Colleagues Concealed Sex Abuse to Protect Faith

[Original publication date: March 8, 2004]

Vicki Boer

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 “Colleagues Concealed Sex Abuse to Protect Faith”