I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses: Searching for the Why

Searching for the why—at first glance, what could be easier? Just read the charges. But when Putin says, “Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians, too. I really don’t understand why they are persecuted”—there appears more to it than meets the eye. When Human Rights Watch says, “Russia’s religious persecution focuses almost exclusively on Jehovah’s Witnesses,” the plot thickens.
Like Luke to Theophilus, here is a book that “traces everything from the start with accuracy.” Like Luke to Theophilus, here is a book that tells it from the believer’s point of view. Stripped of the red herrings that plagued Dear Mr. Putin—Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia, updated to the February 2021 present, and ever respectful towards the land of the bear, in most ebook forms it continues to be free, a labor of love.

Here are presented the modern-day Acts of Russia with regard to worship, the acts of believers and of those who oppose them. The acts of Russia have taken a dark and perplexing turn, puzzling even Putin. Can it be? The wizard who runs Oz doesn’t know how his contraption works? Here is a book that picks up where Baran’s Dissent on the Margins (2014) leaves off. The tale has not yet ended. But then, neither had the tale ended when Luke completed the first century Book of Acts.

Early in 2017, every Jehovah’s Witness in the world was invited to write letters to designated Russian officials, urging that justice be done in their case. I wrote one. Here is my expanded version.
Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Relief in Russia? Part 1

From The Moscow Times (November 17, 2021):

Russia’s Supreme Court has banned the criminal prosecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses for joint worship, potentially putting an end to the law enforcement practice of jailing believers for prayer sessions. The ruling could also affect the 152 convictions that have not yet entered into force or are being appealed, the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia organization said in a statement on its website Tuesday.

Does this mean that persecution in that land has turned a corner? If so, it will be be as Mark Sanderson spoke, in both English and Russian, to the Russian brothers back in 2017—that a time of testing was about to commence, but it would be a Revelation 2:10 time, during which “the Devil will keep on throwing some of you into prison so that you may be fully put to the test, and you will have tribulation for ten days.” Ten days is not forever. It seems like it at the time, but it is not.

An end, or even a lull, in an intense time of persecution is a very good thing. The earthly organization is still banned, of course, as is even the preferred Bible. But if the words of the Supreme Court count for anything, authorities won’t be able to beat up on people anymore simply because they are Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

And how have the brothers comported themselves? “There are almost no instances of renunciation of the faith among them,” says Credo Press, Nov 8, 2021, as translated here: When all is done (it is not yet) will this be another instance in which, upon passing trial, the brothers go on to gain more members than going in? People take note when plainly innocent persons remain true to their conviction despite trial.

How bad has it become? Says the same CredoPress source of a sentence only days before this Court opinion: “Eight years! In Russia a criminal may receive even less time for murder or rape. Innocent conversations about the Bible are equated with horrible crimes.” It is only the most unhinged crazies that would punish a Bible conversation more severely than murder. People take note when ones stand fast despite it.

Remember three years ago when Putin said he really didn’t understand why Jehovah’s Witnesses were persecuted? It became the title of a book. Not only had he been puzzled when asked of it, but he said, “This must be looked into. This must be done.” The brothers were cautiously optimistic, but only cautiously. Don’t Know Why stated: “After all, if you were a Russian cop, would you beat up on one of them after what the President just said?” followed by a later edit reading: “It turns out they would.”

Most things from government move at a snail’s pace. “Two years later, at a meeting of the Human Rights Council, human rights defender Alexander Verkhovsky again pointed out to the Head of State the absurdity of prosecuting believers whose organizations had been banned; as a result, the President issued new instructions to the Supreme Court to prepare explanations regarding the generalization of court practice in cases related to violations of legislation on religious associations.”

That President Putin should be puzzled over the Witnesses in the first place suggests that he read a few of that flood of letters sent him. The Governing Body listed three goals when inviting all members in the world to write:

1. drawing international attention to the situation.

2. giving evidence of one's love for their brothers in Russsia

3. support fellow Christians who face persecution.

Had the persecution not taken place that would have been icing on the cake, but meddling with what the government would do was not one of the stated goals. Everyone who did write, though—well, it sure beats sitting on one’s hands and doing nothing. Maybe they’ve contributed to this tiny squeak that over time annoys the president enough that he picks up his WD-40 to fix it.

Always prior to a conviction, defense lawyers would ask the prosecutor to identify an injured party—you would think that would be a necessary ingredient of any crime. Always the prosecutor would decline to identify anyone. That’s because there is no one. Now there must be, says the Supreme Court opinion. You have to identify someone who has been harmed. At last, the contradiction has become too blatant to ignore.

The Credo article already cited really presses its luck.: “The state should recognize its mistake and …should issue an apology to believers, as was done by Russian President Boris Yeltsin,” for years of repression under the old USSR. Those years were bad, but Bro Sivulsky says in some respects the present ones have been worse. Rarely were people beaten under the old regime. Today it is common.

Does Credo [it is a human rights publication] think it will be like when Paul and Barnabas were arrested with much violence and then the next day the authorities wanted to release them quietly? “Paul said to them: ‘They flogged us publicly, uncondemned, though we are Romans, and threw us into prison. Are they now throwing us out secretly? No, indeed! Let them come themselves and escort us out.’” (Acts 16:37)

I don’t think so, Paul said, They’ll release us with as much fanfare as they arrested us. 

Edit: Relief appears to be taking hold: On November 22, 2021, the Pervorechenskiy District Court of Vladivostok in the Primorye Territory found Brother Dmitriy Barmakin not guilty and acquitted him of all criminal charges. This is the first time a Russian court has issued a not-guilty verdict for one of Jehovah’s Witnesses charged under Article 282.2(1) of Russia’s Criminal Code (regarding organizing the activities of an extremist organization). The court will remove the restrictions on his activities. The verdict will enter into force on December 3, 2021, if the prosecutor's office does not file an appeal.



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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of November 15, 2021

The publicspeaker today presents ‘How can youth find success and happiness?’ He was born in S America and spoke of visiting his grandpa high up in the mountains, in a house of clay and rocks, where a book caught his attention that spoke of a river clear as crystal.

Proverbs 13:20, who to have as companions in journey? One working with wise will become wise, ones dealing with stupid will fare badly, Friends over time do have a profound influence on us.

He is explaining ‘the bloom of youth’ (1 Corinthians 7:36) very well, & and how that messes with 1 Thess 4:4-5, where God says its good to get control of ones own body and emotions: …1/2

“Each one of you should know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,  not with greedy, uncontrolled sexual passion like the nations have that do not know God.”…2/2

The speaker is explaining dating and issues facing youth very well. “I can see what Maryann saw in him,” my wife says, as we have known her for a long time.

“I will shake all the nations, and the precious things of all the nations will come in.”​—HAG. 2:7. I remember one bro pointing out that for this scripture to make any sense there must be some “in” for these precious things to come into. #watchtowerstudy…1/2

“and I will fill this house with glory,’ says Jehovah of armies,” says the very next phrase….2/2

Huh! The framed artwork displayed in the Watchtower reader’s room, behind & off to the side of he and wife, reads ‘kindness matters.’ He is known that that quality.

There is apparently an overhead round fluorescent lamp above the Watchtower conductor, which reflects in his glasses depending upon how he moves his head, and gives the impression on specs within specs.

Para 6: disunity everywhere, but there is one thing on which nations are united (I’ve used the point in service before): …The kings of the earth take their stand…gather together as one Against Jehovah and against his anointed one [and] say: “Let us tear off their shackles! Ps 2

Even the suggestion that the “kings of the earth” might one day need to submit to a higher authority is like “shackles” and “ropes” to them, one bro points out. Ps 2

When the child came to the door alone—12 years old or so—I kept very brief and left something to give to her mom. ‘I would have witnessed to her,’ ivonne just arrived from Ecuador said. That’s because she was accustomed to mature children, per https://www.jw.org/en/library/videos/#en/mediaitems/VODIntExpTransformations/pub-jwb_202004_4_VIDEO

Para 13: “Because the wealth of the sea will be directed to you; The resources of the nations will come to you.” Isa 60:5….This is how it works with God’s people, I am convinced, as “precious things” bring their individual gifts and talents to the altar.

Para 15: “The political systems of this world will demand our worship and will persecute those who refuse to support them. (Rev. 13:12, 15)” The systems are not necessarily nation vs nation, but can also be populists vs globalists.

Yes, and what of that full-of-himself bro (um—is that me?) who takes his bow after each comment, repeating it to himself, and forgets to put his hand down so he is called on unprepared?

Para 18: “Now the expression “yet once more” indicates the removal of the things that are shaken, things that have been made, in order that the things not shaken may remain.” …1/2

Is this a reference to the ‘precious things already having “come in” so what remains can have the daylights shaken out of it?…2/2

There are some issues that are black and white, but on all issues that are not, do the kind thing, the CO said. Kindness matters.


No #midweekmeeting has begun like ours. “Good evening, friends. We welcome, etc, etc, then follows a long pause—so long like you suspect technical glitch.…Then, “Okay. So Alexa has interrupted our meeting….and he continues. …1/2

He must have set her off somehow. That’ll be the day I have that woman in my house….2/2

“Now look! I am about to die,”and that elder who I love to tease tells how those words will invariably make people sit up and take notice. (Jos 23:14)

“Look! This stone will serve as a witness against us, because it has heard everything Jehovah said to us, and it will serve as a witness against you, so that you may not deny your God.” (Jos 24:27)….1/2

I mean, it didn’t really ‘hear’ anything, but they did commemorate some events meant to have lasting significance that way…..2/2

The householder who has been coached to be surly is certainly doing a good job. It reminds me of when I did a demonstration, coached the householder to be grouchy, and he was so much so that I lost my train of thought.

That one sis is dressed in white with a white head covering that sits so far back on her head that you only see a sliver and it looks like a nimbus.

The last thing we say is important, the chairman says, usually because it is the first thing people remember.…This is all the more reason to speak concisely and not say many words at all.

That older sis who once was a schoolteacher has a teen for her householder and must be reliving her glory days, even checking on the Goal and the end and assigning “homework.”…The girl is answering nicely and in a real class would get an ‘A’

That workplace video didn’t resonate at all in our family because whenever my wife would bring up me at her workplace her workmates would all swoon with envy.


I’ll jog your memories on things covered a few months ago, the conductor says.…It’s a challenge to jog our memories on what happened five minutes ago.

They were saying, ‘Jehovah has left the land, and Jehovah is not seeing.’—remarkable, since they WERE the elders of the land. (Ezekiel 9:9)

The one bro said (in effect) that there is a difference between sighing and groaning, and bellyaching and complaining.

The two new ministerial servants both had parts in tonight’s meeting. They done good.

Yikes! Here I am tweeting the meeting and the video kid is checked by parents for texting during the meeting, and I am doing just the same thing only with tweets! One character unexpectedly started acting up & I ended up unfollowing him. It could have waited, I suppose.


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Reproving Aaron Rodgers—it Would Have Been 34-0 had he Followed Proticol

Q: I understand you claim not to be an expert, and you consider your sources to be trustworthy. The majority of the scientific community agrees mRNA to be safe. Are these sources you consider trustworthy, academic in nature? Have they acquired a per-review? 

To the extent that the majority of the scientific community is under the influence of big money, they have lost much credibility.

There is a former pharma executive online who states that for every dollar Pharma spends on educating you through drug ads and otherwise, they spend six times that amount educating the medical field. There is another Pharma VP who says: “Look, nobody has any money. Government doesn’t. Researchers don’t. Universities don’t. But Pharma has lots of money.” 

“Conduct a study for us,” Pharma says, “here’s tons of money to fund it.” If the results come back favorable to Pharma, they can expect more funding for other studies. If the results come back unfavorable, they will never hear from Pharma again. “No money has changed hands,” the VP says. “No agreements have been entered into. But everyone knows what they must do,’ as he goes on to claim this practice is universal.

The above is said of new drugs. The regulatory hurdles for vaccines, even in normal times, are lower. In abnormal times, such as now, they are lower still. The existing vaccines were ushered in at “warp speed” under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). This US emergency provision can only be done legally if there truly is a emergency—that is, if there is no existing alternative treatment for Covid-19. Thus, it becomes very important to certain parties to demonstrate that existing alternative treatments (read primarily hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin) are no good and/or cause injury.

Q: Are these sources you consider trustworthy, academic in nature? Have they acquired a per-review? 

Yes. Some of them are medical doctors who felt impelled to do something to help their patients. Initially, there was no guidance whatsoever from health agencies upon a Covid-19 diagnosis other than get bed-rest, keep hydrated, and come to the hospital if it gets real bad—by which time it was too late. Most patients put on ventilators died.

So these doctors, mostly on their own & then they shared their results with colleagues, began experimenting with existing drugs to see if any could prevent the hospitalization that usually spelled death. They discovered and then shared with others their 80% or so success rate. One of them shared his regimen with the White House, and this is why when Trump was diagnosed with Covid, he was very soon up and running again.* Another pleaded before Congress—I heard him—that these drugs be made widely available. He stressed that he was not against vaccines, which then were only in the early stages of being developed and rolled out. He was only interested in saving his existing patients in the interim.

These doctors describe how they were aghast that, not only were the drugs not made widely available, but they were targeted for elimination. They describe their bewilderment that studies were undertaken administering these drugs at levels known to be toxic. Of one Brazilian study that came to be heralded as proof that these cheap drugs that had been around forever were dangerous, one of these doctors writes: 

The Brazilian authors of this study must have known they were treading on dangerous territory by purposely causing many deaths. Coming from a poor area of the country, they may have felt they could get away with sacrificing their patients without local reprisals. They simply gave lethal doses of chloroquine to patients to prove that the drug and its derivative hydroxychloroquine were too dangerous to treat Covid-19”

This is an outrageous charge and these doctors were slow to make it. But a lethal dose is a lethal dose. Malfeasance is clearly demonstrated at many levels. It is assessing the motivation behind the malfeasance that is perilous and causes different docs to come to different conclusions, not always agreeing with each other. A prominent view, however, is that this campaign to discredit the drugs that demonstrably work amounts to mass murder and is the equal of previous genocides. Hundreds of thousands of people died who didn’t have to.

Didn’t many of Hitler’s medical experimenters wind up in South America? Of course, they’d be dead by now, but culture doesn’t die in an overlapping generation. I can’t picture rank and file technicians knowingly administering an experiment that kills people, but I can imagine them simply doing what they’re told, with no suspicions at all as to what their higher ups were concocting. Moreover, JWI I am sure will empathize with how poor people with the wrong skin color make good fodder for forward progress. Aren’t there examples in the US involving blacks and indigenous populations?

Q: Are these sources you consider trustworthy, academic in nature?

Some of the answer to this hinges on what you consider “academic.” The aforementioned doctor who sent his results to the White House and saved Trump also sent those results to certain official sources. These sources rejected the material because it was not a scientific study. “I understand it is not a scientific study,” he said, “it wasn’t intended to be, but it is still data.”

Scientific “studies” like the above Brazilian one are trumping actual data. They are infringing upon what these doctors consider sacred, the doctor-patient relationship. The “studies” have been used to go over the heads of doctors, who prescribe, say—Ivermecitn—and then the pharmacies refuse to fill it. (and in some cases report the doctor). What is “academic” is trampling what is real.

Q: Have they acquired a per-review? 

Some of them are widely published prior to going into this area of medical apostasy. I heard one of them say that he holds an advantage over some of his colleagues in that he has been published in some many journals that he will be difficult to take down.

All of them have been taken down, however,  on the mainstream outlets such as Facebook and YouTube. They are reduced to their own websites, where they aggregate breaking developments. How much they are actually reduced is a matter of debate. Most of them are reluctant beacons who never sought to be public figures. Their palpable integrity and manifest good motive draws people to their information. I consider them very credible. I mean, these are not the people who think Sandy Hook was a hoax.

___ * Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback, caused a major brouhaha when it was revealed that his prior claim of being “immunized” didn’t mean he was vaccinated. He was relying on something else, and then he came down with Covid-19. Of course, he missed the next game. But the one after that he led his team to a 17-0victory. 

Doing my bit for “science,” I pointed out that it would have been 34-0 had he gone the conventional route.


So am I right that if the spikiness of the S protein allows it to penetrate cells so as to infect, the spikiness of the antigen produced upon stimulation by the shot is just as architecturally dangerous, even though not infectious? And so, that is why you do want to take out the virus should it appear, but you want to do so through safer means, the ones being discredited? And that, unless and until the virus appears, meanwhile the spikiness of the shot inflicts damage of its own?

Q: Can you clarify for me what you mean by "shot inflicts damage, of its own" if a synthetic protein has no dangerous antigen?

The idea is that if the archtecture (the spikiness) of the virus in itself inflicts damage, enabling it to puncture cells, so will that of the manufactured antigens. Think along the lines of those computerized enactments of how strokes develop, blood passageways being clogged up by plaque, logjams that occur within the body. Molecules that flow through the body ought be smooth, and the virus, as well as the antigens made to combat it, are anything but. 

The virus itself is not anything naturally occurring, but has been created through ‘gain of function’ research. If this is true, as is alleged with considerable evidence, then the antigens created that fight the virus are just as unnatural, even as they do succeed to some extent in muting it.

Understand, I make no claim to be any expert. I’ve gleaned this from reading sources I consider trustworthy. 

See: JWs and Covid.

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of November 8, 2021

For the longest time I was the only Tom in the Kingdom Hall, but that is no longer true. Consequently, in pre-meeting Zoom chit-chat, the other Tom said he now has to check before he responds to a greeting by name. Yeah—Him and me both.

Think that’s bad? Joe said, you know how many people are named Joe? Yeah, but at least he can take comfort that there is the expression ‘a good joe,’ whereas the is no corresponding expression ‘a good tom.’ Except at Thanksgiving, one sis chimes in.


The publicspeaker today is the one known to sprinkle Beatles references in his talks, even to the extent of invoking a ‘good ol days’ scenario. He takes care, though, not to run afoul of Ecclesiastes 7:10….1/2

“Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” for it is not out of wisdom that you ask this.”….His talk today: ‘What Kind of Name are You Making with God?’….2/2

“Draw close to God and he will draw close to you,” the speaker cites James 4:8, adding, “it’s a process.”

Yikes! In speaking of challenges, a reference made to ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ Tevye who addresses God with, ‘I know we’re the chosen people. But couldn’t you choose someone else sometimes?’ …1/2

“For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 Jn 5:3) “In many ways God is kinder to us than we are to ourselves,” the speaker says, “and far more perceptive.”….2/2

The speaker used to be a salesperson (I didn’t know that). His uncle would say, ‘When you get up to come to work each morning, do you wait for every light to turn green before you start?’

He has one of those crazy multi-syllabled last names that nobody should have which is close to that of the Wt conductor and he mentions how he two are mixed up in his opening remarks, “Yeah—the first names too,” add the chairman. Ted and Todd—I guess so.

Watchtower Para 3: Sometimes when I get up a head of steam telling how things ought to be, I detect eyes glazing over, and I say, “Yeah—he just thinks I’m an old geezer.” It’s a good check. ….1/2

You can guide the younger, but only if you don’t bowl them over or lose sight that ‘the scene of this world is changing.”….2/2

Para 6: “Similarly, a modest person knows when it is time to “change to a lower gear” so that he can continue to be active and productive in Jehovah’s service.” The topic is how to best adjust as one ages.

Para 7: here is Barzillai, turning down an assignment because he was too old. (80) ‘why should I be a burden to you?’ he says to David. (2 Samuel 19:35)

Why do I think of Bro Herd, always quipping, playing the ‘grumpy old man’ card to the hilt, who says he would like to retire, “but they won’t let me.” He does get to sit, however.

Para 11: I laughed aloud (Zoom-muted, fortunately, but others were too) at the elderly sis who commented on the challenge of letting go as we get older and begin to decline “soon after 40.”

HA! “How about the Smith family?” the conductor calls on someone, and as that one answers with Zoom box filling the screen, a decorative plaque on the wall actually says “The Smith family.”

The speaker who makes frequent references to the Beatles (though he didn’t today) and people tease him about it signed off of post-meeting Zoom chit-chat with, “I hope I passed the audition.”

No, it is not new or anything, but the speaker still gets a mild smile by mentioning our favorite exercise, ‘jumping to conclusions’ as he considers the altar spat of Joshua 22. #midweekmeeting. Chapters 20-22 this week.

Oh, by the way, did I mention (I didn’t do TweetingtheMeeting that week) the bro reinstated after being out for—what? 20-30 years?  (His prior remark had been ‘It’s time to come home.’)

That frequent line in any cop show—“I DID hate him but I didn’t kill him—maybe that wouldn’t fly in a city of refuge scenario where

“he killed his fellow man accidentally and he did not previously hate him” was a criteria. (Joshua 20:5)…1/2

Underscores that one ought not to have unresolved grudges lying around lest an accident not be interpreted that way…..2/2

Of course, somebody mentions that old standby Jos 21;45 during the gems portion: “Not a promise failed out of all the good promises that Jehovah had made to the house of Israel; all of them came true.”

Sung ‘We Must Have Faith’—midway song. Formerly ‘We Must Have the Faith,’ it once had a very distinctive beat, now much muted but still there. When it would begin, my two-year-old’s eyes would light up as she exclaimed, “It’s Dah dah dah dah DAH!”

Three days of the Regional attempted sum-up in 15 minutes. Of course, it can’t be done.

The elderly sis, once a schoolteacher, points out how the sins of omission of BtG, though not so graphic, are far more pervasive.

Uh oh. Just announced my favorite (retired) CO died, tho I knew it a few hours ago. An intelligent and empathetic man, he outlived his wife by ten years, and he is the ONLY person I mention by actual name during his lifetime in ‘Tom Irregardless and Me.’ …1/2

Everyone else is renamed, if not made up….2/2

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

The Far Side and the Spoofing of Science

A scientist pours one liquid after another upon a duck placed on the table. His companion carefully calibrates the results on a chalkboard. Beneath the heading “Like” is “Milk off a duck’s back,” followed by “water off a duck’s back,” followed by “orange juice off a duck’s back.” Next on the list is “acid off a duck’s back,” but this is crossed out. Afterward, there is “syrup off a duck’s back.” More ingredients on the table remain to be tested. The caption: “It’s all rather scientific. Then we publish our results.”

I think I did not reflect until now on how Far Side consistently spoofs “science.” This fits in so well with reality today, when any yo-yo says anything and calls it “the science.”

”Scientific studies” have come to be a standing joke. If a study doesn’t go your way, just hold out for the next one that may.

It is as though a parlor trick vastly over applied. Very effective if confined to a narrow field of focus. But ridiculous when relied upon to evaluate all of life. 

An underreported experiment several years back, to me reveals it all. Volunteers were asked to remember a certain number, then they walked down a corridor to another room in which another researcher awaited to take down that number. 

On the way down, each was met by a woman who thanked them for taking part in the study. To show the researcher’s gratitude, she offered each participant a choice of two snacks—a fruit salad or a slice of chocolate cake.

Now, unbeknownst to each participant, some had been given 2-digit numbers to remember, and others 7-digit numbers. When results were tallied, those who had been given 2-digit numbers were twice as likely to choose the fruit salad as those who have been given 7-digits. What could possibly account for that?

The conclusion researchers drew was that if our minds are not heavily taxed, we choose fruit. We make the rational assessment that it is healthier for us. But if our minds are taxed, rationality goes right out the window! We say, “Yummy! Cake!” and grab for the chocolate. Read it here.

The fatal flaw in relying upon “science” is us. Unless things are very very simple, emotion immediately trumps “critical thinking.” This weakness sabotages most of what passes for science. It make reliance on science the most foolhardy of endeavors. It’s okay as a supplemental tool. But no more than that. It must always be in subjection to superior methods.

To the extent possible, science seeks to address human bias. But the extent possible is often not sufficiently much. In an ideal experiment of discovery, you line up two groups with identical attributes barring just one. Then, by tinkering through repeatable experiments with the one variable attribute, you make your discoveries as to its significance. Trouble is, very few things can be reduced to such simplicity. Humans, life, and reality itself is far too complex. You can applaud the efforts of science as you draw tentative conclusions. But you should never lose sight of how easily those conclusions can be overturned. 

Those who rely upon science as the be-all and end-all generally do just that. Upon reaching a conclusion, they circle the wagons and decry new or contrarian evidence as ‘fake news.’ 

Humans don’t have the integrity to handle science. It is not a moral failing, but it is built into how we are, as the cake-fruit experiment shows. To be sure, moral failings can and do exacerbate the problem, and ours is an age of much moral flexibility. The staunchest proponents of science never seem to notice when money trumps their science. 

There was once a more modest time when medicine was called the ‘healing arts.’ Today it is called ‘evidence-based science.’ The first is a recognition that life is far too complex to imagine its individual components can be isolated and played against one another. The first allows for all laudable human attributes to come into play, not just deduction, but also intuition, empathy, even (or perhaps particularly) love. The second eliminates all these things for cold thought. Nothing wrong with cold thought in itself, but to elevate it over all else creates vulnerability and allows for the baser qualities of humans to rise.

Is it not a bi-product of the evolutionary “science” that is abiogenesis, the idea that life could arise on its own? If you realize life could not do that, you maintain a certain awe of it. If you think it can, you say, “Well, how hard can it be? If blind chance can bring about life, culled only by natural selection, just think what can be done if focused powers of deliberate engineering are brought to bear!”

Thus, scientists are unafraid to tinker with what any godly person would have the common sense to stay far away from. ‘Gain-of-function’ research becomes a nifty tool of of scientific endeavor. Then when it unleashes an unnatural pandemic—that is when such human inventions escape the lab, they do what morally depraved people have done since the beginning of time. They muddy the waters to hide what they’ve done. We are all undone by the modern “worship” of science.

***Yikes! all you who merrily reproduce Far Side cartoons. Look what I’ve just spotted on Wikipedia:

“Since 1999, Larson has objected to his work being displayed on the internet, and has been sending takedown notices to owners of fan websites and users posting his cartoons.[25] In a personal letter included with the requests, Larson claimed that his work is too personal and important to him to have others "take control of it".[26][25] In 2007, he also published an open letter on the web to the same effect.[27] Larson has been criticized for not providing a legitimate online source for the Far Side series and negatively compared to cartoonists who have embraced the internet.[28]”

He wishes you wouldn’t.

***Visit the Amazon bookstore:

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of November 1, 2021

Public talk;

The speaker intros with how the sauces he has cooked up since retiring had a learning curve before reaching eatability. It is an intro for his talk on marriage. Is there a recipe book on marriage, he asks, as he goes on to focus on love and respect.


Uh oh. Proverbs 27:15, ‘A quarrelsome wife is like a constantly leaking roof.’   I wouldn’t know, of course

Sometimes on these marriage talks they feel obliged to give counsel to husbands, and of course I zone out on this as it is clearly irrelevant. But when the talk turns to council for wives, I make sure the good dame is paying close attention.

That reference to the video of the couple arriving home, the husband turns on the game, and the wife gets upset because he is not listening does not apply to me at all because I rarely watch the game…..1/2

Probably they have in mind that elder I love to tease, the worst speaker in the circuit, if not the world, who follows me here on Twitter, so I try to make it worth his while….2/2

“There’s not many women in this book. It’s my bad and I feel embarrassed over it. It’s not an intentional slight on my part, nor does it reflect a lesser role for women. Rather, it’s a frank admission that I really don’t know much about that species. Better to stick with what I know.

“The only thing I really know about women is that if you have one in the car when you are driving, you will swelter, even though it is cool outside; she will not permit the windows lowered because she doesn’t like the breeze. And if she spots electrical outlets in the house, she will block them with heavy pieces of furniture. And if your TV antenna is pulling in stations, she will move it to where it does not because it looks nicer there. And if you are doing a job – any job! – she will follow along behind to tell you what you have missed. And if she says ‘Fine! Just Fine!’ she means exactly the opposite! But outside of these few facts, I know nothing about women at all.”….From ‘Tom Irregardless and Me’….. Also Amazon for print version.

Abraham asked the same question SIX TIMES! but God dignified him by hearing him out, the speaker says, advising its not a bad idea to do the same ourselves.


#Watchtowerstudy article 35….‘Treasure Our Faithful Older Ones’. Theme verse: “Gray hair is a crown of beauty.”​—PROV. 16:31.   SONG 138 Beauty in Gray-Headedness

Para 4 reminded me of that Sam Herd talk included in Tom Irregardless and Me (Two chapters are entitled ‘Sam Herd’) emphasizing how the old have opportunity and obligation to pass on their insight to the young. ….1/2

It ends with something like, ‘But what if you are out of sorts and don’t feel like passing on any wisdom?’  ‘Well, then, just sit there are look happy,’ Sam says……2/2

Para 6. Here are three examples, Moses, Daniel, and particularly John, whose main contribution only begins when they are older—John writing a gospel and three letters in his 90’s.

Para 10. No, its not in the paragraph, but the topic reminded me of a deceased bro, under frequent assault in the WWII years and thus defending himself, “We used to stack them up like cordwood.” Not exactly what you would expect.

Para 11: Also mentioned was the one time CO, now in a old age home, who studies with one resident and has 7 tuning in with him to Zoom meetings.

Para 12 Also reminded of Wardell ages ago, supposedly on death’s doorstep, who popped up like a teenager when I visited him in the hospital. “It’s been a good life,” he told me. “You really think it’s worth it?’ he told the hospital people, “try to pump new life into these old bones?” “A little disappointed, though….I was hoping to see the fireworks.”


Midweek meeting Bible reading is Joshua 18-19

They just may have been tired, one sis says about Jos 18:1-3. Fudge the cleanup time or the details you don’t know. Yeah, I know that from many a project. #midweekmeeting

Most think it entirely appropriate that big business should handle production and distribution of the word of God. The JW organization invents an entirely new channel so that the fellow in a developing country isn’t stuck with some 200 year old turkey of a translation….1/2

he can neither afford nor understand…..2/2

I see why it’s done, but I kind of liked the old take on Ezekiel 23. Another reason to move on, though—wouldn’t you need a third sister for Orthodox?

Okay okay, so they were weeds when they began. (Matthew 13:24-30) At no time were they wives, faithful or not.

Concluding announcements: Personal decisions during the pandemic. Each family head must decide, this includes whether to socialize in person. reflect reasonableness & regard for sanctity of life. Respect decisions of others, recognizing each will carry his own load. Gal 6;5

Some have had good success witnessing informally. Use good sense, your comfort level, comfort level of who you speak wtih



Do you get the impression that we don’t know too much about angels and that they interacting with humans must be a sideline for them?   ‘I’ve got this salvage op going on a project that started well till the Head Villain threw a wrench into it and so now…’.  ‘Sure, I can help with that,’ they say, but there must be plenty more they do that we don’t know about.

…I explained the daylight saving facts of life to my dog, and how it meant mealtime would be delayed hour. It didn’t go well.   But why? it kept whining.   “Because, Just because,” was all I could offer in reply.

Yikes! The text for the day would work well on the leather jackets of a motorcycle gang: “We are going to destroy this place.”​—Gen. 19:13.

I mentioned to that fellow in the dog park how the Bible is sort of like the owner’s manual for the product that is us. And that it helps us better to cope with hassles as we wait for God to bring about his better world of ‘thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’

I mean, Jehovah knows a lot of people. He could have had his son born in the Jerusalem Hyatt if he was one to swoon over money.

Certain family members entering pioneer school soon. I offered to help them with homework by building a full-scale ark diagram in the back yard. Will that help?

The bro who conducts the last part is the bro with whom I used to joke years ago about how easy it was if you were a Babylonian to get dismembered and have your home turned into a public privy. (which no one wants) #Dontcrosstheking

Nothing will get a decent person infuriated more than animal abuse. Maybe it’s quasi-instinctive. Our commission specifically is to care for all thing of the earth, have it in subjection. In animal abuse lies the most blatant trashing of that commission.

grumble grumble…..that stupid dog came up to me an hour after its supper. Somehow it got into its head that it needed a booster dose.

“You were making ‘Roll Over Beethoven” on the piano that time. Stay away from that!…..On the solo, he was making Roll Over Beethoven. Stay away from that one!” - Chuck Berry (interrupting take 2, just prior to take 3 of Johnny B Goode.

The apocryphal books are okay to see what others have thought from ancient times. By degrees I get into some of them. They’re all speculative. Wasn’t the Book of Enoch the source for that recent Noah movie that I didn’t see? One local brother did and came away sputtering on how it didn’t follow the Genesis narrative at all. How he could have expected it to is beyond me. But at least it was based on something other than Hollywood, and maybe it is preferable to moviemakers taking the actual biblical account and mangling it the way you know they would, with Noah popping a head Nephilim in the nose and getting the pretty girl.

A beaut: “Why is the Christian religion the only one to need a mascot to sell their stuff? [Easter Bunny] You don’t see Jewish people celebrating with the Passover Kangaroo. Or the Ramadan Rooster.”

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Gain-of-Function Research. Evolutionist Assumptions to Kill us All.

Gain-of-function research is a euphemism for taking something harmless in nature and making it harmful, maybe in order to make a bio weapon, maybe to make a vaccine against one, or maybe for who-can-say what reasons. Newsweek, back in April 2020, reported on U.S—China collaboration over such research. Peter Breggin, a doctor better known as an advocate of psychiatric drug reform, traced it back still further. U.S. government agencies denied it. Dr. Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, even did so before Congress. But recently the National Institutes of Health acknowledged it. “‘I told you so,’ doesn’t even begin to cover it,” said the Senator who had first made the charge.

Dr. Breggin has recently branched out from psychiatric reform to tackle the question of just how the pandemic arose. “How do researchers determine if a virus found in nature can become a pathogen, i.e., “bind to human cells?” The laboratory scientists engineer it into a pathogen and use their success to claim it could also emerge naturally from nature—a conclusion which makes no sense,” he says in his book Covid 19 and the Global Predators

Why does it make no sense to him?

Engineering a benign virus into a lethal one is a complex time-consuming, highly technical process, thereby making an accidental change of that sort in nature extremely unlikely.” he says.

It makes no sense to me, either. Next paragraph of his book, he repackages and runs the claim through again: “When the researchers…believe they have made coronaviruses capable of producing a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in humans…they absurdly claim that natural selection is likely to do the same thing! and use that claim to scare us into giving them further amounts of our taxes to support their dangerous Frankenstein-like activities.

It is dumb as dumb can be. But are these researchers disingenuous in suggesting that natural evolution might do what they could do only with the most painstaking effort? Or do they really believe it? Breggin seems convinced they are disingenuous. I think they really believe it.

The reason I think they really believe it is found in a Watchtower publication, The Origin of Life—Five Questions Worth Asking. Evolutionists who think the living cell arose spontaneously through natural selection try to test their theory by building one themselves.  Only ‘Five Questions’ has the common sense to observe:

Similarly, if scientists ever did construct a cell, they would accomplish something truly amazing —but would they prove that the cell could be made by accident? If anything, they would prove the very opposite, would they not?”

Evolutionists think it here too! If they can design it, that must mean it could come through evolution! It is also, as Breggin says, “a conclusion which makes no sense.” It is the reason one must always go easy putting faith in science. In the midst of genuine research comes an assumption so blindingly dumb as to contaminate whatever follows! Moreover, in Watchtower’s brochure, the assumption just puts egg on the face of the scientists. In the current gain-of-function application, it threatens to kill us all!

To sum up: “The work entailed risks that worried even seasoned researchers. More than 200 scientists called for the work to be halted….[since] it increased the likelihood that a pandemic would occur through a laboratory,” per the Newsweek article. Obama banned it. Trump, after initially permitting it, also banned it—probably the only thing the two have ever agreed upon! What emboldens researchers to do end runs around the bans of two presidents and perform the risky research anyway? Their overarching belief in evolution.

Senator Paul made the point as to its dangers, he who tweeted ‘I told you so’ about the gain-of-function admission. It’s not so much that government health agencies were lying, he says. Rather: “Right now we have a virus where the whole world has been turned on its head, it has a 1% mortality. Can you imagine if they create something in a lab that has a 15% mortality or 50% mortality? Some of the viruses they have been experimenting with in Wuhan have 50% mortality.” Evolutionists threaten all humanity when they act on their assumptions.

Interestingly, the NIH letter admitting to gain-of-function research did not use the term, “though the work he described matches its commonplace definition precisely,” says the National Review writer. Of course! It is like when I was asked if nighttime employees really sleep on the job. I replied I had never seen one do that. However I had seen them engage in activity that so closely resembled sleep that it was impossible to tell the difference.

Changing definitions can get you out of many a jam. Even Xi Jinping insists that the government he heads in China is democratic. All you need to do is change your definition of democratic to see it that way. And don’t get me started on how the C-word has changed over the years to target unpopular groups. It once was the case that if you fell under the spell of a charismatic leader, withdrew from society, and began doing strange things, you just might be a member of a cult. These days, simply following Jesus in being “no part of the world” is enough to trigger the hated word.

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To Jab or Not to Jab: That is the Question—Part 2

“We know it can be difficult to make a wise decision when there are various opinions and conflicting reports that the world provides, perhaps making it hard to know what to believe,” said Stephen Lett on jw.org. Boy, he sure got that right!

There have been adverse reactions to Covid vaccines. How common are they? One in a hundred or one in a million? How serious are they? Like stubbing your toe? Or like being struck by lightening? These are the questions that matter. You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to find answers to them, but it is. So Bethel tells what it knows, which is not everything, but it does fill in a lot of blanks.

They tell of those they find easiest to track—fellow Bethelites and special full-time servants—22,000 of the first and 44,000 of the second who have gone ahead with vaccination. Of the 66,000, four reported “severe adverse reactions that may be linked” to the vaccine. Those four are now all “stable and their conditions under control.”

These “statistics have been collected by our brothers, so we can trust these figures,” Lett says. And we can. It’s not a scientific study. It’s data. As data, it may be better than a scientific study. Alas, “follow the science” has become a joke these days, with everyone spinning it their preferred way and calling it “the science.” We have all learned from experience that if one study doesn’t go our way, just hold out for the next one that may.

Four out of 66,000 works out to .006%. I wouldn’t want to be that in that .006% but it seems pretty unlikely I would be. How much comfort I would take in my condition being “stable and under control” would depend upon just what that condition was. But doesn’t it roughly correspond to the odds of being struck by lightning or going down in a plane crash? In a world of 8 billion people you can find countless examples of anything. 

At Bethel they are Bible-only people, and they are chomping at the bit to get back to their sole reason for being. Their special mandate is to prepare and distribute the spiritual food. Covid-19 just gets in their way. Take the vaccine and be done with it, seems their position. They can look around themselves and see people are not dropping dead once they take it. Might it cause long-term problems down the road? Well, so will Armageddon if left unannounced, so they don’t dare unannounce it. Bro Lett concludes with the line, using gestures peculiarly his, “The coronavirus is not the worst trial to strike out at all mankind and it won’t be the last. We can expect things to deteriorate even further as these last days march on till their end.”

In this eighth Governing Body update since Covid-19 began, he also relates some disaster relief efforts and introduces the next year’s text: “Those seeking Jehovah will lack nothing good.” (Ps 34:10) They are putting the pandemic behind them. Were lockdowns the answer and had the world followed their lead, Covid-19 would be a distant memory by now, since they locked down almost immediately. Been there, done that, they say of lockdown, it’s time to move on. They invite everyone to “get behind” them, which led one bro to say, “get behind them in what?” Take the vaccine is the first interpretation that comes to mind.

I admit this has not gone down the way I thought it would—you can’t always get your way. Several months ago, it was ‘vaccination is a health care matter and we do not presume to choose for others on such things.’ Later the statement was made that Witnesses were not anti-vaccine, apparently to counter the impression of some that they were, and it was pointed out some at Bethel have chosen to accept the vaccine. Then that “some” turned out to be just about everyone—99% in the U.S! It’s ‘pedal to the metal’ time there. You are not allowed to do stuff without the vaccine. You are allowed to do stuff with it. So they take it and move on. If it hasn’t gone down the way I thought it would, it has gone down in a way to get things done, so maybe I should have figured it. 

Now, the trouble with all this, if there is one, is that you may suspect the Bethel brothers haven’t looked deeply into what’s cautionary of the vaccine. It is a downside of being single-minded. Do you suspect they just monitor media that ardently cheers the one hand and does all in its power to proclaim Tevye-like that “there IS no other hand”—which satisfies them because they want to get back to serious work?

If there’s one thing Witnesses are convinced of, it’s that this whole system of things is going down. Whoever looks aside from the plow is not well-suited for the kingdom of God—you know they’re not going to forget that Luke 9:62 verse. If one set of scoundrels isn’t driving the whole world into this ditch, then another set is driving it into that ditch. Who cares about winning a shoving match with Big Pharma or the conniving globalists? Losing out to the “normal” ungodly state of things is just as bad, and that’s what the pharma and globalist enemies want to get back to.

Of course, Bethel will never tell people to get vaccinated. They will not forget that “we are fellow workers for your joy” and not “masters over your faith.” (2 Corinthians 1:24) They will remember well: “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls.” But they will lead by example, and this they are doing.

Maybe it’s because I hang out online a lot that I have come across a lot of friends aghast that the organization would so quickly embrace the Covid vaccine. Some of these friends are not listening to “the voice of strangers,” but they have vetted those strangers to separate the relative sheep from goats. They know, or at least they think they know, that Covid 19 responds readily to early treatment with mostly cheap (though increasingly hard-to-get) drugs). They cheer when the Nebraska Attorney General kicks back at the “official” storyline. The doctor who wrote the White House with the medical regimen that quickly cured Trump thinks there will one day be the equivalent of Nuremberg trials for those who let hundreds of thousands die by discrediting and even withholding treatment of an eminently treatable disease.

Moreover, their concern on vaccines is for long-term safety. Short term safety appears okay, per the Bethel stats, but on the long term these “hesitant” ones are dubious. They’re not moved by official promises of safety. They know that Vioxx was perfectly “safe” until the day it was pulled from the market to reveal a phalanx of Pharma lawyers empowered to beat away all its injured customers. They know the new vaccines are not like the old vaccines that when you took them it meant you didn’t get the disease. They don’t think they’re safe.

Some of these hesitant ones feel arm-twisted. Bethel explicitly says no one should be made to feel arm-twisted, but they feel it nonetheless. It is simply the nature of peer-pressure. One local bro reminds all at the meeting how we ought submit to government mandates, apparently misunderstanding that there are no government mandates in the US at present, but only a mandate that certain employers fire those unvaxxed. Feel strongly enough about the issue to walk away from your job and you have violated no mandate. Another speaks of how “our loyalty and obedience really allows us to get back together,” implying that those not onboard are disloyal and disobedient.

Relax. Not to worry. The game is the same, its just up on another level. If the concern is one of safety, a whole different set of Bible principles come into play. Nobody would dispute that Jehovah’s Witnesses are among the most safety-conscious in the world. And with safety principles on the front burner, even ‘obey the superior authorities’ principles begins to fade. Madame Moaaga pointedly did not obey the secular authority when she convinced herself that obedience to them would cause her harm.

These things happen. It’s human nature. Nothing to get all excited about. Indeed, if meetings should open with vax requirements and without a Zoom option , or even if there is a Zoom option, just how far will people go in sticking to their conscientious guns? It is a question some are asking of themselves.

As much as we are concerned about safety these days, what if someone does research and concludes they can best stay safe by relying upon distancing and other preventative measures? Stand your ground, if you think best, but be respectful standing it. That way you become an informed voice on something that is not the specialty of the Bethel brothers. So long as you do not get strident over it, who knows? In the event you are on to something, maybe they will one day take some pointers from you. In the event you are not, maybe you will take some pointers from them.

“Get behind the Governing Body” the bro said in Update #7, but get behind them in what? How about get behind them in remaining undistracted from the main mission? Don’t let it become our new cause, for we already have one. That is something everyone can agree on, and it doesn’t call for any decision as to vaccination. Through Zoom, informal, letters, phone & other non-contact means, many have proven to themselves that they can yet have a meaningful share in the ministry regardless of vaccination status. Research the matter all you want, for those so inclined, in case you’re cursed with being one of those high-information people who has to know everything about everything, but don’t become emotionally divided. You don’t want to be distracted from the good news.

See: To Jab or Not to Jab: Part 1

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of October 11, 2021

Public Talk today: “Jehovah is a Secure Height for this People”…“We’re living in the midst of an unpredicted an unpredictable pandemic,” the speaker says as part of his intro.

This is the talk that considers Psalm 94 verse by verse. “O god of vengeance shine forth, repay to the haughty what they deserve,” (vs 2) and there is a reference to a particular atrocity in Russia—they all get play on jw.org, where they are picked up by others. None are done in a corner.

“How long will the wicked, O Jehovah, How long will the wicked continue to exult? They babble and speak arrogantly…They crush your people, O Jehovah, And oppress your inheritance. …They say: “Jah does not see; The God of Jacob does not take notice of it.” (3-7)

“The One who made the ear, can he not hear? The One who formed the eye, can he not see? The One correcting the nations, can he not reprove? He is the One who imparts knowledge to people! Jehovah knows the thoughts of men, That they are but a mere breath. (9-11)

“For Jehovah will not forsake his people, Nor will he abandon his inheritance.  For judgment will once again be righteous, And all the upright in heart will follow it.” (14-15)

“When I said: ‘My foot is slipping,’ Your loyal love, O Jehovah, kept supporting me. When anxieties overwhelmed me, You comforted and soothed me.” (18-19) “The point is that Jehovah’s greater than our hearts,” the speaker says.

“Can a throne of corruption be allied with you while it is framing trouble in the name of the law? They make vicious attacks on the righteous one…..But Jehovah will become a secure refuge for me, My God … will make their wicked deeds come back upon them. (21-23)


Today’s #WatchtowerStudy: “Strengthen Your Faith in the Creator”….Theme scripture: “Faith is . . . the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen.”​

Para 3: “….To help us, this article will discuss (1) why many do not believe in a Creator, (2) how you can build your faith in Jehovah, your Creator, and (3) how you can keep that faith strong.”

Para 4: “Some people think that having faith means believing in something without proof. But according to the Bible, that is not real faith.”(Read Hebrews 11:1 ….. [but] is based on convincing evidence. (Heb. 11:3) What convinces one may not convince another. Don’t worry about it.

With but some prep, you can turn that parade of ascending thugs around and march them right back into the slime from which they came—or even another slime.


Para 7: We live in a world of division, where the majority team gets the ball and tries to run the opposition off the road, as though it did not exist. Examine the opp, though, and you may come to think it makes more sense. Such can be said of creation.

Para 11 It is such a good series, ‘Was it designed?’ …Just try examining the intricate feats and behaviors of living things and insist they came about haphazardly. Just try it….https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/science/was-it-designed/

I love this statement from https://www.jw.org/en/library/books/origin-of-life-5-questions/  “Similarly, if scientists ever did construct a cell, they would accomplish something truly amazing —but would they prove that the cell could be made by accident? If anything, they would prove the very opposite, would they not?

Joe contrasts the wisdom of created things with gadgets he has purchased. ‘What kind of an idiot would design this?’ he says….then adds, ‘and what kind of an idiot would purchase it.’

Para 20: “At that time Jesus said in response: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to young children.” Just how does he do that?

Joshua 10-11, the assigned Bible passage for this week’s #midweek meeting.

Great hailstones from the sky, each like a huge spike virus….“In fact, more died from the hail than from the sword of the Israelites.” Jos 10:11.  Well, THAT part is true.

Hmm. “Or he can let the movement of the earth and the moon remain undisturbed while refracting the rays from the sun and the moon in such a way that the light from these two luminaries continues to shine.” Hadn’t thought of that. (Jos 10:13)

What is this Book of Jashar that nobody needs to know about? ….“the Book of the Upright or the Book of the Just Man,” per the literal meaning, says Wikipedia. A collection of writings of the time.

“There has never been a day like that one, either before it or after it, when Jehovah listened to the voice of a man, for Jehovah was fighting for Israel.” Jos 10:14. The student from Myanmar drew this reading & conveyed real urgency & nailed all the unpronouncible words.

Huh. Once again, “she mentioned to her roommate how she had tried to invite her student…” It’s not her roommate, it’s her Mom. But I’ve heard others say roommate, too. Could I be wrong? #IDontThinkSo [Alas, I am]

“Those seeking Jehovah will lack nothing good.” Psalm 34:10…As a year text, I like it.

“The coronavirus is not the worst trial to strike out at all mankind and it wont be the last. We can expect things to deterioute even further as these last days march on till their end,” says Bro Lett.

“The circuit overseer sometimes gives strong counsel to the elders” as he leaves, said one sis. It reminds me of long ago when Andy left & I said is this like that meeting when weeping breaks out because they will see his face no more? (Acts 20:38) …1/2

“Well, if any tears are shed,” he said, “it won’t be for that reason.”…2/2

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When Did Satan Go Bad? According to John Milton

What is mortal man that you keep him in mind?” the psalm says. “You made him a little lower than godlike ones [angels]” Psalm 8:5

The fallen angel from John Milton’s 1667 poem, Paradise Lost, plots revenge with his fellow fallees. All of them are smarting at being cast out of heaven. He tells of a rumored secondary creation of God, only “somewhat inferior” to themselves, only a little lower. ‘Maybe we can sabotage them,’ he suggests at the supernatural counsil. It’s pure revenge. What better to get back at the God who cannot be outpowered? That new human creation God says will be made in his image, so that when he looks at them he sees himself? Maybe it can be made into Satan’s mutinous image instead.

Does the Bible state the Devil was already cast out from the heavens at this point and was thereby plotting his revenge? Or was it his ruining the human race that caused his ousting? The Book doesn’t rule out the first, through it doesn’t specifically say it either. Since it doesn’t specifically say it, Watchtower publications play it safe. They confine themselves to what it does specifically say and indicate the ousting came after the fall in Eden. John Milton, however, speculates that Satan, chief of the outcasts, had been outcast for some time. Their rebellion against God, and punishment, was a done deal prior to Adam’s creation.

In Paradise Lost, Satan’s scheme to ruin Jehovah’s newest creation wins wide approval with the debased horde. They have nothing much up their sleeve anyway. One of the more warlike fallen angels bearing the name of a warlike deity wants to counterattack and fight till the probable death; anything is better than the place of torment they have been banished to. One of the more timid fallen angels suggests that they should just do nothing, for if they fight further against God maybe their punishment will be even more severe. Nobody thinks they can defeat God. His almighty status his accepted by all.

There’s plenty of speculation in Paradise Lost. If you’re going to dramatize Bible accounts, you have to do that to some extent; the Book is scarce with details in many a place. That’s why the ‘bad attitude’ kid in the new Daniel movie catches the apple from that hussy and his expression all but says, “Whoa—They don’t do that back home! I could get used to this!” while Daniel and loyal friends continue grim-faced in their resolute march. It’s filler. Make it consistent with the overall theme and you should be okay.

But can you do it to the extent Milton does? The Witness organization speaks favorably of John Milton. He is one of the “good guys.” He knows God’s intention was [and is] for a paradise earth. He also sees through the Trinity doctrine. He knows that when a person dies, the soul dies as well. He gets all this because he is a diligent student of the scriptures. I don’t see where his “filler,” massive though it is, is inconsistent with the overall Bible theme.

His portrayal of the snake talking to Eve resounds to me even better than ours. ‘Like a ventriloquist throwing his voice’ is how JW publications have put it. Well, okay, but don’t you think coming across a talking snake would really confound a person? Everything is new to Eve in those early days, so maybe she just takes it in stride, but even so… I like Milton’s account better—even if you can’t go beyond what is written.


Don’t worry, I won’t be starting a new sect over it. Exactly when rebellion began is not something you start a sect over. But I like it better that Satan ruins the first human pair as an act of revenge rather than a package of little premeditation. Yes, I’ve explained that James 1:14-15 passage of “being drawn out and enticed by his own desire,” [in Satan’s case, a desire for prominence, even worship]. “Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn sin, when it has been carried out, brings forth death.” It gets the job done. But there is not the prerequisite hatred in that explanation as there is in Milton’s poem, and the ruining of Adam and Eve seems such a hateful act.

Milton relates that in response to Eve’s surprise the snake attributes its speaking ability to eating from the tree of knowledge! Formerly, it was just a dumb snake. Now it can speak! And he dangles the prize before her that ‘If eating off that tree did this for me, just think of what it will do for you!’ No temptation could be more enticing.

He is a liar and the father of the lie. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition. (John 8:44) There is a lie right within his first question, a recent speaker pointed out. It is a lie calculated to engender discontent: “Did God really say that you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” so as to implant the idea of, “Wow, he won’t let you guys do anything!” It finds its counterpart today in those who carry on about what those in the faith won’t do, stretching it to convey that they can’t do anything, as though the guard rails of the highway are in reality a strait jacket to stifle human freedom.


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