18,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses Pledge to Persevere at Regional Conference

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Malachi, 10, smiles after being baptized during the 2017 convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Freeman Coliseum.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Malachi, 10, smiles after he is baptized during the Jehovah's Witnesses convention.

The 2017 Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses is underway this weekend at the Freeman Coliseum and Expo Hall in San Antonio where 18,400 Witnesses have gathered for one of 481 such meetings across the United States – all with identical schedules, timing, preaching, lectures, teaching sessions, and videos.

With the theme of “Don’t Give up!” Jehovah Witness are encouraged to be strong and faithful in today’s world when hearing reports of persecution in other countries, dealing with personal struggles and life’s hardships here at home, and when meeting resistance to their evangelizing in an increasingly secular culture.

Conventions for Jehovah’s Witnesses are primarily teaching and preaching opportunities, not business sessions or a gathering for decision-making.

Research: Witnesses Highly Religious And Highly Diverse

Jehovah’s Witnesses began in late 19th century in Pennsylvania under the leadership of  Charles Taze Russell and a group of students studying the Bible. Taze’s followers believed that Jesus would soon return to establish a 1,000-year era of peace on Earth and usher in a righteous social system that would eradicate poverty and inequality.

The Pew Research Center reflects that “Jehovah’s Witnesses are one of the most highly religious major U.S. religious groups. Nine-in-ten Jehovah’s Witnesses say religion is very important in their lives, say they believe in God with absolute certainty (90%) and that the Bible is the word of God (94%).”

When it comes to weekly worship, Witnesses attend at a rate of 82% versus the 39% average for all other religions in the U.S.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are the third-most most racially and ethnically diverse religious group in the U.S., according to Pew Research. No more than four-in-ten members of the group belong to any one racial and ethnic background: 36% are white, 32% are Hispanic, 27% are black, and 6% are another race or mixed race. The most ethnically diverse religious group in the U.S. is the Seventh-day Adventists, followed by Muslims.

Sheena and Michael Detroy, a local biracial couple married for 33 years, explained that the racial and cultural diversity and acceptance of the Witnesses is deeply embedded in the life of Witnesses worldwide.

“We have congregations in almost every country on Earth and our publications have been translated into 897 languages and dialects,” Michael said. “Being accepting and welcoming is at the core of who we are.”

(From left) Michael Detroy and Sheena Detroy smile at one another during the 2017 convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Freeman Coliseum.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Michael (left) and Sheena Detroy smile at one another during the 2017 Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Freeman Coliseum.

Facing Today’s Challenges

Witnesses have often been regarded as outside of mainstream American religion.

Early controversies involved refusal to serve in the military or refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in schools. Witnesses remain targets of oppression in some parts of the world today, most recently in Russia. Last month, the Witnesses were designated as an extremist group and banned from operating.

Constitutional issues involving Jehovah’s Witnesses have expanded safeguards for religious liberty, freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience for all religions both in the U.S. and Europe.

A major challenge for Jehovah’s Witnesses is their low retention rate relative to other U.S. religious groups.

Among all U.S. adults who were raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses, two-thirds or 75% no longer identify with the group. By contrast those who were raised as evangelical Protestants (65%), Mormons (64%), Jews (74%), and Muslims (77%) still say they are members of those respective groups. On the flip side, about two-thirds of adult Jehovah’s Witnesses are converts.

A large crowd gathers in the Freeman Coliseum for the 2017 Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

A large crowd gathers in the Freeman Coliseum for the 2017 Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have the widest gender gap of any denomination. Roughly two-thirds are women. This gender gap is particularly large in the context of U.S. Christian groups. For instance, 54% of U.S. Catholics are women.

Compared with other U.S. religious groups, Jehovah’s Witnesses tend to be less educated, according to Pew. A solid majority, 63%, of adult Jehovah’s Witnesses have no more than a high school diploma, compared with, for example, 43% of evangelical Protestants and 37% of mainline Protestants.

Some consider the Jehovah Witnesses’ preponderance of women, the lower education levels, and the ethnic diversity encompassing marginalized peoples to be a direct reflection of the earliest days of Christianity which spread primarily in urban areas and Roman cities among women, slaves, the disenfranchised poor and non-citizens in the Empire.

But Jehovah’s Witnesses also adhere to conservative positions on social issues. Three-quarters say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases and say that homosexuality should be discouraged by society. Almost 75% of Witnesses also reject evolution, saying humans have always existed in their present form since the beginning of time.

Michael Detroy, who is one of the media spokespersons for the convention, says that the strict moral code of their faith is sometimes unacceptable to many in a world that sees biblical morality as antiquated. “We take what we believe the Bible teaches very seriously,” he said.

Ken Williams is an overseer who travels among the Kingdom Halls through the area.   There are more than 100 congregations in the San Antonio area including Korean, Vietnamese, French, Russian, as well as English and Spanish-speaking communities.

Ken Williams speaks to the audience during the 2017 convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Freeman Coliseum.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Ken Williams speaks to the audience at the 2017 Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

“My role is to go from community to community to preach and to encourage and uplift our sisters and brothers,” Williams said. “When I started witnessing 35 years ago, this was a different world. Back then most people had some exposure to the Bible and religion.  Today we encounter countless people who have never been exposed to faith of Jehovah’s word in the Bible.

“Even harder is that in the past people might be indifferent to faith and the Bible, but today we often encounter open hostility,” Williams said. “But then, so did Jesus in His day. We need Jesus’ strength and perseverance, regardless of what it will cost us personally.”

Message To The Faithful: ‘Don’t Give Up!’

The need to persevere strikes home for Bob Jones, 69, who is now legally blind. The onset of his blindness began in 1999. Less than four months later his wife died, leaving Jones to care for a 7-year-old son and 81-year-old father.

“I certainly could not have done what I needed to do without the strength that came to me from Jehovah,” Jones said. “But I don’t think I could have done it without the strength and faithfulness of the Jehovah Witness community standing there with me every day. They were right there when I needed anything, especially getting around because I couldn’t drive.”

The Gaffney family from San Antonio heard the inspiration and support they most need to persevere in their ministry of witnessing the Gospel to others because that has become the focus of their lives individually and as a family.

(From left) Mike Gaffney, Sky, 15, and Gloria Gaffney share a laugh during the 2017 convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Freeman Coliseum.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

(From left) Mike, Sky, and Gloria Gaffney share a laugh during the 2017 Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

“I gave up a successful aerospace career so that we could simplify our lives, focus on raising our daughter, and devote ourselves to preaching Jehovah’s words in the Bible, Gloria Gaffney said. “It is hard, but that is our calling. We need the support of our faith and our faith community.”

Sky Gaffney, 15, spoke of the joy she receives by sharing her faith with other teens and how close it brings her to her peers. Her greatest excitement comes from witnessing in different languages. Sky says that she has developed enough proficiency in Vietnamese  to assist native speakers who are evangelizing the community.

“Plus we have translation apps on our smart phones and tablets that can help us talk to just about anyone,” Sky added.

“We chose our career and our lifestyle in a way that it will support our ministry,” Mike Gaffney said. “I still have my aerospace job, but we live as we should and as the Bible teaches. Through our faith we learned to simplify our lives and to focus on what Jehovah wants for us.”

All three members of the Gaffney family are Jehovah Witness pioneers. Being a pioneer means committing to at least 70 hours of public witnessing per month.

Membership in Jehovah’s Witnesses

Witnesses worship in religious services that include Scripture reading, preaching, and song. They gather as a congregation in “Kingdom Halls,” buildings that look small conference centers rather than traditional religious edifices. The inside of a typical Kingdom Hall is simple, with little adornment – usually just a podium for speakers and chairs for the congregation.

A full member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious denomination is called a publisher.  The baptized publishers are the members who go door-to-door to explain their faith or are often seen distributing religious reading material in public venues. Publishers “witness” to others in both public and  private settings.

There are both baptized and unbaptized publishers.

Unbaptized publishers are prospective members engaged in a study program and who participate in public witnessing to determine if they want to fully join. Public witnessing, considered an essential ministry, is highly encouraged and expected, but not required by doctrine for salvation.

Those seeking to learn about the Witnesses are “interested persons.”

“We welcome anyone to join our worship services and sit in on our education sessions at any time,” Michael Detroy said. “We are completely open and transparent. Come to any of our Kingdom Halls to get to know us.”

Baptisms Bring Excitement and Fulfillment

Public baptisms at the convention began just after noon during the Saturday sessions. Jehovah Witnesses practice full immersion baptism in which the candidate for baptism is fully immersed under water by a minister who performs the ritual.

Prior to the baptism the candidates must affirm that they have repented of their sins and dedicate themselves to do the will of Jehovah. They also must state they understand that their baptism identifies them as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization.

“This is the most exciting and awesome day of my life,” said Shane Johnson, 25. “I’m dedicating my whole life to Jehovah, I’m dedicating myself to Him. I have been studying and preparing for over a year.”

49 thoughts on “18,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses Pledge to Persevere at Regional Conference

  1. Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) predicted the end of the world, IN WRITING, numerous times. Not once did they come true. They truly are known for their ‘False Predictions’ the world over.

    JWs are taught that they alone are TRUE Christians and that all other people not JW will soon be destroyed. This is no exaggeration.

    JWs will allow their own children TO DIE rather than accept a life saving blood transfusion even in severe medical emergencies. It has already happened THOUSANDS of times!

    Just like this mother died unnecessarily! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/shropshire/7078455.stm

    Now her husband has NO wife and twins have NO mother. And all for what?

    Or this teenager that also DIED: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/west_midlands/8690785.stm

    This pregnant JW and her baby died.


    JW’s NEEDLESSLY die for this sorry blood policy today.

    From the same organization that has an entire 100 + year history of similar bad and embarrasing policies.

    As a 15 year active JW (and an elder) here is my own story: http://exjehovahswitnessforum.yuku.com/topic/922#.USEl4aWhDHh

    JWs used to forbid Vaccinations and Organ Transplants (calling a life saving transplant “Cannibalism”) for a combined 33 years.

    This JW elder refused a kidney transplant and DIED only to have JWs say transplants are now OK 2 years later. http://ajwrb.org/experiences/debbie-shards-story)

    JWs enforce extreme shunning for any JW that decides to leave their religion or who commits a sin without showing enough repentance in front of the elders.

    I have literally seen parents cut off all ties with their children solely because the kid did not want to remain a JW but went in another direction.

    Even the ex-JWs who leave the religion on their own, who are 100 percent truthful, sincere, love God, pay taxes, help others and more are still SHUNNED by all current JWs and marked as godless, proud, sinning apostates. The Awake magazine recently called them “mentally diseased”.

    And MANY contemplate suicide because the penalties of losing everything are simply TOO MUCH TO TAKE.

    But an honest question is: Why do so many JWs leave after being one time followers?

    As I eventually found out, the JW religion did say, IN WRITING, that the end would come in 1914 and then again in 1925. Was Jehovah directing all that? 1914 and 1925 came and went! They were proven false predictions. Period.

    They also said the end very likely would happen in 1975 and even commended (in the watchtower) witnesses for selling their houses and pioneering because of it.

    But 1975 came and went!

    They also said (for many decades) that the end would come before the generation born in 1914 passed away. In fact up until 1995 it was written inside each Awake magazine cover. Only they then had to change that meaning as well (including the Awake masthead) because that generation CAME AND WENT TOO.

    I was an active JW (and elder) for 15 years before leaving because of the blood and fractions policy 10 yrs ago. Today I’m shunned by all JWs simply because I left the religion.

    Most JWs simply accept everything the Watchtower teaches and says as “food from God”. Just like I did.

    Most believe God has chosen the Watchtower Society as his “channel”, which provides food from God Himself to their religion and ONLY their religion.

    But an honest look at the facts of the JW religion shows God has not chosen the WT for anything!

    Take a LOOK: http://www.freeminds.org/history/part2.htm


    Pages and pages of mistakes, embarrassments, false predictions, medical disasters, weird science, doctrinal failures and more for over 100 years now!

    Obviously ‘GOD’ would not get things wrong like this. Obviously ‘GOD’ did not provide bad food like that for their entire history.

    But most JWs have no idea about these things. They’re told to stay away from anything critical of their religion.

    For example: Was God’s spirit with JWs when they said Organ Transplants were a “conscience matter” in 1961?


    Was God”s spirit with WT when they THEN SAID Organ Transplants are same as “Cannibalism” in 1967 and forbid them?

    OR, was God’s spirit with the WT when they THEN SAID Organ Transplants are NOT the same as cannibalism in 1980 and now allow them?

    Was God behind all those changes each time? Did ((GOD)) get all those things wrong each time? How many JWs like that elder above DIED by refusing kidney transplants, only later on to be told they’re OK to have now?

    Which is why some end up taking their lives due to losing their family or feel compelled to speak out about it, like me right here and now.

    And now because I walked away JWs are demanded to shun you for life (including your very own family).

    Examine this religion and ask as many questions as you can!


    • Hmmmm.. U don’t know Jw at all maybe for the long time.you must remember that not hatred or jealous.put anger aside look wat Bible says not wat u think

    • How much do you get paid for this incessant copy and paste? Move on with your life rather than living a life of hate and burden. It seems happiness afterward has eluded you after you left and you are irrecoverably bitter. A happy man doesn’t live a life of bitterness and hate. Just move on if you can. You can’t continue like this.

      • A child baptized at 8 or 10 years old DOES NOT have the mental capability to make such a dedication yet they continue to push and pressure young kids to get baptized younger and younger…you wouldnt let a 10 year old or even your teenager get married…..then when they leave the religion as adults their families disown them and treat them as they are dead…and since the article brings out the majority of those born in leave….that should give you an idea of how many families the organization has destroyed. This comes from a very happy and blessed ex jw that left the false doomsday cult 10 years ago after being born and raised into its lies. Take a few minutes studying the history of this religion and you’ll kick yourself for falling for it.

        • If you have a problem with your life, do not blame it on the JW. If we have kids who decide their careers in life at 8 and 10 years, why can’t the same kids decide to get baptised if they want to? No one forces baptism on anybody, it is a conscientious decision and kids have minds of their own. At 12 Jesus showed sign of what he wanted to be as an adult. Timothy and Samuel in the Bible as well. Some kids are surgeons and dancers, and some have carved out singing as what they want to be in the future. Would you, as a parent deny your child his right to choose?
          Mentally you are full of hate for the JW. No matter how good the story was told, you will always have a negative side to it. The good thing is that the JW do not reckon your existence and would have no problem with your antagonistic point of view.

    • Nicely said Vinny. This article left out some of the most important facets of being a witness. My husband learned the truth about the truth a few years ago, and aside from his parents, lost his entire community. He isn’t disfellowshipped, despite the elders trying to build a case for apostasy. They couldn’t just let it go. Once he grew a short beard, his “friends” basicaly ran away from him. The elders’ investigation borderlined on stalking and harassment. Not a fun time. It took threats of a civil suit for them to back down, and leave us in peace.

      This article avoided the controversial side of this religion on purpose. That’s sad because it paints an inaccurate portrait of this faith.

      • “Your comment “This article avoided the controversial side of this religion on purpose” implies that the Rivard Report had the intention of positioning the Jehovah Witnesses in a positive light. The article was a report on a large regional religious gathering in San Antonio. It was not intended to be investigative journalism. Respected third-party Pew Research was used to provide appropriate background information about the demographics of the group for our readers’ benefit. To quote the convention’s leadership and participants is appropriate, as we would do with any group – religious or secular. It was not intended to be an endorsement nor an attack on the Jehovah Witnesses, nor would the Rivard Report do so for any religious tradition. The Rivard Report would welcome your writing a thoughtful commentary supported by research and facts.” https://therivardreport.com/submissions/

    • I’m shunned. N I can’t wait to go back!!! It was my best life ever!! I was gang banging drug addict in Los Angeles from a greaser crew called 501 vagabundos n the elders n their literature helped me get my life back . Yeah I sinned grossly n got disfellowshiped but I’m working my way back=)

  2. I spent 22 years as a JW and was sexually abused by my father for 14 years. The church elders knew and covered it up. I’m far from the only one. Survivors are popping up everywhere and investigations have revealed that JW headquarters have a database containing over 23,000 names of pedophiles they are refusing to hand over to the police. They require victims to produce 2 or more witnesses to their rape or mollestation. The onus is on them, if the accused denies it then nothing is done and it is left in jehovahs hands.

    Aside from this massive abuse scandal, JW’s shun anyone who leaves including their own children. Are extremely anti gay, anti science, anti education, and women are to be submissive and obedient to their husbands. Not to mention the rising death toll from their ban on emergency blood procedures, and the high suicide rate of those suffering extreme shunning by their communities and families.

    Lastly, they eager anticipate the day when God is going to anhialate 99.9% of the people on earth. That is, everyone but them.

    • You must be reporting from self-hate trauma. Your points are baseless and if you were raped by your father, why can’t you go to the police? I mean Bill Crosby is still being sued after decades, so what stops you? Are you blaming the JW for raping you or your father?
      I may not be into religion now but all these blasphemous comments about the JW should be deleted one time. You must be an apostate but you are not the only apostate, so do not take it on a religion when you made your choice to leave.
      I am also strongly anti-gay and debased moral value. God never created us that way and if the JW uphold that standard, then, it is because of their love and belief in their God. You cannot dictate one’s belief.
      Live and let live!
      The Bible strongly condemns homosexuality and what you have accused the JW above are strongly the Bible’s viewpoint. If you have a problem with the JW then you have a problem with the Bible. Deal with your insanity first.
      The rising death?? I do not know that to be a record. You should be more concerned about terrorists killing people here and there. The JW has never robbed you of anything and leave them alone. You are full of shit and your life is a waste. The hate inside of you is what no one cares about.
      And, next time endeavour to spell ANNIHILATE correctly before you judge someone else.
      If they claim God will destroy 99.9% of the people on earth but them, then it shows total conviction and belief in what they preach. If you did the same, it would show that you truly believe in your religion. Every true businessman believes his product is the best out there and he sells that idea to his customers.
      You are a useless asshole and your hate is destroying you.

  3. I spent 20 years as a JW and raise conebtiibs are merely opportunities for mass brainwashing and collection of donations. They use videos, propaganda speech and gult trips for three days to keep their members tied to their organization. Baptism is about dedication to the organization and not a baptism in the name of the father, son and Holy Spirit. I feel deeply sorry for the people, especially the children, under the undue influence thus organization uses. All children are encouraged not to attended college or even participate in any extracurricular activities or sports. Please, stop allowing them to have these conventions on our beautiful city!

      • LIE “is not about father son and holy spirit.” its stated RIGHT IN THE BAPTISM STATEMENT… this shows you were NEVER a jw. people who claim to be jws always say some statement to give themselves away.

        • From the New World Translation–
          Matthew 28:19
          Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit

  4. Under the convention symposium entitled Enduring Despite Unjust Treatment, the outline says,
    “Since then, Jehovah’s servants have been the target of unjust treatment in the form of insults, ridicule, discrimination, physical violence, and death. Usually, such treatment comes from unbelievers, but not always.”

    The Watchtower is guilty of the greatest injustice toward God’s anointed people – that of extinguishing the power of the ‘holy ones’. Matt 24:15; Dan 7:25; 12:7 No acknowledgement of these “gifts in men” is given to them, but to an elder body, whom they and all must obey. Eph 4:8,11-13 By replacing God’s appointed priesthood/Temple with those not anointed, the Temple/Body of Christ is “trampled”. 1 Cor 3:16; Rom 2:29; 1 Pet 2:5,9

    While the elder body, which must be obeyed by the anointed priesthood and all, is encouraged as a group to confer and meet together, the authentic priesthood is told to remain anonymous.
    Wt 16/1 pp. 22-27 “In addition, anointed Christians do not view themselves as being part of an elite club. They do not seek out others who claim to have the same calling, hoping to bond with them or endeavoring to form private groups for Bible study. Such efforts would cause divisions within the congregation and work against the holy spirit, which promotes peace and unity.”

    These slanderous words weaken of the power of Holy Spirit within these individuals, as elder/“foreigners” trample God’s spiritual Temple. Ezek 44:6-8; 2 Chron 26:18; Heb 8:1,2; Matt 5:13; Isa 51:23; 2 Cor 4:11,13,20

    If we recognize this “trampling” on God’s anointed ones, the usurping of God’s priesthood and the Body of Christ, we are not to “wait on Jehovah”, but we are told to flee! Matt 24:23-28

    This is a spiritual fulfillment, not found in Satan’s world. The cry of ‘peace and security’ is clearly evident within the pseudo haven of peace, the self-proclaimed ‘indestructible’ Watchtower. 1 Thess 5:3; 2 Thess 2:1-12; Rev 13:4

    Remember the wife of Lot! Luke 17:26-37

    A Great Deception – http://pearl-anillustration.blogspot.com/

  5. Michael Detroy and his wife shunned their own daughter for months because she committed a “sin.” This could include, but is not limited to: smoking cigarettes, joining the army, fornication or openly speaking against the JW governing body. Their use of emotional blackmail drove her back to the organization. That religion is dangerous and needs to be stopped.

    • Joining the army….which includes killing people…right? dropping bombs and killing a bunch of people right? even fellow christians right? no sin there… nerve gas in syria ring a bell? the usa killed hundreds of thousands in a single two bombs in ww2. No sin there. Hitler tried to kill all the jews . no sin there…right? just join the army… no sin in that… trian to kill off people for profit and oil right?

      smoking cigs, no sin in that right? addiction and getting your kids into it to right? and getting off is a trip into rehab…right? and cancer. no harm in that right?

  6. A lot of pedophiles in this cult. Be careful. Google Australia Royal Commission and Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are destructing families with its disfellowshipping and shunning practices. High control group and cult.

  7. Jehovah’s Witnesses appear harmless and loving Christians that just want to follow the Bible. That’s why they are so dangerous.

    They are masters of using coertion, fear, guilt, obligation and blackmail. How so?

    Once you convert to the group, you give up your freedom of speech and thinking. Every JW is obligated to conform to the policies of the Governing Body and accept and teach their interpretations of the Bible. If you don’t do this, you will be disfellowshipped and lose your family and friends that are JW,’s. This is a fear tactic and emotional blackmail.

    At their meetings, you will notice that they praise, glorify and worship THE ORGANIZATION. Whatever the ORGANIZATION says must be accepted even if the Bible does not approve of that.
    * They told single members not to marry and if married, not to have children. See book “salvation” p.325.
    * They forbade vaccinations till 1952
    * The forbade organ transplants till 1980
    * They are against going to college and having a career
    * They say Michael the Archangel died for our sins
    * They forbade voting till 1999
    * They condemn socializing with family that are non JW’s.
    * You must use all your time spreading their propaganda.
    * They do not report child molesters that are JW’s
    (Google Australian royal commission and Stephanie Fessler)
    * They claim ecclesiastical privilege to avoid cooperating with court subpoenas regarding child molesters in their church.
    * Members are obligated to report their time spent going door to door.
    * They have many secret books and policy letters that the rank and file don’t know about.
    * They shun anyone that decides to leave them.

    I currently serve as a traveling representative for this religion and was extremely shocked of what I learned when I started researching their old books and policy letters. JW’s are a cult that worship the 7 members of the Governing Body in Warwick NY. Their teachings and policies have changed literally hundreds of times over and they claim to be guided by God.

  8. It’s unfortunate that this cult is called a religion. Most people born or raised in the cult leave because it’s a depressing isolated world for a I’d to not be allowed to celebrate their birthday or holidays, or Go to school dances, or holiday parties. They are not allowed to have any friends outside the cult, and are programmed to fear that got will destroy them when he destroys the world if they Dress up for Halloween or go trick or treating. They’re not allowed to go to college or get a higher education. Many of the families they grow up in are abusive.

  9. This article seems to go out of its way to paint the JW’s in the best-possible light. This group makes a happy, fulfilled life impossible. If you are a JW then you have mental problems. If you were raised in the religion, the programming you receive from birth skews all habits and outlooks. If you join as an adult, then that is simply because crazy people are attracted to cults. 8 million lives that are completely screwed up while waiting for a reward that will never come. Sad.

    • “Your comment implies that the Rivard Report had the intention of positioning the Jehovah Witnesses in a positive light. The article was a report on a large regional religious gathering in San Antonio. It was not intended to be investigative journalism. Respected third-party Pew Research was used to provide appropriate background information about the demographics of the group for our readers’ benefit. To quote the convention’s leadership and participants is appropriate, as we would do with any group – religious or secular. It was not intended to be an endorsement nor an attack on the Jehovah Witnesses, nor would the Rivard Report do so for any religious tradition. The Rivard Report would encourage you to submit a thoughtful commentary supported by research and facts.” https://therivardreport.com/submissions/

  10. Wow! Just Wow! While your story seems to be unbiased and fact based, it is however, told from only 1 side. I would strongly suggest that as a writer and journalist, by now your curiosity should be peaked to learn more about this “organization.” Did you ask yourself, why they have such a low level of members with higher education? Or why the overwhelming majority of “born in” members leave? Or why they have such a high level of “marginalized” members of society that join? Have you checked into the level of suicide or those with mental and emotional disorders?
    I was one of those who joined as a convert in my mid 20’s. The “study program” that I was required to go through was a carefully designed brainwashing tool. Right from the start, I was conditioned to be prepared for my family and friends to be opposed to my studies and the changes I would be making in my life. Granted, some of those changes were for the better…I stopped smoking and drinking. However, I also was required to formally withdraw from any previous religion I was involved in…this meant, while I hadn’t attended any church in nearly 10 years, I had to hunt down whatever church my mother was attending and formally disassociate myself from that church. I also was required to prove that I was NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE. During this time, an opportunity arose that would have allowed me to get a college degree… FOR FREE!!! and I was required to turn down the offer. But most disturbing, I was required to withdraw from my family and friends. This meant, I missed the birth of most of my nieces and nephews and their growing up years.
    It also meant that once I married (and remaining single was HIGHLY encouraged) my ex husband and I were strongly discouraged from having children. When we decided to try with help from medical science, we were given strong counsel against this, to the point that all intimacy between us stopped because my ex was following the direction of “the brothers.” Later, when he became abusive, I was “encouraged” (required) to stay, because it was my fault. All I had simply done was get a job to support us, since he refused to work! I put up with his drinking, gambling, mental and emotional abuse, and refusal to get a job for 15 years, because the “brothers” insisted I needed to be a better wife for him to straighten out. Anytime I would ask them for help, they would refuse because, as my “head” he said they couldn’t speak with me. I eventually had enough, especially after I learned that he had solicited prostitutes, (and the “brothers” knew about it and did nothing.) and left him. But low and behold…again, this was all my fault. Although I am not formally “disfellowshipped,” (ex-communicated) I am being shunned by the majority of my former “brothers and sisters.”
    So Dear Writer, please, before you do another “fluff” piece on this “organization” talk to some of those who left…and find out the other side so you can write a truly unbiased story.

    • Thank you reading the Rivard Report and for disclosing your personal experiences as a member of the Jehovah Witnesses faith tradition. However, your allegation that the article is a “fluff” piece is misplaced. The reporting was appropriate for the topic and venue. Not all journalism is investigative. For example, if the Rivard Report were to adopt your stance on all articles about activities in our community, the recent article about a Catholic religious procession downtown should not have been published without reference to sexual abuse scandals. Likewise, you would have required our journalists reporting on the Pride Parade to include views from religious opposition groups. Given the importance of this topic for you, please consider submitting a commentary about your experiences to the Rivard Report so that our readers may better understand the facts you judge need to be reported. https://therivardreport.com/submissions/

    • so one side means the other side is to BASH show a bunch of hate and negative right? Tell people that the jehovahs witnesses are bad right? and its fluff? tell me something… if you act a fool in your house, will you get thrown out? if you are acting a fool in school will they throw you out? if you act too much a fool will you be expelled? if you act a fool in the city will you be arrested? too much a fool will you be thrown in jail? if you do something REALLY bad, will you be given a record that will follow you? in fact, are there not people who feel jehovahs witnesses should do more to TRACK BAD MEN IN OUR RANKS? you see when people do bad people remove them from the rest….WHY DO YOU THINK A FAITH SHOULDNT DO THE SAME!?!?!

      You think you should be able to continue to have sex outside marriage and influence those that are trying not to? you feel you shuld sleep around with married women and nothing should be done? THEN you would be here saying how jws sleep around! you think we should be having homosexual sex? then you wuld be here saying how jws dont adhere to the bible!!!

      You think we should be celebrating every pagan holiday? then you would be here saying how we dont know history, and we have all sorts of idols in our midsts…

      If we DIDNT preach about the last days, YOU WOULD…and say, well why is it thebible brings up the last days and you men never even bring it up?

      No no no… the anger is exactly where it should be regarding us… in that we USE THE BIBLE…

      Jesus said we wuld be hated for USING THE BIBLE AND HANDLING HIS NAME AND WORD…
      not LOVED. the governments LOVE YOU dont they? they want your vote and LOVE dealing with youy dont they? they LOVE the russian church dont they? they LOVE the catholic church dont they?
      THEY HATE SEEING US COMING dont they? I dont care how small we are? this means we are handling jesus aright.
      We turn stomachs do we not…BEFORE WE EVEN START TALKING we are annoying.. jesus says his word DIVIDES families fr some in the family will become enemies for they will not listen. Well thats whats happening is it not?

      Do you see that happening in any other church?

      What did they charge jesus and the apostles with? speaking against the government….And what are jws charged with? SAME THING!!!!!!

      • People are pouring out of this organisation not because they have done anything “bad”, but because they have researched and made a rational choice based upon evidence that the organisation lies and operates in a way that is unhealthy. The decision to leave has meant for many that they have lost their family and former “friends” who now choose to obey the dictates of a high control organisation and the leadership. This is how it is done. “By cutting off contact with the disfellowshipped or disassociated one, you are showing that you hate the attitudes and actions that led to that outcome. However, you are also showing that you love the wrongdoer enough to do what is best for him or her. Your loyalty to Jehovah may increase the likelihood that the disciplined one will repent and return to Jehovah.” Watchtower 2011 Feb 15 p.32 Notice the disassociated one is placed in the same category as the disfellowshipped one.
        It is dishonest and misleading to state that a disaasociated person has to be shunned for making a choice to leave. In any event, even if a person has done something “bad” according to the organisation, they should not lose their family. Did the Prodigal son lose his father? No! The rules that have been made up by the organisation are there to control the behaviour, emotions, thinking and the information that is available to an individual and the group.

        Note to reporter: These conventions are a store front for recruitment into a high control, damaging organisation. This is not the same as reporting on a Pride event. Comparing sexual orientation to religious indoctrination does not work. Would you offer a store front to the Westboro Evangelicals, without mentioning the damage their beliefs have caused to family members and the impact on the larger community, such as in the JW case the numerous cases of child abuse? The abuse continues because the leadership refuses to acknowledge the survivors, and holds on to a policy that allows the perpetrator to continue operating.

        “When any one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is accused of an act of child abuse, the local congregation elders are expected to investigate. Two elders meet separately with the accused and the accuser to see what each says on the matter.


        If the accused denies the charge, the two elders may arrange for him and the victim to restate their position in each other’s presence, with elders also there (CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT THIS DOES TO A NINE YEAR OLD CHILD WHO HAS TO RECOUNT RAPE). If during that meeting the accused still denies the charges and there are no others who can substantiate them, the elders cannot take action within the congregation at that time.
        Having been raised (without choice) in this organisation, I chose to leave over 35 years ago. It was the best decision of my life. I was able to get an education and to have a quality of life denied most witnesses.
        My family, for a few years kept in contact but always on their terms based upon what the organisation deemed appropriate. That is not loving, kind or freedom. It is high control and abuse.

        Promoting this event in your newspaper, is allowing this organisation to paint a false picture. Without a rounded assessment your article may induce more unsuspecting needy people to join a dying sick and dangerous organisation.

        I was around in 1975, when they hyped up what was going to happen any day, which included the destruction of the likes of you and I. They now deny that they said 1975 was significant. Listen for yourself what one of their leaders told the BBC. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPmT-ML-M-g

        Many people joined in the lead up to 1975, because of this hype. Lots of people have left since and in doing so have lost their families.

        • I want you to list the churches that are required to report any allegations of anything to anyone since you feel the jehovahs witnessses should yet your church should not. Churches ate saving your moral soul the police are not. If the police made having sex with children legal,, what would that matter? you say its legal for example in your own comment for homosexuality, we will throw you out for it. See? There was a time in american history where homosexuality was illegal. should we have called the police when we saw it in our ranks? it is still illegal in many parts of the world. for example..

          Lets say you live in a land where the land says Homosexuality requires stoning to death and the person confesses to a homosexual act…shall the church leaders contact the muslim leaders and have them put to death? what if a woman is raped in a muslim land and the christian husband finds out, should the sharia law which is the law of the land be followed and she then be stoned?

          which law is the one that suits you? Religion is world wide. you want to set it up where it suits you. you want it to fit you. it cannot. as you change, you feel religion should. it cant. you now like homosexuality. there was a time it was illegal. yes in Australia it was illegal as well to do certain sexual acts. Which ones should be reported? Just the ones you feel should? What about murder? drug dealing? the ones you feel are against kids right? drug dealers are not threats to children? listen, I pose to you a drug dealer is far worse than a molester will ever be. for the dealer will hook a child and he will turn a kid into a life of both a molester or a prostitute that feeds the molester. By the way, what type of checks and balances do you in the non church work do you have? we can say zero right? And if all you have found is 1000 over a whopping 60 years and yet they are humans that were pulled from the general population….from you yourselves? thats pretty good. you think you could get the general population where you live in your country, and go back 60 years and get only 1000 allegations? keep in mind allegations come from active people making them. so you cant say there are likely more. for allegations are from active people making them, and can come from non members at any time. its like bill cosby. there will be more allegations than there will be convictions. if you have 1000 allegations over 60 years in an entire country? and those humans came from training random people who had all sorts of problems in the streets, and were taught to change from unlettered men using the bible? I defy you to find a better track record than that to be honest.
          what would you expect? no one would be bad? not even Jesus did that… for Jesus preached and lost members.

          God lost angels. Did he not?
          So humans are not going to lose members? what exactly are you expecting? the man wrote an article…what exactly are you expecting?
          Jesus says about the straw and rafter illustration right? Are you implying that you know of a worldwide church that is baptizing members after waiting till they are adults?
          do you know a worldwide church that would not “let their sons die” in transfusions but in turn would allow their kids to go to wars and die for their country?
          are you telling me you know a world wide religion that call the police when they are told by a sinner of an act that is illegal? so a man comes in and says he is a drug user and they cal the cops? A teen user is arrested?
          Do they do youth drug testing at your church? IJS

          • I presume English is not your first language, hence the reason most of this comment is incomprehensible.
            In June 2016, the Pope, head of the Catholic Church, (for whom the JW’s have a particular distain) stated, “that bishops who fail to report cases of sex abuse of children and vulnerable adults could be removed from office.” http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/04/world/vatican-pope-sex-abuse/index.html

            The JW leaders tell the elders to ring the Branch Office so they, not the police, can determine what should be done.

            Just one example of a major church where the clergy are being told to report. There are more. But I think that is enough right now.

            As for being gay, that is legal in many countries now. So I have no idea what you were trying to say. It just did not make sense. Please go back to school and get an education as it will no doubt help you in expressing your thoughts.

            You then mention Australia. If you are referring to the Austrailain Royal Commission. Please watch the videos and become familiar with the facts. The numbers are 1006 known abusers, reported to the Branch Office, in Australia alone ( not globally). Not one abuser was reported to the police. Thus allowing the abuse to continue with nearly 2000 cases of sexual abuse in Australia now known. You may want to watch what the Commission thinks of the Watchtower’s poor child safety policies. This is not me stating these matters it is a high level Royal Commission that has looked at numerous religious groups. It could be stated that JW’s are the worst in terms of listening and learning from their mistakes twhich has meant thousands of people have suffered. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZqVj0z7_yA

            Child safety cannot be left to poor policies, such as the JW policy of needing two witnesses to an act of abuse or rape. So your argument about a drug user fails. The issue is the organisation’s policies that perpetuate the abuse.

            This last weekend the BBC World Service presented a detailed report on the world wide sexual abuse within JW’s and the lack of response, care or consideration from the organisation and the families indoctrinated by high control. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05793n8

            I have provided facts and evidence – not a rant. I hope the facts are helpful.

  11. That guy “Mike” who posted the angry defensive diatribe defending Jehovah’s Witnesses, take a look at all the misspelled words and poor grammar. That’s a classic example of many people who are passionate about this ‘high control’ cult. They have very little education and apparently can’t write or express themselves articulately. I do understand that this article merely reports the JW Convention and it’s not investigative journalism. I’m sure many religions you write about will have its share of upset ex- parishioners. If the writer had done some really deep research he would find that this religion has almost as many child sex offense lawsuits as the Catholic Church. So, on top of the numerous sex abuse offense cases worldwide (does Pew have data on that?).. you have the “cult” and mind control aspect of the religion’s doctrines to deal with, which upsets a lot of people, simp,y because they have such strict rules and will shun anyone who doesn’t adhere to things that most people consider ‘ normal behavior’ like…receiveing bood tranfusuions if their life is in danger, voting, dating and celebrating holidays.

  12. I am one of the U.S. adults who were raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses who no longer identify with the group. I’ve read through many of the comments above, not all. This is a fluff piece. Sorry to say. It’s all facts and figures with no research. Have you talked to any Ex JWs? Witnesses are encouraged to lie to protect the name of Jehovah. I am a victim of the pedophile problem with this organization. My brother was disfellowshipped and shunned for asking questions, while my molester was allowed to go free. I was a kid – I didn’t know what to do. My mother was raped by my step-father and told it was her fault. The “loving” group is a doomsday cult with many secrets – you will never learn the truth from them. I’d love to see you do an article where you interview ex JW’s.

  13. Jehovah’s witnesses is a high control, mind controlling US based cult that is declining in the developed lands where information is freely available.
    The unimpressive growth in the cult is mostly in poor, developing lands, among uneducated, uninformed and vulnerable people.
    They’re the ones impressed by the colourful watchtower paradise earth fantasy pictures in the watchtower literature.

    The jw cult does not have any REAL charities that benefit the less fortunate ..instead, the poor are used as unpaid workers for distributing the watchtower propaganda literature.

    • would you say paul and the christians were high control? and mind controlling? And omg the jws have a base in a certain land. as apposed to having a based in some other land. which would you prefer? Israel? which would you like? Asia? which would you like where it would not be a problem? the reality is, there are more jehovahs witnesses that are not american than there are american. you know that right?
      Paul used to travel to congregation to congregation to assure they all taught the same..writing letters to them telling them where they needed to improve. is that controlling. telling them to make their minds over.
      strip off their old personality and put on new ones. and make your mind over. And not to greet people that were calling themselves “brothers” that were doing lawless deeds. Or to correct brothers who were putting on fake faces by eating with worldly people then when he would come around act like they are all “spiritual” and not eat with them. I wonder what you would think about a guy like paul today. I’m thinking you really dont read the bible much so as to really comment about the man.
      Regarding paradise Earth Fantasy pictures, and REAL Charities that benefit the less fortunate.. those less fortunate got that way due to 3 things. The wars that we dont join in, the religious beliefs that we dont follow, the political climate that we dont participate in. For let me tell you something, the earth will grow food. Why cant they grow it? The area can make work for them. Why can they grow and sell? greed. And blocking countries from growth. The usa is the biggest issue. China next. Local political greed. Religious wars. Superstition . Sickness due to personal actions as well. not leaving certain areas. drug addiction. I have seen churches say, we promise not to preach to you, just give you soup and a blanket.
      Find that in the bible. You take Jesus and make it the entire bible. The bible is a thousand pages. not 50. What is the promise he brings? Is it now?
      He fed people. Can you do that now? He healed people. Can you? He raised the dead. Can you? These are what he will provide. Are you to snatch his hope from his hand and heal the earth like michael jackson felt he could do with singing a few tunes in a microphone and say we are the world and things will change? Satan is the ruler of the world. you plan on beating the devil? how exactly?
      You must remove the devil. How are you planning on doing that? what does the bible say regarding the future of satain? if you cant come to me and open a bible and say what is the future of satan, and the earth? why debate me if I can?

      Listen, the bible does say the term “new earth” many times. I dont have enough white out to erase that so you can feel bettter. so what shall we do? jw or not.

  14. mr speed, jesus was told one would be hated for handling his word aright. you will find any article about jehovahs witnesses, unless it is filled with hate against them and not one single shred of positive, will be met with mostly comments of hatred for jws. these people cover the internet looking for every single news article on jws and do this. any article with comments you will see this. they never really comment on the article… they comment just on jws in general. regardless of what the topic is. even when the article was on a man being tortured by russia police… they still ignored that. and just commented on how much they hated jws. If you see that you are in fact, handling the words of Jesus rightly, yet the government has no issue with you, how could Jesus’ words be true? When you speak, no one seems to mind it, and in fact praise you? Jesus said, your words would cause families to take up issue with you. Is that happening? could it be that due to clinging on to traditions of the church and not the actual words of the bible..people are not following God?

    People are so worried about just sections of the bible, they ignore the rest of it. they just cling to the gospels. ..they ignore anything said by paul. or they focus on paul then ignore whom he was writing to. or they call anything pre- jesus as “old” and disregard any teachings from it. but 2 tim says all scripture is beneficial for teaching and setting matters straight. and when tested by satan, jesus quoted isaiah. he could have reasoned off his own head right?

    today due to a lack of reading people claim organized religion isnt needed, and ignore the entire second half of the bible. Who was paul writing to?
    what was corinth? Galatians? Thesolonica? it was even shown who should take the lead and when in their lives. Where do people think we get the term deacon from? LOL

    But you see people dont read. if its not in Meme or emogee format, they dont know it.

    • I find the comments factual not hateful. They are enlightening. Your comment does not address, shunning or child abuse, mentioned by the other commentators. I have noticed that the JW’s do not generally address the abuse of the children, is it because the leaders call the abuse survivors liars and apostates?

      I do not agree that people do not read. In fact I think it is because people are reading and researching that they are discovering what they have been told by one source of information – is incorrect. For example “The teaching that the Last Days started in 1914 is fundamental to the existence of the Watchtower Society, based on Jerusalem being destroyed in 607 B.C. However, all evidence proves Jerusalem to have fallen in 587 B.C., removing any basis for this Watchtower doctrine, and hence the reliant one that the Watchtower Governing Body was chosen in 1919.”

      Remove that and the edifice of the organisation as a source of truth is already cracked and crumbling. Do some research yourself and you will discover that one of the reasons education is frowned upon is because ignorance is easier to control.

      On the one hand you say people are not reading and yet is that not something the organisation wants or at least it is an outcome of the policy that frowns upon higher education. What is the organisation scared of? Shouldn’t the truth be able to stand up to scrutiny?
      Watchtower 2011 Nov 15 pp.19,24
      “Vigilant Christians refrain from using the world to the full with regard to higher education. Many people in this world consider higher education an indispensable stepping-stone to prestige and an affluent life. But we Christians live as temporary residents and pursue different goals. We avoid “minding lofty things.”
      Having a decent education and reading is not a lofty thing. It is common sense to check what you are being told. But I guess you are not allowed to do that either. This is how control of information is maintained.

      “Really, since our Lord has used “the faithful and discreet slave” to convey to us “sayings of everlasting life,” why should we ever want to look anywhere else?” Watchtower 1987 Nov 1 p.20

      “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 organization.” Watchtower 1974 July 15 p.441

      Why can you not question, check or research what you are being told? Is that healthy?

  15. Jennifer Strasse Last time i checked a religious organization doesnt have an application asking you how much education in the world you have. in this would where satan has placed all sorts of evolution and brainwashing, Im sure you would welcome we all run through a mass amount of years now wouldnt you if your go to is only to see if you can mock my English? then you really have no rebuttal at all. for like the men of God in the bible, I am ordinary.
    regarding controlling, and passionate? Defending the word of God against people bashing it? you know this reminds me of the early years of the creation of the bible in english. this is things you have no idea of. so just read along.
    The bible was not in modern languages. So people were “passionate” about getting it into modern languages. they were hated, and called uneducated. They were not at all called Learned men. Not the way we see them today.They were in fact called heretics. they were killed. they wanted to use gods name jehovah in bibles. this also was bad in many people’s eyes. those translations were hated upon. One was in 1902 or something like that. American standard.
    Well today, when you tell a person that the King James version was altered in the most offensive way and the word Lord in all caps is where the very name of God was removed and replaced with the word Lord, they refuse to even look into it. even though its in their own preface of their own bible. they wont even look in their own bible…yet turn around and tell me how my bible is the altered one.
    and how my bible is the changed one.
    you see, when you are right, you defend it. when you have no grounds to stand on you attack points like grammar.

  16. Mr Edward Speed, Sir.
    Imagine someone writing a “feel-good” article on the Church of Scientology.

    That’s EXACTLY what you’ve succeeded in doing here.

    This “religion” has ruined a lot of people’s life. Please, do your research. This article borders on irresponsible… it borders on negligence.

    People will read your article and imagine this group innocuous. I suspect you don’t grasp the depth of this issue.

    It’s like writing about Hitler and failing to mentioning the atrocities committed.

    As a journalist you have to be responsible, mate. I would have respected this article if you had demonstrated a real and sincere effort to document any dissenting views. Jehovah’s Witnesses speak from an emotional perspective; erstwhile Jehovah’s Witnesses, yes, speak with emotion (usually anger — warranted I might add), but they supplement their “diatribes” with documented evidence.

    Regrettably, I’m inclined to agree with whomever it was that classified this as a “fluff” piece (intended or not). This article is negligent by way of critical omissions.

    Yes, I hear your argument about this article not being an investigative piece. I hear you. I do. But… you must admit, the unsuspecting readers of this world won’t care for that technicality. Consequently, they will be misled by your article.

    You are painting this organisation in a positive light without accommodating the very real and serious counter-views. It is a GRAVE disservice to mankind.

    Respect your profession.


    • Greetings from San Antonio, Mr. Mabunda.

      Thank you – and the many others – who have engaged in this conversation.

      Thank you for identifying yourself and providing the link to your website so that our readers may better understand your views and motivations.

      We are gratified that the reach of the Rivard Report has extended to South Africa, as evidenced by the self-identified location on your website. We hope that you will continue to follow our reporting.

      As a student of theology and religious history, I learned that the most bitter, vicious, and sometimes bloody, religious conflicts were not between differing faiths nor even between denominations of major faith traditions. Rather, the most destructive conflicts were internecine, within a specific sect or congregational community: family against family, brother against sister, parents against children, former friendships devolving into mutual hatred.

      Thus, it has often been; thus, it may be in the future. It seems that my report on a regional religious convention has set this alight for some readers.

      As to your assertion that I have committed a “GRAVE disservice to mankind,” I never imaged that my life, the Rivard Report, or a single article, would impact all of humanity.

      I acknowledge, but disagree with, your respectful admonishment as to what would have constituted responsible journalism in this case. I stand by my article as appropriate for the event and the venue.

      To quote Pontius Pilate in John 19:22, “Quod scripsi, scripsi” [“What I have written, I have written.”]

      • Dear Mr Speed,
        I do not think what you wrote was necessarily a “grave disservice to mankind.” It is biased and it is an insult to those how have been and are still being abused and also to those trapped in this high control cult. Many want to leave but know doing so would mean ostracism from the only community they have ever known or been allowed to know.
        Putting this down to family disagreements, shows a wilful lack of understanding.
        This is about poor policies and lack of due diligence. For example, San Diego Superior Court Judge Joan Lewis, who heard the Jose Lopez case (he was awarded $13.5 million for a JW coverup), threw the Watchtower’s defense out of court for refusing to comply with court orders.
        “Watchtower’s actions or omissions were ‘reprehensible,’ ” she wrote in her decision.

        “The award of punitive damages against them will hopefully send a message to Watchtower and its managing agents, the governing body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, that their handling of sex abuse cases within their congregation was absolutely reckless,” she wrote.

        I could cite numerous other examples. But perhaps it is enough to refer to a Government Body.

        Attorney Angus Stewart, who led the inquiry for the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, submitted 77 separate points critical of the Jehovah’s Witnesses policies and practices toward child sexual abuse, and testimony given during the hearings.

        The organisation refused to acknowledge these points or indeed has failed to address them.

        The Commission’s report noted:

        “The current documented process for responding to allegations of child sexual abuse in the Jehovah’s Witness organisation is focussed largely on the rights and comfort of the accused, with little regard to the requirements of a victim of abuse,” he wrote.

        Stewart also took issue with the Witnesses’ practice of shunning members who leave or are kicked out of the organization.

        “The Jehovah’s Witness organisation’s policy of requiring its adherents to actively shun those who leave the organisation … is particularly cruel on those who have suffered child sexual abuse in the organisation and who wish to leave because they feel that their complaints about it have not been adequately dealt with,” Stewart wrote.

        Reporting on an event in a city is the job of many journalists. Reporting without reflection is often done to satisfy, an editor, the organisation in question or indeed the journalist’s own bias.

        It is well documented that Pontius Pilate refused to take personal responsibility for his actions. So it seems appropriate that you align yourself with such a character.

  17. wow,just wow i never heard such baseless lies in my life about the jw’s thereuneducated?? really???? then how is jehovah’s witnesses able to comprehend???? wow such lies……

  18. Just Adding Some Interesting Points, Regarding Your Messages, Some I Agree With, Others I Don t. I Was Disfellowshipped In 1974 For Associating With Smokers In My Back Yard Watching A Pigeon Race. The Elder That Showed Up Walked Right Into My Back Yard Like He Owned The Property . The Next Time I Went To The Kingdom Hall They Had Planned To Put Me On Reproof, In Spite That There Was Not One Witness That Saw Me Smoking , Only Being In The Company Of Smokers. Weeks Later They Returned To My Home And Disfellowshipped Me , As 1975 Was Just Around The Corner And The Congregation Had To Be Cleaned out For The End Of The System Of Things. I Disagreed With Them Because In The New World Order,Death Would Be A Thing Of The Past And The Remaining 144 Thousand Would Have Had To Die Before Armageddon. When They Have All Passed Away Armageddon Is Inevitable, So No One Knows That Date As Many Of The Slave Class Are Still Alive. After That Comment They Disfellowshipped Me Four More Times. Let Their Concience Be The Crisis In Their Lives.

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