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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
The following comment has been quoted on this forum, at least partially. Attached also is another report of Geoffrey Jackson’s statement made in France. Here is the individual’s comment, unedited:
“This weekend in France there was the inauguration of a new Convention Hall. Since it was some "never before seen project" (because done by 3 countries together : France, Switzerland and Italy... wow what an achievement!) they had to do something special.
So they Had Geoffrey Jackson giving talks and those being streamed to a lot of congregations. Lots of rank file were invited to the Convention Hall, the rest got to see it over TV. The weekend meeting was cancelled and we had two days of this 2-hour retransmissions.
So the first day I missed (YAY).
But on todays talk, I had a lot of headshaking moments. The usual brainwashing, guiltripping, submission talk, shun shun shun, etc etc.
But then he said something I just wanted to scream at the screen...
So he made an illustration. He made sure that everyone got the fact that it was an illustration, not an announcement (laughter in the audience, whats funny about it?).
Then he said (I'm quoting him best I can remember, but you'll get the idea): "Imagine if next week I go back to US and you see in the news that the whole GB was arrested for no reason. How'd you react? Well, surely you'd say to your coworkers or neighbours: "Jesus warned us. They were arrested for no reason." You would feel bad for us but be proud because you are sure it's persecution from Satan and that we're innocent.
Now that's not really possible because in the US because you can't arrest someone with no reason like in Russia. So imagine they would make up false accusations, with false witnesses and false testimonies and all the newspaper would talk about how the GB was arrested for stealing billions of $$ to their followers. How would you react when coworker talk about it? Be ashamed? Would you believe it? Well Satan will attack us using lies. Lying about our high morality.
Maybe they will accuse us of covering child sexual abuser. Would you believe it? Surely we know those lies come from Satan."
“Lying about our HIGH MORALITY”…
On the surface, the reality of Watchtower’s child abuse has come to the attention of the world through the result of media exposure and victims speaking out. It is an atrocity, no matter where it thrives; but, if Jackson’s example is how they react to a civil crime that the organization is guilty of, can they be trusted guiding JWs in all spiritual matters? Truthfully, it is the aura of spiritual immorality that the organization exists in. Matt 24:11,12; 2 Tim 3:1-5 If God’s decrees, which are written on the hearts of the anointed ones were allowed to be followed, would hidden child molestation exist, and would Jackson’s deceitful plea for allegiance be necessary? Jer 31:33; Heb 10:16,17; Mal 2:7,8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+24%3A11%2C12%3B+2+Tim+3%3A1-5%3B+Jer+31%3A33%3B+Heb+10%3A16%2C17%3B+Mal+2%3A7%2C8++&version=NASB
Since a false priesthood stands in place of God’s chosen Temple priesthood, God’s every decree has been broken by the Watchtower. Ezek 44:6-9; Matt 24:15,16; Dan 8:11; 9:11; 2 Thess 2:3,4; Matt 22:37-39; James 2:8-10 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+44%3A6-9%3B+Matt+24%3A15%2C16%3B+Dan+8%3A11%3B+9%3A11%3B+2+Thess+2%3A3%2C4%3B+Matt+22%3A37-39%3B+James+2%3A8-10&version=NASB
“My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
listen closely to my understanding
2 so that you may maintain discretion
and your lips safeguard knowledge.
3 Though the lips of the forbidden (“estranged, immoral”) woman drip honey
and her words are smoother than oil,
4 in the end she’s as bitter as wormwood
and as sharp as a double-edged sword.” Prov 5:1-4
God’s ordinances, are compared to honey – Ps 19:7-11;119:102-104 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ps+19%3A7-11%3B119%3A102-104+++++&version=NASB
Oil represents Holy Spirit in the scriptures and is associated with an anointing. Zech 4:12-14; Matt 25:1-4 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Zech+4%3A12-14%3B+Matt+25%3A1-4&version=NASB
Proverbs is giving us a glimpse into Revelation and the Harlot/false prophet that authorizes “her” Beast/organization to come against God’s chosen ones. Rev 13:11-15,7 This combined fallen anointed “false prophet” appears to speak according to God’s decrees and as representatives of Christ. Luke 21:8; 2 Cor 5:20; 2 Cor 11:3,4 (Ps 81:10-16; 1 Cor 10:4) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+13%3A11-15%2C7%3BLuke+21%3A8%3B+2+Cor+5%3A20%3B+2+Cor+11%3A3%2C4%3B+Ps+81%3A10-16%3B+1+Cor+10%3A4+&version=NASB
But “in the end she’s as bitter as wormwood”. Heb 12:15,16; Rev 8:10,11; 10:9-11 “She” has taken on the role of Christ, as a “double-edged sword”, judging as condemned through her teachings, those anointed who dare cross her path with Truth in Christ. 1 John 3:10-12; Rev 13:11,15 (Heb 4:12; Rev 1:16; 2:12; Hos 6:5) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Heb+12%3A15%2C16%3B+Rev+8%3A10%2C11%3B+10%3A9-11%3B+1+John+3%3A10-12%3B+Rev+13%3A11%2C15%3B+Heb+4%3A12%3B+Rev+1%3A16%3B+2%3A12%3B+Hos+6%3A5&version=NASB
When God’s people abandon their covenant promise with God, forsaking His ordinances, it is a spiritual prostitution. G. Jackson has revealed the true plan behind Satan’s scheme; that is, to “fleece” the flock and attack God’s anointed and companions with the Harlot’s lies. Matt 7:15-20; Rev 16:13,14 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+7%3A15-20%3B+Rev+16%3A13%2C14&version=NASB
From Pearl Doxsey’s article “Love Your Enemies” (4womaninthewilderness)
“Who are our enemies?
They are those who hate us (Luke1:71; 6:27)…
those who intimidate, oppose, mislead, and threaten us, into subjection to them (Luke 1:74; Rev.13:15,7; 2Thess.2:3-4; 1Cor.3:16;Eze.44:6-9; Matt.24:15-16)
They oppress, restrain/"hold back", tear down, and seek to destroy our power, and our service to God (2Thess.2:6,8; Hab.1:4;Luke 19:43; 21:24,20; Rev.20:9; Matt.24:24-25; 1John2:26; 3:7; 1Tim.4:1; Rev.16:13-16; 13:11,15; 2:20; 19:20) (Dan.7:25;8:11-12; 11:36; 12:7; Rev.13:7,10). They successfully bring about the greatest tribulation ever to befall God's chosen people.
Those who oppose, set their minds on the "earthly" things of this world (Col.3:2; James 3:15-16; 1John 2:15-16; James 4:4;Eph.2:2; 6:12; 2Cor.12:20; Rom.2:8; Mark 10:42-44; James 1:27; Matt.6:19; Luke 12:19-20; Rev.3:17-18; 1Cor.4:6-8,9-14;Mark 4:18-19).
A disposition of greed overwhelms them, and they lose their spiritual senses, evidenced by their vile conduct (2Pet.2:3;Phil.3:18-19; Isa.56:11; Jer.6:13; Hosea 4:8; Micah 7:3; James 3:16; Hab.2:4; Ps.49:12-14; Eph.4:19-20).
They fight against the divine authority and power, which we fear and honor (2Cor.5:11; Luke19:27; Rev.17:14). This is because they are backed by our greatest enemy, the Devil (1Pet.5:8; Eph.2:2; Rev.13:4; Prov.15:27; Matt.4:8-9; Rev.9:1,11;Isa.33:1) (Matt.13:25,39). "
Hosea prophesied to the adulterous Israel before its downfall. The nation’s many crimes festered under its idolatrous worship. Hos 4:1-3 God’s “case”, was against its priests for ignoring His ordinances. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hos+4%3A1-3&version=NASB
“But let no one dispute; let no one argue,
for my case is against you priests.
5 You will stumble by day;
the prophet will also stumble with you by night.
And I will destroy your mother.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I will reject you from serving as my priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I will also forget your sons.”
The more they multiplied,
the more they sinned against me.
I will change their honor into disgrace.
8 They feed on the sin of my people;
they have an appetite for their iniquity.
9 The same judgment will happen
to both people and priests.
I will punish them for their ways
and repay them for their deeds." Hos 4:4-9
Surely, JWs, it must be logically clear to you that if the Watchtower was following God’s decrees, no victim of unfair, unrighteous treatment would exist in the organization. Yet, they have and do exist, since its leaders have left their covenant with God and have forsaken their spiritual “virginity” in Truth. They have adopted as their new “mother” covenant promise, “Babylon the Great”. Isa 28:15; Rev 17:1-6 As Pearl brought out above, this has caused loss of all spiritual sense; and like Israel of old, spiritual “Israel” is now steeped in idolatry and sin, as they determinedly carry on upholding their “golden calf” – the abhorrent idolatrous “chariot” called “Jehovah’s organization”. Exod 32:3,4,7,8,23,24 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+28%3A15%3B+Rev+17%3A1-6%3B++Exod+32%3A3%2C4%2C7%2C8%2C23%2C24&version=NASB
As long as JWs cling to the organization, no matter what their opinion is of its leaders, they also commit spiritual idolatry. Please, think deeply on this, JWs!
“The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.” Prov 11:3
Put the horn to your mouth!
One like an eagle comes
against the house of the Lord,
because they transgress my covenant
and rebel against my law.
2 Israel cries out to me,
“My God, we know you!”
3 Israel has rejected what is good;
an enemy will pursue him.
4 They have installed kings,
but not through me.
They have appointed leaders,
but without my approval.
They make their silver and gold
into idols for themselves
for their own destruction.
5 Your calf-idol is rejected, Samaria.
My anger burns against them.
How long will they be incapable of innocence?
6 For this thing is from Israel—
a craftsman made it, and it is not God.
The calf of Samaria will be smashed to bits!
7 Indeed, they sow the wind
and reap the whirlwind.
There is no standing grain;
what sprouts fails to yield flour.
Even if they did,
foreigners would swallow it up.
8 Israel is swallowed up!
Now they are among the nations
like discarded pottery.
9 For they have gone up to Assyria
like a wild donkey going off on its own.
Ephraim has paid for love.
10 Even though they hire lovers among the nations,
I will now round them up,
and they will begin to decrease in number
under the burden of the king and leaders.
11 When Ephraim multiplied his altars for sin,
they became his altars for sinning.
12 Though I were to write out for him
ten thousand points of my instruction,
they would beregarded as something strange.
13 Though they offer sacrificial gifts
and eat the flesh,
the Lord does not accept them.
Now he will remember their guilt
and punish their sins;
they will return to Egypt.
14 Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces;
Judah has also multiplied fortified cities.
I will send fire on their cities,
and it will consume their citadels.” Hosea chapter 8
“Is not my WORD like fire”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and like a hammer that pulverizes rock?” Jer 23:29
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:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.
That is why I have drawn you to me with loyal love.” — 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?
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.
“I am extremely concerned, but not surprised, by the allegations of child abuse within the Jehovah’s Witness movement. Whenever there is a closed society with an inherent power imbalance, the potential for abuse is there,” 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.
“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 it’s clear that an entrenched culture of cover-up and flawed in-house investigations continues to this day,” Chalk said.
A Guardian investigation 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 “just the tip of the iceberg”.
Kathleen Hallisey, a senior solicitor in the abuse team at Bolt Burdon Kemp, acting on behalf of 15 alleged victims, said: “Given the number of Jehovah’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.”
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. “Abuse happens in the shadows, so to ask for a second witness is ludicrous and effectively prevents reporting,” Champion said.
Several more alleged victims came forward after the initial claims were published. One woman, speaking anonymously, said: “I’m a former Jehovah’s Witness and know personally of two girls who were abused and silenced within their congregations.”
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. “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,” she said.
She said she was told never to speak to anyone about what happened and was not given any counselling. “I asked the elders privately if I could go live with a friend’s family ... and they said I had to ask my father as he was the head of the household.”
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 Jehovah’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 Guardian’s findings, the Charity Commission said its inquiry into the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ governing body in the UK, was continuing. It said anyone affected by safeguarding concerns should come forward.
In a statement, the Jehovah’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.
In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at 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 “reproach on Jehovah” 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 “just the tip of the iceberg”.
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.
“Within the Jehovah’s Witnesses there is an actual silencing and also a network where if someone went to the elders and said ‘there is a problem with this’ 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,” 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.
“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 wasn’t even allowed to have my mother there with me.”
After she went to the police about what had happened, the person who abused her pleaded guilty and was eventually convicted. “The Jehovah’s Witnesses should lose their charity status as they are not protecting children,” 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: “I am completely horrified by the Jehovah’s Witnesses ... I didn’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 ‘let’s get this person the professional help he needs’.”
When a Jehovah’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.
“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,” 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, “meaning that [these] reports ... are usually dismissed”.
It has been reported that the headquarters of the Jehovah’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 Jehovah’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 – who left in 2012 over how the case was handled – said that this rule was not followed by everyone and when he raised this as a concern he was told to back off.
“I hugely regret the fact that I wasn’t able to do anything at the time and I didn’t have the strength. And that lives with me,” he said.
Other former Jehovah’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. “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,” she said.
“I had to answer questions like, did it hurt? Where were you? Did you enjoy it? I don’t think any child that age should ever be in that situation.”
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 parents’ 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 Jehovah’s Witness, said that when she reported her own experience of domestic violence she was told by elders to do nothing.
The accused “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,” 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 Jehovah’s Witness setting. It said allegations could be made by a third party which either identifies – or does not identify – a potential victim.
Based on the Guardian’s findings, the commission said its inquiry into the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ governing body in the UK, was continuing and it encouraged anyone affected by safeguarding in congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in England and Wales to come forward.
Hallisey said: “Given the number of Jehovah’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.”
She said the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse should investigate. “It is absolutely critical that IICSA investigates the Jehovah’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,” she said.
An IICSA spokesperson said that while it was currently delivering its existing programme, the panel would “consider calls for a Jehovah’s Witnesses-specific investigation carefully” as work progressed.
In a statement, the Jehovah’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. “Elders treat victims of child abuse with compassion, understanding, and kindness. Elders will conduct a scriptural investigation of every allegation of child sexual abuse,” 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.
“The church members decided that there was nothing they could do, since the stories were different,” the report states.
The document makes no mention of church officials attempting to contact police. A spokesman for Jehovah’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."
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 years’ 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 Hewitt’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: "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
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.
By JOHN BUTLER
I cannot understand why there is only partial information concerning the Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Society Child Abuse accusations from around the Earth. I have just put a status on my FB page saying that : The one thing I have learnt in life is, that I don't know the truth about anything". The reason for this is that there is always some doubt about things read 'online'. Are they true ? Does one want them to be true? Are my opinions correct? So with that in mind I will continue with the information I 'have read online'.
We all know that Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse accusations are, or appear to be 'in fashion' right now. In politics, in entertainment, and in religion. But Jehovah's Witnesses claim to be 'no part of the world', that is the 'world' that belongs to Satan the Devil. So it would come as a surprise then that from top to bottom the JW's are being accused of Child Abuse Earthwide.
What I've noted so far : The Australian Royal Commission did a three year investigation into the JW org, most of which is available online to read. They found that since 1950 there were 1006 accusations of Child Abuse within the Australian branch of Jehovah's Witnesses, none of which were reported to the police or secular authorities........... In Canada there have been large court cases in Quebec and Ontario againse JW org..... A $66 million lawsuit against the religion's leadership is taking place..... In the Netherlands 'Reclaimed Voices' foundation have set up emergency phone lines and have put out advertisements concerning victims of abuse within the JW org there. The 'hotline' had received 80 replies as of December 28th 2017..... In the UK (where I am) the Charity Commision set up an inquiry into the UK branch of Jehovah's Witnesses regarding child abuse / sexual abuse. I think this started with the Manchester New Molton congregation in 2014. The Charity Commision also set up an inquiry into the Watchtower Soc (WTBTS) here in the UK. In Feb 2016. The Org went to court to try to block the investigations but failed. A former elder from South Wales said there was instructions to elders to destroy all documents regarding child abuse. There seemed to be a cost to the Org of over £1 million which I presume is court fines and payouts.
Then of course we have the USA. In 2014 a $10.5 million lawsuit against JW Org by Valicia Alston and others. In 2015 the Candace Conti case against Jonathan Kendrick. And in April 2016 the Watchtower Soc' remained defiant in refusing to hand over documents about the Child Abuse in the USA branch of the JW Org. Now it seems (and remember I'm only going on what I've read) that the JW Org in USA sent out a letter in 1997, to all elders of congregations in the USA. The letter was a direct instruction to the elders to send in ALL documents and information concerning accusations of Child Abuse / Sexual abuse both current and passed. This was to be an ongoing instruction and all information was to be sent in special blue envelopes to Brooklyn. Now there are approx' 14,000 congregations in the USA, and the time period from 1997 to 2017 is of course 20 years. So it would seem that the Governing Body have 20 years worth of accusations concerning Child Abuse and Sexual abuse with in it's USA congregations. However, despite court action and direct instruction to the JW Org / Watchtower Soc', the W/T and JW Org still refuse to hand over the documents to the High court. In November 2017 a High court of California fined the JW Org / WT Soc' $4,000 per day for not handing over the documents, and it seems the cost so far to the Org / WT is more than $2 million. I cannot find out if any of this money has been paid or is still owing.
One other point that I found interesting (providing it's true of course) is that the Governing Body has deliberately separated the JW Org, known as the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Each of these now has its own Legal Department. The purpose of this is to slow down all court proceedings because the Legal Dept from one has to write to the Legal Dept of the other for information, then the legal Dept of the other refuses such information etc. This is what caused the Supreme Court of California to impose the heavy fines on the Org. Basically the court got fed up with the 'clowning around of the JW Org.
So to sum up: It seems that many countries, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, UK and USA, have found and proved many cases of child abuse / sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Society. But what makes this worse is that the Governing Body of the Org' is deliberately withholding the information about pedophiles within its ranks. Add to this that elders of congregations Earthwide are instructed not to inform their congregations about pedophiles within their congregation. And, congregation members are told not to report child abuse / sexual abuse within the congregations, to the Police or outside secular organisations. On top of this victims are not believed, because the Governing Body has made a rule that says there must be two witnesses to any accusation of abuse, which of course will not happen in the case of Child abuse or Sexual abuse.
About me : I was one of Jehovah's Witnesses until about a month ago. After doing approx three months research online my conscience would no longer allow me to remain within the Organisation. How could I encourage other people to join an Organisation that allows Child Abuse /Sexual Abuse to continue unreported and unpunished within its ranks. There could be a pedophile within the congregation that I was part of, I would never know, because the Elders would keep it secret.... However, I do believe in God, whether His name is Jehovah, Yahweh or something else, and I am keeping my mind open as to how I will find the 'truth' of God's requirements.
What i am hoping for is that some BIG media source will bring all the information together concerning all the Child Abuse / Sexual Abuse accusations against the Jehovah's Witnesses Org' and the Watchtower Soc' Earthwide, so that all info' is readily available to everyone. At the moment it all seems so 'bitty' and not organised. Yes there is info' online, but are the sources trustworthy. What is needed is a neutral unemotional factual report, please.
By Srecko Sostar
"Some 80 reports of sexual abuse involving the Jehovah’s Witnesses community have been made over the past month, Trouw said on Thursday.
Justice minister Sander Dekker has already said that the (JW)church should look to the example of the Catholic church to dealing with complaints about sexual abuse."
"We are going to study the measures of the Catholic Church."
- Michel van Hilten, spokesman Jehovah's Witnesses
DutchNews.nl: Dozens come forward to report abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/12/dozens-come-forward-to-report-abuse-by-jehovahs-witnesses/
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