Deaf Aotearoa flooded with complaints about Jehovah's Witness church

by OrphanCrow 40 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • OrphanCrow
    Deaf Aotearoa flooded with complaints about Jehovah's Witness churchKASHKA TUNSTALLLast updated 15:22, October 6 2015
    Deaf Aotearoa has asked the Jehovah's Witness church to respond to claims of a deaf information database.
    New Zealand's deaf community is fed up with unsolicited house calls, claiming the Jehovah's Witness church is targeting deaf households.
    Deaf Aotearoa has received multiple complaints from around the country and says church members visited certain homes because they were aware a deaf person lived there.
    The organisation released a statement on Monday, saying it was looking into the possibility the church holds a database listing the details of members of the deaf community.
    Jehovah Witness spokesman Rod Spinks said there was no such database and deaf people were not being targeted.
    The Deaf Aotearoa statement was posted on the group's Facebook page, and received a flood of comments from frustrated people.
    One woman said a group of Jehovah's Witnesses had come to her house and asked "for the deaf person who lives here." She said they refused to explain how they had her details and didn't visit her neighbours.
    Another said church members had turned up at her work and asked for her by name.
    Hamilton man Royce Flynn said he had been visited six times over the last nine months, despite repeatedly saying he was uninterested in the house calls.
    He said the church members were always able to sign and also brought deaf people along, which lead him to believe he was being singled out.
    Flynn said contacted local police, who told him it was a privacy issue and referred him on to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
    He said he had been been in contact with local Labour member of parliament Sue Moroney.
    Deaf Aotearoa acting chief executive Jill Dean said complaints about the church were a recurring issue.
    "Certainly the concerns that have been raised recently are about how do the church know where deaf people are."
    With the number of deaf who primarily sign only around 4000, Dean said she found it "an almighty coincidence" that a "minority church" would have turned up at the number of deaf homes they had with a signer in tow.
    "It's beyond reasonable to think it's a coincidence," she said.
    Dean's main concern was for privacy of the community.
    "Deaf people value their privacy very highly," she said.
    "I think a lot of that is around that it's very difficult for people to have a private conversation … usually there is a third person involved."
    "It's a very precious thing. Any kind of breach of that, it just feels very much worse to a deaf person."
    "It's difficult, people are isolated and it can be quite an intimidating to have several people on your doorstep."
    She said she would be waiting for a response from the church but if the answers received were unsatisfactory, the organisation would escalate the matter to the privacy commissioner.
    Spinks said he was unaware of the allegations and said there was no database.
    "I think it's well known that Jehovah's Witnesses call on every house in the community," he said.
    "We certainly are not targeting deaf people, we call on everyone and we speak many languages."
    Spinks said thousands of church members has taken the time to learn sign language and it was common for people to have basic signing skills.
    He said groups who went out visiting did not intentionally knock on the doors of deaf people.
    But, he said, if the church members met a deaf person and couldn't communicate with them, it was likely that somebody who could communicate would return to the house - if it was felt the person was responsive.
    He said the claims of "targeting" sounded like a misunderstanding, and should he see a complaint, the church would "take it seriously straight away."
    Dean said deaf people who felt harassed should contact the local meeting house of the church and make a complaint.
    "[Let] people know they're not welcome to call in any unsolicited way," she said.
    "If people are wanting to make a complaint, we've got staff around the country happy to support them."

  • tim3l0rd

    While I don't think that there is an issue with JWs having a database of those who are deaf (all of our names and addresses appear on some Compagnie's database), my biggest issue with this article is the lie told by Spinks that there is no database. The other problem is that they keep harassing the same people after being told to not come back, but that's more of an internal communication issue.

    How Spinks can say with a straight face that there is no db is beyond me. Every foreign language group or congregation works off of a db of names of known users of the language. I wish I llived in NZ. I'd contact this group and tell them that Spinks is lying to them.

  • Sabin
    Well isn't he the liar cause we all know that they do document where the deaf are & they are targeted by the witnesses & certain one`s do go learn sign language purely so they can go to these one`s houses. I expect amongst themselves the jdub`s will be saying the deaf community is persecuting them.
  • cultBgone
    The sign language groups are notorious for this behavior, and yes, they do actively keep updated lists of deaf persons. In fact, their "door-to-door" work 100% involves asking this single question: Do you know anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing? They call it canvassing. The fact that no presentations are used is one reason so many dubs flock to the sign language congs as it makes counting time a breeze. In the US, their "territories" often cover multiple counties so they may spend twelve hours on a Sunday without really ever "preaching". Dub life is EASY in Sign Language!!
  • tim3l0rd
    Dub life is EASY in Sign Language!!

    Unless you wake up and want to fade. Then you're harassed because it's a "privilege" to be in a foreign language group and by not being the stellar witness example you're damaging the congregation.

  • Simon
    How Spinks can say with a straight face that there is no db is beyond me. Every foreign language group or congregation works off of a db of names of known users of the language

    Because he'll be lying but 'technically correct'.

    They probably have an Excel Spreadsheet, Yup, that's *not* a database. Of course they should be asked if they have "records" which is more generic. It could also have been pushed out to the local congregations to maintain the list in their area - again, the WTS will have "no database" but they are targeting the deaf.

  • tim3l0rd
    Because he'll be lying but 'technically correct'.

    I know he's getting by on a 'technicality', but it is still a straight-up deception. He knows that the local congregation keeps a list and however they keep it it is still a database. Here's the definition of a database: a comprehensive collection of related data organized for convenient access, generally in a computer.

    No matter how they store the 'list' it would still be a database unless they had everything on paper and threw them haphazardly in a drawer somewhere. This crap makes my blood boil. Even more so because every time I bring something like this up with my spouse, she just ignores it.

  • Magnum

    Sorry, I think I accidentally hit "dislike" on the OP. I liked it.

    edit: Well, I went back and hit "like" and now the dislike is gone. I didn't know we could change our choice once we hit the button.

  • Londo111
    Theocratic warfare is no surprise. Hopefully someone is keeping those investigating this complain in the loop.
  • freemindfade
    Jehovah Witness spokesman Rod Spinks said there was no such database and deaf people were not being targeted.

    MORE LIES!!!

    wow. I hate this religion. They have no problem out right lying. I know they do for a fact, maybe not "official deaf database" but I know many who were involved in specific congregations and territories for the deaf. wow. How do you have a 'deaf territory' without a list/database/something keeping track of where they are.

    When they find the data base, witnesses will say oh that? That's not a database, thats not what we call it, its blah blah blah. See we didn't lie.

    f-ck your lying cult.

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