Critical Review of

Preparing For Child Custody Cases

by Randall Watters

This section of the Watchtower's booklet represents typical questions that may be asked of the Witness child by the court during cross-examination. The Watchtower's legal department also includes "sample" responses that the child can give the court in order to demonstrate that he/she is being raised in a "normal" and "healthy" manner. The text of the booklet is always represented in black type font, and my comments are made in red. Most of my comments are contained in the sections designated as "sample responses" by the Watchtower.

Certain paragraphs throughout the booklet will be highlighted in blue and underlined, and is my way of conveying to you some counter points regarding what the Watchtower is saying. Just click once on the blue text, and you can read my comments on their statement.

Since almost all my references in challenging their stated position are taken out of recent Watchtowers from the last 15 years or so, and since every Jehovah's Witness can obtain the entire text of the Watchtower and Awake! magazines for the last 20 years or so, there is no need to photodocument their statements, for they can be verified by any Jehovah's Witness who has a library or their 1993 or 1995 CD-ROM of Watchtower publications. Quotes are reproduced for the benefit of the reader in order to see what they have said on the issue. Page numbers are indicated in green, after each page, for the sake of reference. If a paragraph is split by a page break, the page number indicator falls after the end of said paragraph, rather than in the midst of it, to facilitate reading.

Randall Watters

 

 SAMPLE DIRECT EXAMINATION AND SAMPLE RESPONSES FOR YOUNG WITNESSES

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If Married:

(Helped to understand other views; be tolerant; appreciate divergence of opinions; respect for other religions; listen to other people's comments; in general to be a more fulfilled and balanced person, etc.)

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(Comment regarding positive ways association with Jehovah's Witnesses has helped; to have a purpose in life; to help other people; to be good citizens; good morals; be selective as to conduct, company, etc )

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EVIDENCE OF YOUNG PEOPLE:

This can be used to show that they are normal. Identify and interview young people from local congregations who have been raised as Jehovah's Witnesses and, in the eyes of the presiding overseer, are spiritually minded but also enjoy the normal healthy things that young people do. They don't have to be competitive to enjoy sports. Be careful that they don't get the impression that they are in a demonstration at the circuit assembly, when they would show that the first things in life are service and going to the Kingdom Hall. Show hobbies, crafts, social activity, sports, and especially plans for the future. Be careful they don't all say that they are going to be pioneers. Plans can be trade, getting married and having children, journalism, and all kinds of other things. Maybe you can show an interest in art and the theater. They must be clean, moral, honest, hut with the interests that you would expect from other young people.

Have you been exposed to different religious views since youth? How has this affected you?

Learned to be tolerant and appreciate divergence of opinions; while personally choosing teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses, have learned to respect others' right of choice.

How has your association with Jehovah's Witnesses affected your life?

Comment on positive value of truth; have a purpose in life; take interest in other people; good morals; obey the law, etc.

Do you go from house-to-house? Describe your reaction.

Educational value of social contact; learn how to meet people, strike up a conversation and reason on a variety of topics. At an early date learned about the many different views people have Meeting people at doors overcame shyness and lack of confidence Ease of clearing with people is valuable now in business as well as religious and social activities.

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Is it not depressing when you are rejected at a door?

No. We have something good to share with those who want to listen. Each individual has the right to his opinion. If rejected we can leave and find someone who does want to talk a few doors away.

Are not three religious meetings a week boring?

No. Meetings are interesting. Participate in Theocratic Ministry School and learn how to talk to people. Associate with other young people at meetings. Make social and recreational arrangements.

What do you do for recreation, social activities, family activities?

Describe a balanced range of activity.

How did you do in school? Did you have any problems? Did you get along with other students? Did your association with Jehovah's Witnesses hinder your education?

Not at all; kept me out of trouble with the drug scene, immorality, illegitimate children, shoplifting, etc. Helped me take a mature view of the need for an education so I could do something useful and interesting with my life.

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