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December 2016
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It helps me to explain why the doomsday clock says five minutes to midnight and not ten-thirty AM!

Ted Putsch remarked that we really ought to be going. He’d been saying this off and on, but I didn’t want to leave Mr. Strawman in the lurch. I overlooked Ted’s impatience because I knew he was concerned about the car group waiting in the driveway. After all, as teacher, I had taught him to be considerate. As he was making to leave, Bernard Strawman asked: “Tell me, because I really want to understand. Why do you want to think that everything is getting worse? What does that view do for you?”

Image“It helps me to explain why the doomsday clock says five minutes to midnight and not ten-thirty AM!” he said. “I’ll be in the car, Tom,” and he left! Ted Putsch can be so rude. I'll have to help him overcome that. I hope he didn't stumble Mr. Strawman.

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From 'Tom Irregardless and Me' 30% free download

 

No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

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I'm Tired of Their Hate

Trying to seduce the guileless ones, he had said: ‘Pray for our brothers in Russia.’ A noble sentiment, for they are going through hard times. (see 'Russian Legal Update - January, jw.org. Note the restraint and respect our organization shows towards government - a good example) At meetings worldwide, Witnesses this week saw interviews with 12 whose court trial has dragged on for years. They heard of their hardships – emotional, physical, financial –  being drained of everything they have simply for following Christ. A child who thinks perhaps both parents will be sent to prison for worshipping God. A grandparent who thinks he will be, once again. 'At 59, it is too much,' he says. A youngster who cannnot hold a job, as his employer cannot accommodate his frequent absences for court. If they can endure as they have they will completely pour themselves out, as early Christians did, as Paul did, as Jesus did.

But now it’s clear he couldn't care less about our brothers in Russia, or their children, for that matter. ‘Kill them all’ as far as he is concerned. It was all a ruse so as to gain the confidence of trusting ones. There wouldn’t be any brothers in Russia were it not for the organization he despises. They would be all captive to the 'house' church, whose daily text every day is ‘take out the competition.’ They would know nothing about the Bible. He would like it that way. I mean, it’s not as if he represents anyone interested in fulfilling the Christian commission to preach and teach.

It may be that the lying scum will delete his tweet now that it has served its purpose. However, there may be some who have followed him from early on – smelling a rat but unclear how bad the stench would be – who have preserved screenshots, someone like me, for example, who can produce it should the time prove right.

Jesus said of his followers: ‘they will hand you over to local courts.’ and ‘you will be put on stands before governors and kings.’ (Matthew 10:17) Why? Because they want to commend you for your fine work? No. It will be so they can hurl accusations at you and you will have to defend yourself, so as to not make Jesus a liar. The more vile the charge the more it will play with those who hate us.

From time to time representatives of God’s organization have been hauled before courts to answer accusations from ‘governors and kings,’ and will no doubt do so in the future. I’ve never seen a hearing, though I have had opportunity. There is such a thing as loyalty. He so desperately wants you to go there - it oozes from his pores. It's his very reason for existence. That alone is reason not to go there. He's not your friend. I will even go so far as to conjecture, in the face of his begging me to watch it, that our guy had a awkward moment. It is possible in the face of a hostile interrogator. Our guy is not Trump or Hillary, who routinely face assassins. He spends most of his time in a supportive atmosphere. Or maybe it's just another ruse - he's not exactly proven himself a Boy Scout. Maybe our guy knocked it out of the park but the bastard will say anything to get me to see his filth.

‘Happy are you when people…lyingly say every sort of wicked thing about you for my sake,’ Jesus said. (Matthew 5:11) Yes. There is indeed ‘every sort of wicked thing’ being said these days. But I’m not sure how happy the slandered brother is about it.

If the Trump/Hillary endless bickering teaches us anything, it is that 2 Timothy 3:1-5 is this world’s year text every year. People are not open to any agreement. They are fierce. They are slanderers. Even ‘truth’ and ‘lies’ are subjective. Everyone has their own. It is as in Isaiah 5:20. People say what is bad is good and what is good is bad. It is not just true in spiritual matters. It is true in every aspect of life today.

‘I am stronger than you. I thank Heaven for it,’ said Miss Pross to the murderous foreign woman who had pulled a knife on her. ‘It’s game on!’ says Sherlock. I am a livid loose cannon pointing at you. I’m tired of their hate. Imagine – hijacking the photo of a decent man so as to malign him and what he represents.  ‘Have you no shame?’ said the American U.N. ambassador. Expose them at every opportunity. Litigate them whenever possible. ‘Forgive your enemies,’ my rear end. I’ll forgive them when they’re behind bars for identity theft and slander.

If I should appear to go bad, just as our Bethel brother appeared to go bad, know that my identity has been stolen, just as his was stolen, and it may take a while to straighten it out.  It’s a villainous place, that internet.

It's best not to engage with a liar. The way to starve a fire is to withhold fuel. Block him if you like, but definitely report him. On his page, the Twitter toolbox will have a 'Report' option. The sub-menu will say 'they're being abusive or harmful.' The next sub-menu will say 'they're impersonating you or someone else.'

‘Tom Irregardless and Me’ 30% free preview

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Skewer the Liars Who Slander the Christ

Your opening gambit must always be: everyone online is a liar. How can you possibly know who's who? Anyone can pretend to be anyone. Anyone can use anyone else's photo. He'll be found out eventually but in the meantime you must be 'social network smart'

If a GB member was online, he would not include GB in his username , for the phrase does not belong to him alone. He would also not do it without printed or web material stating beforehand he was using a new channel of communication. He would not change his username like a snake - probably to keep one step ahead of whoever. A cover frame on a video is no guarantee as to what's inside. They do indeed have to fend off many accusations.  'Fake News' is a huge topic in the news today and it is seemingly everywhere. One would think deliberately impersonating and defaming another would be punishable by law.

The Internet is not the congregation. You can't have your own personal congregation there. Where is the channel for spiritual food? Where are the elders? Where are the trusted people you know? So anyone you do not know personally you must assume are liars. To be safest, you friend only those you know.  For better or for worse, I will friend brothers I don't know. As long as they behave, they remain friends, for an internet friend and a real friend is not the same. But I don't quickly trust them and what trust I do extend can be withdrawn in a second, for I can't possibly know them as I would somebody in my congregation.

What do the verses say?

'We ask you not to be quickly shaken from your reason nor to be alarmed either...by a letter appearing to be from us' 2 Thes 2:2. Somewhere there is an article about not jumping to conclusions regarding ones who have earned trust. Somebody find it.

'The thief does not come unless it is to steal or to slay or to destroy' John 10:10

The best videos for protecting children are found at JW.org, for children, for example, herefor teens here. C'mon! Can you really think people who make videos like this are soft on child abuse?

This is a fine (at present and so far as I know - to the extent it is correct, it may have been updated) online resource

It's probably well not to speak with a liar. Do not think others have not done so. With someone not a liar you can discuss and persuade, but not with a liar. Witness discussions online about anything - politics, for example. People do not patiently hear the other side out and weigh the issues. No. They are like football fans. They cheer when the home team scores a point. They wince when it incurs a penalty or suffers injury. But at no point do they suppose the other side is anything more than evil incarnate.

Tom Irregardless and Me. 30% free download. 

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

The Babylonian Exile

Image

I never could get my head around our previous take on the Babylonian exile. Or care. I mean, a Bible drama fulfilled in a one-year event?

But the new package revealed Sunday makes so much more sense.

'That new point the Governing Body wrote about?' said Mike Tussen's years ago. 'You may have already noticed that point in your studying. And if this were Christendom, you'd run out and start your own religion over it.'

I know it is probably my bad, but I don't care about these things. What's the present understanding? I'll spin it that way out of loyalty. Should the understanding change someday, I'll spin it the new way. It doesn't affect my basic relationship with Jehovah or his Son.

I don't recommend that attitude, or hold it out as some example. But I just can't get too worked up over such things. They are 'cool' but not essential.

photo: Carla216

Tom Irregardless and Me 30% free preview. After that, we'll talk, your people and mine.

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Persecution in Russia

 

Russia's a nation of laws, just like here, and there's no legal barrier now for those who hate us to shut down the Branch. The brothers lost a critical legal appeal at Moscow City Court.

Putin may not even know about it. He's had a lot on his plate lately.

Places like Russia favor the 'house' church. They don't necessarily believe it, they likely don't, but they favor it because it's a force for national unity. 'What can we do for you?' they ask. 'Take out the competition,' is the reply from the Church.

How could any brother in Russia not think it a remarkable coincidence? The enemies of Jehovah's Witnesses are fully empowered to close Bethel. And at Witness meetings worldwide this week was played the movie about how the Assyrian army was poised to destroy Jerusalem, and in one night a single angel destroyed them all. Yet the movie was made two years ago, and the Bible reading schedule that determines when to play it is many years old! Since it is based on mere sequential Bible reading, it is decades old.

 Hezekiah, the Israelite King, wasn't overconfident. He didn't assume God was going to bail him out - for maybe he wouldn't. He just knew that he was to trust fully in God and remain faithful. But I hate to see the brothers go through more harassment, if not total shut-down. They've been through so much already.

'Hey, remember that angel we dispatched to Jerusalem? I'm impressed with his portfolio. Check on his availability, won't you?' Is there that sort of discussion somewhere?

Will it work that way? Or will world opinion prevail upon leaders there to carry on as every other nation does, Russia being the only nation on earth to ban JW.org. Image It's laughable. The Church makes them look like utter fools before the world. (not to mention it kills us) Nobody can watch JW.org and think it is, even to the tiniest degree, extremist.

Our brothers bear up under persecution when they must, and it often brings honest-hearted (and courageous) people into the fold. People say 'why are they making trouble for the Jehovah's? They're nice people.'

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'Tom Irregardless and Me*  30% free preview. After that, we'll talk, your people and mine.

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

The Groundhog's Day eve Visit of the Great Hog

 

Each year on Ground Hog's day eve, the Great Hog kicks down your front door and pays a visit. Of course, you must have the little children in bed by then, as the vermin has been known to gnaw on children left unattended. Nonetheless, all rejoice at this wonderful event.

The Great Hog, if you are good, will leave chocolates on the floor. Or are they turds? I just sweep them up without checking.

Proving he is indeed magical and mystical, my security system has never detected him. If it had, I would meet him at the door with a shotgun. ImageBut he evades me every year.

Photo: Archer10

Look for the Groundhog's Day release of my 2nd e-book 'No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash' at Smashwords.com.

'Tom Irregardless and Me' available at Smashwords.com Search: Tom Harley. 30% preview is free. Then we'll talk, your people and mine. Should someone want a free coupon b/c budget's tight, email me at truetomharley@gmail.com

bit.ly/2hjSMHE 

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Our Ladies of Diminished Social Responsibility

Putin responded in the Wall Street journal to the sordid charges brought against Trump. “It is hard for me to imagine that he went off to meet with our ladies of diminished social responsibility” Mr. Putin said. Sounds like a bunch of churches, doesn’t it: ‘Our Ladies of Diminished Social Responsibility.’ Not too far afield from Garrison Keillor’s Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility in Lake Wobegone.


Russian prostitutes, Mr. Putin said “are undoubtedly the best in the world, but I doubt that Trump jumped at this bait,” since he has had regular opportunities to meet with gorgeous woman at the beauty pageants he organizes.


Well, oh yeah?! Oh yeah?! OH YEAH?! Your prostitutes are better?


Even me, who is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, politically neutral and thus divorced from nationalism – even me, who was for neither Trump nor Clinton – even me, who doesn’t even root for the home Olympic team – even me has to say ‘enough!’ ‘Our’ prostitutes will clean the clocks of your prostitutes any day! Image

Say that your tanks are better – okay. Say that your bombs are better – okay. But say that your prostitutes are better? Those are fighting words!!


This is not the Beatles ‘Back in the U.S.S.R. we’re talking about:


‘Well, the Ukraine girls really knock me out,
They leave the West behind.
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout.
And Georgia’s always on mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mind!’


As interim chairman of the American Philanderers Association – a post for which I am singularly unqualified, but you know how some people just can’t say no – I throw down the gauntlet and mount a challenge: AN ORGY!! Our prostitutes against yours! We’ll see who the better ladies of diminished social responsibility are! We wrote the book on diminishing social responsibility!
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The new ebook ‘Tom Irregardless and Me’ recognizes when Mr. Putin has been astute, like in 2008 financial crisis:


“The failure of human rule could not have been shown in more stark relief as in that article, with consequences so directly traceable to the human wisdom running the show. Russian President Vladimir Putin was both blunt and harsh:
Everything happening now in the economic and financial sphere began in the United States. This is not the irresponsibility of specific individuals but the irresponsibility of the system that claims leadership.


In 2016 America, all that remained was to Photoshop Putin with horns, gleefully pecking at his keyboard, doing his level best to hack the American election, but it was he who nailed it about unrestrained greed. The 2011 film ‘Inside Job’ expressed dismay that no “specific individuals” were brought to justice:


Charles Ferguson (film director): “Why do you think there isn’t a more systematic investigation being undertaken?”


Nouriel Roubini (professor, NYU Business School): “Because then you will find the culprits.”


Culprits and regulators alike belonged to the same social set and were members of the same country clubs; they had no desire to turn on one another.”
‘’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’
Download ‘Tom Irregardless and Me’ here. 30% free preview. Afterwards we can talk, your people and mine.

photo: Tomas Costelazo 

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Almost Picking Blueberries with a GB Member

For the longest time I confused David Splane with a David (I think) Slutz, with whom I was assigned blueberry picking detail out of Wallkill in perhaps 1976. Someone donated blueberries- pick all you can, and Bethel quickly assembled a crew of 6. I and one other because we were visiting and had nothing else to do; David and 3 others because they had just graduated from Gilead and had nothing else to do. Even now I sometimes think it was Splane, not Slutz, but I'm probably mistaken. We spent several delicious days trading stories, experiences and riddles. The one that sticks is when he told of his volatile student offering his first comment - David braced himself but it wasn't enough. "I want to thank JEHOVAH GOD for sending his servant DAVID SLUTZ to my door to bring me THE WORD OF TRUTH!" David melted into the floor. Image

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Tom Irregardless and Me

Tom Harley loves self-deprecating humor. He also likes the kind of humor where you make fun of yourself. He loves hyperbole. He also likes wild exaggeration to make a point.


He is good at zany storytelling. He is good at explaining Jehovah’s Witnesses. He is not good at anything else. He has combined these three skills to write “Tom Irregardless and Me,” a romping and riotous defense of Jehovah’s Witnesses and their place in today’s world. He knows them well, having been one forever.


www.smashwords.com Search Tom Harley. 30% free preview. Then we'll talk.

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

The Very Gods Do Battle in 'Tom Irregardless and Me'

The very gods do battle in Tom Irregardless and Me: the god of education, the god of qualifications, the god of multi-tasking, the god of football, the god of the adversarial judicial system, the god of the sex offender registry, the god of scientific rigor, the god of blood transfusions.

Take cover while they thrash it out! Will any remain standing? Who cares? They're all morons, anyway.

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Download 'Tom Irregardless and Me' First 30% free preview. Then we'll talk. 

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)