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Transcript: Slovenia/POPTV


DATE: September 3, 2002


This TV program was aired recently (3.9.2002) in Slovenia , Europe , on the biggest slovenian TV station, POP tv( )

About 250.000 people saw it. We translated the whole TV program. Video will be available soon. Enjoy!


Otos parents joined the Jehovah�s Witnesses when he was four years old. By reason of thei
r religious rules he wasn�t allowed to celebrate his birthdays, new years or any other, as they name them, pagan holidays. He was dissuaded from associating with worldly children, watching TV or films, which had no reference to the faith.

OTO: As long as you are a Jehovah�s Witness being with other people means nothing but talking about 
Gods Kingdom , about the wonderful good news. Any other conversation is said to be  throwing pearls to the swine.

The only entertainment he could enjoy beside going to school was the regular Bible study, meetings (five hours a week) and the door-to-door service.

OTO: I was always scared that some of my school-friends or teachers might answer the door. At school I was named a jehovist. I was stigmatized all the years of my school time.. 

Marko was their member for some years, together with his wife and his children. He disassociated himself because he could not agree with the pressure which the elders put upon the education of his children. As he created a new life after leaving the organization, he asked us not to reveal his identity.

MARKO: They don�t baptize children and they pride themselves with that, but they are indoctrinated since their earliest age, before they are able to read and write. They have cassettes to watch and their parents must study with them, they should bring them to all meetings, even if they are only two or three years old. They must sit silently for two hours, if they are not quiet, they punish them physically. The physical punishment is one of the commands to the Jehovah�s Witnesses.


Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die

Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell (Prov. 23:13 ,14)

That the Jehovah�s Witnesses treat the children in an extremely unusual way became quite obvious in May this year, when it was discovered, that in the
USA , where the Witnesses have their headquarters, there is a list of more than 23.000 pedophiles in thei r r anks. Most of them were neve r r eported to the police.    

MARKO: There is a secret manual for elders where it�s clearly stated that such crimes should not be reported to the police.




If the elders are informed about an illegal activity or any other delict or wrongdoing committed by a member of the community, they will not, even if it is instructed by the laws of the Church, announce it to the authorities.

OTO: The Society is a real pedophile paradise because their judicial committee needs two eyewitnesses, but in these cases usually there are no witnesses.


What proving material is applicable?

There must be at least two or three eyewitnesses, not only the persons who repeat what they heard. If there is just one eyewitness nothing can be done.

Those victims who, although they were not allowed to, informed the police about the crimes, were later disfellowshipped. As we wished to get some further information about what is going on in this religious group we asked their spokesman, Mr Janko Novak for an interview. At first he was willing to permit the filming but when I let him know that their former members would also take part in this TV program, his answer was this:

JANKO NOVAK, JW SPOKESMAN: I don�t think we can make it. You can tell that we refused any cooperation.

Later he accepted the interview but he didn't allow us any other filming or conversation with other believers, even with no camera. When I asked him about their secret manual for elders he first denied existence of such rules: 

JANKO NOVAK, JW SPOKESMAN: A far as I know it was never, never and nowhere written that we should not report such things to the police.

THE REPORTER: Is this book yours? (she shows him the manual)

JANKO NOVAK, JW SPOKESMAN: Yes, it is. But these rules have been out of practice for many years. (he laughs nervously)

THE REPORTER: But they were in practice then?

JANKO NOVAK, JW SPOKESMAN: That was 20 years ago, I was too young then to know

THE REPORTER: But you probably have newe
r r ules, can you show those, if it is not written anymore

JANKO NOVAK, JW SPOKESMAN: I cannot show it to you if it isn�t written.

THE REPORTER: May I check it out?


THE REPORTER: Will you show me the new manual?

JANKO NOVAK, JW SPOKESMAN: Yes, I will, after the filming.

But it all came to nothing. When the camera turned off, even after having been promised I couldn�t see the new manual. At the police station they didn�t know how to answer my question if they had ever come upon a case of pedophilia. They say that the accused persons are never asked about thei
r religion. 

Besides I was interested in some other directives. By reason of scriptural restrictions they reject the blood transfusions. What follows if an individual accepts blood if he is strictly forbidden to do it?

JANKO NOVAK: You know what would happen? If an individual accepted the transfusion if he were forced to do it, he could fall in such a bad state that he should be helped. We had cases like that and the members told us, they felt like being raped.

THE REPORTER: Would you have accepted a transfusion?

OTO: Yes, I probably would. If I had of I�d probably have been disfellowshipped.

In the central hospital I was told that so far they haven�t had any problems with patients rejecting blood. The main reason is a low number of Witnesses (1850), so they haven�t had a case where they should deal with serious complications. Nevertheless there have been many death cases abroad, with many children among them.

OTO: If a person refuses the transfusion and dies, then they write articles on him in their publications. They make him a hero, they praise him almost like god.

JANKO NOVAK, JW SPOKESMAN: I know none of such cases (that anybody died fo
r r ejecting blood)


It has already happened in rare cases however that the conscious objection prevented some people from accepting blood and they died therefore.  As they respected Gods law faithfully they will be resurrected in Gods paradise.  

What makes a person who becomes a Jehovah�s Witness and what is in fact going on within this group? I asked these questions to some other former members, for example a woman who, as she says, wishes to forget her bitter life experience as soon as possible.

THE WOMAN:  I was going through a terrible life situation and at that time I was glad to hear that something better was promised to us. A world with no pain and no suffering at that time those words made me deeply relieved.

Their system of collecting new members seems to be built up to detail. They write down quite everything about the people who let them enter their homes. 

THE WOMAN: They write down in fact anything they notice about the person they are talking to: how he reacted, what questions he asked, his interests, his education and what should be done that the preaching to him should be as much successful as possible.


Soon she found out that things are not so wonderful as they had been promising to her. Any doubt was automatically suppressed.

THE WOMAN: Spying on everybody is obligatory. Every member must report any wrongdoing which is committed by some other believer. If he refuses to obey he risks disfelowshippment himself.  

MARKO: These things go so far that a husband is to denounce his wife and vice versa.

Oto was betrayed by his then friends. He was disfellowshipped for being intimate with a girl who did not belong to thei
r r eligion. The other two disassociated themselves. They all agree that the deepest pain was the absolute isolation which followed their leaving the group. The believers are commanded to avoid any contact with a former member.

OTO: As a matter of fact there�s no worse punishment from the threat that you would be disfellowshipped because you live in your own world and you know no other world except the world of Jehovah�s Witnesses.

OTO: Everybody shuns you, even the contacts with your own parents are limited, especially from the spiritual side, the others are avoiding you on the street, looking away.

THE WOMAN: It happens very often that, if they don't live in the same household, the children shun their own parents, brothers, sisters grandparents are not allowed to see their grandchildren anymore. Such cases are very frequent.

Mr. Novak denied everything that I had been told by the former members.

JANKO NOVAK, JW SPOKESMAN: Its just complaints brought out by some individuals who left the ranks of Jehovah�s Witnesses, I don�t know for what reasons which may be best clear to themselves.

The former members explained thei
r r easons for leaving the group on the web sites. (, They say that it is the only way to warn the present and the future members against the abuse they experienced themselves.

OTO: Now I can see that I was manipulated and that everything was just a delusion. His only wish after his 20 years life among the Witnesses is trying to compensate the lost years of childhood. At the age of 25 he celebrated his first birthday. 


TV PROGRAM LEADER: Former and even current members are planning a protest march at the end of September. They want to warn about problems in the organization.


Translated by Ema

Production: Izobceni streznik team ( )

Article about this TV program:

Commentary (in slovenian but with some interesting screenshoots of JW spokesman):


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