Coercion or Personal Choice?: The Reality of the Jehovah’s Witness Stance on Blood
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A Jehovah's Witness mother leaves behind nine children after refusing blood

The recent tragic deaths of two Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada, Eloise Dupuis and Mirlande Cadet, have focused media and political attention on the issue of coercion in refusing medical treatment. Specifically the question being asked by the media and Government and investigated by the coroner is: Did these women make their choice to refuse a blood transfusion of their own free will, or was there an element of coercion from their religious community leaders?

For example, does the very presence of the Jehovah’s Witness Hospital Liaison Committee generate a coercive atmosphere for a Witness in such a situation? Do Witnesses personally sign the Watchtower-produced Advanced Medical Directive that Watchtower requires them to carry on their persons at all times, stating they desire to refuse blood? Are they free of coercion when they do so?

Editors note: For informational purposes, the Hospital Liaison Committee (HLC) normally interact with doctors and Witness patients only when there is a medical condition which may require a blood transfusion. A separate group, called the Patient Visitation Group (PVG) does not interfere with medical treatment of Witnesses, but usually consists of Witness elders who offer pastoral support and prayer.

I want to state at the outset that I support the right of a mature adult to make an informed decision, free of coercion, to refuse any and all medical treatment, even if doing so represents a threat to their life. However, the key words here are informed and free of coercion. 

In this article I intend to demonstrate that it is simply not possible to state that any Jehovah’s Witness is free from coercion when they make these choices. Additionally, I will demonstrate that, even if a Witness genuinely desires to reject blood and is prepared to die as a result, it is highly unlikely that their decision is genuinely informed; rather it is highly dependent on misleading information and a social atmosphere that stifles any genuine attempt to gather unbiased medical or scriptural data on the subject.

There are three areas to consider:

  1. Jehovah’s Witness culture
  2. Jehovah’s Witness policy of shunning
  3. How these two factors produce a coerced medical choice

1: Jehovah’s Witness culture: Information lockdown

0114_blindfold-800x480Jehovah’s Witnesses live in a religious culture which is very different from what many in the modern Western world might be used to. It is strongly frowned upon for them to make close friends or associates with those outside of the faith. Such ones are viewed as “worldly” and “tools of Satan.” This culture of suspicion extends to the authorities and experts outside of the religion as well.

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, after in-depth study of Watchtower literature and culture in Case Study 29 concluded:

F1: The Jehovah’s Witness organisation presents its members with conflicting and ambiguous teachings regarding their relationship with secular authorities, thereby fostering a distrust of such authorities.

The reality is that for a Jehovah’s Witness, any government, institute of learning, NGO, charity, any person or group at all that is not under the direct control of the Watchtower Organization is viewed as being less reliable and trustworthy than Watchtower. If there is a conflict between the teachings and statements of Watchtower, and the teachings or statements of a medical institute, government or court system, a witness is expected to accept Watchtower’s side of matters unquestioningly. This includes any conflict about various medical or scriptural issues.

Therefore, whilst Jehovah’s Witnesses might appear on the surface to be normal members of society, the reality is that they live in a very socially and intellectually insular world. They are strongly discouraged from attending higher education, and any research into matters of faith and religion outside of the publications of Watchtower is strongly discouraged, and can even result in punishment. Intellectual curiosity or critical evaluation of an argument from both sides is not something Watchtower encourages.

Thus, when making their choice as to whether to refuse a blood transfusion or not, it is highly unlikely that a Jehovah’s Witness will have access to unbiased or accurate medical information. Most of their information will come from Watchtower, and the information Watchtower provides on medical treatments using blood is highly suspect to say the least.

Consider a small sample of statements that Watchtower has made on the subject throughout the decades, and decide for yourself if they represent an accurate, unbiased reflection of scientific knowledge and medical practice. Also try to imagine what decades of constant exposure to such statements from a source one views as the mouthpiece of God would to do your opinion.

“The blood in any person is in reality the person himself. … poisons due to personal living, eating and drinking habits … The poisons that produce the impulse to commit suicide, murder, or steal are in the blood. Moral insanity, sexual perversions, repression, inferiority complexes, petty crimes – these often follow in the wake of blood transfusion.”   – Watchtower 1961 Sep 1 p.564

“Selling blood is big business. Well, what makes many people uneasy about big business in general? It is greed. The greed shows, for example, when big business persuades people to purchase things they don’t really need; or worse, when it continues to foist on the public some products known to be dangerous, or when it refuses to spend money to make its products safer. If the blood business is tainted with that kind of greed, the lives of millions of people the world over are in great danger.”  – Awake 1990 Oct 22 p.7

You can find a very detailed analysis of this matter on JWfacts.com, along with a detailed scriptural discussion showing that the Witnesses’ stance on blood is arguably not even truly scriptural, but rather comes from a profound misunderstanding of the relevant scriptures on the part of earlier Watchtower leaders.

However, the main point here is that such a discussion cannot happen in Witness culture. Any Witness who openly admitted that they had visited JWfacts.com, or consulted other Biblical scholars outside Watchtower to get their view on blood transfusions would find themselves subject to extreme social stigma, and even worse.

They could find themselves completely shunned; their family and friends forbidden to even make eye contact on the street.

2: Jehovah’s Witness Enforcement: Obey or be shunned

the_announcementJehovah’s Witnesses are not free to find their own path in life. In more or less every aspect of their existence, from the smallest matter such as the choice to have facial hair, right through to matters of life and death, Jehovah’s Witnesses are required to follow a vast tapestry of rules and regulations imposed from the top down by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

And compliance is ruthlessly enforced.

Watchtower has a long list of what it considers to be “serious sins.” This list includes everything from sex outside of marriage, to voting in an election, to celebrating a birthday, to openly and unrepentantly disagreeing with Watchtower teachings –  and much more.

And yes, accepting a blood transfusion is on that list.

If someone is thought to have committed a serious sin, a religious court known as a “Judicial Committee” is formed. Consisting of three elders (the JW term for religious congregation leaders), the committee is essentially a closed-off “star chamber” style affair, where the accused has no form of representation and very little in the way of rights or assistance that we have come to expect from a modern judicial system. To cut a long story short, the accused basically has to throw themselves on the mercy of the three elders and beg for forgiveness, hoping that they can convince the committee that they are genuinely repentant for their sinful act. This is by no means a certain thing. Judicial Committees are notoriously fickle; if the elders are on the kinder or more moderate end of the scale, you may escape with a reproof. However, if the elders are strict, authoritarian, or simply don’t like you, you can find yourself disfellowshipped.

Disfellowshipping is the JW term for being excommunicated. That means that no Jehovah’s Witness is allowed to even speak to you.* And since JWs are forbidden from making close friends outside of the faith or marrying outside of the faith, it means you lose everyone you know and love.

The goal of this shunning is obvious; to inflict so much emotional trauma on the dissenting person that they fall back into line in order to regain their loved ones. (And according to Watchtower, their relationship with God). Watchtower has explicitly acknowledged this is the case, albeit whilst attempting to paint it in the most glowing terms possible, as per the following extract from one Watchtower publication:

Consider just one example of the good that can come when a family loyally upholds Jehovah’s decree not to associate with disfellowshipped relatives. A young man had been disfellowshipped for over ten years, during which time his father, mother, and four brothers “quit mixing in company” with him. At times, he tried to involve himself in their activities, but to their credit, each member of the family was steadfast in not having any contact with him. After he was reinstated, he said that he always missed the association with his family, especially at night when he was alone. But, he admitted, had the family associated with him even a little, that small dose would have satisfied him. However, because he did not receive even the slightest communication from any of his family, the burning desire to be with them became one motivating factor in his restoring his relationship with Jehovah.”  – Watchtower 2012 Apr 15 p.12

Such punishment also prevents obedient Witnesses from hearing viewpoints or facts that may conflict with Watchtower’s teachings. Please see this jwfacts.com article for further information about this practice, as well as a discussion of the way Watchtower frequently lies to the media and the courts as to it’s existence. You can find further such articles on this site as well

From 1961 until recently, taking blood was officially a disfellowshipping offense. However, Watchtower has intentionally altered its official title for the offense. It no longer gets you disfellowshipped. It now renders you as “Disassociated“. What’s the difference? Well, Disfellowshipping is when you are thrown out; Disassociating carries the implication that you have made a choice to leave the organization.  However, the punishments are exactly the same. In addition, the elders can deem you “disassociated” without your consent, thus rendering any supposed difference meaningless in real terms.

This is how the Elders Handbook Shepherd the Flock of God, the field manual for Elders to use in regulating their congregations, discusses blood transfusions:

  • Willingly and unrepentantly taking blood. If someone willingly takes blood, perhaps because of being under extreme pressure, the committee should obtain the facts and determine the individual’s attitude. If he is repentant, the committee would provide spiritual assistance in the spirit of Galatians 6:1 and Jude 22, 23. Since he is spiritually weak, he would not qualify for special privileges for a period of time, and it may be necessary to remove certain basic privileges. Depending on the circumstances, the committee may also need to arrange for an announcement to the congregation: “The elders have handled a matter having to do with [name of person]. You will be glad to know that spiritual shepherds are endeavoring to render assistance.” On the other hand, if the elders on the committee determine that he is unrepentant, they should announce his disassociation.
Now, it sounds as if all you have to do is say you are sorry and you’re home free, right? Wrong. For one thing, Elders are instructed not to forgive anyone they suspect as showing “worldly sadness” (i.e sorry for getting caught) as opposed to genuine repentance. So you’re going to have to convince them you are sad to have taken blood and lived, and that you’d rather have died, and you’d better be convincing. Also, elders are notoriously fickle; many former and current Witnesses relate horror stories of unaccountable, unkind, super-strict elders making the lives of their congregants a misery. Additionally, elders are instructed to take previous violations into account, so if you require more than one transfusion to live, or have a condition that requires regular transfusions, you will only get to play the repentance card once. It is entirely possible that you could be a weeping wreck, begging forgiveness and swearing that you’d rather have died on the operating table, and find yourself disassociated regardless.
Witnesses live their lives in a cloistered intellectual environment, forbidden from searching out alternative views when it comes to the issue of blood transfusions, and knowing full well that they live under the threat of total shunning, should they transgress upon any of Watchtower’s “red lines.”

Now, how does this impact what takes place when a Witness is taken into a hospital and is faced with the choice of obeying Watchtower and refusing blood, or accepting medical advice that a transfusion is essential to save their life?

3: Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood: A choice that is no choice.

bloodFirstly there is the question as to whether a witnesses voluntarily signs their medical documentation, and whether they fully understand the implications and the true facts surrounding the treatments they are rejecting.

To this, I say: No.

I have no doubt that they put pen to paper themselves. But as we have seen, none will have made these choices in an environment where all the facts were available, or where unbiased inquiry was encouraged. Rather, they will have been presented all their lives with highly questionable, distorted versions of the medical data, in a social environment that strongly discouraged any dissent, then placed them under extreme social pressure to sign the Watchtower’s Advanced Medical Directive. (Editors Note: The name for the directive and the legal contents does vary from country to country. We are using the name Advanced Medical Directive in a general sense). Whilst refusing to sign the directives will not in itself trigger a Judicial Committee, it will certainly result in lower level ostracizing. The JW will be viewed as a bad influence; weak in the faith. Social invites will fall away, potential marriage mates will be warned off by the elders, and those same elders will be watching like hawks for the moment the “weak” one makes a critical error, and can be officially sanctioned.

Additionally, a copy of their medical directives will be kept by the congregation Secretary (an elder responsible for all congregation documents) thus limiting the options of a JW to pretend they’ve signed the documents but deliver slightly modified or completely different instructions to their doctor. Again, a JW cannot opt out of giving the Secretary the documents without drawing attention and scrutiny from the enforcement-minded Body of Elders.

Next there is the question as to whether the presence of the elders of the Hospital Liaison Committee at the hospital bedside of a Jehovah’s Witness represents a coercive element.

To this, I say: Yes. A significant one.

According to Watchtower, the presence of these Elders serves to “support” the Witness in their decision to refuse blood. What Watchtower does not like to address, but what we have discussed in this article, is that if the Witness changes their mind and decides to accept blood, the elders standing by their bedside will not “support” this choice. They will rather draw up preparations to assemble a committee, with a view to disassociating that Witness. Such Witnesses lie there, potentially in horrible pain and distress, facing death on the one hand if they refuse blood, but a life without their family and friends if they accept. They cannot even arrange to have a transfusion in secret, as the HLC’s continual presence in the hospital renders discovery extremely likely.

Thus, we can say that at best these Witnesses are making a choice that is significantly uninformed and results from a lifetime of undue influence and information control by the religion governing every aspect of their lives. At worst, these Witnesses are making a reluctant choice to risk death via refusal of treatment rather than risk a life without the ones they love, under the watchful eyes of religious enforcers standing next to their bedside- ready to enact religiously mandated shunning if the Witness makes the “wrong” choice.

If Watchtower truly wishes to allow Witnesses to make a free choice, without coercion in this matter, it will remove the punishment sanctions from the act of taking blood, and allow Witnesses the freedom to do their own research and make their own choices in this matter. Until such time, once cannot seriously claim that Witnesses refusing a blood transfusion are doing so in an informed matter, with genuine consent

It is my hope that the legal entities, government groups, and media organizations investigating this matter come to understand these facts as soon as possible. Human life is at stake.

 

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*As of the time of writing, 1st November 2016, it was permissible for a disfellowshipped family member to be contacted to deal with significant family events; i.e a family death. It was also permissible for a disfellowshipped minor child to remain in the family home, albeit with restrictions as to anything viewed as religious participation. However, the 2016 Watchtower Convention made it clear that once such a child is old enough to survive on their own, JW parents are expected to throw their child out. Please see this article for further details, including a discussion of what happens when disfellowshipping of a parent or spouse occurs.

 

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119 Responses to Coercion or Personal Choice?: The Reality of the Jehovah’s Witness Stance on Blood

  1. Man from the lions pit says:

    Thank you very much CF.As usual from your “kitchen” very well written and balanced article touching extremely important and sensitive grounds of one of basic human rights which is unjustly interconnected with internal policies of small deluded or mistaken group of men sitting on the top of JW org.

  2. Wideawake says:

    It’s all disgraceful….have you seen November’s JW Broadcast? More shunning and breaking up of families promoted….this is the curse because without family shunning the force of Blood Transfusion doctrine and Disbelief in the Governing Body would be weakened and those waking up would be free to question and speculate without any come-back from the Society…not to persuade others…just the freedom to question…and leave….Shunning is the curse and manacle of this cult.

    • Chantal says:

      Prompted by your comment, wideawake, i just watched the first part of November broadcast. First part of why the “truth” is the truth, is a bunch of lies and stretching of the real truth and application of Scripture. But, oh wow, the 2nd part of shunning your offspring, and once again, not even responding to a text, is shameful. It seemed to me perhaps he wrote a letter, deemed to be one of dissassociation, thereby causing his DF status. Anyone else see that?

    • Freed Mason says:

      Brexit, Trump – the internet has changed everything, its just a matter of time before the GB jokers and their cruel practices are exposed…..

  3. Openmind says:

    I watched this and thought the shunning part disgraceful with ignoring a text message. No mention of disfellowshipping so I suppose it’s all about also shunning those who choose to disassociate – sickening. No reason given of why the son has left ‘jehovah’, just a portrayal of him being somehow ‘bad’ without any explanation.
    The first part about lies was so ridiculous coming from a member of the GB when so many lies from them have been uncovered – the ARC comes to mind!
    Also, I was somewhat surprised to hear an elder use the derogatory term ‘knucklehead’.

    • Winston Smith says:

      @Openmind
      Haven’t you heard? Anyone who chooses to leave the Watchtower religion is evil, materialistic, lustful, and mentally diseased. That’s what their leaders tell them and many simply buy it. Blind acceptance is so
      much easier than finding out the facts for yourself.

      WS

      • Openmind says:

        @ Winston Smith
        You are so right – I’m sure that’s how they see me!
        That being said, those who REALLY know me, and many do, will know that simply isn’t true. Having personally endured personal tragedy and been cold shouldered, even by some family, proves to me who the mentally diseased ones are. Pity on them.

      • Big B says:

        @ Winston Smith;

        “Blind acceptance is so much easier than finding out the facts for yourself.”

        Truly spoken. ‘Sheeple’ are by nature mentally lazy and have little or no ambition to learn anything or do anything that might cause upset of their preconceived belief system which, unfortunately for them, is why they are so easily led.

        If, hypothetically, some of these ‘sheeple’ left this so called “Christian” organization I wonder how many or how long it would be before they found another “religion” (read cult) to latch onto? Not long I bet. Just my two cents worth. 🙂

  4. David says:

    I spoke to a Witness friend a few days ago, who informed me about an ongoing legal battle concerning the use of contaminated blood. It seems that in the 1970s and 80s thousands of people received contaminated blood transfusions from the NHS, many of whom have since died.

    Now I have come across many comments from ex-Witnesses, claiming that ‘thousands’ of Witnesses have died as a result of the Society’s position on blood transfusions, and it would seem that there is an overriding consensus that a blood transfusion (when medically advised) is always the most appropriate measure.

    I cannot recall a contrary view being expressed in the ex-Witness community, and I am curious as to why there is (seemingly) such a concerted effort to promote this position.

    I would be grateful if someone could enlighten me as to where the ‘thousands’ of Witnesses dying from refusing blood comes from, and I would be interested as to why there is no mention of the recent scandal involving contaminated blood in this, or any other articles on JW Survey.

    Any opinions on the contaminated blood controversy would be especially interesting. I’m not a Witness btw, although I do have a certain curiosity concerning the polarisation of views concerning blood transfusion. I am hopeful that you will my query will be accepted in the spirit of open-minded (and open-hearted) debate, and that I will receive the clarification I am seeking.

    My only desire is that there would be a more objective discussion when it comes to the issue of blood transfusion, rather than the emotionally driven, highly subjective rhetoric that seems all to common among ex-Witnesses when it comes to this topic.

    • Caroline says:

      David, since you are not a Jehovah’s Witness, you don’t fully understand what the discussion about blood transfusion for Jehovah’s Witnesses is all about.

      Nobody here is arguing that sometimes blood transfusions do not save a person’s life and sometimes there have been mistakes and it was the blood transfusion that led to the person’s life. Nobody is arguing that point here.

      The point that is being discussed is that it isn’t a personal choice for a Jehovah’s Witness whether or not that person turns down a blood transfusion because a Witness has two choices, either take the blood and get shunned (disfellowshiped) or not take the blood and run the chance of dying. Being shunned for a Witness means the loss of their family and support system so it is a terrible choice to make.

      We have no way of knowing of all who have died from refusing blood but all you have to do is look at the cover of the May 22, 1994 Awake magazine to see that even children do die from refusing blood and the Watchtower proudly put some of their faces on the cover of that magazine.

      If you go to the Watchtower index publications, there is page after page of articles telling about the downside of taking blood but you will never see even one article where it actually saved a person’s life. That is all Witnesses see.

      They never see where it actually saved a person’s life and so they actually become paranoid about taking blood and think that their chances of surviving without blood is almost a given.

      It isn’t until either they are close to death or a loved one is close to death that it actually hits them in the face that they might actually die from not having a blood transfusion and then that’s when they have to make the decision to either live and be shunned or take the blood and live and many times they die, but like I said before, we have no way of knowing of all who died because they refused blood because the Watchtower organization only talks about those who refused it for one reason or another.

      Sometimes they do live and those are the only ones that Witnesses will hear about in their publications or assemblies.

      If somebody refuses blood and dies, then sometimes they will talk about that person at assemblies and how “faithful” they were but that isn’t going to bring that person back to life.

      It might make the family proud that their lived one died faithful but what good does that do to the person who died? If their loved one takes blood and lives, then that family has to hold their heads in shame for the rest of their lives so there is great pressure put on the family to encourage their loved one to refuse the blood.

      For the one that died, life goes on and that person is forgotten and the one and only life that they were blessed to experience is gone and all they are is a memory and they died for an organization of imperfect men who can come up with “new light” any time they want to and decide that now a certain blood fraction is acceptable or not acceptable and can be used whereas the week before the Witness was expected to die for their imperfect “light”.

      Who are those men that can determine which part of the blood can be infused and which part can’t?

      Who appointed them into that position? Can they prove that they were appointed by God? If they can’t prove they were appointed by God to determine what is acceptable and not acceptable as far as blood transfusions go, are they not responsible for all the ones that died before they came up with the new light and were wrong in the past about how they understood “abstain” from blood?

      They freely admit they aren’t inspired so why do Witnesses have to listen to them and die for them?

      Even the July 2013 Watchtower article said that they haven’t even been appointed by Jesus Christ yet as the faithful and discreet slave so who are they to disfellowship you because you have your own opinion about whether or not you can take blood or what part of the blood you can and can’t take? Why does a person have to hold their head in shame for choosing to take blood to live?

      Why give up your life for their “opinion”? What makes their opinion any smarter than yours or mine? Our lives are too precious to die for those men who admit they have not been appointed as the faithful and discreet slave class and admit they are not inspired of God.

      All they do is print literature and that’s all they do.

      • Eyes opened says:

        Well Caroline your answer is well said and you are spot on. For many not completely familiar with JW ways, it may be a foreign concept that JW’s are not given all sides to a story. Truly informed decisions are highly improbable at best. But you can bet there will be plenty of undue influence to follow without question a teaching that might change at any time. In the November broadcast it is made abundantly clear the GB are not inspired and so must make adjustments to teachings now and then. Adjustments that may have resulted in a different decision from what we may have already made. You are so right about not letting such men make life decisions for us. Again well said.

        Regards

        • Caroline says:

          @Eyes opened, thank you.

        • outandabout says:

          Exactly, Caroline..’who are these men who decide on what blood fractions can be used’
          WHO INDEED!! Who gave them the power of life and death.
          Oh how I would love to see them on a panel trying to defend their tripe. They CAN’T, that’s why they hide like rats in a hole, poking their hands out for tax free money from an oh so wicked world.
          What a sickness!

    • Bad Penny says:

      David –
      I remember the newspaper article on the contaminated blood issue and the subsequent cases of people who were affected by it, some of whom contracted serious illnesses and later died. The article was photocopied and distributed to many in my old congregation as evidence that ‘Jehovah was right’. I kept copies for many years to show interested ones who questioned me on the subject. This issue strengthened our resolve to abstain from blood. Accounts of witnesses who refused blood in a lifesaving situation and who subsequently lost their lives, are held up as heroic examples!
      To a Jehovah’s Witness, taking blood is equivalent to agreeing to rape, therefore the doctrine would leave any who submitted to blood transfusion with a guilt complex that could last a lifetime. Also, as Caroline has so clearly explained, one would be shunned or even disfellowshipped from the Society for accepting blood.
      The reasoning is that blood is sacred and unique to each individual. Jehovah would be displeased with anyone who disobeyed ‘his’ command to abstain from blood. Therefore, it is better to be faithful, refuse blood and maybe lose our present life, rather than survive a blood transfusion and forgo everlasting life in the future. Is there a choice?
      I do believe that witnesses think that blood is transfused ‘willy nilly’ in the medical profession. This is not the case. However, in cases where there is significant blood loss, it is the ONLY substance that can carry oxygen through the body.
      As to whether thousands of witnesses have died through refusal of blood – this cannot be verified. The tragedy is that many, often young folks, have lost their lives and millions who cling to the doctrine would be prepared to die if the situation confronted them.
      As to our comments being emotionally driven – yes, we are emotional people – that was the reason many of us succumbed to the Watchtower promises in the first place.
      As for me, I get angry that so many have been brainwashed into thinking that the Watchtower Society is the ‘channel of God’ and must be obeyed. They hold the lives of all their adherents in the palm of their hands. Unfortunately, those palms have often been stained with the blood of the innocent sheep who have been coerced into serving them.

      • dee2 says:

        Good point Bad Penny,

        >>>>”I do believe that witnesses think that blood is transfused ‘willy nilly’ in the medical profession. This is not the case.”

        There is a threshold which doctors use when deciding whether or not to administer a blood transfusion.

        A transfusion is generally given when a person’s hemoglobin level falls below 70 grams per litre.

        There have been instances however, when a person’s hemoglobin level has fallen below the 70 grams per litre threshold and they were not given a transfusion as there are other factors to consider.

    • tranquillo says:

      Dear David the thousand of lives claimed by refusing blood transfusions come from 1994, may 22 Awake magazine.
      in the same magazine at page 2 WTS admits that abstaining from blood has claimed the lives of thousands of youths.
      So they admit thousands of casualties among the young people alone. Given that your need for health treatment will increase proportionally with age, I would guess that the tens of thousands are not at all a simple guess, but they are supported by WTS itself

  5. Twmack says:

    It’s a fact that donated blood has transmitted disease
    and has been a direct cause of death. More and more
    surgeons are avoiding its use whenever possible.

    However, in the case of massive bleeding and loss,
    and where a fatality is an imminent prospect, in
    such situations doctors are unanimous that a blood
    transfusion is the course to take. That option is not
    open to JW’s

    Ex JW’s who have woken up some time ago are generally
    aware of the facts and would not argue the toss about the
    efficacy of transfusions. There’s positive and negative
    you could argue “Till the Cows come Home”.

    There’s little argument though about the hypocrisy of the
    WT, on this issue, allowing blood fractions, but would
    disassociate any member who donated blood, and who
    rob the sheep of any choice over their life,

    • Holy Connoli says:

      @TWMACK. Another point that most do not consider on the possibility of diseased blood. If you did take a transfusion in a situation where it is needed is that IF the blood was contaminated in most cases it will take years to do lasting harm to the receiver. However if they need blood to survive an operation or an emergency the transfusion may save their immediate life and give them many more months or years to live at that time. Whereas refusal of the blood transfusion may immediately take their lives. I am just pointing out the immediate effects of refusal or accepting blood in that situation. Refuse Blood and die right then or accept blood ( even unknowingly contaminated ) and live for months and even years and possibly decades before symptoms appear. Even if the blood could be contaminated it does not mean it is DEADLY.

      look at things another way also. The WT teaches if you take a blood transfusion you are unfaithful and you will be disfellowshipped and shunned and lose eternal life right? However if a NON JW takes a blood transfusion and dies the JW’s will tell the surviving non JW family that the dead person will be resurrected in the new World even though he may have been a thief, liar, fornicator, adulterer and atheist etc.

      So the JW who lived all his life by bible principals and preached the WT doctrine everywhere he went, went to all meetings, field service, had bible studies, faithful to his wife and kids, lived the life of a 100% JW now will lose his eternal life bc of this 1 act he decided to do and could not conscientiously believe the WT teaching but the other “WORLDLY” person took blood and never believed in the WT or the bible and lived a life of unchristian living and even possibly hated the JW now has a possibility of being resurrected but the Faithful JW who did 99.9% of everything correct is doomed to eternal destruction and if he survived will be shunned like a dog with Rabbis! Something is very inconsistent with this teaching and full of a double standard.

      Does anybody else see my point? Seems the WT gives more hope to a NON JW taking a blood transfusion and dying than a JW who has lived and done everything according to the WT teaching but “fails” in 1 item and KABOOM! he is destroyed by God.

      • Bad Penny says:

        Holy Connoli –
        Yes, you’re right! Better to have never known ‘the truth’ than to have been a JW and failed to keep the commandments of the borg!
        Once ‘apostasized’ for taking blood or being disloyal, you are considered ‘dead’ by your former brethren. No hope of eternal life or a resurrection. Yet, as you say, the man who has never tried to serve ‘Jehovah’ has more chance of a resurrection, as long as he dies before Armageddon! Crazy!
        This is what makes waking up to the deception so difficult, keeping ones captive and forever in jw dom.

  6. Painfulreality says:

    The whole issue is this. Even if there was not one possible chance that offered blood could be contaminated is not relevant. The organization only uses this to add strength to their argument. They are saying Jehovah knows best see. All that should not even come into it. A witness is told not to take blood. There is only one ….because….here, and that is …because…Jehovah says so. So a good JW has no choice. Obey Jehovah and live, disobey and die and be shunned in the interim.
    Forget the who died ‘because’ argument. One day that argument may not exist. It is simple. Live or die. No choices here.

  7. Painfulreality says:

    Is there no chance of contamination with blood fractions then. Not being in the org anymore I have no idea if this has been suggested.

    • dee2 says:

      Good point Painfulreality:

      >>>>>>”Is there no chance of contamination with blood fractions then”

      The Watchtower’s logic is beyond human comprehension.

    • outandabout says:

      Absolutely a damn fine point, Painfulreality. I’m no expert, but I think you’ve just set fire to their whole ‘scary blood’ campaign which only exists to subdue any Witness who might be having a ‘now hang on a minute!’ moment about this ridiculous transfusion business.

  8. Twmack says:

    @Holy Connolly, You made your point very well.
    It always bemused me, why a villain who died before
    Armageddon would get another chance but if he hung
    on till the big slaughter that’s his lot. Even more puzzling
    when applied to decent people, such as a JW who fell
    just at the last hurdle.

    As you say, much inconsistency. The org, makes the rules
    God is surplus to requirements, hence the confusion.

  9. outandabout says:

    Holy Connolly…..you share my thoughts.
    One of the reasons why WT has to keep up the ‘any day now’ rubbish is so that Witnesses won’t say to themselves “ah well, I might as well carry on a free life out of the Org and be resurrected later on if Armageddon isn’t coming any time soon. I’ll take my chances.” That sort of thinking is not on and won’t fill the coffers! Instilling a sense of urgency within the followers is paramount.

    This business of the dead coming back to life is a carrot to give people a chance to see dead loved ones again. Grief and dead people and are cash cows for the WT and religion in general. They can’t scare dead people into joining them, but they can use dead people as bait for the living.

    Even dead people have a use. Nothing goes to waste with the WT. Just leave Granny’s corpse on the curb and WT will pick it up and use it. They’re the masters of recycling and are setting a fine example to the world. Wake up!

  10. dee2 says:

    Holy C,

    KABOOM, Zap, Fry, Fizzle, Crackle, Splat!……….watch out for those hail stones……..

    • outandabout says:

      Is it my imagination, or is the bible of load of misogynistic tripe written by Men during a time of extreme ignorance and fear and when brute strength was essential to survival. Are women attracted to men of physical strength because of this. Do women view men with physical strength as the ideal partner and in doing so, ensuring the likelihood of protection from harm for themselves and their offspring in a time of barbarity. Are we just animals with brains? Are we moving on?
      School children have at their fingertips, information that the likes of Einstein, Rutherford, Archimedes’s, etc, would die for and could only dream of.
      Children can and do see straight through rubbish. That’s why those ask those questions. It takes adults to teach them to over-ride their natural instincts.
      We should be ashamed.

    • Holy Connoli says:

      Dee2-Like BAcon in a frying pan, pop, sizzle,cooked, done! Hard to believe the fear mongering the WT has been able to accomplish. Second to none with this type of FOG. ( FEAR, Obligation, Guilt )

  11. Mark Garner says:

    The reality is that abstaining from blood, if you read the whole Bible is exclusive to Jehovah as our sovereign He has the right to set standards. Our life is in our blood, that is what makes us a unique person. Jehovah said to carefully keep his regulations, and you will prosper. My mother died as a result of keeping faithful to Jehovah’s feelings on this. There is no doubt in my mind that she will be granted a resurrection, because of her faithfulness. Jehovah reserved the use of blood, ONLY to be used by Christ to buy us back for perfection, not to save life in an imperfect world, for a short time, where the individual will die again, and on top of that, not have Jehovah’s blessings for a future resurrection. WOW, the trade off is not equal. Who is stupid enough to go down that road, at the cost of eternal life, in perfection on earth