Jehovah’s Witnesses are confronting allegations of a widespread child sexual abuse coverup, mostly centered around a database of abusers that critics say are managed by their Brooklyn Watchtower Bible and Tract Society headquarters, a property recently purchased by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Trey Bundy, a reporter for investigative radio program Reveal, has spent the last few years following the case, and he recently sat down with WNYC to share some of his most recent findings. Bundy claims that Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is a highly secretive organization with underground tunnels that link it to at least 30 other properties in the area. Inside, he says, leadership can access a roll call of sexual abuse cases involving Jehovah’s Witness members.
“It’s the nerve-center of a multi-billion dollar corporation that has interests in publishing, in real-estate….it’s the head of a religion with eight million members, but it’s this very secretive place.”
Bundy alleges that Jehovah’s Witness leadership has been ordering its congregation to keep incidents of sexual abuse within the church for at least 25 years. He references a series of memos that Watchtower has emitted: one, from 2012, makes the statement, “Not every individual who has sexually abused a child in the past is considered a ‘predator.’” Another recent one from 2014 shows a continued push to keep such inquiries within the organization.
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