Watchtower Facing Criminal Charges in Victoria

This time it’s Australia.

The Watchtower Society is facing another major court case that will be necessary to resolve a $3 Billion (Australian dollars) class action lawsuit. This may be the most serious battle they’ve waged in decades because they are actually facing serious criminal charges in a trial court in the State of Victoria, Australia.

Filed on behalf of over 6,000 children, this class action investigation may unveil over 14,000 alleged serious criminal breaches of Australian state and federal mandatory child protection laws over the past four years. Charged with either ignoring or violating the law are elders and ministerial servants associated with Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The Victoria State Government’s “Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religions and other Organisations” is expected to hold a public hearing about this in early 2013.

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Norwegian Media Exposes Watchtower Scandals

Beginning in early December, Norwegian newspapers, magazines and television station have decided to take on the powerful Watchtower Society and expose its unpleasant secrets and facts that have been unknown and hidden from the public. It is unlikely that Jehovah’s Witnesses in any country have ever seen such an onslaught of information about their religion. Historically, Jehovah’s Witnesses usually get generally positive treatments of their history and theology when they are holding conventions or dedicating new Kingdom Halls.

Candace Conti has changed all that. By taking the Watchtower Society to court, Miss Conti exposed its ineffective and law-breaking treatment of sexual offenders, particularly child abusers. Now revealed in publicly available court records widely published on several blogs and websites, the world now knows how the Watchtower instructs Kingdom Hall elders to ignore local laws – and only to take action if they get permission from Watchtower Legal or their Branch offices.

Miss Conti has been able to expose the hypocrisy of Watchtower leaders who claim to have policies in place to protect children and women – and then forces elders to use their “two witness” rules before they actually take any meaningful action against alleged or confirmed child molesters.

It appears that both the media and government authorities in Norway are taking the Watchtower to task over its protection of abusers over children in their local congregations. Read the articles for yourself.

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Tragedy in Gresham, Oregon

Whitney Heichel never made it to her job as a barrista at a local Starbucks last Tuesday (October 16). Her husband Clint reported her missing within three hours after she left for work.

Police detectives arrested Jonathan Holt on Friday after interviewing him at least three times during their investigation. Holt was charged with three counts of “aggravated murder.”

Officials said Holt kidnapped Ms. Heichel as she left for work in her Ford Explorer SUV Tuesday morning. They say that evidence indicates that he killed her somewhere in Clackamas County and then disposed of her body near Larch Mountain in Multnomah County. (Parts of the city of Portland extend into Multnomah County.) However, according to the police, because the murder occurred in Clackamas County, the case will be prosecuted within that jurisdiction.

Both Ms. Heichel and Jonathan Holt were Jehovah’s Witnesses and attended meetings at the Gresham Kingdom Hall. James Vaughn, one of the elders at that Kingdom Hall, has been representing Ms. Heichel’s family, making public statements on their behalf. Police credit members of that Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation for helping them look for clues into Ms. Heichel’s disappearance.

Detectives began searching Larch Mountain on Wednesday when evidence of her vehicle was found there. Other evidence includes video taken at a local gas station and a Wal-Mart store parking lot.

Jonathan Holt was described by elder Jim Vaughn as “an irregular attendee” of the Gresham Kingdom Hall. He also stated that members of his congregation were shocked to hear that Jonathan Holt was involved in such a horrible crime. Friends and acquaintances of Holt and his family described him as “ordinary” and “never a problem.” Holt grew up in northeast Portland and attended Parkrose High School. He married his girlfriend in 2010 and lived in the same Gresham apartment complex as the Heichels.

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Megan and Candace – Victims of Known Molesters

By Barbara J. Anderson

In over 90% of child sexual abuse cases, the abuser is someone the child knows and trusts. Too often, the offenders are known to be molesters but the information is kept secret. In 1994, two children, Megan in New Jersey and Candace in California, were sexually abused by known molesters. Megan died at the hands of the convicted sexual pervert that molested her. Thankfully, Candace did not.

Local law enforcement knew where the sex offender, who would snuff out seven-year-old Megan Kanka’s life, was located, but no one told her parents that he was living across the street from them.

1994 – Megan’s Law approved

Approximately one month after Megan’s rape and murder on July 29th by Jesse Timmendequas, and primarily due to the Kanka’s public outcry, the New Jersey legislature passed Megan’s Law requiring registration and public notification of sex offenders. Since 1996, Megan’s Law has become federal law and all states have passed some form of it.  Have these laws helped to prevent child molestation?

One federally funded study in 2009 determined that Megan’s law had no effect on sexual reoffenses. When informed of the study, Mrs. Kanka remarked that the purpose of the law was for parents to know where the offenders were living. “We never said it was going to stop them from reoffending.”

Jake Goldenflame, a convicted sex offender, supports the law. “Megan’s Law is not there to keep me from re-offending,” he said. “Megan’s Law is there so that you can keep me from re-offending by knowing who I am, keeping your eyes on me.”

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Candace Conti Videos Now Online

A set of eleven YouTube videos (soon on Vimeo, as well) about Candace Conti’s historic court case are now available. Access and view them by clicking on the thumbnails below.

Miss Conti and her attorney, Rick Simons of Furtado Jaspovice & Simons, A Law Corporation appeared before a group of supporters and friends in Walnut Creek, California on July 14, 2012. Two video cameras and an audio recording device were used to make a live record of the event. Those privileged to attend the private gathering all agreed that they had witnessed an amazing presentation.

If you want to learn the truth about one of the most significant legal cases of the 21st century, especially for Jehovah’s Witnesses, watch every one of the videos below and read the court transcripts (available on several websites and soon on this one as well). You will be shocked at the facts revealed.

There will be more on this subject here at within the next few days. In the meantime – WATCH AND BE AMAZED!


We encourage comments and questions. If you were (or are) a Jehovah’s Witness child abused by a member of your Kingdom Hall, please feel free to comment below or send a confidential email to

We want to read your comments and opinions on this most important and timely subject.

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Watchtower Reply to Jury Verdict

The Watchtower released an official public statement about the $28 million jury verdict awarded to a former Jehovah’s Witness in California. The court found that the Watchtower Society, the North Fremont Kingdom Hall (CA), and Jehovah’s Witness Jonathan Kendrick shared liability in connection with the sexual abuse experienced by a nine-year old girl in the mid 1990s.

For Immediate Release
June 20, 2012

Jehovah’s Witnesses to appeal jury verdict
in California case

NEW YORK—Jehovah’s Witnesses will appeal the decision of a California jury in a court case involving alleged acts of child abuse.

The jury rendered a multimillion-dollar damage award to a woman who claimed that she was molested as a child by a member of a local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. At trial, the plaintiff claimed that the policies of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society contributed to the alleged abuse. “We respectfully disagree with the jury’s decision. This is the first time that an organization was found responsible for the alleged misdeeds of a member who held no position of leadership or authority,” states James McCabe, an attorney representing Watchtower in the case. “We are very sorry for whatever harm this young lady may have suffered. However, the organization is not responsible. We now look to the Court of Appeals for a thorough review of this case.”

J. R. Brown, a spokesman at the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses, commented: “The fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and strive to protect children from such acts is well-known. The individual members of any organization must ultimately bear the responsibility for their own actions, particularly when the acts are so flagrantly against the morals and principles of the organization and society.”

Media Contact:
J. R. Brown, Office of Public Information, tel. +1 718 560 5600

There are many personal stories that describe how the Watchtower handles child abuse complaints. I’ll respond in more depth on this subject in a future article.