SHIELDS GAZETTE – DAILY MAIL ONLINE – THE JOURNAL – THE SUNDERLAND ECHO
“CHURCH officials hushed up a child sex scandal in their ranks and refused to co-operate with police.”
Over the years the Watchtower Society has been accused over and over by hundreds of child abuse victims and their advocates of enforcing policies upon congregation elders that result in concealing crimes and protecting child predators from exposure.
The response from Bethel to the barrage of complaint has always been the same – Denial, indignation, bluster and a pious declaration of their great concern for the welfare of children. “We abhor child abuse” is a well-worn statement of response.
Even while quietly paying out millions of dollars in out-of-court settlements and in the aftermath of the biggest judgment ever in a case of its kind rendered against them, the spokesmen for the Watchtower, although never admitting any prior negligence, insist that they would never protect a child molester from the legal consequences of their crimes – implying that they have mended their wicked ways.
But that just ain’t so!
As it turns out the Watchtower has not altered its policy of non-cooperation with the law at all. A recent case in England demonstrates that the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society Inc. do not have the best interests of children at heart. The corporation comes first – always!
It seems that a ministerial servant by the name of Gordon Leighton – in the Lampton congregation, in Washington, in the Northeast of England – was accused of sexually assaulting a child in the congregation on multiple occasions. He confessed to a judicial committee. That ought to be the end of the story. But it is not.
Apparently, the parents of the victim contacted the police and informed them of the crime and Leighton was arrested and charged. However, on being charged with a criminal offense he pleaded not guilty. But during the investigation it came to their attention that Mr. Leighton had previously confessed to the elders. So, the police requested the testimony of the three elders involved. However, all three refused to cooperate with the investigation. They were issued summons to appear in court as witnesses. Still they refused. The elders launched a court battle that lasted for months (three years actually) in order to avoid giving their testimony against the admitted pedophile.
But for those unacquainted with the workings of the Watchtower Society, elders cannot do a single thing in the official capacity as an elder upon their own initiative. Specifically, elders are under strict instructions that whenever allegations of child abuse are reported to them that they immediately pick up the phone and call Bethel’s lawyer hotline for direction. It is simply out of the question that these three elders were acting upon their own counsel. If they had they would be immediately deleted as elders. The fact that they were not deleted means that the elders were acting upon orders from the Legal Department of the Watchtower Society. In all likelihood the Watchtower even financed the legal defense of the elders to prevent their giving testimony in the case. It is highly doubtful that the elders would pay out of their own pocket – assuming they might even have the means to do so.
That means that the coins dropped into the kingdom hall treasury box by needy widows was used to obstruct justice being carried out in behalf of a sexually abused child, whose misfortune was to be associated with a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses that harbored a pedophile ministerial servant.
Perhaps the most outrageous and wicked thing of this whole sordid affair is the plea of the Watchtower’s barrister, who claimed the elders had a “duty to God” not to breach confidence. He added:
“Privileged communication between members of the congregation and ministers is an absolute right and duty and there is no power in law to breach such a confidence.”
A “duty to God” to protect the confession of a man who sexually assaulted a child? Do these men even know God? What about standing up for a child who was raped in your congregation? What about the child? Is that even an issue? What about the distraught family of the victim and their knowing that the Society and the elders refuse to cooperate with the legal authorities? Perhaps some of these guys would be well-advised to start looking around for a millstone necklace and a large body of water!
The Watchtower is on record claiming they have never or will never protect a sexual predator from the consequences of their crimes. That is a lie – a barefaced and brazen lie! In reality, the Watchtower will go to great lengths – spend millions of dollars and do whatever it has the power to do to protect pedophiles – at least, if it thinks it is in the best interest of the Corporation.
Of course, the Society does not care one wit about Brother Leighton – or pedophiles, for that matter. They are not really intent on protecting pedophiles directly. It is just that they do not wish to establish any sort of legal precedent, whereby elders may freely divulge confidential information in a court of law. Who knows where that might lead? So, the lawyers (barristers and solicitors if you prefer) running the organization have fallen into Satan’s trap. By defending their perceived financial interests on the Devil’s terms they have reproached Jehovah.
There are unavoidable consequences for that.
We might be reminded of how Satan once incited David to take a census. Do you know the outcome of David’s debacle?
As far as an elder’s “duty to God,” I challenge any of Jehovah’s Witnesses to provide scriptural support for the Society’s legal position that elders are bound by Jehovah God to keep confidential information from those who are legally entitled to it.
Where are all the big talkers? Where are all the Society men? Here’s your platform.
The primary obligation God lays upon the men whom he places in charge of his people is that they see to the legal plea of the widow and orphan. Are Jehovah’s Witnesses actually ignorant of this basic precept of Christianity? Astonishingly, it seems that all of the suits in Brooklyn are – and Patterson too!
As for our duty before God, any reasonably informed Bible student knows that Jehovah requires all Christians to be obedient to the “superior authorities.” In fact, according to no less an authority than the apostle Paul those who take a stand against the authority of the government under which they live are actually opposing God himself.
In case some may need a refresher here is what the apostle wrote: “Therefore he who opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will receive judgment to themselves. For those ruling are an object of fear, not to the good deed, but to the bad. Do you, then, want to have no fear of the authority? Keep doing good, and you will have praise from it; for it is God’s minister to you for your good. But if you are doing what is bad, be in fear: for it is not without purpose that it bears the sword; for it is God’s minister, an avenger to express wrath upon the one practicing what is bad.”
It would appear then, that, the Society has taken a stand against Jehovah’s arrangement and will accordingly receive judgment unto itself.
Look! the axe is laying at the root of the tree!