Sexual Abuse Coverups in Jehovah's Witnesses

chipgallo

Patron Meritorious
Happened to be listening to NPR when they ran a story on the Watchtower/Jehovah's Witnesses "disfellowship" (disconnection) of members who speak out about sexual abuse against them. It struck me as eerily similar to some cases in Scientology.

One of the incidents is documented at this link and other investigations here. The same source, Center for Investigative Reporting, says that JW is using 1st Amendment claims in defense tactics. This last reference includes a statement by one of the group's attorneys that they have child sexual abuse reports stored in a Microsoft Sharepoint data base, but that it would be too difficult to sort them out due to the quantity of scanned documents.

Over on the Wikipedia page dedicated to Jehovah's Witnesses handling of child sexual abuse, the edit history is reminiscent of some controversial Scientology pages as well.
 

Jump

Operating teatime
Happened to be listening to NPR when they ran a story on the Watchtower/Jehovah's Witnesses "disfellowship" (disconnection) of members who speak out about sexual abuse against them. It struck me as eerily similar to some cases in Scientology.

One of the incidents is documented at this link and other investigations here. The same source, Center for Investigative Reporting, says that JW is using 1st Amendment claims in defense tactics. This last reference includes a statement by one of the group's attorneys that they have child sexual abuse reports stored in a Microsoft Sharepoint data base, but that it would be too difficult to sort them out due to the quantity of scanned documents.

Over on the Wikipedia page dedicated to Jehovah's Witnesses handling of child sexual abuse, the edit history is reminiscent of some controversial Scientology pages as well.


This link shows a TV interview with an Ex-JW about the child abuse cover ups being investigated by the Australian Royal Commission.

The interviewer is informed and insightful.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-06/ex-jehovahs-witness-criticises-the-group-for-not/6678790

[video=youtube;Pd6B4xAmFfk]Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd6B4xAmFfk[/video]
 

chipgallo

Patron Meritorious
Thanks for the link, Jump! At the end of the interview, they ask how Paul Grundy decided to get out of JW. He gives a good description of the recovery process which would apply, i think, to anyone re-entering society after being shunned, disfellowshipped, disconnected, etc.
 

Mick Wenlock

Admin Emeritus (retired)
Happened to be listening to NPR when they ran a story on the Watchtower/Jehovah's Witnesses "disfellowship" (disconnection) of members who speak out about sexual abuse against them. It struck me as eerily similar to some cases in Scientology.

One of the incidents is documented at this link and other investigations here. The same source, Center for Investigative Reporting, says that JW is using 1st Amendment claims in defense tactics. This last reference includes a statement by one of the group's attorneys that they have child sexual abuse reports stored in a Microsoft Sharepoint data base, but that it would be too difficult to sort them out due to the quantity of scanned documents.

Over on the Wikipedia page dedicated to Jehovah's Witnesses handling of child sexual abuse, the edit history is reminiscent of some controversial Scientology pages as well.


EVERY controlling totalitarian cult has child sex abuse issues and cover up issues. It goes with the territory.
 

chipgallo

Patron Meritorious
EVERY controlling totalitarian cult has child sex abuse issues and cover up issues. It goes with the territory.

I am more interested in societal response and how the cults attempt to work the system to their advantage. For instance, the Wikipedia entry has an assertion, based on a survey of some kind, that their child abuse level is not higher than the outside society. Even if true, it begs the question of why they continue to ignore reporting requirements and perpetuate the problem. In the Australian video of Paul Grundy, he says that increased pressure on the issue from outside has caused the elders to modify their interpretation of the JW policy somewhat. This is a change that we don't usually see with Scientology policy.
 

Churchill

Gold Meritorious Patron
EVERY controlling totalitarian cult has child sex abuse issues and cover up issues. It goes with the territory.

Pedophilia is a crime that's not limited to cults. Little League baseball coaches, Priests, Rabbis, Scoutmasters...even parents, have been found to have sexually abused children.

In Syria and Iraq, not to mention places like Rotherham, it is widespread and religiously sanctioned, turning those places into the modern-day equivalent of Sodom and Gomorrah

As a parent, I can't think of a worse, more abominable crime.

Except maybe covering it up...


Here is one example of societal response from a group I have worked with.
www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/orthodox_patrol_group_urges_911_call_pedophiles
 
Last edited:

Mick Wenlock

Admin Emeritus (retired)
I am more interested in societal response and how the cults attempt to work the system to their advantage. For instance, the Wikipedia entry has an assertion, based on a survey of some kind, that their child abuse level is not higher than the outside society. Even if true, it begs the question of why they continue to ignore reporting requirements and perpetuate the problem. In the Australian video of Paul Grundy, he says that increased pressure on the issue from outside has caused the elders to modify their interpretation of the JW policy somewhat. This is a change that we don't usually see with Scientology policy.

I have no idea how one would do a study comparing the levels of child abuse within and without a cult and I am surprised at the passive acknowledgement in the article that the cult does nothing at all to "handle" such evil. Begging the question, of course, of what fucking use is it?

The only cult that I know of that has tried to systematically tackle the subject was ISKCON after the incredibly gross revelations of the 90's. But I have heard on various message boards that the ones who led during that time have been making their re-appearance.
 

Mick Wenlock

Admin Emeritus (retired)
Pedophilia is a crime that's not limited to cults. Little League baseball coaches, Priests, Rabbis, Scoutmasters...even parents, have been found to have sexually abused children.

In Syria and Iraq, not to mention places like Rotherham, it is widespread and religiously sanctioned, turning those places into the modern-day equivalent of Sodom and Gomorrah

As a parent, I can't think of a worse, more abominable crime.

Except maybe covering it up...

nowhere in my post did I saw that it was limited to cults. Not sure what point you think you are refuting. I said it was characteristic of ALL totalitarian cults. Not that cults were exclusive in this regard.

The main difference is that cults are all about exalting themselves and bringing their membership to salvation and divine or otherwise redemption. Which makes the crime all the more "cover uppable" to coin a phrase.

You can peruse the postings on this message board to find examples of flagrant child abuse in the Sea Org - but the reports are years after the occurrence. If only those who had knowledge of what happened had actually done something - how different this conversation might have been.
 

Churchill

Gold Meritorious Patron
Mick,

That's what happens when, in haste, I hit the reply to post button instead of reply to thread.

Sorry.:duh:
 

chipgallo

Patron Meritorious
I have no idea how one would do a study comparing the levels of child abuse within and without a cult and I am surprised at the passive acknowledgement in the article that the cult does nothing at all to "handle" such evil. Begging the question, of course, of what fucking use is it?

This is the study reference, which appears in the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry. The fucking use is as a distraction from the key issue being discussed, that of child abuse. Obviously they are legally bound to report every case to authorities whether or not the JW rate of occurrence is lower or higher than the general society.

"Ringnes, Hege Kristin; Sødal, Helje Kringlebotn (2009), Jehovas vitner — en flerfaglig studie (in Norwegian), Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, p. 101, ISBN 978-82-15-01453-1."
 
Top