At 20, Kimmy was putting in more than 90 hours of field service a month, making her a full-fledged pioneer. Mark was drawn to her drive and intensity. He tracked down her email address; they flirted over AOL Instant Messenger and were married within eight months. They wanted to start a family, but decided to wait until after the arrival of paradise on Earth, when they, and their children, would be perfect.
In the meantime, Kimmy began opening their home to abused and abandoned cats. When he and Kimmy had saved enough money to buy the house across the street as a rental property, they filled its three units with other Witnesses. There were ski vacations, softball games, dinner parties, and game nights—always with friends who shared their faith. It felt less like intimacy and more like a self-imposed bubble.
The fallout: How the Harvey Weinstein scandal exposed sexual harassment as Hollywood’s dirty secret
These frustrations eventually grew into suspicions about Watchtower itself. Nobody would stand out there and hold a sign that says An Elder Molested Me unless it really happened. No way. Watchtower adjusted its estimates for the apocalypse several more times.
In , it introduced the Overlapping Generations theory, which claims that the end will come before the death of everyone who was alive at the same time as anyone who was alive in Mark found these revised predictions difficult to accept. In late , Mark had an extreme reaction to an antibiotic and was confined to his couch for several weeks, away from the meetings and Bible studies.
Left alone with his thoughts, he began to admit to himself that he no longer believed Armageddon was imminent. And here he was, 45 years old and facing a health crisis. How much more of his life was he willing to waste inside the bubble? He never attended another meeting. Though Kimmy kept going to meetings, her Witness friends pressured her to leave her marriage. Kimmy already had a routine of evening strolls, and he began to join her. Their walks got longer, eventually reaching eight or 10 miles a night.
He also started watching YouTube videos by Lloyd Evans, a former British elder who has amassed a dedicated following with his anti-Watchtower arguments. Instead, he shared small pieces of information to challenge what Kimmy had been taught, such as the truth about the doomsday prediction. Kimmy had grown up believing that overzealous Witnesses, not Watchtower, had chosen that date.
But Mark, who rarely threw away anything, encouraged her to read the Watchtower articles exhorting members of the faith to sell their homes.
The Dark Secrets Behind Donald and Melania Trump's Marriage, Revealed
When she was 9, the elders in her congregation paired her with a man named Jonathan Kendrick for Saturday-morning field service. Instead of going door-to-door to preach the word of God, Kendrick would take Conti to his house and molest her, she says.
- Armageddon 37005 AD : A Prophetic Look Into The Future.
- Dirty Pop: The Darkest Secrets of Boy Bands Revealed | E! News.
- Fifty Below (A Winters Tale).
- New Daily Study Bible: The Acts of the Apostles?
- Search Our Blog.
- 75 Secrets Nurses Wish They Could Tell You;
- BBC navigation!
She estimates this went on for about two years. When she went back to the elders in her former congregation to tell them about the abuse, she was rebuffed by something called the two-witness rule.
“I’ll Never Learn to Fetch”
Critics say this rule has helped turn Witness communities into havens for child molesters, who rarely commit crimes in the presence of bystanders. The elders told Conti that without a second witness to the molestation, there was nothing they could do.
Conti asked the elders to consider a plan she had devised for tracking child molesters within the organization. When they refused, she sued Watchtower, her former congregation, and Kendrick. Others had come forward with accusations against Watchtower before, but Conti refused to take a settlement, and the trial, with its blockbuster monetary award, became a major news story. When Campos assaulted Lopez in a La Jolla, California, home in , the boy told his mother, who immediately reported Campos to the elders. They said they would handle the situation, and told her not to call the police. Yet Campos continued to rise in the organization, eventually becoming an elder.
In , he fled to Mexico, where he later confessed in a deposition to molesting Lopez and several other young boys. Lopez filed a lawsuit against Watchtower in When his lawyer, Irwin Zalkin, requested that Watchtower turn over all documents related to Campos and other known molesters, the organization at first refused, saying it lacked the resources to locate and sort all the information. But a senior official for Watchtower later testified that all the information had, in fact, been scanned and stored in a Microsoft SharePoint database.
Zalkin introduced a software expert who testified that Watchtower should be able to produce the documents in as little as two days using simple search terms. Still, Watchtower did not comply. An appellate court overturned the ruling, saying the judge should have sanctioned Watchtower incrementally; the case was settled for an undisclosed sum in January Exactly how many alleged pedophiles are named in the database has been the source of wide-ranging speculation. In , one former elder said the number was 23, Watchtower would not comment on the number at the time except to say that it was considerably lower.
During the Lopez trial, a Watchtower attorney estimated that the organization had received blue envelopes from to , but did not say how many it had received since then. Perhaps most tellingly, in , an Australian investigation found that the perpetrators listed in the database represented 1.
Assuming the percentage is comparable in the U. In , the U. Last year, in the Netherlands, then—Justice Minister Sander Dekker urged Watchtower to conduct an independent investigation into hundreds of abuse allegations received via a special hotline. Watchtower declined.
By the time Mark told Kimmy about the Conti trial, in August , she was starting to see things differently, too—enough that she decided to read the trial transcript. Now she began to open up. She told Mark about how her mother would lock her and her two siblings in their bedrooms or the basement for days with no food and only a litter box for a toilet.
How she would keep them up all night by banging on pots and pans, then send them to school delirious and malnourished. But Kimmy did tell. As a year-old, she went to the elders in her congregation for help. They discouraged her from seeking counseling, because a therapist might blame the religion or get the authorities involved.
Finally, the elders asked Kimmy a question: If her mother did end up killing her, could that prevent Jehovah from resurrecting her at Armageddon? This time, the elders said they would need a second eyewitness before they could intervene. Years later, she would learn that her brother had already reported the abuse to the same elders. When she read the transcript of the Conti trial, she discovered that it was Watchtower doctrine and had been used for decades to prevent other abused children from getting help. Soon, both she and Mark would leave the organization for good. Close friends stared at their feet when Kimmy ran into them at Walmart.
His business faltered. He and Kimmy had some savings to fall back on and would find other tenants. Mark told Evans his story and thanked him for the work he was doing. To his surprise, Evans wrote back, suggesting some online ex-Witness groups he should join. As he connected with ex-Witnesses around the world, he was struck by how similar their accounts were to his own. He began writing about his experiences on Facebook. His posts spurred conversations among former Witnesses, giving him a new sense of purpose.
By a strange twist of fate, one member, Geoffrey Jackson, was in Australia at the time, tending to his sick father. Watchtower had managed to avoid a subpoena by claiming that the Governing Body was strictly advisory and played no role in creating policy. Stewart used the manual to subpoena Jackson. It was an emotional moment for those whose abuse Watchtower had denied.
Perhaps, Mark thought, his extensive collection of Watchtower ephemera and his encyclopedic knowledge of the religion could be used for something other than recruiting. The conference marked the first time that Mark used his real name as an activist, figuring the Witnesses he knew in Baltimore were unlikely to hear about the small overseas gathering. In , a PIMO man and his girlfriend began walking into Kingdom Halls in Massachusetts, opening locked file cabinets with a set of stolen keys, and removing or making copies of sealed documents.
They had heard chatter about Watchtower covering up child abuse and, at first, simply wanted to see the evidence themselves. Most of the documents they took were letters between local elders and Watchtower headquarters, or from one congregation to another, discussing the alleged sins of individual congregants. A woman was disfellowshipped for having sex with her ex-husband when he came over to plow her driveway during a snowstorm.
In total, 12 individuals are named as suspected child molesters, though missing documents make it difficult to piece together some of the stories. Just five sentences long, the letter informed Watchtower that a ministerial servant had admitted to physically and mentally abusing his wife for years. No mention was made of involving police or taking steps to protect the wife. Judas had blacked out the names of the couple and the congregation, but not the date.
Jason Wynne saw the letter and sent Judas a private message, warning him that he could be exposing himself and others to legal trouble or harassment by posting sensitive documents online. Judas replied, asking for advice on how to release his other documents.
leondumoulin.nl/language/classic/66-festive-and-famous-chorales.php He also used secure channels to send scanned copies to Mark and Wynne.
Related The Real Truth About Guys: All Their Dirty Secrets Exposed
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved