EVER since 1951, when the Watch Tower Society issued its decree that blood transfusions were unscriptural, members have had no other choice but to risk death in a medical emergency or be disfellowshipped.
But now, following the recent challenge from members of the Society’s Hospital Liaison Committee, or HLC, over the issue, it seems that the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society has to do something drastic if it wants to maintain its authority over members.
The doctrine over blood transfusions is just one of a number of views the Watch Tower has taken concerning medical issues.
While all of these doctrines have been made in the name of Jehovah, the Society later reversed them and left it to the “individual’s conscience.”
The Watch Tower Society first revealed its dim view of doctors in the Golden Age (now Awake!) of Aug. 5th 1931 when it announced that the medical profession sprang “from the same demon worshipping shamans (doctor priests) as did the doctors of divinity.”
Again the Golden Age magazine, in 1925, told readers not to take a bath until two hours after eating a meal, nor closer than one hour before.
In an advert, carried in the April 22, 1925 edition of the Golden Age, disease, it claimed, came from “wrong vibrations”, and the WTS even marketed a special machine called theElectronic Radio Biola, which claimed to heal patients by sending special “radio waves” into the person to correct the vibrations
Even more astonishing than the quack science involved was the direct link to occult practices in this machine. The claim that the medical profession has descended from “demon worshipping shamans” becomes quite ironic when we see how this Radio Biolaworked: The patient was told to write his or her name on a piece of paper. A tiny piece, only a dot, of this paper was put into the machine. The machine (or rather, the operator) then somehow answered “yes” and “no” to questions about the patient’s health, reading the electronic oscillations of the patient’s organs based on this dot of ink.
If you think this sounds like a fancy Ouija Board, then you are quite correct. Indeed, one “Bible Student” of the time, Roy Goodrich was able to write a warning article in The Golden Age, saying that the machine was a clever spiritistic trap. However, the WTS leadership disagreed and Mr. Goodrich found himself disfellowshipped.
Vaccinations & Transplants
Although the Watch Tower Society didn’t announce a ban on vaccinations until the 1930s, the practice had been frowned upon earlier.
The Golden Age of Jan. 5th 1929 had this to say: “…the practice of vaccinations is a crime, an outrage, and a delusion.”
Even earlier in 1923 the same magazine of January 3rd, said: “Vaccination never prevented anything and never will, and is the most barbarous practice… Use your rights as American citizens to forever abolish the devilish practice of vaccinations.”
In 1952, after thousands upon thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses had died refusing vaccinations the Watch Tower changed its mind. And, in the December 15th, edition of Consolation (the interim name of the Golden Age) in answer to a question from readers it said:
“ The matter of vaccination is one for the individual that has to face it to decide for himself… our Society cannot afford to be drawn into the affair legally or take the responsibility for the way the case turns out.”
Not one word of apology was made.
In 1967 it was the turn of organ transplants to be condemned by the Society.
Again, in a question from readers, regarding the accepting of transplants, The Watchtower of November 15th, 1967 says: “Those who submit to such operations (transplants) are thus living off the flesh of another human. That is cannibalistic.”
To back up their views the Society again resorted to quack science claiming, in the September 1, 1975 issue of the Watchtower, that recipients of organ transplants began to take on the characteristics of the donor.
For the next thirteen years, until 1952, JWs were faced with the decision of accepting a transplant or upsetting Jehovah.
In 1951, with the vaccination ban still in effect, Jehovah’s Witnesses found themselves facing another dilemma – should they or should they not accept a blood transfusion?
The Watchtower of July 1st, gave them the answer: “Jehovah made a covenant with Noah following the Flood, and included therein was this command, ‘Flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat’ (Genesis 9:4)”
As well as a few scriptures, taken out of context, the Watchtower of July 1st 1951 likened transfusions to eating blood.
“A patient in the hospital may be fed through the mouth, through the nose or through the veins. When sugar solutions are given intravenously, it is called intravenous feeding. so the hospital’s own terminology recognises as feeding the process of putting nutrition into one’s system via the veins. Hence the attendant administering the transfusion is feeding the patient blood through the veins, and the patient receiving it is eating it through his veins.”
But is this analogy a fair one? Not really, because alcohol and blood are very different fluids. Alcohol is already in a form that can be utilised by the bodies cells and absorbed as a food or nutrient. Blood, on the other hand, is completely different. Once transfused, it is not digested or utilised as a food. It remains the same fluid tissue with the same form and function.
In an attempt to back up its stance, the WTS has appealed to certain doctors to support their ideas that blood transfusion is eating.
Quoting from the book “Haemorrhage and Transfusion”, author George W.Crile A.M., M.D. quotes from a letter by Denys, French physician and early researcher, who says: “In performing transfusion it is nothing else than nourishing by a shorter road than ordinary…”
What the Society does not tell its readers , is that this doctor, Jean Baptiste Denys, lived in the 17th century!
Why has the Society found no evidence to support its peculiar idea among the more recent medical experts? Because there are none! Not even the medical doctors who are themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses will ruin their reputation by supporting this claim.
Until the WTS overturns the ban on blood transfusions, millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses face the risk of an unnecessary and early death.
We pray that the efforts of these few men from the HLC will be enough to change the Society’s mind.