The rules and culture that keep child sex offenders hidden from followers of the JW's faith

by AndersonsInfo 5 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • AndersonsInfo

    RNZ New Zealand

    Anusha Bradley, Investigative Reporter

    August 15, 2023

    Edward Narayan didn't know he'd had a child molester over for dinner until he became an elder of his Jehovah's Witness congregation in 2020.

    "He was a very nice guy, I'm sure a lot of them are," Narayan says.

    "Then, this other elder let it slip that he was a convicted paedophile."

    The man, who has since died but can't be named, was convicted in 1990 for historical child sexual abuse.

    But Narayan didn't know anything about his dinner guest's past until he was put in charge of his Chartwell congregation's confidential files. And that's when he realised there were others.

    He discovered another active member of his congregation was a convicted paedophile and two other men had a history of serious child sexual abuse allegations made against them. The two alleged cases, including one that came to light as recently as 2012, were never reported to police while Narayan was in charge of the files.

    Narayan admits he wasn't too concerned about his discoveries at the time because he implicitly trusted the other elders knew what they were doing. And as a new elder, he was keen to follow the rules.

    "In the elder's handbook, 'Shepherd the Flock of God', [it says] you can't say a word unless the legal department of the local branch office tells you that you can."

    Ed Narayane

    Edward Narayan Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

    An RNZ investigation has found 11 active Jehovah Witnesses have child sex abuse convictions or serious allegations made against them, apparently unbeknownst to most followers. A former elder has also claimed he was told to destroy evidence from the church's internal disciplinary proceedings, which could have included cases relating to child sex abuse. The Jehovah's Witnesses strongly deny any suggestion of criminal destruction of evidence.

    The religion's policies and practices have kept members in the dark about child sex offending within the church for years, and while it appears to be trying to address this, some current and former members of the church say it is not enough.

    All of the 19 former or current Jehovah's Witnesses spoken to for this story want to see the church change the way it deals with allegations of child sexual abuse and the perpetrators, saying the current policies still fail to keep children safe.


  • EasyPrompt

    "A congregant who is an unrepentant perpetrator of domestic abuse or child abuse is expelled from the congregation and is no longer considered one of Jehovah's Witnesses."...says JW spokesperson Tom Pecipajkovski.

    What a pack of liars the JW spokesperson and the branches are! The congregation hierarchy covers for known and active abusers every day, and most of the rank and file just look the other way.

    "The elders are basically 'yes men'. Anything that came from the branch, anything in the elders manual we followed religiously...So as long as the current policies exist, children are not safe at all." ...says Narayan.

    Narayan is right. How I look forward to the day the WatchTower falls and her branches are completely leveled.

    Isaiah 32:13-19

    "For the fortified tower has been forsaken;

    The noisy city has been abandoned.

    Oʹphel and the watchtower have become a permanent wasteland,

    A delight for wild donkeys,

    A pasture for the flocks,

    Until the spirit is poured out on us from above,

    And the wilderness becomes an orchard,

    And the orchard is regarded as a forest.

    Then justice will reside in the wilderness,

    And righteousness will dwell in the orchard.

    The result of true righteousness will be peace,

    And the fruitage of true righteousness will be lasting tranquility and security.

    My people will dwell in a peaceful abiding place,

    In secure dwellings and in tranquil resting-places.

    But the hail will flatten the forest,

    And the city will be completely leveled."

  • BluesBrother

    I relate to this man’s comment that as a new elder he trusted the older ones.. I would have done the same at that stage. Four paedo’s in one cong ? That is a hotbed…

    I found this a recent “ Shepherding” book about disclosure of such people in a cong.

    “The Service Department will direct the elders to inform family heads of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individual. The elders would take this step only if directed to do so by the Service Department. The coordinator of the body of elders should ensure that newly appointed elders and elders who move into the congregation are made aware of the Service Department’s direction regarding such individuals.”

    Excerpt From

    Shepherd (sfl-E)


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  • was a new boy
    was a new boy
    'Offenders can regain these privileges, however.
    "If the body of elders believes that one who has engaged in child sexual abuse decades ago may now qualify for minor privileges, such as carrying or adjusting microphones, operating sound and video equipment, serving as an attendant, or assisting with accounts, literature, or territories, they should assign two elders to call the Service Department."

    Late 1970's visited a congregation where a former Presiding Overseer was a molester years earlier, was disciplined by Watchtower, (like 3 months probation) then promoted to start this new congregation.

    An elder told me the old PO had stumbled half the congregation (he was so full of himself) and no one was allowed to know that he was a sicko molester.

    Watchtower sold the Hall a short time later.

  • karter
    The letter from the body of elders said" the sex with the minor was consensual" how sick can they get!!!. And the guy is niw an M.S!!.
  • road to nowhere
    road to nowhere

    Sex with a minor cannot be consensual. Using a position of trust or power crosses a line too.

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