Governing Body Admits Doubts Over New Headquarters Plans

By Cedars

The latest August 15th Study Edition of the Watchtower includes a 4-page review from the annual meeting of the Watch Tower, Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.

Despite admitting uncertainty over God's backing, the Governing Body are forging ahead with a costly building project

An interesting insight was given into the Governing Body’s plans to build a new world headquarters complex in Warwick, upstate New York. It was particularly interesting to note the uncertainty shrouding these plans, and the Governing Body’s eagerness to proceed regardless – despite the supposed urgency of the times in which we are living.

After showing delegates a video of various Society-owned sites at Wallkill, Patterson, Warwick and Tuxedo, Governing Body member Guy Pierce spoke of plans to build a 248-acre property at Warwick, saying: “Although we are not yet certain of Jehovah’s will regarding Warwick, we are proceeding to develop the site with the intention of relocating the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses there.”

Guy Pierce confessed "we are not yet certain of Jehovah's will regarding Warwick"

Many Jehovah’s Witnesses who are familiar with the role and function of the Governing Body will doubtless be bewildered at the above comments. Though candid, their statements reveal a Governing Body that is willing to forge ahead with lengthy, elaborate and costly construction projects at a time of supposed urgency, despite admitting uncertainty over Jehovah’s will in this regard.

After outlining further plans to develop a 50-acre site for the “staging of machinery and building material,” Pierce revealed: “Once construction is permitted, we hope to complete the entire project within four years. Then our property in Brooklyn can be sold.” Ironically, a construction project is already underway for a new 300-room residence building at Walkill – scheduled for completion in 2014 – a year that will mark 100 years of the “short period of time” mentioned at Revelation 12:12.

And so, a four-year building project to build a new multi-million dollar world headquarters is also about to get underway, despite professed doubts over Jehovah’s backing, and the immense time and costs involved in the undertaking. Pierce acknowledged the irony of such a lengthy project being launched when the world is supposedly on the verge of Armageddon, saying: “Has the Governing Body changed its mind about the closeness of the great tribulation? Not at all. If the great tribulation interrupts our plans, that will be wonderful, absolutely wonderful!”

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Menlo Park Kingdom Hall: The State Lawsuit

The Menlo Park Kingdom Hall takeover scandal is like a movie monster that just won’t die.

Three former elders have filed Court cases in San Francisco Federal Court (dismissed), San Mateo Superior Court in Redwood City (dismissed), and earlier this year another case that is progressing in San Jose Federal Court. There was another filing in federal court on April, 2012 [Cobb & Cobb Sr. v. Chase Bank] that is still developing.

These court cases all center around four Menlo Park elders that the Watchtower Society removed and replaced in the summer of 2010. Three of the elders decided to challenge their replacement as officers of the non-profit corporation that owned and managed the land, building, and financial assets connected to the Menlo Park Kingdom Hall.

Over the past two years, Ex-JW.com has provided our readers with ongoing articles and PDF copies of most relevant court documents. This post presents the transcript of the state case heard in the Superior Court of San Mateo County, California on February 22, 2012. The original transcript is quite lengthy, so it’s been broken into seven parts for ease of reading and downloading. Below the link to each section there is an abbreviated synopsis for quick reference.

Those close to the case suggest that our readers give special attention to section 6 below. Defendant Ernest Brede, the current COBOE at Menlo Park, describes events during and after the takeover, and testifies under oath that the existing board of directors was never officially voted out of office. Instead, as directed by a Watchtower Society attorney, a new corporation was simply formed to replace the existing corporation. That is a clear violation of California corporation law.

As you read the full transcript of this case, you may notice that while the court gave the appearance of being fair, the judge sustained practically every objection made by the Watchtower’s attorneys – even to the point of designating printed and signed letters and publications issued by the Watchtower as being “hearsay.” While it often seems that the judge would give Jason Cobb a little slack (he was appearing “pro per” and had not been given time to fully prepare for that day’s trial), he tended to rule for the defense on most critical issues as they came up.

It’s interesting to note that the Watchtower seems to have changed its official position about what kind of religion it really is. For decades the Society has criticized the Catholic and Orthodox churches, and most mainstream Protestant denominations, for being “hierarchies.” Instead of being ruled from the top down by a pope or archbishop, Jehovah’s Witnesses have traditionally presented themselves as groups of Bible students meeting together in small groups, directed in an ecclesiastical “theocratic arrangement.” Watchtower publications still promote the idea that appointments of local elders and special pioneers are directed by holy spirit, not from direct orders by branch office managers.

Watchtower attorney Calvin Rouse destroys that claim forever as officially recorded on pages 4 and 5 (segment 1). Rouse states emphatically, “We are a hierarchical religion just like the Catholic Church.” What follows is even more enlightening.

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Dick Kelly Exorcises His Ghosts

Richard E. Kelly’s latest book, The Ghosts from Mama’s Club, has just been released. Copies are available at Amazon.com in popular paperback (208 pages; $16.95) and as a Kindle downloadable e-book ($9.95).

Kelly promised a sequel to his 2008 autobiography, Growing Up in Mama’s Club, a vivid description of the first twenty years of his life as a reluctant Jehovah’s Witness. Ghosts covers the next forty-plus years, starting with his last few weeks in New York as a Bethel volunteer.

Readers of Growing up in Mama’s Club were almost unanimous in their praise for its honesty and revealing recollections of “Dickie’s” early life. On the other hand, most agreed that he left them wanting more; they wanted more stories about his life during and after his months at Bethel. They wanted him to share more insider secrets about the leaders of the Watchtower Society, and how he survived after leaving the organization. For many readers it seemed that he’d ended his book prematurely, leaving them hanging. Everyone wanted to know what happened to “Dickie”?

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