The evidence is clear (thanks to the extensive work and research of the Australian Royal Commission) that Jehovah’s Witnesses have not only failed to protect the children in their midst – but have also shrugged their responsibilities and resisted any efforts to make needed changes in their policies.
In 1989, Joe and I, along with another Bethel couple, Dorothy and Dennis, traveled to Turkey on vacation and stayed at the Watch Tower Branch of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Istanbul. At that time, the Watch Tower and Jehovah’s Witnesses were banned by the Turkish government and could not legally operate in Turkey.
Leaders of a Manchester (England) Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses failed in their efforts to avoid a government investigation of the way it managed allegations of sexual abuse by (or involving) its members. Claiming “religious discrimination,” the overseers (“elders”) of the congregation failed to make their case before a regional judge.
The year was 1919. He was seven, the oldest of four surviving children. He was his immigrant father’s workhorse who was ordered to do man-sized jobs. Therefore, to keep the family warm, the child, not the father, often walked the long, wind-whipped city blocks carrying a heavy burlap sack of coal on his back which eventually bowed his developing legs.