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Exposing the secretive world of the Jehovah’s Witnesses on FOUR CORNERS

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Bearing Witness: Exposing the secretive world of the Jehovah’s Witnesses

“Everybody thinks that Jehovah’s Witnesses are just lovely people, friendly, nice-looking people, maybe a bit quirky, who knock on doors. And it’s very difficult to help people understand just how dangerous this group is.”  

Former Jehovah’s Witness

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a religious group with eight million followers in multiple nations, including Australia. A knock on the door and an earnest offer to share their teachings is the only interaction most people will have with this god-fearing organisation. Few would know the extreme nature of their beliefs.

“We were taught that only Jehovah’s people in the organisation would survive Armageddon.  It was our job to go out witnessing, to try and bring as many people in as we could and if you didn’t take the opportunity to witness, you had their blood on your hands.”

Former Jehovah’s Witness

The door knocking is not some quaint pastime. Witness followers believe in a strict literal interpretation of the bible and that the end of the world is coming.

“They are raised in this kind of fear bubble in which they’re constantly being told the end of the world is near.” 

Expert witness

On Monday, former members of this group reveal the secretive practices used to instil fear and maintain discipline among followers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwt7y79Cfio

“It’s supposed to be loving discipline. It’s actually, to me, it’s inhumane.” 

Former Jehovah’s Witness

With strict rules governing every aspect of their lives, these former Witnesses say the organisation is controlling and dangerous.

“They are absolute leaders with absolute power over the organisation.” 

Expert Witness

The conduct of the religious group came under scrutiny in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“It is a pretty cruel way of dealing with someone, isn’t it, who has suffered sexual abuse?” 

Royal Commissioner

Now those who have escaped the group say it’s time to hold the Jehovah’s Witnesses to account.

“It’s twenty years I’ve been wanting people to hear this story.” 

Former Jehovah’s Witness

It is replayed on Tuesday 14th at 1.00pm and Wednesday 15th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.

Four Corners: Bearing Witness, reported by Adam Harvey – Monday 13th September at 8.30pm on ABC and iview

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