please don’t be afraid....it is only a
question. Read these articles and you’ll see.
From this link:
PETERSBURG COURT RECOGNIZES JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES AS SECT
ITAR-TASS, 28 February 2000
St. Petersburg. A decision of the Dzerzhinsky federal court of the central district of St. Petersburg has gone into effect, denying satisfaction of the suit brought by a member of the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, Marina Slobodian, against the newspaper "Novyi Peterburg" for protection of her honor and dignity. This was reported to an ITAR-TASS correpondent today at the federal court.
As a member of this organization and as its attorney, Marina Slobidian filed suit against the paper over publication of a letter from her father "Who will return my daughter and grandson to me?" He wrote that he had not seen his grandson for several years and could not communicate with him even by phone because of his daughter's prohibition. The reason for this, in his opinion, was his attack upon the organization in a televized film shown on the TV channel "Peterburg," in which he expressed concern over his grandson's destroyed childhood.
M. Slobidian accused the newspaper of interference in her private life and use of the critical word "sect," which, in her opinion, violated her honor and dignity.
The judicial investigation went on about two years. The court came to the conclusion that the information reported in the mass media about Jehovah's Witnesses corresponded to reality.
Having studied items from dictionaries and encyclopedias, the court also came to the conclusion that the use in the newspaper and television broadcast of the concept of "sect" is generally recognized and that it is used with respect to religious organizations that profess views of a narrow group of people in contrast to the overwhelming majority.
Consequently it "cannot offend anybody's feelings," said the court's decision. (tr. by PDS)
(posted 1 March 2000)
and from this link:
Translation from Russian
Rossiyskaya gazeta, Thursday, October 14, 1999, _ 203
CONTINUATION OF TOPIC
Jehovah’s Witnesses and their Petersburg Advocates
[Photo of St. Petersburg Governor Yakovlev carrying his grandchild. To the right of this are boldprint headlines of previous negative articles about Jehovah’s Witnesses in Rossiyskaya gazeta]
We hardly would have returned to this topic so soon, had it not been for such a furious reaction from our readers: from both Jehovah’s Witnesses’ supporters, as well as from those who have suffered from their activity, and who are now attempting to get the attention of authorities at all levels to tell them just what a danger this organization actually represents.
We had no doubt that Jehovah’s Witnesses would not leave our publication unattended. Quite some time ago a curious document, which was drafted at their Administrative Center, came into our dossier. The date: December 3, 1998.
In essence, it is rather strict directive that states "…it would be good if the editorial offices of newspapers where articles about us appear were to receive our response", and further spells out exactly how the letters should be written. However, it turns out that this document is not for the eyes of the rank and file members of the organization, but exclusively for the body of elders: "Do not make copies of this letter. Do not place this letter or the addresses [note of author: where to write] on the bulletin board." Judging by the instructions, letters will also be sent to the head of the department of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation responsible for the registration of religious associations, to the public prosecutor’s office, and to other addresses indicated in the document.
A certain Roman Shamrai sent a letter to our editorial office in which he accused Rossiyskaya gazeta of spreading non-factual information and claimed the author of the article is misinformed.
Does the end justify the means?
From Roman Shamrai’s letter to our editorial office: "Beside all the unobjective appraisals of the activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses, your article indicated that people who profess the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses are ‘sectarians,’ and ‘very dangerous’. In actual fact they are honest, law-abiding citizens of their countries…"
If not so long ago smiling, and, as a rule, well-dressed people, were able to converse well with strangers stopped you somewhere on the street or unexpectedly turned up at the doorstep of your home with the offer to discuss the Bible together, then nowadays Jehovah’s Witnesses have begun to preach in St. Petersburg… by telephone. And they not only telephone us at home, but bother workers with their offers at various institutions, institutes of higher learning, and commercial firms.
So just who are these people who are addressing us with their ingratiating voices and who have unleashed on St. Petersburg a truly aggressive campaign towards increasing the number of their members? This is the question I that asked first and foremost of Aleksei Shvechikov, the Director of the Center of International Institutes of Higher Learning for problems of Science and Religion, Senior Lecturer, Candidate of Philosophical Sciences, and author of a book about the religious, social-political, and ideological doctrine of Jehovism.
"In my view," says Aleksei Nikolayevich, "the main line of strategy of the Jehovists has become more clearly visible; they sincerely wish to replace traditional Orthodoxy with their own false teaching, and believe me, this is the primary and most serious danger. It is exactly this that explains their present vigorous onslaught.
"Look, even Sergei Ivanenko, author of a book which defends the Jehovists, and whom the Witnesses love to cite, could not restrain himself from mentioning what Jehovah’s Witnesses carefully hide: ‘Forms of Protestantism that have become deeply rooted in Russia remain on the fringe of public and religious life; they have not become, and it is unlikely that they can become in the foreseeable future, an idealistic and moral foundation for the development of honest business. Will Jehovah’s Witnesses be able to meet this challenge?’ It’s hard to say it more directly than that …
"The author of the letter to your editorial office was correct only in one thing," continues Aleksei Nikolayevich, "It was by no means just today that Jehovism decided to engage in criticizing Christianity from within as it were. Today, across the ocean, it is evident that the Brooklyn Governing Body, has realized that the situation in Russia has gotten to the point where it is possible to bring their plans to fruition. Since at present there is practically no opposition, even from the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church, Jehovist congregations and Kingdom Halls are growing all over Russia like mushrooms after a rain. And the newspaper’s alarm on behalf of St. Petersburg is justified, since St. Petersburg has become the sect-capital of the country. Clearly, the Brooklyn center is becoming richer it is acquiring real estate in Russia. But can it really be the authorities are powerless to oppose this?"
"The religion of the Jehovists has long since turned into its opposite an ideology. Only they cannot publicly acknowledge this fact, for this would be tantamount to suicide. On the contrary, the more ideological this organization becomes, the more impudently it tries to prove its ‘true’ religiosity. It must be acknowledged that the Jehovists are nevertheless successful at blurring people’s awareness by verbal tightrope-walking, presenting lies as truth. They are successful thanks to a well-oiled machine of ideological and psychological indoctrination. But this deception cannot work forever. And it is necessary to speak more about what consequences await people who are under such illusions."
"Grandma, you’re from Satan…"
From the letter of Roman Shamrai to the editorial office: "The majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses have wonderful close families. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not practice violence and have no intention of forcing anyone to follow their teachings…"
A barrage of calls came down on Rossiyskaya gazeta’s office in St. Petersburg after our last article. People who had lost their loved ones due to the Jehovists thanked the newspaper for raising the issue. One of the women who called requested a meeting with me:
"Jehovists seek people with an open heart, they find them and then turn them into soulless people. The sect broke up my daughter’s family and then completely took her and my grandson away from me. We live as though we were strangers. I have to tell you about it…"
…Galina Semyonovna and I wandered along the paths of the park which was covered with a carpet of yellow maple leaves and I could not help but notice how she kept glancing [with a face] full of anguish and pain at the young children who were walking with their grandmothers in the park on a Saturday afternoon. This former elementary school teacher has been deprived of delightful association with her own grandson for many years now…
"Just imagine," she sighs, "On Monday it’s Andrey’s birthday. He turns eight, and I can’t give him a present on that day. Jehovists don’t celebrate birthdays or any of the other holidays for that matter…I remember I decided to surprise my grandson with a New Year’s tree. I decorated it and got a present ready and heard from his lips a ghastly ‘Grandma, you’re from Satan…’
"From the time he turned three years old Julia began to drag the child to meetings of the Jehovists. The brothers and sisters got their tight clutches on her, and she quit work at the kindergarten, made ends meet with odd jobs, wasting all her time at the meetings, and began preaching together with the child. She taught Andrei how to preach. She keeps accurate notes for reports, where, when and how much she preached. Do you know how Andrei learned to count? My daughter would give him math problems: "Petya handed out four magazines and Masha handed out three. How many Watchtower magazines did the children hand out altogether?’
"No matter what my son-in-law tried to do, it wouldn’t work. He tried to gain custody of the child during the divorce proceedings, but the court took the side of the mother-Jehovist. And now the boy’s life is taking a different course: He doesn’t know how to associate with normal children, he’s introverted and looks ill… Is this really the way I dreamed I would ever see him! The sectarians have deprived him of a normal childhood. Imagine, we live across from the Peter and Paul fortress, but the child has never in his life seen the colorful, festive fireworks. He simply has not been allowed to go to the window, after all, this is from the Devil as well… So just what will become of my grandson? How am I to struggle for him? What happy families do the Jehovists, who are sowing unhappiness and pain, have the right to write about?"
And so, not the editorial office, but you, Roman Shamrai, are misleading us with your letter. For example, in listing the countries where the activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses is banned, you hint at their specific political structure. But for some reason or another you forget to add along with this that this year the Council of Europe has called to step up the battle against the Witnesses, and that in the most developed nations, where you are so especially proud of your activity, there exists around 500 centers dedicated to exposing Jehovah’s Witnesses. And it is no coincidence that there is now a massive amount of information on the Internet exposing them. The world has sensed the danger…
As for the Jehovists supposed non-violence, you are once again deceiving us, because you know perfectly well that is practically impossible for anyone to leave the sect except in "cement overshoes" at the bottom of a river…
I have been reading David Reed’s book, Behind the Scenes at the Watchtower. And it is impossible not to believe a man who has spent more than a decade among the Witnesses.
Who peeks through the keyhole of the bedroom?
From the letter of Roman Shamrai to the editorial office: "Jehovah’s Witnesses are recognized as the most honest people in the Federal Republic."
And now a few words about how the "orderly and honest people behave." But this information is not for Roman Shamrai, who was so offended by the article in the Rossiyskaya gazeta, but for one of my colleagues, a long-time acquaintance, to whom the Witnesses seem so likeable, contemporary, and energetic.
It has become clear that members of the Watchtower Society yes, that’s what Jehovah’s Witnesses call themselves who love to highlight their exceptional orderliness and honesty, have no qualms, as it turns out, about intruding into the bedroom of married couples in order to point out what is acceptable and what is not in their sexual relations. In his book, former Witness David Reed writes about this in detail.
As it turns out, as early as 1972 the main magazine of the Jehovists, The Watchtower, touched upon the question of the propriety of various forms of conduct in the marital bed. From this point onward members of the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses began to be accountable before the leaders for their conduct in the bedroom. Those who crossed the boundaries were threatened with being interrogated before a judicial committee of the congregation and… expulsion from the organization. Wives started to inform on their husbands to the local elders, accusing them of improper conduct in bed. The elders would summon the husbands for interrogation. Married couples were forced to reveal their intimate lives before outsiders! Jehovah’s Witnesses did what normal people would consider loathsome, repulsive, and impossible. This really makes me want to ask my acquaintance; would he want to see for example, his daughter giving testimony to such a commission?
Who can speak well of a murderer-mother?
From the letter of Roman Shamrai to the editorial office: "Many Russian families have been practicing this religion for three and four generations. They are spoken well of by neighbors, the authorities, and at work."
In preparing this material, I had the occasion to speak with many people who have run across the activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses and know about them, and not by hearsay. Petersburg journalist Oleg Zasorin, who has more than once written about the danger which they represent, recounted to me that a criminal case has been going on in the Krasnoselskiy region of Petersburg. The case was brought about because of the death of a child, who had not been in this world even a year. Danya Krivtsov died from congenital intestinal obstruction, although the doctors had a chance to save him. This would have required an operation, but once the parents found out that during the course of the operation a blood serum would be used, they declined as members of the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
"Jehovah’s Witnesses," says Oleg Zasorin, "truly have a broad interpretation of the counsel to ‘abstain from blood’ set forth in the Acts of the Apostles. A member of the sect cannot permit himself a blood transfusion under any circumstances, even if his life depends upon it. This prohibition is elevated among them to the level of worship, and there are plenty of cases of deaths of unfortunate children.
"Two years ago three-year-old Vanya Semyonov passed away in a reanimation ward. Within one year of his death the doctors had made the terrible diagnosis; acute monoblastic leucosis. A blood transfusion was required. But the mother, a fanatical believer of the teachings of The Watchtower, did not even give the doctors the opportunity to take a blood sample for analysis. And for an entire year Vanya died a torturous death before her eyes. She brought him to the hospital already half dead and handed over a written affirmation which said: ‘I, Semyonova Galina Fyodorovna, being in sound mind and clear memory, categorically refuse the following methods of medical treatment of my son, Semyonov Ivan: blood transfusion, red corpuscle mass, plasma. I have been warned about the consequences of the absence of such treatment, including the possibility of a fatal outcome. I draw up this document on my own initiative. This is in accordance with my rights as a patient and my convictions as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.’
"I could continue," says my colleague, "about the tragedy that took place with Dima Nikitin and many others, but just how many of these ghastly cases have taken place in St. Petersburg nobody knows. But the main point for me, as well as for any sane person, is that it is completely incomprehensible how and why such a misanthropic organization can feel so free on the banks of the Neva."
A Jehovist who wrote to our editorial office noted on one page of his letter that "Citizens who profess this religion are well-spoken of by their neighbors, the authorities, and at work." But tell me, who would speak well of a mother who for the course of a year quietly watched as her son died a torturous death? Perhaps it is only you, Roman Shamrai, that thinks that murderer-mothers are so likeable? Or is just that you never heard anything like this?
Will the authorities hear us?
Two weeks have passed since Rossiyskaya gazeta published the article "Are you the Governor or Just a Witness?" The reaction from Smolnyy is the same as always silence. But perhaps the facts concerning the life and activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses will all the same force the executive and legislative authorities of not only St. Petersburg, but also other cities of Russia, where in all there are already 760 congregations of the Jehovists, where over 100,000 Russian citizens have undergone water baptism, and where over 250,000 attend meetings regularly and are ready to become "full-fledged pioneers", to stop and think. It may be that it is finally time to give some thought to the fact that in the law "On the Freedom of Conscience and on Religious Associations," particularly Article 14.2, is a distinctly enumerated list of offences which allow for the banning of the activity of a religious organization: inflicting harm to health, breaking up families, obstruction of the fulfillment of civic duties, propagating religious discord, inclining toward refusal of medical help for individuals in danger of losing life or health for religious reasons…
Spiritual terrorism is no less dangerous, isn’t it?
I’m sure you’ll find the article ...a very interesting one.
After all who will give us informations about Russia???
" One who has an accurate knowledge
of God's Word will have no problem
in refuting false religious ideas".