by Poul Bregninge
Child abuse is probably far more widespread than we can imagine today. Therefore I think that all children brought up within the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who claim to have been sexually abused, must be taken very seriously. This should be the starting point. Why? Because normal sexuality is in fact still taboo within the Jehovah’s Witnesses, something you do not talk about, a shadow land where everything forbidden is done in secret and outside Watchtower’s controlling eyes.
My conscious cautious conclusion is therefore that while child abuse may be rarer within Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organization today, which Watchtower of course argue for, then Watchtower has still a huge problem as this company apparently still, with a marked disdain for professionals and authorities, continue to maintain a more than 2,600-year-old rule from Ancient Israel. First, when Watchtower actually ceases to apply this rule consistent internally, what they can do by reporting all cases of child abuse to the authorities, dare we believe that Watchtower has learned something from past mistakes. But everyone who knows Watchtower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses have a well-founded suspicion that this company is not ready to learn anything at all and therefore they will continue their inexorable path towards the abyss.
While I was completing this article, I became aware that the Australian authorities had launched an investigation of sexual abuse within the Australian branch of Jehovah’s Witnesses, assaults which has taken place since 1950. The investigation revealed that 1,006 pedophile criminals have committed abuses against around 4,000 children and adolescents that never have been reported to the authorities. The Australian Royal Commission has questioned Geoffrey W. Jackson from the Watchtower’s Governing Body, which has not been successful. As far as I understand, Jackson almost created great difficulties for the Watchtower Society in New York and made this company a laughing stock everywhere outside the courtroom in Sydney. Jackson’s repeated answers, “I’m not familiar with that,” suggested strong reluctance to respond sincerely, although he even has sworn by the Holy Scriptures!
They call it “theocratic warfare” (Watch the link below).
However, the big question is what it is, GB member Jackson so zealously tried to hide with his evasive “circle talk,” overloaded with Bible quotes. Perhaps the obvious answer paradoxically is found in Matthew 23:27, where Jesus aptly characterizes his era’s Sadducees and Pharisee: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” (Matt. 23:27 RSV; watch same verse in the New World Translation).
As long as the Watchtower leaders shows the silence’s attitude toward the world outside the Watch Tower’s walls, must all sorts of ex-Witnesses, journalists and commentators conclude that there actually is something about the suspicions of widespread pedophilia and child abuse within the sect of Jehovah’s Witnesses, true or not. This silence may in the long run prove to be fatal to the entire Watchtower’s church organization and will probably eventually lead to Watchtower’s own dissolution and “Armageddon,” perhaps in 2034, 120 years after the great disaster year 1914. No one will mourn such a development.
I will end this fourth article with a quote by former US president Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865):
“To sin by silence when we should protest — makes cowards out of us all.”
NOTE: Latest developments:
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