This post has been amended – please read through. This press release was highly misleading and appears to have been submitted fraudulently.
[ClickPress, Mon Sep 05 2005] Hurricane Katrina Scam Warning:
There are already “news releases” directing Jehovah’s Witnesses to donate to a “worldwide work” general fund that has nothing to do with hurricane relief efforts.
This way the organization gets to make money while members think they are donating to help those in actual need. Instead surplus monies are kept to fund ‘other projects’ unrelated to the reason donations are being sent to begin with.
HOW TO HELP THOSE IN IMMEDIATE NEED:
Please remember to make sure your donation is being used to directly benefit victims of Katrina unless you wish to make an additional donation unrelated to the disaster.
SilentLamb.org has some resources, and you can eaily check out any charity on the web. It’s best to donate directly and to specify hurricane funds.
****Amendment Sept. 7th**** I wrote to Silent Lambs, and it appears that someone else distributed their words to ClickPress | SilentLambs Scam Alert for Jehovah’s Witnesses. Bill was not aware of the posting for distribution.
I did not distribute this. You can look on the website and see what we wrote at this link,
There are those that add to what we say. I simply wrote to be careful funds you send for relief effort do exactly that and provided links to do so. I identified no “watchtower” scam.
So – the Silent Lambs scam warning was a general warning to be careful about donations. It somehow got picked up as a Watchtower-specific warning by this news site (maybe because SilentLambs is critical of the JWs policies on abuse) who also cited Bill as the contact.
Superficially, the item looked the same at both sites – the only things changed were the headline, which became Watchtower-specific, and the word “people” was replaced by “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” I didn’t catch it myself – I apologize for my carelessness, and have changed the title of this post to Scam Alert.
On the other hand, I stand by my response to one of the commenters. There was an official press release from the JW Office of Public Information dated Sept 1 that suggests to me that the emphasis of their own aid is for the benefit of fellow JWs. The Society is not a group that believes in worldly action to care for the needy.
For Immediate Release
September 1, 2005
Local Witnesses Organize to Help Victims of Hurricane Katrina
UNITED STATES—Representatives of Jehovah’s Witnesses were cooperating with local authorities yesterday afternoon to assess the needs of their fellow worshippers and others victimized by the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina.
Initial reports indicate that Witnesses who sought refuge in the Superdome in New Orleans are now being evacuated to the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, some 350 miles away. Some Witnesses who are residents of New Orleans and surrounding areas were not in the city because they were attending a Witness convention in Beaumont, Texas, when the hurricane made landfall. By that Sunday afternoon, arrangements were made for all of them to be accommodated in the homes of their fellow worshippers in the Beaumont and Houston areas until they can return home.
Witnesses across the United States were moved to offer their services, donations, and/or materials to those needing assistance. A relief committee is being set up to coordinate these matters once a clearer picture of the extent of the damage is available.
Again, I am sorry for my misunderstanding – and I hope this is illuminating. Now – I’m off to notify the news site.