I cryed today...
I recieved this note from a young person I know personally. It brought tears to my eyes for someone so young to see things so clearly. Why can't six million others see this simple reality and the need for change?
I believe Watchtower Policy should be changed. For people to get hurt and the ORGANIZATION not do anything and cover it up, tells me there is a problem with the organization, not the people. Yes, the people have a problem, but the organization is the blame by covering it up, and making people stay silent.
As for the people that have abused or molested a child: GET HELP. You cannot expect to recover by reading a bunch of information and pray to get your healing. Yes, praying might put you back in your personal relationship with God, but as for your mental health, you need professional help.
The organization: you need to change your policy and protect the flock. It is YOUR responsibility to help those in need. Don’t sit around and do nothing. Report it to the police. It is a crime to abuse and molest children or anyone. Not only does it make the people of the congregations look bad but also Jehovah. To Him, I believe it is a big slap in the face when you refuse to do the right thing. So make a rule, “If you are molested or hear of a molestation, don’t hesitate, report to the police.”
As for the congregation: You all need to take a stand and march for the right truth. Don’t be afraid of the organization. Look at what they are! It seems they are a bunch of child molester PROTECTORS! So if you want to be a part of an organization that supports sickness, then go on. But if you want to be a part of an organization who loves and supports God and love, join in and help Brother Bowen and others march for what is right.
I believe that I would still be a part of Jehovah’s Witnesses if this was not a problem. But the facts I am reading tell me there is a problem. I am sorry there are sick people in the world that need help, but it is their choice to get it. I cannot make myself follow a religion that hides child molesters.
To all who read this, I had a child molesting case happen right in my own home. It all brought this weird world I have never saw before in the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization. It made me see a problem. No, I was not molested, but someone I love very much was and I was hurt when I learned she was told to keep silent about it. And just to think, thousands of people have had this happen to them, blows my mind. I can’t imagine all the hurt the people have gone through.
So as far as I am concerned, I will not claim a religion that covers up such cases. I hope one day all this can be forgiven and cleared up, but I know it won’t happen until Watchtower Policy is changed.
Written by a fifteen year old sister.
From the mouths of babes . . .
alias: Tom Howell
as a child i was also molested by a close blood relative so i can relate to you. the org doesn't really care about us. i have since left the org. i still have a friend in the "truth" who has told the elders about how her father and brother molested her and the fuckin' brothers didn't do a thing but ask him if it was true. as soon as this molester told them no, they just ended it there. what a damn disgrace!!! and he is a brother in such good standing. there are two different set of rules in the org. maybe three or four. who the hell knows. all i know is that when it comes to something like this it is swept under the rug. and that is the damn truth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
take care and stay free.
I am an inactive JW. The last time that I have been to a Kingdom Hall is about 11 yrs ago but I still try to keep up with what is going on with the society. I am happy to have found this site. Once again, "Hello to all."
I had never known until very recently just how widespread such problems are in the "spiritual paradise". I think only by acknowledging them and dealing with them effectively can people start to feel better.
For too long the WT has blamed and punished the victims as if they were part of the problem. The WT should welcome those who point out areas where they can improve.
You should feel really good about bringing some public awareness to such a sensitive topic. I'm sure many of the victims of such abuse are grateful that someone stood up for them.
What a heartbreaking thing to have to happen to any child. I just would never have thought in a millions years that such a thing could take place in the "safe haven" of the org., let alone have it handled the way the WTS is handling it (even though they make righteous claims of handling the situations and telling the proper authorities). I think the "proper authorities" they're referring to, is only the Headquarters not the authorities with power to stop these people.
I said before on another post that I always defended the org. saying that Jehovah would never anyone get away with that. If they sinned, He would cause the sin to be found out. I really believed that. Now to hear of how extensive this problem is, is just too mind-boggling.
For a young girl of fifteen to have seen as much as she's seen already and to have such a mature handle on seeing and expressing herself about where the problem lies, is so heartbreaking.
I can't fathom how the WTS is going to get out of this one smelling like a rose. I have to believe they're going to have to own up to their deficiencies, and that hopefully the good that will come out of this will be many will have their eyes opened finally.
Do you think many in the r&f realize the uproar that's going on? We have no news coverage of it here and I don't think any in the cong. know anything about all these cases in the news elsewhere.
this will be posted off the victims on a new poems and thoughts page, all are encouraged to add their thought or poems if they wish.
Silentlambs, I was a witness for six years. Went from congregation to congregation looking for the "love" which I never found. At the last congregation I was in, I was very excited to meet a family whom I thought would be such "good association" for my children. We did things together but something was always weird. In fact, my husband used to tell me he didn't want me to hang around with them because he thought the wife wanted to have a lesbian affair with me. I wish I had listened! Nevertheless, I hung around them for about a year. My kids would sleep over at their house and vise versa. Anyways, one day their daughter spent the night at my house. The next few days my daughter (the same age) acted really strange but I didn't think anything about it. Then a few weeks passed and she came to me (she was 9 years old) and cried, "Mommy, I think I'm pregnant!" I couldn't believe my ears. I said, "How can you be pregnant when you're only nine?" She said, "Mommy XXX (the other nine year old girl) got me pregnant! I said, "A girl cannot get a girl pregnant." She said, "Look at my tummy - it's getting bigger!" So I sat her down and asked her to tell me what was making her think this. She told me that the other little girl was kissing her with her tongue when she spent the night. When I probed further, she said the little girl had fondled her vaginal area as well and tried to stick her finger in her vagina. I was appalled. Immediately, I was angry at the little girl and addressed it with her parents. But the parents acted really weird and said it was just "kids playing around." I said, "No! She had to learn this from somebody!" They wouldn't address it so I went to the elders. I said, "My little girl was violated by XXX. The parents refuse to address it. I believe they are afraid that somebody might discover something about their daughter. What I want to know is 'HOW DID SHE LEARN TO DO WHAT SHE WAS DOING TO MY DAUGHTER?" I said, "I believe she may be being molested." The elder stopped me cold. He said to me, "NEVER EVER EVER SAY THE WORD 'MOLESTED' IN A KINGDOM HALL ABOUT ANY WITNESS - EVER!"
For weeks I pressed the elders to get to the bottom of it. They NEVER DID A THING! They told me they asked the father and he told them his daughter had learned it by "watching videos on MTV." The elders bought this lame excuse. They NEVER investigated it further. As a mother, I know in my heart of hearts that they were HIDING something. I KNOW IT!
The elders counseled me to drop it and they told me that I was to blame because I should have told my nine year old daughter a long time ago how babies were made. It disgusts me to even think about it!
i just wanted to thank you for the public stand you are taking against the WTS and their continual protection of child molesters. some of my dearest friends growing up were subjected to this abuse as well and received no sympathy or help from the witnesses. big surprise there. reading all these stories breaks my heart. we need more people like you. thanks again.
My heart goes out to anyone who has had their trust violated by another professing to be a Christian. I am puzzled, however, was the perpetrator of the alleged offense a baptized brother or sister? So little is really revealed by the author of this letter that I wonder if it should have been posted without more information. There is always a need for caution when posting third hand information--especially when a post speaks in generalities only. It is too easy to cause far ranging decisions to be hastily made and to perhaps be found to be actually a worker against the interests of God.
As a student of psychology, I can affirm that the incidence of true child molestation is extremely low among Jehovah's Witnesses. Nor, is the Watch Tower Society at blame unless the Watchtower Society itself was notified of the accusation. Each congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses has it's own local judicial committee which investigates claims of wrongdoing. And, in all likelihood, if a local accusation of an incidence is "covered up" within the congregation there was not enough evidence to support the plaintiff. When a criminal accusation cannot be substantiated by the elders of a congregation the plaintiff is indeed encouraged not to spread their accusations among the flock. This protects all of the flock from alienating the one who was not proven to be guilty of scriptural wrongdoing. However, if the individual plaintiff is convinced that they have a criminal complaint then they are NOT discouraged from going to the authorities and filing criminal charges.
The author of this letter was 15 years old. There is no mention of the age of the original plaintiff who feels he or she was molested. However, an adult who makes a sexual advance towards a minor is not a pedophile. (in some states and many countries--including Canada--the age of sexual consent is 14) The youth must be prepubescent for such an accusation to be accurate. And, believe me, not all pedophiles are child molesters any more than all heterosexuals are sexual predators. The child molester, similar to a heterosexual predator, usually acts as a result of a far more serious underlying psychological illness. But if any criminal wrong doing did occur, the parents of the child should have gone to the authorities--post haste. It is the law enforcement agencies that bear the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting cases of sexual molestation in a court of law. It could be that the authorities were notified and likewise decided that the case was not one in which enough evidence existed to successfully prosecute the accusation.
All in all, I find Jehovah's Witnesses to be an unusually well adjusted group. And I also find the direction of the Watch Tower Society to be scripturally balanced when writing about dealing with accusations of wrong doing within a congregation. If any sinner is truly repentant then the Bible is quite clear at the Ist letter of John, chapter 1, verse 9 that a repentant sinner will find God to be:" faithful and righteous so as to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Thousands are disfellowshipped annually as a result of the society's adherence to "Jehovah's" high moral standards. And these disfellowshipped are reinstated if they repent and once more prove to become close adherents to God's high moral standards.
And, no, I am not protecting the Watch Tower Society. This is one organization that needs no protection. I myself was disfellowshipped for smoking--a problem I have struggled with for years. When I quit again. I will return to being a member of this "paradise of love." It is true that the mere men who take the lead in these organizations are prone to human error--just as we ourselves are. Again, 1 John, chapter 1, verse 8 and 10 clearly demonstrates that we all sin and miss the mark of perfection. This letter was written to 1st century Christians who were anointed. And yet it acknowledges that while in human form none are perfect.
Balance is golden when dealing with human imperfections and eternal lives.
"Thousands are disfellowshipped annually as a result of the society's adherence to "Jehovah's" high moral standards. And these disfellowshipped are reinstated if they repent and once more prove to become close adherents to God's high moral standards."
TO ALL BODIES OF ELDERS July 1, 1989 Page 3
B. Child Abuse
Many states have child abuse reporting laws. When elders receive reports of physical or sexual abuse of a child, they should contact the Society's Legal Department immediately. Victims of such abuse need to be protected from further danger.-See "If the Worst Should Happen," AYl.Qk..e.1- January 22, 1985, page 8.
C. Search Warrants and Subpoenas
1. A search warrant is a court order authorizing the police to search premises to locate evidence that may be used in a criminal prosecution. No elder should ever consent to the search of a Kingdom Hall or any other place where confidential records are stored. How- ever, armed with a search warrant the police do not need consent and may even use force to accomplish their task. Likely before obtaining a search warrant, the police or other governmental officials will
make inquiries regarding confidential records, make request to obtain the records, or indicate that they will seek a search warrant if the elder(s) involved does not cooperate. In any such situation, the Society's Legal Department should be called immediately.
At any time an elder is confronted with a search warrant (whether given advance notice or not) , the elder should first ask to read the warrant. After reading it he should ask if he can call for legal guidance and then call the Society's Legal Department. If for some reason the Legal Department cannot be contacted, the elders involved should make every effort to obtain the assistance of a local attorney for the purpose of protecting the confidentiality of the records. It may be impossible to stop determined officers from conducting the search authorized by the warrant. Conscientious elders will want to do all they reasonably and peaceably can to preserve the confidentiality of the congregation in harmony with the principle set out in Acts 5:29.
2. Subpoenas are demands for records or for the appearance or for the appearance of an individual at a trial or deposition to give testimony. Subpoenas may be issued by a court or in some cases by a governmental agency or an attorney. If an elder receives a subpoena, he should contact the Society's Legal Department immediately. Never turn over records, notes, documents, or reveal any confidential matter sought by subpoena without receiving direction from the Legal Department
This must be that HIgh moral standard!
D. Crimes and Criminal Investigations
In some cases the elders will form judicial committees to handle alleged wrongdoing that also could constitute a violation of Caesar's criminal laws (e.g., theft, assault, etc.). Generally, a secular investigation into a matter that is a concern to the congregation should not delay conducting a judicial hearing. To avoid entanglement with the secular authorities who may be investigating the same matter, the strictest confidentiality (even of the fact that there is a committee) must be maintained.
TO ALL BODIES OF ELDERS July I, 1989 Page 4
If the alleged wrongdoer confesses to the sin (crime), no one
else should be present besides the members of the committee. When evidence supports the accusation but genuine repentance is not displayed resulting in a decision to disfellowship, this should be handled in the normal course regarding advice of appeal rights and announcements to the congregation. In cases of serious criminal wrongdoing (e.g., murder, rape, etc.), or where the criminal conduct is widely known in the community, the body of elders should contact the Society before proceeding with the judicial committee process.
Contact the society ......not the local authorites?
Wayne its a large world..full of views and those that oppose........
you are entitled to the paradise fantasy..enjoy it while you last!