Saturday, January 10, 2015

$10.5 Million JW sex abuse lawsuit

Clergy sexual abuse in the Jehovah’s Witness church rarely make it to the press, in my opinion it is because of the insular nature of the religion. The organization is closed to outsiders, operates in secret, and pressures members to remain silent. A new lawsuit hopes to pull back the curtain on secrecy and expose the hypocrites. The Oregonian reports that a $10.5 Million against Jehovah’s Witnesses Organizations claim that leadership hid decades of child sexual abuse. 
Two people who say that as children they were sexually abused by a leader in a Hillsboro Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation filed a $10.5 million lawsuit Monday – among the first in Oregon to accuse the religious organization of hiding decades of sexual abuse.

Attorneys for Velicia Alston, 39, and an unnamed man said the Jehovah’s Witnesses leadership continues to cover up sexual abuse against children by leaders. They say it is more than a decade behind other organizations, such as the Catholic Church, that have been forced to address their problems through many years of civil litigation.

I look for failure modes in stories like this. Secrecy is one of the primary failure modes in this story. When leaders act for the “good of the church” and hide the stories and the abusers, it allows abuse to flourish. Transparency, as disruptive and damaging as it can be, allows people and organizations to start healing and also builds awareness of the problem. JW’s of the world should demand transparency. 

1 comment:

Persephone said...

I got out of the JWs. They covered up abuse, even murder. It was much more important to keep up an image, so those in charge could keep milking the cash cow.