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Video Vignettes Taylor Made for Current Persecution in Russia

I like how the current video vignettes at JWBroadcasting are taylor-made for the persecution right now taking place in Russia, though they were first shown at the Regional Conventions worldwide and had to have been in the pipeline for at least a year prior. It is not now at the extreme depicted in the videos, but it could easily become so, and has been that way in times past. The Russian brothers are being fortified with spitiual food at the proper time. Not to mention that, if shaming does any good, the current authorities are being shamed before the world for backing/permitting what is going on.

How many clips are there? Five? Six? But three dealing with persecution: 1) the friends jump when there is pounding at the door, only to find it is not the police this time, 2) Sergei arrives home to find the police have beaten up his dad, 3) Sergei gets five years in prison, which he can avoid if he renounces his faith. All themes that have played out in various places at various times with Jehovah's people.

The vignettes are such a great way to do conventions, by the way. It used to be talks supplemented by demonstrations. But now it is talks supplemented by sequential videos, until it dawns upon you that the videos are the main story and the talks are supplemental. There are some very talented people in the teaching department.

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Tom Irregardless and Me                 No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

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)

Police Dog Needed to Catch Old Crooks and Crooks Who Walk Funny

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 Whoa! I get a cool undercover police car!

 

 

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Here comes my new partner.

 

 


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Meet Officer Bittem 

 

 

 

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  Suspect identified. He's a nasty looking one!

 

 

 

 

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I've got him trapped, Officer Bittem! I'll cover the escape route. You go down there and cuff him!

 

Tom Irregardless and Me    No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash 

 

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)

A Fine Book Review from Ivor E. Tower

Authors like reviews. I received a very kind and lengthy review of Tom Irregardless and Me from Ivor E. Tower. Authors are grateful for a review of one or two lines. Mr. Tower goes several paragraphs and illuminates some of the ‘Tom Irregardless and Me’ characters. He is a non-Witness scholar who has written extensively about Jehovah’s Witnesses and his real name is recognizable to studious readers of Watchtower material:

“Tom Harley’s Tom Irregardless and Me has been described as “a romping and riotous defense of Jehovah's Witnesses and their place in today’s world.” This really sums up the book, which is a light-hearted look at numerous aspects of the Watch Tower Society from the perspective of a practicing Jehovah’s Witness in the US.

“To the outsider, Jehovah’s Witnesses may seem deadly serious and preoccupied exclusively with their religion and the Society’s own publications. Harley dispels this stereotype. The book is about real people and issues, although the author has changed the names of rank-and-file members to preserve name anonymity. Tom Irregardless is an elder who uses the spurious word “irregardless” liberally in his Bible talks. Other characters include John Wheatnweeds, who hinders members from their house-to-house ministry by spending inordinate amounts of time expounding the text of the day before they set out. Then there is posh brandy-sipping Bernard Strawman, who receives frequent visits from the publishers, but continues to raise facile objections to their faith. Vic Vomidog, an apostate, repeatedly seeks to hamper their work. Other chapters are about real JW celebrities such as Prince, who is the subject of an entire chapter.

“Despite being light-hearted throughout, Tom Harley raises serious issues such as flag salutes, Darwinism and creationism, theocratic government, the paedophile scandals and the dangers of online grooming of minors, and the accuracy of the New World Translation of the Bible. Tom shows a remarkable breadth of knowledge and reading too – he has by no means exclusively studied Watch Tower publications.

“My favourite part of the book was the parody of Mickey Spillane near the end, where Tom Harley envisages a house-to-house publisher acting like one of Spillane’s macho characters. For those who don’t know, Spillane was a novelist whose books were renowned for their sex and violence, until Spillane converted to become a Jehovah’s Witness in 1951 – a decision that drastically changed his writing style.

“Tom Hartley states that he hopes Tom Irregardless is “entertaining but serious at heart”. This sums up the book well. It’s a good read, while providing valuable insights into life as a JW.”

I’m very grateful to Mr. Tower. They line up around the block for a recognized name like John Grisham or Stephen King, but it is extraordinary difficult for a new writer to break into the ranks. ‘Recall how many books you have purchased in the past year from a totally unknown writer,” one source advises. “Now you know why you should not become an author."

I was a little worried at first that JW opposers, who can be quite nasty, would try to sink my infant book with horrid reviews, like Herod and the infants of Jerusalem. But now, even if that were to happen, I would draw the contrast between those and 8 glowing reviews and say something like: 'that says it all,' putting it where it first catches the eye. It might even help the book.

Tom Irregardless (1)

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)

I was away and my brother took my stamp collection! He just took it, transferring my stamps into his album.

I was away and my brother took my stamp collection! He just took it, transferring my stamps into his album. I had to take them back.
 
This is the same brother that smashed out the headlights of my Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. I had just pulled into the family driveway, parking right behind our station wagon. As I pulled the car keys from the ignition, I saw the backups lights ahead come on and the wagon shot into me like a North Korean missile launch.
 
This is the same Karmann Ghia that I drove in service as a pioneer and nearly froze solid because there was absolutely no heat in the car, which was typical of all VWs then. So I wondered if I could somehow rig up a kerosene heater inside. But when I tried to fire it up (outside the car) it shot out a foot-long flame. It looked as though I was sacrificing to the gods. No wonder people think we are nuts. IMG_4134
 
These are the same nuts that Davey the Kid thought he might be able to help when he became a shrink. "Poor Davey," I would lament. "He always thought half of us were nuts. Now that he's a shrink, he finds that even the half he thought were sane - they're nuts, too.
 
This is the same Davey the Kid whose story is told in the afterword of 'Tom Irregardless and Me.'
 
 
This is also the same Karrmann Ghia, or one just like it, that was used as the model car for the video on creation that we all saw at the mid-week meeting.
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)

A Joyous Pig Bucket Brigade

From the book: No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

They had a barn fire in Russia in the dead of winter – isn’t it always winter over there? – and firefighters saved 150 pigs.  Find it online. Watch the firefighers joyously tossing piglets to each other in a bucket pig brigade. See? They rescue piglets over there just like we would rescue them here. Focus on the people, not the governments.

All the government wants is to maintain public order, and there are different ideas about how to do that. While they’re at it they preserve their own interest.  But people do that everywhere. The Bible used the metaphor of the heavens to represent ancient governments. The heavens would drench you with rain, scorch you will sun, freeze you will sleet, and there wasn’t a thing you could do about. It is not so different today.

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)

Put Your Things Away When You Are Done With Them, @AAFO4ever!

Put your things away when you are done with them! Someone could trip. My mother told me this countless times. Why didn’t @AAFO4ever’s mother tell him the same?

He landed his plane on the runway. Well, okay. Then he put it on the taxiway. Well, I can’t fault him for that. But then he just LEFT IT THERE! Airport-1209575_1280

Harrison Ford could have been killed! He tried to land on the taxiway and almost hit the plane that stupid @AAFO4ever hadn’t put away! Now do you see why putting your things away is so important, @AAFO4ever?

Look, we must all act together to protect our celebrity national treasures, because when they are gone they are gone. “A scary moment for Harrison Ford," CBSThisMorning said. They didn’t mention you or your 130 passengers. Who cares about them? Passengers can be replaced, @AAFO4ever, as can you. Boeing can even build you another airplane, but if our celebrities die – well, I don’t know what to say.

Every day I rail at people who should know better to put their things away!  I talk until I’m blue in the face! I don’t know what more I can do.

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Tom Irregardless and Me        No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

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)

Make those Tent Pins Strong

“Make the place of your tent more spacious.

Stretch out the tent cloths of your grand tabernacle.

Do not hold back, lengthen your tent cords,

And make your tent pins strong.”……Isaiah 54:2

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses have proved in recent years that they can put up and take down Kingdom Halls almost as readily as non-Witnesses can put up or take down tents.  So that’s what they are doing.

Back in the day, congregations expanded like independent churches. When members grew in numbers enough in this or that locality, they would build their own Kingdom Hall. But it wasn’t the most efficient way. Some Halls became overcrowded, some remained lightly used or even shrunk.

Since Kingdom Halls all belong to the same God who uses the same organization, these days there is a reshuffling. Some Kingdom Halls are shut down, the members moved to a nearby Hall, so that others can be built where there is more of a need. Thereby dedicated funds are not squandered, but used efficiency.

Sometimes that area of special need is here in the U.S. Other times it is overseas. Jehovah’s Witnesses have a worldwide organization and think nothing of transferring funds where there is the greatest need.

An LDC brother and his wife, who oversee such things, make their home in our congregation. “Don’t cross him,” I tell everybody. “If you do, he will shut down your Kingdom Hall and make you go to another one.”

I was worried about closing any Kingdom Halls. What if you need them later on?  ‘Then they’ll just build another one, like putting up a new tent,’ is of course the answer.

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Tom Irregardless and Me       No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

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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)

It Is Not So Different Than Back in the Day

Futzing along at a meeting, paying rapt attention as always, a tab descends from the top of my iPad and withdraws. 'Georgie likes your photo.' Amused, I slowly turn around. The lad is sitting three rows behind me in the center section.

It's not so different from the old days, when John Dean would peruse Mad Magazine, disguised as a Watchtower magazine.

Photo: Per Olof Forsberg

 

Tom irregardless and Me. No Fake News But Plenty of Hogwash  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)

We Will Not be Able to Do it Perfectly

In the midst of Sunday’s study article on how we might batten down the hatches yet further on wrong conduct, was this frank statement:  ‘We will not be able to do that perfectly.’

No. We will not. Too many beat themselves up trying to do things perfectly. They ought not. Dust yourself off and jump back in the fray anew.

Also from that same study article, considered February 5:

‘For instance, a man tells his boss or fellow workers that he cannot be at work the next day or that he must leave early because he has a “medical” appointment. In fact, his “medical” appointment is merely a brief stop at a pharmacy or a quick visit to the doctor’s office to pay a bill. His real reason for not being at work is so that he can get a head start on a trip or so that he can take his family to the beach. There may have been a grain of truth in his mentioning a “medical” appointment, but would you say that he was being honest? Or was he being deceptive?’

The friends were intrigued over this point and many discussed it at the special Bible study meetings held at individual homes that  night.  Some were distracted, however,   Imageby a football game playing in the background.

Photo: Vic

Tom Irregardless and Me  ***   No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

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)