Examining The WT Child Abuse Policy

by Vanderhoven7 15 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Vanderhoven7

    Here is a part of a current discussion I am having with a JW.

    Comments appreciated.

    Vanderhoven said...

    Reporting child sex abuse allegations is mandatory in many places. The second witness might be semen or DNA evidence...that elders cannot assess but authorities can. Religious organizations should not assume they can judge competently when it comes to such crimes. Otherwise how many priests in the Catholic church could continue abusing young ones. And don't forget that the two witness rule was not applied when young women were raped in the field and no one heard their screams. Your organization is more interested in protecting its image than doing all it can to prevent abuse of children. This is why kingdom halls are often referred to as pedophile paradises.

    JW Response....

    I did a little homework on the subject "pedophile paradises" and look what I found.

    Examining The WT Child Abuse Policy

    Pedophile Paradise or Pedophile Nightmare?

    Philip Brumley, general counsel for the Watchtower Society makes the following claim:"The policy that Jehovah's Witnesses have on how to handle cases of child molestation is without equal in the religious community." On the other hand opposers of Jehovah's Witnesses say that the abuse policy covers up child molesting and thus the Kingdom Hall's are a safe haven for child molesters. They say the Watchtower Society has created a pedophile paradise because of their abuse policy.

    So what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to the child abuse policy of Jehovah's Witnesses? Are opposers of Jehovah's Witnesses telling you the truth or is it they themselves who are trying to cover up and hide the real child abuse policy of Jehovah's Witnesses? Has the Watchtower's child abuse policy really created a pedophile paradise or is it instead just the opposite, a pedophile's nightmare because of being 'a policy without equal in the religious community'? What is reality and what is myth?

    The basic policy of Jehovah's Witnesses can be found at the Watchtower website. Lets take a look at the true child abuse policy of Jehovah's Witnesses and the detailed information written in letters and publications about how elders should handle child abuse. Why not take a look for yourself and not simply take the word of opposers at face value?

    Here's an example of what this web page contains:

    Keeping It in the House

    Is the victim told not to go to the police and simply let the elders handle the situation? Is the victim or their family told that it will bring reproach upon God's organization to tell the authorities? The policy of Jehovah's Witnesses clearly states at the Watchtower website: "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."

    You have no doubt seen the apostates claims that a person can be disfellowshipped for going to the authorities with child abuse allegations. Clearly, this is not the case at all. Some opposers claim that if there are not two witnesses to the molesting then the Watchtower policy is that it should NOT be reported to the authorities. But did you notice the phrase above: 'even uncorroborated or unsubstantiated allegations'. Yes, it is anyone's absolute right to report even uncorroborated or unsubstantiated allegations to the authorities, even if there are not two witnesses. But isn't it only recently that the Watchtower Society has taken this stand?

    Well let us take you way back to 1962. The November 15 Watchtower from that year on page 693 clearly stated:

    "9 Worldly authorities render a judgment and punish persons, whether they areinside the congregation or outside, if they violate the laws of decency and good order. The violators have no right to complain at such punishment, as Paul showed by his words before Caesar’s judgment seat. (Acts 25:11) Hence the Christian congregation cannot protect any of its members if they steal, smuggle, commit bigamy, murder, libel, defraud, and so forth. The congregation must release such guilty members to punishment by worldly authorities. Since the guilty break the laws of the land and thus oppose the “authority,” they are taking a stand against God’s arrangement.

    Exposing the Myths

    ______ Vs Watchtower

    You may have read of lawsuits brought against the Watchtower Society but you oftentimes only hear one side of the story, the side of the complainant. You have no doubt seen 'news' programs, such as Dateline, where accusation are made against Jehovah's Witnesses and their child abuse policy but you are rarely, if ever, told what was revealed in the court proceedings that followed after the program aired. And so, as opposers jump on the usual 'its a pedophile paradise' bandwagon, you rarely see an honest examination of the cases. And if the lawsuit is dropped or dismissed that is often lost in the witch hunt mentality and never reported.

    The purpose of this chapter is not to attempt to determine if the accused molester in each case is guilty or not but rather, to examine the culpability of the headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses and whether the testimony and facts show the Watchtower Society to be negligent or libel as well as to see just how the courts handled the lawsuit filed against the Watchtower Society. We have tabulated a list thus far of cases that have come to their finish in court and will hope to examine each case as time permits and as information is available.

    Ironically, it was Silentlambs founder, Bill Bowen, who said in a radio interview with Meria Hellar in April of 2002: "A civil lawsuit was filed against the Watchtower Society in January I mean July of this year, and others are stepping up right behind them. If they won't answer this problem morally, then we will answer this in the courts and let's see how they stand the litmus test of the United States justice system for what they've done for children."

    How have the courts answered? Much to the chagrin of Bowen here is the list we have comprised thus far with the resulting judgments.
    Rees Vs WT--Summarily dismissed.
    Amy B Vs WT--Summarily dismissed.
    Amber Long Vs WT--Summarily dismissed.
    Heidi Meyers Vs WT--Summarily dismissed.
    Berry Vs WT--Summarily dismissed.
    Beal et al Vs WT--Summarily dismissed.
    Decorso Vs WT--Summarily dismissed.
    Erica Garza Rodriguez Vs WT--Dismissed.
    Nolen's Eleven Vs WT--Dropped or summarily dismissed.
    Boer Vs WT--WT nets $137,000.
    Welch, Nicole D, Tabitha H. Vs WT--dismissed with prejudice.
    Kara L. Vs WT--dismissed with prejudice.
    Daniel West et al Vs WT--dismissed with prejudice.
    Wimberly Gutierez et al Vs WT--dismissed with prejudice.
    Tim W Vs WT--dismissed with prejudice.
    Jared Grafmyer Vs WT--dismissed with prejudice.
    A.B., G.G., S.H.,N.H., et al Vs WT--dismissed with prejudice.
    Friends of Amanda M. Vs WT--dismissed without prejudice.

    Watchtower Society found negligent--ZERO

    This is by no means a list of all cases that have been brought to court against the Watchtower Society, but we can assure you that no cases have actually been won by the plaintiff forcing the Watchtower Society to pay millions of dollars as has been the case with other religions. It is just as Watchtower attorney Mario Moreno aptly put it, "So far the plaintiffs are not doing well." (Auburn Journal/January 19, 2004 By Ryan McCarthy)

  • I Faded Twice
    I Faded Twice

    I notice candace conti is missing as well as the Montana case.

    Just more cherry picking.

  • smiddy3

    What is also missing in this discussion is that the Governing Body of Jehovah`s Witnesses and their writing department / legal department all speak out of both sides of their mouth,they speak with a forked tongue .

    What they say in print and what they do in practice are two entirely different things.

    Partly because of flip flops / new light / contradictions / Legal Department / Not bringing reproach on the organization /not bringing reproach on Jehovah`s name.

    And when it suits them they claim clergy privilege in a Court of law of their members and when it does`nt their members are just lay / volunteer preachers.

    Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson under oath at the CARC when asked {yes he took the oath/affirmation} to tell the truth and nothing but the truth ,whether Jehovah`s witnesses were the only ones that had the "Truth" he said that "it would be presumptuous of me to say that " ? what a lie that is .

    Vincent `Toole the legal eagle of JW`s . { he also took the oath/ affirmation to tell the truth and nothing but the truth }when asked about shunning at the CARC he stated that he had heard the phrase but never knew what it meant . another lie.

    OF All of the cases of child sexual abuse cases around the world within the Jehovah`s witness religion, surely it should warrant a much more detailed investigation into this religion and its practices to protect vulnerable children that such a small sect has failed to do.

  • zeb

    I have seen this 'policy'.

    • It is a series of Awake! quotes on several sheets
    • which are not sequentially numbered.
    • One sheet had staple marks indicating it was drawn from some thing else.
    • None bore letterhead and there was no signature by any corporation executive.

    It was no policy by any standards.


    It’s up to you if you want to butt heads with this person. How many times have arguments went on for page after page on this site, usually ending in a moral question being raised, followed by the JW leaving without ever answering??

    I cant personally comb through documents just to try and convince Dubs of the WTBTS’s dishonesty anymore.


  • redvip2000


    What he sent you does not address the issue you raised. How is that a retort? The material he sent simply said that elders will call the police if they are required to do so by law and that the victim can call the police also.

    Ask him the address the two witness rule and the fact that elders will not call the police on their own volition.

    Also how can that material say that the Watchtower has not been found guilty of any cases? You can easily disprove that.


    Sadly, a GB member will never agree to an interview. To this day I am still surprised that Geoffrey Jackson agreed to an interview...

    If a GB did agree to an interview, you could ask, “Would you personally call the Superior Authorities if it were best for the child, even if you were not required to by law and even if you, or the Organization could be affected or portrayed in a negative light?”

    Anyone can be legalistic and obey a law on the books when it is required, or the penalty for not obeying is harsh, but you would think Jesus’ brothers would put children first no matter what Caesar required.


  • Vanderhoven7

    Good point DD ...think I'll use it.

  • Finkelstein

    There are two key important elements to the problem of pedophilia in the JW religion , one being this organization stands behind an old Hebraic law which states that one cant be penalized for something if there isn't two witnesses or the person doesn't admit to the act.

    This no doubt has instigated perpetrators to exploit this law for their own means.

    Second when instances come up that require a investigation and the person doesn't admit to the act, they just let it go particularly if there is no secular law that states the supposed event must be reported to the police.

    It should also be noted that pedophilia for the longest time in the JWS religion has just been treated as just another sexual misconduct (sin) being dismissive to it being an unlawful crime in most countries.

  • Vanderhoven7

    I assumed there were quite a number of cases that the WTS lost in court and had to make large compensatory payouts. Was I mistaken?

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