The recipient of this legal smackdown – to the tune of almost 23 million USD – are the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In a precedent setting ruling, Candace Conti was awarded 28 million USD – 7 is damages and 21 punitive. (The Jehovah’s Witnesses are to pay the 21 million in punitive damages and 40% of the 7 million in damages.)
‘A substantial part of her allegations dealt with claims that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York (the organisation that oversees the Jehovah’s Witnesses) had adopted a policy in 1989 that instructed congregation leaders to keep child abuse allegations secret. This meant that when Conti’s abuser from the 1990s, Jonathan Kendrick, was convicted in 2004 of molesting another girl, the elders at the North Fremont Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses did nothing to prevent him coming into contact with other kids at the church.’
Of course, he re-offended – and the ‘Church’ is being punished for not taking precautions as well as for not having revealed his history when he did eventually molest another child.
I suppose that making them financially accountable is the only way these organizations which hide behind piety and enforce silence on their congregation through ‘eternal blackmail’ will sit up and start paying attention!
We are not as gullible as we used to be!
We will not permit pedophiles to pray on children, just because they pretend to be ‘closer to god’ than the rest of us!
And, we will not let organizations hide pedophiles just because they play the ‘religion’ card!
As a matter of fact, let’s go a step further: let’s let people believe whatever batpoop-crazy stuff they want, but let’s hold those who profit/make their living from marketing it live up to the same consumer protection laws that every other commercial entity has to.
If you can prove the claims about your product (that would be your dogma) – continue to sell it.
If not – then let’s call fraud a fraud.
While you’re at it – start paying your fair share of taxes on your highly lucrative commercial enterprises!
And if you don’t think that religious organizations are highly lucrative commercial enterprises, then I have this bridge here I’d like to sell you. It’s a great deal: you pay me now, get the bridge after you die!
Oh – and here is an afterthought: stop mutilating your children in the name of religion! It is NOT your religious right to violate the bodily integrity of another human being!!! (Plus being this obsessed with your kids genitals is seriously creepy – please, seek professional help!)
(Sorry – pedophiles make me angry. Organizations that hide, protect and enable them make me angrier… People who mutilate their own kids in the name of their own religion – they make me about as angry as angry can get!)