Do they still follow the same backwards policy on AIDS?

by Chaserious 28 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Chaserious

    I was browsing through some of the BOE letters (made available here: and came across the 3/15/96 letter about persons with communicable diseases. It specifically mentions AIDS several times in the letter and seems to be primarily targeted at that population. Among other gems:

    • Persons with AIDS can't be baptized in the general baptism pool - it would have to be in a hotel tub or "running body of water." (Does that mean a lake doesn't count?? And are they afraid of polluting a body of water with AIDS, unless it has a running current???)
    • They should not hug or kiss others
    • They should only attend the Book Study at the Kingdom Hall (not that this would apply now, anyway)
    • If others in the cong don't invite AIDS victims to their homes, such victims should "not react negatively"

    I'm positive that it was known in 1996 how AIDS was spread, and it's not by hugging, kissing, being in a room with someone, or even bathing in the same pool. Do they not believe what science has proven? Does anyone know if this policy is still in effect? It makes them look so backwards - not that this is the only policy that makes them appear that way. I couldn't find a letter changing this policy.

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    by 1996, it was quite clear how the virus was spread. This is just homophobic. A lot of JW's still see this as a "gay man's disease"

  • WTWizard

    Well, according to the yearbook, it is acceptable for someone to get baptized with a broken leg while still in a cast. Now, if someone with AIDS "needs" to get baptized in a separate pool, couldn't they do something similar for someone with a broken leg at the time of baptism? Perhaps waiting until after the cast comes off and the person is able to walk without restrictions, and then going through the formalities in a private setting. They could do the same for others with conditions that make it unwise for them to get baptized in the general pool.

    And, if they cannot attend a private home book study or be invited into one's home, maybe they shouldn't be allowed to do door to door work in field circus, either. After all, if someone can get AIDS by having someone with AIDS at their study group or by inviting someone with AIDS to their home, they for sure could spread AIDS to householders just as easily. Not to mention, the person with AIDS is more likely to catch something at the door--tuberculosis, for instance. Yet, I never heard the Washtowel Slaveholdery placing AIDS patients on restrictions against going door to door or riding with others in a car group, despite that it places the AIDS victim at risk of catching a random disease at the doors and then spreading that disease to others in the group (I do believe tuberculosis is more contagious than AIDS anyways).

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    If others in the cong don't invite AIDS victims to their homes, such victims should "not react negatively"

    Exactly. JW's don't have many opportunities to act as ignorant as possible so please don't take this opportunity away from them. Suck it up

    We should also avoid shaking hands with black people because it might rub off. Call the police because they probably broke in and are pretending to live there.

    Also, avoid shaking hands with a gay person at the door. In fact, before u begin the presentation at the door, perhaps a 1 minute HIV test would be in order.

    If a latino answers the door, assume it's the maid, and in the most condescending tone of voice, ask for the owner of the house. Wrinkle your nose in disbelief if they claim to own the home.

  • Finkelstein

    Once again shows the basic ignorance and low intellect of the GB members.

    Gods chosen ones.

    Must admit that 1996 things were a bit still slightly questionable to how Aids was transmitted but not with people with a good educational

    back ground which isn't the GB of the WTS.

  • Chaserious

    I happened to see the movie Philadelphia last week, which came out in 1993, and the discussion of AIDS in that movie and how it is transmitted is basically in line with what we know now. Of course, stereotypes and demonization of the virus were more common back then, with people wanting to classify it as some kind of gay plague. Definitely shows the ignorance of the GB.

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    also the picking and choosing of facts. Somewhere, those bizarre facts were posted and they ran with them. I saw data back in the late 80's that proved u couldn't get aids from hugging. As ignorant as it sounds, people still disputed that back then.

    Well I guess the GB can stick this on other medical facts they promoted like having a organ transplant was canibalism. Or immunizations contained animal pus

  • sd-7

    So much for "I was sick and you came to me". Jesus was willing to touch a freakin' leper, so how do they figure such rules make any kind of sense, especially with our having a clear understanding of how diseases are communicated thanks to the Bible God Awake! magazine science.


  • l p
    l p

    I got baptised a very long time ago. But from what I can remember I dont think the pool was chlorinated. Does anyone know if they chlorinate the pools?

    Having said that the baptisimal pool would be considered a public pool and should be chlorinated according to public health recommendations.

    I would understand not allowing someone with HIV/AIDS not being baptised in the communal pool if the pool is not chlorinated as a public health safety thing. BUT....someone with HIV/AIDS is entitled to confidentiality and mostly these patients will not divulge their infectious status. So how would the elders know to then organise for them to be baptised separately. So that means they should just do the right thing and chlorinate the pool and be done with it. There are other infections to be worried about that are spread in pools apart from HIV/AIDs..and they have a legal duty to prevent the spread of those infections just as much as HIV/AIDs anyhow. HIV/AIDs is not something I would be concerned about in a chlorinated pool with a person that is not bleeding/oozing or whatever.

    see CDC website below: there are also other pages of info on this if you just click around the site.

    As far as not inviting them to your home, this is outright discrimination and can be fought in the law courts. In hospitals we would place a HIV/AIDs patient in a 4 bedded room as long as they were continent, not bleeding, and no weeping wounds. So this means they would share the same toilet and shower facilities as the other patients. And Guess What?...if you were the patient in the 4 bedded room you would not know the other patient has HIV unless they told you (which would probably never happen).


  • Chaserious

    I recall the pools being chlorinated, but I'm not positive. As far as the elders not knowing if someone has AIDS, in the same letter I was referring to, it said that a question would be added to the baptismal questions about the responsibility of someone with a communicable disease to inform the elders. So basically everyone that gets baptized has to promise the elders they would tell them if they had AIDS.

    Also, I don't think they could sue over not being invited over, at least in the U.S. Besides obviously not suing if they want to remain in good standing in the org, people can invite whoever they want to their house socially. The discrimination laws don't apply to private social settings. Not illegal, just unchristian. WTBTS.

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