JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES SEXUAL ABUSE DATA PROTECTION SUICIDE RELIGIOUS ORDERS SEXUAL HARASSMENT SEXUAL AGGRESSIONS Brais Cedeira @BraisCedeira
- "eleven. If the accused is a married sister, it is advisable that her Christian husband be present . He is her head, and her efforts to guide her and help her recover can be very useful. In exceptional circumstances, or if the elders fear that the presence of the spouse may endanger the safety of the wife, they should call the branch.
-12. If the accused is a married brother, it is normal that his wife is not present at the hearing. However, if he wishes, she can attend a part. "
It is advisable that they be guided by their husband, but they can, if they wish, dispense with the presence of the woman. These two consecutive fragments reflect, in part, the procedure that must be followed within Jehovah's Witnesses when the elders of a congregation have to "judge" someone. They also warn of the way they see women. The two paragraphs belong to a book whose full content has had access to SPANISH and which is entitled "Pastor the flock of God . " It details the procedure to follow when "a sin" is discovered.
Other things are also described. The "gross filth" , for example, is grounds for expulsion within the Jehovah's Witnesses . And expulsion, say dozens of former members of this organization, means social death. An example of what they see as a "serious filth" are sexual or emotional relationships between people of the same sex. They consider it a "degrading" and "disgusting" perversion.
The book of the elders of the Jehovah's Witnesses says many things. The Jehovah's Witnesses, not so many, partly because they are forbidden to talk to anyone outside of the things that happen inside. Little by little, some like Rocío Alcalde, 24 years old, Granada, are no longer afraid: they do not want to spend more time in silence.
Rocío is 24 years old. Things became difficult for Jehovah's Witnesses after being abused by their partner . "I denounced him. The first day of the trial he came home to wait for me. The neighbors told me. The police came and they took him again arrested. The next day they put another restraining order. "
Juan Bourgon Zubieta spent many years of his life in the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Jehovah's Witnesses distinguish between biblical divorce and ordinary divorce. For them, divorce does not "give freedom to remarry unless it is for adultery." But Rocío says that, evidently, once divorced from her abuser, when she wanted to rebuild her life, the elders (who rule the congregations) did not allow her to rebuild her life with another man. "They told me that I did not have a biblical divorce until they had proof of my ex's adultery. That is, until they had proof that he was with another person. They were not served by the judge's order of removal that proved that I had been mistreated . "
Rocío was born Jehovah's witness. Her parents were before her, and so was the rest of her family. Despite the warning, she remade her life with another man because she began to see that the teachings they were promulgating were not for her. Maybe they were not for anyone.
Divorce is something that is considered sin within the organization. A member of the congregation can only divorce if his partner has committed adultery. "They even forbade my partner from coming to the floor. They said I was not free to be with anyone. " When she chose to leave permanently, when she was expelled for being with another man who was not her husband, most of her family stopped talking for ever.
The guidelines of the "sect" When he was 36 years old, Enrique received an internal circular saying that he had to stop talking to his father. He had been expelled from the organization, so the Jehovah's Witnesses demanded that his family break all contact with him. The first two months, Enrique fulfilled it. "My daughters were without a grandfather, but I did not understand why it had to be that way, he had not done anything against us, I understood that it was a blackmail method to try to get him back into the organization," he tells EL ESPAÑOL. His wife aligned with the witnesses. He remained in his position for the following years. The divorce, in the end, was irremediable: his marriage went to hell and ended up leaving also the congregation.
Enrique lives in Granada and is an electronics technician. A year and a half after leaving, he found love again with another woman. Something innocent, apparently. This meant "social death". When the elders found out, they did the same with him as they did with their father. And what he did not get to do his daughter did. "She is a stalwart witness, like her mother, when she found out, she stopped talking to me forever, and in November 2007 she sent me a letter saying that she had died for her, that coercion and pressure is what differentiates a religion from a sect". It's been 12 years He has never spoken to him again.
(Photo) Fragment of the internal book of the Jehovah's Witnesses "Pastor the flock".
In this, specifically, qualify relationships between people of the same sex as something "disgusting."
In Spain there are 110,000 Jehovah's Witnesses. Taken less seriously in other times, in the last days they are surfacing all kinds of denunciations : about their internal procedures, about their particular parallel justice, about their position on sexual diversity, about how they treat those who are and who leave of the congregation; undoubtedly the most serious have to do with the cases of sexual abuse that take place within the group. They also explain how, many times, they are choosing not to cooperate with justice.
In recent years courts around the world have taken legal action to uncover cases of pedophilia within this organization. An investigation by the government of Australia announced in July 2016 that they were investigating more than 1,000 cases that Jehovah's Witnesses had hidden for 60 years under the carpet.
In January of 2018, the Faithleaks platform published 33 letters and internal documents that exposed accusations of sexual abuse against members of this religious cult in New York. The heads of the congregation determined at the time that several of the allegations had been genuine. Among the revealed cases was the dramatic story of a woman tied to the bed by her father while he was examining her genitals. I tried to find signs of masturbation. She was only 5 years old. The story was hidden.
Aníbal Matos is the spokesman for the Jehovah's Witnesses in Spain: "The" judicial committee ", which is exclusively ecclesiastical in nature, keeps the facts confidential in order to safeguard the dignity of the parties, which in no way means that they hide or protect sins of that gravity, the pedophile must answer before the law with all its consequences. "
The last example of this procedure takes place in Toledo this week. A judge cites to declare four elders for a case of sexual abuse. It is the first time that they are mentioned in Spain for a case of these characteristics. Not a single word came out of their mouths. It is a situation similar to the one that has been faced in recent years in many countries: silence in the face of multiple complaints accusing them of not acting in such serious internal cases.
Rocío lives in Granada. After being mistreated, they did not allow him to rebuild his life.
Around this group, which many call sect, it is not that things are happening: what is happening is that they are beginning to know each other. The opening of Pandora's box continues incessantly: theft of personal data, aversion towards homosexuals, parallel trials, the control and absolute control of sex among its members, cases of sexual abuse, suicides, silence against certain crimes ...
THE SPANISH interviewed about fifteen former witnesses in this report. Most of them give their name and face. Others prefer not to do it. They speak to denounce the situations that they lived, so that they do not repeat themselves and so that the truth is known. Two of them, one of whom prefers not to reveal their identity, talk about suicide cases . Many are forming an association of victims of the Jehovah's Witnesses that will be released at the beginning of next March. They say that theirs are just some concrete examples, and they are convinced that there may be "thousands" of people in Spain who have experienced the same situations. Some, they say, are silent because of fear. Others because they blindly believe the guidelines of the "sect".
The only thing Alejandro did was light an innocent cigarette. When they found out they accused him of having committed a serious offense and expelled him. It happened when I was 16 years old. Since then his family does not speak to him. Leaving the bosom of the organization where his whole family was always. They all left him aside for such a trifle. "They see me on the street, they do not greet me, they do not talk to me. Many, including my family, do not want to look me in the face. I do not care anymore, but imagine when you were young ".
He is 38 years old, but Mikel Nájera entered the Jehovah's Witnesses being only a child of four. I lived where now, in Pamplona. His life was restricted by the rigid internal laws of the group. "I married 25 years old, but I was not convinced. I wanted to have a girlfriend, but you can not be with anyone who is not a Jehovah's Witness, "he tells EL ESPAÑOL.
He made an error sometime later. He was unfaithful to his partner, something that within the group becomes a sufficient reason for one to be judged. They call him judicial committees. "They put you in front of three elders who are the ones who value whether they should expel you. They asked me what sexual postures I had done, everything. I thought: you are treating me like a monster . "
Judicial resolution detailing how Jehovah's Witnesses stole personal data in a hospital in Cantabria.
Also to him, when they banished him, he turned his back on his family. "In a way, it's as if you had to deprogram. When they throw you out of a sect, it's as if they left you in the middle of the desert. They have educated you in a bubble and then, naked, you do not know where to go. It's social death. "
Forbidden to be bisexual
It was the same thing that happened to Laia Santander , who is 27 years old, works in a store of organic products and now leads a completely normal life. She too suffered one of those abrasive internal judgments. At 15, in full adolescence, he realized that he was bisexual. But he tried to keep that secret to himself. In January 2018 he had to answer to the leaders of the Jehovah's Witnesses of his congregation for "sexual immorality".
" It is uncomfortable, it is shameful, a humiliation. At that time you do not see it in an objective way: you are indoctrinated to think that telling it is the best thing for you ". They dug into their intimacies, undressing her with all kinds of questions. She was expelled several weeks later. It is an exhaustive inquiry into the bed of his faithful. Act, in some way, as the prosecutors of the bedrooms of its members.
The same magnifying glass was used to throw Andrés Abalo out of the congregation. " For filth. You have committed filth, they told me. I was with a girl who was not my wife. We were about to commit what they call adultery, but in the end we stopped. And she goes and tells everything to the elderly! They were not worth my explanations ", he explains to this newspaper.