A: Questioning the Watchtower Society (WTS) makes us targets. Any WTS member who seriously questions the organization’s policies is considered apostate and will be expelled from our religion and shunned by our community and Jehovah’s Witness (JW) family members.
Q: Are you trying to draw people away from the Jehovah’s Witnesses?
A: No. We are re-affirming their right to remain as members of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and to make their own conscientious decisions about the medical use of blood, without control or sanctions from the Watchtower Organization.
Q: Shouldn’t faith in the resurrection be enough to comfort those who have lost loved ones over the blood issue, and those who are concerned about the validity of the doctrine?
A: The resurrection is a comfort to families that have lost loved ones over this doctrine. The issue is not whether or not someone has faith in the resurrection, but rather does the Bible actually teach that it is wrong to preserve life by means of a blood transfusion. The evidence is that it does not.
Q: What about all the illnesses that blood can bring?
A: It is true that there are risks associated with the use of blood, including those blood products the WTS presently permits Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept. Physicians are well acquainted with the risks associated with the use of blood and can advise their patients regarding the risks and benefits of various blood based and non blood alternative therapies. You will find extensive resources in our Science section as well as our Links section that will provide you with objective information regarding the risk of contracting AIDS or other illnesses that can be transmitted by blood transfusion.
Q: Are you trying to destroy the Watchtower Society or depose of its leaders?
A: No. AJWRB has no agenda to overthrow the WTS or to remove the members of the current Governing Body. Our fight is not against men, but against the policy that prohibits free choice of medical treatment for members of the JW community.
Q: Why are you going against the Watchtower organization?
A: We cannot maintain a morally sitting posture. We are convinced the doctrine is erroneous, and feel a moral responsibility to speak out, and do what we can to prevent unnecessary deaths, especially among minor children.
Q: Why didn’t you just write to the society?
A: We have made many attempts to correspond with Watchtower officials. We have never been offered answers to the baffling questions surrounding this policy. Some HLC members have been told to drop the issue and question no further. A few members were disfellowshipped after asking questions about the blood issue.
Q: What makes you think that you know better than the brothers at Bethel, the “faithful and discreet slave”?
A: We have done the research; the evidence is compelling, and facts speak for themselves. We believe that there are many intelligent brothers at Bethel who realize that the doctrine is wrong, and want to do what they can to minimize the loss of life. That is why we have seen so many revisions in the doctrine over the years.
Q: Why would you want to remain in association with the Watchtower Society based on what you believe about its blood policy?
A: Those who have remained sincerely want to reform the policy and save lives. Many were raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses and have their entire families and many dear friends in the WTS as well. Walking away is simply too painful for many to seriously contemplate.
A: Those who have remained view their efforts as “loyal opposition.” They do not seek the destruction of the organization, but simply want to see an end to this tragic and misguided policy.
Q: What do you know about synthetic blood or blood substitutes?
A: These have been under development for many years, but there have been problems. Changes in the Watchtower society’s blood policy will permit Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept hemoglobin based blood substitutes if they become commercially available. These would solve part of the problem, but not all of it.
Q: I am not a Jehovah’s Witness but have friends and family who are. How should I approach them? How can I help with this reform effort?
A: Please read our section on Reform for specific suggestions.
Q: How can you stand before your congregations in good conscience, and continue being Witnesses, much less servants, and elders?
A: It is difficult at times. We are doing what we believe is right, and we must answer for our actions. We accept that. In fact, some of the original group have felt compelled to leave their assignments for the sake of conscience, others remain, and numerous other organization officials have joined or support the reform effort to varying degrees. More Jehovah’s Witnesses join our effort regularly.
Q: Why is it that Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to accept so many blood fractions when they are unable to give blood to save the lives of others?
A: The WTS has no satisfying answer to this question. The average Jehovah’s Witness would likely be surprised by the enormous amount of blood that must be donated by non-Witnesses to supply the WTS approved blood components that almost all Witnesses accept. This policy is ethically unconscionable.
Q: What hope is there for those who have left the organization over the issue of blood?
A: If you have been disfellowshipped, it is possible that you could be reinstated in a very short period of time. We don’t anticipate any provision to automatically reinstate those who were disfellowshipped for taking blood or openly questioning the policy.
Q: Why do you think that you can reform this doctrine when others have tried and failed?
We live in the information age, and with the advent of the Internet, the Watchtower Society has lost much of its ability to control the flow of information. Additionally the make up of the governing body continues to change. The society is under increasing pressure to abandon the doctrine as the medical community focuses intense scrutiny on the contradictions of the policy. As more of us speak out, the pace of reform will hopefully quicken. We sincerely believe that the doctrine will continue to be modified as it has in the past.
Q: Is it unrealistic to hope for a change in the blood policy?
A: The quest for religious freedom has always been a difficult battle. It may seem impossible to reform the blood ban. But reform has occurred before. Previous bans were lifted against vaccinations, organ transplants and many products that contain blood fractions. There are indications that eventually the use of all blood products will become a personal choice. We seek to save lives by speeding up the rate of reform and by educating the JW community of all the facts about blood, and by helping the medical community to deal effectively with their JW patients.