Monday, August 3, 2009

KGB methods used against Jehovah's Witnesses

*I'm gonna do a double post today, because I wanted to make sure I squeezed this intro about the KGB and their methods since I forgot to do that earlier.

(info from pgs 92 & 93 of the 2008 Yearbook)

Searches: These were carried out in the homes of Witnesses, even at night. Some families were forced to change their place of residence because of frequent searches.

Surveillance: This included wiretaps, the interception of mail, and the planting of listening devices in the homes of the brothers.

Fines and the disrupting of meetings: Throughout the country, the local authorities tracked places where the brothers held meetings. All in attendance were fined. Often the fine was half or more of the average monthly salary.

Bribery and blackmail: To some Witnesses, the KGB promised apartments in the center of Moscow and also cars in exchange for their cooperation. In many cases, the brothers were told that they would be sentenced to many years in labor camps if they refused to cooperate.

Propaganda: Films, television, and newspapers depicted the Witnesses as people who were a danger to society. Lectures were held in prisons and work camps denouncing the brothers for supposedly using the Bible as a cover for political canvassing. Propaganda resulted in discrimination; teachers gave Witness schoolchildren lower grades, and employers denied our brothers benefits or vacations that they had rightfully earned.

Infiltration: KGB agents pretending to show interest in the Kingdom message studied and were baptized. Some worked their way into positions of responsibility within the organization. Their goal was to stop the preaching work by creating suspicion and divisions among the Witnesses.

Exile: Witnesses were sent to remote areas of the country. There the brothers had to eke out a living doing hard physical labor for 12 hours a day. During the winter, they faced the bitter cold; during the summer, mosquitoes and gadflies.

Confiscation and seperation: Property, homes, and possessions were confiscated. Children were sometimes taken away from their Witness parents.

Ridicule and beatings: Many Witnesses, including women, were subjected to insults and ridicule. Some were beaten with excessive cruelty.

Imprisonment: The objective was to force the Witnesses to renounce their faith or to isolate them from their brothers.

Labor camps: The Witnesses were at the brink of complete physical exhaustion in such camps. Often they had to dig up the stumps of enormous trees. The brothers also worked in coal mines, built roads, and constructed railway lines. Seperated from their families, camp workers lived in barracks.

*It's seriously CREEPY the lengths the KGB went to in order to study the brothers & sisters, and to try to break their loyalty. That's the worst kind of enemy - the sneaky kind.

You know what's also weird? There was an employee at this job I was working at awhile back, who had immigrated here from one of the republics that broke off from the former Soviet Union ... And I remember he gave me this really weird look when I mentioned I was a Jehovah's Witness (about a month or two after I started working there) and he began acting differently around me after that. He wasn't mean or anything, but he sort of stopped talking to me as much, and I noticed him giving me strange looks, like he wasn't comfortable being around me anymore, and I couldn't figure out why. (but this was before I knew what I know now), about how much negative publicity and media coverage Jehovah's Witnesses have been getting for years from the government & clergy over there. But looking back in retrospect, I bet thats why he started acting weird around me all of a sudden! Nice.