Jehovah’s Witnesses Double Down on Scripture They Quote to Ignore Child Abuse

[Trey Bundy: November 9, 2017] What should Jehovah’s Witnesses do if they think someone they know has sexually abused a child, but no one was there to see it?

Nothing.

So say leaders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who instruct elders not to take action against a member of the religion accused of child sexual abuse without a confession or at least two witnesses to the crime.

That policy is based on Scripture, according to the religion’s top officials.

The vast majority of sexual predators abuse their victims in secret, with no witnesses present. And even though Jehovah’s Witnesses are under pressure worldwide for covering up child sexual abuse, a senior official says scrapping the policy isn’t up for discussion.

*** Link to Original Reveal News Article ***

“We will never change our Scriptural position on that subject,” said Gary Breaux, a senior official at the religion’s global headquarters in New York, known as the Watchtower.

Breaux made the statement this month on JW Broadcasting – the religion’s official internet video channel.

“Our good reasoning is pretty solid on this,” he said.

He then looked down at a Bible and read from Deuteronomy 19:15: “No single witness can convict another for any error or any sin that he may commit. On the testimony of two witnesses, or on the testimony of three witnesses, the matter should be established.”

When a Jehovah’s Witness commits a serious sin, such as child abuse, local leaders can form a judicial committee to determine whether the offender should be kicked out of the congregation. But without a confession or the testimony of two witnesses to corroborate the allegations, the elders are instructed to leave the matter to God’s judgment.

The lack of eyewitnesses in most child sexual abuse cases can also be vexing to prosecutors charged with convincing juries that a crime occurred based mostly on a minor’s allegations. Still, such cases are filed every day in courts across the country, and often result in guilty pleas or convictions. In Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations, the burden of proof is so high that some allegations are dismissed even when local leaders suspect that they’re true.

Breaux’s defense of the two-witness rule comes as legal scrutiny of Jehovah’s Witnesses child abuse policies is ramping up around the world. An investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found that Watchtower policies dating back to at least 1989 direct elders to keep child abuse secret from law enforcement and members of their congregations.

In September, current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada filed two class-action lawsuits against the Watchtower claiming the organization protects sexual predators in its congregations.

Attorneys in the U.S. have filed dozens of lawsuits against the Watchtower on behalf of alleged victims of sexual abuse. The commission that regulates charities in England is currently investigating whether the Watchtower’s child abuse policies violate charity laws. In 2015, a government commission in Australia reviewed internal Watchtower documents indicating that officials there had knowledge of 1,006 alleged child sexual abusers in that country. None had been reported to law enforcement.

Reveal’s investigation focused on former Jehovah’s Witnesses who claimed to have been sexually abused as children by a leader in their rural Oklahoma congregation. According to documents, other leaders there had suspected Ronald Lawrence of sexual misconduct “over a period of years in the past.”

In a letter to headquarters in New York, the leaders explained that because no one had witnessed the abuse, and because Lawrence had not confessed, that no action would be taken.  

“The matter,” they wrote, “would be left in Jehovah’s hand.”

Trey Bundy can be reached at tbundy@revealnews.org. Follow him on Twitter: @TreyBundy.


Comments

Jehovah’s Witnesses Double Down on Scripture They Quote to Ignore Child Abuse — 8 Comments

  1. Am a JW and not give up to do good ( 1 Tess 5:21) , by far the most members has nothing to do with child abuse. Further the policy of the WTBTS is to keep the control to the members, fear them and they follow the GB. The idea this is “Jehova’s organisation” is excellent for the GB only.
    Millions who live in the JW religion are in dangerous, the deception shall be so big that more victims come soon.

  2. The Watchtower uses the OT Mosaic Law at its convenience. They ignore the scriptures that plainly state that the Law and the 2 witness “rule” was nailed to the cross, torture stake or tree and fulfilled or completed when Jesus died.
    The GB has replaced Christ as the mediator and ‘Channel’ to dispense their “new light” as they interpret the Bible to fit their materialistic desires.
    Their main motive is to control all witnesses Behavior, the Information that receive, how they Think and how they feel or their Emotions. Its all about the Organization.

  3. They are only worried about their public image. The don’t give a dam about the child. just that image. But more people know about their image than they think. Most people have heard where to pick up little girls at. KINGDOM HALLS.

  4. In my case of being raped at gunpoint as a teenager with by a baptized brother as a worldly person and much to the dismay of the elder body, I pointed out there were 4 victims including his ex wife and preteen daughters and technically we can all verify that he likes to hog tie his victims and threaten them with death. They told me they “preferred 2 to 3 preferably male Jehovah’s Witnesses to watch” one of their rapists and/or pedophiles in action, and to not report it to the police because in their opinion their ways are not Jehovah’s ways despite that making them an accessory to the crime. I was also told they could disfellowship me on the grounds of slander and fornication for going to the police. After having a gunshot in front of my house at 4 am I had no choice’

    • Lagioiella…I thought I had it grim sometimes, as to experiences in Wt…Yours…my goodness! Their response…Shocking!…YOU could be dfed for slander and fornication! What the bloody hell is wrong with these boneheads! If god would back them in their decision as to how they would deal with you…I for one…would line them all up…as well as this …so called god of theirs….and kick all their hineys to the highest of heavenly places! What a disgrace Jw.org is! All to keep a person…shut up and put up…oh this makes me mad! Disgusting bunch! Keep smoking these creepers out!

    • Yes the gb are big on using the ‘slander’ thing. So what go to the Police and report a crime and get done for slander? what crap!

  5. Actually this is only half right. The September 1st Letter to all Elders clearly states that Elders will instruct victims or those informed of abuse that they are free to contact the authorities without repercussions from the elders or the society. The elders will still only contact the local authorities if the law dictates and of course the society’s legal department.

    • Randy, In 1994 that was not the case. I was told “law enforcement’s ways are not Jehovah’s ways and since I did not have 2 to 3 preferably male JW’s who witnessed a married brother raping me at gunpoint I could be disfellowshipped for slander. This is with 4 other victims from the same Kingdom Hall. This is after a gunshot in front of my house at 4 AM, which an elder removed the shotgun casing shell from my yard that very morning and never returned it to me. Tampering with evidence! No elders reported children being raped at gunpoint, hogtied, sodomized, and terrorized afterwards in my Kingdom Hall to the police. No elders were laying down their life for us. They were however concerned about the rapist coming to and participating in meetings, and going out door to door. When I was at the Kingdom Hall the elders and my close circle of friends dumped me without being disfellowshipped or put on private reproof. I think deep down the elders knew they were being creeps. Especially when I told them they were behaving like Achan and his clan in the Bible. Also Jesus condemned anyone that harmed children. They did not like the fact that I had a brain and I knew statistics and that 99.9% of rapes are done in secret and NEVER in front of an audience of 2 to 3 witnesses. Ever since, and to this day the elders do not drop by my house and encourage me. Bottom-line, in their eyes I am damaged goods, and I don’t have a penis, and therefore they don’t give a shit about me.

      I have a letter from the head of the men’s club AKA Governing Body in New York dated December 24, 1992 to a Kingdom Hall in Florida telling the elders not to go to the police because a psychopath who committed several murders and other crimes before his baptism” confessed to them. GB minimized it to something that “will result in major repercussions to him and his wife.” They were more concerned about him serving time in prison as a JW and his wife leaving him for what I am guessing were rapes and murders. What about due process of law??? What about the loved ones of the people he murdered??? No accountability whatsoever!

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