I'd report THAT to the police, but not THIS...
A J.W.'s personal thoughts are neither here nor there - telephone the Branch Office/search the WT CD ROM, and get the official answers to your questions, then confront your study conductors with the real facts.
That's just the thing... What I see when I ask questions is fear. I will normally not get an answer until the next week, giving them time - I suppose - to look things up. There's nothing wrong with looking things up, of course, but it's sad to see how fearful they are of answering something when they do not have the correct WT response handy.
I see this when I ask questions pertaining to the Bible, too (the Watchtower-Bible, which is something quite different than just the Bible, in my experince).
I have one recommendation: SOLIDIFY A RELATIONSHIP or they'll bolt - especially if they can control whether the meeting happens or not as you have to expect them at YOUR house.
Actually, all of the meetings (apart from the first two or three) have been at their house. They pick me up and drive me back home, too. I do however do what you're suggesting; I offer to bring food every now and again, and I've helped them with various computer problems and such. But I cannot help but feel that they would drop me like a hot potatoe if they think I'm too interested in things about their organization that are not what they are trained for.
I'm glad to learn I'm not the only one doing what I'm doing. If you do not mind, it would perhaps be a good experience to "compare notes" every now and again? Just a thought, and you're absolutely not obligated to saying yes!
Hi Northern Star and welcome!
I have little to add except, in my 50 years experience as a JW - kid, teenager, adult, MS, elder, ex elder, now just nominally in for family - here in the UK I have never come across any JW that would not go to the police for a witnessed murder.
Mind you it has never actually been put to the test around my experience.
I know I have heard of those that have covered up drink-driving offences, drug abuse and theft at the low to middling range of offences and those that have probably perjured themselves.
Certainly child protection issues are generally viewed as a congregational problem and not a police matter. Witnesses would typically ask an elder or close friend's view before going to the authorities.
When I was an elder I just went to the police about two child protection matters but told them (the Police) that I was "breaking ranks" and hoped they could proceed without divulging my involvement. I further assured the police that if it was absolutely necessary to come forward publically then I would do so.
The couple calling on you are:
Happy to count time and a bible study on their reports.
Even crazier than most JW's if they would not report murder.
Why not show them their own older publications about false prophecies?
May 22nd Awake 1969 about young people "facing the fact" that they will not fulfill a career in this old system" which will be gone in a few years.
1984 Watchtower about the generation that will not pass away.
That sort of thing.
I was a Jehovah's Witness for thirty years and I would have reported a murder to the police, even as indoctrinated JW. The law must be obeyed unless it conflicts with God's laws, and I am not aware of any reasoning that says you cannot report wrongdoing to the legal authorities. But I would also have reported child abuse also, so maybe I am not an average JW.
Welcome to the forum Northern Star
The reason that you most likely got that statement about murder is that JWS are rigidly indoctrinated to protect the image of the organization ( Jehovah's Earthly organization )
This also pertains to notifying the police of possible situations of pedophilia.
The WTS recently set out instructions as how congregations are to deal with these kinds of situations and the direction was for elders to only report these circumstances when required to do so by law of where they live.
Prior to this directive the normal procedure was to handle these situations themselves internally, which was an act of irresponsibility and apathy concerning the victims..
In spite of the fact that pedophilia is a serious crime in most countries.
Many of these perpetrators flew the coop as they say, once they were identified.
As it is many JWs when studying will say things out their own individual perception but one thing to keep in mind is that JWS are deeply indoctrinated to protect the Organization and uphold the image of the organization, more importantly than caring for personal individuals.
One thing worthy to note as that the JWS try to emulate the social moral standards of the ancient Hebrews and this pertains to the two witnesses rule, in how to handle situations of misconduct against another person. They describe it has gods guiding direction.
Thanks for your reply!
here in the UK I have never come across any JW that would not go to the police for a witnessed murder.
I am very happy to hear that. As I have stated elsewhere in this thread, I hope it's a misunderstanding on part of the JW couple I'm engaged with, but I kind-of find it difficult to believe as they've been member for so long. I hope, anyway!
I've pointed out some glaringly false prophecies, like the world ending (Armageddon) several times (it didn't, you may have noticed!), the Watchtower's involvement with the UN, the "generation of 1914", and a few other things (I'll be posting more about this later). The answer I always get is: "Yes, human beings have made mistakes, but Jehovah doesn't. The Truth is being revealed to us all the time, little by little, like a light shining brighter day by day".
I would have reported a murder to the police, even as indoctrinated JW. [...] But I would also have reported child abuse also, so maybe I am not an average JW.
That is definitely good to hear, Lisa. I am happy to learn that not reporting a murder is "standard", even though that is what I was told by this specific couple. The reasoning I was given was that the murderer should follow his own conscience, but that the congregation (or rather the elders, I suppose), would encourage the person to turn himself in. But they would not report him if he chose not to do it himself, is what I was told.
Yes, I can imagine that protecting "Jehovah's earthly organization" would count heavily. I see in many of our conversations that it is important to them to present the organization as "clean and pure".
I watched/listened to the enitre eight-day debacle in Australia, and figured there would be some changes made with regard to reporting child abuse. Very sad that only mandatory (by the law) reporting is encouraged! And the two-witness rule is - obviously - ridiculous in cases of child sexual abuse. Who in their right mind would sexually assault a child with two witnesses wathing?!?
One of the things you are probably now aware of is that JW's practice 'rational ignorance'......... take Evolution for instance. That's a big no no in the Witness world.....you can't support evolution, believe in it, teach it. So there is no rational reason to understand it. The same with questioning the WTBTS or that God has picked this group to be His channel on Earth. A JW learns early on that questioning after a certain point in the relationship is discouraged.
In the JW world you must obey and then if there is 'new light' and that particular belief changes you must obey and believe in that change and if it changes back or becomes different once again you must believe it.
jwfacts.com has a list of flip flops that are amazing.
One thing the Borganization is discourages freedom of thought, questioning. No independent thinking outside of the box of the WT. Strongly discouraged.
You may understand my confusion… they will ALWAYS report crimes to the police, but they will not report a murder…? I do not understand the logic behind that. Something clearly does not add up. “Cognitive dissonance” came to mind…
It was a slip of the tongue. They simply lied about reporting child molestation in the first place. Later on they told the truth about not reporting murder.
One thing you have noticed is that their answers/responses are inconsistent and often contradictory. That is because the religion changes and always has a long winded response to questions that seem so simple they shouldn't be questions. A normal person would not worry about their religious body's opinion about issues of rape, assault or murder until long after police were called, medical aid had been rendered and the justice system was doing its thing. For JWs though, it seems they need to ask elders to consult legal. In fairness though, I think for murder or assaults in progress, most would call 911. Unless it was spousal.