The Jehovah's Witnesses have refused to turn over secret documents regarding alleged child sex abuse. And it's getting very, very costly.
A new report from Reveal details how the religion has been mandated to pay $4,000 for every day it doesn't release the documents. So far, the tab has reached $2 million.
It all stems from a court case in which a former Jehovah's Witness and sexual abuse victim sued the religion for not warning congregants they were practicing alongside a confessed child sexual abuser. The accused, Gonzalo Campos, has admitted to abusing children. But the religion's headquarters knew of his conviction and didn't tell the congregation, court documents show.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Reveal has obtained internal Jehovah's Witness documents that suggest this case is part of a much larger cover-up. One of the documents, for example, claims religious elders have been told to keep child abuse allegations a secret since at least 1989.
A California appeals court upheld the $4,000-a-day ruling last week, but the Jehovah's Witnesses show no signs of relenting. You can read more about the ongoing investigation at Reveal.
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.