"In my home congregation, for instance, there were several molesters, one of whom was reported multiple times to the elders and nothing was ever done until several of his victims (by that time ex-JWs) got the courage to press criminal charges against him decades after they were victimized. This man was serving as a Ministerial Servant in his latest congregation, had never been disfellowshipped, and had been a career pedophile for almost 40 years with full knowledge of the elders in at least 4 different congregations. His victim list was long....Ralph Heroux.....ministerial servant....molested multiple victims over a period of decades....reported to the elders multiple times in several congregations....nothing was ever done congregationally, and no one ever knew about his propensities until two of his victims, who were at that point ex-JWs filed criminal charges against him that, because of a loophole, were not negated due to the statute of limitations...."
Those are the words of an opposer of Jehovah's Witnesses who we will call RHW. She uses Ralph Heroux as a glaring example of the failure of the child abuse policy of Jehovah's Witnesses. We've heard these types of stories over and over again. But an investigation into the Ralph Heroux case will actually provide us with a glaring example of how opposers lie, deceive, and exaggerate in hopes of discrediting Jehovah's Witnesses and their child abuse policy.
For those not familiar with the case here are the people involved:
When Massachusettes passed a law that child abuse allegations, even if in the past, must be reported, the elders then reported the alledged child abuse by Ralph Heroux. As a result he was convicted of child abuse and sent to prison.
RHW uses the classic ploy of apostates and opposers.
Lets examine the accuracy of what she says in view of the documentation and testimony of others. RHW's comments in italics.
"This man ...had never been disfellowshipped, and had been a career pedophile for almost 40 years with full knowledge of the elders in at least 4 different congregations." ;
RHW directly contradicts an article at Silentlambs. The article found at that site states: "However, the suit alleges the Attleboro congregation was told of abuse and that Heroux was "disfellowshipped",...." Imagine that! RHW contradicts the number one site that criticizes the Watchtower's child abuse policy. Of course, when faced with this information she had no recourse but to alter her story. She crawfished backwards stating: "During my time in the Attleboro congregation, he was never disfellowshipped....ever .... Once I left it, there was no mention at any time before I became inactive that he had been disfellowshipped. One JW friend who did keep in touch with me was in that congregation for quite some time after I left, and she never mentioned anything about his being disfellowshipped at any time." So basically her story goes from a definite "This man...had never been disfellowshipped" even though he was "a career pedophile for almost 40 years" to I never heard of him being disfellowshipped. Of course the former statement sounds so much better if a person is trying to make Jehovah's Witnesses look like a pedophile paradise.
Continuing with her quotes: "nothing was ever done congregationally...This man was serving as a Ministerial Servant in his latest congregation..."
If nothing was done and Heroux continued to be a ministerial servant how can it be explained why Kristi Hynes at the silentlambs site is quoted as saying: "Sheila (her mother) is also the one who went to the Circuit overseer and reminded him what Ralph had done when they wanted to make Ralph a ministerial servant." It seems something was indeed done after all since he was not serving as a ministerial servant at this point in time nor was he recommended by the elders. RHW essentially calls the victim of the molestation a liar.
"His victim list was long....Ralph Heroux.....ministerial servant....molested multiple victims over a period of decades"
Of course, when asked to provide proof RHW could give no evidence whatsoever that the molesting took place over 'a period of decades' nor any evidence that he molested any children in the congregation besides his biological children, a stepdaughter, and the cousin? She could not provide a long list of children in the congregation who even claimed that they were molested by Heroux?
"a career pedophile for almost 40 years with full knowledge of the elders in at least 4 different congregations." Compare that statement to this: "Ralph was reported to the elders in at least three congregations.
Hmmm. Was it 3 congregations or 4 congregations? And what proof did she have that the elders knew of the molesting in those 3 or 4 congregations? In fact after further questioning of RHW about the events in other congregations she finally had to admit: "What occurred in other congregations, I do not know."
Continuing: "They (the elders) did NOT "report" it. They were required to turn over the records.... I'm sure that they never expected the state to call in those records, but turning them over is NOT "reporting" the matter. Please try to get your facts straight and stop twisting them to suit your own needs."
Here is the letter sent to Kristi Hynes which you can find at silentlambs:
"SEEKONK CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
290 Arcade Ave.
Seekonk , MA 02771
May 28, 2002
Dear Jane Doe,
As required by the new Massachusetts child abuse reporting law, we made a report on the 28th of May 2002 , to the Office of the Bristol County District Attorney of allegations that we received that you were a victim of child abuse. This notice is provided to you as required by the new law.
Very truly yours,
Body of elders
For the Seekonk Congregation"
Additionally at the silentlambs site you will find this quote: "The church elders sent her a letter as required by a newly enacted law requiring churches to report allegations of sexual abuse to authorities."
RHW was again being deceptive. The elders were not told by the state to specifically turn over all the records on Ralph Heroux. The state made a law that past child abuse allegations had to be reported and so the elders 'reported' the allegations against Ralph Heroux. This prompted the arrest and conviction of Ralph Heroux. Notice the date of the letter sent by the elders was May, 2002. Heroux was arrested and pled not guilty (his original plea) in Jan, 2003. Yes, the elders 'reported' it. RHW's spin on the subject was nothing more than an attempt at giving misleading and deceptive information in hopes of discrediting Jehovah's Witnesses.
"They sat on it for decades until they were FORCED to report it....they sat on it for decades until they were forced into a corner."
The Watchtower Society was never 'forced' to report the allegations. They were not forced into a corner. The state knew nothing about the allegations. The Watchtower Society could easily have not reported it and no one would have known any better. Isn't that what apostates often claim anyway, that the Watchtower Society and the elders do not usually report molesting even when required by law. But here they are reporting molesting after 30 years. That in itself totally disproves the allegations that the Watchtower Society does not usually report allegations even if required by law.
"Oh, and to clarify matters, the "report" was NOT the key element that led to his arrest and conviction. It was the forwarding of that report BY THE STATE to the victims that caused THEM to seek to file a criminal complaint against Ralph. The congregation's "report" had nothing to do with it directly."
RHW here counts on everyone being total idiots. Even the silentlambs website says: "The church elders sent her a letter as required by a newly enacted law requiring churches to report allegations of sexual abuse to authorities. The letter triggered the Attleboro woman's repressed memories of the abuse, the suit says. A subsequent investigation led to an indictment against Heroux and his eventual guilty plea to indecent assault and battery and rape charges."
"The two victims who finally pressed charges had left the JW organization, and had repressed the memories of the incidents until they received notification from the State of Massachusetts about the complaints that had been filed with the congregation years before."
If Kristi Hynes had repressed memories how can it be explained why in her letter on the same Silentlambs site she states: "I moved out of Sheila's house when I was 18 years old and I moved on with my life as best that I could. I never mentioned a word about the abuse to a soul not even because I was ashamed." And if she had repressed memories how can it be explained why Bowen's press release states: "Kristi Hynes-35, of Appleboro , MA , was a faithful Jehovah’s Witness who was baptized at age 13. When she came forward at age 14 to report being raped by her step father from the age of 5-14,..." Once again, opposers contradict themselves or their fellow oppposer.
In fact, when pressed for detailed answers about Ralph Heroux we found that RHW knew no more than anyone else who had read about the case, maybe less. Here were some of her answers to pointed questions.
When was he a ministerial servant? What years and what congregations? When was he removed as a ministerial servant? "Can't give specifics,...
Was he removed? "I don't know."
What years did he attend the Attleboro congregation? "Don't know specific years,...."
When did he move to the Seekonk congregation and how many years was he there? "Check with them."
What congregation did he attend after this? "Check with the Society."
When he remarried after Sheila divorced him what congregation was he in and have those stepchildren accused him of abuse? Has that wife divorced him? "Check with the Society."
Is he still alive? I don't know. Check with the Seekonk congregation."
Wow, can you believe it. For someone who keeps crying foul in the Heroux case because of her first hand information she sure does not seem to have much information about the situation or else is simply reluctant to devulge what she knows in order to keep us from finding out the honest truth. It seems RHW just wants us to accept what she says and don't dig too deep. RHW seems to be confirming the words that proof is the enemy of the opposers of Jehovah's Witnesses! But then, lo and behold the truth was about to come out.
In order to show that she knew details of the case without receiving any information from apostate sites she had clearly stated: "I haven't read the account on the Silentlambs site, ..." But then, we discovered a statement from her at the site called Topix some 4 months before she made the above statement. She stated of Ralph Heroux: "His victim list was long. From what I've read on sites such as SilentLambs,..." Oops. Busted!
So in addition to her contradicting Silentlambs and the victim, Kristi Hynes, RHW was caught in an obvious lie. Did she really even know Ralph Heroux? Now, caught in an obvious and outright lie, it was time to use the apostate ploy that attempts to play on emotions making anyone who questions them appear to be on the side of the molester and against the victim. And so she said, "Do JW apologists even CARE about the victims in these congregations, or are they more interested in pulling out old posts that appear, on the surface, to damage MY credibility, which is, of course, NOT the issue here."
What the facts in the Heroux case actually show.
1. Ralph Heroux was disfellowshipped.
2. There is no long list of victims in several congregations over several decades.
3. It is only Heroux's family members who are claiming that they were molested by him, not 'numerous JW children'.
4. No children have claimed they were molested since Heroux's stepdaughter in the late 1970s which is when the elders found out about it.
5. There has been no proof showing that Heroux was made a ministerial servant after the elders found out about the molesting in the late 1970s and even if he was a ministerial servant after that time, it is a non-issue since no one is claiming that he molested them after the 1970s.
6. The elders complied with the new mandatory reporting law even though they could have not done so and no one would have ever known any different.
7. It was the elders reporting the allegations, not the victim, that led to Heroux's arrest and ultimate conviction and yet the alleged victim now wants to lay responsibility on Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watchtower Society, even though without the elders reporting it there would have never been a conviction and her lawsuit against the Watchtower Society would have never been filed.
How many other stories of opposers or apostates are based on lies, exaggerations, and deceit like this one? Since opposers and apostates usually have only one agenda and that is to discredit the Watchtower Society regardless of what the truth reveals, no doubt it is safe to say that quite a few are bogus.
Chapter Twenty-four: ______ Vs WT