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JW Insider

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  1. So far, the Johns Hopkins site seems to have the best information about the spread of the coronavirus. Looks like it will hit 10,000 today with 213+ dead. If you move the map to the United States you can click on each individual case (5 so far).
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  2. Not to minimize the potency of the coronavirus. But it looks like CNN finally decided it was time to make the point some have been making here for several days. It's not the coronavirus. It's the flu (this 2019-2020 season, so far). The article is here:
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    Even the low-end estimate of deaths each year is startling, Savoy said: The Centers for Disease Control predicts at least 12,000 people will die from the flu in the US every year. In the 2017-2018 flu season, as many as 61,000 people died, and 45 million were sickened. In the 2019-2020 season so far, 15 million people in the US have gotten the flu and 8,200 people have died from it, including at least 54 children. Flu activity has been elevated for 11 weeks straight, the CDC reported, and will likely continue for the next several weeks.
  3. There would be if these mosquitoes could be traced to China or Russia. Prejudice and racism drive a lot of the hype. Not that this isn't a particularly potent virus, but when 80,000 died from the 2017-18 flu season in the U.S., the Western world was not mapping and charting and reporting in the papers.
  4. I thought the chart posted here (below) was interesting. The CDC says that for the United States, 6,600 people died during the 2019-2020 flu season, since about November, basically. 80,000 people died during the 2017-2018 flu season. Flu deaths in the US usually range from 10,000 to 60,000 every year. In the UK it's basically 0 to 10,000. In China it's 0 to 50,000, which is relatively small considering their population is about 4 times the size of the United States. .
  5. In the video from the linked post, Paula White says: "...we declare that any strange winds, any strange winds that have been sent to hurt the church, sent against this nation, sent against our president, sent against myself, sent against others, we break it by the superior blood of Jesus." I hope this clears up any misunderstandings.
  6. I never thought of it that way. I always took it to mean, 'you treated me like an angel or even like Jesus Christ.' I don't doubt the possibility of reading it as if an equivalence between angel and Christ however. (Even if not an equivalence between Paul and angel and Christ, of course.) It's a little like Zech 12:8 in the LXX. And, btw, great to see you here again.
  7. CONSPIRACIES There is some truth to many conspiracies. Also some conspiracies have been proven to be completely true. A few conspiracies are completely false, sometimes made up specifically to dismiss the truth of a real conspiracy. In the Babylon thread mentioned above, there is a very long video which seems primarily derived from the scripts that Alex Jones of InfoWars promoted. In fact, much of the video is the voice of Alex Jones. Under that topic, the subject of conspiracies had already come up with reference to beliefs about the UN, and Alex Jones fits right in on this topic. I never paid attention to Alex Jones of InfoWars, but I figured from things I heard that he would also have included a lot of truth in his conspiracy theories. The only time I had listened for any length of time to Alex Jones was when I listened to a documentary about him, which I thought was a really good expose of his dishonesty on many issues, It used his own words and contradictions, lies and backtracking, and interviews with persons who knew him personally at various stages of his life. FAKE CRISIS ACTORS That documentary just mentioned was followed up with another documentary on Alex Jones and the gun issue, through which he deeply hurt parents of children who lost their lives in school shootings. With reference to some of the worst of these shootings, Alex Jones has claimed that they are staged, and that these are "crisis actors" acting as dead children, frantic teachers, grieving parents, police, etc. One parent (who lost a child at Sandy Hook, CT) had the resolve to challenge what Jones was doing, so Jones verbally attacked him viciously and even instigated members of his audience to continue harassing him, so that the man was not able to move from one part of the country to another without his new address being published. He had to move about 7 times. He finally won a suit against Alex Jones, who had to apologize, but then Jones went right back to attacking him after the apology. There was another school shooting more recently where I saw that people were quickly talking about how the timeline was faked, the crisis actors were faking, interviews with children gave conflicting reports about where it was, how many shots, when the police showed up, etc. This one I decided to follow more closely and watched all the available videos that the conspiracy promoters were using as evidence. If these people were serious, it meant that people can see things in videos that aren't really there and not see things that were there. They could completely misread news reporting and timelines as if illiterate, yet manage the most amazing mental gymnastics in extrapolating about a minor mistake or typo. Many seemed to be outright lying, and proud that they were spreading this "truth" in the service of showing that people like Alex Jones had been right all along. The term "cult" came to mind. REAL CRISIS ACTORS This little bit of research made me wonder about another set of controversial videos I heard about. These were the videos being staged by the "White Helmets" who really turn out to be a group of Islamo-Fascist, Al-Qaeda styled terrorists in Syria, who have staged videos with actual dead bodies, and who were caught faking many videos with live persons (even children) pretending to be dead, to help promote support for their side against Assad's forces. Finally they even staged supposed "chemical" attacks that had the necessary effect to bring support to Al-Qaeda and against Assad. The United States even got away with supporting Al-Qaeda in this war, something that would not have been tolerated by Americans in general just a couple years earlier. Of course, America had to rename them "moderate rebels." In a couple of cases, not only were the child "actors" recycled from video to video, but other videos showed up with these same "White Helmet" heroes chopping heads off prisoners. The difficulties in researching these videos was due to the fact that the videos that showed the "White Helmet" mistakes and fakery were quickly disappearing as fast as they were being exposed, and only the better made fakes were being publicized. Some were sloppy enough that you could see, inconsistent use of gas masks, and in others, "dead" people being given directions for the video. Western sources rarely admitted that more than one or two of the White Helmets videos were faked. [CNN: Syria's White Helmets apologize for Mannequin Challenge video] (
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    ) But those who followed the videos closely found serious and obvious problems with several. Ultimately, although very little publicized, the United States began to drop the claim that they had physical evidence of Assad's chemical/gas attacks. The primary source of the OPCW report against Assad had turned out to be a private blog (bellingcat) which had been treated as if it were an intelligence resource. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had initially dismissed dissenting members of OPCW teams that disagreed with their official results. However a series of email leaks and leaked versions of reports showed that OPCW had faked results. OPCW was massively exposed, even in front of the UN.
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  8. It was much less common with Russell to get political. And his statements about people of color were mostly better than his contemporaries. Somewhat progressive for his time. But Rutherford had been a political person before becoming a Bible Student. He even worked on a U.S. presidential campaign.
  9. I didn't want to give the impression that there is a need, only that we probably have a general expectation that politics can show just how bad things are in the world and therefore we all have some interest. Some of the details can be used when trying to get other persons interested in the message about the Kingdom. It is rather rare, I think, for most Witnesses to take much of a specific interest in a political issue, except where something might effect us personally -- in countries where a ban on Witnesses might be in the works, or formal recognition, for that matter. The level of interest of Kosonen or Arauna or myself is not typical at all in my experience. I can discuss politics with no one except my own family and even here there are obvious practical limits. But you might not believe the level of politics in the 1910s through the 1940's among Bible Students and early Jehovah's Witnesses. It was driven by hundreds of articles that delved into political matters at great length and great depth. Russell wrote a letter to the U.S. President to tell him that Filipinos are lazy and the Japanese are hardworking. The articles on Hitler even before he took power were already taking up pages of the Golden Age. There are densely packed articles on Germany and Hitler that went on for several pages with a level of detail and quotations from secular sources that would be unheard of today. @Melinda I am not referring to politics in its most practical sense, about getting things done in a state, or city, or community. I am referring more to the divisive ideologies of national politics that keep people arguing about foreign policy, drive prejudices, create conflicts between nations, produce nationalism, etc.
  10. Sometimes when people discuss religion or politics with someone, we are apt to wonder just how anyone can believe things that seem so crazy to us, while at the same time, the other person is wondering the same thing about our own beliefs. So I start this new thread on politics under a JW Club, because we are supposed to have a kind of love-hate relationship with the topic of politics. We stay neutral, but that's often just enough distance to get things wrong. And we stay alert for issues that might end up being of Biblical significance, so that most of us stay informed at least through mainstream news sources. However, there are other views far from the mainstream, that some Witnesses hold to. Most political issues have become very complex due to the fast-paced movement of world events since the dawn of a military industrial age and a lightning fast information age on top of that. The mainstream media sources in most nations have an agenda in support of the ruling classes and/or elite classes within the nation. Several add a layer of "information" on top of that with a partisan political agenda -- very easy to spot in nations with only two major political parties. An agenda within an agenda. Outside of mainstream media, however, the sources are chaotic and sometimes extreme, full of outlandish interpretations and conspiracies, too. The chaos is even stoked by entities hoping to push audiences back to mainstream sources, where we feel a certain rational consistency of messaging. Of course, that "messaging" is often just propaganda inoculating us from studying situations for ourselves. This keeps us from realizing that mainstream media is also full of chaos and conspiracies, but constant repetition of messages makes it seem correct. If it doesn't quite seem correct, we feel that things are just too complicated to ever get the whole truth anyway. So we give up and pretend the mainstream media is the best we can do, or we hang onto some conspiracy that seems to explain everything. In this topic I plan to give a few of my own views about various political topics. It's easiest to structure these views around comments that have already been made from others. Especially comments where I take nearly the opposite view. This should help to highlight the wide range of possible interpretations. There are plenty of such comments in the recent/current "Babylon the Great" topic, so I will probably get a few ideas from there over the next few weeks. This isn't to pick on anyone's views in particular, but I find myself disagreeing with @Arauna and @Kosonen on a range of topics. I also completely agree with them on a range of topics. But this might show how people can take several or more different paths of interpretation from some of the same "evidence" or information. It might be a while, because I haven't figured out where to start yet. So anyone should feel free to make suggestions or jump in before I do.
  11. Sad, and very sad about the lions, too. You might be happy to know that I will stop discussing politics (China, communism, etc.) for a while. But I'd love to continue discussing some of these ideas at a later time. I should probably move all the political comments into a more appropriate topic area, at least I should move the posts that had so little to do directly with this topic of Babylon the Great. But I won't do that for a while, and I hope you will feel free to continue adding your thoughts.
  12. I don't either. I try to get information from original sources when possible, leaks, info from FOIA requests, even those we are not supposed to see, anti-Chinese criticisms that come from pro-Chinese sources, and pro-Chinese admissions that come from generally anti-Chinese sources. The best "gems" come from researching items that come from sources which apparently slip up and accidentally admit the opposite of their usual agenda. (Such as the Bolton interview I heard.) Here's an innocuous example: Let's say that a person who generally writes anti-Chinese propaganda says something like, "well it's true that China has a 5 percent GDP growth rate this year, but this already represents a slowdown and presents a better picture than it can probably maintain, because [trade tarriffs, high debt, etc. etc.] . . . " In the above, we can be pretty sure that the 5 percent growth rate has a high chance of being correct, or even understated, because it was admitted to be true, even when the person probably didn't want to admit it. Further research would show that the actual rate had been 6 percent, and that it really was a "slowdown" -- but a slowdown that is still twice as fast as the US growth rate. International financial newspapers and magazines which I used to get at work all the time were always full of "surprises" like this to help you build up a picture from such items. A reader has to be skeptical at all times, of everone on every side of an issue, and do this a lot, to get a better overall picture.
  13. John Bolton did not admit all those common American tactics out loud, nor would he ever purposely say that China has not used these tactics -- even if they haven't. Bolton proved himself a liar on several occasions in the past, and I tend to tune him out when NPR, CNN or FOX is playing somewhere in the background. All Bolton explicitly said was that he was concerned that China's tactics are taking away former African friends and allies and diverting resources that America was once able to exploit more easily, because China uses different tactics that are attractive by comparison. You may or may not know some of the tactics America uses and/or former colonial powers in Africa have used for exploitation, but there is a concerted effort to try to pin those same exploitative tactics on China. I'm sure Bolton would gladly say that America has never used these tactics and only China uses these tactics if he thought he could get away with it. All he really said was that whatever tactics China is using, it is gaining them preference over America: that we are losing friends and they are gaining friends. This has been a big problem with American anti-Chinese rhetoric for years now. China has like an 80+ percent approval rating for its policies in Pakistan working together on ports, rairlrods, energy, trade. Nothing is altruistic of course, since China is helped by these same projects. But America is pushed out of the picture in Pakistan, since America is more militaristic and always wants to squeeze out resources and build military bases and have control over a country's finances, and makes countries pay for American corporations who take out much more profit for themselves. China wants the same resources in Africa that America does, but America has sometimes used its own military, or paid for death squads to keep cheap labor working when they complain about abuse, especially in mines. So, when I hear things like all the military bases that China has built in Africa, I immediately check to see if they even have even one, and then I check to see how many the United States has. When I hear that China is using the old predatory loan scheme that America is famous for, I check to see if there is evidence they have even done this once. I've started to recognize that almost everything China is blamed for, might even be true to some extent, but it is nearly always a projection of what has been done in a much worse way by others.
  14. I would agree, but I also should have included the idea of distortion of facts as TTH did. (And with an excellent illustration, I might add, which I read while picking my nose.) But then again, I consider any purposeful distortion of facts to be a lie. It serves the same purpose, but even more nefariously. The "lie" is there, but it's in a hidden agenda. Of course, it's a sword that can cut both ways. For example, our publications "dredge up" bits of historical information in every few issues of the Watchtower or every couple of years that will usually have the purpose of showing that prophecies from Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, Revelation, etc were fulfilled among the leadership of this very organization. Sometimes the publications or broadcasts will include ideas about just how much better the leaders of our organization were at predicting 1914 decades in advance, or how much better we were than the Federal Council of Churches, or how we predicted the going off into the abyss of the League and its rise as the United Nations. Sometimes it will then add the point that we should therefore 'trust the leaders of this organization, if we want to survive the great tribulation and Armageddon.' The point will sometimes be made that these predictions are 'proof of guidance by Jehovah's unerring spirit.' So the problem for persons who have done their due-diligence and looked up these "controversial" items for themselves --to see if these things were so-- is that some of those persons will come back with the idea that these are actually only 10 percent lies, but that still doesn't equate to 90 percent "true." (See TTH's post.) We know that the counsel by the GB is actually intended like a father to his children to help us stay out of danger. It might even be based on an exaggeration: "Don't go near those people because they always lie!" It doesn't mean every word is a lie, but the overall message probably is a lie. Their overall apostate message is probably "Don't trust the leaders of this organization, if you want to survive the great tribulation and Armageddon." Or, "These mistakes are proof of NO guidance by Jehovah's unerring spirit." Obviously there are some here who are anxious to immediately twist anything said as quickly as possible into those apostate messages. And then there are those who might assume that anyone who continues to dredge up mistakes from the past is subtly trying to create those overall apostate messages which can be a by-product of dredging up past error -- without ever even making those apostate statements overtly. It's pretty clear that this is what Allen Smith's henchaccounts think I am doing on purpose. This is why I don't blame him for calling out what he thinks I am doing. It's also why I welcome his input, because it reminds those who have not done their due-diligence that this is NOT something to just accept because someone is stating it. It's just an opinion. Just because I will offer the reasons for my own opinion, and just because I personally accept my own opinion, doesn't mean that it couldn't be mistaken. I've been fooled before and I'll likely be fooled again. Sooner or later, though, people who do their Beroean due-diligence will end up facing some uncomfortable ideas that they may not be prepared for in the least. It's bad to have the rug pulled out from under you with nothing to fall back on. I personally believe we need a faith that doesn't rely so much on human leaders for validation. We can still appreciate the reasons for respecting human leadership, and for following direction from those taking the lead in the most important work, announcing Jehovah's Kingdom through Christ. But we don't need 2 out of 100 past predictions to come true. We don't even need prophecies that predicted events among the Watchtower's leadership in 1919, for example.
  15. That's funny. It says exactly the opposite of 'only my opinion matters.' It says that no one should have to believe what I say because, even when I have done my own due-diligence and put what I have researched on here with evidence, that it's still really just my opinion about the evidence. I expect that TTH understood what I said, but I really should have rewritten it. I worded it rather convolutedlylike. Another problem in the understanding of what I said. I didn't accuse TTH of trying to exonerate Rutherford. I only pointed out that asking that particular question he asked about what goals of JFR that JFR thought were identical with Hitler's is a question that is very "bad" if TTH was trying to exonerate Rutherford. (And the reason was that Hitler was already well known around the world for about 5 goals. And JFR managed to make it appear that he was aligned with 3 of those 5.)
  16. Yes. How can it be said of an American city that “in her was found the blood of prophets and of holy ones and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth?” Good point. And to Arauna's point, most "Westerners" view the world only through "Western" eyes. The news about various countries in the world sounds almost the same in France, UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, US, Germany, etc. And probably get taken in much less than the overall world due to neutrality, disinterest in low priority secular things, general avoidance of non-JW Internet sites. We've got our own priorities to be concerned about. (Although I'm sure this forum would make many wonder about myself and others.) Important point about Russia not being as belligerent as America. This has been true for decades. While America hyped Russia's conflicts in Afghanistan and Georgia and now Ukraine, America would never hype the fact that America has been caught fomenting trouble in Ukraine, Iraq, Iran, even Hong Kong with CIA operatives, while amassing bases and missiles and ships all along the borders in Eastern Europe, the Mideast, the southern border of North Korea, creating coups and wars in Africa, Central and South America, etc. Another irony is that while deploring Russia's involvement in Syria, America doesn't report (except once accidentally and then quickly walked back) the number of US troops that had already invaded and who have been sitting inside Syria's borders all along, uninvited, based in the oil-rich areas of Syria, where America has been (and still is) controlling the flow of a majority of Syria's oil. America constantly discusses the threats of various other countries, while America is already overrunning and bombing countries to create death, chaos, and instability. Now, one of the problems is that it turns out that military lobbyists have been pushing various planes, radar systems, and defensive weapons that don't work very well. And while this was always a way to keep countries buying upgrades, now some of those buyers are looking to buy from Russia and China for various defensive weapons, because they don't trust the American weapons as they once did. You must be like a "Beroean" on Twitter. Too bad there is no perfect method. And then there are the bots which flood one end or the other of your polar opposites and try to create trends and skews. There is another method of ruining any method of gathering accurate news sources, which many hope to get through Twitter/FB, and that's the inclusion of purposeful creation of "chaos" disguised as plain and simple truth in mainstream media. (Trump tweets, NYTimes, Vox, Vice, CNN, Fox, MSNBC) Much more to be said on this. Might come back to it later. I'm sure I sounded a bit harsher than I meant to. If I made it sound like a big problem, I didn't mean to. For me this is not a controversy. Rutherford was just plainly wrong on this. Doesn't change the fact that he was right on so many other things. But I have to ask. Do you really think any of this information is applicable to paragraphs 8 and 11 of yesterday's Watchtower? Those WT paragraphs were about "lies" and "apostate lies." This is just information, hopefully honest and unvarnished. Also, one of the scriptures in the Study was Isaiah 54:17: 17 No weapon formed against you will have any success, . . . A shield of knowledge will help us blunt the effect from anyone who tries to weaponize this information. But sometimes the actual shield for our faith will merely take the form of honesty and humility, and accepting the humanity of those taking the lead among us. If something turns out to be true, we don't want to be too quick to just reject is as false because we don't like the sound of it. I was only referring to the principle of not accepting something as true without multiple "witnesses" of evidence, documentation, speeches, etc. For me it meant that I wouldn't want to put something out here as fact unless I had personally done a good amount of due-diligence. It wasn't about whether anyone else should read and accept what someone puts on this forum and accepts it just because it includes multiple instances of evidence. Until someone already "knows" or looks up evidence for themselves, all they have looked at here is just someone's opinion about the evidence.
  17. Many try to make Putin out to be another Hitler, and I think you are right that trying to demonize him in that way burns bridges unnecessarily. But I liked that you didn't actually let Putin off the hook, either. My comments in this regard, as you indicate, were mostly about not parroting the Western version of Russian's history as it is sometimes stereotyped. Terribly bad things happened. But the numerical extent is controversial in Russia, and among many world historians, and Putin himself has to walk a tightrope on some of those historical topics. Besides you found a good way to make the same points without letting this additional controversy distract from your main point. But to your point here: I think Putin is awful in a lot of ways, and probably OK in a lot of ways. I'm pretty sure you know a lot more about him than I do, all the more so, after the work you put into the book project. But I don't think you are saying we shouldn't trash Hitler after all that we've learned about him. I don't think there is anything controversial about calling out Hitler's racism and the methods used to reach his political goals.
  18. I don’t like the tone, for I am not particularly trying to do that. You may have noticed that the last time this came up on the forum, I stayed away from these details of the JFR/Hitler discussion, but I thought I remembered that you had already made a similar point in a previous discussion: I wanted to show the reasons that this particular case should not be compared (in my opinion) with a practice of dissing just anything that doesn't come from the organization. These details were in response to the idea that Rutherford might have been referring just to the feel-good principles and promises of a typical politician. I took the above quote to that effect as your "defense" of Rutherford's specific actions in this regard, even if it wasn't particularly what you were trying to do. I'm not at all trying to condemn Rutherford generally. Listening closely to his speeches and known writings, you can tell he has a love for Jehovah, and a strong faith that Jehovah will act on behalf of righteous people. Most everything I read from his writing and speeches is perfectly fine. But I am trying to condemn this conduct shown "here" on this matter. Absolutely! By his own words he condemns his own actions here, on this particular matter. We should never use two different scales, even when judging matters of this life about a distinguished and respected member of the Governing Body. Isn't this the very reason that Galatians 1 and 2 is part of Scripture, and therefore beneficial for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness? In Galatians, Paul showed how Peter stood "condemned" in this matter of showing favoritism for one race or national group above another. Earlier Paul had just shown how we might go wrong for showing favoritism for a leader just because that person might be distinguished and respected. There is nothing particularly wrong with bringing an accusation against an older man as long as we are conscientiously following the principle of not just making accusations wildly because of what we have heard from only one source, or unreliable sources. I think, or hope at least, that I am following the advice of Paul here: (1 Timothy 5:19-21) 19 Do not accept an accusation against an older man except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 Reprove before all onlookers those who practice sin, as a warning to the rest. 21 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the chosen angels to observe these instructions without any prejudice or partiality.
  19. @Arauna, I think it's just like @TrueTomHarley already indicated. Some conspiracies are going to turn out to be true. And, like I said before: almost all conspiracies have a lot of truth in them or they wouldn't work; they wouldn't get very far. Making up a counter-conspiracy is often the way to hide a true conspiracy. And conspiracies should never surprise us if we are aware of the "machinations" of the Devil.
  20. Extreme socialism does become communism. But extreme capitalism does not look like communism, it's the definition of fascism. Capitalism defended by a militaristic state is fascism. You have likely been listening to a lot of the same propaganda that now has most of the world in its thrall. I listened to it, too, for most of my life. The problem with your theory is that the United States, through dozens of once-secret sources, which are now in the open, prove definitively that the United States was deathly afraid of communism because it brings poor people out of poverty much quicker than capitalism ever has. This is the reason that communism is a "threat" and has to be interfered with and sabotaged constantly. It's the reason that the United States has chosen to destroy nations like North Korea and Vietnam and Libya and Syria and Venezuela and Nicaragua and even much smaller nations, more defenseless than those. The United States has been running scared for decades, because of the theory that people might notice that communism, at least Marxist communism, is a scientific approach to the economy such that more poor in the population rise above the poverty level. Russian communism, in spite of two world wars, and a couple of very paranoid leaders, managed to build itself up from a very poor economy with most of the population in poverty, to the second biggest economy in the world in just the 40 years from about 1917 to 1957. US Capitalism, for example, though a much richer country, barely moved the bar on the percentage of people it could bring out of poverty in any 40 year period. China's communism is creating an economy that has now very likely become the number one economy in the world. And it was and still is a poor, overpopulated country. In the years since its revolution in the late 1940's it has managed to bring more persons out of poverty than all other nations put together. There is a rumor that they might have completely raised virtually everyone above the poverty line by late 2020 or 2021. And this is what's reported by Western journalists, not just Chinese sources. And China has done this without bombing countries for their resources or using the US/IMF/WorldBank tactics of creating loans to be defaulted on so that the leverage on those loans allows rampant stealing of resources, trade for military bases, pipelines, etc. In fact, John Bolton was angry at China for using tactics in Africa that made local populations "prefer" China over America when it came to doing business for their valuable resources (rare earth metals, etc). Those "tactics" include NOT using loans for leverage, NOT using military proxies to murder uncooperative local populations, NOT promoting civil war to weaken the country, NOT attempting regime changes, NOT building infrastructure that is clearly for the purpose of American military bases, NOT using a majority of Chinese persons as workers in these lands to hurt the local economies, etc. These "tactics" have worked so well, that almost everything the United States has done to make themselves unpopular in the world is projected onto China to try to make China look worse. Even the surveillance initiatives that you have often brought up are only in the testing stages and are still chaotic and experimental. They have been tried in only a few test areas and cities in China and they are not nearly as pervasive as such surveillance systems are in the United States. Don't get the idea that I think Communism is a proper solution for the world, or that I think that these countries can do no wrong. They are led by humans, influenced by Satan, and will make dangerous mistakes just like every other nation. The only true solution to human governments is a government by God, God's Kingdom under Christ.
  21. That's a very bad question if you are trying to exonerate JFR here. I'm sure you already know this, but Hitler didn't come out of the blue. The goals of the Hitler's Nazi party had already been made clear in the 1920's. Hitler was actually becoming important in internal political and military circles in 1918/9, when the first swastika flags were seen even at the tail end of WWI. He had been an intelligence officer in WWI. Also as a political operative he was not speaking just for himself, but amassed more political power by standing for popular ideas about remilitarizing to prove the true superiority of the Teutonic race, and that they would have won WWI, except for the UK and of course Jewish Bolshevism. Even before 1920, the foundations of the Nazi party were already "coming into their own." Because the Nazi party was very anti-Socialist (in spite of its name), it also grew in parallel with Italian fascism under Mussolini, whose party also gained power from the end of WWI. Mussolini was a "social Darwinian" racist (white supremacist), but not nearly as anti-Jewish as Hitler's party. Still it was a clear that Italy fascist party and Germany's fascist party (the Nazis) were trending in the same direction. Mussolini was breaking unions, was pro-capitalist, for privatizing businesses,etc. Both Nazism and Italian Fascism were seen as the "Anti-Revolution Revolution" or "Revolution of the Right" opposing the leftist Leninist style revolution of the left. The Russian revolution was spreading its ideology in some ways across Europe, as already seen in Finland and Romania and Ukraine, and Nazism was the cure. When Hitler staged his premature coup to get power in 1925, of course, he was caught and sent to jail, where he wrote Mein Kampf. By the mid-to-late-20s, Mein Kampf had made very clear all the basic components of his ideology. His goals were to bring Germany back into WWI to win it this time. He also made clear that lying and backstabbing and false propaganda were going to be necessary "tools." The book along with his speeches promoted rabid anti-Semitism in the 1920's which he toned down only by the early 1930's to be more electable and respectable. He was visited by many Americans before he took power, being seen as a celebrity. Many others in the party did not control their anti-Semitic rhetoric in their political speeches. Not that it mattered, because it started to come back with a vengeance through Hitler himself within months of his election. So his goals were clear from the 1920's. His party would be built on German imperialism, racial supremacy, fascism/nazism, and in his rise to prominence, he had used this rhetoric of revenge (over WWI, Treaty of Versailles) to push German even the socialist workers to the right. (Through inflitration and lying propaganda whenever necessary.) He wanted to erase the shame of WWI, blaming the loss on Britain and Jews. German society saw the rhetoric rising but still assumed he could never become electable. But with rising industrialization, Hitler made fascism seem feasible. The premonitions in his rhetoric of the early and mid 20's made it seem realistic that that Germany should re-arm and conquer the world. The rationale for making war on the west was Jewish Bolshevism and the fact that they were blockaded by Britain, and obviously it was Russian-Jewish Bolshevism in the east since 1917. If I haven't repeated myself enough already above, he was already a scary, militaristic, fascist, anti-socialist, anti-British, anti-Jewish, white supremacist. So I don't know what goals Rutherford thought were identical, but he already would have known much of the above history because I'm sure he had been reading the writing of a Jewish person who had already reported this by early 1933. But this same Jewish man had also written in April 1933 that Hitler's party, even though ostensibly pro-Catholic, didn't care anymore and had been breaking up not just socialist and communist meetings, but Catholic meetings, too. Perhaps this is why Rutherford thought it was safe to include the following in his letter: The Brooklyn headquarter of the Watchtower Society is pro German in an exemplary way and has been so for many years. . . . These two magazines, "The Watchtower" and "Bible Student" were the only magazines in America which refused to engage in anti-German propaganda . . . . In the very same manner, in course of the recent months the board of directors of our Society not only refused to engage in propaganda against Germany, but has even taken a position against it. The enclosed declaration underlines this fact and emphasizes that the people leading in such propaganda (Jewish businessmen and Catholics) also are the most rigorous persecutors of the work of our Society and its board of directors. This and other statements of the declaration are meant to repudiate the slanderous accusation, that Bible Researchers are supported by the Jews. And the "Declaration" letter at the the same time included the following statements. The WTS was apparently not ashamed of them because they even printed them in English in the 1934 Yearbook, p. 134-138. The support for Hitler's Nazi principles are aligned with Hitler's propaganda against Jews and the British nation, and Rutherford admits his anti-Catholicism, too (which might NOT have aligned with Hitler's principles). It is falsely charged by our enemies that we have received financial support for our work from the Jews. Nothing is farther from the truth. Up to this hour there never has been the slightest bit of money contributed to our work by Jews. We are the faithful followers of Christ Jesus and believe upon Him as the Savior of the world, whereas the Jews entirely reject Jesus Christ and emphatically deny that he is the Savior of the world sent of God for man's good. This of itself should be sufficient proof to show that we receive no support from Jews and that therefore the charges against us are maliciously false and could proceed only from Satan, our great enemy. The greatest and the most oppressive empire on earth is the Anglo-American empire. By that is meant the British Empire, of which the United States of America forms a part. It has been the commercial Jews of the British-American empire that have built up and carried on Big Business as a means of exploiting and oppressing the peoples of many nations. This fact particularly applies to the cities of London and New York, the stronghold of Big Business. This fact is so manifest in America that there is a proverb concerning the city of New York which says: The Jews own it, the Irish Catholics rule it, and the Americans pay the bills. The present government of Germany has declared emphatically against Big Business oppressors and in opposition to the wrongful religious influence in the political affairs of the nations. Such is exactly our position. Instead of being against the principles advocated by the government of Germany, we stand squarely for such principles, and point out that Jehovah God through Christ Jesus will bring about the full realization of these principles and will give to the people peace and prosperity and the greatest desire of every honest heart. A careful examination of our books and literature will disclose the fact that the very high ideals held and promulgated by the present national government are set forth in and endorsed and strongly emphasized in our publications and show that Jehovah God will see to it that these high ideals in due time will be attained by all persons who love righteousness.
  22. I’m dubious of that. The letter that Rutherford wrote to Hitler around June 25, 1933 uses pretty much the same logic that the Watchtower had used for supporting the League of Nations. The idea is that the Bible Students stood for the same ethical goals as the Nazi government under Hitler, and that they were in full agreement with them. Hitler's goals were just a political expression of purely religious goals of the Bible Students. The letter says: The conference of five thousand delegates also noted - as is expressed in the declaration - that the Bible Researchers of Germany are fighting for the very same high ethical goals and ideals which also the national government of the German Reich proclaimed respecting the relationship of humans to God, namely: honesty of the created being towards its creator. The conference came to the conclusion that there are no contradictions when it comes to the relationship between the Bible Researchers of Germany to the national government of the German Reich. To the contrary, referring to the purely religious and unpolitical goals and efforts of the Bible Researchers, it can be said that these are in full agreement with the identical goals of the national government of the German Reich. Of course, Hitler and his government had done very little by that point in 1933 to show how they would go about executing those "same ethical goals." But it was risky for Rutherford to claim they were identical. It's like giving Obama a Nobel Peace Prize just before he expands the current wars and takes the United States into some new ones.
  23. I’m dubious of that. (Revelation 17:8, NWT 1984)  The wild beast that you saw was, but is not, and yet is about to ascend out of the abyss, and it is to go off into destruction. And when they see how the wild beast was, but is not, and yet will be present, those who dwell on the earth will wonder admiringly, but their names have not been written upon the scroll of life from the founding of the world. The NWT says above that some would "wonder admiringly" about this beast. The Watchtower in 1919 came out with an article that appears to be a commentary on that same phrase the Federal Council of Churches had used, but they also managed to use words that showed they "wondered admiringly" calling the ideals of this League both wonderful and admirable. But the Watchtower article also compared the League's ideals to show that they were essentially the same as the ideals of God's kingdom, and was even suggesting that this League might be involved in the initiation of the outworking of God's kingdom on earth. Just as the Federation of Churches had done, however, the Watchtower was not saying it was the same as God's kingdom, only that it was a "political" expression of those goals. Just like many in the Federation of Churches, it was realized that it would take more than political goals to actually achieve the full outworking of God's kingdom. Here are some snippets from the first, last and a middle paragraph of a short article in the Watch Tower, February 15, 1919, p.51, with a more complete text of the article below: We cannot but admire the high principles embodied in the proposed League of Nations, formulated undoubtedly by those who have no knowledge of the great plan of God. This fact makes all the more wonderful the ideals which they express. For instance, it has been made plain by President Wilson and the advocates of his ideas that the proposed League of Nations is more than merely a league to enforce peace. They would not have us consider it to exclusively from the standpoint of politics or of military relations. It should be considered as fully from the economic and social points of view. The President’s idea seems to be that the League of Nations which he proposes would stand for world service rather than mere world regulation in the military sense, and that the very smallest of nations shall be participants in its every arrangement. In other words, his idea undoubtedly is that the league shall not be established merely for the purpose of promoting peace by threat or coercion; but that its purpose, when put into operation, will be to make all nations of earth one great family, working together for the common benefit in all the avenues of national life. Truly this is idealistic, and approximates in a small way that which God has foretold that he will bring about after this great time of trouble. So the Watchtower claimed that the Peace Conference and the "virtual reality" of the League of Nations were not merely the evolution of human progress, but were were strides of Jehovah's divine providence. They were a part of Jehovah's day of preparation for the Messianic Kingdom. In a small way this idealistic League of Nations was a political expression of what God's Kingdom would complete on earth. In fact, one point of the article is that the wonderful and admirable League of Nations is more than just a political expression of God's kingdom, but a social and economic expression of the ideals of God's kingdom on earth, too.
  24. There is always some truth in half-truths, and conspiracy theorists always deal in half-truths. I have usually found, or I should say "always found" that whenever I hear about the dangers of a certain UN initiative, that the person promoting the theory is often virtually unacquainted with the original documents, and is getting their information from another place, rather than the UN source. I think that any human organization can be dangerous, even inadvertently. People make stupid and dangerous decisions without thinking of consequences. It happens all the more with persons of influence and power who make dangerous decisions, sometimes on purpose, and sometimes while trying to do the right thing. So I'm not at all surprised about bad things coming out of the UN, NATO, the EU, the White House, Russia, China, etc. And I'm not surprised that persons, even Rutherford, in 1918 on up through 1940, '41, '42, '43, '44, '45, etc., also held conspiratorial views of the League of Nations and the UN, and that these views influenced some of those extremely inaccurate predictions about them. Inaccurate predictions about them are found in the Watch Tower publications and also on the pages of many other religions and political, secular organizations, too. Initially, of course, the Watchtower praised the League of Nations, as if it were some sort of political expression of God's kingdom on earth, just as Rutherford initially praised Hitler's Nazi government as if it were some sort of political expression of God's kingdom on earth. Of course, in neither case did this view last very long, and it was never expressed as if these two political expressions (the League and Hitler) could ever be looked upon as any kind of replacement of God's kingdom. I doubt that this site is very accurate, but I agree with much of what is said on this wikipedia-style article at
      Hello guest!
    It includes among its member nations not only parliamentary democracies, but also human rights abusers mainly concerned with their own power. Because unanimity among the Big 5 (the USA, France, UK, Russia and China) is needed for any action involving the Security Council, things rarely get done, and UN sanctions can be pretty much ignored by all nations great and small. That's okay, though, since the countries like the US that are meant to fund it systematically starve it of funding, so the UN can't do much anyway.[note 1] On some small scale activities, it can do some good, but any attempts at actual peace-keeping usually fall apart. What should then be a cause for peace and brotherhood instead just becomes another bureaucratic nightmare. . . . The UN and conspiracy theories As an international body, the UN has predictably attracted the attention of conspiracy theorists. Due to conservatives' dislike of the institution, the conspiracy theories tend to come from the far-right wingnut camp, although said theories often cross over into the loony left fringes as well. League of Nations UN conspiracism grew out of the Paris Peace Conference at the end of the First World War as liberal internationalists like Woodrow Wilson pushed for an international body that would promote global peace and national self-determination. Opponents of the plan, most notably Wilson's nemesis Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge (R-MA), argued that joining the League of Nations would cause the US to become entangled in malignant international politics, that the US might have to commit troops to wars it didn't want to fight, and that the League would infringe on national sovereignty.[4] Despite the fact that the US ultimately failed to join the League of Nations — and that its failure was one of the major causes of World War II — conspiracy theories about world government began to spring up in fringe circles. Often, these were vague murmurings about shadowy international dealings, though some conspiracy theories began to take on racist overtones. Father Coughlin, for example, alleged that the League was a tool of the Jews to prosecute a "sacred war" against the US. As a side note: One of the few positive things that the League of Nations accomplished was issuing "Nansen Passports," the first internationally recognized form of Refugee Documents for stateless people.[5] Formation of the UN Conspiratorial themes about the League of Nations transferred over to the newly formed United Nations during the post-war era. The John Birch Society (JBS) was (and still is) most famous for pushing conspiracy theories about the UN being a front for a communist world take-over. The JBS also implicated the UN in plotting to institute one world religion to supplant Christianity. This was to be done through subtle means, such as a "War on Christmas" in which religious Christmas decorations would be replaced by UN iconography.[6] The New World Order and other current theories Current conspiracy theories about the UN usually portray it as the heart of an alleged "New World Order" (NWO), or at least implicate it as a major player in said Order. The UN effectively acts as a Rorschach test for political cranks to project their paranoia onto. Some more recent conspiratorial notions include: The UN is in cahoots with [insert favored bogeyman here]. (Popular choices include the Jews, the NWO, communists, environmentalists, "globalists", corporo-fascists, Illuminati, the Catholic Church, Freemasons, Reptoids, Them, etc.). The idea of the UN instituting a world religion or the UN being a vehicle for the Antichrist has become a common trope among the rapture ready set. Jack Chick was fond of this one.[7] This idea is also shared to some extent by Jehovah's Witnesses, who consider UN to be the "image of a wild beast" from Revelation 13 and the "disgusting thing that causes desolation" mentioned in Matthew 24:15, which will soon act to destroy all other religions, and finally turn against JWs. The UN has also been accused of being the Harlot being described as "Sitting atop the Nations, Multitudes, Languages, and Tongues" (sitting atop the tongues, what an image!). The UN has launched smaller projects such as the "North American Union" to gradually erase national borders. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the UN increasingly became the target of anti-environmentalist conspiracy theories, primarily the notion of a power-grab using climate change as a cover. This is due to the UN's institution of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to produce consensus reports on climate change. Conspiracies vary from the "softer" side (the UN is simply cooking the books to enrich itself) to the extremely alarmist (the UN is angling for world domination via alleged "junk science" and the machinations of Al Gore). Another element in this view is that the commies infiltrated the environmental movement after the fall of the USSR and are now using the UN as a tool via environmental policy.[note 2]Christopher Monckton is a proponent of this theory.[8] Agenda 21, the most recent UN-related conspiracy theory, also centers on a non-binding environmental agreement. If you want to know more, Glenn Beck wrote the book.[9] Mix the second and the fourth conspiracies and you get the idea that the UN is attempting to enforce a global Earth-worshiping pagan hippie cult where everyone is forced to sing the praises of Gaia.[10][note 3] This one, at least, could provide some amusement if it were true. Sometimes related to the environmental conspiracy theories (usually global warming) is the idea that concern about overpopulation is being used as a scare tactic to lay the groundwork for a genocide or eugenics scheme to kill off the "useless eaters." As if the world's population isn't currently growing at an alarming rate. The UN is under the control of Arab/Muslim states and attempting to (a) enable terrorists, (b) usher in the "global caliphate", (c) subtly insert sharia into the American legal system, or (d) all of the above.[note 4] The UN Arms Trade Treaty is an attempt of an "end run" around the Second Amendment to take away everyone's guns. Just guess the factual accuracy of that one.[11] Left-ish circles have their own conspiracy theories. Most common is the claim is that the UN is merely the pawn of the United States and its imperialistic schemes. This sometimes plays into fears about globalization (WTO, duh).[12] This seems to ignore the complete antipathy to the UN and other international organizations that some US administrations have shown in the past.[note 5] The War in Iraq also demonstrated that the US doesn't need no stinkin' UN to carry out imperialistic schemes.

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