on the subject of elders reading this message board

by cptkirk 39 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • allelsefails

    In my years I think there are 2 groups of witnesses. The "in" Bethelites, COs, DOs, Elders, MSs, Pioneers. And the "others" not quite right. Both groups believe or disbelieve at the same rate. I have found many a "other" that doesn't believe everything. I also have talked to elders and pioneers that don't believe everything. I heard of the "586 apostasy from a CO" he downplayed it, but it was interesting that he knew all about it and would discuss it.

    I do believe that "others" would have no problem looking at a site like this. They don't believe everything anyway, but they will be the same people that might turn in someone they find out on this site. Sometimes people who don't believe the teachings will defend the "org". I've heard many repeat the "where else would we go?" misquote. Defending your religion for many has nothing to do with their teachings. Catholics will defend their Church without understanding half the teachings. Some people can't bear the thought of life without their precious religion. right or wrong makes no difference to them.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Does it matter if they are reading posts? Lurkers need to be careful about not revealing anything. What would be the excuse of an elder trolling for victims here? What is an elder doing here? I thought it was forbidden. There was a recent poster who argued the WT completely but if he were truly WT, he would not be here. It is exciting to be in such dangerous company. Imagine we are basically the French Resistance in WWII. I have a Burberry trench coat-the same as Bogie.

    Copyright is not a basic law school course. It is not required and not a bar exam topic. The Elders' Manual makes perfect sense. I want to say something more but I will be prudent and keep silent. Basically, I never thought there would be much demand for Witness lit so why worry about copyright. It isn't exactly the same as the Beatles becoming available on Apple, finally. Apple on Apple.

  • Juan Viejo2
    Juan Viejo2

    Cptkirk - I have to respectfully disagree with you. I know that New York / Brooklyn / Patterson-Walkill are checking in on my website at Ex-JW.com.

    Although my site gets a lot of hits, it probably does not even rank in the top ten of ex JW discussion sites. I'm sure that JWN and Freeminds have as many hits in one hour as I get in a week. How do I know? Google Analytics and other analytic programs that I run for that site. Thanks to those excellent tools I can see where my readers are loggin in from, and New York state is #2 after California. I know it's not any of my family logging in to boost the numbers. What I have left are either not interested in JW issues or they live in Arkansas and Colorado. I live in Oregon.

    Google Analytics allows me to not only see the number of hits from New York, but also New York City. Within New York City, I can burrow down into the buroughs and guess what? Brooklyn is #1. So in the entire world, Brooklyn may be the number one city that logs into my website each week. I really doubt that it is the rank & file in that community that are creating this flow of traffic. My guess is that at least a dozen or more Bethelites log in to my site every single day.

    I think a majority of my other world-wide vistors are also elders and MS. In some of the more remote countries either branch offices or missionaries might be checking out the site from time to time.

    Here are screen captures from two of my analytic programs that can demonstrate what I mean:

    Ex-JW.com United States analytics for 8/9 - 8-15-2011

    USA SiteStats for USA 8/12/11 - 8/16/11

    NewYorkstate analytics 8/9-8/16/2011

    On the world map dark green represents heavy daily usage. Light green indicated lighter usage. The pale yellow indicated NO usage.

    On the USA map, each pin represents a unique visitor. Not all pins can be shown because of limitations of the program. But you can see from where the pins bunch up, that the bulk of that days visits came from the US northeast, primarily New York.

    The orange dots on the NY state map shows where visits came from. For those familiar with that state, you can see that number of hits came from the metro NYC area and also from further upstate where Patterson and Walkill are located.

    I'm sure that Randy Watters and Simon (JWN) run their own set of analytics that would have similar results. My site gets a lot of world-wide hits because I provide an automated translator system that makes it easy for non-English speakers to make some sense of the articles.

    So take a close look at that last graphic. See that big huge bubble at the lower edge. That's New York and Brooklyn. I leave it to you to decide if that is signifcant or not.

    Sorry, I've just set up analytics for InsidetheWatchtower.com, so there are not enough results yet to determine trends for that site.


  • Violia

    The jws do keep abreast of what is being printed in the apostate literature , at least in the 80's they were. This was the motivation behind getting rid of all our old publications b/c their own literature was being used against them.

  • steve2
    Cptkirk - I have to respectfully disagree with you. I know that New York / Brooklyn / Patterson-Walkill are checking in on my website at Ex-JW.com .

    Juan Viejo2, I take it you have evidence of this and more than a well-informed suspicions and deductions. You write with sweeping confidence but I want to see the evidence in support of those statements.

  • steve2

    Example 2 of a sweeping confident statement:

    I think a majority of my other world-wide vistors are also elders and MS. In some of the more remote countries either branch offices or missionaries might be checking out the site from time to time.

    Imagine this is a law court, Imagine I'm a grumpy old judge. Imagine me saying, "Mr Juan Viejo2, please produce your exhibits or stop the conjecture". Imagine you cooperate with my ruling and produce your exhibits....I'm waiting....

    Oh, sorry, this isn't a law court. Please feel free to ignore the request for evidence and don't let me get in the way of your unsupported confident claims. Perhaps you could really impress some people on this forum by extrapolating the percentage of elders in kingdom halls in western countries visit apostate sites - based on those who allegedly visit your site.

  • Juan Viejo2
    Juan Viejo2

    Steve2 - Were you unable to see the screen grabs of my analytics maps?

    On one point you are right: I could not take my simple analytics reports into court and swear under oath that I could prove that a large number of visitors to my websites are elders or located at Bethel. IP addresses only show approximate locations in ranges, not by specific addresses and no personal names can be identified with the tools I use. I'm sure the government could tell you what room in what house an email was sent from, but I do not have that capability.

    The screen grabs I presented only show trends for a few hours, typically for the last 150 visitors to my site. If I click on one of those buttons in the middle graphic, the computer will give me the IP address, the login/logout times, and the last article viewed. It tells me the city it is in.

    When I see Brooklyn, Walkill, Patterson over and over again, that may not be proof, but I'd say it's a strong clue that people at the WT offices are viewing my site. In foreign countries, when I see visitors from cities with WT branch offices, I feel that I can assume that someone in or near that office is hitting my home page.

    Because I don't have access to JWN's or Freeminds.org's analytics, I have no idea what geographic points they may be getting a large number of hits from. Theirs may be entirely different, but I doubt it. Maybe Randy and Simon could comment on this.

    So chalk it up to "faith." Analytics are an excellent tool and they tell you a lot about how your site is performing, what articles are most popular, how long people stay on your site, and approximately where they are coming from. But they don't give me a name, a face, or a motive.

    For that reason, and because I'm sorry I decided to share that information with the forum, I will concede to you and your legalistic view, Steve, and leave it at that and go to bed.

    I'll let the rest of the forum viewers look at the small amount of evidence I've provided and decide for themselves if I'm just full of my own BullS###.


  • mrquik

    Thanks Juan for the info. It's things like these that give me hope that people within are waking up & may be willing to free themselves from just one more manmade religion. I live in upstate NY near a large concentration of Mennonites. I used to feel so sorry for these people who had sacrificed so much in the name of religion. I thought to myself " If your going to make those sacrifices, you better be sure it's the truth." I never thought that one day I would be making that critique of my own life. I wasted 50 yrs. of my life. All that time in meetings, conventions, field service, judicial meetings, quick builds, etc. etc. Missing out on a normal childhood. All these life decisions predicated on the belief tha the end was near. If your still in & have been considering leaving, don't waste another minute of your life. Good luck.

  • steve2

    Thanks for answering my straightforward question JV - that's all it was. Sorry for not deducing the points in your earlier posts that you explained so well in your answer. Yes in this case your assumptions sound plausible - but as you acknowledge, that's all they are.

    BTW, about four years ago I lived right next door to an Exclusive Brethren compound in another city. I was so intrigued - and annoyed - by their comings and goings that I started going on line about them and even 'joined' a support forum for ex-members of this sect. Now, these forums could have concluded that I actually was a member of the sect because my IP address would have divulged extremely close proximity to the compound. But, of course, I was not then nor now a member. See what I mean by your comments being at best reasonable asumptions - which is hardly evidence. It also suggests a bit of tempering of this acknowledgement in your writing would help accurately convey to the reader that you do not have incontrovertible evidence. If I were a non-Jw who lived close by the Watchtower Society in Brooklyn, no doubt I'd have a high level of interest in this organization - especially given it's 'power'in the region - but that wouldn't make me a lurker or troll.

    In addition, even if JWs in good standing who are at the sites you mention (e.g., Brooklyn) are accessing your forum, what makes you think they're doing it for negative reasons? Could they not also be doing it because they realize the Watchtower's claims are dubious if not outright false? How do you help them by exposing them to others at those sites who are not doing it for those reasons? Your confident crowing tells me you don't have much regard for people's confidentiality. I would have thought that the responsibility of running a forum entails repsect for people's anonymity and confidentiality - unless they have clearly breached the forum's rules. I know that I would hate to be an active JW acessing your forum - because I'd worry that you'd expose me to others who could dientify me and 'turn me in'.

  • Juan Viejo2
    Juan Viejo2

    Geez, Steve. I'm not sure what I did or said that indicated that I was looking to "out" anyone. The original question was whether elders and upper echelon members of the Watchtower Society were really looking at this and other ex-JW websites. My original answer was a soft-counter to CaptKirk's confusion as to whether that could really be determined by any particular evidence. I offered my analytics to show that there is some plausible evidence that some at Brooklyn, Patterson, Walkill, and foreign branch offices were checking us out based on concentrated visits to my site (a rather non-descript performer compared to some others in the ex-JW category) by logins from locations near Watchtower Society facilities.

    That's all I was trying to offer. Where do you get the idea that I am trying to out anyone? Did I not state clearly that I could not determine exact addresses or names of visitors? I do not typically announce my site stats. I do not run sidebar widgets that state "You are visitor 401 today!". That is not what my sites are about. I don't care if one person shows, or 100,001 visitors hit the site. If my sites help anyone, in or out of the organization, that's all I care about.

    You write:

    "How do you help them by exposing them to others at those sites who are not doing it for those reasons? Your confident crowing tells me you don't have much regard for people's confidentiality. I would have thought that the responsibility of running a forum entails repsect for people's anonymity and confidentiality - unless they have clearly breached the forum's rules. I know that I would hate to be an active JW acessing your forum - because I'd worry that you'd expose me to others who could dientify me and 'turn me in'."

    Why would you say such a thing? I have no interest in outing anyone. Ask any of the many members of this forum who have contributed articles to my site whether I have any interest in "outing them." I take every precaution to preserve their privacy, and many here can attest to that. Yes, I have named some of my article contributors, but only with their total concurrence and expressed permission. Most of them have even made their names public here at JWN - and on other similar sites. But anyone trying to preserve their anonymity can come and submit an article or comment to my sites with complete confidence.

    If, while reviewing my analytics, do I try to determine who exactly is logging in? NO! Emphatically NO! What I want to know is what articles they read and how long they stayed on my site. I don't care about who they are - I want to know what they read. If they found something interesting to read on my site, I'd like to know about that.

    In fact I have actually been contacted by an elder in the greater NYC area. I published an article written by him, and a later one by one of his sons. Both are quite extensive and revealing, but I would like to see if you can figure out who he is, or where he lives. from the articles I've published. It's impossible. He wrote to me, as did his son, because they knew that they could write to me and feel confident that their real identities would be protected. Here are the links to the original articles:



    Those articles were later discussed here on JWN:



    Although I have not heard from "Shadow Elder" in recent months, and have no idea what his current status might be, there is no indication that those two articles may have outed him before he was ready to go.

    Likewise with my articles about the scandal and federal court case going on in Menlo Park, CA USA. I have kept the identities of the original tipster and all of my contacts in and around that area absolutely confidential. I was told that I was one of the first ex-JW webmasters they contacted, because they felt comfortable that I would keep their identities totally confidential. And yes, I know the names of some of them, but you won't get those names from me or from my website. Only those names that are publicly available in public domain court documents have been revealed. For that reason, I get four or five anonymous phone calls and email contacts each month from some who are very close to and even from within that Kingdom Hall. They come to me because they want to share their thoughts, let me know how they are feeling, and what is really going on within the Menlo Park Kingdom Hall. But I don't ask their identities. I also purge all email and contact form submissions after taking penciled notes, so if my computer was siezed, there wouldn't be anything on the hard drives that could be recovered - and even though most emails I get are sent from "throw-away" mail boxes.

    So Steve2, your identity would be safe with me as long as you wished it. I have no interest in outing anyone, only to provide a website where they can feel free to come and submit their articles and make their comments.

    I'm not sure why you seem to want to attack me and suggest that I am misstating facts, or somehow attempting to "out anyone." I'm not sure what you are trying to prove about my motives in all of this. I try to be a very good forum member and website editor in all regards - but for some reason you seem to want to question my motives. What are your motives in doing so?

    I am just a simple bandido hiding out in central Oregon, that is all...


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