May 26, 2015 ‘The Independent News’ reports, “Ex-Jehovah’s Witness schoolgirl exposes organisation as a religion that destroys lives” – a religion that preaches love and acceptance, but the reality is everything is conditional. Acceptance by other members is subject to a strict dogma and “absolute obedience without question,” said a school girl holding back tears as she recalled her personal experiences as a member of the church.
Yesterday, May 25th, the Raw Story quoted the ‘Independent’ – “In an emotional speech to her classmates, a schoolgirl who left the Jehovah’s Witnesses exposed the organization’s cover-up of abuse and sexual violence inflicted on women and its effort to silence the victims.”
The girl recounted the stories of three women who were abused and sexually assaulted by men in the church. All these crimes were covered up by the leadership of organization and the victims were silenced or shunned from the community, she said.
The ‘Cult Examiner’ reported on Feb. 4, 2015 that a Jehovah’s Witness member “woman, in her 20s, was molested by “ministerial servant” Peter Stewart over a five-year period – the trauma she suffered derailed her education and career, and led to harrowing nightmares and recurring thoughts of suicide.
Jehovah’s Witnesses hierarchy and strict discipline appear to be shrouded in cult-like secrecy. Independent thought is discouraged and preached to have been introduced by the devil. Everyone outside the religion, including parents and relatives, will experience Armageddon, the means by which God will fulfil his purpose for the Earth to be populated with happy healthy humans free of sin and death. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that the armies of heaven, led by Jesus, will then destroy all forms of human government and then Jesus, along with a selected 144,000 humans, will rule Earth for 1,000 years.
In the ‘Independent’, “shocking allegations relate to women the girl spoke to, who were members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and wished to remain anonymous. One, she called Jane, was allegedly interrogated by the church elders after she was raped, while at work as insurance salesperson.
The elders apparently said she tempted men by the way she dressed and that men were “only human”. In order to be forgiven and not be excommunicated, or “disfellowshipped,” Jane was forced to dress more conservatively, quit her job and worst of all drop the charges against her attacker.”
Is the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization a religion or cult? According to cult-buster Raphael Aron, featured in the Sydney Morning Herald, March 15, 2013, states the “Christian sect the Jehovah’s Witnesses – with 64,000 active ‘disciples’ in Australia – are a cruel religion with no soul.”
Mr. Aron, a psychologist, counsellor and director of Melbourne’s Cult Counselling Australia, warning comes as the federal government considers tightening the definition of a charity to prevent some cults and quasi-religions keeping their tax free status. Independent senator Nick Xenophon has renewed calls for a national cult-busting agency. Organizations like “the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Scientology are subsidised by the taxpayer,” Senator Xenophon said.
Characteristics of extremist cult groups include mind control techniques, lies, and programs that control relationships. Many members, former members, and supporters of cults are not fully aware of the extent to which members may have been manipulated, exploited, even abused.
The leadership dictates in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel – types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth. Most disturbing is the dictating leader feels they are above the law, not accountable to government authorities, and discreetly handle crimes like child sex abuse within the organization without reporting these crimes to police.
The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion. Common in cult-like behaviour groups like Jehovah’s Witnesses, the school girl exposes to the ‘The Independent’ how the group-think that is preoccupied with bringing in new members, pressure to make/donate money, and are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
Many cult members feel trapped, unable to leave, and fear reprisals and shunning if they do leave. The Cult Examiner contacted Roy E. Talcott, Chief Operating Officer of ‘Families Against Cult Teachings’ that hosts a website, “a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and educating about destructive high demand/control groups in the United States and abroad.”
The organization helps victims leave destructive groups and receive the proper counseling for recovery, and is represented by the highly esteemed law firm of Kevin S. Taylor, Esq., located in Denver, CO, who has generously donated his talent, time, and resources to help in any way needed.
Their Mission Statement includes a Hot-Line link by calling by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if it is a life threatening emergency, to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Calls to the Lifeline are routed to the closest possible crisis center to provide immediate assistance. Don’t delay. Your decision to act now could make all the difference in potentially saving their life.