The Jehovah’s Witnesses ruling body tells “elders – the spiritual leaders of local congregations – to form confidential committees to handle potential criminal matters internally.” This includes child sexual abuse. Worse, sexual abusers are not necessarily considered “predators.” “The (Watchtower), not the local body of elders, determines whether an individual who has sexually abused children in the past will be considered a ‘predator.’ ”
Sadly, we are aware that this kind of in-house dealing with sexual abuse has been the norm in polygamist communities too, where hiding murky dealings from the outside world is important for keeping up appearances.
Take, for instance, the sexual abuse allegations against Lyn Thompson, present leader of the Apostolic United Brethren. Months ago, Dave Watson, a council member in AUB said that they were investigating. Sources tell us that they say are saying that they need witnesses to corroborate the story that Thompson improperly fondled his daughter while a child. Other women whom we hear suffered from his attentions are evidently not coming forward to support the one brave enough to speak up.
In addition, AUB investigators are evidently saying that the daughter, now an adult, perhaps imagined what she says happened, or that the inappropriate touching was “accidental.” Compare that to this excerpt from the attached article on the Jehovah’s Witnesses — “He told me about an incident with his stepdaughter, but when he told that story, it was accidental touching,” Bentley said. “The version I remember is, he was coming home, it was dark, she was on the couch, he tripped on it and accidentally touched her breast.” These men always have a excuse for what happened, re-victimizing those they harmed for a second time.
We’re not expecting a change of leadership in AUB anytime soon. We hope that the Jehovah’s Witness organization does some extreme house cleaning.