Barbara Anderson’s Watchtower Documents – Latest News and Updates
Philadephia Judges: “JWs Used Abusive Tactics – Acted in Bad Faith”
Trey Bundy (REVEAL News) reports that a panel of judges in Philadephia (USA) ruled that the Watchtower Society and its attorneys used “abusive tactics” to try to delay a trial where they faced charges of covering up facts in a case filed in 2013 by Stephanie Fessler.
Fessler claims she was sexually abused 30 to 50 times from the ages of 14 to 16 by a middle-aged Jehovah’s Witness woman in another congregation.
This is not the first time a judge has taken issue with the Watchtower’s tactics in court. In two California cases, judges issued default judgments to plaintiffs because the Watchtower simply refused to cooperate by producing documents and their own witnesses to defend their actions.
Fessler’s attorney, Jeff Fritz, said Watchtower policies “enabled” her abuser.
“The congregation and the Watchtower had knowledge of child abuse that we contend they were obligated to report to law enforcement and child welfare authorities. They admit that they had knowledge of it, and they admit that they didn’t report it. As a result, she was subject to continued abuse.”
Judge Patricia Jenkins referred to the Watchtower and other defendants as “the Congregations” in her comment:
“The facts strongly suggest that the motion to transfer venue was the product of bad faith collaboration between the Congregations and the four York County witnesses.”
Former JW Elder and Son Face Child Abuse Charges in Newfoundland
CBC News reports that a former Jehovah’s Witness elder and his son are facing charges of child abuse in central Newfoundland. The charges include sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor child based on allegations dating between 2009 to 2012.
According to court documents, the second man is also charged with alleged sexual assault between May 2011 and December 2013 in a community on the Avalon Peninsula. According to the court documents and confirmed by CBC News, the men accused of these crimes are father and son and involve the same complainant.
Another Major Child Abuse Investigation in the United Kingdom
Trey Bundy, an investigative reporter for REVEAL, has just published an article describing the Watchtower’s ongoing legal problems associated with their policies on dealing with child abuse in their Kingdom Halls. This time, the scandalous coverups of JW pedophiles and perverts are located in the UK. One court case has been made public that gives the Watchtower Society and its leaders another embarrassing situation to deal with.
Ian Pheasey, a 54-year-old Jehovah’s Witness, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for choking young girls for sexual gratification in the 1990s. According to the prosecutor handling this case, Pheasey’s victims were told by elders to “keep quiet.” Investigators found that no effective action was taken against the molester and “the matter was swept under the carpet by the church.”
As we reported in an earlier article (see next segment on this page), Kathleen Hallisey, an attorney representing the victims of another Jehovah’s Witness child molester (Mark Sewell), currently has ten lawsuits pending against the Witnesses. She hopes the commission’s work can bring systemic change in spite of efforts by the Watchtower and their representatives to cover up crimes and hide the truth of their involvement. Elders in Sewell’s congregation dismissed allegations against him and allegedly destroyed evidence of his crimes.
Hallisey hopes that an ongoing investigation by the UK Charity Commission will be as effective as the Australian Commission was in August 2015. That Royal Commission uncovered over 1000 unreported child abuse cases among Jehovah’s Witnesses. Some went unreported in states that had mandatory reporting laws in effect at the time of the crimes. The patterns of denial and coverup of criminal child abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses are consistent in both countries and the rest of the world.
“The investigator has reached out to many survivors and has a true understanding of the particular issues that victims of sexual abuse in the Jehovah’s Witness organization face,” she told REVEAL. “I am hopeful that his dedication and diligence in pursuing this investigation will lead to real change in the Watchtower’s child protection policies.”
Coming Soon! A New Homepage and Additional Features on WTD
My webmaster is still working on a complete redesign of the “Home” (or “landing”) page for WatchtowerDocuments.org. This project has moved forward for several months, but due to all the recent news (including the Royal Commission hearings and an already heavy workload), he has fallen way behind his original schedule. We were originally hoping for an October 2015 completion date, but that proved to be too optimistic. He hopes to have it up and fully operational sometime in February. If we do it right, everything will just take a few hours to complete.
We are also adding several other new features to this website. We will expand our video and audio resources, adding a weekly personal video called (tentatively) “Brunch with Barbara.” I will be able to keep you updated on latest news and announce new articles and videos due to be published here on WTD .
We plan to provide an easily accessible video that will be a guide to all the features and assets that are available on this site – and show you how to find, access and use them. Let’s face it, trying to find an obscure book in a big city library is not easy – and that’s what WTD is – it’s exactly like a huge library that contains literally thousands of documents.
This is a major project for us all – and we have high hopes that our efforts will be rewarded with even more visitors. I have so much information to share, so many new things to add to the website and dozens of projects working in the background – and I really want to get all of it out to YOU, my faithful readers and visitors. I really hope our plans are successful. We are hoping to keep downtime and offline events to a minimum while the transitions take place.
I am also working on several projects myself – so I too am a bit overwhelmed at the moment. That’s good news for all of my readers. So much is happening every week – major changes are coming and news is breaking that continues to clearly identify the weaknesses the Watchtower and its leaders have. Let’s hope we make a lot of progress over the next twelve months.