Home Doctrine Religious Fanaticism vs Confidentiality – Part 2

Religious Fanaticism vs Confidentiality – Part 2

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How Jehovah’s Witnesses Poison the Workplace

One of the destructive religious beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses is to offer stolen information obtained at the workplace, free of charge, to unauthorized 3rd parties such as local congregation elders.

When a religion attempts to use its freedom of religion to actively incite its members to infringe on the civil rights of others and to engage in criminal behavior, this where it crosses the line and steps into fanaticism.

The fanaticism shown by Mr.  Cruickshank and the bank’s employee, Mr. Sheldon Johnson described in Part 1 of this series, are probably new to some readers but not to Jehovah’s Witnesses. There is some certainty that Mr. Johnson would have consulted The Watchtower, September 1, 1987 issue with an article ““A Time to Speak”—When?” at some time prior to the ruling of the Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago. From the information presented in the court’s ruling BIGWU vs FCB, Mr. Johnson followed the advice presented in the said Watchtower article to the very letter, except for his un-Christian disruptive demeanour at the bank’s disciplinary hearing.

The Watchtower, September 1, 1987 article discuss the beliefs and practices respecting confidentiality in the workplace in which Mary, a Jehovah’s Witness employee, works as a medical assistant at a hospital in which doctor-patient privilege is normally expected by patients and enforced. In processing medical records, she came upon information that a patient who is a fellow Jehovah’s Witness known by her, had an abortion procedure.

The article uses the following biblical scriptures to inform and justify the beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ regarding confidentiality in the workplace:

Proverbs 28:13 – Anyone committing serious wrongdoing should not try to conceal it. In this case, the sin is abortion; in Mr. Johnson’s case, it’s adultery by another church member.

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Leviticus 5:1 – Any witnesses of the wrong would know who had suffered an injustice and would have a responsibility to come forward to establish guilt. Otherwise, they would have to ‘answer for their error’ before Jehovah. This scripture is used to justify reporting a religious sin to congregation elders, even when doing so means breaking Caesar’s laws and employer’s policies on workplace confidentiality.

Acts 5:29 – There may be times when a Christian is obligated to bring a matter to the attention of the congregation elders. True, it is illegal in many countries to disclose to unauthorized ones what is found in private records. But if a Christian feel, after prayerful consideration, that he is facing a situation where the law of God required him to report what he knew despite the demands of lesser authorities, then that is a responsibility he accepts before Jehovah. There are times when a Christian “must obey God as ruler rather than men.”

In other words, Jehovah’s Witnesses must put their religious beliefs at the expense of following the laws of “lesser authorities” which is in this case, the policies of the employer supported by Ceasar’s law. This scripture is used to justify the religious practice of Jehovah’s Witnesses of stealing information, breaching confidentiality and disclosing to unauthorized persons (congregation elders) information in private records (belonging to the employer) if these contain evidence of any religious sin, such as accepting blood transfusions, abortions, video footage of adultery, fornication etc. and other sins as outlined in Chapter 12 of the Shepherd the Flock of God book.

Deuteronomy 27:26; Proverbs 3:33 – While oaths or solemn promises should never be taken lightly, there may be times when promises required by men are in conflict with the requirement that we render exclusive devotion to our God. All who become part of the Christian congregation put themselves under “oath” to keep the congregation clean, both by what they do personally and by the way they help others to remain clean.

This scripture is used to justify the religious practice Jehovah’s Witnesses of reporting a religious sin to congregation elders by violating their professional oath of office and professional codes of conduct, professional codes of confidentiality, to keep their religion morally and scripturally clean at all costs.

In other words, the Christian congregation must be kept clean at all costs, even if doing so means individual Jehovah’s Witnesses violating their professional oath of office and professional codes of conduct. So it’s absolutely fine for a Jehovah’s Witness to break their oath of office to report a religious sin, but it’s a huge problem for a female Jehovah’s Witness who is a victim of domestic violence to break her marriage oath/vows with her abusive partner. In some cases, this is grounds for the victim to be disfellowshipped or expelled from the religion.

Then the Watchtower article uses the following scriptures and provides advice for Mary:

Proverbs 14:25 – In this instance, however, Mary had some other significant information which are evidence of the religious sin. For example, she knew that the sister/client/patient had paid the bill, apparently acknowledging that she had received the service specified. Also, she knew personally that the sister was single, thus raising the possibility of fornication. Mary felt a desire lovingly to help one who may have erred and to protect the cleanness of Jehovah’s organization.

Mary was somewhat apprehensive and is well-informed regarding the legal aspects and criminal liability about reporting the religious sins of the client. However, Mary felt that Bible principles and keeping her religion morally clean should carry more weight than the requirement that she protect the privacy of the medical records. So when Mary analysed all the facts available to her, she decided conscientiously that this was a time to “speak,” not to “keep quiet.”

James 5:13-20 – Now Mary faced an additional question: To whom should she speak, and how could she do so discreetly? She could go directly to the elders, but she decided to go first privately to the sister. Mary reasoned that if the sister had submitted to an abortion and had not confessed to this serious transgression of God’s law, she should encourage her to do this.

If Mary had reported first to the body of elders, they would have had to make a decision based on what they felt Jehovah and his Word required of them as shepherds of the flock. Mary’s report could have included pictures and/or photocopies of the medical record. Worse yet, it could have been simply a verbal report to the congregation elders so that sister/client would not trace anything back to Mary.

If the report involved a baptized Christian who was actively associated with the congregation, the congregation elders would have had to weigh the evidence as did Mary in determining if they should proceed further. If they decided that there was a strong possibility that a condition of “leaven” existed in the congregation, they might have chosen to assign a judicial committee to look into the matter.

The Watchtower article goes on to provide the following additional advice:

  • We cannot ignore Caesar’s law or the seriousness of an oath, but Jehovah’s law is supreme. Anticipating the problem, some brothers who are lawyers, doctors, accountants, and so forth, have prepared guidelines in writing and have asked brothers who may consult them to read these over before revealing anything confidential. Thus, an understanding is required in advance that if serious wrongdoing comes to light, the wrongdoer would be encouraged to go to the elders in his congregation about the matter. It would be understood that if he did not do so, the counsellor would feel an obligation to go to the elders himself.
  • There may be occasions when a faithful servant of God is motivated by his personal convictions, based on his knowledge of God’s Word, to strain or even breach the requirements of confidentiality because of the superior demands of divine law. The objective would not be to spy on another’s freedom but to help erring ones and to keep the Christian congregation clean. Minor transgressions due to sin should be overlooked. This is the “time to keep quiet.” But when there is an attempt to conceal major sins, this may be the “time to speak.”

In Mary’s example, she is fully aware and informed about the legal and criminal implications respecting disclosing information to 3rd parties. However, since “Jehovah’s law is supreme” than Caesar’s law or her medical oath, she knowingly used the medical information of the hospital, not to enquire as to the sister’s medical well-being, but to step outside the terms and conditions of her employment, to privately inform the sister that she is aware that a religious sin has been committed and that she should confess her sins to the elders; otherwise, Mary would report the religions sins by offering stolen information, free of charge, to local congregation elders. Doctor-patient privilege is conveniently thrown out the window together with Mary’s job and professional reputation, all in the name of personal religious persuasion, freedom of religion, zealotry and fanaticism.

Even if she by-passed the Jehovah’s Witness patient (without her consent and knowledge) and disclosed the patient’s medical information to the congregation’s elders (3rd parties according to the court judgement), the elders would nonetheless still use the stolen information from Mary, to impose severe religious sanctions on the patient, under the cloak of removing the “leaven” that existed in the congregation. The sanctions include expelling (disfellowshipping) the patient from the congregation, which oftentimes results in losing one’s social support network which is critical to the patient’s recovery.

It is one thing to have religious beliefs that are anti-abortion and anti-extra-marital affairs; however, when a religion attempts to use its freedom of religion to actively incite its members to infringe on the civil rights of others and to engage in criminal behavior as portrayed by Mary, this where the religion crosses the line and steps into fanaticism. When left unchecked, this type of religious fanaticism promoted by Jehovah’s Witnesses can cause irreparable harm and utter chaos in a modern society.

Now most Jehovah’s Witnesses are known for their “good” work ethics. However, the following scenarios, though not exhaustive, are a few examples of how they poison the workplace and be a threat to information security. The Jehovah’s Witness employee must be employed in the scenarios below and have direct access to the confidential information and records:

  • Medical practitioners at health care institutions
  • Non-medical staff at health care institutions
  • Medical records at health care institutions
  • Medical records at Human Resource Departments
  • ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) Environments
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses who are security camera (CCTV) contractors
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses who are employees of security camera (CCTV) contractors and firms

In summary, The Watchtower, September 1, 1987 issue with an article ““A Time to Speak”—When?” establishes the following destructive, poisonous religious practices and beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, under the cloak of freedom of religion and the 1st Amendment:

  1. It is the religious belief and practice of Jehovah’s Witnesses to steal information from their employers, in specified circumstances and settings, without fearing the consequences (Proverbs 28:13, Leviticus 5:1, Acts 5:29)
  2. It is the religious belief and practice of Jehovah’s Witnesses to violate their secular and professional oaths to supply their employer’s information to unauthorized 3rd parties such as congregation elders, in specified circumstances and settings, without fearing the consequences (Deuteronomy 27:26; Proverbs 3:33)
  3. It is the religious belief and practice of Jehovah’s Witnesses to offer stolen information obtained at the workplace, free of charge, to unauthorized 3rd parties such as local congregation elders (Leviticus 5:1, Proverbs 28:13, Galatians 5:9, 10)
  4. It is the religious belief and practice of local congregation elders of Jehovah’s Witnesses (as unauthorized 3rd parties) to accept stolen information from a fellow Jehovah’s Witness employee, free of charge (Galatians 5:9, 10)

In the final part of this series, we would examine religious fanaticism more closely and how is shown by Jehovah’s Witnesses attitude towards confidentiality.

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Lester Somrah writes about the beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses on his social media platforms and was baptized as a member in 1998.

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