Article in People Magazine:
By Guest Indiana
Juror Dan Stinnett, in his first interview about the case, explained how he and eight other Sanders County jurors found the Jehovah’s Witnesses governing organizations negligent and “guilty of malice” in the child sexual abuse of Alexis Nunez, awarding her $35 million. “I believe they were trying to cover up, yes. I have no doubt about that,” Stinnett said. When asked if he was trying to send a message with his jury vote, Stinnett responded, “Why, absolutely. We as jurors and as society really don’t condone … any of this.”
The Nunez case is one of dozens tallied by the Hearst Television National Investigative Unit as part of a yearlong investigation that uncovered new allegations of child sexual abuse and decadeslong cover-ups inside the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization in the United States. The allegations span congregations, states and generations.
From John Redwood...
A preview of upcoming news:
Jehovah's Witnesses are appealing to the Supreme Court of the United States, but this time it has nothing to do with preaching or saluting the flag.
It's all about child abuse.
Specifically, the protection (or cover-up) of information, documents, and testimony of persons involved in cases of child abuse.
I will be covering this story in the coming weeks and months, but I thought I would share some of this news and try to distill it down as simply as I can.
I'd like to point out first that Watchtower has appealed to the Supreme Court in connection with their loss of yet another California child abuse case. The chance that Watchtower's appeal being will be heard by the Supreme Court is slim, but anything is possible.
What brought this about?
There are many ongoing civil child abuse cases in California. One such case is J.W. versus Watchtower. J.W. happens to be the initials for the victim of former JW elder Gilbert Simental, who went on a spree of molestation which touched the lives of numerous victims.
As with other cases, the plaintiff demanded that Watchtower turn over to the court a database of child abuse cases known to be maintained by Watchtower of New York.
In this particular case, because Watchtower failed to turn over the documents in a timely manner, attorneys asked for a default judgment of just over 4 million dollars.
The court agreed with the plaintiff and entered a default judgment in that amount. Watchtower was required to post a bond of more than 6 million dollars while their appeal was pending.
Watchtower lost their appeal, and the decision of the court was upheld. This decision is final- with one exception.
Watchtower has decided to appeal to the United States Supreme court on the basis that their judicial hearings related to child abuse matters are "confidential intra-faith communications" and that they do not, and should not, reveal those communications or documents to anyone, including civil courts.
I'd like to make it very clear what Watchtower is doing here. They are fighting for their right NOT to allow civil authorities to dictate what is confidential, and what is not confidential.
All of this is in relation to their claim that elders do not have the right or duty to report child abuse to the authorities.
Watchtower overtly lies to their members by claiming that they obey secular laws, except when they conflict with God's laws.
Yet they break the law every single time by advising elders NOT to report child abuse to the authorities.
It does NOT matter whether child abuse occurs in a mandatory reporting state- elders STILL do not report to the police because Watchtower has told them that ALL of their communications are protected by clergy-penitent privilege.
This is false- and it is exactly why they are losing tens of millions of dollars in child abuse civil cases. Watchtower advises elders to break the law.
And now they want the Supreme Court of the United States to agree with them.
The claim that the state of California has unfairly targeted Jehovah's Witnesses and "intruded upon matters of church governance."
How does compliance with mandatory child abuse reporting laws conflict with God's laws? It doesn't. This is a fabrication of Watchtower attorneys working for the Governing Body, and it's become quite clear that they feel that compliance with these civil laws will spell disaster for their religion.
And they might be right.
If Jehovah's Witnesses did the right thing and complied with the law, they would lose the tight grip of control over their elder bodies in ways which frighten the hell out of them.
There is a whole lot more to this story as well as the underlying cases involved, but I wanted to let you know what's going on.
Attorneys for J.W. (the abuse victim) will be filing an opposition to Watchtower's appeal in August, and we should have a decision from the Supreme Court by October on whether they will accept Jehovah's Witnesses appeal for review.
By JOHN BUTLER
OK, I know some people will not like this and they will call it gossip but my wife and I are worried about it so it needs to aired out.
We have one daughter that is still a JW. i will call her H. She is married to a non JW. She has 4 children.
This daughter does not seem to recognise any dangers at all about her children. She invites anyone to her house without really knowing who they are or anything about their past.
3 of the children are girls and they attend ballet and tap dance lessons. They are only young, the oldest being around 8 years old.
Today they were in a performance /show in Exeter, a biggish show that their teacher was putting on for all parents, grandparents, etc.
I wasn't allowed to go of course as I'm a 'naughty boy' that left the Org.
My wife went to the show and was surprised to find two 'brothers' there.
One of the 'brothers' is a young single Elder and the other 'brother' is an old man that has recently been reinstated and moved into Honiton congregation.
This older man frequently visits H and her daughters at their home and the girls call him Uncle Phil. He seems very 'friendly' toward the girls.
H does not know where this 'brother' is from but he is now part of the Honiton Congregation which H and her children attend, here in Devon.
It seems strange to me that this man has just arrived at Honiton Congregation and just been reinstated. My wife says he has a London accent.
If I were still a JW I would ask him bluntly why he was disfellowshipped and where he is from, but of course I cannot do that now.
I have his full name, so is there any way i can run a check on him ?
Should i contact an Elder at Honiton Congregation and tell them of the concern my wife and I have ?
If this 'brother' had been involved in a child abuse accusation would they have told H about it so that she could be on her guard ?
Some on here may think I'm just trying to cause trouble, but my wife came home this evening and is looking very worried.
It seems that H had invited both 'brothers' to the meal afterward and my wife felt unhappy about the whole situation.
TTH will probably bring out the rule book again and say 'it never happens', but child abuse does happen and needs to be looked for all the time.
Our daughter H seems to have no idea about the situations that have taken place, and in honesty she doesn't want to know. So how can my wife warn her ?
By JOHN BUTLER
I've often thought of this point of reproof from the platform. It does nothing positive at all, it just leaves people wondering why the person was reproved.
And it certainly does not protect the congregation.
2019 “Shepherd the Flock of God”: The Problem With Public Reproofs for Child Sex Abuse
by Alexandra James In January of 2019, elders in the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses were issued a new version of their confidential handbook, "Shepherd the Flock of God." This handbook covers, among other topics, when a person should be "reproved."
For those unfamiliar with the their practices, Jehovah's Witness elders might determine that someone guilty of a serious sin is repentant and will be "reproved" rather than disfellowshipped [excommunicated]. This reproof might be administered privately, or it might include a very brief announcement to the congregation.
Public Reproofs Are Not a Protection
The "Shepherd" book makes the claim that a public reproof serves as a "protection" to the congregation against certain dangerous behaviors, such as child sexual abuse; note this statement from chapter 14, "Child Abuse::
However, this announcement of reproof includes no information about the person's "sinful" behavior, as instructed in chapter 16, "Procedure for Judicial Hearings":
The "Shepherd" book even outright instructs that a person's sinful acts should not be connected to their reproof, such as when a "warning" talk is given regarding their behavior; also from chapter 16:
This statement alone demonstrates that the entire "public reproof" arrangement protects no one from congregation members who might pose a danger to others, including children. Simply stating that someone has "been reproved" doesn't warn a congregant of that person's specific behavior, and especially when there is a long list of reasons why someone might be publicly reproved, including:
Smoking Fornication, adultery Theft Lying, slander Various forms of "apostasy" Severe fits of temper, fighting Drunkenness Using narcotics Taking up boxing After hearing a rather generic announcement that someone has been "reproved," without knowing the actual reason for that reproof, how would congregants know to keep their children away from them? Another congregant might assume that a person being reproved was caught smoking or fornicating with an adult; child sexual abuse might be the last thing they would consider when they hear of someone having been reproved!
Your Conscience Shouldn't Be Clean
This begs the question of why Jehovah's Witnesses think that their consciences can be clean in these cases. Elders honestly think that making an announcement of so-and-so having been "reproved" protects the congregation and so they've done their job of keeping people and children safe?
Nothing can be further from the truth, especially when it comes to child sexual abuse. This "public reproof" arrangement purposely conceals the action that warranted the reproof, so it warns no one about a congregant who might be a danger to their children.
This announcement does not take away from an elder's complicity in hiding allegations of abuse. Any elder who hears of such a credible allegation and doesn't notify authorities, cooperate with their investigations fully, and then do everything possible to keep a potentially dangerous person away from children shares guilt and blame if that person goes on to molest another child.
The bottom line is that Jehovah's Witnesses and elders especially have no problem lying to themselves and to the general public about their supposed "protections" for congregants. They shield alleged molesters by purposely ensuring that no information about a particular act is associated with "reproved" persons, and then tell themselves that this passive-aggressive "hinting around" is going to somehow alert congregants to the need to keep their child away from him or her.
While the authors of these practices and the elders charged with enforcing them might go to bed with a clean conscience, remember it's not them who suffer the consequences of their actions; the elders are not being raped and abused, the men who wrote this "Shepherd" book are not the ones who will be the next victims of these "reproved" persons.
Their complicity in this horrific act is bad enough, but their smug self-righteousness in thinking that they've somehow done enough to protect children with a generic "reproof" is just another slap across the face of those same children.
"On Sunday, March 31, Anthony Morris, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, was filmed at Bottle King, a discount booze store in Ramsey, NJ, buying 12 bottles of very expensive single malt. My “Bottlegate” video sharing the footage has since accumulated tens of thousands of views, with many saying the incident represents an act of hypocrisy from a man famous for his somewhat judgmental approach to morality and Christian living. The team discusses the permutations of the remarkable footage, and the widely known culture of drinking at bethel."
This video expresses the opinions of a past member of Bethel in Australia, and those of his wife, also Mark O'Donnell whose story under the article " A Secret Database of Child Abuse" was posted in The Atlantic, and "Covert Fade", author at JWsurvey.
From the comments I have seen here, JWs are measuring Anthony Morris' actions by worldly standards; yet, for someone who claims to be "faithful and discreet", worldly standards do not apply.
"For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Matt 5:20
By Guest Indiana
Were you or a loved one sexually abused by Gonzalo Campos, an elder with various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations in the San Diego area?
Legal Support For Alleged Victims Of Gonzalo Campos
After admitting to molesting at least 8 children during the 1980s and 1990s, Campos fled to Mexico, evading criminal justice here in California, but some sexual abuse survivors may still be eligible to file suit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.
The Watchtower, the national organization for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, has already settled at least two lawsuits involving Campos’ misconduct. In March 2018, the organization came to terms with two of Campos’ victims, men who claimed the elder abused them decades ago. Neither the Watchtower nor the plaintiffs are allowed to disclose details of the settlement.
Experienced Attorneys Launch Full Investigation
Our compassionate sexual abuse attorneys believe that other victims of Campos may still be able to pursue justice, accountability and compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. We have opened a full investigation into the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society to understand how Campos was allowed to remain around children, even after serious sexual abuse allegations had been filed against him.
We understand the powerful storm of emotions that sexual abuse can cause. You may still be struggling to deal with painful feelings of embarrassment and shame, rage or depression. You do not have to go through this alone. Our committed legal team is here to help.
You may have powerful legal options. The prospect of stepping forward to report the abuse may seem terrifying, but it can be a powerful step on the road to recovery. You deserve justice. You may also be entitled to financial compensation. Filing a civil lawsuit can help you take control of this terrible situation. The Watchtower should be held accountable.
Watchtower Hit By Court Penalty For Withholding Evidence
The Watchtower has already been accused of hindering investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse. In the cases involving Gonzalo Campos, the Watchtower was ordered to pay a penalty of $4,000 every day because it refused to turn over internal documents containing information about church leaders who had been accused of child sexual abuse.
This was not the first time the Watchtower failed to stand up for sexual abuse survivors.
Critics say Gonzalo Campos was allowed to abuse at least 8 children in San Diego between 1982 and 1995, even though the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations he belonged to were aware of his misconduct. After abusing a 7-year-old in 1994, Campos was removed from the Church, but he was reinstated by church elders who claimed he was a changed man.
In their lawsuits, two men who said they had been abused by Campos accused church elders of knowing about Campos’ misconduct as early as 1982, but covering it up and allowing him to continue working with young children. We believe the victims.
By JOHN BUTLER
OK, I've sort of shot myself in the foot by saying I'm now going to take this forum as a joke and have a laugh. In most ways i will continue to do so BUT.
This evening I was given some information that 1.maybe I shouldn't have been given. 2. Maybe i wish i hadn't been given.
Some of you may say I'm telling lies. Some of you may say I'm just after attention. Some may say I'm just trying to put down the JW Org.
However i have to think on something i say a lot. DUTY OF CARE. Care of everyone, in or out of that JW Org.
I have been given this information :-
Somewhere between 18 months to 2 years ago, a young man that is a member of Honiton Congregation (my ex congregation) committed a sexual offence against a young girl that would have been around 7 or 8 years old at that time..
The young man was visiting the home of this child and he went up to the girl's bedroom and asked the girl to have sex with him. I do not think that sexual intercourse took place but from the information that I've been given, he laid her on the bed and got on top of her and 'humped' her as if he were having sexual intercourse with her.
The incident was reported to the Elders and the police were not informed. I have no idea what action the Elders took but the congregation were not informed.
The young man ( who's name I have ) would have been in his very early twenties at the time, but his mental age is lower. He is a bit slow in learning things and possibly has mental disorders. That is not meant as an insult, but i do know this young man personally and he does act a bit strange sometimes and frightens people.
The young man's father was a single dad of three children ( i knew this man quite well ), but he invited a foreign lady (a sister in the JW Org) over to the UK, and they married. The marriage did not go well as the woman wanted to 'be the boss'. They split up and she went back to her country of origin. But then she came back to have a 'second try' at the marriage. I do not know the marriage situation at this time. However the whole issue would have been totally upsetting for the three children, especially for this young man that found it difficult to cope with some situations.
The person that gave me this information, in my opinion, is completely trustworthy, and once again in my opinion, would not have any reason for making up a 'story'. As I was given the young man's name, and i know the young man and his father, it all seems quite genuine to me.
Now i come back to the duty of care. For, in my opinion, it is the duty of anyone that has any information concerning child abuse to report it to the police.
This could be just a one off incident, but it could be the start of a young man becoming a pedophile. I honestly don't know where my duty is here.
The young girl that was the victim of this assault may need help getting over the situation. The information was also that the father of the victim does not want 'any trouble'. Hence he did not want the police involved. That helped the Elders to keep it secret, well almost.
Now this young man may commit sexual assault again, within the JW congregation or outside of it. And that young lady will be in fear of him and yet still have to attend that Kingdom hall where she will see him every week.
So should i report what i have been told to the police or not ? Of course I would have to tell the police it is only third hand information.
BUT, if the police could get hold of the 'records' / paperwork from the Kingdom hall regarding the incident, then it would be proved as true.
I do not expect that the Elders would willingly hand over paperwork, so I've no idea how it would work out in the end. But it's my actions that I'm concerned about here , my responsabilites. What should i do ?
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
From the Newspaper the “San Diego ReaderÂ” - October 12, 2017
Jehovah's Witnesses look in other direction
Lawyers for religious group argue against daily fines in sex-abuse case
By Dorian Hargrove, Oct. 12, 2017
Attorneys for the Jehovah's Witness church appeared before a state appellate court yesterday (October 11) in hopes of overturning the $4000 daily sanctions that a trial court ordered them to pay for refusing to turn over documents in one of two sex-abuse cases.
Osbaldo Padron, a former parishioner of the Linda Vista Jehovah's Witness congregation, filed his lawsuit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ governing body, in 2013. Padron was one of seven people who sued the kingdom over sexual abuse they suffered by a former church elder, Gonzalo Campos.
As detailed in an August 30 Reader article, Campos admitted to molesting seven children from 1982 to 1999. Despite his admission, church elders agreed to let Campos rejoin the congregation after a four-year expulsion.
In a 1999 letter, Linda Vista church elder Eduardo Chavez argued for reinstating Campos. He wrote, Â“In our meeting with him he said he was very repentant for what he did. He stated that he wanted to return to Jehovah. He is willing to face the victims and ask their forgiveness. He now wants to obey Jehovah. Before, when he would speak to people on the platform he would not meditate on what he was doing. Although he needed to confess, he felt shameful and had fear of mankind. He would deceive himself thinking that he could continue serving as an elder. Now he realized that he could not change without help. Ever since his expulsion he has not abused anyone."
In 2010, five victims sued the Watchtower for allowing Campos to serve as an elder despite having knowledge that he molested several children in the congregation. Watchtower settled that case in 2012. The terms of the settlement as well as the evidence against the Watchtower were sealed.
Two more victims, Padron and JosÃ© Lopez, followed suit.
In 2013, San Diego Superior Court judge Joan Lewis ordered Watchtower to pay $13.5 million for repeatedly refusing to turn over documents that showed the church was aware of sexual abuse and did nothing to stop it.
Attorneys for the Watchtower filed an appeal. They argued that Judge Lewis had acted too soon in issuing the $13.5 million in sanctions and instead the trial court should have imposed less severe sanctions. The appellate court agreed.
In their ruling, the justices wrote, "We conclude the court erred in ordering terminating sanctions because there was no evidence that lesser sanctions would have failed to obtain Watchtower's compliance with the document production order and because there were other possible sanctions that could have effectively remedied the discovery violation. On remand, the court has broad discretion to start with a different sanction that does not wholly eliminate Watchtower's right to a trial."
Then, last year in the Padron case, a different superior court judge, Richard Strauss, followed the appellate court's advice and instead of issuing terminating sanctions imposed $4000 daily sanctions on the Watchtower for refusing to turn over the documents that Padron's attorneys had requested.
Again, Watchtower's attorneys filed an appeal.
On October 11, those attorneys appeared before the Fourth District Appellate Court to argue that the trial court was wrong to issue daily sanctions Â— exactly what they had argued for in the appellate court Lopez case just months prior.
Justice Richard Huffman did not hide his displeasure that Watchtower's attorneys were arguing against what they had previously supported to the same court.
"You can't have it both ways," Huffman said during argument. "[The Lopez] ruling has come around to bite you and now you're saying, 'not fair, not fair.' You were headed in one direction before and now youÂ’re headed another way. It's a breathtaking position to listen to."
The appellate court has 90 days to issue its formal ruling."
Our donations are being used to OBSTRUCT JUSTICE !
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
TIRED OF BEING MANIPULATED BY FAKE NEWS?
VERY SIMPLE SOLUTION ... GET EDUCATED ABOUT WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON AROUND YOU!
Royal Commission Case Study 54: What to expect - by an anonymous reporter who DOES homework !
With Case Study 54 only a few days away, THIS FRIDAY (AUSTRALIAN TIME) MARCH 10, 2017 (You do the math for local time...) a lot of discussion has been circulating as to exactly what we can expect when Watchtower appears once again before the Australian Royal Commission.
I’ve decided to chip in a few observations here to help set expectations and to contribute to the discussions as best I’m able. So without further ado, let’s quickly run through what we know:
What exactly will be discussed? According to the Commission website, the scope of the study is as follows
1. The current policies and procedures of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd in relation to child protection and child-safe standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.
2. Factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of child sexual abuse at Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd institutions.
3. Factors that may have affected the institutional response of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to child sexual abuse.
4. The responses of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to relevant case study report(s) and other Royal Commission reports.
5. Any related matters.
The purpose of this public hearing is not to inquire into individual sets of facts or particular events as has occurred in previous Royal Commission case studies.
Why does the Case Study 54 hearing appear to be only one day long? This may appear at first glance to be a surprise. How can a single day of testimony possibly be enough to cover the vast and complex issue of Watchtower’s child abuse scandal?
Well, remember that Case Study 54 isn’t a fact finding mission. That was Case Study 29. The Commission spent days digging and interviewing, and ultimately issued a detailed report on every aspect of Watchtower’s failure. As far as the Commission is concerned, the facts are in. There is no further debate. Case Study 54 is tasked purely with a quick review of those facts and then with publicly asking Watchtower what is has done to address the damning failures identified in Case Study 29.
Remember what Justice McClellan said to Watchtower’s legal team? That they were going to come back to Watchtower and publicly ask them what had been done to address the issues?
That’s what this is.
So what has Watchtower done in the 21 months since Case Study 29? As far as I am aware, the only potential effort from Watchtower to address any of the concerns raised in the Royal Commission has been to no longer require an abuse survivor to confront their attacker. However, it was not clear from testimony if this practice had actually been halted before the Commission sat. Watchtower seemed to insist in testimony that it was, but their documentation did not reflect this.
Thus one cannot say with certainty that even this potential change has come as a result of the Commission report.
So Watchtower is going to stand before the Commission, after 21 months, and basically say they’ve done nothing at all? I have no idea.
I mean, that would be the honest thing to do, but remember how slippery and devious Watchtower was in Case Study 29, with senior Watchtower officials like Rodney Spinks, Terrence O’Brain and Governing Body Member Geoffrey Jackson attempted to mislead and outright lie to the Commission on multiple occasions. As far as I can see, Watchtower has three options
Admit they’ve done nothing and that they don’t intend to for religious reasons, and turn the whole thing into an issue of religious freedom. Try to stall and muddy the waters by saying they’ve not had enough time, that they have no authority to make the changes required without Brooklyn agreement, knowing full well that Brooklyn is beyond the reach of the Commission. The idea here would be to stall until the day is over, then slink away and wait, knowing no further testimony is required. Dive full into another round of misleading doublespeak and outright lies to try and pull the wool over the Commission’s eyes. Which one will they pick? Again I have no idea. Judging from Watchtower’s jaw-dropping legal incompetence in Case Study 29 and in the recent Fessler case, it’s very hard to predict their strategy. It seems to have no rhyme or reason, but keep in mind three things.
The men in charge of Watchtower are firstly very deluded. They genuinely think they are defending God’s organization against Satanic and apostate attack, and feel that compromise will be a victory for Satan. The men in charge of Watchtower are very out of touch with real life, spending all their days in a world where you don’t question Watchtower or those who run it, and now they’ve risen to the top. Their word is law. Odds are that no-one has told Anthony Morris III that his ideas are stupid for a very long time. They have no idea how to handle the kind of environment the Royal Commission brings to the table. Geoffrey Jackson’s excruciating performance, where the Commission made mincemeat of his arguments, was proof of that. The men in charge of Watchtower are caught between being honest with a Commission that has all of their dirty little secrets on the one hand, and playing to the growing audience of JW’s who they know WILL find out about March 10th one way or the other. They have to both be as compliant as possible to the Commission whilst also appearing to be steadfast and unmovable to the Witnesses who will end up seeing the testimony on YouTube. So delusion, seclusion, and public relations are all going to crash into once horrible mess as they did in Case Study 29 and as a result I have no idea what Watchtower will do on Friday.
We hope to preserve the live steam video for future reference as the Commission does not archive or make this video available once the live stream is over. However, technical gremlins are always a factor so if you have the ability to record the live stream, it would be a great idea to do so as well. The more people do this, the less chance of this footage being lost forever.
Lastly we will of course be following up with articles on the day, giving you a more detailed analysis of what has transpired.
Get your popcorn (and your coffee if you’re staying up late) and lets all observe the car crash together!
And one last thing: if it is safe for you to do so, please tell as many Jehovah’s Witnesses as you can about the events on March 10th. Their children are at risk and they don’t even know it. They may choose not to look up the Case Study, but simply being aware that it exists is the first step in raising awareness that the Governing Body is not being honest with them about the international scandal of child abuse inside the Watchtower organization.
(edited for political correctness and other stuff ...) JTR
By Guest Nicole
I just read that the Spanish organization "Abusos TJ" has sent a letter to the Ministry of the Interior on Wednesday to urge himÂ to investigate the alleged cases of sexual abuse that have been concealed for years from the different congregations in Spain of the Jehovah's Witnesses. And the news shows this photo of the instructions given to the elders
If these instructions are true, my question is what Bible base have these instructions? And why not inform the elders of the new congregation about a person who could be a danger to the community?Â
By Jack Ryan
The Jehovah's Witness Church in Australia failed to protect children in its care from sexual predators, a report has found.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its report into the organisation on Monday.
It stated that: "Children are not adequately protected from the risk of child sexual abuse in the Jehovah's Witness organisation and [the commission] does not believe the organisation responds adequately to allegations of child sexual abuse."
Survivors of sexual abuse within the church and senior church members appeared before a public hearing last year.
The inquiry heard the church received allegations of child sexual abuse involving more than 1000 of its members over a 60-year period but did not report a single claim to police.
In its report on the inquiry, the royal commission found that the organisation's general practice of "not reporting serious instances of child sexual abuse to police or authorities, demonstrated a serious failure on its part to provide for the safety and protection of children."
The royal commission determined that the church's response to allegations of child sexual abuse were outdated, including a rule that there must be two witnesses to an incident, which "showed a serious lack of understanding of the nature of child sexual abuse".
"It noted the rule, which the Jehovah's Witness organisation relies on, and applies inflexibly even in the context of child sexual abuse, was devised more than 2000 years ago," the report found.
Royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan. Photo: Jeremy Piper
The Jehovah's Witnesses approach to handling claims internally was not appropriate for children or survivors of sexual abuse, the report found.
"Survivors are offered little or no choice in how their complaint is addressed, sanctions are weak with little regard to the risk of the perpetrator re-offending."
The head of the Jehovah's Witness community's service desk, Rodney Spinks, is considering the report and is expected respond on Monday afternoon.
By Guest Nicole
Legislators ‘need to stopÂ’ working for institutions
Dave Kohler, of Allentown, was abused by an ordained minister in the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in November 1965. He was 9 years old.Â
When Kohler was 17, his abuser told him to never talk about the abuse again.Â
Â“So I obeyed and kept my mouth shut,Â” Kohler said.Â
HeÂ’s been coming to Harrisburg for about five years to show his support for statute of limitations reform. Â“Individuals vote them in, and then they work for institutions,Â” Kohler said of the state legislators. Â“That needs to stop.Â”
If reform is passed that would allow Kohler the opportunity to sue his abuser, Kohler said he knows what he would do with any money he could collect.
Â“I will hopefully be able to afford therapy,Â” he said.
Dave Kohler, who said he was abused by an ordained minister in the Jehovah's Witnesses in Kutztown and Emmaus, talks about his experience, during the demonstration for statute of limitations reform to the state's childhood sexual abuse laws at the state capitol in Harrisburg on Monday.Â (Photo: Paul Kuehnel, York Daily Record)
By The Librarian
This cover up goes all the way up to the Vatican!
The Vatican is not even respondingÂ
By Jack Ryan
Watchtower 1964 January 15 pp.63-4 Questions from Readers
According to the Bible at Deuteronomy 22:23-27, an Israelite engaged girl threatened with rape was required to scream. What is the position of a Christian woman today if faced with a similar situation? Is she to scream even if an attacker threatens her life with a weapon?-M. U., United States.
According to God's law an Israelite girl was under obligation to scream: "In case there happened to be a virgin girl engaged to a man, and a man actually found her in the city and lay down with her, you must also bring them both out to the gate of that city and pelt them with stones, and they must die, the girl for the reason that she did not scream in the city, and the man for the reason that he humiliated the wife of his fellow man." If, however, the attack took place in a field and the woman screamed and thus tried to get away from the attacker, she was not to be stoned, since she was overpowered and there was no one to rescue her.-Deut. 22:23-27.
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. It plainly says she should scream; hence, oppose the attack regardless of the circumstances. If she was overpowered and perhaps knocked unconscious and violated before help came in answer to her screams, she could not be held accountable. The thought of the scriptures apparently is that the girl's screaming, by attracting neighborhood attention, would frighten off her assailant and would save her, even though he threatened her life for not quietly complying with his wishes and passionate desires.
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. The Christian woman who wants to keep clean and obey God's commandments, then, if faced with this situation today, needs to be courageous and to act on the suggestion made by the Scriptures and scream. Actually this counsel is for her welfare; for, if she should submit to the man's passionate wishes, she would not only be consenting to fornication or adultery, but be plagued by the shame. There would be shame, not only from the repulsiveness of the experience, but of having been coerced into breaking God's law by having sex connections with one other than a legal marriage mate. Not only that, but she might become an unwed mother, or she may contract a terrible disease from her morally debased attacker.
It is true that a woman faces the possibility her assailant will carry out his threat; but, then, what guarantee does she have that such a desperate criminal would not kill her after satisfying his passion? In fact, such a one, perhaps already hunted by the law, may be more likely to kill her after the attack, since she would then have had a greater opportunity to identify him and would therefore be in a better position to supply a description of him to the authorities. In such case, following the Scriptural counsel of screaming could well save one's life by attracting attention and driving the attacker away at the outset, instead of causing him to feel that he must get rid of his victim for fear of being identified later.
In most instances it is doubtless a matter of calling the assailant's bluff, since the girl's screams could result in his arrest for attempted rape. Also, if he carried out his threat and committed murder, he would face the likelihood of apprehension and conviction for this even more serious offense. Of course, there is the possibility that instead of fleeing immediately, the attacker may strike his victim or inflict a superficial wound to silence the screams, yet would not the endurance of such physical punishment be insignificant compared to the disgrace and shame of submitting to an immoral man?
A Christian woman is entitled to fight for her virginity or marital fidelity to the death. Just how best she can defend herself against anyone who wants to defile her depends upon her courage and quick wits. At least, as has been mentioned, she should first try to frighten off the would-be rapist by screaming and making as loud and noisy a spectacle of the matter as she possibly can, in order to summon any convenient aid. This being unavailing, then she has a right to defend her virtue by whatever means she can.
The morals of this generation have indeed sunk to an unprecedented low, just as Bible prophecy foretold for these last days. The fact that over 15,000 women a year, about one every half hour, are raped in the United States alone emphasizes this fact. It also serves as a warning to women that they should exercise care so as to avoid dangerous situations. Since women are almost always attacked when they are alone, they should arrange to have a companion along, especially when they are out after dark. And in localities where it is considered dangerous for women even during daylight hours, women should not go out alone but should take along a companion. God's Word says: "If somebody could overpower one alone, two together could make a stand against him. And a threefold cord cannot quickly be torn in two." (Eccl. 4:12) For a Christian woman to persist in going out alone in a city or locality where women are frequently attacked is to invite trouble and needlessly endanger life. It is the part of wisdom to give thought to what could happen in a given situation and then take the necessary precautions. The wise person foresees danger and takes steps to avoid it. "The shrewd one considers his steps."-Prov. 14:15.
Watchtower 1968 June 1 pp.345-50 The Christian's View of Self-Defense
If you are a Christian woman, what should you do if, in spite of all precautions, you are set upon by a rapist? If you cannot deter him by reasoning, or by calling upon the name of Jehovah, then what? As a Christian you are under obligation to resist. This resistance includes screaming and creating as much disturbance as possible to try to frighten off the attacker and attract help. If the attack continues and you cannot break free to flee, then you would be justified even to inflict damage on your assailant if necessary. Resistance is imperative, because the rapist is after, not just money, but your virtue. An issue of integrity to Jehovah's laws is involved here. So by no means would it be proper quietly to submit to rape, as that would be consenting to fornication. -1 Thess. 4:3.
The principle is like that set out at Deuteronomy chapter 22. There it states: "In case there happened to be a virgin girl engaged to a man, and a man actually found her in the city and lay down with her, you must also bring them both out to the gate of that city and pelt them with stones, and they must die." Why would the girl have died under that Law covenant? The scripture continues: "The girl for the reason that she did not scream in the city." If she did not make the effort to scream, she was viewed as consenting to fornication. But if the woman screamed and resisted and nonetheless was overpowered, then she was not guilty of complicity: "The girl . . . screamed, but there was no one to rescue her."-Deut. 22:23-27.
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.
Christian women are wise if they do all they can to avoid making themselves targets for rapists. Knowing that the morals of this generation are sinking to new lows, take every precaution. In unsafe areas avoid traveling alone after dark. As Ecclesiastes 4:12 states: "If somebody could overpower one alone, two together could make a stand against him. And a threefold cord cannot quickly be torn in two." Also consider how you dress. If a woman adopts the provocative, suggestive styles of dress now so prevalent, she indicates that she is a woman of loose morals, and in so doing she may invite trouble.
Awake! 1974 March 8 pp.13-16 Faced with the Threat of Rape
Scream! Scream! Scream! Is that good advice? It certainly is. Just how good this advice is can be seen from what happened on November 12, 1973, in one of Brooklyn's largest hotels.
Threatened with Rape
The rapist was a well-dressed man. He had the physique of a football player, being well over six feet tall and weighing about 250 pounds. He took the elevator to the tenth floor of the hotel and there began to molest a middle-aged woman tenant, who managed to escape his clutches by screaming. She at once called the police, who came but were unable to locate him in the building, he having fled to lower floors.
On the second floor he saw two fine young women housekeepers who asked him if they could help him. "Yes, you can," he said, and, pulling out a gun, ordered them into one of the rooms, upon which he double-locked the door. He assured them that they would not get hurt so long as they did not make any noise. He said that he needed a place to hide until things cooled off downstairs and that he would keep them there for an hour.
These two young women happened to be Christian ministers and they began to make conversation so as to release the tension. One of them asked him if they could read while they were waiting. He said Yes, and so she took a Bible study aid that was in reach, handed another to the other woman and started a Bible discussion on the subject of how long Noah had preached before the flood came, it being a subject that had come up the day before in her Christian field ministry. She noted that it must have been about forty years, but the man thought it had been about 200 years. From that discussion they went on to such subjects as the name of God, Jehovah, and the kingdom for which Jesus taught his followers to pray. They also told him that they were Christian witnesses of Jehovah and about the high standards of conduct the Witnesses have. The two women were not particularly frightened, for it seemed much like a typical Bible discussion that these girls often had, especially as the man kept expressing his own opinions on these subjects.
But after about forty-five minutes things suddenly took a disquieting turn. He looked at his watch and said that he would have to tie them up so as to give him time to get away. Although they assured him that it was not necessary, he ordered one of them to sit on the floor in a closet, upon which he tied her feet with a necktie, and her hands behind her back. He then turned off the light in the closet and closed the door. He ordered the other into the bathroom but then changed his mind and, warning her not to scream or yell, he reached for the zipper on her blouse. She exclaimed: "No! No! Not that!" and told him that if he touched her she would scream as he had never heard anyone scream before and that if he was going to shoot he might as well go ahead and shoot because if she did not scream she would be as good as dead anyhow.
She told him that marriage was honorable before God and that she was married, but that what he wanted to do was not honorable. Also, that if she did not scream she would ruin her relationship with Jehovah God and the Christian congregation; that then she would be disfellowshiped or excommunicated from it and that this would be worse than being killed as far as she was concerned. He looked puzzled. He did not understand and so asked her to repeat what she had said, which she did, scared and shaking though she was. As she later explained: "The situation sickened me and the mere thought of it all was so disgusting that I knew what I had to do." After all of this he again tried to put his arms around her, upon which she moved away, saying, "Don't you touch me or come near me."
This calls to mind a statement made by the Dallas, Texas, police department, namely, that "a woman's best defenses" are, among other things, "her wits" and "a scream."
Yes, this young woman in the Brooklyn hotel used her wits by courageously using her knowledge of the Bible, thereby diverting the would-be rapist from his evil intent. As a result, he pursued the matter no further with these two women but left after first ordering them not to leave the room for fifteen minutes.
Frustrated a second time, this rapist was not giving up. Coming out into the hallway, he saw another fine young woman and began engaging her in conversation, asking where the elevators were, the nature of the rooms on the floor, and so forth. Suddenly he moved close to her and tried to push her into one of the rooms the door of which was open.
What could she do? He was every bit a foot taller than she was and weighed at least twice as much. She did what the Bible indicates a young woman should do: she screamed, louder than she had ever screamed before. (Deut. 22:23-27) This was wholly unexpected by the rapist. Startled, he ran down the steps at the end of the hallway.
As the three young women told their story at the police station, their hearers, increasing from three to eight men and two policewomen, marveled at what they heard. They could not get over it that two of these young women had talked about the Bible to a would-be rapist. One of the women officers asked for more information about the beliefs of Jehovah's witnesses and stated that if more women took such a determined and firm stand there would be fewer such crimes.
Why the Increase?
The foregoing experience in a Brooklyn hotel last November is but one instance of this social crime that is increasing on every hand. And that increase is very real. As the editor of America's Campus Law Enforcement Journal said about this increase: "It's not just a question of more women reporting it. It has happened."
No doubt one of the main reasons for rapes has ever been the extreme selfishness of men who refuse to control their mating instinct. As Dr. Ralph Garofalo, of Massachusetts' Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Sexually Dangerous Persons, put it: 'Normal men find a socially acceptable outlet for their desires, while the rapist loses sight of all moral or legal considerations.' But why the great increase of rape in modern times and in recent years?
Discussing the reasons, a Seattle, Washington, police official in charge of the city's sex-crime investigation department stated: "Our whole moral climate, our attitudes toward sex and the dress of the women have to be causes." He also stated that the 'increased exposure to pornography has contributed to the rise in reported rapes.'
Womankind must share the blame. To begin with, until the age of five or six years, the most vital period, little boys have their personalities molded largely by women, their mothers. And as they grow up, it is usually the mother that has the most opportunities to inculcate in her son respect for womankind, both by word and by example. But far too many mothers have come short in this regard. Especially and specifically blameworthy are those female relatives, such as an aunt or even a mother, who have used boys as sexual playthings, thereby starting them on a road that leads to their having aggressive feelings toward women.
A new American motion picture star who aims to occupy the place once held by America's previous sex symbol brags about her charms and about her ability to arouse men by displaying herself in motion pictures. Such actresses must also share in the blame for the increase in rapes, for after men have seen them on the screen they frequently go out and attack a woman who may be a paragon of virtue. ...
The New York Times, November 26, 1973, told of two fifteen-year-old girls being forced, shortly after midnight, into a store by an employee of the store who kept them for four hours and repeatedly raped one of them until the police came and rescued the girls and arrested the kidnapper and rapist. But what business did two teen-age girls have on the streets around midnight?
And never should a single woman, or even two, for that matter, take a chance on hitchhiking with a strange man. Many have done so, to be not only raped, but even murdered.
Further, in view of the way that many men think, each virtuous woman should be careful to dress modestly. According to the Seattle, Washington, police lieutenant in charge of the department dealing with such crimes, women who "reveal everything" in the way they dress make themselves more vulnerable to rape. "You can't advertise a commodity and expect no buyers . . . A little modesty," he holds, would prevent some rapes.
Watchtower 1980 October 15 p.7 Avoiding the Tragedy of Rape
Back in March 1974, Awake! magazine described how a man with a gun had held two of Jehovah's Witnesses prisoner in a hotel room. As he reached for the zipper on one girl's blouse, she exclaimed: "No! No! Not that!" She told him that if he touched her she would scream as he had never heard anyone scream before. She explained that if she did not she would ruin her relationship with Jehovah God and the Christian congregation. (Compare Deuteronomy 22:22-29.) Her firm demand: "Don't you touch me or come near me" kept the rapist at bay.
This woman did the Scripturally proper thing, which actually is the best thing to do. A Christian woman is under obligation to resist, for the issue of obedience to God's law to "flee from fornication" is involved. (1 Cor. 6:18) By no means would it be proper for her willingly to submit to being raped.
Awake! 1984 February 22 pp.24-7 They Resisted Rapists
GENERALLY rapists try to get a woman in some isolated place where people are not around. At times they have a weapon and threaten to use it if the victim does not cooperate. Should a Christian quietly submit?
No, the situation is not the same as when a man simply is asking for money or other material possessions. A woman wisely would give him these. But the rapist is asking a person to break God's law by committing fornication. Under such circumstances a Christian is obligated to resist. -1 Corinthians 6:18.
'But could not resistance be dangerous?' someone may ask. Yes, it could be. Yet it may well be more dangerous not to resist, as a teacher of rape self-defense notes: "He just may kill you when he's done so you can't identify him later."
The comments of a leading spokeswoman on rape are noteworthy. She said: "Despite the popular myths of male violence and the alleged safety in submission, it has never been demonstrated that resistance on the part of a rape victim in an attempt to escape 'provokes' an assailant to commit an act of murder." The following experience illustrates this.
Two young women were in a Laundromat when a man came in and at gunpoint herded them into a room in the rear of the building. He ordered them to undress. They refused, praying aloud to Jehovah God for help. Finally, they told the now-confused gunman that they were Jehovah's Witnesses and that it was against their religious belief to do what he was demanding; they would not do it even if he shot them. Result? The frustrated gunman fled.
Treat Him Respectfully
The intended victim should remember that the rapist is a human. No doubt there are circumstances in his life that have precipitated his behavior. So although a woman should not cower in fear and permit a rapist to intimidate her, at the same time she should treat him understandingly, as a fellow human. A woman who lived in a housing project in New York City writes:
"I usually am careful when going into elevators. As usual, I checked this one out before entering, and all was OK. However, just before the door closed completely, a big man grabbed the door and opened it to come into the elevator with me. As he entered he threw a six-pack of beer at me, and I caught it. It took me by surprise.
"As the door closed he turned his back to me to do something with his pants. Then he turned around and faced me. I didn't look down at his pants but looked him in the eyes. I threw his six-pack of beer back to him, and said, 'Here is your beer.'
"At this moment, before he could do anything, I started to talk. I said I was one of Jehovah's Witnesses and was going up to the 13th floor to have a Bible study with a family who was waiting for me. I just kept talking and told him about our Bible educational work. We were half way up to the 13th floor by now, and as I kept right on talking I showed no fear, looking him straight in the eyes. Then a funny thing happened. He began to say that he loved the Bible and that he was from the South and his family loved God too.
"Meanwhile, we had reached the 13th floor, and he opened the door to let me out. He asked me if I would do him the honor of shaking his hand. I did, and he practically shook it off. Then he said he wanted to thank me because I was the first white woman that hadn't looked at him with scorn in her eyes, and that I was sincere in talking with him. He then said good-bye and wished me good luck on my Bible study."
Resisting in One's Home
Rapes that occur in one's own home can be particularly traumatic, since the surroundings are a constant reminder of the event. How much better, therefore, for one to resist! A mother who was able to avoid being raped in her home in Detroit, Michigan, tells how she did it.
"It was 5:30 a.m. when I was awakened by the sound of footsteps. At first I was unsure from which direction they were coming. I looked at my watch and saw that it was too early for my oldest daughter to be getting ready for school. My husband is a traveling musician and was away. I had been asleep downstairs. Since I knew no one was upstairs, I decided the sounds were coming from the front porch. So I turned on the porch light. Immediately I heard footsteps run down the stairs, and when I turned, there stood a strange man.
"Because the man had his hand inside his coat, as if he had a gun, I said, 'If you are going to kill me, do it.' He said he had a gun and would shoot me if I did not do everything he commanded. He told me to turn off all the lights and sit on the couch. I turned off the lights but refused to sit on the couch. He said he would kill me if I did not let him rape me. Then he started pushing me to the couch, so I quoted Matthew 16:26, which says: 'For what benefit will it be to a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits his soul? or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?'
"The man stopped pushing me and asked what the scripture meant. So I explained that if I resisted him and remained faithful to my God and my husband, and was killed for this faithfulness, I would have a hope of being resurrected to a Paradise earth and everlasting life. But if I gave in and he raped me, I would eventually die and have no hope of a resurrection.
"The intruder knew he was not going to talk me into letting him rape me, so he started pulling at my clothing. I remembered the scripture at Deuteronomy chapter 22 that says if you are attacked in the city and do not scream it is considered the same as consenting. I then said very loudly, 'Stop! Please! No! Don't do that! Mister, please leave my house!'
Awake! 1984 June 8 p.28 From Our Readers
I was deeply disturbed by the article "They Resisted Rapists." I am very upset that anyone would even consider a victim of rape guilty of fornication. The scripture at Deuteronomy that you quote only requires that the woman scream, not fight to the death! C. W., Indiana
Your article "They Resisted Rapists" disturbed me very much. I was raped by a man who attacked me with a knife. I could only scream once because of being choked and having a large hand pressed against my mouth. I fought until I was unconscious. Because I survived, it disturbs me that it is fornication on my part. You say to show a rapist respect. These men show no respect for their victim. They don't care that they are shattering a woman, leaving in her memory horror for the rest of her life. Unless you have personally experienced the horror of this crime, you can never truly understand. A. G., Massachusetts
For the victim to be considered guilty of fornication there would need to be proof of willing consent. Apparently the requirement of Deuteronomy 22:25-27 for the woman to resist by screaming would clear her from any suspicion of such consent on her part.
Awake! 1986 May 22 p.23 "Now You Are Going to Die!"
Why you should resist an attacker from the first moment:
1. Attacker may be startled and leave you
2. You may incapacitate attacker and be able to flee
3. Attacker may lose sexual urge or tire out and retreat
4. You can attract others to assist you
5. Your conscience will be clear. (Even if you are raped, you will not sacrifice your self-respect or cleanness before God)
6. Injuries you inflict on an attacker will help police identify him later (for example, bits of his skin under your fingernails)
Awake! 1989 August 22 p.24 RapeProtected by What She Read
WHAT should you do if confronted by a rapist? There is conflicting advice. Some claim that resistance only goads on an attacker, yet the Bible indicates a woman should resist. (Deuteronomy 22:23-27) What is the best advice?
A new study published in the January issue of The American Journal of Public Health suggests resistance. The article says: "The empirical research converges to support one important conclusion: resistance reduces the probability of an assault being completed." What happened last September to a woman in Japan illustrates this. She had just returned late at night to her home, where she lives alone. She explains:
"A rapist came into my house and locked the door. Because of being taken by surprise and being so terrified, I completely froze. The man tried to pull me into the bedroom, but I grabbed a pillar and resisted him.
"It was then that I remembered the scripture in Deuteronomy chapter 22. It says that if a woman does not cry out when attacked, it indicates she is submitting to the man and is committing a sin against Jehovah. Also, I remembered what I read in the Awake! article 'RapeHow Can You Protect Yourself?'October 8, 1980, Japanese edition; July 8, 1980, English edition.
"Anyway, I thought: 'I have got to scream and resist him for all I'm worth.' So I shouted: 'Jehovah, help me!' over and over again and kept it up. When the rapist pulled my hands to the right, I pulled to the left. When he pulled me forward, I pulled back, and when he covered my mouth to try to stop me from screaming, I bit him. At any rate, I kept on resisting him.
"Gradually I got tired. It was getting difficult for me to breathe, and I thought my heart was going to stop, but I continued to do all I could to resist him and kept on calling out to Jehovah to help me. As a result, the rapist gave up, walked hurriedly to the door, and went out.
"I believe that I was able to avoid being raped because of Jehovah's help and because of applying what I had read in Awake! Had I not read the Awake! article, I think that out of fear I would have kept quiet and most likely done just as the criminal said. Thank you very, very much."
Awake! 1980 July 8 pp.5-6 The Growing Terror of Rape
How Most Victims React
Understandably, a woman faced with the threat of rape may be terrified. In fact, two Boston College professors, after interviews with 80 rape victims, noted: "The primary reaction of almost all women to the rape was fear." And the problem is that such fear can be paralyzing.
The illustration was given by a rape victim: "Did you ever see a rabbit stuck in the glare of your headlights when you were going down a road at night? Transfixed-like it knew it was going to get it-that's what happened."
Often coupled with the fear is confusion and uncertainty. For example, a 19-year-old explained: "I never physically fought him off in any way, partly because I was frightened, mostly because in my navet I thought a girl has to do what she's told. . . . I was overwhelmingly confused and defenseless against the whole suddenness."
She reacted as many others have under similar circumstances. She submitted. Few are prepared to resist-to resist for all they are worth. Elizabeth R. Dobell, writing in the magazine Seventeen, made the surprising revelation: "In only one of the 4,057 rape cases reported in New York City in 1974 was there an act of resistance. . . . Profound terror in the face of physical threats simply renders most women helpless."
Watchtower 1983 March 15 pp.30-1 Honor Godly Marriage!
What do we understand here by "fornication"? The Greek word in this text is porneia. ... A male or a female who is forcibly raped would not be guilty of porneia.
Awake! 1986 September 22 p.28 From Our Readers
Thank you for your article "Now You Are Going to Die!" (May 22, 1986) I might note some concerns about the advice given, however. Some rapists are very angry and sadistic in their approach and come armed with weapons and the intent to use them if there is the least provocation. Our Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault suggests resistance, but if the woman is paralyzed by fear or her instincts tell her not to resist, we recognize that as appropriate . We would rather have someone live through the experience than be killed or seriously mutilated. P. R., United States
The Bible does support the thought that a woman attacked by a rapist should scream and resist. True, the woman has to respond according to her assessment of the danger to her life, and we believe that is covered in the advice given in the box on page 23 (May 22, 1986). It should be kept in mind that submitting to rape gives no guarantee that the victim will not be beaten or killed afterward. See the article "They Resisted Rapists" in our issue of February 22, 1984.-ED.
Awake! 1993 March 8 pp.4-5 The Reality of Rape
Rape myths create a false sense of security. In other words, if you can find some fault in the victim's behavior-she dressed in tight clothing or she went out alone at night or she really wanted to have sexual relations-you or your loved ones will be safe if that conduct is avoided; therefore you will never be raped. The alternative, that rape is a senseless act of violence that can happen to anybody, regardless of how she is dressed, is too terrifying to accept.
One woman, raped by someone she thought of as "nice, respectable," pleads: "The worst possible thing you can do is believe it won't happen to you."
Rape Myths and Realities
The following are some of the long-held misconceptions about rape that serve to blame the victim and to perpetuate attitudes that encourage the perpetrators:
Myth: Rape happens only when a woman is attacked by a stranger.
Fact: The majority of women who are raped are assaulted by someone they know and had trusted. One study found that 84 percent of victims knew their attackers and that 57 percent of the rapes happened on dates. One out of 7 married women will be raped by her own husband. Rapes are violent and emotionally traumatic whether the attacker is a stranger, a spouse, or a date.
Myth: It's rape only if a woman afterward shows evidence of resistance, such as bruises.
Fact: Whether they physically resisted or not, few women show visible evidence, such as bruises or cuts.
Myth: A rape victim bears part of the blame unless she actively resists.
Fact: Rape by definition takes place when force or the threat of force is used to gain sexual penetration, of any kind whatsoever, against a person's will. It is the rapist's use of force against an unwilling victim that makes him a rapist. Thus, a rape victim is not guilty of fornication. Like an incest victim, she may be forced to submit to an act she doesn't want because of the perceived power held over her by another person. When a woman is forced to submit to a rapist out of terror or disorientation, it does not mean that she consents to the act. Consent is based on choice without threat and is active, not passive.
Myth: Rape is an act of passion.
Fact: Rape is an act of violence. Men rape, not solely for sex, but to feel power over another person.
Myth: A woman can tease or lead a man on to the point that he can no longer control his sexual urges.
Fact: Men who rape do not have a stronger sex drive than other men have. Rather, one third of all rapists were unable to complete the sex act. In most cases rapes are planned acts, not spontaneous urges. Both stranger and acquaintance rapists usually set up their victims-the stranger by stalking the victim until she is alone, the acquaintance by arranging a situation where she is isolated.
Myth: Women lie about rape to get revenge on a man or because they feel guilty about having sex.
Fact: False reports of rape occur at the same rate as for any other violent crime: 2 percent. On the other hand, researchers agree that rape is grossly underreported.
Myth: A woman can "ask" to be raped by wearing provocative clothing, drinking alcohol, letting a man pay her way, or going to his home.
Fact: Using bad judgment, being naive or ignorant, does not mean that a woman deserves to be raped. Rapists bear sole responsibility for the rape.
Watchtower 2003 February 1 pp.30-31 Questions From Readers
Why does the Bible say that a person should scream if threatened with rape?
Anyone who has not personally experienced the horror of being brutally assaulted by a rapist can never truly understand how it can shatter one's life. The experience is so terrifying for the victim that it may trouble her for the rest of her life.* A young Christian woman who was attacked by a rapist some years ago relates: "Words cannot express the sheer terror I felt that night or the trauma I've had to overcome since." Understandably, many prefer not even to think about this frightening subject. Yet, the threat of rape is a reality in this wicked world.
The Bible does not shy from recounting some cases of rape and attempted rape that occurred in the past. (Genesis 19:4-11; 34:1-7; 2 Samuel 13:1-14) But it also offers counsel on what one should do when threatened with rape. What the Law says on the matter is found at Deuteronomy 22:23-27. This covers two situations. In the first case, a man found a young woman in a city and lay down with her. Even so, the woman did not scream or cry for help. Consequently, it was determined that she was guilty "for the reason that she did not scream in the city." If she had cried out, people nearby might have been able to come to her rescue. In the second instance, a man found a young woman in the countryside, where he "grabbed hold of her and lay down with her." In defense, the woman "screamed, but there was no one to rescue her." Unlike the woman in the first instance, this woman clearly did not give in to the actions of the attacker. She actively resisted him, crying for help, but she was overpowered. Her screaming proved that she was an unwilling victim; she was not guilty of wrongdoing.
Although Christians today are not under the Mosaic Law, the principles mentioned therein provide them with guidance. The above account underscores the importance of resisting and screaming for help. Screaming when threatened with rape is still viewed as a practical course. One expert on crime prevention stated: "If a woman is attacked, her best weapon is still her lungs." A woman's screaming may attract others, who can then assist her, or it may startle an attacker and make him leave. A young Christian woman who was attacked by a rapist stated: "I screamed with all my might, and he backed off. When he came toward me again, I screamed and ran. In the past I had often thought, 'How can screaming help me when some big man grabs me with only one thing on his mind?' But I've learned that it works!"
Even in the sad case where a woman is overpowered and raped, her struggle and screaming for help is not in vain. On the contrary, it establishes that she did all she possibly could to resist her attacker. (Deuteronomy 22:26) Despite going through this ordeal, she can still have an undefiled conscience, self-respect, and the assurance that she is clean in God's eyes. The horrifying experience might leave her with emotional wounds, but knowing that she did all she could to resist the attack will greatly contribute to her gradual healing.
In understanding the application of Deuteronomy 22:23-27, we must realize that this brief account does not cover all possible situations. For example, it does not comment on the situation where the attacked woman cannot scream because she is mute, unconscious, or paralyzed with fear or is forcibly prevented from screaming by a hand or tape over her mouth. However, since Jehovah is able to weigh all factors, including motives, he deals with understanding and justice in such cases, for "all his ways are justice." (Deuteronomy 32:4) He is aware of what actually took place and of the efforts the victim put forth to fight off her attacker. Therefore, a victim who was unable to scream but otherwise did all she could under the circumstances can leave matters in Jehovah's hands. Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7.
Even so, some Christian women who have been attacked and violated are incessantly pained by feelings of guilt. In hindsight, they feel that they should have done more to prevent the incident from happening. However, instead of blaming themselves, such victims can pray to Jehovah, ask for his help, and have confidence in his abundant loving-kindness.Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:5.
Hence, Christian women who are presently coping with emotional wounds resulting from an encounter with a rapist can be confident that Jehovah fully understands the painful feelings they are dealing with. God's Word assures them: "Jehovah is near to those that are broken at heart; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves." (Psalm 34:18) Further help to cope with their trauma can come from accepting the sincere understanding and gentle support of fellow believers in the Christian congregation. (Job 29:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:14) Moreover, the victims' own efforts to concentrate on positive thoughts will help them to experience "the peace of God that excels all thought."Philippians 4:6-9.
[*Footnote] Although this article speaks about female victims, the principles discussed also apply to males who are threatened with rape.
The flocking of many humans to worship Jehovah with his people in this time of the end was foretold by two ancient prophets. Isaiah prophesied: “Many peoples will go and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ For law will go out of Zion, and the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem.” (Isa. 2:2, 3)
If, therefore, we wish to benefit from Jehovah’s protection during the great tribulation, we must recognize that Jehovah has a people on earth, organized into congregations. We must continue to take our stand with them and remain closely associated with our local congregation. With all our hearts, may we join the psalmist in proclaiming: “Salvation belongs to Jehovah. Your blessing is upon your people.” —Ps. 3:8.
Protection? Blessings? Have you considered how a victim of abuse feels about this?
Tell me, JWs, when the court systems of the world must alert and teach JWs to show compassion and righteous judgment to victims of child abuse, where is the “law that goes out from Zion” – GOD’S LAW?
Does this organization protect and nurture, through the teaching of God’s law which is far superior than any court law of the land? The “law” is found in the hearts of the anointed priests and kings that YOU refuse to recognize due to your submission to a Harlot/false prophet/ Wicked Slave; and her muscle, the elder body carrying out their own version of God’s laws. Isa 43:10; I Pet 2:5,9,10; Heb 8:10; Rev 13:1,6,7,11,14-17; Matt 24:48-51
WAKE UP! It can’t be excused away that this organization IS Zion, yet offers no protection or blessing from the true God, YHWH. It is all, a delusion. 2 Thess 2:9-12
Mount Zion, in all its glory, is NOT FOUND IN SATAN’S WORLD, called the “mountainlike organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses” but in the hearts of righteous faithful anointed ones, who LEAVE THIS LIE BEHIND. Many others, have found it to be “neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, the now “apostate city” of Harlots and their hardened hearts. 2 Chron 7:14 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:21-24
“What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’” Zech 4:7
“The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.” Rev 8:8,9
It is blasphemy to believe that the cornerstone of God’s Zion/Temple (1 Pet 2:6) and his fulfillment of the “law” based on love, would approve of such twisting of God’s decrees, by men who trust only in themselves. Isa 2:22
YHWH’s Genuine Mountain – Pearl Doxsey 4womaninthewilderness
edited for sentence structure
By Jack Ryan
A message to young people in this weeks Watchtower Study paragraph 12:
How to use the website jw.org to guide you answering a peer asking “Why do you believe in god?”
The answer to that question can and should not be guided. If the question was about the flood or the end of the world then yes, use a textbook answer that can be “researched” on the website.
But a personal question like that shouldn’t need to be guided from any outside source. If you have a real faith or belief in a higher power then you wouldn’t need an outside source to help you explain that.
This is in response to Jack Ryan's thread entitled, "...the angel of Jehovah camps all around those fearing him" https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/57218-“’the-angel-of-jehovah-camps-all-around-those-fearing-him’/
It concerns the leaked Attendant Training Videos, of which I saw only a condensed review of them. The speaker of the training video remarks:"
“Well, with a warm smile, you have the privilege to welcome all to a place of worship where the atmosphere is like a spiritual oasis in a parched land, and by taking the initiative to offer a helping hand you can be like those streams of cool water that bring refreshment to all. And by promoting a safe and peaceful environment you can provide a place of concealment for all f our invited guests…It’s as if our great host Jehovah has extended his welcoming arms by means of you, so that everyone in attendance will feel like they have entered a house that is safe and secure. Remember, too, you will not be working alone in behalf of God’s people. Psalm 34:7 assures us, the angel of Jehovah camps all around those fearing him, so by means of his powerful angels, Jehovah can shield his faithful worshipers from harm, “IF IT BE HIS WILL”.
Jack Ryan's comment:
“It appears that it wasn’t/isn’t Jehovah’s will to protect children from being sexually abused within His own congregations. It appears that these powerful angels are shielding no one, if He isn’t protecting these most vulnerable amongst us.
Frankly, it appears that it isn’t Jehovah’s will to protect His people in general.”
“IF IT BE HIS WILL”
Temperamental god, this “Jehovah”. Would a God of love be so fickle?
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.’” Ps 91:1,2
The true God, YHWH, that I am coming to know keeps His promises toward His faithful ones. If this speaker has doubts and feels the need to add an addendum to Ps 34:7, he is fully aware of the organization’s risky status in Russia and other countries, or he is reflecting on the rampant child abuse situation that the Watchtower unashamedly refuses to concretely address. Jer 8:11,12; Eph 5:11 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jer+8%3A11%2C12%3B+Eph+5%3A11&version=NKJV
The video is playing out a “showy display” of compassion and love before the masses, outweighing the hidden lack of it, which results from transgressing God’s requirements. Eph 5:6,8,9 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Eph+5%3A6%2C8%2C9&version=NKJV
To be found “faithful” with the Father, we submit to His discipline and refinement. We prove ourselves worthy of His protection by following Christ’s Words. Zech 13:9; Mal 3:2-4; Heb 12:6 It is not God’s will that we rely on a corrupt organization for protection. Ps 26:4,5 It is His will that we rely on Him and His Son. Joel 2:12,13; Isa 48:17,18 Nowhere in the scriptures are we told to turn to an earthly image – a god of fortress for protection during the end times. (1 Sam 7:3) Dan 11:38,39; Rev 13:1,5-8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Zech+13%3A9%3B+Mal+3%3A2-4%3B+Heb+12%3A6%3BPs+26%3A4%2C5%3B++Joel+2%3A12%2C13%3B+Isa+48%3A17%2C18%3B+1+Sam+7%3A3%3B+Dan+11%3A38%2C39%3B+Rev+13%3A1%2C5-8++&version=NKJV
On the contrary, we are told to worship in spirit and truth and to seek out those Christ sends, at the same time to be on the lookout for false prophets. John 4:24;3:8; 16:13,14; Matt 23:34; John 13:20; Acts 17:24; Heb 9:11; Matt 7:15-20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+4%3A24%3B3%3A8%3B+16%3A13%2C14%3B+Matt+23%3A34%3B+John+13%3A20%3B+Acts+17%3A24%3B+Heb+9%3A11%3B+Matt+7%3A15-20&version=NKJV
Is “Jehovah’s CHARIOT” leading the sheep to truly love one another? All evidence of its past and present failings to protect the flock, point to “no”. Mark 12:29-31; Matt 22:40; John 15:9-14; Rom 13:8-10 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+12%3A29-31%3B+Matt+22%3A40%3B+John+15%3A9-14%3B+Rom+13%3A8-10&version=NKJV
Please, do not sweep the obvious under the carpet, JWs!
“…Love does NO HARM to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Rom 13:10
The trouble begins within the internal mechanism of the organization; the ruling elders, both the leaders and their henchmen; therein, is the source of all suffering, seen and unseen, happening within the Watchtower. Rev 8:10,11; Amos 5:7; Rev 9:1-4; Joel 2:1-10 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+8%3A10%2C11%3B+Amos+5%3A7%3B+Rev+9%3A1-4%3B+Joel+2%3A1-10++&version=NKJV
Watchtower 13/1/15 pg 27-31 “Rather than making rigid rules for the congregation, ELDERS rely on Scriptural principles and direction from Jehovah’s organization. After all, present-day elders are not the masters over their brothers’ faith. —1 Pet. 5:2, 3
In reality, scriptural principles are basically ignored, while direction from the organization dictates every working aspect of the Watchtower. We have proof of this with the leaders’ latest resolve to barely bend their rigid rules with child molestation cases. Isa 10:1,2 They are WITHOUT A DOUBT cruel masters over the faith of each JW through their restrictive decrees that conflict with the ordinances of the true God, founded on love and righteousness. Isa 29:13;Hab 1:4; 2 Cor 11:4,20;Col 2:20-22; Ps 89:14-17https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+10%3A1%2C2%3B+Isa+29%3A13%3BHab+1%3A4%3B+2+Cor+11%3A4%2C20%3BCol+2%3A20-22%3B+Ps+89%3A14-17+&version=NKJV
As a result, it is absolutely clear the organization does not follow God’s laws outlined by Christ and verified by scripture. Remembering that the governing body admit they are NOT INSPIRED by God’s Holy Spirit, (Wt 2017/2) Anthony Morris recently stated that the “theocratic organization” receives its decisions or “decrees” from God. Doesn’t it make you question the source of these decrees since God’s Holy Spirit does not “inspire” the governing body?
Quote: “When that direction comes out to Branch committee members, or when it comes out to the congregations; IF you want Jehovah’s blessing ON YOU as an individual or family, certainly as an ELDER or congregation, it’d be best to ask Jehovah to help you understand it, BUT OBEY THE DECISION.” (Joel 2:7)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joel+2%3A7&version=NKJV
Deut 4:2: “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”
John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
One of those long held unscriptural decrees is for the elders to stand/rule over the authentic priesthood of God and their companions, while charging them as conspirators for accepting Christ’s lead above the organizational format, resulting in a judgment of “death” by disfellowshipping. Ezek 44:6-9; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Matt 24:15; 2 Thess 2:3,4;Rev 13:5-7,11,12,15; 1 John 3:11,12 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+44%3A6-9%3B+1+Pet+2%3A5%2C9%3B+1+Cor+3%3A16%2C17%3B+Matt+24%3A15%3B+2+Thess+2%3A3%2C4%3BRev+13%3A5-7%2C11%2C12%2C15%3B+1+John+3%3A11%2C12&version=NKJV
God, who does not change His mind unlike “Jehovah’s organization”, PROMISES to be our shield and strength, IF we submit and follow HIS decrees through Christ, the head of the anointed Body. Deut 33:29; 2 Sam 22:31; Nahum 1:7 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+33%3A29%3B+2+Sam+22%3A31%3B+Nahum+1%3A7+&version=NKJV
The anointed priesthood of God has a purpose – to offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, to teach God’s laws written on their heart, admonish, direct, and heal, God’s sheep. Isa 43:21; 1 Pet 2:9; Rom 2:13,15; Heb 13:15; Rev 7:10; Isa 44:23; Ezek 44:23; Jer 23:22; Mal 2:7; Rom 8:19-22; Rev 22:1,2 Yet, they have been restrained by a Wicked Slave/Harlot/Wormwood/false prophet and its delegated army from doing so, creating within the Watchtower, a spiritually “parched land”, void of the knowledge of God’s ordinances. (Yes, all these characteristic titles are prophetically fulfilled by the governing body) Zeph 3:4; Amos 8:11; Joel 1:5-7; Rev 8:8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+43%3A21%3B+1+Pet+2%3A9%3B+Rom+2%3A13%2C15%3B+Heb+13%3A15%3B+Rev+7%3A10%3B+Isa+44%3A23%3B+Ezek+44%3A23%3B+Jer+23%3A22%3B+Mal+2%3A7%3B+Rom+8%3A19-22%3B+Rev+22%3A1%2C2%3B++.++Zeph+3%3A4%3B+Amos+8%3A11%3B+Joel+1%3A5-7%3B+Rev+8%3A8&version=NKJV
Can you imagine how God and Christ view the appointed Temple priesthood submitting to the rules of men and their handbook; and not to Christ and the laws written on their heart? Ezek 8:5,6 Those who are “ambassadors of Christ” are to work as one anointed Body, with each one a branch of the vine of Christ, which allows Holy Spirit to feed and direct the Body through all of its members. John 15:5-8; 1 Cor 12:20,25,26 Paul spoke of it as a “fearful responsibility” to carry the message of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5:11,19,20 (NLT) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+8%3A5%2C6%3B+John+15%3A5-8%3B+1+Cor+12%3A20%2C25%2C26%3B+2+Cor+5%3A11%2C19%2C20++&version=NKJV
Are the unanointed elders who “represent the royal priesthood”, the true “ambassadors” or representatives of Christ? In the first century, would Christ have condoned others to replace the apostles who are the foundations stones of his Temple Body? 1 Cor 3:10,11 Neither should men muscle aside the “living stones” of God’s Temple from performing their duties as Christ’s ambassadors. Ezek 34:20-23; Eph 2:20-22; John21:17; Luke12:42; Matt.5:14-15; Rev.1:20; Mal.2:7; Rev.22:6; John13:20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+34%3A20-23%3B+Eph+2%3A20-22%3B+John21%3A17%3B+Luke12%3A42%3B+Matt.5%3A14-15%3B+Rev.1%3A20%3B+Mal.2%3A7%3B+Rev.22%3A6%3B+John13%3A20+&version=NKJV
Can you imagine God’s disgust, as His priests continue to allow a Harlot/false prophet “decree” that they remain apart from one another, not seek one another out, not “study the Bible together”, passively swallowing such UNSCRIPTURAL lies, and allow themselves to be trampled down by them? Matt 24:15; 2 Thess 2:3,4,9-12; Rev 11:1-3; Joel 1:4,5; Eph 5:14-20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+24%3A15%3B+2+Thess+2%3A3%2C4%2C9-12%3B+Rev+11%3A1-3%3B+Joel+1%3A4%2C5%3B+Eph+5%3A14-20&version=NKJV
In each instance when God’s people in the past disregarded His ordinances, He “sent”, or allowed, discipline to fall on them. (Deut 8:1-6; Heb 12:11) Usually, it was in the form of an enemy’s stronghold. The “rod” of discipline this time, is the organization; specifically, the very army of elders who rule over them. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+8%3A1-6%3B+Heb+12%3A11&version=NKJV
The very army that chooses to ignore the plight of the helpless ones. Ps 89:30-32; Rev 3:19; Rev 9:1-11 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ps+89%3A30-32%3B+Rev+3%3A19%3B+Rev+9%3A1-11&version=NKJV
Joel 1:4 describes them as locust in all historic and individual stages of type and development.
That which the palmerworm hath left --- “a creeping locust without wings”-“to devour”…
…hath the locust eaten --- a locust “swarm”…
…and that which the locust hath left …
…hath the cankerworm eaten --- “a devourer; specifically, the young locust”…
…and that which the cankerworm hath left…
…hath the caterpiller eaten --- “a locust not yet winged” “the ravager”
Now, picture the locust swarm “released” by the Harlot/Wormwood to come against the anointed priesthood – against the Temple of God:
“Many Christian men apply that encouragement and make spiritual progress to qualify for privileges in the congregation. The result is that God’s people are blessed with TENS OF THOUSANDS of capable elders and ministerial servants. But because of the increase seen in the congregations, there is a need for more brothers to reach out.” Wt 14/9/15
FROM PEARL DOXSEY’S ARTICLE: “THE GREAT TRIBULATION – WHAT AND WHY”:
“The Great Tribulation is a spiritual assault by Satan upon the remnant, (Rev.12:17; 20:7-10; 16:13-16; 1Tim.4:1; Luke 21:20-22 t
through the greatest Army that has ever existed [Rev.13:1,4; 11:2; 9:7,10; Luke22:31; 21:20-22,24; Mark13:14 -(Num.18:7);Matt.24:15-16]
It has a deceptive priestly - princely veneer (Jer.7:4,8; Eze.44:6-9; Rev.9:7; Nahum 3:17)
of divine INSPIRATION*** and approval,through endorsement by the false prophet's lying spirit,
NOT by God's spirit! (Rev.13:14,15; 19:20) ("Disgusting Thing") (Rev.2:2;2Cor.11:13-15; 2Tim.3:5,13; Matt.7:15; 1Tim.4:1; Rev.16:14,13,15; 19:20; Matt.24:24,25; Rev.13:15--***"breath" -John20:22).
(*** False prophet produces a counterfeit of "God's SPIRIT - DIRECTED Organization")
[The AUTHENTIC Temple of God's spirit, is His Chosen, anointed priesthood (1Cor.3:16; 2Cor.6:16; 1Pet.2:10,9,5; Eph.2:20-22)]
God sends / allows this abomination, to assault and discipline His people (Isa.42:24; Dan.9:12; Joel 2:25 C; Joel 2:11; Mal.3:2;Zech.13:8-9; Eze.6:9-10; 14:22-23; Joel 3:17) (Zech.9:3; Rev.8:7; 9:18; Job 23:10), because in the time of the end,
GOD’S PEOPLE are tolerating, subjecting themselves to, and participating in IDOLIZING, the collective "Image" of that very Army (Rev.13:14-15,7-8; 2:20; Matt.24:24-25; Luke 21:24; Rev.14:12).
THAT IS WHY THEY ARE BEING TRAMPLED BY IT” (Ec.10:7; Prov.25:26; 2Cor.11:4,20; Matt.5:13; Luke 21:24,22; Rev.11:2;13:10,7 Isa.51:23; 2Cor.11:20,4,3,2; Mal.3:2-3; Zech.13:9; Rev.2:5; 3:3).
The love which results in righteous acts, simply does not exist in the organization since the climate of lawlessness has erased true justice. Deut 6:24,25 For those anointed who reject the GB that “substitutes” for Christ (NWT 2 Cor 5:20) ,turning instead to Jesus Christ to lead them directly; they are freed from the crushing weight of lawlessness – “ the disgusting thing standing in the holy place” – the elder body “standing” in/over the “living stones” of the Temple of God. 2Chron.13:9; 2Thess.2:4; Isa 43:10; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut++6%3A24%2C25%3B+2Chron.13%3A9%3B+2Thess.2%3A4%3B+Isa+43%3A10%3B+1+Pet+2%3A5%2C9%3B+1+Cor+3%3A16%2C17%3B+Eph+2%3A20-22++&version=NKJV
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with LAWLESSNESS? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the TEMPLE OF GOD with idols? For youare the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor 6:14-18
We are reminded during this time period, of “Who is like God”, since “Jehovah’s organization” with all its “temple” sublets, has seduced God’s people into idolatry and the transgression of God’s laws fulfilled in Christ. Deut 4:23,24; Isa 40:25; Dan 12:1; Rev 12:7-9; Rev 13:4; Gal 5:14 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+4%3A23%2C24%3B+Isa+40%3A25%3B+Dan+12%3A1%3B+Rev+12%3A7-9%3B+Rev+13%3A4%3B+Gal+5%3A14+&version=NKJV
Within Watchtower’s walls, instead of an angel of God camping all around those fearing Him, another angel – Belial - has surrounded the camp of holy ones, utilizing a Harlot/false prophet and the organization she so presently loves, to keep them captivated and inebriated on wormwood, and a false sense of peace and security. Matt 25:5; 22:8; Rev 18:3; 1 Cor 6:15; Jer 51:7; 1 Thess 5:3; Rev 20:9 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+25%3A5%3B+22%3A8%3B+Rev+18%3A3%3B+1+Cor+6%3A15%3B+Jer+51%3A7%3B+1+Thess+5%3A3%3B+Rev+20%3A9++&version=NKJV
13 “If you carefully obey my commands I am giving you today, to love the Lord your God and worship Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 I will provide rain for your land in the proper time, the autumn and spring rains, and you will harvest your grain, new wine, and fresh oil. 15 I will provide grass in your fields for your livestock. You will eat and be satisfied. 16 Be careful that you are not enticed to turn aside, serve, and bow in worship to other gods. 17 Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you. He will shut the sky, and there will be no rain; the land will not yield its produce, and you will perish quickly from the good land the Lord is giving you.
18 “Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates, 21 so that as long as the heavens are above the earth, your days and those of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your fathers. 22 For if you carefully observe every one of these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, and remain faithful to him— 23 the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will drive out nations greater and stronger than you are. 24 Every place the sole of your foot treads will be yours. Your territory will extend from the wilderness to Lebanon and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. 25 No one will be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put fear and dread of you in all the land where you set foot, as he has promised you.
26 “Look, today I set before you a blessing and a curse: 27 there will be a blessing, if you obey the commands of the Lord your God I am giving you today, 28 and a curse, if you do not obey the commands of the Lord your God and you turn aside from the path I command you today by following other gods you have not known. Deut 11:13-28
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that despite this informative document recently made available to download in several languages on the JW website, there is not too much of a mention of it by any of the opposers and "campaigners" against child abuse in the JW organization.
Here is the entire document:
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES’ SCRIPTURALLY BASED POSITION ON CHILD PROTECTION
Definitions: Child abuse may include neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse.
Child sexual abuse is a perversion and generally includes one or more of the following: sexual inter-course with a child; oral or anal sex with a child; fondling the genitals, breasts, or buttocks of a child; voyeurism of a child; indecent exposure to a child; or soliciting a child for sexual conduct. It may include sexting with a minor or showing pornography to a minor.
In this document, references to parents apply equally to legal guardians or other persons who hold pa-rental responsibility for a minor.
1. Children are a sacred trust, “an inheritance from Jehovah.”—Psalm 127:3.
2. The protection of children is of utmost concern and importance to all Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is in harmony with the long-standing and widely published Scripturally based position of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as reflected in the references at the end of this document, which are all published on jw.org.
3. Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and view it as a crime. (Romans 12:9) We recognize that the authorities are responsible for addressing such crimes. (Romans 13:1-4) The elders do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the authorities.
4. In all cases, victims and their parents have the right to report an accusation of child abuse to the authorities. Therefore, victims, their parents, or anyone else who reports such an accusation to the elders are clearly informed by the elders that they have the right to report the matter to the authorities. Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.—Galatians 6:5.
5. When elders learn of an accusation of child abuse, they immediately consult with the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses to ensure compliance with child abuse reporting laws. (Romans 13:1) Even if the elders have no legal duty to report an accusation to the authorities, the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses will instruct the elders to report the matter if a minor is still in danger of abuse or there is some other valid reason. Elders also ensure that the victim’s parents are informed of an accusation of child abuse. If the alleged abuser is one of the victim’s parents, the elders will inform the other parent.
6. Parents have the primary responsibility for the protection, safety, and instruction of their children. Therefore, parents who are members of the congregation are encouraged to be vigilant in exercising their responsibility at all times and to do the following:
• Have direct and active involvement in their children’s lives.
• Educate themselves and their children about child abuse.
• Encourage, promote, and maintain regular communication with their children. —Deuteronomy 6:6, 7; Proverbs 22:3.
Jehovah’s Witnesses publish an abundance of Bible-based information to assist parents to fulfill their responsibility to protect and instruct their children.—See the references at the end of this document.
7. Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not separate children from their parents for the purpose of instruction or other activities. (Ephesians 6:4) For example, our congregations do not provide or sponsor orphanages, Sunday schools, sports clubs, day-care centers, youth groups, or other activi-ties that separate children from their parents.
8. Elders strive to treat victims of child abuse with compassion, understanding, and kindness. (Colossians 3:12) As spiritual counselors, the elders endeavor to listen carefully and empathetically to victims and to console them. (Proverbs 21:13; Isaiah 32:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; James 1:19) Victims and their families may decide to consult a mental-health professional. This is a personal decision.
9. Elders never require victims of child abuse to present their accusation in the presence of the alleged abuser. However, victims who are now adults may do so, if they wish. In addition, victims can be accompanied by a confidant of either gender for moral support when presenting their accusation to the elders. If a victim prefers, the accusation can be submitted in the form of a written statement.
10. Child abuse is a serious sin. If an alleged abuser is a member of the congregation, the elders conduct a Scriptural investigation. This is a purely religious proceeding handled by elders according to Scriptural instructions and is limited to the issue of membership as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A member of the congregation who is an unrepentant child abuser is expelled from the congregation and is no longer considered one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (1 Corinthians 5:13) The elders’ handling of an accusation of child abuse is not a replacement for the authorities’ handling of the matter.—Romans 13:1-4.
11. If it is determined that one guilty of child sexual abuse is repentant and will remain in the congregation, restrictions are imposed on the individual’s congregation activities. The individual will be specifically admonished by the elders not to be alone in the company of children, not to cultivate friendships with children, or display any affection for children. In addition, elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individ-ual.
12. A person who has engaged in child sexual abuse does not qualify to receive any congregation privileges or to serve in a position of responsibility in the congregation for decades, if ever. —1 Timothy 3:1-7, 10; 5:22; Titus 1:7.
13. This document is available upon request to members of the congregation. It is reviewed at least once every three years.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
WHY would Jehovah's Witnesses reject Government calls for Independent Inquiry into sexual abuse?
By Guest Nicole
On Friday, May 25, 20/20 will do "something special" for longtime co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas.
You can call it a going-away party (10/9c, ABC). After 22 years at ABC (14 with the newsmagazine), the Emmy and Peabody Award–winning veteran journalist heads to A&E, where she’ll work under their new primetime banner, A&E Investigates.
Tell us about your first two A&E shows.
They’re the first in a nine-part series called Cults and Extreme Beliefs(premieres Monday, May 28, 10/9c). Each episode centers on a person who recently left the group we focus on.
Our premiere looks at the [so-called “self-help”] NXIVM ring that made headlines when leader Keith Raniere and actress Allison Mack, a high-ranking member, were indicted for sex trafficking. We talk to Sarah Edmondson, who feels enormous regret that she recruited so many people into NXIVM and we follow her as she reaches out to some of them.
And the second episode?
It’s about an apocalyptic cult called Twelve Tribes. Our contact is a woman born into the group, cut off from the outside world. She now helps people to escape.
What have you learned about these insular communities?
That many of those involved are bright, well-meaning and incredibly altruistic. Some of these groups exist alongside modern society, with no one noticing. For instance, we profile the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which has a history of protecting alleged child molesters because they don’t believe in going to the police.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
(New news ....) A MONTANA Judge Orders Jehovah’s Witnesses to Turn Over Internal Documents Related to Childhood Sexual Abuse
April 12, 2018
On April 5, 2018, Judge James Manley of Sanders County, Montana ordered the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization to produce documents and testimony related to internal reports and investigations into the childhood sexual abuse of NPR’s two clients.
In this case, the two Plaintiffs were sexually abused as children by a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Elders in the local Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Thompson Falls, Montana were aware of the abuse and failed to report it to the police, choosing instead to handle the reports and investigations internally pursuant to Jehovah’s Witness guidelines. Their decision not to report the abuse to authorities allowed the perpetrator to remain in the congregation and continue to abuse one of the Plaintiffs.
Throughout this case, and similar childhood sexual abuse cases across the country, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have refused to produce documents related to their internal handling of reports of sexual abuse and related investigations and disciplinary actions claiming that the information is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Through briefing to the court, NPR convinced the Judge that Defendants’ privilege claims were unsupported and improper under the law. The Court agreed that Defendants could not blanket everything related to their investigations in secrecy and that they must turn it over to the Plaintiffs. Often, this is the very evidence that can win or lose a case like this against a religious institution.
The case of Nunez, et al. v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, et al. is set to go to trial in September of 2018.
The plaintiffs in this case are represented by NPR partner D. Neil Smith and associate Ross E. Leonoudakis.
A Jury of 12 held in public view ... or a tribunal of three held in complete secrecy.
Which would YOU choose, to get Justice?
By Jack Ryan
The Flemish Parliament has opened an inquiry into the child abuse policies and cover ups of Jehovah's Witnesses. The investigation is collecting complaints, not to make their stories public but to start an official investigation into the child abuse policies of Jehovah's Witness groups.
By JW Insider
Under another topic which was unrelated to child abuse issues, the claim was put forward (again) that JWs may have only a tenth of the problem that others have with child abuse. As TTH put it recently:
TTH has stated this multiple times and in various ways now, also stating that JWs have found "a solution that cuts occurrences by 90%." TTH didn't start this idea, it was in another persons post, which may have based it on some very questionable numbers that came out of the Australian Royal Commission.
I don't know if anyone can give an accurate accounting statistically, but if we are going to make such statements it's a good idea to start somewhere to see why they are being used. I will first present some numbers which appear to contradict the claim, and anyone who has anything different should, of course, join in if they think it's important to figure it out more accurately.
In past months, I reported on the outrageous numbers that have been reported against the Catholic Church institutions, including their schools, where 7% of all Catholic priests have been accused of child abuse. Of course this represents an average in various diocese and institutions, where it might run as low as 0% in some, and as high as 25% in others. Even a high percentage of Catholic nuns in one institution had been accused of child sexual abuse. The nuns had a relatively small percentage when compared to another institution where the rate of accused priests and "Brothers" reached nearly 40%. It was a Catholic institution that was set up to care for children with mental disabilities. [The term "Brothers" in this context is a title which doesn't have the generic meaning it has among JWs.] The BBC interviewed several people who seriously stated that the Catholic Church should be charged with running a "criminal" organization.
I think it is probably obvious to all of us that such levels of child abuse among the highest levels of church institutional leaders cannot be compared with the Witnesses, where the problem is not nearly so bad. There are also issues of comparing Catholic leaders such as bishops, priests and deacons and the counting of all problems among the entire congregations of JWs, not just elders and ministerial servants ("deacons"). But this doesn't mean the problem is not bad.
I'll start throwing out some quotes I've read about what the ARC reported about JWs, the Uniting Church, and the Catholic Church. [The Uniting Church is a kind of conglomerate of Presbyterian/Methodist/Congregationalist churches in Australia.]
You may need a subscription to this Australian paper "The Australian" or an account with a university or newspapers.com to see the entire content of the article that shows up in Google as follows for MEDIA WATCH DOG Friday March 17, 2017 :
Here’s some news which the ABC and Fairfax Media do not regard as fit-to-print. Over the past four decades, a child in Australia was much more likely to suffer sexual abuse at a school or institution run by the Uniting Church than at a school or institution run by the Catholic Church.
The ABC and Fairfax Media – along with The Guardian and The Saturday Paper – have given extensive coverage to allegations against the Catholic Church made at the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The ABC’s Samantha Donovan and Philippa McDonald and Louise Milligan along with Fairfax Media’s Rachel Browne and Joanne McCarthy have been perhaps the most outspoken of the journalists regularly reporting the Royal Commission in so far as the crimes of pedophile Catholic priests and brothers have been concerned.
The ABC and Fairfax Media gave considerable coverage to the statement by Counsel Assisting Gail Furness SC on 6 February 2017 that 4445 people alleged instances of child sexual abuse within Catholic schools or institutions up until 2015. Most media focused on the statement by Ms Furness that “7 per cent of priests were alleged perpetrators”.
However, virtually no media attention was given to Ms Furness’s subsequent clarification on 16 February 2017, with reference to the Catholic Church:
In other words, within the Catholic Church the vast majority of allegations of pedophilia were made with respect to alleged crimes in the period 1950 to 1989 with close to a third of all allegations relating to the decade of the 1970s. That is, most of the allegations relate to instances of close to four decades ago and are historical crimes.
In what was called the “Catholic Wrap”, Royal Commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan devoted 15 entire days to examining the Catholic Church. Hearings were held between 6 February 2017 and 26 February 2017.
On Friday 10 March 2017, the Royal Commission devoted only half a day each to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Uniting Church of Australia. Yet the evidence suggests that, on a per capita basis, there were more pedophiles in each church combined than in the Catholic Church – especially in the 1990s and subsequent decades. . . .
The statistics available to the Royal Commission with respect to the Uniting Church cover the period from 1977 to the present. That is, unlike the Catholic Church and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the allegations do not relate to a period going back to 1950.
There were 2504 instances or allegations of child sexual abuse made in the Uniting Church in the period 1977 to 2017 compared with 4445 instances in the Catholic Church covering the period 1950 to 2015. Yet the Uniting Church is about a fifth of the size of the Catholic Church. And its data covers four decades whereas the Catholic Church’s data covers over six decades. Moreover, evidence available to the Royal Commission indicates that virtually all offending by Catholic priests took place before 1990. Not so, apparently, with the Uniting Church.
On this evidence, child sexual assaults in the Uniting Church have been more prevalent than in the Catholic Church – especially in the years since 1990. This despite the fact that the Uniting Church has married male priests and female priests. There is no celibacy requirement within the Uniting Church and no sacrament of confession (in which the Royal Commission has taken a special interest concerning the Catholic Church).
Yet you would not be aware of any of this if you followed only the reporting of the Royal Commission by the ABC, Fairfax Media, The Guardian and The Saturday Paper. It seems the likes of Samantha Donovan, Philippa McDonald, Louise Milligan, Joanne McCarthy and Rachel Browne did not come back from lunch on Friday 10 February and simply missed the coverage of sexual child abuse in the Uniting Church in the four decades since 1977.
---end of quotation-----
I downloaded that Excel spreadsheet from the ARC (once posted here) that gave limited information about each of the JW cases, and should note that even cases that went back to the 1970's were evidently not there because there was any regular record-keeping by JWs going back that far. They could have been included when a case recorded decades later was found to be applicable to an instance or accusation from a much earlier date.
By Jack Ryan
MPs are demanding government action after more than 100 people contacted the Guardian with allegations of child sexual abuse and other mistreatment in Jehovah’s Witness communities in the UK.
Â“I am extremely concerned, but not surprised, by the allegations of child abuse within the JehovahÂ’s Witness movement. Whenever there is a closed society with an inherent power imbalance, the potential for abuse is there,Â” said the Labour MP Sarah Champion.
She said she would be raising the issue in parliament and demanding that the government take action to make sure all children were safe.
Alex Chalk, the Conservative MP for Cheltenham, said he planned to raise the issue in parliament, saying it was not just a historical issue but an ongoing child safety concern.
Â“My instinctive thoughts are that the sheer numbers and seriousness of the allegations coming forward is concerning ... If even half the allegations coming to light are true then itÂ’s clear that an entrenched culture of cover-up and flawed in-house investigations continues to this day,Â” Chalk said.
AÂ Guardian investigationÂ heard from 41 people who claimed they were victims of child sexual abuse and alleged a culture of cover-ups and lies, with senior members of the organisation, known as elders, discouraging victims from talking to the police.
A further 48 people said they experienced other forms of abuse, including physical violence when they were children, and 35 claimed they witnessed or heard about others who were victims of child grooming and abuse.
The Guardian was told that members of the community were taught to avoid interaction with outside authorities. It was also claimed that, according to rules set by the group, for child sexual abuse to be taken seriously there must be at least two witnesses to it. If that happened or a perpetrator admitted abuse, a judicial committee would be called and the case investigated.
A solicitor representing some of the alleged victims said she believed there were thousands of complainants in the UK and that the people who had contacted the Guardian were Â“just the tip of the icebergÂ”.
Kathleen Hallisey, a senior solicitor in the abuse team at Bolt Burdon Kemp, acting on behalf of 15 alleged victims, said: Â“Given the number of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in the UK, and what we know about the pervasiveness of abuse in the organisation, there are likely to be hundreds and probably thousands more victims. This is truly just the tip of the iceberg.Â”
Champion said she was concerned that victims had to report their abuse to elders, without independent scrutiny.
She also expressed concern that abuse claims could only be taken before a committee for investigation if there were two witnesses to it. Â“Abuse happens in the shadows, so to ask for a second witness is ludicrous and effectively prevents reporting,Â” Champion said.
Several more alleged victims came forward after the initial claims were published. One woman, speaking anonymously, said: Â“IÂ’m a former JehovahÂ’s Witness and know personally of two girls who were abused and silenced within their congregations.Â”
Another woman, also speaking under the condition of anonymity, said she tried to kill herself when she was 14 after being abused by her father. Â“I found an old article in the Awake magazine on abuse in the congregation library and left it open for the elder. I had left the same article for my father at one stage hoping he would read it and stop. When it was found out, I too was subjected to being told not to say anything and a cover-up. In my case the evidence was also destroyed by the elders,Â” she said.
She said she was told never to speak to anyone about what happened and was not given any counselling. Â“I asked the elders privately if I could go live with a friendÂ’s family ... and they said I had to ask my father as he was the head of the household.Â”
Operation Hydrant, a British police investigation into allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse, has dealt with 45 potential victims of child abuse within a JehovahÂ’s Witness setting. It said allegations could be made by a third party which either identifies or does not identify a potential victim.
When informed of the GuardianÂ’s findings, the Charity Commission said its inquiry into the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ governing body in the UK, was continuing. It said anyone affected by safeguarding concerns should come forward.
In a statement, the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses said child safeguarding was of the utmost importance. They said that a victim and their family had the right to report allegations of child abuse to the police, and that the principle of sufficient evidence was a scriptural rule not related to reporting an allegation of crime to the authorities.Â
In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline isÂ 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found atÂ www.befrienders.org.
By Jack Ryan
More than 100 people have contacted the Guardian with allegations of child sexual abuse and other mistreatment in Jehovah’s Witness communities across the UK.
Former and current members, including 41 alleged victims of child sexual abuse, described a culture of cover-ups and lies, with senior members of the organisation, known as elders, discouraging victims from coming forward for fear of bringing Â“reproach on JehovahÂ” and being exiled from the congregation and their families.
A Guardian investigation also heard from 48 people who experienced other forms of abuse, including physical violence when they were children, and 35 who witnessed or heard about others who were victims of child grooming and abuse.
The stories told to the Guardian ranged from events decades ago to more recent, and many of those who came forward have now contacted the police.
They told the Guardian about:
An organisation that polices itself and teaches members to avoid interaction with outside authorities.
A rule set by the main governing body of the religion that means for child sexual abuse to be taken seriously there must be two witnesses to it.
Alleged child sex abuse victims claiming they were forced to recount allegations in front of their abuser.
Young girls who engage in sexual activity before marriage being forced to describe it in detail in front of male elders.
A solicitor representing some of the alleged victims said she believed there were thousands of complainants in the UK and that the people who have contacted the Guardian were Â“just the tip of the icebergÂ”.
One alleged victim, Rachel Evans, who has waived her right to anonymity, claimed there was a paedophile ring active in the 1970s, although details of the case cannot be divulged due to a current investigation.
Â“Within the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses there is an actual silencing and also a network where if someone went to the elders and said Â‘there is a problem with thisÂ’ and they believe you, the whole thing will be dealt with in-house. But often these people are not dealt with, they are either moved to another congregation or told to keep their head down for a few years,Â” she said.
Another victim, who did not want to be named, said she was abused by a ministerial servant (someone with congregational responsibilities) in the organisation in the 1970s.
Â“I was sexually abused many times a week from the age of three until I was 12. Congregation elders knew that when I told them, at 12, what had been happening. No steps were taken to tell the police. I had to tell three male senior figures what had happened. Imagine that? A young girl telling a bunch of men what this man did to me. I wasnÂ’t even allowed to have my mother there with me.Â”
After she went to the police about what had happened, the person who abused her pleaded guilty and was eventually convicted. Â“The JehovahÂ’s Witnesses should lose their charity status as they are not protecting children,Â” she added. She said she had mental health issues as a result of what happened and how it was dealt with.
Jason Munro says he was abused for 10 years. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian
Jason Munro, another alleged victim of sexual abuse who waived his right to anonymity, could not give details of his case due to a current investigation but said: Â“I am completely horrified by the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses ... I didnÂ’t get support and I experienced 10 years of abuse. Elders knew in my teens about the abuse but it was never a case of Â‘letÂ’s get this person the professional help he needsÂ’.Â”
When a JehovahÂ’s Witness experiences sexual abuse they are supposed to report it to elders, who are always men, who will take further action if there is a second witness to the offence. The perpetrator will then be called before a judicial committee if they admit abuse or if there is a second witness.
Â“This causes further trauma to the victim and coupled with the two-witness rule, is undoubtedly the reason that so many victims have never reported it,Â” said Kathleen Hallisey, senior solicitor in the abuse team at Bolt Burdon Kemp, who is currently acting on behalf of 15 alleged victims.
She also noted that the problem with the two-witness rule in the context of sexual abuse was that there were rarely witnesses to it, Â“meaning that [these] reports ... are usually dismissedÂ”.
It has been reported that the headquarters of the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in the UK, the Watch Tower, holds a database of abuse allegations made within the organisation but has yet to hand it over to authorities.
The Charity Commission launched an investigation in 2013 looking into the Manchester New Moston congregation of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses, concluding that it did not deal adequately with allegations of child abuse made against one of the trustees.
The commission is still running an inquiry into the main government body of the group, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain. This is examining the child safeguarding policy and procedures further.
Following the investigation into the Manchester New Moston congregation last year, the Watch Tower changed its policy so that victims are no longer required to confront their abuser face to face.
A former elder, who was asked to investigate a child abuse case in 2007, claimed he was urged not to contact the police, although it was decided that the perpetrator should not be assigned to work with children.
However, the then elder Â– who left in 2012 over how the case was handled Â– said that this rule was not followed by everyone and when he raised this as a concern he was told to back off.
Â“I hugely regret the fact that I wasnÂ’t able to do anything at the time and I didnÂ’t have the strength. And that lives with me,Â” he said.
Other former JehovahÂ’s Witnesses told how they were forced to share personal sexual experiences at a young age, after breaking rules set by the religion.
One woman, who wished to be anonymous, was called to a meeting with elders after she had sex at 15, which goes against the rule of no sex before marriage. Â“This meeting was three older men and me, a scared 15-year-old, who had just had sex for the first time. They had to know all the details before they chose my punishment,Â” she said.
Â“I had to answer questions like, did it hurt? Where were you? Did you enjoy it? I donÂ’t think any child that age should ever be in that situation.Â”
A former elder described how a congregation responded when a 13-year-old girl had sex. A judicial committee was called, and she was disfellowshipped and eventually asked to leave her parentsÂ’ house.
The Guardian also heard from those who described strict upbringings and a culture of hierarchy which meant physical and other psychological abuse were rife and often ignored.
Stephanie, a former JehovahÂ’s Witness, said that when she reported her own experience of domestic violence she was told by elders to do nothing.
The accused Â“remained in the congregation with privileges and authority. Later, when I came out to the congregation elders as gay, they sent two men to my house ... and asked me in detail about sex and masturbation,Â” she alleged.
Operation Hydrant, a British police investigation into allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse, said that it was dealing with 45 potential victims of child abuse within a JehovahÂ’s Witness setting. It said allegations could be made by a third party which either identifies Â– or does not identify Â– a potential victim.
Based on the GuardianÂ’s findings, the commission said its inquiry into the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, the JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ governing body in the UK, was continuing and it encouraged anyone affected by safeguarding in congregations of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in England and Wales to come forward.
Hallisey said: Â“Given the number of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in the UK, and what we know about the pervasiveness of abuse in the organisation, there are likely to be hundreds and probably thousands more victims. This is truly just the tip of the iceberg.Â”
She said the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse should investigate. Â“It is absolutely critical that IICSA investigates the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses ... This is actually a public safety issue. The person knocking on your door or handing you literature in the street could be an accused or even admitted paedophile,Â” she said.
An IICSA spokesperson said that while it was currently delivering its existing programme, the panel would Â“consider calls for a JehovahÂ’s Witnesses-specific investigation carefullyÂ” as work progressed.
In a statement, the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses said that safeguarding children was of the utmost importance. They said that a victim and their family had the right to report allegations of child abuse to the police, and that the principle of sufficient evidence was a scriptural rule not related to reporting an allegation of crime to the authorities. Â“Elders treat victims of child abuse with compassion, understanding, and kindness. Elders will conduct a scriptural investigation of every allegation of child sexual abuse,Â” they said.
"This week a troubling story on W5: Avery Haines investigates an alleged sex abuse cover-up within the Jehovah's Witnesses. From across Canada, to the United States, England and Australia she reveals how the religious sect's doctrine protects accused sex offenders and pedophiles and makes it virtually impossible for complaints to be reported to police. Watch NO WITNESSES Saturday at 7 pm on CTV."
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