Here is my Jehovah's Witness News for February 2012. The previous issue was January 2012. My words are bold to distinguish them from the articles'. I will add articles during the month, newest uppermost. Again my purpose is not to attack individual Jehovah's Witnesses but the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society.
"Jehovah's Witness guilty of indecent assault on boy," Wales Online, Tryst Williams, February 16 2012 ... A FORMER school bus driver from Penpedairheol has been convicted of indecently assaulting a boy a decade ago. David Evans, 46, a[Left: Cardiff Crown Court: Wikiedia]
practising Jehovah's Witness, was found guilty following two trials at Cardiff Crown Court. At his first trial last summer, a jury failed to agree on verdicts. Evans, of Gelliron, Penpedairheol, denied the allegations made by a man, now aged in his 20s. But a second jury convicted him of five charges and he will face sentence next month. At his first trial, his accuser revealed that he had not told his parents about what happened until last year. He said he spoke out after spotting Evans in a car with a small boy. "If the same thing happened to somebody else, I couldn't have lived with myself," he told the court, which heard that Evans was called to a meeting of the elders of his church in Aberbargoed after the allegations were made. He told them the accusations were untrue. Evans was bailed by Judge David Wynn Morgan. ... Considering their relatively small size, the Jehovah's Witnesses have a disproportionately high number of child sexual abuse cases. There is even a Wikipedia page titled, "Jehovah's Witnesses and child sex abuse." While child sexual abuse regrettably occurs in all Christian denominations, there is no corresponding Wikipedia page for "Baptist child sex abuse" or "Church of Christ child sex abuse" (my denomination), indicating it is far less frequent in evangelical Christian churches. There is even an organisation, Silentlambs, which was set up specifically for "helping ... victims of child sexual abuse experienced while in the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses":
"Silentlambs is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping survivors of abuse. It is based in the United States and gives assistance to victims of child sexual abuse experienced while in the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses. Its stated purpose is to help educate the public and Jehovah’s Witnesses about child sexual abuse as well as to assist abuse survivors who have been molested as children and silenced from speaking out or seeking proper assistance as directed by religious authority." ("Silentlambs," Wikipedia, 13 November 2011).
This is further evidence that the Jehovah's Witness religion is not Christian, but is rather like that other externalist and legalist anti-Christian religion, that of the Pharisees of Jesus' day, whose followers "outwardly ... appear righteous to men, but inside ... are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness":
Mt 23:27-28 NWT. 27 "Woe to YOU, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because YOU resemble whitewashed graves, which outwardly indeed appear beautiful but inside are full of dead men’s bones and of every sort of uncleanness. 28 In that way YOU also, outwardly indeed, appear righteous to men, but inside YOU are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Jehovah's Witnesses Raking In Real Estate Dough," Elise Knutsen, New York Observer, February 13, 2012 ...
Whether it's Armageddon or soaring property values, the Jehovah's Witnesses ... are one property closer to cutting all Earthly ties to their home of a century. An adorable carriage house at 165 Columbia Heights was sold for $4.1 million, city records show ... The home features an enviable 4,172-square-foot layout with four bedrooms and four full baths. A gluttonous master bedroom includes a walk-in-closet and en-suite bath, while the vainglorious garage can hold four cars. The Witnesses were definitely not guilty of acedia (look it up ["Acedia ... not being concerned with one's position or condition in the world" - Wikipedia]), as the home has all new mechanicals. The Jehovah's Witnesses, whose world headquarters have been located in Brooklyn Heights for over a century, are moving upstate to the town of Warwick. The group is in the process of selling property in the area worth between $600 million and $1 billion. ... This particular sale is "$3M Under Asking" price, and so is more evidence of the Watchtower Society's acute financial problems (see January's News). It is also more evidence of the Society's hypocrisy, since clearly it would have been the Society's leadership who lived in such luxury. A commenter to Brooklyn Heights Blog noted:
"The Watchtower has denounced the opulent Roman Catholic Church for their opulence and corruption and the Watchtower started as a small niche of `puritan' Bible students has in the end stage become just like their nemesis."
And another commenter pointed out:
"Looks like the Watchtower is positioning itself for the next 130 years of its history, showing the lost souls of this world that the end is `just around the corner'!"
"Christian gathering could be boon for Trenton economy," Erin Duffy, NJ.com, February 12, 2012. Every January, the Riverview
Jehovah's Witnesses congregation learns where its annual convention will take place. ... This year, the Oakland Street congregation learned its hometown, Trenton, will serve as host for six weekend-long events at the Sun National Bank Center. ... The local convention, one of hundreds to take place across the United States this summer, is expected to attract upward of 100,000 Jehovah's Witnesses to the city ... Perhaps best known for its habit of spreading the good word door-to-door, the Christian group considers the annual conventions the highlight of the year ... Witnesses believe in `Jehovah,' their name for God, and Jesus Christ, but they don't accept the existence of a Holy Trinity. Distinctive traits by which witnesses have come to be known include ... their refusal to celebrate birthdays and major holidays, participate in politics and military service or receive blood transfusions. They've been labeled a cult by some ... This reads like it was based on a Watchtower Society press release! But again, "Jehovah's Witnesses" are NOT Christian, because for one, claiming to be "Christian" and yet not believing in "the existence of a Holy Trinity" is as self-contradictorily absurd as claiming to be a Muslim but not believing in Allah! And again they neglect to mention (probably because they are embarrassed by it) that what "Witnesses believe ... [about] Jesus Christ" is that he is "Michael the archangel"!:
"Who Is Michael the Archangel? THE spirit creature called Michael is not mentioned often in the Bible ... But who is Michael? ... the Bible indicates that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ, before and after his life on earth." ("What Does the Bible Really Teach?," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY, 2005, p.218).
That JWism is "a cult" is evident in that the Watchtower Society, which calls itself "God's visible organization" (which delusion of grandeur alone shows that it is a cult) won't let its members do any "independent thinking," especially not to question the Watchtower's teachings:
"Avoid Independent Thinking ... How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God's visible organization." ("Exposing the Devil's Subtle Designs," The Watchtower, January 15, 1983, p.22).
As a cult which seeks to control what its members think, the Society most fears the freeing influence that former JWs can have on JWs under its mind-control, and so it labels them "apostates" and warns JWs to shun them, literally like the plague. Indeed, a recent Watchtower magazine (see above) called ex-JWs "mentally diseased" (see "Police inquiry over Jehovah's Witness magazine 'mentally diseased' article" The Telegraph, 27 Sep 2011; and "War of words breaks out among Jehovah's Witnesses," The Independent, 27 September 2011).
That it is a cult is also evident in the JW "distinctive traits" mentioned: "refusal to celebrate birthdays and major holidays" which is really aimed at cutting JWs off from their non-JW family and friends so that they are more under the control of the Watchtower:
"As the student begins to accept Watchtower teachings that Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, and birthday celebrations are of pagan origin and therefore offensive to God, fellowship with non-JW family and friends on those occasions comes to an abrupt halt, and social interaction with non-Witnesses on other occasions becomes more difficult. Eventually outside friendships cease altogether for the fully committed Jehovah's Witness, and family ties outside the sect cool to the point that relatives feel the JW has become a stranger. This, too, is by design and is a key part of the mind-control process. ... This social isolation is a key element, of mind control because it cuts off the sect member from the free flow of ideas that normally occur among friends or relatives. Once it is in place, only Watchtower ideas are heard and taken into the mind. If other opinions are encountered from outsiders at school or at a JW's place of employment, these are viewed with suspicion and contempt as coming from ungodly, `worldly' people who are no longer regarded as peers." (Reed, D.A., "Blood on the Altar," 1996, pp.188-189).
And "refusal to ... receive blood transfusions" up to and including JWs (and their children) dying in their thousands when the Bible (including the Watchtower's own New Word Translation) only says a Christian should avoid eating blood so as not to offend Jews:
"Acts 15:19-21 NWT. "Hence my decision is not to trouble those from the nations who are turning to God, 20but to write them to abstain from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. 21For from ancient times Moses has had in city after city those who preach him, because he is read aloud in the synagogues on every sabbath."
Any religion that allows its members and their children to die unnecessarily, in their thousands, based on passage which is only about not offending Jews (who aren't even offended by blood transfusions), IS a cult!
"Florence Green, world's last-known veteran of World War I, dies at 110," The Washington Post, February 8, 2012.
[Left: "1914 The Generation That Will Not Pass Away": The Watchtower, May 15, 1984, front page].
Florence Green, the world's last-known veteran of World War I, died Feb. 4 at a nursing home in King's Lynn, England. She was 110 ... Born Florence Beatrice Patterson in London on Feb. 19, 1901, she joined the Women's Royal Air Force in September 1918 at the age of 17. She went to work as a waitress in the officers' mess at RAF Marham in eastern England and was serving there when the war ended in November 1918 ... Her husband, Walter Green, died about 30 years ago ... The war's last-known combatant, Royal Navy veteran Claude Choules, died in Australia in May. After his death, Mrs. Green became the war's last-known surviving service member from the war, according to the Order of the First World War, a U.S.-based group that tracks veterans. She was officially recognized as a veteran when a researcher found her service record in the National Archives ... This lady's death as the last WW1 veteran is a reminder of the Watchtower Society's false prophecy that the generation of those who saw the events of 1914 would not pass away before Armageddon came:
"Many are the people alive since 1914 who will still be living when it is time for Armageddon to begin." ("From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained," WB&TS, 1958, p.205).
"The end of all the chaotic conditions in this system of things will not be delayed. But when will it come? After enumerating the many unpleasant conditions marking this `time of the end,' Jesus added the key thought: `This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.' (Matthew 24:34) Which generation did he mean? The one that would see the beginning of the woes he mentioned. Thus the generation living in 1914 can expect to see the end of this wicked system of things. It is to be carefully noted that the youngest of those who saw with understanding the developing sign of the `last days' from their start in 1914 are now well over sixty years of age ... The end of this wicked system and of all wickedness will come before all members of that generation pass away." ("Did Man Get Here by Evolution or by Creation?," WB&TS, 1967, pp.171-172).
"THE Bible speaks of the time in which we are living as the `last days' or the `time of the end.' ... It began in 1914 when Jesus Christ was enthroned as king in the heavens. It will end when God destroys this present wicked system of things ... How soon will that be? .. Jesus said: `This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.' (Matthew 24:34) Which generation did he mean? ... people still living who were alive in 1914 and saw what was happening then and who were old enough that they still remember those events. This generation is getting up in years now ... Yet Jesus very pointedly said: `This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.' Some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. This means that only a short time is left before the end comes!" ("The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life," WB&TS, 1968, pp.94-95).
"THE fact that fifty-four years of the period called the `last days' have already gone by is highly significant. It means that only a few years, at most, remain before the corrupt system of things dominating the earth is destroyed by God ... Jesus said when he gave his great prophecy about the `last days' ... `Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.' - Matt. 24:34. `Jesus was obviously speaking about those who were old enough to witness with understanding what took place when the `last days' began. Jesus was saying that some of those persons who were alive at the appearance of the `sign of the last days' would still be alive when God brought this system to its end. Even if we presume that youngsters 15 years of age would be perceptive enough to realize the import of what happened in 1914, it would still make the youngest of `this generation' nearly 70 years old today ... Jesus said that the end of this wicked world would come before that generation passed away in death. This, of itself, tells us that the years left before the foretold end comes cannot be many." ("What will the 1970's Bring?," Awake!, October 8, 1968, p.13-14).
"After considering the foregoing, is it not clear that ... we really are living in the time the Bible foretold as the `last days.' ... the Bible said that all these things would happen upon the generation that was alive in 1914 ... After drawing attention to the many things that have marked the period from 1914 onward, Jesus said: `This generation will by no means pass away until all these things [including the end of this system] occur.' (Matthew 24:34, 14) Which generation did Jesus mean? He meant the generation of people who were living in 1914. Those persons yet remaining of that generation are now very old. However, some of them will still be alive to see the end of this wicked system. So of this we can be certain: Shortly now there will be a sudden end to all wickedness and wicked people at Armageddon." ("You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth," WB&TS, 1982, p.154).
"The present wicked system of things, which extends worldwide, entered its last days in 1914, and some of the generation alive then will also be on hand to witness its complete end in the `great tribulation.' ... Luke 21:31, 32: `When you see these things occurring, know that the kingdom of God is near [that is, the time when it will destroy the present wicked world and itself take full charge of earth's affairs]. Truly I say to you, This generation will by no means pass away until all things occur.' (The `generation' that was alive at the beginning of fulfillment of the sign in 1914 is now well along in years. The time remaining must be very short." ("Reasoning from the Scriptures," WB&TS, Second edition, 1989, pp.234,239).
Since Mrs Green was born in 1901, she would have been of the generation that saw 1914. But as can be seen above, the Society defined the 1914 generation as those aged 15 or older in 1914. That means they were born no later than 1899 and would be 113 or older today. And since JWs were in 1914 such a tiny percentage of the world population, there are almost certainly no JWs alive today who were aged 15 in 1914. Moreover, since "the oldest living person in the world whose age can be documented is 115-year-old Besse Cooper, of the United States, born 26 August 1896" ("Oldest people," Wikipedia, 8 February 2012), it will only be a few more years until there will be no one alive who was 15 or older in 1914.
But we don't have to wait until then. The Society has effectively admitted that its "1914: The generation that will not pass away" prediction was a false prophecy:
Dt 18:20-22 NWT. 20"However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. 21And in case you should say in your heart: `How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?' 22when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him."
and that therefore it is a false prophet. It did this by in 1995 quietly abandoning its decades old "1914 generation" prediction by changing its definition of "generation" so "that now, to qualify as part of `this generation,' a person need no longer have been alive in 1914":
"In September 1994, the eighth printing of Crisis of Conscience discussed this February 15, 1994 issue of the Watchtower and its moving the application of portions of Matthew 24 forward to the start of the `great tribulation.' ... Just thirteen months later articles appeared in the November 1, 1995 Watchtower which did almost precisely what had been pointed to in that 1994 edition of Crisis of Conscience. As indicated, they now unlinked the phrase `this generation' (Matthew 24:34) from the date of 1914 ... This was accomplished by a new definition of the sense of `generation' in this text. ... For over forty years thereafter Watch Tower publications continued to assign a temporal sense to the `generation' of Matthew 24:34. The aging of the 1914 generation was pointed to again and again as clear evidence of the shortness of the remaining time. In the revised 1995 definition, however, rather than having parameters of time limitations or any set starting point, the `generation' is instead said to be identified, not temporally, but qualitatively, by its characteristics, as in the reference to an `evil and adulterous generation' in Jesus' time. `This generation' is now said to be `the peoples of earth who see the sign of Christ's presence but fail to mend their ways.' ... What then is the significant difference? It is that now, to qualify as part of `this generation,' a person need no longer have been alive in 1914 to form part of `this generation.' Anyone can see the supposed `sign of Christ's presence' at any time-even if for the first time in the 1990s, or for that matter in the third millennium-and still qualify as part of `this generation.' This allows the phrase to float free of any starting date and reduces considerably the need to explain the embarrassing length of time that has elapsed since 1914, and the rapidly diminishing ranks of persons who were alive at that date." (Franz, R., "Crisis of Conscience," 2002, pp.266-268. Emphasis original).
"PeaceHealth Southwest addresses those who refuse blood transfusions," Marissa Harshman, LiveWell, February 6, 2012 ...
[Right: Watchtower Society "No Blood" card: Zachary Kaufman]
When Brenda Jordan awoke from her medically induced coma, she was devastated. While unconsciousness, Jordan dreamt she had a blood transfusion. For the Jehovah's Witness, a transfusion would mean she defied God's command to abstain from blood. Jordan discovered three days later, when she was finally able to speak, that she had not received a transfusion. It was just a dream ... And several months later, when the Vancouver woman had open-heart surgery in November, she did so without putting another person's blood into her body. Jordan's transfusion-free surgery was possible because of a new blood conservation program at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver ... Dr. Steve Matous, a general surgeon, said a transfusion-free procedure doesn't look much different than a typical procedure. The main difference, he said, is surgeons are extra diligent about stopping bleeding, treating every drop of blood as precious. The surgeons use a variety of blood-saving techniques and equipment to prevent blood loss ... While most general surgery procedures don't usually require blood transfusions, other surgeries - like open-heart and liver surgeries - usually require transfusions. A typical open-heart surgery, for example, could require four or five units of blood ... The Cell Saver machine, however, reduces the need. "This is better for patients because they're getting their own blood back," ... The Watchtower Society currently won't allow JWs to get their own blood back (see January's issue). So until the Society receives "new light" (i.e. their `Jehovah' changes his mind), JWs will continue having to die unnecessarily at the Watchtower's hand. Also, while this "transfusion-free surgery" can help some JWs, for some procedures in those countries with advanced health systems, like Canada and the USA, JWs will still have to continue dying unnecessarily in their thousands at the Watchtower's hand, in less advanced countries, or even in advanced countries where some JWs cannot afford the alternative procedures. And that still leaves the millions of JWs who have died unnecessarily in the past, due to this particular Watchtower "tradition of men" which they have elevated to a "commandment of God," and in doing so have "Let... go the commandment of God" (Mk 7:7-8), that "You must not murder" Ex 20:13), which includes preventing unnecessary death (Dt 22:8).
"Watchdog's ban on distributing Jehovah's Witnesses magazines
[Left: Early The Watch Tower magazine cover. Note the Cross which was part of the Society's logo for 47 years from 1881 to 1928!]
affirmed," Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) ... MOSCOW, February 2 ... An appeals court has affirmed the mass media watchdog's ban on distributing in Russia the Awake! and Watchtower magazines published by Jehovah's Witnesses ... The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals dismissed the petition filed by ... the Jehovah's Witnesses management center responsible for distributing magazines. ... The reason was that Russian courts declared some of their stories extremist. The claimants earlier denied the orders as being unlawful because press publication and distribution are its core economic activities and its rights have been violated by the disputable orders ... Jehovah's Witnesses is an international religious organization. Many traditional religions consider it to be a pseudo-Christian sect. ... Its activities are forbidden in China, North Korea, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and a number of other countries. ... That JWism is "a pseudo-Christian sect" is evident in that its "core economic activities" are "press publication and distribution." It truly is "a religion of `buying and selling'" (Schnell, W.J., "Thirty Years: A Watchtower Slave," 1956, p.205). Where in the Bible does it say that the "core economic activity" of the Church that Jesus' founded (Mt 16:18) was to be "press publication and distribution"? As mentioned in January's issue, the Watchtower Society has a huge dilemma: since the same content is printed in every Watchtower and Awake! magazine in every country, it either has to: 1. tone down its extremist language in every issue worldwide, which will adversely affect the Society's recruiting and retaining members; or 2. start producing different content magazines for different countries, which will greatly increase the Society's costs.
"A meeting of hearts if not minds," Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times, February 2, 2012... Some Jehovah's Witnesses with leukemia
[Right: Dr. Michael Lill examines Jehovah's Witness leukemia patient Christina Blouvan-Cervantes: Los Angeles Times]
turn to an atheist Cedars-Sinai doctor who respects their refusal to accept blood transfusions. Christina Blouvan-Cervantes had been battling aggressive leukemia when her blood count plummeted ... Her doctors told her a blood transfusion was her only hope. But her faith wouldn't allow her to receive one. So she turned to one of the only doctors who could possibly keep her alive: a committed atheist who views her belief system as wholly irrational. Dr. Michael Lill ... is a last recourse for Jehovah's Witnesses with advanced leukemia ... Many specialists decline to treat them because of their biblically centered refusal to accept blood transfusions ... Lill thinks their refusal is risky and illogical ... Blood transfusions are usually required, because both the cancer and the treatment suppresses the body's production of blood cells. Without transfusions, the risk of death from anemia or bleeding is significantly higher. Jehovah's Witnesses draw their beliefs about blood from a literal interpretation of the Bible, which repeatedly warns against its consumption ... It is a violation of God's command for a Jehovah's Witness to accept whole blood, red or white blood cells, platelets or plasma ... If the Bible really taught that blood transfusions were prohibited because they were the same as eating blood, then Jewish doctors would be in the forefront of helping JWs (and Jews) avoid them. But as we saw in last month's issue, not only is there "nothing in Jewish law that would preclude a person from benefiting from a blood transfusion" but if it is "medically necessary, then it is not only permissible but obligatory" (Chein, R., "Is blood transfusion permissible in Jewish belief?" 2009). And as the Watchtower Society's own New World Translation makes clear, the New Testament ruling against Christians eating blood, was only to avoid offending Jews:
Acts 15:13,19-21 NWT. 13After they quit speaking, James answered, saying: "Men, brothers, hear me. ... 19Hence my decision is not to trouble those from the nations who are turning to God, 20but to write them to abstain from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. 21For from ancient times Moses has had in city after city those who preach him, because he is read aloud in the synagogues on every sabbath."
But since Jews today are not offended by anyone having a blood transfusion, there is no Biblical reason for JWs not to have them. The Watchtower is therefore guilty of inventing a "tradition of men" which overrides "the commandment of God" (Mk 7:8 NWT), and moreover a tradition that has caused, is causing and will cause, the unnecessary deaths of thousands, if not millions of JWs and their children.