Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Congregation, Correspondence, Diary

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Watchtower's Geoffrey Jackson on the Royal Australian Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Religion

Watching the Watchtower

“Another way we can contribute to the oneness: rejecting false stories that are designed to separate us from Jehovah’s organization. As an example, think about the apostate-driven lies and dishonesties that Jehovah’s organization is permissive toward pedophiles. I mean, that is ridiculous, isn’t it! If anybody takes action against someone who would threaten our young ones, and takes action to protect our young ones, it is Jehovah’s organization. We reject outright such lies.”

Lett’s talk about the Watchtower budget with more expenditures than income, the new fixed monthly “donation arrangement” for “kingdom hall” construction, and the amount of money involved in Warwick

While Lett encourages Jehovah’s Witnesses to “honor Jehovah with your valuable things”…”a small donation from each of many of Jehovah’s people add’s up to a large amount of dedicated funds that can be used powerfully by Jehovah’s organization.”


See also, Jehovah’s Witnesses shield child sex abusers from police“.

What are some ways that we can be generous toward JehovahWe can also be generous toward Jehovah. “Honor Jehovah with your valuable things,” admonish the Scriptures. (Prov. 3:9) Those “valuable things” include our time, energy, and resources, which we can freely spend in his service.

Even young children can learn to be generous toward Jehovah. “When our family makes a donation at the Kingdom Hall, we let our children put the money in the contribution box,” says their father, Jason. “They enjoy it because, as they put it, they’re ‘giving something to Jehovah.’”Children who experience the joy of giving to Jehovah while they are young are likely to continue being generous toward him in adulthood.Prov. 22:6.

NBC News, New York, reports that “the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the door-knocking religious group that’s been based in Brooklyn for a century, is selling its headquarters and other properties for an expected price tag of $1 billion or more.”

The Watchtower Society writes, Having sufficient, adequate places of worship is vital, as Jehovah continues to ‘speed up’ the gathering of ‘a mighty nation. In order to meet these ever increasing needs, the Governing Body has directed that an adjustment be made in the way Kingdom Hall and Assembly Hall construction projects are financed. In harmony with 2 Corinthians 8:12-14, congregations will now be asked to pool their resources worldwide to support the construction of theocratic facilities wherever they are needed. …all congregations will have the opportunity to support Kingdom Hall and Assembly Hall construction work worldwide by resolving to make a monthly donation from congregation funds.

Tucker Reed, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, called $1 billion “a conservative estimate” for the Witnesses’ real estate portfolio. If sale of the December 2015 list property brings the “expected price tag of $1 billion” or more as reported by the news media, then the total Brooklyn, NY based property sales for this non-profit since beginning the move to Warwick in 2004 will be almost $2 billion dollars. (See table below.)

Legal and Liability Distinctions
Particularly since 2000, Jehovah’s Witnesses have maintained a distinction between their corporations and their volunteer religious organization.

In 2001 the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York was listed among the top forty revenue-generating companies in New York City, reporting an annual revenue of about $951 million US dollars. [See Wikipedia]

2001 Watchtower Revenue $951 million average print run of ~46 million per month

Meanwhile from 2005 to 2013 there was a 39% reduction in pages of printed content (see table below), and now there is now a push to use digital technology as a means to access their online content rather than reliance on printed materials.

Watchtower Accounting

The number of Jehovah’s Witnesses participating in collecting donations in the worldwide preaching work has increased since 2001, while producing and printing magazine content has been reduced to minimal cost.

  1. Total Revenue / Donations = $1 Billion annually
  2. + Property Sales Banked = $1 Billion (2004-2015)
  3. + Property Sales Expected = $1 Billion (2016)
  4. = Someone needs to balance their budget
  5. Pedophile Case Settlements

Watchtower Pedophile Cases Settlements

Candace Conti, victim of Jehovah's Witness child sexual abuse

Candace Conti, victim of Jehovah’s Witness child sexual abuse

A California jury awarded Candace Conti $28 million in damages in a case against the Jehovah’s Witnessesthe largest verdict for a single victim of child abuse against a religious organization in U.S. history.

The amount was later reduced to $15.6 million, including $8.6 million in punitive damages…

Now, years later, an appeals court has eroded her courtroom victory even further by ruling that the leadership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses had no duty to warn congregants that a confessed child molester was one of their own.

The decision by the California Court of Appeal is the latest ruling in a rash of lawsuits aimed at Jehovah’s Witnesses policies directing elders to keep child abuse secret from their congregations and secular authorities.

As a result, judges eliminated the punitive damages in the case. Still, Conti stands to receive $2.8 million.

There were also several other cases settled in Southern California for unspecified millions.

  1. Jehovah’s Witnesses Ordered to Pay $13.5M to Bible Teacher’s Alleged Victim
  2. Jehovah’s Witnesses pay to settle nine cases, without admitting wrongdoing: all involved men the church allegedly knew had sexually abused children.  The settlements for those cases are confidential and filed under seal. However, NBC News has obtained a copy of one of the settlements from the McLean lawsuit, and it may offer an indication of the potential magnitude of the payouts. According to the court record, the church agreed to pay $781,250 to the accuser, who claimed McLean abused her from age 3 to age 9.  (After legal fees and other costs, the accuser was set to receive approximately $530,000.) In all, the nine settled lawsuits involved 16 victims and eight alleged abusers, all of whom – except Frederick McLean – have been criminally convicted.

Still, that’s not much compared to annual donation revenue from fixed monthly donations to the kingdom hall building work and donations collected to support the worldwide preaching work  + capital gains from property sales.

Plus, as a non-profit, the Watchtower doesn’t follow the same tax rules as a corporation.

the Silent Lambs of the Watchtower's JW.org

the Silent Lambs of the Watchtower’s JW.org flock

See also: List of Watch Tower (Watchtower) Corporate Entities

Meanwhile over in the UK, the Charity Commission has opened an operational compliance case on a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Wales after Mark Sewell was found guilty of numerous sex offenses. Seven charges of indecent assault against adults and minors, and one of rape; the crimes took place between 1985 and 1995.

A spokeswoman for the commission said the regulator was aware of the situation. “We have opened an operational compliance case on the charity,” she said.

“The Charity Commission’s regulatory concern is whether the trustees of the charity have complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law and how the charity dealt with risks to the charity and its beneficiaries, including the application of safeguarding policy and procedures. We cannot comment further while the case is live.”

She said the case would be conducted independently of two statutory inquiries into Jehovah’s Witnesses charities opened last month in relation to issues including child protection.

 

On 10 June 2015, the regulator announced that it was investigating the Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, the religion’s governing body.

A spokesman for the Watch Tower Society asked for all media enquiries to be directed to the governing body. Which governing body?

In the United States, congregations are set up as non-profit corporations with three elders from the congregation that has the property. The elders are only trustees and do not own anything nor does the congregation. If any of these elders are removed or step down, die, or move outside this congregation, another trustee is appointed by the body of elders (BOE).

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is governed by the laws for non-profit corporations set up by the IRS in the United States. Nonprofit corporations are businesses that don’t allow ownership and do not have an appreciation of stock or dividend distribution.

Even if the Watchtower were dissolved “as governments turn on religion, the nonprofit organization is not “owned” by the person or persons that started it. It is a public organization that belongs to the public at-large. The parties responsible to operate the organization for the stakeholders are the members of the board of directors.

Also, a nonprofit corporation cannot be sold. If a nonprofit corporation were to “close down”, or dissolve, the board of directors of the nonprofit must distribute all of the nonprofit’s assets to another nonprofit corporation after all debts have been settled.

If a congregation (corporation) is dissolved, the property reverts to the parent non-profit corporation—the Watchtower Tract Society.

Also, Watchtower congregation’s circuit or district overseer may request to sell a property and be denied.

For instance, the loan on the Menlo Park, California Kingdom Hall was granted by a private individual, thus Watchtower Society (WTS) had no lien on the property.

The loan was paid in full in 2009 and the property now worth $2.2 million was owned free and clear by an independent California corporation called The Menlo Park Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses Inc.

The big issues here are the structure of the Watchtower Society and ownership of Kingdom Halls, or the individual, local church buildings where the congregations meet.

Among many changes to establish legal interest was to start getting recorded on deeds as the first position lien holder when making remodel and quick build loans. The Society also started a group insurance program for all Kingdom Halls, ostensibly to provide lower cost premiums, but also this showed an interest in each property.

The Watchtower Society argued that it was indeed a hierarchy, something it had denied for years. 

The Society than proceeded to structure things so it actually owned and had title to each Kingdom Hall.

When any Congregation decides to build a Kingdom Hall, upon approval from The Watchtower headquarters, of course, the Watchtower Society will fund it, holding a mortgage which the congregation will eventually pay back in regular monthly payments, like you pay for your house.

The big difference is that when you get done making payments, your house is yours. When the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations finish making payments, the Kingdom Hall belongs to the Watchtower Society.

  1. Watchtower remodel loan with lien holder stipulation
  2. Kingdom Halls Remodel
  3. Congregation pay off loan
  4. Watchtower dissolves or merges congregation
  5. Sells the Kingdom Hall Watchtower Society property =
  6. $2.2 million in the Menlo Park case.

However, the local Elders/Corporate Officers of Menlo Park Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses Inc. did not agree to remodel, and they refused the Watchtower loan.

This Menlo Park Congregation/Corporation was formed without by-laws and as such the local corporate laws apply: as one person said, “the WTS has no more right to take over this independent corporation then they do Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco.”

The Watchtower responded by removing and replacing those local Menlo Park congregation elders.

Under California law, there is no requirement for the Officers of an independent corporation to also be Jehovah’s Witnesses or Elders. Therefore, while you can remove them as elders, you can not legally remove them from their positions on the corporate board.

Watchtower 1971 Organization Chart

Perhaps the most poignant moment from the Menlo Park case came when Watchtower’s legal representative, Calvin Rouse, made the following declaration in court…

“Ordinarily I wouldn’t be here, but this is one of our 13,000 congregations in the United States. We are a hierarchical religion structured just like the Catholic Church. And when the order from the Pope comes down in the church defrocking a priest and kicking him out, he no longer has any say in any matter in the local parish priest – in the parish. The same situation as here. In his complaint he brings one claim. He claims that he wants to be reinstated as a director and an officer in the Menlo Park Congregation. This is contrary to our church rules and regulations and bylaws. We brought our organizational bylaws book, our rule book here, and we are prepared to present witnesses that this is a hierarchical organization.” — court transcript

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is one of the largest private development companies in the world, in possession of over 80,000 properties worldwide. (According to the Watchtower LDC meeting, Patterson, Nov 15-18, 2014)

Again, all by volunteers and donations—no employees expenditures like social security, health and life insurance, nor taxes, etc.

http://thetruthandthewatchtower.tumblr.com/post/76362272124/at-that-time-the-life-saving-direction-that-we

Imagine if the parent non-profit corporation discerned it was pertinent, given the times, for the congregations to go underground?

Now, remember, the broadcast is to give Jehovah your valuable things because the Watchtower has more expenditures than incomewhy?

http://thetruthandthewatchtower.tumblr.com/post/76367049643/we-must-obey-jehovah-no-matter-what-he-asks-us-to

Did leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses cover up child sex abuse? PBS NewsHour special correspondent Trey Bundy of the CIR’s Reveal reports on how the Watchtower organization is using the first amendment to fight these charges.

In the United States, the Watchtower Defendants in the Candace Conti case have now lodged an appeal the case with four main arguments:

  1. The WBTS argues that other agencies—the police and Candace’s parents—should share the cost of damages yet, the Watchtower processes and policies prevented the parents from being able to act in full knowledge, and prevented or obstructed justice.
  2. Religious bodies should not be made to disclose confidentialities, even where a crime has been committed and revealed, as this would contravene the First Amendment… but what about where it’s a crime being reported? Shouldn’t they let the family know that suspected crimes should be reported the police—the subjective, or relative, authorities—for criminal investigation? The spiritual matter may be handled by the congregation membership following their judicial processes, but this should not supersede criminal investigation process, as reinforced by both law and scripture. Should the case be murder, suddenly we wouldn’t be debating the topic of how to ‘handle’ the ‘situation’. Why is pedophila held to a different standard?
  3. That Kendrick was not convicted of sexual abuse in a court. Therefore, had the Watchtower made public his deviation, they would have violated his right to privacy. Supporting your flock in going to the police isn’t going ‘public’. The society has been preventing the criminal investigation process from being able to serve justice and protect the public. Conti found Kendrick years later on a registered sex offender list: the result of the criminal justice system.
  4. In addition, the Watchtower argues there was no evidence of malice {the intention or desire to do evil; ill will; Law: wrongful intention, especially as increasing the guilt of certain offenses} and therefore the damages were unjust and should be reduced.

“If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him on the way; lest perhaps the prosecutor deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. Most certainly I tell you, you shall by no means get out of there, until you have paid the last penny.

http://thetruthandthewatchtower.tumblr.com/post/76776583635/some-people-insult-those-who-disagree-with-them

“Would you disagree then with anyone who said that the efforts to highlight and deal with child sexual abuse in the church is engaging in apostate lies?” — Asked Australia’s royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse of Geoffrey Jackson, Watchtower governing body member.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was established in 2013 by the Australian government pursuant to the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Commonwealth) to inquire into and report upon responses by institutions to instances and allegations of child abuse in Australia. The establishment of the commission followed revelations of child abusers being moved from place to place instead of their abuse and crimes being reported.

In summary, the Watchtower tells of when the world’s religious system will turn on Babylon the Great who symbolizes ‘false religion’. Meanwhile, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who claim to be no part of Christendom, have been making headlines for selling chunks of their sizable Brooklyn holdings in preparation for a move upstate to their new world headquarters in Warwick.

The organization, which has been headquartered in Brooklyn Heights since 1909, owned 42 Brooklyn buildings before it began selling them off in 2004. And according to city records, it’s sold $425 million worth of New York City property since then — not including around $100 million of properties in contract, according to published reports.

By comparison, the organization’s new 253-acre campus in Warwick, N.Y., will cost an estimated $11.5 million to build.

As reported by the Watchtower’s Awake magazine, “By the end of 2004, three Catholic dioceses in the United States had filed for bankruptcy. All three were forced to take this step because of the financial costs of clergy sexual abuse scandals. A number of dioceses have talked about the possibility of having to file for bankruptcy, but the first to do so was the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, in July 2004. That action halted two lawsuits in which plaintiffs were seeking a total of $155 million in compensation for molestation. According to the National Catholic Reporter, “the archdiocese and its insurers already have paid more than $53 million to settle more than 130 claims by people who say they were abused by priests.” In September 2004, the diocese of Tucson, Arizona, became the second diocese to seek bankruptcy protection from multimillion dollar claims being brought against it. The diocese of Spokane, Washington, became the third, in December 2004.”

According to a spokesperson for the Witnesses, 18 properties remain. Those properties include 25 Columbia Heights and a large parcel between Vine Street and Columbia Heights in the Brooklyn Heights area, as well as massive Dumbo site 85 Jay Street, which is zoned for residential development.

The group’s $1 billion portfolio of buildings — which also includes holdings in the East Village — has been marketed variously by Massey Knakal, Cushman & Wakefield, and Eastern Consolidated. This past July, a partnership led by Jared Kushner’s Kushner Companies and Aby Rosen’s RFR Holdings announced that it was buying six Dumbo buildings totaling 1.2 million square feet from the Witnesses for $375 million. The industrial buildings will be developed into loft-style office space. The deal is set to be Brooklyn’s largest this year.

The Watchtower places children in the organization at significant risk for sexual abuse

Meanwhile the Royal Australian Commission find that the practices and procedures of the Jehovah’s Witness organization for the prevention of child sexual abuse, and in particular for the management of the risk of an abuser reoffending, do not take account of the actual risk of an offender reoffending and accordingly place children in the organization at significant risk of sexual abuse.

Royal Commission findings on Watchtower shunning

Members of the Jehovah’s Witness organization who no longer want to be subject to the organization’s rules and discipline have no alternative than to leave the organization which requires that they disassociate from it.

The Jehovah’s Witness organization’s policy of requiring its adherents to actively shun those who leave the organization:

  1. makes it extremely difficult for someone to leave the organization.
  2. is cruel on those who leave and on their friends and family who remain behind
  3. is particularly cruel on those who have suffered child sexual abuse in the organization and who wish to leave because they feel that their complaints about it have not been adequately dealt with
  4. is not apparently justified by the Scriptures which are cited in support of it
  5. is adopted and enforced in order to prevent people from leaving the organization and 
thereby to maintain its membership, and
  6. is in conflict with the organization’s professed support for freedom of religious choice and 
the belief that Jehovah God is a compassionate God who recognizes the worth and dignity of all human beings.

Luke 18 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up…

“There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”

Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”

Isaiah 10

Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,

to deprive the poor of their rights
and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,

making widows their prey
and robbing the fatherless

What will you do on the day of reckoning,
when disaster comes from afar?

To whom will you run for help?
Where will you leave your riches?

Get out of her my people…! (Rev 18:4, Jer 51:45)

Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives
—or fall among the slain.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
his hand is still upraised.

Catholic sex abuse: UN blasts Vatican for failing to protect children from paedophile priests

“Why is there no mandatory reporting to a country’s judicial authorities when crimes occur? Taking actions against perpetrators is part of justice.”

Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s former chief sex crimes prosecutor, denied that the Holy See encourage cover-ups.

“Our guideline has always been that domestic law of the countries where the churches operate needs to be followed,” he said.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative in Geneva, said that the Holy See welcomed any suggestions, which could help it in protecting children.

Since his election last year, Pope Francis has appeared to offer new hope to victims, with a call for action on sex abuse in the Church. Under his papacy, a Vatican committee has been set up to fight sexual abuse and help victims.

In a report by Vatican Radio, the Pope asked for forgiveness for the “evil” damage to children caused by sexual abusers in the clergy and said “sanctions” would be imposed.

After a spate of new cases in 2010, the Vatican issued new rules saying bishops should report suspected cases of abuse to local police, if required to do so by law.

The UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) said the Vatican Holy See had not acknowledged the extent of crimes committed and had not taken the measures necessary to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children.

Reacting to the UN report in February, Barbara Blaine, the president of Snap (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), said it was clear that the Vatican had put the reputation of Church officials above protection of children.

“Despite all the rhetoric from Pope Francis and Vatican officials, they refuse to take action that will make this stop.” she said.

See also: Jehovah’s Witness Church must change after Royal Commission hearings, by Paul Grundy

In 2011, the Watch Tower Society had 98 branch offices worldwide reporting to New York directly with other nations’ offices report to large branches nearby. The sale of the entire Spain branch complex will likely be for more than US $100 million dollars, with the Denmark Assembly Hall and seven additional Kingdom Halls up for sale for more than $30 million.

If expenditures, as Brother Lett says, are more than the Society’s income, then just where is all this money going?

Continue reading

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Documentation, Ethics, Health, Religion, Technology

Watchtower Society Building Beth’el on Toxic Dump

Fullscreen_12_12_15__7_01_AM-Watchtower-Toxic-Society

Toxins cause leukemia, at least according to Mr. Rob0t,” Angela warns the volunteers working for ‘the Society’ at their new headquarters in upstate New York. Concerns are that while the Watchtower Society may be able to protect their vested interests in the property and it’s financial value, they cannot protect their volunteers from exposure to the toxic chemicals.

This is the story of how Brooklyn “Beth’el” became “Warwick“.

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society began as simple American religion financed by William Henry Conley (11 June 1840 – 25 July 1897). William was trained by his uncle in the printing business for ten years, and was a Pittsburgh philanthropist and industrialist. He was married to Sarah Shaffer (1841–1908). Together, they provided organizational and financial support to religious institutions in the United States.

William Conley was the first president of Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society, from 1881 to 1884.

In December 1884, the Society was incorporated with Charles Taze Russell as president. 

In 1896, the Society was renamed Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and later became associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In April 1909, the Watchtower moved to Brooklyn, New York.

#Jehovah’s #Witnesses are one of the largest property development #corporations in the #world–owning over 80,000…

Posted by Angela Glass on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

In 2004 the Watchtower, the society began moving their headquarters after more than 100 years in Brooklyn, NY.

The new headquarters in Warwick, New York is being built by volunteer Jehovah’s Witnesses, such as my parents Arlene and Melvin Baxley (pictured above).

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is suing International Nickel and several of its affiliates, which it accuses of contaminating land where the religious group is now building its massive 1.6 million-square-foot world headquarters. Watchtower is seeking unspecified reimbursement for the cost it has incurred in the cleanup and remediation. It is also seeking damages, restitution and attorney fees.

In 2011 it was reported that the Watchtower Society was being Investigated for Illegal Toxic Dumping in Hudson Valley Watershed. Continue reading

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Religion

Largest Corporations in New York City? Largest Property Development Corporations in the World?

#Jehovah‘s #Witnesses are one of the largest property development #corporations in the #world–owning over 80,000 properties.

The Watchtower recently began acquiring even more property when they began converting their “Kingdom Halls” over from private properties owned by the individual congregations into corporate property owned by ‘the Society‘.

1909: #Headquarters of the #Society is moved to Brooklyn, New York, in April.

$802.45 million dollars of #Brooklyn property has been sold since 2004.

The Watchtower is leaving Brooklyn, last property lists for $400 million = $ One #Billion two hundred two Million four hundred fifty thousand.

That’s more dollars than … Jehovah’s Witnesses.

But who’s counting?

#Jehovah’s #Witnesses are one of the largest property development #corporations in the #world–owning over 80,000…

Posted by Angela Glass on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

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Magna Carta . Holy Grail . Heaven
Ancestry, Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Music, Religion

Magna Carta . Holy Grail . Heaven

Magna Carta . Holy Grail . Heaven

Magna Carta . Holy Grail . Heaven — Jay-Z

“Boy they loves Hova.”

Illuminati, spirit-directed, or holy?

“Y’all religion causes division”

Who created religion?

“Only God could judge us.”

“Hovah”  is a play on Jay-Hova, or Jehovah, one of the Old Testament names of God.

Signs and symbols control the world, not phases and laws.
Confucius (551-479 BC)

Some say Jay-Z got the nickname back in 1993, when he borrowed some studio time and was recording some of his first tracks. The other people in the studio marveled to discover that Jay-Z was improvising all his lyrics, and decided that his ability was nothing short of miraculous. So they dubbed him J-Hova.

Others claim “Hova” stands for “Hustler of Virginia” where Jay-Z “hustled” as a play on “Jehovah”.

The obscure reference may be the link of hovah (a Hebrew word meaning destruction) and the oracle of Revelation, “”.

The psychological mechanism that transforms energy is the symbol.
Carl Jung (1875 – 1961)

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Psychology, Religion

Wifely Subjection—Mental Health Issues in Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower Women

Wifely Subjection: Mental Health Issues in Jehovah’s Witness Women

Kaynor J. Weishaupt, M.S., M.F.C.C.
San Rafael, California
Michael D. Stensland
Athens, Ohio

Abstract

The Watchtower Society, commonly referred to as Jehovah’s Witnesses, exerts a great deal of control over the everyday life of its members. Women, in particular, suffer from psychological stresses in this high-control environment, as it is also a culture where patriarchal attitudes limit women’s personal power and predominate in their relationships with men. A group of women responded to a questionnaire about their experiences during membership in the Watchtower Society and after leaving. The results indicate that while in the Watchtower Society, women experience a higher degree of mental health problems than they do after they leave the group. They also report experiencing more egalitarian attitudes in their relationships with men after exiting the group.

Little research has been done focusing on the experience of women in “high-control” or cultic groups, despite the fact that women make up a large proportion of the membership of such groups. The type of group referred to here as high-control is defined by the degree of control and restriction the group exercises over the everyday life of its membership. Such a group can be focused on religion, politics, militarism, psychotherapy, meditation, commercialism, or simply a “special” leader (Tobias & Lalich, 1994). A high-control group differs from other groups in that individual behavior is excessively limited by rules and regulations, access to information is restricted or managed (especially information critical of the group), pressure is high to conform in thought and behavior to group norms, and members must put the group’s interests before their own. The leadership in this type of group is absolute and considered infallible; outsiders are generally viewed as dangerous or evil; and members leaving the group are generally punished or shunned. While all members of such groups pay a psychological price (as well as reap certain psychological dividends, such as a sense of belonging and purpose), women often face particular difficulties in groups that are patriarchally based.

This article explores the relationship between women and the high-control social climate of the Watchtower Society (WTS), commonly referred to as Jehovah’s Witnesses. The article reviews literature bearing on the Watchtower Society’s control practices and patriarchal organizational structure, analyzes psychological implications of WTS’s social climate, and reports on the results of a survey of 20 female former members of the Watchtower Society. The survey explored three areas: (1) the degree of patriarchal versus egalitarian attitudes subjects felt existed while they were members of WTS compared to what they experienced after having left the group, (2) subjects’ perceived psychological distress while in the group and after exiting, and (3) subjects’ perceptions of the degree to which the group controlled everyday life and isolated members from outsiders. The latter area included a comparison group of women from other religious backgrounds.

The Watchtower Society as a High-Control Group
Continue reading

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Ancestry, Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Culture, Ethics, Prophecy, Psychology, Religion

WATER retention rates — RE-legions

Come Out of Her My People

The “De-Churching” of America

The number of Americans claiming no religious affiliation has quadrupled since 1990. Yet what religion had the lowest retention rate of any? Perhaps shockingly the Atheist “retention rate” was the lowest among the 20 separate categories in the study.

Still, in 2005 only 17 percent of Americans attended a religious service Sunday morning.

According to a study by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), “those who grow up in an atheist household are least likely to maintain their beliefs about religion as adults.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses have the next lowest retention rate at 37 percent. Continue reading

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

Vampire Weekend

Dedicated to Candace Conti and other little boys and girls who are dead or molested.

www.seekYeHoWaH.com and escape Christendom.

Jehovah’s Witnesses need not apply. Where did anyone say that anyone would be serving that god in the end? Oh, you’re right. He does factor in…

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 8.05.34 AM

— Angela Glass (@Baxley) October 30, 2014

I wanted to design software for the Watchtower when I was 15 years old at it’s headquarters, “Brooklyn Beth’el“.

Guess what? God created Eve, and Eve was naked. And it was good. God said so. He also created weed. He also said it was good to eat.

origin_4110421350

angela-marié-niblick-matthew-raymond-niblick-art-paradise

I was turned down. They don’t generally “take sisters“.

Now I am a Silent Lamb. Sacrifice me.

Here’s what I did instead: www.linkedin.com/in/angelamarieglass.

“Angela experienced a crisis from an ill marriage and lack of support from the congregation.”

I am a Silent Lamb—Sacrifice me.

For the record, you don’t lose your faith when you stop believing God is Jehovah. But Melissa doesn’t know what losing my religion is all about. Girl, I was a hoarder, and I still am though that was back then. Show you a few things, pretend to be my friend? Oh don’t mind slandering the Baxley’s while you’re at it for the blood of the noble Niblick’s.

Funny, baxleyvsunitedstates.org versus the Dominican nephew determined to shame me—calling me the “shameful aunt”.

I took it in silence. I have learned how to turn away so it doesn’t sink in. No, not really. It really hurt. But hey, I haven’t got time to buy a new deodarant stick of Tom’s every two months — so I use it but it doesn’t work. I have no cash and thus I stink and am not buying it on Amazon and paying for shipping. So I am waiting until someone thinks I stink enough to do something about it. They have a pretty high tolerance.

Thanks mommy.

When I asked if they were going to stay there—in the DR—he sold me this line from his daddy’s mouth: they aren’t living there, they are missionaries. — For Christ’s sake, who hasn’t heard of God? Oh, yeah…

God isn’t Jehovah. Jehovah isn’t peddling love, he’s got Watchtowers to print and has just discovered the Internet.

Well I was in the middle of pestering this corporation called “The Watchtower” on Twitter, when I realized I needed a mood swing. Being a heavy hitter dealing with porno and pedo’s is a bit much for this do-gooder.

I mean the internet is for porn, right?

Well anyhoo, distracted again from that to get the video to prove the point that I’m not lost on how I feel about life, I’m just so DAMNED tired of having to stay up all night to work against all of you.

So I /quit.

Yeah, see I’m not a cultural fit. I’m not a woman in technology and there’s no way come hell or high water, well—we all know which—I would never have a daughter, as I could never let her see this world. Dear God, preserve my seed within me. Save my belly for the beast. I am yours and have ever been devoted. I am sorry for so long I thought that the Watchtower’s disapproval of me was somehow was the directive from God. Dear God, if you don’t love me—Um? Who could you?

DSC01336

A couple of weeks before she died, Rebecca informed us that she was about to be a big girl of six years old, and Becca was a baby name. Once she turned six, she wanted everyone (not just me) to call her Rebecca, not Becca. She made it to six. For almost twelve hours, she was six. So Rebecca it is and must be.

 

Pedophile alert!

Travis Foote, you touched me one too many times. And my mother blamed me. The Watchtower will pay and you shall be certain you won’t see the outside of that cell. Enjoy.

Tangled Up in Jews

I’m ready. I’m not a clown, exactly. I’m the last generation.

I’m the joker. Hello thief, it’s time.

Sleep No More with @xtianbovine @dens

Dear Watchtower…

Continue reading

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Religion, Scriptures

Google YHWH

The New World Translation revised edition (recently published translation of the scriptures by The Watchtower and distributed by Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide) renders the beginning of Isaiah 55 verse 6 as “Search for…”

I read that and wondered immediately how many people have Googled for YHWH?

And if people searched for Yehowah, how many would find seekyehowah.org?

An internet hide and seek, search for him “while while he may be found.

Which 404’s first, God or Google?a topic Seth Rogen took on with This Is The End (2013: the first Jewish rapture comedy) where “a bunch of Jews” are “aghast to discover that the Christians were right…” and the internet going down was the least of their problems. Continue reading

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Religion, Research

Yehowah vs. Jehovah, The God of the Freemasons

“Jehovah is, of all the significant words of Freemasonry, by far the most important. Reghellini very properly calls it ‘the basis of our dogma and of our mysteries.’” — Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

Jehovah in An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences: Comprising the Whole Range of Arts, Sciences and Literature as Connected with the Institution (1874) by Albert Gallatin Mackey, pg 370-381

Jehovah in An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry (1874) by Albert Gallatin Mackey, pg 370-381

God first introduced himself to his nation of chosen people, and Moses, as “I AM”.

Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” — Exodus 3:13,14

Further in the holy inspired scriptures, he says repeatedly “I AM” and “THERE IS NO OTHER.” (Isaiah 45:6,18,22; Isaiah 46:9) There is no God besides he. (Deuteronomy 32:39, Hosea 13:4, Joel 2:27)

“You are my witnesses,” declares YHWH, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, I am YHWH, and besides me there is no savior.” — Isaiah 43:10,11

However, there is another who claims the same, “I AM”:

“But these two things will come on you suddenly in one day: Loss of children and widowhood. They will come on you in full measure In spite of your many sorceries, In spite of the great power of your spells.

“You felt secure in your wickedness and said, ‘No one sees me,’ Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; For you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’ 

“But evil will come on you Which you will not know how to charm away; And disaster will fall on you For which you cannot atone; And destruction about which you do not know Will come on you suddenly.…” — Isaiah 47:9-11, The Fall of Babylon Predicted

Note the word “disaster” in the verse above—in Hebrew the word is “hovah”.

Yes, the woman of Babylon, later identified in Revelation as the mysterious woman “Babylon the Great” says that she is “I AM” and “there is no other besides me” standing in the place of God.

Revelation 18 details the Fall of Babylon the Great, saying:

“Come away from her, my people.
Do not take part in her sins,
or you will be punished with her…

She boasted in her heart,
‘I am queen on my throne.
I am no helpless widow,
and I have no reason to mourn.’

…and you deceived the nations with your sorceries.”

Yes, Babylonian worship led to the ancient city being destroyed long ago, and this false worship today will lead to spiritual destruction. She says, “I AM” whereas we know that God is and there is no other God besides him.

Further, we must recall that “hovah” is a Hebrew word associated with this very passage of Babylon’s destruction, and again in the destruction of those deceived by her. In Ezekiel, the word “hovah” is translated calamity:

Calamity [hovah] will follow calamity [hovah]… Then they will know that I am YHWH.”—Ezekiel 7:26,27

While Satan is known as Deception, Babylon is known for her mystery religion and blasphemies against God. One may recognize that the Greek word for slander is blasphemy.

So the angel took me in the Spirit into the wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns, and blasphemies against God were written all over it… and upon her forehead was a name written: ‘Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of the Whores, and the Abominations of the earth.’

As noted in the outset, the Encyclopedia of the Freemason’s clearly states “Jehovah” is the most important word and the basis of their dogma and “mysteries”. Freemasonry has been shown by it’s use of symbols to be directly taken from the ancient Babylonia mystery religion for which that city was destroyed.

Now, “Jehovah” is used as the god of this modern religion, as well as finding it’s way into many modern bible translations. While the use of the letter “J” is a modern invention (it originally being a decorative letter “I”), the origin of this word comes back to Babylon in scriptures, as shown above.

The Lost Word of Freemasonry By Hilton Hotem

The Lost Word of Freemasonry By Hilton Hotem

Ya-ho-vah as it is pronounced or “Ya-hovah” is close to the Tetragrammaton YHWH, as it differs in sound and in one letter. However, what a difference this subtle difference, of just a sound and a letter, makes! “Yah” refers to God in a shortened form, and thus many say “Ya-hovah” is the “God of Destruction”, surely a blasphemous designation for the eternal and personal name of our loving creator and Father.

1943: hovah

1943: hovah, and it’s related 1942: havvah

The Hebrew word “howah” on which YHWH is based means “causes to become” and refers to the breath, as in the breath of life.

Jewish scholars such as Maimonides (1138-1204) affirmed that the Tetragrammaton was pronounced according to its letters as YeHoWaH.

Carefully considering these two Hebrew words, and their use in scriptures clearly delineates between she who claims “I AM” and He who is the “I AM”—and there is no other.

1933

Strong’s 1933: The origin of the meaning of God’s name YHWH

Despite correctly noting the origin of YHWH as “to become” (“havah” or “hawah“), the Watchtower of Jehovah’s Witnesses—as the Freemason’s—claim “Jehovah” name as the personal name of God, based on the word “hovah“.

The New World Translation Bible Reference Edition notes, “The text located in the U.S.S.R., namely, the Codex Leningrad B 19A, used for Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS), vowel-points the Tetragrammaton to read…Yeho·wah′, as in Ge 3:14. The edition of the Hebrew text by Ginsburg (Gins.) vowel-points YHWH to read Yeho·wah′.”

While the Watchtower condemns the Roman Catholic Church as being a part of Babylon the Great, it is known that the construction of this modern name came from a Catholic monk, and as shown above, is a blasphemous name rooted in the condemnation of Babylon herself and her sorceries.

“Come away from her, my people.
Do not take part in her sins,
or you will be punished with her…

Reference

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

Spunky Gidget Links In Zalkin

Posted 12/9/2015, and backdated to original thread date:

spunkygidget-links-zalkin

Mr. Zalkin,

I have been considering reaching out to you regarding my own personal experience with the Watchtower. I’m 33 years old, and was baptized as a JW at 12 years of age. I married ‘a brother’ the night before I turned 17, and subsequently was abused for the four years of marriage.

During that time, while still underage (living in North Carolina), I was raped. When I returned home, my husband immediately called the elders and it became a judicial committee. They “handled it” the same way they handle pedophile cases. I was reminded (as I had already been told in regards to my husband’s abuse) that contacting the police “would bring reproach upon Jehovah’s name” and it was “discerned” that in my case, it was not rape, since I could not recall whether or not I had screamed or said “no”. (It is assumed that I was drugged as I was not fully conscious, hence difficulty with remembering details to satisfy the elder’s questions.)

They reproved me for the rape, and later I was disfellowshipped for being unrepentant when I kicked out my abusive husband who continued abuse, including raping me himself that night (to prove that he still claimed me as wife, instead of exercising his ‘right’ to divorce me).

I don’t know what is and is not a legal case but I wanted to offer my support, and my ‘case’ if there should be one, in the fight against the Watchtower’s horrific handling of children in the congregation who have been abused. I understand your cases focus on pedophila, and mine is different, but just in case it’s something that could be used against this awful organization, I wanted to reach out to you. Continue reading

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Culture, Religion

1914

“Jehovah’s prophetic word through Jesus Christ is: ‘This generation [of 1914] will by no means pass away until all things occur.’ (Luke 21:32) And Jehovah, who is the source of inspired and unfailing prophecy, will bring about the fulfillment…”

“Just as Jesus’ prophecies regarding Jerusalem were fulfilled within the life span of the generation of the year 33 C.E., so his prophecies regarding ‘the time of the end’ will be fulfilled within the life span of the generation of 1914.”

“…Yes, you may live to see this promised New Order, along with survivors of the generation of 1914—the generation that will not pass away.” —The Watchtower May 15, 1984

The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom
1914: The Generation That Will Not Pass Away

It’s 1.9.14 at 19:14.

… the babies of that generation are now 70 years old or older. And others alive in 1914 are in their 80’s or 90’s, a few even having reached a hundred. There are still many millions of that generation alive. Some of them ‘will by no means pass away until all things occur.’” —The Watchtower May 15, 1984

I wonder if any of them are still alive? I think of them often and wonder.

UPDATE: I was informed that all these witnesses have passed away. (See image below)

“a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away”

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Documentation, Ethics, Religion

Jehovah’s Witness elder Stephen Robert Carter, 70, jailed for historic sex abuse

Stephen Robert Carter, 70, has been jailed for six years for historical sex offences against his young stepdaughter.

She described the deep psychological trauma she had lived with as an adult as a result of his controlling and manipulative sexual abuse in the family home.

She explained the difficulty of living under a “burden of secrecy”, unable to tell anyone about what Carter did to her because of the effect it would have on his high standing within the Nelson Jehovah’s Witness congregation.

Carter had admitted seven charges, including representative charges of rape, sodomy, inducing a girl under 12 to do an indecent act, permitting a girl under 12 to do an indecent act on another male, and counts of committing an indecency with an animal, and being party to an indecency with an animal. Continue reading

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Documentation, Religion

Pedophile Marcelo Alonzo Lozano trolls Los Angeles Kingdom Halls

“Parents should know, it’s not the person, not the creepy guy in the street that you should always look out for. Sometimes it’s someone close to you; someone that’s shaking your hand every day.”

Marcelo Alonzo Lozano, 34, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting four boys he met at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Sun Valley, where he was an usher. But police believe there may be additional victims. Beverly White reports from North Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Aug. 16, 2013.

Marcelo Alonzo Lozano, 34, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting four boys he met at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Sun Valley, where he was an usher. But police believe there may be additional victims.

Continue reading

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MSNBC Dateline Witness for the Prosecution
Ethics, Religion

Pedophiles in the Watchtower of Jehovah’s Witnesses

“Witness for the Prosecution”

Dateline NBC has followed the continuing saga of accusations of sexual child abuse—pedophila—for more than a decade now.

Most Jehovah’s Witnesses are completely unaware of the circumstances of the other congregations rampant worldwide also facing allegations of child abuse. The reason? Members of the congregation are not made aware of child predators in the congregation. Child abuse is handled by ‘the brothers’ as a ‘sin’ rather than as a criminal act. Children who would come forward with an accusation of abuse will be met with the scripture which the Watchtower uses to mishandle all such cases—as well as in use for domestic abuse / violence cases—The Watchtower tries to shift responsibility for this policy to God and the Bible. Continue reading

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Documentation, Religion

Child Checks Victoria on Children Check

A child in Victoria, Australia pooled his pocket money together with three other buddies in order to pay $69.70 to launch a private criminal prosecution against the Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in February.

The Victorian and Civil Administrative Tribunal heard a religious vilification complaint against the Watchtower by Mr. Unthank in May, after the Watchtower said people who left the Watchtower, as he had, were ”mentally diseased”. Continue reading

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Ancestry, Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Art, Cannabis, Correspondence, Culture, Documentation, Ethics, link, Music, Neuroscience, photo, Prophecy, Psychology, Religion, Running, Technology, Travel, Truth, Writing,

ANONYMOUS and Watchtower Serial Pedophiles of San Diego

Anonymous

This post is prompted tonight by my personal experience with…

“not bringing reproach upon Jehovah’s organization”.

Most Jehovah’s Witnesses

have no idea there are 24,000+ pedophiles who have hidden among the silent lambs

in their congregations…

San Diego ABC 10 News reported obtaining video of admitted child molester Jehovah’s Witness Gonzalo Campos.

“I did abuse him,” said Campos in the video. “I touched his private parts.

Testimony of Gonzalo Campos

Accused JW pedophile confession on camera released by San Diego ABC 10 News.  

Team 10 asked if Zalkin believed it’s widely known that there are sexual abuse problems inside Jehovah’s Witnesses.

“No, no and it needs to be brought to the public’s attention,” Zalkin said. “They have been operating in secrecy and at will for decades.”

Continue reading

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Religion

Apostate means to Turn Away from God, not The Watchtower

“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

“‘Jehovah’—because of people’s familiarity with it since the 14th century. Moreover, it preserves, equally with other forms, the four letters of the tetragrammaton JHVH.” — The Watchtower defends “shallow scholarship” in response to “Jehovah Not Correct as God’s Name”

YHWH = JHVH ?

If you meet a Jehovah’s Witness they’ll tell you God’s name is Jehovah, and they probably don’t even know that it’s not true.

They probably whole heartedly believe that what they were taught was “the truth” and that it is a life-saving message that they bring to you.

Go easy on them. I know how much it hurts to learn you’ve been lied to all your life.

So, please if you can, help in this campaign:

  • explain how the letter “J” came to be only recently, and
  • how “hovah” is a real word that’s actually in the scriptures, but it doesn’t mean what they have been told that it does:

Disaster [hovah] after disaster [hovah] will comeand there will be rumor after rumorThen they will seek a vision from a prophetbut instruction will perish from the priestsand counsel from the elders.”

Continue reading

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Culture, Documentation, Ethics, Religion, Truth

Hitler and The Watchtower

“Did Hitler receive letters of protest from church officials concerning the outrages perpetrated by the National Socialists, or Nazis? There were some, but such letters were few and far between. In the Moscow archives, however, Eberle found a file containing a number of letters sent to Hitler by Jehovah’s Witnesses from different parts of Germany, protesting against the conduct of the Nazis.” — Watchtower 2011 Oct 1 p.14

See also: “Have You Been Lied To?” Continue reading

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Documentation, Religion

No Social Networking Until You Have A Plan In Order

 

“I shall use subliminal mind control to take over the world …. [A subliminal message] is a recorded message perceived only be the subconscious human mind. I have recorded such a message. [The message is:] Citizens of the world. You are under my control. You will do whatever I say! … If people heard this message enough times, they would succumb to my control and we could take over the world … the only problem: how to get his message repeated worldwide airplay … Country music! … I will go to Nashville and become the biggest country music star of all time. Everyone will hear my record and my subliminal message and I will take over the world!

My parents have twice ‘disowned’ me for being disfellowshipped from the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses under the ecclesiastical authority of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. (for profit corporation) and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (non-stock, not-for-profit organization).

I spent a year in emotional silence — speaking only to people I’d meet or work with, but none of my family or friends — when I was 20 years old after divorcing my abusive husband whom “the organization” gave me no help to escape. They disfellowshipped me, after ignoring repeated attempts for help.

That was the Mooresville congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. That congregation was so bad that it wasn’t just me being abused and punished by the ‘elders’, but it was also my girls friends. S, T, A, and me. Four women married, abused, and rebuked for it.

Then I was reinstated a year later, and thus given family support again. But for what? Our love was broken. I no longer believed that my mother loved me “unconditionally” as she would say. It was clearly a conditional unconditional love. A fact she still cannot conceive of today.

I moved west and kept moving, matching the distance to my family’s heart with distance in miles on the map. I spent six years in Seattle where I was disfellowshipped again.

My mother has no idea who I am as a person. I was emancipated as a minor at 15 years old when I left her home. (It was simply a legal function to protect my ability to care for myself while traveling and done in accordance with my mother’s guidance.)

She has no idea what I do, how I care for myself, and who I am.

This is an email from my mother which one day will shame her.

For now, I have to get back to work, “Social Networking”… Continue reading

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Doctrines, Religion

Apostasy Defined by Watchtower

Apostasy, as defined by the Watchtower, is “a baptized Christian [who] abandons the teachings of Jehovah, as presented by the faithful and discreet slave, and persists in believing other doctrine”.

So specifically it is all Christians who believe the scriptures, as the teachings “of Jehovah” as taught by “the faithful and discreet slave” are often in conflict with what the scriptures teach. (1 Tim 6:3-5)

The scriptures say, “the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.”

For example, the scriptures say: “…the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended” (Rev 20:5) while the Watchtower teaches “the general resurrection takes place on earth during Christ’s Millennial Reign.” (Resurrection, The Reasoning Book, rs p. 333-p. 340)

The Watchtower teaches the “resurrection takes place on earth during Christ’s Millennial Reign.”

To believe the scriptures—the inspired Word of God—over what the Watchtower teaches is‚ according to them, to be an apostate. (2 Tim 3:16, Acts 17:11)

Thus, if you are a Jehovah’s Witness who believes the scriptures instead of the Watchtower, you will be disfellowshipped. Continue reading

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Religion,

Abraham’s Armageddon: I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed

I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed: Tales from a Jehovah’s Witness Upbringing

Kyria Abrahams was a regular columnist for Jest Magazine for several years, where she was featured alongside performers and writers from The Daily Show and Chappelle’s Show. Her humor has also been published in Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure (Harper Perennial, 2007) the THE BOOK OF ZINES: Reading From the Fringe. For two years, Kyria Abrahams was a regular columnist for Jest Magazine, where she was featured alongside performers and writers from The Daily Show and Chappelle’s Show. She has been a past performer at alternative comedy shows like Eating It and Invite them Up, as well as literary readings like How to Kick People.

As a standup comic, Comedy Central twice selected her as one of ten semi-finalists for the Boston Laugh Riots Competition. She has also been a repeat performer at alternative comedy shows like “Eating It” and “Invite them Up,” as well as literary readings like “How to Kick People”–each of them places where the likes of Jon Stewart, Janeane Garafalo, Patton Oswalt, Fred Armisen, and David Cross have appeared.  Raised in Providence, Rhode Island she now lives in Queens with an abused cat that she just knows will start to love her some day.

Continue reading

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Ethics, Religion

Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time

Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time, Carissa Phelps

Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time, Carissa Phelps

An astonishing story of triumph and a fierce determination to give back.

Carissa Phelps was a runner. By twelve, she had run away from home, dropped out of school, and fled blindly into the arms of a brutal pimp, who made her walk the hard streets of central California. But even when she escaped him, she could not outrun the crushing inner pain of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. With little to hope for, she expected to end up in prison, or worse.

But then her life was transformed through the unexpected kindness of a teacher and a counselor. Miraculously, by the time Carissa turned thirty, she had accomplished the unimaginable, graduating from UCLA with both a law degree and an MBA. She had left the streets behind, yet her path would eventually draw her back, this time working to help homeless and at-risk youth find their own paths to a better life.

This is Carissa’s story, the tale of a girl who lost herself and survived, against all odds, through the generosity of strangers. It is an inspiring true story about finding the courage to run toward healing and summoning the strength to light the way for others.

Author Carissa Phelps Shares Her Story of Perseverance

http://youtu.be/nYhtAWPgOt8 Continue reading

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Psychology, Religion

Christian = Love

America's Most Wanted Pedophile former Watchtower's Jehovah's Witness Frederick McLean

America’s Most Wanted Pedophile former Watchtower’s Jehovah’s Witness Frederick McLean

A Pedophile’s Paradise Fredrick McLean, a former member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, is wanted for sexual assaults on multiple children entrusted to his care over a 20 year period.

Frederick McLean, 57, was charged in San Diego Superior Court in January of 2005 of four counts of child molestation and one count of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14. Investigations into the assaults found that McLean lures his victims into trusting him, and then uses that trust to molest and manipulate his victims. Investigators have identi ed numerous victims and believe McLean may be seeking new victims. McLean has been described as being very intelligent and methodical; planning everything he does to the smallest detail. He may have over $100,000 in cash at his disposal. McLean may have changed his appearance to aid in his  ight from justice. Investigators say McLean is considered armed and dangerous.

Is Frederick McLean hiding in your spiritual paradise?
Continue reading

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Doctrines, Religion

Study Buddies? Watchtower says, “No”

Does ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate?— Matt. 24:45, 47.

No, it does not.

Thus, “the faithful and discreet slave” does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight. Continue reading

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Religion

2 Thessalonians 2 and The Watchtower Quotes

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ

Evidence establishes that his foretold return, the beginning of his “presence,” occurred in 1914.

and our being gathered together to him,

In the 1930’s, it became evident that the “other sheep” were being gathered in.

we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us,

Just as anointed Christians do, alert members of the great crowd are sticking close to God’s appointed channel for dispensing spiritual food.

to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

As evidenced by the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, since 1914 we have been in “the Lord’s day.”

Let no one deceive you in any way.

True Christians today try to help individuals in the apostate organization of Christendom. Since 1919, couriers from “the Israel of God” have gone through Christendom, inviting people to share in pure worship.

For that day will not come, unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

“One True Christian Faith—A Reality: “The Man of Lawlessness Gets Revealed” This “man of lawlessness” is none other than the clergy class that exalted itself into a ruling position over the “Christian” congregation.”

who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship,

By his lying teachings contrary to or superseding, as it were, the law of God, “the man of lawlessness” sets himself up over Jehovah God and other ‘gods,’ mighty ones of the earth, and also against God’s holy ones, true spiritual brothers of Jesus Christ.

so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

Since he is a hypocrite, a false teacher claiming to be Christian, he “sits down in the temple of The God,” that is, what such false teachers claim to be that temple.

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

This “man of lawlessness” is an apostate, a false teacher, so he actually seats himself only in what he falsely claims to be that temple.

And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.

Being “the spirit of the truth,” God’s holy spirit could never be the source of error but would protect Christ’s followers from doctrinal falsehoods.” (Compare 1Jo 2:27; 4:1-6.)

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.

His identity would continue to be mysterious to most persons because his wickedness would be practiced under the guise and in the name of godly devotion. It would, in fact, be an apostasy from true godly devotion.

And then the lawless one will be revealed,

The destruction of “the man of lawlessness,” the clergy of Christendom, will be an unmistakable “manifestation of his presence.”

whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth

The one authorized to declare God’s judgments against the wicked and to give orders to execute them is “the Word”—God’s Chief Spokesman, Jesus Christ.

and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

In past cases clouds represented invisible presence; but observers could “see” the meaning with their mental “eyes.” In this case the physical occurrences that are visible would cause the one looking to “see” or realize that Christ is invisibly present.

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,

The portents would be lying ones, however, either fraudulent on their face or deceptive as to the conclusions to which they would lead.

and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing,

Appearing to manifest God’s benevolence and blessing, they would in reality divert persons from the source and path of life.

because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

TRUTH
those raised in the truth: w02 3/1 12
remaining in the truth: w02 3/1 16

Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,

Jehovah allowed a spirit creature to become “a deceptive spirit” in the mouth of Ahab’s prophets. That is to say, this spirit creature exercised his power upon them so that they spoke, not truth, but what they themselves wanted to say and what Ahab wanted to hear from them. Though forewarned, Ahab preferred to be fooled by their lies and paid for it with his life.

in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The reasons why people have not yet accepted the truth vary.

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

“Your word is truth.” How can you convince a person that what you proclaim from God’s Word is the truth?

To this he called you through our good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good deed and word.

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Religion, Truth

My Life in Jehovah’s Spirit-Directed Organization

“…Later, at the suggestion of a friend of the family and with the approval of the school principal, the parents decided to put the youth in a clinic for the mentally ill, thinking that psychiatric treatment would make him abandon his faith.

The clinic personnel took the boy 60 miles [100 km] away in a car and injected him with huge doses of insulin and other drugs until he lost consciousness.

Upon awakening, he was completely disoriented, did not know anyone, and suffered partial amnesia. After many studies the doctors could not find any mental disorder in him. But the clinic went ahead with the treatment.

When conscious, the boy prayed continually to Jehovah not to abandon him and begged him for the strength to endure. Jehovah did protect him, and eventually he was released from the clinic.” — Watchtower March 1, 1992

Jehovah’s Spirit-Directed Organization

Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?

The phrase “spirit directed” occurs as many time in the scriptures as the phrase holy spirit-directed organization” occurs in the Watchtower’s literature—not once.

While the Watchtower never claims to be a “holy spirit directed organization” the literature shows 23 references to their being a “spirit-directed organization”, and the references to “God’s spirit-directed organization” are only found in the baptismal candidate questions (quoted above) used as of the 1980’s.

“Only if the individual answers in the affirmative and also understands that his dedication and baptism identify him as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization can he acceptably undergo water immersion. — What Prevents You From Getting Baptized? w89 1/15 p. 13 par. 18

So we know that the Watchtower claims to be a spirit-directed organization, but has never claimed that it was “holy spirit-directed”. 

It claims that it is God’s spirit-directed organization, yet Paul acknowledged that there are many gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship these god’s.

“There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords. But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.” — 1 Corinthians 8:5,6

Since we cannot be certain that this is an organization which is directed by holy spirit, as the Watchtower themselves has never claim to be holy spirit-directed, then we must wonder which god does this spirit-directed organization belong to?

The Watchtower is clear that it is Jehovah’s Spirit-Directed Organization. To make this point clear, the conclusion is simply that the Watchtower is not directed by holy spirit, it is directed by Jehovah’s spirit.

Serving God vs. Jehovah’s Organized People

Regarding “God’s Channel”: “Jehovah is using only one organization to accomplish his will.” Where is the scripture to back up the last assertion in the paragraph?

 

Jehovah has a people on this earth, and he expects us to serve him along with them. This brings us to the fourth requirement: We must serve Jehovah with his spirit-directed organization.

How, though, can God’s organized people be identified?

According to the standards set out in the Scriptures,

  • they have real love among themselves,
  • they have deep respect for the Bible,
  • they honor God’s name,
  • they preach about his Kingdom,
  • and they are no part of this wicked world.

(Matthew 6:9; 24:14; John 13:34, 35; 17:16, 17)

There is only one religious organization on this earth that has all these marks of true Christianity—Jehovah’s Witnesses!”

—What Does God Require of Us?
The Watchtower 1997 1/15 p. 22

 

The Watchtower sets up Jehovah with his spirit-directed organization above all other religious organizations on this earth, claiming that only Jehovah’s Witnesses have the marks of true Christianity. They claim that all other religious organizations and Christendom are  “Babylon the Great” as depicted in the book of Revelation.

Paul warned that the man of lawlessness “will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” — 2 Thessalonians 2:4

 

Certainly if Jehovah’s Witnesses feel superior to all other Christian organizations on earth, it follows Jehovah’s spirit-directed organization openly “opposes and exalts itself over everything that is called God or is worshiped”.

The Watchtower’s world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brooklyn, have been referred to as “Brooklyn Bethel” more than 500 times in the Watchtower literature (see WT DVDROM).

According to the Insight on the Scriptures book, “Beth’el” means “House of God”, and defines temple as “A divine habitation, sacred place or sanctuary, either physical or spiritual, that is employed for worship.”

Thus, in as many words, The Watchtower has defined itself as Jehovah’s spirit-directed organization openly “opposes and exalts itself over everything that is called God or is worshiped” and has set itself up as Bethel (God’s House or temple, his divine habitation), proclaiming itself to be God.

The Insight on the Scriptures book continues regarding the temple, “This “man of lawlessness” is an apostate, a false teacher, so he actually seats himself only in what he falsely claims to be that temple.”

The Insight on the Scriptures book concludes regarding “the man of lawlessness”, “by his lying teachings contrary to or superseding, as it were, the law of God, … he is a hypocrite, a false teacher claiming to be Christian, he “sits down in the temple of The God,” that is, what such false teachers claim to be that temple.”

The Bible pointed to the rise of Christendom’s clergy, describing them collectively as “the man of lawlessness” and “the son of destruction . . . whom the Lord Jesus will do away with . . . and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence.”—2 Thess. 2:3, 6-8.

According to the Watchtower, “True Christians have been separated out from the “weeds” of Christendom.” — Jehovah’s Witnesses do not consider themselves part of Christendom, but “invite others to “go up” to the exalted worship of Jehovah God.

“Apostates can present yet another threat to our spirituality.

The apostle Paul foretold that apostasy would arise among professed Christians. (Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Thessalonians 2:3)

In fulfillment of his words, after the death of the apostles, a great apostasy led to the development of Christendom.

Today, there is no great apostasy taking place among God’s people [Jehovah’s Witnesses]. Still, a few individuals have left our ranks, and some among them are bent on defaming Jehovah’s Witnesses by spreading lies and misinformation. A few work with other groups in organized resistance to pure worship. In doing so, they side with the very first apostate, Satan.

Some apostates are increasingly using various forms of mass communication, including the Internet, to spread false information about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

As a result, when sincere individuals do research on our beliefs, they may stumble across apostate propaganda.

Even some Witnesses have unwittingly exposed themselves to this harmful material.” — Watchtower 2000 5/1 pp. 8-12

The Watchtower itself warns, “If anyone who professes to serve God relies on his own ideas instead of adhering to the Bible… he becomes “mentally diseased.”

It’s about to be 100 years from 1914.

What was 1914? As far as anyone can see, literally, it was nothing.

The Watchtower—today—claims that it was the year Christ returned, invisibly, to earth and inspected Christendom finding the Watchtower as the sole ‘faithful and discreet slave’ (Matthew 24).

[Editor’s note: this teaching has changed again. They are now just “the slave” appointed and claim that they are faithful, though Christ has not returned to say so, and reward them.]

It gets complicated though, because in 1914, we believed he came invisibly in 1874, and that 1914 was to be the end of the last days.

It wasn’t until the 1930’s that the Watchtower’s new Jehovah’s Witnesses started teaching that he came in 1914 instead of 1874, although obviously he still came invisibly since no one knew he had come and gone—which begs the question, how did the appoint the faithful and discreet slave?

“It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the “slave” as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision.”— The Watchtower June 15, 1957 p.370

The Faithful Slave

Apparently there was much confusion there too, as Russell was believed to the be one and only faithful and discreet slave even after he died. But we don’t believe Russell was the slave, otherwise he’s dead and then what? It shifted over time to become a corporation under Rutherford into the form it’s taken as a “governing body” today.

Now, what about that ‘faithful and discreet slave’ versus the ‘evil slave’ parable? Well, the governing body is made up of imperfect men and that’s why we have to be ‘patient with the organization’ ‘waiting on Jehovah’.

In the 70’s while my dad was serving at Beth’el (meaning literally, ‘house of god’, in this case Jehovah) there were two relatives on the governing body, Raymond Franz and his uncle Fred Franz.

The Evil Slave

Raymond studied the scriptures while Fred ran the place. Raymond was assigned responsibility for producing “Studies in the Scriptures” and loved every minute preparing the material for publication.

However, what he learned from the scriptures disagreed with what the Watchtower taught, and still teaches today. His decision to stay true to the word of God, rather than Jehovah’s organization deemed him “the evil slave”.

Here’s where you have to stop and reason.

If none of these men were alive and present to be appointed ‘faithful’ in 1914, then how can the governing body be the faithful slave?

And if you can’t take it on a case-by-case basis man for man over time, then how can you remove one man from the body and call him evil, but the rest ‘the faithful’?

Wasn’t it Christ who was to appoint and reward his faithful slaves, and to judge the evil?

My dad is an ‘organization man’.

My dad vehemently defends the Watchtower as God’s organization.

I tried to ask him what if the Watchtower and the holy scriptures disagreed, but that didn’t end well.

Suffice to say he reflects Rutherford’s attitude when asked about correcting the name of God, since it’s not “Jehovah” as Jehovah’s Witnesses teach:

“At the Yankee Stadium, when giving his speech introducing the New World Translation, the Society’s president said: “…the translation committee has used the form ‘Jehovah’ because of its familiarity and because it preserves the four original letters [YHWH] of the Hebrew name. In God’s own time when He reveals the correct pronunciation of his holy name, we will gladly make the accurate correction.”—See The Watchtower, September 15, 1950, page 317 ¶ 14.

When I first tried to talk to my parents about Matthew 24 — its such a simple and easy to understand chapter! — my mother said she could ‘see me being an apostate‘.

I countered with my only hope—”please, explain to me when I’ll see my daddy again?”

You see, I was raised with a Catch 22. I had to be good enough as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses to obtain to eternal life in God’s kingdom on the paradise earth, where then I could see my daddy again, as he would be resurrected since he ‘died faithful’. (Never mind that we would both have to survive the attack by Satan at the end of the thousand years, where despite having died faithful, and been resurrected as a faithful one, my daddy or I might still succumb to Satan and die twice, three times if you include the ‘spiritual death’. Compare Hebrews 9:27)

I recalled growing up that he would come back some time during the thousand year reign based on “the last will be first, and the first will be last”. However, I had just finished reading the scriptures through for the very first time on my own, reading The Message version (read free on www.bible.com).

I had read Revelation 20:5 and it seemed simple, succinct, and it covered everything.

“And the rest of the dead don’t come to life until the thousand years have ended.”

My parents argued their “Reasoning from the Scriptures“, but the short of it is they do not believe the scriptures as written, they use man’s reasoning instead. (Mark 7:8)

Yet, this prophecy, the only book of scripture inspired by Christ himself, comes with a very explicit warning:

I give fair warning to all who hear
the words of the prophecy of this book:

If you add to the words of this prophecy,
God will add to your life
the disasters written in this book;

if you subtract from the words
of the book of this prophecy
,
God will subtract your part
from the Tree of Life
and the Holy City
that are written in this book.

He who testifies to all these things says it again:
“I’m on my way! I’ll be there soon!”
I shifted back to Matthew 24.

I was begging them to explain to me how it is that we contradict what Matthew 24 says so simply—all will see him!

How is it that we believed he came invisibly then???

I also pointed out that if the appointing of the slave happened in 1914, then the judging and rewarding hasn’t happened yet — thus, the slave was appointed to feed, but had not been found faithful, discreet,—or evil!

What was ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ doing calling themselves ‘faithful’ if Christ himself had not judged them so?!

Matthew 24 parallels the same events in Revelation of the four horsemen — so isn’t the first horse that looks like Christ, but is clearly depicted as different than Christ (later in Revelation) actually the anti-Christ?

Doesn’t he ride out and conquer Christians enslaving them into his kingdom, the kingdom of the false Christ: Christendom?

Isn’t that what Matthew 24 says happens, which is also attested to by the second letter to the Thessalonians who were commended for their learning, but warned not to listen to the teachings of men over that of God’s own word, or his son, the Word?

At the Watchtower’s Annual Meeting 2012 they changed the teaching.

I remind my mother that to turn “apostate” doesn’t mean to turn your back on religion or the Watchtower, it means to turn your back on God, and the one whom he sent forth: the way, the truth, the life.

“Veritas Via Vitae.”

Please know that it took great courage for me to finally find my voice: Having been silenced for years from speaking to those I thought were my ‘true’ friends and family I turned to writing.

However, living in an atheist society and surrounded by dogmatic “IRL” friends, I kept my faith to myself.

Having been taught that “there is no where else to go” because all other religions are false religions, I no longer had any spiritual association.

It never occurred to me to find out who, among my “IRL friends” were Christian. After all, back then if someone were to ask me if I were a Christian, I’d reply that I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (And what is that but another denomination of nominal Christians in Christendom? Ah how we love our divisive sects!)

Jessica, Lindsey, Ashley, et al, it’s hard to believe that it’s been eight years since I’ve had a hug from one of my ‘friends’.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

It’s been eight years, we were friends before Facebook came along.

However, my family members ‘unfriend’ me as if somehow that can change the fact that we are family. Now, you get to make the choice. You guys are it. The only ones who know me of all the people listed as my ‘friends’ on Facebook. You get to choose to love me, or ‘unfriend’ me.

I do not believe the Watchtower organization is directed by holy spirit any more than any other organization on the planet. “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one”, the scriptures say, and no where does it say that He (neither God, nor his Son) would come down and appoint any organization. Even still all that slave was to do was to feed faithfully and discreetly while waiting for the master to return.

He doesn’t urge “come out of her my people” just so you can hurry into the Kingdom Hall instead.

As far as I can tell, God’s Kingdom, nor Christ’s has come to earth yet.

So just whose Kingdom are you meeting in?

The Last Supper, Seattle, December 1, 2004

The Last Supper, Seattle, December 1, 2004

 

I woke up.

There’s a story there, it’s the reason I chose the specific example at the outset… But I can’t write everything from the past 33 years of my life in one blog post. 🙂

However, I’m going to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, with the help of my Father, his Son, and the holy spirit.

It’s going to be fun.

You know the best part? You can unfriend me, and you can still come read the stories, on my Facebook or on my blog.

I have set everything up to be public.

Thanks for reading this far if you have.

That night of the ‘Last Supper’ happened also to be my 25th birthday.

We were there to ‘celebrate’ our last night out together before my getting disfellowshipped, not to celebrate my birthday.

I’m 33 now.

“Oh, sweet thing
Zion doesn’t love you
And Babylon don’t love you
But you love everything
Oh, you saint”

When I was 30 I went to Burning Man, a week long art festival. As I stood among all those people in the desert it was hard not to think of the Israelites in the desert dancing before the burning calf.

Outside the tents, on the festival grounds
As the air began to cool, and the sun went down
My soul swooned, as I faintly heard the sound
Of you spinning “Israelites”
Into “19th Nervous Breakdown”

“Babel” by Mumford and Sons

‘Cause I know that time has numbered my days
And I’ll go along with everything you say
But I’ll ride home laughing, look at me now
The walls of my town, they come crumbling down

And my ears hear the call of my unborn sons
And I know their choices color all I’ve done
But I’ll explain it all to the watchman’s son,
I ain’t ever lived a year better spent in love

‘Cause I’ll know my weakness, know my voice
And I’ll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is farce,
But I’ll be born without a mask

Like the city that nurtured my greed and my pride,
I stretched my arms into the sky
I cry Babel! Babel! Look at me now
Then the walls of my town, they come crumbling down

You ask where will we stand in the winds that will howl,
As all we see will slip into the cloud
So come down from your mountain and stand where we’ve been,
You know our breath is weak and our body thin

Press my nose up, to the glass around your heart
I should’ve known I was weaker from the start,
You’ll build your walls and I will play my bloody part
To tear, tear them down,
Well I’m gonna tear, tear them down

‘Cause I know my weakness, know my voice,
And I’ll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is farce,
But I’ll be born without a mask

“O’ Sister” by City and Color

Oh sister
What’s wrong with your mind?
You used to be so strong and stable
My sister
What made you fall from grace?
I’m sorry that I was not there to catch you

What have the demons done?
What have the demons done?
With the luminous light that once shined from your eyes
What makes you feel so alone
Is it the whispering ghosts
That you feared the most
But the blackness in your heart
Won’t last forever
I know it’s tearing you apart
But it’s a storm you can weather

Oh sister
Those lines etched in your hands
They’re hardened and rough like a road map of sorrow
My sister
There is a sadness on your face
You’re like a motherless child who’s longing for comfort
What’s running through your veins
That’s causing you such pain?
Does it have something to do with the pills they gave to you?
What is eating at your soul?
Was it the whispering ghosts that left you out in the cold?

But the blackness in your heart
Won’t last forever
I know it’s tearing you apart
But it’s a storm you can weather

Oh sister
My sister

“Demons” by Imagine Dragon

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale

I want to hide the truth
I want to shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Curtain’s call
Is the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl

So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you made

Don’t want to let you down
But I am hell bound
Though this is all for you
Don’t want to hide the truth

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

They say it’s what you make
I say it’s up to fate
It’s woven in my soul
I need to let you go

Your eyes, they shine so bright
I want to save that light
I can’t escape this now
Unless you show me how

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

I’m letting the demons out.

I’ve held the truth inside for too long.

And you know, “the truth shall set you free”.

Too bad we grew up thinking “the truth” was our religion, eh?

“God is love.”

What is Jehovah?

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Culture, Documentation, Ethics, Religion

Watchtower Documentation: “Thanks to ANONs”

700MB of documents RE the Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses

We like to thank all ANONS who helped to collect, evaluate and sort this material.

Browse all files · Full Archive (bzip2, 700mb) · Added January 18, 2013

  • An interesting, mainly credible, account of an insider’s view of congregation workings over the past several decades. JW’s Brooklyn and Manhattan real estate holdings, possible fraud, Watchtower history, and their policies toward child sex abuse cases, beginning in the 1980s, are detailed. A good place to start for someone with limited knowledge of Witnesses. (PDF, 460kb)
  • Folder of documents on the “Chimera” lawsuit, a current pro se action brought in San Mateo, California involving alleged congregation fraud, money laundering, and a wide ranging RICO scheme involving bank, city, and public employees, to divest older members of the congregation from their spiritual leadership positions, and control over congregation cash. The case itself may not offer much insight, but does gives clues as to how the congregation is structured, and details some of their inner workings on maintaining bank accounts, fundraising, et cetera.
  • Some of this information about building fund schemes, touched upon here and in other Chimera case docs, may be of interest to those who are studying Scientology’s real estate transactions and fundraising schemes, as described in Lawrence Wright’s new book “Going Clear”. (PDF, 105kb)
  • Collection of material about child sex abuse allegations within the JW. Witness testimony, a large volume of info on William Bowen, who founded a Jehovah’s Witnesses survivors support group, SilentLambs, Inc, corporate docs, and lawsuit material between the congregation and Bowen, included.

There is lots of more data in the archive, including video testimony and various other court documents. Use the links  to access the full data. We like to thank all ANONS who helped to collect, evaluate and sort this material.

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Ancestry, Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

We fly away…

I am emotional. I feel betrayed. I was raised in faith that the Watchtower was God’s organization. I believed that my mom and dad knew the answers that one day I’d come to learn. I just felt slow and stupid and that eventually I’d get it. I trusted. I had faith. I believed. I knew my parents were smarter than me. I had read it in the poem that hang on his bedroom wall.

I now learn that while they can’t answer me from the scriptures when will my father live again they will deny the scriptures as they are written as truth.

“And the rest of the dead do not come to life until the end of the thousand years.” — Revelation 20:5

Despite that verse, and the one which precedes it which clearly defines who will partake in the first resurrection (which is immediately followed by this verse—”And the rest of the dead do not come to life until the end of the thousand years.”) she’d say that “apparently” my father, and all other loved ones, such as my uncles and my best friend, will come to life again during the thousand year reign.

“But who will they rule over?”, she asked.

I attempt to offer the answer, it lies therein, in the next verse—
“the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog” the ones who Satan’d deceive, let alone the man on earth who would yet thus believe and come to reside, as the scriptures say, in the holy city.

My parents tell me there will be only 144,000 in heaven, you see.

And thus on the earth the great crowd should be.

I wonder and am confused, what mystery she believes? (Revelation 17:5)

The 144,000 are in heaven, yes, we agree.

The great crowd, regardless—where is it?!—where will Gog and Magog be?

My parents won’t answer, and a answer will not be.

They offer confusing theories, the efforts or effects of their personal theology.

“The dead are not dead”, he says, “don’t you see?”

Or is it that he says that they are dead, but only spiritually?

And ‘the Son of Man which every man will see’, well not, every man will “see” he’d have me believe?

The man who says he was the Son of God would ask me to believe, and he asked in the first century, “what if you would see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?” apparently now the truth that we should seek is “what if you would see the Son of Man descending to where he was before he was where it is that he still is or would still be?”

Oh, I sigh, I ask and cry, “You men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky?”

My parents would say that though they dropped their jaws, and gave good pause so the Lord would sent his angels to mark the day, that it not matter, despite the manner, they not believe “This man, who was received up into the sky will come back in the same way as he was seen going into the sky.”

No, we’d not see, it’d be seen, no not all all.

It is not green eggs, no, it is not green eggs and ham, at all.

It was not for us but for the few he’d call, those men that they’d say of that long since past long ago day, some day once before no, never, not seen, it was one day when some one said he say him, somewhere near 1919. He came invisibly, known only once he came though their inner chamber doors; yet we shouldn’t worry, as though it were a desert, no not in desert no wilderness, nor should we go seek him, no it was in Brooklyn that as a thief he broke in.

My heart is like a child’s, like a king’s it’s been broken.
I have no throne, my crown is sore and of my ego there’s not much left to be worn,
But a princess I’d be—in the kingdom of heaven—my heart still plays make believe.

I give it all, I swear I would. I understand, I’d dare I could, Paul he’d be a man after that which is me—My Dad, my mother, my sisters and my brother, my family—please take them, take them before me?! My life, my life, I’ll give it, pray, I pray, please, oh please, not them but me! My body you’ve beaten, battered and abused, my mouth you smote and my faith you moved. My fear was shattered and my soul I cared not, who knows what I know, and who needs what I’ve got?

My father, my Father, before both I bend my knee. I beseech you I pray in my scattered soul, that thing which I not know if man need, my heart has been thrashed, and my heart thus does beat. Take my shame, give me blame, or lift from below?—I can’t breath. My eyes lay but for a moment on your son, and my heart stirred, ashamed I chastised myself, for your son I am beneath.

Why make me wonder I already know. You know my mother told you so. I look good in red, that’s what she said. And you know I’ve always wished to be worthy of wearing white. Your woman of revelation, adorned in skies diamonds, my mother think I’d be better off in colored jewels. You both tease thus, it seems I must, admit the scriptures are my muse?

But in seriousness, somberness, in undertone day and night. You know it is, from child’s breath, to adult fright, I’ve read you in delight. I had faith though life not make me believe. My spirit broke, then I found myself on bended knees. I lay my head to the ground, where once long ago I was found. It against that flesh that I find myself, the dust of which I am, the dust which I deserve.

Why make me dream, drowning me in stars? Why test my heart, and send my mind so far? I have no family in heaven, my father beneath my feet sleeps. My mother’d not believe me if I told her it’s me you’d seek. She thinks its the devil, and thus shame has won, how it is that I’d tell her, it is the best that I’ve done?

What shall you do to make them believe? What is it that shall come to make the world see? I care not for my life, but he that gave his for me. How is it that you lived without him? A perfect man, your child, your seed? My father knows not of the pain of which we call my life, he never came to know that a man called me his wife. As I stood before that man, for your mother and father you must leave, that man told me that I must forget—for him you must not grieve. How jarring it is this moment to try to say where all the other words thus in poetry lay—he said it he said it he said it callously, he said ‘get over it’, and that he said it I still can’t believe.

I’m done. I’m done. I’ve said all I can say. You’ve empty my heart, and I’ll hit send and pray.

I think of my father, and then you sent Muppets and clowns my way. I adore my childhood, and my life I wouldn’t trade.

I imagine another live would be one less boring than mine. I still can’t said I would trade it to live next to the divine. The roses smell sweet when not genetically altered, and you know it is not less than often that before earth’s herbs I’ve faltered. Rosemary I rub in my palms to breath its fragrance given next to the busy street, basil I adore and roses maybe more, though my scent I still seek. Do you have smells where you dwell, or could I have herbal retreats? Is it true, I heard once you drew a vision a man knew not to seek… upon a stone he struck his head and in slumber he did sleep. Though his eyes were closed his spirit rose, in wonder it did peak. He saw the stairs, or a ladder who cares, it was heaven it did seek. Angels came and went and the night was spent and of it the scriptures do speak. I laugh and wonder, could it be a man should go asunder so he might find on the other side an elevator ride, one like no other? (Genesis 28:10-19) I know, I know, in case she should read, yes the man who first before him must proceed. That death he gave and wine we drink, in life will live and death in we will breath.

Ecclesiastes “The Teacher”

In anguish, Solomon says in his heart,

“Who knows the spirit of man,
whether it goes upward,
and the spirit of the animal,
whether it goes downward to the earth?”

Why? Why had it entered Solomon’s heart that might might “go upward” as opposed to the “downward to the earth” that he knew of the death of animals?

A Prayer by Moses, the man of God.

Why is the prayer of Moses in the psalm referring to “flying away“?

Lord, you have been our dwelling place for all generations.
Before the mountains were born,
before you had formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
You turn man to destruction, saying,
“Return, you children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are just like yesterday when it is past,
like a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as they sleep.
In the morning they sprout like new grass.
In the morning it sprouts and springs up.
By evening, it is withered and dry.
For we are consumed in your anger.
We are troubled in your wrath.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days have passed away in your wrath.
We bring our years to an end as a sigh.
The days of our years are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty years;
yet their pride is but labor and sorrow,
for it passes quickly, and we fly away.

Why is it, by the way, that you’d believe that a generation can be anything other than what the scriptures define? There are so many little studies I did in child like curiosity and learned so many little things. Check every single reference to lifetime and you’ll see, a generation is forty if a life for the mighty would eighty be. Christ died and prophesied that a generation would see, and then thus it was that less than that it came to pass and thus they came to see. Why should I though all I know who believed have thus died believed what was not taught? Is it not man who over whom man it is that injury is wrought?

I apologize. While there might be some meter or rhyme, I haven’t the slight clue how to communicate it in writ. I offer you thus what you might imagine is puss, but I hope instead you see wit.

I am a gift from God, think no more of myself from sod, of where a seed dost thus lay. However this wheat should be no more neat than in thus death it stray. For in that if it be true then thus it is that I do a seed a harvest display. I long ago since died, and each time I think it the last that I’ve cried, but as your child I’d lied, and thus I lay my heart humbly before you this day.

I, Angela Marie Niblick Benson Baxley, and of all other aliases both present and formerly, am of sound mind and judgement of body.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” — 2 Timothy 1:7

I seek love and self-discipline, and the power to overcome weakness in speech.

But first, I shower.

Good night.

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Psychology, Religion

Pedophilia: A Letter to my Mother in Support of Candace Conti

I compiled all this because my heart ached realizing how you’d judged Candace, and her mother—whose name is Kathleen Conti—”it was her mother’s responsibility”. You judged but you did not know the facts.

Candace Conti

Candace Conti

You raised me to think of Candace as my sister. My heart goes out to my sister. Looking at her face she even reminds me of my own sisters.

I don’t know if Candace is in association with the Watchtower any more. I imagine not. It doesn’t matter, to me she is my sister. I pray for her, in hopes that her belief in our heavenly father was not tied to the Watchtower as mine was. I hope she knows that the actions of those “imperfect men” do not represent that of her Father. I hope that if they disfellowshipped her, like others I know have been for going to the authorities and/or media, that she knows that this is not her Father rebuking her, but a corporation who is protecting their ass—er—assets. Short sighted, they are concerned with man, rather than God. Continue reading

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Correspondence, Music, Religion

contact@aboyandhiskite.com

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Angela M. Baxley <abaxley@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 5:10 PM
Subject: Re: Beautiful album, love the lyrics, and the website. Thank you!
To: A Boy and His Kite <contact@aboyandhiskite.com>
cc: darryl@smrtworld.com

Hi Dave!
Are you guys okay in Colorado??? 
I had you and Karla on my mind as I was listening to “Choir Of Young Believers” earlier.
I’d like to find out if you know of anyone who I can promote via our indie DIY (but working with really talented people including pro’s who volunteer) docu/reality show, SMRTr World.
Seeking music like yours and Karla’s which support the personality and character of the characters involved. 🙂
I have a friend who is a pro sound guy with a studio in his house. When we were kids we were both Jehovah’s Witnesses. He’s now atheist and I’m Christian and believe Jesus > Religion and worship in my home. My hope is that this project will strike someone like your album struck me.
Btw, if you could somehow be included in person, we are filming in Charlotte, NC in our home. I quit my job (was a designer at Apple) to get married, and moved to be near the kids. The guys play music and we’ll be putting together a band. We’re based in “NoDa” (a neighborhood concept which didn’t exist when I lived here growing up) “the historic arts district of Charlotte”. If you wanted to perform, I’m sure we could figure out getting you in around here?
I don’t know how to help, but before my “Apple cred” fizzles away I’d like to deliver something inspiring. If I do well, then I’ll find my next communication media project. I have a whole slew of them I would like to deliver, with only one interest in mind — the King and his Kingdom.
Let me know thoughts. I’m a successful newbie! 🙂
Agape,
Angela (and her beloved, Darryl)

 ? angela baxley

On Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 5:55 PM, Angela Baxley <abaxley@gmail.com> wrote:

thanks for the music recommendations. i didn’t even know about that site “come and live”. very cool.

You’re still top of the list on Rdio for Heavy Rotation (based on my friends). Here’s the list of my pals who have your album on rotation. Again, stunning—all very influential in my world of designers on who tweet and love to rock. 🙂
On Nov 28, 2012, at 11:57 AM, A Boy and His Kite <contact@aboyandhiskite.com> wrote:
For sure! =) I have lots of atheist and spiritist friends in Boulder that have had their opinions and perspectives shaken up a bit knowing me and my faith in Jesus. I don’t exactly match their stereotypes. Like you I don’t really listen to much “Christian” music. I occasionally will turn the radio on to see what it’s sounding like and I’m sadly always disappointed. My little kids don’t even like it =)

Here are a few of my friends with a similar heart that I really enjoy listening to: Josh Garrels, Sleeping At Last, Andrew Belle, Son Lux, Matthew Perryman Jones, Karla Adolphe, Page CXVI and Loud Harp (my other band. you can download the record for free www.comeandlive.com).
Thanks again!
Dave
On Nov 28, 2012, at 12:04 PM, Angela M. Baxley wrote:

Wow, a really live email back! 🙂 Super cool!

 
Do you have recommendations on other artists with similar style minded lyrics and music? I don’t really like the stuff that is more typically labeled “Christian”. I can’t help but smile as I see your record, and Mumford & Sons top the “heavy rotation” on Rdio among my SF friends, who for the most part are both (a) atheists, and (b) incredibly influential to the culture of America. Apparently they don’t pay attention to the lyrics, but maybe it’ll get into their hearts all the same? 🙂
Agape,
Angela
@ang @baxley
On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 10:58 AM, A Boy and His Kite <contact@aboyandhiskite.com> wrote:

Hi Angela,

Thank you so much for your email! I’m sorry it took me awhile to get back to you.
I’m grateful that you are enjoying the music and also listened to the words. Also, a big thanks passing on those typos =) I just fixed them.
It’s fun to hear that my music struck a chord with where you’re at and what you’ve been thinking. That’s really exciting for me to hear! My songs are my experiences and stories of the goodness and love of God that I’ve received in my life. I don’t know how to sing about anything else =)
Thanks again for taking the time to write me. I appreciate it. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
Peace.
Dave Wilton – A Boy and His Kite
On Nov 26, 2012, at 9:08 PM, Angela M. Baxley wrote:

I’ve been looking for music that would fit what’s been on my mind lately, I put on your album (top of the new ones from the last week on Rdio) and jumped in the shower.

 
I came out to disbelief. Was I really hearing my ears correctly? 
I had silently asked for something that I would find upbuilding, spiritual, just not disappointing as my mind seems so much more aware of late…
 
Thank you!
 
I wanted to reach out also, because I believe there’s two typos in the lyrics—”to deep” should be “too”? And “burry” is written instead of “bury”?
 
I found the album by Mumford & Sons, Babel intriguing. Seems many are awakening. 
 
Angela from San Francisco
 
 
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Babylon the Great
Religion, Scriptures

Babylon, The Mother of False Religion

PLEASE NOTE, THIS IS A PERSONAL WORK IN PROGRESS!

The Kabbalah mystery religion which originated in ancient Sumer, thus putting its beginnings in the same remote epoch as the mysteries of Egypt and the Hindu Vedas. Babylon succeeded Sumer, and transmitted the teachings in turn to the Hebrews, along with many other elements of their religion, which are therefore still familiar to us today from the Book of Genesis. The word “Kabbalah” comes from a Hebrew root meaning to receive sacred teachings. Continue reading

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