PBS airs Trey Bundy’s must-see documentary on child sex abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses
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PBS has aired a damning report on Watchtower's mishandling of child abuse

PBS has aired a damning report on Watchtower’s mishandling of child abuse

Yesterday, February 16, 2015, at 6pm EST, PBS Newshour aired a stunning 9-minute expose of Watchtower’s policy of secrecy regarding pedophiles. Anyone who watched it will have been given a shocking glimpse of the magnitude of the problem of child sex abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses.

As we reported on Saturday, investigative reporter Trey Bundy of The Center for Investigative Reporting has been working for many months interviewing various sources both inside and outside the organization.

Trey has looked over thousands of documents, including letters to elders (“memos” as he calls them), verifying that this is not simply a case of a few predators infiltrating an otherwise safe and responsible organization. There IS a systemic, firmly entrenched policy of silence and secrecy mandated by the Governing Body, inspired by their “two witness rule,” prohibiting elders from going straight to the police when accusations of child molestation arise.

Now, after many months of hard work on Trey’s part, we can now see the fruits of his meticulous investigation in this stunning, no-holds-barred report.

The above video is a remarkable piece of investigative journalism, and I for one haven’t seen anything like it before.

In my opinion, this even surpasses the Dateline and BBC reports on child abuse of 2002. Why? Because Trey Bundy, with his measured, non-sensationalist tone, calmly sets about presenting unequivocal evidence of the scandal without relying on hysteria, menacing music or people weeping in front of the camera.

Trey Bundy has been investigating Jehovah's Witnesses for more than nine months

Trey Bundy has been investigating Jehovah’s Witnesses for more than nine months

 

Damning letters and court depositions are shown, victims and former elders are interviewed, and we even get a glimpse of Watchtower arrogantly defending itself in court during the final oral arguments for the Candace Conti appeal by quoting scripture at the judge.

“Religious beliefs and standards of Jehovah’s Witnesses were at play in this case from start to to finish,” protests Jim McCabe on behalf of Watchtower at the Supreme Court of California. This statement alone should help convince Jehovah’s Witnesses that this is not a case of one or two bad apples. This is a problem that goes all the way to the top.

 

 

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160 Responses to PBS airs Trey Bundy’s must-see documentary on child sex abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses

  1. Neal Krouni says:

    @Pickled brain

    Thank you. I love this website. And thank you Cedars. You are doing great work.

    @Queen Elsa

    Believe me, I empathize. My family is all Witlesses, and trying to reason with them is about as useful as trying to reason with a charging rhinoceros. Remember, you are dealing with an extremely warlike people. They do not surrender, they show no mercy, they don’t take prisoners, and they never stop. They totally believe in their cause. We are dealing with an Army of True Believers here, and there is nothing more dangerous in Nature than a True Believer. Just watch the news and see what ISIS has been up to lately. As for your gloriously deluded father, don’t get emotionally tangled up in his drama. Remember, you cannot change someone’s mind by proving them wrong! Don’t let people’s illogic, scatterbrained reasoning, backward thinking, inconsistent behavior, and outright hypocrisy, get to you. Cheers

  2. anonymous says:

    @Neal Krouni, I love all your comments and couldn’t agree more.

    @Daniel Baynes, I guess you missed the point of this article and all the other articles about the covering up of child abuse victims. The point is the COVER UP OF CHILD ABUSE VICTIMS. Did you watch that show on PBS? Did you not see all those elders saying that the abuse is covered up and those elders were all saying that the cover up is from the Society? Those elders read the letters from the Society detailing the deliberate cover-up. That is what we are fighting against here.

    And to say that the reason people pick on JW’s is because they don’t like Jehovah’s Witnesses is silly. If they really didn’t like Jehovah’s Witnesses, there would be plenty of “haters” that would have all those abusers in jail, but instead the Society seems to have pulled the wool over the court’s eyes and the people’s eyes in general who aren’t JW’s, because most of those abusers are walking the streets and knocking on people’s doors, unhindered. I only wished Jehovah’s Witnesses were hated as you say. I used to believe that bul***t when before I did my research too. You are buying lies.

    Do some research and you will realize that you are being taken advantage of by a very clever bunch of cult leaders known as the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  3. Neal Krouni says:

    Here I go again…

    Let me give you a couple examples of the Witlesses’ “peaceful”, “non-violent”,”loving” behavior:

    1. My brother, an ELDER, tried to force his way into my room while I was having a PRIVATE conversation with my sister. I literally got into a shoving match against my own bedroom door! Of course, I won. 🙂

    2. My mother (believe it or not), a regular pioneer, pulled the same inane stunt on another occasion. Of course, it was a little easier fending off her ASSAULT (just a little, mind you).

    3. Because I walked away from my mother during one of her Hitlerian tirades, she accused me of “doing the devil’s work.” LOL

    4. During a VERBAL altercation with my brother-in-law, ALSO AN ELDER, he threatened that he would “drop me” if we weren’t inside my parents home at the time. So I said OK Let’s go outside. I went outside, waited in the street for 5 minutes, then waited in the park across the street for 5 minutes. THE COWARD NEVER CAME OUT.

    P.S.: Where I live, in all cases except #3, I could have brought an ASSAULT charge. And believe me, next time I will.

  4. Neal Krouni says:

    A special message for the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses:

    “Men like you can play God all you want, but it will always be a peasant who digs your grave.”

  5. @Hakizamana. NICE QUOTE from the GB own publication .That was in 1986 when there were about 3 million publishers so about 1% got disfellowshipped. So taking that parallel of 1% then out of 8 million publishers about 80,000 get disfellowshipped each year in 12 Years… 1 million disfellowshipped! WELL DONE for being SO STUPID Watchtower! You are Alienating & Shunning at least 1 Million ANGRY & HURT people from their Families which will CREATE a VAST APOSTATE ARMY that will set up Internet Sites that will tell the Truth & will bring the GB to its knees!!

  6. anonymous says:

    @Daniel Baynes, I wanted to add to my last comment to you. You should go to Barbara Anderson’s website. She worked at Bethel in the 1990’s when thousands of letters were coming to Bethel from abuse victims and it’s been said that there are over 23,000 files that the Society is sitting on and refuses to release to the courts of known sex abuse cases in the congregations. Nobody knows how many, because the Society refuses to release those files. That might be nice for the abusers, but what about the victims of that abuse? Is that nice for them? What about the other children that are being put at risk by being in close association with these abusers and don’t know it?

    It isn’t just a few cases of sex abuse that we are talking about. It is thousands of molester and rapists who are being protected by the Society. That is made possible because the elders instruct the congregation that when a case of sex abuse is within the congregation, the Witnesses aren’t supposed to take a fellow Witness to court. They say it’s in the Bible so that is what they go by, not the laws of the land.

    It is a crime and these crimes should be reported to the police where the abuser’s name will be put in the newspapers and on a sex abuser web site so that anybody and everybody can be aware of an abuser in their midst.

    What that show did the other night was to advertise to the entire world that if a pedophile wants victims, all they have to do is become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses with millions of children at their disposal and they will be protected.

    Unless the laws step in and do something about the policies of the Watchtower in how they protect the abuser and not the abused, this will only get worse not better.

    For all anybody knows, there could be many more thousands of abuse victims out there because they never came forward to report the abuse and they think because it happened many years ago, that nobody would listen to them but you have to know that these people have suffered with the knowledge of what happened to them all that time and were never able to tell anybody about it, and if they did tell anybody about it, either wouldn’t be listened to, or reproved for talking about it now.

    I think within the Organization there are an awful lot of people who are going through that pain right now and have nobody they can talk to about it and that is not something that you should take lightly.

    Instead of being so worried about the reputation of the Organization, it would be nice if you would start having some empathy for the victims now. An organization that puts it’s reputation above the protection of it’s children is evil and should be walked away from.

  7. thebluepill says:

    @ Daniel
    The fact that people like you exist is truly frightening. To put the blame on the victim is not only absurd but hateful. Lets just say out of 100 people that say they were molested 2 are telling the truth; that is still 2 too many.
    You are right. This problem is a world wide problem with religious organizations. However, this shows that the precious and unique JW.org religion is NO DIFFERENT!
    You are not unique, ordained nor immune to the stupidity and backwards thinking that plagues religion. This points to the glaring reality witnesses face: YOU ARE NOT THE TRUTH.

  8. @Anonymous. Absolutely STUNNING REPLY to Daniel Baynes. Your Answer & comment about Child Abuse within JW & more importantly HOW the GB handle it should be posted on every Pro & Anti JW Website !!

  9. @thebluepill . I agree totally with your comment about it is FRIGHTENING the Excuses made for the GB Decisions! 7 DELUDED MEN in AMERICA! Most TRASHY IDEAS come out of Good Old USA! MacDonalds which is causing an OBESITY Epidemic over last 30 Years.Too much Fat,Salt& Sugar causing Diabetes,Heart Attacks& Strokes, KFC,Burger King & All the LOOPIEST& LUNATIC Religions. !! I Apologise to the Few Remaining Solitary Normal Souls still living in USA.Before I am GUNNED ?down for my Anti-Americansm ! I know a Lot of Good has come out of USA as well,GUNS aren’t one ,Vietnam wasn’t either,; The Americanisation of the English Language is Disgusting!! I mean LOCKDOWN & High Fives & Spelling Colour as Color & Spelling Grey as Gray & Inventing that STRANGE PHRASE ‘Governing Body’ to Describe JESUS Leaders!! We have one Leader CHRIST,not 7 TWITS in New York!!! By the way I sm not Thinking of Visiting USA in the Near Future! Can’t Stand their ‘Have a Nice Day’ oh please what’s Wrong with Good Morning or Good Afternoon ! I Love Lemonade made with Real Lemons;Cannot Stand Coca Cola with 9 Spoons of sugar per Can & full of Colouring & Additives-CANCER Causing. I Got a Little Feeling this POST might get a Mixed Response???? Football is played with 11 MEN & no Silly HELMETS & Shoulder Pads ! Who Mentioned DALLAS & Dynasty. Hello JR?

  10. Neal Krouni says:

    Check out the youtube clip Terminate with Extreme Prejudice from the film Apocalypse Now (1979). Interesting parallels.

    • Cedars says:

      Hello Neal – I’ve just had to remove several of your comments that contained hateful or abusive language. Please refer to our posting guidelines before making further comments, and be warned that future violations WILL result in you being blocked.

      You are clearly hurting from your experience with Watchtower, but making comments that are offensive and abusive to Jehovah’s Witnesses on this site doesn’t make Watchtower’s life more difficult – only easier.

      Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

  11. Neal Krouni says:

    Constitutional rights have always been tempered by Legal considerations (i.e. the fact that OTHERS have rights too). The Constitution guarantees the Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. So why do we put lawbreakers in prison? Isn’t that a violation of their right to Liberty? We have Freedom of Assembly, but mobs and riots are put down. Why? What about Freedom of Speech? Am I allowed to utter threats, slander people, lie in court? Why not? My First Amendment rights guarantee Freedom of Speech, don’t they? Can I print false stories about people in a newspaper (libel)? Why not? Freedom of the Press! So why is everyone walking on egg shells when it comes to Freedom of Religion? Does that Freedom, or any other, give an individual or organization a licence to break the Law? Anyone who’s not a total zombie would say “No!!!”
    What about the so-called “clergy-penitent” loophole? Suppose the “penitent” was a murderer, or a serial killer? Would that loophole still apply? Suppose the rape victims were the daughters and sons of U.S. Senators, or prominent businessmen, or Hollywood celebrities, or members of the First Family? Do you think our politicians and “lawmakers” would be so slack and idle in prosecuting these crimes by whatever means are at their disposal, including Use of Force? Lawsuits are great, but these cases require CRIMINAL action! One small setback though: children don’t vote.
    When the Law Enforcement Industry and the Legal System want to do something, they DO IT. There are myriads of documented cases of illegal searches and surveillance, false Police reports, false Police testimony, forced confessions, police beatings and shootings for NO REASON WHATSOEVER. And our mighty Superpower Government who defeated the Soviet Empire, invaded Afghanistan and Iraq (now into Round 3), is now telling us, “Well, sorry, this little loophole has turned us into timid little bunny rabbits, and there’s nothing we can do.” What if that database at Watchtower Headquarters in Brooklyn contained 23,000+ names and locations of suspected terrorists, perhaps linked to Al-Qaeda or ISIS?
    ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? The FBI, Department of Homeland Security, NSA, local and state cops, & SWAT teams would converge on that place like it was World War III before you could blink.
    No, if the “authorities” wanted to, they would print up a Warrant, and FBI with their SWAT teams would breach that place and seize those files and blow away anyone who got in their way.

  12. @Neale Krouni.Excellent point you make if that database of 23,000 names of JW Sex Offenders were 23,000 Racists or 23,000 Homophobes then the United states Government would Prosecute & demand their names so why can the GB get away with not Revealing the Names because of the 1st Amendment!!

  13. R. Thackeray says:

    Sounds like your angry miserable human being. On,y the devil himself would answer your prayer. Your so hateful.i guess you just can’t see how pathetic you are just like you claim Jehovah’s witnesses are

    • Neal Krouni says:

      @ R. Thackeray

      I can hardly make out your comment, but if you’re addressing me, this is my response: You cannot brainwash me with your insulting comments. My life is far from perfect, but I am usually quite happy and in good spirits. I am constantly challenging myself, taking chances, trying new things, and learning. I’ve achieved quite a bit in my life, and hope to achieve much more. I don’t need money or possessions to be happy. I have no addictions. Do you know why I’m doing so well? Simple. I live in the real world. Cheers

  14. Dblaron42 says:

    Word Neal. Beneath the facade of “everything is awesome” most jdubs are miserable.

  15. Oubliette says:

    Thanks for spreading the word about this great injustice!

  16. Wild Olive says:

    @Neal Krouni,lol I know you don’t really mean that,Isis doing the GB,I suppose we could all state after it happened that the physical welfare of the GB is not our concern only their spiritual wealfare to quote Richard Ashe,in prison it’s how you turn someone into your bitch,I wonder who would scream the loudest,my guess ToMo3.

  17. Neal Krouni says:

    @Wild Olive

    Nice one!!!

  18. Neal Krouni says:

    @Wild Olive

    P.S.: Ironic, since Prison is where some of these folks may end up. Is Guantanamo still open? 🙂

  19. Neal Krouni says:

    @Cedars

    Sorry for any inappropriate comments. I wouldn’t want to do anything that would compromise this amazing website. You’re right, being surrounded by JWs has been an incredible pain in the you-know-what, as I’m sure you can attest to. Thank you for the opportunity to share. It is actually quite therapeutic. I also hope I’ve helped others. There are many great ideas and opinions expressed on this site, not just in relation to WT, but in regards to concepts like freedom, dignity, power, individuality, and justice. Thanx again, and thanx for that hilarious prank call to WT HQ! I would LOVE to do something like that!! Cheers

  20. Neal Krouni says:

    If you-know-who should ever be convicted, I know the perfect penalty: Make him wear tight pants.

  21. Neal Krouni says:

    Judo is the “Gentle Art” of not so much trying to resist an opponent’s thrust, as redirecting and manipulating his own energy to defeat him. I try to take JWs’ negative energy and use it to defeat their Ideology.

  22. Grace says:

    Imagine if a faithful rank & file member did what Gerrit Losch did by not bothering to attend a court hearing & costing the society $13.5million dollars & contempt to court. They would have been disfellowshipped in a heart beat for putting Jehovahs name in disrepute. They’re hypocrites but no one seems to think that this is not okay because they worship him as one of the Emperors who can do no wrong.

  23. Grace says:

    Imaging if one of the faithful rank & file did what Gerrit Losch did & not show up to court costing the society $13.5 million dollars for showing contempt to court. They would be disfellowshipped in a heart beat for bringing Jehovahs (JW.ORG’s) name into disrepute. They’re hypocrites but no one questions them because they’re worshipped like Emperors.

  24. Wild Olive says:

    @ Grace spot on that’s how it’s always been,it’s the legacy of Rutherford he believed he was above everyone,have you ever read Olin Moyles letter telling the judge to get his shit straight,worth a read!

  25. Wild Olive says:

    @Neal,the problem is that if any of the GB do jail time it ends up “persecution”.
    That’s exactly what Rutherford pulled,insulted the government,insulted the major religions,he ” manufactured ” persecution against the bros & sis.
    How would you react if people stood with sandwich boards insulting what you believed in outside the Kingdom Hall,Ide call the police! I would be saying what a bunch of whackos!
    And that was called faithful witnessing?all because Rutherford said so!
    Sorry Ime ranting

  26. Neal Krouni says:

    My siblings and their spouses (all elders or elders’ wives) all go around wearing these slick black leather jackets. They all think they’re so f*****g cool. They remind me of the Nazi Gestapo. My brother-in-law drives one of those big honking tank-like SUV’s, and my brother drives a BMW. The presiding overseer of my mother’s congregation drives a BMW and has a body like Schwarzenegger’s. I’m sure he uses Steroids, just as Arnold finally admitted to doing. Aren’t they supposed to be “No part of the world”??? They go around pretending like they’re Amish or something, yet overtly and unashamedly do EVERYTHING everyone else does! How dim do they think we all are? These people are clowns. They should be running around in big floppy shoes wearing a big red ball on their noses.
    And talking about persecution, if you’re the only non-JW in a JW family, believe me, YOU become the victim of religious persecution!! What FLAMING HYPOCRITES!!! They bitch over the slightest affront to their Religious “freedom”, yet it’s perfectly acceptable for them to do it to others. Despicable!!! They try to condition my nephews and nieces to disrespect me, and one nephew feels he has the right to punch me in the testicles whenever he pleases. What would they do to that kid if he punched a JW in the testicles? If it ever happens again, I’m punching my brother-in-law in the testicles, or at least charging him with assault, or calling Child Services. They are a violent people, only such COWARDS that they get their kids, or the Legal System, or the Governments, to do their Dirty Work for them. And yet, they condemn ALL governments as the “Wild Beast” with the number 666 on its chest, and the United Nations as the scarlet-colored image of said Wild Beast.

  27. Neal Krouni says:

    I have come to learn that evil people are incapable of doing good, or of ever changing. Best results come from attacking their Ideology.

    P.S.: I wish I could invent a spray for people to use to get rid of witlesses at their door. I would make Billions! I would call it Jehovah-Be-Gone. 🙂

  28. minion says:

    @neal

    If you fall do you remain on the ground or do you get up?

    If you swim with a friend and he hits your face, do you stop swimming to reach dry land?

    Kid you not things have changed inside JW world.

    I was able to send my two sons to college. Both have good paying jobs and raising there families.

    Its about fair and balance. Its an attitude in check. If I can do it then you can do it. How bad to you want to win?

    In my KH in November – December months the members are gone to visit family or on vacation. Lowest attendance around 30, from 115 members.

    Yes, in the parking lot you will find Lexus, BMW, Toyota, and Honda cars & SUVs.

    ” We are not Frozen In Time ” we are progressive trying to keep up. .
    —————————————————————
    This is an article I found and wanted to share:

    In remarks quoted by Vatican radio Friday, Pope Francis “personally asked forgiveness for sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests.
    During a meeting with a Catholic children’s charity, Pope Francis said that he felt “compelled to personally take on all the evil” perpetrated by some priests, because “you cannot interfere with children.”

    “It is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the Church,” he said, adding that “sanctions” would be imposed on abusive clergy.

    In a response, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, issued a statement calling on the Pontiff to take decisive action against abusive clergy.

    These steps include defrocking all known child abusers; handing enforcement over to secular authorities; punishing officials who failed to report instances of abuse; and ensuring the protection of whistleblowers.

    “Actions speak louder than words,” the statement reads in part.

    Still, Friday’s comments represent a shift in the Pope’s public statements on sexual abuse within the Church. Earlier this year, following a UN report accusing the Vatican of covering up pedophilia, Francis defended the Church, saying “The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution that has moved with transparency and responsibility…And yet the church is the only one that has been attacked.”

    Quoted article.

  29. Neal Krouni says:

    @minion

    I’m not sure what your point is. I’m glad your sons went to college and are making good money, but who cares? And telling me that, in your KH parking lot, there are Lexus’s, BMW’s, and SUV’s, just confirms my point. Then you go on about the Catholic Church, how their stance on abuse is seemingly improving, yet your religion condemns all other faiths, particularly the Catholics. You seem very confused. As for your query, “How bad do you want to win?” – I’ve ALREADY won.

    P.S.: Just curious, whose “minion” are you?

  30. Neal Krouni says:

    @minion

    P.P.S.: They didn’t hit me in the face. They hit me in the nuts. I don’t think jesus ever said, “Turn the other testicle.”
    And you’re right — I did get back up; I did keep swimming, and I made it to shore. I hope you do the same.

  31. Neal Krouni says:

    With all the pedophiles, serial killers, and blind followers coming into The Lie, the Watchtower Society is beginning to look like the Manson Family.

  32. Wild Olive says:

    Really under WT law Gerrit Losch,Richard Ashe and McCabe should be facing judicial committees for the disrepute brought on Jehovah’s name,Gerrit for his 13 million dollar stuff up,the rest of them for using clergy privilege laws,because as I understood there is no clergy in Gods organization, Richard Ashe for the despicable lie he told of not having responsibilitys over the rank and file,I wonder if any elders would have the balls

  33. PaxRomana says:

    I’m truly saddened by all of this. And shocked that this predator is still a JW. All I can do is shake my head. The GB oddly shrugs this off as apostate chatter, while a known sexual predator is allowed to operate within a congregation? What’s more evil… The people exposing this, or the society enabling it while hiding behind the American constitution? Isn’t this same constitution part of Satan’s system of things, according to them? This is all very sick and twisted and my heart goes out to the victims, past and present.

  34. Miriam V says:

    Their child abuse policies are disgusting and looking back to my first 19 years of life spent as a dedicated JW this whole attitude that the JW org is not responsible for protecting children goes hand in hand with their whole view towards children. I recall all the speeches that encouraged couples to not have children as they are burdensome. Not to mention the high degree of discipline they encouraged for parents and always expecting kids to be like these robots who were only cute when they were reciting JW terms and dressing up like grown ups. Their Kingdom Halls are so unfriendly to children (remember the quiet rooms in the back of the halls with glass window for the rowdy kids?). However this just takes it to the next level. The fact that they have a database with abuse details that they don’t realease petrifies me. Hope the lawsuits keep on coming!!!

  35. ate steaks every night (Rose had his medium rare with a baked potato and iced tea) and Danny Wimprine (collectively “AntitrustPlaintiffs” or “Antitrust Class Representatives”) bring this action individually and as putativeclass So is thecase for Prasad and Hollenberg. The children are enrolled in pub-lic schools but the

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