Watchtower has disgraced itself in a child abuse case before the trial has even begun
Watchtower has disgraced itself in a child abuse case before the trial has even begun

It seems that one can hardly swing a dead Seven Headed Wild Beast on the internet these days without hitting a fresh report of Watchtower having to once again defend its handling of child abuse in court.

I submit that there are three main reasons for this:

One: Via a combination of undue influence, rigid adherence to laws devised from ethically out-dated and scholarly dubious scriptural interpretation, and plain old downright negligence, Watchtower has created an environment in its congregations that was described as “a perfect storm for abuse” by a Senior Council for a Royal Commission on the subject.

Two: Growing numbers of activists and, even more significantly, brave abuse survivors themselves, have been tirelessly dragging a spotlight onto injustices and transgressions that Watchtower has desperately tried to keep hidden.

Three: Partly as a result of the above, and partly because good journalists understand that their craft is at its best when it gives voice to the wronged, and holds to account those who have wronged them, the media is increasingly covering this issue. In recent years, a number of professional, credible journalists have started to dig deep into Watchtower’s hidden secrets. Journalists like Trey Bundy.

Bundy has been following Watchtower for a while now, documenting in careful detail the results of his investigations for Reveal News, an Emmy-nominated organization specializing in credible, fact-checked, investigative journalism.

Now, Bundy has published news of yet another Watchtower child abuse story. But this report is a little different: the trial hasn’t even happened yet, and already Watchtower has rushed to disgrace itself.

Bundy documents an upcoming case first brought against Watchtower in 2013 by Stephanie Fessler. According to Fessler, she was abused by a middle-aged Jehovah’s Witness woman some 30 to 50 times from the ages of 14 to 16.

The allegations take a painfully familiar route: it appears Watchtower have admitted that they knew about it; that they didn’t report it, and Fessler has therefore claimed that Watchtower’s policy of non-reporting enabled her abuse. You can read more details of Fessler’s account here.

But that’s not where the current issue lies.

According to Bundy’s report, Watchtower tried to have the case moved from Philadelphia to York county. Why?

Bundy reports “Watchtower argued that holding the trial in Philadelphia would burden witnesses who would have to travel to testify.”

That might almost sound reasonable… unless you know that many of the witnesses apparently live far closer to Philadelphia than to York county. And also that York County apparently has the largest backlog of civil cases in Pennsylvania.

In other words, this was apparently nothing but a shameless attempt by Watchtower to significantly delay what appears to be a compelling case against it for shielding a pedophile from justice.

This was certainly the opinion of the judges who ruled on Watchtower’s request to move to York County. They labelled this tactic “abusive,” and judged it to be nothing more than a “last-minute gambit to delay trial.”

“The facts strongly suggest that the motion to transfer venue was the product of bad-faith collaboration between the Congregations and the four York County witnesses” writes Judge Patricia Jenkins.

One imagines that the trial itself, now safely gathering steam, will not go much better for the already beleaguered Watchtower.

Bundy’s article then goes on to put this event into context against a long history of such behavior from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. I’d urge to you read it, and to keep following Bundy’s excellent work, both on this story and in general. The world of journalism needs more people like him.

Watchtower likes to dismiss any mention of their failure to act on instances of child abuse in their organisation as “apostate lies,” rebutting the claims as mere stories made up by disgruntled former members.

However, the growing mountain of evidence from credible, responsible news sources, legal court cases and transparent, professional Government investigations shows that someone is indeed lying.

And it’s not the “apostates.”

 

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Further reading…

137 thoughts on “Philadelphia Judges criticize Watchtower court tactics as “abusive.”

  • January 13, 2016 at 10:07 pm
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    I’m just putting this out there. After reading Trey Bundy’s articles and the Watchtower’s admission to having thousands of scanned documents at World HQ on Child Abuse cases within the congregations, is there a good soul out there that may be able to access these somehow and release them on the internet for the world to see? An insider perhaps? Are they on the cloud, can they be accessed in digital form? We need our very own Assange or Snowden. It’s the only way I can think of that would truly bring the organisation to it’s knees, hold it to account, and free more captives.

    • January 13, 2016 at 11:05 pm
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      That would be awesome, but there’s more than 1 way to skin a cat. ;)

    • January 14, 2016 at 1:32 am
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      Great point eric because I would think the shredders will work overtime soon as the net closes. Like all corrupt orgs they always destroy incriminating evidence. This will further hinder exposure and compromise justice. So like you I have an appeal to the honest soul in bethel right now. Do the right thing and obtain the list in some format that can be used later . Be safe but do the right thing for justice.And if it happens to be a guilt ridden gb member then he will have a golden ticket to heaven (that is me being facetious!) ruthlee

  • January 14, 2016 at 2:26 am
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    I don’t think the WT Corp is completely deluded, at least when it comes to lying. I cannot believe that a liar does not know when he’s lying. Lying is a conscious, deliberate act. Even a child knows when he’s lying, as in, “No, I didn’t steal a cookie from the jar!” They can chalk it up to “Theocratic Warfare”, but they know darn well their own Bible condemns lying thru & thru, for ANY reason. WT has always preached that “the end does NOT justify the means”. Their actions even contravene the 10 Commandments, as in “Thou shalt not bear false witness”. All these phoney-baloney deception- & lie-based legal, court-related delay tactics fall into the “bearing false witness” category, IMHO. And what about Jackson’s assertion that claiming WT is God’s spokesman on Earth would be “presumptuous”, implying they do NOT believe that, which, of course, of course, of course, is a total, bald-faced LIE!!! And that was IN a court. No, at least when it comes to lying, I believe they are fully aware.

    • January 14, 2016 at 2:35 am
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      Which leads to the question, If they are willing to violate one of the most fundamental teachings of the Bible, & their own doctrine, collectively referred to as “The TRUTH”, how much of it all do they REALLY believe, if ANY???

      • January 14, 2016 at 4:03 am
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        This is a good question. I am personally convinced that there are more atheists in religions than outside!

        • January 14, 2016 at 7:51 pm
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          LOL

      • January 14, 2016 at 8:32 am
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        Billion dollar publishing company dressed in Cults clothing. As scripture would say Satan dressing as an Angel of light. Everyone here is a real witness to the truth about this cults “truth”. Their actions show that they do not fear God or the consequences of ursurping his sons place in Gods arrangement of Mercy and Love above all else in his message. I am also greatly doubting their even believing he exist.

        • January 14, 2016 at 7:57 pm
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          They believe THEY are God!!!!!

        • January 15, 2016 at 2:31 am
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          That is what I have believed for a while. It is the only conclusion that one could come to. It has just been a big set up by Satan to deceive as many as he can. Shock news. No, we were taught his tactics because we were taught by him. And these governing body members are brainwashed blind so as not to see it. They are right in the thick of it. Jesus Christ is the only way out. He is the One with the answers and the help, I’m convinced of that because He is the only one capable of over reaching his power.

          • January 15, 2016 at 3:34 am
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            Never thought of that. WE were actually schooled in the ways of the Dark Side.

  • January 14, 2016 at 8:42 am
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    My brother in law sat me down and asked me to listen to two talks as we drank whiskey on the rocks over the holiday. One was from a brother from an elder from Central Spanish congregation in Chicago the other from Ashland Spanish congregation who both meet at the same hall. I was impressed by the eloquence and illustrations used, he smiled and gave me a usb with some audio to listen to when I got a chance.

    It turned out the audio was of years old sermons by Joel Osteen that were just about word for word, illustrations and all what these two elders said during their talks. Impressive that these elders in Chicago’s Spanish congregations resort to taking from the table of Babylon the Great in order to feed their congregations and any they visit. Has anyone else noticed this? I remember when sticking to the outlines was policed by the president overseer at the hall.

    • January 14, 2016 at 8:43 am
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      I’m not drunk now, just typing on a tiny phone, sorry about the incohesive sentence structure.

  • January 14, 2016 at 2:12 pm
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    Like I am totally steamed right now!!!!
    Another news flash, related to topic at hand.

    Nova Scotia, Elder and son involved in child abuse, and it’s recent. ..Nobody’s pretty much saying anything. .except. .father of abuse victim says “were all human ” talk about throwing a line life to the abuser, abuser expected to plead not guilty. ..what the F*** am I missing here?

  • January 14, 2016 at 2:32 pm
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    Since I set up a clandestine email. I am having trouble posting a link, however, if you search jehovah’s witnesses news on Google its 3 hours old on CBS news.
    If you could post it , please do.

    • January 14, 2016 at 2:36 pm
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      And I meant newfoundland. .not n.s

      • January 14, 2016 at 6:43 pm
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        Totally unreal! What sort of father washes his hands of his child’s abuse!

    • January 15, 2016 at 2:40 am
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      The parents are so brainwashed. They think that this person was “only human”. Come on. Who goes around raping children? It is amazing the way some Witness parents react to pedophilia, like it really isn’t that bad. No wonder they don’t report anything. Because the kid is too young to communicate how horrendous the experience/s were, it is just treated like as if it was a minor sin and not a despicable crime that it is.

  • January 14, 2016 at 2:38 pm
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    Thanks

    • January 14, 2016 at 6:35 pm
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      That is just what I needed Dee. I was thinking about this at work today. Well done you :)

    • January 15, 2016 at 3:01 am
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      Thanks dee, good points. My daughter in law said that very thing to me.

      I liked the reference from the Live Forever book where it talked about being able to tell the true religion from the false. The scripture that was used was the one where Jesus said in John 13:35 where it said “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love amongst yourselves.” Remember that one? Well, they have just shown how false they are, being probably the worst one when it comes to pedophilia with their bent policies.

      Another good scripture is Matthew 7:16 “By their fruits you will recognise them”. In other words, you could tell the true Christians from the false ones by using this simple test. The parable of the wheat and the weeds is starting to make real sense now, in allowing the false and the true to grow together until the harvest. Intriguing. By the way, if you want to look up any scriptures now, you can just google them. It is amazing.

      • January 15, 2016 at 8:30 am
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        I’m going to be controversial now. Yes they do have love amongst themselves, but its the wrong kind of love. It’s in house, insular. conditional, narcissistic and perverted. You would NOT TOLERATE sex with children time and time and time again and say you love them. That is not love. That is abuse . So the love among themselves is what it is and it won’t end pretty.They cannot quote the bible and then prove false to its words. Maybe once or twice for stupidity’s sake, but not again and again.This wicked repeated act against children is not love and never will be. It to quote watchtower idealogy, this wicked immoral world is waking up to to the damage such behaviour has on a person and is trying to repair some of the damage then why are the watchtower so wilfully disreguarding the authorities and institutions put in place to effect such a change? This org does not know the first thing about love but it knows very well how to hide paedophiles. So the love amongst themselves, sure they have it but it will be their own undoing. ruthlee

  • January 14, 2016 at 9:18 pm
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    Just read that CBC News article. I agree, the father of the victim dismissing the acts by saying, “We’re all human”, is really sickening.
    Also, the response given by the Information Officer of the Canadian Bethel in Georgetown, Ontario, sounded really lame and undoubtedly scripted. Simon Picard told CBC, “We do abhor that kind of wickedness…and we do not protect any of these individuals and we allow the authorities to do their work.” That is obviously a prepared, scripted statement. These talking points were obviously anticipated, ready to be pulled out at a moment’s notice, like a gun out of a holster. Then he goes on to reference the “tools” found in WT publications to help parents “train their children to be protected from these kind of things”. LMAO Then, of course, the JW Website was referenced as a source of further “tips”. Interesting that the journalist mentioned Watchtower has been described as an “insular sect” — READ “cult”.

    • January 15, 2016 at 3:06 am
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      They always say the same old thing. It is pathetic. It’s always “We abhor wickedness.” Sounds like nothing and from about 1000 years ago. Just shows how robotic they all are. They just keep repeating the same old Watchtower phrases again and again like they are just a recording that keeps playing over and over. Surely, one day the media will catch on with this how brainwashed they are.

      • January 15, 2016 at 3:42 am
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        …or a BROKEN record

  • January 14, 2016 at 9:33 pm
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    From JWVictims.ORG:

    “David JACKSON
    January 10, 2016 at 12:54 am
    Very hypocritical. As a former police officer, I was involved in a case where they hid the pedophile who happened to be a family member. Anyone in the congregation was expelled who would say anything about it. The thing that shocked me the most that the elders on there judicial committee told me that the person was “forgiven by God’s holy spirit”. Sick perversion of an organization that is now being discovered more and more through out the world.”

    • January 15, 2016 at 3:09 am
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      How would they possibly know that God has forgiven them? That is so presumptuous.

      • January 15, 2016 at 3:45 am
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        Amazingly, according to his testimony in ARC, Geoffrey Jackson agrees with u!!! lol

  • January 14, 2016 at 9:39 pm
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    I seem to recall the Catholic Church had a lot of problems in Newfoundland with pedophile priests. Quite a few cases there, back in the day. I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree.

  • January 15, 2016 at 3:44 am
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    Unfortunately a lot of people caught up in this Cult will not accept any negative criticism or even proof of wrong. I know this because I was one for many years! I refused to believe anything bad about the Org. or Governing Body. Let’s hope more brave individuals come forward and expose this cruel religion for what it is. I wonder what God they really serve?

    • January 15, 2016 at 3:48 am
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      Answer: The Watchtower serves Satan.

    • January 15, 2016 at 3:53 am
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      People need to stop being afraid. If everyone comes forward together, what can WT do? They’ll have to disfellowship half their members. Even just disfellowshipping any who speak out, will cause such a shockwave throughout the organization, it will be devastating. & if disfellowshipping or shunning is an issue, it can be the next thing dealt with on a legal basis.

  • January 15, 2016 at 4:16 am
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    To the Watchtower Corporation:

    You now have so many moles you’re beginning to look like Cindy Crawford. Your organization is being sabotaged and eaten alive from within. More holes than Swiss cheese.

  • January 15, 2016 at 8:47 am
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    My gut feeling is in this case….Is that it was reported (because someone knew that if they didn’t, the Romans would come and nail the organization to the cross)..but then they handled it the regular way (internally ). And judicial committee told the dad to forgive, because they did.

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