I am writing this article to share my personal experiences and to disclose to all current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses that the potential for the Watchtower organization to take advantage of their elderly parents clearly exists. I am specifically referring to the handling of family inheritances, last wills and testaments, estates, family trusts, and the disposition of property and cash assets.
On June 14, 2012 an Oakland, California jury took very little time to decide that the Watchtower Society was guilty of failing to protect the children in its care. The jury decided that Jehovah’s Witnesses care more about protecting their organization’s reputation than it does the safety of their own children and young people at a Kingdom Hall. That verdict and its potential long-term effects on the Watchtower Society should not be underestimated.
Located on the inland side of San Francisco Bay in California, Alameda County has a very typical but diverse middle-class American population. The city of Fremont is located directly across the Bay from Menlo Park, the site of other court cases involving the Watchtower’s taking over a Kingdom Hall. Based on the number of court cases under way in just the San Francisco Bay area, the “faithful slave’s” Legal Department must be working a lot of overtime.
In the case known as “Doe v. The Watchtower Society Bible and Tract Society of New York,” the jury ordered the Watchtower Society and the real perpetrator to pay nearly $7 million compensatory damages. The following day, the same jury awarded the plaintiff another $21 million in punitive damages. The Watchtower is on the hook for all the punitive and 40% of the compensatory damages. Jonathan Kendrick, now a registered sex-offender, did not testify as part of an agreement to not have to actually pay his part of the damages.
An outside attorney, Jim McCabe, led the Watchtower Society’s defense team. He expressed his disappointment with the verdict, declaring that there will be appeals and outcome of the case is likely to take several years. “The Jehovah’s Witnesses hate child abuse and believe it’s a plague on humanity,” McCabe said. His opinion was that a religious organization could not be held responsible for the actions of one its members, especially a member who held no responsible assignment for the Kingdom Hall.
By John Steele
Disclaimer: This article in no way reflects the views of the parties who run this website, are solely my views and opinions, and as such I am merely sharing them with the public. – John Steele
By now many of you know that the court case has been terminated; not dismissed – but terminated. I say this because there is a difference. If the case had been just dismissed then we would have action at an appeal. But by terminating the case and forcing it shut, it basically means that they [the Court] are forcing the case closed and effectively preventing any leave for appeal. In plain language: someone wanted this case shut down and buried.
We were less than 90 days away from trial. As many of you already know, I turned in the “witness list” several weeks ago and stipulated that Don Adams [President of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, Inc.] would be the first Witness I would put on the stand. That coupled with the nearly 300 page opposition to the Summary Judgment, which had a great deal of evidence attached, was enough to terrify the “powers that be” at the Watchtower.
Through this whole affair the Watchtower has only been concerned with one thing – and that is not dealing with the problem, but trying to cover it up.
To this end they have used the usual type of tactics, threats, intimidation – and ultimately money. Yes, they basically paid to have this case forced shut. The Watchtower has made payments to various agencies and parties involved in this, and this is just one of the behind the scenes things that most are not aware of.