Jehovah’s Witness Pedophilia Coverup?

Black Sun Journal has posted a fascinating article about allegations of cover up of sexual abuse with the Jehovah’s Witness Watchtower Society.

It is not unusual (perhaps even commonplace) for religious organizations to deny or cover up allegations of sexual abuse; see for example here, here, here, here and so on …

In most cases where I have represented victims of clergy sexual abuse, the evidence has indicated that persons’ in authority within the Church either had knowlege of the abuse, or actively covered it up.

What struck me was the lengths to which the Watchtower Society will go to deny or cover up allegations  of sexual abuse within the Church. The article states:

Bowen’s group has criticized the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ policy that if an accused abuser denies the charge, two credible witnesses are required to establish guilt — due to literal application of such Bible verses as Deuteronomy 19:15 (“only on the evidence of two witnesses, or of three witnesses, shall a charge be sustained”).

If two witnesses are lacking, the accused is deemed innocent, charges remain confidential and — silentlambs says — parents who warn others are subject to disfellowshipping for slander.

Disfellowshipping is an extreme penalty that means a total cutoff of relationships by family members, friends and business associates who are Witnesses.

Sexual abuse is a crime of secrecy. Since most sexual abusers do not commit their criminal acts in the presence of witnesses the “two witnesses” requirement is one that would be next to impossible to meet.

To go even further by threatening victims who want to warn others of sexual abusers with being cut off from their family, friends and associates (the persons victims would turn to for help and support after being victimized) is perhaps an even greater betrayal than the sexual abuse itself.

In most jurisdictions in North America it is a crime for person’s in authority to fail to report allegations of sexual abuse to the approprite agency (Children’s Services etc.) so that the allegations can be investigated in an independent and unbiased manner.

Perhaps it is time that Religious groups be subjected to the same threat of criminal prosection as private citizens. See for example here .

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7 Responses to “Jehovah’s Witness Pedophilia Coverup?”


  1. 1 Dera August 16, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    My family has been associated with 3 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Atlantic Canada and Quebec over a 45 year period.

    There were pedophiles in each of the three congregations, they were never exposed or reported to authorities. Elder’s within the Jehovah’s Witness Halls, kept it secret.

    Elder’s will go to any lengths to hide any sin inside the Watchtower organization. They said not to tell “outsider’s” of inside problems, as it brings disgrace on Jehovah God.

    Starting January 1, 2008, the Watchtower organization is going to publish two different Watchtower magazines. One for inside the cult, and one for the public. That should indicate the difference between what they tell the public, and what they dictate to the followers.

    My expereince with the Watchtower organization has been very negative. The only thing it taught me was to be a good salesman.

    It destroys families.

  2. 2 Maggie Collins August 16, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    Is there a way to get this information out on a large scale? In the news, in the newspaper, in magazines, in circulars; something that will alert the whole world, even those who do not have access to the internet of the dangers of being affiliated with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Catholics? There must be some way to get this out so people can be warned. I am so sick and tired of Jehovah’s Witnesses waking me up early in the morning to give me their tainted Watchtower pamphlets. They are involved in the worst type of crime ever! They are destroying children for life and they must be stopped! These articles are a good start. Let’s not stop here!

  3. 3 Judith August 16, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Hi.
    I was a witness for 35 years. Raised in it.
    Im out of it now, and I could see the foul play very clearly..
    Its a one way street, and if you try to say anything, your automatically kicked out so that no one will listen to you., and since the Jw’s teach that ONLY unrepentant wrongdoers are kicked out(disfellowshipped) then its an automatic thought process in everyons brain that your guility..So the real criminals, go free.
    And since your out and cannot speak with anyone, theres is NO way to tell your side. A very very clever way to remain abusers in the Org. Just kick out the victim!!
    Its a perfect system for those running it. However many that leave, or get booted out, figure out the real truth of it all, and then they can speak to others BEFORE they become a JW, or they can write books, blogs, etc. whatever it takes.
    Again, if your kicked out, your labeled an apostate..,and so anyone IN the organization, CANNOT read your literature. those that remain IN cannot be reached.
    Its a win win for those in charge. They have their own rules to protect them.. There must be a way to topple the sand dune..Its based on untruths, so it has to faulter.
    So many innocents in there being abused even by their own families in the form of being beat etc. as they push, using the rod.
    They went to investigate Jim Jones, but NO ONE can investigate the jw. Even Oprah wont touch it. what is it they have over the govt? I wonder.
    Respectfully,
    Judy

  4. 4 silentlambs August 16, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    We have assisted over 7,000 victims to come forward and speak out about their abuse. The information in the court documents shows how the policy works and why so many children are put in danger. Silentlambs made public the expression “Pedophile Paradise” to help the public see that JWs were far worse than main stream religion with their abuse policies. To date the polices remain intact and we feel that there will be a steady stream of abuse survivors to assist with healing.

    silentlambs

  5. 5 J Mason Emerson August 16, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    It was interesting when on May 10, 2007, Silentlambs.org held a press conference reported by the Associated Press concerning 16 Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses) sex abuse settlements that although with gag orders attached were believed to have amounted to possibly $3.5 million per victim.

    Now that we are in August 2007 we find that 5,000 documents involving the sex abuse issue from the Watchtower Society (JWs) and the courts have recently been made available by researcher Barbara Anderson on a CD or e-book (http://www.watchtowerdocuments.com); plus Bill Bowen of http://www.silentlambs.org is going to also publish documents in a book called Pedophiles’ Paradise even as he had published items on the Watchtower Society’s secret U.N. affair seen at http://www.jwchildcustody.com.

    All indications are the Watchtower Society’s officials plan to not reform and just keep paying out settlement money. There are good-hearted JWs who on discovering what is going on with their monetary donations are withdrawing those, and hopefully they will keep doing so, too.

    Good capable attorneys who know how the Watchtower Society uses “Theocratic Warfare” tactics on Judges and confronting attorneys, are encouraged by myself and others to take on the abusers and help the victims win compensations for therapy, counseling etc.

    Sincerely,

    J. Mason Emerson

  6. 6 Danny Haszard August 17, 2007 at 7:44 am

    IS A JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES PEDOPHILE KNOCKING at YOUR DOOR?

    Warning!

    The Watchtower organization allows convicted pedophiles to go knocking door to door to as part of their belief requirement.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses have a BIG child abuse pedophile cover-up crisis.

    Pedophilia is covered up in the Jehovah’s Witnesses on a scale worst than the Catholic priest scandal.Not only do they deny it but the Watchtower has instructed the Kingdom Hall elders to go after all whistle-blowers.

    The JW’s exploit an obscure 2,000 year old bible passage and demand that there be TWO witnesses to every act of child abuse committed by a Jehovah’s Witness.This fosters a code of silence and a “pedophile’s paradise” in the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    The ‘Two Witness’ Take-Down is a subterfuge exploited by Jehovah’s Witnesses that is selectively enforced by elders who play favorites and fast & loose with the truth,an excuse to ignore and suppress evidence at whim.

    IS A JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES PEDOPHILE KNOCKING at YOUR DOOR?
    Learn what you can do about this outrage at
    http://pr-gb.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3410&Itemid=9
    Jehovah’s Witnesses child abuse pedophile cover-up crisis.


  1. 1 B.C. will not charge Polygamists with Child Sexual Abuse « John McKiggan’s Abuse Claims Blog Trackback on August 16, 2007 at 1:39 am

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