PBS has aired a damning report on Watchtower's mishandling of child abuse
PBS has aired a damning report on Watchtower’s mishandling of child abuse

Yesterday, February 16, 2015, at 6pm EST, PBS Newshour aired a stunning 9-minute expose of Watchtower’s policy of secrecy regarding pedophiles. Anyone who watched it will have been given a shocking glimpse of the magnitude of the problem of child sex abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses.

As we reported on Saturday, investigative reporter Trey Bundy of The Center for Investigative Reporting has been working for many months interviewing various sources both inside and outside the organization.

Trey has looked over thousands of documents, including letters to elders (“memos” as he calls them), verifying that this is not simply a case of a few predators infiltrating an otherwise safe and responsible organization. There IS a systemic, firmly entrenched policy of silence and secrecy mandated by the Governing Body, inspired by their “two witness rule,” prohibiting elders from going straight to the police when accusations of child molestation arise.

Now, after many months of hard work on Trey’s part, we can now see the fruits of his meticulous investigation in this stunning, no-holds-barred report.

The above video is a remarkable piece of investigative journalism, and I for one haven’t seen anything like it before.

In my opinion, this even surpasses the Dateline and BBC reports on child abuse of 2002. Why? Because Trey Bundy, with his measured, non-sensationalist tone, calmly sets about presenting unequivocal evidence of the scandal without relying on hysteria, menacing music or people weeping in front of the camera.

Trey Bundy has been investigating Jehovah's Witnesses for more than nine months
Trey Bundy has been investigating Jehovah’s Witnesses for more than nine months

 

Damning letters and court depositions are shown, victims and former elders are interviewed, and we even get a glimpse of Watchtower arrogantly defending itself in court during the final oral arguments for the Candace Conti appeal by quoting scripture at the judge.

“Religious beliefs and standards of Jehovah’s Witnesses were at play in this case from start to to finish,” protests Jim McCabe on behalf of Watchtower at the Supreme Court of California. This statement alone should help convince Jehovah’s Witnesses that this is not a case of one or two bad apples. This is a problem that goes all the way to the top.

 

 

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160 thoughts on “PBS airs Trey Bundy’s must-see documentary on child sex abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses

  • February 19, 2015 at 12:15 am
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    My first post I was baptized at 13 and basically a born in.
    while I came from a dysfunctional situation, we made the
    Best of it and I always leaned on Jehovah to get me through tough times. I know how marking works, as we
    We’re disinvited to a after memorial get together once
    Because our CO did not approve of us. We’ll the host of
    That gathering is now divorced and living as a gay, and
    His wife made it clear to everyone that our CO had cheated him out of commissions selling insurance. when
    I was df d it was because I did do wrong. but…. The big
    But is that no one can read hearts including elders and I
    Do not capitalize that word because I do not worship men.
    I was the sis in the hall who always had a house full of
    Kids because I knew they had limited facility for friendship
    And in our upper class hall, I knew the pain they were in
    Because I went through it as a kid myself. my heart bleeds for the youngsters who have been harmed by people they trust.

    I have 3 kids, all educated so they really woke me up.

    • February 19, 2015 at 8:52 am
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      Thanks for the link Kat. I’ve posted the excellent interview video underneath the article.

  • February 19, 2015 at 8:08 am
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    There is no excuse, no loop hole and no argument that can justify what is happening. This is not doctrinal issues like “new light”, “1914”, who the FDS is or even the no blood issue; this is something more sinister and wicked. This , unlike all other problems with JWs, transcends religion, belief or faith. Their arrogance is evident when they blantanly state that they bare no responsibility in protecting members from physical harm. Imagine if your child’s teacher told you that same callous line and stated that their job was to teach your child and no other protection would be granted. Would you not quickly remove your child from their class and recommend the firing of that teacher? This would be considered gross negligence.
    Why do they think they deserve a pass? Ill tell you why: PRIDE. They are proud of the fact that most followers will turn a blind eye towards these horrible acts. They are proud that they have the funds to silence others that may come about. How ironic that the same government, whom they declare God will obliterate, will provide them the protection through the first amandment that they deny their young members.
    Sadly this public display of wickedness will do very little in terms of bringing down the TOWER. Yes, Conti might get her restitution but the damage has been done and so will others. Yes, others will wake up but the vast majority will not care. After all, its a social club now and as long as they can sport their logos and take their 2 hour long field service trips to Starbucks with their group of friends, WHO CARES RIGHT?!?
    The failed policies will remain. The religion itself will remain. The only good thing is that the people in the doorsteps, in the marketplaces and online will see how disgusting this religion is. This, along with everyone of us informing the public, may shed a light on who and what these people really are: MONSTERS.

  • February 19, 2015 at 8:10 am
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    The irony of the wise men not understanding what it’s like being as “thick as a brick”. . . Jethro Tull, is staggering.

  • February 19, 2015 at 8:25 am
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    @Nick .Your Comment is SO ACCURATE!! Last year at the International Conventions I Realised with the SINGING & DANCING to Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’ in the Kingdom Halls I was HORRIFIED the Organisation I had got baptised into in 1979 HAD BECOME PART of the WORLD & as you say was Just a SOCIAL CLUB. & it’s TACKY Logo JW.Org Everywhere!! It Really SADDENED Me !! We would have been Disfellowshipped for Singing & Dancing to Worldly music in the HOUSE of GOD in 1979!! It Turns my Stomach to see I GAVE UP & SACRIFICED my Family & Friends to come into the Truth & Gave up my Career to Pioneer & threw away most of my old Worldly Records because we were advised to sift through & get rid of anything that was tinted with worldliness!!! WHERE HAVE the PRINCIPLES GONE???! Have I sacrificed my WHOLE for These 7 Flip Flop SCUMBAGS in Brooklyn!!!

  • February 19, 2015 at 8:31 am
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    That’s why your a bunch of bastards Watchtower.

  • February 19, 2015 at 8:50 am
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    It must be so boring deviding love into law.

  • February 19, 2015 at 8:50 am
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    Mandatory reporting “By Clergy” of child abuse, applies in
    over 20 states in the USA, including California. And as the
    WTS, has invoked the Clergy penitent rule. ( Though un-
    successfully in the C,C, case.). They have identified
    themselves as clergy class, and so obligated to report
    abuse.

    As the reporting rule varies from state to state, and from
    country to country. You would think, an org, directed by God?
    would have a consistent policy, based on “Moral Law”

    On the contrary, they try to exploit legal loopholes to escape
    responsibility. At the same time they create unjust rules,
    such as, 2 witness rule, and the Mafia type Omertà (Silence).
    As well as other dictates that cause misery in other areas of
    life. Isa,10/1-2.

  • February 19, 2015 at 9:11 am
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    @Gary . Enjoyed your detailed Analysis of the characteristics of the GB & I Think you are dead right Gary!! I know you enjoy your music from your comments I used to enjoy Punk Music especially Sex Pistols in 1970s before I became a JW! Gary what do you think of a NEW SONG as Mentioned in Revelation.
    ‘NEVER MIND the BOL..CKS,What about the GOVERNING BODY’

  • February 19, 2015 at 9:46 am
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    I cut and pasted this from an Awake article 2007 on How To protect your child from abuse pages 4-8. There is nothing in the article saying to beware of anybody in the congregation and nothing mentioned about going to the police and implying it’s the parent’s responsibility to protect their child from abusers. This quote is from a box on page 6. At the beginning of the article, it says that when a child is abused, 90% of the time, it will be somebody the child knows.

    “An abuser is likely to be too clever to use force on his victims. Rather, he may prefer to seduce children gradually. He begins by selecting a target, often a child who seems vulnerable and trusting, thus relatively easy to control. Next, he singles out that child for special attention. He may also try to win the trust of the child’s parents. Molesters are often expert at pretending to be sincerely interested in the child and the family.

    In time, the molester will begin grooming the child for abuse. He gradually becomes more physical with the child through innocent-looking displays of affection, playful wrestling, and tickling. He may give generous gifts and begin to separate the child from friends, siblings, and parents, in order to spend time alone with the child. At some point he may ask the child to keep some minor secret from the parents—perhaps a gift or plans for some future excursion. Such tactics set the stage for seduction. When the abuser has won the child’s trust and that of the parents, he is ready to make his move.

    Again, he is likely to be subtle about it rather than violent or forceful. He may exploit the child’s natural curiosity about sex, offering to act as a “teacher,” or he may suggest that they play a “special game” together that only they will know about. He may try exposing the child to pornography in order to make such behavior seem normal.

    If he succeeds in molesting the child, he is now eager to ensure that the child does not tell anyone about it. He may use a variety of tactics, including threats, blackmail, and blame, or perhaps a combination of these. For example, he may say: “It’s your fault. You didn’t tell me to stop.” He may add: “If you tell your parents, they’ll call the police and send me to jail forever.” Or he may say: “It’s our secret. If you tell, no one will believe you. If your parents ever do find out, I will hurt them.” There is no end to the devious and malicious tactics such individuals will try.”

  • February 19, 2015 at 10:36 am
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    About this non-disclosure letter to the elders (as well as the super secretive, for elder eyes only “Sheparding The Flock Book” for that matter), I have a few questions to ask. 1) Why does the proclaimed organization of God himself have to keep secrets from their own members if it is the “TRUTH”? There should be NOTHING to hide. 2) Should there be any “confidential letters” if the “TRUTH” stands on its own merits out in the scrutiny of the members and public? 3) If this is “God’s Organization”, then what are the GB members afraid of in defending their position to a reporter or court of law? After all, they claim that Jehoviah is ONLY on their side and against everyone else. Who or what to they have to fear, HMMMMMM???

    Well, my humble opinion is that they are NOT God’s chosen organization if they have to continuously hide their policies and directives. It is an evil and despicable control cult that has found itself in a very big mess. If the GB would actually regard the verse right after their most hallowed weasel clause of new light, Proverbs 4:18, they would find the true source of their problem. “The way of the wicked is like the gloom; they have not known at what they keep stumbling” (That’s Proverbs 4:19 right out of the NWT too.) Of course they cannot say that verse, since it takes away the context they so love to use “New Light”. Seems like they stumbled right into a mess this time, proving that they are evil in their ways!

  • February 19, 2015 at 10:48 am
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    “crippled inside” is an insightful view of religion.

  • February 19, 2015 at 10:57 am
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    A new song. . . . Cool;-)X “don’t know want I want but I know how to get it:-);-)x

  • February 19, 2015 at 11:09 am
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    Pickeled, and all that, Brain. Paul Whealer. . Wildwood.x

  • February 19, 2015 at 11:29 am
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    You got me pickled brain.

  • February 19, 2015 at 11:42 am
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    Do you not realize they are trapped by their own desires, Hotel California.

  • February 19, 2015 at 11:47 am
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    Every adult has a duty of care to children. Whether
    mandated by law or not. For by far the majority of
    grown up’s, it’s a moral and natural predisposition.

    To allow known child molesters to circulate
    undisclosed, in a community where children are taught
    to trust older people. Is neither natural or moral.

    Those at congregation level who allow this situation.
    Are under the spell of ruthless men, who despite soft
    words. Have no ones interest at heart, but their own.

  • February 19, 2015 at 11:50 am
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    Beth Serum. Beat that for a shot.

  • February 19, 2015 at 11:57 am
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    1969. . . 666, well you did ask.

  • February 19, 2015 at 12:46 pm
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    @Gary. I also bought all ‘The Who’ records.
    Gary I think all of us Apostates should SIng
    ‘WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN’ a Brilliant song by the Who !!! Or Another of their songs is ‘I Can’t Explain ‘ which I think the GB should sing in Regard to New Light about the Generation teaching!!

  • February 19, 2015 at 12:53 pm
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    Let me get this right, the “Organization” (the masters of eisegesis) that can string and cut/paste scriptures together thousands of years apart to make all sorts of ridiculous claims and justifications to benefit them, but can’t be bothered to create a rule/policy to deal with child rape in an effective way.

    All that time they spend on turning words to lay down rules and more rules about the most inconsequential things (e.g. birthdays, Spanx) but can’t be bothered to put a policy that would show some type of moral legitimacy or common sense wisdom or basic humanity.

    They instead resort to shielding their inactions with human-laws. Despicable. Indefensible. They want all of the authority with none of the responsibility.

  • February 19, 2015 at 2:55 pm
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    You summed it up beautifully.

  • February 19, 2015 at 3:49 pm
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    @Strong Haiku. You are SO RIGHT about inconsequential rules!! Anyone remember the one about Brothers could only wear A WHITE SHIRT on the Platform,Beards & Moustaches were Frowned upon!! Even in 100 degree heat one summer brothers were not allowed to take their Jacket off on the Platform & Must always wear a Tie.!! Talk about Straining out the GNAT& Gulping down the CAMEL!!! Where is JESUS words ‘I Want Mercy & Not Sacrifice!! WHERE is the MERCY in the GB Child Protection Policy???

  • February 19, 2015 at 3:59 pm
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    @Searcher . You Raise 3 Very Important Questions which every JW should ask themselves especially why is there one set of information for the Elders ( shepherd flock of God book) which the publishers are not Privy to YET The Bible can be read by everyone!

  • February 19, 2015 at 8:26 pm
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    People who do not like Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) often tell outright lies, half-truths, and twisted stories against them. But JWs do expect these things as Christ said would be the case. The following Scriptures prove such – Matthew 5:11, 12; Matthew 10:22; Matthew 24:9; Acts 28:22. Stop exaggerating child abuse cases among JWs, which amounts to lying.Any child abuse case that comes to light is dealt with by those taking the lead in the Congregation and the police. Stop lying please. Child abuse happens in quite a number of religions. Pointing finger at JWs to cover up what happens in other churches on a greater scale is NOT the course of wisdom. Stop being jealous over the success of JWs in gaining new members.

  • February 19, 2015 at 9:27 pm
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    Daniel thinks others exaggerate child abuse because they don’t like JW, that’s the same excuse ones like Daniel always make, I suppose all the child abuse stories about the Catholics are exaggerations because people don’t like Catholics, has YOUR religion exaggerated all the write ups they have in their literature about Catholics and child abuse because JW don’t like Catholics hmmmm

    And those scriptures you quoted are for Christians being persecuted for the name of Jesus Christ, JW don’t get persecuted for the name of Christ do they, most don’t even believe that JW believe in Christ.

    And Christ said ones would be persecuted for righteousness not because of child sexual abuse, the WT has brought this on themselves, just like all other religions that have tried to cover up this CRIME.

    The GB are being called out for their mishandling of child sexual abuse, I see you say nothing about those poor innocent children, are those that complained about being abused persecuting JW also?

  • February 19, 2015 at 9:36 pm
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    @Daniel Baynes

    Believe me Danny Boy, I, for one, am NOT jealous of your “success” in obtaining new recruits. It’s all quantity, NO quality. You can build a mountain higher than Everest out of sh*t, but it’s still just a mountain of sh*t. And no one is interested in your scriptural references.
    BTW, jehovah / yahweh was the FALSE god of an Iron Age tribe of nomadic, desert-dwelling goat herders. There is no Jehovah. There NEVER was. Sorry to burst your bubble, but God has no need for a name.

    THERE IS ONLY ALMIGHTY GOD

  • February 19, 2015 at 9:45 pm
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    Baynes, which planet do you come from?

  • February 19, 2015 at 9:49 pm
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    There are those who would die rather than live as slaves. Then there are those who would rather die than be free.

    Too many people are immune to good advice.

    You can’t change someone’s mind by proving that they are wrong.

    “Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither”

  • February 19, 2015 at 10:03 pm
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    @Pickled brain

    I agree, the constant use of the JW.Org logo is tantamount to idol worship. Please indulge me once again as I make another comparison between WT and Third Reich. Did the Nazis not also have a symbol (swastika) which they displayed, wore, and flashed everywhere? I understand there are JW.Org T-shirts, stickers, buttons, keychains, etc. To what end? Same as the swastika: To make the symbol of the organization, and thus the organization itself, seem omnipresent, omnipotent, like God. We are EVERYWHERE. Big Brother is watching you. It’s another brainwashing tactic, of course. But now, they are actually COMPETING WITH GOD – trying to put themselves ABOVE the Almighty Creator of the universe.

  • February 19, 2015 at 10:17 pm
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    When will our political leaders and lawmakers finally wake up and realize the Watchtower organization is playing them for fools? jehovah’s witnesses do not vote, salute the flag, stand for the national anthem, serve in the military, or even donate to charity! And yet, they feel they have the right to mangle the First Amendment to suit their own twisted ends. Then they hide behind closed doors and laugh at the rest of us! THEY ARE BULLIES!!! Like a kid who beats up other kids then runs and hides behind his big brother. Well how long are our governments and courts going to play Big Brother to these twisted psychopaths??? Religious freedom is NOT a licence to break the Law!!! That is NOT why it was written into the Constitution! Write your Congressman! Money talks, so don’t forget to mention that WT does NOT pay taxes. ;)

  • February 19, 2015 at 10:27 pm
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    P.S. If writing your Congressman, it would also be a good idea to mention that JWs don’t vote, so there’s no downside to pissing them off. LOL ;)

  • February 19, 2015 at 11:07 pm
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    Sorry but I just love making comparisons between the JWs and the Third Reich. Let’s do this just for fun:

    Point 1: Third Reich had their very own distinct
    headquarters in Berlin, the Reichstag.
    Watchtower has their famous HQ in Brooklyn,NY
    Point 2: The Nazis employed brainwashing, intimidation,
    coersion, fear, etc., etc., etc. to control their
    subjects.
    The jehovah’s witlesses – well, need I say more?
    Point 3: Third Reich employed blitzkrieg (lightning war),
    carpet bombing, Uboat anti-shipping Wolf Packs
    in the Atlantic, even came within a week of an
    amphibious landing on Britain (dissuaded from
    the attempt by the RAF during the Battle of
    Britain summer of 1940).
    WT employs publishers, pioneers, special
    pioneers (sound a little like special forces?),
    missionaries in a Blitzkrieg that has swept thru
    “the entire inhabited earth”, carpet-bombed
    entire communities during tract campaigns and
    special occasions like their “Memorial”, lurked
    under the waters to torpedo any and all beliefs,
    ideologies and standards contrary to their own,
    religious OR secular, and now, they are making
    a quasi-amphibious landing on our court system,
    legal system, our very Constitution, attempting
    to literally take over, conquer all of us.
    Point 4: The Nazis loved to congregate together to listen
    to idiotic speeches.
    jehovah’s witlesses love to congregate together
    to listen to idiotic speeches.
    Point 5: The Third Reich employed children as soldiers.
    Watchtower employs children as soldiers (and
    rapes them).

    Hope you enjoyed.

  • February 19, 2015 at 11:23 pm
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    @Daniel Baynes, in one congregation I know of 3 child abusers over a 25 year period. 1 was a hard PO so it was swept under the carpet. 2 was an elder who suddenly moved, years later it all came out he claimed innocence but served years in jail, he is now in good standing again!!!. 3 was MS who got moved 2 congregations away during his trial, he is currently serving jail time.
    If you can get a “marking talk” for something in the overall scheme of things that is quite trivial, how can you justify a child abusers ability get secret protection?
    PS long time reader, first post.

  • February 19, 2015 at 11:47 pm
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    Don’t mean to monopolize the forum, but there’s a lot that has been brewing over the years. You know the feeling.
    @anonymous Thank you for including that segment from the “Awake!” article on the insidious strategies pedophiles employ. Ironically, in doing so, the Watchtower Society just detailed the manner in which it seizes PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, and SOCIAL control over the children in their organization. They use the exact same techniques. Is it any wonder that that non-physical form of abuse, employed for generations, has finally morphed into actual physical abuse?
    Let’s face it, and spread the word, underneath the veneer
    of “love”, caring, cleanliness, humility and spirituality, all career Jehovah’s Witnesses are arrogant, self-centered, haughty, ruthless, holier-than-thou, dim, silly, antisocial, lazy chicken-sh*ts. They are a wild pack of nobodies who want an excuse to feel superior to their fellow man or woman. Why else would one choose to believe that God Himself is going to KILL everyone but him and everyone who thinks like him? EGO!!!
    P.S. I made one-page copies of articles on jw child abuse scandals, which I occasionally “forget” on the tables of coffee shops, etc. Wasn’t it Rutherford who said, “Advertise! Advertise! Advertise!” ;)

  • February 20, 2015 at 12:16 am
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    OMG, this is crazy… My father who is a biget, racist, and more than likely a misogynist. He defended the organization after watching this piece. I literally wanted to puke, because of his talk, she was wearing a cross! He is inactive, this the crazy part… He’s so indoctrinated he can’t think…. He watches Fox news, he says every rag head is out to cleanse us…all of Islam is bad. He’s a strange man….my heart hurts. I know the truth, but how do we tell it
    ?.

  • February 20, 2015 at 12:25 am
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    @Daniel Bayne. I USED to Quote the Same Scriptures & Defend like Crazy anyone who opposed the Organisation like you are doing Daniel!
    I did that for 35 years BUT when you do PROPER RESEARCH you will Realise You have Been CONNED BIG TIME!!! I am 60 years of age & YOU DANIEL will see for yourself as the YEARS DRIFT BY and MORE NEW LIGHT changes what you believe now e.g. I have seen 5 changes to the Generation interpretation;3 changes to the Superior Authorities in Romans change,Sheep&Goats twice,Gog Twice,F&D Slave Twice;Sodom&Gomorrah 5 Times,Blood fractions & Organ Transplants 3 times,Etc,Etc
    Daniel ,When CHRIST supposedly chose this Orgsnisation in 1919 because the F&D Slave were providing food at proper time . The book that was the LATEST Spiritual food was the FINISHED MYSTERY along with the 6 other books of the Studies in the Scriptures series! Please read these books Carefully.You owe it to yourself & any other JW on this site. Then Read ‘LIGHT’ (1930)by Rutherford,which was ‘NEW LIGHT on Finished Mystery ,Then read Babyon the Great has Fallen( 1960s book) which was NEW LIGHT on ‘LIGHT ‘ book ! These books were all Final??? Interpretations of REVELATION & Finally we got the REVELATION book in the 1989 which has been UPDATED 3 Times!! & needs to be updated again because of NEW Light on who GOG is !!! Daniel ,my friend & I call you Friend because I see in you ,how I was like 35 years Ago! PLEASE Don’t WASTE your LIFE making A Corrupt PROPERTY EMPIRE get RICHER!! Take care & JUST RESEARCH the Societies OWN Publications Properly & you will see how SILLY & Ridiculous they are ! Their OWN WORDS CONDEM THEM in the EYES of Christ !!

  • February 20, 2015 at 12:35 am
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    @Neale Krouni. I LIKE your Comparisons & Style of Writing! Keep it up! Let’s match the GB at their own Game ! ADVERTISE,ADVERTISE,ADVERTISE the ‘7 CORRUPT KINGS & Their PLUSH RICH PROPERTY EMPIRE!

  • February 20, 2015 at 1:40 am
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    @Daniel Baynes, there is no exaggeration… Do you believe in the following?

    *** w86 1/1 p. 13 par. 12 Days Like “the Days of Noah” ***
    Shocking as it is, even some who have been prominent in Jehovah’s organization have succumbed to immoral practices, including homosexuality, wife swapping, and child molesting. It is to be noted, also, that during the past year, 36,638 individuals had to be disfellowshipped from the Christian congregation, the greater number of them for practicing immorality. Jehovah’s organization must be kept clean! (1 Corinthians 5:9-13) This is a time for congregation elders, ministerial servants, and indeed all our brothers and sisters to avoid any circumstances that could lead to immorality.

    By the way, what is your IQ? I can see a lot of gaps in your reasoning where you compare JWs with other religions… As far as I know, they claim not to be part of the world!!!!

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