Several days ago our beloved Barbara Anderson, watchdog of Watchtower-abused children, posted our forum’s thread, “SLATE Article: A New “Wikileaks for Religion” Publishes Its First Trove of Documents”. The new Faithleaks web site began hosting document submissions aimed at whistleblowers of a religious bent. It must’ve caught the eye of some Watchtower insider.
“FaithLeaks, like MormonLeaks, is founded on the belief that increased transparency results in fewer untruths, less corruption, and less abuse in any organization. It provides the same service of anonymizing sources from all religions, religious nonprofits, cults, and creeds with documented information they believe deserves to be made public.”
With this first submission, a disgruntled JW (yes, I’m guessing) with access to confidential congregation files did a bunch of copying, collating, and transmitting.
You can find the posting here, https://faithleaks.org/newsroom/
This submission includes 33 individually hyperlinked PDF files available at a click for download. However, I found that to be quite laborious to navigate back and forth to various pieces of information. I decided, then, to place them all into one document, however large (nearly 8 Mbytes).
using a single click,
You may find it here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KNaDEN7cGinS2zftJ59eBNTciwY_n9bW/view?usp=sharing
The 33 files contain redacted names of the principals involved, doing so by covering them with opaque coded colors. For the sake of clarity, I have created fictitious names of the principals involved as placeholders in order to make this summary more readable.
Mary Johnson tells of her father, James Smith, tying her arms to the bed in order to prevent her from performing masturbation. Smith “tied her hands and feet to the four corners of the top level of a bunk bed that Johnson and her sister Patricia Williams shared. In the morning he would check Johnson by opening the lips of her vagina and checking for redness. If it didn’t look right, he would beat her.”
The documents tell the story of a father who admitted to a congregation judicial committee the sexual molestation of the younger of two daughters when she was 6 years old. The older sister apparently joins forces, conceding that she too was molested. The father gets disfellowshipped because of those “two witnesses”.
The father atones his way back into good standing within the congregation.
The youngest daughter remains troubled that her abuser remains free from the arms of law enforcement and sees that he is warmly welcomed inside the walls of the kingdom hall. The daughter apparently talks to others about her feelings and the father does not like that.
The father appeals to the elders, claiming slander on her part.
The Patterson, New York, ivory tower guys (anonymously signing their proclamation as Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses) resolved the issue by placing the father on restricted congregation assignments.
The daughter’s account, however, details far more atrocities – regular episodes of rape, even sharing his daughter with other men for monetary gains -- that were never addressed by the committee and obviously not revealed to law enforcement authorities.
It is entirely possible that these added atrocities are responsible for this 20 year-old episode to fester into an extremely complicated fiasco, one that undoubtedly nurtured seeds of discontent among congregations in Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
It is entirely possible – and by all means understandable, that Mary Johnson would feel that real justice had never been served and it is possible that she would even embellish such claims to serve her agenda. Only she, her older sister, Patricia Williams, and their father, James Smith, know the truth of all the details. We as empathetic bystanders should be thankful if we’ve never been sexually abused.
The father was disfellowshipped in the 1980’s for admitting that his wife of the time told him to check his six-year-old daughter’s vagina, which he did. He then beat his daughter if her vagina didn’t look right. One has to wonder whether or not these admissions were ever revealed to law enforcement. I doubt they have and herein lies an issue that seems close to the heart of thousands of Watchtower cover-ups – shielding under the guise of pastor-parishioner confidentiality in order for Watchtower (JW.ORG) to keep its precious reputation from getting soiled.
Finally, consider the father’s claims of slander by them because of their persistent gossip – even posting flyers of his picture accompanied by the text,
“a minister in this community has raped and sexually molested children in our family. Due to statute of limitations, he remains free.”
It is appalling to me that committees of non-professional people – janitors, window-washers, shoe salesmen – sit as judges of their peers in matters that would be best relegated to ones that society, imperfect as it may be, provides -- paid professionals who have been trained in the growing midst of abundant technical resources.
I hope that somehow law enforcement can wade through such files despite their redactions and piece together facts enough to launch some type of investigation of their own.
I hope that Watchtower officials and its appointed representatives, Circuit Overseers – along with congregation elders who serve on committees, will now see these public revelations as notification that they may be held accountable as being complicit in crimes toward children. They should finally realize that U. S. officials are not lenient toward sex offenders and anyone on their side. https://www.centralmaine.com/2017/07/18/child-pornographer-wade-hoover-loses-bid-to-lower-60-year-sentence-for-sexually-assaulting-boys/
I realize I have nothing personally vested in this conflict and I will never face this monster of a father in a courtroom. If perchance I did, this is what I would tell him.
James Smith (not real name): You escaped major incarceration for what you admitted, that of repeatedly touching your daughter’s most private parts at the tender age of 6. Egregious is a word I seldom use but it’s the worst kind of evil that I know and the most accurate way I can envision your behavior toward one of your own flesh and blood. If I were responsible for your sentencing within the scope of a modern U. S. courtroom, the alibi you presented to that local judicial committee – aka kangaroo court, perhaps comprised of a couple window washers and a janitor – that your wife asked you to do what you did, would fall on deaf ears.
I also find that local tribunal deplorable in that they did not immediately call law enforcement. It is not surprising that Watchtower headquarters trained you in this behavior and continues to virtually endorse such a haven for monsters.