Folkmanis mentions, with an approving attitude, that “in Russia the Jehovah’s Witnesses are recognized as an extremist organization and their activities are banned,” and uses the Russian standard argument that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are “extremist” because they believe that theirs is “the only true religion.” That a myriad of texts by other religions, including the Russian Orthodox Church, proclaims very much the same with respect to their own religion seems to be something Folkmanis is not aware of. Apart from the usual laundry list of accusations that are common in anti-cult literature, Folkmanis insists that the Jehovah’s Witnesses collect huge resources and are “essentially a transnational financial corporation.” This appears strange, if one considers the financial mechanisms granting much larger financial resources to the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia and to other Christian churches in several European Union countries.
The argument Folkmanis uses to specially impress the readers, and perhaps the General Prosecutor, is that the Jehovah’s Witnesses hide, rather than reporting, cases of pedophilia and sexual abuse, a claim repeated in the second article by two female apostates, one of whom also vaguely mentions ostracism of disfellowshipped ex-members, and the fact that teachings about eschatology and the end of the world create a psychologically dangerous state of anger among the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Scholars of millenarianism disagree, and have noted that often members of religions whose teachings have an emphasis on eschatology are motivated to live moral lives and work for the common good. At any rate, the eschatological interests are hardly unique to the Jehovah’s Witnesses: in 2020, 29% of the U.S. adults regarded it as likely that apocalyptic disasters will come during their lifetime.Unbelievably, 24 hours after a news media portal attacked the JWs, the General Prosecutor’s Office announced proceedings aimed at a possible Russian-style “termination.” by Massimo Introvigne, BitterWinter.org
The historical Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Tornakalns district in Riga photographed in 2000. Source: CESNUR.
The first paragraph of the press release of the General Prosecutor’s Office.
Source: General Prosecutor’s Office of Latvia.