Besides attacking the COMMENTS article, CESNUR's letter said, "Actually
lawyers for CESNUR U.S.A. have the file and are considering acting against
'Comments from the friends'." [sic]
Before they can shove a gag in my mouth, I will reproduce my article below,
just as it was printed in the October-December 1998 issue of COMMENTS (page
"...Jehovah's witnesses have nothing in common with other religious groups and can never seek any affiliation with them." -Awake! November 22, 1975 page 23
Jehovah's Witnesses join
interfaith efforts in U.S. and Europe
In a surprising move contradicting its usual stand against interfaith
movements, the Watch Tower Society has joined common defense efforts with
other "new religions" seeking to legitimize themselves:
Official Watch Tower
delegation at CESNUR
Official Watchtower representatives share the speaker's platform with
Scientologists, Moonies, New Agers, occult groups, vampire sects, and
others at the CESNUR conference (the Center for Studies on New Religions)
in Torino, Italy, September 10-12, 1998.
According to its official website CESNUR defends sects against charges of
"the brainwashing or mind control model of conversion" since "In the 1990s it became apparent that inaccurate information was being disseminated to
the media and the public powers by activists associated with the
international anti-cult movement." (http://www.cesnur.org/whatisit.htm)
The program schedule-available free from CESNUR, Via Juvarra 20, 10122
Torino, Italy and also posted on the Internet at the URL below - lists the
Watch Tower delegation as including representatives from the Society's
French and German branches and from Brooklyn and Patterson in the U.S.
(http://www.cesnur.org/Torino98progr.htm) See Session 18 titled "Jehovah's Witnesses: Sociological and Legal Perspectives."
Brigham Young University speakers represent Mormonism in Session 8.
Session 19's speakers immediately following Jehovah's Witnesses explore
"Finding Enlightenment: Ramtha's School of Ancient Wisdom."
On political panel with Muslim
and Scientology representatives
A July 23, 1998, press release from the Commission on Security and
Cooperation in Europe announced a joint hearing with the House
International Relations Committee on "Continuing Religious Intolerance in
Europe." See (See http://www.house.gov/csce/)
The U.S. government press release lists "Panel 2" as including "Mr. Jerry Powers, Director, Office of International Justice and Peace, US Catholic
Conference; ... Mr. Philip Brumley, Counsel for Watchtower Bible and Tract
Society; Father Alexander Karloutsos, The Ecumenical Patriarchate; Dr.
Laila Al-Marayati, President, Muslim Women's League; Mr. Colby May, Esq.,
Trinity Broadcasting Network; Wilhelm Bluemel, Counsel for the Church of
Scientology in Germany."
The Commission explains that the hearing is to address concerns affecting
several religious groups:
For instance, the Belgian and French parliaments listed as "dangerous"
groups such as independent evangelical Protestant churches, Catholic
communities, Baha'i, Jehovah's Witness, and Hasidic Jews. Negative effects
have been felt by these religious groups due to these reports.
(Memorial services for two police officers shot at the U.S. Capitol led to
the panel's postponement as we went to press.-editor)
For obvious reasons, the Watch Tower Society has been keeping its
inter-faith efforts hidden from rank-and-file Jehovah's Witnesses.