Our Barbara Anderson has been in the thick of things during June and July getting her message out to the residents and government leaders of the state of Pennsylvania. In a well-attended meetup reported widely by the press, Barb – along with other activists, attorneys, and prominent state politicians delivered scathing attacks against the Watchtower’s policies related to the handling of Jehovah’s Witness child abusers.
For many young male Jehovah’s Witnesses, the thrills and joy of reaching “manhood” are tempered by the possibility of serving some time in a Federal prison. Why? Because they face the possibility (especially when there are wars going on) that they will be called up for military service.
In Sydney, Australia, beginning in the spring of 2013, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began to hold public hearings. Starting from July 27, 2015, for eight days the Commission (ARC) examined the church of Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) response to allegations, reports or complaints of child sexual abuse, and their procedures in place to prevent child sexual abuse.
The following “letter of dissociation” was submitted by “Carlos Fernandes” to the elders of his local Kingdom Hall in Portugal. While it is long and detailed, we were impressed by his calm approach and solid reasoning. We are pleased to reprint it here with Senhor Fernandes’ permission.
AJWRB (Advocates for Jehovah’s Witness Reform on Blood – ajwrb.org) is a diverse and dedicated group of former and current Witnesses from many countries. Some active supporters and volunteers are presently serving as JW elders and Hospital Liaison Committee members. Others have previously served in that capacity. A few work in a related medical field or have friends or relatives who are Witnesses.
Within organized religious institutions, the manipulation and pressure over “performance” issues perpetuated by people in positions of authority are common, but not easily recognizable. The effects should be characterized as “spiritual abuse” initiated from a misuse of power and influence by leaders who lack humility and integrity – and who also consider themselves above questioning.