Salutary, Pathogenic and Pathoplastic Aspects of the Jehovah’s Witness Culture:
Say What?

By Richard E. Kelly

Igor Pietkiewicz, Phd

Igor Pietkiewicz, PhD

I am pleased to share a research paper that was published this month in the Journal of Family Studies about the culture of Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) living in Poland. It is the work of Igor J. Pietkiewicz, from the Psychology Faculty at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Katowice, Poland.

Don’t let words like salutary, pathogenic and pathoplastic scare you. You can replace salutary with “beneficial”, pathogenic with “harmful”, and pathoplastic with “how culture allows individuals to express their symptoms and problems in a socially meaningful way.” Restated, the object of the study is to report:

Beneficial, Harmful and Modeling Aspects of the Jehovah’s Witness Culture

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Destructive and Terrorist Cults: A New Kind of Slavery

A Book Report by Richard E. Kelly


Masoud Banisadr

I have read few books that have enlightened me more than Masoud Banisadr’s Destructive and Terrorist Cults: A New Kind of Slavery. The book is not only a literary gem that is well-written, timely and expertly researched, it also delivers a powerful message from an insightful, highly educated man who “has been there, done that.”

Near the beginning of the book (pg. 5), Banisadr describes the altered mindset of a deluded cult member when he confessed:

“Like all members of destructive cults, I believed that our group, MeK, was superior to ordinary people, not only because of our sacrifices and activities but in understanding the world. We thought we knew the answers to all the philosophical and political questions, from the beginning of creation to the end of time. How naïve I was and how little I possessed of common knowledge that ordinary people take for granted!”

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


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 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



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.

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

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