by Poul Bregninge
Thousands upon thousands!
Pedophiles operate generally across all borders, associations, religious communities, churches and institutions. However, I am fully aware that child molesters also display their activities within the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But do these crimes happen to the extent that different players indirectly seem to suggest? If we take the consequence, we end on a staggering number of child abuse victims. Thousands upon thousands!
In my sincere attempt to update my knowledge on the issue, I ended of course at Silentlambs.com. Here it is indicated that at least 23,720 pedophiles were found in Watchtower’s confidential files in New York in the spring of 2002. This information must have come from three different sources inside the headquarters of Watchtower, Patterson, New York. If this figure is reliable, it does not necessarily mean that all pedophiles were or had been members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But Watchtower is not outspoken, but keeps cards close, so we do not know the details precisely. However, what is of interest here is the number of child abuse victims. How many? Already in 2002, over 5,000 pedophilia victims had reportedly told their stories on Silentlambs.com. Further, the numbers of victims are, according to this site, probably higher if one assumes that the pedophiles have at least 1.5 victims on average. Silent Lambs writes: “The number of 23,720 is significant, to say the least. If we apply this to the entire worldwide organization, then the figure would be one Jehovah’s Witness out of two hundred and sixty is a child molester on file at their headquarters.” Other studies reveal a much higher number of victim per. pedophile, for example a study by psychiatrist Dr. Gene Abel, USA. Female offenders had an average of 52 victims, while male offenders each had an average of 150 victims. Only 3 percent of these crimes have been solved.
The burning question for me was therefore how many victims of child abuse within there were in Watchtower’s files? No one knows these numbers today. But if we anyway multiply 23,720 by 150, the number will be 3.558,000. Anyone can see that this number is not plausible. By contrast, if we multiply by 1.5, (Silentlambs) the number will be 35,580. Anyone can see that this number is more realistic, but perhaps still too large. No one knows actually the true figures and will probably never get to know it. So I really think there are serious reasons to ask questions. (http://www.silentlambs.org/personal_experiences/;www.childluresprevention.com/research/profile.asp)
To get a little more hold of my topic that seemed unlikely inflamed, I sought information on Google with this search text: “Are accusations of pedophilia inside the Jehovah’s Witnesses exaggerated?” I found then the following on Wikipedia, as I mentioned in the introduction; but I am unsure if the article in any way has been manipulated by members of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Judge for yourself: “As with other religious organizations, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been obliged in recent years to develop child protection policies to deal with cases of child sexual abuse in their congregations. Jehovah’s Witnesses strongly denounce all kinds of sexual abuse, and according to a 2009 study there were no more documented cases of sexual abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses than among society in general. The Watch Tower Society states that incidence of this crime among Jehovah’s Witnesses is rare.”
Alone the sentence on “a 2009 study” in the citation appears suspicious to me. What study? It reminds unmistakably a typical Watchtower phrase, which does not specify the source, but rather hides something mysterious behind. Perhaps an internal investigation Watchtower itself has made!
Bregninge is the author of two books (one published in two languages) and will contribute columns to the bullet. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org