Silentlambs Marks Eleven Years
Silentlambs needs your help. This is the time of year when you often see many people requesting assistance in the form of donations to assist those in need. The economic downturn has had a devastating effect on most charities. Many people are just trying to paying the rent and utility bills and have little else to contribute to others. So we have all had to tighten our belt and try to move forward in a meaningful way.
Today is an interesting day for me for it is the very night that I put my letter of resignation as PO in the mail ten years ago. You can read the letter here. The reason was after 43 years of being dedicated totally to a cause I was willing to die for, I was crushed with the realization the organization I so faithfully supported was purposely hurting children. In my letter I was still trying to reason with the insanity of a policy that made children silent lambs. I remember after dropping my letter in the post office box I had this moment of terror in which I wanted to take a hammer and break the box open and pull my letter out. Why? For at that moment I knew my life as I knew it was over and would be forever changed. Everyone that I considered as friends and family (with exception of my wife and children at the time) turned their backs on me, but there was someone I could not turn my back to. It was a young girl that was being molested. I was told to “Leave it in Jehovah’s Hands…” by the Legal Department of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They did not have to see her at each meeting and know she was being hurt. I became sick to my stomach to realize I had been part of supporting an administration that could callously ignore the fate of innocent children.
While I did not know what the future may hold there was one simple purpose and that was to see to it that this child would not be hurt again. That was accomplished and in the process led me on a journey that many could not comprehend. At first I felt so guilty for ever having served as an elder and being part of their process. I thought the only way to make it right was to respond to every single person that responded to Silentlambs. There were many twenty hour days of writing and telephoning victims that just wanted to tell their story. It became so overwhelming that the Silentlambs website was started to give those that wished a place to speak out and tell their story after being insulted and called liars by the organization they trusted. Silentlambs was started with a simple mission, which was to give victims that had been silenced a voice and a place to move forward with healing. The metaphor that was often shared was a story that I wrote about a week before starting the website, it was called “The Day the Lambs Roared”. The story to me represented everything that was needed for Silentlambs to accomplish.
Now as we start the eleventh year, I would have never thought that it would need to go on this long. We have now assisted 25 documentaries that have shown in over 50 countries around the world. In each and every case the simple requirement was that survivors would be allowed to tell their story. I no longer seek to be interviewed but when asked to do so you will see me either holding or having a stuffed lamb nearby. Why? For me it represents the lambs that have yet to find their voice and that whatever I say should represent them in the best way possible.
Each week new survivors find the website and request assistance. This year we have personally assisted 25+ victims to report their molester to authorities and make it a matter or record. We have provided information to track down fugitives that have evaded justice. There over ten thousand pages on the website that has informed millions of people of the practice and policy of Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding abuse. Many, many Jehovah’s Witnesses have contacted Silentlambs to express gratitude for helping them to be informed on how to better protect their children. Many more outside the organization have expressed similar thoughts as well as closure.
Just this week a Judge in the UK expressed his angst at the cover up of abuse within the organization. The headline read, Rapist Evades Justice for Years, why? Because the elders in two congregations followed the direction of the Governing Body and protected a pedophile. On Sunday America’s Most Wanted did another program on the most wanted child molester in the USA. Frederick McLean molested several JW children for years and was protected by elders that followed the direction of the policy instituted by Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Somewhere this monster still has access to children due to the biblical interpretation of twisted minds. If you have any information that could assist this investigation please contact Silentlambs or use the contact information in the link above to contact the US Marshal’s.
Every time when it seems the website may need to go away we get an email or post on the guestbook that shows the importance of Silentlambs continuing. As one woman expressed it a few days ago, “I want to thank you for your efforts. I was raised Jehovah's Witness and was molested from 9 to 12 years of age. The elders in my congregation kept my case silent and refused to report my parents. I am 32 years old now and I have been in counseling for 16 years. Learning of your organization has really helped me in knowing that there are people out there helping.” Then there is the email sent two days ago, “Nice apostate site, Satan follower.” We have yet to understand how reporting child molesters are considered apostasy but people often jump to conclusions when they feel threatened. For Silentlambs to continue there are base expenses that have to be met on a regular basis. The website fees, along with the hotline and legal assistance to victims are paid for by your generous support. So as was said in the beginning we need your support. If you feel it is important for people like the young woman above to feel she has a safe place where her voice can be heard, then please send your support to Silentlambs. If you look at this LINK you will see you can make a one time donation or set up a monthly amount to support the work. We greatly appreciate the support of so many that have kept Silentlambs going for the last ten years. We hope in the end the greatest part of our work is to protect a child we will never meet. Your donation can assist that to happen. William H. Bowen National DirectorSilentlambs