I was going to add an update to my previous post about the paedophile in my congregation in the late 1980s but I felt that this needed its own post. I have linked the original blog to this post. If you didn’t read my original blog about this subject, you can find it HERE.
I’ve been writing so much in my experiences and my thoughts that it suddenly struck me that with the vast amount of knowledge on the internet, I should really do some research on the paedophile that was in my congregation in the 1980s. I honestly didn’t hold out much hope to find anything as the internet as although there is a lot of information on the internet, historical data can sometimes be sketchy. So I started to search. At first, Google just threw up a lot of random information about current child abuse investigations around the world. Then I used the advanced search to be more specific in my search.
I found him. I am honestly in shock. When you don’t know the details, you can blind yourself to possibilities. When the details are put in front of you, in black and white, your perspective on life physically shifts. My skin is crawling. I’m shaking.
I have to emphasise that although this individual befriended me, bought me gifts and was in my bedroom more than once to look at my artwork, he didn’t abuse me. However, I feel violated now that I know what he did. He was a penfriend of my maternal aunt for many, many years after I stopped going to meetings. He wrote to her until he died a few years later.
I had thought he was in his late 60s. It turns out that he was 72. As in the original blog, I won’t name “Brother Brown” in this post for the reasons originally set out and the additional reason that naming him would quite easily identify me and, currently, I need to remain anonymous. However, if any of the information that I discuss seems familiar, and/or you are an activist, please feel free to contact me via this page or my social media links.
In my investigation I discovered that he had an extensive petty criminal history which also included indecency. In the late 1960s he was convicted of buggery. Now, this in itself doesn’t necessarily make him a paedophile, I am aware. Being homosexual was totally illegal in the UK until 1967 when a partial legalisation was allowed under The Sexual Offences Act 1967. It seems that the offence occurred prior to the change in the law but his conviction happened after. If it wasn’t for other discoveries in my investigation this could have been written off as possibly one of those historic “crimes” for which gay men were prosecuted. However, I am slowly untangling a web of horrific proportions that I feel so lucky to have avoided being anywhere but on the very periphery.
My recollection was that Brother Brown was named in at least one local newspaper as being investigated as part of a known paedophile ring. After a lot of digging, I have found one of the newspaper articles detailing the offences for which he was convicted in 1988. I have a copy of this particular newspaper clipping and it reads (with identifying information removed):
“Pensioner on child sex charge
THREE men including a 72-year-old pensioner were remanded in custody on child sex charges by XXXX Magistrates Court.
XXXX, 46, also known as XXXX and XXXX, of XXXX, is charged with indecently assaulting five children — four boys and a girl — aged between five and seven years and buggery with a 19-year-old youth on or before April 6 this year.
XXXX, 72, of XXXX, XXXX, and XXXX, 62, a sales rep of XXXX, XXXX, are charged with buggery on a 17-year-old youth on or before April 6 this year.
XXXX and XXXX were remanded in prison custody until July 8, while XXXX was remanded in police custody.
No bail applications was(sic) made.” – 1987
It also seems that some of the members of this paedophile ring had connections with the murder of at least one young boy. There were various linked official joint police operations. There were also several official inquiries into numerous connected paedophile. One of these inquiries resulted in the conviction of Brother Brown in addition to others.
The ‘XXXX Inquiry’ uncovered a catalogue of abuse against members of families that XXXX and his gang had been baby-sitting for. These men, who were linked to other groups, including the ‘XXXX’, wormed their way into the confidence of working-class families solely to abuse their children. For years, young victims were passed from man to man and from group to group.
I discovered this information and more on a few websites that are dedicated to finding out if child sex abuse investigations were properly conducted. One of these websites contains a database with masses of linked investigations.
Brother Brown was my friend. He had been in my bedroom. He had given me gifts. Yet the congregation elders did nothing to ensure that the youngsters in my congregation or other congregations were kept safe. They knew about this. I am thoroughly disgusted. I feel betrayed all over again. One of these elders in particular lived in Bethel and was a lifelong family friend and until today I held him in such high regard. I had made excuses for his behaviour. I had told myself that I had probably remembered the details incorrectly. I couldn’t believe that he would know about this and do nothing to protect me or others.
We weren’t allowed to talk about Brother Pedo because it was GOSSIP and because of this my maternal aunt ended up the penfriend of a PAEDOPHILE for YEARS. She would have been horrified and sickened. I can’t tell her now, it would break her heart. She is so old and, if I can help it, I refuse to allow any more hurt.
I apologise if this post is less than coherent. I need everyone to know about this. It has to be said, I need people to know that the Watchtower organisation’s policies have protected paedophiles rather than children every single time. They have betrayed every single one of their members, in particular the innocent children who were victims of child sexual abuse. I was one of the lucky ones. I don’t feel very lucky.
Thank you for reading my blog.