In a recent report by the BBC,
the UK Branch of Jehovah’s Witnesses
is being accused of destroying documents
it was ordered to preserve.
The Independent UK Goddard inquiry sounds ominously similar to the Australian Royal Commission investigation into institutional child abuse which has created significant bad press for our Organization not only in Australia but around the world. (Click here for more information.)
If it follows a similar course to its Commonwealth partner, the outcome for Jehovah’s Witnesses could be dire indeed. The inquiry is just getting underway, yet already there has been a significant negative development for the organization. You can follow this developing story at the 33:30 minute mark of the broadcast.
Having listened to the BBC broadcast and read the checklist (not hard to find on line), I think there’s more smoke here than fire. That the elders are instructed to destroy their personal notes from judicial cases is nothing new, and is not particularly offensive. It makes sense not to have a lot of sensitive information floating around, not just as a matter of organizational CYA but also to protect the confidentiality of the brothers involved. True, the whole system is flawed, but within its framework, this is just common sense. As far as the congregation files, the checklist simply… Read more »
This is the most serious report I have heard on Radio 4. That the WTS sent out letters to destroy documents six months after the letter sent by Judge Lowell Goddard of the UK csa investigation requesting that they keep them is a criminal offence and they have many questions to answer when the investigation gets under way with them. They are shooting themselves in the foot. Why not agree to co-operate with the Investigation and at least show that when they trot out the standard “we abhor child abuse” message they actually mean it. This statement cut no ice… Read more »
Its obvious they destroyed evidence because it would incriminate them, really there is no other answer. Imagine in those notes other victims of the pedophile, how many, when and how long they knew about it. Can’t go on this deception.
Agreed. I served 40 years as an elder and know of no precedent. Until recently, we were even required to hold on to letters of introduction indefinitely. They are disobeying a direct command from Caesar which, by their own admission to the BBC, they cannot do. The only basis for willfully disobeying the superior authorities is when these are requiring disobedience to God. They must be justifying this in their own mind with the idea that this is unwarranted persecution. The governments of this wicked system of things aided by the apostates are trying to attack Jehovah’s people. They will… Read more »
It’s an absolute disgrace. The direction to destroy incriminating evidence seems to be the only thing Watchtower has taken away from their ARC experience – no contrition, no humility, just more deceit. They become more like the Borg collective every day – adapting to survive at all costs. I wonder what Jesus makes of all this? Matthew 23:23-28.