Brett and Naghmeh King’s decision to allow blood transfusions – AJWRB Press Statement

AJWRB Logo

The Associated Jehovah’s Witnesses for Reform on Blood (AJWRB) welcome and fully support Brett and Naghmeh King’s decision to allow blood transfusions for their son Ashya, should they be needed.

We acknowledge that these are dissident views not supported by the Watchtower Society, or Jehovah’s Witnesses as an organization. Taking such a position could lead to a judicial committee investigation on the charge of “apostasy” and the potential result of their being disfellowshipped and facing the subsequent extreme shunning Jehovah’s Witnesses are well known for practicing. Nonetheless, these parents clearly are prepared to put the needs of their child first despite the theological ramifications.

May 26 1994 AWAKE

May 26 1994 AWAKE

Other Jehovah’s Witness children have not been as fortunate. The cover of the May 22, 1994 Awake! Magazine features photos of 26 children who died as a result of refusing blood with the heading, “Youths Who Put God First.” Inside the Watchtower publication proclaims: “In former times thousands of youths died for putting God first. They are still doing it, only today the drama is played out in hospitals and courtrooms, with blood transfusions the issue.”

It is estimated that adherence to the blood doctrine has cost thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses their lives in medical situations where non-blood alternatives are either insufficient or simply do not exist.

Thankfully, as this case illustrates, the tide has turned among those called upon to support the policy with the lives of their children.

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SNAP Conference 25th Anniversary

SNAP-logoIn August 2014 I attended the 25th Anniversary of the Survivor’s Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP http://www.snapnetwork.org/). I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have attended many conferences about sexual abuse but they were all by professional counselors and researchers for counselors. SNAP is run by survivors for survivors.

At the conference I found myself sitting in a huge room filled with people who had been abused as I had been as a child or had supporters. Everyone had their story.

Kerry, Lee, Barbara at SNAP conference

Kerry, Lee, Barbara at SNAP conference

A real surprise for me, (and they had both kept this a secret) was meeting Barb Anderson and Kerry Louderback Wood. Even though we were the only ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses there, everyone knew who we were.

While SNAP was originated by survivors of sexual abuse by priests, they have broadened that to include members of other religions that - rather than help survivors – actually protect the abusers.

The SNAP Mission Statement says:

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The Watchtower: No Monopoly on Mind Manipulation

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PART ONE

During the Undue Influence Press Conference in London on August 22, I had the pleasure of introducing six formidable experts who spoke about the growing danger of “undue influence.”

One of the experts who attended that conference, Masoud Banisadr, calls it “mind manipulation.”

In fact, Masoud’s presentation was so impressive that it attracted the attention of a free-lance writer who later interviewed Masoud and wrote an article titled, A Former MEK Member Speaks About the ‘Cult’ of Extremism.

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/masoud-banisadr-mek-cult-184

While I recommend that you read the attached link, this is how the story begins:

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London Workshop – Un-doing Undue Influence – Steve Hassan

Steve Hassan

While writing this article I was faced with a major challenge: How would I pack all of the important information that was covered in a two-day workshop that enabled change and healing into just a few paragraphs on a web page? After all, a single article can only report everything discussed during the sessions in a very superficial way. The good news is that the workshop was filmed, allowing for a more comprehensive report to follow. For now, I will try to provide a few of the highlights from the “Un-doing Undue Influence” workshop and promise more to follow at a later date.

The workshop took place not far from the center of London in the “quaint” and comfortable surroundings of an English hotel August 23 and 24, 2014. The subtitle of the workshop was “Healing Yourself and Others from Undue Influence.” Steve Hassan, one of the foremost authorities on cults and mind control, led the discussions. Hassan is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the United States and is the author of two of the most respected books on those subjects.

During the workshop Steve Hassan, along with input from other cult survivors, academics and therapists, took the audience on a journey. Those in attendance not only discovered why destructive behaviour and patterns exist but also how to recover – and to be aware of triggers that indicate that more recovery work will be required.

Here is an outline of the program:

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Cult Experts Hold Press Conference at London College

Experts mingled with cult survivors and members of the press before launching into nearly two hours of presentations and questions at a press conference at London College in Notting Hill on August 22, 2014. These leading thinkers on extremist groups and cults spoke freely about the challenges faced by governments when tackling the risks posed by such groups.

London Press Meeting
Masoud Banisadar, a former MEK member (an Iranian terrorist organisation), said, “Terrorism is like any other virus. It attacks through our weaknesses.” He pointed out that as long as there are “open gates” that allow the virus to spread, cults and extremist groups will have a free hand to continue. What is needed is vaccination and prevention – and an understanding of what is “undue influence” or (mind manipulation) that enables such groups to thrive.

Lloyd Evans and Masoud Banisadar

Lloyd Evans and Masoud Banisadar

All of the participants echoed this theme in their presentations.

Lloyd Evans, editor of JWsurvey.org, focused on the “undue influence” of Jehovah’s Witnesses over their members. While acknowledging the right of religions to promote their unique set of beliefs, he argued that when some of those beliefs violate human rights there must be mechanisms in place for proper redress.

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