Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Have A Pedophile Problem?

Jehovah's Witnesses and pedophiliaDo Jehovah’s Witnesses have a pedophile problem? I will let the following sources of information answer that question for me. You can also read the full article at Michigan Skeptics. The sheer volume of it – including advocacy groups in multiple countries – says plenty.

It should be noted that the Watchtower Society has, in various ways and at different times, put information out to the public regarding its official stance on child abuse. Their statements are, as with most things, pretty devoid of meaning and full of obfuscation. Nothing has really changed. Nothing good at any rate. Internally, the organization seems to have dug in its heels even deeper than before.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Pedophile Policy: Jehovah’s Witnesses Pedophile Policy

Many have been disfellowshipped (excommunicated and shunned) from Jehovah’s Witnesses without any or with little possibility of defend themselves just because they tried to stand up for molested children and protect them from pedophiles within Jehovah’s Witnesses organization.

If you question Jehovah’s Witnesses about these things you cannot rely on them telling the truth not even in the court. “While malicious lying is definitely condemned in the Bible, this does not mean that a person is under obligation to divulge truthful information to people who are not entitled to it.” – Insight-2 p. 245

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses protect pedophiles within the organization? Yes, they do. The policy of Jehovah’s Witnesses is that if a congregation has a known pedophile only a few of the elders in the congregation knows about it. Today the elders, that know they have pedophiles in their congregation, are not allowed to warn and protect the congregation. This is the current policy of the Watch Tower.

Watchtower Paedophile Policy and related court cases

There have been several reasons that paedophiles have been able to find sanctuary amongst Jehovah’s Witnesses and that the Watchtower Society is now being held accountable for the actions of its members. Most damaging, and described in detail below, were the following:

The two witness rule to establish Scriptural crimes

The three year rule for sins of elders

Other concepts also at play have been:

Worldly wisdom cannot be trusted

Reproach must not be bought on Jehovah’s Organization – Witnesses are expected to solve problems within

Everyone must engage in preaching

Since 1997, there has been improvement in Watchtower policies regarding child abuse, particularly due to pressure from the media and legal cases, and included are the latest Watchtower regulations for each point.

New evidence in Jehovah’s Witness allegations

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have settled nine lawsuits alleging church policies protected men who sexually abused children for many years.

Expose on Jehovah Witnesses Pedophile Cover-Up

Inside sources reveal 23,720 reported/unreported child molesters on file at Jehovah’s Witness headquarters in New York

JW Survivors

JW Survivors is a volunteer not-for-profit community based victim advocacy group for survivors of the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses within Australia. The group was founded by Steven Unthank. The seeds of JW Survivors were planted by current and former members of the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and their families, in response to the Victorian Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Organisations, and an extensive submission made in relation to the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses and their administrative controlling corporation, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia.

Pedophile Cover-up « Jehovahs Witnesses Revealed

Jehovah’s Witness Pedophile Cover UP

Jehovah’s Witness pedophile walked free from court despite one of his victims was a baby

Legal Loophole Used by Jehovah’s Witnesses to Avoid Moral Obligation

Jehovah’s Witnesses ordered to pay $21 million in child sex abuse case

Child Abuse | JW Leaks

Documents and court cases relating to child abuse within the church of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Spiritwatch Unchained: Organized To Accomplish Their Molestation: A Spiritwatch Real Video Presentation On Pedophilia Among Jehovah’s Witnesses

JW Class Action | official information site


$3 Billion class action lawsuit on behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses children

A $3 Billion class action lawsuit is being launched in Australia on behalf of up to 6,160 children within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Documents relating to the class action reveal over 14,000 serious criminal breaches of mandatory child protection laws, committed against these children by elders and “ministers of religion” within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses over the past 4 years.

Candace Conti | JW Leaks

Documents and court records relating to the case of “Candace Conti v. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York”.

About The Atheist Geek

The Atheist Geek is a former Jehovah's Witness turned secular humanist. He's a lifelong sci-fi geek and a writer wannabe.
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9 Responses to Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Have A Pedophile Problem?

  1. Pingback: What You Don’t Know About Jehovah’s Witnesses And Pedophiles | Michigan Skeptics Association

  2. Sarah says:

    “Elders” are the same as “preachers” “priests” “reverends” as far as the law is concerned and therefore are NOT AUTHORIZED to report child abuse, just as any other of the clergy (or lawyers or phsychiatrists) are. A person who abuses a child is removed from the congregation but it is up to the victim to take legal action

    • This isn’t true AFAIK. It’s the law in many states that they have to report such cases. In some situations, it is required even if it is merely suspected that the person may commit pedophilia in the future. The Society’s internal memos only authorize elders to report these cases in states where it is mandatory and even then, only after they receive permission from the Society. I am not a lawyer, but this is how I understand it. The fact that the Society also refers to this in correspondence would seem to suggest it is correct. But ultimately, I’m afraid you’ll have to argue legal points with the authorities. You could contact the lawyers handling some of the cases. In any event, this isn’t even the key problem.

      The Society’s rules make it easy to be a pedophile and suffer no consequences. That’s the problem. Pedophiles won’t be removed unless they confess or are caught in the act thanks to the 2-person rule. Pedophiles don’t usually commit a crime where others will see them, obviously. So unless 2 people admit it happened, nothing will happen even if the elders suspect the accused is guilty. The victim and his/her parents, however, will be disfellowshipped if they report the crime to the authorities after the elders couldn’t find the accused guilty within the boundaries of the Society’s rules. The victims and their families would be seen as slandering the other person and turning to “worldly” authorities instead of keeping it in the congregation. This is a disfellowshipping offense. This is what happened in the Candace Conti case; she and her mother were DFed for reporting her own molestation. And it’s completely pointless and unnecessary.

  3. One of the links provided in the article has legal information about this. (Did you read the article or check out any of the links?)

  4. Yet more information about the legalities of reporting pedophiles, especially with regard to places where it is mandated. To Sarah, I have to say that your post sort of makes it sound like you think reporting this is against the law. I’m glad to see that this is not the case. Certainly not in most places.

  5. Will says:

    My ex-wife was a Jehovah’s Witness, much moreso after we got married. I remember very clearly that she loved Christmas’time ans gifts. Although after we were married, she went full speed into witnessing and door to door ministering. I even went to kingdom hall with her for a couple months, stopping when I just could not believe everything they were teaching. This was one of the more difficult times in my life. I was attending Pentecostal Assembly of God church at the time.

  6. Lindsay says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are as bad as Catholics regarding pedophilia, but are much, MUCH more cultish. Read the stories of JW children, who ALL describe a childhood completely devoid of any kind of happiness or fun. Can’t play with the neighborhood kids, can’t join clubs, play sports, celebrate ANY holidays ect. Most of the kids become adults who leave this mind control cult, but still suffer with sadness, loneliness, isolation and depression, and have to start completely from scratch, as they learned absolutely no skills or real knowledge beyond knocking on doors and preaching, during their miserable time in “the truth”. I honestly didn’t realize how sick, twisted and cult-like JW’s truly were until recently. Yes, I knew about their rejection of “pagan” holidays (while having no problem with pagan wedding rings/ anniversaries) and their countless false prophecies, but ever since their pedophile problem has been brought to light, (despite the best efforts of the governing body to sweep everything under the rug and protect the child molestors), I started reading more and more about their weird, cult-like practices, how they frown upon college, being friends with “outsiders” or anything else that would encourage independent and critical thinking skills, the threat of disfellowshipping to keep their adherents in line, the sad and unhappy childhoods of Jehovah’s Witness children, and the control they have over their flock of useful idiots, whom they’ve started begging for money from due to declining membership thanks, of course, to the internet which has exposed their practices. I’m elated everytime i read about how the Watchtower Society is struggling, and how they are having trouble gaining new converts, or how even more of their disgusting pedophilia has surfaced. It’s time for this cult to go the way of the Jim Jones and David Koresh cults!

    • A lot of people don’t really get it. They think JWs are just nice church people with different beliefs who have an annoying habit of knocking on doors. So they assume that critics are just picking on them because they’re different. No, there are important problems here, too.

      Individual JWs are not, generally, the main problem. The Society is. The Society’s attitude toward outsiders (so called “worldly people”) and especially former members is terrible for anyone’s mental healthy. Its teachings on blood transfusions literally kills people, including children. Its attitude towards women leaves them in an even worse position than most men. Its take on scientific advancements it doesn’t like is willful denial of the reality we live in. And the practice of shunning is nothing less than emotional blackmail meant to trap people in the religion who want to leave. Some even commit suicide because they lose everything and everyone. And its policies make it a place where pedophiles and others with abusive impulses toward women and children can thrive.

      The Society could change it all tomorrow with a single announcement. But doesn’t. Every single day.

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