This is the story of a woman, who’s mother became a Jehovah’s
Witness in 1985. Unfortunately, religion became a very hot topic in the family
and the mother lost contact with most of her family. The situation was so bad
that the family believed that it was the Jehovah’s Witnesses that completely
prohibited her from contacting her family.
Years went by and all remained the same until 2008; the JW mother became sick, very sick. As she felt that she could even die, she renewed ties with her only daughter. Overwhelmed by guilt, she decided to make a will naming her daughter the sole beneficiary of her estate (basically, her house worth about 300,000$).
From then on, the mother kept a relationship with her daughter, calling her, inviting her for super with her husband, etc. Yet, the daughter felt that the JW members were pressuring her mother not to keep contact with her. For instance, she reported that while being there for super one day, JWs came at her mother’s door. The mother asked her and her husband not to say a word so that JWs wouldn’t be aware of their presence. Hence, she believed that her mother was seeing her in secret and that JWs were not aware of the fact they had started to see each other again.
Then, 2015 came. The mother fell sick again. Very sick. She got to the hospital and was placed under medicine. Unable to contact her daughter, the daughter never got to know that her mother was in the hospital. Within a week, she was gone. Some more time passes and finally, the daughter gets a call from her uncle who informs her that her mother has passed away. She was shocked! She had seen her mother only two weeks ago! The daughter then goes to the hospital in order to deal with the normal proceedings of when a loved one passes away. Once at the hospital, she asks to see her mother and is than informed that an Elder from the local JW congregation has taken the body and told the hospital that the mother had no family.
Shocked by hearing this, she went to the house of her mother and realized that her key no longer worked; the locks had been changed! Outraged, she calls the police and finally learns that the Elder had made her mother sign a will where he took ownership of everything.
As she would later learn through the testimony of another brother who was there at the time, the mother was heavily sedated and was told that these papers were simple funeral proceedings, not a new will where the Elder and his wife were the sole beneficiary!
She asked to at least go in the house and go through her mother’s personal belongings, yet the Elder refused.
Grieve stricken, she went to the funeral. There, she felt unwelcome, unwanted and was shocked that her name was not even mentioned during the eulogy. As she had no say on the body of her own mother, the mother was incinerated and her hashes were scattered somewhere, against her daughter’s wishes.
Then, started the court processes. The Elder offered the daughter and her husband 5 000$ to settle. As the refused, both camps hired lawyers, until, finally, a year later, there was an out of court agreement: The elder had to give the house and the empty urn back. And particularly odd, this agreement was NOT stricken by a non-disclosure agreement. This explain why everything above, written in court papers by the respective lawyers and witnesses, became public and reported by the local newspapers.
Still, I had to go a little further: What happened to the brother? Naturally, I would have expected him to lose his privileges. Here is what was reported to me: He told the local Elders that he had intended to give everything to the Society and that this whole story had been blown out of proportions. Result? He was transferred to another congregation where he now serves as an elder.
Now why. Why would he not lose his privileges when even a brother was there to testify that the sick and heavily sedated mother signed papers falsely presented to her? Here is what I believed happened:
The brother asked the sister if she wanted to give everything to Jehovah. She said yes. He calls bethel and asked them to send a lawyer to make a new will. They ask if she is heavily sedated (they have previously lost a similar case). He says yes. “The society cannot venture in this… However, if you feel you can take this risk and then give everything the Jehovah, we’ll help you out!” Sure! Society helps him make the papers and then, after a year, when everything fails… “Well, obviously, you can’t remain an Elder in your congregation; there were way to much said in the newspapers about all this. Still, you acted under our direction, so we’ll keep you an elder and transfer you to another congregation.”
Interview with the dauther and her husband: http://www.tvanouvelles.ca/2016/05/25/elle-recupere-lheritage-de-300-000-de-sa-mere-vole-par-les-temoins-de-jehovah