A District Attorney in Oklahoma has filed a motion alleging that the Jehovah’s Witness organization, “most especially the governing body of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah Witnesses,” were involved in concealing child molestation crimes.
This astonishing development in the case involving Ronald Lawrence, which was covered by JWsurvey back in November, has been reported by Jeanne LeFlore at the McAlester News-Capital.
It was revealed in news reports at the time that police were investigating whether elders were complicit in helping to conceal Lawrence’s hideous crimes from the authorities. Now it seems evidence may have been uncovered – with culpability being alleged to stretch right to the very top of the Watchtower hierarchy.
On January 28 the local District Attorney filed a motion declaring that the State will give evidence that child molestation crimes were concealed, not just by Lawrence, but by the “entire church body,” including the Governing Body.
According to this motion, “the actions of the church, their banishment of (Lawrence) on one or more occasion and the directives of the governing body toward the victims and their family members regarding these crimes were actions of ‘concealment’ and further actions preventing the victims from reporting the crimes to law enforcement.”
It was back in November that Lawrence was charged in Pittsburg County District Court with 19 felony counts, including 11 of lewd molestation, seven of forcible sodomy and one count of rape by instrumentation. Court documents reveal a litany of horrendous abuses, including the violation of one victim with a wooden spoon.
An affidavit filed in the case claims that Lawrence told police he had confessed his crimes to at least four elders in order to be reinstated back into the congregation in 2005 following his previous disfellowshipping.
Shortly after his arrest, Lawrence was released from jail after posting a $50,000 bond. A condition of the bond is that he is not allowed contact with any of his alleged victims.
Now, with the filing of this new motion, the Governing Body faces the hitherto unimaginable prospect of being forced to appear as defendants in court over alleged collusion to conceal criminal activity.
A court date has yet to be set.
Lawrence’s attorney filed a motion in December stating that the charges should be thrown out because the statute of limitation had expired. But the District Attorney’s motion has responded by saying that this is not the case.
Why the silence?
Noteworthy is the organization’s refusal to cooperate in giving their own account of what happened in this case, with “several calls to the Jehovah Witness Church” by an investigating journalist going unanswered.
Thinking Witnesses will wonder how an organization that claims to have God’s backing could find itself accused in this way of opposing the “superior authorities” (Rom. 13:1,2), and why it refuses to take any steps to set the record straight if it is free of any guilt.
Indeed, how can the Governing Body claim to have a “fine testimony from outsiders” if they won’t even pick up the phone when accused of concealing crimes by a District Attorney? – 1 Tim 3:7
- DA: Jehovah Witness church concealed molestation crimes
- Church elder, 76, charged in 30 year old molestation case
- Jehovah’s Witness church elder Ronald Lawrence arrested over sex abuse claims dating back to 1980s
- Global Dispath article
- SNAP’s response
- JWsurvey article: Oklahoma police investigating whether elders failed to report serial pedophile
- JWsurvey articles on child abuse
133 thoughts on “Governing Body stands accused by District Attorney in Oklahoma child abuse case”
first time commenter if I spelled it right. Excelior just one thought its nice to know that we have a wonderful creator that h as a plan through his son and his brothers will bring his purpose reguarding all things that you see going on right before your that are wrongeyes that all of you want to see take place. these things we see that are wrong right now will be brought before Jehovah and his son at the exact right time for Jehovah,s day of reckoning its hard to be patient. I hope you all bring your heart felt feelings to him privately in your prayer,s .the fact that you,ve all been awakened to these events perhaps means that he is very concerned how you will fair with these final events as we are ever so clos to that time its nice to see most of youweigh your words carfully before you speak to one another,very encourgeing. continued love by observation to all .sincerley your,s AJ
With the deepest respect, old chap, you are way off the mark on this one.
The fact that it is “apostates”, “diners with demons” who are the ones exposing the horrendous crimes of the WTBTS puts a serious doubt on this being your God’s work.
I do not much care for the proper time of your God to put things right. The correct time to put things right is immediately upon being aware of them.
Many, many victims of abuse have been told to “wait on Jehovah”. No victim needs to wait. There are courts and police officers charged with handling crimes in society. They are all that we need, thank you.
If it were not for us apostates, the many victims of child sexual abuse in the WTBTS would all be waiting for your God to set things right. Whilst waiting, even more children would become victims and the whole evil mess would be covered up by a so called Christian organisation.
Peace be with you
True point excelsior I m not siding at all with there actions, exposure to this is necessary for the saftey of all. exspecially for children,no dought about that. Im not part of that org, ethier I hope I didn,t give you that impression, Im new at commenting about these things.Ill try to word my comments better sorry. AJ
It took far less than this for me to walk away after 16 years. The lack of love, the hypocrisy, made my stomach turn. I had to ask myself, ‘How could these people say the loved Jehovah and Act This way?’, “every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matt 7:15-20” I got this scripture in answer to prayer – Rev. 2:2-5 I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. The actions of the people made my stomach turn, and I had to leave as a conscientious objector.
What impresses me most about the local organisations of JWs is the way they close ranks when any of their senior elders is accused of anything improper: like extra-marital affairs, double-book keeping and dodgy business dealings, (as related to me some years ago by a fellow ‘worldly’ worker in a certain elder’s firm). This very senior Brighton elder in Sussex, England, who helped build the convention hall at Hays Bridge, Surrey, UK, resigned rather than face his congregation committee – accompanied by a district overseer I complained to (because no elder would listen). “We lost a very good elder” was a typical comment of other elders when he resigned…
Within a year this unrepentant elder was ‘back in business’ with all his original public talk and district assembly talk status and privileges, as if nothing had happened. This is typical JW committee behaviour. They invariably attack the accuser or the victim, and frequently brand them as being “an agent of Satan”, never condemning the high-status perpetrator.
Countless millions of dollars, withdrawn from the Worldwide Work voluntary donations, have been misused to defend many high-profile child molesters within the organisation; or pay off victims who are then sworn to secrecy. The FBI has been repeatedly denied access to the secret JW database in New York which lists 23,000 alleged JW sexual perverts, including Bethalites and Congregation Overseers – claiming “religious privilege”.
This sanctimonious attitude is more hypocritical than the imperious Catholic Church, where Watchtower and Tract Society Committee members and the President have refused to make any comment about whether or not this database even exists. Meanwhile, face-saving, ineffectual ‘guidelines’ have been sent out to congregation committees, which in reality ensure that little or no cooperation with police or courts ensues, and the sexualised skeletons remain firmly locked in their respective congregation cupboards – or worse, the childhood victims are even disfellowshipped.. “for bringing ‘Jehovah’s Organisation’ into disrepute”..!
Meanwhile, many thousands of children of JWs have grown up with a disabling sense of betrayal and victimisation, (whole congregations turning up to court to support the perpetrator and decry and ostracise the victim) while the organisation which has vowed to protect them has in practice only cynically protected the perpetrators, and conducted clandestine witch hunts against, or suppressed, the often-many victims of one evil person.
Doubtless brainwashed JW youth (I used to be one, from 1954-2000) will be in hysterical denial about such things, as is to be expected, but if you think this is a fantasy please visit silentlambs.com. Set up by an elder who was hounded out of ‘God’s Organisation on Earth’ for defending a victim; and see for yourself the litany of innocent suffering which continues unabated, denied and mostly unrepented… Yet this 19th century Russellite organisation has had the gall in the past to call the Roman Catholic Church, “The Mother of Harlots”. Throwing stones from glass houses come to mind…
Christianity is about responsible behaviour – not well-meaning words and wishful thinking; or bogus, fear-instilling, Doom laden ‘prophesy’.
I have just ordered this book, which I shall read with great interest, and recommend to any further JW door knocker; along with suggesting that they review silentlambs for the low-down on their organisation’s unconscionable dealings.
I am ex member of the JW this is one of the most corrupt organization I have ever observed. They will do and say anything to protect their organization including throwing victims of child abuse under the bus
We live in a country that continues to put In God We Trust on its money. In fact this is the national Motto. America is supposed to be about justice, liberty, freedom, and rights. Look at the millions of lewd acts performed by Americans. Look at the lewd acts performed by its leaders. Look at the lewd acts performed by its president!
What hypocrisy to come against a body of people who are making every effort to live wholesome lives, and for a Sodom and gomora such as America to do so.
Hi Joshua. If you read the comments on jwsurvey carefully, you will see that we that comment are not against the Witnesses as a whole. Our problem is with the Governing Body. Is that who you are talking about? Almost everyone who comments here, either are Jehovah’s Witnesses right now or have been in the past. When we were Jehovah’s Witnesses, we were good people and we know that most Jehovah’s Witnesses right now are good people.
My problem is that I can’t support the Watchtower any more because I found out that they lie about Jerusalem being destroyed in 607 B.C.E. If you look in any history book, you will see that Jerusalem was destroyed in 587/586 B.C.E. but if you tell anybody about it, you will be disfellowshipped for apostasy. What do you think of forbidding someone to talk about 607 on the threat of being disfellowshipped? That reminds me of North Korea. The punishment that a Witness gets for exposing the lie about 607 is to lose every friend and relative who is a Witness through disfellowshipping. If it was the “truth”, it would stand up to lies. If it is not the “truth”, it will threaten it’s people if they question their authority. They will convince the congregation and their friends and relatives that they are sinning against God. They put themselves in the position of God by doing that.
So, Witnesses are under ban to not read anything that puts their religion to the test. If it was really the “truth” it would stand up to lies.
So, that should tell you something about this religion. It doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 80. You will be punished by disfellowshipping for apostasy if you find out about Watchtower lies and tell anybody about them.
The Society freely lies about it’s history too. I can’t support them because of their deliberate lies. There are a ton of scriptures that would not support an organization that lies to it’s people.
If you go to the November 1st Watchtower 2011 page 23, there is a footnote that says: “Note: None of the secular experts quoted in this article hold that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 B.C.E.”
Is that okay with you to belong to a religious organization that thinks nothing of lying to it’s followers? That is not what I agreed to when I got baptized in 1966. What I was led to believe is that the Watchtower Organization was different and honest.
Wholesome lives, Joshua? What could be less wholesome than condemning thousands to unnecessary deaths through, since 1945, some twisted take on Jewish dietary law which has led to the refusal of blood tansfusions?
What could be less wholesome than the 2 witness rule which is used to protect paedophiles from facing justice?
What coild be less wholesome than stunting millions of lives through frowning on higher education?
What could be less wholesome than using your mind manipulation skills to convince millions that you are god’s exclusive earthly rep? I refer to the Faithful and Discreet Slave nonsense.
What could be less wholesome than inducing nightmares with the prospect of a mega orgy of violence and destruction at an Armageddon which never materialises?
Like millions of others I look forward to the day when this monstrous money grabbing watchtower cult is nothing more than a grubby little footnote in the history of Christendom.
Yes, I know this late 19th century Adventist spinoff outfit pretends it is nothing to do with Christendom. I was raised as a JW. It was the worst aspect of childhood by far. But JWs are also creationists, fundamentalists and Protestants; all the labels which, in a vain bid to appear separate from the world it inhabits, and on which it is dependant, it pretends to disown.
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