They are probably the best-dressed, best-behaved group of convention-goers to come to Bakersfield each year.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are holding their annual convention at the Rabobank Arena in the city's downtown business district — and local businesses are thrilled.

The 2017 "Don't Give Up!" Convention runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday — but not just this weekend. The three-day schedule of presentations, symposia and Bible readings will be repeated on a total of seven weekends — four times in Spanish, three in English — due to the estimated 42,000 attendees coming from the Central Valley, the Central Coast and all across Kern County.

"This is the largest group of visitors that comes to Bakersfield each year," said David Lyman, manager of Visit Bakersfield, formerly the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau.

With numbers this large, hotels, restaurants, gas stations and other venues are expecting a serious bump in earnings.

"It sells out Bakersfield," said Alexis Long, the rooms coordinator at Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center.

The Marriott is fully booked all weekend, Long said. And during her eight years in the hotel business, other top hotels in town are typically sold out as well during the convention.

"It's not just good for hotels, it's good for the community as a whole," she said. Families also go to museums, the movies and seek out other recreation.

"We're always happy to have them," Long said. "They're a great bunch of people, always lively and personable."

Lyman estimated the total economic impact of the multiple-week convention at $1.15 million, with the city collecting more than $100,000 in Transient Occupancy Taxes through hotel bookings.

"If you're planning on going out to dinner this weekend," Lyman said, "and you have to wait a little longer than usual, that's the sound of commerce happening."

And that translates to jobs, economic vibrancy and revenue to help support city services.

"We're not a very rowdy bunch," joked Larry Rau, a Witness and coastal resident who was at the convention helping with media services.

Indeed, they never leave a parking lot trashed, Lyman said, and according to Rau, hundreds of volunteers descended upon the arena before Friday's opening to clean it and make it shine for the weekend.

All Jehovah's Witnesses are asked to attend one three-day regional gathering — like this summer's Bakersfield convention — each year. There are hundreds of regional gatherings that have been happening across the country since May, including 27 this weekend alone.

One must admire the dedication. Rau, a San Luis Obispo resident, was just one of many who left the comfort of the Central Coast to come to the southern San Joaquin Valley during the hottest month of the year.

"When we left yesterday, the car thermometer was at 68 degrees," he said. "When we arrived, it was at 104."

Steven and Maria Anderson and their sons, Druce, 12, and Elam, 9, drove in from coastal Nipomo to attend the three-day event.

"It's a total shot in the arm," Steven Anderson said of the annual trip. "It's something we look forward to each year."

He called it a "haven" in today's less than wholesome world.

"I think is really helps (the children)," said Maria Anderson, "especially in the times we're living in to be good kids, to be obedient to their parents, and to put their faith first."

Meanwhile, Martin Flores of family-owned Cafe Crepes, across the street from the arena, said the convention is expected to provide the cafe with a nice bump in business.

On Thursday night, Uricchio's downtown restaurant located a few blocks away was filled almost exclusively with convention-goers.

"The whole restaurant," Rau said, "was Jehovah's Witnesses."

Steven Mayer can be reached at 661-395-7353. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter: @semayerTBC.

(17) comments

Nevermind
Nevermind

This is like nerds at Comic Con arguing about whether Kirk or Picard is the better Captain.

amtfor attorneys
amtfor attorneys

I would rather see them then rag heads from middle east and there stink spice

chosenxxone
chosenxxone

Rape cover-ups by Jehovah's Witnesses as investigated by NBC Dateline:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbKXj8R4_X8&t=15s

evie bkln
evie bkln

like EVERY story on the net that allows comments. The people posting are looking to never comment about the actual article at all. Since the website JwFacts is always brought up, I thought I would state that its owner, Paul Grundy is an atheist. So his views of a specified religious group is nothing more than click bait . In fact, most of those that push a specified site are in fact atheist...looking to create click bait . So they go to every single story that is on the net... literally, and post the same info, under varied names. . If you use a facebook account, they will gang up on your facebook account and report it as fake even though it is not, so the site will auto flag it and take it down. This is how they "preach" against Jehovahs witnesses. They actually tell one another to create fake accounts as they feel they are teaching and helping others "inside the cult" who want to leave" as if there is some kind of hold or something. At this point we are talking about a worldwide religious group that has more members that are not american than there are american. No one sees it as a "white american cult that follows russell" like you want to paint it as. the reality is, You are now talking about africans from africa preaching to africans, Europeans from Europe preaching to one another etc...

To be a witnesss one would have had to studied the bible a long time, before and after baptism. there is no "I learned thuths about the bible and then I left" thing that you guys try to say. that only happens to YOUR church members because like the PEW institute said, your members only attend 30% of the time.

So since you use PEW to say JWs dont go to college and are therefore undereducated secularly? well that same foundation stated the rest of the churches are undereducated spiritually...But you men are atheist...and dont care about that point...

You see, what you REALLY care about is that you slow down the witnesses....the last stronghold...the one that you cannot breech with your thinking due to how its structured...
This is why its so important you "beat the doors and say LET US IN" like in the days of lot. But you will find this will not work...As in the days of Lot.

Nevermind
Nevermind

Yes let's get our mythology straight.

godrulz
godrulz

JWs are sincere people, no better or no worse than other religious people in some ways.

Sincerity does not create truth. They deny biblical, historical, orthodox Christianity, especially the Deity and physical resurrection of Christ (Jesus is Yahweh in the flesh, not Michael the Archangel). Their high control, wrong views on shunning, blood transfusion, pedophilia coverups, etc. are ruining lives and families. Avoid them like the plague.

www.jwfacts.org

evie bkln
evie bkln

So wait... gabriel saying directly to mary that the child will be called Gods son didnt mean anything? and Jesus directly asking "who do the people say I am?" and the disciples answering, then Jesus replying, "but who do YOU say I am?" and then peter steps up and says You are son of God didnt Count for nothing? MATTHEW 16:13-17When he had come into the region of Caes·a·reʹa Phi·lipʹpi, Jesus asked his disciples: “Who are men saying the Son of man is?” They said: “Some say John the Baptist, others E·liʹjah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them: “You, though, who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” In response Jesus said to him: “Happy you are, Simon son of Joʹnah, because flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but my Father in the heavens did.

perhaps we should all ignore that and pander to you...

Faithful and Discreet Slave
Faithful and Discreet Slave

This religion started during the “Dooms-Day” era that exploded in the 1870’s when several religious movements, including the Millerites, Adventists and Bible Students (Jehovah's Witnesses), saw promising economic gains in utilizing fear-mongering tactics which began with short-term date predictions for the Battle of Armageddon. This resulted in an unprecedented increase in donations that spanned 30-50 years across these religious denominations.
This Dooms-Day movement was made possible thanks to completely theoretical calculations made by Bible speculator John Aquila Brown in his strange book "The Even Tide" written in 1823 wherein he speculates on how to accurately estimate the actual duration of "The Gentile Times". Nearly 50 years after this book was written, several predicted dates were being promulgated by several religions (i.e.: 1912, 1913, 1915, etc.) all using John Aquila Brown’s completely speculative calculations. Even businessman Charles Taze Russell (founder of the Bible Students) saw some income potential in using Brown’s calculations to predict that Armageddon would arrive in October of 1914. When Armageddon did not arrive on any of these dates, these Dooms-Day denominations finally backed away from making any more unauthorized predictions...
… Except for the Bible Students, whose leader (Russell) was afraid of completely losing his initial investment and decided to buy some time by moving the predicted Armageddon date to April 1918. He would die in 1916 leaving a narcissistic lawyer (who called himself Judge Rutherford) in charge. When Armageddon didn’t arrive in 1918, Rutherford moved it to 1925.
But after decades of empty promises, the 1960's became the worst decade for the Watchtower as they experienced an incredibly enormous decline in contributions and baptisms. So they took a huge gamble and began claiming that 1975 would be a very probable date. This fear-mongering, which was kicked off by Whacky Freddy (Frederick Franz) actually worked as contributions and baptisms began to increase significantly between 1966 and 1974.
Fast forward to 2010… With 2014 quickly approaching, the Governing Body was in a serious pickle and had to explain why the “Generation That Shall Not Pass” actually passed. So, in a strange twist, Governing Body member David Splane thought he could wiggle the Gibbering Buddies out of this awkward predicament by outright changing the dictionary definition of “Generation” (in a pathetic attempt to buy even more time and save face). So Splaining Splane explained that ONE (1) GENERATION is defined as TWO (2) GENERATIONS that overlap. This resulted in widespread awakening from hundreds of thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses who just couldn’t bring themselves to trust this completely concocted “New Understanding” from the Gibbering Buddies as “spiritual food at the proper time”.
Now, the Gibbering Buddies find themselves attempting to "re-brand" as many corporations do when they experience serious declines in revenue. You'll now see cartoons, JW.org logos, TV-Evangelist-style shows, literature carts, etc. as part of their latest marketing strategy, all as the leadership isolates themselves in their new plush accommodations in Warwick, NY paid for and built by unwitting JWs who are still conditioned to believe that “The End” is just around the corner (again). Who knows when Jehovah's Witnesses will finally wake up.

evie bkln
evie bkln

in the mean time youre not preaching "the end" at all. for YOUR END is coming the day you die, right? and THAT IS COMING ....right? so then what? Heaven or hades
then what? For the day of reckoning STILL REMAINS if you walk in looking at ark or you died a week before it started to rain... So tell me...What difference does that make for the dead man saved or the dead man condemned?

Or wait...was I supposed to use logic in this matter? Or no?

2pet 3:3-6 First of all know this, that in the last days ridiculers will come with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as they were from creation’s beginning.”For they deliberately ignore this fact, that long ago there were heavens and an earth standing firmly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God; and that by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was flooded with water.

Paula
Paula

Under the convention symposium entitled Enduring Despite Unjust Treatment, the outline says,
“Since then, Jehovah’s servants have been the target of unjust treatment in the form of insults, ridicule, discrimination, physical violence, and death. Usually, such treatment comes from unbelievers, but not always.”

The Watchtower is guilty of the greatest injustice toward God’s anointed people – that of extinguishing the power of the ‘holy ones’. Matt 24:15; Dan 7:25; 12:7 No acknowledgement of these “gifts in men” is given to them, but to an elder body, whom they and all must obey. Eph 4:8,11-13 By replacing God’s appointed priesthood/Temple with those not anointed, the Temple/Body of Christ is “trampled”. 1 Cor 3:16; Rom 2:29; 1 Pet 2:5,9

While the elder body, which must be obeyed by the anointed priesthood and all, is encouraged as a group to confer and meet together, the authentic priesthood is told to remain anonymous.
Wt 16/1 pp. 22-27 “In addition, anointed Christians do not view themselves as being part of an elite club. They do not seek out others who claim to have the same calling, hoping to bond with them or endeavoring to form private groups for Bible study. Such efforts would cause divisions within the congregation and work against the holy spirit, which promotes peace and unity.”

These slanderous words weaken of the power of Holy Spirit within these individuals, as elder/“foreigners” trample God’s spiritual Temple. Ezek 44:6-8; 2 Chron 26:18; Heb 8:1,2; Matt 5:13; Isa 51:23; 2 Cor 4:11,13,20

If we recognize this “trampling” on God’s anointed ones, the usurping of God’s priesthood and the Body of Christ, we are not to “wait on Jehovah”, but we are told to flee! Matt 24:23-28

This is a spiritual fulfillment, not found in Satan’s world. The cry of ‘peace and security’ is clearly evident within the pseudo haven of peace, the self-proclaimed ‘indestructible’ Watchtower. 1 Thess 5:3; 2 Thess 2:1-12; Rev 13:4

Remember the wife of Lot! Luke 17:26-37

A Great Deception - http://pearl-anillustration.blogspot.com/
www.christsdisciple.com

runfromthetower
runfromthetower

Currently active or ongoing investigations into child sexual abuse within the Watchtower religion called Jehovah's Witnesses on a State and/or Federal level. See below:

http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2015/07/28/australia-jehovah-witness-sex-abuse-hannigan-lklv.cnn

1. Australian Royal Commission http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/case-study/636f01a5-50db-4b59-a35e-a24ae07fb0ad/case-study-29,-july-2015,-sydney.aspx
2. United Kingdom Charity Tribunal and High Court https://www.gov.uk/government/news/charity-commission-defends-its-investigation-into-jehovahs-witness-charity-in-the-court-of-appeal
3. Delaware Department of Justice http://www.wmdt.com/news/more-local-news/Judge-allows-DOJ-lawsuit-against-congregation-to-move-forward/37822388
4. San Diego, California http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/apr/14/jehovahs-witness-lopez-sex-abuse-appeal/ , http://www.courthousenews.com/2016/04/18/witnesses-must-produce-child-sex-abuse-docs.htm , http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2016/jun/24/ticker-judge-sanctions-jehovahs-witnesses/#

www.jwfacts.com

evie bkln
evie bkln

So youre pushing two siites for free paul? Runfrom the tower AND Jwfacts, both which you own? Paul grundy... here is the thing, youre an atheist... who cares what you think?

Chase
Chase

Thank you for sharing Vinny, truer words have never been spoken.
I am that hardworking, taxpaying, wonderful mother, you're speaking about and I am continually shunned by many in my family. TTTT The truth about the truth is so difficult to share when minds are warped and no critical thinking is allowed
Thank you for sharing the links I hope you're well take care!

evie bkln
evie bkln

show me a college teacher that allows for critical thinking in the class LOL or wait...while Jesus was teaching...did he ask...ok...is anyone here in disagreement? any critical thinkers?

Vinny
Vinny

Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) predicted the end of the world, IN WRITING, numerous times. Not once did they come true. They truly are known for their 'False Predictions' the world over.

JWs are taught that they alone are TRUE Christians and that all other people not JW will soon be destroyed. This is no exaggeration.

JWs will allow their own children TO DIE rather than accept a life saving blood transfusion even in severe medical emergencies. It has already happened THOUSANDS of times!

Just like this mother died unnecessarily! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/shropshire/7078455.stm

Now her husband has NO wife and twins have NO mother. And all for what?

Or this teenager that also DIED: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/west_midlands/8690785.stm

This pregnant JW and her baby died.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3027599/Jehovah-s-Witness-baby-die-refuses-blood-transfusion-seven-months-pregnant-cancer-80-chance-surviving-treatment.html

JW's NEEDLESSLY die for this sorry blood policy today.

From the same organization that has an entire 100 + year history of similar bad and embarrasing policies.

As a 15 year active JW (and an elder) here is my own story: http://exjehovahswitnessforum.yuku.com/topic/922#.USEl4aWhDHh

JWs used to forbid Vaccinations and Organ Transplants (calling a life saving transplant "Cannibalism") for a combined 33 years.

This JW elder refused a kidney transplant and DIED only to have JWs say transplants are now OK 2 years later. http://ajwrb.org/experiences/debbie-shards-story)

JWs enforce extreme shunning for any JW that decides to leave their religion or who commits a sin without showing enough repentance in front of the elders.

I have literally seen parents cut off all ties with their children solely because the kid did not want to remain a JW but went in another direction.

Even the ex-JWs who leave the religion on their own, who are 100 percent truthful, sincere, love God, pay taxes, help others and more are still SHUNNED by all current JWs and marked as godless, proud, sinning apostates. The Awake magazine recently called them "mentally diseased".

And MANY contemplate suicide because the penalties of losing everything are simply TOO MUCH TO TAKE.

But an honest question is: Why do so many JWs leave after being one time followers?

As I eventually found out, the JW religion did say, IN WRITING, that the end would come in 1914 and then again in 1925. Was Jehovah directing all that? 1914 and 1925 came and went! They were proven false predictions. Period.

They also said the end very likely would happen in 1975 and even commended (in the watchtower) witnesses for selling their houses and pioneering because of it.

But 1975 came and went!

They also said (for many decades) that the end would come before the generation born in 1914 passed away. In fact up until 1995 it was written inside each Awake magazine cover. Only they then had to change that meaning as well (including the Awake masthead) because that generation CAME AND WENT TOO.

I was an active JW (and elder) for 15 years before leaving because of the blood and fractions policy 10 yrs ago. Today I'm shunned by all JWs simply because I left the religion.

Most JWs simply accept everything the Watchtower teaches and says as "food from God". Just like I did.

Most believe God has chosen the Watchtower Society as his "channel", which provides food from God Himself to their religion and ONLY their religion.

But an honest look at the facts of the JW religion shows God has not chosen the WT for anything!

Take a LOOK: http://www.freeminds.org/history/part2.htm

ALL FROM THEIR OWN LITERATURE WITH DATES & PAGES TO SEE FOR YOURSELVES!!!

Pages and pages of mistakes, embarrassments, false predictions, medical disasters, weird science, doctrinal failures and more for over 100 years now!

Obviously 'GOD' would not get things wrong like this. Obviously 'GOD' did not provide bad food like that for their entire history.

But most JWs have no idea about these things. They're told to stay away from anything critical of their religion.

For example: Was God's spirit with JWs when they said Organ Transplants were a "conscience matter" in 1961?

OR,

Was God"s spirit with WT when they THEN SAID Organ Transplants are same as "Cannibalism" in 1967 and forbid them?

OR, was God's spirit with the WT when they THEN SAID Organ Transplants are NOT the same as cannibalism in 1980 and now allow them?

Was God behind all those changes each time? Did ((GOD)) get all those things wrong each time? How many JWs like that elder above DIED by refusing kidney transplants, only later on to be told they're OK to have now?

Which is why some end up taking their lives due to losing their family or feel compelled to speak out about it, like me right here and now.

And now because I walked away JWs are demanded to shun you for life (including your very own family).

Examine this religion and ask as many questions as you can!

Vinny

evie bkln
evie bkln

your church doesnt preach NOTHING about the last days....so......

godrulz
godrulz

Most evangelical churches preach about end time stuff. JWs are not adding anything that has not been understood for centuries. The problem is that your 1914 doctrine is based on the wrong date of 607 B.C. panned by all secular and religious experts. When Governing Body was giving the evidence over and over, they rejected it to retain their traditions over truth. jwfacts is a former JW who is now atheist. Many ex-JWs have been burned by false religion and end up turned off. Many also find the real Jesus and eternal life in Him. The site is well documented and not refutable, so you have an ad hominem attack. It shows that the WT cannot be trusted. Other counter-cult, concerned Christian sites do have biblical scholarship that will also point to true hope in the true gospel. A JW will not consider this as long as they uncritically follow the indoctrination of the WT. JWs think they are studying the BIble, but the NWT is a sectarian perversion (see your own KIT to prove this). They also read the Bible through the eyes of the WT instead of the other way around. Leading questions in the literature are simplistic and one ends up with WT error, not sound exegesis. You are a victim of a false religion, but without excuse for following men, not the Bible. You must agree with present WT teaching, even if false, at the risk of disfellowshipping. If and when new light comes along, then you must follow that. There is no credible scholarship in the WT organization. You are defending the indefensible, a high control group that ruins too many lives.

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