Published on:

Jehovah’s Witness Pedophilia Coverup?

By

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 .

By
Posted in:
Published on:
Updated:

11 responses to “Jehovah’s Witness Pedophilia Coverup?”

  1. Dera says:

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

  2. Maggie Collins says:

    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. J Mason Emerson says:

    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.

  4. Grace Gough says:

    I was a JW for 25years. I made 10 people Jehovah’s Witness( for which now I am sorry) I was disfellowshipped because I dont believe Jesus came invisably in 1914 ( a teaching of theirs)

  5. Charlie Jones says:

    I was molested by someone who was intended to be my babysitter. It can easily be seen how common this situation could be, and how extremely dangerous, due to the secrecy within the organization. No one is allowed to discuss the issue, especially when there are not 2 witnesses to any incident. In my case my parents would not have ever known if the man had such a history of pedophilia, as has been the case with many other families, therefore they had no reason not to feel that they could trust him to be with me alone, he was simply trusted because he was a fellow Witness, considered to be in good standing.

  6. Adam Kroscen says:

    It is known for many years that JW’s practice pedophilia and keep it secret.In one of the congregations where I was active as a member was announced from the platform to watch our children and not let them stay overnight with anybody.Somebody was abused in this way he said.I having four chilldren demanded to know who this abuser was.The answer was denied to me.This elder began hating me and threatend me with disfelloshiping.This occured and now I am alone divorsed from my wife and unnoticed by all my family and friends.

  7. silentlambs says:

    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.

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

  9. Brenda Lee says:

    When is the Watchtower going to stop insisting on this two-witness rule which endangers and violates children every single day? When are law-makers and the media going to step in and help protect the innocent children in religious organizations like this who spiritually, physically and emotionally rape their members?

  10. Shirley Jackson says:

    I was associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses for 30 years, being disfellowshipped in 1995. I managed to get my youngest son out who was 10 at the time but I still have three children in, my oldest son being an elder. I have never seen my grandchildren. While I was a JW I reported to the elders that a brother was raping his 8 year old daughter. I was told to keep my mouth shut, it was not my place to speak against a brother. Eventually by pursuing the matter the man served prison time. To make a long story short, when I was df my only daughter went to live with an elder and his wife, she was 17 at the time. When she turned 18 the elders wife asked my daughter to move out, she depended on the elder too much. Immediately a red flag went up but I was df and no one listened. Now she is married with 2 children and she still calls the elder for everything. The family is beginning to wonder. If only they had listened 10 or 11 years ago!