Today is July 27, 2015, the first day of an investigation by the Royal Commission in Australia regarding the handling of pedophilia by Jehovah’s Witnesses in their country. During this first day alone, it was revealed that the Australian branch of this religion is known to have hidden over 1,000 reported cases of pedophilia, and has admitted to destroying records regarding these cases over the past few decades. These pedophiles were also promoted to positions of authority over others, including children. Two women also came forward to state that they were blamed for the molestation they suffered as teens because of “seducing” their rapists. One of those women was molested by her own father.
Her father. Who said that she seduced him.
Let me first give you a summation of the report:
- Jehovah’s Witnesses hid over 1,000 reports of pedophilia within their religion, dating back to the 1950s. The elders never reported these incidents to the police. Not one.
- Elders in the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses destroyed records of these incidents, so that no one would ever have access to them, specifically, their wives.
- It never occurred to elders who destroyed these records that they were committing any type of crime by destroying what might be considered criminal evidence.
- Victims of molestation were required to face their molesters in the presence of elders in order to bring their accusations forward. Accusers were allowed to freely question these ones.
- Only some 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses were disfellowshipped (excommunicated) for their molestation, with about half of them eventually being reinstated beck into the religion.
- Two women testified that they were blamed for their molestation as teenagers because of having “seduced” their molesters, including one woman whose own father accused her of being the seductress.
As a writer, I’m supposed to pick apart stories like this and give you an editorial point of view; as a blogger, I often try to give my readers something to think about when it comes to the beliefs, teachings and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“Elders in the Jehovah’s Witnesses forced a girl to confront her father who was abusing her, and who blamed her for seducing him.”
I’m all out of words.
What in the world could I possibly say about this; what needs to be said? This religion systemically and as a rule swept these abuses under the rug and even destroyed evidence of one of the most horrific crimes that can occur, with no thought of getting police involved and doing everything they could to protect other children from being hurt. Congregation elders, with no training in child psychology, criminology, or crisis counseling were left to run kangaroo courts that required persons who were still very young to sit and talk about crimes of a sexual nature in intimate detail, and to be grilled mercilessly by their molesters.
Keep in mind that this is just what was discovered in court during their first day. If there were over 1,000 cases that were revealed, how many have yet to see the light of day? Two women talked about how they were blamed for their molestation; how many other children, boys and girls, were blamed for being raped and molested? How many were just sent home to their molesters, if it was someone in the family, or told that their molester was “sorry” and so nothing would be done? Only 400 faced any type of removal from the congregation and half of those were eventually brought back, to sit in the same Kingdom Hall as their victims and other potential victims. Since none of them were reported to the police by elders, none faced jail time, registry on any type of sex offender list, or any real punishments, unless and until their victims called police, on their own. While removed from the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who is to say if they were not then molesting other children in their own neighborhoods, extended family, and the like?
As a woman who was molested as a child (in all fairness, not by a fellow Jehovah’s Witness) and who had her own mother get angry at her when she finally revealed it as an adult, I have an understanding for what these victims have been through. Being molested and abused physically is horrific enough, but being abandoned or even worse, blamed, yelled at, shown resentment, dismissed, or otherwise mentally and emotionally abused means being raped all over again. These victims will probably suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, depression, low self-esteem, relationship issues, anger issues, health problems including high blood pressure and eating disorders, as well as secondary issues such as an inability to focus and concentrate, nightmares, sleep disturbances, and agitation. All of this, not just from being molested, but from being treated like their pain and their abuse is of little consequence, and they themselves are the problem. Remember, this is from the religion that claims they build strong families based on love and that they “abhor” child abuse and are not “permissive” toward pedophiles.
This is also the religion that comes knocking on your door, recruiting for their religion. I hope your children aren’t home alone when it happens.
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