The exceptionally brave BARBARA ANDERSON did her best to get the Governing Body to own up to their responsibility regarding pedophiles in the congregation. They repeatedly refused to do so. As a result of her efforts, she and her husband were disfellowshipped. Her entire story, together with all the court documents can be found on her website at watchtowerdocumentsllc.com. The court records reveal that:
Court records prove that the Watchtower HQ appointed men to positions of authority, as a matter of policy, who were known to have either confessed to or been accused of pedophilia, provided the three year waiting period had been met.
Even when a prominent District Overseer wrote to the Society (letter in court records) suggesting this policy be discontinued in 1994, the Society continued with the policy at least until 2000.
The Society has implemented a policy whereby any alleged victim of child abuse who either (a.) speaks to others of their experience, or (b.) goes to the authorities to report their experience, is routinely disfellowshipped if there were not two witnesses to the event.
The Society’s KHAA insurance fund, which is in place to provide insurance for Kingdom Halls, and for which each congregation is billed $4.50 per publisher per month (or is it year?), has been used for years to pay settlements to victims of abuse by those in authority in the congregations (elders and MSs), to the tune of millions of dollars.
The Society’s legal department deviously designated the Society’s service department as it’s client in order to take advantage of attorney/client privilege in keeping all communications between the two (obviously the most damning of evidence) out of the court’s jurisdiction.
The Society’s legal department, when dealing with cases where the jurisdiction required reporting all cases of child molestation to the Police, routinely instructed the elders in those cases to notify the Police anonymously from a pay phone booth. Of course, this made it very difficult for the Police to follow up in any investigation being unable to communicate further with the one making the report.
When giving advice to local elders in these cases, the Service Department would rountinely ask the elder inquiring, whether the alleged victim had been "somewhat at fault."
The Society has an extensive database containing records of all reports turned in by congregations with information on a large number of accused, confessed or convicted pedophiles. Requiring and maintaining this type of information brings responsibility upon the authority requiring and maintaining it. This information has never been used to notify authorities, who may have then acted to prevent further crimes. This information has never been shared with local congregations affected, so that parents could take actions to protect their children from pedophiles right in their congregations. As a consequence of these policies, there are cases where molestations continued for years, and in congregation after congregation as the pedophiles moved around the country.
In February of 2007, after four years of battling the courts and motions filed by Plaintiffs, the Society quietly settled 12 cases in California, the estimated cost being $13 million.
Unlike the Catholic Church, when settling these claims, the Society made it a requirement that the victims remain silent about their experiences for the rest of their lives, effectively "gagging" them.