Jehovah’s Witnesses in the News – Roundup

Jehovah’s Witnesses in the News – Roundup

It’s been a while since I posted on Jehovah’s Witnesses in the news. Here’s a roundup. Refusals of blood transfusions, resulting in death. Sexual predators and child molestation. Mental instability. Violence. Even a possible kidnapping. The usual.

I am sure that I’ve missed several additional items, but I’ve become too sad to do more than this today.

Jehovah’s Witnesses, you call yourselves “sheep.” If you must have a shepherd, why not seek a more loving one than the harsh caricature constructed by the publishing empire of the Watchtower Society? I grieve for you. I grieve for you.

14-year-old Dennis Lindberg Refuses Treatment for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and Dies

Doctors said he needed treatment that included blood transfusions; most children with this form of leukemia recover. However, Lindberg was a Jehovah’s Witness, and transfusions go against the teachings of his religion. He became a Witness while in the care of his aunt, also a follower, who became his legal guardian after his biological father was jailed for drug possession.

Parents and classmates of the boy, who had lived with his aunt for the past four years, cried in disbelief at the judge’s decision. Wherry fled the courtroom in tears.

Anemic 22-Year Old Emma Gough Dies After Giving Birth to Twins

As she suffered severe blood loss and her life ebbed away, medical staff urged her husband, Anthony, and her parents, all of whom follow the same faith, to overrule her decision and allow a transfusion which could have saved her, but they refused. She gave birth naturally and all appeared well as she cuddled her baby son and daughter, but she suddenly began to haemorrhage. Her condition was complicated by the fact she was anaemic.

The latest pronouncement on the topic from the Watchtower authorities said that anyone using blood products, even in life-saving surgery, would be “disfellowshipped” – or expelled from the Church. This usually means being shunned by friends and family. However, if “true repentance” is shown, they can be readmitted to the Church. This change was introduced to take some of the heat out of the bad publicity that followed the hundreds of deaths of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world because of the blood ban. The authorities are reluctant to lift the ban completely — even though there are suspicions that they would like to — because they fear being sued by families who have lost loved ones to the policy which, in the end, would have turned out, after all, not to be the fixed and eternal word of God, but the demands of mere, deluded mortals.

Jehovah’s Witnesses defended yesterday the decision of a young mother who died after refusing a potentially life-saving blood transfusion, having just given birth to twins. To agree to a transfusion would have been a transgression comparable to adultery or sexual immorality, a spokesman from the central office of the British community of Jehovah’s Witnesses told The Times yesterday.

Really? That’s odd, because “sexual immorality” is quite common among Jehovah’s Witnesses. Acceptance of a blood transfusion, even to save a life, is taken more seriously – exponentially so. It’s considered the ultimate test of your faith.

Her right to refuse treatment was respected, enshrined in law, upheld by the establishment – but what of her children’s right to a mother’s love?

What, moreover, of the doctors’ and nurses’ right to do the utmost to save her life? What of our right to decide that any religious belief that condemns its devotees to death is dangerous, pernicious and does not deserve reverence or respect?

Most religions freely allow the breaking of their most solemn laws if human life is at stake. Muslims, if they will starve to death otherwise, may eat pork. Jews, if the situation is life and death, may break the Sabbath or eat and drink on the Day of Atonement.

Should a religion that sits by and allows a healthy young mother to refuse life-saving treatment be afforded the same deference as religions which recognise that human life is paramount?

Ex-JW Rachel Underhill Recalls her Own Brush with Death

“I went into premature labour… [and] was told I would need an emergency Caesarean but it wasn’t until very late that night that my consultant noticed I was a Jehovah’s Witness and what that meant. I’d grown up as one, so even as a child I’d known that I wasn’t allowed a blood transfusion. But never in my wildest dreams did I think that I’d ever need one,” she said.

“When I was in labour… no way was I in any physical or emotional state to say that I might have wanted a transfusion… I’d have been cast out of the religion, which at that point was the last thing I wanted. I needed the network that being a Jehovah’s Witness gave you. Plus it’s a very controlling religion, and I didn’t even think of challenging it.”

She eventually cut her ties with the church. This means she is now free to speak out on issues such as blood transfusions. “I think that in extreme cases, doctors should be able to override a Jehovah’s Witness’s wishes,” she added.

If Blood is So Sacred…

…Jehovah’s Witnesses do use many fractions and components of blood, so if it’s “sacred” to God why the hypocritical contradiction?

They also use blood collections that are donated by the Red Cross and others but don’t donate back . . . yet more hypocrisy.

The Watchtower promotes and praises bloodless elective surgeries. This is a great advancement indeed. But it’s no good to me if I am bleeding to death from a car crash and lose half my blood volume and need an emergency transfusion.

The reason that Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood is because of their spin on the Old Testament of the Bible from 3000 years ago.

Modern medicine will eventually make blood donations and transfusions a thing of the past. But when this technology happens it won’t vindicate the Jehovah’s Witnesses and all the deaths that have occurred so far.Their rules against blood transfusions will eventually be abolished (very gradually to reduce wrongful death lawsuit liability). Even now most of the blood components are allowed. In 20 years there will be artificial blood and the Red Cross will go on with other noble deeds.

None of these changes, however, will absolve the Watchtower leaders or vindicate their twisted doctrines. — Danny Haszard

On Sexual Abuse and Predators

Studies in the US suggest they have proportionally four times more sexual assaults on children than the Catholic Church.

JW molester met 8-year-old girl at Kingdom Hall

51-year-old JW Rigoberto Flores faces 3 Felony counts: sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor, and child molestation of an 8-year old girl.

A man who identified himself as Flores’ brother tells ABC15 their family is very upset with the 8-year-old’s family. He said it, “was her fault too… she pressured him.” … Flores lives across the street from Buckeye Elementary School.

She was “askin’ for it” – right?

67-year-old JW Elder in Quebec Convicted: 7-year Sexual Abuse

He got nine months of community service… she was 11 when it started…

This is a translation:

Found guilty in December 2006 of acts of sexual abuse of a minor – acts which took place between 1985 and 1992 – Marcel Simonin, 67 years old, formerly an Elder among the Jehovah’s Witnesses of Châteauguay at the time of the crimes, has been sentenced to serve 9 months in prison. He will serve the sentence in the community.

Simonin received his sentence last Wednesday at the Châteauguay Court House. At the time of the initial incidents of assault, the victim – a young girl – was only 11 years old.

The mother of the young victim met the individual – who at that time was an Elder, that is to say that he was a speaker during congregation meetings – at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Châteauguay. He taught the precepts of their way of life and spiritually supported members of the congregation.

After gaining the confidence of this woman and of her daughter, he proceeded to engage in multiple incidents of intimate contact with the adolescent. The incidents included simple touching and full sexual intercourse.

During those 8 years, the assaults took place in several locations; notably, in the defendant’s home, in his car, at the home of the young girl and in the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Châteauguay.

In her verdict, Judge Linda Despots – of the Criminal and Penal Chamber of Court – noted that the victim had lodged a complaint at the age of 16 or 17, but later withdrew that complaint as “she felt pressured by the community and by the threat of being disfellowshipped. It was another Elder, in the Québec region where the mother and the complainant had moved, who persuaded her to write a letter to the authorities of the Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses concerning her experiences with the accused.

Following receipt of that letter, Simonin telephoned his victim to apologize for the events, after having admitted the truth of the accusations. The complainant, allegedly, then forgave him.

However, when in 2003 the young girl again saw the accused during an Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Olympic Stadium in Montréal, his presence re-opened her wounds and caused her to re-live the feeling of guilt that she experienced during the years when she had been victimized by the molestations. The young girl then had some difficult years during which she made 3 attempts at suicide and submitted herself to psychological treatment.

In 2005, in order to continue her therapeutic progress and to free herself, the young girl decided again to file a complaint against the accused.

Jehovah’s Witness Elder Wendell Willick Sexually Exploited Underage Psychiatric

After his wife went to bed, Willick gave the girl a beer. He then kissed, fondled, undressed her and had intercourse with her, Bains said. The victim, now 25, recalled during the preliminary hearing that she was wearing Mickey Mouse underpants at the time. She said the advance began without warning and she did not know what was going on, Bains said.

Wendell Willick, 47, was counselling the girl at the behest of her parents – who were friends of Willick through their church – during the period of the abuse, which began in 1996, when the girl was 14. The court heard during a sentencing hearing that Willick first had sexual intercourse with the girl when she was visiting his home on a weekend pass from a hospital psychiatric ward. The victim, whose name is protected by a publication ban, was in the midst of a troubled adolescence. She had once run away from home and had repeatedly cut herself. … The girl’s trust and spiritual beliefs were shattered, she said in a victim impact statement that was read during the sentencing hearing. “It made me feel like a person of no value with no voice. . . . Parts of myself are missing,” she wrote.

Michael Porter Case to Be Reviewed

The Crown Prosecution Service is to review the sentence of Michael Porter, the elder in the Jehovah’s Witnesses who was sentenced to a mere three years’ community rehabilitation after admitting abusing little boys (one a baby of 18 months) over 14 years. The leniency of this sentence caused outrage at the time . It also focused attention- as in some other churches’ cases in the past – on the dangers religions run when encouraging undue reverence for senior figures. … I can find no comment on the Watchtower website about the Porter case, or policy on this subject, but a page of warnings against internet chatroom predators.

Judge Tom Crowther opted not to jail the self-confessed paedophile after hearing he had undergone therapy. Dan Norris, Labour MP for Wansdyke, Somerset, and a former child protection officer, welcomed the Attorney General’s decision. “A relieved public will greatly welcome this common sense decision to review this wicked abuser’s sentence,” he said.

Fruits of the Spirit…

When someone commits the sin of literalism, they grip the letter of the law so tightly that they squeeze out the intent with which it was written. …

Anyway, since the child molesters and child-rapists generally don’t attack their victims in front of two witnesses, all the Elders do is ask the perpetrator if he did it. If he says no, then they close the case. So, the pervert goes on preaching door-to-door, telling people how to be righteous, and when he gets another chance, he molests another kid. Then he molests another. Then he molests another. The Elders know. When the kids turn 13 and begin to act out sexually, as traumatized children will, then the Elders punish the kids for being “rebellious.” By punish, I mean cut them off from all friends and family. …

So, you may ask why I wrote this. Haven’t I gotten over it now that I have my own thing? Well, a lot of us have trouble moving on, what with bipolar manic-depression, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mommy-issues, daddy-issues, and dysfunctional romantic relationships. These betrayals strike at the throat of our lives, because we’ve been taught that all the other churches follow Satan, and this is the Church of Love. Every other word is Love. But if the word love means anything, it means compassion and mercy for women and children, victims and helpless.

Ex-JW Barbara Anderson Still Fighting – Court Documents on National Television

According to Anderson, she has amassed nearly 5,000 pages of court documents that are presented on a digital CD titled, “Secrets of Pedophilia in an American Religion, Jehovah’s Witnesses in Crisis,” for the general public to examine. After reviewing the CD, NBC apparently became interested in her efforts to substantiate her claim that although church headquarters kept track of sexual abuse cases in a data-base, their rules hindered reporting accusations of child abuse to the authorities. As mentioned in the MSN article, Anderson contends that Witness policies “protect pedophiles rather than protect the children.”…

“The court documents on the CD are full of dialog and documentation exchanged between opposing counsels in 12 different alleged child molestation cover-up cases,” she said. “Shortly before these cases were scheduled to go to open court trial last April, where evidence would expose the responsibility of Jehovah’s Witnesses for secretly allowing molesters to hold positions of authority within the religion, the defendant, Watchtower, secretly settled out of court with 16 plaintiffs paying as much as $12,500,000 in total.”

NBC News reported that it obtained a copy of one of the settlement documents in which an alleged victim in one of the nine cases involving 16 victims received $781,250.

“By absolute insistence of the defendant Watchtower’s attorneys, all of the plaintiffs and their attorneys were required to sign a conditional ‘do not ever talk about this to anyone’ confidentiality order,” says Anderson. “Then the Watchtower organization walked away without admitting any liability,” she said.

Anderson says some of the court documents she was able to obtain “were intended by defendants to be buried for eternity.”

NBC – JW Abuse Settlements, Watch Tower Society Knew Of Molesters:

“If the victim couldn’t prove their accusation, they were threatened with ex-communication. That’s what kept this secret in this group for all these many, many years,” she said.

That meant losing touch with family and friends.

“I knew that children here in Tennessee were being molested. I knew of many right here in the area that I live, in Tullahoma, but nothing was being done about it,” she said.

Anderson said years of frustration caused her and her husband to leave the church. She said she hopes speaking out about the issue now will help protect other children.

“They left dangerous men in their position who could then go on and molest more. I read letters and evidence that some congregations who had as many as 30 or 40 children molested,” she said.

The Andersons said they no longer have a relationship with their son, who is an elder in the church.

They haven’t seen their 8-year-old grandson in five years.

No Lack of Watchtower Cash – 300-unit residential building, a 400-space parking garage and a new recreation building planned for Town of Shawangunk

The farm is exempt from property taxes, according to town officials. If the property was taxed, the bill would be about $2 million. … Such religious and other groups are under heightened scrutiny from town officials. A recent court ruling allows governments to reject the property tax exemptions in some cases. Assessors will be taking another look at some organizations as a result, Schoeberl said.

Already on Probation, Jehovah’s Witness Goes on Drunken Rampage with Baseball Bat

She said Roth is deeply involved in a Jehovah’s Witnesses church and “lost his standing” in the church as a result of the charges. He wasn’t allowed to participate in all church activities, although he continues 25 hours of volunteer work a week with the church, she said. …He was fined $350 for breaching a probation order not to drink. On Sept. 23, police saw him urinating in front of a restaurant on University Avenue in Waterloo.

25 hours of “volunteer work” a week? That’s about 100 hours a month, which translates to status as a top pioneer (missionary). Exactly what standing did he lose? How would you like to be talking to this guy about God at your door?

Possible JW Involvement in the Missing Maddie Case

The mystery woman knocked at the door and said she was a Jehovah’s Witness. She was accompanied by a man. Sixsmith said: “I can’t get it out of my head that it may have been Mr Murat and his girlfriend.”

Witnesses have identified Michaela Walczuch as a woman sighted with the young girl, first in Portugal two days after she disappeared and then in Morocco 41 days later.


One thought on “Jehovah’s Witnesses in the News – Roundup

  1. My son at the age of 3 was sexually abused by a pedophile who hid within the religion. Elders did not warn me of his link with children and they KNEW he was spending time at my home as my mother was a JW. In the end a fellow witness told me and warned me. I called in the elders and they did nothing. I of course called police and social services but as my son was only 3, they also could do nothing. So five years on and many more abused children, he was finally caught and taken to jail for a whole 2 and a half years for over 25 chldren old enough to testify, let alone those like my son not old enough. He did his time and guess what? Yup, he went straight back to the Kingdom hall to work through his disfellowshipping ready to prey on yet more children, with the knowledge that most of the parents are ignored by the elders. It’s sick how they HIDE the pedophiles within, classing it as gossip to warn parents of the danger. Really sick!

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