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.
JOHN STOSSEL: More people tuning out mainstream media, embracing 'truth'
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 .....)
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.
The following people are members of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses (year appointed in parentheses): Samuel Herd (1999) Geoffrey Jackson (2005) M. Stephen Lett (1999) Gerrit Lösch (1994) Anthony Morris III (2005) Mark Sanderson (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) John (Jack) Barr (1977–2010) William Lloyd Barry (1974–1999) John C. Booth (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) Daniel Sydlik (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) Raymond Franz (1971–1980) Leo K. Greenlees (1971–1984)
”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.
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:
“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
Jehovah's Witnesses put former Brooklyn Heights hotel up for sale
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.
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 Dorian Hargrove, Oct. 12, 2017
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.
As detailed in an August 30 Reader article, 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. The appellate court agreed.
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 imposed $4000 daily sanctions on the Watchtower 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 JW Insider
This topic has been moved to a new place and any responses here have also been moved there.
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 ?
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.
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".
What is a Christian Man's MORAL responsibility to protect his own life, or that of his immediate or spiritual family?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.
I grew up with Hula Hoops being the societal crazy thing of the time ... my children grew up with Pokemon Cards, and Sonic the Hedgehog video games.
In 2015-2016 it seemed that Caleb and Sophia Merchandise, purses, briefcases, pins, buttons, slacks, suspenders and bow ties, and pictures, back car window decals, book covers, wall posters, 3d dolls like GB Bro. Anthony Morris III has in his Bethel Office, Videos, DVDs, coloring books, decorated birthd...er... baptism cakes, stand up displays, literature bags, greeting cards, Sophia colorful tote bags for girls, and Sophia cloth shopping bags for Wal-Mart, etc., book markers, key chains, 3d Printer statues of Caleb, ball point pens, and penlights, pins and brooches for older Sisters, and cartoon wall hangings for the inside of Caleb and Sophia dioramas, or JW.ORG men's ties, lapel pins, wristwatches, aluminum military style dog tags, rings, aluminum pendants for neck chains and charm bracelets, car bumper stickers, car window decals, women's pocket mirrors, flags to tie to radio aerials, etc. . Then there is the JW.ORG blue oversized umbrellas, Unisex Hoodie Jackets, neck lanyards, hand lunch boxes with Paradise scenes, and of course Caleb and Sophia., and to contrast, from Peru, a BRIGHT Pink Caleb and Sophia Bible cover entitled New World Translation of the HOLY SCRIPTURES ... over a large picture of guess whom?
Of course the refrigerator magnets and motivational jewelry are big sellers, not so much for the Caleb crochetable doll ..were the craze and along with the JW.ORG logo seem to suck all the air out of the room.
It is my perception that the "crazy years" have passed, or that it has become the new standard.
Has the MADNESS over Caleb and Sophia subsided?
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!
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