Australian Jehovah’s Witnesses in Hot Seat for Abuse

Child abuse related stock image. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING

“I feel like [Neill’s] position as an elder contributed to his power over me. I now think that I was brainwashed into thinking that speaking to people outside the church…would bring reproach upon Jehovah’s name.”

This is one statement by a child abuse victim during their time with Jehovah’s Witnesses Church.  The Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has begun to hear the cases of two victims sexually abused at the hands of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church. Reportedly, it has been found to have had over 1,000 reports of child sexual abuse since 1950, but has failed to report them to authorities.

One night, BCB, a victim, said goodnight to Neill, “he kissed me goodnight on the lips. Initially, this did not seem unusual to me, but he then stuck his tongue into my mouth. I pulled away and looked at him in shock. He looked at me and gave me a queer smirk-type smile.”

The abuse continued on over the years, worsening with each attempt, ranging from elder Neill watching her shower to forcing her participation in oral sex.


But for a member of the congregation to make a complaint, according to a church statement in 2009, two witnesses must be able to corroborate any claim made against a perpetrator for action to take place.  The investigation, if it takes place, is to be conducted by local congregation elders who meet separately with the accused to hear their explanation. If charges are denied then the victim and abuser must restate their situation in the other’s presence. If the accused continues to deny the charges and no witness can substantiate them then all further action within the congregation is ceased.



“It was already very hard to talk about sex in a room full of men. It was especially hard to talk about what [Neill] had done to me while he was sitting there in front of me. I didn’t feel like it was a safe environment and I was scared of what the consequences would be if I told the whole truth. Perhaps if a Sister who I was comfortable with had been there too, it might have been easier,” says the victim who wishes to not be identified other than as BCB.

Australian laws require mandatory reporting of any suspicion of child abuse and/or neglect. BCB’s claims appeared to have never been reported by the church, and it was only after Neill had stepped down as elder and later died, that BCB reported her abuse to the Royal Commission.

According to the Royal Commission, findings suggested that members officially sanctioned by the church for child abuse, were later permitted to return. The church expelled 401 members after internal inquiries on abuse allegations, but permitted 230 of them to later return to the church, some of which were multiple offenders.

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    • Your a joke and a LIAR man. Anyone who reads and believes this stuff is an idiot. I have family that are witnesses and family who is not and family who were raised witnesses and left. I was raised in the religion from birth until I was early 20s and still have a lot of friends who are in the faith as well as family. For you to talk smack about a religion a lot of my dearest friends and family would give their life for…. Your an uneducated fool as well as most the other posters. If anything happened in a witness church or they even found out about it they would instantly report it to the authorities. They wouldn’t sit and have a meeting about it or decide what to do. They would instantly call the police. Child abuse? You think they would let that go or much less try and hide it?! Your obviously a fruit just like half the other people that believe this stuff they read online that has no backing.

      • Josh Curlee they groomed you well didn’t they.I was raised as a Jehovah witness. And sexually abused from the age of 4 – 10. When I finally had the courage to say something at the age of 11. I was told by the elders, that if I hadn’t been such a little tart, it wouldn’t have happened and I deserved what I got. That’s when the emotional abuse an manipulation began in earnest, to discredit me in every way possible. and point the finger that I was the problem. And I should rely on Jehovah more and meditate on the ways I could improve myself spiritually.I believed those lies they told me about myself. And strived to change an be a better witness and person. Even though they disfellowshiped me I continued to go to meetings and raise my children in the truth. Until finally I was broken in every possible way by the age of 30. numerous suicide attempts and dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.i have had to have 2 major surgeries to fix the damage that monster did to my tiny 4-year-olds body. So you may want to take the blinkers off an open your eyes and mind to the fact these hideous acts have taken place for years. Or are you like these religious self-righteous hypocrites that don’t acknowledge this happens. because that way they don’t have to be accountable

        • I have a queztion. IF YOU WERE ABUSED WHY WOUKD YOU BRING YOUR KUDS TO MEETINGS THEN. AND IF YOU HAD SURGERIES TO REPAIT THE DAMAGE THE MONSTER DID TO YOU AT AGE 4 DID THE HOSPITAL REPORT THE SEXUAL ASSAULT? No disrespect if you can answer the question . I ask all parents of kids abused why did you not go to the police then? The bible states that sins need to be confessed not covered up. So if someone in the hall covered it up doesn’t that make a parent think at the time not years later when all of a sudden lawsuits are being filed not only here but in the Catholic church and all over the world in all areas of life. IM HAVING A REAL HARD TIME WITH ALL THIS MANY YEARS LATER AND EVEN LEAKED DOCUMENTS SHOW THEY INVESTIGATED IT AND THEN ITS UP TO THE PARENTS TO GO TO THE POLICE. Can the right questions be asked. Are the perpetrators being investigated by police prior to civil lawsuits and media coverage? The victim’s know the names don’t they to give police?

    • Sean, you were just looking for an excuse. I know what’s been happening….certain ones coming forth with accusations like the person in the above article. Her story is pretty weak. Why didn’t she IMMEDIATELY tell someone about the creep putting his tongue in her mouth? She said nothing for weeks or months? Ridiculous. Then she had trouble telling a committee what he had done “because he was sitting there”? Oh please. Her parents should’ve been told, first of all, and then the other elders, right away. If that didn’t happen, it’s not the other elders’ faults.

      Then—-big deal, 1,000 reports since 1950. Reports. Not necessarily true. What has the Catholic Church have against it? TENS OF THOUSANDS, world-wide. Probably in the millions since 1950.

      It is a protection for innocent men (truly innocent) for there to be two witnesses against him. If there are not, he is spared a nightmare. If a man is guilty, there should be more than one witness, esp. if the parents are told and they face the perpetrator. Be real!!

      • Are serious Paul McCarty. There are never witnesses to this hideous crime on children and those that are rape and molest these children to. That’s what’s known as a pedophile ring. Child molesters are very smart secretive and experts at grooming not just the child but those people around them. I hope this never happens to a child of yours, with the mindset you have.

  1. Thank you for this concise article. This cult is dangerous and destructive and is the ruin of multiple families and even lives!! Its bad enough one is sexually abused, but then shunned and loathed by their loved ones because they tell the truth about the abuse and report it, is cruel and as far from loving as one can get. It truely needs to be exposed for its sinister use of the scriptures to manipulate, deceive and coerce. Having the support of the media is so valuble and I appreciate your diligence in making this report. Please, continue to follow this issue and report more – we, the ex community working tirelessly to expose the cult – will be ever so grateful!! Thank you again!

    • The article stinks. It’s full of holes. Anyone who really knows what JWs teach and how they act would not fall for that crap. Dangerous? Destructive? LOL!!! They are the exact OPPOSITE. You are very sick.

  2. Well done and thankyou for exposing this to the public. I have been closely watching the court case. It is terrible for these 2 victims but we know there are more out there that have been a victim and have been treat the same way. Hope you continue to expose other cases like this anonymous just like other people are trying to do because its the only way we will see a change for the better and to ensure both past, present, and future victims get the support and protection they need. The Governing body members and its organization have a lot to answer for. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    • Tip of the ice-berg, baloney! It is a huge sham, and if there have been members of the religion who are guilty, which there have been some, they were disfellowshipped. Many were allowed to come back, but that is because they were believed to have truly repented. You can know, though, that they will never be allowed to hold any privileged positions in the congregation, and any parent worth their salt would never allow their children to be alone with them, ever.

  3. It pains me to see the Bible used to allow these type of heresies. People hide behind the bible like a mask and then commit these atrocities and its not just in the JW’s and Catholics. I am sure it happens in other church environments. Just sickening and a disgrace to the Holy Word. Makes me just as sick to see Islamic extremists hiding behind the Quran claiming they are doing Allahs work. The corruption in religion is real, and it is just as disgusting.


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