Australian Royal Commission Inquiry 2015

In Shocking Testimony, Jehovah’s Witnesses Reveal They Feel No Need to Protect a Child From a Pedophile

Today, many former Jehovah’s Witnesses are clinging to every word said during the Australian Royal Commission’s Inquiry Into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. This inquiry is right now questioning elders of Jehovah’s Witnesses and how they have handled sex abuse cases in their congregations over the past few decades.

It’s not good.

While there is much to discuss and I will be writing about it all in another post, one shocking revelation is found in a short clip which I’ll share below. An elder openly admits that Jehovah’s Witnesses, when dealing with a man (or woman) whom they know has committed an act of child molestation, if they are “not satisfied that this person will not offend again,” do virtually nothing to warn other people. No calls to the police, no warnings to parents. Nothing to protect more children from being raped and abused. Nothing.

The clip above is only two and a half minutes long but it’s worth watching. It is established first that a person has committed an act of molestation, and as brought out above, elders are “not satisfied that this person will not offend again.” It is then noted that, while they may face restrictions as to association with other Jehovah’s Witnesses, this person is free to associate with those “outside of the church.” It is outright asked:

You don’t take into consideration, do you, how people outside of the church might be kept safe from such a person?

The elder then states, almost angrily, that if “they are inside the church and a close friend, I would tell them.” It is then clarified that the elder only means, in his own words, “a close friend of mine.” When pressed for how he would take steps to protect those “outside of the church,” the elder is silent for a full 10 seconds (I counted). The question then needs to be asked of him again.

The elder tries to weasel out of it by noting that they cannot protect every child in Australia. It is suggested that they could call child protection authorities, and he is forced to admit that this is not done unless there is a legal requirement for it to be done.

So there you have it.

I have actually touched on this subject before; in this post I note how Jehovah’s Witnesses fail the community in general by not reporting suspected and even known pedophiles to the authorities. They put children in that person’s neighborhood and family at risk by allowing him or her to walk freely.

What is especially telling is that this elder openly admits that there is a need to warn others, but he only does so with “close friends.” His “close” friends and their children deserve warning, but not the children of strangers. That child who lives next door to the pedophile, who comes over to play with that person’s own child, children in a school where the pedophile might work or visit a playground where the pedophile eats his or her lunch; they don’t deserve protection. If they get raped and abused and tortured by someone who has already done the same to another child, well, that’s not the problem of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I might also suggest that other children in their own congregations don’t even deserve protection, as he says outright he would warn his “close friends.” Typically, in my experience, elders and their families stick together, with the rest of congregants being somewhat beneath them. My mother was never friends with any elders in the congregation where I was raised; would she get a warning? Was I not as important as the children of other elders?

Jehovah’s Witnesses say that they love their neighbors and this is why they go out and preach, but apparently that love doesn’t extend to doing the simplest task of warning people that a known pedophile is in their midst. They “love” you enough to want to convert you to their religion, but not enough to protect your child from the reasonable threat of being raped and abused. They also don’t seem to even “love” all the children within their own religion, as only “close friends” are warned about protecting their children from such a credible threat.

Many of us in the ex-JW community have noted how the man questioning the elders seems to have a hard time understanding their answers, and controlling his anger at the obscene lack of regard for children that is being revealed among Jehovah’s Witnesses. All I can say is, welcome to our world.

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3 replies »

  1. There’s so many things that are wrong with what you’ve said, and one is that a pedophile has “bad desires” and should receive “professional help.” Psychiatric care may be good in some cases of child molestation, but this is a crime; it’s rape, not a personality flaw. You also refer to these as “scandals.” This isn’t a scandal, but this is how Jehovah’s Witness elders are taught to handle child molestation in their organization. A scandal is an exception to the rules, whereas these elders are revealing the rules themselves. They’re also not “allegations” as this testimony is from the mouths of elders themselves and from their own printed material.

    I might also point out that you admit your contact and experiences with Jehovah’s Witnesses are limited. You met a few while in your 20s. Do you really think they would tell you about child molestation and other such horrific practices in their religion?

    Thankfully the wool seems to be falling from your eyes a bit and hopefully you’ll soon understand the full scope of how horrible this religion is when it comes to protecting children from something as vicious as child rape and molestation.

  2. I think this is terrible.
    It leaves me feeling disillusioned that such allegations are being held against Jehovah’s witnesses.
    I grew up not even knowing there is is an organization known as Jehovah’s witnesses
    as my parents used to send me to a church of England every Sunday
    (which I never enjoyed)
    it was only when I met a couple who are JW’s in my mid 20s
    that I became aware of this organization.
    call me naive,
    but I really thought that JW’s were “exceptional” in that they seem to be the only ones that help people to understand the true purpose of Christianity,
    and that they more than any other religious organization,
    never stop trying to cleanse and control their hearts and minds.
    but now I am becoming more aware of these allegations of sexual abuse being carried out by these people,
    it serves to remind me that few people if any are able to control themselves faultlessly once they become a JW.
    these scandals must make it difficult for JW’s to hold their heads up when out on the ministry.
    and it must surely make their work even harder as these scandals will inevitably
    cause some people to hold back from studying
    because how can an organization that Is so proud of the work it does in the name of Christianity,
    expect the general public to join them
    when these allegations of sexual abuse are growing evermore?
    I think The organization needs to consider its position and question whether it can continue claiming to be god’s true servants
    when allegations of sexual abuse by fellow members are rife?
    the people that have brought this scandal upon themselves and the organization
    should take a deep breath and do the right thing by leaving
    and only consider returning once they have decided to try harder to resist bad desires to abuse people.
    I personally know many witnesses that strive hard to live up to god’s standards
    and now all their hard work is being called into question all because some unfaithful people decided to give into bad desires to abuse people.
    its so sad.
    however there is room for forgiveness but only on the basis of human weaknesses
    and human traits in the sense that self control for many people is exceptionally difficult.
    and strangely enough they only realize how true that is once they try to become a christian.
    one well known human trait is to be deceitful
    and I think that that what has happened in this case.
    people who should know better
    decided to give into wrong desires
    and then kept it secret until the victim spoke out?
    the person(s) accused of these crimes should have gone to the elders and told them about their bad desires be allowed to leave to receive professional help.
    but instead they decided to ignore common sense and put their own desires ahead
    only for it to come back to haunt them.
    this should serve as a warning to other people baptized or not
    to avoid giving into bad desires.
    it is far better to suffer the torment of resistance
    rather than give in and suffer the consequences later.
    I hope that the good Witnesses will overcome the shame these scandals have brought on the organization.

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