It’s not just Catholic priests. It’s not just Catholic priests and Amish patriarchs. It’s not just Catholic priests and Amish patriarchs and yoga gurus. It’s not just Catholic priests and Amish patriarchs and yoga gurus and FLDS patriarchs.
Candace Conti was repeatedly sexually abused by such a nice friendly man when she was a child.
It is really hard for kids to speak up when they’re abused. But the Jehovah’s Witnesses make it a lot harder.
They have a “2 Witness” rule, which says that anyone who accuses an adult of abuse must have a second witness.
If there is no second witness, the accuser is punished for a false accusation – usually by ordering that no Witness may talk with or associate with the “false” accuser. This is called dis-fellowshipping.
Brilliant! It’s a rapist’s charter. All your enterprising rapist has to do is skip the part about bringing along an observer and Bob’s your uncle, he can rape away to his heart’s content in the happy knowledge that no one can accuse him. A bit rough on the raped child though. Not even her parents can talk or associate with her, and she’s branded a false accuser.
What my parents didn’t know, was that Jonathan had sexually molested another girl in our congregation. The elders knew this and had kept it a secret. They were following orders from Watchtower leaders, based in the world headquarters in New York, who in 1989 had issued a top-secret instruction to keep known child sex abusers in the congregations a secret. This instruction became Exhibit 1 at my civil trial.
They knew it and kept it a secret and thus allowed Jonathan to molest more girls in perfect freedom.
The elders and the Governing Body all knew that child molesters hide in religious groups and often are people who are likeable and friendly – like Jonathan. They knew molesters would likely do it again. But they chose to ignore the safety of the kids, in favor of protecting their image – and their bank account – from lawsuits. It was all in that 1989 letter.
A recent report by the Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that they have continued to issues directives urging silence around child abuse. Last November,elders were instructed to avoid taking criminal matters like child abuse to the authorities. Instead, they were told to handle them internally in confidential committees. The report also showed that Jehovah’s Witnesses evoke the First Amendment to hide sex abuse claims.
I suppose they’ve been observing the Vatican and taking careful notes.
H/t Kausik Datta