Just when you think they cannot sink to a lower level you can depend on the governing body to do just that.A little over a month ago an abuse survivor in Denmark came forward with a story about her abuse at a Kingdom Hall while going over questions for baptism, you can read the story here,
23 year old woman avoid slander charges from the sect
By Niels Westberg - - 11. jun. 2004
Confronted with the risk of slander charges from the immensely rich Jehovah-sect the 23 year old Miriam Poulsen from the Faroe Islands suddenly has withdrawn her story about sex-abuse.
On April 29th the young woman told her story to Ekstra Bladet, that she as 12 years old had been subjected to sexual advances from a so called "elder" in Jehovah's Witnesses in Thorshavn.
The sexual advances had allegedly happened while Miriam prepared for her baptism which was done in a basement under the Jehovah-sects Kingdom Hall.
In this connection Miriam told about other girls in the sect who also had told her about sex abuse from men in the sect. All the girls were ashamed and feared reprisals, if they told their parents.
But all of this is lies and fabrications, she now says, and she has be forced to sign a declaration to Jehovah's Witnesses - in order to avoid prosecution.
In the declaration from May 28, Miriam has undersigned that her story to Ekstra Bladet was "pure fabrication" and that she has told the same to the Thorshavn police.
Chief of the Crime squad Bergleif Brimvik can not confirm this however, but he says that after having interviewed Miriam Poulsen don't have reason to pursue the 10 year old case.
The sects spokesman in Thorshavn, Otniel Nygaard denied on Faroe Radio on May 29 that Miriam was threatened to withdraw her accusations.
- We have had no contact with her. It is our lawyer who has handled it, says the Jehovah spokesman.
- And he didn't make any threats?
- No, we have only considered prosecuting for libel, says the spokesman in the radio interview.
Miriam Poulsen has gone "underground" for a long time now says her friends, and Ekstra Bladet has been unable to get in contact with her for a month.
- That's why we have to accept her personal written retraction of the story. If the whole thing was "pure fabrication" we regret that we have passed on the detailed story, says Chief editor of Ekstra Bladet Bengt Falbert.
- We were in good faith. It was Miriam herself that came to us, and we had absolutely no reason to believe she was lying.
As you can see in this article are key elements to indicate what actually happened.First Miriam went not only to the newspaper but also made a police report regarding her allegations.Typically an individual would have to feel very strongly to make a police report in addition to going to the newspaper.As you can see from the original news story the circumstances surrounding her allegations are very realistic as well as the mention of other abuse survivors confiding in her.Read the silentlambs website to see similar stories being told as well.The Watchtower spokesman freely admits that they sicced their legal henchmen on this young woman and threatened her with a lawsuit in order to silence her.Apparently she was forced to sign a legal document withdrawing her story.The Watchtower then sent this to the newspaper to force the retraction story above.What about the other nine stories that were printed?Why are there not any other retractions from the other abuse survivors that came forward? Apparently they other victims were not intimidated by henchmen who like to get women alone in back rooms and frighten them into silence.
As you will note in this story the police apparently believed her story as well and the only reason for not prosecuting was the length of time that had passed.The victim had not contacted them to withdraw her story as well.
If you want to believe the Watchtower position on this you would have to say Miriam woke up on morning and decided to file a police report and then go to the newspaper to tell about being molested to simply make them look bad.As any victim of abuse knows it is horrific to come forward the first time to speak publicly about molestation.No one would ever simply seek publicity on such a private violation of innocence.
So Watchtower once again uses bully and scare tactics to attack victims of abuse while not offering any apology for their organizational polices on abuse that continue to hurt children. While efforts in the Catholic Church continue to need improvement at least there has been public acknowledgement of their abuse and apologies have been offered. Not one Catholic has been excommunicated for supporting or speaking out about abuse or threatened with libel.
Jehovah's Witnesses apparently are far removed from this. To date over thirty members have been disfellowshipped for supporting or speaking out about child abuse. PR Spokesman has repeatedly misstated policy to the media in an attempt to hide what true policy is on abuse. Victims of abuse have been figuratively dragged into back rooms as well as met on their front door steps by authorized henchmen known as elders and threatened with loss of all family ties and salvation itself unless they remained silent.Victims and advocates that were not silent have been promptly executed by disfellowshipping.Victims of abuse have been told they will never see grandchildren and other family members again. Others have been disinherited and disowned by their parents simply for supporting abuse survivors.The Watchtower PR Department even blackmailed one father to call his son a liar in film that was distributed to media as a way to discredit allegations of a confessed child molester. We ask a simple question,
What would Jesus do?
Who is it that is in charge of this organization? Who is it that authorizes continued attacks on advocates and victims of abuse?Who is it that demonizes in their literature anyone that comes forward to report their abuse publicly as "agents of Satan?" Who is it that controls the Service Department and Legal Departments of the organization?Who was accused on 9-27-02 of raping a child by the victim herself? Why are hundreds of thousands of dollars of world wide work donations being spent to defend convicted JW child molesters in court while dumping victims with not one penny of assistance for healing? Why must victims be ostracized and treated as outcasts for simply trying to heal?
Where is the love?(1 Cor. 13:1-3)
Actions speak louder than words; the action of the administration of Jehovah's Witnesses screams that there is an evil that must be dealt with.