Shit Jehovah’s Witnesses Say #2: It’s Only a Legitimate Rape if You Scream

Posted by Bridget R. Gaudette on November 29th, 2012 – 31 Comments – Posted in Bible, blog, Faith hurting, Jehovah's Witness, religion, sex ed, Women's Rights

-Bridget R. Gaudette

Unfortunately, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have had a bit of trouble determining whether or not “rape” is fornication and therefore grounds for excommunication (what they call disfellowshipping). In their secret elder’s manual, “Shepherd the Flock of God” published in 2010, they explain that simply being raped isn’t even enough. They start off sounding reasonable, “One who was raped would not be guilty of pornei’a (aka fornication)”. Good, but then they go on to disappoint me, “discernment is needed in considering claims of rape, taking into consideration such factors as mental disposition of the person, the circumstance that led up to the incident and delay in reporting.” So, I suppose if she is mentally unstable and raped.. or if she was flirtatious and raped.. or if she waited a month to report the rape that she might still be disfellowshipped? I know claims of rape can be false but that’s rare. Either way, the average person believes (minus some Republican politicians) that if a person is raped, it matters not what her mental disposition was or how long she waited to report it. Rape is rape.

So now for a history lesson the JW view of legitimate rape:

In the first mention of this subject that I could find in one of their religious magazines The Watchtower, the JWs considered not screaming during a rape, fornication. The quote is as follows, “But suppose the man had a weapon and threatened to kill the girl? These scriptures [Deuteronomy 22: 23-27] do not weaken the argument or alter the situation by citing any circumstance that would justify her in not screaming. It plainly says she should scream, hence, oppose the attack regardless of the circumstances.” They ignore the fact that rape victims often freeze during the act. They go on to say that Christians should “’flee from fornication’ (1 Cor. 6:18). Thus if a Christian woman does not cry out and does not put forth every effort to flee, she would be viewed as consenting to the violation.” Wait for it: “There would be shame [for] having been coerced into breaking God’s law by having sex connections with one other than a legal marriage mate. Not only that, but she might become an unwed mother.” No, dear readers, this wasn’t written in the middle ages, this was in the 1/15/64.

Oh wait, would you like to some victim blaming? “The fact that over 15,000 women a year, about one every half hour, are raped in the United States […] serves as a warning to women that they should exercise care so as to avoid dangerous situations”… like being alone or being alone in the dark! Lesson: you know you might be raped, so don’t go out alone, if you do, then it’s kind of your fault that so many of you get raped. (By the way, 85-90% of sexual assaults take place between people who know one another, not in dark alleys by strangers). “For a Christian woman to persist in going out alone […] where women are frequently attacked is to invite trouble”. OMFG.

Victim Blaming 101. 

Okay.. the above was in 1964.. surely they got more enlightened…

In 1968 in the June 1 Watchtower pp 345-50 it is reaffirmed that “As a Christian you are under obligation to resist”. Yes, “obligation”. But what exactly does resisting entail? “This resistance includes screaming and creating as much disturbance as possible to try to frighten off the attacker […] So by no means would it be proper to quietly submit to rape, as that would be consenting to fornication”. Again, this ignores the fact that some people freeze when raped or the age of the victim. But what if they have a gun on you? “You have no guarantee that if you meekly submit, your assailant will not kill you anyhow.” WTF? “Christian women are wise if they do all they can to avoid making themselves targets for rapists”. Thanks for the advice Watchtower.

But, confusion sets in because.. in the JW book,  Aid to Bible Understanding, p 1371, 601 (1969 +1971 ed) they say “Rape is defined as unlawful sexual intercourse without the woman’s consent, effected by force, duress, intimidation…” and “Fornication is sex relations by mutual agreement between two persons not married to each other.” The unfortunate thing is that their idea of  “consent” means not screaming so even in a legitimate rape, the JWs could still see it as fornication and grounds for disfellowshipping if she didn’t cry out.

In the March 8, 1974 Awake! magazine a story involving an attempted rape is recounted. The victim said to the rapist that “if she did not scream, she would be as good as dead anyhow.” (She meant dead God’s eyes). “Also, that if she did not scream she would ruin her relationship with Jehovah God and the Christian congregation; that then she would be disfellowhiped or excommunicated from it.” Again, WTF?! This is supposedly how she reasoned with the rapist. This poor woman was led to believe that even as a victim her religious leaders would punish her for being raped!

Next, the Watchtower talks about the formation of the rapist, “Womankind must share the blame. To begin with, until the age of five or six years, the most vital period, little boys have their personalities molded largely by women, their mothers […] far too many mother have come short in this regard.” No mention of the father’s responsibilities in this. Mothers make rapists.

To end the article they advise not to hitchhike and dress immodestly.

Take what you want from this quote in the 7/8/80 Awake! magazine p. 5 and 6 titled How Most Victims React. “Often coupled with the fear is confusion and uncertainty. For example, a 19 yr old explained, ‘I never physically fought him off in any way, partly because I was frightened mostly because in my naivete I thought a girl has to do what she’s told. I was overwhelmingly confused and defenseless against the whole sudden suddenness.’  “She reacted as many others have under similar circumstances.”  “Profound terror in the face of physical threats simply renders most women helpless.” So they obvious recognize that consent or not consenting doesn’t have to be in the form of screaming or specifically saying “no”. What bothers me is that this woman had likely been influenced to believe (as many religious women do) that they are second class citizens and should do as the man says. I wonder how wives raped by their husbands are treated.

That same year they said “A Christian woman is under obligation to resist, for the issue of obedience to God’s law to flee from fornication is involved […] By no means would it be proper for her to willingly submit to being raped”. It’s obvious that they are still confused about what “rape” means.

Watchtower 3/15/83 p. 30 “What do we understand here by “fornication”? The Greek word in this text is pornei’a. “A male or female who is forcibly raped would not be guilty of porneia.” <phew> Maybe there is some hope after all.

“But the rapist is asking a person to break God’s law by committing fornication”. Huh? Are rapists that polite? In a section titled Treat Him [THE RAPIST] Respectfully The Watchtower says “The intended victim should remember that the rapist is human. No doubt there are circumstances in his life that have precipitated his behavior. So although a woman should not cower in fear and permit a rapist to intimidate her, at the same time she should treat him understandingly as a fellow human“. Wow. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried. They are basically saying to take the rapist’s feelings into consideration. How about no? How could she “treat him understandingly”,  while at the same time screaming and resisting?  Isn’t  “respecting him” an undue burden for a woman to bear under those  circumstances?

Here’s a sample of the guilt trip and confusion that JW rape victims have to endure and the resulting mindset: “If I gave in and he raped me, I would eventually die and have no hope of a resurrection.” Watchtower 2/22/84 p. 25

Later that year there were several complaints about the above comments (treat the rapist with understanding) so the JWs issued a statement “For the victim to be considered guilty of fornication there would need to be proof of willing consent.” Progress? “The woman screaming would clear her from suspicion of such consent on her part”. Nope.. if you didn’t scream you’re probably still a fornicator and worthy of shunning.

Listed as one of the reasons why you should resist an attacker (Awake! 5-22-86 p. 23). “Your conscience will be clear. (Even if you are raped, you will not sacrifice your cleanliness before God).” Apparently if she did not scream/resist (a legitimate rape), then she should have a guilty conscience.

Awake! 9-22-86 p. 28 “True, the woman has to respond according to her assessment of the danger to her life.” Again, thank you for giving women permission to defend themselves.

Awake! 3-8-93 p. 5 “Myth: A rape victim bears part of the blame unless she actively resists.” I guess the JWs have a short memory; not so long before this, they perpetrated that very myth. I recall something about “silently submitting” and “inviting trouble”.

Watchtower February 2003, pp. 30-31 “Why does the Bible say that a person should scream when threatened with rape? [… the Bible] offers counsel on what one should do when threatened with rape”. The article then goes on to quote Deuteronomy 22: 23 and 24 which says in part, “you shall take both of them [the rapist and the victim] to the gate of that town and stone them to death-the young woman because she […] did not scream for help.” The Biblical writers didn’t concern themselves with the woman’s age, her relationship to the man, what she might have said that didn’t involve screaming, what threats he might have made. She didn’t scream = consent (and therefore fornication). The Watchtower goes on to say, “Although Christians today are not under the Mosaic Law, the principles mentioned therein provide them with guidance. The above account underscores the importance of resisting and screaming for help […] even in the sad case where a woman is overpowered and raped, her struggle and screaming for help is not in vain […] despite going through the ordeal, she can still have an undefiled conscience, self-respect and the assurance that she is clean in God’s eyes”. A woman raised in a healthy environment would never even consider being a rape victim as something God would blame her for. Being raised as a JW and seeing how they have flip-flopped on the matter, however, is unhealthy and could easily lead to these types of feelings. The quote of all quotes, “In hindsight, they feel that they should have done more to prevent the incident from happening. However, instead of blaming themselves, such victims can pray to Jehovah, ask for help and have confidence in his abundant loving-kindness”. So pray to the entity that could have helped you but didn’t? Also, I’ve noted the absence of advice to seek counseling.

After this I couldn’t find any more specific statements that say not screaming while being raped is fornication or consent, but there are several times where they say that Deuteronomy 22: 23, 24 gives us insight into how God feels about rape. In this, they are essentially maintaining their archaic, victim blaming endorsement of some rapes being illegitimate and the victim being worthy of expulsion from their congregation.

Todd Akin didn’t invent the concept of “legitimate rape”, it’s been around for centuries and occasionally idiots like him bring it to the forefront. Unfortunately, high control groups like the Jehovah’s Witness talk a whole lot of shit on the matter. They don’t consider that some people freeze when being raped or for whatever reason do not scream or resist to the level that the religious leaders are comfortable with. The result would be disfellowshipping wherein all of the person’s JW friends and family are disallowed from associating with or even speaking to them. I sum up with article with questions:

How many JW women (and men and children for that matter) over the years were disfellowshipped because they did not fight the rapist or scream?

How many rapists believe that the victim not screaming means they did little to nothing wrong?

Were the victims ever advised to get counseling even when they supposedly just fornicated?

Are some victims going through life thinking that their god views them as unclean even though they were raped?

How many women were killed or injured because of screaming instead of taking the threat of death seriously?

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  1. Jim n says:

    Nice. I worked in a safe house for battered women for six months, in Utah, as a live-in caretaker couple. What amazed me was how many women blame themselves for being abused, beaten, or raped. What also amazed me was how many went back to their relationship.

    As a guy it first was difficult to not see why a woman wouldn’t scream, fight, or bite the damned thing off–a poetic end jn my mind. My spouse at the time, a social worker, helped me get that depression, anger, and situational anxiety can often freeze people, men as well. Often, women, are quiet to just get over it, because they fear more aggression, or because they just get quiet. Indeed, one of the strongest defenses against rape on the street is a confident attitude. Rapists in their search for power, conquest, and abuse, find victim-type personalities. It just doesn’t matter why though…

    In participating in self-defense classes I saw how women tended not to want to be aggressive–they might hurt their aggressor. Other women had fewer issues with being aggressive. Evobio types remark this phenomenon may be due to women having to have been passive for so long, including childbirth, that it isn’t uncommon for women to respond by being passive or practicing endurance.

    In long term warring socities aggressive men are rewarded with more food, more status, and more wives. Wives that can stand an aggressive asshole with a result of more male children leaning to aggression and more females willing to take it. In this sense, long term, war fucks up a people for generations.

    In date rape situations, men often lie to themselves, and think she really wants it, she really likes it, or she wanted it to begin with, she dressed like she wanted it. Which is why it is so damned important for a man to stop any time they hear “no” or a safety release word (especially S&M games).

    Converse to game playing run amuck, most rapists aren’t in it for the sex so there is little need to confuse “no” and “stop” for “no” and “stop.”

    Confounding the issue is legalized rape in marriages. Often rape is legally impossible within the marriage but rather unwanted sex or abuse or some such bullshit. Sadly, historically, rape has been pretty common and religions and governments have sought to eliminate difficult marriage litigation by staying out of spousal rape. Often it was easier to just say marriage is an ongoing consent to sex.

    Brutally, historically, physical abuse has been too common in many western societies where rape didn’t stand out among the beatings, floggings, whippings, torture, and death of many people. For example, in America, we just don’t, as a rule, beat children anymore. When I was young, the childrearing books of Dr Spock were radical because they didn’t promote spanking, slapping, hitting, and physical deprivation.

    Frankly, the abolishment of slavery helped stop abuse. The advent of machines helped eliminate the abuse of animals. We diss modern times but I wouldn’t go back to early America for anything (unless precolonialism and then only specific tribes). The Wilderness view wouldn’t be worth living in the culture.

    • Rape happens for many reasons. It’s already devastating and the JWs compound the issue by telling the woman that if she doesn’t scream that will anger god. There are conditions that I linked to in the article that explain that sometimes it is impossible for the woman (or child or man) to do so because their body freezes. They spend too much time on telling women how to properly be raped (you must scream for it to be legitimate) and not focusing on the rapist (other than telling the victim to remember he’s a person, too).

      • Jim n says:

        No doubt! Charity doesn’t mean being soft on your attacker! Too often Christian-based religions say to love your enemy but it’s usually when you can’t demand justice!

        My exJW girlfriend announced to me she was damaged and then expounded why…yikes. I never got to meet her parents, thankfully.

        Even date rape victims are scarred for many years, if not longer than so called legitimate rape victims because even greater trust has been violated.

        JW is a nasty religion; thanks for posting!

  2. Becca Challman says:

    Wow! You nailed it!
    I am working on an article about this very subject, but I think I will just share the link to this blog post. Brilliant.
    As a Jehovah’s Witness, my mother reared me to believe that the onus was on the woman to both scream during the attack and then to prove that she was raped after the attack (perhaps by the numerous cuts and bruises inflicted for resisting).
    Bullshit, indeed. Sad.

    • Personally, I wish the elders would let law enforcement decide and then advise them to seek professional counseling. If she’s lying then that needs to be between her and her god. These untrained men are not qualified to deal with such claims (especially when the rapist is an elder or MS which happens).

  3. Paul G. says:

    The last time I went to a circuit assembly (a meeting of multiple congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses) some years ago, I was appalled at a comment made about the way a few of the Witness women had dressed at these events. The speaker said if a woman wears a dress that shows too much cleavage or is too suggestive and some guy in the audience sees her walking around and he then cheats on his wife, the woman in the dress was responsible before the congregation and God for his actions. While not directly related to rape, this shows how women are constantly blamed for the actions of men in the congregation.

    • And yet women in Muslim countries where women are fully covered get raped just as often. It’s not always about a woman’s sex appeal, it’s also about power and domination.

  4. Macleod says:

    Bridget,

    Excellent article. You are providing a valuable and much needed service. Way to go.

    In these life-and-death situations no one knows how they’ll react or even what the right thing to do at that very moment is. Add to that the superstitious belief that if you choose wrong that some invisible monster is going to punish you and the situation becomes intolerable. How these people feel they can armchair quarterback a terrible violent act that they did not witness is beyond me. How they feel that they can sit in their comfy armchairs and pass judgement is an affront to thinking, feeling people everywhere.

    With your help, maybe it will stop.

    Cheers,

    Macleod

  5. Anonymous says:

    According to official statistics, a little over 40% of all rape claims in the US turn out to be false, so it’s not exactly “rare.” Anyway, I think you may be reading a little too much into this. That religious handbook contains basically the same criteria used by police and prosecutors to judge whether a rape claim is meritorious, it’s just couched in religionspeak. For example, if you make a claim of rape a month after it supposedly happened, that does count against you in a court of law, and makes it much more difficult to provide evidence that it occurred. These guys seem to basically be saying the same thing.

    It makes perfect sense to be cautious and sensible about claims of rape. Women are just as fallible as men, and I’m sure there are plenty (and plenty with legitimate grievances, of course) who have used rape claims as a means of revenge, or as a weapon against someone they disliked, just like blasphemy laws are constantly misused in places like Pakistan in order to, for example, secure someone else’s property.

    • Phil Ferguson says:

      “anonymous” Please provide a link to the “official” statistics.

      • Cory says:

        After a quick google search, all I could find on false rape statistics is an official FBI release of crime data for 1997. According to the FBI about 2% of all crime is UNFOUNDED but Rape is at 8% UNFOUNDED. I put UNFOUNDED in capitals because that does not mean the crimes were false, but the victims were either lying or unreliable.

        Now saying that, the only case that I have had personal experience of was at my house. I had over a female friend I allowed to stay the night because she had a huge fight with her boyfriend and he kicked her out of his home. She had to find a place to stay for one night until her mother could pick her up after work the next day, so being a sap I said she could stay. That night I had pool league and brought her along to the bar to play pool. after pool a few of my teammates came back to my place for a few drinks, and after a couple of hours there was only 3 of us left, me, the girl and a male friend. Now these two were flirting all night, but she didn’t want anything else to happen. He understood and said his goodbyes and left. She went to sleep, and I followed about an hour latter.

        I woke up the next morning and went to work. about 1:00 pm the girl stopped up at my work and claimed that my male friend forced himself into my house and raped her about an hour earlier. She did not looked disheaveled or been in a traumatic experience so I call her bluff and told her to call the police. She did. and they went to my friends work and arrested him.

        Now the timing was the first issue that had to change, she claimed he raped her around noon. But he was at work at 11, so she said she was mistaken and it had to be around 10. Which would give him a small window of time to commit it.

        Then the physical destruction she claimed to happened to my house, which also turn out to be false. she claimed that he forced himself through my front door and forced her onto the couch. But I pointed out to the cops that my desk was in between the door and the couch and it was not disturbed. She once again changed her story to he said he forgot something from the night before and let him in the house.

        There was no physical evidence that I know of.

        Then the first actual day of court, I went to there and enter the witness and victims waiting area. (since I was a potential witness) I waited for a few hours then finally they told me the case was dismissed because of the failure of the witness of showing up. Later that night I was at the bar I was currently bartending at the time, and who did I see, it was the girl. I asked her what happened that morning and she said(I will never forget this)”I had better things to do this morning.”

        I was flabbergasted, my friend lost his job and lost joint custody of his kids, because of this charge.

        • Jim Newman says:

          She probably had to figure out a way of explaining her being with those guys after the fight to get back to her abusive, but necessary (in her mind), boyfriend? Once she made the accusation, she couldn’t back track?

          • Cory says:

            I believ it was more a desperation move on her part. She naively thought it would bring sympathy from her ex(who did not beat her, just a prick that day and kicked her out).

        • Not really sure why you decided to share that particular story. This article is about actual rape victims and how religion harms.

          • Jim n says:

            LOL. Apologies, I was conjecturing, concluding the story of why in this case, assuming his story is correct, the woman would lie about it. Sadly, this kind of thing is rare compared to how often women say they were raped and aren’t listened too.

          • Cory says:

            I was just commenting on Anonymous and Phils post. I do not know the statistics of false rape accusations, but in the only rape case I personally been connected to it seemed false. That is all. Yes it is a shame for using religion to dismiss real rape accusations, but some women have falsely accused men of this horrible crime. It diminishes real rape charges, having law enforcement not taking the charges seriously, and severely damages the life of the falsely accused. They should charge false accusations the same as rape chargers, and then maybe we will only have to discuss real rapes and how to stop them.

            You can bring me slanted statistics from both sides of this issue. Some claim a much higher number and others say it is so little that it is statistically non existent. Both are wrong, it is somewhere in between.

    • I’d love to have a link for these statistics. Also, I’m not saying that every claim should be taken at face value, but I take a lot of issue with untrained men messing around with such matters. This is something for law enforcement.

      That was but a minor niggle anyway, it’s there specific criteria on a woman needing to scream that bothered me the most.

    • Artor says:

      I call bullshit. You either made up that 40% statistic, or you got it from someone who was lying their ass off. No, we’re not reading too much into this- it’s obvious to everyone but you that the JW’s have an awful, misogynistic view of rape. Yes, it makes perfect sense to be cautious and sensible about claims of rape. Trying to argue it away, or claim it’s all the woman’s fault is not cautious or sensible.

      • Jim Newman says:

        Yeah Artor, sorry, but an idiot study has blinded debate with the 40% crap for a few years now, From Wikipedia:

        “FBI reports consistently put the number of “unfounded” rape accusations around 8%. However, “unfounded” is not synonymous with “false” allegation.[9] The largest study, published in 2005, was based on 2,643 sexual assault cases and found 3% of false reports. A much criticized 1994 study of 109 rape complaints made between 1978 and 1987 found 41% of false allegations

        Near any search on rape statistics would reveal this bullshit number.

        It seems like women who use crying rape as a weapon are of lower economic background, marginalized people–angry rich people have better ways to torture each other; I have seen most of this in impoverished rural and trailer park culture. But cops are quick to defend women’s words for good reason… It’s like conservatives, no offense Cory, bitching about how poor people take advantage of the WIC program but the numbers are quite quite low and the myth huge, and they are still poor.

  6. Again another wonderful post, Thank you Bridget.

    I am really finding this particular subject interesting. I do not remember these points being talked about from this view point at all. Of course this may in part be due to the fact that of the 20 or so kids ages 17 and below only 4 were girls. Those 4 girls were all at least 8 years younger than me and I was the oldest of all the kids in the congregation.

    I remember being told that it was safer to do things in groups and to never find yourself alone with the opposite sex for fear that satan would lead you both into temptation or something.

    So with the majority of the unmarried young adults being male the message we got was to put more effort into jehovah’s good works and we shall be rewarded with a wife in time. As if they were a prize for logging in so many hours over the years.

    My father who came into the “truth” in the early 70′s followed by my soon to be mother shortly after had been raised with good moral values and (as far as I know) minimal religious up bringing. So they both taught me to respect both men and women as fellow human beings no more no less. But this also clashed with my religious up bringing they forced on me. “Just treat them as you want to be treated” was our mainstay in regards to interacting with anyone in the “truth”. What of the people I met at school? I treated them all the way I wanted to be treated just like fellow human beings. That was of course unless they were out right “worldly” and found to be “wicked in their ways” but you can’t know that until after you have gotten to know them.

    Growing up over the years was very confusing as there seemed to be 2-3 sets of rules for everything. The above article only adds a little more insight to yet another set of rules being taught to the women in the congregation. I have a better understanding why my mother threatened to take us kids and leave after 10+ years as a JW, but I will never understood why she agreed just 4 years later to go back. If she was being treated as a second class citizen and ordered to “obey” my father no matter what, why in the world would you go back?

    That’s all for now, I need to save some for my book in progress, can’t tell all the spoilers. :)

  7. Jim n says:

    I get several odd reactions when I talk about rape to other people. The first is men don’t want to talk about it. When there is a woman or a man who does want to talk about it a little, I provoke by saying “30% of the women in this country are raped. When you walk down a street, when you are at a party, 1 of 3 men you are looking at are rapists.” My souse is usually quick to add that rapists are serial so that number isn’t quite right. I then get to add that many rapes aren’t reported… Only 25% of rapists are convicted, 9% are to men, 99% are by men, 30% don’t involve alcohol or drugs, 60% aren’t reported, 68% are by a friend or intimate, 40% occur in the victim’s home, and 3-5% each year experience rape. There is more rape in developed countries. All stat’s are from Wikipedia–rape statistics.

    My point is that rape is ubiquitous. If you want a rule of thumb, watch out for a male friend or family in your home drinking alcohol. It’s not the strangers you gotta watch out for.

    I also use this example of how common rape is to argue against the social oppression of sex offender monitoring. Do you really want to suspect and follow all of those houses, all of those people? But that deserves more time than this.

    In Utah, when I was there, Mormon girls were told to go to their bishop for most problems, including rape; My spouse, at the time, would go bizerk frustrated that these girls would receive no professional help, and worse be told to go home, calm down, and be a good wife.

    The most despicable story I have of sleezeballs was a guy who took the job at the Battered Shelter. It’s hard not to be anecdotal and say he seemed weird but quiet and non confrontational. He was hired. It took awhile to do the background check and it came back positive as a sex offender. Confronted he claimed to wanted to make up for his past offenses. The administration could not take a chance. If he was innocent, did he think we would allow his presence, legally or otherwise, hmm, if he wasn’t, imagine the sociopathy to think he wanted to be “near” rape and abuse victims.

    I had a friend who dated Ted Bundy and said he was the nicest and most polite man–he is not typical. Unfortunately such stories make people more paranoid and not more awarely cautious. All you need is some policemen telling you everyone is suspect..,you can’t trust your intuitions. It’s no wonder we create safe harbor social groups, or just ignore the statistics.

    Religion has long used sex as a mean of oppression; if you can control that kind of intimacy, imagine the social power. Anthropologists have wrongly apologized much of it as a means of controlling reproduction, and maintaining patriarchy. This is bullshit. Sexual abuse is too easy in societies that dominate women. Don’t forget the many sacred admonitions against masturbation, sodomy, pornography, S&M, beastiality, incest, and of course monogamy and homosexuality in all the Abrahamic religions. Hell, traditional Buddhists are incredibly misogynistic and deny sex period.

    It’s very hard to know what “savage” or native societies did. Most early anthropologists were religious and western or followed the social mores to not talk about sex. Now most native societies are so corrupted by western culture it’s nearly impossible to know what their ancestors did. There is still bias against discussing social sex so it’s still poorly understood. A Native American women told me she knew of a herbal abortive but would never reveal it–she had been raised in a Spanish (Catholic) mission. While she hated what they did she still felt loyal. That’s the conundrum.

    • Yes.. the statistics are horrifying. The JWs are just as bad as many others in telling woman how to dress and act so as not to be raped and in my article they went so far as to say the women raising the men were to blame with no mention of a father’s responsibility in child-rearing. They need to stop the victime blaming and concentrate on the assholes that rape.

  8. Jim n says:

    One more story about religion and sex. When I first dated a woman and talked to her grandmother on the phone, she asked me if my “intentions were honorable.” After the call, I was told granny, the daughter of an Episcopal Bishop (head of a state) often told the family that a woman must save her virginity for marriage as it was what a woman could bring to the table in a nuptial, a marriage. Yikes.

    In Utah, High School (East High School of Glee fame), we, class, were told that teenage pregnancy isn’t a problem, they just get married.

  9. Danielle D. Davis says:

    THANK YOU, BRIDGET!!! As a fellow female child survivor of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I too am on a mission to expose the cult for the countless abuses of women and children that have been perpetrated and encouraged by the JWs. Might I suggest for your “Shit Jehovah’s Witnesses Say #3″ that they state it is better to die of the Lord than to live among the world (even if one or both of your parents are not practicing JWs – this is equal to living among the world). It is causing huge levels of suicide (and murder-suicides) among their ranks, largely covered up by the investigating police and reporting media. For example, the congregation I was raised in was North Congregation, Toledo, Ohio. One of the main families of that congregation was the Fords (Randy & Sandy were approximately my parents’ age and Mandy & Andy were one year older & one year younger than I); my father studied with Randy (never bought into any of it) and my mother considered Sandy Ford one of her best friends. I am attaching a link (but am uncertain if it will attach, if it does not, please google “Sandy Ford, Grandma Who Killed Grandkids In Murder Suicide, Wanted Custody Of Children”). The media refuses to release the fact that this was a religiously-motivated crime – or even that the Fords were JWs, even though it was their entire lives – and anyone who points it out is shunned (my mother – who continued to speak to me for 20 years after I left “The Truth” – now refuses to speak to me because I will NOT keep my mouth shut on this topic). Furthermore, anyone who has EVER known the Fords (or JW beliefs) knows full well that Sandy (or any “true believing” JW wife) would NEVER have done ANYTHING without the approval of her husband, Randy (who would not respond to numerous calls by police during the day and was home for over an hour prior to “finding” the “suspicious” notes and the garage barricaded). The media is not only withholding the truth from the public, but is participating in dangerous victim blame (of a very young child) by indicating “behavior problems” of a surviving sibling was the cause for the murder-suicide (and who is to say the “behavior problem” wasn’t refusal to attend the Kingdom Hall or knock on doors?); the police are going so far to cover up the truth by not even allowing to let the mother read the suicide letters written by her brainwashed children (all signs indicate they willingly went to die with Grandma Sandy instead of being raised outside of “The Truth” by their parents) because the notes most certainly contain evidence that this was a religious crime. The JWs believe Sandy & Andy “saved” their & the children’s souls from Satan’s System and they will all be resurrected to live forever in paradise Earth; until this cult is shutdown, more children WILL needlessly die. Again, thank you for the important work you are doing; feel free to contact me at anytime for further information or to partner in exposing this hideous, murderous cult. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/14/mandy-hayes-murder-suicide_n_2128857.html

  10. Jim n says:

    Wow. So, for past JW people, tell us. Should we secularists talk to JW when they come around? Should we just say “no thank you” and close the door or should we, if so inclined, engage them? What makes a JW leave the church? Does their experience in missionary work have anything to do with it? What does?

    • Danielle D. Davis says:

      In my opinion, it is best to put a sign on your door that says “NO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES: we don’t need you to “save” our children like Sister Sandy Ford did.” This serves double duty: 1) they will know their secret is out and 2) they have no decent comeback and will just go away. If you engage with them in anyway, you will be marked as interested and scheduled for a return visit, and another, and another, and another, and another; the harassment will NEVER stop. It is different for all of us: many JWs who leave have come to their senses, some (such as my dad and myself) never believed in the first place and were just waiting for the first opportunity to get out, others (like my sisters) just don’t want to follow all the whacky rules but still believe and won’t speak out (fear of being a blasphemous apostate) because they intend to repent just before death; I know of one family (the father was an elder at Riverview Congregation, Northwood, Ohio) who left after they were told they must disown two of their lifelong JW-raised children who announced they were gay – and they didn’t just leave, they burnt all the JW books in their house. I don’t believe the experience of missionary work is what makes them leave (if you mean the questioning by worldly people making them re-think their beliefs); they are trained to distrust and view these questions of faith by apostates as the acts of Satan.

      • Jim n says:

        Ugh, thanks Danielle. Swallowing my own disgust I’d hoped if I talked to them rationally, not in anger, they might not think I am possessed. But I wondered if it would have an effect and it sounds like it wouldn’t. Outright rejection is more likely to make them think about how crazy they are? We just wait until the abuse reports come in and prosecute?

        I don’t think I ever got just how “damaged” my JW girlfriend was until now… She was brave!

        Makes me want to create a card to hand out when they approach me in a parking lot that says: “Oppressed by your religion? Tired of not being able to love your family? Tired of being pursued by satan? Tired of being afraid the world is going to end now. Leave JW before it destroys you and your family. Seek help, call .” But that still is attention.

        I just don’t know… Dan Barker talks about being in a feedback loop where every rejection is support that they are right. Any contact gives credibility. Uggh, depressing.

  11. Itoro Ita says:

    you all are just frustrated…return back to Jehovah and the organization and you’d all be very happy, fulfilled and purposeful!!!

    • Danielle D. Davis says:

      You know what’s frustrating, Itoro Ita? #ShitJehovahsWitnessesSay, including stupid shit like what you said, clearly without reading the article or having a clue about what you are talking about. Pull your brainwashed mind out of the Governing Body’s ass and maybe you might be happy, fulfilled and purposeful…until then, quit trolling.

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