Jehovah’s Witnesses hit with a massive child abuse lawsuit

Jehovah’s Witnesses hit with a massive child abuse lawsuit

A $66 million class-action lawsuit has been launched against the the Jehovah’s Witnesses leadership, claiming that its policies protect members who sexually abuse children.

The lawsuit, according to this report, was filed in Ontario on behalf of alleged victims of sexual abuse across Canada, where more than 100,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses reside.

Said Bryan McPhadden, the lead attorney on the case:

It appears the organisation has not established policies to prevent sexual abuse from happening and has faulty policies when sexual abuse is reported to it, at the hands of elders or otherwise.

McPhadden said that since filing the suit he’s fielded calls from dozens of alleged victims interested in joining the lawsuit.

Another class-action suit against Jehovah’s Witnesses was filed last month on behalf of victims in Quebec.

An ongoing investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has found that the religion’s parent corporation, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, instructs local leaders to hide child abuse from law enforcement as a matter of policy.

For more than 20 years, the Watchtower has collected the names of alleged child abusers in its congregations across the US. The organization has provided some of its child abuse files to courts in civil lawsuits, but they are under a protective order and can’t be viewed by law enforcement or the public.

McPhadden said he plans to seek similar files pertaining to Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations in Canada.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have faced an increasing barrage of child abuse lawsuits in recent years across North America, Europe and Australia.

At least 20 child abuse lawsuits are pending against the Watchtower in America.

The commission that regulates charities in the UK is currently investigating the Watchtower’s child abuse policies there. Investigators have spent three years reviewing Watchtower records and interviewing alleged victims to determine whether the Jehovah’s Witnesses should be stripped of their charitable status for failing to protect children from abuse.

In 2015, an Australian government commission investigated Watchtower headquarters in that country and found evidence of 1,006 alleged child abusers in Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations since 1950.

None had been reported to police.

The commission has since referred hundreds of those cases to law enforcement.

52 responses to “Jehovah’s Witnesses hit with a massive child abuse lawsuit”

  1. Broga says:

    Something to discuss when they come knocking on the door to ask if we want to know Jesus.

  2. Fedorino says:

    I have long been of the opinion that religions, all of them, have been established to exert power over the common man for the sole purpose of extorting money. But I am forced to concluded that unfettered access to children is a welcome bi product long enjoyed by the clerics.

  3. Maggie says:

    The world needs a new age of enlightenment, one in which religions stop being protected from the crimes their followers commit.

  4. L.Long says:

    I blame the parents as much as I blame the abuser. The Parents PUT the kids into this position by allowing them to be taught pure BS and never teaching the kids about sex & self-defense!

  5. Stephen Mynett says:

    All children of JWs are at risk because they refuse to allow them necessary medical treatment, blood or blood product transfusions. This simple fact that the children are at risk from the second they are born is justification enough to have them taken for adoption by parents who will look after them.

  6. Broga says:

    JWs have been treated with far too much tolerance for too long. So their abuse, including the denial of medical help even to children, has continued unfettered. They need a reality check from the government and the police for what are criminal acts.

  7. Piko says:

    End to all religions. They are the twisted, divisive middle man you don`t need to be at one with the Great Spirit. You always are, you always have been and you always will be within the All.

  8. Sally-Anne Westendorf says:

    Pressed for time at present, but feeling obliged to respond as an actual victim of child abuse in Australia as the child of one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, by a Witness… many times…

    My case was NOT ignored, and my father WAS prosecuted, and later, Disfellowshipped from the Christian Congregation, as Jehovah knows all.

    The only hesitation, rightly and justifiably so, to reporting these things publicly, is, as per above Comments, the smear on Jehovah’s Name and His People.

    Anyone who studies the Bible properly can see that Jehovah God is REPULSED by such behaviour!!! And over the years I can remember reading MANY of our “Awake” articles on the subject of Childhood Sexual Abuse… how to protect children from it, and how to view it as a victim.

    Reading these Comments hurts me more than the abuse.

    As for the perpetrators, particularly those recognized as JWs at the time, they have to live with it on their conscience, knowing how disappointed Jehovah is.

  9. Atodds says:

    Taking children of Witnesses away on the basis of religion has been tried and it backfired. The flag salute issue was used as an excuse in the 1930’s. It makes it even harder for children to leave as teens and adults. As children were taken from parents in my area for this, teachers remembered the “good old days ” in class. When you grow up, and all the non family “worldly ” adults you deal with openly fantasize about splitting up you and your siblings from Mom and sending you to separate foster homes to either be “taught to work “[for me] or “given the opportunity for a normal life because she’s so pretty “[ my sister] it makes it hard to leave even when you know it’s wrong scriptually .

  10. Stephen Mynett says:

    If reading comments condemning abuse hurts you more than the abuse you suffered you really are one fucked up individual Sally-Anne. As someone who has experienced abuse you should be fighting against it not standing up for a religion that regularly practices it or do you think it acceptable to deny children medical treatment.

    Don’t come back with drivel about reading the bible, that is just a cop out, try some genuine logical arguments then you may get a better response from us.

  11. Sally-Anne Westendorf says:

    pained by seeing Jehovah’s Name dragged through the mud above all else…. There are evil elements in ALL society, as humans are imperfect and often selfish. But Jehovah refers to himself as “perfect in justice and wisdom and power” so people that use God-given free-will to choose to do evil things WILL be punished appropriately, as was my father, and my step-father… etc

  12. Stephen Mynett says:

    Grow up Sally-Anne forget about imaginary gods and care about real things. Every day children are suffering, sometimes dyeing as they are being refused the medical help they need because of their parent’s idiotic beliefs. Those children are far more important than your myths.

  13. Broga says:

    Sally-Anne: Wake up. Jehovah does not exist. The imagined Jehovah is there so that cynical, religious rapists can abuse children while threatening them into silence.

    You don’t seriously believe that a JH, while raping a child, believes in a Jehovah who is witnessing the abuse? If he did believe he couldn’t possibly behave like that. Or have you a different explanation?

  14. Stephen Mynett says:

    I think we may be wasting our time with this one Broga, she seems so far gone. I remember from a book, cannot remember which, that many fundamentalists when questioned would say blasphemy was the worst crime possible, even worse than child abuse and rape.

    We are seeing this with Sally-Anne, she refuses to accept children suffer and die because they are denied medicines which would save them but harps on about saying nasty things about her dreamt up sky fairy.

  15. Sally-Anne Westendorf says:

    Reluctant to respond, because you will only twist everything I say…

    More people have lived through ‘bloodless’ surgery than have died, up to and including open-heart surgery on a baby! Due to our detailed scientific research, many NON Witnesses have opted for ‘bloodless’ surgery, even to the point of attending a hospital that ONLY performs ‘bloodless’ surgery. There are MANY ways of increasing blood volume without using someone else’s blood to do it.

  16. Barry Duke says:

    @ Sally-Anne: “The Watchtower’s tragic blood policy can be traced back to its beginnings in 1945. By 1961 Watchtower leaders began to take their policy so seriously that they made failure to observe it an offense worthy of everlasting death. Not content to leave the matter is God’s hands, they began to judge, and officially disfellowship, those refusing to accept their interpretation …

    “Between 1960 and 2016 there have been approximately 33,246 deaths caused by Watchtower’s policy … It is not an exaggeration to think of this as a tragedy approaching genocide.”

  17. andym says:

    I actually hope “she” is a troll. Sad as that would be, it’s frightening that someone could be abused and continue to swallow, so readily, the organisation’s bullshit.

    As it is, I think “she” is a man, sat on a commode in his parents’ back bedroom, now too fat to get through the door.

  18. Stephen Mynett says:

    Sally-Anne, your words are not being twisted you are just being totally dishonest and ignoring facts and questions.

    There is little science in the JW research and there are times when only whole blood will save someone. If you deny this you are a liar. I suggest you broaden your horizons and read some real scientific and medical books, not just the stuff the JWs have used to brainwash you. Barry Duke’s link is a good one but I expect you will make spurious claims about it.

    Incidentally, I am a haemophiliac and only alive because of the generosity of thousands of people I will never know who gave their blood to help others. If I had been born in a society such as yours I would not have reached 10 years of age. Would you really sit and watch a child die rather than do something to save her/him, please try to give an honest answer.

  19. Stephen Mynett says:

    Andym, your post landed when I was writing mine. While Sally-Anne could be a troll she could also be real, I have had the misfortune to meet JWs much like her, they refuse to answer questions and are generally quite arrogant, believing they are better than us because of their hair-brained interpretation of a book of myths.

  20. Broga says:

    Sally-Anne: “Reluctant to respond, because you will only twist everything I say…”

    Would you identify anything you have said that has been “twisted.” Then we at least have the opportunity of knowing where we have failed to respond fairly. I don’t think you will do this. Instead you use a typical deceitful, religious ploy and besmirch anyone who disagrees with an unfounded generalisation.

    You have a chance to defend your position. Can you provide evidence to support what you said. In the meantime I, and I expect most others here, will do all they can to expose the appalling behaviour of Jehovah’s Witnesses. No reply from you will lead me, and others, to conclude that you cannot defend yourself.

  21. barriejohn says:

    Stephen Mynett: According to the Gospels, “Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” is the unpardonable sin…cue two thousand years of argument!

  22. Sally-Anne Westendorf says:

    Sharing a link to one of the aforementioned articles from one of our “Awake” magazines…

  23. Stephen Mynett says:

    Yes Barriejohn, that was always one of the clinchers for me when I was young. I always thought the bible stories were just stories, at Sunday school on the few occasions I had to go we were given little comic type booklets and that is always how I thought of the bible as comic stories, the only difference was that Jonah, Jericho etc were not as much fun as Biffo the Bear and Billy Whizz.

    The first time I heard someone say how there was nothing worse than blasphemy was during the awful crisis in Biafara. When I said I thought that Biafara was far worse some old bag at the Sunday school nearly had a heart attack and went bright red while screeching at me about going to hell and not taking the lord’s name . . . etc. Her reaction was enough, even to a seven or eight-year-old to assure me religious people were not right.

  24. Stephen Mynett says:

    Still no real answers from you Sally-Anne, forget the links from JW publications and try to answer some of the questions you have been asked.

  25. Sally-Anne Westendorf says:

    would encourage those who doubt the honesty of my Comments to do a web search on Sally-Anne Westendorf, as there is only one… and you will eventually stumble across other Posts and Comments on the subject, far more persornal and specific… and hey, maybe I’ll do the same. Even my Facebook page is completely transparent… I have NOTHING to hide… do you?

  26. Sally-Anne Westendorf says:

    I will not be making further response for the present, as I have to leave for work in 4hrs or so (0440 here in Oz), and hubby will have coniptions if I don’t join him in bed soon. Interesting to note that the boldest of you is hiding behind a pseudonym… surprise surprise.

  27. Lulu says:

    @ Sally anne. I am pleased that you got a what I would call some justice in your case. For many there has been none. I am the survivor of sexual, emotional and physical abuse at the hands of my step father who was an elder and laterally claimed to be one of the anointed. Over the course of 14 yrs when the abuse took place he was privately reproved and publically reproved. We were moved congregation and told not to speak about it as were 40 others at a special meeting who had found out about the abuse due to gossip. My problem with this is….my case was never reported to the police. Men with NO professional qualifications decided my fate. Sexual abuse kills the spirit of a person, and I was murdered. Sexual abuse breaks the law. Its a crime!! My abuse took place over 40 yrs ago. I went on to become a regular pioneer who served where the need was great until I realised the policy of hiding abuse was shameful! I was left broken. I left the org 27 years ago.

    In 2015 I discovered the Austalian Royal Commission had investigated JWs. ( Its shown on youtube) It truly opened my eyes to the thousands upon thousands of cases not just in Australia but throughout the world of covered up /hidden child abuse cases amongest JWs. Their 2 rule policy and the excuse of non reporting to the authorities for fear of-” bringing reproach on Jahs name” makes me sick to my stomach. How can you conclude that the Jah you know is possiblyp behind an organisation that proclaims truth yet has allowed a despicable policy to be in place. This policy has destroyed lives. Many victims sadly could no longer live with the pain of their experience and have ended their lives.
    The reproach has been done by the Governing Body. The buildings being sold in Brooklyn NY and KHs closing down are to fund the law suits being filed and impending ones. And there are many. The investigation in the UK has started and I welcome it with open arms. I along with other ex jw members and abuse survivors have a great support network from each other. We have found solice together.
    The JW org is collapsing, they will have no money left, it seems disgusting to me that peoples hard earned money is given in contributions is funding an organisation which is being sued for the non protection of minors due to perverted sexual abuse! People are exiting in their droves. I am a survivor. I worked hard to heal and its still a process. I have found serenity , and I am happy.
    KHs are emptying and quite frankly I applaud that. The people who have brought reproach on your God are the ones who set the rules, namely the Governing body and all those who protect the abusers. Shame on them. They are blood guilty on so many levels ! !

  28. Broga says:

    Sally-Anne: Twisting and turning. You will do anything to avoid answering the questions we put to you. You have been exposed as a phony, a fraud and with nothing to offer.

  29. barriejohn says:

    Stephen Mynett: This great God, who is all-powerful, all-wise, and all-knowing, produced a book that is so confusing and contradictory that it has led to two thousand years of torture, burnings, bloodshed and war. Talk about a fucking incompetent idiot!

  30. Stephen Mynett says:

    I am not going to waste my time doing a web search and I do not use social media sites, so facebook is out. Remember, you came on here trying to protect your odious views, we did not go chasing you so have the honesty to address the questions you have been asked here.

    You also should not pre-judge those who use pseudonyms, there can be many reasons and sometimes they are a matter of life and death. I used to be a TEFL teacher, still do a bit and some of my former students have had to return to countries with repressive regimes, two are Christians in a land where there faith can lead to them being persecuted, possibly killed. They can still communicate via the TOR network I taught them to use and have to use pseudonyms, or would you prefer they made it easy for the authorities in their country to arrest them.

    Even you should be able to see that a pseudonym is vital for people like that, or do you just conveniently ignore the bit about casting the first stone when it helps and just pre-judge anyway.

  31. Stephen Mynett says:

    I must take issue Barriejohn, I think you are being very unkind to fucking incompetent idiots, they are not as bad as the OT god.

  32. barriejohn says:

    Sally-Anne: You’re transparent all right. All you’ve produced by way of argument is Watchtower propaganda!

  33. Stephen Mynett says:

    Lulu, thank you for posting that, it is always good to hear from people like you, although very sad as well as the thought of anyone suffering abuse is horrible.

    I hope you can continue to heal and that the continuing demise of KHs will be a good cathartic for you.

  34. Broga says:

    Lulu: That is a terrible history you described. I can only hope that the collapse of the JWs continues.

  35. ray metcalfe says:

    Sally if you are the victim of abuse then I feel for you. many other victims are abused and abused again as they have to try and get some form of justice from a group of unqualified men. there have been lots of cases over the past few years when the victim as gone to the police the elders have refused to cooperate. some even being threatened with being charged with contempt. These cases have been widely reported in the press both local and national. The w/t child protection policy as been shown as useless by experts in the field. The enquiry by the charity commission into the Manchester new moston congregation was because a victim of abuse was questioned by her abuser and called a liar. As to the detailed research into bloodless surgery you are not suggesting this was done in any way by the w/t organisation because the way you worded that it looks like you where. Oh and I spend a lot of my time online supporting ex jw some of them are victims or related to victims of abuse at the hands of there fellow jw. As you may have guessed I am a former jw and elder so I do know how things work and where the bodies are buried

  36. Lulu says:

    Thank you Stephen and Broga. Xx

  37. 1859 says:

    I have found reading all of the above comments really hard. Lulu’s story especially. But what has struck me so deeply is the fact that it seems to need a life-shattering, traumatic crime to enable the victims to shake off the chains of JW, or any other, superstition. Is sexual abuse really what it takes for the light of reason to break in? In Sally-Ann’s case it appears that even what happened to her was not enough to see the JW organisation for what it is. I suspect with Sally-Ann there is genuine fear of being rejected my her tribe. But I salute Lulu for her heart-rendering honesty and I wish her tortured soul some final serenity.

  38. AgentCormac says:

    Sally-Anne’s story is a tragic one. Despite being a victim of abuse she cannot, or will not see the forces at work behind it. The JWs are successfully abusing her still.

    As for Lulu, I can only hope you find the peace and happiness you deserve.

  39. Child sex abuse has to happen in Christian circles. The scumbag who invented the Christian religion banned wives from divorcing. But nobody reminds us that the wives were in fact female children married to men against their will and were raped to produce children that their bodies could not bear. That is the kind of marriage Jesus Christ stood for. By his fruits you know him.

  40. Lulu says:

    Thank you 1859 and AgentCormac. I am currently pursuing some justice however I cant say too much about it at the moment. I apprecciate the comments of support. I am just one of thousands of survivors. Child sexual abuse happens within all religions and organisations and we constantly hear of new cases. Education and exposure of this subject is the way forward. It should not be tolerated. A single act of sexual abuse can ruin a life. It destroys the spirit of a person. Policies must change. Attitudes must change and there must be tougher sentences for abusers. Anyone who knows of abuse taking place has a moral responsibility to report it to the authorities. As in the case of JWs they handle it within their org and that needs to STOP! And it will…..the surivors along with their supporters are going to make them change their policy.

  41. Stephen Mynett says:

    I wish you as much success as possible Lulu. You make a very valid point about abuse being dealt with “in house”, it happens in too many cases but, as was said earlier, there are many who believe blasphemy is a greater crime than rape, abuse or murder and people who believe that will be more interested in protecting their particular brand of god than in helping victims.

    If you wish to I am sure I am not the only one here who would like to be kept updated with your progress, if legally possible and if you have any links to petition sites or crowd-funding to raise money to fight campaigns please post them. We are a pretty laid back bunch here, well when talking to decent people, so just pop in on any thread if you lose this one, a bit of OT stuff is fine if it is worthy – I should not be doing Barry Duke’s job here but sure he wont mind this advice.

  42. barriejohn says:

    Lulu: This sort of thing is endemic in religious organizations (I won’t say “sects”, as that’s what they all are!). When I was younger I was a member of the Plymouth Brethren, and all such “mishaps” were dealt with in-house “for the sake of the testimony”. I’m sure that that phrase will ring bells with you! Members were expected to suppress their true feelings so that no outsiders ever got wind of what had happened. Cases that I knew of personally included a brother exposing himself to a woman who belonged to the assembly. He was asked to “sit at the back” for a while, and I can assure you that this lack of appropriate action caused a festering resentment that went on for years, so it really backfired badly. However, a case that backfired even more spectacularly involved a prominent elder and speaker who was molesting his grandsons and was not dealt with properly. Tears and “repentance” meant nothing, as he went on to repeat the offences, and this led to their mother throwing herself from a multi-storey car-park in the town. I bet that most members still believe that she was “suffering from depression”! That’s how devious the bastards are, and I, too, wish you well in the future.

  43. barriejohn says:

    PS That elder whom I mentioned actually left the assembly after the incident (I don’t know whether he was told to or not), and was given a hearty welcome at an Independent Evangelical Church in the town. Can you believe that? The minister and elders there must have known the circumstances, as these local evangelical leaders keep in touch all the time.

  44. Stephen Mynett says:

    Barriejohn, we saw that kind of attitude from Sally-Anne, she was more concerned with mocking the Jehovah character than any damage done to real people. Unfortunately the indoctrination processes of these cults make people think that way and there do not seem to be many brave enough to question the system or fight back. That is why people such as yourself and Lulu are vital.

    It is very easy for lifetime non-believers to say “I saw through it from the start”, the problem is many are indoctrinated/bullied into the system before they are old/strong enough to question. To have the experiences of those who escaped makes it far easier to argue with those who are still hell bent on pursuing their perverted doctrines.

  45. barriejohn says:

    Stephen Mynett: Sally-Anne is typical. We’ve also heard from “Bob” that Christians shouldn’t go running to the police (he uses more derogatory expressions) when wronged, despite the fact that Christians are always calling for the full force of the law to be used against those whose behaviour they happen to disapprove of. It’s almost unbelievable!

  46. Stephen Mynett says:

    Barriejohn, if I was going to try to promote the idea religion is a mental illness Bob would be one of my examples as he shows a complete childish nature in many of his “arguments”, almost akin to someone with learning difficulties.

    Some quotes are are not far off: “Yah, sucks! I’m going to heaven and you are not.” A sort of thing you might hear in a primary school playground. Luckily most children grow up.

  47. Sally-Anne Westendorf says:

    This is the last comment I will make here after being called a fake by someone hiding behind a pseudonym… Certainly, I understand the need of such things in this day and age, considering what rage I felt at being accused of being something and someone other than what I am, when such things could be so easily verified by someone who had enough consideration to do so before so hastily flinging accusations… and considering my own name was almost changed at the age of… 8?, to hide me from my father when mum left him… (Surname WAS changed at the age of 10, to remove all connection to my father.)

    I truly feel for you, as I know how it feels, having been abused on multiple occasions by Witnesses and non-Witnesses alike… though it was only bringing Leviticus 20 to mind that stopped me from giving in and accepting it as normal, after copping it from father (who died when I was 9), uncle (who promised to protect me from anyone else touching me like that), and step-father (who was 60-70 at the time), fully fed up with pyschiatric evaluations, police reports, and ‘abuse groups’ by my teenage years… I entered Primary School signing and dating every piece of paper I was given, out of habit, and as a result of abuse, and attempts to protect me from it, attended 10 (apparently) preSchools, 3 Primary Schools, and 5 High Schools, in Adelaide, South Australia… It didn’t help that mum was Manic-Depressive and had 13 ‘nervous breakdowns’ before I left school… In a way, I was the lucky one, being a cute, bubbly little blonde girl, as fellow-Witnesses were keen to take me in while Mum was in the Royal Adelaide, whereas, I later learned, my two older brothers often ended up in foster homes, which I feel bad about, and it was the brother that loved Dad most that both discovered and reported the abuse…
    Mercifully, however, Dad was DisFellowshipped and died within a year, and step-Dad was also DisFellowshipped and is now dead (sadly so is Mum)… leaving me a much-younger half-sister, who was taken in by the same brother who had exposed Dad’s abuse, on suspicion that she might have been abused by HER father… After all this, I opted to have no kids of my own (and suspect I couldn’t if I tried due to the abuse), so as to ‘break’ the vicious cycle.

    Stephen Mynett,
    I would be happy to continue conversation in private, so as to keep things on track, without interjections taking responses down other paths due to time constraints. Although, obviously, I find some of your comments at best distasteful, and sometimes downright offensive… after my comment about verifying who people are, I chose to look you up online, and found your comments consistently logical and well-thought out, which I can only respect… I’m sorry about your negative experiences which turned you against belief in a loving Creator, but I have a better understanding and appreciation of them now. I believe, despite everything, provided I can be as consistently logical and reasonable in my ‘arguments’, that you will be the most willing to listen objectively. However, other than saying ‘Google search me’, I have no idea how to do this….?

    Sally-Anne Westendorf (born ‘Lugg’… signed SLugg… imagine what THAT was like…)

    PS I left the Organization for 11yrs and was reinstated 6yrs ago, so have more experience than given credit for.

  48. Lulu says:

    Sally-anne, it pains me to hear of a fellow victims abuse. The point is that the perpetrators should be reported and punished. There was another article in an newspaper in Ireland at the weekend again on the JWs policy of non reporting child sexual abuse. Its THEIR policy ( not God’s)) thats bringing so much media attention. Their policy needs to be changed and those responsible for the abuse dealt with by the authorities, as they have committed a crime.The ARC ( australian Royal Commison handled the court cases with great respect and understanding for the victims, yet none was shown towards the victims by the elders or the governing body. I sincerely wish for you Sally-anne, serenity, healing and a happy life.

  49. Stephen Mynett says:

    Sall-Anne, I only just saw your post as do not get any notifications. I do feel for you as a victim but also am disgusted by the fact you would sit back and watch me die for your beliefs, more of that later.

    You said: “I left the Organization for 11yrs and was reinstated 6yrs ago, so have more experience than given credit for.”

    Experience? Of being indoctrinated, why did you go back. Lulu is absolutely correct, abuse must be dealt with by the authorities and not kept in house. Look at the Catholics who moved known abusers around to avoid trouble in one parish only for them to abuse again in another. Your elders were totally irresponsible by not involving the police. No one should be above the law, whatever they believe.

    Re your better understanding and the “loving creator.”

    I would like to think you will consider the following yourself and not ask for JW advice, like all religions, cults and sects they are skilled in linguistic tricks to keep their delusions going, so please evaluate the bible yourself with your own mind.

    Firstly, in an early post you mentioned a “true interpretation”, or something like that. There is no and can be no true interpretation as the bibles, at best, are a mess of many stories from different backgrounds and writers. There is little that is new in it, stories like the flood were taken from other, older, groups and some, including the “do unto others” bit of the NT, can be traced to the Tao, which precedes the OT by about 500 years. The examples of “borrowed” content are countless.

    The OT began by word of mouth retelling of stories/myths as most were illiterate at the time and also from different languages, the NT, again with different language backgrounds did not come into being until the fifth century CE, not as is often thought after the Council of Nicea. So you have a long run of Chinese Whispers followed by translations of translations of translations etc. Even if the original stories were based on truth they became so warped by history and re-telling that the bible cannot be taken as an authoritative work of history. Had Constantine not usurped power in Rome and decided to use Christianity as a state religion and control mechanism the Christians would most likely still be just another Messianic Cult.

    By the time the Watchtower group worked on their interpretation they were working on a bible that already had many centuries of changes and additions to try to make it more believable. Just for one example, check out the Jewish University scholars who are trying to piece together the oldest OT, they already have evidence Deuteronomy is now 25% longer than the original, the additions helping to show some prophecies were better. They are Jews so are not out to rubbish their religion.

    Much of the NT is written many years after the events it is supposed to portray by writers who could not have been contemporaneous with the characters in it, even if they did exist. The bible says Jesus grew up in Nazareth yet there is ample archaeological evidence to prove Nazareth did not exist at the time.

    An interesting thing to do but again yourself not with any outside “help” is to put together an exact as possible time-line of the Passion, the central part of modern Christianity. Just using the four canonical gospels you will find a mass of differences in the stories, yet we are told the bible is the word of a god and totally correct. How can the differences be explained honestly, not theologically?

    Now, on to your loving creator, the one you believe is happy for people like me to bleed to death. Your bloodless surgery argument does not wash, first it is an unnecessary risk and it does not always work and also, you ignored the times when blood was the only answer.

    I have no exact number of times I needed blood to stay alive when I was young but in the last 10 years have had a duodenal ulcer haemorrhage twice, both times I would have died without transfusions, the first my haemoglobin count dropped to 3.8 (4 is often fatal) and I needed 10 units of blood.

    I do not expect or want sympathy, I am just pointing out what the body needs, saline and nutrient drips are fine but without the haemoglobin of blood the body cannot process oxygen. Again, you and your kind would have watched me die, as they have to many in the past, including children.

    I will not bore you with more stories about me, although some will come from personal experience. First, though, we will look at the OT story of Uzzah, a seemingly decent guy put to death for caring. Uzzah was the son of Abinadab, in whose house the men of Kirjath-jearim placed the Ark when it was brought back from the land of the Philistines.With his brother Ahio, he drove the cart on which the ark was placed when David sought to bring it up to Jerusalem. When the oxen stumbled, Uzzah steadied the ark with his hand, in direct violation of the divine law, and he was immediately killed by his god for his error – a loving creator?

    The OT is full of stories of violence and killing done by or for the god of it and the best religionists can do is to try to persuade us the NT god is a different one, despite the fact the NT says it is not.

    To real issues. Because of my haemophilia and the fact treatment was not as good years ago I attended a school for the disabled and saw many examples of a loving creator and, sorry, but free will and bilge like that will not wash.

    One guy was incredibly brainy, flew through his O levels and got two top grades and one second in his A levels. We all knew a degree would be child’s play for him but for one thing, the muscular dystrophy he was born with. He died before finishing the degree. A loving creator.

    Many others had been in wheelchairs all their lives, some electric as they could not propel a normal one, and most unable to dress or wash themselves. They were born that way. A loving creator?

    I know you will have excuses for this and your elders even more but if you look at them logically they will not wash, that is why I have asked you to consider these things yourself and not allow others to brainwash you.

    Finally, I understand you have had awful experiences and I feel for you in that situation but why did you go back? Knowing what the JWs were. Stockholm Syndrome as someone has mentioned or did you feel the need to belong somewhere, I can assure you there are far better places than a KH to belong, places where the people will care for, rather than use, you.

    Why not join a Humanist group, they will accept you for what you are and not impose rules, or try to contact other JW survivors like Lulu and Ray Metcalfe, they will be far better than me to talk to as they will have empathy.

    I will leave you with a quote from the brilliant writer Douglas Adams. “Isn’t enough the garden is beautiful, do you have to believe there are fairies at the bottom as well?”