Filing a lawsuit against Jehovah’s Witnesses for cases of child sex abuse can be very difficult, as persons outside the religion may not understand the religious structure, policies, and practices that make Jehovah’s Witnesses culpable in cases of child sex assault within their church.
Media outlets may have the same difficulty in understanding all the reasons why pedophilia is so rampant, and often so under-reported, in this religion.
To assist attorneys and media, as well as victims of child sex abuse in the religion and other advocates, we have created the handbook:
From page 1, The Purpose of This Handbook:
“This handbook has been created to help lawyers and other legal professionals better understand the challenges in dealing with the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and all other entities of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, in litigating, addressing, and treating matters of child sexual abuse. Those outside of this religion who are unfamiliar with its beliefs and practices may find that information and resources for such litigation are scarce and/or difficult to understand.
By using this handbook, we hope that those who are fighting for justice for the victims of child sex abuse within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses can better prepare their cases, and better understand those abuse victims.
Media outlets, victims, and others may also find this information helpful for compiling stories of abuse that occur within the confines of this religion.”
Included in the handbook:
A Brief Overview of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Understanding the Judicial Process of Jehovah’s Witnesses
The “Two Witness Rule”
When the Accused Moves to a New Congregation
Pedophilia as a “Sin”
Lack of Reporting
Putting Known Pedophiles in Positions of Authority
Minors “Consenting” to Sexual Conduct With Adults
October 1, 2012 letter to all elders worldwide
August 1, 2016 letter to all elders worldwide
September 1, 2017 letter to all elders worldwide
Answer to the April 2018 release, “Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Scripturally Based Position on Child Protection”
This handbook is not an exhaustive look at the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and it does not explain a person’s legal rights if they are considering litigation against the religion.
This handbook is also not meant as a legal guide or attorney referral service for victims.
Providing your attorney with this handbook in no way ensures that you will be able to file a claim against the religion.
However, if you are a victim of child sex abuse in the religion and are considering litigation against the Watchtower, providing your attorney with this handbook can help to explain many of the procedures in place that may contribute to the culpability of the religion.
This handbook can also be used worldwide, as it does not concentrate on the laws in any one local area but, rather, concentrates on the overall structure of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
This handbook is copyrighted but is meant for free downloading and distribution. It will be updated and revised as necessary.
To access the PDF download, click here:
The PDF is also available for download at this Dropbox link:
Please feel free to share the above Dropbox link via email, messaging, etc.
THE AUSTRALIAN ROYAL COMMISSION INQUIRY
The website for the Australian Royal Commission Inquiry Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Case Study 29, Jehovah’s Witnesses, July/August 2015:
The website for the Institutional Review of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Case Study 54 (their followup query, March, 2017):
Also, for your reference:
(referred to as SSCARC in our handbook above).
A PDF copy of the marked-up version of the book:
This book is a reference manual used by Jehovah’s Witness elders, and was entered as evidence during the Australian Royal Commission Inquiry, Exhibit I.D. WAT.0003.001.0001.
This “Shepherd Book” is referenced repeatedly throughout our handbook.
Additional details that were revealed during this Inquiry:
Some 1006 pedophiles were reported to be among Jehovah’s Witnesses in that country, dating back to 1950, with not one case reported to police by elders. These statistics only include the cases that were actually recorded by elders:
Elders of the religion openly admitted to not calling police or other authorities when confronted with child molestation allegations, even seeming indignant at the suggestion that they call protective services:
Child sex abuse victims were also threatened with disfellowshipping (excommunication) if they were to report their allegations to the police; from Case Study 29, Day 148, page 15291:
Elders also habitually destroyed notes of allegations; from Case Study 29, Day 147, page 15185:
Additional statements from abuse victim “BCB”:
To learn more about the Australian Royal Commission Inquiry and what was revealed during their questioning of Jehovah’s Witnesses, note this column.
THE “TWO WITNESS” RULE
Jehovah’s Witnesses adhere to a “two witness” rule when there is an accusation made against someone, demanding that there be a second witness to their conduct before elders remove that person from the congregation.
This requirement includes child sex abuse; the religion’s policies require an actual eyewitness to such abuse, or an allegation made regarding the same conduct by a second victim, before they remove an alleged molester from their congregations. Note instructions to elders, from the book, “Shepherd the Flock of God In Your Care,” referenced in this handbook and provided above:
Despite their claim that this rule is demanded in the bible, the religion does set aside this “two-witness” requirement for other accusations of misconduct:
“JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES’ SCRIPTURALLY BASED POSITION ON CHILD PROTECTION”
In April of 2018, Jehovah’s Witnesses released the short brochure, “Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Scripturally Based Position On Child Protection,” through the Legal Resources page of their website, here.
Much of the information in this brochure is demonstrably false or misleading, and an answer to this brochure is included in our handbook above.
Note, too, an explanation of this brochure and an answer to the information inside at this page.
INTERVIEWS AND NEWS STORIES REGARDING JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES AND CHILD SEX ABUSE