Category Archives: Scandals

Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Netherlands – court case documents in application to stop publication of academic report

Documents relating to the application by the ‘Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Netherlands’ to stop the publication of the academic paper “Sexual Abuse and Willingness to Report Sexual Abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses Community”

According to Utrecht University, the academic study commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security:

“focuses on the influence that patterns, rules, customs and structures within the Jehovah’s Witness community in the Netherlands have on the manner in which sexual abuse or alleged sexual abuse are dealt with as well as the willingness to report sexual abuse or alleged sexual abuse. One important conclusion of the study is that the manner in which the abuse is handled within the Jehovah’s Witness community leaves victims or alleged victims of sexual abuse feeling insufficiently recognised and supported.”

The study was commissioned by the Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) of the Ministry of Justice and Security, which requested a study be conducted in response to a motion of the Netherlands House of Representatives submitted by Van Nispen et al. (Motion 31015 no. 154). This motion served as main impetus for the WODC and the research project. 

DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTS:

summary of academic report – English (pdf)

summary of academic report (Samenvatting) – Dutch (pdf)

The Full Report – SEKSUEEL MISBRUIK EN AANGIFTEBEREIDHEID BINNEN DE GEMEENSCHAP VAN JEHOVA’S GETUIGEN – Dutch (pdf)

On 23 January 2020, the Ministerie van Justitie en Veilgheid (Ministry of Justice and Security) issued a internal government letter which presented and summarised the history of the report and the attempts by Jehovah’s Witnesses to suppress the report. In the letter, De Minister voor Rechtsbescherming, Sander Dekker, wrote:

“The report on willingness to report within the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses paints an extremely worrying picture. The investigation shows that there are reasons to believe that making a report is hampered by the closed nature of the community and the risk that the victim will be released. According to the respondents, the problems in dealing with reports of sexual abuse are also related to the closed culture of the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The research shows that elders of the community are strongly focused on keeping the community together by reconciling the perpetrator and the victim. The result of the experienced way of handling the report is that this leads to secondary victimization. Victims feel insufficiently heard, ignored, stigmatized and isolated.

“I expect every board of an organization, including the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses, to show signs of sexual abuse, to make every effort to prevent sexual abuse. This is especially true with regard to children. As Minister for Legal Protection, it strikes me that so many vulnerable victims felt that they were on their own, had not experienced recognition, and had not, or only recently, found their way to justice and official aid agencies.

“Following the report, a discussion has recently taken place at my ministry with the board. In addition, the board was urged to actively take up the recommendations from the report. In particular, it was about setting up a hotline within the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses where victims of (alleged) abuse can go.

“To my dismay, the board responded negatively to this. Instead of focusing on creating more openness and recognition for the position of victims within the community, it denied the need for this. In the meantime, the board has spared no time, resources or effort to prevent publication of the report. However, in the summary proceedings that were submitted to that effect yesterday at the Midden-Nederland District Court, the administration has been unsuccessful. For the Board’s complete response to the report, I refer you to the appendix.

“Now that the reports are public, I want to call on the board to adopt the recommendations from the reports in a last intrusive conversation. After all, change prompted and propagated by the Community of Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves is the most effective. This is independent of the possibilities that the government has in terms of legislation and official assistance to be able to take action against abuses. Following the final reports and the verdict of the Midden-Nederland court, I will personally discuss the measures to be taken from the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves.” – English translation [non-authorized version]

A full copy of the letter appears below:

DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT:

Onderzoeken seksueel misbruik Jehova’s Getuigen en verruiming van de aangifteplicht – Dutch and English (pdf)

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Court documents submitted by Jehovah’s Witnesses to stop the publication of the report

As part of the court application to stop the publication of the academic report the Jehovah’s Witnesses submitted an “Expert Opinion” prepared by Holly Folk, Massimo Introvigne, and J. Gordon Melton. The opinion, written in English, stated in the opening paragraph:

“We have been requested by the law firm of Mr. Shane Brady, representing the “Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Netherlands”, to examine the report “Sexual Abuse and Willingness to Report Within the Community of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” authored by Kees van den Bos, Marie-Jeanne Schiffelers, Michèlle Bal, Hilke Grootelaar, Isa Bertram and Amarins Jansma, with the cooperation of Stans de Haas, and commissioned by the Research and Documentation Centre of the Ministry of Justice and Safety (Utrecht, December 2019: hereinafter “the Report”), and to comment on it based on our experience of several decades in the study of minority religions and the Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

The expert opinion, as used by Jehovah’s Witnesses, is interesting in that the authors define the word ‘apostates’ as a “technical term not implying value judgment” as used “by some sociologists”. (par. 11.)

A finding from the authors of the expert opinion highlight a complete lack of understanding about the structure of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation at the most basic level, that of a congregation. The authors state:

“It is also worth noting that the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not sponsor or provide any activities that separate children from their parents or otherwise take custody of children.” (par. 24.)

Jehovah’s Witnesses do indeed sponsor and provide activities that separate children from their parents. Examples of this are congregation field service, child mentoring programs, personal bible studies, Kingdom Hall cleaning, volunteer construction work, and even in the area of Scripturally-based discipline.

DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTS:

Expert Opinion submitted by Jehovah’s Witnesses in The Netherlands – English (pdf)

Uitreksels van publicaties – Dutch (pdf)

Het Bijbelse standpunt – Dutch (pdf)

23 page letter (see image below) issued by Jehovah’s Witnesses on 9 January 2020 – Reactie op het rapport Seksueel misbruik en aangiftebereidheid binnen de gemeenschap – Dutch (pdf)

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Secret legal report critical of the Australian ‘Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’ used as evidence by Jehovah’s Witnesses to stop publication of the academic paper

On 14 November 2018, Australian-based barristers David Bennett AC, QC and James Gibson presented to Watchtower Australia and the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation their commissioned review and opinion on the findings and recommendations of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as it related to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The report was used by the ‘Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Netherlands’.

See previous JW Leaks article:

LINK:

Jehovah’s Witnesses commission secret legal report critical of Child Abuse Royal Commission

DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT:

Legal Report on the Royal Commission into Jehovah’s Witnessess (pdf)

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About JW Leaks

JW Leaks is about openness, transparency and accountability within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society.

JW Leaks exposes and holds accountable the Watch Tower Society and those leaders within the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization that disregard or violate the laws of the land, and that cause religious harm to sections of the community.

Jehovah’s Witnesses . . . Proclaimers of “soon” since 1879

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Jehovah’s Witnesses commission secret legal report critical of Child Abuse Royal Commission

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Australia have commissioned a secret legal report critical of the Australian ‘Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’

On 14 November 2018, Australian-based barristers David Bennett AC, QC and James Gibson presented to Watchtower Australia and the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation their commissioned review and opinion on the findings and recommendations of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as it related to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The review entitled “Review of the Commission’s Investigation into Jehovah’s Witnesses and its ensuing reports” was divided into four Parts, as follows:

Part One considered the history and powers of royal commissions in general.

Part Two considered particular aspects of the Child Abuse Royal Commission relevant to Jehovah’s Witnesses, including the Commission’s Terms of Reference.

Part Three considered the Commission’s findings and recommendations regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the basis of such findings and recommendations.

Part Four considered the responses, as at 14 November 2018, of the Commonwealth and State Governments to the Final Report of the Child Abuse Royal Commission.

Following receipt of the commissioned review and opinion, Watchtower Australia requested from Bennett QC and Gibson that they prepare an Executive Summary of their review, with a focus on “the Commission’s findings and recommendations regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses and the basis of such findings and recommendations”.

On 11 February 2019 Bennett QC and Gibson presented to Watchtower Australia and the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation their signed eight-page executive summary: “Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia and The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse”.

DOWNLOAD: Legal Report executive summary on the Royal Commission into Jehovah’s Witnessess by David Bennett QC and James Gibson (8mb) – pdf

DOWNLOAD: 148-page submission prepared by James Gibson and Andrew Tokley for Watchtower & Ors in response to the Child Abuse Royal Commission – 9 November 2015 (3mb) – pdf

Extracts from the executive summary written by David Bennett AC, QC and James Gibson:

“The Commission’s dissection of the religious beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses … failed to discriminate between religious beliefs (and the obligations imposed by such beliefs) and the requirements of secular law”

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“The Commission’s criticism of Jehovah’s Witnesses Bible-based religious beliefs and practices was misplaced”

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“[W]e consider a large part of the Commission’s investigation into and evidence led about Jehovah’s Witnesses, which related to child sexual abuse within families of members of Jehovah’s Witnesses, was outside the Commission’s Terms”

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“[A] more balanced and fair approach should have been adopted by the Commission”

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“[T]he Commission considered that it had carte blanche to inquire into allegations of child sexual abuse [within Jehovah’s Witnesses]”

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“[I]t is questionable whether proper regard was had by the Commission when coming to its findings on its analysis of the data, to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Submissions regarding the case files”

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“There was an inherent unfairness in the Commission’s investigation of Jehovah’s Witnesses”

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Report of Case Study No. 29 and summary of findings image courtesy of SaySorry.org

Facts vs ‘Apostate-driven lies’

In the “Report of Case Study No. 29 The response of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to allegations of child sexual abuse” the Child Abuse Royal Commission wrote the following in relation to the submissions from Watchtower & Ors:

“As noted in the Preface to this report, the Royal Commission received two sets of combined submissions made on behalf the Watchtower & Ors. We consider it appropriate to specifically address here two of the key submissions that were made … We do not accept that the child sexual abuse revealed in this case study has no connection with the activities of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation … We do not agree with this submission … The Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference require us to consider such matters and other ‘related matters in institutional contexts’. The definitions in the Terms of Reference of both ‘institution’ and ‘institutional context’ are not exhaustive and, in our view, they encompass the institution of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation and its activities.” – page 76. Download Case Study Report into Jehovah’s Witnesses published by the Child Abuse Royal Commission

The governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to deny the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Despite the above cited statement published by the Child Abuse Royal Commission, Bennett QC and Gibson wrote in their commissioned report to Watchtower Australia and the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation that,

“In our opinion the Commission’s rejection of … two ‘key submissions’ made by Jehovah’s Witnesses led the Commission to conflate impermissibly, and contrary to its Terms of Reference, familial and institutional sexual abuse”.

Key paragraphs from the Executive Summary written by Bennett QC and Gibson

“2.14 In our opinion, had a challenge been made to a Court, it is reasonable to conclude that an Australian Court, applying the plain and ordinary meaning of the words and defined terms used in the Terms of Reference and applying conventional rules of construction, would have found that an examination of child sexual abuse in families of people who also happened to be members of Jehovah’s Witnesses, was beyond the scope of the Commission’s mandate”.

“2.15 We understand that while Jehovah’s Witnesses did not agree with the Commission’s reasons, they did not wish to exacerbate the trauma of either of the survivors or of their own witnesses and did not consider that their interests would be advanced by such a challenge – which would only have added to the damaging publicity surrounding the Commission”.

“2.19 In our view, even allowing for the Commission’s interpretation of the scope of its Terms of Reference, a more balanced and fair approach should have been adopted by the Commission to its presentation of the case file data. As it is, it is questionable whether proper regard was had by the Commission when coming to its findings on its analysis of the data, to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Submissions regarding the case files”.

“2.23 Although the information obtained by the Commission in the private sessions clearly assisted the policy objectives of the Commission’s Terms of Reference, there are significant difficulties in relying on any findings based on private sessions”. [JW Leaks notes: for a discussion on the private sessions see the SaySorry.org article Private Session Narratives. To understand the scope of the alleged ‘significant difficulties in relying on any findings based on [all 8,013] private sessions’, as stated by Bennett QC and Gibson, refer to the Child Abuse Royal Commission’s Final Report Volume 5 Private sessions which publishes the findings of all private sessions].

“2.26 In our assessment the Commission paid little regard or appeared to give no weight to the historical context in which the two incidents investigated occurred. At the very least, the Commission should have considered whether the Scriptural requirement of corroboration in the so called “two-witness rule”, was comparable to what the police and the courts required at a similar historical period as that being examined in the two cases”.

The executive review and opinions of Bennett QC and Gibson are currently being used by the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the various legal entities that they provide direction to, as an attempt to prevent or undermine current law enforcement and governmental investigations around the world into allegations concerning the prevalence of, and the mishandling of, child sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation. It is unknown as to whether Bennett QC and Gibson are aware of this. Both Bennett QC and Gibson have been contacted and formally invited to comment on this.

Recently the document produced by Bennett QC and Gibson was used by the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in The Netherland as an attempt to try and stop the publishing of the official academic report on the “Sexual Abuse and Willingness to Report Within the Community of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” authored by Kees van den Bos, Marie-Jeanne Schiffelers, Michèlle Bal, Hilke Grootelaar, Isa Bertram and Amarins Jansma, with the cooperation of Stans de Haas, and commissioned by the Research and Documentation Centre of the Ministry of Justice and Safety.

Who is David Bennett AC, QC and what is his relationship with the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation?

Barrister David Bennett AC, QC, was the former Solicitor-General of Australia. Bennett QC has represented the interests in Australia of both the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation and the Scientology organisation over many years.

David Bennett AC, QC barrister profile

In 2013, Bennett QC represented a 17-year-old Jehovah’s Witnesses child in a blood transfusion case before the Supreme Court of NSW against the Sydney Children’s Hospital (see The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network v X [2013] NSWSC 368 and also X v The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network [2013] NSWCA 320).  The Supreme Court ordered the blood transfusion (Download judgment). The instructing solicitor in those proceedings was Vincent Toole, legal counsel for Watchtower Australia and a Jehovah’s Witness elder. Counsel assisting Bennett QC in those proceedings was barrister Andrew Tokley SC. During the Child Abuse Royal Commission Tokley SC represented Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, Geoffrey Jackson of the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the interests of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation.

In Australia, Bennett AC, QC won the historic Supreme Court case that redefined religion and granted religious recognition for Scientology. In a speech at the opening of the new Australian-headquarters for Scientology Australasia in 2016, Bennett QC said:

“Out of all the cases that I have been involved in, I count your victory affirming that Scientology is a religion as the one that makes me the most proud, because since that time, courts around the world have relied on the Australian definition. And so, to be here celebrating with all of you, well, I see just what can result from a dramatic and revolutionary court victory in the name of religious freedom. And, it makes me even more proud to know that what began as a fight for what is fair, led to a decision that has spread across the world to guarantee the rights of people of all faiths.” – Scientology.org.au

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“It is apparent from our Review that Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Commission shared common goals, namely, to ensure, as far as it is possible, that children are kept safe from predatory sexual behaviour”. – David Bennett AC, QC and James Gibson

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Further information on the evidence-based criticism levelled at the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation by the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse see the review published by Say Sorry

Say Sorry (published 15 December 2019) Part 1 | Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Child Abuse Royal Commission – Criticism of the Jehovah’s Witnesses

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About JW Leaks

JW Leaks is about openness, transparency and accountability within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society.

JW Leaks exposes and holds accountable the Watch Tower Society and those leaders within the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization that disregard or violate the laws of the land, and that cause religious harm to sections of the community.

Jehovah’s Witnesses . . . Proclaimers of “soon” since 1879

 

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AUSTRALIA | Newly registered Jehovah’s Witnesses legal entity issues elders letter to destroy records

The recently registered Australian company “Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Australasia)” has issued a body of elders letter, dated August 28, 2019, instructing elders to destroy judicial hearing records and certain congregation records.

>> DOWNLOAD: CCJW (Australasia) BOE letter – 28 August 2019 – PDF <<

Background: a new corporation is formed

On 12 April 2019 a new Jehovah’s Witness company, “Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Australasia) Limited” (CCJWA) was formed in Australia to administer congregations, congregation charities, and bodies of elders.

On 15 April 2019 CCJWA commenced formally trading in Australia under the business name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” despite that trading name being registered to Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Limited (Watchtower Australia) since 31 July 2000.

Also currently operating in Australia is another legal entity called “Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses” (CCJW) which was registered as a business on 3 December 2012.

On 5 November 2013, Watchtower Australia sent out a body of elders (BOE) letter instructing all congregations to form as independent legal entities and charities and to register with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission << ACNC >>. By the end of the month over 800 congregations within Australia had become their own legal entity trading under the business name “[NAME] Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” Under this legal arrangement congregation records, including judicial records and membership records, are the property of the individual charity and not CCJWA.

These 800 congregation charities and their corporate structure will be discussed in detail in a follow up post on JW Leaks, along with copies of all internal documents and correspondence issued by Watchtower Australia to each congregation on how to set up each new legal entity and charity.

CORPORATE DOCUMENT DOWNLOADS

Corporate documents for new Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Australasia) 2019 – PDF

Corporate documents for old Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Australia) – PDF

Corporate documents for Watchtower Australia – PDF

Body of Elders letter dated August 28, 2019:

In one of it’s first issued body of elders letters, the newly formed CCJWA, issued instructions to all elders to review congregational records, their personal computers, hard copy files, and their meetings bags for the purpose of record destruction.

[EXTRACT] Review of Current Records: 

After discussing this letter as a body of elders, we would like the secretary along with the coordinator, or another assigned elder, to review what is currently in the congregation’s confidential file. They should examine the contents of all sealed envelopes in the file to confirm that they contain only the documents mentioned in the Shepherd book, chapter 22, paragraphs 22-23. The assigned elders should adhere to the direction in paragraph 26 when determining if the entire contents of the envelope should be destroyed. If the elders are not sure if a particular document needs to be retained, they should feel free to contact the Service Department for assistance.

Please ensure that all records kept in the file are in harmony with what is outlined in the Shepherd book, chapter 22, and our comments above. Additionally, we ask that each elder check his personal computer, or hard copy files, and even his meeting bag, to ensure that no confidential correspondence is retained outside the congregation’s confidential file. We would like the secretary to confirm with each elder that this has been done.

Destroying congregation records

Over the past few months in Australia, various congregations, and Watchtower Australia have received written requests from individuals for lawful access to documents, including judicial hearing records, as held on them. These records as requested included child abuse records and personal records. The right to access your personal information and congregational records is granted under the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles. See the link below for more information.

LINK: Office of Australian Information Commissioner

In addition, a number of law enforcement actions and investigations have commenced into various legal entities of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia as well as into individual leaders of the religion.

The documents referred to in the above cited body of elders letter to be destroyed, as sent out by the newly formed CCJWA, are among the documents currently being sought for both criminal and civil cases. As such the destruction of them may constitute the destruction of evidence.

For the purpose of assisting individuals so as to protect information held on them, the body of elders letter sent out by the CCJWA, dated August 28, 2919, is available for downloading below:

>> DOWNLOAD: CCJW (Australasia) BOE letter – 28 August 2019 – PDF <<

LINK to elders book “Shepherd the Flock of God” as referred to in above letter

NEW: AUSTRALIA disfellowshipping records form and confidential summation guide

How to protect your right to access documents on yourself

For Australians, below are copies of two letters, in MS word doc format, that some individuals have recently used for the purpose of protecting their records; and so as to access information held on them from the Jehovah’s Witnesses:

AUSTRALIA ONLY – generic request for access to information from Watchtower

AUSTRALIA ONLY – letter TO CCJWA instructing the keeping of records

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POST SCRIPT

Current Watchtower Australia Document Retention Policy

Please note this is not the document retention policy for CCJWA and individual congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia who are registered as a charity.

WATCHTOWER DOCUMENT RETENTION POLICY

The primary purpose for recording and retaining this information is to enable Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia (“the Society”), which is responsible for the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia, to supervise the religious activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the country, individually and collectively. This includes:

(1)  Being aware of anyone who is no longer a member of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses;

(2)  Knowing what spiritual help and assistance has been given to the individual concerned;

(3)  Providing whatever direction is needed to ensure that the Scriptural standards, as set out in God’s Holy Word, the Bible, are maintained in the Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses; and

(4)  Ensuring that the individual concerned is given whatever spiritual help and assistance is needed if he or she wishes to again become a member of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the future.

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About JW Leaks

JW Leaks is about openness, transparency and accountability within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society.

JW Leaks exposes and holds accountable the Watch Tower Society and those leaders within the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization that disregard or violate the laws of the land, and that cause religious harm to sections of the community.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses . . . Proclaimers of “soon” since 1879

 

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China Crisis for Jehovah’s Witnesses – 18 members indicted

18 Jehovah’s Witnesses indicted in relation to “using an evil religion organization” in China

china flag jwleaks.org

Open Invitation to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses to Denounce the Actions of the Chinese Government and Prosecutors

We, Anonymous, demand that the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses give the same degree of attention to the plight of the 18 Jehovah’s Witnesses, indicted in China in relation to “using an evil religion organization,” as you did to the plight of Dennis Christensen, the Watch Tower Society representative in Russia.

On April 15, 2019, a total of 18 Jehovah’s Witnesses in China were arrested and charged with indictable offences relating to, “using an evil religion organization” to “incite the obstruction of law enforcement,” and one charge relating to, “obstructing law enforcement by organizing and using an evil religious organization.” Since the arrests, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses have remained silent on the plight of these 18 Jehovah’s Witnesses in China.

Since April 15, 2019, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses have published 11 individual articles on the JW.ORG website critical of the Russian government and prosecutors, and supportive of Dennis Christensen and other Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia being prosecuted.

DOWNLOAD | China Crisis for Jehovah’s Witnesses 2019 (translation of indictment) – PDF

The Background

April 15, 2019 (Urumqi, Xinjiang). Authorities in China’s north-western Xinjiang region indicted 18 individuals on account of being Jehovah’s Witnesses, according to a formal prosecutor’s indictment paper.

China Indictment against Jehovah's Witnesses

Indictment issued against 18 Jehovah’s Witnesses in China

Those indicted are Liu Weiguo, Lin Zaiwu, Li Yifang, Lin Jie, Jiang Xijun, Gao Xinlian, Wang Xiaoqing, Yu Bingru, Zhang Min, Jiang Jinling, Chen Meiling, Fan Tao, Wei Pengfei, Cao Lili, Ma Xiaojun, Yang Hua, Shi Xianhe, and Xu Yanli. All except for Jiang Xijun were charged with using an “evil religious organization” to incite the obstruction of law enforcement, and Jiang received a law enforcement charge for allegedly “obstructing law enforcement by organizing and using an evil religious organization.”

The indictments evidence that the defendants violated religious management regulations by establishing a congregation in Korla, Xinjiang, and converting 63 people, among other accusations of “spreading superstition and heresy” and preventing people from joining Communist Party organizations.

The charges

All charges are brought under Article 300 of the Chinese Criminal Code:

Article 300:

Whoever organizes or uses superstitious sects or secret societies or evil religious organizations, or uses feudal superstition to undermine enforcement of the state’s laws or administrative regulations shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years and not more than seven years. If the circumstances are especially serious, the offender shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than seven years.

Whoever organizes or uses superstitious sects or secret societies or evil religious organizations, or uses feudal superstition to deceive another person and causes death of the person shall be punished according to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.

Whoever organizes or uses superstitious sects or secret societies or evil religious organizations, or uses feudal superstition to rape a woman or defraud property shall be decided a crime and punished respectively according to the provisions of Article 236 and Article 266 of this Law.

jwleaks.org listen, obey, and be blessed

About JW Leaks

JW Leaks is about openness, transparency and accountability within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society.

JW Leaks exposes and holds accountable the Watch Tower Society and those leaders within the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization that disregard or violate the laws of the land, and that cause harm to sections of the community.

Sources: 

http://theconversation.com/jehovahs-witnesses-neglected-victims-of-persecution-114141

https://www.newsweek.com/trump-administration-slams-countries-china-russia-violating-religious-freedom-1254633

https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2019/2/10/for-russias-jehovahs-witnesses-and-chinas-uighur-muslims-politics-overrides-all-religious-freedom-claims

https://www.chinaaid.org/2019/06/18-indicted-for-being-jehovahs-witnesses.html

https://www.jw.org/en/news/jw/region/russia/

 

How to Survive Being Jehovah’s Witness in China?

Persecution Against Jehovah’s Witnesses Escalates in China

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JW Leaks Redux | We are back for 2019 with a Scandal

Watchtower New York Scandal

To kick off 2019, JW Leaks have published a 37 page unredacted file on all Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., properties sold in the State of New York, between April 2004 and December 2018, for a Grand Total of US$2,081,520,000 (over 2 billion US dollars).

DOWNLOAD: Watchtower New York Brooklyn real estate transfers

This document contains the Real Property Transfer Report for all Watchtower New York sales as well as the sale price, seller, purchaser, and the date of transfer.

Some US$1.8 billion of sales occurred from 2012 onwards, after Watchtower New York lost the Candace Conti case, and the jury awarded her US$28,000,001 which was later reduced by agreement between parties following an appeal.

About JW Leaks

JW Leaks is about openness, transparency and accountability within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society.

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Soon… since 1879.

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