Watch: Jehovah's Witnesses official says to destroy records because

by Tahoe 31 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Tahoe
    Tahoe

    'Satan's coming after us'


    Shawn Bartlett, the records management overseer for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, explains the organization’s new record-keeping policies during a 2017 seminar in Britain.

    by David Gambacorta, Staff Writer @dgambacorta | dgambacorta@philly.com

    A Jehovah’s Witnesses official delivered an urgent message to a group of elders at a 2017 seminar in Britain: The time had come to rethink the record-keeping policies of the organization, which has come under fire for its handling of child sex abuse complaints.

    Shawn Bartlett, the Witnesses’ record management overseer, explained that handwritten notes and drafts of internal documents needed to be destroyed because of the potential legal harm they posed to the organization, which has 8 million followers worldwide and more than a dozen congregations in the Philadelphia area.

    “The question is: Why has this come up?” Bartlett said, according to a video recording of the seminar that was leaked online earlier this year by an anonymous insider.

    “Well, we know that the scene of this world is changing, and we know Satan’s coming after us, and he’s going to go for us legally. We can see by the way things are shaping up. So the organization has said, ‘We’ve run into difficulties in the past because of the records we have.'”

    A judge in California fined the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, the Witnesses’ corporate nonprofit, more than $2 million last year for refusing to turn over a secretly compiled list of 775 suspected child molesters within the organization.

    The Watchtower also has settled multiple lawsuits filed by former members across the country, many of whom claimed that they were sexually abused as children — and that their abusers were protected by elders who enforced the millenarian religion’s rules, like one that requires sexual assault victims to find two eyewitnesses to support their allegations.

    Publicly, Watchtower leaders insist that they abhor child abuse, and don’t provide cover for predators. In the video, Bartlett never mentioned the sex abuse lawsuits directly, but he explained the need for elders to be mindful of handwritten records and other files that could prove to be a liability.

    At one point during the seminar, Bartlett told the attendees that they should destroy drafts of any documents in their possession. “And the reason is, is because there’s many comments that are sometimes made on drafts,” he said. “Those are the ones that get us in trouble.”

    The Witnesses declined to make Bartlett available for an interview, or to discuss his comments from the video.

    The footage is no longer available on YouTube. A message on the website notes that the material was removed at the request of the Watchtower.

    https://youtu.be/jBPZL2SiNj4

  • LevelThePlayingField
    LevelThePlayingField

    This is good press. It shows them for who they are.

  • jws
    jws

    There are other reasons for destroying things too. This "Armageddon is right around the corner" stuff has been going on for decades and has caused a lot of paranoia.

    A friend of mine was into computers. And back in the early 80's before IBM even made their first home PC, he wrote a program to help schedule the Ministry school. I forget whether it computed the schedule automatically or just helped them pin names to a schedule.

    But then it would print out a sheet for each person with their name at the top and their name in bold where it appeared on the schedule. People LOVED it. They could pin it to their fridge and see when they had parts coming up.

    But, one day the elders put an immediate stop to it. Lists like this, or even my friend's floppy disk with a list of names were too dangerous. The great tribulation could start any day and the Witnesses would be in hiding. And we couldn't have lists of names like these for the authorities to find. Although by my estimates, Probably less than 10% of that list is still around. Either from death, moving, or leaving the JWs. And the great tribulation still isn't here...

  • undercover
    undercover
    one day the elders put an immediate stop to it. Lists like this, or even my friend's floppy disk with a list of names were too dangerous.

    I remember similar reactions to early computer lists kept by tech savvy servants. But what's the difference between an Excel spreadsheet of JW names vs the typewritten list kept in the Super Size Book Bag Brother Pompous carried? Not much. The fear of computers was another means to induce fear of the 'world' into followers.

    But this expose by the newspaper is different. This is the same paper that has been exposing JWs for their mishandling of child abuse cases. Their series of articles is damning, as well as evidence from other states, and countries. Now you have evidence of a WT official giving orders to destroy records during this same time period of facing more intense scrutiny of their child abuse cover ups. Attorneys are going to eat them alive in upcoming trials.

  • sir82
    sir82

    we know Satan’s coming after us, and he’s going to go for us legally.

    Wait a minute.

    This is the guy who, according to Job chapter 1, creates violent storms & inspires armed gangs to kill & pillage? The same guy who has all the kingdoms of the world in his hand, in his direct control?

    And now, the best he can do is get some pasty-faced government attorney to "go for" the WTS?

    The Bible's Daniel in effect gave a big two-fisted "F-U" to the government by publicly & openly defying the law - and the WTS has secret meetings telling their top guys to destroy documents so they don't get in trouble?

    Sheesh, that's lame.

  • redvip2000
    redvip2000
    But, one day the elders put an immediate stop to it. Lists like this, or even my friend's floppy disk with a list of names were too dangerous. The great tribulation could start any day and the Witnesses would be in hiding. And we couldn't have lists of names like these for the authorities to find.

    In the years I was in the Watchtower, one thing that was ever-present, was the constant move to stifle any shred of initiative or innovation that did not come from "mother" Org. It did not matter whatever individual witnesses did, it was always frowned upon unless it came from the Org.

    And you can still see this today where the Org constantly bashes anything individual witnesses do on their own initiatives like websites, blogs, podcasts, or whatever it is.

  • I Faded Twice
    I Faded Twice

    Whatever happened to the idea that Jehovah has the back of the WT and taking a firm stand against Satan!

  • stuckinarut2
    stuckinarut2

    Ah yes! The ALMIGHTY god JEHOVAH seems incapable of preventing SATAN'S legal system from enacting the laws of the land??

    The "One who can make the stones cry out", or who can "resurrect the dead" cant seem to stop the wave of justifiable legal cases?

    Maybe he is "cleaning up his house" and using the "superior authorities who stand in their relative positions by him"

    Come on JWs! wake the heck up!

    If it takes "Satan's WICKED system" to make Jehovah's people do the right thing, then that says everything!

  • Spiral
    Spiral

    It is disgusting to me that they can claim "persecution" over child sexual abuse lawsuits. If they were God's Organization, they could be accused of many things by "Satan's World" while trying to follow God's laws (if you believe in that sort of thing). But to have to struggle over the disposition of claims of sexual abuse that really happened, and weren't handled to the benefit of the victim, is just gross.

    They've lost any show of being from God, in my mind, if they can't protect their members from this abuse, and have to be prosecuted. THAT is not "persecution" if governments have to remind you that protecting your members from repeated sexual abuse is a problem that must be dealt with!

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower

    The Watchtower corporation is walking a razor's edge of legal/illegality in its treatment of record keeping,, this leaked video is bound to cost them big time when used in court cases.

    Secret judicial committees where no recordings are allowed, even drafts must be destroyed and no wording must be used which could get the Watchtower Corporation in legal trouble, latter in a court of law.

    Seem like Watchtower credibility has reach a new low in all the courts through out the world what more could they do to destroy it.

    All records that contain damaging information in a court of law must be discarded.

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