Skirmish #150819 - The Unreluctant

If this hadn’t ended in a threat, I would have forgotten all about it. Even so, I am not sure that it was worth the effort to put together. Don’t I have other things to do? And didn’t the Librarian (that old hen) once tell me to knock it off when I got into a long squabble with Alan the Juggernaut? “I call all to witness that Tom has not answered my question,” he said. “It’s just you and me, you idiot,” I replied. “What! Do you think that you are Clarence Darrow arguing “Inherit the Wind?”  Nonetheless, I did reassemble the tweets in this instance, which is not easy to do chronologically when they fly back and forth quickly.

What saves me with these trolls  is that I have a body of work stretching back 15 years. It has a way of discouraging them, because eventually it dawns upon them that, though they vent their spleen, they really end up retarding their cause—they submit 30 words, and I, by including a link to something already written, respond with 1000. For the time being, that gives me a leg up, and whenever brothers exchange remarks with these characters without that advantage, they usually get beaten up badly, not just by the villain, but by all his chums who join the fray. I don’t recommend it, and maybe even for me I do not recommend it.

“The Unreluctant” appears out of nowhere to challege the post about the Phoenix New Times article,  but it quickly escalates. He is becoming frustrated with the posts I link to. I mean, these fellows want to drag out some pissy little complaint for a few pages, and you respond with a link that covers that complaint, and much more. Presently, they start to lose it: [Warning: this gets graphic on his part...I have edited as lightly as possible, for the sake of readability. I have added nothing (except a bracketed running commentary) I have deleted a little so as not to be redundant.]

UnR: Although ur writing style is unique so if you are up for some advice, sometimes less said is better. Just being constructive mate.

TTH: It was once thought permissible to make a defense when under accusation.

UnR: Of course it is Tom. Mate do you have a problem with comprehension? You always bring another argument into it I didn’t bring up...straw man much Defend Tom, just learn to be more constructive less arrogance....if you want my brutal honesty.

TTH: It is ever the way with zealots to hone in laser-like on their issue and their issue alone—to the exclusion of all else. Considering context was once thought wise. Today it is raising a straw man argument. Such zealotry is seen in many areas, not just that of religion.

TTH: Don’t tag me in a @jasonwynee reply because he has blocked me, the big wus. Of course, if I was abusive, foul, or harassing, that might be expected, but you well know from our exchanges that I am not. As an example of things misrepresented, here is a post on “mentally diseased.” Most of the rest is you chest-thumping over your hoped-for events.

UnR: Correct they categorised them [he is referring to “apostates”] all as ‘sub-human’ We see such terms being used by the GB as Vermin (exactly what the Nazis stayed) Mentally diseased (removed from the 2013 NWT perversion as it was too damaging to leave in) [that removal is covered in my above link]

TTH: Off the top of my head, I do not know where this is. [only the “mentally diseased was ever in print] But the Bible itself speaks of “animalistic men” and those enthralled with the “teaching of demons” It was probably said [once] in that context. They certainly don’t overdo it.

UnR: That’s right Tom,they didn’t overdo it at all when they copied the Nazi slogan & slaughter 6mio Jews by calling them vermin, and using it in a public setting in 2019! Tom forgive me please,but piss off and pull your head out of Gerrit Losch’s backside. You have now crossed a line

TTH: Uh oh. I think it is you crossing a line, not me. As to the Nazi slaughter of 6 million Jews, by the time it got underway, virtually everyone BUT Jehovah’s Witnesses had a hand in it. They were in the camps for their refusal to go along with Adolf.

TTH: There is also an current account, and I will be unable to back this up because I do not know that the involved parties want publicity, of JWs asking for very accommodating terms in hotel negotiations with a high-priced facility, being dismissed by hotel personnel, who were then countermanded by the manager on the basis that her grandfather was in the Nazi camps and she wouldn’t be here were it not for him. Yes, I have not cited my source, but you know well that I do not lie. Let’s see if you also explode in vitriol at that one.

UnR: Pathetic Tom of how you cross a line and condone the rhetoric and then try to tramp on 6mio lives with 1300 JW’s somehow that because they were allowed to shave an SS Gaurdian somehow means something! Pathetic man you are Tom...you crossed the line with me! The first letter Rutherford wrote you did have a hand in it, you by proxy and your organisation condoned the ideals of the Third Reich. You had your hand in it up to your neck in killing 6mio Jews! It was only when Hitler confiscated the assets did he write second letter. Dont try an rewrite history with me,I know more about your Orgs dirty little secrets than u ever will. Recent talk at the convention given by Geoffrey Jackson states the real reason hitler was killing Jews was to get to the anointed is nothing short of holicaust denial! Pathetic.

[This is so unhinged that I just leave it here without rebutal. There is an early letter (1933) from the Watchtower president to Hitler’s brand-new government to assure it that Witnesses were apolitical and not a thread. It does not avoid certain stereotypes common in that day. Professor Patrick Allitt, an historian at Emory University in Atlanta, speaks in the GreatCourses series of a “low-level anti-semitism” that was near universal in North America, and considerably worse elsewhere leading up till WWII. After that war, with the Holocaust having come to light, it virtually disappeared. I suppose you can make the case that the Wt president could have risen above it—still, that is all that you can say. It is ever the mark of zealots that they extrapolate the standards of the present day into the past to condemn those whom they don’t like.]

UnR: You back up nothing, your blogs are Watchtowers rewritten, a wannabe elder who gets turned down by the CO due to you being ‘odd’ not Elder material, hence you come on twitter to find your calling...am I close Tom, has the nerve been struck my brother? Tom, you so dearly want that position

TTH: I do shake in fury over that—probably you have heard the heavens rumble. [I played with this some more]: Again!! It happened again!! The CO left and he DIDN’T MAKE ME AN ELDER!! What is that—200 times? ARRRGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!  [How did he know?]

TTH: Oh, and [besides the post on standing up to Hitler, here is one] on Rutherford, [you may enjoy this] And on the intellectuals that you try to join, here is something appropriate to the Nazi era. ...Please consider adopting a human photo for your profile, so that the reader doesn’t suppose you an adolescent stuck in a fantasy world.

UnR: And there it is, the gas lighting. I kept this whole conversation on a level until you told lies about 6mio Jews and how you had nothing to do with it, yet your organisation condoned it at the highest level and what do you come back with....gas lighting. You crossed the line Tom

TTH: Feel free to cross back. I did not invite you here, you know. Nor did I engage you on your feed. Nor do I even want you here. This is so typical—you enter with remarks that get more & more heated till they outright lose it & burst into profanity. [Isn’t there something in Revelation 12 about ones who “accuse your brothers day and night before God?”]

UnR: You crossed the line and you will pay for it.

TTH: I crossed line and I will pay for it? Will screenshots help [my cause]? I mean, just when I think that you cannot get more abusive, you reach new heights.

[At this point, “NoFucksGiven” felt it appropriate to weigh in for the first time. She reached back into her treasure trove of words and found the same one that she would have found on the front burner]: YOUR FUCKING CULT IS GOING DOWN!!

TTH: Another visitor. Look, if I didn’t block the one that posted a photo of an erect penis, I will not soon block you. Best to let such things hang out there, where they will soon be buried, and until they are they make her look unhinged, not me. As to “going down” try this:

[She responded with a GIF of a dancing turd.]

I haven’t actually blocked anyone yet. I am not adverse to doing it. They do sully up things, they are a distraction, and if I hang with them long enough, I will probably tell my someone to “piss off” and get his head out of whoever’s backside. I mean, there really is something to that verse: “Bad associations spoil useful habits.” It may just be that I’ve not blocked anyone yet because I recall the wise words of Bud: “Kill a fly and 50 come to the funeral.”

It was the threat that decided me: “You have crossed a line and you will pay for it.” What did I do to trigger THAT? Maybe I jumped the gun in charging profanity. Perhaps “pissing off” and urging one to “pull your head out of Gerrit Losch’s backside” is polite dinner banter where he comes from. He plainly drinks too much of his own Kool-Aid, and it sends him into a rage when he is countered.

Maybe I shouldn’t have played around with his theory of a frustrated wannabe elder. I mean, that IS a little like brushing the teeth of a charging Rottweiler. Maybe I shouldn’t have done it. Oh, and perhaps I shouldn’t have asked him to shed his mask, so people would not think he was a pimply comic book-world adolescent. Actually, maybe I had it coming. But, come on! These guys materialize out of nowhere, just like—well, they materialize—and they make all sorts of charges. But give them any pushback, and they lose it. You also can’t call them a name because if you do, you will be complicit with Hitler in killing 6 million Jews. So let me just say for the record that I had a misunderstanding with this gentleman.

It is probably not a real threat. These are the days of 2 Timothy  3, in which people are said to be “without self-control” and “fierce.” It happens all the time on social media. Still, I am a sensitive soul, a “very gentle man, down to my fingertips/the sort who never would, ever could, let an insulting remark escape his lips” (for the most part), and it gave me pause. As long as I was pausing, I thought I’d write it up as a post.

Maybe I can engage JTR, that big-mouthed quasi-brother from the hills who packs a gun—something practically unheard of in JW-land. He will watch my back, and if I get into trouble, he will approach smiling, parting his suit jacket so that UnReluctant will see his holster, at which point he will mumble and slink away. Trouble is, JTR is prone to posting incendiary material of his own. Still, when push comes to shove, he will probably have my back. I think.

Or maybe I should just do it the way of Peter, who, when he pulled out a sword, the Lord told him to put it back.

....

[Edit: JTR was a good egg about this, even if he is a bad egg in some ways. He is a good egg as a driver, too, and he once proved it by turning his vehicle once over easy. At any rate, he said: “Of course I will defend you, TTH. That’s what I do.” 

To acknowledge this, I sent him a “tough-bro” story—he likes that kind of thing and there aren’t that many of them:

”There is a report of someone dear to me, an MS, being similarly threatened by a—I don’t even think that he is a brother, but he attends some meetings. The MS was worried about it, relating to me: “I hope that he does not come after me in the restrooms, because if he does, I will take him down” and he called the different elders as to what he should do. One laughed, as though it were a contest that he would love to see. The COBE got back to him presently, to say that he need not worry if he felt it necessary to “take care of his business.”]

 

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Skirmish #65198 - Steady as She Goes Among Treacherous Waters

“I realized that I did not fully understand those scriptures in 1 Thess. 5.”

 

 

“Perhaps you might want to peruse the article to confirm that there is nothing beyond what is written in the scriptures.”

If they had really wanted to pump everyone into fever pitch, as John charges they do, they would not have let 1Thess 5:2-3 go unmentioned during last week’s assigned Bible reading—the verse about “whenever they are crying ‘peace and security.’ They would have hyped it to the heavens. Instead, they let it pass unnoticed.

I think they are sailing a “steady as she goes” course among treacherous waters, doing their best not to overhype nor underhype. I just don’t like to second-guess their every move. Everyone knows what a pain a back-seat driver is. I don’t want to be one.

Does John want to go back to what he once was doing, reasoning that it is enough to know that the end is “out there somewhere?” This course I believe we are “not allowed” to take—not by the GB, but by Jesus, if we would prove ourselves faithful to him. Does John point to things he thinks the GB does wrong? (Does he ever!) I note how Miriam and Aaron began to speak against Moses on account of his Cushite wife—and how Jehovah really, really didn’t like that, and He let them hear about it. This was so even though Moses actually did have a Cushite wife.

As much as it is good to roam history in the spirit of “he who does not know history is doomed to repeat it,” it is probably one of those things we are just going to have to accept that we do from time to time. The presumed motivation for so searching past publications is so that we do not yet again emerge with egg on our face when something doesn’t turn out as anticipated. I think it is fair to assume that we may—for the alternative is to forget all about “keeping on the watch”—the opposite shoal, which is even more dangerous than the one we are trying to navigate.

To the extent that the intent is to appear “respectable” by never again having to backtrack on prior expectations, I think the intent is misguided, though certainly understandable. Paul was described as a “pest” who was leading a “sect.” Witnesses today can expect no more. Christians then were considered the “offscouring” of the earth. Witnesses today can expect no more. 

What we have on this site is multiple players trying to make the case that the doers are doing it wrong—overlooking the fact that in most cases they themselves are doing nothing. Witnesses just have to accept that it will be that way. Malcontents and renegades will pick up the same refrain as you-know-who, the one who “accuses our brothers day and night before our God.”

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Skirmish #195662 - “Oh, Zeeena, Zeeena....”

Oh, come on. Let me drag in my arch-porkchop again. 

I think of that overdone drama of a few decades back of Zena, who resisted every word of counsel from Moses and everyone responded with such bland remarks as ‘Oh Zena, Zena,’ while shaking their heads in dismay and disappointment at her bad attitude. Were it a video version, she would be making that ubiquitous Witness hand-wave, seen in all dramas, that means ‘Get out of my face!’

Of course, she goes down with the scoundrels when Jehovah opens up the earth, to cries of ‘Zeeeena! Zeeeena! Oh....Zeeeena, no no no.  (Numbers 16:32)

It will be like that in modern times. The call will come to ‘go but for moment into the interior rooms until my denunciation passes over.’ Everyone will rush in their to take cover, but JT will bellow, “What for? I’m not going anywhere! It’s stuffy in there! I quit the best job I ever had in 1975! No more! Who do they think they are?!” and I will be crying to the last ‘Jaaaames! Jaaaaames! Oh......Jaaaaaaames, no no no (you old porkchop)’

 

For whatever it’s worth, here’s an interesting item of history that I read from Professor Allitt: American’s so readily bought in the stories about the ghoulish & inhuman doings of ‘the Huns’ in WWI, which proved to be mere concoctions, that when stories emerged about atrocities toward the Jews in WWII, some said, “We’re not falling for that again!” and thus they were “wrong twice.”

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photo: fissure1, by BrennxOr 

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Skirmish #299610 - Good Cop / Bad Cop - Was That in Your Book?

“What [Bobby] you and your friend Tom do...”

Geo  you are such a two-year-old. You know very well that I rebuked him harshly not long ago, and that he took umbrage to it.

Nonetheless, I know your style, and I now know that you will be taunting me over this forever. So...is Bobby my friend or not?

Yes, assuming that he is the brother that he claims to be, he absolutely is. He is loyal to God. He is loyal to Christ. He is loyal to the human organization that does its level best to follow their lead. He is my friend. He may sometimes display himself a marauding and unhinged pit bull, but he is my friend. In the Kingdom Hall, we would get along just fine. 

Maybe, since you have paired us, we will roll with the illustration of ‘Good Cop/Bad Cop.’ (Guess which one he is) The good cop really and truly does not want you to fall into the hands of the bad cop, for he knows how bad that bad cop can be. He thinks the bad cop is doing it all wrong and indeed wonders sometimes whether the bad cop can truly be a cop. However, the bad cop thinks the good cop is a namby-pamby, fraternizing with the crooks way too much, and wonders ‘where is his loyalty?’

The metaphor works well enough. I like it.

Let me direct you, therefore, to the L.A. Confidential movie in with the corrupt official taunts the good cop: “Oh, give me a break! You are not going to pull the good cop/bad cop routine on me, are you? I wrote the book on that routine!” Whereupon the bad cop grabs him by the scruff of the neck, nearly drowns him in the toilet, and then dangles him by a single foot over the 20th floor window that he had kicked out. 

Placing the jellyfied mess that is left of the corrupt official back on the couch, as the two leave with the requested information extracted, he says, “Was that in your book?”

Your witness, Bobby. Go as easy on him as you are capable of.

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Photo: Times Square, by Joe Holmes

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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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Photo by regard 1400

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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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photo: American Gladiator SVU, by numberstumper

 

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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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photo by elana lu 

 

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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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photo: Blue Jeans - Emanuelle Tortora

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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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Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)