Make a Difference

Responding to Jehovah’s Witnesses

When Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your door, they may offer you a pamphlet, compliment your house or garden, and ask if they can come in to share some important news about the Bible. Whether you say yes or no, they are then likely to launch into a memorised script about one or all of three things. These are:

“Did you know that all modern translations of the Bible are inaccurate?”

“Did you know Jesus wasn’t crucified but put on a stake?”

“Did you know that the churches have deliberately removed the name of God (Jehovah) from the Bible?”

The media delight in portraying the Church as shifty and hypocritical, and most people are aware that there are many different translations of Scripture, so these questions may echo thoughts that are in peoples’ minds already. We will certainly meet people who have been confused by the JWs, and we should know enough about JW teachings to be able to reassure them. Christians should also look on visits from JWs and others, as evangelism opportunities. But this means we need to be prepared!

Truth cannot be decided on the basis of a majority decision. But it is important to remember that the JW’s ideas are rejected by highly qualified men and women from every kind of Christian and academic background.

There is substantial agreement between all mainstream denominations about how the Scriptures should be translated. The differences between modern translations are in most cases simply differences of emphasis or style. For example the Good News Bible is written in simple English and uses a limited vocabulary, the NIV tries to translate fluidly, phrase for phrase, while the RSV adheres as closely as possible to the word order and sense of the original languages.

The JW’s translation, the “New World Translation” stands completely outside the context of any serious academic study. Here are quotes from just a few well-known scholars:

  • Dr. Bruce M. Metzger, professor of New Testament at Princeton University, calls the NWT “a frightful mistranslation,” “Erroneous” and “pernicious” “reprehensible” “If the Jehovah’s Witnesses take this translation seriously, they are polytheists.”
  • Dr. William Barclay, a leading Greek scholar, said “It is abundantly clear that a sect which can translate the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest.”
  • British scholar H.H. Rowley stated, “From beginning to end this volume is a shining example of how the Bible should not be translated.”
  • Dr. Julius Mantey, author of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, calls the NWT “A shocking mistranslation.” “I have never read any New Testament so badly translated as The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of The Greek Scriptures…. it is a distortion not a translation.” “It is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1 ‘The Word was a god.”” (Julius Mantey, Depth Exploration in The New Testament (N.Y.: Vantage Pres, 1980), pp.136-137). Dr Mantey also described the JW translators as ‘diabolical deceivers.’

All of this sounds harsh, but it should hardly be surprising. The Jehovah’s Witnesses were founded by Charles Taze Russell, a draper from Pittsburgh. Russell claimed to be an expert in the translation of the Scriptures, but could not even recognise the letters of the Greek or Hebrew alphabets. Subsequent Jehovah’s Witness “translators” have had little greater knowledge.

Chief translator (and later president of the JWs) Fred Franz had studied Greek for two years at the University of Cincinnati (he never graduated), but was ‘self-taught’ in Hebrew. Asked in a Scottish courtroom if he could provide a translation of Genesis chapter two verse four, Franz said he could not. His explanation of the process of writing the New World Translation was that God “passed them to the Holy Spirit who, invisible, communicates with Jehovah’s Witnesses – and the publicity department.” Fred Franz ran the publicity department at the time.

This information is from the book Crisis of Conscience by Raymond Franz, Fred’s nephew and a former member of the governing body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

It is simply not true that all modern translations of the Bible are inaccurate. We have manuscripts of most books of the Bible which date back to within two hundred years of the life of Jesus. There is wide consensus amongst Christian and non-Christian academics and translators about how these manuscripts should be translated. And we have hundreds of letters and sermons from the early, pre-Constantine, Church which show us exactly what was taught and believed from the earliest days.

Even in the absence of this overwhelming evidence, mere common sense would tell us that it cannot be true that after nearly 2,000 years Jehovah’s Witnesses alone have discovered the truth. This would mean that every teacher and preacher from the time of the Apostles was wrong in understanding who Jesus is, and that God allowed a complete distortion of the Gospel to be proclaimed everywhere until Mr Russell, and subsequently “Judge” Rutherford came along to put everyone right.

If nothing else, the JW’s history of failed predictions would show that their interpretation of Scripture is not to be trusted. Deuteronomy 18:22 says “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken.”

The Jehovah’s Witnesses claimed Jesus had returned in 1873, and that this would be made manifest in 1914. Sorry, 1915. Well, 1918 then. No, we made a mistake, it’s 1920, when the advertising slogan “Millions Now Living Will Never Die!” was first used. Definitely 1925. OK, 1975. Or maybe not …

What of the claim that Jesus was not crucified, but hung on a stake? JWs base this claim on the fact that in classical Greek the word “stauros”, translated “cross” in the New Testament, means stake, and only stake. They will sometimes argue that well-known Christian scholars like Westcott and Hort support this view. But this is not true. No one disputes that in the Greek of Homer, “stauros” usually meant stake. But the New Testament was written some six to eight hundred years after Homer. The Greek of the New Testament (Koiné, or common Greek), is different in a number of ways from classical Greek, and many words, including stauros, have changed or broadened in meaning. We only have to consider the changes in the English language over time to understand how this happens. Words in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, or even in Shakespeare, do not always mean the same thing they mean now.

We know that stauros can and does mean cross in other examples of Koiné literature from New Testament times. Early Christian art (and even Roman graffiti mocking Christians) shows Jesus on a cross. Roman writers, writing in Latin, talk of Jesus having been crucified. We know from archaeology and written records that crucifixion, not impaling or hanging on a stake, was a common Roman punishment. There has never been any dispute about the fact that Jesus was crucified. To suggest that after 2,000 years the JWs suddenly discovered the truth about this, a truth unknown even to those who were there, is ludicrous in the extreme.

But isn’t it true that the name Jehovah has been removed from the Bible? Mostly yes, because Jehovah is not the name of God. It is a spelling mistake by medieval Bible translators.

The Massoretes or Jewish scribes who kept and copied the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) invented a system of dots and other symbols to show where the vowels should go. This made reading Hebrew a lot easier, because originally Hebrew was written without vowels and with the words all running together. Ycnshwdffcltthswldhvmdttrd (You can see how difficult this would have made it to read).

The name of God, usually written YHWH, was too holy to be pronounced. The practice in synagogue when reading aloud was to say the word ‘adonaï’ – ‘Lord’. So whenever YHWH appears in Hebrew, the Massoretes wrote the vowels for adonai, indicating that this was what the reader should say. Early Bible translators didn’t know this, and mixed up the consonants YHWH with the vowels of Adonai and came up with the nonsense word Jehovah.

We don’t know with any certainty how the name of God was pronounced (perhaps Yahweh or more probably Yahu) so most modern translations follow the Jewish scribes and write LORD, the capital letters indicating that this stands in place of the divine name.

Finally, JWs will sometimes claim that their beliefs are shown to be true by the fact that they live upstanding lives, that there is no dishonesty or abuse in their congregations. But is this true?

In 1914 Charles T. Russell sued The Brooklyn Daily Eagle for libel when the paper exposed him for fraudulent attempts to sell ordinary wheat at the then extraordinary price of $60 per bushel claiming it was “Miracle Wheat”, and claimed that his religious activities were a money-making front. Russell lost this case in court.

Earlier he had sued a Baptist minister, J.J. Ross for publishing an article that claimed Russell mistranslated the bible throughout, had no higher learning and did not have the adequate knowledge to translate Greek or Hebrew. Russell tried to stop the circulation of these documents and failed.

Russell not only lost the suit in court, but also was found to have committed perjury when he lied under oath about his knowledge of the Greek language. In the end Russell admitted that he had no knowledge of biblical languages, and Ross won the case. This is part of the trial transcript:

Question: (Ross’s Attorney Staunton) “Do you know the Greek Alphabet?”

Answer: (Russell) “Oh yes.”

Question: (Staunton) “Can you tell me the correct letters if you see them?”

Answer: (Russell) “Some of them, I might make a mistake on some of them.”

Question: (Staunton) “Would you tell me the names of those on top of the page, page 447 I have got here?”

Answer: (Russell) “Well, I don’t know that I would be able to.”

Question: (Staunton) “You can’t tell what those letters are, look at them and see if you know?”

Answer: (Russell) “My way…” [he was interrupted at this point and not allowed to explain]

Question: (Staunton) “Are you familiar with the Greek language?”

Answer: (Russell) “No.”

In 1908 Maria Russell (Charles T Russell’s wife) was granted a divorce from her husband. Divorces were much harder to obtain at that time. But Maria testified, with the support of others, that her husband had been seen kissing and fondling Rose, an orphan girl who shared their house. Rose was thirteen and fourteen at the time. Amongst other things the court was told that that he called Rose his little wife and jelly-fish, and told her that a man’s heart was so big he could love a dozen women, but a woman’s heart was so small she could only love properly one man.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are not in any position to point the finger at other groups in relation to child sexual abuse. There is a website – silentlambs.org , run by and for people who have been sexually abused within the Jehovah’s Witness community, and particularly for those who have been discouraged or mistreated when they reported this abuse. The claim that there is no dishonesty or abuse in Jehovah’s Witness congregations is simply false.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are very badly misled. Their beliefs are a mixture of ridiculous inventions and ancient heresies long ago rejected by the Church as contrary to the Scriptures and to the teaching of the apostles.

When they arrive at your door, see this as an opportunity to share the life-giving truth about God’s love for them in Jesus. You may not wish to engage them in debate, but you could agree to accept some of their literature, if they agree to take and read some of yours (perhaps a copy of this paper). Finally, remember to pray for them, knowing that Jesus loves them and gave his life for them, just as he did for us.

Uluru Statement from the Heart

The first words of Prime Minster Anthony Albanese’s victory speech following the 2022 Federal election were these:

“I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet. I pay my respects to the elders past, present and emerging. And on behalf of the Australian Labor Party, I commit to the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full.”

Does he know who the aboriginal inhabitants of that region were two hundred and fifty years ago? How many of the “elders past, present and emerging” has he met and does he know by name? Without any contact with history and with real people, the opening of his speech smacks more of trying to look virtuous than of any genuine attempt to grapple with the issues that plague remote aboriginal communities.

The Prime Minister committed the Labor Party, and the Federal Government led by him, to implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full. “The Voice” is the first step in this process. It is important that he, and all Australians who are called to vote or have a say in how this is done, be aware of what the statement is, and what specific policy proposals it contains.

Mr Albanese has repeatedly claimed in response to questions, that the Statement is a single A4 page document. This claim has been dutifully reported by a largely compliant media. But it is simpy false. The single A4 page document is an executive summary, largely cleansed of more alarming demands including rent, reparation, control over property development, and a treaty.

The full, multi-page Uluru Statement from the Heart can be downloaded and read here:

The larger part of this document is minutes and proposals made by various bodies in meetings around Australia. It is worth reading through these with care. Proposals include, for example, that a future treaty must allow for:

  • Land and sea rights
  • A fixed percentage of Gross Nation Product. Rates/land tax/royalties
  • Right to self determination
  • Timeline to achieve
  • Aboriginal control

The actual Uluru Statement from the Heart is document 14 in this collection. It begins on page eighty-seven. The present government is committed to implementing this statement in full. Read it.

A Voice, but Shut Up

The last thing proponents of The Voice want you to do is to listen to the voices of indigenous people. The Voice proposal is not about a voice, it is about power.

Say no to racism. Say no to division by race. Say no to racism in the Constitution.

Click the image above to download the PDF of Quadrant Magazine’s free edition on the proposed Voice. It won’t help aboriginal people. Giving people special rights or privileges on the basis of race is racism. Entrenching racism in the Constitution is a bad plan.

Acupuncture is a Scam

In case you still did not realise, acupuncture is a scam. It doesn’t work. Not for anything. It doesn’t reduce pain or inflammation, it doesn’t release the flow of energy in your body (much the same claim as is made by chiropractic, also a scam) and it certainly doesn’t cure anything, from addiction to cancer.

Acupuncture is a scam

Acupuncture has risks. Poking needles or anything else sharp into your skin can cause infection or allergic reactions. It is sometimes necessary, but only when there is a clear benefit, and only with careful attention to sterilisation, not necessarily the case in your shopping mall acunpuncture shop.

It costs money which could be spent elsewhere, including on treatment which actually works. And perhaps most importantly, people who rely on scam treatments and zero scientific diagnosis are more likely to delay or forego genuine, life-saving treatments.

AC/DC, Brian Johnson, and Geordie

People still think of Bon Scott when they think of AC/DC. He should not be forgotten, of course, nor his earlier work, like My Old Man’s a Groovy Old Man, with the Valentines. But Brian Johnson was lead singer with AC/DC for nearly three times as long, and it is easy to forget how much AC/DC’s sound owes to Johnson and Geordie. If you heard this for example, and didn’t know it, I’d be willing to bet you would guess AC/DC as the artists.

FIFA Women’s World Cup

Excitement builds to fever pitch as the FIFA Women’s World Cup gets underway…

Excitement at the FIFA Women's World Cup.
A thrilled crowd enjoys the FIFA Women’s World Cup

The FIFA Women’s World Cup takes place every four years. This is the year, so it is also the year of incessant whining by women soccer players about the fact that they are not paid as much as male players.

Are they right to complain?

Are they as fast as male players? No. Are they as strategic as male players? No. Are they as skilful as male players? No.  Do their games generate as much advertising revenue as male games? No.

The simple fact is that women do not play soccer. They play women’s soccer, a slower, less skilful version of the game, which is consequently less interesting to watch.

There are excuses. Well, there aren’t, but they are offered anyway. It is sometimes admitted that women are not as strong or as fast as men, but, proponents insist, this is balanced by the fact that women are more skilful and more strategic, less selfish in play. No one who has watched a professional women’s game and then watched a professional men’s game could believe this for a minute.

Well, then, they claim, it may be true women don’t play as well, but this because women haven’t been playing as long, so they have had fewer opportunities to learn and train. But the first FIFA women’s cup was held in 1970. No woman playing in any FIFA team this year was born before 1970. All current professional women players have had the same opportunities to learn and train as male players.

But no, shout the equal pay demanders. It isn’t fair, because men’s teams have far better resources, and that’s why they play better. No. Men play better, and that’s why men’s professional teams have better resources. And in any case, in reality, at the highest levels the difference in resources available to men’s and women’s teams is negligible.

The difference in male vs female play is not because of deficiencies in resources. The highest ranked women’s teams in the world, with the best training timetable and resources, will be beaten by any decent district boy’s under 15 team. The boys at that age may not be as disciplined; they will almost all be studying fulltime, and struggle to get to training once a week,  but they will be faster, stronger and more skilful.

If players in women’s FIFA and professional teams should be paid as much as male players, shouldn’t the fifteen year old boys who will beat them every time also be paid as much? No, obviously, because professional and FIFA football is a business, and as in any business, outgoings have to be proportionate to income. High school boys can’t be paid as much as professional male players. Where would the money come from? Neither can female players. Women’s soccer does not generate the same revenue.

The only way women players could be paid as much is either through government subsidies, that is, increases in your taxes, or by taking money from the male players whose skill and efforts actually earned it, and giving to players at nowhere near their level.

The reality is that if you want to watch matches at the same level as the highest women’s soccer teams, including the FIFA Women’s World Cup, go and watch your local high school boys’ competition. It won’t cost you anything, and local teams will appreciate your support.

And of course, watch the women as well. They deserve support, and the same pay as the high school boys.

Ridley Scott’s Napoleon

Ridly Scott’s historical movies always need to be taken with a grain of salt. I love Gladiator, but as a history lesson, no. Kingdom of Heaven was dire, both as a movie and as history. Alien (not a historical movie, obviously!) was very good. Prometheus less so, and annoyingly riddled with unnecessary scientific inaccuracies.

But I am looking forward to Napoleon. As long as there are no egregious attempts to preach, and no obvious anachronisms in attitudes, it will be possible to overlook any minor inaccuracies, and just enjoy it as a movie.

A Voice for Whom?

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Linda Burney has made emotional appeals for Australians to agree to the Voice, a constitutionally enshrined extra body of representation for people of a particular race, on the basis that this will resolve problems in aboriginal communities.

She says the Voice is necessary to resolve problems of health, housing, jobs and education. But some $30 billion per year is allocated to aboriginal welfare, including these areas. This is more than either Medicare, which provides health services for every Australian, or the NDIS, which provides support and care for people with a disability.

People claiming aboriginal descent make up about 3% of all Australians. Nine percent of members of government have aboriginal heritage. Aboriginal people have the same voice in government as every other Australian. If there are still problems in aboriginal communities, how is an additional layer of bureaucracy in Canberra going to help?

Secondly, there are already multiple bodies which represent aboriginal issues and which provide advice to government. Chief among these is the National Indigenous Australians Agency, which receives funding of some $3 billion per year, to do exactly what Linda Burney claims she wants the Voice to do. If considering issues relevant to aboriginal people and lobbying on their behalf is not being done adequately, most Australians would want to know why, and what has happened to the vast amounts of money those agencies have received.

Finally, while proponents of the Voice claim to represent most aboriginal people, it is becoming very clear they do not. Aboriginal leader Warren Mundine says the Voice is not what aboriginal people want.

“Let’s start with the supposed claim that 80 per cent of Aboriginals support the Voice based on an Ipsos poll in January. The poll was commissioned by the Uluru Dialogue, the lobby group for the Uluru Statement. And it surveyed only 300 people. I guess it depends which 300 people you speak to. I’ve personally spoken to well over 300 Aboriginals from all over Australia, including from remote and regional Australia. Almost without exception, all have told me they either oppose the Voice, don’t understand it (or haven’t even heard of it) or are deeply cynical about it.”

Some voices are not welcome in Canberra.
Part of the delegation the Voice refused to hear

A large group of aboriginal people from around Australia travelled to Canberra to meet with Voice proponents. They wanted to explain that they did not want to be separated from other Australian by race, and that they believed the Voice would nothing for them or their communities. Labor leaders and other Voice proponents refused to meet them. No wonder Jacinta Price has said that they do not need another voice, that what they needs is ears.

Aboriginal people do not want to be divided by race. Say no to racism. Say no to the Voice.

Me Too? No Thanks

The article below is from Spectator Australia. Too important not to read. Do the right thing and visit the Speccie. If you find it interesting, subscribe. You will disagree with some of the articles, but you will learn from and be challenged by almost all of them.

As well as the cases discussed in Andrew Urban’s article, Presumption of Evil, Not Innocence, I have serious concerns about the case against Rolf Harris. All of the allegations were dredged up during Operation Yewtree, which actively sought allegations against well-known people, often with hints of compensation. All of them concerned events alleged to have happened in busy working studios, with dozens of people around, and no privacy. Yet no one saw, heard or suspected anything, at any time, over the course of dozens of years.

The allegations, or at least some of them, may be true. But in those circumstances it is hard to see how an objective consideration of the facts could conclude they were proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Great outcomes for lawyers. Not so good for anyone else.

Andrew Urban’s Spectator article below:

How can it be that a man of impeccable character in his late 70s is convicted of 28 nasty sexual and physical abuse offences between 1964 – 1973, simply on the say-so of half a dozen late middle-aged women who were juvenile delinquent inmates at an institution?

Because if you are named in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, you are guilty, right? The legal process is just a formality. From the start you are referred to as an abuser and the complainants as victims.

From being so named in the Royal Commission to being charged, tried and found guilty by a jury, the process is guilt by accusation. It replaces the presumption of innocence with the presumption of evil.

The law relating to sexual abuse allegations is now so deformed as to allow such miscarriages of justice to occur with ease. The innocent get shoved in with the guilty.

That is what happened to Noel Greenaway, now in his mid-80s, sentenced (in 2020) to 20 years in jail. Attracted by the promise to be believed, some unscrupulous women joined the thousands of genuine abuse victims to claim rewards (tangible or otherwise) on offer.

On 8 February 2018, Malcolm Turnbull made a short statement to Parliament about the Royal Commission’s work. ‘Reading some of the witness statements, it’s clear that being heard and being believed means so much to the survivors, so much more than many of us would imagine. Three words: “I believe you,” coming after years, often decades of authorities’ denial of responsibility.’

On 23 October 2018, Scott Morrison apologised to victims of child sexual abuse in a speech in Parliament. ‘I simply say, I believe you, we believe you, your country believes you,’ he said.

On 22 October 2020, Anthony Albanese echoed that sentiment in Parliament: ‘We will always hold in our hearts those who didn’t live to hear the words, ‘We hear you. We believe you.”’

Bill Shorten added his voice to the chorus of shame: ‘But know that today Australia says sorry. Australia says we believe you,’ he said.

The sentiment is right and commendable, but the application of it has led to other injustices.

Notorious Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s undoing as a serial abuser of women set off the rush to ‘believe all women’, with society licensing the courts to reverse the onus of proof from the accuser to the defender. But there was an important element in the Weinstein case that has been abandoned by the courts in recent years, notably in Noel’s case.

That was the testimony from supporting witnesses. The purpose of such witness testimony was ‘to show when the disclosure was made to someone, that a disclosure was made, and that it was made against the defendant,’ as the Weinstein prosecution argued. There was no such testimony in Noel Greenaway’s case. On the contrary, the claimants all said they never told anyone at the time in the 1960s, when they were youngsters, or since. Until the Royal Commission.

Greenaway’s life began to unravel on the eve of ructions that would catapult sexual abuse to the top of the world’s consciousness. What the Royal Commission started, the #MeToo movement turbocharged. Like a volcano building up its explosive load, the topic engulfed corporations as well as institutions and the Catholic church, until it blew its top in 2017, ejaculating Harvey Weinstein.

Under current rules in Australia, when it comes to sexual abuse, it is innocence that must be proved, not guilt. Innocent men have become collateral damage. Teen Vogue columnist and outspoken feminist Emily Lindin came under fire on social media in November 2017 after tweeting that she was ‘not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs’ over false allegations of sexual assault or harassment.

In his summing up to the jury, the judge at Greenaway’s trial explained: ‘The evidence comprises the answers that witnesses gave to questions asked of them. So the evidence then is the answers that the witness gives in the course of their evidence and the exhibits that you will have with you in the jury room. On that material, and on that material alone, you arrive at your verdicts.’

Greenaway writes from his prison cell, notepad on his knees: ‘The prosecution of individuals was also designed to appease those in the community who were naïve enough to believe the fabrications, lies and general criticism which was designed by ex-inmates and their supporters to name individuals out of revenge and to enhance their chances of claiming redress for concocted crimes committed against them.’

The Board of Inquiry into the Justice System in the ACT, chaired by Walter Sofronoff KC, was established in the wake of the abandoned prosecution of Bruce Lehrmann, accused of rape by Brittany Higgins. Chief Justice Lucy McCallum was critical of the intense media response and that much of the material had ‘obliterated the distinction between an allegation and guilt’. Police told the inquiry that they have been operating under ‘victim-centric’ guidelines for some time. Perhaps it’s time to amend those guidelines to urge investigations to be ‘evidence-centric’.

It was lack of evidence that has kept the fires of outrage burning against the conviction of then 56-year-old Sue Neill-Fraser, charged with the murder of her then 65-year-old partner Bob Chappell. She was arrested 14 years ago this August, sentenced to 23 years, and released on parole in October last year.

Long story short, their brand new yacht was found without Bob on board on the Derwent River in Hobart on Australia Day 2009. His body has never been found – yet at trial, the prosecutor speculated about what sort of injuries might have been found on him.

The prosecution could not establish a credible motive. The prosecution speculated how Bob might have been killed with a wrench. No wrench was produced in evidence. The prosecution could not place her on the yacht at the relevant time – because it had no evidence as to when Bob Chappell was murdered – or even if he was dead. The prosecution speculated how Neill-Fraser would have dragged the body up from down below deck (where she had left him at work before she went ashore for lunch with his sister), bundled him into the dinghy, and then dumped him in the water. Somewhere. On her own. The trial judge went along with the prosecution’s case. (He mentioned the imaginary wrench six times in his summing up to the jury.)

There was DNA found on the deck, traced to a then homeless 15-year-old girl. Clinging to the Crown’s case theory and fearing the DNA would upend its case, the prosecution dismissed the DNA as a red herring. They had their suspect. The only suspect.

She was characterised as cold and scheming because the prosecution case demanded it. But the prosecution’s presumption of evil doesn’t comfortably fit Neill-Fraser. Like Noel Greenaway, she has impeccable character references and lived an average, middle-class life free of blemish.

Lawyers have challenged the conviction – and the judges’ 2:1 decision to dismiss her appeal. A former Hobart prosecutor felt obliged to challenge his ‘legal family’ to correct ‘this injustice’. It hasn’t gone down well with his ‘legal family’.

A report co-authored by a lawyer and a barrister about the police investigation tabled in Parliament in 2021 reveals incompetence and withholding of evidence.

To add insult to injury, Tasmania’s Attorney-General has resisted many calls for a review of the case – preferably a Commission of Inquiry – making excuses that don’t hold water.

Greenaway and Neill-Fraser are but two sorry examples of a criminal justice system trampling the rule of law. There are plenty more. The criminal justice system spends little effort to repair the damage caused by wrongful convictions. In many cases, the appeal system actively hinders efforts to correct mistakes.

As someone once said, ‘Justice won’t be served until those not affected are as outraged as those who are.’

Need a Loan?

My brother Andrew has a mortgage broking business in Ipswich, Queensland. He has lived in Ipswich for more than forty years and knows local property, real estate agents, and banks. He is a hard-working and genuinely honest person.

If you need a personal loan or a home loan, loan consolidation, or you are not sure you are getting the best value from your existing home loan, give him a call. There is no obligation, and all his services are free to you.

Even though he is based in Ipswich, he can help with home loans anywhere in Australia. Visit the website, or call him now. His mobile number is 0432 947 182.

Quicksmart Group. Home Loans made easy.

Bullying, Bigotry and the US Supreme Court

US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer dissented from the recent Court decision that a Christian web designer cannot be forced to create websites for gay marriages.

“Today, the Court, for the first time in its history, grants a business open to the public a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class.”

But she is wrong. The decision grants no such right. No business can discriminate against a member of the public because that person is black, gay, Jewish, white, short, a communist, a Muslim, or a member of any other class or group. The Court’s decision does not alter that. Nor was that the basis of the plaintiff’s claim.

Lorie Smith specifically stated she was “willing to work with all people regardless of classifications such as race, creed, sexual orientation, and gender” and “will gladly create custom graphics and websites for clients of any sexual orientation.”

Lorie Smith did not object to the people. She was happy to work for them, and is happy to work for anyone. What she objected to was being forced to produce work that expressed views with which she disagrees deeply.

The majority decision of the Court made the same point. Refusing to serve people because they are in some class or belong to some group or hold some views you don’t like is not acceptable. Declining service because offering that service would mean you were forced to pretend you believe something you do not believe, or express views you find offensive, is a completely different thing. Forcing people to comply or to pretend to agree with what they do not believe is bullying.

It is as if a print shop owned by a gay couple were asked to print brochures claiming God hates fags. Or a black bakery being asked to make a cake that celebrated the KKK. Or a Muslim butcher being asked to make pork sausages for a party.

No one is entitled to refuse to serve people, or to refuse them admittance to a club or a country, because of their sexual preference, race or political views. Everyone is entitled to refuse to provide services which contradict their faith or values.

World Bosses and Helltide in Diablo 4

World Bosses

As at the current patch (, there are three major world bosses in Diablo 4:

  • Ashava the Pestilent: Ashava looks like a dragon but deals mostly poison based damage. She most commonly spawns at Caen Adar in Scosglen. Stay out of the spin attack!
  • Wandering Death: This skeletal monster will usually spawn in the Crucible in Fractured Peaks. He is a ranged attacker who uses a variety of bone-based attacks to weaken his foes. Stay out the green waves/beams!
  • Avarice the Gold Cursed: Avarice is an ugly demon who uses heavy melee attacks. He will normally found in Saraan Caldera in Dry Steppes. Watch out for charge and for sweep attacks with his hammer and chained loot box. This boss drops the most loot, in my experience.

Although these bosses have their preferred location, any of them can spawn at any of the following places: Caen Adar in Scosglen, the Crucible in Fractured Peaks, Saraan Caldera in Dry Steppes, Seared Basin in Kehjistan, and Fields of Desecration in Hawezar.

If you have completed the campaign and are in game, you will get a notification with a 30 minute countdown alerting you when a world boss is about to spawn. If you have not completed the campaign, you can still fight them, but you won’t get the alert or see them on the map.

You can defeat world bosses as a solo player. The bosses scale according to the number of players and their level. The only disadvantage is that if you solo, you won’t get any respite from attack – the boss’s attention will always be on you. Playing with at least two other players will make the fight much easier. You will almost always find ten or more players lined up and ready at the spawn site anyway.

As with most other gear, you can share loot you win with your other characters by placing it in your store. I have won gear with my tier 3 Necromancer, for example, which was little use to him, but provided a good boost for my tier 2 Sorcerer.

World bosses do not appear at specific times, but spawn at intervals of between five and seven hours. The Twitter account @DiabloParagon tweets alerts whenever a boss is about to spawn, giving the real world spawn time in various time zones including AEST.

You might find it helpful to re-spec to single target abilities for these boss fights. Changing gems may also give a boost, for example socketing anti-poison gems (Emeralds) in jewellery when fighting Ashava. Using elixirs appropriate for each boss can also give you an edge, perhaps Iron Barb for Avarice, and Precision for the other two.


Once you begin to play on tier 3 (Nighmare), Helltide will occur every couple of hours, and last for one hour. This means Helltide is taking place somewhere in Sanctuary about half the time.

Helltide appears in red on the map of Sanctuary. There will be a higher than normal number of demons. Other enemies may also be more powerful, and they drop slightly better loot.

Helltide can occur in any of the following locations:

  • Scosglen
  • Fractured Peaks
  • Dry Steppes
  • Kehjistan
  • Hawezar

The purpose of fighting in Helltide zones is to accumulate Aberrant Cinders. You do this by killing enemies, though they will sometimes drop from ore deposits. The random red barrel-like chests that appear in Helltide zones may also contain Cinders. Always open these if you see them.

Aberrant Cinders must be spent before that session of Helltide expires. They cannot be accumulated. You spend them by opening chests to obtain Tortured Gifts. These chests appear at various locations within the Helltide Zone.

If a world boss spawns in a Helltide zone, and you have time to complete the boss before Helltide expires, do it. Bosses drop larger numbers of Aberrant Cinders. There will usually be one or two chests in the boss area, so if time is running short at the end, you will still be able to spend your Cinders.

Chests may contain:

  • Tortured Gift of Protection. These are armour; boots, chest, helm, gloves, or pants. These chests require 75 Cinders to open.
  • Tortured Gift of Jewellery (125 Cinders)
  • Tortured Gift of Weaponry (150 Cinders)
  • Tortured Gift of Mysteries (175 Cinders)
Diablo 4 Helltide chest Tortured Gift of Mysteries

Each chest can only be opened once by each player during each session. Chests containing Tortured Mysteries are hardest to find, but may contain very powerful unique items. Icy Veins has an interactive map showing their location.

Helltide zones also contain the rare herb Fiend Rose, essential to some high level gear crafting.

Diablo 4 Fiend Rose herb crafting material
« Older posts

© 2023 Qohel