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    • By The Librarian
      getfvid_93713569_549856559000604_6175455221167161344_n.mp4
    • By 4Jah2me
      It seems it will never ever go away.

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      Ex-Jehovah's Witness elder describes how he was abused by fellow worshipper as a boy
      John Viney was a church elder when his own daughter revealed she had been assaulted by her uncle. Now the 67-year-old has described how he himself was systematically abused for five years.
       
    • By Witness
      A FORMER JEHOVAH'S WITNESS IS USING STOLEN DOCUMENTS TO EXPOSE ALLEGATIONS THAT THE RELIGION HAS KEPT HIDDEN FOR DECADES.  
       
      In an organization, what sort of prevailing spirit would enable and encourage its people to hide its dirty business?  The spirit of God, who always exposed the sins of His people?
      What spiritual atmosphere promotes child abuse by ignoring a child’s call for help and justice, from their own parents? 
      What sort of spirit promotes parents to threaten their children using disgusting ‘weaponry’ against them, and at the same time, teaching them of “Jehovah’s paradise” as a promise if they were good? 
      What spirit resides in the heart of an elder who would ask a child suffering from parental abuse, “If her mother did end up killing her, could that prevent Jehovah from resurrecting her at Armageddon? “Of course, I said no,” Kimmy said, rolling her eyes. “They told me, ‘Go home and obey your mother.’”
      How can the Watchtower call itself “Jehovah’s theocratic organization”, or “Jehovah’s spiritual temple” when at the inner core of its “whitewashed tomb”, “the bones of the dead and everything unclean” exists?  Matt 23:27
      Child abuse is everywhere, but it is a rampant evil sickness in an organization that proudly claims to belong to “Jehovah”, to be a protection in times of distress, and an ark of salvation.  What hypocrisy.    Has it ever occurred to a JW that God sees the sins of His people?  And when God sees His people sinning, He refuses to aid them in times of crisis?
      Remind yourself again of what is happening in Russia.  Since the organization obviously hides its sins; yet, blatantly practices idolatry by ignoring the true temple of God in the anointed ones, (1 Pet 2:5,9; 1Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22; 2 Thess 2:3,4) God has no interest in coming to  Watchtower’s aid in times of distress. 
      Tell me why He would.    Judges 2:6-23; Rom 1:18-25
       We have a deliverer, and it isn’t the GB or the organization who has refused to offer any aid to thousands who have suffered from abusive individuals residing in the “spiritual paradise”.  Our deliverer is the Father and Jesus Christ.  Judges 3:7-9; Rev 2:2-6,19-22; 3:17-21
      From The Atlantic:  
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    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I was having a discussion on here somewhere with someone, concerning the IICSA investigation into JW Org in the UK. 
      I've just received this email from them so thought I'd put it up on here for people to look at. 
      It doesn't copy and paste exactly as it looks on my email, but here it is anyway :- 
      Our reference: IICSA-0013979

       
      Dear Mr Butler
      Thank you for contacting the Inquiry on 3 February.
      As you may be aware, the Inquiry is investigating institutional failure to protect children from sexual abuse in the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches. In June 2015 it issued a retention order covering documents of interest to the Inquiry to the leaders of 18 prominent religious organisations, including the Jehovah's Witnesses.  
      The Inquiry has received correspondence from a considerable number of individuals raising concerns about child sexual abuse within Jehovah's Witnesses organisations. At present the Inquiry is committed to delivering its existing programme and is not currently launching any new investigations. However, as our work progresses, we will consider calls for a Jehovah's Witnesses specific investigation carefully.
      Any updates on our investigations, including scope and hearings can be found on our website at 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The Inquiry has launched 13 investigations into a broad range of institutions identified on the basis of the Panel’s criteria for selection of investigations. The investigations will give a voice to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, enable the Inquiry to understand how institutions have failed to protect children from sexual abuse and make practical recommendations to ensure better institutional protection for children in the future. www.iicsa.org.uk  
      I am sorry for the delay in responding to you and I hope that you have found this information useful. If you have any questions regarding the contents of this email, please do not hesitate to contact the Inquiry again.
      Yours sincerely

      Jodie Yarborough
      Head of Correspondence & Engagement Team
      Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      Two different women came forward in 2018 with stories of repeated sexual abuse during their childhood by adult members of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      One woman, Romy Maple, said she was repeatedly drugged and sexually abused by the same man starting when she was 4 years old. She said other members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses ignored her efforts to alert them to the abuse.
      Years later, Maple appeared prominently in the A&E documentary series, “Cults and Extreme Belief,” which brought her story to national attention. Maple has since launched a nonprofit, 707SAFE — which stands for Sexual Assault Fighters Elite — offering “coaching, transitional and transformational support” to fellow survivors of child sexual abuse, according to Maple’s
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Another woman, who gave her name as Sister Star, said she was drugged, filmed and sexually abused at a Eureka hotel by a family friend and fellow member of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She said her grandfather and other men did the same to her months before, and further said her stepfather sexually abused her throughout her childhood years.
      Sister Star came forward with her story of sexual abuse in August. (Jose Quezada — The Times-Standard file)   As in Maple’s case, Sister Star said elders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses took no action to help her.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses World Headquarters offered the Times-Standard the following comment earlier this year:
      “Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and view it as a crime. (Romans 12:9)” the document states. “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.”
      No criminal action has been taken in either Maple or Sister Star’s cases due to existing statute-of-limitations laws. In 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill dismissing the statute of limitations for crimes of rape, sexual assault and other sexual offenses committed in 2017 and onward.

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    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I thought I'd just share this. Please read the whole article before judging it. 
      'Punished' for being sexually abused in York County: Jehovah's Witnesses' culture of cover-up
      THE CHURCH ISOLATES ITS MEMBERS, SHAMES AND SHUNS VICTIMS WHO COME FORTH AND INSTRUCTS ELDERS TO KEEP REPORTS SECRET. AND CHILDREN ARE BEING ABUSED.
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    • By Jack Ryan
      The Jehovah's Witness Church in Australia failed to protect children in its care from sexual predators, a report has found.
      The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its report into the organisation on Monday.
      It stated that: "Children are not adequately protected from the risk of child sexual abuse in the Jehovah's Witness organisation and [the commission] does not believe the organisation responds adequately to allegations of child sexual abuse."
      Survivors of sexual abuse within the church and senior church members appeared before a public hearing last year.
      The inquiry heard the church received allegations ofHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. over a 60-year period but did not report a single claim to police.
      In its report on the inquiry, the royal commission found that the organisation's general practice of "not reporting serious instances of child sexual abuse to police or authorities, demonstrated a serious failure on its part to provide for the safety and protection of children."
      The royal commission determined that the church's response to allegations of child sexual abuse were outdated, including a rule that there must be two witnesses to an incident, which "showed a serious lack of understanding of the nature of child sexual abuse".
      "It noted the rule, which the Jehovah's Witness organisation relies on, and applies inflexibly even in the context of child sexual abuse, was devised more than 2000 years ago," the report found.

      Royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan. Photo: Jeremy Piper
      The Jehovah's Witnesses approach to handling claims internally was not appropriate for children or survivors of sexual abuse, the report found.
      "Survivors are offered little or no choice in how their complaint is addressed, sanctions are weak with little regard to the risk of the perpetrator re-offending."
      The head of the Jehovah's Witness community's service desk, Rodney Spinks, is considering the report and is expected respond on Monday afternoon.
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    • By Jack Ryan
      An article in the print edition of Wales On Sunday, an English-language Welsh newspaper, and 'sister' newspaper to The Western Mail (Mon to Sat). Wales on Sunday has a circulation of just under 10,000-copies each Sunday.
      Wales on Sunday (UK), Sunday, October 21, 2018 - page 16
      It has been a busy week for the courts in Wales with several high-profile cases being dealt with.
      Here are some of the criminals jailed this week.
      Roy Collins
      Collins was given a 23-year extended sentence after being convicted of the systematic sexual abuse of two young girls in the 1980s and 1990s.
      The Jehovah's Witness was branded as "devious, righteous and arrogant" by a judge at Swansea Crown Court.
      Read online version:

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    • By Jack Ryan
      Item about child sexual abuse within community of Jehovah's Witnesses, RTL Nieuws (Netherlands), October 6th, 2018 English subtitles included
       
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      Last September (2017),  there was internet info regarding a $66 million dollar lawsuit being filed against Jehovah's Witnesses in Canada, for Child Abuse / Pedophilia.
      I haven't been able to find out any more information this year and would be very pleased if someone could update me on outcome or ongoing situation.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. This is probably not a good link to add but it's just one of many online. 
    • By Shiwiii
      Meanwhile in Montana:
       
      HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana jury has ruled that the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization must pay $34 million to a woman who says the church covered up her sexual abuse as a child at the hands of a congregation member.
      Neil Smith, an attorney representing the 32-year-old woman, says the jury’s verdict Wednesday in the lawsuit sends a message to the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New York headquarters to stop prioritizing church secrecy over children’s safety.
      Jehovah’s Witness officials did not immediately respond to a call or email for comment. The monetary award must be reviewed by the trial judge.
      The jury dismissed claims by a second woman who alleged abuse by the same man in Thompson Falls in the 1990s.
      The jury concluded church elders did not receive notice of the second woman’s abuse and therefore did not have a duty to tell authorities.
       
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      When will this one make the jw news feed? 
    • By Jack Ryan
      Religious sect Jehovah’s Witnesses has refused to hand over documents to the public prosecutor in which an ex-member admits the abuse of a child, also member of the sect at the time, RTL Nieuws reports. Samet G, now 31, was a minor himself when the abuse of his 4 year-old niece started. The abuse continued until she was 14 and was reported to the police in 2015 when the girl and her mother left the Christian sect. A court in Breda last week sentenced G to a 9 months suspended sentence and a fine for the abuse but did not have access to the confession, which dates from 2011. G is appealing against his conviction.
      JehovahÂ’s Witnesses have their own internal committees which sit in judgement in cases of sexual abuse and do not involve the police. A record of these proceedings is made and kept. According to RTL, the public prosecutorÂ’s request for a copy of the confession was refused on the grounds that it would compromise the manÂ’s privacy and that, by law, clergymen, or in this case the elders, cannot be forced to reveal what has been told to them in confidence. Although there is doubt among lawyers that the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses elders can claim this right, the public prosecutor accepted the refusal, RTL writes.
      The sect also refuses to cooperate in an independent inquiry and, according to minister for legal protection Sander Dekker, it cannot be forced to do so. Abuse survivors According to Reclaimed Voices, an organisation that helps ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses members who were victims of sexual abuse, the minister needs to do much more. ‘If we can’t get the files via the courts we need politicians to act. Someone must force the Jehovah’s Witnesses to hand them over,’ the organisation’s spokesman Frank Huiting told RTL. CDA MP Madeleine van Toorenburg and other MPs have asked the minister to investigate if Jehovah’s Witness have the right to refuse access to documents that might shed light on a criminal case and slated the sect’s ‘culture of silence and cover-ups,’ RTL writes. Jehovah’s Witnesses are being widely accused of silencing victims of sexual abuse within the sect. The Guardian newspaper recently uncovered a case involving at least 100 victims who claim to have been abused.

      Read more at
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    • 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.

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    • 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 :
       
        ----quotation-------
      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 James Thomas Rook Jr.
      This just in from the Charlotte, NC Charlotte Observer Newspaper:
      Sex abuse cases against Jehovah's Witnesses church settled
      "The Associated Press   March 06, 2018 07:50 PM
      Updated 1 hour 41 minutes ago
      SAN DIEGO Two men who say they were sexually abused by a leader at Jehovah's Witnesses congregations in San Diego in the 1990s have settled their lawsuits against the church's governing body.
      The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Tuesday that the settlements were finalized last week. Both sides say they aren't authorized to discuss the terms.
      A New York state appeals court in November upheld $4,000-a-day penalty against Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York for failing to comply with a court order to hand over internal documents about knowledge of church leaders who had been accused of sexually abusing children.
      Both plaintiffs say church elders knew of the abuse as early as 1982 but covered it up and allowed the leader to keep working with children."
      In this case,  the Courts SUBPOENAED the records ( demanding that they appear ...) and it cost the WTB&TS $4,000 a day for every day THEY REFUSED.  Several months ago, it was up to 2.1 million dollars. 
      What breaks my heart is that children are giving their ice cream money to an organization that pays a team of supposedly theocratic  lawyers ... to ACTIVELY obstruct Justice ..... for MONEY!
      Same thing is going on in Delaware as we speak.
       

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    • By Bible Speaks
      New Judicial front against Watchtower
      In The Quebec Court, Canada, a lawsuit has been filed for 66 million Canadian dollars, against the organization of Jehovah's witnesses in Canada and the United States, on behalf of alleged victims of child abuse while they were Jehovah's Witnesses.
      We do not hide that opponents, who are led by professional apostates, are being organized as a group, to attack the finances of the Watchtower, trying for all the means to sink it economically.

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    • By Bible Speaks
      The Quebec court requests the adoption of a collective demand for sexual abuse against Jehovah's witnesses
      A trial proposes to accuse the leadership of the religious organization in Canada and the United States to protect alleged abusers
      The lawsuit is looking for $ 250.000 per plaintiff for moral and punitive damages.
      Radio-Canada says that, if approved by the court, collective action will be the first of its kind against Jehovah's witnesses, a religious movement that is already the subject of several individual trials in the United States.
      It is now up to the québec high court to determine whether the application is sufficiently substantiated to authorize collective action.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Quebec provincial police are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by two members of a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Mont-Laurier in the Laurentians, Radio-CanadaÂ’s investigative program Enquête has learned.
      Both men have been sanctioned through the churchÂ’s internal disciplinary process for dealing with allegations of child abuse, but congregation elders did not share their findings with civil authorities.
      One of the men being investigated, Michel Courtemanche, who has been expelled from the congregation, was acquitted of charges of sexual assault and indecent assault in 1996.
      However, the Sûreté du Québec has renewed its investigation of Courtemanche and has begun investigating another man, former congregation elder Georges Leclerc, based on new evidence from at least seven alleged victims.
      Leclerc has been stripped of his status as an elder, but he has not been arrested or charged, and he refused to speak with Enquête.
      Courtemanche has not been arrested or charged as a result of the new investigation and denies the allegations against him. In an interview with Enquête, he pointed to his 1996 acquittal.
      “My answer is there was a judgment on this based on very precise facts, and I was acquitted,” he said.
      At least 7 potential victims, police say
      Enquête spoke with Pénélope Herbert, the woman whose allegations of repeated sexual assaults starting when she was just 10 led to Courtemanche’s 1996 trial.  
      Carolle Poudrier, now in her mid-40s, also told Enquête of alleged sexual contact by Courtemanche, over a period of months when she was 11.
      In the case of Herbert, she said the assaults continued until she was 17 — even after her family moved from Mont-Laurier.
      “He would come to our house to say hello and would sleep over,” Herbert, now 42, told Enquête. “Those nights, he would come to my room. We’re talking total rape, those nights.”
      Carolle Poudrier told Enquête of alleged sexual contact by Michel Courtemanche, over a period of months when she was 11. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
      Enquête has learned the SQ has interviewed more than 40 people, of whom seven have been identified as potential victims of either Courtemanche or Leclerc.
      Four of the seven, including Herbert and Poudrier, have now filed formal complaints with police. SQ spokesperson Martine Asselin told Enquête they’re now seeking other possible victims and witnesses.
      “We’re looking to identify other potential victims who perhaps feel they’re alone and aren’t ready to talk,” Asselin said.
      “They should know that investigators are ready to meet with them and witnesses.”
      Both men were friends
      According to Enquête, Leclerc and Courtemanche were friends around the time Herbert’s parents lodged an internal complaint with the congregation about the alleged assaults on their daughter.
      Leclerc was, as a congregation elder, a senior member of the congregation who is responsible for providing religious guidance and ruling on disciplinary matters.
      Enquête said Leclerc allegedly did not speak to Herbert to learn the details of her complaint, as required by Jehovah’s Witness protocols in such matters.
      Courtemanche was later reprimanded and allowed to remain in the congregation.
      Georges Leclerc and Michel Courtemanche were friends around the time Pénélope Herbert’s parents lodged an internal complaint with the congregation, according to Enquête. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
      Disillusioned with how the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses had handled her complaint, Herbert took her allegations to police in 1995.
      Courtemanche remained a Jehovah’s Witness after his acquittal but was expelled in 2014, Enquête found, after two other women filed internal complaints alleging he had assaulted them as minors.
      Leclerc remains with the Mont-Laurier congregation, but Enquête says he was stripped of his elder duties after at least three women filed complaints internally with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, alleging he had assaulted them when they were minors.
      Police, youth protection not notified of allegations
      According to Enquête, the first time police investigated Herbert’s allegations against Courtemanche in the mid-1990s, they were not aware Carolle Poudrier’s parents had also alleged Courtemanche had assaulted their daughter.
      Poudrier’s parents were members of a congregation in Terrebonne, just north of Montreal, and had filed their complaint there — not with Courtemanche’s congregation in Mont-Laurier.
      Poudrier alleged that Courtemanche, who was working for her dad, would make her sit on his lap so he could caress and tickle her, which made her uneasy. A few months later, he kissed her twice.
      “He asked me if I’d ever kissed anyone, and he put his tongue in my mouth. I found that disgusting,” Poudrier told Enquête.
      After she told her parents and they complained, Poudrier was made to recount what happened to a congregational elder in the presence of her father.
      Carolle Poudrier told what happened to a congregational elder in the presence of her father. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
      “I was really stressed talking about sexual matters with a man I didn’t know, in front of my father. It was embarrassing,” Poudrier said.
      She said the elder thanked her for telling him what had happened and said that “he was there to take care of it.”
      In a lawyer’s letter to Radio-Canada, the elder in question, John MacEwan, said he knew Poudrier’s family but denied meeting with them concerning allegations against Courtemanche.
      When asked by Enquête if the Terrebonne congregation had shared the complaint against Courtemanche with his Mont-Laurier congregation, MacEwan refused to answer.
      Neither police nor youth protection authorities were ever notified of the alleged assaults on Poudrier.
      The JehovahÂ’s Witnesses leadership, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, has given preference to internal judicial procedures and protocols for dealing with matters such as child abuse.
      Carolle PoudrierÂ’s father, left, had worked with Michel Courtemanche, right. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
      “In some jurisdictions, individuals who learn of an allegation of child abuse may be obligated by law to report the allegation to the secular authorities,” an internal memo to elders from 2016 reads.
      “In all cases, the victim and her parents have the absolute right to report an allegation to the authorities.”
      When it comes to sharing information with outside authorities, however, the leadership has insisted on maintaining confidentiality, citing privacy and the ecclesiastical privilege conferred by confessions.
      Enquête found there are as many as 30 steps a Jehovah’s Witness must take before that person is allowed to testify in court or furnish civil authorities with church documents, when it comes to matters of child abuse.
      “When you study the process, you realize it’s really a process for avoiding, a system for protecting the reputation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses,”  said Marilou Lagacé, a former Witness interviewed by Enquête.
      New instructions regarding allegations of child sexual abuse
      A recent royal commission in Australia found the JehovahÂ’s Witness church there had recorded allegations of child sexual abuse against 1,006 members over a 60-year period. Not one allegation had been reported to authorities outside the church.
      With pressure mounting in the wake of that royal commission and other allegations of sexual abuse of children in its ranks, on Sept. 1, the Watchtower Society issued new instructions regarding allegations of child sexual abuse.
      Those instructions recognize child sexual abuse as a crime and assert that members should be “clearly informed that they have the right” to report an allegation of abuse to police.
      “The congregation’s handling of an accusation of child sexual abuse is not intended to replace the secular authority’s handling of the matter,” the Sept. 1 letter reads.
      “Therefore, the victim, her parents, or anyone else who reports such an allegation to the elders should be clearly informed that they have the right to report the matter to the secular authorities.
      Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.”


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    • By Jack Ryan
      TRANSLATION HERE (Google Translate)
      The victim calls the society with its own legal system a 'paradise for pedophiles'.The way in which Jehovah's Witnesses deal with sexual abuse in-house rooms has traumatic consequences for victims. Criminals easily escape the abuse, say victims, members and ex-members whom Trouw spoke. This creates an unsafe situation for children.Jehovah's Witnesses find that their internal justice system is above the 'worldly authorities'. Male elders act as judges. They follow the guidelines of the International Headquarters in the United States, shown by internal documents held by Trouw.
      Misuse victim Marianne the Guardian: "Jehovah's Witnesses keep the perpetrators hand over the head. Abuse is solved by the first best farmer who is elder, who has no sense. "Another victim calls Jehovah's Witnesses a" paradise for pedophiles. "If misuse is discovered, it is difficult to convict internally. According to the Jehovah's Witnesses, two witnesses are required. They are almost never abused. For example, if it comes to condemnation, the perpetrator may no longer be out loud in prayer.Only if the perpetrator does not regret can he be put out of community. Other members are not informed of any danger because talking about a case without conviction is perceived as defamation or reproach. On the ground someone can be excluded.Insufficient protectionThe findings of Trouw are in line with a report published by an Australian research commission in November. The conclusion: Children are insufficiently protected from abuse and the organization is not adequately addressed with accusations.
      The Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian society with around 30,000 followers in the Netherlands. About fifteen years ago, the organization in Trouw said that they only registered cases of abuse by officers. The spokesman had never heard of such abuse.However, three of the four victims who allegedly believed to be abused by an elder were declared to be. The Dutch headquarters of the Jehovah's Witnesses in Emmen reveal that they would now "nuance more" the earlier statement. The organization does not want to engage in individual abuse cases.She says working on the 'resilience' of children and families and discussing sexuality without 'veil of mystery'. And: 'Protecting our children is taken very seriously'.That response is indicative of the way the organization tries to stay out of place, says Frances Peters, ex-witness and coach for people from compelling religious group cultures. "They say, the children must be more resilient, while they should protect them properly."Perhaps more victimsThe abuse that victims talked to victims took place in the eighties and nineties. Victims and experts say the abuse is still taking place. There are virtually no indications that the policy of Jehovah's Witnesses has been adapted.However, the organization against this newspaper says "to constantly review its procedures in order to improve the way we deal with such issues". And: "When it comes to child abuse, Jehovah's Witnesses have a clear policy based on biblical principles."According to Peters, the organization emphasized in 2002 and 2003 during a training for elders that abuse is a crime that must be dealt with by the government. "This is allowed on paper to report to the police. But the change is nowhere communicated to the members. "For reports and reports for sexual abuse, no recent reports of (ex-) witnesses are known. The Sektesignal notification point does not want to name organizations, but lets know that "these types of alerts come across all kinds of groups."According to Peters, there are no reports of witnesses: "Victims often blame themselves for the abuse. If things are done internally, that means someone has dared to open his mouth. But the chance is that there are many more victims who never dared.
      "Read also:- The story of victim Marianne Voogd: "This is our secret. When you open your mouth, I'll do something to you. "- The story of an elder who wanted to help an abused girl: Elder is a detective, judge and psychologist-
      Who are Jehovah's Witnesses actually? Read all you need to know.
       
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      JW had multiple allegations of rape
      Once Noticias Honduras, May 26, 2017
      His victims are girls between 12 and 13 years of age. The authorities have not disclosed which congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses the accused belongs to.
      More than five reports of rape filed by minors between 12 and 13 years old had the prosecution against Roger Abraham Flores Diaz, 45, the Jehovah's Witnesses preacher arrested last night in San Pedro Sula, authorities said.
      Flores Díaz was arrested in Barrio el Centro by agents of the Technical Agency of Criminal Investigation (ATIC), where he had a business selling cell phones. According to the authorities, he deceived the young girls by offering them money.
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      A former member of the Jehovah Witness congregation will appear in court next week after he was charged with sexually assaulting four boys.
      The charges stem from ongoing investigations linked to the Royal Commission into institutional child sexual offences.
      Police allege between 1993 to 2013, the 44-year-old man sexually assaulted four boys aged between 14 and 16 at the time of the offences.
      READ MORE: 
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    • By Jack Ryan
      26 April 2017
      27 April 2017
      28 April 2017
      1 May 2017
      6 May 2017



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    • Not the usual Hebrew word for "law" but a late word borrowed from Persian, which is why they say it only shows up in Daniel and Esther (meaning law or custom). It did not come to mean ceremony/ritual until even later. In MODERN Hebrew, not Biblical Hebrew, is it also used to describe someone who is religious. From what I can tell, this is not the same word "dat" which is related to data/datum. That word "dat" is from the word "give" implying "thing" as it to "give a thing" or "any gi
    • Well the GB and Elders act as judges that's for sure, but they will suffer for it later.   
    • Interesting. In both Arabic and Hebrew the words for religion are “din” and “dat”, which both mean “law”. Religious leaders are basically judges. By the way, the word “dat” is the origin of the word “data”.
    • Any collective belief in some approach as "the way" to solve problems is, literally, a bringing together of individuals (re = again, ligio = bond, reverence, and religare = to bind).
    • Bitcoin adoption took another boost in South America yesterday after the Argentinian central bank announced measures to tighten controls on the movement of foreign currency. The announcement came shortly after the Argentine peso plunged over 10%, setting the long-suffering Argentinian people back further. Only 20 years ago, the Argentine peso was 1:1 with the USD, but corruption and mismanagement has seen its economy collapse and the national currency is now artificially pegged at 72:1
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    • Eric Ouellet

      Qu’est-ce que le Jour du Jugement ?

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

      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

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

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

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

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

      PREMIÈRE LETTRE DE TIMOTHÉE

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





      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

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

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

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



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