Psychology, Religion

Pedophilia: A Letter to my Mother in Support of Candace Conti

I compiled all this because my heart ached realizing how you’d judged Candace, and her mother—whose name is Kathleen Conti—”it was her mother’s responsibility”. You judged but you did not know the facts.

Candace Conti

Candace Conti

You raised me to think of Candace as my sister. My heart goes out to my sister. Looking at her face she even reminds me of my own sisters.

I don’t know if Candace is in association with the Watchtower any more. I imagine not. It doesn’t matter, to me she is my sister. I pray for her, in hopes that her belief in our heavenly father was not tied to the Watchtower as mine was. I hope she knows that the actions of those “imperfect men” do not represent that of her Father. I hope that if they disfellowshipped her, like others I know have been for going to the authorities and/or media, that she knows that this is not her Father rebuking her, but a corporation who is protecting their ass—er—assets. Short sighted, they are concerned with man, rather than God.

In this case Matthew 5:25,26 is coming true, but “every last penny” is nothing compared to the accountability before God.

Candace’s parents divorced in 1997. Her mother has supported her through this, and now her father has been called to testify according to documents filed by the Watchtower:

“Her father, Neal Conti, will testify that he never allowed plaintiff to leave the Kingdom Hall with Kendrick. Because his wife, plaintiffs mother, Kathleen Conti, had been abused as a child, he was very careful and vigilant in protecting his daughter from such things. He also denies ever allowing plaintiff to sit on Kendrick’s lap at the Kingdom Hall.”

While Candace’s mom has supported her, her father has taken a stand for the Watchtower against her. He, of course, will be compensated by the defendant for his considerable time in preparing to testify”.

With Candace’s father taking the stand for the Watchtower, I imagine that renders her—spiritually-speaking—fatherless, an orphan.

“If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” — James 1:26, 27

My friend is the CEO of the website topix.com and sees considerable traffic from Jehovah’s Witnesses posts, especially concerning this case—the comments are revolting.

I did a search to find the latest information tonight and it brought me there. It seems witnesses are gleeful that her father will testify against her, and focus on the elders testimony that they “kept a close watch on Kendrick”.

Before you jump to defend, go read all the documents. I have. It’s disgusting. Andrea, Brianna, Toi, and Candace. You’ll meet Paul, another molester in the congregation: “are you gonna wash the lotion out of my butt?”, the 5 year Jenna asks her mom, “the lotion that daddy put up there with his fingers”.

“Are you gonna wash the lotion out of my butt?” five year old Jenna asks her mom. “The lotion that daddy put up there with his fingers.”

Claudia the wife of the elder, and her deposition. Kendrick’s (now ex-)wife’s deposition reminds me of your childhood. She testifies that Kendrick and she had the elders to their home and before her and her daughter (his step-daughter).

Her daughter, Andrea, told the elders that he’d given her a Vicodin, watched tv with her in her room and then put his hand inside her bra touching her breasts skin-to-skin, and into her pants touching her genitals. The reason the elders was called was not for this, but because she had told her friend, another girl in the congregation, about his having come in and touched her breasts while she was sleeping—that you can read about in the elders letter to the Watchtower. The issue flared because this girl’s mother threatened to call the police.

The elders write the society to ask if two elders can handle the issue or if they have to form a judicial committee. WHAT?! They also acknowledge that they will follow the “other instructions carefully” that the legal department had sent.

The Watchtower writes back, also in court documents, agreeing that they should remove him as a MS, but that it doesn’t have to be handled as a judicial committee. Because the touching was unintentional. He unintentionally touched his step-daughter, and unintentionally touched her friend too. Hmmm. That’s a lot of unintentional touching.

The Watchtower does not respond to the fact that the mother of the other girl (who happened to be already disfellowshipped) was threatening to go to the police. This is all in 1993. Candace was abused beginning in 1994. The abuse reported of Toi was never investigated by the elders. (I guess if you’re a pre-teen of a disfellowshipped mom, then you’re not a member of the congregation…?)

Toi was brought to court by the Watchtower, and says she has no recollection she can now offer of 19 years ago.

The court didn’t care—the elders themselves had noted the accusation, documented it, and documented that they didn’t investigate. That she can recall now or not, especially when brought forth by the defendant, was irrelevant. “The Elders acted at all times as if the Toi Register complaint did not exist, and it is their conduct that is at issue.”

Isn’t that interesting? Just this weekend didn’t I say—with nearly the same exact circumstances—that I couldn’t recall what happened that prompted me to throw the milkshake at Travis Foote?

The Declaration filed by the Watchtower on behalf of Toi Register Hayes states that she was born in 1980, and  has no recollection nor reports any misconduct that she can recall during her sleepovers at Andrea’s—Jonathan Kendrick’s residence—in 1992/3.

Funny. I can’t recall anything to report to you either—but we both know that something happened. I didn’t throw a milkshake at Travis for ‘no reason’. Just as my not being able to recall what he did under the dinner table that night so that I reacted like that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, it means I simply can’t remember what it was I reacted to!

The elder’s wife testifies that she was uncomfortable when he bought Brianna Becker, a pre-teen, a black bra. Also that he was upset that his step-daughter was having sex with her boyfriend when his wife wasn’t having sex with him. —He lived with the elder and the wife for six months after he broke up and they lost their home.

Also, please don’t blame her mom. Her mom was raped.

People v. Jonathan Kendrick

People v. Jonathan Kendrick

The religious affiliation of her rapist was excluded from evidence by the Watchtower. Wonder why? Her mom married her father 6/1/85, Candace was born 11/25/85, and they divorced when she was 10.

This is Candace. When she was nine years old she was sexually abused. The abuse began, she testified, when she was going door-to-door with Jonathan Kendrick, a ministerial servant in her kingdom hall. It’s not her fault, and it’s not her mother’s fault. Her mother had no idea that Kendrick was a child molester because though the elders knew, they never told her.

This is Jonathan David Kendrick. Clicking on his name will take you to Megan’s Law, the website for registered sex offenders in California. (Have you thought about checking the database for predators that live near your grandchildren and who may be hiding in your congregations with access to the kids?)

Jonathan Kendrick

Jonathan Kendrick

The congregation was aware that Jonathan Kendrick had already been accused of molesting two other girls in their congregation (his step-daughter, and her friend), but had not reported it to the authorities nor warned parents in the congregation that a convicted child molester was serving as a ministerial servant in the congregation. After the two cases, he was removed as a ministerial servant, but remained in good standing in the congregation.

All the other details I wrote about above are not discussed in public, because it requires spending the night reading court depositions to uncover the truth—because for a brief moment you were embarrassed before your mother thinking you’d spoken abusively when — what was it that you said — that the abuser was her own father? I guess you had one part right—he had abused his step-daughter, but that’s not Candace, that’s his step-daughter. Candace was the one who was abused because the elders and the Watchtower “handled it” [the case of the step-daughter being abused], thus [The Watchtower] being found guilty by the court of law.

Candace Conti

You can read the story from reputable news organizations at: MSNBCUSA Today, or The New York Times. Momma, since you were a clerk of the court, you will probably prefer reading the court documents directly. Those are found on the Alameda County California Court website.

Watchtower Legal Department

Watchtower Legal Department

The nine cases settled in San Diego “admitting no wrong doing”. McLean, America’s Most Wanted (Jehovah’s Witness).

Travis Foote

Travis Foote

2002

I was living in Texas. What was going on where I lived in 2002 prior to moving? Well that was Texas, bordering Oklahoma where Travis Foote raped his two daughters. I didn’t learn about Travis until after I’d moved away. No one knew about Michelle’s kids, you know, the ones that made him so disarming to you? Momma—why—why—why—did I think of him “randomly” to search his name? Why? Do you really believe it was random? Do you know how very few people I’ve ever searched to look them up later??? I don’t believe it’s random, or coincidence. I believe that it was ‘inspired’. He wasn’t convicted of raping his daughters because no one brought that to the police. It’s just a side fact in another case, where his “former wife, Michelle Finney,  testified that Petitioner had told her that he had had sexual relations with other young  girls. She further testified that Petitioner had told her about his sexual fantasies involving  young girls. See TR III at 634-648.”

You know—Michelle—you mentioned her this weekend. Wasn’t it something about that feeling of safe because his wife was around? You can’t blame her—even if she were to report him to the Watchtower the Watchtower wouldn’t have done anything—so what responsibility did she have to us? For all we know she DID report him. We’d never know. And isn’t that the point? You can read the court appeal Travis filed, Michelle testifies “told her he had tried to have intercourse with H. F., his cousin who was then twelve or thirteen years  old, but that “it hurt her and he had to stop.”” He had sex with the other cousin, A.F. prior to her being 15 years old. Michelle found a note from her to Travis stating “she didn’t regret what had happened between them”. He had sex with another girl, Tamara when she was 15 or 16. Later she becomes his girlfriend. At the trial her then 11 year old niece testifies as the star witness, detailing Travis’ abuse of her when she was seven years old.

Travis Foote

Foote does not dispute: In a charging information filed on December 16, 2003, . . . Petitioner was charged with the offenses of Rape in the First Degree, Forcible Oral Sodomy, and Assault and Battery with Intent to Kill. The charges . . . involve a violent sexual assault of a female victim by two men. The victim was taken by the men in a pick-up truck to a remote location in Pottawatomie County where she was raped, beaten, and then thrown over a bridge. The victim survived the attack, although she sustained serious injuries in the approximately 35-foot fall from the bridge, including a broken neck. . . . [After an initial mistrial], . . . Petitioner was charged with the offenses of Rape in the First Degree, Assault and Battery with Intent to Kill, and Kidnapping. . . . [T]he jury found Petitioner guilty of all three counts and recommended sentences of thirty years, twenty years, and ten years, respectively.

At the end of 2002 I moved to Seattle—Here’s the case I told you about that was all hot then; it “broke” news January 2002 in The Seattle Times. They also covered Candace’s case, the headline: “Calif jury awards $28M in Jehovah’s sex abuse case.

In the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane, attorneys for the 23-year-old woman claim the church mishandled her complaints that she was sexually abused by a leader of the Othello Spanish Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Adams County from the time she was 4 years old until her family moved to Sacramento when she was 11.

Elders at her California congregation notified an elder at the Othello church when she told them of the abuse, but they discouraged her from calling police, the suit says.

Her abuser, 48-year-old Manuel Beliz, who served as a ministerial servant and an elder for the congregation, was briefly disassociated from the Witnesses but was reinstated, according to the suit. Beliz, who is also named as a defendant in the suit, was convicted in August of raping and molesting the woman and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

“They knew he was a pedophile and they ignored it,” Bellevue attorney Tim Kosnoff, one of the lawyers representing the victim, said of the church.

California’s mandatory report policy says very openly that “no evidence or proof is required prior to making a report”, according to The Chadwick Center for Children and Families of San Diego which runs California’s Mandatory Reporter website.

Kendrick: LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS WITH A CHILD UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE and SEXUAL BATTERY INVOLVING A RESTRAINED PERSON

Jonathan Kendrick: No contact w/ minors. No involvement w/ youth programs. No visiting places minors regularly attend.

Kendrick was convicted, and finally went to prison in 2004, of LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS WITH A CHILD UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE and SEXUAL BATTERY INVOLVING A RESTRAINED PERSON. See California Penal Code. These are in addition to those that went unreported by the congregation.

Jonathan Kendrick does it again.

Jonathan Kendrick does it again.

You’ll note that while North Carolina makes no allowance at all for privilege in mandatory reporting—meaning if you suspect something it is mandatory to report it—California actually protects communication between the accused and the elders in a judicial matter.

Clergy as Mandated Reporters of Child Abuse

Clergy as Mandated Reporters of Child Abuse

However, the “gotchya” is that this does not extend to families reporting the same abuse to the elders in the congregation. Thus, Kendrick could have confessed and the congregation or Watchtower would have been protected against reporting it. But the families of the two girls molested in the hall prior to Candace, in addition to her own family, reporting the abuse to the elders means that they were obligated to report it. (See Abrahamson deposition.)

Watchtower Spiritual Confidentiality Privilege for Sexual Abuse Claims

Watchtower Spiritual Confidentiality Privilege for Sexual Abuse Claims

The Watchtower claimed that this information was “spiritually privileged” and protected by the Watchtower “doctrine” so as to be protected by the First Amendment (which protects religion). It’s interesting reading — yet it was found that child sexual abuse is not deemed to be an exercise of religion.

California Penal Code

California Penal Code

Also included in the court documents:

Watchtower Child Sexual Abuse Policy

Watchtower Child Sexual Abuse Policy

Frederick McLean

Frederick McLean

Here’s the MSNBC news article regarding America’s Most Wanted Jehovah’s Witness Frederick McLean fugitive of San Diego, as well as several other Witness molesters, and the court cases. Momma, PLEASE READ IT.

Frederick McLean is one of the most-wanted fugitives in the United States, charged with 17 counts of child sexual abuse in California.  Law enforcement sources say that when a victim’s family confronted McLean in 2004, he allegedly confessed.  But before he could be arrested, McLean fled.

Authorities identified at least eight victims that McLean allegedly abused over the course of nearly a decade.  One victim estimated McLean molested her “over 100 times,” according to the U.S. Marshals Service.  Deputy Marshal Thomas Maranda, who is leading the hunt for the 56-year-old fugitive, says McLean gained the trust of many of his victims through his leadership position, as a so-called ministerial servant, in his local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses near San Diego.

“His role in the church was significant,” Maranda explains, “because we believe that his participation in the church gave him access to his victims.”

His role in the church also became a matter of legal controversy.  Last year, some victims’ families filed suit against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, alleging that both McLean’s local congregation and the church’s national headquarters, the Watchtower Society, “knew, or should have known, that Frederick McLean was a pedophile.”

The Jehovah’s Witnesses recently agreed to pay to settle that lawsuit and eight other similar cases, without admitting wrongdoing.   The cases all involved men the church allegedly knew had sexually abused children.  The settlements for those cases are confidential and filed under seal.

However, NBC News has obtained a copy of one of the settlements from the McLean lawsuit, and it may offer an indication of the potential magnitude of the payouts. According to the court record, the church agreed to pay $781,250 to the accuser, who claimed McLean abused her from age 3 to age 9.  (After legal fees and other costs, the accuser was set to receive approximately $530,000.)

James Henderson

James Henderson

The article continues to outline Presiding Overseer, Brother James Henderson of Red Bluff California, a serial molester.

Here’s Alvin Heard, also of Red Bluff, California, but another congregation. In 1981, Heard was kicked out after he admitted sexually abusing three children, whose “ages range from five nine and eleven years.” Reinstated “Heard admitted confessing to church elders in the late 1980s that he had molested four more young children. His punishment that time: “private reproval.” The congregation was not warned of the danger, nor did the elders report him to police or child welfare authorities. In the 1990s, Heard moved to South Dakota. In his deposition, he said he told elders there that he had a history of child molestation. They kept his secret.

Alvin Heard

Alvin Heard

By 2003, Heard had moved to Oregon, where he molested yet again.  In January 2004, he was indicted for sexually abusing a five-year-old boy.  He pleaded guilty and currently is serving six years, three months in prison.

In all, the nine settled lawsuits involved 16 victims and eight alleged abusers, all of whom – except Frederick McLean – have been criminally convicted.

Here are the quotes I read the night I was curious about how accurate my recollection was of those Catholic priest pedophilia magazines I told you I recall being embarrassed to place…

Watchtower June 15, 2008: Additional “disgusting things”include acts of pedophilia and other forms of sexual immoralitycommitted by clergymen and tolerated by the church authorities.  Is it any wonder that Jehovah God will soon rid this earth of falsereligion?Rev. 18:8. — w08 6/15 pp. 7-11

Watchtower January 8, 2005 “Watching the World” Church Doors Closing: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, U.S.A., has announced that it will close 65 of its 357 parishes—almost one fifth of the total. Some 60 churches and 120 related buildings will be sold. According to The New York Times, this restructuring is “caused partly by declining attendance and increased financial problems that were worsened by the sexual abuse crisis among clergy members.” The newspaper quotes R. Scott Appleby, director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at Notre Dame University, as saying that “the scandal has put a drain on the financial resources of the archdiocese” to such an extent that it cannot “keep parishes afloat.”

Watchtower December 8, 2005 “Watching the World” Catholic Dioceses Bankrupt: By the end of 2004, three Catholic dioceses in the United States had filed for bankruptcy. All three were forced to take this step because of the financial costs of clergy sexual abuse scandals. A number of dioceses have talked about the possibility of having to file for bankruptcy, but the first to do so was the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, in July 2004. That action halted two lawsuits in which plaintiffs were seeking a total of $155 million in compensation for molestation. According to the National Catholic Reporter, “the archdiocese and its insurers already have paid more than $53 million to settle more than 130 claims by people who say they were abused by priests.” In September 2004, the diocese of Tucson, Arizona, became the second diocese to seek bankruptcy protection from multimillion dollar claims being brought against it. The diocese of Spokane, Washington, became the third, in December 2004.

Are You Truly Tolerant?

“Of course, we need to avoid being overly tolerant. For instance, terrible damage is done when religious authorities tolerate abusive priests who persistently molest boys and girls. “Treating the children as occasions of sin,” commented one reporter in Ireland, “the church authorities merely moved on the offending priest [to another location].”

Is just transferring such a man an example of proper tolerance? Hardly! Suppose a medical body allowed an irresponsible surgeon to continue operating, transferring him from one hospital to another, even though he was killing or maiming his patients. A mistaken sense of professional loyalty might produce such “tolerance.” But what about the victims whose lives were lost or adversely affected because of negligent or even criminal practices?” — Watchtower July 15, 2001

Watchtower Index on Child Sexual Abuse

By—Catholic “brothers”: g94 3/8 28; g94 9/8 29

Catholic priests: g 3/11 29; g05 1/8 29; g05 12/8 29; g04 11/22 29; w01 7/15 21-22; w97 5/1 6-7; g97 4/8 13-14; g95 4/22 6; g93 4/8 31; g92 8/22 28; g91 8/22 29; g90 9/8 29; g90 12/8 31; w89 4/15 8; g89 1/22 10-11; g89 11/8 28

Standard

Leave a Reply