When Putin opens my letter, he will be disheartened. He will see several paragraphs. He will want with all his heart to read it, but he has several million other letters to get through. He will toss the letter.
He will then open the next letter and discover, as he suspected from the envelope, that it is from a child. It includes drawings, one of a sad little girl because Putin is being mean to her nice friends, and one from a happy little girl, because he has had a change of heart. Putin will smile faintly, for everyone loves children. He will put this letter aside. Possibly he will show it to his grandchildren someday.
He will open the next letter. It will also be from me – not the same letter, but worded and reasoned upon completely anew. He will roll his eyes. “Another letter from that windbag Harley,” he will mutter, and toss it in the trash.
How many letters will Putin get? Eight million, at a minimum, as every Witness in the world will write him. They only had to be invited once, and they instantly responded. Putin has never seen anything like it and he will not forget it. It will not necessarily melt his heart. It may make him mad. He has a country to run. He has a world infested with verbal assassins he must stay abreast of. He even has would-be physical assassins, and one of them succeeded in taking out his favorite limosine driver, a no-doubt decent man that I would hang out with were I in the area. So he may not like it that Jehovah’s Witnesses try to flood his Kremlin and paralyze him, like the Dr. Suess king mired in oobleck.
I apologize to him. I really do. Unfortunately, the well-being of my brothers is at stake, and we feel we must get his attention somehow. He is being given bad advice by religionists. If he takes it, he will look like an utter fool on the world stage because nobody can read JW materials, online or in print, and think them extremist. Perhaps he should get mad at those who would maneuver him into such a ridiculous position.
Most likely, the eight million is just for starters. Six addresses are listed. Many Witnesses will send their same letter to all six, bringing the total to – say, 30 million. Yuri will not be jealous that Dmitry received the same letter as he. Some comfortable in writing will compose several letters and send each to all six. Make that 50 million. Then there will be non-Witness, human rights people. These will write in numbers of far less percentage, but there are far more of them. There will be some who don’t like Jehovah’s Witnesses and support the ban. Not to mention outright opposers who will be cheerleaders for him to take harsher measures. Will that bring the total to 60 million? More? Your guess is as good as mine.
Will letters from opposers fool him? I doubt it. He will say: “Look, I can see why Harley would write me, and all his 8 million chums. But what about this loser? Is he pretending he is somehow my friend who would warn me of a great danger? Is he not part of the general world who was last week (in the U.S.) called me a thug and a murderer?”
Putin may have them all sunk at sea and never read one. But he cannot fail to know of their existence and will perhaps wonder: ‘what would the world be like if everyone behaved as do these JWs, transcending national, racial, and social divisions to show loving concern for their spiritual brothers?
The 14 year old girl that hung herself and streamed it live on Facebook, which continued live until cops arrived and shut it off? Which Facebook took down as soon as they became aware, but it was too late because other sources picked it up and would not take it down because their lawyers told them they did not legally have to? The one that the head cop in Georgia just assumed would be taken down upon request, simply out of common decency? Silly him.
That girl had just had her prescription of Zoloft doubled, so said a Florida newspaper. Zoloft, it turns out, has a black box warning at the FDA. It increases the risk of suicides in teenagers. Minors taking it should be watched closely. Do you think her parents (or anyone) were made aware of this? I wouldn’t hold my breath.
It gets more personal, though not more tragic. For a suspected UTI, not an established one, just a ‘maybe,’ my doctor said I ought to take Ciprofloaxin. I don’t like drugs, and if I am taking any, I try to get off them as soon as possible. But a UTI is not a big deal, and the doctor is a competent and likable guy, therefore trusted, and he writes the prescription off so casually, as though he was recommending M&Ms, that I filled the prescription and took 3. (With an antibiotic, you’re supposed to polish them off, one at a time, until the bottle runs out.)
My wife is smart and on top of things. She uncovers things and soon advised me not to take them. Uncharacteristically (just kidding) I listened to her. Like the New York State PSA guy ecstatic that he heeded advice to get his colonoscopy said, I’m so glad I did.
It turns out that Ciprofloaxin has TWO black box warnings. One of them (perhaps both) says you DO NOT take it for a UTI or other minor things. It is a last-ditch Hail Mary recourse to be tried when facing calamitous illness and everything else has failed.
If you go online, you will find experiences that will scare the pants off you. Plenty from individuals, but individuals are individuals. Sometimes they are just big crybabies. Go first to the New York Times.
There you will read of people absolutely and PERMANENTLY ruined by this drug. It tears you up inside, similar to the weapon in some Star Trek episode (or was it a Star Trek movie, for it is almost too nasty for Star Trek the TV show?) that doesn’t just kill you, it tears apart all your guts in doing so. This is not an exaggeration – read the New York Times article. Satisfied that it is genuine, then search out the individual stories online without concern that they are just whiners who are carrying on. Those pants that were scared off you and that you put on again? They will not only be scared off you once more, they will disintegrate.
The New York Times is ever so deferential toward the drug’s maker (far more than I am going to be) because it is Big Pharma and Big Pharma loves us and pulls our bacon out of the fire routinely. I don’t share that love.
If my Chevy is in danger of a nut wobbling loose, GM will tell me. They will not just tell me once. They will nag me about it. They will not just post it on the government website and pray that neither I nor my dealer sees it. They will not just sell as many of the villainous Chevy’s as they possibly can, while ‘lawyering up’ for the inevitable barrage of lawsuits that will one day in the (hopefully) distant future hit them, which they will fight vehemently, case by case, by saying: “Well, it’s on the government site, you idiot. Can’t you read?” and then after many years when plaintiffs have become thoroughly disheartened, offer a class action settlement for pennies on the dollar, which is exactly what Merck did with ‘It’s a beautiful morning’ Vioxx.
There is a former Merck representative 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 does.”
“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.’
I am so done with these scoundrels. Absolutely, you do not trust them as far as you can spit. You stay away from them to the extent possible. When it is not possible, you independently verify every word they utter. They are not your friends.
And yet, within the context of this system of things, there is an excuse that can be made for them. Ciprofloaxin was originally intended as a cancer drug, since it kills everything in sight, and possibly it will kill more of the bad guys than the good guys. When it didn’t turn out that way, Pharma didn’t want to be stuck with the bill. And the FDA didn’t want them to be, ether.
See, the FDA is scared silly, as everyone should be, that there are devastating bacteria on the loose, such as MRSA, that are completely impervious to existing medicine. The FDA wants Pharma to come up with new, better, antibiotics, to take out the bad bacteria. But Pharma doesn’t want to do it because there is no money in it. You take your single bottle of antibiotics, it cures up your infection, and that is the end of it. What Pharma wants is a blood pressure medicine that you take for the rest of your life. So the government allows them to ensure their profits, letting them sell Ciprofloaxin and other poisons, knowing it will cause irreversibly harm in some, but figuring it is all collateral damage en route to the greater good.
Are they evil? Yes. But the basic evil, which forces their hand, is beyond them and is not of their doing. It is an economy, indeed an entire systems of things, that is based upon self-interest, and often outright greed. Should Pharma be expected to cut its own throat and bankrupt itself? Does anybody else?
How foolish that so many do not listen to Jehovah’s Witnesses (in Russia, even seek to ban them!) who alone tell of the government by God, the Kingdom government of the Lord’s prayer, under which God’s will is to be done “on earth, as it is in heaven.” We can assume God has it together up there in heaven, as the prayer says, but it sure isn’t done on earth, and when it is, it is the exception, not the rule. How foolish that people do not consider (and at some times vehemently oppose) the one organization that publicizes the Kingdom and that right now lives under its self-sacrificing model of love, not greed. How foolish that so many will oppose, unwilling to make the minimal self-sacrifice required.
Let them continue to think, if they must, that this system of things can be fixed. How’s that project going, anyway?
He May Come to Realize That With all the Threats Facing His Country, Jehovah's Witnesses are not One of Them
The trick will be to generate such worldwide publicity, to make every person aware, that for Putin to snuff out Jehovah’s Witnesses will be comparable to his strangling a cat on live TV. He may decide not to do it. He wants to be regarded as wise, as firm where necessary, but certainly not as an unhinged Kim Jong-un.
To be sure, he plays hardball when he has to, but he may come to realize that here he does not have to. What with Post Offices around the world being crushed with the volume of JW letters, likely from every Witness in the world, (to him or to one of his associates) everyone except the most disconnected may become aware of the situation soon to be decided by him. Will he want to be an international pariah? All our letters will be respectful, [except some seeded in by those religious enemies who want the ban to proceed] in sharp contrast to how he is usually portrayed in the West.
He may get fed up, not with us, but with the house church that is trying to feed him the line that jw.org is extremist, doing so for the purpose of taking out the competition. He may, on a night he cannot sleep, peruse jw.org, see that it plainly is not extremist, as every other nation in the world sees, and come to resent the house church that would have him look like a total ass on the world stage. In short, he may come to realize that, what with all the very real concerns facing his country, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not one of them.