Laurie Roth/William H. Bowen Radio Interview Transcript
(this is a partial transcribed transcript in the event of errors it will be corrected)
LR: Welcome, ladies and gentleman, welcome one and all. Tonight we’re going to have a very serious, sobering show, a show that’s going to make some of you so nauseated you’re going hurl chunks. Some of you are going cry yourself to sleep. Some of you are not going believe it. Some of you are going call me the ‘Great Satan’. Many of you, inside a certain group of people, believe that all media, or anyone that is a whistleblower, is the great Satan, against a very closed organization that seems to not care about abuse victims.
Now we touched on this certain organization last week briefly and I promised you that if I could, I would get a certain gentleman, inside this organization for 43 years who has now been disfellowshipped. And I speak of the Watchtower Society, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Now before we get into this, and roll up our shirtsleeves, and start talking about the real stuff, the nitty-gritty of the abuse and the pain, before we get doing that ladies and gentlemen,
I want you to listen to me and I want you to listen to me clear: THIS IS NOT ABOUT BASHING RELIGION. This is not about having a little swordfight over doctrine. This is not about saying “all Baptists are bad, or saying all JW’s are bad, or all Nazarenes are bad, or all Baptists are bad; this is about being honest about thousands of abuse cases—worldwide!!--- that are not getting to the police. This is about victims who have approached elders, who have approached leaders. And instead of reporting to the police, in all instances, what is happening instead is, the victims are being abused even more and disfellowshipped for saying anything at all.
So tonight, please don’t call me if you’re a JW with your feelings hurt and think that I’m the great Satan, and that I’m attacking you r r eligion. Because I could care less if you believe in tree bark. I don’t care if you worship your Chihuahua . It’s America , you can do what you want. We have all kinds of different faiths. But when you are in a system that has a blue wall of evil silence towards victims; when YOU are in a system—I don’t care what religion you are, I don’t care what you—I don’t care if you think you’re the fourth person of the Trinity. It’s blatant black evil –evil—and after what I’ve read, the last several days, I the host may have to hurl chunks and take a break. And Ron, my producer may have to take over because this is sickening, this is horrifying, to look at abuse after abuse, of power. My guest William H. Bowen, will be joining me shortly. A Jehovah’s Witness over 43 years, disfellowshipped for exposing the light of day and defending sex abuse victims. William H. Bowen, he’ll be joining me shortly, the numbers 1-800-837-9680. I’m Laurie Roth, the Great Satan and I will be back.
Announcer: You’re listening to the Laurie Roth show.
LR: Welcome back folks, and welcome one and all. Actually tonight there will be listeners across America and around the world. I had a call from England , I’ve had calls from all over America . Abuse survivors, people that have lived nightmare, who have gone in good faith to church elders begging for justice. And what were they told? “Shut up or you’ll be disfellowshipped. We’ll take it from here.” And then in numerous cases, an obscene amount of cases, it never gets to the police. You see, they’re part of the Great Satan too, just like I am. Hm Hm, you see I’m part of the media so I know how it is, isn’t that convenient, keep everyone isolated, only trust the big bubba who’s DOING ALL THE LITTLE CHILDREN!!! 1-800-837-9680. I’m already angry
(call in Willie from Florida )
Willie: Hey, how you doing?
LR: Great, how you doing?
Willie: Fantastic, I’m doing good.
LR: What’s on your mind tonight, sir?
Willie: What’s on my mind tonight? I’m just very happy to know that the word’s getting out, about Jehovah’s Witnesses,
LR: What was your experience with them?
Willie: My experience was growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness, and I still am one technically even though I haven’t gone in a while, I’m pretty much inactive. Growing up most of my life, I have been a part of the organization, I have seen how the elders in the congregation have mishandled situations over and over.
LR: When you say mishandled, specifically what are you talking about?
Willie: Well, as far as sexual abuse, I didn’t know about that type of situation until about two years ago, until I first started talking to Bill etc, etc. but prior to that, my mother was involved, and my father was also Witnesses, they were also involved with the physical abuse. My father was abusing my mom.
LR: I’m so sorry.
Willie: And my mom went to the elders, etc, etc, and they had the same rule, that same principle applied, if you don’t have anybody else who can substantiate what’s going on, which is the two witness rule, then the elders couldn’t do anything to my father.
LR: You know, Willie can you answer a question for me? What kind of pedophile, rapist, or Ted Bundy invites the neighborhood to watch while you do a little child? Give me a break!!!
Willie: I know. Exactly.
LR: So, in other words, if there’s not two witnesses, any crime’s okay I guess?
Willie: P retty much, that’s what they’re saying. I mean, they’re not investigating the situations the way it should be. And I used to be what the world would consider an assistant minister, I was a ministerial servant, at one time myself, when I was twenty, twenty-one years old. Which means you’re like one step next to becoming an elder in the congregation if you move up and become spiritually more mature. I’ve worked with the elders on certain cases, and certain situations as well, and I’ve seen how they apply the Scriptures. For the most part they do okay, but in these serious areas of abuse, and dealing with the family environment, they have too much control, they shut people up, they tell you don’t sue your brother because it’s against Jehovah’s name and his religion, it’s not right to sue your brothers in court, it’s not right to make a bad name for Jehovah, and if you do, you know they’re going to kick you out or you’re going to have repercussions within the congregation.
LR: Isn’t that just sick and twisted Willie when you think about it? You’re not going sue your brother; is your brother one who just raped your 12-year-old? Is that your brother? Excuse me?
Willie: No, not even.
LR: Oh my stars and stripes. Willie, I want to thank you for listening in. Are you listening in on cable radio or network, were you able to get it on the internet?
Willie: I wasn’t able to get it on the internet, I got the news station, they’re talking about the US News tonight, I was kind of upset about that.
L: Well, thank you so much for calling in. 1-800-837-9680—what’s your story tonight? P ro or con? I do not want to hear people call in and defend doctrine because it’s really not what we’re attacking, we’re attacking hypocrisy, we’re attacking why there’s little children and young people and older people and young women, and all kinds of people, not getting justice in the church. Why? Why are elders hiding behind weird twisted versions of the Scriptures? What about the slaughter of the innocents? What about a pure and unadulterated religion defending the widows and the orphans? YOU WANT TO P LAY SCRI P TURE GAMES YOU JUST CALL ME!!!
Heidi Meyer. Welcome, and I understand you have quite a story to tell. Welcome to the show.
Heidi: Thank you.
LR: What’s on your mind tonight? What happened to you, my dear?
Heidi: I was molested by a congregation member between the ages of approximately 10 and 12, all throughout my 12 th year. After I was molested, I found out that many other young girls in my congregation had also been molested by the same person.
LR: Oh, my word.
Heidi: And when I was about 14 I became very close to one of these girls and I found out that she had also been molested by him, and I found out that when she had gone and talked to the elders of our congregation, and that they had told her that there was really nothing that could be done about it since that they hadn’t heard any other claims against him, and she didn’t have any eyewitnesses.
LR: The same old diatribe, “Oh according to Deuteronomy and Matthew , if there’s not two or more witnesses”…I guess you’re in trouble, Heidi, I guess no one believes you?
Heidi: Oh well then I thought that I would tell them what happened to me, and then they said the exact same thing; without eyewitnesses, you need to be careful what you say as you could be disfellowshipped for gossip or slander. If you don’t have any witnesses to corroborate your claim. Really what you’re saying could be viewed as gossip or slander. So, the threat was there; keep your mouth shut or you will be disfellowshipped.
LR: So, they wanted you to trust the m c ompletely that they would take care of it, and you were to just shut up?
LR: Did you say anything about going to the police?
Heidi: They let us know that this should not be talked about with anyone.
LR: Okay, then what happened from there? You must have been stunned.
Heidi: Oh I was, I was fifteen when I talked to them, and I couldn’t believe it. You know, I talked to my parents, I was very upset, I couldn’t make it right in my head,
LR: I’m so sorry.
Heidi: It didn’t make sense Scripturally, even rationally. It didn’t make sense.
LR: Yes, why the victim is continuing to be victimized, and they’re protecting the pedophile.
Heidi: Well, that’s three grown men who, in my experience, had proclaimed themselves to be men of Christ, Christians who dedicated their life to serving God, who wanted to uphold biblical principles, allowed this to continue to go on. And I knew at that point that that’s exactly what they were doing, that they were making excuses, that they were turning and looking the other way, they weren’t paying any attention. They were basically enabling him to molest all these little girls.
LR: And so did you tell your parents?
Heidi: Yes, I told my parents.
LR: Were they also a part of the church?
LR: And what did they tell you?
Heidi: My dad told me to leave it in Jehovah’s hands.
LR: Oh great, okay.
Heidi: And my mom was really outraged, but really didn’t know what she could do about it. But because the threat of being disfellowshipped is an extre mel y powerful one, to every Jehovah’s Witness; all you’re surrounded with are Jehovah’s Witnesses. You don’t have people who are your friends who are outside of the congregation, because that association is considered bad association.
LR: So, you’re completely isolated when you’ve threatened to call the cops, threatened with disfellowshipped. Which means what for those of us who aren’t JW’s? What does that mean?
Heidi: Similar to being excommunicated.
LR: What does it mean, does it mean you’re going to Hell? Does it mean you can’t talk to people, or what?
Heidi: Well, witnesses don’t believe in Hell, but they do believe that humans will be resurrected after death, after Armageddon, to a paradise earth, which you would not be entitled to if you were disfellowshipped, (A). (B), in a more immediate sense, everybody you know and love, your friends, your entire support system, your life as you know it, would be ripped away from you, simply with the word ‘disfellowshipped’ being labeled on you.
LR: My goodness.
Heidi: It’s immediate, and it’s severe, and it’s effective.
LR: So you lived with a serious threat, so your whole family had to deal with that threat, with trying to figure out what to do. So what happened?
Heidi: Well, nothing happened. It happened when I was 15. When I was 16, I moved out, I moved away, and obviously had problems making this right with the organization, with the people who were leading the organization, and didn’t realize the extent of the problem until I saw the ‘Dateline’ show that aired last May. And then I talked to this friend, who had also been abused, and said, “We need to talk to an attorney” and see if there’s anything we can do to help get the message out there and that it’s not just going on in selected areas, that’s it’s something that’s clearly widespread not just over the country but the whole world.
LR: So where has it gone from here. Were you disfellowshipped, did the fact that you wanted to sue or something, did they say “you’re out of here” or what?
Heidi: No, I was inactive, so I don’t think unless policy has changed, I don’t think they can disfellowship me. But I don’t think there’s ever been publicized acts to what they would consider ‘apostiscism’.
LR: So what ever happened to the guy that abused you?
Heidi: Oh, he’s still there, he’s still an active member.
LR: He’s still an active member, probably still raping little children as we speak.
Heidi: P robably.
LR: And hiding behind Scriptures as usual, and acting like the fourth person of the trinity, when they’re a bunch of dad-gummed Satan’s?
LR: Unbelievable. And what has happened to your life, Heidi? Have you picked up the pieces and gone on, or what?
Heidi: I’m doing great, I’m a survivor. But it’s not without evidence of the trauma that’s happened. My family doesn’t speak to me.
LR: Oh, I’m so sorry.
Heidi: Well, it’s too bad, but you know…priorities are priorities and clearly…
LR: Do you believe you’re going to Hell?
Heidi: No. And if I’m going to Hell for feeling like somebody’s taking advantage of me when I was a helpless child, then maybe that’s where I belong, because that just makes sense to me. It’s wrong to abuse a child and if that means I end up in Hell, then that means I end up in Hell.
LR: Well, then Heidi, if that’s the way that works, then you and I can share suntan lotion in Hell. All righty, Heidi, you’re my hero, thank you so much for your courage and for telling your story. I’m so sorry to hear about your suffering and the fact that justice wasn’t done but you know what goes around comes around.
Heidi: I believe that.
LR: All right sweetie. William Bowen’s on the line and I want to take him. I want to thank you so much for listening in. Those of you who are listening on the cable radio network or who are on the internet I want to welcome you all. This is a very serious topic. We are NOT AFTER a denomination. Just like the people who were whistleblowers were not after the Catholic Church. But we are after those that would protect rapists and pedophiles; those that would deny justice to little children and to young people, the Heidi’s of the world. I mean fancy a world, could you imagine these people coming door to door, the elder’s still in the church, and he’s coming to want to talk to you and your little kids, and he’s still there? Oh, he got away with all kinds of rape, why—because there weren’t two witnesses. WHAT P EDO P HILE HAS TWO WITNESSES WHEN HE DOES A 13 YEAR OLD?
William, welcome so much to the show. You’re my version of John Wayne as a whistleblower, and I thank you for your courage. Just so you know, William was a Jehovah’s Witness and a leader in the church for 43 years and he’s considered Satan like I am now. And after serving as an elder for many, many years, and performing many managerial and administrative postions he resigned while serving as presiding overseer in protest of policy that hides child molesters from everyone. He now has a website that hosts all kinds of letters from all kinds of officials, it’s not hearsay, he posts actual documents, affidavits, things that you can read, go to his website and read and learn before you judge. Silentlambs.org. Silentlambs.org. And then you’ll hurl chunks. And you’ll know why I don’t feel very happy right now.
William, can you hear me?
Bill: Yes. I’m here.
LR: Welcome to the show, I’m sure. You’re holding so patiently, I’m sure you heard Heidi on there.
Bill: Yes, I know Heidi and she’s a very brave and courageous young lady.
LR: It just kills me, that guy, is still in the church that apparently raped her, she said nothing happened to him.
Bill: That’s right, and due to organizational policy he remained anonymous within the church and it appears, according to depositions, he molested multiple young women or little girls. And he can still remain in the church, a Jehovah’s Witness in good standing and he is protected and has an anonymity within the church.
LR: All because two witness weren’t in place?
Bill: Well, it’s funny, prior to--
LR: William, hang on just a second, we’ll have a long segment right after these messages, I’m so sorry. My guest, William Bowen, a whistleblower of the JW’s. Tell your friends to tune in, I’ll be right back.
Announcer: This is the Roth Show.
LR: My guest is William Bowen, a former Jehovah’s Witness for 43 years. He’s been disfellowshipped. He has seen a lot, and now he’s trying to make a difference because no one else seems to want to with the Jehovah’s Witnesses from what I’m seeing, from what I’m reading from their own letterhead and their own documents. How did this all start, William? I mean, how did it start? Where do we go from here, where did it come from?
Bill: Well, I was a second-generation Jehovah’s Witness, and very active, as you mentioned earlier, in the religion, and I discovered an issue involving child abuse in the local congregation where I served as presiding overseer. And in the process I worked for almost a year within the congregation arrangement to try to identify this man, not only for the congregation but to have him reported to the police. And a series of phone calls were made to the home office as well investigations conducted as to the extent of the molestation. Also, allegations were brought forward that he was molesting a child even as we spoke. And when I called the home office, they told me to leave it in God’s hands and to not do anything about it. It was at that point that I chose to resign as an elder and to go ahead and report the matter to the police. I then posted my letter of resignation on an obscure website/forum on the internet. I was contacted by hundreds of victims that stated similar things had happened to them. This resulted in starting the silentlambs website in March of 2001 to give the victims a voice. I later was able to help some of these survivors that contacted me including a young woman, Erica. When she came forward with her abuse allegations the entire congregation went against her and tried to intimidate her into silence much as in the situation of Heidi that you talked to earlier this evening.
LR: Now who did she accuse of raping her? Who did she accuse of raping her, another Jehovah’s Witness?
Bill: Yes, this man had served as a ministerial servant, and as an elder in the congregation, there are indications, or allegations, that he had molested other girls also within the church. And he ultimately was convicted in the latter part of the n inet ies and sent up to prison for 11 years. When he was in the process of this trial, at one point he stood up on the steps of the courthouse, while thirty or forty members were sitting around on the steps where he read to them from the Bible about the trials of Jesus. In essence symbolically applying it to himself. So he had the total support of the congregation while they treated little Erica like she was a criminal herself. His conviction was overturned on a technicality.
LR: I’d liked to have had him experience the trials of Laurie Roth here, okay? William, I’ll be right back, thank you for your patience, callers; just hang tough and we’ll get to you Richard and David and the rest. So we’ll try to sprinkle in some callers throughout the show but I want to have a little time with William first. 1-800-837-9680. We’re talking about abuse, why do we not care? I’ll be right back.
LR: Welcome, ladies and gentleman, if you’ve just joined me, I’m talking with whistleblower William Bowen who has a website, Silentlambs.org and we’re talking about the—what is so sickening to me is how widespread the abuse. I mean, he has a thousand cases of abuse, that really have not been taken care of, in the Jehovah’s witnesses church. He knows of six thousand. I mean this is just monumentally unbelievable, William, so you have, these people have talked with you directly, I mean you’re aware of at least six thousand of these cases?
LR: Tell me, we were talking a little bit before the show, and I was reviewing some of the documents and some of the letters and responses from the church. Tell me their official policy when it comes to reporting sexual abuse as posted on their website and in a 2002 letter. That just killed me. Go ahead.
Bill: Basically, there’s a letter that was written to all bodies of elders on February the 15 th of the year 2002. And that letter basically says, that if a person chooses not to report that they face no sanctions within the church. Now, that really endorses the committing of a crime. And this is the instructions that are given to elders. Now, the way they worded it, they say that if you chose to report, or choose not to report, you face no sanctions from the church. And that really puts the parents in a position where if they choose not to report abuse, then they are basically protected by the church. And so that does not protect the child.
LR: Well, isn’t it breaking the law in the states that require reporting? I mean, how many laws require reporting, and they play that little game too, some don’t and some do.
Bill: Actually, according to ou r r esearch, what came from Dateline, 16 states require the reporting of child abuse by clergy. So Jehovah’s Witnesses exploit the loophole, in 34 other states where they are not required by ecclesiastical privilege to report. And thus they do not report it. Now the point I’ve tried to make with this is: Why does God say in 16 states that it is required to report a crime, but God says in 34 other states not to report? Who are they to say that God says that its okay not to report it. When I wrote my letter of resignation, I stated three times that it’s ethically and morally wrong to not protect children. To not report the crime of child rape is ethically and morally wrong and surely God would not approve or condone behavior such as that.
LR: Unbelievable. No doubt about it. In a second I’m going to sneak in another caller and they may want to visit a little bit. Tell me briefly about the story—was it in Sweden ? There was a documentary over there and one brave soul came forward and was talking about his abuse and he got totally leveled. What happened to him?
Bill: That was a young man by the name of Anders who is 24 years of age, he is an active Jehovah’s Witness, and he came forward on the program that aired in April of this year. And he told about his abuse. And the church proceeded to go on a –I don’t know any other way to put it—a complete blackball campaign against him. Not only did they send a letter out to all congregations, but they took out quarter-page adds in the primary newspapers across Sweden in which they, in essence, said that he was nothing more than a big liar. And they went on to state they were distancing themselves of course from the program and that they were considering suing Swedish television.
LR: And where did they get their information from, that he was such a big liar? Did they come to him and ask for any kind of a witness?
Bill: They never spoke to him. As a matter of fact, his own mother, who is an active Jehovah’s Witness wrote ,or called, the home office, there is Sweden and asked them where they got their information. And they wrote her a letter—which is posted on my website by the way—in which they stated to her, where they gathered this information from was his molester.
Bill: So they used the word of a child molester to call a victim a liar. Three weeks ago, Anders was excommunicated when tow elders informed him at his place of work. He wasn’t even given a hearing and denied the right of appeal.
LR: So he was disfellowshipped, and now he’s going to Hell and join Heidi and I, and we’ll have to share the suntan lotion I guess. You might join us too; do you tan very well William? I mean, since we’re all going to Hell, apparently, do you tan –
Bill: …the real atrocity is how the governing body has chosen to handle this and what has happened to victims. These people were actually excommunicated in the year 2002 that spoke out on documentaries about child abuse. Their crime against God was simply that they said there was a problem with abuse. One of them an elder, simply wrote a letter and resigned, he was disfellowshipped two weeks later.
LR: Unbelievable, he can enjoy his—I guess we’ll all go to Hell. Richard and David , I’ll be right back and include you in the conversation 1-800-837-9860. We’re talking about, I guess, injustices in monumental proportions. I’ll be back.
LR: …n cable area network and on internet around the world and all my affiliates. We’re talking about child molesters and why certain governing bodies within the Jehovah’s Witnesses are hiding things or certainly their idea of reporting seems very bizarre to me. And my guest is William Bowen. And we’ll be sprinkling in some of your calls here as well, but I wanted to give him a chance to tell his story a little bit. David , from Virginia , welcome to the show. What’s on your mind tonight?
David : Hi Mr. Bowen, this is David from Virginia . I’d like to know about that secret database the Jehovah’s Witnesses have, the 23,720 child molesters in New York City . And I was wondering why we can go to Waco and raid Waco, and we can’t go to the Governing Body and raid their place up there and go and put all these child molesters in jail.
LR: Okay, William, can you hear him?
Bill: Yes, I can hear him.
LR: Okay, well how do you respond to that?
Bill: The database, which I was contacted about by three different individuals, that’s a figure that I feel has increased since that actually came about, in March 2002. 23,720 are reports that elders make in which they give detailed information about people that have molested children or as they term it, alleged child molesters. This database I feel firmly in my opinion at least 80 percent of these people in conservative figures have never seen the light of a police investigation. These men remain anonymous within the religion and this is more or less a worldwide figure. When you consider there’s only six million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, when you have a figure of 23,00; when you consider there’s only 90,000 congregations, that means that there’s, on thei r r ecords, one molester for every four congregations that they have. These are ones that have been confirmed and reported to the church. These are not counting ones that have denied that they are child molesters. And when you consider the ramifications of that; that’s one reason I coined the expression ‘pedophile paradise’. If I was a pedophile, I would immediately become a Jehovah’s Witness. Because you have all the protocols in your favor, you’d be able to molest children and get away with it and not be identified.
LR: Unbelievable. Tell us once again the protocols, their official letter from their official corporate head and what they say A,B,C, and what protocols. Why is it in favor of the pedophiles?
Bill: If you go to the Jehovah’s witness website, and look for their policy on child molestation, they identify three problems that must be addressed before they begin an investigation. Number one, if a child is molested, they require lay ministers, who have no training to investigate the crime of child rape, that’s the first mistake. The second thing they do, child molesters within their organization, are required to go door-to-door anonymously and call on the public. And the public are not informed of these men, who are calling at their homes, and they do not let these people know that these people are identified as child molesters. These are people that are confessed child molesters, not to mention the ones that are accused. The third area is, any child molester that is in the Jehovah’s Witness religion, can re-qualify as an elder within twenty years after being accused of child molestation. A child molester should NEVER be allowed to have a position of responsibility in any church if they’ve ever hurt a child. So this is all we ask. And this is what we’ve asked since day one. A: Report it to the police. B: Identify child molesters and don’t allow them to call on the unsuspecting public. And 3: Don’t put them in positions of responsibility in the church.
LR: And have you gone to the high-ups William and tried to plead with them on these three rational points?
Bill: We’ve stated this since day one. This was stated in my letter that I wrote to them. And it’s been repeatedly asked. And numerous others have written letters, begged them to change this. They flatly refuse.
LR: Unbelievable, William. William, we need to take a hard news break. David , thank you for the call sir. 1-800-837-9860 if you have a question or comment, or agree or disagree, please give us a call We’ll be right back after the news. Richard, I’ll catch you on the next side. I’m Laurie Roth.
Announcer: Ladies and Gentleman, the Annie Oakley of the airwaves. She’s out of control. It’s the Roth Show. Now your host, Laurie Roth.
LR: Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the second hour of the show. If you’ve just joined me, I’m visiting with William Bowen, whistleblower and a former Jehovah’s Witness member for over 43 years. Who found out that the governing body, the elders, and the church were kind of hiding a whole bunch of dirty little secrets; like not reporting things to the police. Because I guess they’re part of the great Satan network, like all the media, including me and now him. And anybody that seems to defend the victims is evil. If we do something to try to help or stand by the victims, instead of the perpetrators, we’re called Satan or we’re going after Jesus Christ or attacking thei r r eligion. Well, who cares, I could care less, everyone, it’s a free America, believe what you want, but when you’re hiding pedophiles and rapists, when they get to go on going door-to-door, when they get to be elders just because they say, “there’s not two or more witnesses”, you can KISS MY GRITS. YOU CAN KISS MY GRITS. 1-800-837-9860.
David , you didn’t have much time to ask a follow-up question because we had a hard news break, go ahead, and if you’d like to continue the thoughts, go ahead.
David : I would just like to know how they get their money. Could you sue these people, and do this money transaction thing to help out? And how they get this money going door to door, and what is it used for, and stuff like that?
Bill: You’d like for me to comment on that?
Bill: Jehovah’s Witnesses have a fund and it’s called the Worldwide Work. When you make a contribution in the door-to-door work, it’s sent to the Worldwide Work Fund. We’re in the process, we have at least seven different victims file lawsuits against the Watchtower Society —of course, the Jehovah’s Witness home office is called ‘Watchtower’—they immediately go into the local community where these victims are located and they hire the top-shelf law firms who try to paper these lawsuits out of courts, with frivolous motions- to the tune of hundreds--that are filed against these victims. So, you could literally say that millions of dollars of World Wide Work money is being spent on behalf of child molesters—in effect, because when they go against the victims, to protect the religious rights of child molesters, ultimately you protect the child molester. I was in the courtroom of May of this year. In which I saw two Watchtowe r r epresentatives—one Watchtower attorney and one Service Department person sitting on the side of the courtroom, where a man who was convicted of raping his two daughters, got 56 years, and they were sitting there defending his religious right to not divulge information. Who paid for their travel to sit in court with a child molester? Who paid for the local law firm to put their lawyers to work? Anyone that contributes to the Worldwide Work Fund. When you or any Jehovah’s Witness donates to this fund a few cents goes to defend child molesters.
LR: Right before the break, there was a little ‘pop’ and suddenly I was off the air and then I had to call back and get back on–that was very strange. All kinds of things that are going on. Anyway, everything’s back in order. I’m going sneak in a call from the UK ; I’m sure he has a question for William, our guest. Are you back William?
Bill: Yes, I’m back.
LR: Okay, good. We’re all back. Apparently God struck, lightening struck but we’re all back. Okay Richard, welcome to the show. Can you hear me okay?
LR: Hi, what’s your comment tonight, sir?
Richard: I just wanted to know why the Witnesses and the Catholics have all the pedophiles.
LR: Well, that’s an interesting question. Have any idea, William?
Bill: Well, I think the Catholics, and their problem, has been primarily with the priests molesting little boys. You ask a Catholic, if a fellow Catholic had a molested child what would they do, they would immediately say “Well, we’d call the police.” The difference between the Catholics and Jehovah’s Witnesses is, Jehovah’s Witnesses policy dictates that all child molestation is basically handled within the church, and the members are instructed by the elders as far as how to take care of this problem. And elders are viewed as the direct Word of God. For you to challenge the direction of advice of an elder could actually put you at odds with God himself. And that’s backed up by the March issue of Watchtower, in which they make a statement on page 17, paragraph 17 there is states, “By cooperating with the elder arrangement in the congregation, we show that we trust in Jehovah.” So, if you do not cooperate with the elders, then you do not trust in God. And most members would not want to take that position, when it comes to turning down the advice of an elder they get.
LR: My goodness. Richard, you’re calling from the United Kingdom , I understand. Can you hear me?
Bill: I think you might have lost him.
LR: We may have lost Richard. Let’s go on to Jude in Moscow , Idaho . Welcome Jude, how are you tonight?
Jude: Hi, I would love to thank Mr. Bowen for his courage. I’m so grateful for his courage to stand up for morality what is right. My one question that I do have for him before I make a comment, is Mr. Bowen did you ever notice when you were in, the Witnesses; did you ever notice that a lot of the women were extre mel y depressed?
Bill: It appears that a lot of the women that I knew were on some type of depression medication.
Jude: Yes sir. About four years ago, some Witness women came to my house about every week. And they would read Scripture with me, according to them and everything and it was just kind of like a joke to me. I didn’t make fun of them or anything. But I got to observe them and I noticed that these women were frazzled, they were depressed, they were angry. I got to know them a little bit. But my one comment that I would like to make is; about two years ago a friend of mine got me a little illuminated sign down in Mexico, and it had the virgin of Guadalupe on it, and it said “This is a Catholic house, and no othe r r eligion needed, thank you,” and then it said it in Spanish. And I put it in my window, next to my door. And it never stopped the Witnesses from knocking on my door. And after listening to your testimony Mr. Bowen, and what Ms. Roth has talked about in past shows about the Jehovah’s Witnesses, tonight I made a sign. I tok the sign out of the window, and made a sign that said ‘No Jehovah’s Witness’, and then it said ‘www.silentlambs.com’. And that should either tip them off that I’m on to them, or it’s going to at least maybe educate them a little bit.
LR: It’s ‘www silentlambs.org’, you might want to modify your sign. But Jude you see, if you’re like me, everybody has their freedom to choose. I mean I don’t want to bash Jehovah’s Witnesses or Catholics or anything else. I mean people can do their thing. But, it’s like what I’m hearing from William’s heart is, look, when it comes to, when you have people coming to your door that could be pedophiles in good standing, that were never dealt with because of their blue wall of silence policy, then it becomes your business Jude, defending your family; it becomes my business. And I think that’s what we’re screaming about is, when are they going wake up, I mean William said in the last hour that 6,000 people talked to him directly, who were victims, and then he knows of a database in the Witnesses, that says what William, how many? Twenty-three something, thousand?
Bill: 23,720 as of March of last year.
LR: And see that’s just so incredible. Jude, thank you so much for calling.
Jude: When Mr. Bowen said that Jehovah’s Witnesses was the religion for pedophiles to come to, I actually got goose bumps, I was so disgusted. Thank you Mr. Bowen and thank you Laurie.
LR: Sure, and have a good night. You know, remember folks, it’s about telling the facts and about being honest, and seeking those that are virtuous in any religion and that want to do good. I mean, I said this to my Muslim friends, after 911, “Speak out, show you r r age, show your anger, clean up the sewage”. Clean up the sewage in the Catholic religion, clean up the sewage in the religion of the JW’s. Don’t tell me, when someone’s a whistleblower, they’re trying to do the right thing and trying to truly be Christ like and defend innocent victims; don’t tell me that they’re apostates! And you dare to disfellowship them. See, this is what gets me hot; when people are trying to do the right thing, like you, William; and you told me off the air that you had death threats, is that correct? And you have no idea, these are just anonymous death threats?
Bill: Yes, that’s correct. There was even one email that was circulated that I had died. They circulated that one morning as a way to try to throw people off. I don’t know who these unscrupulous people are. Now I want to point out, there are many good people who are in the Jehovah’s Witness community. I’m aware of this, and I’ve also been contacted by many Jehovah’s Witnesses who offer support for what we’re doing. They say that they would like to do more but they were so afraid of what would happen to them if they did.
LR: Sure. But see, this is what’s scary, William; people should, a religion should be one that edifies the spirit and lifts the heart. It should be something that extends grace in your life, peace and joy. It shouldn’t be something like you live in fear, like in Nazi Germany, like the Gestapo’s going walk by, and you do something that’s right and expose light on evil, you shouldn’t be disfellowshipped and banned to Hell. That is wrong, William. It’s wrong.
Bill: I was excommunicated in August of last year, and the charge against me was ‘causing divisions’. They said that what I was saying was, not a lie, because of course I can prove it to be true; they said because it disturbed members of the church, that was the basis they used to excommunicate me. So, to me, that’s not Scriptural, or Biblical, to excommunicate people who simply tell the truth.
LR: That’s exactly right, Oh, you quoted a great Scripture, you know they’re very big on quoting two or more witnesses, and Deuteronomy and Matthew 5; you told me about Ecclesiastes, can you share that with us?
Bill: At Ezekiel, 4 th chapter and the 4 th verse. I have it here if you’d like to hear it.
LR: Ezekiel, excuse me. P lease read it.
Bill: The sickened ones, you have not strengthened.
The ailing ones, you have not healed.
The broken ones, you have not bandaged.
And the dispersed one you have not brought back.
And the lost one you have not sought to find.
With harshness, you have had them in subjection, even with tyranny.
I read that Scripture on their front step September the 27 th of last year, we had over a hundred abuse victims, who came forward as eyewitnesses, to how this policy has hurt them. They locked the doors, turned off the intercom, and pretended that we weren’t there.
LR: With a hundred witnesses? Unbelievable.
Bill: And you know, they say they will answer to eyewitnesses. Well, we produced over a hundred eyewitnesses, and they ignored that.
LR: And they locked you out?
Bill: Most of those people were Jehovah’s Witnesses in good standing that were standing on their doorstep.
LR: Unbelievable. Richard from Soap Lake , I thought you were from the UK because there was another guy on there but he apparently dropped off. Richard, did you have another thought or a question you’d like to ask William?
Richard: Sure. I would like to focus on hope for those children that have been molested. There’s big help for them. There’s huge law firms that are willing to take their case on and no expense to them. And …also I’d like to say that the bad policy comes from the top of this organization probably because some of them are guilty of some of the same child molestation that they claim are in the congregation.
LR: Okay, that’s –hang on Richard. William, do you have a response to that? Are there people at the top leadership that you know of or are abusing children, or young people or?
Bill: Well, when I was there on September the 27 th , a woman came forward and accused Ted Jaracz, who is a member of the governing body, of molesting her as a child. Now, that’s an allegation, that would be the equivalent of accusing the P ope of molesting a child. This woman has written letters since 1994, trying to get an investigation and trying to get help, and establishing these charges.
LR: Let me guess there weren’t other witnesses, so it will never go anywhere.
Bill: That’s exactly right. They used their policy to silence the victims.
Richard: I would also like to tell about the Erica Rodriguez case in Ritzville Washington . When the man that molested Erica was found to be guilty, and the judge pronounced sentence on him, all the Jehovah’s Witnesses there rose up and threatened to murder Erica. Now that’s not what I say; I have the official transcript of that. And also the official tape.
LR: Okay, Richard. William, are you familiar with that case?
LR: What was your understanding of that case?
Bill: Well, there was a person that was there at the trial, that said “I will kill you,” or words to that effect. And Erica was simply restating the molestation that she had over many years period of time, from Manuel Belize, a convicted child molester now. And so, I cannot figure out why any member of her congregation would say “I will kill you,” or words to that effect, when a person is simply coming forward about their abuse.
LR: Richard, thank you for your call. I need to move on to some other callers. It just goes on and on. William, the sewage just goes on and on. I mean it just never ends. And yet the Garcia case, which we’ve barely touched on, with the Dateline expose, and that girl, didn’t she get disfellowshipped and her whole family for bringing it forward, her abuse?
Bill: As of today, Erica has not been excommunicated, but she’s treated like she’s excommunicated. She’s been called a liar, of course by members, who are in the local area. As a matter of fact, she was stopped at the supermarket where they had a table set up, and they proceeded to tell how the people on Dateline were not truthful, and the story was all fabricated. Then she stuck out her hand and said “Hello, I’m Erica Garza, and I’m the person that’s been on the program, and you’re calling me a liar? And of course they didn’t have much to say to that.
LR: This is just killing me, they don’t even have an interest in the truth. Why don’t they ask and probe and get the truth? It’s like every time they show empathy, it’s always toward the pedophile or the rapist.
Bill: The problem exists because management, or leaders, are told to tell their members this, and they are required to accept this with absolute faith. If they do not accept it, then they are not trusting in God.
LR: Yeah, I had one of the m c all me last week, when I brought this up, and brought attention because one of my callers, Mary called in; and guess what: he accused me of attacking Jesus Christ directly for even bringing it up and he, they have this mindset that’s very cult like in a way where it’s very isolated and private. And if you dare to question the authority you are attacking God himself. Is that your understanding?
Bill: Well, the March first issue of the Watchtower of this year, makes this statement: and the term for that is what they call ‘Theocratic Warfare’, and it says, “in this warfare he uses humans knowingly and unknowingly to serve his ends. It takes courage to stand before Satan and all his agents.” So when you make a negative comment about the child abuse policy, of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you become an agent of Satan according to their instructions to all their members.
LR: Even if there’s 23,000 cases that haven’t been handled properly? Of course, they think it’s handled properly because of the internal investigation.
Bill: Yes, they say they’re keeping up with these people themselves, and if they molest more children, then they add that to the database, and they say that they can better administrate that better than the FBI and the police, and people of that nature.
LR: Unbelievable, William. That is so hideous. Mary from Spokane . What’s on your mind tonight?
Mary: Hi. One thing I want to say is that I really appreciate all the sacrifices that Bill has made to try to protect the children the incredible sacrifice and work on his part. As I told you when I called last week, I was a Witness for 32 years, and I am now inactive. In that 32 years, I heard of rare cases of abuse, but I never dreamed it was such huge proportions. And the reason is, because you can’t talk to anyone who is disfellowshipped, which means you’re not going to be able to talk to most victims. And then when the internet became popular, the Watchtower Society condemned the internet. And really counseled Witnesses—
LR: Mary, can you hold over, I’d love to give you more time. I’m so sorry, we have a hard break. I’ll be right back with my guest William Bowen. We’ll be hearing his story. Unbelievable atrocities going on. And we’ll have Mary give her story right after these messages.
My guest is William Bowen and we’re talking about denial, the blue wall of silence, whatever you want to call it. We’re talking about corruption, really. A certain idea. I don’t, again, everyone has the right to believe what they believe, but when you have a system that is defending apparently, from what I’m reading, the pedophiles and the rapists and not seeming to defend the victims. At least in most of the cases. Something’s rotten in Denmark , that’s all I have to say about it. Mary, you were making some points, go ahead, with my guest William, go ahead. Are you there, Mary? Did we lose Mary? William, are you there? Can you hear me? Okay, we’re on now. Mary, can you hear me?
Mary: I can hear you.
LR: Okay, William?
Bill: Yes, I’m here.
LR: Okay, we’re all together now, for a minute there I couldn’t hear anybody. Okay, go ahead Mary.
Mary: So my plea to Witnesses out there, that are still active, but are kind of lurking around the internet, is to really get to that website that Bill has and start doing some research. Because the general population of Witnesses neve r r eally know the truth of what’s going on. And an example of that, and I’m sure Bill will vouch for this; on the Dateline show, Dateline approached the Watchtower Society, and asked them to appear on the show in defense of themselves with the Erica Garza case. And the Watchtowe r r efused. And they said the reason was, some of the people appearing on that show were their brothers and it would not be Scriptural for them to go on that show and talk against their brothers. But at the same time, the Witnesses who saw that show said that “it was just apostates.” They were ‘all apostates, they were all disfellowshipped’. So no one would put any credence in what was said on that show by the Witnesses. But in reality, none of those people were disfellowshipped, very few of them including Bill Bowen, were not disfellowshipped at the time that the show aired. Is that right, Bill?
Bill: Yes, no one on the program was under any sanctions or disfellowshipping by the church when the program aired. Of course, after the program had aired, they proceeded to disfellowship virtually everyone that was on the show. But they did write a letter to Dateline in February of that same year that they did not want to appear adversarial with their brothers and sisters. So out of one side of their mouth to Dateline, they said that they didn’t want to be against their brothers and sisters, then they turned around after the show aired and kicked everybody out.
LR: Unbelievable. So what’s the deal with the Garza? So they didn’t even want to –did they even interview her for their own internal investigation? They just determined she was a liar?
Bill: Well, she didn’t have eyewitnesses. So, when you don’t have an eyewitness, church policy states that you have to remain silent until another witness comes forward. If you do not remain silent then you can be charged with slander and excommunicated for the slander of an innocent man. So all the victims are charged to remain silent, and that’s why we coined the expression, ‘silentlambs’. These are the weakest ones of the church, children, and they’re being silenced and told that if they do anything that they’re basically going to be killed in a spiritual sense, by being excommunicated.
LR: Wow. And that means Hell , no relatives talking to you. Now, Jude had a question, and we didn’t have time to giver her time for a follow-up question. She wanted to know if you are not in fellowship currently with the JW’s. Are you out of the organization, or in, or what?
Bill: Well, I talk to many Jehovah’s Witnesses, and we correspond with email and stuff like that. And you know, quite frankly, I remain neutral when it comes to any doctrine or beliefs. I don’t condemn the religion and say that they’re bad people, all we’ve said from day one is that they’re policy needs to change. If they change the policy it will be a bette r r eligion. And so, whatever they wish to do as far as the distribution of literature or want to have meetings, so be it, everyone should have a religious faith. But the problem arises when children are put in dan ger, and the children of the public are put in dan ger. And so all we want is just to change the policy. If they change the policy, then Silentlambs can stop with all of this factual information, and turn completely into a support group for the abuse survivors they’ve already created.
LR: Mary, why did you leave the church, and now how are you doing spiritually, did it demoralize you, are you cynical now? Do you hate God, you love God, what?
Mary: Well, I’m kind of neutral right now. I mean after so many years in it, my whole life was in the religion, and it was very disheartening, I felt very betrayed when I found out information about the abuse. And I’ve had a couple of experiences with myself early on. Well, one was just several years ago, my teenage daughter found out that her girlfriend, who was a Witness, was being molested by her father. And so I called the elders and talked to the elders and they said they’d take care of it, and they went and asked the father who was kind of a, not a real strong witness, but he did go to meetings, and he said “Oh no,” that wasn’t true. He wasn’t molesting his daughter. So they came back to me and said okay, we investigated it and he says he’s not doing it so if you or your daughter talk to anybody about this, even amon g yourselves, you could be guilty of slander or gossip. And that would result in your disfellowshipping. So, I haven’t been personally molested by Witnesses, but I have had encounters similar to that, so I know that this is what their policy was. This isn’t just something that I heard through the grapevine. I personally know that this is their policy.
LR: Well, Mary I want to thank you for your contribution tonight and your interesting point of view. Thank you for your call. We need to move on to a few other callers, and talk a little bit more. There’s so many, there’s SO many depths to this William, it goes on and on and on, the letters go on and on and on, and it’s so simple. Like you said, if they would just change a few things in their policy, it would clean up, but they don’t seem to want to do that. For the people who just joined us, and then I’ll get to Genna, William, what are the two or three things again, that they need to change to be right with the law, and be right with God in your opinion and certainly my opinion.
Bill: those are three simple things. Number one, If a Jehovah’s witness child is molested, immediately call the police and let the m c onduct a proper investigation. Secondly, long-ter m c hild molesters should not be reappointed to positions of authority in the church. The current policy is after twenty years they can have positions.
LR: And the third, quickly?
Bill: They should not have to go door-to-door and call on the public.
LR: Amen. P reach it. I’ll be right back folks. 1-800-837-9680.
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LR: And, welcome back to the show ladies and gentleman. My guest is William Bowen and all kinds of you folks, some of you JW’s, some past, present, and some of you aren’t too happy and some of you are trying to work through it, disappointed, and I urge you to inform yourself, whateve r r eligion you’re in, you owe it to yourself, to seek the truth. Do not put your whole soul at the altar of an elder or a priest or a preacher. P lease, would you please do some research and pay attention.
You know, this is what happens to some cults out there, this is what happened with Jim Jones. He started out in a normal religion, then it started to drift, then sexual weird things happen, then power trips happened, then it got more and more secretive, and then more and more threats, if you spoke to the people on the outside, you get isolated and isolated and isolated and you have such fear that you can never ever again talk to a person or an authority on the outside.
The media is all Satan, the police are Satan, anybody but them in the cult, is Satan. Now see, isn’t that juicy? Because that keeps everybody private. And then, according to our guest, who’s had it corroborated by three different witnesses, do you want witnesses, okay, well we have them. Let alone six thousand people talking to him directly about their abuse. William, the scope is beyond, I mean 911, this is like their own 911, they’d better face it.
Bill: Well, they have to. And it’s through interviews like this, we’ve had 14 documentaries in 8 different countries, we estimate that probably at least 100 million people have watched these documentaries around the world, and how can all these people be agents of Satan, be lying. What would motivate people to come and tell about being raped on an interview program. And if all these people are untruthful, why doesn’t the church sue all these people out of existence? Not one lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the church against any person that has appeared on any of these programs. So that speaks to the truth, who is telling the truth: these victims that have come forward. And if anyone praises me, I give all the praise to the victims; they’re the ones that deserves the praise, they have the courage and the heart to come forward and tell about these terrible things that happened to them. They deserve all the credit, because if they didn’t come forward, I would just be some crazy guy with a story. They’re what makes the story real. We appreciate their effort in coming forward and doing this.
LR: Absolutely. We have Glenda from Arizona on the line, thanks for your patience Glenda, what’s on your mind tonight?
Genna: I was thinking of a comment that Bill made, and that Mary made also, and that was about all the people that were not silentlambs, people like Bill, people like Mary, and who have all these feelings, and who are angry, and want to do something. And you would be surprised at all the projects that are going on out there. For instance, this weekend, I’m one of a small group going to be demonstrating, at the Jehovah’s Witness convention for the next three weekends. This is my second year doing that. And we carry signs that advertise silentlambs, and ajwrb, which has to do with children and the blood issue. And another one is the Thousand Lambs Campaign, where we are delivering stuffed lambs to Kingdom Halls all over the world and I think we’re up to like 700. And so this lets the kids know, that there are people out there that are actively supporting them, that understand them, and that believe them.
LR: How did you get into all this whole scene, were you or are you a JW, or were you, or…
Genna: Yeah, I was a Witness from age fourteen, when I got nailed, I got derailed, and I became baptized and I was a Witness for thirteen years and then I was disfellowshipped.
LR: Why were you disfellowshipped?
Genna: I was raped and I didn’t scream. I didn’t resist my attacker…
LR: Oh my word. So you were raped, and so did you go ask for help first?
Gena: No, I knew better. I mean, I knew better. I went to the police, I went to counseling, I went to the Rape Crisis Center .
LR: And did they disfellowship you because you went to the police?
Genna: They just said I didn’t handle the way they think I should have, that I should have stayed quiet, that I shouldn’t have brought dishonor on the organization.
LR: Oh, I am going have a tantrum right now Glenda, I am going have a tantrum and a mel tdown. It’s going be the bombing of Hiroshima all over again. Because it ticks me off so bad, I can hardly do this talk show. Genna, that you went to the police, you did the right thing, and those scumbags from Hell said you did the wrong thing, and then you’re supposed to burn in Hell for it. I’m sorry, I’m fine now. I had to get it out of myself now, I’m fine. Okay, I need a little P rozac. It just kills me Genna, it kills me that this is going on. Thousands and thousands of cases, people like you suffer, for doing the right thing. And then they put the spiritualize crap upon your head.
Genna: And that rule has been around since 1964, you know. If you get raped, and you don’t scream, you get disfellowshipped. There’s a lot of Witnesses—I didn’t know about that rule, not that it would have made any difference I think, even if I had known.
LR: Yeah, you get raped in the JW’s and you go to the cops and you get disfellowshipped. Nice day at the ranch. Genna, thanks so much for telling your story. You’re a great trooper, I’ll tell you. My guest is William Bowen, we’ll be right back with your calls, line them up. I want to hear your s tori es. 1-800-837-9680. I’m Laurie Roth.
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Charles: I’m referring to a picture on page 209, about an Armageddon scenario. Where there is artistically depicted Armageddon buildings falling etc, etc. One picture, of a little girl with a doll, down a deep crevasse. Now, this story book for children has been used; I have an affidavit from somebody who has stated that this book was used—brandished—so that she complied with her ab user ’s demands. And threatened to be silenced and not to talk about it.
LR: So how was that book segued to an ab user ’s threat? I don’t understand? You mean he was saying Armageddon--
Charles: If you don’t comply with the ab user ’s demand they’re threatened with Armageddon, you see.
LR: Oh, I gotcha. Question for the viewers that don’t understand, Charles, why do you feel it necessary to hide your identity?
Charles: Yes, well, the old saying is that if you don’t like the messenger, --the message, you shoot the messenger. I have agreed to do what I’m doing here and not be intimidated or threatened. I want to be free to do what I want to do. There’s all kinds of things that could be done.
LR: I understand. Now, have you heard over there in England , these horror s tori es like William is pointing out over here or in Sweden ? Are you experiencing those over there too?
Charles: Oh yes, oh yes. Not obviously in the same quantity as in the states, but there are people, and I’m speaking on behalf of people over here, that have suffered. I mean, the P anorama program brought these things to life. One of the most horrible things that occurred, was when the P anorama program was aired last July. The morning it came on, the Watchtower had read to each congregation a letter, from the Watchtower to each congregation. It kind of was a warning shot across the bows in other words, don’t watch this program or be careful of what the content is etc, etc. And the hideous thing about it—and this letter was also read in America at the time of the Dateline airing—this letter started and finished with a quote from the P salms which says “Happy are the people whose God is Jehovah”. Now this was absolutely horrendous. They should have been bowing their heads in shame and not shouting Hallelujahs!!
LR: Charles, I don’t know if you can hear me, Amen preach it Charles. I’ve got to sneak in a break, I don’t know if you can hold, I know you’re calling from overseas. I’ll be back right after the news, with my guest William Bowen, we’re taking on Evil, that’s what we’re doing. Joe, I’ll be right back with you to after the news.
LR: …some administrative positions, he came across some weird administrative ideas for procedures ignoring child abuse, and sex abuse, and rape, and you found, William, that they didn’t want people to go to the police. They wanted to handle it internally in their own investigation, and for those who’ve just joined us, how many specific sex abuse cases are you directly aware of, that you’ve talked with those people?
Bill: I’ve been, either through email or the telephone, or through the literal, actual mail, snail mail, I’ve been contacted by over six thousand abuse survivors within the Jehovah’s Witnesses community.
LR: And what, if your were going to say what overall has happened, to those survivors, I mean what is the story you’re hearing again and again and again?
Bill: The most common expression I get from abuse survivors is that “I thought I was the only one.” And the church time and again told them that it was an isolated case, that it was seldom if ever a problem, and so these victims then literally stewed in their own personal hell, if you want to call it that, until they discovered there were many, many other victims that had been treated exactly the same way. And the problem is, is when they came forward about their abuse, 99 percent of the time of course, the molester denies the charge. And Jehovah’s Witness policy says, that unless you have two eyewitnesses to the rape, then it didn’t happen if the molester says it didn’t. And so the victim is then told to be silent, if they talked to anyone they’d be excommunicated from the church, and their families told much the same. So what happens, these people remain silent out of fear of the threats from the church, and they literally self-destruct. I call it ‘implode’. They start manifesting anger behaviors, which can turn into things like promiscuity, or problems with drugs, or alcohol or things like this; in order to deal with not dealing with the abuse itself. And as soon as these behaviors manifest themselves, the church’s solution is to disfellowship them. Then they don’t have to deal with the problem. But often as not, when they disfellowship them, then they don’t have their family, they don’t have any type of support system, because that’s what they’re told is the only place they can go for help to begin with.
LR: And well we’ve heard several people that have been raped or been victimized in this system, call tonight, I mean we heard Heidi call, and we heard Genna call, and we’ve been talking about the Erica, what is it Erica Garza?
LR: Oh my word! All these people were disfellowshipped or threatened if they went to the cops, I mean they’ve got it backwards. P retty scary if you ask me. We’ll be with Joe right after these messages. And if you’d like to vote on in and visit a little bit, 1-800-837-9680. I’m Laurie Roth and my guest is William Bowen. I’ll be back.
End of segment. There was one more hour-long segment after this.
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