Preacher Jimmy Swaggart and JW Lawyers

by waiting 99 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Friend
    Friend

    Frenchy

    You talk about shady dealings. Is it shady dealings when you work out your tax questions before a public judiciary?

    You try illustrating your case with an instance of a painter trying to avoid taxes by calling the trade for his services a trade for air with the money only becoming a gift. Don’t you see the relevant dissimilarity between that illustration and what the Society has directed regarding our literature?

    Without getting into the legalities, just consider this one essential element:

    Would your painter have completed his painting job without having an agreement to receive the "gift"?

    Has the Society directed that we withhold literature based upon a person’s ability to provide a donation?

    Surely you can see the difference between the two.

    The agreement to receive the "gift" was part and parcel to the work performed. In the eyes of the tax-man it was trade, it was commerce.

    Our work has no such agreement. Neither explicitly or implicitly do we require or pressure for payment from a householder for our literature. There is no commerce. Even publishers are told the same thing, explicitly. A letter dated January 24, 1991, addressed to All Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States the Society said, "Should publishers and pioneers feel obligated to contribute to the Society’s worldwide word each time that they receive literature at the Kingdom Hall? No. As stated in the April 21, 1990, letter to all congregations in the United States: ‘Publishers may… make their own donations to support the worldwide work according to their ability and desire, whenever they choose to do so.—2 Cor. 8:10-15; 9:6-14.’" [Bold added by Friend]

    Friend

    Edited by - Friend on 3 June 2000 10:40:1

  • RedhorseWoman
    RedhorseWoman

    Our work has no such agreement. Neither explicitly or implicitly do we require or pressure for
    payment from a householder for our literature. There is no commerce. Even publishers
    are told the same thing, explicitly. A letter dated January 24, 1991, addressed to All
    Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States the Society said, "Should
    publishers and pioneers feel obligated to contribute to the Society’s worldwide word each
    time that they receive literature at the Kingdom Hall? No. As stated in the April 21,
    1990, letter to all congregations in the United States: ‘Publishers may… make their own
    donations to support the worldwide work according to their ability and desire, whenever
    they choose to do so
    .—2 Cor. 8:10-15; 9:6-14.’" [Bold added by Friend]

    However, in those congregations where the publishers did not make sufficient "donations" for the literature, a letter was sent out requesting additional monies to pay for the printing costs.

    I find that rather hypocritical, although I'm sure, Friend, that you will find a way to rationalize the situation once again.

    Also, how long do you think it would be before a publisher was "counseled" about his "lack of donations" for the literature if he chose (or perhaps found it onerous) to contribute sufficiently? I doubt it would take long at all.

    If the WTBTS hadn't continually berated every other religious organization on the planet for doing things less shady than what they are doing now, I would find no fault. However, the rafters in their eyes are becoming larger while they continue to pick at the straws they see everywhere else.

    Frenchy has good points. The Society is not following their own counsel.

  • Friend
    Friend

    RedhorseWoman

    [Special pleading sniped]

    You infer that I am somehow rationalizing. I have presented evidence of my views. All you have done I spout an opinion. For instance, you said,

    Also, how long do you think it would be before a publisher was "counseled" about his "lack of donations" for the literature if he chose (or perhaps found it onerous) to contribute sufficiently? I doubt it would take long at all.

    Such a comment as that presumes that elders can distinguish when publishers are contributing, to use your words, insufficiently. Such a presumption is sheer nonsense! Again, publishers were told in writing,

    Should publishers and pioneers feel obligated to contribute to the Society’s worldwide work each time that they receive literature as the Kingdom Hall?

    No… Some [publishers] have chosen to make their donations at the time they pick up a literature supply. They do this because it serves as a convenient reminder of their privilege and responsibility to support the worldwide work regularly. Others contribute personally at the same time they put in the voluntary donations received from interested ones met in the field ministry. Many have decided to make a specific donation each week. Still others set aside an amount for the worldwide work each month, just as they do for Kingdom Hall expenses. Whenever it is done, each one has to determine what he or she can personally do in support of the worldwide work. SUch giving should be done in an orderly way in accord with how the giver is prospering. (1 Cor. 16:2)—Letter to All Congregations Of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States, dated January 24, 1991, page 2.

    Now, based upon that written direction, you tell me, just how are elders supposed to know who is contributing what? Do you think they have placed homing devices onto our wallets so they know if we pull them out in front of contribution boxes? Do you think elders have secret cameras trained on publishers during each meeting?

    Also, considering the comment above, can you please tell me what "sufficient" is? And, exactly how are elders to know when we have met "sufficient"?

    Can you (or will you) answer those questions in a logical fashion?

    The rationalizing going on within this topic is yours. You are rationalizing away real facts to suit your own opinion.

    The Society certainly has some monumental problems to work out. I suggest you concentrate on some of those rather than quibbling about things you clearly do not fully understand. As far as this subject is concerned, the Society is following its own directions to the letter. You are the one that presumes otherwise. And that is all it is, presumption. If you choose to continue on this line of thought then I suggest you first go back an intelligently respond to facts that I have presented. So far you have manifest a skillfulness at generously sharing opinion rather than dealing with facts.

    Friend

  • waiting
    waiting

    Wow, Friend, I can tell by your tone that you really were an elder - hats off to you for putting everyone in the place you deemed correct for them.

    I'm the one who started this post - and these are my thoughts which no one has seen fit to answer:

    1. I WANT TO BUY GIRL SCOUT COOKIES, and I've been told not to do so for 30 years because we would be "supporting" an organization with religious/political overtones.

    2. I WANT TO DONATE MY STUPID CLOTHES (which, BTW, are too small in spite of not buying girl scout cookies), but I've been told within this same time frame that we again do not IN ANY WAY lend support to another religious organization.

    3. I WANT TO GO TO WEIGHT WATCHERS but their stupid meetings are in a stupid church building and again, Weight Watchers is renting the room from the church - so therefore, my $5.00 per week would - in the long run - end up in the church account. There are several of us chubby sisters here, and we have discussed this. One sister goes secretly so as not to "stumble anyone."

    We have been taught to absolutely stay away from even looking like we're giving support, whether it be financial or physical or any other way, to any other religious organization.

    My point, and I still feel it is valid, The Watchtower Society should have stayed clear of that law suit which in anyway could be seen as lending support - in this case legal expertise, to any religious organization.

    I understand your argument that they weren't lending support - then they shouldn't have filed the Friend of the Court Brief because it looked liked they were lending support. They could still have gone to a donation system - and been able to be critical of Poor Jimmy in the Watchtower. What a victory that would have been!

    They could have had their cake and ate it too! But I still wouldn't be allowed to buy Girl Scout Cookies, now would I?

  • Friend
    Friend

    waiting

    1. I WANT TO BUY GIRL SCOUT COOKIES, and I've been told not to do so for 30 years because we would be "supporting" an organization with religious/political overtones.

    I like the peanut butter ones myself. BUY THE COOKIES. No one cares if you buy them or not. On past occasions the Society has rented Boy Scout halls for conventions. What do you think puts more money into that organizations coffers, renting a convention hall or buying $5.00 worth of cookies?

    2. I WANT TO DONATE MY STUPID CLOTHES (which, BTW, are too small in spite of not buying girl scout cookies), but I've been told within this same time frame that we again do not IN ANY WAY lend support to another religious organization.

    The Society supports the doing of good deeds, even if it assists someone in another religious organization. For example, the June 22, 2000 Awake! made this comment: "Help was extended to all, regardless of their religious beliefs. ‘We helped out the village priest. We cleaned the basement of his house,’ observed one Witness."

    3. I WANT TO GO TO WEIGHT WATCHERS but their stupid meetings are in a stupid church building and again, Weight Watchers is renting the room from the church - so therefore, my $5.00 per week would - in the long run - end up in the church account. There are several of us chubby sisters here, and we have discussed this. One sister goes secretly so as not to "stumble anyone."

    Go! Do you know how many past conventions have been held in buildings owned by armed services of whatever nation the convention was held in? Do you think those rentals were free? They were not. In most cases those were the only buildings that would rent to us or else they were less expensive than other buildings, so they were the ones used. Eventually the Society had circuits to stop using those type of facilities because it did offend some people’s sensibilities—as you can imagine it might—and besides, having your children playing on a battle tank or a infantry heavy artillery gun was not the best of situations for those learning war no more. Going to that Weight Watchers meeting is entirely up to you and your conscience.

    I understand your argument that they weren't lending support - then they shouldn't have filed the Friend of the Court Brief because it looked liked they were lending support.

    Tell me something. How do you keep from stumbling the ignorant? Just how do you do that? The fact is that the only ones that might be stumble by the Society filing that amicus curiae brief are those ignorant of what it represented and its potential effects. If we refrained from doing anything that might stumble someone we would be utterly paralyzed, literally. Neither the Society nor you should feel or act with that amount of restraint.

    As for going to the donation system otherwise, practically that is what we have always had. Do you really believe that $1.00 for a Bible back in the 70’s and 80’s was anything but a donation? Do you recall any time when the Society instructed publishers to withhold literature from those who could not afford it?

    Friend

  • 3acrewood
    3acrewood

    Good Grief, Waiting. Do you live in a REALLY SMALL TOWN or something? 'Cuz in MY WORLD there are ALWAYS TONS of Witnesses who attend WeightWatchers meetings! (No pun intended!) It's NEVER been questioned by ANYONE - even if held in a church's public facilities, which they're NOT around here, although Overeaters Anonymous meetings are. (Not to mention AA and Al-Anon meetings, which are attended by more Witnesses than you would care to think - WITH the blessings of the elders, if it's a struggle that is known to them.) Even though in a physical "Church building", they are not religious meetings.

    I've always bought Girl Scout Cookies - even served them on treat nights after book study with no comments from others other than how they love those Mint ... whatevers ...!

    I used to go to an Aerobics class at the Y - sponsored by the Y. The literature does discuss not JOINING the Y, but a fee for equal services (with no name on a membership roll ...) is a matter of conscience. I never made a secret of that either. (My Brother, on the other hand, was reprimanded for serving turkey on Thanksgiving! LOL Go figure!) A lot of it is the "conscience" of the particular body of elders. Sure, that's just plain silly, but if I were going to stumble over something, I'd sure hope it would be something more meaningful than that! LOL

    Anyway, I'm guessing either you have (had) one VERY OPINIONATED elder that you've had to deal with, or live in a VERY SMALL TOWN. LOL Am I right?

    The moral of the story is - know the scriptural principles involved - KNOW what the Society's feelings are on a matter - exercise your Godly conscience, and ... um, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ...

    PS - Think we need a new heading? We seem to have left Jimmy Swaggart in the dust!

    Cj

  • waiting
    waiting

    Yes, btw, I do live in a medium-sized town right next store to a major Air Force Base and .5 hr. from the capital of our state.

    1. No, we don't buy Girl Scout cookies, or at least don't admit it to anyone. Neither do we put any contribution to the Firefighters who then would give us a paper flower. Nor do we buy candy bars from little kids - unless we ask them first what they are raising money for. If it's for a public school, ok. If it's for a church, we politely turn them down. We do not go to the Y because of the religious implications. 1987, a brother got disfellowshipped for doing so. We do not go to any meetings held in a religious building.

    In my neck of the woods - JW's do not rent religious buildings - period. Nor do we enter them.

    My husband and I own a business open to the public. We treat everyone the same. If we are asked to quote a job for a complete stranger and the person wants a big crucifix on his vehicle - we suggest another sign shop in town (saying they have that design already).

    We did signage on a church bus through a dealership who had sold the vehicle to the little black church. We billed the dealership, the instructions came through the dealership. Our PO got wind of our "transgression" and he and another elder came to our place of business and told us that we should have quote our customer of 25 years "a quote so high he couldn't accept it."

    We told him that we treat everyone equal - being public and all. PO's response? "Well, that's the way I've always done business - and I don't see anything wrong with it

    We asked him if a Jewish person from a Jewish church came in - do we double price him for being a Jew or being of the Jewish faith?

    The small church we did lettering on through our regular customer, happened to be black. If we had double priced him and he found out - how would we explain our position? No, we didn't jack the price up a 100% because you're blacks. We did it because your a church. Discrimination is not dead where we live.

    We do not donate to the Salvation Army, unless we sneak it in. A sister who has been in the truth for 60 years said "some of those people make a good living off those clothes. They're a religion and we shouldn't help them make a living for their church." I would give to Good Will, but there are none in our area. I do sneak clothes, etc, to the Salvation Army. There are poor people everywhere.

    We wouldn't be caught dead at a bake sale, etc. for a church. Never.

    A sweet pioneer sister, out in 95 degree weather, car broken down, 3 kids in car, in the country. A small convience store right across the street. We stumbled on her and helped her out. I offered to take her kids to the store to buy a coke - it was so hot in July. She and her kids had been stranded there for over 2 hours.

    Her response? No, the man who owns the store is disfellowshipped, and he might be in there. So she sat for hours in the sun with these kids with nothing to drink. I summoned my JW courage up and actually walked across the street and bought cokes for everyone. The man wasn't even in there - I asked.

    Are we an ignorant people - it would seem that a lot of us are. An important thought here is that we live in the USA. What about the ignorant people in the Third World countries - are they to be dismissed because of their ignorance? I believe that is the implication of being in a Third World country - Lack of money, education, etc. The connotation is that they are much worse off than we in First World countries, and your suggesting that those in small towns are ignorant.

    After all, where I live, children are still (some) not graduating high school, nor getting any additional training - unless they "take it on the chin" from other ignorant brothers, some elders, who say that they are just doing that to "make a name for themselves." I believe they get that type of quote from the Society who is referring to Nimrod's people.

    I believe the Society refers to us as educated in the knowledge of the Bible - as they teach it. They teach us well the fundamentals of life - in many countries, how to read, cook, hygiene, etc., and they tell us they do a fine job. And we believe them. Why wouldn't we?

    But our discussion is way past these fundamentals of life - I believe our Society is quite fine with the ignorance of their people. And this state proves it, in my ignorant opinion.

    PS, we still won't admit in public that we read any novel other than Watchtower literature. But I've seen others do it - the sisters hide them.

    We follow the admonition that there should be only 3 rings on any hand. I was quite rebellious and got my ears double pierced (I am such a radical). Men are back to white shirts and suits on the platform. Women are not allowed to show their knees and sit in the first row.

    We are "ushered" to our seats by attendants - they don't want us to sit near the doors. I have a personality disorder and needed to be assured because of panic attacks that I could get out of the building in 30 seconds flat. I had to forcefully argue my medical point because two attendents would, absolutely, not let me sit near the door.

    I could go on endlessly, and I'm sure you hope I don't. 'Nough said - we are ignorant on many things and a lot of them here have been valuable witnesses for decades. And that is the status quo.

    Where do you live that it is so radically different? I've been to assemblies for 30 years, and never met anyone much different from myself. I've lived in a midwest state, capital of the state, and they were exactly the same as here. My sister lives in Nevada, quite large city, and it's the same there - we compare notes.

    Except in this one area. Our PO made the statement one night that the Society would "designate surgeons for us in case of a blood emergency" and he said from the platform that's what the Society said. Another elder, sitting in his chair, actually had the letter in front of him. He did not raise his hands to "respectfully clarify" the Society's letter.

    After the meeting, I privately asked this sitting elder how a mistake is clarified and why couldn't he have just read from the Society's letter what the Society had actually written?

    He asked me if I had asked this question to my husband who is a brother. I said no, because my husband was not there. He said I should learn from my husband first, as the scriptures say. I said my husband did not hear this mistake, so how could I ask him? He said, politely, that was not the Scriptural point - I, as a sister, must ask my husband (even if he wasn't there)what the correct quote from the Society was, and why it couldn't be corrected - respectfully by another elder - at the time it was said.

    In others words, I was scripturally told to go home and be quiet until my husband could think for me. I tend to understate things - I was not a happy camper for a long time.

  • waiting
    waiting

    Dear 3acre, A Girl Scout cookie has never been produced in public at any witness gathering - even in car groups, at least in front of me - and I would recognize them, trust me.

    To produce one (and the mints are good) at Treat Night after a book study just would absolutely not be done here.

    Btw, one elder was counseled to stop the treat nights they had once a month in his book study. The other elders, according to this book study conductor, said that the friends might get to enjoying the treats more than the spiritual food.

    He bowed to their higher spiritual knowledge and the get-togethers were stopped.

    We may be ignorant, but there are a lot like us.

  • 3acrewood
    3acrewood

    Waiting:
    I don't doubt at all a lot of what you said because I've lived in some small towns myself in the past. Hope you didn't think I was insulting small towns or calling their people "ignorant", 'cuz I wasn't. It can be quite pleasant in some ways; however, people in small towns seem to know more about each other's business, and the elders in those small congregations seem to have more of a propensity for ... um, shall we say ... imposing their personal opinions ... running the show where it's not their place. They can be very opinionated and there are fewer "checks and balances" (in the way of other mature brothers) to prevent them from going too far. So, I know that some of the things you commented on are probably quite accurate. The Society, however, HAS put a LOT of emphasis on elders NOT imposing their personal opinions and consciences on individuals. Unfortunately, in your case, the brothers don't seem to be taking that counsel to heart!

    By the way, You mentioned something I almost put on my "Women hate it when ..." list (from another thread) ... Having to have your husband act as an intermediary (for the "little woman") in congregation matters! Not a matter of resenting headship really - but I do have a one-on-one relationship with Jehovah. The elders are to be spiritual shepherds to ALL in the congregation. I should be able to approach them with my problems/needs of a spiritual nature on my own. Enough said.

    I too live in the midwest, but not in a small town - We've lived in small towns several times serving where the need is greater. There were very noticeable differences - I must say. Chalk it up to human nature, maybe - but if it is too extreme, the Society would probably want to know about it also.

    Hang in there.

    CJ

  • Frenchy
    Frenchy

    Friend

    Is it shady dealings when you work out your tax questions before a public judiciary?

    Now it's my turn to ask a question. Do you really believe that shady dealings do not occur before public judiciaries? There is no place shadier.

    On the matter of the illustration I believe that you are losing the point in the details. The point is not whether I would do the work without the 'gift'. The point is what do I call the 'gift'? Is it truly a gift or is it really payment for services received. Now let's look at our illustration again. Do you go out and ask people for donations unless they 'accpet' literature?. No, you don't. So what happens is that you place literature in their hands and then you tell the m you would like a donation. You ask for a donation only when literature is 'placed' with the householder just like the painter will ask for his 'gift' only if he paints the house.

    We have been 'hammered' at elders' meetings by the C.O. to make sure that all the publishers 'explain the donation arrangement' (translation: Get some money when you place the literature ) each and every time they place literature. Place the literature in the person's hands and then let them know you are in a position to accept money. Accept money for what? What have you done? You have left literature for them. It doesn't matter what you call it, you are exchanging literature for money.

    Now the issue is sometimes clouded by the fact that literature is sometimes left when no donation is forthcoming. Does that, in itself, actually change anything? No. We're on a fishing expedition here. Sometimes we lose the bait without catching anything but overall we more than make up for those that do not give us money. Our C.O. told us (the elders) one time that our circuit was not sending in 'its share' of contributions for the literature that was being placed. We were told in no uncertain terms that it was expected of us to correct that. How? Make sure the publishers are 'explaining the donation arrangement' and remind the brothers that 'ultimately the responsibility of sponsoring the preaching work is that of Jehovah's Witnesses'.

    The agreement to receive the "gift" was part and parcel to the work performed. In the eyes of the tax-man it was trade, it was commerce.

    How long do you think this distribution of literature would continue if no monies were collected? Honestly, now. So, in effect, the collection of money is, indeed, 'part and parcel' of the literature distribution work.

    Neither explicitly or implicitly do we require or pressure for payment from a householder for our literature.

    No pressure? No pressure is put on individuals to 'donate'? There they stand holding our magazines in their hand and we are telling them that the work of distributing the magazines they are holding is supported by donations and that we would be happy to accept a donation from them. This is no pressure? There is no implication here that something is expected in return for the literature?

    I have spent a goodly portion of my life as a salesman. What we are doing is what is called the 'puppy dog' sale. It's an old trick and it works very well. Put the merchandise in the person's hands. Let them feel it, let them take possession of it. It's much, much more difficult to hand something back than just shake your head 'no'.

    Pretend that it's free. "There's no charge for our literature". Once they take it, then you set the hook by letting them know in no uncertain fashion that the way this works is that people are expected to give a donation to perpetuate the work. This is another old sales trick as well.

    You keep quoting publications from the Society. Surely you're not taking the stuff that we print out for the public to read at face value, are you? Certainly you know the difference between what is said and what in reality is really meant, do you not? Don't tell me that you actually believe, for instance, that JW's vote?

    ...Should publishers and pioneers feel obligated to contribute to the Society's worldwide word (sic) each time that they receive literature at the Kingdom Hall? No. As stated in the April 21, 1990, letter to all congregations in the United States: 'Publishers may… make their own donations to support the worldwide work according to their ability and desire, whenever they choose to do so...

    Have you read this very carefully? Please note, first of all, what it does not say: It does not say:

    Should publishers and pioneers feel obligated to contribute to the Society's world wide work? No.

    Note carefully the following phrase and how it changes completely the first part of that sentence:

    Should publishers and pioneers feel obligated to contribute to the Society's worldwide work each time they receive literature at the Kingdom Hall? (bold mine)

    Do you see the difference here? They are not telling you that you should not feel obligated to contribute. They are just telling you that you don't have to do it every time you pick up your literature.

    'Publishers may… make their own donations to support the worldwide work according to their ability and desire, whenever they choose to do so. (bold mine)

    Do you understand that all you are being told here is that it's up to you whenyou contribute, you are not being told you don't have to.

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