Letter from WT's Haiti Branch Committee re: Society's relief response

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    M Dogpatch posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 18:33:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 2735 of 3989
    Joined 12/26/2000

    Just got this in, don't know if it was mentioned here yet, but this illustrates how the Watchtower views/responds to emergencies. Note the dig on university and "higher education" (especially sad for a poor country like Haiti with poorly educated masses).

    Randy

    Haiti Disaster :

    Report from Coordinator of the Haiti Branch Committee

    (17th January 2010)

    Hello! The following is what I wrote yesterday. I am
    losing track of the days! Just been informed that over a 100 of our
    brothers have died as a result of the quake and no doubt it will rise as
    time goes by--today is really the last day to get anyone out alive. The
    branch prepared 700 bags providing basics for 2800 meals. Seriously
    injured are being transported to a border town hospital--Jimini and
    already they are full so are being transported to Barahona--about 50 miles
    from the Haitian border.

    I know one person had a broken back, another a broken hip, etc. Awful!
    Thank you for your loving concern n prayers! We are about 75 at the branch
    right now. Everyone is FINE! Busy as bees preparing food n clothing, etc
    for the many brothers that are homeless, n injured n in a bad state!. We
    have had reports of brothers slightly injured, seriously injured,
    dead and missing in the heavily populated areas of PAP (Porte au Prince).
    PAP as you may have seen on CNN is reduced to dust and ruins. Our
    immediate area in Cr-de-Bouquet seems to have weathered it pretty well.
    Have had no reports of death in our neighbourhood--I haven't seen any
    houses in dust on the ground--a few fences have fallen--but is about all
    on our street. However, on the road to Cr-d-Bouquets--a new building that
    was 3 stories high is now zero stories high. When the earthquake hit--I
    was in the laundry throwing in clothes in a washer--when a deafening roar
    surrounded us--then the floor literally heaved like waves n the washing
    machines swayed to the right n left--at first the whole bldg swayed n with
    us grasping things to stand upright n run--3 of us were there n I screamed
    for them to run out n stand in the doorways--than when it stopped
    moving--which seemed forever--we ran out on the grass in the
    courtyard--the sister standing next to me was shaking like a leaf--I just
    hung to her for awhile till she stopped. Terrifying!! John was in the
    office--thrown to the floor spread eagle and couldn't get up--crawled up
    to the doorway n managed to get up n hang on--as did Robin n Daniel. Some
    lighter moments too--Eveyln Thibodeau was watering plants n trees down by
    the old Kitchen and our watch dog Wally started shaking all over and
    become extremely agitated--she was trying to calm him down when it
    hit--then all of sudden she saw frantic students streaming out from the
    Dormitory--stark naked--as they were showering for supper!

    It was a terrifying moment for all! Terrifying is not adequate to describe
    the fear--Paul Rozon ran outside the kitchen area in time to see the
    entire structure sway to the right n left. Amazingly--the following
    day--the bldg was inspected n there were no cracks!! Hurray for Design/Bld
    who insisted on all that steel--PAP is in total ruins--haven't been out
    but the reports are bad--on Delmas--City Bank reduced to the ground n so
    many others. Had reports this morning from all our missionaries n foreign
    special pioneers from Guadeloupe/Martinque n they are fine--if not a look
    shook up. Wilburns in Leogane had part of their missionary home
    destroyed--so they arrived at Bethel last night. Yakibonges n Grooms are
    find--about 3 miles from Bethel--Sabrina Y was able to phone home to Italy
    this afternoon n reassure her mother (not in the Truth) that they were
    fine. Her mother already had time to phone Bethel n the army! At present
    we have the 13th MTS school going n those from Carrefour n heavy populated
    areas have had deaths either the in the family or cong. Some have not been
    accounted for--Br Phillippeaux over in Bon Repos lost his only son--at
    university--haven't found the body--so the parents are in deep mourning!
    Relief supplies arrived from DR this morning n by 2 p.m. trucks were ready
    to make deliveries to Pouplard and Delmas Nord.

    We suspect not a few of our young brothers and sisters attending
    universities may have died when those buildings crashed to the grounds
    with everyone in them. One nice experience--one sister was scheduled to
    attend a lecture on pyschology and she decided she did not want to hear
    that stuff. As soon as she got outside the entire structure collapsed
    before her eyes! Visible proof where 'higher learning' takes you--right
    into the ground!! Now if any want to attend university--they will have to
    move to another country--as all their bldgs crashed to the ground!! And
    believe me--their parents will work to send them there--that is the god
    they have confidence in--Jehovah is a sideline one!

    Very sad moments--Robin buried a 14 year old sister last night--she considered him
    like her father as her parents are divorced--the sister's only child. He
    had to run around n find a casket n she was buried last night. We cannot
    even imagine the parents' anguish nor loss. We have had many sessions of
    tears--we will be grieving until the New World!! Her mother was a trooper
    through it all!! Bottom line is Haiti is FINISHED--received its final
    death knell--this literally killed the country. However, our brotherhood
    is as strong as ever--had 3 deliveries already from the DR Branch--they
    sent us a doctor n a emergency clinic has been set up in the class room
    behind the assembly hall. Jehovah really does take care of us!! Monday we
    had propane and diesel deliveries--without the usual paper transaction,
    cheques n requisitions, etc. (which they usually adamantly
    demand!--providing Bethel with a month's suppy. Also, we had a 40'
    container come in with lit on Monday n it was quite a challenge for the
    driver to manoeuvre that load in our little driveway--we suddenly realize
    our little Bethel is growing into a major affair! Tuesday afternoon John
    had me taking pictures on the marks on the lawn where the truck last week
    had to go up over the curbs n lawn to drive out of the yard. Said to do
    the same thing on the following day as that is when it was scheduled to be
    picked up. About an hour later the truck showed up n he drove the trailer
    out of the yard around 3:30 pm. At 5 p.m two hours later--the earthquake
    hit n had that container been here it most like would have caused major
    damage n turned over, etc. Most of the family n students n volunteers
    spent the nite camped out on that driveway. Happily for us it didn't
    rain!! We have our Construction Overseer from Brkln here along with his
    wife--Charles n Jennifer Snyder--plus great const workers--from
    Canada--Rozons, Bellerives (Lisa n Sylvain) Thibodeeault's, etc. We have
    all the PRACTICAL people on hand! Some 'accident'why they are here at such
    a critical moment--why we know Jehovah n his angels are running this
    work!!

    Another light moment. One Canadian couple arrived from
    Canada--International Volunteers--a tile layer as we are presently doing
    renos in the old residence. After Terrie West showed him the their room in
    the new Extension they were enthralled. Brother said it was the best
    accommodations they have ever had doing IV work. About two minutes
    later--the whole flippin' bldg was shaken to n fro--as the earthquake hit.
    Nonetheless, undetered--said they were happy to here n help out! Only
    Jehovah's people respond like this! Afterwards--I was so keyed up--I
    worked till 2 a.m. n then crashed in our bed--at that point was so
    exhausted didn't care about anything--said if I'm gonna die--gonna do it
    comfortably it our own bed. Earlier John tried to convince me to sleep
    upstairs then his office--but I refused. He slept in the office. But
    Charles Snyder reassured me that the bldg was safe n could certainly
    withstand any aftershocks--which by the way we are still experiencing n
    are still nerve wracking!! So that is about it folks! As soon as possible
    shall fire some photos off to you!! Telephones are off n on--we have an
    Internet service--so that is wonderful as don't think we would be able to
    communicate otherwise.

    Warmest love n hugs to you all.
    John n Inez

    PS this evening 3 more doctors arrived DR--I do believe quite a number of
    brothers have died or are 'missing' from Carrefour--a very densely
    populated part of PAP--sadly--many young ones at schools or and
    universities!

    I'll post the Watchtower's official stance on disaster relief next, thanks to Atlantis.

    M Dogpatch posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 18:43:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 2736 of 3989
    Joined 12/26/2000

    Freeminds responds: The official Watchtower media website states the facts as they occur 99-per-cent of the time. Jehovah's Witnesses help "other Jehovah's Witnesses"first and then help others who are not JW's second. Please consider how the information is worded below in regards to this disaster relief matter. 1. You will find that the words, "fellow worshippers" are listed first and then the words, "other victims" are listed second. 2. Food and medical supplies were transported to the Watchtower Branch Office, but makes no mention of these supplies being sent anywhere else or to anyone else. 3. The information tells us that 12 witnesses were transported but makes no mention of anyone else being transported who are not JW's. Here is the Watchtower's current response:

    Witnesses’ relief efforts well under way for victims of earthquake in Haiti

    NEW YORK—Jehovah’s Witnesses are actively providing local and international assistance for victims of the massive earthquake that struck Haiti on the evening of January 12, 2010.

    In cooperation with local authorities and other relief agencies,the Witnesses organized to help meet the immediate needs of their fellow worshippers and other victims in Haiti and care for them. The Witnesses’ branch office in the Dominican Republic quickly sent six tons of food and medical supplies to the branch office in Haiti. These supplies were received the morning after the disaster. Witnesses at the Haiti branch office then prepared 700 bags with basic necessities. These bags, weighing 10 kilograms (just over 22 pounds) each and providing 2,800 meals, were transported to Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses that were designated as relief distribution centers. From the first shipment, three-day rations were distributed to 4,700 people. This was followed by twice-daily shipments of relief materials, including boxes of clothing.

    [emphasis ours]

    Full statement at the WT's official media site: http://www.jw-media.org/hti/20100118.htm

    M Dogpatch posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 18:45:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 2737 of 3989
    Joined 12/26/2000

    The question is; What are Watchtower Branch Offices instructed to do in disaster relief situations?

    The 2003 Revised Branch Organization Manual published by the Watchtower Society; who did not want it duplicated for obvious reasons, tells us on pg.13:

    "Therefore all of the branches will be allowed in these circumstances to spend up to $5,000 immediately for temporary relief and assistance to the brothers who are involved in major disasters."

    There is no mention of giving money to anyone else other than those who are brothers or those related in the faith.

    M Dogpatch posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 18:46:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 2738 of 3989
    Joined 12/26/2000

    The Watchtower's 1993 Proclaimers Book states: "The relief efforts of the Witnesses are not meant to care for the physical needs of everyone in the disaster area. ...these are intended primarily for ‘those related to them in the faith.’" (Jehovah’s Witnesses-Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, 1993, p. 315) Thanks again to Atlantis, Randy

    Beta Male posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 18:49:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 274 of 280
    Joined 7/29/2005

    assholes

    F Mary posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 19:02:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 11016 of 12763
    Joined 6/26/2002

    Ah yes Randy, it was posted but thanks for the reminder. Their attitude is pathetic. I did a response as it's on Facebook slamming the idiot for his attitude. I noticed that there was not one single Witness who responded to this twerp before I addressed the subject, who thought his comment was out of line. It wasn't until several of us lambasted him for what he had said, that a there were a couple of half-assed "uh,ya he shouldn't have said that" from God's Chosen Ones on there.

    M alanv posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 19:09:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 204 of 827
    Joined 12/20/2005

    Randy I got an Email from Freeminds this morning with a link to the worldwide report for 2009 from the new yearbook.

    Could you post it on this board for everybody as I am unable to do it myself

    Thanks

    M BluesBrother posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 19:12:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 5803 of 8582
    Joined 10/29/2001

    The letter and his comments about the University are puke making ..although I feel for the 100 lost, and their families, the same as all the others.

    BTW , to put some context into the Proclaimers quote about relief primarily for the congregation,

    Proclaimers P315.

    " The relief efforts of the Witnesses are not meant to care for the physical needs of everyone in the disaster area. In accord with Galatians 6:10, these are intended primarily for ‘those related to them in the faith.’ At the same time, they gladly assist others as they are able. They have done this, for example, when providing food for earthquake victims in Italy. In the United States, when helping flood and storm victims, they have also cleaned and repaired the homes of distraught neighbors of Witnesses. When asked why they would perform such acts of kindness for a stranger, they simply reply that they love their neighbors. (Matt. 22:39) Following a devastating hurricane in southern Florida, U.S.A., in 1992, the well-organized relief program of the Witnesses was so well-known that some business establishments and individuals who were not Witnesses and who wanted to make significant donations of relief supplies turned these over to the Witnesses. They knew that their gift would not be simply left in a stockpile, nor would it be used for profit, but it would truly benefit the hurricane victims, both Witnesses and non-Witnesses. Their willingness to help non-Witnesses in time of disaster was so greatly appreciated in Davao del Norte, in the Philippines, that town officials passed a resolution saying so"

    F Dagney posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 19:31:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 2534 of 4661
    Joined 8/14/2006

    I don't know what feeling is greater, anger or feeling like I want to throw up.

    They are a dispicable bunch. They have absolutely no feeling toward their fellow man. The constant message that they are good/saved/better than their non JW fellowman as long as they put in enough hours and attend meetings blinds them and creates an arrogance that is repulsive to me.

    One missionary couple (who happens to be in the DR), lamented to me over a violent crime on "one of our sisters." I told them it is an awful crime for anybody. The wife said, "but she is a sister!" The husband got my drift and gave his wife the "eye" and agreed with me. It just sickens me how little they feel toward the suffering of others.

    a**holes

    lepermessiah posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 19:40:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 265 of 646
    Joined 8/26/2009

    We suspect not a few of our young brothers and sisters attending
    universities may have died when those buildings crashed to the grounds
    with everyone in them. One nice experience--one sister was scheduled to
    attend a lecture on pyschology and she decided she did not want to hear
    that stuff. As soon as she got outside the entire structure collapsed
    before her eyes! Visible proof where 'higher learning' takes you--right
    into the ground!! Now if any want to attend university--they will have to
    move to another country--as all their bldgs crashed to the ground!! And
    believe me--their parents will work to send them there--that is the god
    they have confidence in--Jehovah is a sideline one!

    Those comments regarding those who are in university are just ridiculous and stupid, especially in a country where many cannot read or write.

    If that is the case, why doesnt Jehovah collapse university buildings around the world to punish the EVIL ones who pursue higher education?

    What a thoughtless, self-righteous ASS!!

    M Dogpatch posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 19:58:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 2739 of 3989
    Joined 12/26/2000

    Randy I got an Email from Freeminds this morning with a link to the worldwide report for 2009

    I didn't send it, and I don't have it, sorry. :-))

    Randy

    JoJoJones posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 20:08:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 50 of 81
    Joined 6/10/2009

    This reminds me of the comment Pat Robertson made about the earthquake in Haiti - - that Haiti made a pact with the devil in order to gain independence from France, thus the earthquake (???). Such stupid, insensitive comments made by so-called Christians, Witnesses or otherwise! All people deserve help and support in case of disasters. Period. How can JWs be so blinded as to not see that?! In any kind of disaster, anywhere.

    M startingover posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 20:12:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 1534 of 1969
    Joined 12/13/2001

    To be fair, the quote from the Proclaimers book continues:

    "At the same time, they gladly assist others as they are able. They have done this, for example, when providing food for earthquake victims in Italy. In the United States, when helping flood and storm victims, they have also cleaned and repaired the homoes of distraught neighbors of Witnesses."

    I think we all know that if there were no JW's in a country or disaster area, their help would be nowhere to be found.

    Atlantis posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 20:17:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 2616 of 3353
    Joined 11/12/2004

    Randy I got an Email from Freeminds this morning with a link to the worldwide report for 2009 from the new yearbook.

    2009 Report:

    2009 Annual Report of Jehovah's Witnesses

    N.

    straightshooter posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 20:19:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 363 of 1920
    Joined 6/30/2009

    The WTS higher education comment just makes me sick. It suggests that God purposely killed those students because they were attending an university class.

    F Lady Lee posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 20:19:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 13892 of 14228
    Joined 6/29/2001

    I have to wonder who qualifies as "other victims"?

    Knowing how they operate would "other victims" include non-baptized family members? The spouses and family of JWs who are married no non-JWs?

    I can see "neighbors" being included because they need to make an good witness. Otherwise I think they would turn their backs like they did in Brooklyn as people were fleeing the city and going past their door. They were told to close the curtains and walk away from the windows. The doors were locked and only JWs were permitted entry.

    JWs know nothing about being a good Samaritan. NOTHING!

    PSacramento posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 20:24:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 2749 of 11021
    Joined 6/22/2009

    They are lucky indeed that God does provide for SKILLED and TRAINED DOCTORS from UNIVERSITIES to help them.

    Idiots...

    F snowbird posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 20:24:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 12335 of 23468
    Joined 5/2/2007

    I'm glad to see that some families aren't listening to WT regarding higher education.

    The snide comments about college buildings falling down are extremely sickening.

    Crazy, narrow-minded idiots!

    Sylvia

    M Finally-Free posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 20:27:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 8655 of 9757
    Joined 7/15/2005

    The only reason JWs provide any assistance at all, even to their own members, is because they see it as an opportunity to gain a little positive media attention. I have never seen them help local JWs who were in dire straits. They'll help a few people now in Haiti and boast about it for the next 20 years.

    W

    sspo posted Wed, 20 Jan 2010 20:32:00 GMT(1/20/2010)

    Post 1990 of 2357
    Joined 6/25/2006

    Some 'accident'why they are here at such a critical moment--why we know Jehovah n his angels are running this
    work!!

    Jehovah really does take care of us!! Monday we
    had propane and diesel deliveries--without the usual paper transaction,

    Interesting comment about jehovah and his angels being involved in this work when they had more than 100 brothers and sisters that lost their lives, many injured and lost all their possessions.

    Always curious why Jehovah does not protect his own .

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