months before October 1914. He spoke about pushing the date to 1915 or even 1916, and if it didn't happen at all, wondered what things might be like a century or more from now. Those statements should be some of the ones we look at with respect to Russell's response to failed dates and failed expectations, since Russell was already bringing up the clear possibility of their failure as early as November 15, 1913. In that context, however, Russell made it very clear that, even if 1914 failed to come true, that he would feel no reason to apologize. In fact, he happily reported about how people would still be putting just as much faith in himself (Russell) as ever, and mentioned that, even if 1914 failed, he still expected people to be reading his books with interest in 2014. After expressing his doubts about 1914 in the November 15, 1913 Watchtower, Russell presented this letter from someone who was responding to those doubts (in the January 15, 1914 Watchtower): “…we passed a resolution assuring you of our steadfast faith in you and your leadings. We got the thought from reading the Nov. 15th WATCH TOWER, the article on “What Course Should We Take?” that you had almost decided that the things we have been expecting in 1914 would not come to pass on time–since you said it is possible, but not probable. Now, dear Brother, if these things do not come to pass until 2014, instead of 1914, our faith in you will be as great as it ever has been….” Another letter about Russell's doubts was published along with Russell's answer to it in the July 1, 1914 issue. The question was about whether the WTS will continue to publish and distribute Russell's books if October 1914 failed. It even questioned whether it was right to distribute them in the midst of Russell's doubts: How shall we do respecting the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES after October, 1914? Will the Society continue to publish them? Will the Colporteurs and others continue to circulate them? Is it right to circulate them now, since you have some doubt respecting the full accomplishment of all expected by or before October, 1914? Russell responded as follows: It is our thought that these books will be on sale and read for years in the future . . . . That will be an interesting matter a hundred years from now [2014]; and if he can figure or reason better, he will still be interested in what we have presented.
  12. Note: An entire 30-page topic about "The disgusting thing that causes desolation" was recently deleted. The topic contained hundreds of posts, and they were from most of the usual participants here. I messaged the Librarian about it and he said he didn't know anything about how or why it got deleted, but would look into it. It's possible that the person who starts a thread has the ability to delete it, which is something else he'll look into. In that topic there were several posts concerning Charles Taze Russell brought up initially by @BroRando and commented on by @Thinking, @Srecko Sostar, @Arauna, @TrueTomHarley, @Anna, KF, Pudgy, PWfT, and others. There were several comments I wanted to respond to, especially the idea first brought up by @BroRando that C.T.Russell (early in 1914) spoke about some kind of fulfillment in 2034, which I believe is simply not true. And I will explain in this topic. When @BroRando brought up Russell's date references, @Thinking responded to him that she remembered reading where Russell had apologized for trying to rush Jehovah's timetable with man's timetable, or words to that effect. To that I responded that I had not remembered an apology like that. @Thinking responded that I have made many false and misleading statements about Russell. If this is true, I would like to correct those errors. Since @Thinking has not yet offered any specifics about any of those statements of mine, and because I was asked by @Thinking to look through Russell's statements myself, I have agreed to follow up on this idea. Another point was brought up by @TrueTomHarley which partially responds to @Thinking and her point about Russell's apology. It was one example of several times when Russell was refreshingly non-dogmatic about the chronology. It was from the January 1, 1908 Watch Tower where Russell says "We are not prophesying, we are merely giving our surmises." It also highlighted the statement: "We do not even aver that there are no mistakes in our interpretation of prophecy and our calculations of chronology." Of course, there were other times when Russell sounded much more sure and dogmatic, but there are enough statements on each side to give a much better picture of Russell's overall attitude toward dates, predictions, and his response when expectations failed. I believe we are able to "reconcile" both the dogmatic and the non-dogmatic in a fair way towards Russell himself. We have to consider both Russell's personal perspective, the historical perspective of the times, and Russell's own changes and growth and influences through the period. It may help us not to give too much weight to statements on either end of the spectrum. In any case, I'm all for giving Russell the benefit of the doubt on the question of "dogmatism," but from what I remember, some of the Russell's statements which are sometimes utilized to defend Russell's supposedly apologetic nature are quite different from what I would call an apology. Again, I can explain the results of an exhaustive search. (By exhaustive, I wish I meant comprehensive, but I only mean that I'm exhausted from so much reading.) @BroRando had commented about how Russell made some supposedly significant comments about chronology in the year 1914, even suggesting that Russell proposed we add 120 years to 1914 which would bring us to 2034. 2034 is a date considered very significant by @BroRando. It appears to me that too much significance is still being given to Russell's dates, and judging by other comments, too much focus on the overall continuing relevance of Russell, even claiming that his work prophetically fulfilled the work of Elijah and/or John the Baptist. However, I've done a lot more reviewing of Russell's views and I'll share much of what I found because I think it answers all three of the major points I wanted to respond to: 1. Did Russell really think anything prophetically significant might happen in 2014 or 2034? 2. DId Russell apologize for stepping ahead of God's timetable with his personal views? 3. Can we get a more balanced view of Russell's attitude and response toward dates and expectations?
  13. I just read here that Moses was born circumcised, so it must be true. It's on the Internet:
      Hello guest!
    Divine birth: The birth of Moses Moses was born in the year 2377 after the creation of the world. He was born circumcised, and was able to walk immediately after his birth; but according to another story he was circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. A peculiar and glorious light filled the entire house at his birth, indicating that he was worthy of the gift of prophecy. He spoke with his father and mother on the day of his birth, and prophesied at the age of three. His mother kept his birth secret for three months, when Pharaoh was informed that she had borne a son. The mother put the child into a casket, which she hid among the reeds of the sea before the king’s officers came to her. For seven days his mother went at night to nurse him, his sister Miriam protecting him from the birds by day. --------- It had a long tradition in Egypt, and Wikipedia reports this in an article on the subject: Herodotus, writing in the 5th century BCE, wrote that the Egyptians "practise circumcision for the sake of cleanliness, considering it better to be cleanly than comely."[22] David Gollaher[23] considered circumcision in ancient Egypt to be a mark of passage from childhood to adulthood. He mentions that the alteration of the body and ritual of circumcision were supposed to give access to ancient mysteries reserved solely for the initiated. (See also Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 1.15) The content of those mysteries are unclear but are likely to be myths, prayers, and incantations central to Egyptian religion. The Egyptian Book of the Dead, for example, tells of the sun god Ra cutting himself, the blood creating two minor guardian deities. The Egyptologist Emmanuel vicomte de Rougé interpreted this as an act of circumcision.[24] Circumcisions were performed by priests in a public ceremony, using a stone blade. It is thought to have been more popular among the upper echelons of the society, although it was not universal and those lower down the social order are known to have had the procedure done.[25] The Egyptian hieroglyph for "penis" depicts either a circumcised or an erect organ. Depiction of circumcision in Ancient Egypt. Circumcision was also adopted by some Semitic peoples living in or around Egypt. Herodotus reported that circumcision is only practiced by the Egyptians, Colchians, Ethiopians, Phoenicians, the 'Syrians of Palestine', and "the Syrians who dwell about the rivers Thermodon and Parthenius, as well as their neighbours the Macronians and Macrones". He also reports, however, that "the Phoenicians, when they come to have commerce with the Greeks, cease to follow the Egyptians in this custom, and allow their children to remain uncircumcised."[22]
  14. I studied with an African-American college student who was later baptized. We studied just before the Thursday meeting and I drove him straight from the study. He had all these skin bumps on his neck from shaving "in-grown" hairs and he would quickly shave just before the meeting. He often had to switch shirts at the last minute because of the mess of blood that came from those freshly shaved bumps. If he tried shaving like that just before getting married he would have been a "bridegroom of blood."
  15. Whoops. This time you forgot to do the math. It’s like trying to stop a bird from flying through a window screen. Usually works.
  16. That's probably not quite right, because this particular virus doesn't just fly through the air except on a droplet of moisture. It's the size of that droplet of moisture that has to get through the mask. Note the always-perfectly-correct NIH comments here:
      Hello guest!
    The practice of social distancing and wearing masks has been popular worldwide in combating the contraction of COVID-19. Undeniably, although such practices help control the COVID-19 pandemic to a greater extent, the complete control of virus-laden droplet and aerosol transmission by such practices is poorly understood. This review paper intends to outline the literature concerning the transmission of virus-laden droplets and aerosols in different environmental settings and demonstrates the behavior of droplets and aerosols resulted from a cough-jet of an infected person in various confined spaces. The case studies that have come out in different countries have, with prima facie evidence, manifested that the airborne transmission plays a profound role in contracting susceptible hosts. The infection propensities in confined spaces (airplane, passenger car, and healthcare center) by the transmission of droplets and aerosols under varying ventilation conditions were discussed. Interestingly, the nosocomial transmission by airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus-laden aerosols in healthcare facilities may be plausible. Hence, clearly defined, science-based administrative, clinical, and physical measures are of paramount importance to eradicate the COVID-19 pandemic from the world. Keywords: Airborne transmission, Coronavirus, Lockdown, Masks, SARS-CoV-2 Go to: 1. Introduction Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 (Chen et al., 2020). The disease is caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Gorbalenya, 2020) and asseverated to be transmitted from human-to-human by multiple means, namely, by droplets, aerosols, and fomites
  17. I did too. But it was neither stretchable nor transparent enough for him to do a good job cleaning my teeth. And an even bigger mess ensued when he told me rinse out.
  18. Yes. His general goal is always to minimize any negative press about NRMs. He lists "Mostly Against [Their Own] Members" as one of those minimizing factors. This is why I said: If in politics, for example, a dictator were to bomb or gas a part of their own population, the world would point out how terrible it was that "he gassed his own people." It would not be considered a factor that minimizes guilt.
  19. Just a quick follow-up on the above Cesnur/Introvigne source:
      Hello guest!
    I don't like it that when there is violence perpetrated by NRMs, he is quick to grasp at a straw that effectively says: "Well this isn't so bad because it's usually only members of the NRM who are killed." His contradiction is clear in the following arguments: However, it was recognized that hate speech, i.e. advocating physical violence and inciting others to commit violent acts, is also a real form of violence He usually uses this argument as a very one-sided point to say that the NRMs are nearly always victims. But note some of the following statements, such as the one that appears right next to it. Note the word "most" which I highlighted: Above: Japan’s Shoko Asahara(1955-2018) ordered the murder of opponents of his group Aum Shinrikyo before organizing a deadly gas attack with sarin gas in the Tokyo subway in 1995, although most members of his movements ignored his criminal activities. And elsewhere, this lame and strained "defense:" when devotees of Osho Rajneesh (1931–1990) infected with salmonella the salad bars of local restaurants in Oregon’s Wasco County, where they had established their commune, Rajneeshpuram. Rather than mystical, the purpose was mundane, as it was aimed at preventing local voters from participating in the election, so that the commune’s own candidates would win At least he admits the occurrences but I still find his following argument embarrassing: Mostly Against Members While groups such as Synanon or Aum Shinrikyo carried out murderous attacks against their opponents or society at large, looking at the number of casualties overwhelmingly the violence of certain NRMs targeted their own members With few exceptions, members of the respective movements rather than outsiders died in the suicides and homicides involving the Peoples Temple (Jonestown, Guyana, 1978), the Order of the Solar Temple (Switzerland, France, and Quebec, Canada, 1994–1997), Heaven’s Gate (Rancho Santa Fe, California, 1997), and the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God (Uganda 2000) ... [removed the picture]... Above: Charred remains of members of the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God, a Ugandan NRM that self-destroyed itself in 2000 in a frenzy of homicides and suicides, which made more than 700 victims
  20. As an aside, I found an interesting page on CESNUR:
      Hello guest!
    ... raids against NRMs are often conducted with unnecessary real and symbolic violence even in democratic countries –and Scientology is the most raided NRM on an international scale ... Russia is another country persecuting some NRMs, including Scientology. In 2018, Western media reported that in St Petersburg, lawyers of incarcerated members of the Church of Scientology were given materials of the criminal investigation that included comments by the FSB investigator. The comments included: “He knows a lot, but keeps quiet –reinterrogate with an electric aid to memory.” There is no evidence that actual torture occurred, but the fact it was contemplated as a possibility is disturbing, also in view of allegations of torture by Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses
  21. I think he is generally right about the Witnesses and we will continue to benefit for as long as he is successful in his attempts to promote a more balanced view of NRMs. (And you are right, of course, that he rarely considers specific doctrines, except to tone down the more radical-sounding ones, such as "space alien" beliefs by the Scientologists to put them in a more palatable light.) But he tends to pigeonhole all news items through the same formula or filter without considering possible contradictions. Here is an example below from the topic of "Violence and NRMs" but which he applies analogously to fake or highly biased news stories, negative news stories, propaganda against NRMs, etc. With respect to violence for example, he usually itemizes like this: 1. Violence perpetrated by NRMs against outsiders and their own members (and this includes sexual violence, such as by pedophile priests in non-NRMs). 2. Violence falsely ascribed to NRMs. 3. Violence against NRM's, often fueled by hate speech, which can result in both individual cases of violence against them, violence by other groups, and even state-sponsored persecution, "economic violence," etc. Of course, #1 is always downplayed of course as the fault of individuals, not the NRM, and often compared to a greater frequency in traditional religions. #2 is always up-played, even at times when his own evidence is questionable. And #3 is usually true, but he is too anxious to accept any and all news items that fit #3 unquestioningly. When he tries to argue that there is more violence in traditional religions, he regularly points to Islamic extremists and terrorism. But he misses a point here which is common to Westerners who love to hate Islam as a religion altogether. Hate speech against Islam as if it were some homogeneous whole is even common in American and Western media outlets. The problem or contradiction here is expressed on a site that uses one example of Islamic extremists [emphasis mine]:
      Hello guest!
    Secondly, in addition to the above case-study, by scholars who know the region and language well, this paper uses the above example to show how the path to violent radical behaviour cannot be explained through simplistic labelling of groups as ‘extremist’, ‘radical’, ‘Salafi’, ‘Islamist’, ‘Wahhabi’ or other similar terms which were used by the Russian government and media at the time (and indeed still are in many countries). The authors point to the need to understand the local context in which radical beliefs are developed and expressed, and the benefits of comparative studies of these details to better understand the significance of causal elements. Thirdly, and perhaps of most interest to readers not seeking to learn more about this region of the Northern Caucasus, is how the authors demonstrate this comparative approach in practice. Drawing on a range of academic literature about New Religious Movements (NRMs) they argue that the KBJ should not be seen as indicative of ‘Radical Islam’, but rather as an example of an NRM. The authors argue that the contemporary focus on ‘radicalisation’ tends to delegitimise non-violent radical beliefs, proscribing social and political behaviour which “have long been part and parcel of the youthful desire to make a difference” in liberal democracies. The authors point to NRM studies that show that frequently members of NRMS are not victims of, but actually pro-active participants in, these movements who join out of their own choice. NRM studies also shed light on how NRMs can potentially move to violence through a cycle of reciprocal mistrust and hostile actions with the surrounding society and authorities. For such groups, violence is a relational and processual development, and understanding the context of that development could help prevent their repeat in future cases. The authors showed that the KBJ continuously interpreted their beliefs in reaction to the experiences within the group and between it and the wider society. Similarly, he appears to fall into his own prejudices by not considering the potential propaganda and fake news stories often promoted by the NRMs themselves. I believe that several of these have been promoted by Scientology. Personally, I believe that many politically ideological "NRMs" in many countries are exactly the same as religious NRMs, and can result in violence in the same manner, and fake news defense of that violence in the same manner. In the United States the "cult of Trump" also resulted in some violence and defense of the same.
  22. I really appreciated your insights here and in several previous posts. A lot to think about. I started following CESNURs doings about 15-20 years ago. Especially when the WTS took a strong interest in them too, and when the WTS attended some CESNUR-sponsored seminars. CESNUR definitely has offered a more balanced view to those who think every NRM will produce another Jonestown, and a view which many persons need if they are on either extreme, defending or opposing NRMs. But I have also noticed some opportunism in CESNUR, perhaps even in the hope of funding, support for favored authors and publications, etc. I have listened to some speeches and interviews with Massimo Introvigne and have respect for what he is trying to do and promote, but less and less respect for the shallowness of his knowledge and research. Although CESNUR has finally acknowledged that there are additional dangers with cults, which they barely admitted in the past, they still push a very biased agenda to defend most of them, and tend to ignore when politics and NRMs can create a lethal mix.
  23. Maybe you are right: (2 Timothy 3:13) . . .But wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled.
  24. It truly is a ridiculous notion, but unfortunately it also happens to be a true notion. I have never banned anyone, nor do I wish to, nor do I have the power to do that. No, of course not. But you are most definitely the same person who uses the account @César Chávez, @WyattEarp @Allen_Smith, @TheNonstoptheo etc., etc. I am not the the Librarian. I only have one account here. BTW, In addition to the way your log-ins and log-outs show up in the "Recently Browsing" portion of the page, you also give "yourselves" away in several other ways, too. For example, look how you spelled the word "too" as "to" just on this very same page: Also, note your unique style of adding a few extra, unnecessary commas, which has given many people pause in almost every one of the accounts I mentioned along with about 20 additional accounts over the past few years, too.
  25. I was tempted to say something that might clarify that @Real-JWinsider is actually just one more "troll" persona for @Allen_Smith, @Ray Devereaux, @BillyTheKid-55, @César Chávez, @Dotlizhihii Tlenaai, @divergenceKO, @Sean Migos, etc., etc., etc., & et cetera. Several of his additional accounts have been used as nothing more than shills to up-vote his own accounts (and down-vote anything that exposes him). This doesn't mean everything he has said under those other accounts is wrong. Some of it has been useful and even insightful in my opinion.
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