All for three extra spaces: Brain injured man’s family says Witnesses broke their promise

Brain injured Jim Mura and his family say his Witness neighbors are going back on their promise
Brain injured Jim Mura and his family say his Witness neighbors are going back on their promise

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses genuinely care about the general well-being of ordinary people beyond the confines of their religion? Such a question might sound strange to some, but after taking a closer look into their interaction with the public it becomes not only reasonable, but necessary.

If you posed the question to a Jehovah’s Witness at your doorstep you’d likely get a lengthy monologue describing his or her organization as the most “loving” on the earth.

But do Witnesses really care about people outside of their bubble? A recent troubling development in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, brings that question into sharp focus.

Jim Mura’s life plans were tragically altered when he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a freak ocean swimming accident. Suddenly, his lifestyle was one where simple communication and movement was extremely difficult. His wife, Janet, became his caretaker.

The two of them had reason for concern when their local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses decided to build a kingdom hall next door.

You see, one of the few joys in Jim’s life is gazing at the Sandia Mountains, a view of which is afforded to him by his dining room window. But having learned that the new kingdom hall would obstruct this view, the couple decided to confront the Jehovah’s Witnesses with their concerns.

They received verbal assurance that the hall would be built so that Jim’s view would not be blocked.

Once the concrete was poured, Jim and Janet were shocked to find out that the kingdom hall was being situated in a position that would indeed block his view of the mountains.

Again they confronted the Witnesses and discovered that the decision had been made in spite of their agreement.

If the Witnesses had upheld their agreement with the Mura’s and complied with their wishes, the parking lot for the kingdom hall would lose the space for three vehicles. These few parking spaces were thus deemed more important than the needs of a severely disabled neighbor.

As a group that professes to be the only true Christians, shouldn’t Watchtower’s love for their literal neighbors be of paramount concern? Should it not supersede any material or strategic gain?

I was a member for over two decades, and will always remember a common mantra: “let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no.” (James 5:12) I recall this concept being drilled into my mind from a young age. So, it’s astonishing for me to witness an entire congregation’s refusal to uphold such a simple agreement with a person in need, namely that he could continue to have access to an attribute that directly influenced the purchase of his property.

Tragically, the law sits on the sidelines on this one. Morally, what’s happening is loathsome, but the Watchtower is breaking no actual laws. All that can be done is to protest peacefully against this moral travesty as it unfolds, and raise awareness.

If you would care to show your support for Jim and his wife, please visit their official Facebook page: Save Jim’s View.

Even with the concrete poured, I imagine there are still creative ways to grant Mr Mura his wishes. Hopefully, Watchtower will have a change of heart and allow his current quality of life to be uninterrupted. Only time will tell.

 

 

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Further reading…

190 thoughts on “All for three extra spaces: Brain injured man’s family says Witnesses broke their promise

  • July 7, 2014 at 10:20 pm
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    The saddest part of this fiasco is that the Tower must really believe their voice is as they claim it to be, “equal to God’s spoken word and able to upstage the Bible”. Having this sense of grandiosity allows them the right to make life and death decisions for others and if tomorrow they decide to change their doctrines on blood transfusions, no apology or excuses for all the premature loss of life. They can tell a young man with a great gift of athletic ability to avoid sports OR ELSE, pressure children with great minds and a thirst for learning, to not even think about college, wash windows instead. They use shunning to force one who is no longer a believer to confirm OR ELSE, in other words a deeply flawed group,(not my opinion but fact, look at the record) has power over life and death. Shameful and they just don’t care about the damage left in their wake.

  • July 8, 2014 at 9:41 pm
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    Well put, Excelsior you da man

  • July 8, 2014 at 9:53 pm
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    This mess is terribly tragic, clearly a pathetic attempt to shut up and defame the messenger. John isn’t responsible for the lies and spurious doctrines preached by the Tower, don’t attack him when you can no longer believe, your faith broken. Mr Cedar’s has a right to use any label he wishes and we all have the responsibility to respect his wishes and his desire to protect his precious family, the tiny new addition, and his income. If you don’t agree with his motivations or his blogging simply follow the advice of the Tower and stay away. I support this man 100%, if I didn’t I could drop off, something I would suggest to the mindless sheep who desire to put the Genie back into the bottle.

  • January 14, 2016 at 8:19 am
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    What happened with this in the end, apart from the KH getting built exactly where they promised they wouldn’t?
    Looking at the Google photos, it would have been possible to build it right-centre in the car park and thus be away from the neighbour’s house as well as not blocking the vision.
    If I was assigned to that KH, my conscience wouldn’t allow me attend it after having promised Jim that it wouldn’t obstruct his view.
    JWs are decidedly dodgy when it comes to business practices. Even the WTS encourages the use of contracts and having everything written down when making an agreement. Poor Jim wasn’t aware of this obviously.

    • January 16, 2016 at 5:08 am
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      Average Joe…..good question. I too have wondered what really happened.

      I may have dreamed this up but there is a voice in my head that is saying that no one was ever able to get in touch with the reporter who wrote the story to verify any of the facts he claimed in his article.

      Sadly, sometimes the voices in my head are wrong.

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