According to a Plano Star Courier news article, six survivors of child sexual abuse recently filed a lawsuit against the Metroplex Kingdom Hall congregations of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Texas, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. (WBTS), and Reginald Tyrone Jackson, the man accused of perpetrating sexual, physical and emotional abuse against the six children.chong qi cheng bao
The WBTS is an overarching legal corporation for the national arm of the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith, and oversees much of the doctrines adhered to by congregations throughout the U.S, including those in Texas.
The children affected by abuse in the Metroplex region included Kingdom Halls in Plano, Dallas, and Greenville, TX when the abuse was happening during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The lawsuit states that the six plaintiffs in the case “did not report the alleged abuse while it was occurring because they and their families were threatened by Jackson and the other individual with discipline and harm if they spoke to anyone about the acts.”
After various lawsuits regarding charges of child sexual abuse committed by church officials within its organization, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watch Tower Society have had to revise their policies.
For example, prior to the recent lawsuits and the resulting media coverage that springs forth from such public hearings, elders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (and its main legal entity, the Watch Tower Society) had long subscribed to the “two witness rule,” in which the elders are not required to report sexual abuse unless (1) the alleged perpetrator admitted guilt, or (2) at least two witnesses admitted to having seen the abuse take place. Obviously, those circumstances very rarely occur.
If you have any information about abuse happening in your local Kingdom Hall or by another member of the clergy, we would like to talk to you on a confidential basis. Please contact us toll-free at 888-407-0224, or email us.