The REAL issue with blood

by jwfacts 7 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jwfacts

    There is a number of things written about blood at the moment, but what is the heart of the issue.

    It is not doctrine. Religions are able to make up any doctrine they feel like. Most Christians can see that the JW blood doctrine is unscriptural, but individuals will never agree on doctrine.

    It is not the lack of logic in the current JW stance even though it is illogical to disallow blood transfusions, but allow blood component transfusions. It is hypocritical to allow blood fraction transfusions but disallow the users of blood fraction transfusion to donate blood.

    It is not the history. It is illogical to say a doctrine has come from Jehovah, but to have allowed blood, then not allowed blood or any fractions, to now allowing most blood fractions.

    The issue is this. The Watchtower promotes misinformation about the risks of refusing blood. Delibrate withholding of information to lead people to a wrong conclusion is leading to death.

    Some of my JW family believe that blood transfusions never saves lives, in fact blood transfusions can kill people. This is because the Watchtower has provided biased information. There are some situations when a blood transfusion is medically proven to be absolutely necessary to keep a person alive. A JW should be given the full story in order to make an informed decision.

  • Pistoff
    The issue is this. The Watchtower promotes misinformation about the risks of refusing blood. Delibrate withholding of information to lead people to a wrong conclusion ;is leading to death.


    Not to be forgotten is the CULTURE that surrounds the publication of and discussion of this at meetings.

    When the material is covered, even more extreme comments usually follow; in private conversations and in families the abhorrence for blood is expresses and celebrated. The culture of hating blood is very strong in the organization. It did not get there because the fellowship thought of it first; it came from the top down, as does all else in the WT.

    The culture of abhorring blood is so deep that when the policy is changed, the believers sometimes don't for years, if ever.

    My wife refused to take RH medication for our first 2 children, even though the stand against it had changed. She said she did not feel it was right, that the changes were so that we would not be persecuted by the world. (!).

    Anyway. I am having a bad night. I had my whole experience of losing my belief system, and discovering the lies I had been told for so long, reduced to "being on a bandwagon."


  • TD

    Every AJWRB member receives mail like this on a regular basis:

    "Perhaps you are not smart enough to put together what you have written on your own website."

    "The mortality rate for people who refuse blood transfusions is about the same as people who do have blood transfusions so the people who died probably would have died anyway. Even physicians admit that procedures done without the use of blood is safer than using blood and most major hospitals have Bloodless Surgery Centers for treating all patients who do not wish to have blood, not only Jehovah's Witnesses. Maybe you should get a life and quit trying to bash Jehovah's Witnesses for following their bible trained consciences and should instead put this kind of effort into studying the bible yourself."

  • yaddayadda
    Some of my JW family believe that blood transfusions never saves lives

    Really???? I never met one JW that said that.

  • jwfacts

    It is easy to make broad generalisations, and by belonging to a group believing in absolute truth JW generalisations are common.
    There is no doubt that blood is dangerous, every operation is dangerous to some degree. I would not choose to have blood if at all possible. However cases exist where blood is essential.
    As TD showed, a JW will state that many doctors will operate without blood. That is an irrelevant arguement that sidesteps the issue. Of course non blood treatment is preferable to blood treatment in most cases. But not EVERY case.
    YaddaYadda, I know many who feel that way.
    Another thing used to justify changes is that Jehovah knows best at the time. My auntie said the other day that Jehovah directed the change in regards to Organ transplants because in the 1970's organ transplants were too dangerous, but by the 1980's the were safe enough for JW's. Jehovah was protecting his people!!! There is no end to illogical reasoning by people attempting to justify their faith.

  • garybuss

    The issue is the group leader's power. The leader(s) of a high control group has to have tests built into the system so they can observe the loyalty of members to the group leadership and "test" the leader's influence. The Witnesses have several non religious tests designed to test the loyalty of the Witness people to the "Society". One is prescribed blood medical treatment. Another is military employment, another is showing respect for national flags and other artifacts, another is field service ( this is the #2 big one), another is meeting attendance (#1 big one).

    It's all about obedience. The publishing company even sponsors conventions focusing on obedience as the theme for the multi day convention. The way these groups work, is the leaders give orders, and the members comply. If a member does not comply there is a system of information gathering, inquisition, and punishments. The goal of the leaders is to get the followers to participate in group sponsored meetings, fundraising, recruitment, construction, and sponsored large group events. The groups are typically kept small so the local corporation agents can monitor the compliance of the members.

    The blood medical treatment guideline is not really an important group item. It's more of a possession, or an investment. It's useful but it's not required, and unlike some of the religious network doctrines . . . it's severable. Nothing else relies on it. The appointment relies on 1914, and 1914 relies on 607, but the blood medical treatment guideline does not rely on anything but paper and ink.

    The blood medical treatment guideline (and subsequent illness complications) management has actually become a sub group with it's own power pyramid. Lots of people want it to stay.

    The group leaders will likely resist more compromise on their blood medical treatment guidelines and see their change on this perceived core teaching as a possible source of undermining of the customer's confidence in the group's leaders and weakening of their ability to influence. That's dangerous for them and scary for them. Their only real product is their ability to control their worker customers by influence (fear).

    If their influence weakens in the minds of the worker customers, the workers become less workers and less customers. Sponsored meetings are not well attended. Volunteer work wanes. demand for mass produced printed literature drops, and donations lag.

    The Witnesses are already dragging the intellectual bottom of the pond for new recruits. There's not really any other dumber pool to tap for new recruits. The focus really needs to be on member retention. That's a problem now because of the group leader's loss of credibility already noticed by the current members due to the non-arrival of Armageddon and the non-delivery of the promised rewards.

    Being a Witness isn't really fun. More than a few Witnesses are noticing that and they are verbally reprimanded continually by the group leaders both in speech and in print. They are even threatened by the leaders to no avail. I've heard about some Elders who try to be rational and fair. They are counseled and if they refuse to comply, they're replaced if there are replacements available.

  • jwfacts


    That is an interesting comment. I had thought that they may drop the blood issue completely, but your comment indicates otherwise. An illogical issue is the best way to test a persons loyalty. If a person follows despite seeing inconsistencies with it, they are true followers.
    My parents know the blood issue is not quite right, but are waiting on Jehovah to fix things. That proves them to be true organisation people, no wonder they are Circuit overseers.

  • AuldSoul

    YaddaYadda, I believe you when you say you don't know one who feels that way. But I bet I can count on no hands the number of Witnesses you've asked. That is part of the problem in JW land, there is a taboo on discussing REAL feelings about the doctrines and teachings. Any time the discussion gets too deep and specific people become afraid of "offending someone's conscience" so the converation ends.


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