What about the Secret Internal Database of Accused Child Molesters?

(THEODORE "TED" JARACZ, LEADING MEMBER OF THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, speaking about why the Watchtower Society keeps a secret internal database of molesters, but does not report any of them to the police): "You know, you're from Britain . You have a privacy law. You have a directive from the European Union. You observe that, don't you? ... I'm not going to repeat. I'll just tell you exactly and you will see it in writing. It is all in print. You know the Bible says "Do not go beyond the things that are written."? We don't go beyond the things that are written." --THEODORE "TED" JARACZ, LEADING MEMBER OF THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES (BBC PANORAMA, "Suffer the Little Children", July 14th, 2002 )

"When the branch office receives an allegation of child abuse, a check of the records might reveal that similar, uncorroborated allegations were lodged against the same person in the past, perhaps when he was living in another part of the country. When a second credible allegation by a different person is lodged against the same individual, the elders are authorized by the Scriptures to handle the case. However, even if the elders cannot take congregational action, they are expected to report the allegation to the branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses in their country, if local privacy laws permit. Again, privacy laws permitting, a record is made at the branch office that the individual has been accused of child abuse." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

"Each branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses keeps its own records, if that is allowed by local jurisdiction. In the United States we do not have records of child ab user s who live in other lands. If privacy laws do not allow such records to be kept, the elders do whatever is permitted within the law to see to it that children are protected. The aim is to balance the right to privacy of the individual with the overriding need to protect the safety of children.--1 Timothy 5:19." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

"You have been told that here in the United States we have compiled a list of 23,720 names of child ab user s. That is false. First of all, the total number of names in our records is considerably lower than that. In addition, it is not meaningful to focus on the number of names we have in our records. This is because our figures include the names of many persons who have only been accused of child abuse whereas the charges have not been substantiated. We keep these records to document our compliance with what the law requires in many U.S. jurisdictions. Also included on our list are allegations made on the basis of so-called "repressed memories," the validity of which many authorities challenge. Then there are the names of persons who have been accused of abusing children before becoming Jehovah's Witnesses as well as individuals who have never been baptized Witnesses but whose names we are obliged to keep because of their association with the Witnesses. (An example of this would be a non-Witness father or step-father who is accused by his Witness children or stepchildren of abusing them.) To be safe, we also list the names of persons who may or may not be considered as child ab user s, depending upon the jurisdiction where they live (for example, that 16-year-old boy who had sexual relations with the consenting 15-year-old girl). The name of an individual who was guilty of voyeurism or involved with child pornography, as further examples, would also be included on the list. And, to be sure, the list also includes names of persons who are actually guilty of child abuse. We do not apologize for keeping such records here in the United States . Apart from being legally needed, they have been very helpful to us in our efforts to protect the flock from harm. (Isaiah 32:2) Christian parents can rightly feel secure in the knowledge that such efforts are made to screen out possible child ab user s from appointment to responsible positions within the congregation." -- J.R. Brown (Quote from the Statement that was Faxed from J.R. Brown to Betsan Powys [BBC Panorama Reporter] on May 9th 2002, and was Posted on the Official Watchtower Society Media Website at http://www.jw-media.org right around the same time the BBC Panorama Program aired.)

"When asked by Panorama about the number of suspected paedophiles on the database, Paul Gillies from the Jehovah's Witnesses Office of Public Information in the UK said: "It is not meaningful to focus on the number of names we have in our records". With regard to their policy on reporting abuse to the authorities, he referred us to the 8 October 1993 issue of Awake!, page 9, which states: "Some legal experts advise reporting the abuse to the authorities as soon as possible. In some lands the legal system may require this. But in other places the legal system may offer little hope of successful prosecution." " (BBC Panorama News Story on their Website, Friday, July 12th 2002 )

When asked by a reporter why the Watchtower Society keeps a secret internal database of molesters, but does not report any of them to the police, JONATHAN BRIGGS, JEHOVAH'S WITNESS PRESIDING OVERSEER, declines to respond, turns and retreats into the Kingdom Hall (BBC PANORAMA, "Suffer the Little Children", July 14th, 2002)

"The Watch Tower does keep records of people accused of molestation, but the number in the database is far fewer than 23,000, he [J.R. Brown] said, declining to give a specific figure. Watch Tower officials use the database to ensure that a person against whom a credible allegation of molestation is made won't be elevated to positions of authority. Also, Brown said, if a person is accused in separate incidents, Witness officials have a record of that history and will look into the matter seriously." ( St. Petersburg Times Newspaper, August 22, 2002 )

"The church keeps a database of all members accused of abuse at its world headquarters in Brooklyn , N.Y. Bowen said church sources have told him the database holds more than 23,700 names from the U.S. , Canada and Europe . The church admits the database exists, but won't give a specific tally, saying only that the number is much lower. ... The Canadian church also keeps a database. Though Thomas wouldn't say how many are on it, he confirmed 12 ab user s have been identified in Ontario in the last two years." (The Toronto Sun Newspaper, September 1 , 2002)