Witnesses on Instagram respond to images of tragic JW mother who died refusing blood

Michelle, who would die refusing blood after giving birth, is pictured at her baby shower
Michelle, who would die refusing blood after giving birth, is pictured at her baby shower

Since a doctrinal decision reached at Watchtower headquarters some time in 1945, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been prohibited from receiving various medical treatments involving blood.

This has resulted in untold numbers of Witnesses over many decades (including children) dying out of what amounts to little more than a token act of loyalty or, some would say, martyrdom.

Not only does the Bible long predate the use of blood transfusions as medical treatments, but even if early Christians could have known about blood transfusions these would likely have been deemed permissible under the Jewish rabbinic tradition of pikuach nefesh, whereby the preservation of life surmounted all other considerations.

Though all needless deaths are saddening, few stories better capture the madness and tragedy of Watchtower’s blood stance than that of a JW mother called Michelle, whose death due to blood-loss while giving birth has been enshrined on an Instagram page.

A friend of Michelle posted a video/photo montage to the “jw_inspirational” handle of Instagram showing a video of her baby shower (which the friend claims to have hosted) set to music, along with pictures of the newborn baby girl – Emma Marie.

In a comment posted to the video, the friend describes the tragedy that unfolded at Emma Marie’s birth:

“Well, while delivering Emma; Michelle lost a lot of blood. So much so that she needed a blood transfusion. Michelle refused. Even after having a tube inserted in her and not being able to speak… She signed NO BLOOD. Our dear sister despite finally having the baby she’s wanted for such a long time remained loyal to the end.”

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The senseless loss of life of a young 28-year-old woman, whose newborn daughter begins her existence deprived of her mother on purely religious grounds, was predictably greeted with gushing praise and expressions of validation by Jehovah’s Witnesses viewing the thread.

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In case you missed them, here are some of the comments in response to the video…

“Thoughts and prayers go out #seeyouin paradise we will see our loved ones again.”

“I just thought her story was amazing and she was so faithful and loyal. She was so encouraging. Like the brother said in her talk she will continue to move people and look… Just being posted on here she has!!”

“What an awesome organization to be a part of.”

“I love JEHOVAHs organization so much! It’s so amazing that everyone is sharing love to the family and some are even sharing their personal stories. It feels like a bunch of friends talking and getting to know each other. This is amazing!”

“It will soon be over! We have eternity to spend with family and friends.”

“Truly a sad story but faith strengthening. Thank you for sharing.”

“I will meet her in paradise, and she will meet the baby girl.”

As a former Witness, it is shocking to think I would once have either tried excusing or endorsing such mindless comments, or even offered similar sentiments myself. If the coercion in Watchtower literature is potent enough to allow a mother to excuse herself from her baby daughter’s life out of misplaced feelings of loyalty, it is certainly strong enough to make an otherwise intelligent person try to rationalize such a senseless loss of precious human life and put a positive spin on it.

I can only hope that little Emma Marie doesn’t grow up to blame herself, or her mother, for what has happened. Blame for this outrage lies squarely on the shoulders of a group of deluded, cloistered men in Brooklyn who have the power to save lives right now by lifting the needless ban on blood, but refuse to.

If nothing else, any right-minded person can plainly see that claims to moral superiority by Watchtower or its supporters are laughable at best. As far as “Jehovah’s organization” and its Governing Body are concerned, lives are expendable when it comes to showing the world how different they are. And babies can grow up without mothers, or die abstaining from life-saving medical treatment themselves, if it means more precious human life being offered up on Watchtower’s gruesome altar of obedience.

One day enlightened future generations will look back on atrocities such as this, and wonder how on earth cult groups could claim lives so cheaply right under the noses of the civilized world well into the 21st Century. As far as I’m concerned, the day when we can start looking back on these outrages cannot come soon enough.

 

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Further reading…

125 thoughts on “Witnesses on Instagram respond to images of tragic JW mother who died refusing blood

  • March 23, 2015 at 3:04 pm
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    I think we should start calling it what it is.

    This is a form of human sacrifice.

    When you consider it as such, then you realise how sick it really is. People choosing to die for no other reason than to appease their belief in an idea.

  • March 23, 2015 at 3:34 pm
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    This poor woman. I used to feel the same way myself, in fact after having my first baby by Ceasarian I also lost a lot of blood and refused a transfusion. It did not enter my head to even consider any other option. I believed as this young woman did that even if I died I would be resurrected into a paradise earth! I was fortunate that I survived. I see things so differently now.

  • March 23, 2015 at 3:47 pm
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    Nothing so tragic as misplaced loyalty.

    My prayers are for the poor dad and baby.

    (I don’t know if it is on my end, but I could not view the video.)

  • March 23, 2015 at 4:12 pm
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    folks,

    What a tragic situation. A young woman’s life cut short, and a little baby girl with no mother to raise her.

    All for want of a medical procedure that has proven itself to be life saving. Refused because of an erroneous interpretation of the dietary laws on blood.

    I feel deeply sorry for the lady’s family and friends, and especially for the little baby girl.

    We all need to highlight the blood issue, along with the long, long list of Watchtower outrages.

    Thanks for this article, Lloyd.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • March 23, 2015 at 4:13 pm
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    This is heartbreaking, a little girl will grow up never knowing
    her own mother. Those responsible for this tragedy are a
    group of seven fallible men, playing God.

    If God exists, he is the one judge, but this clique don’t wait
    for God. They judge a person to be worthy of death In the
    present if they they accept a transfusion.

    The threat of cutting off from God , family and friends is
    levelled against them, like a gun to the head, Exerting
    great pressure to conform when at their most vulnerable.

    Those who praise such actions are not in their right mind.
    I speak from experience, I’ve been there and done many things
    under their control that I am ashamed of.

  • March 23, 2015 at 4:37 pm
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    Had this made it to the courts, it would have been treated the same way as what happened in our area. The elders took the two mothers aside and told them to take the blood transfusions and not tell anyone about it. The parents were shocked. They were told that there not need be undue reproach put upon Jehovah or his organisation. Hence, the reason why the society has changed their blood policy law to now you can take blood fractions. For legal purposes, of course.
    I would have no problem taking blood since the person giving it is not being used as a sacrifice (as in the old testament where animals were used as sacrifices and the blood had to be poured out onto the ground) therefore, they are not having to die in order for me to live. They go home after giving a pint or two and I get to live.
    The Watchtower can give the green light go ahead on Hemopure which is cow’s blood but not human blood. They don’t even consider what happens after a parent loses their loved one as in my case.My brother was eleven when he passed away at Sick Children’s hospital due to Watchtower’s no blood policy law. A few years later my mother committed suicide. Another death due to the Watchtower.
    My heart goes out to the parents and that poor baby with no mother now.
    They are so blood guilty on so many levels. It’s a wicked cult!!!! Unnecessary deaths either due to the cult’s no blood policy or suicides.

  • March 23, 2015 at 4:44 pm
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    @Jayne, if you are reading this story, take it in, okay? People do die in this religion for refusing blood.

    I think this young woman was coerced into taking blood. The friend said “with a tube down her throat and not being able to speak, she signed NO BLOOD!!!”

    She went into that hospital, not knowing she’d lose her life and there had to be elders there, forcing her to sign that paper!!! If those men hadn’t been there, she could have had blood and nobody needed to know about it but they took that decision out of her hands and forced her to sign that paper. I can almost guarantee you that is what happened.

    I can guarantee you that anybody who knows that they will lose their life and had not been shamed into it, would not chose to die like that and would have taken the blood.

    If she did make that decision without being coerced or shamed into it, then she was led to believe that if she should die, that she will just be “sleeping” until the new order. What makes this so tragic is that the Watchtower gives no proof at all that they are even directed by God in the first place. All they are is just a group of men who make life and death decisions that aren’t even based on the Bible and nobody should have that kind of power over other human beings.

    If she had survived and taken blood, she would have been shunned by the congregation. What kind of choice is that?????

  • March 23, 2015 at 5:01 pm
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    The countless funerals i have been to because of people refusing a blood transfusion or anything containing traces of blood brings back alot of memories and pain. The one that hit the closest was a very good friend of mine who had just turned 21, he needed a bone marrow transplant but decided not to get one since it would be the same as a blood transfusion. i never cried so much, I loved my dear friend and it made me really question the teaching of refusing blood. I don’t care what the hell the Watchtower says if my mom dad or any loved one wether they are jw’s if it’s up to me they are gonna get a blood transfusion even if they get angry at me because I care enough about them to save their lives no matter what.

    • March 24, 2015 at 11:34 am
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      Good for you, I told my mom the same thing. I had an accident as a teenager and had a no-blood card. Fortunately, I didn’t need a transfusion, but the realization that my mom as my guardian would have let me die for this baseless doctrine really made me question the organization. I told her she might let me die, but I won’t let her die for it and I learned that kind of compassion from “The World”, NOT the organization… she didn’t say anything.

  • March 23, 2015 at 5:04 pm
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    This whole thing is so tragic at so many levels, I wouldn’t know where to start.

    But, @Andy Farrell summed it well – “This is a form of human sacrifice.”

    Sad. I’m sad for their family. I’m sad for the rest of those of us who have gone through something similar. I’m sad that years ago I had the twisted view that dying for the Blood Issue was somehow praiseworthy. I’m sad that it took me years to figure that out.

  • March 23, 2015 at 5:07 pm
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    Jehovah got another blood sacrifice.

    • March 23, 2015 at 8:01 pm
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      Well, since there’s no good reason to think that any Jehovah or biblical god exists or ever existed, I’d say *watchtower organisation* -turned *jw.org* got another human sacrifice. It’s important to differentiate. It’s not obscure or ambiguous who’s to blame- this was simply another religion patched together based on a few persons’ desperate, yet sticky and influential, ideas and wishful thinking/non thinking from our era, based on even earlier sets of desperately dreamed up ideas.

      This no blood saga is a terribly sad story that’s continued for several long decades now. Another demonstrably flawed doctrine from a small group of deluded fundamentalist, extremist minded men.

  • March 23, 2015 at 5:16 pm
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    I think someone used the word “madness” in relation to this latest murder by watchtower. I can`t find a better word to use. This tragedy has been going on for far too long and it will continue. The coercion and mind control exercised by very evil men has to stop. Two people that I love very much are still part of this sinister cult. How bad does it have to get until some one screams stop?

  • March 23, 2015 at 6:00 pm
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    Well said cedars. Very sad. I too hope that day when we can be looking back on religious nonsense like this comes soon, maybe even in our lifetime.

  • March 23, 2015 at 6:08 pm
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    Those JWs, exulting over this episode, make the flesh
    creep. Praising the lady’s faith and how they’ll tell the
    Little girl, when she grows up what a wonderful woman
    her mother was. it’s pitiful consolation for no mother at all.

    Had the lady chosen to exercise the right of every free person
    and taken a transfusion, she would have been treated like
    a spiritual pariah.

    A young man in my former cong, suffered from Haemophillia
    he resisted blood many times but eventually succumbed.
    fellow JWs, walked past him in the street. eventually he died
    and they wouldn’t even give him a funeral. His wife a faithful
    sister had to go to Christendom to get a few words said over
    him.

    It’s all so empty, so shallow, so conditional. Some of those who
    think differently may have a hard lesson yet to learn.

  • March 23, 2015 at 6:22 pm
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    @Ted, you hit the nail right on the head…. everything about the borg is conditional…

  • March 23, 2015 at 6:24 pm
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    This poor woman is dead and it did not have to happen. It makes me sick. I had to have surgery during the time I was fading out from the organization. I did not inform the elders that I was going into the hospital just because I didn’t want them around pressuring me to refuse a transfusion if needed. I made up my mind I wasn’t going to die for some doctrine I didn’t believe in. And the Jw’s who posted the instagram are sick. Just the lowest , crass, attention seeking people ever. They act like they know a celebrity martyr . The words are so brainless, clueless, and lacking any understanding as to what the family lost. My mother was always reminding us kids about her near death from refusing a transfusion. She would have proudly gone out for the WT, and left us all motherless. Yes, and I shake my head and wonder , how this happens in the 21 century. I know, you all know.
    Mind controlling cult.

  • March 23, 2015 at 7:05 pm
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    Lest we forget about the heartrending story Ray Franz once wrote about in his book ‘Crisis of Conscience’:

    From memory…

    An elderly brother in his nineties lay dying in his hospital bed, a faithful Jehovah’s Witness for over 70 years. A constant source of encouragement at his local Kingdom Hall and loved and respected by many in his congregation. A loyal Witness for near all of his life.

    As he lay there in the hospital bed, his life coming to an end, he had just one final wish. To see his beloved daughter once again who since she had moved to Australia had not seen her father for 20+ years.

    The doctors informed this elderly man that if he wanted to see his daughter in a few days time, if he wanted to prolong his life just a little longer he should accept a blood transfusion.

    This brother finally succumbed and accepted the blood transfusion. The local elders found out about this and tried to enter the hospital to put the elderly dying brother on trial by means of a judicial committee at his bedside. The doctors refused them entry.

    Notwithstanding this they persevered and there on the spot disfellowshipped this elderly faithful brother who had been a loyal servant of Jehovah and his organization and a day or two later he passed away alone.

    Come his funeral and not a single one of his former congregation members (many of whom had known him as a friend for decades) not one of them, not a single one of them attended his funeral.

    Yet they still try to convince me (and others) that they are a kind and loving people. I say otherwise.

    What this real life situation (and others) proves without a shadow of doubt is this fact…

    …that the Jehovah’s Witnesses aka the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society are a cruel inhumane organization devoid of showing normal human emotion and care towards their fellow brothers and sisters.

  • March 23, 2015 at 7:50 pm
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    J.W. Org is a menace and should be banned. Why on earth lawmakers haven’t stopped this needless loss of life before now, is beyond me.

    Those b——- in Brooklyn are blood-guilty. Their bad fruitage has destroyed so many lives and so many families.

    They are so deluded and power hungry, they are as bad as the legalistic Pharisees, quibbling over trifles while missing the greater truths of compassion and love. They have never learned what mercy instead of sacrifice means.

  • March 23, 2015 at 9:10 pm
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    @ anonymous

    I believe your idea that elders probably were involved in coercing her to sign the No Blood document. But you know what else? I’ll bet they also took advantage of her weakened mental state, after giving birth, as well as perhaps being under the influence of medication. Made their job a lot easier. Snakes.

    • March 24, 2015 at 3:28 am
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      And I would bet that those men convinced her that Jehovah would make sure that if she stayed faithful that he’d save her. She was probably convinced that she’d live like what the Watchtower likes to convince the followers, but they never print how many die because of refusing blood.

  • March 23, 2015 at 9:14 pm
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    @ Dblaron42

    What a great turn of phrase! JW.BORG

    • March 24, 2015 at 7:30 am
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      @Neal now that is funny! Now we need someone to serve as our JL Picard.
      It certainly does fit with the “resistance is futile, you must be assimilated”.

  • March 23, 2015 at 10:18 pm
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    Its a death cult. Remember Jonestown? 900 forced suicides, same here just one by one and many more of them.

  • March 23, 2015 at 10:49 pm
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    very sad, she sacrificed her life to the organization, and many sacrifice their child to the organization, blood is a symbol of life not death.

  • March 23, 2015 at 11:19 pm
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    the Jonestown massacre in 1977 costed 913 persons their lives. I am sure that such a number die each year due to the harsh rules of the WTBTS…whether by refusing blood or suicide following excommunication. The number WT followers who have died since 1978, would put Jonestown in a shadow. Sad that this isn’t noticed by the proper authorities. Another life lost, how sad.

  • March 24, 2015 at 2:27 am
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    Truly tragic, this story is not unique to Watchtower, nor humanity. Unfortunately mankind’s history is plagued by untold suffering due to ignorance and men who rule with absolute authority. Today education and freedom of information have begun to separate us from our past. Just as ignorance and indifference to human tragedy are our enemies, they are the friend and concealer of all cruel dictatorships including the Watchtower’s.

    This story is the tale of so much more than the death of a loving mother. It is the story that calls to the world to hear the cries and see the tears of people whose only crime is wanting a better world. They are hard working, honest people and yet they are stripped of their basic human rights by a few arrogant men who claim to be God’s mouthpiece. It is time for the cries of all the victims to be heard and for the ignorance that is used as a veil to be put away.

    Please join me in posting this story on Facebook for all of our followers to see. My wife and friends are going to reach out to their friends with the question. Should we allow another beautiful child to grow up without a mother because of a cruel dictatorship?

    This tragedy and 100s like it are not in some distant place, but right here where we live and probably a lot more common than you think. We need your help to put an end to these senseless deaths! No child should have to grow up in our land without a mother because of the cruel dictates of a few pious selfish men.

  • March 24, 2015 at 2:58 am
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    Lloyd, once again thanks for drawing our attention to this tragic situation. I think Brent is right when he calls the Watchtower Society a “death cult”.

  • March 24, 2015 at 2:59 am
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    Such sad stories are told everywhere… Many others pass silently.

    I know a woman who bled massively after delivery. She accepted blood transfusion in the middle sad conflict between her husband and his in-laws (her family members)! Later, the man divorced his wife over his own stupidity.

  • March 24, 2015 at 3:11 am
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    The slave is only “wise” when it comes to hiding that they are wolves in sheep clothing who feed on “other sheep”…

    *** yb12 pp. 28-29 Highlights of the Past Year ***
    Offensive and demeaning language was used when speaking of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and a caption during the program read “Jehovah’s Cruel and Weak-Willed Executioners.”

    That is true. They should leave their propaganda…

  • March 24, 2015 at 3:52 am
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    Here you have a young woman who had wanted to be a mother for a long time. She and her husband had set up the nursery. They knew it was going to be a little girl. They probably named her. She was so happy to be a mom finally. Her mother and father and brothers and sisters were so happy and excited for her and her husband. The husbands father and mother and all the relatives were so happy for this couple to finally be a family with a baby of their own. They were all so happy and excited for this young woman and her husband. Then the unthinkable happens and she dies during childbirth. Now you have the young woman’s mother and father who have lost their daughter who they raised and have to live every day, having this huge hole in their lives. The mother-in-law and the father-in-law have lost her and all her family have lost her and they have to be missing her so much and it must be almost unbearable for them all.

    The husband probably feels responsible for her death since he was the one that impregnated her.

    That little girl has to grow up, knowing that if it wasn’t for her being born, her mother would still be alive so that will weigh heavily on her as she’s growing up.

    The father will have to raise that little girl without his wife and he will walk into that nursery all alone, every day feeling so sad that his wife isn’t there to see that little girl smile for the first time and see her crawl for the first time and walk for the first time and hear her first words. She won’t see her start school and come home all excited because her first tooth fell out and excited to see snow for the first time and learn how to read and write and tell about all the kids she met at school on her fist day of school. He has to feel so sad that his wife will never see that little girl grow up and have a family of her own.

    She died at 28. And for what?????

    • March 24, 2015 at 3:58 am
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      For “Cognitive dissonance”! To have an idea of becoming a mother and fails to protect yourself is 100% a mental illness: Cognitive dissonance

      Read about Cognitive dissonance from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

  • March 24, 2015 at 3:56 am
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    What kind of “witness” is this to outsiders???? If nothing else, it will discourage anybody from wanting to join such a hideous cult such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and actually make people hate the religion more than anything else. It doesn’t spell reasonableness to anyone but a Jehovah’s Witness.

  • March 24, 2015 at 4:23 am
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    After reading the comments here. I would love to see someone do further research on this case. The question as to whether this woman was coerced into refusing lifesaving blood in a moment of despair is an important one. I know that it is slightly off topic but I am really curious to know how constructed this whole scene is. I’ve already commented on how callous it was to take photographs of this woman as she was apparently dying. Who took those photographs? What would prompt a person to record someone near death? The human detachment required to quickly construct this as a narrative is deeply disturbing. Why are the people who are preparing for the baby shower hiding their faces with scarves and hats and why are they smiling? Is this not very sinister? My instinct tells me that there is something slightly askew about the whole thing but I could be wrong. Where was her husband? Was her death in fact because of loss of blood or were there underlying health issues? I would be interested to know what position the medical profession took on this particular issue. Is a tragedy being reconstructed as a narrative of martyrdom for the sake of the cult? If just one person had objected strongly enough would it have saved her life? I’m aware of one case in Dublin where the courts overruled JW parents and gave blood to their child. Surely it should be illegal for one person to tell another to relinquish their life for a facile “madie-uppie” tenet. It’s tantamount to murder and that word has been used many times in the commentary. I’d really like to know all of this.

    • March 24, 2015 at 4:33 am
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      Unfortunately, wanting to know the answers to every detail of a given story doesn’t mean that those answers will become available. You do seem, however, to be adopting a somewhat overly-skeptical position, if I may say. For example, there is nothing “sinister” about Michelle and her husband wearing blindfolds in the video. It appears they were playing an innocent baby shower game of who could dress a teddy-bear blindfolded the most quickly. And although absolute, definitive confirmation from the hospital where Michelle died would be nice, the story has been confirmed by multiple people who claim to be friends with Michelle on both sides (i.e. JW and exJW), including the professed-JW who posted the story to Instagram and who claims to be the person who threw the baby shower party.

      “Surely it should be illegal for one person to tell another to relinquish their life for a facile “madie-uppie” tenet. It’s tantamount to murder and that word has been used many times in the commentary.”

      …I definitely agree with you here, and I share your frustration that authorities do not take the consequences of cult indoctrination more seriously.

      • March 29, 2015 at 11:29 am
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        They won’t Cedar’s because at the end of the day a corporation today actually has more rights as a person as a legal fiction than an actual person does. Fact. There is no getting around this. (The law regarding this came into effect in 2009).

        At best all you can hope to achieve is to highlight problems within the Watchtower Society but as I’ve told you and others before Cedar’s, if you believe you can somehow change the WT or cause them to cease altogether as a cult when legally they are a private corporation (with immense capital backing behind them) then I’m sorry to be so blunt but you are deluded my friend.

        Yes your intentions are good, yes you are doing a great job letting others know about what goes on in the WT but long before you arrived on the scene (and other recent ‘arrivals’ too to the exjw world) these issues were all being discussed and have been beaten to death online for the past 20+ years. Despite the best of intentions the WT is still going – nothing will change that. It’s just the way it is. Sooner or later you batch of new arrivals will have to face this unfortunate fact of life.

        Sometimes if you spend all your life talking about all of this non-stop (in some instances for former members for donkey’s years/decades afterwards) you just prove that the WT never really left you which is a crying shame because there is a big beautiful world out there waiting to be explored. At some point you and others need to decide where to draw the line and just move on with your lives as best you can and put all of this behind you.

        • March 29, 2015 at 11:36 am
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          • March 29, 2015 at 12:27 pm
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            @Mark Andrews. Being a realist, we all know that it may take many years for the Watchtower to fall and maybe it never will, but you need to remember 913 people died at Jonestown, Guyana in 1978 and that will go down in history as one of the worst tragedies in history and that many people could die at the hands of the Watchtower each and every day due to the blood policy alone, not counting all the suicides because of disfellowshipping.

            Being freed from a religion like that, once you realize just what a dangerous and lying cult that it is and not lifting a finger to warn other potential victims is tantamount to being a witness to murder each and every day and “not letting it bother you”. It’s like knowing there’s poison in their food and not warning them. How could a person with a conscience live with themselves if they were that lazy about others’ people’s lives?

        • March 29, 2015 at 9:19 pm
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          “……. if you believe you can somehow change the WT or cause them to cease altogether as a cult when legally they are a private corporation (with immense capital backing behind them) then I’m sorry to be so blunt but you are deluded my friend.”

          Mark, just in Australia there is a $3 billion class action lawsuit being launched against the Watchtower on behalf of up to 6,160 children. There are thousands of others in many other countries. They will end up bankrupt as more come out of the woodwork.

          “Despite the best of intentions the WT is still going – nothing will change that.”

          If all humans thought that despite good intentions nothing would ever change, we’d still be living in the Dark Ages.

          I will not stop doing what I can until every brick of the Watchtower has been completely dismantled. It is a cancer in the body of humanity that has ravaged hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people psychologically, emotionally and financially. It needs to be eradicated!

  • March 24, 2015 at 5:46 am
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    This is so sad. I didn’t even know her, and as I’m reading the article and seeing her pictures, I have tears streaming down my face, then I read the comments, and I’m seeing “Why all the sad comments?” I know they think they’ll see her again, but nobody’s even supposed to miss her?

    When I gave birth 5 years ago, I needed a blood transfusion to survive, and I had a room full of people telling me to not take blood. Two elders and my family. Most of it is a blur to me, the stress was overwhelming, I couldn’t think straight, and I had to keep asking my mom what I should do. Then the doctor was standing over me telling me with tears in her eyes that she didn’t think she could watch me hemorrhage to death on the table without doing anything. Even with my blood card. Meanwhile the elders are hovering with their watchtowers and awakes. Finally my mom said (Faithful witness) that she would take the blood transfusion. “Can you imagine what your husband will have to go through if he has to do this alone?” And I agreed to the blood transfusion, so my chances were 50/50 of surviving, and my dad was there as I was being wheeled away, even as I’m possibly going to die, he says “Well I guess you’re either going to die here or at Armageddon, I’d rather it was here.” I was pressured and made to feel so bad up until the minute I was wheeled out.
    My family got over it, but I was harassed by the elders for several months, making sure I felt really really guilty. But when I went back to the kingdom hall? Somehow everyone knew, and I didn’t have a sole to talk to ever again. I was shunned without being disfellowshipped.

    I lived, and I’m grateful to my mom and my doctor, but if it wasn’t for them, the pressure from Jehovah’s Witnesses, god help you if you’re family are witnesses. You will be under so much pressure to abstain from blood.

    If the witnesses are permitted to think for themselves and read the context of the scripture the blood doctrine stems from, they would see it really doesn’t make sense. They’re just told what it means.

    If you need surgery, the best thing to do, is to not let anyone know. I could have just told my doctor to give me blood, and nobody had to know, but I didn’t think of it. It would have been so simple.

    And what would the Org. do if they decided to change their rules on this? They would lose so much face, so it doesn’t seem like they will ever be able to go back, because if they do, the family members will obviously think of them as murderers.

    Just so tragic.

    • March 24, 2015 at 1:32 pm
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      Gosh Melka, thank you for sharing your story. I can’t believe how terrible this situation was for you. Those Elders should have been given marching orders out of that hospital! They say on one hand not to give other people medical advice as one size doesn’t fit all for people & it’s a personal matter for people to choose their own medical treatment but they think that it is okay to dictate on this issue. Hypocrites!!

      You just gave me insight into how harrowing it is to have to chose your own life over a bunch of men who can’t even say whether they are 100% sure they have it right but follow us anyway & if you don’t we will make sure your life will be hell. The fact that others shunned you makes me sick, it’s so childish to behave like that but thats what the cult does, it retards peoples reasonableness.

      Thank goodness you did “choose life”. If the witnesses so often use that scripture for things relating to extreme or dangerous sports & recreation why is it different for someone who is in an extreme medical situation fighting for their life? I don’t get it.

      • March 26, 2015 at 6:28 am
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        I don’t get it either. And having a normal pregnancy is life threatening to absolutely every woman and baby. You have no idea what can go wrong, nobody is immune to it. And of course you never think it could happen to you. And then you have your family to think about, just in case something goes wrong. Surgery too for that matter, people can die even from routine low risk surgeries. People have bled to death.
        No loving god is going to hold it against you if you choose life so that you don’t leave behind a family that needs you, and in this young ladies case, at the time they needed her the most. Everyone was counting on her. And what kind of loving friends will not even bother to ask you questions or try to understand why you made that decision. Too bad she’s not here to see her friends reactions, maybe it would have been worth it then. Hopefully all the people in her life will help her widower take care of this baby who is left without a mother. That is what they need to do now. But life goes on for them…

  • March 24, 2015 at 5:57 am
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    I remember some 35 years ago a friends wife who was just 24 yrs old that died because of being a Jehovah’s Witness and refusing blood. My friend felt so devastated and confused and began to drink heavily to cope with the loss. He began a living on the edge type life due to his bitterness that developed in him over his wife’s loss. He was ok with her getting a transfusion but because of the pressures from the BLOOD Commitee and family pressures he was forced to agree.
    In another words he was brainwashed to accept something that ordinarily his consciece wouldn’t alow him to accept.
    Simply put any and all scriptures in the bible that mention blood have to do with animal sacrifices which was common according to Israelite law.
    The abstaining of blood as mentioned in acts is in context to Animals and not human blood transfussions.
    The Govering body have clearly taking scriptures out of context in this regard and have ruined countless lives because of their policy.
    Over the years they keep changing their policy’s regarding what part of the blood you may be able to use but they still refuse whole blood transfusions.
    What’s wrong is your life hangs in the balance over what they decide and then change over the years.
    Many have died in the name of this religion and not Gods actual word.
    If you are stupid enough to die for pledging your alliagance to a society of self proclaimed men and their doctrines then it’s your own fault and you will reap the many hard aches that will come your way up to including Death!
    Your devotion needs to be to yourself and no one else when your life hangs in the balance. Period!

  • March 24, 2015 at 6:44 am
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    Hi Laura. Re: your: “I am really curious to know how constructed this whole scene is.” Are you suggesting this is a conspiracy by ex-JWs to make JWs look bad? I think that’s quite far-fetched, no?

    Some questions cannot be answered, e.g. would she have accepted a transfusion if one person objected? Now she’s seen as a kind of hero for the organization, that could also explain the taking of pictures of her. If she would have accepted a transfusion she would have been seen as a “traitor”, “egotistical” etc. There’s so much at play here… So certainly there is “something slightly askew” as you said ;-) (Just kidding, teasing you here, taking your words out of context).

    • March 24, 2015 at 8:02 am
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      I’m not suggesting that it is a conspiracy by ex-JWs at all and I’m sorry if my comments were taken as that. I’m suggesting that the story we have been told by the JW community is constructed for the purpose of making this woman a martyr for the cause and I was wondering if this is actually the case. The story was, seemingly, taken at face value by all who commented and few human situations often have complexities which lie beneath the surface. But Lloyd has answered my questions. It’s just all very upsetting and sick.

      • March 24, 2015 at 8:09 am
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        Understood Laura. I agree that it’s an upsetting and sick story. What’s even worse is that this is just one of many tragedies that Watchtower’s blood policy is causing. How many of these deaths DON’T get praised by JWs on Instagram?

  • March 24, 2015 at 8:10 am
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    The real tragedy is the fact that the seven men in Brooklyn probably view the child who will now grow up without her mother, simply as collateral damage or probably don’t even care about her or even think about her.
    Their rules must be enforced, the rank and file must follow orders, the religion “corporation” must be first and foremost in the witnesses lives and if they do not follow the rules – consequences and more consequences.

    I do believe that God cares and that He is not happy with this situation and would not want a child to grow up without the love of her mother.

  • March 24, 2015 at 8:40 am
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    I do not know how much pressure she and her family were under, but I do recall years ago being a zealous/true-believer JW. It would have taken little or no pressure at all to refuse blood. I was solidly indoctrinated to give my life for the Organization even unto death.

    What could be more powerful than the feeling that one is playing a part in the “challenge for universal sovereignty between Jehovah and Satan”? What could be more meaningful than the belief that one is part of the most important bible saga? What could be more validating than feeling that one is worthy of being tested unto death like the prophets and apostles of old? What could be more seductive than feeling one is living and dying for one’s convictions? I remember that feeling and now it fills me with shame.

    How incredibly powerful the indoctrination must be to override the natural sense of self-preservation in order to show obedience to the Organization even to death.

    My heart goes to this family. My heart goes out to all the ones in the past that died for this doctrine. My heart goes out to those who will die still to come.

  • March 24, 2015 at 10:14 am
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    Death be praised?! What?! Weren’t Jim Jones’ followers “faithful” when they drank the cyanide laced Kool-Aid?

    The scripture that they point to so vehemently says not to “eat” blood. I agree that truly eating blood is unhealthy (on top of that YUCK!), but you are not eating when you get a transfusion. The blood cells are not infused for nourishing, but for tissue replacement in lieu of your own body replacing the lost blood over time. I argued this relentlessly with the elder conducting the “bible study” that eventually led me AWAY from the JW’s. Of course, you know the rebuttle: “But that’s still eating when you take it intervienously.” Another redefinition by the FDS (aka GB)!

    I got a redefinition for the Governing Body, “Faithful and Discrete Death Angles” or “Governing Murderers”!!!!

  • March 24, 2015 at 10:22 am
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    One other thing to keep in mind: If the GB were to lift the blood ban and allow transfusions due to “New Light”, then there would be a flood of wrongful death lawsuits on their blood-stained hands.

    • March 24, 2015 at 1:39 pm
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      So true Searcher, if they changed the blood doctrine like the child abuse doctrine it would be goodbye Jehovah for these men.

    • March 24, 2015 at 2:42 pm
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      I’m surprised this hasn’t happened with the change in stance with organ transplants. I presume there would have been deaths from not accepting donated organs when it wasn’t allowed.

    • March 25, 2015 at 2:31 am
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      I haven’t read of any wrongful death lawsuits from relatives of individuals complying with the complete ban on blood that was in place before the Watchtower changed its mind and allowed blood fractions. A lot of those who died could have lived on fractions.

  • March 24, 2015 at 10:45 am
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    “Chilling” is the word that comes to my mind, and reading this has indeed sent a literal chill down my spine. Especially the JW comments; they’re similar to hearing someone at Jonestown saying: “What a good, loyal mother; she drank all the Kool-aid down and set an example for her daughter!”

    If only every Witness could read the counter-arguments to their blood-stance such as:
    http://www.jehovahswitnessblog.com/blood-transfusions/why-jehovahs-witnesses-dont-accept-blood/
    I wonder if the occurrences of such tragedies could be lessened.

  • March 24, 2015 at 11:39 am
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    The blood doctrine seems to be a barb in the side of the org
    that they’d like to get rid of. ( As they did with the ban on
    transplants). Hence the diluting of it by allowing blood
    fractions.

    In past WT articles, they make great play on the word “Abstain”.
    Arguing that if a doctor told you to abstain from alcohol, then you
    would avoid even cough syrup, or alcohol mouth washes.

    After straining out the gnat they then go on to swallow the camel
    by allowing blood fractions. By no standard can this be described
    as abstaining. If it were not for the many tragic consequences
    it would be comical, clownish.

    The one man responsible for the doctrine, F,W, Franz, was known
    as the Oracle, or the Prophet. And we all know what happened
    to his prophecy 100% failure , resulting in WTS, greatest
    embarrassment.

    The advice in Ps,146 /3 is applicable to the likes of Franz and his
    living cronies. “Do not look to nobles, or to mere human beings,
    who cannot save” ISV

  • March 24, 2015 at 12:15 pm
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    This makes me sick to the stomach. I could never reconcile Jehovah wishing my newborn baby to be without a mother and a devastated father a widower. 5 years ago when pregnant, I met with the hospital consultant and the blood transfusion service who had the cell salvage machine and they both told me in no uncertain terms that there is no alternative to blood, totally against jw propaganda. I signed the jw consent forms but secretly also wrote a letter of wishes to say I would have a transfusion as a last resort. Luckily c section went without a hitch… We made a shock exit last year and haven’t looked back!

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