I will warn you that what you are about to see is heartbreaking on so many levels. It is devastating to see or hear about anyone losing their lives. But such a sting is made all the more painful when you realize that such a loss could have easily been prevented. For the better part of 6 decades now, Jehovah’s Witness leadership has prohibited blood transfusions as well as what they determine the primary components of blood to be (white cells, red cells, platelets, and plasma). Roughly 15 years ago they relaxed their rigid stance a bit and decided to allow “fractions” of the above mentioned components such as albumin, clotting factors and hemoglobin…….but make no mistake…….rank and file Jehovah’s Witnesses are still dying frequently due to leadership’s stance on blood and blood products.
What you see below is just one case of literally THOUSANDS over the years of a Jehovah’s Witness refusing to accept blood or blood products that could save his/her life…….all because of the misguided belief that they are making God happy by doing so. What makes this case especially tragic is the fact that the loss of life was that of a new mommy…..literally right after giving birth. She will never get to watch her daugher grow up…….graduate…….start her own family. Her daughter will have pictures……but absolutely no memory whatsoever of her mother. The father will be raising this child alone or perhaps with a stepmother. The family bond that Jehovah’s Witnesses claim is of the utmost importance has, in this case, been sadly and ironically compromised……not by distrust…..not by an act of indescretion……not even by “disloyalty” to the organization…..but….by a completely unnecessary loss of life due to strict obedience to a gravely flawed doctrine.
Lastly, to add salt to the wound, are the comments made by supporters. What you see below is a screenshot from an Instagram group known as JW Inspirational. The purpose of the group is for JWs to post pics of spiritual inspiration for other JWs to see. Most of what is posted consists of pictures of individual JWs engaging in their door knocking and proselytizing work. Many others reflect their veneration of the jw.org symbol. But this particular one garnered quite a lot of attention. As I mentioned, the comments are disturbing. Please see for yourself:
These are just two of the screenshots taken. One of the comments was that this situation was “faith stengthening”. Shockingly, another was “bravo”. Yet another couldn’t understand why everyone was so sad. The last one I will mention refers to this story as “amazing”, and describes the victim as being “faithful and loyal” and “encouraging”, causing her to “love Jehovah’s Organization”.
Quite honestly, these quotes are both stunning and down right scary. Yes, the majority of comments expressed condolences and sadness, but the tone was heavily outweighed by that of pride, joy and encouragement. You see, Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught never to question leadership and leadership misapplies scripture to say that God prohibits blood transfusions. They view blood as symbolic of the life that God gives them……but are too indoctrinated to see the irony that exists when respect for the symbol of life (not accepting blood) becomes of greater value than preserving the reality (the actual life) that it symbolizes.
Their faith in the current doctrine that they will live forever in paradise after God kills all non-JWs at Armageddon (which is right around the corner), causes them to view life as we know it as though it is relatively unimportant. At least…..when compared to maintaining loyalty to leadership’s dictates and rules. What other group do you know of that would consider such a needless, reckless and tragic loss of life to be “faith strengthening”? How many other people of religious backgrounds would say “bravo” to such a story? What is so sad to me is that leadership’s rules change constantly. In the 1920s and 1930s…..vaccinations were not allowed. In the 1960s and 1970s, organ transplants were prohibited. And up until 2000, ALL blood products were prohibited including the “fractions” briefly discussed above. What about those that lost their lives blindly abiding by the CURRENT doctrine as handed down by leadership…..only for that doctrine to change at a later date? How is that fair? Is God really directing that?
We need to stop pandering to this organization as though they are a legitimate “Christian” religion and we need to call situations like this what they really are. Human sacrifice. When a human being will willingly choose to die for no other reason than to maintain loyalty to religious doctrine that has been sold to him/her and repetitiously ingrained……all while knowing that it may very well change in the future……..then it is clear that leadership of that organization has reached an alarming level of control over its subjects. The only difference between the ancient Aztecs capturing nearby tribes-people and sacrificing them in an effort to appease their God and what the Jehovah’s Witnesses are doing today is that the JWs that martyr themselves are doing so by choice. They have been so brain-washed into believing that they will lose out on their prospects of everlasting life that, unlike in ancient times, they don’t have to be captured and forced. THAT is called mind control.
In closing, please consider the quotes you see below. They are all taken from publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Jehovah’s witnesses… know that if they violate God’s law on blood and the child dies in the process, they have endangered that child’s opportunity for everlasting life in God’s new world. – Blood, Medicine and the Law of God, 1961, p. 5 (JW Publication)
“One sister responded to a judge that in such a case she would not be responsible for what he decided. While correct from one point of view, the judge took it to mean that since she would not be held responsible, then he would take the responsibility for her. He ordered a transfusion. You must understand that in asking these questions, some are usually looking for a way around your refusal to accept blood. Do not inadvertently give it to them! So how would we avoid that misunderstanding? You could reply: “If blood is forced on me in any way, it would be the same to me as being raped. I would suffer the emotional and spiritual consequences of that unwanted attack on me for the rest of my life. I would resist with all my strength such a violation of my body without my consent. I would make every effort to prosecute my attackers just as I would in a case of rape.”” Kingdom Ministry 1990 Nov p.6 (JW Publication)
“Jehovahs Witnesses do not accept transfusions of whole blood or the four primary components of blood namely, red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. They also do not donate or store their own blood for transfusion.” Kingdom Ministry Nov 2006 p.3 (JW Publication)
“What if a Christian is badly injured or is in need of major surgery? Suppose doctors say that he must have a blood transfusion or he will die. Or course, the Christian would not want to die… Would a Christian break God’s law just to stay alive a little longer in this system of things? Jesus said: “Whoever wants to save his soul [or, life] will lose it; but whoever loses his soul for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25) We do not want to die. But if we tried to save our present life by breaking God’s law, we would be in danger of losing everlasting life.” What Does The Bible Really Teach (2005) pp.130-131 (JW Publication)
Does what you read above sound like intimidation from leadership designed to get followers to listen? Now, do you remember the apocalyptic cult known as Heaven’s Gate back in the 1990s? First and foremost, they believed any and all dictates coming from their leader, Marshall Applewhite. They did not question his authority. He taught that he came from the “Level Above Human”—a physical and literal version of Heaven in outer space—and was sent to help others reach this “Next Level.” To him, the human body was just a vehicle and that to ascend from this world people had to separate from all that was human in themselves, including their earthly needs and desires. He believed that a UFO would soon take he and his followers back to the Next Level after completing their mission.
Over time, the belief was introduced that the Hale-Bopp comet that was drawing close to earth back in 1997 had a spaceship hidden behind it. They needed to exit this world and join that spaceship. Applewhite and his followers made preparations. On March 21, they ate a last supper of sorts at a restaurant, all ordering the same thing: turkey pot pie, cheesecake with blueberries and iced tea. A day later, when the comet was as close to earth as it would get, Applewhite and his followers took their own lives by drinking a mixture of vodka and barbiturates.
Leading up to this time, they spent time producing literature and making videos to spread to others. Their message was that this was our “last chance to evacuate Earth before it is recycled.” Does what you just read sound like an intimidating statement designed to get followers to listen?
Now, some might say, “Clint…..the JWs don’t believe in anything that far out……you are comparing apples to oranges.” But…..am I? Take a look at the principles involved. Unquestioned leadership in Heaven’s Gate. Unquestioned leadership in Jehovah’s Witnesses. Followers willing to sacrifice their own lives in order to attain a better life in the “next level” in Heaven’s Gate. Followers willing to sacrifice their own lives by refusing blood in order to maintain their hope of receiving “everlasting life” from God in what they call “the new system” (after Armageddon).
Unquestioned leadership dogmatically pushing his own agenda…..limitations and biases through constant one-sided indoctrination and propaganda is what caused all of Applewhite’s followers to take their own lives. Unquestioned leadership dogmatically pushing its own agenda….limitations and biases (masked as though they are directions from God) through constant one-sided indoctrination and propaganda is what also causes Jehovah’s Witnesses to choose death over life in hospitals around the world. Any questions?