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Victims and victims’ advocates gather to discuss the Jehovah’s Witness church and abuse

Bowen contends that the Witnesses organization is a “pedophile paradise” because of the strong authority exercised by local elders and their overseers and the unusual way in which cases are handled.

As members of the faith understand biblical teaching, an accusation of wrongdoing must be supported by two people with direct knowledge, which Silentlambs says is impossible in most molestation cases. Without such corroboration, the accused person is deemed innocent, Silentlambs says, and victims and parents can be “disfellowshipped,” or excommunicated, for slander if they speak up.

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