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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“Recently I went out with one of our elders and was a little disappointed when he was only delivering tracts.”

The suggestion to lead with a scripture is not something original on my part. From time to time it has been suggested by the theocratic organization. I have run with it as a staple more than is usually emphasized, but the idea is not mine. I mean, how can it be going off on one’s own tangent by leading with a scripture? If one finds that it works well. one tends to do it more and more, and that has been the case with me.

Similarly, the working with the video ‘Would You Like Good News’? which leads to the ‘Good News From God’ table of contents & the invitation to the householder to choose any one he/she likes was not my idea at all. That came from the circuit overseer on his last visit. I was at almost every meeting for field service and he worked to make us all familiar with how videos could be used. Not once did he mention the current CLAM presentation of ‘Where are the Dead?’ Was he going off on his own tangent & thinking he knew better than God’s organization? No, he is just showing that there are a lot of ways to present the good news and he was putting emphasis on a method that works well.

Q: Recently I went out with one of our elders and was a little disappointed when he was only delivering tracts. He was not trying to initiate conversation at all. 

Q2: Different ones will often fall back on old habits, even bad ones (and even Elders).

Q2, I am going to be very very bold here and suggest that if he is merely offering tracts and making no effort to start conversations it is because he finds the suggested presentations cumbersome and awkward, and he would benefit by trying the scripture-first or the video one. I mean, he is an elder. He wants to be seen taking the lead. Everyone varies the pace and settings vary, as does one’s mood on any given day. Yet limiting one’s ministry to offering tracts with no effort to converse is faithful, but it is not taking the lead, and unless I am very mistaken, his conscience is letting him hear about it (unless he has switched into auto-pilot, turning it off.)

One disadvantage of some of the CLAM presentations is that they require getting one’s head around. They require preparation. One advantage of the scripture-first or the Would You Like to Hear Good News presentation is that they do not—to just read a verse with a sentence or two as to why you chose it is not hard. We all know the experience of working with a new presentation and the first householder or two becomes a lab rat while we work the bugs out. The problem is gone with scripture or video first.

Q3: I also try to talk about something that is interesting to any person, to cite a scripture and direct the person to our website at the end of the presentation

Yes. Whatever works. By all means give the suggested presentations a try, even a workout if you like, but don’t feel that they must be adhered to in order to be following Jehovah’s direction. 

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photo: ‘Mousey’ by Ikayama

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Misrepresenting JW Child Abuse Policy

“After hearing a rather generic announcement that someone has been "reproved," without knowing the actual reason for that reproof, how would congregants know to keep their children away from them? Another congregant might assume that a person being reproved was caught smoking or fornicating with an adult; child sexual abuse might be the last thing they would consider when they hear of someone having been reproved!” So says Alexandra.

All one need to do blow this silly thing out of the water is to read the relevant portion (point 11) of the JW downloadable child abuse policy:

“If it is determined that one guilty of child sexual abuse is repentant and will remain in the congregation, restrictions are imposed on the individual’s congregation activities. The individual will be specifically admonished by the elders not to be alone in the company of children, not to cultivate friendships with children, or display any affection for children. In addition, elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individual.” [Bolded mine]

In the special case of child sexual abuse, these are the steps that go above and beyond handling other forms of wrongdoing. Alexandra’s entire complaint is based upon something that is factually incorrect. Whether or not the published policy addresses every conceivable scenario or whether it is foolproof is another matter entirely. She has stated that there is none. There is. And it would be hard to put it in a more obvious place—the online and downloadable WT policy on child sexual abuse.

It is clear that Alexandra spends too much time pouring over confidential material intended for others and insufficient time reading what is right under her nose. Moreover, had she come by the elders’ guidebook honestly, rather than pilfering it off the internet, put there from some like anti-JW activist, she would have been there to hear the “Brothers, make sure you consult the online CSA policy, for the special circumstance of when the wrong repented over involves child abuse.”

Is it nothing? Some of these activists have huge audiences who uncritically lap up every word, and here is a major complaint that is undeniably bogus. By advancing it, when she really ought to know better, she contributes to the hysteria of anticultism that less freedom-loving nations use as a pretext for physically assaulting and jailing upright people.

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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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Skirmish #200317

Those New Testament epistles reveal abundant energy devoted to countering those who oppose. See how Paul battles with the “superfine apostles” at 2 Corinthians 11, for instance. Why think it would be different today?  

...............

I'm not completely sure what this thread is even about. Offhand, it seems like an attempt by the hypercritical people to get the picayune and the righteous-overmuch people going. 

We all know what Jehovah's Witnesses believe. So whatever is seen is Chili either squares with it or it doesn't. 

If it does, then there will be some trickery involved to get people all incensed over it. It may be fraud by photoshop or trespasser sabotage. Or there may be something circumstantial or cultural that we know nothing about..

If it doesn't. then it will be corrected, now or later. It always is. 

Once I came after you with the charge that you had an agenda and you responded with: 'Of course, I have an agenda.' I said to myself: 'The old pork chop is right. He does has one. So do I. So does everyone.' Stay here any length of time and it becomes clear who the players are and what are their agendas. They range in shades of from off-white to downright black. Thus everything anyone offers ought to be seen in this light, and the posts of some ought to be 90% dismissed on this basis alone.

The ideal is what C.T. Russell stated, that he would accept a truth even if it was from the Devil himself. But the reality is, how would you know it is the truth? Far more likely is it that he is just lying like he always does, using abundant tricks of the trade to make you think he is telling you the truth. The tools for lying are legion today, far more than in Russell's time, what with photoshopping and all. Even without photoshopping , we all know the reality of information selectively given without context or in manufactured context in hopes that people will come to false conclusions, so that Wayne finally has to say: 'I'll go down there myself and shake the truth out of those bad brothers (if bad brothers they be).' Obviously that is something few brothers can do, not just on account of resources, nor even on account of time, but on account of best use of time.

And if we get so worked up about reports from those whose agendas are manifestly cockeyed, if not downright foul, in these days of photoshop, what on earth will we do in the days of 'deep fakes', a day that is rapidly dawning? If anyone doesn't know the term, a casual Google search will reveal that it is the manipulation of video evidence, so that any head can be attached to any body and be made to say anything the poster wants? Are you going to lose you're cookies, then, when a GB member appears in skin tight pants smoking weed to recommend that we all start showing a little more sympathy for the Devil? Because you know that day is coming.

(My own prophesy, by the way, is that deep fakes will instantly be turned upon children, as technological advances usually are, for the sake of ratcheting up the bullying that they are already taking their own lives over. Since generating those deep fakes is only possible with an abundance of still photos to feed into generators, any source of those abundant photos is going to be sued off the planet. It will not be enough for social media sites to say that what they did was perfectly legal at the time and was agreed to by their users. Laws will be reinterpreted to say that they have violated them. You think lawsuits today have gotten out of hand?)

So you have to go by someone's manifest agenda. In this regard, Billy’s comments are among the most appropriate, even if he is prickly is his presentation. Witness the modern sanctification of the term 'whistleblower'. Whistleblowers are useful, of course, but they are more useful in blowing the cover off an evil organization. Almost all of the self-styled  'whistleblowers' on this particular thread think  that Jehovah's organization is evil. If you are one, like me, who doesn't think that, then you discount their comments on that basis alone.

People's veracity should be judged by always keeping in mind their overall agenda.

It is like a WT article that dealt with those occasional Bible accounts that are downright strange and even paint God in a bad light. 'All we see is a little snippet,' it said. 'What do you do with a close friend who has had your back and earned your trust over time and you know him through and through, but then you hear a bad report about him? Do you say: "YEAH! I knew it! He is a rat!" ?

Unfortunately, it is a crazy age we live in in which loyalty is seen as the mark of a chump, and there are many people who are that way.

It is like when I pointed out that the Geoffrey Jackson on Twitter was not the real Geoffrey Jackson and Wilma took a breather from bludgeoning everyone with irrelevant scriptures to say 'How do you know that it is not him?' It has his picture, doesn't it? 'He' even said pray for our brothers in Russia.

Duh. You know it is not him because she says that it is. Presently it was revealed that ‘he’ didn't give a hoot in hell for 'our brothers is Russia.' - kill them all as far as he is concerned. It was all a ruse so as to capture the attention of naïve brothers and redirect it to unflattering reports elsewhere.

Oh, yeah. Sure. He’s going to start up a Twitter account. After all he’s said about social media. Look, if they ever did do some amazing about face and start giving updates on Twitter, it would be a dramatic change in method of communication. There would be ample notice on trusted channels that such change was about to happen.

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These are the problems I see when witnesses from a free society don’t understand the prospects of other countries. They think they can instill western values in areas that reject them.”

Exactly 

“Therefore, the only ones worthy of accommodating the brotherhood in Chile, are Chilean Brothers, no one else.”

Exactly.

When Billy is hot, he’s hot.

It is not unlike the situation described at Acts 21:20

“and they said to him: “You behold, brother, how many thousands of believers there are among the Jews; and they are all zealous for the Law.  But they have heard it rumored about you that you have been teaching all the Jews among the nations an apostasy from Moses, telling them neither to circumcise their children nor to walk in the [solemn] customs.  What, then, is to be done about it? In any case they are going to hear you have arrived.  Therefore do this which we tell you: We have four men with a vow upon themselves.  Take these men along and cleanse yourself ceremonially with them and take care of their expenses, that they may have their heads shaved. And so everybody will know that there is nothing to the rumors they were told about you, but that you are walking orderly, you yourself also keeping the Law.”

The governing arrangement back then assumed authority to do such things, even telling Paul to act differently from what he would otherwise do, so as to counteract hurtful reports and reassure others.

They were not to be second-guessed in such decisions. They “girded themselves as men” and directed a course of action that easily could have been criticized by ones having inadequate knowledge of the culture and circumstances.

In fact, on ancientsocialmedia.com back then, they did take a lot of heat for it.

.......................

My throat got dry on the trail the other day so I stopped in at the saloon for a brew. I grabbed my mug, threaded my way through the floozies after telling the barkeep to keep those drinks coming, and settled in for some serious contemplation of the vicissitudes of life.

”Join us for some poker, pardner?” came a friendly voice from the next table. A Chilean flag flew over that table on some days, but not others. Why not indulge him? I took the chair offered and the dealer shot out the cards. The friendly stranger took a quick peak at his then put them face down on the table.

Presently, looking sly as could be, he picked his cards up again and slowly fanned them face side out, and I was surprised to see that he had a full house. I heard some tittering from the floozies, and I weighed his hand against mine with an inward smile. I would hand this gringo his head on a platter.

But then my conscience started to beat me. This was going to be too easy, like taking candy from a baby, and I don’t cotton to beating up on babies. “Say stranger,” I said. “Did you know that you are doing it all backwards?” 

”Don’t worry,” he replied. “I know what I’m doing. The public has a right to know.”

”Maybe some good will come out of it,” he spoke up again. “The name’s Wayne, by the way. Pleased to meet you. Maybe we’ll have the pleasure to meet again someday ,” he said chattily as I raked in every dollar he had laid down.

How’s that for admiring him, Billy. Out here on the trail everything is relative.

“Admirin’s got nothing to do with it.” 

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