Katheryn Harris Carmean White is serving a six year prison sentence for sexually abusing a 14 year old boy
Katheryn Harris Carmean White is serving a six year prison sentence for sexually abusing a 14 year old boy

A court in Delaware has ruled that Watchtower cannot use the Clergy Penitent privilege as a loophole to avoid reporting child abuse, according to a recent story by Trey Bundy of Revealnews.org.

The case centred around a 30 year old Jehovah’s Witness named Katheryn Harris Carmean White, who had repeatedly had sex with a 14 year old child, and who had then confessed to the congregation elders to carrying out the abuse.

The elders in the congregation then failed to report the abuser to the authorities. Now they, and the congregation itself, face a lawsuit from the Delaware authorities for failing to report.

On the face of it, the elders in question appear to have violated Watchtowers own polices on child abuse. Watchtower policies instructed elders not to report abusers to the authorities, unless there is a law in place that requires them to do so. And Delaware law indeed requires them to do so.

However, Bundy’s report goes on to show that, far from censuring its wayward Elders, Watchtower is fighting in the courts to defend their actions, and to find loopholes in the existing law to allow their non-reporting stance to continue.

This is extremely confusing. Because not too long ago, Watchtower explicitly asked for this law to come into force.

Mandatory Reporting: Does Watchtower want it or not?

Geoffrey Jackson appeared before the Australian royal commission to answer to concerns over child abuse mishandling
Geoffrey Jackson appeared before the Australian royal commission to answer to concerns over child abuse mishandling

One of the most memorable Watchtower news events of 2015 was the appearance and testimony of Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson at the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. During his testimony, Angus Stewart and Justice McClellan asked Jackson why Watchtower had a policy of not requiring elders to contact the secular authorities once they became aware of an accusation of child sexual abuse.

Jackson replied that there was, in Watchtower’s eyes, a dilemma. One the one hand, Jackson claimed, they genuinely wanted to see such abusers reported to the police. On the other hand, the Governing Body felt that Elders had a duty before God not to interfere in the internal affairs of a family.

During the hearing (this discussion begins at around 1 hour 37 minutes in the above video) Jackson himself suggested that one way around this “spiritual dilemma” would be for the law to change, to make the reporting of such abuse mandatory by Religious officials such as the Elders.

In other words, he asked the Australian Government to implement the kind of law that exists in Delaware.

So, in Australia, Watchtower appeals to the Royal Commission and the Australian Government to introduce mandatory reporting to take away their above-described “dilemma” and allow them to report child sexual abuse to the proper authorities. Jackson clearly gives the impression in his testimony that, should this law be introduced, Watchtower would be eager to comply.

But in the US, where such a mandatory reporting law does exist, Watchtower are going to court to try and avoid those very same rules.

Either Watchtower is deeply confused as to how it wishes to handle this matter, or something far more cynical and disturbing is going on here.






Delaware Online Article on this case.

Revealnews.org article on this case.

33 thoughts on “Watchtower News Bulletin: Delaware sex abuse ruling highlights Watchtower confusion.

  • March 7, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Great article, Covert Fade.

    All I can say is that something is indeed disturbing within the organisation.

  • March 7, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Is Watchtower facing an imminent implosion? Child abuse cases lining up in the courts of the world, expenditure exceeding income, a charity commission enquiry and increasing apostasy as knowledge of the awfulness of the cult is ever more readily available.

    These delaying tactics on every front cannot sustain this corrupt outfit indefinitely.

    • March 7, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      “Is Watchtower facing an imminent implosion?” I sure hope so.

      • March 7, 2016 at 7:45 pm

        I sure hope so as well.

      • March 19, 2016 at 10:48 am


    • March 10, 2016 at 11:22 am

      Rowland Nelken says: “Is Watchtower facing an imminent implosion?”

      It looks like this is the case. Watchtower headquarters has issued a letter directing congregation elders to destroy all incriminating evidence relating to child sex abuse. When the collapse comes, it will begin at the local level and the congregation elders will be the ones facing the wrath of their governments.

      The content of the March 2016 JW Broadcast makes for an interesting sidenote to this topic. Now that Jeff Jackson has perjured himself before Australia’s Royal Commission, he’s back in Brooklyn demonstrating his fake sincerity as the host of this month’s episode. The theme of Jackson’s talk is that Jehovah, Jesus and the Governing Body love us all very much.

      Oddly enough, there is no begging for money this month. As weepy music plays in the background, viewers are treated to a series of heart rending experiences presented by a parade of Witnesses who are facing great challenges as they strive to serve the Watchtower cult.

      The highlight of the episode comes in the form of a baking lesson, which details how to prepare the bread for this year’s memorial observance. And it is indeed an observance. The bread is passed around the Kingdom Hall as the audience observes that nobody is partaking of this emblem. With the number of anointed Witnesses increasing each year, perhaps there are some mentally deranged or emotionally challenged audience members partaking, but they are not shown.

      The Watchtower organization does indeed appear to be on the verge of collapse. We are no longer hearing of the need to build an additional 14,000 Kingdom Halls and the need to update other Watchtower investment properties. In fact, the move to Warwick and the sale of the Brooklyn properties, combined with the first round of Bethel layoffs, is an indication that the implosion has already begun.

      The Governing Body members are getting ready to throw their congregation elders under the bus as they retreat to the safety of their new, luxurious bunker in upstate New York. Televangelism and the JW dot ORG website will become the primary tools used by this reinvented version of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    • July 6, 2016 at 1:05 am

      This is not new it was going on in thee late 60,s just now catching up with them

  • March 7, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks Covert fade. It’s interesting, here in Australia, Catholic Cardinal Pell has been very much in the spotlight of the same ARC. I can’t help but compare. The Australian newspaper reports this morning:

    “Cardinal George Pell has failed to treat child sex abuse victims with “compassion and empathy” as Jesus would have, cabinet minister Michaelia Cash declared on the ABC’s Q & A program last night.

    Senator Cash said there had been a “complete lack of empathy” from Cardinal Pell. “He hasn’t, I don’t believe, reached out to them and said ‘I feel your pain’ as Jesus would have.”

    Senator Cash, a Catholic, said she had spoken to a lot of her Catholic friends about the royal commission and the Church’s reaction.

    “Jesus at the end of the day was someone who had compassion and who had empathy. I would expect nothing less from the leaders of our Church, especially for those victims in verbalising what they went through, to at least show them compassion and empathy,” Senator Cash said.

    I wish Watchtower was getting the same scrutiny, but they seem to have slipped through the net again, which is ironic when you think that Watchtower claims persecution as evidence of being the only true religion and uses that as leverage, when in reality most people just ignore JWs.

    I also wonder what JWs watching this saturation coverage of Cardinal Pell in Australia make of this compared to Geoffrey Jackson’s testimony. Do they believe that when the ARC investigates all the other religions (23 so far) that they are investigating Bablyon the Great, and yet when it comes to Watchtower these are “apostate-driven lies”?

    I do like the fact that Catholics are at least allowed to talk about this though and scrutinise their leadership, even in public! Cardinal Pell’s responses have at least been one step ahead of Watchtower’s, in that he acknowledged the abuse, apologised and agreed that the churches handling of such was inadequate. True they’ve had longer to practice, and they are just as bad as Watchtower, but aren’t JWs meant to be distinctly different from all other religions as God’s only approved organisation on Earth today? Isn’t Jesus directing all of this? Where’s the compassion in outright denial and attempts to silence victims, and when this fails, fighting them tooth and nail all the way?

    • March 7, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      I agree with you, Catholics have come a long way to first denying there were abusers in their midst to now acknowledging their existance. It’s taken them 20 years! It will take years for WT to do the same. We need to follow SNAP’s example and keep it in the public eye. How we do that I’m not sure.

  • March 7, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Watchtower knows exactly what it is doing. It is engaging in “theocratic Warfare” where it tells the courts and secular authorities what it feels they “need to know” or what it thinks that they want to hear, and then it goes on doing things the way it has always done, behind a veil of secrecy. They have clearly obvious double standards, and totally ineffective policies.

  • March 7, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    “Governing Body felt that Elders had a duty before God not to interfere in the internal affairs of a family”

    You mean like encouraging family members to shun other family members who leave the organization? Or counselling a wife to remain with an abusive husband? Can they truly be this delusional?

  • March 7, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Do you really need a law to make it mandatory? Love Jehovah with your whole, heart, mind, and strength and love your neighbour as yourself? Jehovah is LOVE, so out of love, you report it.

  • March 7, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    What is that scripture we had rammed down our throats in regards to telling little white lies….. cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves. How many times I read that in articles when JW’s were trying to hide things from the authorities. I think this totally applies to this organisation. It stinks and I will be glad to see it shown up for what it is. a den of thieves… thieves that steal happiness, lives and innocence.

  • March 7, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    The first thing that Is glaringly apparent, is, that they
    are going to fight “Tooth and nail ” to protect themselves
    and their organisation. The best way to do this is , to get
    their code of silence supported by law.

    Jackson would in no way admit the true reason when
    asked. ” Why elders were not required to report cases
    of child sex abuse that came to their attention.”

    He was either caught off guard by a skilled attorney, or
    primed in advance of possible questions and how to
    answer them. He claimed to favour compulsory reporting.

    However, cases like the one in Delaware where reporting
    is mandatory, yet they still try to get round the law by
    claiming “Clergy Privilege”. Demonstrate clearly that
    Jackson’s testimony in Australia was anything but the
    truth. — Confused or Cynical ? I think the answer is clear.

  • March 7, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    To me, the question isn’t WHY they are taking such a surprising stand in favor of hiding child molestation, but HOW MANY of the Governing Body members and Circuit and District Overseers would be exposed if they were forced to follow mandatory reporting laws.

    • March 7, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Bingo! I say this all the time. I have no doubt the list of watchtower heavy hitters on their pervy database is quite lengthy.

      • March 8, 2016 at 6:10 am

        @Chifade, There was a C.O. back in the 80’s in Northern California. His last named was Brown and I believe his 1st name was J.R. He came through the congregations and ad a great personality and was sort of charismatic. He told the circuit he needed a new Travel trailer and some brothers started going around trying to raise funds for him and they succeeded in getting $25k together from donors. I personally refused bc I did not like the Idea and I felt he had one already and I also had 3 kids to support and a wife,why does he need a brand new one?
        Even the District overseer supported the Idea. Finally it came out that he had been sleeping with many sisters and other women and possibly Men over several years. It also came out that he had aids. Eventually he was removed from the Circuit work and died of Aids. We were all shocked but this is one example ofpeople in High WT positions that were sexual predators.

        Also let’s not forget the 2 former governing body members Leo Greenlees and Ewart Chitty. it is common Knowledge that they were Gay and Leo was a child molester and you can read about by googling their names. One person claims he was molested by Greenless as a child and that Chitty and Greenless had molested young men at Bethel. Of course
        they are both dead now so it I hard to determine how many stories are true or not but it was common knowledge according to many eyewitnesses that they were Gay and some claim they were molested by

  • March 7, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Watchtower wishes for everything to go their way no questions asked. They will fight to the death to keep it that way. Their delusion is strong but that’s something to also be thankful for. As they battle valiantly it will be to their demise. “Foolishness” truly is “tied up in the heart of the wicked ones”.

  • March 7, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Crowdfunding. Hire some really good lawyers and file class action lawsuits against Watchtower. Make it public. Invite the media. Shine a light as they do against Catholic clergy. What is so hard about this? Let’s get it done already. Bring in child advocacy groups, women’s groups, Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU. Find the legal eagle who can get all this done and bring it into the media spotlight. Until it makes the headlines, things will remain in the shadows and no progress will be made. Shine the light…make it public, and it will avalanche. People will come forward within the organization; people who are fed up with the cult.
    Let’s do this!

  • March 7, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Here’s one for you, just recently a young lady was out on the preach with a married couple, she told them that she had a sexual encounter when she was under 18 by a married Brother, they took her to the Police & made her tell her story, police investigate & a court case & jail time is happening, it would appear though that this was dealt with several years ago & the brother was disfellowshipped, since then reinstated & running freely around the country side, until now, now more & more people are finding out & asking why is he not disfellowshipped, well apparently you can’t be dis twice for the same crime, but people are also asking he could have abused more people, why didn’t you warn us, even more sickening is how Elders are trying to help the pedo, & have no regard for other people in the congo, they also announced from the platform not to discuss this case. i kid you not

  • March 8, 2016 at 12:26 am

    The Two Witness rule that the Watchtower uses fails on so many levels. In the Bible if found guilty they are to stone the Guilty, they don’t do that as much as they would like too. So, they don’t follow the Bible as they say so.

  • March 8, 2016 at 12:29 am

    Watchtower has a policy of fighting court cases whether they are in the wrong or not. It makes things extremely hard for someone who has a genuine case. WT will file court motions on any pretext they can think of in order to get a person’s case struck out. Watchtower in Ireland was told by both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court that their activity was unlawful, this with reference to their secret rules. The secret rules breach human rights and fair procedures.
    Has WT taken any notice of the Supreme Court? No, of course not. They won the case on the statute of limitations so believe they don’t have to take any notice of the courts. So they continue to put their members in danger by continuing to breach human rights.

  • March 8, 2016 at 12:55 am

    If the WT wins even though they may be wrong, Jehovah is blessing them, if they lose even though wrong its persecution.

    The only way to get this org/cult cut down is from within, but that will take a lot of honest fed up JW to do it.

    The best way is to show that the GB are not just delusional but they lie, the flock losing trust in this so called FDS is the start.

  • March 8, 2016 at 11:22 am

    I hope that all these cases drains the org of money. This religion deserves everything that’s happening to it, and so much more.

  • March 8, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Thanx, I welcome the “JW Survey” …like way back when a letter showed up in the mail box from a loved one! Where I clean..”( I did not get a ed. and put 1 st JW. ORG things so…”) The lady of the hse…Catholic, struck with …stress induced sicknesses like myself…But she a Catholic, recieved for xmas a bk entitled…”LIES MY MOTHER TOLD ME”…I seen it on her dresser, not opened yet…I can not wait til she returns from holidays…It is a story of…need I say more…No wonder someone was heard to say..”.Religion is a snare and a racket”….Same bucket, same scoop, just diff bowl!

  • March 8, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    I think it’s interesting with this case that the abused boy was 14 so technically a minor and underage when it comes to sex, but still ok to be baptised?

    Even though he was no doubt sexually aware, the law of the land deems that he is not mature enough to understand the implications of sexual activity. This may seem like a technicality, but it is a legitimate one. If his sexual activity was consensual it at least differs from rape, which is a most heinous crime, but it is serious nonetheless. It rests on whether anybody of that age can really grasp the full implications of their conduct, and whether they are being exploited, taken advantage of, being groomed by somebody older.

    Interesting that even Watchtower would consider this wrong because it is “porneia”, but in many cases the full implications of baptism at such a young age are little understood, but also devastating – a form of abuse in themselves – like a life of shunning and alienation from loved ones for instance.

  • March 8, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    I am reminded of this old italian saying, “il più alto le salite scimmia , più mostra il suo asino” or in the queen’s English “the higher the monkey climbs, the more he shows his ass”. This saying describes perfectly my personal view of the seven mental dwarfs currently calling themselves the “faithful and discrete” slave.

    On the one hand we have Jackson begging the ARC for laws for reporting pedophiles and in the U.S. ,where there are such laws, they (the Governing Body) choose to ignore reporting. They have attorneys on staff so “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” They feel that they are sacrosanct and above Caesar’s laws. They will continue to ignore Caesar’s laws until the governments move against them. Then watch them cry “Persecution by Satan and his system of things, it’s a sign of the end times, the end is nigh, God will protect us, Armageddon is just around the corner” ad nausum.

  • March 8, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    It’s recognised that predominantly single sex institutions
    spawn acts of homosexuality, sometimes forced on
    unwilling inmates. Most often it’s the older initiating
    the younger by various means.

    The stories out of Bethel regarding Chitty and Greenlees
    fit the pattern, and the fact they were both moved on lends
    weight to the accusations.

    If there’s more under the surface involving prominent ones
    and it becomes known, This would be a hammer blow to
    their already disintegrating reputation, and claims of divine
    appointment as the FDS. It would also explain their attempts
    to keep everything covered up, despite Jackson claiming
    he favours disclosure.

    This org, fails to recognise the realities of human nature
    and sets ideals that few if any can live up to. It causes
    internal conflicts, depression, unhappiness and secrecy,
    which can lead to unlawful acts.

    • March 8, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      I remember my parents often commenting, “If you want to find the dirt always look at the top”. This saying certainly rings true within all corrupt organisations, and no less the Watchtower!

    • March 8, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      Great comment that brings something to my mind. There was an article about raising children that the org wrote. I can’t remember if it was a watchtower or a book but one of its quotes said ” children are like rubber bands. You can wind them up tighter and tighter by means of restrictions. Like a rubber band that is tightly wound, when you let go it releases violently. So too will your children if you do not give them the appropriate latitude “. I thought that was a good point. BUT it tells me a couple of thing’s.

      One is that they are aware of how humans react under severe restrictions and can’t self reflect. Or 2 they ARE aware of how humans react and know exactly what they are doing. Making them truly despicable.

  • March 8, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    It’s for selfish reasons indoctrinated people ignore the court cases of sex abuse victims. Here is a good example of what I’m talking about. In the August 15, 2000 Watchtower, pp 4-7 under The Only Way to Eradicate Hate and under the heading, “What Would Jesus Have Done?” it reads in June 1998, three white men in rural Texas in the United States attacked James Byrd, Jr., a black man. They took him to a remote, desolate area, beat him, and chained his legs together. Then they attached him to a pickup truck and dragged him three miles[5 km] down the road until his body hit a culvert. This has been dubbed the decade’s (1990’s) most horrific hate crime. Three sisters of James Byrd are Jehovah’s Witnesses. How do they feel about the perpetrators of this horrible crime? They feel they live in Satan’s system of things but are living in a spiritual paradise as Jehovah’s witnesses. It’s for selfish reasons indoctrinated people ignore the court cases of sex abuse victims. This family is a good example of why people ignore anything negative that goes on in their religion. They need strength for their sanity. It’s a thought.

  • March 8, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    This is the type of story that needs broad attention. Especially when JW.org has recently posted a news item about a “bronze telly award” that they won for two videos of theirs. A truly disappointing propaganda piece where they have quotes from non witnesses praising their work. For instance restoring the Stanley theatre.
    Seeing clueless people praise the org makes me want to hurt puppies and kittens. We need to keep up the pressure by exposing this disgusting thing called JW.org.

  • March 9, 2016 at 5:50 am

    These men do not look humble. Some are blatantly arrogant. If they’ve wanted to keep Abuse secret by not telling the police, they are culpable. And no different than any other churches stance, ie: Roman Catholic. Procuring the abuse.

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