UPDATES On Sexual Abuse Case In California

UPDATE: My site appears to be fixed now. So I have expanded this post with more goodies, including a snippet of a conversation among some Jehovah’s Witnesses about the recent lawsuit AND a link to one that is still ongoing. Shockingly, their comments weren’t all that positive about the family. (GASP!) More below…

I’m pleased to report that this story has received some lots of attention and is spreading across the web. Even MSNBC’s web site has picked it up, along with many others. So far, the reaction from so-called “worldly people” seems far more sympathetic to the victims than were the reactions of the Witnesses who have been leaving comments on those sites. If you check out the comments left at MSNBC’s web site…well, it ain’t pretty.

There is also a Facebook group who’s comments are…um…let’s just call them fascinating for now.

UPDATE: Another shock. The following morning I get up and (drum roll) the conversation mentioned above has been taken down. I managed to get a pic of it, however. I also submitted it to Lamebook, Failbook, and a couple other sites. Maybe one will post it. The image of the conversation appears at the bottom of this post for anyone who wants to see it and gag.

Meanwhile, other sites have started to run the story. And a new Facebook group has appeared in honor of the family.

Jehovah’s Witnesses may pay millions to sexual abuse victim

Candace Conti Awarded $28M In Jehovah’s Witness Sex Abuse Case

Another Church Sex Scandal… but It’s Not What You’re Expecting

Jehovah’s Witnesses: How come this story is missing from your official media website? – Yahoo! Answers

Secrets and lies have no place when dealing with child abuse

Watchtower Embarrassed in Court

This one has pictures of Candace and the man who molested her: Candance Conti: molested by Jehovah’s Witnesses member at age NINE wins $28milion

Another is a declaration of the New York branch office’s assets which can be found here. (Ain’t that neat. Not so broke as we were led to believe.)

A question from JWD that might interest some of you: Does anyone have a pedophile policy timeline (for the WTS)?.

Here’s another discussion among Jehovah’s Witnesses at JW Talk, titled J. W.’s ordered to pay more than $20 million.

Here are some pics of documents relating to the actual case: Legal Stuff, Evidence that Candace Conti wasn’t after money.

Here’s a pic taken from the Society’s web site which seems really ironic right now: Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Here’s a pic of the court’s deposition documents: deposition of Michael Lee Clarke.

Here’s a video response from the Society about the lawsuit! Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Media Web Site: Inquiries on Child Abuse. Note, however, that it’s copyrighted 2009 and doesn’t mention any specific details about the case. It appears to merely be a canned PR response from the organization regarding child abuse in general. If you’re hoping to see someone from the Society apologize or admit to any wrong doing, you’re already out of luck. To be fair, that’s hardly surprising so long as they intend to appeal the case. It sure would make a more positive witness, though. There’s also a transcript of the video here. It’s easier to quote from than the video, obviously…hint hint.

Here’s a video where someone attempts to explain the verdict in a way that’s easier to understand than many of the online articles have been.

And now, for that pic I promised you. Don’t forget to hover your mouse over the pic for an additional comment.

Candace Conti Comments by JWs

Hardly any Jehovah’s Witnesses in this forum gave a rats ass about the victims. But someone did have the presence of mind to delete the whole thing afterward. Delightful. Too bad I took this picture first. My favorite line from the evening? “Satan needs to step back.”

The Biggest News Since Sparlock: OAKLAND JURY HOLDS JEHOVAH WITNESSES RESPONSIBLE FOR SEXUAL ABUSE OF FREMONT CHILD

Silent Lambs is reporting that the Watchtower Society has been successfully sued for a large cash payout. And actually, I’d say this news makes good old Sparlock pale in comparison. I can’t take credit for uncovering it. I learned about it from JWD on this post. The actual PDF file can be found here.

Now, here’s the big news.

An Alameda County Superior Court jury has found the Jehovah’s Witnesses legally responsible for the sexual abuse of a 9 year old former Fremont girl. The verdict, announced Wednesday June 13, found that the Elders who managed the North Fremont Jehovah’s Witness Congregation in the 1990s knew perpetrator Jonathan Kendrick had sexually molested another child, but kept his child abuse secret from the parents and families with children in the Congregation. Kendrick went on to repeatedly sexually molest Candace Conti, now 26, over a two year period, using Jehovah Witnesses activities such as door to door neighborhood soliciting as his way to secretly gain control over his young victim. Kendrick was eventually convicted in 2004 of the sexual abuse of another young girl, and is now a Registered Sex Offender in California.

Holy crap.

The key issue in the case, according to the victim’s attorney Rick Simons of Hayward, was the written policy of Watchtower New York, Inc., which instructed all Elders in Jehovah’s Witnesses Congregations in the United States to keep reports of child sex abusers within Jehovah’s Witnesses secret to avoid lawsuits. The case is believed to be the first in the nation to directly address the policy of secrecy, adopted in 1989, and still in force today.

It’s about time.

Ms. Conti stated “I once wanted to be the best Jehovah’s Witness I could be. Now I feel I’m doing more to help other children in Jehovah’s Witnesses than I ever did walking door to door to spread the ‘good news’. The jury awarded $7 million dollars in damages, and will return Thursday to deliberate on whether or not punitive damages should be awarded.

I think we can all agree with Ms. Conti’s feelings on this one.

Candace Conti spent 2 years trying to convince the Jehovah’s Witnesses, both in Southern California and in Fremont, to change the secrecy policy, but finally gave up and filed her lawsuit in 2011. “This young woman, who experienced brutal abuse as a child, could not tell anyone for several years, and has walked for many years in a nightmare of depression and isolation, has shown incredible courage in facing the powerful and secrecy laden organization that betrayed her into the hands of a monster” said Mr. Simons of his client.

Um…wow. This is the kind of news that should get someone’s attention. Of course, that doesn’t mean it actually will. In fact, I have yet to see anyone reporting on it so far.

We can do something about that. Heck, I think we should.

We need to start spreading this information as far and wide as we did with Sparlock. Because people deserve to know the truth. Contact major and minor news outlets to make sure they take notice, guys. It will not only draw attention to the pedophilia cases within the organization (this is hardly the first) but it will encourage people to question the Society’s practices generally. Maybe even spur big media to look at other practices, like shunning.

More information can be found here as well. Click on case summary (about halfway down the page) and type in case number HG11558324. The case has been dubbed “Doe VS The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, I.”

UPDATE: News is starting to spread about this. At least videos are starting to appear on YouTube about it. Note, once again, that the pedophile problem is nothing new. You can find other videos from past transgressions on YouTube and elsewhere online. Why not look for them if this is all new to you?

What Is Sparlock, The New Ex-Witness Meme?

Sparlock the Warrior Wizard is the Watchtower Society’s newest unintended act of shameful hilarity, one that ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses across the net have latched onto and made their own. It is also the product of an organization run by a bunch of clueless old guys who are probably still complaining about the kids with their Walkmans and those new-fangled airplanes and such. For ex-Witnesses who feel that the Society exists in a Twilight Zone bubble of creepiness, Sparlock could surely serve as our exhibit A.

Sparlock is awesome, even if the video that spread the name is not. If you haven’t seen it yet, the video appears below.

UPDATE: “The man” has dropped the hammer on this video, crushing poor little Sparlock like so many of Caleb’s hopes and dreams. Another version has appeared, and another, and still another, but they will surely go away before many of you can see it. You can get more in the way of details on the actual video at Watchtower’s New “Toy Story” – What Parents Need To Know thanks to Cedars. Check out the rest of his blog while you’re there.

That was part 2. The first part is also on YouTube, and is just as depressing. Not to mention manipulative. But I digress. Remember kids, the Society actually put this video out there for Jehovah’s Witnesses–and all their critics–to see. They spent real money on this turd, went through some sort of editorial process to write it, tweak it, and bring it to life, then produced thousands of DVDs and spread them far and wide, all without realizing just how bizarre and creepifying it would be for those of us who do not exist within their stifling bubble of disjointed magazine covers and old guys in black suits.

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A Reaction To “‘Mentally Diseased’ and Politcal Correctness.”

The web site that published “‘Mentally Diseased'” and Political Correctness” is called Sheep and Goats. It appears to be written by one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It’s meant to defend the Watchtower Society against critics who dislike the organization’s recent use of the term “mentally diseased” when describing those it deems to be apostates. Here are my reactions…and rebuttals…to the article. I will incorporate points I already made in my last article while I’m at it.

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