Questions Surround Jehovah's Witness HQ and Allegations of Sex Abuse

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Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the Jehovah's Witnesses' global headquarters in Brooklyn

A years-long investigation into allegations of child sex abuse in the Jehovah's Witness organization has also uncovered a culture of secrecy at its Watchtower headquarters in Brooklyn.

Last summer, Donald Trump's son-in-law, developer Jared Kushner, bought the property. The Jehovah's Witnesses, meanwhile, have been building a massive compound upstate in Warwick, New York, where they plan to relocate. 

Trey Bundy, a reporter for Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting, has been investigating the Watchtower for two years. Watchtower leaders refused to talk to him, but he was able to talk to a former insider about it.

"It's the nerve-center of a multi-billion dollar corporation that has interests in publishing, in real-estate....it's the head of a religion with eight million members, but it's this very secretive place," he said. 

Bundy says the Jehovah's Witnesses also have a database that potentially contains the names of thousands of child sex abusers.

In this interview, WNYC's Richard Hake talks with Bundy about his investigation, the Jehovah's Witnesses' vast network in Brooklyn, and why federal authorities haven't stepped in.

WNYC has reached out to the Jehovah's Witness organization for comment, but haven't yet received a reply. Here's what Reveal says about their response:

"The Jehovah's Witnesses have refused to do an interview with us. The only thing they gave us was a written statement last year saying that they abhor child abuse and comply with all child abuse reporting laws."