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

Edit: I’m going to append all future Covid-19 posts to this one, in effect making one super-long one. No matter how controversial the topic becomes, no matter how strong opinions get, it is not the issue, from Jehovah’s Witnesses point of view. As Brother Lett stated, Covid-19 is not the last crisis to be faced as this system of things marches on to its final end. So in addition to other posts in this category—this will now be the featured post—here they are:

 

Here in the US, the new gold standard of ‘sleever’ information has become an almost 3 hour interval with podcaster Joe Rogan and Dr. Peter McCullough. 

For background, Joe came down with Covid, took the medications that supposedly don’t work, and promptly got better. He has since become very vocal about it.

Peter McCullough is a cardiologist. He has hundreds of articles published in medical journals. Since the early days of the pandemic he has cleared his decks to focus on the worldwide response to it.

The interview is here:

https://covidvaccinesideeffects.com/joe-rogan-interview-with-dr-peter-mccullough-video-full-episode/

Of course, it has been removed as ‘misinformation’ by the major social media sites. However, rebuttals to it are posted, such as this hour long interview at Facebook by Dr. Zubin Damaria, who goes by the handle ZDogg.

https://zdoggmd.com/peter-mccullough/

I think it’s good to post both. Let people sort them out as they will.

We moved so quickly (and for obvious theocratically practical motive) from: “Vaccine is a personal choice and we do not presume to make health decisions for others” to “Follow the Bethel lead and get vaccinated” that it is a challenge to adjust. Deep deep deep down in my gut I hope that the brothers are not so immersed in preaching & Bible matters that they simply acquiesce to the mainstream’s word on COVID without further inquiry.

’You’re not following the direction of the Governing Body’ one of my wife’s close friends said to her (nonconfrontationally—we have not had any confrontations). ‘Well, I guess we aren’t,’ I told her, and I am not particularly comfortable with that. However, I could counter (though I haven’t as of yet) that if I really was into not following direction, I would buttonhole every Witness I know and implore them to get more familiar with what goes on behind the scenes of the COVID 10 campaign.….

Within days of the McCullough interview, Joe Rogan did another with Dr. Robert Malone, arguably the inventor of the mRNA technology used in Covid vaccines, He has since turned very cautious regarding them:

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/joe-rogan-robert-malone-interview-covid-vaccine/

And, as with the McCullough interview, a rebuttal:

https://factcheck.afp.com/http%253A%252F%252Fdoc.afp.com%252F9V36YN-1

I was amazed that this ‘gem’ should somehow slip through at Newsweek:

“As a healthy 36-year-old woman, COVID-19 does not pose a statistically meaningful threat to my life. I have a 99.97 percent chance of survival. Why would I get a vaccine for a virus that I do not fear and that isn't a threat to my life—particularly when there is an element of risk from the vaccines?”

https://www.newsweek.com/why-im-not-vaccinated-opinion-1648024

For young children, the risk of death from COVID is statistically zero. You would never know it from the insistence of those holding the upper hand that they must be vaccinated as an emergency measure.

Here’s one of a daughter who had to sue the hospital to treat her father on his deathbed with the treatment that they had refused: 

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/health/dying-covid-19-patient-recovers-after-court-orders-ivermectin-treatment

The judge had ruled that since the man was on his deathbed, what could be the harm of a ‘risky’ drug? The man recovered so quickly that I could almost envision hospital chiefs wanting to apply a John 12:11 to him.

The chief priests now conspired to kill Lazʹa·rus also,  since it was because of him that many of the Jews were going there and putting faith in Jesus

If you want people to get vaccinated, said Sen. Ryan Paul, why don’t you try honesty? Instead, there is so much deceit at so many levels, and I don’t know how the prevailing powers manage that there never be heard a discouraging word for as long as they have, nor if their version can continue to prevail.

….

McCullough spoke of the ‘absolute’ advantage of the vaccine vs the ‘relative’ advantage. The relative advantage is quite high. That is, the vaccine offers significant protection as opposed to doing nothing at all. This is the protection that media fixates on.

Absolute protection compares the vaccine with taking other measures to protect oneself. These include the masking & distancing, but primarily it is fortifying oneself with substances that make catching the illness unlikely—the ingredients—ivermectin—is among them, that front line doctors testified before Congress that they took in treating thousands of Covid patients that did indeed fully protect them. 

The ‘absolute’ advantage of the vaccine is quite low, he said. It is a percentage point or two, probably not worth the risk of taking it.….….

***

The following is a beaut, not primarily because of anything it sayo on climate change, but because of what it tells of ‘fact-checking’ sites.

Facebook was sued for its fact-checking. Their defense? They can’t be sued, for it is just opinion, and opinion is protected speech.

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/facebook-admits-fact-checks-pure-opinion/

****

Someone spoke of

Working doctors who speak out are targeted. Such as FBI raiding your consulting rooms and taking all patient records to determine if and when you prescribed ivermectin etc. 

I didn’t know this. It certainly isn’t everywhere, but it is consistent. In NY, the attorney general has sent threatening letters to out of state pharmacies filling ivermectin prescriptions for NY residents.

I can’t see how this can do anything but escalate. It’s a little like Abraham Lincoln’s recognition (“I’m not smart enough to lie.”) that once you lie you have to keep on lying to cover yourself. Can you imagine if it ever became more that ‘conspiracy theory’ that hundreds of thousands died unnecessarily—that most could have been saved by early treatment with cheap drugs that were withheld? Do you think relatives of those victims would let bygones be bygones? 

The whole facade would come down, with massive, not just civil litigation but with criminal prosecution.

It is something how so many times in history have villains gone down by turning on each other. 

“I will call for a sword against him on all my mountains,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. ‘Every man’s sword will be against his own brother” (Ezekiel 38:21)

Can foreglimmerings not be seen today?

***

1/14/22. Pfizer, Moderna Sue Human Immune System For Patent Infringement, reports the Babylon Bee.

It is satirical, but my very own personal conspiracy theory is that these snakes have come to view the human immune system as ‘competition’ and would like to—ever so slowly so as not to overly attract attention—replace it. It would be not just for profit, though it will be very profitable for them (Prizer stock was up 59% in 2021) but I think it is also hubris—those who worship science thinking they can do anything. The human immune system is great, they say, but it doesn’t stop all illness. They aim to remedy that little problem with their sciencewhereas anyone with a good dose of godly fear and common sense knows that ‘you don’t mess with the laws of nature.’ 

Zdogg, the establishment doctor, in his snarky rebuttal of Rogan/McCullough (After back-to-back Joe Rogan grand slam interviews, one with Dr. Peter McCullough and one with Dr. Robert Malone, there is intense lobbying effort to get him kicked off Spotify) seriously floats the idea that he is in awe of the magnificent human immune system. That’s why he loves these new mRNA vaccines that train it to do what it has to do!

I never did get around to saying what I thought of his patronizing twaddle and it’s about time I did. You want to choke him. He points to McCullough’s supposed ‘logic fallacies’ as he commits his own that are twice as bad. I already posted this guy but here he is again:

https://zdoggmd.com/peter-mccullough/

Commenting on how Dr McCullough was not swayed by the establishment hit pieces against Ivermectin, he points to how the objection to one was ‘it wasn’t given soon enough’ and his objection to another ‘it wasn’t given in combination with the other substances we all use’ and then complained: “It never ends!” Isn’t a trail of two a little early to say ‘it never ends?’ Of course, the history of the front-line doctors taking the stuff and remaining untouched by Covid in the course of treating thousands of patients—and testifying to this before Congress—is not something he mentions.

And then—this is just a classic with these ‘critical thinking’ champions who assume they have a monopoly on the stuff—he admits that he has a bias. He is pro-vaccine. There. He said it. And then carries on as though this makes him a hero, as though it never occurred to anyone else that they too had a starting position! You notice how @JW Insiderand @Araunahave been squabbling forever over how we should view the CCP and they do no more than to reach stalemate? I have the answer. All one or the other must do is say, “I admit I have a bias.” Instantly that one becomes a hero and his/her adversary is manipulative Hitler.

He patronizes us all lecturing about ‘causation vs correlation’ as if no one other than he has ever thought of such a thing—whereas they (the doctors he is attacking) all have. There is also abundant ‘guilt by association.’ And if you say something like “it happens all the time” he dismisses the entire point since it doesn’t happen ALL the time.

If he wasn’t taking out a greater enemy (this is also true with the rebuttals of Malone), I almost think tech media would seek to ban him as well, for he acknowledges McCullough is an expert and further skewers several sacred cows, asserting that the government has frequently lied, even naming Fauci himself, and stipulating the mandate policy is ridiculous.

And then he dismisses (Rogan told McCullough, who hadn’t heard, about this) the tech fellow who has offered $1 million to anything who will live-debate Covid with him but can’t find any takers with the criticism that Steve Kersh (I went back to find his name) ‘is a fellow with success in the search engine field who now thinks he knows everything’ and ‘talks a mile a minute’ and has ‘quick command of all the medical studies’ and ‘nobody can possibly keep up with that.’ So it is a crime to be on top of your game? Why can’t he find someone on his side that is on top of hisgame? Find someone who also  is in-your-face (it is not as though the world suffers for lack of pugnacious people) who also has quick command of papers and research, and who can say, ‘Hold on! What is wrong with this paper is….’  Instead of just saying ‘nobody can keep up with that!’ 

It’s what the anti-cultists do.  If you represent your cause well they present that as a liability. Would they not side with the scribes against Jesus at Matthrew 7:28?  “When Jesus finished these sayings, the effect was that the crowds were astounded at his way of teaching, for he was teaching them as a person having authority, and not as their scribes.”

‘That’s because they were listening to a manipulative cult leader,’ they would say. ‘Nobody can keep up with that stuff.’

***

We jokingly said we would wait first to see how many died from it.”

Quite a few apparently. That doesn’t mean it is blatantly obvious. If you doubled the death rate of a specific illness, would that be immediately obvious to you? Probably not.

Life insurance companies are now facing a massive unattributable increase of non-Covid death increases of millennial and younger persons of heart/clotting related issues—a sudden 40% spike was the last figure I heard. Since it can’t be attributed to anything else, by default some begin to mention the vaccine. 

 

“When I talked to my pharmacologist friend who was involved with the vaccine, and I asked her if the vaccines were safe, she said as safe as any other drug we might take,”

If the above findings are so, she is wrong. Moreover, the bugaboo with the vaccine is that it violates the Hippocratic oath: ‘First of all, do no harm.” Beyond all question, it does do harm to a relatively tiny group of people who formerly were not sick at all. That is the difference between it and the other medicines you speak of. In the case of the latter, the person is sick and must make the decision whether the benefits of a given medicine will outweigh the risks. In the case of the former, the person is not sick and may feel he/she never will be if he takes precautions that pose no danger in themselves.

 

“this was an unprecedented, extremely contagious and dangerous virus affecting the whole world.”

Far less so than is still constantly stated. For healthy adults it carries a 99% survival rate. The vulnerability of small children is almost zero. Moreover, the illness readily responds to treatment—it is anything but the “kiss of death’ that the mainline authorities made it out to be. Everything possible was done and is still being done to obscure this fact. 

Unless one is elderly or has ‘co-morbitities’ one is not especially at risk even if they catch covid. As to advanced age: historically society has not inflicted risk upon the young to protect the elderly. Rather they seek to protect the elderly without risking the young, by increased quarantine measures upon them, for example, as the need arises. As to co-morbidities, a great many of these stem from unhealthy lifestyles, so to vaccinate so as to shield this group in effect is wanting those who deliberately make healthy choices to subsidize those who deliberately do not, or at least subsidize the business concerns that promote unhealthy choices.

Then there was the revelation a few months back that ‘Covid hospitatlizions’ did not necessarily mean that people were in the hospital because of Covid, but only, once there, were tested and found to have Covid. What possible reason could there be for this obvious miscommunication other than an attempt to pump up the numbers?

 

“I was saying that it was non compliance with recomendations to get vaccinated that caused problems (such as restrictions for the unvacinated)…..Non compliance was causing problems before anyone knew for sure whether they worked or not.”

The reason so many were not in a hurry to comply is that they weren’t born yesterday. They were suspicious that a vaccine could be developed at ‘warp-speed’ since all previous vaccines had taken years to be approved. Even more so because the technology was radically new. The covid vaccine does not work like any previous vaccine that exposes the body to an inert sample of a disease so the body will ramp up a defense. Instead, it retrains the body to manufacture a defense against a pathogen it has never encountered. Many put no faith that human science would get that right on the first try, if at all.

Those resistant knew that Pharma is absolutely not to be trusted, that it has a long track record of insisting a product is safe when they know better, insisting it right up to the second the product is ruled unsafe, and they lawyering up to beat back the onslaught of lawsuits. Note the horrendous things that medical experts said about them in the aftermath of Vioxx:

https://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2007/11/vioxx-the-athei.html

Making the rat smell ten-times worse is that in the case of any vaccine they have negotiated immunity for themselves. They have no need to lawyer up. Get injured with a vaccine? It’s on you. There is no redress. For various reasons the VAERS system, supposedly put in place to remedy these wrongs, does not. Have you ever heard of a lawyer going after a vaccine case, even from VAERS. They will go after other government agencies—SSI lawsuits are a burgeoning legal industries these days—but they have not heretofore thought it profitable to tackle the vaccine industry.

 

“There was no information about possible long term complications because.... well it's self explanatory....because not enough time had elapsed. They simply didn’t know.”

This did not stop them from and has still not stopped them from insisting the product was safe. In fact, though buried for the longest time, it is now revealed that the most widely used vax initially failed its safety data. The CDC director acknowledged being misled by Pharma. Then there was that bizarre request to keep safety data hidden for 75 years. What could possibly account for that other than widespread fraud? the suspicious people said. Subsequent events have shown they were right to be suspicious. 

Arauna previously cited a former hedge fund manager from Blackrock. It is he who first drew attention the the 40% spike in non-covid deaths. He says he has lived through three Wall Street debacles, the ‘dot-com’ bubble of 2000, the ‘people will never default on a mortgage/house prices will never fall’ bubble of 2007, and the ‘trust the science’ [his label] bubble of today. Wall Street is now figuring it out, he says, adding that ‘these people are caught, they know they’re caught, and so they do what all fraudsters do when they know they’re caught: they “triple down.”

 

“The information is out there,”

It depends upon what you mean by ‘out there.’ If you mean whatever would advance the cause of mass vaccination, yes, that is out there almost no matter where you look. But if you mean the factors such as been outlined above, these are largely scrubbed from social and news media. The relatively small channels of independent websites and small coalitions of professionals that cannot be snuffed out are thereby labeled anti-vax conspiracy theorists in hope of discrediting them. 

You have to follow some of these persons, subscribe to their email lists, to become aware of anything that is not pro-vaccine. If you do, you will find they routinely cite highly credible sources, medical and scientific experts, even government agencies themselves. To my mind, their offerings are far more persuasive than that of the ‘fact-checkers’ employed to ‘disprove’ them.

 

“I would presume that by now there would be recommendations against it”

One would think so. The fact that there are not in the face of the above highly-discoverable facts defies all logic. With that we enter “Arauna territory” of attempting to assign motives or intended outcomes. This is far harder to do, but is done because the ‘facts on the ground’ make no sense. Trying to make sense of them, people veer into what would be called ‘conspiracy theory.’ I do not know if Arauna is right about some of the dire statements she makes. But nothing she says strikes me as so implausible it should be ruled off the table.

 

“Instead, the recommendation now is to get a booster once a year as we learn to live with the virus.”

This could have been done from the very beginning, the hesitant ones have maintained. ‘Learn to live with the virus’ as humanity has learned to live with hundreds of diseases in the past. The fact that it was not done, that the world was and is still being turned upside down in a futile attempt to eradicate a treatable disease, creating enormous social and economic upheaval, puts enough wind in Arauna’s sails, and the millions like her, to blow her to Mars and back a dozen times on any given afternoon.  

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)

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.

[edit] I was amazed that this ‘gem’ should somehow slip through at Newsweek:

“As a healthy 36-year-old woman, COVID-19 does not pose a statistically meaningful threat to my life. I have a 99.97 percent chance of survival. Why would I get a vaccine for a virus that I do not fear and that isn't a threat to my life—particularly when there is an element of risk from the vaccines?”

https://www.newsweek.com/why-im-not-vaccinated-opinion-1648024

For young children, the risk of death from COVID is statistically zero. You would never know it from the insistence of those holding the upper hand that they must be vaccinated as an emergency measure.

Here’s one of a daughter who had to sue the hospital to treat her father on his deathbed with the treatment that they had refused: 

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/health/dying-covid-19-patient-recovers-after-court-orders-ivermectin-treatment

The judge had ruled that since the man was on his deathbed, what could be the harm of a ‘risky’ drug? The man recovered so quickly that I could almost envision hospital chiefs wanting to apply a John 12:11 to him.

The chief priests now conspired to kill Lazʹa·rus also,  since it was because of him that many of the Jews were going there and putting faith in Jesus

If you want people to get vaccinated, said Sen. Ryan Paul, why don’t you try honesty? Instead, there is so much deceit at so many levels, and I don’t know how the prevailing powers manage that there never be heard a discouraging word for as long as they have, nor if their version can continue to prevail.

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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 1.

Some of the brothers were helping another move, loading and unloading a rented truck. Talk turned to Update 7, which has now itself been updated with #8. One bro was confused. ‘Get behind the Governing Body, he repeated the expression, but get behind them in what?’

I think they want you to get vaccinated, I said, and it was as though someone had finally mentioned the elephant in the room. Subsequently, everyone seemed to agree that had indeed been the thrust of it.

They’re going to have to say it if that’s what they want. The trouble with hoping people will read between the lines (if that is what is being done) is that to some “reading between the lines” is near synonymous with “going beyond what it written.” One bro said he would get vaccinated if they said he should, but only if they said it. Meanwhile, he was inclined to “trust his immune system.” They won’t be saying it, I don’t think. It consistently will remain a personal decision—and then are presented some Bible principles so you can make your personal decision, and the Bible principles cited lean pretty heavily toward taking the shot.

To be sure, what follows is an oversimplification, but a prime “religious objection” that some religious people have cited essentially boils down to “God don’t make no junk.” Isn’t the flip side of that argument to say that he does? Back in my day, if you got a vaccine, that meant you didn’t get the disease. That’s why we’ve long heard about how such-and-such a scourge has been eradicated by vaccines. Now they don’t eradicate them. Apparently, nobody any longer expects them to. They just tamp them down some and hopefully keep you out of the hospital. So many goalposts are being moved that one barely knows how to adapt. 

Medical definitions have adapted to accommodate these new realities. Mercola gives several examples of this in his heavily endnoted book, The Truth About Covid-19. Now, Mercola found himself kicked off social media platforms and harassed to such a degree that he removed much of his own content from his own website. Nonetheless, he has been a trusted name in our family for decades. He takes anything to the nth degree and you sometimes you say, “Well, I wouldn’t go that far,” but you usually say it for reasons of practicality, not because he is wrong. He does weigh in on matters in which the jury is still out, and sometimes you wonder whether that jury is being hogtied in the back room.

He points out that as late as June 2020, the WHO’s definition of ‘herd immunity’ was “the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.” In mid-November “they updated their website, erasing any notion that humans have immune systems that protect them against disease naturally.” (bolding mine) The revised understanding of herd immunity is “a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached.” No mention of previous infection here, as in the original definition.

Further, he quotes WHO that: “Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it.” This is followed by a commentary from the American Institute for Economic Research that “this change at WHO ignores and even wipes out 100 years of medical advances in virology, immunology, and epidemiology. It is throughly unscientific….What’s even stronger is the claim that a vaccine protects people from a virus rather than exposing them to it. What’s amazing about this claim is that a vaccine works precisely by firing up the immune system through exposure. There is simply no way for medical science completely to replace the human immune system.” (my bolds again)

I wouldn’t be surprised if [my opinion, not Mercola’s—though he probably says it somewhere] if the intent is revealed in that last statement: “replace the human immune system.” The natural one is not financially profitable. The replacement one will be. For this reason it becomes very important to discredit existing means of treating Covid-10 and advance the illusion that there is no treatment. Only if there is no treatment can emergency funding at taxpayer expense be allocated to the development and subsequent mandating of vaccines. Let the cat out of the bag that you can treat Covid effectively with existing and mostly cheap drugs and that impetus is gone.

So effective substances like ivermectin are relentlessly discredited. As a result, they are denied by pharmacies who won’t fill a prescription in many states even if you have one from your doctor. This, despite doctors testifying before Congress (which I have seen) as to how when they employed the drug in treatment, people got better. When they used it themselves as a preventative, they didn’t get sick in the course of treating thousands of patients. It being so hard to get now, people buy the animal variety, prompting the FDA to talk down (as agencies so frequently do) to people with “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously y’all, stop it.” It’s a little like mocking people for drinking polluted water because fresh water is not available.

The new vaccines are not like the old ones, which exposed you to the pathogen, sometimes deadened and sometime not. The new ones seek to train the body (through modification in the messenger RNA) to manufacture a defense against a virus it has never seen. It is an entirely new technology.

How is it working? Not all that well, it appears, at least not when compared to the shots that people have taken for the last 100 years. Israel is near 90% vaccinated and yet is still experiencing an epidemic of outbreaks. The old-tech shots, when you took them, meant that you didn’t get the disease. In this new model, people may still get the disease, they still pass it on, just hopefully not as severely. It takes awhile to adjust to this new normal.

Profits are an obvious reason that the pharmaceutical industry should seek to supplement (if not replace) the immune system. Doesn’t hubris also come into play? Those who “praise [God] because in an awe-inspiring way I am wonderfully made” are not so inclined to think human science can improve on his design. One the other hand, if you don’t believe in God at all, but put all your trust in human science—well, how hard can it be to improve on what is a haphazard evolutionary process to begin with? Beliefs have practical consequences.

The new vaccines even mess with an observation I’ve made about the “little bit of poison” analogy that we are so fond of with regard to apostates. Though the brothers reason this way, they actually do accept just a little bit of poison each time they take a vaccine—the idea is that it protects them should they later encounter the scourge full-grown in the wild. Avoiding such apostate exposure altogether is difficult in these times, and without a “vaccine” to it in the form of just a tiny bit of investigatory exposure for those so inclined, some of our people are shellacked when they unexpectedly encounter it.

Now it turns out that the above observation is invalid. The new vaccines are analogous to avoiding “even a little bit of the poison.” They do indeed seek to “protect people from the virus rather than exposing them to it.” That’s why medical dictionaries and WHO guidelines are being rewritten.

It’s also worth noting that they don’t work very well. And, as evidenced by the number of people we lose to apostasy, our present counsel to protect doesn’t work very well either. In theory it works great. In practice not so much.

Be that as it may, Jehovah’s earthly organization has a job to do, and they’re chomping at the bit to resume doing 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 deteriorate even further as these last days march on till their end,” says Bro Lett.

See: To Jab or Not to Jab: Part 2

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Filling Jerusalem With All Your Teaching

God is our refuge and strength, A help that is readily found in times of distress. That is why we will not fear, though the earth undergoes change, though the mountains topple into the depths of the sea, though its waters roar and foam over, though the mountains rock on account of its turbulence.” (Ps 46:1-3)

There is a sense—not just among  JWs—but among many, that things are coming together as though in a grand finale. “Doomscrolling” is the newly coined phrase; people scroll through social media to read item after item announcing their doom, be it extreme weather, economic chaos, pandemic, protests, or riot. Fixtures as rocklike and dependable as mountains, “topple into the depths of the sea”—the sea which is alway restless and so well typifies human instability. The very “earth undergoes change” as sturdy human governments reveal themselves fragile, and unhinged zealots yank them this way and that. “Future historians will be asked what quarter of 2020 do they specialize in,” is the new meme. Applied to any other year, it makes no sense. Applied to 2020, anyone can identify with it.

Add to this factors which JWs will especially appreciate, though they will not be lost on all others. What are the chances that the one worldwide religion that categorically rejects participation in war in any capacity for any reason will be declared “extremist?” Yet such is the case in Russia, and Witnesses will recall a multitude of verses to the effect that “if they have hated me [Jesus], they will hate you.” Two of the nine Sermon on the Mount beatitudes have to do with being persecuted for staying true to the cause.

At the same time, suddenly the preaching work cannot be done in any sort of normal way, and in lieu of this it was mentioned some might have the tendency to say “We’re done,” and wait to see how events unfold. I mean, can you really “fill Jerusalem with all your teaching” (Acts 5:28, cited in last week’s study—it’s a two part series) when you are reduced to letter-writing and phone calls? It is a bit of a high hurdle.

As to making phone calls, one local brother addressed “fears”—“It’s not so much the fear of doing it as it is the fear of being ineffective” that discourages him. Dampening my enthusiasm is my own self-awareness. Under no circumstances do I answer calls from unknown numbers—scammers will eat you alive if you do that. Callers can leave a message if it’s legitimate. 

Don’t most people do that? It has evolved over time. Mike used to devour Consumer Reports; consequently, he knew whatever product telemarketers were trying to sell better than they, and he would tear apart whatever crappy item they were hawking—his wife said it was a real hoot to watch him. And I have taken the tip before to witness to these characters—the phony Microsoft people with the Indian accents were stopped cold when I did that—but to me it involves using the truth as an offensive weapon. It’s not what I do. Naw—there’s just too many of them and people have things to do. Easier just to mute the phone.

Too, I’ll gear up to write a letter but then reflect that if I write a post instead I’ll reach dozens, ultimately hundreds—and I’ll get feedback too, which doesn’t happen much with individual letters. So I confess my participation in these two areas has been scant—not nonexistent, but scant. When we did door-to-door I focused on Sundays and evenings because that’s when the most people are home—not only home, but relaxed. Sigh—now we are “fishers of men” as before, but with a fishing line so long that you can barely see the fish.

So it’s my bad. I’ll have to get more in sync because I don’t like not being so, and even as we speak I am. Still, I was surprised that the move would be to replicate virtually the physical territory and car group experience—I mean, letter writing is not really a group activity. I even thought the virus might result in breaking away from “counting time” which works for keeping records but also triggers artificial situations.

I thought, for example, that starting with one’s own phone number, one might text each successive number. With the same area code, they’re not likely to be too far away, and since it is all virtual, who cares if they are? It seems you could more readily “fill Jerusalem with your teaching” that way. But it didn’t happen. Fairly soon came the word that bad results had come that way; some had received abusive or apostate replies. Well, “deal with it” I thought—that can happen anywhere. Still, I texted no more. It is a little dicey throwing out your phone number to all anyway.

But if you really want to “fill Jerusalem with your teaching”—isn’t “trending” the modern term for this? And where do things trend? Through phone calls and letters? Or isn’t it through social media? I wish we weren’t so averse to it. It’s not that someone can’t do it, but if you say that you do it is a little like butchering that trumpet burst and everyone in the orchestra stares at you aghast. So I don’t say it, at least not much. If I had my druthers, though, it would be considered a glass half-full, rather than a glass half-empty.

There is an art to it, but so is there is to everything. It’s not everything, but must it be nothing? You have to friend or follow those in the general community and not just the brothers if you don’t want to be preaching to the choir. And you have to engage with them on their topics, not just yours, not the Bible alone, or you drive most away. It’s pretty much like interacting in the physical neighborhood in which you live.

I like it when brothers are seamless on social media with their faith and their secular life, putting it out there for anyone to see how their latter is influenced by their former. Few do it. It’s almost as though friends have separate languages for believers and non-believers, belaboring only the most basic scriptures for the latter and thus stunting their own spiritual growth if they are not careful. 

Add it to the mix is what I would like to see, not replace the mix with it. The idea is to be well-rounded. Huge possibilities exist with  with regard to linking to items in JW.org. For the most part, we leave them untapped. 

Now, don’t misunderstand. Saying I would like to see something is not the same as saying: “This is what they should do,” just as as saying you would like an X-box is not the same as saying people should give you one. Some brother a while back advised Bethel that they should be stockpiling food, and Anthony Morris chuckled at the thought of such unsolicited guidance: “Imagine—a brother telling the Governing Body that they should be hoarding up supplies,” he mused wryly. I don’t want him saying: “Imagine—that yo-yo TrueTom saying the Governing Body should dispatch the friends to Facebook and Twitter!”

I get why we don’t. Isn’t the internet of the equivalent of the broad roads “trampled on by men?” Aren’t there even a lot of swine there, so that you think of the verse: “Do not give what is holy to dogs nor throw your pearls before swine, so that they may never trample them under their feet and turn around and rip you open?”  (Matthew 7:6) Let’s face it—I mean, no one will dispute this—there are plenty of swine on the internet. Many many times I have witnessed nasty battling of the trolls in areas of polarized opinion and I have said how nice it is that we stay out of public catfights—it lends our work a certain dignity. But that was before the pandemic.

Why should haters own the internet? Take a stand and deal with them if they show up. Any troll is OCD and usually toxic. The greater world will counsel to avoid such persons, not just us. Ought we not be “always ready to make a defense before everyone who demands of you a reason for the hope you have, but doing so with a mild temper and deep respect?” (1 Peter 3:15) We run like scared rabbits from opposers. Dish them out an answer or two and block them should they get obnoxious. For the longest time I blocked no one by replying with a link to something I had written on whatever topic they were harping one, effectively answering their 30 words with my 1000–link to something on JW.org if you don’t have your own stuff, or even if you do. But one day they ganged up on me and I did end up blocking a few. Still, I am always surprised to find that I am blocked by opposers I have hardly interacted with—more of them block me than me them.

Ah, well. “The wise one is cautious and turns away from evil, but the stupid one is reckless and overconfident.”  (Proverbs 14:16) Maybe I’m just stupid—and impatient. I write this post within days of two heralded vaccine breakthroughs—Pfizer and Moderna each coming up with something 95% effective. If genuine, that’s huge—we are pestered to get annual flu shots that are never more than 50% effective, often much less. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Is it that of an oncoming train? Or is it genuine light during which we may brace ourselves for the next tunnel? Maybe we will be back door-to-door soon, or at least cart witnessing. And in the meantime, new skills have been developed. My wife has come to enjoy phone calls—she is quite good at it, and letter writing to professionals with the ‘What is God’s Kingdom?’ issue, such as is being done this month is a significant unified accomplishment. 

“This is the government that has health in it’s platform,” I wrote to one of them, “and not just health care.”

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Just Who is Saved Come Armageddon?

Back in 1967, the year of the KM School for Elders held in Pittsburgh, were you to ask an elder “Will only JWs be saved at Armageddon?” he would most likely answer Yes, “but in a way that doesn’t make us look unreasonable.”

This is because Jehovah’s Witnesses are a “one true religion” faith. There are a lot of those around—not everyone maintains that “all roads lead to heaven”—and one firebrand of the Russian Orthodox Church—isn’t it Audrey Kuraev?—regrets that such a profession should be labeled extremist hate speech because there are factions in his Church that would like to say the same and now don’t dare. Extremist? If you say you are the one true Church and are wrong, just who is hurt? All that happens is you are left with egg on your face. And if you are right, you’ve provided a healthy heads-up.

Can it really be done—to answer yes “but in a way that doesn’t make us look unreasonable?” I am told (without evidence, as the phrase goes) that Jewish tradition holds as as the ark was lifting off the water and those treading it hollered, “Is it only you and your family that will be saved?” Noah was instructed to answer Yes, “but in a way that doesn’t make us look unreasonable.”

It is dicey topic, Armageddon is. It’s hard to put a smiley face on it, even if it does come with the caveat that “distress will not rise up a second time.” You should hear Vic Vomodog rail about how it means those of his old religion gleefully contemplate the slaughter of billions of human beings! Well—now that you put it that way...

But if you are a Bible believer, what are you going to do? There it is in numerous texts, not just in Revelation, but in such places as 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9, about how “you who suffer tribulation will be given relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels  in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance on those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus.” It cannot be dismissed euphemistically as “tough love.”

Still, it is nowhere near as nasty as what churches have historically embraced down through the centuries—the doctrine of hellfire, which holds that for a few decades of wrongdoing a person will be punished forever! I’ll take a quick death at Armageddon any day over that gruesome fate. One knockout punch and you sleep forever.

Bart Ehrman, the Bible thumper who became the anti-Bible-thumper, but you can still see the Bible thumper in the anti-Bible thumper—comes from this “theology,” so that you can see why he might consider escaping it as having opened his eyes. If fact, in one of his lectures for the Great Courses (what were they thinking when they chose him?) he explains the really bizarre resurrection-of-the-dead notion that prevails among his former co-religionists—that the ungodly are raised so that God can rub their noses in the condemned course that they chose, after which they will be cast into hell forever and ever! How did it escape him (then or now) that “he who has died has been acquitted for their sin?” (Romans 6:7) God doesn’t do a “double jeopardy” on them. It is the course they choose upon their resurection that matters, not what they did in their prior life. Ronald Curzan of the JW organization explains it here:

As for Great Courses, they wouldn’t know a scripture if one bit them in the rear end. They just scan the roster of university professors, pick an esteemed one, and figure he must know what he is talking about. It is not their fault if it turns out that he doesn’t. Or rather, he does, but only according to the inadequate method of biblical examination he has chosen—that of historical scientific analysis. He is like a mechanic come to the job, his toolbox stuffed only with wrenches, when what is needed is a screwdriver. Rather than regret he doesn’t have the correct tools, he declares that if a wrench can’t fix it it is not a problem. To be sure, Great Courses somewhat redeems itself by selecting Luke Timothy Johnson for their series ‘The Story of the Bible,’ who examines it from a traditional approach and does not adopt the default position that it is human myth making.

The current answer to “Will only Jehovah’s Witnesses be saved?” is no longer ‘Yes—but to be explained so that it doesn’t make us look unreasonable.” It is “No,” followed by how to say such would be presumptuous, since only Jehovah can judge those who might be mentally disabled, children too young to make up their minds, etc. This is essentially the same answer, isn’t it, with caveats that can be greatly expanded. Last I heard, one out of everything three Americans are on some form of antidepressants or other psych medicine. Research has come to light that a child’s brain formation is incomplete even into their early 20’s. I remember how Ray Hartman the circuit overseer would come up on the platform with a stack of material to choose from, and toward the end of whatever talk he was giving he would comment on various items, seemingly choosing them as he went, and that this business of brain development into the 20’s was among them, or maybe he just told it to me in private, but it does come from him.

Well, the Witness organization can’t wiggle much, can it? What can it do but abide to the “one faith, one Lord, one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5? Don’t other faiths baptize? Yes, they do, but the ones who aren’t raising the ungodly dead just to say “Told ya so!” before tossing them into hellfire, Bart Ehrman’s former cohorts, are blasting infants with squirt guns these days on account of Covid-19. (as seen  on  India.com)9899BD98-22C2-4350-9685-8A990B4E5FC4

My daughter answers that question with: “Well—I’m not Jesus and I don’t know.” I suppose she picked up the spirit from me, but not the exact words. I recall saying in one talk: “Just how far removed can one be? A certain distance or not one millimeter?” adding that I did not know but I would operate myself according to the principle of James 4:17 that if one knew what was right and did not do it, it was a sin for him.

Probably a lot of brothers take solace that, as Jehovah spared Nineveh at the last minute with: “Wow—look how stupid there are! They don’t know their right from their left!” he will somehow cut many some slack in ways we can’t foresee. (Jonah 4:11) But the Watchtower can hardly say this, for that would be clearly speculative. What can they say other than “One faith, One Lord, One baptism?” So that is what they say, in the main.

I don’t lose sleep over it. It is enough for me to be occupied with holding up my end. I don’t concern myself with God holding up his. What happens happens—and of course, I will adjust to it. As Anthony Morris said when he was trying to sell a house—it was critically important for him to quickly have the cash for some reason I forget—and the deal came at virtually the last second, and he related how he would look up in prayer and say “Um—it’s getting a little tight here,” but then qualify his duress with “He’s God—He can do what he wants.” 

The spirit of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah is upon me, because Jehovah anointed me to declare good news to the meek. He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the wide opening of the eyes to the prisoners, to proclaim the year of Jehovah’s goodwill and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn...  (Isaiah 61:1-3)

 

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Doomscrolling Through 2020 and Getting Out of the World

Here and there, blips appear to let us know where we are in the stream of time. The brand-new term “doomscrolling” is an example. It doesn’t need to be defined, does it? It is an update of just a few years back when reading the Drudge Report was likened to reading the Book of Revelation.

Too, there is the clever line of how future historians will be queried as to what quarter of 2020 did they specialize in. Distinct, groundbreaking, and disastrous events fill each quarter. It is hard to escape the feeling that something is being kicked into high gear.

Quarter 1: Pandemic appears out of nowhere and spreads throughout the globe within weeks. Society goes into lockdown. Financial markets plunge. Massive unemployment begins.

Quarter 2: People get fed up with lockdown—“lockdown fatigue.” Churches defy them. College students and the young in general defy them. Police shootings prompt yet other crowds to defy them. Hopes for vanquishing the virus disappear.

Quarter 3: Protests escalate to riots. Pro and anti Trump people fight each other in the streets—some are killed. Huge property damage ensures. Record-setting fires burn throughout western states, destroying whole towns, and the smoke dims Eastern skies. GOP and Democrats punt on helping unemployed as they did in the first quarter, opting blame each other instead for the suffering that results.

Quarter 4: The election. Never has been seen such incivility of opponents. Trump’s enemies warn he will not leave if he loses—he will have to be dragged out of the White House! Hillary tells Democrats to, under no circumstances, concede a loss come Election Day! Social unrest simmers. As much as a Covid 19 vaccine is heralded, only about 1/3 of population say they will take it. Have we seen the fallout of 2020 yet, or have we just seen the tip of the iceberg?

Who can say what the facts of Covid 19 are? They are spun every which way by experts of every stripe pushing their choice agendas — and which one is true is up in the air. Who can say what the science is or what we should do about it? My primary care doctor, during a recent physical, told me that the state “never should have shut down” and in so doing, “they didn’t follow the science.” Find one expert who says the science points this way, and with just a little bit of searching, you can find an equally credible expert who says it points the other way. 

Will masks save us? Will a vaccine be our deliverance? I have no clue. I don’t even like to slobber over “science” much anyway. It is the mantra for those intent on ruling the earth without God—they have no need for faith, what they idolize is science! Yet, the first thing “science” will do, if you give it center stage, is declare the fundamental underpinnings of Christianity, to say nothing of the Genesis account, to be hogwash.

I lay low because I’ve been asked to by the brotherhood. It is no more complicated than that. They’ve asked everyone to shift as much to the distancing model as possible, allowing that different ones will face different realities, so that it cannot be ‘one size fits all.’ Still, the entire Bell curve shifts in a direction thought safer. We’re not asked to distance on account of “science,” but because of love of neighbor and obedience to secular authorities. After all, if it turns out that social distancing unnecessary, but your neighbor is still scared senseless as you approach him, then how does that work out with witnessing being a fine deed? Laying low is hard on the young people, but for myself, releasing my inner hermit has the effect of simplifying my life. With half the things I once did now off the table, I savor more the first half.

Who can say that there will not be additional benefits in withdrawing from regular contact at a time when the world is, even by it’s own standards, losing its mind? Half the people are ready to jump down the throats of the other half these days. Humanity’s undoing is that there is no clearing-house trusted information source on anything. It is as Pew uncovered about politics—not only do people not agree on how to act in light of the facts, but they don’t agree on what the facts are. They do all they can to demonize those on the other side.

Here we are in 2020 and people seriously discuss the possibility of civil war in the United States, as they are fighting it out right now in several cities! In the United States! The last time there was talk of civil war in the United States was during the Civil War!

One begins to envision fulfillment of those verses that ‘each one’s hand will be against their companion’—just as a few years back it was observed that maybe the obsession with uber-violent entertainment was preparing people’s hearts for that eventuality—stoking up in them an affinity for gore. It might be well to take a back seat as that gets underway.

In that day confusion from Jehovah will be widespread among them; and each one ... hand will come against the hand of his companion.” (Zechariah 14:13) And God, in the dark time “will incite Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight one another, each against his brother and his neighbor.” (Isaiah 19:2) “Egyptian” as used here is code for the greater world—just as Revelation 11:8 cites Egypt as the place where the Lord was impaled. You know and I know he wasn’t really impaled there—it’s “code”—it’s “in a spiritual sense.”

It seems like not a bad time to “get out of the world” so as not to be caught in the crossfire. “In my letter I wrote you to stop keeping company with sexually immoral people, not meaning entirely with the sexually immoral people of this world or the greedy people or extortioners or idolaters. Otherwise, you would actually have to get out of the world.” Paul writes at 1 Corinthians 5:10, and he has to clarify just who he is speaking about, since it obviously is not possible to “get out of the world.”

Today it is! If you follow government advisories and go just a tiny nudge further, you all but have! And nobody saw it coming. Nobody foresaw a pandemic, and in case anyone did, no one foresaw how it would give an unexpected opportunity to get out of the world. One begins to wonder if it is not providential.

Here is someone just spotted on social media and he posts a picture of 2020 as though it were a children’s slide—and the slide he pictures is a cheese-grater at the bottom that the kid is about to slide into. The sick so-and-so! Still, everyone takes his point. Nobody says: “Nothing to see here, people. Move along, now. Why, from the days of our forefathers, all things continue exactly as from creation’s beginning.”

It is a good time to get to the bottom of Luke 21:26 and 31. People may “become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth,” but if you’ve prepped for it in a good way, “when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.” The call is still ongoing to benefit from the turnover.

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Avoiding Masks in Public—the New Snake Handling. The Huffington Post Weighs In

The Huffington Post is an irreligious source that works fairly hard to exalt “reason” and persuade that faith is for chumps. Alas, religion behaves in such a way as to give them plenty of easy shots. Like this one from a former church missionary, now a skeptic, who says:

“The best testimonies in church were always from addicts and ex-cons who started with, “If it weren’t for God, I might be dead by now.” In 2020, I wonder the opposite. If it weren’t for no longer believing, I could be dead by now.”

This is because, in the writer Karen Alea’s view, the more Bible-believing someone is, the more likely they are to blow off “COVID-19 [as] a hoax, or even if it’s not a hoax, God will protect them from it.” She cites a study that say 55% of believers are convinced that God will protect them from the virus. They gather in defiance of government advisories and see efforts to curtail services as tricks of the devil to which they will not fall victim.

In the effort to convey that those who believe the Bible are nuts and even harmful, since they downplay (or ignore) masks and social distancing, the Huffington Post does not mention that the largest group of evangelizers BY FAR (since every member preaches the good news—until not long ago, from door to door) had no problem at all with complying with the recommendation of government and health policies—even acting ahead of them. We always take a hit from these religionists, because their deeds are ascribed to us, even though ours are 180 degrees opposite.

Jehovah’s Witnesses immediately shut down all congregation gatherings, even before governments starting decreeing it. There was about a week in early March when it was stated to congregations that the group whose turn was to clean the Kingdom Hall would sanitize every touchable surface both before and after meetings, but this lasted only a week. A letter from the Branch subsequently stated all physical meetings would be suspended. And yet congregation members missed nothing—the succeeding week all meetings were held via the Zoom app.

At the same time, the trademark feature of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the house to house ministry, was suspended for the first time ever. It was one of the constants of life—“there is death and taxes and Jehovah’s Witnesses” and then it was no more. The New York Times acknowledged this shift—it is a tidal wave historic shift—though because they share the same “enlightened” view of Bible-believers as the HuffPo, they managed to convey it as though it was only for outward appearances, that contrary to the Governing Body’s statement about putting life first, they didn’t give a hoot about life and were frustrated the pandemic would deprive them of their powers to “manipulate people”—oh yeah! these anti-cult crazies have guzzled far too much of their own Kool-Aid—still they did acknowledge it.

Why doesn’t the Huffington Post acknowledge this example that flies in the face of their “Bible-believers are reckless” narrative? The answer is contained in the question—they don’t want things to fly in the face of what they believe. Man, that is irritating! It is like the Black Nationalist I spoke with in the ministry who allowed that Jehovah’s Witnesses know their Bibles more than others, but he still looked upon them askance because he thought they were Trump supporters. It’s like Jen, who told me how people just assume that she, as a Christian woman serious enough about the Bible to visit their home, must necessarily be a Trump supporter. How she answered I do not know, but I know how I answered the Black Nationalist: that the Pew Research people report that Jehovah’s Witnesses are apolitical, and to the extent they are not, they lean slightly Democrat. But the feature of the chart that immediately strikes one is their distinct lack of participation on either side—in sharp contrast to any other religion surveyed. In fact (this is just my guess), if it were not for the fact that participants in such surveys self-identity, even the low participation rates revealed would be much lower still.

So here we have the Huffington Post striving with all its irreligious might to convey that Bible-believing is reckless, when in fact, not only are Jehovah’s Witnesses more responsible than the church Christians they consider, but they are more responsible than the Post’s own skeptical readers! They must be. The Cult Expert’s hashtag—he of the BITE model—is “freedomofmind.” You don’t think at least some of his followers will use their freedom of mind to tell the authorities where they can go with their advisories?

Now, this is not to say that Jehovah’s Witnesses have given up on their ministry, but they have shifted to methods not necessitating personal contact—letters, phone calls, online, informal situations, and the like—not as thorough, probably, but the best that can be done under the circumstances—maybe a little like how the ministry slows notably, but does not stop, during the atrocious months of winter.

So the Huffington Post ignore the example of Jehovah’s Witnesses that flies in the face of their ‘Bible-believers are reckless’ narrative because they are irreligious. Writer Karen Alea ignores it however—well, who can say why she ignores it?—but it is very likely that she does not know about it. And why does she not know about it?

Because the church community she hails from collectively does all it can to spread the fiction that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Christian. And why do they do that? Because they buy into the completely illogical trinity teaching, and Jehovah’s Witnesses do not. The verses that can be used to support the trinity would, if seen in any other context, be instantly dismissed as figure of speech, and yet they take it all literally. No wonder her former chums declared that her problem was “logic” that was holding her back from God’s blessing. Now—in fact, there is something to not thinking you can figure God out, but that is not the same as incorporating completely irrational notions into your definition of him.

Portions of what Alea observes about her previous church connections would be unsettling to any of Jehovah’s Witnesses—even given that the Huffington Post will not paint faith in a flattering way and when they cover Jehovah’s Witnesses, they rip them apart, too.  For example, with regard to her pursuing the “gift of tongues,” she followed the advice to “Just let it come,” the leader said. I decided I needed to break through this rational thinking stifling me and so I followed their directions and emulated some of the sounds of speaking in tongues I heard coming out of the mouths of the people surrounding me. As I did, their prayers got louder with excitement. Adults, leaders, people who had put their lives on the line for God could tell I was being blessed and it roused their souls. I repeated the same odd five sounds again and again like a child starting to talk.” Most of Jehovah’s Witnesses would regard this as flirting with demonism—you don’t try to override your common sense—if it doesn’t make sense, don’t do it.

This one is more than a little screwy, too: She writes: “I believed God would put things in my path to bless me or test me. Both would make me stronger in my faith.” In fact, overcoming trials does make one stronger—this is true for believers and non-believers alike—but does God “put things in her path to test her?” How does that square with the verse Witnesses read all the time, and now reading Karen’s article, I can better see why: “When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone.” (James 1:13) It is a seemingly subtle aspect of belief—that God causes suffering—that translates into a huge and deleterious shift of outlook.

Of course, Karen’s moved on from religion, now—she’s “currently a skeptic”—but how much of it is due to the nonsense she was required to swallow in the first place? She is preaching her new gospel: “Christianity is based on one singular belief: Jesus raised from the dead. Once you believe in one miracle, the pathway is paved to believe in the next. Not all branches of faith go as far as handling snakes, but they’re all rooted in the one miracle that overrides our intellect.

Does it really “override our intellect” or is it just something that we don’t know? Now, the trinity—that overrides our intellect. That is said to be beyond our powers of understanding even by its most ardent advocates. But the resurrection? Once you accept the premise that God created life, what is so hard about accepting that he can restore it? Haven’t you ever fixed something that was broken?

At any rate, she has described the course she once embraced as “spiritual terrorism.” She writes of how “gathering together [was] the best way to get out the message and be heard. But accompanied by their belief that God is protecting them against a government mask mandate, these particular groups of Christians are spreading more than the Word of God.

Well, if it kills huge swaths of people, as appear to be the case, I guess I can see her point of view as to what is “spiritual terrorism.” Still, somewhere along the way, even in a footnote, I would have been happy had the Huff Po said Jehovah’s Witnesses do not carry on that way—and they are the most evangelistic of all.

 

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What if Atheists Had Learned Accurate Bible Teachings First? Would They Still Have Gone Atheist?

Q: In Bart Ehrman new book, it seems he ...wants to find a way to believe in the afterlife...most of his writings deal with the exploits of noncanon material or the early church fathers understanding of Hades, Sheol.

Bart comes from an evangelical background. In his blog, he speaks poignantly of the tragedy of losing his faith, something that happened once he began to examine the Bible through “critical thinking.” 

He never had a firm foundation to stand on. I would lose my faith, too, if I had to uphold all the nonsense that is part and parcel of church teaching. One can almost feel sorry for him—but one does not, because he does not feel sorry for himself. He has a good gig going—top selling author, nifty website with a paywall that donates to charity, a reputation that prompts the Great Courses Lecture series to engage him as a professor, chair of a university religion department, where he destroys the faith of his students—but since it was founded mostly on the doctrines of churches, it was barely defensible in the first place. No, he has a good gig. Nobody has asked me to chair a Great Courses series.

If not atheist, he certainly is hard-agnostic, unless he has had a recent change of heart. I often wonder what would have happened if those now atheist had been presented accurate Christian teachings first—would they have gone atheist in that case? A naive me once assumed that the answer would be no. 

Sometimes it has worked that way, but these are crazy times, and if you keep up with atheist writings, you find that they are likely to detest JWs most of all! It does not help that JWs have “accurate” Bible teachings. The allure of breaking free from any “control” is just too enticing to be countered by a fresh look at Bible teachings. There is no way that those on the “cramped and narrow road” are not going to be derided as “cult” members by those on the broad and spacious one. This is so predictable that I kick myself for not having predicted it long before—it is so obvious. 

To break free of “control” holds irresistible appeal today, and the atheists add to the list of who does it (and even put foremost) those who would claim to represent God, as our brothers do, and they lambasted them for “controlling”  people by that means. You might think they would look upon Witnesses with admiration for such things as eliminating racism among their midst, or not engaging in physical violence on any account—least of all that of the government trying to sign them up for the latest war.

Alas, to them, JWs are the worst of the lot, because most churches have watered down “speaking in God’s name” to “God works in mysterious ways,” and have pretty much learned to roll with whatever happens, being content to add a smiley “God” emoji to events. Most have made their peace with the world—they seek to hopefully modify it for the better. Atheists are vested in the world even more so, and think the view of JWs far too extreme—even “murderous”—that God means to replace it. 

From the ranks of atheists come those most likely to present the picture that obedience “to men” is essential if you are a JW, how they are under enormous pressure always from top leaders, and how they terrify children with expectations of Armaggedon. (How about when Newsweek surveys the world scene, and presents the magazine cover “What the *@#! Is Next?” I countered to one of them.)

The “obedience” that JWs are expected to render is no more than following directions of the teacher, the coach, the mentor, the employer, the counselor, the traffic cop—something that was once the most unremarkable thing in the world, but is now presented as selling out one’s soul. JWs have not changed—the world has. One may look no farther than it’s collective response to Covid 19 to see what chaos follows. Mark Benioff, the Salesforce founder, the fellow who purchased Time Magazine, has stated that if everyone had masked up for just three weeks, the virus would have been defeated. Of course, this is what JWs have done, because being obedient to authority is not an issue for them, but the illness is out of control today because the world ridicules obedience and challenges the authority of any who would advance it. The very first sign that this would escalate to disaster occurred very early on—when toilet paper sold out, despite knowledge that the virus doesn’t hit people that way. I told Hassan, the CultExpert, he of the“FreedomofMind” hashtag, that my people have behaved far more responsibly than his—you don’t think some will use their “freedom of mind” to tell the government where they can go with their “rules?”

It doesn’t matter if the world’s obsession with “independence” ends in disaster—as it surely will—as it is with Covid 19. As one tweet puts it: “Folks want to believe this pandemic is nearing an end because they’re tired of living in a broken world. But I fear we are just at the beginning, and that we’ve squandered the first six months with our bickering.” You know they will squander the next six months, too—you just know it. That is the way the world works.

To be free of “control” is just too strong a pull for anything to be otherwise. Those on the broad and spacious road—that’s what makes it broad and spacious, ones on it listen to no one but themselves—will invariably present those on the cramped and narrow road as manipulated by a cult. That should have occurred to me long ago.

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American’s Frontline Doctors and the Canceled JW Conventions—Tying Together Two Topics that You Wouldn’t Think Could Be Tied Together At All

When I heard the truncated clip, I was disappointed. It makes our guy look like a religious nut. “It’s a modern-day miracle,” he says, seemingly his lead-off line about the Jehovah’s Witnesses move to present their annual summer conventions online.

It’s not a modern-day miracle. It’s a technological accomplishment—an impressive one, to be sure—after all, it involves 500 languages, done on a crash basis, and broadcast worldwide—but it is not a “miracle.” It is not Jesus walking on water. Forgive me if I admit that when I first saw the clip with that as his lead statement, I supposed that the man was a nut—an over enthusiastic zealot who had drunk too much of his own Kool-Aid.

Yet, do I not come across the entire interview several days later to find it of a completely different flavor? It turns out that he is not that way at all—his remarks were framed to make him sound a fanatic by a media that feels it their duty to do so when dealing with matters of faith, something that is not their forte. He never meant the “miracle” remark literally. It’s a gush of enthusiasm such as anyone will have upon completing an overwhelming project. It is Neil Armstrong saying “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” It is a throw-off line of hyperbole that comes 5 minutes into the interview—not the lead-off pronouncement of the truncated version.

This is so infuriating, but also so typical. Everyone will say something in the course of 15 minutes that can be misconstrued by those of another agenda—who simply can’t get their heads around a different point of view or may even be trying to deliberately sabotage it—to make the person look like a nut.

I almost wonder if something similar is now at work with the doctor from Cameroon recommending the hydroxychloroquine drug for Covid 19. There were ten doctors who banded together for a public statement before the steps of the Supreme Court, but because this one (Stella Immanuel) has made remarks in her past about demons, and the others presumably have not, she becomes the sole media focus to discredit the lot of them. The other nine are sent out to pasture.

I don’t often speak on my blog of demons, nor of the devil. Much of my target audience chokes at mention of God, so should I really send them into orbit with posts of the devil? Besides, humans are perfectly capable of doing evil things all on their own—a line of demarcation is hard to draw.

But neither do I think someone should be pilloried for bringing up the topic, much less when it has nothing to do with the story at hand. If anything, I am the expedient chicken, not her. Anyone who knows anything about Africa knows that belief in interaction with the spirits is well-nigh universal. She is to be expected not to pick up on it? Let the thinkers today get a handle on evil—even eradicate it a little bit—before they go ridiculing those who go off their materialistic script.

At root, though the doctor and our guy may be poles apart, the reason to trash them is the same, or at least it is a kissing cousin: they are both serious about things not endorsed by today’s prevailing atheistic materialistic view. In her case, there may be more to the story—something that is deliberately discredited. In our case, there certainly is. Us first:

Robert Hendricks, spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses, speaks of how both the door-to-door ministry and the annual conventions have been suspended for the first time in history. The reasons are telling—that of “respect for life” and “love of neighbor.” Probably no one has more potential to spread the Covid 19 virus than Jehovah’s Witnesses in their old model. Not only do they routinely approach people, but their organization is the largest convention-holding one in the world—people converge sometimes by the tens of thousands for events held in stadiums. We just couldn’t see ourselves doing that this year, Hendricks said. With a lead-in time of only about a month, Witnesses put the entire event online to be streamed worldwide.

Their organization had gone into lockdown even before governments began to require it. “Just because you can drive 75 mph in some areas doesn’t mean that you should,” he stated. I told the CultExpert, he of the #freedomofmind hashtag, that “our” people were more responsible than his. Our people promptly and without fuss laid low—Covid 19 would be long gone by now if all were like them—but “his” people? You don’t think many of them will use their “freedom of mind” to tell the government what it can do with its rules?

Frankly, since media jumps all over churches that defy “science” by gathering, you would think they would praise to the heavens one that has set the example for being proactive. Yet, even when trying to compliment, they are hamstrung by a mindset that pronounces religion outmoded. Even as the New York Times covers the socially responsible move, (that of suspending the door-to-door ministry, not that of the conventions, which came later), they take for granted that it is done only for the sake of appearances. The decision “followed anguished discussions at Watchtower headquarters with leaders deciding March 20 that knocking on doors would leave the impression that members were disregarding the safety of those they hoped to convert,” as though the safety itself doesn’t mean a hill of beans to them. “Members are called on to share scriptures in person with nonmembers,” it wrote. Well, in fact they are called to do it, but it is by the scriptures themselves, and not the commands of HQ, as they like to frame it. “Now if I am declaring the good news, it is no reason for me to boast, for necessity is laid upon me. Really, woe to me if I do not declare the good news!” writes the apostle at 1 Corinthians 9:16. Why do these materialistic ones not just say that the Bible itself is a “cult manual” and be done with it?

As to the 500 languages (1000 in print): the interview branched into this as the newsman asked some questions—it turns out that his mom is a Witness, and he thanked Hendricks for keeping her safe. The languages feat can be done because there is no profit motive, Hendricks said. That’s why no one else even comes close—Google, Apple, Amazon—no one. “There’s no end to what can be done if there is not a profit motive,” he said.

A cynical me says that he will probably be fired for going so far “off-script.” Naw—I don’t really think he will be, but if it is like the Cameroon doctor, he could be. She and her fellow doctors were promptly muzzled on social media for “spreading misinformation.” Will the News13 reporter be accused of “enabling” it as well?

Her turn: A major study of the Henry Ford Healthcare System in Detroit finds that the drug hydroxychloroquine is extremely effective. Why it is trashed as it is, I will never know. But since it is dirt cheap, and since the President has recommended it, it is hard not to think that either or both or these facts suggest possible reasons. 

By the time, the Henry Ford study was released, media had already reached the verdict that the drug was no good. This was based upon an earlier study published in Lancet that said hydroxychloroquine was ineffective, and in fact, even dangerous. However, Lancet later retracted their article. The reason they retracted it is that it was of a study that had not been submitted to peer review. The reason it had not been submitted to peer review is that it would have failed—it was a very sloppy study, sabotaged in numerous ways. The reason it was taken up by the media anyway, despite being so sloppy, is that it discredited Trump, who first said he liked the stuff and later that he even took it. Everything is politicized today—everyone gets into the fray of battling over who will rule the world.

Hydroxychloroquine has been around forever, a mainstay of treatment for several ills. It would have been run off the road long ago were it so dangerous. It is extremely cheap—another reason to attack it from an entirely different quarter—Remdesivir, a competing treatment, costs $1000 per dose! Does the cheaper drug have side effects? Just listen to the side effects of drugs relentlessly hawked on TV today—it is enough to scare your socks off. Cardiologist Dr. William O’Neill, medical director at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan, director of the Detroit study said: “I've never seen science [so] politicized in 40 years of practice.”

 

 

 

 

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)

Brother Glock and the Woo Factor - Part 2

For those who don’t know, ‘woo’ is a derisive term originated by the scientist/philosopher/atheist/cheerleaders. It refers to how they, the intelligent people, will run something past the dummies that the latter can’t understand and so attribute to the supernatural. “Woooo,” they exclaim. There is some overlap of scientists with scientist/philosopher/atheist/cheerleaders but the two are not the same. Plenty of scientists just go about doing science and see no contradiction with believing in God. Science is a tool for understanding, but it is not the tool for understanding.
 
The scientist/philosopher/atheist/cheerleaders kid themselves in their supposed enlightenment—just like the intrepid explorer did when he suddenly found himself surrounded by primitive cannibals! He pulled a lighter from his pocket, flicked it, and a low flame emerged. The astonished natives gasped ‘Woo! Woo!’ and fell back. “MAGIC!!” the explorer said in a deep voice. “It must be,” the chief said. “That’s the first time we’ve ever seen one light on the first try!”

So Vomodog thinks he has “won” with the admission that the Covid update (#4) is just good human advice? He thinks that it proves his case somehow—to win an admission that the Governing Body is not drawing on woo? I never thought that they were in this instance. Nor, I doubt, did many. Nor, as likely as not, did Brother Glock, who gave the talk that started this ball rolling.

Here is a statement from Harry Cheadle, in NewRepublic.com: “The current moment [of responding to Covid 19] is demonstrating just how far away we are from being able to come together to solve a planetary crisis. The pandemic is a test, and we’re failing it.

Why is his statement true? Because you can’t get people to agree on anything. Propose a course, and find yourself lambasted by those advocating just the opposite. The Governing Body is the only entity that can issue an update of Covid 19 without my saying, “What is their real motive here?” 

There is a public talk on making sound decisions that recognizes it is often not so crucial that you have made this or that decision, but it is crucial that you follow through on whatever you decide. This the greater world is unable to do. It is the paralysis of everyone challenging everyone else that collectively delivers the Cheadle verdict that “we’re failing the crisis.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t failing it, and it is because of completely human factors that they enjoy and the greater world does not. Witnesses have the ability to yield. They don’t insist on their own way. They do not have to “question authority” on every piddly thing. They trust leadership. They see that direction given obviously has their interests at heart, that it is not too onerous, that it allows for individual family headship. It allows that the circumstances of one family will not be that of another, and doesn’t try to tell them all what to do, even as it sets a greater overall theme of caution. In contrast, the direction of human leaders during these Covid days has ranged from draconian to complete laissez faire.

“Well, that’s just good sound thinking,” Vomodog says, “based upon Bible verses that show good sound thinking. We could have done that.” But the fact is that he didn’t. And in fact, he can’t—because he has sided among those with a societal inability to agree, a societal inability to compromise, and a societal inability to endure delayed gratification. Return to the fold, and he will find it again, but it’s not to be found in the greater world that he has chosen.

In fact, I have no problem if Brother Glock does think that a woo factor is at work, nor would I ever rule out that there might be—it is just that you can’t “prove” it in the scientific sense. But the fact is, you can discard all the woo, and still have the greater argument. You still have Vic Vomodog swimming in a chaotic cesspool of argument, indecision, and waffling. You still have him, like an insane Jeremiah, at the bottom of a miry cistern, trying to persuade Ebed-Melech to come down and join him. You still have him trying to sell you the bill of goods that your life would improve if you would just step over to the morass that is his.

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)