Jehovah's Witnesses and child abuse – is there a problem?
IN RECENT years, news reports featuring the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been growing significantly in number.
The reports claim that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the official name for the organisation that governs the Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, has been engaged in covering up child abuse within the religion on a massive scale.
But are these reports justified? Yes, according to Lloyd Evans, above, founder and senior editor of JWsurvey and activist against cult indoctrination.
This week Evans, an escapee from the cult, published on YouTube a painstakingly researched documentary that draws together evidence from multiple sources spanning the past twenty five years.
According to this JWsurvey report, "the film takes the viewer step by step through the issue, from the accounts of the survivors and lawyers involved in the court cases, to the interviews from journalists who have investigated the claims.
"The film takes us to Barbara Anderson, the whistleblower who first raised the alarm on this issue, and shows footage of members of the Governing Body, the group who lead the Jehovah’s Witnesses, being interrogated under oath on the subject by the Australian Royal Commission, and being grilled by reporters at a District Convention.
"The results are eye-opening and deeply concerning, and reveal a genuine risk to both the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and also to the children of the general public."
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not permit blood transfusions from strangers, but only blood that the individual has stored themselves. So if their child needs blood, they are willing to let that child die rather than let him or her receive a stranger's blood. Now THAT is child abuse!
Metallica - The God That Failed is about exactly that.
I studied with them for about a year and a half. They're totally loony. The most cult-like organization I have ever observed.
This is Total Bullshit, On my Journey towards Atheism I was First a Catholic, Then I was a Jehovah's Witness for 10 years, They were very nice people, the only "Abuse" I could see, was Not Celebrating Holidays, (And Birthdays) Withholding Blood Transfusions, (Unless you use your own stored blood or a blood substitute) and One Witness Guy I knew, forbid a TV in the house but his son was Reading at 5 years old. Any Abuse Would be a reported, Anyone Caught abusing their child would be Disfellowshipped ( Excommunicated). Homosexuality Is another Violation, Also Smoking, Drinking in Moderation is Allowed
The Catholics have a Great Track Record of Child Abuse!
As an Atheist, I don't worry about Catholics or Jehovah's Witnesses!
You are a small sample size, statistically.
Most abusers would not tell you they were abusers, and, you knowing of abuse is not a likely scenario.
ALL groups have child abusers, but, the religious orders are MORE likely to due to assorted reasons associated with why they joined in the first place, such as a desire to FIGHT the urges by being celibate, and then succumbing, etc.
Suppressing sexuality, for public/religious reasons, also tends to cause people to engage in clandestine sexuality, and, children are vulnerable to those adults who want to manipulate them into having clandestine relationships.
And so forth.
You are correct in that regard, I would not know everyone's secret. but Jehovah's Witnesses do not fit that religious profile, because they do not condone Celibacy. There may have been cases of Child Abuse, (Maybe Spankings) but I would say Sexual Abuse, was no more common, than in the General Populace, in fact it would be less, because they held to a High Moral Standard. Although I must say, Even though I was Married, I was hit upon, by a number of Divorced and Widowed Women, and It was almost a weekly occurance that someone was Disfellowshipped for Adultery. (A Disfellowshipped Person May still attend Meetings, but would be shunned by the other members)
Correct about celibacy, per se, but the suppression aspect applies....hence the adultery charges, etc.
IE: Humans act in certain ways, and in some societies, these normal activities are banned, so that people have to pretend to not want to do the banned activities.
So, they may be HELD to a "higher moral standard", but, as you observed, that really only applied to pretending to be held to it.
You Know, as I have said, I have been associated with a number of "Religions" I was a Catholic for my first 20 Years. I once told a Priest: "I don't believe everything in the Bible, Like, I don't think Adam and Eve ever existed. The Priest said "We don't believe everything we are taught in the Seminary Either". That sort of blew my mind!
When I was a "Jehovah's Witness" for the next 10 Years, I again voiced my doubts about the Bible and the Overseer, Said; "Just Pray for stronger faith" Overseer's, are just the leader of a congregation, they are not paid by the church, they work secular jobs like all others. I liked the fact that the "Church" did not take collections.
When I was studying eastern philosophy after quitting the J.W's. I temporarily visited with the Hare Krishna's, I could not understand how they could worship Idols, some Idols looked very clownish, Just funny looking.
In the end, I took to a Religion that had only a "Supreme Intelligence" that was found in everything in the Universe, People, Animals, Rocks, Trees, etc. (Like 'The Force" in star Wars) This Religion was called Vedanta, while I am still not convinced if it is true or not. I do not see how that could be.
Since they have an Organization and a Church I do not subscribe to it!
Enforced celibacy is not natural. It is a form of sexual perversion that often creates sexual deviants. Many Catholic priests are able to justify their abuse to themselves as they claim to not see it as immoral. I also know of ex-JW’s that were sexually abused by older members of their cult. They were abused for years from a young age. There was another case recently of a pastor who claimed the young girl (under 9) instigated the abuse and led him astray. I don’t have the reference to hand but I can find it.
Yeah, there's a few like that, where they essentially said the child seduced them, etc...and in some cases, the CONGREGATION demanded that the children apologize for the seduction, etc.
The IMPRESSION of piety is typically all that these organizations have, as the reality is that, especially for the clergy, its sometimes merely sheep's vestments.
The sad reality is that every organization that runs youth programs has cases of abuse. Adults in youth programs are trusted, they have access to youth, they have power over youth.
It has nothing to do with celibacy; on the contrary, most are sexually active and many are married. It only has minor correlations with homosexuality; most are heterosexual. It doesn't matter what the program is. Youth sports programs, public schools, private schools, religious programs. All of them have significant cases of serial abusers.
Because such things historically were not talked about, they went on. Much lake rape of women, such things often were not pursued out of a misguided notion of protecting the victim from public exposure and embarrassment. And, quite often, protecting the institution or the perpetrator.
Here's a list of just a few handfuls of female public school teache... Note that light sentences are common, getting caught and successfully prosecuted is uncommon, and serial offenders are likely. Statistically, women offenders in particular and school teachers are less likely to be offenders (or perhaps to be caught and prosecuted) than men and positions that have more private access to kids like relatives, coaches, youth group and religious leaders.
It's a plague, and it's best if we don't imagine that it's only "those" people, whichever "those" you choose not to like. It's our brother-in-law and our neighbor and the soccer coach and the math tutor who is so friendly and helpful.
That's a disproportional number of cases though. Statistically, the Church simply has MUCH more of a problem.
IE: On a per staff member basis, the church has a much larger percentage of KNOWN abusers.
Sure, there are ALSO abusers in OTHER professions where access and trust are provided, Penn State being no exception, etc. Why is not the Church LESS likely than other professions to have this problem,,,instead of MORE likely?
The church's OWN analysis says that sexual repression is part of what the clergy members had hoped to escape, but later succumbed to.
It IS human nature, and, it IS unfortunate....but the victims are the ones I feel sorry for, not the clergy.