Friday, August, 9
William H. Bowen: KY 270-527-5350, silentlambs.org
Barbara Anderson: TN 931-455-6910
Elders Conduct "No Tell Motel" Appeal Hearing
Fifth Child Advocate Excommunicated, More to Follow
Jehovahs Witnesses continue a series of confidential hearings to silence child advocates. Watchtower's policy on how child abuse allegations are handled internally, have been criticized by members around the world. The Governing Body (leadership) authorized disfellowshipping (excommunication) leading child advocates in the religion starting May of this year for saying better policies are needed to protect children.
A new twist is the convening of secret motel appeal meetings with the accused. On Tuesday of this week, William H. Bowen, 44, of Benton , was summoned to an appeal hearing regarding his recent disfellowshipping . Six elders sent a letter demanding Bowen meet them at a Holiday Inn Express in on Sunday, August 11, at 5pm. "I find it odd six men want to meet with me alone in a motel room, says Bowen, A few friends have asked to come with me in case they try something."
Bowen is the founder of silentlambs ,( www.silentlambs.org 877-wtabuse) a support group for abuse survivors among Jehovahs Witnesses. He has had several threats of bodily injury from fellow members after going public with how abuse allegations were mishandled in the organization.
Barbara Anderson 62, of Normandy TN, was given a 48 hour notice two weeks ago to meet six elders at the Ramada Inn located in Manchester. When she expressed apprehension at meeting six men at a motel alone without her husband, the committee refused to communicate or explain their actions. " They disfellowshipped me and authorized the announcement the following Thursday, July 25 without giving me any chance at a fair hearing," she says .
Management of the Ramada Inn of Manchester r eported that six elders met for about one hour and then left without paying for the room. One week later, Anderson provided information to the motel on how to track down the elders for payment.
Carl and Barbara Pandelo of Belmar, NJ , were disfellowshipped on June 10, Joe Anderson of Normandy , TN, on July 31. Bowen makes the fifth child advocate to be excommunicated for saying publicly children in the organization need better protection from fellow members who are child molesters. Members in four other states are facing hearings unless they remain silent.
Jehovahs Witnesses have one million members in the and over fifteen million attend services around the world. It is their goal to call at every home in at least once a year.
of Jehovah's Witnesses
901 Hopkinsville Street, Princeton KY 42445
c/o Presiding Overseer
William H. Bowen
Dear Brother Bowen,
Arrangements have made to hear your appeal of the decision made by the judicial committee that you should be disfellowshipped . The meeting has been set for at , at the following address: Conference Room of the Holiday Inn Express, Sunday 11, at 5 pm.
Daniel L. McMullen
cc: L. Rush Hunt, Attorney at Law
Mrs. Barbara J. Anderson
Dear Sister Anderson;
On , we corresponded with you in response to your letter of in which you appeal the decision made by a judicial committee from the congregation.
A meeting was arranged to hear the appeal. However, we were informed that you could not be at the scheduled meeting due to the short notification period. We are please to arrange another meeting in accordance with you equest.
Meeting has been set for 3 pm Sunday at the following address; Ramada Inn , 2314 Hillsboro Blvd, Manchester, TN
R. E. Matthews
Chairman appeal committee
cc; Jerre Michael Hood, esq . Attorney
Edited by - silentlambs on 9 August 2002 13:32:49