Charity Status requirements Aug 9, 2018 19:57:04 GMT -7 Shimmerjet, Thehotone4u2, and 3 more like this
Post by HelenT on Aug 9, 2018 19:57:04 GMT -7
The following is a skeleton outline for ideas on writing to Charity Status government sectors, or politicians on human rights issues.
My actual letter is much more detailed than this, and also contains an introduction, an Index of subjects outlined, personal experiences throughout.
Each person can research whatever issues concern them and elaborate.
Part of the Charitable Status requirement is "to contribute to the public good."
1/ WT SOCIETY DISCOURAGES UNIVERSITY EDUCATION
'No school age person will fulfil a career in the present world.' Kingdom Ministry June 1969 page 3 (Armageddon was taught as being that close.)
During the 1990s there was a reprieve. JW children were allowed (but definitely not encouraged) to go to university as long as none of the courses interfered with JW doctrines.
Maybe falling growth in JW numbers after 1995 sent alarm bells ringing because by 2005 university education again became taboo:
Watchtower Oct 1st, p.29, 2005: “How sad that some have fallen away from the faith as a result of succumbing to the demands on their time and energy, or of getting entangled in unscriptural conduct at college!”
Watchtower April 15th, p.4, 2008: “What of higher education, college or university?… Many who pursue such education end up with their minds filled with harmful propaganda. Such education wastes valuable youthful years that could best be used in Jehovah’s service.”
Kingdom Ministry July, p.2, 2011: “…children… Are they prepared for the pressure they will receive to pursue higher education, date, and use alcohol or drugs?”
Watchtower magazine June 15, 2012: “No doubt school counsellors sincerely believe that it’s in your best interests to pursue higher education and to plan for a secular career. Yet, their confidence lies in a social and financial system that has no lasting future.”
Letter to Elders, 2012, March 6: “However, Satan, the master of deception, has made the pursuit of higher education for a Christian … Besides involving bad associations, higher education often erodes faith in Jehovah God and in the Bible. …”
Watchtower Society doctrines clearly demonstrate an It’s-us-against- the-world,-if-you-are-not-for-us-then-you-are-against-us,-we-must-“keep oneself-without spot from the world” (James 1:27) attitude.
This isn’t an inclination - it’s mandatory to have this conviction and live by it.
Because they believe the Almighty's Great War of Armageddon is just around the corner, due to lack of education and employment options many Jehovah's Witnesses end up on welfare and have no superannuation/retirement funds.
2/ 80 QUESTIONS TO QUALIFY FOR BAPTISM
Watchtower magazine 1/11/1978 page15, “We cannot expect God to reward us with everlasting life if we do not sign up to work for him.”
To be baptised into the JW organisation, as well as having to be approved by the elders via studying a book of 80 questions, a prospective adherent is required to pledge 100% unwavering allegiance not to God alone, but to the Watchtower Society.
This is the most important decision a person can make in their life. It’s a contract to dedicate one’s life to the Watchtower Society and all its teachings.
Teenagers are encouraged to get baptised. In recent years elders have been approving of 9 year olds making this most serious commitment.
Science has verified the human brain doesn’t mature until the mid-twenties. Up till then the brains of children, teenagers and young adults are prone to be impulsive and ill-equipped to understand ramifications of making serious decisions, let alone signing on to life-long contracts.
If, after baptism, you put a foot wrong the whole congregation is given a ‘Marking Talk’.
Maybe you had a bit too much to drink at a wedding and made a bit of a fool of yourself.
The elders will privately meet (without the ‘offender’ present) to discuss which one of them will give the talk (a five-ten minute lecture at the end of a regular weekly meeting) which won’t name anyone personally, but Jehovah’s Witness congregations being mostly a tight-knit community will know exactly who it’s about.
And if at some time down the line a baptised member ‘unrepentantly’ breaks any Watchtower Society rules - or worse - decides they don’t believe in some Watchtower Society teachings anymore (apostasy)
3/ DISFELLOWSHIPPING (micro-management and being cast out)
There can be “no independent thinking.” (Qualified To Be Ministers Book, page 156; Watchtower magazine 15/1/1983 warns that independent thinking is dangerous.
Brazen conduct = argumentative attitude (viewed as disrespectful) of anything the Watchtower Society teaches.
Any JW who socialises with disfellowshipped non relative despite counsel from elders to desist. Also if a JW continues to date or have a romantic relationship with someone who is “not legally or Scripturally free to marry” despite elders’ warnings to desist. (Page 60 Elders' Manual 'Shepherd The Flock of God')
Can be disfellowshipped for being a smoker (of anything), practising drunkenness, “or a single incident of drunkenness that brings notoriety”; or illicit drug addiction, and gambling addiction.
Even gluttony is a disfellowshipping offence. (Pages 65-69 'Shepherd The Flock go God')
Particularly concerning is the elders’ manual in (not) dealing with members who become suicidal.
While the Shepherd The Flock of God manual states briefly on page 54 section 22 that at times a member of the congregation might need professional help, when the manual gets to the sections that deal with someone who is suicidal no recommendation is advised to help them seek professional health therapists.
Chapters 5, 6 briefly mention the subject of attempted or suicidal state of mind, pages 59 & 86.
Chapter 5 section 4 is one short paragraph. All it says is to show care and compassion with such a person.
Chapter 6, chapter Preparing for a Judicial Hearing, section 16, is summed up in 1 paragraph under heading If the Accused Threatens Suicide
it advises it might be a good idea to leave them be for a day or two. Elders are to make notes and file them away. If questions arise about a certain case the elders are to contact branch office.
No mention to refer this distressed person to health professionals.
Regarding mental or emotional problems of a ‘wrongdoer’ Chapter 7 section 12, page 94 consists of one paragraph only, which speaks mainly of how ‘others’ in the congregation might view this person/situation.
Still no recommendation of including some professional health consultations.
Author and radio national broadcaster Phillip Adams in his book Adams Versus God quoted studies from the US Free Inquiry and UK British Journal of Psychiatry that “Jehovah’s Witnesses are more likely to be admitted to psychiatric hospitals than the general population,” and that “they are three times more likely to be paranoid schizophrenics.”
Religious Studies graduate Martin Katchen, whose PhD was on ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses at Sydney University (1992-98) found many ex-JWs were abused and had dissociative identity disorders. He found children of brainwashing via thought reforming religious movements often exhibited traumatic dissociation. Particularly those born and raised, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, showed psychosomatic symptoms, suicidal depression, and cutting. (His thesis can be purchased from Sydney University)
I am one who, after leaving the Watchtower, tried to suicide three times over a period of years; on a daily basis I lived with the thought of suicide as a comfort if life got too much to bear. But after an exJW who’d done her research showed me the truth about ‘the Truth’ those terrible feelings of shame, worthlessness and hopelessness disappeared. I never looked back.
DISFELLOWSHPPING/OSTRACISM leads onto the area of
An appeal to the Human Rights Articles 18 & 19 which addresses the individual’s right to freedom in choice of thoughts and beliefs, and the right to freedom of opinion without interference.
The Governing Body at Watchtower HQ demand unquestioning obedience. To try to debate anything scriptural or spiritual with any Jehovah’s Witness is tantamount to following Satan the Devil.
“The point is that Christians have implicit trust in their heavenly Father; they do not question what he tells them through his written Word and organisation.” Watchtower magazine 15/7/1974, page 441. (Note the “organisation”)
“All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.” Watchtower magazine 15/11/2013, page 20
This is not talking about obeying instructions from local, state or national government. This is the governing body of the Watchtower Society demanding unquestioning obedience to anything they might demand from its followers.
Micro-managed and counselled by elders of the congregation examples:
Engaging in work with any charity whether paid or unpaid; to smoke cigarettes/cigars/pipe; to engage in anything more intimate than holding hands between a couple whether or not they’re dating; gambling; to use the words luck/lucky; to study science; to refuse to engage in “field service”/ministry work; accepting a blood transfusion/to give blood; if found fraternising with people who aren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses.
4/ THEOCRATIC WARFARE
This is a private/secret belief and arrangement which JW elders have publicly denied to the media.
The only way you’ll find anything about this teaching is from former Jehovah’s Witness elders and former Jehovah’s Witnesses because the Watchtower Society has been careful not to put anything in print about what is called ‘theocratic warfare’. (‘Sunday’ program ‘Silent Witnesses’ Channel 9, 2002, hosted by Jim Waley. Australia)
Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that in the event they are criticised or come under scrutiny by the media, government and/or legal agencies they are not to speak to any of these agencies’ representatives. They are willing to lie if necessary, which is viewed as their God-given right and duty when necessary.
(They take their cue from the Bible: Matthew 24:9 Jesus told his disciples, “You will be objects of hatred by all the nations on account of my name.” Also like Daniel and the 3 Hebrews thrown into the lion’s den because they were God’s chosen servants who refused to bow down to secular authorities.)
More worrying is the mental and emotional trauma Jehovah’s Witnesses suffer on a day-to-day basis. Considering the following as one example of required devotion to the Watchtower:
Watchtower magazine issue 15/11/2013, governing body instructs JWs: “All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.”
Part of their 2016 worldwide Remain Loyal convention series was a half hour video depicting what might happen in the lead up to Armageddon (the Great Tribulation) due any time.
It’s a scene like something from George Orwell’s 1984, a small group of Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken refuge in a windowless room or basement while outside havoc in the streets can be heard. At one point there’s a frantic knock at the door; everyone stares at each other - one man goes to the door and knocks twice (secret signal?), there’s a return one knock - then he opens the door to a young JW man who informs them, “They’re searching every house.” Elder JW calmly says it’s to be expected that there will be “an attack on God’s people.”
In Australia in the summer of 1973 when Gough Whitlam became Prime Minister the Watchtower Society thought they might become the enemy of the Labor Party if economic ties with ‘Red’ China grew strong under a Whitlam government. The politically neutral Jehovah’s Witnesses might become a banned religion.
Every congregation Australia wide had to practise meeting undercover, like having a picnic instead of meeting at the Kingdom Hall, complete with reversible coats and hats if possible. Secret codes were given out in the event of police raids.
Indeed, hundreds of former JWs who’ve read Orwell’s 1984 agree it’s similar to life as a JW.
Keeping the rank & file in constant anticipation of persecution/the ‘Great Tribulation’ before Armageddon, creates inner trauma in many people.
5/ NO BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS
As this teaching is widely known via media reports I won’t dwell on the actual doctrine.
Needless to say it has often put medical practitioners in difficult situations. One must question the benefit to the community on such a doctrine involving life and death situations.
If a Jehovah’s Witness accepts a blood transfusion and is unrepentant about it, they will be summoned before a judicial committee hearing, and either ‘Marked’ to the congregation, or put on Probation (both terms mean public mention to the congregation of having fallen short of proper Christian conduct) - or possibly disfellowshipped.