Secrets of the Watchtower (This is mental) 🔴 Full program HD


from the Center for Investigative
Reporting and prx this is revealed I’m al ensign reveal reporter trae Bundy has
been after a batch of secret documents for more than two years and now he’s
closer to them than ever before he’s in a law office in San Diego and standing
just a few feet from some of those documents are they in the south yes and
can you show him to me no that’s attorney
Irwin’s olkin he represents victims of childhood sexual abuse by members of a
global religion the Jehovah’s Witnesses all I can really say is we have the
documents I can’t say what’s in them I can’t even reference how many of the
knock you much numbers or anything like that
Irwin got the files as part of a lawsuit against the Jehovah’s Witnesses so while
he can look at them he can’t show them to anyone else not even the police
we really literally have to keep those under lock and key the Jehovah’s
Witnesses only turned them over on the condition that they remain secret a
judge agreed and ordered her when not to share them with anyone else so here’s
why that’s dangerous these files could contain information
about thousands of child abusers within the Jehovah’s Witness predators living
freely in communities across the country so how has this religious group managed
to keep these documents and the secrets they contain under wraps for almost
twenty years that’s what tre set out to learn he
picks up the story back in Erlin xok in San Diego office before I get going I
should tell you that this episode deals with sexual abuse and might be
disturbing for some listeners come on in I’d say why don’t you have a
seat let’s talk about your case a little bit see where we’re at
Erwin is talking to one of his clients I was eight Lopez as a kid Jose was
sexually abused by Jehovah’s Witness they’re combing through documents in a
small generic conference room at Irwin’s office they’re discussing what could
happen with Jose’s case Jose’s in his 30s and you can hear from his voice he
sounds anxious young mistress not gonna had a question what do you think is
gonna happen after the judge comes forward with her decision yes well I
think that that there’s a good chance that the watchtowers gonna file appeal
the watchtower you’re gonna hear us use that term a lot that’s the name the
Jehovah’s Witnesses have for the global headquarters in Brooklyn Jose says a man
named Gonzalo Campos abused him Gonzalo was a jehovah’s witness in San Diego
Jose says Gonzalo groomed him for a pious during Bible study sessions one
time I um you know he set me in his lap in you know kind of showed me the book
and was talking to me socializing you know being friendly that’s how I really
saw it as him just you know just just trying to be more close and friendly
with me but it went much further Gonzalo sexually abused Jose who was
seven years old at the time by the time this happened Jehovah’s Witness leaders
already knew Gonzalo had been abusing kids we know
that because local elders admitted to it I just think they should of the watch
tower or the organization I think they should I contacted
authorities and you know had this guy behind bars but they didn’t here’s Irwin
at a news conference about the case the watch tower and it’s ages elders of the
congregation it’s local congregation Linda Vista Spanish congregation
of the Jehovah’s Witnesses knew that they had a dangerous child sexual
predator within their organization and not only did they fail to call the
police they actually promoted Gonzalo to the
position of elder after they learned about the abuse while at that time that
entire time frame he was abusing at least eight children that we know of
that we know her win’ knows the abuse happened because Gonzalo admitted to it
during a court deposition back in 2011 we have a tape from that deposition in
it the Jehovah’s Witness lawyer is interviewing Gonzalo through an
interpreter you know the government I had problems with for having tried to
touch him inappropriately and when you say tried to touch him inappropriately
you mean in a sexual manner see yes okay did the elders talk to you after this
incident take had taken place Hey okay see I remember that they did so local
leaders knew Gonzalo had abused kids they reported that to Jehovah’s Witness
headquarters in Brooklyn but not to the police
years later though many of Gonzales victims did turn to Irwin’s Alcon he’d
made news for taking on another religion over child sex abuse the Catholic Church
back in 2007 Irwin negotiated 200 million dollar settlement for more than
a hundred people abused by clergy he started getting calls from people saying
they had been abused in all sorts of institutions like universities and the
Boy Scouts about a dozen of them came from X Jehovah’s Witnesses Irwin
prepared to fight a new opponent in court when you as a he would be see the
amount of harm that abuse particular sexual abuse does to a child it derails
them for the rest of their life it is intrinsic insidious injury that they
will not get over it will be with them forever and it impacts them at every
stage of their life and it’s horrible when he’s not in court Irwin looks more
like a college professor than a lawyer slim with glasses wears jeans to work
he’s soft-spoken when he’s describing the intricacies of a case but get him
going on child abuse and his voice drops like a sledgehammer
a perfect tool for cross-examining witnesses listen to him explaining the
way Jehovah’s Witnesses handle child abuse keep your mouth shut do not go to
law enforcement you come to us first don’t you tell anybody you never tell
another congregant you don’t warn parents in the congregation will decide
what happens here because the abuse isn’t reported to
police when it happens most of the abusers are never prosecuted and never
go to jail that’s because the statute of limitations has run out the Jehovah’s
Witness is secrecy around child abuse is part of their religion they say the
Bible tells them to keep authorities in the dark about child abuse this is
probably a good time to explain more about this religion Jehovah’s Witnesses
consider themselves Christian part of their faith is spreading the word of God
to others knocking on doors warning people about Armageddon sickness and
death poverty and disaster how could a loving God be responsible for all of
this what the Bible says may surprise you
it says the evil one controls the whole world that’s from one of their
preachings when they say evil one they mean Satan the good news is the Bible
says things will not always be like this Armageddon is coming to earn their place
in the afterlife Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught to avoid the outside world they
don’t vote or serve in the military and they usually don’t go to college where
can we find answers what if the answers have been little all
along in the Bible they say the Bible teaches them the child abuse child abuse
is a confidential matter we know this because we have their memos they read
like a mash up of corporate policy and Bible verse and they tell elders to hide
child sexual abuse from police here’s what they tell them to do first when
elders learn about abuse they have to immediately call the watchtowers legal
department no one else not law enforcement not other members of their
congregations written demanded commanded policy very different the Catholic
Church it was this unwritten it was a little they called it viva voce by voice
only they didn’t have it written down anywhere it was just understood here
it’s in writing there’s no question second when an elder learns of a child
abuser in his congregation he has to send a report to headquarters in writing
and so these reports were to be prepared and set to Watchtower in a sealed
specially marked confidential blue envelope and that’s what I’m after these
are the documents I’ve been stocking for two years almost two decades worth of
records that show the names and whereabouts of what are likely thousands
of child abusers across the US I think the fact that there are no molesters
that are participating in congregation activities where there are children
involved and parents who aren’t aware of that is a high-risk situation I actually got ahold of one of these
documents a couple of years ago it’s a simple one-page form with nine questions
exactly like the documents Irwin has now so for example they wanted to know how
long ago did he commit the sin what was his age at that time what was the age of
the victim was it a one-time occurrence or a practice if it was a practice to
what extent how is he viewed in the community and by the authorities while
everyone was working on the Jose Lopez case he got an idea if he could get his
hands on what’s inside all of those blue envelopes he might be able to show that
his case is pointed to a massive cover-up so he went to court to get the
entire database of child abuse documents this is where the Jehovah’s Witnesses
really dug in first they said the job of compiling the documents was too big for
their offices to handle honestly mister Salkin the efforts that
we made up to this point is just trying to figure out how on earth we could ever
do that in our filing system that’s Richard Ashe a senior Watchtower
official he wouldn’t talk to me but he had to talk to her one as part of a
lawsuit this is tape from that deposition you’re talking about 14400
congregations and over three million documents they’ve been scanned in that
would have to be searched it would take years to do that
Erwin believed Richard was just making excuses to withhold the documents so he
brought in a software expert that expert testified that the watchtower should be
able to search their files in as little as two days the judge ordered them to
produce the documents they refused they just simply refused to do it the
Jehovah’s Witnesses fought the order all the way to the California Supreme Court
and the Supreme Court I mean in a matter of days just turn around said no produce
they did they defied the trial court they defied the court of appeals and
they defied the California Supreme Court they willfully refused to produce the
documents this is not normal a defendant in a lawsuit just flat-out refusing an
order that’s been upheld by the state Supreme Court so Erwin had a choice he
could ask the judge to hold the watchtower in contempt of court or he
could go big and ask the judge for something called terminating sanctions
that’s where the judge throws one side out of court and decides the case solely
on the evidence of the other side in other words we win period
Irwin’s plan worked and the judge awarded Jose Lopez 13.5 million dollars
Erwin talked to reporters about the decision documents to go back decades
that shows the depth of the breadth of their knowledge of child predators
within their organization child molesters within their organization they
refused to produce those documents and for that reason for that reason they
were sanctioned by this court and their defense was terminated
I mean obviously they’re appealing that they did appeal but still that’s a lot
of risk that’s their risk in thirteen point five no no dollars not to produce
these documents okay yeah they did that they took that risk and it’s a risk they
took again in her wins next case this time it cost them four million dollars
they’ve made a business decision not to produce these documents and that case
got terminated too and it’s on appeal it looked like this was their game plan
hide the child abuse files at any cost if necessary pay millions of dollars in
judgments but don’t let anyone see the documents then something kind of unbelievable
happened the Jehovah’s Witnesses gave in in Urban’s next case they agreed to hand
over the documents they’d finally cracked and Irwin would get the files
but when they started rolling in something was wrong the names of all the
alleged abusers were blacked out and Irwin only got four years of documents
there were another 15 years he were supposed to get he went back to the
judge who demanded that the Jehovah’s Witnesses turn over all the documents
with the names they refused and the court ordered them to pay a fine of
$4,000 a day until they comply it’s crazy to think that an organization
hiding crimes against children could just thumb its nose at the courts like
this but so far the Jehovah’s Witnesses have gotten away with it there are a
multi-billion dollar corporation so maybe millions and damages doesn’t scare
them I think that on some level they’re aiding and abetting these perpetrators
it’s a public safety issue I mean it at this point this this needs to be
investigated Irwin isn’t giving up but he has hit a wall this is a guy who for
years has wanted nothing more than to expose the Jehovah’s Witnesses child
abuse files and now that he’s finally got some of them he’s legally bound to
hide them from the public from me a while back he called me after work to
tell me how his cases were going he said was getting to him he was sitting on so
much horrible information so many documents describing the abuse of
children he sounded tired it’s frustrating it’s very frustrating to
have seen what I’ve seen and to know what is going on in this institution in
this organization it’s very frustrating when I’ve got I’ve got a gag in my mouth
you know it’s pretty hard you know we’re trying our best to to expose this truth
and they’re doing everything they can to to interfere with that effort
and block that ever right now Irwin has 18 lawsuits pending against
the Jehovah’s Witnesses and he’s back in court on the Jose Lopez case an appeals
court ruled that the judge should not have kicked the Jehovah’s Witnesses out
of court without trying a less extreme method for getting the child abuse
documents Irwin still wants those files and so do we
we’ll get back to that later in the show but first how can a religion with 8
million members keep everyone quiet about child abuse I had been told
through the whole proceedings don’t speak of this it’s a confidential matter
the congregation doesn’t need to know this and if you talk about it that’s
grounds for dispel shipping what does fellowshipping means and how the
Jehovah’s Witnesses use it when we come back on reveal from the Center for
Investigative Reporting and prx hey there
Julia V Chan here reveals digital editor it’s that time again when we start
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go to reveal news org slash fav that’s f AV to tell us about the
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the Center for Investigative Reporting in prx this is revealed I’m a legend for
the past two years review reporter Trey Bundy has been trying to break through
the wall of secrecy built up by the jobs witnesses the group collects and
maintains a database that could contain the names of thousands of child abusers
we haven’t found one single case where the leaders of the religion have
reported even one of those allegations to the police so what happens to those
children when they do come forward often years later when they’re adults
train went to McAlester Oklahoma to meet 47 year old Debbie McDaniel she says a
Jehovah’s Witness elder abused her from age 8 to 13 and when she was older he
kicked her out of the congregation it’s called disfellowshipping when that
happens you’re dead to the jobless witnesses everyone shuns you even your
closest family members and it’s that threat of shunning that keeps people
from reporting job abuse but not Debbie she came forward with her story here’s
Trey Debbie grew up in Houston her dad
Wendell Marley worked for NASA and by all accounts was a brilliant engineer he
helped design and build the spacecraft that put Neil Armstrong on the moon but
then one day he gave it all up when he met jehovah’s witnesses and thought he
had found the true religion and the world was ending any time he just walked
away from his career Wendel moved Debbie and the rest of the family to McAlester
Oklahoma where he quickly rose through the ranks at the local Kingdom Hall
that’s the place of worship for jehovah’s witnesses wendell became the
number two guy and the number 1 guy was an elder named Ronnie Lawrence I was
introduced to Ronnie as somebody quite christ-like people revered him but
Debbie told me when she was 8 years old Ronnie started abusing her the abuse
went on for five years she didn’t tell anyone about it but she did get angry
she told me how when she was a teenager she started drinking and having sex when
Ronnie found out about it he decided to disfellowship her for sexual immorality
at that point Debbie told her mom for the first time that Ronnie had abused
her I said well I find it funny that the man who messed with me my whole life my
whole childhood is now in a position to disfellowship me from the organization
and my mom was furious livid she said you’re going to lie about this
man of God now she said you’re just trying to get him back for
disfellowshipping you for your wrongdoing and I thought you know
they’re never gonna believe me being thrown out of the congregation was
terrifying for Debbie like it is for many witnesses she was completely
isolated from her friends and family she thought her eternal soul was on the line
I’m just trying to adjust to life outside the organization was too much
for me and I just wanted back in to get back in she had to write a letter of
apology to the elders including Ronnie she was also dealing with something else
she knew she was a lesbian but she had to bury that part of herself she married
a witness and had a kid she threw everything she had into the organization
door-to-door study for the meetings make every meeting I was going to be the best
Jo was witness I could be a decade passes and other people in Debbie’s
congregation have started to come forward saying Ronnie abused them too
I’ve looked at letters from elders to the watchtower and they show that ronnie
was just fellowshipped he repented and was welcome back on the condition that
he named all of his victims and write them letters of apology
so he says Debbie I humbly want to apologize for the hurt and pain I have
caused you and for denying it I have truly sinned against you Jehovah and the
congregation I betrayed the truth it was hard for Debbie to be around him and she
worried about other kids in the congregation she says the elders told
her to drop it and keep quiet because I had been told through the whole
proceedings with Ronnie don’t speak of this it’s a confidential matter
the corrugation doesn’t need to know this and if you talk about it that’s
grounds for dispel shipping eventually Debbie couldn’t take it anymore
she left her marriage and was disfellowshipped again this time for
coming out as gay and that’s when the shunning got
really bad her daughter Marley was 12 years old and got caught in a nasty
custody battle between her parents Marley says her dad and Debbie’s family
coached her on what to say in text messages to her mom yeah they used to
sit me down and actually tell me what to say or text me something and say just a
copy and paste it and send it to her this this text message came from Marley
and she said you want to know why I’m devastated I lost my mother my best
friend you turned to Satan and you’re going to die I thought that there would
come a point when God would judge us all and then and mom would be basically
destroyed that’s what I’ve heard in my whole life
the shunning and harassment got so intense that Debbie finally went to the
police about it her whole story came pouring out the police had never been
informed about Ronnie’s abuse of children they started an investigation
and there was a hearing and at that hearing Debbie says the shunning
continued she remembers going into the courtroom and her parents were sitting
behind Ronnie on his side they wouldn’t look my direction even when I was
speaking on the stand I looked out and my mother and dad wouldn’t look at me in
the face the charges against Ronnie Lawrence were dismissed because of the
statute of limitations but court records and letters from Macalester elders to
the watchtower back up Debbie’s story Ronnie is still a Jehovah’s Witness Oh
mr. Lawrence yes sir hi my name’s tree Bundy I went to his house to see him but
a lot of people in this town they believe that you did commit these crimes
what do you want me to say I wanted to tell you whether you won’t you tell me
whether you committed these crimes oh did that that’s Saroj it you’re not
blaming neither will anyone else oh well there’s a lot of documentation why did
you write letters of apology if you didn’t commit these crimes it had to do
several times but it was a part of it getting back into the organization was
that hard edition of coming back to the
organization debbie has built a new life but she keeps a permanent record of the
past my daughter Marley was so attached to
the organization and so I did a tattoo of her with holding a maze behind her
and it felt like she was trying to come out of the organization but the maze was
the organization and she was hanging on to it so I added that but Marley has
come out of the organization she and Debbie have reunited and they
live together now but since they’ve become close again the witnesses have
started to shun Marley – well obviously all my friends were a couple years ago
we’re all gems witnesses and so I’ve lost pretty much all of them and then
the rest of my family has pretty much blocked me on social media things like
that you can’t leave and not be deemed too mentally diseased I guess so
something has to be wrong with you I have to make up something Debbie and Marley have experienced what
it’s like to be shunned by the jobless witnesses but the religion also shuts
out the world at large which makes it tough to find out how they operate
but Trey’s been trying to figure that out so he went to their headquarters in
Brooklyn New York what they call the watchtower hello this is Trey hi hi who
am I speaking with hey Bryce how you doing Trey’s in the
lobby of the watch tower talking to Bryce a public relations guy there
wouldn’t even come down to talk to him as my third trip out here you know then
send you guys in emails and phone calls for a long time he’s asking to interview
someone from the governing body they’re the seven men who run the religion
together the equivalent of the Pope in the Catholic Church you know this has
been more than a year that I’ve been trying to contact somebody from the
governing body get some type of interview get any type of Watchtower
official to say anything on the record about this issue and you know to be
frank it kind of amazes me that Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t willing to
express their own outrage that the watchtower
is shielding child sexual abusers from exposure or prosecution am I wasting my
time by trying to get your side of the story even after decades of child abuse
allegations around the world these guys won’t acknowledge the problem this is
one of the most insular religions in the world they don’t want their members to
go to college or even watch mainstream media we wanted to know more about who
they are and how they operate so we asked a former insider to be our guide
in my family it was the only religion that was viewed as the right religion it
was the truth we called it the truth how we trained is 40 years old now he lived
and worked at the watchtower headquarters in Brooklyn for seven years
starting when he was a teen trade tells us how he got there and why he
eventually left how he grew up in rural Arkansas in a poor family of Jehovah’s
Witnesses he was always a small kid and he would get bullied a lot things got
worse when he turned 14 his parents split that’s also when his mom
discovered something he was hiding I come home from school and my mom is is
visibly upset and I find out that she she discovered my my porno magazine
under my bed and it wasn’t just that his mom found porn it was the kind of porn
she found of naked men this is this could be nothing worse that can happen
to a fourteen-year-old closeted gay kid from the Ozark Mountains than your
mother to discover that you have homosexual tendencies and and I’m just
I’m mortified I am I’m so ashamed and I I just immediately break down in tears
how his mom was mortified – she drove him to his grandmother’s house his uncle
who is an elder in the local Jehovah’s Witness congregation was also there and
my shame is laid bare the magazine is there and yes I took it I took it yes I
hid it I tried to hide it the family told Howie that his homosexuality was a
sickness a spiritual disease that’s the idea that if I applied myself
I could overcome this I could cure myself of this problem
Howie’s uncle suggested that he could stop fantasizing about men by using a
calendar to track how often he masturbated and on that calendar you
would mark when you relapsed and then hopefully the amount of days between
that relapse and the next relapse would be greater it always had to be greater
and of course you always hope that the last time is the last time but of course
it never was how he believed being gay was an unforgivable sin I felt that I
was corrupted I felt that there was something terribly wrong with me I was
ashamed I wished I was dead I wished I was dead you don’t know how much I wish
I could have killed myself I did I said once on the floor in my bathroom at the
bottle of bleach and I tried my best to get myself to drink that damn bottle of
bleach that’s that’s true but I I couldn’t I was a coward I couldn’t kill
myself because if you kill yourself assets that’s an unforgivable sin too
instead how he immersed himself in the religion he was ready to do anything
then we put him in God’s good graces I wanted to be a pioneer because pioneers
were the spiritual people in the congregation they were the ones that
were devoting themselves to the preaching work and the preaching work
was what God what Jehovah God wanted you to do so in 1995 with his family’s
encouragement he applied to live and work at headquarters which awho his
witnesses call Bethel the house of God if he got accepted he would devote all
of his time and labor to Jehovah maybe for the rest of his life and I remember
being so happy when I got my letter and we warmly welcome you to the regular
pioneer ranks I made I was in the ranks there was no greater honor for a
Jehovah’s Witness how he was just 19 when he said goodbye to his mother and
left for New York City but when he got to Bethel
he realized that spiritual cleansing was going to take a lot of work on that side
too I meet up with Howie in Brooklyn so he can show me around Bethel as we walk
around the street he tells me what it’s like for people who live and work here
so it’s cleaning its construction it’s the printing it’s working in the
prominent presses its working cleaning the presses it’s working in the kitchen
to prepare the food it’s working in the laundries and during the heat and the
large loads of laundry and greeting the world Bethel is not a closed-off
compound it’s a collection of buildings spread throughout Brooklyn Heights prime
real estate right along the East River you see the Statue of Liberty we see the
beautiful skyline that picturesque skyline with the New Freedom Tower we
see all the beautiful brownstones that are now worth millions and millions of
dollars this was my neighborhood this was my home this is where I lived I felt
so fortunate so this is the nerve center of a multi-billion dollar nonprofit
corporation a global real estate venture a massive publishing operation and a
religion with eight million members around the world to keep the machine
running the Jehovah’s Witnesses depend on the unpaid labor of young followers
they’re called Bethel lights this is not a place for children never has been it
is only intended Bethel is intended to just get the work done and there’s just
no facility for children so that has been a big cause for couples to have to
leave and it is a risk you take obviously the Bethel doctor prescribes
contraceptives for all the all the sisters because nobody wants to have to
go home because of having a child the Bethel lights live in dormitory style
housing and they sign a vow of poverty the religion takes care of their basic
needs for a neighborhood with three thousand jehovah’s witnesses we
really haven’t seen many of them on the street
that’s when Howie tells me that this is intentional and then that building is
connected by tunnel to the 107 Columbia Heights building and it’s connected by
tunnel to the 124 Columbia Heights building all these are connected by
underground tunnels how he says they built the tunnels in part to hide their
numbers in the fact that they bought up so much of the neighborhood I’m looking
at all these huge buildings and empty sidewalks and imagining a kind of
subterranean ant farm below us how he had been at Bevil for a year and a half
where he menial jobs still marking that calendar and hiding his sexuality from
everyone that’s when the governing body approached him to ask for his help most
of the leaders there were in their 80s or 90s it needed help with basic things
like walking and reading their mail for Howie it was an enormous almost
unbelievable honor he slips into character as he tells me about handing
out Bible literature with one of the men Carl Klein and he said to me I can walk
but people if you’re in a wheelchair they listen he said so we’ll take the
wheelchair and we’ll have better success on weekends how he would wheel client
around the neighborhood promenade we approached someone and he would just
push a magazine in their face and then they would accept it or not sometimes he
would put a little more effort into it and if they said I don’t want none of
this why not why don’t you want it
it means everlasting life don’t you want to live and they were like get out of my
face but you know you believe and you can see this sounds awful now I mean
looking back of course it but you believe you believe in the work
I believed that the work we were doing was important that it was life-saving
then Armageddon the end of the world the tribulation is imminent it’s going to
happen any moment now and the only people to survive are going to be
Jehovah’s Witnesses period nobody else Howie and I are about two blocks from
the main watch tower building we spot someone a member of the governing body
that’s Toni Morris go again now I’ve sat in Morris’s Lobby and called him at home
trying to ask him why his organization covers up child abuse this guy’s word is
law to 8 million jehovah’s witnesses so it’s weird to see him just walking down
the street he sees me coming and crosses the street to get away when I catch up
to him I’m out of breath mr. Morris excuse me mr. Morris I know you don’t my
name is Trey Bundy I’m a reporter at the Center for Investigative Reporting I’ve
been writing stories and producing radio stories this year about Jehovah’s
Witnesses and child sex abuse um do you have a second to talk to me not real I’m
going out to preach the good news of the kingdom okay I saw that you
he had just released a video where he blames child abuse on homosexuals I
asked him about that and you talked to me about that at all it’s all in the
broadcast and with that someone opens a door to a building a few feet away and
Morris rushes inside after calling and emailing the governing body for months
with no response after reading through stacks of their documents after flying
from California to New York I finally find one of these guys and seconds later
he’s gone Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the governing body are anointed
that they’re God’s channel to followers on earth and how he knew these guys as
people like Carl Klein the governing body member in the wheelchair how he was
with him the day his faith began to unravel he was reading a letter decline
from Jehovah’s Witness disputing some of the religions key tenets and I thought
for sure you know he had want me to shred it in the shredder was right there
next to his desk as you know this is apostate stuff or short apostates are
enemies of the religion Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they’re controlled by
Satan how he says he and Kline took the letter straight to Bethel’s librarian
not for destruction but for archiving the librarians at the letter to a small
locked room and in this room were partially filled bookshelves and it was
a small apostate library and here they kept for reference the various
publications of ex-jehovah’s witnesses that they viewed as apostates how he
freaked out there was almost nothing worse Jehovah’s Witness could do then
read the writing of an apostate what if our belief system is an ironclad as I’ve
always I have always believed you know what what if for example what if we’re
wrong about the new world what if I am waiting for a cure that does not exist
well wouldn’t that be sad because I’ve wasted my life leaving Bethel meant
losing my my job and and losing my home so it was a struggle
at first and then of course when I disassociated myself a few months later
it meant losing my family and all of my friends and so I was alone and I had to
prepare myself and it took time the next time I meet Howie we’re in his backyard
he lives in New Jersey now with his husband and their two kids a fall breeze
hits the wind chimes and how he pushes the kids in their little plastic cars they run around the garden and stomp on
Brown leaves in the driveway he says he feels for people who never left the
Jehovah’s Witnesses my concern is is that there’s a lot of people wrapped up
in this up in this religion and they’re doing what I did they’re wasting their
lives and as the years go by and the hope for promises are not realized they
may eventually get discouraged and leave or they may just hang with it because
they feel or are afraid they have nowhere else to go over the last few years the Jehovah’s
Witnesses have been selling off their Brooklyn properties and building a
massive compound in Warwick a small town in upstate New York they plan to move
their headquarters completely out of Brooklyn sometime before 2018 up next
Trey heads to England home to more than a hundred thousand Jehovah’s Witnesses
and he finds a familiar pattern I mean I think that true to form the watchtower
is putting up obstructions at every possible turn to refuse to turn over
documents next on reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and prx from
the Center for Investigative Reporting in prx this is reveal I’m a Letson all
this episode we followed reporter Trey Bundy as he’s tried to track down this
database that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are keeping under wraps information that
could reveal thousands of child sex abusers around the country Jehovah’s
Witness leaders at the watchtower it won’t talk to Trey and they’ve refused
to comply with court orders to hand over their child abuse files but if
authorities know that the watchtower has these files why can’t the FBI or police
just stormed the headquarters and taken Trey joins us now to talk about that hey
Trey hello I’ll so before we get into the role of the authorities in
uncovering this information tell me a little bit about how the Jehovah’s
Witnesses justify keeping this information secret so the job as
witnesses base all their child abuse policies on Scripture they say all of
this comes from the Bible so for example the so called to witness rule they say
that nobody’s reputation should be ruined nobody should go to prison at the
testimony of just a single witness so when they hear an allegation of child
abuse if there’s not two witnesses to that crime they don’t do anything about
it that’s so problematic I mean usually if
someone’s being abused there is no two witnesses it’s just one person right
this is a crime that almost always happens behind closed doors almost
always happens in secret and that people don’t talk about until they’re much much
older so that means that most of these cases the vast majority of these cases
don’t even reach the level where an elders
going to punish the abuser in the organization much less call the police
so even though the Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t report these abusers they do keep
track of them it just seems odd that they have all this information but they
won’t turn it over so how can this information just be sitting there like
we know it’s there and no one is doing anything about it the real question is
where’s law enforcement you know it seemed like the FBI or the police would
be able to get a search warrant go in but I’ve talked to a lot of lawyers
about this and they all say basically the same thing all the cases that we’ve
talked about in most the cases of Jehovah’s Witnesses in court are civil
cases if there were a criminal prosecution then maybe a prosecutor
could ask for these documents and if they didn’t give him up then law
enforcement could jump in with a search warrant but there’s almost no
prosecutions of these abusers because the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t report
them now we heard earlier in the show how frustrating this has been for our
ones alking the lawyer who’s been bringing a bunch of civil cases against
the Jehovah’s Witnesses but I’m curious how frustrating is this for you as a
reporter this case has you know I’ve been looking at this for two years and
that’s a long time to know what’s out there and to not be able to actually you
know get my hands on it and see it for myself
you know we’re talking about the names of possibly thousands of child abusers
and knowing that kids are out there it could be in danger from these people it
definitely gives us a sense of urgency and that’s why we’re still reporting the
story so the Jehovah’s Witnesses are a worldwide organization but other
countries have been pretty aggressive namely Australia and the UK they’ve
really tried to hold them accountable recently you went to England to report
on this so why don’t you pick up the story from there so it’s different in
England for the u.s. is that there’s an actual government agency there that’s
investigating their policies and issues got national news coverage they knock on
our doors but what’s happening behind theirs Britain’s Jehovah’s Witnesses
believe that the end times are coming but could their financial doomsday come
first as child abuse victims hold them to account I now feel the only way to
get the Jehovah’s Witnesses to look at their policies and to change it for the
better is by taking them core and hopefully that way they may
then have to think maybe it’s time for us to change our policy the agency I
mentioned is called the Charity Commission for England and Wales it
opened an investigation in 2014 and requested documents from the watchtowers
London branch but they refused to hand them over I talked to Chris Willis pick
up an attorney for the Charity Commission
how many motions has the watch tower filed to stop the investigation and
dispute the production of documents and so we’ve been in five different courts a
fall to defend our decision the Charity Commission investigates organisations to
make sure they’re in compliance with charity laws but they have limited power
they can’t kick down doors and take documents like law enforcement can I
think that true to form the watchtowers putting up obstructions at every
possible turn to refuse to turn over documents
that’s Kathleen Hallisey she’s an American lawyer living in London who’s
handled more Jehovah’s Witness cases than anyone in England she won a
high-profile lawsuit last year in part because the Jehovah’s Witnesses gave up
documents proving the accused had abused before however in my more recent cases
they’re refusing to really turn over any documents whatsoever it’s the same
strategy that we see here in the US the Jehovah’s Witnesses will sometimes hand
over documents in court related to a single victim but the vast majority of
documents are still locked away and they could lead authorities directly to
predators people who can still be abusing kids Kathleen says that lack of
transparency and the Jehovah’s Witnesses separatist attitude toward society make
the religion a perfect environment for child abusers and limited interaction
with the outside world there’s a real emphasis on not engaging with secular
authorities so the conditions are ripe for abuse and predators are purposeful
and I think that they choose those types of environments very carefully where
they know they can operate with impunity unfortunately the policies of the
watchtower allow them to continue to do that again and again and again while the Commission in England hasn’t
released its findings a government Commission in Australia has had some
success after the Catholic Church scandal they started looking at abuse
within other religious organisations last year the Commission held public
hearings on the Jehovah’s Witnesses here’s a Jehovah’s Witness elder
answering questions about their policies what ability of we got to take every
child in Australia well what you can do is you can report to the child
protection authorities and that is done in some cases generally it’s not done is it I’m not down at least his illegal
requirements were to be done is there addition investigators in Australia
turned up more than 1,000 alleged abusers none of those cases had been
reported to authorities but the Commission has referred 700 of them to
police the kind of government investigations happening in the UK and
Australia we haven’t seen anything like that here in the US and that drives
Irwin’s all can cry see he’s the San Diego lawyer we met at the beginning of
the show who represents child abuse victims he thinks law enforcement has a
moral obligation to force the Jehovah’s Witnesses to hand over their documents
that identify alleged child abusers as we said earlier Irwin did get some of
those documents four years worth of Jehovah’s Witness child abuse files but
a judge has ordered him to keep them secret so we keep the materials locked
up in that cabinet and you can’t show them to me no I can’t show why not
because it would violate the terms of that protective order I think if the
cops came in here they didn’t have a warrant you couldn’t show them either
oh yeah I probably would not show that right they would not be able to
let’s take break into this cabin they’ll even get up right these are gonna stay
locked up they’re gonna stay secret they’re gonna stay redacted for the time
being yes the Jehovah’s Witnesses have refused to
do an interview with us the only thing they gave us was a written statement
last year saying they abhor child abuse and comply with all child abuse
reporting laws meanwhile they’re just sitting on a database that likely
contains the names of thousands of predators who could still be abusing
kids to this day trae Bundy produced and reported today’s show he’s been on this
story for about two years now if you want to see what it’s like to be in a
reporter shoes you can check out a virtual reality project he put together
as he was reporting on this show you can find that at reveal news org you can
also check out what we’re covering by liking us on Facebook or following us on
Twitter we’re at reveal and I’m Cal underscore let’s her money with jean chatzky is a weekly
podcast created to empower women to live better by focusing on their finances
whether you’re a woman yourself which I’m not or you have a woman in your life
who you care about which I do you should check this one out
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Arianna Huffington it’s a place to learn about earning more saving more investing
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iTunes stitcher or Jean chats keep calm our show today was edited by Annie
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support for reveals provided by the Reeve and David Logan foundation the
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reveal is a co-production of the Center for Investigative Reporting and prx I’m
Allison and remember there is always more to the story

73 thoughts on “Secrets of the Watchtower (This is mental) 🔴 Full program HD

  • The Jehovah's Witnesses or JW.org headquarters, also called 'bethel' in New York has an "apostate library" there.
    An insider who worked at the Watchtower main office in America reveals details that they archive apostate items.

  • All that talk the Governing Body does…the "preaching the GOOD NEWS" excuse Tony Morris used is funny. They only impart it to their followers. They never go to press or allow themselves to be interviewed publicly…not even to 'give a witness'. Lots of missed opportunities, no?

  • The Watchtower is nothing more than a printing company that created it's own society. It's not a religion. If they were to give up all child molestation files, the entire elders structure would collapse from the top on down closing down kingdom halls all over the world, thus financial collapse. I think half the gb is guilty of child abuse. Why else would the be so adamant not to give up those thousands of files? Lou A.

  • if every witness would go to this coming memorial ,2017 and take the bread and wine, that would send a message that the watchtower is over, fokes ! it's a huge corporation, and a pedifiles dream, and that's a lie to because there are not 8! million witnesses because people fade and stop going or are disfellowshiped or come and go! but they definitely. keep track of memorial partakers which no one takes on the.passover because they throw Jesus on the night of him being tortured and murdered and rejected under the bus , which is the altament sin in my eyes! always bothered. me because I knew it was wrong and Jesus told us to keep doing this in rememberince of him! so time will tell if the watchtower falls???so memorial partakers have been going up and they didn't release the 2016 numbers because I believe it's going up instead of down .time will tell!

  • if someone were to look at the info that the person holding the info is legally bound to keep from the public, then someone who is not bound by that obligation could release it. An ex JW or even the victims.

  • like I tell people ,I was learning new rules after thirty years ….no one would join if they knew all the rules upfront ,no one ….no one in their right mind !

  • does the judges order to keep the confidentiality of the documents seem strange.? Check the Judges bias. There may be a bribe or connection of a questionable nature. Check to see if any JW are interferring with the situation.

  • A past investigative reporting by Reveal opened up my eyes as a JW. I now have been fading as to not loose all my brethren connections. Please continue on this endeavor to protect the innocent. We need your investigative reporting. Leah Remini is doing her brave part in exposing Scientology and that organization's destructive policies of emotional torture to their members for awakening and exposing their religion as a cult. Please Reveal continue to hammer away with your brilliant work. Bravo!!!

  • I have never heard of an apostate library at bethel before. It makes sense though, the best offense is a good defense. If they know what apostates teach the GB can preemptively shoot the arguments down.

  • If you had any question if the Jehovah's Witnesses are the "true religion" or not just listen to this story…. You will see very clearly how they operate. The easiest explanation is that the WT Org only cares about their image at any cost of children being raped.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Jehovah's Witnesses will take everything from you that ever mattered; your family, friends, career, even your ability to think and reason. They will suck you dry and when you have nothing less to give they will through you away without any care.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you are not a JW then they want you to die they want your family to die and your children for the sin of not agreeing with the WT Teachings that have changed 100s of times. If you refuse to give all of your freedom over to the governing body then you are to be killed!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I find it very funny that the GB have an apostate library… They need this more and more especially now with the internet and You Tube that is exposing this corrupted organization. Hundreds of members are waking up and that will become thousands and tens of thousands….

  • I'm mad at this video it suckered me in into thinking that there on the right track with exposing these Devils, then they had to mention instances with gay people being molested now while I used to be a JW, I woke up realizing that it was a false religion after believing in it for a life time but they do have some things right like their viewpoints on the LGBTQ culture, no matter what satanic religion or wholesome establishment your with its an abomination to God to live a gay lifestyle

  • 'TRUE PSYCHOPATH IN THE MOST DEFINATE SENSE, THE ABSOLUTE WORST OF 'AMERICANA' THE ROOT OF ALL SATANS DESIRES MASQUERADING ITSELF AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT,THE UNITED STATES WILL NEVER HAVE PEACE WHILE THIS CULT EXISTS !AND WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE BY ALL HUMANS ON EARTH THE DEAD AND THE LIVING!

  • so the so called victims of abuse all turned out to be gay? or is this investigative report pushing a gay agenda..just as the media tends to do these days, albeit it in a more subtle way.

  • The Old Testament Jewish writings seem to be a lot about killing and revenge and taking virgins for themselves (book of numbers ch 31 v 17,18 )does it relate to the Vikings at all and were Vikings of Jewish decent

  • Could you have possible made this video ANY more boring? You know, like maybe by putting a MAP on the screen for the entire program? O.o

  • Why r they above the law?!!! What's the point of releasing records only to have them permanently sealed?!!! I'm so sick of this. I'm angry. Fed up… they ruined my childhood!!!!

  • Trey Bundy has done excellent reporting on many of the things Jehovah's Witnesses try to hide. The Australian Royal commission released the branch manuals of JW's. The manual shows that child sex abusers are allowed in positions of oversight (Elders-Ministers).
     JW's are always talking about how important it is to keep things confidential, but they are wrong when it comes to child sex abuse. Then you need to be a whistleblower. So call the police or child protective services NOT the ELDERS!

  • WHAT? they say 'we will show you the records as long as you keep them secret', if that isn't a contradiction and the most ridiculous thing I've heard in years then the world is a much crazier place than I thought. If religion haters base their views about religion on the behaviours of idiots like this lot then I don't blame them, and there are more nutty religions around in addition to this one. The thing that makes and defies credibility in religion is the human condition, religion is a lottery. Safer to find your own personal relationship with your 'god' or whatever label you want to give it. My heart breaks for all the innocent easily led and convinced potentially wonderful human beings who become 'infected' by hypocritical sociopaths like this lot.

  • Their refusal to send their youngsters to college and to watch mainstream TV is good but they replace them with their own propaganda rather than seek truth no matter where it leads isn't so good. All religion is a nasty means by which people are controlled.

  • Any religion seems likely to this sort of abuse. I know of unbaptized people, catholic, jewish, and so on that have suffered this traumatic experience. The devil is hard at work and seems to have made a lot of sick individuals in this world. I do agree that the innocence and life have been stolen from these innocent victims. My prayer is that the survivors can find some form of peace and continue to live a happy life. I myself have suffered at cruel hands, so my heart goes out to any body that suffered this cruel fate.

  • lm a jw for nine yrs but l started to digg on the illuminati and it took me to the masons and landed on the gov body too so l see why many have had left this big O and they dont use the real name of God, there is so many evidence that they lie to get more money, the more people more money coming in for their gain, they lie to too many good people..

  • These motherfuckers are the absolute worst. With the Advent of the internet and so much information at the ready I don't know how they continue to increase their numbers. ( a sucker born every minute perhaps?)
    But foolish is is as foolish does.
    Somebody should go ahead and snuff that governing body so they can begin the heavenly assignments. NOT!!
    BUNCHA SICK FUCKS. They just haven't run across the right child's parent. In time I'm sure the eventuality of Bloodshed behind the pedophilia coverup by these FUCKS is imminent. If I thought for a minute that God was with these people I would go to hell with a smile on my face.

  • It's not just cases of Child Sexual Abuse that Jehovah's Witnesses kept Covered up, but also Domestic Abuse and Marital Sexual Abuse(of which I have full experience as a Victim).
    This Organization is Corrupt,Disgusting and Unlawful, not to mention highly Mysogynistic.
    They are a danger to both followers and the General Public.

  • I am still suffering at 38 years old a disfellowshipped person my mother doesn't talk to me I was abused by my own brother have been shunned and abandoned by my family.from young I used drugs to mask my pain low self esteem lack of any type of love. My life's decisions have been horrible because I honestly don't know how to make good ones. I have been messed up spiritually mentally ..i still cry many nights life has been terrible all because of the Jehovah witness organization

  • How has this travesty of a cult managed to continue sheltering criminals – sexual predators who prey upon children? That's "religious freedom" in 'Murica, folks.

  • A woman should learn in silence with full submission 1TIM 2:11

    1COR 14:34 the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says.

    1COR14:35 And if they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church meeting

  • The watch tower society brain washes people into believing them in the same way Hitler brainwashed Germany..just like Hitler preyed off people's fears and insecurities so does the has ..Hitler said look how bad things are ..look whats happening to u..come with me and I'll b saved..same way the watchtower does..and just like Hitler blamed the Jews ..the jws blame the "worldly " ones…not saying that jws commited the same type of crimes but it's the same brainwashing dynamic..think about it

  • TODO LO QUE SE ESCONDE O SE TAPA SALDRA A LA LUZ PORQUE JESUS ES LA LUZ DEL MUNDO Y ES EL CAMINO LA VERDAD Y LA VIDA Y EL QUE CREE POR FE EN LA VERDAD LA VERDAD OS ARA LIBRE

  • Did you know that the society forbid organ transplants between 1967 and 1980? It was deemed "cannibalism … utilizing of the flesh of another human being for one's own life" Awake. June 8/68. It was a disfellowshipping offence. Since 1980 it is a matter of "personal conscience". How many children lost a mom or a dad, or parents a child during these years? Were "offenders" during this time welcomed back with an apology after the GB changed "new light" of 1967 back to "old light" after 1980? Of course not. It's not a matter of truth, it was a matter of member control.
    If you are kept in fear of "independent thinking", how can you possibly discern truth from fiction? You can't. You have given your minds over to the control of the society. You are not truly "free", there is a strong psychological power working on your mind, you are being held captive under the illusion you are free. Why are you fearful to ask the elders really tough questions? What is your greatest fear if you disassociated from the society? They are holding you captive.
    Did you know that you are permitted some blood products but not others? Hemophiliacs for example can receive clotting factors taken from whole blood. Blood leaves your body during dialysis then returns. Why not be able to store your own blood in preparation of a surgery. It would leave then return to you not unlike dialysis. Because the GB said so! A new vote could change everything just like they did with organ transplants. Arbitrary dictates are risky in matters of life and death. Why die for a lie?

  • We all need to support Mr. Irwin. The have no problem saying they are Gods on,y true religion. They are so disgusting.

  • I was born in …and im so angry..spare the rod spoil the child is all we heard in our kh….omg all of us children were beat..and I mean beat…not spanked but we got the shit beat out of us….beat

  • The jw organization is a 5013c church which means in exchange for tax exemption the gov't and Vatican can have a say on what agenda they wanna push they literally have sold out Jesus Christ s head and authority of the church to the state

  • Why do they protect the abusers though? Are they afraid that their actions are a reflection on them? Or that they will make them look bad?

  • When an organization is influenced by perverted evil spirits, what do you expect? The Governing Body and their anointed class of members are demon possessed. Most anointed members may not be aware of this and believe that their anointed calling is from God. I also believe that a few of their Governing members are not aware as well, but deep within the organization are those that are aware and worship Satan. A parallel to this would be within Freemasonry where members in the lower lodges are not aware that people at the top are worshipping Lucifer. This is made known when a member reaches the 33rd degree of Freemasonry. It is a well known fact that these type of organizations have a serious problem with pedophilia. The Demons that enjoy this sexual perversion would never give it up, so they devise methods within the organization to hide it and protect the perpetrators.

    The Watchtower uses occult rituals and practices disguised as Christian activities. Their ritual of passing Jesus body and blood and not partaking is a rejection of Jesus Christ. The Watchtower logo is an occult symbol representing the Watchers (Fallen Angels) The Watchtower uses hidden objects in its artwork. Research (Watchtower subliminal art and Enochian magic) The ideas and information for their articles come through Spirit channeling and automatic writing. It is definitely a Satanic organization and the reason why I left.

  • The watchtower bitter and crack society is JUST a corporation pretending to be a religion so they can operate within the law to scam and con people.

  • I find it interesting how these scandals never seem to make it into court, when two It is like the two parties are both working to keep it secret. But if a poor kid sells some dope, he does hard time. Some people have a secret club, the rank and file people in society are not in their club. Read "Watchtower and the Masons" and "Occult Theocracy", they are eye openers. Great video. Thanks

  • These people absolutely ruined my life. I grew up in the cult to age 21 then left. I was frequently sexually harassed as a teen and a visiting brother of an elder touched me very inappropriately. I told on him nobody believed me. No doubt he did the same to others.

  • Reporter: "Do you have time to talk to me"
    Anthony Morris: "No, I'm out to preach the word" to assure the pedopholes that we are"le paradis des pédophiles" and we will never call the police…. never…..in the name of jehovah listen to 37 to 39 minutes mark

  • How well does anyone (rank and file) KNOW the members of the Governing Body? Is there an investigator that can find out if any of them were/are pedophiles or rapists? (or even other hidden crimes) They just protest TOO much, and it makes me think that perhaps at their advanced age, they don't think they would survive prison and getting prodded with a mop handle. If ALL elders worldwide united and demanded change, the GB would be in a world of hurt…I think they'd suddenly find an alternative scripture to use that would replace the two witness rule.

  • Wow I'm so confused now…if Jehovah really exists, why does He allow this degree of abuse in His own congregation?

  • Well this was going on in my head and I was feeling like shit I wanted to do something I wanted to help so I went to a close friend I got it was working with the Sacramento district attorney head of the DEA I told him the story and he said well let me look into it he came right back and he said you was a walk away from this I found out what was going on and those people will turn on you and they'll destroy you we can't touch them cannot touch them are fucking law cannot touch them because they use canon law and right now canon law is being overruled in the courts in every Justice that needs several judgment civil judgement is being judged by canon law gossip hearsay yeah Church gossip little old ladies can get you locked up for the rest of your life you sold out America young people you sold out your civil rights for what honor the black man that could give a shit about you you people disgust me not about black and white in America man it's about color color that's the problem in America they're afraid of all the color in the world I'm not white dude anymore than I'm all black but I'm color . Éu su purtugeges, égua vaū do ilà du Faial🇵🇹✌👑😎🌲🍀🌿🤘

  • I'm so angry about this pedophilia and the hiding and secrets it is horrible. I do think it's a good thing that they don't serve in the military or promote war or killing of other humans though. This is crazy.

  • The GB are masons, they wear the mason rings on their pinky right hand, molesting kids is part of their rituals, the more you do it the higher position you get, Very sick things they do!!!

  • You know whats super duper damning? They say to follow the governments orders as long as they dont contradict jehovah's orders. How tf is refusing to hand over documents related to child abuse against jehovahs orders?

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