Sexual abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses (orig. in German)

Original article appears in German; translated through Google Translate:

Victims of sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witness religious community have turned to the Report Mainz editorial board. They report that they have been abused as children and that the community has tried to cover it up. Anyone who talks gets pressure and is excluded from the community, so the conclusion.
Around 40 reports of victims of sexual abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany are in the newsroom, including a letter from a young woman reporting that her grandfather, an elder in the community, has lost to her cousins, to a total of ten people, Report Mainz is also the so-called Elder Book of Jehovah’s Witnesses, an internal book whose content is reserved in the religious community only the elders. After that, there must be two or three witnesses who confirm the act. Without such confirmation nothing could have been done, they say.
The article describes how the religious community covers up such cases, which methods are used. A spokesman for the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany denies this and rejects the allegations. Thousands of such cases are reported worldwide.

Content:
Part 1: Sexual abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses
Part 2: Text of the article

Unfortunately reported clearly harmless (Kai Binder) 27.11.2018, 23:23
It’s good that this topic has been researched and sent. Likewise, a fair tenor was cultivated without recognizable prejudices. However, the ultimate problem is that perpetrators whether recognized by ZJ as such (ultimately exclusively by confessions, since it is almost impossible in reality, that there are two eyewitnesses) or just not recognized (no confession and no 2 or 3 eyewitnesses) protected are not sufficiently clear. The question is to which audience this report should apply. Line loyalty ZJ will have switched off the program already at the first set. The mention that former CJs have their say in the report is the catalyst for that. Who did you want to reach? People who
are not ZJ and do not want to convert anyway or ZJ who are in the community and know nothing about it? In the latter they have already failed with the first sentences.

Since you should better research before, how to proceed. Nice that they have mentioned the approximately 1000 perpetrators in Australia. But even there is no mention (or their lack of knowledge about the background), that these are probably documented cases in which a judicial committee (the aforementioned tribunal, which handle the matter internally) was formed. Such a committee is only used and makes a decision if there is a confession or the two eyewitnesses. Despite this documented knowledge, these cases were not reported (as far as the statement, child abuse is considered a criminal offense).

Unfortunately, this approach is typical of the world east; perpetrators are protected in that they keep their misconduct in the smallest circles and concealed to the outside. So nobody else in the congregation can actively protect themselves from such a perpetrator, because nobody knows about it. Not to mention help for the victims. It does not exist. What’s missing: Deuteronomy 22: 25 & 26! No two witnesses in cases of abuse!

Link: https://www.swr.de/report/im-namen-des-herrn-sexueller-missbrauch-bei-den-zeugen-jehovas/-/id=233454/did=22650586/nid=233454/1d4gkkr/index.html  [Im Namen des Herrn – Sexueller Missbrauch bei den Zeugen Jehovas]

Why I am a SCAARS Supporter (B.P.)

by B.P. in Illinois

My father was a man of great integrity who abhorred religious hypocrisy. In his youth, he boldly marched in front of churches in Brooklyn, NY, with a sign that read, “Religion is a Snare and a Racket.” He never backed down from speaking against the piousness of the clergy or the sins they committed in God’s name. As a matter of fact, it was his favorite subject!

Therefore, I was raised with the conviction that devotion to God and to truth was to be first in my life. Whenever I had any questions, Dad would always tell me to do the research. He was convinced that he had found “the truth” and it could stand up to any scrutiny. “Don’t take my word for it – look it up.” he’d say.

Sadly, my father died in 1988, before the Internet made it so easy to do research. If alive today, I think he’d be appalled to learn that child sex abuse had infiltrated powerful religious institutions. I can just imagine his anger to find out how religious leaders covered-up this crime, and that perpetrators were protected by using spin and legal posturing.

Like my father advised, “Do the research to find the truth,” that’s what I did when I began to question the structure of religion; claims of ecclesiastical privilege, along with what I saw as an immense misuse of power.

After discovering that many religions were founded not on candor with transparency, but largely on “malfeasance of office” and sanctimoniousness, I realized that a secret and dangerous culture developed over the centuries. This has culminated in some of the most scandalous cover-ups we’ve ever seen in our time.

Events of the past have proven that appealing to the clergy’s moral principles and humanity has not worked in changing their culture. Therefore, it is our belief that the best way to end sexual and spiritual abuse is by effective action to change secular laws. For instance, if Grand Juries were convened in the 50-states, (similar to the Australian Royal Commission), more crimes would be uncovered which would force institutions into supporting the weak and taking humane actions toward the injured. It is only then that healing of the innocents can begin.

As I became acquainted with the founders of the SCAARS group (Stop Child Abuse – Advocates for Reform and Safety), I realized that we were kindred spirits. Years before the #MeToo Movement began, these courageous people showed their devotion to justice in behalf of those less fortunate, by exhibiting a spirit of activism both in word and deed. Like my colleagues, I have never been sexually abused, but feel the need to speak out with them on behalf of those who have.

As a Victim’s Advocate and a Mandated Reporter, I’m committed to the cause of helping individuals crushed by religious institutions that abuse power. And I am honored to champion truth-telling and to help bring about cultural change with my friends at SCAARS. If my Dad was still alive, he surely would be proud of all of us who are determined defenders of truth and advocates for reform.