Real blood transfusion history?

by domi0031 23 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Narkissos
    First thing comes to mind, why would a brother at Bethel be having a blood transfusion? Was it forced upon him? Did he choose to have one and died and this is an object lesson for other JWs not to take blood transfusions?

    As I recall (faintly), it was not forced upon him, but he accepted the treatment because at that time (probably in the early 40's) there was no prohibition on BT yet. And this event was supposed to have contributed to the elaboration of the later WT stance.

    Second, was this book a WT publication or authored by a JW in good standing?

    I wondered if it was not in one of Ray Franz's books, but couldn't find it either in CoC or ISoCF. Or was it in some talk by a GB member? The strange thing is I remember it just as domi... might be a French JW urban legend, though I wonder why it should have originated here...

  • IT Support
    IT Support

    Faith on the March was written in 1957, long after the prohibition on blood transfusion was introduced.

    However, while searching through the book for 'blood,' I found this interesting passage in Chapter 13:

    One of the more serious problems I had to deal with, as I remember, was vaccinations. An order was received from the health department in Washington for all the inmates and guards to be vaccinated. Some of our boys in one prison in particular considered this the same as blood transfusions, and refused to submit. This caused considerable trouble. Then the order came from Washington to put all the men who refused to be vaccinated in solitary confinement. This did not change our men. The prison authorities hesitated to be overly strict about it; still they had their orders from headquarters. Well, during the excitement I arrived on my regular visit. Now the matter was put up to me to advise our men. I asked the Warden to permit me to talk to all the men who refused to be vaccinated... We had an interesting time. For about half an hour the men talked about the evils of vaccination, and so on. After all had had their say, I told them, “We’re wasting time talking about the evils of vaccination because much could be said both ways. The point for us to consider is what are we going to do about being vaccinated. They have you all where they could vaccinate an elephant, and they will vaccinate you all.” Up spoke the leader of the resistance and said: “What would you do if you were in prison and were called up for vaccination?“ “I was in prison,” I reminded them, “and I bared my arm and received the shot. Furthermore, all of us who visit our foreign branches are vaccinated or we stay at home. Now vaccination is not anything like blood transfusion. No blood is used in the vaccine. It is a serum. So you would not be violating those Scriptures which forbid taking blood into your system.

    So, was this the reason why they quietly dropped this doctrine in the late 1940s or 1950s?

  • TD

    Faith on the March was written in 1957, long after the prohibition on blood transfusion was introduced.

    Good point. The same is true of Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose (1959) In the real world this shouldn't make any difference because both books discuss doctrinal positions and history that predate the prohibition, but in the JW world, where an illusory picture of harmony between current and past beliefs must be maintained, it makes a difference.

    This was a good example:

    Some of our boys in one prison in particular considered this the same as blood transfusions, and refused to submit.

    I wonder where they could have gotten that idea?

  • domi0031

    I will answer like nakissos.

    Is it an urban legend? No, I don't memorize such things as it is in my memory.

    I translate some of the things that I remember: English is not my maternal language

    A belloved brother from bethel died (or something like that) following a surgery operation after receiving some blood. We were very sorrowed (or the bethel family was very sorrowed, I thing it is the bethel family) and many wondered (ask questions in themselves) why this happened. ... After that ... research have been done ... seek for jehovah's approval.

    One time, I thought it could be in the 1950's 1960's watchtower because I read lot of them when they have been reprinted in french in 1990. But the CD stop in 1970. Because the ban in the 50' , we did not have the Wt only "Bulletin interieur".

  • blondie

    I would still suggest contacting someone on the site above. They have their material in many languages and might well know of the account you speak of.


    Lee Elder - Lee [email protected]
    Director and Founder of AJWRB - former JW elder

    John - [email protected]
    Jehovah's Witness elder

    Sam Beli - [email protected]
    AJWRB convention coordinator - former JW elder

    Ros - [email protected]
    AJWRB Editor

    Wayne Rogers - [email protected]
    AJWRB Public Affairs Director - sanctioned by the Watchtower Society for supporting AJWRB

    Concerned Elder - [email protected]
    AJWRB Director - Latin America - former JW elder & H.L.C. member

    Zack Daniels - [email protected] - AJWRB science advisor and researcher

    Mary - [email protected] - her teenage son died after rejecting a medically necessary transfusion.

    Haelcer - [email protected] - former Polish JW edler and HLC member

  • Balsam

    Hi I'm Mary from AJWRB or Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood Organization.

    Please go to and read the information there. I would be glad to answer your questions as best I can. I lost a son as a result of his Dad refusing blood transfusion for him after an auto accident.

    Balsam aka Mary at AJWRB

  • domi0031

    Thanks a lot Blondie. I try

  • TD

    I also out of curiosity checked the 1940's Watchtowers. Transfusion is only mentioned at all in the 1944, 1945 and 1949 years and these references are somewhat oblique. (The first really strong condemnation of transfusion actually appeared in the 1949 Awake!)

    I don't have all the Awake! / Consolations for the '40's, but I'll check the ones I have.

    Sorry I couldn't find this --- It really piqued my curiosity

    -Thomas Zackery Daniels

  • domi0031

    Answer ton Blondie.

    A thought. Such a decision, that which consists in prohibiting the use of the transfusions of blood must necessarily follow up an important event.
    Things happened in my jehovah's witness life and I asked for some answers althought I knew what to do. In return, letters to elders, kingdom ministry, awake, and Wt mentionned the answer.

    For example. Once a a brawl between a gang and jehovah's witness occurred. It was at a quick buit next to Montpellier. I had to to control one of the members who had a long kitchen knife on him (and not to write to the bethel asking what to do). When I was back we had the special week some weeks after. I explain that problem to the circuit officer (brother Demonchy) and we had a kingdom ministry answer.

    Althought what I have previously said, Such a decision, that consists in prohibiting the use of the transfusions of blood must necessarily follow up something important.

  • blondie

    Try e-mailing LeeElder or SamBeli. They were long-time JWs involved in the blood issue. I'm sure they are aware of much of the history of this and have access to the publications regarding it.


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