Practicing what they preach has never been a virtue of the Watch Tower Society! That fact was reaffirmed in capital letters in the November 2012 issue of the The Watchtower magazine in an article titled, “Is Religious Faith an Emotional Crutch?” The reasonable (but damning) piece of evidence reads:
They were there to voice their backing of the “California Victims’ Act,” or SB 131 as it is otherwise known. If signed, the bill will extend the Statute of Limitation in California for certain childhood sexual abuse victims over the age of 26.
In most western-world countries, laws protect consumers from fraud and unethical business practices. But to date, there are no laws on the books that recognize destructive mind control, much less prohibit the use of it by cult-like religious groups. However, if my colleague Steven Hassan, the pioneer of exit counseling for cult members and a critically acclaimed author, and thousands of other ex-cult members have any say about it, that may soon change.
This article is a more even handed local story about Jehovah’s Witnesses, but does address some of the concerns their critics have further down the page.
Every year, 150,000 to 180,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses hold their conventions here, generating an estimated $64.5 million in economic impact, according to the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Hampton now leads a support group in Downey for former Witnesses. She says such support is necessary because the organization condoned the physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband and told her mother, brother and other family members who remain Witnesses not to speak to her.
In a video deposition taken in 2011 during a civil lawsuit, admitted serial pedophile Gonzalo Campos said he abused several children in his San Diego congregation from the early 1980’s through the mid 90’s.
“I did abuse him,” said Campos in the video. “I touched his private parts.”
An usher at a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Sun Valley was charged Wednesday with sexually abusing four boys he met at the church.
Marcelo Lozano, 34, is expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon at Van Nuys Superior Court with nine felony counts…
Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday Capazzo, 41, who was formerly known as Andrew Collins, had been a member of the Jehovah’s Witness faith.
Prosecutor Sophie Drake said his behaviour had been brought to the attention of the elders at a Bradford place of worship and he was “disfellowed”. She said: “Although he was shunned by the congregation he was still allowed to attend meetings. At that time matters were not brought to the attention of the police.”
At the recent summer conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Silkeborg and Herlufmagle, speakers likened lapsed members to a deadly virus, snakes and contaminated soil that should not be mixed with clean soil.
The rhetoric was so strong that the movement may have breached article 266b of the Danish Criminal Code, under which…
The followers, which are anything but cult-like, come from all walks of life and transgress many cultures. The Watchtower is published monthly in 209 languages. Locally, followers get together in Lyndhurst at their hall on Stuyvesant Avenue on Thursdays and Sundays for “meetings.” The hall caters to local Portuguese and Spanish speaking, as well as English, Jehovah Witnesses.
Anything but cult-like??? Someone needs to do their homework. Check the comments for more.
The store is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, and is the next phase of Watchtower’s “Manhattan Project” – which so far has seen bookstands with Society literature pop up on sidewalks in major cities.
What I’d like to clarify in this post is that a good deal of our anger is motivated by a desire not to experience guilt—and beyond this, the distressing emotions of hurt and fear. It’s by now generally agreed upon that anger, as prevalent as it is in our species, is almost never a primary emotion. For underlying it (as fellow blogger Steven Stosny pointed out two decades ago) are such core hurts as feeling disregarded, unimportant, accused, guilty, untrustworthy, devalued, rejected, powerless, and unlovable. And these feelings are capable of engendering considerable emotional pain. It’s therefore understandable that so many of us might go to great lengths to find ways of distancing ourselves from them.
I think many of us would agree that Jehovah’s Witnesses are prone to certain emotional issues that affect them more than the general public. (Some seem to consider fundamentalism in general to be a breeding ground for certain issues.) Unfortunately, ex-Witnesses are not immune. Many of us carry the same issues with us into our new found “worldly” lives. Articles like this one are worth checking out.
I think you’ll agree that only rarely can you claim that your anger is both warranted and helpful, whether to yourself or the relationship.
So let me offer you a two-step alternative to abandoning your better judgment and giving in to the temptation of anger—one that should neutralize your anger in seconds. Or, when you’re really angry, in minutes.
Its author, the prominent French philosopher André Comte-Sponville, makes the distinction between the “dogmatic atheist” and the “non-dogmatic atheist.” Largely self-explanatory, the first type of non-believer might be seen as lacking a certain humility. For the assuredness of their atheism borders on an arrogance comparable to that of their fundamentalist-believing counterparts. In their outspoken conviction, they’re quite prepared to go on record declaring the non-existence of any supernatural being. Which is to say, their claim is not expressed as an opinion but as undeniable fact. They’re rationalists in the purest sense (i.e., “No God, or gods, exist. Case closed—unless you present me with indisputable scientific evidence to the contrary.”). In their minds virtually all possibility of a cosmic creation undertaken by some celestial deity has been vanquished. (And that’s why some believers experience this adamant stance not simply as overbearing but as downright “militant.”)
Prepare to be a bit annoyed at some parts of this article.
Curtis White’s book, The Science Delusion, makes two broad points: that science is based upon ‘assumptions that are deluded,’ and that scientists can be real jerks. He provides ample proof for one of those claims.
The title of the The Science Delusion, published on May 28th, is an obvious reference Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. It’s no surprise, then, when Dawkins is one of the many scientists that populate its pages. They’re not an attractive bunch. Through anecdotes and commentary, Curtis White paints various scientists as dismissive snobs, smug pseudo-intellectuals, manipulative showmen, immoral politicos, and people who make bad faith arguments from behind a protective screen of elite supporters.
This one too.
Changes at AAWA:
I don’t see anything about it on their website yet and I don’t have a link to it, but Cedars, the editor of JWSurvey and former President of AAWA, has stepped down as President of the organization to focus on what he does best: writing articles for ex-Witnesses. No word on who will replace him yet.
Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness.
Expert opinion is, at the end of the day, still opinion. But why would you not want to know what experts have to say? When you make a dental appointment, do you want your dentist to be an expert or not? If you build a house, do you want a professional architect or your next-door neighbor to draw up the plans? One might be tempted to say that in the case of the historical Jesus it is different since, after all, we are just talking about history; experts have no more access to the past than anyone else. That, however, is simply not true. It may be the case that some of my students receive the bulk of their knowledge of the Middle Ages from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but is that really the best place to turn? So too millions of people have acquired their “knowledge” about early Christianity—about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, the emperor Constantine, the Council of Nicaea—from Dan Brown, author of the aforementioned The Da Vinci Code. But at the end of the day, is that such a wise choice?
NOTE: This is how I feel about apologists and creationists and those who take their word above that of real experts. Why would you ignore the word of experts unless you simply don't want to have your views challenged?