I hear of a plenty of personal testimonies of abuse but it is harder to prove organizational complicity.
Is There Concrete Evidence That The Org. Has Covered up Child Abuse?
Shawn Bartlett JW Training Video on destroying documents...
2020 Email from the Legal Department expressing regret over exposure regarding destroying child sex abuse documentation in the congregations...
2012 Letter to elders telling them not to cooperate with police or secular investigators unless instructed to by the branch after calling the Bethel Legal Department...
2012 Letter to elders telling them not to warn the congregation about sexual predators unless they get permission from the Service Department...
The "Shepherd the Flock" book (elder manual) describes the process for appointing a new elder, which includes asking three questions about taking part in bad behavior. If the man can answer "no" to the three questions, the elder appointment process proceeds. However, if the man answers "yes" to any of the questions, there is nothing mentioned in the text that says he is disqualified from still being appointed.
"(1) Is there anything from your past, even before baptism, or in your personal or family life that disqualifies you or that would prevent you from accepting this appointment?
(2) Is there any reason why your appointment should not be announced to the congregation?
(3) Have you as an adult ever been involved at any time in the past with child sexual abuse?"
If the brother answer no to the questions, the circuit overseer will provide the elders with a signed appointment letter..." (from "Shepherd the Flock of God" section regarding appointing new elders)
The elders book has a section regarding "removing restrictions" that does not rule out the possibility for a known molester to eventually be appointed as an elder...(it doesn't say "never")...
"24. One who has engaged in child sexual abuse does not qualify to receive any privileges in the congregation for many years, if ever; this includes minor privileges. Paul's counsel to Timothy has special relevance in the case of baptized adults who have molested children: "Never lay your hands hastily on any man; neither become a sharer in the sins of others." (1 Tim. 5:22; w97 1/1 pp. 26-29) 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. The assigned elders should call the Service Department before any congregation privileges are extended."
The Branch Manual has more information regarding "removing restrictions" and appointing former abusers...
"27. Whether to Remove Branch-Imposed Restrictions: If the body of elders recommends that branch-imposed restrictions be removed, the Service Desk should first gather the facts, considering the same factors that were reviewed when restrictions were imposed. What has changed since restrictions were first imposed? How much time has passed since the wrongdoing occurred? Has it been decades? Was there one victim or multiple victims? Was it a single incident, or was it repeated? What were the circumstances? What was his age and the age of the victim at the time? Is there no longer a cry of complaint about him? How is this evident? Was he prosecuted by the secular authorities? If his name appeared on a public list of sex offenders, has his name been removed from the list? How do the community and the secular authorities view him now? How do the victim and the victim's relatives view him now? How do members of the congregation view him? (There is no need for elders to conduct interviews to determine what the current feeling is toward the individual. Doing so might bring up painful memories and cause further harm. Rather, from their own observation, the elders are to describe the current relationship between the victim and the individual, if possible.) What convinces the body of elders that the accused has rejected his former course and does not pose a danger to minors? Has he stated explicitly to the elders that he has not abused any other minors? Has he been cooperative with the restrictions that have been imposed on him? Has he established a convincing record of righteous conduct that merits trust? Even if decades have passed since the wrongdoing, he would not qualify for any privileges (including minor privileges) if his receiving such would be offensive to his victim, to the victim's relatives, or to others who know of the wrongdoing.
"28. If decades have passed since the wrongdoing, there is no outcry from the victim, the victim's relatives, or from others who know of the wrongdoing, and the individual continues to manifest a good attitude and qualifies in every other way, a letter approved by the Service Department oversight may be sent confirming that minor privileges may be extended gradually. This will allow the elders to see more clearly how the congregation and perhaps the community view him. He would not qualify for any privileges (including minor privileges) if his receiving such is offensive to his victim, to the victim's relatives, or to others who know of the wrongdoing."
The fact that the branch acknowledges asking the victim or the victim's family would cause hurt so don't ask them how they feel shows that the branch knows it would hurt others if the abuser was appointed, but they say to appoint him anyway if the elders want to and not to ask the victim what they think and also not to worry if someone will get hurt again but instead worry more how things look ("wash the outside of the cup" even if the inside is full of nastiness). The elders are directed to ask the abuser if he has changed, even though one of the definitions of a person with an addiction is the willingness of the addict to lie to cover the addiction. The wording of the branch manual and the elders manual makes clear that the branch and the elders and the Service Department are complicit in installing pedophiles in positions of oversight in the organization to the harm of the flock.
Shepherd Flock of God" regarding removing restrictions...
Branch Manual regarding removing restrictions...
"Not every individual who has sexually abused a child in the past is considered a "predator." The branch office, not the local body of elders, determines whether an individual who has sexually abused children in the past will be considered a "predator."" The JWBorg tells the elders NOT to warn the flock about predators that the JWBorg wants to have in positions of authority.
The JWBorg instructs elders to not cooperate with law enforcement unless the headquarters gives permission. In this way, the elders have at times protected the interests of abusers at the cost of the victims. It is organizational complicity.
I am aware of MANY cases that were proven and the molester was dealt with in some way or another but the authorities were never contacted AND Watchtower was totally aware of what happened. In recent years they are more aware that they are being monitored for reporting, yet they are still not reporting when there is only witness - the victim.
I also read the transcripts from cases that made it to court or through deposition. Almost all indicate that no one reported
Many of those documents are linked here...
When a congregation member is hurt, the "Governing Body" runs away. They don't apologize. They don't "shepherd". They don't man-up and acknowledge their part in the problem. They hide behind their legal department. There is a reason they are hiding. They are bloodguilty.
They cannot hide forever. (Revelation 19:1,2)
Have you as an adult ever been involved at any time in the past with child sexual abuse?"
And there you have the "get out of jail free" card. All they have to do is say "NO" while thinking, "I was only one day shy of 18, so NOT yet legally an ADULT."
Even when the elder body knows about the abuse, the organization trains them to care more about the "image" of the organization than about the victims of abuse.
part 1 arc
part 2 arc
Great information. Wasn't there a secretary working for the Borg who discovered they were covering up csa and resigned?
Hi Vandy. That is Barbara Anderson. I’m surprised you started this thread Vandy. Surely you already know all of this?
If not explicitly “covering up”, then at the very least, making it as difficult as possible for secular authorities (and more importantly, the rank-and-file)…
…to fully grasp the scope of the problem.