The Watchtower has produced a brief melodramatic video of a child abuse victim telling her story. It is a slickly produced public relations movie. It even has some drone footage shot over the beach as happy families frolic.
At first glance one might assume that the Society is trying to help the many victims of sexual abuse who have suffered at the hands of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Not so. This sister, Crystal, was abused before she became acquainted with Jehovah’s Witnesses. And obviously her abuser was not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The intent of the video is to present the kingdom hall as a safe haven and a place of healing. And no doubt the Christian hope Crystal has embraced and the love of the friends has been a healing for her personally. We are all happy for her. But Crystal is merely being exploited by the Watchtower for its own agenda.
The irony is, had Crystal been raised among Jehovah’s Witnesses she may well have been abused by someone in her local congregation. Literally thousands have been. More and more of the ugliness the Watchtower has long-fought to suppress is coming to light. That being undeniably true, why doesn’t the Watchtower put a few of the real victims in front of a camera and let them tell their story?
Instead of acknowledging their part in covering over the crimes committed against children in the congregations and offering true healing words to the victims, many of whom have been completely crushed spiritually and want nothing to do with Jehovah, the Watchtower presents itself as the great healer of the abused, without actually addressing any of the grievances brought against the organization and her appointed elders. The message from Bethel to the abused is: Get over it, like Crystal did!
THE IMAGE OF THE WATCHTOWER IS PARAMOUNT
The reason the Watchtower sank so deeply into this morass in the first place is because they wanted to protect the public image of the organization. So, abuse victims were brushed off. They were told to ‘wait on Jehovah.’ They were told not to report the crimes committed against them because it would bring reproach on Jehovah. In other words, the Watchtower was not the least bit concerned about the children. It was all about the image of the organization. And as this callous video presentation demonstrates – nothing has changed. The Governing Body has no interest in setting matters straight, or even trying. They are still airbrushing the Society’s image as the city of holiness and peace.
Long ago Jehovah foresaw this development. Speaking to his earthly organization immediately prior to his acting against it, Jehovah said through Zephaniah: “Woe to the rebellious, the polluted, the oppressive city! She has obeyed no voice; she has accepted no discipline. In Jehovah she has not trusted; she has not drawn near to her God. Her princes within her are roaring lions. Her judges are wolves in the night; they do not leave even a bone to gnaw until morning. Her prophets are insolent, treacherous men. Her priests defile what is holy; they do violence to the law. Jehovah is righteous in her midst; he does no wrong. Morning by morning he makes known his judgments, as unfailing as the daylight. But the unrighteous one knows no shame.”
As a demonstration of the treacherous nature of her prophets, or those who claim to be the interpreters of prophecy, here is what the Watchtower published in commentary on the passage above:
How well those words fit the situation of Christendom’s prophets and priests today! Insolently, they have removed the divine name from their Bible translations and have taught doctrines that misrepresent the One they claim to worship. 2-15, 2001 WT, para 16
If that is true, if Jehovah’s denunciation in Zephaniah is directed to Christendom, then that means Jehovah’s Witnesses are in the wrong religion. The reason being, the passage clearly states that the offenders are God’s people and that Jehovah is in their midst trying to steer them aright. But they would not listen.
No, Zephaniah applies to the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses at this moment in time. Besides, which is worse, removing God’s name from the Bible or bringing reproach upon it because of bearing it before the world?
It is the Society’s judges who have crushed the downtrodden. It is her Governing Body who have not listened. It is they who boast of abhorring child abuse, but who despise the victims of their child abuse policies. Her anointed priests have violated their holy trust and done violence to the law, the law that stipulates that judges must support oppressed children above all else. The Watchtower has refused to accept discipline. They have not sought Jehovah nor feared to offend him.
What else can Jehovah do? What can we do? Verse eight supplies the answer:
“So keep yourselves in expectation of me,’ declares Jehovah, ‘Until the day when I rise up to take plunder, for my judicial decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out on them my indignation, all my burning anger; for by the fire of my zeal the whole earth will be consumed.”
Zephaniah relates the aftermath of the expression of Jehovah’s rage: “On that day you will not be put to shame because of all your deeds with which you rebelled against me, for then I will remove the haughty boasters from among you; and you will never again be haughty in my holy mountain. I will allow a humble and lowly people to remain in your midst, and they will take refuge in the name of Jehovah. Those remaining of Israel will practice no unrighteousness; they will not speak a lie, nor will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths; they will feed and lie down, and no one will make them afraid.”