With the Charity Commission now investigating Jehovah's Witnesses, has the penny finally dropped?
With the Charity Commission now investigating Jehovah’s Witnesses, has the penny finally dropped?

Not long after waking up from my indoctrination as a Witness I posted an article on this website expressing my dismay at the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses in the UK are classed as a charity despite falling woefully short of the rules on public benefit.

A few weeks ago, prompted by developments in the Jonathan Rose case, I followed this up with a formal complaint to the Charity Commission and a video appeal on YouTube.

As I mentioned in my video, though I was heartened by the fact that the commission was investigating the New Moston congregation for its atrocious negligence, the focus on this one congregation rather than the Watchtower hierarchy displayed (in my view) a fundamental naivety as to the systemic nature of child abuse mishandling by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Now it seems the Charity Commission has broadened its investigation from New Moston congregation to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, according to a report in the Third Sector magazine.

This is the same magazine that reported back in January 2013 that Jehovah’s Witnesses are one of the top two most complained about charities in the UK.

“The Charity Commission has opened statutory inquiries into the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and one of its congregations amid concerns about safeguarding and whether trustees have complied with charity law,” the magazine reports.

Apparently the statutory inquiry is targeting the Watchtower leadership primarily over their safeguarding (child protection) policies, and will determine whether they have “complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law.”

The commission admits that it has already investigated the organization as early as July last year, but that recent developments have “amplified” their concerns.

Watchtower has already hit back by labeling the statutory inquiry “premature.”

Could it be that the Jonathan Rose case, in which a convicted pedophile was allowed to grill his victims under the auspices of a congregation judicial process, is the smoking gun that could lead to Watchtower’s game finally being up?

As I mentioned in my coverage of the Rose case, it is inconceivable that the New Moston elders weren’t acting under instructions from the London Branch, especially since Watchtower directions to elders clearly stipulate that the Branch (not the police) is to be involved whenever accusations of child molestation arise.

If the Charity Commission digs deep enough (and they have set their sights pretty high), they will surely find clear evidence, not only that child abuse is systemic and rampant among Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, but that the objectives and practices of the organization are anything but charitable.

However, as encouraged as I am that the commission is finally taking this seriously, I’m afraid I still have my reservations.

Watchtower in the UK is capitalizing on the Charity Commission's tendency to believe anything it is told
Watchtower in the UK is capitalizing on the Charity Commission’s tendency to believe anything it is told

I fear the Charity Commission lacks the teeth it needs as a regulatory body in order to act decisively in these matters. For example, the toughest measures a charity can expect in the wake of a statutory inquiry include removing trustees, undertaking a governance review, and establishing new “schemes” for the charity’s management. Nowhere in the commission’s own guidelines on statutory inquiries could I find any hint that removing an organization’s charitable status might be a potential outcome.

It is for similar reasons that the commission has recently been slammed as “not fit for purpose” by MPs. In her own scathing criticism, Labour MP Margaret Hodge complained that “the commission too willingly accepts what charities tell it when it is investigating alleged abuses. It too often fails to verify or challenge the claims made. Some of the most serious cases of abuse have not been properly investigated.”

This environment of indifference and credulity is perfect for Watchtower to flourish as a self-proclaimed “charity,” given that it has shown great eagerness historically to bend the truth to its advantage.

There is a small glimmer of hope that a government consultation launched by MP Nick Hurd may eventually lead to the commission being given tougher powers, including the power to “close down a charity,” but given that the consultation ended in February this is clearly not being treated as a matter of any great urgency.

In the meantime Watchtower continues to capitalize on the credulity of the UK authorities by cashing in on its erroneous claims of working in the public benefit. As distasteful as this may be for those like myself who are victims of Watchtower, I can take a morsel of comfort from the Charity Commission’s ongoing scrutiny of the organization. I have a feeling that if the game isn’t up now, it soon will be.









If you are a UK national, and you would like to register an official complaint against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, you can do so on this link. The registered charity number is “1077961” and I recommend preparing your complaint in advance and reading the instructions before completing the form.

Further reading…

49 thoughts on “The Charity Commission and Jehovah’s Witnesses – is the game finally up?

  • December 18, 2014 at 7:34 am

    You had the option to put the elder in his place. It was none of his business. Some ‘elders’ are simply unscrupulous men looking for an opportunity to be ‘over’ others. Unfortunately some JW’s think they have an obligation to follow men/elders. That simply is not the case. I’m a family man, not an elder, not a ms, not a pioneer and I can tell you without any reservation no one tells my family anything unless I approve of it. There is a slanted view in these posts that don’t reflect realty. Sorry for all you folks who have been abused at the hands of someone you should have been able to trust, I am truly sorry. But, it is not the norm but it is inevitable to an extent.

  • December 18, 2014 at 7:37 am

    I was replying to freshandfree in my previous post.

  • August 16, 2015 at 3:30 pm


  • August 16, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    not sure if jws should be clased as a charity ?

    based on faulse predictictions and dates given as to armagedon being just round the corner now, them vary faulse prophesies have kept many in bondage to the watchtower soscety.

    instead of saying we made faulse prophesies, they use words like failed expectations, trying to minimize the faulse prophesies they made.

    the reason child abuse cases go on within the watchtower society is because they have such a strong grip on its members to begin with.

    they cannot just leave because according to there biblical chronology armageddon is just round the corner now, no time to loose.

    they use peoples missfutunes to draw them into the organisation, like the death of a loved one, then when you have gotten over the loved ones death, you are stuck in a religion.

    the longer you stay in it, the less you can question it, if you ask questions out the box, you are view’d as suspect, And thats why some of them can get away with child abuse, since they have that much control over there members, then the victims are told not to tell anyone, since jehovahs organisation is a clean organisation, and therefore will bring reproach on jehovah.

    A budhist doctrine, 3 things cannot be hidden for long, the sun, the moon, and the truth.

    all things come out in the open in the end.

    dont be fool’d by there bull – – – – teaching that the truth is like a bright light, getting brighter and brighter, when it clearly says in the n/t that the holy spirit itself will lead the real christians into all truth, there truth is all trial and error, and going in circles.

    I dont go to any church etc, and do know a little about the bible, And will say, according to the bible itself, and even the words of jesus, the witnesses are a faulse prophet.

  • August 16, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    In the 90s the witnesses published an article in there magazine with the photoes of 23 children who lost there lives by not accsepting blood transfusions. The heading of that magazine says, children who put god first, ( while) at the same time hundreds of witnesses every day deliberately drift away from there organisation so they can have sex with women after women, then when they get sick of it all like a little child wondering what its all about, they go running back to the watchtower society, and the elders arms open’d wide accsepting them back like the lost prodical son, ( While at the same time) these children lost there lives because they were led to believe that is what jehovah requierd of them.

    I think that child abuse that dose go on with the witnesses children, is just one form of abuse towards them, there are other forms and types of abuses going on towards the children and adults.

    Since around the 1870s till around 2014 the witnesses. Have made lots of predictions going around from door to door warning, scaring, argueing, with members of the puplic on therer doorstep, ( which) most people have forgotten about. But now that all there predictions and prophesies turned out to be faulse, they have gone quiet, and instead stand on the streets holding out magazines pretending to be innocent little sheep, And even calling all other religions apostate in private, while passing themselfs of as a charity.

    Personally speaking, i have no problem accsepting. The teachings of jesus himself, the real problem is them and a few other organisations claiming to be jesus true reps on earth.

    When in doughbt, withdraw from the jws and these organizations, and go back solely to the teachings of jesus himself, the true mediator between us and God.

    Let your ralationship be between you, the allmighty, and jesus himself, and keep in mind that no one religion has got it all correct, or that any one of them is directly used by God.

    The only people who make them claims is them religions themselfs.

    Therefore, put your trust in the son of God, and the allmighty himself, then the rest will follow, but even if it dont, you still have your own personal relationship with the allmighty and his son.

  • August 31, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    These people does anything they are told by this evil cult. The watchtower gets money from The United Way. Yet they are worth billions. They have lawyers in Brooklyn that carries all this stuff out. They know how to get around the laws. Child molestation is rampant. Some cases are coming forth. This group knows all the evil loop holes to get anything they can. The mob are saints compared to the watchtower. They help break up homes everywhere.And the evil just goes on and on. How long will almighty God permit this evil cult operate.

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