The latest Watchtower warns Witnesses to "be on guard" against the enemy within
The latest Watchtower warns Witnesses to “be on guard” against the enemy within

Only a month after urging Witnesses to “close ranks against Satan,” Watchtower is ramping up the paranoia still further with its new December 15th Study Edition (available for download on this link).

This time round Witnesses are being told to avoid close association with any who indulge in “personal speculations and critical conversations.” Such ones are to be considered as “false apostles” (a kind of milder version of apostates), who attend meetings but nevertheless “speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.”

Witnesses are also warned against “time wasting pursuits” such as “keeping in contact through social networks, reading and answering electronic messages, avidly pursuing hobbies, or constantly keeping abreast of sports events.”

And in an echo of the “close ranks” mentality set forth in the November issue, Witnesses are instructed to ignore any negative reports from journalists. “Misleading statements and outright lies about Jehovah’s servants are sometimes featured in the media,” rants the Watchtower, citing no examples. “Newspaper headlines, television documentaries, and Internet Web pages are used to propagate untruths. As a result, some people become disturbed, gullibly believing such lies.”

Backs against the wall?

When reading the first study article of the December 15 magazine, I can’t help but behold an organization that is lashing out like a caged animal. Any organization that wants to be taken seriously by outsiders would not say “the media is lying, you should ignore them,” but would rather demonstrate HOW they are lying, and give evidence of such. The fact that no evidence is given, with no examples cited, suggests to any thinking person that, in fact, the media reports are likely accurate – and Watchtower simply doesn’t want people to read them.

If the media is truly under Satan's control, then Watchtower should be having nothing to do with it.
If the media is truly under Satan’s control, then Watchtower should be having nothing to do with it.

It has long been a paradox that Watchtower both admits to using the media “when necessary to convey an accurate picture of our beliefs” (Bearing Witness book, page 110), while at the same time lampooning it as an instrument of Satan. If the media is truly “influenced by the Devil” (as this latest article suggests), then how is Watchtower able to “use” it at all? You can’t have it both ways. If the media is truly under Satan’s control, then Watchtower shouldn’t even be trying to use it. – 2 Cor 6:14-17

With no real explanation or clarification, Witnesses are merely left with instructions to listen to the media when it has nice things to say about the organization (such as when reporting on Conventions), but ignore any negative news reports because these must automatically be lies and deception. Does this approach raise red flags with anyone other than me?

In emphasizing its anti-media message, Watchtower has even “recycled” the exact same image that was used in the now-infamous July 15 2011 “mentally diseased” magazine, which seemingly portrays a Witness couple being startled by an apostate being interviewed on television…

apostate-picturesThe enemy within

Arguably the most vociferous attacks in this issue are reserved for the new enemy within that has been identified for us by the Governing Body. No, we are not talking about so-called “mentally diseased” apostates. Referring to the early Christians, Watchtower warns: “Admittedly, Christians would face dangers other than those from apostates and their teachings.”

Witnesses are now to view even their brothers as "false apostles" to be avoided if these ones doubt or speculate
Witnesses are now to view even their brothers as “false apostles” to be avoided if these ones doubt or speculate

The words of 2 Thessalonians 3:6,10 are then wheeled out to argue that Witnesses should “withdraw from every brother walking disorderly” by limiting association with perceived “false apostles.” These are not apostates, but are seen as “veering toward apostasy.” “Yes, close association with such individuals back then [in the First Century] was especially dangerous and was to be avoided – and that is also true today.”

And so a whole new level of paranoia is now being encouraged. The walls of the Kingdom Hall are no longer a boundary between God’s people and Satan’s influence. “Trust no one” should be the new motto for Witnesses. The enemy could be the brother sitting next to you. “If ever someone attending our congregation meetings would try to entice us into discussions of personal speculations or critical conversations, we should definitely be on guard.”

It is interesting that the Society should single out speculation as something we should be on guard against. For example, family worship sessions are prescribed in paragraph 15 of the first study article as being a “safeguard” against “speculation and doubts.” In fact, the word “speculation” appears five times throughout this new magazine. It is clearly a word Witnesses are to loath and distrust.

The irony, of course, is that the Governing Body has free rein to engage in their own speculation, such as with the recent “new light” about the faithful and discreet slave, which requires logic-defying mental gymnastics to even begin to comprehend. But if speculation is attempted on a personal basis outside that group of men, this marks one out as a “false apostle” who should be avoided as someone who is on the slippery slope to apostasy.

“Avoid time wasting pursuits!”

But it isn’t just those who indulge in speculation who are to be avoided. Paragraph 11 in the first study article uses Paul’s words in Hebrews 2:1 about those who might “drift away.” Such drifting away is identified in paragraph 12 as being linked to “time wasting pursuits.” As previously stated, any use of social media, electronic messaging, avid pursuit of hobbies or even being well-versed in the latest sporting developments could mark one out as being such a “drifter.” The result of any of these vices is said to be a loss of spirituality. “Heartfelt prayer, study of God’s Word, meeting attendance and preaching the good news might suffer,” the magazine warns.

Hobbies are a waste of time that can mark you out as "drifting" spiritually
Hobbies are a waste of time that can mark you out as “drifting” spiritually

How are we to avoid such a fate? “One thing that we definitely need to do is remain aware of the time we are living in and the potential effect of association with those who refuse to acknowledge that these are the ‘last days,'” urges the writer in paragraph 13. In other words, if someone doesn’t personally believe that Armageddon is imminent, or engages in certain activities that the Society deems to be “time wasting pursuits,” they should be marked as bad associates and shunned for all social activities.

Again, it’s difficult to comprehend of any thinking person reading this material without seeing warning signs. And I can only sympathize with all those Witnesses who will now feel compelled to close their Facebook accounts or sell their fishing and golf gear simply because they don’t want to be branded a “drifter.”

“Are you making enough sacrifices?”

Also worthy of mention is the second study article in the December 15 issue, with its “no pain, no gain” approach to requesting contributions – even from brothers in poor countries. The article begins by boasting in paragraph 2 of how “as a result of our efforts and Jehovah’s blessing, the preaching work is accelerating, and many continue to stream to ‘the mountain of the house of Jehovah.'”

It is unclear precisely how it could be said that “many continue to stream” to the organization given that there was only a 1.9% increase in publishers last year. Nor can I quite fathom how “the preaching work is accelerating” given that the growth was 2.4% in 2011, 2.5% in 2010 and 3.2% the year before. Watchtower must be using a different definition of the word “accelerate” than the one I am familiar with.

This and other arguments are used as a basis to urge Witnesses to donate to the cause. In paragraph 6 they are reminded of the Jewish system of sacrifices in the Hebrew Scriptures, and how these involved animal offerings even from those who were destitute. The reminder is given that such sacrifices needed to be without blemish, taken from the very finest that a person could offer. This reasoning is used to support the idea that contributions should not be made out of one’s surplus, but should be budgeted by each individual in advance.

“The apostle Paul provided a principle to follow when considering donations. (Read 1 Corinthians 16:1,2) Under inspiration, he encouraged his brothers in Corinth not to wait until the end of the week to see what was left over but, rather, to set aside funds at the start of the week in harmony with what they could do. As in the first century, brothers and sisters in our time plan ahead to respond generously according to their circumstances. (Luke 21:1-4; Acts 4:32-35) Jehovah treasures such a giving spirit.” – w13 11/15 (bold is mine)

The message is clear. Don’t send us what is left over in your funds at the end of each month. Budget in advance, and let your day-to-day expenses and unforeseen costs come second to supporting the preaching work.

Even those in poor countries are being called upon to make sacrifices for Watchtower's financial benefit
Even those in poor countries are being called upon to make sacrifices for Watchtower’s financial benefit

It is especially disturbing to see the way this idea is propounded even for those living in poor countries. Granted, a cautionary note is sounded in paragraph 16: “The giving of our time and resources should not cause us to neglect the spirituality or physical welfare of our family.”

Even so, in a world of such economic uncertainty where a mere stock market fluctuation or company liquidation can leave a family penniless, it is gravely irresponsible to be asking even those in poor countries to be setting aside their resources for Watchtower in advance.

For example, paragraph 15 tells of brothers in “one very poor country in Africa” who “mark off a small section of their garden and use the funds from the sale of the produce to support the Kingdom work.”

You have to wonder whether these brothers, who doubtless live in day-to-day conditions of abject poverty, would so readily give away their food and livelihood to support Watchtower if they only knew that the Society pocketed $375 million in just one recent real estate transaction, as part of a larger scheme that is raking in over a billion dollars to the organization.

I personally consider it immoral to allow people in such a bleak and precarious predicament to sacrifice their food while raking in such gargantuan sums of money in property transactions without telling them of the figures involved. Watchtower should be sending them money – not the other way round.

The paranoid generation

But it is arguably the blatant paranoia that is encouraged in this new magazine that is of most serious concern to thinking Witnesses, not to mention those with loved ones under Watchtower’s control and influence.

Only a few weeks ago Witnesses were being ordered to “close ranks” and obey all instructions from the Society “whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.” Now they are being conditioned to scrutinize even their fellow brothers who attend the meetings, and effectively shun such ones if they say anything deemed negative or speculative.

This “trust no one” obsession with the enemy within, not to mention the reminders to ignore any negative reports in the media, only serves as further evidence of Watchtower’s alarming slide into radicalization.

On the one hand, it is nice to think that magazines such as this might put out red flags for those who are starting to awaken. Even so, this magazine can just as easily strengthen Watchtower’s mental grip on countless loyal Witnesses, who now have even more reason to fear and distrust those who are trying to liberate them from indoctrination – even from inside the congregation.

 

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Further reading…

81 thoughts on ““Be on guard against those who speculate!” – Watchtower ramps up the paranoia

  • September 13, 2013 at 5:29 am
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    Here in South Africa, there are many very poor JW’s among the African nations. Some of them barely have enough to eat let alone set aside money to give monthly donations to the world-wide work…sometimes they don’t even know if they will have a roof over their heads and they live in filthy squatter camps. The cautionary note from the Watchtower about not neglecting the physical welfare of their families possibly steps from their concern that they might have to give something to these poor people simply to survive! It’s just so wrong! As you said Cedars, the Watchtower should be helping them not the other way around.

  • September 13, 2013 at 5:36 am
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    You mentioned drawing attention to favourable copy in the press re. JWs, such as at Conventions. The AAWA campaign to forewarn the media in Convention districts about the evils of the JW cult is already having an effect. It is likely that the paranoia will only increase next year.

    It is clear that the Watchtower Society has no coherent strategy for coping with the information age. We can but hope these inchoate ragings are its death throes.

  • September 13, 2013 at 5:37 am
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    After reading this, I had to close my eyes and merely shake my head. Of course I am happy to be out of that religious cult, but I think of all those still in who are taught not to doubt. If this isn’t thought control, what is?

  • September 13, 2013 at 6:00 am
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    They have created the “speculation” with their nonsense and bullpucky changing “New Light” every week and the latest BIG BOMBS which removed the anointed class from the Faithful and Discrete Slave and the “Governing Body” from even having any heavenly authority or license to be in 1919 which effectively means everything they have said and done from that point has been a fraud and sham! So all the people who have died and been disfellowshipped and been imprisoned at the orders and behest of these men was bogus since they were never given authority in 1919 anyway…Now they want to impose even more and tighter austerity? No one dare talk about it? Yeah, that’ll work!

  • September 13, 2013 at 6:12 am
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    Excellent analysis . Way to go .

    They sure are becoming more radicalized and hateful .

  • September 13, 2013 at 6:15 am
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    The Governing Body, or whoever it is that actually writes these articles, has clearly lost it!

    I fear for my family members that are still stuck in this mind-control cult!

  • September 13, 2013 at 6:19 am
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    It is only normal for human beings to speculate and doubt and ask questions when unsure about things. It is a derivative of our God-given thinking faculties. But the Watchtower Society fears speculation and doubts that encourage thought-provoking inquiries and intellectual discussions, especially about their doctrines, policies, and practices, which logical thinking will inevitably prove false.

    Asking questions, searching, investigating, speculating, and doubting is encouraged by the Bible. – 1 John 4:1; Deuteronomy 13:14

  • September 13, 2013 at 6:23 am
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    I would be expecting the biggest exodus thus far from their clutches in the next few weeks and months!
    So get your shoulder cloths and cookies and milk ready…

  • September 13, 2013 at 7:25 am
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    I am so thankful to The Watchtower, that they publish and print these magazines months in advance. I have been reaffirmed in what the Holy Spirit has been clearly telling me about this whole business. This is urgent. There is a time limit on reaching anyone inside.

    Thanks for the warning, guys! I’m glad to know what lies are coming next. You expose yourselves and your strategy, every time you speak.

    Your magazines are full of speculations about yourselves, and the conclusions that have to be continually adjusted and clarified. We won’t speculate about the number of times you use scripture references or planted comments about fleeing to the mountains. That would be akin to claiming that we are the clear channel of Jehovah.

  • September 13, 2013 at 7:41 am
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    “Paranoia the destroya!” – The Kinks :)

  • September 13, 2013 at 7:45 am
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    Incredible that they get away with these mind control techniques and self doubting strategies.
    I guess they want a smaller, tighter bubble of people afraid to have authentic, open conversation at gatherings etc.
    Oh wait, why “waste” money (and relaxing time) on social pursuits when that $$ could go to the GB retirement resort :)
    Leaving JW world was the best decision I made this year.
    Thanks Cedars, for your great write up and extensive efforts to awaken people.

  • September 13, 2013 at 8:08 am
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    Very good article Cedars. I have witnessed this paranoia first hand. First by family who is now shunning me because I dared to ask a question and now by the congregation because of those questions. it’s truly is disgusting!

  • September 13, 2013 at 8:21 am
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    Thank you for another fine review of repetitive material from the Watchtower. I stopped reading the magazines some 20yrs ago and after reading the articles provided it made me want to vomit. It was as if I was in a time machine that brought me back 20yrs. They really have no new light, in fact as you have shown by the numbers that light is slowly going out. As usual they take all the scriptures out of context and try to apply them thousands of years later and then expect gullible minded people to be brainwashed into believing what they come up with. These idea’s are from men not God. The Bible has already been written and needs no self professed FDS to add to it or take away from it so it fits their own policy making agenda. Rev.22:9 In due season they will be brought into judgment as the Man of lawlessness class by their own actions. The beginning of the article as usual sets the whole tone of shear stupidity on their thinking and the wrong application of scriptures. For example the words written in regard to Apostates was to ward off those who do not accept Jesus, and that he brought the way of Christianity to man and the benefits thereof. It doesn’t say we have to believe in the watchtowers writings. Of course they don’t give examples of untruths about them because it is mostly true and is provable by their own publications. How could you really know the Truth when you yourself are speaking untruths through the printed page. Clearly when they are being exposed for their wrong they try anything to blow smoke screens up to avoid being exposed up to Ad Hominem tactics which is attacking the character of the person who presents the evidence. So lets get this straight now. 1) look out for apostates in watchtower clothing among you. Here the FDS is brainwashing in seeds of distrust among its members up to saying even if it doesn’t sound right by what we said still do it? Where is the logic in that? let me give you an example. I’m a expert in the field of auto repair and I tell you that your car needs brakes. Now the reason you brought it to me in the first place is you are sensing something wrong in the performance of your brakes and I’m a certified expert that can fix it for you. Now I recommend in writing a estimate of repairs needed. And at the end of the estimate I tell you that what I have told you may not be entirely true but please believe it anyway. Now just how fast do you think that customer would head out of your shop with that type of reasoning? You would be out of business in a heartbeat. Now as the watchtower is so classic in making analogy’s i.e. (drifting boat) let me make one for them. Just like steal is hardened and made better by fire after the fact then if you submit your teachings to the fire of reason then will it be refined and made better and excepted as real or will it be destroyed by that test and show from what substance it was made from in the first place? So no wonder why they didn’t quote the scripture about testing your faith as to weather it is true or not. They don’t want to lose members which in turn equals money to them. Their motive in writing these type of articles are Ad hominem in nature to begin with. It is obvious from just these 2 study articles that their new self classification of being the FDS has gone to their head. And I’m sure this was done in the first place in order to give them more power over the people they accentually rule. It saddens my heart that some of my own family is caught up in this whole thing. But when I reflect on our childhoods and then being introduced to this religion by our parents, I being a middle aged Adult certainly understand why. I just hope as time continues that more and more people will come to their senses in regard to this cult type religion. In the meantime the more info that is out there that disproves their false reasoning the better chance one can be saved from such a controlling religion that has already cost many people their own lives and livelihood. John Cedars do not give up the fight in following your heart to do the right thing and give these dissenters a voice to be heard. As has been said “It is the fear of man that brings a trembling of the knee’s” And perhaps, no let me rephrase that, Definitely the Watchtower is trembling because of the fear of being exposed and the real “TRUTH” about them.

  • September 13, 2013 at 9:29 am
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    Fantastic article and timely. I really liked the fact I could read the four watchtower articles first before your articles to see if I could learn from your examples and critically think about what was damaging. I drew out the exact same points as you did that I thought were important.

    There was also a phrase that could be an apparent contradiction in the third article in paragraph 12 which states
    ……………..As part of that annual observance, children would ask their parents questions that focused on the meaning of the event (the Passover)……………………….

    So one article is telling us be wary of ones who speculate and the other is encouraging young minors to ask questions.

    My questions to the GB are….

    When must we stop questioning the things we are taught?

    As soon as we are in a verbal contract with the organisation perhaps?

  • September 13, 2013 at 9:39 am
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    I like the example of intellectual intimidation where the watchtower states

    …………..As a result, some people become disturbed, gullibly believing such lies.”…………

    Thanks to you and this site I have learned to spot it and slowly teach my loved ones, at a pace that is good for them.

    I hope your loved ones will be free in the future also

  • September 13, 2013 at 10:29 am
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    Great article Cedars! keep up the great work. One thing very interesting that you quoted was…

    paragraph 16: “The giving of our time and resources should not cause us to neglect the spirituality or physical welfare of our family.”

    The article mentions the key-word spirituality first, so that the readers will skip over the physical welfare part. Citing the passover in their article meant that the giving MUST happen. Also, it seems as if they are asking for the tithe. Eventhough the WTBTS frowns on churches passing a donation plate every sunday, they themselves beg from people through their magazines. Blind JW’s are always under the impression that the society is broke, in reality, they are a multi-billion dollar company. In 2001, they were ranked as the 40th profit making corporation raking in a billion dollar a year. Imagine now, 10 years later and with more than a million new blind people, they must be making more money. It’s all about the money. This article appears to be like an immunization on the JW’s from even trying to open their eyes. Remember the first Matrix? Where the main character is awakened as a human inside a survival chamber? A group of the resistance awakened Kiano Reeves in a slimy chamber. That’s basically every JW, sleeping inside a chamber, while we the awakened are desperately trying to wake them up.

  • September 13, 2013 at 11:23 am
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    “Newspaper headlines, television documentaries, and Internet pages are used to propagate untruths”. TELEVISION DOCUMENTARIES ?

  • September 13, 2013 at 11:35 am
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    As usual great article Cedars. You’ve more patience than many of us readers because you actually sit down and analize these horrible articles and videos which is some feat because just reading your article made me feel nauseous with concern for my friends still trapped in this cult.

    It seems the more I learn of their new teachings I hear a voice in my head screaming “Cult mentality!”

    Surly this nonsense should set off a few alarms with at least one of my still in friends who is a talented artist who’s work helps him cope with a disability who is now essentially being told he is wasting his time. In the 70’s through 80’s there was a very talented and more than a little eccentric JW from Cheshire (England) who painted, sculpted and kept exotic birds and through these interests even occasionally ended up on regional TV, if he’s still around I wonder what he would make of these study articles?

  • September 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm
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    Well, of course you all know none of this applies to Prince, The Williams Sisters or other “celebrities” who publicly attach themselves to the Jehovah’s Witness cult just as it never did with the Jackson family in the past. They are permitted to behave as they please with no consequences for their conduct in an elite world of hypocrisy and dichotomy…
    However, if anyone on the outside thinks that the alleged “speculating” which in reality is a symptom of the deep disturbance and discontent, confusion and borderline walking that many are straddling at this point to begin with is not going to push a great number over the edge and out the door with more whip cracking and harder iron fist pounding? They need to rethink that!
    Secondly, anyone with experience with this organization which is just about ALL of us? Should pretty much expect that along with these orders will come orders to the Elders whether in writing (not likely) or from the Overseers to make sure that they are enforced to the max! So the “Judicial Committee” mills will be working overtime soon!
    Yeah, there’s likely gonna be some people who were previously torn and on the conscientious cusp leaving soon…either by choice or otherwise!

  • September 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm
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    I had to laugh at this sentence: “well-versed in the latest sporting developments could mark one out as being such a “drifter.

    In western countries where sports are so popular – like hockey, baseball, etc. I know MANY elders who loves to watch sports and are ‘well versed in sporting developments’.

    It is time to weed out those elders and other zealous brothers who are involved in sports!

  • September 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm
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    The hebrew scriptures never fail…notice what these two passages of proverbs say….pro 18:17 – The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

    the other says Pro 14:15- The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.

    so much for the GB logic…lol

  • September 13, 2013 at 3:43 pm
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    It is fair and unbiased writing that you do Cedars. I think it can be truly said about you that you are in the truth because you love truth and you do it well. If they don’t want people writing unfavorable things about them then they should wake up and fly right. Oh, and they should apologize I suppose. Matthew 5:23,24 To whom do I think they should apologize? To everybody but especially to Jehovah they should aplogize.

  • September 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm
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    History repeats itself, unfortunately most often with the WT! Wasn’t this the exact mentality that was promulgated during the early 80’s around the time Raymond Franz’s book was published and there was a “sifting” and “cleansing?” Very frightening. I must wonder what the org. is preparing it’s deluded followers for in the near future…

  • September 13, 2013 at 5:41 pm
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    Interesting to note that it was this exact kind of “speculation” that started the Bible Students in the first place!!! The arrogance and hypocrisy of this group is astonishing, and this comes from a never-been JW, happily… As usual great article Cedars. Dare I read this latest WT issue?

  • September 13, 2013 at 5:57 pm
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    Their claim of lies by the media is to quiet down the noise level from all of the abuse cases, Candice Conti

  • September 13, 2013 at 5:59 pm
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    And pre-2014 damage control

  • September 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm
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    Matéria excelente, irmão Cedar. Fiquei aqui plenamente convicto de que eles, os do Corpo dos Governantes, estão muito preocupados com o meu profetizar. É a mim que eles estão advertindo aos demais irmãos como sendo o ‘Falso Apóstolo’. Eu não sou um falso apóstolo, mas um dos verdadeiros. O irmão Cedar também aparenta ser um excelente apóstolo, pois serve à causa da verdade bíblica e dos Deuses santos, Jeová.

    estou estarrecido com esta revista, pois ao lê-la fico plenamente ciente também de outro fato: eles me localizaram. Eles souberam do meu IP e já estão trabalhando para me ‘tirar do ar’. Ontem, 12 de setembro de 2013, por volta de 12:58h, 3 sistemas operacionais de computadores foram avariados por motivos iguais. Todos somos Testemunhas de Jeová/Testemunhas dos Deuses Santos. Somos os escritores e produtores da mais nova ferramenta que está despertando o interesse de milhares de pessoas aqui no Brasil: a revista A Continela – Anunciando o Reino dos Deuses Santos.

    Tivemos nossos sistemas operacionais avariados da seguinte forma: o pacote do Office (Word, Excel, . . .) foi desativado e a conexão com a internet comprometida. Agora mesmo, enquanto comento estas palavras, estou transferindo todos os meus programas para um back-up para, em seguida, formatar o computador. Os dois outros irmãos estão também fazendo o mesmo. Tudo isso, e agora com o fato de termos lido sua matéria e a revista de dezembro, nos faz ver que os do Corpo dos Governantes vão iniciar uma ‘guerra santa’ – mas suja – contra nós, seus ex-jumentos.

    Gostaria de avisar a eles, que imagino serem leitores de deste blog, que confiaremos intrinsecamente no “espírito dos Deuses santos”, sim, no “espírito de Jesus”, para escaparmos de sua perseguição implacável e desesperada.

    Parabéns, irmão Cedar, pelo excelente trabalho em prol do reino.

    Apóstolo TDS

  • September 13, 2013 at 6:29 pm
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    Dateline NBC – escapees from Warren Jeffs on tonight. [that’s right the article is so inane it doesn’t warrant a comment]

  • September 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm
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    @Tammy, this is one of the chief means JW’s have of socializing aside from the scripted congregation outings and picnics or scripted wedding “receptions” and “dinners”. The older men and elders would lounge on the couch while games played on tv, but the conversation would be on congregational matters and even discussion of publications. Its akin to how the secular world accomplishes business–in clubhouses, golf courses and sky boxes, where informal and casual relationships lead to formal ties in business and referrals.

    On a *ahem* speculative note, perhaps the Watchtower is laying the foundation to take “leadership roles” from the monopoly of patriarchs and enable matriarchs to participate in — oh, I can’t even finish this without collapsing in laughter. Oh my side hurts..

  • September 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm
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    Interestingly, the Dateline NBC program which is the bane of the GB, now is airing a program in which a recognized male-dominated cult of isolation and schism from mainline Mormonism in maintaining polygamy is served-up by two or more escaped women. There primary fault? They started to question, “why?”

    The Watchtower isn’t perceived as such an isolationist cult at first glance, because it blends into the world. And, “The Rook” puts forth extreme measures to proclaim themselves as “normal” and “average”. However, increasingly, it is apparent that aside from the Study article questions (still found at the bottom of the pdf page), other questions (or inquiries) are NOT allowed. And, if you’re seeking answers, you should have listened closer to the reading of the paragraphs.

  • September 13, 2013 at 8:01 pm
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    Cedars,
    I would like to take the liberty of translating the post of
    TDS Apostle from Portuguese to English for the Readers using the Google translator.
    A few of the reasons (that I am willing to reveal on here) why I’m doing this is because I also have encountered serious computer issues including almost daily crash dumps for no apparent reason since there was no change in software configuration or downloads…I had specific encounters with the Society’s people on other sites who were following me as I went about my business posting there on non related matters and as my computer was shutting down, I saw the Watchtower symbol pop up on shut down during one of the irregular shut downs along with the security software and I have never, ever installed any type of Watchtower software on this computer since I got it less about a year ago…you Cedars are aware of some of it as well…some of these and others were reported to Federal authorities…

    TDS Apostle says:

    September 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Matter excellent, Cedar brother. Stayed here fully convinced that they, the Corps Rulers, are very concerned with my prophesy. It’s me they are warning the other brothers as the ‘False Apostle’. I’m not a false apostle, but one of the real. Brother Cedar also appears to be a great apostle, because I serve the cause of biblical truth of Gods and saints, Jehovah.

    I am appalled at this magazine, because when you read it I’m also fully aware of another fact: they spotted me. They knew my IP and are already working for me ‘take down’. Yesterday, September 12, 2013, around 12:58 h, three computer operating systems were damaged by the same reasons. We are all Witnesses / Witness of the Holy Gods. We are the writers and producers of the newest tool that is attracting the interest of thousands of people here in Brazil: The magazine Continela – Announcing the Kingdom of Gods Saints.

    We had broken our operating systems as follows: the Office package (Word, Excel, …) has been disabled and internet connection compromised. Right now, as I comment on these words, I’m transferring all my programs for a back-up, then format the computer. Two other brothers are also doing the same. All this, and now with the fact that we have read your story and the magazine in December, makes us see that the Corps Rulers will start a holy war – but dirty – against us, his ex-asses.

    I warn them, which I imagine are readers of this blog, which will rely on inherently “spirit of the holy gods”, yes, the “spirit of Jesus” to escape its relentless pursuit and desperate.

    Congratulations, brother Cedar, for the excellent work on behalf of the kingdom.

    apostle TDS

  • September 13, 2013 at 11:36 pm
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    Here is a common definition of the word “Speculation”: the contemplation or consideration of some subject

    Basically WT is saying you should not contemplate our teachings. They don’t agree with you even trying to come to your own conclusion despite its outcome whatever it may be.

    Now in order for speculation to exist there has to be some reason for it. This article alone written by Watchtower is reason to speculate.

    It’s unfortunate that WT has blinded the minds of its members, because any other organization making these claims would have the majority running away.

  • September 14, 2013 at 12:26 am
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    Great writeup, Cedars.

    These sorts of articles were one of the things that put up red flags for me when I was ‘in’. This is akin to a lot of people leaving the FLDS as Warren Jeffs tightened his control in a similar way over about 3 decades. Watch for more leavers.

  • September 14, 2013 at 12:40 am
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    Thanks to everyone for the kind comments!

    You might be interested to know that the regular version of the Watchtower is now available for download, so I have updated the links that were previously linking through to the large print version.

  • September 14, 2013 at 4:32 am
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    If I dont make a mistake, In UK is the Watchtower à charity, and receive money for this ?
    Congratulations ! Very good business men

  • September 14, 2013 at 4:53 am
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    I am furious about this series of articles. Accusing the media of lying and then not citing examples is the same old mud slinging that they came out with last year, calling people mentally diseased.

    I think we are seeing the beginning of the end for the JWs. Unfortunately. Many poor souls will be damaged along the way.

  • September 14, 2013 at 5:03 am
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    Thanks Cedars, you are the Neo like one helping many escape the Matrix!

  • September 14, 2013 at 5:24 am
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    “withdraw from every brother walking disorderly”. TELL ME, Does this apply to Memorial partakers?

    A number of factors—including past religious beliefs or even mental or emotional imbalance—might cause some to assume mistakenly that they have the heavenly calling. (w11 8/15 p. 22; http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/l/r1/lp-e?q=w11+8%2F15+p.+22)!! Sorry for them, they are “MISTAKENLY” “walking disorderly”!!

    Good article, Cedars! I am very proud of you!! BE BLESSED!

  • September 14, 2013 at 8:38 am
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    So…

    any tips on getting baptized young adults to start thinking analytically without being labeled someone to avoid? I have a couple of siblings in their 20s that I’d prefer not getting pulled deeper into such dogma. Perhaps I would have to intervened early on had I realized the magnitude of this cults dysfunction.

    Cedars, you may not realize it, but you are doing the entire world a service by publishing this blog. I’m very glad to see your rational commentary on this sort of propaganda. I’m convinced that your work is giving readers a complete picture of this organizations practices, a picture that isn’t apparent when they knock on someone’s door. Keep up the good work.

  • September 14, 2013 at 10:25 am
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    @Hakizimana.. The logic of those articles.. How can a “heavenly calling” be a “mistake”? Is there some earthly criteria to make judgement on what Jehovah has declared “clean” and “sanctified”? Is there really a “heavenly calling” or just the musings and elitism of a few “lording it over others”?

    In recent years, I’ve repeatedly asked myself why am I compelled to sit outside the Watchtower and not complacently follow along and sit silent. Maybe others have this ‘burning inside’ that compels them to speak out?

    Speaking of ‘calling’..

    It struck me that if we cast Watchtower as the “anointed of Israel”–king or priest, God always raised up prophets to admonish the anointed who strayed. Sometimes the nation as a whole, but it was always message to the leadership from whom the people took their cues and followed. Most of those prophets couldn’t sit quietly, even when they tried to avoid their god-given mission–Jonah/whale, Jeremiah, the burning within the belly?–it was divine providence that compelled them to address mistreatment and poor administration from the leadership. And, that’s something to consider, the anointed leadership was subjected to messages of discipline from “nobodies” [a few from schools of prophets] daring to confront “the anointed”. When the anointed lashed out in arrogance against those messengers, it did NOT fare well with them ultimately.

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