Janet Jackson’s failed marriage to Wissam Al Mana

Janet Jackson’s failed marriage to Wissam Al Mana

Though they came from different worlds and Janet was nearly a decade older, when the Muslim-raised businessman and the pop star, who grew up in the Jehovah’s Witness faith, locked eyes after meeting at the opening of the Armani Hotel in Dubai in 2010, “It was one of those love-at-first-sight-type things,” a Jackson family source told Page Six. “They didn’t care about each other’s past.” Continue reading →

The Diary of a Bookseller is an entertaining glimpse of life in a second-hand bookshop

The Diary of a Bookseller is an entertaining glimpse of life in a second-hand bookshop

BYTHELL is wryly funny on the subject of Nicky, a (now departed) worker in his shop, “as capable as she is eccentric”, and who rarely, if ever, does his bidding. Her habits include raiding the skip behind a Morrisons supermarket and bringing in all manner of revolting foodstuffs in celebration of what she calls “Foodie Friday”. A Jehovah’s Witness, she likes to discuss evolution, and puts Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in the fiction section Continue reading →

Man accused of murdering Jehovah’s Witness is moved to mental health unit

Man accused of murdering Jehovah’s Witness is moved to mental health unit

A man who is accused of murdering an electrician as he was working at a Jehovah’s Witness hall is to be moved to hospital for a psychiatric assessment.

Keith Beviss, aged 54, of Woodhayes Drive, Honiton, is currently on remand at Long Lartin Prison but is likely to be transferred shortly.

He is due to be tried at Exeter Crown Court on November 27 for the murder of 55-year-old Philip Ryan at the Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall in Dowell Street, Honiton, on Tuesday June 6. Continue reading →

Conscientious objector now lives life of peace

Conscientious objector now lives life of peace

For 69-year-old Jeong Chun-guk, whose seven years and 10 months in jail is still the longest time ever served by a conscientious objector to mandatory military service in Korea, the struggle for peace has finally led him to a tranquil plot of land in Geumsan County, South Chungcheong, where he can focus on farming and his faith.

“I believed that it was more important to spread the new world I discovered within the Bible,” he says of his decision not to serve in the military. He had followed his mother’s footsteps, becoming a Jehovah’s Witness when he was a freshman studying medicine at Chungnam National University in Daejeon.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have traditionally held a view that worship should be only to the “Kingdom of God,” therefore banning allegiance or participation in any national government or politics among their faithful. Though taught to obey the laws of where they inhabit, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been known to disobey the laws that conflict with their doctrines, such as denying blood transfusion and refusing to serve military duties. Continue reading →

Quebec judge orders Jehovah’s Witness, 14, to undergo blood transfusions

Quebec judge orders Jehovah’s Witness, 14, to undergo blood transfusions

A Quebec judge has decided that a 14-year-old Jehovah’s Witness who has cancer must undergo blood transfusions, despite her expressed wishes not to receive them.

The teenager, who is not named, learned in June that she has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a rare form of cancer that affects the white blood cells. It has an excellent survival rate, if treated early.

The treatment involves chemotherapy, which often requires blood transfusions. But as a Jehovah’s Witness, the girl’s faith states that it is against God’s wishes to consume or be transfused with any blood. Continue reading →

14-year-old Jehovah’s Witness forced to receive blood transfusion

14-year-old Jehovah’s Witness forced to receive blood transfusion

A judge authorized a Montreal hospital to perform blood transfusions to treat a 14-year-old female Jehovah’s Witness with cancer, despite the girl’s refusal “even if it kills me.”

In authorizing the transfusions, the tribunal underlined that it is adhering to laws protecting children, “sometimes against their own wishes” when those decisions could prove fatal.

The girl had turned 14 just three months before becoming aware of her condition, and dreamed of becoming a music teacher. In his decision, Judge Lukasz Granosik of the Superior Court described her as “a big girl, bright and articulate,” who does very well at school and “exhibits a maturity above her biological age in terms of her behaviour.”

Continue reading →

Ferry Riders Relying On Iconic Watchtower Clock May Miss The Boat

Ferry Riders Relying On Iconic Watchtower Clock May Miss The Boat

The clock appeared to be running 5 minutes slow as of Monday, according to Stan Lubowicki, who works in customer service for NY Waterway, which operates commuter boats from Wall Street’s Pier 11 to several New Jersey locations.

“The Watchtower building is quite visible to our staff and passengers, and is used for reference,” Lubowicki wrote in an email to DNAinfo New York.

In response, his company is making announcements: “Please disregard the time on the Watchtower Clock.” Continue reading →

BFI announce three finalists for £50k emerging filmmaker bursary

BFI announce three finalists for £50k emerging filmmaker bursary

The contenders are: Daniel Kokotajlo, writer, director of Apostasy; Rungano Nyoni, writer, director of I Am Not A Witch and Michael Pearce, writer, director of Beast.

The bursary is for an emerging UK-based writer and/or director premiering their first or second feature at the London Film Festival (LFF). Continue reading →

Quebec court asked to approve sexual abuse class-action lawsuit against Jehovah’s Witnesses

Quebec court asked to approve sexual abuse class-action lawsuit against Jehovah’s Witnesses

The request accuses the Jehovah’s Witnesses of “having set up and maintained a hierarchical religious organization in which elders, its main authority figures, have been able to commit sexual assaults with impunity.”

In the request, Jehovah’s Witnesses are also accused of “creating an environment that protects sexual assailants of minors,” notably by “hindering denunciation to secular authorities,” such as the police or Quebec’s Directorate of Youth Protection.

The lawsuit lists two sub-groups of complainants: those claiming they were abused by church elders and those who claim they were abused while minors by other members of their congregation. Continue reading →

What does the law require? Accommodating employee’s religious practices and beliefs

What does the law require? Accommodating employee’s religious practices and beliefs

the California court of appeal concluded that an employer was required to allow an employee who was a Jehovah’s witness to attend a religious convention he sincerely believed it was his religious responsibility to attend, even though the convention was held at a particularly busy time for the employer and even though adherents could attend other conventions held at other times. It is the business of neither the courts nor employers to determine the tenets of the employee’s religion, only the sincerity of the employee’s religious belief. Continue reading →

The Jehovah’s Witnesses May Be Hit With a Sexual Abuse Class-Action Lawsuit

The Jehovah’s Witnesses May Be Hit With a Sexual Abuse Class-Action Lawsuit

Woods is filing the motion on behalf of anyone abused by elders in the church or minors who were abused by fellow JW congregation members.

In a first-of-its-kind lawsuit, attorney Sarah Woods has asked the Superior Court of Quebec to give her a green light to proceed with a class action lawsuit against the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Continue reading →

Quebec police probe possible cases of child sexual abuse in Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation

Quebec police probe possible cases of child sexual abuse in Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation

Quebec provincial police are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by two members of a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Mont-Laurier in the Laurentians, Radio-Canada’s investigative program Enquête has learned.

Both men have been sanctioned through the church’s internal disciplinary process for dealing with allegations of child abuse, but congregation elders did not share their findings with civil authorities.

One of the men being investigated, Michel Courtemanche, who has been expelled from the congregation, was acquitted of charges of sexual assault and indecent assault in 1996. Continue reading →

A24 & DirecTV Score “The Children Act”

A24 & DirecTV Score “The Children Act”

A24 and DirecTV have scored the U.S. rights to the British drama “The Children Act” starring Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, and Fionn Whitehead.

The story follows a high-court judge forced to rule in the case of whether a Jehovah’s Witness couple can be permitted to deny a life-saving blood transfusion to their leukemia-stricken 17-year-old son. Continue reading →

Former professional boxer Dennis Harbon, 68, took own life, inquest told

Former professional boxer Dennis Harbon, 68, took own life, inquest told

Mr Harbon, a Jehovah’s Witness, had been due to go to a bible teaching session that morning but had cancelled.

His wife Amanda Harbon told Assistant Bradford Coroner Kirsty Gomersal her husband had been having good and bad days in the run up to his death but she had not thought it was bad enough for him to take his own life. Continue reading →

Hull Jehovah’s Witnesses speak out after being ‘shunned by religion’

Hull Jehovah’s Witnesses speak out after being ‘shunned by religion’

It is a religious group little understood by many but now former Jehovah’s Witnesses have spoken of their devastation after feeling ignored by loved ones and friends.

Most of us only ever have dealings with members when they doorstep us and usually we quickly shut the door on them.

But now former members in Hull have opened the lid on their experiences within the group and the pain of being told to leave. Continue reading →

Toronto Film Review: Emma Thompson in ‘The Children Act’

Toronto Film Review: Emma Thompson in ‘The Children Act’

From the moment she awakens till her head hits the pillow at night, family court judge Fiona Maye does little more than think of the children, ruling on whether to separate conjoined “Siamese” twins with one case (a tricky decision, as it means sentencing one to certain death so that the other might live) before turning around to evaluate whether to allow a 17-year-old Jehovah’s Witness to reject a life-saving blood transfusion that violates his religion. Continue reading →

Daniel Kokotajlo talks Jehovah’s Witness drama ‘Apostasy’

Daniel Kokotajlo talks Jehovah’s Witness drama ‘Apostasy’

Manchester-born, London-based writer-director Daniel Kokotajlo makes his feature directorial debut with Apostasy, which is receiving its world premiere in Toronto’s Discovery programme.

The story, set in Oldham, Greater Manchester, is about a devout Jehovah’s Witness who commits a transgression, forcing her mother and sister to persuade her to return to the faith or shun her completely.

While the storyline isn’t exactly autobiographical, it comes from a world Kokotajlo knows intimately, as he grew up in a Jehovah’s Witness family. Continue reading →