Silenced – The Rado Vleugel Story

rado

My name is Rado Vleugel. I was born on January 1, 1973 in the city of Amsterdam while fire crackers where making a lot of noise.

The January 15, 1994 Watchtower page 22 tells something about my history as a Witness of Jehovah:

“Rado, mentioned earlier, was six years old when two pioneers studied the Bible with his parents. When still very young, he regularly accompanied these full-time preachers in the field ministry. Rado himself became a regular pioneer at the age of 17.”

One year after I started pioneering the elders appointed me as a ministerial servant. The same year, when I was still eighteen years old, I was assigned to conduct a congregation bookstudy.

In the autumn of 1998 I purchased a new computer with a built-in modem ready to surf the internet. Within a week I discovered the site of the AJWRB.

For several years I had already had doubts regarding the blood issue. For example, I didn’t deliver the May 22, 1994 Awake! with the topic “Youths who put God first”, about young Witness children who died because they refused blood transfusions.

Read the rest of this article. . .

Jehovah’s Witness girl saved by court

1040136_82699226In an article written by Zelda Venter and published on June 7, 2014, by IOL news of South Africa, a 10-year-old Jehovah’s Witness girl was saved in South Africa when “The Centre for Child Law” in Pretoria instructed an advocate to go to the Durban High Court after parents refused life saving treatment for their anemic child who suffered from a bleeding disorder. This was possible because the child’s doctor – a specialist in paediatric haematology – took the necessary step to get the child treatment rather than trying to accommodate the parents wishes. Ironically, the child needed a platelet transfusion. Platelets are among the smallest of all blood components and literally dwarfed in size by the much larger components permitted by Watchtower policy. For now, the story is available online here.

Media Guide

The information below is taken directly from the written instructions provided to Hospital Liaison Committee members who take Seminar II, as provided by the Watchtower Society and shows how both the HLC and JW parents are coached to deal with the media. We have added our comments in red. Members of the media should find this information helpful when they interview representatives of the Watchtower Society or parents of Jehovah’s Witness children who are sick and having potentially lifesaving medical care withheld.


International Seminar II

Instructions for Hospital Liaison Committees

DEALING WITH THE MEDIA

AIM SHOULD BE TO SUPPORT THE FAMILY

Your first responsibility is to the family, your brothers

Can aid them by preparing them for what to say

Equally important — what NOT to say: “We believe in resurrection.”

Note how Jehovah’s Witness parents are prepared to avoid saying what they have been taught to think and believe in these situations. The Watchtower wants to put the proper “spin” on what is happening. If you can get parents or Watchtower spokesman to continue talking about how they really feel, instead of just parroting these prepared speeches, you will increase the likelihood that they will say tell you the truth about what is happening. They have been prepared to let their child die, even if nonblood alternatives fail, and to put their trust in God to ressurect their child.

Petition hospital administration to discontinue unwarranted invasion of family right to privacy by disclosing to the press

Right of press not above rights of parents

Accompany family to hospital’s media representative and patient’s representative (if they have such) to point out the added trauma created for family and other negative results to family/hospital

Clearly the Watchtower does not want the press involved in these situations, and is willing to use the issue of family privacy in an attempt to keep the matter hidden. We encourage members of the medical community not to be bullied into hiding what is happening in these situations. Negative media coverage creates pressure on the Watchtower to respect the rights of individual Witnesses to make their own choices in these situations.

TALKING TO THE MEDIA

Maintain control of self, family, situation and during any interviews with media; don’t let yourselves be rushed by them

Reporters trained to be aggressive, to push, manipulate

Their rapid-fire questions are usually loaded

You don’t have to answer a loaded question as given; reword it to your liking so you can represent us accurately

Example:“Why would you let your baby die rather than have life-saving blood?”

Answer: “I can see you misunderstand our position. We are here at the hospital for medical treatment for our child that will not subject it to the known hazards of LIFE-THREATENING blood. We are asking for available, non-blood medical management.”

When they see you have an answer, they like to interrupt with another question as they search for your weak spot.

Don’t let them get away with that; insist on finishing your answer to the question THEY raised, but be kind about it

At the same time, don’t RAMBLE; stick to issues

Note how HLC members are instructed to control the family and avoid answering difficult questions. It is a fact that untold numbers of Witnesses have in fact chosen to die because the Watchtower Society use of “undue influence”. Instructing them that they must comply or face the consequences of being shunned by all Jehovah’s Witness friends and family members, and face eternal death at the hands of God.

Doctors, Judges, and members of the press should acquaint themselves with the actual risks of blood transfusions, and be prepared to confront the Society’s spokesmen with the facts.

IMPORTANT: Keep answers brief, pointed, QUOTABLE

Media likes short replies that make it easy to edit info

Concise replies will also likely eliminate possibility of reporter using the multitude of words in a convoluted response to locate something to use to fit his view of the story

Short answers keep interviewer on the subject, not giving him something else to pick up on that is not on the subject

If a simple “Yes” or “No” will do the job, leave it at that

Respond to one question at a time, to one reporter at a time

Members of the media should be prepared to question the Society’s representative about the gross inconsistencies in the Watchtower blood policy. Here are some examples from our section on Questions:

  • Medical experts state that there are not always alternatives to blood. Would not withholding medical treatment from your child when death is the alternative make you or the parents responsible for the death?
  • If a blood transfusion is essentially an organ transplant, how can it be viewed as “eating blood,” since no digestion or nutritional benefit accrues? Can it be an organ transplant and a meal at the same time?
  • Why does the Society have to quote doctors who lived hundreds of years ago to find support for it’s belief that a transfusion is a feeding on blood? Why don’t modern doctors acknowledge that a blood transfusion is the same as “eating blood?”
  • Why does the society exaggerate the risks of blood transfusions, and make it seem that they are always bad medicine, when nearly all of the experts disagree?
  • How does the society go about deciding which blood components are major and which are minor? For example, why are white blood cells forbidden, but albumin allowed, since albumin constitutes a larger percentage of blood volume, and milk and organ transplants are full of white blood cells?
  • Why is it that plasma is forbidden when all of its separate components, with the exception of water, are on the approved list for Witnesses to take in order to “sustain life?”
  • If Witnesses must abstain from blood completely, as the Society says, then please explain why the Society permits them to accept all the fractions of human blood? 

Witness spokesmen will not be able to provide reasonable answers to these questions.

SOME EXAMPLES OF WHAT TO SAY AND WHAT NOT TO SAY

“Are you willing to let your child die rather than accepting blood?”

“I’m not convinced that this is the choice I face for refusing blood transfusions. I am here–and came here willingly–to get the best medical treatment for my child. There are alternatives that are available. I want my child to be treated without the threat of the known hazards and complications of blood transfusions.”

“But the doctor says the baby will die without blood!”

“Well, the doctor is only telling you what he believes based on his individual experience. But we know (or are in touch with) doctors of greater experience who have assured us the child can be treated otherwise [if this is so]. So the only real issue here is not whether the child will die, but whether we have the right as parents to choose between several available medical treatments.”

This reply neutralizes the sensational mold that the reporter wishes to cast to give his slant to the story and focuses on the validity of alternative treatment and parental rights

At this point we would recommend that you ask the representative of the Society for a name of the physician so that you can verify what has been said. It is quite apparent that this is a diversionary tactic designed to imply that the physicians treating the minor child are incompetent, and that the real issue is the parent’s right to choose what they believe is best for their child.

It should be remembered that the parents are simply doing what the Society has instructed them to do. Whenever the Watchtower Society changes their mind about what is permitted and what is not permitted, the parents simply do what they are told. These frequent changes on medical policies are documented in the Historical Perspective. There really is no respect for individual conscience within the organization. You may also want to ask the spokesman what the actual risks of blood transfusions are when compared to the risks of refusing the blood.

The next step would be to point out some alternatives;

Usually inadvisable to say: “I have no comment!”

This implies we have no defense, know we are wrong!

Incorrect response: “Yes, if need be. We do believe in the resurrection and so we will see our child again.”

Headline: WITNESS PARENTS PREFER DEAD CHILD TO LIFE-SAVING BLOOD

Again it becomes clear how concerned the Watchtower Society is about how they are portrayed in the press. The facts of the matter are that many Witnesses have been so indoctrinated by the constant demonizing of blood transfusions, they would prefer that their child die, rather than accept a blood transfusion. Thankfully, the courts usually step in in these situations.

You may want to question the representative on his medical qualifications, and why he believes that he knows better than the Doctors and the Hospital.

You may also want to ask the spokesman why the Society insists that Witness parents not allow their sick child to take a blood transfusion when the nonblood alternatives have been exhausted. Even when this results in death. 

You may have to aid the parents with information on alternatives

Here is where your notes on the case to date may be of help

“Hemoglobin count not truly dangerous yet” (Show articles)

“Know all other vital signs good?”

“Know child is playing on floor with other kids?” “Otherwise healthy?”

“Know doctor has admitted that blood not needed right now, so no real emergency; why does he want order?”

Alternatives–show “Strategies” sheets, references

“Why blood only? No other treatment really?”

“Why is doctor unwilling to try alternatives rather than let baby die?”

This last question highlights the Watchtower Society’s attempt to shift blame away from itself and onto the doctor’s involved in the situation. In effect implying that if the child dies, the real reason will be because the doctor was unwilling to treat the child without blood.

You might ask the spokesman why 61.5% of Witness patients whose hemoglobin drops to 6 or below die according to published scientific reports.

What other doctors say; offered for consultation; why is hospital/doctor unwilling to utilize available help?

“Another hospital willing to take patient; why not allowed?”

May want to discuss more about violation of right to privacy

In rare cases, may decide to say nothing to media at all, perhaps pending legal action or direction from Brooklyn

CONCLUSION

Seek Jehovah’s help in prayer for right words at right time

Self-control best ally under pressure–Galatians 5:22, 23; Proverbs 15:18

Important aspect of work, but must never overshadow primary work of looking after the spiritual and medical needs of the brothers

The Watchtower Society will try to control nearly every aspect of these situations. How the child responds, how the parents respond, how the H.L.C. members respond, and so forth. The reference to “Brooklyn” relates to the world head quarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses where the decision to let critically ill Witness children die rather than accept a potentially lifesaving blood transfusion has already been made. Now all that is left is for members to put the right spin on events.

Watchtower Commits Perjury

councilIn a shocking development, we have learned the Watchtower Society perjured itself before the European Commission on Human Rights. This is a commission that operates under authority of the World Court, and to which the Watchtower Society apparently submitted a false and misleading application regarding objections to legal recognition that were raised by the government of Bulgaria.

By reading the Press release issued by the commission, it will be readily apparent to anyone familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses, that Watchtower officials lied.

Here is one key paragraph regarding children and the blood issue:

As regards the alleged involvement of children the applicant association submits that children cannot become members of the association but only participate, together with their parents, in the religious activities of the community. In respect of the refusal of blood transfusion, the applicant association submits that there are no religious sanctions for a Jehovah’s Witness who chooses to accept blood transfusion and that, therefore, the fact that the religious doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses is against blood transfusion cannot amount to a threat to “public health”. Emphasis ours

It is not unheard of for children to be baptized, and to become members of the association before reaching the age of ten, although most Jehovah’s Witness children are probably in their early teens when they officially become members of the congregation, and subject to its judicial process.
As for a Witness who accepts one of the banned blood products, or a whole blood transfusion, the Watchtower’s historical position has been quite clear:

“…the receiver of a blood transfusion must be cut off from God’s people by excommunication or disfellowshiping….if in the future he persists in accepting blood transfusions or in donating blood toward the carrying out of this medical practice upon others, he shows that he has really not repented, but is deliberately opposed to God’s requirements. As a rebellious opposer and unfaithful example to fellow members of the Christian congregation he must be cut off therefrom by disfellowshiping. – The Watchtower 01/15/1961 pp. 63, 64 Emphasis ours

Anyone can see view the press release for themselves by visiting the archive of the website for the Commission on Human Rights where the Press Release is still maintained. You can also view the friendly settlement between the Watchtower and Bulgaria where they perjured themselves which is still maintained on the commission’s web site – view document.

Is it possible that the European Commission on Human Rights is fabricating all of this as some Witnesses have suggested? No since all the Watchtower Society would have to do is produce the original application to vindicate themselves.

We invited the WTS to respond to these serious charges by contacting us and remain willing to post their official response. Sincere Jehovah’s Witnesses call to mind, and take seriously the words of the Bible. Clearly their leaders do not.

*** Rbi8 John 8:44 ***
YOU are from YOUR father the Devil, and YOU wish to do the desires of YOUR father. That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of [the lie].

*** Rbi8 James 3:14-15 ***
…do not be bragging and lying against the truth.

*** Rbi8 Colossians 3:9 ***
Do not be lying to one another…

*** Rbi8 1 John 2:21 ***
…no lie originates with the truth.

*** Rbi8 Revelation 21:27 ***
But anything not sacred and anyone that carries on a disgusting thing and a lie will in no way enter into it; only those written in the Lamb’s scroll of life [will].