I recently began a new project using Google Maps to plot locations, news articles and other sources regarding high-profile crimes committed by Jehovah's Witnesses.
You can view and browse the worldwide map by clicking this link
, or the image below. Clicking on the points of interest in the map will reveal excerpts from media articles regarding such reports, as well as links to any available citations.Why am I doing this?
Jehovah's Witnesses sincerely believe that they are God's sole chosen organization on earth; that they alone will populate the Earth after the literal and imminent war of Armageddon destroys all non-members; and that their community today consists of a virtual paradise-like brotherhood, devoid of crime, dishonesty, and the social problems faced by society at large. The aim is not to suggest that all of JW's are criminals.
Rather, it serves to debunk the false notion promoted by the leaders of the Watchtower that membership in their organization constitutes a "safe haven" from high-profile crime, violence, fraud, and sexual victimization. Since Jehovah's Witnesses are not allowed to search the Internet or do any sort of independent research on faith-related topics, nor are they allowed to read any material critical of their beliefs, active members are largely unaware of such criminal cases within their community.
This myth is often perpetuated by members of the sect, who commonly cite this perceived communal "protection" as one of their primary reasons for becoming and/or remaining a member. The rest of society (referred to as "the world" by members) is typically portrayed as a dystopian, chaotic slum, largely devoid of love, honesty, morality, and order. Rather, independent sources clearly indicate that criminal activity is at least as common within the confines of the Jehovah's Witness community as it is within the rest of society, if not more common, due to the socially & intellectually isolated nature of the community, the limits placed on secular education, Watchtower policies and customs that directly or indirectly facilitate the harboring of criminals (especially sexual predators), and the higher prevalence of mental illness
This map is updated manually based on postings from searchable online media outlets, and is by no means a scientific study or a complete representation of all crimes committed by JWs. Not all media, court, and police reports mention the religious affiliation of the accused.
Sources cited in the details. Locations are approximate.