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Would Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Disfellowshipped and Shunned This Rape Victim If She Had Not Been Murdered?

In late 2012, Whitney Heichel, a young woman who worked at Starbucks and who had just gotten married less than two years before, was kidnapped, forcibly sodomized and made to perform oral sex on her captor, and then shot several times. Her body was found a short time later; her neighbor was arrested and later pleaded guilty to the crime.

The entire situation is nothing short of horrific and tragic for her entire family and I hope they have found some peace and some closure in this time. However, as awful and vulgar as the entire crime was, I must ask if Whitney, an active Jehovah’s Witness at the time of her death (as was her neighbor and murderer), would have been disfellowshipped (excommunicated) and subsequently shunned by her entire family after her ordeal, had she not been killed.

As disturbing as that question is, the reason for this question is because of the standards set out by Jehovah’s Witnesses in their literature when it comes to rape; specifically, this information from the January 15, 1964, Watchtower:

“According to God’s law an Israelite girl was under obligation to scream … But suppose the man had a weapon and threatened to kill the girl if she failed to lie down with him? These scriptures do not weaken the argument or alter the situation by citing any circumstance that would justify her in not screaming … Such Scriptural precedents are applicable to Christians, who are under command, “Flee from fornication.” (1 Cor. 6:18) Thus if a Christian woman does not cry out and does not put forth every effort to flee, she would be viewed as consenting to the violation.”

This information was repeated in the June 1, 1968, Watchtower:

“Would it be different if the man had a weapon and threatened to kill you if you did not submit? No, the Scriptures plainly state that Christians are under obligation to “flee from fornication.” (1 Cor. 6:18) It is true that you face the possibility of death in this case. But you have no guarantee that if you meekly submit, your assailant will not kill you anyhow to avoid identification.”

The February 22, 1984, Awake repeated the instructions to fight and flee, and even made the bold claim that “the rapist is asking a person to break God’s law by committing fornication.” Yes, the writers of the Awake magazine actually believe that a rapist asks a woman to “commit fornication” with him, and then also apparently waits for her answer.

Shunned for Fornication

These words, calling rape the same as fornication, and demanding a woman act or respond a particular way during such a terrifying and overwhelming ordeal, are an obscenity in of themselves. To make matters worse, they carry with them the very real threat of disfellowshipping and subsequent shunning by everyone in a woman’s congregation and family, if elders in her congregation feel she did not apply these words properly during an attack.

During her ordeal, Whitney was seen in the passenger seat of her car while her abductor used her ATM card. She was not screaming or fighting or trying to flee, and, as said above, the fact that he had a weapon does not “weaken the argument” that she was obligated to do so, or else be seen as “consenting to the violation,” according to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

So my question again is, Would Jehovah’s Witnesses have disfellowshipped and shunned this woman after her ordeal, if she had lived?

According to their own words and their own standards, that’s exactly what they would have done. Not only would elders from her congregation go through with this step of disfellowshipping and with calling her a fornicator, but then her entire family and all her friends would be obligated to ignore her and shut her out of their lives completely, just when she needed them the most.

According to the standards of Jehovah's Witnesses, Whitney Heichel would have been excommunicated and shunned by her friends and family after being brutally raped and sodomized by a neighbor, also one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

According to the standards of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Whitney Heichel would have been excommunicated and shunned by her friends and family after being brutally raped and sodomized by a neighbor, also one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Yes, It Is Insensitive

Using the graphic, brutal, horrifying rape and murder of this young woman as a means of making a point is insensitive, but not on my part. I’m not the one who thinks it’s okay to demand a woman fight and resist and try to flee during a horrific, overwhelming attack, and I never said that a gun pointed to your head is no excuse for failure in this regard. I’m not the one running an organization that has three men sit alone with a rape victim and have her describe the ordeal in minute detail, so as to judge if she was really raped or not and if she followed through with their demands to fight and resist appropriately. I’m not the one who threatens rape victims with shunning if they don’t do what I feel they should have done, and I’m not the one who has equated rape with fornication, and implied that a woman who doesn’t suddenly become a kung fu master or Sarah Connor from the “Terminator” movies has “consented to the violation.” I didn’t do those things, so I’m not the one being obscenely insensitive here.

The fact that this beautiful and happy young woman went through such an ordeal should be used as an opportunity to show the graphic, ludicrous nature of these rules and demands on the part of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It’s so easy to sit in an office in your religion’s sterile headquarters, far away from the rank and file members, and come up with demands for your adherents, but when the reality of those rules is seen in real life, they should be used to slap you in the face if necessary.

Whitney was an innocent young woman who was obviously terrorized and brutalized, and went through one of the worst ordeals imaginable; yet, if she had lived, she would then have faced even more victimization by the very men who are supposedly there to shepherd her spiritually. This would have been done to her because the leaders of this religion don’t understand the difference between fornication, an act to which you agree, and rape, a crime committed against you, and because they insist on applying a law given by Moses to the nation of Israel, laws that Christians are under no obligation to follow today.

Along with questioning the leaders of this religion, it is good to question her husband and her family, and ask them if they still agree with all the beliefs of their own religion, given what they have said to women who suffered the same fate as Whitney. Again, it’s so easy to dismiss the vulgarity of those words and demands when it’s not your wife or your daughter who has been brutalized, but when this type of horrific crime happens in your own home, it’s time to think about the system you endorse. Her funeral was held in a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the funeral talk was given by an elder in the religion, who followed an outline written by the same men who made these rules about fighting and screaming. Not only does this imply that her husband and family endorse these words, but all Jehovah’s Witnesses go out and try to give this same literature to complete strangers, also endorsing those beliefs.

If those magazines mentioned above had been printed at the same time that Whitney was brutalized and murdered, would they have been proud to hand them out? Would they have been proud to read them to Whitney as they told her of their decision to disfellowship and shun her? Is this really a religion based on love, as Jehovah’s Witnesses so often claim? If Whitney had lived and gone through this type of horrible treatment from all the Witnesses she knew, I wonder what her answer would be to that question.

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16 replies »

  1. I wonder how many perverts Ayda Zulu hides at her house for the elders when the police come a calling at the Kingdom Hall to arrest these freaks of nature??????

  2. Kingdom Halls are a safe haven for rapists and pedophiles because of their get out of rape and molesting children free card. Women and children have no public forum to be heard. After all they are chattel, and Witnesses will tell you women and children are in subjection to man no matter how abusive they are. For this very reason I believe in having a firearm to protect myself.

  3. Ayda additionally makes the point that not only would the elders have been harsh and unlovely to poor Whitney, but the sisters would have sided with the rapist as well, blaming Whitney. Very sad.

  4. JWs use everything and everyone in the pursuit of their own sick and twisted world sovereignty agenda. Turnabout is Fairplay, dear Ayda Zulu. Also, JW women are sitting ducks in a competitive world because they’ve become so accustomed to being mentally and spiritually raped, daily, by a bunch of old men with an overgrown sense of entitlement from their new world order conspiracy as they advance their real estate holdings at all costs.

    Rape is not about sex, my dear. It is about power. The “governing body” are such experts at it, you don’t even realize how far they are up your ass with a firm stick, controlling your every thought and turning you into a gaping asshole.

    I hope you get help. No one cares whether you looked for this girl or not. It’s not about you. You are merely an assimilate of the Borganization you have been fucked over by.

  5. How to get away with rape:

    Step 1: Become a JW
    Step 2: Rape a woman who is alone
    Step 3: Tell the elders she didn’t have a chaperone
    Step 4: She’s disfellowshipped as it’s her fault.
    Step 5: You’re in the clear.

    Seriously though Ayda Zulu, would you say that to a householder when you’re out in the ministry? You’re a sick pig who thinks that rape is justified and the victims fault.

    • That’s a very good point; would they share this with a householder at the door? Try telling a woman you meet in field service that belief and see how fast they run you off the property.

  6. How sad that you use poor. Whitney for your agenda!!!! In my congregation is a pioneer sister that was raped and sadly contracted aids due to the rape! She IS STILL a FULL TIME PIONEER! We all support her where ever we can!!!!!!!

    Question What story did this best friends cold husband who didn’t attend meetings anymore tell Whitney, that she maybe thought of helping her personal friend and neighbor| HER MURDERERS WIFE, also a VERY BEAUTIFUL model like sister?

    As for you trouble maker, as I was part of those who looked for WHITNEY, Ezek 9:1-7. IS where Jehovah will judge and not you!

    LASTLY NO JW sister can be raped that easy, as we chaperone our youth when they go out on dates, so if one gets raped while alone with a man, it is because they didn’t HAVE a chaperone and disobeyed organizational rules! Thus deserve being disfeLlowshipped!

    • You are a terrible person to say that if someone gets raped when alone with a man it’s their fault for not having a chaperone. There is no scripture that says you cannot be alone with someone; even Jesus set the example by talking to the woman at the well. If two people are dating, how can they talk privately about their plans and goals for the future and other confidential issues if someone is always there? The Pharisees said men and women shouldn’t be alone together, and they were destroyed for making up arbitrary rules like that.

      Shouldn’t rape be the man’s fault alone, not the woman’s responsibility? As for Jehovah judging, tell that to the elders who sit on judicial committees and “judge” heart conditions and actions. You also said that someone “deserves” being disfellowshipped, so you just judged yourself. Hypocrite. First remove the rafter from your own eye and then you can see clearly how to remove the splinter from another’s. Sound familiar?

      As for me using Whitney for my “agenda,” as I said, I’m not the one grilling rape victims, demanding they respond a certain way, and threatening them with shunning if they don’t scream (based on the law of Moses which Jesus fulfilled by the way), and I’m not the one who said a weapon doesn’t “weaken the argument” for resisting, which was never mentioned in the scriptures in the first place. The men who made up those rules are the obscene, vulgar ones, not me.

      • The elders will tell you if you are alone with a man you are deserving of rape and they will call you “a slanderer and that you can be disfellowshipped.” They “will not consider the numbers of other reports as a witness to the brother’s behavior.”

    • I need to comment again on your last paragraph because it is so obscene. Women and girls can be raped at school, on the way home from school, in their own homes, while working, while out jogging or riding a bike, anywhere. What makes you think date rape is the only possible scenario for a woman to be violated? Whitney kindly gave a ride to a neighbor and fellow JW, who raped her at gunpoint. You’re the one who just said she is to blame and deserved to be disfellowshipped because she was alone with a man without a chaperone or third party. You definitely owe her family an apology for saying that. Typical disgusting JW.

    • How can you, Ayda be so ignorant?

      You said: “LASTLY NO JW sister can be raped that easy, as we chaperone our youth when they go out on dates, so if one gets raped while alone with a man, it is because they didn’t HAVE a chaperone and disobeyed organizational rules! Thus deserve being disfeLlowshipped!”

      If this happened to YOU. Would you say the very words to yourself?? Probably not.

    • Wow. What a disgusting thought process you have. So, a woman who is alone with a man for any reason deserves to be raped because she didn’t have a chaperon and should be disfellowshipped? Let me get this straight: She is a VICTIM OF RAPE and still deserves to be cut off from family and friends because she didn’t have a chaperon around? Are you out of your fucking mind?!

      By the way, your post only proved the point of this blog post: That JW’s would deem Whitney deserving of being disfellowshipped if she’d lived because she was alone with a man. Your organization doesn’t run on biblical laws and rules, it runs on those that are man-made. NOWHERE in the bible does it say a man and woman need a chaperon if they’re going to be alone together. It’s your organization’s rule because they are so damn preoccupied with SEX, who’s having it, HOW they’re having it, etc. Except when it comes to children being sexually assaulted. Then your organization turns a blind eye and it doesn’t get reported to police in order to protect other children from having the same thing happen to them.

      Let me tell you something: I’ve been on dates with men several times over. ALONE. I’ve never been raped. But had I been raped, that would not have been my fault. Furthermore, having a chaperon present would only serve to MASK the fact that the man is a rapist. So therefore, as a JW, I could very well have married someone capable of sexual assault because I would have never had the chance to be alone with him to learn who he REALLY is. Your entire religion is ridiculous, treats women as second-class citizens, and puts them in dangerous situations…and KEEPS them there.

    • No JW can be raped that easy??? Are you out of your mind??? What planet do you live on??? I cannot believe that anyone would utter such a stupid question.

    • Your comments bring me back to a time, years ago, when I was caught up in the brainwashing of the JW cult. 30 years of brainwashing. You are speaking words that have been burned into your thought process and you have lost touch with reality. I used to think it was all black or white – no gray areas. Leaving that religion – escaping – was one the hardest, bravest things I ever did. Personally, you sound like a moron, but I know why and I feel just the tiniest bit sorry for you. Your comments reflect the fact that you no longer have the capacity to think for yourself. You gave it up.

    • How I would love to go back to swimming in the same fishbowl as you. Try having a deranged so called “brother” kick in your door and rape you at gun point and tell you, “If you scream for help, I will kill you as I have others!!!” Why do the elders think that “NO” and “STOP” constitutes fornication or a willing participant? What if he hog ties you and sodomizes you? What if he calls you for years afterwards and threatens to rape every female in your family including children and then kill them if you call the police? What if when you tell the elders even though they had NUMEROUS reports of the same behavior from a number of other victims (wife, daughters, & other women) that did not know each other to compare notes, decide to take his side? What if the elderly OUT OF TOUCH elders ask you if you had an orgasm during the rape, or ask what kind of bra and panties you were wearing at the time? Would you not find that in the least inappropriate? What if the elders tell ALL your “friends” and family that the sex offender is “misunderstood and is a kind a gentle brother, and that you are mentally ill and having memory problems?” What if all your “friends” dump you because the elder body told them that you and 99.9% of victims of a pedophile and/or rapist did not have 2 to 3 preferably male witnesses to the crime against humanity and because of their pervert rule, this makes you a slanderer, and if they don’t want to be treated the same way they would do best to drop you like a hot potato, yet go out in service with the rapist? To be honest with you, I believe the person that wrote that get all rapists and pedophiles off the hook rule/scripture, was a misogynist and obviously did not care about the safety of women and children. How many rapists and pedophiles call people over to watch them commit crimes against humanity? Why do uneducated, spiteful, socially retarded people buy that crap? Don’t you see how stupid and damaging that scripture is and how it is akin to how Muslim women that are raped are treated with 2 to 3 witnesses or not, shy of being stoned to death?

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