Syndicated Columnist Requests Information On JW's

by stealyourface 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • stealyourface

    This article by syndicated columnist Harriet Cole is in our local paper this morning.Anyone want to set her straight and respond to her call for information on beliefs and activities on the cult?

    Religious advocates are persistent and harassing
    Dear Harriette: Nearly every morning when I leave my apartment building, two or three people are standing at the corner, handing out religious literature and trying to stop me and others to talk. I think they're Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against them. I don't even know anything about their religion. I do know I don't want to be harassed in the morning, heading out to work. Should I just ignore them? I feel bad doing that because I'm accustomed to saying something when I pass people. (I grew up in the South.) But they are persistent. Help!

    — Sandra, New York

    Sandra: Continue to resist the temptation to judge people based on their religion. Rather than deciding to act as if they are not there, which makes you feel bad because you were appropriately brought up to believe it is polite to acknowledge others, be gracious and welcoming and distant.

    Make friendly eye contact and keep moving. Occasionally, say "Good morning." If the people are always the same individuals day after day, chances are they will appreciate the greeting and not persist. It's likely, however, that the individuals change, which is why you sometimes have people eagerly reaching out anew.

    Set your focus before you leave home. Walk with intention and clarity. Be friendly and reserved. If someone tries to stop you to talk (any of these people, or others during your day), kindly say you are not interested and keep moving. I have used this approach recently with eager young people who are seeking signatures for petitions or other solicitations. They've tried to get me to stop for a moment, but I have not slowed my step. I remained friendly and focused. It works, without causing any ill will.

    Dear Readers: If anyone would like to share the fundamental beliefs and activities of Jehovah's Witnesses, your comments are welcome.

    Send questions to askharriette or c/o United Feature Syndicate, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016.

  • candidlynuts

    bumping up so this doesnt get lost .

  • Scully

    Oh boy, could we give Harriette "info" or what?

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex

    I sent the following email:

    I was one of Jehovah's Witnesses for 18 years. I left in 1989 over their teaching regarding child abuse.

    Did you know that one teaching of the Witnesses is that a child must have 2 eyewitnesses to "prove" that they were raped. Forgive me, but d o you realize the implications of this ?

    It means that 2 adults must stand and watch the child being raped, and do nothing to stop it. If they do, the child was not raped, therefore there is no crime.

    Secondly, these 2 eyewitnesses should be baptized Jehovah's Witnesses in good standing (after all you know how non-Witnesses lie). Then, and only then, will the elders take the child's story seriously. To Jehovah's Witnesses, physical evidence such as STD's, bodily fluids and so on are taken under advisement and not necessarily proof that the child's story is true.

    Now how many times will an act of child molestation take place in front of 2 other people? A pedophile does not rape children in front of an audience, nor do it take place on the 50 yard line at some football stadium. And yet that is the standard demanded for victims. R ealize that those 2 eyewitnesses would be criminally liable and would be arrested for doing nothing to stop the child from being raped.

    Now then, in the 99.99% of cases where the child has no eyewitnesses, what then? Then the child is assumed to be lying. The elders will counsel the child and their parents to say nothing to anyone, including the police. If they do, it is slander and they are subject to being disfellowshipped (excommunicated) from the congregation.

    This is what I was told by the elders in my congregation, in my father in law's congregation (he was an elder for 40 years) , by 2 circuit overseers (similar to a bishop in the Catholic Church) and by a district overseer (similar to an archbishop in the Catholic Church). In fact I was threatened with being disfellowshipped by one circuit overseer unless I quit asking questions about this policy.

    The 2 eyewitness rule is found in a book which is distributed only to elders. It is entitled " Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock". This is found on Page 111:

    "What kind of evidence is acceptable?

    There must be two or three eyewitnesses, not just persons repeating what they have heard; no action can be taken if there is only one witness.

    Confession (admission of wrongdoing), either written or oral, may be accepted as conclusive proof without other corroborating evidence.

    Strong circumstantial evidence, such as pregnancy or evidence (testified to by at least two witnesses) that the accused stayed all night in the same house with a person of the opposite sex (or in the same house with a known homosexual) under improper circumstances is acceptable.

    The testimony of youths may be considered; it is up to the elders to determine if the testimony has the ring of truth.

    The testimony of unbelievers may also be considered, but it must be carefully weighed. "

    By the way, very often the elders determine a small child's testimony does not have the "ring of truth". Why? Because they're too young.

    In dozens of cases, the elders in various congregations around the country have forbidden parents from reporting the abuse to the police. Why? Because in the elders' view since there were not 2 eyewitnesses, and the accused offender did not confess the molestation did not happen. Therefore the parents would be slandering this poor offender. Victims have been excommunicated for reporting child abuse. Excommunication is a heavy burden in this sect as they practice shunning. Imagine a victim being sexually abused, then thrown out of the congregation for reporting the abuse and losing all contact with family and friends.

  • stealyourface

    Scully, just the facts, ma'am

    Tex, that should be an eye-opener.

  • inbyathread

    Good reply B-T. Let us know if you get a response.

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