Below are ALL Watchtower Publication Quotes about the CRUEL Policy, in which the Jehovah's Witnesses Elders require that women SCREAM and/or FIGHT OFF an attacking rapist, or the woman is GUILTY of FORNICATION and can be DISFELLOWSHIPPED and SHUNNED!
As always -- Please distribute this information FREELY to your Friends, Family, Jehovah's Witnesses, and especially THE MEDIA!
Also, I would love to hear your comments!
Can you count how many times this Policy has gone back-and-forth?
How many Jehovah's Witness women have been Disfellowshipped [Excommunicated] for being RAPED?
How many Jehovah's Witness women have been MURDERED by rapists because they SCREAMED?
The Watchtower, January 15th 1964 Issue, Pages 63-64:
Questions from Readers
According to the Bible at Deuteronomy 22:23-27, an Israelite engaged girl threatened with rape was required to scream. What is the position of a Christian woman today if faced with a similar situation? Is she to scream even if an attacker threatens her life with a weapon? -M. U., United States.
According to God's law an Israelite girl was under obligation to scream: "In case there happened to be a virgin girl engaged to a man, and a man actually found her in the city and lay down with her, you must also bring them both out to the gate of that city and pelt them with stones, and they must die, the girl for the reason that she did not scream in the city, and the man for the reason that he humiliated the wife of his fellow man." If, however, the attack took place in a field and the woman screamed and thus tried to get away from the attacker, she was not to be stoned, since she was overpowered and there was no one to rescue her.-Deut. 22:23-27.
But suppose the man had a weapon and threatened to kill the girl if she failed to lie down with him? These scriptures do not weaken the argument or alter the situation by citing any circumstance that would justify her in not screaming. It plainly says she should scream; hence, oppose the attack regardless of the circumstances. If she was overpowered and perhaps knocked unconscious and violated before help came in answer to her screams, she could not be held accountable. The thought of the scriptures apparently is that the girl's screaming, by attracting neighborhood attention, would frighten off her assailant and would save her, even though he threatened her life for not quietly complying with his wishes and passionate desires.
Such Scriptural precedents are applicable to Christians, who are under command, "Flee from fornication." (1 Cor. 6:18) Thus if a Christian woman does not cry out and does not put forth every effort to flee, she would be viewed as consenting to the violation. The Christian woman who wants to keep clean and obey God's commandments, then, if faced with this situation today, needs to be courageous and to act on the suggestion made by the Scriptures and scream. Actually this counsel is for her welfare; for, if she should submit to the man's passionate wishes, she would not only be consenting to fornication or adultery, but be plagued by the shame. There would be shame, not only from the repulsiveness of the experience, but of having been coerced into breaking God's law by having sex connections with one other than a legal marriage mate. Not only that, but she might become an unwed mother, or she may contract a terrible disease from her morally debased attacker.
It is true that a woman faces the possibility her assailant will carry out his threat; but, then, what guarantee does she have that such a desperate criminal would not kill her after satisfying his passion? In fact, such a one, perhaps already hunted by the law, may be more likely to kill her after the attack, since she would then have had a greater opportunity to identify him and would therefore be in a better position to supply a description of him to the authorities. In such case, following the Scriptural counsel of screaming could well save one's life by attracting attention and driving the attacker away at the outset, instead of causing him to feel that he must get rid of his victim for fear of being identified later.
In most instances it is doubtless a matter of calling the assailant's bluff, since the girl's screams could result in his arrest for attempted rape. Also, if he carried out his threat and committed murder, he would face the likelihood of apprehension and conviction for this even more serious offense. Of course, there is the possibility that instead of fleeing immediately, the attacker may strike his victim or inflict a superficial wound to silence the screams, yet would not the endurance of such physical punishment be insignificant compared to the disgrace and shame of submitting to an immoral man?
A Christian woman is entitled to fight for her virginity or marital fidelity to the death. Just how best she can defend herself against anyone who wants to defile her depends upon her courage and quick wits. At least, as has been mentioned, she should first try to frighten off the would-be rapist by screaming and making as loud and noisy a spectacle of the matter as she possibly can, in order to summon any convenient aid. This being unavailing, then she has a right to defend her virtue by whatever means she can.
The morals of this generation have indeed sunk to an unprecedented low, just as Bible prophecy foretold for these last days. The fact that over 15,000 women a year, about one every half hour, are raped in the United States alone emphasizes this fact. It also serves as a warning to women that they should exercise care so as to avoid dangerous situations. Since women are almost always attacked when they are alone, they should arrange to have a companion along, especially when they are out after dark. And in localities where it is considered dangerous for women even during daylight hours, women should not go out alone but should take along a companion. God's Word says: "If somebody could overpower one alone, two together could make a stand against him. And a threefold cord cannot quickly be torn in two." (Eccl. 4:12) For a Christian woman to persist in going out alone in a city or locality where women are frequently attacked is to invite trouble and needlessly endanger life. It is the part of wisdom to give thought to what could happen in a given situation and then take the necessary precautions. The wise person foresees danger and takes steps to avoid it. "The shrewd one considers his steps."-Prov. 14:15.
The Watchtower, June 1st 1968 Issue, Pages 347-350:
If you are a Christian woman, what should you do if, in spite of all precautions, you are set upon by a rapist? If you cannot deter him by reasoning, or by calling upon the name of Jehovah, then what? As a Christian you are under obligation to resist. This resistance includes screaming and creating as much disturbance as possible to try to frighten off the attacker and attract help. If the attack continues and you cannot break free to flee, then you would be justified even to inflict damage on your assailant if necessary. Resistance is imperative, because the rapist is after, not just money, but your virtue. An issue of integrity to Jehovah's laws is involved here. So by no means would it be proper quietly to submit to rape, as that would be consenting to fornication.-1 Thess. 4:3.
The principle is like that set out at Deuteronomy chapter 22. There it states: "In case there happened to be a virgin girl engaged to a man, and a man actually found her in the city and lay down with her, you must also bring them both out to the gate of that city and pelt them with stones, and they must die." Why would the girl have died under that Law covenant? The scripture continues: "The girl for the reason that she did not scream in the city." If she did not make the effort to scream, she was viewed as consenting to fornication. But if the woman screamed and resisted and nonetheless was overpowered, then she was not guilty of complicity: "The girl . . . screamed, but there was no one to rescue her."-Deut. 22:23-27.
Would it be different if the man had a weapon and threatened to kill you if you did not submit? No, the Scriptures plainly state that Christians are under obligation to "flee from fornication." (1 Cor. 6:18) It is true that you face the possibility of death in this case. But you have no guarantee that if you meekly submit, your assailant will not kill you anyhow to avoid identification.
Christian women are wise if they do all they can to avoid making themselves targets for rapists. Knowing that the morals of this generation are sinking to new lows, take every precaution. In unsafe areas avoid traveling alone after dark. As Ecclesiastes 4:12 states: "If somebody could overpower one alone, two together could make a stand against him. And a threefold cord cannot quickly be torn in two." Also consider how you dress. If a woman adopts the provocative, suggestive styles of dress now so prevalent, she indicates that she is a woman of loose morals, and in so doing she may invite trouble.
Yet, in spite of all precautions and resistance, it may occur that a Christian woman is seized by one or more assailants and raped. This has happened in recent times in the country of Malawi. Many Christian women were raped by mobs of vicious, animalistic males, mainly youths. This came as persecution; because they steadfastly refused to join in political activities that would compromise their integrity to Jehovah, they were attacked. Despite their defense, and the defense of husbands and other Christian brothers, they were all overpowered by sheer numbers. Yet, by resisting even under such circumstances Christian men and women show where they stand in the matter.
In such cases, Christians need to work hard to keep their balance and not resort to physical retaliation after such an attack, thinking this is the same as self-defense. It is proper to seek justice through all legal means, but it is not Christian to seek personal vengeance after the attack is over. "Vengeance is mine, and retribution," says Jehovah. (Deut. 32:35) Remember, Jehovah knows full well the hurt that has been inflicted upon his servants. Are we to think that the great God of Justice will not settle accounts in his due time? We can be certain that Jehovah will soon crush unrepentant wicked ones out of existence.
We can also be certain that Jehovah will reward his integrity-keeping servants with everlasting life in his new system of things. Mental and physical health will be restored to them in perfection, so that any hurt that Christians have received for maintaining integrity to God's laws will in time fade from memory. God will compensate for the hurt of his people, so that the horrible deaths in Roman arenas, German concentration camps or humiliations at the hands of beastly individuals such as in Malawi will not be remembered. "The former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart." (Isa. 65:17) It is always beneficial to remember what Jesus said: "Five sparrows sell for two coins of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them goes forgotten before God. But even the hairs of your heads are all numbered. Have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows."-Luke 12:6, 7.
Resistance includes screaming and creating as much disturbance as possible
"Aid to Bible Understanding" Book (1969 and 1971 Editions) Page 1371+ and Page 601:
[Note: The Aid Book is not available on 1993/1995/1999/2001 Official Watchtower Library CD-ROMs]
RAPE is defined as unlawful sexual intercourse without the woman's consent, effected by force, duress, intimidation...
FORNICATION: Sex relations by mutual agreement between two persons not married to each other.
The Watchtower, March 15th 1971 Issue, Page 164:
But is screaming ever justified? Yes, it is. For example, when your life is threatened or when trying to ward off an attacker. Under God's law to ancient Israel an engaged virgin who was threatened with rape was even under obligation to scream. But these are exceptional circumstances and do not represent a loss of one's self-control.-Deut. 22:23-27.
Awake!, April 22nd 1973 Issue, Pages 14-17:Protect Yourself from Crime'Foresee Danger' on the Street
Be sensible, too, when you are away from home. Many victims actually contribute to crime against themselves. How?
By where they go, for one thing. If a person is mugged on a dark city street, why was he there? Was it to engage in illegal gambling, to look for drugs or a prostitute? A policeman in Washington points to this often overlooked aspect of the crime problem: "We feel most of the people who get robbed are guys from the suburbs looking for a little action." Pure motives can be a protection!
How you dress can also get you into trouble. Why wear your finest, most expensive clothing if you will be in an area where crime occurs? Why deck yourself publicly in beautiful jewelry? If you wish to wear jewelry, why not at least wait until you get to your destination to put it on? While coming and going, it is wise to conceal jewelry on your person, not in a purse or wallet.
Style of dress can also contribute to rape. As to women being raped in a large city, one detective says: "If you ask me, they invite it. They wear those see-through blouses and skimpy skirts." An airline stewardess who keeps an apartment in New York city implied that clothing contributes to assault when she said: '"You cant even wear hot pants here, because men try to rape you." Modest apparel is becoming to a lady; in todays sex-mad world it is also "sensible."
If circumstances compel you to be in an unsafe area, stay alert, 'foreseeing danger.' Walk and act with purpose, as if someone is waiting for you. Avoid walking alone, especially at night. Stay in well-lighted areas if possible. Do not walk near buildings, but next to the curb. If you see someone suspicious ahead or apparently following you, cross to the other side of the street. If he follows, step out into the street. If ever danger is imminent, call for help.
It is best for a woman not to carry a purse; if she must, do not let it dangle at arm's length. Some men carry two wallets, one with their valuables, the other with "mugger money," a few dollars for a possible assailant. It is wise always to have money with you should you be threatened. Addicts have been known to kill in anger when persons did not have money.
Protecting Yourself When Attacked
This does not mean that a woman should give in to a sexual assault. In that case, her virginity or virtue and bodily cleanness are involved. What is the best thing she can do if attacked?"If a woman is attacked while she walks along the street," a Toronto Star article quotes Deputy Police Chief Bernard Simmonds as saying, "the best thing she can do is cry out loudly for help."Yes, scream! This is wise advice and stands in contrast with the growing number who encourage women passively to allow themselves to be raped, or to bargain with the rapist for their lives. But, if a woman allows a man to rape her, how does she know that he will not kill her afterward?
Interestingly, in God's law to Israel the primary distinction between rape and consent was whether a woman screamed for help. In modern cities onlookers have been known to watch as a woman was raped, assuming she was consenting to an act of exhibitionism since she did not scream or otherwise resist her attacker.-Read the Biblical law at Deuteronomy 22:23-29
The way you dress can actually contribute to criminal assault!If a woman is sexually attacked, the best thing she can do is SCREAM!
Awake!, March 8th 1974 Issue, Pages 13-16:Faced with the Threat of Rape
Rape is illicit sexual intercourse without the consent of the woman and is effected by force.
Scream! Scream! Scream! Is that good advice? It certainly is. Just how good this advice is can be seen from what happened on November 12, 1973, in one of Brooklyn's largest hotels.
Threatened with Rape
The rapist was a well-dressed man. He had the physique of a football player, being well over six feet tall and weighing about 250 pounds. He took the elevator to the tenth floor of the hotel and there began to molest a middle-aged woman tenant, who managed to escape his clutches by screaming. She at once called the police, who came but were unable to locate him in the building, he having fled to lower floors.
On the second floor he saw two fine young women housekeepers who asked him if they could help him. "Yes, you can," he said, and, pulling out a gun, ordered them into one of the rooms, upon which he double-locked the door. He assured them that they would not get hurt so long as they did not make any noise. He said that he needed a place to hide until things cooled off downstairs and that he would keep them there for an hour.
These two young women happened to be Christian ministers and they began to make conversation so as to release the tension. One of them asked him if they could read while they were waiting. He said Yes, and so she took a Bible study aid that was in reach, handed another to the other woman and started a Bible discussion on the subject of how long Noah had preached before the flood came, it being a subject that had come up the day before in her Christian field ministry. She noted that it must have been about forty years, but the man thought it had been about 200 years. From that discussion they went on to such subjects as the name of God, Jehovah, and the kingdom for which Jesus taught his followers to pray. They also told him that they were Christian witnesses of Jehovah and about the high standards of conduct the Witnesses have. The two women were not particularly frightened, for it seemed much like a typical Bible discussion that these girls often had, especially as the man kept expressing his own opinions on these subjects.
But after about forty-five minutes things suddenly took a disquieting turn. He looked at his watch and said that he would have to tie them up so as to give him time to get away. Although they assured him that it was not necessary, he ordered one of them to sit on the floor in a closet, upon which he tied her feet with a necktie, and her hands behind her back. He then turned off the light in the closet and closed the door. He ordered the other into the bathroom but then changed his mind and, warning her not to scream or yell, he reached for the zipper on her blouse. She exclaimed: "No! No! Not that!" and told him that if he touched her she would scream as he had never heard anyone scream before and that if he was going to shoot he might as well go ahead and shoot because if she did not scream she would be as good as dead anyhow.She told him that marriage was honorable before God and that she was married, but that what he wanted to do was not honorable. Also, that if she did not scream she would ruin her relationship with Jehovah God and the Christian congregation; that then she would be disfellowshiped or excommunicated from it and that this would be worse than being killed as far as she was concerned. He looked puzzled. He did not understand and so asked her to repeat what she had said, which she did, scared and shaking though she was. As she later explained: "The situation sickened me and the mere thought of it all was so disgusting that I knew what I had to do." After all of this he again tried to put his arms around her, upon which she moved away, saying, "Don't you touch me or come near me."
This calls to mind a statement made by the Dallas, Texas, police department, namely, that "a woman's best defenses" are, among other things, "her wits" and "a scream."
Yes, this young woman in the Brooklyn hotel used her wits by courageously using her knowledge of the Bible, thereby diverting the would-be rapist from his evil intent. As a result, he pursued the matter no further with these two women but left after first ordering them not to leave the room for fifteen minutes.
Frustrated a second time, this rapist was not giving up. Coming out into the hallway, he saw another fine young woman and began engaging her in conversation, asking where the elevators were, the nature of the rooms on the floor, and so forth. Suddenly he moved close to her and tried to push her into one of the rooms the door of which was open.
What could she do? He was every bit a foot taller than she was and weighed at least twice as much. She did what the Bible indicates a young woman should do: she screamed, louder than she had ever screamed before. (Deut. 22:23-27) This was wholly unexpected by the rapist. Startled, he ran down the steps at the end of the hallway.
As the three young women told their story at the police station, their hearers, increasing from three to eight men and two policewomen, marveled at what they heard. They could not get over it that two of these young women had talked about the Bible to a would-be rapist. One of the women officers asked for more information about the beliefs of Jehovah's witnesses and stated that if more women took such a determined and firm stand there would be fewer such crimes.
Why the Increase?
The foregoing experience in a Brooklyn hotel last November is but one instance of this social crime that is increasing on every hand. And that increase is very real. As the editor of America's Campus Law Enforcement Journal said about this increase: "It's not just a question of more women reporting it. It has happened."
No doubt one of the main reasons for rapes has ever been the extreme selfishness of men who refuse to control their mating instinct. As Dr. Ralph Garofalo, of Massachusetts' Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Sexually Dangerous Persons, put it: 'Normal men find a socially acceptable outlet for their desires, while the rapist loses sight of all moral or legal considerations.' But why the great increase of rape in modern times and in recent years?
Discussing the reasons, a Seattle, Washington, police official in charge of the city's sex-crime investigation department stated: "Our whole moral climate, our attitudes toward sex and the dress of the women have to be causes." He also stated that the 'increased exposure to pornography has contributed to the rise in reported rapes.'
Womankind must share the blame. To begin with, until the age of five or six years, the most vital period, little boys have their personalities molded largely by women, their mothers. And as they grow up, it is usually the mother that has the most opportunities to inculcate in her son respect for womankind, both by word and by example. But far too many mothers have come short in this regard. Especially and specifically blameworthy are those female relatives, such as an aunt or even a mother, who have used boys as sexual playthings, thereby starting them on a road that leads to their having aggressive feelings toward women.
A new American motion picture star who aims to occupy the place once held by America's previous sex symbol brags about her charms and about her ability to arouse men by displaying herself in motion pictures. Such actresses must also share in the blame for the increase in rapes, for after men have seen them on the screen they frequently go out and attack a woman who may be a paragon of virtue.
The New York Times, November 26, 1973, told of two fifteen-year-old girls being forced, shortly after midnight, into a store by an employee of the store who kept them for four hours and repeatedly raped one of them until the police came and rescued the girls and arrested the kidnapper and rapist. But what business did two teen-age girls have on the streets around midnight?
And never should a single woman, or even two, for that matter, take a chance on hitchhiking with a strange man. Many have done so, to be not only raped, but even murdered.
Further, in view of the way that many men think, each virtuous woman should be careful to dress modestly. According to the Seattle, Washington, police lieutenant in charge of the department dealing with such crimes, women who "reveal everything" in the way they dress make themselves more vulnerable to rape. "You can't advertise a commodity and expect no buyers . . . A little modesty," he holds, would prevent some rapes.
Awake!, March 8th 1979 Issue, Page 30:Where Are Most Rapes Committed?
Not in a dark secluded place, but indoors, and usually these are committed by someone the victim knows. A new study by Pauline Bart of the University of Illinois showed that there is more indoor rape primarily because it is easier for the victim to avoid it outdoors. What is the best method to avoid rape when confronted? Screaming and struggling.
The researcher concluded: "I do not mean to suggest that verbal strategies are useless. Women have been able to negotiate with rapists on such items as getting their credit cards back and where the rape should take place. But very few women simply talked their way out of rape. Even indoors, she suggested, women should scream and resist, since sometimes a delay could enable outside help to arrive.
Awake!, August 22nd 1980 Issue, Page 31:Best Weapon: Screaming
Chief Inspector Keith Kilbride of the West Yorkshire Crime Prevention Bureau in England observed that so much sophisticated advice has been given to women on how to ward off male attackers that many women have forgotten their "basic weapon." He states: "If a woman is attacked, her best weapon is still her lungs."
Awake!, July 8th 1980 Issue, Pages 5-6:The Growing Terror of RapeHow Most Victims React
Understandably, a woman faced with the threat of rape may be terrified. In fact, two Boston College professors, after interviews with 80 rape victims, noted: "The primary reaction of almost all women to the rape was fear." And the problem is that such fear can be paralyzing.
The illustration was given by a rape victim: "Did you ever see a rabbit stuck in the glare of your headlights when you were going down a road at night? Transfixed-like it knew it was going to get it-that's what happened."Often coupled with the fear is confusion and uncertainty. For example, a 19-year-old explained: "I never physically fought him off in any way, partly because I was frightened, mostly because in my navet I thought a girl has to do what she's told. . . . I was overwhelmingly confused and defenseless against the whole suddenness."She reacted as many others have under similar circumstances. She submitted. Few are prepared to resist--to resist for all they are worth. Elizabeth R. Dobell, writing in the magazine Seventeen, made the surprising revelation: "In only one of the 4,057 rape cases reported in New York City in 1974 was there an act of resistance. . . . Profound terror in the face of physical threats simply renders most women helpless."
The Watchtower, October 15th 1980 Issue, Page 7:Avoiding the Tragedy of Rape
Back in March 1974, Awake! magazine described how a man with a gun had held two of Jehovah's Witnesses prisoner in a hotel room. As he reached for the zipper on one girl's blouse, she exclaimed: "No! No! Not that!" She told him that if he touched her she would scream as he had never heard anyone scream before. She explained that if she did not she would ruin her relationship with Jehovah God and the Christian congregation. (Compare Deuteronomy 22:22-29.) Her firm demand: "Don't you touch me or come near me" kept the rapist at bay.This woman did the Scripturally proper thing, which actually is the best thing to do. A Christian woman is under obligation to resist, for the issue of obedience to God's law to "flee from fornication" is involved. (1 Cor. 6:18) By no means would it be proper for her willingly to submit to being raped.
The Watchtower, March 15th 1981 Issue, Page 11:To Avoid Rape--Fight!
"The view that a woman who resists [a rapist] is more likely to be injured or killed is an old wives tale," declared Detroit Police executive deputy chief James Bannon. "There has never been any evidence to back it up." On the other hand, Dr. Mary Lystad, director of the National Center for the Prevention and Control of Rape, says new studies prove that "women who used an array of physical and psychological resistance such as screaming, hitting, biting, kicking and attempting to flee were more successful in avoiding rape."
But women who merely cried or tried to talk their way out were more apt to be raped. In fact, the passive ones also were more likely to be seriously injured than were those who actively resisted the rapist's advances. "The, thing not to do is act utterly passive," warned Lystad. "A woman who behaves as if she is weak and defenseless appears to increase her risk of rape."
Similar advice has long been available to Bible readers. In ancient Israel, the Law required a woman confronted by a rapist to scream, thus putting up active resistance.-Deut. 22:23-27.
Awake!, June 22nd 1981 Issue, Page 28:From Our ReadersRAPE
I need to thank you [for the articles on rape]. Four weeks ago after leaving work at a department store at a shopping mall at 7:30, I went to my car that was parked nearby and quickly got in. Out of nowhere a man pulled my car door open and threatened to kill me if I didn't get in the back seat. I didn't have to stop and think how to react. I started screaming loudly and clawing at his head, and when he said he was going to kill me, I screamed, "No, you aren't." Anyway, he knew it wouldn't be easy. The counsel on not being intimidated helped immensely. Thankfully, he ran away, and I locked the door and drove home. -M. M., Texas
I especially liked that number, since I was raped at the age of 6 and, believe me, I will never forget the fact. I am now 14 years old. I thought it was excellent, the advice you gave us on how we can protect ourselves. I thought it important to stress in that issue that in the majority of cases relatives are the guilty ones, as was true in my case. -T. O., Brazil
The Watchtower, March 15th 1983 Issue, Pages 30-31:Defining "Fornication"
What do we understand here by "fornication"? The Greek word in this text is porneia. [Footnote says: A male or a female who is forcibly raped would not be guilty of porneia.]
Awake!, February 22nd 1984 Issue, Pages 24-27:They Resisted Rapists
GENERALLY rapists try to get a woman in some isolated place where people are not around. At times they have a weapon and threaten to use it if the victim does not cooperate. Should a Christian quietly submit?No, the situation is not the same as when a man simply is asking for money or other material possessions. A woman wisely would give him these. But the rapist is asking a person to break Gods law by committing fornication. Under such circumstances a Christian is obligated to resist.-1 Corinthians 6:18.
'But could not resistance be dangerous?' someone may ask. Yes, it could be. Yet it may well be more dangerous not to resist, as a teacher of rape self-defense notes: "He just may kill you when he's done so you can't identify him later."
The comments of a leading spokeswoman on rape are noteworthy. She said: "Despite the popular myths of male violence and the alleged safety in submission, it has never been demonstrated that resistance on the part of a rape victim in an attempt to escape 'provokes' an assailant to commit an act of murder." The following experience illustrates this.
Two young women were in a Laundromat when a man came in and at gunpoint herded them into a room in the rear of the building. He ordered them to undress. They refused, praying aloud to Jehovah God for help. Finally, they told the now-confused gunman that they were Jehovah's Witnesses and that it was against their religious belief to do what he was demanding; they would not do it even if he shot them. Result? The frustrated gunman fled.
Treat Him RespectfullyThe intended victim should remember that the rapist is a human. No doubt there are circumstances in his life that have precipitated his behavior. So although a woman should not cower in fear and permit a rapist to intimidate her, at the same time she should treat him understandingly, as a fellow human. A woman who lived in a housing project in New York City writes:
"I usually am careful when going into elevators. As usual, I checked this one out before entering, and all was OK. However, just before the door closed completely, a big man grabbed the door and opened it to come into the elevator with me. As he entered he threw a six-pack of beer at me, and I caught it. It took me by surprise.
"As the door closed he turned his back to me to do something with his pants. Then he turned around and faced me. I didn't look down at his pants but looked him in the eyes. I threw his six-pack of beer back to him, and said, 'Here is your beer.'
"At this moment, before he could do anything, I started to talk. I said I was one of Jehovah's Witnesses and was going up to the 13th floor to have a Bible study with a family who was waiting for me. I just kept talking and told him about our Bible educational work. We were half way up to the 13th floor by now, and as I kept right on talking I showed no fear, looking him straight in the eyes. Then a funny thing happened. He began to say that he loved the Bible and that he was from the South and his family loved God too.
"Meanwhile, we had reached the 13th floor, and he opened the door to let me out. He asked me if I would do him the honor of shaking his hand. I did, and he practically shook it off. Then he said he wanted to thank me because I was the first white woman that hadn't looked at him with scorn in her eyes, and that I was sincere in talking with him. He then said good-bye and wished me good luck on my Bible study."
Resisting in Ones Home
Rapes that occur in one's own home can be particularly traumatic, since the surroundings are a constant reminder of the event. How much better, therefore, for one to resist! A mother who was able to avoid being raped in her home in Detroit, Michigan, tells how she did it.
"It was 5:30 a.m. when I was awakened by the sound of footsteps. At first I was unsure from which direction they were coming. I looked at my watch and saw that it was too early for my oldest daughter to be getting ready for school. My husband is a traveling musician and was away. I had been asleep downstairs. Since I knew no one was upstairs, I decided the sounds were coming from the front porch. So I turned on the porch light. Immediately I heard footsteps run down the stairs, and when I turned, there stood a strange man.
"Because the man had his hand inside his coat, as if he had a gun, I said, 'If you are going to kill me, do it.' He said he had a gun and would shoot me if I did not do everything he commanded. He told me to turn off all the lights and sit on the couch. I turned off the lights but refused to sit on the couch. He said he would kill me if I did not let him rape me. Then he started pushing me to the couch, so I quoted Matthew 16:26, which says: 'For what benefit will it be to a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits his soul? or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?'"The man stopped pushing me and asked what the scripture meant. So I explained that if I resisted him and remained faithful to my God and my husband, and was killed for this faithfulness, I would have a hope of being resurrected to a Paradise earth and everlasting life. But if I gave in and he raped me, I would eventually die and have no hope of a resurrection."The intruder knew he was not going to talk me into letting him rape me, so he started pulling at my clothing. I remembered the scripture at Deuteronomy chapter 22 that says if you are attacked in the city and do not scream it is considered the same as consenting. I then said very loudly, 'Stop! Please! No! Dont do that! Mister, please leave my house!'"I knew that this not only would be pleasing to Jehovah but would also alert my children that this was no TV dialogue but a man attacking their mother. I also called him 'mister' so that they would know that I did not know him. The man told me to shut up, but I said I had to yell every time he attacked me."The man lunged at me again and I started to pray aloud, 'O Jehovah, please help me!' He stopped and asked who I was talking to. So I explained that Jehovah is God's name, that God has a name even as he did."To really try to frighten me, the man asked if I had ever read about whole families being killed and later being found. He said that was what he was going to do to me and my children if I wouldn't let him at least caress parts of my body. But I would not agree to this either. The man continued to threaten me, and each time I would think to myself, 'O Jehovah, what can I do?' the appropriate scripture and action would come to mind."After about 20 to 30 minutes, the man saw he was not going to be able to rape me. So he said: 'What are your childrens ages?' I replied, '14, 12, 8, 5 and 4.'"'I am going to rape your 14-year-old daughter if you dont let me rape you,' he said."I wondered how he knew that the 14-year-old was a girl. 'She is a Christian, too,' I responded, 'and she is not going to let you rape her.' He then said he would kill all of us, and headed toward my children's bedrooms. Again I wondered how he knew just which way the bedrooms were. Before I could get myself together enough to follow him, he returned to the living room with a strange look on his face. He went past me and commanded, 'Unlock the front door.'
"'It will unlock if you turn the knob,' I said. He stepped out, and when he did I pushed the door shut and put the chain on it.
"Immediately I went to my children's bedrooms and understood why the man had gone to the front door. They were gone. The week before, I had seen a special on TV telling how you should teach your children emergency escape routes from the house. I talked with my children and told them the safest and best way to leave the house was through the north bedroom windows so that they could go next door and call for help. Because my children obeyed, they were safe next door.
"Soon two police cars arrived, one in answer to my phone call, the other in answer to my neighbor's. The police said that they were not surprised to be getting a call this morning about rape. For several months, they explained, there had been many rapes at about this same time in the neighborhood. They even referred to the rapist as 'our boy.'
"The police were amazed when I told them I had neither been raped nor robbed. They said someone would get in touch with me. Later that day I was asked to come to the station for a lineup. It was very disappointing because they did not have the right man.
"The next day I received a call at work asking me to come down once again for a lineup. This time, the minute I walked into the room I saw him and almost fell to the floor . . . I learned that since his release from jail eight months before, he had raped at least 13 women in my neighborhood, including an armed policewoman. The police said that whatever my faith was, it was what had helped me not to be number 14."
Resisting When Outside
Surely, it is a terrible ordeal to face a man intent on rape. When the man has a weapon and no one else is around, the situation is especially frightening. Yet, even then, rather than being intimidated by threats and submitting, the Scripturally proper course is to resist. And, time and again, doing so has proved to be the better course. One of Jehovah's Witnesses living in a semirural area relates:
"On my way back from picking up my mail, a man wearing a ski mask came running after me with a knife. He grabbed me and tried to take me into the woods. He pulled me to the ground. Before he got me down, I screamed. He covered my mouth, but I still called out to Jehovah, praying to him for strength. The man showed me the knife and said that if I didn't keep quiet he'd hurt me. I grabbed the knife and pushed it away. He put the knife away and began to pull me up. I bit his finger, and he punched me in the head.
"He told me he wouldn't hurt me if I went peacefully. I cried, 'No!' I was determined either to escape or die there on the driveway, not in the woods. So I threw back a punch in his face. This startled him. He punched me again on the cheek. I was knocked to the ground but kicked my legs at him fiercely to get him away from me.
"I was able to get to my feet, and I ran toward the road leading to other houses. I looked back and saw him taking off through the woods in the direction of my house. I ran to the nearest house. The police were called. They came in force, surrounded the area and caught the rapist. He confessed to the whole thing, so I didnt have to identify him."
Being Prepared to Resist
For a woman, perhaps there is not a more frightening or shattering thing than rape. She may not even want to think about it. Yet rape is a reality of life. Even the Bible tells about rapes and attempted rapes that occurred thousands of years ago.-Genesis 19:4-11; 34:1-7; Judges 19:22-27; 2 Samuel 13:1-14.
In these critical times, however, rapes have become everyday occurrences in many cities and towns. In fact, the American Medical News of February 4, 1983, observed: "Perhaps one of six women in this country will become a victim of rape, which has been called the nations most rapidly increasing violent crime."
So rather than ignore the possibility of a rape attempt, it only makes sense for a woman to think ahead as to what she will do if she is ever threatened by a rapist. There should be a realistic readiness on her part to resist. "The view that a woman who resists is more likely to be injured or killed is an old wives' tale," said Detroit Police Executive Deputy Chief James Bannon. "There has never been any evidence to back it up."In ancient Israel, God's law required a woman confronted by a rapist to scream, thus putting up active resistance. (Deuteronomy 22:23-27) This is a wise course. According to Chief Inspector Keith Kilbride of the West Yorkshire Crime Prevention Bureau in England, "if a woman is attacked, her best weapon is still her lungs."
For further help in coping with the growing threat of rape, you may want to read information such as appeared in Awake! of July 8, 1980, and The Watchtower of October 15, 1980. Those articles were designed to help prevent rape. Also, a woman may talk to her husband, her father or a trusted friend to get advice on defensive measures. And a boy can talk to his parents. In addition, the experiences presented here may help you to resist a rapist successfully if you are ever faced with such a threat.
Awake!, April 8th 1984 Issue, Page 29:Resisting Rape
"The more strategies you use, the higher the probability of rape avoidance," concludes sociologist Pauline Bart from studies of women who foiled rapes. "Few women avoided rape with only one strategy." As reported in The Edmonton Journal of Canada, her studies showed that it is best to use several tactics, such as screaming, fleeing or even physical force. "By fighting back, a woman significantly increases her chance of avoiding rape," Bart said. "Not resisting is no guarantee of humane treatment." In addition, "Raped women who used physical strategies," she said, "were less likely to be depressed than raped women who did not physically resist their assailants."
Awake!, June 8th 1984 Issue, Page 28:From Our ReadersResisting Rapists
Thank you for the article "They Resisted Rapists." (February 22, 1984) Eleven years ago I was attacked by the son of people I cleaned house for. I was only 16 years old at the time. I remembered that I must scream and not give in to him. I bit his lip and tried to scream but he yanked my hair and put his hand over my mouth. I tried to bite again and I also prayed to Jehovah to help me in my fight. I kept struggling until he suddenly got up and sat in a chair, staring at me. Then he left the house. I feel that it is important to note that he wasn't a total stranger to me. It is good for women to be on their guard and think ahead as to what they would do if such a nightmare should ever befall them. -C. H., Illinois
I was deeply disturbed by the article "They Resisted Rapists." I am very upset that anyone would even consider a victim of rape guilty of fornication. The scripture at Deuteronomy that you quote only requires that the woman scream, not fight to the death! -C. W., Indiana
Thank you for your article "They Resisted Rapists." I really appreciated its fine counsel to "use our lungs," and treat the rapist respectfully. I also found enlightening the experiences of those women who resisted the rapist successfully. -T. C., Florida
Your article "They Resisted Rapists" disturbed me very much. I was raped by a man who attacked me with a knife. I could only scream once because of being choked and having a large hand pressed against my mouth. I fought until I was unconscious. Because I survived, it disturbs me that it is fornication on my part. You say to show a rapist respect. These men show no respect for their victim. They don't care that they are shattering a woman, leaving in her memory horror for the rest of her life. Unless you have personally experienced the horror of this crime, you can never truly understand. -A. G., MassachusettsFor the victim to be considered guilty of fornication there would need to be proof of willing consent. Apparently the requirement of Deuteronomy 22:25-27 for the woman to resist by screaming would clear her from any suspicion of such consent on her part. The value of resisting was emphasized by University of Illinois sociologist Pauline Bart who made a study of women who foiled rapes. In her studies, as reported in "The Edmonton Journal" of Canada (November 10, 1983), she states: "By fighting back, a woman significantly increases her chance of avoiding rape . . . Not resisting is no guarantee of humane treatment." She further stated: "Raped women who used physical strategies were less likely to be depressed than raped women who did not physically resist their assailants." As to showing respect for the potential rapist, it is not that he deserves it, but treating him civilly might help to elicit a considerate response and serve as a means for the potential victim to get out of a very dangerous situation.-ED [Editor].
1986 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, Page 235:
Sisters also went through severe tests. Soldiers attempted to rape some of them. But when one sister prayed to Jehovah, feigned epilepsy and collapsed, frothing at the mouth , the soldiers took to their heels. Brother Ekong of Uyo Afaha Nkan was shot when he refused to let soldiers rape his daughter, and others, too, were killed because they would not allow their wives or daughters to be violated.
Awake!, May 22nd 1986 Issue, Page 23:Why you should resist an attacker from the first moment:
1. Attacker may be startled and leave you
2. You may incapacitate attacker and be able to flee
3. Attacker may lose sexual urge or tire out and retreat
4. You can attract others to assist you
5. Your conscience will be clear. (Even if you are raped, you will not sacrifice your self-respect or cleanness before God)
6. Injuries you inflict on an attacker will help police identify him later (for example, bits of his skin under your fingernails)
Awake!, September 22nd 1986 Issue, Page 28:From Our ReadersResisting Rape
Thank you for your article "Now You Are Going to Die!" (May 22, 1986) I might note some concerns about the advice given, however. Some rapists are very angry and sadistic in their approach and come armed with weapons and the intent to use them if there is the least provocation. Our Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault suggests resistance, but if the woman is paralyzed by fear or her instincts tell her not to resist, we recognize that as appropriate. We would rather have someone live through the experience than be killed or seriously mutilated. -P. R., United States
The Bible does support the thought that a woman attacked by a rapist should scream and resist. True, the woman has to respond according to her assessment of the danger to her life, and we believe that is covered in the advice given in the box on page 23 (May 22, 1986). It should be kept in mind that submitting to rape gives no guarantee that the victim will not be beaten or killed afterward. See the article "They Resisted Rapists" in our issue of February 22, 1984.ED [Editor].
Awake!, December 8th 1986 Issue, Page 28:From Our ReadersAvoiding Being Raped
I have to thank you for the item entitled "Best Weapon: Screaming" that gave advice on avoiding being raped. (August 22, 1980, "Watching the World") While walking from one village to another recently, a man pursued me and made a violent attempt to rape me. I screamed and shouted aloud for help. Two men ran out from the bush to rescue me, and the rapist ran away. Thanks again. -E. A. A., Nigeria
"Insight on the Scriptures" Volume 2 (1988), Page 753:RAPE
Rape is defined as unlawful sexual intercourse without the woman's consent, effected by force, duress, intimidation, or deception as to the nature of the act.
Jehovah warned of the consequences that would come upon Israel if the people disobeyed his law. He foretold that, besides suffering sicknesses and calamities, they would fall into the hands of their enemies, and he said: "You will become engaged to a woman, but another man will rape [form of shaghal'] her." (De 28:30) This took place when, because of their disobedience, Jehovah removed his protection from the nation, and the pagan enemies overran their cities. (Compare Zec 14:2.) Babylon was also foretold to suffer such treatment, which occurred when it fell to the Medes and Persians. (Isa 13:1, 16) According to the Law, such would not happen to nations subjugated by Israel, for the soldiers were forbidden to have sexual relations during a military campaign.-1Sa 21:5; 2Sa 11:6-11.
A case of multiple rape in the city of Gibeah of Benjamin in the days of the Judges set off a chain of events in retribution, which resulted in nearly wiping out the tribe of Benjamin. Good-for-nothing men in the city, perverted in sex desires, demanded to have sex relations with a Levite visitor. Instead of submitting, he gave them his concubine who had previously committed fornication against him. The men abused her all night until she died. The Hebrew term 'anah', rendered "rape" in this account, also has the meanings "afflict," "humiliate," and "oppress."-Jg chaps 19, 20.
King Davids son Amnon forcibly violated his half sister Tamar, for which Tamar's brother Absalom brought about his death. (2Sa 13:1-18) When the scheming Haman the Agagite was exposed before the Persian king Ahasuerus for his treachery against the Jews, and especially against Ahasuerus' queen, Esther, the king was enraged. Knowing that he could expect no mercy from the king, Haman in desperation fell down upon the couch where Esther was lying, pleading with her. When the king reentered the room, he saw Haman there and cried out: "Is there also to be a raping of the queen, with me in the house?" Immediately he sentenced Haman to death. The sentence was carried out, and evidently afterward Haman was hanged on the stake that had been erected by Haman for the hanging of Esther's cousin Mordecai. (Es 7:1-10) In the record of the king's statement (Es 7:8) the Hebrew word kavash' is used; it means "subdue, subject" (Ge 1:28; Jer 34:16) but can also mean "rape."
Under the Law, if an engaged girl committed fornication with another man, both she and the man were to be put to death. But if the girl screamed for help, this was taken as proof of her innocence. The man was put to death for his sin in which he forced her, and the girl was exonerated.-De 22:23-27.
Awake!, September 8th 1988 Issue, Page 28:From Our ReadersAvoiding Rape
Last December, I was attacked. A man grabbed me from behind. I remembered that the magazine (July 8, 1980) advised women to scream in such situations. Since he had his hand over my mouth, I tried biting it to be able to scream, but it was impossible. He kept saying that he would kill me if I didn't calm down. But I was in no doubt as to what to do.I managed to open my mouth and found the palm of his hand between my teeth. I bit him with all the strength I had, and he loosened his hold on me. I bit him again, and pulling his hand away with my nails, I screamed as loud as I could. Swearing at me, he punched me hard in my mouth and then ran off. How grateful I was! I will never miss an article in these fine magazines. -D. P. Italy
I have to thank you for the "Watching the World" item "Best Weapon: Screaming" that gave advice on avoiding rape. (August 22, 1980) While I was walking from one village to another recently, a man pursued me and made a violent attempt to rape me. I screamed and shouted for help. Two men ran out from the bush to rescue me, and the rapist ran away. Thanks again. -E. A. A., Nigeria
Awake!, August 22nd 1989 Issue, Page 24:If a woman does not cry out when attacked, it indicates she is submitting to the man and is committing a sin against Jehovah.
"Pay Attention To Yourselves And To All The Flock", Confidential Elders-Only Rule-Book (1991), Page 93:
Self-abuse, or masturbation, is not "porna'a," nor would one who was raped be guilty of porneia.
Awake!, July 8th 1991 Issue, Page 13:[Footnotes]
While the context shows that Paul was here referring to verbal fights, the original language word rendered "fight" (ma'khesthai) is generally associated with armed or hand-to-hand combat.
A woman threatened with rape should scream and use any means at her disposal to resist intercourse.-Deuteronomy 22:23-27.
Awake!, March 8th 1993 Issue, Pages 4-5:The Reality of Rape
Rape myths create a false sense of security. In other words, if you can find some fault in the victim's behavior-she dressed in tight clothing or she went out alone at night or she really wanted to have sexual relations-you or your loved ones will be safe if that conduct is avoided; therefore you will never be raped. The alternative, that rape is a senseless act of violence that can happen to anybody, regardless of how she is dressed, is too terrifying to accept.
One woman, raped by someone she thought of as "nice, respectable," pleads: "The worst possible thing you can do is believe it won't happen to you."
Rape Myths and Realities
The following are some of the long-held misconceptions about rape that serve to blame the victim and to perpetuate attitudes that encourage the perpetrators:
Myth: Rape happens only when a woman is attacked by a stranger.
Fact: The majority of women who are raped are assaulted by someone they know and had trusted. One study found that 84 percent of victims knew their attackers and that 57 percent of the rapes happened on dates. One out of 7 married women will be raped by her own husband. Rapes are violent and emotionally traumatic whether the attacker is a stranger, a spouse, or a date.
Myth: It's rape only if a woman afterward shows evidence of resistance, such as bruises.Fact: Whether they physically resisted or not, few women show visible evidence, such as bruises or cuts.Myth: A rape victim bears part of the blame unless she actively resists.Fact: Rape by definition takes place when force or the threat of force is used to gain sexual penetration, of any kind whatsoever, against a person's will. It is the rapist's use of force against an unwilling victim that makes him a rapist. Thus, a rape victim is not guilty of fornication. Like an incest victim, she may be forced to submit to an act she doesn't want because of the perceived power held over her by another person. When a woman is forced to submit to a rapist out of terror or disorientation, it does not mean that she consents to the act. Consent is based on choice without threat and is active, not passive.Myth: Rape is an act of passion.Fact: Rape is an act of violence. Men rape, not solely for sex, but to feel power over another person.Myth: A woman can tease or lead a man on to the point that he can no longer control his sexual urges.Fact: Men who rape do not have a stronger sex drive than other men have. Rather, one third of all rapists were unable to complete the sex act. In most cases rapes are planned acts, not spontaneous urges. Both stranger and acquaintance rapists usually set up their victims-the stranger by stalking the victim until she is alone, the acquaintance by arranging a situation where she is isolated.Myth: Women lie about rape to get revenge on a man or because they feel guilty about having sex.Fact: False reports of rape occur at the same rate as for any other violent crime: 2 percent. On the other hand, researchers agree that rape is grossly underreported.Myth: A woman can "ask" to be raped by wearing provocative clothing, drinking alcohol, letting a man pay her way, or going to his home.Fact: Using bad judgment, being naive or ignorant, does not mean that a woman deserves to be raped. Rapists bear sole responsibility for the rape.
[Footnote says: "The crime is not about the act of 'sex' but rather the sexual act is the tool that the perpetrator uses to commit a violent crime."-Wanda Keyes-Robinson, division chief, Sexual Offense Unit, Baltimore City, Maryland.]
Box on Page 7 says:
Profile of a Potential Rapist
* Emotionally abuses you by insulting you, ignoring your views, or getting angry or annoyed when you make a suggestion.
* Tries to control elements of your life, such as how you dress and who your friends are. Wants to make all the decisions on a date, such as where to eat or what movie to see.
* Gets jealous for no reason.
* Talks down about women in general.
* Gets drunk or "high" and tries to get you to do the same.
* Pressures you to be alone with him or to have sex.
* Won't let you share expenses on a date and gets angry if you offer to pay.
* Is physically violent even in subtle ways, such as grabbing or pushing.
* Intimidates you by sitting too close, blocking your way, touching when you've said not to, or talking as if he knows you better than he actually does.
* Can't handle frustration without getting angry.
* Doesn't view you as an equal.
* Enjoys weapons and likes being cruel to animals, children, or people he can bully.
From I Never Called It Rape, by Robin Warshaw.
Awake!, March 22nd 1993 Issue, Pages 21-22:I Screamed, the Rapist Fled
Then something happened in my life that gave me the faith that Jehovah would always provide and care for me. Someone broke into my home and attempted to rape me. He attacked me as I slept, and when I awoke, he threatened to kill me if I screamed or moved. Although I was terrified, Jehovah helped me to be calm and have the presence of mind to pray and weigh every alternative. I knew what the Bible said about screaming, but I also felt that he would probably kill me if I screamed, and then my children would wake up, and he would kill them. I saw my name flash in the obituaries and prayed that Jehovah would protect my children if I died. Even so, I did what the Bible alluded to--I screamed. (Deuteronomy 22:26, 27) The rapist fled. I really believed I was going to die that night. I drew ever closer to Jehovah.
Awake!, January 8th 1997 Issue, Pages 6-8:Do What You Can Under the Circumstances
"Someone is murdered in the United States every 22 minutes, robbed every 47 seconds and seriously assaulted every 28 seconds," reports Staying Alive--Your Crime Prevention Guide. In conditions like that, what can you do? At the very least, you can try to avoid making yourself an obvious target or an easy victim. Be alert and prudent. Do what you can to minimize the danger.
Doing what you can to protect yourself is implicit in the advice given in the Bible. "Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one considers his steps." (Proverbs 14:15; 27:12) Many dismiss the Bible as old-fashioned and impractical. But its sound advice can help you survive. Wise King Solomon wrote: "Wisdom [like that found in the Bible] is for a protection the same as money is for a protection; but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom itself preserves alive its owners."Ecclesiastes 7:12.
Many readers of Awake! have found this to be true. For example, some have gained a measure of protection by screaming loudly when threatened with rape or other violence, in harmony with what is mentioned at Deuteronomy 22:23, 24. Others have followed the Bibles advice to keep clear of anything "that pollutes either body or spirit." (2 Corinthians 7:1, The Twentieth Century New Testament) They have thus protected themselves from peddlers of tobacco and drugs, who enrich themselves at the expense of peoples health. Many readers have also avoided the traps of money-grubbing TV preachers and power-hungry politicians. (See box, page 7.) Read the Bible. You may be surprised at how much practical help it gives.
The Watchtower, December 15th 1998 Issue:
This exemplifies that when it comes to money and material things, victims of robbery who do not resist may reduce the likelihood of injury.
[Footnote says: There are, of course, limits to cooperation. Jehovah's servants do not cooperate in any way that violates God's law. For example, a Christian would not willingly submit to rape.]
David Semonian, a Spokesman for the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, answered Questions prompted by Diane Wilson's Book on the Watchtower Society. He spoke by Phone from the Organization's Bethel World Headquarters in Brooklyn, New York (This was Published on a News Website on May 18th 2002):
Reporter's Question: "How is rape viewed?"
David Semonian's Answer: "Any time a woman is sexually assaulted, we view it as a horrible crime. And we are there -- the Elders, the Congregation -- to support that person. We handle it with the utmost compassion."
Reporter's Question: "Has the Watchtower "zigzagged" on Doctrine?"
David Semonian's Answer: "We've never claimed to be infallible, inspired or perfect as an Organization. And so it's a fact that with increased knowledge, as we increase our study of the Bible and come to a better understanding, that from time to time we will make adjustments. We humbly do that."
Reporter's Question: "Is the Organization a Direct Channel between God and humanity?"
David Semonian's Answer: "Again, our Governing Body has never claimed that our Organization is inspired or infallible. Instead they, our Governing Body, study the Bible diligently and through prayer they make a request for his Holy Spirit to direct them and be upon them. And with his help, they come to decisions. So we believe this to be the Channel that God is using today. But our Governing Body has said that it is not inspired or infallible."
Reporter's Question: "What is 'Disfellowshipping'?"
David Semonian's Answer: "It involves someone who has committed a serious spiritual violation, such as adultery or stealing; the Bible directs that they receive a readjustment. They usually meet with three Elders of the Congregation, who will see if the alleged accusation is true, because sometimes it's not. And the Elders will see whether the person confesses or whether there are witnesses to the act."
"And if it is true, the Scriptures say to readjust the person, help them come to their senses that what they did was wrong, to show them that Jehovah God is very merciful if they change their course. So it's a very loving arrangement. The aim is to keep the person in good standing with God and the Congregation."
"Now if the person blatantly refuses to be helped, even after several Meetings, then the Bible says in First Corinthians, 'Quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that . . .,' and then it mentions a variety of serious sins. It mentions a fornicator, an idolator, a drunkard."
"This is only after they blatantly refuse the help. Then the Bible says to quit mixing with them, or the term we use is 'Disfellowship.' Other Churches say 'Excommunicate.' "
"Now, why is that loving? Because the rest of the Congregation knows that they are among clean worshipers of Jehovah. They are protected against serious, wrong violators of Bible principles. The shunning has also impressed, upon the one who refuses, the need to come back to the loving Congregation. It may help him come back to his senses."
August 2nd 2002 Interview with J.R. Brown (Watchtower Society's Main Spokesman) by a Reporter, Michael Morris (mikepence), over the Phone:
Question asked by Michael Morris (mikepence): "Is requiring a woman to scream during a rape a 'reasonable position to take'?"
Answer by J.R. Brown: "We feel that is a reasonable position to take. We've had a fairly consistent Policy. If this [screaming and resisting sexual assault] has been done, then we are not going to view that, obviously, as some immorality."
J.R. Brown and Michael Morris (mikepence) did not discuss whether Jehovah's Witnesses require a child to scream during a rape or not.
Michael Morris (mikepence) said this after the Interview: "Would I be compromising my objectivity to admit that I need to go puke in disgust?"
The Watchtower, February 1st 2003 Issue:
Questions From Readers
Why does the Bible say that a person should scream if threatened with rape?
Anyone who has not personally experienced the horror of being brutally assaulted by a rapist can never truly understand how it can shatter one's life. The experience is so terrifying for the victim that it may trouble her for the rest of her life* [FOOTNOTE SAYS: Although this article speaks about female victims, the principles discussed also apply to males who are threatened with rape.]. A young Christian woman who was attacked by a rapist some years ago relates: "Words cannot express the sheer terror I felt that night or the trauma I've had to overcome since," Understandably, many prefer not even to think about this frightening subject. Yet, the threat of rape is a reality, in this wicked world.
The Bible does not shy from recounting some cases of rape and attempted rape that occurred In the past. (Genesis 19:4-11; 34:7-7; 2 Samuel 13:1-14) But it also offers counsel on what one should do when threatened with rape. What the Law says on the matter is found at Deuteronomy 22:23-27. This covers two situations. In the first case, a man found a young woman in a city and lay down with her. Even so, the woman did not scream or cry for help. Consequently, it was determined that she was guilty "for the reason that she did not scream in the city." If she had cried out, people nearby might have been able to come to her rescue. In the second Instance, a man found a young woman in the countryside, where he "grabbed hold of her and lay dawn with her." In defense, the woman "screamed, but there was no one to rescue her." Unlike the woman in the first instance, this woman clearly did not give in to the actions of the attacker. She actively resisted him, crying for help, but she was overpowered. Her screaming proved that she was an unwilling victim; she was not guilty of wrongdoing.
Although Christians today are not under the Mosaic Law, the principles mentioned therein provide them with guidance. The above account underscores the importance of resisting and screaming for help. Screaming when threatened with rape is still viewed as a practical course. One expert on crime prevention stated: "If a woman is attacked, her best weapon is still her Lungs." A woman's screaming may attract others, who can then assist her, or it may startle an attacker and make him leave. A young Christian woman who was attacked by a rapist stated: "I screamed with all my might, and he backed off. When he came toward me again, I screamed and ran. In the past I had often thought, 'How can screaming help me when some big man grabs me with only one thing on his mind?' But I've learned that it works!"
Even in the sad case where a woman is over powered and raped, her struggle and screaming for help is not in vain. On the contrary, it establishes that she did all she possibly could to resist her attacker. (Deuteronomy 22:26) Despite going through this ordeal, she can still have an undefiled conscience, self-respect, and the assurance that she is clean in God's eyes. The horrifying experience might leave her with emotional wounds, but knowing that she did all she could to resist the attack will greatly contribute to her gradual healing.
In understanding the application of Deuteronomy 22:23-27, we must realize that this brief account does not cover all possible situations. For example, it does not comment on the situation where the attacked woman cannot scream because she is mute, unconscious, or paralyzed with fear or is forcibly prevented from screaming by a hand or tape over her mouth. However, since Jehovah is able to weigh all factors, including motives, he deals with understanding and justice in such cases, for "all his ways are justice." (Deuteronomy 32:4) He is aware of what actually took place and of the efforts the victim put forth to fight off her attacker. Therefore, a victim who was unable to scream but otherwise did all she could under the circumstances can leave matters in Jehovah's hands. -Psalm 55;22; 1Peter 5:7.
Even so, some Christian women who have been attacked and violated are incessantly pained by feelings of guilt. In hindsight, they feel that they should have done more to prevent the incident from happening. However, instead of blaming themselves, such victims can pray to Jehovah, ask for his help, and have confidence in his abundant loving-kindness.-Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:5.
Hence, Christian women who are presently coping with emotional wounds resulting from an encounter with a rapist can be confident that Jehovah fully understands the painful feelings they are dealing with. God's Word assures them: "Jehovah is near to those that are broken at heart; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves." (Psalm 34:18) Further help to cope with their trauma can come from accepting the sincere understanding and gentle support of fellow believers in the Christian congregation. (Job 29:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:14) Moreover, the victims' own efforts to concentrate on positive thoughts will help them to experience "the peace of God that excels all thought"-Philippians 4:6-9.
Edited by - UnDisfellowshipped on 10 February 2003 0:40:24