BBC radio program highlights Watchtower child abuse failings

On April 26 of 2017, Investigative Journalist Trey Bundy and Reveal media, in partnership with the law firm UK law firm Bolt Burdon Kemp, organised a landmark conference in London entitled: Bringing Abuse to Light: A convening to address the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ child safety crisis. 

Bundy and Reveal had long been investigating the worldwide scandal surrounding the Watchtower organisation’s handling of child abuse, with multiple articles and podcasts devoted to the subject. However, they felt the issue was so severe, and Watchtower’s apparent intransigence to change was so troubling, that things needed to step up a gear.

Thus, the Reveal conference was organised.

The goal was to gather relevant experts, activists and abuse survivors, as well as members of the media, all together in one place so that information could be shared and strategies formulated as to how best to progress this issue, and also to alert other news organisations as to the depth and scale of the problem. JW Survey founder Lloyd Evans was one of those who attended, and he recounted his experiences in a recent JW Survey article which you can read here. 

This bold strategy pursued by Bundy and Reveal has paid off in a number of ways. From lots of networking and useful behind the scenes collaboration, to increased public exposure. Indeed Watchtower’s ongoing worldwide child abuse scandal has once again featured in the media, and one of the Reveal conferences attendees is helming the show;

David Cook, an investigative reporter for the BBC.

Cook has brought the issue to BBC Worldwide’s radio series Heart and Soul, in an episode entitled “Witness Protection.” The episode not only focuses on the specific issue of child abuse, but also reaches further into other troubling aspects of Watchtower’s doctrine and the culture of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Shunning, the insular nature of the religion, and the efforts being made to create support groups for those leaving the faith are all discussed in this excellent program.

You can listen to the program here.

It’s clear to see that Cook has clearly done his research. For example, he notes that the Governing Body describe themselves as “Guardians of Doctrine.” That phrase, to my knowledge, appears in no Watchtower literature and was used only once by Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson during his appearance before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual abuse. Thus, it’s clear that Cook has a good familiarity with what happened at the ARC, as well as in the many other investigations into the religion.

You will also see that many of the experts and abuse survivors interviewed for Cook’s report were also attendees at the Reveal conference. Legal experts like Kathleen Hallisey and Irwin Zalkin, and abuse survivors like Nick French, Candice Conti and Karen Morgan are all featured in the program.

I’d highly recommend listening to the program, and it’s heartening to see that good investigative journalism is still alive and well, with the likes of Trey Bundy and David Cook fighting to bring public attention to Watchtower’s ongoing disgraceful handling of child abuse.



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255 Responses to BBC radio program highlights Watchtower child abuse failings

  1. Ted says:

    messenger, I offered Ricardo “Moral Advice” not spiritual,
    and that was to turn a pervert over to the police. You
    argue why should Ricardo take my advice since I am not
    a Christian. Is goodness, morality, the exclusive province
    of Christians? Are atheists incapable of these things?
    Many, in ignorance assume so.

    I don’t think I was ever a Christian , I was first a Catholic and
    then a JW, neither of which qualify! Both of which are rotten
    to the core, covering up the evil that flourishes. Inside them.
    I no longer support or identify with their filth, but yourself
    and Ricardo do.

    You refer to the youthful Jesus not speaking out against the
    corrupt religion of his time, and then you ask, “Why can’t
    Christians follow that example today and retain Gods favour”?
    This has absolutely no relevance to you and Ricardo, both of
    you are grown men and baptised into the corrupt religion of
    your day. And as you point out, that was similar to when Jesus
    began to put his life on the line, As a Christian are you willing
    to do the same?

    • messenger says:


      I will agree that you gave no direct spiritual advice to Ricardo as the two other recent commenters just did. To a degree I got your comment mixed with theirs when I wrote my response, and because of that it was directed to you..

      But here is part of yours to Ricardo.

      It’s futile to compare your association with WT
      to that of Jesus and the corrupt religion of his time,
      He was not afraid of what they would do to him, but
      you are! You may not admit it but you are being
      controlled, which prevents you being a genuine

      While not exactly advice it does suggest your disapproval with his stance (which is ok) that could be written to suggest a corrected course, you viewing the course he’s on as faulty.

      And with regard to your other statement about Jesus’ youth, was Jesus youthful the day before he was baptized, the week before, the year before? When was he too youthful to speak out against his religion? My belief is that he certainly was not at 29 years of age. Yet there is no evidence that he did that or left it.

      I was on my own at age 18, but I did what I chose to long before that, say about age 16. As far as Jesus not being afraid of what men would do to him. That’s not what the scriptures claim. He was very much afraid according to scripture and sweat blood out of fear, besides staying awake all night in prayer, even asking God to remove what he expected to happen from him. There is implied meaning in other scriptures that he expressed fear because of his eventuality. Remember Peter telling him to be kind to himself, that it would not happen? That may not have happen just because of Christ’s words. Peter being a friend might have also been responding to Christ’s demeanor.

      In person I’m the same hard nose in person that I am online here. I’m here to speak the truth. And that’s what I do in person where ever I am. But like Jesus I choose to speak to who, and say what I choose to say when and where I choose to. Not doing what someone else wants me to because they want it. It does not matter if I’m in the KH, with JWs or people who are not JWs.

      As for your concern there is very little a JW can do to influence WT. All honest JWs and exJWs on this site will acknowledge that. Even Christ didn’t influence the Jewish religion. He started a new religion. And he started that while he was still alive in human form. Neither Ricardo or myself desire to start a new religion.

  2. messenger says:


    To save you some time and effort stop looking for an expert to support your claim that the 10 Commandments are recorded at Exodus chapter 34 and not chapter 20. The following scriptures deny that, so no credible expert will support you. Here read Duet 5:22 “These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added more, And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered unto me.”KJ That scripture follows the same list of commandments that are recorded in chp 20 of Exodus not chp 34. Also in Exodus 34:1 it is stated God wrote the same commandments as had previously been written on the first tablets. Your claim was that the first tablets contained different commands. That is false.

    The WT elders that visited you and Wikipedia, and also WT understood the Bible better than you Caroline with regard to what the 10 commandments are. So did messenger. You might claim you don’t care, like you claimed not to care about what Lev 18 said or that you were taught not to lie before you were a Christian, and only began lying when WT taught you to. But none of those things were the point of our discussion. Our discussion only centered on the accuracy of your teaching. And it has been proven to be faulty. I don’t even see how you can realistically rely on it despite your grandiose claims.

    Again please forgive any grammar mistakes. I hate proof reading and since I’m not getting paid for this I’m deciding not to here. Nevertheless the information should be clear enough for you to understand.

    • Caroline says:

      Messenger, read Exodus and come back here. Can you read? Do you have a Bible? I am not saying anything that is a “claim.” I am telling you to read your Bible.

      You and Watchtower and Wikipedia are the only one making up claims and as far as the “ten” commandments go, there’s more than 3 separate accounts in the Bible that talk about the stones and the commandments and no, they are all different. The only similar one is the Sabbath.

      Pick which ever one you want. They are all different from each other. That says it’s man made and not to be taken seriously. The first set of commandments that talk about not stealing and murdering (67 commandments) was verbal and the first time God’s commandments to Moses that were on stone tablets was about the setting up of the tabernacle. It doesn’t matter if there’s more than one account. Go by the ones that most people commonly think about and those are at Exodus chapter 20. All the others only show that the whole story is made up by men.

      The fact that you don’t read Exodus for yourself but look at Wikipedia, shows you are speaking to the air. I go by what the Bible says, not what Wikipedia says and what you say.

      Anybody can be an expert on the Bible in a pool of people who never bother to read it.

  3. Doc Obvious says:

    With all these child abuse cases, I feel that the Watchtower leadership is to blame. As well as the Watchtower Legal Department for failing to act in an appropriate fashion with these type of allegations. Compiling a list of names in a database does not constitute an actionable item. The legal representation of Watchtower also needs to be served papers as well. I believe there are ethics issues as pertaining to the American Bar Association as well.

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