Child sex abuse activist Anderson interviewed on national TV show on church allegations

Tullahoma News/November 29, 2007

Barbara Anderson, of Tullahoma, a former member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, was interviewed recently on national television about her allegations that the denomination's policies protected church officials and other Witness pedophiles who sexually abused children for many years.

On Nov. 21, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams aired a TV interview with Anderson. During the program, Lisa Myers of NBC News Investigative Unit, presented new evidence of Anderson's allegations to the national audience.

In addition, MSNBC has a transcript of the full NBC interview available on its Web site.

That same evening, NBC's Nashville affiliate, WSMV-TV, presented an interview with Anderson during its 10 p.m. news program.

According to Anderson, she has amassed nearly 5,000 pages of court documents that are presented on a digital CD titled, "Secrets of Pedophilia in an American Religion, Jehovah's Witnesses in Crisis," for the general public to examine.

After reviewing the CD, NBC apparently became interested in her efforts to substantiate her claim that although church headquarters kept track of sexual abuse cases in a data-base, their rules hindered reporting accusations of child abuse to the authorities.

As mentioned in the MSN article, Anderson contends that Witness policies "protect pedophiles rather than protect the children."

Anderson complained that for years the Witnesses treated "Child abuse as a sin and not a crime." Consequently, "repentant" molesters were not turned over to the authorities. In addition, she said, court records support her allegations.

The paraphrased official response concerning the allegations from Jehovah's Witnesses corporate head - the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society - is, "We abhor child abuse and such cases are rare." Anderson, however, disputes that claim.

"The court documents on the CD are full of dialog and documentation exchanged between opposing counsels in 12 different alleged child molestation cover-up cases," she said. "Shortly before these cases were scheduled to go to open court trial last April, where evidence would expose the responsibility of Jehovah's Witnesses for secretly allowing molesters to hold positions of authority within the religion, the defendant, Watch- tower, secretly settled out of court with 16 plaintiffs paying as much as $12,500,000 in total."

NBC News reported that it obtained a copy of one of the settlement documents in which an alleged victim in one of the nine cases involving 16 victims received $781,250.

"By absolute insistence of the defendant Watchtower's attorneys, all of the plaintiffs and their attorneys were required to sign a conditional 'do not ever talk about this to anyone'" confidentiality order, says Anderson. Then the Watchtower organization walked away without admitting any liability, she said.

Anderson says some of the court documents she was able to obtain "were intended by defendants to be buried for eternity."

The CD containing the court documents as well as other information related to these lawsuits can be obtained by going to the following site: where links are also provided to see the NBC Nightly News report and other NBC media coverage of Anderson's allegations.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.