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Part of a series on: Jehovah's Witnesses

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The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses is the ruling council of Jehovah's Witnesses[1] based in Brooklyn, New York. The body assumes responsibility for formulating policy and doctrines, producing material for publications and conventions, and administering its worldwide branch office staff.[2][3] Members of the Governing Body say they are followers of Christ rather than religious leaders.[4] One member explained the Governing Body as being "Guardians of the Doctrine" when under oath in Australia in 2015.[119]
Its size has varied, from seven (2010–2012)[5] to eighteen (1974–1980)[6]members.[7][8] As of October 2012, there are eight members.[5] Members of the Governing Body are not elected; membership is only possible by invitation of existing members.[9]Updated: Current list of the Governing Body as of October 2014

History

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The Governing Body in 1975

Since its incorporation in 1884, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania has been directed by a president and board of directors. Until January 1976, the president exercised complete control of doctrines, publications and activity of the Watch Tower Society and the religious denominations with which it was connected—the Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses.[10][11][12]
When the Society's second president, J.F. Rutherford, encountered opposition from directors in 1917, he dismissed them; in 1925 he overruled the Watch Tower Society's editorial committee—selected by Charles Taze Russell to have editorial control of The Watch Tower after his death—when it opposed publication of an article that altered doctrines on Bible chronology related to 

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. In 1931, the editorial committee was dissolved.[13][14]56e4c12dba887_ScreenShot2014-01-11at8.15 

as of 2013

 
 


In 1943 The Watchtower described the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society as the "legal governing body" of anointed 

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.[15] A year later, in an article opposing the democratic election of congregation elders, the magazine said the appointment of congregation servants was the duty of "a visible governing body under Jehovah God and his Christ."[16] For several years, the role and specific identity of the governing body remained otherwise undefined. A 1955 organizational handbook stated that "the visible governing body has been closely identified with the board of directors of this corporation."[17] Referring to events related to their 1957 convention, a 1959 publication said "the spiritual governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses watched the developments [then] the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society [acted]."[18] The 1970 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses noted that the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania was the organization used to plan the activity of Jehovah's Witnesses and provide them with "spiritual food", then declared: "So really the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses is the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania."[19]
On October 1, 1971, Watch Tower Society vice-president Frederick Franz addressed the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania corporation in Buckingham, Pennsylvania, stating that the legal corporation of the Watch Tower Society was an "agency" or "temporary instrument" used by the Governing Body on behalf of the"faithful and discreet slave".[20] Three weeks later, on October 20, four additional men joined the seven members of the Society's board of directors on what became known as a separate, expanded Governing Body.[21] The board of directors had until then met only sporadically, usually only to discuss the purchase of property or new equipment, leaving decisions concerning material to be published in Watch Tower Society publications to the president and vice-president, Nathan Knorr and Fred Franz.[20][22] The Watchtower of December 15, 1971 was the first to unambiguously capitalize the term "Governing Body of Jehovah's witnesses" as the defined group leading the religion, with a series of articles explaining its role and its relationship with the Watch Tower Society.[2][23]
The focus on the new concept of "theocratic" leadership was accompanied by statements that the structure was not actually new: The Watch Tower declared that "a governing body made its appearance" some time after the formation of Zion's Watch Tower Society in 1884,[24] though it had not beenreferred to as such at the time.[10]
The article claimed that Watch Tower Society president Charles Taze Russell had been a member of the governing body.[24] The 1972 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses stated that following Rutherford's death in 1942 "one of the first things that the governing body decided upon was the inauguration of the Theocratic Ministry School" and added that the "governing body" had published millions of books and Bibles in the previous thirty years.[25] Raymond Franz has disputed those claims, stating that the actions of presidents Russell, Rutherford and Knorr in overriding and failing to consult with directors proved the Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses had been under a monarchical rule until 1976, leaving no decisions to a "governing body".[26]
In 1972, a Question From Readers article in The Watchtower further reinforced the concept of the "Governing Body"; the magazine said the term referred to an agency that administers policy and provides organizational direction, guidance and regulation and was therefore "appropriate, fitting and Scriptural."[23][27]Organizational changes at the highest levels of the Watch Tower Society in 1976 significantly increased the powers and authority of the Governing Body.[28] The body has never had a legal corporate existence and operates through the Watch Tower Society and its board of directors.[29]

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Re-organization

After its formal establishment in 1971, the Governing Body met regularly but, according to Raymond Franz, only briefly; Franz claims meetings were sometimes as short as seven minutes,[30] to make decisions about branch appointments and conduct that should be considered disfellowshipping offenses.[31][32] Franz claims that in 1971 and again in 1975, the Governing Body debated the extent of the authority it should be given.[33]

Headquarters purge

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Raymond Franz claimed that in 1980, unease with doctrines surrounding the significance of 
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 surfaced within the Governing Body. In February of that year, three Governing Body members—aware that those who had been alive in 
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 were dying out despite the teaching that their generation would live to see Armageddon—proposed a doctrinal change to identify the "generation" who would see Armageddon as those who witnessed the 1957 launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik, which would be considered a 'sign in heaven'.
The proposal, which would have extended the deadline for Armageddon by 43 years, failed to gain a majority vote.[36][37] Former Witnesses James Penton and Heather and Gary Botting claimed that internal dissatisfaction with official doctrines continued to grow, leading to a series of secret investigations and judicial hearings. As a result, the Governing Body led a purge of dissenting Brooklyn headquarters staff in April and May 1980.[38][39][40] Raymond Franz claimed he was forced to resign from the Governing Body, and he was later disfellowshipped from the religion. The Watch Tower Society responded with a new, hardened attitude towards the treatment of expelled Witnesses.[38][39][41] In his 1997 study of the religion, Penton concluded that since Raymond Franz's expulsion in 1980, the Governing Body displayed an increased level of conservatism, sturdy resistance to changes of policy and doctrines, and an increased tendency to isolate dissidents within the organization by means of disfellowshipping.[42]

Helpers

The April 15, 1992 issue of The Watchtower carried an article entitled Jehovah’s Provision, the “Given Ones” which drew a parallel between ancient non-Israelites who had been assigned temple duties (the 

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 and "sons of the servants of Solomon") and Witness elders in positions of responsibility immediately under the oversight of the Governing Body who did not profess to be "anointed".[43]Both that issue of The Watchtower and the 1993 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses carried the same announcement:

  • In view of the tremendous increase worldwide, it seems appropriate at this time to provide the Governing Body with some additional assistance. Therefore it has been decided to invite several helpers, mainly from among the great crowd, to share in the meetings of each of the Governing Body Committees, that is, the Personnel, Publishing, Service, Teaching, and Writing Committees. Thus, the number attending the meetings of each of these committees will be increased to seven or eight. Under the direction of the Governing Body committee members, these assistants will take part in discussions and will carry out various assignments given them by the committee. This new arrangement goes into effect May 1, 1992. For many years now, the number of the remnant of anointed Witnesses has been decreasing, while the number of the great crowd has increased beyond our grandest expectations.[44][45]


Each of the current Governing Body members served as a committee "helper" before being appointed to the Governing Body itself.[46][47][48] The appointment of helpers to the Governing Body committees was described in 2006 as "still another refinement."[49]

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2000 and beyond

Until 2000, the directors and officers of the Watch Tower Society were members of the Governing Body. Since then, members of the ecclesiastical Governing Body have not served as directors of any of the various corporations used by Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Governing Body has delegated such administrative responsibilities to other members of the religion.[50] The current president of the Watch Tower Society, Don A. Adams, is not a member of the Governing Body. As of October 2012, the Governing Body comprises eight members, as shown below.56e4c28c76049_ScreenShot2014-04-13at2.42

Governing Body 2003 

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Photo shot prior to the death of Guy Pierce in the 2014 release "God's Kingdom Rules!"

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One of our favorite moments of 

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…when all 7 of the 
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 came out and sang with the Watchtower Chorus the last and newest song called: “Jehovah Is Your Name”….what a powerful and moving 100 Year Celebration! @stephendianna
 

See also

References

  1. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 216. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3.
  2. "Questions From Readers". The Watchtower: 703. November 15, 1972.
  3. "Our active leader today", The Watchtower, September 15, 2010, page 27, "They recognize, however, that Christ is using a small group of anointed Christian men as a Governing Body to lead and direct his disciples on earth."
  4. "Bearing Thorough Witness" About God's Kingdom. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 2009. p. 110.
  5. As of September 2005, twelve members listed (See The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 26)
    Schroeder died March 8, 2006. (See The Watchtower, September 15, 2006, page 31)
    Sydlik died April 18, 2006. (See The Watchtower, January 1, 2007, page 8)
    Barber died April 8, 2007. (See The Watchtower, October 15, 2007, page 31)
    Jaracz died June 9, 2010. (See The Watchtower, November 15, 2010, page 23)
    Barr died December 4, 2010. (See The Watchtower, May 15, 2011, page 6)
    Mark Sanderson appointed in September 2012 "A New Member of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, July 15, 2013, page 26.[1]
  6. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 217. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3.
  7. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (2007). Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. pp. 4, 6.
  8. Botting, Heather & Gary (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 178. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7.
  9. Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. p. 123. ISBN 0-914675-17-6.
  10. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 58.ISBN 0-914675-23-0.
  11. Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. pp. 186, footnote. ISBN 0-914675-17-6.
  12. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 162–163, 214. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3.
  13. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 61–62. ISBN 0-914675-23-0.
  14. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 59. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3.
  15. The Watchtower. July 15, 1943. page 216, paragraph 24.
  16. The Watchtower. November 1, 1944. page 328, paragraph 32.
  17. Qualified to be Ministers. Watch Tower Society. 1955. p. 381. cited by 
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    , Crisis of Conscience, page 74
  18. "Divine Will International Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses", The Watchtower, February 15, 1959, page 115, "So with intense interest the spiritual governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses watched the developments... Without delay the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society closed a contract with the owners to use the Polo Grounds simultaneously with Yankee Stadium."
  19. Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Society. 1970. p. 65.
  20. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 57.ISBN 0-914675-23-0.
  21. Franz, Raymond. Crisis of Conscience. p. 44. The seven directors at October 20 were Nathan Knorr, Fred Franz, Grant Suiter, Thomas Sullivan, Milton Henschel, Lyman Swingle and John Groh. The additional four to form the Governing Body were William Jackson, 
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    , George Gangas and Raymond Franz.
  22. Testimony by Fred Franz, Lord Strachan vs. Douglas Walsh Transcript, Lord Strachan vs. Douglas Walsh, 1954, as cited by 
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    , Crisis of Conscience, 2007, page 75-76.
  23. "Theocratic Organization with Which to Move Forward Now; A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation". The Watchtower. December 15, 1971.
  24. "A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation". The Watchtower: 761. December 15, 1971.
  25. Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. 1972. pp. 254–257.
  26. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 78.ISBN 0-914675-23-0.
  27. "Questions From Readers". The Watchtower: 703. November 15, 1972.
  28. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 44–110. ISBN 0-914675-23-0.
  29. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 228. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3.
  30. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 45.ISBN 0-914675-23-0.
  31. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 46.ISBN 0-914675-23-0.
  32. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 215. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3.
  33. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 81–105. ISBN 0-914675-23-0.
  34. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 80–107. ISBN 0-914675-23-0.
  35. Jehovah's Witnesses–Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Watch Tower Society. 1993. pp. 108–109.
  36. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3.
  37. Franz, Raymond (1997). Crisis of Conscience. p. 262.
  38. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 117–123. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3.
  39. Botting, Heather & Gary (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 158–165. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7.
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  40. Franz, Raymond (2007). "11-12". Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press.
  41. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 219, 297–302, 319. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3.
  42. "Jehovah’s Provision, the “Given Ones”", The Watchtower, April 15, 1992, pages 16-17
  43. "Announcement", The Watchtower, April 15, 1992, page 31
  44. "Organizing for Further Expansion", 1993 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 253-254
  45. "Governing Body Addition", The Watchtower, November 1, 1994, page 29, "The new member is Gerrit Lösch. ... Lösch has served in the Executive Offices and as an assistant to the Service Committee."
  46. "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, January 1, 2000, page 29, "The new members, all anointed Christians, are Samuel F. Herd; M. Stephen Lett; Guy H. Pierce; and David H. Splane. Samuel Herd ... was also serving as a helper to the Service Committee. Stephen Lett ... was a helper to the Teaching Committee. Guy Pierce ... had been serving as a helper to the Personnel Committee. David Splane ... had been a helper to the Writing Committee."
  47. "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 26, "Geoffrey W. Jackson and Anthony Morris III—would be added to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. ... In April 2003, [Jackson] became part of the United States Bethel family and began to work in the Translation Services Department. Soon thereafter, Brother Jackson was made a helper to the Teaching Committee of the Governing Body ... 2002 [Morris] worked in the Service Department at Patterson and later as a helper to the Service Committee of the Governing Body."
  48. "Walking in the Path of Increasing Light", The Watchtower, February 15, 2006, page 28
  49. "How the Governing Body Differs From a Legal Corporation". The Watchtower: 29. 15 January 2001.
  50. The Watchtower, May 15, 2008, page 29
  51. "How the Governing Body is Organized", The Watchtower, May 15, 2008, page 29.
  52. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 85, 115. ISBN 0-914675-23-0.
  53. "A History-Making Meeting", The Watchtower, Aug. 15, 2011, page 21.
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  54. "A “Body of Elders” with Rotating Chairmanship", The Watchtower, November 15, 1971, pages 699,700, "how will the “body of elders” in each congregation be selected? The governing body through the Watch Tower Society will send out a letter asking the committee that now looks after each congregation’s activity to...prayerfully consider who within your congregation really meets the qualifications of an elder or overseer. ...Then recommendations will be made to the governing body. ...After the governing body receives recommendations from the congregation, then proper appointments will be made. The governing body will do the appointing of elders in every congregation and this information will be sent out by the governing body through the various offices of the Society throughout the world."
  55. Hope Based on the Unfolding Purpose of God", The Watchtower, February 1, 1975, page 86
  56. "Overseers and Ministerial Servants Theocratically Appointed", The Watchtower, January 15, 2001, page 15
  57. "Overseers and Ministerial Servants Theocratically Appointed", The Watchtower, January 15, 2001, page 15, "In addition to appointing Branch Committee members, the Governing Body appoints Bethel elders and traveling overseers. However, they do commission responsible brothers to act for them in making certain other appointments."
  58. "“Keep Holding Men of That Sort Dear”", The Watchtower, October 1, 1988, page 18-19, "[The] traveling overseers sent forth by the Governing Body to preach the good news and help the congregations should be received hospitably and with respect. ...Elders, in particular, should show proper respect for these visiting representatives of the Governing Body. They are sent to the congregations because of their spiritual qualities and their experience, which is usually more extensive than that of many local elders." [emph added]
  59. "Cooperating With the Governing Body Today", The Watchtower, March 15, 1990, pages 19-20, "Since February 1, 1976, each of the branches of the Watch Tower Society has had a Branch Committee made up of capable men appointed by the Governing Body. As representatives of the Governing Bodyfor the country or countries under the supervision of their branch, these brothers must be faithful, loyal men. ...Branch Committees recommend mature, spiritual men to serve as circuit and district overseers. After being appointed directly by the Governing Body, they serve as traveling overseers. These brothers visit circuits and congregations in order to build them up spiritually and help them apply instructions received from the Governing Body." [emph added]
  60. "Humbly Submitting to Loving Shepherds", The Watchtower, April 1, 2007, page 27
  61. "The Watchtower and Awake!—Timely Journals of Truth". The Watchtower: 21. January 1, 1994.
  62. "Building for an Eternal Future". The Watchtower: 25. January 1, 1986.
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  63. "Seek God's guidance in all things", The Watchtower, April 15, 2008, page 11.
  64. "‘They Shall Know that a Prophet Was Among Them’". The Watchtower: 200. April 1, 1972. "the modern-day “prophet,” the spirit-begotten, anointed ones who are the nucleus of Jehovah’s witnesses today"
  65. "The Things Revealed Belong to Us", The Watchtower, May 15, 1986, page 13.
  66. Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. p. 153. ISBN 0-914675-17-6.
  67. The Faithful Steward and Its Governing Body, The Watchtower, June 15, 2009, page 24 ¶18
  68. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 211. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3.
  69. "The faithful slave and its governing body", The Watchtower, June 15, 2009, pages 23-24, "They do not believe that their being of the anointed gives them special insights beyond what even some experienced members of the "great crowd" may have. They do not believe that they necessarily have more holy spirit than their companions of the 'other sheep' have. They do not expect special treatment; nor do they claim that their partaking of the emblems places them above the appointed elders in the congregation."
  70. "A Secret Christians Dare Not Keep!", The Watchtower, June 1, 1997, page 14.
  71. "Insight That Jehovah Has Given", The Watchtower, March 15, 1989, page 22, "It is through the columns of The Watchtower that explanations of vital Scriptural truths have been provided for us by Jehovah’s 'faithful and discreet slave.' The Watchtower is the principal instrument used by the 'slave' class for dispensing spiritual food."
  72. "The faithful slave and its governing body", The Watchtower, June 15, 2009, pages 23-24.
  73. "The Spirit Searches into the Deep Things of God", The Watchtower, July 15, 2010, page 23, "When the time comes to clarify a spiritual matter in our day, holy spirit helps responsible representatives of 'the faithful and discreet slave' at world headquarters to discern deep truths that were not previously understood. The Governing Body as a whole considers adjusted explanations. What they learn, they publish for the benefit of all."
  74. "Question From Readers", "The Watchtower", August 15, 2011, page 22
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    .
  75. "A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation", The Watchtower, December 15, 1971, page 762
  76. "The Governing Body", 1973 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 257, "The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses consists of eleven brothers, all anointed of God. They are as follows: Frederick W. Franz, Raymond V. Franz, George D. Gangas, 
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    , John O. Groh, Milton G. Henschel, William K. Jackson, Nathan H. Knorr, Grant Suiter, Thomas J. Sullivan and Lyman A. Swingle."
  77. "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, January 1, 2000, page 29
  78. "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 26
  79. "Governing Body Addition", The Watchtower, November 1, 1994, page 29
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  80. "Rejoicing Over "Victory With the Lamb", The Watchtower, October 15, 2007, page 31.
  81. "Britain", 2000 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 130
  82. "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, November 15, 1977, page 680
  83. "Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Enlarged", The Watchtower, January 15, 1975, page 60
  84. "We Were a Team", The Watchtower, April 1, 2001, page 24.
  85. "He Humbly Served Jehovah", The Watchtower, June 15, 1996, page 32.
  86. "A Joyful Perseverer in Good Work", The Watchtower, July 1, 1977, page 399.
  87. "Service Assembly and Annual Meeting—Pittsburg", The Watchtower, November 1, 1944, page 334.
  88. "How the Governing Body Differs From a Legal Corporation", The Watchtower, January 15, 2001, page 28.
  89. "His Deeds Follow Him", The Watchtower, December 1, 1994, page 31.
  90. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 273–336. ISBN 0-914675-23-0.
  91. "Gilead Sends Missionaries “to the Most Distant Part of the Earth”", The Watchtower, December 15, 1999, page 28, "Theodore Jaracz, a member of the Governing Body, who himself graduated with Gilead’s seventh class in 1946"
  92. "Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Enlarged", The Watchtower, January 15, 1975, page 60
  93. Theodore Jaracz Memorial Service Brochure (1.4MB)
  94. "Jehovah Has Dealt Rewardingly With Me", The Watchtower, October 1, 1984, page 21.
  95. Jehovah's Witnesses Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, "Background of N. H. Knorr", page 91: "On June 10, 1940, he became the vice-president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (Pennsylvania corporation)."
  96. The Watchtower, July 15,1977, "Firm to the End", page 441.
  97. "A Staunch Fighter for the Truth", The Watchtower, September 15, 1988, page 31.
  98. "His Delight Was in the Law of Jehovah", The Watchtower, September 15, 2006, page 31.
  99. "The corporation, the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, pursuant to its charter and by-laws, and the laws of the State of Pennsylvania, held its annual meeting at Pittsburgh, North Side, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on the first day of October, A.D. 1938, at which annual meeting a Board of Directors was elected as follows, to wit: J. F. Rutherford, C. A. Wise, W. E. Van Amburgh, H. H. Riemer, T. J. Sullivan, Wm. P. Heath, Jr., and Grant Suiter, to hold office for a period of three years, or until their successors are duly elected." - 1939 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, "Election", page 195
  100. "A Loyal Fighter Passes On", The Watchtower, February 1, 1984, page 9.
  101. "He Ran for “The Prize of the Upward Call” and Won!", The Watchtower, September 15, 1974, page 554, "On October 31, 1932, he [Sullivan] was made a member of the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania; he was also one of the eleven-member governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses."
  102. "A Time of Testing (
      Hello guest!
    -1918)", Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, ©1993 Watch Tower, page 71, "Thomas (Bud) Sullivan, who later served as a member of the Governing Body, recalled: “It was my privilege to visit Brooklyn Bethel in the late summer of 1918 during the brothers’ incarceration."
  103. Jehovah's Witnesses–Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Watch Tower Society. 1993. p. 91.
  104. "How Priceless Your Friendship, O God!", The Watchtower, June 1, 1985, page 27.
  105. "Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Enlarged", 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 60
  106. Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. 1980. pp. 257–258.
  107. "Announcements", Our Kingdom Ministry, August 1980, page 2, "Raymond Victor Franz is no longer a member of the Governing Body and of the Brooklyn Bethel family as of May 22, 1980."
  108. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 120. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3.
  109. Beverley, James A. (1986). Crisis of Allegiance. Burlington, Ontario: Welch Publishing Company. p. 71. ISBN 0-920413-37-4.
  110. 1986 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 255
  111. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 322, 393. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3.
  112. Geoffrey Jackson testifies before the Australian Royal Commission 2015

 

 

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They have recently put their residence in Brooklyn Heights up for sale in order to move into their new Headquarters in Warwick, NY.

News article:

 

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This time we get to see a new shot of the interior of the GB's board room.

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    • By Jack Ryan
      Did You Know?
      You can openly and publicly question if the President of the United States is fit for office. You can question his policies, his statements, and his character. Your family and friends will not be taken away from you.
      You can openly and publicly question the policies, fitness for office, statements, and character of governors, senators, congressmen, judges, and various other politicians and leaders in the United States. Your family and friends will not be taken away from you.
      If you believe in a god, you can pray to your god questioning his authority, ability to rule, his decisions, and his purpose. When you open your eyes, you will find that your family and friends have not and will not be taken away from you.
      Jesus had his authority questioned many times. (Matt. 21: 23-27) According to the Bible, he would have had the power to punish those questioning him. Yet, he did nothing to them. He harmed no one physically or emotionally.
      You can confidentially question the ability to lead, the validity, the teachings, the doctrines and policies of the Governing Body to only two family members or close companions.  Your family and friends WILL be taken away from you. You will be labeled as dead, evil, and mentally diseased. You can and will likely lose all the social connections and relationships you have developed over a lifetime.
      Only absolute dictators take away the rights of those they rule if their authority is questioned. Look at the examples of Stalin, Hitler, Bashar al-Assad, and Kim Jong Un. 
      The Governing Body today will attend court hearings in other countries rejoicing when freedoms are granted to their followers. They will organize letter writing campaigns to lobby for religious freedoms of Jehovah's Witnesses. They will take legal arguments to the highest courts to fight for the rights of the organization that they govern. Yet, all it takes for you to lose all of your freedoms to be with your very own family is the admission to enough witnesses that you no longer believe the Governing Body are chosen by God and have authority over you. 
      Did You Know? The Governing Body will fight tooth and nail for their own perceived freedoms, but they have no problems taking away your own freedoms and declaring you dead if you dare to question them.
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      As my wife and I are preparing to adopt five children, and knowing historically how many elders' children have abandoned the Truth, for whatever reasons there might be, common to mankind ... the thought occurred to me ... Were all of the Apostles Single?
      If any were married, how did they balance their responsibilities to their families, with the field ministry?
      If they were in the Ministry, were they supported by the congregations from the Apostles money box ... and were their families also supported as they rove about ministering about the Good News?
      If so, that would indicate a paid clergy !
      I suppose it all hinges on he first question.
      WERE ALL OF THE APOSTLES SINGLE ?
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Which Pill Would We Take ..... The Red Pill? .... or the Blue Pill?
      In the political world, more and more people are rejecting "Fake News" as provided by CNN (Clinton News Network), ABC (All 'bout Clinton) and NBC (Nothin' but Clinton), etc., and are seeking the truth about what they are being told ..... wherever it may be found.
      Today John Stossel had an article about this on Foxnews which is incredibly important ... not only for the political ramifications ... but every manner of philosophical thought ....  and our very view of how the Universe works, and what "makes it tick".
      If you have seen the movie "The Matrix" .... a MUST SEE movie .... you already know the common expression "Red Pill? Blue Pill?".
      If you don't ... YOU SHOULD. 
      The concept behind the expression is incredibly important ... as to whether we live in and artificial fantasy construct world ... or a world of what is actually REAL.
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      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Oh ... and if you have not seen it .... get a copy of the movie, so you will actually get a "feel" for the depth of the now commonly understood  idiomatic expression.
      (For those in Rio Linda, that has nothing to do with sex, it has to do with basic understanding .....)
      Grok?
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Noble Berean
      The February 2017 WT had this to say about the GB:
      Compare this to the November 2016 WT which had this to say about the GB's authority:
      The GB wants the unquestioned control and the credit for leading God's organization, but they also wants total freedom from accountability when they are wrong. The existence of the org is based around everyone accepting this premise.
      But how is this premise not 100% illogical and absurd? The GB is presenting itself in 2 completely conflicting ways:
      The GB is uninspired, fallible, and errs, so they should not be blamed for incorrect direction. The GB should not be questioned by JWs, and there is no place for independent thinking. The GB cannot state they make errors in their direction and simultaneously demand unquestioned obedience to their direction. That doesn't make any sense. If anything, JWs should be skeptical of the GB's directions because of their history of incorrect direction. However, critical thinking is discouraged as a negative trait in organization literature--even when that thinking is based on the Bible.
      If there is a God, then surely he is just, and I cannot imagine he would structure an organization on such an illogical premise.
      Think of how this premise negatively affects JWs. Adherents are essentially commanded to follow direction that may be 100% wrong. They are told to "wait on Jehovah" if they have doubts. This also means that a JW could be punished for having a correct idea that is currently not in harmony with the GB. I'm sure this has happened with JWs over its history.
      Also, isn't it disturbing that the GB have set things up so that they have maximum control and minimum accountability? It's the definition of plausible deniability. Everyone here is well aware of the legal issues with blood transfusion rejection and the sex abuse. In these legal matters, it is pretty clear that the organization is distancing themselves from any accountability and is instead placing the burden on the individual JW. This flies in the face of the culture of the religion where everything a JW does revolves around supporting the organization. There is no room for personal opinion. To suggest otherwise in legal cases is very dishonest and shady. Moreover, it goes against the idea that their is an equal relationship--we're supposed to die over organizational doctrines but the GB won't even acknowledge their role in court proceedings?
      The very fact the organization uses plausible deniability in their literature is highly suspect. The fact that they can force JWs to follow their direction, but when it's wrong they can point to a WT and say, "See! We said we were fallible and uninspired!" It all smells dishonest and shady.
    • By The Librarian
      Part of a series on: Jehovah's Witnesses >
      Jehovah's Witnesses began capitalizing Governing Body as a proper noun in 1971;The Watchtower that year announced "The present Governing Body comprises eleven anointed witnesses of Jehovah." The original members of the 1971 Governing Body, all now deceased, are indicated in italics in the lists below.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Current
      The following people are members of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses[7] (year appointed in parentheses): Samuel Herd (1999) Geoffrey Jackson (2005) M. Stephen Lett (1999) Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (1994) Anthony Morris III (2005) Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (2012) David H. Splane (1999) Kenneth Cook (2018)  Deceased
      The following individuals were members of the Governing Body until death (years active in parentheses, including years as Watch Tower Society directors, informally identified as the "governing body" prior to 1971): Carey W. Barber (1977–2007) Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (1977–2010) William Lloyd Barry (1974–1999) Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (1974–1996) Charles J. Fekel (1974–1977) Frederick William Franz (1944–1992)—5th President of Watch Tower Society George D. Gangas (1971–1994) John O. Groh (1965–1975) Milton George Henschel (1947–2003)—6th President of Watch Tower Society William K. Jackson (1971–1981) Theodore Jaracz (1974–2010) Karl F. Klein (1974–2001) Nathan Homer Knorr (1940–1977)—4th President of Watch Tower Society Guy H. Pierce (1999-2014) Martin Pötzinger (1977–1988) Albert D. Schroeder (1974–2006) Grant Suiter (1938–1983) Thomas J. Sullivan (1932–1974) Lyman Alexander Swingle (1945–2001) Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (1974–2006) Resigned
      The following individuals resigned or were asked to step down from their positions in the body (years active in parentheses): Ewart Chitty (1974–1979) Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (1971–1980) Leo K. Greenlees (1971–1984)  
    • By Witness
      ”Jehovah leads and feeds those in the earthly part of his organization by means of “the faithful and discreet slave” under the direction of Christ, the “head of the congregation.” w16 November pp. 14-18
      If these men were “inspired”, the above statement would be true.  It takes inspiration from Holy Spirit, for them to receive Christ’s direction. Spirit must be infused in the person to guide them in the way of Christ; but we have it in print, that it is not the case with the GB. 1 John 2:4; 1 John 3:24
      Instead, they rely on the voting system. It once was a required two-thirds majority in favor of passing new rules or doctrine; which at least you could understand that individuals had the freedom to reject an idea; although I was shocked that voting was even considered.  Now, the GB must be 100 percent in agreement when passing new rules/doctrine. 
      How many teachings of past leaders have been rejected by today’s leaders?  How far back does it go, that Wt’s leaders were not inspired?  Whether two-thirds or 100 percent needed to agree on doctrine by men admitting to not having inspiration, it is apparent that it began with Russell. 
      Maybe this new GB member is not rule-oriented, but it really doesn’t matter.  He must go with the flow, and it may be a rude awakening for him. 
      These scriptures have spiritual fulfillment today:
      “Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers (elder body) of the Gentiles (those not anointed) lord it over them,
      and those in high positions (GB) act as tyrants over them. 
       It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you (among the anointed chosen Body of Christ, since Jesus was speaking to his future apostles) must be your servant*, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave*;  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Matt 20:25-28
      *This is not the practice with the GB.  They authorize their appointed rulers (elder body) to judge their fellow anointed slaves as not worthy of spiritual life.  Are they serving their brothers in Christ, or condemning them through acts of tyranny?  Matt 24:48-51; 1 John 2:9-11; James 2:4  Uninspired men fabricate rules and doctrine that every JW must obey, and it is called guidance from God through Christ – or from a “spirit-directed organization”.  I imagine in my mind a looming spiritual power within the world since that is where it is physically built and seen, breathing a spirit, but not from the Almighty God.  1 John 2:15-17; Eph 2:1,2; Rev 13:11-15
      Without holy inspiration, in what manner does God and Christ guide the organization?  The GB? The members?  It can be said a thousand times that God directs the organization, the “faithful slave”, the elder body – yet one slip of truth will wipe out each and every one of those false claims.  That being, the Governing Body is not inspired by Holy Spirit; and if they are not inspired by God's spirit, neither is the organization.    1 John 2:27,18,19; Mal 3:18; Matt 24:4,5
       
    • By The Librarian
      Kenneth Cook was announced today at morning worship as the new member of the Governing Body. 

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. He was formerly a helper on the writing committee.
      He is an anointed brother in bethel that about 3 years ago got assigned to Writing Correspondence from Bethel Office in Wallkill.
      He is not a rule oriented brother at all. Definitely a people person, a pleasurable brother. Makes people around him feel relaxed an at ease.
      Brother Cook started pioneering on September 1, 1982, and began serving at the United States branch on October 12, 1984.
      He has been in Bethel his entire life evidently. No children. 
      The Governing Body is now composed of eight anointed brothers.
      For more about the Governing Body see:
      I will update this list of members here:

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    • By Witness
      “And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Matt 8:20
      "Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness,
      his upper rooms by injustice,
      making his own people work for nothing,
      not paying them for their labor.
      14 He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace
      with spacious upper rooms.’
      So he makes large windows in it,
      panels it with cedar
      and decorates it in red.
      15 “Does it make you a king
      to have more and more cedar?
      Did not your father have food and drink?
      He did what was right and just,
      so all went well with him.
      16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
      and so all went well.
      Is that not what it means to know me?”
      declares the Lord.
      17 “But your eyes and your heart
      are set only on dishonest gain,
      on shedding innocent blood
      and on oppression and extortion.” Jer 22:13-17
       
    • By Nicole
      Jehovah's Witnesses put former Brooklyn Heights hotel up for sale
      See also:

      By Lore Croghan
      Brooklyn Daily Eagle
      Attention nostalgic Brooklyn Dodgers fans!
      The Jehovah's Witnesses are selling the former Brooklyn Heights hotel where the forever-missed baseball team stayed during home games.
      The Watchtower has just announced it is putting The Towers, also known as 21 Clark St., up for sale.
      The Dodgers, who in the 1950s infamously left Brooklyn for Elsewhere (to this day, some of us find this trauma hard to write about), used the hotel as their home base, so to speak.
      The 313,768-square-foot, 16-story building is now a residence for the Jehovah's Witnesses — but not for much longer.
      The religious organization is liquidating its once-massive Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO real-estate holdings because it is moving its headquarters to upstate Warwick, NY.
      The Leverich Towers Hotel, as 21 Clark was originally known, had its grand opening in 1928. The architecture firm was Starrett & Van Vleck — which also designed Saks Fifth Avenue's and Lord & Taylor's high-profile Manhattan flagship stores.
      “When you walk the streets of Brooklyn Heights and come alongside The Towers, the elegance of the building commands your attention,” Watchtower spokesman David Semonian said in the announcement about the building's sale.
      “Yet beyond the beauty that we have worked hard to tastefully preserve, The Towers has been a comfortable home for members of our headquarters staff for decades,” he said.
      'The Aristocrat of Brooklyn Hotels'
      The former hotel, which is located on the corner of Willow Street, is located in the landmarked part of Brooklyn Heights. So a purchaser is likely to leave the exterior of the stunning building — which has colonnaded, Venetian-style towers gracing its four corners — largely intact.
      In the property's early days, it was advertised as “The Aristocrat of Brooklyn Hotels.”
      A rooftop terrace with knockout views of Lower Manhattan, New York Harbor and the Brooklyn Bridge that helped give the hotel its cachet remains intact.
      In 1975, the Watchtower bought the magnificent building for $1,992,229.08 from a trust with Leo Rosner and Philip Robbins as trustees, city Finance Department records indicate.
      Following the purchase, the Watchtower turned the hotel into a residence and dining hall for more than 1,000 people who worked at the organization's world headquarters.
      Another Watchtower spokesman, Richard Devine, said the Jehovah's Witnesses were expanding their printing plants at that time and needed space to accommodate increasing numbers of personnel.
      The Jehovah's Witnesses did a more extensive renovation of The Towers starting in 1995, Devine added.
      The Watchtower has been working for the past several years to sell off its Brooklyn real estate portfolio. The latest round of marketing started this past December.
      Vincent Viola, the owner of the Florida Panthers hockey team, recently bought Brooklyn Heights residential property 124 Columbia Heights for $105 million.
      Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has a handshake deal to buy the Watchtower's Brooklyn Heights headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights plus DUMBO development site 85 Jay St. for roughly $700 million, the New York Post has reported.
      Source: 
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    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      From the Newspaper the “San Diego Reader” - October 12, 2017
      Jehovah's Witnesses look in other direction
      Lawyers for religious group argue against daily fines in sex-abuse case
      By Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
       
      Attorneys for the Jehovah's Witness church appeared before a state appellate court yesterday (October 11) in hopes of overturning the $4000 daily sanctions that a trial court ordered them to pay for refusing to turn over documents in one of two sex-abuse cases.
       
      Osbaldo Padron, a former parishioner of the Linda Vista Jehovah's Witness congregation, filed his lawsuit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ governing body, in 2013. Padron was one of seven people who sued the kingdom over sexual abuse they suffered by a former church elder, Gonzalo Campos.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Campos admitted to molesting seven children from 1982 to 1999. Despite his admission, church elders agreed to let Campos rejoin the congregation after a four-year expulsion.
       
      In a 1999 letter, Linda Vista church elder Eduardo Chavez argued for reinstating Campos. He wrote, “In our meeting with him he said he was very repentant for what he did. He stated that he wanted to return to Jehovah. He is willing to face the victims and ask their forgiveness. He now wants to obey Jehovah. Before, when he would speak to people on the platform he would not meditate on what he was doing. Although he needed to confess, he felt shameful and had fear of mankind. He would deceive himself thinking that he could continue serving as an elder. Now he realized that he could not change without help. Ever since his expulsion he has not abused anyone."
       
      In 2010, five victims sued the Watchtower for allowing Campos to serve as an elder despite having knowledge that he molested several children in the congregation. Watchtower settled that case in 2012. The terms of the settlement as well as the evidence against the Watchtower were sealed.
       
      Two more victims, Padron and José Lopez, followed suit.
       
      In 2013, San Diego Superior Court judge Joan Lewis ordered Watchtower to pay $13.5 million for repeatedly refusing to turn over documents that showed the church was aware of sexual abuse and did nothing to stop it.
       
      Attorneys for the Watchtower filed an appeal. They argued that Judge Lewis had acted too soon in issuing the $13.5 million in sanctions and instead the trial court should have imposed less severe sanctions. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
       
      In their ruling, the justices wrote, "We conclude the court erred in ordering terminating sanctions because there was no evidence that lesser sanctions would have failed to obtain Watchtower's compliance with the document production order and because there were other possible sanctions that could have effectively remedied the discovery violation. On remand, the court has broad discretion to start with a different sanction that does not wholly eliminate Watchtower's right to a trial."
       
      Then, last year in the Padron case, a different superior court judge, Richard Strauss, followed the appellate court's advice and instead of issuing terminating sanctions Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. for refusing to turn over the documents that Padron's attorneys had requested.
      Again, Watchtower's attorneys filed an appeal.
       
      On October 11, those attorneys appeared before the Fourth District Appellate Court to argue that the trial court was wrong to issue daily sanctions — exactly what they had argued for in the appellate court Lopez case just months prior.
       
      Justice Richard Huffman did not hide his displeasure that Watchtower's attorneys were arguing against what they had previously supported to the same court.
      "You can't have it both ways," Huffman said during argument. "[The Lopez] ruling has come around to bite you and now you're saying, 'not fair, not fair.' You were headed in one direction before and now you’re headed another way. It's a breathtaking position to listen to."
      The appellate court has 90 days to issue its formal ruling."
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Our donations are being used to OBSTRUCT JUSTICE !
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Melody's Interview at 2017 "Don't Give Up" Regional Convention". 
      Last year my wife and I attended an Assembly in Orangeburg, SC, where a brother in an interview on stage was proud that he had not said a single word to his disfellowshipped father in over 20 years.   We were sitting up close and could see his face in person, and on the large monitors. His declaration of cruelty was followed by intense applause from the audience. 
      We were stunned and horrified.
      This video was originally posted on YOUTUBE by the mother of Melody, at a Regional 2017 Convention where she is proud of having shunned her sister, who is disfellowshipped, but many adverse comments on YOUTUBE made her ashamed .....  and she took the posting down.  
      I got this video copy from the  Russian equivalent of YOUTUBE web site,  RUTUBE.COM.
      After she details her cruelty to her sister, the audience reaction is vigorous applause.
      THIS IS WHY the Russian government and most of the people HATE Jehovah's Witnesses.
      Oblivious, clueless, extreme cruelty, in the name of righteousness.
      Melody's interview @ the Regional Convention 2017 _Don't Give Up_.mp4
      .
      .
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      My wife and I are planning to see the movie  "DUNKIRK" this weekend, and I have seen "Saving Private Ryan", and "Schindler's List", all very violent war movies, and in my opinion very IMPORTANT movies to see. 
      The list of incredibly important movies could fill a notebook.
      I could probably list 10 off the top of my head .. some important for very different reasons.
      "The Notebook" comes to mind.
      Some, merely cultural icons, like the entire STAR WARS and STAR TREK franchises, etc.
      What has been your actual experience about what kinds of movies the Brotherhood actually sees ?
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Has the Society ever ruled on what happens if a man or woman abandons their spouse forever ... is the one abandoned stuck forever ?
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Since the Society does NOT recognize Civil Divorces if there is no adultery, and considers a couple to STILL BE MARRIED ... if a man and wife get divorced civilly ONLY ( perhaps for some economic reason, like bankruptcy, or estate management .... or they cannot stand each other more than a few hours a week .. (health reasons (?)) ... and they still shack up (friends, with benefits..) does the Society sanction these ones in any way?
      ( For those in Rio Linda ... "friends with benefits" means friends that have sex ...) ....
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      I remember in the 1960's and 1970's when some Kingdom Halls had a closet with white dress shirts, and visiting speakers would NOT BE ALLOWED to give their talks if they were "inappropriately dressed".  I was called off the platform during a Ministry School assignment because I had a blue shirt under my suit coat, and chastised because I had a mustache.
      When Jesus was teaching in the Synagogue, did he have to conform to the dress code of Rabbis, and the sideburns never trimmed, and the long Long, LONG beards they had, in order to be allowed to teach from the "platform"?
      I hope someone out there knows Jewish "rules' and customs about "dress codes" in Jesus' time ... he was referred to as "Rabbi".
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      SCENARIO:  You are at a packed Kingdom Hall on Memorial night, and ten minutes into the remembrance talk, six masked people with weapons enter the Kingdom Hall and begin shooting everyone they can, without any conversation.  
      You are shot in the left side of your face and most of those teeth are gone.
      Before you know what is going on twelve Brothers and Sisters have been shot, screaming and panic ensues, and there is blood and bodies and brains all over, and the shooting continues.
      Would it be fitting for a Brother  to use his handgun to return fire on the murderers to try and save his own life, or the lives of his Brothers and Sisters?
      Or, in PubSpeak ... "Would it be fitting for a Christian to keep a firearm, such as a handgun or a rifle, for protection against other humans?" ( July 2017 Watchtower )
      This raises MANY Theocratic, moral, ethical, legal, and Societial policy questions ... all of which have REAL answers. 
      What is the RIGHT thing for a responsible Christian to do?
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      .
      Why doesn't the Society translate and provide the Russian Court Transcripts for us?
      Since somewhere around 5.5 million Brothers spent somewhere around 20 million hours writing letters to the officials of the Russian Federation mailing an average of somewhere around 4 letters each at an international postage rate of perhaps 80 MILLION DOLLARS, total ... why has the WTB&TS not translated FOR THE BROTHERHOOD, translations of the Russian REAL transcripts, so we will know exactly what is going on?
      You would think that for 80 or so MILLION DOLLARS, some usable hard data would be forthcoming, from people that reportedly are the world's best translators !!
      This affects the Brotherhood worldwide, as well as being banned in the Russian Federation .... I sure hope this is not a repeat of the Haiti Relief Fiasco, where the news was so onerous, the WTB&TS Relief efforts intertwined with the United Nations, and the Red Cross that the news of what really happened throughout the relief effort could not be published on the Society's "News" portion of the web site.
      Why doesn't the Society translate and provide the Russian Court Transcripts for us?.
      ... and the WORLD at large!
      .That is hard news EVERYBODY can use!
    • By The Librarian
      Gilead Grad talk 59th class by Frederick W. Franz - Downloadable PowerPoint presentation with Audio (moved here from another page so as not to lose the audio)

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  then Vice President of the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and foremost scholar in JW history. Sept 7 1975. Location: 44-17 Greenpoint Ave, Sunnyside, NY 11104 (Thanks to @JW Insider’s comment below).
      His comments reflect his views toward forming a 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  at that time (which would be implemented months later anyway)
      See also:
      Presentation Transcript
      Slide 1: 
      September 7 th , Graduation day for the 59 th class of Gilead This is the Voice of Brother Nathan H. Knorr introducing brother F.W. Franz who was then Vice President of the Society and principal Bible Scholar   Slide 2: 
      “It is a privilege that is to be esteemed for anyone to give a talk to a class of missionaries attending the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead   Slide 3: 
      and it is my privilege this morning to take advantage of my first opportunity to speak to this graduating class, number 59.   Slide 4: 
      Now this class is being sent forth in collaboration with the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York incorporated by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.   Slide 5: 
      Now, the question may be raised today: what right does the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society have to send missionaries out into the field?   Slide 6: 
      Or evangelizers? The American Translation renders the word evangelizer: Missionary.   Slide 7: 
      Who authorized the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania to send missionaries all around the globe?   Slide 8: 
      Now such challenging questions may be also raised with an earlier circumstance   Slide 9: 
      and that is based on the fact that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society was founded by a man who became an evangelizer of world note   Slide 10: 
      one of the most imminent evangelizers of this 20 th century   Slide 11: 
      and especially attaining global fame when he made his trip around the world in the year 1912.   Slide 12: 
      That man was Charles Taze Russell of Allegheny Pennsylvania. Now, I’ve often wondered about this matter, and maybe you have too.   Slide 13: 
      Just how did Russell become an evangelizer – who made him an evangelizer?   Slide 14: 
      At the time that he lived, this professed Christian organization that was symbolized in Jesus’ parable by the dragnet   Slide 15: 
      that gathered in fish suitable and unsuitable for orthodox Jews to eat   Slide 16: 
      this professed Christian organization was still in operation and was gathering in these different qualities of symbolic fish.   Slide 17: 
      That meant that the various religious establishments of Christendom were in operation.   Slide 18: 
      For instance, there was the Anglican Church with its ruling body and the Protestant Episcopal Church with its ruling body   Slide 19: 
      there was the Methodist Church with its conference, there was also the Presbyterian Church to which Russell used to belong with its synod.   Slide 20: 
      There was also the Congregational Church which Russell joined with its central congregation, but by none of these controlling organizations of this dragnet organization was Russell made an evangelizer or a missionary.   Slide 21: 
      Well now, since Russell broke away from all these religious institutions of Christendom they didn’t recognize him and he became known as Pastor Russell   Slide 22: 
      and I remember how the clergy would raise the question: Who made him a Pastor?   Slide 23: 
      So the validity of his ministry was questioned and challenged by the clergy of this dragnet organization about which the Lord Jesus Christ spoke in the 13 th chapter of Matthew.   Slide 24: 
      So, in view of those things I often wondered now, how did Russell become what he did become, and maybe you’ve wondered about the matter too.   Slide 25: 
      So I just began to think about the 1 st Century when this Christian evangelistic work or missionary work was first started.   Slide 26: 
      Now, the word evangelizer, or evangelizers is a rare word in the Bible, it occurs only three times – twice evangelizer and once evangelizers.   Slide 27: 
      Now we remember how Jesus sent forth his twelve Apostles, and then he sent afterwards seventy disciples of his to go out preaching the good news of the Kingdom   Slide 28: 
      and these 70 disciples are generally differentiated from the 12 Apostles by being called evangelists or evangelizers.   Slide 29: 
      And so there were 70 of these evangelizers that the Lord Jesus Christ sent forth. Now the record says that he sent them forth by two’s.   Slide 30: 
      Now we’re not to imagine that by sending these 70 evangelizers – if we’re allowed to use that term – because they did preach the evangel of the good news of the Kingdom   Slide 31: 
      by sending them forth by two’s, the Lord Jesus Christ was not creating each two a committee, so that for the 70 evangelizers there were 35 committees of two.   Slide 32: 
      Well, you Missionaries, you’re being sent forth today after your graduation as missionaries…the last telegram we heard was about two being sent to Bolivia   Slide 33: 
      then there are others who are being sent, maybe four or six or eight to a different country as assignment for work.   Slide 34: 
      Now don’t you missionaries think because you are being sent forth two together or maybe four or six or maybe 8, that you are being sent forth as a committee to take over the work in the land to which you are assigned.   Slide 35: 
      No such thing. You are being sent forth as individual missionaries to cooperate together, and to cooperate with the branch of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society   Slide 36: 
      which is operating and directing the work in the land to which you are assigned to act as an evangelizer.   Slide 37: 
      So don’t get this committee idea in to your head because you are being sent out in groups to a special land.   Slide 38: 
      Now, Jesus Christ finished his course as the greatest evangelizer of all, and then time moves on, and there is a man who comes on the scene, and he is the only one who is directly called an evangelizer.   Slide 39: 
      That’s his personal title. We find it in Acts chapter 21 verse 8, and that is Philip of Caesarea.   Slide 40: 
      And when Paul visited him on his stop-over there at Caesarea, why, he was called Philip the evangelizer. He’s the only one   Slide 41: 
      Paul told Timothy in his final letter, 2 Timothy 4:5 that he should do the work of an evangelizer but Phillip is the one who is directly, and the only one thus called personally an evangelizer   Slide 42: 
      but of course we know there were other evangelizers. Now how did this man come on the scene, and who made him an evangelizer or missionary? Now that’s the point to observe.   Slide 43: 
      Well, we remember how the scripture in Ephesians 4, verse 11 tells us how the Lord Jesus Christ ascended on high and led a body of captives and how he gave gifts in the form of men.   Slide 44: 
      Verse 11 says he gave some as Apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelizers and some as shepherds and teachers.   Slide 45: 
      The Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Congregation, He gave not only apostles, not only prophets, but also evangelizers.   Slide 46: 
      Now how did this Philip become an evangelizer of note; of special mention in the Bible? Well you know how he came on the scene.   Slide 47: 
      Trouble arose in the Jerusalem congregation which was expanding and embracing Greek speaking Jews as well as the Hebrew speaking Jews   Slide 48: 
      and there was complaint made because evidently there was prejudice against the non-Hebrew speaking Jews; against the widows who spoke the Greek language which was the universal language of the day   Slide 49: 
      but yet there was some sort of prejudice against these foreign language talkers among the disciples. They weren’t receiving their allowance of food to their satisfaction   Slide 50: 
      and the problem came up before the Apostles of Jesus Christ, and what did they do?   Slide 51: 
      Well they told the whole congregation to recommend 7 men who were really spiritual characters who they the apostles might approve over this business.   Slide 52: 
      And so there were 7 who were recommended and the first two were Stephen and also this Philip, and then others.   Slide 53: 
      And the apostles appointed them to be over this business. Well now, if you look up the McClintock and Strong’s encyclopedia of religious knowledge   Slide 54: 
      you find that the work that the Apostles assigned to these 7 men is called a semi-secular work. But the Apostles didn’t want that semi-secular work.   Slide 55: 
      They unloaded it off on to these seven men and said “you take care of that”. Well, they said “we’re going to specialize on prayers and teaching”   Slide 56: 
      Now, were these 12 Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, by unloading this responsibility for taking care of tables, were they making of themselves really figure heads in the congregation of God and of Jesus Christ?   Slide 57: 
      They certainly were not making themselves figure heads because they specialized on spiritual things. They were more active at the spiritual end of the matter than at the semi-secular end of the matter.   Slide 58: 
      So things prospered when they did that; when they rendered the things to which they had not been appointed by Jesus Christ as Apostles to take care of as his witnesses to all the congregation.   Slide 59: 
      And they specialized on preaching, and the Lord God blessed them. Now we find with regard to this Philip that he left this job of taking care of tables at Jerusalem. Did you know that?   Slide 60: 
      He left that Job, and he went down to Samaria, and when he was down there in Samaria he did a preaching work and performed many signs and wonders   Slide 61: 
      and it was because of the work that he did down there and afterwards that he became an evangelist. Now who made Philip an evangelist or evangelizer?   Slide 62: 
      Oh, you say “the Apostles ! The body of Apostles! Of course; it couldn’t be any other way”.   Slide 63: 
      But was it? We read the account; let the Bible speak for itself.   Slide 64: 
      It was because of the persecution that was stirred up by Saul of Tarsus that the record says that all the disciples; all of the members of the Jewish congregation were scattered from the Sea except the 12 apostles   Slide 65: 
      and so Philip , as one of the refugees, or the fugitives he went down to Samaria and he preached just as the Bible says all the others who were scattered went preaching and Jehovah was especially with Philip   Slide 66: 
      and he established a congregation there, and it was only later when the Apostles heard about this; what was going on down there   Slide 67: 
      that they dispatched two members of the Apostolic body to go down there and see that they had the Holy spirit of God imparted to them. And then after that what happened?   Slide 68: 
      Why, God Jehovah’s angel talks to Philip and say’s now YOU go, this is the assignment to YOU from Jehovah’s angel, you go down to the road that leads southward from Jerusalem to Gaza.   Slide 69: 
      And he went down there on that assignment from Jehovah’s angel! And then is when he had the encounter with the Ethiopian Eunuch   Slide 70: 
      and he baptized him and after the baptism, why, he was quickly caught away, or led away by Gods Spirit, and he went down there to the Philistine seacoast   Slide 71: 
      and up the coast of Caesarea where he settled down and they had four daughters, and he was there as an evangelist when the apostle Paul came on that boat trip back to the Holy land.   Slide 72: 
      So that’s what happened with Philip; how he became an evangelizer. Now these are things to note friends!   Slide 73: 
      Then something happened right after that and the Lord Jesus Christ took action, and he took DIRECT ACTION WITHOUT CONSULTING ANY MAN OR BODY OF MEN ON EARTH!   Slide 74: 
      And that’s when He , the Head of the congregation met Saul of Tarsus the persecutor there in the road leading to Damascus.   Slide 75: 
      He stopped him and He said; now this is a chosen vessel under me. I’m choosing him as the Head of the church WITHOUT CONSULTING ANY PEOPLE ON EARTH.   Slide 76: 
      And He chose Saul to be an evangelizer to carry the message not only to the Jews but also to all the Gentile nations. Well, What about Jerusalem and the body down there?   Slide 77: 
      Later on the account tells us that Barnabas took Paul, or Saul of Tarsus down to Jerusalem, but they were all afraid of him.   Slide 78: 
      And Saul of Tarsus or Paul tells us that when they went up there to Jerusalem he saw none of the Apostles , except Peter with whom he spent 15 days, and also the apostle James.   Slide 79: 
      Those are the only two! Then he went back to Tarsus and he continued on in his labors.   Slide 80: 
      Well, later on, why, Barnabas was sent down there to Antioch and he ended up – Saul brought him there, and they taught in Antioch for quite a while.   Slide 81: 
      Paul became a member of the Antioch congregation, and he was one of the prophets there in that congregation specially mentioned.   Slide 82: 
      And then, all of a sudden as he was serving there in Antioch – in Syria NOT IN ISREAEL BUT IN SYRIA   Slide 83: 
      why, God’s Spirit spoke to that congregation there in Antioch and said now, of all things you set aside – this congregation in Antioch, YOU set aside these two men   Slide 84: 
      namely Barnabas and Saul for the work for which I have commissioned them, and so the Antioch congregation did that.   Slide 85: 
      And they laid their hands upon Paul or Saul and Barnabas and sent them forth , as a number of translations read, sent em forth!   Slide 86: 
      And then they went forth by the Holy Spirit operating through the Antioch congregation and they went out on their first missionary assignment.   Slide 87: 
      So you see, the Lord Jesus Christ was acting as the Head of the congregation and taking action DIRECTLY; WITHOUT CONSULTING ANY BODY HERE ON EARTH WHAT HE COULD DO OR WHAT HE COULD NOT DO!   Slide 88: 
      And he acted in that way with regard to Saul and Barnabas, and they were both Apostles of the Antioch congregation, and so they went out to the work and had great success.   Slide 89: 
      And in the course of time they completed their first missionary tour, and where did they go? WHERE DID THEY REPORT? (To a Jerusalem-based governing body perhaps?)   Slide 90: 
      Well there’s a record, you read it for yourself in the closing verses of the 14 th Chapter of Acts. THEY WENT BACK TO ANTIOCH, to the congregation there   Slide 91: 
      and the account says, “They related things in detail to them, to this congregation that had committed them to the undeserved kindness of God for the work that they had performed”.   Slide 92: 
      So there’s where they reported! So, the record also says, now they stayed in Antioch “not a little time”. Well note what happened.   Slide 93: 
      All of a sudden something occurs and Paul and Barnabas they go up to Jerusalem. Well, what’s the matter? What brings them up to Jerusalem?   Slide 94: 
      Well, is it the body of the Apostles and the other elders of the Jerusalem congregation that have summoned them up there and said, look here!   Slide 95: 
      We have heard that you two men have gone out on a missionary tour and you’ve finished it and you haven’t come up here to Jerusalem to report to us! DO YOU KNOW WHO WE ARE? We’re the council of Jerusalem!   Slide 96: 
      Don’t you recognize the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ? If you don’t come on up here in a hurry we’re going to take disciplinary action against you!   Slide 97: 
      Is that what the account says?   Slide 98: 
      Well if they had acted that way toward Paul and Barnabas because they reported to the congregation by means of which the Holy Spirit had sent them out,   Slide 99: 
      then this council of Jerusalem of apostles and other elders of the Jewish Congregation WOULD HAVE PUT THEMSELVES ABOVE THE HEADSHIP OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!   Slide 100: 
      But that isn’t what occurred. You know what happened; how Jews came down from Jerusalem and stirred up the matter of circumcision and it troubled the congregation there in Antioch so much   Slide 101: 
      that the ANTIOCH CONGREGATION SENT PAUL AND BARNABAS UP TO JERUSALEM to have the council settle the issue, and of course being sent by the congregation of Antioch   Slide 102: 
      they had to come back and report and advise the congregation of the settlement of the question of the decision that was made by the council there at Jerusalem.   Slide 103: 
      And THEN IT WAS when they were arguing in favor of Christians from the gentiles not having to be circumcised like Jews   Slide 104: 
      it was THEN that Paul and Barnabas told what God had done by means of them in the Gentile world. And THEN it was that the council got the report.   Slide 105: 
      Then they went back to Antioch, which had sent them forth to make known the decision and the Jerusalem council, why, sent along two men Judas and Silas with them.   Slide 106: 
      And so they delivered the report from the council, and there was great rejoicing among the Gentile believers. Now time passes, and Paul and Barnabas are at Antioch.   Slide 107: 
      And what occurs now? Well, do they receive an assignment from somewhere on their next move?   Slide 108: 
      The account says that the two men, Paul and Barnabas, Paul said to him, he said, “Of all things let us go and visit the congregations that we have established”   Slide 109: 
      and they were agreed on this matter, and then the matter of accompanying them came up. Who was going to go with them? And Barnabas was in favor of Mark - young Mark.   Slide 110: 
      But Paul didn’t want him because he had left them in Pamphyl′ia in Asia Minor and had not gone along with them to the finish of the first missionary tour.   Slide 111: 
      So Paul didn’t have any confidence in Mark for the time being. And they had a great altercation, as you know and it resulted in a split   Slide 112: 
      and Barnabas took along Mark. And it proved to be a good choice because afterwards Paul appreciated now the faithfulness of Mark and said, he is a useful servant even to me.   Slide 113: 
      But what about Paul? Well, he chose Silas or Silvanus as his companion in his missionary tour.   Slide 114: 
      And here’s one thing we must note again - now this happened up in Antioch - towards the close of the 15 th chapter of Acts, it says that after Paul and Barnabas had   Slide 115: 
      been commended by the brothers of the Antioch congregation to the underserved Kindness of God that they went forth on the second missionary tour of the apostle Paul.   Slide 116: 
      So again, the Antioch congregation is being used to send out missionaries of great eminence in Bible history.   Slide 117: 
      Then later on, after completing the second missionary tour the apostle Paul finally returns to Antioch, and then Acts 18:23 tells us that after he had spent some time in Antioch in Syria, then he started out on his 3 rd missionary tour.   Slide 118: 
      And he was a man who wanted to break fresh ground; he didn’t like to build on another man’s foundation. When another man had pioneered the way as an evangelizer, but he wanted to break new ground – and that’s what he did.   Slide 119: 
      And so, as we examine this account of these two most outstanding among the missionaries recorded in Bible history, we find that they were sent off specially by the Lord Jesus Christ – the Head of the Church.   Slide 120: 
      A fact which the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has upheld and accepted ever since the society was formed.   Slide 121: 
      So we see how the Lord Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church has the right to act direct without any other organizations in view no matter who we are   Slide 122: 
      He is the Head of the Church, and we can’t challenge what HE does”.
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