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Jehovah Witnesses investigated under religious hatred laws

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Skyfrog
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Jehovah Witnesses investigated under religious hatred laws

#1 Postby Skyfrog » October 12th, 2011, 3:59 pm

http://www.secularism.org.uk/jehovahs-w ... vesti.html

This news story might interest members here. It seems the Jehovah Witnesses are being investigated for "religious hatred" because their magazine included an article which claimed:

Suppose that a doctor told you to avoid contact with someone who is infected with a contagious, deadly disease. You would know what the doctor means, and you would strictly heed his warning. Well, apostates are ‘mentally diseased’, and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings.


Some former Jehovah Witnesses have complained to the police about this and want to use the religious hatred laws. Presumably they are arguing on the basis that their religious "status" as ex-Witnesses deserves legal protection?

Disgusted as I am by the way the Jehovah Witnesses deal with dissent in their ranks, and as must as I sympathise with ex-JWs, I am not comfortable with the idea of them being prosecuted over this. Surely they are entitled to freedom of speech and free expression of religion? What do you lot think about this one?

If atheists, agnostics and others who disdain any attachment to a formal religious movement had protection under "religious hatred" laws, then the courts would be so jammed up it would take years to get a judgement on anything!

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Dave B
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Re: Jehovah Witnesses investigated under religious hatred laws

#2 Postby Dave B » October 12th, 2011, 4:07 pm

I assume this is a "private" magazine and not for the general public to read? If it is this is no worse than those lies that many other priests tell their flocks about what they consider sinful people who should be avoided. You can here them banging on about "the Godless" and their evil ways in Gloucester once or twice a month (but never seen anyone actually listening.)

If it is a public organ then that may be a very different matter.
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Skyfrog
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Re: Jehovah Witnesses investigated under religious hatred laws

#3 Postby Skyfrog » October 12th, 2011, 4:10 pm

Dave B wrote:I assume this is a "private" magazine and not for the general public to read?


Apparently it appeared in the July edition of their Watchtower magazine, which they regularly try to foist upon anyone they can get their hands on. I've had it delivered through my letterbox before.

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Dave B
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Re: Jehovah Witnesses investigated under religious hatred laws

#4 Postby Dave B » October 12th, 2011, 4:15 pm

I think, in that case, they are in for a stern telling off at least. I hope so anyway - got to keep these people within the law (assuming they have broken it that is).

Here the NSS's angle on it:

http://www.secularism.org.uk/jehovahs-witnesses-under-investi.html

Seems like they are in trouble in Russia as well!

And their own angle (third article down)
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Trickle
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Re: Jehovah Witnesses investigated under religious hatred laws

#5 Postby Trickle » October 12th, 2011, 8:47 pm

I'm inclined to agree with you Skyfrog

I don't believe that what these JW's said in their magazine warrants such a reaction because ultimately if a person doesn't like what is said they don't have to read it (And if it's delivered through your door then drop it in the bin) and in all likelyhood the only people likely to be influenced by these views are those who already hold them or are at least inclined to be sympathetic towards them. When someone is preaching to the choir there is little point going out of your way to stop them because your intervention isn't going to accomplish much except foster feelings of martydom and victimisation.

You also correctly point out that the religious in general can be subject to quite extreme and often unwarraned criticism by atheist and agnostics with no consequences for those making the criticisms. While I have little respect for those who label the religious and stupid or gulliable I accept that people are entitled to their opinion even if I find them to be disagreeable.
I am currently reading...The Hedgehog, The Fox and The Magisters Pox by Stephen Jay Gould

Skyfrog
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Re: Jehovah Witnesses investigated under religious hatred laws

#6 Postby Skyfrog » October 12th, 2011, 9:59 pm

Life for ex-JWs can be very challenging because JW communities tend to practice "shunning" - that is, they will have nothing to do with somebody who leaves their faith. If your family and most of the people you are closest to are JWs, that makes things very difficult if you then fall out of their religion. This is one of the reasons why the JW movement disturbs me so much.

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Dave B
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Re: Jehovah Witnesses investigated under religious hatred laws

#7 Postby Dave B » October 12th, 2011, 10:01 pm

Skyfrog wrote:Life for ex-JWs can be very challenging because JW communities tend to practice "shunning" - that is, they will have nothing to do with somebody who leaves their faith. If your family and most of the people you are closest to are JWs, that makes things very difficult if you then fall out of their religion. This is one of the reasons why the JW movement disturbs me so much.

Is that not similar to cults like the Plymouth Brethren?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Alan C.
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Re: Jehovah Witnesses investigated under religious hatred laws

#8 Postby Alan C. » October 12th, 2011, 11:05 pm

Dave B
Is that not similar to cults like the Plymouth Brethren?
Is it not similar to all the Abrahamic religions, cults?

Definition of a cult.

1.
a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2.
an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
3.
the object of such devotion.
4.
a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5.
Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
All the Abrahamic "religions" fit the bill.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

thundril
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Re: Jehovah Witnesses investigated under religious hatred laws

#9 Postby thundril » October 12th, 2011, 11:22 pm

Shower of self-righteous cults!
I'll get better soon, i promise. I'm halfway down a very nice Californian red, so mellow is on the horizon.

ludite
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Re: Jehovah Witnesses investigated under religious hatred laws

#10 Postby ludite » October 13th, 2011, 4:23 pm

There are two editions of the watchtower the one that is used in the door to door preaching. The second one is for use at the meetings. The offending article is in the private study one. Those same thoughts were expressed at the anual conventions. As a ex jw I can tell you it can be hard leaving. Your life is wrapped up in the cult you socialise with other jw you may work with or be in business with another jw(as I was). If you leave or are kicked out (disfellowshiped) no one will speak to you are shuned only neccissary family contact. As i drifted of over a period of time i am still acknwledge by some. It does vary from place to place. In some congregations I would be disfellowshiped and I would be shunned by except my wife. She would not tell me anything going on in th congregastion. A larege number of ex jw are very upset by being labled mentaly diseased.Many are completely ingnoted by family and friends.They loose all there support network and have to start building a new life. Not very easy for some one brought as a jw by there parents.

Skyfrog
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Re: Jehovah Witnesses investigated under religious hatred laws

#11 Postby Skyfrog » October 13th, 2011, 4:53 pm

Thanks for clarifying the facts about the magazine, ludite. I'm so sorry about your experience with the JW, it sounds awful. :( May I ask what your view is on the legal action being taken by this group of ex-JWs? As one yourself, I am inclined to attach particular weight to your judgement on this.

ludite
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Re: Jehovah Witnesses investigated under religious hatred laws

#12 Postby ludite » October 13th, 2011, 5:54 pm

Taking legal action on this subject I think is a waste. I do not like being called mentally diesesed but I am not upset by it I think it shows up there reasoning and cult behavior. The jw like a lot of cults see any adverce coments as persecution and it proves they are gods chosen people. If you dont do anythng it proves that they are gods chosen people as jehovah is protecting them. If you are going to take action against sutch people you have to go for the jugular. There is acase ongoing in Australia about compliance with child protection laws. I am not sure of all the facts, But they refused to registar the elders and have the policw checks. They like a lot of religions have had serious problems with peodofiles and how there activaties wee covered up. I was told that in sutch casses that thetre was no nead to involve the police. That was official policy unless the law required you to report sutch things to the police.


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