Russia Supreme Court: Jehovah’s Witnesses Banned: “Extremist” Religion Must be Liquidated
April 2017 News
Jehovah’s Witnesses have been banned in Russia after the group was undergoing pressure from Russian Courts who considered them “extremist”. The government has ruled that nearly 400 Kingdom Halls are to be seized and liquidated, and all JW activities must be stopped immediately. Yaroslav Sivulskiy, who speaks on behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, says that the Witnesses will appeal the court decision.
The Jehovah’s Witness Russia ban comes nearly 2 decades after Moscow also attempted to ban Jehovahs Witnesses in 1999.
Regarding the Jehovah’s Witnesses Moscow case in 1999:
”The sect has a strong anti-Government, antisocial and anti-traditional as well as anti-Christian orientation,” the prosecutors said. More than 21 witnesses are prepared to testify to the damage wrought by Jehovah’s Witnesses on their family life and finances. Written testimony has been provided by a top expert from the Serbski Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry — notorious in Soviet times for its ”treatment” of dissidents — who found that ”the teaching and activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses contains factors that may lead to neuroticism and a state of depression.’ (New York Times, Feb 1999)
To defend itself against the ban, the Jehovah’s Witnesses website claims they can prove they are not extremist, because they have been around for 100 years. They also state that no one else in the world has accused them of extremism. However, they have come under Russia’s microscope multiple times regarding extremist statements made in their literature. As well, former Jehovah’s Witnesses have joined together in expanding public awareness of the Jehovah’s Witnesses practices which have resulted in deaths, suicides, mental and emotional damage, division of families, drug and alcohol abuse, divorce, custody battles, crimes, and financial devastation.
Over 90 of Jehovah’s Witness [Watchtower] publications were found to contain extremist views, including warnings against blood transfusions. Russia deems the blood warnings a threat to public health and safety after many JWs have died, including small children whose parents refused to allow them to undergo transfusions. To put Russians in danger of death violates Russian Healthcare laws, says Svetlana Borisova, attorney for the Russian Justice Ministry.
The Justice Ministry had suspended the JWs activity in March, pending the final Supreme Court ruling. On April 24, 2017, the Moscow City Court will hold a hearing examining the legality of the March suspension.
Beginning in 1995, the Committee for the Salvation of Youth from Totalitarian Cults (“the Salvation Committee”) launched 5 criminal investigations against Jehovah’s Witnesses, due to damage done mentally to members. In April 1998 after having investigations 4 times dismissed, a new investigator in Moscow terminated the criminal proceedings. However, the investigator found that “Jehovah’s Witnesses alienated their followers from their families, intimidated believers, and controlled their mind, as well as inciting them to civil disobedience and religious discord.” The investigator found that the Jehovah’s Witnesses acted in violation of Russian and international laws, but that no crime could be established. She discontinued the criminal case, but recommended that the prosecutor of the Northern District of Moscow bring a civil action for the Jehovah’s Witnesses to be dissolved and it’s activity banned. (See: European Court of Human Rights: CASE OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES OF MOSCOW AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA, Application no. 302/02)
News Announcement of JW Russia ban, April 2017 (Credit: Aljazeera)
Jehovah’s Witness Current Extremist Views
- Shunning: The JWs are not permitted to speak to family or friends who leave the religion. They are taught that ExJWs are “Satanic”, and “partaking of the table of demons”.
- Disfellowshipping: A member of JWs can get expelled (disfellowshipped) if they accept a life saving blood transfusion. If one accepts such treatment, they will be shunned unless they live under the same roof of a JW family member.
- Apostasy: If a JW leaves the religion by way of formal disassociation letter, they will be shunned unless they return.
- Pedophilia Coverups: The organization has been found guilty of hiding over 1000 pedophiles in their private files, and have forced abused children to face their abusers. The Australian Royal Commission brought Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson on the stand, who denied that he knew about the situation. JWs have also been warned on occasions against going to police with any such allegations, due to the “image” that could be destroyed as “God’s Organization”.
- Bunker Videos: The JWs have released videos of acted scripts which place themselves in bunkers during a catastrophic event known as Armageddon. Bombs go off, and no one knows what’s going on outside. The mini movie portrays that the only ones who are saved are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Those who strayed from the cult are depicted as doomed. The actors tell each other stories and badmouth former JWs who could’ve been safe if they had only stayed in Jehovah’s Witnesses.
- Children’s Videos: The infamous Caleb and Sofia videos are cartoons shown to Jehovah’s Witness kids. In one video, a child called Caleb is seen playing with a toy wizard called “Sparlock the Warrior Wizard”. The mother in the cartoon tells the child that Satan wants him to play with those kinds of toys. A serpent is shown hissing around the child’s head in a dark room. The child throws the toy in the garbage out of “obedience to Jehovah”. Terror is consequently provoked in the minds of small children watching such a video, which in turn gives the Jehovah’s Witness Society control over the child’s mind at an early age.
- Intolerance of churches: The Jehovah’s Witnesses adamantly refuse to step foot in other churches, believing them to be demonized. This includes weddings and funerals of friends, relatives, or loved ones.
- Persecution: The religion believes that anyone who disagrees with them are persecuting them. This includes allegations of sexual abuse, rape, and crime. They typically deny any and all accusations of any wrongdoing, blaming former JWs for starting “rumors” and spreading lies.
- Isolation: The Jehovah’s Witnesses are strongly advised against associating with anyone who is not a JW. This includes other Christians who will not become JWs, or even people who smoke.
Here is an actual talk given by an elder of Jehovah’s Witnesses discussing what happens when a JW gets found guilty of sin, and is disfellowshipped. “Sin” includes questioning the elders or the doctrines of JWs.
There are many more extremist views that may be found in the teachings and history of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society. The public is advised to fully research the detrimental effects which former JWs and other former cult members have faced prior to joining or “studying” with them.