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Blood on the Altar: Confessions of a Jehovah's Witness Minister Hardcover – 19 Sep 1996

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (19 Sept. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573920592
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573920599
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.2 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,739,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Author

First secular hardcover on Jehovah's Witnesses in decades.
BLOOD ON THE ALTAR reveals the Watchtower organization as a
mind control sect responsible for more deaths than the Waco
and Jonestown cults put together. Literally thousands of
Jehovah's Witnesses have bled to death in obedience to the
Brooklyn leadership's ban on blood transfusions (and past
bans on vaccinations and organ transplants). The book presents
medical statistics plus dozens of actual cases--names,
dates, hospitals, attending physicians--some involving
children smuggled out hospital windows or transported beyond
the jurisdiction of child welfare agencies.

From that attention-grabbing start BLOOD ON THE ALTAR turns
the clock back to look at the sect's origins and growth from
Charles Taze Russell's religious explorations in the 1860's
to changes instituted by current president Milton Henschel
affecting the 13 million who now attend Kingdom Hall.

Unique features found in BLOOD ON THE ALTAR include details
of the multi-billion-dollar WT financial and real estate empire,
a note on Michael Jackson and his sister LaToya, the WT and
Jimmy Swaggart, the new presidency of Milton Henschel, and
the author's personal dealings with Governing Body members.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Nov. 1998
Format: Hardcover
As a disinterested observer of the Jehovah Witnesses' sect, I was both informed and fascinated by Reed's book. His greatest strength is the documentation of the sect from the mid 19th century Millerite movement to the formation of JW in 1931, and the subsequent centralization of power by the governing board. His research appears to be meticulous. Also well documented are the contradictions and changes in the board's policy and its failed prophesies. Secondly of interest are his personal experiences as he moves from ardent believer to outcast. As to why people join, he states that it is an emotional decision, not an intellectual one. (My very limited encounters with JWs leads me to believe they are intellectually short changed). A good, passionate yet well reasoned read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By a Christian family on 11 July 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While the title and the back cover synopsis suggest that this book is about Jehovah's Witnesses' refuse of blood transfusion therapy, only the first chapter treats this topic.
The rest of the book is a history of the Watchtower Society, from Charles Taze Russell until today, with some of the author's experiences as a former member thrown in here and there.
Every chapter begins with a newspaper article about a victim who died because of his/her refusal of blood, but then the chapter invariably discusses a completely different topic, like some WT leader for example, and has nothing to do with blood transfusions. It seems that these articles were put in just to grab the reader's attention or to shock, but they are totally out of context.
The book talks very little about the Watch Tower doctrinal errors, but instead the author decided to discredit the Watch Tower Society because of the business side of their organization. For example, Mr. Reed makes a big fuss about the multi-million dollar WT Headquarters complex in Brooklyn, the fact that Witnesses sell their literature (by the way, I have witnessed to JWs for many years in different countries, and they never asked me a penny in exchange of their books), or their alleged failure to pay sales-taxes (even though the author admits that the WT is a non- profit organization)...these critiques sound very hypocritical because, as a matter of fact, most Christian denominations are as business oriented as JWs, and in many cases even more.
Generally speaking, I had the impression that the author had very little to say, so he decided to add some WT history to his experiences in order to have a full-lenght book.
To conclude, if you are interested in personal experiences of former members, go for "Crisis of Conscience", by Raymond Franz.
Even as a JW history, this is not the best work around. If you are interested in the subject, I would suggest "Apocalypse Delayed", by M. James Penton.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Dec. 1996
Format: Hardcover
A Review of Blood on the Altar
Dave Mackmiller

Blood on the Altar: Confessions of a Jehovah's Witness Minister, by David A. Reed (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1996) 285 pp.

The main focus of Blood on the Altar deals with the Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) and their refusal to accept blood transfusions, even in the face of death. Much of the rest of the book deals with the 117-year history of the JWs and their plethora of scandals, failed prophesies, and contradictory biblical interpretations.

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, which governs the JWs, loosely interprets an ancient Hebrew dietary restriction as God's injunction against blood transfusions. Genesis 9:4 says, "But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." (Oddly enough, during the 30's and 40's the JWs also interpreted this as a biblical ban on vaccinations.)

Although the JWs release no official mortality data, Reed calculates that between five and twelve thousand JW's die every year from refusing transfusions. But since they die quietly one by one, they don't make sensational headlines like the multiple deaths at Waco and Jonestown. The book is peppered with news clippings about JWs who died by refusing blood. For example, there's Bill Korinek, injured in a car crash,

Although growing weaker from loss of blood, Korinek steadfastly refused to accept a transfusion... The Mormon doctor pleaded with the young man's mother to authorize the treatment, but she replied, "I would rather see my boy dead and in the grave than see him violate Jehovah God's commandment against blood!" Korinek died shortly afterward.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Jan. 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book does a good job of explaining to people unfamiliar
with the Jehovah's Witnesses the amount of control the organization exerts upon its followers, controlling their lives to the point that they would refuse life saving medical treatment. False prophecies, history, and other interesting information about the organization is also
discussed. An up-to-date, informative, and entertaining book.
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9 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 July 1999
Format: Hardcover
And regarding the comments below, it's a good thing that you are not a hemophiliac - oh, wait! The Watchtower suddenly decided that it's okay to take in blood products if you have a blood disease! Hmmm! Can you please tell me where in the Bible it says WHOLE blood only? Oh, wait, the hemophiliac blood thing was a new truth! So it's okay! But how come my Bible hasn't changed? Oh, perhaps because I don't have the approved Watchtower version?
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