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    • By Isabella
      Some child sexual abuse survivors will miss out on compensation because organisations like the Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to join the national redress scheme.
      Religious, community, charity, education and sporting groups that fail to meet Tuesday's deadline to join the scheme will be "named and shamed" and face possible financial sanctions and changes to their charitable status.
      The Jehovah's Witnesses refuses to join despite the threatened action and legal service Knowmore expects other survivors will also miss out because the organisation responsible for their abuse has not signed up.
      "This will result in survivors receiving nothing," Knowmore principal lawyer Anna Swain told AAP.
      Institutions have had two years to opt into the redress scheme, with some Knowmore clients saying "they're punishing us" or "they're waiting for us to die".
      Read more: 
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    • By Witness
      "A News Corp investigation into the global Christian sect Jehovah's Witnesses has revealed they have allegedly pushed cash offshore to avoid paying compensation to Australian child sex abuse victims."
       

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    • By Isabella
      Australia's western coast is being battered by a huge storm, with strong winds buffeting the main city of Perth.
      Torrential rains and waves of up to eight metres (26ft) are forecast in some areas.
      The severe weather is the result of the remnants of tropical cyclone Mangga interacting with a cold front, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
      A senior official in the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) said it would be a "once-in-a-decade" storm.
      Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-52787152

      REUTERS/ EDWIN VAN BRUGGEN
       
    • By Isabella
      Institutions such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Presbyterian Church and the Disability Trust have not signed up to the national redress scheme, delaying compensation for child abuse survivors.
      While some institutions, such as the Brisbane Boys' College and the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, have flagged their intention to join the scheme, others have not.
      The government has publicly named and shamed the groups singled out in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that have not signed up to the redress scheme.
      There are expected to be more unnamed institutions where abuse occurred.
      Ten per cent of applications lodged by survivors - about 700 - have been put on hold because the organisations responsible for their abuse have not joined.
      "It is a lot but some of those are in the process of signing up," Social Services Minister Anne Ruston told ABC radio on Tuesday.
      Institutions have until June 30 to join the redress scheme, which was launched two years ago.
      While some organisations responsible for abuse no longer exist, others claim they do not have the financial capacity to compensate their victims.
      Read more: 
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      Some institutions are still signing up to the redress scheme, Minister Anne Ruston says.
    • By Witness
      The world is watching the Watchtower's antics, in the grotesque sense of the word.  
       
    • By Witness
      For those who were unable to see the documentary last evening on "Oxygen".
       
    • By Isabella
      The organization allegedly directed elders in all of its United States congregations to send detailed reports on members facing an allegation of sexually abusing a child to its headquarters.
      Since the late 1990s blue envelopes from Jehovah’s Witness congregations across the country have been sent to the organization’s headquarters. But, it’s the information inside those envelopes that contain damaging secrets. 
      The blue envelopes contained detailed reports of members within the religion accused of child molestation. Officials scanned those documents into a database of files for each congregation, according to a sworn deposition by an official with The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society obtained by Reveal, the website for the Center for Investigative Reporting. 
      But the specific details within that database have largely remained a secret—despite court orders and calls from the public to release its contents, leading some to accuse the organization of concealing suspected child abusers. 
      The child abuse files were collected after the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society—the organization that oversees the Jehovah’s Witnesses—sent a request in March 1997 to all of its United States congregations requesting that each congregation write a detailed report about anyone within the religion who had been accused of child molestation and send it to the headquarters in the special blue envelope, according to The Atlantic
      Full article: 
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    • By Srecko Sostar
      Article from 1/24/2020: Jehovah’s Witness abuse victims unhappy at lack of care, report shows

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .....The Dutch branch went to court to try to stop the publication of the report but judges on Thursday ruled that it could be published in the public interest.....
      Below is final part of that report. 
      SUMMARY
      Results in context
      International studies conducted in Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom show that the issue of sexual abuse in the Jehovah's Witness community is not restricted to the Netherlands. Furthermore, studies conducted within the Dutch Roman Catholic Church and the youth care sector in the Netherlands show that the issue of sexual abuse is not exclusive to the Jehovah's Witness community.
      Our study and the international studies show that the Jehovah's Witness community can be characterized as a closed community. Each of these studies shows that fixed structures and protocols have been established based on the Bible.
      Furthermore, all of the international studies showed that the Jehovah's Witness community does not adequately handle reports and complaints of sexual abuse against minors and that victims find themselves in a vulnerable position.
      Our study and the studies conducted in Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom also suggested that the closed nature of the community hinders transparent handling of reports of sexual abuse. At first glance, this closed nature also seems to have a negative influence on the willingness to file a police report. International studies into the Jehovah's Witness community have found that there are very few opportunities to make such complaints outside the community and that doing so involves a very high risk of shunning and exclusion. The victim-support mechanisms within the community appear to be insufficient, no support is provided to enable external reporting of sexual abuse and according to many respondents, external reports are discouraged.
      The obligation to notify the authorities of suspected or actual sexual abuse is a vital measure that has been taken by or recommended to the Jehovah's Witness community in Australia and Belgium. The Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands has also been advised to introduce a notification obligation. Since the studies in Australia and the United Kingdom were conducted, the Jehovah's Witnesses have set up a protocol to determine how elders must handle allegations of child abuse. The effects of the measures taken by the Jehovah's Witness community in Australia, the United Kingdom and Belgium in order to improve child safety are not yet known.
      When we look at the three Dutch studies examining communities (closed or otherwise) that were examined during this study (the Roman Catholic Church, the youth care sector and the Netherlands Ministry of Defense), we note that being in a closed community hinders people from reporting a variety of offences. At the time, the minors who reported sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church community seemed to be in an extremely vulnerable position (due in part to the lack of personal counselling), which - among other factors - discouraged them from notifying external parties. Studies within the youth care sector and the Netherlands Ministry of Defense indicate that non-religious organisations also have structural inadequacies concerning the protection of members against undesired conduct and external reporting of such conduct. Furthermore, it can be carefully concluded from the studies within the Roman Catholic Church and youth care sector that the weak levels of procedural transparency concerning issues, such as to whom the incidents should be reported and how the reporting process is conducted, appear to have negatively impacted the willingness to report offences.
      Utrecht University Conclusions
      ▪ A total of 751 participants shared their experiences of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community via our contact point. These experiences included 292 accounts from people with personal experience of abuse and 459 accounts from people who know somebody who suffered abuse.
      ▪ 80% of the participants in the study reported their experiences of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community. ▪ 30% of the respondents notified the police and 27% of the respondents filed a police report.
      ▪ Three-quarters of the victims awarded a score of 5 or less for the handling of their report by the Jehovah's Witness community (average score: 3.3). ▪ 63% of the victims awarded a score of 6 or more for the handling of their report by the police (average score: 6.4).
      ▪ Compared to internal channels (80% report the offence within the community), a relatively small proportion of the participants in the study engage external channels (30% notify the police and 27% file an official police report). There are reasons to assume that the filing of a police report is hindered by the closed nature of the community and the risks involved in informing external parties. However, our study does not provide causal evidence for this factor and follow-up studies would be required for such evidence.
      ▪ According to our respondents, the closed culture within the Jehovah's Witness community can also be linked to the problems concerning the handling of reports of sexual abuse. The board has now put protocols and instructions in place to establish procedures for responding to reports of sexual abuse, although these mainly seem to focus on protecting the community - and, by extension, the culprit - rather than the victim. As a result, victims receive limited support and insufficient recognition, which can result in secondary victimization.
      ▪ While the community has taken steps over the past 10 years to improve how reports of sexual abuse are handled, the Jehovah's Witnesses' formalistic system still provides no guarantee of an adequate response to sexual abuse.
      Recommendations
      Based on the findings and conclusions in the study, we have formulated recommendations for the Jehovah's Witness community and for the Dutch government.
      ▪ We appeal to the community of Jehovah's Witnesses to ensure better support for and recognition of victims and alleged victims via measures such as the following:
      o Providing more explicit information regarding the options for reporting the abuse externally or filing a police report and/or seeking external help as well as providing clear assistance with these external channels.
      o Setting up an internal reporting centre for victims of sexual abuse, with adequate knowledge of the subject and of the internal and external options for victims. Clear agreements must be established within this reporting centre concerning timely engagement of external parties for the purposes of reporting the offence and/or supporting the victim.
      o Compiling annual reports regarding the activities of the internal reporting centre in relation to its own website, fellow believers and the public.
      o Training and educating elders in how to handle in cases of sexual abuse, in order to better equip them to provide support to victims.
      o Investing in openness and transparency in relation to sexual abuse and how it is handled.
      o Initiating cultural change that establishes a clearer position for women.
      o Engaging in discussions within the community and with other parties - such as politicians, the police, the authorities and the Reclaimed Voices foundation - concerning how to prevent and handle sexual abuse.
      ▪ Furthermore, the results of this study could help to ensure relevant parties - such as the municipal health services and the police - are better informed of the influence of closed communities on victims of abuse.
      ▪ The Netherlands board of Jehovah's Witnesses actively cooperated with our study. The board also stated that it complies with the law of the land and the Reclaimed Voices foundation confirmed this policy principle. This situation provides the Dutch political system with the opportunity to take action and enter into talks with the community about patterns, church rules, other rules, customs, structures and their consequences for the willingness to report sexual abuse within the community of Jehovah's Witnesses. Within this context, a law is being considered that would make it mandatory for the Jehovah's Witnesses and other organisations to report instances or suspicions of sexual abuse to the police. Other countries have already introduced this type of law. Assessment of the usefulness and desirability of this instrument for the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands will require further research.
      ▪ Finally, we recommend supplementing the independent scientific research presented during this report with additional future research. After all, the number of missing values/responses for a number of variables and the self-reports presented here imply that establishing truth is not the purpose of this report. Furthermore, no solid causal links concerning willingness to report sexual abuse can be derived from this report. Further research would be necessary to determine how applicable the findings concerning sexual abuse are to the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands and in other countries, as well as within other organisations. However, the research presented in this study into sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands provides ample grounds for future research to establish a more comprehensive picture of the people reporting sexual abuse, the people not reporting sexual abuse, and the perpetrators of sexual abuse among Jehovah's Witnesses in the Netherlands and in other countries.

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    • By Witness
      Article in People Magazine:

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    • By admin
      It seems that major news outlets play more and more dog and cat videos and less and less investigative journalism as time go by. 
      Anyone else noticing this trend?
      I think this is a result of most people getting their news from social media and no longer “tuning into a news channel”
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Juror Dan Stinnett, in his first interview about the case, explained how he and eight other Sanders County jurors found the Jehovah’s Witnesses governing organizations negligent and “guilty of malice” in the child sexual abuse of Alexis Nunez, awarding her $35 million. “I believe they were trying to cover up, yes. I have no doubt about that,” Stinnett said. When asked if he was trying to send a message with his jury vote, Stinnett responded, “Why, absolutely. We as jurors and as society really don’t condone … any of this.”
      The Nunez case is one of dozens tallied by the Hearst Television National Investigative Unit as part of a yearlong investigation that uncovered new allegations of child sexual abuse and decadeslong cover-ups inside the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization in the United States. The allegations span congregations, states and generations.

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    • By Witness
      From John Redwood...
      A preview of upcoming news:
      Jehovah's Witnesses are appealing to the Supreme Court of the United States, but this time it has nothing to do with preaching or saluting the flag.
      It's all about child abuse.
      Specifically, the protection (or cover-up) of information, documents, and testimony of persons involved in cases of child abuse.
      I will be covering this story in the coming weeks and months, but I thought I would share some of this news and try to distill it down as simply as I can.
      I'd like to point out first that Watchtower has appealed to the Supreme Court in connection with their loss of yet another California child abuse case. The chance that Watchtower's appeal being will be heard by the Supreme Court is slim, but anything is possible.
      What brought this about?
      There are many ongoing civil child abuse cases in California. One such case is J.W. versus Watchtower. J.W. happens to be the initials for the victim of former JW elder Gilbert Simental, who went on a spree of molestation which touched the lives of numerous victims.
      As with other cases, the plaintiff demanded that Watchtower turn over to the court a database of child abuse cases known to be maintained by Watchtower of New York.
      In this particular case, because Watchtower failed to turn over the documents in a timely manner, attorneys asked for a default judgment of just over 4 million dollars.
      The court agreed with the plaintiff and entered a default judgment in that amount. Watchtower was required to post a bond of more than 6 million dollars while their appeal was pending.
      Watchtower lost their appeal, and the decision of the court was upheld. This decision is final- with one exception.
      Watchtower has decided to appeal to the United States Supreme court on the basis that their judicial hearings related to child abuse matters are "confidential intra-faith communications" and that they do not, and should not, reveal those communications or documents to anyone, including civil courts.
      I'd like to make it very clear what Watchtower is doing here. They are fighting for their right NOT to allow civil authorities to dictate what is confidential, and what is not confidential.
      All of this is in relation to their claim that elders do not have the right or duty to report child abuse to the authorities.
      Watchtower overtly lies to their members by claiming that they obey secular laws, except when they conflict with God's laws.
      Yet they break the law every single time by advising elders NOT to report child abuse to the authorities.
      It does NOT matter whether child abuse occurs in a mandatory reporting state- elders STILL do not report to the police because Watchtower has told them that ALL of their communications are protected by clergy-penitent privilege.
      This is false- and it is exactly why they are losing tens of millions of dollars in child abuse civil cases. Watchtower advises elders to break the law.
      And now they want the Supreme Court of the United States to agree with them.
      The claim that the state of California has unfairly targeted Jehovah's Witnesses and "intruded upon matters of church governance."
      Why???
      How does compliance with mandatory child abuse reporting laws conflict with God's laws? It doesn't. This is a fabrication of Watchtower attorneys working for the Governing Body, and it's become quite clear that they feel that compliance with these civil laws will spell disaster for their religion.
      And they might be right.
      If Jehovah's Witnesses did the right thing and complied with the law, they would lose the tight grip of control over their elder bodies in ways which frighten the hell out of them.
      There is a whole lot more to this story as well as the underlying cases involved, but I wanted to let you know what's going on.
      Attorneys for J.W. (the abuse victim) will be filing an opposition to Watchtower's appeal in August, and we should have a decision from the Supreme Court by October on whether they will accept Jehovah's Witnesses appeal for review.
      Stay tuned!!

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    • By JOHN BUTLER
      OK, I know some people will not like this and they will call it gossip but my wife and I are worried about it so it needs to aired out.
      We have one daughter that is still a JW. i will call her H.  She is married to a non JW. She has 4 children.
      This daughter does not seem to recognise any dangers at all about her children. She invites anyone to her house without really knowing who they are or anything about their past.
      3 of the children are girls and they attend ballet and tap dance lessons. They are only young, the oldest being around 8 years old. 
      Today they were in a performance /show in Exeter, a biggish show that their teacher was putting on for all parents, grandparents, etc. 
      I wasn't allowed to go of course as I'm a 'naughty boy' that left the Org.
      My wife went to the show and was surprised to find two 'brothers' there.
      One of the 'brothers' is a young single Elder and the other 'brother' is an old man that has recently been reinstated and moved into Honiton congregation.  
      This older man frequently visits H and her daughters at their home and the girls call him Uncle Phil. He seems very 'friendly' toward the girls.
      H does not know where this 'brother' is from but he is now part of the Honiton Congregation which H and her children attend, here in Devon. 
      It seems strange to me that this man has just arrived at Honiton Congregation and just been reinstated. My wife says he has a London accent. 
      If I were still a JW I would ask him bluntly why he was disfellowshipped and where he is from, but of course I cannot do that now.
      I have his full name, so is there any way i can run a check on him ? 
      Should i contact an Elder at Honiton Congregation and tell them of the concern my wife and I have ? 
      If this 'brother' had been involved in a child abuse accusation would they have told H about it so that she could be on her guard ? 
      Some on here may think I'm just trying to cause trouble, but my wife came home this evening and is looking very worried. 
      It seems that H had invited both 'brothers' to the meal afterward and my wife felt unhappy about the whole situation. 
      TTH will probably bring out the rule book again and say 'it never happens', but child abuse does happen and needs to be looked for all the time. 
      Our daughter H seems to have no idea about the situations that have taken place, and in honesty she doesn't want to know. So how can my wife warn her ?  
       
       
       
       
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I've often thought of this point of reproof from the platform. It does nothing positive at all, it just leaves people wondering why the person was reproved.
      And it certainly does not protect the congregation.  
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      by Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. In January of 2019, elders in the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses were issued a new version of their confidential handbook, "Shepherd the Flock of God." This handbook covers, among other topics, when a person should be "reproved."
      For those unfamiliar with the their practices, Jehovah's Witness elders might determine that someone guilty of a serious sin is repentant and will be "reproved" rather than disfellowshipped [excommunicated]. This reproof might be administered privately, or it might include a very brief announcement to the congregation.
      Public Reproofs Are Not a Protection
      The "Shepherd" book makes the claim that a public reproof serves as a "protection" to the congregation against certain dangerous behaviors, such as child sexual abuse; note this statement from chapter 14, "Child Abuse::

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. However, this announcement of reproof includes no information about the person's "sinful" behavior, as instructed in chapter 16, "Procedure for Judicial Hearings":

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The "Shepherd" book even outright instructs that a person's sinful acts should not be connected to their reproof, such as when a "warning" talk is given regarding their behavior; also from chapter 16:

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. This statement alone demonstrates that the entire "public reproof" arrangement protects no one from congregation members who might pose a danger to others, including children. Simply stating that someone has "been reproved" doesn't warn a congregant of that person's specific behavior, and especially when there is a long list of reasons why someone might be publicly reproved, including:
      Smoking Fornication, adultery Theft Lying, slander Various forms of "apostasy" Severe fits of temper, fighting Drunkenness Using narcotics Taking up boxing After hearing a rather generic announcement that someone has been "reproved," without knowing the actual reason for that reproof, how would congregants know to keep their children away from them? Another congregant might assume that a person being reproved was caught smoking or fornicating with an adult; child sexual abuse might be the last thing they would consider when they hear of someone having been reproved!
      Your Conscience Shouldn't Be Clean
      This begs the question of why Jehovah's Witnesses think that their consciences can be clean in these cases. Elders honestly think that making an announcement of so-and-so having been "reproved" protects the congregation and so they've done their job of keeping people and children safe?
      Nothing can be further from the truth, especially when it comes to child sexual abuse. This "public reproof" arrangement purposely conceals the action that warranted the reproof, so it warns no one about a congregant who might be a danger to their children.
      This announcement does not take away from an elder's complicity in hiding allegations of abuse. Any elder who hears of such a credible allegation and doesn't notify authorities, cooperate with their investigations fully, and then do everything possible to keep a potentially dangerous person away from children shares guilt and blame if that person goes on to molest another child.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The bottom line is that Jehovah's Witnesses and elders especially have no problem lying to themselves and to the general public about their supposed "protections" for congregants. They shield alleged molesters by purposely ensuring that no information about a particular act is associated with "reproved" persons, and then tell themselves that this passive-aggressive "hinting around" is going to somehow alert congregants to the need to keep their child away from him or her.
      While the authors of these practices and the elders charged with enforcing them might go to bed with a clean conscience, remember it's not them who suffer the consequences of their actions; the elders are not being raped and abused, the men who wrote this "Shepherd" book are not the ones who will be the next victims of these "reproved" persons.
      Their complicity in this horrific act is bad enough, but their smug self-righteousness in thinking that they've somehow done enough to protect children with a generic "reproof" is just another slap across the face of those same children.
    • By Witness
      "On Sunday, March 31, Anthony Morris, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, was filmed at Bottle King, a discount booze store in Ramsey, NJ, buying 12 bottles of very expensive single malt. My “Bottlegate” video sharing the footage has since accumulated tens of thousands of views, with many saying the incident represents an act of hypocrisy from a man famous for his somewhat judgmental approach to morality and Christian living. The team discusses the permutations of the remarkable footage, and the widely known culture of drinking at bethel."
      This video expresses the opinions of a past member of Bethel in Australia, and those of his wife, also Mark O'Donnell whose story under the article " A Secret Database of Child Abuse" was posted in The Atlantic, and "Covert Fade", author at JWsurvey.  
      From the comments I have seen here, JWs are measuring Anthony Morris' actions by worldly standards; yet, for someone who claims to be "faithful and discreet", worldly standards do not apply.  
      "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."  Matt 5:20
       
       
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Were you or a loved one sexually abused by Gonzalo Campos, an elder with various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations in the San Diego area?
      Legal Support For Alleged Victims Of Gonzalo Campos
      After admitting to molesting at least 8 children during the 1980s and 1990s, Campos fled to Mexico, evading criminal justice here in California, but some sexual abuse survivors may still be eligible to file suit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.
       
      The Watchtower, the national organization for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, has already settled at least two lawsuits involving Campos’ misconduct. In March 2018, the organization came to terms with two of Campos’ victims, men who claimed the elder abused them decades ago. Neither the Watchtower nor the plaintiffs are allowed to disclose details of the settlement.
      Experienced Attorneys Launch Full Investigation
      Our compassionate sexual abuse attorneys believe that other victims of Campos may still be able to pursue justice, accountability and compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. We have opened a full investigation into the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society to understand how Campos was allowed to remain around children, even after serious sexual abuse allegations had been filed against him.
      We understand the powerful storm of emotions that sexual abuse can cause. You may still be struggling to deal with painful feelings of embarrassment and shame, rage or depression. You do not have to go through this alone. Our committed legal team is here to help.
      You may have powerful legal options. The prospect of stepping forward to report the abuse may seem terrifying, but it can be a powerful step on the road to recovery. You deserve justice. You may also be entitled to financial compensation. Filing a civil lawsuit can help you take control of this terrible situation. The Watchtower should be held accountable.
      Watchtower Hit By Court Penalty For Withholding Evidence
      The Watchtower has already been accused of hindering investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse. In the cases involving Gonzalo Campos, the Watchtower was ordered to pay a penalty of $4,000 every day because it refused to turn over internal documents containing information about church leaders who had been accused of child sexual abuse.
      This was not the first time the Watchtower failed to stand up for sexual abuse survivors.
      Critics say Gonzalo Campos was allowed to abuse at least 8 children in San Diego between 1982 and 1995, even though the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations he belonged to were aware of his misconduct. After abusing a 7-year-old in 1994, Campos was removed from the Church, but he was reinstated by church elders who claimed he was a changed man.
      In their lawsuits, two men who said they had been abused by Campos accused church elders of knowing about Campos’ misconduct as early as 1982, but covering it up and allowing him to continue working with young children. We believe the victims.
       

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    • By Srecko Sostar
      Second link is G.J. testimony from August 14 2015 

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    • Guest
      By Guest
      Australian transmission operator Transgrid has announced that it will install a 250 kilowatt, 500 kilowatt hour Powerpack installation in New South Wales to better manageme fluctuating energy demand and prevent blackouts.
      Transgrid operates the high voltage electricity transmission backbone for NSW and the ACT which connects the generators, distributors and large scale consumers of power. It is looking to energy storage as a means to smooth power spikes caused by renewables like solar which at the grid level, creates a spike in generation at midday that does not always correspond to usage. Unlike fossil fuel fired generation which can be throttled up or down as needed, solar systems generate electricity when the sun is shining and when it is gone, it’s gone.

      Tesla commercial battery storage system will provide the local depot with energy savings by storing lower cost power during the day and returning it back to consumers during times of peak demand. Demand Response installations such as this eliminate the need for natural gas fired peaker plants which similarly stand at the ready to respond to increases in demand. Though these plants do not operate continuously, they generate a disproportionately high amount of pollution for the short periods they operate.  Storing low cost power when demand is low and metering it out during a spike has the potential to save operators and / or customers the incremental cost of these demand surcharges. Battery installations are also not exposed to commodity risk in the event of a spike in the price of natural gas or coal which makes the cost benefit analysis appear that much more attractive.
      Storage at the facility level has similar benefits with a Powerpack installation having the ability to absorb excess solar power generated during the day and metering that power out over the evening and night. Keeping the power generated on site can mean the difference between a solar installation being cost effective or not, depending on the net metering policy of the utility.

      Tesla won a contract with Transgrid to provide its Powerpacks to several sites last year of which this is the first. Transgrid is using the installation to explore the potential of grid scale batteries on its network before adding more.
      In March, Tesla CEO Elon Musk
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. on Twitter, guaranteeing that Tesla could restore stability to Australia’s regional grids with several hundred megawatts of Powerpacks in just 100 days or Tesla would install the system for free. This pilot installation could be the crack in the floodgates, as Australia’s unstable grid and high electricity prices prove to be fertile ground for grid scale batteries. Source: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (paywall)
       
       
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      OK, I've sort of shot myself in the foot by saying I'm now going to take this forum as a joke and have a laugh. In most ways i will continue to do so BUT.
      This evening I was given some information that 1.maybe I shouldn't have been given. 2. Maybe i wish i hadn't been given. 
      Some of you may say I'm telling lies. Some of you may say I'm just after attention. Some may say I'm just trying to put down the JW Org.
      However i have to think on something i say a lot. DUTY OF CARE. Care of everyone, in or out of that JW Org. 
      I have been given this information :-
      Somewhere between 18 months to 2 years ago, a young man that is a member of Honiton Congregation (my ex congregation) committed a sexual offence against a young girl that would have been around 7 or 8 years old at that time.. 
      The young man was visiting the home of this child and he went up to the girl's bedroom and asked the girl to have sex with him. I do not think that sexual intercourse took place but from the information that I've been given, he laid her on the bed and got on top of her and 'humped' her as if he were having sexual intercourse with her.  
      The incident was reported to the Elders and the police were not informed. I have no idea what action the Elders took but the congregation were not informed.
      The young man ( who's name I have ) would have been in his very early twenties at the time, but his mental age is lower. He is a bit slow in learning things and possibly has mental disorders. That is not meant as an insult, but i do know this young man personally and he does act a bit strange sometimes and frightens people.  
      The young man's father was a single dad of three children ( i knew this man quite well ), but he invited a foreign lady (a sister in the JW Org) over to the UK, and they married. The marriage did not go well as the woman wanted to 'be the boss'. They split up and she went back to her country of origin. But then she came back to have a 'second try' at the marriage.  I do not know the marriage situation at this time. However the whole issue would have been totally upsetting for the three children, especially for this young man that found it difficult to cope with some situations. 
      The person that gave me this information, in my opinion, is completely trustworthy, and once again in my opinion, would not have any reason for making up a 'story'. As I was given the young man's name, and i know the young man and his father, it all seems quite genuine to me.
      Now i come back to the duty of care.  For, in my opinion, it is the duty of anyone that has any information concerning child abuse to report it to the police. 
      This could be just a one off incident, but it could be the start of a young man becoming a pedophile. I honestly don't know where my duty is here. 
      The young girl that was the victim of this assault may need help getting over the situation. The information was also that the father of the victim does not want 'any trouble'. Hence he did not want the police involved. That helped the Elders to keep it secret, well almost. 
      Now this young man may commit sexual assault again, within the JW congregation or outside of it.  And that young lady will be in fear of him and yet still have to attend that Kingdom hall where she will see him every week. 
      So should i report what i have been told to the police or not ? Of course I would have to tell the police it is only third hand information.
      BUT, if the police could get hold of the 'records' / paperwork from the Kingdom hall regarding the incident, then it would be proved as true. 
      I do not expect that the Elders would willingly hand over paperwork, so I've no idea how it would work out in the end. But it's my actions that I'm concerned about here , my responsabilites. What should i do ?  
       
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Sam Ballard was left in a state of paralysis after he swallowed a garden slug for a dare. He died, aged 28, from rat lungworm in Australia.
      https://news.sky.com/story/australian-man-sam-ballard-who-was-left-paralysed-after-eating-a-slug-dies-aged-28-11545373?dcmp=snt-sf-twitter


    • 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, JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ 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 youÂ’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 !
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      I just read that the Spanish organization "Abusos TJ" has sent a letter to the Ministry of the Interior on Wednesday to urge him to investigate the alleged cases of sexual abuse that have been concealed for years from the different congregations in Spain of the Jehovah's Witnesses. And the news shows this photo of the instructions given to the elders

      If these instructions are true, my question is what Bible base have these instructions? And why not inform the elders of the new congregation about a person who could be a danger to the community? 
    • By Jack Ryan
      The Jehovah's Witness Church in Australia failed to protect children in its care from sexual predators, a report has found.
      The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its report into the organisation on Monday.
      It stated that: "Children are not adequately protected from the risk of child sexual abuse in the Jehovah's Witness organisation and [the commission] does not believe the organisation responds adequately to allegations of child sexual abuse."
      Survivors of sexual abuse within the church and senior church members appeared before a public hearing last year.
      The inquiry heard the church received allegations ofHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. over a 60-year period but did not report a single claim to police.
      In its report on the inquiry, the royal commission found that the organisation's general practice of "not reporting serious instances of child sexual abuse to police or authorities, demonstrated a serious failure on its part to provide for the safety and protection of children."
      The royal commission determined that the church's response to allegations of child sexual abuse were outdated, including a rule that there must be two witnesses to an incident, which "showed a serious lack of understanding of the nature of child sexual abuse".
      "It noted the rule, which the Jehovah's Witness organisation relies on, and applies inflexibly even in the context of child sexual abuse, was devised more than 2000 years ago," the report found.

      Royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan. Photo: Jeremy Piper
      The Jehovah's Witnesses approach to handling claims internally was not appropriate for children or survivors of sexual abuse, the report found.
      "Survivors are offered little or no choice in how their complaint is addressed, sanctions are weak with little regard to the risk of the perpetrator re-offending."
      The head of the Jehovah's Witness community's service desk, Rodney Spinks, is considering the report and is expected respond on Monday afternoon.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Legislators ‘need to stopÂ’ working for institutions
      Dave Kohler, of Allentown, was abused by an ordained minister in the Jehovah’s Witnesses in November 1965. He was 9 years old. 
      When Kohler was 17, his abuser told him to never talk about the abuse again. 
      “So I obeyed and kept my mouth shut,” Kohler said. 
      He’s been coming to Harrisburg for about five years to show his support for statute of limitations reform. “Individuals vote them in, and then they work for institutions,” Kohler said of the state legislators. “That needs to stop.”
      If reform is passed that would allow Kohler the opportunity to sue his abuser, Kohler said he knows what he would do with any money he could collect.
      “I will hopefully be able to afford therapy,” he said.

      Dave Kohler, who said he was abused by an ordained minister in the Jehovah's Witnesses in Kutztown and Emmaus, talks about his experience, during the demonstration for statute of limitations reform to the state's childhood sexual abuse laws at the state capitol in Harrisburg on Monday. (Photo: Paul Kuehnel, York Daily Record)

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By The Librarian
      This cover up goes all the way up to the Vatican!
      The Vatican is not even responding 
    • By Witness
      Watchtower 14/11/15 
      The flocking of many humans to worship Jehovah with his people in this time of the end was foretold by two ancient prophets. Isaiah prophesied: “Many peoples will go and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ For law will go out of Zion, and the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem.” (Isa. 2:2, 3)
      If, therefore, we wish to benefit from Jehovah’s protection during the great tribulation, we must recognize that Jehovah has a people on earth, organized into congregations. We must continue to take our stand with them and remain closely associated with our local congregation. With all our hearts, may we join the psalmist in proclaiming: “Salvation belongs to Jehovah. Your blessing is upon your people.” —Ps. 3:8.
      Protection?  Blessings?  Have you considered how a victim of abuse feels about this?
      Tell me, JWs, when the court systems of the world must alert and teach JWs to show compassion and righteous judgment to victims of child abuse, where is the “law that goes out from Zion” – GOD’S LAW?
      Does this organization protect and nurture, through the teaching of God’s law which is far superior than any court law of the land?  The “law” is found in the hearts of the anointed priests and kings that YOU refuse to recognize due to your submission to a Harlot/false prophet/ Wicked Slave; and her muscle, the elder body carrying out their own version of God’s laws. Isa 43:10; I Pet 2:5,9,10; Heb 8:10; Rev 13:1,6,7,11,14-17; Matt 24:48-51
      WAKE UP!  It can’t be excused away that this organization  IS Zion, yet offers no protection or blessing from the true God, YHWH. It is all, a delusion.  2 Thess 2:9-12
      Mount Zion, in all its glory, is NOT FOUND IN SATAN’S WORLD, called the “mountainlike organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses” but in the hearts of righteous faithful anointed ones,  who LEAVE THIS LIE BEHIND.   Many others, have found it to be “neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, the now “apostate city” of Harlots and their hardened hearts. 2 Chron 7:14  “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”  John 4:21-24
      “What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’”  Zech 4:7
      “The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.”  Rev 8:8,9
      It is blasphemy to believe that the cornerstone of God’s Zion/Temple (1 Pet 2:6) and his fulfillment of the “law” based on love, would approve of such twisting of God’s decrees, by men who trust only in themselves. Isa 2:22
      YHWH’s Genuine Mountain – Pearl Doxsey 4womaninthewilderness
       https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/362404/silent-lambs-child-sexual-abuse-and-the-jehovah-s-witnesses
       
       edited for sentence structure
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      A message to young people in this weeks Watchtower Study paragraph 12:
      How to use the website jw.org to guide you answering a peer asking “Why do you believe in god?”
       
      The answer to that question can and should not be guided. If the question was about the flood or the end of the world then yes, use a textbook answer that can be “researched” on the website.
      But a personal question like that shouldn’t need to be guided from any outside source. If you have a real faith or belief in a higher power then you wouldn’t need an outside source to help you explain that.
       



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    • Eric Ouellet

      Qu’est-ce que le Jour du Jugement ?

      La Bible dit que Dieu “ a fixé un jour où il va juger la terre habitée ”. (Actes 17:31.) Pour beaucoup, l’idée d’être soumis à un jugement, quel qu’il soit, est désagréable. Voyez-vous les choses ainsi ?
      SI C’EST le cas, rassurez-vous : le Jour du Jugement est une disposition pleine d’amour qui apportera de grands bienfaits à la famille humaine, y compris aux morts (Matthieu 20:28 ; Jean 3:16). Mais pourquoi est-il nécessaire ? Et que se passera-t-il réellement pendant ce “ jour ” ?
      Pourquoi le Jour du Jugement est nécessaire
      Lorsque Dieu a placé les humains sur la terre, il ne la destinait pas à n’être qu’un lieu d’épreuve en vue d’une existence dans un autre monde. Il a créé les humains pour qu’ils y vivent éternellement. Bien que parfaits physiquement et mentalement, Adam et Ève, le premier couple, se sont rebellés contre Dieu. Ils ont alors perdu la perspective de la vie éternelle pour eux-mêmes, et ont transmis le péché et la mort à tous leurs descendants. — Genèse 2:15-17 ; Romains 5:12.
      Le Jour du Jugement sera une période de mille ans durant laquelle les hommes auront la possibilité de retrouver ce qu’Adam et Ève ont perdu*. Remarquez que, selon Actes 17:31, cité plus haut, ce “ jour ” concerne les personnes qui vivent sur “ la terre habitée ”. Celles qui recevront un jugement favorable vivront sur la terre, éternellement et dans des conditions parfaites (Révélation 21:3, 4). Le Jour du Jugement contribue donc à l’accomplissement du dessein originel de Dieu pour l’homme et pour la planète.
      Le Juge que Dieu a établi est Christ Jésus. La Bible révèle qu’il va “ juger les vivants et les morts ”. (2 Timothée 4:1.) Qui sont “ les vivants ” qui seront jugés ? Comment les morts vont-ils revenir à la vie sur “ la terre habitée ” ?
      Jésus juge “ les vivants ”
      Nous sommes maintenant proches de la fin annoncée du présent système de choses, où Dieu va détruire tous les éléments de la société humaine corrompue et supprimer les méchants. Les personnes qui réchapperont seront “ les vivants ” qui seront jugés. — Révélation 7:9-14 ; 19:11-16.
      Durant la période de jugement qui durera mille ans, Christ Jésus ainsi que 144 000 hommes et femmes ressuscités pour vivre dans les cieux dirigeront la terre. Exerçant les fonctions de rois et de prêtres, ils dispenseront les bienfaits du sacrifice rédempteur de Jésus et amèneront progressivement les humains fidèles à la perfection physique et mentale. — Révélation 5:10 ; 14:1-4 ; 20:4-6.
      Pendant le Jour du Jugement, Satan et ses démons ne seront plus libres d’influencer l’activité humaine (Révélation 20:1-3). Toutefois, à la fin de ce “ jour ”, Satan sera autorisé à éprouver la fidélité de tous les humains alors en vie. Ceux qui resteront fidèles à Dieu passeront avec succès l’épreuve à laquelle Adam et Ève ont échoué. Ils seront jugés dignes de recevoir la vie éternelle sur la terre redevenue un paradis. Ceux qui décideront de se rebeller contre Dieu seront détruits pour toujours, de même que Satan et ses démons. — Révélation 20:7-9.
      Le jugement des “ morts ”
      On lit dans la Bible qu’au Jour du Jugement les morts “ se lèveront ”. (Matthieu 12:41.) Jésus a dit : “ L’heure vient où tous ceux qui sont dans les tombes de souvenir entendront sa voix et sortiront, ceux qui ont fait des choses bonnes, pour une résurrection de vie, ceux qui ont pratiqué des choses viles, pour une résurrection de jugement. ” (Jean 5:28, 29). Il n’est pas question ici des âmes désincarnées des défunts. Ces derniers sont totalement inconscients et n’ont pas d’âme qui survive à la mort (Ecclésiaste 9:5 ; Jean 11:11-14, 23, 24). Jésus relèvera sur la terre tous ceux qui se sont endormis dans la mort.
      Seront-ils jugés sur la base de ce qu’ils ont fait avant leur mort ? Non. Les Écritures enseignent que “ celui qui est mort a été acquitté de son péché ”. (Romains 6:7.) Ainsi, tout comme les survivants de la fin du système actuel, les ressuscités pour la vie sur la terre seront jugés “ selon leurs actions ” au cours du Jour du Jugement (Révélation 20:12, 13). En fonction de l’issue de leurs actions, leur résurrection se révélera aboutir soit à l’éternité, soit à la destruction. Nombre de ces ressuscités découvriront Jéhovah Dieu et ses exigences pour obtenir la vie. Ils auront la possibilité de se conformer à la volonté de Dieu et de recevoir la vie éternelle sur la terre.
      Aucune raison d’avoir peur
      Le Jour du Jugement ne sera pas seulement un temps d’instruction divine, mais aussi un temps où tous les vivants appliqueront ce qu’ils apprendront et en verront les bienfaits. Imaginez la joie que vous ressentirez quand vous retrouverez vos chers disparus et progresserez à leurs côtés vers la perfection !
      Imaginez la joie que vous ressentirez quand vous retrouverez vos chers disparus.
      Au terme du Jour du Jugement, Dieu permettra à Satan d’éprouver la fidélité des êtres humains. Il n’y a cependant pas lieu d’être inquiet ou d’avoir peur. Tous seront alors solidement armés pour faire face à cette dernière épreuve. Ainsi, le Jour du Jugement est une étape dans l’accomplissement du dessein divin qui effacera toutes les conséquences de la rébellion originelle contre Dieu dans le jardin d’Éden.

      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Chantons avec coeur et allégresse 
      Psaumes
      146 Louez Jah!
      Que tout mon être loue Jéhovah !
       2 Je veux louer Jéhovah toute ma vie.
      Je veux chanter des louanges à mon Dieu aussi longtemps que je vivrai.
       3 Ne mettez pas votre confiance dans les princes,
      ni dans un fils d’homme, qui est incapable de sauver.
       4 L’esprit de l’homme sort, l’homme retourne au sol ;
      ce jour-là, ses pensées périssent.
       5 Heureux celui qui a pour secours le Dieu de Jacob
      et dont l’espoir est en Jéhovah son Dieu,
       6 Celui qui a fait le ciel et la terre,
      la mer, et tout ce qui s’y trouve,
      celui qui reste fidèle pour toujours,
       7 celui qui garantit la justice aux spoliés,
      celui qui donne du pain aux affamés.
      Jéhovah libère les prisonniers ;
       8 Jéhovah ouvre les yeux des aveugles ;
      Jéhovah relève ceux qui sont courbés ;
      Jéhovah aime les justes.
       9 Jéhovah protège les résidents étrangers ;
      il soutient l’orphelin de père et la veuve,
      mais il contrecarre les projets des méchants
      10 Jéhovah sera Roi pour toujours,
      ton Dieu, ô Sion, de génération en génération.
      Louez Jah !

      · 0 replies
    • REDROCHA  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Thank you Sister !!!!
      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      LES QUALITÉS D'UN BERGER ET LES ASSISTANTS DE L'ASSEMBLÉE 

      PREMIÈRE LETTRE DE TIMOTHÉE

      3 La parole suivante est digne de foi : Si un homme aspire à être un responsable, il désire une belle œuvre. 2 Il faut donc qu’un responsable soit irréprochable, mari d’une seule femme, modéré dans ses habitudes, réfléchi, ordonné, hospitalier, capable d’enseigner, 3 que ce ne soit pas un ivrogne ni un homme violent, mais un homme raisonnable, non querelleur, non ami de l’argent, 4 un homme qui dirige d’une belle façon sa propre famille, qui tienne ses enfants dans la soumission en toute dignité 5 (car si un homme ne sait pas diriger sa propre famille, comment prendra-t-il soin de l’assemblée de Dieu ?), 6 que ce ne soit pas un homme récemment converti, de peur qu’il se gonfle d’orgueil et tombe sous le coup de la condamnation portée contre le Diable. 7 D’autre part, il faut aussi qu’il reçoive un beau témoignage des gens extérieurs à l’assemblée, afin de ne pas tomber dans le déshonneur et dans un piège du Diable.
      8 De même, il faut que les assistants soient des hommes dignes, qu’ils n’aient pas un langage double, qu’ils soient modérés dans la consommation de vin, non avides d’un gain malhonnête, 9 attachés au saint secret de la foi avec une conscience pure.
      10 De plus, qu’ils soient d’abord mis à l’épreuve quant à leurs aptitudes ; puis, s’ils sont exempts d’accusation, qu’ils servent comme ministres.
      11 De même, il faut que les femmes soient dignes, non calomniatrices, modérées dans leurs habitudes, fidèles en toutes choses.
      12 Les assistants doivent être maris d’une seule femme et diriger d’une belle façon leurs enfants et leur propre famille. 13 Car les hommes qui servent d’une belle façon acquièrent une belle réputation et une grande confiancepour parler de la foi en Christ Jésus.
      14 Je t’écris ces choses, bien que j’espère venir bientôt chez toi, 15 pour que, au cas où je serais retardé, tu saches comment tu dois te conduire dans la maison de Dieu, qui est l’assemblée du Dieu vivant, colonne et soutien de la vérité. 16 Oui, il faut avouer qu’il est grand, le saint secret de l’attachement à Dieu : « Il a été manifesté dans la chair, a été déclaré juste dans l’esprit, est apparu aux anges, a été prêché parmi les nations, a été cru dans le monde, a été enlevé dans la gloire. »





      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Bergers, imitez les Grands Bergers
       
      Christ [...] a souffert pour vous, vous laissant un modèle pour que vous suiviez fidèlement ses traces » (1 PIERRE 2:21)

      QUAND un berger s’intéresse de près au bien-être de son troupeau, les moutons se portent bien. Selon un manuel sur l’élevage ovin, « l’homme qui se contente de mener le troupeau au pré puis n’y prête plus attention risque fort, en quelques années, d’avoir de nombreuses bêtes malades qui ne rapportent rien ». Par contre, quand les moutons reçoivent l’attention voulue, le troupeau prospère.
      La qualité des soins et de l’attention que les bergers du troupeau de Dieu prodiguent à chaque brebis dont ils sont responsables influera sur la santé spirituelle de toute la congrégation. Tu te souviens peut-être que Jésus a eu pitié des foules parce qu’« elles étaient dépouillées et éparpillées comme des brebis sans berger » (Mat. 9:36). Pourquoi se trouvaient-elles en si piteuse condition ? Parce que les hommes chargés d’enseigner la Loi de Dieu au peuple étaient durs, exigeants et hypocrites. Au lieu de soutenir et de nourrir les membres de leur troupeau, les guides spirituels d’Israël posaient sur leurs épaules de « lourdes charges » (Mat. 23:4).
      Les bergers chrétiens d’aujourd’hui, les anciens, ont donc une lourde responsabilité. Les brebis du troupeau sous leur garde appartiennent à Jéhovah ainsi qu’à Jésus, qui s’est présenté comme « l’excellent berger » (Jean 10:11). Les brebis ont été « acheté[e]s à un prix », que Jésus a payé avec son propre « sang précieux » (1 Cor. 6:20 ; 1 Pierre 1:18, 19). Jésus aime tellement les brebis qu’il a bien voulu sacrifier sa vie pour elles. Les anciens ne devraient jamais oublier qu’ils sont des sous-bergers sous la surveillance du Fils bienveillant de Dieu, Jésus Christ, « le grand berger des brebis » (Héb. 13:20).
      Comment les bergers chrétiens devraient-ils traiter les brebis ? Les membres de la congrégation sont exhortés à « obéi[r] à ceux qui [les] dirigent ». De leur côté, les anciens ne doivent pas « commande[r] en maîtres ceux qui sont l’héritage de Dieu » (Héb. 13:17 ; lire 1 Pierre 5:2, 3). Alors comment peuvent-ils diriger le troupeau sans le commander en maîtres ? Autrement dit, comment peuvent-ils répondre aux besoins des brebis sans abuser de l’autorité dont Dieu les a investis ?
      « IL LES PORTERA SUR SON SEIN »
      Parlant de Jéhovah, le prophète Isaïe a déclaré : « Comme un berger il fera paître son troupeau. De son bras il rassemblera les agneaux ; et sur son sein il les portera. Il conduira doucement celles qui allaitent » (Is. 40:11). Cette comparaison montre que Jéhovah se soucie des besoins des membres de la congrégation faibles et vulnérables. De même qu’un berger connaît les besoins particuliers de chaque brebis de son troupeau et se tient prêt à les combler, Jéhovah connaît les besoins des membres de la congrégation et est heureux de leur apporter le soutien voulu. À l’image d’un berger qui, si nécessaire, porte un agneau nouveau-né dans le pli de son vêtement, « le Père des tendres miséricordes » nous portera, ou nous consolera, quand nous serons durement éprouvés ou rencontrerons un besoin particulier (2 Cor. 1:3, 4).

      Quel exemple admirable pour un berger chrétien ! Comme son Père céleste, il lui faut être attentif aux besoins des brebis. S’il est au courant des difficultés qu’elles rencontrent et des besoins qui méritent une attention immédiate, il sera en mesure d’offrir l’encouragement et le soutien nécessaires (Prov. 27:23). Il doit donc bien communiquer avec ses compagnons chrétiens. Tout en respectant la vie privée de chacun, il s’intéresse à ce qu’il voit et entend dans la congrégation, avec amour, il se rend disponible pour « venir en aide aux faibles » (Actes 20:35 ; 1 Thess. 4:11).
      Parlons de la mentalité de bergers que Jéhovah a désapprouvés. Aux jours d’Ézékiel et de Jérémie, Jéhovah a dénoncé ceux qui auraient dû s’occuper de ses brebis, mais ne le faisaient pas. Quand personne ne surveillait les brebis, le troupeau devenait la proie de bêtes sauvages et se dispersait. Ces bergers exploitaient les brebis et, plutôt que de les faire paître, « ils se paissaient eux-mêmes » (Ézék. 34:7-10 ; Jér. 23:1). Le reproche que Dieu leur a fait est tout aussi valable pour les chefs de la chrétienté. Mais il souligne également combien il est important qu’un ancien s’occupe avec sérieux et amour du troupeau de Jéhovah.
      « JE VOUS AI DONNÉ L’EXEMPLE »
      En raison de l’imperfection humaine, certaines brebis peuvent être lentes à comprendre ce que le Berger suprême attend d’elles. Elles ne se conforment pas toujours à un conseil biblique ou ont un comportement trahissant un manque de maturité spirituelle. Comment les anciens doivent-ils réagir ? Ils devraient imiter la patience qu’a eue Jésus envers ses disciples quand ils cherchaient à savoir qui parmi eux serait le plus grand dans le Royaume. Au lieu de perdre patience, Jésus a continué à les enseigner et à leur donner des conseils bienveillants sur la pratique de l’humilité (Luc 9:46-48 ; 22:24-27). En leur lavant les pieds, il leur a fait une démonstration d’humilité, qualité que les surveillants chrétiens sont tenus de manifester (lire Jean 13:12-15 ; 1 Pierre 2:21).
      Le point de vue de Jésus sur le rôle du berger n’était pas le même que celui que Jacques et Jean ont un jour manifesté. Ces deux apôtres cherchaient à s’assurer une place en vue dans le Royaume. Mais Jésus a rectifié cet état d’esprit ainsi : « Vous savez que les chefs des nations dominent sur elles, et que les grands usent d’autorité sur elles. Il n’en sera pas ainsi parmi vous ; mais quiconque voudra devenir grand parmi vous sera votre serviteur » (Mat. 20:25, 26, Bible de Darby). Les apôtres devaient résister à l’envie de « commander en maîtres » leurs compagnons ou de « dominer sur » eux.
      Jésus tient à ce que les bergers chrétiens traitent le troupeau comme lui le traitait. Ils doivent être disposés à servir leurs compagnons, pas les dominer. Paul a manifesté une telle humilité. Il a dit en effet aux anciens de la congrégation d’Éphèse : « Vous savez bien comment, depuis le premier jour où j’ai mis le pied dans le district d’Asie, j’ai été avec vous tout le temps, travaillant comme un esclave pour le Seigneur, avec la plus grande humilité. » L’apôtre souhaitait que ces anciens soutiennent les brebis avec dévouement et humilité. Il a ajouté : « Je vous ai montré en toutes choses que c’est en peinant ainsi que vous devez venir en aide aux faibles » (Actes 20:18, 19, 35). Il a par ailleurs dit aux Corinthiens qu’il ne dominait pas sur leur foi. Il était plutôt leur humble compagnon de travail, pour leur joie (2 Cor. 1:24). C’est un bel exemple d’humilité et de courage pour les anciens de notre époque.
      « FERMEMENT ATTACHÉ À LA PAROLE FIDÈLE »
      Un ancien doit être « fermement attaché à la parole fidèle pour ce qui est de son art d’enseigner » (Tite 1:9). Mais il le sera « dans un esprit de douceur » (Gal. 6:1). Un bon berger chrétien ne force pas une brebis à agir de telle ou telle façon. Non, il réfléchit à la manière dont il stimulera son cœur. Il attirera peut-être son attention sur les principes bibliques à considérer avant de prendre une décision importante. Il reverra avec elle ce que les publications ont dit sur la question. Il l’exhortera à réfléchir aux conséquences de tel ou tel choix sur ses relations avec Jéhovah. Il pourra aussi insister sur l’importance de demander à Dieu sa direction avant de prendre une décision (Prov. 3:5, 6). Ensuite, il la laissera prendre elle-même sa décision (Rom. 14:1-4).
      La seule autorité que les surveillants chrétiens détiennent leur vient des Écritures. Alors ils doivent absolument se servir de la Bible avec habileté et adhérer à son contenu. Ils se garderont ainsi d’un éventuel abus de pouvoir. Car ils ne sont que sous-bergers ; chaque membre de la congrégation est responsable devant Jéhovah et Jésus de ses propres décisions (Gal. 6:5, 7, 8).
      « DES EXEMPLES POUR LE TROUPEAU »
      Après avoir déconseillé aux anciens ( prêtres )« commander en maîtres ceux qui [leur] sont échus en partage », l’apôtre Pierre les exhorte à « devenir des exemples pour le troupeau » (1 Pierre 5:3, note). De quelle façon sont-ils des exemples pour le troupeau ? Prenons deux des choses requises d’un frère qui « aspire à une fonction de surveillant ». Il lui faut être « sain d’esprit » et « présider de belle façon, sa propre maisonnée ». S’il a une famille, il doit la présider de manière exemplaire, car « si quelqu’un [...] ne sait pas présider sa propre maisonnée, comment prendra-t-il soin de la congrégation ( assemblée) de Dieu ? » (1 Tim. 3:1, 2, 4, 5). Il doit également être sain d’esprit, c’est-à-dire comprendre clairement les principes divins et savoir comment les appliquer dans sa propre vie. Il est calme et équilibré et se garde de porter des jugements hâtifs. Autant de qualités qui inspirent confiance aux membres de la congrégation.
      Les surveillants donnent également l’exemple en prenant la tête dans l’œuvre de prédication. Jésus lui-même leur a donné l’exemple à cet égard. La prédication de la bonne nouvelle du Royaume a occupé une grande partie de son activité terrestre. Il a montré à ses disciples comment il fallait l’accomplir (Marc 1:38 ; Luc 8:1). Qu’il est encourageant, de nos jours, de prêcher aux côtés des anciens, de constater leur zèle pour cette œuvre salvatrice et d’apprendre de leurs méthodes d’enseignement ! Leur détermination à consacrer du temps et de l’énergie à la prédication malgré un emploi du temps chargé insuffle du zèle à toute la congrégation. Enfin, les anciens donnent l’exemple en préparant les réunions de la congrégation et en y participant, mais aussi en prenant part à des activités comme le nettoyage et la maintenance de la Salle du Royaume (Éph. 5:15, 16 ; lire (Hébreux 13:7) 
      « SOUTENEZ LES FAIBLES »
      Quand une brebis se blesse ou tombe malade, un bon berger vole à son secours. Pareillement, quand un membre de la congrégation souffre ou a besoin d’une aide spirituelle, les anciens doivent réagir rapidement. Un chrétien âgé ou malade a sans doute besoin d’une aide pratique, mais il a surtout besoin d’un soutien spirituel et d’encouragements (1 Thess. 5:14). Les jeunes rencontrent peut-être des difficultés. Résister aux « désirs de la jeunesse » en est une (2 Tim. 2:22). Le berger doit donc rendre régulièrement visite aux membres de la congrégation dans le but de comprendre les épreuves qu’ils traversent et de les encourager par des conseils bibliques bien choisis. Quand ces visites pastorales sont faites au bon moment, beaucoup de problèmes peuvent être résolus avant qu’ils ne s’aggravent.
      Et si les difficultés d’un chrétien s’aggravent au point de menacer sa santé spirituelle ? « Quelqu’un parmi vous est-il malade ?, a demandé le rédacteur biblique Jacques. Qu’il appelle à lui les anciens de la congrégation, et qu’ils prient sur lui, l’enduisant d’huile au nom de Jéhovah. Et la prière de la foi rétablira celui qui est souffrant, et Jéhovah le relèvera. De plus, s’il a commis des péchés, il lui sera pardonné » (Jacq. 5:14, 15). Même quand un chrétien « souffrant » « appelle à lui les anciens », ces derniers doivent lui venir en aide dès qu’ils sont au courant de son état. Les anciens qui prient avec sont là pour le fortifier et aussi tout frères en difficulté, et ils les soutiennent, se révèlent une source de réconfort et d’encouragement (lire Isaïe 32:1, 2).
      Dans tout ce qu’ils font au sein de l’organisation de Jéhovah, les bergers s’efforcent d’imiter « le grand berger », Jésus Christ. Grâce à l’aide de ces hommes dignes de confiance, le troupeau se fortifie et prospère. Tout cela nous réjouit profondément et nous pousse à louer le plus Grand Berger sans pareil,  notre Dieu Jéhovah



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