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Organ Harvesting, Falun Gong, Tibet, etc. (The WEST vs. CHINA)


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Most posts from a previous topic that dealt with organ transplants/harvesting have been moved here. The previous topic is linked below:
https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/87833-the-wests-war-of-words-against-china-starting-with-the-uyghurs

Another new topic about Socialism and Communism will be posted elsewhere, in case anyone wishes to discuss those political ideas, too.

 

 

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This is more and more true as the world gets more divided, more partisan, and more nationalistic. Pride in one's own cause, nation, religion or ideology causes one to be more apt to defend one's POV with bias, and condemn, with bias, those of an "opposite" POV . It happens to the best of us, and by that I mean that there have been several documented examples even within and among our own religion.  Even sites that rarely say anything good about JWs have acknowledged

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8 hours ago, Arauna said:

These are the ONLY places a foreigner is allowed to visit.  Police follow all foreign journalists and visitors are watched. His comments confirmed the narrative.

I know for a fact that this is not true. China does not like Western journalists who are intent on telling lies and making stuff up. Nor does any country for that matter. There are thousands of journalists from many countries all over China. One would have to seek out only the negative stories not to see this. There are people in China who don't like many aspects of their government and protest against it, and this gets reported too.

There was an interesting example of Western bias using similar claims, that showed up from a famous Univision journalist named Jorge Ramos. His recent anti-Maduro interview where he was supposedly detained and cameras confiscated for reporting negative information in Venezuela got nearly a year of air-time in the United States. But then Maduro released the full interview (in Spanish) and Ramos came across like the biggest liar and word manipulator of all time. My wife cares nothing for politics, but she taught in perfectly fluent Spanish for years, and she translated the whole thing for me as we listened. The full interview that proved Maduro was a liar was hardly reported anywhere.

8 hours ago, Arauna said:

I  read today that 500 billionaires and many  of the CCP members have sent money out of the country a long time ago and their family members have already left china - they have bought golden passports in small countries like Cyprus.

I read it too. It started in Falun Gong's paper, the Epoch Times. Did you ever wonder how an anti-CCP cult could get a paper in 35 countries and spend billions in advertising? Here's WIkipedia's opening take on the Epoch Times:

If you start looking up information on China in Google or Bing, you will be flooded with Falun Gong propaganda in the form of the Epoch Times.

8 hours ago, Arauna said:

To save face, the CCP is becoming aggressive under Xi Ping and may even go to a minor war to show their strength ... or to give the country a feeling of unified nationalistic pride......   There are many Chinese who love his aggressive attitude.

Western media like Falun Gong's becomes very proficient at seeing how the West acts and projects such actions on China. If China went to war one-one-hundredth as often as the West goes to war, they would suddenly be the most draconian regime ever imagined.

8 hours ago, Arauna said:

I have been watching what is going on in China since 2006 when they were caught the first time with organ harvesting.

They were never caught with organ harvesting. Being caught implies evidence, not just claims from Falun Gong.

8 hours ago, Arauna said:

When it becomes public knowledge then the CCP will come down on the perpetrator with full force if CCP loses face.  Otherwise you can get the job done any way you like.

This is one of the easiest ways to make conspiracies sound more plausible, too. Just say that corruption is a "policy" but that you should not get caught. And if you do, then say that the punishment was only meted out against the corruption because they were caught. What you seem not to realize is that the laws against corruption have been very harsh against all types of financial corruption for decades. There is a lot of inconsistency in claiming that the CCP wants full control, wants corruption, but allows governers to get the job done any way they like, and wants to punish corruption when it's caught.

It's the same way in which one can claim that the only reason 80 percent of Chinese people declare positive support the government is because if they didn't they would be "disappeared." (Which would tend to make it 100% positive support.)

It's the same way that one would say that all reports that are negative about China must be true, and all reports that are positive must be naive. The world is a little more nuanced than this. There are plenty of negative things to say about China. You ask me why I appear to defend things like live "against-your-will" organ harvesting. Of course, I wouldn't defend it. But I also think it would be nearly impossible to hide all the evidence about such claims. I also don't think it fits the idea of the CCP always trying to save face. And it's definitely not necessary as a way to make money judging by the strength of the Chinese economy.

I understand the need to call me arrogant because I quote books that you think I'm calling you an ignoramus. I apologize for making you feel like this is intended. I actually enjoy the conversation because you seem to be the most well-read on issues regarding China. I do not believe that you yourself are racist and fear-mongering, yet you defend the information that comes from the racist and fear-mongering sources. It's those sources I am addressing. This is not personal.

Christians are not supposed to slander. And I think that making statements about people and governments that could be true, but which we do not know to be true can border on slander. You make these claims while claiming to "know" them to be true. Or you claim they have been "proven" to be true. Perhaps you even have good evidence rather than just claims from other sources making the same claims. I'm still interested because you might be able to provide this kind of evidence on some of the claims you bring up.

I am always ready to reconsider, but my opinion will be based on the preponderance of the evidence, not just claims.

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5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

China does not like Western journalists

That is an understatement.  I watched a debate today with Chinese government officials. It was held at oxford university - where several scholars ( including a German one - their research is thorough) and people who know what is going on in China as well as Chinese citizens, who asked questions about family members still in detention. These officials are so smooth.... In this debate it was revealed again how Chinese secret police follow all visitors around.  Since 2013, after Xi ping became the party leader, there has been a drastic change ..... towards more aggressive policies. He has 'purged' most of his opposition in the CCP.  It also came out in this debate that in the Muslim provinces there are road blocks every few hundred meters where peoples papers are inspected.  This corroborates other accounts I have listened to. it is not slander.

There are also problems with their old room-mate Russia.  They are becoming too aggressive for Russia. 

I recently listened to the story of the South African and his American friend who "fled" to USA after living in China for 15 years i (Yes that racist! who loved China but was being harassed by secret police where ever he went.... and his wife was threatened at work - who was a doctor at a clinic in China.  He spoke Chinese and the secret police did not know that he could understand what they were saying... )  He loved china and its people but he narrowly escaped the regime  because the regime was becoming too paranoid about him making films in the countryside.  He used to ride around on his motorbike and make films about the little villages and the countryside.  He was not allowed to talk to anyone.

I listened to the account of an ex-Chinese woman: she was talking about her husband who was a surgeon.  She used to catch him in a state of staring at the ceiling - almost in a stupor.  Eventually he confessed to her that he was harvesting corneas from young healthy children... for the government..... she eventually fled china and left him.

5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

but is blocked in mainland China.[8]

You have to please explain to me why all western media and western newspapers are purged  in China  (unless cleaned up) because they are too western.  Certain words are not longer being used -  like in the novel of 1984.  You also have to explain to me why all foreign students (students who studied abroad were now taken into custody in Hong Kong) or are followed by secret police to ensure they have not been infected by western ideas of freedom or religion.  Please explain why google and other media cannot operate without agreements for the CCP to block all unwanted content.  Does that sound like a healthy "free" situation to you ?   .

What will they do if they catch a JWs with literature?  All house Christians are now being arrested and neighbors are encouraged to snitch on neighbors who are suspiciously religious.  So according to you, if this happens to a witness it will be slander of the government..... not reality.       I think you are living in  la la land - not the real planet .....  you remind me of  lord Chamberlain who came back from Hitler with a valueless "peace agreement".  

I met a 60 year old  Chinese woman in field service who fled to one of the ex- soviet states and has spent her time there.  She is desperately trying to remain in one of these countries and not go back to china.  she is not religious but just wants to get out from under the extreme control.  Unfortunately most of these countries only give Chinese 3 months tourist visa.  

So by your condemnation of a Chinese-owned newspaper in USA, which tries to expose what is going on ...,  it is clear to me that you do not like the idea that people who practice a house religion in private and are persecuted by a government just for this fact....... if they go to another country and try to make people aware of their persecution and the "killing" of their members by horrendous live removal of organs..... by publishing real experiences in  newspapers..... that the problem lies with them .... and not with the authoritarian government?  Is that logical thinking?  So you would be against witnesses telling of their horrendous experiences of family members disappearing ..... and if the government denies this..... it means the witnesses are lying?  What financial gain would a poor person get by exposing the fact that  they cannot track their family members and just want justice?  They want nothing else - just justice!

In France they have BIG problems with Muslims but I have not read any article that they are putting large numbers of Muslims in prison... Neither have I heard  stories trickling out of France that their organs being used.  What they are doing in china is unethical and inhumane.  Yes, you are good at googling up documents that sell the CCP propaganda .....you are good at that...  but that is about it.....The time that your son was there was during the BOOM.   Westerners were courted for their value....especially if you were a professor or someone connected to the USA government.  Many of our government officials had their children sit on Chinese boards and raked in millions.  Biden himself has indicated that his son has now stepped down because it is making his presidential bid very  uncomfortable.  

Remember Jehovah has given us the right to CHOOSE our god and our own religion... the bible indicates that this is the only time we disobey authorities - when they prescribe our religion for us.  China is doing just that. 

5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Being caught implies evidence

Yes - a doctor defected and I listened to his testimony. ......  and more and more stories are leaking out of the horrendous treatment of those with a religion. (Doctors involved are also talking). I watched a documentary of a Chinese doctor who defected and was researching if the organ harvesting is still going on.   The United nations told China to stop after they were first caught out.   CCP just got smarter and closed all venues for news to leak out ...... but it has not stopped.

No religion is allowed unless approved by government.  ... and all religious books are 'changed' to reflect the cult of worship of state.  People who have come out of those uighur religious re-training centers and managed to flee tell how they are forced to sing the anthem and write tests on government propaganda which is rammed down their throats day and night.  Their family members are rounded up after they have fled to stop them speaking out.  It is tyranny! 

The doctors who spoke out were not Falun Gong..... but surgeons that were forced into doing  inhumane things! Their consciences bothered them even though not religious.

6 hours ago, JW Insider said:

ave spread conspiracy theories such as QAnon and anti-vaccination propaganda.[7

I read this about an US  doctor who spoke out and said that hydroxy-chloroquinine works.  The US press destroyed his reputation by claiming all kinds of far-right things.   If this is not "cancelling " a persons reputation by associating them with these organizations.  You are drinking the cup of propaganda.   I am surprised they include racist in there. 

  I watched an interview again yesterday on abc australia...  I think it was.... and doctors are citing the newest studies which PROVE that hydroxy-chloroquine works.  Unfortunately - in USA - the press would immediately brand such as person a Trump supporter, racist, Q-anon supporter,  an anti-vaxer etc.....  the propaganda is ludicrous and this is what is leading everyone to the new totalitarian state where every word will be controlled   !!!!!   All the clues of  totalitarianism is already here!  Once such as situation is installed there will be no way to turn it back.  This is why I believe the worst tribulation will be here..... and we will not be able to buy and sell because you will be forced into proving loyalty to the state.  Hopefully Jah steps in before this goes too far!

6 hours ago, JW Insider said:

What you seem not to realize is that the laws against corruption have been very harsh against all types

The popular way to put CCP opposition in  prison is to claim that they were corrupt..... that is the way to put a clean face on things when you purge opposition.

6 hours ago, JW Insider said:

80 percent of Chinese people declare positive support the government

Their phones are tapped, everywhere they go is facial recognition... everyone is afraid to say anything too loud because if it reeks of any anti-government or freedom sentiments and it gets out - you are done for.  

 

6 hours ago, JW Insider said:

comes from the racist and fear-mongering sources.

Then the 'reality' is racist.  By the way- you cannot get citizenship..........  you are not Chinese.   in USA anyone could become a citizen......if you enter legally.   Not in China.  

 

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4 hours ago, Arauna said:

I listened to the account of an ex-Chinese woman: ..... he confessed to her that he was harvesting corneas from young healthy children.

The first thing that struck me is the "ex" factor, reminding me all too well of ex-JWs. (or ex- anyone for that matter). How much of their stories are the whole story? Are they telling us all the facts, or only select pieces?

I cannot imagine that there are "cornea less" children walking around in China. Sounds more like she couldn't stand her husband 😃

Edit: I suppose he killed the children

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1 hour ago, Anna said:

And then there there this statement to the UN by Hamid Sabi. @JW Insider how credible do you see this as?

 

I don’t pretend to weigh in credibly on this but it did strike as odd that he appears to feel he must explain that it is wrong to cut organs from living people, and that the fact that others are benefited does not justify it.

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

especially after Prince's death in 2016

Ah—finally. Something I can weigh in on with some fervor. If it wasn’t so crass and I wasn’t so scared of the old hen, I would use this reference to hawk my book once more.

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2 hours ago, Anna said:

And then there there this statement to the UN by Hamid Sabi. @JW Insider how credible do you see this as?

Credible? It's Falun Gong. My opinion of Falun Gong is that they are laughably and ridiculously and incredibly incredible.

I have already expressed some of those opinions here, and we have never even gotten into most of their other incredible claims. But I will quote someone who has done some of the legwork here on the "China Tribunal" statement read by Hamid Sabi.

There are many sources and pieces to this, but they have been most clearly stated here on a website called the TheGrayZone.com :

The rest of this post will be quotes of large portions of the article, below, and I will highlight the portion related to the UN presentation, but the whole thing is here: https://thegrayzone.com/2019/09/30/reports-china-organ-harvesting-cult-falun-gong/

--------------

A wave of corporate media reports on Chinese organ harvesting rely without acknowledgement on front groups connected to the far-right Falun Gong cult, whose followers believe “Trump was sent by heaven to destroy the Communist Party.”

By Ryan McCarthy

Western corporate media outlets have gone wild with claims that the Chinese state is “harvesting” the organs of ethnic minorities and political opposition figures. But an investigation by The Grayzone has found that these allegations originate from front groups run by the far-right opposition cult Falun Gong.

Falun Gong, whose devotees can often be seen clad in yellow and performing coordinated qi gong routines in crowded city centers, runs an ultra-conservative, staunchly pro-Donald Trump media network that has been compared to Alex Jones’ Infowars.

According to a former member of the fringe religious group, Falun Gong believes that an apocalyptic judgement day is soon approaching and “that Trump was sent by heaven to destroy the [Chinese] Communist Party.”

In order to understand, then, how heavily politicized rumors from an obscure far-right cult found their way into the headlines, it is essential to trace the roots of the story through an elaborate network of front groups.

In June 2019, a London-based organization called the China Tribunal published a report claiming that the Chinese government has been systematically executing and harvesting the organs of members of Falun Gong, a leading force of opposition to Beijing in the diaspora.

The China Tribunal describes itself as an “independent tribunal into forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China.” Most Western journalists took the organization at its word.

Up to and after it published the report, the China Tribunal received scattered coverage from various mainstream media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and The Guardian. In September, the coverage ramped up considerably after the China Tribunal presented its case to the UN Human Rights Council, with major outlets like The Independent and Reuters joining in.

One thing all this reporting has in common is that it assumes the China Tribunal is truly “independent.” On its website, the China Tribunal says that it was “initiated by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), an international not for profit organisation, with headquarters in Australia and National Committees in the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.”

So what is ETAC, really?

On ETAC’s website, one finds a “management” page with a list of people, devoid of any information except their names, photographs, and positions in the organization. The executive director and co-founder is Susie Hughes; Margo MacVicar is named as the New Zealand national manager; Rebecca James is the UK national manager for outreach, and so on.

Where do these figures come from, and what brought them together? The website has no bios. But follow the names, and it soon becomes apparent that there is another connection apart from ETAC — the Epoch Times.

A far-right anti-China propaganda network run by a cult

The Epoch Times, which uses the slogan “Truth and Tradition,” has marketed itself as just another conservative, pro-Trump media outlet.

But NBC News published a major exposé in August revealing it to be the media arm of the opposition cult Falun Gong. The report details the bizarre workings of the Falun Gong organization, showing how the Epoch Times is carving a place for itself in American right-wing media.

NBC News found that the Falun Gong website spent more than $1.5 million on roughly 11,000 pro-Trump advertisements on Facebook in just six months, “more than any organization outside of the Trump campaign itself, and more than most Democratic presidential candidates have spent on their own campaigns.”

[removed Falun Gong's swastika symbols, and their explanation]

So where do the ETAC managers fit in with Falun Gong? Susie Hughes has photographer credits on several Epoch Times articles (her name seems to have been scrubbed, the photos merely credited to “The Epoch Times,” but the credit still shows up on Google searches at the time of writing). Margo MacVicar has numerous articles gushing about Shen Yun, Falun Gong’s traveling dance show. Rebecca “Becky” James shows up organizing a Falun Gong art exhibition in Bristol and sharing vegan drink recipes.

ETAC’s UK national manager for initiatives, Andy Moody, is credited by Epoch Times as a reporter for its sibling NTD, or New Tang Dynasty Television, Falun Gong’s TV arm. (Concerned Canadians have noted that the cult’s propaganda network has received millions of their tax dollars worth of disproportionate funding.)

ETAC’s UK communications coordinator Victoria Ledwidge appears in another Epoch Times article, coming to greet Shen Yun performers in London and, of course, acclaiming the “amazing” performance.

As one goes down the list of ETAC management, these Falun Gong connections spring up for almost everyone. ETAC is very clearly a Falun Gong front group.

Neither ETAC nor China Tribunal discloses these connections, but it hardly takes an intrepid investigative journalist to find them. So why was this level of basic research a step too far for, say, Owen Bowcott at the Guardian, who does little more than transmit ETAC’s talking points?

In fact, Falun Gong itself is actively spreading this “organ harvesting” rumor in major North American cities. The Grayzone’s Ben Norton saw some of the cult’s activists standing in central Toronto next to a giant banner titled “Stop Forced Live Organ Harvesting in China.”

They handed out pamphlets to passers-by declaring that the “Chinese Communist Regime Is Slaughtering Innocents” (using a painting as supposed evidence), while preaching about the “great health benefits” of Falun Gong.

The far-right cult is clearly using these rumors to proselytize and recruit new supporters.

‘Research’ overseen by a cult that sidelines real doctors

Turning to the China Tribunal’s report itself, it is apparent that, despite the authors’ claim to “have maintained distance and separation from ETAC in order to ensure their independence,” they rely heavily on information curated for them by ETAC.

The introduction, after describing ETAC as “a not-for-profit coalition of lawyers, medical professionals and others”, goes on to state that “ETAC’s main interest has been the alleged suffering of practitioners of ‘Falun Gong’, a group performing meditative exercises and pursuing Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, but regarded by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since 1999 as an ‘anti-humanitarian, anti-society and anti-science cult’.”

It is understandable that critics might hesitate to take the PRC’s characterization of Falun Gong at face value. But it is easy to make a fair evaluation of the group’s true character simply by perusing their own publications, where one will learn, for instance, that modern science was invented by aliens as part of a scheme to take over human bodies; or that feminism, environmentalism, and homosexuality are part of Satan’s plan to make us into communists; or that race-mixing severs our connection to the gods.

. . .

The report summary goes on to state: “Evidence was submitted by ETAC for the first hearing, amplified by further evidence following the first and second evidence hearings.” So despite framing their investigation as separate and independent of ETAC, the authors admit that they began with evidence fed to them by ETAC.

Their reliance on ETAC is further highlighted later when several doctors are named who expressed skepticism about the Falun Gong organ harvesting narrative. These doctors are listed as “doctors speaking favourably of the PRC.”

The report then states:

“All of these doctors were invited by the Tribunal to participate in the Tribunal’s proceedings. Their participation would have greatly assisted the Tribunal in its work; they all declined the invitations. Further, although each did contribute in person to a recent report by an Australian Government Committee their contributions have been subject to review by ETAC that reveals that they produced no hard evidence to support what they said and could be criticised for their methodology or their experience in transplant surgery.”

In other words, the China Tribunal didn’t see any need to consider their testimony, because ETAC had already looked at it and declared it to be bogus.

One of these doctors, Francis Delmonico, was contacted by the science journal Nature for its article on the China Tribunal’s report — a rare case of a dissenting opinion being registered, however grudgingly.

Delmonico was asked specifically for his opinion on a research paper cited by the China Tribunal, which was published on the scientific archive, SocArXiv, by Matthew Robinson – a research fellow of the famously impartial Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation:

“But Francis Delmonico, a surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, says that although there is evidence that organs were taken from prisoners in the past — which he condemns — he is not convinced by the SocArXiv evidence because it is not direct. Delmonico is chair of the World Health Organization’s Task Force on Donation and Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues and has been supporting organ-donation reform in China for more than a decade, although he made his comments to Nature in a personal capacity.”

Lobbyists for an anti-Iran cult go to bat for an anti-China one

The China Tribunal’s report is not the first alleging that the Chinese government is murdering Falun Gong prisoners en masse to harvest their organs. It relies heavily on an earlier document, known as the Kilgour-Matas report, which was initially released in 2006 and updated several times since then, with the title “Bloody Harvest.”

This previous report was commissioned by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China. Unlike ETAC, CIPFG plainly states that it is a Falun Gong organization.

More interesting connections arise when probing the backgrounds of the co-authors of the report, David Kilgour and David Matas.

David Matas is the senior legal counsel for B’nai Brith Canada, a right-wing pro-Israel lobby that works hard to tar any critique of the occupation of Palestine as anti-semitism. He was also . . . [4 paragraphs removed here]

So both authors of “Bloody Harvest” advocate on behalf of, not one, but two cults that also happen to be darlings of regime-change enthusiasts in and around Western governments. (The latest edition of “Bloody Harvest” includes a third co-author, Ethan Gutmann, who, notably, has been affiliated with the Gulf monarchy-funded Brookings Institution and the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies.)

. . .

A few reporters notice Falun Gong’s seamy side

In March, Jia Tolentino published her impressions of Shen Yun in the New Yorker. Like the aforementioned NBC piece on the Epoch Times, Tolentino ‘s article shows that more and more people are noticing that there is something very odd about Falun Gong.

From the “baroque and surreal” Shen Yun dance-propaganda show, which bills itself as a last bastion of genuine Chinese culture, she moves to consider some other very troubling aspects of the Falun Gong organization, such as their penchant for resisting journalistic inquiry and harassing critics.

Tolentino also mentions a 2017 Washington Post investigation by Simon Denyer, which, while hardly a pro-PRC puff piece, casts serious doubt on the claims of the Kilgour-Matas report on organ harvesting.

Denyer may be the only journalist in the mainstream US press who conducted an independent investigation on organ harvesting in China and seriously questions Falun Gong’s organ harvesting narrative. Naturally, Ethan Gutmann felt compelled to run a rebuttal to Denyer’s report on ETAC’s website — and one can only imagine the kinds of emails and phone calls Denyer has been getting since he dared to publish that piece.

For most of the Western corporate media, the “Bloody Harvest” horror story is too ghoulishly titillating to subject to serious scrutiny, especially when the “Yellow Peril”-style villain is an increasingly powerful state threatening the old hegemonies.


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3 hours ago, Anna said:

And then there there this statement to the UN by Hamid Sabi. @JW Insider how credible do you see this as?

 

In 1:18 , that scene make first impression on me when i saw it --- Lady spent some time in shopping and returned with full bag of food (grocery and similar) because she didn't find interest to listen some speakers and some themes.

Anna, sorry for interruption, but that was stronger than me. :) 

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8 minutes ago, Srecko Sostar said:

that scene make first impression on me when i saw it

But what impression? Why do you think she wasn't interested? Maybe she wrote the speech and already knew the contents? Maybe she is purposely distracting to lessen the impact? Maybe she is CIA, Falun Gong, CCP, hungry?

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9 hours ago, JW Insider said:

But what impression? Why do you think she wasn't interested? Maybe she wrote the speech and already knew the contents? Maybe she is purposely distracting to lessen the impact? Maybe she is CIA, Falun Gong, CCP, hungry?

I seem to have failed to write the word — perhaps, and than this or that. Perhaps she was late due to traffic jam.

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16 hours ago, JW Insider said:

A few reporters notice Falun Gong’s seamy side

So - if people are odd - it gives us the right to get rid of them and put them in custody?   JWs are odd to the rest of the world.... so it is excellent justification to imprison them when they are odd? As far as I know falun gong swear to speak the truth and too many people were joining them.  CCP is extremely paranoid about any group becoming so popular. 

As I said before - Sweden has violent Muslims putting down bombs, rioting and burning - even telling swedes to leave the country if they do not like to adjust to arabs; Holland has Muslims killing people; France has rioting Muslims... but I do not hear of any of these countries putting them  in prison for their ethnicity.  Only those who have committed crimes are in prison.

Is it not strange to you all that soooo many religious groups, who managed to get out of China, are sponsoring media outlets to try to get the heavily suppressed/guarded news out of China?  If it was just falun Gong one could say there is not a problem.... but it is muslims and house-christians who are targeted as well - all groups.... CCP is pananoid.  They are now ordering people to put photos of Xi ping in their homes..... Are we going to get NBC to say these people are far-right as well?   These atrocities have been hidden way too long and china has gotten away with horrors while the west was sleeping. Busch, clinton, obama - all of them said nothing because their administrations were cashing in on the boom.

Remember - dead people cannot talk for themselves.  They are dead victims.  So it is only those family members who are alive who can tell their stories - or those people who were in prison themselves, were tortured  and by sheer luck of circumstance got away.  This is what is happening now. Can you blame them for trying to expose the horror?  or has the world become so desensitized that they do not see something which does not add up here? 

I do not understand the reasoning?   So 'oddness'  ( Falon gong was so popular that CCP became afraid - they then used terror tactics and torture to make people renounce this faith and if they did not they were viewed as fodder )  Does this justify the many inhuman actions?  No matter how odd one may be - a person has a god-given right to your own thoughts and prayers in private..... 

16 hours ago, JW Insider said:

-right cult Falun Gong

Any group that is seen as anti communist or anti-muslin are called far-right in the west. So where is the justification to call people who believe in speaking the truth (falun gong) to be far-right?  Even if they are laughable in your opinion .... they still have a right to choose their own religion and not to be harassed by the government for practicing it in their own house. They are persecuted for doing the exercises in their own home. House Christians are persecuted for having an unedited bible. There is NO justification for killing them and hiding the evidence.

while I do listen to far-left news outlets - I am always aware they are far-left  - similar to those labelled far right ....  I am always aware they have a certain outlook.  Does this mean I do not listen to news?  No - I filter out the propaganda. NBC is not unbiased.  We all know that these news outlets are bias and owned by billionaires with far-left views. Have you seen their company policies for reporters?  Each reporter has to adhere to the policies.  This means you do not speak about taboo subjects.  Your opponents are labelled. 

There is a book on the market - written by a Canadian human rights lawyer who is totally a-political.  He took many cases of Falun Gong family members and other religions (prisoners of conscience) who are and have been persecuted in china. He talks about the heart and lung transplant tourism in china which was booming.  This was funding the military.  The military first used organs of prisoners. 

He says it is hundreds of thousands of people... so if you refuse to do military service - you may end up on one of these tables..... .They have organs available on a specific date.... you could book a transplant a month or two weeks before it is done.  They confirm that a matching organ will be available.  He said he did research to write this book because he knew that no-one else would do this research..... after having spoken to so many people seeking his help.

 "Bloody Harvest" -   it was first published in 2007 and has been updated. David Matas and David Kilgour 

I also listened to another interview where they phone hospitals and pretend to be doctors making arrangements for patients..... same thing. ... organs available....  guaranteed to match the tissue of patient.

 

 

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      The South American Sleeper: The Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru
      For the first time in May 2017, travellers will be able not only to traverse the Andes in one of the most luxurious trains on earth, but to sleep overnight on one. The Belmond Andean Explorer has been built to carry up to 68 passengers in en-suite cabins decorated by the South African designer Inge Moore in contemporary light woods and comforting alpaca-wool colours.
      Each of the train’s cars is fitted with expansive windows to frame views of the Andean plains, mountains and grand architecture, including the Unesco World Heritage Site of Arequipa. Although another two trains already operate in this area – Belmond’s Hiram Bingham, which offers day trips to Machu Picchu, and the more traditional Inca Princess  – this is the first modern luxury train to offer trips from Cusco to Lake Titicaca and Arequipa, on one- and two-night journeys. Chefs from the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco will serve modern Peruvian cuisine in two dining cars; guests can also enjoy spacious lounge and observation cars, and an open deck.  Doubles from £738 , all-inclusive, for one night. 
      The Gorilla Camp: Bisate Lodge, Rwanda
      One of the key trends in Africa in 2017 is the growth of camps that offer both sustainable luxury and adventure. Hence Wilderness Safaris’ decision to open Bisate Lodge in June as a luxury base for tracking the 10 habituated gorilla groups  in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park (doubles from £1,762 full board, excluding gorilla permits).
      The lodge, raised high above the forest floor in the amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone, has been designed by architect Nick Plewman to echo the spherical, thatched structures that dot the hills, as well as the layout of traditional Rwandan palaces. The interiors by Caline Williams-Wynn have been inspired by the rich detail of Rwandan textiles, many of which are made using a technique called imigongo, an ancient art form incorporating geometric shapes.
      When the first guests arrive, they will be able not only to track gorillas, but to  hike to Dian Fossey’s grave and her former research station at Karisoke, to trek to the top of a nearby volcano, and then to relax in the extensively reforested gardens.
      The Jungle Retreat: Nekupe Sporting Resort and Retreat, Nicaragua
      Nicaragua’s first luxe mountain resort sits in the lush landscape of Nandaime, just 40 minutes’ drive from the pretty colonial city of Granada. Nekupe – or heaven, in the indigenous Chorotega  language – was designed with the help of a feng shui architect to have the highest energy flow and least environmental impact possible, and the four freestanding villas and four expansive suites, with king-sized beds, made-for-sharing bathtubs and alfresco showers, are decorated in earth tones and warm woods that echo the serene setting (doubles from £720, full board). Floor-to-ceiling windows frame views over Mombacho  volcano’s perfect cone, and wraparound terraces  are perfect for sipping daiquiris, before farm-to-table feasts of nuevo-Nicaraguan cuisine.

      Nekupe will provide access to Nicaragua's underexplored nature reserves
      The surrounding nature reserve,  which echoes with the sounds of primates and toucans, can be explored on ATVs, as well as on paths created for hikers, bikers and horseback riders, or on zip wires, which soar above the forest canopy. For those not expending energy on target-shooting, tennis and yoga, there is an infinity pool and a spa.
      The Cook Ski Spot: Lech, Austria
      Size matters to ski resorts, so the hotly anticipated coronation of Ski Arlberg as Austria’s largest contiguous ski area is big news indeed. Encompassing eight villages, including big hitters St Anton, Lechand Zürs, Ski Arlberg is already one of the best-known ski areas in the Alps. But now its four new lifts are open, linking the entire area to deliver 109 miles  of pistes (three more than Val d’Isère), Ski Arlberg will join the ranks of the world’s über resorts.

      New developments have given Lech a leg up
      The four connected lifts, known as the Flexenbahn, will place Lech at the epicentre of the ski area (stealing some thunder from St Anton). While expanding its lifts, Lech has also been consolidating its position as Austria’s leading town for luxury ski chalets. In December – hot on the heels of properties like the Aurelio Clubhouse, Chalet N, Chalet 1597 and Überhaus, which have raised the luxury bar in recent years – Severin’s Alpine Retreat will open its doors. The nine-suite hotel will be fitted with only the best: Minotti furnishings, a spa with an indoor infinity pool and hypoxic chamber for altitude training, and a ski room with bespoke Indigo kit.
      Guests can take over the chalet, for free rein over the suites, restaurant, capacious spa and fire-lit lounges, or plump for The Residence: a sleek four-bedroom private apartment spanning two floors  with a professional kitchen, cinema, bar and outdoor hot tub. The Oxford Ski Company offers a week for two people at Severin’s Alpine Retreat from £6,440, including transfers and flights.
      The Rugged Destination: Pamir Mountains, Tajikistan
      Tajikistan was the second-fastest growing tourist destination in the world in 2015, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Which is why in 2017 Edge Expeditions will be running a two-week Luxury Tajikistan tour of the country’s spectacular Pamir Mountains: one the most diverse, wild, exhilarating and least-explored corners of the planet.
      With a team of expert guides, a maximum of eight guests will traverse the raw wilderness by either four-wheel-drive vehicles, with a driver, or motorbikes. Journeying along the legendary Pamir Highway, travellers will spend days exploring azure mountain lakes, hidden valleys, ancient ruins and high mountain passes that very few outsiders ever get to see.
      The trip starts off at a five-star hotel in the capital, Dushanbe, while on the road the ground crew will prepare yurt camps with hot showers, comfortable beds, Egyptian cotton sheets and gourmet meals prepared by the expedition’s private chef. Along the way, both British and Tajik guides will interpret the layered history of the region, while astronomers with telescopes will also be on hand to explore some of the least light-polluted night skies in the world. 
      Edge Expeditions is offering a 14-day Luxury Tajikistan journey by four-wheel-drive or motorcycle, from £9,495 full board, starting and ending at Dushanbe, including transfers, motorcycle rental or vehicle (with driver), back-up vehicles, guides and medic, but excluding international flights.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/travel/2017-years-best-luxury-outdoor-adventure-holidays-namibia-nicaragua/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Chinese Communist Party prepares offensive against Christianity
       

    • By The Librarian
      China's governing Communist Party is set to launch a nationwide crackdown on the Christian Church.
      By Matthew Carney - ABC
      The Communist Party has just enacted much tougher laws that criminalise Christians if they do not pledge loyalty to the state.
      Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned that all religions now have to become "Chinese" and the new laws will attempt to bring churchgoers and their leaders under party control.
      The new laws will put the state firmly in charge, giving the Communist Party the ability to hire and fire church leaders and change religious doctrine to make it more Chinese...
      That means churchgoers will have to pledge loyalty to the Communist Party first.
      There is good reason to be afraid. Chinese Authorities have already started the crackdown in the Christian heartland in the southern province of Zhejiang.
      It's been extensive and brutal. In the past two years they have torn down nearly 2000 crosses and in some cases demolished churches.
      Church leaders and their followers have been arrested and imprisoned.
      There's also good reason to why the Communist Party is threatened by the Church.
      Some say there are 100 million Christians in China — that's more than Communist Party members.
      The Chinese Government admits there are about 25 million Christians registered at state-run churches where pastors are appointed by the state and theology approved by the governments Religious Affairs Bureau.
      ABC 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. See also:
      New York Times 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.



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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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