On Tuesday, September 26, a class action suit request was filed against Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada, on behalf of child sex abuse victims in the religion, asking for a total sum of $66 million CAD. While a similar suit was filed in Quebec just recently, this suit would include all Canadian residents who were victims of child sexual abuse while they were Jehovah’s Witnesses.
This suit notes many important details that make the Watchtower liable for sexual abuse cases within the religion, including the elders wanting to delegate responsibility for reporting such abuse to adult victims or the parents of victims:
Also, there is the threat of disfellowshipping a victim for slander, if they cannot provide a witness to their abuse and the accused person does not confess:
The suit also notes the prohibition against group therapy or counseling, to protect the confidentiality of others in the congregation. There is also mention of the authority of elders, how congregants are to defer to that authority, and the opportunity that elders have to abuse their power and authority.
Note, there is no trial date set; this is just an application made for the suit to go forward. However, the filing is already hitting the news circuit in Canada, and whatever the process and outcome, the legal costs and negative publicity are bound to give the Watchtower yet another black eye.
The Watchtower has 20 days from when the suit is served on them to respond. I have downloaded the pleadings statement from the lawyer’s filings and will keep this site updated with more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, note this brief news story for confirmation, and keep fingers crossed that this suit is successful in making the Watchtower answer for their horrific practices and policies that make the religion a true paradise for pedophiles.
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