New Article at Michigan Skeptics: “Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Still Have a Major Pedophile Problem?”

I just completed a new article at Michigan Skeptics called “Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Still Have a Major Pedophile Problem?” Spoiler: The answer is yes. But at least some countries are starting to take notice.

This article might be a good one to bookmark, if only for the sources, because everything has a link. There are only one or two ex-Witness or anti-Watchtower links. One is quoted for its explanation about why the destruction of elder notes, minutes, and agendas regarding these cases is a big deal. The other link points to Lloyd Evan’s (Cedars) YouTube video on the issue. Everything else is sourced with news links, not just ex-Witness or anti-Watchtower links. I consider this important because sites like mine are often dismissed as evil old apostate sites filled with demon lies. At the very least, news sources will be taken more seriously by people who were never Jehovah’s Witnesses.

This is a followup to my original article written back 2013 entitled “What You Don’t Know About Jehovah’s Witnesses and Pedophiles.

If you catch any factual or grammatical errors, please share so I can fix them. Thanks. 🙂

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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2 Responses to New Article at Michigan Skeptics: “Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Still Have a Major Pedophile Problem?”

  1. Charles Nelson says:

    I find all the pedophile stuff to be absolutely outrageous. What those elders did was dumb. Just plain dumb. I’m a practicing JW, and it was dumb. I would go to the police before I ever even went to an elder. This is a crime, so #1 why they went to the elders first, if someone murdered your kid would you go to them? #2 Why these elders advised them against going to the police (that just makes no sense at all, sounds like it was a family/friend) Granted the elders aren’t required to go to the police, but they should never advise someone else against it in the case of a crime, especially against children. (Inside info, there is nothing in the Flock book that advises this. That was the elder’s own idiot actions) #3 Why they didn’t go to the police ANYWAY after the speaking with the elders? Now a slight correction is in order, they weren’t disfellowshipped for going to the authorities, but because they later sued the WTS for these elders idiotic actions. Just like if a Walmart employee punches you while working, you sue Walmart. Otherwise, yeah, everyone involved in that debacle made idiot decisions except the kid. That just sucked.

    • I’m a little confused by your comment. The article you are responding to links to an article at Michigan Skeptics where I’m a guest blogger. It seems like you’re referring to a single case whereas I’m talking about more than a thousand that occurred in Australia alone. So there is obviously some disconnect here.

      I don’t know which pedophile case you are talking about, but I can point out that, regardless of what is true about the specific case you’re referring to, it is true that JWs are expected to turn to the elders regarding any serious legal dispute before turning to the authorities. In fact, this is one the first things I was taught as a convert. The elder I studied with covered this one during my very first Bible study session.

      If the elders decide the accused is guilty, only then is it permissible to turn to “worldly authorities.” This is just the way it is and has been for a long time. That is why the victims and parents of the victims end up turning to the elders first. If they go to the police after the elders have failed to find the accused guilty, then the accuser will be DFed because, again, that’s just how it works at a KH. It’s standard practice and has been for many years. If you’re a practicing JW, you can easily look this up in the literature or ask an elder about it. It’s stupid, but like so many things, they found a scripture for it, so end of story as far as the GB and your local elders are concerned. Never mind the fact that this is obviously a bone headed way to handle a dispute given the fact that elders are not trained investigators and don’t have access to the kinds of resources that real police and other agencies have.

      Regardless of what happened in that specific case you were talking about (and assuming your information is correct since I don’t know where you got it) it is still the normal practice to DF someone who goes to the authorities without approval from the elders. No correction is needed unless you can demonstrate that this policy has changed, but a lot of ex-Witnesses and Australian legal investigators must have gotten that one wrong too, including the elders who went on the stand on national television in Australia when they were asked about it. I imagine that a lawsuit against the Society would be deemed apostasy somehow, and this would also be a DFing offense I’m sure. But that does not mean that turning to the authorities without approval from the elders is not a DFing offense too.

      I do appreciate your acknowledging how messed up this situation is, however. Most JWs seem to make excuses and are desperate to defend the Society any way they can. Your intellectual honesty is appreciated. Thanks for that.

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