Thank you very much Atlantis for all your hard work and for emailing a letter written by the Watchtower (coming from the German Branch possibly) to be read out to Congregations by Elders.
There is so much wrong in this letter. Maybe some of it is due to being lost in translation but since the Watchtower is predominantly english, it doesn't seem likely
The letter is as follows -
(Header) JEHOVAS ZEUGEN AM STEINFELS 1, 65618 SELTERS (TAUNUS) ∙ TELEFON +49 6483 4 1-0 POSTANSCHRIFT: 65617 SELTERS ∙ DEUTSCHLAND ZWEIGBÜRO ZENTRALEUROPA AI:SCU
March 16, 2023
TO ALL CONGREGATIONS
Re: Update on the Situation in Hamburg
The cruel act in Hamburg on March 9, 2023, has severely affected the whole brotherhood. We are all saddened and suffer along with them. (1 Cor. 12:26) It is all the more overwhelming what has and is being accomplished locally to support our dear brothers and sisters, starting with the first hours after the crime and continuing until now.
Many relief efforts have been coordinated in close communication with World Headquarters to best assist all those who are suffering. Brothers of the Hospital Liaison Committee, circuit overseers, Branch Committee representatives and many others have been working tirelessly last week and this week to assist and to provide comfort or practical help to victims, relatives, and brothers and sisters of the congregation. These efforts demonstrate Jehovah’s compassion. The words of Psalm 34:18 really come true: “Jehovah is close to the broken hearted.”
We are pleased to inform you that a funeral program is planned, which will certainly provide special comfort to all those affected. A member of the Governing Body, representatives of World Headquarters, and members of the Branch Committee will also be present at this occasion. The program will take place in Hamburg on the last weekend in March 2023.
Please continue to pray incessantly for the brothers and sisters who went through this traumatic experience (2 Cor. 1:8-11), and for everything that is being done to help them. We are convinced that Jehovah is our secure refuge in times of distress. (Ps. 9:9) Please be assured of our love.
c.: Circuit overseers ZW EIGBÜRO ZENTRALEUROPA
Re: Update on the Situation in Hamburg AI:SCU March 16, 2023
Page 2 PS to coordinators of the bodies of elders: Please have this letter read at the next meeting
I guess it's a very good thing when they claim that the shooting has SEVERLY affected the WHOLE Brotherhood. Hopefully it will have many asking how a JW can become so mentally affected as to cause such an atrocity and what the organization can do to minimize mental damage to individuals rather than inflicting them with cruel and wicked punishments such as shunning.
Oddly, the JW News on JW Org no longer carries their story announcing the tragedy. It's been removed and there is no mention whatsoever on JW Org.
They mention overwhelming support for the Bros and Sis's in the hours after but nothing specifically about the immediate response from the police and other non JW support. No mention of the non JW individuals/family members who would have been severely affected by this also. A shooting such as this doesn't affect JWs only and according to Kim (Newly Enlightened) there has been a lot of community support which the JWs are rejecting.
Many relief efforts have been coordinated in close communication with World Headquarters to best assist all those who are suffering.
Is this really a time to use common JW phrasing, particularly when it just sounds cultish and impersonal? What are 'relief efforts' in a situation like this? Why would there need to be communication with 'World Headquarters' in order to determine what is the best way to assist those suffering? Surely the local Brothers and Sisters are more than capable of providing support and seeking/accepting professional help as needed.
It would seem that the Watchtower is more interested in making JWs think that the WH are vital in tragedies like this. But it's interesting to note that the only real support they are giving is communication.
We are pleased to inform you that a funeral program is planned
They are please to inform this? It's not a Wedding or a Birthday, it's a funeral. Why would anyone be pleased to tell others that they a planning funeral program. The wording is very poor and indicates that they aren't really interested in sharing in to sorrow of all those personally affected or making this a sombre occasion.
No, this is quite the opposite to a modest funeral, which is what they have instructed in the past for JW funerals. For this occasion, they are happy to advise that there will be a GB member, WH Bethelites and Branch office members all of which are unlikely to even know these individuals.
The tragedy occurred on the 9th of March, the 'program' is being held in the last week of March. It's being called a program, not a funeral because undoubtedly, the funerals would have already taken place which as is the tradition in Germany.
What's the purpose of holding a program? Maybe because there had been plans to hold a public funeral (or one may be already proposed). It's what often happens these days and it's odd to see the Watchtower doing the same.
The saddened families will have to sit through two services, weeks apart, that's not comforting.
JWs are asked to 'pray incessantly' for those suffering, whoops, I mean, for the Brothers and Sisters who went through the traumatic experience. Is this bad translation again or do they really mean to pray incessantly. Incessantly meaning to do something "in an unceasing manner : without interruption or relief : continually"
I wonder if this will be the norm when tragedies strike on a smaller scale for HQ to send GB members and HQ assistants to.