Blood, The Watchtower and Deceit

by Maximus 59 Replies latest jw friends

  • Maximus

    While much attention is given to doctrine in sites such as this, very little is noted about the Watchtower Society’s intellectual dishonesty in its publications, especially when it comes to quotations.

    Oftentimes the Society’s writers will cite a scholar or author of some repute: "Professor Blank observes that blah, blah, blah." The reader assumes from the quotation that Professor Blank is in agreement with the organization’s position, of course, and that the quotation chosen accurately depicts the author’s thoughts.

    Here’s the catch: The words between the quotation marks may be accurate, but the snippet may not at all faithfully represent someone’s actual thesis or position. Much like a newspaper ad for a movie that quotes a reviewer as saying "Monumental!" when in actuality he has fumed about its stupidity and saying it is "a monumental piece of poo." Just one solitary example for now:

    In the Watchtower 10/15/00 Questions from Readers about its policy on blood and blood fractions, there appears a quotation from "Professor Frank Gorman," which reads: "The pouring out of the blood is best understood as an act of reverence that demonstrates respect for the life of the animal and, thus, respect for God, who created and continues to care for that life."

    Great quote, huh? It's accurate, every word cited correctly. Sounds like he agrees with the Society’s views on respect for the "sanctity of life," right? You’re impressed, yes? A "professor" buttresses the policy and position, Christians should pour out blood rather than accept it. Lofty language that sanctions the death of a child from "declining" a life-saving infusion of packed red cells as an act of reverence. You’re impressed, right?

    Guess what, folks. The Watchtower writer omitted Gorman's very next sentence! And he ignored the preceding material as well. Like to know what the author's true argument is? Here’s the true quotation about pouring out blood, directly from his book, specifics further down.


    Hunting ritual? Hel-lo! Did the Watchtower writer just not read that next sentence after the one he quoted? Did he just stop reading one sentence too soon?

    Let’s start reading at the subheading that precedes the material from which the W writer took his single sentence. Here’s the accurate quotation: "Verses 13-14 ADDRESS THE QUESTION OF ANIMAL BLOOD IN RELATION TO [now get this, dear reader] HUNTING." (P. 103)

    Ooops. The W writer must have missed that sentence too. Let’s go on:

    "There is a basic ruling (v. 13) and an explanation for it (v. 14). In the explanatory statement, the association of the life of an animal and its blood connects this unit to the previous one. [see below] The blood of an animal or bird killed for food must be poured out on the ground and covered with earth (v. 13). The explanation follows: ‘because the life of all flesh, its blood is bound up with its life.’ (v. 14). This is a restatement of the notion that the life of an animal is in its blood (vv. 10-12). Yahweh has prohibited the consumption of blood precisely because the life of an animal is in its blood. Any person who eats it will be ‘cut off.’"

    Then comes the sentence the Watchtower quoted about pouring out blood as an act of reverence! Now you get the context. And then comes the sentence that IT IS A HUNTING RITUAL enjoined on the ISRAELITES. The author is very clear on this. One would have to be braindead to misunderstand his reasoning.

    Do you think the Watchtower writer just didn't read the surrounding material? He read just once sentence without looking at the context? At best the quotation is careless and merely misleading. In reality it badly twists and distorts the truth and gives the thought that an authority, a PROFESSOR (they could have chosen to call him Dr. Gorman) is in agreement with the Society on this sacred blood issue. They want you to believe that true scholars, like "true Christians" (in Watchtowerese), subscribe to this view of blood. Dissenters are just out of step.

    Where was the governing body when this deceitful gem was put in the "food at the proper time"? Does this strengthen your faith in a 'faithful slave' that is viewed de facto as infallible?

    This kind of dishonesty is a regular practice, of which enlightened readers are well aware, and of which more than a few even in Writing are ashamed. ‘Ah, but we make no pretense at infallibility; we’re imperfect. Just wait on Jehovah to correct matters.’ That's getting very old.

    The Society’s current policy on the use of blood and blood fractions is horribly inconsistent and dead wrong--and many in high places know it. The QFR was a transparent attempt to portray the policy in a more favorable light. In so doing they really distorted both the facts and the essence of Professor Gorman’s lucid argument, wanting readers to infer what he does not even imply.

    More information for those interested, worth the time it will take to read further: The book is "Leviticus, Divine Presence and Community," Eerdmans, Grand Rapids MI, 1997, a 160-page paperback. It presents the holiness code of Leviticus 17-26 very lucidly; it’s very informative and instructive, "practical for our day." (You will find nothing about blood transfusion prohibition, of course.) Its author is Frank H. Gorman, Jr., Chair of Religious Studies at Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia, a school which is affiliated with the Disciples of Christ.

    Gorman sees holiness not as an abstract quality but as "a relational category that comes into being in, by, and through enacted relationships based on justice, integrity, honest, and faithfulness." A comment, then more of his material.

    I wonder how Gorman would feel if he knew how his well crafted sentence was lifted out of context? Ethics? Bet he has no idea that what he has written about "justice, integrity, honesty and faithfulness" in the Christian community has been distorted in millions of magazines all over the globe, in scads of languages—in furtherance of a flawed, inconsistent policy that lets children literally die to show respect for life symbolically. Someone ought to write him and ask him what he thinks about the Society’s honesty and faithfulness!

    "Unit Three" of Leviticus Chapter 17 is vv. 10-12 and stands at the center of the chapter, according to Gorman. You really ought to read the whole book; I’ll snip for space. "Although the text does not explicitly state that life is sacred or that it belongs to God, it is probable that the priests would have attached sacred significance to the life in the blood…. The blood is not to be consumed because it has a RITUAL [caps mine] use. The reason for this statement, however, forms the crux of the interpretive problem: ‘because the blood, by the life, will expiate. (v. 11c)’" (P. 102)

    Gorman notes that "the life of an animal is in its blood, and the blood has been ‘set apart’ to address a wide range of problems having to do with sin, trespass, and impurity. Thus, it is in the expiatory power of the ritual process that is emphasized in this text. The manipulation of the blood [by placing it on the altar, et cetera] effects expiation. THAT IS THE PRIMARY REASON FOR THE BLOOD PROHIBITION. The reason it is effective in ritual is because it is ‘charged’ with the life of the animal. In addition, it is probable that the text prohibits the consumption of blood because the life of the animal is considered sacred." [Caps mine.]

    And again: "The blood expiates because of the life that is in it. Emphasis is placed on the ritual use of the life in the blood. The manipulation of the (life in the) blood, **in the context of ritual,** [Gorman’s own parentheses and italics] expiates on behalf of the Israelites.

    "Thus it is the expiatory power of the ritual process that is emphasized in this text. The manipulation of the blood effects expiation. That is the primary reason for the blood prohibition." —(P. 102)

    I posted this on the old H20 and thought I would redo it in a second airing even though it seemed to be received with a casual ho-hum. How do you feel about such egregious dishonesty?

    "Veritas Vos Liberabit"

  • sf

    Hello Maximus,

    Good to "see" you again. What would I personally call "it"? DIABOLICAL!

    Thank you for this piece of work, as I am a cut/paste girl, I will be sharing this on the yahoo chat sites. It's really a wonderful read.

    Sincerely, sKally

  • Farkel


    : Veritas Vos Liberabit"

    Truth and liberty?

    Truth through liberty?

    Truth through root-canals?

    Truth or consequences?

    Verdad: perhaps that means not truth or "true", but something else.

    You simply must speak in a language that we schmucks understand, Maximus. I have a hard enough time trying to communicate in a live language, let alone a dead one.

    Farkel, the big dummy

  • Maximus

    Farkel, I know schmucks. And you are no schmuck. And certainly no dummy.

    Come on, now. "Truth will set you free." Latin, for my persona and to remind me of my own integrity, not to communicate. (Should have written YOU a la NW translation; it's plural.)

    Motto of Johns Hopkins. Er, didn't some other dude say that?

    But you comment on three words rather than my post. Not even a smiley.
    I dunno. Maybe it was in a language people don't understand? Folks are more interested in other stuff that I'm too old to get into. I'll leave that to you and Alan.


  • Francois2

    Y'know, the GB is really more advanced than I ever thought. The ban on blood is because the soul is in the blood.


    Now, since we can accept blood fractions, the GB is saying that not only is the soul in the blood, but the GB knows in WHICH FRACTION of the blood the soul is in. Well damn. If they know that, then all we need to do is separate that fraction that's got the soul in it and then we can transfuse the rest.

    Hot Damn!

    Come on Boys. Don't keep us in suspenders. Tell us in which fraction the soul is found so we can accept the rest. If you'da tole us where it was years ago, we coulda saved lots of our friends and relatives from death because of your "policies."

    One more thing. That blood fraction that has the soul in it? Does it glow in the dark?


  • Farkel


    I'm bringing this post to the top for one more shot. Otherwise, it will scroll off into oblivion.

    Maximus is not just some schmuck that blew into this board. How many former District Overseers posts in here? How many people who intimately knew and were peers with Fred Franz and Nate Knorr post in here?

    He kinda shamed me when I trivialized his post. And he was right. I did just that. This post deserves another shot and deserves some comments. Maximus is a good friend of mine, and good friends are hard to find.

    Maximus has told me that he doesn't give a rat what the WTS knows about him these days, so I'm hoping I'm not out-of-line in telling you who don't know him a very little bit about him.

    He has much to share and he should be welcomed with a better welcome than what he has received so far, IMHO.

    Now that you know a little about him, what do you say?


  • LostMyReligion

    I will thank you Maximus, for this article you researched. I sure appreciate the opportunity to hear the inside view of things from ones in higher positions such as former district overseers and elders. It is otherwise very difficult for a lowly R&F peon like me to learn what's really going on. I have been a witness 27 years and I have learned more about what is going on behind the scenes in the org reading on this board and other WT exposing sites in 3 months than in all that 27 years.

    This example of WT insincerity is very disturbing, and certainly gives one pause to think of the consequences one might have personally suffered in emergency situations by relying on reasoning supported by this type of duplicity in quoting the work of outside authors. And of the definite tragedy which others have suffered by it.


  • qwerty

    Maximus thanks,

    Did you see my post at......

    Are you the same fella who said.....

    "If I live or die. In this world or the next, I will have my revenge!"


  • Marvin Shilmer
    Marvin Shilmer

    I agree Farkel, the subject Maximus addresses is an important one for thinking people—they want to know if serious material is scholarly.

    Here is another example of Maximus’ point:

    From the Reasoning book:

    Does the Bible’s prohibition include human blood?
    Yes, and early Christians understood it that way. Acts 15:29 says to "keep abstaining from . . . blood." It does not say merely to abstain from animal blood. (Compare Leviticus 17:10, which prohibited eating "any sort of blood.") Tertullian (who wrote in defense of the beliefs of early Christians) stated: "The interdict upon ‘blood’ we shall understand to be (an interdict) much more upon human blood."—The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV, p. 86.

    Tertullian’s full sentence from The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV, p. 86:

    Sufficient it is, that in this place withal there has been preserved to adultery and fornication the post of their own honour between idolatry and murder: for the interdict upon "blood" we shall understand to be (an interdict) much more upon human blood. [The part quoted by the Society is bolded]

    [End quotes]

    It is evident the Society wants readers to conclude that the quoted material (Tertullian’s) supports the idea of abstaining from eating human blood. It is also evident that Tertullian’s remarks were not at all about eating human blood. Rather, Tertullian’s remark was that the interdict to abstain from blood found in the Apostolic Decree of Acts chapter 15 applies "much more upon human blood" in respect to murder. In this portion of Tertullian we find nothing at all to support the Society’s contention that the Apostolic Decree applied to eating human blood.

    It is true that some early Christian writers abhorred and denounced the practice of eating human blood, but this practice had to do with eating blood from executed convicts or slaughtered gladiators. In each case persons were partaking of blood taken by force. This is fundamentally different from accepting donor blood for transfusion. With donor blood there is no killing involved. There is no religious or ritualistic aspect involved in modern blood transfusion. The practice of eating blood of slaughtered humans is wholly dissimilar from accepting donor blood. We have no idea how early Christian’s would have felt about the practice of transfusion of donor blood. The idea was completely unknown to them.

    Spokesmen for the Society have often depended upon the prophetic significance of blood sacrifices to instill an even higher regard for the command to abstain from blood. Since Jewish blood sacrifices are said to foreshadow Jesus’ own atoning blood then they argue the Apostolic Decree to abstain from blood is of the utmost importance. The problem with this argument is it ignores that Jesus invited people to eat his blood. Though this is recorded as a figurative statement, the Society’s argument about Jesus’ blood invokes figurative significance as though it has material application to literal blood. They want to invoke one aspect of that figurative significance but they want to ignore plain language to figuratively "eat" of the same blood! On one hand they want us to apply the figurative import of Jesus’ blood toward eating blood. On the other hand, they want us to ignore the figurative import of eating Jesus’ blood toward eating blood. In this argument the Society also completely avoids the fact that this blood of Jesus, that he encouraged eating of, was donated blood. Modern blood transfusions use donated blood.

    Oddly enough, as of the June 15, 2000 Watchtower, the Society has deemed it a "conscience matter" for a JW to accept blood substitutes made from animal or human blood that uses hemoglobin as its main ingredient. This blood may or may not be donated. Cows are killed to obtain this hemoglobin, hemoglobin the JWs are already accepting.

    Readers of this forum might enjoy the article found at . It analyzes the biblical Apostolic Decree versus what the Society teaches on the subject. I recommend the site.

  • qwerty

    Nice to have you on here Marvin.


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