I just received the email below from an XJW in Quebec. We were wondering if we would get to see the program, a JW expose', we were interviewed for last Spring and now everyone can see it all on the Internet. It aired on Swiss TV yesterday. Sorry to say it's entirely in French. The interview with Bill Bowen, Joe and I can be seen towards the end of the 52 minute documentary speaking English but translated into French. This program was seen in France, Italy and Switzerland. Barbara A very good documentary on JW's aired on Nov. the 11th. We can see Bill Bowen and the Anderson's. It's in French though. "Grandir avec Jéhovah" : "Growing with Jehovah" Online : http://www.tsr.ch/emissions/temps-present/2482487-grandir-avec-jehovah.html
Swiss TV Program w/Andersons and Bowen on the Internet although in French
Bill Bowen's interiew starts at about minute 36, and the Andersons come a little later. It was too difficult for me to hear what was spoken in English.
Great Work Barbara
I am really proud of you......
Sorry, cannot read French. However, Kudos to all of you for the good work. Yes, its important to expose the Watchtower. Its not what it claim to be.
I received this email from Roberto di Stafano, a poster on JWN, whose interview appeared early on in the Swiss program. His daughter, Amanda, was the first one who expressed herself about what it was like being raised a JW. His son, Fulvio, was the next one interviewed.
Hi Barb, Yes indeed, it was an excellent program! I have appreciated that they did not misrepresent what we tried to communicate; you know how some journalists are sometimes.
We wanted to call you when the program was over, but we had so many phone calls and skype contacts that you cannot imagine; even my doctor called right afterwards. At the end I was so stressed and tired that I had to go to bed.
I plan to translate it into English and Italian, once I get the OK from the TV Program management. Will let you know.
It is good that you post it on JWN. I really had no time, and just did it in French apart from Italian.
Reactions are very explosive, people are insulting Amanda and Fulvio on the TV forum, where spectators can comment, all JW of course, whereas the general public was applauding the courage we had to leave, on one hand, and to come in the open on TV to witness against the WT.
In french? Awesome. So totally NOT a problem. Marking to view later.
Edited from a Google translation of the video description:
Growing up with Jehovah
Veritable canvassers for God, Jehovah's Witnesses knock on doors in almost every country. They are 18,000 in Switzerland, 7 million worldwide. Swiss Romande [French-speaking Switzerland], "Present Time" went to meet those who believe and those who have lost it, and reassembled at the source of a global pedophilia scandal. All those who testify in this story throughout the course have a unique common point: they grew up with Jehovah.
Yeah! I think we all need to go to Switzerland to watch it?
Why is Bill Bowen in the wheelchair? Why is he half naked?
If the audio is in stereo, it might be possible to split and invert to remove the French vocal. Might be worth a try if the input is stereo.
Here's the gist of some segments of the program translated by a friend in Paris. She said:
I will try to recount what they were saying in French, starting with "Eric".
That is not his real name. Since he is still a JW, he didn't want to be recognized, hence the covered head and synthesized voice. The narrator says Eric wanted to give the interview incognito.
Eric starts by saying that just giving this interview and saying anything that goes against the Watchtower would result in excommunication. He would be shunned and no one among his family or friends would speak to him. For ten years, Eric has been having doubts. But inside the congregation those doubts must not be cited. They have made it clear that if anyone has any doubts in God's organization then you doubt God, doubt the Christ, doubt your family who believe in this organization, and therefore the final result is excommunication.
Excommunication is a sword that is always hanging above your head, Eric said. These doubts were enforced even more the day his very sick child had to have a blood transfusion, one of the major interdictions of the
JWs. Eric's view is that his child did not choose to be a JW. Although Eric himself is one, his child did not choose to be one. He won't impose his religion on his child. He told the doctors to do what ever
necessary, and if his child needs blood, then give it to him.
Since his child was hospitalized, he got constant visits from elders, citing scriptures to encourage Eric not to have his child transfused. He did not want to tell the elders that his child had already been transfused. He does not feel ready yet to be disfellowshipped. He says that the day he will be disfellowshipped, he would be ostracized by his friends and family; they would not be able to see nor speak nor even ask how he is, even to respond to an SMS or an email. If he is trying not to be disfellowshipped, the only reason is so as not to
distress his parents. He is actually waiting for them to pass away so that he would be finally free of the JWs. If he was disfellowshipped, for his parents it would be like he was dead—impossible to see him again.
After Andersons’ interview, the JW elder who was interviewed said: "We as Jehovah's Witnesses warn our children to be careful and watch out for inappropriate behavior from adults in this respect. He then
showed magazines saying that the JWs have published articles years before the Catholic priests scandals warning not only JW children but children from all over the world the dangers of pedophilia.
Then there is the part of the program where the guy is writing furiously and the words appear on a computer screen. Somewhere in Switzerland, another elder says he has lived a different reality. He is burning to tell his story, but is afraid of strong reprisals for him and his family. He has decided to write down in text his experiences. His writings are then officially authenticated by a notary public, then read out loud by an actor:
"One of the members in our congregation, a brother, had come forward to tell us elders, that he had committed a serious sin, that he had been sexually abusing two of his children. I thought the world was falling apart. How could something like this be even possible in the midst of Jehovah's house? In this type of situation,
all the elders must keep this in absolute secret. The procedure is as follows: a committee is comprised of three elders capable of judging the case, a kind of closed court within the JWs. The decision of the
closed court, with the agreement of the leadership in Thun, was excommunication.
“But even more serious, is the fact then none of the leaders or elders denounced this man, either locally or nationally, to the police for violating the law against incest. None of the leaders took any action to protect the young victims. This man committed a crime, and nobody lifted a finger to deliver this man to justice. I personally gave my opinion on this matter to the JW authorities in Switzerland, and even higher up, but in vain. So I ended up leaving the JWs."
Now the same elder who was interviewed before comes on. He says "Well, I read half of the text", and the journalist cuts in and says "I invite you to read the entire text, it's important." And he replies,
"No, well, this text is written by one person, one-sided, doesn't give his identity; doesn't give a date... I'm not capable to react to this type of anonymous message."
The journalist then asks, "Is it true that in a case like this you demand two witnesses, as the bible demands two witnesses?"
The elder replies: "In the majority of cases, yes. But in pedophilia cases, it is too serious to ask for two witnesses. You have a hard time imagining finding two witnesses in a case where an uncle or someone else is molesting a child in his room while the parents are away."
Journalist asks, "Is the person denounced immediately and without discussion to the police?"
Elder: "In a case like this, it is up to the parents to go to the police, according to Swiss legislation."
Journalist: "And if it is a case of incest which has become known to you?"
Now the elder feels uneasy and fumbles.
"Well...uh...so.... in that case.... uh... well, I never experienced this case personally, so I can't answer that, but anyway, I know of two cases, one was proven and one was not, but in the proven case, the
police were immediately called."
Then Roberto explains about what is highlighted in the elder's manual. He then says as an elder he knew of several serious cases which were not denounced. He knows of others which were. It depends on the case. In most cases the organization demands secrecy. If the person is already disfellowshipped and no longer a JW, then it's easy to denounce him, and would be a show that they were "doing something about it" but when the person is not disfellowshipped, then they don't go to the police.
Then they interview a lawyer who is an expert on this subject. The journalist explains that in Switzerland the law makes mandatory every citizen who comes to know of a case of child sexual abuse to denounce
them to the police, every citizen except those who are covered under the law of professional confidentiality. The lawyer who is interviewed is an expert on religious beliefs. He says, "A clergyman benefits from
the laws of confidentiality, protected by the same penal codes as a doctor, for example. In consequence, he is not under obligation to tell the authorities, but he does have the ability to do it."
The journalist then explains that in Switzerland, there is no list of official religions. It is up to the courts on case by case basis to determine the ecclesiastical functions of the title of "elder."
The lawyer admits that the Swiss legislation on this matter has a large loop-hole. He says, "Personally, I think because of the fragility of the minors involved and often their impossibility to express
themselves, or sometimes doing so very late in life or sometimes too late in life, I think there should be a clear obligation to denounce these facts by anyone as soon as they become known."
Journalist: "So they should change the laws on this matter?" Lawyer: "The laws must evolve accordingly in this domain, absolutely."
The journalist concludes: "The faith of the JWs, no matter how backwards they look from the outside, is not up for discussion. However, the gaps in Swiss legislation are worth thinking about. During these past few years, no Swiss legislator has dared to take on this dossier."
Thank you so much
Hi "asilentone." Bill Bowen had an accident this past Spring when he fell. I was told that he seriously fractured one of his legs in two places below the knee. That's why he was seen in a wheel chair in the program. I suppose he was wearing walking shorts because he could not wear pants over the cast. Maybe somebody else can enlighten us further.
Sorry not to have participated earlier to this thread.
The program was one of my goals as exit strategy, together with the sending of a 6 pages letter to over 300 JW delegitimizing the JW baptism and the FDS as the entity used by God to communicate with men, the launching of my internet site (basically in Italian) and the organization of Barbara’s European trip, where I acted as translator of her two conferences on pedophilia and the dangers of associating with Jehovah Witnesses.
The judicial committee had invited me to attend on May 20 th of 2009. That same day, instead of me showing up at the JC meeting, my letter was received by over 300 people and my internet site went online.
Right after, I have contacted the Swiss Television national channel and lobbied the airing of a new program on JW, as a follow-up to the previous Swedish program on pedophilia, which was aired in Switzerland 5 years ago in July 2005.
The idea was discussed with the TV program management and for a number of months, I had to meet with several representatives to tell my story and what the subject could be for a new program.
After a while, the project was accepted. At first they just wanted to allow me to tell my story for about 10 minutes, but when they heard the different aspects of the subject I would have loved to see discussed in the program, they ended up giving it the maximum time allowed for that national Swiss French program, viz. 55 minutes!
I suggested that the program included Ray Franz, Barbara Anderson and Bill Bowen and I gave the journalists their contact details. Their participation would have given more weight to what the program wanted to demonstrate.
Unfortunately, Franz declined the offer, because he did not feel well physically, but gave me his agreement to use, if needed any of the tapes available of his different trips in Europe.
At the end, the journalists discarded this option, but retained the participation of Bill and Barbara.
This is how their interview has finally ended up in the program.
The shooting and the collection of the information from which to compile the program took over three months and has cost, according to the journalist, over 200’000 dollars.
The whole thing was completed end June, and we were just waiting for the program to be put on the agenda. Finally, it has been aired on November 11 th , and will be aired again tomorrow afternoon by the Swiss TV and will, later, be aired by TV5 all over the world, but we do not have the dates yet.
The Swiss TV opens a forum for each program it airs, every week, to give the public the opportunity to comment, ask questions or … bitch about it.
The reactions on the forum are very interesting. You have had the chance to read the translation done in Queben and posted by Barbara. Unfortunately, translating the whole forum is just impossible.
Right now, there are over 120 threads open, each one with its own discussions, which can be 1 to over a dozen posts each. It is just unbelievable the echo this program is having over here.
Geneva is not a large town, just over 300’000 people. You normally know several people who know several others, and at the end one can say that you are … known around, specially if your professional activity touch hundreds of people, such as the internet business of Fulvio, my son, the bank business of Amanda, my daughter or my job at DuPont, one of the American multinationals around here where I spent 38 years.
Therefore, the comments coming from Geneva, are very very personal. Many people have appreciated and applauded our courage to come in the open, not hiding our name or our face. Some of these know us personally. Others have recounted their miserable experiences as JW.
Many active, inactive or ex-JW whom we know very well, even when we read their anonymous posts on the forum, have been widely violent, attacking personally my kids and myself. Fulvio and Amanda have responded, I didn’t.
I am waiting for the activity on the forum to die out and then I will post my reply and comments.
I have already prepared it (in French) and it is just waiting for the right moment to be posted.
It is 4 pages long, and covers
- a) distinction between people and the Organization and its teachings
- b) why I left the Organization (which was obviously one of the questions many people had knowning that I had been a witness for 59 years, and an Elder for 27 years)
- c) what I am doing now (some have alleged that I am a guru leading a new cult ….)
- d) what I think of the outrageous and despicable comments made by many witnesses and ex witnesses.
I will be translating the document into English and post it right here.
Well, this is where we stand now.
Roberto DI STEFANO – alias Nick!
Thank you Roberto for your continued efforts to get the message out about the harmful practices that the Watch Tower inflicts on the personal lives of sincere and good people and their children in the name of religion. We are especially grateful to the Swiss journalists and the management of the Swiss national TV channel to undertake the project at such a huge expense. It's wonderful that the program will to be shown around the world. Hopefully, more and more people will take to heart the real truth about Jehovah's Witnesses, that they have religious beliefs that cause deaths, in the case of their ban on blood, and the breakup of families all over the world.
Witness leadership can't silence former JWs by lying, such as saying that the two-witness policy does not apply in cases of pedophilia, when we know that in truth it is actually the opposite and is one of the biggest problems with their child-abuse policy. Former Jehovah's Witnesses have become a formitable army speaking out against Watch Tower injustice and with the help of the media and governments, this abuse must and will stop. It's only a matter of time when the hateful voices of Jehovah's Witnesses defending what they know nothing about will become fewer and fewer as their organization declines in numbers and the influence of their lying leaders in New York will be gone.