Britain | Jehovah's Witnesses hushed up child sex scandal | July 16, 2013

by jwleaks 172 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • inbetween

    JW like to hide behind the clergy privilege of churches. I dont know how the law is in the UK, but in my country, what is said in a confession to a clergyman (eg catholic priest), cannot by law be forced to reveal.

    JW like to use the same law for themselves, however, there is one big difference: What is confessed to a catholic priest stays with him. What is confessed to 1 or 2 elders, if its serious, will be made known to the whole BOE, in some more difficult cases to the CO, the branch, and if the wrongdoer moves to another congregation, they will inform the BOE there as well.

    But when it comes to a seroius crime, the authorities will not be informed, because of their confidentiality rights ? Does not make sense, as soo much of the WTS.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    @Prime: Please explain this then - from the article:

    For three years, the elders refused to co-operate with the criminal investigation and kept up that stance when the case was brought before Newcastle Crown Court after the victim made a complaint to police.

  • soft+gentle

    marvellous news that JW secretive policies are being held to the light and vicitms are getting justice

  • besty


    A person may disagree with the religious sentiment of the organization, but without it, there will be no confession.

    You are stating only Jehovah's Witnesses will ever plead guilty. Except in this case, where Gordon Leighton denied all charges to the police, lawyers, judge and jury. Some confession.

    At the least, this article reveals that this man denied allegations against him to the police and the courts.

    That is his right - to make the criminal justice system prove him to be be guilty beyond reasonable doubt - which it did. I fail to see how any impartial reading of the facts of this case could find that Jehovahs Witness elders helped the secular authorities to the maximum extent possible. The judge had to force them to comply which they finally did after3 years of obstruction.

    If there was a hard-line policy that all confessions are automatically routed to the police, the chances that there will be a confession would be greatly reduced

    I'm confused by what you are saying.

    Do you mean that if a child abuser knows he will be handed over to the cops immediately no questions asked - period - then he will lie, cry and deny to the elders who may decide there isn't enough evidence to turn him in?

    Can you see why religions like Jehovah's Witnesses have become known as a paedophile paradise?

  • Refriedtruth
  • cedars


    How big of a deal is this in the UK, is it all over the news or just local news or pretty much none at all????

    Sadly, it looks like this is just being treated as local news. The story has made it into the Daily Mail (a national tabloid) but only after they spun it as a "sex scandal." So far the major news channels seem to be silent.

    It amazes me how stories like this with a clear public interest don't get touched. The UK media really disappoints me.


  • besty

    I'm baffled by the advice given to these elders by the Legal Dept.

    If the Watchtower Society had instructed them to comply fully with the police, the story - whilst still newsworthy given the circumstances of the death of his wife and the horrific crimes he went on to commit - would have have been nowhere near so abhorrent.

    3 years of obstructing the police investigation followed by months of legal wrangling with the courts folllowed by an 11th hour submission under threat from the judge makes them look like they are fighting so hard to protect a paedophile and showing no regard for the victims.

    They are their own worst enemies - like Rick Simmons said a while back - they need a few more lessons. Their <almost certainly Jehovahs Witness> barrister Richard Daniels got a short lesson in this trial. He said:

    'Privileged communication between members of the congregation and ministers is an absolute right and duty and there is no power in law to breach such a confidence.'

    The judge disagreed:

    “It is apparent that the three elders who were present when this conversation took place are in possession of relevant evidence as to a point which is of real significance in this case. They claim the right of confidentiality, they claim that what they heard said by the defendant during the course of that meeting ought to be subject to privilege, as ministers of religion. Public interest is clearly in favour of this evidence being given. What was said by the defendant on that occasion is of great significance in the trial.'

    We know what happened next.

    Take your lesson Richard Daniels Jehovahs Witness barrister registered address 177 Bittacy Hill....

  • besty
    So far the major news channels seem to be silent.

    Its a local interest story basically - I think it only got the press it did because the judge forced the JW elders to give evidence.

    Their barrister has now learned that public interest in putting child abusers in prison trumps claims of clergy-penitent privilege.

  • cedars


    Its a local interest story basically

    I partially agree, however with the slightest bit of digging and phonecalls to bethel it could be a national interest story, because there are JW congregations all over Britain and all are subject to the same "guidance and direction" from Mill Hill.


  • Refriedtruth

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