An official magazine for Jehovah’s Witnesses that described those who leave the church as “mentally diseased” is at the centre of a police inquiry, it has emerged.
British newspaper The Telegraph reports
Detectives are investigating whether the article, published in July’s edition of The Watchtower, is in breach of Britain’s religious hatred laws.
The article, published in the magazine which is distributed by Jehovah’s Witnesses across the globe, reportedly warned followers to avoid “false teachers” which it condemned as being “mentally diseased”.
“Suppose that a doctor told you to avoid contact with someone who is infected with a contagious, deadly disease,” part of the article stated.
“You would know what the doctor means, and you would strictly heed his warning. Well, apostates are ‘mentally diseased’, and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings.”
A group of former Witnesses, based in Portsmouth, have made an official complaint to Hampshire Police about the article. Police have launched an investigation.
They are considering whether to complain to the Charity Commission. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, which prints church doctrine in Britain, is a registered charity.
The church is known for handing down harsh punishments to followers who criticise doctrines or raise questions about the faith.
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, whose followers are known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, is theologically a cult of Christianity.
Sociologically the high-demand organization has cult-like elements as well. Many consider it to be a destructive cult that destroys relationships and — due to its un-biblical teachings regarding blood transfusions — has caused many needless deaths.
• Jehovah’s Witnesses and mental illness
• Why Jehovah’s Witnesses Have a High Mental Illness Level
Research resources on Jehovah’s Witnesses
Research resources on cults
Research resources on apostates