I read a comment on another thread and a comment stated that Pedophiles are protected. Is it because you need at least two to witness an event to make it legit? Please explain this to me. I've never been a dub but am really curious to know. Thanks!
How are pedophiles protected in the WT???
Basically thats it. When you are accused, if it is only the word of one child, by their rules an accusation cannot stick. That is how so many walked for so long. And to top it off, the alleged incidents were never reported to the authorities ( police, social service, schools, etc) because Most witnesses and elder bodies were scared of how this would reflect on the society and witnesses as a whole.
Where can I find documentation of this? Are there news articles? An official WT response?
The official WT stance on this issue is that if the accused denies the allegations and if the victim doesn't have 2 witnesses the elders will claim that there isn't sufficient evidence fot them to do anything. The victim is warned to be quiet because if they tell other JW as a warning they will be spreading rumors and slander and action would be taken against them. The stupidity of this rule even applies when the accused has been taken to court and found GUILTY by a court of law.
If you go to the first page in the The Best of... WTS and Sexual Abuse of Children there is a lot of documentation regarding the issue. I think it was Dateline that showed a convicted pedophile going door to door by himself. And this was after the WTS told the program producers that any JW found guilty (I guess by their standards and not the real laws of the land) would only be allowed to go door to door escorted by another JW. The stupidity of this rule was that the person escorting the pedophile would have absolutely no idea that the person was a pedophile and that he needed an ascort.
There would be nothing the WTS could do (except say that all baptized JWs must go door-to-door) to warn the congreagation of the abuse (supposedly a breach of confidentiality). There would be nothing to stop that person from going door to door on his own. And if he showed up at the pre-service meetings and he was the only male he would have to take the lead, say the prayer, and divide the group up into pairs. Since no one would know his status there would be absolutely nothing stopping him from pairing himself up with a child.
In various court cases the elders and JWs have gone to court and sat on the side of the perpetrator and shunned the victim/survivor. The link above has a lot of information. You can also find a lot of info on the www.silentlambs.org website.
This issue has been extremely well documented by reputable media in the US. Canada, Australia, and the UK. I believe there may have been some European countries also where in-depth coverage was given.
The WTS wants people to believe that this is a rare or local issue. However they have a list of over 23,000 pedophiles in a file which they refuse to turn over to legal authorities.
You might also want to check out postings from stillconcerned, a lawyer who is working on this issue
This is from http://www.exjws.net/sexabuse/whatchange.htm
Watchtower Policy on Pedophiles: What Needs to Change
1. Report matter to the police first.
What does the Watchtower say? Note the 97 WT on direction for reporting what is bad:
w97 8/15 26-30 Why Report What Is Bad?
Appreciating the Value of Reproof Among Jehovah’s people, however, there is a different attitude toward reproof. Godly men and women deeply appreciate the arrangement Jehovah has made to help erring ones inside the Christian congregation. They recognize such discipline as an expression of his loving-kindness.—Hebrews 12:6-11.
What is that arrangement? Is it going to the police when a crime is committed?
In our day too, Jehovah’s servants can become involved in serious wrongdoing, even those who have been faithful for many years. Recognizing that the elders can assist, most take the initiative to approach them for help. (James 5:13-16) But sometimes a wrongdoer may try to cover up his sin, as did King David. What should we do if we come to know about serious wrongdoing in the congregation?
Whose Responsibility Is It?
When elders learn about serious wrongdoing, they approach the individual involved to give needed help and correction. It is the elders’ responsibility to judge such ones inside the Christian congregation. Keeping a close watch on its spiritual condition, they assist and admonish anyone who is taking an unwise or wrong step.—1 Corinthians 5:12, 13; 2 Timothy 4:2; 1 Peter 5:1, 2.
So does this just apply to slander of moral crimes committed by adults that break bible law? Notice the scripture used to define wrongdoing.
But what if you are not an elder and you come to know about some serious wrongdoing on the part of another Christian? Guidelines are found in the Law that Jehovah gave to the nation of
Though not under the Mosaic Law, Christians today can be guided by the principles behind it. (Psalm 19:7, 8) So if you learn about the serious wrongdoing of a fellow Christian, what should you do?
Where are we given the right here to call the police? Not one word offered. So who do you go to? See below.
Handling the Matter
First of all, it is important that there is valid reason to believe that serious wrongdoing has really occurred. “ Do not become a witness against your fellowman without grounds,” stated the wise man. “Then you would have to be foolish with your lips.”—Proverbs 24:28.
You may decide to go directly to the elders. It is not wrong to do so. Usually, however, the most loving course is to approach the person involved. Perhaps the facts are not as they appear to be. Or perhaps the situation is already being handled by the elders. Calmly discuss the matter with the person. If there remains reason to believe that a serious wrong has been committed, encourage him or her to approach the elders for help, and explain the wisdom of doing so. Do not talk to others about the matter, for that would be gossip.
If the person does not report to the elders within a reasonable period of time, then you should. One or two elders will then discuss the matter with the accused. The elders need to “search and investigate and inquire thoroughly” to see if wrong has been done. If it has, they will handle the case according to Scriptural guidelines.—Deuteronomy -14.
Who investigates the crime first? THE ELDERS! Yet still no mention of going to the police. Then if there are only one witness what do you have to do? Report it to police then? See Below.
At least two witnesses are required to establish a charge of wrongdoing. (John 8:17; Hebrews 10:28) If the person denies the charge and your testimony is the only one, the matter will be left in Jehovah’s hands. (1 Timothy 5:19, 24, 25) This is done in the knowledge that all things are “openly exposed” to Jehovah and that if the person is guilty, eventually his sins will “catch up” with him.—Hebrews ; Numbers 32:23.
There you have it the basis of discouraging victims to go to the police. They are clearly instructed to leave it in Jehovah’s hands. That means do nothing. Can you warn any other parents whose children may be in harms way? See Below.
But suppose the person does deny the charge and you are the only witness against him. Could you now be open to a countercharge of slander? No, not unless you have gossiped to those not involved in the matter. It is not slanderous to report conditions affecting a congregation to those having authority and responsibility to oversee and correct matters. It is, in fact, in line with our desire always to do what is correct and loyal.—Compare Luke 1:74, 75.
So if you gossip and tell others about your child being molested you could be charged with slander and expelled from the congregation. What is the reason why? See Below.
Maintaining Holiness in the Congregation
One reason for reporting wrongdoing is that it works to preserve the cleanness of the congregation. Jehovah is a clean God, a holy God. He requires all those who worship him to be spiritually and morally clean. His inspired Word admonishes: “As obedient children, quit being fashioned according to the desires you formerly had in your ignorance, but, in accord with the Holy One who called you, do you also become holy yourselves in all your conduct, because it is written: ‘You must be holy, because I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:14-16) Individuals who practice uncleanness or wrongdoing can bring defilement and Jehovah’s disfavor upon an entire congregation unless action is taken to correct or remove them.—Compare Joshua, chapter 7.
The congregation does their own dirty laundry and keeps outsiders uninformed. This is the basis of how the congregation operates. Jehovah’s Witnesses are NOT free to go to the police. They are required to OBEY the direction of the elders. If they do not they are disfellowshipped . Thus Watchtower Policy requires a child molestation victim to go to the ELDERS FIRST and this is the error of WT policy.
2. A pedophile should never hold a position of responsibility within the congregation.
The 1-1-97 Watchtower seemed to indicate this would be the policy for Jehovah’s Witnesses, yet in just three short months a letter was sent (along with more to follow) to Bodies of Elders that changed that policy. The 97 letter stated:
“It may be possible that some who were guilty of child molestation were or are now serving as elders, ministerial servants, or regular or special pioneers. Others may have been guilty of child molestation before they were baptized. The bodies of elders should not query individuals.”
This statement made provision for pedophile to continue to serve. That was further collaborated by the letter to Bodies of Elders in which states:
“There is one exception to the above direction: The elders may have written to the branch office and given full details about a former child abuser who is currently serving as an elder or ministerial servant. In such a case, if the branch office has decided that he can be appointed or continue serving in a position of trust because the sin occurred many years ago and because he has lived an exemplary life since then, his name should not appear on the List, nor is it necessary to pass on information about the brother’s past sin if he moves to another congregation unless contrary instructions have been given by the branch.”
Child Molesters are clearly given positions of responsibility within the congregation at the direction of WT Policy. Time passing should be no factor for a pedophile.
3. Child molesters should never be allowed to participate in the door to door ministry.
Is this WT policy? Please note the Watchtower which initially established molester policy. What would a child molester who is newly released from prison be required to do to show his repentance? See Below.
w97 1/1 29 Let Us Abhor What Is Wicked ”Depending on the law of the land where he lives, the molester may well have to serve a prison term or face other sanctions from the State…’If he seems to be repentant, he will be encouraged to make spiritual progress, share in the field service..”
A newly released child molester is required by WT Policy to call at the homes of the unknowing public. THAT IS WT POLICY!
This information shows without doubt something is terribly wrong in this matter. This “Policy” presents a danger to children within the organization as well as those who are met in the door to door work. If the Governing Body really wishes to be a “faithful slave” they should move at ONCE to correct this mistake and protect the children.
Is it Really a Pedophile Paradise?
Do Jehovah's Witnesses approve, condone, and encourage accused, confessed, and convicted child molesters to call door to door on unknowing potential victims in the witnessing work?
Do Judicial Committees require two witnesses to the event of molestation before taking any disciplinary measures?
Do elders allow sex offenders complete anonymity when they are discovered?
Do they threaten parents of molested children with disfellowshipment if they try to warn other members whose children may be in danger?
Does the Service Department remove elders who warn parents of a pedophile member even though the elder is simply attempting to protect the children of the congregation?
Does your Kingdom Hall provide significant training on how to direct a molested child to get the help they so desperately need?
Does the Watchtower Organization advise you that the best way to help a "troubled" person is to instruct them to endure and wait for God's Kingdom to solve their problems?
What is the TRUTH and what is the MYTH?
Myth 1: Jehovah's Witnesses protect children within their organization against confessed or convicted child molesters.
The Truth is…
A confessed or convicted pedophile is allowed anonymity within the Watchtower Organization. When a confessed or convicted pedophile moves from one congregation to another, elders are supposed to send a letter to that person to the new congregation. However, only the elders in the congregation are privy to this information. No one within the congregation would be informed of the pedophile's presence. Even the wives of the elders are not to be given this information. This can be a real danger for children, putting them into contact with a confessed or convicted pedophile.
There have been occasions when elders purposely withheld their children from being around "known" pedophiles while other unknowing “publishers” (members of the congregation) in the same congregation have had their children molested because of not being informed of the pedophiles past.
Myth 2: Jehovah's Witnesses take precautions to protect children within their organization against accused child molesters.
The Truth is…
Sex offenders are given complete anonymity when they are discovered. An accused pedophile is viewed as an innocent man, and elders and members of a congregation others are disallowed from warning people of the accusations against the molester. An accused pedophile is allowed to freely move from one Jehovah’s Witness congregation to another, without a letter to follow. An accused pedophile can serve as an elder or have any privilege in a congregation even if convicted by a court of law. In fact, this protection for an accused pedophile extends to this policy: if any Jehovah’s Witness disagrees with this policy, then that person can be deemed "causing divisions" and is subject to disciplinary action by the organization.
Myth 3: Jehovah’s Witnesses take disciplinary measures against a child molester.
The Truth is…
Jehovah’s Witness Judicial Com mittees require two witnesses to the event of molestation before taking any disciplinary measures, making it extremely difficult for a victim to obtain disciplinary measures within the organization against a child molester. If a person is accused of being a pedophile, and that person denies the charge, he is considered innocent until proven guilty. This works to the pedophile's advantage since the requirement for two witnesses means to the same event, not two separate occasions.
Public relations representatives for the Watchtower Organization have stated to media they will now take witnesses to separate incidents and take action in congregations. This became a policy instituted when silentlambs.org pressed the issue on child abuse. What’s the result of this new policy? Often numerous children will be molested before a "second witness" to "separate incident" might come forward. Numerous reports from abuse survivors in the organization indicate the "separate second eye witness" was seldom if ever honored in the event they came forward.
The Watchtower Organization says it will accept corroborating evidence of child molestation such as pictures, video, pregnancy, or DNA evidence. However, such evidence is seldom available in a case of child molestation.
Myth 4: Jehovah’s Witnesses take steps to protect children in the public from accused, confessed and convicted child molesters.
The Truth is…
Jehovah's Witnesses approve, condone, and encourage accused, confessed, and convicted child molesters to call door to door on unknowing potential victims in the “witnessing” work. The Watchtower Organization requires all members of its organization to participate in “witness” work, going door to door in the public to spread the word about the bible. The Watchtower Organization does not prohibit a confessed or convicted child molester from contact with children in going door to door to “witness” (preach about the bible).
The primary purpose of “witnessing” when Jehovah’s Witnesses go door to door in the public is to start home bible studies. If an accused or convicted pedophile starts a study with a family who has children, no directive is offered on protocol of how this is to be handled. No policy exists within the Watchtower Organization that prevents a Jehovah's Witness child molester from studying the bible with families (even those with children) outside of a Jehovah’s Witness congregation. There have been occasions where a molester started a bible study with people that have shown interest in religion and then molested their children.
Myth 6: Jehovah’s Witnesses protect and support parents of molested children.
The Truth is…
Jehovah’s Witnesses threaten parents of molested children with disfellowshipment if they try to warn other members whose children may be in danger. The parents of a victim are required to follow the direction of the elders and trust their judgment of the matter. The "reproach" of the congregation is turned into "reproach" on God and provides the basis to keep parents from going to the outside for assistance. In the event a parent chooses to go to police, they are often advised to not disclose what religion they are so as to not bring "reproach" on God's name. This can cause difficulty for police investigations by not having complete information the elders have advised them to withhold. The congregation will be advised the alleged molester is innocent by their investigation and members will impede a police investigation to protect a person the elders have deemed innocent.
Myth 7: Jehovah’s Witnesses elders warn families in their congregations about convicted, confessed or accused pedophiles in their congregations.
The Truth is…
Jehovah’s Witness Service Department punish elders in its congregation if they warn parents of pedophiles in their congregation. Elders who warn parents of a pedophile congregation member, even if the elder is simply attempting to protect the children of the congregation, may be removed as elders in their congregation. Elders are instructed to maintain absolute confidentiality with any judicial matter.
Infractions that violate biblical law are recorded within the confidential file for that congregation. In the event a person is “disfellowshipped,” a complete report is sent to home office where a second record of the infraction is maintained. If a person commits a crime, records are placed within the local congregation file and then a full report is to be maintained indefinitely at the Watchtower Organization Legal Dept. The congregation confidential files and the files of Watchtower Organization Legal Department contain thousands of crimes that have never been reported to police and never will be because "ecclesial privilege" will be used as a basis to hide criminals from justice. These "files" allow thousands of child molesters to escape prosecution. Elders are forbidden to tell anyone of a confessed pedophile who attends the local congregation.
Myth 8: Jehovah’s Witnesses support the victims of pedophiles and help them seek treatment and protection under the law.
The Truth is…
The Watchtower Organization is a closed society that encourages incidents of child molestation be handled within the organization. Only at the advice of Watchtower Legal will elders even suggest to parents a child molester be reported to the police. Typically edlers are advised to remain neutral when it comes to the reporting of chidl abuse. At the congregation level the only action that can be taken with a confessed child molester is a "local needs" part that would state to watch your children, but nothing would be directly stated that a pedophile was actually in the congregation. Another action could be for the elders to have a meeting with the pedophile and tell him/her they would monitor their conduct around children. He/she cannot have children at their home for sleepovers nor hold them in their lap or work alone with children in the field ministry. The elders generally have contact at meetings and in the field ministry. The rest of the time the pedophile has the freedom to monitor his/her self.
The Watchtower Organization is a closed society that thinks everyone outside the organization is a part of Satan's world. Satan's world will be destroyed when the day of judgment comes and this includes everyone who does not become a Jehovah's Witness. The basis for this teaching is found in scriptures like 1 John 5:19 that states, "The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one." This reinforces the Jehovah’s Witness mentality that anytime you go outside the organization, the help you obtain is being guided ultimately by Satan and you should be distrustful of what they offer in any way.
One letter to Body Of Elders dated 1992 states that therapy could be sought for molestation victims if it was "in harmony with bible principles." This implies victims would need to approach a therapist and demand that any guidance given must be offered in complete harmony with the way Jehovah's Witnesses believe the bible.
Elders have absolutely no training on guidance, therapy or counseling when it comes to child molestation issues. The 1994 Elders School specifically advised against getting training on counseling or therapy for mental health issues stating, "we are spiritual shepherds only." The admonition was to listen, read a scripture, and say a prayer and that should be sufficient. The attitude was, some things will not be solved till the "new order" and persons with difficulty should learn to endure. The way troubled victims were advised to cope was to read the bible, pray, be regular at church meetings and participate more in the field ministry.
Thanks for posting that merry