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And Now… Jehovah’s Witnesses in the News

And Now… Jehovah’s Witnesses in the News

The ongoing saga of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the News continues…

Watchtower Image Trumps Ethics, Again; or, What Part of “Women and Children are Less Important than Men” Don’t You Understand?

Sask. church failed to report sexual abuse: Victims

After telling each other about the abuse, the two sisters informed their parents. Their father confronted the man, who did not confirm or deny what had happened, and the matter was subsequently reported to church elders, Zerr said. “There was no report to the police at that time.”

Instead, the man received a lecture from the elders, and many in the community rallied around him because he regularly attended church meetings – while the girls were “treated like troublemakers” and encouraged to let the whole thing go, one of the victims wrote. Their father and their abuser later became “dear friends, and would go for coffee daily,” a situation which continues to this day, she added. “We were trash-talked and slandered throughout the community . . . the religion abandoned us.”

ColdHeart: More Than a Little Ethically-Challenged

Friend of man accused in San Ramon real estate financier’s killing testifies

Two days before real estate financier Kashmir Billon was found shot to death in a San Ramon business park, the business associate charged with his murder allegedly offered a lifelong friend $50,000 to kill an unnamed man. Police found Billon, 42, of San Ramon, dead in the street next to his smoldering BMW late Sunday, April 27 after a hotel employee found him slumped over and pulled him from the vehicle. Robinson, a 31-year-old El Sobrante resident, is charged with murder, solicitation of murder and three felonies related to a real estate scheme prosecutors said was a motive for the killing.

Rogers, a contract home inspector with past felony convictions on drug and gun charges, said he has known Robinson his whole life because their parents were members of the same church for Jehovah’s Witnesses. Rogers said that in 2006, he offered for $20,000 to kill a man suspected of committing a home invasion robbery at Robinson’s house, but that Robinson declined the offer. Robinson asked Rogers in person on Friday, April 25 to kill a business associate on a Richmond property. Rogers claimed Robinson told him he had previously asked someone else to do the killing, but that person did not want to do it in Richmond. Rogers said Robinson wanted it done in Richmond because the target could be lured to the property under the pretense of tree work that needed to be done.

No Part of Satan’s World

Total Service Objectors Doubled During A Decade

In Finland, in theory all men between the ages of 18 and 60 are subject to military service. Approximately 82% of all young men do military service and around 7% do alternative non-military service. Members of the Jehovah Witnesses were exempted from both forms of service under legislation that came into force in 1987. According to the newspaper Keskisuomalainen, the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations and the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe have called Finnish legislation discriminatory in this respect and said that the preferential treatment accorded to Jehovah’s Witnesses should be extended to other groups of conscientious objectors.

Jehovah’s Witnesses canvass for God instead of votes

Since his religious conversion at age 30, Brooks holds the Witness viewpoint – that not voting emulates Jesus Christ’s example of avoiding political involvement. … Housner, like many Witnesses, thinks the only perfect government is God’s kingdom, which ultimately will reign over humanity, he said. That kingdom’s approach will be augured by signs that the world is in its last days, said Derrick McCraw, a property manager and Witness in Norfolk.

“Items that are on the front page of the newspaper parallel what the Bible says about our time: food shortages, war, disease,” he said. In addressing the current global financial crisis, McCraw said, “Being in the last days, people will be lovers of money.”

Nonetheless, “God allows governments to function in the meanwhile, before his kingdom comes,” Housner said. “We need to have some form of government – otherwise, it would be anarchy.” By avoiding politics, Witnesses avoid a source of internal division and escape being beholden to any politician, he said. The global, 7-million-member Witness community also avoids friction caused by nationalism.

Jehovah’s Witnesses transform West Palm Beach’s ‘leaky teepee’ auditorium

It has been 10 years since the city transferred its auditorium to the Jehovah’s Witnesses in a controversial $12.5 million sale. Although most of the public hasn’t set foot this decade in the building that once housed the county’s major concerts and events, the crumbling structure known derisively as the “leaky tepee” has been transformed into a state-of-the-art beacon for a religion that is 1 million strong in the United States. … It was a great deal for the Witnesses, who have converted the auditorium on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard into the Christian Convention Center. The Witnesses bought the land for $12.5 million, then sold much of the property, including the baseball field, recouping a good portion of the initial cost. Since then, the building has been completely remodeled at a cost of about $13 million. ….In 1998, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were looking to buy a building that would become their largest enclosed gathering place in the world. West Palm Beach was a logical location because Florida has a sizable Jehovah’s Witnesses community, and the group was already the auditorium’s top tenant.

Dragging to the Kingdom Hall: No, not Children! Cars!

Pro Tow, which has a contract to enforce parking at Shady Glen Mobile Home Park, began towing and booting vehicles parked along the street or in the grass near homes Tuesday night. On Wednesday, at least four tow trucks patrolled the neighborhood, pulling roughly 15 vehicles to the nearby Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, where owners had the option of paying $300 or losing their vehicles temporarily. … The towing also angered elders of the church, who filed a trespassing warning against Pro Tow for using the hall’s parking lot. The elders said they had granted permission for the lot to be used to temporarily store a broken down vehicle and, the next thing they knew, 15 towed vehicles showed up.

Experience Bringeth Wisdom

Time Magazine: America’s Unfaithful Faithful (a Report on the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life)

An even more extreme example of what might be called “masked churn” is the relatively tiny Jehovah’s Witnesses, with a turnover rate of about two-thirds. That means that two-thirds of the people who told Pew they were raised Jehovah’s Witnesses no longer are — yet the group attracts roughly the same number of converts. Notes Lugo, “No wonder they have to keep on knocking on doors.”

Theocratic War Strategies (Sanctioned Deceptions)

Is God Really Going To Destroy Everyone But Jehovah’s Witnesses?

There are almost 7 billion people on Earth and of that number there are about 7 Million Jehovah’s Witnesses. So, if Armageddon came today, approximately 1/1000th of the population would survive according to what the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach. … Do you think God would really butcher nearly 7 billion people and save only the Jehovah’s Witnesses? I don’t. So once again I am led to question the validity of anything the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses says.

Watchtower 9/1/1989, p. 19:
“Only Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the ‘great crowd,’ as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil.”

JW Blogger Discovers He Was Directed by the Governing Body to Lie about Watchtower Affiliation; or, Did you know that all those service reports to the Watchtower Society don’t count after all?

… publishers do well to avoid representing themselves as agents or representatives of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., or any other corporation used by “the faithful and discreet slave” to advance Kingdom interests (February 1989 Our Kingdom Ministry, page 3)

Not Affiliated with “Any” of the Bible Societies; or, JWs, Step Right Up! Buy Your Not-Affiliated Watchtower Supplies Right Here!

This one just cracks me up (Thanks M). We didn’t have all this fancy stuff when I was out in service – you kids! get off the lawn!

Do you sell return visit books?
We don’t sell anything for “just” return visits. However, we do have some ideas for these:
1. Our theocratic monthly planner has several pages at the back to record your return visits, as well as a handy chart to keep track of magazine routes
2. We also have several service organizers, such as the all-in-one service organizer, magazine and tract tote, and pioneer portfolio which have specially-designed slots to hold the house-to-house slips where you can also note return visits and other activity.

How are you affiliated with the Watchtower?
There is a vast distinction between our faith and our business, which is a commercial enterprise and is not affiliated with the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in any way. Therefore, we do not sell Bibles or Bible literature. We make custom leather products, specializing in protective covers for Bibles and Bible literature, including the New World Translation, among many other versions and translations. Ministry Ideaz is a commercial enterprise and is not affiliated with any of the Bible societies that distribute the Bibles mentioned on our site. These societies are not-for-profit organizations.

How many “Bible societies” was that again? Can we get a business card to hand out when they come to the door?

Service supplies for Jehovah’s Witnesses
New World Translation Bible Covers
Watchtower and Kingdom Ministry Foldersand more!

Thinking Still Forbidden? Absolutely

The Watchtower says you MUST Obey them in ALL Areas

A Selection from the “Ask a Former JW” Mailbag

These writers prefer our conversations to remain anonymous. This is just a sampling for illustrative purposes, edited to ensure privacy. If you have a question, you can contact me here. If you approve, I will post our entire exchange (with or without names) – or I may use non-identifying bits like these to show some of the recurring issues that I see.

I disassociated myself and cut all of my immediate family and friends that I had. This is all I have ever known. I have a spiritual void but can’t seem to find a church. I search but they all have crosses and the pit of my stomach aches and my mind tells me Babylon the Great. How do I get past this and how do I find a church. Please help.

She is a JW and I am not. … She eventually moved … and became distant with myself and many of her other good friends. While I’ve tried to keep in touch with her, she never returns my phone calls or emails me. I just found out last night that she got married this spring and I am utterly shocked. … I am still going to call her and let her know that I love her and will always be there for her. I am the most upset because we had always talked of how our wedding days would be and they were always inclusive of each other no matter what. I really just needed to get that out, as it has been a very emotional day for me. I pray that one day she will be strong enough to think for herself.

Did this little girl CAUSE herself to be abducted from her home and raped because she went “Trick or Treating” ie: “Celebrated the Devil” (Her words in quotes)? When she told me this I freaked out a bit and said “NO” but….she looked square at me and said “Well, that’s what (her parents) said” and when I said “…that couldn’t be what they said” she interrupted me with a VERY indignant “Well, read your Bible.” So how did her “un-holy” behavior CAUSE the Devil to do that to her? I guess that I can agree that if I am a bank robber-or I beat people up and mug them, well, if my life always feels full of fear-and on the run-and i have bad relationships with people, and problems and strife, well-I guess I can see how my “un-righteous” behavior CAUSES “bad” things to happen to me, but; What in “Jehovah’s Witness” religion says that “celebrating the Devil” causes you to be raped?

His biggest concerns revolve around the ideas (facts according to him) that the bible according the JW has prophecized a lot of what is happening now – fall of capitalism, global warming, etc. I am not well versed in the bible and no little about JW. Is any of this true? It is very hard for him to even consider other reasoning because he has been taught that the things happening now have supposedly so clearly been already prophecized. Can you please point me towards more information or a person for him or I to speak to that can help him get past this fear of the end of the world?

Okay, this might sound like a really stupid question and I know you’re not here to play agony aunt, but I’m somewhat desperate. My ex-boyfriend is a Jehova’s Witness and that’s the reason I broke up with him – I just couldn’t take it any more .. no meeting his family, no sex, total secrecy etc. I’ve tried talking to him, he just won’t listen. Is there ANYTHING I can do? I miss him and I just wish he’d give up his freaky religion. What made you change your mind? Do you think I can do anything at all?

I was told that he had been reported by one person as a pedophile, and that there were others who were abused as children that were not coming forward about it. I was also told that the act of disfellowshipping was done not necessarily because of the act committed, but “because the person is unrepentant”. … in many ways I see no difference between sexual abuse of a child and murder, as it was the murder of a child’s spirit. I guess I’m asking your help to help ME to focus on what needs to be done next. I cannot let this man just be out there in the community.

I was a jw for more than 20 years. I’d like to know what your opinion is regarding dating (?) . I mean, as a jw it’s more serious, you have marriage in mind – but, I’ve noticed that that’s not the case in the real world… do you have any suggestions as to how to view dating or go about it??? just feel a tad lost, to say the least.

Hello, i am a former JW, left about 12 years ago. My mother, father (an elder), and sister all completely shun me. Even after all this time, i still feel like an orphaned child, with much anger inside for how i’ve been treated by them and all my childhood friends. I need advice on how to cope with such stupidity.

We live in an area with a large concentration of JW’s. They’re on our street every weekend but have never knocked (in 5 years) until last Saturday. I’ve decided that if they come knocking on my door, maybe the Holy Spirit is knocking on their hearts. I want to witness to these people effectively but I want to better know where they’re coming from. I am a champion of debating and can argue with a hole in the wall (and win), BUT I realize that “winning” isn’t the goal if it leaves the JW confused, intimidated, angry, hurt, etc. I want to share the gospel WITHOUT arguing, if possible. I’ve looked at your recommended reading page and I was already considering purchasing a couple of those books, but I want to know what would be most useful, from your perspective, to know. I already have a fair grasp on the fundamental doctrinal differences, but that’s not enough – I need to reach these people where they are: in the prison of a cultic way of thinking. What specific books would you recommend as the most effective?

Jehovah’s Witnesses: Ritual Murder of Grandson, “Good Man” Rapist

Jehovah’s Witnesses: Ritual Murder of Grandson, “Good Man” Rapist

So sad…

Kiev, August 7, Interfax – 66-year old resident of Kiev conducted a ritual murder of her 9-year-old grandson. She hit the boy with an iron and completed the crime with a rope, Ukrainian issue of Komsomolskaya Pravda daily writes on Thursday.

Then a woman carried a boy to the sitting room where she had everything prepared beforehand including candles and a brochure with “a prayer to enter paradise” given to her by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Neighbors told that on the eve of murdering her grandson she spoke about religion and soon apocalypses. Jehovah’s witnesses convinced the woman the Lord would come on 2014 and raise the dead, then all the righteous will go to paradise and take their children with them.

The Kiev Prosecutor’s office initiated a criminal case on the incident. Forensic psychiatric expert examination acknowledged the woman was criminally insane.


And in other news, JW rapist called “good man“:

A Williamstown man was sentenced in Vermont District Court in Chelsea to three to 20 years in prison Wednesday for molesting and raping a female relative but not before friends and family members – who acknowledged his crime – also told the court that he was a “good man.”

She said the Jehovah’s Witnesses “all love him, and they still love him,” though Jolene said Leonard has lost his fellowship with the Jehovah’s Witnesses because of the conviction.

Jolene said Leonard “got involved in looking at pornography on the Internet, and that’s why he let his mind dwell on something he shouldn’t have.”

She said she thinks the family could have sat down with counselors and worked things out instead of this “vendetta” that was taking place.

Roya pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his victim, at times using a gun or knife, over two years starting in 2004 when the victim was a minor.


Another JW Death – No Blood Transfusion

Another JW Death – No Blood Transfusion

Jean-Claude Lavoie, 26, is another victim of the Watchtower interpretation of the biblical command to abstain from blood. He died in late December after refusing a blood transfusion while being treated for an intestinal tumor.

His (former Jehovah’s Witness) brother, Jonathan Lavoie, has launched an Internet petition calling on the Canadian federal government to make it illegal for a person to refuse treatment on religious grounds.

His father stated that the death was “unfortunate, but it came to that. It’s important to respect Jean-Claude’s choice.”

If anyone has the url for Jonathan’s petition, please comment. I think that his wording is too general. It would not be a good precedent to make refusal of treatment for religious reasons illegal, but perhaps there is another way to frame it.

German Jehovah’s Witness Accused of Distributing Child Pornography

German Jehovah’s Witness Accused of Distributing Child Pornography

Courtesy of Silent Lambs, here is another Jehovah’s Witness in the news. Seeing the themes yet?

31 Hamburger unter Kinderporno-Verdacht

31 people from Hamburg/Germany accused of possessing child porn
Police came in the early dawn. At 6 am officers rang the bell at 31 apartments in Hamburg.
Author: Andr Zand-Vakili

The men – among them a Jehovah’s Witness, a social worker and a former soldier – are accused of possession and distribution of child porn. The Police confiscated dozens of computers and several thousand CD-ROMs. It was a shock not only for the suspects but also for their relatives. “Family members that were in the apartments during the investigations were unsuspecting.” The wife of a Jehovah’s Witness was totally stunned” says a policeman. All in all, the police seized 50 computers and laptops and more than 3,000 data media. They also found 21 hemp plants in the apartment of one suspected. …

It will take several weeks to examine the confiscated data media. Police use a special application to scan the hard drives and recognizes many child porn images with an electronic signature. However, the files have to be checked by agents. Police says that all suspected persons communicated in a chat room and exchanged child porn. “You had to click on a certain link. It is not very likely that someone accidentally surfed there.”

Investigations have been going for a year now. The local police got information from colleagues that were dealing with another case. There are more suspects in the rest of Germany. “We have to investigate if one of the men produced child porn. But there are no specific hints so far.”

Jehovah’s Witness Bethelite Videotaped Boys at O’Hare

Jehovah’s Witness Bethelite Videotaped Boys at O’Hare

Man Allegedly Taped Boys Using O’Hare Rest Rooms
From Steve Miller, Chicago, WBBM Newsradio 780/CBS 2

WBBM Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports the man accused is Jesus Manuel Cano and is 50 years old. A Jehovah’s Witness minister, say police in Middletown, New York. Cano is in jail in New York. He is charged as a pedophile there.

Middletown Police Detective Sergeant Jerry Mishk says investigators have seized four computers from Cano’s home – at a Jehovah’s Witness farm.

Cano had a video recording labeled “O’Hare” that allegedly included images of children in public bathrooms, Mishk said. And Mishk says Cano had a videotape that apparently was shot inside O’Hare rest rooms.

CBS 2 reports Middletown police say Cano allegedly used his own video camera to take images of himself in the nude and then print them with his phone number in hopes of luring young boys for sex.

Police say the first alleged incident took place on June 17 when Cano allegedly called an 11-year-old victim to his car to give him a naked picture of himself. Police say Cano then asked the child to meet him at another location for sex.

One week later, another alleged incident took place, but the victim’s parents called police.

Police say they found beer, condoms and an ointment of some sort inside Cano’s blue Nissan. Inside, they also found an alleged trail of perversion stretching from Chicago all the way to the Caribbean.

Police say photos of an unidentified teen in sexual positions were discovered, along with videotape that police say Cano shot at O’Hare Airport as he followed boys and men into the bathroom with a hidden camera to tape them as they used urinals. Cano allegedly targeted six or seven bathrooms for six or seven hours at a time.

When arrested, police found a church identification card on Cano. The church confirms his position as a minister, but had no further comment.

See the Silent Lambs website for more details on the Cano case.

Video Report from WCBS-TV New York

Another Jehovah’s Witness Pedophile Convicted

Another Jehovah’s Witness Pedophile Convicted

Another Jehovah’s Witness predator convicted. For 20 years, Daniel molested children and his wife knew it was happening.

BRUSSELS – Convicted for sordid abuse rape, and crimes against children, Daniel P. and Nadine NR were a married couple and active Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Yesterday, Daniel P. was sentenced to six years of hard prison time. His wife Nadine was sentenced to three years probation.

Their atrocities against children were of an extreme gravity. For example: molestation of eleven minor children, seven convictions of abuse using the internet as well as two rapes. According to the charges filed by law enforcement, around 20 children were victimized by the couple. Many of the victims remained silent and were afraid to come forward. Some of the abuses were spread out over a twenty year period of time.

The perversions of Daniel did not have any limit. But what is even more shocking is the passivity of his wife. Nadine NR. Nadine openly confessed to having witnessed many of the abuses and kept silent. She acknowledged hearing children groan and scream when they were forcibly raped and molested. She confessed to seeing her husband sexually aroused in the presence of children when in the same room.

Nadine stated she did not like sex and viewed the children as a replacement for her husband’s perversions in the marital bed. According to her statements, she forgives her husband and wants to continue the marriage at the end of the court proceedings. At present this will be for a while as the only visitation will be in prison.

The case first was reported in May 2005 when two young women filed abuse charges against the couple. The first case of abuses goes back to 1986. The couple had a good image in the community. They often volunteered to babysit children when the parents were at work.

Over the years, Daniel P. operated like a predator and adapted his techniques for seducing children. He used the internet as a way of approaching children passing himself off as a teenager to set up meetings with young girls. When the teenage girls would meet him he would pretend to be the uncle picking them up to arrange the meeting and get them to go with him.

Daniel tried to discount the charges against him by blaming his wife and saying the victims was promiscuous. The defense was not accepted due to the ages of his victims being as young as four years of age. He also tried to blame law enforcement for further crimes due to not catching him sooner. The jury did not accept this defense.

Yesterday, before the jury, a victim presented testimony. In some of the cases charges could not be filed due to the statue of limitations being expired, it was hard for the victims to accept. One victim committed suicide when the matter was revealed, the parents were distraught. They wondered what extent their child was molested by Daniel as the child revealed few details.

(thanks to the article by Phillipe Boudart via Silent Lambs)

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