A Jehovah’s Witness pedophile elder (called an “evil monster” by his own sister) was spared prison today.
Michael Porter, 38, of Barnet, north London, admitted to abusing his position of trust, and was convicted of 24 counts of indecent assault and gross indecency on children, including one on an 18-month-old baby.
“He abused dozens of children and even a baby. But he’s still free.”
JWs are discouraged from reporting abuse to police because they are told that all worldly authorities are ruled by Satan – what an interesting negative publicity control mechanism!
Within the organization, victims of abuse are told to subject themselves to the headship of men and elders, and that Jehovah-God will take care of the problem.
The Crown Prosecution Service was not prepared to comment at this stage, but it is understood police officers were disappointed that only four victims were prepared to make statements against Porter. One of the problems was that most of the victims were not prepared to make statements or give any kind of evidence.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses’ policies on sexual predators and abusers need reform. Discouraging victims from seeking help from “worldly authorities,” requiring two witnesses to the abuse before even internal investigating takes place, allowing known abusers to interact with children (unsupervised), not informing congregations of potential issues or problems when predators transfer to other congregations, not reporting criminal behavior to the police despite having no tradition of confession to back up a confidentiality clause – are these defensible positions for religious leaders to take?
Rick McLean, another JW pedophile, is on the US Marshalls Most Wanted List.
Over a five day period in February, 16 civil child sex abuse lawsuits against the Watchtower Society (the Jehovah’s Witness official organization) were quietly settled in three states (CA, TX and OR). The victims were bribed or coerced into signing ‘gag orders’ that prevent them from discussing the cases.
See Silent Lambs for more on this issue.