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9 Things You Should Know About Jehovah's Witnesses
Many people feel under pressure because of the stressful times in which we live. Do you think God intended that we live this way? So many people are depressed. I bet you know somebody who is. I have this excellent magazine that discusses Help for Sufferers of Depression. In this audience are people who have done the knocking and given a similar message to the person who opened the door. Why be afraid of JWs? For the most part, Witnesses look and act okay. They frown on wild parties; illegal drugs and guns. They have less health problems—no lung cancer from smoking, no AIDS. And they remove law-breakers or sinners from their midst. All in all, they sound like pretty good associates. So how can associating with them be dangerous? First of all, what right do I have to examine this religion, to call it dangerous? Now, I ascribe to no religious affiliation and I have that right. It says human beings have the right to change religions. Well, I did that too. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states each of us have the right to enjoy freedom of expression, which by any open-minded definition includes my freedom to agree or disagree with the tenets of any religion. It appeared in the December 8, Awake! The article discussed what exactly the Bill of Rights was; why it was needed, and what liberties it helped to preserve in the United States. My efforts writing the article turned out to be a labor of love as I saw that JWs were definers of freedom by testing the principles of religious freedom in the U. I was proud of JWs struggle in the highest courts of the land for the freedom to exercise the courage of their conviction. The decisions were favorable to JWs in 47 of the cases that the Court considered. They had the lawful right to preach in unorthodox places using unorthodox methods. They won for themselves and all other religious groups, constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and worship. This amounted to almost complete protection under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution free exercise clause. That certainly is something to be pleased about. After having successfully defended and legally established their right to practice their religion however they saw fit, this once oppressed group went from being the oppressed to being the oppressor. They silence freedom of speech. By using fear as the weapon! The fear of excommunication or disfellowshipping with its severe life-altering sanction, that of shunning by the whole community of JWs including relatives such as parents and adult children. Actually, my life as a JW was pleasant. But all in all, I was a happy Witness. Well, what folks are not aware of is that associating with them by accepting a home Bible Study could lead to losing family and friends or maybe even their life. I should know—I was a zealous Witness for 43 years. At the end of that association, I lost most of my family and all of my friends. Sometimes when someone loses family, they take their life. Further, thousands of JWs lose their lives every year by adhering to one particular teaching of JWs. Witnesses primarily object to receiving blood transfusions on religious grounds — they believe that blood is sacred according to some ancient Bible texts which actually were talking about eating or drinking blood. Witnesses are also quick to highlight possible medical problems associated with transfusion. Blood transfusions can transmit HIV or other diseases. Witnesses are being misled into a false sense of security. In case of massive bleeding, by not accepting blood, Witnesses can and do die, and, conversely, by accepting certain blood clotting products, Witnesses can and do die. However, studies are showing that this clotting product, when given to healthy people, can and is causing heart attacks and strokes. Fractions are blood and if a transfusion can transmit HIV, so can blood components which most often are made from many donations of blood that have been pooled and more difficult to test; however, the risk of contracting HIV from a blood transfusion is extremely low nowadays, something JWs are not informed of. Then in , the procedure was banned, and in its followers were told they would be excommunicated for taking a blood transfusion. Hemophiliac treatments went through a similar flip-flop in the s. Likewise, a treatment called hemodilution was sinful in , but allowed in The procedure entails the removal of blood from the patient immediately before an operation and simultaneous replacement with appropriate volume of special fluids. The removed blood is then re-infused after the procedure is completed. Many died following a blood policy that later changed. And the blood ban is still changing. One thing I found out when I researched this subject is that taking blood in the veins is in no way comparable to eating or drinking blood and simply put, it is drinking or eating animal blood that the Old Testament prohibited. If you were starving to death and put blood in your veins, you would still starve to death. Adults should have the right to make a decision regarding medical care, but not based on misrepresentation and coercion, but by making an informed choice. Did you know that JWs are encouraged to report on other JWs who break a medical doctrine such as the ban on blood? JWs will do this to attain status with both Jehovah and with peers. They will tattle-tale even if it breaks medical or legal confidentiality laws. If a Witness accepts a blood transfusion, the policy of JWs now is not to directly disfellowship by announcement at the Kingdom Hall. The individual revokes his own membership by his own actions, rather than the congregation initiating this step. However, the end result is the same; the individual is no longer viewed as one of JWs because he no longer accepts and follows a core tenet of the faith. The word disfellowship is not used, but the results are the same: To not be viewed as one of JWs means you will be shunned by all those you love who are Witnesses because this group will disfellowship anyone who questions the teachings of the organization or who stops worshipping the Witness way, or joins another church. I became a JW in and no one told me about a ban on vaccinations. Now, virtually all JWs will accept a vaccination, and many are unaware that it could be derived from blood. Organ transplants were favorable in the s through the early s, then demonized as cannibalistic in the late s, only to be re-allowed in the s. I was a JW when organ transplants were considered cannibalistic only to be re-allowed later. Why did I not question this? And, as time moved on, I knew that to think outside of the Witness mindset, I would be thinking independently, something that was a negative. I showed you before? Well notice these words on page Members that no longer believe are forced to stay in the group otherwise they will lose family and friends. JWs strictly shun the disfellowshipped and those who disassociate themselves. Also, JWs can be disfellowshipped for not following the shunning rules. More Danger There are other reasons beside the blood ban that makes it dangerous to associate with JWs: The neutrality of JWs in time of war can lead to imprisonment or death Refusal to salute the flag can lead to ostracism and bullying. Non-observance of any holidays, religious or national: Young JWs clean houses, wash windows, etc. They suffer from poverty, disappointment, depression, and low self-esteem. Yes, there are many reasons that it is dangerous to associate with JWs. However, if none of what I just said concerns you because you believe that JWs do what they do to please God and not themselves, keep listening. Do you know how long they have been saying this? The founder was C. He was a date-setter and looked to when the end of the present world as he knew it would happen. He said that Christ had returned invisibly in Russell died in and his successor, Joseph F. Rutherford, changed the doctrine and taught that Christ returned in Then the date for the end was which they now deny they ever pointed to. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base its faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge. JWs are discouraged from reading the Bible without their own literature explaining it. Good religious intentions can slide easily into taking away God-given freedoms. Then a cult is born. What is the definition of a cult? Some newer and accepted religions like JWs, Mormons, Scientology are being called cults by some. The difference between a cult and a religion is not easy to define. Who fits the accepted criteria? A cult is a group of people who share a common belief. A cult, as it is commonly understood, is a highly rigid and usually strictly enforced total belief system. Almost always, it is led by an authoritarian leader who tolerates no dissent.
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