Teacher suspended for forcing Jehovah’s Witness child to salute flag
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A teacher has been suspended after trying to force a Witness child to take part in the oath of allegiance

A teacher has been suspended after trying to force a Witness child to take part in the oath of allegiance

A teacher from Florida has been suspended without pay for forcing a Jehovah’s Witness fourth-grader to take part in the oath of allegiance.

The incident took place on September 11, when the boy’s teacher asked his class to salute the flag on the 12-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

When the boy refused to participate, teacher Anne Daigle-McDonald is said to have taken his wrist and placed it over his heart.

When the boy protested and pulled his arm down, the teacher is quoted to have said, “You are an American, and you are supposed to salute the flag.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses take political neutrality extremely seriously, and as such would find any such behavior offensive. Indeed, following an enquiry into the teacher’s conduct by the school district, it was found that Daigle-McDonald “violated a number of state education rules, professional conduct principles and the student’s right to free speech and freedom of religion.”

Daigle-McDonald has thus received a five-day suspension from work without pay. She has also been issued a formal letter of reprimand, and instructed to attend diversity training.

Is this teacher’s punishment fair?

Everyone will have their own opinions, depending on their religious or political views, as to whether Daigle-McDonald’s punishment fits her crime. Indeed, some extremely patriotic Americans might argue that no crime was committed at all.

I would argue that, though losing pay over this seems quite harsh, it was right for this teacher to receive some kind of disciplinary action without losing her job. Why do I say this?

I grew up as a Witness myself, and can remember only too well being involved in a similar incident with a teacher when I was only about seven years old.

On the day in question, my teacher asked my class to take part in coloring in a poster advertizing the school’s upcoming Christmas Fair. I knew instantly that I wasn’t allowed to do this as a Witness, and that my parents would be unhappy if I were to participate in something that promoted what I understood to be a pagan celebration.

By belittling a Witness child's beliefs, you are only fueling Watchtower's persecution complex

By belittling a Witness child’s beliefs, you are only fueling Watchtower’s persecution complex

When I respectfully told my teacher that I couldn’t do it, she stood me infront of the entire class saying, “[John] doesn’t want to help the school!” As punishment, I was made to stand outside in the winter by myself, in a courtyard overlooked by my schoolmates.

When I came home and told my parents, they were infuriated. They drove to the school to take the matter up with the teacher. I can’t remember whether an apology was given, but I certainly remember this story being proudly told countless times thereafter as an example of me standing up for my beliefs in the face of persecution.

My point in relating this experience is that the harsh punishment by my teacher only fed into my developing persecution complex, and strengthened my identity as a Jehovah’s Witness. Any kind of arbitrary punishment or belittling behavior by non-Witnesses, whether school teachers or co-workers in later life, only feeds into a Witness’ persecution complex and strengthens Watchtower’s influence by vindicating the organization’s suggestions that “worldly” people are cruel and intolerant.

So I applaud the fact that the teacher in this case received corrective discipline for a direct infringement of this boy’s free speech and freedom of religion, but I am relieved that she did not lose her job over such a relatively trivial matter. After all, in the end, nobody was hurt.

 

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Further reading…

Picture credit: the main article picture is taken from the book Revelation – It’s Grand Climax At Hand, page 196.

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101 Responses to Teacher suspended for forcing Jehovah’s Witness child to salute flag

  1. Babs Mason says:

    Well done article. Thank you for sharing your experience and feelings as a youngster raised as a witness. You explained very well how the cult brainwashes you into believing you are special and reinforces the teachings of persecution. Steve Hassan explains this quite well in his videos.

    Cult Expert, Steven Hassan Interview with CNN’s Erin Barnett …
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkVQJkJBkBo Cached
    Cult Authority, Steven Hassan, Explains Workings of Cults and Mind Control in the Boston Marathon Bombing. The Interviewer is Erin Barnett on CNN.

    BTW I live in the same state as you and your wife John and would love to meet you sometime. Namaste <3

  2. Faithful Witness says:

    I would like to suggest that the WTS purposely chooses controversial issues like these, and then expects JW children to be “strong” enough in the face of persecution. Some people get pretty passionate about things like seemingly “harmless” customs, like saluting the flag and celebrating Christmas.

    Parents force their children into this cult, and then expect them to act like mini-cultists in the schoolyard. This is all part of the brain-molding and mind control. Good for you, standing up for yourself as a child! That took some real courage, and I’m sure you made Jehovah proud. Obviously, you did, since you were congratulated for a long time after. Now this little boy has a badge of courage to display proudly, and he can become even more deeply identified as one of Jehovah’s chosen people. Great job, Mrs. Daigle-McDonald! Your reaction to his religious stand has had the opposite affect you intended. I hope this event will trigger some research on your part. This little boy is a child of cult members.

    The discipline the teacher receives seems fair. I hope she will use the time off from work to do some research into not only JW beliefs and why this innocent child dared to defy her, but possibly stumble upon some information that will give her a hint at the constant stress this little one must be under every day. We need some teacher activists to develop some tools that can be used in schools, to help children learn to think for themselves. If a JW is going to send their child to public school in the US today, they should expect them to be educated. Teach them to think!

    It would be interesting to see if there are any teachers that would covertly reverse-witness to their students. At the age of 10, a child has a very active and able mind. This would be a perfect time to introduce some logic and critical thinking skills. Drawing parallels that might ring true for a JW child.

    Just a thought. I feel sorry for this poor kid, and hope the teacher will return to the classroom with a renewed spirit of the true nature of her job. This isn’t about the Pledge of Allegiance. This is about who is controlling this child. He is under the enforcement of a cruel and intolerant religious cult, that makes things up as they go along. The legalism and threats being forced onto this child, are permanently affecting his development.

    A teacher’s job is hard enough, and she will have much bigger challenges to face. I suspect that this child is probably compliant to school rules that don’t go against his religion and the laws he lives under. Discipline the bad kids, and do what you can to help the helpless ones!

  3. Acadianlion says:

    Saluting the flag is a matter decided some decades ago in court. It is NOT mandatory that a citizen salute the flag of the United States. The teacher’s dicipline wasn’t quite specific enough. She should have been required to research the history involved that established the rights of JW’s (and anyone else for that matter) to salute the flag or not.

    I have had numerous discussions with my wife who is a JW about this. The issue of saluting the flag in the United States is not a sign of obeisance or a form of ‘worship’ to the flag. Rather it is intended to be a rendering of a courtesy of recognition of the republic’s stand for “liberty and justice for all”. The teacher apparently didn’t understand the “liberty and justice for all” part.

    A personal story. Years ago as a seventh grader in junior high school I was agast to see at a school-wide assembly the singing of the national anthem was accompanied at the end by the raising of the right hand, palm up, and extended toward the flag.

    I refused to do this and was called to account by my teacher. I explained that I would not render a salute to my flag that was reminiscent of the old Hitler salute. We had an argument over it, but in the end the matter was dropped and there was no further attempt at making me “conform” to the school’s custom.

    Later in life I read that the palm up salute to the flag was common practice in the United States during the days prior to rise of Nazism and WWII. In retrospect, the principal of that junior high school was a teacher in that Junior High School when it was built in the 1920′s and had remained there throughout his teaching years. I was there in 1958 so that school tradition went back forty years and apparently the principal hadn’t learned anything after becoming a teacher in the 1920′s.

    Acadianlion

  4. Erik says:

    The teacher was personally offended, it appears, since she reached out and moved the child’s hand. That alone could get her in trouble, in America at least. It reminds me of a similar incident when I was a child. Personal patriotism is fine but students come in with a variety of backgrounds and their parents’ belief systems.

  5. milo says:

    Well done. Good article. It makes me proud to see someone, especially young ones stand up for what they believe in. @faithful your suggestion seems to say ” take him out of the evil brainwasing cult by brainwashing him with school indoctrination”. I dont understand this.

  6. whatevs says:

    Funny that they’ll get angry when someone wants to strong-arm a child into pledging allegiance or loyalty to a country, but they’re okay with strong-arming and bullying children into getting baptized into their religion. They’re both wrong if you ask me. My loyalty is to whom I chose to be loyal, and no one will force me to pledge my allegiance to a person, government, or religion of any sort. Do what you want but respect those who do something different, because maybe they have their reasons.

  7. Randy G. says:

    On these issues Jehovah’s Witnesses do not demand any special consideration beyond being allowed to respectfully decline participation. The SCOTUS recognized that that allowing such a choice, rather than demand forced participation actually strenghtens the meaning of the ceremony.

    Now, lets reverse this. What if a child of Jehovah’s Witnesses were to get baptized as you did John at 11 or myself at 16, then later in life decide to no longer participate in our faith? Is such allowed within the faith? Absolutely not! Such a decision is not respected, but instead met with reprisal wherein strict shunning will be enforced.

    The sad fact is the Witness faith tends to operate from a position of intolerance of any outside authority on the life of the members. This includes things like flag salute or singing national athems wherein loyalty and respect is shown to an outside authority.

    Thanks for the article John!

    Cheers,
    -Randy

  8. Kitty downs says:

    My concern is for the mental anguish this poor child is being subjected to. He has to suffer the embarrassment already for not saluting g and then to have the teacher draw even more attention is so sad. Secondly, he will suffer mental torment from thinking he’s gonna die at Armaggedon because he saluted the glad and made Jehovah sad. Ugh. What a horrible life ahead if this innocent child. My heart bleeds for him.

  9. Rowland Nelken says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses would love to imagine they are reviled and outcast. A bored shrug is a better reaction than outrage and force. My mother would always ring me up on her birthday to remind me that old friends and my sister had acknowledged her birthday with cards and presents. I would always remind her that she, as a JW did not recognise birthdays. She would then try and tell me, with pride, that it was pagan; and she knew about this, unlike those not ‘In The Truth’. I would merely shrug and say that for many people, not just JWs, birthdays are no big deal; ditto Xmas. That was my small attempt to take the wind out of her self righteous and otherworldly sails. Let JWs alone to not salute flags, not sing Christmas Carols and Happy Birthday. Reserve condemnation and action for the serious stuff like the murderous blood nonsense and the cruelty of shunning.

  10. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    Those are consequences of living with “sheep’s in wolves’ clothing”. The child is a robot… You can read:

    “it is not enough simply to teach your children to avoid bad associates. Help them to find good ones. One father says: “We would always try to substitute. So when the school wanted our son on the football team, my wife and I sat down with him and discussed why that wouldn’t be a good idea—because of the new companions that would be involved. But then we suggested getting some of the other children in the congregation and taking all of them to the park to play ball. And that worked out fine.”
    18 Wise parents help their children to find good friends and then to enjoy wholesome recreation with them. For many parents, though, this matter of recreation presents challenges of its own” (fy chap. 8 pp. 96-97 pars. 17-18)!!

  11. LMC says:

    This teacher who was suspended without pay and now has to receive diversity training should have known better! Working in the school system myself what she did was a no-no! She was trained on this at the beginning of the school year as ALL school personnel are! The Constitution allows for different religious views whether you agree with them or not. Freedom of speech is also guaranteed in our Constitution. However I agree that children should have free will in choosing whether or not to salute the flag, vote, or celebrate holidays without being forced into a decision by parents. Forcing children to worship is tantamount to mind control. It is one thing to teach your child your religious beliefs but to force them and then send them out in the world to stand up for these principals by themselves is abusive!

  12. AFRICAINE says:

    There is no governmental system that has any true and legitimate reason to demand allegiance.
    So were I not brought up as JW, I would not have given allegiance to any entity.
    In my country, South Africa, we the male members of the WTS went off to military prison [this was in the 1970's] – in later years of course the young guys were able to have the sentences [6 years by then] commuted to civil service.
    I have no issue with standing out against this illegitimate demand for allegiance. Of course each person [child] may react and be affected differently. However in most reasonable governmental systems the Constitutions allow freedom of worship and if the parents approach the school systems in a diplomatic manner the issues related to flag salutes / anthems etc can be avoided. Just dont approach the school all gung-ho and get people P-off.
    As to the sanction this teacher received – that is what that particular authority decided. After all why should she be allowed to impose her will on anyone – the govt systems suck.

    regards – Africaine [Christian Anarchist]

  13. milo says:

    Many assume that the child was forced by the parents or the GB to make a stand. I think this is in error. True he was given counsel even direction fron the bible but the choice was his. Other witness children when faced with similar choices have taken a different stand. The choice is theirs. No mind control no force no arm twisting, just free will. We cannot nor should not try to impune why this cjild made this decision. It was his own.

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      Free will? I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and still remember how I was drilled, at the Kingdom Hall, to believe that unless I followed the instructions of those TRUTH mongers in suits on the rostrum, the elders, then Jehovah would murder me at Armageddon, due then, for certain (it was Jehovah issued, Bible based TRUTH) before the end of the 20th century. To write the drivel that you write on here, Milo, you sure are under the malign control of the bosses of that global property and publishing corporation, that obscene little cult, known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Thank you for demonstrating to any casual reader, Milo, the tragic state of mind that can occur if one falls victim to the Watchtower.

  14. WT Critic says:

    The great thing about America is her freedom she gives all including Witnesses who refuse to salute. As mentioned here the best way to fight it is with sympathy not opposition.

  15. Juan Viejo says:

    I faced this very issue in the early 1950s when I was in elementary school. In grades 5 and 6 I had a teacher (Mrs. Maltzberger) who at first was shocked that I refused to salute the flag. She asked me to bring a note from my mother to explain in more detail. I did. Some of my fellow students began a campaign to ridicule me about not saluting the flag but Mrs. M put a quick stop to that. Eventually my fellow students elected me a classroom president. But one of the duties of the “president” was to lead the class in the flag salute. When I told them that I would no longer be their president because of that duty, Mrs. M suggested that the class vice-president could do it or I could appoint/award other students in the class to do it if they wanted. Mrs. M was one of my favorite teachers because she could always find a way to help our class find solutions to avoid usual conflicts. Our class was mixed race before most schools were integrated in the USA, and yet Mrs. M found easy ways to have our class that had whites, blacks, Hispanics, and even a Japanese kid (just years after WW2) all get along. So having a “know-it-all” JW kid in her class just added to making her class more interesting and diverse. Unfortunately, more and more classrooms are beginning to revert to discriminatory practices – especially in the USA South as conservative politicians and wacked out TV evangelists rail against non-Christians, minorities, the poor, LGBT persons, and non-traditionalists in any category. Recently here in Oregon a middle school student was attacked by fellow classmates when he declared himself an atheist. According to eye witnesses, the teachers turned their backs and went inside the building when they saw the fight begin – and then later claimed they hadn’t witnessed the young boy was being beaten. Freedom of religion and conscience are still just concepts in the USA, not realities.

  16. milo says:

    @juan was that your decision?

    • Juan Viejo says:

      Which decision are you referring to? Even at 10-11 years old I was drinking the kool-aid, so yes – I totally understood and accepted the WT’s position on flag salute and singing the National Anthem. To be honest, even to this day I ignore saluting the flag or putting my hand over my heart – I just don’t feel the need to do that and still don’t care what people think. But that’s because I see the whole process as being a hypocritical display of false patriotism. On the other hand, there are times (like after 9/11) when I break into tears when the flag goes up or drops to half-mast. Mrs. Maltzberger was a unique teacher in that regard – tough as nails as far as quality of work and getting homework turned in on time, but very flexible when it came to children’s needs and support. If there is a heaven, Mrs. M is living in a mansion…

  17. Blog addict says:

    Hi, very good article. I thought I would also say that there is more happening to the child than reinforcement of a persecution complex. The child is also humiliated and emotionally traumatised in front of his peers, so it is abusive. The JW child also experiences very real feelings of being ‘different’ from everyone else and knows that some of his peers will be laughing or sneered at him behind his back. All of this tends to harm the child emotionally and isolate them sociality, causing them to feel unable or unworthy of their peers friendship and that only within the organisation can true friendship be sustained. If the child eventually leaves the organisation, this psychological schema is so strongly entrenched in the mind that it can lead to permanent social maladjustment and the inability to relate normally to ‘worldings’ and form natural relationships once out in the world, especially if all previous friendships and sources of natural companionship and social ties are severed through disfellowshipping. The harmful early pattern is set through such humiliating child experiences, and is a factor in why some ex-JW’s commit suicide.

  18. Faithful Witness says:

    Milo: that is definitely not the point I was trying to make!

    I was suggesting that a teacher, who has a young JW under her charge for 6+ hours per day, can definitely make a positive difference in educating that child. By that, I mean, teaching that child to think for himself. Teach him to use reason, critical thinking skills, logic and discernment that will help him to make decisions. While the child is still trapped in the clutches of the WTS, there is not a lot a teacher could do to rescue him… She can, however, show him the way to find answers for himself. Teach him to use tools that are available to him, and allow him to draw his own conclusions.

    I happen to be a homeschooler myself, and have a passion for educating children to be free thinkers. I abhor the indoctrination of public schools in the US today, and will do everything I can to protect my own children from the government brainwashing for as long as I can.

    Thanks for clarifying this point. Question authority!

  19. milo says:

    @juan thank you for your honest answer. The decision was yours it is still sonething you chose to do. This was my point. To all others, think for a monent on this. If a young person feels they are gay is that their decision? They realize they will be subject to some form of chastisement. Yet would you concludecthat they were brainwashed into their thinking? How isvit different for this young man who despite peer pressu re and the press sure from aperson of authority made their own decision? Would you presume to taje away their right to free will without knowing that person and his circumstance?

    • Juan Viejo says:

      milo,
      Let me quote Cedars: “So I applaud the fact that the teacher in this case received corrective discipline for a direct infringement of this boy’s free speech and freedom of religion, but I am relieved that she did not lose her job over such a relatively trivial matter…” That is my point as well. Freedom of conscience, whether it is due to religious training or not, must not be infringed upon by persons of authority as long as no person or property is endangered. The teacher in Florida was enforcing her own religious and political beliefs on the JW child, not the policy of the school or the community. She was totally out of line and deserved punishment. Should she have been fired? Probably not for this one offense. But she, and any other teachers in the area that do not learn from this example should be fired if they choose to enforce their own illegal positions on their students.

  20. milo says:

    @juan i agree completely. This is not a JW issue. This is an issue of choice. It does not matter what you believe nobody has the right to force you to do something against your free will.

  21. PotcallingKettle says:

    @blogadict
    So basically what you’re saying is that its a form of psychological abuse to teach children to do anything different from anyone else. I thought that JW’s were the ones that thought everyone should think and act the same way? And I thought that that too was a form of psychological abuse? That JW kids are oppressed because they aren’t allowed to have their own opinions on things like entertainment, or education. But now I see that teaching children to be different is actually psychologically damaging to children as well.

  22. milo says:

    @faithful i agree tge best thingvwe can teach our children is to reason for themselves. I am a free thinker, i also was homeschooled infact never went to public school. I have what some would say are radical viewpoints i.e.: the governments involvement on 9/11, the moon landing etc. But i also think that it is my obligation to teach my child the moral viewpoints that shaped my life. I want to at least give her a fair chance. But i do not mske her do anything. She is only five and just the other day the issue of her friends b’day party came up. I told her she must make her own decision it is not up to me, but she needs to do what she feels will make jehovah happy. Just as she would want to make me her father happy in her decisions.

  23. milo says:

    @blog i find iy offensive, not ad a JW but as a human that you would ever imply yoi know why a person would commit suicide. That is not your nor anybodys call to make. You show a disrespect to yhose of us who have had to deal with this issue.

  24. Max says:

    Great article Cedars! In the end I think it should be a matter of conscience as to whether one should salute the flag, however with such young children, it’s a tough call to make as these youngsters are not equipped to form such opinions by themselves.

    Personally as a kid I had an issue with saying the pledge of allegiance when I got to a certain age, esp. the under god part and that was before I even knew that “under god” wasn’t a part of the pledge until 1954. Pledging allegiance to the flag is fine if people do it for the correct reasons because they sincerely show respect for what’s it’s supposed to mean.

    Perhaps the pledge should not be recited until kids attain a certain and/ level of maturity and cognitive development, as well as a well balanced education in history, say the age of 15 or 16? Then they are better able to make a decision on their own as to whether to recite it or not. Or, perhaps the pledge should not be recited at all in school settings? Just some thoughts.

  25. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    The teacher got a just penalty for her crime. No one has the right to force someone to do something that they don’t want to do.

    We all agree on that.

    Now, to tackle some of these other issues.

    Pot calling Kettle,

    It is wrong to expect children to abstain from any activity without first giving them some facts to go on. I believe that many witness children follow the WTBTS line without ever considering any other opinion. This applies to witness adults too.

    There is now a new theme in your and Milo’s comments. It’s all about free will for you, and there’s bundles of it in the WTBTS. It’s simply bursting with free thinking, considerate, well informed individuals who receive no sanction if their decisions (which are free) do not correspond with the GB.

    I can only say that this is not the experience of myself or many people who are posting here. We have found a complete lack of appetite to exercise this much discussed freedom, depending instead in a slavish devotion to the GB’s pronouncments.

    People are afraid to express their freedom in fear of sanction.

    Milo, you have doubts about the moon landings, do you? You believe that the government was involved in the attacks on September the 11th, 2001? Ok, it’s your choice.

    How would these examples of your free thinking affect your relationship in the congregation? Not in any way. They’re rather off the wall, but you would not be sanctioned. Try having some opinions on things that do affect their authority and you would receive a very different response.

    You and Pot calling Kettle have been emphasising this freedom, rather unsuccessfully, for a while now.

    Why don’t you both exercise your freedom and read some of Cedar’s posts on a whole variety of subjects and then give us your opinions? If you find any factual errors, Cedars will correct it.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  26. milo says:

    @excelsior i can only assume from your past posts the issues you reference are mainly child abuse and disfellowshipping. I assure you i have done my research both outside and inside the wtbts viewpoints. I personally have concluded that i agree with the wtbts on these issues. You do not. I would not try to inflict my opinions on you nir should yoi on me. Any poats o have made have not veen to coerce or persuede anyone, simply my stance. But i have had a difference of thinking with the GB before. The issue i always was concerned with was, who really was the faithfull slave. I did not agree with the explination that all the anointed were the slave. Just didnt add up to me. But i waited on jehovah and did not make an issue out of it. After all he is the one who gives us the truth not the slave. The point is i can think independant to the GB and still be approved by god, we all can. But there are fundamental truths in the bible we cannot argue with. If we do we are arguing not with the GB but wit h jehovah.

    • A searcher for truth says:

      To Milo,
      Since you agree with Watchtower Society viewpoint then do you agree that a person should be expelled (disfellowshiped) from the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses for not accepting that the “faithful slave” had been inspected by Jesus and then thereafter appointed by him over all of his belongings?

  27. milo says:

    I find it intetesting what Richard Dawkins said about ones choice: There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else (parents in the case of children, God in the case of adults) has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point. [...] Somebody else must be responsible for my well-being, and somebody else must be to blame if I am hurt. Is it a similar infantilism that really lies behind the ‘need’ for a God? Richard Dawkins

  28. milo says:

    I also enjoyed his view of cild molestatio: The mob hysteria over pedophiles has reached epidemic proportions and driven parents to panic. Today’s Just Williams, today’s Huck Finns, today’s Swallows and Amazons are deprived of the freedom to roam that was one of the delights of childhood in earlier times (when the actual, as opposed to the perceived, risk of molestation was probably no less). Richard Dawkins

  29. PotcallingKettle says:

    @Excelsior
    You assume that anyone who disagrees with you is uninformed and uneducated. You assume that people such as me and Milo have only come here to “shake up” the comments section. Truth is I have read every article I have commented on and read all of the comments. I have also read some articles that I have not commented on. Are you so sure that Cedars would change his articles if anything was found not to be factual? And what would constitute “factual”? Is it factual that the wtbts was a NGO member of the U.N. For 9 years? Yes. But that isn’t the entire story. Its not cut and dry. Is it a fact that the wtbts has a “two witness” rule with regard child molestation? Yes. But that isn’t the entire story. You can give someone facts and at the same time misrepresent said facts. And you act as if simply reading what Cedars has written will be all that is needed to convince us simple minded JW’s. After all, we’ve been kept in the dark, intellectually suppressed for so long that the scales will just fall from our eyes. Wouldn’t that be just as dangerous as accepting what the GB says about any given subject without double checking the facts?

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      You can ask questions of Cedars. You can disagree with him. He will not, so far as I am aware, declare that the God. for whom he is exclusive earthly agent, murder you at Armageddon for daring to question his authority. To draw an analogy between Cedars and the JW Gov. Bod. is as ridiculous as anything you might read in a Watchtower mag.

    • @milo,@pot,and @Nelken…
      a lot of evidence has been presented against the JW’s and i wanna say that this has little or no effect in most JW families i know.*they are told by the GB to view it as apostate trash* so whether its the UN scandal,the ‘whole’ blood or ‘blood fraction’ issue,the failed dates…e.t.c I think its logical not to expect a JW or a former JW to immediately conform to new ideas they formerly knew to be “apostate”.
      also branding the elders and the GB to be wrong on all counts is technically untrue.iam not pleading a JW cause but clearly stating that change is a gradual process and can only be accelerated by clear un-biased reasoning not entirely critical judgemental thinking. Cedars does well in this area. He presents a balanced approach to the topic under discussion such that a jw can even ‘consume’ it without much sneering and branding. Its true the GB pursues this false path of ever increasing light (read sept 15,2013 wtc par 14 )which of course is a time-buying tactic and an excuse for their edited “Truth” but they’ve got their laws which are good too.

      • Rowland Nelken says:

        Like water on a stone, JW faith in their truckload of ever changing and cruel absurdities will, eventually evaporate. They need to be constantly reminded that they look forward to the day that God murders the greater part of humanity for the refusal to obey every diktat of a bunch of self appointed old men in New York state. The JWs can pretend that this is all Biblical, just and loving, but their noses need to be rubbed in the sheer filth of their faith till they can no longer bear the stench.

  30. milo says:

    @pot well said. I have read the articles i post on as well, my conclusion? I agree with some of what is said, but very little. I certainly wont let the opinions of cedars and those that post to “inform” me of what i should believe. I am the worst case scenario for many here. A free thinking JW. I do reasearch into all subjects that i speak openly about. If i am not informed i reaserch it. I have looked into thr “scandals” of the WTBTS and have made my stance based upon the facts. Did i doubt certain things when looking into them? Oh yes. Some evidence seemed to go against the wtbts. But i applied the bibles counsel not to come to a conclusion until you know both sides of the story.

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      A free thinking JW? The only way to salvation is through the Faithful and Discreet Slave. Apostate! Armageddon slaughter for you before the end of last century!

  31. Rowland Nelken says:

    Well, free thinking JW. Think about these JW TRUTHS and give us your free opinion:

    Pre 1945 – Jehovah does not care about blood transfusion.

    Post 1945 – Jehovah will murder you at Armageddon if you have a blood transfusion.

    21st century – Jehovah is cool with receiving blood fractions but will murder you at Armageddon if you donate blood, the only source of blood fractions.

    Old Truths, Past Truths, New Light Truths – they are all Jehovah issued Truths. His exclusive earthly agent has declared this. Believe the lot and act on them or Jehovah will zap you along with all the non Kingdom Hall attenders when he finally gets around to doing his Armageddon.

  32. milo says:

    Will those that hadva transfusion before 1945 be held accountable? I dont know. Will those that had ablood transfusion after 1945 be held accountable? I dont know. Nor does the slave. Is there a bible command to obstain from blood? Yes. How far does that command go? Ad new advances in medicine come to light will we have to adjust again the stance on blood ? I dont know. Any person who has made a decosion on this is accountable to god not the GB. They may get disfellowshipped for it. But that does not ensure their destruction. We are not the judge only god.

  33. PotcallingKettle says:

    @Rowland
    If you don’t believe in Armageddon or agree with the wtbts stance on blood then that is your own decision. I’m not in a position to judge anyone for their views. To assume that just because someone agrees with something you don’t must mean that they are somehow being kept in the dark is quite an assumption. I do agree with the wtbts on their stance on blood. From the research I have done it harmonizes with bible principals. There are also many medical professionals that are not JW’s that feel that non blood treatment is the best treatment you can get. I have researched the subject using wtbts publications, non affiliated outside sources, and the bible. I don’t know how much more thorough I could be.

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      But before any God makes a decision, a bunch of old geezers who claim they speak for God, will disfellowship anyone who defies their diktats. Disfellowshipping leads to shunning. Seek a God by all means, but to imagine that the only way to a God is, as the Gov. Bod. declares , through their global corporation, is as cruel as itis ridiculous.

  34. milo says:

    @rowland the diktats are from the bible not men. When you realize that it is easy to follow them. After all gods commands are not burdensome.

  35. milo says:

    Even Dawkins agrees with punishment: If this dysfunctional family was the best Sodom had to offer by way of morals, some might begin to feel a certain sympathy with God and his judicial brimstone. Richard Dawkins

  36. Faithful Witness says:

    Who is the faithful and discreet slave?
    It is a parable. Anyone who decides to serve the master, is the slave. Do not be fooled into serving a governing body of men who refuse to go to Christ for life. The great teacher told his servants to come to HIM for life, not to seek out a “slave” on earth to serve and obey. This is absurd.

  37. C M says:

    I agree as well, I respect other peoples choices/beliefs etc. So i expect them to respect mines, they are our human right. I too had a similar experience and while i was being put to shame o told my 8 year old self that they were doing this to me because i served the one true god and that jehovah would be happy i was obeying him and saw my suffering and one day they would all be destroyed but not me, i was being a good jw.

  38. milo says:

    @faithful the faithful slave fulfills a specific role. Despensing food at the proper time. The parable lets us know that jesus would chose his slave. A specific group of persons to give the rest of his domestics theor dpiritisl food. Yes i am a slave to christ, but i am not part of the faithful slave. I dont fit the requirements laid out by jesus.

  39. Randy G. says:

    @milo, you said: “I assure you I have done my research both outside and inside the WTBTS viewpoints. I personally have concluded that I agree with the WTBTS on these issues. You do not. I would not try to inflict my opinions on you nor should you on me. Any posts I have made have not been to coerced or persuaded anyone, simply my stance.” (editted for spelling)

    To do your own research is the correct approach. If this results in agreement with the WTBTS then so be it. Just like it would be wrong to assume all Ex-JWs think alike and have all be influenced by some particular apostate source, it is also incorrect to assume all current Witnesses haven’t looked into issues such as disfellowshipping and child abuse from both WTBTS provided source as well as reliable third parties.

    For example, the Candace Conti, case is a matter of public court record. You can literally download and read the court transcripts wherein you’ll see lawyers for both the WTBTS and Candace make their case. Likewise, Janice Paul sued the WTBTS over disfellowshipping — and she lost! To this day (although it takes some digging) you can read both the court transcripts and The Watchtower (it might have been in Awake!, but my recall is The Watchtower) comments on the case.

    However, I do think your view on persuasion is incorrect. The entire point of any oral or written argument is to persuade. Indeed 2 Timothy 3:14 says, “You, however, continue in the things that you learned and were persuaded to believe, knowing from what persons you learned them”

    Cheers,
    -Randy

  40. ANOTH3R ANONYMOUS WITN3SS says:

    The JW adults will be using this incident proudly to show JW kids that they should stand up for what they are taught. Reality of the matter is… for that child… to not follow the order of the teacher was merely an act of defiance in the child’s mind. At that moment when the teacher told him to salute the flag, he simply wanted to be defiant towards an authority figure. a lot of JW’s might applaud him for what he did. But imagine now how the rest of the class would see him? Would he have friends in his class anymore? what about other students who used to talk to him? what about the students who liked the teacher? all of them are most likely going to be running away from this JW kid and wouldn’t want to be his friend. It would only lead to his isolation in the classroom, and probably social isolation too. The parents haven’t thought about how other kids are going to feel in interacting with their defiant son. That JW kid is going to experience isolation. Social isolation leads to depression, and will push this kid further into the organization, even leading him to get baptized into the org at a very early age. The younger a kid gets baptized… at least while they can think, the deeper the beliefs are ingrained into their minds, and that’s why the society is after young ones. Kids who get baptized at a younger age are less likely to leave the org because it’s all they’ve known their whole lives. Parents cant leave the org because then they risk isolation from their kids. The org has won yet another case of mind control of a young child. I feel sorry for him because now, he’s going to be thoroughly convinced that this is the truth (my thought… the truth that the borg wants your soul). He’s going to feel that it’s ok to sacrifice everything for the organization because “Jehovah” will take care of him and get others into trouble while he laughs away. In the end, its the teacher who will have the last laugh because he’s most likely going to sacrifice the rest of his life for the org. I am not defending the teacher, but the punishment doesn’t match the crime. Also, if some people believe that “this is America where freedom is of the utmost importance”, why not treat the immigrants the same way too? Give freedom and liberty for all, not just a 4th grader.

  41. Reader says:

    @milo

    Your citing of Dawkins missed the point completely. He was not ‘pro-punishment,’ but rather pointing out the ridiculousness of the bible’s standards of morality. The bit you chose was a tongue in cheek comment.

    Regarding blood, you did a cursory review of the facts, buy refuse to dig deeper. For sure, the bible says to abstain from blood. There are issues though. 1) The bible also forbade non-priests from eating the temple bread, yet that was ok in a life-saving situation. 2) Blood is a symbol of life. Where does a symbol become more important than actual life? 3) The story in Acts about abstaining was based upon the circumcision issue. Most bible scholars (notable Ehrman) have concluded that this story is fiction, that it never really happened but was a later creation.

    Sure, you may claim to be “free thinking,” and you are to a limited extent. However, your “free thinking” is firmly based in apologetics, and that builds blinders that foul the free thinking process.

  42. wednesdaythursdayadams says:

    Cedars, she is not returning to the school as a teacher, so she in fact did lose her position.

    From the New York Times:
    Daigle-McDonald was in fact removed from student contact and given an alternative school job on Sept. 12. She was also suspended for five days without pay and ordered to undergo diversity training.

    Still I believe she should have been terminated from the school district. The physical contact is criminally wrong, whether religion was involved or not.

    • Cedars says:

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention wednesday. I’ve double-checked your quote, and I note it says she was removed from student contact and given an alternative school job on September 12th, which was only the day after the incident. It sounds to me as though this was therefore a temporary punishment in the immediate aftermath of the incident pending the full district investigation, which has since been completed. If the suspension had been permanent, the article would have reported her as being banned from teaching at the school rather than suspended. At least that’s how I read things. If anyone can shed any further light on this I will gladly amend the article accordingly.

      • wednesdaythursdayadams says:

        Ok, I see it can be read that way as well. Given the alternate job “in the meantime” so to speak. Ultimately returning to her teaching assignment. Unfortunate situation for all involved.

  43. Ocma says:

    I wish the teacher had taken pity on the child and let it go. He’s in a cult, doing what he is told. His life is already going to be stuffed up, why help make things more difficult by bringing attention to him like that? Just cruel.
    I remember having to stand in assembly, staying silent while all the other children sang christmas songs, I didn’t feel awesome for not joining in with the ‘pagens’ singing the pagen songs, I felt awkward and like everyone was staring at me and I’d think ‘why can’t I just sing along, I’m still not going to get presents, it’s just singing’.

    • Admin Jeni says:

      I felt the same way. Never once was I sitting there feeling superior. I was embarrassed, but too scared of my parents. I had a sister and a few other JWs in the school who would have tattled if I’d done what I really wanted to do and joined in.

  44. LMC says:

    This is what the WT wants you to believe that while you can make your own choices making the “wrong” choice will get you killed at Armageddon. If you are a JW child and your parents tell you that if you salute the flag you will be killed at Armageddon are you going to salute the flag? If you as a JW child go to the KH and hear over and over again about neutrality or you will be killed at Armageddon are you going to get involved in politics including saluting the flag? So I beg to differ but that child is not making his own decision….do or die is what all JWS are under….

  45. LMC says:

    So we will be zapped no matter what we do!

    • Faithful Witness says:

      Agree, Ocma and LMC. No JW child has free will. They have the free will to do as they are told, or suffer the consequences for being weak.

      It’s like a “free-thinking ” JW’s 5-year old daughter being told, “it’s your choice, honey. Do you want to please Jehovah’s organization, or do you want to die at Armageddon because you choose to have go and eat cake at your little friend’s birthday party? I’m leaving this decision up to you! I’m not forcing my beliefs on you. Nope, not me. I wouldn’t do that to anyone. You choose, dear!”

  46. milo says:

    The moral degeneration of the youth is a direct result of a socialistic/humanistic experiment. The facilitators of the plan understood from the beginning that to change society an educational revolution will need to take place. H. J. Blackham, father of modern British Humanism, said that humanists “are more revolutionary than any conspiracy to overthrow the government.” (September – October 1981 issue of The Humanist)

    “Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school ofhumanism. What can a theistic Sunday school’s meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?”

    - Charles F. Potter, Humanism: A New Religion, 1930

    “I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly view their role as the proselytizers of a new faith… The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new; the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of Humanism…”

    - John J. Dunphy, A New Religion For A New Age, in

  47. milo says:

    “To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family tradition, national patriotism,and religious dogmas….We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents,our Sunday and day school teachers, our politicians,our priests….The reinterpretation and eventual eradication of the concept of right and wrongwhich has been the basis of child training, the substitution of intelligent and rational thinking for faith in the certainties of old people, these are the belated objectives…for charting the changes in human behavior.”

    - Brock Chislholm, 1959 Humanist of the Year and former head of World HealthOrganization,inthe February1946 issue of Psychiatry

    After reading the above quotes it becomes crystal clear that, not just a conspiracy, but an all out battle has been waged on the mind of the child for nearly a century – and all at the expense of the taxpayer. An indoctrination of a “new faith” begins from the moment we enter the first grade, and continues unimpeded throughout our formal education. The public school system – or the “arena of conflict” – succeeds in an escalating resocialization of society itself; the goal being a world government with its citizens having been brainwashed out of their patriotism, family traditions, religious values and teachings. Humanists do not mince words and are brutally honest: “some opponents of Humanism have accused us of wishing to overthrow the traditional Christian family. They are right. That is exactly what we intend to do.

  48. Reader says:

    It’s only crystal clear in the minds of the deluded.

    It’s ironic that a person who stands for a religion that is known for forcing conformity through extreme community measures cites something to do with losing individualism in society. Right. You should look at that more carefully.

    The thing about conspiracies is that there is little to no evidence and the proponents feel that they have special knowledge that the rest of the world lacks or fails to see. This sounds very much like the basis of the JW faith. It is very powerful and seductive. Shine the light of reason upon them, however, and they both crumble under scrutiny.

  49. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    So Pot and Milo, you both agree with the WTBTS on their way of dealing with child abuse.

    I assume that neither of you have experienced this first hand have you?

    You disgust me. People like you two perpetuate the crimes of the WTBTS every day. It’s people like you two that cover up the abuse, and wait patiently for your God to miraculously heal the physical, emotional and psychological scars that abuse brings. Wait patiently for your God to punish the perpetrator, with no warning given to other potential victims.

    It is morally untenable for you to claim to love God whilst agreeing with the cover ups that have and will continue to occur.

    I shall simply have to rely upon your consciences to steer you to a better conclusion.

    I only hope that you are not confronted by this outrage in your lives.

    People like you remind me that leaving your organisation was the best thing to happen to me. I am free from people like you have forgotten the age old lesson – the ends never justify the means, not ever.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  50. PotcallingKettle says:

    @Excelsior
    Its true. I myself love pedophiles. They’re just good people. Now if someone has sex outside of marriage, or talks to a disfellowshipped person, or even watches the wrong kind of movie, I will personally hunt them down and make sure they are thrown out of the faith. No matter what it takes. I will hound them to no end and make their life miserable until they confess. Now a pedophile, well that’s just a person who is top notch. Sure it might be illegal. Some might even consider it repugnant. But those are the type of people I like to be around. I even think that I would let my kids hang out with them. We just have to make sure our organization looks perfect. That means we disfellowship everyone for everything under the sun, except child molestation. I’m sure you will agree that this is only sensible.

  51. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    PotcallingKettle,

    Sarcasm as a response to a question of that seriousness? I think I may have hit a nerve.

    So, PotcallingKettle, would you allow the WTBTS to not report your child’s alleged molestation?

    Would you leave it with Jehovah if there was only one witness (your child) to satisfy the incorrect application of the two witness rule?

    Would you allow some people at Bethel to decide whether a molester is a serial molester or not?

    I can categorically say that I would not. I would inform the police immediately.

    Would you care to say what you would do? Can you explain to me how expecting immediate reporting is unscriptural? Can you explain to me how that would violate any biblical law?

    Why doesn’t the Shepherding the Flock of God book advise witness rank and file to do this?

    It merely states that no action will be taken against those who choose to do this. Why is it secret anyway?

    If you are ok with the WTBTS’s child protection policy, then you can readily and eagerly answer my sincere questions.

    The case is this; you cannot defend the child protection policy to people who are aware of it. It simply won’t work. I am disgusted by it. It makes me boggle that any decent hearted person could have any defence for it.

    Jesus said that his followers had to become like little children. He cared deeply for them. The Jesus I have read about would not support the WTBTS child protection policy. He would not care about the supposed damage to the WTBTS’s reputation. He would urge anyone to report it to the superior authorities and warn others about the molester.

    You have read the gospels. Do you really think that Jesus would be ok with the covering up of sin? Do you think that he would want innocent children to suffer because of the two witness rule?

    This is my final appeal to you, as a fellow human being, to really think about what you are defending. Think deeply on the anguish of an innocent child, and then tell me that that suffering is worth a coverup?

    Just as you can shun, so can I. I can decide to refrain discussing issues with you as your morality is questionable. I do not want to do this. I would prefer a real, honest answer from you.

    I really hope that you will refrain from sarcastic remarks, used as a crude device to show contempt for my questions. Do you really think that I am a terrible person for caring about the welfare of children? Don’t you too?

    Part of the problem of the WTBTS is that they paint ones who leave their faith as morally bankrupt. Do you believe it is morally bankrupt to genuinely care about the welfare of children? Do you think it is morally reprehensible for someone to care about the plight of disfellowshipped ones? Didn’t Jesus say that we should love our enemies?

    Please take this opportunity to really consider my honest questions. I really want to know what you actually believe.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  52. Reader says:

    @pot

    A child is molested by a pedophile and yet, since there is only one witness, as is often the case, there is no justice served at the Kingdom Hall. The family and the victim are told to wait on Jehovah. Nobody is warned at all that there might be a predator in their midst. Then another child is taken victim. While waiting on Jehovah for justice, another child is molested. You worship a god that, rather than acting and rooting out the problem, waits for another victim. What a great example of miraculous justice.

    What about formication? A family drives by a brother’s house and sees a sister’s car parked in the driveway very late at night. Enough witnesses are there to prove fornication, even if she may just be a little too drunk to drive and sleeping on the couch.

    If only the proceedings in your religion’s kangaroo courts were public. From time to time recordings of these surface and thinking people everywhere are appalled.

  53. PotcallingKettle says:

    Please take note of what is actually said in the policy:”If during that meeting the accused still denies the charges and there are no others who can substantiate them, the elders cannot take action within the congregation at that time.”

    Did you see that the elders cannot take action “within the congregation”? So although the elders cannot take CONGREGATIONAL action judicially speaking, this does not mean that the elders do NOTHING. There is actually a number of things that are done in this case to protect the child or other children.

    1. It is reported to the Watchtower Society.

    The policy continues: “However, even if the elders cannot take congregational action, they are expected to report the allegation to the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses in their country, if local privacy laws permit.”

    I’m doing this from my phone at work. More to come regarding this.

    • Cedars says:

      Pot – please be warned, you’re on thin ice at the moment. Your sarcastic post where you were flippant about pedophilia was only JUST tolerated, and now you are trying to confuse people over the handling of child molesters.

      Have you served as an elder at any stage? If not, I advise you not to talk (or write) off the top of your head, as your above comment shows you are incapable of thinking logically.

      In the event of ANY accusation of child abuse, the local branch office is informed immediately anyway. This is not disputed. Yet, your above post gives the impression that the branch office is only informed after elders have completed their investigation.

      I warn you – don’t try to use this website to confuse people on such a sensitive issue. It won’t end well for you if you are interested in making future comments.

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      You know as well as anyone else, Pot, that the JW policy is designed to protect the reputation of your horrible little cult. The children do not matter. You must be aware of all the court cases coming the JWs’ way. That will probably cost them so much cash and bad publicity that there will be some ‘New Light’ on the Deuteronomy 2 witness rule. As you know, preserving and augmenting the capital value of the Borg is a principal driver of your cult. If door knocking becomes even more dispiriting than it currently must be, and the mag. trade becomes unviable, what scams will your bosses think up whereby to exploit their unpaid labour force?

  54. PotcallingKettle says:

    2. If there is a mandatory reporting law it is reported to the authorities.

    Continuing with the policy: “In addition to making a report to the branch office, the elders may be required by law to report even uncorroborated or unsubstantiated allegations to the authorities. If so, we expect the elders to comply.” If their is a mandatory reporting law it is reported to the authorities regardless of the age of the victim or whether the allegations are true or not.

    3. If a child is in possible danger it is reported to the authorities.

    A 1988 letter states: “There is a duty to report when one has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that there is abuse or a substantial risk of abuse and parents have failed to protect the child.”

    • Cedars says:

      Wrong – authorities are only informed by elders if told to do so by the branch office. They cannot report to the authorities of their own volition – only if told to do so by the branch office depending on local reporting laws.

    • Cedars says:

      What you call “the policy” is actually an extremely cleverly-worded press release from the old jw-media.org website that can be read in full on this link…

      http://web.archive.org/web/20091123144858/http://www.jw-media.org/aboutjw/article23.htm

      As anyone will see if they click on the above link, you have completely misquoted the article. In fact, misquote isn’t strong enough. You have re-written the quote to make it say something it doesn’t say.

      Here is what it actually says…

      “However, even if the elders cannot take congregational action, they are expected to report the allegation to the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses in their country, if local privacy laws permit. In addition to making a report to the branch office, the elders may be required by law to report even uncorroborated or unsubstantiated allegations to the authorities. If so, the elders receive proper legal direction to ensure that they comply with the law. Additionally, the victim may wish to report the matter to the authorities, and it is his or her absolute right to do so.”

      So instead of saying “If so, we expect the elders to comply,” what it ACTUALLY says is “If so, the elders receive proper legal direction to ensure that they comply with the law.” That is something completely different. At all times elders are expected to comply with instructions from the legal department RATHER than the police. They cannot act independently of the legal department and report matters to the police, which is the impression you attempt to give.

      Again, I’m so glad I took the decision to ban you. You’re a liar, plain and simple.

      As to the 1988 letter you quote – again, this is country-specific to Canada. The July 29, 1988 letter begins by saying…

      “Provincial law in all provinces of Canada requires that child abuse be reported to child welfare officials so that immediate steps can be taken to protect the children.”

      It then adds…

      “The difficulty is to balance between your obligation to report such matters and your congregational duty to maintain confidentiality. We have asked our Legal Desk for some comment, and the following legal opinion is passed on to you:

      When to report?

      There is a duty to report when one has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that there is abuse or a substantial risk of abuse and parents have failed to protect the child. The report shall be mane forthwith to the local child welfare authorities. Sexual offenders are notorious repeaters. Therefore, careful investigation should be undertaken to ensure that no other children are at risk from the same person.”

      The full letter can be read on this link, which I will happily share with JWsurvey readers even if you won’t…
      http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/jw/friends/37162/1/SECRET-WATCHTOWER-LETTERS#.UoELtSdF_LY

      So again, all you are proving by quoting this letter is that the level of protection a Jehovah’s Witness child receives depends on a birth lottery as to which country or State she happens to have been born in.

      If the Watchtower can get away with concealing abuse from authorities, they will certainly try.

  55. PotcallingKettle says:

    4. Elders offer to go with the child to the authorities.

    December 1, 2000 letter: “If the complainant is a child the elder might offer to accompany him or her to discuss the situation with a parent (but not the alleged abuser) or to one of the above authorities.”

    5. The victim or family can report it to the authorities without sanctions.

    The policy continues: “Additionally, the victim may wish to report the matter to the authorities, and it is his or her absolute right to do so.” And a February 15, 2002 letter states: “Never suggest to anyone that they should not report an allegation of child abuse to the police or other authorities. If you are asked, make it clear that whether to report the matter to the authorities or not is a personal decision for each individual to make and that there are no congregation sanctions for either decision. That is, no elder will criticize anyone who reports such an allegation to the authorities.”

    • Cedars says:

      There is no doubt the December 1 2000 letter, which is country-specific, is a marked improvement on Watchtower’s policies for dealing with instances of child abuse in, say, the United States – where in some States Watchtower can get away with covering things up depending on local laws. But by quoting it you are giving the impression that it is applicable universally, which it most certainly isn’t.

      Also, the following paragraph is typical of Watchtower’s half-hearted approach…

      “Never suggest to anyone that they should not report an allegation of child abuse to the police or other authorities. If you are asked, make it clear that whether to report the matter to the authorities or not is a personal decision for each individual to make and that there are no congregation sanctions for either decision. That is, no elder will criticize anyone who reports such an allegation to the authorities.”

      In other words, “Don’t urge them TO go to the police, but never tell them NOT to. Cover your asses.”

      And we all know what decisions many Witness parents end up making once elders assure them they’re “dealing” with the matter, remembering Watchtower’s counsel not to take their brother to court.

      It’s simple – “let the Bible judge sin, let the law judge crime.” If child abuse is REALLY a crime in Watchtower’s view then they should be telling ALL elders in ALL countries to report ALL accusations to the police immediately – period.

  56. PotcallingKettle says:

    6. All in the congregation have a responsibility to report it to the authorities.

    A 1992 letter states: “As members or the community in which Caesar still acts as God’s minister and hence still has a certain authority, ALL in the Christian congregation would want to consider their personal and moral responsibility to alert the appropriate authorities in cases where there has been committed or there exists a risk that there might be committed a serious criminal offence of this type (see ks91, page 138) In child abuse cases such authorities might include the family doctor, the Social Services, the NSPCC, or the police.”

    • Cedars says:

      This is too easy. You are throwing up a smokescreen by quoting from a January 30, 1992 letter to all bodies of elders in BRITAIN, and relying on people to assume that it applies to all countries.

      The fact that this letter is intended for British congregations is obvious by the reference to the NSPCC – a UK child abuse charity.

      And as with your quote from a similar December 2000 letter to British congregations, the onus is on reminding parents to CONSIDER their responsibilities rather than telling them to go to the police straight away.

      I’m glad I’ve banned you. You deliberately misquote letters and make letters for one country sound like they can be applied universally – a typical apologist tactic.

  57. PotcallingKettle says:

    7. Elders are to encourage those who are aware of abuse to handle their responsibility to report child abuse.

    A December 1, 2000 letter also offers the same comments as the 1992 letter stating: “all in the Christian congregation will want to consider their personal and moral responsibility to alert the appropriate authorities…” But it further states: “His (the elder’s) counsel should always include advising the complainant that the congregation cannot take over the God-given responsibility of the ‘superior authorities’ in dealing with crime. Accordingly, the complainant should consider his or her responsibility to report the matter to the authorities without delay. (Compare Romans 13:4, James 4:17)” The cited scripture James 4:17 says, “Therefore, if one knows how to do what is right and yet does not do it, it is a sin for him.” Accordingly, the elders are to encourage others to report child abuse when a person knows of it. To do otherwise would be shirking his responsibility.

    • Cedars says:

      This is total spin and propaganda. There is a world of difference between elders “encouraging” victims to approach the authorities, and reminding them to urgently consider their obligation to do so depending on the laws of the land. The December 1, 2000 letter reads…

      “His counsel should always include advising the complainant that the congregation cannot take over the God-given responsibility of the superior authorities in dealing with crime. Accordingly, the complainant should consider his or her responsibility to report the matter to the authorities without delay.”

      Notice the very clever wording. The complainant needn’t be urged to report without delay, but to “CONSIDER his or her responsibility to report the matter to authorities without delay.”

      And the December 1 2000 letter is addressed to “All Bodies of Elders in Britain.” It does not represent organizational policy for the United States.

      See this Wikipedia article under the heading “Country-specific reporting rules for the UK”…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses%27_handling_of_child_sex_abuse

      So all you are doing by highlighting this letter is proving that Jehovah’s Witnesses in some countries have better protection from pedophiles than in others, because Watchtower knows it can only restrict reporting in countries and states where they will be allowed to get away with it.

  58. PotcallingKettle says:

    . The accused is likely removed from all assignments until the matter is cleared up.

    December 1, 2000 letter: “Likely it will be advisable for a brother who has been accused not to be used for assignments until the matter is resolved.” Jan 30, 1992 letter: “It may be advisable for the brother who has been accused not to be used for assignments until the matter is resolved.”

    9. The accused is watched more closely.

    The December 1, 2000 letter tells elders the importance of protecting children even if there are only ‘allegations’ against a brother. It states: “When an elder receives an allegation that a child has been abused the first essential is to listen.” Later on, when addressing the way in which elders should respond to these ‘allegations’ the letter states: “The elders should not lose sight of the fact that victims urgently need to be protected from further abuse and abusers need to be prevented from finding additional victims

    • Cedars says:

      “Likely” is the operative word here – and again it is the branch office who makes the final call on all such matters. “Watching more closely” (as you put it) is impossible for elders to do in all facets of the congregation, including what goes on in private homes during bible studies, etc. Again Watchtower is assuming a surveillance role that belongs to the police. It should be the police driving any investigation and advising the elders on how to protect parents in the congregation, not the branch office.

  59. PotcallingKettle says:

    General counsel for the Watchtower, Mario Moreno, confirms this to be the policy. The Paducah Sun, January 28, 2001, states of Moreno: “…if there is only one witness and the accused denies the charge, he (Moreno) said elders have the responsibility to watch the accused more closely. He added that elders sometimes advise the accused to not put himself or herself in suspicious situations.”

    10. In some cases the elders may give a warning to the congregation.

    The November 1, 1995 Watchtower, on page 27-28, under the subheading “What of the Alleged Abuser?” states: “A person who actually abuses a child sexually is a rapist and should be viewed as such. Anyone victimized in this way has the right to accuse his abuser.” From this quote and from a reading of the entire article we can clearly see that the Watchtower is addressing cases where there is only one accuser. Now notice what may be done in some cases even when there is only one accuser. The Watchtower continues: “If there is some valid reason to suspect that the alleged perpetrator is still abusing children, a warning may have to be given. The congregation elders can help in such a case.”

    You will take note of the term ‘alleged perpetrator’. He is an alleged perpetrator because there is no confession and there is only one witness to the abuse. Even so, if there are valid reasons to suspect abuse, the alleged victim, with the elders help, can give a warning. This coincides with what the Pay Attention to the Flock book says on page 93, “Elders should always do what they reasonably can to protect children from further abuse;” Thus elders take reasonable steps to protect children which may indeed mean giving a warning to the congregation if the need exists to do so even though the accused is still an ‘alleged perpetrator’ or abuser.

    • Cedars says:

      “he (Moreno) said elders have the responsibility to watch the accused more closely. He added that elders sometimes advise the accused to not put himself or herself in suspicious situations.”

      So (1) elders are charged with “watching more closely,” and (2) the suspected pedophile is asked to police himself. How reassuring! I for one would rather the local police were “watching” pedophiles in my community rather than part-time janitors.

    • Cedars says:

      In the final two paragraphs to your comment you are talking off the top of your head, to put it politely. You are giving the false impression that elders have free license to warn the congregation of their own volition if there is a suspected pedophile in their midst when this is quite clearly NOT the case. Just ask Candace Conti.

      Granted there were recent changes in the October 1st 2012 letter whereby elders can warn parents in the congregation if there is a “predator” in their midst, but it is the branch office who gets to decide whether an accused pedophile can be classed as a “predator” or not – NOT the police.

      In all cases it should be the police handling such delicate matters and advising elders on whether/how parents are to be warned – NOT a bunch of guys in an office with no personal liability or hands-on experience who could well be in another country entirely.

      Let the Bible judge sin, let the law judge crime.

  60. PotcallingKettle says:

    11. If the court provides further evidence then the two witness rule is met.

    Jan 30 1992 letter: “Also, should further wrongdoing come to light during the trial it would be necessary for the matter to be re-examined, as is true of any judicial matter when additional wrongdoing is discovered.”

    From the above information it is quite obvious that the statement that the elders and the Watchtower Society do NOTHING if there is only one witness is another falsehood put forth by opposers of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The elders and the Watchtower Society, even when there is only one witness, take many reasonable and needed steps to protect the children.

    • Cedars says:

      You are confusing people by jumping to a scenario where the trial has already been held and the person convicted. According to Watchtower policy, the trial can only be held in the first place if the Legal Department gives elders the green light to exercise their moral responsibility to inform the police.

      Apart from anything else, if a pedophile receives a criminal conviction, the parents in the congregation should find out about it anyway through word of mouth and take steps to protect their children accordingly – regardless of what the elders decide to do in response to his “sin.”

      “The elders and the Watchtower Society, even when there is only one witness, take many reasonable and needed steps to protect the children.”

      This is utter falsehood. If there is only one Witness, and no other child in the congregation comes forward with a similar accusation, then the likelihood is the whole thing will be swept under the rug according to Watchtower’s current policies.

      More smokescreens, lies and confusion. I’m so glad you’re gone!

  61. PotcallingKettle says:

    @Cedars
    I was told to give a response. This is my response. If giving conflicting information to what your site claims gets me banned, then how is this any different than what you yourself claim the GB have done?

    • Cedars says:

      You are banned for spamming this site with tonnes of Watchtower propaganda that I now have to spend an hour or so trawling through and debunking, item by item. This is a website for facts and reason – not for Watchtower spin. If you are intent on defending those who protect pedophiles, please do it elsewhere. Expect a reply to each and every one of your points. They are the last points you will make on this site.

  62. milo says:

    It comes down to a humanist point of view. Man’s determination of justice surpasses God’s. It is the original lie told by Satan “your eyes are bound to be open knowing right and wrong”. In effect he told Eve “Are humans not also gods?”

  63. Reader says:

    A direct copy and paste from thirdwitness’s blog. Or maybe this is the witless one himself.

    NOBODY is claiming that the elders do nothing. That is a straw man. What some DO claim is that their methods are ineffective. The string of casualties that make the news (and the ongoing anecdotes on the web) bolster the claim of an ineffectual policy.

    I work for a large company. We have many policies. They are well organized in a book, and available in a searchable document (for staff) online. Where is this policy book for JW’s? What is the policy number for dealing with molesters?

    The elders are untrained to deal with this, yet they are placed at the forefront. They are to ‘watch the accused more closely.’ What does that mean? What tools are they given to do this effectively?

    At the same time as they are told in letters to report this crime, they are told not to take brothers to court, but rather let themselves be wronged. They are also told to keep god’s name holy and not to do things that would besmirch it, to not publicly air dirty laundry. Where does the clear policy directive stand?
    Here is the thing: the WT says many, often contradictory things. Rather than have one clear policy, the have scads of letters over decades.

    All that leads to is plausible deniability. This is where thirdwitness comes in. Unfortunately, where reality hits the streets, every person who has had to deal with their system for molestation (myself included) will tell you it works very differently.

  64. Reader says:

    @milo

    Show me how it is ‘justice’ according to god’s ‘perfect law’ that a rape victim should marry their attacker?

    Show me how god’s justice is right to kill 42 youths for calling a prophet ‘baldy.’

    Show me how capital punishment should be meted out for disobedient children.

    Yes, man’s justice, albeit far from perfect, is higher than god’s.

  65. milo says:

    I was fraternizing with girls on the internet in ways that I shouldn’t have done as a married man. I had a big issue with cyber sex and pornography, which I had developed as a teenager, and which remained with me even into my marriage. A direct quote ftom cedars. Definition, Laws, & Defense

    On-line solicitation of a minor for a sexual purpose, that is, with intent to commit a sexual activity with that minor, is one of the most investigated and targeted activities by both federal and state law enforcement in this day and age. [See my Blog for details regarding a recent sting operation involving the Murphy Police Department involving Dateline NBC and Perverted Justice]. The “on-line solicitation” as it known as, is usually in the form of contact by electronic mail (e-mail), instant messaging, or other use of the Internet.

    • Cedars says:

      Milo, I see you are insinuating that I am a pedophile based on the fact that I confessed to looking at porn on the internet in another article.

      Skally also tried this. I am not sure how the brains of you guys are wired, but I would suggest you need some form of counselling if you cannot look at the word “pornography” without leaping to the conclusion that it must mean “child pornography” or the grooming of minors.

      You are sick and insulting, and you are no longer welcome on this site. Bye.

  66. Reader says:

    Why do you assume ‘minor?’

    Mudslinging degenerate. How dare you take a man’s words, words uttered at a time of soul searching and soul baring, and twist them into something to suit your apologetic agenda.

    @cedars.
    The WT has harmed many of us, we all bear the scars in one way or another. Some of the scars are superficial and others run very deep. Do not let this degenerate mar your healing more than it needs to. What you have done here, in this ‘place,’ is powerful and clearly helpful to many, myself included. The problem is, when you expose your wounds, especially the fresh ones, some <> will run to the smell of blood and delight in causing more pain.

    Know that, from you pain, good has already come.

    • Cedars says:

      Thanks Reader. It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one to find Skally and Milo’s mudslinging outrageous and repulsive.

      I guess it’s normal in my line of work to have enemies who will stoop to whatever lows are necessary to drag me down.

      As Winston Churchill said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

  67. Reader says:

    <>
    Had “insert preferred expletive here” in the middle.

  68. Reader says:

    @milo

    I’ve already stated that human justice is imperfect, so pointing it out does not bolster your claim. Humans are, have been, and always will be, imperfect. So will their justice. And, like humans, it will always be striving for improvement.

    You failed to address how the ‘justice’ of the bible is better, as I pointed out the flaws. It reminds one of justice in Arab nations, where the world decries injustice. Men enraged by drawings of their prophet, women treated as property, and children treated harshly.

  69. milo says:

    My point is the religous leaders want the law passed. The b.o.e is blocking it. If you truly value human justic you should start a campaign against them as you have against WT. There is no difference. Would the b.o.e not be as responsible in your mind as wtbts at harboring pedophiles.

  70. Reader says:

    It is not my personal responsibility to cure all the world’s ills.

    I have experience as a JW, and a vast knowledge on their teachings, the benefits, and the harm that they cause. I use that experience to warn others of the dangers. It is my self-imposed penance for knocking on doors for years to convince people that they possessed the unfiltered truth of god’s word.

    You must hold me in high esteem if you view me as some sort of caped crusader of internet justice, railing against every injustice the planet has to offer. I am not that person.

    Both in my online and offline life I deal with things that I am knowledgable and capable, and do my best to leave the world a better place, within my sphere of influence.

  71. JBob says:

    It’s interesting that everyone assumes the teacher was suspended for a lack of diversity not for assaulting (touching) a child. Of course, this story doesn’t include all the incidents leading up to this one–the frustrations this teacher may have experienced as her JW-student flaunted her authority and countered her citizenship lessons as patriotism, or perhaps in misplaced rebellion was reticent to follow her directions instead of rebelling against abusive authority at home and in congregation.

    However, on 9/11 emotions and patriotism feelings run strong and deep, now eclipsing those felt during Dec 7th and Pearl Harbor due to recency. Islams and other diverse citizens often feel the heat on this day because flag-waving, drum beating and fife-playing citizens [think Archibald Willard, http://s2.hubimg.com/u/2766377_f520.jpg insist on being uber-American on these sensitive days.

  72. Julia Orwell says:

    As a teacher, I say too right it’s fair. A teacher is meant to respect diversity no matter his or her own feelings on the matter. To force a kid to do something like that which touches on religious diversity is extremely unprofessional. Sure, we know it’s a cult, but forcing a JW kid to say the pledge would be the same as forcing a Muslim girl to take off her hijab in class. You just wouldn’t do it, even if you as a teacher thought the hijab was wrong. It’s not about your beliefs, it’s about creating a classroom environment in which all students feel safe to learn and express themselves irrespective of religion. The way that teacher acted was extremely unprofessional. It would have brought disrepute to the school and the education department and the teacher should have known better ie read the state’s code of conduct for teachers. They were too right to suspend her.

  73. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    Good for you, Cedars!

    May I also add my disgust on the implication that you were viewing child pornography. What a vile thing to accuse you of.

    Did you notice, folks, that neither Milo or PotcallingKettle answered my question about what they would do if one of their children was molested?

    No, they couldn’t find it in themselves to say that they would follow the WTBTS on this, if their own child was involved.

    In a way, that is comforting. I should hope that many of these apologists would fail to follow this disgusting policy if it happened to them.

    These apologists are to be expected. The success of this site, coupled with Cedars’ recent decision to formally identify himself, have inevitably increased the pro witness apologists’ comments.

    My hope is that, in time, people like Milo and Pot will come to realise that they have made a mistake in following the WTBTS.

    After all, it took many of us a long time to wake up and then get out of the WTBTS.

    Thank you so much, Cedars, for your tireless work. I wish you and your wife, and your new baby all the best.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  74. JBob says:

    A revisit to the pledge of allegiance with American flag…

    The pledge was incorporated into law in the early 1940′s (1942) by the US Congress but had existed as a populist expression since 1892 when Francis Bellamy conceived of it and introduced it with a salute that eerily resembled and predated the Nazi’s extended forearm salute which was revised shortly after the passage of the Flag Code of law.

    After Jehovah’s Witnesses lost the first Flag Salute case in 1940 (Minersville School District v. Gobitis), Congress introduced the Salute into law, thus the 1942 Supreme Court reversal of once deemed private matter but now a “law of the land” and thus the government mandating an action that violated religious expression. In December, Congress revised the Flag Code to drop the madatory Bellamy salute which closely resembled the Nazi salute and was often used to smear individuals as anti-American by truncating the half-side of photo showing the American flag as object of salute and strongly suggesting that the individual rendering salute was a Nazi sympathizer. Curiously, the “under God” phrase was added sometime in the 1950′s along with “One Nation Under God” onto coins and currency.

    I believe the impression JW’s and some history texts present is that the Flag Salute and Flag treatment laws had existed since the inception of the Union, or the Civil War, but not true. The flag salute was a matter of training children in the manners of good citizenship and moral codes of conduct.

    Many details of this Florida incident sound similar to the Minersville details especially where teachers attempted to physically compel students to salute and pledge.

    Some additional points to the flag salute “doctrinal” views, which Rutherford introduced somewhat instantly at June 1935 assembly and caught on like wildfire among the Rutherford-led JW’s, it was previously a matter of conscientious objection or pariticipation [not dogma] and it was expressed as the President’s personal viewpoint–keeping in mind that he was not presented with saluting a flag in his daily routine and that he believed the salute was “ascribing salvation” to the emblem by focusing on the loyalty element.

    Many other dogma viewpoints that JW’s cling fastly to present are introduced in the same fashion–one leader’s personal views forming a group-think and eventual mandate–including blood transfusions.

    On the question, how do JW’s become naturalized citizens when immigrating to the USA as the oath of citizenship includes a pledge of allegiance to the Republic, the following link may be helpful http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/im-jehovahs-witness-cant-take-oath-can-i-still-become-us-citizen.html as there is a modified oath [of course, being a bureaucracy it's a request form that must be filed]. And, for those who view this as a weak loophole that “enemies of the State” may use, there is a caveat that the form must include official JW letterhead stating the person objecting is in “good standing as a JW”.

    Now, given the recent letterhead requesting certain nationals to return to their homeland, will HQ’s approach to those seeking citizenry be an offer to return rather than “sponsor” their citizenship requests?

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