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    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Perhaps the KIT could be the Society's next translation project !
      .... Years ago, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, below the fold, on the right hand side (if memory serves), was a 2"x2" or so picture of Star Trek - The Next Generation's Security Officer Worf, and the article announcing the publication the KLV Klingon Language Bible.
      I have forgotten many of the details if I ever knew them, as I was crying from laughter so much it was hard to see.
      I do remember from the article that there were particular difficulties in doing a good job of translating, as the Klingon language is very abrupt, and there is no word for the concept of "mercy"..
      I understand that the KLV Translation is somewhat like our "Silver Sword", in that it is simplified and is more like a commentary, but I think I will wait until someone puts out a Klingon Interlinear Translation of the Bible (KIT).
      I guarantee NOBODY will fall asleep at the Klingon speaking Kingdom Halls, as the speakers are VERY loud, and they have a tendency to yell and spit at the same time.
      You may want to sit at least three rows back.
       
    • By Srecko Sostar
      When GB member Geoffrey Jackson made "clarification" about this question: "Do you see yourselves as Jehovah God's Spokespeople on Earth??
      with answer:
      "Aaa, that I think would seem to be quite presumptuous to say that we are the only Spokesperson that God is using."
      ....questions arise: 
      What other individuals or groups Mr. Jackson had in mind that are also used by this same God to fulfill His will here on Earth? 
      Are they inside WT Society and JWorg, as some illegal FDS GB Body, and are part of Plan B?
      Or perhaps this "spokesperson"  is/are in some other religion, institution or are completely outside of any group and organization?
      What do you think about it, JW people or anyone else?!
       
       
       
    • By Srecko Sostar
      Geoffrey Jackson in his talk comparing GB with "watch dog who barking for no reason in a middle of the night" in 3:04 of this video. He send message how watch dog and FDS have similar "enthusiasm". :))
      It is funny, but also very concerning if you are member of organization under such religious Leaders.
       
       
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    • By Srecko Sostar
      "The scores of branch office buildings, hundreds of Assembly Halls, and tens of thousands of Kingdom Halls around the world provide tangible proof that God’s Kingdom is real and is now ruling." - 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. This same words was told by GB Helper Alex Reinmueller on JW TV. 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   in 32:31 of this video. Where in Bible and in Jesus' words you can find confirmation how construction program and buildings will be tangible proof about God's Kingdom reality on Earth?
      Does Watchtower's worldwide possession of  properties, real estate (buildings) is part of "sign" of the Last Days ?
       
       
    • By Srecko Sostar
      GB member Stephen Lett went "in deep" explanation about climate changes and weather on Earth. He said how JHVH lovingly control of weather for His people blessings stopped in long past (I think Mr Lett had Adam and Eve time period in mind). After, satan became ultimate cause for natural disasters until today. Obviously with, at least, one exception - Noah Flood. That was for sure "so called natural disaster" caused by God. Or by satan? Who will know that after Mr Lett "clarification".
      Also, Jesus mentioned something about his Father who giving sun and rain (natural phenomena that contribute in regulating weather and to "so called natural disasters") to both good and bad people, to righteous and unrighteous. I wonder, what Jesus could say about his Father's "weather control" . According to Bible, it seems how his Father giving bad and good weather to both group of people, and He doing this without exemption.  
      Now, who you will trust, who you need to trust?
       
       
    • By Srecko Sostar
      Article from 1/24/2020: Jehovah’s Witness abuse victims unhappy at lack of care, report shows

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

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    • By Srecko Sostar
      I found interesting video, with very important evidences about few subjects. Video took place in Cardiff, Wales 2019. Summer Convention "Love never fails".
      1) To what extend JW members are equipped for reasoning and how much they are willing to defend own teachings and beliefs?
      2) To what measure JW members who are Convention delegates are under control of people in "orange vests"? And why they allow them to be under their control?
      3) Why JW members who wear "orange vests" and are in official capacity are not willing to defend WT published teachings? 
      4) Does it mean how every JW member who make some sort of sin in his life as JW congregant is "professed JW" while the state of sin lasts?
      5) Does he/she in time before and after sinning is considered as "genuine JW"?
      .....and some more.
      Enjoy in good material for thinking and discussion. 
       Sadly, child sexual abuse is a worldwide plague, and true Christians have been affected by this plague. Why? “Wicked men and impostors” abound, and some may try to enter the congregation. ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) In addition, some professing to be a part of the congregation have succumbed to perverted fleshly desires and have sexually abused children. Let us discuss why child abuse is such a grave sin. Then we will consider how elders handle instances of serious wrongdoing, including child abuse,  and how parents can protect their children. - 
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    • By Srecko Sostar
      In view of the foregoing, what can we conclude? When Jesus comes for judgment during the great tribulation, he will find that the faithful slave has been loyally dispensing timely spiritual food to the domestics. Jesus will then delight in making the second appointment—over all his belongings. Those who make up the faithful slave will get this appointment when they receive their heavenly reward, becoming corulers with Christ. -  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      “All his belongings” over which the “faithful and discreet slave” class is appointed must refer to all the spiritual things that belong to him on earth in connection with his established heavenly kingdom - 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.    
      1) members ??
      2) real estate and money ??
       
    • By Srecko Sostar
      In the OT, there is a direct command, “Thou shalt not kill (murder)!” This command should contain God's view of human life, which emphasizes that life is holy, sacred before God, but also that people must have the same feeling about the lives of other people around them.
      By reading the Bible, which describes the events before and after the occurrence of this commandment, we can see that this commandment has no absolute power. Within the same set of legal provisions, there are other commandments that were binding on the Israelites, too. For example, commands like; "Don't steal, don't lie, don't commit fornication ...". These commandments should never have been ignored or mitigated by some extraordinary circumstances.
      The specificity of this commandment, "You shall not kill," is evident in the fact that it was not of valid, obligation for all men and for all circumstances. Powerful individuals in Israel sometimes making their own decisions to go on military campaigns against others (Israelis and non-Israelis) The law also justified killing for revenge.
      In some other places, God commands the death penalty against an individual. Also, the Bible describes that God instituted great actions that justified killing of other people. These were most often military actions aimed at killing soldiers of the enemy army, but also their families. The killings of these other tribes and people were justified on the basis of several facts: 1) they were not Israelis  2) they lived in territory that the Israel nation were to conquer for themselves, 3) they belonged to other religions.
      The execution of the death penalty for a crime still exists today in some societies and legal systems. Obviously, the death penalty decision is based on balance. The one who killed must be killed. But from some other biblical examples we have seen that murder is not the only crime punishable by death. The disobedient child was also sentenced to death. Different religious affiliations or different religious beliefs also led to the death penalty. Adultery was punished by death.
      From what we have described so far, we can see how the command, "shall not kill," had a stretched meaning. It is therefore necessary to look at religious practices that are not new but may draw some parallels in symbolism and meaning. As you may already guessed, it is about an act of symbolic "killing" that is carried out in such a way to exclude (disfellowship) another person from a particular social (religious) group in a specific way - by ignoring aka shunning. Shunning (this is about JW organization in particular) can be made because of two conclusions.
      The first conclusion is reached by an individual JW member who believes that another member of the congregation has wronged/sinned against the Bible and its principles to the extent that he / she personally presents a spiritual anomaly (in the form of a spiritual illness or threat) and decides to "label" particular person as inappropriate for him to have socializing contacts. He seeks to avoid contact and minimize any literal and spiritual communion.
      In second conclusion, the conviction of the inappropriateness of a member is made by the body of the elders. The judgment may be based on the morally inappropriate behavior of an individual member, or it may be that an individual no longer agrees with the ideological and organizational structure or with the theological solutions of the organization what made him/her as "hostile element".
      This is when a person is removed from congregational members aka "spiritually killed" in such a way to excommunicate (dfd) them (he,she) from the community and impose a ban on almost every contact with the dfd person. The ban has few variations and interpretations of how the shunning should be carried out. But the very core of such a demand not to contact the excluded person is evident from the widespread practice that JW members have consistently implemented - the excluded (dfd) is not even greeted with the simplest “Good afternoon” greeting (hallo) on the street.
      JW's want to be peaceful people who go to jail in some countries because not want even to carry weapon in mandatory military service. They don't want take self-defense courses even for protect themselves when attacked. But they are motivated to be active in using spiritual weapons and warfare against ex members who are in a disagreement with doctrinal issues. And "killing" them with shunning.  
      What are your thoughts? 
       
       
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
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      Posted by Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. on November 9, 2019 at 4:20 am  
      The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments Thursday in a lawsuit against a religious congregation’s “shunning” practice, but the congregation and several other groups contend the justices had no right to even take part in the case.
      Randy Wall, a real estate agent, filed the suit against the Highwood congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization in Calgary, Alberta.
      Wall was expelled from the congregation for getting drunk and not be properly repentant, court records said. He pursued an appeals process through the Jehovah’s Witnesses then went to court because he said the Witnesses’ “shunning” — the practice of not associating with him in any way — hurt his business.
      He explained his two occasions of drunkenness related to “the previous expulsion by the congregation of his 15-year-old daughter.”
      A lower court opinion said: “Even though the daughter was a dependent child living at home, it was a mandatory church edict that the entire family shun aspects of their relationship with her. The respondent said the edicts of the church pressured the family to evict their daughter from the family home. This led to … much distress in the family.”
      The “distress” eventually resulted in his drunkenness, Wall said.
       
      Wall submitted to the court arguments that about half his client base, members of various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations, then refused to conduct business with him. He alleged the “disfellowship had an economic impact on the respondent.”
      During high court arguments Thursday, the congregation asked the justices to rule that religious congregations are immune to such claims in the judicial system.
      The lower courts had ruled that the courts could play a role in determining whether or not such circumstances rise to the level of violating civil rights or injuring a “disfellowshipped” party.
      The rulings from the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeals said Wall’s case was subject to secular court jurisdiction.
      A multitude of religious and political organizations joined with the congregation in arguing that Canada’s courts should not be involved.
      The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms said in a filing: “The wish or desire of one person to associate with an unwilling person (or an unwilling group) is not a legal right of any kind. For a court, or the government, to support such a ‘right’ violates the right of self-determination of the unwilling parties.”
      Previous case law has confirmed the right of religious or private voluntary groups to govern themselves and dictate who can be a member.
      But previously rulings also reveal there is room for the court system to intervene when the question centers on property or civil rights.
      The Association for Reformed Political Action described the case as having “profound implications for the separation of church and state.”
      It contends the court should keep its hands off the argument.
      “Secular judges have no authority and no expertise to review a church membership decision,” said a statement from Andre Schutten, a spokesman for the group. “Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere.”
      John Sikkema, staff lawyer for ARPA, said: “The issue in this appeal is jurisdiction. A state actor, including a court, must never go beyond its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court must consider what kind of authority the courts can or cannot legitimately claim. We argue that the civil government and churches each have limited and distinct spheres of authority. This basic distinction between civil and spiritual jurisdiction is a source of freedom and religious pluralism and a guard against civic totalism.”
      He continued: “Should the judiciary have the authority to decide who gets to become or remain a church member? Does the judiciary have the authority to decide who does or does not get to participate in the sacraments? Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere. Here we need separation of church and state.”
      The Alberta Court of Appeal, however, suggested the case was about more than ecclesiastical rules.
      “Because Jehovah’s Witnesses shun disfellowshipped members, his wife, other children and other Jehovah’s Witnesses were compelled to shun him,” that lower court decision said. “The respondent asked the appeal committee to consider the mental and emotional distress he and his family were under as a result of his duaghter’s disfellowship.”
      The church committee concluded he was “not sufficiently repentant.”
      The ruling said “the only basis for establishing jurisdiction over a decision of the church is when the complaint involves property and civil rights,” and that is what Wall alleged.
      “Accordingly, a court has jurisdiction to review the decision of a religious organization when a breach of the rules of natural justice is alleged.”
       
                     
    • By Srecko Sostar
      WT Society and JW Organization looking on Education of Priests in "worldly" Schools and Universities who give them Diploma or Credentials, as something that is not needed for serving God in any capacity. It doesn't matter if you are rank and file member or serving as Ministerial servant or an Elder in JW congregation. On the contrary, "higher education", no matter is it question about religious or secular education, is viewed from most JW congregants, as something that is in opposition to God, His Word - Bible, and in fact it is product of corrupted World which is run by devil.  
      For this and some other reasons, WT publications giving advice to members not to go to University to get "higher education". Instead, they say, it is enough to finish Elementary school or some Higher school to be able to get some job that will provide you basic material status.
      What "flock" need is possible to get, to find through religious educational program provide by WT Society through congregational meetings, courses, some additional  programs for specific groups inside organization (pioneers, elders, missionaries, etc.) One specific instrument for education  is Gilead School.
      JW members and leaders are very proud of fact how God provide them best education through Bible and Organization. And how they not need any Credentials or Diploma to be able to prove how they have sufficient knowledge, expertise and ability for handle with Bible and to educate other people about God. Who need peace of paper as proof you have qualification to work in such spiritual field?
      Jworg web site:
       Application was made to the U.S. government for foreign students to be admitted under non immigration student visa provisions. In response, the U.S. Office of Education gave recognition to Gilead School as offering education comparable to professional colleges and educational institutions. Thus, since 1953, U.S. consuls throughout the world have had the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead on their list of approved educational institutions. As of April 30, 1954, this school appeared in the publication entitled “Educational Institutions Approved by the Attorney General.” -  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      WT Society say how "worldly education" is of no worth for future life in Paradise, even more, it is inspired by devil and can corrupt JW young members, WHY this same WT Society had need to be RECOGNIZED by Educational worldly system, about whom they speaking so bad? For JW students who need visa for US to be able to come to Gilead School. This is technical reason. And Gilead School, by this action, found itself on worldly list with all other undesirable institutions who "spiritually corrupting people". 
      Do Gilead School students get some "credentials or diploma" in shape of paper after they successfully finished program? Because they "graduate class".
    • By Srecko Sostar
      JW's preach about Kingdom, Armageddon, and Eternal Life. This eternal life shall be in the future, after the last ordeal/exam at the end of the Kingdom of Christ, that is, at the end of 1000 years of that Kingdom.
      The concept of eternity and therefore of eternal life for man is great desire of all people. No one wants to die, unless he is very old and infirm or severely ill or in great suffering. But many people, even under such circumstances, have desire to survive and live. 
       
      JWs are not sure, will they get eternal life. But they have great hope for it, if they remain faithful to God, as they say.
      Because of such stand, it is interesting to note the famous words written in the Bible. "And this is an eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." - Mat 17
      This is where we meet the equalization of terms. Knowing God and Jesus = Eternal Life. Conversely, eternal life = the knowledge of God and Jesus.

      What JW's doing to get knowledge of God (and eternal life as result)? They read the Bible, they read WT publications, they listen to lectures, going preaching ..etc. The program for getting to know God and Jesus consists of, for the newcomers, in the Bible study system, attending meetings, preaching, and baptism. Consecration and baptism should mean that these new members have had by then, to that moment (cca 6 months  or 1 year) came to know God and Jesus enough to give their lives to Them .... and to have hope for future eternal life.
      Further question applies to both, newly baptized and those who have been "in the knowledge of God and Jesus" for decades. Do you have eternal life? Do you have it now? 
      JW's are very sure how they know the truth and Them, now.  What is the truth? To know Them. Jesus also said: I am The Way, The Truth and The Life. What Life? Eternal Life or some other Life? As result of what JW's know, we should, supposedly, conclude how JW's have: The way, the truth and the eternal life, because of how this facts are presented by them, about knowledge they have. 

      JW's will say how they will get it (eternal life), after the end of 1000th year Kingdom. But Jesus said how eternal life IS knowing Them. When?.... when you/they will know Them? In 1 century, after every Jesus' lessons and speech? Or after teaching that people received by Apostles who had been "inspired"? Or after people have been educated by Russell' publications, and get to know Them in such way? Or through preaching methods incorporated by JW organization?  
      Well, if JW's say how they will get eternal life in the future, that would mean how they don't know God and Jesus today. Jesus spoke about different logic: To know Them means you have eternal life. Do you know Them now? If you say, Yes, this would mean you have eternal life now. 
      But i see another issue here, too. God (and Jesus) living from eternity to eternity. In that sense, all what is connected about knowing Them is outside life span of every human. Possibility to know God and Jesus is impossible to human, because we are not eternal. Even with future aspect that some of us will live forever, it is not enough time to be in position to collect (with mind and heart) all what is possible to know about Them. In our position today, as people who lives 70-90 years, it is also impossible to know Them in such short period.
      We coming to these questions too:
      About what knowledge (in quality and quantity) Jesus spoke?
      About what eternal life (when and what sort of life....You will be in paradise with me, today, or after 1914, or after Kingdom ends... etc.) Jesus spoke? 
      ... or you can suggest some other questions too :))
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   The Supreme Court Rejected a Case About the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Sex Abuse
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. October 8, 2019   Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced that Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. concerning the organization that oversees the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We can breathe a huge sigh of relief that the case won’t be overturned. (In that link, it’s case 19-40 on page 42.)
       
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      The case, which involved child molestation and religious secrecy, centered around an incident that took place on July 15, 2006.
      J.W., a nine-year-old girl with Jehovah’s Witness parents, was invited to her first slumber party at the home of Gilbert Simental. He had a daughter her age, so that wasn’t too weird. Two other girls (sisters) were also at the party. These families all knew and trusted Simental because, while he was no longer a local Witness leader, he had spent more than a decade as an elder in the faith. He was a religious leader who stepped down, he said, to spend more time with his son. They believed him. They all respected him. It’s why they allowed their girls into his home.
      During that party, everyone got into a pool in the backyard… including Simental. And he proceeded to molest J.W. and the sisters. He did it again later that night. The sisters eventually told their parents, who reported Simental to local Witness elders (which is what they’re taught to do in these situations).
      Simental confessed to some of the allegations, and the elders basically gave him a faith-based slap on the wrist: a reprimand that had no meaning outside church circles.
      Things changed only when the sisters’ school principal learned about what happened and, as required by law, reported the abuse to local law enforcement. Police soon contacted J.W.’s family asking for their story, but after consulting with the Witnesses, her father chose not to speak with the cops.
      It was a year later when J.W., then 10 years old, told her parents what Simental did to her in the pool. It infuriated them, and they told the Witness elders that they wanted a restraining order against him. The elders told him not to do that since it would require informing the police about what Simental did — and they preferred to keep his actions private.
      Here’s the bigger problem: There’s reason to believe the Witnesses were aware that Simental was a child molester… and they kept it from the families. Simental was allowed to be a religious leader — earning respect from the community — even though higher-ups in the religion knew that he shouldn’t be around children.
      It raised an important question: How much blame did the Witnesses deserve for what happened at that pool party?
      J.W.’s family eventually filed a criminal lawsuit against Simental and a separate civil suit against the Watchtower Society (the Witnesses’ governing organization). They basically said the Witnesses should have informed congregation members about Simental and stopped him from being around children. They never should have allowed him to be a religious leader.
      The Watchtower Society’s argument? They didn’t know Simental was a child molester, and the pool party occurred after he was no longer a religious leader, and the slumber party wasn’t a church-sponsored event, so leave them out of this.
      (To be clear, I’m simplifying the details of this case and the legal journey quite a bit.)
      When this case went to trial in California, J.W.’s family demanded that the Watchtower Society produce documents relating to what they knew about child molesters within the faith. The Witnesses had already admitted to keeping lists of problematic leaders along with their specific “crimes” — similar to the Catholic Church. If Simental was on that list — from 1997, nearly a decade before the pool incident — it would essentially be a smoking gun showing the Witnesses knew he was a threat to kids but did nothing about it.
      But the Witnesses refused to hand over that material. They treated it like Catholics treat confession: It’s private information, they argued, and to reveal what was said internally would violate their religious beliefs.
      J.W.’s family didn’t buy that argument. The information they wanted wasn’t bound by clergy-penitent confessional privilege. It’s not like Simental told the elders what he had done in order to confess his sins. He was caught. The Witnesses were merely shielding him from legal punishment.
      In the criminal trial, Witnesses elders were forced to admit their practices and that the private discussions they had about abusive clergy members were not considered confidential under the law.
      Mark O’Donnell, writing at JWSurvey, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. :
       
        Simental’s appeal got him nowhere. He’s in prison today. But there were still so many questions about what responsibility the Witnesses had in this whole matter.  
      J.W.’s family wanted to know why Simental, a known pedophile, was promoted within the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why did they allow him to be around children? Why didn’t they warn families? Why did they just give him a slap on the wrist?
      In 2013, the civil trial began against the Watchtower Society, but again, the Witnesses didn’t want to provide necessary documents. They eventually lost the case. In 2015, the Riverside Superior Court of California awarded J.W. a judgment of $4,016,152.39. This past December, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in California Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
      You get the idea: The Witnesses refused to hand over internal data, presumably because it would’ve been like handing over a loaded gun. So the courts had no choice but to assume the plaintiff was telling the truth and the Watchtower Society was negligent in their handling of Simental.
      Earlier this year, in a Hail Mary attempt to reverse their punishment, the Watchtower Society Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . They wanted the justices to say that documents relating to child abuse within a religious group can be kept confidential.
      Here’s how the Witnesses’ attorney introduced his case to the justices. (You don’t need a law degree to see how he just completely dismissed the molestation.)
      Watchtower attorney Paul Polidoro said the Supreme Court needed to consider whether California violated the Constitution when it held the Jehovah’s Witnesses responsible for what Simental did “during non-church activity,” forced them to hand over internal communications, and punished them for protecting everyone’s “privacy rights.”
      J.W.’s attorney Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. asking the Court to flat-out reject this case.
      Indeed, that’s what the Court decided. When the first set of orders in the new term was released yesterday, there was this case among many many others, in the list of those which would not get heard this term.
       
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      It was the right move. There’s nothing further to debate here. Finally, this case has been put to rest.
      (Image via Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Large portions of this article were published earlier)
         




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