- by the Speaking Witness (*)
The stubborn refusal from the branch in Emmen to allow an independent investigation into the sexual abuse of children within his own religious community probably only surprised politicians in The Hague. Anyone who knows a little bit about the culture within the Jehovah's Witness organization did not expect anything else. More worryingly, perhaps the vast majority of members do not want any desire for openness and a truly objective truth-finding on any terrain whatsoever. The causes of this will have to be sought in, as the Watchtower has described several times "the excellent spiritual food ". In addition to the well-known journals, Watchtower and Awake also include the various brochures, tracts, website publications, meetings and conferences.
If I draw up the balance on this, then I notice a few things. Thus few words in the reading of Jehovah's Witnesses will be passed as often as the word humility. To possess a healthy form of humility is obviously a precious asset for every person. Humility in the sense that we do not want to make ourselves too important, like to be willing to listen to others and as the Bible says "not to think of ourselves more than necessary". In itself a wonderful goal.
It goes without saying that a good example in this respect is essential. The self-proclaimed "Policy Slave" admits that God and Jesus are the most important examples of this beautiful quality. So let's see immediately what Jesus says about this himself. After he washed the feet of his disciples, he remarked, "A slave is not above his master." To make it clear to his students that he did not consider himself the master, he immediately said afterwards "and someone who is sent is not above the one who sent him". Also, Jesus never taught that a slave is even equal to God. However, the interpretation of the concept of humility that the Governing Body gives through their aforementioned channels is at odds with this.
How ironic, then, is it that even that very same organization shows all the characteristics of narcissistic personality syndrome (NPS), and every characteristic of this mental illness appears to be broadly present, and I will confine myself here to the most eye-catching features.
A narcissist feels more special and special than anyone else. This multiplicity complex is actively propagated to anyone who wants to hear it and even to those who actually do not want to hear it anymore, like the undersigned. Other characteristics of narcissism are: the inability to admit mistakes and the manipulation of the other. This with the aim of the narcissist being able to control them, vulnerable, malleable and thus completely dependent. I call 3 examples from our own literature:
"The will of the slave is therefore Jehovah's will. Rebellion against the slave equals revolt against God (Watchtower 15 August 1956, page 374).
"It is very important that we know who the faithful slave is. Our spiritual disposition and our relationship with God depend on this channel " (Watchtower 15 July 2013, page 20).
"The instructions we receive from Jehovah's organization can seem strange or unusual in human terms. We must all be prepared to follow all the instructions that we get, whether they seem sensible from a strategic or human point of view or not. "(Watchtower, 15 November 2013, page 20).
Sexual abuse often thrives in an environment where one party is immature and there is little social control. Cross-border situations often take place in a context of too much trust in the other: "He knows what he is doing, after all he has been appointed by Jehovah". Sexual abuse thrives when an atmosphere of mistrust is continually being nurtured against everything that is worldly and the municipality itself is regarded as the only safe haven par excellence. The organization has a responsibility that should not be underestimated. Instead of blowing high from the (Wacht) -tower, it will have to learn to recognize that they too are not equal to their master.
* The Speaking Witness is an active Jehovah's witness who is connected to one of the local congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses in the Netherlands. He is critical of how Jehovah's Witnesses react to the media reports about sexual abuse and shows that there are also people in the organization who believe that the subject of sexual abuse should be dealt with differently.
Blogs from the Speaking Witness express the personal opinion of the author. This personal opinion does not automatically correspond with the opinion of the board of Stichting Reclaimed Voices.