ENVIRONMENTALIST CONDEMNS BOULDER COLORADO JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
"Whether you like prairie dogs or not, you must admit there is something incongruous about a 'church' randomly killing an entire field of animals of any species. Shame on them. I know nothing about the Jehovah's Witness religion, but perhaps they don't believe in the same God that many people do -- a God of love, compassion, goodness, concern and respect for all beings on this earth. The God I know would never randomly kill animals and would not condone having it done by humans."
According to an Opinion article published by the Boulder, Colorado DAILY CAMERA, in March 2016, the Boulder, Colorado Foothills Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, located at 5885 Jay Road, in the Orchard Creek neighborhood, has for the second time attempted to EXTERMINATE all of the prairie dogs living on the unused portion of their large 11 acre tract of land. The author alleges that the first extermination occurred in Summer 2015, and that afterwards, she futilely provided the governing Body of Elders with environmental information on the importance of prairie dogs as a keystone species. When questioned "why" they had done what they had, one JW Elder told the author that the prairie dogs were killed so that congregants could use a gazebo that sits out in the middle of the unkept field. This year, the JWs' excuse was that they killed the prairie dogs for the benefit of their neighbors.
Ironic, and perhaps hypocritical, is the method of extermination. Although this author failed to describe the method used by the JWs to exterminate their prairie dog squatters, a previous 2011 DAILY CAMERA article discusses the extermination method then being used in this very same Orchard Creek neighborhood of north Boulder, Colorado. An [intentionally unnamed] apparatus is used to pump propane gas into the prairie dogs' burrow. The apparatus then ignites the propane, causing an underground explosion, which sends flames shooting throughout the burrow, setting on fire the prairie dogs killed in the explosion, the prairie dogs merely maimed by the explosion, the prairie dogs merely stunned by the concussion, and the frightened prairie dogs attempting to escape "hellfire". Sieg Heil!!!
KEVIN M. SMITH v. PORTLAND MAINE FRENCH CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES was a 2013 Maine administrative case brought to the Maine Human Rights Commission by a sight-impaired Maine citizen named Kevin Smith, whom had been denied the use of his "service dog" at religious services conducted at the Portland Maine Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. Kevin M. Smith alleged public accommodation disability discrimination under the Maine Human Rights Act, which requires any place of "public accommodation" to permit the use of a service animal. The MHRC apparently ruled that Kingdom Halls of Jehovah's Witnesses are not places of "public accommodation", and dismissed Smith's complaint.
PHILADELPHIA v. MORRIS PARK CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES was a 2013-16 Pennsylvania court case ultimately won by the WatchTower Cult. In March 2010, under the direction and control of WatchTower Cult World HQ in Brooklyn, New York, three local Philadelphia affiliates in combination purchased a large lot at 6122 Lancaster Avenue, in Philadelphia, on which the WatchTower Cult planned to build a mega Kingdom Hall which could be used by multiple Philadelphia affiliates.
Although noted for its meticulous record keeping of every minute detail of every facet of its worldwide operations, the WatchTower Cult possibly allowed this parcel of real estate to go improperly managed -- or maybe not, see below. By September 2013, the yet undeveloped Lancaster Avenue property had accrued $9,219.61 in unpaid municipal tax debt to the City. Shortly thereafter, under court supervision, the City initiated legal proceedings to sell the Lancaster Avenue property in order to collect the unpaid taxes. In March 2014, the Lancaster Avenue property was sold at Sheriff's sale for $71,000.00. Approximately $10,117.19 went to the City to satisfy the municipal tax debt, while $7,863.57 went to the Sheriff for costs, transfer taxes, and water charges. $53,019.24 remained as the amount over bid. In May 2014, the Sheriff's Designee acknowledged the purchaser's deed to the Lancaster Avenue property with his signature. In June 2014, the WatchTower Cult filed its Motion to Redeem the Property. In July 2014, the acknowledged deed was recorded and received by the court.
At trial, the Philadelphia trial court ruled in favor of the City, holding that the City had followed all proper procedures for such a scenario, and had properly mailed multiple tax and other legal notices to the owner's registered address, plus had properly posted notice of the Sheriffs sale at the property in December 2013.
On appeal, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania reversed the trial court decision holding that the City had not made sufficient effort to contact the owner of the property prior to sale, because, (1) the City's Water Department had correspondence regarding the property which contained the name of a person identified only as "John Hopkins, PA#1 Regional Building Committee", and (2), some other City department's correspondence had the name and address of an otherwise unspecified person named "Maurice Duncan", and (3), an initial payment made to the Water Department was via a check written on the"Wynnefeild Congregation of Jehovah's Witness Bldg Fund". Apparently, the three appellate judges felt that the City of Philadelphia should have supernatural knowledge of the WatchTower Cult, all its local affiliates, and all its local members -- none of whom the appellate judges apparently felt had any duty themselves, either individually or in combination, to properly manage and oversee the property in question.
What those three appellate judges may have known but not revealed in their decision is the fact that the WatchTower Cult has a track record of challenging the taxability of property awaiting construction of a Kingdom Hall. There is a high probability that both the WatchTower Cult's Legal Department and its Real Estate Department were completely aware that the taxes on this piece of development property were going unpaid. However, with the recent surge in international real estate dealings and international child molestation lawsuits, BOTH departments may have dropped the ball and allowed this property to go unsupervised during the few months that it took for the property to be sold for those known unpaid taxes. It would be interesting to know whether the WatchTower Cult's Legal Department sent one of its own to handle this appeal, or whether the appeal was assigned to a local attorney who the Cult knew had no clue as to the internal dealings of the Cult's Legal Department. It would also be interesting to know whether the City's attorneys made any effort to determine whether the WatchTower Cult's Legal and Real Estate's Departments knew that this property's taxes were going unpaid.
Over the decades, the WatchTower Cult has won a significant portion of all of its court cases of every type based on one major advantage -- IGNORANCE. Opposing attorneys, trial judges, appellate judges, litigants, and everyone else, are ALL ignorant of just about everything to do with the WatchTower Cult and its Jehovah's Witness members -- and the WatchTower Cult frequently DEPENDS on this abundant ignorance to win many of its cases.
NORTH ENGLISH HOLLYWOOD FLORIDA CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES v. FLORIDA DEPT OF REVENUE ET AL was a recent 2014 Florida administrative real estate property tax assessment challenge made necessary by the fact that the HIERARCHICAL WatchTower Cult does not keep proper track of all of the legalities of its individual Kingdom Halls scattered around the United States, but rather waits until something goes wrong, and then blames local government tax officials for its own incompetence and negligence. Note that this case is brought in the name of the local congregation, and is represented by a local attorney. Nowhere does the name of the WatchTower Society appear, nor its Legal Department, nor its attorneys. Note that local Jehovah's Witness officials "swear" that they never received the pertinent tax notices, which they apparently had been receiving without problems for years, until the year that there was a change that brought about the large tax increase. As the WatchTower Cult's Legal Department continuously counts on, local government tax officials kowtowed to the Cult's every whim and corrected the Cult's taxes ex post facto. Will there ever be a local court which gets tired of this nonsense and sends the WatchTower Cult the message that it needs to exercise proper management over its own properties???
AUSTIN SPANISH CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES v. ILLINOIS DEPT OF REVENUE is an excellent read for those unfamiliar with the hierarchical bureaucracy of the construction/renovation activities of the WatchTower Cult and its local affiliates. In 2015, the WatchTower Cult supposedly streamlined its construction/renovation bureaucracy, but as of mid-2016, there has been little evidence to prove that little more was accomplished than merely re-arranging the deck chairs. In this 2002-05 Illinois administrative case, the Cook County Board of Review denied property tax exemption in 2002 for a then newly acquired pre-existing structure which the WatchTower Cult construction/renovation bureaucracy "fooled" around with for months without moving that property into "exempt use". Typically, the Cult then caused as much legal trouble as possible for all whom had the gall to fail to kowtow to every whim of the Cult -- blaming everyone but themselves for their own incompetence and negligence. On appeal, an ALJ affirmed the CCBoR's previous decision.
"KINGDOM HALL FOR SALE"
As the WatchTower Cult continues to unload cheaply built "quick-build" Kingdom Halls constructed by the WatchTower Society's own "Regional Building Committees" during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, potential purchasers should know that those "quick-build" Kingdom Halls need to be thoroughly inspected for possible construction and design defects, as well as for"growing problems" which may lurk beneath carpeting and other floor coverings, lurk inside both exterior and interior walls behind wallpaper and drywall, and lurk under attic insulation.
Over the decades, "quick-build" Kingdom Halls have become NOTORIOUS for developing mold and mildew problems. The internet contains anecdotal story after anecdotal story related by Jehovah's Witness attendees across the United States who report mold and mildew problems in their local Kingdom Halls. Even "quick-build" Kingdom Halls not constructed in the rain or in conditions of high humidity are notorious for mildew and mold caused by improperly designed and installed roofing, plumbing, and HVAC systems. Potential purchasers may wish to verify what they are being told by local Jehovah's Witnesses about the construction of a Kingdom Hall by searching local newspaper archives for publicity articles about the "quick-build" construction of a particular Kingdom Hall. Specifically, potential purchasers should determine whether it rained the weekend of the "quick-build", or the day or so prior to that weekend, and determine whether interior construction continued throughout the humid Friday and Saturday night times.
Mold and mildew problems eventually became so bad that the WatchTower Society's "Regional Building Committees" across the United States were ordered to form specialized "mold remediation" teams. One former RBC volunteer who was a member of one of those specialized "mold remediation" teams during the early 2000s has reported that 90% of "quick-build"Kingdom Halls remodeled in their state required mold remediation. Another former Jehovah's Witness has reported that the basement in their Kingdom Hall required mold and mildew removal once a year, until that Kingdom Hall was finally sold to a children's day care business. A highly reliable source reports that a rural Kingdom Hall which he helped to construct during a rainy and muggy weekend in 1985 almost instantly had mold and mildew problems, and was "unloaded' to an unsuspecting, uneducated residential purchaser only six years later.
In January 2004, WatchTower HQ in Brooklyn sent confidential letters to the Body of Elders of every Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States warning them of the "increased number of reports that there are moisture related problems in Kingdom Halls". That 2004 letter ordered local BOEs to take "immediate" action to repair any and all moisture damage, including making repairs to poorly designed and constructed roofing and mechanical systems which had caused the moisture damage. That letter also suggested ways to alleviate the inherent, ever-present high humidity problems inside Kingdom Halls, which is caused by the minimal ventilation and minimal sunlight afforded the interior of Kingdom Halls. That 2004 letter ordered local BOEs to "immediately" notify their state's"Regional Building Committee" if their Kingdom Hall's mold and mildew problem was beyond their ability to remedy, and even ordered the BOEs to "immediately" notify Brooklyn HQ if there was no quick response from the RBC.
In February 2016 (interestingly only a few weeks after we first published this internet-unique Kingdom Hall construction expose section), WatchTower HQ in Brooklyn sent confidential letters to the Body of Elders of every Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States, which included a section labeled, "Prevention of Moisture Related Problems", which included updated recommendations regarding the prevention of mold and mildew in Kingdom Halls.
Four days later, Kingdom Hall is ready
Rain that fell Friday and Saturday slowed but didn't stop the well-timed construction, ... . Some teams doing interior wall and trim work usually begin their work Sunday morning ... . But for this project, they began late Saturday night ... .
The new building is all up to snuff with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements that the previous structure put up in 1983 didn't have, ... . When the former Kingdom Hall was built, there was nothing around it but farm fields. Now, Valley Golf Course abuts part of the property and residential housing is around. (READY FOR TOP DOLLAR RESALE. SEE TOP PAGE 2016.) -- August 2009, Grand Forks North Dakota Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Saginaw's riverfront gets Kingdom Hall built by worshippers
The facility, about 4,000 square feet, is among the first noncommercial projects along the Saginaw River in some time, say city officials. "While it wasn't sought as part of the Riverfront Development Plan, we saw it as a worthy project, said Odail Thorns, the city's director of development. ... (SEE TOP PAGE 2016.)
Sue Archangeli[, age 62,] doesn't have much experience with building or construction. And she doesn't much care for working in the rain, either. But Archangeli, a Jehovah's Witness, said she couldn't have been more delighted to don a hard-hat and safety-glasses, doing whatever she could to assist in the construction of the Kingdom Hall ... . ... The project began with the raising of the building's frame early Friday morning. ... Nick Hagadone, of Elk Rapids helps build an interior wall in a new Kingdom Hall, 1203 N. Niagara in Saginaw Friday. ... "We're enduring," said a rain-soaked Pelch. -- October 2009, Saginaw Michigan Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Witnesses raise new hall in days
Despite the rain that greeted carpenters Wednesday morning, walls were framed and the roof was up the first day. By Thursday, drywallers, plumbers and electricians were plying their trades inside the building. Early Friday morning, roofers were stapling the last of the shingles in place, ... . ... Since there are absolutely no labor costs involved in their new worship building, the Spearfish congregation will save more than $200,000. Milano expects to have a building worth about half a million dollars for the cost of the building materials, which he estimates at about $221,000. -- May 2001, Spearfish South Dakota Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Building on their spirit
Weekend rains slowed down the process this time -- but just a little. ... ... There wouldn't have been much to do Sunday except clean up if it hadn't rained all day Friday, which slowed down the brick work. ... ... Many of the volunteers, especially the brick layers, worked virtually around the clock. And at the height of construction last week, as many as 300 people at a time were working on the building. -- November 1998, Tulsa Ohlahoma Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Hundreds build Kingdom Hall
Volunteers started construction Friday, but had to stop due to the pelting rain and gusts of wind so strong ... . A wall full of insulation had to be stripped out and replaced after it got wet. Saturday morning ... . At the muddy, crowded site, (Newspaper site photo shows absolute mudbog.) ... . ... women were sweeping and vacuuming up water pooled on the concrete floor. -- October 1998, Ellsworth Maine Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Witnesses built a new Kingdom Hall over the weekend
... planned to be finished in time to have a service today despite the wet, rainy weather which has been a bit of a setback. -- October 1996, Scott City Missouri Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
... Witnesses hall built in a flash
Three days later, after working through the nights despite wet snow and wind-driven rain, ... . The new spot in Duanesburg is on Route 20, east of the I-88 interchange, on 5 acres that a church member donated. -- November 1995, Duanesburg New York Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Kingdom Hall up in 3 days
Sheetrocking ... went on all night. On Saturday, painting began outside and in, ... . Rain fell both Friday and Saturday, but the volunteers pressed on. At 4:00 A.M. Sunday, carpet layers went to work. -- October 1995, Eugene Oregon Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Witnesses work a near-miracle
Last week's new Kingdom Hall in Berrett for the Eldersburg congregation was the second such building project by Jehovah's Witnesses in Carroll County. Three years ago, the Westminster congregation built a Kingdom Hall in the same fashion. The road to construction for the Eldersburg congregation started more than two years ago, when they put their Kingdom Hall on Route 32 up for sale. The congregation had [TREMENDOUS GROWTH ... .] ... Last spring, the Route 32 building was sold and the congregation began in earnest the building preparations on a two-acre lot that had been donated to them ... . (SEE TOP PAGE 2016.) ...
Mike Sheets, 8, and Chris Robinson, 7, both of the Eldersburg congregation, walked around the site in boots and hard hats Saturday, taking a break. Mike had been helping with landscape plantings, while Chris had gone from helping with brickwork and smoothing the carport cement to landscaping. ... ...
Even the weather didn't slow the work process or dampen people's spirits. On-and-off light rain showers throughout the weekend did make things messier than usual, but didn't halt completion of the project.What did keep the building from being 100 percent finished was a problem with the foundation earlier in the week. Another layer of concrete had to be put down ... . When inspectors came out Monday, they asked to have the water tested again ... . -- November 1992, Eldersburg Maryland Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Volunteers ... build church in one weekend
... three days of steady rain had made landscaping impossible. Around the site, there was little sign of slowing down. Saws whined on, and the sound of a hammer still played ... . ... children with hard hats played on a soggy mountain of topsoil ... . Even as the gray mud dried on his boots, Noddin was looking ahead to the reason he and his Jehovah's Witness brothers had squeezed months of work into three days. ... volunteers who had pushed on through a long and rainy weekend ... . -- May 1990, Bangor Maine Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Remodeling Kingdom Hall takes only a weekend
The rain did not dampen the spirits of almost 400 Jehovah's Witnesses who began a two-day project to restructure and remodel the existing Kingdom Hall ... . "We will work around the clock ... ." -- July 1990, Alabama City Alabama Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Hundreds of volunteers work on Calimesa church in Saturday's rain
Kingdom Hall rises despite downpour
If there is a lesson the Jehovah's Witnesses know they have a firm handle on, it must be summarized in the old saw, "Many hands make light work." They put about 1,600 pairs of hands to work Saturday raising a quick-build Kingdom Hall at 551 Avenue K. Completion is scheduled today. An early morning downpour failed to dampen the volunteers' spirit. Wall frames for the 80-by-44 foot structure and 16-by-16-f oot extension were hammered together and raised within an hour, said Gary Dusick of Redlands, the project's interior coordinator, "The rain, if anything, spurred our volunteers on," Dusick said. ... Volunteer craftsmen and laborers were drawn from Jehovah's Witness congregations primarily in the Inland Empire. But, said Dusick, others came from as far away as New York, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arizona and Oregon. ... The project's cost, excluding the volunteer labor, was estimated at $109,000. "That's basically for materials alone," said Dusick. "I imagine if the job were contracted out it would cost $250,000." The Witnesses have instant construction down to a science. They've been doing it 15 years and have completed more than 500 Kingdom Halls throughout the country, Dusick said. --- February 1986, Calimesa California Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Rain saves county trees temporarily (same page of newspaper as above)
Rain put off the scheduled destruction of 30 and 40 year-old trees around two county offices Saturday, a county official said. ...
Church members pitch in to build church
Hot and dusty weather followed by a lengthy thunderstorm took its toll, but did not prevent about 1,500 Jehovah's Witnesses from building a new church for the local congregation in just two days. Men, women and children from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida pitched in for 27 hours to complete the Kingdom Hall in what is known as the "quick-build." ... ... "We would have finished this one in about 24 hours if not for the rain,"said Tim Brooks, one of three men on the South Carolina Jehovah's Witnesses [Regional Building] [C]ommittee and the coordinator of the project. The crew began work about 7 a.m. Saturday and progress was rapid throughout the day, despite temperatures in the 90s and swirling dust. A lengthy downpour shortly before midnight forced workers inside and stopped cabinet makers altogether for several hours, Brooks said. ...
The brick and wood building is valued at $160,000, the price Rouse said it would have cost the congregation if it had contracted a construction company to do the job. Instead, the only cost was $80,000 for materials and the price of preparing and serving about 4,000 meals throughout the two-day affair, he said. "It goes non-stop," ... . About 350 professional craftsmen staff the core of 12 construction departments, from exterior construction, electricity and plumbing to interior painting and carpeting. Rouse said. They worked around the clock, in shifts, to complete the job. For nighttime work, high-intensity lights on tall poles surrounded the construction sight to allow work to continue. Some people brought campers and tents, ... . Charles Mizell of Lakeland, Ga. ... said he left his family at home because this was his first time on a "quick-build" project. "But I'm going to Macon (Ga.) next month for another one, -- August 1986, Edgefield South Carolina Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Jehovah's Witness hall erected in 36 hours
On a rain-besotted Mound City building site, ... finished 36 hours and 5 inches of rain after work began at 7:00 A.M. Friday. ... . "Weather-wise, it was the worst job we've had. We were there 4 days slippin' and slidin' in that mud." -- October 1983, Mound City Kansas Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Church rises fast
Occasional showers posed a problem ... . ... cement was poured and cured with people holding vinyl sheets ... to keep the rain out. Walls went up in 15 minutes, followed by electrical wiring, sheet rock, insulation, ... . -- June 1983, Reedley California Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Kingdom Hall erected in two days
While the men and older boys were busy with the carpentry work, younger boys, one age 7, ... were busy in the drenching rain, filling wheelbarrows with debris and rocks ... . .... Women with raincapes were ... . ... a strong wind made a balloon out of the plastic ... . A family from Pennsylvania who donated the land for the former Kingdom Hall, now Federal Credit Union ... . -- May 1983, Farmington Maine Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Miracle at McGinnes Corner
Motorists traveling on Md. 544 between Crumpton and Chestertown Monday morning, who had passed the intersection on Friday and saw nothing but a cleared acre of land and some building materials, must have done a startled "double-take." On the land stood a beautiful 36 x 84 spanking new Kingdom Hall that literally rose overnight in muddy, breezy and sunny weather thanks to 1500 volunteers from around the nation. ... The 3,000-sq-ft. structure was completely under roof by Saturday evening and work continued through the cold night. ... It was not only the men and women, but the young children had jobs. There was plenty of work for a youngster with a shovel on Saturday digging trenches for the muddy water to drain away from the site. -- April 1983, Easton Maryland Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Kingdom Hall opens after a speedy construction
The [construction] phase began in the rain ... , when hundreds of volunteers framed the exterior walls and built roof trusses, ... . -- September 2014, Prince Albert Saskatchewan Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Four Days, And They Will Raise
About 200 volunteers started the four-day "quick build'' Thursday morning of a Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall ... . ... ... the rain [Friday morning slowed] work on the roof. ... ... [Satur]day after what seemed like 40 days of rain, ... . -- May 2006, Stafford Connecticut Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Volunteers working on remodeling the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Selma [California] ... For the past four weekends, beginning Sept. 24, congregation members with expertise in construction have given their time to update the hall and add an addition. ... The 4,352 square-foot remodeling job required the Kingdom Hall's interior to be demolished. Doyne Payne of Selma recalled when the [Kingdom H]all opened in 1973. "It seems like just the other day that it was built and now we're rebuilding it," Payne said. Payne said the congregation borrowed $30,000 to construct the original building. ... ...
... mold was the only challenge found at the Selma Hall. The problem was solved by a Bakersfield [RBC] volunteer with a certified mold remediation business. Templeton estimates it would cost about $500,000 to complete the project without volunteers. Instead, the Hall's price tag is about $174,000 in materials. -- October 2010, Selma California Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Jehovah Witnesses team up for Aledo Kingdom Hall work project
It looked a little like an old-fashioned church-raising. Teams of Jehovah Witnesses arrived at 6:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, , to Aledo's Kingdom Hall, 1000 N.W. 3rd Ave., ready to work on a mold and water mitigation project. The Regional Building Committee was comprised of more than 1,100 Witness volunteers from Champaign to Geneseo. ... .
Work in Aledo included demolition and disposal of old flooring, removal of two feet of infected drywall around the basement perimeter, and breaking away concrete from the basement's exterior wall to mitigate mold and water damage in two apartments, ... . ... Trenches then were dug around the perimeter, filled with pea gravel, drainage tile installed, and holes drilled at the bottom of each cinder block so plastic tubes could be inserted into the tile, which were directed to the sump pump. ...
Kingdom Hall Time Line -- 1975: Elder Dale Wannemacher, Aledo, a contractor by trade, broke ground for the new structure. The basic structure was built in 29 days on one acre of land and the first meeting was conducted there. ... The split-level brick structure features an auditorium, with seating capacity of 100 people, a library and a literature room. -- October 2012, Aledo Illinois Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Random comments posted online by active RBC volunteers:
"It has rained every day here. Sure made the quick-build challenging."
"Our 'Three Day Build' was in the middle of winter rain and snow flurries. Just as the roof was being completed and the water was being squeegeed out of the building, ... ."
With some experience in mold remediation from [volunteering with the WatchTower Society's New Hampshire Regional Building Committee], [Amy] McMullen was a valuable asset to her assigned "tear-out crew," ... . Mold remediation is difficult and hazardous, as the required white hazmat suits and respirators she had to wear indicate. "Mold is tricky and costly stuff that can cause serious health problems," explained McMullen. -- February 2006 newspaper article about a New Hampshire RBC volunteer trained as a Mold Remediation Specialist.
Click HERE to view RESUME of another JW Female RBC volunteer who mentions "mold remediation" as being one of the established departments of the Bronx, New York Regional Building Committee.
Click HERE to view RESUME of a JW Male RBC volunteer who mentions performing "mold remediation" as a volunteer with the WatchTower Society's Vermont Regional Building Committee.
Click HERE to view brief discussion board comment reporting that two RBC Kingdom Hall "mold remediation" projects had been forced to become complete Kingdom Hall re-construction projects.
WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY v. THE INTERNATIONAL NICKEL COMPANY, INC. ET AL is a 2015 New York federal civil court case. In 2009, WatchTower Society observers scratched their heads as they watched the WatchTower Society purchase at a "fire-sale" price the 252 acre former site of a International Nickel foundry and research facility located in Warwick, New York. The first thing that anyone with a three-digit IQ would have suspected was what would eventually be found lurking on that property. Now, in June 2015, the WatchTower Society has filed this lawsuit against International Nickel and its parent company and subsidiaries to recoup cleanup costs for PCBs and other contaminants found on that property, as well as other damages, and attorneys fees. We see this situation as similar to someone purchasing a "totaled" "salvage-title" antique Rolls-Royce for $10,000.00, and thereafter suing the seller for the costs that it took to restore that Rolls-Royce back to a $150,000.00 vehicle. Isn't it nice to have a whole building full of lawyers chomping at the bit to gain "Jehovah's" approval and eventual eternal salvation. Convince us that this lawsuit was not planned against INCO even before the sales contract was signed. Neither do we have any sympathy for INCO. Again, anyone with a three-digit IQ knows that when you have "dealings" with "Jehovah's Witnesses", odds are that you will wind up with the stinky-end of the stick.
Someone needs to point out this American lawsuit to the former owners of the recently purchased new location of the WatchTower Society of Great Britain so that they can start saving their money for the environmental cleanup costs expended by the WatchTower Society at that reportedly "environmentally-problematic" automobile salvage yard location.
Does anyone know if the WatchTower Society is still trying to find a BUYER for their Assembly Hall property located on North Delaware Avenue near downtown Indianapolis without disclosing to prospective buyers the FACT that that WatchTower Society property originally was constructed as a Christian Scientist Church in 1912, and during the 1960s was owned by PEOPLE'S TEMPLE CULT LEADER and MASS MURDERER, JIM JONES (as "boastfully" related to this editor multiple times by both Elders and Elderettes during my 2-3 visits there in the 1990s)?
IN RE SAWYER GROUP RE. NO. 1, INC. was a 2011 Texas Voluntary Bankruptcy Petition in which the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY was listed as the primary LENDER-CREDITOR of this 2009 multi-million dollar real estate investment. The 2009 debtor also disputed how much was ultimately owing to the WatchTower Society.
HAUSMAN ROAD WORKOUT LLC appears to be a SECRET wholly-owned Delaware subsidiary of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA, which was formed in 2009 around the same time that the previous owners purchased the properties and sought financing. The two involved properties, 6506 Hausman Road and 6514 Hausman Road, were deeded over to Hausman Road Workout LLC five months after the filing of the above bankruptcy petition, and are currently on the market for what appears to be much much less than what the WatchTower Society originally loaned on the properties.
This overall scenario has the seeming appearance of some unknown party being the beneficiary of a large transfer of money out of a Religious NFP, which was publicly documented as being completely legal every step of the relatively short process.
See also: WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA v. CYPRESS VILLAGE LLC, ET AL.
WATCHTOWER SOCIETY OF ISRAEL v. MUNICIPALITY OF NETANYA was a 2009-14 Israeli civil court case. The WatchTower Society of Israel ("Mitzpe L'Yisrael") leased classroom space at the Raziel School, in Netanya, to conduct religious meetings every Tuesday evening from 6:30 PM until 9:30 PM -- without informing the naive Netanya school authorities who they really were -- Jehovah's Witnesses, or the actual religious recruitment purposes for which the leased space was to be used. When those facts were quickly discovered, the lease was canceled by the school's officials. The WatchTower Society of Israel then filed this civil lawsuit against the City of Netanya, alleging religious discrimination, which sought not only specific performance of the property lease, but also asked the court to order Netanya to pay NIS 108,500 for actual damages and mental anguish, plus legal expenses, to the WatchTower Society of Israel. In February 2014, the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court dismissed the WatchTower Society's lawsuit partially on the basis that Netanya school officials had entered into the lease agreement based on deception perpetrated by the WatchTower Society's representative as to who he represented and for what purpose the leased classroom was to be used. The WatchTower Society was also ordered to pay NIS 20,000 towards the defendant's legal expenses.
Defendant Netanya alleged that during the negotiations conducted in November 2008 between the elementary school Principal and the WatchTower Society's representative, named George Beriswill (sp), that Beriswill had intentionally used "blurring and deception" as a negotiation tactic. Beriswill never once mentioned the name "Jehovah's Witnesses". When the school Principal repeatedly attempted to question Beriswill more specifically about the content of the "weekly lectures" to be given at the school, Beriswill allegedly responded with an off-topic remark or misdirection. Beriswill allegedly evaded one of the Principal's questions by showing and commenting about a picture of his wife on his keychain, and Beriswill allegedly avoided another clarification question by first dropping his cellphone, and then changing the subject.
What readers from other parts of the world should take from this lawsuit is the "comfort level" with which the WatchTower Society and Jehovah's Witnesses have with exposing their own FRAUD and DECEPTION to the world. Evidently, practicing fraud and deception when conducting real estate transactions has become such a longterm, routine "modus operandi" of the WatchTower Society and Jehovah's Witnesses that disclosing such in official court documents fails to set off alarm bells -- even to their own attorneys. Of course, those observers who have seen behind the WatchTower curtain understand that this is what occurs with self-centered people who believe that they are GOD's sole legal governmental representatives on planet Earth, and like all other governmental bureaucracies, they rationalize away their own criminal activity, so long as such advances the interests of GOD's "ONLY TRUE RELIGION". Additionally, Israeli Jehovah's Witnesses are even more highly motivated by the WatchTower Society's doctrine that its own members have replaced "Jews" as "YHWH's Witnesses", and that YHWH long ago rejected the Jews as His "Chosen People", and that YHWH has replaced the "Jews" with the WatchTower Society's"Jehovah's Witnesses" as His most recent "Chosen People".
An excellent example of the audacity and deviousness of the WatchTower Society when it comes to real estate matters occurred in the early 1990s in a southeast Asian Muslim country which had refused to officially-legally "recognize" the WatchTower Society as a religious organization in that country, which meant that the WatchTower Society had not been granted all the "legalities" which were necessary for the WatchTower Society to conduct business as an organization in that country. The WatchTower Society did not allow nitpicky "legalities" to stop it from covertly establishing a "Branch Office" in that Muslim country.
Expectedly, the WatchTower Society selected as the location for its new "Branch Office" a smaller city which was located as far away as possible from that dispersed country's largest city and capital, but a city which was still large enough to have an international airport. Maybe unexpectedly, the WatchTower Society did NOT seek to purchase a low-profile property outside that city which would be located away from as many nosy neighbors as possible. Instead, the widely experienced WatchTower Society selected an expensive multi-building compound located right in the middle of that city which already was completely surrounded by a high wall that would keep out prying eyes and ears. More interestingly, and most importantly, the WatchTower Society had its new expensive property titled and registered in a common name found in that southeast Asian Muslim country which just so happened to be the same name as that of a rich and politically powerful man in that country who conveniently lived far away in that country's capital city.
Typically, as with all WatchTower Society real estate properties, after that southeast Asian "Branch Office" property was completely renovated, the WatchTower Society sent representatives from WatchTower HQ in Brooklyn, New York, to conduct the "Dedication" ceremony. Before making the next point, readers are again reminded that this was a Muslim country in which the WatchTower Society was an ILLEGAL entity, and it was ILLEGAL for the WatchTower Society or any of its representatives to be conducting business in that country. When the WatchTower Society's Caucasian-American representatives arrived at that Muslim city's airport, they were met by a MOTORCADE escorted by that city's police department. The limousine full of WatchTower Society "criminals" LAUGHED THEIR ARSES OFF all the way from the airport to their new "Branch Office" as the city's motorcycle police dangerously rushed the motorcade through heavy city traffic with lights and sirens blasting -- never stopping once for anybody or anything until the motorcade pealed away from its police escort through the quickly opening and closing gates at the WatchTower Society's new "Branch Office". It is a reasonable speculation that the WatchTower Society's local "agents" at its new "Branch Office" were "trading" and would continue to "trade" on the "name" of the rich and powerful man which they used to title and register their property in order to trick and deceive local law enforcement.
Obviously, there is much more to this story than the scattered details to which we are privy. Hopefully, readers doing business with the WatchTower Society and its subsidiaries will still be able to take from this sparsely detailed account that you should NEVER EVER underestimate the "capability" of the WatchTower Society. Specifically, the WatchTower Society has an uncanny expertise at manipulating otherwise despised local government officials to do not only what WatchTower Society Officials want them to do, but often even to lead the fight for them.
WATCHTOWER CULT BRIBERY OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
This is probably a good place for us to insert a WARNING regarding possible BRIBERY committed by the WatchTower Cult and its local Jehovah's Witness officials when it comes to their "dealings" with local city, county, and state government officials. Readers who have not yet done so, should read and re-read the opening section of our Page 2003 to refresh their memories as to how the WatchTower Cult and Jehovah's Witnesses view themselves and governments and government officials in their grand scene of life on planet Earth.
We have yet to find the documentation, but we plainly recall back around the 1980s-90s that the WatchTower Society publicly admitted to its membership (in either literature or convention sermon) that it had long had a policy of BRIBING FOREIGN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS in order to "get things done". (WatchTower insiders know that the Cult never makes such public admissions unless first there has already been a widespread disclosure of the "sin" to the public, which we do not now recall or to which we simply were not then privy.) We recall the WatchTower Cult's "rationalization" being that most foreign governments and government officials were already "corrupt", and that BRIBERY had become such a ingrained, normal way of doing business in foreign countries, that if the Cult never paid bribes to foreign government officials then the Cult would never be able to carry on its business in those foreign countries. The Cult proclaimed BRIBERY OF FOREIGN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS to be a required, necessary evil in "this system of things", which they had come to consider to be no different from paying any other legally imposed GOVERNMENT TAX or FEE.
"In November 1997, after the Jehovah's Witnesses had been trying unsuccessfully to gain registration with the [Azerbaijan]Ministry of Justice for two years, a Ministry official appeared to indicate that registration would become possible on payment of a bribe. The Jehovah's Witness representative, ALEKSANDR USENKO, handed over a $2000.00 BRIBE, and was immediately arrested. Tried in February 1998, Usenko - a Russian citizen - was given a suspended sentence of three years' imprisonment on charges of bribery under Article 171 of the Criminal Code. He was freed and [instructed] to leave Azerbaijan." (Edited for clarity.) -- KESTON NEWS SERVICE.
This Editor recently recalled this issue while posting an "experience" from the 1990s. (Go to Page 2031, and FIND on "bribery".) This Editor also has long noticed a certain "phenomenon" while researching "real estate controversies" in the United States. Frequently, but not always, in real estate zoning or other controversies involving the construction of WatchTower Society buildings and facilities, or local Kingdom Halls, there will rise above the crowd ONE or TWO local government officials who seem to have a more than usual interest in helping the Cult gain whatever it is seeking to gain. Interestingly, often that "interest" arose quickly and seemingly out of nowhere. We would simply suggest to anyone having a "dog" in one of these local real estate "fights" to keep an eye out for such a "phenomenon". If the WatchTower Cult can rationalize that paying BRIBES to government officials in foreign countries is nothing more than paying required "additional taxes or fees", then there is no reason to believe that that same rationalization has not since made its way into the Cult's dealings with government officials in the United States.
For decades, until 2008, when the WatchTower Society ceased worldwide to charge INTEREST (interest rates varied over time and location) on Kingdom Hall Loans made to locally incorporated individual Congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses, the WatchTower Bible & Tract Society intentionally and purposefully violated multiple laws in multiple different foreign countries with respect to such interest-bearing Kingdom Hall Loans. (Readers can rest assured that the WatchTower Cult did not "voluntarily" give up this worldwide money-making activity until it was forced to do so by some thus-far-unpublicized negative governmental action which may or may not be discovered at some point in the future.)
The incorporation laws of many foreign countries PROHIBIT NFPs (non-profit or not-for-profit corporations) from making loans on which "interest" is charged. Those laws did not stop the WatchTower Society from charging "interest" on Kingdom Hall Loans made to locally incorporated individual Congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses in such foreign countries. To HIDE their illegal money-making loan activities, the WatchTower Society compounded their law-breaking in those foreign countries by then forcing its in-house JW Accountants at those foreign subsidiaries to annually falsify tax reports by illegally reporting as "donations" the "interest income" collected on Kingdom Hall Loan repayments in those foreign countries.
REGIONAL BUILDING COMMITTEE VOLUNTEERS SCAMMED FOR LABOR & MATERIALS?
Tipster, a Jehovah's Witness who owns a small contracting business, prefaces his "tip" with the statement that over multiple years of volunteering on multiple RBC projects that he had observed multiple instances of "something is just not right here". However, Tipster now reports one entire RBC project which he suspects was "just not right". That project was the construction of a new home (effectively) for a "special" JW Family whom Tipster believes possibly "planned" the construction of their FREE new home by a Regional Building Committee -- possibly with the aid and assistance of one or more conspiring Circuit Overseers and a District Overseer. Tipster relates that starting with his first contact about that pending RBC project that procedures and "other things" occurred differently than had occurred on previous RBC projects on which he had volunteered.
That RBC project involved the near total rehabilitation and re-construction of an UNINSURED flooded "house" and lot owned by a JW Family, whom only a year previous, at the WatchTower Society's request, had relocated to a small population, rural county which had only a handful of JW residents. It had been that JW Elder's assignment to form and grow a new congregation in that very small rural county, which had no industry nor jobs other than farming, and which had a declining population less than in 1950, and even less than in 1900.
The project site was nearly 300 miles distance from the homes of Tipster and other area JW Contractors who were contacted to provide both labor and materials on the project. Tipster relates that he had never previously heard of the town or county, and believes that such was true of most other JW Contractors asked to work on the project. There was no straight shot of highways between the two areas. For some RBC volunteers, the road trip to that project involved travel on four different interstates and 4-5 different state highways.
Tipster relates that he initially was given the impression that the town/county in question was "isolated territory", and that the victimized JW Family had made great sacrifice to relocate there, only to have "Satan" attempt to drive them away using an unanticipated freak flood only about a year later. That was before Tipster got off his telephone and picked up his atlas. Tipster quickly discovered that while the RBC project site was "isolated" from the RBC volunteers being asked to travel there, the site was not "isolated" from numerous neighboring Congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses. In fact, the pending RBC project was within 30-50 minutes drive-time of one major city and two smaller cities. At least six Kingdom Halls were within 30-40 minutes drive-time, and a dozen or more congregations were within 60-70 minutes drive-time. Tipsters immediate reaction was, "Why were he and other JW Contractors who lived in rural areas 300 miles distance away being asked to provide free labor and materials for this project?"
Curiosity turned to outrage once Tipster arrived onsite. Tipster immediately realized that he and the other volunteers had been deceived -- if not scammed. The flooded "house" and lot was located on a half-mile or more of varying width silt bottom land which lay between a small river and a semi-parallel highway. Neighboring structures to the flooded "home" were dozens of what Tipster calls "weekend fishing camps and cabins", which had been constructed under the assumption that they would be regularly flooded whenever the river rose -- annually, or more frequently.
While the JW Family had purchased one of the larger and better stilted buildings, which was located near the highway, the "home" was still located in the flood plain, and the elevation was not substantially different from the shacks down on the riverbank. It was easy to tell that this particular building, as well as neighboring building, had suffered multiple floodings over the years. It also was obvious that the original builders and the subsequent owners understood and anticipated regular flooding.
Tipster still ponders whether the JW Elder who purchased this property was a total idiot, or whether this was a pre-planned scheme -- possibly involving multiple COs and a DO -- to purchase an annually flooding "fishing cabin" and lot for maybe $10,000.00, and then, just as soon as it did flood, to have RBC volunteers living outside this area to re-constuct the lot and build this apparently "special" JW Family a cost-free new home worth $50-70,000.00, or more? After all, all RBC volunteers were specially screened to start with. RBC Volunteers "selected" for this "special project" could be further screened for their ability to keep their mouths shut -- without their being told to do so. Even if they eventually talked, they lived so far away from the involved area that only the involved RBC volunteers actually knew the geography about which dissidents might eventually speak.
WE WONDER whether this "enriched" JW Family properly reported on their federal and state tax returns the increase in value to their property???
ATTENTION MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS ALLOWING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES FREE USE OF PUBLIC MEETING FACILITIES:
You need to make clear and certain the boundaries of that usage, as well as regularly monitor that usage.
In October 2009, in England, the Blackrod Town Council was besieged with complaints from its local residents over "parking" at the town's city park. FOR 16 YEARS, the Blackrod Town Council had permitted the Horwich Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses to hold its services at the Blackrod Community Centre (probably free of charge), which is located in the town's city park. A free "first-come/first-serve" parking lot capable of accommodating 70+ automobiles is located adjacent to the Community Centre and is provided for the Centre and nearby athletic and recreational areas.
However, on the Sunday morning in question in October 2009, there apparently also was a soccer match being held at the city park. Residents entering the parking lot adjacent to the Community Centre that morning were surprised to find "attendants" who were wearing yellow jackets supervising the parking lot. Initially, the "attendants" simply directed automobiles where to park. However, apparently once those "attendants" saw that some of the parkers were there to attend a soccer match and not the WatchTower meeting, the official-looking attendants began to sort through the autos entering the parking lot, and DENIED parking to at least nine automobiles whose occupants were there to attend the soccer match.
When contacted by a local reporter regarding the "row", the Horwich Presiding Overseer, Andrew Ash, responded in typical JW doe-eyed fashion by denying that ANYONE had been turned away from the parking lot. Ash later sent a letter to the Blackrod Town Council again denying that the JWs had turned away anyone wishing to park in that parking lot, and even claimed that there had been 20 unused parking spaces on the Sunday morning in question. Ash further claimed that the JWs had been in the habit of using "attendants" to police the parking lot simply to make sure that the available parking space was used efficiently.
INTERESTING that nine or more residents who were NOT TURNED AWAY by the JWs took the time to raise a stink with the Town Council.
INTERESTING that the HEAD JW knew exactly how many unused parking spaces there were on the Sunday morning in question given that he would have had NO REASON to even concern himself with the number of unused spaces until later that week when the stink was raised at the meeting of the Town Council.
INTERESTING that the JWs needed to REGULARLY use "attendants" to police the parking lot to make sure that it was used efficiently given that on an extraordinary day when both "Jehovah's Witnesses" and at least "some" soccer match attendees used the parking lot -- 20 of the 70 available parking spaces still went unused.
Anyone with any common sense knows that during the 16 years that the JWs had been using that Community Centre that the Sunday morning in question was not the first Sunday morning that a soccer match was also held at the city park. The JWs had "attendants" policing the free "first-come/first-serve" parking lot at the Community Centre regularly every Sunday morning to make certain that there were parking spaces available for every anticipated attendee at their WatchTower meeting. That was not the first time that local taxpayers had been run out of the Centre parking lot by the JWs. That was just the first time that the JWs had run off a sufficient number of the soccer attendees such that they all began talking about such at the soccer match and decided that they would raise a stink about it to the Town Council.
BONHAM TEXAS MUTINY
ORIGINAL TRUSTEES OF BONHAM TEXAS KINGDOM HALL v. REPLACEMENT TRUSTEES OF BONHAM TEXAS KINGDOM HALL was a 1985-86 Texas state and federal civil court case which today serves mostly as an excellent lesson as to the underhanded, dishonest capability of the WatchTower Society when its self-professed position as the "sole earthly representative" of God's Heavenly Government is challenged. While the WatchTower Society lost this court battle, its Legal Department has made absolutely certain "paperwork-wise" that it would never again lose another similar court fight.
Around 1984, the Presiding Overseer of the Bonham, Texas Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, named Ralph Deal, began having doubts about some of the foundational teachings of the WatchTower Society. (Note that Ralph Deal was no mere small town, local yokel Elder. Ralph was a fairly prominent Texas Elder who had held a position of responsibility at nearly every WatchTower District Convention and Circuit Assembly during the previous decade.) Beginning in early 1985, Ralph Deal began sending a series of 14 letters to WatchTower Society HQ, in Brooklyn, New York, which made multiple inquiries into the basis of some of those foundational doctrines of the WatchTower Society. The initial typical circular non-answers from WatchTower HQ, which were followed later by the "how-dare-you-even-ask-such-questions" responses from WatchTower HQ, led to the scales falling from the eyes of not only Ralph Deal, but also most members of the Bonham, Texas Body of Elders. Roughly 75% of the rank-n-file members of the Bonham Texas Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses agreed with those Elders.
As it had done in similar (but not as widespread) circumstances, in the past, in other locations, WatchTower HQ responded to the Bonham Texas Mutiny by relocating a sufficient number of loyalist outsiders (most were from other parts of Texas, but some were from out-of-state as far away as California) to live in Bonham, Texas, to attend the Bonham Kingdom Hall, and to effectively take control of the Congregation from its mutinous local members. By June 1985, when their numbers were sufficient, at a Thurdays night Service Meeting, an outsider stepped to the podium, and introduced himself as the "WatchTower Society's Special Representative", and took control of the service. The existing local Body of Elders were replaced with men chosen by the WatchTower HQ. Those new Elders included Luther Brogden, Bennie Bolin, and Ronald H. Williams, who were also elected as new "TRUSTEES", in whom title to the Kingdom Hall was vested. These new outsider Elders then proceeded to form "judicial committees" to hold secret trials to DISFELLOWSHIP (excommunicate) the old Bonham Body of Elders.
In late 1985, the "disfellowshipped" Elders then filed this civil lawsuit to regain possession of the Kingdom Hall for which they and the vast majority of members whom they represented had paid with their donations over the years. In February 1986, the local court gave possession of the Bonham Kingdom Hall back to the "locals". However, on appeal, the state district court temporarily ruled that both groups should "share" the Bonham Kingdom Hall. In March 1986, the WatchTower Loyalists filed to have the lawsuit removed to the federal court system. There, eventually, the lawsuit was remanded back to the Texas state court system, in July 1986. The WatchTower's Dallas attorneys then missed a filing deadline, and thereafter also lost that appeal in August 1986, which left them with the last court's decision that they could share the Bonham Kingdom Hall with the mutinous locals. (Ralph Deal's local Texas Attorney was a XJW named David Bercot, who had been reared as a Jehovah's Witness. Ron Reed, a former WatchTower Circuit Overseer, who had later become an Attorney in California, assisted Bercot.)
Having no intention of "sharing" the Bonham Kingdom Hall, exactly six weeks after the WatchTower Society found out that they had lost that last appeal, the WatchTower Society held a "quick-build" to construct a new and much nicer Kingdom Hall (and twice as large as needed -- even to this day) on a large tract of land just outside Bonham. One of the WatchTower Governing Body even traveled to Bonham to deliver the Dedication Talk for that "Monument to the ARROGANCE of the WatchTower Society".
This court case does have additional legal significance in that this 1986 court case was the first time that the WatchTower Society admitted in a judicial proceeding that it was a HIERARCHICAL religious organization. Despite the fact that the WatchTower Society began transforming during the latter 1920s from a "congregational" type of ecclesiastical control to "hierarchical" control, it refused to publicly acknowledge such, because it had long taught, and continued for decades to teach that "hierarchical" ecclesiastical control was "Babylonish false religion". The WatchTower Society has long criticized its arch-enemy the Catholic Church for decades for being a "hierarchical" religious organization.
In this lawsuit, the WatchTower Society submitted an affidavit from the WatchTower Society's Vice-President, Don Adams, which stated, "To implement their decisions, [just like the Pope] the Governing Body uses a hierarchical organization together with corporate entities, when appropriate, to accomplish its worldwide work ... [just like the Catholic Church]."
Don Adams affidavit goes on to outline the hierarchical structure of the WatchTower religion starting at the top with the Governing Body at WatchTower HQ right down to Ministerial Servants at the local congregation level. (Note that even during some recent child molestation lawsuits, the WatchTower Society continues to deny that Ministerial Servants hold positions of responsibility. Lying about itself and its internal goings-on during judicial proceedings has been so prevalent and so successful over the decades that the WatchTower Society's attorneys act as if they have become "addicted" to lying about the WatchTower Society, and just like common habitual liars, they become uncontrollably outraged when their lies are finally openly challenged.)
WATCHTOWER SOCIETY v. RALPH DEAL and FANNIN COUNTY OFFICIALS was the FAILED 1986-90 Texas federal civil rights lawsuit brought after it lost the above state and federal proceedings. The WatchTower Society hypocritically accused local Fannin County Texas government officials of conspiring with the Bonham Mutineers to deprive "Jehovah's Witnesses" of their civil rights. The USDC ruled against the WatchTower Society in November 1988, and that decision was affirmed by the USCA in April 1990.
The WatchTower Society complained that local law enforcement refused to arrest the Mutineers for "trespass" after the local Mutineers forcibly removed the locks and chains, yes, chains, from the doors of the Kingdom Hall AFTER the local court had ruled that possession be restored to the Mutineers in February 1986, and the District Court had ruled in March that possession be shared.
The WatchTower Society also accused the local District Attorney and local Police of conspiring with the Mutineers against it after they discovered that a microphone had been installed in the Kingdom Hall to record the Disfellowshipping Proceedings. The Mutineers installed the microphone only AFTER first inquiring of the DA his opinion whether doing such was "legal", which he believed was legal, since one recorded party gave consent. When the WatchTower's Rep attempted to have the Mutineers arrested for installing the microphone, the Police refused to do its bidding, since no crime had been committed.
TRUSTEES OF SOUTH PARK AVENUE CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES v. SCOTT ANDERSON, HOMER LEE, ET AL was the 1916-17 California court case in which some of the Los Angeles area followers of the WatchTower Cult, including the pastor and a majority of the members of this Disciples of Christ affiliated church, attempted to take over the church and its' property. For decades, until this mutiny occurred, various Disciples of Christ affiliated churches across the United States, including this one, occasionally had permitted use of their facilities for baptisms and even meetings conducted by the WatchTower Society. In 1916, the Pastor of the South Park Avenue Christian Church, named Scott Anderson, gradually became sympathetic to the WatchTower beliefs and practices being taught at such meetings. Over a period of months, Pastor Scott Anderson began to weave more and more WatchTower teachings into his Sunday sermons, while Homer Lee, who was head of the Los Angeles area International Bible Students Association, regularly conducted weekly "bible studies" at the church. Pastor Anderson even invited Charles Taze Russell to preach at this church in September 1916. By the end of 1916, a majority of the church's members had become adherents of the WatchTower Cult.
"THE Los Angeles Convention of the I.B.S.A. opened September 2d and closed September 10th. ... An interesting event outside the Convention Program was an address by Brother Russell in the Park Avenue Christian Church, Los Angeles. The Minister of the Congregation, Brother Anderson, has within the past few months come in contact with Present Truth, and has been feasting upon it. He has also been preaching it to the Congregation, and has had various of the brethren lead Berean Studies and give Addresses. His invitation to Brother Russell to take supper at his home and afterwards to address the Congregation was accepted with appreciation. The attendance crowded the edifice, about 500 being present. The attention was excellent. Evidently a considerable number of the Congregation were deeply impressed with the Divine Plan of the Ages, as were also visitors from the neighborhood. Brother and Sister Anderson seem to be very thoroughly committed to following the light as the Lord may privilege them to see it. They give evidence of full consecration to the Lord, and a clear spiritual insight into the Plan." -- THE WATCH TOWER magazine, October 15, 1916.
In late December 1916, four members of the then current Board of Trustees filed a lawsuit requesting that Pastor Anderson, Homer Lee, and other Russellites be permanently enjoined from further using the church's facilities to proselytize its' remaining members. A temporary, one-week injunction was granted, but a permanent injunction was thereafter denied by the district judge. Apparently, the Russellite faction attempted to DECEIVE the judge. Scott Anderson and his Russellite followers claimed that they remained disciples of the founders of DoC -- Alexander Campbell and his father, Thomas Campbell. The Russellites denied intendting to change the church from DoC to Russellism -- claiming that DoC principles permitted progressive beliefs and new interpretations. Regardless, the district judge put off a full hearing until March 1, 1917, and encouraged the two factions to have their dispute settled within the DoC -- not the courts.
On the first Sunday in January 1917, both factions ridiculously held services at the very same time in the new sanctuary. Anderson and the Russellites were even locked out of the church the following week. On a Sunday in mid-January, while some DoC regulars stayed home to remain out of the drama, the Russellite faction showed up in full, elected a new Board of Trustees, and took over control of the church. In late January 1917, the DoC faction legally sought to have that election of a new Board of Trustees nullified. Again, the district judge referred both factions to settlement within the confines of the DoC, and advised them to try to get along in the meantime -- pending the full hearing on March 1, 1917.
In the interim, something may have happened -- which escapes us. (Possibly by this point in time, it had become obvious to "Judge" Rutherford that the local courts were not going to fully decide this matter, and that his L.A. followers stood zero chance that the DoC hierarchy would fall for their claim that they wanted the church to remain DoC.) One week prior to the scheduled March 1, 1917 hearing, the Russellites held a well-publicized public meeting at the Los Angeles Temple, during which Scott Anderson preached a sermon condemning the "persecution" of himself and the majority of the church by the minority of remaining members. Scott Anderson, along with 85 of his Russellite followers, announced that they were resigning from the church, and informally surrendered any legal rights that they might have had to any part of South Park Avenue Christian Church property. (The church had both an old sanctuary building, and a new sanctuary building constructed only a few years previous.)
But-for the distraction amongst the WatchTower hierarchy undoubtedly caused by the death of Charles Taze Russell on HALLOWEEN 1916, this "theft" might have succeeded. Frankly, "Judge" Rutherford was more worried about taking over the WatchTower Society and its assets than he was taking over this small church in Los Angeles. Scott Anderson quickly became a needed "hero" figure for some members of the WatchTower Cult during this period of uncertainty. "Judge" Rutherford soon appointed Scott Anderson as a WatchTower "Pilgrim", and in August 1918, after Rutherford was imprisoned, some Russellites even discussed naming Scott Anderson as Rutherford's replacement as President of the WatchTower Society. However, by that time, Scott Anderson also was under indictment in California for espionage through local distribution of THE FINISHED MYSTERY book and other seditious WatchTower literature -- UNITED STATES v. SCOTT ANDERSON.
ESTATE OF MARTHA BILLINGS v. DEADWOOD SOUTH DAKOTA CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH WITNESSES was a 1993 SUPREME COURT OF SOUTH DAKOTA court case. We highlight "SUPREME COURT OF SOUTH DAKOTA" because we want readers to fully understand that even after LOSING this lawsuit at the trial court level, theDeadwood South Dakota Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses continued to press their IMMORAL claim as far as they could press such in the South Dakota courts.
Martha Billings purchased the property in question in 1934, and exercised possession and control of that property until her death in1981. In 1970, TWO YEARS before the Deadwood Jehovah's Witnesses purchased the adjacent property, Martha Billings had her property re-surveyed. After Martha Billings died in 1981, that property was held by her Estate until 1990, when it was contracted to be sold for $50,000.00.
In 1972, the Deadwood South Dakolta Congregation of Jehovah Witnesses purchased property adjacent to Martha Billings. We will assume that a professional survey was performed as part of that transaction. We will further assume that if there had been any dispute whatsoever regarding the boundary line between the Deadwood JWs' property and Martha Billings' property, then the Mortgagee would have prevented the transaction. At a minimum, at least one of the involved parties would have made a legal issue of the boundary dispute, and would have forced a legal resolution of the matter in 1972. After all, Jehovah's Witnesses proclaim themselves to be "the most HONEST PEOPLE on planet Earth".
In 1984, three years after Martha Billings' death, the Deadwood JWs enlarged their existing Kingdom Hall -- encroaching onto the property of the Billings Estate. That section of the Estate's property also included a garage. At trial, the JWs later claimed that they had rented that garage out to some third party for two years before tearing it down in 1988 to expand their parking lot onto the property of the Billings Estate. Interestingly, at trial, the Estate presented testimony that Martha Billings had rented out that same garage long before and even AFTER the JWs acquired the adjoining property, and that Martha Billings even had had a "NO TRESPASSING" sign placed on the garage in 1976 after a rent dispute with the garage's tenant.
When the Billings Estate sold the property in 1990, another survey was performed in conjunction with that sale. That survey disclosed to the unwary Estate and Purchaser that the neighboring Jehovah's Witnesses had earlier expanded both their Kingdom Hall and their parking lot onto the Estate's property. The Deadwood South Dakota Congregation of Jehovah Witnesses were notified of a court hearing to confirm the sale of the Estate's property -- which now included part of the Deadwood JWs' Kingdom Hall and parking lot.
The Deadwood JWs appeared at that court hearing. There is no record that the Deadwood JWs claimed actual ownership of the part of the Estate's property which they had encroached. There is no record that the Deadwood JWs claimed that they had made an unintentional mistake by expanding their Kingdom Hall and parking lot onto the Estate's property. Instead of simply acknowledging their "sin", and promising to make things "right" financially with the Estate and Purchaser, the JWs proceeded to CLAIM that they had "acquired ownership" of the encroached portion of the Estate's property via ADVERSE POSSESSION -- that is, we legally "stole" your real estate because you failed to kick us off of it in time.
Although the court confirmed the sale to the Estate's purchaser, that Purchaser backed out of the sale due to not wanting to deal with the obviously pending legal action. The Estate then brought this lawsuit to restrain the JWs from entering onto their land, for monetary damages from the loss of the sale, for reasonable rent for the encroachment onto their property, and for the costs of removing the portion of the Kingdom Hall and parking lot from the Estate's land. Although the Deadwood JWs had had more time to re-think their IMMORAL legal claim, the JWs counterclaimed against the Estate and legally claimed ownership of the property via ADVERSE POSSESSION.
What made the JWs' legal argument for ADVERSE POSSESSION even more IMMORAL was the fact that South Dakota property law required an adverse possessor to hold absolute exclusive possession and control of the disputed property for a minimum of TWENTY YEARS. Not only had the JWs NOT exercised exclusive possession and control of the disputed section of the Estate's property for 20 years, the JWs had not even owned their property for the required 20 year period. Thus, in order to make the ADVERSE POSSESSION claim stick, the JWs had to further claim that the two previous owners of their property also had exercised exclusive possession and control over the disputed section of property. That is, the JWs attempted to "tack" years of adverse possession allegedly held by the previous owners onto the time period they alleged that they held adverse possession of the disputed property in order to meet the TWENTY YEARS required by state law. Thus, there is NO DOUBT but that the JWs both knew and understood that they were intentionally attempting to use legal shenanigans to "STEAL" property away from that property's rightful owner.
At trial, a local jury determined that the JWs had NOT acquired the land by adverse possession, and that the JWs HAD interfered with the sale of the Estate's property, and awarded $55,822.00 in damages to the Estate. Ultimately on appeal to the SUPREME COURT OF SOUTH DAKOTA, the jury's decisions on the issues of "tortious interference with contract for sale" and"adverse possession" were affirmed. However, the jury's decision on the amount of damages was reversed and remanded for a new trial. Amount unknown.
ADELAIDE CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES v. PEGASUS SECURITIES ET AL and ADELAIDE CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES & PEGASUS v. GRIGGS are 1990s Australian civil court cases which both are the result of the WatchTower Society's well known use of "proxies" for the purchase of real estate used for the construction of Kingdom Halls, Assembly Halls, and other WatchTower facilities. In this instance, their shenanigans apparently ended up biting them in the arse. Despite both of these court cases being heard and decided by the Supreme Court of South Australia, neither can be found to be publicly reported. The PEGASUS appellate decision found online relates exclusively to the assigning of the costs in that case, and makes only scattered, brief references to the actual facts of the case. This summary is our best effort using the extremely limited available information. We welcome documented corrections, clarifications, and additional info.
Eric John Griggs was a lifelong Jehovah's Witness who also was a prominent Jehovah's Witness Elder in Adelaide Hills and the state of South Australia. John Griggs was also a prominent Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Developer, and at various times owned all or part of two or more building materials supply businesses. Son, David John Griggs, and son-in-law Ben Anthonysz(wife, Karen Griggs Anthonysz) were all active in John Briggs' multiple business operations as were other Adelaide area Jehovah's Witnesses, including fellow JW Elder Laurence Swinburne. John Griggs was also used by the WatchTower Society as an "agent" for the purchase of real estate and construction of multiple Kingdom Halls in and around the city of Adelaide during the 1980s. (Eric John Griggs' son-in-law, Ben Anthonysz, is a prominent JW Elder in the Crafers Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in South Australia. It is Ben Anthonysz, his wife, Karen Anthonysz, and their 3 children, who repeatedly have been in the international news over the past few years due to their repeatedly being POISONED in their Stirling, South Australia home by former long-time fellow Jehovah's Witness, Brett Darren Mardon.)
In the early 1990s, the Griggs real estate empire fell like dominoes. Between 1990 and 1994, John Griggs, his two children, and roughly 20 associated business entities filed for bankruptcy. At some point in that financial collapse (possibly 1993), one of John Griggs' lenders, Pegasus Securities, attempted to foreclose on a Kingdom Hall owned by Adelaide Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, Inc. Apparently, that Kingdom Hall, and possibly two others, had been used as collateral for one or more of John Griggs' business or personal loans. The mechanics of how John Griggs managed to use one or more Kingdom Hall properties as collateral on one or more personal/business loans is not known, but in the aforementioned published court decision the JWs' attorney does use the term "fraud" in regard to such.
NOTE: Australian readers having more than routine interest in this case, and who have additional background knowledge of the circumstances behind this case, may want to take a look at the 2001 SUPREME COURT OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA case,JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES v. CITY OF MOUNT GAMBIER. We couldn't help but wonder whether the subdividing of this tract of Kingdom Hall property which led to this property tax dispute was actually grounded in John Griggs' shenanigans, and if so, whether that information was kept from the SA courts through which this case moved by the WatchTower Society and its attorneys???
2015 UPDATE: Interestingly, in June 2015, in a move described as an "expansion plan", the WatchTower Society announced that three Adelaide area Kingdom Halls at Lobethol, Woodside, and Craigmore have been listed for sale, while the Ceduna and Cummins Kingdom Halls are closing down. Local observers should keep an eye on who benefits from the sale of these properties, and who benefits from the sale of properties to replace these Halls.
Readers specifically interested in the topic of Jehovah's Witness Honesty and Integrity should be aware that related court cases are scattered throughout this website -- specifically the JW Business Owners, Managers, and Supervisors page. Readers should also refer to the 8 webpages of other types of thefts and other criminal court cases posted on the JW CHILDREN website linked from this website's Homepage.
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