Talk:Jehovah's Witnesses and blood transfusions/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 2

Development of the organizational view on blood

I was able to look up the orginial 1909 Watchtower maginzine in which Russell wrote about Acts 15:29. This article says completily opposite from what is stated in the first sentence of this paragraph, “Development of the organizational view on blood,” In the 1909 article, Russell states that Christian defiantly should abstain from blood. This sentence needs to be corrected.--209.102.128.134 17:01, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

In the Watchtower 4/1909 Russell wrote concerning the scripture at Act 15:29 concerning the restriction 

of abstaining from blood "....Gentiles should observe this matter also." I am going to correct the mistake on this forum.[1] page 116


Changed language to present actual statements and avoid POV issues.Marvin Shilmer 17:21, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Martin Shilmer your addition is miss quoting the article that Russell wrote. Your reference: Russell wrote, “it was advisable that the Gentile Christians abstain from the use of their liberty in this direction, out of deference to the weaker brethren.” Was concerning the buying of meat at the market. Russell stated, “Without discussing whether or not harm could come to the meats sold in the markets, by reason of pagan ceremonies in connection with their killing …”

In the next paragraph of this article, Russell wrote about the discussion of the issue of eating blood. He sums it up saying, “This restriction was necessary to the harmony between the two branches of spiritual Israel--that which came from Judaism and that which came from the Gentiles.”--209.102.128.229 11:16, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

The narrow conclusion you reach is debatable. Nevertheless, on this particular point of contention it is sufficient that the reference is there for readers to draw their own conclusions. I will add a note clarifing that Russell never initiated any organized prohibition against using blood among his fellow worshippers. If you disagree with the specific language used in this clarification then please edit and we will take it from there. Marvin Shilmer 15:50, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I removed the double quote, it does not seen necessary because they both said about the same thing. The statement “However Russell never suggested any organized prohibition on using blood among his fellow worshippers” is this your personal opinion? Are we suppose to write our personal opinions on the main site? Please add your proof in this disscussion so we can come to an agreement.--209.102.128.165 13:57, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Reply: I added another, different, quotation from the same article that helps firm up how Russell felt on the subject. I believe this added material compliments rather than hinders the presentation; it makes it more conclusive.
My statement that Russell never suggested organized prohibition on using blood represents the conclusion of a Modus Tollens argument. However, rather than speculating about what Russell did or did not suggest, my statement should have read that Russell never organized a prohibition on using blood among his fellow worshippers.
Modus Tollens would have us accept that had Russell, as president of the Watchtower organization, organized a prohibition on using blood among his followers then we would have seen organized prohibition on using blood among his followers. Since there is no record of such an organized prohibition among Russell’s fellow worshippers then the Modus Tollens argument form has us conclude that Russell never organized it. The underlying premises of this particular argument are 1) that Russell applied his presidency and that 2) his fellow worshippers acted on his presidential initiatives. There is ample evidence that Russell applied his presidency, and that his fellows acted on it. Hence, it is not my opinion that Russell never organized a prohibition on using blood among his fellow worshippers. Rather, it is a logical end to a valid argument form based on evidenced premises.
For the time being I have removed the statement about Russell and organized prohibition on blood under his presidency. If you dispute the validity of what I write above then please offer logical refutation, keeping in mind that logical constructions and conclusions are not at the mercy of preferential outcomes (i.e., private opinion). I make the latter comment only to demonstrate my commitment to logical conclusions is above my commitment to any personal opinions I may presently hold. If you fail to offer refutation within a reasonable time then I will return my comment to the history section, but in a more precise form. Marvin Shilmer 16:31, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for the information. If the information is debatable I do prefer a direct quote and a reader can come to his own conclusions. Because Russell does write more detail in the 1909 Watchtower on this issue, I do believe it is enough to publish his own statements on this the matter.

Care needs to be taken here; Russell was making some reference to the concerning of purchasing meat in the public markets and then later made reference to the eating of blood. He also contended with other issues of the Apostolic Decree. These quotes you publish on this forum need to point out which issue he was writing about. Russell does separate the discussion into different paragraphs for clarification. --209.102.128.151 08:24, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

cow vs. bovine

The use of scientifically or otherwise academically accurate words, such as "bovine" as opposed to "cow", is common professional practice, and more accurate in this case, as it expands the idea from common dairy cattle to other creatures that are in the Bovinae subfamily, specifically, 24 species in 9 genae. If there is a desire to define "bovine", why not wikilink it? - CobaltBlueTony 14:43, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

I think we should do it. Dfrg.msc File:DFRG. MSC.jpg 02:07, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Critical view paragraphs

I have removed the paragraphs for the following reasons:

1. The paragraphs try to argue a JW POV.

2. The paragraphs do not belong in a section labeled "Critical Views". "Critical Views" are for critical views, not supportive ones (obviously!).

3. The statements starting with "some believe" or similar are unreferenced.

4. The paragraphs are unencyclopaedic in tone.


How many reasons do you need? Each one of these reasons is sufficent in and of itself to warrant the removal of the paragraphs. The fact that they may have been there for some time does not automatically make them acceptable. BenC7 00:31, 22 August 2006 (UTC)


JW points should be presented! That is what this is all about, just make it clear as the article did that it is in fact a JW point of view. While it could be questionable to put it into a section of critical views, it should also be balance with the jw view. there is nothing wrong with addded their view. the page on controveys is (although now one sided) is full of both jw views and critcs. I will restor once again. Johanneum 13:03, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Recent peer-reviewed article

I recently ran across a couple quotes that seem relevant to this article: "This report adds to the growing body of evidence that careful techniques and planning can result in successful major surgery in the JW [Jehovah's Witness] population." "With ongoing blood product shortages, uncertainties regarding the immunologic benefit-risk ratio of transfusion in cancer patients and overall cost issues, application of these perioperative blood saving maneuvers should be considered regardless of the patient's willingness to prevent transfusion." -- from Magner, David; Ouellette, James R.; Lee, Joseph R.; Colquhoun, Steven; Lo, Simon; Nissen, Nicholas N.. "Pancreaticoduodenectomy After Neoadjuvant Therapy in a Jehovah's Witness with Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer: Case Report and Approach to Avoid Transfusion." American Surgeon, May2006, Vol. 72 Issue 5, p435-437

I am unsure where to add this into the main article, but I post it here for whomever wishes to incorporate it. --Microbiojen 17:08, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Why the hell should any medical professional bother to go through the effort? I'd rather just let them die. 69.11.88.75 (talk) 03:23, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Watchtower

Furthermore, Jehovah’s Witnesses have accepted blood transfusions contrary to Watchtower doctrine, even when this was under threat of severe organized shunning enforced by the Watchtower.

I'm a bit confused about the above statement. the Watctower is just a magazine albeit one that appears to dictate doctrine. However how does a magazine enforced organised shunning? Do you mean the magazine is telling people they are required to show people who receive blood donations or even lists names of people who should shunned? Nil Einne 12:41, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't get it

The fact that some JW's "give in" to accepting blood treatment when facing severe illnesses, does not mean that these proclaim or believe blood transfusions are right. That would've made them eager to promote their disagreement, or their leaving the congregation afterwards. By the way, the references are only to a letters from a couple of persons, and a small study (with far less than 100 patients). Why the article should spend the 6-7 first paragraphs on explaining how a "significant" part of the JWs are "against" the official doctrine of rejecting blood transfusions, is clearly a POV. It should be limited toone paragraph at the end of the article at the most, under something called "criticism" or the like. If you run a survey and ask 1,000 I'm quite certain 998-999 of us (yes, I'm one to) will answer that they respect the Society's view in this.

As is the article is factual. That is, as a matter of fact all JWs do not agree with the Watchtower's blood doctrine. Were the article to state (or insinuate!) that all JWs do agree with this teaching then it would be a POV contrary to facts.Marvin Shilmer 03:22, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I suggest the article should go directly to what it is all about: JWs and blood transfusions. -Robbie Amund

Lead in

I haven't fully reviewed this article, but boy, that lead-in is awfully convoluted. Also, some of the language used would fall within NPOV. I might take a shot at this later, but I just wondered everyone else's view on this. joshbuddy, talk 22:03, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I understand your comments, and would like to help build this entry to better reflect facts and minimize contention and opinion. Right now some important facts are included in the opening two paragraphs, and the subject should not suffer from loss of bona fide information on topic. I am not sure I agree with your comment about NPOV. It would be appreciated if you would elaborate on this opinion.Marvin Shilmer 03:14, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Jehovah's WItnesses as a group do not accept blood transfusions. The strange attempt to insert the idea that there is some dissent among JW's about this is not good for the article. A few instances where someone accepted a transfusion prior to 1950 don;t give the strength to the statement that Some, Many or Most JW's beleive the blood doctrine. All believe it.
New people, inactive pubs, etc might in a time of stress give in to pressure by family or medical staff, but that again is not dissent. It seems someone has deleted the entire lead in anyway, looks like it will need to be rewritten. It is obviously a problematic writing.George 14:41, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I' been doing some more reading. There has been no study that can show there are JW's who dissent with this doctrine. AJWRB is an anti-JW website with no proof of it's reliability. I have never personally heard a JW dissent with the doctrine. I have heard lots of questions. The fact that there is some group on the internet that claims to be organized resistance from among JW's in not enough.George 14:49, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Another thought: Since we consisitently use the phrase "JW's Believe X" in all other articles then we should continue to use the same style here. We would need to argue the same point in every religion article. Because as Mrvin wants to pint out in his second paragraph in the article, every religion has those who dissent. Now may we please put this silliness aside?George 14:55, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

The statement “Many, but not all, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe…” is verified by primary and secondary sources, including sources biased toward the belief that blood transfusion is taboo. The September 2004 article from Obstetrics and Gynecology by Gyamfi MD et al is a peer reviewed secondary source. It states, “This review refutes the commonly held belief that all Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to accept blood or any of its products. In this population of pregnant women, the majority were willing to accept some form of blood or blood products.” Likewise, the 1995 article by Benson MD in Cancer Control Journal states, “Therefore, while most adult Jehovah's Witness patients were unwilling to accept blood for themselves, most Jehovah's Witness parents permitted transfusions for their minor children, and many of the young adult patients also were willing to accept transfusions for themselves.

The Watchtower organization definitely has a bias towards blood transfusion taboo. Yet this primary source documents cases where associate members requested this taboo lifted and where members conscientiously accepted blood transfusion. Considering the bias of the source, these admissions are remarkable, and they demonstrate that it is false to make a blanket statement saying “Jehovah’s Witnesses believe…” when the fact is that not all Jehovah’s Witnesses believe it. For this reason the accurate statement is that not all Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the teaching.

Given this verified information impinging directly on the subject, it is hardly scholarly to persist in removing the factual presentation. Hence I reverted to the verified presentation. If you have additional facts supporting a change then I recommend you share these without asserting an opinion. Characterizing a Jehovah’s Witness as a dissident because they do not believe accepting a blood transfusion is wrong is beside the point of whether all Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the blood taboo. This article is not focused on what the Watchtower organization teaches. It is focused/themed on Jehovah’s Witnesses as a religious association of people. If all these do not hold to the Watchtower organization’s teaching then this is simply a fact of the matter. Characterizing individuals as dissidents does not change this fact.

As the Watchtower organization admits, “Nowadays official church dogma may bear scant resemblance to the personal beliefs of those who profess that particular religion.” (Awake, 4/8 1996 p. 4) Doctor Cynthia Gyamfi agrees when she writes, “It is naive to assume that all people in any religious group share the exact same beliefs, regardless of doctrine. It is well known that Muslims, Jews, and Christians have significant individual variations in their beliefs. Why should that not also be true for Jehovah’s Witnesses?” (Drs Gyamfi and Berkowitz, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2005 Vol. 105, Num. 2, pp 442-3)

Please note the references I have provided meet Wiki’s verifiability guidelines on one hand, and on the other hand reference a source biased towards the blood taboo. Hence I see no scholarly reason for disputing the language as reverted. If you have one, please share it. Whether “Jehovah’s Witnesses believe X” should be used is not a question of style; it is a question of verifiability. Marvin Shilmer 15:43, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

This document ( the only one of its kind) leaves questions unanswered and omits facts which would not support your premise. You are inferring information which the document does not state. It is a commonly inknown fact that Jehovah's Witnessses are given the conscientious choice of whether to accept certain blood products or procedures. That is all the article is bringing out.
You are inferring your own opinion.
If JW parents will accept transfusions for their minor children, what are the motivations? Removal of the child from their custody? Also, are the teenagers who accept transfusions baptised JW's? Regardless, you cannot dismiss the fact that JW's as a group take this doctrine to be their personal belief.
This thought about supposed or real dissent belongs later in the article. If this continues to be a point of contention it will end up in RFC and if precedent is followed that will be the recommended solution.

George 18:13, 9 January 2007 (UTC)


George, I have not provided a single (“the only one of its kind”) document. I have cited two (2) peer reviewed medical journals and multiple Watchtower authenticated documents supporting the fact that despite its teachings otherwise some Jehovah’s Witnesses do conscientiously accept blood transfusion therapy. You have not refuted this.

The peer reviewed documents do not omit any facts or leave unanswered anything relevant to this subject. Specifically both these articles (and other I have not burdened the Wiki system with) give depth of detail, and both articles demonstrate the same thing the Watchtower organization has admitted itself; some Jehovah’s Witnesses do conscientiously accept blood transfusion therapy. Would you feel better if I provided even more peer reviewed secondary sources verifiying the point?

I have not offered or inferred my own opinion. Specifically,

Gyamfi et al states:

“This review refutes the commonly held belief that all Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to accept blood or any of its products. In this population of pregnant women, the majority were willing to accept some form of blood or blood products.”

Benson et al states:

“Therefore, while most adult Jehovah's Witness patients were unwilling to accept blood for themselves, most Jehovah's Witness parents permitted transfusions for their minor children, and many of the young adult patients also were willing to accept transfusions for themselves.”

Please note the statements above are not my own. The findings and statements are those of the doctors who performed and published the reviews, which are peer reviewed. You have not refuted these peer reviewed findings. You have only objected to them. In both cases these findings demonstrate that some Jehovah’s Witnesses do conscientiously accept blood transfusion therapy. Furthermore, these reviews find a significant proportion of Jehovah’s Witnesses do in fact accept blood transfusion therapy. These sources have no dog in a fight as though they care one way or another what the records indicate. Rather, these writers have only published what unbiased data shows, and the data is all in the articles for anyone who cares to examine for factualness.

I am going to work on this lead in so that it provides verifiable information on point and within Wiki standards for encyclopedic content. If you object then please provide something more than your opinion as refutation to the verifiable secondary and primary sources.75.201.84.167 19:44, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I added two (2) additional secondary peer reviewed references to the disputed section for a total of four (4). I also added quotations from all four (4) of these secondary peer reviewed sources. Marvin Shilmer 20:18, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Marvin Shilmer, please review WP:LEAD. joshbuddy, talk 21:56, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

joshbuddy, Wikipedia:Lead section stipulates, The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, establishing context, explaining why the subject is interesting or notable, and describing its notable controversies, if there are any. It should be between one and four paragraphs long, should be carefully sourced as appropriate, and should be written in a clear and accessible style so that the reader is encouraged to read the rest of the article.” (Emphasis added)

I see neither inconsistency nor incompatibility between those instructions and the editing I have provided. Again, if you have something specific in mind please articulate it for discussion.Marvin Shilmer 22:17, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

It appears the page is locked. Will someone be kind enough to explain why a Lead In that is able to 1) stand alone as a concise overview, 2) establishes context, 3) explains why the subject is of interest, 4) describes notable controversies, 4) is less than four paragraphs, 5) is carefully sourced and, finally, 6) is written reasonably clearly and accessibly should be objected to? If there is some complaint of using verifiable secondary sources (peer reviewed, no less) to substantiate content, then an explanation is in order.Marvin Shilmer 22:32, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

The lead-in currently does not summarize the article. Read the main points of the article. They are not represented in the lead-in at all. joshbuddy, talk 05:23, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Joshbuddy, your perspective deserves discussion, and your input is most appreciated. However, a cursory review of the current page shows considerable introduction and summarization of the article’s most important features, which are the headings directly addressing how Jehovah’s Witnesses feel about medical use of blood and how they got to that point as a population. Let me illustrate by indexing current lead-in presentation with the more significant main points:

Stance on Blood

"The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania is the main legal entity used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. It teaches that the Bible prohibits the consumption, storage and transfusion of blood, including in cases of emergency…. However, since the teaching’s inception and until today the population of Jehovah’s Witnesses has not universally assented to it…. So it is with the population of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Undoubtedly a significant number of this population agrees completely with Watchtower doctrine on blood, but this does not make insignificant the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses who do not fully agree with the Watchtower’s blood doctrine."

Development of the organizational view on blood

"The Watchtower introduced this view in 1945, though associated restrictions have been relaxed over time…. Over this period the Watchtower has received requests from individual Jehovah’s Witnesses that the doctrine allow conscientious acceptance of donor blood for medical transfusion without organized repercussion."

The heading addressing Stance and Development are the most important of this article because 1) these address the actual state of things in relation to the population of Jehovah’s Witnesses in respect to blood and 2) they address how they got there. Everything else is a consequence of these.

There are three additional topics presently formatted as main headings. They are:

Current medical issues

Hospital Liaison Committees

Critical view

These three topics address consequences of the Stance and Development of the current status of Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood. Because these are consequential to Stance and Development then addressing Stance and Development also leads into these.

Current lead-in language also establishes context, explains why it is notable and interesting, and encourages the reader to examine the topic further by reading what follows. And, most important, the material is verifiable and well documented, particularly by peer reviewed secondary sources and by a primary source that is sympathetic to the religious position taught by the Watchtower organization. At present the lead-in presentation contains no presentation language imitating from a hostile (biased) secondary source, or a hostile (biased) primary source, against any of Jehovah’s Witnesses, either those who agree with this aspect of Watchtower teaching of those who disagree.

Today I’ll work on editing the lead in to improve the lead in language. Marvin Shilmer 15:04, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Writing such things in the intro is just an opinion, or even a mere misrepresentation of JW beliefs. If such a statement should be written at all, it belongs to Controversies regarding Jehovah's Witnesses. This article is meant for information about the view on transfusions, not personal opinions.

Imagine an article about celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church that started with: "Celibacy is required from the clergy in the church, but many popes and bishops have nevertheless had sexual intercourse while in their office". Even if that was true, such a way of explaining would not be neutral.

Summer Song 20:31, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Summer Song, I appreciate your additional input. However, you saying the introduction is “just an opinion” does not make it so.
Do you dispute what the Watchtower organization has written in its publications? If not then why do you object to what this primary source presents? This primary source has published statements admitting that Jehovah’s Witnesses have requested it to allow conscientious acceptance of blood transfusion. It has also published material showing that Jehovah’s Witnesses have in fact accepted blood transfusions. Do you think this is just my opinion, when the Watchtower is the publisher?
Do you dispute the secondary peer reviewed sources? If so, how and on what basis?
If a statement is substantiated with unbiased sources and facts then it is not controversial; it is settled. Specifically what statements do you consider to be unsettled in the introduction, and why do you consider them unsettled?
Do you dispute that some Jehovah’s Witnesses do in fact accept blood transfusions? If so then do you also dispute the Watchtower organization’s statements to this effect?
You write:
“Imagine an article about celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church that started with: "Celibacy is required from the clergy in the church, but many popes and bishops have nevertheless had sexual intercourse while in their office". Even if that was true, such a way of explaining would not be neutral.”
Neutral means a presentation of factual and verifiable statements which have neither hostility nor affinity for how individuals feel about those facts. Neutrality does not mean an encyclopedia should avoid verifiable statements because it happens to disagree with or somehow upset an entity’s disposition or presentation. Neutrality means sharing the facts without regard for a “side”. Neutrality means willingness to put aside private preference and let the facts do the talking.
Again, what part of the presentation do you object to? And why? Marvin Shilmer 21:09, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Do you really think that STARTING an article with writing so would be correct? I don't. Summer Song 10:23, 12 January 2007 (UTC)


Summer Song, it is entirely appropriate (not to mention encyclopaedic!) to start, carry and conclude any subject with verifiable facts. What facts in this current edit do you dispute? If you do not dispute facts then what, precisely, is your objection? It would be appreciated if you would articulate yourself with more precision and more specificity, and in response to other discussion already present. Marvin Shilmer 13:34, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I think this has gotten off track. The lead of this article does not conform to the style guide in any way. It is not a summary of the article that follows. If the lead-in actually summarized the article, then it wouldn't be a problem. joshbuddy, talk 19:25, 12 January 2007 (UTC)


joshbuddy, with due respect, this makes the third time you have essentially proffered the same complaint. Not to mention my replies to other participants here, above I provided a fairly detailed response to your opinion, specifically in reply to you—twice. Yet you have failed to do the courtesy of responding, except by repeating essentially the same thing.
If you have something specific in mind, please spit it out. Otherwise why do you keep making the same remarks? My opinion is that the lead-in complies with Wikipedia’s guideline, and that it does so beautifully. So both of us have expressed an opinion. So what? Only one of us has taken the time to explain ourselves beyond stating an opinion. This is the talk page. If you want to talk then please get on with it.
If you want to get on track I recommend responding to the plethora of commentary already generated on the subject. Since my edits are the subject at issue, then I further suggest you get on track by responding to my replies.Marvin Shilmer 19:52, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Simply stated, the old lead in did not summarize the article adequately. Sure it had valuable facts, but it did not contain many of the article's main points. I've re-written the lead-in, hopefully it will be a little more accessible to the average reader, and it summarized the article's points better. joshbuddy, talk 00:10, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
joshbuddy, your editing leaves me gasping! Your Lead-in is not only void of verification; it also presents several outright false statements, and seriously misrepresents other items.
1. The statement that “Jehovah's Witnesses teach that blood is sacred and must not be eaten or transfused whole” is grossly misleading because all Jehovah’s Witnesses do not teaching this and your statement implies all of them do. Hence this statement of yours misrepresents.
2. The statement “This view was put forward by the second president of the Watchtower Joseph Franklin Rutherford” not only lacks verification, it is just plain false. Rutherford did not teach that blood per se was sacred, and he never condemned blood transfusion.
3. The statement “Beginning in 1980, the medical use of certain products derived from blood became permissible” is not verified, and it is just plain false. Watchtower doctrine tolerated some products derived from blood as early as November of 1961, which was only ten months after blood transfusion became a shunning offence.
4. The statement “there is evidence that some Jehovah's Witnesses have secretly taken medical products derived from blood or blood transfusions” is a patent misrepresentation. Verifiable source material demonstrates that some Jehovah’s Witnesses have also openly accepted blood transfusion!
5. The statement, “The non-acceptance of blood products by groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses has caused many hospitals to offer bloodless medicine” is another horrible misconstruction. When it comes to the Watchtower organization’s blood doctrine, there is no other similar group, and you have not referenced one either.
Your statement manifests a serious lack of qualification to address this subject. You manifest ignorance of the subject, and a willingness to edit despite that lack. Hence I have reverted to the verified introduction, which feeds nicely into the article as a whole.
You have yet to answer questions asked of you in relation to the verified Lead-in language, will you ever? Marvin Shilmer 01:10, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Look, I just did my best to summarize the article. The existing lead-in does not summarize the article at all. Why don't you revert back, and actually try to sum up the whole article with your lead-in. As it stands now, this article is in pretty terrible shape. I'm just trying to do my part to make it better. joshbuddy, talk 01:16, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Just on a side note, I sense some hostility from you toward other users. WP:CIVIL outlines the sort of behvaiour that is expected from wikipedia editors. No one is attacking you, but the article itself just needs some work. Regarding previous statements you have made, I didn't see any explanation from you as to why the lead-in did not summarize the article. This was my specific complaint. joshbuddy, talk 01:26, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
joshbuddy, with due respect, given your manifest ignorance (lack) on this subject then on what basis am I to accept your opinion of the verified Lead-in language rather than my own opinion that the verified Lead-in language is fine? For goodness sake, your previous edit asserted gross error on an extremely important subject, one where continued health and/or life have hung in the balance more than a few times.
You need to learn how to work with people. Your continuing hostility toward others editors will not help you in making this article better. Your previous lead-in completely missed the history of the doctrine, the current doctrinal stand and the existence of HLC and HIS. It did not reflect the actual article in any meaningful way. In contains many statements and assertions not found in the main article itself. Please read WP:MOS when you get a chance. It will give you a good idea of how articles on wikipedia are structured. joshbuddy, talk 02:02, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
As for the rest of the article, I do plan on addressing some pure opinion therein, and to add verification where it is needed along the way. Despite this future work, and contrary to your opinion, the current introduction does provide sufficient summarization for an encyclopaedic entry. Before you tinker anymore with this subject I recommend you read a wide range of peer reviewed literature on the same subject. You’ll find the current, verified, introductory language to be consistent. That you have not applied yourself to this endeavour already is manifest, so I am not making any assumptions on this point. This is a very serious subject deserving of a very high standard of presentation and substantiation. Marvin Shilmer 01:38, 13 January 2007 (UTC)


joshbuddy, I have no hostility whatsoever toward anyone here. Why should I? On the other hand, it is highly disrespectful to completely ignore what others have to say by not responding to specific replies to specific requests. Several here have done this towards me, including you. Though this is regarded in academia as rude behaviour, I have voiced no feelings of persecution as though concerned about hostility or lack of hostility toward my person. If others feel somehow threatened by my presentations then they should know that I respond very well to well-researched and sound presentations. On the other hand, though cordial in intent and décor, I will not hold back hard criticism no matter how hard it may be to hear it. And, this is the way it should be. Have you ever made a submission to Britannica or World Book, or to the likes of JAMA or BMJ? I have. If we want a high degree of veracity in Wikipedia then we must exact a high standard of critical process.
You wrote:
“Regarding previous statements you have made, I didn't see any explanation from you as to why the lead-in did not summarize the article.”
I have offered no explanation to why the lead-in did not summarize the article because I do not believe the verified version does not summarise the article. Alas, your statement makes me understand why you have failed to understand what I have already submitted.Marvin Shilmer 01:55, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Just looking again, you do mention HIS and HLC. However, your massive paragraph about the adoption of the blood policy in the lead is not reflected in the article. You should move this out of the lead, give it its own section, and summarize it accordingly. joshbuddy, talk 02:09, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Neutrality

Summer Song suggests the neutrality of this article is in question. It would be helpful were Summer Song to articulate precisely where the article departs from presenting objective, verifiable and reliable content relevant to the subject. If the subject is about Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood then what is more objective (i.e., neutral, objective, etc) than providing verifiable and reliable (peer reviewed) secondary sources presenting facts of the matter without any bias? Marvin Shilmer 00:46, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Please read and regard what George m says. Summer Song 18:06, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Summer Song, I have considered what George said, every time he said something in relation to our topic on Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood. So far he has failed to be precise in his objection, other than stating his opinion. And, frankly, here my opinion is of no more or less value than George’s, or yours. This is precisely why I have not offered a single opinion in my entries. Rather, I have offered secondary and primary source material impinging directly on the subject. These sources are doing nothing more than presenting a compilation of a set of data, which data was developed independently by individual patients. Hence, these secondary sources represent an unbiased and verifiable resource. On the other hand, I have also provided primary source material, which material comes directly from the Watchtower organization itself. Surely you do not think this organization is biased against itself! Assuming it true that you recognize the Watchtower is not biased against itself, then this primary source material certainly does not represent a hostile resource. Hence I have provided two (2) sources, neither of which is hostile and one of which is, if anything, biased towards itself. Hence I fail to understand why you dispute what I have provided. I have asked and asked that you specify your dispute. We should all listen to different perspectives, and I would really appreciate knowing specifically what you dispute and some substantiation for it other than opinion. Marvin Shilmer 19:13, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Summer Song, please review the latest edit. If you have a substantive objection please articulate it with sufficient precision and support so it can be addressed. If you do not have substantive objection to the latest edit then I ask that you remove the NPOV tag.

RFC

Topics above relating to dispute are the Lead in and neutrality subheadings.George 18:31, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

George, I appreciate you expressing your point of view. However, Wikipedia’s Lead-in section recommends language that describes notable controversies. If you dispute language in the current Lead-in then why have you failed to refute the factualness of substantial source material presented? Disputing an entry does not affect its encyclopedic content or presentation. Rather, sound refutation is needed.
As it stands presently, the Lead-in provides every aspect Wikipedia recommends for such a Section. If you dispute this then please provide something more than a complaint in substantiation. Wikipedia is not the place to articulate personal opinion within the actual articles. It is a place to form and present encyclopedic content. Verify, verify, verify. This is the key.
As for neutrality, I have offered secondary and primary source material impinging directly on the subject. The secondary sources are not hostile to the Watchtower organization, or towards the population of Jehovah’s Witnesses. These sources are doing nothing more than presenting a compilation of a set of data, which data was developed independently by individual patients. Hence, these secondary sources represent an unbiased and verifiable resource. On the other hand, I have also provided primary source material, which material comes directly from the Watchtower organization itself. Surely you do not think this organization is biased against itself! Assuming it true that you recognize the Watchtower is not biased against itself, then this primary source material certainly does not represent a hostile resource. Hence I have provided two (2) sources, neither of which is hostile and one of which is, if anything, biased towards itself. Hence I fail to understand why you dispute what I have provided.
If you dispute the factualness, fairness or neutrality of something in the present Lead-in, then please be precise and point this out. I have strived to avoid inserting any opinion of my own, which is as it should be. Marvin Shilmer 19:11, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Response to RfC

  • Here are my thoughts, for what they are worth, from looking at the lead to the article:

1) It is huge - I wouldn't read past the lead, because it is too long. 2) No, the official JW stance does not reflect the views of every JW ... This is true of every religion. Just because some Roman Catholics do not accept Rome's stance on abortion, does not mean that it is not still the Roman Catholic position. 3) My advice: present the official JW stance in the lead, with a note that not all JW's agree, follow up with a section in the article body to the effect of "Dissent from the Official Position." Right now, it reads less like POV, than it does as undue weight (which needs revision). Hope this helps. Pastordavid 22:06, 11 January 2007 (UTC)


Pasterdavid, I would completely agree with what you suggest, if the subject were The Watchtower Society and Blood Transfusion. But that is not the subject. The subject is Jehovah’s Witnesses and Blood Transfusion; hence the need to address this population of religious affiliates in relation to blood transfusion.
Regarding dissent, again I would agree with you, were the subject about the Watchtower organization. But, again, this is not the subject. The subject is of a religious affiliation of individuals, and how those individuals view and treat blood transfusion.
To suggest affiliate Jehovah’s Witnesses are dissident in respect to their affiliation with other Jehovah’s Witnesses is a characterization for which no one here has provided substantiation for; hence it is purely personal opinion. After all, who is the dissident? The Jehovah’s Witness who agreed (and still agrees) with the pre-1961 Watchtower position, or the Jehovah’s Witness who agrees with the post-1961 position, or the Jehovah’s Witness who agrees with whatever future Watchtower position? “The dissident” is entirely subjective depending on which perspective one takes. One thing that is not subjective is an objective measurement and depiction of how individual Jehovah’s Witnesses act. This and this alone represents how the people making up Jehovah’s Witnesses view and treat blood transfusion.
On the other hand, to suggest affiliate Jehovah’s Witnesses as dissident in respect to Watchtower doctrine would be completely valid. But, again, the subject is not the Watchtower organization. The subject is Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witnesses is a body of people in affiliation within a religious context.
An encyclopaedic presentation of how affiliate Jehovah’s Witnesses view and treat blood transfusion must come from unbiased sources. If anything, the present sources already represent a decidedly one-sided presentation because sources are 1) peer reviewed secondary (with no axe to grind with Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Watchtower) and 2) primary right from official Watchtower publications. Presently there is not a single source cited in the introduction that is biased against Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Watchtower organization. If the introductory language were to use sources hostile (biased) against Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Watchtower organization then, and only then, could an accusation of one-sideness be substantiated. Neutrality lets facts do the talking.
For goodness sakes, people! Has anyone here bothered to actually look up and actually review the source material? In all this discussion I have yet to see a single solitary instance were one editor has challenged the veracity of the provided secondary sources, as though they are biased or inaccurate. This alone is reason for pause. Marvin Shilmer 22:42, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Comment: I think there is some confusion of terms here. I agree with Pastordavid, just as there is (1) Roman Catholicism (the doctrine) and (2) Roman Catholics (the individuals), so too is there (1) the Jehovah's Witness doctrine and (2) Jehovah's Witnesses. The real question is, what defines a religion, the doctrine laid out by a governing institution or the views held by its self-identified believers? I'm not proposing we try to answer that question, exactly, but rather respect that there is an important distinction here. I think that Pastordavid's advice is sound, and I think that an attempt to divorce the doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses from its governing institution without qualification is extremely misleading. BFD1 01:34, 12 January 2007 (UTC)


BFDI, as you say, Roman Catholicism is doctrine, whereas Roman Catholics are individuals who affiliate with Roman Catholicism. Hence it would be proper to say Roman Catholicism forbids abortion, whereas it would be misleading to say Roman Catholics forbid abortion, or that every Roman Catholic agreed with the teaching.
So it is with Jehovah’s Witnesses. What individuals affiliated with Jehovah’s Witnesses individually believe and act upon is not necessarily what the Watchtower organization teaches.
Unlike Roman Catholic terminology (Catholicism vs. Catholic), there are no such close term as Jehovah’s Witnessism. If one wants to speak of the doctrinal source looked to by Jehovah’s Witnesses the correct term is, historically, Watchtower. Though all Jehovah’s Witnesses look to the Watchtower as a doctrinal source, as Roman Catholics do Roman Catholicism, not all Jehovah’s Witnesses agree with every doctrinal position taken by the Watchtower, which again is like Roman Catholics compared to Roman Catholicism.
In relation to Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood transfusion, these facts are demonstrated by the secondary peer reviewed and primary Watchtower sources currently presented in the introductory language for this subject. I fail to understand why anyone thinks this some kind of “divorce” when no one has yet to show the information less than factual. Are editors here suggesting a presentation of facts is some kind of a divorce from the reality of the subject? I hope not. Encyclopedic entries should provide verifiable information specific to the subject. Has anyone here considered that the ‘divorcing’ that has really occurred is that by its representations the Watchtower organization has so well flooded the media with the notion that all Jehovah’s Witnesses agree with its blood doctrine that too many neglected to check the facts?
Cynthia Gyamfi, MD said it best when she wrote in Obstetrics and Gynecology that facts uncovered by patient review “refutes the commonly held belief that all Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to accept blood or any of its products” (Vol. 104, No. 3, September 2004)
Our subject is not the Watchtower and Blood Transfusion. Our subject is Jehovah’s Witnesses and Blood Transfusion. Are we going to stick to verifiable and unbiased presentation of information here? Or, are we talking about writing an article that is not so well aligned with verifiable and unbiased information? What are talking about ‘divorcing,’ here? Marvin Shilmer 03:12, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
BFDI, by the way, it is very presumptive to suggest anyone here is “attempt[ing] to divorce the doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses from its governing institution. ” The attempt is to present relevant facts, whatever those facts are. As the introduction stands now, it accurately presents the Watchtower doctrinal position, and it accurately presents the individuals who affiliate themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses. If anyone disputes this then the real challenge is to specifically refute it, and with something more powerful than a private opinion. Marvin Shilmer 03:33, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Response: The citation you are referring to is perfectly fine and should be considered in the article. No one is disputing facts, so far as I can tell. Under scrutiny is the representation of those facts. I take your point about "The Watchtower" vs. Jehovah's Witnesses (though I confess I don't know anything about either). I wonder, has consensus been reached as to what exactly is meant by the term "Jehovah's Witness" -- which, by your definition, refers to any individual who shares some sufficient number of beliefs with "The Watchtower"? If so, that would be useful information in resolving this debate.
In case it wasn't clear from my remarks, I'm not opposed to the distinction you are trying to make between JW and Watchtower. What I'm opposed to is the idea that the beliefs of Roman Catholics (to continue the analogy) of all stripes and colours the world over somehow constitute the doctrine we call Roman Catholicism. Right now, the article seems to me to be stating that since some Jehovah's Witnesses aren't troubled by blood etc that therefore the doctrine/institution/religion has no problem with blood etc. The article needs clarification on this point. And then, finally, the lead needs to be drastically shortened. BFD1 04:02, 12 January 2007 (UTC)


BFDI, your response is appreciated. There is more than a single citation. There are several provided, and none are hostile to the Watchtower organization or the population of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Studieously I have avoided “representing facts.” Rather, I have presented statements along with reference material for the very point of having those statements analyzed for accuracy. In other words, if you think I have presented something contrary, inconsistent or beyond what the sources demonstrate then that is what the references are there for—for readers to measure the veracity of statements. Have you checked these references yourself? If not, then how is it you think my presentation questionable? References are there for the purpose of scrutiny; and I recommend scrutinizing every one of them with as fine tooth a comb as a person has. I do not want to present anything other than verifiable information.
As for a consensus on the meaning of the term “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” it depends on who one includes as stakeholders. The problem in this case is that the Watchtower organization forms doctrinal positions that, admittedly, are not based on a consensus of current Jehovah’s Witnesses. Given the Watchtower organization’s proclivity for altering (and sometimes reversing) doctrinal position then it is unavoidable that individual Jehovah’s Witnesses find themselves holding different convictions on specific subjects than what the Watchtower organization takes up as doctrine. So what should we conclude? That the poor souls who have been Jehovah’s Witnesses their whole life are now disenfranchised as Jehovah’s Witnesses in our view, and all because they maintained their personal conviction? Are we to conclude these individuals who profess themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses are no longer Jehovah’s Witnesses? Are these individuals no longer stakeholders? If we include these as stakeholders then the only consensus is that individuals who are baptized by Jehovah’s Witnesses are regarded as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Among this population unbiased sources substantiate the current introductory language for this Section. If you disagree, then please offer refutation of the facts. What good is an introduction if it provides less than a factual and round introduction?
Also, in its current form the introduction for this Section does not present the varying convictions of Jehovah’s Witnesses as the Watchtower organization’s doctrinal position. Contrarily, it spells out the difference, which difference is substantiated by unbiased secondary sources (peer reviewed no less!). As for the individuals making up the body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the current language does no more than present what the secondary and primary sources demonstrate.
Finally, I do not understand the suggestions about shortening. In present form the introductory language is well within and compliant with Wikipedia Lead-In guidelines. Also, this is a very serious subject. Scholarly articles on this subject tend to have far more extensive introductory language than does this Wikipedia article. Individuals closely touched by this doctrine are more than willing to read this meager introduction, as long as it provides bona fide information. Marvin Shilmer 04:41, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Final response from me: Reading the latest comments and the article again, I'm inclined to agree with Marvin. I'm not sure who started the RFC or whether all the issues have been addressed yet, but on second visit I don't see any real problems with undue weight. At no time did I see problems with POV since the article appears to be well balanced.BFD1 05:10, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Comment by request of George m: (?) Based on just a cursory scan, I think the section needs some introductory statement, such as "as with any centralized absolutist viewpoint, there are dissenters even within the community of adherents. The number and even community status of such dissenters and their reasoning is controversial and disputed." Just because something is disputed doesn't mean its OR. I think that for any organization that prides itself in uniformity, divergence of any degree is notable.

On another note, I think the title should be changed to something more general, as the article seems to touch on different aspects of blood besides transfusions: the point of the article is to relate JW's interpretations, doctrines, feelings, about what blood is - specifically (AIUI) with respect to its claimed spiritualism. JW are not the only people to make this claim, and perhaps the article can be generalised to something about Christian views on blood and spirituality. -Stevertigo 19:58, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Chart Title

Is there a way to provide a clear title for this chart? I have no idea what it is trying to show. BFD1 03:02, 14 January 2007 (UTC)


I removed the illustration because it had false data included. If anyone cares to correct the graphic then it can be re-inserted.Marvin Shilmer 04:59, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Opening Statements Questioned

"There is not uniform acceptance of the current blood doctrine within the Jehovah's Witness community. Though accepted by a majority, there is evidence a significant population of Jehovah's Witnesses does not endorse it. The doctrine has drawn criticism from members of the medical community and Jehovah's Witnesses alike."

"there is evidence a significant population of Jehovah's Witnesses does not endorse it". What "evidence" do you have? Let us see it. I have worked in the area of blood management for most of two decades. I strongly disagree with this statement and wonder about its source. Working on the front lines with patients requesting alternatives to blood transfusions I should think that my colleagues numbering in the hundreds and myself would have heard from this "significant population" don't you?

Comment When you say significant population what do you mean? What number out of 6 million would you consider significant? Unless there are hundreds of thousands disagreeing I agree that this statement is misleading. It seems to indicate some revolt taking place. Is that your intention? --24.17.161.93 21:41, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

As a researcher and as a professional who interacts with physician's who are providing care to patients requesting alternatives to blood transfusions, I again disagree with the inclusion of your statement that "The doctrine has drawn criticism from members of the medical community and Jehovah's Witnesses alike". Do you have published statements leading to your conclusion? When you say "members" how many do you refer to? Ten? Hundreds? Can you prove it? When researching I find only a few articles from one source who is presenting an ethics argument around consent issues. As to the lay viewpoint I find only one article (see references below) and comments from websites that are religious and patently anti-JW in nature. I find some comment from individuals that claim to being JW's but do not give their identity due to fear of shunning. I hardly think this is a credible source. Is this the source of your assertive statements?

I realize the goal is to provide the full scope of argument but I should think you might take greater care when making broad statements. You might at least back up your statements with supporting evidence even if that evidence is scant it is better than conjecture masquerading as fact. I propose that you rewrite the paragraph to better represent the known facts.--Janbwade 16:39, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

References Muramoto O. Bioethics of the refusal of blood by Jehovah’s Witnesses: part 1. Should bioethical deliberation consider dissidents’ views? Journal of Medical Ethics. 1998; 24:223-230.


Muramoto O. Bioethics of the refusal of blood by Jehovah’s Witnesses: part 2. A novel approach based on rational non-interventional paternalism. Journal of Medical Ethics. 1998; 24:295-301.


Muramoto O. Bioethics of the refusal of blood by Jehovah's Witnesses: part 3. A proposal for a don't-ask-don't-tell policy. J Med Ethics 1999; 25: 463-468


Muramoto O. Medical confidentiality and the protection of Jehovah's Witnesses' autonomous refusal of blood. J Med Ethics 2000; 26: 381-386

Elder L. Why some Jehovah's Witnesses accept blood and conscientiously reject official Watchtower Society blood policy. J Med Ethics 2000; 26: 375-380

Janbwade: The statements you question are all verified in the body of the article from secondary and primary sources. The primary source is the Watchtower organization itself. If anything, this source is biased towards itself, which is understandable. The other sources are diverse and unbiased, and peer reviewed. Since these secondary sources are reviews of data then bias is not only unlikely, but virtually impossible. So, if anything, we can say none of the sources are hostile toward the Watchtower organization or to the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Hence I fail to see veracity in your complaint.
I recommend that you consider the sub-heading “Acceptance within Jehovah’s Witness community” within the article about Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood transfusion. If you dispute its content and sources then please specify exactly why. Also, please keep in mind that due to 1) the Watchtower organization’s policy to have JWs shun JWs who conscientiously accept transfusion of blood products it forbids, and 2) your reputation as an ardent supporter of Watchtower policies, then it is expected that JWs who disagree with the Watchtower’s blood doctrine would not grant you access to their choices, and HIPPA regulations are a powerful incentive for clinicians to keep patient preference highly confidential, particularly when it is specifically requested. Hence your personal experience is likely of little if any value in addressing the issue of your complaint.Marvin Shilmer 01:14, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

All I can say is that the intro as it is now is not neutral from the standard point of view in Wikipedia. Various explainations on why is already given by more than one person. Summer Song 15:46, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Summersong: Wikipedia policy states that a neutral point of view represents fairly and without bias all significant views that have been published by a reliable source. The current introduction does precisely this. It introduces the view of the Watchtower organization. It also introduces findings published by reputable and verifiable sources. Accordingly, sources include 1) The Watchtower journal, 2) the Consolation (Vertroosting) journal, 3) Letters written from the Watchtower organization; peer reviewed journals such as 4) Archives of Internal Medicine, 5) Cancer Control, 6) Obstetrics and Genecology, 7) Academic Emergency Medicine, and 8) The Oncologist; books such as 9) Transfusion-free Medicine, and 10) Under Two Dictators. Which one of these multiple and independent sources do you dispute as reliable? Marvin Shilmer 17:30, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
The intro actually says: Jehovah's Witnesses oficially believe something, but many members do oppose that in thought and acts much to the anger of the leadership. In my opinion, this is to open an article with a debated statement. Summer Song 20:51, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Summersong: The opening words are not debated because as of yet no one as remotely disputed (let alone refuted!) the authenticity and veracity of published works offered for verification. If you believe these sources (the ones I already named and that are present in the article!) are dubious then please try and refute them. Until someone does this then it is incorrect to suggest the language is in debate.

Remember that disagreeing with a statement does not make the statement false or less than accurate, or debatable as though something is legitimately questionable. Marvin Shilmer 21:10, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


Marvin,

Here are some 'legitimate' disagreements.

1. References 46 & 47 represent one or two people.

2. This comment:"Jehovah’s Witnesses have accepted blood transfusions contrary to Watchtower doctrine, even when this was under threat of severe organized shunning enforced by the Watchtower." is supposedly supported by 48 & 49. If that is the case then their must be a huge disagreement among JW's with regard to forincation because this the the #1 reason people are disfellowshipped.

3. ref# 50 is a 'survey' of one congregation. Hardly an authoritative study. Also, the authors of the study admit that their results were unreliable.

4. 51 & 52 again represent small studies. These cannot possibly be enough even taken together to represent an authoritative base.

5. Finally something that may lend some suport to your position is that 50% of witnesses may not have a DPA on file at the kingdom hall. Which leads me to no. 6

6. This entire discussion you bring is original research. There is/are no authoritative study-ies available on this subject. You have attempted to bring these scraps of information together to produce a study, but what you have collected is not authoritative either. That is beside the point. Your sources can be verified, but they are weak as to your position. You are bringing your conclusion to WP from your research. THat means this entire section is given undue weight.

I believe you may have some point to make here but the force you are lending to this topic is undue. George 23:49, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

George: Your response to the point is appreciated.
1 References 46 and 47 do not represent one or two people. If you read the referenced material cited for 46 you’ll find therein the Watchtower organization states that they had, as of that time, received repeated requests to pronounce a sanction (acceptance) of medical blood transfusion. The 47 reference shows that this has not changed, even among its appointed elders.
2 As you indicate yourself, references 48 and 49 do indeed substantiate the statement that Jehovah’s Witnesses have accepted blood transfusion contrary to Watchtower doctrine. Also as you indicate, this is true despite the consequence of the Watchtower’s organized shunning policy.
3 Indeed, reference 50 is a survey of an entire congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Also, the participants were hand picked by the local body of elders to respond to a scripted questionnaire. If anything, this skews the finding toward Watchtower doctrine. If you read the article you’d know this. The findings of this cooperative study are fully corroborated by the also referenced material of 51 and 52, demonstrating that one is not a fluke finding.
4 References 51 and 52 are not small. They cover several years and all patients fitting a particular profile during that range. It is the cumulative and consistent finding over years that is so striking on both these surveys of medical records. In each case the finding is the same: Contrary to Watchtower doctrine there is a significant population of Jehovah’s Witnesses willing to accept blood products forbidden under Watchtower doctrine.
5 Glad you agree that the Watchtower’s admission that up to 50% of Witnesses may not have a DPA on file is supportive of statements made. And, by the way, the Watchtower letter did not indicate that up to 50% had no filed DPA documents. It said that a small percentage had completed DPA documents. This means a majority had not completed the DPA documentation.
6 It is not original research to present material findings from verifiable sources. Original research would be to conduct my own study and then publish that as authoritative. But this is not what I have contributed. Rather, I have presented statements fully supported by independent and verifiable resources other than myself, none of which sources are hostile towards the Watchtower organization of the population of Jehovah's Witnesses.
7 You have stated that the material referenced is supportive to statements made. But then you turn around and opine that the material is weak. Either it is supportive or it is weak. Which is it?
8 On what authoritative basis do you opine that the reference material is weak? 1) It is not anecdotal. 2) It is not produced by authors hostile to the Watchtower organization or the people of Jehovah’s Witnesses. 3) It is either peer reviewed or else 4) it comes straight from the Watchtower organization. So on what basis should we accept your opinion as authoritative?
9 Do you have any unbiased and authoritative sources refuting the peer reviewed source material I have provided. If the references I have offered are wrong then it should be relative easy to provide authoritative source material disputing them. Do you have such material? If so, I would surely appreciate considering it. Marvin Shilmer 00:24, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
George: One final point, it is false to say that Drs Findley and Redstone “admit that their result was unreliable.” Have you read the article?
Specifically the authors state, “Our research methods are open to sample bias. By surveying only church members, we may not have described the beliefs of less religious Jehovah’s Witnesses. Although we stressed the strict confidentiality of the questionnaire, the members knew that the church had cooperated in the study to the point of supplying a list of the names and addresses of its members. This may have influenced their answers. Despite these problems, we believe we adequately described the beliefs of this congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and demonstrated the need for physicians to be aware of their patients’ religious objections to medical treatment.”
Accordingly, please note that the sample bias referenced by Findley and Redstone is a bias towards Watchtower doctrine. So, if anything, the result is skewed in favor of Watchtower doctrine. Marvin Shilmer 01:07, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
No consensus was reached, there were almost no comments added by outside editors. Your information violated WP:Undue weight. Your information is not reliable. Verify schmerify, it must also be reliable. You have an anonymous group and a tiny microcosm of a study. These = unreliable. At best it deserves a sentence or two. George 14:30, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
George m apparently objects to material addressing acceptance within the Jehovah’s Witness community of the Watchtower organization blood doctrine. His objection is presented as a matter of undue weight. Hence the following discussion,
Wikipedia’s policy of undue weight asks that material be presented proportionally, and that it is verifiable. The material George m objects to is verifiable, and it addresses acceptance within the Jehovah’s Witness community from non-hostile and reputable (peer reviewed) sources. As a proportional comparison, the material contains a minority of information relating a minority position held among the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It is also worthy of note that from a historical perspective the community known today as Jehovah’s Witnesses has only prohibited eating/transfusing blood for approximately half the time of its existence as a distinct community. The modern era of blood transfusion therapy began in 1818 with the first reported human to human blood transfusion. ( Paul L. F. Giangrande, British Journal of Haematology, 2000, 110, p 760) In 1912 Dr. Carrel of the Rockefeller Institute is cited as declaring that many dangerous illnesses had been cured by means of blood transfusion and that methods of transfusion had become greatly improved in recent years. He went on to recount actual cases where death was averted by blood transfusion. (New York Times, June 25, 1912, p 7) Prior to 1937 doctors relied on direct donor to patient donations. Donors were either individuals known by the hospital or doctor, or they were volunteers organized through blood donor service organization. But in 1937 Bernard Fantus of the Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois (USA) is credited with establishing the first blood bank. ( Paul L. F. Giangrande, British Journal of Haematology, 2000, 110, p 762) Banked blood made blood transfusion therapy a more viable therapy by making donor blood more accessible.
The contemporary religious community known as Jehovah’s Witnesses traces its roots to Charles Taze Russell and his founding of the Watchtower organization in 1879. Despite the existence and notoriety of blood transfusion therapy at the time, it was only in the year 1945 that this organization embraced a doctrine against blood transfusion. Furthermore, it was only in 1961 that the organization embraced a doctrine prohibiting its membership from accepting blood transfusion therapy under pain of organized communal shunning. Hence, as a historical proportional comparison, the Watchtower organization has only prohibited blood transfusion for approximately 50 years out of almost 130 years of existence. Up to this time a preponderance of verifiable information demonstrates a majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses held no particular aversion to blood transfusion or to eating of blood. (Buber, M, Under Two Dictators, 1949 pp. 222, 235-237) Certainly there is no evidence to the contrary. That is, prior to 1945 (or 1961) there is no evidence suggesting a majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses believed it immoral to accept blood transfusion or to eat cooked blood.
Hence, as a proportional comparative we have remaining only the years from the mid 20th Century until 2007 to consider, which is only about half the years of the religions community of Jehovah’s Witnesses. During this period the material George m objects to provides information verified by peer reviewed secondary sources and information from a primary source which, if anything, holds a bias toward the views of the Watchtower organization. This latter primary source if the Watchtower organization itself. This verifiable source material presents information relevant to the question of doctrinal acceptance within the Jehovah’s Witness community of the Watchtower organization’s blood doctrine.
George m is invited to explain his objection here, as to why he believes the material he objects to gives undue weight to the question of Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood transfusion. As indicated above the material he objects to presents a glimpse of the historical acceptance among Jehovah’s Witnesses of the particular doctrine, including that today there is apparently a majority of this community supporting the teaching.
Until George m explains his objection and provides Wikipedia policy demonstrating veracity to his objection this writer see no reason why the well documented and very relevant material he objects to should not be part of the article. After all, if readers are led to believe that a particular religious doctrine is of a religious group then the same readers deserve to have information to gauge the extent of support for the said doctrine within the group itself. This is particularly the case when the doctrine impinges on a potentially life or death medical procedure.
Specifically George m states the information I provided is “not reliable”. Yet George m does not offer any evidence in support of this claim, which makes it only his opinion. I ask George to specify which piece of information is it he deems unreliable, and why. Of particular interest is whether George m would dispute source material for the same piece of information.
George m also states “You have an anonymous group and a tiny microcosm of a study. These = unreliable.” Yet George fails to express the alleged anonymous source of information. Which source of information do you claim is anonymous, George m? Regarding a “tiny microcosm of a study,” you are apparently overlooking that there is no “a study” (single study) presented as a sole source of verification. You are also, apparently, overlooking that the number of cases party to the medical reviews are proportional to the minority population of Jehovah’s Witnesses compared to the greater patient population. Your objection also stands in direct contrast to one of the case review studies wherein the numbers achieved statistical significance. (Cynthia Gyamfi, MD, and Richard L. Berkowitz, MD, Obstet and Gynecol Vol. 104, No. 3, September 2004; Cynthia Gyamfi, MD, and Richard L. Berkowitz, MD, Obstet and Gynecol Vol. 105, No. 2, February 2005)
Until George m can sustain his objections there is no reason to deny from public view the provided and verified information allowing readers to guage for themselves the level of acceptance among Jehovah's Witnesses of the Watchtower organization's blood doctrine, which doctrine is admittedly not determiend by majority consensus among Jehovah's Witnesses. (Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, “Dwelling Together In Honor,” The Watchtower, 1960 July 1, p 402; Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, “Staying Awake With the Faithful and Discreet Slave,” The Watchtower, 1960 July 15, p 438; Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, “The Congregation in the Time of the End,” The Watchtower, 1961 March 1, pp 147-8) Accordingly, until George m can either sustain his POV objection of undue weight or refute the source material as unreliable, this author restores the information. Marvin Shilmer 17:23, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
You are not editing you are spamming. AJWRB is anonymous and you only have one study conducted within one congregation. You present the rest of your information as your own original research. (The information on JW's and their development of doctrine on blood.) Actually that would be a good heading for the subject. Your edits constitute unndue weight. There is little information supproting the idea that a significant number of JW's have a problem with the doctrine on blood. One or tow small studies are not enough. Should I quote all the sources that say JW"s oppose blood transfusions and make no mention of your asseriton? I will if you need me to. George 17:46, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
George m, the organization known as AJWRB is, to my knowledge, not responsible for any Wikipedia edits. Additionally, AJWRB is nowhere cited as an authority within the material you object to. Hence your objection based on an alleged anonymity of AJWRB is as relevant as an objecting to Watchtower publications on the basis that its contributing writers, editors and translators are anonymous. Accordingly this objection by you lacks veracity.
Your objection of the one study conducted of a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Findley, MD et al, Arch Intern Med, March 1982; Vol 142 pp. 606-607) lacks merit because this study is not offered as a sole authoratative source. Rather it is offered in concert with multiple peer reviewed sources with similar findings, not to mention the Watchtower organization’s own documents and publications reflecting a result not inconsistent with the peer reviewed information. Accordingly this objection by you lacks veracity.
If editors accept your objection to “the rest” of the presentation as original research then the same editors are forced to view all sourced information as original research since the only thing presented is a concert of sourced information impinging on the subject of the sub-heading Acceptance Within the Jehovah’s Witness Community. Wikipedia policy encourages editors to present statements of information accompanied by verification as coming from legitimate sources. The portion of material you object to does just this and no more. Additionally, the material development was not of my doing. Another Wikipedia editor (Joshbuddy) is responsible for creating the sub-heading and arranging of information. Accordingly this objection by you lacks veracity.
Your objection that there is little evidence suggesting a significant number of Jehovah’s Witnesses “have a problem with the doctrine” is undermined by the Watchtower organization itself. If anything, Watchtower letters addressing extent of compliance contradict your statement because those letters state that up to 50 percent of Jehovah’s Witnesses have failed to maintain critical doctrinal medical documentation on the subject, and that a huge majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses have failed to complete Watchtower provided power or attorney documentation despite repeated instructions to do so. (Letter to All Bodies of Elders in the United States, Watchtower December 1, 1993; Letter to All Bodies of Elders in the United States, Watchtower December 1, 2000) If anything the peer reviewed secondary sources temper these Watchtower admissions. Accordingly this objection by you lacks veracity.
It is true there are many peer reviewed sources indicating a majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses adhere to the Watchtower organization’s blood doctrine, and the very information you object to states this in plain English. However these articles are typically not addressing the extent of compliance among Jehovah’s Witnesses with Watchtower doctrine. Rather, these articles are typically addressing how medical providers should handle cases of Jehovah’s Witnesses when the patient refuses various blood products, which is in a majority of circumstances. The relatively few peer reviewed articles addressing the extent of adherence among Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Watchtower organization’s blood doctrine all indicate the same thing: a significant population of Jehovah’s Witnesses does not abide by the doctrine. Since the available peer reviewed sources addressing extent of compliance with the community of Jehovah's Witnesses all indicate the same thing, and since this result is consistent with Watchtower documents then there is every reason to accept this finding and no reason to reject it. By the way, among the majority of peer reviewed articles addressing Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood transfusion there is a growing use of terms used to differentiate Jehovah’s Witnesses who abide by the Watchtower doctrine and those who do not. More and more frequently we find terms applied such as “orthodox” versus “less orthodox”, “religious” versus “less religious” etc. This is because of the reality that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not universally abide by the Watchtower organization’s blood doctrine. So as not to unduly weight the article in question, I have refrained from providing this mountain of peer reviewed material. Accordingly this objection by you lacks veracity.
Wikipedia does not consider it spamming for an editor to provide verified information relevant to the subject at hand.Marvin Shilmer 18:45, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
You have several paragraphs on a subjcet that deserves passing mention. I have reedited the page because it is OR and undeu weight. I don't have to explain it because it is. I must continue to change your editsas long as you continue to presnt the information the way you do.George 02:57, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
George m, with your statement above all you have done is expressed a personal opinion and then edited accordingly. You have not sustained your opinion in the face of specific replies and supporting source material. This is not keeping with Wikipedia standards and policy.
Wikipedia policy requires editors to answer for significant deletions (and additions, too) such as you have insist upon here despite every attempt to hold a civil discussion on the subject.
To assist in stirring civil discussion on the subject I propose that you point out what precisely you find objectionable about the Section you have deleted. To assist in this discussion I am reproducing the information you object to with comment, and I ask that you respond in detail. Under the sub-heading (which is part of what you removed) Acceptance within the Jehovah’s Witness Community, the first paragraph reads:
“Before the Watchtower organization developed doctrine concerning blood to the point of prohibiting transfusion, Jehovah’s Witnesses held no shared conviction against blood transfusion or eating blood. A firsthand eyewitness account of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Ravensbrueck concentration camp under Nazi Germany expresses that an overwhelming majority were willing to eat blood sausage despite knowing what the Bible stated on the subject, as well as having alternate food to choose from.(Ref. Buber, M, Under Two Dictators, 1949 pp. 222, 235-237) The reliability of this testimony is confirmed by another observer, Gertrude Poetzinger, whose husband, Martin Poetzinger, was appointed to the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1977.(Ref. The Watchtower, June 15, 1982 p. 7; The Watchtower, Septermber 15, 1988 p. 31) In September of 1945, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses responsible for publishing Watchtower literature commented on blood transfusion in the Dutch language edition of Consolation (now called Awake!). A translation into English reads,
“When we lose our life because we refuse inoculations, that does not bear witness as a justification of Jehovah’s name. God never issued regulations which prohibit the use of drugs, inoculations or blood transfusions. It is an invention of people, who, like the Pharisees, leave Jehovah’s mercy and love aside.”(Ref. Vertroosting, Consolation, September 1945 p. 29, “Wanneer wij ons leven verliezen, doordat wij weigeren, inspuitingen te laten maken, dient zulks niet tot een getuigenis ter rechtvaardiging van Jehova’s Naam. God heft nooit bepalingen uitgevaardigd die het gebruik van inedicijnen, inspuitingen of bloedtransfusie verbiedt. Het is een ultvinding van menschen, die gelijk de Farizeen Jehova’s barmhartigheid laten.”)
The above quote material is evidenced by verifiable historical documentation. The statements are not argumentative and are not inconsistent with anything any editor has asserted. So what about this portion of the material do you object to, precisely? Specifically, what is stated that is inaccurate or non-neutral, or undue weight?
Moving on, the next portion of the challenged material reads:
Today a majority of Jehovah's Witnesses have adopted the Watchtower organization's stance on blood transfusion. However, from its inception in 1945 to today, the doctrine has not had universal acceptance among Jehovah’s Witnesses. Over this period the Watchtower organization has received repeated requests from individual Jehovah’s Witnesses that the doctrine accept medical transfusion of donor blood. (Ref. The Watchtower May 1, 1950 p. 143; The Jensen Letters, 1998-2003) This division among Jehovah’s Witnesses was admitted by the Watchtower organization. (Ref. The Watchtower May 1, 1950 p. 143) Jehovah’s Witnesses have conscientiously accepted blood transfusions contrary to Watchtower doctrine. (Ref. The Watchtower August 1, 1958 p. 478) Since 1961 individual Jehovah’s Witnesses have accepted blood transfusions knowing it would make them subject to organized shunning under Watchtower doctrine. (Ref. The Watchtower October 15, 1987 p. 14) In 1982, a peer-reviewed case study of a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses was undertaken by Drs. Larry J. Findley and Paul M. Redstone to evaluate individual belief in respect to blood among Jehovah’s Witnesses. Local elders cooperated with this study by supplying names and addresses of active members and informing these members of the survey. The result showed that 12% were willing to accept transfusion therapy forbidden under Watchtower doctrine. (Ref. Findley, MD et al, Arch Intern Med, March 1982; Vol 142 pp. 606-607) Other peer-reviewed studies examining medical records indicate a similar percentage of Jehovah’s Witnesses willing to accept blood therapies either for themselves or for their children. (Ref. Kaaron Benson, Cancer Control Journal, Vol. 2, No. 4, November/December 1995; Cynthia Gyamfi, MD, and Richard L. Berkowitz, MD, Obstet and Gynecol Vol. 104, No. 3, September 2004) In the August 1998 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine, Donald Ridley, a Jehovah’s Witness and Watchtower staff attorney, argued that carrying an up-to-date Medical Directive card issued by the Watchtower organization indicates that the individual personally agrees with the established religious position of the Watchtower organization. (Ref. Ridley, Academic Emergency Medicine, August 1998; Vol. 5; Num. 8) However, the Watchtower organization has issued letters expressing serious concern, citing reports that up to 50% of Jehovah’s Witnesses had failed to maintain up-to-date Medical Directive cards, with the result that the individual Witnesses were not protected from routine transfusions; in addition, only a small percentage had filled out the Watchtower-provided Durable Power of Attorney document. (Ref. Letter to All Bodies of Elders in the United States, Watchtower December 1, 1993; Letter to All Bodies of Elders in the United States, Watchtower December 1, 2000)
The above quote material is all documented information from the Watchtower organization or its representatives (i.e., Ridley), except for two statements from peer reviewed medical journals directly commenting on the subject of acceptance level among Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Watchtower’s blood doctrine. Additionally the finding of these three peer reviewed articles are consistent with Watchtower statements on the subject. Hence the question for you is, specifically, what is stated that is inaccurate or non-neutral, or undue weight?
Moving on, the next, and last, portion of the challenged material reads:
The Watchtower organization states, “Nowadays official church dogma may bear scant resemblance to the personal beliefs of those who profess that particular religion.” (Ref. Awake!, April 8, 1996 p. 4) Commenting on their experience and study of Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood transfusion, Drs Cynthia Gyamfi and Richard Berkowitz wrote, “It is naïve to assume that all people in any religious group share the exact same beliefs, regardless of doctrine. It is well known that Muslims, Jews and Christians have significant individual variations in their beliefs. Why should that not also be true of Jehovah’s Witnesses?” (Ref. Cynthia Gyamfi, MD, and Richard L. Berkowitz, MD, Obstet and Gynecol Vol. 105, No. 2, February 2005) Jehovah’s Witnesses pursue a range of objectives, not just one. These interests include medical, psychological, social, economic, legal, educational and spiritual pursuits. Speaking in behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Donald Ridley states that “Maximizing the good in one of these spheres will come at a cost in some other sphere. Rational people will trade off benefits in different spheres until the aggregate total is maximized.” (Ref. Ridley, Donald T, Acd Emerg Med, Vol. 5 No. 8, August 1998) A significant number of Jehovah's Witnesses agrees completely with Watchtower doctrine regarding blood, and these Jehovah’s Witnesses are typically fervent in their conviction. (Ref. Knuti et al, The Oncologist, Vol. 7, No. 4, 371-380, August 2002) However, this does not make insignificant the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses who do not fully agree with the Watchtower’s blood doctrine.
This is the third and final paragraph of information you object to. It contains a single statement sourced from a peer reviewed medical journal article that comes from a non-Watchtower source. Do you consider this undue weight? Do you consider the statement an inaccurate portrayal of the source information? Do you consider it non-neutral to provide statements from non-hostile peer reviewed sources?
George m, if you question the accuracy of what is stated from the peer reviewed sources then please evidence this with something other than personal opinion. I have painstakingly avoided adding anything personal to this entire discussion by making very sure that only verifiable and non-hostile sources are cited. If you do find something from me in the way of my personal opinion in the article then it is appreciated that you point it out for editing. But please respect editing that complies with Wikipedia policy for verification and due weight. If you want information kept from public view then you have an obligation to demonstrate that your action is academically legitimate according to Wikipedia guidelines. This includes a requirement to join civil discussion on the matter with editors holding a view different than you own. Marvin Shilmer 16:25, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
George m, I have edited the material you challenge. This is accompanied by a tag informing readers of dispute. Please note the material in question is predominated by Watchtower statements and/or acknowledgements. Hence there is no basis for undue weight. Other sources and statements are neither my personal conclusions nor hostile to Watchtower organization interests. Hence none of this editing represents original research. The research is of the authors cited. If you feel any of the source material is inaccurately presented please be specific so I can address it. The last thing Wikipedia needs is bad academics.Marvin Shilmer 17:45, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Marvin, you can verify your statements because the wources you list exist, but they are the only sources for this subject in existence and they are small studies. This makes them an undue weight problem. If you leave the information the way I had it and include your refs it would not be undue weight. My position is very clear. I have onece again stated it. you removed the reference to AJWRB- that is an improvement. You have also sythesiszed your own concepts of the JW's changing their doctrine on blood over the years. Yo need to have academic sources which have done studies on the subject or at the very least periodicals which have covered the topic. You have neither. You cannot use WT pubs to create an entry about a topic which you have created. Academic sources need to have produced some work on it. I hope this makes clearer my position. George 18:54, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
George m, first of all, thanks for your feedback.
The subject is Acceptance within the Jehovah’s Witness community. The source material cited is specific to this subject (acceptance within…) and it is not small in extent. There are multiple peer reviewed sources cited, and each one specifically addresses the subject matter and each one agrees. But these peer reviewed sources are subordinate to the primary source (i.e., Watchtower literature) because the primary source acknowledges the same thing as the peer reviewed material.
If you feel there is other relevant source material impinging the subject of acceptance within the Jehovah’s Witness community, then by all means bring this information to bear. So far you have offered not a single solitary piece of information contradicting the substantial source material already presented.
When you state that I have ‘synthesized my own concepts of the JWs changing their doctrine’ what are you talking about? Nowhere in the challenged material is there a single statement (in concept or opinion) that is left undocumented from verifiable sources. So what specifically do you have in mind with this objection? I have no idea how to address something you leave unspecified. What sentences do you speak of? What concepts are you talking about, specifically?
Your objection that I need academic sources which have done studies on the subject is not understood by me. The material you challenge contains multiple peer reviewed sources (e.g., Gyamfi et al, Findley et al, Benson et al). Since the challenged material contains the very thing you say it should contain then what is your objection?
Why do you feel it inappropriate to use Watchtower publications to create an entry about the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower organizational doctrine/policy? The whole article about Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood transfusion is based on Watchtower publication of doctrine and policy, yet you have not objected. So why should this aspect of the subject be treated any different than the rest of the article?
At this point your position is sorely lacking in veracity. There is well documented peer reviewed source material cited. There is primary source material cited just as is used throughout the entire discussion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood transfusion. The cited material is multi-disciplined, it is multi-authored, it is multi-source, and above all none of the sources are hostile to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Hence I do not see where you have articulated a valid challenge. Please offer details as asked for above. I am more than happy to yield to solid academic source material. But I see no reason to delete the discussion of acceptance of the Watchtower’s blood doctrine within the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses when all sources admit there is division on the issue. Marvin Shilmer 19:26, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
George, m, I see now where you have added additional challenges to the Section addressing Acceptance within the Jehovah’s Witness community:
What are the unattributed claims you challenge?
What are the self-published materials you challenge?
What is the original research you challenge? Marvin Shilmer 19:26, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I have answered your questions already. but in order to make it compmletely plain:
Before the Watchtower organization developed doctrine concerning blood to the point of prohibiting transfusion, Jehovah’s Witnesses held no shared conviction against blood transfusion or eating blood. A firsthand eyewitness account of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Ravensbrueck concentration camp under Nazi Germany expresses that an overwhelming majority were willing to eat blood sausage despite knowing what the Bible stated on the subject, as well as having alternate food to choose from.[48] The reliability of this testimony is confirmed by another observer, Gertrude Poetzinger, whose husband, Martin Poetzinger, was appointed to the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1977.[49][50] In September of 1945, Jehovah’s Witnesses responsible for publishing Watchtower literature commented on blood transfusion in the Dutch edition of Consolation (now called Awake!). A translation into English reads,
“When we lose our life because we refuse inoculations, that does not bear witness as a justification of Jehovah’s name. God never issued regulations which prohibit the use of drugs, inoculations or blood transfusions. It is an invention of people, who, like the Pharisees, leave Jehovah’s mercy and love aside.Today a majority of Jehovah's Witnesses have adopted the Watchtower organization's stance on blood transfusion. However, from its inception in 1945 to today, the doctrine has not had universal acceptance among Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Watchtower organization acknowledges it has received repeated requests from individual Jehovah’s Witnesses that the doctrine accept medical transfusion of donor blood.[52][53] The Watchtower organization also expressly acknowledged division among Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding this doctrinal position.[54] Jehovah’s Witnesses have conscientiously accepted blood transfusions contrary to Watchtower doctrine.[55] Since 1961 individual Jehovah’s Witnesses have accepted blood transfusions knowing it would make them subject to organized shunning under Watchtower doctrine.[56] ”[51]
This is entirely your synthesis of material. You are producing a report or essay of your own about JW's. = OR
Next ref #57 is a study of one congregation. There are nearly 100,000 congregations of JW's in the world. undue weight
Ref #58 is related to a small group of JW patients in one area and at that only 10% accepted transfusions some of them may not have been JW's at the time as they were minors who may have made the decision for themselves. Since the study was not designed to actually document how many JW's wold accept a transfusion, this information was likely not considered. undue weight
Ref #59 Cynthia Gyamfi, MD, and Richard L. Berkowitz, MD, Obstet and Gynecol Vol. 104, No. 3, September 2004, “This review refutes the commonly held belief that all Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to accept blood or any of its products. In this population of pregnant women, the majority were willing to accept some form of blood or blood products.”
Blood products may be products not 'banned'. How many patients were involved in this study? There are six million JW's in the World and probably twice that number who say they are JW's. These studies represent a tiny amount of 'research' into the subject. undue weight
The Watchtower organization states, “Nowadays official church dogma may bear scant resemblance to the personal beliefs of those who profess that particular religion.”[63]
The magazine quoted was not talking about the subject you attributed it to. Namely acceptance of doctrine on blood within the WT community. This is attribution and also OR.
The Watchtower organization states, “Nowadays official church dogma may bear scant resemblance to the personal beliefs of those who profess that particular religion.”[63] Commenting similarly, Drs Cynthia Gyamfi and Richard Berkowitz state, “It is naïve to assume that all people in any religious group share the exact same beliefs, regardless of doctrine. It is well known that Muslims, Jews and Christians have significant individual variations in their beliefs. Why should that not also be true of Jehovah’s Witnesses?”[64] A Watchtower representative, Donald Ridley, expresses that Jehovah’s Witnesses pursue a range of objectives, not just one. These interests include medical, psychological, social, economic, legal, educational and spiritual pursuits. Speaking in behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Donald Ridley states “Maximizing the good in one of these spheres will come at a cost in some other sphere. Rational people will trade off benefits in different spheres until the aggregate total is maximized.”[65] An apparent majority of Jehovah's Witnesses agree with Watchtower doctrine regarding blood, and these Jehovah’s Witnesses are typically fervent in their conviction.[66] However, this does not make insignificant the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses who do not fully agree with the Watchtower’s blood doctrine.
This entire section is your own essay, that means it is WP:Original research. You need to cut this down to what is actually attributable and then present it with proper weight. George 22:11, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
PS - Could you be more concise and less wordy? You can make points with much fewer words.George 22:11, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Just to makeit completely plain Your use of wt literature in writing you ressay is OR. I cannot be any more irect that this. George 22:15, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

George m, thanks for making yourself plain.

Regarding undue weight, Wikipedia stipulates an “article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a verifiable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each.” The whole point of the sub-section Acceptance Within Jehovah’s Witness Community is to establish whether there are significant viewpoints, and whether the same is published by a verifiable source. And this is all the article does. Beyond that it offers no opinions about the results or how the information should or should not be used. Furthermore, your insistence of undue weight completely ignores that for a long, long time Jehovah’s Witnesses held no common aversion or doctrine against eating or transfusing blood. Hence it is not undue weight to consider this long held status among Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In this case you also dispute vetted data and conclusions achieving recognized statistical significance. The review conducted by Gyamfi et al covers patients over a 5 year period in a highly trafficked medical clinic (Mount Sinai School of Medicine). If you believe this review is insignificant then you place your own opinion above an independent panel of experts of one of medicines highly revered journals. On what basis should editors here accept your opinion of the significance of this Gyamfi article above the expert panel of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists? The same question is asked regarding the Benson article published in Cancer Care and the Findley et al article published in Archives of Internal Medicine. And, by the way, presentation of data in these articles is aligned allowing ascertaining the percentage of Jehovah’s Witnesses accepting doctrinally forbidden blood products under the Watchtower organization’s blood doctrine. Your objection on this particular point indicates you have never actually read the very research work that you object to. Have you read these research works yourself?

Regarding your objection of original research, what you write is surprising given that every single statement you question is verified by sources meeting Wikipedia standards for verifiable sources. You couch your challenge in what you call my “synthesis” of material. What is this supposed to mean? All I’ve done is put information addressing a specific subject into one tidy package for readers. This is the whole point of encyclopedic content. It is not original research to package information for consumption.

Regarding the quoted Watchtower material stating that official church dogma may bear scant resemblance to personal beliefs of individuals professing a religion, the quotation was not cited to suggest anything more than what it says. It is an acknowledgement that no one should be surprised that professed religionists may very well not fully support official church doctrine, which is relevant to our subject because the very question is one of acceptance/adherence of a religious doctrine.

Regarding the third and final paragraph of material you object to, I am forced to conclude you have not at all read the cited source material. If you had then you would realize not a single word is my own, but rather of the cited authors. Again I recommend reading the cited articles. Have you read these?

As for conciseness, this is a measure of essentialness. I consider my responses concise. Marvin Shilmer 23:11, 5 April 2007 (UTC)


This is why your information is 90% OR :It introduces an analysis or synthesis of established facts, ideas, opinions, or arguments in a way that builds a particular case favored by the editor, without attributing that analysis or synthesis to a reputable source; You have not dealt wit this. You could sum up your entire section in a single short paragraph, but instead you reiterate information and add commentary. You are attemting to make more of the topic than is necessary or relevant. You are preaching. If must must be cut down. You reworded but did not cut. Most of what you wrote might more likely belong in the 'history of' section. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by George m (talkcontribs) 01:18, 6 April 2007 (UTC).


George m, unavoidably the subject of Acceptance Within the Jehovah’s Witness Community must address acceptance pre and post transfusion/eating prohibition because the Watchtower organization initiated a prohibition-moment in its doctrine. Since the primary source (Watchtower) addresses acceptance in both qualitative and quantitative terms this primary source material is also unavoidably part of the discussion. Another essential is providing secondary source material. Without the latter this aspect of the subject has no independent analysis for purposes of objectivity.
Regarding your allegation of me "building a case," I have nothing whatsoever to do with any of the source material cited. The Watchtower organization reported a majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses have not completed its provided DPA documents—not me. The Watchtower organization related reports that up to 50 percent of Jehovah’s Witnesses had not maintained provided Medical Directive documents—not me. Doctors Benson et al, Gyamfi et al, and Findley et al found that around 10 to 12 percent of Jehovah’s Witnesses were willing to accept Watchtower forbidden blood products—not me.
Regarding original research, Wikipedia refers to “unpublished facts, arguments, concepts, statements, or theories, or any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material, which appears to advance a position.” It also refers to original research as that which amounts to “novel narrative or historical interpretation."
♦ The facts/information I have provided are published.
♦ I have put forth no argumentation at all in the Section you challenge.
♦ The concept of “acceptance within the Jehovah’s Witness community” is not my own.
♦ The statements presented are all documented with verifiable source material.
♦ There are no theories presented.
♦ The only analyses presented are published ones (peer reviewed).
♦ There is no synthesis of material because each source provided stands as verified in its own right; the Watchtower as a primary source, and the secondary sources by means of peer review. To put it another way, any one of the cited sources is sufficient to underpin the qualitative and quantitative information they all stipulate—that a significant amount of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not fully support the Watchtower organization’s blood doctrine.
♦ There is no novel narrative or historical interpretation. In fact I have intentionally left the presentation in a very dry matter-of-fact state.
So on what basis do you sustain your charge of original research?
Where is the commentary you allege?
Where is the preaching you allege?
Where is the reiteration you allege?
What is irrelevant and therefore in need of editing out?
Original research is research that is not exclusively based on a summary, review or synthesis of earlier publications on the subject of research. The purpose of the original research is to produce new knowledge, rather than to present the existing knowledge in a new form (e.g., summarized or classified).”—http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_research.
My presentation here is based exculsivly on reviews and statements by other authors, including the Watchtower organization itself. All I have done is present existing knowledge.
George m, have you even read the cited source material that you challenge? You have yet to answer this question. Marvin Shilmer 02:49, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Since 1961...

We've been going back and forth on the following sentence...

Since 1961, the organization affirms some Jehovah's Witnesses have accepted blood transfusion despite the consequence of organized shunning according to Watchtower doctrine.

Here's the problem. It's unclear what "since 1961" refers to. Does it mean

  1. Since 1961, the organization has affirmed... (but they did not affirm it before 1961)
  2. Since 1961, some Jehovah's Witnesses have accepted (but we have no evidence that any did so before 1961)
  3. Since 1961, the consequence of accepting blood transfusion has been organized shunning (but it wasn't the consequence before 1961)

I don't know which of the above is correct and I don't have any ax to grind on this point. I'm just trying to point out the ambiguity of the sentence. I've tried to clarify the sentence but it keeps getting reverted back to its ambiguous form. If this is a quotation, then please provide the quotation. If it is not, then please provide a clear statement that resolves the ambiguity.

--Richard 04:56, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Basically it means your number 3. I am rewording the sentence. Take a look.
Your attention to this important subject is appreciated.
--Marvin Shilmer 14:54, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Great, thanks. That's a lot better. --Richard 17:01, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Ravensbrueck

So here are the issues with the text about JWs in Ravensbrueck that I have addressed with my recent edits...

1) Eyewitness accounts are, by definition, anecdotal and have no statistical validity. You cannot take a statement from an eyewitness and extrapolate it to all Jehovah's Witnesses in all concentration camps. If you are talking about multiple eyewitnesses on multiple occasions, you need to present it that way and you still cannot extrapolate to a general conclusion. Only statistical analysis could do that and I seriously doubt that JWs in Nazi concentration camps were surveyed on this point (or any other point for that matter).

2) It is highly POV to say "what it says in the Bible" about blood. Admittedly, that is a JW doctrine but it should be stated as a "JW doctrine" not "what it says in the Bible" about blood. As a non-JW, I would interpret "what it says in the Bible" about blood quite differently and so phrasing it as "what it says in the Bible" instead of "JW doctrines about blood" is POV from my perspective.

3) The passage does not really assert that JWs are unwilling to accept the doctrine on blood. It simply asserts that, in extremity, many JWs may have chosen survival over adherence to doctrine. Not everybody is willing to be a martyr. Many Christians might abandon doctrines of their faith in extremity if they perceive that they are not core principles of their faith. I'm OK with presenting this "evidence" but it should be couched conservatively as to what it signifies.

Obligatory joke:

Lawyer in plane: "I see that Iowa has a lot of brown cows"

Engineer sitting next to him: "There are a bunch of brown cows in this part of Iowa"

Physicist sitting next to him: "There are a bunch of cows in one field, brown on this side"

--Richard 17:33, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Richard,
1) Though “anecdotal” includes notions of eyewitness accounts, it has meaning reaching beyond this, which is why it is not a more precise term compared to “eyewitness” in this case.
What is the "meaning reaching beyond this"? --Richard 19:20, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Ancedotal suggests a casual account but not necessarily a firsthand eyewitness accounting. Marvin Shilmer 20:48, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
(BTW, Were an editor to have an opinion that “anecdotal” is the equivalent to “eyewitness” then he or she should have no preference of usage) "Anecdotal” and “eyewitness” have different range of meaning. In our instance of Ravensbrueck it is undisputable that we have an eyewitness account. Whether this account is accurate is a matter for corroboration. Hence the reason for including corroboration I did, including the relative merit of the corroborative evidence. But in no case has any of this information been used for statistical analysis, as though this should give rise to your edit. The information is expressed as Buber presented it. It is not presented as a conclusion of my own. Hence I am editing this point to represent Buber’s observation as an independent eyewitness to Jehovah’s Witness doctrine or influence.
But you don't use Buber's name or characterize who she is in the text. Her observations and conclusions are presented as bald assertions rather than saying, for example, "According to Buber, a non-JW, who was present at Ravensbrueck..." (NB: I don't know whether Buber was a JW or not, I'm just giving an example.) --Richard 19:20, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
I will edit to improve this by pointing out Buber's status as a non-Jehovah's Witness. Marvin Shilmer 20:48, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
2) Whether it is POV or not, Buber is the one stipulating these Jehovah’s Witnesses ate blood sausage and it is Buber stipulating this was done with knowledge of biblical texts regarding blood. Buber is also an independent observer regarding preference and conviction among Jehovah’s Witness at Ravensbrueck regarding blood.
But when you make her assertions without putting it any "According to..." type wording, you are asserting that her observations are significant and that her conclusion is incontrovertibly valid and significant. Better to put the words in her mouth and let the reader decide how much weight to put on it. --Richard 19:20, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
The current edit presents this as a firsthand eyewitness account. Hence "According to..." is implied if not expressed. I do not understand why you think Buber's account is presented as incontrovertibly valid. The current edit neither expresses this or implies it, that I see. It expresses Buber's observation and includes the corroboration of a highly placed Jehovah's Witness who, if anything, as a bias toward a Watchtower perspective. Marvin Shilmer 20:48, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
When the Section addresses acceptance among Jehovah’s Witnesses of a doctrine imposed by Watchtower alleging a biblical imperative then views of Jehovah’s Witnesses with pertinent biblical exposure but aside from Watchtower influence become very precisely relevant to the subject. Hence inclusion of this particular observation by Buber is not a POV from this or any other editor. It is Buber’s specific and independent observation, and it is germane. Hence I am editing this Section in order to accurately express the testimony of Buber as an independent observer.
Then spell out this reasoning in the article. The point that is being made is unclear. If as you state later, the doctrine was developed later then you/Buber are suggesting that JWs failed to observe a doctrine that had not been formulated and failed to interpret the Bible in a way that Watchtower would later interpret it. So what? Most lay people are not scholars and won't form doctrine indepedent of clerical guidance.
You are here at the behest of George M. George M complained and complained that the Section was too long. I would add considerably to this entire article (not just this Section) were it entirely up to me. Deference to George M's sensitivity has restrained me until his requested editors have opportunity to voice themselves.
You wrote "You are here at the behest of George M.". Perhaps. I forget exactly how I got here the first time. However, I do not think it is useful to think of me as one of "his requested editors". George m and I do not have an alliance of any sort and, if anything, we have been at odds over at Talk:Jehovah's Witnesses regarding whether or not to characterize Jehovah's Witnesses as Christians.
The doctrinal development is not as black and white as you may think. Pre-Ravensbrueck-incident the Watchtower had already issued doctrinal statements that blood should not be eaten, and by 1945 this doctrinal development achieve a point where blood transfusion was deemed unChristian, and by 1961 the Watchtower developed it to a point where Jehovah's Witnesses were forbidden to accept blood under pain of organized communal shunning. This is complicated by world developments at the time due to Nazi aggression in Europe. Too we have the title of the article, which addresses transfusion specifically but not eating specifically. Yet the Watchtower doctrine, unbeknownst to the average reader, equates transfusion with eating. Hence the doctrinal development stage I distinguished was the point at which transfusion was expressly forbidden. Marvin Shilmer 20:48, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not saying that there is nothing significant here. I'm saying that you are not telling the reader what you are trying to say. If you are discussing development of the doctrine then you should spell that out. If you are trying to say something else, then I've missed it. --Richard 19:20, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
The Section addresses acceptance within the Witness community, and this is what I am trying to address. Your assistance in this is appreciated. What is plain to one writer/reader is not plain to the next writer/reader. Marvin Shilmer 20:48, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
3a) Buber’s observations are a historical account of how Jehovah’s Witnesses intimately known to her and by her viewed eating (hence transfusion, based on Watchtower precept) blood product independent of Watchtower influence but with knowledge of what the Bible states on the subject. Since the Watchtower asserts Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse eating and transfusing blood because of what the Bible states on blood then it is very relevant to have a firsthand eyewitness account of how a close knit community of 275 Jehovah’s Witnesses responded to eating blood product with knowledge of biblical texts on the subject but aside from any organizational influence.
As per above, spell out this point. --Richard 19:20, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
3b) It is false that the Jehovah’s Witnesses in this particular observation (Ravensbrueck) represents a choice for survival over adherence to doctrine. This is true for two reasons. 1) The doctrine was not yet fully developed forbidding the eating or transfusion of blood, and 2) Buber is clear there was alternate food available so that it didn’t amount to a matter of survival to eat blood sausage. Hence this portion of your concern is without merit.
Fair enough. Still... what's the point? That they didn't independently come up with the doctine? That JWs only rejected blood after being told to do so by Watchtower? Is this behavior different from the behavior of adherents to any other religion? --Richard 19:20, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
The point is that at that particular point in time Buber made an observation regarding Jehovah's Witnesses and blood and that observation conveys information useful in addressing whether all Jehovah's Witnesses agree with Watchtower's blood doctrine and, perhaps more importantly, whether Jehovah's Witnesses had concluded in harmony with Watchtower doctrine on the basis it asserts, that is were Jehovah's Witnesses universally concluding in agreement with Watchtower doctrine based purely on what the Bible states regarding blood. Marvin Shilmer 20:48, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
My presentation on Buber’s observations have held to what Buber presented. I have both read it and have the entire work in my collection. Hence I am in a position to carefully and thoughtfully analyze the concern you raise. Have you read this account yourself, and do you have it in your library for purpose of measuring the nuances you raise? Reading your recent edits I am forced to conclude you have either not read Buber’s account or have been misled about Buber’s account. Certainly it is a gross overstatement for you to write, “…specifically after considering Jehovah's Witnesses' doctrine regarding blood.” This edit of yours suggests something beyond what Buber wrote. She wrote that these Bible students made the choice they did after considering biblical statements. Buber mentions not a single word about religious doctrine as a consideration. That is, Buber presents those Jehovah’s Witnesses as making their choice in light of biblical knowledge, but she does not specify whether this choice was made in light of official doctrine they may or may not have been aware of at the time. It is also telling that you suggest the choice made by these Jehovah's Witnesses was based on survival. On both counts your editing suggests you have never read the source material. Have you?
No. You're right. I haven't read the source and probably won't so I will rely on your account of it.
However, the fact that I misinterpreted what was being said suggests that others might make the same mistake. Yes, I suppose a careful reader might understand the text to mean exactly what it says and nothing more but the lack of context around the assertion doesn't help the reader arrive at the precise meaning intended.
--Richard 19:20, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
And I very much appreciate your feedback. It helps identify areas where editing is needed. Marvin Shilmer 20:48, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
The conservative thing is to provide relevant material for what it presents. I invite that you continue providing thoughtful analysis and editing to this entire article, including this particular Section. If you do not have referenced source material at your disposal then the best thing is to avoid editing presentation with references until you kick it around in talk first with those who have access to it.
-- Marvin Shilmer 18:47, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I agree about the "conservative" thing and will do so in the future.
Your points are fair enough as far as they go. You are right. I have not read the source material and probably won't so I will defer to your account of what she wrote.
However, the fact remains that Buber is only one person with only one set of observations. The text of the article as written presents her account and her POV as if it implies something about "THE TRUTH" regarding JWs and blood sausage and as if one could use Buber's observations to infer a much larger statement about "acceptance of JW doctrine about blood".
(Yes, yes, I know that there is confirmation by a second source)
In the section that the text is located, there are no caveats and no balancing placed to put Buber's account in context. What is the point that Wikipedia is trying to make here? Do these JWs at Ravensbrueck somehow represent all JWs in Nazi concentration cmaps, all JWs in Nazi Germany or all JWs? Or do they just represent themselves and thus Buber's observations are anecdotal in nature?
Some indication that Buber's account is one perspective rather than "THE TRUTH" would go a long way to addressing my concerns.
You could write something like "The JW doctrine regarding blood has been elucidated relatively recently. Prior to its formalization in 1961, JWs were generally willing to accept.... For example, it has been reported that prisoners at Ravensbrueck were willing to...."
--Richard 19:20, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Richard,

1) Of course Buber is only one observer, and this how the material is presented, which is the only legitimate way to present it. That a second, and extremely highly regarded source, corroborates Buber’s recollection is more than sufficient to establish the account as valid. The fact that this corroboration has a bias toward Watchtower perspective only underscores its value. Are you aware of the status of this corroborative testimony, and are you aware that the Watchtower organization itself is the source who published the testimony of this corroboration? The confluence of these factors makes Buber’s observation practically bulletproof, at least from an outside researcher's perspective.

No, it doesn't. Based on the current text of the article, it appears to be the observation of one group of JWs (275 JWs in Ravensbrueck). It says nothing about other JWs in other concentration camps. There were 10,000 JWs interned in Nazi concentration camps altogether. If the 275 JWs were randomly selected, then it could be argued that this observation was statistically significant. However, since they were all in one camp, there could be differences between this group and JWs in other camps.
I meant bullet-proof in terms of the veracity of her presentation. At no time have I suggested Buber's account should be used for statistical significance. Her account only shows that Jehovah's Witnesses with exposure to biblical statements regarding blood but outside influence of the Watchtower organization reached a different conviction than was taught at the time. Marvin Shilmer 02:18, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
Moreover, the concentration camp setting is a special circumstance and behavior in such a situation may not be indicative of behavior in normal circumstances. Is there evidence that points to lack of acceptance in other settings (most importantly in the United States)?
You're kidding, right? Have you read what you have been editing? There are numerous documented instances within the current article demonstrating exactly what you inquire of here, not the least of which is express admission from the Watchtower organization itself of division amongst Jehovah's Witnesses regarding the blood doctrine.
As for the Jehovah's Witnesses in Ravensbrueck, these women demonstrated on a daily basis they were willing to stand up firmly for their personal convictions. This only makes their strength of conviction, including lack of conviction in the Watchtower blood doctrine, all the more remarkable. Marvin Shilmer 02:18, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
Now I grant that Buber may have presented more evidence in her book. As you know, I have not read it. If there is more evidence to be presented, please present it in the article text. :--Richard 16:39, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, Buber recounts other details underpinning the presentation. But this sub-Section can only bear so much testimony and nuance before it becomes overdone. But in response to your question, Buber observed the Jehovah's Witnesses had three identifiable divisions of conservatives, moderates and liberals, the majority of which were moderates. It was the conservatives who began refusing to eat blood in/around 1943. Prior to this time all these women had been eating blood sausage despite Watchtower's decade long teaching not to eat blood. That the moderates chose to continue eating blood is telling, particularly since there was alternate food available. Marvin Shilmer 02:18, 4 May 2007 (UTC)


Encyclopedic content does not stipulate what readers should conclude from valid information. Rather it presents valid information and lets readers take it from there. Hence it is highly important that editors present the evidence/information for what it is and not suggest it is anything more or less. In Buber’s case, it is nonsensical to talk of her observation as though it is or is not “the truth” of whatever. Rather, Buber’s observation should be presented for what it is and with whatever corroboration exists. Then we can say the account is presented truthfully/honestly/accurately for what is states, and let researchers take it from there to draw their own conclusions. -- Marvin Shilmer 20:09, 2 May 2007 (UTC)


Um, I think I have to disagree here. Encyclopedic content should describe the state of human knowledge. Not "the truth" as one side sees it but all perspectives. If our point here is that the "blood doctrine" is not universally accepted and we wish to present Buber's account in support of the secondary point that it has never been universally accepted, then we need to couch that information in the proper context so that it can be evaluated properly. --Richard 16:39, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't see a disagreement between us on this point. Perhaps you misread my comments. Marvin Shilmer 02:18, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
Please note that I am not challenging any of the points here but simply suggesting that use of Buber as supporting evidence is overdone and needs to be qualified somewhat.

2) I disagree when you assert there is no balancing context in relation to the Buber account. For one thing, the very Section in question stipulates (without verification I might add, and which lack of verification has yet to see a single objection!) that a majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses agree with the Watchtower’s position on blood. I added this stipulation myself as pure opinion. Ironically not a single reader has complained of this caveat. The fact is there is no means of determining whether a majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses wholly agree with the Watchtower’s position on this single doctrinal matter. This is because Watchtower doctrine is, admittedly, not based on consensus or any consensus mechanism. Assigning a claim of dispositional weight is like trying to claim a majority of Roman Catholics wholly agree with Pope’s decree on birth control. But we can analyize the data that does exist, which includes evidence as Buber’s observation and more. This evidence more than sufficiently demonstrates at least a minority of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not wholly agree with the Watchtower’s blood doctrine, which is what the article states. Whether this number achieves a majority status is uncertain, though at least two internal Watchtower letters suggest that may indeed be the case. -- Marvin Shilmer 20:09, 2 May 2007 (UTC)


The problem here is that Buber's evidence is anecdotal (anything based on personal accounts is anecdotal). It would seem that the Findley and Redstone evidence may be superior if their "case study" was conducted on a more rigorous basis. However, even that is flawed because it is a study of only one congregation. It would be far preferable if there was something like a study by the Gallup organization which used purely random selection to develop numbers.
--Richard 16:39, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Specifically in relation to the Buber account, her observations offer a glimpse of how a populace within the Jehovah’s Witness community concluded regarding blood without the influence of the Watchtower organization but with influence of the Bible itself. This is a useful consideration because the Watchtower organization presents the doctrine it teaches on blood as representing what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe based purely on what the Bible states. Buber’s account allows an independent test of that assertion. Nevertheless, whatever the outcome, what Buber observed should be presented as it occurred, and this is what I have strived. It just turns out that Buber’s observation questions the validity of Watchtower assertion on this particular point, but this is for researchers to sort out as to meaning. Wikipedia should concentrate on providing verified information, including independent corroborated eyewitness testimony. -- Marvin Shilmer 20:09, 2 May 2007 (UTC)


I still don't think it's a "fair test" because there's lots in the Bible that people ignore. Do JWs follow the Bible teaching on menstruation and uncleanness? I suspect that they do not. The truth is that all Christians interpret the Bible according to the interpretation taught by their religion and, if this contradicts what their own understanding tells them, they either ignore the religion's teaching or leave the religion. Not that many Christians go off and develop new doctrine on their own so I don't think the Buber evidence tells us that much about JW acceptance of blood doctrine. It simply suggests that the blood doctrine was a relatively new concept as opposed to a formalization of a longstanding practice among JWs.
Sure there's lots in the Bible people ignore. But the Watchtower organization presents Jehovah's Witnesses as unique in this respect. Futhermore the Watchtower organization asserts Jehovah's Witnesses believe as they do on blood precisely because of individual conviction based on a thorough and personal study of the Bible. The 275 Jehovah's Witness women at Ravensbrueck defy this assertion. They not only did not gain a conviction against eating blood based on knowing their Bibles, they also failed to adhere to a decade old Watchtower teaching that blood should not be eaten. Marvin Shilmer 02:18, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Your suggestion for providing a context for where the Ravensbrueck incident occurs in the stream of doctrinal development is something I had included in an earlier edit which you deleted. -- Marvin Shilmer 20:09, 2 May 2007 (UTC)


Really? I don't remember doing that deletion. If I did do that, I guess I owe you an apology. I have reorganized the section with a lead sentence to introduce the Buber's account of Ravensbrueck. If you would like to improve on that, please feel free. If it's easy for you to find, can you point me at a version of the article that has the earlier version of what you wrote? --Richard 16:39, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
When and if I have the time I'll look it up. Marvin Shilmer 02:18, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

In the last couple of days I have reinstated a portion of it with the preface “Prior to the Watchtower organization developing its blood doctrine to the point of prohibiting transfusion….,” whereas after the Ravensbrueck incident is the preface “Since developing the blood doctrine to the point of prohibiting transfusion…”

-- Marvin Shilmer 20:09, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I wrote:

Moreover, the concentration camp setting is a special circumstance and behavior in such a situation may not be indicative of behavior in normal circumstances. Is there evidence that points to lack of acceptance in other settings (most importantly in the United States)?

Marvin Shilmer wrote:

You're kidding, right? Have you read what you have been editing? There are numerous documented instances within the current article demonstrating exactly what you inquire of here, not the least of which is express admission from the Watchtower organization itself of division amongst Jehovah's Witnesses regarding the blood doctrine.

My reply:

No, I'm not kidding. What I meant was: "Is there any other contemporaneous evidence that points to the lack of acceptance in other settings?" I have to admit that I have not checked each and every citation but I'm speculating that the other evidence is mostly post-1961. In that particular paragraph, you are making a point about JWs in the 1940s. Did Buber only observe this one set of JWs at Ravensbrueck? Does her book provide evidence to support that this set of attitudes extends to a wider group of JWs? Is there any other evidence of other JWs in other countries having similar attitudes?
Richard, the article references primary (Watchtower) source material dated 1950 admitting the existence of division among the population of Jehovah's Witnesses regarding the Watchtower's 1945 blood transfusion taboo doctrine. If the source of the doctrine admits division within the target population (Jehovah's Witnesses) then what other evidence do you need that the doctrine was not held universally by the community of Jehovah's Witnesses? Buber's observation is only an example where division was manifest despite knowledge of biblical statements on the blood and despite contemporaneous Watchtower doctrine teaching that blood should not be eaten. Besides Watchtower's admission and the Buber account, the article also cites a 1945 article published by Jehovah's Witnesses charged with publishing Dutch Edition Watchtower literature, and that reference material clearly iterates a position that blood transfusion therapy is just fine. Hence we have Watchtower headquarters publishing one thing in the English editions of its literature and the Dutch Branch publishing a contrary view, and this in spite of everyone reading the same Bible, which is posited as the basis of the belief as understood by Jehovah's Witnesses. Marvin Shilmer 16:21, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
I believe JW was, at the time, a predominantly American religion headquarted in the U.S. The attachment to blood sausage may have been greater in Europe (especially Germany) than in the U.S. This is speculation on my part but it is equally unfounded for you to extrapolate from 275 JWs in a German prison camp to the entire global population of JWs in the 1940s. The acceptance of the proscription against eating blood may have been much higher in the U.S. than in Germany. Without other sources, we can't tell if your extrapolation trumps my speculation.
I have not extrapolated as you suggest. I have offered the Buber observation as an example manifesting differing views on blood held by Jehovah's Witnesses. Watchtower literature itself demonstrate division exists on the issue, among Jehovah's Witnesses that is. Marvin Shilmer 16:21, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm interested in knowing more about the nature of Gertrude Poetzinger's "confirmation of Buber's account". Did Poetzinger say "Yes, I was there with Buber and we both saw the same thing"? Or did she say "Yes, I was at another camp and I saw something similar to what Buber reported she saw"?
Of Buber's accounting of her experience in Ravensbrueck with Jehovah's Witnesses, the referenced material states: "Margarete Buber’s account provides eyewitness information from a political prisoner who was not herself one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Her account is confirmed by Gertrude Poetzinger, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses who was a prisoner in Ravensbrueck for over four years and who serves today with her husband at the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brooklyn, New York. The following is a condensation of portions of the book, in Margarete Buber’s own words and used with her permission." This was stated specifically about Buber's book, Under Two Dictators, which is the source I've cited in the article. Somewhat ironically, given Poetzinger's confirmaiton of Buber's account, it means during the period in question the future wife of a future Governing Body member had herself chosen to eat blood sausage despite Watchtower teaching at the time that blood should not be eaten. This is remarkable given emphasis this particular doctrine receives coupled with how zealous those Jehovah's Witnesses were for their personal conviction, which was to the point of a willingness to suffer concentration imprisonment rather than sign a paper renouncing their religion. Marvin Shilmer 16:21, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
Look, the average reader might feel that it is perfectly reasonable to assume that, if one group of JWs thought and acted this way, it might have been indicative of a general disposition on the part of most JWs. Makes sense to me. However, as reasonable as it may seem, it simply flies against scientific practice to make this sort of extrapolative leap. This is why I characterized Buber's account as anecdotal. We can't tell if it applies to all JWs in Germany or all JWs worldwide.
Again, I have not suggested the Buber observation proves division in the ranks of Jehovah's Witnesses regarding blood. That Watchtower organization does this itself. The Buber incident offers an example of related division. Please keep in mind that though anecdotal incidents do not demonstrate a scientific finding, when a finding is scientifically sound then ancedotal evidence is probably there to provide an example of the finding. This is how I have offered the Buber testimony. I might add here that a problem arises with editors start tinkering with a presentation when they do not have access to and/or have not read the source material for themselves. When this occurs it is inevitable that a presentation will become distorted where anecdotal evidence appears offered as though a scientific finding when that is not the case at all. This is something every editor should be careful to avoid. Marvin Shilmer 16:21, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
Similar problems seem to exist with the other sources that you have cited. Most of them appear to be studies of relatively small populations of JWs (a congregation or a single hospital). Note here that I say "appear to be". It may be that some of these studies are larger than I have been able to determine from the citations. In that case, the size of the study should be made explicit in the article text.
Again, the primary source (Watchtower) admits the division. As for the surveys you speak of, it is unsound to characterize them as small given that Jehovah's Witnesses are a small segment of the total patient population. Given the patient population's relative size compare to the total patient population, any scientific survey based on non-subjective evidence gathering would end with relatively small numbers of Jehovah's Witnesses. The Benson review covers all Jehovah's Witnesses treated at a single facility over a period of six years. The Gyamfi et al review of the patient population covers a period of five years at a single facility at a major medical facility. How many years would you have these medical researchers cover? Noteworthy is that the Watchtower organization has not disputed the findings of any of the medical reviews you question. This is noteworthy because the Watchtower organization routinely has its staff publish its objections to medical reviews regarding Jehovah's Witnesses when it feels the information is either wrong or wrongly presented. I have tons of this material in my own library, not to mention what is available in larger databases. Marvin Shilmer 16:21, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
Also, it may be that each individual study represents a small sample but that there are many such studies. If so, the number of studies might compensate for the small sample size of each individual study. If this is the case, then that needs to be made explicit in the text. I changed the article text from "many peer-reviewed studies" to "one peer-reviewed study". If you can provide 2 or 3 studies which make the same point and these 2 or 3 studies are representative of a much larger number of similar studies, we can change it to "a number of" or "several". The previous article text had used "many peer-reviewed studies" to refer to two studies which made different points (for children/young adults vs. for pregnant women - each of the two studies made a different point).
Any reference material should be presented for what states. I have no problem with your most recent editing. But I must point out the intersection of these three medical reviews referenced in the artical are 1) written by different authors, 2) none of them cite each other, 3) they all address Jehovah's Witnesses and blood and 4) they all reach the same results. It is amazing that the significance of this confluence of information appears to carry among editors here. This amazement is only pronounced in light of the primary source (Watchtower) admitting the division in the first place! Marvin Shilmer 16:21, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
I have made it explicit in the article text what the conclusions of those studies appear to be (based on the citations provided). The previous article text implied a more general conclusion than was supported by those specific studies. Perhaps there are other studies that would support the more general conclusion?
--Richard 13:45, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

As for the Jehovah's Witnesses in Ravensbrueck, these women demonstrated on a daily basis they were willing to stand up firmly for their personal convictions. This only makes their strength of conviction, including lack of conviction in the Watchtower blood doctrine, all the more remarkable. -- Marvin Shilmer 02:18, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I agree.
I hope by now you have gathered that I am not antagonistic to the basic point (that not all JWs accept the blood doctrine). What I am trying to do is make sure the article makes its points in the most bullet-proof way without overreaching. I acknowledge that I stumbled around a bit at the beginning because I made some assumptions about the Buber account which were unfounded. I hope you will see my efforts as helping and improving the article.
--Richard 13:45, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
I do not think you antagonistic. I think you have the handicap of not having read the source material for information you choose to edit nevertheless. I do, however, appreciate your editing, and my comment is not intended as ridicule but rather a caution. Marvin Shilmer 16:21, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Acceptance within the Jehovah's Witness community

OK, I have kept to what I agreed to do; I have not edited the text about Buber's account of JW's in Ravensbrueck.

However, I have been bold and completely revamped the section "Acceptance within the Jehovah's Witness community" by reorganizing it to help the reader more readily reader the points being made. Here are the key things that I have done...

  1. Moved stuff into a lead paragraph that lets the reader know what this section is about
  2. Shoved the Ravensbrueck and Netherlands Watchtower stuff to the bottom because this is really a secondary point. The primary point is that although a majority of JWs today accept the blood doctrine, this acceptance is not universal. The secondary point is that this lack of acceptance dates back almost to the beginning of the introduction of the doctrine.
  3. Added a lead sentence to let the reader know that the point of the Ravensbrueck and Netherlands Watchtower evidence is that lack of acceptance of the blood doctrine has dated back at least to the 1940s.

--Richard 15:48, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

I removed the tags on the section but I still have a problem with it. Many JW's break down and violate 'doctrines' other than the blood issue. For instance, one reference in the article talks about masturbation. Also, the leading cause of disfellowshipping is immoraltiy (fornication). Should we have a section about that in our articles? I think there is just too much devoted to this topic and it should be more concise. It seems verbose. George 16:41, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Richard,
Your editing looks good to me. I edited out only a single residual word from your well considered revamp of the Section.
At the moment the Section is tagged with disputes. If there is original research no one has demonstrated this beyond expressing opinion. Likewise with unverified claims. Also, the suggestion the article somehow contains in appropriate self-published source material has never been established, or even remotely demonstrated. In fact I have not heard a single editor point to anything specific in this Section that is self-published. Presumably the editor who installed these tags is observing this exchange and editing. (I.e., George M) At this point I feel the tags have no merit and should be removed. If an editor disagrees then he or she has an obligation to make themselves known and evidence the claim, and to interchange regarding the dispute. But for now the tags should be removed.
What are your thoughts?
-- Marvin Shilmer 16:37, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
George M
This Section addresses acceptance and whether it is universal in relation to Watchtower’s blood doctrine. Because there is strong evidence (some would argue irrefutable evidence) this doctrine is not accepted universally within the Witness community then the discussion is essential to encyclopedic content and presentation. This is particularly the case with this teaching since it is unique to Watchtower theology and the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
On other subjects such as fornication and masturbation the Watchtower theology is not as distinctive in relation to the experience of other religionists. However if there is strong evidence these doctrinal positions are not accepted by a significant population of Jehovah’s Witnesses then they too deserve similar address. But I do not think this is the case, at least based on my experience and research. For example, I do not know a single Jehovah’s Witness who disagrees with the Watchtower organization’s theology against fornication. But I know many who disagree with its blood doctrine, not to mention that this is documented. In this respect it is important to note a distinction between violating one’s own conviction and rejecting the dictate of a religiously imposed position. Jehovah’s Witnesses are disfellowshipped every day for fornication. But I have never known one to argue fornication is moral. Hence there is tacit if not express acknowledgement that their fornication was a violation of their own conviction (usually from weakness) rather than a conscientious act despite Watchtower theology.
Do you have documented evidence that some Jehovah’s Witnesses believe fornication, for example, is moral? :-- Marvin Shilmer 17:05, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
I might ask you the same question Marvin, what was the motivation for ignoring the blood prohibition? Hunger? Fear of death? Lack of knowledge? None of these issues is addressed in your references, they leave out this type of info as I have pointed out before. George 22:28, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
George M:
You state, “I might ask you the same question” and then you fail to ask me the same question.
Nevertheless, in answer to what you ask, if you want to know the motivations of those who disagree with the Watchtower’s blood doctrine you need to ask them. Otherwise you can look up and read the plentiful reference material I’ve already provided in the Section under discussion.
You will find these individuals have expressed they believe the Watchtower blood doctrine is wrong and each one articulates reasons accordingly. These have not expressed they feel their conviction contrary to Watchtower doctrine is immoral or in anyways contrary to scripture. These have not expressed fear of death, hunger or lack of knowledge. In fact in each case the individuals either articulate or manifest strong conviction, poise and knowledge.
Your question leads me to believe you have not read the source material presented. Have you?
-- Marvin Shilmer 22:45, 3 May 2007 (UTC)


So does anyone really have the evidence of some of the unverified claims? Just asking. Felix 16:39, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Felix:
What are the claims you allege are unverified? If you specify these claims perhaps an editor can answer your question. -- Marvin Shilmer 17:09, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Question about two sources

I went back and re-read part of this Talk Page. I noticed this comment by Martin Shilmer.

The statement “Many, but not all, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe…” is verified by primary and secondary sources, including sources biased toward the belief that blood transfusion is taboo. The September 2004 article from Obstetrics and Gynecology by Gyamfi MD et al is a peer reviewed secondary source. It states, “This review refutes the commonly held belief that all Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to accept blood or any of its products. In this population of pregnant women, the majority were willing to accept some form of blood or blood products.” Likewise, the 1995 article by Benson MD in Cancer Control Journal states, “Therefore, while most adult Jehovah's Witness patients were unwilling to accept blood for themselves, most Jehovah's Witness parents permitted transfusions for their minor children, and many of the young adult patients also were willing to accept transfusions for themselves.”

I note that both sources are cited in the current article text but it appears that the points made in the quoted text above are not made in the current article text. I think these quotes should be inserted in the article text.

--Richard 16:44, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Richard,
I have no problem with this, and in fact at one time my edits included these quotations in the main text. But George M complained the sub-Section was too long so this language was relegated to end notes.
George M apparently views this whole Section as something other than an objective review of acceptance level among Jehovah's Witnesses regarding the blood doctrine. Surprisingly his complaint persists despite the Section pointing out a majority apparently accept the doctrine.
When a presentation is asserted as encyclopedic and it addresses a belief of a specific population then it is essential that the presentation give liberal attention to the question of acceptance of this doctrine within the population is necessary. After all, the question of acceptance goes straight to the heart of what the entire article addresses, the conviction of Jehovah's Witnesses regarding blood.
-- Marvin Shilmer 17:19, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Richard,

Your recent editing helps flow, and I like it. From a medical review perspective, however, there is a relevant difference between "pregnant women" and women who present for labor and delivery. The study was of women who presented for labor and delivery, so I edited accordingly. I also added a sentence expressing an example from the survey of acceptence within this patient group. Marvin Shilmer 15:24, 4 May 2007 (UTC)