Ok- Top Jehovah’s Witness officials may face criminal charges, SNAP responds

For immediate release: Monday, February 10, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected])

An Oklahoma prosecutor is charging that top Jehovah’s Witness officials knew about but concealed allegations of child rape. We are glad that the DA’s office is working to expose these heinous crimes. 


When officials conceal sex crimes, they are not only breaking the law, they are doing a huge disservice to the people and families that trust them. Victims who have suffered immeasurable pain and hardship are hurt anew when trusted officials hide crimes.

Now, every Jehovah’s Witness official who knew of or suspected or concealed these heinous crimes should be ousted and prosecuted for failure to report possible child sex crimes to law enforcement. If convicted, they should experience the most severe penalties possible. That's how we as a society deter such callous recklessness in the future.

We hope this case gives courage to anyone who saw, suspects or experienced abuse. We hope it prods them to call law enforcement. We also hope prosecutors across the US will use this case as an example to pursue charges against officials who conceal sex crimes.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,[email protected])

Showing 11 comments

  • Tyrone Washington Jr
    followed this page 2015-12-14 11:49:15 -0600
  • Deborah Leis
    commented 2015-07-27 00:42:27 -0500
    Thank you for your hard work and effort in this regard. It is a real problem in the religion. I was born into and raised in this belief. I have found it to be a mind controlling cult. They will make every effort to keep this kind of conduct away from authorities and suppressed. The victim is the one that is treated as the guilty one. I know of many unreported cases in my 61 years.
  • Ishwar Mankare
    commented 2015-03-12 05:03:34 -0500
    Jehovah’s Witness officials doing sin in Indian society, these guys brainwashing our young children s and forcing for religion conversion.
  • Wendy Franks
    commented 2014-02-12 19:05:07 -0600
    Daye Smith, just because you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, does not mean you have ever experienced what thousands of us have. Me and my family know from first hand experience that child abuse has been covered up by the elders and that contacting the authorities is prevented and/or strongly discouraged by Kingdom Hall elders at the direction of the Watchtower Organization. I know, my family experienced it personally over 20 years ago. Don’t disregard something you have not experienced or disregard all of us victims out there who have suffered because of these evil policies that are being perpetrated only to create a false image to the world of a holy organization is anything but holy and that behind the scenes is covering up the most horrid of sins that is also A CRIME like murder is a crime.
  • Daye Smith
    commented 2014-02-12 06:16:30 -0600
    I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and I sincerely hope ALL sex offenders are punished regardless of which faith they have. I believe and know that as a rule “Top Officials” of my faith will act to expose and will not protect ANY sex offender, however there will be offences because of imperfection. How these offences are handled is very important. No matter how much good a person has done in the past when he crosses that line he must be turned over to the police. The Bible is very important to all of us and the “Top Officials” may quote Bible verse to victims, and that is fine with me. SNAP has a daily list of worldwide sex offenders. On that list there are literaly hundreds of Catholic offenses for every one of Jehovah’s Witnesses mentioned. It clearly shows where the problem lies. Believe me I am more angry at people of my faith who bring this reproach on our God Jehovah than I am with others. You did not identify anything that “Top Officials” have done wrong and are not even sure that they will be charged. Let us stick with the facts. and not ASSUME that all religions are the same.
  • Tony Barros
    commented 2014-02-12 00:19:30 -0600
    Dear: Tami Dickerson: First of all, my loyalty is not firstly to any imperfect man am first and foremost as a slave loyal to Sovereign Lord Jehovah of Armies the Almighty God Grand Creator of heaven and earth “1 Ch 29:11”, through Jesus Christ my Master and Leader “Mat 8:23”, the Savior of the world “1 Jo 4:14-16, 20-21” and secondly a slave to my brothers (Mat 20:27; Ro 6:17-20; 1 Co 7:23; 1 Pe 2:16). Did you read the article, I wrote or take the time to reflect on the on the Scriptures.

    How can say what you said when I pointed out the people that commit such acts no matter what religion they belong to are simply vile criminals. Thank you for your time and message.
  • Tami Dickerson
    commented 2014-02-11 14:04:47 -0600
    Tony Barros: I understand your loyalty, but you must also understand that the imperfect men you are loyal too are the same men who must be prosecuted for protecting pedophiles. It’s a hard truth, but a TRUE truth.
  • Tony Barros
    commented 2014-02-10 21:44:54 -0600
    I as a slave of Jehovah of Armies the Almighty God our Grand Creator through Christ Jesus my Master and Leader Savior of the world (De 10:17).

    Think it’s only correct if whoever commits for that criminal to be prosecuted according to the Law no matter what denomination that criminal belongs to even more when it has to with violence which an action of perverseness and Permeation is among other crimes, firstly against Jehovah God and his holy Son Jesus Christ.

    Because any action of Perverseness and Permeation means turning away from that which is right, and turning the other eye and let it pass “I’ am Command” if these criminals were Jehovah witness before committing this shameful crimes most certainly after committing such abhorrent crimes by their repulsive actions they have renegade Jehovah the Grand Creator as their God and therefore these are not Jehovah Witnesses, Jehovah witnesses can be any one but he as a witness of Jehovah has to adhere by Sovereign Lord Jehovah’s Commandments and principals (Isa 28:7-8, 29:13; Mal 2:1-2, 7-9, 10, 17; Joh 14:21; 2 Ti 3:1-4,5; Jas 1:26-27, 2:8-9, 24; 1Jo 5:2-3, 9-12). And those abhorrent actions pain the Most High God, Sovereign Lord Jehovah “Ge 6:5-8; Ps 83:17-18”

    Secondly its a great crime against humanity because Jesus said you must Love your neighbor as yourself which means among other things, whatever that is good. that I want for myself, I should want for my neighbor and whatever I do not want to happen to me, I should want to happen my neighbor. Therefore if these shams, knowing what was happening and they cover it up, instead of condemned it and repudiated such ones from their midst they have constituted themselves as witnesses of Satan but not Jehovah (Eze 18:24; Mar 12:31; Jo 3:23-24, 4:7-10, 11-12, 20-21).
  • Wendy Franks
    commented 2014-02-10 13:05:29 -0600
    Thank God the world is finally waking up and realizing the extent of the mass cover up of child abuse by the top Jehovah’s witness leadership.
  • Tami Dickerson
    commented 2014-02-10 11:24:08 -0600
    Yes! The men who make these heinous policies need to be held accountable!
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