In response to requests for information on the alleged homosexuality of former Governing Body member Ewart Chitty and the alleged pedophilia of former Governing Body member Leo K. Greenlees, I’m posting some information I’ve gleaned from various sources over the years.
I have no doubt that some Jehovah Witness apologists will scream bloody murder about this stuff. “It’s all just unverified rumor and you can’t prove anything!” they’ll say. Well, I’ve verified the basic fact that Chitty was dismissed from the Governing Body for homosexual tendencies, and that Greenlees was dismissed for child molestion, through several former Bethelites who had close friendships with Governing Body members and other high Watchtower officials. I've also spoken to certain other Watchtower personnel who I knew were in a position to know about Greenlees, and they refused to deny my descriptions of what I think I know about Greenlees' molesting. In order to protect identities, I won’t say who they are, but their testimony satisfies me. When I told one of these people several years ago that information about Greenlees was being published on the Net, his comment was along the lines of, “Well good! It’s about time the truth about him is being made public.”
For those inclined to discount the following information, keep in mind that the evidence, while third-hand or circumstantial, is from a number of independent sources, and to an objective observer has the ring of truth. Also keep in mind that Governing Body members don’t just up and resign – they have to be forced out. Note how Greenlees for instance, just disappeared from mention in Watchtower literature after 1984, and a January 1, 1986 WT article (p. 13), soon enough after that to be extremely suggestive, commented that: "Shocking as it is, even some who have been prominent in Jehovah's organization have succumbed to immoral practices, including homosexuality, wife swapping, and child molesting."
If someone calls Brooklyn Bethel and asks the Public Affairs Office about Chitty or Greenlees, it’s likely that the response will be, “We cannot comment on such personal matters.” However, if one were to make inquiry about someone who has never been accused of such bad conduct, and who is unlikely to be so tainted because of their general reputation, the PA Office’s response would be outright denial. It would be instructive for several people to try this and report back.
Of course, anyone with close ties to high WTS officials in Brooklyn can discreetly inquire; I’m sure the responses would either confirm or not deny the charges against Chitty and Greenlees. However, I don’t expect that anyone with such connections would report the result on this forum.
Ewart C. Chitty
Governing Body member Ewart Chitty (born ca. 1898) resigned his position in 1979. He entered the London Bethel in 1921, began to work in "the office", and by 1938 held some sort of official position, as two 1938 Watchtowers have him reporting to J. F. Rutherford on the attendance of Bethel family members at the "family" study. By 1942 Chitty was the secretary of the International Bible Students Association (IBSA; the Society's British equivalent of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.). Somewhere along the line he was appointed as secretary-treasurer of the IBSA, which position he held until his appointment to the Governing Body in November 1974. After his 1979 resignation from the GB, Chitty remained in Brooklyn working in Writing Correspondence, so he was certainly in good standing. A 1981 Awake! article has Chitty making comments about people having lost their love of neighbor and God. Apparently by this time Chitty was drinking heavily, according to close acquaintances. Likely this contributed to his being dismissed from Brooklyn and reassigned to the London Bethel a few years later. There he worked at an assignment of little responsibility, but was appointed an elder in a local congregation. Chitty died about 1993.
As to Chitty's alleged homosexuality, the information I have is mixed. He certainly made some remarks in his 1963 life story in The Watchtower that leaned in this direction. By then he had roomed with the same man for 30 years and just about gushed when speaking about him. See the email comments below for one Brit's take on this. When in Brooklyn, Chitty seems to have preferred younger men as roommates. The actual charge brought to the Governing Body against Chitty was made by a former roommate and involved some sort of inappropriate conduct. The Governing Body concluded that Chitty had homosexual tendencies, whatever that means, and asked him to resign. Chitty could hardly do anything but comply with the rest of the Governing Body's wishes, since his only alternative would have been to leave Bethel at age 81 and after being there for 58 years. It may well be that the Governing Body didn't view Chitty as guilty of homosexual activity, since he remained a Bethel member in Brooklyn or London, but it may also be that they made a deal: Chitty would remain quiet about where "the dead bodies" were buried as long as the Society cared for him in his old age. Sounds like a good deal to me.
Leo K. Greenlees
Governing Body member Leo K. Greenlees was forced to resign and leave Bethel in late 1984. He entered the Toronto, Canada Bethel in 1936, eventually becoming treasurer of the Canadian branch and of the IBSA of Canada. In 1964 he went to Brooklyn Bethel, and in 1965 was elected as a director of the Society's New York corporation. As a director Greenlees automatically became a "governing body" member when that body was formally instituted in 1971. He often spoke at Gilead graduations, and was the concluding speaker for the day at the Watchtower Centennial business meeting at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 6, 1984. A 1982 Watchtower mentions him as being on the Teaching Committee of the Governing Body. Greenlees' last mention in Watchtower publications is in the December 1, 1984 Watchtower where he is said to have passed out diplomas at the September Gilead graduation.
In late 1984, Greenlees was allegedly convicted by the rest of the Governing Body of molesting a ten year old boy. My information is that the boy's parents had complained to the Society and it took action. Greenlees was a friend of the family and often visited them. After leaving Bethel Greenlees served as a Special Pioneer and eventually an elder in the "Downtown" congregation in New Orleans, Louisiana. He died in the late 1980s.
Interestingly, the boy who Greenlees molested applied for Bethel service a few years later, around 1991, and was rejected. Watchtower leaders apparently feared that other Bethelites would tell him the 'rumors' about Greenlees, not knowing that he was Greenlees' victim, and cause the young man to know that justice had not been done. He might then have confirmed the rumors.
Sources for the above information include my personal conversations with current and former Bethelites, private emails, publicly posted information and comments, and Watchtower literature. Those who have revealed information to me privately will remain anonymous until they want to go public themselves.