“The Witnesses” Examines JW Child Abuse Issues

In case you missed this when it was first released, Jeff Truesdell reported in People Magazine on January 13, 2020, that Oxygen Channel was scheduled to present a new two-part documentary that examines alleged child abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses and covered up by the Watchtower.  “The Witnesses” premiered Saturday, February 8 and 9, 2020. Trey Bundy appeared in the documentary.

Here are some excerpts from the People article:

New Documentary Examines Alleged Child Sex Abuse Within Jehovah’s Witnesses

Oxygen’s The Witnesses revisits long-running claims of protections given to alleged pedophiles within the denomination

Alleged sex abuse of children within the Jehovah’s Witnesses has long been in the headlines.

In 2016, an investigation by a royal commission in Australia found the religious denomination had logged allegations against 1,006 of its members there, yet reported none to authorities. In April The Atlantic magazine revealed the sect maintained a list of accused pedophiles within its membership going back decades. Courts have repeatedly fined its parent organization, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, for resisting orders to turn over confidential documents tied to those allegations.

And last week, allegations raised in a Montana case surfaced again when that state’s Supreme Court reversed an earlier $35 million decision against the Jehovah’s Witnesses for failing to report to authorities a member who sexually abused a girl.

In February, Oxygen will premiere a two-part documentary about the Jehovah’s Witnesses in which a journalist who has spent five years looking at the group alleges “an abuse story that has layers of coverup.”

“If you ask a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses how child abuse gets handled in their congregations, it would come as a total shock to them that it’s not supposed to be reported to police,” Trey Bundy, a journalist from The Center for Investigative Reporting, says in the Oxygen documentary, The Witnesses, which debuts February 8 and 9.

The Montana case illustrates what many advocates against sex abuse say is a problematic loophole. In that case, the state’s Supreme Court cited an exemption to state law that otherwise requires clergy there to report suspected abuse. The court held that clergy “are not required to report known or suspected child abuse if the knowledge results from a congregation member’s confidential communication or confession and if the person making the statement does not consent to disclosure,” says the unanimous majority opinion by Justice Beth Baker, reports the Associated Press.

An attorney for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Joel Taylor, told the AP: “No child should ever be subjected to such a debased crime. Tragically, it happens, and when it does Jehovah’s Witnesses follow the law. This is what the Montana Supreme Court has established.”

Currently, only 28 states require clergy members to report suspected child abuse and neglect, according to the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Oxygen documentary includes interviews with four former Jehovah’s Witnesses members who recount details of sexual abuse they allege occurred while they were members of the organization. Also interviewed is attorney Irwin Zalkin, who has represented 24 former or current members of the denomination in lawsuits alleging abuse that was brought to the attention of Jehovah’s Witness elders.

“They don’t tell anyone else why the person is being disciplined,” Zalkin told Newsweek in August 2019. “And if someone confesses and demonstrates — in their mind — that they’re repentant, they’ll get a ‘private reproof,’ which is like a slap on the wrist.”

The Witnesses premiered Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 9 on Oxygen (7 p.m. ET/PT). Here is the YouTube presentation of the video teaser in case you missed it.


Published January 17, 2020 / May 4, 2020 / Barbara Anderson


Comments

“The Witnesses” Examines JW Child Abuse Issues — 3 Comments

  1. “and when it does Jehovah’s Witnesses follow the law. ” yes they do if the law says youare not required to report the dont report. Thus they claim to obey the law

  2. they(the Witnesses) are under God’s law, which tells them to be obedient to the Superior authorities, that means the Governmental laws of each land, they are telling lies when they say that 2 witnesses to child abuse. They use the Church rule of confession which the Witnesses are told to keep far away from these religions, they are liars, deceitful and money orientated, using the money from selling Kingdom halls that have been built with free labour and donations from even little children’s pocket money.to fund the law suits. You can look at the homes the Governing body live in, millions of dollars, and wear Rolex watches and Gucci suits, when they tell the rest of the flock that Jesus had no where to lay his head and had only one good garment, hypocrits, needs to be investigated, as they hold shares in Boeing, Lockheed, tobacco and many others including weapons of war

  3. JW.org is being exposed as a truly Satanic cult full of pedophiles, abusers, liars and other unChristian men?

    Watchtower is Satan’s Own Cult!
    To understand why pedophilia and other crimes are so prevalaent in JWs you need to understand that the cult is not Christian but Satanic!
    The very fact the elders lie about pedophiles and hide and deny existence of incriminating documents and records is sure proof they are not Christian as by definition a Christian is bound by the Thou shall not lie! commandments.

    To illustrate in court how evil the JWorg is just need to expose how their literature pictures are full of subliminal images.
    Blow up some of the images to show that in fact a Watchtower or Awake magazine is the same as the windowless room full of idols and graven images as in Ezekiel 8.
    And get some psychologist to explain how subliminals of pornography can make a child susceptible to sexual abuse and why the JWorg appeals to pedophilesmand why the elders are such liars and hypocrites.
    Anyone else taking JWs to court needs to take Watchtower/Awake and JW books to court and show that the pictures contain subliminal images of demons, reptiles, nudity, beasts intended to subliminally cause

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