Why do I think of that Superman movie where the Man of Steel is about to square off with his counterpart Super Villian and some plebe says, 'This is going to be good!'

It’s the play we’re watching, not the actors in the play. You don’t have to know the names of the actors to follow the play. It can even be a distraction if you do. Besides, naming a villain, or even a hero, creates the impression that removing that person will change matters. Instead, another actor who has all the lines down pat steps onto the stage and the play continues with barely a hiccup.

So it is that the Watchtower seldom names names or points to specific schemes. I often follow suit. But sometimes the players and schemes are so intriguing that I go astray.

So here is Scott Adams, the guy who draws Dilbert, tweeting that he is “skeptical of anything that can’t be explained in a sentence." He’s talking about the keynote address at the WEF (World Economic Forum) meeting in Davos: 'Master the Future.' "What exactly do they do?" he added. "And why?"

To which tweet Elon Musk appended: “Master the Future” doesn’t sound ominous at all … How is WEF/Davos even a thing? Are they trying to be the boss of Earth!?"

Scott Adams is happily playing second fiddle to Elon Musk these days. He had come to the defense of the Covid 19 vaccine previously, but now he has done a complete turnaround, coupled with an apology: "I would like to publicly apologize for continuously ignoring the "accurate data" on Covid that people sent me for three years," he tweeted (Jan 24th) 

Musk and he are best buds now. Scott floats the idea of whether he could win were he to run in the California Senate race. "Please run; that would be awesome," Elon responds.

Twitter is where it's at now that Musk bought it and let the dissenting voices back in that are still banned most anywhere else for going against prevailing narrative. Bernard Strawman will be ecstatic. There is now 'dialogue' on that social media site that there is nowhere else. Musk let Peter McCullough back in, for example. The guy is the top published cardiologist in the country, maybe in the world. He had thought his stature gave him an untouchable status to dispute the prime vaccine directive, but he was wrong. Not long ago he was sweating it that his medical license was about to be pulled, a fate he has so far avoided.  

After Musk tweeted that it “isn’t clear whether, all things considered, a second booster helps or hurts,” Yahoo News (1/12) took to explaining "what studies show." They show he's wrong, was their verdict--as it is everyone's verdict who wishes to remain on social media--or was until Twitter went apostate on them.

Elon Musk casts doubt on whether a 2nd COVID booster helps or hurts. Here’s what studies show. (yahoo.com)

'Vaccine hesitancy' is a real problem today, Yahoo lamented. Musk shouldn't go pouring on the gasoline. True, "when bivalent boosters were first given emergency-use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, some were concerned about the lack of human clinical trial data, but updated information from clinical trials has since become available."  Pfizer provided it. They said their stuff was okay. Besides, "the CDC says serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely rare following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination.”

Oh yeah? Well, it almost killed me, Musk tweeted. He "had major side effects from my second booster shot. Felt like I was dying for several days. Hopefully, no permanent damage, but I dunno." To which newly liberated, as though from Babylon, McCullough attached a name to what Musk had experienced and said that given his age and level of fitness he would probably be okay. Musk added to his first tweet, "And my cousin, who is young & in peak health, had a serious case of myocarditis. Had to go to the hospital."

Speaking of going to the hospital: The Buffalo Bills home team's playbook incorporated the player who collapsed after arising from a routine tackle returning to the stadium and attempting to spur them to victory with his signature heart gesture. Alas, to no avail. They lost.

I had seen the fellow fall three weeks earlier. He rose from making a routine tackle, then fell over as though dead, a startled Bengal jumping away. EMT worked on him near 20 minutes as teammates gathered around, some in tears, some in prayer, before taking him off to the hospital. After an hour of uncertainly, the game was suspended. Tens of thousands of fans were sent home. He is still said to be on oxygen in critical condition.

There was instant speculation on social media that it was vaccine-induced myocarditis, same as with Musk's cousin. That occurred to me right away. Healthy athletes are dropping over dead right and left these days. The book that says it best is 'Cause Unknown: the Epidemic of Sudden Deaths in 2021 and 2022,' by Edward Dowd, a finance guy who's used to spotting trends. In it are hundreds of young people who have, since 2021, died unexpectedly for no reason. Each is verified by QR code so you can go and check for yourself. Furthermore, he has gathered the life insurance charts that show a 40% spike in unknown-cause deaths in the final quarter of 2021, when vaccine mandates kicked in.

Dowd avoids the 'Who' and he avoids the 'Why.' He does only the 'What' and the 'When.' He takes the low-hanging fruit that others go beyond and in the process step into land mines. Tackle the 'who' and the 'why' and you are instantly labeled a conspiracy theorist. But anyone with an eye for detail and a knack for digging things up can tackle the 'what' and the 'when.'

So instantly I thought of the possibility--even though the Explainer explained that I shouldn't think it.

EXPLAINER: What happened to Damar Hamlin? | AP News

I was smart enough not to put it on social media, but there was fierce reaction to those who did:

Vaccine misinformation surges on social media, Fox News after NFL player Damar Hamlin's onscreen heart attack | Fortune and

Twitter Is a Megaphone for ‘Sudden Death’ Vaccine Conspiracies | WIRED

They do pile on, but welcome to social media. No wonder the JW organization's not thrilled with it. The only caveat to the loutish behavior, which was not pointed out, was that the accusers had been pummeled for months, and even banned if they said the 'wrong thing.' ‘Step out of line, the man comes and takes you away.’ Now they are unleashed, and like those bees from the abyss, they are furious that it took so long.

'It's despicable that conspiracy theorist wackos would knee-jerk bring up the Covid vaccine!' was the prevailing sentiment. But others responded that of course you would think of possible causes--the stuff is known to trigger myocarditis--just as for the longest time if you wanted to go anywhere you were queried over whether you'd been to the Far East recently. 

The tackle that felled the Bills player, after he had first arisen "didn’t appear unusually violent," the Explainer explained. Maybe it was "a rare type of trauma called commotio cordis . . . [which] occurs when a severe blow to the chest causes the heartbeat to quiver, leading to sudden cardiac arrest."

How rare is this? "Commotio cordis occurs “probably 20 times a year,” said the article, as it neglected to mention that the padded NFL gear is specifically designed to shield against such blows to the chest.

Now Musk has let these dissenting voices like McCullough--and Dowd, he had been banned too--back in for the sake of dialogue. Just like Mr. Strawman, he thinks dialogue is good. He even says (Jan/16) he is tweaking algorithms so as to send opposing views your way, though you can tweak them away in settings if you want to live in an 'echo chamber.' Yikes! Does this mean Vic Vomodog and Larsen Ahithorolf are my reluctant new best friends? Twitter has become the cutting edge place to be. 

Musk takes on the high and mighty: “We shouldn’t be obsessed with WEF/Davos, but they take themselves sooo seriously that making fun of them is awesome,” he tweets. And, "My reason for declining the Davos invitation was not because I thought they were engaged in diabolical scheming, but because it sounded boring af lol,” attaching an emoji wearing sunglasses.

Elon Blasts WEF Effort to Run World, Tucker Finishes Them Off – RedState

Yeah, well we didn't invite you anyway, they respond. He contradicts their narratives. “WEF is increasingly becoming an unelected world government that the people never asked for and don’t want,” he says. And herein lies the tie-in to the age-old biblical drama: it is about government.

There's evidence he's getting under their skin. The EU Commissioner of Values and Transparancy, who of course is there attending, says:

"I [once] had quite a high level of confidence when it comes to Twitter. I have to say that we worked with knowledgeable people, with the lawyers, with sociologists who understood that they have to behave in some decent way, not to cause really big harm to society. I always felt that this notion of responsibility was there. So this is what I don't feel from Elon Musk personally. . . " 

and even issues an eerie--is it a warning?--"Our message was clear. We have rules which have to be complied with. And otherwise there will be sanctions."

Why do I think of that Superman movie where the Man of Steel is about to square off with his counterpart SuperVillian and some plebe says, 'This is going to be good!'

We is gonna get some dialogue! Newsweek is one of the first to break ranks. Don’t think that your critical thinking skills are going to navigate you through this chaos. The trouble with critical thinking is that those who most vehemently advocate for it are apt to think they have a lock on the stuff. Critical thinkers appear pretty evenly split on Covid matters.

As for JW HQ, they noted that you couldn’t do anything without getting vaccinated, and they did want to do things, so they complied along with most everyone else. They monitored the congregation, noted people weren’t dropping dead upon taking it, and gave the green light after an initial period of‘neutrality.’

094B98F8-7057-4861-9122-7CD9FF684356Trouble is, this entire post will be obsolete is in month. That's how fast-moving things are. But maybe it's all evidence that we are not in the last days and that we are not just hanging on by a thread.

Meanwhile, the coalition of Frontline doctors, the ones who testified before Congress (I heard them) that they were having astounding success treating Covid-19 with Ivermectin, have released tips for how those suffering from vaccine injury, even long Covid, might benefit.

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Can One Prove the Faith?

“I don't really have any evidence that any prayer has ever been answered, at least since the first century,” said Whitepebble. “We walk completely by faith on this question.”

No longer do I try to prove the faith to those determined not to share it. They have an answer to everything—just as any faction today has an answer to anyone who have chosen something different.. 

The idea of living forever, minus the woes of this present life, appeals to me. The idea of gratitude to a Creator, who has superior wisdom, appeals to me. All I need is to clear up misgivings about the existence of evil, and that can be done in a reasonable manner. It’s not something you can prove, but it makes sense.

Conversely, the idea that humans will have the answers does not appeal to me. All I know and have experienced argues that following that course will just incur `one disappointment after another.

These qualities could be described as those of heart. Head has nothing to do with it. The heart chooses what it wants, then charges the head to devise a convincing rationale. This may lend the appearance that the head is running the show, but it is the heart all along.

There is a downside to being as cocoon-like as many are toward in-depth following of news events. We miss that people everywhere select the facts they like, that support their belief/value/political system, then use them to castigate those of different persuasion. People are like sports fans today. They cheer and boast when their side scores a point, wince and do damage control when their side suffers loss, but on no account do they examine the merits of the other side. There are no end of combative  ‘other sides.’ But we miss much of this due to lumping them all together as ‘the world.’

Critical thinking as a tool in the toolbox is fine. Critical thinking as an overarching philosophy is a joke. We’re not capable of it. Heart trumps head every time. We think the ‘activism’ against the Witness organization is something unique. Instead, it just demonstrates that we stand for something. Everyone that stands for something triggers activism from those of conflicting persuasion. The one way not to trigger ‘activism’ is to be bland and toothless. Then, since your faith doesn’t really matter, since it doesn’t meaningfully stand in the way of predominant secular values, no one has anything to object to.

There is little sense in trying to prove the faith to anyone other than yourself. ‘Prove to yourselves,’ Romans 12:2 says. ‘Taste and see Jehovah is good,’ says the psalm. Taste is subjective. If someone can’t stand the taste of beets, how are you going to prove to them that beets taste good? These days I just present the Bible hope. It appeals to some and does not appeal to others.

When people squawk about Adam and Eve being fairy tale, as many do in the modern world, I say treat them, and all that derives from them, as they would a jigsaw puzzle. When you put together a jigsaw puzzle you do not concern yourself at all with whether the picture on the box cover is real or not. Upon assembling the puzzle and replicating that picture, sometimes that in itself triggers a reassessment of the picture’s validity. 

But if you know the box cover picture is of Josh Grobin, 319D387C-D6AD-4C9D-9213-FBBA941EBC00and you do not like Josh Grobin because after you picked up your wife and her girlfriend from his concert, you learned in a sudden storm that bridge surfaces really do freeze before road pavement (and Josh thereafter didn’t even come to visit you—unlike Mozart, who would have done so), then you will not attempt to put that puzzle together. So it is with the ‘God, prayer, everlasting life, man dominates man to his injury’ puzzle. Some are intrigued to put that puzzle together. To others, the box cover is a turn-off. 

Similarly, prayer is not a topic that you seek to prove to someone else. Does the Bible ever suggest that course? It is personal back and forth with God, without regard for how someone else might view it. If one person thinks such-and-such is an answer to prayer, what business is that of anyone else? Besides, even believers have grown comfortable with saying that, while God answers all prayers, sometimes the answer is no.

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Jesus and Socrates—the Parallels

We don’t know much about Socrates. If we’re called upon to read his name aloud from print, we say what an embarrassed Michael Jackson said, that he had heard the name many times but had never seen it spelled out. How was he to know it was three syllables and not two? So, what do we know about So-Crates? We know he died from hemlock poisoning. We know he drank it himself, that he had been sentenced to die. And that’s about all we know, plain ‘ol people that we are.

22831E0C-15F6-4966-8358-60D356D7A8EFOf course, if we have had some training on the topic, then we know more. We also know enough to say his name correctly. But most people are rank and file, unconcerned with Socrates because Socrates does not touch upon their daily lives—or if he does, they don’t know just how. They do know about Jesus, however, because Jesus is the lynchpin of the major religion. To be sure, much of what they know about Jesus is wrong, but they do have a lot of wannabe-facts at their disposal, some of which are true, whereas for Socrates they have almost nothing.

Simplify Greek history exponentially by knowing his relationship to other big names of the era. Socrates was one-on-one teacher to Plato, Plato was one-on-one teacher to Aristotle, and Aristotle was one-on-one teacher to Alexander the Great. There, doesn’t that help?

I was already delving into the unlikely. I was already drawing some parallels between Socrates and Jesus. Both had a way of buttonholing people, prodding them to think outside the box. Both attracted a good many followers in this way. Both were outliers to the general world of their time, and were looked upon askance for it. Both infuriated their ‘higher-ups’—so much so that both were consequently sentenced to death. Their venues were different, and so we seldom make the linkage, but linkage there is. As a result of auditing the Great Courses lecture series, I was beginning to play with the idea.

Imagine my satisfaction when I come across one of those professors, J. Rufus Fears, who has not only begun but has fully developed the idea in his lecture series entitled ‘A History of Freedom.’ Happy as a pig in mud I was, for it proved I was not crazy. Nearly all subsequent points are taken from his lecture, “Jesus and Socrates:”

They were both teachers, for one, Jesus of the spiritual and Socrates of the empirical. They both refused pay, a circumstance that in itself aroused the suspicion of the established system. (Victor V. Blackwell, a lawyer who defended many Witness youths in the World War II draft days, observed that local judges recognized only one sort of minister: those who “had a church” and “got paid”—“mercenary ministers,” he called them.)

7CAC7F61-0CCF-44E9-BF12-876C94793101Fears may be a bit too much influenced by evolving Christian ‘theology’—he speaks of Jesus being God, for instance, and the kingdom of God being a condition of the heart—but his familiarity with the details of the day, and the class structure social mores that both Jesus and Socrates’ transgressed against, is unparalleled. Jesus reduces the Law to two basic components: love of God and love of neighbor. This infuriates the Pharisees and Sadducees, because complicating the Law was their meal ticket, their reason for existence. After his Sermon on the Mount, “the crowds were astounded at his way of teaching, for he was teaching them as a person having authority, and not as their scribes.” Depend upon it: the scribes didn’t like him. Socrates, also, did the Sophist’s work—the paid arguers who ‘made the weaker argument look the stronger,’—better than they. They were jealous of him.

Neither Jesus nor Socrates encouraged participation in politics of the day. Jesus urged followers to be “no part of the world.” Socrates declared it impossible for an honest man to survive under the democracy of his time. Both thereby triggered establishment wrath, for if enough people followed their example, dropping out of contemporary life, where would society be?

Both Jesus and Socrates were put to death out of envy. Both had offended the professional class. Both became more powerful in death than in life. Both could have avoided death, but didn’t. Socrates could have backtracked, played upon the jury’s sympathy, appealed to his former military service. Jesus could have brought in witnesses to testify that he never said he was king of the Jews, the only charge that make Pilate sit up and take notice.

Both spoke ambiguously. In Socrates case, he was eternally asking questions, rather than stating conclusions. His goal—to get people to examine their own thinking. In Jesus case, it was “speak[ing]to them by the use of illustrations” because “the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes, so that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and get the sense of it with their hearts and turn back and I heal them.” He spoke ambiguously to see if he could cut through that morass, to make them work, to reach the heart.

What if Jesus were appear on the scene today and enter one of the churches bearing his name, churches where they don’t do as he said? Would they yield the podium to him? Or would they once again dismiss him as a fraud and imposter, putting him to death if he became too insistent, like their counterparts did the first time?

If Jesus is the basis of church, Socrates is no less the basis of university. His sayings had to be codified by Plato, his disciple, just as Jesus’ sayings had to be codified by some of his disciples. Thereafter, Plato’s student, Aristotle, had to turn them into organized form, founding the Academy—the basis of higher learning ever since. Professor Fears muses upon what would happen if Socrates showed up on campus in the single cloak he was accustomed to wearing, “just talking to students, walking around with them, not giving structured courses, not giving out a syllabus or reading list at the start of classes, not giving examination” at the end. Would they not call Security? And if by some miracle he did apply for faculty, which he would not because he disdained a salary, but if he did, you know they would not accept him. Where were his credentials? Yes, he had the gift of gab, they would acknowledge, but such was just a “popularity contest.” Where were his published works?

Similarly, where were Jesus’ published works? Neither Jesus nor Socrates wrote down a thing. It was left for Jesus’ disciples to write gospel accounts of his life. It was left for Plato to write of Socrates’ life. If either were to appear at the institutions supposedly representing their names, they would not be recognized. Shultz, the chronicler of early Watchtower history, recently tweeted that when he appends a few letters to his name, such as PhD, which he can truthfully can, his remarks get more attention than when he does not. He says it really shouldn’t be that way, but it is what it is. Both Jesus and Socrates would have been in Credential-Jail, neither having not a single letter to stick on the end of their name. It wouldn’t help for it to be known that each had but a single garment.

Today people are used to viewing “career” as the high road, “vocation” as the lower. Vocation is associated with working with ones’ hands. Fears turns it around. “Vocation” represents a calling. Jesus was literally called at his baptism: the heavens open up, and God says, “This is my son in whom I am well-pleased.” Socrates had a calling in that the god Apollo at Delphi said no one is wiser than he. Socrates took that to mean God was telling him to go out and prove it. “Career,” on the other hand, stems from a French word meaning “a highway,” a means of getting from one place to another, considerably less noble than “a calling,” a vocation.

We who are Jehovah’s Witnesses are quite used to pointing out that religion has run off the rails. What is interesting from these parallels is the realization that academia has no less run off the rails. Both have strayed far from their roots, and not for the better. Both have devolved into camps of indoctrination.

 

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Things That Drive You Crazy About the Faith—and How to View Them: Part 6

This is a multi-part series. See Preface,  2nd Preface,  Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Each part links to the next.

Count up the ways that ‘knowledge of the present by revelation’ makes you scratch your head when it conflicts with empirical knowledge, knowledge of the present acquired from observation. A few are arguable but the list is long.

Pursue higher education and it can only be because you want “to make a great name for yourself,” to secure a cushy seat on a sinking ship. “Nah, I just want to make a living,” some will say, but it is lost upon those who receive knowledge from the revelation of the scriptures. ‘Wisdom cries aloud in the streets and public squares,’ says Proverbs 1:20, not the quadrangles. In the quadrangles, Scripture indicates you will more likely find “every wind of teaching by means of the trickery of men,” not to mention “empty speeches that violate what is holy and from the contradictions of the falsely called ‘knowledge.’” Since the Word says it is so, the Bethel brothers don’t bother to look for exceptions. If you do look for exceptions, they will wonder how you got off unscathed and question as to whether you really did. Why flirt with what revelation says not to flirt with? It doesn’t help that revelation says a Christian is to “work with [his] hands.” (1 Thess 4:11).

It’s all revelation that tells them this. They trust revelation because it is from God. Nor is it untrue in so far as it goes. To the anticultists who want to ensure that nobody depart from mainstream secular thinking and who level charges of ‘brainwashing!’ one might respond that it is not brainwashing they object to, but brainwashing that is not theirs. The Witnesses’ caution of higher education is overall valid, but some will say they torpedo themselves with a revelatory approach that misses the nuances. At times, nuances make a substantial difference.

At college they unscrew your head and pour in undiluted the wisdom of this system of things, convinced it is all wisdom, trusting that if it isn’t you will sort it out with your newly acquired ‘critical thinking.’ Alas, humans don’t work in accord with critical thinking. The heart makes a grab for what it wants, then charges the head to come up with a convincing rationale. This lends the appearance that it is the head calling the shots, but it is the heart all along. As to ‘overeducating’ the populace, the time is coming, says Mike Rowe, when an hour with a good plumber will cost the same as an hour with a good psychiatrist, by which time we will have need for them both.

In a way that’s not totally integrated with the decadent images of lowlife, revelation in the person of Asaph shows that some unbelievers, the movers and shakers of the world, personally have it altogether. “Their bodies are healthy. They are not troubled like other humans, Nor do they suffer like other men. Therefore, haughtiness is their necklace; Violence clothes them as a garment. Their prosperity makes their eyes bulge. . .  Yes, these are the wicked, who always have it easy.” (Ps 73: 4-11)

At a high-brow function long ago where we would not typically be, I whispered to my newly betrothed wife: “Here’s people we don’t usually hang out with—the wicked!” She looked at me as though to say, ‘Did I really marry this guy?’ but it was too late. I got that one from revelation, specifically Ps 73. Witness leadership draws on that Psalm as well, and it is hard to imagine them wrong on that point. One taunter hurled at me: “Why do you Witnesses always have to believe things are getting worse? What does that belief do for you?” I replied that it helps me to explain why the Doomsday Clock is set at 90 seconds to midnight and not 10:30 A.M. I mean, it can’t be that everyone’s doing a great job for that situation to exist.

887C5798-5532-4A69-B94A-4540CE7A7775Nor do they even do a great job personally, though the money covers up that deficiency. My buddy the hair stylist, the one who worked in the la-di-dah spa where people like Cher go to spiff up when they breeze into town, says, “Oh, you should hear what they tell me! Their personal lives are a mess.” I mean, everyone tells their barber everything. And then their barber tells it to his chum. And then his chum puts it on the World Wide Web! But do I know it only through this chum? Nah, I also know it through the professor that sat next to me on the airplane. It’s not perfect, but knowledge of the present through revelation has served me pretty well overall.

To be continued

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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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“Dumbing Down” the Spiritual Food—Say Goodbye to ‘Wicked Was the Word!’

 

Continue reading "“Dumbing Down” the Spiritual Food—Say Goodbye to ‘Wicked Was the Word!’" »

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Scholar-Lite—Nothing Infuriates More Those Who Assume Takeover Rights

When the scholars weigh in—after peering and peering the way they do, and don’t present Watchtower history as Watchtower does itself, what to make of this? It is a combination of several reasons, is my guess. de Vienne advances one when she lands such a work on their doorstep and it is met with silence—that they may be just be “incurious as to their own history.” They are doers more than contemplators of the past. They put their eye to the rows and they don’t look back, because the furrows get squirrelly when you do that. There is a plank devoted to such things of history, but it is not the rudder that steers the ship. “No man who has put his hand to a plow and looks at the things behind is well-suited for the Kingdom of God,” says the Lord.

Another person advances another reason—that to a certain degree, history is unknowable, written by the victors, modified over the years by those of myriad agendas, and much of the original data is lost forever. Thus, because they are doers more than thinkers, at Bethel they research the past, come up with what seems tight enough, and say (as one local sportscaster used to say) “that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.” To do otherwise is to yield to thinkers who will not engage in doing if you light a stick of dynamite under them. “God gives his holy spirit to those doing his will,” the verse says, and not so much with those just writing about it. 

It is a scholar-light approach that infuriates scholars too caught up in the supposed ascendancy of their own discipline—scholars who simply assume takeover rights by reason of their being scholars. They get those rights in many venues—and the greater world offers testimony as to what happens when the world’s scholarship runs the show—you would think that would be taken into account by those who carry on about how essential higher education is—but they do not get them in Jehovah’s organization. Once in awhile they even get sent to the doghouse, but only when they howl too much. 

“I have no problem with this,” I say, once I get over the problem I have with it—for I come from a world of ideas, readers, and books. Still, I notice that those ideas don’t add up to much when they are poured into the world vat, and may collectively even bring that world to its knees. I yield to Someone whose ways just might be higher than mine. He gives his spirit to those obeying him as leader. “And we are witnesses of these matters, and so is the holy spirit, which God has given to those obeying him as ruler,” says Acts 5:32. It is the doing that counts.

In general, when I hear any viewpoint of challenge, I look for deeds at least as much as ideas. Frequently, there are none, and the remarks can largely be dismissed on that account. That is my take on what Paul says on the prospect of confronting the self-styled superfine apostles of his day—‘when I see them, I will get to know not just their words—anyone has words and many have a staggering number of them—but I want to get to know their power—their deeds. (1 Corinthians 4:19)

The saying goes that ‘if you can do something, you do it. If you can’t, you critique it.‘ Absent someone’s “power”—their good deeds, their honest track record—why should they be taken too seriously? They are critiquing—and the reason just may be that they are capable of nothing else—they are like inside-the-beltway wonks who majored in “political science”—as though that were scientific. At least Rolf has a track record—how hot it is and what has been allowed to go stone cold was my first initial question about his book—which may not be answerable until I go talk to him.

The saying is often escalated to a usually (though not always) unnecessarily cynical, “and if you REALLY can’t do it, you teach it.” Here we come to Dr. Gene Hwang, who did not fit the pattern. He taught at Cornell, and was for years, among the most published authorities on statistics. His work provides mathematical support for scientists who study gene function. He became a Witness in the late 1990’s.

I speculate in ‘Tom Irregardless and Me’ that after a dozen years or so, when he has proved himself stable, he or someone like him is invited to look over Watchtower’s science offerings and contribute an update if he sees fit. Many brothers seem to think that at Bethel, they assign such material to the Witness who did really well in high-school science, straight A’s!—he or she holed up In the Bethel library for a few weeks, and “out came this book!” on creation that blows the cover off evolution. 

No. Plainly it will be someone like Brother Hwang “bringing his gift to the altar” upon invitation. However, will his work silence the critics? You know it won’t. The writings of evolutionists versus those who favor intelligent design would fill multiple libraries. So they take Gene Hwang’s book at Bethel—he is a heavy-hitter—and say: “That’s our story and we’re sticking to it,”—same as they do with history. Do other “scholars” debate their own competing version? “Yeah—well—we’ll see,” they say at Bethel, as they envision a headline in the paper that they have seen so many times before: “Everything You Thought You Knew About Such-and-Such is Wrong!”

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I Never Wanted to Talk About the Bridegroom of Blood, Anyway—Nor Even Rizpah

When I wrote the post about deciphering the bridegroom of blood, I didn’t know that those verses were on the program. Our meeting is Thursday. Often I don’t preview it till that morning, even though the Bible chapters themselves I read before.

Thus it might have seemed that I was making some snarky remark about whatever had been written—I had’t checked it out yet—or what someone had said. I wasn’t. I didn’t know what was there. 

My post wasn’t really about Zipporah and Moses, anyway—that is but a side point. A person would never know it, because I wander all over before getting to the point, but the real point is that passages like this are very hard to explain to people, and that one effect of them existing is that they serve to separate persons conscious of their spiritual need from persons who are not. It is as though a forerunner of ‘separating the sheep from the goats.’

Ida Ho, who made a remarkable turnaround in her life upon becoming a Witness, had mentioned an apostate in her family who was impressed with the Dawkins book, The God Delusion, someone who “was inquisitive in all the wrong ways and too smart for his own boots.” These characters get separated out by such passages, and the others mentioned in the post, the one of God ‘making’ the blind one (Exodus 4:11) and the one of Jesus’ flesh and blood—true food and drink (John 6:55). The ones too “smart for their own boots“ (my wife says it is their pants they are too smart for) either are excited that they have a chance to prove themselves smarter than others by unraveling it—or by explaining what it tells us about some technical point that is not spiritual and doesn’t really matter, or they are put off by it being ‘ridiculous’ and ‘not worth their time’—and you almost wonder if it is deliberate of God’s part to trip them up this way—I think it is. 

I take such verses and for the most part I shelve them. I play around with them a little bit, but if you take them too seriously they become like that pebble in your shoe that begins to drive you nuts. Yeah—it could mean a lot of things, and there is not enough detail to know. Besides, they are essentially ‘trivia.’ Trivia doesn’t interest me all that much, even Bible trivia. Maybe it should, but it doesn’t. If there is not enough to go on, I make a few stabs at it, glean or salvage what I can, and move on.

It’s far more interesting to me how people are separated out over such things—and it is roughly according to their heart. I used to illustrate it with a secular parallel: “When Trump tweets that North Korea has launched its nuclear missels, people of common sense will run for the hills. People of critical thinking will run to their keyboards to point out that the idiot can’t even spell the word right.“

Unfortunately the secular situation has grown so toxic that I can barely use that illustration anymore, though I love it. Trump has been under non-stop attack since he began, he has a sizable ego, a background unlike any politician, a crazy set of trials, and he has taken to acting so erratically that you don’t know if he is losing it or if he is deliberately goading his enemies—the list of which grows ever longer with each erratic tweet. I don’t even pretend to know what is going on anymore. Heckuva system for running a country, though.

Rizpah offers another example of how sometimes we try to sanitize verses, whereas I almost think it would be better to say, “Hoo, boy!” and move on. Instead, we almost act as though ones like her are like modern-day Witnesses just transposed to a different setting, with concerns intact about dress & grooming, and turning in our time. 

With Rizpah, it’s a worse mess than with Zipporah:

“...the daughter of Saul whom she bore to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. Then he handed them over to the Gibeonites, and they hung their dead bodies on the mountain before Jehovah. All seven of them died together; they were put to death in the first days of harvest, at the start of the barley harvest. Then Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out on the rock from the start of harvest until rain poured down from the heavens on the bodies; she did not allow the birds of the heavens to land on them by day nor the wild beasts of the field to come near by night.” (1 Samuel 21:8-10)

When this was in our CLAM program, the comment was that Rizpah’s great love for God was such that she would not allow the hung bodies to be devoured by the birds overnight because she had such high regard for his law—as though any other woman would have no problem letting the birds devour the remains of her sons. She probably went insane, is my take, and whether she had regard for the law or not hardly seems the point. 

Now, it turns out that I amazed everyone by knowing all about Rizpah—an obscure character that no one else had ever heard of. The reason for this is that there is a book called Rizpah, by Charles E. Israel, that I read shortly after coming into the truth. The remarkable thing is that it made Rizpah, one of Saul’s concubines, the pivotal  character and told everything though her eyes. And in her eyes, Saul was the hero, David the usurper, and “the scribes” had rewritten history to reverse what had really taken place. 

All the events in Bible narrative were covered. What was remarkable is that it all made perfect sense as she told it—events could be seen from that point of view. I’ll have to read the book again to see if I still feel that way—it’s sitting on my shelf now—I just got it from eBay. But it was the first in a series of impressions—sometimes they have grown weaker and sometimes stronger—that things can be presented another way, and that we choose the way we look at them because we choose a view that leads somewhere—if you choose Rizpah’s view, all you are left with are endless beefs about how things “should” have been.

For me, this carries over as to how we view ‘apostates.’ Things can be seen from their point of view, but we choose ours because it leads somewhere. We avoid theirs because it doesn’t. Or rather it does, just like Rizpah’s views, but it leads to places we do not want to go because of heart. They do want to go where they go, again because of heart. Head has little to do with it—it is just employed to devise a convincing rationale for what the heart has already chosen.

Our choice: matters of life being decided by Jehovah’s standards. Their choice: “The way of Jehovah is not adjusted right,” and thus they choose man’s rule (we do, too, have the wisdom to direct our own step!—and even if we don’t, no one’s telling us what to do!) or they choose ‘Jehovah-lite’—(let’s not worry about us being a people for his name. Let’s redefine it as he being a God for our name). In either case, the head is charged to spin no end of arguments to “make it so,” as Picard would say.

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Sympathy for ‘Sympathy for the Devil’

“Sympathy for the Devil? No. I don’t like that fellow. He makes a lot of trouble. I’m not listening to no song that has sympathy for the devil.“

That was my sentiment for 50 years. It will still be my sentiment, but not so much, until my grave—which maybe will not arrive anytime soon, and if I play my cards right and the ducks line up, maybe not at all. Funny how you can live life as though the system may end tomorrow, and also as though it may not end before your natural death. Yikes! Cognitive dissonance! I hate that stuff!

Nah—cognitive dissonance is a topic worthy of a pamphlet, perhaps, but no more. It is what used to be called, ‘Coming to grips with the fact that you don’t know everything.’ People used to be able to do that without their heads shorting out—before ‘critical thinking’ became all the rage.

“You will still dislike the song, but ‘not so much’ Tom?” You going warm and fuzzy on the Devil these days? No. I still don’t like him. But somewhere along the road I came to recognize that ‘Sympathy for the Devil,’ the Rolling Stones song, is not really about sympathy for the Devil. It is about exposure of him.

For years I refused to listen to the song. For years I slapped it down if it reared up on the radio, and later skipped it over if Pandora served it up. I still will, of course, at least if in anyone’s hearing. “Wow, brothers—great song! Sympathy for the Devil! I love it! Let’s give it a listen—right here at the congregation picnic!”—can I picture myself saying that? No. There is stuff that you tuck out of sight when the respectable people come calling. I always did that with the Keith Richards/Mick Jagger song. It’s a little too bad, because if you like rock music, you really can’t do better than The Rolling Stones. On the other hand, there’s a lot of music—you don’t have to chug down everything that comes down the pipe;

The song exposes the works of the Devil nearly as well as the Bible itself—in fact, better—if we are going for specifics and exclusive focus—that is, not being diluted by anything else. The obscenities of history—the Devil’s behind them all. He’s pulling the strings.

A fellow with the handle “Apollyon911” says of the song, that Satan is “implicating humanity for the evil they have committed” and “expresses glee for the crucifixion and other atrocities that he helped orchestrate”—Hitler’s reign, murder of the czar, murder of the Kennedy’s. “He is a ‘man of wealth and taste’...just as the SS had impeccable manners, listened to Wagner and drank fine wine, there is a powerful desire to be impressive...to be admired (or, more to the point, worshipped).”

What is the polar opposite circumstance that triggered for me memories of this song? It was this verse from Isaiah and a subsequent video included in the mid-week JW meetings during June 2020–a video on highlighting God’s name in the countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. “I am Jehovah. That is my name,” says Isaiah 42:8 (NWT). But the King James Version, and the majority of translations, say, “I am the LORD. That is my name.” How can translators be so dense? “The LORD” is a name? What’s with the all-caps?

You don’t translate the tetragrammaton as “The LORD.” The first is clearly a distinctive name—the name God gives himself—a name that makes clear his power to transform: “He causes to become.” The second is no more than a title, gussied up with all-caps, but clearly a title. Sometimes I call people’s attention to Psalm 110:1 to expose this idiocy: “The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies as a tool for your feet.’” Who is talking to who? Why is one Lord all caps and the other not? There is a Charlton Heston movie—I think it is ‘The Ten Commandments’—in which the Israelites are distressed early on because “We don’t even know our God’s name.” Later on, they are as happy as pigs in mud, for they have learned it: it is ‘The LORD’—how much sense does that make?

Even Mick Jagger knows better. “Pleased to meet you—hope you guess my name,” his devil says—and later in the song he gives his name! It is not ‘The DEVIL.”—it is ‘Lucifer!’ Now, as it turns out, ‘Lucifer’ is not a name either; it is a translation of the Hebrew word “hehlel’ and means “shining one.” But the intent is there—Jagger has his head screwed on straight. He knows that if you say Satan has a name, you don’t tell people it is SATAN. And if God has a name, you don’t say it is The LORD. He has put his name in scripture nearly 7,000 times. You don’t think he might be a little peeved that churchmen paper it over, essentially taking it out? Wouldn’t you—if you wrote the most beautiful letter that people sighed in delight over and praised it for its beauty—after crossing out your name, as though it were a putrid thing?

Richards and Jagger are more on to matters of truth than they know. Sign them up for the Kingdom Hall! Of course, they’ll have to clean up their acts first. They can’t quite carry on the way they do, can they? But having declared a “been there, done that—time to move on,” let them do one of the ‘original songs.’ Why—with their background, let them even do two! Seriously. Prince did this—cleaned up his act—whereupon they let him do an original song. Well—they didn’t, actually, they slapped his hand when he tried to rework their own—but they would have today. I wrote up a nice chapter on Prince. It heads the book ‘Tom Irregardless and Me’ and is even in the free preview section. You don’t think that I would do the same for Mick and Keith if only they would behave a bit more?

These guys are on to something with their ‘Sympathy for the Devil,’ even if they don’t nail every little detail. They do better than Apollyon911–he has a little too much ‘churchiness’ in him. The reason I had to quote excerpts from him and not the entirety is that he screws it up in part—whereas the Stone’s song I can let stand untouched. Apollyon says in full:

While Satan is clearly implicating humanity for the evil they have committed, he is not absolving himself. He expresses glee for the crucifixion and other atrocities that he helped orchestrate (not realizing, until it was too late, that Christ’s Crucifixion – and Resurrection, were all part of God’s Plan).

He is a ‘man of wealth and taste’. This does not simply mean he is sophisticated. He does not deny his evil but, just as the SS had impeccable manners, listened to Wagner and drank fine wine, there is a powerful desire to be impressive (and perhaps, in the case of humans, to deny the evil they commit). He wants to be admired (or, more to the point, worshipped).

Satan or, as he prefers to be called, Lucifer, his pre-Fall name, is also warning mankind to treat him with respect or he will destroy us. As Martin Luther (the Reformer) noted: ‘Satan cannot bear to be mocked’.

Satan is not denying he is the author of evil. He is merely implicating mankind and also emphasizing his power.

Satan, the Devil, is the Father of Lies and this is implied when he talks about ‘lay[ing] your soul to waste’. Satan does not have full authority over mankind. Only what is allowed by God (his Creator). But, Satan wants us to believe he has all power.

Well, maybe it’s not so bad. But isn’t it a little too glib on how things like the Holocaust is “part of God’s Plan?” (capitalized, no less, though it includes the Holocaust!) It reminds me of the time I passed the church billboard that read “‘Don’t Worry, I’m in Charge’—God” Two days later planes flew into the twin towers in New York City, and I began to wonder if that stupid sign was still there. I returned to read the modified version: “God Bless America.” Had the priest swapped the letters at 3 AM, hoping no one would see him? Even the new didn’t fit. Would you have carried on about God’s blessing in the big city at the time?

What Apollyon downplays is that Satan, not God, is described as the “ruler of this system of this world.” Satan is the one who is “blinding the minds of the unbelievers.” Satan is the one who is “misleading the entire inhabited earth”—that covers a lot of territory!—so it seems that Apollyon might expound at least a little on how Satan has managed to hijack the world God created. He doesn’t do this because he doesn’t know—all he can do is offer up some muddled alteration: “‘Don’t worry (much), I’m in charge, even if it seems I am sleeping at the switch’—God.” No. It won’t do. Satan is the “ruler of this world,” says the Bible repeatedly. (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Revelation 12:9)

Jagger and Richards nail it, but they don’t go far enough. Jesus has come to “break up the works of the Devil,” 1 John 3:8 says. The first thing you do in breaking up the works of the Devil is to expose them. If they went far enough they would come to the indictment of Babylon the Great, the party identified by Jehovah’s Witnesses as “the world empire of false religion.” “Yes, in her was found the blood of prophets and of holy ones and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.” (Revelation 18:24) Of all those? Yes, for it is not just the acts of commission we speak of, but it is far more for the acts of omission. Had religion trained its members to be peaceable, as Jehovah’s Witnesses do theirs, they would have held their ground when the king tried enlist them in his latest war; they would have “paid Caesar’s things to Caesar, but God’s things to God”—they would have told Hitler to take a hike, as Jehovah’s Witnesses in Axis lands did. That Babylon the Great has been so negligent is why it can be fingered for the blood of all.

The Daily Text under consideration for Friday, June 26, was John 16:2. “The hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he has offered a sacred service to God.​.” The commentary included: “How ironic that in committing such evil crimes as murder, religious fanatics violate the very laws of the One whom they claim to worship! Clearly, their consciences are treacherous guides! How can we prevent our conscience from becoming ineffective? The laws and principles contained in God’s Word are “beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16) Therefore, by diligently studying the Bible, meditating on what it says, and applying it in our lives, we can train our conscience to be more sensitive to God’s thinking, and it can thus serve as a reliable guide.”

We hear the remark all the time that so and so will be guided by his or her conscience—and it sounds good, it plays well—how can anyone go wrong if he listens to his conscience? But as history demonstrates time and time again, the local king and the prevailing mindset is more than a match for any conscience. That conscience must be trained by God’s thinking—otherwise it will be trained by Satan’s. We ought not be as “children, tossed about as by waves and carried here and there by every wind of teaching by means of the trickery of men, by means of cunning in deceptive schemes.” (Ephesians 4:14) It requires training in God’s thinking to stand firm. Had religion not so quickly bent over for the sake of anything claiming to be “science,” it might still be able to draw upon Genesis as a credible source to explain some of the deeper questions that science cannot touch. Had religion held fast to its core, it would not find itself acquiescing, to various degrees,—sometimes only partially, and sometimes completely—to the humanist and Satanic lie that humans are capable of self-rule.

Mick and Keith are on to it—they even nail the too-frequent reversal of roles, with their, “Just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints”—but they still haven’t gone far enough. They even nail the “refinement” of those under Satan’s influence, who may very well be men “of wealth and taste”—but they still don’t go far enough. They still deserve an honorable mention, not me burning their record. I’ll burn it anyway, for—let’s face it—‘Sympathy for the Devil’ is not really a kingdom song, is it? But they deserve better. Ah, well—there are greater injustices. There are bigger fish to fry. I’ll stick with the other songs on the Martin Scorsese movie ‘Shine a Light’—which is the Stones in concert—and I’ll reaffirm my favorite scene: that of Buddy Guy standing like a mountain while two of the scrawny Stones buzz around him like gnats, blown away by his fierce guitar work.

 

Please allow me to introduce myself

I'm a man of wealth and taste

I've been around for a long, long year

Stole many a man's soul to waste

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ

Had his moment of doubt and pain

Made damn sure that Pilate

Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name

But what's puzzling you

Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersburg

When I saw it was a time for a change

Killed the czar and his ministers

Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank

Held a general's rank

When the blitzkrieg raged

And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name, oh yeah

Ah, what's puzzling you

Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

I watched with glee

While your kings and queens

Fought for ten decades

For the gods they made

I shouted out

Who killed the Kennedys?

When after all

It was you and me

Let me please introduce myself

I'm a man of wealth and taste

And I laid traps for troubadours

Who get killed before they reached Bombay

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah

But what's puzzling you

Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah

But what's confusing you

Is just the nature of my game, mm yeah

Just as every cop is a criminal

And all the sinners saints

As heads is tails

Just call me Lucifer

'Cause I'm in need of some restraint

So if you meet me

Have some courtesy

Have some sympathy, and some taste

Use all your well-learned politesse

Or I'll lay your soul to waste, mm yeah

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guessed my name, mm yeah

But what's puzzling you

Is the nature of my game, mm mean it, get down

Oh yeah, get on down

Oh yeah

Oh yeah

Tell me baby, what's my name

Tell me honey, can ya guess my name

Tell me baby, what's my name

I tell you one time, you're to blame

Oh, right

What's my name

Tell me, baby, what's my name

Tell me, sweetie, what's my name

 

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If You Stop to Kick Every Dog That Barks, You’ll Never Get Very Far—On Scholaship, Part 2

(See Part 1)

Q: “There is a rumor that the WTS does not care too much about its past but keeps its focus on the future.” The topic of Rolf’s new book lurks in the background.

I have heard that this is true, yet one quote from Russell that has been faithfully preserved since his death is, “If you stop to kick every dog that barks at you, you’ll never get very far.”

Granted, if someone barks, they may be quick to assume that such person must be a dog—but you would have to excel in scholarship to know otherwise, and as stated, that is not their strong suit, nor should it be. The second thing (the first thing is here) that ‘scholars’ do—I’ve seen plenty of it from people who think themselves learned—is to start quibbling over the Name—this pronunciation is better than that one and since that is the case, maybe it should not be used at all. Scholars reason this way. But if I go to another country and start ragging on the locals every time they botch my name, nobody says, “Whoa! That brother is scholarly!” They say, “What a pin-headed idiot!”

Because the HQ brothers are not scholarly, they are inclined to accept that what is done is done, and what is written is written. Once in awhile someone like Brother Splane comes along, looks it all over, and says, “We’re not doing anti-types anymore!—it’s enough to say ‘this reminds us of that”—maybe because too many have blown up in his face, but for the most part, the past is assumed to be stable past that can be built upon. It’s too bad they’ve tossed aside anti-types because I have a doozy for them. You think it is nothing that Dennis Christensen’s surname points to the one he follows, and his very profession is the same? They are going to twiddle their thumbs on thatone, putting equal significance on the second Russian imprisoned for the faith—Mgoyahen Bloggabodidillyvich? Not to worry, though—some wannabe prophet will pick up and run with it.

I can’t believe how many seem to take for granted that the devil’s gameboard is not rigged, or that his rules of ‘critical thinking‘ should carry the day. They do not see for a moment how flawed the tool is—or perhaps more to the point—how sharp it is on the points for which it has merit, too sharp for its staunch advocates to handle without cutting themselves. It is the words of the prophet Tom Cruise: “You can’t handle the truth!” 

The notion that we are rational creatures is a joke. Of course we aren’t! The heart decides what it want and then entrusts the head to devise a convincing rationale for it. For the most part, people read mainly so as to confirm what they already believe. It is amazing on social media how few are the people who change their minds on anything. Accordingly, for every verse in the Bible about the head, there are ten about the heart. Few of Jesus’ parables would stand up to rigorous critical thought—some of them barely make sense. But they target the heart, which is his goal. 

I also can’t believe how many may be stumbled over what Rulf or any fellow scholar will say—or even what complainers will say. “Well, we could be wrong on that,” I say to almost all of it, and move on. Do they in any case, speak to the fundamental reason that I was attracted to Jehovah’s Witnesses in the first place? “Finally—a religion where the people at the helm are smart and can be counted upon to say nothing wrong!” Did I say that? Does anyone? Of course not! There was religious truth found no where else, and we soon enough discovered (few did not know it already) that it was carried in earthen vessels. There was a humility found in in few places, not to mention a united brotherhood where the byword was love. This is why whenever persons are ‘stumbled’ over something like Rolf’s input, they are simply seizing on something to justify a decision already made in their heart. Why can’t they just say, “I’m like Demas—I prefer the present system of things?’ Why can’t they say as with from John, “I’m leaving because—I gave it a good whirl—but I’m just not one of their sort?” 

I also note that Rolf has not left the faith, and that he does not declare he intends to. Nor do I take for granted that he will be given the boot, even though he seems think it a foregone conclusion. Maybe—I certainly won’t be shocked if it goes that way—but I’ll take it as a done deal only when it is done.

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