EDITOR’S NOTE: TRIGGER WARNING: This story contains graphic details of child sex abuse of an elite pedophile ring within the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society branch of Jehovah’s Witness in Australia.
The congregational servant was giving a Public Talk and I sat there in silence, frozen like a statue. I dared not speak or move because if I disobeyed the rules, father would severely discipline for not paying attention to the Talk. He was a disciplinarian and ruled the family with an iron fist. I acted the part I had to play: the perfect little Jehovah’s Witness daughter. I knew children were to be seen not heard at Meetings, Circuit Assemblies and District Conventions.
At age three the abuse began. It was Saturday September 14, 1963 and my father ordered me “We’re going to see your grandmother”. He never looked to me when he spoke. He also ordered my mother to pack a little brown leather case and he told her I would be staying the weekend with my grandparents. As we left the house my mother waved with a big smile and said, “bye bye darling, hope you have a lovely time”. She never questioned him would I be safe or why was I going?
My paternal grandmother was terrifying. My father dropped me at her Melbourne home in the morning and I stayed there until the evening where I sat in silence and was a quite as a mouse. At night-time, cars pulled up and men and women arrived from the cobbled lane adjacent to the back fence and entered through the back gate. I later learned that the men and women were the Jehovah’s Witnesses elite.
One of the elite pedophiles was the family doctor. My grandmother led me into the dimly lit dining room where the elite were siting in a circle. My grandmother pushed me down on a table and a man stepped forward and lowered himself over me. I had no idea what was happening. Then I felt a piercing pain as he moved on top of me. I struggled, but my grandmother pushed me back and she snarled “you are a wicked, evil girl and the only reason why you were born is to be abused”. That was the mantra she and my father repeated over and over for the next ten years. The man on top of me stopped and another took his place. I don’t know how many men raped me that night. Afterwards, I was examined by my doctor who patched me up. After they were all finished, my grandmother took me to my ‘bedroom’ on the back veranda. It was a tiny room with a bed and no windows. She locked me in.
On Sunday morning my grandmother unlocked the door and took me to the laundry, where there was a bath and then she scrubbed me down using a scrubbing brush with lavender pine-o-clean disinfectant. After that she dressed me in white frilly socks, black patent leather shoes a pretty frock and put ribbons in my hair. My father returned and entered the front door. I watched grandmother hand him half the money. He then drove me to the Congregation Meeting and i stayed silent in the back seat.
I was sore, terrified and confused. The tears kept welling up, but I knew I had to be the perfect child, so I fought them back. From that day on, I was regularly abused on Saturday nights at my grandmother’s home. My father had sold me as a child prostitute to the elite Jehovah’s Witnesses pedophiles. The ‘Sisters’ would regularly came up to me and ask, “how was I?” I would always burst into tears and say, “I can’t cope because of my mum and dad……,” They would scowl and say, “how dare you talk against your parents, don’t you remember that your mother was a missionary? And your father was a saint for marrying her?”
My mother had attended Gilead School in Brooklyn NY and after graduating she became a Missionary in Japan. She contracted encephalitis and was in a coma for three months and after she regained consciousness she was sent back to Australia. She regularly suffered with Grand Mal epileptic seizures. She was also a schizophrenic resulting in regular psychotic breaks. She terrified me, but I was her care and my father told me I was responsible for her health. She was often catatonic and i was abandoned by her.
On one Saturday night day at the grandmother’s house, one man threatened me and said “if you don’t fully satisfy my wife, i will go home and do this [to] my daughters. All i wanted was to protect children, so i tried to be a better and better at pleasing them.
When i I started school in 1965, I suffered chronic bladder and kidney infections, sore throats, blood noses and adult acne. I packed my school bag with extra pairs of pants because I could never make it to the toilet in time. I felt so much shame. Every day after the final school bell, i would beg my teacher “what jobs would you like me to do?” I never wanted to go home.
Why didn’t the teachers observe my behaviors and investigate why this was happening to me? I’d look at other little girls at school and would wish to have their life. I believed I was bad and evil and i deserved to be abused.
My father also sold me to blue collar workers on Saturday afternoons when football club were on away games.
On my 13th birthday the abuse ended. In 1972 I started high school and I was desperate to be accepted and became the class clown. By day I pretended to be happy. I cried myself to sleep every night and woke up crying every morning. My father no longer touched me, i was like a leper to him.
When I turned 17 years old, I rebelled against my father and went to live with a Jehovah’s Witness family in Tasmania. The parents were Missionaries with my mother. At the same time, I met a boy who was attending Meetings. After what I’d been through, all I craved was love and acceptance. He kept asking me to marry him and eventually I said “yes”. After many years I when I tried telling him what had happened. But instead of believing me he was consistently say to our daughters “don’t believe a word she is saying; she is making it up for attention and she’s not really your mother just the woman who gave birth to you”. We had four children together. I tried to be a good and obedient Jehovah’s Witness wife and mother, but I feel into severe depression and was suicidal. He kept ordering me out of my home and would “get out and don’t come home until you fixed”.
He ordered me to go to a male Jehovah’s Witness who was a massage therapist. I was initially reluctant but eventually gave in and was obedient to my husband. He groomed me and I was powerless to resist. He took advantage of me. I felt empty, soulless, like a piece of meat and he prayed on me and made me into an adult prostitute. Like many victims suffering with Complex PTSD, I used to self-medicate with alcohol and Xanax.
In 2006 at age 44, I finally realized my whole life had been ruined by the Jehovah’s Witnesses Cult. I wrote to the Australian Branch of Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in Denham Court, Ingleburn and asked them to annul my baptism. They never replied but I quickly learned by being shunned by the Jehovah’s Witness who were my entire support system. To them I was a mentally diseased apostate and they treated like a leper. It was as if I no longer existed and was invisible.
Now i was waking up and i realized that I had been exploited by the ‘massage therapist’ I made a written complaint to Tasmania’s Health Complaints Commissioner resulting with him no longer being a massage therapists and could no longer groom women and sexually assault them.
I slowly began to wake up, deprogram and heal. But i I must be vigilant and work every day on healing for the rest of my life.
I was introduced to an Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (ARC) counselor. I became his client for years including giving my testimony in a Private Hearing. In 2015 i received a phone call from the ARC informing me the Jehovah’s Witnesses were going to be investigated. I attended Case 29, Case 54, the Final Sitting and the National Apology to child abuse victims.
My aim in sharing my story is for all victims to come forward and give yourself a voice. We can join together and heal and by coming forward we can expose cults and make a safer world for children.
2 replies on “Escaping the Jehovah’s Witnesses Cult AKA Watchtower Bible and Tract Society”
Thank you for being so brave in sharing this story. These words are so hard to hear, but even more important to speak them. My heart breaks for little you and all the other little ones that are being abused in the same fashion and I am angry and disgusted at the abusers who do these things. May you continue to find healing every day.
Dear Survivor, you have so much strength to have withstood everything that happened to you, and to have courageously given your testimony to the Commission and instigated an investigation of these crimes. It takes people like you to stand up against these abuses and put a stop to them. Your testimony will help to bring these crimes to light, and it will help others not to feel ashamed of abuses that were perpetrated against them, in this and similar groups. Please continue to speak out so bravely. You are heroic.