Racial - Ethnic - Cultural Composition of Jehovah's Witnesses living in the UNITED STATES
The Jehovah's Witnesses started out in the United States in the latter 1800s as an "Anglo-American" religion -- with nearly the entire membership being of northern European extraction. Having received only limited acceptance in North America and Europe, most membership growth in the past 40 years has been in third world countries located in Africa, Central America, and South America, and amongst people who have illegally immigrated from those continents to North America and Europe.
In 2016, in the United States, people of northern European extraction no longer constitute the majority of the WatchTower Society's membership. Only 36%, or less, of Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States are Caucasians, and most of these "white" Jehovah's Witnesses live in rural and smaller urban areas. In large urban areas, many non-JWs rarely if ever see a "white" Jehovah's Witness, and some urban non-JWs have even expressed the incorrect belief that the "Jehovah's Witnesses" is an "African" religion. Approximately 26-33% (probably under-reported) of Jehovah's Witnesses living in the United States are "African-American", with most living in urban areas.
By 2025, or earlier, the steadily increasing number of "African-American" Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States will likely exceed the steadily decreasing number of Caucasian Jehovah's Witnesses, thereby pushing "whites" down to the smallest racial group of Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States, other than "Asians/Others".
By 2020, or earlier, due to the FLOOD of illegal immigrants from Mexico and other Hispanic-Latino countries, and the targeting by the WatchTower Cult of these poorly educated persons for recruitment, Hispanics/Latinos will surpass "whites" as the largest racial/ethnic group of Jehovah's Witnesses living in the United States. Currently, 32-35% (also likely under-reported) of Jehovah's Witnesses currently living in the United States are Hispanics/Latinos.
POSITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY IN JEHOVAH'S WITNESS CONGREGATIONS
In 2016, we were made aware of an 80 year-old longtime African-American Presiding Overseer/COBE of a Congregation located in a small southern city of 30,000 people, who had just been forced to hand over his COBE status because he had passed 80 years of age. This African-American COBE has two sons -- either one of them who can be described as a "one-man crime spree" -- each having lengthy criminal and jail/prison records dating back for decades. This A-A JW Elder is not unique. Over the many years of researching our two websites, we have repeatedly ran across "minority" JW Elders who have probably found it more convenient for their family to hold their family reunions at the local county jail or state prison. What Caucasian JW Male living in a town of only 30,000 people, with two career criminal sons, would be permitted to be an Congregation Elder for decades, much less a Presiding Overseer/COBE???
During the 1980s-2000s, the most prominent African-American Jehovah's Witness Elder in Indianapolis, Indiana not only did not believe in, nor support, the WatchTower Society's "NO BLOOD" policy, but he even would state such right inside the Kingdom Hall, although not from the podium. Most other JW Elders around Indianapolis were aware of this prominent A-A JW Elder's beliefs, and some Elders would still refer members of their own Congregations to this "apostate" African-American JW Elder whenever members potentially faced the blood issue. A-A Elder would plainly counsel such referees that "the WatchTower Society was WRONG on the blood transfusion issue", and that the referee should do whatever their conscience would permit to keep from dying unnecessarily -- keeping in mind that "whatever Brooklyn doesn't know won't hurt them".
The WatchTower Society evidently knew of this prominent African-American Elder's apostate beliefs given that he was the original "head" of the WatchTower Society's Indianapolis area Hospital Liaison Committee, but had been merely asked to resign once his apostate beliefs were revealed. How many Caucasian JWs under these same circumstances would have been permitted to remain simply as a JW in good standing, much less continue for years as a Congregation Elder???
USE OF KINGDOM HALLS FOR FUNERALS & WEDDINGS
For decades, use of Kingdom Halls for weddings or funerals have been routinely DENIED unless both the participants/decedent AND their immediate families all have ranked as "exemplary" for lengthy periods of time -- that is, unless the participants/decedent are from large "minority" families.
Back around 2013, we received a report of a decades-long, repeatedly disfellowshipped/reinstated "hood rat" in North Carolina who received a "Kingdom Hall funeral" -- evidently because he was from a large African-American Jehovah's Witness family. We did a background report on that alleged hoodrat, and sure enough, he had a lengthy criminal record right up until months prior to his death.
In a September 2014 "Letter To the Editor" sent by an AFRICAN-AMERICAN JEHOVAH'S WITNESS GRANDMOTHER to multiple Harrisburg, Pennsylvania media outlets whom the JW GrandMother accused of being "disrespectful to his memory" during the reporting of the murder of her 18 year-old GrandSon, "Leaky", who was SHOT by his escaped-from-jail 15 year-old cousin. African-American JW GrandMother apparently found it "disrespectful" that media outlets were also reporting that her murdered 18 year-old GrandSon already had FOUR CHILDREN OUT-OF-WEDLOCK.
Here is an October 10, 2014 article from the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE (edited):
[African-American] Teaira Whitehead, 16, of Homewood, was "known to law enforcement" (oftentimes a code phrase for "prostitute") before joggers found her dead and nude Monday afternoon in the North Side park, ... . ... ... [The District Attorney] said Teaira associated with known heroin dealers, ... . He said he would not describe her as a dealer but said she was a known heroin user. Officials are attempting to track down anyone who had contact with her between the time she last contacted her family, Sunday evening, and the time her body was found. Teaira's father said the family did not wish to speak with reporters. There will be a memorial for Teaira at 6 p.m. Monday at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 8899 Frankstown Ave. ...
Early on Thursday morning, October 23, 2014, at around 1:13 A.M., a 20 year-old "exemplary" African-American Jehovah's Witness named Justin R. Rice, of Abbeville, Lousiana, was riding his motorcycle in a Lafayette, Lousiana, upscale residential subdivision, apparently at a high rate of speed, when he struck and broke in half a large masonry brick mailbox located on the opposite side of the street. An unconfirmed newspaper comment alleges that Justin Rice was being pursued by Lafayette Police. Justin Rice died at 7:00 P.M. later that same day (blood transfusions rejected?).
This "exemplary" A-A Jehovah's Witness Minister's funeral was conducted by Elder Derrick Sam at the Abbeville Lousiana Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. Interestingly, in the published funeral notice, "local bikers" were encouraged to attend the Kingdom Hall funeral, and a member of the local African-American "PUSHING THE LIMITS" motorcycle club was named for additional information, along with listing his telephone number. The Abbeville Louisiana Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses appears to be unlike any JW congregation that we ever attended.
In December 2014, a KINGDOM HALL FUNERAL was granted by an Orangeburg, South Carolina Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses to an apparently NEVER-BAPTIZED 44 year-old African-American Male living with his JW Mother and retired military father, while estranged from 4/5 children -- most living in Georgia with/near mother. Deceased died from an undisclosed debilitating longterm disease.
It appears that "exemplary" African-American Jehovah's Witness, Willie James Sherman, age 47, who received a "Kingdom Hall funeral" at the Denmark, South Carolina Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in October 2015, is the same "Willie Sherman" who won $250,000.00 from the South Carolina Lottery in 2009. The winning ticket was sold about 20 miles from Willie J. Sherman's latest home.
In August 2013, the KINGDOM HALL FUNERAL of "exemplary" Hispanic Jehovah's Witness, Gizelle Coria, of Holland, Michigan, was hosted by the Holland Michigan Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. On an early TUESDAY morning, at around 2:15 A.M., Gizelle Coria, age 16, was riding on a bicycle along with an otherwise unidentified 18 year-old Hispanic male "friend", when Gizelle inexplicably jumped off the bicycle and was struck by a Hispanic driving an SUV. Coria was initially transported to Holland Hospital, but later died at Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids. Event times were either vague or erroneous in all media reports. Does anyone really believe that refusal of blood transfusions was not a factor in this eventual death?
In August 2015, a KINGDOM HALL FUNERAL was permitted for a 74 year-old AFRICAN-AMERICAN male who was NEVER a baptized Jehovah's Witness, named Raymond Leon Beard, of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Raymond Beard was granted the "privilege" to have his funeral held at the Caddo Valley Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses based solely on Beard's supposed decision to START "studying" with a local JW Elder while on his death-bed. Longtime Caucasian Jehovah's Witness families across the United States who have been denied the use of their local Kingdom Hall for the funeral of their "less-than-exemplary" loved-ones should be outraged at this RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, and their disgust should be directed toward the WatchTower Society and its discriminatory double standards.
In November 2015, a Jehovah's Witness Funeral was granted to an "exemplary" deceased MINORITY Jehovah's Witness. Eighteen year-old Martin Del Ray Garcia, a member of the Norwalk, Ohio Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses (baptized 2012), died in a single-car accident. This Jehovah's Witness apparently was so popular in High School (graduated May 2015) that Elijah Abraham White, an Elder at the Norwalk Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses officiated at the funeral held at Norwalk High School. Interestingly, a DELETED newspaper article indicated that Garcia, who lived with an Aunt rather than his Hispanic parents, was seriously dating the daughter of Norwalk's Chief of Police. At the time of Garcia's death, he was scheduled to "test" for entrance into the United States Air Force.
HESTERS: One of Toledo Ohio's Most Prominent African-American Jehovah's Witness Families
"Cindy Lavet Hester left her physical body on January 4, 2010, ... ... well respected by her peers in the field of staffing nurses. She affiliated herself with different community organizations such as Black Chamber of Commerce and P.B. Women's Democratic Party. ... She also was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses and was a part of Richards Rd. West English Congregation. ... She is survived by her spouse, Benford E. Hester Jr., ... 'See You Soon My Queen" ... Funeral service 10 a.m. Tuesday at West English Congregation, Brother Anthony Lewis officiant."
OHIO v. BENFORD EDWARD HESTER. Benford E. Hester was arrested in August 2010 on charges of DUI and operating a motor vehicle without a license. Outcome unknown.
OHIO v. BENFORD EDWARD HESTER. Benford E. Hester was arrested in January 2005 on charges of physical control of a vehicle while DUI and Aggravated Menacing. Outcome unknown.
The African-American/Hispanic Lucero Family, of Billings, Montana, is one of the most prominent Jehovah's Witness families of any race in the states of Montana and Wyoming. Patriarch, Richard Lucero, died in 2002, and as an "exemplary" Jehovah's Witness, he was "privileged" with a Kingdom Hall funeral. Here is Richard Lucero's published obituary -- edited to highlight those parts of his "resume" which should jump out at Caucasian Jehovah's Witnesses:
Richard Lucero passed away Saturday, Sept. 28, 2002. ... Richard married Evelyn Best and together they made their home in Billings for over 61 years. Richard and Evelyn are survived by their eight children, Gwen Conner (Francis), Sandra Lucero, Evelyn Jenkins (David), Richard Lucero, Jr. (Betty), Felice Nero (Larry), Michele Terry (Melvin), Chandler Lucero (Robin), and Michael Lucero.
Richard supported his family as ... , a special deputy for the Billings Sheriff's Department, ... . ... Richard was the scoutmaster for the first minority Boy Scout troop, Troop 99. ... ... Richard was a devoted Jehovah's Witness and inculcated the truth to his eight children and many grandchildren. He loved ... reading the Bible. ... ... A memorial service will be held ... at the Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall at 405 S. 36th St. West.
This Editor, who was reared as a Jehovah's Witness during the 1960s, which was around the exact same time that Richard and Evelyn Lucero were rearing their NINE CHILDREN as Jehovah's Witnesses, can specifically recall on at least two occasions during either Kingdom Hall, Assembly, or Convention "talks", that the "BOY SCOUTS" and "GIRL SCOUTS" were equated with the "HITLER YOUTH", with the speaker and/or written material plainly indicating that children of Jehovah's Witnesses should NOT be members of such. Obviously, that organizational position would prohibit an adult Jehovah's Witness from participating in those same "worldly" groups. Not only was this African-Hispanic family Patriarch permitted to do so at some point in the past, but his JW Family even BOASTED of such in his 2002 obituary -- something most JW Families take the opportunity to "whitewash".
Regarding Richard Lucero's work as a "Special Deputy Sheriff", which is typically something a person voluntarily "chooses" to do part-time, non-JWs unfamiliar with the WatchTower Society's position on such should refer to our LAW ENFORCEMENT JOBS webpage.
Clicking on some of the linked family names may also clue-in Caucasians as to why the WatchTower Society did not dare "mess" with this African-Hispanic Family, whose children are highly educated and very successful in "worldly" careers. Apparently, neither they nor their JW Parents paid much attention to the WatchTower Society's warnings against higher education, chasing successful careers, and intermingling with worldly people.
Non-JWs should understand that during the various unionization efforts which occurred in the United States in the early to mid 1900s, the Watch Tower Society always publicly declared themselves "neutral" regarding such, just like they supposedly are "neutral" in politics and all other societal controversies. Many a Midwest Jehovah's Witness autoworker sweated over whether they would or would not join the UAW, would or would not pay union dues, would or would not walk a picket line, etc. Essentially, Jehovah's Witnesses were permitted to exercise their consciences as to whether they would or would not join a union, but they could do nothing more to support the union than pay dues. If a strike occurred, JWs could not walk picket, but could "sweep the floor of the union hall, while the other members were out picketing". However, the National Labor Relations Act, Section 19, provides: "An employee who is a member of and adheres to established and traditional tenets or teachings of a bona fide religion, body, or sect which has historically held conscientious objections to joining or financially supporting labor organizations shall not be required to join or financially support any labor organization as a condition of employment; except that such employee may be required in a contract .... in lieu of periodic dues and initiation fees, to pay sums equal to such dues and initiation fees to a nonreligious, non-labor organization charitable fund ... ." Thus, rather than joining a Union and paying union dues, many Jehovah's Witnesses over the years have elected what is known as "the charity option".
Then, we run across Jesus and Eloida Hernandez, who are members of a certain group of people who have been heavily targeted for recruitment by the Watch Tower Society. Jesus and Eloida Hernandez were Jehovah's Witnesses. That was a fact, since this judge ruled that the conduct for which Jesus Hernandez was fired was disrupting work activities by preaching Watchtower doctrines to his fellow farmworkers farm while they were trying to work. This judge also ruled that this JW Employee's testimony was so "unreliable", that Hernandez's allegations of "unfair labor practices" against this employer were dismissed. According to this JW Employee's own testimony against this employer, the JW Employee told his employer that he was a UFW supporter who had been fired from a previous position for testifying against the previous employer for alleged "unfair labor practices". Either Hernandez was lying under oath in order to establish untrue allegations against this employer, or he was telling the truth, which means this Jehovah's Witness was involved in the migrant farmworker's movement of that era.
Given the Watch Tower Society's passion for tapping this new source of recruits, and the fact that the language and cultural barrier would keep derivations in doctrine from being discovered by the main body of American JWs, there may have been something very interesting going on in the southwest JW community in the 1960-80s. This certainly would not have been the first time the Watch Tower Society turned its' head to certain activities conducted by this group of recruits.
Given the WatchTower Society's supposed "neutral position" in all things "worldly", and given the info discussed below, we found it particularly interesting that in July 1969 that both the Associated Press and UPI reported that at the request of Cesar Chavez, director of the United Farm Workers of America, the WatchTower Society had agreed to join in the then ongoing nationwide UFWA GRAPE BOYCOTT, and that it was canceling all orders of California-grown grapes to be supplied to its concessions at its remaining summer Conventions scattered across the United States.
Epifanio Camacho, a self-described major player in the formation of the United Farm Workers of America, in his autobiography, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A COMMUNIST: COMMUNISTS ARE MADE NOT BORN, related that his wife was a Jehovah's Witness who supported him in his efforts, and that he himself was "a sympathizer with the Jehovah's Witnesses", who had not become an "official member" only because of his goals and work in the UFWA.
HYPOCRISY OF THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY RE POLITICS & PATRIOTISM
Over the decades, the WatchTower Society has demonstrated a widely varying concern when it comes to its Jehovah's Witness members being involved in politics or participating in patriotic activities. Depending on what the WatchTower Cult has to gain or lose in any particular country or continent, and depending on the odds that an action/inaction will be discovered and publicly revealed, the WatchTower Society has turned a blind-eye to many violations of political neutrality by Jehovah's Witnesses across the globe. Over the decades, in multiple third-world countries, particularly in Africa, multiple active Jehovah's Witnesses have held appointed governmental posts which were much higher in political authority, political decision-making, and administration of government, than low-level common civil service jobs. We believe there currently is an active JW serving in a high cabinet post in one of the smaller southseas island countries.
In the United States, in 2008 and 2012, numerous African-American and Hispanic Jehovah's Witnesses went to the polls and VOTED for Barack Hussein Obama in both the primary elections and general elections. (See Footnotes #4 and #8 of this 2010 California court case to see newfound political muscle-flexing by a California Jehovah's Witness Grandmother who telephoned Obama only six months after his becoming President.) This was confirmed by multiple reports of WatchTower Society officials admitting such from the platform during Assemblies held in 2012. Attendees at multiple Circuit Assemblies and Special Assembly Days held in WatchTower Society Circuits composed of high percentages of African-Americans and Hispanics reported that one African-American District Overseer, two African-American Circuit Overseers, and one Caucasian Circuit Overseer all admitted that numerous "Jehovah's Witnesses" had VOTED in 2008, and warned their "minority" audiences against doing so again in 2012. One of the aforementioned speakers even stated that many Jehovah's Witnesses had attended Obama's inauguration and related festivities held in Washington D.C. in 2009. JW Voters supposedly included some JW Elders and JW Ministerial Servants who, when "caught" after the 2008 elections, were sufficiently wise in WatchTower ways to very cutely claim that they had relied on the WatchTower Society's "public" position that VOTING IN POLITICAL ELECTIONS was a "personal conscience matter", which no other Jehovah's Witness should criticize. Jehovah's Witnesses "understand" that such "public" statements are published in WatchTower publications so that WatchTower Society officials in less democratic countries have "plausible deniability" that the WatchTower Cult prohibits its members from voting. Thus, once again, the WatchTower Society wound up being "hoist by its' own petard"!!! Keeping the admission of this "problem" out of WatchTower publications and limiting the discussion of this "problem" to specific "assemblies" held only in certain areas of the United States successfully kept most Causasian JWs and non-JWs from learning about such.
Although it is a small, isolated country, NEPAL, has for decades been in the international political limelight due to its ongoing negative relationship with its neighbor -- the People's Republic of CHINA. Due to obfuscation, it is difficult to say for sure when he was baptized as a Jehovah's Witness, but the #2 political figure in Nepal as of the latter 2000s, named TULSI GIRI, is an ACTIVE Jehovah's Witness. Tulsi Giri has been in-and-out of political power in Nepal since the 1960s, and he even spent many years in political exile in India before returning to power in Nepal in 2005. What was Tulsi Giri doing in India when he left in 2005? Tulsi Giri was working for the WatchTower Society at its India HQ!!!