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Authorities investigate attempted arson at Kingdom Hall in Yelm

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YELM, Wash. — Authorities on Wednesday were investigating after someone tried to set fire to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Yelm.

This comes after four other recent attacks on Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Thurston County that are being investigated as hate crimes.

In the latest incident, authorities were called around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to the report of an attempted arson at the Kingdom Hall on Vail Road SE in Yelm.

The ensuing investigation closed a large section of Vail Road for most of the day.

Church elders had arrived to find fire logs stacked up against an outside wall that was smoldering. They doused the logs with water and prevented any further damage to the building.

The elders reported finding a suspicious device placed on the ground on the west side of the building. It “had the appearance of being an explosive device,” so deputies called the bomb squad to the scene.

People living nearby the church told Q13 News they were told by law enforcement to evacuate for their own safety.

“I got woken up by my roommate Zachary saying there was a device on the church next door to our house and we needed to evacuate,” said Richard McIntire.

McIntire’s shared his concern about living so close to what’s become a repeated target.

“I don’t understand why people have to target churches,” he said.

Neighbors in rural Yelm expressed their worries about the attacks and hoped police would soon make an arrest before someone gets hurt.

By late afternoon investigators determined the suspicious device wasn’t dangerous. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office later tweeted, “The suspicious device was made to look like a real bomb but in the end, it was found to be fake.”

Read more: https://q13fox.com/2018/08/08/possible-explosive-device-found-after-attempted-arson-at-kingdom-hall-in-yelm/

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38 minutes ago, Nicole said:

“The suspicious device was made to look like a real bomb but in the end, it was found to be fake.”

If there are surveillance videos, I think they will catch him, and most US KH I know have such systems now. Probably will turn out to be a DF'd ex-JW with some pscyhological issues. Making fake suspicious-looking devices is usually helpful to investigators, although investigation might have to be done privately if police put their "forensic" budget only into homicide investigations.

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16 hours ago, JW Insider said:

If there are surveillance videos, I think they will catch him, and most US KH I know have such systems now. Probably will turn out to be a DF'd ex-JW with some pscyhological issues. Making fake suspicious-looking devices is usually helpful to investigators, although investigation might have to be done privately if police put their "forensic" budget only into homicide investigations.

It may as well be the case for it is stated by former exjws known as anti-jws, having both jws and exjws (pretty much atheists) that a stabbing of a jw in the UK somewhere was a hate crime by means of influence, and this was even stated by the UK gov't, of all people, Theresa May, who is aware of religious hate crime due to influence, granted the hate spreading of muslims in the UK, it is done to jws too.

Sooner or later it will lead to injury and or death. It is one thing to agree/disagree with a faith, but to take it this step far, it insane. On the other side of the spectrum, there are bounty hunters who are only wanting to find this arson because they want a payout so at this point pressure to the culprit will be going from green to red.

But that being said, Religious Violence has been on the rise lately compared to the Christian vs. Satanist ordeal that took place about a yea or two ago.

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1 hour ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Radar controlled machine guns?

Most likely a purchased firearm. Gun Store Owner will only raise a brow if you have a crazy history, but a Mr. Clean record allows you to pick any gun from the candy shop, as long as your license to carry is clean or if you speak highly 2nd amendment, the owner will give you a high five and allow you to buy.

Things can get bad to worse and set to easy mode for the US.

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1 hour ago, Space Merchant said:

It may as well be the case for it is stated by former exjws known as anti-jws, having both jws and exjws (pretty much atheists) that a stabbing of a jw in the UK somewhere was a hate crime by means of influence, and this was even stated by the UK gov't, of all people, Theresa May, who is aware of religious hate crime due to influence, granted the hate spreading of muslims in the UK, it is done to jws too. 

I wish I knew exactly what you are saying. I haven't kept up with any hate crime issues in the UK. I think I follow a lot of what you have said, but I can't tell if I am reading you as intended, and I can't say that I totally agree with some apparent assumptions of yours.

I think you are saying that it may very well be the case that the perpetrator will turn out to be a disfellowshipped person. I meant the kind of disfellowshipped person who doesn't feel that he can come back to the fold, therefore I also called him an ex-JW. The idea that he has psychological issues seems obvious to me, based on the type of crime, although I really don't know much of anything about psychiatry.

But then you responded that I might be right because "it is stated by former exjws known as anti-jws, having both jws and exjws (pretty much atheists) that a stabbing of a jw in the UK somewhere was a hate crime by means of influence . . ." I think you are saying (in the next part of the sentence) that the UK has acknowledged that there are hate crimes against Muslims that are influenced from anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate speech. Perhaps you are saying that exjws who are anti-JWs are also influenced by anti-JW hate speech. This is always possible, although I would guess that the combination of factors influencing a person to do this crime will not be clearly traceable to influence by others. My guess is that he is mentally unstable and that whatever action was taken against him personally is perceived as a humiliation or rejection that he perceives he cannot or will not be able to overcome. Rather than merely producing anger, he is lashing out wildly and perceives himself to be punishing the system that is humiliating him, rejecting him, or treating him unjustly.

What you speak about is another possibility, that of a person (likely unstable) being influenced by others to lash out based on a frenzy whipped up by others. And another possibility is that the person really was treated unjustly and knows no other world, or feels trapped that he has no other means of survival but to to lash back at the "power" over him.

What I don't believe is a generalization that exjws are pretty much atheists. Perhaps the most vocal online are, and even there I wouldn't know. I suspect that out of one million exJWs in the world, that 990,000 just drifted into a different type of belief in God that didn't require certain activities that they no longer believe are a requirement from God. Of the other remaining 10,000, many of those are quite angry at policies that left them without access to their loved ones, or made them angry enough to look for reasons to dismiss religion altogether. This same group would be expected to produce the online opposers.

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4 hours ago, Space Merchant said:

Most likely a purchased firearm. Gun Store Owner will only raise a brow if you have a crazy history, but a Mr. Clean record allows you to pick any gun from the candy shop, as long as your license to carry is clean or if you speak highly 2nd amendment, the owner will give you a high five and allow you to buy.

Things can get bad to worse and set to easy mode for the US.

First of all, I was making a joke about mounting radar operated machine guns on Kingdom Halls to deter arsonists.

Second, you obviously have NO experience buying firearms from reputable licensed dealers.

You are speaking about things you do not know ... about.

With Criminals, and criminally minded vendors, of course ANYTHING could be the case.

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1 hour ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

First of all, I was making a joke about mounting radar operated machine guns on Kingdom Halls to deter arsonists.

Second, you obviously have NO experience buying firearms from reputable licensed dealers.

You are speaking about things you do not know ... about.

With Criminals, and criminally minded vendors, of course ANYTHING could be the case.

I know I do not. But with the rate of gang stalking and religious hate rimes on the rise, this seems to be the case. The thing is here along with the arson, jw churches have been shot up by a specific firearm, that being, an assault rifle, of which is in connection with the church arson and said to have been done by the same person, such a person clearly has no bad history and or record and still conceals himself, for with no record and a license to carry, it makes such a person very elusive and hard to track and or find, which seems to be the case.

Guns store owners will sell guns to anyone anytime, mainly if the record is clean, granted the culprit manage to get by this easy by damaging the churches via fire and on other occasion bullets, thankfully no one inside, it speaks in volumes.

I do not have experience in firearms, but I know to some extend the law of the land in regards of guns and those who carry them, those against them, at the same time having a corral with the state and government

I tend to speak on this to point of what is actually true and there is no question that such things are connected: https://www.kiro7.com/news/south-sound-news/shots-fired-into-kingdom-hall-of-jehovahs-witnesses/750155526

It is easy to catch a man who has some sort of record and or history, it is far more difficult to find a man who has a clean record, and any man with ill intent can easily get their hands on such things, of which was indeed true, granted you can only acquire such things from an actual Gun Store.

In a small town like that, it is unlikely criminals would be selling guns on the street, mainly if you take into account the area's history, if anything, such is possible in areas in the Southern parts of the US.

But what is said is very much true in regards to those who upheld the 2nd amendment in order to get their hands on a weapon and use said weapon  for ill intent (hence the whole situation with government and the NRA several months ago), be it for something minor as sending a message and or something major.

Should this man end up being exposed and caught, it is without question we will see the history and we will see of where he bought the gun in the first place, again, a small area like that, you wouldn't catch criminals who sell illegal weapons in such a place compared to other areas,mainly when criminal activity is on a high percentage on a daily.

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Space Merchant:

Again, I would like to congratulate you on you excellent choice of Avatar Icon for your log in, here.  It is appropriate to your posting above.

The logic and reasoning you use is dangerously close to "prior restraint" , which is in the realm of tyrants and despots.

I disagree with your premises, reasoning, and conclusions.  They "sound reasonable", until translated into real world action.

I consider ALL competent and sane men of good intent to be armed, at all times, everywhere, to be a VERY GOOD THING.

What you are suggesting is tantamount to making the assumption that because all men have penises, they should all be be viewed as potential rapists, and treated accordingly.

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Space Merchant said:

I do not have experience in firearms, but I know to some extend the law of the land in regards of guns and those who carry them, those against them, at the same time having a corral with the state and government

Do you use "voice to text" software such as "Dragon Naturally Speaking"?

Your very long posts seem to be a LOT of work .... but then again, I cannot "touch type".

 

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5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I wish I knew exactly what you are saying. I haven't kept up with any hate crime issues in the UK. I think I follow a lot of what you have said, but I can't tell if I am reading you as intended, and I can't say that I totally agree with some apparent assumptions of yours.

I think you are saying that it may very well be the case that the perpetrator will turn out to be a disfellowshipped person. I meant the kind of disfellowshipped person who doesn't feel that he can come back to the fold, therefore I also called him an ex-JW. The idea that he has psychological issues seems obvious to me, based on the type of crime, although I really don't know much of anything about psychiatry.

But then you responded that I might be right because "it is stated by former exjws known as anti-jws, having both jws and exjws (pretty much atheists) that a stabbing of a jw in the UK somewhere was a hate crime by means of influence . . ." I think you are saying (in the next part of the sentence) that the UK has acknowledged that there are hate crimes against Muslims that are influenced from anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate speech. Perhaps you are saying that exjws who are anti-JWs are also influenced by anti-JW hate speech. This is always possible, although I would guess that the combination of factors influencing a person to do this crime will not be clearly traceable to influence by others. My guess is that he is mentally unstable and that whatever action was taken against him personally is perceived as a humiliation or rejection that he perceives he cannot or will not be able to overcome. Rather than merely producing anger, he is lashing out wildly and perceives himself to be punishing the system that is humiliating him, rejecting him, or treating him unjustly.

What you speak about is another possibility, that of a person (likely unstable) being influenced by others to lash out based on a frenzy whipped up by others. And another possibility is that the person really was treated unjustly and knows no other world, or feels trapped that he has no other means of survival but to to lash back at the "power" over him.

What I don't believe is a generalization that exjws are pretty much atheists. Perhaps the most vocal online are, and even there I wouldn't know. I suspect that out of one million exJWs in the world, that 990,000 just drifted into a different type of belief in God that didn't require certain activities that they no longer believe are a requirement from God. Of the other remaining 10,000, many of those are quite angry at policies that left them without access to their loved ones, or made them angry enough to look for reasons to dismiss religion altogether. This same group would be expected to produce the online opposers.

I was being very brief, but yes, in the EU, mainly the UK, hate crimes have been on an all time high and it is mostly directed by people of a specific race and or religious belief, other situations it is of a radicalized person killing anyone in his or her path. Hate Crimes are usually carried out by both acid and knife attacks, for knife attacks end up causing the great injury and or death. Granted with the up in religious violence nowadays, pretty much anyone can and will be a target.

Yes, this might be the case, but we have to take into account of how much hate you guys get also, and despite such action of what this person, as with the others, are doing, such ones against you will pin the blame on you without having all the facts together and should something bad do happen, they will point the finger easily, as is of what has taken place in some situations already; several arson, a church of yours riddled with assault rifle fire, etc.

All in all, influence is also a factor, and such influence can drive people to do things be it physically and or verbally, from minor to major, being of the cause in question they are against and or for something. Granted on the actions of the arsonist, and others, already it is clear such ones hatred, and is fully aware of what they are doing, and what we see on the other side of the spectrum are those mocking and attacking such ones like yourself and making the claim that you people deserve what is coming, and of course comments like this will only result in those who will come forth clearly against the man's actions and what is being said by those who see you as an opponent, as is the gassing with the political gassing some months ago.

No need for psychiatry. The actions and ill intent of such ones is obvious, for if people like that are all knowing about their own actions of causing that much damage on to one church and the next, it is already seen, even by some, as hatred and disgust for the church and it's people, of which as already put that small community on the edge as it is, and this is but one of several attacks already.

There is a lot of hate speech about religion in the UK, even towards you, after the death of one jw inside the church he was in, it was ruled out as a hate crime, which resulted in the PM talking about hate crimes and censoring media due to influence that comes from such things. This was done but was only minimized slightly, thus people are still on the edge and are vigilant, such had taken place as of last year, and since then, the hate crimes just spiked towards those of religious background and or a specific race, mainly with the whole immigration thing that is another factor in the EU.

I guess when more comes form the investigation we will see, for if this person was able to get this far and what he has done, one can say it is out of hatred and such put such a person into this course to enact such. That being said, we can say this, yes, but even a trapped man will go forth with actions that is deemed crazy and wrong by others.

I am talking about anti-jws, these guys hate both jws and exjws. I would consider them more of a wild card for they are not a fan of anything to do with God and or the Bible whatsoever. Despite this, towards jws and exjws, it is either extreme hatred and constant mocking of them and brutal attacking and insult, of which can be seen on another thread similar to here but in full force, on the other side of the spectrum, they want nothing to do with both groups, but will often speak their peace in terms of using logic and fact checking anyone who speaks ill. These guys adhere to and carefully listen to famous atheists, for instance, Hemant Mehta (The Amazing Atheist) being the go to guy and the only person they tend to get their information from, at the same time others have gone to people like him in order to get information to use against a group and or a person they dislike.

But yes, as for exjws, not all of them are bad, in fact, some of them defend jws and fact check those who speak badly, and end up being the very ones to be attacked.

Yes, but you'd be surprised, the more angry ones wish to see a faith burn down to the ground, some of them even attempt to get the current President to help them do it, granted Trump is an avid Twitter poster, as they have done several times last year.

In the end though, the biggest concern here is safety, do what you can and be vigilant and aware, for such ones are quite angry and there is no telling what a concerned man in the dark will do. So it is very goo to see that community in that town actually stepping up to find this guy, as is the other affected areas.

But I was right about what I say bounty hunters, you may not know this but whenever money is involved, there are people who try to look for such persons themselves, for that is what they see, any information and or tip, etc that will enable them to be a step closer to the reward they want and the US has a lot of bounty hunters, even among the police force.

 

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28 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Space Merchant:

Again, I would like to congratulate you on you excellent choice of Avatar Icon for your log in, here.  It is appropriate to your posting above.

The logic and reasoning you use is dangerously close to "prior restraint" , which is in the realm of tyrants and despots.

I disagree with your premises, reasoning, and conclusions.  They "sound reasonable", until translated into real world action.

I consider ALL competent and sane men of good intent to be armed, at all times, everywhere, to be a VERY GOOD THING.

What you are suggesting is tantamount to making the assumption that because all men have penises, they should all be be viewed as potential rapists, and treated accordingly.

 

 

 

No worries. It is just that I see things for what they really are, mainly when at times growing up you witness and hear things, you begin to learn and grow and understand and connect the dots from there. There is a lot I know of which I rarely speak of here so I tend to keep it to a limit, mainly on topics that is of an extreme level, unless it is of the bible of course.

Not all men are bad, as I have said many times around here, there is the good and there is the bad, those of the bad will do things with ill intent, and they do this on the daily and even to good people, at times oppress them. Some of these people play the system in order to do these bad things.

The sad reality is what I speak of is indeed true, for that is within the realm of corruption around the world and mainly the US. The system is corrupted in a way that is allows for double standards and it allows for people to get hurt when they are not suppose to begin with, get the help they need or else such things like their water supply will cause injury to them because corrupt people didn't do anything to stop the water from spoiling and a list of other things. Weapons are bought by people who do not have records and they end up doing bad things as what can be seen in our history already. At the same time there is a war going on with the NRA in this regard and clearly both sides in this fight is at fault. Which also allows why there are those in the shadow government that want to alter the 1st and 2nd amendment. Like I said, I have no care for politics, but things of this nature can cause the chaos to crank up to 11 and result in very bad things to come.

That being said, it is the same case with these church arson, damaging churches even using assault rifles on to an empty church out of hatred and or sending a message, such things will cause concern, fear and people to question, mainly in a community and or in this case, communities that never seen anything like this and it never stops at one, or two, or three, or four, for such things will continue until a time comes where it will cease.

As for this particular case, the is no telling what a man cornered in the dark will do, but as I see it, it is clearly out of hatred here, until then the investigation has to be done so we have more information, as is the case with the other similar incidents.

30 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Do you use "voice to text" software such as "Dragon Naturally Speaking"?

Your very long posts seem to be a LOT of work .... but then again, I cannot "touch type".

 

I simply type too fast for my own good, perhaps a bit too fast. Normally I do not make long post as such but I grew into them after that one thread a while back regarding religious church fathers, granted I defend church history and the bible's history I become way too overly detailed, I believe this is in a thread where you and I believe tom was talking about unicorns in the bible. I guess I would say the one who was trying to twist the information of the church's history and actual belief resulted in somewhat long lecturous posts.

I try to reduce the amount at times, but there is always someone who has a response to a claim, and such claims needs to be fact checked and corrected, for the last time I was extremely brief in information, the someone tried to twist passages regarding Bereans and the holy spirit, at that rate, things must be said and information must be shown.

But other than that, it takes me 4-5 minutes or less depending on what is being discussed in a response and or claim, exegesis, etc. of which I have read, at times a few typos, for since I am from CSE forums, everything that one has to say must have information backing it up or else it would be problematic.

For as you can see, this is the community I have come from, and even these people are like me and have a lot to say at times. People are serious, perhaps far more serious beyond me because I was like a small ant to them in the past, but now I am similar to them in some way.

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2 hours ago, Space Merchant said:

I was being very brief, but yes, in the EU, mainly the UK, hate crimes have been on an all time high and it is mostly directed by people of a specific race and or religious belief

Thanks. I understand much better what you were saying now. I agree with more of it this time around. 😊

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      In at least two regions, armed officers threatened the worshipers with firearms, in one case pointing a gun at a person’s head, a lawyer familiar with the incident told Human Rights Watch.
      A Jehovah’s Witnesses representative told Human Rights Watch that approximately 160 Jehovah’s Witnesses have fled Russia to seek refuge abroad.
      On June 20, Russia’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights announced that it had asked the prosecutor general’s office to verify the legality of criminal prosecutions against Jehovah’s Witnesses practicing their faith. A week earlier, several of the spouses of the men in pretrial detention had sent a letter to the chair of the council, Mikhail Fedotov, urging him to ask President Vladimir Putin to end the raids and arrests and to restore freedom of religion in Russia.
      Over 150 Russian activists, journalists, and academics – including several members of Memorial, Russia’s foremost human rights group – signed and published an open letter urging the authorities to immediately release those in detention and to reverse the Supreme Court’s decision to liquidate the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organization.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia – like all people in Russia – should be able to peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of religion and association, Human Rights Watch said. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Russian Constitution as well as the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Russia is a party.
      Under international law, freedom of religion includes the freedom to practice one’s religion or belief both individually and in community with others, in public or in private, and through worship, practice, and teaching. Russia already has many rulings against it for its failure to respect the freedom of religion of faith communities and minority religious groups, such as the Church of Scientology, the Salvation Army, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses
      “Russia should do right by its national and international obligations to respect freedom of religion,” Denber said. “Russian leadership should make sure that law enforcement is honoring and protecting that right, not trampling on it.”
      Raids Aimed at Intimidation
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a peaceful religious community. The consistent show of force in raids in many locations in Russia was disproportionate and seemed aimed at sending a strong message of intimidation, Human Rights Watch said. 
      In most regions, the authorities arrested people they singled out as leaders and organizers of the local Jehovah’s Witnesses community for such actions as recruiting new members and distributing religious literature that the authorities label “extremist.”
      On May 16 in the Orenburg Region, in southwest Russia, law enforcement personnel searched 18 homes in four cities and charged nine people. Two are in pretrial custody and another is under house arrest.
      On May 17 in Birobidzhan, in southeast Russia, representatives of the Jehovah’s Witnesses reported that about 150 law enforcement personnel raided the homes of at least nine Jehovah’s Witnesses, confiscating photos, bank cards, money, and computers. An official reportedly saidthat the operation was code-named “Judgment Day.” One person was arrested and charged with organizing activities of an “extremist organization” but was released from pretrial detention eight days later.
      On April 18 in the town of Polyarny in the Murmansk Region, in northwest Russia, armed law enforcement agents raided at least seven homes and arrested two men. They took several others into custody for questioning and later released them. Police also took a 16-year-old girl into custody and questioned her at the local investigative unit for several hours. A video posted on the Murmansk Investigative Committee’s website shows men wearing camouflage uniforms and helmets forcing open a door to an apartment.
      The arrest and raid campaign took place as the trial of a Jehovah’s Witness who is a Danish citizen, Dennis Christensen, continues in Orel, a city in western Russia. Christensen, who was arrested in May 2017, is being tried on charges of organizing activities of an “extremist organization” and faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence if convicted. He has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rightsalleging, among other things, that his arrest constituted unlawful interference with his right to freedom of religion.
      Another Jehovah’s Witness in Orel, 55-year-old Sergei Skrynnikov, was charged on May 8, 2018, with participating in the activities of an “extremist organization.”
      A lawyer who is defending three Jehovah’s Witnesses in two regions said that throughout the past eight months, FSB agents in the Orenburg Region and the Republic of Bashkortostan conducted wiretapping, videotaping, and other surveillance of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ activities – for which they said they had warrants – as part of the investigation. In some cases, the lawyer said, authorities placed recording devices in Jehovah’s Witnesses’ homes.
      Earlier in 2018, police raided more than two dozen Jehovah’s Witnesses’ homes in Belgorod and Kemerovo. Two Jehovah’s Witnesses in Belgorod are facing extremism charges.
      Saratov and Shirokoe, Saratov Region
      On June 12, authorities in Saratov Region, southwestern Russia, raided at least seven homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Saratov and village of Shirokoe. According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, special forces officers broke down doors and confiscated computers, books, notebooks, photographs, bankbooks, and passports. The authorities took at least 10 people to FSB offices for questioning.
      Three were detained and charged with organizing activities of an “extremist organization.” They are: 43-year-old Konstantin Bazhenov, 35-year-old Aleksei Budenchuk, and 33-year-old Felix Makhammadiyev. On June 14, the Frunzensky District Court placed all three in pretrial detention until August 12.
      Tomsk, Tomsk Region
      Law enforcement raided several homes and cars belonging to Jehovah’s Witnesses in Tomsk between 10 a.m. on June 3 and about 2 a.m. the next day, the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia reported. Officers confiscated Bibles, mobile phones, tablets, computers, photographs, money, bank cards, and other personal possessions. They took about 30 people to the police anti-extremism center for questioning.
      According to a statement by the Tomsk Investigative Committee, the searches were part of a joint FSB and Internal Affairs Ministry investigation into meetings of Jehovah’s Witness residents in Tomsk. Investigative authorities allege that worshipers studied prohibited, “extremist” religious materials and carried out organized religious activities in violation of the Supreme Court’s ruling against the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center.
      Representatives of the Jehovah’s Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that 48-year-old Sergei Klimov was detained after a search of his home on June 3, was charged with organizing activities of an “extremist organization,” and will remain in pretrial detention until August 4.
      Magadan, Magadan Region
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia reported that on May 30, FSB and law enforcement officers arrested Konstantin Petrov, 31; Yevgeny Zyablov, 41; and Sergei Yerkin, 61, after searching their homes in the city of Magadan (Magadan Region). On the same day, authorities in Khabarovsk (Khabarovsky Krai) detained Ivan Puyda, 39, based on a court order from Magadan. All four are accused of organizing activities of an “extremist organization” and will remain in pretrial detention until July 29.
      Naberezhnye Chelny, Republic of Tatarstan
      Police and FSB officials searched the homes of 10 Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny, in south-central Russia, on the evening of May 27. The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia reported that the searches lasted “well into the night.”
      Investigators arrested Ilham Karimov, 37; Vladimir Myakushin, 30; Konstantin Matrashov, 25;   Aydar Yulmetyev, 24, on suspicion of organizing and participating in the activities of an “extremist organization” and placed them in pretrial detention until July 25. The Naberezhnye Chelny City Court displays records of all four hearings. According to the religious freedom monitoring group Forum 18, Karimov, Myakushin, and Matrashov have appealed their pretrial detention.
      Perm, Perm Krai
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia reported that on the evening of May 22, Aleksandr Solovyev, 48, and his wife, Anna, were detained at the railway station in Perm, in the Ural Mountains region, after returning from a trip abroad. Law enforcement then searched the couple’s home and reportedly seized property deeds, photographs, several Bibles, and a Wi-Fi router.
      Anna was released, but her husband was held for two days. He was released on May 24, and the Sverdlovsk District Court ordered him confined to house arrest. According to Forum 18, he is being investigated on charges of participating in the activities of an “extremist organization.”
      Before the 2017 Supreme Court ruling banning the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center, Solovyov chaired the Perm Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation, according to the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia website.
      Birobidzhan, Jewish Autonomous Region
      On May 17 in Birobidzhan, southeast Russia, police raided the homes of at least nine Jehovah’s Witnesses. The raids were carried out by approximately 150 law enforcement officers. An official reportedly saidthat the operation was code-named “Judgment Day.”
      On May 18, 55-year-old Alam Aliev was placed in pretrial detention until July 13 under suspicion of organizing activities of an “extremist organization.” The FSB stated that its request to detain Aliev “was motivated by the fact that the crime is classified as grave” and because “[t]he suspect may impede the criminal proceedings, put pressure on witnesses, and also evade investigative and judicial authorities.” Following an appeal by Aliev’s lawyer, Aliev was released from detention on May 25 but still faces charges.
      Orenburg, Orenburg Region
      On May 16 in Orenburg Region, Investigative Committee authorities, FSB officials, and armed National Guard officers searched 18 homes in four cities. Vitaly Svintsov, a lawyer representing two Jehovah’s Witnesses in the region, told Human Rights Watch that nine people were charged with organizing or participating in the activities of an “extremist organization.” Two of them, Aleksandr Suvorov and Vladimir Kochnev, both 38, remain in pretrial custody until July 14. Twenty-six-year-old Vladislav Kolbanov remains under house arrest. The other six remain under travel restrictions while the investigation is ongoing, Svintsov said.
      Photographs of some of the raids posted on the Orenburg Investigative Committee website show FSB officials and riot police in bulletproof vests and masks approaching Jehovah’s Witnesses’ residences.
      A statement by the Orenburg Investigative Committee said that investigative operations were “carefully planned and organized” by law enforcement with the aim of “seizing documents and items relevant to the criminal case, as well as identifying other persons involved in unlawful activities.” Investigators allege that the suspects “organized activities of a subdivision of Jehovah’s Witnesses [Administrative Center] by calling and holding meetings, organizing the recruitment of new members, and communicating the contents of religious literature to meeting participants.”
      Shuya, Ivanovo Region
      Forum 18 reported that law enforcement raided four homes in the town of Shuya, western Russia, early on the morning of April 20.
      Dmitry Mikhailov, 33, was arrested on May 29, over a month after his home was searched and placed in pretrial custody until July 19. He is being accused of “financing extremist activities.”  
      On April 20, the Ivanovo Region Investigative Committee released a statement about the home searches, alleging that since the beginning of 2018, Jehovah’s Witnesses in Shuya had been studying literature “containing statements degrading human dignity . . . and elements of propaganda of the exclusivity of one religion over another.”
      Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai
      Several homes belonging to Jehovah’s Witnesses were reportedly raidedon April 19 in the far-east city of Vladivostok.
      Human Rights Watch was able to confirm that on April 23 Valentin Osadchuk, 42, was placed under arrest by Frunzensky District Court on charges of participation in the activities of an “extremist organization” after authorities searched his home and confiscated computers, notebooks, and other devices. He remains in pretrial detention until September 20. Representatives of the Jehovah’s Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that five others face the same charges but remain at liberty subject to travel restrictions.
      Polyarny, Murmansk Region
      On the evening of April 18 in the town of Polyarny in the Murmansk region, armed law enforcement raided at least seven homes and arrested two Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roman Markin, 44, and Viktor Tifimov, 61. Others whose homes were searched were taken to the local investigative unit for questioning and later released without charge.
      The Murmansk Region Investigative Committee stated on its websitethat National Guard officers and FSB officials who led the home searches confiscated computer drives and religious literature. A video posted to the website shows men wearing camouflage uniforms and helmets forcing open a door with a pry bar. The Investigative Committee said that beginning in April 2017, the suspects had allegedly “organized activities of the religious organization [Jehovah’s Witnesses] by convening and holding meetings, organizing the recruitment of new members, and leading studies of religious texts at meetings.”
      Markin’s lawyer, Arli Chimirov, told Human Rights Watch that armed officers broke down Markin’s door and told him and his 16-year-old daughter, who was at home with him, to lie on the floor while law enforcement threatened them with firearms and searched the apartment. Markin’s daughter was escorted to the investigative unit and was questioned for several hours along with her mother, who arrived some time later.
      On April 23, 2018, the Polyarny District Court placed Markin in pretrial custody until June 11. Markin’s lawyer unsuccessfully appealed the decision. According to court documents on file with Human Rights Watch, investigative authorities requested that Markin be placed in pretrial detention because of the risk that he “may continue criminal activities, threaten participants in the legal proceedings, hide or destroy evidence, and also fail to attend preliminary court hearings.” On June 4, Markin’s pretrial detention was extended to October 11.
      Tifimov’s lawyer, Yegiazar Chernikov, told Human Rights Watch that beginning in October 2017, investigators had been collecting as evidence audio and video recordings of conversations among Jehovah’s Witnesses. Chernikov said that on several occasions, a woman involved in the investigation invited Tifimov to her home, where audio and video recording devices were in place, and asked him questions given to her by investigative authorities and designed to incriminate him.
      Tifimov was originally detained until June 12, 2018, but his pretrial detention was extended until October 11.
      Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan
      The religious freedom group Forum 18 reported that approximately 60 law enforcement officers, some of them armed, raided eight homes in the city of Ufa, south-central Russia, on the morning of April 10. Investigators confiscated personal belongings, books, and photographs. The lawyer representing one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who was detained said that authorities threatened worshipers with weapons, in one case holding an automatic weapon to a person’s head.
      At least 20 people were reportedly taken to the Lenin District Investigative Department for questioning and fingerprinting but were later released. One girl was called for questioning, but when she showed up for the meeting with her mother and the director of her school, the investigator failed to appear.
      On April 12, Anatoly Vilikevich, 32, was arrested on suspicion of organizing activities of an “extremist organization,” and placed in pretrial detention. Vilikevich’s lawyer, Vitaly Svintsov, who appealed the order, told Human Rights Watch that on June 21 the Supreme Court of Bashkortostan overturned the lower court’s decision and placed him under house arrest.
      A statement by the Bashkortostan Republic Investigative Committeealleged that Vilikevich had organized a local chapter of the banned Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center. Investigators who searched his home confiscated “prohibited literature,” the statement said.
      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/28/russia-sweeping-arrests-jehovahs-witnesses

      Since 2007, dozens of pieces of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ literature have been banned and placed on the federal registry of banned extremist materials. Pictured here, stacks of booklets distributed by a local leader of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in the Siberian town of Gorno-Altaysk are seen during a court session on December 16, 2010.
       ©2010 Reuters/Alexandr Tyryshkin
    • By The Librarian
      Kingdom Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland / Some dude went crazy and set chairs on fire / One arrested

    • By Nicole
      Officials from the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization say Russian law-enforcement officers have carried out “mass searches” on members’ homes in the Urals region of Orenburg and in the Far Eastern city of Birobidzhan.
      Jarrod Lopes, a spokesman for the World Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in New York, on May 17 said 150 law-enforcement personnel raided more than 20 adherents’ homes in Birobidzhan, the capital of Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region.
      The raids came after searches had been carried out on May 16 in the Orenburg region near the border with Kazakhstan in which 18 Jehovah’s Witnesses were questioned and three were taken into custody, Lopes said.
      The spokesman said a criminal case had been initiated against an adherent of the Christian sect, Alam Aliyev, and that a trial was expected on May 18.
      Russia’s Supreme Court in July 2017 upheld a ruling that the Jehovah’s Witnesses should be considered an extremist organization, effectively banning the denomination from the country.
      The original ruling, issued in April 2017, was the first time an entire registered religious organization had been prohibited under Russian law.
      Long viewed with suspicion in Russia for their positions on military service, voting, and government authority in general, the Jehovah’s Witnesses -- which claim some 170,000 adherents in Russia and 8 million worldwide -- are among several denominations that have come under increasing pressure in recent years.
      The sect began operating in Russia and across the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
      Russia's treatment of Jehovah’s Witnesses has raised concerns from governments and religious organizations in the West.
      “The treatment of the Jehovah’s Witnesses reflects the Russian government’s tendency to view all independent religious activity as a threat to its control and the country’s political stability,” the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said after the Supreme Court ruling last year.
      https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-jehovah-witnesses-raids-urals-orenburg-far-east/29233089.html
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      FSB starts detaining Jehovah’s Witnesses on Kola, dozens flee to Finland
      Criminal cases are initiated after FSB and Rosgvardia raided six addresses in the closed navy town of Polyarny.
      By Thomas Nilsen - The Independent Barents Observer
      April 20, 2018
      Last April, a ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout the country, arguing the religious group to be extremist.
      On Friday, Murmansk regional authorities’ newspaper Murmanski Vestnik reports about raids made by FSB and the National Guard of Russia (Rosgvardia) in Polyarny on the Kola Peninsula.
       
      Two local residents were detained under suspicions of being members of the administrative centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, organizing teaching and meetings where reading of banned religious literature took place. Searches were carried out at six addresses in Polyarny.  
       
      The town is home to a naval yard and several of the diesel-powered submarines and other warships of the Northern Fleet have Polyarny as homeport.
       
      The extremist law banning Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia provides for a maximum sentences of 6 to 10 years in jail.
      Meanwhile, a wave of practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses are fleeing Russia. More than a thousand people are now seeking asylum in several European countries, including Finland, the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported earlier this winter.
       
      It all started last summer, and that’s when the first Witnesses sought asylum in Finland, spokesperson Veikko Leininen with the organization’s Finnish branch told the newspaper.  Many dozens at least are still to come, he said.
      Press adviser Therese Bergwitz-Larsen with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) can’t go into details about particular reasons for asylum seekers coming to Norway.
      Unfortunately, we can’t say anything in general on the background for reasons to apply for asylum, since the number [from Russia] is so small, Bergwitz-Larsen tells the Barents Observer.
      Statistics from UDI show that 15 persons came from Russia the first three months this year. In 2017, 58 Russian asylum seekers came to Norway.
      In Russia, the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated to about 175,000. That be, before the organization was declared extremist. Viewed with skepticism for denying military service, voting and refusal to take blood, the members are seen as both a threat to themselves, their children and public safety.
      Also during Soviet times, the Witnesses were persecuted.   
      Human Right Watch recently called on Russian authorities to drop charges against Danish citizen Dennis Christensen adherent for practicing his faith. Christensen has been in pretrial custody for 11 months in the town of Orel. Human Right Watch argues that Russia is a member of Council of Europe and  a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, and therefore is obligated to protect the rights to freedom of religion and association.
      My note: Russia passed a law in 2015 that basically stated that any CE or ECHR resolution or ruling they disagreed with could be ignored. I think it is a very good idea when governments start rounding up people for gas chambers, concentration or slave labor camps, or prison ... just be somewhere else.
      You may have to abandon everything you and your family ever worked for, with the clothes on your back, but at least when they upholster the living room furniture you left behind ... it won't be with YOUR SKIN.
       
       
       
    • By Bible Speaks
      U.S
      CONTAINS AGRESSOR'S VIDEO FIRING A KINGDOM HALL
      Alleged arson damages the Kingdom Halls in Olympia and Tumwater on Monday morning
      Fires at two Kingdom Halls of Jehovah's Witnesses in Olympia and Tumwater are being treated as a crime after a person was seen pouring a liquid around one of the buildings and setting it on fire on Monday morning.
      Olympia Fire Chief Rob Bradley said he reviewed security camera images that showed a person "clearly spilling a liquid on the outside of the church." On the site, it smelled like a petroleum-based substance.
      Olympia fire investigators will help the Olympia police in the investigation, he said. Bradley also said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is sending agents to Olympia and Tumwater.
      The Olympia fire started sometime before 8:20 a.m. Monday at the Kingdom Hall at 2225 Cain Road SE. Firefighters shot down the fire quickly and then the crews began rebuilding and rescue efforts, Bradley said. He estimated the cost of fire damage at $ 50,000.
      No injuries were reported
      In Tumwater, firefighters were sent to the Kingdom Hall at 1199 N. Ninth Ave. SO at approximately 9 a.m. M
      Members of the congregation were to enter the room when they noticed smoke coming from the north side of the building, said Tumwater Fire Chief Scott LaVielle. At first they used a garden hose to fight the fire, then they called 911, he said.
      LaVielle said firefighters and police determined there were two fires on the north side of the building. They also found the "glow and smell of some kind of accelerant," he said.
      "We take samples," LaVielle said.
      No one was injured, he said. Although the Kingdom Hall in Olympia had security cameras, the location of Tumwater did not, LaVielle said. 
      http://www.theolympian.com/news/local/article205844374.html


    • By Nicole
      THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. - Two worship centers operated by the Jehovah's Witnesses were damaged by fire Monday morning, and arson is suspected in both blazes, fire officials said.
      Olympia firefighters responded to the first blaze, a Kingdom Hall in the 225 Cain Road Southeast about 8:20 a.m.
      A fire was breaching an interior wall in the building, which was unoccupied.
      Firefighters quickly put out the blaze and determined that it started outside the building. There was a strong smell of petroleum similar to gasoline and other items that suggested arson, the Olympia Fire Department said.
      About a half-hour later, another fire was then reported at a second Kingdom Hall in Tumwater. Crews from the Tumwater Fire Department responded to that scene and found smoke and fire inside and outside the building. They were able to extinguish the flames.
      The Tumwater fire is likely related to the Olympia fire, officials said.
      Officials from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to both fires
      In the Olympia fire, video surveillance footage shows a person pouring a liquid on the exterior of the worship hall and lighting it on fire early in the morning before dawn, said Assistant Chief Rob Bradley of the Olympia Fire Department.
      He said it appears the fire smoldered some time before it began spreading through the walls and was noticed.
      In the Tumwater fire, evidence indicates two possible ignition points on the north side of the building, said Tumwater Fire Chief Scott LaVielle. It appears that an accelerant was used, he said.
      ATF officials are now checking on similarities between the two fires.
      http://komonews.com/news/local/arson-suspected-as-2-jehovahs-witnesses-worship-centers-burn

    • By Nicole
      WASHINGTON (AP) — El subdirector del FBI Andrew McCabe, quien fuera un blanco frecuente de críticas por parte del presidente Donald Trump, renunció abruptamente el lunes antes de su jubilación ya cercana.
       
      McCabe, veterano de 22 años en el FBI, fue criticado públicamente repetidas veces el año pasado por Trump, quien lo ha acusado de parcialidad por las conexiones políticas de su esposa y por una investigación del FBI de la cual no surgió ningún cargo penal contra Hillary Clinton.
      McCabe, que desempeñó varios puestos de liderazgo y estuvo muy involucrado en investigaciones de crímenes importantes _incluido el atentado en el Maratón de Boston de 2013_, cumpliría en cuestión de semanas los requisitos para jubilarse. El personal del FBI se enteró el lunes que McCabe dejaba el segundo cargo más importante de la agencia de forma inmediata, según personas familiarizadas con la situación que pidieron permanecer anónimas debido a que no podían hablar públicamente sobre una decisión interna relativa al personal.
      El tercer funcionario en rango del FBI, David Bowdich, fue nombrado subdirector interino.
      Se tiene previsto que McCabe se retire con todos los beneficios de la jubilación.
      Su salida se da en el marco de los cambios implementados por el director del FBI Christopher Wray en su equipo de liderazgo. Otros dos funcionarios importantes fueron remplazados la semana pasada. Tales cambios no son inusuales cuando un nuevo director toma las riendas de la agencia, pero son notorios debido a la presión de Trump sobre Wray para que despidiera a los funcionarios que eran cercanos al ex director James Comey.
      En un mensaje el lunes a los empleados de la agencia, Wray les dijo que McCabe se retirará el 18 de marzo y rechazó que la medida se deba a presión política.
      http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2018/El-subdirector-del-FBI-Andrew-McCabe-renuncia-abruptamente/id-b43aebfec7824077a9cae772ca4ced04
       

    • By The Librarian
      Sinutko Charles - Bearing Up Under Persecution.mp3
       
       
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      Lawmaker To Remove $26 Million Dollars From Evergreen College After Racist Students Takeover Campus

      World News
    • By Gone Away
      Cant see this under Russian news yet:
      https://tv.jw.org/#en/mediaitems/LatestVideos/pub-jwb_201707_14_VIDEO
       
    • By ARchiv@L
      Many NGOs have denounced worldwide the severe persecution of the Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses that is taking place in Russia.
      This issue was also discussed in Italy in two important conferences held in the Chamber of Deputies, respectively organized by AIDLR (International Association for the Defence of Religious Liberty) on October 26, 2016, and by CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions) on March 22, 2017.
      The current situation of this religious organization in Russia is heavily effected by the approval and entry into force of the controversial “Yarovaya law” that struck indiscriminately all churches other than the Russian Orthodox Church. An international chorus of voices was raised in recent months in defence of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.
      Five Members of the Italian Parliament decided to add their voices to this chorus denouncing the serious violations of religious freedom of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, asking questions to the Italian Parliament (Legislature 17, Question n. 2/01744 - Published on April 3, 2017, at session n. 772).
      On. Rostellato, Lacquaniti, Paola Boldrini, Oliviero and Tieri reminded that
      "The Constitution of the Russian Federation -Art. 28- guarantees freedom of religion, including the right to profess a faith individually, collectively or to not profess any, to freely choose, have and to disseminate religious beliefs. The Constitution - Art. 30 - provides that everyone has the right to freely associate".
      Moreover, Jehovah's Witnesses are legally recognized in over 220 countries of the world, their religious activities are peaceful and respectful of other people's freedom and of the law, according to the European Court of Human Rights, in more than 47 judgments.
      Therefore, in light of the above, Deputies ask
      "Whether the Italian Government is aware of the facts outlined in the introduction and if it intends to take diplomatic initiatives to raise awareness in the Russian Government to respect the professions of faith in the Russian territory".
      http://cs.dimarzio.it/index.php/en/
       
    • By Nicole
      The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., is now home to some of Ethiopia’s most important religious manuscripts after they were recently donated to the university by Chicago-based collectors Gerald and Barbara Weiner. The couple gave out the handmade leather manuscripts with the hope of allowing Ethiopians in the U.S. to use them for prayers and study, according to Catholic News Agency.
      Dr. Aaron M. Butts, a professor of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literature at the university, put up a statement saying the collection “provides unparalleled primary sources for the study of Eastern Christianity.”
      What’s In the Collection?
      In total, the collection is comprised of 125 Christian manuscripts, including liturgical books, hagiographies, psalters, and 215 Islamic manuscripts, including the Quran and commentaries on Quran.

      According to the Catholic News Agency, it’s the largest collection of Ethiopian Islamic manuscripts outside of Ethiopia.
      More than 600 manuscripts were handmade using hides from calves, sheep, and goats, and are estimated to date back to the 18th and 19th century.
      In the collection, there are over 350 “magic” scrolls, which are traditional Christian prayer talismans, and each was handwritten by a “debtera,” or a cleric in the Ethiopian church, and includes the name of the person it was written for.
      Pieces of the manuscripts were worn around the neck for purposes of helping people with different kinds of ailments, including headaches, painful menstruation, and complicated childbirth.
      Butts suggests that some of these scrolls, which were predominantly worn by women, may have been passed down through many generations, mainly from mother to daughter.
      He added that the prayer jewels haven’t been studied much due to the personal nature of their use.
      Washington, D.C., hosts one of the largest Ethiopian communities outside Ethiopia, and has several Ethiopian Orthodox and Catholic churches and cultural centers, making it the best location to donate the manuscripts.
      Ethiopian Religion
      Ethiopia is predominantly a Christian country, with the majority of Christians belonging to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
      However, there are other small religious communities in the country, including Muslims, Judaists, and Pagans. There is also a minority section of Christians who are Roman Catholics or Protestants.
      Many Ethiopians still use the prayer scrolls for protection and healing. They are often inscribed with prayers, spells, and charms to offer protection to their specific owner.
      The text on these “magic” scrolls is often derived from the bible, which is why the majority of churches in the country tolerate despite their connection to magic.
      http://howafrica.com/ethiopias-most-important-religious-manuscripts-now-in-washington-d-c-find-out-why/
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