Policy Unchanged in Appointing Child Molesters to Leadership in Jehovah’s Witnesses
If you read the '97 Watchtower cited below you are given the impression that a child molester who is “known” (that is, confessed) would never have “privileges” in the Congregation arrangement. Is that really the case? In a conversation with the Service Department it was plainly stated to me personally that a child molester could re-qualify again after a long period of time had passed. Was this a misstatement of Watchtower Policy? Read the form letter below sent out to congregations by the Legal Department in cases of “known” child molesters. Notice the paragraph at the end holds open the possibility of being used again after writing the Society first. So the question is who is lying, the Writing Department who wrote the '97 Watchtower, Service Department, or Legal Department? Either way you are being lied to.
*** w97 1/1 29 Let Us Abhor What Is Wicked ***
Depending on the law of the land where he lives, the molester may well have to serve a prison term or face other sanctions from the State. The congregation will not protect him from this. Moreover, the man has revealed a serious weakness that henceforth will have to be taken into account. If he seems to be repentant, he will be encouraged to make spiritual progress, share in the field service, even have parts in the Theocratic Ministry School and nonteaching parts in the Service Meeting. This does not mean, though, that he will qualify to serve in a position of responsibility in the congregation. What are the Scriptural reasons for this?
For one thing, an elder must be “self-controlled.” (Titus 1:8) True, none of us have perfect self-control. (Romans 7:21-25) But a dedicated adult Christian who falls into the sin of child sexual abuse reveals an unnatural fleshly weakness. Experience has shown that such an adult may well molest other children. True, not every child molester repeats the sin, but many do. And the congregation cannot read hearts to tell who is and who is not liable to molest children again. (Jeremiah 17:9) Hence, Paul’s counsel to Timothy applies with special force in the case of baptized adults who have molested children: “Never lay your hands hastily upon any man; neither be a sharer in the sins of others.” (1 Timothy 5:22) For the protection of our children, a man known to have been a child molester does not qualify for a responsible position in the congregation. Moreover, he cannot be a pioneer or serve in any other special, full-time service.—Compare the principle at Exodus 21:28, 29.
WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF NEW YORK, INC.
25 COLUMBIA HEIGHTS . BROOKLYN . NEW YORK 11201-2483. U.S.A. PHONE (718) 560-5000
BODY OF ELDERS
We have given consideration to your letter dated xxxxxx xx,xxxx, regarding Brother xxxx. Enclosed you will find an S-52 form showing the deletion of Brother xxxxxx as an elder.
For good reason, the January 1,1997 , issue of The Watchtower, page 29, states: "A dedicated adult Christian who falls into the sin of child sexual abuse reveals an unnatural fleshly weakness. Experience has shown that such an adult may well molest other children. True, not every child molester repeats the sin, but many do. And the congregation cannot read hearts to tell who is and who is not liable to molest children again. (Jeremiah 17:9) Hence, Paul's counsel to Timothy applies with special force in the case of baptized adults who have molested children. 'Never lay your hands hastily upon any man; neither be a sharer in the sins of others. , (I Timothy 5:22) For the protection of our children, a man known to have been a child molester does not qualify for a responsible position in the congregation." Therefore, in the best interest the congregation and its members, neither the local congregation nor the Society should be viewed as delegating authority or position to one who is a known child molester.
Now that we have given careful and prayerful consideration to all the factors in the case of Brother xxxxx xxxxx, we believe that what is stated in the foregoing applies to him. Hence, you should not extend to him any specific responsibility that could be construed as an assigned duty, even though some assignments might be considered minor. He should not be used to handle accounts, literature, magazines, subscriptions, or territories. Nor would he be used as an attendant, microphone handler, to operate sound equipment, to represent the congregation in prayer, or to present "Announcements" on the Service Meeting. He would not be used as the reader at the Congregation Book Study or Watchtower Study, nor to conduct a meeting for field service. It would be advisable not to have a book study in his home. And, he would not qualify to auxiliary or regular pioneer. Whereas he could volunteer to assist with general care of the Kingdom Hall where he attends meetings, he could not be approved to work on other Kingdom Halls or Assembly Halls. He may give student talks on the Theocratic Ministry School and share in non-teaching parts on the Service Meeting, provided that his doing so will not be offensive to those in the congregation who know of his past wrongdoing.
Please be reminded of the following direction that appears in the Society's March 14, 1997 , confidential letter to all bodies of elders regarding known child molesters: "Individuals who have manifested a weakness in this regard should be sensitive to their need not to be alone with children. They should refrain from holding children or displaying other forms of affection for them. It would be appropriate for elders to give kindly cautions to any who are doing things that may be a temptation or a cause for concern to others in the congregation." (1 Corinthians 10:12,32) This would include not allowing children (other than his own) to spend the night in his home, not working in field service with a child, not cultivating friendships with children, and the like.
After a number of additional years have gone by, you may wonder whether certain privileges can be extended to this brother. If he has continued to build a commendable record, if there are no complaints either by his victim(s) or by relatives, and if the body of elders concludes that no one would find fault with his being given extra privileges of a minor nature in the congregation, you may write the Society and make known your observations and recommendations, indicating how you feel he can be used in the congregation. Explain clearly what the current feeling is toward him on the part of the one(s) he wronged and by relatives, and how the congregation views him now. Direction from the Society should be obtained before certain privileges are extended to him.
Along with this letter we send you our warm Christian love. Your brothers,
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
On September 13, 2012 Silentlambs received this letter from a Sister regarding the request of her ex husband to be used again after molesting her children. Note that the 1997 Watchtower is once again proved to be a lie to members when they say pedophiles were never to be used for leadership within the organization. When members and victims learn and know of this egregious and willful endangerment of children it is hope they will be brought to justice for their crimes against children and someday the Governing Body will see time in jail for their actions.
The Sister wrote;
"I recently received a letter from my ex who is still a JW, in the letter he stated how I should put the past behind me, because the molestation of my kids started twenty years ago! He further requested that I could do him a favor and write a letter stating that he should have his privileges back since he can not give talks or be a Ministerial Servant or an Elder. The Service Department stated to him that it was up to me whether he could move forward in the congregation. “
“I replied by sending a copy of his letter along with my reply to him, to two congregations and the Service Department along with three pages of the after effects of sexual abuse. My reply was very direct, telling of the pain of my children at the time & the after effects as adults, as well as how I was the one as their mother ( and also the sister of his other victim) who stayed up with them when they had nightmares, confusion, depression and were betrayed. I explained that it was not up to me to forgive him for his hideous crimes, but my kids and sister and Jehovah, as a result I would never be able to give my okay or permission for him to have the privileges he wanted because this would allow him free access to be with families (although he probably associates with them anyway). “
“By his actions he took away his rights to move forward not us.”
“Interestingly there has not been a response from him and more importantly, from either congregation or the Service Department! This was no surprise to me, since the Service Department and both congregations refused to assist the authorities with criminal prosecution when the abuse was revealed. There was not a “two eye witness’ issue since my daughter came forward and he confessed, although he stated, "I never hurt them". “
“The most horrific part of this is he currently has a 13 yr old daughter whom I pray for her protection from him.”
“It may not seem like justice has been served, but to me it is a start.”
So there you have it. Jehovah’s Witnesses are continuing the policy of using child molesters for privileges while telling members they would never do so. It is one thing to tell a lie to protect yourself, it is quiet another to tell a lie to hurt children.