Watchtower News Bulletin: UK Charity Commission vows to continue investigation of Watchtower
avatar

charity commissionThe UK Charity Commission is currently undertaking a statutory investigation of Watchtower’s UK arm, which is currently registered as a UK charity, and also of the New Moston Congregation, also registered as a charity. The aim of the investigation to uncover “how Watch Tower safeguards children and adults at risk.” The investigation comes as a response to an incident in the New Moston congregation, where former congregation elder and convicted sex offender Jonathan Rose was allowed to directly question his victims in a religious court, his victims being forced to attend as an apparent direct result of Watchtower policy.

Rather than co-operate with the investigation, which would have given a clear signal that Watchtower felt it had nothing to hide, the religious group has instead fought tooth and nail to get the investigation killed off, mounting multiple legal challenges in order to prevent the investigation from even taking place. Having failed it’s challenge at each and every juncture, the process has now moved to the Court of Appeal.

On February 10th, the Charity Commission issued a statement defending it’s investigation. It states, in part:

The commission is investigating how Watch Tower safeguards children and adults at risk. It has been seeking access to the registered charity’s records since 2014. Watch Tower disputes the legal basis of the commission’s inquiry and its order seeking documents from the charity. Today’s hearing forms part of its longstanding litigation against the commission. The commission has argued that the Charity Tribunal is the appropriate venue for such cases. It has warned that if the Court rules otherwise, it may risk excluding less well-funded charities from accessing justice via the less costly Tribunal.

As is made clear, Watchtower, a registered charity, for some reason does not want the Charity Commission to have access to its records. Those who have been following this issue for some time understand very well why Watchtower is so desperate for these records to remain in the shadows.

The last time such records came to light, their contents were horrifying.

The Charity Commission statement adds

“It encourages people who have been affected by safeguarding in congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in England and Wales to make contact with the inquiry lead investigator Jonathan Sanders at jonathan.sanders@charitycommission.gsi.gov.uk

We encourage anyone with experience of the above to please contact the commission.

covert-fade-signature

Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Watchtower News Bulletin: UK Charity Commission vows to continue investigation of Watchtower

  1. Roman Castañeda says:

    I remember the elders of my judicial committee trying every possible method to get me to share excruciating details at my hearing. I wished I could have left, but they made it feel as I had no other option. So I gave in.

    Now they face a rigorous investigation and are trying to find an escape. I hope every pot of beans is spilled.

    • Dani says:

      same happened to me, they wanted the smallest bit of information as if that made a difference in me being df. I always believe their principles were do as I say not as I do! What is good for the goose isn’t good for the gander! Karma is a bitch. What goes around comes around.

  2. chatpal says:

    one would want to reason,
    ‘are the ugly details of someones misfortune really supposed to be the point at such a meeting with elders? is that the main role of ‘shepherds’ ‘
    Id think not, but apparently that’s the common experience in a lot of cases. so sickening, when struggling emotionally, to have nothing more than to be blamed rather than supported and helped. so sorry for that to have happened to you and anyone else in such a situation. this article cant but make me wonder just how anyone in good conscience, can continue to support such an organization. lets see if it rings true, pride before a fall…

  3. alanv says:

    I remember when I was a mini servant, I engaged in ‘loose conduct’ with my JW girlfriend. As I felt very guilty over it I confessed to the elders.
    I couldn’t believe it when they wanted to know every detail of what we actually did.

  4. Felipe Morales says:

    Having failed it’s challenge….
    or
    Having failed its challenge….

  5. Brandon says:

    Ah more dark secrets look to be surfacing about this cult. I actually truly wonder if we had access to everything they have done how far does it go? This seems like such an evil organization I wouldn’t even be surprised if it’s found that they have had members killed for trying to bring the truth about the org to light.

  6. Tara says:

    Was the letter to cong. to destroy info. ever confirmed? If this was a genuine letter then any condemning documentation must surely have been removed by now.

    • Anon says:

      The letter was the yearly housekeeping purge of Elders’ Notes at the congregation level, however the Branch office will have many records still.

      • Tara says:

        How would this fall under the Data Protection act? Could WT claim they are complying with laws to destroy all info on members? If that is the case then there are millions of illegal records held on it’s members. We know this isn’t just name, rank and number. It contains info regarding all disciplinary acts etc. I am curious as to what is kept and what is destroyed in the event a case goes to court and documents ‘disappear’. Didn’t the ARC come up against this when personal notes vanished?

        • Pow says:

          It’s a red herring, there’s never been a yearly purge of records, and at this point it seems the only country effected by this “new” policy is the U.K.

      • Pow says:

        @Anon

        But, the branch does not have the specific details ,the latest s77 form(disfellowshipping form), That is sent to the society, has removed those details. .obviously, it’s a way to shield the branch from responalblity. So, ironically, the branch has simultaneously, taken control of all abuse cases, and at the same time willfully declared ignorance of all abuse cases. Maintaining Control and Denialability, both.

        • Anon says:

          Yea that new form is much less detailed, however I don’t think all the other forms will be retroactively changed. Imagine the work required to change 100 years of records. They would have to change all records, remember there would be thousands upon thousands for sex, smoking, etc etc on top of the pedophile notes.

          Hopefully if they were to start changing the old ones then someone would leak that they are doing something before they could complete the process.

  7. Twmack says:

    This org, takes from communities and puts nothing
    back in. They draw members from the community
    by means of a pyramid recruiting system.

    The recruits then finance the building of K, Halls
    which become the property of the org, these buildings
    were mainly distribution centers for their literature
    business, and the training of recruits in sales technique’s

    As paper printing has suffered a sharp decline and is now
    barely profitable, direct monetary contributions have been
    solicited from members. To be made on a regular and
    permanent basis. Unbelievably, the members have been
    ordered to empty their bank accounts and send the funds
    to WT HQ.

    The charity is only going one way, and it’s not to the
    community. Failure to acquiesce to demands on bank funds
    or to any instructions regarding the communities own K. Hall
    is dealt with by disfellowshipping, excommunication.

    Check out what happened to the elders of the Menlo Park
    congregation.

    • Miranda Presley says:

      Sorry, but as someone who was attending meetings until just a few months ago and still has family in the cult, I have to say this is exaggerated greatly. Yes, they have been soliciting regular donations, but no one is being coerced or forced in any way. They kist asked everyone to commit to a monthly amount on a piece of paper with no name on it. You are in no way required to. Frequent reminders of that “obligation” are made from the platform, but nobody is disciplined or df’d for not making the goal. Guilted- sure. But just that.

      Watchtower does enough awful stuff legitimately, there is no need to try to stir up more hatred by creating stuff. That just confirms to active JWs who chance upon comments like yours, that everything online is “apostate lies!” and so then they refuse to read the many accurate things out there, and blindly return to the fold. No offense to you intended, perhaps you were misinformed or misunderstood something, not necessarily intentionally. Just wanted to clear that up for other readers.

      • BeenMislead says:

        “Jehovah’s Witnesses commonly meet in modest buildings called Kingdom Halls. How are expenses covered? They never pass collection plates, nor do they send out envelopes to solicit donations. Rather, any who appreciate the spiritual program can discreetly place a donation in a contribution box at the Kingdom Hall.” – (w13, 7/1, Pg. 4, Can You Trust Religion Regarding Money?)
        ———————————————————–
        No they don’t send out envelopes, they just pass out slips of paper compelling you to write down a dollar number that you will commit to pay monthly. Tell me what is the difference?

        You are in effect “compelling” the congregation to make a financial vow/commitment for a year! Isn’t this in direct violation to 2 Corinthians 9:7? Which says:

        “Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

        • Pow says:

          It could be said that , collectively as a group there is this pressure, but, not necessarily as individuals. Case in point, each congregation has now had to remit any funds for Remodeling/construction above 5000.00 plus each congregation has now a standing hall payment, even if it was paid off decades ago…that “contribution ” is now given to the congregation as a expense, just like a utility bill, now the L DC is traveling around to kingdom halls explaining to local elders how they are to upkeep and repair their own halls using the 5000.00,Emergency fund, then if need be ,to complete a project, rebuild the fund and spend it again…the same as circuit assemblys, the circuit is in essence given a standardized bill, but is presented as an expense incurred to present the program…
          Now, here’s the kicker….if the local congregation or even the circuit failed to present the donation, you can better believe that C.O. will be giving Hell and Damnation talks to the Elders/servant body’s, and it would be expected that the shit would flow downhill….So, yea, John Q. Publisher might feel that he was never personally made to feel pressured to contribute more..but that’s only because He’s outta the main loop.

  8. Nemorino says:

    It’s astonishing to me that their door-to-door literature distribution and solicitations for converts can in any way regarded as legitimately humanitarian and charitable work and qualify them for the same consideration as organizations who provide demonstrably beneficial tasks as food and shelters, etc. for the needy. Is the commission blind?

  9. Pow says:

    How about this….
    Instead of quoting prov. 4 18..light getting brighter. ..
    Let’s start quoting Prv.4 19…
    The wicked are constantly stumbling around….
    Every time a new mistake or scandal arises we can say….Oh look, Prov. 4 19….more stumbling around..
    PROV. 4: 19 .should become our new year’s text….

  10. Twmack says:

    It’s K,Hall bank accounts that have been raided not those
    of individual members.

  11. Jarred Booth says:

    I assume if they are removed as a charity, they will no longer have tax exception. That would be very bad for them. They would deal with the negative publicity in the usual way, but they would have a harder time dealing with having to pay taxes. More cuts on the way.

    • Winston Smith says:

      Didn’t the French government attempt to enforce taxation of the JWs, with the order eventually being overturned? Do JWs get tax exempt status by being a charity or by being a church? Many churches get tax exempt status without specific charitable services. Won’t the JWs be able to hide behind church status?

      WS

      • Jarred Booth says:

        I don’t live in the U.K., but from what I’ve read all tax exceptions for churches fall under the 2006 Charities Act. Even though just being a religion is generally enough to get approved, there doesn’t seem to be any separate exception specifically for churches. Hence if Watchtower becomes no longer approved as a charity, my understanding is that they would lose tax exception status.

  12. David says:

    Thank you very much for all your effort with this web site.

    Is there anything we can do to make our voice heard?

    Should we send letters to the commission explain how this religion is destroying families and relationships?

    How can we help?

  13. David says:

    It would be nice to have this site in different languages. I am sure there are many freedom lovers that could help! We need some justice!

  14. John Baptist says:

    It’s just a matter of time for these folks.
    They live and operate by two sets of rules one for them and one for the outsiders.
    Their own Bible admonishes them to be in Subjection to the superior authorities which are placed by God for your protection.
    So obviously they really are not serving God but rather their own organizational hierarchy.
    Countless innocent children’s lives have been ruined by their policies.
    This is Not The TRUE RELIGION.
    It should sell out and pay retribution to each and every victim of such a horrific abuse that has been concealed all this time. Sad very very sad.

  15. David says:

    Roman Castañeda, I have heard many accounts of judicial committee asking excruciating details, and from many countries.
    They do not understand the psychological damage they can give with this extreme techniques. In Australia they say that they care for the personal well being in the judicial committees. It is not true for my experience. When there are serious they quickly call the branch to make sure the society is protected first. The persons are the least important.

  16. Jae says:

    The solution to this is simple and clear cut, in my view. If Watchtower don’t want to cooperate, then they lose their charity status. As simple as that!

    • Stupid4Jesus says:

      Agreed, but that alone will not protect kids or holed the leadership accountable. The world needs to know what this criminal organization is up to and throw those responsible in prison. Some of the best books were writing in prison. I will sent the soap but not on a rope.

  17. Claire Gorman says:

    Come on guys get this sorted! Watchtower are on the run and they know it! Jimmy saville? Yes u bet he was evil but there are many more hiding in the watchtowers umbrella. They know it themselves.

    I think of Josef Goebbels each time I think of watchtower. Both were proficient at propaganda. But both were found out. Watchtower are no better than Goebbels. It is a dying house with a dying servant.

    Watchtower has one more flaw. It does not answer criticism. If it answered, some respect could be gained. It just ignores criticism. Holier than thou. REALLY?? Get a grip pilgrims. Your house is as rotten as the one you denigrate. Fix your own issues first. Watchtower is gone and will be done away with.

  18. Big B says:

    Wonderful!

    One can only hope that they lose their charity status. Monies go into the WBTS but nothing comes out except useless crap i.e. “Armageddon is just around the corner”. Yeah, right. 🙂

    Maybe the U.S. will take an interest in this and get the ball rolling over here in the way of a Congressional Investigative Committee. Then we’ll see if Jehovah will intervene and protect them. I betting he won’t do a cotton picking thing but let them turn in the wind! They have done more to harm his name with their self- assuming haughtiness than any religious organization I know of.

  19. Grace says:

    Can someone explain the following to me as I don’t quite understand it all:

    1. The annual letter to Elders to “clean out” etc; Has that only ever been sent to congregations in the UK or is it a worldwide thing?

    2. Was that only to do with child abuse cases, nothing else?

    3. Is that a crime? i.e. Destroying evidence?

    I have other questions but I just need to understand these first…:)

    • Pow says:

      One of hugh benefits of a corporation is that it can get away with crimes that no individual could ever dreamed of……like a well armored battleship, it can take alot of direct hits, before it’s in trouble.

  20. Wip it says:

    Here in Australia, no records are kept on file, during a committee case the chairman keeps all the notes taken, after its finished they are destroyed, so a lot of evidence is lost, we had a case where the police searched the KH, little did any of us know, the incriminating letter was removed & hidden, & we don’t hide evidence, i just wish the world would do more to expose this, we are currently seeing Cardinal Pell being interviewed for the royal commission, the movie SpotLight, the charity status makes me sick

    • Tara says:

      I shared the video with my cousin in Australia. He isn’t a witness but has promised to make it reach ears and eyes over there.

  21. Dani says:

    Finally what in the dark is coming to light!

  22. Dani says:

    same happened to me, they wanted the smallest bit of information as if that made a difference in me being df. I always believe their principles were do as I say not as I do! What is good for the goose isn’t good for the gander! Karma is a bitch. What goes around comes around.

    • Winston Smith says:

      I think the JC members “get off” on all the salacious details. They themselves are restricted from participating in such behavior – I doubt any of them have a normal sex life. So they have to live vicariously through those they are “judging.” I think they let the hammer fall so hard more so because of their own shame in this rather than the actual “sin.”

      WS

  23. Doc Obvious says:

    Checks and Balances. Gotta love it!!!

  24. Stupid4Jesus says:

    I hope the Judge will be fair and throws those B%@*&$ in Jail for contempt and grabs their computers and files and hole individuals responsible for their actions.

  25. Alexandria R says:

    Don’t be fooled. Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t as sweet as they pretend to be. As an elder my brother used to tell his family and close friends details. He would say that person had an affair or That sister had a lesbian affair. Stuff like that. He has a big mouth. That is what goes on as they enjoy being arrogant and judgemental. Never admit anything to the elders. No matter what they say you don’t have to share intimate information about youself with anyone including them. My rule is never share information about your finances, sex life, political or religious views with anyone.

  26. Robert67 says:

    Here’s hoping they ask for Tony Morris to appear and we get someone prepared to rebut all his lies and false doctrine.

  27. Actigall Ur says:

    As a current JW with a contact at Bethel I can verify the unethical behavior of the WT on a daily basis when it comes to money matter. Ever wonder why there is ALWAYS a deficit at Circuit Assemblies and District Conventions?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APb1RpfjCrA

    It is all about the money and nothing else for the WT. I have a breaking story about the WT’s purchase of their $7m missionary training home in Palm Coast Florida. It’s almost unreal how greedy the WT is. What ever happened to the bible verse that says, “pay a man his daily fair wages for his work” ?

    • SIRIUS says:

      @Actigall Ur

      >>>I have a breaking story about the WT’s purchase of their $7m missionary training home in Palm Coast Florida.

      Respectfully, what is News breaking when this news is already in the public domain?

      Watchtower group buys former FAA training center in Palm Coast http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20140702/news/140709891

      Appreciated though, certainly (to me) a heads up on the WT’s money spending trend. The article says training center, with multiple rooms & pool. Has the WT made an announcement of this to its shareholders/stakeholders, of course I really mean JWs! Hmmm, only Bethel people privy to this? Of course this is not a publically traded company void of public PRs (Press Releases) and any simple due diligence, normally the shareholder has a right to know how its money is being spent. Training center with a tropical retreat?

      Secondly, for those that have an investment que there’s an old buy/hold adage, “today’s acquisitions are tomorrows spin-offs”.

      IMHO

      dogstar

  28. rob says:

    Training Facility? I doubt it.

    Probably a nice little retirement getaway for the who’s who of New York Bethel.

    Beth Sarim again?

  29. Stupid4Jesus says:

    Watchtower is according to Worldnewsmedia as of Jan 6th 2015, Jehovah’s Witnesses are one of the largest property development corporations in the world – owning over 80,000 properties – (from a recent LDC meeting) – See more at: http://wiki.jw-archive.org/Watchtower+Real+Estate#sthash.J4FBajGz.dpuf.
    Think of what would happen if they lost their charity status. There will be no free labor in construction or real state sales tax. Real estate is their real business. The smaller aspects of being a publishing company is just vehicle to rise money for the real money maker, real estate. If Jehovah is going to give the world to the Witness why buy it now. The last thing that they want is Jesus to come back!
    The Stock investment of the Watchtower from the HENRIETTA M RILEY TRUST http://nccsweb.urban.org/communityplatform/nccs/organization/profile/id/386043103 was stated in 1970, before most of us were born. The WT has owned War, Alcohol and tobacco as well as most of the Fortune 500 to the tune of 2.2 BILLION U.S Dollars but the real money is in property.

    What would happen to the property taxes over night. They will have to pay them or sell the property and then the sells taxes. If the lose the charity status just in the U.K. its over for the business model. They can afford to pay all the children that they have abused.

  30. Stupid4Jesus says:

    Then the Watchtower falls the only people who will cry are the Bankers.

  31. Pow says:

    One more comment on this subject, ,
    A big part of the issue of the watchtowers monies is the inference of how it’s being spent..In the book of Acts , Annias and Saphria
    were executed by the Holy Spirit because they misrepresentated their contribution, the fact was they didn’t even have to give it, but when they did , they misrepresented what it really was…likewise, today, if the org wants to come out and say, “we need to pay out hugh lawsuits, will you help?” or, Warwick is costing us more then we had planned, or our investments in hedge funds are not going well, then so be it….but, “we need to quickly build more kingdom halls” and we “are caring for natural disasters ” has got to stop.

  32. Twmack says:

    Miranda Presley , Miranda you’re probably not aware
    of a letter dated May 12th, 2014, and addressed to elders.

    It instructed them to retain enough in their account for
    3 months operating costs and to send any surplus to the
    organisation.

    As a former elder of many years, I can confirm that such
    letters are regarded not merely as requests, but as
    instructions that must be complied with.

    I hope I never knowingly exaggerate in my comments
    in order to paint the org. blacker than they really are.

    thanks for your response, and best wishes. Twmack

  33. Sharon Christensen says:

    I learned first hand how corrupt the leaders of JW.org are…I was called Jezebel for calling the elders and CO in a remote cong. for doing illegal activities…defrauding the provincial govt In Sk. Can., I thought…oh only. the backwds town and local cong. there as time progressed and I went to other ones seen how wide spread it really was! Jezebel…perhaps I am…or atleast they said…but who is…riding the “Wild Beast”! May it turn upon her and…:))

    • shannon says:

      Hi Sharon

      Would you mind sharing the town in Sask..as I once was a publisher in SK from 1996-1998….I am no longer a Jdub..thank goodness.

  34. Keith says:

    Just an idea but why don’t you people write to the Charity Commission with your thoughts and I think the shunning video which is Child/abuse would be of huge interest to them too. They asking for people to come forward if they wish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *