Australian Royal Commission Inquiry 2015

Jehovah’s Witnesses Can’t Decide If Child Molestation is a Crime, and If They Should Report It to Police

During the first day of the Royal Commission Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, an elder who had handled an accusation of sexual misconduct against another elder was asked about calling the police to report the incident. He was asked about an adult tongue-kissing a minor, fondling her breasts, and observing her in the shower, and if he thought of how such actions are considered a crime:

crime 1

crime 2

Note; the matter involved a man whose family often hosted a teenage girl from their congregation in their home for extended sleepovers, as she would visit the family’s own daughter. The instances of tongue-kissing, fondling, and watching her in the shower were never argued, but the court asked this elder if he thought for a moment that such instances were actually crimes. While he conceded that fondling her breasts may have been criminal, he “didn’t realize” that forcing yourself on a teenager so you could put your tongue in her mouth and watching her in the shower were crimes. He also didn’t even consider that police should have gotten involved in the matter.

Really, what is a crime to these elders in the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and what would involve the police? In this particular case, there was physical contact (fondling, forced kissing) and an obviously disgusting incident of in-person peeping. As the counsel brought out, this would be criminal against an adult, but how much more so against a child? The elder admits that he should have appreciated these things as crimes, but gave no consideration to reporting it to the police.

The Commission has found that 1,006 pedophiles were discovered in their congregations, dating back to 1950, and not one was reported to the police. The most obvious question is, Why not? Well, we’re given an answer later on during the day’s questioning:

crime 3

Within the first day of this hearing, an elder and then a circuit overseer, questioned in this segment above, admit that they never think to call police and that their concern was for the elder who committed these lewd acts, not the children who need protecting.

Ignorance of what is, or what is not, criminal in this case is inexcusable enough. We’re not talking about a father spanking his child; I don’t know myself if spanking is illegal in my area. However, this wasn’t an episode of corporal punishment, and we’re not even talking about someone in their own family. We’re talking about physical contact, sexual contact, and watching a visiting teenage girl in the shower. Everyone should know those behaviors are illegal and that these acts should involve the police. They should also know that if they’re not sure what is and is not a crime, if a child was being hurt or put in danger in any way, they should err on the side of caution and at least have a conversation with the police or child protection services of some sort.

The lack of common decency in not even checking with police, not asking experts to follow up, and not even asking the question of someone who would know, is also inexcusable. If Jehovah’s Witnesses, and elders especially, are this ignorant over criminal acts against children, perhaps they shouldn’t be allowed to even have children themselves, much less have them inside their own congregations.

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For your own transcripts of this case, please visit this website.

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5 replies »

  1. there are also many cases of older children sexually assaulting younger children within the watchtower sect, scaring the younger children that if they tell amyone what happened no one will believe them and that jehovah will punish them for telling. what makes an.older child viciously attack a younger child sexually and use such twisted lies to scare the victim silent? are the older children so wicked that they use jehovah to get their way, or have they themeelves been victims to older teens or adukts using same methods to assault them? sodom and gomorrah were destroyed as “from young boy to old men they wanted to have relations with Lot’s visitting angels”. it ahows that it was a sick depraved society, for all were corrupted, even the small boys who had obviously been molested and assaukred by older youths and adults. truly the watchtower society of self appointed delusional men who tell elders to look the other way when such crimes are hrought to them, and not to involve the police and litigaters in pressing charges against serial child rapists/molestees are blood guilty and no true God would ever claim.such a devious cult of greedy, delusionally self-proclaimed false prophets. Also there are up to 86 different religions that regularly use the name jehovah, such as the baptists, so watchtower sect does not have a copyright/patent on that name, they need to change their name to watchtowwr witnesses and stop disgracing YHWH/Tetragramaton.

  2. hi again Alex.
    I decided to write again but this time to after I wrote and sent my previous reply,
    I thought about the crimes you highlight on this web page,
    and it made me think the organization of JW’s.
    most people know that this organization prides itself upon being “truth bearers” who aim to release people from the vice like grip of the
    clergy who preach things contrary to the scriptures.
    but if the crimes and miscarriages of Justice on the part of the elders of JW’s
    is true,
    that obviously means that though they indeed bear the truth to the public,
    these crimes and withholding justice from those that deserve it,
    goes against Scriptural principles.
    the Scriptures make it clear how god feels about the miscarriage of Justice.
    and that judges were regularly warned not to be unjust and show favor to the rich while bearing down upon the poor.
    the purpose of that is to help people know how god expects his representatives to treat the public.
    and because JW’s are not afraid to exalt themselves as the only genuine religious organization which humbly serves the interests of God,
    it is disheartening to then hear about sexual abuse being committed by men within the organization,
    as well as Elders trying to turn justice away from the victims
    in favor of the accused and the guilty.
    and again I say that if these accusations are true
    then why didn’t these men give themselves up?
    after-all as a spiritually and morally cleansed people,
    they are obliged to set the example by holding up their hands
    and leave the organization
    instead of imitating king David who tried to escape Justice by arranging the murder of Bath Sheba’s husband.
    but when he was approached by the man appointed by god to test him and expose his crimes,
    he showed that he had a good understanding of injustice and justice
    by the way he responded to the man.
    therefore He was guilty and accountable in god’s eyes.
    however when he knew he could not fool god
    he as it were held up his hands and repented
    and though he still suffered the consequences of his wrong doings,
    god still allowed him to remain king because he could see that David wasn’t beyond repentance even though he gave way to bad and selfish desires.
    therefore that incident serves as a reminder to all that god see’s all deeds whether they be good or bad.
    but it also reminds us that god is willing to forgive as long as we admit our wrong doing and resolve to change our ways
    and not try to escape Justice at the hands of human judges.
    and since that is true
    it is clear that though JW’s often use the example of King David’s wrong doings,
    as a means of helping the public to learn from his example and avoid committing crimes against humans and being unfaithful to god,
    if the allegations against elders etc are true
    then they are not living by what they teach?
    and once that sort of thing starts to grow and becomes the norm,
    it leaves a deep stain which is hard to remove.
    even if the guilty and accused are rooted out and removed,
    it still leaves people with reason to doubt JW’s.
    however it is right to remember that JW’s are not perfect and all are tainted by sin
    and therefore liable to do wrongs even when they know better
    as in the case of King David.
    so therefore the “wounds” upon the organization of JW’s are self inflicted
    and it would be far better for them to admit their failures and earnestly try to clean up their act
    before taking the high moral stand as “bearers of the truth”
    after all once one is baptized as a JW
    they are obliged to set the example of being honest and upright people who strive to live by god’s standards despite the inherited tendency to sin.by doing so they remain clean in a relative sense and are fit to bear the good news of god’s kingdom,

  3. I have to admit that I am almost at the point where I no longer believe in what I learned during my time studying the bible with JW’s.
    I cannot express enough how disillusioned I feel.
    I look at it this way.
    god is described as a lover of Justice.
    the bible points out many instances in which god lived up to that name when he dealt with king David after he committed adultery and followed it up with having bath Sheba’s husband murdered.
    there is also the incident in which a husband and wife attempted to withhold money
    by lying to the apostle peter
    only to end up being put to death for their greed, selfishness and deceit.
    there are of course many other example recorded in the bible
    which also shows that human nature often tends towards wrongdoing followed by deceit in order to avoid being accountable and suffering due punishment.
    however god’s intervention even if by means of imperfect but faithful men,
    clearly shows that God really is a lover of Justice.
    but the same cannot be said about humans.
    the fact that grown men within the organization which bears the name of god upon its shoulders,
    clearly have a different approach to dealing with wrongdoing.
    does that mean god’s standards have fallen along with imperfect humans?
    no
    it is due to a failure on their own part to maintain the standards they are proud to say they live by.
    now to be fair and realistic
    just because a undisclosed number of people do bad things
    that does not mean the entire organization is bad.
    but it does mean that something is clearly wrong.
    it cannot be right for a religious organization which is known to be proud to claim to be the only ones doing god’s will,
    while the people being accused of wrong doing refuse to accept responsibility?
    the human conscience is hard to deceive
    because though we can device other people and claim to be innocent,
    if however our conscience says the opposite then the accused should put their hands up and leave the organization.
    because according to gods standards
    wrong doers are accountable to him and are only forgiven on the basis of repentance.
    those being accused knew what they were doing was wrong and could never be justified and therefore continuing to stay within the organization while knowing in their consciences
    they have committed crimes which are against mans laws and gods laws.

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