I wrote to Dr. John M. Steele whose work is cited in footnote 18a of the article. He gave me permission to share the following response:
From: Steele, John [email address deleted]
To: marjoriealley [email address deleted]
Date: Fri, Sep 2, 2011 9:32 am
Dear Ms Alley,
Thank you for your email concerning the citation of my work in the
recent Watchtower article. As you suggest the author of this piece is
completely misrepresenting what I wrote, both in what they say about
the lunar three measurement, and in what I say about the possibility
of retrocalculation of eclipses (my comments on the latter were
restricted to a distinct and small group of texts which are different
to the Diary they are discussing). Just glancing through the
Watchtower article I can see that they have also misrepresented the
views of other scholars by selective quotation out of context.
I've looked at the date of VAT 4956 on several occasions and see no
possibility that it can be dated to anything other than the
Folks, let me tell you what we are up against (in case there are some of you who don't know).
I showed this material to my wife (who knows of my skepticism, esp on this subject). Her response was: "I don't want to look at that! I think it's all bullshit! You have nothing to prove that what is being said is true. There is nothing to prove that what you are reading isn't all fabricated bullshit!
You can lead a Witness to water, but you can't make them think.