Are You A Canadian Ex-Jehovah’s Witness? The Toronto Star Needs Your Help!

Just a quick note, guys. If you are a Canadian ex-Jehovah’s Witness willing to do an interview about how the Candace Conti case might affect Witnesses in Canada, the Toronto Star would like to talk to you. The contact information is in the picture below.

contact wgillis at thestar dot caLet’s try to get an ex-Witness in there to talk with them who really cares about the problem more than the Watchtower Society’s reputation. Actually, I’d even take an active Witness who felt the same way at this point. The issue is raising awareness about problems within the organization. Whether you hate the Society or simply want to see it reformed, raising awareness is one of the best things you can do by far!

Thanks guys.

The Watchtower Society’s Assets Frozen! Or Are They?

money frozenNews of the Watchtower Society’s assets being frozen after the Candace Conti verdict has spread like wildfire across the web. Imagine my surprise when I logged in to Facebook this morning and saw it posted in all the ex-Witness groups! I was reluctant to post about it here until we heard from a lawyer or at least saw it mentioned in the news for confirmation. But the very fact that word is spreading is big news, because it means that many Jehovah’s Witnesses will go into Armageddon mode. That could lead to a lot of weirdness that ex-Witnesses need to prepare themselves for.

In a nutshell, it seems that the judge presiding over the pedophile case has frozen the Society’s assets pending the outcome of its appeal against the ruling. The appeal process could easily take two years, during which time the Society cannot buy or sell its properties without permission from the court. This happened on June 20th.


UPDATE: Here’s the flipside of the news, which I thought might be forthcoming. Somehow, I knew it was too good to be true. Maybe I should have left the question mark in the title.


There have been many comments and some articles written about the freezing of one billion dollars of Watchtower assets following the loss of the Candace Conti court case. Those that have commented on this are technically true in part but in the typical court proceedings this is just a matter of the regular filing of documents to protect the settlement for the plaintiff.

It is considered a typical move in a court proceeding to freeze the assets when the defendant had yet to obtain a bond to cover the settlement. It was apparent WT did not expect to lose and simply were not prepared for this. So the Judge doing his job made the ruling contingent upon WT obtaining a bond to protect the settlement for Ms Conti. The minute the Watchtower obtains the bond the all assets are free and clear to be used any way they wish. So this looks like more of a procedural matter. WT will obtain a bond in a week or so and the order will in a matter of typical court procedure be removed.

Those are the facts. It would have been amazing to see their assets frozen for two years but in this instance it is just not the case. The point is this remains a major victory for abuse survivors everywhere. Institutions are being called into account for bullying victims into silence and in many instances hiding behind the first amendment as religion. We can finally see the brave efforts of those that have come forward having a huge impact and forcing unethical and immoral men to face responsibility for their actions. Thanks to all that speak out and help others to know they are not alone.

We have also updated the media page to reflect the extensive media coverage of this story. 


 And now, back to the rest of the original post…

Here is the news as I read it according to Steven Unthank. He says that the media is being notified of the news. I am posting his comments here so you guys can judge for yourselves what’s going on. There is also a post about it on JWD.



Defendants Watchtower applied for an Order temporarily staying enforcement of any judgment that may in the future be entered in this matter on the verdicts returned by the jury on June 13 and 14, 2012, until ten (10) days after the last day on which a notice of appeal may be filed, and (2) extinguishing any existing liens, levies or attachments and preventing the creation of any new liens, levies or attachments during the pendency of the temporary stay.

Defendants claimed that this matter is necessary because: (1) the Church Defendants intend to file post-trial motions and, therefore, the final judgment may be eliminated, reduced, modified, or otherwise affected; (2) the Church Defendants presently intend to file an appeal should their post-trial motions be denied in whole or in part and, therefore, they will need time to obtain the requisite bond…


Plaintiff has no objection to an Order preventing the creation of any new liens, levies, or attachments, provided she is protected from a distribution of assets in avoidance of the judgment.

There are no existing liens, levies, or attachments to extinguish, as a result of which, that part of the Ex Parte request is moot. However, Plaintiff’s willingness to agree to a stay of execution of the judgment to be filed shortly is conditional. To avoid a massive transfer of real estate assets worth, at present, approximately $1 Billion, from Watchtower to another corporate entity of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which would leave Plaintiff with no enforcement right for the Judgment, Plaintiff requests that any stay be subject to the condition that defendant Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. not transfer, convey, or change title to any of its real property prior to the filing of a bond or undertaking required as a condition of appeal.


Plaintiff’s opposition states a willingness to agree to a stay of execution of the judgment on the condition that Defendant Watchtower “not transfer, convey, or change title to any of its real property prior to the filing of a bond or undertaking required as a condition of appeal.” This condition puts the proverbial cart before the horse.

As explained in the ex parte application, a temporary stay of enforcement of the judgment is necessary to protect the Church Defendants because of the uncertainty of the judgment, …

Temporary stays like the one the Church Defendants are requesting here are routinely granted to protect the parties when a judgment is uncertain. While Defendant Watchtower has absolutely no intent to make any fraudulent transfers of real property now or in the future, to the extent any such transfers of real property should occur during the stay to prevent Plaintiff from collecting on any ultimate judgment that may survive the post-trial motions and appeals, remedies would plainly be available to Plaintiff. That said, again, Plaintiff’s claimed concern is premature, plus the Church Defendants have no intention of defrauding Plaintiff out of any judgment that ultimately may be owed to her once all post–trial motions and appeals have run their course. …


After considering the submitted papers, including any response or opposition filed on behalf of Plaintiff, the Court grants the Church Defendants’ application as follows:


(1) Enforcement of the judgment to be entered on the jury’s special verdicts of June 13 and 14, 2012 shall be temporarily and completely stayed and, pending another order of court [The last five words were handwritten in by the judge]

(2) Any existing liens, levies or attachments pertaining to the forthcoming judgment referenced in (1) above are here by extinguished RDM [RDM handwritten in by the judge] 

Then the judge included in his own handwriting a number 3:

(3) The foregoing stay is expressly conditioned upon D’s The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York Inc’s not transferring, conveying or changing title to any real property in its name today pending further order of court.

It certainly reads like the Society’s assets have been frozen, at least temporarily.

I will comment further once I have a better understanding of what’s happening.

EVENT: Occupy Sparlock On June 22nd

Sparlock the Warrior WizardFor those who haven’t heard, a Facebook group called Occupy Sparlock is asking everyone to consider joining their cause. What is the group about?

Here’s a description from the page. Note that The Broad Road is behind this one.

My bad. They tell me that Dave Fite started it. I was made aware of the group by The Broad Road and thought it was his baby. Sorry Dave.



Just to be clear about our purpose: We are sharing the Caleb and Sparlock on Friday June 22nd to help raise awareness for the abuse the Watchtower Society afflicts on children every day. I will make a link with a brief message you can change if you want on the 21st, and then we all post the video with a message attached on our walls on the 22nd. The idea will be to get other people who are not ex-Witnesses to become aware of this video, most people outside of our community have not seen this video. 

For those who don’t know the back story, this video was created for Jehovah’s Witnesses by the Watchtower Society with the intent for use on very young children. The video is clearly psychologically abusive. It garnered outrage on reddit and was briefly on the front page. It began to explode on Youtube, and the Watchtower was forced to get the video taken down by filing a copyright infringement claim (on free material). We cannot let the Watchtower win this battle.

It’s pretty clear that the Watchtower is on the ropes. People are leaving in droves. This our punch back into their gut. 

Here is a mirror of the video. Please don’t share it a lot before the post date, otherwise the society may find a way to take it down to, and I’m not aware of any other links right now.

100 PEOPLE SUNDAY 5/3/12!!!! 

This event is being carried out in coordination with Occupy Sparlock. Please visit their page as well:

Look at what small amounts of people can do to get major media attention for a cause. The Occupy movement is a great example of that. And what better reason to protest do exJWs have than for what this horrible cult has done to them and their families? 
Let’s Occupy Sparlock!

We propose that we gather in masses to make as much noise legally as we can, to get the major media’s attention directed at this cult. Here are some ideas for doing this:

• Make banners, flyers, bandit signs, etc. and post them around every kingdom hall we can before the District Convention to give major attention to that video before the sheeple see it. This way when they do, they will pay special attention to it to see why we are making such a ruckus. It can be as simple as a printed 8×11 printed paper stapled to an electric pole near a KH with anything announcing Sparlock is coming! You can download or add new printable media for this to the Occupy Sparlock group found here (you can log in with your FB account):
We can also continue to post them after the DC with messages such as “Sparlock Lives”, “I’m not evil, I’m just a TOY!”, and “Save Sparlock!”

• Print up fake Sparlock movie tickets (such as those provided by Steven Unthank) to pass out to JWs in parking lots.

• Now for the craziest idea of all, something I have wanted to do for a long time… We could print small cards or the fake movie tickets or otherwise, go to assemblies stealthy like at lunch time when everyone is walking around, and toss a ton of said papers into the air and leave. JWs of all types would be picking them up to see what just happened. It’s a public event; it’s a simple protest as is done in Washington all the time. – An alternative for those who don’t want to be so flamboyant; you could instead walk around and stealthy place cards all around the convention, just leave them laying around here and there (and everywhere.). Bathroom stalls/sinks, in seats, near water fountains, on the floor here and there, etc. Perhaps even make a half dozen *different* cards, directing people to different sites. Have one for JW facts, one for the JWR forums, one for, one for Silent Lambs, hell maybe even one for Blood Witness. This will have a double effect. When a doubter sees one, and then sees another, they will go on a scavenger hunt to find more. When a True Believer finds the second one, aimed at another site, they’ll panic, thinking they’re being infiltrated by dozens of apostates. 

• Everything mentioned above should have links to exJW websites where they can learn more about our cause. Because there are so many sites and likely disagreements on which sites should be on them, there is no reason they couldn’t be different sites. So long as the movement is unified.

Now here’s the biggest problem with this whole idea; in order for it to work we need tons of real people really willing to work together on this. I have found that getting exJWs to do more than post on Facebook towards a single cause is like herding cats. To overcome this, we simply need to get enough of us talking about it to make the rest take it seriously. And exJWs are all split up across many different sites, so we need to spread the word everywhere so we can all work together! 

The impact would surely make news when it is happening on a huge scale. And the JWs will have a huge surprise when they get to their District conventions which start on the 22nd of this month. 
We are open to more ideas and media for this, so please get involved!


* We have a ZERO violence policy that we will all work towards together. Violence or attacks on JW rank and file will not be tolerated. We are out to wake up the media and the JW people, NOT to attack them! Avoid illegal activity as well.

** Here is also a great way to really make an impact about Sparlock to any active JWs you personally have contact with:

*** Some have talked about picketing outside of the conventions, but that is NOT what this movement is about. That being said, those who chose to do should know that you need to be kind to get any traction. We do not condone yelling out foul things or being an ass in general.

****This is not a political movement or discussion, take it elsewhere.

Sparlock video:
Sparlock Video Covers:
Download them all:

Basically, if you’re an activist who wants to stick it to the man, here’s an opportunity to do just that. But I would like to offer some advice of my own.

Use this, Sparlock, and other recent events as an opportunity to raise awareness among non-Witnesses (or so-called “worldly people”) that the Watchtower Society isn’t necessarily what it appears to be. Use it to poke the conscience of active Witnesses, either as a call for change, or simply to encourage people to leave the organization if it refuses to grow up. That’s one of the reasons why I left, in fact. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of any upcoming opportunities to raise awareness as well.

But don’t simply use this as a way to strike back at a group that hurt you. Don’t use it as an excuse to picket your old Kingdom Hall unless you know that abuse of this sort has been going on there. In fact, it might be better to simply stick flyers up in the area for everyone, including the local Witnesses, to see. That’s the sort of thing that raises awareness. A demonstration that gets their attention without threatening them physically will go a lot further than anything else you might do. And as the description above says, do not resort to any form of physical violence. At best, that will only backfire in oh so many ways.

Don’t do anything that will chase local Witnesses scrambling ever deeper into the organization’s loving embrace. Don’t do anything that will reaffirm their assumptions about us. In other words, don’t act like a crazy person with an axe to grind. Bad behavior just makes all ex-Witnesses look bad and that undermines our credibility. Worst of all, it will arm the Society with ammunition they can fire back at us. That’s right: behaving badly will only make us look bad in the media for all to see. Don’t help the Society remain as it is. Help it to change or to go away.

Don’t make this about lashing out. Be smart. Don’t blow this opportunity.

As The Broad Road said on Facebook: ‎”I don’t think full scale protesting outside of a convention is the answer.” – And it clearly says that in the Occupy Sparlock doc, we are in total agreement. None of us are advocating picketing. I like to call it protesting like ninjas! 🙂

Good luck.

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.”