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Lloyd Evans responds to our story about JWs and blood transfusions

One of the people we heard from after posting our story yesterday about the Jehovah’s Witness prohibition of blood transfusion was ex-JW activist Lloyd Evans, who complimented us on bringing up Watch Tower president Nathan Knorr’s role. We really appreciated the encouragement he gave us.

We told him that we had also heard from a few people who defended the policy, which was, after all, the point of why we had written the article — we genuinely wanted to understand why people adopted such a lethal misreading of Biblical dietary laws.

The Bunker: Lloyd, we heard from a few different people who sent us some really entertaining exegetical acrobatics to prove that the Biblical objections to eating blood did also apply to transfusions, which weren’t actually medically possible until the 19th century.

Lloyd: Yes, there are a few JW apologists around who take it upon themselves to defend Watch Tower on this and other issues.


The Bunker: We asked them, why do all of the other Christian denominations disagree with you? Are they bad Christians?

Lloyd: Pikuach nefesh is another thing to ask about. It’s a rabbinic principle that Jesus invoked to explain why he healed on the Sabbath, because the preservation of life comes ahead of everything else.

The Bunker: So for Jesus, saving a life was more important than religious codes like the sanctity of the Sabbath. But for Jehovah’s Witnesses, an arcane rule is more important than saving a life.

Lloyd: Knorr and his cronies weren’t Bible scholars, so they didn’t know any of that.

The Bunker: As a “never-in” (as we say in the Scientology watching world), we were startled to see The Watchtower refer to Leviticus — Jewish dietary laws — in order to justify mandating horrific deaths in hospitals. It’s lunacy.

Lloyd: Indeed. Also, most JWs don’t consider that humans exchange at least one of the banned components naturally — Mother’s breast milk is full of white blood cells. But JWs are banned from receiving them.

The Bunker: And that’s why we were saying that it might make sense to have someone with some medical training considering these issues, and not an uneducated guy who managed to work his way up to Watch Tower president through its book division. But one person at our Facebook page called our raising Knorr’s lack of medical education a “straw man.” This was a religious decision, not a medical one, he said.

Lloyd: In a way, he’s right. I don’t like it when JW apologists try to argue there are medical reasons for refusing blood. They try to suggest that blood alternatives are safer, which is true to at least some extent. But bottom line, JWs refuse blood for religious reasons, albeit appallingly conceived ones. If blood were 100 percent safe with no risk of infection (and almost no medical procedures offer that level of safety), JWs would still refuse blood because they believe they are commanded by God.

The Bunker: Yeah, we were getting very tired very quickly with the medical arguments, which are so disingenuous.

Lloyd: Indeed. It’s a smokescreen to hide the real reason — they do whatever Watchtower tells them, even if it kills them and their kids.

The Bunker: That’s well put. And we’ll post a really terrific video that you made earlier. You made it for current JWs, and you ask them to consider seven questions…

— When did the blood teaching originate?
— Is the blood teaching internally consistent?
— Do witnesses abstain for medical or religious reasons?
— Is the blood prohibition a Bible command?
— Is abstaining from blood a personal decision?
— Is it ethical to deny blood transfusions for children?
— Is the blood teaching worth dying for?



Posted by Tony Ortega on March 12, 2019 at 12:00

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Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He’s written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology’s harassment of Paulette Cooper titled ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely,’ and more recently a compilation of his stories, ‘Battlefield Scientology.’ He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world, as well as other subjects such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. You can reach him by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT (Drop him a line if you’d like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.)


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