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.
And 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.
- Is the media finally grasping just how bad Watchtower’s child abuse problem is?
- PBS airs trey Bundy’s must-see documentary on child sex abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses
- Stephen Lett: More evidence for 1914 than for “gravity, electricity, wind!”
- AAWA.co article “Watchtower Caught in a Lie”
- Jehovah’s Witness Report article
- JWsurvey articles on child abuse