The new Oxygen series “The Witnesses” is based on a five-year investigation by Trey Bundy of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting into the coverup of child sexual abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses leaders.
Bundy has been uncovering how the Jehovah’s Witnesses hide child sexual abuse in their congregations – in fact, it’s official policy. The religion’s leaders have been going to extreme lengths to keep the details from public view.
Watch the series here.
“Not every individual who has sexually abused a child in the past is considered a ‘predator.’ ”
“They ask very, very personal, embarrassing questions. Not just did you have sex with this person, but did you have an orgasm? Did you enjoy it? Where did he touch you? Where did you touch him?”
“I’ve been practicing law for 37 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They do everything to protect the reputation of the organization over the safety of children.”
A 1957 article in The Watchtower magazine grants permission to Jehovah’s followers to hide the truth from “enemies” of the religion. The religion teaches that the world outside the organization is controlled by Satan.
“Keep your mouth shut. Do not go to law enforcement. You come to us first. Don’t you tell anybody. You never tell another congregant. You don’t warn parents in the congregation. We’ll decide what happens here.”
The Jehovah’s Witnesses maintain that the First Amendment protects their right to set their own policies, even in cases of child abuse.
Originally appeared at www.revealnews.org