Article: The death of Theodore Jaracz

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The death of Theodore Jaracz


Article about Theodore Jaracz on christianwitnesses.com

The source for much (not all) of the following is Barbara Anderson who did research for the Writing Department of the Watchtower Society's world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York (USA).

About 7:30, June 9, 2010, Theodore (“Ted”) Jaracz, of the Governing Body ruling over Jehovah's Witnesses died. Previously on May 19, 2009, he had had a serious stroke but recently had seemed to have made a big recovery, giving some assembly talks.

He had been born in 1925 and was 85 yrs old at death. Even prior to the major stroke he also been diagnosed with a heart condition.

Raised in southern Illinois, in 1951 Jaracz was being sent to Australia as a branch overseer where he was diligent in preaching and demanding theocratic order. However, for some reason or reasons no one has yet divulged, about 1956 he was ordered to leave the Australian branch. Now that he has died it is more likely to come out.

He was sent back to the United States where he eventually declared himself to be “one of the anointed.” At the Watchtower Society’s world headquarters he also wound up as head of the Service Department over Bodies Of Elders around the world.

In 1972 the Watchtower Society sent a directive to its Bodies Of Elders saying they need not delete as fellow Elders those who confessed to having committed pedophilia provided “several years” (later defined to 2-3 years) had passed and they appeared to still be enjoying “Jehovah’s blessing,” meaning their pedophilia had not become widely known beyond the other Elders of the Watchtower Society.

Shortly, the then President of the Watchtower Society, Nathan Homer Knorr, invited Jaracz to also be on Watchtower’s Governing Body board of directors as a way to get even after the directors began shifting power from Knorr over to the Governing Body.

Knorr did so knowing that Jaracz was a hardline fanatic. Nicknamed "Boss" by the other Governing Body members, once empowered, Jaracz took positions on policies that harmed the lives of millions of rank-and-file JW’s and their children around the world.

For example, Anderson says that Jaracz was single-handedly responsible for the hard-line attitude towards child abuse victims and the way the Service Department dealt with child abuse.

After appointed to the Governing Body in 1973, Jaracz, as head of the Service Department over all of Watchtower’s Elders, heartily promoted what the 1972 directive had stated. Due to Jaracz those who had been molested were silenced, while their molesters, often Elders, were allowed to stay in good-standing.

As the years rolled by the numbers and percentage of pedophile Elders and other pedophiles among the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses quietly increased, reaching crisis proportions that would eventually become a scandal breaking onto the world news.

Jaracz detested the October 8, 1991 Awake! about molestation and the following April 8, 1992 Awake! article that contained letters thanking the Governing Body. He even ordered the Watchtower Society’s factory not to print the October 8, 1992 Awake! on child molestation!

Instead, Jaracz sent forth Circuit Overseers to intimidate child abuse victims into silence by threatening them with disfellowshipping if they continued to accuse Watchtower Elders and Ministerial Servants of having molested them. He rewarded one especially dilligent Circuit Overseer, Guy Pierce, by appointing him to the Governing Body.

Another Circuit Overseer who also helped Jaracz in threatening victims was named Beagle. However, Circuit Overseer Beagle died after being in Bethel only one year due to a viral infection in his heart.

In 1999 Kentucky-based Elder William H. (“Bill”) Bowen went public about the coverup, the story going into newspapers and later appearing on national and international television channels, for example Dateline NBC, CBS, CNN, BBEC. Bill Bowen also founded silentlambs.org and began the website silentlambs.org.

Anderson has described Ted Jaracz as one of the oddest persons at Bethel, “kind and nice to outsiders in the congregations,” but “mean as all get out” to the average Bethelite worker, sometimes seeming like two different people in one body.

A former missionary, who was helped by Jaracz, said he believed Jaracz really deluded himself into thinking that Jehovah God was “using him” personally as His instrument on earth, that all the problems and complaining experienced among JWs were going to be solved soon by Jehovah anyway.

Barbara Anderson also relates that she was told Jaracz was raised by three maiden aunts in the mid-west. He also has a niece or maybe a sister, and he was quite close to the family of his wife, Melita, who live in Western Canada.

Anderson has written that Melita Jaracz, whose family is from western Canada, is abrasive. She was in charge of Bethel’s beauty shops under the general headship of a male Bethel Home Office overseer, and seemed to have genuine affection for her husband.

The Bethelites saw and heard Jaracz speak with emotion one time, namely when telling about the first convention in Poland after the fall of communism. He almost cried with emotion describing the sight of thousands of believers who came from surrounding countries to enjoy freedom to assemble and worship openly for the first time.

At the Jersey City Assembly Hall, Jaracz showed slides of people sitting on concrete slabs at the outdoor conventions, his voice cracking with emotion. Many Bethelites remarked how unusual it was to see that he even had an emotional side since he rarely ever showed it.

One day, another then living Governing Body member, Lyman Swingle, read a telegram from a bunch of assembly overseers in Russia thanking the Governing Body for holding conventions all over the former Soviet Union after it had collapsed. When Anderson walked into the office of writer Harry Peloyan, he was on the phone with Swingle who was angry.

He was angry because the Governing Body had not known about there being any such other conventions all over Russia. They only authorized one that was to be held in St. Petersburg.

When Jaracz flew to Russia to arrange for the one convention, he had also arranged for the other conventions without telling the rest of the Governing Body members. They were shocked when they found out what he had done on his own, held an immediate meeting, and they nearly removed him as a Governing Body member. However, since Jaracz apologized repeatedly they forgave him.


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