Read this book! You too could be homeless

My wife has little or no interest in reading books about the Bible, religion, or anything about Jehovah’s Witnesses. She thinks I’m obsessive in my research about the history and teachings of the Watchtower Society. Her eyes will start to glaze over about thirty seconds after I bring up the subject of my past life as a Jehovah’s Witness.

On the other hand, she loves to read. She’ll read for hours before going to sleep at night, and always urges me to read the books she finds interesting. While most of her favorite books are not to my taste, she has been able to point me to some really good novels and biographies that I’ve enjoyed reading over the past few years.

I can suggest that she read a book by Richard Dawkins or Bart Ehrman, but she never does. I was shocked when she agreed to read Kyria Abrahams’ JW memoir, I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed. She read most of it, but lost interest about 2/3 of the way through when Kyria changed the style and mood of her story. But like me, she really enjoyed reading the first half of I’m Perfect…

I can’t even remember who it was that first turned me on to Brianna Karp. Other than the fact that Brianna grew up in Southern California, I really had nothing in common with her. Look – I’m a retired grandfather living in Oregon with one foot in the grave – and she’s a young, vibrant, hot chick from “The OC” with her whole life ahead of her. The only thing we seemed to have in common was that we were both raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Someone’s tip pointed me to her new book, The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness. At first I thought – uh, a girl’s guide? Homelessness? Probably not a book for me. Not really interested. OK, she was a Jehovah’s Witness at one time – that might be interesting to read about. I could read the JW part and then toss the book or give it to the Goodwill. Maybe, like Kyria’s book, my wife might be interested in reading parts of it. But this was Miss Karp’s first book – and first books by non-writers are usually very, very bad.

And yet, for some reason I found myself intrigued by what I had read online about her book. I decided to contact her and ask if she had an advanced copy that I could borrow. If I liked it, I’d write a review for her. Because of her past connection to Jehovah’s Witnesses, I told her that it might get a mention here at Ex-JW.com.

We exchanged a couple of emails and she agreed to send me a pre-publication ARC version of the book. I promised to read it quickly and then return it to her. Sure enough, a few days later an advance copy of the book arrived in a plain gray postal envelope.

At first glance the cover really didn’t grab me – a young woman sits on the arm of a chair in the middle of an empty parking lot while dark gray storm clouds brood in the background. It certainly was not very “Jehovah’s Witnessy,” and at first glance, even a bit foreboding. Oh, no! I hoped this wasn’t another book about some depressed chick that drowns her troubles with drugs and alcohol because she thinks “no one loves her.”

I grabbed the book and found a comfortable seat – you know, one with a hole in the middle and the little handle on the side – to give myself a relaxed ten minutes or so to get acquainted with the book.

An hour later my legs had gone completely numb from sitting so long. From the very minute that I started reading it, I couldn’t put the book down. I had to call my good friend, author Richard Kelly. “Dick – you’ve got to read this book by this JW girl who lives near Riverside. Let me see if I can get her to send you a copy. This is really good!” I think he knew I was on to something unique.

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Why Judge Rutherford went to prison

By “Alfred”

It’s been over 93 years ago, so we’ll probably never know all the facts, but the Watchtower Society continues to claim that its president, Joseph F. Rutherford, and other officers of the corporation were falsely accused and sent to prison on charges of “sedition”. However, a May 9, 1918 New York Times article that covered these arrests and sedition charges states that the accused were charged with “spreading doctrines calculated to promote unrest and disloyalty among the men of the army and navy.” The article concluded that the indictment was based largely upon printed matter published in the Watch Tower magazine, Kingdom News, and the book The Finished Mystery.

I looked up “sedition” on Wikipedia and found this definition (in part):

“In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition…”

It might interest current and ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses to know that Rutherford ordered the Bible Students to rip out pages 247 through 253 in all copies of The Finished Mystery in his last ditch attempt to avoid jail time. Surprisingly, the Proclaimers book (p. 652) partially admits that this happened (that the pages were removed), but does not explain that it this was done so that Rutherford could avoid jail time.

On March 5, 2011, I posted on Jehovahs-Witness.net some bullet points based on my recent reading of the book The Finished Mystery. (See previous article on Ex-JW.com.) What I forgot to mention at the end of my post were the notes I took from while reading pages 247 through 253, the “seditious pages” that Rutherford later ordered ripped out.

Below are my notes about those pages. I’ll let you decide whether the charges of “sedition” were false – or not…

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The Finished Mystery – the book Jesus approved

By “Alfred”

A few months ago a friend sent me a copy of The Finished Mystery – published in 1917. This wasn’t a PDF download, but an actual copy of the book. I must say that this was the most disturbing book I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading. But I read it because this was the main publication that was being distributed worldwide when Jesus supposedly chose the Watchtower in 1918. I basically wanted to see for myself what Jesus saw in the Watchtower Society that would compel him to choose this religious corporation over all other religious denominations.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in knowing the actual contents of this book, here are some bullet points I’ve put together from some of the notes I took while reading the book:

  1. Charles Taze Russell is the “faithful and wise servant.” (p.4)
  2. Jesus gave Russell the key to understanding God’s mysteries in the last days. (p.6)
  3. Jesus is the “Alpha and Omega” in Revelation 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13. (p.15, p.318, p.336)
  4. The Adventist Nelson Barbour showed Russell Biblical proof that “Jesus was present since 1874” – and Russell found this evidence satisfactory. (p. 54)
  5. As per Russell, there’s no need to learn the Hebrew or Greek languages to gain a correct understanding of the Bible since the “Presbyterians and Methodists have good versions of the Bible at reasonable prices.” (p. 55)
  6. The “remnant” will be taken to heaven in 1918. (p. 64)
  7. The “7 messengers” in Revelation are Paul, John, Arius, Waldo, Wycliffe, Luther and Russell. (See illustration after page 64)
  8. The “7 trumpets” in Revelation 8:2 are the trumpets of the Lutherans, the Anglicans, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Methodists, the Evangelical Alliance, and The Bible Students. (chart after page 64)
  9. Jesus began his reign officially in “1878.” (p. 66)
  10. A three-page list of Biblical texts prove that Jesus’ second advent occurred in “1874.” (p.68–71)
  11. The “behemoth” mentioned in Job 40: 15-24 is the “stationary steam engine.” (p. 84)
  12. The “leviathan” mentioned in Job 41:2-19 is the “locomotive.” (p.85)

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