A revealing documentary film, about some of the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses has been broadcast on Estonia TV. The film has english subtitles.
The 20 minute PN documentary explores the trauma of shunning, refusal of blood transfusion and the impact upon families of these teachings.
The film explores the thoughts and feelings of two people and interviews a congregation elder.
A woman called Laura, explains how she was recruited, at a difficult time in her life, having lost a child. She reflects on her experiences of being a Witness and the heart-wrenching decision to allow her premature baby appropriate medical treatment.
Kristjan, who runs a website called called Tunnistaja.ee is interviewed. He tells the interviewer, “Jehovah’s Witnesses are a post-Christian sect with fundamentalist beliefs.”
Kristjan explains that when he was leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses, he realised that help was needed and so he now works to support and integrate current and former witnesses into society. He provides information and organises a support group.
He says, “It is not about religious hatred, Jehovah’s Witnesses are mere followers. We warn against the organization and the leadership.”
He shares information about the main characteristics of a cult and how these are all present within Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The chat with an Jehovah’s Witness elder Tan Silliksaar, provides information about a “legal nuance.” He explains that in line with data protection, Jehovah’s Witnesses keep records for “personal use” about local people who are called on as they go door to door.
This “nuance” may surprise some current witnesses who diligently record “not at homes,” empty houses, the religion of the householder, the approximate age and gender and if the person was challenging or aggressive.
The aim of recording these type of details, some placed in the territory map, is often to prepare fellow witnesses, when preaching and disseminating information provided by the organization. The organization leads and trains Witnesses in recruiting techniques.
The “ready bag” is also discussed and the Elder tries to pass off this bag as something Witnesses are encouraged to have to be ready for natural disasters.
Estonia, according to Wikipedia, is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia (338.6 km). Across the Baltic Sea lies Sweden in the west and Finland in the north.
Estonia is often described as one of the most wired countries in Europe. This is no doubt an asset for those wanting to share and research information about Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Tunnistaja.ee offers third party information, publishes objective research and runs a local support group. Link
The website notes:
In Estonia, the WT Corporation has around 4000 followers, half of them Russian-speaking and half from Estonian-speaking populations.
Until 2013, there has not been any widely known ex-JW or JW-oriented anti-cult activity.
The most noticeable specifics of ex-JW activity in Estonia are:
WT preys on the isolated language group phenomena:
a large number of members do not speak English thus, WT scandal, news coverage, history before 1990s and so on is not only unknown, but the information is inaccessible.
WT publications before 1990 are not available in Estonian:
this greatly hinders an understanding of the history of the organization for native speakers.
It makes translating articles that handle WT subjects difficult, as all quotes need to be rendered with great care.