Q: “Dear Tom: What have you discovered during COVID_19 time?
A: I have discovered that if you read material aloud, the ‘it’ that should be an ‘is’, ‘if’, or even an ‘in’ has not a prayer of staying hidden, determined though it might be, even though it has survived innumerable silent readings. The ‘the’ that should actually be a ‘they’ is similarly flushed out. With this new weapon, I have been cleaning up my ebooks. Due to inexperience and budget, I released all of them with some errors. ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ was a particular mess, but now it is pristine.
That being the case, I’ll be attaching a modest price to it soon. Act now if you want the revised yet still free version. Not only have glitches been removed, but also have some sections having no Russian context whatsoever—to be placed into ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ where they do have context. The latter ebook deals with opposition to Witnesses in the West, which is not identical to that in Russia. A Part 4 has also been added to ‘Dear Mr Putin,’ logging significant developments since the first edition of the book made its appearance.
I have also softened a name. Vic Vomidog, the “perennial apostate,” is now Vic Vomodog. It is but one letter, but it changes a lot. ‘Vomidog’ is an allusion to the verse of those who abandon their faith:
“It would have been better for them not to have accurately known the path of righteousness than after knowing it to turn away from the holy commandment they had received. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog has returned to its own vomit, and the sow that was bathed to rolling in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:22
Vic Vomidog was a character in ‘Tom Irregardless and Me’—sort of a comic book villain who never stopped making trouble, like Wily E. Coyote. But I have since come to apply the name to any ‘apostate.’ and not all are of the same character. Some are. Some aren’t. Why throw the barb at all of them when you only mean some? Since there is no way of knowing up front who’s who, soften it for all. ‘Vomidog’ evokes ‘vomit,’ which is disgusting and risks offending people needlessly. ‘Vomodog—here both ‘O’s will be long—does not, or does it less.
Some just lose their way, fall under the spell of the liars, or have really been hurt and are licking their wounds. I am told that at the Melbourne convention, Brother Splane spoke to how there are brothers and sisters who have been hurt within the organization and consequently, others may just have to put up with some “wild talk” from them—it’s part of their healing. So why call those who went over the edge ‘Vomidog’ as a blanket term? I won’t. “Why should we not judge people?” was the question asked in the recent Watchtower in a study article about field service. Because half the time, we’re wrong.
It doesn’t mean you cozy up to them, unless you like petting porcupines. No. But for an unknown some of them I do what Jesus did with the Phoenician woman: “It is not right to take the bread of the children and throw it to the little dogs,” he said to her, and the reason the verse reads “little dogs” and not “hound dogs” is because he chose a word with that meaning—sort of like ‘puppies.’ I will do that with certain ‘apostates.’ Some are just ‘kids’ doing what kids have done since the beginning of time—rebelling against their upbringing. Updating the woman’s answer to Jesus: “Yes, Lord, but really the little dogs ream you just like the hound dogs, but they are still little dogs that could one day get some sense pounded back into their skulls.” There’s a lot in a letter—‘Vomidog’ is now ‘Vomodog.’
‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ may also go behind a paywall in time—the sooner I tuck that sucker away, the better. But ‘Dear Mr. Putin’ will go that way first. It may even spur circulation, for you know how some are with regard to anything free: “It didn’t cost nothin—and it was worth it, too!” exclaimed Huck Finn about the traveling circus he snuck under the tent to see.
Not to worry. Any penniless brother will still be able to get either free. Just email me at the TomSheepandgoats.com