Is there evidence for networks of abuse?

by slimboyfat 44 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • slimboyfat

    I tend to avoid the subject because it's too depressing, so I've probably missed lots of discussion about this issue. But I read a comment on YouTube yesterday that shocked me and made me wonder. The person claimed that many years ago abusers in society generally identified JWs as a safe haven for abusers and joined en masse order to exploit the situation. Fifteen years ago I would have dismissed that idea as ridiculous because I believed JWs are good people with only a few bad apples and because the idea that abusers coordinated their actions would have seemed too much like a conspiracy theory to me. Now I'm not so sure. Badness seems much more prevalent among JWs than I ever imagined. And the ability of abusers to coordinate their evil seems to have been proven in society generally. So is it such a wild idea that networks of abusers joined JWs or that networks grew within JWs? Until I read that comment yesterday I simply thought JWs had poor policies that bred a culture of abuse, but is the situation actually worse than that? Probably this idea has already been discussed at length, as I say I don't read much on the subject. So I was wondering if others know if there is evidence on this issue.

  • Finkelstein

    I see no evidence of a portraying network but there very well could be active exploitation of how the WTS handles situations of abuse ie. two witness rule , non disclosure toward law authorities and so on.

    Hiding behind a stature of trust in a religious environment is what sexual predators do and we can see that even within the JW organization as well.

  • nicolaou

    What evidence would you accept that couldn't be interpreted to mean something else? What facts would answer your question when facts are only relative in relation to the language used?

  • LV101

    Abusers (disordered characters/covert/overt aggressives get their power in groups and religions provide lots of victims for them.

    JW religion is for the uneducated, poor, abusers. Many who can afford an education go into fields where they can wield their power/abuse - teaching, ministry, nursing. I remember studying about this many moons ago. I'm in no way implying most people in these caring/giving professions are abusive!

  • jhine

    I had thought about this . Paedophiles have had for a while now been able to share information , pictures etc over the internet in relative safety , unfortunately . So it is surely not beyond belief that individual paedophiles in the WT could have shared with those outside the fact that WT policies do make it easier for them to have access to children and not get found out ? Of course unless someone was actually caught doing this it is unprovable , but I think certainly not impossible and maybe even probable


  • Mephis
    There has been no evidence of this in any case I can recall. One doesn't really need networks of abusers to join up to have the JW problem. They have a culture and set of policies which allow abusers to go unchecked for years unless a survivor (or responsible adult) is able to report what happens as soon as it does. Which is often not something which will happen. I'd be really wary of a narrative of 'evil worldly men taking advantage of God's loving organisation'. Because that's JW buckpassing on a serious issue again. There may be abusers doing that, there may not be. But JW policies, procedures and internal culture enable abusers regardless. A perfect storm for abuse as I think counsel for ARC put it.
  • dropoffyourkeylee
    There is no evidence that I am aware of or have ever heard of. One phenomenon that could be happening is that abusers may be attracted to an environment where they feel comfortable and not challenged about their past. They are then more likely to make it through the studies, etc, to become a JW than they are to become involved in another religion, club, or other organization where their past is brought up all the time and confronted with it. In this way it might appear that there is a conspiracy of sorts to bring in abusers.
  • Tornintwo

    I find it difficult to believe it would happen in a network, but I do find it totally believable that a pedo would target this organisation: trust amongst members, access to families & kids, 2 witness rule, secrecy and confidentiality. I've seen fraudsters target the congregation because members have trust in eachother and won't take eachother to court.

    What I found disturbing though, is that a few years ago elders proudly told me that someone who had been a child abuser in the past could NEVER be used for privileges again. But the Oct 2012 BOE changed that and added a loophole that 'it's not necessarily the case' that a former abuser wouldn't ever quality for privileges. Now you have to ask yourself WHY, why the loophole? Why not exclude those who committed this horrific crime from privileges. In my opinion there are only 2 answers to that question:

    1. There are so many men with privileges who have sexually abused children in the past that it would be untenable for the org. to remove/exclude them all from serving as elders.

    2. There are some very high up who have abused children in the past and it would be untenable for the organisation to remove them from their positions.

    Scary thought.

  • jhine

    A very quick Google found an online article on NBC about police uncovering an online paedophile group with an estimated 70,000, yes , 70,00 members . News and idea can be spread worldwide quickly .

    I do not mean to detract from the culpability of the WT , it is their criminally lax policies that could attract offenders .


  • mrmagic
    Slimboyfat you make an interesting post and pose some interesting questions. There is a lot of information to be dug up on this topic, however, like you, I also suspect that there may be a network of pedophiles within the org, perhaps even more than one.

    Do you remember Manuel Cano, the bethelite busted for video cam'ing young boys and teens in the Airport bathroom and who had hundreds of child porn DVD's /CD's in his room? Somehow the cleaning maids and his roommate were completely oblivious to this for decades. Although it is possible to think that Manuel Cano kept all the DVD's to himself, it does make you question how he could have remained secret with such a high control group when others were busted for much easier things to hide in their rooms. In addition, with so much pedophilia rampant within the org, I find it difficult to believe that he did not share his collection with other members, and also exchange DVD"s with others in and outside of the Watchtower org.

    As for now, we've got suspicions, hunches, and conjecture. However, there is a lot more to dig for. I don't put anything past this organization, however, I also look for evidence so I can continue to write to various officials about it.

    Here's a link on Cano

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