Jehovah’s Witnesses

Evolution of a religious movement

Barbara Anderson in Romagna (Italy). Accusations against Jehovah’s Witnesses. - Translation

Her words spread from the American TV and radio networks have shaken million Americans. Her revelations, direct and circumstantiated, have rendered her - with all probability - the number one enemy of Jehovah’s Witnesses, accused of having covered during a long length of time cases of sexual abuses on minors.

Romagna County, July 3rd 2009 | Now - after over 40 years of association with them, to the point of being in charge to write the official history of the religious movement - Barbara Anderson travels around the world inviting young people and families to stay away from Jehovah’s Witnesses and their “dangers”.

This week-end after her today’s conference at the University of Geneva for the annual conference of the International Cult Studies Association – she will stop by in Romagna where she will participate to several events organized by the Gris. Tomorrow evening in Cervia she will speak about “Hidden Paedophilia among Jehovah’s Witnesses”, Sunday evening in Rimini, where she will give a lecture on ’Why it is risky to associate with Jehovah’s Witnesses”. We have reached her by telephone upon her arrival in Italy.

“I started associating with Jehovah’s Witnesses ”, who she will abandon in 1997, “when I was a young person - she explains -. I was 14 years old in 1954 and it was a time of great uncertainties. It was the time of the atomic bomb, people were worried about the future. I was a catholic girl and had many questions on life and on the Bible. The Catholic Church - she adds - spoke about God as a mystery, did not answer the questions of a young girl. Jehovah’s Witnesses seemed to know the answers, finding them directly from the pages of the Bible. My mother, a catholic of Polish origins, did not pay much attention to my interest - she emphasizes - we did not have any theological bases, we did not know well the foundations of our own religion: It has been a matter of ignorance, I would say”.

From the moment she joined Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1954, Barbara Anderson begun a kind of climb up that ladder up to the prestigious Watch Tower Library of Brooklyn and to the assignment to write the official history of the religious movement, using the documents of the New York library. A task that will open widely what she defines the “secrets” of Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Working in such a field, inside of the Watch Tower - she continues - I have had the opportunity to discover many things, also negative things, one of them being cases of paedophilia.

Cases - she emphasizes - covered up by the organization itself. Also because - she specifies – there is a rule within the Jehovah’s Witnesses, called biblical, based on which a person cannot be accused if the accusation is not supported by at least two witnesses. In fact many secrets were known only by the elders elders Termine usato dai Testimoni di Geova per indicare un "Pastore spirituale" della propria comunità. who did not let them leak out to outsiders: in other words, dirty laundry must be washed home”.

For this reason, Mrs Anderson has progressively taken her distances from the cult, to the point of speaking out on US televisions and radio networks. Of particular interest is her participation to the “Dateline” program, an important NBC program, one of the most popular and watche in the whole Country.

She points out that ‘paedophilia’ is not a sin, but a crime. Elders elders Termine usato dai Testimoni di Geova per indicare un "Pastore spirituale" della propria comunità. should have reported the cases to the authorities, instead of hiding the problem inside the organization. I can mention the case of a man who abused children during twenty years, moving from one congregation to another. Now, he is a fugitive and one of the most wanted man by the FBI”.

She argues that, various cases have ended in a “Court”, where the veil has been removed from many cases but many have accepted an extra judicial agreement. Some of them settled with a very conspicuous economic agreement.

Barbara Anderson, with her husband Joe, are “dissidents”, since they left the Jehovah’s Witnesses some years ago. As a result of their position, their son - defined by Barbara Anderson as “radical” - has stopped all relationship with his parents, preventing from seeing their grandchild. “Our grandson - she added - grows in a sort of isolation”

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