start-thinking
In June 2012, a jury in Oakland, California ordered Watchtower to pay $28 million for its role in the abuse of Candace Conti.*

In October 2014, a San Diego Superior Court judge ordered Watchtower to pay $13.5 million in punitive and compensatory damages for the abuse of Jose Lopez.

In June 2015, Watchtower was ordered to pay £275,000 to a victim of child abuse by the High Court in London.

*The amount and judgment were later reduced on appeal, with Watchtower still being required to pay $2.8 million in compensatory damages.

These are not isolated instances. They are not just the work of one or two rogue individuals. They are not persecution by Satan or the product of unjustified attacks by opposers. They are the result of specific, documented instructions issued to congregation elders by Watchtower on how child abuse should be handled.

This is a systemic problem, and sadly it will not be going away any time soon.

The reason why Candace Conti, Jose Lopez, and countless other children of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been let down is because the Governing Body views child sex abuse as a sin first-and-foremost, and only a crime by coincidence.

The “two witness rule,” according to which elders still operate today, means that they are to “leave matters in Jehovah’s hands” if an independent witness to an act of child molestation is not forthcoming. (see page 72 of the elders’ Shepherd manual, below)

child-sex-abuseWhen critics of Jehovah’s Witnesses talk about the organization “protecting” pedophiles, they do not mean that the organization’s literature condones or encourages child molestation. They are referring to the fact that Watchtower policies effectively conceal pedophiles and make it easier for them to operate due to the culture of secrecy and confidentiality that Watchtower insists upon.

In the following video, investigative reporter Trey Bundy explains some of the disturbing lengths Watchtower has gone to in order to keep the identity of child molesters secret.

All of this means that you have no way of knowing whether someone in your congregation is a child molester or not, because the Governing Body is more interested in protecting the reputation of the organization than protecting ordinary children.

All they need to do to change things, and safeguard against more child abuse cases in the future, is write a letter to elders telling them to report ALL accusations of child abuse to the authorities – but the Governing Body absolutely refuses to do this.

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness reading this, you need to ask yourself: How can this be Jehovah’s Organization if it continues to put children at risk despite these adverse court judgments? If Jehovah’s clean organization truly abhors child abuse and considers it a crime, why can’t it allow all accusations of child abuse to be reported in the same way as other crimes (such as theft and murder) are to be reported?

The makers of this web page urge you to consider waking up to the possibility that only by confronting these issues and saying “enough is enough” can we bring about change and safeguard children of Jehovah’s Witnesses from those who would do them unspeakable harm.

We invite you to start doing research using some of the online resources listed below. And please don’t be afraid! Remember that if a God of love and truth really exists, he would never resent someone for trying to uncover the facts.

JWfacts.com

JWsurvey.org

WatchtowerDocuments.com

56 Responses to JWawake.com

  1. Grace says:

    Great piece, well presented & simple to read.
    I’m looking forward to more articles.

  2. Girma Terefe says:

    who will responsible child abuse elders abuser who if hé déniés because thé elders do not have investigation knowledge.

  3. Alex says:

    Need to translate it to several main languages. All people should know truth about JW.

  4. Elder Johnson says:

    I’m so glad to see this. It has made me realize the truth about the truth.

  5. pj wilcox says:

    These bastards should be all sent to jail. There they will be confronted by men who will take care of what should be done to them. Prisons do not take lightly, men that molest kids sexually. We should have this on pay per view, make Budweiser a sponsor and give the monies raised to the victims. Hell, I would pay $50 for this.
    Or castrate all that have been found guilty.

  6. Former Pioneer says:

    Thank you! This is a great resource and kudos to everyone who helped on the billboard in Texas.

  7. Hilani Morales says:

    I was molested for years by a Jehovah’s Witness named Carlos Buten in a Boston Ma Kingdom Hall. Myself and the other victim (who is 2 years younger than I) were interrogated by a room full of men and were asked if our intentions were to hurt him or cause trouble. They then asked us to get into painful details about the sexual abuse. After it was over we were given clear instructions not to contact authorities or tell other members in the congregation about the abuse in order to safeguard brother Buten’s confidentiality. He remained an active member in the congregation and continued to play with other children in the church. I was eventually placed in foster care because of my parents’ neglect to protect me against my molester and for my father’s physical abuse. As for my father’s relentless beatings, I was instructed to pray to Jehovah and everything would be ok. Sometimes my father even beat me during Kingdom Hall reunions in the back room. To this day I experience ptsd from all of the abuse I experienced as a child under the leadership of Jehovah.

    • big Kat says:

      Don’t worry……..? They’ve already earned their way to hell

    • Grace says:

      I’m so sorry that you went through so much as a child. It always amazes me how these stories are similar from around the world & victims are made out to be liars & put through such horrendous questioning.

      I hope that you will find some healing one day in your life.

      Love & peace.

    • Miriam Ramirez Morgan says:

      Hi Hilani Morales after a read you story i’m pretty sure i don’t want to go back to the reunion I do believe in Jehovah he never disapoinme but the sistem did,still and will keep disapoint me. so i will keep Jehovah in my hear but his peoples away from my family.Thank for share you horrible past I Hope you move on and i hope the very best 4 you.

    • Julien says:

      Hilani I am so saddened to hear this happened to you. I would encourage you (if you havent already) to check what your state’s statue of limitation is to report these cases. In Florida there is currently no statue of limitation.

  8. Ray franz says:

    I hope they go on to research rand cam, the military company the Watchtower owned, you can check it in the U.S. GOV SEC files to prove it. I hope they research the UK guardian newspaper article on the Watchtower agreeing to support the U.N for over a decade. I hope they research the recent governing body member that left having seen how it was run at Brookly Bethel, writing a vital book to read as a JW called “Crisis of Conscience”… I hope the fear they feel at even THINKING about doing any of this research, gives them s clue that there is something wrong with their beliefs……. Snare x

    • NoOneSpecial says:

      Can you please provide a link to the document or page. I would love to use it.

      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB1YvQvseNQmIaJ00bXbCdQ

    • Tim Hord says:

      Hi,
      I read COC in 1997. It changed my whole belief system. However, since I’m married to a devout 3rd generation JDub. I haven’t been able to leave. She found my copy and threw it away.
      Now I’m going to do what I have to do. I wanted to buy another copy but dude your books are going for a mint.
      If you have any old copies in your closet please let me know. I’d really like to have a copy. I’m writing a “thesis” if you will about the JW organization with all the current crap and old crap.
      I thank you for writing this very essential book. If only people would open their eyes. It would only take a minute to make a decision on how they want to spend the rest of their lives.
      Regards,

      Tim Hord

  9. Average Joe says:

    Child Abuse really is inexcusable as is a cover-up of such abuse.
    However, I would like to add my thoughts to the discussion at hand. As an active elder (and I also consider myself a pretty decent human being) I can assure you that if I ever came across a case of child abuse or domestic violence, then I would certainly not keep quiet about it. I would urge the innocent individuals to go straight to the police with my full support.
    As for a case where a know child abuser is in a congregation, I again would make sure everyone knew about it, even though that would be anonymously so as to avoid any lawsuits. It doesn’t matter what the WT Official Policy is on the subject; I know what the right thing is to do.
    Now, I can’t be the only JW that thinks like that. There are corrupt and perverted individuals in any organisation but I’m not one of them and I would do my part to expose any I came across. Hopefully, I will never have to be in that situation as the very idea of being faced with a child abuser is repulsive to me.
    On the other hand, I am pleased for the victims in the aforementioned cases that they are finally getting justice, despite the cover-ups from their corrupt supposed shepherds or elders. I just hope that they manage to find peace as well as happiness after such an ordeal.
    In reply to PJ Wilcox: Castrate them? Seriously? I’d reserve that for rapists. Child abusers should have the death penalty in my humble opinion.

    • Rick Dudd says:

      Good on you! It was issues like this and others that caused me to yield to my conscience and relinquish all of my privileges. You have to do what lets you sleep at night, but I can appreciate that you recognize where the policy is in the wrong.

    • Jorge Sanchez says:

      Los audios , el sonido “no se escuchan bien.

  10. lilianne says:

    Great initiative!
    Hope the next billboard will be in an area of high population density.
    Really like the billboard.
    Let’s put it to good use and make it more visible !

  11. Louise c says:

    Good job, but I think the article should also raise the question of whether it is responsible for child abusers which the untrained JW elders view as ‘repentant’ to be allowed to preach from door to door, knocking on doors and perhaps gaining access to the homes of unsuspecting members of the public AND their children. It is well known that child abusers usually re-offend, hence the advent of sex offenders registers, I would personally not allow any child abuser in a public place with children, but if this can’t be helped as meetings are open to the public then stop least they should be under serious restrictions, not to preach or have access to any children through the cover of being an ‘honest, upright Jehovah’s witness’.

  12. Real says:

    The latest stand of JWs is to report all cases of child abuse directly to the authorities. You should really stay up to date with the latest developments if you intend on hounding the JWs on this issue.

    • Cedars says:

      Nice try, but you’re not correct. You’re quoting from your dear leader, Tony Morris, who said in the July 2015 JW Broadcasting episode that parents are never dissuaded from reporting child abuse to the authorities. That is a LONG way from the Governing Body instructing elders to report all accusations of child abuse straight to the authorities, which they could easily do in a single letter if they wanted. The latest elder instructions were in the October 1st, 2012 letter to elders, which kept the two witness rule and branch jurisdiction firmly in place. Please do your research. Tony Morris may be a Governing Body member but he is not to be relied upon to say sensible things about clothing, let alone give you the organization’s position on child abuse.

      • JWpoo says:

        Go on cedars son!!!

      • Tom says:

        Quick question though. Why is it the responsibility of the branch to report this? Should it not be the parents choice and responsibility? Because correct me I am wrong, but if this were happening to in the Catholic religion( which it does) then you wouldn’t expect the “leaders” or whatever you would like to call it, to report it. So why is it only this way with jehovahs witnesses? Seems like a lot of people on here are just angry and looking for ways to put them down.

        • Wanderer says:

          The Elders and The Branch Office have a duty of care to report to the police, the Elders are told to only report to their branch office. The Australian case in the media has over 1000 cases since the 1950’s with not 1 case being reported to the police. That is a huge sample size of not caring for the welfare of the abused but trying to limit damage for the perceived image of the organisation.
          I personally know an MS who is in prison for multiple child abuse, they just moved him over a couple of congregations and didn’t warn any parents, also an Elder who abused his own grandchildren, when he was released from jail he moved over a few congregations and no parents were warned.

          • Grace says:

            Tom,

            I don’t think you have grasped the controlling affect that the leadership has over it’s rank. I know of 2 mothers & a sister of victims that were coerced by the elders not to take it to the Police because it would bring reproach on “Jehovahs name”.

            They all went along with it because they have been conditioned to obey those taking the lead & that these men know what’s best for the spiritual welfare of everyone. I kept telling the mothers to take it to the Police because it was RAPE but they didn’t want to lose Jah’s favour & wanted to do what the elders advised them to do.

            One of them took it to Bethel in Sydney & it was quickly advised to just leave it to Jehovah. The elders(all friends of the abuser elder) on the case threatened one of the mothers with disfellowshipping for gossip if she spoke about it to ANYONE ELSE.

            These mothers still talk about the situation today, 15-20 years later like it happened yesterday & both suffer from depression because they never had proper closure or follow up support.

      • Tom says:

        Well I know that someone would not be disfellowshopped for that. And no elder would tell someone they would lose jehovahs favor for bringing it to the police. Unless you have heard this with your own ears then a lot can be changed or even completely lied about. .

        • Wanderer says:

          If it is the law in a country for any person or organisation to report to the police a particular crime such as this. Since the 1950’s over 1000 cases on file at the Australian Branch Office, not 1 had been reported. How can they disobey the law of the land on such a serious subject?
          The criteria set out by The Society is to not report to the police but to report to the Branch Office. Upon doing this essentially the advice is leave it to Jehovah, or sweep it under the carpet, forget about it, let’s not bring reproach on the Society’s name.
          The 2 witness rule, the victim has to tell the elders what happened to them in front of the perpetrator rule, is unjust and is another example of cherry picking scripture to suit their agenda.

        • Grace says:

          Tom,

          These were 3 different cases from 3 different congregations at 3 different times. You would think that someone who is lying would be an isolated case but these 3 cases had the same thing told to them, that talking to anyone outside of the jc would amount to gossip, which is a disfellowshipping offence.

          These women are still very much ‘in’ the “truth”. Why would they lie? They still believe that this is god’s channel of ‘”truth”. I on the other hand, have been so shocked at the whole in-house procedure that I couldn’t stand to be a part of this corruptness.

          I have chosen to be a conscientious objector to it all.

        • You need to do some research. You sound like you just came out of a cave merely parroting the standard “everything is fine” JW myths.

          RESEARCH will do you good. This is no isolated case, the whole JW org will go down globally with this controversial lynchpin, when the timebomb really goes off.

          We are merely seeing the fuse at this time, hissssing away.

          • Garrett says:

            We are merely seeing the fuse at this time, hissssing away.

            Brilliant Roxanne! I think many of us in the JW community see the perfect storm building. A huge pedophile coverup, 28 branches closing in just a few years, the 1914 generation prophesy falling on its ass, the Governing Body on TV begging for money and the publications getting as thin as toilet paper … just less absorbant.
            I think we are in the final chapter entitled “The day the Watchtower fell”

  13. Timothy Riches says:

    Current Jehovah’s Witnesses should ask themselves how much more reproach has been brought upon the organization by the leadership’s way of handling of child sex abuse and their maintenance of policies that exacerbate the problem. No one argues that the Watchtower wants children of it’s members to be abused, but the shielding of perpetrators and the infamous ‘two-witness rule’ encourage child sexual abusers in the congregations. Members are encouraged to never bring reproach upon the organization, which makes reporting of such horrible, life-altering crimes extremely difficult. The Jehovah’s Witness organization has become a ‘pedophile’s paradise’. What are the chances that Jehovah looks on it with approval?

  14. Paul says:

    I agree with Cedars, the current policy is not one of reporting it to authorities.
    Check the elders book “Shepherd the Flock” and latest letters and the clear intent is to minimize damage to the good name of the congregation and keep things quiet. The rights of the victim are not paramount and never have been.
    The system including the 2 witness rule is blatantly wrong & un-workable to any thinking person. Since when do child molesters commit their crimes in front of any witnesses? Their cowardly advances to young vulnerable children are done in secret with strong pressure on the child to keep it secret. Hardly likely to be a witness to it except the victim!

  15. Michael says:

    I agree with Average Joe and as an elder I too would report on a child abuser but will have to remain anonymous also due to the fact that wt does not want an elders to follow his instincts to protect those who are being abused under them. The information given to elders throught the elders book and letters from the governing body, and elders school does not encourage one to pursue these matters single handed according to their conscience but to seek directions from the branch rather than get trained officials and the law involved.

  16. Average Joe says:

    @Michael.
    Glad I’m not the only one mate. Hopefully by us doing our part by reporting these crimes if they ever occur in our congregations then the victims can get the needed support & compensation, whilst the sick perpetrators get true justice dished out to them!
    I’m still reeling at all these allegations against the society. It makes me so mad that elders in those congregations did nothing at all to help the victims nor expose the abusers. Where’s their humanity? How can they say they are shepherding the flock? What’s even worse is when they made the victims feel like the guilty party. Not in my congregation mate; not whilst I’m in it!

  17. Enrique Cortes says:

    How dare do the false witnesses tarnish Jehovah’s name? The deceivers and liars shall be extinguished by Jesus Christ HIMSELF for perpetuating a witch hunt within an organization put here by GOD’s hand himself. There are no ifs, and, or buts, he shall bring to light those who bring dishonor upon his name. As for ANY accusations, God above will handle, as we are humans cast upon this Earth He so created for us, and we are IMPERFECT. Those who are wronging WILL be brought to justice, whether it be within the organization or out, those trying to dirty the ALMIGHTY’s name WILL BE JUDGED BY JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF. Have faith in God and what He does, DO NOT speak falsely but be weary of those who do. For even in the bible does it speak of people within being wolves in sheep clothing, but just have faith….for this life is merely a test, a warning, an example of why we need him…. PRAISE JAH YOU PEOPLE

  18. Enrique Cortes says:

    AS FOR THE VICTIMS, REPORT IT TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES YOURSELF, AS THESE WORDLY AUTHORITIES ARE ALLOWED BY JEHOVAH HIMSELF TO EXIST. YOU WILL BE JUDGED BY A HIGHER AUTHORITY FOR TRYING TO PIT BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER, BUT KNOW YOUR CRIES OF JUSTICE WILL NOT BE UNHEARD IF WENT ABOUT IN THE PROPER WAY….. EITHER IN THIS LIFE, OR THE NEXT

  19. Jerry O Connor says:

    Brooklyn Bethel = Booklyn Brothel.

  20. X-JWs United says:

    Excellent website. I will share this with everyone I know.

  21. SeekerofTruth says:

    Wait did I hear this right? There’s 24 alledged cases from 14, 000 congregations. Average 100 members per congregation = 140, 000 people. So that’s 0.017142857142857144% of their members have alledged abuse? Yeah..looks like a crisis. I am absolutely convinced that by the time I finish typing this, the Episcopal and Catholic leaders will have molested at least 100 members of their ranks. Yet you light the torches over 1 trillionth of a percent for these folks? At least they have policies in place to deal with it. Other churches don’t address it at all. Being as how Jehovah’s witnesses are pretty much off the radar in every other social economic and political theater, as self appointed Christians you should be more concerned with the legalization of gay marriage. You people are the very reason I will never set foot in one of your pagan custom ridden den of thieves you call a church. Please God..level the playing field.

  22. SeekerofTruth says:

    Excuse me. 1, 400, 000 people. Making the percentage of alledged victims a whopping 0.0017142857142857142%.
    You’re worse than I thought.
    Indeed..”workers of lawlessness”

    • Garrett says:

      Where on earth do you get your numbers from? A Cracker Jacks Box?
      The Watchtower in New York alone have a list of 20,000 known pedophiles and have refused to turn over said list even though they were subpoenad to do so. And those are just the cases that have been documented.
      Google 20,000 pedophiles list Jehovah’s witnesses and just start reading.

  23. Harland Edward Huxley says:

    As I sit here writing this, there are tears in my eyes……. not only for my two daughters, who have both had to deal with being abused, within what should be the safe confines of Jehovahs earthly organization, but also for the many many others who have suffed as well. I personally know of others. The first time it happened, my youngest was 8 and my oldest was 11. I was raised [in the truth]
    around the truth, andthe first thing that I was told was that you can’t take a brother to court,[ this was early 90s] this was a teenaged elders son who had offended before and we were not warned to keep our children away from him. the second time my daughter was 16 and working for a married couple [ he was also an elders son] different congregations in different provinces. This time one of the elders beg us to go to the authorities so that he did not have to. I was not baptised at either of these times so there was nothing that could really be done to me for not listening in the first case and we went to the authorities in the second one. Took over a year for him to be disfellowshiped. To any and all who read this please do not put this on Jehovahs shoulders. I have no idea why he is allowing this to go on. It will end soon! The evidence that he has turned his back on these since they have said that blood fractions are a matter of conscience is abundantly obvious. His instructions to us are to trust in him, not man. Please do not allow imperfect man to somehow steal from you the ransom that was paid. May Jehovahs blessings and undeserved kindness be upon each of you as you journey through these final days.

  24. Bill Grubb says:

    Is there anyone who with competence and authority would write articles about the many downsides of Jehovahs Witness / Watchtower Society membership ( including shunning and serious child abuse as well as serious psychologicalharm to children ) and get these articles published in Canadian Newspapers , even those newspapers in smaller towns ? I will give you the editorial address of at least a few Ontario newspapers.

  25. anonymous says:

    @gustas, Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t realize they aren’t telling the truth. They think that what they are preaching is the truth. It’s the ones in charge of the Organization who don’t have an excuse. They are the ones who printed up their own special “version” of the Bible and the rank and file believe it to be from God. The rank and file don’t know that the Society makes up fake “facts” that they present to the rank and file as truth in the literature and in talks. They are deceived deceivers. They are to be pitied, not to be vilified.

  26. anonymous says:

    Dear gustas. I could not agree more with what you said!

  27. anonymous says:

    Hi Gustas, you might be talking about the comment I made? I agree with everything you have been saying. What I meant by my comment is that I don’t believe that most JW’s knowingly preach lies. Yes, they are arrogant, that’s for sure but I don’t believe they knowingly preach lies. I do believe the Society does print lies though and the rank and file don’t question those lies because they think if they do, they are questioning God, Himself.

    I believe that the Governing Body are so “busy” that they don’t have the time to do the research into writing articles and leave it up to the writing committees and so what the rank and file are reading, anybody could write and what the writing committees write has to keep up with JW “doctrines” as Geoffrey Jackson said at the Australian hearings on child sex abuse. That is their main concern. I don’t know if the Governing Body are stupid, evil or lazy or don’t have a conscience or just plain delusional. What I do know is that they have the literal lives of over eight million people in their hands and that is a huge responsibility and if there is a God, they have to answer to that God for how they either mistreat those people or guide those people into “truth”. Those people can live or die according to what they read in the literature and even the death of one of those little “sheep”, is on their shoulders. To think that literally millions of people’s lives rest in their literature should make them scared of what God will do to them if they are misrepresenting Him in that literature and talks. Do they really believe in God?

    I would love to be a fly on the wall during their meetings to hear what they really talk about. I highly doubt they even consider what the Bible says, as Ray Franz said in his book “Crisis of Conscience”. If they don’t talk about the Bible, but legal issues, then it’s a business and not a Christian religion and people are dying for nothing and it’s something those people should be put in prison for so that nobody else has to die over dangerous mind-controlled cult.

    Mind-controlled cult leaders can make whole nations do their evil bidding, i.e. Hitler.

    I totally agree with everything you have said. Don’t get me wrong.

  28. Sybil says:

    In Denmark, the cases of child molesting is also coming out into the light. silentlambs.org have a Danish section called silentwitnesses. Even though I have been dfed for 26 years now, I was shocked when I heard the accounts of youngsters from Denmark. I never thought that such a criminal deed could be done by any JW, let alone an elder. But, just like with the Catholic Church, the cases poured out from all the corners of the earth.
    But what shocked me even more, is the way the society is trying to cover it up, and threaten the abused person.
    http://debat.religion.dk/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=02112006&Number=116623&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&vc=1
    This article from a newspaper in Denmark, shows how JW tried to sue them for slandering, but lost. If it wasn’t for Internet, I wouldn’t have known the truth.

  29. Hi everybody. I have been fully awake now for a short while but have to pretend to still believe because of my daughter still being active, she is the only family i have. As someone with a dark childhood the covering up of abuse and in particular the disgusting way these children are treated, suffering more emotional abuse at the hands of the elders really really sickens me. I want to see not only the purps in prison but also the elders for their stupidity and neglect,and the covering up of these crimes, and I want the GB in the cells next to them. I desperately want the organisation to implode and these money grabbing liars losing their wealth. They have broken every law in the land yet people are disfd for nothing. Bunch of hypocritical aholes.

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