Skirmish #873090 - Will the Real Greg Stafford Please Stand Up?

“There has also been another book by Greg Stafford, who might no longer be a JW.”

Who is this guy? Opposers have likened me to him. 

Perhaps his book is on Amazon.com, and the reviewers may have commented on who he is (was?).”

You know, that’s not a bad idea. I went there. 

He has a couple of books on ‘defending Jehovah’s Witnesses.’ I guess that I should applaud, because I claim to do the same, but I find books like these such yawners (granted, I have not read his) because they defend only in a doctrinal sense, whereas I like to believe that I defend in a more practical and strategic sense. These guys give the impression that they know the Bible and nothing else. First thing you know, their head has grown so big that they almost come to believe in themselves as the faithful and discreet slave—they have pointed the way and the supertanker organization doesn’t follow. Disgruntled, off they go as the True Light unheeded. In time, they are launching vicious attacks agains the hand that once fed them—the very place from which the learned the truth in the first place. (Wilma strikes me as one of them)

It is a shame that you are such a blowhard, James, because I rather like complaint of being Gog and Magogged to death. Exactly. You know when there are things “too great for me.” So do I. You don’t think that from your Appalachian still you are going to be emanating cutting edge scholarship. You wait for someone else to say it, and then you ask yourself, ‘Does it hang together.?’ If only you would learn to put things on the shelf when you suspect they do not rather than go all insolent (brazen) online over it and denounce everyone not doing what you think they should. 

Greg apparently devotes chapters to ‘disproving’ the Trinity. It is ridiculous. You can’t disprove it. The trick is to show that, since the doctrine defies common sense, the burden of proof is on their adherents to show that it is so. The default position favors the Witness. With very few exceptions, all ‘proof’ of the Trinity is based on taking literally certain passages which, if they were spotted anywhere else, would instantly be dismissed as figures of speech. I can picture these yo-yos reading of ‘crocodile tears’ and seizing upon it as proof that the writer is a crocodile. 

There are other Greg Stanford books on Amazon, too. they are of subjects that could represent the real one having gone over to the dark side. Or maybe they are a relative. Dunno.

I did contact him many years ago via email when people began to say of me that I sounded like another Greg Stanford. I asked who he was and he told me (then) that he was a Witness in good standing.

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Skirmish # 338060: Why Can’t This Yo-Yo be Like Me?

I never comment on what the lawyers are up to because it is a tangled mess that they must operate in where justice does not necessarily prevail.

The courts, particularly the civil courts, are not so much a forum to establish truth as they are a forum to establish blame. There is some overlap here, but they are far from the same thing. 

In a real forum for establishing truth, you lay out each and every fact, in no particular order, without regard for whether it makes you look good or not. If you do that in the courtroom modeled on the adversarial system of justice, your adversary sifts through the facts, seizes the one most to his advantage and your detriment, and beats you over the head with it. 

Is it not so? Anybody who has ever watched a lawyer show on television knows it. Lawyers themselves know it. “Anyone who acts as his own lawyer in court has a fool for a client,” they say. Why would they say this were it not common knowledge that there are endless headgames and intrigues played out in the courtroom, and anyone who does not know how to play the game gets his head handed to him on a platter.

In many areas, a significant conflict of interest is enough for a person to be removed from the venue. In the field of lawyers, it is the name of the game.

I would prefer my case heard by a judicial committee any day. No, they are not perfect. It is just that they have a better track record than the alternative.

***

I would prefer my case heard by a judicial committee any day. No, they are not perfect. It is just that they have a better track record than the alternative.

The only reason I did not "upvote" TTH's excellent post was this quoted line .... as my experiences and observations have been quite different.  Congregational trials disallow representation, recordings, witnesses to the proceedings,  or transcripts, and are held in secret, and the results often secret as well....I was the subject of a Congregational Committee Trial once, and the three judging me REFUSED TO TELL ME THEIR NAMES.

***

The only reason I did not “upvote” TTH’s excellent post was this quoted line

If I edit it out, can I count on your ‘like’? It is just a little blip tossed in at the end anyhow—hardly the main point. And I do like likes.

***

I was the subject of a Congregational Committee Trial once, and the three judging me REFUSED TO TELL ME THEIR NAMES.

Are you sure that you didn’t just leave your hearing aid home that day?

Look, in the entire big wide world of theocratic doings, I would never say that such and such could never happen. What I can say is that it is nothing of which I have ever heard. Even Mark O (who blocked me), who cries how people are after him, even “high-level” people, and who is victim prima dona in some circles, does not allege that anyone is unnamed:

In view of your astonishing disrespect and never-ending tirades, perhaps some extraordinary measures were resorted to, but even then, I can hardly imagine it. Why in the world would they withhold their names? It is not anything that we do. UNLESS, in view of your open enthusiasm for carrying weapons—extremely ususual for Jehovah’s Witnesses, even for hangers-on—they began to fear, rightly or wrongly, that they might be risking life and limb to be more candid. I mean, in the courts of law that you revere, steps can be taken to protect ones thought to be at risk from suspects supposed violent. Not so in the congregation, where they are unlikely to try to enlist a cop should they fear that someone might get ornery.

When I worked a part time job that attracted some oddball characters, and my immediate supervisor was fired (for explosively angry speech in front of all the customers), I later tried to get his job back for him—it was a crummy job and they used him shamelessly—‘the most selfish company in the world,’ one former manager told me, but it was all he had. Much as they liked me, they wouldn’t hear of it. They had locked down the HQ office for a week after firing him, fearing reprisals that never came. They were not necessarily overcautious to lock it down, either, for he did have a violent temper. He had legitimate things that could provoke it, but that does not mean that he didn’t have it.

It is just speculation on my part to apply parallel perceptions to you, but in view of your love of guns and the crass way you sometimes express that love, it is one way to explain something that is otherwise inexplicable.

If so (and if it is not this, it will be for some other good reason, because I have never heard of such a thing as unnamed judges, even though I have been around forever) it is rather like drawing a foul in basketball. Or it is like ones who carry on so outrageously that authorities finally deal with them with some harshness, after which they scream at how they—lovable, harmless they—have been viciously attacked for no reason at all.

I think of arrangements in the Mosaic Law of various penalities for various offenses—if you had done this, then you were to do that as a penalty and recompense. But if you blew off the whole arrangement as nothing and simply refused to comply, you were put to death. I can picture allies of the offending lout back then misrepresenting matters as though it were someone being put to death for a relatively minor offense, whereas it was really being put to death for contempt toward the arrangements that God had put into place through Moses.

Perhaps something akin to this was active in your case. I would not be surprised.

***
 
Okay, time’s up. I am not rescinding that part of how judicial committees are superior to the world’s system of justice, even if you give me 100 likes.

I mean, you must really really really give them a run for their money, if you are even the slightest bit there as you are here. Yes, maybe they should exert superhuman effort to discover that beneath your incendiary manner, there lies a loveable fuzz ball. However, I have exerted such effort and even i could not swear that it is the case.

I mean, with me........

”A better adjudicator.you never will find.

If I was a grumbler

who’d seen it all,

being hailed by opposers

both great and small,

would I start weeping like a cesspool overflowing?

or carry on as if my home were in a tree?

Would I run off at the mouth, not knowing where I’m going?

WELL, WHY CAN’T THIS YO-YO

be like ME?”  (*sung to the tune of “Why Can’t a Woman be More Like a Man?’)

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A Brand New Category: Skirmishes - Just Like in the New Testament

If we accept that the Bible is God’s prime method of communication to humans (which I do), sooner or later we are struck by the fact that very little of it is lecture. In contrast, if you went to college, almost all of it is lecture. What to make of this?

Much of the New Testament, not only is not lecture, but is ostensibly not even written for us. It largely consists of letters written to other parties, from which we glean things about God, his thinking, and his dealings. What to make of this, too?

When I mentioned this before and how it had influenced me, Purple tried to bait me, asking whether I considered myself inspired like the apostle Paul (who wrote the majority of the letters). The answer is no. However, I am inspired by his example. If it is good enough for him (and for God, apparently, because it is included in the Bible canon) why should it not be good enough for me? It inspired in my blog an entirely new category: Skirmishes.

They are not all from this board. Some are from boards that are private. When they are, I do not reveal anything specific of the writer, but only my reaction to it. J will pop a vein over this, but in all cases they merely come from people who do not want to have their 15 minutes of fame before the whole wide world. In no cases are they “the smoking gun.” Just because something is not public does not mean that it is the “smoking gun” whose revelation will blow the cover off the conspiracy.

He should consider a Hercule Poirot observation from one of the Christie novels—that in the course of a murder investigation, everyone gets cagey and evasive. The initial conclusion is that they all are somehow complicit, if not guilty of the crime investigated, but really it is because they do not want to explain other things that they were doing that have nothing to do with the crime but they had no intention of going public with—things that they imagined (usually correctly) were none of anyone’s business.

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Skirmish #885531 “If You Are Going to Engage With Opposers on Social Media....”

Don't get me wrong. I'm not judging. God does that to all of us. What I do is give an honest observation (assessment) on the behavior of others.

You don’t even know that the people you are arguing with are sane. You don’t even know for sure that they are people. Maybe they are bots like those the Russians supposedly employed on social media, so as to get people enraged at each other and then they could say “See how much better our form of government is? We don’t have these kinds of lunatics running around in the wild.”

If you are going to engage with opposers on social media, there are a few points to keep in mind.

1.) you probably shouldn’t. It is not for nothing that the Witness organization is guided by Matthew 11: 19, effectively “they take shots at you no matter what you do so pay them no mind—just put the pedal to the metal.

Continue reading "Skirmish #885531 “If You Are Going to Engage With Opposers on Social Media....”" »

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Skirmish #282244 - “I would like to get on the phone with Bro. Anthony Morris III (AKA "Tight Pants Tony")...”

AKA "Tight Pants Tony"

You bring this up so frequently (and HOW old are you?) that I have become curious over something:

Please post a full-length photo of yourself.

If, as I suspect, it shows you wearing spray-on pants, that will explain a lot.

(He did post one—of himself back in the day leaning on a fancy car. He was rather dapper back then. Whatever happened? No tight pants, however.)

So. You don’t wear tight suit pants yourself. You probably agree with everyone else that they look ridiculous. You also probably agree that they are ‘manipulative’ — they are the product of a highly sexualized fashion industry that seeks always to highlight sensuality. When these ones turn their attention to children, they put them in clothes that suggest they are hookers. Mothers—and I do not mean just Christian mothers, I mean just protective ones—have to buy boy’s gym shorts for their daughters so as to make them not a target for pedophiles.

And yet you giggle on like a adolescent about “tight pants Tony.” What’s with that?

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Skirmish #970621 - Vastly Simplified Tracts

Don't underestimate the power of a tract to spark a fire in an honest heart that cannot be put out .

I don’t like the present series of tracts, but that does not mean that they are no good. I am very far from being typical. Nobody on this forum that claims to be a Witness is typical. I’m just carrying on some because I would love to see the ministry more fruitful that what it seems to me to be.

I and many others here write more in a day that most people write in a month. So I can hardly expect the tracts to cater to me. The last CO cited figures from somewhere that the average youngster today spends 7 minutes with print (as opposed to 10 hours or so on some form of screen time) Going simple is obviously the way to go. The fact that I do not like it does not mean that it is not just the ticket for reaching the majority. Education is usually a last-place priority in today’s world. 1/6 of the world’s population cannot read. Most people barely know that these persons exist, and count them as nothing. Watchtower produces simplified versions of material already written simple so as to reach them. 

I defend the use of (vastly) simplified writing, even as I do not personally like it. “They can learn to read a few grade levels beneath them, if they are not too full of themselves,” is a line I put somewhere. I’ve learned to work around what is unpalatable to me, telling the high-brow people to consider this or that bit of writing as an outline, nothing more. Or telling them to not worry about whether A given account in the Bible is literal, but instead to take it as a metaphor and see if they can discern the underlying meaning of it. Mathematicians do something similar all the time: assume that such and such a condition is true just to see where that assumption leads them. If it proves fruitful, then they come back and reconsider any initial objection to it.

Just after 911, when people were unusually subdued, I grabbed that tract ‘Who Really Rules the World’ and had several good discussions with it. I’ve always liked Luke 4 for its clear explanation of Jesus declining Satan’s offer of gov’t control but acquiescing that it lay in his power to make the offer. Yes. There is a place for tracts.

Everyone here beefs about everything under the sun, so I have joined in on what is our main mission—the ministry.  I probably shouldn’t. It really is true that ‘bad association spoils useful habits.’ I’ll put it all on this thread and then do my best to zip it. The Bible is not a template for democracy, with every Tom Dick and Harry telling HQ how things  ought to be.

 

I don’t like the present series of tracts, but that does not mean that they are no good. I am very far from being typical.

This is my own personal bellyaching thread, after which I will get back to my normal supportive self, with only occasional caveats.

What nettles me about the tracts, and many other things, is how we go on and on and on about what a blessing from on high they all are, as though THIS Item is the magic bullet that will turn the preaching work on its head, exactly what is needed at this particular time— and doubtless it will completely energize the work and swarms will thereby be attracted to the truth.

I wish we wouldn’t do that. I wish we would just say “Here’s a new tool. We worked hard on it. Give it a try and see how it works.” I even think that our failure to do it that way is where a lot of the underlying conception that the JW organization is “smug” comes from.

***

However, said Oscar: 

Where I live, official stats reckon that 75% of under 30s have no religious thought at any time. I would concur from experience that this a likely proportion, and many 30-50 year olds are not far behind.

However, the questions that our tracts provide a spritual answer to, they have all the time. It is just that they do not look to a God to provide answers to them. I think the tracts provide a very useful function in that they offer a route rather than an argument. When presented with our alternative view on things, if a person is delivering the message, then the receiver has to capitulate. That is not always a pleasant experience, especially for younger persons who may suffer from a measure of insecurity. The tracts offer the same solutions as we do when witnessing, but without comment or valuation on an erroneous view. The experience is private and much less painful. Then when one of us arrives with the question " Have You Ever Wondered? then the householder may well have done so at some time even if they can't remember the tract that triggered the thought.

They work, as my own experience confirms. We don't have to like them, but we cannot deny their effectiveness. Let's face it, medicine doesn't have to taste good in order to do it's job. Wisdom is proved righteous by it's works, not it's appearance.

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Skirmish #345174 - The Non-Belligerent Passenger

TTH's main problems seem to be that he does basically worship the GB / JW Org / Watchtower, and therefore will not have anything bad said against those things, even if the criticism is constructive and true. 

This is so silly. It is so infantile. 

Every project needs leadership. Once you grant persons that leadership, you refrain from undercutting them at every step. Why in the world should that be so hard to understand?

You don’t set 15 rows back and swipe at the bus driver, “you missed that turn, you could have avoided that pothole, you hit the brakes too hard, why didn’t you know there was a roadblock ahead? Why didn’t you know that jerk was going to cut you off?”  You know that the roads are poorly maintained, that the route is unfamiliar, and that the weather is terrible.”

There are any number of things I am not crazy about with regard to the theocratic organization. If you read with any sort of critical skills you would know that. That does not mean if when I appear on a forum where the majority seek its destruction and level one attack on it after another, I will say “you know, you’ve raise a good point there.”

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 photo: Chip In - Allison Siegel

***

So Tom, did you grant the GB leadership ?

Yes. When I signed on many years ago. They didn’t sneak up out of nowhere. Their role was known to me and everyone else from Day 1.

            My personal opinion is that the GB are not that 'Jew' .  So i haven't 'granted those              persons that leadership'. 

That is why you are not a Witness. Everything is exactly as it should be. Given how you feel, you have done exactly as you should. 

             Maybe you should consider what exactly a person is taught when they start having a 'Bible study' with JW's.

Yes. Every Witness takes about a year to do that, studying and trying things on for size. Throughout, they are in their familiar home environment and routine. Perhaps 5% of their time is spent in unfamiliar surroundings. 

College is far more “manipulative” than anything with a Witness connection. Students are typically separated 24/7 from their former stabilizing routine, environment, and family—a classic tool of those who would brainwash. Plus, if you study with Jehovah’s Witnesses, you know full well that you are going off the grid—the very opposite of what brainwashers do. Going to college, on the other hand, is no more controversial than seeking good healthcare.

 

Many of the books that have been used as study books are now long gone and would cause embarrassment to 'modern day' JW's. The GB hide this by saying they have 'new light'.  

You keep playing this as though it were your trump card, the coup de grace—as though it was something meant to be hidden. They are very open about it. They have called it “tacking.” As you say, they have called it “new light.” Don’t you think that means there used to be “old light?”

            So whereas you may like to say I have mental illness and am infantile

Not usually. Maybe never. I said that your last bit of reasoning was infantile. I said that because it was. I didn’t say you were. 

Similarly, I did not say that you were mentally ill. I have said that any mental health professional would say that the type of thinking that you were displaying at the moment (most typically “all or nothing” thinking) is unhealthy. That is not the same thing.

You also have to realize that I do not regard mentally ill as a pejorative label, and more than I would regard diabetic as one.

 

Will you ever say on here, “you know, you’ve raise a good point there.”

Not everything that you say is silly. I have acknowledged that some points you have raised are valid.  Not always to your face, because you are such a pit bull. But I have put them in other writings.

 

 

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“Should He Be Disfellowshipped?”

Come now. You know that this [“shunning” or “avoiding”] has already happened, unless he has been secretive as to his activities and intent. Social media is full of complaints of those saying that they have been “shunned” though no DFing has ever occurred—it is but their separation and subsequent activities that congregation members react to. Nobody tells them what to do. They tell themselves, based on their understanding of Bible principles, what to do.

That is why it would have been better had he remained part of the congregation throughout. Relations would have become tense, probably, but that is always the case with someone who presents himself as a ‘reformer’ or ‘whistleblower.’ Instead, he separates and aligns himself with a community that continually derides JWs as a “cult”—a perception that none of them will share—so they are unlikely to conclude that he has anything in mind other than sinking them, using an unsavory subject as a wedge, since many of that community have expressly stated that is their goal.

“Do you feel that what Mark has done merits a judicial committee and DF'ing?” From afar, one does not weigh in on this, with only a tiny percentage of the facts available. It is irresponsible to ask, just as it is irresponsible to try to get people to weigh in pre-trial on O.J, Michael Jackson, Paul Manifort, or anyone else. How would I know?

JWs are not a “cult”—the whole concept is silly, and the incendiary word has been expanded to include them only in the last 20-30 years or so. They are a faith that meaningfully applies scripture IN THEIR OWN LIVES ONLY, even as they recommend it to others—a point continually misrepresented by “anti-cultists.”

Is it only your community that complains of being “manipulated?” JWs are a community of believers who wish to avoid being “manipulated” by overall societal trends, and for this reason they have voluntarily signed on to tools, up to and including DFing, that facilitates this end. The reason we look at 30-year-old photos of ourselves and wonder how we ever imagined those dorky styles did anything for us reveals a basic law of human nature. Would that that principle applied only to small things like style. But It doesn’t. Humans run with the herd on matters small and big. To deny a faith the tools to self-control is no more than an attack on the free expression of one’s faith.

Since the Watchtower organization has stated that they do not tell family members to shun others in the family, there is no reason not to take them up on this. Family members will shun or not shun based upon whether they think there is any reason general policy on avoiding those who oppose should not apply simply because one is family. (“Shunning,” by the way, is not the best term, since it implies permanence. Disfellowshipping does not.)

If Mark’s work is no more than an extension of what has been plainly stated—that anyone who knows of CSA in the JW congregation has every right to go to authorities and doing so brings no reproach upon anyone other than the perpetrator, then he has nothing to be concerned about. https://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2019/02/the-reproach-of-child-sexual-abuse-falls-on-the-abu.html.  I don’t even accede to your conclusion as to why the two congregation elders call. It could be that way, but you have by no means demonstrated it.

From Chivchalov’s blog, in Russia, since all ties together:

“Few people know that back in 2010, the European Court of Human Rights considered all the most popular accusations against Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia: breaking families, stealing real estate, failure to perform civil duties, refusal of military service, risk to health due to bloodless treatment, and even "mind control". Russian anti-cultists badly wanted to prove these allegations. The result: each of them was found to be unfounded and unsubstantiated. Here are some details in Russian: http://chivchalov.blogspot.com/2012/02/blog-post_13.htmlBut the Russian media don't care about the courts, facts and evidence. Over the past 9 years, these accusations continue to be heavily exploited by the media and presented as widely known and accepted facts. What doesn't work in court rooms due to the lack of evidence, works perfectly in the media that know how to invent any evidence and present it at the right angle. By the way, the Russian authorities learned a lesson: now what they say on TV, they don't say in court. In the Supreme and other courts, all these accusations were no longer mentioned. There was only one new accusation: "extremism," which is understood as the belief in the truth of one's religion.”

Most things take more than a sound byte to answer, which is why I put my reply on this platform, rather than a long series of tweets that will get all mixed up & out of order. On “cult” accusations: https://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2019/02/who-really-is-a-cult-part-1.html

On “shunning” accusations: https://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2019/01/in-defense-of-shunning.html

On all other accusations, see the free ebook TrueTom vs the Apostates! 

I have reproduced your tweets below, Javi, along with my reply that preceded them:

“See, this is where you often lose me. If Mark is disfellowshipped, he will be more than "avoided". he will be shunned by his entire family and lifelong friends. Cut off from his entire social environment. Check out Kip William's research williams.socialpsychology.org (1/3)

The effects of ostracism are on par with physical pain as far as the human brain is concerned. Aside from that, as Mark alluded in the article. Speaking out has already come at much personal and financial cost. These men could just leave him be and NOBODY in their congregation (2/3)

would be affected. Mark could proceed with his work, retain a semblance of a relationship with his elderly kin. But, it appears they're insisting on the visits. I'd argue that they are the aggressors; Do you feel that what Mark has done merits a judicial committee and DF'ing?” (3/3)

My prior tweets:

If you say someone lied, usually you say what the lie was. Also, if he presents himself as whistleblower who cares about his PIMI friends and family, he could have attended all congregation meetings both before ....1/3

and after. Relationships would strain, to be sure, but at no time would he need be concerned about being accosted physically. That cannot be said of the two men he named publicly before an audience mostly hostile to what ....2/3

they stand for. For that reason, it is usually thought extraordinarily vindictive to name private persons on the internet.....3/3

 

.....And since Mark has tagged everyone under the sun, so will I.

 

 

 

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Skirmish #225330. A Deadbeat Drunk

Yeah! once again, the Terminator, brash as he is, nails it.

I like this reproduced letter, and judging from the wording, I even imagine I know which helper wrote it:

While I appreciate the concern of the brother who “witnessed” this, I also have some concerns about the assumptions made. Please keep in mind, there are a number of circumstances that others may not be aware of. For example, using the purchase in connection with visitors, graduates from Gilead or the Branch Committee School. Also, over what period of time will these [bottles] be used? As far as dedicated funds, some of our brothers had businesses prior to coming to Bethel....

One can be forgiven for imagining that Ryan is having steamy sex over in his domain, so orgasmic is he over this. He has posted TWELVE (at least) separate topics about this!

He is among the ones (those who have gone atheistic) who lectures everyone else about his superior skills of critical thinking. And yet he so clearly—you couldn’t ask for a better example—lets his wishful thinking drag him along as with hooks in his jaws. He leads with his heart, not with his head at all.

Look, IF the brother was a deadbeat flatout drunkard on someone else’s dime, then yes, this is a video that would be consistent with it. But BECAUSE there exists such a video, the reverse is not by any means true. Far more likely is it that one of the factors the Bethel helper mentions is the reality.

Anybody who knows how to think knows this is so, and yet Ryan does not know it. He knows what he wants to think, and that is enough for him to fit any circumstance into his foregone conclusion. And yet he would boast of his “critical thinking” skills.

“While I appreciate the concern of the brother who “witnessed” this, I also have some concerns about the assumptions made. Please keep in mind, there are a number of circumstances that others may not be aware of,” the helper says.

No alcoholic could guzzle liquor the way Ryan guzzles assumptions. And yet he would tell us that he has broken away from religion and has learned to use his intellect!

He is either incredibly deceitful or incredibly stupid. Take your pick.

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Skimish #268295 High Living for the GB

Imagine, Nemo trying to spin it that they live high on the hog there at HQ! What is wrong with him?

During my years at Bethel, two GB members came down with pneumonia. Nobody could figure out why, because they had perfectly good space heaters for their pup tents. It turned out that, even though the temperature had been in the teens for days, they had kept them off so as not to waste dedicated funds.

Three of them got hand fungus from the hours they spent every day on foot-washing detail.

Two of them subsisted on honey and locusts. Four pressed their clothes with bricks so as not to waste electricity on ironing.

One of them winced when I said ‘hello’ and I learned afterwards that he only says “greetings” because “hello” has “hell” in it.

He winced even more and permanently injured his back carrying my bags to my room when I arrived, even though I told him I had brought my anvil collection.

One of them, when I had a flat tire, gave me a wheel off his car, and then had to walk through the sleet to the airport, where he strapped himself to a wing of the plane to save money and flew to Portugal to serve as keynote speaker there.

Still another one I visited in his tent, and he offered me a cup of coffee. As I sipped mine he diluted his to make it last longer.

These brothers make more self-sacrifice in a day than Nemo does in a year.

~~~

I got about a minute into the clip that Wilma sent,  maybe a minute and a half, and I noticed three things about it.

1) Nemo is extremely pleased with himself.

2) In his brief exchange about pants, where he somehow caught Bro Mo on the phone, (just THAT says something - that he takes a call from an unknown “brother” with unspecified concerns, instead of it being handled well down the line by some support staff) the latter comes across as warm, engaging, and not in the slightest bit full of himself (as Nemo DOES seem) - “No, call the branch,” he laughs, “and I’d better not see you guys wearing them,” he quips, and “You’re kidding me, right?” It was impossible not to warm to the guy.

3) Nemo’s cooing concern of how difficult it is for an ordinary person, such as he, to speak with a GB member (notwithstanding that he had just done it), as though an 8:000,000 to 1 ratio meant nothing at all. In fact, apparently it is an 8 billion ratio to 1 that he expects anybody to be able to waltz through, since he said at the outset that he is not among the 8 million. 

The guy is too infantile to endure, and I got no further. I mean, this thing runs 17 minutes.

4) (Yeah, I know I said 3, but I thought of another) Wilma’s ridiculous assumption that she has landed a major blow. “Here’s one for you, TTH,” she says, with no doubt whatsoever that I am going to clear the calendar and patiently analyze it, doubtless running it through several times so that all of her insinuations sink in. Wilma, who I simply asked a couple of questions of, and who thereafter regarded me as her star pupil for a time, and expressed such disappointment when she found that it was not so. I mean, this is a very strange woman. 

~~~

Jimmy: TTH: “The guy is too infantile to endure, and I got no further. I mean, this thing runs 17 minutes.”

The point is that that in 17 minutes I can read 20 times as much, without having to endure an unpleasant personality.

Jimmy: Doya think it might have something to do with your attention span being about a minute and a half?

No. I think it has something to do with his being that way.

Taunting me, when I mentioned that I read plenty of non-JW material, he asked: “Which of the three major atheist books do you find the most compelling?”

I replied: “Which of Dickens’ novels do you find the most compelling? Which of the Greek tragedies do you find the most compelling?”

The shallow idiot. And I should watch him for 17 minutes when he is too lazy to put his information into written form, the way every intelligent person on the planet has done since the beginning of history? That’s why he is crying so about being denied the “right” to steal Bethel’s content so as to put it into his own framed context—he’s too dull to describe it himself as any credible chronicler must do.

I have you to do that, and following the thread with some less biased people who CAN suffer through it, I can pretty well piece things together.

Call it “forensic research.” Scientists do it all the time and we are called dodos if we do not eat up every word.

~~~

Okay, as for my only actual exchange with one of the GB, which I related in the ebook Tom Irregardless and Me:

"I once crossed paths with a member of the Governing Body, sort of. By odd coincidence, one of my pals has the same first and last name as one of that group. Only the middle initial is different. My friend entered Bethel around 1980 and later married. My wife and I sent him a card on his first wedding anniversary, and it was the Governing Body member who replied! He thanked us for our kind wishes, he related how he and his wife had been traveling, how they’d been to Australia for the District Convention, and then Africa - boy, he sure gets around for being just a year at Bethel, we thought. Funny, the wives’ names didn’t match. Ah, well – maybe someone has a nickname. How could we have known? Here is a Governing Body member taking time to respond to a card, writing a few chatty paragraphs to people he does not know, not willing to risk hurt anyone’s feelings. I mean, these are not pretentious people."

 

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Photo: CBS television as published on Wikipedia Commons

 
 
 
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