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Today Presidents Trump and Putin meet for summit, and the New York Times tells of an exiled Jehovah's Witness who proposes Trump ask Putin a simple question: "Why are Russians who pay their taxes, follow the law and embrace the Christian values promoted by the Kremlin being forced to flee their country?"
A simple [and single] question. To propose that Trump do this is exactly the non-confrontational style of Jehovah's Witnesses, and is proof in itself that they are not extremist. Moreover, because the goal is so modest, it is not impossible that it could happen. Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is not everywhere, but where it is, it is draconian, with police dressed in riot gear breaking down doors to arrest them.
Meanwhile (and irrelevant), I did a google search of "New York Times Jehovah's Witnesses." The second hit is an article from 1958, telling of (I think) the largest Christian assembly in history.
Remember, Google is personalized. Your results may vary.
I beat CBS to the punch by two years in what they said about the Oxycotin pharma fraud. It is in the Prince chapter of Tom Irregardless and Me, there because Prince died a victim of that fraud. Since the Prince chapter is Chapter 1, it is even in the free preview section. I didn’t mention the company or the drug by name. I followed the lead of Watchtower publications, which I have come to understand their reasons mostly through imitating them. You do not name a villain, for as soon as you name one, you create the impression that removing that villain will fix things. Instead, if you should succeed in taking him out, another villain immediately steps into his shoes and the play continues with barely a hiccup. It is the play we are watching, not the heroes and villains in it. You do not have to know the names of the actors to follow the play – it can even be a distraction if you do. The names don’t matter. If one actor doesn’t show up for curtain call, they simply plug in a substitute, and the play continues. 'Tom Irregardless and Me', in the Prince chapter, quotes a Dr. Johnson, who wrote to say he was “forced to paint an unflattering picture of the industry that I have been a part of for the last 15 years. I wish I could tell you that this epidemic was due to an honest mistake. That the science was unclear or had mixed results that only later became evident. But I can’t. I also wish I could tell you that the only reason the problem persists is a ‘lack of physician awareness.’ But I won’t. The reason this opioid problem started and the reason it continues is sadly for the most American reason there is - business.” At one time, Dr. Johnson points out, American doctors prescribed opioids as did doctors everywhere: for pain relief from cancer or acute injury. He then tells of a drug company, introducing a new opioid product in 1996, that swung for the fences. It didn’t want to target just cancer patients. It wanted to target everyone experiencing everyday pain: joint pain and back pain, for example: “To do this, they recruited and paid experts in the field of pain medicine to spread the message that these medicines were not as addictive as previously thought...As a physician in training, I remember being told that the risk of addiction for patients taking opioids for pain was ‘less than one percent.’ What I was not told was that there was no good science to suggest rates of addiction were really that low. That ‘less than one percent’ statistic came from a five-sentence paragraph in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980. It has come to be known as the Porter and Jick study. However, it was not really a study. It was a letter to the editor; more like a tweet. You can read the whole thing in 90 seconds.” The CBS story of 5 days ago reveals a former drug rep of the company who spills for them.. I had it all two years ago, and it is even more damning. I didn’t put it in the book because illuminating Prince’s JW life was the object of the chapter, not crusading against pharma. In fact, not only was the drug far more addictive than doctors and reps were led to believe, but the pain relief it delivered only lasted a few hours, not the 12 that was advertised. Yet, when complaints of such were received, the company would not permit reps to advise patients take it more often, since that exposed the fact that the much more expensive drug was no better than what was already being used for pain. Instead, the advice was to increase the dosage, and that obviously served to intensify the addictive quality. Prince and millions like him got hooked on a drug that the doctor prescribed, and when doctors started to get squirrelly, withholding supply for fear of what they were unleashing, these ones were driven to the black market to find substitutes. Trying to trash anything organizationally related, @James Thomas Rook Jr.threw in my face that Prince died an addicted druggie. I never truly forgave him for that, but I am ready to now, as I assume he did not know the whole story, just as ones do not know the whole story about abuse allegations. It is here in the first chapter, Prince, which, to my knowledge, is the most complete, and perhaps only, published collection of the artist's JW experiences and interactions. And it is in the free section. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/686882
By The Librarian
As you read this.... remember PERCEPTION is 90% of everything. Sometimes it even trumps the truth itself for centuries. It is that important.
I suspect we should consider that most businesses no longer require suits (business casual and clean is now ok for most jobs)
I try to not bring my electronic devices to my business meetings. It sends the wrong message I think. What is wrong with the Bible and songbook (actual books)?
Let's also consider what a Kingdom Hall full of Mercedes and Audis appears like to the public.
I remember how I felt as a regular pioneer showing up in California one day at a KH with all their expensive cars. WRONG MESSAGE!!!
Remember what Jesus said about the RICH?
Just some random thoughts when I saw this on Facebook.
View the full article
By Jack Ryan
Jackson, the King of Pop, named one of his children Prince, which only fueled speculation about his feelings toward the elder Prince.
By Jack Ryan
Though Prince portrayed himself as dirty-minded, he noted the irony of Michael Jackson being embroiled in scandal in 2004. "What are my contemporaries doing now?" he said in an Associated Press interview, while Jackson was on trial accused of child molestation. "I'm not entangled in a bunch of lawsuits and a web that I can't get out of. I can hold my head up ... a happily married man who has his head in order. There isn't a bunch of scandal in my life."
By Jack Ryan
Both were Jehovah's Witnesses. Jackson reportedly proselytized door-to-door near his family's home in Encino, Calif. Prince often sang about God and Jesus, including in "I Would Die 4 U." He backed away from some of his dirtier lyrics as he embraced his religion more strongly.
By Jack Ryan
Their race and sexuality were constantly questioned at the peak of their popularity. Both played with the clueless speculation with androgynous wardrobe choices, and their lyrics. "Am I black or white/am I straight or gay?" Prince sang on "Controversy." "Who's black/who's white," Jackson sang on "Black or White."
By Jack Ryan
In 1985, when Prince and Michael Jackson dominated the charts, Prince was criticized for not performing on "We Are the World," a song co-written by Jackson to help starving African children. Prince was reportedly too shy to perform with his fellow artists. Prince & the Revolution did record a gorgeous song for the "We Are the World" album -- "4 the Tears in Your Eyes."
The Jehovah’s Witnesses community in the Netherlands will not hold an independent inquiry into the sexual abuse of members, despite being urged to do so by justice minister Sander Dekker. By last month, 267 reports of sexual abuse involving Jehovah’s Witnesses had been made to a hotline set up by the Reclaimed Voices foundation in 2017 after Trouw published a report on the growing scandal. Dekker told RTL Nieuws on Tuesday that the organisation’s decision is ‘disappointing’ and that it is ignoring the victims who want to be heard. He has no powers to force the organisation to hold an inquiry.
Read more: https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2018/05/jehovahs-witnesses-reject-calls-for-independent-inquiry-into-sexual-abuse/
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
FSB starts detaining Jehovah’s Witnesses on Kola, dozens flee to Finland
Criminal cases are initiated after FSB and Rosgvardia raided six addresses in the closed navy town of Polyarny.
By Thomas Nilsen - The Independent Barents Observer
April 20, 2018
Last April, a ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout the country, arguing the religious group to be extremist.
On Friday, Murmansk regional authorities’ newspaper Murmanski Vestnik reports about raids made by FSB and the National Guard of Russia (Rosgvardia) in Polyarny on the Kola Peninsula.
Two local residents were detained under suspicions of being members of the administrative centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, organizing teaching and meetings where reading of banned religious literature took place. Searches were carried out at six addresses in Polyarny.
The town is home to a naval yard and several of the diesel-powered submarines and other warships of the Northern Fleet have Polyarny as homeport.
The extremist law banning Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia provides for a maximum sentences of 6 to 10 years in jail.
Meanwhile, a wave of practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses are fleeing Russia. More than a thousand people are now seeking asylum in several European countries, including Finland, the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported earlier this winter.
It all started last summer, and that’s when the first Witnesses sought asylum in Finland, spokesperson Veikko Leininen with the organization’s Finnish branch told the newspaper. Many dozens at least are still to come, he said.
Press adviser Therese Bergwitz-Larsen with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) can’t go into details about particular reasons for asylum seekers coming to Norway.
Unfortunately, we can’t say anything in general on the background for reasons to apply for asylum, since the number [from Russia] is so small, Bergwitz-Larsen tells the Barents Observer.
Statistics from UDI show that 15 persons came from Russia the first three months this year. In 2017, 58 Russian asylum seekers came to Norway.
In Russia, the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated to about 175,000. That be, before the organization was declared extremist. Viewed with skepticism for denying military service, voting and refusal to take blood, the members are seen as both a threat to themselves, their children and public safety.
Also during Soviet times, the Witnesses were persecuted.
Human Right Watch recently called on Russian authorities to drop charges against Danish citizen Dennis Christensen adherent for practicing his faith. Christensen has been in pretrial custody for 11 months in the town of Orel. Human Right Watch argues that Russia is a member of Council of Europe and a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, and therefore is obligated to protect the rights to freedom of religion and association.
My note: Russia passed a law in 2015 that basically stated that any CE or ECHR resolution or ruling they disagreed with could be ignored. I think it is a very good idea when governments start rounding up people for gas chambers, concentration or slave labor camps, or prison ... just be somewhere else.
You may have to abandon everything you and your family ever worked for, with the clothes on your back, but at least when they upholster the living room furniture you left behind ... it won't be with YOUR SKIN.
via .ORGWorld News
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
(New news ....) A MONTANA Judge Orders Jehovah’s Witnesses to Turn Over Internal Documents Related to Childhood Sexual Abuse
April 12, 2018
On April 5, 2018, Judge James Manley of Sanders County, Montana ordered the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization to produce documents and testimony related to internal reports and investigations into the childhood sexual abuse of NPR’s two clients.
In this case, the two Plaintiffs were sexually abused as children by a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Elders in the local Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Thompson Falls, Montana were aware of the abuse and failed to report it to the police, choosing instead to handle the reports and investigations internally pursuant to Jehovah’s Witness guidelines. Their decision not to report the abuse to authorities allowed the perpetrator to remain in the congregation and continue to abuse one of the Plaintiffs.
Throughout this case, and similar childhood sexual abuse cases across the country, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have refused to produce documents related to their internal handling of reports of sexual abuse and related investigations and disciplinary actions claiming that the information is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Through briefing to the court, NPR convinced the Judge that Defendants’ privilege claims were unsupported and improper under the law. The Court agreed that Defendants could not blanket everything related to their investigations in secrecy and that they must turn it over to the Plaintiffs. Often, this is the very evidence that can win or lose a case like this against a religious institution.
The case of Nunez, et al. v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, et al. is set to go to trial in September of 2018.
The plaintiffs in this case are represented by NPR partner D. Neil Smith and associate Ross E. Leonoudakis.
A Jury of 12 held in public view ... or a tribunal of three held in complete secrecy.
Which would YOU choose, to get Justice?
By Queen Esther
Prince's death puts spotlight on Jehovah's Witnesses ❤
Prince's death has put an unprecedeted spotlight on his JW -
in suburban Minneapolis, as well as the Jehovah's Witness faith nationally.
'We lost a spiritual brother' in Prince'....
For more than a decade, Prince spent many Sunday mornings inside a simple Jehovah’s Witnesses hall in a Minneapolis suburb, listening to Bible readings, sharing his insights in group discussions, and singing such hymns as “God’s Promise of Paradise” and “Be Forgiving.”
“His beliefs were very, very strong,” said Larry Graham, a close friend who introduced Prince to the faith.
While the superstar was comfortable door-knocking in Minnesota to spread the Bible’s message — a requirement for all Witnesses — he also tried to spread Jehovah’s teachings to musicians and others in his circle, Graham said. “It’s a side of him most people don’t know,” he said.
As Prince fans across the globe await an explanation of his unexpected death on April 21, worshipers at this St. Louis Park church remember a modest guy who would slip into the fellowship hall on Sundays with zero fanfare.
Ironically, in death, he has put an unprecedented spotlight on his church.
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“We’re seeing a tremendous surge in interest,” said Jim Lundstrom, a church elder in St. Louis Park. “I’ve gotten calls from Paris, London, Africa … and all points in between. Now our name is coming to the fore.”
Like the others in this church, Prince didn’t fear death, because he believed in a future earthly paradise. But, Graham said, the superstar was not planning to make his worldly exit yet. Graham said he knew nothing of opioid painkillers, now the focus of Prince’s death investigation.
Graham also denied claims that Prince couldn’t have hip surgery because his faith prohibited blood transfusions.
While Jehovah’s Witnesses can’t get blood transfusions, medical technology offers alternatives, Graham said.
In fact, Lundstrom belongs to a national network of hospital liaisons who help church members at the Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota and elsewhere receive optimal care without transfusions.
“We recognize that life is a gift from God,” said Graham, a bass player for the 1960s funk band Sly and the Family Stone. “Any medical treatment that will make us well again, we seek that.”
Prince’s Sunday home
About 70 people sat with Bible study pamphlets on their laps at Prince’s Jehovah’s Witnesses hall last Sunday. It’s a simple room, with no crucifixes or religious symbols — just comfortable chairs and plenty of Bibles and Watchtower publications available at the door.
“He’d usually sit over there,” said one member, gesturing to the rows center and back.
The nearly two-hour service opened with a hymn, and then a guest speaker preached about the Bible being an “owner’s manual for our lives.” That was followed by an hourlong, engaging discussion about loyalty to God, during which worshipers answered questions such as: “How can you be loyal to both Jehovah and your friend or relative?”
The service ended with a simple prayer and a song, and folks meandered out the door.
Prince’s path to this church began at an after-concert party in Nashville about 20 years ago, Graham said. Prince and Graham, both performing in town that night, found themselves talking about life’s big questions.
Prince later asked Graham, a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses since 1975, if he would consider moving to Minneapolis to continue teaching him the Bible. Graham, at the time living in Montego Bay, Jamaica, said yes. He has been Prince’s spiritual mentor and close friend ever since.
“We started studying the Bible on a regular basis,” recalled Graham. “And the more he learned, the more questions he had, like: ‘Why are we here? Where is everything heading? What’s the future for mankind, for the Earth?’ ”
Prince also learned that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas and Easter, for example, because those holidays have roots in pagan traditions. They do not serve in the military. They view Jesus as the son of God, but not God, and they don’t believe in a trinity. They pray to God, called Jehovah, who will return to rule a paradise on Earth.
Prince, known as “Brother Nelson,” joined Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2003.
The church was a beneficiary of Prince’s philanthropy, but it’s difficult to say how much he gave. Collection plates are not passed. Giving is done privately, often in cash and often at a church table with two slots marked “Local Congregation Expenses” and “Worldwide Work.”
No will for Prince has surfaced, and Graham said he was unaware if Jehovah’s Witnesses would benefit from a $100-million-plus estate now being claimed by Prince’s family members.
Near the giving table is a large map of St. Louis Park, with every street on a grid that is used for door-to-door ministry.
“We have the whole world [mapped],” said George Cook, a church elder eyeing the map. “We’re very organized.”
There are about 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, he said, and about 15,000 are Minnesotans.
Ministry, Prince style
It wasn’t uncommon for Prince and Graham — or Prince and other church members — to grab their Bibles and head out to neighborhoods. Sometimes people recognized their famous visitor, sometimes not. He enjoyed it, Graham said. And having a celebrity like Prince as a visible supporter made others more interested in checking out the religion, he said.
But Prince’s ministry extended beyond the city map.
“If there was some visitor at Paisley Park, they could sit down and have a conversation,” said Graham. “It could be after a show. Or you could just be out and about, and run into people, and just start talking about the Bible. Many, many kinds of settings.
“He would never try to force his beliefs on anyone. But he was always willing to share the things he learned in the Bible.”
One thing Prince learned was to be “a positive person,” Graham said. He ate and drank in moderation. He stopped cursing. And he stopped writing the raunchy lyrics that characterized some of his early work.
Prince also was at Graham’s side at various Jehovah’s Witnesses conferences, digging deeper into an unusual faith he credited with turning his life around.
“[The Bible] helps you with every aspect of your life,” Prince said in a 2004 interview. “Once you can clean out the cobwebs, so to speak, you can see everything more clearly.”
A type of protection
When asked why a free-spirited musician would choose a structured faith, Graham said that’s not how he — or Prince — saw it.
“It’s not really restrictive. It’s more like a protection from things that could possibly harm us,” Graham said. “So it’s a positive thing … and making you a better person.”
Prince was particularly drawn to biblical messages of a hopeful future, he said. One of his favorite passages was Revelations 21:3-4, which states that God ultimately will dwell with his people and that “death will be no more.”
“The resurrection and the hope for the future — and many more [passages] — we discussed many weeks and many months and years,” Graham said.
“A lot of people will remember Prince for his music,” he added. “But he’d also want people to know what he learned from the Bible. We lost a really good friend and a spiritual brother.”
UNTIL TO PARADISE........ OUR DEAR BROTHER ❤
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