Jehovah's Witnesses at natural disasters seeking only their own: A first-person report - 2019-04-07
A couple of times recently in our discussions with Lloyd Evans, the issue of Jehovah's Witnesses and natural disasters has come up. Jehovah's Witnesses are obsessed with the idea that a bloody, global apocalypse is imminent, and so we've wondered how the organization is dealing with the actual localized catastrophes that come up from time to time.
We did notice that at the JW.org website, there's a section for us reporters called the "newsroom," and it struck us how many of the press releases being put out by the organization had to do with counting the number of Jehovah's Witnesses had been affected by an earthquake somewhere, or some other calamity. And then, we happened to receive this very interesting story from a reader named Michael Paddock, who agreed to let us share it with you.
Michael Paddock: I was raised as a JW, and I lived totally convinced it was the truth until a couple of years ago. I served as a pioneer/elder and was invited to be a substitute C.O. So, I've seen some interesting things. One of the more puzzling periods of my serving as an elder involved the relief work done in connection with Hurricane Katrina. I lived in Dallas at the time and many survivors were coming into our area. The relief committee was focused on trying to find as many as possible. One of the areas we were tasked with searching was Red Cross shelters. To do this, my wife and I were sent to volunteer at the Red Cross, which involved several hours of training as to their way of handling things. The Red Cross are very concerned with protecting those under their charge and limit any outside contact, for their safety. So, it was necessary for us to become full-fledged members of the Red Cross.