Thank you for taking an interest in Memorial on Memorial, Use Our Voice and Rad Associates.
Below, you’ll find our most recent press release (4/15/2019) along with links to recent coverage in media of both Chessa Manion and the human rights abuses committed by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
ATTN: PRESS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Survivors of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Join in Protest Friday April 19th at 7 pm
Following the explosive exposé by The Atlantic revealing the secret Jehovah’s Witness database of child molesters, former members of the sect are joining in protest of the Watchtower Society’s numerous human rights abuses. Organizer Chessa Manion was 5-years-old when she was raped by another member of the religious sect—her local religious leaders urged her family not to pursue charges.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses judicial policies require the testimony of two material witnesses to establish a perpetrator’s sin in the absence of confession. The Watchtower organization considers this policy to be a protection against malicious accusations of sexual assault, but survivors of child sexual abuse say it only protects the predators who knowingly use the religion as a network to hide within.
It is estimated that 1,200 people die annually due to the Watchtower Society (also known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses) ban on life-saving blood transfusions. For perspective, the Jonestown Massacre claimed 909 lives in total.
The Watchtower Society implemented its “No Blood” policy in 1949, followed by the first death, Samuel Muscariello. The death toll from their no-blood policy alone is estimated between 30,000 to 60,000 lives since this policy was put in action. Those who accept a blood transfusion are barred from the religion and shunned, cutting them off from their only support group after a devastating choice.
The Watchtower Society used to own most of the property in Brooklyn, and still own an untold number of properties globally. They recently sold their New York holdings to Jared Kushner among others after hitting financial troubles due to declining membership.
Most of their property is received from members due to the sect repeatedly predicting the apocalypse and implying that members need to donate what they own to survive.
False prophecies claimed the world was ending in 1878, 1881, 1914, 1918, 1925 and 1975—since the last failed prediction, they now claim it’s happening “within our lifetime”. The Watchtower removed almost all evidence of these unfulfilled predictions from their literature, and forbid members from outside research.
At 7pm on Friday April 19th, survivors and allies will gather in remembrance of these victims and others who have passed as a result of toxic Watchtower culture and policy. The location has now been revealed to the public as the Brooklyn Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 973 Flatbush Ave.
The Watchtower is currently under investigation worldwide for these and other devastating policies which leave countless victims in its wake. While recent spotlights on the damage of other cult-like religions have warned the public of their dangers, the Watchtower Society has remained hidden in the shadows—until now.
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The Atlantic: A Secret Database of Child Abuse
Rolling Stone: Jehovah’s Witnesses Accused of Mishandling Child Sexual Abuse Claims
The Inquirer: She says she was 5 when another Jehovah’s Witness raped her. The religion’s leaders call such accounts ‘false stories’
NPR: Michigan Child’s Death Puts Spotlight On Clash Between Medicine and Religion
CBC: Refusal of blood transfusions key to deaths of 2 Jehovah’s Witnesses, coroner finds
Advocate for Jehovah’s Witness Reform on Blood: Tens of Thousands Dead in Hidden Tragedy