The Guardian and a warning to CRESTWOOD ILLINOIS: Jehovah´s Witnesses´ silencing techniques, as terrifying as child abuse
Growing up in a Jehovahs Witness family is different. As a child, I didnt celebrate birthdays, Christmas or July 4. Nor did I, or anyone I knew, mix with non-Witness families in Little League or Girl Scouts. Instead, I spent much of my time sharing the good news. I used to go door-to-door on my own with a big, strong, well liked man in my congregation, named Jonathan. I was just 9 and 10 when he repeatedly sexually abused me.
It is really hard for kids to speak up when theyre abused. But the Jehovahs Witnesses make it a lot harder.
They have a 2 Witness rule, which says that anyone who accuses an adult of abuse must have a second witness. If there is no second witness, the accuser is punished for a false accusation - usually by ordering that no Witness may talk with or associate with the false accuser. This is called dis-fellowshipping. For a kid raised only with other Witnesses, it was horrifying. Even your parents would have to ignore you. It was more terrifying than Jonathan.
It was the elders of my congregation who had assigned Jonathan to team up with me. When we separated from the others, he forced me into his pick-up truck and drove us to his house. Then he would say Lets play. It happened too many times. Like everyone else in the congregation, my parents liked Brother Jonathan and trusted him in our family.
My parents were consumed with some really huge problems in those years, and later divorced. I was emotionally alone - and wanted to be the best Jehovahs Witness I could be. Thats why I went out to field service - the door to door ministry that Witnesses are known for.
What my parents didnt know, was that Jonathan had sexually molested another girl in our congregation. The elders knew this and had kept it a secret. They were following orders from Watchtower leaders, based in the world headquarters in New York, who in 1989 had issued a top-secret instruction to keep known child sex abusers in the congregations a secret. This instruction became Exhibit 1 at my civil trial.
The elders and the Governing Body all knew that child molesters hide in religious groups and often are people who are likeable and friendly - like Jonathan. They knew molesters would likely do it again. But they chose to ignore the safety of the kids, in favor of protecting their image - and their bank account - from lawsuits. It was all in that 1989 letter.
A recent report by the Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that they have continued to issues directives urging silence around child abuse. Last November, elders were instructed to avoid taking criminal matters like child abuse to the authorities. Instead, they were told to handle them internally in confidential committees. The report also showed that Jehovahs Witnesses evoke the First Amendment to hide sex abuse claims.
It took me learning about Jonathans other victims for me to speak up. In 2009, I looked on Californias Megans Law website, the states official list of registered sex offenders. There, I found he had been convicted a few years before for sexually abusing another 8-year-old girl. I felt horribly guilty that I hadnt spoken up about him earlier. Now, I need to stop predators from doing this again.
The only way to end this abuse is by lifting this veil of secrecy once and for all.
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People help people. Gods do not help people
Organ transplants have saved more than two million years of life in the United States over a period of 25 years, new research shows.But fewer than half the people who needed a transplant in this period they received, according to a report in the online edition of the January 28 issue of the journalSurgery JAMA ."The critical shortage of donors continues to affect this field. Just 47.9 percent of patients on the waiting list during the 25 years of the study underwent a transplant. The need is increasing, and therefore the Organ donation should increase, "wrote Dr. Abbas Rana, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues. The researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 530,000 people receiving organ transplants between 1987 and 2012, and nearly 580,000 people who signed up for the waiting list but never received a transplant. In that period, transplants saved 2.2 million life years, with an average of just over four years saved for each person who received a transplant from a living body, the study authors noted in a news release from the journal . The number of years saved by type of organ transplant life were: kidney, 1.3 million years; liver, more than 460,000; heart, almost 270,000; lung, about 65,000: pancreas and kidney, nearly 80,000; pancreas, just under 15,000, and intestines, around 4,500. One expert noted the relevance of the findings. "This study highlights the importance of organ donation, and shows that solid organ transplants save lives. One organ donor can have an impact on up to 50 lives," said Dr. Kareem Abu-Elmagd, director of the Center for transplant at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. "The field of transplantation continues to seek ways to save more lives," said Abu-Elmagd. "For example, the program of ex vivo perfusion of organs of the Cleveland Clinic has been studying perfusion technology to better preserve organs donated." Powered by infusion, a machine pumps oxygen and nutrients to the donated enriched to prevent damage or deterioration of the body prior to transplant into a patient waiting, according to the Cleveland Clinic organ solution. Baylor researchers suggested a direct solution. "We call for greater support of transplantation and solid organ donation, valuable efforts have an impressive record of achievements and tremendous potential to do even more good for humanity in the future," concluded the authors. HealthDay, translated by HispaniCare
SOURCES: Kareem Abu-Elmagd, MD, Ph.D., director, Cleveland Clinic´s Transplant Center, Ohio; JAMA Surgery , news release, Jan. 28, 2015
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