Law & Court Mark Silk: Spiritual Politics Opinion

Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia v. in the US

Justice Robert H. Jackson

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have been on trial in St. Petersburg this week for violating a Russian law against extremism. The alleged extremism includes refusing blood transfusions, publishing pamphlets critical of the Russian Orthodox Church, and undermining support for the state.

No doubt, JWs do refuse blood transfusions, lack a high regard for other religions, and decline to vote, serve in the military, and otherwise participate in civic life.

The Russians think that entitles them to be suppressed. In the United States, it entitles them to a significant share of the credit for how we understand religious liberty.

In 1940, the Supreme Court — employing the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection — for the first time applied the First Amendment’s guarantee of free exercise to the states. Cantwell v. Connecticut reversed the conviction of Newton Cantwell and his two sons, Jehovah’s Witnesses who were found guilty of breaching the peace by aggressively proselytizing in a Catholic neighborhood of New Haven.

Writing for a unanimous court, Justice Owen Roberts acknowledged that while the Free Exercise Clause does not preclude state regulation of religious practices, “In every case the power to regulate must be so exercised as not, in attaining a permissible end, unduly to infringe the protected freedom.”

The Cantwells’ freedom had, the court found, been unduly infringed:

We find in the instant case no assault or threatening of bodily harm, no truculent bearing, no intentional discourtesy, no personal abuse. On the contrary, we find only an effort to persuade a willing listener to buy a book or to contribute money in the interest of what Cantwell, however misguided others may think him, conceived to be true religion.

In 1943, the Court — reversing a decision made just three years earlier — decided that West Virginia could not force two Jehovah’s Witnesses children to say the Pledge of Allegiance, as mandated by state law. Writing for the majority in the midst of World War II, Justice Robert Jackson penned some of the most stirring words ever to appear in an American judicial opinion:

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.

In Russia, they don’t see things that way.

As a report prepared for the prosecution characterized the Jehovah’s Witnesses, “Their disregard for the state erodes any sense of civic affiliation and promotes the destruction of national and state security.”

These days, American courts are struggling more than ever to decide when religious practices are unduly infringed. But in our current polarized political environment, it is always good to be reminded of Jackson’s fixed star.

About the author

Mark Silk

Mark Silk is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and director of the college's Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. He is a Contributing Editor of the Religion News Service

95 Comments

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  • The miniscule percentage of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia relative to the general population hardly pose a threat to the might structure of the Russian government and society. You would think competent jurists would fine more useful cases to prosecute.

  • It isn’t about that in Russia, Edward. It’s about former KGB vlad wanting to restore the former glory of Russia. I doubt if he’ll be crowned Czar, though I’m sure it would please him. He is using the Orthodox Church the same way the Czrs used it, and vice versa.

  • The ironic and sad part is that Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Legal Entity, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania Inc, fought for religious rights for itself but won’t allow its own members, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the right to attend services of other religions without being ostracized.

  • My understanding is that Putin is Orthodox. Maybe his concern with them is not so much what they do, but their disrespect for Christ.

  • True that Putin believes in the Trinity just as Hitler did. But is that any reason to persecute Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses just because they do not believe in a Trinity. All the Bible writers were Jews and therefore not trinitarians which is probably why Putin just like Hitler is trying to eliminate the Bible and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • Interesting isn’t it that out of over 2,000 religions in Russia they are only going after one very tiny one to ban them and yet it is getting worldwide attention even to the Supreme Court in Russia so that even we are talking about it. Makes you go hmmm?

  • Do you really think Putin, a former KGB officer, is religious? He’s using the Orthodox church and they are using him.

  • Under the Nazis, simply signing an oath to Hitler would have kept them out of the concentration camps. It was their neutrality that infuriated the Third Reich.

  • You bet! You couldn’t even step into another church for a relative or friend’s wedding, funeral, or christening. Or secular events held in the church or on church property.

  • Many are religious and simply “use” it to their advantage and many say they are religious and never go to church. Putin I am sure is using them for his own agenda which I am sure is not religious. Yes I agree with you.

  • True the Israelites who were God’s people were told by God not to mix with the nations around them just as true Christians are suppose to be “no part of the world” just as Jesus was and that is why people hate them as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses. John 17

  • If you go to the site “Ontario Religious Tolerance” they mention over 2,000 religions but regarding only “one” religion does that website get enormous amount of “abusive and obscene emails”. Now reason on this. Satan is misleading the entire earth as is obvious from everything going on in Politics and Religion and is taught in the Bible . But only ONE religion , not even Muslim, are hated more than any other.

  • You bet! – either you follow what the Bible says or you don’t. ” “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues. 5 For her sins have massed together clear up to heaven,+ and God has called her acts of injustice* to mind. Revelation 18:4 and ” “Thus with a swift pitch will Babylon the great city be hurled down, and she will never be found again.+ 22 And the sound of singers who accompany themselves on the harp, of musicians, of flutists, and of trumpeters will never be heard in you again. And no craftsman who practices any trade will ever be found in you again, and no sound of a millstone will ever be heard in you again. 23 No light of a lamp will ever shine in you again, and no voice of a bridegroom and of a bride will ever be heard in you again; for your merchants were the top-ranking men of the earth, and by your spiritistic practices+ all the nations were misled. 24 Yes, in her was found the blood of prophets and of holy ones+ and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.”+

  • Where do you think most people get married? REV. 18:21-24. Most weddings are a Religious service.

  • And according to the United Nations Freedom of Religion and Human Rights the Jehovah’s Witnesses is the ONLY organized religion on earth that is posed to become banned for extremism. Not even Muslims are banned there. And only ONE religious website has been banned JW.ORG out of thousands.

  • I would agree that Putin’s personal ambition and his hopes for the Russian nation are inextricably linked in his mind and soul. Further, I agree with your assessment of the usage both the ROC and Putin are putting each other to. Of course, there is no legitimate purpose behind this case, but it is instructive to know that for perhaps for few other nations (China comes to mind) is xenophobia so pronounced a part of the cultural mindset. One can appreciate such fear when one considers the history of invasion both have experienced; psychologically it has thus become a mania which reaches the outlands of minutia to the cost of those viewed as outsiders.

  • Its only organised religion that is investigated otherwise the JWs are outstanding in the issue of managing child sexual abuse. They carry out investigations and hearings and sanction abusers at least from a religious point of view. Remember filing a criminal case is the duty of the compainant together with the parents who have the right to do so at law. I have not read of any religious group that has filled a criminal case against a child sexual abuser. its your duty as a parent to report to the authorities and protect your family, why do you want your church to do that for you. some of you parents are the abusers of your own children, its a shame.

  • I agree with your view. Its the president driving this given his profile, a former KGB and an Orthodox.

  • Organised religion must have objectives and policies to protect its members, i wonder if Islam or the Orthodox don’t have equivalents.

  • Interestingly the First Century Christians also had a problem with members having sexual sins such as incest which can be a form of child abuse. In fact the Bible says in particular at 1 Cor. 5:1 it says :Actually sexual immorality*+ is reported among you, and such immorality* as is not even found among the nations—of a man living with* his father’s wife. Did you notice “such immorality as is not even found among the nations”. I am sure many opposers back then capitalized on this apparent hypocrisy in religion. But the Christians were still the True Religion. And today it is now obvious to many who they are with the events of this past week. {But of course haters will hate which also proves who the True Faith really is}.

  • I have been one of Jehovah’s Witnesses for 49 years. I have attended MANY weddings and funerals over the years, and the great majority were NOT held in Kingdom Halls. Some I have chosen not to attend due to Pagen practices that are just too offensive to me. It is a matter of conscience, and trying to perceive Jehovah’s will. I don’t want to hurt him, first and foremost. As for my Brothers and Sisters in Russia, they know we love them and that this too shall pass. Jehovah saw to it that they can freely celebrate the Memorial of Jesus death tomorrow night, so I have no doubt they feel truly blessed despite everything the government is doing.

  • You are right Bruce, I should have clarified. I have attended weddings and funerals, but not in “Churches”. I think there is a misunderstanding that unless such things are just in a Kingdom Hall we can’t go.

  • Thank you Bruce for replying, and for giving others a glimpse of the mentality of an active JW. No wonder child sexual abuse is a major problem within the Watch Tower corporations religion, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. NO protection of children.

    Are you shamelessly counting your time posting your comments?

    Save a life, stop a Jehovah’s Witnesses baptism.

  • Thank you Tasara for replying. You and Bruce are giving a good witness to others about how jaded an individuals thinking can be under years of WT indoctrination. As well as a glimpse of the mentality of an active JW. No wonder child sexual abuse is a major problem within the Watch Tower corporations religion, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. NO protection of children.

    Are you shamelessly counting your time like Bruce by posting your comments?

    Save a life, stop a Jehovah’s Witnesses baptism.

  • Whoa! Wait, what!? You’re stating I’m a child molester? Nice attempt in flipping the script and deflecting the light from the disgusting issue your organization has with child sex abuse. How WT of you. You go door to door with mentality? I’m sure you’re a joy to be around in the congregation.

    Neither am I bitter. I’m actually the happiest I’ve been in my life since leaving the WT religion.

    Your comments reads similar to that of a Catholic. Come on I thought you were different.

    Makes sure you call the police when a child is molested, not the Elders who have neither the training or authority to handle such matters.

    Thank you for reminding me and others of why I/we left the WT religion called Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • You sound like a bitter ex-JW. If so, it’s great that you made it out but you only have yourself to blame for getting tangled up.

  • I don’t think the occurrence of child abuse is any higher among Jehovah’s Witnesses. But I do believe they try to handle it within the family rather than involving the police.

  • Your screen name indicates there is an issue even though you have left. I don’t trust your objectivity or much of your assertions. It will take decades to undo the brainwashing.

  • JJ, you’ve mistaken exposing the WT religion as bitterness when it’s really advocacy to expose them for what they are. If you knew half of what the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, how they treat current and former JWs, and how they truly view others, you would be disgusted and wouldn’t be apologizing for their behavior.

    What if I was born into the WT religion, no choice. WT indoctrination since birth. Who do I blame? Myself? My parents?

    You may want to do yourself and others a favor and read up on the JW religion before speaking up for them and against a former WT victim.

  • Keep telling yourself that Bruce.
    A circle is a square, a circle is a square, a circle is a square.

  • Funny and interesting how you think I am a “Witness” just because I am defending them. However your comments are seriously making me think about joining their religion.

  • JJ, you’re right about one thing…..the brainwashing.
    you don’t have to take my word about the WT religion, look it up on the internet. I highly encourage you to.

  • Who cares. They are such a tiny religion it is interesting you give so much thought to destroying them just as Hitler and Stalin did.

  • Who cares? Tell that to the millions of lives that have been destroyed by the WT.
    Unless you’re a former JW, I do not expect you to understand the advocacy against the WT religion.

  • He even thinks I am a Witness because I am defending them. He should know that if I was a Witness I would not even be here talking to him. I love how a cat chases his tail but eventually he just gets dizzy.

  • Real funny Bruce. So unreported child sex abuse by an organization claiming to be the mouthpiece for God on earth is of interest to you? We’re talking about a serious matter here, and you’re making light of it. Grow up, and stop commenting about things you’re ignorant about.

  • No one cares about your hate speech against other religions. I don’t care what religion or people or group it is. Haters will hate. John 17

  • If you go to the site “Ontario Religious Tolerance” they mention over 2,000 religions but regarding only “one” religion does that website get enormous amount of “abusive and obscene emails”. Now reason on this. Satan is misleading the entire earth as is obvious from everything going on in Politics and Religion and is taught in the Bible . But only ONE religion , not even Muslim, are hated more than any other.
    And according to the United Nations Freedom of Religion and Human Rights the Jehovah’s Witnesses is the ONLY organized religion on earth that is posed to become banned for extremism. Not even Muslims are banned there. And only ONE religious website has been banned JW.ORG out of thousands.
    So your hate speech just adds to the overwhelming evidence this past week as to who the true religion is.

  • I encourage you to go to that website above and add to the ” enormous amount of abusive and obscene emails” and show everyone the “type” of loving Christian you are.

  • so sharing news reports about unreported child sex a abuse within an organization is hate speech Bruce?
    interesting how you quote from the Bible, one of the most hateful books a person can ever read. Rape, murder, misogyny, incest, genocide, just to name a few of the unwholesome events in the “holy” book;. a book with not one original document found. get past the bronze age teachings Bruce.

  • hmm……interesting comment Bruce “He should know that if I was a Witness I would not even be here talking to him”. can you explain this comment?

  • You said: “you quote from the Bible, one of the most hateful books a person can ever read”. You have just exposed yourself. The deed is done. Goodbye.

  • Bruce, the active JW who pretending to be a “worldy” person commentng, who is really a JW. very dishonest and deceptive. WT has you in knots.

  • No, I do not believe it should be banned, it shouldn’t be taught as truth, when it clearly isn’t.

  • wrong again Bruce, I do not celebrate Christmas. I don’t hate the Bible, it’s a book that has been used to justify a lot of deployable behavior in the name of god.

  • This is very dishonest. The recent Australian Royal Commission into Chilf Sexual Abuse was distrinctly under impressed by the current child protection practices within the JW . Org cult. While all ofher religions investigated by the Commission have effective current policies to safeguard children (including reporting to the appropriate authorities), have apologized for past abuse and indicated a willingness to join a state organized compensation scheme for child victims, the JW . Org cult remains an outlier in its refusal to address these issues.

    Tasara, your comment that you “have not read of any religious group that has filled ( sic. – you mean ‘filed’ ?) a criminal case against a child sexual abuser” reveals your ignorance of the law. The issue is not one of ‘filling (sic) cases’ but of reporting to the proper authorities. The reason that reporting is particularly important for the JW . Org cult is that it is not only an organization that shelters pedophiles, it is also one that demands that such people go knocking on the doors of unsuspecting members of the public.

    Instead of wasting your time writing ignorant, ill spelled and incorrectly punctuated drivel, educate yourself about the practices of this cult by listening to the proceedings of the Australian Royal Commission.

  • Mr. Justice Jackson must have forgotten Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1878) when he made his remark.

  • Are you saying that religions, other than Watch Tower Society’s religion, Jehovah’s Witnesses, are part of the world? Are you saying Jehovah’s Witnesses is the only religion that is God’s people? Are you saying that Israelites and true Christians fought for religious rights like Watch Tower Society did? My comment was dealing with irony.

  • Didn’t Watch Tower Tract Society teach that false religion would be attacked first then its religion would be attacked just before Jehovah steps in? Does this mean that Watch Tower Tract Society’s religion, Jehovah’s Witnesses, may be false religion since it’s being attacked right now and maybe God’s true people will be attacked at some later time?

  • I’m talking about services of other religions (church services) not weddings and funerals

  • That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Ironic that Watch Tower Tract Society of Pennsylvania Inc fought for its religious rights but its members, Jehovah’s Witnesses, can’t attend services of other religions without being ostracized by Watch Tower Tract Society of Pennsylvania Inc as if Watch Tower Tract Society of Pennsylvania Inc has the only true religion

  • Wow, a little bitter?! A peek at your screen name alone is telling enough! Read my comment “Tower”, it will give you further insight into another active JW. Blaming Jehovah for this terrible world, of which he warned it would be, is outrageous. You lack the faith that he will “take care of business” when his Day arrives and he corrects the wrongs that have been committed in his name. Blame the person that hurt you, not Jehovah and his loyal followers.

  • I have talked with the Witnesses and I think what you said above is their belief during the Great Tribulation not right now. My point is that something amiss and very strange is happening right now in the world. My people, the Jews, were targeted during the Hitler regime along with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But WHY are Jehovah’s Witnesses alone in the news as shown above is very very strange. They do not number anywhere near the Jews or Catholics or Muslims yet something weird is happening to them alone.

  • Also it was the Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses that were banned in Germany BEFORE the holocaust happened. If you go to the Holocaust Museum website right now they have a very telling warning about what is happening in Russia with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • As always for me, it is so interesting and revealing to watch– causes me to eat so much popcorn and butter– as non JW’s attack JW’s for being a cult, as former JW’s attack current JW’s and vice versa.

    Religion continues to unite all people in love.

  • You crack me up. You go out in service with this attitude? Is this your new personality?

    Marilyn, remember these words you’re about to read. You will NOT live to see Jehovah (which is a man-made name from a Catholic monk) destroy the wicked, to include your worldy non-JW family members. You will die in a hospital backed by a “false” religion, being taken care of by a worldly nurse, who utilizes health care practices that technology, science and medicine has produced.

    Thank you for reminding me of why I left the WT.

    Stop shamelessly counting your time by posting comments. Pathetic.

  • The question is, why is Yahweh waiting to correct the wrongs committed in his name? How much suffering satisfies him that the suffering quota has been met? 2000 years of it are not enough?

    If you saw a child screaming from a burning house, and could rescue that child at no risk to yourself, would you be so immoral as to say….

    I have other things to do.

    The child isn’t in enough danger.

    The child needs to burn a little, and then I will save him.

    And what if the person who set the fire said “Marilyn told me to start the fire.”

    Would you rush to defend your good name, or would you say “well, we’ll talk about it later after the house has burned down.”

  • Luke 12 (Jesus speaking):

    49 “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! 50 I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. 51 Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! 52 From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against.

    53 ‘Father will be divided against son
    and son against father;
    mother against daughter
    and daughter against mother;
    and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law
    and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’”

    So any goals of peace, love and unity are false.

  • Which once again shows that the morals this deity who claims to love us so are no better than his followers, and maybe even a congressman’s.

  • As an individual born and raised in the “WT religion”, as you call it, I do know more than half of what they believe. Now, as a former Witness, I do know how they treat current and former “JWs”. As to who to “blame” for my upbringing as a Witness, why would I not “blame” my parents?! After all, they, as I am sure most parents do, tried to give me the best of everything. Far from being rich or of elite status, they tried to give me the best home and family that they could. So why, when they wholeheartedly believe the Witness faith is true and just, why would I be bitter when they tried to instill that truth and just into me? Is that not what all parents do who believe their religious faith is true and just? But, and I can only speak for the Jehovah’s Witness practice and am in no way speaking for anyone as a whole, their comes a time when you, as an individual with his own relationship with God, make a decision or choice to say “Yes I believe what I am learning” or “No I don’t believe what I am learning” and proceed accordingly. But, again in my opinion, this is where those on the outside of ANY religion miss what is most important: The decision is between YOU and God (if that’s where your devotion lies). YOU are responsible for seeking the truth. And maybe that truth is with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Maybe that truth is with Catholics. Maybe that truth is with Taoists. Who knows? But try telling a devoted Mormon that the truth lies within Hinduism. Or a Catholic that the truth lies with being Presbyterian. Or one that has made it a point to “expose” the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses that the truth lies within the very faith he “advocates” against. And why am I a former member of the “WT religion”? For the very reason I continually see commits on this particular thread. I have grown weary of people that try to tell others that they are wrong for what they believe and I personally choose to not be part of it. That is in no way saying that all Witnesses are overbearing or threatening or alone in judging people. Every person judges other people. That’s why we have the friends we have and the friends we don’t. The Witnesses are attempting to spread their truth to all that CHOOSE to listen. And you have every right to choose to believe or not believe, even as vehemently as you choose. I do believe that choice came from God; and I’m sure everyone can agree on that.

  • Your comment is very good and very wise. It’s not what people believe, but how they use it, especially how they use it against others, or The Other, that is the problem.

    That being said, paragraphs are your friend. ???

  • I think I read that those ways of doing things were changed when need seemed to show that they were doing things in a way that was outdated in the least. As far as I can see, all laws are now followed to the letter of the law and before that, there were some paster/paritioner confidentiality that were not understood throughout the leadership worldwide and this has been addressed as far as I have seen by letters posted by the Royal Commition in Australia. I am sure that all laws are now followed. If you check, you will find the same. Where minors are involved, police are called.

  • Ah yes, the trolls who search for any article on JWs, then post their propaganda which is completely irrelevant.

    What took you so long? 😉

  • Thanks, They don’t really care whether the comments are true. What they care about is whether you agree with them.

  • One has to keep in mind that child abuse crimes are “extremely case sensitive for the victims.” It is appalling that pedophiles whether be a parent or somebody known by the child gets away with murder without facing trial and charged for the abuse. Sadly, this is a widespread epidemic in the community. One thing, I can say having had experience with child/children who was a victim of sexual abuse by a parent (not a jw), and the matter was reported to police. However, the child/victim are so traumatized that often they aren’t able to speak about the terrifying ordeal to Police. The environment in which they are brought in to Police are quite confronting for a child or victim are required to be left alone with 2 police officers in an interview room with hidden cameras and recordings. Some do not talk about their ordeal rather tend to go off topic. Much respect to Police working under these sorry conditions!
    I have close friends who are devout jws. I will say this in their defense. Those who have strayed from all sense of morality, decency Do Not Follow Bible Teachings. The Bible is a book full of principles and guidelines including disciplinary measures for any member/s professing to follow under the Christ, and yet living a double life. Those who prey on children are the worse kind, and are to be reported to Police asap. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the matter, some victims are not equipped mentally or emotionally to legally go forward. This being of a highly sensitive and personal nature, the jw elders cannot legally get involved. It is a matter for the custodian and their legal representatives to handle. Given, jw’s aren’t perfect, same as any other. But, no way do they protect pedophiles!!! It goes way beyond bible teaching. It says there: remove the wicked man from among you.

  • Over the last decade, the internet has forced the Watchtower to finally start following laws regarding the child sexual abuse. However, before finally being completely exposed on the internet, they were a lot more concerned about protecting their precious reputation than safeguarding the welfare of children or preventing child sexual abuse.

  • I fully understand what you are saying but, I disagree with the way you cleverly disguise what you are saying. At one point you guys all say that they should stop protecting child molesters but then admit that the don’t and haven’t don’t that in over a decade. I understand that children are defenceless but I never see you guys talking about children being molested in a thousand other places. You all like to just jump on Jehovah’s Witnesses. That’s ok. It shows your bias.
    I have no idea why any person does the bad things they do.
    Me, zi leave human law to the police and all othet judgement of man to Jehovah.
    I do what Jehovah asks me to do and try to follow what the bible says. That is all I as a person can do. What others may or may not do and the reasons they, and really only they can reason why they do them, I don’t know. I do know the bible says that judgement is Jehovahs and His alone.
    Many years ago in time, almost all religions, big and small have done terrible things to man, woman and children. As times changed, so did they. Many follow those same religions today. The terrible crusades dont keep ones from being catholic do they? This does not exempt any of those religions leaders of their own times from judgement. All guilty of crimes will pay. Laws are now, and have been being followed for many years now by Jehovahs Witnesses. Any crimes are now reported. Any injustice will be balanced. As for me, I read God’s word, apply it in my life the best way I can and I always remember that the apostles warned the congregations that oppressive wolves would come into the congregations and their goal is to do harm, and they are. That is life on this sinfully planet. I wait, as the bible says, patiently, for God to act.

  • Wait… Let me scroll up to the title of this article…

    OK… I’m back… the title mentions Jehovah’s Witnesses (not Catholics). Had the title mentioned Catholics or other religions that do very little to protect children against sexual abuse (like the Jehovah’s Witnesses), I would have been talking about those religions just as harshly.

    Yet you did what most JWs do… you immediately judged me and bunched me in with people who “jump” on JWs exclusively.. You’re way off and owe me an apology.

  • You are just biased against the JWs, as if no corrections on procedures where not done. Be content where you are now.

  • I too have followed the Australian Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse and appreciated its report but from a totally personal point of view. In the 1990’s we found out my son had been molested by a member of our congregation and to be honest, it rocked our faith to the core. We called the police and the congregation because as parents we knew what our responsibly was both to our son and Jehovah’s origination.
    Experience is a great teacher but it is cruel and dealing with childhood sexual abuse was a experience that i would not wish on anyone. As a victim of sexual abuse my self as a child, my mother had gone to our Catholic priest and was told to “shut up he is keeping it in the family”
    Until the late 80’s sexual abuse was kept deep in the closet and when the closet exploded the big problem was that very few ordinations truly understood how to deal with it and the Jehovah’s Witnesses were no exception. Their efforts were not to try to cover up or protect the offender but to stay within Jehovah’s laws when dealing with the sinner.
    Trust me when I tell you that the governing body will be examining that report very closely and any changes that can be made will be made.
    The record of those accusers is of great importance and I am grateful that my son’s abuser will be permanently on it and that he will be permanently mark within the congregation. Any one can commit a gross sin because we are all imperfect and Satan exploits our weakness. I don’t hate my Dad and I don’t hate the Brother who did this to my son but I do hate what they did.

  • So are you gonna talk about also how exjws bashed a gay man for standing up for jws, even telling him to go kill himself? The 2 jw deaths that had bad influence that derived from both cases, as Teresa May puts it, hate speech/crime influenced by social media? The exjw who laughed about the Manchester bombing as well as a ex bible student who stopped a swarm of exjws from taking over jw churches, and he was called fat, stupid and should die for what he has done?

    You guys are also at fault here, I seen enough shit already and I am still seeing it today and now.

  • You should have told him how false the kjv bible is for adding man made verses.
    The typical exjw will state you are a jw or accuse you of being jw if you prove them wrong.

    The only reason why anti-exjws exist on topcix forums, for exjw made them and the result ridiculous.

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