Stephen Lett slams “apostate-driven lies and dishonesties” concerning child abuse record
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Stephen Lett has slammed criticism of Watchtower's child abuse record as "lies and dishonesties"

Stephen Lett has slammed criticism of Watchtower’s child abuse record as “lies and dishonesties”

Governing Body member Stephen Lett has slammed criticism of the organization’s child abuse record as “apostate-driven lies and dishonesties” in a video released on Watchtower’s new “JW Broadcasting” website.

Lett, who recently raised eyebrows by saying there is more evidence that Jesus’ kingdom began ruling in 1914 than there is for “gravity, electricity, wind,” insisted that “Jehovah’s organization” takes action against those who would threaten its young ones, whom he says it protects.

The comments came in the final part of a 10-minute Orwellian speech in which Lett reminded bethelites to pursue “oneness” even if it meant foregoing personal rights, such as one’s right to decide on one’s own dress and grooming.

A video of Lett’s comments on child abuse can be seen below. To watch the full 10-minute talk, please click here.

In case you didn’t catch it (or couldn’t bear to watch the video) this is what Lett said…

“Another way we can contribute to the oneness: rejecting false stories that are designed to separate us from Jehovah’s organization. As an example, think about the apostate-driven lies and dishonesties that Jehovah’s organization is permissive toward pedophiles. I mean, that is ridiculous, isn’t it! If anybody takes action against someone who would threaten our young ones, and takes action to protect our young ones, it is Jehovah’s organization. We reject outright such lies.”

Aside from the fact that the above words represent a flagrant, bare-faced lie as respects the organization protecting children from pedophiles, it is noteworthy that Lett begins his rant with a straw man argument.

“Apostates” do not necessarily say that Watchtower (“Jehovah’s organization”) is permissive toward pedophiles. Though technically speaking Watchtower’s policies are permissive to some extent, saying the organization is permissive toward pedophiles implies that the organization endorses those who engage in pedophilia and/or doesn’t object to child molestation in its printed material.

Activists like myself have never denied that Watchtower publications strenuously condemn child molestation and those who engage in it. What we are horrified about is the fact that, despite outwardly condemning pedophilia, Watchtower effectively shelters pedophiles by allowing allegations against them to go unreported to the authorities if there is no witness to their heinous crimes.

Rather than this being an “apostate-driven lie” this is a sad truth, as borne out by (1) Watchtower’s own instructions to elders (which urge them to “leave matters in Jehovah’s hands” if an accused pedophile denies the accusation – see below) and (2) the numerous legal battles Watchtower finds itself embroiled in due to this very policy.

leave-the-matter-in-JehovahAnd as I point out in my video rebuttal to Lett’s remarks, investigative journalists like Trey Bundy (who has blown wide open the story of Watchtower’s mishandling of child abuse in recent weeks) are not “apostates” at all, and would not be foolish enough to put their careers on the line by reporting stories that cannot be substantiated.

What we have in this frantic rant is a seemingly desperate attempt at stemming the flow of bad publicity by flat-out lying about Watchtower’s involvement in protecting pedophiles. The fact that “Jehovah’s organization” would rather default on a $13.5 million judgment than release its pedophile database in response to a subpoena, as Trey revealed in a Huffington Post interview, says everything about their priorities. Secrecy comes first, safety of children – a poor second.

It will be interesting to see whether floundering tirades and flat-out denials by Governing Body members regarding child abuse become more of a feature of Watchtower propaganda over the coming months as the media begins to really turn the screws.

After all, when you make yourself so visible to your adoring followers, only for your dirty secrets to be exposed on the evening news, sooner or later they will expect answers.

 

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174 Responses to Stephen Lett slams “apostate-driven lies and dishonesties” concerning child abuse record

  1. minion says:

    Do you see similarities ?

    WT. vs. Vatican

    1.) Leadership. 7 men. Pope Francis

    2.) Members. 20 million. 1.3 billion

    3.) Answers to: no one. no one

    4.) Rulership. Hierarchy. Hierarchy

    5.). Child protection: 2 witness rule. Don’t ask – Don’t tell

    6.). Protects predators: yes. yes

    7.) Protects children: no. no

    8.). Cases – claims: 100+. 1000+

    9.). Prefers to settle: yes. yes

    10.). Media coverage: yes. yes

    11.). Investigation: to be determine. yes

    12.). Effects after investigation: TBD. Pope Benedict resign

    WT may now recognize the fuse has been lit and pray they don’t get investigated.

  2. Neal Krouni says:

    @ Excelsior!

    You must not have read my comments very carefully. First of all, I did not belittle science. I agree, we owe so much to brilliant men and women who have made our lives physically easier, and given us a greater understanding of our world and the universe. But there’s a difference between science and pseudoscience, that is, science that is skewed, or tainted by preconceived biases and opinions. Science must be pure and objective. Secondly, I totally agree with you on the point of Free Will. In fact, if you reread my comments more carefully, you’ll see that was my whole point. My argument was that pedophiles are NOT genetically predisposed to be pedophiles. I don’t know how you could have misinterpreted that. I said in black-and-white that pedophiles are evil, but have the capacity (Free Will) to change if they truly desire to. Lastly, it’s hard to believe you’ve never heard the term “New World Order”. People have been kicking that phrase around since the days of George Bush, Sr. In fact, it was President Bush (Sr.) who coined that phrase about 25 years ago. It is now generally used in a negative sense, to connote authoritarian, fascist-like global government, police state, an Orwellian “1984”-ish society. I have no desire to live in such a world either.

    Live long and prosper

  3. Neal Krouni says:

    @ Pickled brain

    @ Excelsior!

    I’m not too keen on Capital Punishment myself, but in this case I’m willing to make an exception. 😉

  4. anonymous says:

    @Neal Krouni, I am looking at your reply to Excelsior and I don’t think you understand the mentality of a pedophile. They do have the free will not to “act” on their fantasies but that is who they are attracted to, is children. It does seem to be in their genetic make-up.

    That is why the elders can’t ever trust a person who has ever, even once, sexually abused a child. That means that that is the way they think. Most can control themselves around children, but all of their life, it will be a struggle for them not to harm a child.

    There have been many studies done to find out what makes these people think like that, but they don’t really know.

    Once a pedophile abuses even one child, that man (almost always men) has demonstrated that he is a pedophile and if they do it again, will, lots of times be put in jail for the rest of their lives or put in mental institutions because it’s incurable.

    15% of pedophiles, when they are caught and let out on bail, commit suicide. That is how much of a stigma it is to them once they get caught. They will lose their jobs, their families and everything in their lives that was precious to them, so to get caught is the worst thing in the world for them and they know it when they are committing the crime and so that is why they will lie, every time and not admit what they have done. But they are a danger to children for their whole life, whether they get caught or not just by the way they think.

  5. Excelsior! says:

    Neal,

    Thank you for your clarification of your comments.

    To imply that I cannot read properly is very insulting. I am dyslexic, and I do not appreciate having my reading comprehension questioned. I can read and understand perfectly well, thank you.

    Here is your quote:

    “Our global society…including these “scientists” with their “research” strives to eject God, ethics, accountability, even the concepts of good and evil, from the human mind”

    Do you have any “research” of your own to counter the views of these “scientists”? If you do, I would be very interested in reading it.

    The science of genetics, sociology and psychology have enabled us to understand what was previously the sole property of religion. People who had mental health issues were diagnosed as suffering from demon possession. Do you have evidence that demons do indeed exist?

    You can belittle scientific research if you want to. You are entitled to your opinion. You have no evidence to back up your claims. You are doing exactly what you accuse scientists of – providing an opinion with no evidence to back it up.

    I do not believe in God. If you have proof that he exists, again, I would love to read your “research”.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  6. anonymous says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zJfPBjvTsgc

    Another really good video about how dangerous pedophiles are and how devious.

  7. Anonymouth says:

    Attitudes are changing here in the US to more closely harmonize with Europe and the rest of the world so that in my State the age of consent is now 16 and in another State it is similar and if she already has a child there is no age of consent etc.
    However, rape will always be rape and abuse will always be abuse and especially at the hands of animals such as these!

  8. Searcher says:

    Anyone for capital punishment better hope that they or their loved ones aren’t falsely accused and convicted of a crime they didn’t commit. It’s permanent! You cannot dig someone up and say, “Oops! Sorry! We made a mistake. DNA just proved it.” Sometimes I think if I were in prison for life without hope for parole would be worse than someone chopping my head off. From what I’m told, a pedophile in prison gets treated pretty “hard” (if you know what I mean) in the joint. Good enough for ’em!

    Now, back to the subject: I think it’s funny how the animatronic Lett just went out of his way to put that tidbit of pedophilia denial into his ‘talk’. Kind of like a tornado going out of its way to hit a mobile home park. Oh boy. How obvious.

    I’m very sad that the child abuse or adult sexual abuse has happened to anyone anywhere, but the good that may come out of this dark cloud could be the end or neutering of this destructive cult.

  9. Jeff Barnett says:

    I am quite amazed that this kind of “religious freedom” is allowed by legislatures around the world. It seems that religion has been given a different set of rules when it comes to knowledge that someone may have committed a crime. Jehovah’s Witnesses are not alone in their ridicule and distrust of outside authorities. They are also not alone in making the pronouncement that they alone are God’s mouthpiece, which is probably why they, and other self pronounced mouthpieces of God, seem to have issues with obeying the laws of the land if they conflict with their self proclaimed mandates. In short, according to the WBTS, no one can be successfully accused/convicted without two witnesses. The local authorities will not be contacted about any accusation (admitted or denied) unless they are specifically mandated by the State and meet the two witness rule (Please correct me if the above synopsis is incorrect but I think this covers the general idea of the mandates by the governing body to local congregation elders).

    That being said, I have read many articles about the sexual abuse cases against the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society and never have I heard any contrasting examples to bring home what I believe is a fundamental flaw in our laws regarding religious freedom. So here is a scenario that I think should open the eyes of our lawmakers regarding “religious freedom”:

    Brother John is an elder at the local Jehovah’s Witness Congregation and is genuinely loved by all of the local witnesses that attend the congregation where he serves as one of the elders. One Sunday morning, one of the elders receives a telephone call from Brother John’s wife, Sister Mary. She tells the Elder that her husband has been missing since the day before and she is worried sick. The Elder immediately calls the body of elders together and after discussing this unusual situation, decides to make the announcement that day at the Sunday meeting that Brother John is missing. The congregation is in shock and very worried for Brother John. After the meeting, Sister Theresa walks up to one of the elders and says, “I need to speak with you about Brother John”. The elder is startled a bit but is glad to know that someone might have information about where Brother John is. He rushes to round the rest of the elders up for an emergency meeting with Sister Theresa. Once inside the back office with the elders, Sister Theresa is noticeably nervous. The elders have prayer first and then ask Sister Theresa what she knows about Brother John. Sister Theresa explains to the body of local elders that Brother John was murdered yesterday and that she witnessed it. The elders are stunned by this horrible news. One of the elders asks the obvious question, who murdered our beloved brother? Sister Theresa said that Brother John came over to the house to speak with her husband, Brother Steve. Brother Steve has been missing meetings and not going out in the field service so Brother John decided to make a visit and see if he could encourage Brother Steve. Well, the meeting did not go well and in fact it turned into a very heated argument and then a fist fight. Sister Theresa said she witnessed her husband picking up a crystal vase and smashing Brother John over the head numerous times until he was dead. One of the elders asks if Brother John’s body is still at the house. Sister Theresa continues, my husband made me promise not to tell anyone and that he would harm me if I told anyone. After cleaning up the house, Brother Steve wraps the body up in plastic and leaves the house, returning several hours later.

    After hearing this most incredible story, the elders decide to immediately contact Brother Steve to ask him about his involvement in the murder of Brother John. Brother Steve adamantly denies the accusation by his wife. The elders immediately contact the legal department of WBTS with all of the details regarding this horrific matter. The legal department sends the elders the position they must take which states, the investigating elders should try to arrange a meeting with the accused and accuser together. 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. The case is officially closed unless another witness comes forward. Sister Theresa is told to leave the matter in Jehovah’s hands, do not share this account of murder with anyone and go back home. The legal authorities are not contacted regarding a person who claims they witnessed a murder.

    So the question is: are religious organizations free to operate with mandates by their leaders that would interfere with a complaint by a citizen or investigation regarding a murder, rape, robbery, molestation, any violation against a minor….? How any human being could see this kind of behavior as Godly is beyond my ability to comprehend.

    The end game is obvious, at least to me, and that is religious freedom must be fundamentally changed. If you want to operate under the cloak of non-profit, tax free and independent organization from the rest of the world, you must follow the law and the law should clearly state that any organization (religious, private corporation, public corporation,,,,) that becomes aware of any allegation of a crime (particularly felonies) by its members, employees or associates MUST contact legal authorities the day it becomes known to them. I don’t care what you think your bible, Koran or comic book tells you about how to deal with legal matters, you will follow these laws or you will be shut down and spend significant time in a prison cell.

    Freedom, religious or personal, is not free. There are rules to abide, basic fundamental rules of humanity. Religion has been given too much freedom. I will defend anyone’s right to believe and practice their spiritual beliefs, as long as it does not interfere with the laws and rights of the people that allow them to exist and most importantly, cause harm to an innocent child.

    There should be a loud call to all legislatures across the globe to fundamentally change the legal reporting requirements of all organizations. No longer should they be able to operate under the veil of religious freedom as it currently stands. And we wonder why people say, religion poisons everything; because it does! And we have us, the people who allow these twisted individuals to operate freely to blame. Shame on the WBTS but most of all, shame on us for allowing this kind of nonsense to go on.

    Jeff Barnett

  10. anonymous says:

    Jeff, what a wonderful comment! I was thinking the same thing. Where are the lawmakers? It should be mandatory that anybody who knows of or suspects a child is being abused, has to report it to the authorities to protect the child. Nobody should be let off if they know of abuse or even suspect abuse of a child. They wouldn’t let off a murderer, so why do they let off child abusers. It’s like children aren’t important to them.

    Yesterday I saw a video about a crack down on pedophiles in England and this one guy was caught and he allowed the cameras into his house and he sat there and denied sodomizing children to the cameras but they found incriminating evidence against him anyway and booked him at the police station. They found videos where he was sodomizing a 4 year old and it had been recent. They let the guy out on bail and the next day somebody found him dead. He had gassed himself in his car.

    The police officer that talked to the camera said point blank, that he didn’t have any pity for him and the guy got what he deserved because of what he saw on the video of the guy sodomizing a 4 year old.

    Most people who see videos of these people doing stuff like that and even to 4 month old babies, have no pity for them if they end up in prison and the other prisoners kill them or they commit suicide.

    Yes it is a disease of the mind but they can control themselves and they don’t. They deserve no protection from the authorities.

    I saw a video this morning and most people feel in the state of Texas, (where the little girl had been killed by a pedophile) that when an animal like that hurts a child, that they deserve death and I agree.

    If the penalty for hurting a child was death, it would put a scare into these people and it would come to an end over night.

    But as it is, there are countries, where they allow very young children to be used as prostitutes. On one video I saw, it said that there is an airline that actually puts advertisements in it’s planes that show people where they can go for child prostitutes! So, what these people do is, if they can’t entice children in their own country into this crime, they will travel to countries where it is legal to hurt children like that and then sell those pictures on the internet and in pedophile clubs. Some of these people get away with this for years before getting caught. They tell themselves in their mind that the child likes it, even while they are killing the child while they are raping the child.

    The more you look into it, the worse it is. The one thing that I will never understand and that is how in the world, could an organization such as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society who claims to be run by God could, using the 1st amendment of freedom of religion, use that to protect people like that???

    Either the Governing Body is closing their eyes to the evidence against these people and the Watchtower or they don’t care.

    Eric on JWstruggle thinks that the Governing Body are having their strings pulled by a larger entity and I wonder that myself. They don’t seem human in their thinking at all to me. They seem uncaring and unconcerned about the children who have been hurt and are only trying to protect their own rear ends.

    • Neal Krouni says:

      @ anonymous

      Very interesting comments. Yes, believe it or not, even the Taliban engage in pedophilia. I saw a documentary on YouTube.
      I have often wondered if there are higher powers behind the Watchtower Society. I mean, even the Catholic Church didn’t have the power to hold back the flood of Media exposure regarding child abuse in their organization. I am mystified as to how the WTS has been able to remain “under the radar” for so long. The atrocities of the Catholic Church in this regard became common knowledge, but the average Joe or Jane on the street is still quite ignorant of the crimes in the WT organization. Why is that? Your guess is as good as mine. Could there really be someone else, behind the scenes, pulling the strings, so that even our governments are afraid to act (I mean, besides satan).

  11. minion says:

    @ Bro.Cedars,

    Your message is reaching the masses, I will share info from Alexa.com on your web site.

    Global Rank 436,792

    Rank in United States 132,796

    How engaged are visitors to jwsurvey.org?

    Bounce rate: 58.30%+

    Daily Page views per visitor: 2.10+

    Daily Time on Site: 4:51+

    Country major Visitors percentile: United States 71.8%

    At this rate you will surpass the WT web site. You Go Boy !

    Keep up the fine work !

  12. Excelsior! says:

    Neal,

    If we apply Occam’s Razor to the issue of why the WTBTS have, until recently, not been called to account for their paedophilia problem, the answer is obvious.

    The Catholic Church has existed for thousands of years. It has millions upon millions of adherents, far, far more than the pitiful number of JWs.

    The WTBTS is a cult. It controlled, until the Internet age, the narrative of what it was and what it did.

    It is possible that the true owners of this property empire have contacts in the media, but that is mere speculation.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  13. Excelsior! says:

    Anonymous,

    Thank you, dear Lady, for your recent comments. They have been, as ever, pertinent and informative.

    There is no evidence to suggest that the death penalty has any check on behaviour.

    The prisoners on death row reside there for many, many years before they are executed. This costs the same amount of money as a custodial sentence.

    There is also the possibility of a wrongful conviction, with no possibility to free the prisoner because they are dead.

    Paedophiles and other disgusting rapists are not treated well by their fellow prisoners. They are hated by them.

    I respect the right of others to disagree with me. There are arguments for capital punishment, and it is up to democracies to decide what form their legal system will follow.

    Thanks for all your comments, and your presence here. You are a great boon to us all.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  14. Jerry O Connor says:

    Hello to all.
    Who is going to protect children from watchtower`s pedophiles?This extremely evil cult is a blight on humanity and one of man`s darkest chapters. Child rape is not a genetic defect.It is a choice and therefore all the more heinous. Hardened criminals will kill pedophiles in prison if given the chance. Yet here we have Lett trying to deflect the spotlight from watchtower because of recent child rape cases. Is he worried about the victims? Hell no! We can only highlight the myriad abuses by watchtower and hope public opinion will lead to its inevitable demise.

  15. anonymous says:

    @Jerry O Connor and Excelsior, I watched Sam Vaknin’s video again this morning called: Pedophile Narcissist: Narcissism, Pedepophilia and Hebephilia and according to what he said in that video, Jerry, you are right in that Mr. Vaknin said it isn’t in their genetic make-up. From some of the other videos I had seen, some say it is in their genetic make-up but according to Mr. Vaknin, all pedophiles are born normal but somewhere along the line they become pedophiles in their thinking and urges, but they still aren’t considered a pedophile until they offend.

    They do have a choice but once they act on their fantasies, they become very addicted to it and the more they do it, the harder it is to stop and they rationalize to themselves that the victim is enjoying it even when it is violent. They even blame the victim sometimes and view the victim as dirty and disgusting sometimes to the point of killing the child for being so “dirty”. It is as sordid as a crime as can be described.

    Excelsior, when these people make video tapes of themselves raping and sodomizing babies as little as 4 months up to 8 or 9 years old and these babies and older children are screaming in pain, these people believe in their minds that these babies are enjoying the experience. They are nothing but animals.

    If these people are let out of prison, they are most likely to offend again and so the only alternative is to imprison them for the rest of their lives or put them in mental institutions because it isn’t curable.

    The reason I believe in the death penalty is because they do have a choice of what they do and they don’t care. They don’t care about the victims at all. They have no conscience. I do believe in the death penalty when there is video evidence of what they did to the child. I don’t have any pity for them and I’d be glad to pull the lever because they do have a choice in what they do. They know it’s wrong when they are doing it and they don’t care at all about the victim.

    You are right. It costs a lot more in the United States to keep these people on death row. My thought is to do it quickly. I know it may not be a deterrent, but to me it’s what I’d want if it was my child that a monster did that to my child, if I couldn’t take a gun and kill them myself.

    In my state, about 23 years ago, a guy by the name of David Spanbauer got out of prison and went to murdering 3 people including 2 little children in my state so that they would put him back in prison again so he wouldn’t have to get a job and he’d be taken care of for the rest of his life. From what I had remembered it was 4 children but I googled it now and Google said 3 people including 2 children. In my state, they don’t have the death sentence. I don’t remember for sure, but it seems like he had been in prison the first time for killing a child and let out because they thought he was too old to do it again.

    Remember ever hearing of the serial killer by the name of Ed Gein? He is the one that Psycho was made after because of all the people he killed and ate. Also, remember Jeffry Dahmer? He killed 17 men and boys and ate them and was killed in prison. All these people came from my State. These men might have done the same thing in other states but other states would have at least put him on death row and not let him out to do it again.

    The one that got me the most was Spanbauer because he killed a 7 year old girl in my little home town and what for? So they’d put him back in prison again so he wouldn’t have to get a job.

    I really don’t see how you can not believe in the death penalty for what some of these people do. They do have a choice. They hide what they do. They don’t do it in public.

    We will have to agree to disagree on this one. Peace be with you too.

  16. minion says:

    I hope brother Lett, recalls this report from MSNBC.com 2007.

    You just can’t ignore the elephant in the room, can you?

    I quote:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses Settle 9 Lawsuits Over Men who Sexually Abused Children
    NBC ^ | November 21, 2007 | Lisa Myers
    Posted on 11/22/2007, 11:57:57 AM by hawkaw

    Frederick McLean is one of the most-wanted fugitives in the United States, charged with 17 counts of child sexual abuse in California. Law enforcement sources say that when a victim’s family confronted McLean in 2004, he allegedly confessed. But before he could be arrested, McLean fled.

    Snip

    His role in the church also became a matter of legal controversy. Last year, some victims’ families filed suit against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, alleging that both McLean’s local congregation and the church’s national headquarters, the Watchtower Society, “knew, or should have known, that Frederick McLean was a pedophile.”

    Snip

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses recently agreed to pay to settle that lawsuit and eight other similar cases, without admitting wrongdoing. The cases all involved men the church allegedly knew had sexually abused children.

    Snip

    Internal records now coming to light from the settled lawsuits may help explain why the church agreed to settle the cases. Documents show that the church knew for years that some prominent members were sexually abusing children and did little. Church officials allegedly became aware of several of the cases in question through what amount to internal judicial proceedings, at which local elders confronted suspected abusers, obtained confessions, then meted out punishments

    Snip

    The court filings include a church form called a Child Abuse Telememo. “Just thinking that they had a memo made up, printed up that says ‘Child Abuse Telememo,’” Anderson says, “indicates to me that they were handling this a lot. Because why make up a form for it?” … In reporting states, the form instructs officials to advise local elders “to make an anonymous phone report from a neutral location, such as a phone booth.”

    Snip

    Read the whole story Here

    (Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com …

    TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events

  17. Neal Krouni says:

    @ anonymous

    I’m no lawyer, and of course, laws vary from region to region, but in my area it’s called Duty of Care – the legal obligation to help someone in trouble. I also remember the term Criminal Negligence (akin to a sin of omission), which is the CRIME of NOT helping someone in trouble.
    P.S.: Your State sounds like a scary place. Is that Wisconsin, I believe Dahmer was from Milwaukee?

  18. minion says:

    For those doubters, unbelievers and in denial if this is a real arguement, this is a must read article from the New York Times 2002.

    Ousted Members Say Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Policy on Abuse Hides Offenses
    By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
    Published: August 11, 2002

    William Bowen always considered himself a devout Jehovah’s Witness. As a child, he felt it was his duty to go door to door passing out the church’s magazine, The Watchtower. Later, as an elder in his Kentucky congregation, he said he saw it as his duty to inform church officials that a fellow elder had abused a child.

    But when Mr. Bowen contacted the church’s headquarters in Brooklyn, he says, he was rebuffed. Frustrated by the church’s inaction and by its confidentiality provisions, which he said prevented him from sharing the information with others, Mr. Bowen resigned as an elder in December 2000. A year later, he started a group to monitor child sexual abuse in the church.

    Late last month, Mr. Bowen, 44, was excommunicated from the church. Behind a locked door, with plastic bags taped over the windows to ward off onlookers, he said, three church elders meeting at the church’s Kingdom Hall in Draffenville, Ky., found him guilty of ”causing divisions.”

    The punishment was ”disfellowshiping” — complete shunning.

    In the past three months, four other people have been expelled from the Jehovah’s Witnesses after accusing it of covering up the sexual abuse of children by its members. For Mr. Bowen and other critics of church policies on sexual abuse, the expulsions are part of a concerted effort to keep such abuses quiet.

    Expelled Witnesses say the church’s own policies and culture conspire to conceal abuse. A panel of church elders, all men, meets in secret to decide each case, a procedure which critics say prevents members from knowing there is an abuser in their midst. To prove an accusation, a child must have a witness to the incident, a condition that is usually impossible to meet.

    ”This is evidence for the world to see how the Jehovah’s Witnesses treat abuse survivors and those who try to protect them,” said Mr. Bowen. ”They silence them with the threat of disfellowshiping.”

    J. R. Brown, director of the public information office at church headquarters, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, in Brooklyn, said the church had exemplary policies for handling sexual abuse, which were based on biblical standards and had been widely published in church magazines.

    ”We’re not trying to say we handled everybody in the right way and our elders are all-knowing, all perfect,” said Mr. Brown, who declined as a matter of policy to comment on individual cases, including Mr. Bowen’s. ”But we say, if you take what our policy is for keeping our organization clean morally, it far outpaces anybody else’s.”

    While the Roman Catholic Church has been engulfed in its own sexual abuse scandal, the same issue is beginning to plague the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a denomination that claims one million members in the United States and six million worldwide.

    But the shape of the scandal is far different than in the Catholic church, where most of the people accused of abuse are priests and a vast majority of the victims were boys and young men. In the Jehovah’s Witnesses, where congregations are often collections of extended families and church elders are chosen from among the laypeople, some of those accused are elders, but most are congregation members. The victims who have stepped forward are mostly girls and young women, and many accusations involve incest.

    The scope of abuse in the Jehovah’s Witnesses is a matter of considerable debate. The church has recently been sued by eight plaintiffs in four lawsuits alleging abuse, one filed in July in Minnesota. Mr. Bowen says that his victims support group, ”silentlambs,” has collected reports from more than 5,000 Witnesses contending that the church mishandled child sexual abuse.

    The church keeps a database of members and associates who have been accused or found guilty of child abuse. Mr. Bowen said church sources had told him the database contained the names of more than 23,000 people in the United States, Canada and Europe. The church says the number is ”considerably lower,” but will not say what it is.

    Partial quote from The New York Times 2002.

    The fuse is lit.

  19. minion says:

    This is a partial quote from Trey Bundy’s written article, just amazing. This is without a shawdow of a doubt and conclusive evidence this is a serious, serious problem within WT.

    Increasing claims of cover-ups inside Watchtower

    They come to your door, but how much do you really know about Jehovah’s Witnesses? We show you some surprising stuff (you probably didn’t know) about the worldwide religion.

    In the last few years, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been hit with an increasing barrage of lawsuits claiming the organization has covered up child sexual abuse.

    A pair of sisters in Vermont filed a suit in September claiming that a member of their congregation molested them when they were as young as 4. When they reported the abuse to the elders in the congregation, they said, they were called liars.

    The next month in Dallas, five women and one man filed a joint lawsuit alleging that an elder in their congregation sexually abused them while they were all younger than 13.

    In Oregon in December, two former Witnesses sued the Watchtower and a local congregation, claiming the defendants kept silent after learning that an elder had sexually abused them when they were in grade school.

    Since 2012, attorneys have filed more than a dozen similar suits against the Watchtower in Connecticut, Florida, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma and other states.

    The Watchtower’s frequent defense – that such cases violate protections under the free exercise clause of the First Amendment – has led to the dismissal of several lawsuits. Watchtower lawyers argue that judicial questioning of the spiritual beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses would trample the organization’s religious freedoms.

    In a recent court hearing in California, Jehovah’s Witnesses lawyer James McCabe argued that “the religious beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses were at play in this case from start to finish.”

    At the heart of this issue are the Watchtower’s own child abuse policy memos.

    Each memo has been addressed to “all bodies of elders” and bears the letterhead of either the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society or the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Those are the primary corporations used by the organization to administer spiritual guidance, create and disseminate policy, oversee the writing and publication of literature, and manage the organization’s vast real estate holdings.

    “Often the peace, unity, and spiritual well-being of the congregation are at stake,” a 1989 Watchtower memo reads. “Improper use of the tongue by an elder can result in serious legal problems for the individual, the congregation, and even the Society.”

    The letter goes on to warn that breaches of confidentiality may lead to costly lawsuits and prosecutions.

    “Worldly persons are quick to resort to lawsuits if they feel their ‘rights’ have been violated,” according to the document. “Substantial monetary damages could be assessed against the elders or congregation. In some cases where the authorities are involved, certain complications could lead to a fine or imprisonment.”

    Subsequent memos reinforced the Watchtower’s policies, culminating in a 1997 letter that directed elders to report all known or suspected child sexual abusers – past, present and future – to the organization’s New York headquarters. This memo appears to be the foundation of the database referenced in Jose Lopez’s case.

    The memo lists 11 questions that must be answered in each case, including the name of the perpetrator, age of the victim and how many times the abuse occurred. Other questions appear to be designed to gauge the perpetrator’s risk of exposure: “How is he viewed in the community and by the authorities? Has he lived down any notoriety in the community? Are members of the congregation aware of what took place?”

    In the Lopez trial, the Watchtower refused to provide its list of perpetrators, in violation of an order upheld by the California Supreme Court. It also refused to provide the longest-serving member of the Governing Body, Gerrit Lösch, who was subpoenaed.

    As a result, San Diego Superior Court Judge Joan Lewis disqualified the Watchtower’s defense.

    “Watchtower’s actions or omissions were ‘reprehensible.’ I think ‘disgraceful’ may be synonymous with ‘reprehensible,’ but I think ‘disgraceful’ doesn’t say enough about it,” Lewis wrote in her decision.

    “The award of punitive damages against them will hopefully send a message to Watchtower and its managing agents, the governing body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, that their handling of sex abuse cases within their congregation was absolutely reckless.”

    Her $13.5 million verdict was based solely on Lopez’s evidence and testimony.

    “They fight every request for documents, every subpoena,” said attorney Irwin Zalkin. “They’ll take a hit not to produce what they know.”

    “Not every individual who has sexually abused a child in the past is considered a ‘predator.’ The (Watchtower), not the local body of elders, determines whether an individual who has sexually abused children in the past will be considered a ‘predator.’ ”
    — 2012 Watchtower memo.

    Amazing, just amazing.

  20. MyBirthRight says:

    Stephen looks like right before filming this he just ate a big heaping bowl of “Ped-o-Pops cereal” for breakfast, the un-balanced daily nutrition that’s deceptively delicious to the GB that can’t start a day at Bethel without it I guess.
    Creepy lying snakes, These child abuse protectors care nothing, about people like me that were molested and cared nothing about us having to see our “repentant” abusers at assemblies, halls etc.

  21. anonymous says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=5Iq7dxOLx9A

    Marc and Cora Latham’s most wonderful video on the Watchtower’s advice about raping children in the Young People Ask book.

  22. anonymous says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4xNJVboEy84

    This has to be one of the best documentaries you will ever see about the rise of pedophilia you will ever see and it only has 900 views. It is almost 3 hours long but it well worth the time to watch it.

  23. ScotWm says:

    It appears that the judgment for the plaintiff in one California case against the Watchtower Society — Candace Conti of Fremont ($21 million) — is currently under appeal and no money has changed hands.

    The Watchtower Society has lodged an appeal to the Conte case with four main arguments:

    1. Where the WBTS (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society) already knows of a sexual offender, the WBTS does not have a duty to warn any of the members in the congregation about this individual.

    2. The WBTS argues that other agencies (the police and Candace’s parents) should share the cost of damages.

    3. Religious bodies should not be made to disclose confidentialities, even where a crime has been committed and revealed, as this would contravene the First Amendment.

    4. That (Jonathan) Kendrick was not convicted of sexual abuse in a court. Therefore, had the Watchtower made public his deviation, they would have violated his right to privacy.

    In addition, the Watchtower Society argues that there was no evidence of malice and therefore the damages were unjust and should be reduced. (What they are claiming is that Kendrick’s sexual advances were not done with intent to commit an unlawful act or cause harm to Miss Conte.)

    The Watchtower Society further argues that “field service” is not a required activity:

    “It is a personal ministry, not a required congregation function or activity” and “It is a personal ministry motivated by love of God and neighbor, and is not done on behalf of Watchtower or any congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

    This ridiculous “personal ministry” argument seeks to minimize the Watchtower Society’s culpability in this case by claiming that the Fremont congregation’s field service activity is not mandated by the Watchtower Society. (It was during field service activity that Kendrick sexually abused Miss Conte.)

    It remains to be seen just how long the Watchtower Society can delay the day of reckoning in this case.

    aawa.co/blog/how-the-watchtower-justifies-its-crimes/

    • Charles Costante says:

      “The Watchtower Society further argues that “field service” is not a required activity:

      “It is a personal ministry, not a required congregation function or activity” and “It is a personal ministry motivated by love of God and neighbor, and is not done on behalf of Watchtower or any congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.””

      They may not handcuff and drag you out into field service, but they certainly make you feel guilty when you don’t put in the recommended 10 hours a month (or however much it is nowadays).

      I found this article hilarious: http://www.miskeptics.org/2012/08/fun-facts-about-the-preaching-work-of-jehovahs-witnesses/

      • Scrubmaster says:

        Ok, so if field service is not a required activity, how come my name has been removed from the field service group posted on the congregation board? Oh that’s right because I have not been out in field service in over a year. 🙂

  24. anonymous says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=RKXyuZa2dMI

    Another good documentary about pedophilia in England and how high up it goes into the government. It seems that in order to get a judgement against the Society, a victim will need a female judge.

  25. Neal Krouni says:

    Looks like we need more female judges.

  26. Innocent Son says:

    This brood of vipers are in denial.The scarey thing is,they actually believe that they hold no responsibility for the actions of these abusive Monsters and try to shift the blame on so called apostates…! The rank and file JW’S have no idea what is really going on and believe every word that comes from the Governing Body.It is thanks to websites like this one and the accuracy and diligence of John Cedars that helped me to break free from all the deceptions…! Peace to all..

  27. Neal Krouni says:

    Hey! Why are we bothering to fight terrorism? Terrorists are religious. Don’t they also have First Amendment rights to do whatever the hell they want???

  28. MyBirthRight says:

    @anonymous @Neal, I agree and have good reason to believe that this is correct that there is a much more going on here, strings being pulled etc.

  29. Neal Krouni says:

    Stephen Lett is an android created by JW.ORG to present their ideology in a non-threatening, grandfatherly manner. I don’t know about you, but he gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

  30. Excelsior! says:

    Neal Krouni,

    I am still waiting patiently for your evidence, pertaining to the charge of pseudoscience in regard to the role genetics play in behaviour.

    An apology for questioning my reading comprehension would be welcome too!

    Peace be with you,

    Excelsior!

  31. Chris damian says:

    I noticed it’s very easy for stephen lett to claim apostate lies and dishonest’s regarding the issue of child abuse In the watchtower organization, but if it was his child a different tune would be sung

  32. Keith A Enno says:

    On the subject of ‘truthfulness’ and lying I came across this gem of a parliamentary transcript from Victoria Australia where a Parliamentary Committee interviewed some members of the organisation. The full transcript can be easily Googled.

    TRANSCRIPT

    FAMILY AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE Inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations Melbourne — 11 April 2013

    Members

    Mrs A. Coote Ms G. Crozier Ms B. Halfpenny

    Mr F. McGuire Mr D. O’Brien Mr N. Wakeling

    Chair: Ms G. Crozier Deputy Chair: Mr F. McGuire

    Staff

    Executive Officer: Dr J. Bush Research Officer: Ms V. Finn

    Witnesses

    Mr T. O’Brien, Director of Society and Acting Branch Coordinator,
    Ms R. van Witsen, legal counsel, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia (Jehovah’s Witnesses).

    The CHAIR — My question is: does the church maintain records on the number, nature and extent as well

    as the outcomes of any allegations of child abuse?

    Mr T. O’BRIEN — Yes, they do…..If there is even a report of an accusation, we maintain a record of that,

    The CHAIR — Could you tell the committee how many numbers we are talking about — how many numbers your legal service has received in relation to abuse of any kind?

    Mr T. O’BRIEN — With regard to Victoria, I made an inquiry just before I left, because I anticipated the question. I asked to search our records over the last 40 years since we have had elders as an arrangement, and there have been two cases — two ministers who were reported and investigated. They were immediately removed as ministers, and both were disfellowshipped and they are no longer Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    My comment…..

    Well, that is just amazing because currently about 10,000 plus Witnesses live just in the Greater Melbourne area alone and comprehensive reporting of even the smallest accusation over a forty year period can only produce two instances. Wow!

  33. Doily says:

    Interesting that this idiot thinks 1914 is so pivotal. When Ray Franz was in charge of compiling the Aid Book, he noticed a very big discrepancy. The discrepancy was that the fall of Babylon that the WTS proposed was 20 years adrift. Franz researched this extensively. And yep, Historians gave the date as 20 years different to the WTS. Bombshell! He went to Nathan Knorr and voiced his very sincere concerns. Knorr dismissed Ray’s facts and research and demanded that the Aid Book be printed with the previous story still intact. Knorr knew the WTS had it wrong. He knew.

  34. anavar says:

    The rationale for why your cells change happens to be because
    of a progressive amount of resistance. What has a good muscle obtaining program’?
    When some people are disrupted, they bout.

  35. Dave says:

    What month was this broadcast? Do you know where I can download that broadcast. I want to download the whole broadcast so I can show this to my wife, she won’t watch if I show her a youtube clip.

    Thanks in advance.

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