Leaders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses ordered to destroy confidential records
A letter obtained by INQ has shed light on the secretive methods the Jehovah's Witnesses are undertaking to erase the impact of child sexual abuse within the sect.
by Georgia Wilkins Sept 10, 2019
A body representing the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia has written to all elders of the group ordering them to destroy confidential records, including notes taken by elders investigating child sexual abuse, in an instruction that has enraged survivors of abuse inside the secretive Christian sect.
In a letter obtained by INQ, dated August 28, a body called the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Australasia) instructs elders to destroy so-called judicial hearing records and certain congregation notes.
“We ask that each elder check his personal computer, or hard copy files, and even his meeting bag, to ensure that no confidential correspondence is retained outside the congregation’s confidential file,” the letter states.
It also directs elders to destroy information aired against so-called “wrongdoers”: “If this ‘wild talk’ is recorded in detail, it may not be accurately assessed when reviewed out of context,” it says. “If it is determined that some brief personal notes need to be taken during a hearing, they should be destroyed once a summation of the hearing has been prepared.”
A spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witnesses declined to answer questions. In a statement he said records relating to child abuse were “retained in harmony with all legal requirements”.
[continued in link]