Russia Moves to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses as ‘Extremist’ (NY Times)

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No, not true. Although judging this and your follow up posts you won't be swayed otherwise. I'm not a Witness so I can't speak for their religion but not all religions began as a cult.

I'm done with the issue. I'll just say this isn't true and leave.
All religions do begin as a cult. There is a figure (a normal human person) who assembles followers and hands down rules, with a focus on ingroups and outgroups. Some of these cults are missionary from the beginning, some of them secret. The transformation into a religion is when it becomes established in a state.

Monotheistic cults are a development of polytheistic cults, which was the normal way to worship in classical antiquity. Previous to this there were animist cults, with personal gods available for diversity of belief.

Christianity in particular was a cult, this is an inarguable fact. It's even based upon cult worship of classical and preclassical religious deities.
 
You do pay a tithe, just in a different way.

https://jwvictims.org/2015/06/16/jehovahs-witnesses-outright-lie-in-saying-that-they-dont-petition-for-support/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHGRs2bcybs

And you do abstain from normal human relations and social interactions. I see you're avoiding discussing the conference last year, which was specifically about this issue.
No not avoiding it, I was working and typing. You know being part of society and working closely with people who aren't witnesses :)

Donations vs tithing regardless of how you want to paint it is totally different. Jesus didn't have a problem with donations either.

Since you had multiple points and you said the "conference" is about this issue, what issue are you saying?

Sorry if my responses are delayed or possibly missing what you want. I am working on a machine where I don't have access to my phone for periods of time.
 
No not avoiding it, I was working and typing. You know being part of society and working closely with people who aren't witnesses :)

Donations vs tithing regardless of how you want to paint it is totally different. Jesus didn't have a problem with donations either.

Since you had multiple points and you said the "conference" is about this issue, what issue are you saying?

Sorry if my responses are delayed or possibly missing what you want. I am working on a machine where I don't have access to my phone for periods of time.
Specifically ostracising family members who have left the church.
 
Specifically ostracising family members who have left the church.
I don't recall that being covered but I have kids and easily could have missed it while taking care of them.

Again I can only speak to my experiences, I am baptised but I left, so to say, for a while. Granted I wasn't living what would be considered an immoral life. My family didn't cut me off but just encouraged me to come back. We still got together etc. I aired very real doubts to them and even some elders. Talked a lot with a lot of people. Came to my conclusion and here I am.

I will have to go back and see what was covered last year but I don't recall details about that. Maybe someone else would be able to answer that more promptly.


And a side note, regardless of how one feels about the organization itself, some of the benefits of it has really shown in my adult life. Growing up doing public speaking, talking to random people etc really has made my adult life easier on being social and working in a professional environment. Also the avoidance of drugs probably kept me out of a lot of trouble judging by my brother who I saw struggle heavily with it. I have a great family that lives a very humble life. Most of my Dads side of the family isn't witnesses but we still get together and see them regularly. They aren't against what we believe and are very respectful of it.

Sorry for the long edit. Figured I would get that in before having to get suited back up.

https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/shunning/#?insight[search_id]=e95f194e-0b8e-40d7-9244-ef17f8c5c587&insight[search_result_index]=1
 
I don't recall that being covered but I have kids and easily could have missed it while taking care of them.

Again I can only speak to my experiences, I am baptised but I left, so to say, for a while. Granted I wasn't living what would be considered an immoral life. My family didn't cut me off but just encouraged me to come back. We still got together etc. I aired very real doubts to them and even some elders. Talked a lot with a lot of people. Came to my conclusion and here I am.

I will have to go back and see what was covered last year but I don't recall details about that. Maybe someone else would be able to answer that more promptly.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD2PHS5MUNM
 
perhaps, or perhaps they will die even with a transfusion. I think it's in everyone's best interest that medicine explore this area.
Yeah, it's like flipping a coin isn't it? Maybe they'll survive, maybe they'll die. What's even the point? What's even the point in trying to get bloodfusionless surgeries? Hell, what's the point in surgeries at all? Perhaps they'll survive or perhaps they'll die.

Ok sorry for that, but seriously though, don't you think "perhaps, or perhaps they'll die even with a transfusion" is just a little bit silly?

On topic, absolutely shameful of Russia and hope they'll reverse it. I'm a big critic of any religion and I have called out JWs for some of their practices when they've knocked on my door, but no religion like this (that is, exluding clearly fake or obviously dangerous ones such scientology) should be banned or their members hounded.
 
Looks like the Russian government wasn't able to prove that our brothers and sisters in Russia are actually extremist. The government even admitted to not having any actual literature of ours that show that we are extremist.

The judge even seem to question the gov't on why they believe JWs are extremist. And the lawyers that the JWs had pointed out that the Forensic Center within the Russian gov't don't believe that we are extremist. The Russian lawyers then stated that they didn't even investigate why the Forensic Center of the gov't disagreed with the Ministry of Justice (the part that's trying to ban JWs and liquidate all of the branches in Russia) part of govt.

They put a pause on the hearing and will continue tomorrow.
 
Looks like the Russian government wasn't able to prove that our brothers and sisters in Russia are actually extremist. The government even admitted to not having any actual literature of ours that show that we are extremist.

The judge even seem to question the gov't on why they believe JWs are extremist. And the lawyers that the JWs had pointed out that the Forensic Center within the Russian gov't don't believe that we are extremist. The Russian lawyers then stated that they didn't even investigate why the Forensic Center of the gov't disagreed with the Ministry of Justice (the part that's trying to ban JWs and liquidate all of the branches in Russia) part of govt.

They put a pause on the hearing and will continue tomorrow.
Kinda surprised that there might actually be legitimate checks and balances in the Russian government
 
Went out with a Jehovah's Witness for a long time (obviously not a very good one) and in that time learned quite a bit about them because her, her family and her Kingdom Hall buds were trying to convert and 'educate' me weekly for basically the entire length of the turbulent relationship. Last I heard, the pressure they put on her and her family eventually made her crack and start acting out. Of course her friends and family will never speak to her again, the watchtower isn't a big fan of dissenting opinions.

While that 'education' makes me very comfortable referring to them like a cult much more extreme than your typical christian denomination, comparing them to extremists like Al Qaeda is also ridiculous. They're not out to cause intentional harm to anyone and nothing bad will come from living among them. Clear case of Russia just trying their best to ban anything that does not conform to the state. As usual. The Russian government is not a big fan of dissenting opinions.

Power Rangers got rated R there and almost banned entirely because Trini makes a vague reference to maybe not being entirely straight possibly. Apparently this is considered sick propaganda.

Kinda surprised that there might actually be legitimate checks and balances in the Russian government
Putin sees this: "Hold my beer."
 
I can't... I mean it's a shitty country on numerous issues but do you think they decide legal issues by public shaming?
My assumption was that the judiciary was basically a rubber stamp that approved of Putin's policies and since this came from the Ministry of Justice that this was a policy that Putin wants implemented, or at least supports.

That assumption is largely based on news articles talking about the degradation of the rule of law in Russia and Russia basically being an authoritarian state at the moment.
 
My assumption was that the judiciary was basically a rubber stamp that approved of Putin's policies and since this came from the Ministry of Justice that this was a policy that Putin wants implemented, or at least supports.

That assumption is largely based on news articles talking about the degradation of the rule of law in Russia and Russia basically being an authoritarian state at the moment.
The best way to describe current Russian rule of law problem for Americans is McCarthyism US. Other than that the courts work pretty much the same as in the West in terms of rule of law, perhaps more likened to Eastern Europe due to more open corruption. Honestly, the country has less inmates per capita than US. Im not saying that as whataboutism but as a frame of reference, it can't be all that bad if a supposed authoritarian state achieves that.
 
Well, it happened. Even after all the testimony and lack of evidence that there was ever any reason to define the Witnesses as extremists today they were ruled against and practically outlawed. So much for justice.

The articles from USA Today and the Washington Post really explain the reasons why Russia would ban the work and how it all plays in not being able to control the group and seemingly want to limit their influence since they are not nationalistic and are pacifists.
 
The ban will only encourage Witnesses, JW Twitter is mostly gloating about persecution prophesies now, as expected. Russia really poorly understood this whole thing.



Interesting how they predict religion being destroyed by the government.
Not really. That's standard MO for most religious groups.
 
JW's have some messed up practices. Such as:

  • Preying on the elderly to get the church put in wills, so they can inherit their property.
  • Not paying a living wage to volunteers and keeping them reliant on housing and square meals so they can't escape from it.
  • Not providing pensions or any sort of social care for a lifetime of dedication, basically discarding people when they've retired.
  • Mapping out the local area and logging when people get back from work.

Note: this comes from my friend, who is an 'apostate' in their words. Could see how this would fall into 'cult' myself, seeing as they accumulate property and abuse the labour of their followers (akin to Scientology), but wouldn't label them as extremists.
 
JW's have some messed up practices. Such as:

  • Preying on the elderly to get the church put in wills, so they can inherit their property.
  • Not paying a living wage to volunteers and keeping them reliant on housing and square meals so they can't escape from it.
  • Not providing pensions or any sort of social care for a lifetime of dedication, basically discarding people when they've retired.
  • Mapping out the local area and logging when people get back from work.

Note: this comes from my friend, who is an 'apostate' in their words. Could see how this would fall into 'cult' myself, seeing as they accumulate property and abuse the labour of their followers (akin to Scientology), but wouldn't label them as extremists.
That list made me literally laugh out loud. The entire organization is volunteer based which is based off the Bible and even what Jesus taught. The apostles themselves had trades and didn't earn money for their work. The organization has always explained itself that volunteers work for God and neighbor and not for anyone else, so they aren't owed anything for their voluntary time put in.

Everyone puts in as much as they want timewise, so no one is forced to do more than others and no one is ever made to feel bad either if they can't do more.

As for the older ones who do work the branch facilities, many of the older ones actually live there and are given treatment for their lifelong service. Obviously due to the worldwide membership it would be impossible to care for everyone who is elderly but that's why it's the responsibility of those in the local congregations to take care of each other's. For instance older ones in our local area are housed in other people's homes, fed regularly on a schedule made up of volunteers, and even household chores and yardwork done for them.

Also, there is nowhere near the man power to ever stake out an area and see when people come back from work. People go to preach and if there is no one home for weeks at a time during morning periods then they will try in the evenings to better reach people.
 

Agent Icebeezy

Welcome beautful toddler, Madison Elizabeth, to the horde!
Working in downtown Chicago, I see them standing outside all the time, friendly people. I don't subscribe to their ethos and such but nothing about them seems extremist.
 
Any word on Russia vs Mormons? They have a lot in common with JWs. I'm not even sure what the Mormon population is like in Russia. I think they had to stop calling themselves missionaries and instead call themselves volunteers.
 
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