exposing abuse | Jehovah’s Witnesses on trial | part 1 [cc]

exposing abuse | Jehovah’s Witnesses on trial | part 1 [cc]

In November 2012 Australian ex-Prime Minister
Julia Gillard proposed a Royal Commission to investigate institutional responses to
child sexual abuse. It covered a range of institutions including
schools, churches and sports clubs in a total of 57 public hearings recording the testimonies of nearly 7,000
abused individuals around 64% of whom were male and 10% of whom said it was the first time
they’d told anyone about their abuse. There would be testimonies
from people like Hugh who was abused around age 10 by a scout leader who, after gaining his parents’ trust, had
him over for parties where boys were plied with marijuana and alcohol
and molested. And like Margaret, who was 11 when she was
abused at a Salvation Army children’s home by a church captain who not only molested
children but orchestrated their abuse of each other. To conduct the Commission’s investigation,
a panel of six commissioners was appointed headed by Justice Peter McClellan a former Chief Judge for the Supreme Court
of New South Wales and Assistant Commissioner for the Independent
Commission Against Corruption. In May 2015, the Commission began to investigate
‘case 29’ of their public hearings which concerned responses to child sexual
abuse within the Jehovah’s Witness organisation. Assisting counsel for the Commission was the
formidable Angus Stewart QC. In a video called ‘concealing abuse’ I looked at how the Jehovah’s Witness organisation
responded to real-life allegations of child sexual abuse
against its members and how its policies tend to protect the abuser. For instance, even if they fully believe the
allegations made against a member the congregation’s judicial and spiritual
leaders — known as ‘elders’ — won’t take any action unless either there
are at least two witnesses to the abuse which is unlikely in view of the private nature
of sexual abuse or the abuser confesses voluntarily — which
is again, unlikely. Even when these exacting demands are met,
justice is far from guaranteed. While the organisation possesses
the judicial apparatus to eject molesters from congregations it repeatedly fails to use it. In a form of excommunication known as disfellowshipping individuals judged to be unrepentant sinners
are completely shunned by all members including family. But individuals found guilty
of molestation can avoid this fate just by apologising. If they express repentance to their congregation’s
elders, they can simply be ‘reproved’. All this entails is an announcement being
made to their congregation that they’ve been reprimanded for an unspecified
transgression. And that’s it. They’ll be left in the congregation, risking
further molestation and the constant retraumatisation of the individuals
they’ve abused who often feel forced out of their own congregation. These kinds of misguided policies serve to
protect abusers and punish the abused. Through its in-depth investigation of individual
cases the Australian Royal Commission would expose
a daunting maze of unthinkable additional hurdles faced by sexually abused children raised in
the Jehovah’s Witness organisation. The Commission focused on the experiences of two individuals abused by members of the
organisation. For anonymity, the individuals were codenamed
BCB and BCG. BCB was the first to take the witness stand. She testified to the following account: She was born in 1967. When she was 10, her mother
became a Jehovah’s Witness and started taking her and her brother to
meetings. BCB drifted apart from her father who didn’t
attend. At age 12, she met Bronwyn and Bill Neill and became friends with a daughter of theirs. She would attend meetings at their house and
sleep over. Mr. Neill discouraged both girls from making
non-Witness friends at school based on the idea that ‘bad association
spoils useful habits’ a sentiment derived from the Biblical passage
1 Corinthians 15:33. The sexual jokes Mr. Neill started making
in front of her would signal the onset of an escalating pattern
of abuse. At age 14, when she stayed over with the Neill
family he started inserting his tongue in her mouth
when he kissed her goodnight. She would endure these inappropriate kisses
for the next four years. She felt ashamed and scared, and worried about
upsetting Mrs. Neill. But Mr. Neill was an elder, and she submitted
to his authority. When she was 17, he intruded on her while
she was showering somehow managing to unlock a locked door. He left when she screamed ‘Get out’ but later gave her a vicious belting for making
too much noise in her bedroom. At age 18, she was subjected to more overtly
sexual behaviour. He called her a nymphomaniac and a prostitute. One time, Mrs. Neill caught him tongue-kissing
BCB and stopped him. But nothing further was said or done — and
his forcefulness escalated culminating in an incident in which he trapped
BCB in the bathroom and violated her manually and orally. The next day, he entered her room and suggested
she’d enjoy full intercourse. She asked him to leave, then packed and returned
to her parents’ farm. The next year, when he heard through his daughter that BCB had been seeing a couple of boys Neill invoked his role as an elder to summon
her to talk about boys. She felt she had no choice. He took the opportunity to inspect her physically
and abuse her verbally. Two years later in 1989, having married she confided in her husband and also a friend
about Neill’s abuse. The friend then disclosed this information
to someone else. A week or so later, a young elder called Max
Horley approached her to arrange a visit. During the visit, he revealed he’d come
to talk about Neill. BCB gave some details but was too ashamed
to recount the bathroom incident. Horley invited Neill to BCB’s house, to
speak with her and her husband. Despite her discomfort at opening up her own
home to her abuser she did as she was told on the assumption
that Horley knew the correct procedure. She didn’t recall having the purpose of
the meeting explained to her. And she felt too inhibited to recount the
full details in front of Neill or challenge him when he suggested his behaviour
was meant as a joke. Afterwards, BCB approached Horley and gave
more details. This led to a second meeting, with the addition
attendance of one Doug Jackson a circuit overseer — someone who supervises
multiple congregations. His presence and the purpose of the meeting
weren’t explained it was just presented as a ‘committee meeting’. Neill attempted to blame BCB for wearing revealing
clothes but Jackson said the church didn’t accept
that excuse. Again Neill’s presence inhibited her, as
did being in a room full of men. She said if a female she trusted from the
congregation had been there too it might’ve been easier. At the end of the meeting, Neill was told
to apologise, which he did. BCB was given no explanation of the meeting’s
outcome or of what would happen. Jackson gave her an article about child sexual
abuse published in one of the organisation’s magazines,
called the Watchtower. Not long after this, Mrs. Neill phoned BCB
and told her ‘Bill didn’t abuse you.’ BCB reported this to Horley, who said he’d
sort it out. Later that day, he phoned and said: ‘The Neills have asked that you not tell
any more people about Bill out of respect for the family.’ Scared, disorientated and unsupported, she
did as she was told. It was only years later that she saw the perversity of being asked to respect the man who abused
her when nobody had offered her the respect or
support she deserved. Weeks later, it was announced that Neill had
stepped down as an elder, with no reason given. Nobody talked to BCB about her abuse and she was still expected to attend study
meetings at the Neills’ house. She asked not to go there — but was told
she had to. Mrs. Neill ignored her. Finally in 1994 she moved from the area to
another congregation. In 2012, she gave a written statement to two
elders including one Joe Bello, summarising her experience in an effort to support the case of anyone
else Neill might’ve abused. Eighteen months later, Bello visited on an
unrelated matter and BCB told him she was considering reporting
her abuse to the Royal Commission. She said Bello later spoke to her husband
and said: ‘You should ask [BCB] if she really wants
to drag Jehovah’s name through the mud.’ BCB was dismayed to find that the burden of
Neill’s shameful actions had been put on her shoulders. Although she eventually reported her experiences
to the Royal Commission she suffered extreme misplaced guilt about
betraying the organisation guilt that manifested in physical symptoms such as chest tightness, heart palpitations
and difficulty breathing. She reported that her abuse destroyed her
confidence and self-esteem and instilled in her a sense of victimhood and a constant paranoia that people were judging her. She went on to experience suicidal thoughts
and a nervous breakdown. She said Neill’s position as an elder gave
him power over her and suggested that if she’d been allowed
to speak to other children outside the congregation they might’ve reported her abuse to the
appropriate authorities. She suggested a number of changes in the way the organisation dealt with child
sexual abuse. She said it should take allegations more seriously
and report them to the police give proper support and protection for children and not require female targets of male abuse to speak in front of a room full of men, including
their alleged abuser. She also noted that no compensation was offered. The Commission sought to address all of these
issues. Max Horley was the next to testify, and sworn
in on a Biblical oath. Not long into Horley’s testimony assisting counsel Stewart noted that he seemed
hesitant in his recollections and asked if this was because of the passage
of time — which Horley affirmed. Judge McClellan asked Horley if he’d taken
notes. He said he might’ve at the time — but
they would’ve been destroyed. When asked why, he said the elders didn’t
want their wives knowing what sort of things
they were dealing with and that it was also to protect the person
involved and the rest of the congregation so they didn’t have to know
about these things. It was not only a deeply patronising rationale
but a dangerous one leaving congregations unsuspecting about the
molesters in their midst which is exactly what molesters want. Horley confirmed that destroying notes remained
the current practice. When asked if he was aware of his obligations to tell authorities about serious allegations
of sexual assault Horley showed no awareness and said he’d contact his branch for advice
on how to proceed. Unthinking deference to the branch would become
a familiar stock response from the elders called to testify to the Commission. Horley expressed confusion about what constituted
criminal assault and later admitted giving no consideration
to reporting it to the police. This was an individual invested with the safety
and protection of an unquestioningly trusting congregation. A shepherd charged with guarding the flock. But in the shepherd metaphor, Horley was more
like the sheepdog cluelessly obeying the whistles of an unseen
shepherd who could just as easily direct him to harm
the sheep as to protect them. The Biblical passage Matthew 18:15 has been
cited by the organisation as a basis for requiring abused individuals to confront
their abusers with their allegations. McClellan asked Horley if he realised how
inappropriate this process of confrontation was. Horley said he could understand it now, but
hadn’t reflected on it at the time because he was just following procedure. He agreed it could be very difficult for people
who’d suffered abuse to share everything done to them in front
of their abuser. He said the organisation wanted to keep Neill’s
abuse as quiet as possible not to try to cover it up, but just to stop
the conversation. But almost immediately, he contradicted himself saying they would’ve tried to keep the matter
under wraps in another words cover it up. Stewart made the case to Horley
that by directing BCB not to speak to anyone in the congregation he left her with no one to talk to. Horley suggested that because BCB was still
working in the community she could’ve spoken to people outside the
organisation. But Stewart pointed out that members are advised
not to have close friendships or associations with non-members. Horley affirmed that was true but said that whether members took that advice
or not was entirely up to them. Many of us who’ve experienced abusive environments with be familiar with this responsibility-dodging
manoeuvre in which individuals are given clear instructions
on what to do or what not to do then when they suffer as a direct consequence
of following those instructions they’re told they didn’t have to follow
them after all. And they’re blamed for their own suffering. The fact is Jehovah’s Witnesses are warned
in the strongest terms against what are called ‘bad associations’
with non-members which they’re told will result in disaster. For Horley to suggest that BCB was somehow
supposed to view this merely as a piece of advice she was free to
take or leave was disingenuous in the extreme. Stewart put it to Horley that he was saying
two different things. On one hand, saying BCB couldn’t
speak to people then on the other, that she could. Horley claimed he didn’t mean to cut BCB
off from any support but admitted he couldn’t recall arranging
anyone to assist her through the period. Stewart produced a letter from Horley and the circuit overseer Doug Jackson
to their branch office. The letter said: It appears that a number
of brothers know about the matter and unfortunately there may be worldly people
who also know. ‘Worldly’ is the derogatory term Jehovah’s
Witnesses use for non-members. Stewart asked why it mattered
if worldly people knew? Horley said the organisation didn’t want
anything to detract from their ‘clean’ reputation. In fact the organisation is heavily invested
in its reputation among outsiders. It seems perverse that it should be so concerned
about what worldly people think considering it despises us as debauched and
degenerate characterises us as the instigators of broken homes illegitimate births and sexually transmitted diseases and countless other emotional and physical woes and compares us to what it calls ‘death-dealing’
polluted air. But of course projecting a ‘clean’ image is what the organisation relies on to attract
new members. And it has no moral qualms whatsoever about
using deception to try and maintain that patently false image. It even has a formal policy
called ‘theocratic warfare’ that gives members explicit permission to
deceive worldly people on the grounds that they’re not entitled
to the truth. I explored the perversity of this policy in
my ‘concealing abuse’ video. What that video doesn’t mention is a particular
exception to the policy one of special relevance to the Royal Commission. Witnesses are told that when they take any
oath to tell the truth or are placed on a witness stand, they’re
obligated to speak the truth if they speak at all. In these circumstances,
the only option they have other than to speak the truth,
is to remain silent. It’ll become clear that even this rule was
flouted by Jehovah’s Witnesses during the Commission
hearing. It’ll also become increasingly clear just
how far down in their list of priorities came the welfare of the children they were
supposed to protect. Horley and Jackson’s letter about Bill Neill
to the branch office stated: ‘We recommended to him that he step down
as an elder’ and that ‘He agreed to this.’ Stewart put it to Horley that it seemed they
had offered Neill a chance to step down voluntarily, rather
than be forcibly removed. Horley denied this, claiming it was just an
unfortunate choice of words. But those unfortunate words were consistent
with BCB’s previous testimony that Neill had merely stepped down. In the same letter, Horley and Jackson added that they felt no further action or restrictions
need apply. This meant Neill was free to participate in all the same church and Bible study meetings
as before including meetings at his home which BCB was
expected to attend. The letter went on to make the bizarrely premature
recommendation that once the matter had died down, Neill
should be recommended as an elder again so he could help the congregation
as he’d done in the past. Stewart asked Horley if
by the phrase ‘dying down’ he meant once the controversy has abated. Horley claimed that the term ‘dying down’
was another case of unfortunate wording. When Stewart then suggested that Horley’s
prime concern was about Neill’s reputation, he initially
rejected the idea. But Stewart continued along this line suggesting that Horley’s concern was about
the functioning of his organisation and not about the protection of children in
his congregation. Horley agreed. When Stewart put it to him his concern wasn’t
about what support he could offer BCB. Horley admitted that while that had ‘some
bearing’ for him it was more about Neill’s qualifications
to teach. It was a stunning confession. Towards the end of his period in the witness stand Horley was given a detailed account of BCB’s abuse. He hadn’t known about any of it and said
it came as a shock to him. He was asked if he thought the fact it was
only coming to light now had something to do with the process he engaged
in when BCB made the initial complaint a process in which she had to make her allegations
to her abuser and an elder who she knew was friends with
her abuser. He said he could see the point being made. When it was suggested BCB needed a more nurturing
supportive environment to make a full disclosure, he agreed. But when asked if he had any thoughts on what
the organisation should do about it he reverted to compliant form, saying he had
no comments he just followed the procedures. What came across from the many elders called
to testify at the Commission was that they were so immersed in procedure they failed to consider the accuser’s experience. Doug Jackson’s responses clearly illustrated
this lack of empathy. When it was put to Jackson that BCB was unaware of the purpose of the meetings she was attending initially he flat-out rejected the idea. But Stewart took some time to remind him that as an elder he had knowledge not given
to the congregation knowledge of judicial procedures, standards
of evidence and punitive measures. Stewart then asked Jackson if he’d accept
BCB wouldn’t know about these things. Jackson changed his ‘no’ to a ‘maybe’. Stewart asked if Jackson could see how this
lack of transparency would’ve left BCB in a position of vulnerability
and confusion. Jackson said he did now. Stewart repeated to Jackson the portion of
BCB’s statement in which she was asked in one of the judicial meetings whether she had anything more to tell and she falsely responded ‘No’ because
of various inhibiting factors. These included talking in front of a room
full of men talking in front of her abuser and being afraid
of the consequences of telling the truth. Jackson accepted that talking about her abuse
to a room full of men would’ve been very hard for BCB as would talking in front of her abuser. But when it was put to him that BCB didn’t
feel it was a safe environment he said he didn’t know why she would’ve
felt that because they tried to comfort her. He seemed unable to comprehend that his supposed
efforts to comfort BCB weren’t enough to magically overcome all
the intimidating factors she identified. Instead of admitting that he had failed to
comfort her his instinct was instead to insinuate that
the failure was hers she had failed to receive the comfort he offered. This kind of mindset is common in high-control
groups that deny individuality. Members are slotted into fixed procedures
and expected to give fixed reactions. When they don’t, the fault is with them
— not the procedure. McClellan put it to Jackson that the organisation’s
investigative process inflicted further trauma on BCB. Jackson said he understood that now — but
hadn’t appreciated it at the time. It’s instructive to reflect on the reflex
dismissiveness of the elders who testified at the Commission whenever it
was suggested that the abused individuals in their care
felt unsafe or unsupported. Judge McClellan and assisting counsel Stewart
were two highly skilled communicators. They also wielded the power of the legal system. But even they had to repeatedly spend exhausting
swathes of time walking the elders through their own procedures trying to get them to empathise with the experiences
of those abused individuals. If, with their considerable skill and power they had to work this hard to break through
the elders’ dismissiveness what chance did an unskilled powerless member of a Jehovah’s Witness congregation have
of making themselves heard? Another elder concerned with reputation was
Joe Bello one of the elders BCB wrote to years after
the abuse in an effort to protect other children from
Bill Neill. Asked about whether he would ever report a
matter to the police Bello fell back on the mantra-like evasion
given by the other elders: he’d contact the branch. Bello confirmed BCB’s account that when
her husband had mentioned they were thinking of talking to the Royal
Commission Bello had asked what that could accomplish other than dragging Jehovah’s name through
the mud. It was put to him that this would be understood as a discouragement against going to the Commission. He said that wasn’t how it was meant — he
was just thinking aloud. Although Bello initially seemed to regret
his words and reflected that he shouldn’t have said them he then revealed that he stood by the underlying
sentiment. Stewart asked him if, within his faith, Jehovah
was considered a loving god. When Bello confirmed this, Stewart asked if
Jehovah would not also then be more concerned about the victim than his
own name. Defiantly, Bello replied: ‘Jehovah would
be concerned about the victim but Jehovah is concerned about his own name too.’ Judge McClellan asked Bello if he’d been
following the work of the Royal Commission. Bello hadn’t — despite knowing a couple
of months previously that he would have to give evidence. He said he might’ve scanned the headlines
of the Saturday paper but he didn’t watch the news or listen to
the radio. His complete lack of interest in the Commission’s
work was abundantly clear and consistent with the apathy exhibited by most of the witnesses testifying for the
organisation. Doctor Monica Applewhite was paid by the organisation to be an expert witness in its defence. Applewhite presented herself as an independent
consultant in child sexual abuse visiting institutes to make risk assessments and develop educational programs and policies. This included assessing how they prevented abuse; how they responded to warning signs; how they responded to disclosures of abuse; and how they remedied the situation. Applewhite was an unexpected choice of champion
for the Jehovah’s Witnesses because she was an active member
of the Catholic church which the organisation has repeatedly dismissed
as a false religion characterised as an enemy of true worship criticised for its political meddling and
slated for its handling of child sexual abuse. Leaving aside the strangeness of this alliance Applewhite’s testimony was a mess. Stewart and McClellan noted that many opinions offered in her report had no source references. Applewhite said she was already fully scheduled when she started working on the report so she hadn’t been conscientious about her
citations. In fact what emerged from Applewhite’s report
and testimony was that her so-called expert evidence consisted of browsing online material from
the organisation’s own website and speaking to staff from its legal branch. She said she hadn’t reviewed any specific cases and couldn’t offer any opinion on whether the implementation
of the organisation’s policies had resulted in law-abiding responses good practice of child protection
or compassionate care. As Stewart noted, all she’d basically done
was a documentary review. Applewhite showed a distinct lack of awareness of the power relationship between elders and
congregation members erroneously stating that elders were merely viewed as ‘fellow workers’ by the congregation. As Stewart pointed out, elders were very clearly
characterised by the organisation as shepherds over the flock. Their privilege and authority was reinforced
by the belief that elders were directly appointed by the
Holy Spirit another fact of which she was unaware. Applewhite stated there was no requirement for elders or ministerial servants to be alone
with children. But Stewart produced a branch document directed
to all elders stating that elders and ministerial servants
are put in a position of trust that explicitly included being more liberal
about leaving children in their care. Applewhite was also unaware of the fact that
abused individuals were cautioned not to reveal facts about the
congregation in group therapy. The only stipulation she’d heard in regards
to therapy was that the organisation recommended choosing
someone who respected their religious beliefs. As the facts about the actual experience of
abused individuals emerged Applewhite began to withdraw some of her poorly considered support for
the organisation. She announced that if it turned out that people had to confront their abusers and had to sit
in the room with no support that would not meet the standards of care. She conceded she hadn’t understood that
that was the process. Applewhite stated that when somebody abuses and their internal mechanisms of control had
allowed them to cross that line once she didn’t have confidence in those internal
mechanisms of control for the future. As such, she suggested that the risk
of re-offence was great and agreed that positive steps needed to be taken to ensure that such a person didn’t have access or the opportunity to abuse again. She said there should be strong and cooperative
relationships with child protection authorities but had no awareness of the difficult relationship the Jehovah’s Witness organisation had with
secular authorities. The Commission didn’t consider that Applewhite’s
report had assisted their enquiry and rejected her opinions on numerous grounds including lack of evidence or citations but most damningly, because she’d failed
to investigate the experiences of a single survivor of child
sexual abuse whose complaint was dealt with by the Jehovah’s
Witness organisation. By the end of this first case the Royal Commission had already gathered
confirmation of unthinkable negligence deeply inappropriate and traumatising procedures and a cover-up mentality that elevated reputation
far above the protection of children and led to the use of shaming tactics on abused
individuals to try and silence them. From this atrocious start, things would only
get worse. As I’ll be showing in part two shocking new levels of deception and corruption
within the organisation would be laid bare including evidence that some elders had stooped
to breaking their own rules in order to avoid exposing abuse.

100 thoughts on “exposing abuse | Jehovah’s Witnesses on trial | part 1 [cc]”

  1. As a huge fan of your work could you do one on the Mormon church as well? Obviously I am being a little bias because I grew up in the religion but the harms there are just as bad. There is the issue of protecting the abuser and harm the abused. The issue of sexuality and suicide rate, and the issue of protecting the abuser rather than the raped/molested are the two big ones that come to mind. The biggest story lately within the religion related to this is about Joseph L. Bishop who molested many missionary sisters as a missionary president. The molestation was reported to the very top many years ago but nothing was done about it. As of this day he is still looked at as a good standing member even by his congregation. Anyway even if you don’t do a vid on it I will still be one of your biggest fans. I really love your vids. Your present them very well

  2. Omg this is so disgusting, jahovas should not be allowed to exist! The ahova groups should be taken down and disbanded, just as bad ad bedo priests

  3. Thank you for getting the word out! I believe according to watchtower the abuser can also be privately 'reproved' and NOT announce it publicly. I have family members who are survivors of a JW's abuse. When it went to a committee they privately 'reproved' the pedophile and that way the congregation was never warned. What a sad group! They have no clue how to keep their 'organization' clean as they so often boast it is.

  4. Hmmm…so being a elder gives them the keys to a children’s harem free of the law.
    I bet the ones at the top are the worst offenders.

  5. So "Wordly People" Have more compassion and common sense then men who claim to be directed by God himself! How difficult is it to realize that grownups should not have sex with kids and if you find out you need to report it to the proper authorities hardly ever is there 2 witness to child molestation! They are a sicko cult for sure!

  6. Amazing job explaining what happened and it’s still happening.I was raised in this organization and I’m so glad I made the decision to leave it. It’s disgusting to me how this organization is all about image don’t care what really goes on in the inside. All they do is blame the victim because the victim is trying to seek justice.

  7. The only way to realize the demise of such a retched organization is to completely cut off there funding and physical support which I would hope, is working through information such as this. I think this video is approaching this in the most effective way by breaking down the Watchtower wall fact by fact but getting individuals both Jehovah's wittiness's and other individuals to take the time and critically think is a real challenge. The entire Organization is built on deception. Thanks for the work you put into this video.

  8. This brings up a very important point, around 22:34. It is possible to teach some people empathy by walking them slowly through their own reasoning and suggesting an alternate way of looking at the situation. However, the big catch you point out is that it takes enormous resources to do that with even just one person. It takes skilled people (the investigators), a lot of time, and, crucially, power. I think the key aspect that I hadn't quite articulated yet is that these "Elders" were forced to listen. They couldn't brush it off. They were confronted with the full force of state-sanctioned violence. They were not able to show empathy until their power was checked.

    I'm thinking through everything in terms of empathy these days. It's amazing the degree that power affects how we experience and extend empathy.

    Giving these elders the benefit of the doubt, I can imagine that realizing that you've failed to extend empathy to people (after you start feeling it) can be devastating. But it's absolutely necessary.

  9. Makes me wonder about #Pizzagate you know, if this is what Jehovah's witnesses can do with the power they have. the media seemed to spin pizzagate like it didn't happen, but the media isn't "journalism" anymore, if it ever really was.

  10. this video is bringing out within me such a dizzying amount of rage that I can barely recognize myself. I want to punish them. The things I want to do to them are, frankly, deeply disturbing me. It's taking a lot to not lose myself to these impulses.

  11. If not mentioned, even if an abuser is "caught" and disfellowshipped, the congregation is not advised of the reason, neither the pubic informed, so all remain unprotected by jw's "sharia law". All smoke and mirrors!

    The crazy thing is that the rank and file are so wrapped up in the us vs them ideology that anything that hints of reputational damage is ignored. With elders themselves using procedure over compassion.

    I must say your ability to dissect theology is 2nd to none man. It's genuinely liberating. I also appreciate your occasional focus or mention on jws, which is extremely accurate and dissected. They are not just a group of good people in a bad situation. In fact the place is rife of some of the most abusive and manipulative people I've ever known, disguised with politeness and righteous works. The rare few "good" often leave if they have the courage, flounder as victims, or are supremely deluded. The organisation must be held accountable some day for their lies, it's the only way the abuse can be stopped.

  12. BCB was 17 years old and was beaten with a belt for "being too loud" in her room?
    I don't know the laws in parts Australia but something tells me that would be considered AGGRAVATED (and probably premediated with a good lawyer) ASSAULT where I live. And considering his power as an elder, it would just make it so much worse for him if this happened where I live.

  13. Sick how this religion can preach loyalty to Jehovah but pretend all Elders like the ones who handle BCB are perfect and deserve power, their position, and authority hypocrites drag down gods name what do they consider themselves with god now ignorant.

  14. Everyday I become more convinced that there is no place in a civilized society for religion. Good people, armed with religion, keep being good people. Bad people, armed by religion, get horrendous. Murderers saying "god gave the oppurtunitys to me". Thieves saying "They weren't pure, God told me they dont deserve them"

    Rapists don't say anything, they don't have to.

  15. It is important to understand the conservative parties of Australia did not want this Royal Commission. But Under the Julia Gillard Labour Government it went ahead, it proceeded through the next conservative government, who knows what has been covered over as a result of that.

    It is time religion played no part in our lives and in those instances where people want to believe they do so at their OWN expense. THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE ACCESS TO TAX PAYER FUNDS THROUGH TAX CONCESSIONS. No more tax benefits.

  16. If the god of the bible had been portrayed as a king instead of a God , he would be remembered as the most evil, mass murdering, tyrannical dictator of all time! Christians give the bible god a free pass because, they say, he is god the creator. I don't see the difference whether man or god. If his actions were evil or immoral, as the bible states, then he'd be just as guilty of being evil as any human committing the same deeds.

  17. This video is incredibly well put together. What intelligence and empathy.
    The testimonies in the ARC were an atrocity and an embarrassment, even by the WTS's own standards.

  18. "I just followed the procedure" Why do I have to think of Hannah Arendt? Yes I get a point godwin for this, but it's really interesting, isn't it?

  19. I can't watch these all at once… I just can't.
    I wasn't a child. My group is not a religious one.
    But it works all the same.
    Those poor children…

  20. This makese wonder if any of the elders of the churches my mum took me to were involved in these kinds of cover ups. Something about the way these men's unified mentality of us vs them brings up memories I don't have context for. I'm not saying they did. But I can kinda imagine some of them doing it.

  21. This is what disgusts me. I had a judicial once where I was forced to disclose intimate and gross details of oral sex and other sexual activity to three 'elders'; 3 old men whom I felt no connection to and did not feel comfortable whatsoever talking about such things to. I couldn't help but feel that they were storing my words in their wank bank, continually probing me for more details, far more than necessary to determine if I was repentant or not. They even asked me if I had an orgasm or if the guy I was with had one!!! How disgusting… so perverted… I am only now realising how humiliating and truly wrong it was and I'm infuriated.

  22. 19:58 "I don't have any comments….I just follow procedures"; so perfectly sums up the desired brain state of "faith" followers that all religions salivate over.

  23. as a recently Ex Jw, I’ve questioned why I believe what I believe. But this stuff behind the scenes with the Jw’s is messed up. Excited to binge your whole channel. Thank you for helping me critically think trees!

  24. Considering that theism is basically an elaborate system for avoiding uncomfortable truths in favor of living in fantasy, in which justice is abdicated to a magical sky daddy, it's not surprising how abuse is (not) dealt with.

  25. yeah , those meetings , weren't for BCB , they where for the ABUSER , so he could integrate back to the church , that's ALL that was !
    nothing to do with the victim , it's the church saving face by excusing his behavior , so NOBODY finds out and it all gets swept under the carpet REAL quick
    god damn , this clip is killing me , and this is ONLY 1 incident , in the HISTORY of the church of christianity , it' s THE reason it exists in the first place
    religion , is nothing more then a FRONT for PEDOPHILIA , and had been from the beginning
    it appalling and it needs to stop !

  26. http://silentlambs.org/
    Former members of Jehovah's Witnesses formed a support group. We 💘 love you. 🛐 Salvation is the relationship of JEHOVAH not any religion.

  27. imagine going to court and all you have to say is : ''ughh. I don't know. I wasn't made aware of that. I was unsure of this.'' even the fucking expert testimony. what a joke

  28. Great job. Best summarized domuent about this issue I ever heard! If you have never ever been the Jehovah's witness, but you grasped it better than my fellow believers (cause they are blind and for example think the Geoffrey Jackson before Australian Kommision was just photoshoped and made up). I am very happy more and more people are coming to see this exposure and are joining as well.

  29. It is interesting as I had never had much insight into the brainwashing manipulation which employed guilt trips and shame as tools of manipulation within the Jehovah faith. It seems truth and compassion have a very lowly place in all religions, meaning the religion comes before all else and the god bit is just a front for much darker agendas.

  30. Here's a link to video of the whole hearing that Theramin is quoting: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPQ6KZ-AGhVQbadlzMQN26dvMPzddxlui

    BCB's written statement to the Royal Commission: https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/STAT.0603.001.0001_R.pdf

  31. The American media acts like protecting child molesters is an exclusively Catholic phenomenon.

    The longer we allow people to think that only Catholics do this, the more non-Catholic religious organizations will continue to get away with doing more or less the same things.

  32. 3 Itty Bitty Piggies Story Time

    Helping victims is "dragging Jehovah's name through the mud." F Predator Jehovah! ?" The LDS church is even worse on protecting and nurturing serial predators.

  33. I have long thought that the term "evil", when applied to a person or act, means that the person or act concerned lacks any empathy with the person to whom that act applies. In as much as JW, and indeed so many religious zealots, tend to rarely have any thought for the people against whom they act they are totally evil. If anyone ever fails to consider how your behaviour affects others then for me you are evil. Since so many of these people claim to represent "good" and "truth" they are failing in their primary duty. Since they further claim to present a higher power they often feel that no one should ever question their actions. By this route their arrogance compounds their evil.

  34. I’m curious. Why is sexual so common among religious groups? Is it because they have a kind of authority over their members? Even so, it’s hard to believe that sexual predation is this common.

  35. 黑龍 - Hắc Long

    This is horrible, this is why mental health check-up's should be mandatory for everyone, this will especially help cứlt members.

  36. Concerning Monica Applewhite, her catholicism strikes me as especially bizarre seeing how in the majority of comments I've heard or read from JWs regarding the Catholic church, the language is extremely vitriolic. They regularly call the Catholic church a church of satan, labeling it as corrupt, sinful and worldly.

  37. The Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormon church are both disgusting hives of pedophiles, rapists, child abusers, wife beaters and, most alarmingly, knowing enablers of all of the above. There are laws regarding the freedom to practice your religion in most western countries, and I believe such laws are necessary to the freedom of thought in our societies, but these laws should never have been abused to allow these vast and secretive organisations the privilege to circumvent the law and human decency in the pursuit of their religious beliefs. There is so much evidence of these disgusting crimes that it can only be put down to collusion that these loopholes in personal accountability exist.

  38. America should come up with a similar governmental investigation committee like Australia's Royal Commission. In fact, ALL countries should do so.

    On another note, I don't know why we allow religious cults to not pay taxes…

  39. They're trying to "keep a clean image" when most of us "worldly people" recognize JW as a cult with rampant child sex abuse and subsequent cover ups.

  40. I love all of your work, and enjoy it immensely, but do think its worthwhile that we remember that the right to confront one's accusor is a primordial and worthwhile one we should give exception to only excedingly sparingly. Certainly, I think the entire procedure undertaken by the JWs was entirely wrong, they have no right to form pseudo-judical inquiries like that to the exclusion of the proper authorities, but I do think that if this was taken through the courts, it would be right for Neil, scumbag he was, to have the right to confront BCB, in a court, surrounded by proper authorities and bailiffs.

  41. Why does it seems that in many cases child abuse it's one of the crimes one can easily get away with? Like For fucks' sake, church, education, scouts, fillm making, music, and the lists goes on.

  42. "…64% of whom were male." Yeah, it's a lot more common than most think. Prevailing cultural norms dissuades ANYONE from reporting it, but recent cultural changes (here in America) aren't really doing anything to make it okay for guys to come forward. #metoo felt rather exclusionary to people like me at multiple points…

  43. If Jehovah was a truly nice God, his first instincts would have been to protect the abusers and even at a selfish point it would have been the logical thing to do because helping abuse victims is good, and doing good things makes your name clean and good.

  44. I would greatly appreciate it if you presented cases of concealing sexual (and non sexual) abuse in Hareidi jewish communities.

    It's a touchy subject here in Israel. Many will outright refuse to discuss the issue or deny that it is a widespread problem.

    Making sense of the practices of such closed communities is always hard. I feel that a video of this quality could help people see these wrongdoings more clearly and naybe take action

  45. It's obvious that for a wolf, the most effective way of abusing a sheep without the other sheep noticing is to wear a sheep costume. Those entities which seem to be the most friendly in the world are the only ones that can execute the most disgusting of crimes in plain sight, yet unseen.

  46. Far too often in human history the words "I was just following orders" has been used by men trying to justify horrific behaviours. No one should ever just blindly follow orders without analyzing the situation.

  47. Expertly done! Completely and concisely presented and explained. This had to be painstaking to analyze. When I listened to various portions of the testimonies I was speechless. These hearings were the last straw in my waking up. All I could say regarding those WT zombies was “What a bunch of bumbling idiots!” And Jackson was at the top of the heap.

  48. Can’t believe they brought that disgusting man to her house and pressured her into silence! Those people are awful, manipulative and blind to human love!

  49. This is the first video that woke me up from the JWs. It was easier to hear it from a non-Ex JW. As you might be aware great emphasis is made not to listen to "apostates". I remember I went to bed trying to rationalize the whole situation. The next morning I decided to go with the ugly facts. I think it suffices to say leaving the JWs is one of the most emotionally painful and traumatic experiences one can go through. I understand why some people choose to bury their heads in the sand. Keep making these videos you are making a difference!

  50. Okay, I'll admit, I've never done research into JW's, although I had some of them in my home when they were doing missionary work right before I started to see myself as an atheist. I just gotta say: WHAT THE ACTUAL LIVING FUCK??? Honestly, I'm glad that I never joined them. Holy shit…

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