News

Crazy cult brands apostates ‘mentally diseased'; says they should be shunned

POLICE in Hampshire have been asked to investigate the Jehovah’s Witnesses, following complaints that the cult’s grisly little rag, The Watchtower, could be in breach of Britain’s religious hatred laws for describing those who ditch the organisation as “mentally diseased”.

A copy of the Watchtower from the 1960s ... oh, and the answer's YES!

According to this report, an article published in July’s edition of The Watchtower warns followers to stay clear of “false teachers” who are branded as “mentally diseased” apostates who should be avoided at all costs. The article said:

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.

A growing number of former and current Witnesses have begun to argue that the church’s use of the word “mentally diseased” to describe defectors might be in breach of Britain’s religious hatred laws. A group of former Witnesses in Portsmouth have now made an official complaint to Hampshire Police about the article and police are currently investigating.

Angus Robertson, a former Witness “elder” from Hampshire, who was present at the meeting with police officers, said:

The way scripture is being used to bully people must be challenged. If a religion was preaching that blacks or gays were mentally diseased there would understandable outrage.

Critics are also considering whether to complain to the Charity Commission. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, which prints the cult’s propaganda in the UK, is a registered charity.

Shunning apostates is the worst the Witlesses can do these days, but if they had their way they would ‘exterminate’ those who escape their clutches.

Commenting on the Independent‘s report, “Mad Sweeney” points out that the November 15, 1952, edition of The Watchtower lamented the fact that laws in the West stood in the way of JWs doing what they would most like to do – stone apostates. The magazine said:

 We are not living today among theocratic nations where such members of our fleshly family relationship could be exterminated for apostasy from God and his theocratic organization, as was possible and was ordered in the nation of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai and in the land of Palestine. ‘Thou shalt surely kill him; thy hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him to death with stones, because he hath sought to draw thee away from Jehovah thy God, . . . And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is in the midst of thee’. -Deut. 13:6-11, AS.

Being limited by the laws of the worldly nation in which we live and also by the laws of God through Jesus Christ, we can take action against apostates only to a certain extent, that is, consistent with both sets of laws. The law of the land and God’s law through Christ forbid us to kill apostates, even though they be members of our own flesh-and-blood family relationship. However, God’s law requires us to recognize their being disfellowshiped from his congregation, and this despite the fact that the law of the land in which we live requires us under some natural obligation to live with and have dealings with such apostates under the same roof.

 Hat tip: Angela K and David 76

24 Responses to “Crazy cult brands apostates ‘mentally diseased'; says they should be shunned”

  1. Serai says:

    Yes fully agree, they need to be called to task for this, along with their covering up of paedophiles and witholding evidence from the police. I do hope this action is successful.

    One of the early members of the JW governing body said it best. “Religion is a snare and a racket.” J.F. Rutherford.

  2. Daz says:

    All power to them for trying to get something done about it, but…

    If a religion was preaching that blacks or gays were mentally diseased there would understandable outrage.

    ‘If?’ I see such statements several times a day!

  3. AngieRS says:

    Just goes on and on, doesn’t it?

  4. David Anderson says:

    “And thou shalt stone him to death with stones….”

    Always makes me chuckle that. As if they would try stoning someone to death with tennis balls. Wait, maybe it’s just to be clear it doesn’t mean you should get him stoned on wine.

  5. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    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, RELIGIOTS are ‘mentally diseased’, and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings.

    I’ve replaced one word, does that now mean that I should be investigated for religious hatred? I have seen on this site and many others, and have posted myself, that those who follow religion (ANY religion) are “mantally diseased”. Is that religious hatred? Should all of us who have expressed similar sentiments be investigated?

    I hate the religious hatred laws, they are bringing back a form of blasphemy law and I dislike seeing them used in this way.

  6. David Lawson says:

    Actually Jesus does say to to kill apostates, or at least something that can be interpretted as such. “Any man who doesn’t want me to rein over him, bring him before me and slay him before me”

  7. Stuart W says:

    Not so long ago the Daily Mail erupted over the use of the word ‘retarded’ in a pamphlet about gay adoption, flippantly used by one man to describe those with views that he considered bigoted. Can we expect a similar reaction over this?

  8. barriejohn says:

    Also, as with many other religious groups, a money-making organization is a registered charity! Something to which I would like a definitive answer is: do the JWs in Great Britain lock their doors during services? If so, and they are registered as places of worship, do they claim exemption from VAT and council tax? I know that certain of the Exclusive Brethren lock their doors to prevent non-members from partaking of “The Lord’s Table” as well!

  9. MrGronk says:

    “Disfellowshiped”? Surely that’s a bad enough crime against the English language.
    In all seriousness, though, we really need to consider the ramifications of the Jovos being nailed under these ridiculous religious hatred laws. If they can’t call people they dislike “mentally diseased”, then one day that same sort of restriction will fall upon our own heads too. And let’s be honest, no phrase better describes the religious mindset. So be careful what you wish for.

  10. tony e says:

    Nice to see someone banging on their door for a change.

  11. AngieRS says:

    Yeah, I do have a problem with this whitewashing of all christians as mentally diseased. Do those who lose their belief and become non-believers suddenly get well of sudden, a miracle perhaps, or do they pootle along to a psychiatrist and get cured or are they not mentally diseased at all. Yeah, well, there we go. Knock it on the head,eh? They aren’t all loony tunes any more than we are.

  12. Daz says:

    Thinking on it, I agree with GMR et al about the free-speech issue. At the same time, this language is being targeted at a very specific group of people (ex-JWs), so I reckon a civil case for slander/libel would be fair enough.

    I’m not completely against the hate-speech laws, but I think they should be extras added on to incitement to violence charges and such, not just any old thing that someone somewhere finds offensive.

  13. jay says:

    I’ve got to agree with Graham Martin-Royle, while this speech is offensive, there is no way it should be *illegal*.

    Funny thing about censorship, it has two edges and manages to cut the censors eventually.

  14. Robster says:

    It’s good that the JW’s complete disregard for moral rights is revealed for its worth in their ratty little publication. The good news is that hardly anyone outside their sick cult will be exposed to the nonsense. But the book should be thrown at them and their hatred and petty nastiness can be publised for all to see. Don’t they have watchtowers in jails?

  15. Bubblecar says:

    They are a nasty little organisation, but I can’t help feeling sorry for many of their members, who really are just too dumb and placid to question them. And in some cases, too mentally diseased. I get a couple of sad old ladies knocking on my door now and then but can usually recognise the knock and ignore them.

  16. Angela_K says:

    Hopefully the JW’s numbers are dwindling as their property is up for sale about 12 miles from me: http://www.gth.net/commercial/property-search-results.aspx?display=details&pg=1&pid=TAL110226

  17. The Woggler says:

    The Watchtower warns followers to stay clear of “false teachers” who are branded as “mentally diseased” apostates who should be avoided at all costs.

    “Hello, Kettle. Pot here. You’re black.”

  18. Matt says:

    I find even the liberal Jehovah’s Witnesses to be a scary bunch of thinkers. Had one knock on the door the other day, I’d have turned her away with some cutting remark about religious freedom but she’s my next door neighbor…residential fail.

    On the one hand I agree with Graham Martin-Royle, it seems if you define religious hatred by this article then there’s a tonne of “religious hatred” going on on this site alone.

    On the other however, I can’t help but view the “religious hatred” posted on here in the context of the “religiots” these people supposedly “hate”. By and large the articles on here reflect religious individuals whose bigoted beliefs are largely devoid of ANY historical support whatsoever, which means that the person in question has largely made up their own beliefs. This IS symptomatic of someone who is delusional by a psychological standard and therefore those who mock these people are at worst giving a semi-rational opinion of the persons beliefs.

    What the JW magazine is doing is again, just making stuff up, so it’s a critical opinion with nothing to back it up, making it bigoted hatred.

  19. elainek123 says:

    I had a leaflet through the door about a convention to be held at the Brighton Centre with a reply attachment I returned this a tick was required requesting a book’What does the Bibe really teach’ I put ‘hatred’ Indicate which language. I put Double Dutch. My name is HarryPotter,Outerspace, Watchtower, Moon City, Madford, -postcode
    NOG ODiou. Maybe seems a bit silly but it made me feel better.

  20. JohnMWhite says:

    I also agree with Graham Martin-Royale regarding the use of religious hatred laws. We would all think it outrageous (and a waste of time and resources) for someone to be hauled in by the cops for a comment on a blog or a self-published pamphlet declaring the religious were crazy. It could be argued calling them mentally diseased or disordered is at least reasonable given their predilection for fantasy has a demonstrably negative effect on their lives and relationships (the baggage of guilt, judgmental responses to unimportant differences, etc.) but try getting that to ever wash with the police or the courts. Complain about the language and BS of the JWs by all means, but we don’t need to be throwing stones around our nice little greenhouse, even if the other lot really want to throw stones at us.

  21. Matt says:

    JohnWhite, I’m actually not primarily concerned with what the law or police says in this discussion, since the law isn’t always morally good. If it were, websites like this most probably wouldn’t even exist, since there would be nothing to worry about.

    So that leaves the argument of rational assessment unanswered. I certainly don’t think it’d hurt to approach believers with a little more care and reasoned argument (rather than sarcasm and insults), it would certainly match up better to the reasonable, rational attitude most atheists purport to have (myself included). If they are as delusional or mentally ill as many people on here claim, do they not deserve all the help and respect someone with a different mental illness might receive? Alternatively, suppose someone is mentally ill-equipped to grasp a mathematical theorem, no matter how much tutelage they might receive, should they be ridiculed? The answer is clearly no.

    I would propose no one insults no one, and we all act like grownups.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Angela_K, the JWs are indeed engaged in a major property sell-off. What concerns me is they are moving to a self-contained campus out in the sticks (how stereotypically culty of them!). At least in the historic location, it was easy to escape.

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/16/big-deal-jehovahs-witnesses-list-prime-properties/

  23. unies gulsher says:

    being a former witness myself 1994 -2008 yes it sickens me to read such an article above in there so called blasphemous watchtower magazine as mentioned above to brazen x wittnesses as mentally diseased .this is typical of a cult that teach there dumbflock then brainwash them into hate former members and to hate those who where once associatted ,
    if i had it my way i would prosecute each one of there governing body members for acts of terrorism against humanity , since god condems hatred and asks us to pray for our enemies how do they justify there interpretation of the bible and get away with it .doesnt it show that this religion is of the devils making .and soon there invisible god will take them along the road to everlasting destruction .its a matter of time we need to pray that christ set these people free from spiritual bondage and pray for our loved ones trapped there ..
    finally i really wish and pray the police and authorities recognise this dangerous mind controling cult and bring them to the fore and prosecute those who preach hatred to there dumbflock about former jw members…

  24. Jay says:

    There is a good rebuttal for this “mentally diseased” info here: http://goo.gl/ZGUSN

    Seems some other Bibles make a similar claim.

    Contemporary English Version
    “…they don’t really know a thing. Their minds are sick, and they like to argue over words.”

    NASB Interlinear Greek-English New Testament by Alfred Marshall
    “being diseased”

    “…but wasteth his brains about questions and strife of words.” — Tyndale’s New Testament (a modern-spelling edition of the 1534 translation; original spelling “wasteth his braynes”).