The floodgates are about to open in the UK.. Sunday Times article

by defender of truth 43 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Cadellin
    Thanks for posting this. It's a good article, but I wish the writer could have been accurate with the name in the headline. I can remember my father commenting about negative articles that "if they can't even get our name right, what else have they got wrong?" How many witnesses will dismiss this--or maybe not even read past the headline-- simply because the name in the title offers them a seemingly valid excuse?.
  • Xanthippe
    They will dismiss it anyway Cadellin if they are so inclined. I'm glad the journalist is using what the public call them to protect people from this religion when they wave a leaflet with pretty pictures at their kids in the street.
  • Zoos

    From the newspaper:

    A WOMAN who was abused from the age of four by a senior officer of the Jehovah’s Witnesses has lodged a 500,00 claim for compensation in a test case that could open the door to hundreds more suits involving members of the religious organization in the UK.

    Judges sitting at the High Court in London have been told that Abigail (not her real name) was first molested after Bible-study classes in Leicestershire by Peter Stewart, a ministerial servant of the organization.

    The abuse which included the alleged rape, continued for five years until Abigail was nine, and took place in her home, his home, in a shed and in cars, the court was told.

    Lawyers and AO Advocates, which is representing her, have worked closely with the lawyers of an American woman, Candace Conti, to bring the case. Three years ago Conti was awarded $28m, the biggest religious sex-abuse payout for a single victim, after revealing that the Jehovah’s Witnesses had allowed one of its adult members to abuse her as a child.

    “I brought the case because I wanted them to be sorry and I wanted them to change,” Abigail, now 29, told The Sunday Times last week in her first interview. She has since left the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    “They are a very insular organization. Any change to children’s lives is going to have to come from outside pressure. I tried for years to get an apology. It was degrading having to beg for an apology and I did not get one.”

    The religious organization which Abigail’s lawyer, Kathleen Hallisey, describes as “male-dominated”, required girls to wear dresses, which made the abuse of Abigail easier, the court was told.

    Stewart gave the little girl Quality Street chocolates and led her to believe that when Armageddon came she would not be saved because of their “fornication”. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the end of the world is immanent.

    In 1995 Stewart was convicted of assaulting another child and sent to prison for five years. When he emerged, Abigail, terrified the abuse might resume, told the police about her own ordeal and Stewart was arrested and charged. He died in 2001 before the case came to trial.

    Abigail said that she went to court for compensation because of the response of the senior members in the organization to whom she complained.

    She claims that, following Stewart’s release, she went to the organization’s elders but was told that, “Because there was not a second witness to the abuse”, he would be reinstated as a ministerial servant. Eventually she confided in her husband, who urged her to take legal action.

    “I want them to change and to change some of their practices, too. I would never have gone to court if I had had an apology,” she said.

    “Victims of abuse are made to confront their perpetrators. I do not understand how this organization can organize meetings between perpetrators and victims. It is criminal that that is being done. That should stop. They also have a rule that there have to be two witnesses to abuse and they must be of good character.

    “Abuse is regarded as a sin, not a crime. I want this to change to protect other children in the future.”

    Lawyers suggested that the situation was reminiscent of that in the Catholic Church, with widespread abuse unreported to police.

    “We expect this case to open the floodgates to dozens, if not hundreds, more cases,” said Hallisey. The firm already has six other clients who are awaiting the outcome of Abigail’s case before deciding whether to go to court.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses as a Christian organization whose members are best known for preaching door-to-door and distributing religious literature such as The Watchtower and Awake! magazines. They are understood to be considering setting up high-street drop-in centers and have also recently started canvassing at Tube stations.

    Abigail has found it difficult to hold down a job for long, did not complete a university education and suffers from a post-traumatic stress disorder. She has made several suicide attempts and told her lawyers she did not expect to live past the age of 30. It has affected me in every way,” she said. “It has changed who I would have been.”

    A spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses said: “While deeply sympathizing with any victims of abuse, we do not consider it appropriate to comment on a case where a ruling by the judge is still pending. “Jehovah’s Witness have an absolute and unequivocal abhorrence of child abuse. The care and safeguarding of children is extremely important to us. For decades we have published material to help parents and children to be protected from abuse.”

  • 88JM

    It's not in the Scottish version of the Sunday Times, sadly, so readers north of the border won't see it except online

    And now I feel dirty because I just gave £2.50 to the Murdochs.

  • Phizzy
    Hopefully the tabloids will pick up on this, not that I have any time for the tabloids, but if JW's read a newspaper, it is usually a tabloid.
  • flipper

    Thanks for posting this thread. Very sad story, horrific. Once again a child molester being re-appointed into a position of oversight. Pretty disgusting. Once again the floodgates and hounds of hell are about to unleash Bad Karma against the WT Society this time in England - possibly hundreds of child abuse cases. Wow. When will this organization ever learn ? It's obvious the WT Society and it's leaders have NOT learned and they stubbornly and arrogantly still refuse to take responsibility for their lax child abuse policies. I don't think they ever WILL admit fault. Too prideful.

    At least the Catholic church and the Pope apologized to victims in a public manner. WT leaders ? WT Society quote : " For decades we have published material to help parents and children to be protected from abuse. " Uh-huh. Like the secret letter to the elders on Oct. 1st, 2012 that gives them the authority to re-appoint anybody who may have been an allegedly " repentant " child molester back into positions of Ministerial Servants or elders ? You mean THAT kind of " protection " ? Bunch of idiots running this organization. Sounds like all WT leaders want to do is justify their criminal negligence. I liked the Pope a lot more. Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • The Searcher
    The Searcher

    Thanks ZOOS!

    @ 88JM - I'm in the same boat as you!

    For some strange reason, the Sunday Times didn't run the Witness paedophile story in its printed newspaper - only online!!

    Simply means that hardly any Witnesses will see this.

    I'll bet they're dancing the "happy" dance in Mill Hill Bethel today!

    I telephoned The Times and was told that not all online stories are actually put into print!


  • cofty
    It was in the print edition south of the border. GoneAWOL has posted a scan above ^^^^^^
  • disposable hero of hypocrisy
    disposable hero of hypocrisy

    I've got it in Yorkshire in the print edition.

    The wife asked if I'd bought it for a particular reason as I don't normally.. I said I'd heard that 'we' were in it.

    I hope her curiosity will take over, I'll only get criticised for being negative if I point it out.

    But I know that she'll have the same attitude as stated above, 'if they've got minor details wrong, who knows what else they've got wrong'. (if only I could get her to apply that line of thinking to the world of jw!)

  • Phizzy

    " (if only I could get her to apply that line of thinking to the world of jw!) "

    Why not say to her "That's a good point ! we should apply that principle to everything we look at !"

    And then feel free to remind her she agreed when you do so in reference to JW "mistakes".

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