Jehovah’s Witness leader warns members to destroy evidence of child abuse claims because ‘Satan’s coming’
A leader in the Jehovah’s Witnesses community, Shaun Bartlett, who currently oversees record management told a group of elders to destroy all records because “Satan’s coming after us, and he’s going to go for us legally.”
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the organization has millions of members worldwide and a strong Jehovah’s Witnesses community in Philadelphia.
The religion has come under mass scrutiny for child sex abuse complaints. Bartlett, said documents could be a legal threat to their organization. A video recording of Bartlett’s sermon was leaked by an anonymous person at the beginning of the year.
“The question is: Why has this come up?” Bartlett said in the video. “Well, we know that the scene of this world is changing, and we know Satan’s coming after us, and he’s going to go for us legally. We can see by the way things are shaping up. So the organization has said, ‘We’ve run into difficulties in the past because of the records we have.’”
Last year a judge in California fined the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, the Jehovah’s Witnesses corporate, non-profit, $2,000 for refusing to release documents that detail information about 775 suspected child molesters within the organization.
Bartlett warned attendees to destroy all drafts because those are the documents that “get us in trouble.”
“And the reason is, is because there’s many comments that are sometimes made on drafts,” he said. “Those are the ones that get us in trouble,” he said.
Bartlett’s declined to comment for the story.