Charity Commission inquiry: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain

The Charity Commission has published the findings of its inquiry into the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain. There is also a press release, here.

The inquiry has a long history. In 2007 the Commission opened a statutory inquiry into the London Mill Hill Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (a separately registered charity – 1065638) as a result of the conviction of an elder for the historic abuse of 13 young people over a period of 15 years. That inquiry found that the Mill Hill Congregation did not have a child protection policy, and in October 2007 there was a meeting between the charity and the Commission at which the charity explained that there was a long history of providing scripturally-based safeguarding guidance to Congregations through their religious publications, but that there was no formal standalone safeguarding policy. It was subsequently agreed that the policy would be developed centrally by the charity for dissemination to all the JW congregations.

The inquiry of which this is the conclusion opened in May 2014 after an elder in Mill Hill was convicted for historic sexual offences. Continue reading