Italy: "I, repentant Jehovah's Witness" before the Office of the Prosecutor against abuses
15 Feb 2017
It must be terrible to be born and grow up in a family that educates to believe in a spiritual and supernatural vision and then, after having reached adulthood, to separate. The fact is that you have to pay higher prices if the whole family, starting with your father and mother, stays within the congregation and ostracism to the point where you are considered practically never to have existed.
This happened to Riccardo Maggi, 34 years old, today he is a tourist consultant. It came out three years ago from Jehovah's Witnesses. In the meantime he married, he has a son. He lives in Bari. He has filed a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General for alleged cases of child abuse within the congregation and presents evidence of video and audio. The father is a police sergeant who, at some point in his life, says goodbye to the gun and becomes a Jehovah's Witness, followed by his wife, Riccardo's mother. It is the year 1983. Riccardo was born and raised in a family in which from childhood are given notions about the Scriptures, continuously. "Being born into Jehovah's Witnesses means being isolated from all others who are not members of that creed. It means living in their own cultural enclosure, in the literal sense of the term. All that is abroad is called the world polluted by Satan, "he says today. Forbidden friendships outside of religious circles. Children are bombarded with cartoons with a religious background. The child is induced to go to meetings and participate in meetings, 3 times a week.
THE INTERIOR OF THE PYRAMID
Maggi rebuilds the entire interior finish of Jehovah's Witnesses. The base of the pyramid is composed of so-called publishers. They are the ones who go around the house with a bag in their hands proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom of Jehovah. They have not yet been baptized, but they are entering the association. Directly above are the ministerial servants, that is, the deacons. One step above is the body of the elderly, qualified who have exclusive access with username and password to the web page reserved for them where they receive instructions from the Bethel office in Rome. Above the body of elders is the steering committee consisting of 3 elders directly responsible for the congregation. "I had the opportunity to be part of the Board," says Riccardo. You can not preach less than 12 hours a month. "The more you preach you will sell more books and pamphlets and you will rise in the hierarchy." If you are good at selling books you will also be good at directing the congregation. The three that make up this peak is the supervisor of the service, the secretary, the coordinator. In this triad, the most powerful is the coordinator. The Steering Committee directs all elders. Above this committee is a watchful superintendent, a very powerful man directly responsible to Rome. "You are paid a salary, a car, house and food for the congregations."
Riccardo participates in many meetings. "The superintendent sits at the table and with letters in hand checks how many books are sold, income and expenses. It's an accountant. " Is not sufficient. "Each publisher must pay a minimum fee of 2.50 euros in cash. A sense of guilt is infused from the upper for which he must pay offerings to Jehovah. " So many opt to pour valuables. "I went from collecting € 400 a day for 3 times a week." So, it's € 4,800 a month. That is, € 57,600 per year. This money pays for the maintenance of the superintendent's structures and salary. "The religious congregation has in the US participation in a vehicle company; So that the superintendent is supplied with a car at no cost; After 90 thousand kilometers the car is withdrawn and re-sold, "Maggi always talking. Every year all the "witnesses" of Puglia and Basilicata meet in Bitonto. In these assemblies of elders an offer is left. "All the money raised is paid in a bank. Shortly before he left the company we voted to transfer the benefits of the previous year from Bitonto to Brooklyn. " In the USA. There is something comparable with the Vatican of Jehovah's Witnesses. "We speak to 750 thousand euros." The district superintendent responds to his superior, a superintendent of branch. This is part of a Branch Committee that is made up of 4 to 6 senior, highly experienced, Brooklyn-appointed supervisors. "In the United States it is the Masonic leaders who govern the whole world game."
I HAVE SEEN THINGS YOU DO NOT IMAGINE
For a time Riccardo moved the headquarters in Rome, the Bethel, where he works as a cook. There books and brochures are produced. A small town where Riccardo lives at age 18. "In the interior I have seen everything ... very different things than what is preached. Everything is hidden. " There are offices, premises used for printing which is now in Germany. There is a kitchen, a library. "I saw friends who had sex secretly. One of the two later hanged himself inside his Bethel lodging for shame and to avoid being ostracized. About this incident in 1983 we were forbidden to speak about it to others. " Shortly afterwards even his partner hung up in the bathroom. "Between siblings there was often an exchange of married couple inside the room. Inside Bethel, drugs and alcohol circulate. " Riccardo says: "One day I was in the locker room when the head of the organization approaches me and touches my private parts. I proposed an exchange: intercourse in exchange for a prestigious accommodation, of course, I refused. "
A young adult is attending a party with other elderly people in a villa (luxury house) in Cassano. "At some point, the young adult is isolated with an 8-year-old in the car - says Maggi - the child's mother discovers it while the young man has his pants down. When the mother asks the young man what he was naked, the answer is that he had an itch. "
Everything was recorded with a video and is now reviewed by the judge. Maggi has filed a detailed complaint in Prosecutor's Office. "The elders knew what had happened in the car. The thing was silenced. "
The Watchtower says that he who turns his back on the congregation is as if he had never existed. "I, my wife and my baby, are as dead to my parents. If I need anything and I call my parents I'm hung up the phone. If I'm in the hospital or I've had an accident and I ask my parents for help, they hang up the phone. " Today, Riccardo has stubbornly rebuilt a life. It was very difficult, but now he wants his story to move the consciences.
it;s a shame no one here took any INTEREST in this GOOD NEW FROM ITALY.
i wouldn't equate a lack of comments with a lack of interest. I often read OP's and comments and think "excellent", without adding a comment of my own.
Also, when something is country-specific, it is harder for others to add a meaningful comment. But I wouldn't take that to mean a lack of interest or support.
I read this as well and thought, oh god another case when will they end. The other religions and orgs are facing their demons but the wt sails on in penultimate arrogance saying;
- the law does not affect us,
- let Jehovah sort it out,
- we claim clergy rights,
- we don't have clergy
- we have never lost a case (while they have paid out many with gag clauses)
- any court case we will appeal, and appeal and appeal. (Thereby grinding down the victim and supporting the offender)
The gb and their 'legal office' are just like the Pharisees of old.... a Pharisee 'class'..?