Recently, the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses managed by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has been found liable in a child abuse case.
What led to this is heavily based on instructions they provide in their own handbooks to the leaders (elders), which they place in charge of the congregation. The following is taken directly from “Shepherd The Flock Of God”, chapter 12 paragraph 18:
"You should immediately call the branch office for direction if you learn of an accusation of child abuse, regardless of the age of the victim now or at the time of the alleged abuse, even if it occurred before the alleged perpetrator’s baptism. The branch office will then give direction based on the circumstances involved in each situation."
Elders are directed: not to call police promptly, not to report the crime through proper legal channels as soon as possible, but to immediately call the branch office.
Consequently, this means the Watchtower Society is in full knowledge of abuse events reported and responsible for the instructions provided to their local representatives (Elders), inclusive of when the directions are to not alert the authorities that a member is molesting children.
The chain of events respecting this recent case is as follows:
-A child had previously come forward to Elders and said she was molested by a member. The matter was kept private and sealed with no action taken because there was no second witness present for that specific abuse (Per Watchtower policy).
-Another child comes forward to Elders and says she was molested by the same member; this is the second child to come forward against the accused. Yet, the Elders (Leader representatives picked by the Watchtower Society) allowed the person to remain in "good standing" before the congregation.
-The pedophile has since changed congregations, and a third child and her parents are unaware of the prior abuses as Elders instructed by the Watchtower Society's Legal Department were directed to not reveal or report anything to the authorities or anyone else. This third child ultimately became a victim to the same person and was sexually molested.
-Finally, after years have passed, the accused member was caught by authorities as being a child molester. The third child abused is the one who pressed forward, first in trying to get the Watchtower Society to change its policy, and when that failed, pursued legal action against them.
As a result of negligence by the Watchtower Society’s picked representatives (Elders), children were molested by the same member without action being taken to stop the pedophile. Furthermore, the Watchtower Society itself did nothing to report the instances to authorities.
When you know that someone is engaging in flagrant illegal activity that is causing harm to others, and you do nothing about it, you could be named as a conspirator. The conspirator here found guilty is the Watchtower Bible Tract Society.
From this one cover up alone, several children were forever scarred. This incident is not an exception either, please do the research.
Protecting the organization and assets of the Watchtower Society always comes first and abused children take no priority over it. Legally, it is wrong. More so, this moral and conscientious stance is disgusting and reprehensible.
Notice this last piece of directions on the matter from the Watchtower Society taken from page 72, paragraph 39 of the same previously mentioned publication:
"If the accused denies the accusation, the investigating elders should try to arrange a meeting with him and the accuser together. (Note: If the accusation involves child sexual abuse and the victim is currently a minor, the elders should contact the branch office before arranging a meeting with the child and the alleged abuser.) If the accuser or the accused is unwilling to meet with the elders or if the accused continues to deny the accusation of a single witness and the wrongdoing is not established, the elders will leave matters in Jehovah's hands."
You read that correctly: Elders will try to bring the abused child and the one who molested them together for a meeting, but if that doesn't work out, or the molester refuses to meet or he just needs to deny the accusation, then "leave matters in Jehovah's hands".
After all there was only one witness present (The child abused) and no one can confirm the abuse took place (As if expecting a 'real' pedophile to molest children in front of other people). This is the actual policies of Jehovah's Witnesses as enforced by the Watchtower Bible Tract Society.
The entire arrangement is utterly and completely wrong and not from a supposedly loving God or a 'one true organization' serving him. Protect the organization - That is *the* chief directive and concern. Child abuse can and will continue to thrive under such conditions and attitudes among Jehovah's Witnesses.