2.16.2017 NJ Star-Ledger Ad: "Were you sexually abused by the Jehovahs Witnesses?"

by breakfast of champions 144 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • darkspilver

    Which ever way you look at it, having these sort of adverts running is not good for the WT.

    I'm not particularly impressed with their website, especially particularly if it's meant to be focused on JWs - but that's not the point... I suspect, that rather than wanting people to read a website, they want people to contact them directly so they can be 'signed-up' as their client - perhaps on some kind of exclusive deal?

    Also the website:

    Allegedly, more than 25 years ago, the Jehovah’s Witness’ Governing Body, the group of men who make and approve all policies, sent a memo to the elders of all 14,000 congregations stating that child sex abuse is a private matter and shouldn’t be discussed with anyone, especially the police. The memo also stated that revealing child sex abuse to law enforcement would result in punishment.

    It is believed that elders were instead instructed to fill out a form when abuse occurred. These forms were then scanned into a database. This leads investigators to believe that there are thousands of hidden records of sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    This isn't some cookie-cutter operation. They've obviously done their homework.

    TBH I wonder if their homework was the recent report carried by KPBS on 12 December 2016, along with the two linked items:


    For more than 25 years, Jehovah’s Witnesses officials have instructed local leaders — known as elders — in all of the religion’s 14,000 U.S. congregations to hide sexual abuse from law enforcement. Instead, abusers were to be handled internally.

  • Richard Oliver
    Richard Oliver

    Joe Grundy:

    I appreciate your respectfulness. I am just repeating the rulings that both trial and appeal courts have rendered in the United States. Courts have ruled that just the association to an organization does not mean that the organization has a fiduciary duty to their members.

    Lewis v. Bellows Falls Congregation

    Holdings: The District Court, J. Garvan Murtha, J., held that:
    1 alleged conduct by church did not create fiduciary relationship between church and congregant;
    2 church allegedly had duty to provide reasonable supervision of its minister;
    3 no special relationship existed between the church and its minister, as required to give rise to church's duty to control minister;
    4 church had no duty to protect congregant; and
    5 church had no separate duty to warn its congregants, distinct from a duty to protect.

    In Anderson v Watchtower the court wrote this:
    The court in Moses first recognized that the relationship between a clergyman and parishioner was normally one involving trust and reliance, but further held that in order to be liable for a breach of fiduciary duty, the superior party must “assume a duty to act in the dependent party's best interest,” Moses, 863 P.2d at 322, language which is parroted in Ms. Anderson's allegations. The Moses court also found, however, that there must be an assumption of duty and that “[o]nce a member of the clergy accepts the parishioner's trust and accepts the role of counselor, a duty exists to act with the utmost good faith for the benefit of the parishioner.” Moses, 863 P.2d at 323 (emphasis added).

    DeCorso v Watchtower:

    Further, because the present case does not involve a minor child, it does not involve a “justifiable trust confided on one side” and a “resulting superiority and influence” on the other. This court declines to read specific requirements for a fiduciary relationship in a religious context into Connecticut law. Accordingly, the defendants' motion to strike the fourth count of the revised complaint is granted.

    Conti v Watchtower:

    Holdings: The Court of Appeal, Siggins, J., held that:
    1 congregation elders did not have any duty to warn the congregation about member's past child sexual abuse;
    2 congregation elders did not have any duty to warn child congregation member's parents about member's past child sexual abuse;
    3 elders did not have any duty under the negligent undertaking doctrine to warn parents about member's past child sexual abuse;
    4 organization and congregation had a duty to use reasonable care to restrict and supervise field service of member with history of child sexual abuse;

    These are just from a quick search in WestLaw. And again like I said, these firms obviously think that they can overcome it, but it is going to be an uphill battle. They will have to overcome a lot.

  • Iown Mylife
    Iown Mylife

    People JUST need to keep away from Jehovah's Witnesses.

  • Worldling9

    Please not that the ad is also for those who "have information about sexual abuse or sexual misconduct within the Jehovah's Witnesses". Perhaps some of us can help with that.

  • Worldling9


  • life is to short
    life is to short

    I did call them today and they were very nice, I live on the west coast and the man I spoke to today was surprised to hear that we know about it already as they are only targeting the east coast, New York In particular. I just have to say that if you live in their area and have any info that they could use I encourage you to call. He was very nice but the laws in my state are not the same as what NY is and really there was nothing that I could add expect that I know we have pedophiles in my hall and that I have the police and court records of them.

    He was very kind and thanked me for calling. I am just really hoping that this is truly the tip of the iceberg.


  • LevelThePlayingField

    Me too, I hope this is just the tip of the iceberg. I think the org getting sued maybe.

  • never a jw
    never a jw

    Richard Oliver,

    Are you in the Watchtower's payroll? or you just like having fun by being a contrarian for the sake of being a contrarian?

  • freddo

    Is Richard Oliver a sock-puppet for Fisherman? Or vice versa?

    Anyway - the law firms think it is worth a punt don't they?

  • Landy

    Are you in the Watchtower's payroll? or you just like having fun by being a contrarian for the sake of being a contrarian?

    He's not being contrarian - is this instance he's being resonable (and generally correct) and you're continuing the tradition on here that any one who gives thoughtful realistic responses and doesn't get caught up in the stupid anti-jw rhetoric that sometimes goes on here is pro-jw.

    The ad is a vertical market campaign on a fishing expedition. Advertising works best when it is directed at as narrow group as is practical and that's what they've done.

    The child abuse lawsuits have had very limited success against the witnesses, we keep waiting for the landslide but it never appears (remind you of something?).

    There is sometimes grounds for taking action but it's only in very limited circumstances.

    It may yield some results, it may not. I do agree though it's not good publicity for the WTS - localised as it may be.

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