What's remarkable about this statement in the Watchtower magazine is the fact that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society paid out
Yet very few adherents of the WTBTS, Jehovah's Witnesses, know about these cases and the damages which were paid for by contributions made by Jehovah's Witnesses to the "World Wide Work".
Shocking double-tongued deceit.
* the WTBTS had a published standard for how cases of alleged sexual abuse should be handled, which included allegations of abuse against "appointed men" within the corporation such as "elders", "ministerial servant", "Circuit Overseers", etc. This standard had to be adhered to by all congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses. Firstly, the accuser was asked if there were any witnesses to the sexual molestation. If there were, then a judicial proceedings could be initiated against the accused**. If not, the accuser would find no judicial justice. The Watchtower magazine warned accusers not to speak out against their alleged abuser, otherwise they would be guilty of "slander", an "offense" itself dealt with judicially. There are anecdotal (i.e. not published in any Watch Tower publication) cases of accusers being disfellowshipped for "slander" for refusing to be silent about their alleged abuse.
The WTBTS did not always have an official policy require the elders in congregations where molestation had been alleged to alert the authorities. Nowadays the policy is that the elders should alert the authorities, if it is a requirement of the State or country where they live.
The WTBTS officially published guidelines in the Watchtower magazine stating that a person guilty of child molestation would not ever be allowed to hold a position of authority within the congregation again. However, private letters sent to each congregation's "body of elders" states something different, namely that the person - if a number of years had passed since their molestation of the child/children - may be considered for appointment to a position of authority, but that the elders should contact the local "Branch office" of the corporation for further instructions.
In other words, some men who serve as as "elders", "ministerial servant", "Circuit Overseers", etc, may in fact be convicted pedophiles. Of course, the congregations where they serve will not be informed of their past.
Anecdotal evidence (i.e. not published in any Watch Tower publication) cites examples of "elders" being accused of child molestation, but due to the lack of multiple witnesses to the abuse, being allowed to move to a different congregation, where they are again accused of molestation, again without multiple witnesses. They would then be allowed to move to another congregation and repeat the cycle.
"Appointed men" who move from one congregation to another have a letter sent separately from their old congregation to their new by means of introduction and to recommend their re-appointment. The WTBTS has published written instructions to "bodies of elders" whereby no mention of the alleged sexual abuse of children is to be mention in the letters of introduction. Therefore, it's possible for an "appointed man" to move from congregation to congregation abusing children and as long as there are no witnesses to the abuse, he can remain in a position of trust, authority and respect.
If anyone wishes to see scans of these letters sent to the "bodies of elders" re. how to handle alleged child abuse, please let me know.