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  1. Early in 1933, the Watchtower office in Berlin was closed and Jehovah's Witnesses were banned in many German states. This was due to the refusal of Jehovah's Witnesses to swear loyalty to the government or to serve in its armed forces. In an attempt to appease Hitler into lifting the ban, Rutherford instigated a Declaration of Fact sand sent a Letter to Hitler discussing the Watchtower's support of the Nazi regime. "Therefore, on June 25, 1933, a declaration regarding their ministry and its objectives was adopted by Jehovah's Witnesses at an assembly in Berlin. Copies were sent to all the high government officials, and millions more were distributed to the public. Nevertheless, in July 1933 the courts refused to grant a hearing for relief. Early the following year, a personal letter regarding the situation was written by J. F. Rutherford to Adolf Hitler and delivered to him by special messenger. Then the entire worldwide brotherhood went into action. On Sunday morning, October 7, 1934, at nine o'clock, every group of Witnesses in Germany assembled. They prayed for Jehovah's guidance and blessing. Then each group sent a letter to German government officials declaring their firm determination to keep on serving Jehovah." - Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimer's Of God's Kingdom p.693 "Dear Reichskanzler, … The Brooklyn headquarter of the Watchtower Society is pro German in an exemplary way and has been so for many years. For that reason, in 1918, the president of the Society and seven members of the board of directors were sentenced to 80 years in prison, because the president refused to use two of the magazines published in America under his direction for war propaganda against Germany. These two magazines, "The Watchtower" and "Bible Student" were the only magazines in America which refused to engage in anti-German propaganda and for that reason were prohibited and suppressed in America during the war. In the very same manner, in course of the recent months the board of directors of our Society not only refused to engage in propaganda against Germany, but has even taken a position against it. The enclosed declaration underlines this fact and emphasizes that the people leading in such propaganda (Jewish businessmen and Catholics) also are the most rigorous persecutors of the work of our Society and its board of directors. This and other statements of the declaration are meant to repudiate the slanderous accusation, that Bible Researchers are supported by the Jews. The conference of five thousand delegates also noted - as is expressed in the declaration - that the Bible Researchers of Germany are fighting for the very same high ethical goals and ideals which also the national government of the German Reich proclaimed respecting the relationship of humans to God, namely: honesty of the created being towards its creator. The conference came to the conclusion that there are no contradictions when it comes to the relationship between the Bible Researchers of Germany to the national government of the German Reich. To the contrary, referring to the purely religious and unpolitical goals and efforts of the Bible Researchers, it can be said that these are in full agreement with the identical goals of the national government of the German Reich. ... We are looking forward to your kind approval, which we hope to receive soon, and want to assure our highest respect to you, honorable Mr. Reichskanzler. Yours faithfully, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society Magdeburg" FULL TEXT in German: source: https://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/hitler-nazi.php
  2. First came death, then came a Jehovah's Witness. It led to Wellington woman Jean Sergent-Shadbolt turning the tables on what she called the "predatory" religion, by door-knocking a stranger. She was looking for the woman who hand-delivered a personalised letter to her and her dead flatmate, friend, and step-cousin Michael Boyes, three months to the day after his high-profile death from a sudden brain bleed. A leading Wellington Jehovah's Witness has now apologised and insisted the letter's timing was a coincidence, but Sergent-Shadbolt believes it could be a rogue Witness targeting grief. The letter, from a Sue Roberts, urged her to get in touch, and left a return addresss to a house on Farnham St, Mornington, a few suburbs away from her Aro Valley home. Nobody was home when Sergent-Shadbolt visited on Sunday, so she returned on Monday to discover Sue Roberts had never lived there. She wanted to ask if she had been targeted after the death of her friend, whether Roberts knew he was dead, and what right the religious organisation had to impose on her grief. The address was the home of Wellington West Jehovah's Witness co-ordinator Ron Winiata, who apologised to her and said the timing of the letter was an unfortunate coincidence. He refused to give Roberts' address, but did pass on a phone number. "We have got her name, but your address," Sergent-Shadbolt told him, accusing him of double-standards. "But she has got my name, my address and the name of my flatmate, who is dead." Receiving the letter, especially three months to the day after Boyes' death, was "predatory", she told him. "It feels like harassment." Winiata said that, if the letters upset people, Jehovah's Witnesses would revisit their approach. The group never set out to upset people: "It is to help people who are in times of need." When called, Roberts refused to give her address but said "no hurt was ever intended", and she was "more than happy to apologise". Yet Sergent-Shadbolt still believed she may have been targeted deliberately. A few weeks before the letter arrived, a Jehovah's Witness had come to her door. Sergent-Shadbolt had sent them away, in the process telling them someone close to her had died. Heather Henare, from grief counselling service Skylight, was not aware of any cases of religions targeting grieving people, but people in grief were more susceptible to sales pitches. "It is a time, unfortunately, people take advantage of people." Massey University history professor Peter Lineham, who specialises in New Zealand religion, believed the letter's timing was coincidental. But, if targeted, it could be a sign the religion's members believed Christ was coming again soon and so were trying to recruit members. Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/80454665/grieving-woman-turns-the-tables-by-doorknocking-jehovahs-witness.html

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