J.R. Brown: Quotes, Contradictions, Lies, Deceptions, Theocratic Warfare!

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  • UnDisfellowshipped
    UnDisfellowshipped

    Brown -- J.R. Brown: License to Lie

    What is "Theocratic Warfare Strategy", which is used by the Jehovah's Witnesses?

    "A lie is a false statement made by one to another one who is entitled to hear and to know the truth" (Riches Book, 1936, Page 177)

    "Use Theocratic War Strategy ... A WITNESS of Jehovah was going from house to house in Eastern Germany when she met a violent opposer. Knowing at once what to expect she changed her red blouse for a green one in the very next hallway. No sooner had she appeared on the street than a Communist officer asked her if she had seen a woman with a red blouse. No, she replied, and went on her way. Did she tell a lie? No, she did not. She was not a liar. Rather, she was using theocratic war strategy, hiding the truth by action and word for the sake of the ministry. In this she had good Scriptural precedent. Did not Rahab hide the Israelite spies by both action and word? Did not Abraham, Isaac, David and others likewise hide the truth at times when faced with a hostile enemy? They certainly did, and never do we read a word of censure for their doing so. Rather, we read of their being termed exemplary servants of Jehovah. Their actions were in line with Jesus' wise counsel: "Look! I am sending you forth as sheep amidst wolves; therefore prove yourselves cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves."-Matt. 10:16 ... At times [a Jehovah's Witness who takes the witness stand in court] may prefer to refuse to speak and suffer the consequences rather than betray his brothers or the interests of God's work. ... hiding the truth, which he is not entitled to know, from an enemy does not harm him ... So in time of spiritual warfare it is proper to misdirect the enemy by hiding the truth. It is done unselfishly; it does not harm anyone; on the contrary, it does much good. ... Today God's servants are engaged in a warfare, a spiritual, theocratic warfare, a warfare ordered by God against wicked spirit forces and against false teachings. God's servants are sent forth as sheep among wolves and therefore need to exercise the extreme caution of serpents so as to protect properly the interests of God's kingdom committed to them. At all times they must be very careful not to divulge any information to the enemy that he could use to hamper the preaching work." (Quotes from The Watchtower, May 1st 1957 Issue, Page 285)

    "When evil men are seeking to do injury to a Christian or some of his brothers or to God’s organization and they come trying to pry into private affairs, is it necessary for a Christian to answer such evil men? ... If you know an evil man is trying to inflict harm on a brother and he asks you where the brother may be found, it is not necessary to answer. ... There are instances, such as existed in the Nazi German regime, where it was a crime to be one of Jehovah’s witnesses. If someone came and asked an individual to commit himself as to whether he was one of Jehovah’s witnesses or not and he replied that he was, he could be immediately arrested and put into prison. In such an instance the individual would have to decide for himself what he wanted to do. He might conclude that it is proper merely to say, "I am a Christian," or else say nothing at all. This would not be a denial of Christ such as is mentioned at Matthew 10:33. ... under some circumstances one may choose to remain silent and face contempt charges. ... No harm is practiced, however, by withholding incriminating information from one who is not entitled to know. An example of this in English-speaking countries is, when one is under arrest, he can, if he chooses, legally refrain from giving information to a police officer who may ask incriminating questions. No answer need be given him, as it is none of the officer’s business. It is a matter for court. But when one goes into a court and enters within the witness box and swears to tell the truth, matters concerning the transaction theretofore confidential and possibly incriminating no longer can be withheld without risking contempt charges, as the judge has the authority to demand an answer. ... Various characters of the Bible have been accused of lying, such as Jacob, Rahab, the Gibeonites, David and others, but there is no record in the Bible that they came under divine disapproval for this. (Quotes from The Watchtower, October 1st, 1951 Issue, Pages 596-598)

    "We must tell the truth to one who is entitled to know, but if one is not so entitled we may be evasive. ... As a soldier of Christ he is in theocratic warfare and he must exercise added caution when dealing with God's foes. Thus the Scriptures show that for the purpose of protecting the interests of God's cause, it is proper to hide the truth from God's enemies." (Quotes from The Watchtower, June 1st 1960 Issue, Pages 351-352)

    "Lying generally involves saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth ... While malicious lying is definitely condemned in the Bible, this does not mean that a person is under obligation to divulge truthful information to people who are not entitled to it." (Aid to Bible Understanding Book, 1971 Edition, Pages 1060-1061)

    "Lying generally involves saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth ... While malicious lying is definitely condemned in the Bible, this does not mean that a person is under obligation to divulge truthful information to people who are not entitled to it. Jesus Christ counseled: "Do not give what is holy to dogs, neither throw your pearls before swine, that they may never trample them under their feet and turn around and rip you open." (Mt 7:6) That is why Jesus on certain occasions refrained from giving full information or direct answers to certain questions when doing so could have brought unnecessary harm. (Mt 15:1-6; 21:23-27; Joh 7:3-10) Evidently the course of Abraham, Isaac, Rahab, and Elisha in misdirecting or in withholding full facts from nonworshipers of Jehovah must be viewed in the same light." (Insight on the Scriptures Volume 2, 1988, Pages 244-245)

    "Sarai could say that she was Abram's sister because she really was his half sister. (Genesis 20:12) Furthermore, he was not under obligation to divulge information to people who were not entitled to it. (Matthew 7:6) Faithful servants of God in modern times heed the Bible's command to be honest. (Hebrews 13:18) They would never, for instance, lie under oath in a court of law. When the physical or spiritual lives of their brothers are at stake, such as in times of persecution or civil distress, however, they heed Jesus' counsel to be "cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves." -Matthew 10:16; see The Watchtower, November 1, 1996, page 18, paragraph 19." (Quote from The Watchtower, August 15th 2001 Issue)

    "Of course, being truthful does not mean that we are obligated to divulge all information to anyone who asks it of us. Do not give what is holy to dogs, neither throw your pearls before swine, that they may never ... turn around and rip you open, warned Jesus, at Matthew 7:6. For example, individuals with wicked intent may have no right to know certain things. Christians understand that they are living in a hostile world. Thus, Jesus advised his disciples to be cautious as serpents while remaining innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16; John 15:19) Jesus did not always disclose the full truth, especially when revealing all the facts could have brought unnecessary harm to himself or his disciples. Still, even at such times, he did not lie. Instead, he chose either to say nothing or to divert the conversation in another direction." (Quote from Awake!, February 8th 2000 Issue, Page 21)

    "This fact cannot be overemphasized: We are in a war with superhuman foes, and we constantly need to be aware of this." (Quote from The Watchtower, January 15th 1983 Issue, Page 22)

    "Officially, the [Jehovah's Witness] church denies all knowledge of the concept of theocratic warfare" (A Reporter's Comment from the Australian "Sunday" Program Television Show called "Silent Witnesses", which aired on Television on September 22nd, 2002)

    Now, "Bad, Bad," "Baghdad" Brown's Quotes begin (along with Quotes from his Watchtower Buddies, "Stupor" Mario Moreno, David "Saddam" Semonian, Theodore "Kosinski" Jaracz, Philip "Osama Bin" Brumley, and More!):

    How Good is the Watchtower Society's "Child Protection Policy"?

    "Mario Moreno, associate general counsel at the church's New York headquarters, said when church policy is applied to child molesters, "as a parent, an attorney and an elder, I'm comfortable with our policy." ... Moreno said he believes that while some of the church's critics on this topic have legitimate concerns, most "have a problem with pride" and "want the organization to change for them. We go by what we believe the Bible says, and we don't change for anybody." ... He [Moreno] also said he feels the church is "being picked on" and added that he would be willing to put the church's policy up against any other." (The Paducah Sun (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 28th 2001)

    "J. R. Brown, director of the public information office at church headquarters, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, in Brooklyn, said the church had exemplary policies for handling sexual abuse, which were based on biblical standards and had been widely published in church magazines. "...if you take what our policy is for keeping our organization clean morally, it far outpaces anybody else's." " (NEW YORK TIMES Newspaper, Sunday, August 11th 2002 Edition)

    "Head of Public Relations, J R Brown, maintains: "We have a very aggressive policy to handle child molestation in the congregations and it is primarily designed to protect our children." " (BBC Panorama News Story on their Website, Friday, July 12th 2002)

    " "...if you take what our policy is for keeping our organization clean morally, it far outpaces anybody else's," spokesman J.R. Brown said." (Seattle Times Newspaper, September 6th 2002)

    "Our policy for handling child abuse is progressive, and strong, and it protects the congregation." (Jehovah's Witnesses Office of Public Information Press Release: Statement on silentlambs march, September 27, 2002)

    "Brown points out that people who accuse the church are often lapsed Witnesses, and "open prey" for exploiters." (Newsweek Magazine; New York; June 24th, 2002; Volume: 139, Issue: 25, Start Page: 81)

    " "It's a matter of trying to balance confidentiality and protecting the child," Brown said." (The Paducah Sun (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 28th 2001)

    "J.R. Brown... said the church does not interfere with the reporting of a crime. He said church elders are supposed to contact headquarters if they have questions about a case. "When we are contacted, we tell elders if they are in a state where (reporting pedophilia) is required," he said. "We want to make sure we are legally compliant." Brown said he is aware that numerous cases have been posted on Internet sites such as www.silentlambs.org or www.freeminds.org detailing pedophilia within the Jehovah's Witnesses church. But he maintains most of the stories were posted by people who underwent abuse back in the 1980s, when all of society was grappling with the issue. "Regrettably, many children probably were molested," he said. He said the church has made strong policy changes since then, including taking suspected or convicted pedophiles out of any position in the church, not allowing them to be alone with children and various other restrictions." (TRI-CITY HERALD, Wednesday, January 23, 2002)

    "Witness spokesman [J.R.] Brown says that the incidence of pedophilia is no worse in his religion than in others, but he admits that some elders have not reported suspicions of abuse." (Christianity Today, January 26th 2001)

    "please do not conclude that we believe that our system is perfect. No human organization is perfect. But we do believe that we have a strong, Bible-based policy on child abuse. ... Over the years, as we have noted areas where our policies could be strengthened, we have followed through. We are continuing to refine them." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

    "Clearly, with us having 95,000 congregations around the world and three to five to six elders in each, mistakes may have been made," he said. "But that does not mean that we don't have a strong and aggressive policy that shows we abhor child molestation." -- J.R. Brown (Associated Press [AP] News Story, September 26th 2002)

    "Our procedures have been refined over time. Over the years, as we have noted areas where our policies could be strengthened, we have followed through. We are continuing to refine them. We do not believe that our system is perfect. No human organization is perfect. But we do believe that we have a strong, Bible-based policy on child abuse. Anyone in a responsible position who is guilty of child abuse would be removed from his responsibilities without hesitation. We certainly would not knowingly allow him to serve elsewhere, either because he moved or through a transfer." (Official Watchtower Society JW-Media.org Statement, May 2002)

    "THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS REPRESENTATIVES WE TALKED TO DID NOT WANT TO GO ON CAMERA. BUT ONE TOLD US THE ALLEGATIONS ARE RIDICULOUS. HE SAYS JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES ARE ONE OF THE MOST LAW-ABIDING GROUPS IN THE WORLD. HE ALSO MAINTAINS THEY DO NOT HAVE A POLICY OF SILENCING VICTIMS." (Tucson, Arizona News, September 6, 2002)

    "An elder at a southwestern Ontario congregation of the Jehovah's Witnesses yesterday defended a church decision to allow a man accused of having sexually abused his daughter in the mid-1980s to report himself to authorities. Steve Brown testified in Ontario Superior Court that the abuse had stopped and there was no reason to suspect the two younger children in the family were in danger when elders in the Shelburne congregation learned of the allegations in December 1989. ... A church committee did not expel the father or make the allegations public, Mr. Brown said. "He was repentant and fit to be a member of the congregation," the church elder said. "We were not sitting with a man who was determined to continue a course of wickedness." " (The Ottawa Citizen Canadian Newspaper, September 17, 2002)

    "Church general counsel Philip Brumley said the church's own investigation of previous lawsuits found church elders did nothing wrong as they tried to protect victims, comply with sexual abuse reporting laws and adhere to biblical admonitions against accepting accusations by a single witness. "We abhor child abuse," Brumley said. "The assertion or allegation of a cover up, or a nonchalance about child abuse, is just so far from the truth." "

    (CNN.com, "Lawsuits allege cover-up of sexual abuse by Jehovah's Witnesses", Tuesday, July 29, 2003)

    How Does the "Child Protection Policy" Work?

    "Although Witnesses comply with secular laws when necessary, Witness spokesman Brown says, the group prefers to deal with such matters spiritually. "We handle wrongdoing, sin, and transgression," he says. "This is what a religious organization is supposed to do. We're not getting into law enforcement. We're just going to handle the repentance." " (Christianity Today, January 26th 2001)

    "J.R. Brown, a national spokesman for the organization, said that while Jehovah's Witnesses deal strictly with child abuse within the congregation, it isn't the church's job to report abuse. "Nothing prevents them from calling the authorities," Brown said. "They don't have to call us first. These things operate separately. If the offender is part of the congregation, we will deal with it in a church setting. But if they are also reported to the authorities, we will not try to shield them." ... Brown, the national spokesman, said that Jehovah's Witness elders do report sex abuse in states where there are mandatory reporting laws. "If it is a state that requires clergy to report, we of course would view that as taking precedence over ecclesiastical privilege," he said." (Mid-Valley Sunday Oregon News, October 5, 2002; Associated Press, October 7, 2002)

    "[J.R. Brown] said there is no policy preventing notification of civil authorities of a crime. "What we handle is the transgression, or the sin, of child molestation. We distinguish that from the criminal aspect," Brown said. "Our view is, the church handles the sin, the secular authority - Caesar, if you will - handles the criminal activity." The church - which has about 6 million members worldwide, including 1 million in the United States - requires two witnesses because the Bible requires it for establishing a sin, he said. "Where the state requires that this be reported, we comply fully," he said. "We have designed a policy to protect the victim of child molestation; to protect innocent children and to not allow pedophiles to circulate among us." " (Associated Press News Story, Tuesday, January 22, 2002)

    "In an interview from his home in New York on Tuesday, church spokesman J.R. Brown said elders are told to comply with the laws requiring professionals to report all allegations of child abuse. "It ought to be clear, the church handles all sins and transgressions in house," he said. "If such sins are criminal, then it's up to the police." ... Brown, the church spokesman, denied that victims are discouraged from reporting abuse or other crimes. "We make it clear that it is up to the individual whether to report. As you know, many choose not to," he said. "We don't chastise them." " ( THE SPOKANE REVIEW, Wednesday, January 23, 2002 )

    "The elders' guideline is: if you get any single allegation of child abuse come to your attention, phone this office. ... you see the first thing is we have to make sure for the protection of the child, that's our first priority. ... We have a child protection policy." --PAUL GILLIES, WATCHTOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY'S OFFICIAL SPOKESPERSON (BBC PANORAMA, "Suffer the Little Children", July 14th, 2002)

    "When any one of Jehovah's Witnesses is accused of an act of child abuse, the local congregation elders are expected to investigate. Two elders meet separately with the accused and the accuser to see what each says on the matter. If the accused denies the charge, the two elders may arrange for him and the victim to restate their position in each other's presence, with elders also there. If during that meeting the accused still denies the charges and there are no others who can substantiate them, the elders cannot take action within the congregation at that time. Why not? As a Bible-based organization, we must adhere to what the Scriptures say, namely, "No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin . . . At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses the matter should stand good." (Deuteronomy 19:15) Jesus reaffirmed this principle as recorded at Matthew 18:15-17. However, if two persons are witnesses to separate incidents of the same kind of wrongdoing, their testimony may be deemed sufficient to take action. However, even if the elders cannot take congregational action, they are expected to report the allegation to the branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses in their country, if local privacy laws permit. In addition to making a report to the branch office, the elders may be required by law to report even uncorroborated or unsubstantiated allegations to the authorities. If so, we expect the elders to comply. Additionally, the victim may wish to report the matter to the authorities, and it is his or her absolute right to do so." (Official Watchtower Society JW-Media.org Statement, May 2002)

    "John Robert (J.R.) Brown, director of the office of Public Information at the home office in Brooklyn, rejects what Bowen says. Brown states they do not [have the] molested child confront the accused in presence of parents and three elders. Also they never threaten anyone with disfellowshipping. Even persons, who were found guilty of serious sins in the organization, could remain a Jehovah's Witness, if they were found repentant by a judicial committee. If an individual was found guilty of child molestation, he cannot under any circumstances serve as an elder. "Elders are religious leaders", says Brown." (SPIEGEL ONLINE Germany News - June 12th 2002; URL:

    http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0 ,1518,198436,00.html)

    "If, when confronted, the accused confesses that he is guilty of child abuse, the elders take appropriate congregational action. If he is not repentant, he will not be permitted to remain a member of the congregation. Even if he is repentant--is cut to the heart and is thus resolutely determined to avoid such conduct in the future--what was stated in the January 1, 1997, issue of The Watchtower applies. The article said: "For the protection of our children, a man known to have been a child molester does not qualify for a responsible position in the congregation. Moreover, he cannot be a pioneer [full-time missionary of Jehovah's Witnesses] or serve in any other special, full-time service." He would not qualify Scripturally. (1 Timothy 3:2, 7-10) We take such action because we are concerned with maintaining Bible standards and protecting our children. Everyone in our organization is expected to meet the same requirements, namely, to be clean physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually.--2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:17-19; 1 Thessalonians 2:4. In a few instances, individuals guilty of an act of child abuse have been appointed to positions within the congregation if their conduct has been otherwise exemplary for decades. ..." (Official Watchtower Society JW-Media.org Statement, May 2002)

    "Jehovah's Witness church officials in New York deny that the church hides criminal activity. "We have no such policy. Our policy allows for anyone who wishes to report the matter to the authorities to do so," J.R. Brown, national spokesman for the Jehovah's Witness organization, said. "We strictly comply. We are not in any way resistive to the proper authorities being notified." Brown said that ...the church typically follows general policy guidelines in such matters. "We follow a general policy that we do not support legally any Jehovah's Witness charged with a crime. We do not use our donated resources to defend any Jehovah's Witness accused of a crime," Brown said. But Brown said the core issue is not the church's image. "If someone were to feel that our concern for our resources were greater than that for innocent victims, that simply is not true," Brown said. "We are concerned, just as any other organization, about our public image. We are concerned about our resources because we are recipients of donated funds for non-profit charitable work. But we are primarily ministers who are concerned to act as shepherds in a protective and spiritual sense over the members of the congregation," he said. "If anyone has been abused by anyone else in the congregation or whether that person is an appointed elder or not, we view this as a horrific crime to inflict on a child or anyone else," Brown said." (CNS News, Friday, January 24, 2002)

    "Leaders of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, as the organization is formally known, have disputed these claims, saying they obey all laws requiring the reporting of child abuse and do not interfere with police investigations. They say that in states that do not require reporting of abuse, they prefer taking steps to protect children while not breaching what they see as confidential communications between elders and members. Church officials say they might advise elders to move victims out of abusive homes or refer them to counseling. In its statement, the Jehovah's Witnesses Office of Public Information quoted biblical references in saying elders must use church discipline to ''shepherd the flock of God in their care.'' ''In fact, they are required by the Holy Scriptures to see to it that the congregation remains clean and unified,'' the statement said. ''No hasty decision is made in this process.'' The goal is not to expel a member, but to follow the Apostle Paul's injunction to ''try to readjust such a man in a spirit of mildness,'' the statement said. One suit filed in January by Erica Rodriguez, who said she was repeatedly abused by a church member years ago, claims an elder at her former congregation in Washington state threatened her with excommunication if she reported her abuser to police. A Watchtower statement denies this, saying that there are no sanctions against anyone who chooses to go to police, and that church elders and Watchtower did not know of the abuse until years after it had occurred." (

    LOUISVILLE-COURIER (Kentucky) Newspaper, Wednesday, May 8, 2002 )

    "Moreno said while he believes in the church's policy, he knows that some members have been hurt, and "my heart goes out to them." But he said that some elders don't follow the policy as they should, and that's where trouble begins. Moreno said when a Witness goes to an elder with an accusation of abuse, the first step the elders should take is calling the church's legal department. He said there are then three factors considered: protecting the child, complying with the law, and protecting minister-adherent confidentiality, with the last receiving the least weight. The legal department will then advise the elders what is required by law. Twenty-two states, including Illinois and the District of Columbia, do not require clergy to report accusations of child abuse. In those states, Moreno said, the legal department generally advises the elders not to report the matter to law enforcement authorities. J.R. Brown, public affairs director for the church, said the reason for this is "we do not think, as an ecclesiastical authority, we should run ahead of Caesar's laws," using a biblical reference to secular authority. "Even if secular authority does not require it, generally we have endeavoured to be more zealous for enforcing and seeing that these laws are complied with. If Caesar has a law, and it does not conflict with God's law, we follow it." " (Paducah Sun (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 28th 2001)

    "Church officials say elders alert authorities to suspected abuse in states that require reporting. But in other states they prefer to take steps to protect children that don't breach what they see as confidential communication between elders and members. A lawyer for the Jehovah's Witnesses church, which has nearly 1 million members nationally and 6 million worldwide, said it complies with those state laws that require church elders to report abuse. "If there is a law that mandates reporting, that takes precedent over any confidentiality, whether in church policy or statute, ... In states where there is no reporting requirement, it's a different scenario," Moreno said. Elders might have the victim relocated away from the abuser or have the parent or guardian of the victim, or even the accused person, report the abuse to police, he said. "The laws of this country, as well as people's moral values, tell you there are some things that should be kept private. That's why laws protect confidential communications between clergy and their flock." But Moreno said elders who contact the church's legal department with cases of suspected sexual abuse -- as they must do -- are often advised to refer victims to police or other outside help, even if the law doesn't require it." (Louisville Courier-Journal (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 4th 2001)

    "Moreno ...said "Once in a while, in a small minority cases, elders screw up. They screw up because they don't call here (the Watch Tower legal department). When they call here, they don't screw up." Moreno said that eventually, the truth comes out. "Somebody else comes out of the woodwork and now you can take action," he said. Moreno said two separate accusers would count as two witnesses when making a sexual abuse accusation. Church policy neither encourages nor discourages members to report suspected or admitted sexual abuse to police, Moreno said. Elders are instructed to always call the central legal department of the church in Carmel, N.Y., upon receiving an accusation. When elders call, church lawyers tell them whether state law requires them to report abuse to police, Moreno said. A still-valid 1989 church memo also tells elders to call for legal advice before being interviewed by police, responding to a subpoena or voluntarily turning over confidential church records, unless police have a search warrant. Moreno said church lawyers might advise elders to refer victims to police or other outside help. "That's a personal decision." " (Louisville Courier-Journal (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 4th 2001)

    "If child abuse becomes known to our church elders, they strictly comply with applicable child abuse reporting laws. We also encourage the wrongdoers to do everything they can to set the matter straight with the authorities. Furthermore, we do not prohibit or discourage the victim or the victim's parents from reporting child abuse to the authorities even if the alleged perpetrator is one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Jehovah's Witnesses abhor all forms of wickedness including child abuse. We do not condone the actions of those who exploit children by this terrible crime and such persons are disfellowshipped (excommunicated) from the congregation. A known child molester does not qualify for appointment as a church elder or for any other position of responsibility in any congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses." -- J.R. Brown (Paducah Sun (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 5th 2001)

    "J.R. Brown, spokesman at the Jehovah's Witnesses' headquarters in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, said he believes Bowen does not have a full understanding of church policies. Members are free at all times to report abuse to secular authorities, Brown said. "This is a personal decision on how you want to handle this," he said. What is revealed to church leaders is generally kept confidential unless state law requires that allegations of abuse be turned over to police, he said. "We deal with sin, and law enforcement deals with crime," Brown said. In some cases, however, the matter is turned over to secular authorities regardless of the law, Brown said. Of Bowen, he said: "He's concerned about victims of child abuse, and we are, too." Brown said the faith does require at least two witnesses to prove any kind of wrongdoing -- including child molestation -- because that is what is taught in the Bible. But corroborating evidence can be used instead of a second witness to prove wrongdoing, Brown said." (Associated Press, February 11th 2001)

    "Jehovah's Witnesses condemn child molestation, and they do not tolerate such activity within their membership. If there is sufficient evidence that someone has exploited children in this way, he may be disfellowshipped (excommunicated). A sincerely repentant former child molester may be allowed to remain a member of the faith, but he is strongly warned against being alone with children unless one of the parents or another responsible adult is also present. Moreover, as a protection to our children, former child molesters are not permitted to receive positions of responsibility in our religion. If an accusation of child molestation is made against a member of the congregation, the elders immediately work to assure the safety of the victim. Also, they make every effort to comply with the law. This includes complying with laws that mandate reporting the incident to the proper authorities. This is even done when a child is the only one to report the wrong conduct or when the elders received the allegation of molestation in confidence. The victim or the victim's family may also report the matter to the authorities. The have an absolute right to report and none should interfere with this. If you would like to receive more information on how we report such matters, please contact Mario Moreno, Watchtower Legal Department. (845) 509-0416 or (845) 306-1000." -- J.R. Brown (JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE, PRESS RELEASE, August 7, 2001)

    "If an accusation of child molestation is made against a member of a congregation, the elders immediately work to assure the safety of the victim and of other children. Also, they make every effort to comply with the law. This includes complying with laws that mandate reporting the incident to the proper authorities. This is done even when a child is the only one to report the wrong conduct or when the elders received the allegation of molestation in confidence." (

    Jehovah's Witnesses Office of Public Information Press Release: Statement on silentlambs march, September 27, 2002 )

    "Paul Polidoro, the associate general counsel for the Jehovah's Witnesses, said the staff at the church headquarters in New York had not yet seen the lawsuit and had no comment on the specific allegations. "The majority of these lawsuits are parishioner-on-parishioner incidents," Polidoro said. "Our local congregations and national organization take child abuse quite seriously," Polidoro said. "Child abuse allegations are reported to (the) authorities if they occur." Polidoro said he was insulted by Hall's ministry and Bowen's allegations. "We are a well-established religion that has been in this country for a century," he said. "It's somewhat offensive when someone uses the word 'cult' to describe your religion." " (San Francisco Chronicle, "Jehovah's Witnesses hit with rash of sex-abuse suits", Page A - 15, Thursday, July 31, 2003)

    "Steve Lyons, an elder at Bowen's Draffenville church of about 60 members, said Jehovah's Witnesses are responsive to allegations of child abuse. "I think we do as well as we can do," he said. "We comply with all local laws when it comes to reporting. We do our best to protect children in cases where even there's just been an alleged abuse." " (

    Associated Press News and also on CNN.com, Thursday, May 9, 2002 )

    "In the United States, when any one of Jehovah's Witnesses is accused of an act of child abuse, the local elders are expected to investigate. The procedure is as follows. Two elders meet separately with the accused and the accuser to see what each says on the matter. If the accused denies the charge, the two elders may arrange for him to have the opportunity to confront the accuser in their presence. If during that meeting the accused still denies the charges and there are no others who can substantiate them, the elders cannot take action within the congregation at that time. Why not? As a Bible-based organization, we must adhere to what the Scriptures say, namely, "No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin . . . at the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses the matter should stand good." (Deuteronomy 19:15) Jesus reaffirmed this principle as recorded at Matthew 18:15-17." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

    "In addition to making a report to the branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses, the elders may be required by law to report even uncorroborated or unsubstantiated allegations to the authorities. If so, we expect the elders to comply. Additionally, the victim may wish to report the matter to the authorities, and it is his or her absolute right to do so. In the United States, reporting requirements vary from state to state. It can be quite a challenge to keep abreast of the reporting requirements, but our Legal Department makes every effort to do so." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at

    http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

    "Church spokesman J. R. Brown says the group instructs local leaders to notify police when required by law. They also conduct their own investigation: "That consists of going directly to the accused." If someone confesses, says Brown, he will be prohibited from going door-to-door-unless accompanied by another Witness." (Newsweek Magazine; New York; June 24th, 2002; Volume: 139, Issue: 25, Start Page: 81)

    " "Elders in Britain are directed to ensure that secular laws are adhered to. When a report is received, elders contact our National Office in London for guidance to ensure that (1) the alleged victim, and other potential victims, are protected from possible abuse and (2) that counsel is given to report crime to the proper authorities and to comply with any additional legal requirements. Jehovah's Witnesses further believe that it is the absolute right of the victim, his or her family, or any others to report the matter to the authorities if they so choose. There are certainly no sanctions against any congregation member who reports an allegation of child abuse to the authorities." National Contact Paul Gillies, telephone: 020 8906 2211" -- Paul Gillies (Quote from the British Watchtower Statement that was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at

    http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time that the BBC Panorama Program aired, July 2002)

    "Brown said pedophiles are restricted from working with minors and must also be with a well-respected church member when they go door to door. Pedophiles also might not be sent into neighborhoods where they might be recognized as molesters, Brown said. According to church lawyer Moreno, the system worked. Elders did their job, and victims and police did theirs, he said. "What was the harm?" Moreno said. "The report got made. "You've got a teen, who has been molested, upset at the elders for not calling the police?" he said. "You can call the police. You're the one injured. "Who makes the laws? Not us. Don't blame us for the laws, please. Talk to the state legislators of Colorado." " (Louisville Courier-Journal (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 4th 2001)

    Mr. JOHN WHITE (Presiding Overseer) Speaking From the Recorded Court Trial Audio Tape: "We're satisfied that he [the molester] was repentant and could be admitted to the Congregation again. To us, we don't see a problem. ... Jehovah's Witnesses do not want to harbor criminals or dangerous people. But we want the Confidentiality because if that's taken away from us, why should a person ever confess anything?"

    (NBC DATELINE -- "WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION", May 28th, 2002)

    JOHN LARSON Speaking: In a Letter to DATELINE, the Church's General Council adds that "it is possible that a few of the 77,799 Elders of Jehovah's Witnesses have not followed the direction that they have been given regarding investigating and reporting child abuse." (NBC DATELINE -- "WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION", May 28th, 2002)

    "CONNIE CHUNG Speaking: This is a statement from the Jehovah's Witnesses, and I'd like all of you to listen to it: "We abhor the sexual abuse of children and will not protect any perpetrator from the consequences of this gross and perverse sin. We expect the elders to investigate every allegation of child abuse. Unrepentant wrongdoers are expelled from the congregation. Special care is taken to ensure the victims are given ongoing assistance and counsel that help them deal with the pain of the abuse. They should never be told by elders not to report their allegations to the authorities." " (CNN Connie Chung Tonight Television Program, August 14, 2002)

    [Moreno said] [elders] "do institute this discipline [Disfellowshipping]. They're not soft on abusers." (Louisville Courier-Journal (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 4th 2001)

    "Said Moreno: "I wouldn't be too happy myself if somebody abused my child and was reinstated. The bottom line is if an elder determines a former child abuser has demonstrated repentance, (he has) a scriptural obligation to reinstate him." " (Louisville Courier-Journal (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 4th 2001)

    JOHN LARSON (NBC Dateline Reporter) Speaking: "Bill Bowen says if you want to get an idea of how the Church sweeps cases under the rug, just listen to part of a conversation Bowen Recorded a little over a year ago with an Official in the Jehovah's Witness (Bethel) Legal Department. Bowen calls seeking advice on how to handle a suspected molestation case involving a young girl and her father. Instead of being told to report it to the Police, Bowen is told to confront the suspected abuser." ... Bethel Headquarters #2 Speaking On the Phone: "You just ask him [the accused molester] again, "Now is there anything to this?" If he says "No," then I would walk away from it. ... Leave it for Jehovah. He'll bring it out. ... But don't get yourself in a jam." (NBC DATELINE -- "WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION", May 28th, 2002)

    JONATHAN BRIGGS, JEHOVAH'S WITNESS PRESIDING OVERSEER, speaking about the Ian Cousins case: "It's reasonable to really actually consider the brothers and sisters in the congregation that have had to undergo all this pressure. So I would just leave it at that. That's all I have to say on the matter." (BBC PANORAMA, "Suffer the Little Children", July 14th, 2002)

    "Clive Thomas, spokesman for the Canadian church, said the accusations are unfair. While the church is concerned about the spiritual well-being of abusers, he said, "We care about children. We do not condone or take a soft view of child sexual abuse or any other abuse." " (The Toronto Sun Newspaper, September 1, 2002)

    "Church elders in Canada are required by law to report allegations of sexual abuse to authorities and were ordered by the church in 1988 to comply with the law. "We abhor the molestation of children," the church says in a press release. "It is not just a terrible sin but also a crime ... We do not protect any perpetrator of such repugnant acts." While secular authorities are notified of allegations, the abuse is also investigated internally by elders, who are considered administrators of God's law. Elders are required first to contact church headquarters in Georgetown, where a lawyer instructs them on how to handle the allegations. Two elders are then appointed to investigate. Family members, the victim and the accused are interviewed, sometimes together, and explicit detail is sought. If the accused denies the abuse happened, the charge is dropped unless another witness can corroborate the story. That rule is based on the Biblical book of Deuteronomy: "No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin." In effect, the child's accusation is dismissed unless another person saw the abuse or another child comes forward with an allegation against the same church member. "We are bound by the scriptures," Thomas said. "But we would still report it to the authorities with only one witness" so the victim gets "the protection of the secular authorities." But abuse is seldom reported in jurisdictions where there is no mandatory reporting requirement, Bowen said. If the pedophile confesses the sin, he is punished, often by disfellowship. A permanent confidential record is kept by the elders and the Georgetown office is notified. But the congregation is never told of the crime -- only the punishment. Family members and the victim are also forbidden from talking about abuse to other congregation members. Disfellowship, or excommunication, involves being shunned by the community and family for at least a year. The shunned member is still expected to attend meetings. Should a pedophile move to another congregation, elders there are notified and records transferred. Thomas said elders must protect the privacy of an accused, especially if he has repented, but are instructed to carefully monitor him and prevent him from being alone with kids." (The Toronto Sun Newspaper, September 1, 2002)

    "Some elders of the Jehovah's Witness church covered up child abuse and obstructed police investigations, according to victims of the abuse and former elders. The church's leader in Australia on Sunday denied the allegations, but said police were sometimes not informed to protect victims." (THE AGE [ http://theage.com.au ] Australian News, September 22, 2002)

    How Does the "Two Eye-Witness Rule" Work?

    "Other cases of serious wrongdoing require special attention by the elders in order to determine what is needed to help the repentant wrongdoer and to preserve the spiritual health of all in the congregation. These include such sins as adultery, fornication, apostasy, and drunkenness. ... Before forming a committee, elders determine if the accusation has substance. It must Scripturally be an offense serious enough to result in disfellowshipping. There must be either two witnesses or a confession of wrongdoing." (Pay Attention To Yourselves and To All the Flock, Confidential Elders-Only Rule Book; 1991, Pages 107-108)

    "What kind of evidence is acceptable? There must be two or three eyewitnesses, not just persons repeating what they have heard; no action can be taken if there is only one witness. (Deut. 19:15; Joh. 8:17) Confession (admission of wrongdoing), either written or oral, may be accepted as conclusive proof without other corroborating evidence. (Josh. 7:19) Strong circumstantial evidence, such as pregnancy or evidence (testified to by at least two witnesses) that the accused stayed all night in the same house with a person of the opposite sex (or in the same house with a known homosexual) under improper circumstances, is acceptable. The testimony of youths may be considered; it is up to the elders to determine if the testimony has the ring of truth. The testimony of unbelievers may also be considered, but it must be carefully weighed. If there are two or three witnesses to the same kind of wrongdoing but each one is witness to a separate incident, their testimony can be considered. Such evidence may be used to establish guilt, but it is preferable to have two witnesses to the same occurrence of wrongdoing." (Pay Attention To Yourselves and To All the Flock, Confidential Elders-Only Rule Book; 1991, Page 110)

    "Is there sufficient evidence to establish by two witnesses or otherwise that the person is clearly guilty of serious wrongdoing?" (Pay Attention To Yourselves and To All the Flock, Confidential Elders-Only Rule Book; 1991, Page 119)

    "At least two witnesses are required to establish a charge of wrongdoing. (John 8:17; Hebrews 10:28) If the person denies the charge and your testimony is the only one, the matter will be left in Jehovah's hands. (1 Timothy 5:19, 24, 25) This is done in the knowledge that all things are openly exposed to Jehovah and that if the person is guilty, eventually his sins will catch up with him. Hebrews; Numbers 32:23. But suppose the person does deny the charge and you are the only witness against him. Could you now be open to a countercharge of slander? No, not unless you have gossiped to those not involved in the matter. It is not slanderous to report conditions affecting a congregation to those having authority and responsibility to oversee and correct matters. It is, in fact, in line with our desire always to do what is correct and loyal.--Compare Luke 1:74, 75" (Quote from The Watchtower, August 15, 1997 Issue, Pages 27-28)

    "in following Scriptural procedures, the congregation can only take judicial action on the eyewitness evidence of two or more individuals, or confession. So, while we may have some strong convictions on a certain situation, without this Scriptural evidence the elders are not able to take judicial action. This in no way implies that they do not believe the one bringing them the information, but as you said in your letter it is how Jehovah sees things that is important. Since this is God's direction to those examining cases of wrongdoing, the elders must abide by the Scriptures.--Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; 1 Timothy 5:19. Some matters are firmly established by sufficient evidence or by confession, or both. However, what is the situation when an individual in these cases appears to the elders handling matters to be demonstrating heartfelt repentance? In that case the elders would reprove such a man, as Titus said "with severity". (Titus 1:13) The decision to reprove or disfellowship, the individual is left in the hands of the elders of each congregation. It is up to them to weigh all the accusations, and all claims of repentance. In the case of Titus, you will notice the reason that the apostle Paul left him in Crete: "That you might make appointments of older men in city after city, as I gave you orders." (Titus 1:5) These older men had a responsibility to handle matters in the congregation, in the same way as the "older men" in ancient Israel would have cared for matters of this nature." (Quotes from an Official Watchtower Society Letter written from the Watchtower Service Department regarding the molestation of the step-daughter of Daniel Fitzwater.)

    "Moreno said that eventually, the truth comes out. "Somebody else comes out of the woodwork and now you can take action," he said. Moreno said two separate accusers would count as two witnesses when making a sexual abuse accusation." (Louisville Courier-Journal (Kentucky) Newspaper. January 4th 2001)

    "Brown said the faith does require at least two witnesses to prove any kind of wrongdoing -- including child molestation -- because that is what is taught in the Bible. But corroborating evidence can be used instead of a second witness to prove wrongdoing, Brown said." (Associated Press (AP) News, February 11th 2001)

    "The church - which has about 6 million members worldwide, including 1 million in the United States - requires two witnesses because the Bible requires it for establishing a sin, he said." (Associated Press (AP) News, Tuesday, January 22, 2002)

    "Brown said the church which has about 6 million members worldwide, including 1 million in the United States requires two witnesses because the Bible requires that for establishing a sin." (The Seattle Times Newspaper, January 23rd 2002)

    "The two-witnesses requirement applies to how we handle transgressions or sins as a church," Brown said. "It has nothing to do with how we handle a crime. (SACRAMENTO BEE, Saturday, January 26, 2002)

    "When any one of Jehovah's Witnesses is accused of an act of child abuse, the local congregation elders are expected to investigate. Two elders meet separately with the accused and the accuser to see what each says on the matter. If the accused denies the charge, the two elders may arrange for him and the victim to restate their position in each other's presence, with elders also there. If during that meeting the accused still denies the charges and there are no others who can substantiate them, the elders cannot take action within the congregation at that time. Why not? As a Bible-based organization, we must adhere to what the Scriptures say, namely, "No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin . . . At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses the matter should stand good." (Deuteronomy 19:15) Jesus reaffirmed this principle as recorded at Matthew 18:15-17. However, if two persons are witnesses to separate incidents of the same kind of wrongdoing, their testimony may be deemed sufficient to take action." (Quotes from the Official Child Abuse Policy Statement on the Official Watchtower Media Website at http://www.JW-Media.org)

    "However, we must bear in mind the Bible's clear direction: 'No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin. At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses the matter should stand good." (The Guardian U.K. Newspaper, June 10th 2002)

    "First, if any allegation is made against someone, that person must confess or there must be two witnesses to the act for it to be proven: "No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin... At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses the matter should stand good." (Deuteronomy 19:15)" (BBC Panorama News Story on their Website, Friday, July 12th 2002)

    "In the United States, when any one of Jehovahs Witnesses is accused of an act of child abuse, the local elders are expected to investigate. The procedure is as follows. Two elders meet separately with the accused and the accuser to see what each says on the matter. If the accused denies the charge, the two elders may arrange for him to have the opportunity to confront the accuser in their presence. If during that meeting the accused still denies the charges and there are no others who can substantiate them, the elders cannot take action within the congregation at that time. Why not? As a Bible-based organization, we must adhere to what the Scriptures say, namely, "No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin . . . at the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses the matter should stand good." (Deuteronomy 19:15) Jesus reaffirmed this principle as recorded at Matthew 18:15-17." (Quotes from Statement that J.R. Brown Faxed to Betsan Powys (BBC Panorama Reporter) on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired)

    "Brown, the Witnesses' spokesman, would not discuss specific cases, but he scoffed at allegations that Witnesses protect child molesters. Yes, Witnesses believe in the two-witness rule, he said, but that's not the only way wrongdoers can be caught. "It cannot be said that we will do nothing unless there are two witnesses," Brown said. He said Witnesses are not required to report crimes to elders before calling civil authorities. Victims and their families are free to call police at will, he said, although some don't choose to." (St. Petersburg Times Newspaper, Published August 22nd 2002)

    "If the accused denies the abuse happened, the charge is dropped unless another witness can corroborate the story. That rule is based on the Biblical book of Deuteronomy: "No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin." In effect, the child's accusation is dismissed unless another person saw the abuse or another child comes forward with an allegation against the same church member. "We are bound by the scriptures," Thomas said. "But we would still report it to the authorities with only one witness" so the victim gets "the protection of the secular authorities." But abuse is seldom reported in jurisdictions where there is no mandatory reporting requirement, Bowen said. Family members and the victim are also forbidden from talking about abuse to other congregation members. Thomas said elders must protect the privacy of an accused, especially if he has repented, but are instructed to carefully monitor him and prevent him from being alone with kids. Bowen, who was excommunicated last month after being found guilty of "causing divisions," decried the process, noting the cloak of secrecy allows pedophiles to go door to door "witnessing" without anyone but the elders in the know. The requirement of two witnesses is ridiculous in cases of sex abuse, he said. And though elders may be well-meaning, they aren't trained to question or handle victims, he said." (The Toronto Sun Newspaper, September 1st 2002)

    "Brown, the Witness spokesman, said that while the church does require two witnesses or other compelling evidence before meting out any church discipline, that's beside the point because that requirement deals only with internal church procedures. He said the church does not forbid members from reporting crimes to the police." (Mid-Valley Sunday, October 6th 2002)

    "JOHN BROWN SAYS THE RELIGION FORBIDS PUNISHMENT OF AN ACCUSED MOLESTER WHO DENIES ALLEGATIONS UNLESS THERE IS ANOTHER EYEWITNESS TO THE ABUSE." (Tucson, Arizona News, September 6, 2002)

    "Brown, the Witness spokesman, said that while the church does require two witnesses or other compelling evidence before meting out any church discipline, that's beside the point because that requirement deals only with internal church procedures. He said the church does not forbid members from reporting crimes to the police. "We're not trying to deal with the penalty of the law," he said. "That's a separate thing from our point of view. Yes, an abuser should pay the penalty, even if he has to sit in jail for 10 or 15 years." " (Mid-Valley Sunday Oregon News, October 5, 2002; Associated Press, October 7, 2002)

    "Church general counsel Philip Brumley said the church's own investigation of previous lawsuits found church elders did nothing wrong as they tried to protect victims, comply with sexual abuse reporting laws and adhere to biblical admonitions against accepting accusations by a single witness. ... Brumley explained the requirement stems from biblical references that no single witness should rise up against any man. But he denied the church discourages victims or their parents from going to police." (CNN.com, "Lawsuits allege cover-up of sexual abuse by Jehovah's Witnesses", Tuesday, July 29, 2003)

    If there is only one witness, will the Elders start an investigation?

    "Moreno agrees with Bowen's claim that no investigation is initiated in the church if there is only one witness and the accused denies the charge, but he said elders have the responsibility to watch the accused more closely. He added that elders sometimes advise the accused to not put himself or herself in suspicious situations." ("The Paducah Sun" (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 28th 2001)

    "When any one of Jehovah's Witnesses is accused of an act of child abuse, the local congregation elders are expected to investigate. Two elders meet separately with the accused and the accuser to see what each says on the matter. If the accused denies the charge, the two elders may arrange for him and the victim to restate their position in each other's presence, with elders also there. If during that meeting the accused still denies the charges and there are no others who can substantiate them, the elders cannot take action within the congregation at that time." -- J.R. Brown (This Statement was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time Dateline aired (May 28th 2002), and is still available on the Official Watchtower Media Website)

    Are Jehovah's Witnesses Allowed (without being Shunned) to Report Child Molesters to the Authorities without having Two Witnesses? Are Jehovah's Witnesses Allowed to Notify other Congregation Members about the Molester without being Shunned?

    "Jeff Tucker, one of the Mount Shasta Kingdom Hall elders, says there were not enough eye-witnesses to go to the police." ("Christianity Today", February 2nd 2001)

    "Anthony Valenti who appeared in court at the hearing of the Pandellos had stated under oath, as an elder he had encouraged the victims to not report the matter to the police regarding Clement Pandello. The record of the court shows Valenti justified his advice with a reference to the Bible verse, which stated not to take your brother to court." (SPIEGEL ONLINE Germany News - June 12th 2002; URL: http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0 ,1518,198436,00.html)

    "Erica Rodriguez repeated to DATELINE the way she was treated when she reported her molestation. When she informed the elders at her congregation in Sacramento of the sexual abuse of Beliz who was not yet disfellowshipped, the elders told her to not report the crime to the police. They went on to threaten her with disfellowshipping if she tried to report the matter: "if you go to the police, you will be condemned by God." " (SPIEGEL ONLINE Germany News - June 12th 2002; URL:

    http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0 ,1518,198436,00.html)

    "Brown said ...the church has published several articles over the last 20 years encouraging members to report sexual abuse and child molesters. "We handle transgression and sin," he said. "But if that involves criminal activity, we say that should be reported to the government." " (THE SPOKANE REVIEW, Sunday, January 27, 2002)

    [J.R. Brown, Spokesman for Watchtower Society, speaking] "...we do not prohibit or discourage the victim or the victim's parents from reporting child abuse to the authorities even if the alleged perpetrator is one of Jehovah's Witnesses." ("The Paducah Sun" (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 5th 2001)

    "Church officials... did say they report crimes to the proper authorities. "We have no objection to a crime being handled," said J.R. Brown, director of the Office of Public Information for the national organization. "In no way do we conflict with how police or other authorities handle these cases." But church officials strongly denied Anderson's allegation. "The two-witnesses requirement applies to how we handle transgressions or sins as a church," Brown said. "It has nothing to do with how we handle a crime. "We are a church made up of families ... We would not allow predators to get away with this," Brown said." (

    SACRAMENTO BEE, Saturday, January 26, 2002 )

    "[J.R.] Brown said the church does not necessarily equate reporting the matter to law enforcement to protecting the child because "not all the time does government authority provide the protection the child needs. We don't say automatically that, but unfortunately too many reports show that's the case. You can be sure they're going to take what action is necessary to see that the child is protected." " (The Paducah Sun (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 28th 2001)

    Members are free at all times to report abuse to secular authorities, Brown said. "This is a personal decision on how you want to handle this," he said. (Associated Press, February 11th 2001)

    "Members at Bowen's old Kingdom Hall in Draffenville say the church does not bar them from reporting abuse. They say they may council abusers to report their actions to authorities. But they admit discouraging members from telling just anybody. "The difference between needless gossip, let's say, and withholding information from those who have a right to know is two different things completely," says Jehovah's Witness Bruce Waite. J.R. Brown, national Jehovah's Witness public information director, says proceedings against Bowen are confidential." (Kentucky NewsChannel 6 News, May 2002)

    When asked if the parents of the victim would be allowed to tell fellow congregates why a member is disfellowshipped, Moreno replied, "That would be their choice. We don't tell them that, but it would be their choice. Is that encouraged? No." ("The Paducah Sun" Newspaper, January 28th 2001)

    "J.R. Brown... said the church does not interfere with the reporting of a crime." (TRI-CITY HERALD, Wednesday, January 23, 2002)

    "Gossip is talk that reveals something about the doings and the affairs of other persons. It may be someone's faults and mistakes that the gossiper is talking about. But even if the things said are true, the gossiper is in the wrong and reveals lack of love. The proverb says: "The one covering over transgression is seeking love, and he that keeps talking about a matter is separating those familiar with one another."--Pr 17:9. Sometimes matters are confidential, but the slanderer delights in revealing them to others who have no right to know. (Pr 11:13) The slanderer gets pleasure in revealing things that cause sensation. The one listening to slander is also wrong and is damaging himself. (Pr 20:19; 26:22) A person may be turned away from his friends because of some defamatory remark about them made by a slanderer, and enmities and divisions may develop.--Pr 16:28. The Scriptures foretell that the notable presence of slanderers would be one of the marks of "the last days." (2Ti 3:1-3) Such persons, men or women, if present among God's people, are to be reproved and corrected by responsible ones in the Christian congregation." (Quote from Insight on the Scriptures Volume 1, Page 990, Published in 1988)

    "At least two witnesses are required to establish a charge of wrongdoing. (John 8:17; Hebrews 10:2) If the person denies the charge and your testimony is the only one, the matter will be left in Jehovah's hands. ... This is done in the knowledge that all things are openly exposed to Jehovah and that if the person is guilty, eventually his sins will catch up with him. ... But suppose the person does deny the charge and you are the only witness against him. Could you now be open to a countercharge of slander? No, not unless you have gossiped to those not involved in the matter." (Quote from The Watchtower, August 15th, 1997 Issue, Pages 27-28)

    "If the accusation is denied, the elders should explain to the accuser that nothing more can be done in a judicial way. And the congregation will continue to view the one accused [molester] as an innocent person. The Bible says that there must be two or three witnesses before judicial action can be taken. (2 Cor.13:1; 1 Tim. 5:19) Even if more than one person remembers abuse by the individual, the nature of these recalls is just too uncertain to base judicial decisions on them without other supporting evidence. This does not mean that such memories are viewed as false (or that they are viewed as true). But Bible principles must be followed in establishing a matter judicially." (Quote from The Watchtower, November 1st 1995 Issue, Pages 28-29)

    J.R. Brown, a spokesman for the denomination, said that parents are not punished by the church for going to the police first in cases of child molestation. (Associated Press News and also on CNN.com, Thursday, May 9, 2002)

    "[J.R. Brown] said there is no policy preventing notification of civil authorities of a crime. (Associated Press News Story, Tuesday, January 22, 2002)

    Church lawyer Moreno said it would be "ridiculous" for any elder to make such a threat [of Disfellowshipping], and if one did, it would contradict church policy. "That's not scriptural," he said. "We teach the Scriptures. The Scriptures don't say, 'If you file criminal charges against an abuser you're going to have eternal damnation.' The one in danger of eternal damnation is the abuser." " (Louisville Courier-Journal (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 4th 2001)

    Brown, the church spokesman, denied that victims are discouraged from reporting abuse or other crimes. "We make it clear that it is up to the individual whether to report. As you know, many choose not to," he said. "We don't chastise them." " (THE SPOKANE REVIEW, Wednesday, January 23, 2002)

    "Jehovah's Witness church officials in New York deny that the church hides criminal activity. "We have no such policy. Our policy allows for anyone who wishes to report the matter to the authorities to do so," J.R. Brown, national spokesman for the Jehovah's Witness organization, said. (CNS News, Friday, January 24, 2002)

    "The Watchtower has not yet had the chance to defend itself in court, although in a statement of defence it says it has "no knowledge of the allegations" that Boer was abused and that the abuse was never reported to church elders in Shelburne or to the Children's Aid Society. The defendants also deny that two elders, Brian Cairns and Steve Brown, prevented Boer from reporting her allegations to the society or from seeking psychological help. "The defendants deny they prevented the reporting of the subject matter to the proper authorities," the statement says. "To the contrary, the defendants Brown and Cairns were instrumental in ensuring the matter was reported ...if the plaintiff chose not to seek advice from a psychiatrist or psychologist, it was solely of her own volition and because she believed such advice was unnecessary." They go on to argue Boer never "mitigated her losses" by seeking such help in the eight years between her original allegations and the filing of the suit." (Canadian Press News, September 9, 2002)

    "A former Jehovah's Witness who says her church forced her to cover up years of sexual abuse by her father told Ontario Superior Court yesterday that church elders use the fear of Armageddon to silence her and other abuse victims. Victoria Boer, 31, testifying at the trial of her $700,000 lawsuit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Canada, said she was driven to the brink of suicide when society elders told her to pray, to preach and to forgive her father for the abuse -- but not to report it to the Children's Aid Society or doctors. "I was told if Armageddon came and my father went down for the abuse I would likely go down with him," Ms. Boer told the court. In fact, the entire Jehovah's Witness community where she lived in Shelburne, Ont., could be exposed to God's wrath if she handled the matter by "worldly" means, Ms. Boer said she was told. The defendants -- the Watchtower Society and elders Brian Cairns, Steve Brown and John Didur -- deny preventing Ms. Boer from going to the authorities and argue they owed her no special duty of care as alleged in the suit. They accused Ms. Boer of "asking the church to pay for the sins of the father." " (Globe and Mail Canadian Newspaper, September 10, 2002)

    "A Jehovah's Witness elder who dealt with a sect member's complaint of sex abuse testified yesterday there was no need to call child-welfare authorities because the alleged perpetrator planned to report the abuse to his doctor. Alleged victim Victoria Boer is suing Steven Brown, as well as two other elders and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Mr. Brown denied he discouraged Ms. Boer from seeking medical help herself. Ms. Boer seemed reluctant to talk about the abuse, which was already four years in the past when Mr. Brown learned of it in December, 1989, and expressed frustration with another elder who had been pressing her to see a psychiatrist, Mr. Brown said. "What were we to do? Take a young girl and twist her arm, say go today?" Mr. Brown asked Ms. Boer's lawyer in Ontario Superior Court. He said he took the word of Ms. Boer's father, Gower Palmer, that he would speak to a doctor and later bring his daughter with him. "The doctor would have the resources to refer her. We didn't," Mr. Brown testified. "Our role was to be spiritual shepherds." He said he and other elders decided after two meetings with father and daughter that Mr. Palmer was penitent and, although he minimized what he had done, could be trusted to keep his word about reporting, and not harm his other children" (The Globe and Mail Canadian Newspaper, September 17, 2002)

    "We view child molestation as a disgusting, abnormal and criminal practice. The congregation works to extend spiritual and practical support to victims of child abuse and focuses on their welfare. Yet the congregation primarily addresses the spiritual side of the issue. We leave the criminal and civil aspects in the hands of the courts, In fact, for years now our published policy has been to tell people they have the right to report. For example, the October 8, 1993, Awake! provided the reminder: "Some legal experts advise reporting the abuse to the authorities as soon as possible. In some lands the legal system may require this," Also the policy document "Jehovah's Witnesses and Child Protection," which was posted on the authorized Web site as well as being distributed to researchers, explains "The elders may be required by law to report even uncorroborated or unsubstantiated allegations to the authorities. If so, we expect the elders to comply. Additionally, the victim may wish to report the matter to the authorities, and it is his or her absolute right to do so." Earlier this year, among other details provided in the letter read to all congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States was this paragraph: "We have long instructed elders to report allegations of child abuse to the authorities where required by law to do so, even where there is only one witness. (Romans 13:1) In any case, the elders know that if the victim wishes to make a report, it is his or her absolute right to do so.--Galatians 6:5," Thus Jehovah's Witnesses believe that it is the absolute right of the victim, his or her family, or any other concerned individuals to report the matter to the authorities. There are no congregation sanctions against anyone who reports an allegation of child abuse to the authorities. Our policy does not, however, dictate all of the specifics of the reporting. There are too many variables to stipulate anything beyond compliance with secular law." (

    Jehovah's Witnesses Office of Public Information Press Release: Statement on silentlambs march, September 27, 2002 )

    If a child molester is Disfellowshipped (Excommunicated), do the Elders notify the Congregation that he is a child molester?

    He [Mario Moreno] also said that when members are disfellowshipped, the congregation is told but no reason is given in order to protect confidentiality. ("The Paducah Sun" Newspaper, January 28th 2001)

    When a child molester moves into a Congregation, is the Congregation notified by the Elders?

    "He [Moreno] agreed with Bowen's charge that a congregation would also not be told if a pedophile had joined the flock. But he said because of the church's structure, the fact that such a member, if male, who would have fewer rights in the congregation, would not be serving in a leadership role would alert members that "he obviously lacks spiritual maturity." " (Paducah Sun (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 28th 2001)

    " "There is no duty to announce to people that 'John Brown' is a child abuser," he [Moreno] said. If the court had ruled otherwise, he said, it "would basically discourage people from going to their ministers and getting help. If people could not count on confidentiality when they go and confess to a Catholic priest, there's going be quite a chilling effect on religion," he said." (Louisville Courier-Journal (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 4th 2001)

    What about the Secret Internal Database of Accused Child Molesters?

    (THEODORE "TED" JARACZ, LEADING MEMBER OF THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, speaking about why the Watchtower Society keeps a secret internal database of molesters, but does not report any of them to the police): "You know, you're from Britain. You have a privacy law. You have a directive from the European Union. You observe that, don't you? ... I'm not going to repeat. I'll just tell you exactly and you will see it in writing. It is all in print. You know the Bible says "Do not go beyond the things that are written."? We don't go beyond the things that are written." --THEODORE "TED" JARACZ, LEADING MEMBER OF THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES (BBC PANORAMA, "Suffer the Little Children", July 14th, 2002)

    "When the branch office receives an allegation of child abuse, a check of the records might reveal that similar, uncorroborated allegations were lodged against the same person in the past, perhaps when he was living in another part of the country. When a second credible allegation by a different person is lodged against the same individual, the elders are authorized by the Scriptures to handle the case. However, even if the elders cannot take congregational action, they are expected to report the allegation to the branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses in their country, if local privacy laws permit. Again, privacy laws permitting, a record is made at the branch office that the individual has been accused of child abuse." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at

    http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

    "Each branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses keeps its own records, if that is allowed by local jurisdiction. In the United States we do not have records of child abusers who live in other lands. If privacy laws do not allow such records to be kept, the elders do whatever is permitted within the law to see to it that children are protected. The aim is to balance the right to privacy of the individual with the overriding need to protect the safety of children.--1 Timothy 5:19." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at

    http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

    "You have been told that here in the United States we have compiled a list of 23,720 names of child abusers. That is false. First of all, the total number of names in our records is considerably lower than that. In addition, it is not meaningful to focus on the number of names we have in our records. This is because our figures include the names of many persons who have only been accused of child abuse whereas the charges have not been substantiated. We keep these records to document our compliance with what the law requires in many U.S. jurisdictions. Also included on our list are allegations made on the basis of so-called "repressed memories," the validity of which many authorities challenge. Then there are the names of persons who have been accused of abusing children before becoming Jehovah's Witnesses as well as individuals who have never been baptized Witnesses but whose names we are obliged to keep because of their association with the Witnesses. (An example of this would be a non-Witness father or step-father who is accused by his Witness children or stepchildren of abusing them.) To be safe, we also list the names of persons who may or may not be considered as child abusers, depending upon the jurisdiction where they live (for example, that 16-year-old boy who had sexual relations with the consenting 15-year-old girl). The name of an individual who was guilty of voyeurism or involved with child pornography, as further examples, would also be included on the list. And, to be sure, the list also includes names of persons who are actually guilty of child abuse. We do not apologize for keeping such records here in the United States. Apart from being legally needed, they have been very helpful to us in our efforts to protect the flock from harm. (Isaiah 32:2) Christian parents can rightly feel secure in the knowledge that such efforts are made to screen out possible child abusers from appointment to responsible positions within the congregation." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at

    http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

    "When asked by Panorama about the number of suspected paedophiles on the database, Paul Gillies from the Jehovah's Witnesses Office of Public Information in the UK said: "It is not meaningful to focus on the number of names we have in our records". With regard to their policy on reporting abuse to the authorities, he referred us to the 8 October 1993 issue of Awake!, page 9, which states: "Some legal experts advise reporting the abuse to the authorities as soon as possible. In some lands the legal system may require this. But in other places the legal system may offer little hope of successful prosecution." " (BBC Panorama News Story on their Website, Friday, July 12th 2002)

    When asked by a reporter why the Watchtower Society keeps a secret internal database of molesters, but does not report any of them to the police, JONATHAN BRIGGS, JEHOVAH'S WITNESS PRESIDING OVERSEER, declines to respond, turns and retreats into the Kingdom Hall (BBC PANORAMA, "Suffer the Little Children", July 14th, 2002)

    "The Watch Tower does keep records of people accused of molestation, but the number in the database is far fewer than 23,000, he [J.R. Brown] said, declining to give a specific figure. Watch Tower officials use the database to ensure that a person against whom a credible allegation of molestation is made won't be elevated to positions of authority. Also, Brown said, if a person is accused in separate incidents, Witness officials have a record of that history and will look into the matter seriously." (St. Petersburg Times Newspaper, August 22, 2002)

    "The church keeps a database of all members accused of abuse at its world headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y. Bowen said church sources have told him the database holds more than 23,700 names from the U.S., Canada and Europe. The church admits the database exists, but won't give a specific tally, saying only that the number is much lower. ... The Canadian church also keeps a database. Though Thomas wouldn't say how many are on it, he confirmed 12 abusers have been identified in Ontario in the last two years." (The Toronto Sun Newspaper, September 1, 2002)

    Elders are untrained and unpaid volunteers who are NOT qualified to handle allegations of child abuse:

    "Elders are spiritual shepherds but are generally not qualified to evaluate the genuineness or the seriousness of an allegation of child abuse." (Quote from the Confidential "All Bodies Of Elders" Letter sent from Britain's Watchtower Bible and Tract Society Headquarters to All Bodies of Elders in Britain, December 1, 2000)

    Both Brown and Moreno said that the elders, who volunteer and are essentially untrained clergy, might err in their application of a policy both believe puts protecting children first. ... "It's a matter of trying to balance confidentiality and protecting the child," Brown said. "It's not always easy. Have mistakes been made? Very likely, they have." (Paducah Sun (Kentucky) Newspaper, January 28, 2001)

    "Jehovah's Witness elders -- all are men -- are the equivalent of ministers in other religions. Though unpaid, they take on responsibilities such as teaching Bible lessons and passing on denomination policy. They also investigate Witnesses accused of committing crimes against other Witnesses. In some of these cases, the police are never called. Among the elders' primary tasks is serving on small judicial committees that hear confessions and decide whether an offense is worthy of excommunication. Excommunications are announced to the congregation, but elders never say why a person was expelled. Witnesses can only guess from a long list of offenses that range from smoking cigarettes to manslaughter. Homosexuality, fornication, drunkenness, slander, fraud, gambling, apostasy, fits of anger and violence, and adultery are others. The excommunication announcement tells members to begin shunning that person. If they don't, they, too, risk being disfellowshipped. Fear of being disfellowshipped is gripping for many Witnesses. Because they believe that only Witnesses will be saved from death, many don't associate with non-Witnesses. Being disfellowshipped, then, means losing your circle of friends, not to mention family members who remain in the faith. Elders disfellowship 50,000 to 60,000 Witnesses around the world each year, Brown said. "It's not an unusual occurence, as far as we're concerned," he said. ... Brown says disfellowshipping inspires wrongdoers to come back to the religion. Those who want to reapply can do so, but they must adhere to Witnesses' policies. They are allowed inside the Kingdom Halls but are ignored by the other congregants until readmitted to the faith. Each year, Brown said, 30,000 to 40,000 are reinstated, having "come back to their spiritual senses." " (St. Petersburg Times Newspaper, August 22, 2002)

    "Parents of most denominations would not hesitate to call police first when sexual abuse of their child is reported. But to the Witnesses, all outsiders - even police and social workers -- are co-conspirators with Satan, part of the condemned world soon to be destroyed by God. As a Witness, when dealing with any wrongdoing "you go to elders first, and then elders make the decision for where you go [from there]. To bypass the organization would be treason," said Anderson. But these same elders "volunteer, and are essentially untrained clergy," according to a Jehovah's Witness spokesman in the Paducah Sun. They attend no seminary, and have no minimum education requirements, beyond basic literacy. They are equipped for nothing more than enforcing organizational guidelines, delivering biblical platitudes and offering a moment of prayer. When encountering a case of child sexual abuse for the first time, their instructions are first to "call the Legal Department" at the group's headquarters." ("An Unlikely David: Barbara Anderson's struggle to stop predatory pedophiles in the cloistered world of Jehovah's Witnesses", September 3, 2002)

    "Not even the marriage bed is beyond the Watch Tower's purview. Brown said Witnesses believe that sexual activity between men and women should "follow the normal course" of things. "We feel that oral or anal intercourse would go beyond that." Couples are often counseled accordingly before marriage, Brown said. Guilt-ridden Witnesses have gone before judicial committees to confess wayward sex acts with their spouses." (St. Petersburg Times Newspaper, August 22, 2002)

    "An elder of the Shelburne Jehovah's Witness congregation admitted in court yesterday he would handle the case of a woman sexually abused by her father differently now by reporting the matter immediately to provincial authorities. Steven Brown, one of the defendants in a $700,000 lawsuit, testified that after a 1990 meeting with Children's Aid workers over the woman's case, congregation officials had a better understanding of how to handle child abuse, including their reporting requirements. Brown, fellow elder Brian Cairns and the church are being sued by the woman for failing to report her case to provincial authorities, for forcing her to confront her father and for discouraging her from getting medical treatment. Brown said he first became aware of the sexual abuse in the woman's home during a December 1989 meeting with Cairns. Court heard it wasn't until Feb. 5, 1990, that Children's Aid was told about the case. During the meeting, the father confessed he violated his daughter. Cairns and Brown had not dealt with child abuse before and were unsure how to handle it -- especially the requirement to report it to secular authorities, Brown said. "We didn't know who to refer the plaintiff to, we didn't know who to report the abuse to," he said. "We have a young woman, not living at home, 19 or 20 years old. We had determined there was no immediate threat. We wondered how to proceed." Brown said they wrote to the Watchtower society, the Witnesses' governing body, asking for advice. As they waited for a response, other church elders became alarmed they had not reported the case to the authorities, Brown said. He added the division within the congregation became a problem at the end of January 1990 while a committee was being formed to punish the woman's father. The committee revoked his church privileges and told him to report to a doctor and to Children's Aid." (The Toronto Sun Newspaper, September 17, 2002)

    "An elder at a southwestern Ontario congregation of the Jehovah's Witnesses yesterday defended a church decision to allow a man accused of having sexually abused his daughter in the mid-1980s to report himself to authorities. Steve Brown testified in Ontario Superior Court that the abuse had stopped and there was no reason to suspect the two younger children in the family were in danger when elders in the Shelburne congregation learned of the allegations in December 1989. ... A church committee did not expel the father or make the allegations public, Mr. Brown said. "He was repentant and fit to be a member of the congregation," the church elder said. "We were not sitting with a man who was determined to continue a course of wickedness." " (The Ottawa Citizen Canadian Newspaper, September 17, 2002)

    Do Elders Require the Victim to Confront the Accused Molester in the Same Room? Is this done alone, or with others in the Room?

    "John Robert (J.R.) Brown, director of the office of Public Information at the home office in Brooklyn, rejects what Bowen says. Brown states they do not [have the] molested child confront the accused in presence of parents and three elders." (SPIEGEL ONLINE Germany News - June 12th 2002; URL: http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0>,1518,198436,00.html)

    "When any one of Jehovah's Witnesses is accused of an act of child abuse, the local congregation elders are expected to investigate. Two elders meet separately with the accused and the accuser to see what each says on the matter. If the accused denies the charge, the two elders may arrange for him and the victim to restate their position in each other's presence, with elders also there. If during that meeting the accused still denies the charges and there are no others who can substantiate them, the elders cannot take action within the congregation at that time." (Official Watchtower Society JW-Media.org Statement, May 2002)

    "Sometimes one may feel that a relative or a member of one's immediate family is involved [in sexually abusing them]. Remember the dubious nature of some "repressed memories" when it comes to identifying the one suspected of being a perpetrator. In such a situation, as long as the matter has not been firmly established, keeping contact with the family at least by occasional visits, by letter, or by telephone would show that one is trying to follow a Scriptural course.--Compare Ephesians 6:1-3. What if the sufferer decides that he wants to make an accusation? [FOOTNOTE SAYS: It may also be necessary for the step outlined in this paragraph to be taken if the matter has become common knowledge in the congregation.] Then the two elders can advise him that, in line with the principle at Matthew 18:15, he should personally approach the accused about the matter. If the accuser is not emotionally able to do this face-to-face, it can be done by telephone or perhaps by writing a letter. In this way the one accused is given the opportunity to go on record before Jehovah with his answer to the accusation. He may even be able to present evidence that he could not have committed the abuse. Or perhaps the one accused will confess, and a reconciliation may be achieved. What a blessing that would be! If there is a confession, the two elders can handle matters further in accordance with Scriptural principles. If the accusation is denied, the elders should explain to the accuser that nothing more can be done in a judicial way. And the congregation will continue to view the one accused as an innocent person. The Bible says that there must be two or three witnesses before judicial action can be taken. (2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19) Even if more than one person "remembers" abuse by the same individual, the nature of these recalls is just too uncertain to base judicial decisions on them without other supporting evidence. This does not mean that such "memories" are viewed as false (or that they are viewed as true). But Bible principles must be followed in establishing a matter judicially. What if the one accused though denying the wrongdoing is really guilty? Does he "get away with it," as it were? Certainly not! The question of his guilt or innocence can be safely left in Jehovah's hands. "The sins of some men are publicly manifest, leading directly to judgment, but as for other men their sins also become manifest later." (1 Timothy 5:24; Romans 12:19; 14:12) The book of Proverbs says: "The expectation of the righteous ones is a rejoicing, but the very hope of the wicked ones will perish." "When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes." (Proverbs 10:28; 11:7) Ultimately, Jehovah God and Christ Jesus render everlasting judgment in justice.--1 Corinthians 4:5." (Quotes from The Watchtower, November 1, 1995 Issue,

    http://www.watchtower.org/library/w/1995/11/1a/article_01.htm )

    "It is only natural to feel angry when one has suffered abuse. Nevertheless, the ties that bind families can be strong, and you may not want to cut off all contact with your parents. You may even be willing to consider a reconciliation. Much, though, would depend on the circumstances. Victims are sometimes inclined to forgive their parents outright--not excusing the abuse, but refusing to be consumed with resentment or controlled by fear. Preferring to avoid an emotional confrontation, some are content to ‘have their say in their heart’ and let matters rest.-Psalm 4:4. You may come to feel, however, that matters can be resolved only by confronting your parents with the abuse--in person, by phone, or by letter. (Compare Matthew 18:15.) If so, be sure you have recovered sufficiently--or at least have enough support--to withstand the emotional storm that might erupt. Since little will be accomplished by a shouting match, try to be firm but calm. (Proverbs 29:11) You might proceed by stating (1) what took place, (2) how it has affected you, and (3) what you expect from them now (such as apologies, payment for doctor bills, or changes in conduct). At the very least, bringing matters out in the open may help dispel any lingering feelings that you are powerless. And it just might pave the way for a new relationship with your parents. For example, your father might acknowledge the abuse, expressing deep remorse. He may also have made sincere efforts to change, perhaps by getting treatment for alcohol addiction or by pursuing a study of the Bible. Your mother may likewise beg your forgiveness for her having failed to protect you. Sometimes a full reconciliation may result. However, do not be surprised if you still feel ambivalent about your parents and prefer not to rush into a close relationship with them. At the very least, though, you may be able to resume reasonable family dealings. On the other hand, the confrontation may trigger a torrent of denial and verbal abuse from the molester and other family members. Worse, you may discover that he is still a threat to you. Forgiveness may then be inappropriate, a close relationship impossible.--Compare Psalm 139:21. In any event, it may take considerable time before your hurt feelings subside. You may need to remind yourself repeatedly that final justice belongs to God." (Quotes from Awake!, October 8, 1991 Issue, Pages 10-11)

    "In 1988, a terrified victim of childhood sex abuse - raised from birth as a Jehovah's Witness - did as allegedly instructed by church elders and confronted the abuser: her father. In so instructing Vicki Boer, those elders shattered the life, faith and family of a formerly devoted Witness and ought to be held to account, Boer's lawyer argued Monday. "She was almost like a turtle without a shell," Charles Mark told Ontario Court Justice Anne Molloy during day-long closing arguments in the civil case, which has been sitting for more than two weeks. "Her life had been built around the church, and because of the way this has been handled, her life is a mess." Church elders Brian Cairns, Steve Brown and John Didur, along with the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society of Canada, should never have forced Boer to confront her father about the abuse, Mark said. Instead, they should have reported the abuse to the Children's Aid Society and encouraged Boer to get counselling as soon as possible. "If that had been done, none of the confrontations would have had to take place." It was in keeping with the tenets of their faith that the elders in Shelburne, Ont., decided to compel Boer to confront her father, Gower Palmer, even though it was plain the idea of such a meeting was abhorrent to her, Mark said. "The descriptions . . .are those of a person who is on the edge of suicide. That's the degree to which it frightens her." ... Rather than immediately notify the Children's Aid Society and allow Boer to seek counselling outside the church, she was required, according to Biblical principles, to confront her father in 1988 and allow him to repent his alleged sins, the suit alleges. ... Anyone who runs afoul of the religion's strictest tenets will find themselves excommunicated, often to such an extent that they're shunned by their own family." (Canadian Press News Story, September 23, 2002)

    "Then 19, she [Vicki Boer] went to local elders Mr. Cairns and Mr. Brown, and they in turn asked for advice from Mr. Didur, an elder with the national Watchtower organization, she said. The men made her repeat her story over and over, she said, then insisted she not go to authorities but instead confront her father in the presence of Mr. Cairns and Mr. Brown and give him the chance to repent. "I told them I couldn't do it," she wept yesterday. "They said I had to." In two confrontations at his home, Ms. Boer's father accused her of exaggerating, she said. He did acknowledge some sexual impropriety, apologized to her and agreed to do some extra service for the Watchtower Society, she said. The elders then declared the matter closed. "They said they felt my father had shown signs of repentance, that he was a changed man," she said. They told her if she went to the CAS the family would be investigated, her father would lose his job and her mother would be left destitute, she said." (Globe and Mail Canadian Newspaper, September 10, 2002)

    "Rather than inform the Children's Aid Society and permit Boer to seek counselling outside the church, she was forced to confront her father and give him a chance to repent his alleged "sins," court has been told. Church elders also allegedly refused to allow her to see a psychologist, warning her that it would lead to an investigation and might cost her father his job and her mother her only source of financial support." (Canadian Press News, September 10, 2002)

    "Three years after the abuse ended, Boer told her mother her story, and church elders within their congregation in Shelburne, Ont., about 100 kilometres northwest of Toronto, were notified. But rather than inform the Children's Aid Society and permit Boer to seek counselling outside the church, she was forced to confront her father and give him a chance to repent his alleged "sins," court was told. At that meeting, she testified, her mother insisted the abuse was in the past and that it had already been dealt with. The elders agreed, saying the father "is really showing signs of spiritual repentance," she said. They also allegedly refused to allow her to see a psychologist, warning her that it would lead to an investigation and might cost her father his job and her mother her only source of financial support. "They said there's going to be consequences of that," she testified. "My father would lose her job, the family would be investigated and my mother would be destitute." " (Canadian Press News, September 9, 2002)

    "Rather than immediately inform the Children's Aid Society and permit Boer to seek counselling outside the church, she was required, according to Biblical principles, to confront her father and allow him to repent his alleged sins, the suit alleges." (Canadian Press News, September 12, 2002)

    "John Saunders, at the time a researcher at the Watchtower's Canadian headquarters in Georgetown, Ont., told court he recommended in a memo that in cases of sexual abuse, the victim and abuser should not be made to confront each other. "I included a note suggesting elders not force victims of abuse to face their abusers, since these kinds of confrontations are potentially psychologically dangerous," Saunders testified. The recommendation was not included in a July 1988 directive from the Georgetown office advising elders to follow provincial law and notify authorities immediately in cases of sexual abuse." (Canadian Press News, September 12, 2002)

    "Rather than immediately notify the Children's Aid Society and allow Boer to seek counselling outside the church, she was required, according to Biblical principles, to confront her father in 1988 and allow him to repent his alleged sins, the suit alleges. But none of the defendants - not elders Steve Brown, Brian Cairns and John Didur, nor the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society of Canada - forced her to do anything she wasn't willing to do, Stevenson said. "I imagine that going to a confessional in the Catholic church can be very traumatic, given the confession one needs to make," Stevenson told Superior Court Justice Anne Molloy. "But at the end of the day, it's an issue of religious beliefs and religious principles, and if someone acts in accordance with that belief or principle, so be it." For two weeks, Molloy has been getting a crash course in the ways of the Witnesses as Boer squares off against the church that shaped her life for more than 20 years. As she did Monday with Boer's lawyer Charles Mark during his closing, Molloy sparred with Stevenson throughout his final arguments, posing what-if scenarios and debating the finer points of common law as it applies to the dealings of a religious body. If the religious act in question is extreme, such as a rabbi urging someone to seek a divorce, she wondered aloud at one point, does that advice constitute negligence on the part of the rabbi? "That would be an unreasonable intrusion into the religious offices of the church," Stevenson replied. "The courts in the United States have said clergy malpractice suits cannot be maintained." Because they're acting solely as spiritual counsellors, he continued, religious figures such as priests, rabbis or church elders have no duty of care to their congregation members." (Canadian Press News Story, September 24, 2002)

    Are Child Molesters Allowed to Remain as Elders in the Jehovah's Witnesses Congregations?

    "For a man who was a child molester before he was baptized, there may be another consequence. When he learns the truth, he repents and turns around, not bringing that cruel sin into the congregation. He may thereafter make fine progress, completely overcome his wrong impulses, and even be inclined to ‘reach out’ for a responsible position in the congregation. What, though, if he still has to live down notoriety in the community as a former child molester? Would he "be irreprehensible, . . . have a fine testimony from people on the outside, . . . [be] free from accusation"? (1 Timothy 3:1-7, 10; Titus 1:7) No, he would not. Hence, he would not qualify for congregation privileges. ... What if a baptized adult Christian sexually molests a child? ... If he seems to be repentant, he will be encouraged to make spiritual progress, share in the field service, even have parts in the Theocratic Ministry School and nonteaching parts in the Service Meeting. This does not mean, though, that he will qualify to serve in a position of responsibility in the congregation. ... a dedicated adult Christian who falls into the sin of child sexual abuse reveals an unnatural fleshly weakness. Experience has shown that such an adult may well molest other children. True, not every child molester repeats the sin, but many do. And the congregation cannot read hearts to tell who is and who is not liable to molest children again. ... For the protection of our children, a man known to have been a child molester does not qualify for a responsible position in the congregation. Moreover, he cannot be a pioneer or serve in any other special, full-time service. ... " (Quotes from The Watchtower, January 1, 1997 Issue, Pages 27-29)

    "It may be possible that some who were guilty of child molestation were or are now serving as elders, ministerial servants, or regular or special pioneers. Others may have been guilty of child molestation before they were baptized. The bodies of elders should not query individuals. However, the body of elders should discuss this matter and give the Society a report on anyone who is currently serving or who formerly served in a Society-appointed position in your congregation who is known to have been guilty of child molestation in the past. In your report please answer the following questions: How long ago did he commit the sin? What was his age at the time? What was the age of his victim(s)? Was it a one-time occurrence or a practice? If it was a practice, to what extent? How is he viewed in the community and by the authorities? Has he lived down any notoriety in the community? Are members of the congregation aware of what took place? How do they and/or his victim(s) view him? Has he ever been disfellowshipped, reproved, counseled, or otherwise dealt with? If he has moved to another congregation, please identify the congregation to which he has moved. Was that congregation advised of his past conduct of child molestation, and, if so, when? [If you have not advised them, this should be done now, and you should send a copy of your letter to the Society in a "Special Blue" envelope.] This information should be sent to the Society along with any other observations that the body of elders has. Please send this to the Society in the "Special Blue" envelope so that the factors involved may be given due consideration; this information is not to be made available to those not involved. ... A meeting of the body of elders should be arranged to read and discuss this letter together. This letter is confidential and should not be copied but should be kept in the congregation's confidential file. Elders should not discuss this information with others." (Quotes from Confidential "Body Of Elders" Letter sent from the Watchtower Society to All Bodies of Elders in the United States, March 14, 1997)

    "The elders may have written to the branch office and given full details about a former child abuser who is currently serving as an elder or ministerial servant. In such a case, if the branch office has decided that he can be appointed or continue serving in a position of trust because the sin occurred many years ago and because he has lived an exemplary life since then, his name should not appear on the List, nor is it necessary to pass on information about the brothers past sin if he moves to another congregation unless contrary instructions have been given by the branch. If therefore, such an appointed man moves to another congregation a letter confirming the move should be sent, addressed to the Societys Legal Department. There are, however, many other situations that are connected with the abuse of a child. For example, there may be just one eyewitness, and the brother denies the allegation. (Deuteronomy 19:15; John 8:17) In these and similar cases no entry will be made on the Child Protection List. Rather, information should be kept in a sealed envelope in the congregations confidential file as described below." (Quote from the June 1st 2001 Official Watchtower Society Letter that was Sent from Bethel Headquarters to All Bodies of Elders)

    "Even if he [the child molester] is repentant is cut to the heart and is thus resolutely determined to avoid such conduct in the future what was stated in the January 1, 1997, issue of The Watchtower applies. The article said: "For the protection of our children, a man known to have been a child molester does not qualify for a responsible position in the congregation. Moreover, he cannot be a pioneer [full-time missionary of Jehovah's Witnesses] or serve in any other special, full-time service." He would not qualify Scripturally. (1 Timothy 3:2, 7-10) We take such action because we are concerned with maintaining Bible standards and protecting our children. Everyone in our organization is expected to meet the same requirements, namely, to be clean physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually.--2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:17-19; 1 Thessalonians 2:4. In a few instances, individuals guilty of an act of child abuse have been appointed to positions within the congregation if their conduct has been otherwise exemplary for decades. All the factors are considered carefully." (Quote from the Official Watchtower Media Website, May 2002, http://www.jw-media.org about their Pedophile Policy)

    "If, when confronted, the accused confesses that he is guilty of child abuse, the elders take appropriate action. If he is not repentant, he will not be permitted to remain a member of the congregation. ... In a few instances, individuals guilty of an act of child abuse have been appointed to positions within the congregation if their conduct has been otherwise exemplary for decades. All of the circumstances would need to be considered carefully. ..." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

    You cannot be a known "sex offender and hold any position of responsibility within the organization," said J.R. Brown, the spokesman. "We have a very strong and aggressive policy for handling any sexual molestation that might take place." (NEWSDAY-NY, Wednesday, May 8, 2002 )

    "Where molestation allegations are corroborated, the abuser is banned from the church and is never again allowed to hold a position of authority if the excommunication is rescinded, Brumley said." (CNN.com, "Lawsuits allege cover-up of sexual abuse by Jehovah's Witnesses", Tuesday, July 29, 2003)

    "Our procedures have been refined over time. Our policy over the past several years has been that at least twenty years must have passed before an individual who committed an act of child abuse could even be considered for appointment to a responsible position in the congregation, if ever. The Bible teaches that individuals can repent of their sins and "turn to God by doing works that befit repentance," and we accept what the Bible says. (Acts 26:20) Still, the safety of our children is of the utmost importance, so we realize that the local elders must be very careful when recommending individuals who may have been guilty of an act of child abuse in the distant past." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

    "Anyone in a responsible position who is guilty of child abuse would be removed from his responsibilities without hesitation. We certainly would not knowingly transfer him to serve elsewhere." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at

    http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

    "as a protection to our children, former child molesters are not permitted to receive positions of responsibility in our religion." -- J.R. Brown (JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE, PRESS RELEASE, August 7, 2001)

    "People in the Organization who are accused of sex abuse are subject to a Hearing... They are automatically removed from leadership positions and can't go door-to-door without other members' being present." -- J.R. Brown ("The Washington Post" Newspaper, May 11th 2002)

    "People in the Organization who are accused of sex abuse are subject to a Hearing like the one Barbara Anderson attended yesterday, [J.R.] Brown said. They are automatically removed from leadership positions and can't go door-to-door without other members' being present." ("The Tennessean/Nashville" Newspaper, May 11th 2002)

    "A known child molester does not qualify for appointment as a church Elder or for any other position of responsibility in any congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses." -- J.R. Brown ("Paducah Sun" Newspaper, on January 5th, 2001)

    "The Witnesses can often avoid being Disfellowhipped if they quickly show repentance, but according to Erik Joergensen [Head of Information of the Jehovah's Witnesses in Denmark], this will not be the case if they have committed sexual abuse and murder." (Danish Newspaper "Kristeligt Dagblad", October 18, 2001)

    [J.R. Brown] said that anyone found guilty of molestation by a church judicial committee is removed from all positions of responsibility and cannot evangelize door-to-door without being accompanied by a fellow Jehovah's Witness. (Associated Press News and also on CNN.com, Thursday, May 9, 2002)

    [David Semonian] said anyone convicted of child molestation cannot hold a position of authority in the church and cannot perform church work alone. (Asbury Park Press, May 14th 2002)

    If an individual was found guilty of child molestation, he cannot under any circumstances serve as an elder. "Elders are religious leaders", says Brown." (SPIEGEL ONLINE Germany News - June 12th 2002; URL:

    http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0 ,1518,198436,00.html)

    "Members of the faith found guilty of wrongdoing by church elders can be disfellowshipped, said church spokesman J.R. Brown in New York City. When that happens other members are encouraged to cease all contact with the individual. "That is a biblical standard," Brown said. "We are pretty strict when it comes to interpreting the Bible."

    "On rare occasions a member of a congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses takes up or reverts to the disgusting habit of child molestation. Even if he gives extensive evidence of genuine repentance and has stopped his wrongdoing, the individual is severely censored by the congregation and is not protected from criminal investigation and/or prosecution. Even if today years have passed, he does not qualify for any responsibilities in the congregation. The individual is also directed that he should not be in any unsupervised company of children, including when he engages in any public witnessing. Additionally, elders of Jehovah's Witnesses are alerted to any past behavior of such an individual so as to protect the safety of any children in the congregation with whom he comes into contact. If the person moves to another congregation, the elders in the new congregation are notified; his record goes with him." (Jehovah's Witnesses Office of Public Information Press Release: Statement on silentlambs march, September 27, 2002)

    "Witness leaders also cannot feign ignorance to the dangers of having known child sex abusers in positions of authority in the group, or having them preaching in their emblematic door-to-door ministry. Instead, the seemed to move in a direction of excluding penitent pedophiles from leadership privileges, though explicitly prescribing evangelism as a token of faith even for convicted child sex offenders. Both issues were addressed in the other journal published by the group, The Watchtower of January 1, 1997. It stated, for the first time, that a "known" molester "would not qualify for congregation privileges," such as becoming an elder or ministerial servant (deacon). However, a secret letter to all bodies of elders three months later, on March 14, 1997, quietly backpedaled: "An individual ‘known’ to be a former child molester has reference to the perception of that one in the community and in the Christian congregation." As for determining whether those already in a position of authority had a history of molestation, the letter directed that "the body of elders should not query individuals." Unknown to the faithful, who would have taken the Watchtower as gospel, molesters could remain in positions of authority at all levels of the organization. The contents of that letter, though leaked on the Internet, remain a secret to the lay members of the group. "It was explained to the elders," said Brown, "and it is not a part of our standard way of handling things to always inform every detail of matters to the congregation in general. What is stated there [in the January 1, 1997 Watchtower] and the way it’s stated there, without the clarification, is certainly what happens most of the time." The same issue of The Watchtower insured that not even a history of criminal child sexual abuse would exclude a penitent member from being required to engage in the Witnesses public preaching activity. Speaking of a molester who may have recently been released from prison, it states, "if he seems to be repentant, he will be encouraged to make spiritual progress [and] share in the field ministry." Brown reassured that a penitent predatory pedophile might be offered alternatives to going door-to-door, at the discretion of the local elders. "We consider just as valid if he sits on a bench in a mall with magazines and offers them to people there. Or, if he calls up on a telephone." " (Quotes from "Dances With Cactus" Web Blog on Salon.com, Wednesday, September 4, 2002, By Michael Morris)

    Does the Watchtower Society Harbor Fugitive Criminals?

    "We received your letter of December 17 in which you inquire about handling a situation involving a brother who has been guilty of serious violations of the law in the past. You explained that you have received information indicating that this brother "committed several murders and crimes before his baptism." You ask if "Florida law obligates some action on our part. Florida law enforcement authorities have no knowledge of this matter." As elders, you have no obligation to reveal information of this type to the authorities. Any information that you have obtained while fulfilling your duties as elders is strictly confidential. What he does about paying his debt to Society is largely up to him and his conscience. Since he is apparently a fugitive from the law, he obviously would not qualify for any extra privileges or service in the congregation. ... As we believe you understand, it is imperative that the elders maintain strict confidentiality about his past. If the elders inadvertently reveal his past wrongdoing, undoubtedly it will result in major repercussions to him and his wife. So, handling this case calls for good judgment and discernment. We trust you brothers can handle things appropriately. Write to us again if you need further direction." (Quotes from an Official Watchtower Bible and Tract Society Letter sent to Elders on December 24, 1992)

    "...God did not require congregation elders to enforce Caesar’s laws and codes. Hence, Paul did not feel compelled to turn over to Roman authorities Onesimus, who was a fugitive under Roman law. (Philemon 10, 15) Of course, if someone flagrantly violates secular law, gaining the reputation of being a lawbreaker, he would not be a good example and might even be disfellowshipped. (1 Timothy 3:2, 7, 10) If lawbreaking was involved in causing another’s death, bloodguilt requiring congregation investigation might result." (Quote from The Watchtower, October 1st 1986 Issue, Page 31)

    "God’s Word does not charge the Christian congregation, through its overseers, with the obligation to become acquainted with all the details of civil and criminal law so as to enforce these. We can see this in how Paul handled the case of Onesimus. ... In Rome as a runaway slave (Latin, fugitivus) Onesimus came in contact with Paul, became a Christian and ministered to Paul. ... Take note that while Onesimus was in Rome the apostle Paul did not hand him over to the Roman authorities for punishment as a fugitive slave and possibly a thief. We know from his writings that Paul believed that a Christian should obey the law of the land, but plainly he did not consider it the congregation’s duty to serve as an arm of the government in policing individuals’ lives. Also, we can observe that Onesimus’ situation was not treated as a barrier to his getting baptized. ... The Christian congregation today follows a course harmonious with this Biblical pattern. ... each individual, Christian or not, is personally responsible as to whether he complies with civil laws." (Quotes from The Watchtower, March 15th 1977 Issue, Pages 191-192)

    "...the Christian Greek Scriptures do not indicate that God requires a person to undo all his past sins or crimes before he can be baptized. This is illustrated in the case of Onesimus, mentioned in the Bible book of Philemon. He had been a slave in Colossae, but he fled. That was a criminal offense, making him a runaway slave (Latin, fugitivus). Also, some feel that Onesimus may have robbed his master so as to be able to flee to distant Italy. In Rome he came into association with the apostle Paul and became a baptized Christian. Paul did not demand that before Onesimus could get baptized he had to turn himself over to the authorities for criminal punishment ... Similarly, a person who accepts the Bible’s message today may have formerly committed some crime, even being wanted for it, being a fugitive. The Bible shows that he must ‘repent and turn around so as to get his sins blotted out.’ (Acts 3:19) That obviously means that he must absolutely abandon his former sinful, criminal course. ... the crime may be something that he has no way of reversing. He might have caused someone’s death. Conscience-stricken though he be, he cannot bring that life back-only Jehovah can. (John 5:28, 29) But even though he cannot reverse the past, he should throw himself on God’s mercy and seek forgiveness based on Jesus’ sacrifice. ... Any fair, thoughtful person can see the high moral standards of those in the Christian congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses." (Quotes from The Watchtower, September 15th 1978 Issue, Pages 30-31)

    What About the News Media?

    "This is in response to your fax of April 30, 2002, in which you advise us that BBC-TV is preparing a program on the way Jehovah's Witnesses handle child abuse matters. You have kindly offered us the opportunity to be interviewed on-camera; however, we must respectfully decline. We are not opposed to giving interviews in general; however, it is likely that among those whose views will be expressed on your broadcast will be some persons who are Jehovah's Witnesses. In our view, it would be neither proper nor Scriptural for us to place ourselves in what might turn out to be an adversarial position with our Christian brothers and sisters in a public setting. (1 Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:2) We trust that you will understand our position in this regard." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

    "As you will note, we have responded to the broad issues you raise rather than providing specific answers to your detailed list of questions." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at

    http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

    "We are writing regarding allegations made concerning our policy about handling accusations of child molestation. Some of these allegations have been reported in the media. We were very surprised to see that these statements were made, and we noted how inaccurate they are. Our position on pedophilia has been well-publicized for decades." -- J.R. Brown (Paducah Sun (Kentucky) Newspaper, February 12th 2001, Editorial Page JR Brown Response to William Bowen)

    "J.R. Brown, the director of the media office at the Jehovah's Witnesses headquarters, declined to comment through an employee who would not give his name." (The Courier-Journal Newspaper, September 6, 2002)

    "We also need courage when opposers maneuver the media into spreading bad reports about God's servants or when they try to restrict true worship by 'scheming trouble by decree' (Psalm 94:20) For example, how should we feel when newspapers, radio, or television reports about Jehovah's Witnesses are distortions or outright falsehoods? Should we be shocked? No. We expect such things. (Psalm 109:2) And we are not surprised when some believe the published lies and distortions, since 'anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word' (Proverbs 14:15) Still, loyal Christians refuse to believe just any statement made about their brothers, and they certainly do not allow bad publicity to cause them to miss Christian meetings, to slow down in the field ministry, or to waver in their faith. On the contrary, they 'recommend [themselves] as God's ministers'..." (Quote from The Watchtower, March 1, 2003 Issue, Study Article: "Be Courageous and Strong!", Paragraph 6)

    "Of course, persecution itself is not pleasant, but our standing firm despite persecution, including slanderous reports in the media, is a cause for rejoicing. It means we are pleasing Jehovah and will receive a reward." (Quote from The Watchtower, March 1, 2003 Issue, Study Article: "Be Courageous and Strong!", Paragraph 20)

    "The media out there, with all its power and its might, it presents human nature in three D's, three D's - debauchery of every kind, deception of every kind and demonism of every kind - and we need to be aware of that." (Quote from a Jehovah's Witness Speaker preaching at a Jehovah's Witness Convention, as was shown on the Australian Sunday Program "Silent Witnesses" on September 22nd 2002)

    "Satan tries to break our integrity through the sowing of doubts about what we have been taught. Today, as in the first century, apostates and others seek to destroy the faith of guileless ones. (Galatians 2:4; 5:7, 8) Sometimes they have used the media to spread distorted information or even outright lies about the methods and motives of Jehovah's Witnesses ... Whatever stumbling blocks were involved, some evidently preferred falsehoods over the truths of God's Word. Soon they stopped practicing the things they had learned, and this was to their own spiritual detriment.--2 Peter 3:15, 16. We can avoid turning aside to false stories today if we scrutinize and are selective about what we listen to and what we read ... And modern-day apostates keep on trying to sow seeds of doubt in order to subvert the faith of Christians ... So we need to be careful. ... If our ears are inclined towards disgruntled ones, we need to analyze ourselves prayerfully. (Psalm 139:23, 24) Are we inclined to find fault with Jehovah's people? If so, why? ... Rather than being critical, let us maintain a spiritually healthy view of the information received through personal study and congregation meetings." (Quotes from The Watchtower, September 15, 2002 Issue, Pages 16-18)

    "Unfortunately, some "unreasonable men" in authority persecute us or oppose us in other ways - such as by promoting smear campaigns against us. Still, in Jehovah's due time, their lies are always exposed, and their "ignorant talk" is effectively muzzled." (Quote from The Watchtower, November 1, 2002 Issue, Page 17)

    "In the new world, Satan's propaganda media will have been removed." (Quote from The Watchtower, April 1, 1997 Issue, Page 17)

    "At times, the news media as well as the authorities are duped by clergymen and apostates into pinning false labels on us, misrepresenting our Christian beliefs and way of life. . . . Will we allow those who are blinded by Satan to intimidate and dishearten us and make us feel ashamed of the good news? Will we permit lies about the truth to affect our regular meeting attendance and our preaching activity? Or will we stand fast and be courageous and more determined than ever to continue declaring the truth about Jehovah and his Kingdom?" (Quote from The Watchtower, January 15, 1998 Issue, Pages 27-28)

    Why were Bill Bowen, Barbara Anderson, and Carl and Barbara Pandelo Disfellowshipped?

    Brown says offenders are excommunicated only for biblical reasons. "No one has to be disfellowshiped," Brown told CT. "Only unrepentant offenders are disfellowshiped." (Christianity Today (CT), July 8th 2002, URL: http://christianitytoday.aol.com/ct/2002/008/14.15.html )

    "Both sides agree that all Witnesses - including relatives of the four - would risk excommunication by having contact with any excommunicated person, except under certain circumstances. While the four believe the show's impending broadcast has spurred the church's actions, church spokesman J.R. Brown said that before Tuesday, church headquarters had no idea that these people would be on the show. He also said local congregations decided to charge them with various spiritual violations." ( New York Post Newspaper, Thursday, May 9, 2002 )

    "In an interview with the New York Post, JW spokesperson J.R. Brown stated that the threatened excommunications had nothing to do with the Dateline interview and that "church headquarters had no idea that these people would be on the show." Yet research displayed more than six internet announcements on the program, updates and names, all linked to the Silent Lambs and the Watchtower sites. Brown also said that local congregation decided to charge the members with various spiritual violations." (The Tullahoma (Tennessee) News, May 11, 2002)

    J.R. Brown, a national spokesman for the Jehovah's Witnesses, confirmed that the four had been called to the hearings, but he said the proceedings may focus on "sins" unrelated to public comments on sexual abuse. He provided no specifics. The judicial committees will decide whether the four should be "disfellowshipped," the group's term for excommunication. (Washington Post Newspaper, May 11, 2002)

    " ''What she [Barbara Anderson] alleges is not true at all,'' said J.R. Brown, a spokesman for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York Inc., the incorporated name of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Brown said he had been talking to Dateline about the show's story for a year but said he and other organization leaders did not know which members television producers had interviewed. ''We have no idea what she told Dateline,'' Brown said of Anderson. The consequences of excommunication are severe for a reason, Brown said. It is hoped that the harsh isolation that disfellowshipped members feel will draw them back to the organization. Other members of the faith are not allowed to speak to disfellowshipped members. They can't greet them in a store or share a meal with them. Live-in family members can speak to the person but never about spiritual issues. ''Our statistics bear out that you have many people every year be reinstated,'' Brown said. Brown said Jehovah's Witnesses have a strict policy about child sexual abuse. If parents come to congregation leaders with concerns that their child is being abused, the leaders follow state law, he said. If state law requires parents to report the abuse, congregation leaders tell them that. People in the organization who are accused of sex abuse are subject to a hearing like the one Anderson attended yesterday, Brown said. They are automatically removed from leadership positions and can't go door-to-door without other members' being present. Anderson said she knew of pedophiles in four Middle Tennessee congregations who had confessed to elders and who had not been disciplined. She said those elders did not go to authorities with what they knew. There was no way yesterday to corroborate the accusations that Anderson made. Brown said they were false. A call to the local district attorney at his home yesterday did not yield a return call." (Tennessean Nashville News, Saturday, May 11, 2002)

    "In harmony with what the Bible teaches, elders of Jehovah's Witnesses shepherd the flock of God in their care. They have the spiritual welfare of each congregation member in mind. (1 Peter 5:2) This pastoral work is done confidentially, out of respect for the congregation and the individual(s) involved. Even as the local elders are concerned about the spiritual health of each member of the congregation, they are also concerned for the spiritual welfare of the congregation as a whole. In fact, they are required by the Holy Scriptures to see to it that the congregation remains clean and unified. (1 Corinthians 1:10) No hasty decision is made in this process. It is never the goal of local elders to remove someone from the congregation. Rather, every effort is made, in harmony with Paul's words, to "try to readjust such a man in a spirit of mildness." ---Galatians 6:1 Contact J. R. Brown, telephone: (718) 560-5600" (Watchtower Society Press Release, May 8, 2002)

    "In a statement issued from their headquarters, the Jehovah's Witnesses said that church leaders are "required by the Holy Scriptures to see to it that the congregation remains clean and unified." J.R. Brown, a spokesman for the denomination, said that parents are not punished by the church for going to the police first in cases of child molestation. And he said that anyone found guilty of molestation by a church judicial committee is removed from all positions of responsibility and cannot evangelize door-to-door without being accompanied by a fellow Jehovah's Witness." (

    Associated Press News and also on CNN.com, Thursday, May 9, 2002 )

    "A Jehovah's Witnesses national spokesman, David Semonian, cited confidentiality rules and said the church could not discuss the Pandelos' case. "The proceedings may focus on sins unrelated to any public comments on sexual abuse," he said. Semonian said the church does not have specific rules against talking to the media, but churches could take action against those who disrupt the unity of the church. Semonian said he did not know about the Pandelo case. He said anyone convicted of child molestation cannot hold a position of authority in the church and cannot perform church work alone." (Asbury Park Press, May 14th 2002)

    "The Governing Body in Brooklyn meanwhile has appointed committees, to provide a solution on how to deal with this problem. A decision has been made on how to deal with those who have spoken out and are considered traitors. The Pandellos have already been disfellowshipped. The reason has nothing to do with them speaking out publicly, says the world headquarters. Also it has no connection with the NBC program. A Judicial hearing is also moving against Barbara Anderson, who served ten years in the world headquarters at Bethel and now assists in Bowen's project "silentlambs". She also is being disfellowshipped. When asked for the basis Brooklyn says the procedures are confidential." (SPIEGEL ONLINE Germany News - June 12th 2002; URL:

    http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0 ,1518,198436,00.html)

    "Witnesses elder says claims meritless, rules followed ... The disfellowshipment announcement had been scheduled for the end of Thursday's meeting, not the midpoint, Stockwell [Jehovah's Witness elder] said. "We've tried to follow what we consider theocratic arrangements, not make it into a media circus," Stockwell said in the first statement to the media by anyone connected with the congregation. Of Bowen's outburst he said, "He's just trying to antagonize, to provoke some kind of conflict." Stockwell said he had expected Bowen to try to interrupt the service in some way and even had spoken to the Marshall County Sheriff's Department earlier in the day about how the church should respond. The sheriff's department was not called Thursday night. "If he were in a life-threatening situation and he needed help, we'd help, but we're not going to socialize with him," Stockwell said. ... "If he were broken down on the side of the road, we'd help him." Stockwell said Bowen's allegations of local child molestation are groundless, and he questioned other allegations, calling Bowen devious. "It hurt the different ones here who knew him when he first moved here and considered him a friend ... For us it's a sad occasion that it has come to this." " (The Paducah Sun Newspaper, August 16, 2002)

    "Disfellowshipping is little known to outsiders, who recognize Witnesses only as the people who pass out magazines on Saturday mornings. But scandal in the denomination has opened a door to its core beliefs and operations. In recent months, at least three Witnesses were disfellowshipped after talking to Dateline NBC about church leaders' handling of child molestation allegations. The action made national headlines and spurred former Witnesses worldwide to step forward with their stories. Jehovah's Witnesses believe disfellowshipping is an act of love, intended to inspire sinners to change their ways so they eventually can apply to be readmitted to the faith. The sanction is based on I Corinthians 5, which directs Witnesses to "remove the wicked from among yourselves" and is necessary, said Witnesses national spokesman J.R. Brown, to preserve the religion's "moral integrity and cleanliness" in a corrupt world soon to be destroyed by God Jehovah." (St. Petersburg Times Newspaper, August 22, 2002)

    "Jehovah's Witness elders -- all are men -- are the equivalent of ministers in other religions. Though unpaid, they take on responsibilities such as teaching Bible lessons and passing on denomination policy. They also investigate Witnesses accused of committing crimes against other Witnesses. In some of these cases, the police are never called. Among the elders' primary tasks is serving on small judicial committees that hear confessions and decide whether an offense is worthy of excommunication. Excommunications are announced to the congregation, but elders never say why a person was expelled. Witnesses can only guess from a long list of offenses that range from smoking cigarettes to manslaughter. Homosexuality, fornication, drunkenness, slander, fraud, gambling, apostasy, fits of anger and violence, and adultery are others. The excommunication announcement tells members to begin shunning that person. If they don't, they, too, risk being disfellowshipped. Fear of being disfellowshipped is gripping for many Witnesses. Because they believe that only Witnesses will be saved from death, many don't associate with non-Witnesses. Being disfellowshipped, then, means losing your circle of friends, not to mention family members who remain in the faith." (St. Petersburg Times Newspaper, August 22, 2002)

    "Elders disfellowship 50,000 to 60,000 Witnesses around the world each year, Brown said. "It's not an unusual occurence, as far as we're concerned," he said. ... Brown says disfellowshipping inspires wrongdoers to come back to the religion. Those who want to reapply can do so, but they must adhere to Witnesses' policies. They are allowed inside the Kingdom Halls but are ignored by the other congregants until readmitted to the faith. Each year, Brown said, 30,000 to 40,000 are reinstated, having "come back to their spiritual senses." " (St. Petersburg Times Newspaper, August 22, 2002)

    In the closed society, anyone who is a Witness must cut off contact with disfellowshipped members, even relatives. "They will not speak to you,'' Joe Anderson said. ``I mean, if you are lying on the road, they will drive right past you.'' Their son, Lance Anderson, 41, a church elder in Mishawaka, Ind., said the intention isn't to punish his parents but to lead them to repentance. "I have never seen a situation come up in which we have not handled it legally and biblically the best way possible,'' he said. The son said pedophilia is a global problem but that only God - not man or government - can stop it. "I love my parents dearly, but the message they have chosen to accomplish this is harming good people,'' he said. "They are putting themselves, really, in harm's way.'' (Associated Press News Story, "Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses Speak Out", September 26, 2002)

    "Less than two years ago, Bill Bowen resigned as an elder in Draffenville's Jehovah's Witness congregation because of church policy on handling accusations of child abuse. Since then, he's been disfellowshipped, kicked out of the church and shunned by its members, including some of his own relatives, for "causing divisions" in the congregation." (The Paducah Sun Newspaper, September 27, 2002)

  • jwsons
    jwsons

    Thank you, welldone undisfellowshipped. Can I translate it and load it to a foreign website ? I'll give you the addr when it finish (it may take time for I'm slow)

    jwsons

  • berylblue
    berylblue

    EXCELLENT! Not enough superlatives for this. THANKS

  • Guest 77
    Guest 77


    Is this the same org. that thrives in exposing false religion and their teachings, yet, can't correct their pedophile problem? Who's calling the kettle black here?

    Guest 77

  • jnomdeplume@yahoo
    [email protected]

    I believe in the Insight book under "Lying" or "Lies" is an even more explicit, definitely more recent, definition for what they consider Theocratic Warfare as acceptable verbal misleading of enemies and testing for loyalty. Jerry Bergman has had a lot to say about the Watchtower using TW in the courts.

  • mizpah
    mizpah

    Isn't it odd that in all the quotations one does not find..."we are so sorry this has occurred, we will make sure that it doesn't happen again, we will make restitution for the damages done and we ask for forgiveness from God and the victims." And yet, this is what we would expect from a Christian organization instead of the legal jargon which tries to deny responsiblity and obfuscate the issues.

  • rocky220
    rocky220

    rocky220

  • UnDisfellowshipped
    UnDisfellowshipped

    jwsons,

    Yes, absolutely! You (and anyone else) can post this J.R. Brown Quotes List on any Website you want, in any language you want!

  • UnDisfellowshipped
  • Kenneson
    Kenneson

    A very appropriate time to bring this thread to the fore again!

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