Gag me with a forklift!

by Nathan Natas 16 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Kingdom Hall is modern-day miracle
    By JoAnn Shum

    Seeing Kingdom Hall just rise from the ground during construction last week is like a modern-day miracle, Mike Luckeroth, elder of the local Jehovahs Witness congregation, said Wednesday.

    Its something that doesnt happen every day, Luckeroth. Here was a flat piece of ground and in just days, the building was completed.

    We are in our new home and we are glad, Dennis Kramer, who also is an elder in the congregation, said. It was an exhausting week, but it is a good tired, he said. We appreciate all the kindness from the community. The cooperation of the community was crucial for permits, inspections and everything that goes into construction of a building in a short time period.

    An open house for the public is planned in the future.

    About 350 people from 109 Jehovahs Witness congregations across the state were in Marysville throughout the week to build the Marysville Kingdom Hall.

    The building includes an auditorium with a stage and seating for 80 people, a literature counter for Bible study, a library, foyer, office, coat room and restrooms.

    The colors of plumb, beige and green are used throughout the building. Oak woodwork and cabinets were installed. The chairs in the auditorium were re-upholstered earlier in the project by members.

    The outside is bricked in castle mist color brick and features a carport on the south. The building faces south, and a garage is on the west. The parking lot is paved. The cement work for the project was done early in September.

    Everything was 99 percent done on Sunday, Luckeroth said.

    On Monday and Tuesday more grass seed was planted, because some trailers were still parked on the lots.

    A rock sign, made by Fishers Rock Products of Home City, was installed on the corner.

    There are 39 in the local congregation actively engaged in Bible education and preaching, and about 50 to 60 attend the meetings and are studying the Bible with the congregation. The Marysville brothers and sisters cover Marshall County and parts of Washington County.

    We have a different speaker each week, Luckeroth said. The building of the Kingdom Hall is complete, so we can focus on the preaching. We wanted to get it done, so we can honor God. We all love our God Jehovah, and thats what brings us all together.

    Volunteers came and went throughout the week as their jobs were completed. The congregation plans a gathering after their meeting on Sunday to clean up the concrete.

    With the rain came the mud, Luckeroth said. But everybody was happy, and it didnt discourage anyone at all. We had a job to do, and they were determined to get it done.

    Rain fell on Wednesday and again on Thursday during the build, but it didnt dampen the spirits; the volunteers kept working.

    Once they got the roof on, then the weather wasnt going to affect the build, he said.

    The weather was sunny and windy on Friday, and the volunteers putting up Sheetrock worked throughout the night in shifts.

    Everybody really cooperated with us so we could get on with the project, Luckeroth said. Were glad to see people working together. Its an overwhelming experience for us. All the brothers and sisters have a great sense of humor.

    They met each morning and listened to a scriptural text before the work started.

    Luckeroth quoted Zechariah, chapter 4, verse 6, as he summed up the work: Not by a military force nor by power but by my spirit, Jehovah of armies has said.

    We want to give credit to Jehovah, Luckeroth said. We are just common folk. Gods spirit was helping us work together in peace and unity to make a place of worship for him.

    Jesus is our leader and the head of our congregation. We are all brothers. We are all equal. Thats the way it is worldwide.

    Luckeroth quoted Zephaniah, chapter 3, verse 9: For then I shall give to peoples the change to a pure language in order for them all to call upon the name of Jehovah in order to serve him shoulder to shoulder.

    It brought us together, working shoulder to shoulder, he said.

    If you call them, they will come, said Kenny Frase, Wichita, one of the department heads on the build project, as he talked about the volunteers, the city of Marysville and the utility companies here. In the big city, if you call the electric or gas company and city, they put you at the bottom of the list. You tell me what company in the city would drop what they are doing and come to your assistance like they do here in Marysville.

    Here in Marysville, it was different. When we called, they came right away. Everyone in Marysville was so helpful and cooperative.

    The volunteers worked until 10 oclock some nights instead of getting off earlier in the evening because of the rainy weather, Frase said.

    Alvey Daniels, Wichita, coordinated the food. It cost about $3,000 to feed the volunteers throughout the week.

    John Musser, St. Joseph, a member of the Troy congregation and a director on the build committee, was coordinator of the construction work.

    Everything was on schedule, he said. The rain slowed us down a little, but we just worked a little later in the evening. The city has been wonderful to us.

    Jehovahs Witnesses have from six to eight builds a year in the state. The next builds will be in Chanute and the Kansas City area.

    Our main objective is door-to-door ministry, Frase said. Our preaching work is our main stay. We do this build in less than a week, so we can get back into the ministry work.

    We did not know one person in Marysville until three months ago, Musser said. We will leave Sunday with a good feeling. We have met lots and lots of nice people.

    A short meeting was held before the volunteers departed on Sunday.

    Musser said he was impressed with the Marysville community.

    Somebody has invested in this town, he said. What town can you drive into and see such a beautiful golf course.

    This community is self-sufficient, This town has things that bigger cities have. The downtown has everything a town needs, grocery stores, clothing stores, drug store, gift shops and all types of other stores. The buildings downtown are not vacant like they are in lots of smaller towns.

    This is a very nice town. People are very nice. The only thing is that the trains kept me up all night.

    Contact info:
    The Marysville Advocate
    P.O. Box 271
    107 South 9th
    Street Marysville, Kansas 66508
    Phone:(785) 562-2317
    FAX: (785) 562-5589

    Office Staff
    Howard Kessinger, Editor and co-publisher
    Sharon Kessinger, co-publisher

    Sharon Kessinger: [email protected]
    JoAnn Shum: [email protected]

  • SPAZnik


  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    I'd like to encourage everyone to send JoAnne Shum and her boss Sharon Kessinger a little note of thanks for the article, and a suggestion that the community of Marysville Kansas might be better served by an article examining the beliefs and practices of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Refusing blood transfusions for their minor children, permitting them to die.

    The issue of Child Sexual Abuse and Wife Abuse within the WTS and how it is covered up to create the ilusion of a spiritual paradise.

    Revelations that the WTS, which preaches non-involvement in political issues, has shares in a company with Navy contracts producing engines for military weapons delivery systems.

    Only recently I have discovered that some people don't realize that The Watchtower Society and Jehovah's Witnesses are (for all practical purposes) the same thing. I'll post my letter here tomorrow.

    Edited by - Nathan Natas on 9 October 2002 23:24:34

  • Wolfgirl

    Strange that so small a group gets a new KH. And the seating used to be made for 100-150 people. Only 80 this time?

  • A Paduan
    A Paduan

    They didn't specifically mention making a 'back room'.

  • Reborn2002

    Jesus is our leader and the head of our congregation. We are all brothers. We are all equal. Thats the way it is worldwide.

    So it was JESUS responsible for all of the flip-flops on doctrine and for the 2-witness rule which shields pedophiles????

    Thanks for the clarification Mr J Dub.

    So you are all equal? Tell that to the baptized publisher who is standing next to the District Overseer.

  • johnathanseagull

    Nathan...........thanks for post......barrrrrrf.......barrrrrrf..........I have indeed mailed the people,first of all thanking them and suggesting as you, that their readers might be better served by highlighting various beliefs and directed them to the SL site

    J Gull

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Thanks, J.Gull!

    Here's the letter I sent them:

    TO: [email protected], [email protected]
    SUBJECT: The Kingdom Hall "miracle"

    I read with interest your recent article about the construction of the new Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Marysville, Kansas.

    IF Jehovah's Witnesses and their legal entity The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society were simply a version of the Civilian Conservation Corps, then I would join with you in lauding this accomplishment, but the citizens of Marysville, Kansas would be better served if you were to answer the question: "to what purpose will the new Kingdom Hall in Marysville Kansas be put?"

    Let's take a quick look at what the 39 people in the local congregation are teaching and preaching to the 20 or so "Bible students" who attend the meetings with them. What message will the Marysville brothers and sisters bring to the residents of Marshall County and parts of Washington County?

    Perhaps you're aware of the reports on "Dateline NBC" and Connie Chung's CNN program about reports of child sexual abuse in congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses. The Jehovah's Witnesses' organization is under growing attack by some of its members for Watchtower policies they say can allow child molesters to go unreported, putting church members and the public at increased risk. The public is put at risk because ALL Jehovah's Witnesses are required to engage in the door-to-door distribution of Watchtower literature, even if they are convicted pedophiles who are deemed "repentant" by the elders of their congregation. Furthermore, the identity of any convicted pedophile is kept secret from the congregation itself and from the general public by the the congregation elders. Is the "minister" at your door a child molester? At present there is no way you can know the answer to this question.

    The congregation elders will tell you that a pedophile must be accompanied by another member of the congregation during his door-to-door work. This is how almost all of Jehovah's Witnesses conduct their ministry: in pairs. On the Dateline NBC report one known convicted pedophile, Clement Pandelo of Paramus, N.J., was shown going from door-to-door. His companion? His enabling wife, who knew of and ignored this man's molesting of his own grandchildren and others. Mr. Pandelo admitted to police he had molested young girls for 40 years, was twice disfellowshipped and twice reinstated, according to court documents. Pandelo pleaded guilty in 1988 to molesting his 12-year-old granddaughter and two other girls. Church policy permits Pandelo, as a member now in good standing, to go door to door, spreading the Jehovah's Witnesses' message.

    Sadly, this is not one isolated event. In Maine, Bryan Rees, formerly of Augusta was molested between 1989 and 1992 by church member Larry Baker after church elders disciplined the offender secretly for molesting another boy. Baker had confessed to Alan Ayers, Bryan's stepfather and other elders. Elders did not report the first case to authorities since the law did not require them to. Bryan told a therapist, who notified authorities.

    In New Hampshire, former church member Sara Poisson said elders failed to act when she told them her husband was physically abusing their children. The man, Paul Berry received a 56-year prison sentence in October 2000 for sexual abuse that continued years after the woman went to elders. New Hampshire law required clergy to report suspicions of abuse, but the elders ignored the law.

    In Texas, a prosecutor said church elders told a teen-age boy to stop molesting his younger sister in 1992 but failed to report it to police in apparent violation of state law. The boy later molested a second sister and in 1997 was sentenced to a 40-year prison term for aggravated sexual assault. Police were alerted when one victim reported the abuse to hospital staff following a suicide attempt.

    In Keene, N.H., the guardian of a 15-year-old girl sued a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in 1987, alleging that elders threatened the girl's parents with "religious excommunication and eternal damnation" if they sought police intervention or counseling for their daughter, who was sexually abused from 1975 to 1985. The lawsuit was settled, and the girl's lawyer, Charles Donahue, said he could not comment on it. The abuser - the girl's father - was later sentenced to three to eight years in prison in 1986 after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, according to records in Cheshire County Superior Court.

    In Boulder, Colo., in December 1991, elders in a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation publicly reprimanded member Leland Elwyn Davies after finding that he had fondled several teen-age girls, according to a report filed by the Boulder County sheriff's office, which investigated after the mother of three victims had alerted police. One victim, who spoke to police in Jan. 1992, said she was "displeased that the behavior had not been reported by the elders to the authorities," according to the police report. Police contacted an elder in the congregation who said he could not give out confidential information from the disciplinary process. Colorado does not mandate that clergy give out such information. Police arrested Davies in July 1992 - about six months after the church imposed discipline. He pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree sexual assault and was placed on probation, according to the criminal court clerk in Colorado's 20th Judicial District. Davies died in August 2000.

    Contrast this coddling of molesters with the way persons who reported child molestation have been treated:

    When Sara Poisson of Claremont, N.H. said in Hillsborough County Superior Court at her ex-husband Paul Berry's sentencing to 56 years in prison that when she went to elders with her concerns, they repeatedly told her that she "needed to be a better wife" and "needed to pray more." "Each time I spoke to the elders I was sanctioned in some way," Poisson told the court. "Some privilege was removed because I had dared to usurp the authority of my husband." Poisson later told a reporter she was barred from speaking at some meetings and restricted in the amount of door-to-door evangelism she could do. Poisson said a social worker gave her an ultimatum: Have Berry leave the house or lose custody of their children. She chose the former and said the congregation shunned her. Berry was arrested and in July 2000 was convicted of 17 counts of sexual assault. Among his offenses, Berry suspended one of his daughters from hooks in a barn and strapped her to a tree during episodes of sexual abuse. When Berry showed up for sentencing, so did 29 members of his Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in Wilton, N.H., all of whom spoke in his favor, often in glowing terms, according to court records.

    Carl and Barbara Pandelo, who have criticized the church in published reports for allowing their daughter's molester -- her grandfather -- back into membership, have been "disfellowshipped" - excommunicated - from the Jehovah's Witnesses of Bradley Beach. A letter from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, the denomination's legal corporation, informed the Pandelos they were to appear May 6 at the local Kingdom Hall for a church judicial hearing on charges of apostasy, or abandonment of faith. The couple delivered letters of protest but didn't stay for the hearing. The letter did not say why the charges were being brought. The Pandelos were disfellowshipped in absentia in a closed meeting by a panel of church elders after they appeared on the Dateline NBC show.

    It was the church's focus on the letter of the law that led elder and presiding overseer Bowen to publicly resign his church position in the Marshall County town of Draffenville, Kentucky. William Bowen had been alerted to possible sexual abuse involving a family in his area. When he called the church's legal department, as required, lawyers told him Kentucky law did not require him to report the suspected abuse. Bowen founded the SilentLambs organization (http: to provide assistance and a voice to victims of abuse among Jehovah's Witnesses. Bill Bowen was disfellowshipped from Jehovah's Witnesses for his activism on behalf of victims. As with the Pandelos, Bill Bowen was disfellowshipped in absentia in a closed meeting of a panel of elders, charged with "apostasy" after he appeared on the Dateline NBC show.

    Barbara Anderson previously lived at and worked as a research assistant in the Watchtower Society's New York headquarters. She gave the Dateline news show documentation describing how the church's leadership is well aware of sexual child abuse within its organization and helps cover it up. Barbara Anderson, was informed by a letter that she was being accused of causing "divisions" within the organization and summoned to either attend a judicial hearing or voluntarily disassociate herself from the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. She too was disfellowshipped in absentia in a closed meeting by a panel of elders.

    When Barbara's husband Joseph Anderson, himself an elder in the Manchester, Tennessee Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, wrote to Watchtower HQ to protest his wife's treatment, he too was disfellowshipped.

    A 23 year old Sacramento woman, Erica Rodriguez, sued the Jehovah's Witness minister who repeatedly abused her and the New York-based denomination which "routinely" gives pedophiles "sanctuary, protection, sympathy and support," the suit claims. "When I went to the elders about my molestation, I was told I would be disfellowshipped if I went to the police," Rodriguez laments.

    If a church member is accused of any offense, The Watchtower Society requires that elders follow a strict biblical standard. They require either the member's confession or the testimony of at least two witnesses, including the accuser, to prove the member's guilt, according to church attorney Mario Moreno and church publications. This applies even in cases of sexual abuse, when there often are no "outside" witnesses. For victims who can't produce witnesses or persuade the accused person to confess, elders are instructed to "explain to the accuser that nothing more can be done in a judicial (church disciplinary) way," according to a 1995 article in the Jehovah's Witnesses' Watchtower - a magazine with a circulation of 22 million in 132 languages. "And the congregation will continue to view the one accused as an innocent person," the article continued.

    This is only one example of what Jehovah's Witnesses teach and preach. I could go on, detailing their teaching that "any day now" Jehovah God will unleash the War of Armageddon upon mankind, destroying 99.9% of humanity, of which only Jehovah's Witnesses will be survivors. I could detail the well-known Jehovah's Witnesses' refusal to accept blood transfusions and how JW parents will let their children die rather than accept a blood transfusion when it is medically necessary. "Youths Who Put God First" was the cover article of the May 22, 1994 AWAKE! magazine which celebrated 26 kids who died in obedience to the Watchtower Society's ban on blood transfusions.

    I ask that as a real service to your community you investigate the Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Society more deeply. You may discover that their rapid building techniques are erecting what Jesus would have described as "whitewashed tombs" beautiful on the outside but filled with corruption within.

    I was a Jehovah's Witness and follower of the Watchtower Society for more than 20 years. I know.

  • teenyuck

    Great letter Nathan. I am composing mine to send.

  • butalbee


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