Society promises to allow "free choice" re: Blood & ends penalties! DOCUM.

by Lady Liberty 8 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Lady Liberty
    Lady Liberty

    Hello everyone,

    I just stumbled across this, thought you may want it for your research.


    Lady Liberty

    Longstanding Watchtower policy:

    "the receiver of a blood transfusion must be cut off from God's people by excommunication or disfellowshiping"

    --The Watchtower January 15, 1961, page 64

    JW org. promises Human Rights Commission to allow "free choice"
    & end penalties for accepting blood
    then hides this information from their membership & the public

    In a startling series of events . . .

    (1) Last year the JW organization gave false testimony to the European Commission of Human Rights—declaring that "there are no religious sanctions for a Jehovah's Witness who chooses to accept blood transfusion." (See "Press communiqué" below.) [Actual sanctions: disfellowshipping]

    (2) In a March 1998 settlement the organization agreed to give JWs "free choice in the matter for themselves and their children, without any control or sanction on the part of the association." (See pg. 1 )

    (3) The Watchtower's April 27 press release covered up the agreement, implying the settlement included concessions by the Bulgarian government but none by the JWs. (See next article. .)

    from official website

    Press communiqué issued by the Secretary
    to the European Commission of Human Rights
    Application No. 28626/95
    Khristiansko Sdruzhenie "Svideteli na Iehova"
    (Christian Association Jehovah's Witnesses)

    On 3 July 1997, the European Commission of Human Rights (Council of Europe)
    held a hearing on the admissibility and merits of the above application
    brought by Christian Association Jehovah's Witnesses against Bulgaria.

    [paragraphs omitted]

    As regards the alleged involvement of children the applicant association
    submits that children cannot become members of the association but only
    participate, together with their parents, in the religious activities of the
    community. In respect of the refusal of blood transfusion, the applicant
    association submits that there are no religious sanctions for a Jehovah's
    Witness who chooses to accept blood transfusion and that, therefore, the
    fact that the religious doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses is against blood
    transfusion cannot amount to a threat to "public health".

    [paragraphs omitted]

    However, the Government submit that the Jehovah's Witnesses religious
    doctrine contains ideas and canons which are contrary to the Constitution
    and endanger public health, national security, and the rights and freedoms
    of others.

    The Government submit that children participate in the association's
    religious activities without the consent of their parents, that teachers
    adhering to the association preach in school among minors, that Jehovah's
    Witnesses teach disrespect for the democratic institutions and the national
    symbols and require their adept to disobey the law when it is contrary to
    the "divine law", that Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to bear arms and to work
    in the public service, and that they are seeking the establishment of a
    theocratic society. The Government also consider that Jehovah's Witnesses'
    doctrine does not have respect for the human life as it requires to refuse
    blood transfusion even when this would bring death.

    THE LEGAL CASE began when the JW organization took the government of Bulgaria before the European Commission of Human Rights over alleged persecution. Bulgarian government officials argued that their actions were justified because, among other things, the JW organization's policies "endanger public health" because its teachings do "not have respect for the human life as it requires to refuse blood transfusion even when this would bring death." (See the Human Rights Commission's official July 1997 "Press communiqué..." reproduced above.)

    On this point the Jehovah's Witness leadership testified that refusal was not required: "there are no religious sanctions for a Jehovah's Witness who chooses to accept blood transfusion." (See July 1997 "Press communiqué..." .)

    This Watchtower testimony was an outright lie, because the longstanding policy is to punish violators: "the receiver of a blood transfusion must be cut off from God's people by excommunication or disfellowshiping." ( The Watchtower January 15, 1961, page 64)

    Apparently the Human Rights Commission became aware of the organization's actual policy of punishing JWs who receive blood, because the JW organization agreed to stop doing that as part of the settlement of this case. Settlement was announced during the March 2-13, 1998, session of the European Commission of Human Rights (Council of Europe) at the Human Rights Building in Strasbourg.

    [Screenshot of Commission Press Release web page showing building photo]

    The Commission's official press release (No. 148) announced settlement of the case—KHRISTIANSKO SDRUZHENIE "SVIDETELI NA IEHOVA" (CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES) v. Bulgaria — Application No. 28626/95 — stating that the Bulgarian government had agreed to certain concessions and the Witness organization "undertook with regard to its stance on blood transfusions to draft a statement for inclusion in its statute providing that members should have free choice in the matter for themselves and their children, without any control or sanction on the part of the association."

    Does this settlement affect only a few Jehovah's Witnesses in the tiny country of Bulgaria? No, the JW leadership's agreement to stop enforcing its ban on blood will automatically affect Jehovah's Witnesses throughout Europe because the European Commission of Human Rights is an agency of the Council of Europe, with its decisions serving as legal precedent for member states: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechstenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.

    Mexico/Malawi double standard — again?

    What about the rest of the world? Will Jehovah's Witnesses throughout the lands just listed "have free choice in the matter for themselves and their children, without any control or sanction on the part of the association," while members in North America and other lands must continue to refuse blood under fear of disfellowshipping?

    There have been times in the past when the Watchtower Society enforced such discriminatory policies. Former Governing Body member Raymond Franz documents such inequality between Mexico and Malawi, where Mexican JWs were allowed to obtain and carry the military service "Cartilla" while Malawian JWs had to endure brutal mistreatment for refusal of a card required in that country. (See the chapter titled "Double Standards" in the book Crisis of Conscience by Raymond Franz, Commentary Press, Atlanta, 1992 edition.) But the world was unaware of the Mexican situation until Franz published his documentation. The Bulgarian blood agreement was made, not in the Bulgarian language in an obscure local courtroom in Eastern Europe, but before the multi-nation Council of Europe in its international Human Rights Building in Strasbourg, France -- with the official settlement published worldwide.

    It will be impossible for the Watchtower Society to hide this decision from its 14 million adherents outside Bulgaria.

    Why is Brooklyn trying to hide the agreement?

    In mid-April the "The Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood — Elders and Hospital Liaison Committee Members" ( ) picked up on the organization's 1997 perjury and began directing visitors to the European Commission's website to see for themselves. Going there, I discovered the official notice posted at summarizing the settlement agreed to by the JW officials and the Bulgarian government.

    On April 20, I sent out an e-mail message to hundreds of ex-JWs, countercult workers, and media newsrooms with the subject line: "WT OKAYS FREE CHOICE ON BLOOD **NEWS**BULLETIN**." My e-mail quoted text from the Commission's web page, and concluded by telling the recipients, "If the WT keeps its promise to the European Commission, it must officially revoke these instructions: 'the receiver of a blood transfusion must be cut off from God's people by excommunication or disfellowshiping....'"

    The next day ex-JW Jeffery Schwehm phoned the Watchtower Society's Brooklyn headquarters and heard from an official spokesman that there continues to be "no change." JWs who permit transfusions for themselves or their children will still be disfellowshipped, worldwide:

    Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998 15:47:32 -0500 (CDT)
    From: "Jeffery M. Schwehm" <[email protected]>
    X-Sender: jmschweh@comp
    Subject: CW: Bulgarian Blood Issue

    Hi Gang-

    I could not resist it. So, I called the Watchtower Society and asked them
    what the deal was with the comment that was made on the situation in
    Bulgaria on the European Commission's web site.

    The operator transferred me to the Public Affairs Office where the guy who
    answered the phone told me that he could not comment on it because he had
    not read what was on the website. So, I gave him the address and he said
    he would look it up and read it but he still would not comment on it.

    He reiterated to me that accepting a Blood Transfusion is a
    disfellowshipping offense throughout the world and has been since the
    1960's and that no change has been made.

    Jeff S.

    [See next article for the cover-up by the Watch Tower Society.]
  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Dear LL,

    Kindly permit inclusion of this link per your new topic. Terry and Gary and others gave enlightening answers to my questions re: the REAL meaning behind the Society's declaration to the commission. I hope this information adds to your understanding of the parameters within which JWs exist. (re: JW kids/Bulgaria)


  • avidbiblereader

    This is getting like; she loves me, she loves me not, she loves, she loves me not. Somebody make up their minds


  • 5go

    funny I thought they DAed you for blood yet another flip flop

  • Arthur

    I may be wrong here, but isn't this the case that resulted in the WTS merely stating that if anyone took blood; it meant that they had DA'd themself? I thought that they said that they would not summon the individual to a judicial committee, but would simply declare that the Witness had DA'd themself through their use of blood.

  • Wild_Thing

    The "free choice" rule only applies if you live in a country where the government demands that the society butt out of your medical affairs without imposing penalties on ones who choose different from the borg rules. Anywhere else, you are free game for DF'ing, or as they like to term it ... "disassociate yourself by your actions".

  • Gill

    Thanks for the Watchtower reference for the blood transfusions being a DF'ing offence!

    My parents have always insisted that the WTBTS NEVER ever DF'd anyone for taking blood. Apparnatly it has always been a free choice!!!

    I wonder what they'll say when they read that in their Watchtower of 1961!!!

  • avidbiblereader

    Wild thing, if that is true, what about "we must obey God as ruler rather then man"? It seems to me that the fear of man has taken over fear of God, what else will they bend on when the govt put pressure on. Luke 16: 10-12 New Living Trans 10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?


  • compound complex

Share this