NY JW shoots wife, self

NY JW shoots wife, self

Another Jehovah’s Witness murder, this time from the Bronx. A man shot his estranged Avon-lady wife to death and then killed himself. They were found by the mother’s 21-year-old daughter.

He would show up unannounced and sleep outside the apartment in his truck when she wouldn’t let him in. He had been angry that she was out of his control, had “strayed” from the JWs and was dating someone else after their separation 18 months ago. Basic stalking, lack of respect for someone else’s free will and being, probably mixed up with several JW issues on headship, domination of women, approaching apocalypse, and so on.

Sharoll Medina, 39, another victim.
Julio Lopez, 45, murderer – and also victim.

New York Daily News, Nov. 2, 2005


6 thoughts on “NY JW shoots wife, self

  1. I was just reading about this- and was going to pass it over to you. Funny, he didn’t want her breaking the rules by dating other people so he goes and breaks them by killing her.

  2. .
    I wonder how involved the on the spot representatives of the governingbody of Jehovah’s Witnesses the elders, were in this matter in giving skilful family direction to the parties before it went bad.

    No doubt, the elders will want to go back and look at areas were they might be able to improve in giving watchtower councel in family matters.

  3. I don’t really know if this has so much to do with being a JW as it does with him being abusive. Becoming obsessive b/c of losing control of a victim is pretty typical of abusive people. It is very common for an abusive, controlling husband to use religious beliefs of any kind to justify their behavior. The whole thing about the husband being the head of the household and the wife being subject to him is a favorite among abusive husbands, whether they are JW, Morman, Baptist, etc. An abuser is an abuser and will use any excuse to tell himself that he is right. I don’t think this man was abusive b/c of being a JW, he just used that system of beliefs to justify his behavior to himself, the same way a man of any other religion might do. I was raised as a JW. My father was a very abusive man, just evil. I would pray for my mother to leave him and take us with her. At this time he was not a practicing JW. Once he became a dedicated JW all of this behavior ceased and he became very loving and caring. When I was younger I was terrified to even sit in the front seat of the car or in the same room with him for that matter. After he became a JW and especially after he became an Elder he has become very compassionate and empathetic. Keep in mind that less than 1% of abusers change, so for him to change so much is quite significant.
    There are often sermons on marriage and family issues. The speaker of such sermons will almost always site the scripture that says you must love your wife as yourself b/c no man has ever hated his own body or mistreated it. I’ve also heard many sermons and read many articles that discuss how valuable a wife is. (note: Another post I read said that JW’s give scripted sermons, basically just reading what they are told to. This isn’t true. Yes, they go by a basic outline, I’ve seen them b/c my father gave many sermons when I was younger. It’s really just more of a guide since the Elders have no formal education in speaking or writing these long sermons from start to finish. –They also are not paid for their service to the congregation.– You can attend two sermons, each from the same outline, and come away with something completly different from each sermon.)

    As far as the Elders go, they may not have been aware that this man was stalking his wife. Unless someone had suggested it to them they would have no reason to suspect a thing. That’s the nature of abuse though. I was in an abusive marriage and got out not too long ago (about 6 months). When I told my family and friends what had been going on for the past several years they were shocked. My husband was also raised as a JW and his parents were shocked when they learned of his behavior. They have now cut off all contact with him b/c of this but, his mother is one of my very best friends. Abuse is not obvious to anyone who is outside looking in.

    As I said I was raised as a JW. About 4 years ago I was disfellowshipped and am now Atheist. I disagree with many of the basic doctrines of JW’s, so I’m really not biased towards them. I just think it’s easy to make JW’s the scapegoat in cases like this b/c they are ‘wierd’ or different. This man did not do this b/c he was a JW. He was an abuser who had lost control of his victim and just snapped, as most abusers do. Again, I’m not one to advocate for JW’s. However I must say that in this case they’ve taken the fall when it really wasn’t anything to do with them. The man was just nuts. I will say though that it would be a good idea for the Elders to have some training in domestic abuse and be more proactive in watching out for the smallest signs of such mistreatment. Then again, everyone should be more proactive in this respect.

  4. What I am tracking here is the statistically significant number of psychological problems that the JWs either contribute to to actualize with their controlling ideas. Yes, I agree that JWs are not the only ones who, in preferring a family model of authority and obedience to one of love and guidance, encourage or at least often turn a blind eye to abuse of many kinds. I am not scapegoating the JWs in particular, except that my own experience and knowledge is based in what they do and have done – one can only speak of what one knows. However, the principle applies across the board. When you imagine that God is a father, and you have a very specific idea of how fathers should be, and the ways in which God runs parallel to that, it can cause damage.

    The question is, was this man troubled to begin with? Or not? What did his being a JW have to do with these actions? I stand by the idea of “woman as property” of the man – again JWs are not the only ones, or the worst. There are some people in this country who want to bring back stoning.

    And yes, there is the occasional person who, being surrounded by a community and giving themselves over to faith, can repent (lit. turn around) and change. My question would be – how much more would an abusive person be helped by imagining a truly loving God rather than the harsh taskmaster God of the JWs?

    On the scripts. Yes, it is true – or at least I know for a fact that it was true at the time. My father was disciplined for adding his own material. Of course, this is many years ago. But I do not believe for one moment that local elders would be trusted with _actual_ inspiration, persuasive rhetoric, or anything even vaguely interesting. Those talks are all the same – go from one congregation to the next and you will see that they are identical.

    I am a little amused at the idea of elders giving “skillful family direction.” In my experience, elders have little idea how to help families – all they do in these cases is look for wrongdoing and parrot Watchtower articles.

    In any case – about the question of being “nuts” – there are an awful lot of JWs who could really benefit from the therapy that they are not allowed to get. There are an awful lot of JWs who would benefit from trusting the police enough to report bad things that happen. The kind of paranoia and bunker mentality that JWs promote is damaging to people – it’s just that simple.

  5. I most certainly agree that a large percentage of JW’s have psychological issues. I think that this is b/c of the constant let downs of when this ‘system of things’ is going to end. It seems like 90% of them are on some kind of medication. I know I myself have a lot of issues that go back to being raised as a JW. If JW’s are not allowed to seek out therapy I am unaware of it. I know many that do see therapists and have never seen or heard that the ‘society’ has a problem with it. I only left a couple of years ago and am still very aware of what goes on b/c my parents and ex’s parents are VERY involved. I am also unaware of mistrusting police. I know that this can very well be the case in some areas, it just never was an issue anywhere that I lived. In two of the congregations I was raised in there were men (one from each) that were arrested for their wrongdoing (one had abused his wife, the other had sexually abused his stepdaughter) and I know the second one is still in prison. But, like you said, there are these issues in most religions somewhere. Anytime a religion becomes organized it can become corrupt, it happened over and over again throughout history. I think that I man that went to these lengths to control his wife was probably raised in an abusive home. More than likely he was already mentally unstable. However, I read somewhere that mentally unstable people are usually drawn to JW’s.

    I also agree on the family direction thing. In most of the congregations all the elders do is look for who did what wrong. I know this was the case in the congregation I was in before I left. I cannot tell you how many times I was drug into that backroom with the elders and ‘questioned’ about my friends or myself. I know my best friend’s oldest brother was DF’d for having his picture taken holding a cigar. They appealed it and it was overturned, but still, the fact that it happened was enough for me to see that they were just looking for reasons to punish and humiliate people. The congregation I was in throughout my highschool years wasn’t like this at all. The elders there really loved everyone and only took action if there was a potential for harm. However, they are all different and I’m sure that this congregation was an exception. The whole thing with the paranoia is so out of control. It’s only been recently that they’ve said it’s okay to go to college!!! Even then it’s not acceptable to go off somewhere to a four-year university, you are encouraged to live at home and go to a trade-school of some kind and only if it is absolutly neccessary. They are terrified of people going to college b/c college is about becoming your own person rather than a copy of your parents. It’s where you begin to question your own long held traditions and beliefs. I know that this was the case for me and several others. They do encourage research of any questions that you have, rather than just telling you. However, this is only as long as you come up with an ‘acceptable’ answer. Anything else is thrown out as wrong b/c the ‘devil’ influence the researchers views.

    As far as the talks go, I have gone to many congregations and heard many talks. Most of my family are JW’s and my friends mostly went to other congregations. The only instance I know of where an elder was disciplined was in a friend’s congregation. He was giving a talk on sex and marriage. He suddenly starts talking about his wife and himself!!! He went into different things that they do to keep their sex life exciting!!!!! ROFLOL! That was the best talk I EVER went to, it was hilarious! However, I have heard the same talk in several congregations (I was a JW for 24 years) and have never heard it given the same way. Similar main points perhaps, but otherwise they were very different.

  6. Watchtower 5/15 p 319-20 (Questions from Readers):
    “* Would it be necessary for a psychiatrist to change his profession before he would be eligible for baptism and recognition as one of Jehovah’s witnesses?-R. W., United States.
    “No, it does not seem that this would be necessary. The fact that the Watch Tower publications have discouraged dedicated Christians consulting worldly psychiatrists except in extreme cases does not mean that a psychiatrist cannot and does not help those who consult him. Whether a psychiatrist continued to practice his profession upon dedication or not would be entirely his decision to make. …However, a dedicated Christian psychiatrist would need to be very careful not to unduly influence other Christians so that they would come to him for worldly wisdom instead of going to their overseers for heavenly wisdom. In fact, he would have to lean over backwards, as it were, so as not to imply that his psychiatry is a higher wisdom than that found in the Bible. The Bible contains far better advice for making over our personalities than does either psychiatry or psychoanalysis. And only its wisdom leads to everlasting life.-1 Cor. 13:1-13; Gal. 5:19-23; Col. 3:1-25.”

    Your example of the talk reminded me of a funny one too! In my congregation, one of the elders put “Macho Man” by the Village People on the loudspeakers, and danced down the aisle before giving a talk on harmful machismo. I don’t think he really grasped the larger context of the song (giggle), but I do know that his son was required to destroy many of his albums after that talk (including that one).

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