By Jack Ryan
Two elders have been deleted by Watchtower for reporting an allegation of child sexual abuse to the police, contrary to Watchtower orders (a jw paedophile with a history, apparently). When the British branch discovered what the elders had done they arranged for 3 elders to fly over to Ireland, at the congregations expense no less, to hold a special JC for the ' rogue' congregation elders. One elder and the COBE were deleted, two were allowed to continue. All four had made statements to police.
Their crime was, breathtakingly, not exhibiting "soundness of mind" by not following company directives and using their own conscience!!!
The following 'Watchtower in Focus' explains all. Incredibly a practicing jw reached out to jw survey in an attempt to have a light shone on this travesty of justice, which resulted in an excellent front page article being written in a national magazine.
By Jack Ryan
He is a current member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Anthony Morris on Ireland Gay Marriage Vote (HD).mp4
By Guest Nicole
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Tuam’s Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation is hoping to refurbish its premises at the Weir Road in the town.
The development at Killaloonty would involve the renovation of the existing building, and a change of use of the adjoining caretakers apartment.
The change of use would facilitate a relocation of the front entrance, new toilet facilities, an enlarged auditorium and a new multipurpose room.
The project would also see the provision of accessible toilets and car parking bays, additional general parking and a new pedestrian entrance.
County planners are due to make a decision next month.
By Bible Speaks
School for Kingdom Evangelisers, Ireland Schools Facility.
Today's Watchtower reminded me of one student's comment during an interview at their graduation last week.
They said they appreciated that they had received a "superior education.
This is the best possible education because it comes from our Creator."
How very true. No other education compares to one from Jehovah.
Thank you @aliciafmh
By The Librarian
Witnesses describe gruesome scene of Castlebar murders
ON TRIAL Alan Cawley is pictured arriving at Swinford District Court back in July 2013, when he was charged with the murders of Tom and Jack Blaine. His trial began in Dublin last Friday. Pic: Keith Heneghan/Phocus
Ballina man on trial in Dublin for murder of ‘vulnerable, reclusive’ brothers
A woman who had cared for two elderly brothers for almost a decade became emotional in court today as she described finding their bodies covered in blood in their Castlebar home four years ago.Helen Maloney was giving evidence to the ongoing murder trial at the Central Criminal Court earlier today.Alan Cawley of Four Winds, Corrinbla, Ballina, is charged with murdering both Thomas Blaine and John (Jack) Blaine, who were beaten to death in their home.The 30 year old has admitted killing the brothers, one of whom was disabled and was scalded during the assault. However, he has pleaded not guilty to murdering them on July 10, 2013, at New Antrim Street in the town.
‘I loved them dearly’Ms Maloney told Denis Vaughan Buckley, SC, prosecuting, that she was employed as a Home Help by the HSE and had been caring for the Blaine brothers for around nine years, when they died.She became emotional when he asked her about her first impression of them. “Two absolute gentlemen,” she replied.The barrister was then given permission to lead her through her evidence, and put the contents of a document to her.She agreed with him that they were ‘very vulnerable, reclusive and had speech impediments’. She agreed that Jack Blaine had both a speech and hearing problem, and had a spinal injury from an accident in England many years earlier. He had also suffered from dementia in his last few months. She added that she used to call to see them three times a day, 365 days a year.“They were two absolute gentlemen, a pleasure to look after,” she said. “They gave so much love and respect to me. They’ll be in my mind until the day I die. I loved them dearly, and so did the people of Castlebar.”She said they were loved throughout the town, where their nickname was ‘The boys’.She described them jointly as a treasure. “They’d never hurt anybody,” she said, before describing the scene she found that morning.She said she arrived at their house at 7.15am, went into the kitchen and called out to them in the same way she had everyday: “Are you ready to rock and roll?” she said.She got no answer and looked into Tom Blaine’s bedroom, where she saw him lying on the floor, with his legs on the bed. She said she shouted: ‘Tom, Tom. It’s Helen’, but there was no response.She then saw a pool of blood on the floor and that he was saturated in blood. She said there was blood on the walls and there were bloody handprints in the room. She could see that the blood was coming from his head. She said she went out the front door and asked two council men to call the Gardaí before running back into the house.“I couldn’t find Jack,” she explained. She ran upstairs to his bedroom and found it totally ransacked. “I searched, thinking he might have been hiding with fear, but there was no Jack,” she recalled.She returned downstairs and found the back door fully opened. She saw Jack Blaine on his back on the ground, half in and half out of the house. “He was also covered in blood all over,” she said.She recalled running out the front door again and shouting: ‘Oh my God’.She said she saw Rocky Moran, the owner of a pub across the road. She described Rocky’s Bar as Jack Blaine’s ‘home from home’, where he could get a cup of tea any time of the day.“The boys are gone,” she told Mr Moran. He asked her where they’d gone. She told him they were dead and not go to in, that he didn’t want to see what was inside. She said she then got sick.Caroline Biggs SC, defending, asked if she was satisfied that the brothers would never have had the capacity to hurt her. “Never in a million years,” she replied. “The only thing they would have shown me was affection.”
‘All sliced’Michael ‘Rocky’ Moran confirmed that Ms Maloney had warned him not to go into the house but that he had gone inside anyway. He described the same scene as Ms Maloney, adding that Jack Blaine was ‘all cut’.“He was all sliced,” said the publican and undertaker.“It’s one of the worst sights I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of sights,” he said.He said he had not been working the night before and had last seen Jack Blaine on July 8. “He might have come in ten times a night for a cup of tea. He came in during the day as well,” he said.He said that he sometimes drank the tea in the pub, but that staff would mainly bring it across the street for him and leave it on his windowsill.“He only spoke to me twice ever in his life,” he said, explaining that he had known both brothers all his life.Garda Michael Tolan was one of the first gardai on the scene and described Ms Maloney as inconsolable when he arrived.He also knew both men. He told Mr Vaughan Buckley that Tom Blaine appeared to be badly marked and that his brother’s lips were split.“His stomach was bare,” he said of Jack Blaine. “There appeared to be pieces of skin removed from his stomach.”
‘That’s terrible’The jury was then shown CCTV footage of Alan Cawley’s movements around the time of the killing. It showed him cross paths with Jack Blaine outside Rocky’s Bar at 11.58pm, as an employee was delivering a cup of tea to the pensioner’s windowsill.It showed the accused enter the Blaine home at midnight, followed by Mr Blaine. Mr Cawley was seen leaving the house an hour and two minutes later.The jury also heard that the accused had been released from prison a few days earlier.Clodagh Peyton testified that she had provided B&B accommodation in apartments on Newport Road in the town. She had agreed to host Alan Cawley for a number of nights from Friday, July 5, the day he was released from Castlerea Prison, after the prison’s resettlement officer had introduced them.She said that he was a little agitated on Tuesday, July 9, having been picked up for shoplifting. “He was just telling me that he was trying to keep himself chilled out, lighting incense and things like that,” she recalled.The morning after the killing, she said, he seemed fine – relaxed, chatting and smiling. “He was asking questions about the bible,” she said, explaining that she was a Jehovah’s Witness and had left related magazines in his room.She brought a friend to meet him later that day and the three of them held a bible study for over an hour. When she told him the news of the killing, she said he replied: ‘That’s terrible’.She said she no-longer provides the service she provided at the time.The trial continues tomorrow morning (Thursday) before Mr Justice Paul Coffey and a jury of four women and eight men.
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By Guest Nicole
A Jehovah's Witness in England embroiled in a family court dispute with his estranged wife has been barred from taking his six-year-old son to some religious events by a judge.
District Judge Malcolm Dodds has refused to allow the man to take the little boy to Jehovah's Witness assemblies, annual conventions and memorials.
The judge concluded that there was a risk of the youngster suffering "emotional damage".
He heard that the couple had separated about a year after the man began to study the Jehovah's Witness faith.
The boy now lives with his mother, who did not practise any religion.
Judge Dodds said the boy was "impressionable" and might suffer as a result of getting "confusing messages" if he went with his father to certain kinds of Jehovah's Witness gatherings.
The boy's father had asked the judge to decide how much time he could spend with the boy. He also wanted the boy to be "part of" his religious beliefs.
The boy's mother had raised concern about the boy being harmed by his father's religious beliefs and had told the judge how her son had once told her "God is good and you are bad".
Judge Dodds had analysed the dispute at a private family court hearing in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, in May.
He has revealed detail in a written ruling.
The family involved has not been identified.
Judge Dodds said the man could spend time with the boy and could take him to Sunday services.
But he said he took a different view about the boy attending "assemblies, annual conventions and memorials".
The judge said the man had already agreed not to take the boy on "field service" - knocking on doors of people's homes, not to read Bible stories to him and not to show him "religious biased media", including cartoons.
"I ... do not wish to restrict him from taking (the boy) to the Kingdom Hall each Sunday for up to two hours," said Judge Dodds.
"I do not see that this practice of the father's faith for a limited period within a group service with child-friendly activities poses a risk of jeopardy to (the boy's) relationship with his mother."
The judge added: "I take a different view of assemblies, annual conventions and memorials. These are much longer events."
He went on: "There is a far greater risk that (the boy) will be influenced ... given his age and how impressionable he is and the risk of emotional damage due to confusing messages.
"As a result I find it necessary and proportionate to prohibit the father from taking (the boy) to Jehovah's Witness assemblies, annual conventions and memorials."
Judge Dodds said the man had been "wise" to agree not to show the boy "Jehovah's Witness cartoons".
The judge said he had watched cartoons called Obey Jehovah, Pay Attention At Meetings and One Man One Woman.
"In Obey Jehovah a child is taught about the sinfulness of having a cartoon character toy with magical powers which the child had to put in a bin," said the judge.
"While making sense to a child if both parents were Jehovah's Witnesses, such a cartoon would send a very confusing message to a child like (the boy) who has one foot in his mother's world and a wider world (in which magical characters are everywhere in books, television, DVDs, on the internet and in films) and his other foot in his father's world where such magical characters are sinful.
"The mother asserts that in her submissions that the objective of the cartoons and Bible stories is to condition and indoctrinate children into Jehovah's Witness beliefs through a mixture of fear, manipulation and a strict boundary between behaviour which is acceptable and pleasing and that which is not.
"The father accepts that (the boy) should not be exposed to such religious based media until (he) is at least 12."
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By Guest Nicole
On St. Patrick's Day, everyone is seeing green—whether it's the green Chicago River, green beer, green milkshakes or green clothing and bead necklaces. Many might believe that the Emerald Isle and the color green are linked because of the country's verdant landscape, but the association actually traces its roots to Irish political history.
In fact, blue is believed to have been associated with Ireland before green was. Henry the VIII claimed to be king of Ireland in the 16th century, and his flag at that point would have been blue. That's at least one reason why a blue flag with a harp is associated with the Irish President. (The harp is one of the two main symbols of Ireland, along with the Shamrock, and it dates back to the bards whose songs and stories were the chief entertainment in medieval Gaelic society.) A light blue became associated with the Order of St. Patrick, an 18th century era order of knights, perhaps to create a shade of blue for the Irish that was different from the royal blue associated with the English, says Timothy McMahon, Vice President of the American Conference for Irish Studies .
McMahon argues the earliest use of green for nationalistic reasons was seen during the violent Great Irish Rebellion of 1641, in which displaced Catholic landowners and bishops rebelled against the authority of the English crown, which had established a large plantation in the north of Ireland under King James I in the early 17th century. Military commander Owen Roe O'Neill helped lead the rebellion, and used a green flag with a harp to represent the Confederation of Kilkenny, a group that sought to govern Ireland and kick out the Protestants who had taken control of that land in the north of Ireland. (They were ultimately defeated by Oliver Cromwell.)
The color green cropped up again during an effort in the 1790s to bring nonsectarian, republican ideas to Ireland, inspired by the American revolution and the French revolution. The main society that promoted this idea, the Society of United Irishmen, wore green, especially an Irish version of the "liberty caps" worn during the French Revolution. One police report described their uniform as comprised of a dark green shirt cloth coat, green and white striped trousers, and a felt hat turned up on one side with a green emblematic cockade.
Though the rest of the uniform eventually faded from popular wear, the importance of the color green spread, thanks in part to the poems and ballads written during this time, most famously "The Wearing of the Green."
"You start to see different traditions building up around colors — the Protestant tradition is orange, the nationalist tradition associated with the Catholics is green," McMahon adds.
The origins of the wearing of green clothing in the U.S. on St. Patrick's Day and for St. Patrick's Day celebrations in general date back to the 19th century, when waves of Irish immigrants came to America looking for better job opportunities, especially after the Great Famine of the 1840s-50s, and began wearing green and carrying Irish flags along with American flags as a point of pride for their home country.
By Guest Nicole
The validity of hundreds of marriages could be in doubt amid concerns about the “training and accreditation” of some wedding solemnisers.
The Department of Social Protection, which maintains the register of solemnisers, is so concerned it says it may require all marriages to be solemnised by a civil registrar in addition to solemnisation by another religious or secular body.
It says it has no way of knowing how many marriages may be affected as a result of being performed by inadequately trained solemnisers because a civil registrar is not present at such weddings.
There are almost 6,000 marriage solemnisers registered across the State – some based in Northern Ireland.
Of the total, 105 are civil registrars, employed by the HSE. There are also 13 secular solemnisers – including 12 humanist ones – and 5,784 who belong to religious bodies.
No concerns have been expressed about the training and accreditation in any named religious body. However the Registrar General is concerned generally about the training that some smaller, newer religious bodies may be giving to accredited ministers, and it has no way of policing this.
Of the religious solemnisers, the majority are from mainstream churches, including 4,452 from the Catholic Church, 358 from the Church of Ireland, 210 Jehovah’s Witnesses, 195 Methodists, 92 Presbyterians, five from the Islamic community and two who are Jewish.
There are also hundreds from less-known religious bodies, including one fromLife Renewal Ministries International, nine from the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, five from Pagan Federation Ireland and one from theHealing Streams Christian Renewal Centre.
In a statement, the Registrar General told The Irish Times: “Religious bodies are not required by law to have training and accreditation procedures, and there is concern that the quality assurance provided by training and accreditation may not be present in some cases. The office is aware any individual can easily obtain an online ordination certificate without any training or accreditation by the religious body issuing the certificate.
“Applications have been made by such persons for registration in the register of solemnisers.”
Solemnisers from a secular body must satisfy regulations in the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014, which says the body must have more than 50 members, must meet regularly and must have appropriate procedures for “selecting, training and accrediting members as fit and proper persons to solemnise marriages”.
Senior officials in the department have warned in a briefing note to Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar: “The proliferation of small bodies and the lack of regulations of bodies gives rise to concerns as to validity of [some] marriages registered in the State.
“In one case, a member of a religious body was convicted of facilitating sham marriages.
“Against this background, consideration may need to be given to requiring that all marriages in the State be solemnised by a civil registrar as is the practice in most EU countries.”
A spokeswoman said the Registrar General does not intend to comment on any particular body or on how many there are concerns about.
“It is not possible to know how many marriages may be affected as the marriages in question are solemnised by religious bodies and no civil registrar is present.”
By Jack Ryan
One of the GB will give a talk that is being streamed to halls in the UK and Ireland.
To be broadcast simultaneously across the UK.
1pm next Saturday
Anyone on here attending?
For those who are interested, here is the programme:-
1:00 pm Song 63 & prayer - P. Gillies
1:05 pm Watchtower summary - R. Li
1:35 pm Branch report & experiences - P. Longstaff
1:55 pm Song 54 & announcements
2:05 pm Prove yourselves ready for Jehovah's day - J. Kikot
3:00 pm Make over your mind - K. Flodin
3:55 pm Song 75 & prayer - K. Flodin