Is There Concrete Evidence That The Org. Has Covered up Child Abuse?

by Vanderhoven7 60 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • EasyPrompt
  • Vidiot
    EasyPrompt - “…why were they trying to avoid discovery as regards the relationship between the Watch Tower of New York and the Watch Tower of Pennsylvania or the way the organization worked in prior years? What were they trying to hide? What were they afraid of revealing?”

    That the problem is widespread, institutionalized, and endemic…

    …which too deeply undermines the premise of “God’s Exclusive Earthly Organization”…

    …and I think they would sell their souls to maintain that.

  • EasyPrompt

    EasyPrompt said: "God's Law is the highest Law and God's Court is the highest Court."

    Fisherman said: "Irrelevant in a Court of law and under this topic. You went off on a tangent. You deflect from the discussion here which is not a Biblical topic but only legal."

    The topic of this thread is: "Is There Concrete Evidence That The Org. Has Covered up Child Abuse?"

    @Fisherman, I did not go off on a tangent. This is both a Biblical and a legal topic. The men hiding abuse in the organization claim to have God's backing. The scriptures show that they do not have God's backing.

    Maybe some of those Bethel spies who read this thread will wake up and get out of there before that day of vengeance so soon when the Watchtower is torn down. Maybe some of the elders reading this thread will wake up and go to the authorities now with the knowledge they have instead of hiding it and waiting for the law to come for them like it did for those elders in Illinois and now in Pennsylvania. Jehovah is not protecting the JWBorg. He is the One Prosecuting it.

    WTBT$: Isaiah 1:11-20 is about you. Read it and weep.

    There are many men at Bethel who have concrete evidence that the JWBorg has covered up child abuse. They should come forward with that information now before it's too late and they are being taken away in handcuffs.

  • Vidiot
    “That the problem is widespread, institutionalized, and endemic…”

    So widespread, institutionalized, and endemic, in fact, that…

    a) …the problem has spread all the way from the lowest to the highest positions in the entire WT hierarchy…

    b) …the methodology in dealing with it is ingrained and standardized to the point that any deviation threatens to destabilize the entire organizational structure, and…

    c) …in terms of internal discipline, they’ve had to minimize its severity just to have enough male members available to keep everything functioning (in the face of fewer and fewer “qualified brothers” being interested it “reaching out”).

    Its a Perfect Storm.

  • EasyPrompt
    "Its a Perfect Storm."

    It is. And the ones holding back the winds are about to let go.

    (Revelation 7:1; Revelation 9:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8)

    The WTBT$ (and other religious institutions) are taking no note of the warning.

    Matthew 24:39-51

    "...and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be...if ever that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying,’ and he starts to beat his fellow slaves and to eat and drink with the confirmed drunkards, the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, and he will punish him with the greatest severity and will assign him his place with the hypocrites. There is where his weeping and the gnashing of his teeth will be."

    The religious hypocrites are about to have their institutions swept away in the storm.

    Matthew 7:27

    "And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and struck against that house, and it caved in, and its collapse was great."

  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim

    Ahh,yes, The Australian Royal Commission.

    8 years on now,,,,the gift that keeps on giving.

  • Fisherman

    The scriptures show that they do not have God's backing.

    Subjective and legally immaterial.

  • EasyPrompt

    EasyPrompt said: "The scriptures show that they do not have God's backing."

    Fisherman said: "Subjective and legally immaterial."

    😂au contraire mon frère...

    God is the chief subject of God's Word. His name is in there thousands of times. These people at the WTBT$ headquarters claim to represent Him, they call themselves "Jehovah's Witnesses" but they are liars. They don't represent Him. Their actions and teachings slander Him.

    He will act for the sake of His name and for the sake of the victims of the WTBT$. He has the legal right to take vengeance.

    Jehovah hates CSA. He hates the disfellowshipping doctrine. He hates all the false doctrines and misrepresentations by the WTBT$. He's warned them to change, but they've refused, so He's sending Jesus to destroy the WTBT$ along with all the other hypocritical religious institutions that keep hurting people while claiming to represent God. He has the right to destroy them. And when He does, you won't say "it's subjective and legally immaterial" because it will be clear He's the One having it done. He said he would right in His Word.

    The WTBT$ has violated its own charter and has fraudulently misrepresented itself to donors. It has abused its powers. God will use the authority of the state to dissolve the WTBT$ and take all their stuff away.

    Romans 13:4 "...if you are doing what is bad, be in fear, for it is not without purpose that it bears the sword. It is God’s minister, an avenger to express wrath against the one practicing what is bad."

    "New York Consolidated Laws, Not-For-Profit Corporation Law - NPC § 1101. Attorney-general's action for judicial dissolution

    (a) The attorney-general may bring an action for the dissolution of a corporation upon one or more of the following grounds:

    (1) That the corporation procured its formation through fraudulent misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact.

    (2) That the corporation has exceeded the authority conferred upon it by law, or has violated any provision of law whereby it has forfeited its charter, or carried on, conducted or transacted its business in a persistently fraudulent or illegal manner, or by the abuse of its powers contrary to public policy of the state has become liable to be dissolved.

    (b) An action under this section is triable by jury as a matter or   1 right.

    (c) The enumeration in paragraph (a) of grounds for dissolution shall not exlude   2 actions or special proceedings by the attorney-general or other state officials for the annulment or dissolution of a corporation for other causes as provided in this chapter or in any other statute of this state."

    The name of this thread "Is there concrete evidence that the Org. has covered up child abuse?" The answer is: Yes. The greatest evidence will be Jehovah God's own actions to have them destroyed as an institution. Then it will be clear they did not have His backing or approval, and that they were indeed guilty of covering up abuse, among other things.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    The evidence is that the organization has been convicted and voluntarily paid out many settlements to cover up child abuse. So yes, there is plenty of legal evidence which jurors have decided the WTBTS is liable for.

  • EasyPrompt

    (Here were some more details from a year ago, Mark O'Donnell's account of the Illinois case involving Penkava/Scott elders...)

    The judge isn't happy. The prosecution team isn't happy. The public isn't happy. More importantly, survivors of child abuse will be angered to hear that an elder for Jehovah's Witnesses who violated the mandatory reporting laws for Illinois has served his community service at the very site where he committed his crime: The Crystal Lake Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    On April 19th, 2022, Michael Penkava turned in a work register to the Probation and Court Services Department of McHenry County Illinois. He, along with fellow JW elder Colin Scott was convicted of a Class-A misdemeanor on March 18th for failing to report child abuse in July of 2006. Penkava's defense shifted over a year-and-a-half period from his custodial arrested in 2020, but the essential elements of that defense consisted of the claim that due to the circumstances of the case he wasn't a mandatory reporter, and secondly, that the Watchtower Legal Department gave him faulty advice.

    Penkava and his fellow elders ignored Illinois law under instructions from Jehovah's Witness Headquarters and opted to handle the abuse allegations internally.

    The problem is, they weren't just abuse allegations, they were abuse confessions from the father himself, Arturo Hernandez-Pedraza. Pedraza had admitted to molesting his daughter at least 6-7 times during 2006 when she was barely 7 years old. The Crystle Lake Spanish Congregation elders formed a judicial committee and decided that Arturo was repentant and would not be disfellowshipped from the congregation. Instead, he was "publicly reproved" and sent right back to his home with his wife and children.

    The sexual abuse stopped for about a month, then immediately resumed for the next 12 years, with the abuser threatening the child and her family with harm or death if she revealed what he was doing. Hernandez-Pedraza became so brazen in his conduct that by the time his daughter was in her upper teens, he was escorting her to the local Walgreens Pharmacy where he coerced her into taking pregnancy tests.

    On her 19th birthday, the victim came forward to the police, and her father was arrested and put on trial in 2019, found guilty, and sentenced to more than 45 years in prison. A year later, on November 9th, 2020, Michael Penkava was arrested for violation of the Illinois Mandatory Reporter Statute.

    r/exjw - Arrest Report for Michael Penkava
    Arrest Report for Michael Penkava

    Following the arrest of both Penava and fellow elder Colin Scott, both elders obtained separate attorneys not affiliated with Jehovah's Witnesses, but who were paid for their extensive legal services by the Witness organization in New York.

    The case faced numerous trial cancellations and delays, largely due to the defendants' attorneys arguing vehemently against the disclosure of documents related to the case, including Judicial Committee notes from the congregation.

    These delays proved fatal for the Jehovah's Witnesses, since it allowed sufficient time for an Illinois JW elder to resign his post as an elder in November of 2021, then agree to testify as a rebuttal witness in February 2022. Bradley Kelm provided the critical testimony needed to win this case for the prosecution.

    On February 24th, Kelm testified as an expert witness regarding the confessional process of Jehovah's Witnesses. The reason for this testimony was to counter the claims made by Watchtower attorney John Miller, who had previously testified that the wife of an adulterous spouse was instrumental and critical to the "spiritual development" of her husband during or following judicial proceedings inside the church. This child abuse case suddenly became an adultery case, and the JWs fought hard to prove that the statements made by Mrs. Hernandez to the elders about her daughter's sexual assaults were "privileged" and hence abrogated the elders from any responsibility to report the abuse to the police.

    Kelm overturned Miller's claims by testifying that the innocent spouse was not an essential part of the spiritual development of the guilty mate.

    r/exjw - Bradley Kelm Testimony
    Bradley Kelm Testimony

    In the final verdict delivered on March 18th, Judge Mark Gerhardt stated the following:

    "No privilege exists between [the wife,]Eloina Hernandez and the defendants. In deciding so, I do not find defendant Penkava’s testimony to be credible in light of his stipulations, his testimony in 18CF1057, his statement to detective Eitel, and Eloina’s statement.

    I find Mr. Kelm’s testimony more credible than Mr. Miller’s regarding the role of the innocent spouse, including the court’s earlier analysis of exhibit 16-1 which was used only for the determination of admissibility of the statements, particularly Eloina’s."

    Both Michael Penkava and Colin Scott were found guilty.

    A week later, Judge Gerhardt sentenced both to one year of probation along with a $250 fine and 10 hours of community service.

    Convicted elder Michael Penkava promptly arranged to fulfill his community service requirement at the very place where he committed his crime- the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Crystal Lake Illinois.

    r/exjw - Crystle Lake Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses
    Crystle Lake Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses

    On April 19th, 2022, fellow elder Jeff Renfroe signed off Penkava's community service, adding a note under the "remarks" section stating: "Mike is very diligent in his work ethic and a pleasure to be around." Renfroe also filled out a Work Register report for Penkava in which he itemized the following services performed:

    DateHoursJob DescriptionWorker InitialsSupervisor InitialsTotal Hours to Date hoursClericalMPJR2.5

    On April 19th, 2022, the Probations and Court Services Department accepted and processed the Community Service Worksheet for Penkava, while Judge Gerhardt and the State's Attorneys were unaware that the services were performed at the Kingdom Hall.

    These are the facts of the case, in summary. There was, and is, a great deal more going on behind the scenes following this verdict, and I think it is important for all of us to understand that while the sentence carried out on these two elders was an insult to justice, this is far from over.

    Other State agencies are very interested in this case and were present in the courtroom during all three days of the trial. While I can't discuss those details, it should not be overlooked that Illinois could cooperate with other States in an effort to flush out the individuals behind the faulty legal advice that led to an additional 12 years of sexual assaults on a minor girl in their State.

    Watchtower has always taken the position that they bear no fault for incest cases, and in fact, it's their policy to avoid civil payouts for incest cases at all costs. Yet the fact remains that Jehovah's Witnesses are directly responsible for the lack of reporting everywhere they exist, and the majority of their Legal Department officials are not licensed to practice in Illinois and most other locations outside of New York. The local elders calling the Legal Department do not know this, and for the purposes of reporting, it's irrelevant whether the case involved incest or not.

    On April 22, 2022, the State of Illinois filed a motion before the Court to unimpound a number of documents related to the Penkava and Scott cases, in addition to documents from the original criminal trial of abuser Arturo Hernandez-Pedraza. The reason for this request reveals that other States have not been able to secure these documents via the "IJustice" system that allows other jurisdictions to obtain out-of-state case documents.

    On Friday, May 6th, Judge Michael Coppedge granted a motion to unseal documents surrounding the original criminal trial of the abuser, but did not rule on the documents from the Penkava and Scott trials. This motion will be heard on May 18th.

    This case has highlighted some very serious flaws we have with the laws in the United States - flaws that are mirrored in other countries. First, religious organizations have caused this problem by insisting on confidentiality loopholes that permit clergymen and elders to conceal crimes. They make the argument that without these reporting exceptions, sinners will be discouraged from seeking spiritual counseling by confessing their sins.

    Religious organizations apply intense pressure to lawmakers because that's what many of their religious constituents want- complete church-state separation. While this separation is a necessary part of democracy, a church's wishes should never overtake the State's right to protect children. In the Penkava case, the judge made this clear in his final ruling when he said:

    "I still agree, as Mr. Prossnitz has argued multiple times, that the State cannot define one’s religion. I still agree that religion cannot define the State’s statute."

    It is worth noting how close the State came to losing this case. While to most reasonable persons it seemed like a foregone conclusion that these elders were guilty, it's not so simple in a court of law. The reality is that if the wife of this abuser had not disclosed to the elders what her daughter told her, this case may have never happened, and the State of Illinois would have had nothing to prosecute.

    Why? Because Arturo's confession to the elders is protected by law. This is why the judge refused to allow the State to introduce his confession to the trial. It seems absurd, but it's perfectly legal, and it's why the laws need to change. Too many cases go unreported, and too many victims are abused because of State-sponsored protection of churches.

    This case was brought by Illinois because it simply could not be ignored. A child was violated in unthinkable ways, and the Jehovah's Witness elders sat by all those years having missed their opportunity and obligation to protect a child and cooperate with law enforcement. The JWs often quote Romans chapter 13 in support of following the laws of the land, but they go out of their way to conceal from police the volumes of criminal data they store within their database of sins and sinners.

    Until the laws change, it's the responsibility of each one of us to understand what happened and to share it with the public and with active JWs who are completely in the dark about

    Michael Penkava was convicted, yes- but in the end, he picked up a broom and swept the floors of the Kingdom Hall, just as he swept the sexual abuse of a little girl under the rug. Let's do what we can to not let that happen again.

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