[Original publication date: March 8, 2004]
Maintaining a “Clean image” took priority. Colleagues concealed sex abuse to protect faith,” statement by a Jehovah’s Witness elder. In Toronto, two church elders from an Ontario group of Jehovah’s Witnesses were more worried about the “clean image” of their faith than they were the well-being of a young sexual abuse victim, according to one of their former colleagues.
By James McCarten / The Canadian Press
Harald Momm was one of eight elders in the Shelburne, Ontario congregation in 1990 when he learned that one of their young disciples had accused her father of sexually abusing her several years earlier.
But fellow elders Steve Brown and Brian Cairns were more interested in protecting the accused, Gower Palmer, than they were the welfare of his young daughter, Momm testified.
“They didn’t want to have anything to do with the law of the land … they wanted it kept quiet, and we didn’t agree with that,” he told lawyer Charles Mark.
“This has been going on for 13 years and all I ever got out of it is: ‘It is important to keep a clean image. Never mind about the victims.'” Continue reading this article…
[Original publication date: March 12, 2004]
Cover of November 1, 1995 Watchtower
Summary: In early November 1995 Jehovah’s Witnesses made newspaper headlines around the world. This time it was not a record crowd at a stadium convention or even a controversial blood transfusion case that attracted international attention, but the postponement of “the End.” One headline read “Armageddon Not Coming.” The related article stated that Jehovah’s Witnesses had announced that “Armageddon [had] been delayed and [that] the end of the world [was] no longer nigh.”
ARMAGEDDON NOT COMING?
Why would the international news media focus on what appeared to be a minor change in the eschatology (end-times teaching) of a religious sect?
Aside from the fact that the secular press has an almost natural penchant for ridiculing those they deem to be “irrational fundamentalists,” remember that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not a small, unimportant sect. Witnesses are found in over two hundred countries worldwide, with membership [in 2001] topping five million – along with another seven million actively interested in their teachings. Nor is the recent alteration in doctrine minor. Instead, the change has far-reaching psychological implications for Witnesses, not to mention the impact the move may have on their membership and style of preaching.
The important announcement from the leadership of the Jehovah’s Witness organization came in the 1 November 1995 Watchtower magazine; but before we consider the announcement, it will be helpful to outline the history of Watch Tower end-time predictions. Continue reading this article…
By RICHARD PENDLEBURY
UK DAILY MAIL – April 22, 1987
As a lottery winner vows to “Spend, Spend,Spend,” the Mail tracks down the woman who coined that phrase – pools winner Viv Nicholson. Five husbands later, she was a Jehovah’s Witness living on £87 a week…
Two weeks after her 71st birthday, Vivian Nicholson was looking for a job.
“I’ve sent out 25 resumes and haven’t got a single reply,” she complaines, as her solitary companion – a rather timid canary – scratches in a cage on the dresser behind us.
“The thing is, I need the money. I mean, how can you live properly without a little to spend on the finer things in life?” Continue reading this article…