Welcome To Our Community
The most creative and intelligent people on planet Earth hang out on this forum. Be ready to have your points of view challenged and refined.
We also want others to share your posts to ALL the social media outlets not just our own.
You need to be registered and logged in to get full access and to add content yourself.
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.
This is in response to Jack Ryan's thread entitled, "...the angel of Jehovah camps all around those fearing him" https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/57218-“’the-angel-of-jehovah-camps-all-around-those-fearing-him’/
It concerns the leaked Attendant Training Videos, of which I saw only a condensed review of them. The speaker of the training video remarks:"
“Well, with a warm smile, you have the privilege to welcome all to a place of worship where the atmosphere is like a spiritual oasis in a parched land, and by taking the initiative to offer a helping hand you can be like those streams of cool water that bring refreshment to all. And by promoting a safe and peaceful environment you can provide a place of concealment for all f our invited guests…It’s as if our great host Jehovah has extended his welcoming arms by means of you, so that everyone in attendance will feel like they have entered a house that is safe and secure. Remember, too, you will not be working alone in behalf of God’s people. Psalm 34:7 assures us, the angel of Jehovah camps all around those fearing him, so by means of his powerful angels, Jehovah can shield his faithful worshipers from harm, “IF IT BE HIS WILL”.
Jack Ryan's comment:
“It appears that it wasn’t/isn’t Jehovah’s will to protect children from being sexually abused within His own congregations. It appears that these powerful angels are shielding no one, if He isn’t protecting these most vulnerable amongst us.
Frankly, it appears that it isn’t Jehovah’s will to protect His people in general.”
“IF IT BE HIS WILL”
Temperamental god, this “Jehovah”. Would a God of love be so fickle?
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.’” Ps 91:1,2
The true God, YHWH, that I am coming to know keeps His promises toward His faithful ones. If this speaker has doubts and feels the need to add an addendum to Ps 34:7, he is fully aware of the organization’s risky status in Russia and other countries, or he is reflecting on the rampant child abuse situation that the Watchtower unashamedly refuses to concretely address. Jer 8:11,12; Eph 5:11 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jer+8%3A11%2C12%3B+Eph+5%3A11&version=NKJV
The video is playing out a “showy display” of compassion and love before the masses, outweighing the hidden lack of it, which results from transgressing God’s requirements. Eph 5:6,8,9 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Eph+5%3A6%2C8%2C9&version=NKJV
To be found “faithful” with the Father, we submit to His discipline and refinement. We prove ourselves worthy of His protection by following Christ’s Words. Zech 13:9; Mal 3:2-4; Heb 12:6 It is not God’s will that we rely on a corrupt organization for protection. Ps 26:4,5 It is His will that we rely on Him and His Son. Joel 2:12,13; Isa 48:17,18 Nowhere in the scriptures are we told to turn to an earthly image – a god of fortress for protection during the end times. (1 Sam 7:3) Dan 11:38,39; Rev 13:1,5-8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Zech+13%3A9%3B+Mal+3%3A2-4%3B+Heb+12%3A6%3BPs+26%3A4%2C5%3B++Joel+2%3A12%2C13%3B+Isa+48%3A17%2C18%3B+1+Sam+7%3A3%3B+Dan+11%3A38%2C39%3B+Rev+13%3A1%2C5-8++&version=NKJV
On the contrary, we are told to worship in spirit and truth and to seek out those Christ sends, at the same time to be on the lookout for false prophets. John 4:24;3:8; 16:13,14; Matt 23:34; John 13:20; Acts 17:24; Heb 9:11; Matt 7:15-20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+4%3A24%3B3%3A8%3B+16%3A13%2C14%3B+Matt+23%3A34%3B+John+13%3A20%3B+Acts+17%3A24%3B+Heb+9%3A11%3B+Matt+7%3A15-20&version=NKJV
Is “Jehovah’s CHARIOT” leading the sheep to truly love one another? All evidence of its past and present failings to protect the flock, point to “no”. Mark 12:29-31; Matt 22:40; John 15:9-14; Rom 13:8-10 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+12%3A29-31%3B+Matt+22%3A40%3B+John+15%3A9-14%3B+Rom+13%3A8-10&version=NKJV
Please, do not sweep the obvious under the carpet, JWs!
“…Love does NO HARM to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Rom 13:10
The trouble begins within the internal mechanism of the organization; the ruling elders, both the leaders and their henchmen; therein, is the source of all suffering, seen and unseen, happening within the Watchtower. Rev 8:10,11; Amos 5:7; Rev 9:1-4; Joel 2:1-10 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+8%3A10%2C11%3B+Amos+5%3A7%3B+Rev+9%3A1-4%3B+Joel+2%3A1-10++&version=NKJV
Watchtower 13/1/15 pg 27-31 “Rather than making rigid rules for the congregation, ELDERS rely on Scriptural principles and direction from Jehovah’s organization. After all, present-day elders are not the masters over their brothers’ faith. —1 Pet. 5:2, 3
In reality, scriptural principles are basically ignored, while direction from the organization dictates every working aspect of the Watchtower. We have proof of this with the leaders’ latest resolve to barely bend their rigid rules with child molestation cases. Isa 10:1,2 They are WITHOUT A DOUBT cruel masters over the faith of each JW through their restrictive decrees that conflict with the ordinances of the true God, founded on love and righteousness. Isa 29:13;Hab 1:4; 2 Cor 11:4,20;Col 2:20-22; Ps 89:14-17https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+10%3A1%2C2%3B+Isa+29%3A13%3BHab+1%3A4%3B+2+Cor+11%3A4%2C20%3BCol+2%3A20-22%3B+Ps+89%3A14-17+&version=NKJV
As a result, it is absolutely clear the organization does not follow God’s laws outlined by Christ and verified by scripture. Remembering that the governing body admit they are NOT INSPIRED by God’s Holy Spirit, (Wt 2017/2) Anthony Morris recently stated that the “theocratic organization” receives its decisions or “decrees” from God. Doesn’t it make you question the source of these decrees since God’s Holy Spirit does not “inspire” the governing body?
Quote: “When that direction comes out to Branch committee members, or when it comes out to the congregations; IF you want Jehovah’s blessing ON YOU as an individual or family, certainly as an ELDER or congregation, it’d be best to ask Jehovah to help you understand it, BUT OBEY THE DECISION.” (Joel 2:7)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joel+2%3A7&version=NKJV
Deut 4:2: “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”
John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
One of those long held unscriptural decrees is for the elders to stand/rule over the authentic priesthood of God and their companions, while charging them as conspirators for accepting Christ’s lead above the organizational format, resulting in a judgment of “death” by disfellowshipping. Ezek 44:6-9; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Matt 24:15; 2 Thess 2:3,4;Rev 13:5-7,11,12,15; 1 John 3:11,12 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+44%3A6-9%3B+1+Pet+2%3A5%2C9%3B+1+Cor+3%3A16%2C17%3B+Matt+24%3A15%3B+2+Thess+2%3A3%2C4%3BRev+13%3A5-7%2C11%2C12%2C15%3B+1+John+3%3A11%2C12&version=NKJV
God, who does not change His mind unlike “Jehovah’s organization”, PROMISES to be our shield and strength, IF we submit and follow HIS decrees through Christ, the head of the anointed Body. Deut 33:29; 2 Sam 22:31; Nahum 1:7 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+33%3A29%3B+2+Sam+22%3A31%3B+Nahum+1%3A7+&version=NKJV
The anointed priesthood of God has a purpose – to offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, to teach God’s laws written on their heart, admonish, direct, and heal, God’s sheep. Isa 43:21; 1 Pet 2:9; Rom 2:13,15; Heb 13:15; Rev 7:10; Isa 44:23; Ezek 44:23; Jer 23:22; Mal 2:7; Rom 8:19-22; Rev 22:1,2 Yet, they have been restrained by a Wicked Slave/Harlot/Wormwood/false prophet and its delegated army from doing so, creating within the Watchtower, a spiritually “parched land”, void of the knowledge of God’s ordinances. (Yes, all these characteristic titles are prophetically fulfilled by the governing body) Zeph 3:4; Amos 8:11; Joel 1:5-7; Rev 8:8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+43%3A21%3B+1+Pet+2%3A9%3B+Rom+2%3A13%2C15%3B+Heb+13%3A15%3B+Rev+7%3A10%3B+Isa+44%3A23%3B+Ezek+44%3A23%3B+Jer+23%3A22%3B+Mal+2%3A7%3B+Rom+8%3A19-22%3B+Rev+22%3A1%2C2%3B++.++Zeph+3%3A4%3B+Amos+8%3A11%3B+Joel+1%3A5-7%3B+Rev+8%3A8&version=NKJV
Can you imagine how God and Christ view the appointed Temple priesthood submitting to the rules of men and their handbook; and not to Christ and the laws written on their heart? Ezek 8:5,6 Those who are “ambassadors of Christ” are to work as one anointed Body, with each one a branch of the vine of Christ, which allows Holy Spirit to feed and direct the Body through all of its members. John 15:5-8; 1 Cor 12:20,25,26 Paul spoke of it as a “fearful responsibility” to carry the message of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5:11,19,20 (NLT) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+8%3A5%2C6%3B+John+15%3A5-8%3B+1+Cor+12%3A20%2C25%2C26%3B+2+Cor+5%3A11%2C19%2C20++&version=NKJV
Are the unanointed elders who “represent the royal priesthood”, the true “ambassadors” or representatives of Christ? In the first century, would Christ have condoned others to replace the apostles who are the foundations stones of his Temple Body? 1 Cor 3:10,11 Neither should men muscle aside the “living stones” of God’s Temple from performing their duties as Christ’s ambassadors. Ezek 34:20-23; Eph 2:20-22; John21:17; Luke12:42; Matt.5:14-15; Rev.1:20; Mal.2:7; Rev.22:6; John13:20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+34%3A20-23%3B+Eph+2%3A20-22%3B+John21%3A17%3B+Luke12%3A42%3B+Matt.5%3A14-15%3B+Rev.1%3A20%3B+Mal.2%3A7%3B+Rev.22%3A6%3B+John13%3A20+&version=NKJV
Can you imagine God’s disgust, as His priests continue to allow a Harlot/false prophet “decree” that they remain apart from one another, not seek one another out, not “study the Bible together”, passively swallowing such UNSCRIPTURAL lies, and allow themselves to be trampled down by them? Matt 24:15; 2 Thess 2:3,4,9-12; Rev 11:1-3; Joel 1:4,5; Eph 5:14-20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+24%3A15%3B+2+Thess+2%3A3%2C4%2C9-12%3B+Rev+11%3A1-3%3B+Joel+1%3A4%2C5%3B+Eph+5%3A14-20&version=NKJV
In each instance when God’s people in the past disregarded His ordinances, He “sent”, or allowed, discipline to fall on them. (Deut 8:1-6; Heb 12:11) Usually, it was in the form of an enemy’s stronghold. The “rod” of discipline this time, is the organization; specifically, the very army of elders who rule over them. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+8%3A1-6%3B+Heb+12%3A11&version=NKJV
The very army that chooses to ignore the plight of the helpless ones. Ps 89:30-32; Rev 3:19; Rev 9:1-11 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ps+89%3A30-32%3B+Rev+3%3A19%3B+Rev+9%3A1-11&version=NKJV
Joel 1:4 describes them as locust in all historic and individual stages of type and development.
That which the palmerworm hath left --- “a creeping locust without wings”-“to devour”…
…hath the locust eaten --- a locust “swarm”…
…and that which the locust hath left …
…hath the cankerworm eaten --- “a devourer; specifically, the young locust”…
…and that which the cankerworm hath left…
…hath the caterpiller eaten --- “a locust not yet winged” “the ravager”
Now, picture the locust swarm “released” by the Harlot/Wormwood to come against the anointed priesthood – against the Temple of God:
“Many Christian men apply that encouragement and make spiritual progress to qualify for privileges in the congregation. The result is that God’s people are blessed with TENS OF THOUSANDS of capable elders and ministerial servants. But because of the increase seen in the congregations, there is a need for more brothers to reach out.” Wt 14/9/15
FROM PEARL DOXSEY’S ARTICLE: “THE GREAT TRIBULATION – WHAT AND WHY”:
“The Great Tribulation is a spiritual assault by Satan upon the remnant, (Rev.12:17; 20:7-10; 16:13-16; 1Tim.4:1; Luke 21:20-22 t
through the greatest Army that has ever existed [Rev.13:1,4; 11:2; 9:7,10; Luke22:31; 21:20-22,24; Mark13:14 -(Num.18:7);Matt.24:15-16]
It has a deceptive priestly - princely veneer (Jer.7:4,8; Eze.44:6-9; Rev.9:7; Nahum 3:17)
of divine INSPIRATION*** and approval,through endorsement by the false prophet's lying spirit,
NOT by God's spirit! (Rev.13:14,15; 19:20) ("Disgusting Thing") (Rev.2:2;2Cor.11:13-15; 2Tim.3:5,13; Matt.7:15; 1Tim.4:1; Rev.16:14,13,15; 19:20; Matt.24:24,25; Rev.13:15--***"breath" -John20:22).
(*** False prophet produces a counterfeit of "God's SPIRIT - DIRECTED Organization")
[The AUTHENTIC Temple of God's spirit, is His Chosen, anointed priesthood (1Cor.3:16; 2Cor.6:16; 1Pet.2:10,9,5; Eph.2:20-22)]
God sends / allows this abomination, to assault and discipline His people (Isa.42:24; Dan.9:12; Joel 2:25 C; Joel 2:11; Mal.3:2;Zech.13:8-9; Eze.6:9-10; 14:22-23; Joel 3:17) (Zech.9:3; Rev.8:7; 9:18; Job 23:10), because in the time of the end,
GOD’S PEOPLE are tolerating, subjecting themselves to, and participating in IDOLIZING, the collective "Image" of that very Army (Rev.13:14-15,7-8; 2:20; Matt.24:24-25; Luke 21:24; Rev.14:12).
THAT IS WHY THEY ARE BEING TRAMPLED BY IT” (Ec.10:7; Prov.25:26; 2Cor.11:4,20; Matt.5:13; Luke 21:24,22; Rev.11:2;13:10,7 Isa.51:23; 2Cor.11:20,4,3,2; Mal.3:2-3; Zech.13:9; Rev.2:5; 3:3).
The love which results in righteous acts, simply does not exist in the organization since the climate of lawlessness has erased true justice. Deut 6:24,25 For those anointed who reject the GB that “substitutes” for Christ (NWT 2 Cor 5:20) ,turning instead to Jesus Christ to lead them directly; they are freed from the crushing weight of lawlessness – “ the disgusting thing standing in the holy place” – the elder body “standing” in/over the “living stones” of the Temple of God. 2Chron.13:9; 2Thess.2:4; Isa 43:10; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut++6%3A24%2C25%3B+2Chron.13%3A9%3B+2Thess.2%3A4%3B+Isa+43%3A10%3B+1+Pet+2%3A5%2C9%3B+1+Cor+3%3A16%2C17%3B+Eph+2%3A20-22++&version=NKJV
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with LAWLESSNESS? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the TEMPLE OF GOD with idols? For youare the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor 6:14-18
We are reminded during this time period, of “Who is like God”, since “Jehovah’s organization” with all its “temple” sublets, has seduced God’s people into idolatry and the transgression of God’s laws fulfilled in Christ. Deut 4:23,24; Isa 40:25; Dan 12:1; Rev 12:7-9; Rev 13:4; Gal 5:14 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+4%3A23%2C24%3B+Isa+40%3A25%3B+Dan+12%3A1%3B+Rev+12%3A7-9%3B+Rev+13%3A4%3B+Gal+5%3A14+&version=NKJV
Within Watchtower’s walls, instead of an angel of God camping all around those fearing Him, another angel – Belial - has surrounded the camp of holy ones, utilizing a Harlot/false prophet and the organization she so presently loves, to keep them captivated and inebriated on wormwood, and a false sense of peace and security. Matt 25:5; 22:8; Rev 18:3; 1 Cor 6:15; Jer 51:7; 1 Thess 5:3; Rev 20:9 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+25%3A5%3B+22%3A8%3B+Rev+18%3A3%3B+1+Cor+6%3A15%3B+Jer+51%3A7%3B+1+Thess+5%3A3%3B+Rev+20%3A9++&version=NKJV
13 “If you carefully obey my commands I am giving you today, to love the Lord your God and worship Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 I will provide rain for your land in the proper time, the autumn and spring rains, and you will harvest your grain, new wine, and fresh oil. 15 I will provide grass in your fields for your livestock. You will eat and be satisfied. 16 Be careful that you are not enticed to turn aside, serve, and bow in worship to other gods. 17 Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you. He will shut the sky, and there will be no rain; the land will not yield its produce, and you will perish quickly from the good land the Lord is giving you.
18 “Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates, 21 so that as long as the heavens are above the earth, your days and those of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your fathers. 22 For if you carefully observe every one of these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, and remain faithful to him— 23 the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will drive out nations greater and stronger than you are. 24 Every place the sole of your foot treads will be yours. Your territory will extend from the wilderness to Lebanon and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. 25 No one will be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put fear and dread of you in all the land where you set foot, as he has promised you.
26 “Look, today I set before you a blessing and a curse: 27 there will be a blessing, if you obey the commands of the Lord your God I am giving you today, 28 and a curse, if you do not obey the commands of the Lord your God and you turn aside from the path I command you today by following other gods you have not known. Deut 11:13-28
By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
In the Bible there are hundreds of references relating to the destruction of Babylon and unfaithful Israel.
There are also many parallels between Isreal and Babylon (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel ...).
Being accustomed to making parallels with Christianity and the world empire of false religion, every time we read "Israel will be destroyed!" we read, in effect, "Christianity will be destroyed!" and every time we read "Babylon will be destroyed!" we read "The world empire of false religion will be destroyed!".
Now the question is ... "If in a specific passage the Bible meant that Israel would be destroyed by intending to own Israel ... what would we find written?"
Evidently we would find written "Israel will be destroyed!"
In the end it is a matter of understanding whether, whenever we speak of the destruction of Babylon and / or Israel after the Lord's day, there is at least the possibility of referring to Israel, that is, modern Israel which is a literal nation.
What is the greatest counterfeiting of the people of God today?
Christendom or the modern nation of Israel?
Before 1948 this hypothesis and these questions would have made no sense.
Any hypothesis would have excluded Israel a priori simply because Israel did not exist.
Since May 1948, however, Israel exists and it is basically a matter of understanding three things.
1) See if it is possible that Babylon the Great is a nation
2) If so, see if Israel matches the description that makes the Bible
3) Compare with the current understanding and see which of the two subjects, in the light of the Scriptures and not of personal desires or ideas, are more likely to be.
Babylon the Great can be a nation?
Meanwhile, let us remember that Babylon the Great, throughout history, has been "identified" with many nations and for the most disparate reasons.
Imperial Rome, Papal Rome, USA, UK, USSR etc.
Many different people and religious groups have given different explanations but none of them has ever resisted the test of fire and that is the scrutiny of the Scriptures - I Thessalonians 5:21
What about us?
One of the explanations given in the publications of the Slave according to which Babylon the Great can not be a literal nation is the fact that "he commits fornication with the kings of the earth".
A strengthening of this statement would be the fact that both kings and merchants mourn its destruction.
Finally, it would not be a nation because it is said to mislead the entire inhabited earth through its "spiritual practices".
In Isaiah 23: 15-17 we speak of Tire as a "forgotten prostitute" and therefore, as such, "commits prostitution with all the kingdoms of the earth on the surface of the ground".
Tire was a nation, not a religion or a religious system - Romans 15.4
So a nation can be described, in the Bible, in the act of committing prostitution with all the kingdoms of the earth and remaining a nation.
Prostitution may have to do with commercial trade or acts of injustice and bloodshed and not necessarily with religion. - Naum 3: 1-4
In particular, Tire's prostitution has nothing to do with false religion because, if that were so, Jehovah would not have considered “saint” his reward - Isaiah 23:18
"Prostitution" can have to do with the covenant and trust placed in other nations, as reported many times in the Bible when Israel and Judah proved to be unfaithful by allying with pagan nations.
It is clear, therefore, if this nation is compared to a prostitute the loss of this prostitute would have caused pain to her lovers (the nations with which she committed prostitution and the merchants who have enriched herself with it) just like ancient Israel " joy " for Tire's prostitution and this not because Tire was a religion or for the religion of Tire.
A king can "cry" for the loss of a political ally (therefore for the fall of a nation) and a great merchant can cry for the fall of a commercial ally (which can be big or small but certainly rich nation).
So the reasons that "Babylon the Great" can not be a nation because kings and merchants mourn his departure are not valid.
What can we say, however, of the strongest affirmation in reference to Babylon La Grande, that is, that "all nations have been misled by its spiritual practice"?
This statement in particular has led many to think that it was a religious empire (for many sects of Christianity Babylon the Great is Catholicism and for some Catholics it is even the Second Vatican Council).
First of all we must realize that all the empires of the past have resorted to spiritualistic practices and this is also true of modern so-called atheist empires.
Pharaoh opposed his "magic practitioners" to Moses and Nebuchadnezzar was practically surrounded - Exodus 7:11 - Daniel 2: 2
The same can be said of Assyria, Syria, Media Persia etc.
So if the Bible, speaking of a literal nation, said that "uses magic" or "divination practice", it would not say anything exceptional.
We also know from the study of the Scriptures that nations are governed by demons that mislead the entire inhabited earth and that during the wars not only human beings are involved - Daniel 10:13
Can we hypothesize that the demons have given particular power to a nation and that this has, today, "the kingdom over the kings of the earth"? - Revelation 17:18 see also Luke 4: 5-7
By comparing the Scriptures without preconceptions, it is not possible to exclude "Babylon the Great" among the nations.
"Does the literal people of modern Israel match the description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great?"
In Revelation 17: 1, 2 we read that Babylon the Great "sits on many waters".
We know that the waters mean "peoples and crowds and nations and languages"
Israel "sits on many waters" because it is surrounded by many peoples and nations that can not stand it ("to sit on" can also mean against the will of the neighboring peoples). In Isaiah 8: 5-8 one speaks of the powerful Assyrian army as "devastating waters"; therefore the "waters" are not always a symbol of protection - Isaiah 8: 5-8
It was put there by the UN against the will of the many neighboring nations.
It also sits "on many waters" because his position is due to the nations that make up the United Nations (Babylon the Great also sits on the wild beast of scarlet color) that, besides having settled it where it is still, protect it militarily.
The armies of Assyria are compared to "devastating waters", so we can say that they also sit on many armies? - Revelation 17: 3, 16
it is also noteworthy that the nation of Israel is right in the "crossroads" of three continents: Europe, Africa, Asia.
If I wanted to find a literal nation located above "many waters" (ie peoples and nations and tribes and languages) both geographically and politically, no other nation would correspond better than the modern nation of Israel.
The harlot rides a beast.
In Revelation 17: 3 we read "And the angel brought me into the power of the spirit in a wilderness." And I saw a woman seated on a wild scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. "
The nation of Israel is already in a desert today and rides on the wild beast of scarlet color which, as we know, is the League or League of Nations ascended from the abyss with the name U.N.
Israel exists, thanks to the push of the Anglo-American empire, thanks and through the United Nations, since 1948.
Historical events prior to and following the creation of the state of Israel confirm that the Jewish people have ridden the scarlet-colored wild beast even before returning to being a nation (I invite you to do a research on Balfour and all the historical background before 1948).
Mother of all prostitutes.
Revelation 17: 4-5: "And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and she was adorned with gold and precious stone and pearls, and she had in her hand a golden cup full of disgusting things and the unclean things of her fornication. on his forehead was written a name, a mystery: 'Babylon the Great, the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth' ".
If we accept the possibility that a nation is compared to a prostitute (just like Tire), then the nation of Israel is the "mother of all prostitutes" because it has committed greater fornication than any other nation in the world.
How can we say it?
If the prostitute rides the scarlet-colored wild beast, which, as we know, is the League or League of Nations, is supposed to have committed fornication with all the nations adhering to the United Nations.
Indeed, its very existence as a nation is due to his political lovers so, to continue to exist, must commit prostitution in excess and continuously.
No other nation can compare itself to her as acts of prostitution because no other nation has the urgent need to please the UN to continue to exist.
it is also possible that in the Bible it is described as a prostitute because it is not a real "queen" but a forcing. It is an empire carved out of art for a prostitute.
The woman is also "dressed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and precious stone ..." so she is simply dressed like a queen but the purple and scarlet colors are still the colors of luxury and royal power and this would strengthen the idea that we are talking about a kingdom, a literal nation.
In the same way the beast that the prostitute rides is scarlet in color and the beast, as we know, is the League or Society of Nations (all members of the United Nations represent literal nations). The scarlet color, color of both the wild beast and the harlot, is significant.
Drunk with the blood of the saints.
The writing continues saying "And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and of the witnesses of Jesus".
Israel has an enormous blood fault and Jesus referred to this very nation when he said: “so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel+ to the blood of Zech·a·riʹah son of Bar·a·chiʹah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar” - Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:50, 51
So Jesus himself identifies Israel, not another nation, as responsible for the payment of "all the right blood" (compare also the words of Stephen recorded in Acts 7: 51-53).
The book "Insight", under the heading "Babylon the Great", correctly points out that not all Christians were persecuted by the Pharisees and the Jews themselves have suffered, in turn, a great persecution.
However, even Abel was not killed by a Pharisee or even by any religious minister.
Moreover, the millions of deaths caused by the communist, atheist empire, could hardly be pointed to false religion.
Can we hypothesize that Jehovah and Jesus hold particularly responsible those who have "known God" and, despite this, commit unspeakable crimes?
The nation of Israel fits perfectly in this context. - Hosea 8: 2 - Amos 3: 2
It should also be said that the blood of "all those slaughtered on earth" is referring to the last war (which is yet to come) and therefore is saying that Israel will be the real behind-the-scenes cause of this war.
However, this last parat needs other explanations for which, for the moment, omit it.
Condolence for the end of Babylon.
Revelation 18: 9-14 says: “And the kings of the earth who committed sexual immorality* with her and lived with her in shameless luxury will weep and beat themselves in grief over her when they see the smoke from her burning. 10 They will stand at a distance because of their fear of her torment and say: ‘Too bad, too bad, you great city,+ Babylon you strong city, because in one hour your judgment has arrived!’ 11 “Also, the merchants of the earth are weeping and mourning over her, because there is no one to buy their full cargo anymore, 12 a full cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, and scarlet cloth; and everything made from scented wood; and every sort of object made from ivory, and from precious wood, copper, iron, and marble; 13 also cinnamon, Indian spice, incense, perfumed oil, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, carriages, slaves, and human lives.* 14 Yes, the fine fruit that you* desired has left you, and all the delicacies and the splendid things have vanished from you, never to be found again”.
As we saw at the beginning, both the kings of the earth and the travelers traders suffer for the demise of their lover.
Unlike any other nation, the destruction of Israel would bring desperation and "misfortune" between rulers and traders all over the world.
Because the Jewish people are owners of the world's largest banks, almost all of the gold, oil, the largest multinationals and everything that can be imagined.
The largest world powers (including the US, USSR and China) have benefited from copious loans to wage war on other nations and to build massive and colossal structures (such as the Suez Canal).
Just do some research to find out how and how many owners of the world's largest banks have been involved in almost every wars of the last two centuries and probably far back in time.
The words of Revelation 18: 11-14 that speak of 'full of gold and silver and precious stone and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and each smelling wood and all sorts of ivory objects and all sorts of precious wood and copper and iron and marble, and cinnamon and Indian spice and incense and fragrant oil and olibanum and wine and olive oil and flour and wheat flour and cattle and sheep and horses and carriages and slaves and human souls' are significant.
Imagining the global economic consequences for the collapse of 80% of all the existing banks and therefore the immediate and simultaneous failure of thousands of companies spread all over the world ... one could conclude that a crisis of this size would not be reflected in all the history of man - Matthew 24:21
Really the kings of the earth and travelers traders around the world would be right to beat their chests, to mourn and cry, "Woe!"
"Get out of her, my people".
Revelation 18: 4 says:And I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her, my people,+ if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues”.
If Babylon the Great is the modern nation of Israel then it is easy to understand to whom this urgent appeal is addressed: to our dear brothers present in the nation of Israel who are also "a remnant to be saved".
If they stayed there, they would receive part of his wounds as a result of the United Nations' furious attack.
This possibility is to be evaluated very seriously.
This would also mean that the destruction of Jerusalem, occurred in 537 a.E.V. and then in 70 E.V. would have a further and definitive fulfillment. The third (Revelation 4: 8; 8:13; 16:13, 19 - Ezekiel 21:14).
Question two asked: "Does the literal people of modern Israel match the description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great?
Whether we like it or not, and as much as it can constitute a "domino effect" on other interpretations, this is in harmony both with the secular history and with the Scriptures.
So the answer is yes.
Which of the two subjects, in the light of the Scriptures and not of desires or personal ideas, is more likely to be?
Honestly, the whole description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great corresponds very well to false religion and so it is very difficult to understand if the Bible wants to point us to a literal nation or the false religion as a whole.
The shameless immorality, extreme violence, the desire for domination, spiritual prostitution, arrogance and presumption ... are all characteristics of the worldwide empire of false religion as well as of present-day Israel.
The clues, however, should be more than enough, if seen without preconceptions, to understand the subject.
As written at the beginning of this treatise, hundreds of parallels are found in the Bible between Babylon and unfaithful Israel.
Even the cup "full of disgusting things" from which the harlot gets inebriated recalls the utensils of Jehovah's temple.
The problem is to understand what we must understand when we read these parallels.
All of Jehovah's judgments, reported in the Scriptures, have fallen upon peoples and literal nations and even the wounds sent to the land of Egypt, which served to destroy / humiliate their false gods, however, had to fall upon a specific nation.
In the book "The prophecies of Isaiah" volume 1, page 202 paragraph 28 (Italian edition) reports Isaiah 19: 3 and we read ...
"Likewise, on the day of judgment, the false religion will be unable to save this corrupt system of things".
But if Egypt represents the world as a whole, we are already at Armageddon (in Isaiah 19: 2 Jehovah puts "Egyptian against Egyptian") and the world empire of false religion (if it is Babylon the Great) has already been destroyed .
Now, if the world empire of false religion has already been previously destroyed, in what sense will "people resort to worthless gods, to spellcasters and spirit mediums"?
Only a world still imbued with religion, after the destruction of Babylon the Great, could "resort to worthless gods".
The above could be in harmony with the writing of Zechariah 13: 4-6, which speaks of the "prophet" who will deny ever having been?
The Watchtower of 15 July 2015, under the heading "The beginning of the great tribulation", says ... "It seems therefore that even some members of the clergy will abandon their religious career and deny ever having been part of the false religion".
Yet if for the adherents of Babylon the Great enough to "change coat" to save their lives (which would make the majority of them, not having a true faith), one would not say that it was "torn and completely burned with fire". It is also difficult to imagine this "great mourning" since the majority of the clergy, especially that of Christianity, would still be alive after the destruction of Babylon the Great.
The book "Revelation", in chapter 19 paragraph 29 says ... "Neither the caverns of the literal mountains nor the political-commercial organizations comparable to the mountains will offer economic security or help of another kind".
However, even false worship in the Bible is related to "high places" for example in Ezekiel 6: 1-5 (high places that did not protect unfaithful Israelites from Jehovah's wrath).
Is it possible to hypothesize that on the day of Jehovah's wrath (hence after the Great Tribulation) human beings will seek protection in political, commercial and religious institutions?
If we accept the possibility that Babylon the Great is a literal place (and be modern Israel) we must consider that even the mountains, above which the woman sits, are literal mountains.
There is always talk of the seven world powers of biblical history but we never talk about the seven mountains.
We never talk about the seven mountains because the political powers, they say, are the seven mountains.
Yet the writing of Revelation 17 explains that there are seven kings ... and (joining, in my language, that is "and there are also") seven mountains and this conjunction could suggest that even though the mountains depict powers as we know , there are actually seven mountains as objects of similitude with the number of kings.
It would seem a literal clue useful for identifying Babylon the Great.
Now the question is ... Which and how many mountains are indicated in the Scriptures that were part of the Promised Land?
1) Mount Moria 2) Mount Zion 3) Mount of Olives 4) Gilboa 5) Gerizim 6) Ebal 7) Mount Tabor.
N.B. Mount Nebo and the others, also mentioned in the Scriptures, were part of the territory of Moab and Edom and are therefore excluded.
This parallel is simply impossible to do with the world empire of false religion.
Revelation 3:12 and other scriptures that are fulfilled after the Lord's day, which mention the New Jerusalem, seem to emphasize a distinction with Old Jerusalem.
In chap. 18 of Revelation, Babylon the Great is destroyed.
In chap 19: 7, 8 the marriage of the lamb is prepared, so ...
The prostitute dies as a bride and the marriage can finally begin.
Marriage takes place with the "New Jerusalem"; was the prostitute is maybe the "Old Jerusalem" that is the carnal, impure, disobedient, idolatrous? - I Corinthians 9: 6-8; 10:18 - Galatians 4: 26-29
I would like to point out to you that the book Revelation, besides having the symbols, also has contrasts.
For example you can see that the beast with two horns of lamb is set against the real Lamb.
The mark of the wild beast is set in contrast with the name engraved on the forehead that the 144,000 have - see Revelation 13:11, 16; 14: 1
Now in Revelation you will see that there is a pure woman who is the legitimate bride and then there is a woman who, on the contrary, is a prostitute.
So the question we should ask ourselves is: if Babylon the Great is a nation, which is the only nation in the whole world, that would have the qualifications to pass itself off as "legitimate bride" when, in reality, she prostitutes herself with other nations ? -
Babylon is also called "the great city" and the only biblical reference is Nineveh, the "city of bloodshed".
This seems to be in harmony with the fact that Babylon is drunk with the blood of saints, prophets and everyone.
However, in Jeremiah chap. 22 Jehovah condemns Judah, which is the city of Sallum and Ioiachim, and people call this city "the great city".
Thus, even the city that once belonged to Jehovah is called the "great city".
Of the two clothed witnesses described in chapter 11 of Revelation it is said that, once killed, "their corpses will be on the wide street of the great city which in spiritual sense is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was put to the stake "- Revelation 11: 8
In which "great city" did the Lord Jesus have been killed?
Finally we could ask ourselves why, the writer of Revelation, after having seen frightful wild beasts, incredible celestial visions both beautiful and terrifying, thundering declarations and many other things, only at the sight of the woman he is "marvels of great wonder" - Revelation 17: 6 , 7
Could it have "marveled of great wonder" for having seen its own people and its own nation (which at the time of the writing of Revelation no longer existed)?
When in 70 E.V. the first Christians received the command to "flee to the mountains" in view of the destruction that would have occurred through the "disgusting thing" (represented at the time by the Roman Empire) they understood it as "separating from Judaism" or this was a consequence natural of the Teacher's teachings? Did not they understand it as literally to get out of the city?
Jeremiah 25:10, 11 and Revelation 18:22, 23 are very similar to each other, yet Jeremiah speaks of Israel while Revelation speaks of Babylon the Great.
In Revelation 18: 5-8 it is said that "God has remembered his acts of injustice".
Why did God "remember"?
False religion has not always done evil, in 6,000 history, without stopping a moment since the days of Nimrod?
Or, if Babylon were "the world", did God forget the actions of the world?
Could it not be because "Babylon" has not existed for many years, as a nation, but appears again after the "Lord's Day" by another name?
In Revelation 16: 16-21 we are now in Armageddon, the great city is divided into three parts, the nations fall and Babylon "was remembered".
So Babylon is related to the fall of other nations as if it were a "special" nation, something to remember, but still a nation.
Which, among all the nations of the earth, could it be considered "special" by Jehovah God?
Could the golden cup full of "disgusting things" held in the hands of the great harlot remember the utensils of the temple of God? - Compare Daniel 5: 1-4
According to the explanation of the book "Revelation: its climax" it is appropriate that the great harlot sit on the wild beast of scarlet color because, the false religion, has always had power over the kings of the earth even coming to name and oust them.
We know that the League or League of Nations also has representatives as "old nations" mentioned in the bible as Rome, Media-Persia and others but it would not have been more logical to see the "great whore" ride the first wild beast and that which ascends from the sea, since the false religion exists since the days of Nimrod?
Instead the great harlot sits on that beast that "was, but is not, and is about to ascend from the abyss, and will go into destruction" - Revelation 17: 8a
What rode the world empire of false religion (or Rome, or the world) when the beast was not?
As has been pointed out, in the Bible Israel is compared to a wife and Jehovah to the marital owner.
When it showed itself unfaithful, allying itself with other nations and mixing with the false adoration, Israel became "infidel" and even "prostitute".
Christianity claims to serve God but, in reality, prostitutes itself with the nations and with every false doctrine of pagan origin.
However, if Babylon the Great is the world empire of false religion (and therefore also includes religions such as Buddhism, Shintoism, Hinduism, tribal religions, etc.), why is it considered, as a whole, a prostitute?
Jehovah has never identified himself as the "marital owner" of nations like Ammon, Moab, Egypt, or others (not even in Rome or the world).
So if we applied the concept of prostitution exclusively in the spiritual-religious (or politic) sense, it would seem that this infamous prostitute is exclusively Christianity.
Throughout the entire Bible, what is the only nation that Jehovah considers responsible for his prostitution? - Amos 3: 1, 2
By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
"Yes, in her was found the blood of prophets and of holy ones+ and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.” - Revelation 18:24
If Babylon the Great is the modern nation of Israel, why does the book of Revelation say that "in her was found the blood of all those who were slaughtered on the earth"?
Obviously the objection is that if Israel exists only since 1948, it can not be responsible for all the blood spilled!
To answer this question we must understand when the Revelation and the context of this writing are fulfilled.
In the meantime, it is useful to reflect on the words of Our Lord when, addressing precisely to the scribes and the hypocritical Pharisees of that nation, he said: “Serpents, offspring of vipers,+ how will you flee from the judgment of Ge·henʹna?For this reason, I am sending to you prophets+ and wise men and public instructors.+ Some of them you will kill+ and execute on stakes, and some of them you will scourge+ in your synagogues and persecute+ from city to city, so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel+ to the blood of Zech·a·riʹah son of Bar·a·chiʹah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.+ Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation" - Matthw 23:33-36
Now we know that when the Lord said "this generation" did not mean something strange, like a generation that intersects with another generation or such absurdity.
Jesus pronounced those words in 30 AD. about, and those words came true in 70 CE, that is about forty years later.
Nobody asked himself "what the Lord really meant" when he said "this generation" because it was clear what he meant.
This also applies to the "sign of His presence" and should make each of us reflect when, trying to hide a series of errors and wrong intentions, we try to make Scripture say what it does not say.
However, in this context, the question we should ask ourselves is "Why does the Lord impute crimes from Abel to the scribes and the Pharisees?"
Obviously Abel was not killed by a scribe or a Pharisee!
At the time of Abel, the nation of Israel did not even exist!
Why, then, this condemnation?
This could be one of the reasons that led to think that "Babylon the great" was the world empire of false religion because the Pharisees could not be guilty of the death of Abel or of "all those slaughtered on earth".
However this hypothesis is absurd because could also be made the opposite objection.
If when Jesus condemns those who are guilty of the blood of "all those who have been slaughtered on earth" meant this phantom "world empire of false religion" because, instead, the judgment strikes only on Israel? - compare Luke 21:22
The judgment fell into "that generation" and fell right on Jerusalem, exactly as the Lord said.
Why, then, did this condemnation starting with the murder of Abel?
This is because God considers those who have "known God" to be especially responsible, yet they commit unspeakable crimes - Amos 3: 2
What other nation in the world has had a "special relationship" with the Creator of the universe so that they have a greater responsibility for their mistakes? - compare Matthew 11: 21-24; 12: 38-41
It is also very important to consider people's heart condition - Matthew 5: 21-22
Although these scribes and Pharisees were not directly responsible for the death of Abel or all those who had been killed until that day, they had clearly manifested the same mental attitude of Cain and for this reason they were already subject to judgment - John 8 : 44-47; 1 John 3:12 However, the legitimate next objection could be "Why should God condemn Israel again, since it has already paid for its mistakes in 70 AD?"
As said at the beginning, to answer this question we must understand when the biblical book of Revelation is fulfilled.
Every time we read Revelation 18:24 we understood that it was to pay for all the blood spilled since the beginning of time but it does not.
Indeed, Revelation is fulfilled on the day of the Lord - Revelation 1:10
So the blood that is imputed to Babylon the Great is all the blood that will be shed on the Lord's day and not from the beginning of time.
This should make us reflect on the period in which the day of the Lord really begins, namely a period in which there must also be Israel, not before.
If Israel exists only since 1948, the day of the Lord can not start on any other previous date.
It can start at a later date, not necessarily in 1948, but it certainly can not begin sooner.
However we will deepen this "bold statement" in a future article.
Why will Babylon the Great be held responsible for all the blood shed on earth during the day of the Lord?
Because this nation will be the main cause of the clash between the king of the north and the king of the south - Daniel 11:40
The king of the north (Russia) either directly or through one of his allies, will find himself in a situation where he will be forced to attack Israel.
This attack, predicted in the Scriptures, will become the expedient to bring into play the two great world powers.
These will be the wars that foretold the Lord as an unmistakable sign of His presence - Matthew 24: 6
The first and second world wars, though terrifying, have nothing to do with what we have been taught.
It will be the next wars to identify the "day of the Lord" - Revelation 6: 3, 4
God is not responsible for these wars but Babylon the Great.
This will be the main reason why it will be destroyed, but this will not happen during this attack (now close).
Babylon the Great will continue to exist until the last moment of the world system.
Towards the end of the great tribulation (not at the beginning), Babylon the Great, or the nation of Israel that will continue to exist until the end of the third world war, will be finally destroyed.
This event will start the armageddon war.
Look carefully at world events.
The next article will see another characteristic of Babylon the Great and this will also help us to identify it as the nation of Israel.
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that despite this informative document recently made available to download in several languages on the JW website, there is not too much of a mention of it by any of the opposers and "campaigners" against child abuse in the JW organization.
Here is the entire document:
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES’ SCRIPTURALLY BASED POSITION ON CHILD PROTECTION
Definitions: Child abuse may include neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse.
Child sexual abuse is a perversion and generally includes one or more of the following: sexual inter-course with a child; oral or anal sex with a child; fondling the genitals, breasts, or buttocks of a child; voyeurism of a child; indecent exposure to a child; or soliciting a child for sexual conduct. It may include sexting with a minor or showing pornography to a minor.
In this document, references to parents apply equally to legal guardians or other persons who hold pa-rental responsibility for a minor.
1. Children are a sacred trust, “an inheritance from Jehovah.”—Psalm 127:3.
2. The protection of children is of utmost concern and importance to all Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is in harmony with the long-standing and widely published Scripturally based position of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as reflected in the references at the end of this document, which are all published on jw.org.
3. Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and view it as a crime. (Romans 12:9) We recognize that the authorities are responsible for addressing such crimes. (Romans 13:1-4) The elders do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the authorities.
4. In all cases, victims and their parents have the right to report an accusation of child abuse to the authorities. Therefore, victims, their parents, or anyone else who reports such an accusation to the elders are clearly informed by the elders that they have the right to report the matter to the authorities. Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.—Galatians 6:5.
5. When elders learn of an accusation of child abuse, they immediately consult with the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses to ensure compliance with child abuse reporting laws. (Romans 13:1) Even if the elders have no legal duty to report an accusation to the authorities, the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses will instruct the elders to report the matter if a minor is still in danger of abuse or there is some other valid reason. Elders also ensure that the victim’s parents are informed of an accusation of child abuse. If the alleged abuser is one of the victim’s parents, the elders will inform the other parent.
6. Parents have the primary responsibility for the protection, safety, and instruction of their children. Therefore, parents who are members of the congregation are encouraged to be vigilant in exercising their responsibility at all times and to do the following:
• Have direct and active involvement in their children’s lives.
• Educate themselves and their children about child abuse.
• Encourage, promote, and maintain regular communication with their children. —Deuteronomy 6:6, 7; Proverbs 22:3.
Jehovah’s Witnesses publish an abundance of Bible-based information to assist parents to fulfill their responsibility to protect and instruct their children.—See the references at the end of this document.
7. Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not separate children from their parents for the purpose of instruction or other activities. (Ephesians 6:4) For example, our congregations do not provide or sponsor orphanages, Sunday schools, sports clubs, day-care centers, youth groups, or other activi-ties that separate children from their parents.
8. Elders strive to treat victims of child abuse with compassion, understanding, and kindness. (Colossians 3:12) As spiritual counselors, the elders endeavor to listen carefully and empathetically to victims and to console them. (Proverbs 21:13; Isaiah 32:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; James 1:19) Victims and their families may decide to consult a mental-health professional. This is a personal decision.
9. Elders never require victims of child abuse to present their accusation in the presence of the alleged abuser. However, victims who are now adults may do so, if they wish. In addition, victims can be accompanied by a confidant of either gender for moral support when presenting their accusation to the elders. If a victim prefers, the accusation can be submitted in the form of a written statement.
10. Child abuse is a serious sin. If an alleged abuser is a member of the congregation, the elders conduct a Scriptural investigation. This is a purely religious proceeding handled by elders according to Scriptural instructions and is limited to the issue of membership as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A member of the congregation who is an unrepentant child abuser is expelled from the congregation and is no longer considered one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (1 Corinthians 5:13) The elders’ handling of an accusation of child abuse is not a replacement for the authorities’ handling of the matter.—Romans 13:1-4.
11. If it is determined that one guilty of child sexual abuse is repentant and will remain in the congregation, restrictions are imposed on the individual’s congregation activities. The individual will be specifically admonished by the elders not to be alone in the company of children, not to cultivate friendships with children, or display any affection for children. In addition, elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individ-ual.
12. A person who has engaged in child sexual abuse does not qualify to receive any congregation privileges or to serve in a position of responsibility in the congregation for decades, if ever. —1 Timothy 3:1-7, 10; 5:22; Titus 1:7.
13. This document is available upon request to members of the congregation. It is reviewed at least once every three years.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
WHY would Jehovah's Witnesses reject Government calls for Independent Inquiry into sexual abuse?
On Friday, May 25, 20/20 will do "something special" for longtime co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas.
You can call it a going-away party (10/9c, ABC). After 22 years at ABC (14 with the newsmagazine), the Emmy and Peabody Award–winning veteran journalist heads to A&E, where she’ll work under their new primetime banner, A&E Investigates.
Tell us about your first two A&E shows.
They’re the first in a nine-part series called Cults and Extreme Beliefs(premieres Monday, May 28, 10/9c). Each episode centers on a person who recently left the group we focus on.
Our premiere looks at the [so-called “self-help”] NXIVM ring that made headlines when leader Keith Raniere and actress Allison Mack, a high-ranking member, were indicted for sex trafficking. We talk to Sarah Edmondson, who feels enormous regret that she recruited so many people into NXIVM and we follow her as she reaches out to some of them.
And the second episode?
It’s about an apocalyptic cult called Twelve Tribes. Our contact is a woman born into the group, cut off from the outside world. She now helps people to escape.
What have you learned about these insular communities?
That many of those involved are bright, well-meaning and incredibly altruistic. Some of these groups exist alongside modern society, with no one noticing. For instance, we profile the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which has a history of protecting alleged child molesters because they don’t believe in going to the police.
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 Jack Ryan
The Flemish Parliament has opened an inquiry into the child abuse policies and cover ups of Jehovah's Witnesses. The investigation is collecting complaints, not to make their stories public but to start an official investigation into the child abuse policies of Jehovah's Witness groups.
By JW Insider
Under another topic which was unrelated to child abuse issues, the claim was put forward (again) that JWs may have only a tenth of the problem that others have with child abuse. As TTH put it recently:
TTH has stated this multiple times and in various ways now, also stating that JWs have found "a solution that cuts occurrences by 90%." TTH didn't start this idea, it was in another persons post, which may have based it on some very questionable numbers that came out of the Australian Royal Commission.
I don't know if anyone can give an accurate accounting statistically, but if we are going to make such statements it's a good idea to start somewhere to see why they are being used. I will first present some numbers which appear to contradict the claim, and anyone who has anything different should, of course, join in if they think it's important to figure it out more accurately.
In past months, I reported on the outrageous numbers that have been reported against the Catholic Church institutions, including their schools, where 7% of all Catholic priests have been accused of child abuse. Of course this represents an average in various diocese and institutions, where it might run as low as 0% in some, and as high as 25% in others. Even a high percentage of Catholic nuns in one institution had been accused of child sexual abuse. The nuns had a relatively small percentage when compared to another institution where the rate of accused priests and "Brothers" reached nearly 40%. It was a Catholic institution that was set up to care for children with mental disabilities. [The term "Brothers" in this context is a title which doesn't have the generic meaning it has among JWs.] The BBC interviewed several people who seriously stated that the Catholic Church should be charged with running a "criminal" organization.
I think it is probably obvious to all of us that such levels of child abuse among the highest levels of church institutional leaders cannot be compared with the Witnesses, where the problem is not nearly so bad. There are also issues of comparing Catholic leaders such as bishops, priests and deacons and the counting of all problems among the entire congregations of JWs, not just elders and ministerial servants ("deacons"). But this doesn't mean the problem is not bad.
I'll start throwing out some quotes I've read about what the ARC reported about JWs, the Uniting Church, and the Catholic Church. [The Uniting Church is a kind of conglomerate of Presbyterian/Methodist/Congregationalist churches in Australia.]
You may need a subscription to this Australian paper "The Australian" or an account with a university or newspapers.com to see the entire content of the article that shows up in Google as follows for MEDIA WATCH DOG Friday March 17, 2017 :
Here’s some news which the ABC and Fairfax Media do not regard as fit-to-print. Over the past four decades, a child in Australia was much more likely to suffer sexual abuse at a school or institution run by the Uniting Church than at a school or institution run by the Catholic Church.
The ABC and Fairfax Media – along with The Guardian and The Saturday Paper – have given extensive coverage to allegations against the Catholic Church made at the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The ABC’s Samantha Donovan and Philippa McDonald and Louise Milligan along with Fairfax Media’s Rachel Browne and Joanne McCarthy have been perhaps the most outspoken of the journalists regularly reporting the Royal Commission in so far as the crimes of pedophile Catholic priests and brothers have been concerned.
The ABC and Fairfax Media gave considerable coverage to the statement by Counsel Assisting Gail Furness SC on 6 February 2017 that 4445 people alleged instances of child sexual abuse within Catholic schools or institutions up until 2015. Most media focused on the statement by Ms Furness that “7 per cent of priests were alleged perpetrators”.
However, virtually no media attention was given to Ms Furness’s subsequent clarification on 16 February 2017, with reference to the Catholic Church:
In other words, within the Catholic Church the vast majority of allegations of pedophilia were made with respect to alleged crimes in the period 1950 to 1989 with close to a third of all allegations relating to the decade of the 1970s. That is, most of the allegations relate to instances of close to four decades ago and are historical crimes.
In what was called the “Catholic Wrap”, Royal Commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan devoted 15 entire days to examining the Catholic Church. Hearings were held between 6 February 2017 and 26 February 2017.
On Friday 10 March 2017, the Royal Commission devoted only half a day each to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Uniting Church of Australia. Yet the evidence suggests that, on a per capita basis, there were more pedophiles in each church combined than in the Catholic Church – especially in the 1990s and subsequent decades. . . .
The statistics available to the Royal Commission with respect to the Uniting Church cover the period from 1977 to the present. That is, unlike the Catholic Church and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the allegations do not relate to a period going back to 1950.
There were 2504 instances or allegations of child sexual abuse made in the Uniting Church in the period 1977 to 2017 compared with 4445 instances in the Catholic Church covering the period 1950 to 2015. Yet the Uniting Church is about a fifth of the size of the Catholic Church. And its data covers four decades whereas the Catholic Church’s data covers over six decades. Moreover, evidence available to the Royal Commission indicates that virtually all offending by Catholic priests took place before 1990. Not so, apparently, with the Uniting Church.
On this evidence, child sexual assaults in the Uniting Church have been more prevalent than in the Catholic Church – especially in the years since 1990. This despite the fact that the Uniting Church has married male priests and female priests. There is no celibacy requirement within the Uniting Church and no sacrament of confession (in which the Royal Commission has taken a special interest concerning the Catholic Church).
Yet you would not be aware of any of this if you followed only the reporting of the Royal Commission by the ABC, Fairfax Media, The Guardian and The Saturday Paper. It seems the likes of Samantha Donovan, Philippa McDonald, Louise Milligan, Joanne McCarthy and Rachel Browne did not come back from lunch on Friday 10 February and simply missed the coverage of sexual child abuse in the Uniting Church in the four decades since 1977.
---end of quotation-----
I downloaded that Excel spreadsheet from the ARC (once posted here) that gave limited information about each of the JW cases, and should note that even cases that went back to the 1970's were evidently not there because there was any regular record-keeping by JWs going back that far. They could have been included when a case recorded decades later was found to be applicable to an instance or accusation from a much earlier date.
By Jack Ryan
MPs are demanding government action after more than 100 people contacted the Guardian with allegations of child sexual abuse and other mistreatment in Jehovah’s Witness communities in the UK.
“I am extremely concerned, but not surprised, by the allegations of child abuse within the Jehovah’s Witness movement. Whenever there is a closed society with an inherent power imbalance, the potential for abuse is there,” said the Labour MP Sarah Champion.
She said she would be raising the issue in parliament and demanding that the government take action to make sure all children were safe.
Alex Chalk, the Conservative MP for Cheltenham, said he planned to raise the issue in parliament, saying it was not just a historical issue but an ongoing child safety concern.
“My instinctive thoughts are that the sheer numbers and seriousness of the allegations coming forward is concerning ... If even half the allegations coming to light are true then it’s clear that an entrenched culture of cover-up and flawed in-house investigations continues to this day,” Chalk said.
A Guardian investigation heard from 41 people who claimed they were victims of child sexual abuse and alleged a culture of cover-ups and lies, with senior members of the organisation, known as elders, discouraging victims from talking to the police.
A further 48 people said they experienced other forms of abuse, including physical violence when they were children, and 35 claimed they witnessed or heard about others who were victims of child grooming and abuse.
The Guardian was told that members of the community were taught to avoid interaction with outside authorities. It was also claimed that, according to rules set by the group, for child sexual abuse to be taken seriously there must be at least two witnesses to it. If that happened or a perpetrator admitted abuse, a judicial committee would be called and the case investigated.
A solicitor representing some of the alleged victims said she believed there were thousands of complainants in the UK and that the people who had contacted the Guardian were “just the tip of the iceberg”.
Kathleen Hallisey, a senior solicitor in the abuse team at Bolt Burdon Kemp, acting on behalf of 15 alleged victims, said: “Given the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the UK, and what we know about the pervasiveness of abuse in the organisation, there are likely to be hundreds and probably thousands more victims. This is truly just the tip of the iceberg.”
Champion said she was concerned that victims had to report their abuse to elders, without independent scrutiny.
She also expressed concern that abuse claims could only be taken before a committee for investigation if there were two witnesses to it. “Abuse happens in the shadows, so to ask for a second witness is ludicrous and effectively prevents reporting,” Champion said.
Several more alleged victims came forward after the initial claims were published. One woman, speaking anonymously, said: “I’m a former Jehovah’s Witness and know personally of two girls who were abused and silenced within their congregations.”
Another woman, also speaking under the condition of anonymity, said she tried to kill herself when she was 14 after being abused by her father. “I found an old article in the Awake magazine on abuse in the congregation library and left it open for the elder. I had left the same article for my father at one stage hoping he would read it and stop. When it was found out, I too was subjected to being told not to say anything and a cover-up. In my case the evidence was also destroyed by the elders,” she said.
She said she was told never to speak to anyone about what happened and was not given any counselling. “I asked the elders privately if I could go live with a friend’s family ... and they said I had to ask my father as he was the head of the household.”
Operation Hydrant, a British police investigation into allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse, has dealt with 45 potential victims of child abuse within a Jehovah’s Witness setting. It said allegations could be made by a third party which either identifies or does not identify a potential victim.
When informed of the Guardian’s findings, the Charity Commission said its inquiry into the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ governing body in the UK, was continuing. It said anyone affected by safeguarding concerns should come forward.
In a statement, the Jehovah’s Witnesses said child safeguarding was of the utmost importance. They said that a victim and their family had the right to report allegations of child abuse to the police, and that the principle of sufficient evidence was a scriptural rule not related to reporting an allegation of crime to the authorities.
In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.
By Jack Ryan
More than 100 people have contacted the Guardian with allegations of child sexual abuse and other mistreatment in Jehovah’s Witness communities across the UK.
Former and current members, including 41 alleged victims of child sexual abuse, described a culture of cover-ups and lies, with senior members of the organisation, known as elders, discouraging victims from coming forward for fear of bringing “reproach on Jehovah” and being exiled from the congregation and their families.
A Guardian investigation also heard from 48 people who experienced other forms of abuse, including physical violence when they were children, and 35 who witnessed or heard about others who were victims of child grooming and abuse.
The stories told to the Guardian ranged from events decades ago to more recent, and many of those who came forward have now contacted the police.
They told the Guardian about:
An organisation that polices itself and teaches members to avoid interaction with outside authorities.
A rule set by the main governing body of the religion that means for child sexual abuse to be taken seriously there must be two witnesses to it.
Alleged child sex abuse victims claiming they were forced to recount allegations in front of their abuser.
Young girls who engage in sexual activity before marriage being forced to describe it in detail in front of male elders.
A solicitor representing some of the alleged victims said she believed there were thousands of complainants in the UK and that the people who have contacted the Guardian were “just the tip of the iceberg”.
One alleged victim, Rachel Evans, who has waived her right to anonymity, claimed there was a paedophile ring active in the 1970s, although details of the case cannot be divulged due to a current investigation.
“Within the Jehovah’s Witnesses there is an actual silencing and also a network where if someone went to the elders and said ‘there is a problem with this’ and they believe you, the whole thing will be dealt with in-house. But often these people are not dealt with, they are either moved to another congregation or told to keep their head down for a few years,” she said.
Another victim, who did not want to be named, said she was abused by a ministerial servant (someone with congregational responsibilities) in the organisation in the 1970s.
“I was sexually abused many times a week from the age of three until I was 12. Congregation elders knew that when I told them, at 12, what had been happening. No steps were taken to tell the police. I had to tell three male senior figures what had happened. Imagine that? A young girl telling a bunch of men what this man did to me. I wasn’t even allowed to have my mother there with me.”
After she went to the police about what had happened, the person who abused her pleaded guilty and was eventually convicted. “The Jehovah’s Witnesses should lose their charity status as they are not protecting children,” she added. She said she had mental health issues as a result of what happened and how it was dealt with.
Jason Munro says he was abused for 10 years. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian
Jason Munro, another alleged victim of sexual abuse who waived his right to anonymity, could not give details of his case due to a current investigation but said: “I am completely horrified by the Jehovah’s Witnesses ... I didn’t get support and I experienced 10 years of abuse. Elders knew in my teens about the abuse but it was never a case of ‘let’s get this person the professional help he needs’.”
When a Jehovah’s Witness experiences sexual abuse they are supposed to report it to elders, who are always men, who will take further action if there is a second witness to the offence. The perpetrator will then be called before a judicial committee if they admit abuse or if there is a second witness.
“This causes further trauma to the victim and coupled with the two-witness rule, is undoubtedly the reason that so many victims have never reported it,” said Kathleen Hallisey, senior solicitor in the abuse team at Bolt Burdon Kemp, who is currently acting on behalf of 15 alleged victims.
She also noted that the problem with the two-witness rule in the context of sexual abuse was that there were rarely witnesses to it, “meaning that [these] reports ... are usually dismissed”.
It has been reported that the headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the UK, the Watch Tower, holds a database of abuse allegations made within the organisation but has yet to hand it over to authorities.
The Charity Commission launched an investigation in 2013 looking into the Manchester New Moston congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, concluding that it did not deal adequately with allegations of child abuse made against one of the trustees.
The commission is still running an inquiry into the main government body of the group, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain. This is examining the child safeguarding policy and procedures further.
Following the investigation into the Manchester New Moston congregation last year, the Watch Tower changed its policy so that victims are no longer required to confront their abuser face to face.
A former elder, who was asked to investigate a child abuse case in 2007, claimed he was urged not to contact the police, although it was decided that the perpetrator should not be assigned to work with children.
However, the then elder – who left in 2012 over how the case was handled – said that this rule was not followed by everyone and when he raised this as a concern he was told to back off.
“I hugely regret the fact that I wasn’t able to do anything at the time and I didn’t have the strength. And that lives with me,” he said.
Other former Jehovah’s Witnesses told how they were forced to share personal sexual experiences at a young age, after breaking rules set by the religion.
One woman, who wished to be anonymous, was called to a meeting with elders after she had sex at 15, which goes against the rule of no sex before marriage. “This meeting was three older men and me, a scared 15-year-old, who had just had sex for the first time. They had to know all the details before they chose my punishment,” she said.
“I had to answer questions like, did it hurt? Where were you? Did you enjoy it? I don’t think any child that age should ever be in that situation.”
A former elder described how a congregation responded when a 13-year-old girl had sex. A judicial committee was called, and she was disfellowshipped and eventually asked to leave her parents’ house.
The Guardian also heard from those who described strict upbringings and a culture of hierarchy which meant physical and other psychological abuse were rife and often ignored.
Stephanie, a former Jehovah’s Witness, said that when she reported her own experience of domestic violence she was told by elders to do nothing.
The accused “remained in the congregation with privileges and authority. Later, when I came out to the congregation elders as gay, they sent two men to my house ... and asked me in detail about sex and masturbation,” she alleged.
Operation Hydrant, a British police investigation into allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse, said that it was dealing with 45 potential victims of child abuse within a Jehovah’s Witness setting. It said allegations could be made by a third party which either identifies – or does not identify – a potential victim.
Based on the Guardian’s findings, the commission said its inquiry into the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ governing body in the UK, was continuing and it encouraged anyone affected by safeguarding in congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in England and Wales to come forward.
Hallisey said: “Given the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the UK, and what we know about the pervasiveness of abuse in the organisation, there are likely to be hundreds and probably thousands more victims. This is truly just the tip of the iceberg.”
She said the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse should investigate. “It is absolutely critical that IICSA investigates the Jehovah’s Witnesses ... This is actually a public safety issue. The person knocking on your door or handing you literature in the street could be an accused or even admitted paedophile,” she said.
An IICSA spokesperson said that while it was currently delivering its existing programme, the panel would “consider calls for a Jehovah’s Witnesses-specific investigation carefully” as work progressed.
In a statement, the Jehovah’s Witnesses said that safeguarding children was of the utmost importance. They said that a victim and their family had the right to report allegations of child abuse to the police, and that the principle of sufficient evidence was a scriptural rule not related to reporting an allegation of crime to the authorities. “Elders treat victims of child abuse with compassion, understanding, and kindness. Elders will conduct a scriptural investigation of every allegation of child sexual abuse,” they said.
Brother Carlos Alfonso Perez from Las Vegas, NV Charged With Rape of Teen at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's WitnessesBy Jack Ryan
A Las Vegas man was arrested last week after authorities accused him of raping a teenage member of his church, police and court records show.
Carlos Alfonso Perez, 55, was charged in January with three counts of sexual assault with a minor under 14 and two counts of sexual assault with a minor under 16, records show. He was arrested March 13 at his northeast Las Vegas home.
Perez is accused of assaulting a teenage girl multiple times between July 2012 and July 2014. He denied any wrongdoing in a December interview with police, according to records, but declined to take a polygraph examination.
The girl was 13 at the time the abuse began, according to a police report. She and Perez attended the same kingdom hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses for more than 10 years, according to the report, and the girl saw him multiple times a week at church functions.
She eventually reported the abuse to church officials, who had her confront Perez face to face, according to the police report.
“The church members decided that there was nothing they could do, since the stories were different,” the report states.
The document makes no mention of church officials attempting to contact police. A spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in New York did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday and Friday.
According to the document, the girl reported Perez to police in August.
"This week a troubling story on W5: Avery Haines investigates an alleged sex abuse cover-up within the Jehovah's Witnesses. From across Canada, to the United States, England and Australia she reveals how the religious sect's doctrine protects accused sex offenders and pedophiles and makes it virtually impossible for complaints to be reported to police. Watch NO WITNESSES Saturday at 7 pm on CTV."
Michael John Hewitt was described as a significant risk to young children and a dangerous offender.
A man who took advantage of his position of trust in a Surrey branch of Jehovah's Witnesses and sexually abused three young girls has been sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment on Monday, 12 March at Croydon Crown Court.
Michael John Hewitt, 71 and now of Fremington in Devon, was found guilty of eight counts of indecency with children who were all aged under 16 years at the time.
He will be on the sex offenders register for life and have a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and Restraining Order served.
The court heard that in the 1980s Hewitt, who previously lived in Wallington, was a member of the Jehovah's Witness Congregation and abused his victims over several decades.
Two of Hewitt’s victims were as young as five when the abuse started. He sexually abused all three of them in his and their home addresses, undetected by family members.
He later sold his home in Surrey and moved to Devon.
On January 11, 2016, two of the victims reported what had happened to a family member, who then contacted police. Hewitt was later arrested in January 2016 and bailed pending further enquiries.
Following extensive research by detectives from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, the third victim was identified and came forward when told Hewitt was under investigation for two similar offences.
In May 2017, Hewitt was charged with eleven counts of indecency with three girls under 16 years old. He was later acquitted of three offences.
Whilst sentencing Judge Flahive described Hewitt as a significant risk to young children and a dangerous offender.
Detective Constable Janet Williams, the investigating officer from the Met's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command said: "The victims were abused by Hewitt at a very early age. Only when they were older were they able to understand what Hewitt subjected them to. Hewitt abused his position of trust to exploit the young girls for his own satisfaction.
"I would like to pay tribute to the victims who had the courage to report these distressing crimes to police. I hope today's conviction gives the victims a measure of comfort and closure."
Read more at http://talkradio.co.uk/news/michael-john-hewitt-paedophile-jehovahs-witness-jailed-15-years-18031324822#oKZhFYx0KmfTr538.99
Independent investigators in the United Kingdom are weighing whether to launch a new investigation into the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.K. after receiving a “considerable number” of abuse allegations.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, or IICSA, a government-sanctioned investigative panel in England and Wales, told The Guardian that it had gotten a “considerable number” of reports from both the public and elected officials about the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.K. A spokesperson told the newspaper the panel would “consider calls for a Jehovah’s Witnesses–specific investigation carefully.”
It was unclear how many reports the watchdog group had received. When contacted by Newsweek, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ public information office did not immediately comment.
Kathleen Hallisey, a lawyer who brought charges against the Jehovah’s Witnesses for sexual abuse in 2015, said she suspected there are thousands of such cases in the U.K., The Guardian reported.
“The Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to recognize the issue of child abuse in their organization or to create robust safeguarding procedures to protect children,” she said. “An investigation by IICSA into the Jehovah’s Witnesses is an opportunity for the inquiry to effect real change in an organization that refuses to shine a light on child abuse and protect children.”
News of the possible investigation comes weeks after the nonprofit religious transparency organization Faithleaks leaked 33 letters and internal documents revealing a pattern of sexual abuse by one Jehovah’s Witness member, and the lengths the church went to cover up the scandal.
Those documents detail communications among church leaders and several legal entities—collectively known as Watchtower—between 1999 and 2012. In one letterto Watchtower dated November 14, 1999, the Palmer Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses from Brimfield, Massachusetts, said it had reviewed claims by two women who alleged their father sexually abused them as children. The group found those claims to be true.
“Our impression upon speaking with both girls was similar. That they are both quite rational. It certainly appears that these were real events,” the letter said.
In that case, church leaders pressured one of the accusers not to report the abuse to police. Years later, the church held an in-house trial and briefly excommunicated the father.
That victim was not the only person pressured to remain silent.
In the U.K., several alleged victims had come forward with similar claims in November 2017, according to The Telegraph.
“Frankly, I would equate this to a scandal and a cover-up akin to the Catholic Church,” Hallisey told The Telegraph at the time.
By JOHN BUTLER
I cannot understand why there is only partial information concerning the Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Society Child Abuse accusations from around the Earth. I have just put a status on my FB page saying that : The one thing I have learnt in life is, that I don't know the truth about anything". The reason for this is that there is always some doubt about things read 'online'. Are they true ? Does one want them to be true? Are my opinions correct? So with that in mind I will continue with the information I 'have read online'.
We all know that Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse accusations are, or appear to be 'in fashion' right now. In politics, in entertainment, and in religion. But Jehovah's Witnesses claim to be 'no part of the world', that is the 'world' that belongs to Satan the Devil. So it would come as a surprise then that from top to bottom the JW's are being accused of Child Abuse Earthwide.
What I've noted so far : The Australian Royal Commission did a three year investigation into the JW org, most of which is available online to read. They found that since 1950 there were 1006 accusations of Child Abuse within the Australian branch of Jehovah's Witnesses, none of which were reported to the police or secular authorities........... In Canada there have been large court cases in Quebec and Ontario againse JW org..... A $66 million lawsuit against the religion's leadership is taking place..... In the Netherlands 'Reclaimed Voices' foundation have set up emergency phone lines and have put out advertisements concerning victims of abuse within the JW org there. The 'hotline' had received 80 replies as of December 28th 2017..... In the UK (where I am) the Charity Commision set up an inquiry into the UK branch of Jehovah's Witnesses regarding child abuse / sexual abuse. I think this started with the Manchester New Molton congregation in 2014. The Charity Commision also set up an inquiry into the Watchtower Soc (WTBTS) here in the UK. In Feb 2016. The Org went to court to try to block the investigations but failed. A former elder from South Wales said there was instructions to elders to destroy all documents regarding child abuse. There seemed to be a cost to the Org of over £1 million which I presume is court fines and payouts.
Then of course we have the USA. In 2014 a $10.5 million lawsuit against JW Org by Valicia Alston and others. In 2015 the Candace Conti case against Jonathan Kendrick. And in April 2016 the Watchtower Soc' remained defiant in refusing to hand over documents about the Child Abuse in the USA branch of the JW Org. Now it seems (and remember I'm only going on what I've read) that the JW Org in USA sent out a letter in 1997, to all elders of congregations in the USA. The letter was a direct instruction to the elders to send in ALL documents and information concerning accusations of Child Abuse / Sexual abuse both current and passed. This was to be an ongoing instruction and all information was to be sent in special blue envelopes to Brooklyn. Now there are approx' 14,000 congregations in the USA, and the time period from 1997 to 2017 is of course 20 years. So it would seem that the Governing Body have 20 years worth of accusations concerning Child Abuse and Sexual abuse with in it's USA congregations. However, despite court action and direct instruction to the JW Org / Watchtower Soc', the W/T and JW Org still refuse to hand over the documents to the High court. In November 2017 a High court of California fined the JW Org / WT Soc' $4,000 per day for not handing over the documents, and it seems the cost so far to the Org / WT is more than $2 million. I cannot find out if any of this money has been paid or is still owing.
One other point that I found interesting (providing it's true of course) is that the Governing Body has deliberately separated the JW Org, known as the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Each of these now has its own Legal Department. The purpose of this is to slow down all court proceedings because the Legal Dept from one has to write to the Legal Dept of the other for information, then the legal Dept of the other refuses such information etc. This is what caused the Supreme Court of California to impose the heavy fines on the Org. Basically the court got fed up with the 'clowning around of the JW Org.
So to sum up: It seems that many countries, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, UK and USA, have found and proved many cases of child abuse / sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Society. But what makes this worse is that the Governing Body of the Org' is deliberately withholding the information about pedophiles within its ranks. Add to this that elders of congregations Earthwide are instructed not to inform their congregations about pedophiles within their congregation. And, congregation members are told not to report child abuse / sexual abuse within the congregations, to the Police or outside secular organisations. On top of this victims are not believed, because the Governing Body has made a rule that says there must be two witnesses to any accusation of abuse, which of course will not happen in the case of Child abuse or Sexual abuse.
About me : I was one of Jehovah's Witnesses until about a month ago. After doing approx three months research online my conscience would no longer allow me to remain within the Organisation. How could I encourage other people to join an Organisation that allows Child Abuse /Sexual Abuse to continue unreported and unpunished within its ranks. There could be a pedophile within the congregation that I was part of, I would never know, because the Elders would keep it secret.... However, I do believe in God, whether His name is Jehovah, Yahweh or something else, and I am keeping my mind open as to how I will find the 'truth' of God's requirements.
What i am hoping for is that some BIG media source will bring all the information together concerning all the Child Abuse / Sexual Abuse accusations against the Jehovah's Witnesses Org' and the Watchtower Soc' Earthwide, so that all info' is readily available to everyone. At the moment it all seems so 'bitty' and not organised. Yes there is info' online, but are the sources trustworthy. What is needed is a neutral unemotional factual report, please.
By Srecko Sostar
"Some 80 reports of sexual abuse involving the Jehovah’s Witnesses community have been made over the past month, Trouw said on Thursday.
Justice minister Sander Dekker has already said that the (JW)church should look to the example of the Catholic church to dealing with complaints about sexual abuse."
"We are going to study the measures of the Catholic Church."
- Michel van Hilten, spokesman Jehovah's Witnesses
DutchNews.nl: Dozens come forward to report abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/12/dozens-come-forward-to-report-abuse-by-jehovahs-witnesses/
Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.