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)
When 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.