Jehovah’s Witnesses do not have the best track record or reputation when it comes to how they handle accusations of child rape. Below I’m going to attach an audio file of a man, I assume an elder, giving a public discourse, in which he talks about those accusations; you hear him and his audience outright laughing at those who have criticized them for how they ignore accusations of pedophilia.
The YouTube post says it’s from 2005 and refers to the speaker as “Mr. Ellwood,” but keep in mind that I have no way of verifying that information. In case the file is deleted from YouTube or here for any reason, I’ll transcribe it with my comments, removing some of the excess verbiage:
You saw this thing on television perhaps a year or so ago where somebody got all on television about child abuse and Jehovah’s Witnesses do this and blah blah blah…
Yes, he really did say “blah blah blah” when talking about child abuse and accusations of child rape in particular.
They want us to handle it like they do in the world. [“The world” refers to anything and anyone not a JW.] And the world has done some god-awful things to families. I admit that child abuse is a terrible thing, but the world in their haste and the way they handle justice, they have actually made laws against the family where they cannot come back together.
Let’s stop for a moment. The “world’s” way of handling child abuse being described as hasty? For decades, if not centuries, there was no such thing as the concept of child abuse. Parents were free to beat or whip their children, and punish or treat them any way they saw fit. Only in the past few decades have we seen child protective services and other such groups being formed, and even then they needed years to get laws on the books that obligated teachers and doctors to report suspected abuse. (See this website for more information.)
As for families not being able to come back together, these laws are typically applied only to habitual abusers and those who present a serious and tangible danger to children. This is a bad thing? Don’t get me wrong; children need discipline, yes, and parents aren’t perfect and sometimes lose their temper, yes, and I would never say that children should be removed from the home over every little incident. However, these severe cases of child abuse where parents are not allowed to have access to their children permanently may involve broken bones, burns, starvation, or sexual assault, often repeated over the course of months or years.
How do you think a child in that situation feels about a law preventing the abusive adult from coming back into the home? Chances are they may be relieved that their situation is finally addressed permanently. This speaker seems to think that a simple time-out is all that’s needed to address the problem of child abuse, and the family can then be reunited with hugs and love and all is fixed.
I have had situations where a girl just simply said, “My father touched me.” Because he was disciplining her you know, and she didn’t like the discipline … So she just went down there and just made up a story. “He touched me.” And zoom they come out there on her word and locked him up. Well now she didn’t contemplate the consequences of all that … And then when she realized what she had done and had lied about the whole thing she said, “Well you know I made a mistake, he really didn’t do these things.” And they told her, “Child you better shut up or we will lock you up.”
At this point the audience laughs. For some reason they think this is funny.
I’d like to pick apart this story, if I may. Police know they can be sued very easily, so they don’t typically just “zoom” and lock up someone, especially not based on the statement of a child. They may question someone, even detain them, but “zooming” to lock them up based on a flimsy accusation is unlikely. Threatening a child with jail time when she tries to recant her story is also very unlikely.
He goes on to say that they “did not right the wrong,” but police cannot just lock up someone and throw away the key. They need to present their case to a district attorney, and he or she decides if there is enough evidence to go forward; if not, charges are dropped and the person is released. Police usually have 48-72 hours to do this. A person also gets a bail hearing where they can ask for the charges to be dismissed due to lack of evidence, and then they get a trial where they can present any evidence on their behalf, including a child trying to recant their story.
Notice, too, that he doesn’t quote a source for this story; he doesn’t say, “CNN reported on this girl who did this…,” but says, “I have had situations…” Is he a cop, a district attorney, a lawyer? If this were true, wouldn’t he have the power to do something about this supposed false accusation? I hate to outright accuse someone of lying, but far too many parts of this story seem completely made up.
Okay well these apostates want us to go by the worldly system of things and granted, [with a chuckle] these things they have their way of being handled, but our system works for us.
Your system of handling accusations of child rape should not work for you; it should work to protect innocent children, first and foremost. The track record Jehovah’s Witnesses have when it comes to pedophiles being hidden and protected in the organization shows that it doesn’t work for anyone but the pedophiles. See the Pedophile category of this site for more information about that.
See, the body of faith says that those who are wrongdoers have to have two or three witnesses. The body of faith says that even if you don’t have the two or three witnesses, according to Matthew chapter 13, the angels are going to collect the wicked ones out who are causing stumbling …
Please see this post to understand his statement about “two or three witnesses.”
Jesus clarified that the illustration he gave in Matthew 13, about the angels collecting out the wicked ones, would be fulfilled at the “end of the system of things.” This refers to Armageddon, when Jehovah’s Witnesses believe everyone who is not a JW will be killed, and then they (JWs) will live forever in paradise. They have been predicting this since the late 1800s; they thought it would happen in 1914, then in the early 1900s, then in 1975, then before the end of the 20th century, and so on. If you’re reading this blog, it still hasn’t happened.
The point is, this speaker seems to imply that children should just tolerate being abused and raped until the end of this system. For many, that has been their entire lives.
So if you don’t want to accept the body of faith, these apostates, go leave us alone, go start your own religion. Get your own publications, get your own printing press, have your own conventions, have your own congregations, have your own field service, have your own textbook, get your own Insight book, get your pioneers, get your own circuit overseers, leave us alone.
The audience laughs and applauds at this point.
I’m sure I don’t need to explain the obscenity of this discourse, but let me do so anyway. The idea that someone needs to have their own religion before they can criticize how you hide pedophiles is stupid beyond belief. When Jerry Sandusky at Penn State University was caught raping little boys, do you think the proper response from them should have been, “Go get your own football team, go get your own university, go get your own textbooks…”?
Should this reasoning be applied to all crimes? When police go to arrest a man for murdering his business partner, should he tell them, “Hey, go get your own business, go get your own accounting, go get your own secretary. Leave me alone,”?
This speaker says that people should leave them alone; to do what, rape more children?
Defending the JW practice of requiring a second witness to a crime before taking action is one thing, but laughing out loud and applauding when talking about accusations of child rape is vulgar, immature, obscene, and inexcusable. There is nothing funny about the situation or about how Jehovah’s Witnesses sweep these accusations under the rug, and callously demand a second witness to the crime of child rape before they take action. There is nothing here to applaud.
I would like to know if this man was censured or reprimanded in any way for how he turned accusations of child rape, and a public discourse at the Kingdom Hall, into his own personal comedy routine. I would like to know if this congregation was corrected for their horrific response, or if Jehovah’s Witnesses in general find accusations of child rape to be just that hilarious.
Here is the audio file:
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