October 1, 1907 issue of Watchtower
  • October 1, 1907 issue of Watchtower
  • source: Wikipedia
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A San Diego Superior Court judge has ordered the Church of Jehovah's Witnesses, also known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, to pay $4000 a day for every day that it fails to produce documents requested in a civil lawsuit brought by former parishioner Osbaldo Padron, who claims a church elder sexually abused him when he was seven years old.

In a June 23 ruling, expected to be made final today, judge Richard Strauss admonished the church for willfully ignoring a court order to produce all documents associated with a 1997 Body of Elders letter that church leaders sent to parishes around the world in a quest to learn about sexual abuse of children by church leaders.

Over the course of the past year, the Watchtower Society and its lawyers have fought hard to keep the letter confidential, claiming that turning over the documents would infringe on the privacy of those mentioned in the letter that were not associated with the case.

In March 2015, the church turned over a heavily redacted version of the letter. Opposing attorneys called the redactions excessive, rendering the document illegible. Judge Strauss then assigned a discovery referee to sit with the two sides. But having a referee involved didn't solve matters. Repeatedly, the Watchtower Society has stated that it will not comply with the order.

"By the time of the hearing on the motion for sanctions, it will have been over a year since the initial order and almost three months since the [referee's recommendation] was adopted," reads Strauss's ruling. "In the period since...Watchtower has shown no effort or willingness to comply with the discovery order.

"Based upon the history in this case and Watchtower's statements...the court finds that Watchtower's failure to comply is willful...Watchtower clearly has control over the documents it has already produced and could revise the redactions with regard to those documents. This is obviously and clearly within the scope of Watchtower's powers which it chooses not to exercise. Continuing to repeat its prior unsuccessful arguments in opposition to the discovery order further illustrates Watchtower's obstinacy in compliance."

In 2014 a San Diego Superior Court judge awarded 37-year-old José Lopez $13.5 million for damages as a result of sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of longtime church member Gonzalo Campos. In that case the judge found that church headquarters was aware of sexual abuse by church leaders and had tried to cover up the abuse. The church is in the process of appealing the decision.

The case was one of several against Campos.

Padron filed his lawsuit in 2013. In his lawsuit, Padron claims that the church was aware of Campos's abuse, dating as far back as 1982, when his 12-year-old roommate accused the then-18-year-old Campos of trying to have sex with him. The abuse, claims Padron and others, continued; and, during that time church leaders at the Playa Pacific Spanish Congregation in Linda Vista continued to give Campos more of a leadership role in the congregation.

From 1987 to 1994, Campos was accused of numerous assaults. In 1994 a parent of one of Campos's alleged victims wrote a letter to the congregation and church headquarters requesting an investigation. The letter did little. That same year was when the abuse began for Padron. According to his 2013 complaint, Campos molested Padron on numerous occasions from 1994 to 1995.

Two years later, the church sent their Body of Elders letter to congregations worldwide. The contents of the letter have never been made public, and it is unclear whether Campos was one of the members accused of sexually assaulting children.

Now, with Strauss's ruling, it appears that the church may be forced to change its tack. A civil trial is scheduled for August 19.

Padron's attorneys did not respond to requests for comment.

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Comments

AlexClarke June 25, 2016 @ 5:50 a.m.

Just another religious scam designed to control what you think, say and do along with separate you from your money. Of course there is always the side benefit for pedophiles.

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christsdisciple June 25, 2016 @ 12:33 p.m.

Jesus’ words: “Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny” Matt 5:25,26

After reading this scripture, and knowing the court ruling, clearly it is seen the WT’s GB cannot fit Jesus’ words said directly before this in Matt 5:14,16.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 6 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven who is in heaven.

By reading the news from Australia on years of hidden child abuse within the organization, why would any JW think different in this case? They practice pure deceit. Jesus faced the same thing with the people of Israel, which lead him to make the remarkable comment with seeing Nathanael: “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” John 1:47

By their deceitful attempt to evade the courts, invest donated money, avoid taxes, pronounce spiritual judgment by an elder body on the sheep – anointed and all - while many hide their own sins, be thoroughly immersed in the world they preach against, (NGO worldwide) these words of Jesus also apply:

“…stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” John 2:16

“Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed. As she glorified herself (GB as faithful and discreet, and as "Jehovah's organization") and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.’ For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.’”Rev 18:4-8

Who really are the “mentally diseased”? http://4womaninthewilderness.blogspot.com/2013/07/who-are-mentally-diseased.html Final Witness - christsdisciple.com

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dwbat June 25, 2016 @ 10:21 p.m.

Many theologians and biblical scholars assert that the Tetragrammaton "YHWH" should not have been changed to "Jehovah" as it was more likely pronounced as "Yahweh."

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