Lyrics There was a time
We thought our dream was over
When you and I
Had surely reached the end
Still here we are
The flame as strong as ever
All because we both kept holding on
We know we can weather any storm
Baby, that's what love is all about
Two hearts that find a way, somehow
To keep the fire burning
It's something we could never live without
It it takes forever
We can work it out
Beyond a shadow of a doubt
Baby, that's what love is all about
As time goes by
We've learned to rediscover
The reason why
This dream of our survives
Through thick and thin
We're destined for each other
Knowing we can reach the other side
Far beyond the mountains of our pride
Ridin' the good times is easy
The hard times can tear you apart
There'll be times in your heart
When the feelin' is gone
But ya keep on believing
And ya keep holdin' on
Baby, that's what love is all about
Two hearts that find a way, somehow
To keep the dream from dying
It's something we could never live without
If it takes forever
We can work it out
Beyond a shadow of a doubt
Baby, that's what love is all about
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 JOHN BUTLER
I thought today's study article was good. Quite basic and practical.
However the first sentence of paragraph 2 made me laugh. If it were true there would not be half the problems within the Org, the child abuse being a good example.
Paragraph 7 first sentence also is almost funny, but not so because it contains God's name which should not be mocked.
Paragraph 14 The last sentence says.. "... requires that we exercise empathy, putting ourselves in their situation to the extent possible." How many brothers or sisters actually do this ? How many have done this regarding Child Abuse victims ?
I like the bit in paragraph 18 " there will be no more sickness, wars, inherited death, ..... Because of course there will still be death after Armageddon but it will be because people do not want to serve God properly.
Paragraph 17 talks about, not telling people, they are not doing enough. However in truth this is not put into practice. People, including my wife, are being 'pushed' into doing more for the Org.
All in all it made for a good read though. But it seems to be telling the congregants to do what people in the world do normally. Keep Displaying Love,
Compare Matthew 5 v 43 through 48
“You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous.i 46 For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? 48 You must accordingly be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Is this not showing that people in the world show love to one another. So it is obvious that JW's should do the same.
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 Srecko Sostar
I can agree with general idea you present.
For sure, we can find the truth on various places, among all sort of group of people. We can find the truth even on the African plains, where the lion must eat the zebra to remain alive. And a zebra must exist so that a lion may have something to eat. And this "evidence" is a "proof" how The Truth looks like on this level. From this example, i am sure, you can understand where my thinking goes sometimes.
So, we on Earth have many Truths, with many Shapes and many Sorts. 2+2=4 is also The Truth. Hurricane Florence is also The Truth and affect people's life. Bad inclination of human heart is The Truth as also it is compassion from the same hearth. Catholic also have some Truths. What shall we do with so many Truths?? And what shall we do with something that looks like Truth? What we shall do with something that stopped to be Truth? What we shall do with Half Truths, what with Lies?
I can believe how JW, but also other smaller denominations, religions, groups of all kind can build connections in a way you described. Even worldly school children can make positive connections with children in came class or in another town or country. There is a mutual visit of a student from one school to another. Some of them manage to create lasting links. I believe that it is case with the people of other social groups, religious and non-religious, too.
I had the opportunity to travel and visit JW in other European countries. And some of JW from the other countries met me here in Croatia and invited me to visit. Some acquaintances lasted longer, some shorter. When I visited some assemblies in other countries, some JWs came to meet me, some did not care about having a guest who came for the first time in their congregation. Some people are getting in touch, and some do not. Certainly, human relationships are complex and something attracts us and something rejects us from others. That is life. And our fantasy and imagination and expectations are something else, even in a "worldwide brotherhood".
I think the Bible has several various paragraphs on this subject, about giving oneself to others, even to the point of giving life. At this level, there may be a problem because it is spoken, taught, by almost all people, and also by other religions, not just JW; "God loves all people to such a degree that He gives his Son to die for Human, Jesus loves all people to such a degree that he has given life to the righteous and the unrighteous."
This could mean that JW should give life not only for his brother in faith but also for a brother who is not in faith. What we shall do with this "Truth"?
By The Librarian
This cover up goes all the way up to the Vatican!
The Vatican is not even respondingÂ
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.
Anthony Morris III comments on Tight Pants, Metrosexual styles and Homosexuals in the Fashion IndustryBy Jack Ryan
JW.org Wiki - Homosexuality.mp4
This talk was from a Zone Visit in Italy around 2014
3 “From far away Jehovah appeared to me and said: “I have loved you with an everlasting love. That is why I have drawn you to me with loyal love.” — Jeremiah 31:3.By Bible Speaks
3 “From far away Jehovah appeared to me and said:
Â“I have loved you with an everlasting love.
That is why I have drawn you to me with loyal love.Â” Â— Jeremiah 31:3.
Tap on Video Link mp4 _________?
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.
Brother Carlos Alfonso Perez from Las Vegas, NV Charged With Rape of Teen at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's WitnessesBy Jack Ryan
A Las Vegas man was arrested last week after authorities accused him of raping a teenage member of his church, police and court records show.
Carlos Alfonso Perez, 55, was charged in January with three counts of sexual assault with a minor under 14 and two counts of sexual assault with a minor under 16, records show. He was arrested March 13 at his northeast Las Vegas home.
Perez is accused of assaulting a teenage girl multiple times between July 2012 and July 2014. He denied any wrongdoing in a December interview with police, according to records, but declined to take a polygraph examination.
The girl was 13 at the time the abuse began, according to a police report. She and Perez attended the same kingdom hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses for more than 10 years, according to the report, and the girl saw him multiple times a week at church functions.
She eventually reported the abuse to church officials, who had her confront Perez face to face, according to the police report.
Â“The church members decided that there was nothing they could do, since the stories were different,Â” the report states.
The document makes no mention of church officials attempting to contact police. A spokesman for JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in New York did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday and Friday.
According to the document, the girl reported Perez to police in August.
"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."
By Guest Nicole
Michael John Hewitt was described as a significant risk to young children and a dangerous offender.
A man who took advantage of his position of trust in a Surrey branch of Jehovah's Witnesses and sexually abused three young girls has been sentenced to 15 yearsÂ’ imprisonment on Monday, 12 March at Croydon Crown Court.
Michael John Hewitt, 71 and now of Fremington in Devon, was found guilty of eight counts of indecency with children who were all aged under 16 years at the time.
He will be on the sex offenders register for life and have a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and Restraining Order served.
The court heard that in the 1980s Hewitt, who previously lived in Wallington, was a member of the Jehovah's Witness Congregation and abused his victims over several decades.
Two of HewittÂ’s victims were as young as five when the abuse started. He sexually abused all three of them in his and their home addresses, undetected by family members.
He later sold his home in Surrey and moved to Devon.
On January 11, 2016, two of the victims reported what had happened to a family member, who then contacted police. Hewitt was later arrested in January 2016 and bailed pending further enquiries.
Following extensive research by detectives from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, the third victim was identified and came forward when told Hewitt was under investigation for two similar offences.
In May 2017, Hewitt was charged with eleven counts of indecency with three girls under 16 years old. He was later acquitted of three offences.
Whilst sentencing Judge Flahive described Hewitt as a significant risk to young children and a dangerous offender.
Detective Constable Janet Williams, the investigating officer from the Met's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command said:Â "The victims were abused by Hewitt at a very early age. Only when they were older were they able to understand what Hewitt subjected them to. Hewitt abused his position of trust to exploit the young girls for his own satisfaction.
"I would like to pay tribute to the victims who had the courage to report these distressing crimes to police. I hope today's conviction gives the victims a measure of comfort and closure."
Read more at http://talkradio.co.uk/news/michael-john-hewitt-paedophile-jehovahs-witness-jailed-15-years-18031324822#oKZhFYx0KmfTr538.99
By Guest Nicole
Independent investigators in the United Kingdom are weighing whether to launch a new investigation into the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.K. after receiving a “considerable number” of abuse allegations.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, or IICSA, a government-sanctioned investigative panel in England and Wales, told The Guardian that it had gotten a “considerable number” of reports from both the public and elected officials about the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.K. A spokesperson told the newspaper the panel would “consider calls for a Jehovah’s Witnesses–specific investigation carefully.”
It was unclear how many reports the watchdog group had received. When contacted by Newsweek, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ public information office did not immediately comment.
Kathleen Hallisey, a lawyer who brought charges against the Jehovah’s Witnesses for sexual abuse in 2015, said she suspected there are thousands of such cases in the U.K., The Guardian reported.
“The Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to recognize the issue of child abuse in their organization or to create robust safeguarding procedures to protect children,” she said. “An investigation by IICSA into the Jehovah’s Witnesses is an opportunity for the inquiry to effect real change in an organization that refuses to shine a light on child abuse and protect children.”
News of the possible investigation comes weeks after the nonprofit religious transparency organization Faithleaks leaked 33 letters and internal documents revealing a pattern of sexual abuse by one Jehovah’s Witness member, and the lengths the church went to cover up the scandal.
Those documents detail communications among church leaders and several legal entities—collectively known as Watchtower—between 1999 and 2012. In one letterto Watchtower dated November 14, 1999, the Palmer Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses from Brimfield, Massachusetts, said it had reviewed claims by two women who alleged their father sexually abused them as children. The group found those claims to be true.
“Our impression upon speaking with both girls was similar. That they are both quite rational. It certainly appears that these were real events,” the letter said.
In that case, church leaders pressured one of the accusers not to report the abuse to police. Years later, the church held an in-house trial and briefly excommunicated the father.
That victim was not the only person pressured to remain silent.
In the U.K., several alleged victims had come forward with similar claims in November 2017, according to The Telegraph.
“Frankly, I would equate this to a scandal and a cover-up akin to the Catholic Church,” Hallisey told The Telegraph at the time.
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