Spiritual Shepherds

CBC (Canada)
The Fifth Estate, Jan. 29, 2003

As Catholics and Anglicans confront the sins of their fathers, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been less than forthright about their own alleged legacy of abuse. But this church, too, has had serious problems, and around the world, former members are beginning to break the silence. In ‘Spiritual Shepherds’, host Bob McKeown exposes how the Jehovah’s Witnesses failed to deal appropriately with case after case of alleged abuse here in Canada. [Note: This program was broadcast on Jan. 29, 2003. The following information was included on the CBC web site:]

A Biography of Mike Moss
CBC (Canada)
The Fifth Estate, Jan. 29, 2003

Mike Moss is now twenty seven years old. He was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario but moved to Cambridge, Ontario when he was 17 to get away from the pain of being in the same community as the man who abused him and the church which he says let him down.

Mike was married for four years, but in 1999 his marriage broke up because of problems related to his abuse as a young teenager. Mike has been trying to put the sexual abuse he suffered in the Jehovah’s Witness church behind him. As part of that recovery process, he kept a diary of his thoughts a few years ago. In one entry, May 16, 1999, he wrote:

“I feel very lonely lately…I’m sad that I lost my family because of the religion….I am very hurt and feel that I am being punished for things that I do not know….I sit here crying knowing that nothing is real in my life and I’m just existing….I don’t want pity…I want a family….I feel betrayed by people who I have been loyal to my whole life…..everything is quiet around me except the sound of my own tears….it really hurts because it wasn’t supposed to be this way…..every time I take two steps forward, I get knocked back three.”

Mike is making every attempt to rebuild his life and get some sense of closure. That’s why he finally decided to go to the police himself in 1999 to press charges against Peter Gavin. A year later, he cut all ties with the church, although he is still close to his parents who remain Jehovah’s Witnesses. Along with his brother, Mike runs his own construction company, A & M Contracting based out of Cambridge. His specialty is office and residential renovations, including modifying homes for the recently disabled. One of his biggest projects last year involved redesigning a home to install a four-floor elevator. Mike enjoys playing hockey and volunteers with a local community group that helps kids.

Mike says he came forward and told the fifth estate his story not because he wants pity, but in hopes of changing the way the church handles cases of child sexual abuse, even if he can’t change what happened in his case. He wants to ensure the same thing won’t happen to another child. Mike also hopes he will inspire other victims of sexual abuse in the Jehovah’s Witness church to come forward. “The people, the list of names and what happened to these kids…it’s like the same story over and over again…..I don’t feel alone anymore,” he told us.


Read more about The Role of Provincial and Territorial Authorities in the Provision of Child Protection Services

Visit the music at Holly’s website.

Child Welfare Groups and Organizations
Here’s a list of organizations to contact if you are being abused or you suspect that a child is being abused.

Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies
75 Front Street East
2nd Floor
Toronto, ON
M5E 1V9
(from this website, individuals can access the contact info for 52 CAS’s in Ontario)
Office of Child and Family Service Advocacy
250 Davisville Avenue, Suite 503 5th floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1G2
Tel: (416) 325-5669
Fax: (416) 325-5681

National Youth in Care Network
20-99 Fifth Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1S 5K4
Tel: (613) 230-8945
Fax:(613) 230-4383

Alberta Children’s Services
107 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton AB T5K 2B6
Phone: (780) 415-4890
Fax: (780) 415-4859

Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres
77 East 20th Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia V5V 1L7
Tel: (604) 876-2622
Fax:(604) 876-8450

The Ministry of Children & Family Development
PO Box 9721 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9S2

Child and Family Services
216-114 Garry Street
Winnipeg MB R3C 4V4
Phone: (204) 945-6659
Department of Family and Community Services
P. O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1
Telephone: (506) 453-2001
Fax: (506) 453-7478

Health and Community Services
P.O. Box 5000
Grand Falls-Windsor, NF A2A 2Y4
Telephone:(709) 570-7819

Family and Children’s Services
P. O. Box 696
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada, B3J 2T7

Health and Social Services
Box 1320
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
X1A 2L9

Health and Social Services
Telephone: 867-975-5700
Fax: 867-975-5705

Family Violence Resources Guide
P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE
Canada C1A 7N8
Telephone: (902) 368-4900
Facsimile: (902) 368-4969

Famile et Enfance
1122, chemin Saint-Louis
Sillery (Québec) G1S 4Z5
Région de Québec : (418) 643-2323

Child Safety
400 – 119 4th Avenue South
Saskatoon SK S7K 5X2
Telephone:(306) 933-7331

Health and Social Services
Box 2703,
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6
Telephone: (867)-667-3633
Fax: (867)-393-6204


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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday February 4, 2003.
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