News and Links for Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses: “California court guts child abuse ruling against Jehovah’s Witnesses”

California court guts child abuse ruling against Jehovah’s Witnesses

Now, three years later, an appeals court has eroded her courtroom victory even further by ruling that the leadership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses had no duty to warn congregants that a confessed child molester was one of their own. As a result, judges eliminated the punitive damages in the case. Conti still stands to receive $2.8 million.

Some are calling it a victory, but I think that’s debatable. The court did acknowledge that the Society did what it was accused of doing; withholding information from the congregation. But you have to dig through the stories to find that one out. Most people will just see that she lost and move on.

Here’s a little more from the article.

In the Conti case, the panel upheld the lower court’s ruling that the Watchtower and elders in the North Fremont congregation failed to supervise Kendrick when he preached door to door in the community, a practice Jehovah’s Witnesses call field service…
“While the Congregation may not have been able to police Kendrick’s behavior after scheduled field service was over, it could have controlled his access to Conti during the field service,” the judges wrote Monday…
Watchtower officials told the court they allow child molesters to perform field service, but not alone or with a child. They could not, however, produce a written policy for the court…

Conti has 30 days to appeal the decision.

This Guy Secretly Videotaped His Jehovah’s Witness Apostasy Trial

This was better than some videos. The elders really do seem to be engaging with him in a conversation. I’m looking forward to part 2.

16 Shocking Allegations In Scientology Documentary ‘Going Clear’

That link will surely work for atheist readers, too.

Did Jehovah’s Witness shunning drive young Brit towards Islamic extremist radicalization?

UK newspapers are reporting that a young British man, who has been found guilty of plotting to behead a soldier, was radicalized into Islamic extremism after being kicked out of his home by his Jehovah’s Witness parents.

Jehovah’s Witnesses video slammed for threatening kids with death for not paying attention in church

The clip, meant to stress the importance of paying attention in church and meetings, has been criticized for insinuating that not fully focusing during such gatherings can result in dying, even connecting the concept to the story of Noah’s Ark. has not yet responded to the backlash.


Mormon conversion rate lags behind missionary increase

Jehovah’s Witnesses have their share of problems with making converts too. They just don’t talk about it.

Charity Tribunal rejects Jehovah’s Witnesses charities’ latest appeal attempt

Using Scripture as “Proof” that the Society’s “Truth” is the Real Deal

So the Society's "truth" is all about the Bible and scripture, huh?

So the Society’s “truth” is all about the Bible and scripture, huh?

Finally, I added this one as a reminder to Jehovah’s Witnesses who keep asserting that they follow the Society because its teachings are Bible based.

The reality is that even the Society says you can’t arrive at their “truth” by following scripture. Most denominations of Christianity use the Bible just as the Society does: by interpreting it to suit their own beliefs. Not simply following the scriptures “as is.” Having a Bible quote to back up every doctrine is not the key to finding the true religion, if such a thing exists.

To put things into context, look up “true religion” and add the name of any major religion in a Google search and you’ll find papers arguing that the religion you added is the one, true religion. And all of them will quote scripture. I once found one that argues Catholicism is the true religion while refuting the Society’s claims to be the same. All of them leave a bunch of scriptures out while focusing on the stuff they do well.

Using scriptures to back up your doctrines really isn’t a big deal and doesn’t prove much.

News and Links for Atheists: “The Secret Knowledge is just ignorance by another name.”

The Secret Knowledge is just ignorance by another name

Meaning that body of information not everyone has, that body known only to those few people who had the good sense to go off the beaten path and seek it. It is information you’ll never see in your “newspapers” or “network news” or any other place overly concerned with verifiable “facts” and reliable “sources.” It will not come to you through a university “study,” peer-reviewed “article,” renowned “expert,” government “agency” or any other such traditional bastion of authority.

I have to agree, in general.

Your Brain Is Primed To Reach False Conclusions

But, as Offit’s story suggests, the fact that a child became sick after a vaccine is not strong evidence that the immunization was to blame. Psychologists have a name for the cognitive bias that makes us prone to assigning a causal relationship to two events simply because they happened one after the other: the “illusion of causality.” A study recently published in the British Journal of Psychology investigates how this illusion influences the way we process new information. Its finding: Causal illusions don’t just cement erroneous ideas in the mind; they can also prevent new information from correcting them.

Myths Debunked

Religious Right Activists Love To Spread False Information About The Separation Of Church And State. Here Are Ten Rebuttals:

Biology Professor Says Creationist Magazine Misquoted Him To Perpetuate Lies Against Evolution

This one is both for ex-Witnesses and atheists, really.

A biology professor is speaking out, demanding an apology and calling for an end to attempts to “perpetuate lies against evolution” after a statement from him was taken out of context in a creationist article in Awake!, a Jehovah’s Witness publication. He says that a portion of his statement was picked from the whole, leaving a completely different impression from his actual statement.

What? The Watchtower Society misrepresent someone’s point of view? I mean, they’ve been doing that for over a century, so why assume they’d stop now? Wait, that’s totally consistent. Sorry.

The dinosaur deniers

So now apparently it’s a thing amongst the devoutly religious not only to believe that evolution is false, but that dinosaurs never existed.

College Students Are Abandoning Religion In Record Numbers

More than 1,000 Ontario teens potentially exposed to measles at Toronto Christian concert, health officials warn

Crows Understand Analogies


News and Links for Atheists: A Previously Unreleased Interview with Christopher Hitchens

A new and previously unreleased interview with Christopher Hitchens

#232 Debate – AronRa vs Bob Dutko – Where Did It All Come From – 2012

Dutko only recently found his way onto my radar. But I thought this interview with AronRa (pronounced AR-ren-rah, not Aron-rah) was interesting. Especially with regard to conversations about whether atheists believe there is no god or whether we merely withhold belief in one. I think the key issue is how you use the word believe. It can be used to describe an opinion as well as a conviction. Most atheists don’t have a strong conviction that there is no god.

Bob Dutko Replies: And Why He Fails

This video addresses issues Dutko raised when a YouTuber posted a video criticizing Dutko. It doesn’t matter if you know anything about Dutko or not. The points apply to many conversations like this one.

What the anti-vaxxers are getting dangerously wrong

One thing is certain—the distortion of the facts about vaccines could have dangerous consequences for public safety and public health. In this post, we’ll cover some basic facts about vaccines, their significance, their contentious history and their recent misrepresentation by the anti-vaccine movement.

Anderson Cooper, Ex-GOP Rep. Throw Down over Vaccine-Autism Link

You know how there are lots of anti-vaccine people who say that vaccines give their kids autism? Well, that’s not true. It’s been thoroughly discredited. But former Republican Congressman Dan Burton believes that the mercury in vaccines can cause autism in children, and faced off against Anderson Cooper last night over that very subject.

Measles Outbreak Hits Texas Church That Preached Against Vaccines

The Food Babe is a Raving Lunatic

Your vitamins are lying to you: Why Big Herba is out of control

We often hear about the evils of Big Pharma, but it’s not the only medicine industry putting your health at risk.

Hey, Kids! If You Don’t Listen in Church, God Will Kill You

This is about Jehovah’s Witnesses but it appears on Patheos, a major atheist website. Good to see that Hemant Mehta is paying attention. :)

Jehovah’s Witness leaders have a simple message for children: Pay attention at meetings or you will be killed… just like Noah would’ve been.
You can see it in their latest propaganda video:

Add nature, art and religion to life’s best anti-inflammatories