by Eliseo 8 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Eliseo

    An astonishing article has been published yesterday by the Italian newspaper L’Indro

  • Phizzy

    Seems accurate, and quite an expose ! let's hope the Italian Government listens !

  • Earnest

    When translated using Google the article reads as follows (all emboldened and italicised words are from the article) :

    Jehovah's Witnesses: the paradise (on earth) for pedophiles.
    From Australia to the United States the thousands of pedophiles on file by the Witnesses and yet free to abuse, but not all, not everywhere, despite the denial of the religious society. In Italy everything is silent

    In the world there is an ethical evolution of society, a quantum-moral leap.
    It concerns the future, hope, protection of wonder, humanity's most precious resource: children. A propulsive push to this process took place in Australia.

    The Royal Australian Commission

    Everything explodes November 8, 2012. New South Wales Police Chief Inspector Peter Fox writes a letter, published by the ‘Newcastle Herald’, entitled ‘Don't block your ears to abuse, Mr. Premier’. In less than four days, on 12 November 2012, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced the establishment of the "Royal Australian Commission for institutional responses to sexual abuse of minors".

    The Commission investigated ways in which institutions (churches, sports clubs, schools, boy scouts, etc.) have handled cases of child sexual abuse. The work began on 7 March 2013 and ended in December 2017. The official site shows the mammoth scale: more than 40 thousand calls were handled, over 8 thousand private sessions were held, 444 days of public hearings were held, 3,489 were investigated, including 30 case studies on religious organizations.

    Among these 30 cases related to religious organizations are Jehovah's Witnesses. Their case is singular. It projects a sinister shadow that generates disturbing questions. According to the hearings, the Watch Tower Society (a company headed by Jehovah's Witnesses) had produced 5,000 documents including 1,006 files related to allegations of child sexual abuse reported to Jehovah's Witness elders in Australia since 1950, for a total of 1,006 pedophiles and over 1,800 victims, an exorbitant number compared to the small number of Australian Jehovah's Witnesses (in 1950 there were only 5 thousand and today about 68 thousand), and if compared with the relationship per capita with other institutions (in the Catholic Church in Australia, for example, 4,444 have emerged). These numbers do not take into account the submerged: of all those who have not spoken and who will carry their painful secret into the grave.

    The Commission shows that Jehovah's Witnesses handled pedophilia cases in accordance with internal disciplinary policies and procedures based on their own interpretation of the Bible, rather than letting the law deal with them. The documents show that of the alleged perpetrators, "no one has been denounced by the organization to the secular authorities".

    A database with details of all 1,006 pedophiles found among Australian Jehovah's Witnesses is available on the Commission's official website. Among the data reported for each pedophile (gender, number of abused victims, role in the church, etc.) there is also the column "reported to the authorities by Jehovah's Witnesses". The answer is constantly: no.

    The Commission stated that "it is the practice of the Church of Jehovah's Witnesses to keep information regarding child sexual abuse crimes, but not to report allegations of child sexual abuse to the Police or other competent authorities". This even when the pedophile confesses of his own free will.

    The Commission found that the Watch Tower Society's Legal Department regularly provided erroneous information to the elders, based on a misunderstanding of what constitutes a legal obligation to report crimes in Australia.

    The Commission also noted: "we do not consider the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses an organization that adequately responds to child sexual abuse ... the continued application of policies such as the rule of two witnesses in the case of child sexual abuse shows a serious lack of understanding of the nature of child sexual abuse ".
    The rule of two witnesses is part of the internal policies that the Watch Tower still continues to follow. If someone is accused of pedophilia by a fellow Witness, in order for the accusation to be believed, there must be: either the confession of the pedophile or two witnesses to the crime. As if the pedophile abused the minor in the presence of others.

    In the Final Report, the Royal Commission added: "As long as the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses continues to [rely on a literal interpretation of the Bible and the principles of the first century to establish practices, policies and procedures] in its response to the accusations of child sexual abuse, it will remain an organization that does not respond adequately to child sexual abuse and does not protect children ".

    On 22 October 2018, "Apologise Day" was proclaimed. Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, in a memorable address to the nation, apologises on behalf of all Australians to all victims of pedophilia. His speech deserves to be heard again. Morrison says: "Elsewhere in this building and in Australia, there are others who are silently watching and listening to these proceedings, men and women who have never told a living soul it happened to them. To these men and women I say that these excuses are also for you. And later, when the speeches are over, we will remain silent and remember the victims who are no longer with us, many, too many, from their own hands. As a nation, we have rejected them, we have abandoned them. This will always be our shame. This excuse is for them and also for their families ".

    That same day, after the Prime Minister's speech, apologies from other political leaders, religious and institutions involved in the investigations of the Royal Commission follow. The leaders of Jehovah's Witnesses are not there. Not only that, to date they have not even adhered to the compensation schemes established by the Commission. What is alarming is precisely this policy of the Watch Tower (and affiliated companies).

    The politics of silence and denial

    In addition to the public condemnation by the Royal Australian Commission, in numerous other trials around the world the Watch Tower was condemned to pay substantial compensation due to the poor management of pedophilia cases within its congregations. Let's talk about millions of dollars. In addition to appealing systematically to not pay the victims as established by the Courts, the Watch Tower has expressed in several cases that it does not even cooperate with the Justice.

    The case in the Netherlands is very recent where the religious society has refused to provide the required documentation following investigations into child abuse. As a result of this behaviour, the criminal law professor Henny Sackers, of the University of Nijmegen, stated: "It seems almost a sort of arrogant disregard for the Dutch legal order".

    Following this reticence (which, we recall, is a crime), the Police raided their Dutch national headquarters (called Branch or Bethel) and a national investigation is underway which also saw the collaboration of the University of Utrecht. A similar investigation was initiated in Belgium, where, on April 25, the police carried out a raid on the national branch.

    A Royal Commission has also been started in the United Kingdom and the Jehovah's Witnesses are under investigation, as is the same Commission in New Zealand. On February 27, 2019, the Judge of the Quebec Supreme Court, Chantal Corriveau, approved a $ 60 million Class Action against the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada.

    In the United States, other chilling details have emerged. Among the dozens of trials involving the Watch Tower Society, there is one in the State of Montana where the Society was ordered to pay punitive and compensatory damages totaling $ 35 million. Here too, Watch Tower follows a denial policy, presenting an appeal and not informing its followers of any of these causes.
    On the official website of Jehovah's Witnesses, there is indeed the Press Room section, with the specific subsection "Legal Developments". We do not find a single reference to these cases. There is no mention of the Royal Australian Commission, of New Zealand, of the United Kingdom, of US trials, of million-dollar convictions, of inspection by the police in Dutch and Belgian branches.
    The average Jehovah's Witness is kept in the dark about all this, as if nothing were happening, in perfect denial style.

    The answers to the hundreds of requests for clarification (written or telephone) also sent to the Italian branch by the Witnesses themselves, on why nothing is written about these specific cases, are evasive. Often they are simply a "thank you for the question, we will send you a representative to answer you". We have dozens of these reply letters. And that's not all.

    Paradise for pedophiles

    "The Atlantic", a US cultural and political magazine founded in 1857, published an article that shook consciences on 22 March 2019. The article reveals that the Watch Tower has what is perhaps the world's largest pedophile database. This data has been carefully collected following an internal survey carried out in 1997 in over 10 thousand American congregations.

    These are data hidden from the faithful and from the authorities. Data that would contain a list of about 20,000 pedophiles who roam the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States alone, in most cases in total ignorance of the members. There are about 2 pedophiles for every 100 Witnesses, or a couple per congregation, amongst active Witnesses in the United States,
    The data is scary. But even more frightening is the internal management policy.
    Unsurprisingly, Jehovah's Witness communities have been extensively called 'paradise for pedofiles'. By adopting the same proportion, there would be at least 4,300 pedophiles among Italian Witness congregations. About fifty per province. But we do not have the data, nor do we know if an identical investigation was conducted in Italy.

    As we have said, we are witnessing a cultural evolution in the defense of human rights, where the most vulnerable and defenseless creatures, those without a voice (infants), are finally protected.
    Maybe it all started in 2002, when the Spotlight team from the ‘Boston Globe’ brought to light the pedophilia scandals in the hierarchies of the Catholic Church.

    The Royal Commissions in the Commonwealth have been the enzyme (sic)

    The United States is now acting as a world locomotive: in several states in the USA the prescription for the crime of pedophilia is being extended. In the State of New York the criminal status of the restrictions for child sexual abuse has been extended to 28 years. For civil cases, against persons and institutions, the statute of limitations now extends to 55 years.
    The 'New York Child Victim Act', starting from August 14, 2019, has opened a one-year time window during which anyone who has been abused by organizations or individuals under New York State will be able to report the abuse at a competent court. The State of New York has reserved 45 judges for the management of what is expected to be a veritable flood of complaints. The Witnesses' world headquarters are located in New York State.
    On August 12, 2019, the 8 members of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses were sued for direct responsibility for policies that favored and hid child sexual abuse.

    It's Italy?

    Where does Italy stand in this path? What have the multicolored governments of these years done for victims of abuse? Which commission was established to investigate the management of cases of child sexual abuse by religious and non-religious institutions in a concerted and systematic way?

    What findings have been made about sects or organizations like Jehovah's Witnesses where the problem is compounded by mismanagement and where children are in even greater danger? According to the testimonies that we have gathered (witnesses that we are committed to protecting from ostracism), the leaders of Jehovah's Witnesses have managed pedophilia crimes occurring inside congregations 'on their own' without reporting them to the authorities in Italy, as in the rest of the world. In some cases, their management has been limited to internal "judicial committees".
    As per instructions given to the pastors, records are kept in these "confidential archives" of the congregations. In some cases, we are now trying to cancel these tests. (sic)

    In a recent letter sent to the elders in Australia, dated August 28, the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in Australasia orders the elders to destroy the minutes of internal judicial hearings and some notes from the congregation. "We ask each elder to check his personal computer, paper files and even his own meeting bag to ensure that confidential correspondence is not kept outside the confidential archive of the congregation," reads the letter.

    Is the Italian Government aware of the fact that this documentation was also produced in our country? Are you aware of how the Watch Tower has handled the pedophilia issue over the years? Are you aware of internal judicial hearings? Any minutes that are written and kept in special confidential archives?

    Are you aware how this information is managed in our country? Are you aware that many fear to speak because of the moral blackmail of ostracism, or the exclusion from the social life of the only group they know and often also from the family?

    In Australia, a letter in the ‘Newcastle Herald’ was enough to trigger a response in four days. How long will will it be before seeing an institutional response in Italy? Whoever saves a life saves the whole world. We will try to put all these questions to the Witnesses Press Office in Italy, as we will the Government. If we do not receive an answer we will publish the details of the silence.

  • wannaexit

    The article says there are an estimated 4,300 pedophiles among the Italian congregations. No doubt these stats are for known pedophiles. I wonder how many others there are that are not known or reported.

    Thank you Eliseo

  • ScenicViewer
    Thank you Eliseo for the article, and Earnest for the translation.

    This is an excellent article that touches all the bases, worldwide, on the Jehovah's Witness problems with child molesting. Lots of information is covered.

    (Sorry about the bad formatting below. I can't seem to get it right.)

    - The pedophile database collected from 1997 forward
    - Law suits in the United States
    - The $35 million judgement in Montana
    - New U.S. laws extending the statute of limitations for victims
    - New law in New York state allowing past victims of abuse a year to file suit
    - Governing Body members individually being sued
    - Australian Royal Commission Investigation

    - Watchtower's failure to participate in schemes to compensate victims

    - Directive from Watchtower to elders to destroy records

    - Investigation (a Royal Commission Investigation??) in the U.K.
    - A new Royal Commission investigation in New Zealand
    - The $60 million class action suit in Canada
    - Watchtower's internal methods of handling pedophile cases

    - Watchtower's failure to report pedophiles to police

    - The two-witness rule followed to establish whether abuse really happened

    - Watchtower's methods of intimidating victims into silence

    - Police raids on Watchtower's Dutch headquarters

    - A similar investigation and raid in Belgium

    - More
  • zeb

    First off a big thankyou for putting this together.

    A very disturbing and most useful collection of information. This is a doc that all here will print and pass on to those whose professional life involves kids.

  • carla
  • Vidiot

    re. ScenicViewer's post...

    Jeezus, the WTS's starting to look like the Sopranos.

  • Joyful

    ****** sorry - unable to post in 'new topic' - it's not working, perhaps some one can put this in a new topic, please *******

    Sarah Brooks got punished in her last judicial hearing in her parents home, on Wednesday, October 2 she was one of many heroes at the PA. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing.

    -21:16 - facebook video

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