"Mr. Editor - You are a liar. There I said it, and I won't take it back.
You don't even identify your self [sic] (everyone else seems to!), so I guess that lets [sic] you tell lies about Jehovah and think you can get away with it.
You know why your [sic] a liar? Because this is what you said -
"In the 1970s, Jehovah’s Witnesses continued to promote and encourage their abusive ideas of “tough love.” I clearly remember my little brother taking many a trip down the aisle to the Kingdom Hall bathroom (or outside to the parking lot) for a spanking. Even in this day and age where spanking your child can get you arrested in some jurisdictions, there are still locations in many Kingdom Halls that have been set aside as “spanking rooms.”
That's a lie and you know it. You think you can reach back fourty [sic] years and make up something that isn't true. I am a Jehovah's Witness for 20-years [sic] and I have never seen a single child spanked in a KH. I guess you are not a Witness of Jehovah anymore [sic] if you ever were. Maybe you are lying about that too. You're [sic] new blog or whatever it is all lies and you just want to trash good peopel [sic] who love and worship Jehovah. The Bible says, "It is necessary to shut the mouths of these, as these very men keep on subverting entire households by teaching things they ought not for the sake of dishonest gain. A certain one of them, their own prophet, said: Cretans are always liars, injurious wild beasts, unemployed gluttons.”(Titus 1:11-12) You Mister "editor" are a cretan and a liar and a coward. Who are your [sic] really and why do you tell lies about Jehovah?"
I tried to reply, but the email address bounced as undeliverable.
I’ve been called worse in my life. You know, “sticks and stones…” and all that. I don’t know if the writer is a male or female – or where this person might live. But I’m guessing that many of the visitors to this website who have been Jehovah’s Witnesses will know from their own experience, that I am telling the truth.
So what was the Watchtower’s position on physical (corporal) punishment of Jehovah’s Witness children? Remember that I was a child of the 1950s and 1960s. Let the Watchtower answer for themselves:
*** w73 9/15 pp. 556-558 What Kind of Training Do Children Need? ***
NEED OF DISCIPLINE
19 However, in order for a program of instruction in God’s Word to be effective, it must also include loving discipline. This is because children are not naturally inclined to do the right thing. It is as the inspired Bible proverb says: “Foolishness is tied up with the heart of a boy; the rod of discipline is what will remove it far from him.” (Prov. 22:15) The word “discipline” has the thought of giving training that molds and corrects. Thus it involves frequent repetition of instruction so that the child is motivated to comply with it. But discipline involves more. As most parents well know, a child is often not corrected simply by words. (Prov. 29:17, 19) Therefore disciplinary training may also include chastisement or punishment administered with the purpose of correcting the child. But should this form of discipline ever include spanking? Is there truth to the old adage: “Spare the rod and spoil the child”?
20 Worldly authorities on rearing children frequently say: ‘No, the child should never be spanked. Avoid frustrating the child by using such strong measures to change his natural inclinations.’ A New York Times editorial, April 5, 1972, said: “‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ is a wrong-headed adage that continues to get approving nods from self-appointed upholders of ‘the old virtues.’ It is difficult to fathom why the administration of premeditated, painful punishment by a bigger and stronger person could instill anything other than the belief that force triumphs.” But is this view correct? Is it a mistake to use physical punishment for the purpose of correcting a child’s wrong course of conduct?
21 God is man’s Creator. There is no higher authority. His Word is very clear on the matter. It says: “Do not hold back discipline from the mere boy. In case you beat him with the rod, he will not die. With the rod you yourself should beat him, that you may deliver his very soul from Sheol [the grave] itself.” (Prov. 23:13, 14) The life of the child is at stake. If he is allowed to pursue a wrong course, it will lead to his own unhappiness and eventual death outside God’s favor. Thus the Bible says: “The one holding back his rod is hating his son, but the one loving him is he that does look for him with discipline.” (Prov. 13:24) It shows real love on the part of a parent to do whatever he can to correct his child, including spanking him. This is God’s way. “For whom Jehovah loves,” the scripture says, “he disciplines; in fact, he scourges [whips or lashes] every one whom he receives as a son.”—Heb. 12:5, 6.
22 Why does God do this to his children? “For our profit,” the apostle Paul said, “that we may partake of his holiness. True, no discipline seems for the present to be joyous, but grievous; yet afterward to those who have been trained by it it yields peaceable fruit, namely, righteousness.” (Heb. 12:7-11) Children, for their own benefit, need such discipline. It is part of the training that is ‘according to the way for them.’ (Prov. 22:6) The rejection by the world of such disciplinary training is largely responsible for the tremendous increase of juvenile delinquency and the resulting trouble and shame it has brought to parents.—Prov. 29:15.
23 Contrary to popular opinion, children appreciate it when parents show a genuine interest in them by providing reasonable guidelines and restrictions on their activities. Some children may complain at times because of the discipline, but they learn to love and respect parents who show a genuine interest in their welfare. On the other hand, failure on the part of parents to administer the discipline that children so much need is likely to cause a child to resent his parents. A popular magazine not long ago told of a fifteen-year-old girl who slipped into a bad course of conduct and brought shame upon herself and her family. Grieved by her conduct, she said to her father: “Daddy, you should have demanded that I behave years ago, and when I didn’t, instead of talking to me, you should have blistered my behind. When I didn’t make good grades, why didn’t you make me? Did you think I was so dumb I couldn’t make better grades?”—McCall’s, July 1969, page 114.
24 Parents, show that you really do love your children by giving them the discipline that they so desperately need. Heed the wise counsel of God’s Word. Teach its wisdom to your children. Develop within them a love and respect for the Creator, Jehovah God. By doing this you can be confident that you are ‘training up your children according to the way for them, and that they will not depart from it.’ (Prov. 22:6) This will eventually mean for them endless life in Jehovah God’s glorious new system of things. How grateful your children will be to you for preparing them to enjoy this!
That’s my reply. I hope the person who sent the email reads this and maybe takes back that part about me being “a cretan and a liar and a coward.” OK, maybe I am a “cretan” and a “coward” – but it would be nice if the writer could change that “liar” bit to something a little less disparaging – at least in this particular situation. Oh, and about my identity? See below…
The Editor (John Hoyle) was an active Jehovah’s Witness for over fifteen years, leaving in his mid-20s. He still has a few JW relatives who he rarely sees except when one of them dies. He lives in Oregon with his beautiful wife and a loving little Maltese, edits Ex-JW.com, and is webmaster for several other JW related sites.