Browsed by
Tag: molestation

Roundup of JWs in the News

Roundup of JWs in the News

Recent conversations in the comments have reminded me that I haven’t done my posting of recent news related to Jehovah’s Witnesses. The purpose in doing this is simply to highlight, over time, the kinds of issues that the JW mindset and set of demands can create or intensify in some. It is meant to encourage more compassionate and ethical policies and behaviors within the Watchtower organization and to help former JWs understand some of the clusters of danger that may be worthwhile to (even further) transcend.

Ex-JWs: Use What You’ve Got

First off, there is a very humorous treatment of growing up as a JW in a new book by Kyria Abrahams called I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed: Tales from a Jehovah’s Witness Upbringing. It’s on my wishlist, and I’ll let you know what I think of it once I’ve had the chance to read it. It looks promising as a bit of comic relief.

Given that Abrahams is now a stand-up comic and spoken-word poet, it makes perfect sense to begin her very funny memoir with her performance debut at the Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Kingdom Hall, at age 8 (her presentation was about freedom from demon possession). She describes the children’s books she read as a child as a cross between “Dr. Seuss rhymes and tales of how sinners would scream and gnash their teeth at Armageddon.” In her world, Smurfs were “little blue demons” and yard sales were enticements from Satan. As a bored teenager with OCD, she didn’t know what to do with herself or how to make sense of the world. On the verge of 18, she married a 24-year-old part-time college math teacher because, even if his interest in her was, at best, halfhearted, she wanted a boyfriend and didn’t know any other Jehovah’s Witnesses who liked her. Anyway, she reasons, “this is what adults did, and I was an adult.” It wasn’t long before she longed to be out of the marriage.

Author Lisa Foad writes in a fractured, variable, and somewhat surreal style – trying to say the unsayable takes you on some funky roads sometimes. She thinks her approach to writing might be a side effect of her Jehovah’s Witness upbringing.

“After an assembly where they were talking about the folly of music,” Foad recalls from her early childhood, “I went home and broke records with my dad. We broke Led Zeppelin, Cream. But I had this Wham! record I really liked. I didn’t want to break my Wham! record but then he reminded me that in the paradise I would have a pet tiger, a pet lion. What are you going to do? It was a trade I was willing to make. There’s so much fodder in that.”

Check out her book: The Night Is a Mouth

In other, depressing but illuminating JW book news, get a child’s eye perspective on Jehovah’s Witnesses by reading William Coburn’s The Spanking Room: A Child’s Eye View of the Jehovah Witnesses.

I had stopped vomiting, but still shook and sobbed. Mom returned to the room to sit on the edge of my bed. Again she asked, “Billy what’s wrong?” “That was my bus route,” I whispered when I could get words out. “What if someone I knew came to the door?” “So?” “They’d find out I was a Jehovah’s Witness.” Mom’s hand met the side of my head in a flash of brilliant white light and an explosion of pain. I collapsed onto the mattress while she flailed at me, her rage-clenched fists thudding into my eight-year-old body. “How dare you?” she shrieked. “You awful, rotten child! How dare you be ashamed of Jehovah? I hate you! I hate you!”

The Spanking Room is the true story of a young boy’s upbringing, and how the unorthodox doctrines of the Watchtower Society encourage violence against its most helpless members–the children.

Artist Lindsay O’Leary’s piece “Pedaling Backwards, Moving Forward: How to Lose 100 pounds in 365 days” is part of an exhibit in the opening of “Gestures 13” at the Mattress Factory. She has created a scaled model of her childhood home that is controlled by a stationary bicycle to represent her “old self and old habits.”

“Inside my childhood home, there’s a silhouette of me praying,” O’Leary says. “All of the silhouettes of me (except the biking one in the garage) are of me when I was obese. I was a Jehovah’s Witness from birth to (age) 21. We had to pray every day and attended five ‘meetings’ at the Kingdom Hall each week.

“It’s a really strict religion, so, to say that it has had a huge impact on who I am today would be an understatement,” she says. “From not being able to recite the Pledge of Allegiance throughout elementary school to not celebrating birthdays to being forbidden from participating in any competitive sport, again, the imprint it has had on my life was/is massive.”

O’Leary says the real irony is in where she has found her new home. The Mexican War Streets is where Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the precursor to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, lived and preached.

Media Talk

Katherine Jackson has been taking Michael Jackson’s three children to the meetings at the Kingdom Hall (of Jehovah’s Witnesses) to “help them deal with the death of their famous father.”

Michael stopped being a Jehovah’s Witness 1985 but reportedly resumed attending the Church’s meetings throughout his child molestation trial. Katherine and the eldest child Rebbie are the only two remaining Jehovah’s Witnesses in the family.

I would prefer to remember Michael for his music and performances, and his work to help fight AIDS. I wish I’d gone to talk with him as I felt called to do.

Oh, and this season of Big Brother features a former JW, Kevin.

He is a 30 year old graphic designer who was excommunicated at 21 from his Jehovah’s Witness raising. Therefore has lost contact with his family and friends. However, he has chosen to work through it instead of letting it tear him down. He is of Japanese/ African-American heritage. Adversity is something he is used to overcoming so the prediction is he will do well in the house.


The most horrific story in the news right now has to be about the Texan JW Otty Sanchez, 33, who decapitated, dismembered, and partially cannibalized her 3-1/2-week-old baby, Scott Wesley Buchholtz-Sanchez. She claims the devil told her to do it. She told him Scott W. Buchholz, the infant’s father, that she was schizophrenic a week before the slaying. She was diagnosed, however, with depression. Buchholz, who said he is schizophrenic, has announced that she said that she was going to leave him, and he wants her to receive the death penalty.

McManus, who appeared uncomfortable as he addressed reporters, said Sanchez apparently ate the child’s brain and some other body parts. She also decapitated the infant, tore off his face and chewed off three of his toes before stabbing herself.

In Bielefeld, Germany, an 82-year-old man who blames the Jehovah’s Witnesses for making him lose contact with his daughter, stormed a gathering of some 80 Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was wearing a mask and was armed with a machine gun. No-one was injured; the gun didn’t fire. He was seized by two congregation members as he headed back to the car. Officers also found a samurai sword, three clips of bullets and a knife in the man’s car, parked nearby.

In the tiny hamlet of Porth Kea, near Truro in England, Jonathan Cock – a 24-year-old RAF veteran from Moor Vue Fram, Penzanze – murdered his girlfriend’s Jehovah’s Witness father (41-year-old Adam Hustler) and shot her mother (Amanda Hustler) in the back in revenge for ending the couple’s “forbidden” love affair. Ex-girlfriend Danielle Hustler, 20, (are they for real with these names?) had a minor injury in the arm from a bullet graze. Mr. Cock was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Jonathan Cock blamed Jehovah’s Witnesses Adam and Amanda Hustler for thwarting his romance with their daughter Danielle because the religion bars relationships with outsiders…. The court heard Cock and Danielle fell in love while working for her dad’s drain clearing firm. He converted to her religion, but she later split with “controlling” Cock. He carried out the killing three weeks later.

Estranged JW husband Michael Smith, 37, is on trial for first-degree murder of Eugena Smith. Eugena had written a letter of disassociation from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, saying that her decision was final. The letter, which was read aloud to a trial jury, was found by investigators “lying among a pile of clothing on the floor of Eugena Smith’s bedroom, shortly after the 33-year-old St. Thomas woman was found murdered.”

The Crown argued in an opening statement Tuesday that Eugena Smith was trying to leave both her husband, and her church, just days before she died on June 7, 2007. Michael Smith, the Crown says, thought she was having an affair.

After JW William Redman murdered his 12-year-old daughter, he told a 911 operator that she was dead because that was “…the way Jehovah does things.” Evidently he “fell on her” with a knife.

Police arrived at the Roadrunner RV park to find the father covered in blood in front of the home, the mother, Rosemary Redman, screaming, “What did you do to my baby?” Inside, their daughter was lying in a pool of blood, a knife lying under her chest and her neck deeply gashed.

Sexual Violence / Pedophilia

New Hampshire resident JW, Robert Matheson, pleaded guilty repin Salem Superior Court to four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14. He had been planning to run away to Plum Island with a girl he had been molesting at his beach house for the last three years. The JWs alerted authorities (this must be a state where it’s required to do so).

Matheson told police that he began molesting the girl during a time when he was struggling with unemployment and disconnected from his faith, and said he was “persuaded” by Internet pornography. The sentencing was pushed to Friday in order for Matheson to face sexual assault charges on a “compatible case” in New Hampshire.

Wigan Today reports that Daniel Simonetti, a 31-year-old Jehovah’s Witness, let himself into the home of an 89-year-old woman and brutally assaulted her. He denied rape, which was dropped, but admitted assault by penetration. Jailing Simonetti indefinitely, Judge John Roberts branded him “dangerous to vulnerable females.” Simonetti had previously assaulted a 4-year-old girl, for which he was never prosecuted.

Francis Gandhi a Jehovah’s Witness elder/ministerial servant (the article says “pastor”) was detained at the Kailahun Police Station for the alleged rape of an 11-year old student of the SLMB Mission in Kailahun.

On 4th of April 2009, she said that they came home from work and discovered that the girl has not returned home and immediately they contacted her grandmother who told them that the young girl had left for her home around 5pm. “We went in search of her moving from one place to place, relatives to relatives we could not find her and we returned home as it was getting close to 10pm” she said while in bed somebody knocked on her window and when asked she heard the voice of her daughter. “I jumped out of my bed and enquired from her where she was coming from only to tell me that she was in the room with a man of God.”

Robert Edward Bill, 54, a former teacher, businessman and “senior Jehovah’s Witness” attempted to abduct a five-year-old and was sentenced to six years in prison.

He has been found guilty at separate trials of the attempted abduction of the girl in Holywell two years ago, of indecently assaulting a seven-year-old 10 years ago, and of possessing 730 pornographic images of children. … Mr Medland said Bill of The Roe, St Asaph, Denbighshire, had been driving slowly around areas where he was likely to come into contact with children that same day. He’d claimed that he was trying to fix a mechanical problem with his car.

His wife and son were also sentenced:

Jacqueline Bill, his 51-year-old wife, received a suspended six-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to trying to pervert the course of justice by destroying a laptop hard drive, and must do 250 hours unpaid work. Bill’s son David, 24, of Mount Road, St Asaph, must do 150 hours unpaid work after also admitting that he tried to pervert the course of justice.

Thirty-five-year-old JW Shane Thomas Thorne had a child pornography collection of more than a thousand images, many of which involved children as young as five years old. He was sentenced to two years, but is due to be released on November 16, 2010.

Evidence was heard that Thorne grew up in a violent family environment and was sexually abused as a teenager. …”There is nothing to indicate that he has acknowledged the injury caused by his actions,” Mr Johnson said. “There is no realisation expressed or reported of any acknowledgement of the harm done to children in child pornography.” He told Thorne that a sentence must be imposed that would reflect the community horror and the disgust for the use of children for sexual gratification.

Selective Clampdown on Freedom of Religion, or “The Persecution Justification for Claims of JW Righteousness”

Novoshakhtinsk prosecutors from the Rostov region in Russian have sent case files to an investigative body to consider a criminal prosecution local members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization for preaching in public places, propagating the exclusivity and supremacy of the Jehovah’s religious doctrine above all others and promoting refusal from civil duty, voting at elections and serving in the army. The regional prosecutor also asked the Rostov regional court to order the closure of the organization in Taganrog for extremist activities, including the incitement of religious hatred and human rights violations. This situation is heating up…

The deportations of four lawyers since March strike at the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ already pressed defence against attempts to ban their literature as extremist, one of those deported, Mario Moreno, has told Forum 18 News Service. The lawyers – two Americans and two Canadians – were defending in four out of seven simultaneous local extremism cases against Jehovah’s Witnesses. A recent police detention allegedly involving torture and a raid on a Sunday service – after which one worshipper had a miscarriage and another was sent to a children’s shelter – suggest the law enforcement agencies continue to view Jehovah’s Witnesses as religious extremists even without a ban.

In Israel, the Human Rights Report for 2008 shows that police needed to be reminded (again) that it is their duty to fully investigate crimes against minority religious communities:

Members of Jehovah’s Witnesses reported an increase in assaults and other crimes against their membership in 2007 and during the year and noted the difficulties their members faced convincing the police to investigate or apprehend the perpetrators. Between September 2007 and September, members of Jehovah’s Witnesses filed 46 criminal complaints against antimissionary activists, most of whom belong to the Haredi antimissionary organization Yad L’Achim. The crimes ranged from harassment to assault. Police responded to 15 of 35 calls for assistance during the same time period, according to the Jehovah’s Witnesses legal department. The JIJ noted a similar increase in crimes and violent assaults against members of the congregations it represents.

JW Disappearance

Eridania Rodriguez, a 46-year-old married mother of three, disappeared from her night job as a cleaning woman in Manhatten. Police found her cleaning cart on the eighth floor and her street clothes and purse in her locker.

“I think she was kidnapped,” said Figueroa. She said she was suspicious of a DOT worker who her mother often saw on the eighth floor. “She was really terrified of him,” she said.

Rodriguez’s brother, Cesar, 28, ruled out the possibility of a jealous lover. “My sister is not like that,” he said. “She does not have a boyfriend. She is a Jehovah’s Witness.”

Money, Money, Money

Securities industry regulators report that say Kenneth George Neely, a Jehovah’s Witness stockbroker from St. Peters, MO ran an eight-year ponzi scheme in which he swindled brokerage customers, fellow church members and a cousin. It seems that Neely ran up some bills buying dinners and drinks for clients and friends at his country club just at a time when his personal income had declined.

“It was during this period of personal financial stress that (Neely) conceived and effected his ponzi scheme,” FINRA said in its order. He invented the “St. Louis Investment Club” and the equally phony “St. Charles REIT,” promising 20 percent returns. He made up investment “certificates” for the club and REIT to give to clients. His first investor was a cousin who invested $30,000, expecting returns of up to 10 percent.

Neely portrayed membership in the investment club as exclusive. He told a retiree, a longtime friend and fellow church member (Neely is a Jehovah’s Witness) that he would tell her when “openings” occurred in the club. “Seven or eight” other church members invested in the scam, said James Shorris, executive vice president at FINRA.

Maxine Kennedy, the JW school secretary for Scotlandville High School in Lousiana, ran amok with the school’s credit card. For some 28 months, she bought groceries and furniture, paid bills, and got cash advances. She also allegedly allowed her daughter, Toni, to use the card, including for large cash advances, and a Jehovah’s Witnesses convention.

Legal News

Lawrence Hughes abandoned his Jehovah’s Witness faith to fight for a blood transfusion for his daughter, Bethany, who had acute myeloid leukemia. He has since lost his daughter and been disfellowshipped. But he’s still fighting, even after divorce and bankruptcy.

What it most clearly does not say is that Mr. Hughes is necessarily wrong in claiming that his daughter received problematic advice from lawyers working not just for her, but also for a religious body intent on seeing her denied the blood she needed. “If I was advising [the Watchtower Society and its lawyers] I would now say, ‘At some point, this is no longer going to work out for you,’ ” Ms. Woolley says.

When Bethany Hughes died in the summer of 2002, her story was national news; the girl, just turned 17, had been diagnosed earlier that year with acute myeloid leukemia, but had fought, legally and physically, blood transfusions prescribed by doctors on religious grounds, her resistance abetted by lawyers from a firm that, by all available evidence, is a branch of the Watchtower Society itself, retaining the church as its primary client – a “captive law firm” as one judge described Glen How and Associates, employer of Bethany’s lawyers David Gnam and Shane Brady. The firm is even located within the Watchtower Society’s Georgetown, Ont. compound.

Armageddon’s Gonna Git-choo

A sweet blog post on the moon landing reminds us that on the day in 1969 in Chicago, 38,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses, who had crammed into Comiskey Park, saw the landing as “a sign that our universe is in its last days.”

I get the sense that there has been a serious effort towards positive PR. To a current JW, this must be a little bit humorous, in a macabre sort of way. Here’s the new approach:

JWs “don’t mean to scare people,” they say, but just to “provide believers with a revelations roadmap. A spiritual survival guide to emerge from Armageddon intact.” The May assemblies offered guidance on how to “avoid Satan’s snares. Because we know that the goal of Satan is to hamper people from surviving.”

The summer assemblies deny that JW’s approach Armaggeddon in a “fanatical way” but only to use “careful judgment in everyday life.”

Along with spiritual gains, he added that avoiding negative behaviors has very real benefits: money can be spent in better ways and a greater focus can be on family, for instance.

“People are being barraged all the time by different viewpoints of morality, different concerns for the economy,” West said. “We know by trusting God that we can cope with the most difficult situations in life and it gives us a positive hope in him.”

By lunchtime on Friday, the thousands of Witnesses and others who packed the Convocation Center, Northern Illinois University’s sports arena, had just finished listening to the keynote speaker. Darien Hanson called on the group to be “watchdogs” and to be alert to the signs of Jesus’ presence. A slackening of Christian expectations, he said, is detrimental to this.

Hanson also announced a very exciting offer: A DVD on creationism was being released that weekend, and each family in the audience could take home a copy. This is what Jean West was most excited about, as it would help illustrate God as a creator, she said.

“It tells us we have a maker who’s intelligent,” her husband added.

Though the Bible teaches that God both created the world and will someday end the world, neither the 24th chapter of Matthew nor Jehovah’s Witnesses know when that will be.

“We feel that there is going to be this change,” West said.

As written in Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples that preceding this time will be wars, famine, false prophets and the like. This makes the 2009 district convention theme very “timely,” West said, noting how much has changed since the onset of World War I.


The Pew Forum comparative study on religious beliefs and practices is very interesting and worth a read.

Jehovah’s Witnesses: Ritual Murder of Grandson, “Good Man” Rapist

Jehovah’s Witnesses: Ritual Murder of Grandson, “Good Man” Rapist

So sad…

Kiev, August 7, Interfax – 66-year old resident of Kiev conducted a ritual murder of her 9-year-old grandson. She hit the boy with an iron and completed the crime with a rope, Ukrainian issue of Komsomolskaya Pravda daily writes on Thursday.

Then a woman carried a boy to the sitting room where she had everything prepared beforehand including candles and a brochure with “a prayer to enter paradise” given to her by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Neighbors told that on the eve of murdering her grandson she spoke about religion and soon apocalypses. Jehovah’s witnesses convinced the woman the Lord would come on 2014 and raise the dead, then all the righteous will go to paradise and take their children with them.

The Kiev Prosecutor’s office initiated a criminal case on the incident. Forensic psychiatric expert examination acknowledged the woman was criminally insane.


And in other news, JW rapist called “good man“:

A Williamstown man was sentenced in Vermont District Court in Chelsea to three to 20 years in prison Wednesday for molesting and raping a female relative but not before friends and family members – who acknowledged his crime – also told the court that he was a “good man.”

She said the Jehovah’s Witnesses “all love him, and they still love him,” though Jolene said Leonard has lost his fellowship with the Jehovah’s Witnesses because of the conviction.

Jolene said Leonard “got involved in looking at pornography on the Internet, and that’s why he let his mind dwell on something he shouldn’t have.”

She said she thinks the family could have sat down with counselors and worked things out instead of this “vendetta” that was taking place.

Roya pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his victim, at times using a gun or knife, over two years starting in 2004 when the victim was a minor.


JWs in the News

JWs in the News

Antonie Dixon’s sister gives evidence in court

When Antonie Dixon told the jury an astonishing tale of sexual abuse by his mother and beatings at the hands of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they must have wondered whether any of it was believable. Today they heard from someone else who was there at the time and she confirmed much of what he said. According to Dixon’s sister Carla, he was dubbed “devil spawn” by their mother. (more…)

Murrieta Man Convicted Of Molesting Sisters Ages 9, 10

A 49-year-old man was found guilty Thursday of molesting two young sisters at his home in Murrieta, City News Service reported. Gilbert Simental was accused of molesting a then-9-year-old girl in 2005 and her 10-year-old sister in 2006. It took less than a day for the eight-woman, seven-man jury to find him guilty of three counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14. (more…)

See also the involvement of local elders at the Silent Lambs link:

Jehovah’s Witness Elder Accused of Raping Daughters in El Salvador

In the original Spanish at

Being discussed at

Agentes de la delegación de la Policía en Mejicanos arrestaron a Carlos Martínez Castillo, de 40 años de edad, acusado de abusar sexualmente —desde hace seis meses— de sus dos hijas de ocho y 10 años respectivamente.

Partial translation:


Going by the National Police Commission, the accused took advantage of visits by the minors to his house located in Soyapango. “The kids lived with their mom in Mejicanos but used to visit the guy who’s under investigation. There he’d get one of the girls to play while he raped the other and vice versa,” an official of the PNC explained. The capture of Martinez, who according to the authorities is a pastor of the church of Jehovah’s Witnesses, was effected yesterday morning at a framing and painting workshop, where he works. According to the police, the arrest was realized after representatives of an NGO whose name they did not want to reveal, they interposed the denunciation in which they showed that the little girls had said that their father had abused them.

The authorities have given assurance going by the crime of violating an innocent minor and, the organs of justice will be ordering a penalty of seven to 14 years of jail time, but in this case, due to relationship with the person being charged, it could be decreed at more than 15 years. Martinez denied the charges against him and claimed everything was a set-up by his daughters’ mother, because he does not want to be with her at their home. The office of the public prosecutor says that it has for proof the children’s testimony and the results of exams from Legal Medicine.

And… a very touching video about what has happened to those dedicated (and exploited) workers in Watchtower Corporation Service as they have aged:

Serve Jehovah in Your Youth!

Jehovah’s Witnesses in the News – Roundup

Jehovah’s Witnesses in the News – Roundup

It’s been a while since I posted on Jehovah’s Witnesses in the news. Here’s a roundup. Refusals of blood transfusions, resulting in death. Sexual predators and child molestation. Mental instability. Violence. Even a possible kidnapping. The usual.

I am sure that I’ve missed several additional items, but I’ve become too sad to do more than this today.

Jehovah’s Witnesses, you call yourselves “sheep.” If you must have a shepherd, why not seek a more loving one than the harsh caricature constructed by the publishing empire of the Watchtower Society? I grieve for you. I grieve for you.

14-year-old Dennis Lindberg Refuses Treatment for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and Dies

Doctors said he needed treatment that included blood transfusions; most children with this form of leukemia recover. However, Lindberg was a Jehovah’s Witness, and transfusions go against the teachings of his religion. He became a Witness while in the care of his aunt, also a follower, who became his legal guardian after his biological father was jailed for drug possession.

Parents and classmates of the boy, who had lived with his aunt for the past four years, cried in disbelief at the judge’s decision. Wherry fled the courtroom in tears.

Anemic 22-Year Old Emma Gough Dies After Giving Birth to Twins

As she suffered severe blood loss and her life ebbed away, medical staff urged her husband, Anthony, and her parents, all of whom follow the same faith, to overrule her decision and allow a transfusion which could have saved her, but they refused. She gave birth naturally and all appeared well as she cuddled her baby son and daughter, but she suddenly began to haemorrhage. Her condition was complicated by the fact she was anaemic.

The latest pronouncement on the topic from the Watchtower authorities said that anyone using blood products, even in life-saving surgery, would be “disfellowshipped” – or expelled from the Church. This usually means being shunned by friends and family. However, if “true repentance” is shown, they can be readmitted to the Church. This change was introduced to take some of the heat out of the bad publicity that followed the hundreds of deaths of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world because of the blood ban. The authorities are reluctant to lift the ban completely — even though there are suspicions that they would like to — because they fear being sued by families who have lost loved ones to the policy which, in the end, would have turned out, after all, not to be the fixed and eternal word of God, but the demands of mere, deluded mortals.

Jehovah’s Witnesses defended yesterday the decision of a young mother who died after refusing a potentially life-saving blood transfusion, having just given birth to twins. To agree to a transfusion would have been a transgression comparable to adultery or sexual immorality, a spokesman from the central office of the British community of Jehovah’s Witnesses told The Times yesterday.

Really? That’s odd, because “sexual immorality” is quite common among Jehovah’s Witnesses. Acceptance of a blood transfusion, even to save a life, is taken more seriously – exponentially so. It’s considered the ultimate test of your faith.

Her right to refuse treatment was respected, enshrined in law, upheld by the establishment – but what of her children’s right to a mother’s love?

What, moreover, of the doctors’ and nurses’ right to do the utmost to save her life? What of our right to decide that any religious belief that condemns its devotees to death is dangerous, pernicious and does not deserve reverence or respect?

Most religions freely allow the breaking of their most solemn laws if human life is at stake. Muslims, if they will starve to death otherwise, may eat pork. Jews, if the situation is life and death, may break the Sabbath or eat and drink on the Day of Atonement.

Should a religion that sits by and allows a healthy young mother to refuse life-saving treatment be afforded the same deference as religions which recognise that human life is paramount?

Ex-JW Rachel Underhill Recalls her Own Brush with Death

“I went into premature labour… [and] was told I would need an emergency Caesarean but it wasn’t until very late that night that my consultant noticed I was a Jehovah’s Witness and what that meant. I’d grown up as one, so even as a child I’d known that I wasn’t allowed a blood transfusion. But never in my wildest dreams did I think that I’d ever need one,” she said.

“When I was in labour… no way was I in any physical or emotional state to say that I might have wanted a transfusion… I’d have been cast out of the religion, which at that point was the last thing I wanted. I needed the network that being a Jehovah’s Witness gave you. Plus it’s a very controlling religion, and I didn’t even think of challenging it.”

She eventually cut her ties with the church. This means she is now free to speak out on issues such as blood transfusions. “I think that in extreme cases, doctors should be able to override a Jehovah’s Witness’s wishes,” she added.

If Blood is So Sacred…

…Jehovah’s Witnesses do use many fractions and components of blood, so if it’s “sacred” to God why the hypocritical contradiction?

They also use blood collections that are donated by the Red Cross and others but don’t donate back . . . yet more hypocrisy.

The Watchtower promotes and praises bloodless elective surgeries. This is a great advancement indeed. But it’s no good to me if I am bleeding to death from a car crash and lose half my blood volume and need an emergency transfusion.

The reason that Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood is because of their spin on the Old Testament of the Bible from 3000 years ago.

Modern medicine will eventually make blood donations and transfusions a thing of the past. But when this technology happens it won’t vindicate the Jehovah’s Witnesses and all the deaths that have occurred so far.Their rules against blood transfusions will eventually be abolished (very gradually to reduce wrongful death lawsuit liability). Even now most of the blood components are allowed. In 20 years there will be artificial blood and the Red Cross will go on with other noble deeds.

None of these changes, however, will absolve the Watchtower leaders or vindicate their twisted doctrines. — Danny Haszard

On Sexual Abuse and Predators

Studies in the US suggest they have proportionally four times more sexual assaults on children than the Catholic Church.

JW molester met 8-year-old girl at Kingdom Hall

51-year-old JW Rigoberto Flores faces 3 Felony counts: sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor, and child molestation of an 8-year old girl.

A man who identified himself as Flores’ brother tells ABC15 their family is very upset with the 8-year-old’s family. He said it, “was her fault too… she pressured him.” … Flores lives across the street from Buckeye Elementary School.

She was “askin’ for it” – right?

67-year-old JW Elder in Quebec Convicted: 7-year Sexual Abuse

He got nine months of community service… she was 11 when it started…

This is a translation:

Found guilty in December 2006 of acts of sexual abuse of a minor – acts which took place between 1985 and 1992 – Marcel Simonin, 67 years old, formerly an Elder among the Jehovah’s Witnesses of Châteauguay at the time of the crimes, has been sentenced to serve 9 months in prison. He will serve the sentence in the community.

Simonin received his sentence last Wednesday at the Châteauguay Court House. At the time of the initial incidents of assault, the victim – a young girl – was only 11 years old.

The mother of the young victim met the individual – who at that time was an Elder, that is to say that he was a speaker during congregation meetings – at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Châteauguay. He taught the precepts of their way of life and spiritually supported members of the congregation.

After gaining the confidence of this woman and of her daughter, he proceeded to engage in multiple incidents of intimate contact with the adolescent. The incidents included simple touching and full sexual intercourse.

During those 8 years, the assaults took place in several locations; notably, in the defendant’s home, in his car, at the home of the young girl and in the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Châteauguay.

In her verdict, Judge Linda Despots – of the Criminal and Penal Chamber of Court – noted that the victim had lodged a complaint at the age of 16 or 17, but later withdrew that complaint as “she felt pressured by the community and by the threat of being disfellowshipped. It was another Elder, in the Québec region where the mother and the complainant had moved, who persuaded her to write a letter to the authorities of the Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses concerning her experiences with the accused.

Following receipt of that letter, Simonin telephoned his victim to apologize for the events, after having admitted the truth of the accusations. The complainant, allegedly, then forgave him.

However, when in 2003 the young girl again saw the accused during an Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Olympic Stadium in Montréal, his presence re-opened her wounds and caused her to re-live the feeling of guilt that she experienced during the years when she had been victimized by the molestations. The young girl then had some difficult years during which she made 3 attempts at suicide and submitted herself to psychological treatment.

In 2005, in order to continue her therapeutic progress and to free herself, the young girl decided again to file a complaint against the accused.

Jehovah’s Witness Elder Wendell Willick Sexually Exploited Underage Psychiatric

After his wife went to bed, Willick gave the girl a beer. He then kissed, fondled, undressed her and had intercourse with her, Bains said. The victim, now 25, recalled during the preliminary hearing that she was wearing Mickey Mouse underpants at the time. She said the advance began without warning and she did not know what was going on, Bains said.

Wendell Willick, 47, was counselling the girl at the behest of her parents – who were friends of Willick through their church – during the period of the abuse, which began in 1996, when the girl was 14. The court heard during a sentencing hearing that Willick first had sexual intercourse with the girl when she was visiting his home on a weekend pass from a hospital psychiatric ward. The victim, whose name is protected by a publication ban, was in the midst of a troubled adolescence. She had once run away from home and had repeatedly cut herself. … The girl’s trust and spiritual beliefs were shattered, she said in a victim impact statement that was read during the sentencing hearing. “It made me feel like a person of no value with no voice. . . . Parts of myself are missing,” she wrote.

Michael Porter Case to Be Reviewed

The Crown Prosecution Service is to review the sentence of Michael Porter, the elder in the Jehovah’s Witnesses who was sentenced to a mere three years’ community rehabilitation after admitting abusing little boys (one a baby of 18 months) over 14 years. The leniency of this sentence caused outrage at the time . It also focused attention- as in some other churches’ cases in the past – on the dangers religions run when encouraging undue reverence for senior figures. … I can find no comment on the Watchtower website about the Porter case, or policy on this subject, but a page of warnings against internet chatroom predators.

Judge Tom Crowther opted not to jail the self-confessed paedophile after hearing he had undergone therapy. Dan Norris, Labour MP for Wansdyke, Somerset, and a former child protection officer, welcomed the Attorney General’s decision. “A relieved public will greatly welcome this common sense decision to review this wicked abuser’s sentence,” he said.

Fruits of the Spirit…

When someone commits the sin of literalism, they grip the letter of the law so tightly that they squeeze out the intent with which it was written. …

Anyway, since the child molesters and child-rapists generally don’t attack their victims in front of two witnesses, all the Elders do is ask the perpetrator if he did it. If he says no, then they close the case. So, the pervert goes on preaching door-to-door, telling people how to be righteous, and when he gets another chance, he molests another kid. Then he molests another. Then he molests another. The Elders know. When the kids turn 13 and begin to act out sexually, as traumatized children will, then the Elders punish the kids for being “rebellious.” By punish, I mean cut them off from all friends and family. …

So, you may ask why I wrote this. Haven’t I gotten over it now that I have my own thing? Well, a lot of us have trouble moving on, what with bipolar manic-depression, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mommy-issues, daddy-issues, and dysfunctional romantic relationships. These betrayals strike at the throat of our lives, because we’ve been taught that all the other churches follow Satan, and this is the Church of Love. Every other word is Love. But if the word love means anything, it means compassion and mercy for women and children, victims and helpless.

Ex-JW Barbara Anderson Still Fighting – Court Documents on National Television

According to Anderson, she has amassed nearly 5,000 pages of court documents that are presented on a digital CD titled, “Secrets of Pedophilia in an American Religion, Jehovah’s Witnesses in Crisis,” for the general public to examine. After reviewing the CD, NBC apparently became interested in her efforts to substantiate her claim that although church headquarters kept track of sexual abuse cases in a data-base, their rules hindered reporting accusations of child abuse to the authorities. As mentioned in the MSN article, Anderson contends that Witness policies “protect pedophiles rather than protect the children.”…

“The court documents on the CD are full of dialog and documentation exchanged between opposing counsels in 12 different alleged child molestation cover-up cases,” she said. “Shortly before these cases were scheduled to go to open court trial last April, where evidence would expose the responsibility of Jehovah’s Witnesses for secretly allowing molesters to hold positions of authority within the religion, the defendant, Watchtower, secretly settled out of court with 16 plaintiffs paying as much as $12,500,000 in total.”

NBC News reported that it obtained a copy of one of the settlement documents in which an alleged victim in one of the nine cases involving 16 victims received $781,250.

“By absolute insistence of the defendant Watchtower’s attorneys, all of the plaintiffs and their attorneys were required to sign a conditional ‘do not ever talk about this to anyone’ confidentiality order,” says Anderson. “Then the Watchtower organization walked away without admitting any liability,” she said.

Anderson says some of the court documents she was able to obtain “were intended by defendants to be buried for eternity.”

NBC – JW Abuse Settlements, Watch Tower Society Knew Of Molesters:

“If the victim couldn’t prove their accusation, they were threatened with ex-communication. That’s what kept this secret in this group for all these many, many years,” she said.

That meant losing touch with family and friends.

“I knew that children here in Tennessee were being molested. I knew of many right here in the area that I live, in Tullahoma, but nothing was being done about it,” she said.

Anderson said years of frustration caused her and her husband to leave the church. She said she hopes speaking out about the issue now will help protect other children.

“They left dangerous men in their position who could then go on and molest more. I read letters and evidence that some congregations who had as many as 30 or 40 children molested,” she said.

The Andersons said they no longer have a relationship with their son, who is an elder in the church.

They haven’t seen their 8-year-old grandson in five years.

No Lack of Watchtower Cash – 300-unit residential building, a 400-space parking garage and a new recreation building planned for Town of Shawangunk

The farm is exempt from property taxes, according to town officials. If the property was taxed, the bill would be about $2 million. … Such religious and other groups are under heightened scrutiny from town officials. A recent court ruling allows governments to reject the property tax exemptions in some cases. Assessors will be taking another look at some organizations as a result, Schoeberl said.

Already on Probation, Jehovah’s Witness Goes on Drunken Rampage with Baseball Bat

She said Roth is deeply involved in a Jehovah’s Witnesses church and “lost his standing” in the church as a result of the charges. He wasn’t allowed to participate in all church activities, although he continues 25 hours of volunteer work a week with the church, she said. …He was fined $350 for breaching a probation order not to drink. On Sept. 23, police saw him urinating in front of a restaurant on University Avenue in Waterloo.

25 hours of “volunteer work” a week? That’s about 100 hours a month, which translates to status as a top pioneer (missionary). Exactly what standing did he lose? How would you like to be talking to this guy about God at your door?

Possible JW Involvement in the Missing Maddie Case

The mystery woman knocked at the door and said she was a Jehovah’s Witness. She was accompanied by a man. Sixsmith said: “I can’t get it out of my head that it may have been Mr Murat and his girlfriend.”

Witnesses have identified Michaela Walczuch as a woman sighted with the young girl, first in Portugal two days after she disappeared and then in Morocco 41 days later.

Murderers Protected by Jehovah’s Witness Policies?

Murderers Protected by Jehovah’s Witness Policies?

This just in from Silent Lambs

In the article below two smiling accused murders walk free as a Jehovah’s Witnesses refuses to provide evidence of their crime. This appears to be a pattern with regard to how JWs deal with crime, note the following letter sent to two elders that inquired about a confession of several murders in 1992.

As the reader can see the fact that the person involved committed the murders before becoming baptized resulted in a directive to not report to authorities. In the story cited below as the accused murders were not baptized members of the congregation it would provide a basis for a member to remain neutral and not get involved in “worldly” affairs of the court. Is there a basis for this policy? The elders book “Pay Attention to Yourselves and All the Flock”, makes the following comment for unbaptized ones that commit murder or other crimes against non JW victims.

“As suggested by the Apostle Paul’s comments regarding Onesimus, a person who was guilty of illegal activities before coming to a knowledge of the truth is not required to settle these things with the authorities prior to baptism.” (The Watchtower, 9/15/1978, pp.30-31)

To clarify what the directive in the elders book means note the quote from the Watchtower article cited as a reference,

“However, in some instances the guilty individual does not know all the places or persons from whom he has stolen. Or the crime may be something that he has no way of reversing. He might have caused someone’s death. Conscience-stricken though he be, he cannot bring that life back—only Jehovah can. (John 5:28, 29) But even though he cannot reverse the past, he should throw himself on God’s mercy and seek forgiveness based on Jesus’ sacrifice. The Bible pointedly tells us that this is what thieves and extortioners did in the first century; they were ‘washed clean, sanctified and declared righteous in the name of Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.’—1 Cor. 6:9, 10; 1 Pet. 4:1-4.”

“It must be acknowledged that if someone with a criminal past who accepts Christianity does not get the matter legally straightened out before baptism, his past might later become public knowledge; he might even be apprehended and imprisoned. That development, besides giving him a bad public reputation, might seem to reflect unfavorably on the Christian congregation. But Jesus was criticized for eating with and accepting sinners and tax collectors to be his disciples. His response to that was that he came to save sinners; he came to heal the sick, not the healthy.—Matt. 9:10-13.”

So as the reader can see Jehovah’s Witnesses have a policy to welcome murders and cover their crimes as long as they were committed before they get baptized as a member in good standing. As the article above states, JWs feel it is following Christ example to protect murders from prosecution allowing them to eat with and accept as approved members, privately confessed criminals that request baptism. This offers a possible reason that the Jehovah’s Witness in the article refused to testify against the accused murderers below. If they were studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses or were a possible converts, it would be against the directives of the organization to bear witness against them. When they get baptized law breakers are given a fresh start with all crimes against humanity washed clean by baptism and protected by the policies of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

This little known fact allows for the organization to hide murders, child molesters, illegal aliens, thieves, rapists, and about any other criminal activity. Elders are routinely advised to cover up and protect such crimes by using “ecclesial privilege” as a basis to protect the freedom of criminals. The public and Jehovah’s Witnesses need to be aware of this policy as well as the importance of reporting any past or present criminal activity that you as an individual may be aware of regarding members of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Otherwise you could give an accused murderer a reason to smile as you can see in the picture below.

Silentlambs has noted the reports of several victims that reported their molester was protected as a member in good standing due to the fact they were baptized after they committed their molestation. A young person that molests several children as a member of the congregation as well as a paroled child molester, with “baptism”, can have a clean slate and even qualify as an elder. This provides yet another reason that the organization has been called a “pedophile paradise” by different ones as it shows yet another organizational loophole for child molesters to use in obtaining access to children.

My view differs somewhat from that of Silent Lambs. I see no reason that anyone should be barred from becoming a Christian or being forgiven their sins. Their standing – or not – with God is a private matter. Even in a religious community, there is no reason to think that repentance is impossible. However, other members must be protected, too. It is sheer folly to allow a convicted pedophile, for instance, to be alone with children with no supervision.

My concerns are with codified obstruction of justice, the theocratic war strategy that allows deceitfulness in court for the protection of the organization over help and justice for victims, and the lack of care or protection for children and others.

JWs – if you are experiencing or have knowledge of domestic abuse, rape, molestation, or other predatory and/or abusive behavior, please don’t be silent – let the police investigate. That’s their job. It’s not the job of the elders to mediate such matters. The status of such a person in the organization is a separate issue – two witnesses needed, whatever. But get help outside the congregation. Don’t let the organization tell you that “Jehovah will take care of it.” There are too many examples in the news for you not to take this seriously. Please.

Silent Lambs – Pages of Interest:

Another Jehovah’s Witness Pedophile Convicted

Another Jehovah’s Witness Pedophile Convicted

Another Jehovah’s Witness predator convicted. For 20 years, Daniel molested children and his wife knew it was happening.

BRUSSELS – Convicted for sordid abuse rape, and crimes against children, Daniel P. and Nadine NR were a married couple and active Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Yesterday, Daniel P. was sentenced to six years of hard prison time. His wife Nadine was sentenced to three years probation.

Their atrocities against children were of an extreme gravity. For example: molestation of eleven minor children, seven convictions of abuse using the internet as well as two rapes. According to the charges filed by law enforcement, around 20 children were victimized by the couple. Many of the victims remained silent and were afraid to come forward. Some of the abuses were spread out over a twenty year period of time.

The perversions of Daniel did not have any limit. But what is even more shocking is the passivity of his wife. Nadine NR. Nadine openly confessed to having witnessed many of the abuses and kept silent. She acknowledged hearing children groan and scream when they were forcibly raped and molested. She confessed to seeing her husband sexually aroused in the presence of children when in the same room.

Nadine stated she did not like sex and viewed the children as a replacement for her husband’s perversions in the marital bed. According to her statements, she forgives her husband and wants to continue the marriage at the end of the court proceedings. At present this will be for a while as the only visitation will be in prison.

The case first was reported in May 2005 when two young women filed abuse charges against the couple. The first case of abuses goes back to 1986. The couple had a good image in the community. They often volunteered to babysit children when the parents were at work.

Over the years, Daniel P. operated like a predator and adapted his techniques for seducing children. He used the internet as a way of approaching children passing himself off as a teenager to set up meetings with young girls. When the teenage girls would meet him he would pretend to be the uncle picking them up to arrange the meeting and get them to go with him.

Daniel tried to discount the charges against him by blaming his wife and saying the victims was promiscuous. The defense was not accepted due to the ages of his victims being as young as four years of age. He also tried to blame law enforcement for further crimes due to not catching him sooner. The jury did not accept this defense.

Yesterday, before the jury, a victim presented testimony. In some of the cases charges could not be filed due to the statue of limitations being expired, it was hard for the victims to accept. One victim committed suicide when the matter was revealed, the parents were distraught. They wondered what extent their child was molested by Daniel as the child revealed few details.

(thanks to the article by Phillipe Boudart via Silent Lambs)

Recent Posts: