Are We Looking at Insurance Fraud? Part 1.

There was a series of tweets from former Jehovah’s Witnesses hoping to stir up discontent with present ones. The politics involved are likely not of interest to the general reader so I pass over it here. Suffice it to say that it is that way.

It turns out that when the Watchtower organization oversees disaster relief they afterwards suggest to ones that happen to have insurance that they might donate whatever insurance might pay out to the Worldwide Work relief fund itself. Why this should infuriate the ex-Witnesses I’ll never know but infuriate them it does. To me, it seems only just that those who do the disaster rebuild should receive the insurance monies if there are any. I could be wrong but I suspect insurance companies will love it that way; the work gets down promptly and without haggling over amount. However, the more important question to be raised is, if the Watchtower doesn’t get the insurance money, who does? The more I looked at these tweets the more I came to feel that I was looking at encouragement to commit insurance fraud.

With that backdrop, here are some of the tweets. I have excluded irrelevant ones as well as those from opposers calling me an a*****e. Apparently, a recent shipment of relief supplies was destroyed and that is how the topic is introduced. I will reproduce a few tweets which may or may not interest the reader, all in italics, and then return to the main point. I am TTH. Others I will refer to by their initials. Everything is captured in screenshots.

EDL: The donations from local Jehovah's Witnesses caught fire - but the article fails to mention that JW donations and disaster relief is ONLY ever for other JWs.  JWs only support their local community by preaching to them, never with practical help.

TTH: Yes. They cannot do everyone because they are near exclusively volunteers using vacation time. The best they can do is set an example for others to imitate so that they will not be beholden to astronomically wasteful agencies.

CF: Interestingly enough, WT usually pressure any JW’s they help to “dontate” the insurance payout they get back to WT to “thank” them.

TTH: ‘Pressure is a subjective term. However, if they do the work voluntarily at no cost that certainly would not be an inappropriate way to acknowledge it. Many people have no insurance at all, especially in the case of flooding. It is something immaterial to JWs. They do not check beforehand.

SL: Agreed, the WT does not do the work on the understanding the insurance cash will come their way…

 For a brief moment, I thought I had found an ally, but it was not so:

SL: I've given up my time in my JW past to do this work and it's lovely to feel you are helping someone in need.  In my experience few, if any, feel the need to solicit thanks from a victim of disaster let alone "suggest" the insurance money comes one's way.

CF: To clarify - it’s not the individual JW’s helping who do this. It’s something that happens afterward, organized via the branch and handled by the elders. Most JW volunteers never even know this has happened. JR is putting together an article that exposes multiple instances of WT leaning on JW’s after a relief effort to hand over the insurance money.

I was getting a little fed up at this point. In three tweets combined, I said:

TTH: Tell him to not ignore the end result: distressed persons quickly having life & property restored, vs waiting weeks or months for relief that will only come if they are adequately insured, insurers sometimes being known to weasel out of full coverage when they can. Tell him also to spotlight the atheist and opposer agencies that do the same for their people so that they do not find themselves sh*t out of luck when insurance or build execution proves inadequate. And make sure he tells of the premier agency in the Haiti earthquake, squandering practically to the penny the half billion dollars donated. (I linked to a Propublica article detailing breathtaking incompetence in America’s chief relief agency and (alas) even exaggerated some, for they didn’t waste all of it, just most of it.) I am looking forward to this article, confident John will not forget these things.

Someone made a snotty comment about Watchtower making a lot of money off their volunteers and the insurance companies. I replied that it was in return for doing exactly what the insurance company wanted done

The former Witnesses turned bitter opponents work tirelessly to stir up discontent in those loyal. They do a great deal of talking amongst themselves, but present Witnesses are their target audience. While the Watchtower organization may well afterwards make the suggestion, I doubt very much that they ‘pressure’ anyone because the idea of simply pocketing both work AND insurance payment would never occur to most Witnesses. And even if they were to ‘pressure’ anyone, it would clearly be for their own good; otherwise they would be committing insurance fraud, and the insurance companies are very good at sniffing such things out.

Say they succeed in finding some Witnesses who are outraged that the Watchtower Society should mention money after they have restored a person’s life. What are they recommending these ones do? Are they recommending that they say to their Christian brothers, who are generally on the scene long before relief comes by any other way, “Brothers, no. Don’t bother. I am afraid that the organization may afterwards mention money. I will wait instead for the insurance company to pay and hope that the amount is enough to restore what I have lost and that when the harried contractors at last get around to it they will not in their haste do a half-assed job.” I don’t think so.

I have never heard that advice from these characters or anything even approaching that. What the opposers appear to be doing is encouraging disgruntled ones, if they can find any, to accept the Watchtower’s help and then refuse any suggestion that they sign over an insurance check. What, then, will they do with the insurance money? Give it back to the insurance company? Again, I don’t think so. Why have they been paying premiums for all these years? No, they are encouraging them to keep the money, perhaps to thereafter spend on a new car, overseas vacation, or college tuition.

Look, this may be an overgeneralization, but this illustrates exactly why people who are Jehovah’s Witnesses should think twice before they leave the faith. I see these former Witnesses on Twitter. Some excoriate Trump and some excoriate Obama. They once had unity. Moreover, they cavalierly float an idea that would shock most Witnesses: take the money and run. What is wrong with these characters? I mean, who would propose repaying the work of volunteer rebuilders with closed fists, and who would propose chiseling the insurance company out of their money at the same time? There is such a thing as hating so much as to lose all decency. My bet is that when insurance companies do sign over checks to the Watchtower, they find it a pure joy, knowing well how difficult customers can be when under extreme pressure. Jerod Kushner said with Jehovah’s Witnesses a handshake deal means something when he bought some of their Brooklyn property. Even arch-enemy Barbara Anderson says that, overall, they’re very nice people.

Look, possibly what they are advocating is not illegal. Perhaps it is just astonishing mean and ungrateful. Either way they look very small as they focus their unreasoning hatred to cripple the most effective disaster relief program the world has known. Parts 2 and 3, which follow, are not specifically on matters of insurance and can be skipped by those interested in those matters alone.

See Part 2 and Part 3

 

Spy


There Was Not a Moment to Lose

"At the home of Victor Vomidog, an alarm panel light pulsed red. Victor read the incoming feed. It was serious. Someone was saying nice things about Jehovah’s Witnesses. Instantly, he swung into action. There was not a moment to lose. He opened his door and whistled. The media came running. “Witnesses are selfish!” he cried. “They only think of themselves! Why don’t they help everyone? Why do they just do their own people?” That evening, media ran the headline: “WHY DON’T THEY HELP EVERYONE?”

"But they had asked the wrong question. The headline they should have run, but didn’t, because they didn’t want to deal with the answer, was: “WHY AREN’T OTHERS DOING THE SAME?” The answer to the first question is obvious: Witness efforts consist of volunteers using their vacation time. Just how much time is the boss going to grant?"

(from Tom Irregardless and Me)

Of course, it is about opposers' efforts to denigrate the disaster recovery work Witnesses are known for.

Heavy_rain_disaster_in_Hiroshima-20140823_181654


Belief over Bureaucracy

The race is on to see who can rebuild flattened Lebanon after the 5 week war. (assuming that war is really over) The international community hopes it will be the Lebanese government. The smart money, though, is on Hezbollah, the grass roots guerilla group that provoked the war in the first place.

Onlookers wish it were otherwise, but Hezbollah represents people with convictions, while the government represents……well…..coalitions and bureaucrats and politicians and (sometimes) scoundrels.

So far, it’s no contest. Changing hats, and flush with cash from neighboring Islamic nations, the recent guerillas now run backhoes and bulldozers. Was your home destroyed in the war? They rebuild it free of charge. This builds good will. Even those fed up with the group for its militancy are nonetheless happy to receive their aid….why would they not be? As for the international funds channeling through the Lebanese government, they are in transit, being appropriated,  just around the corner, perhaps being siphoned, what have you.

Haven’t we heard this same story lately, closer to home?

One year after hurricane Katrina, although $17 billion has been approved by Congress to rebuild homes, not one house has been rebuilt! (from that source - some rebuilding has taken place from private sources, flood insurance, and charitable organizations)

Typical are reports such as this one:

“In a state where 60,000 homes suffered severe damage, only around 30,000 households were eligible for the initial program, and now less than three dozen checks have gone out,” said Oxfam America’s Minor Sinclair, director of its US regional programs. “Very few families will have made any progress by Katrina’s first anniversary. People are stranded in gutted-out houses, overcrowded trailers, and slipping deeper into debt, with no real help in sight.” Oxfam blames lack of political will, bureaucratic bungling, and poor policy decisions.

If it didn’t involve real people, it would be laughable. But it does involve real people. “I think people have lost hope,” says one Biloxi resident highlighted here. “When people don’t have any hopes, they don’t have anything to drive them to work, to do something good. Hope is long gone.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses are to Hezbollah as Tony the Tiger is to the Tamil Tigers, but there are two similarities. Both groups have conviction, and they can both rebuild.

3200 homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses were damaged by Katrina. They’re all rebuilt now. (I am extrapolating, based on previous reports.)

Jehovah’s Witnesses are organized to build. Regional Building Committees, comprised of volunteer JWs, exist worldwide to construct Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls. When disaster strikes, these teams converge and form the core of relief efforts. Other Witnesses swell their ranks, putting their own businesses on hold or using vacation time. Materials are supplied either from donations made to the parent organization’s worldwide work, or made expressly for any particular disaster.

Really, then, as long as we have time favorable for it, let us work what is good toward all, but especially toward those who are related to [us] in the faith.....Gal 6:10

Belief will trump bureaucracy every time.

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Tom Irregardless and Me     No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash


New Testament........Click and Go

Matthew

Matt 2:1-23

Matt 6:5

Matt 6:9-10                           Matt 6:9-10                     Matt 6:10

Matt 6:19-33

Matt 7:3-5

Matt 7:28-29

Matt 10:8

Matt 11:11                    Matt 11:11

Matt 11:25

Matt 11:28-30

Matt 13:10-15

Matt 13:24-30                    Matt 13:24-30

Matt 18:23-34

Matt 18:34

Matt 20:25-27

Matt 20:28

Matt 24:3               Matt 24:3-7              Matt 24:3-8              Matt 24:9

Matt 24:14                   Matt 24:14                      Matt 24:14

Matt 24:36

Matt 24:38-39               Matt 24:38-39

Matt 24:42, 25:33

Matt 24:45-47                Matt 24:45-47                  Matt 24:45-47

Matt 24:48                     Matt 24:48-9

Matt 24:48-49,25:13

Matt 25:1-11

Matt 25:14-18

Matt 28:18                    Matt 28:18-20

Matt 28:19                   

Mark

Mark 4:22

Mark 4:35-41               Mark 4:35-41  

Mark 5:26

Mark 6:17-28

Mark 9:43-48

Mark 13:33-37

Mark 16:9-20

Luke

Luke 1:31-33

Luke 2:8-14

Luke 3:1

Luke 4:5-8

Luke 8:5-15

Luke 8:17

Luke 8:43-44                 Luke 8:43-44

Luke 9:26-37

Luke 13:23-24

Luke 16:2-8

Luke 16:8  

Luke 18:8              Luke 18:8            Luke 18:8

Luke 19:11

Luke 21:11                  Luke 21:11

Luke 21:26,31

Luke 21:36

 Luke 22:19

Luke 23:29-30

Luke 23:43

John

John 1:1                             John 1:1, 7:15

John 1:41, 7:15

John 3:16

John 5:28

John 6:14-15                    John 6:15

John 7:48-52

John 8:32

John 11:11-14                  John 11:11-44

John 12:19,17:19

John 13:35

John 14:12

John 14:30

John 15:2

John 17:3  

John 17:14-16                John 17:16                     John 17:16

Acts

Acts 1:6-7

Acts 2:27

Acts 2:31                        Acts 2:30-34

Acts 2:41,4:4,6:7,9:31, 11:1-18

Acts 4:13                    Acts 4:13                  Acts 4:13, 17:11

Acts 4:13, 20:9, 28:21-22

Acts 5:30                   Acts 5:30, 10:39

Acts 12:15

Acts 15:1-33, 16:4-5

Acts 15:14

Acts 16:4-5

Acts 17:11                           Acts 17:11

Acts 17:18

Acts 18:1-4                        Acts 18:3-4

Acts 20:29                   Acts 20:29                    Acts 20:29-30

Acts 21:27-32, 28:21-22

Acts 22:22-29, 24:24-25, 25:9-11, 26:24-32, 28:21-31

Acts 23:6-10

Acts 24:15                       Acts 24:15

Acts 28:12

Romans

Rom 1:16          Rom 1:18-21                  Rom 1:20                        Rom 1:20

Rom 1:22                       Rom 1:24-27  

Rom 5:12                     Rom 5:12                      Rom 5:12

Rom 6:23                       Rom 6:23

Rom 11:33-36

1 Corinthians

1 Cor 1:10-15

1 Cor 1:10-15, 16:16  

1 Cor 1:18-28                      1 Cor 1:26-28 

1 Cor 2:9

1 Cor 3:19                          1 Cor 3:26-28

1 Cor 4:6

1 Cor 5:7

1 Cor 7:18-20                       1 Cor 7:31

1 Cor 8:5

1 Cor 9:19-22                      1 Cor 9:24-27

1 Cor 12:14-20

1 Cor 15:24-26                     1 Cor 15:25

1 Cor 15:45                        1 Cor 15:45

2 Corinthians

2 Cor 1:20                      2 Cor 1:24, 8:8, 10:1

2Cor 4:4

2 Cor 5:20                           2 Cor 5:20                        2 Cor 5:20 

2 Cor 7:1

2 Cor 10:3-5                     2 Cor 10:10 

2 Cor 11:23-25                  2 Cor 11:23-27

Galatians

Gal 3:13

Gal 5:1-3

Gal 5:19-21

Ephesians

Eph 2:1-2

Eph 4:11-13                          Eph 4:13-14

Philippians

Phil 2:3                Phil 2:12               Phil 2:12                Phil 2:12

Phil 3:2-3                 Phil 3:8                      Phil 3:18-19

Colossians

Col 1:15-18                Col 1:26                   Col 1:26

Col 2:8

Col 4:1

1 Thessalonians

1 Thes 4:10-11                1 Thes 4:16                       1 Thes 4:17-18

1 Thes 5:2-3

2 Thessalonians

2 Thes 3:4                       2 Thes 3:11

1 Timothy

1 Tim 1:7               1 Tim 1:7                  1 Tim 1:9                   1 Tim 1:19

1 Tim 2:3-4                 1 Tim 2:5-6  

1 Tim 3:11

1 Tim 4:1

1 Tim 5:23

1 Tim 6:3-4                  1 Tim 6:7-8  

1 Tim 6:17-19              1 Tim 6:17-19                 1 Tim 6:17-19

1 Tim 6:20

2 Timothy

2 Tim 2:16                     2 Tim 2:24                        2 Tim 2:24-25

2 Tim 3:1-5             2 Tim 3:1-5              2 Tim 3:1-5              2 Tim 3:1-5

2 Tim 3:1-5                  2 Tim 3:2-4                  2 Tim 3:3

2 Tim 4:2-3               2 Tim 4:3                   2 Tim 4:3                2 Tim 4:10

Philemon

Phil 8-9

Hebrews

Heb 3:4

Heb 11:1

Heb 11:8-10                     Heb 11:8-10                        Heb 11:9-10

Heb 12:7-11  

Heb 13:17                        Heb 13:17                        Heb 13:17

James

Jas 2:26

Jas 3:2                         Jas 3:17                       Jas 3:17

Jas 4:4                         Jas 4:4

Jas 4:13-15                   Jas 4:17

Jas 5:11                        Jas 5:19-20                      Jas 5:19-20

1 Peter

1 Pet 1:10-12  

1 Pet 2:12, 4:3-4

1 Pet 3:15

2 Peter

2 Pet 2:1-2                    2 Pet 2:1-2                          2 Pet 2:1-2

2 Pet 3:3

2 Pet 3:3-4                     2 Pet 3:3-4                     2 Pet 3:3-4

1 John

1 John 1:10, 2:4,22,:20, 5:10

1 John 2:15-17                       1 John 2:15-17                          1 John 2:18

1 John 5:7                   1 John 5:7                  1 John 5:7                      1 John 5:7

1 John 5:19

2 John   

2 John 8-10                  2 John 9                     2 John 9

3 John

3 John 9-10                             3 John 10

Jude

Jude 3-4                       Jude 9                         Jude 22

Revelation

Rev 3:15

Rev 4:1                                Rev 4:11

Rev 5:2-10                      Rev 5:2-10                 Rev 5:10                         Rev 5:11

Rev 6:2-8                         Rev 6:2-8                     Rev 6:3-8

Rev 6:12-17, 4:11

Rev 7:4-10                       Rev 7:9-17

Rev 11:18                     Rev 11:18                        Rev 11:18

Rev 12:9-12                  Rev 12:9-12                  Rev 12:9-12                 Rev 12:10-17

Rev 13:14-15                     Rev 13:18

Rev 17:1-18:18:1-24                   Rev 17:8                           Rev 17:16-17

Rev 18:1                   Rev 18:24

Rev 19:11-19

Rev 20:1-6                     Rev 20:10                       Rev 20:10-15

Rev 21:2-3                         Rev 21:4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Old Testament..........Click and Go

Genesis

Gen 1:1,11-25, Gen 2:4          

Gen 1:28, Gen 3:1-5          

Gen 1:28         

Gen 1:6-8, Gen 7:11-12         

Gen 2:7         

Gen 2:9,16, Gen 3:15,22-24          

Gen 2:17         

Gen 5:1-32, Gen 11:1-32, Gen 25:7         

Gen 6:11-12         

Gen 11:1-9         

Gen 11:6                Gen 11:6         

Gen 37:35         

Gen 40:8                Gen 40:8

Exodus

Ex 14:11-12

Ex 20:4-5               Ex 20:4-5             Ex 21:5-6

Ex 32:24

Leviticus

Lev 17:11-12

Lev 18:24-25, 19:9-10

Lev 25:11-55

Numbers

Numbers 14:34

 Deuteronomy

Deut 4:5-8

Deut 13:1-5, 18:20-22

Deut 19:21

Deut 21:22-23

2 Samuel

2 Sam 12:1-7                2 Sam 12:1-7

1 Kings

1 Kings 4:33

1 Kings 18:27                1 Kings 18:27

1 Kings 20:23-25

2 Kings

2 Kings 2:23-24

2 Kings 17:7-17

1 Chronicles

1 Chron 29:23

2 Chronicles

2 Chron 28:3

2 Chron 33:9

Job

Job (throughout)

Job 2:4-5,Job 38-41

Job 14:13

Job 26:7,10                 Job 26:7,10

Job 15:15,32:2-3,42:7

Psalms

Ps 10:4                Ps 10:4

Ps 16:10

Ps 22:16

Ps 23:1

Ps 34:12-14

Ps 37:10-11

Ps 38:12-14

Ps 83:18                   Ps 83:18

Ps 93:1

Ps 104:8

Ps 110:1                  Ps 110:1

Ps 115:4-8

Ps 115:16                Ps 115:16

Ps 120:6-7

Ps 138:6

Ps 146:3-4

Proverbs

Prov 4:18

Prov 14:15

Prov 18:11

Prov 21:19

Prov 22:29

Prov 26:14

Prov 30:7-9

Prov 30:8-9

Prov 30:12

Prov 30:18

Ecclesiastes

Eccles 1:11, 2:18-19

Eccles 5:2

Eccles 7:1

Eccles 7:7

Eccles 7:16                Eccles 7:16

Eccles 9:5,10

Eccles 9:10                Eccles 9:10

 Isaiah

Isa 2:4

Isa 6:9

Isa 11:6-9

Isa 11:9-11

Isa 21:9

Isa 26:2

Isa 38:13

Isa 40:22

Isa 55:9

Isa 65:21-23                 Isa 65:21-23

Jeremiah

Jer 8:9, 10:23

Jer 38:7-13

Jer 45:2-5

Jer 52:8-11

Ezekiel

Ezek 3:17

Ezek 4:6, 21:25-27

Ezek 18:25

Ezek 21:5-6

Ezek 33:32

Daniel

Daniel 2:42-43

Dan 2:44              Dan 2:44            Dan 2:44            Dan 2:44

Dan 4:7-26

Dan 6:7-16

Dan 12:1                       Dan 12:1

Dan 12:4                       Dan 12:4

Micah

Micah 7:3

Habakkuk

Hab 3:17-18              Hab 3:17-18                Hab 3:17-18

Zephaniah

Zephaniah 3:9

 

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Who to Blame for Human Suffering...Katrina

Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans last year. People lost everything and they asked, some of them: where was God?

Fundamentalist preacher Pat Robertson had the answer right away. God destroyed New Orleans, he declared, because of abortion and homosexuality. But the mayor, Ray Nagin, disagreed. Sharply. And at his own news conference, he set the record straight. God did not destroy his town because of abortion and homosexuality.

He destroyed it because of war in Iraq and disunity among black residents. That’s what steamed God, Nagin said, not abortion and gays.

Either way, God is the heavy. But is he really the one to blame?

After Katrina, for a few days in the ministry you could focus on the theme of humans ruining the earth. You could use Rev 11:18.…..God will “bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” You could ask: “do you think human activity is causing the destructive weather?” Even those who thought not would listen, out of respect for Katrina.

I used this scripture in the 1970s when only means of ruining the earth anyone could imagine was nuclear holocaust. That was then. Today, there are so many ways humans might be fouling the nest. Global warming, global dimming (a new one), pesticides, air pollution, water pollution, ozone depletion, contamination of food supply, species extinction, deforestation. All debatable to different degrees, but all plausible.

It’s as if a man runs his automobile without concern for maintenance. He doesn‘t care about oil changes. He doesn‘t care about brake shoes. He doesn‘t care about tune-ups. Little does he know the consequence of his ignorance, but if it comes, he can hardly blame the manufacturer.

And it’s the same way with earth’s manufacturer. God knows the right maintenance for the planet. Plus, the Bible account tells of His Son walking on water and silencing a violent storm….in other words, showing mastery of the elements. Adam gave up a lot when he rejected God’s rule. For God’s rule would implement knowledge and ability that humans don’t have.

And we won’t even mention the smarts of building a city next to the sea yet below sea level. Hardly God’s wisdom, it barely passes for human wisdom.

So you can’t blame God when human shortsightedness brings suffering. Moreover, the real answer, his kingdom rule, is approaching. Best thing to do in the meantime is clean up the mess, and alleviate human suffering.

In our own organization, volunteers have arrived from across the country and even outside. They report, strangely, that not too much is happening with rebuilding. Being volunteers who travel at their own expense, they focus on our own family first. The June 2006 Awake! tells of 3200 homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses destroyed by the flood. Half were renovated by February. It would be about two thirds by now.

They don’t blame God for their inconvenience.

Prov 1:31,31, Mark 4:37-41, Matt 6:9,10

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Tom Irregardless and Me     No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash