The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept the results of scientific research under any circumstances. They go to court again. Is there an explanation for their response?

Now that Jehovah’s Witnesses have failed to stop the report of the abuse report, they are taking further legal action. Whether that is an appeal or a new indictment of defamation, defamation or discrimination, a spokesperson for the organization does not yet say. But it is certain that the riot around the report will get a legal tail.

The defensive reaction of the denomination arouses anger. For example, minister Sander Dekker called it “incomprehensible” that the Jehovah’s Witnesses ignore the report and recommendations. Earlier, the denomination cooperated with the investigation. The researchers were even allowed to view an abuse file from a vault in the basement of a church.

The many newspaper articles and TV reports that have since appeared on the subject never became the subject of a lawsuit. Is there a trend break with this legal battle? No, cult expert and coach Frances Peters explains. As an ex-Witness, in her practice she guides people who have left a cult.

She points to the many international lawsuits that Jehovah’s Witnesses are conducting, for example about blood transfusion, but also about sexual abuse. According to her, they look strategically on a case-by-case basis on what is best and how they can lose the least members.


“A lawsuit is a win-win situation for them. If they win, it is because of Jehovah’s blessing, and if they lose, they can portray themselves as martyrs, as persecuted; in line with Bible apostles who were persecuted by the state for their beliefs and beliefs. “

Anyway, the reaction to the research shows something of their world view, Peters sees. They tend to see critical information from the outside world as coming from Satan. A good example is a study article that the organization distributed in November last year with the subject: how do you deal with lies?

Satan, they write, is the father of lies.

“He uses the people he has in his power to spread lies about Jehovah and our brothers and sisters. For example, there are apostates who distort the facts and proclaim lies about Jehovah’s organization on websites and through TV and other media. Those lies belong to Satan’s burning arrows. “

It is as if it concerns the abuse file. When asked how a good believer should respond, the article is clear: “Refuse to listen! Why? Because you have faith in Jehovah and your brothers. Even avoid any contact with apostates. Don’t let anything or anyone – not even your own curiosity – seduce you into a discussion with them. ”

This is reflected in the response to the report. But where newspaper publications are easier to dismiss as lies, in the case of the investigation they have to deal with a minister who is panting on their necks to change something. The letter that the board sent to the minister also shows that they see the recommendations as an attack on who they are.

For example, the researchers want women to be given a more prominent role – something that, according to Jehovah’s Witnesses, is unbiblical – and that elders are better educated. Peters:

“They will never allow outside influence. They want to keep control over what they learn and how they teach their elders. ”

That is precisely why this point of principle is for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Peters thinks.

“They will put their entire lawyers’ clique on this, so that the attention is diverted from what is actually wrong: that abused children are not being helped properly.”

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