More Watchtower Judicial Atrocities

//More Watchtower Judicial Atrocities

Mélanie Poirier was 10 when she started taking piano lessons and it would prove to be an experience that changed her life forever. At that very first lesson, she said, her piano teacher sexually assaulted her. It went on for five years.

“Week after week, at every piano lesson, he would masturbate in front of me. And he would ask me to touch him,” Poirier told Radio-Canada’s investigative program, Enquête.

Her father, Benoît Poirier, was in the next room waiting for her lesson to be over, completely unaware, she said.

Poirier said she couldn’t tell her father, who was a Jehovah’s Witness elder, or anyone else what was happening because her piano teacher was also an elder in the congregation that her family belonged to in a Montreal suburb.

“He was well-known, an elder, an example to follow,” she said.

The biggest obstacle, however, was the fact she didn’t have a second witness to the alleged abuse — a key requirement of the church’s internal judicial system.

“If I told anyone, nothing would have happened. I wouldn’t be believed. The elders wouldn’t have even stopped to listen to me,” Poirier said.

Internal policies — and no police

The Poiriers are among several former Jehovah’s Witnesses in Quebec and the United States who spoke to Enquête about the church’s policies for dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse and their failure to protect victims.

Among those policies: complainants are made to answer inappropriate questions if they report an assault, and their stories must be corroborated by a second witness for a case to even be heard by an internal judicial committee. Until this past summer, accusers were also forced to confront their alleged abuser before a panel of elders.

Radio-Canada also heard allegations that a five-year-old boy from a Quebec congregation was made to repeat his story in front of the man he said abused him. The boy’s mother told Enquête the allegations were dismissed because the child did not have a second witness to the alleged assault. In its investigation, Radio-Canada obtained a questionnaire designed to guide Jehovah’s Witness elders interviewing children alleging sexual abuse. It includes the question: “How many elders believe the victim is to blame or willingly participated in the act?”

The questionnaire was drafted by the headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, in the state of New York. The Watchtower Society declined Enquête‘s request for an interview.

Rules rooted in scripture

The Watchtower Society’s leadership bases its policies on a strict interpretation of biblical scripture.

Its policy on making an accuser justify her or his allegations in the accused’s presence, for example, is based on a line from the Book of Matthew:

“If your brother commits a sin, go and reveal his fault between you and him alone.” — Matthew 18:15

An elders’ manual distributed to congregations cites the books of Deuteronomy and John as the basis for the two-witness policy.

“There must be two or three eyewitnesses, not just people repeating hearsay.” — Deut. 19:15

“No action can be taken if there is only one witness.” — John 8:17

While the Watchtower tells elders it is the “absolute right” of members to report allegations of child abuse to police, doing so is effectively discouraged by an organizational emphasis on dealing with such matters internally and avoiding “unnecessary entanglement with secular authorities,” as stated in an internal document from 2014.

A recent royal commission in Australia found 1,006 cases of alleged child sexual abuse filed in the Jehovah’s Witness church. Not one was reported to outside authorities.

Since 1997, the Watchtower leadership has required that every allegation of child sexual abuse brought to a congregation’s attention be sent to the organization’s national headquarters.

Earlier this year, a California court ordered the Watchtower Society to submit a database of the alleged pedophiles among its ranks, but the society has yet to do so.

‘Catastrophic’ complaint process

Mélanie Poirier kept her story of alleged weekly assaults by her childhood piano teacher to herself for 20 years, until she met another alleged victim of the same man. Together, they decided to bring their case to the congregation’s elders.

Both women were made to defend their allegations in a meeting at which their alleged abuser was present.

“I thought it would be difficult, but it wasn’t difficult — it was catastrophic,” Poirier said.

“He asked me questions. He said I was mistaken, my memories were wrong, why do I want to do this to him. I was revictimized that evening,” Poirier said

Based on his alleged victims’ testimony, a judicial committee composed of elders expelled Poirier’s former piano teacher from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He appealed, however, twice — meaning Poirier and the other alleged victim were made to confront the man a total of three times.

The story doesn’t end there. Poirier’s alleged abuser soon joined another Jehovah’s Witness congregation, despite never having admitted to any wrongdoing or repented for the sin he was accused of committing — conditions set by the Watchtower Society for regaining membership.

Mélanie Poirier and her father, Benoit, both left their congregation in suburban Montreal after going through the church’s judicial process. (CBC)

Enquête contacted Poirier’s old teacher, who is still a Jehovah’s Witness and doing door-to-door work. He denied the allegations and refused an interview.

Poirier left the Jehovah’s Witnesses soon after her ordeal, as did her father. Benoît Poirier said he’s never recovered from seeing his daughter treated the way she was, and he’s encouraging others to come forward with their stories.

“You’re not sullying the organization by speaking out,” he said. “These people are traitors, abusers, criminals.… They’re sullying the organization with their actions.”

Poirier has since taken her case to police in Laval, Que.

Source: CBC NEWS


2016-12-08T15:09:41+00:00 December 1st, 2016|JW News|36 Comments
  • Joseph Stephan

    Not going to end well, just like the downfall of the church of scientology now playing out in the MSM.

    • 1914for100Alex

      Yep. This is getting bigger and bigger…

    • Peaceful Waters

      I watched a bunch of these videos the other day after coming across them on YouTube! The similarities were remarkable as to the control that organized religions have. Very sad indeed.

  • Burt Reynolds

    It seems that the policy makers of the watchtower have done far more damage to Jehovah’s name than being open and going to the police could ever have done. What is made secret will be exposed. It’s as Robert points out from the scriptures, the seers of the watchtower have eyes but cannot see, have ears but do not hear. It’s so depressing to read this, not only for the horrors that the victim endured and the sadness her father must feel, but that the love of the brothers is superceeded and actually covered over by the adherence to and dictatorial attitude of a poor understanding of the scriptures.

    • Shelley.

      Well said.

  • Observing Quietly

    Just makes me sick. You are a very brave young woman Mélanie Poirie! We are all behind you, stand strong because this is happening everywhere and needs to come out into the light. Jehovah is not standing with those men, he’s looking at you and wondering how those men could treat you this way and dirty his name. As Robert so eloquently details the scriptures to us, those men will stand before Jehovah and I shudder at his reaction to what they have done.

    • Burt Reynolds

      Absolutely. And what compounds the sin yet further, is that the governing body permit it by dint of doing nothing about it. So they actually share the full gravity of the sin. I was thinking how it could remain as Jehovah’s organisation given the depth of ignorance and filth in it, until I recalled Lots conversation with Jehovah in regard to sodom……..find me a righteous person and I will spare the city… there are still some to get out of the organisation.

  • DA

    well its a good thing im not the judge Robert and that i wasnt near by at the time because i would have zapped that piano teachers fingers the other direction. if not being for the fear of Jehovah id be a master of the tire iron

    • Shelley.

      Lol,master of the tire iron.I think most of us feel that way.

      • DA

        wasnt it Jehovah’s law to stone such a person for that offence? id rather have such evil prevented by Jehovah BEFORE it happens, repeatedly, for years.

        after its over with the trauma never ends and is just as ruthless.

        in Jehovah’s wisdom knowing all of us are to damn stupid to get anything right but speaking of the elders in charge, why it is these things continue to go on is beyond my knowledge and i dont have to like it

    • Noe Namely

      LOL!!! Good one!

  • Anderiega

    Disgusting. So sad. How the governing body can continue with this absurd application of the 2 witness rule when there are scriptures like Deuteronomy 22:25,26 is beyond me. May Jehovah execute justice soon. The stench is getting worse and worse.

    • Burt Reynolds

      Are they actually keeping the two witness rule when they must know by now that the authorities, police, social worker, judge, nurse, doctor, psychiatrist and evidence indicators of abuse act as the second witness, and this before you consider the issues of intent and care behind the statement, ‘suffer…allow…the little children to come unto me’. Are there no good things about the organisation we can read that reflect Jehovah’s work and that provide a loving balance to this continuing diatribe of offrontary by the watchtower to the Word?

      • Anderiega

        What are the “good things about the organization?” The space between the organization and Jehovah God and Jesus is getting bigger and bigger everyday for me personally. Please, anybody…tell me the good things about the organization? I’m sorry, but we don’t even dig into scripture anymore. There’s a few nice Bible highlights and warm comments here and there at the kingdom Hall, but I guess because I’ve taken off my Rosey glasses, I’m just not feeling it. I want to, but I feel best at home with my Bible and my autonomy. Friendships at the Hall are conditional. (To be in the “in crowd” one needs to be a pioneer or reaching out for pioneer status and very very agreeable with all WT “light”)
        Most people around here are on Rx drugs (depression) and love to drink. I don’t do the first, and I’m trying to do much less of the latter….I don’t get invited places. Oh well!!! ? We used to do a lot of hospitality at our house, but I’m not really into it because it’s never reciprocated and it was expensive. Reading the Bible and prayer are free. I can’t afford the organization anymore… Emotionally, mentally, or financially. I’ll say it again…I appreciate y’all so so much. Robert, you are a tireless watchman.

        • Joseph Stephan

          Welcome To My Life, I’ve Learned To Cope And Make The Best Of It! Personal study, lots of prying & keeping busy with work. And Let’s not forget online witnessing! Hang in there, almost home!!! ❤

          • Burt Reynolds

            Wonderful, wonderful typo or treacherous spell correct! I guess we are all victims to that. It really made my day. Pry for me will you please……I want all the low down on your elders.???

        • DA

          well, as mite you recall, Jehovah said it would happen so hes allowing the water of the Watchtower to “dry up” as you clearly see it is. you are his witness right out of your very comment the authenticity of that prophecy taking place right before you.

          go over these again for a reminder –

          Ez ch17

          “At the powerful presence of Christ the Watchtower will no longer function as Jehovah’s earthly mouthpiece. At that point it will become a trap and a snare for those who continue to look to it for guidance.”

    • Shelley.

      I have often wondered the same thing.the sad thing is most JWs still refuse to accept these things for truth.Its just apostate lies.If the news reports a Catholic priest for sexual abuse its truth but if it’s a JW elder it’s apostate lies ????

      • Noe Namely

        Yes, absolutely……! When another group commits an atrocity they are Satins’ Spawn…when its the WT in the spot light for such things…”Opposers telling their Apostate lies.”

  • Basavaraj Of North Karnataka

    CHI! CHI! THU! THU! What a disgusting!!! I think that elder was not a true JW but a man installed in the midst of congregation by Satan who claims to be a JW or a false JW. Masturbating in front of a small girl.!!! And asking to touch him,” Hey this is a spirit of Satan. Don’t he have shame!! Shame on his face!!! But more shameless are the GB because they protect such persons. Better throw him prison and gie him death sentence. I think so let us give some work to build Khajuraho temple than serving as elder in the congregation of Christ

    • Burt Reynolds

      Wonderful description, especially poignant about Khajuraho.

  • Anita

    I still dont understand why victims don’t go to police. An elder may be the third person I informed, but not first. First parents, then police, then elders.

    • ewatchman

      Back before the Watchtower’s policies came under public scrutiny victims and families were told by the elders not to report the alleged crime to the police. Sometimes victims were threatened with judicial action. I personally knew of a case where a sister and mother of an abuse victim was warned that if she went to the police she could not pioneer.

      But now the the public is aware of the WT’s secret doings, now Bethel says that they do not hinder anyone from going to the police. While that may be true, it was not always the case.

    • Burt Reynolds

      The reason has to do with social issues and pressures put on the belief system, and the interdependent relationship between elders, the society, the congregation grouping and their opinion, and the need to belong/ faithful servant issues. This can be summed up by the issues behind why many woman do not report a rape, sexual abuse, but become even more clear when applied to a child whose reasoning is immature and has different values, ergo blame and its outcome, fear, family, guilt, confusion….pressures clear to child and adult alike in the congregation today. Add to that the debilitating effect of group opinions of ignorant and blinded congregants and you effectively stop the mouths of victims. They go to elders as a last resort of restitution if they Go anywhere at all. Seeking acceptance and justice. Or if they are aware of the outcome, they stay silent. The overlay of who Jehovah is as described by the watchtower, brings in an ethereal, intangible threat of displeasure that finally seals the mouth. All in all, the victim dare not aggravate the torturer/s and are effectively mentally captured. And poignantly, where else will the victim go? They themselves believe there is no where else to go. There is more to it than this, but it is too ugly for these pages.

      • Anita

        I agree and am aware of why and how victims keep silent to begin with. I have no close family who are witnesses, and was not a child witness, so I am sympathetic. I get it. It is certainly a different dynamic which is difficult to articulate. To sum it all up, unqualified body of men have no place handling this magnitude of matter. Apparently Holy Spirit didnt direct them to superior authorities. They deserve lawsuits! What were they thinking?

        • Burt Reynolds

          I can only think it’s a sort of madness. You are right, unless one knows the witnesses and the reasoning, they cannot penetrate the psychology that drives it. This is one of the drawbacks to the Royal Commission. They can see what’s wrong, but cannot understand fully, the cause it why so many cases were effectively silenced. This inhibits the curative impositions needed to both report abuses and stop them. This seems to be evidenced by the continuance of the two witness rule. Strangely, but significantly, the same schoolgirl oppression keeps the witnesses blinded and attached, chained if you like, to the organisation, above even, the honest love of the few, for Jehovah. It makes one feel quite helpless.

    • ELiJAHx7

      I was told as a child….”We” (JWs) Do NOT tell the police about crimes and abuse because it would make Jehovah’s “organization” look bad…..these words haunt me still to this day, decades later…I was not a victim, But I know personally, victims of abuse who were told the same in the congregation…Its nothing more than brainwash and control…This makes for an easy “prey-ground” for wicked perverts, courtesy of the watchtowers policies!

    • Noe Namely

      I agree with your comment. By reporting first to an Elder, this shows how the person/family views the importance of the organization in their lives. I can only assume that if they were to go to Police before the Elder, they would feel or then be made to feel that they had failed Jehovah himself. I’ve learned that controlling the Flock is of the utmost importance to the Leadership…whether it’s to keep a lid on things they do not want to be known or to guard against a mass Exodus of members…members who make monthly donations. The longer I’m on the other side of the fence looking in, I feel strongly that the Leadership is more concerned with the monetary well being of the organization much more than the health of the Flock itself.

      • Richard Long

        Corporations are empires and that’s what empires do.


  • Peaceful Waters

    It’s finally getting out there! My Witness mother-in-law asked me last night at supper if I knew about the Peadophile stuff going on within the organization because she saw the above interview on the news. I was actually able to have a great conversation about it, and referring her to the bigger picture. I feel such a sense of burden being lifted, having to hold these things inside to a certain degree within the congregation. Sigh… PRAISE JEHOVAH for revealing in his due time.

    • LW

      Great. Its happening, and I had a similar reaction, when I had forwarded info from a secular source what’s happening in the world and how it matches with what is in the Bible with another JW; his reaction was ‘Satan’s system is exposed for what it is’.

      You feel good in a way. It’s definitely happening.

      • Peaceful Waters

        Yes. That’s awesome. It sounds horrible to feel good about something so despicable, but to be a part of the awakening process is very rewarding. I started to well up with tears when I realized what she knew, and that she was open to talking about it. I didn’t even know what to say right away, I just thanked Jehovah. Can’t wait for Jehovah to make all things right.

  • Joseph Stephan

    Block THE TROLL

  • Francis Bencharles

    The Governing Body is Baal, they became that in 1976 when they made the headship of the organization a democracy. Jehovah leads through a head, not a democracy. They are the golden idol of the Watchtower and the Baal’ites bow down before their lord by following the direction of these clearly misguided and “un-repentant” men. How can you be the administrator of a baptism of repentance when you are not repentant yourself (GB) and are an un-repentant sinner? The answer, you can’t.

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