Jehovah's Witness Crimes - Interactive Map/Database

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Jehovah's Witness Crimes - Interactive Map/Database

#1  Postby Rifter » Jan 18, 2011 11:58 pm

I recently began a new project using Google Maps to plot locations, news articles and other sources regarding high-profile crimes committed by Jehovah's Witnesses.

You can view and browse the worldwide map by clicking this link, or the image below. Clicking on the points of interest in the map will reveal excerpts from media articles regarding such reports, as well as links to any available citations.

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Why am I doing this?

Jehovah's Witnesses sincerely believe that they are God's sole chosen organization on earth; that they alone will populate the Earth after the literal and imminent war of Armageddon destroys all non-members; and that their community today consists of a virtual paradise-like brotherhood, devoid of crime, dishonesty, and the social problems faced by society at large.

The aim is not to suggest that all of JW's are criminals. Rather, it serves to debunk the false notion promoted by the leaders of the Watchtower that membership in their organization constitutes a "safe haven" from high-profile crime, violence, fraud, and sexual victimization. Since Jehovah's Witnesses are not allowed to search the Internet or do any sort of independent research on faith-related topics, nor are they allowed to read any material critical of their beliefs, active members are largely unaware of such criminal cases within their community.

This myth is often perpetuated by members of the sect, who commonly cite this perceived communal "protection" as one of their primary reasons for becoming and/or remaining a member. The rest of society (referred to as "the world" by members) is typically portrayed as a dystopian, chaotic slum, largely devoid of love, honesty, morality, and order. Rather, independent sources clearly indicate that criminal activity is at least as common within the confines of the Jehovah's Witness community as it is within the rest of society, if not more common, due to the socially & intellectually isolated nature of the community, the limits placed on secular education, Watchtower policies and customs that directly or indirectly facilitate the harboring of criminals (especially sexual predators), and the higher prevalence of mental illness.

This map is updated manually based on postings from searchable online media outlets, and is by no means a scientific study or a complete representation of all crimes committed by JWs. Not all media, court, and police reports mention the religious affiliation of the accused.

Sources cited in the details. Locations are approximate.
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Re: Jehovah's Witness Crimes - Interactive Map/Database

#2  Postby Poppy » Jan 19, 2011 3:16 pm

This won't actually help. JW's individually realize that there are severe problems within the organization. The problem is that it actually serves to further solidify the WTO's position. Its kind of like a "Well, if its bad in here, imagine how bad it is out there" mentality.

It is hard to fight irrationality with logic.
I used to be a YEC Fundamentalist Christian and then, one day, my braincells started working.
Yay me!
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Re: Jehovah's Witness Crimes - Interactive Map/Database

#3  Postby vsop44 » Jan 19, 2011 3:44 pm

The JW's are as good as the catholic church at covering up their " short comings " .
The JW's family who lived next door to us for many years are a prime example . When his parents died the " head of the house " quickly embezzled his sister ' share of the inheritance by going on a shopping and drinking spree . The sister , also a JW , was pressured not to lay charges that would have sent her brother to jail , and thus spare the Watch tower society and the JW community blushes !
Last edited by vsop44 on Jan 19, 2011 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
As long as it gave itself clear moral rules, a society of atheists could function just as well as any other ; Its citizens just as trustworthy, charitable, passionate for justice and loyal to their friends as any other .
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Re: Jehovah's Witness Crimes - Interactive Map/Database

#4  Postby John P. M. » Jan 19, 2011 3:46 pm

The individual member, if exposed to this, will readily admit that there are problems within the JWs, but they will say that these are problems caused by fallible humans that fall short of the high standard set for them, and they will say that the organization sees to it that these people are either helped if possible, or weeded out of the congregations. So they will say that although not perfect, the congregations are kept as 'clean' as possible, and in any event of course 'better than the rest of the world'.

However - the organization is seen as pretty much infallible - after all, the 'governing body' is the small group doling out the literature, dealing with how to interpret scripture and live ones life - they are 'mother'. Not that JWs won't say that those too may fall short, but you've got to put the foot down somewhere when it comes to fallibility (since they after all assert that God is with them), and if you could show them problems not with the individuals at a high level, but with the actual teachings they have administered through the years, and some controversial (if the average JW knew about them...) decisions, then you may sway some of them. And examples of that is not too hard to find (the book 'Crisis of Conscience' details a few).

I say this as a former JW (although it's been a while, so I've probably forgotten some details).

All that said, good work still. :) And it can be a good resource to have. As I mentioned, one has to put the foot down somewhere when it comes to fallibility of the members, because as a whole, they do say that they are in a privileged position and have God's blessing etc.
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Re: Jehovah's Witness Crimes - Interactive Map/Database

#5  Postby Rifter » Jan 19, 2011 4:31 pm

Thanks for the comments so far. As a former JW of 25 years and someone who works daily with other exiting and recovering JWs, I am well aware that no single avenue constitutes a silver bullet for freeing members from the organization. This is meant as another research tool for those looking into the JWs claims, either as a doubting member, a former member, or someone considering joining.

Just speaking from personal experience, there are many, many JWs who do have the rosy-coated view that JWs are the happiest people on earth, who have rid themselves of all crime and social issues. Of course there are exceptions, but not all JWs are operating at a level which allows them to be objective, or even privately consider or admit problems in their organization. This is just another tool in the chest to dispute such claims - a single place where someone could go to find recent, location-oriented headlines related to JW violent crime, child molesters, and fraud.
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Re: Jehovah's Witness Crimes - Interactive Map/Database

#6  Postby Rifter » Jan 19, 2011 5:04 pm

vsop44 wrote:The JW's family who lived next door to us for many years are a prime example . When his parents died the " head of the house " quickly embezzled his sister ' share of the inheritance by going on a shopping and drinking spree . The sister , also a JW , was pressured not to lay charges that would have sent her brother to jail , and thus spare the Watch tower society and the JW community blushes !


Almost the exact same scenario happened recently to my girlfriend, also an ex-JW. Her uncle, a long-disfellowshipped former JW, passed recently. His active JW family (elders included), who had completely shunned him for many years, were the first people to arrive, back up their vehicles to his home, and begin robbing his estate. All this despite the fact that they were specifically left out of his will, due to the years of cold treatment he received.

You can read her story here: http://jehovahswitnessrecovery.com/phpB ... 67&start=0
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