The Watchtower Punished: Society loses legal battle over child abuse case

by cedars 65 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • cedars

    Hi everyone

    It's taken a while, but I've finally managed to put up an article on this remarkable court case.

    A link to my article is below:

    I've tried very hard to make the article as FACTUAL as possible by reading and comparing the various documents available. If I've mentioned anything that ISN'T factual, or is otherwise misleading, please let me know and I will change it immediately.

    I've also tried to explain to ordinary Witnesses precisely WHY the Society's approach to child abuse is so damaging, using a direct quote from the 2010 elders's manual.

    You might be interested that I wrote to a prominent UK charity back in February and asked them to provide a professional opinion on the 2012 "Child Safeguarding Policy" of Jehovah's Witnesses in the UK. I finally got a letter back in April that was scathing of the policy, but the author of the letter (a development consultant) declined the opportunity to have themselves publicly associated with their remarks. I've therefore quoted pertinent parts of the letter anonymously for those who are interested.

    Since this is a very delicate subject, and a fast-moving story, I would very much appreciate feedback on my article on this thread if you feel it can be improved in any way.

    (As always, if you haven't yet taken part in the 2012 JW Survey, please do so!)


  • RubaDub

    Cedars ...

    Thank you. Exactly what I was looking for in an earlier thread I started. When speaking to other JW's I like to just use facts and not speculation.

    Rub a Dub

  • minimus

    Cedars, so well written! It reminds me in style and format of a Watchtower article. That's not a bad thing. I love that you say they were being "punished".

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run


    Thank you once more for pulling together disparate information. I posted earlier that I feared reversal b/c no news article discussed why the WT would have liability in this case and not others. The same issues are popping up around the country. Sandusky, a high level Roman Catholic official in Philadelphia, and this case. Hopefully, society will now impose liability when it makes sense. The consequences of pedophilia are so severe and the impact on Witness doctrine so minsicule, IMO, that a balancing test should be imposed. The present case reveals the congreation had clear prior notice of Kendrick's propensity to abuse children sexually. Public relations campaigns are changing the way jurors view these cases.

    It never made sense to me that the WT has no liability, no negligence, and yet, calling the WT, rather than the proper authorities, is the defined method. If the WT has no liability, why call them?

    Sadly, I fear this will have very little impact on present Witnesses. Recently, I spoke with two sisters concerning an extraneous quote to a Nazi convicted at Nuremberg. HIs work and crimes against humanity were clearly linked by the Nuremberg tribunal. Quoting Nazis was fine with them. Hopefully, the general public will be more wary of becoming Witnesses.

    The Nazi quote and Selma and Steve were not essential to the WT articles. The WT is lawless in many ways. It seems to fuel off what other people rightly condemn.

  • RubaDub

    Cedars ...

    Any idea if Kendrick is currently a JW in the congregation?

    Rub a Dub

  • JW GoneBad
    JW GoneBad

    I have one word for this thread ........................... AWESOME!

  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse

    Great article.

  • Balaamsass

    WOW- My JW goggle alert just popped up at work 5 minutes ago: " Jehovah's Witnesses ordered to pay more than $20 million to woman who said she was sexually abused By James Eng, Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET: In what both sides described as a momentous ruling, a jury in Oakland, Calif., has found that Jehovah’s Witnesses was partly responsible for the alleged sexual abuse of a girl by one of its members and must pay her more than $20 million. Follow @msnbc_us The Alameda County Superior Court jury on Thursday awarded $21 million in punitive damages to the plaintiff, who is now 26 years old. That was on top of the $7 million in compensatory damages it awarded her on Wednesday. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ legal entity, is responsible for the entire punitive damages amount and 40 percent of the compensatory damages, said Rick Simons, attorney for the plaintiff. Sixty percent of the compensatory damages was assessed against Jonathan Kendrick, the man accused of abusing her.

  • cedars

    Thanks everyone!

    If you can spread the article on facebook, email, carrier pidgeon, smoke signals, by whatever means are at your disposal... that would be fantastic!

    Meanwhile, I have emailed the attorney, Rick Simons, for more information, including possible contact information for Candace Contri. I believe her bravery and selflessness should be lauded, and she needs as big a platform as we can give her, although I can understand if she wants to keep a low profile given the traumatic circumstances of her case.

    RubaDub - I don't know whether or not Kendrick is still an active member of the Fremont congregation, but I do know that he has been on the California sex offender's register since 2004. I would think this alone would make any meaningful participation in a congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses untenable, since his criminal conviction (for an incident subsequent to his abuse of Conti) is public knowledge.


  • mind blown
    mind blown

    awesome Cedars!

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