Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the Watchtower world is the deliberate
tolerance of sexual predators within "Jehovah's organization". Despite their denial,
Jehovah's Witnesses are trapped in an organization which tolerates disgusting and
I'd like to introduce myself before we start discussing this issue of pedophilia that is
rampant amongst the religious group known as Jehovah's Witnesses. My name is
Mark H. Palo and I am a former Jehovah's Witness of almost forty years. Twice I
have been a victim of pedophile molestations at the hands of two different Jehovah's
Witnesses. I was between the age of ten and twelve years old. My molesters where
never caught or punished. Presently I am fifty-seven years old and hold an associates
degree in Human Services and am attending The University of Massachusetts,
Lowell, majoring in psycho/sociology. I hold a 3.8 GPA and hold high honors by
being accepted into the Phi Theta Kappa Society. At this time I work at a Substance
Abuse Clinic as a Consumer Advocate. My job is to see that all the clients are given
fair and timely treatment. I handle client issues, concerns, and work to attain their
city, state and federal benefits. I also work with the elderly population of my city to
educate them with regards to the dangers of misuse of prescription drugs, alcohol,
and OTC drugs. I run seminars at schools, colleges, and elderly housing sites. The
most accurate description of pedophilia can be found by turning to the Diagnostic
And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, better known as the DSM. This
publication is the virtual Bible that is used by all Therapists, Psychologists, and
Psychiatrists in the United States and abroad. (DSM-V ,p527, sec.302.2) Pedophilia:
"The paraphilliac focus of pedophilia involves sexual activity with a prepubescent
child (generally age 13 or younger..........Some individuals prefer males, others
females, and some are aroused by both males and females. Those attracted to females
prefer 8 to 10 year olds, whereas those attracted to males usually prefer slightly
older victims. Pedophilia involving female victims is more often reported than
Pedophilia involving male victims........Individuals with Pedophilia who act on their
urges with children may limit their activity to undressing the child and looking,
exposing themselves, or gentle touching and fondling of the child. Others, however,
engage in much more graphic sexual acts (the graphic acts referred to within this
publication have been intentionally omitted). These activities are only explained with
excuses or rationalizations that they have "educational value" for the child, that the
child derives "sexual pleasure" from them, or that the child was " sexually
provocative" -- themes that are also common in pedophiliac pornography."
"Individuals may limit their activities to their own children, stepchildren, or
relatives, or may victimize children outside their homes. Others, (particularly those
who frequently victimize children) develop complicated techniques for obtaining
access to children. These may include winning the trust or marrying the mother of an
attractive child. In rare cases, some adopt children from non industrialized countries
or they abduct them. The course is usually chronic.....The recidivism rate for
individuals with Pedophilia for males is roughly twice that for those who prefer
females." It must also be noted that parents must watch for adults who show too
much interest in their children at after school activities, church, playgrounds,
shopping malls, and anywhere your child might end up alone with an unknown adult.
This may sound alarmist, but the news has been full of reports of people molesting
children and no one had an inkling that the individual was a molester.
So why are we talking about the Jehovah's Witnesses and this issue of pedophilia?
As Bill Bowen the founder of Silent Lambs puts it, the Watchtower organization is
to be considered a "pedophile paradise". Unlike the Catholic Church which has
admitted to a degree that it has a problem within its ranks, the Witnesses refuse to
publicly admit that there is a problem. Even the present Pope has addressed the issue
in a public statement. But the Witnesses spokesman, J.R. Brown, endlessly denies a
problem and continues to issue statements that bury and cover the issue. The
Watchtower, Bible & Tract Society, according to Mr. Brown, is simply too good and
righteous to have this kind of problem. Yet according to the Silent Lambs website
(see link below) there have been six thousand (and ever growing) reports of abuse
since the inception of Silent Lambs in the year 2001. Individuals who have publicly
aired their stories on programs such as Dateline or other television shows have been
excommunicated or disfellowshipped from the religion. Why? Simply for telling the
truth. As a member of a congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, an individual is more
than strongly discouraged from reporting sexual abuse to the authorities.
Click here to visit Silent Lambs home page:
Click here to visit Silent Lamb's video
archive featuring Dateline and CNN:
3. The Service Desk in Brooklyn has recently sent a letter to all elders stating that
under no circumstances should the private files kept at the Kingdom Halls fall
into the hands of any worldly authorities. This includes the files kept on sexual
abuse cases. This is becoming more of an issue since many states are now
bypassing what is called Ecclesiastical Privilege. What this is, is the confidentially
say of a doctor and his patient or a priest and his parishioner. States are now
demanding to know about sexual abuse admissions or cases and the
confidentiality is no longer sacrosanct.
4. The Service Desk has instructed the elders to destroy, shred or remove these
files which is a direct violation of a search warrant. Or they are to physically stop
the authorities from gaining access to these files. Thereby putting the elder(s) in a
legal quandary. Is it worth time in jail, fines, and possible loss of property to
protect pedophiles? If I where an elder I certainly wouldn't protect them.
5. The Watchtower has published lame articles and a booklet that decries
pedophilia and child abuse. These weak attempts at trying to look like defenders
fall flat when one closely examines their true record. While I am sure that the
average true Witness is sickened by this issue, I am sure they are unaware of the
millions of dollars that are contributed on court cases defending Witnesses
accused of child molestation. The Watchtower paid lawyers aren't defending the
accused so much as the name of the Watchtower Society. So when one makes
monetary contributions earmarked for the worldwide preaching work, I ask: how
much is really being spent on all these legal fees?
6. Lastly the Watchtower claims that every TV program, web site, and individual
that exposes the child abuse issue that exists within the ranks of their organization
is either apostate or just plain persecuting them. I would love to know how 10 and
12 year olds can possibly think of ways to persecute a multi-billion dollar
corporation or be apostate. And that goes for those who suffer from depression,
anxiety, PTSD, and all the other mental anguish that was unfairly brought upon
them by their experiences. Do we deny them a voice? I hope this short essay
helped to enlighten you and maybe think about this issue long and hard.
Thank you, Mark H. Palo
To view video lectures from Mark Palo and his experiences in the
Watchtower world see Screen 5.
Although the Watchtower Society has always
encouraged Jehovah's Witnesses to be truthful
and honest, this entirely contradicts their
non-Biblical definition of lying, as seen from
the Insight on the Scriptures publication above.
Now I would like to list some of the tactics used by the congregations instigated
by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society in covering up this issue so they can
maintain their squeaky clean image:
1.The Watchtower Society keeps secret files of several thousand reported sexual
abuse cases at their headquarters and adamantly refuses to allow the
authorities to view them.
2. The Witnesses practice a form of Theocratic Lying which is condoned in their
literature. I quote directly from their INSIGHT book, "While malicious lying is
definitely condemned in the Bible, this does not mean a person is under obligation
to divulge truthful information to people who are not entitled to it." (see below)
This practice applies to reporting sexual abuse cases, custody cases and divorce
cases. I know because I witnessed how the elders as well as my ex-wife
theocratically lied during my divorce case. Once you are out of the fold you become
Insight on the Scriptures.Vol.2. pg.245
I would like to make it plain and simple here as to what and how this issue is
treated by the Jehovah's Witnesses by listing their various actions and
procedures instead of telling you in an essay form.
1. You are a victim or your parents find out about sexual abuse (pedophilia) taking
place in your congregation.
2. The matter is reported to the elders.
3. You are told to tell no one else in the congregation or to report it to the
4. The elders meet with the alleged molester.
5. If the alleged molester does not confess and there isn't a second witness, nothing
6. The elders are instructed to call Bethel's Service Desk and report the incident
and it goes on record.
7. The service desk tells the elder calling to leave the matter in Jehovah's hands.
8. They are also instructed not to tell anyone in the congregation even if there is a
9. This rule applies if a pedophile moves into a new congregation, no one is to
know, except the elders.
10. The victim and or family is told to keep their mouths shut or else.
11. If the victim or family goes public, they can be disfellowshipped for causing
division in the congregation.
12. The alleged or guilty molester can gain back privileges by having a clean
record for several years. But remember, the recidivism rate for pedophiles is high.
So I say the molester doesn't get caught again.
Watchtower publication. Kingdom News.#37