When Faith Groups Limit Personal Liberty

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JW Elder Knew of Abuse – Did Not Report for a Decade

It’s a rare week when a new case of child abuse or rape among Jehovah’s Witnesses isn’t reported somewhere in North America. That’s in spite of new court cases and successful convictions every few months that are destroying Watchtower’s reputation. The following report comes from a small town in Illinois (USA) where there was limited coverage about just such a case. But it includes a surprising and horrific twist that proves Watchtower leaders at all levels still refuse to take decisive action to protect children.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses Ask Court to Reverse $35M Abuse Verdict

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS / Posted Sep 13, 2019 12:34 pm PDT /BILLINGS, Mont. — An attorney for the Jehovah’s Witnesses asked the Montana Supreme Court on Friday to reverse a $35 million verdict against the church for not reporting a girl’s sexual abuse to authorities. Last year, a jury awarded $4 million in compensatory damages and $31 million in punitive damages to a woman who said she was abused as a child in the mid-2000s by a member of the Thompson Falls Jehovah’s Witness congregation.

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KIRO-TV: “Kingdom Hall Damaged by Suspicious Fire”

KIRO-TV, Channel 7 in Seattle, Washington, reported on August 13, 2019, that an Assembly Hall in Puyallup was damaged by fire – an apparent case of arson. The Pierce County Fire Marshal is investigating what appears to be another attack on local Jehovah’s Witnesses. Two other reported incidents occurred during March 2018. [Video included.]

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Belgium: Ninety JW Sexual Abuse Victims Tell Their Stories

On August 9, 2019, Jules Johnston of The Brussels Times reported that “No fewer than 90 victims of sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation in Belgium have been discovered over a six month period, according to an association for victims. The organization “Reclaimed Voices” has worked with other groups in the country to identify cases within the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization in Belgium,” reports Le Soir.

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