by Trey Bundy
December 14, 2015
Besieged by reports that Jehovah’s Witnesses shield child sexual abusers from prosecution, the religion’s top leadership appears to have settled on a strategy: “Let the story die.”
A Portuguese news documentary released in October was yet another report from across the globe to detail the Witnesses’ policy of not reporting child abusers to law enforcement. As in other media reports, top officials refused to speak to the journalists who produced it.
After it aired, however, David Splane, a member of the Witnesses’ Governing Body, spoke to 600 congregations from the religion’s Portuguese headquarters in Carnaxide, according to TVI, the station that aired the documentary. Splane’s talk provided a window into how Jehovah’s Witnesses leaders are handling the scrutiny.
“Now, sometimes, the brothers will call New York and say, ‘Why don’t you do something about this? This was a terrible program,’ ” said Splane, who was visiting from global headquarters in Brooklyn. “What do you want us to do? The journalist has a closed mind. The journalist isn’t interested in the truth. And so we usually just leave things as they are and let the story die.”