As many of you know, I made the "Big News" statement when Kerry Louderback-Wood's scholarly article about Watch Tower's blood misrepresentation that was published in the Journal of Church and State was just about to be published. I was excited about it because lives were at stake and we’ve never had such an article before to be able to use to show how the Watch Tower misrepresents the blood issue through its literature and people die because of it. Since then, media and countries around the world appear to be latching on to the idea of how the Watch Tower misrepresents. (I say “appear” because I don’t discuss on a discussion board inside information and no one should expect me to in light of the fact that Watch Tower monitors these boards.)
Though it may be slow, the wheels of justice do grind. And, Watch Tower has made a few steps in the right direction in light of the fact that blood transfusions are now said publicly to be a conscience matter and many elders have a “Don’t ask, don’t tell policy.”
Shortly after my prediction that this tiny article in a dusty, uncommon journal would be “Big News,” it became big news to us who have never been very successful in getting the media to pay attention to the significant number of people who die due to Watch Tower's blood ban.
It was wonderful that the Associated Press did a feature article that was picked up by many newspapers across the country. It ran in the religion sections, with Kerry's picture front and center in many newspapers, along with a caption such as "Trials of Transfusions" and "Jehovah's Witnesses to Recite New Blood Directive." The article even appeared in our home town paper and did that ever tick off the local JWs. The article discussed problems in the blood doctrine, and featured Kerry's article, comments, and also comments from the late Ray Franz. Kerry still continues to speak with the press. She went on the Mark Fuhrman radio show, Irish Radio, BBC, and a few others.
This media coverage caused many people, followers and non-followers, to call into Bethel by the hundreds. It is my understanding from sources inside Bethel that her article caused an uproar. One Governing Body member immediately assigned his wife in the Hospital Dept. to start researching, and within months, an article appeared.
One of the most damming things written in Kerry’s article was that Jehovah's Witnesses were never officially told that the fraction hemoglobin was acceptable by personal decision. The last official pronouncement from the Watch Tower in its general literature was that hemoglobin was not permitted by a true Christian. This was contrary to many scholarly medical journals which were reporting the outcome of individual Jehovah's Witnesses surviving after receiving hemoglobin through the help of the Hospital Liaison Committee. This caused Bethel's Writing Department to immediately correct the situation by writing the August 2006 Awake! cover series on blood which finally officially told followers that hemoglobin was allowed by personal decision.
The article also admitted that more and more fractions are now made of blood. The writers did not go as far as we liked and admit that all blood can be fractionalized, but it's a good start. I wonder how many lives have been saved because the rank and file now know that hemoglobin and fractions are an option? Of coarse, the August 2006 Awake! did suggest that followers not speak to each other about blood fraction acceptance because it might stumble others. I'm sure that must have caused a few Jehovah's Witnesses to feel uncomfortable and controlled.
Since the "Big News," an Alberta Appeals court decided that people could sue the Watch Tower for secular misrepresentations of blood made by Watch Tower. This was the crux of the scholarly article.
Canada has had a few cases dealing with the blood issue - and one of the most notable was when Canada's first sextuplets were born. They made big news, both because they were Canada's first sextuplets, born very prematurely, and likely would need blood to survive. Kerry was interviewed by many people, including the Canadian National Press to get the world out. Her arguments were quoted in Macleans Magazine, which is akin to our Time Magazine. It was national news in Canada, perhaps before you joined as a member of JWN.
I do believe this “Big News” essay in the Journal of Church and State has been used by a few countries in helping them determine national medical policies for Jehovah's Witnesses. There's evidence that Russia's recent ban of Jehovah's Witnesses was based much upon the Watch Tower’s blood policies and its problems. I do know for certain that Russians in the know were aware of the article.
While Kerry and I speak frequently, I can not get any information out of her. She is an attorney and tight lipped by nature, and not inclined to give out information about all she does behind the scenes.
If you know anything about law, you know that it takes decades to change it. Think of how long it took people to sue and win against cigarette makers. There were a lot more people who smoked and directly died from cigarette smoke than died from the Watch Tower's blood policy. Because of the high cost of litigation in the United States, and this is breaking new ground in law, the 'as near as perfect' case needs to be found.
This article is discussed on www.ajwrb.org, which is a place many Jehovah's Witnesses, doctors, and legal and medical professionals are directed to when searching the Internet for "Jehovah's Witnesses and Blood." In fact, AJWRB receives the most hits daily, I was told, than any other XJW website.
I never claimed to have a means of looking into the future, but I have had lots of experience with causing the Watch Tower’s public image to dip (bad image, no converts), and the fact that countries are looking at Kerry’s article, media has latched on to it, and one case won at Appeals, is more then could be expected in this short time, and especially from an article in a “dusty old law journal."
If it bothers a few of you that I used the words, “Big News,” and your expectations were dashed because the news wasn’t what you wanted or expected, I’m sorry. However, I can’t please everybody, but to me Kerry’s article was and still is “Big News,” news the Watch Tower still hates that it made the light of day. That article caused fear in the Hospital Department in Bethel and fear in the hearts of the then Governing Body. How do I know? Because, at that time, I had friends in high places. I still use Kerry’s article behind the scenes to prove what a fraud that 1990 blood booklet was, which proves that the Watch Tower, who published those lies, allowed simple people, who unknowingly believed the manipulation of facts, to die.
In the past five years, the subject of the “Big News” has a number of times been referenced in jokes or derision on this discussion board. I have tried to look at what I did from the side of those who were critical and so will not repeat in the future the words I said at that time if I have what I consider important news. Many of us do the best we can to expose the deceit of the Watch Tower, yet it never seems to satisfy some who are persistently critical. I guess that’s human nature, or worse—maybe it's an ulterior motive to discredit us. And I don’t wonder for very long who that might be.