An apology, and update on what’s in store for JWsurvey
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During a recent trip across Europe I was able to interview a number of exJW activists

During a recent trip across Europe I was able to interview a number of exJW activists

First off, I need to apologize for being so absent from posting articles over the last few weeks! As some of you know, I spent a month in northern Europe between late July and late August initially for the purpose of attending two exJW weddings – one of which I had been asked to officiate at.

Once I realized I would be away from home for such a long time, I decided I might as well make the most of it and do some activism while on the road. I took along my camera and ended up filming no less than 8 interview videos with various exJWs/activists, which I am still in the process of uploading to my YouTube channel. Here is one such video with recently-awoken ministerial servant Daniel Genser in Holland…

I also got involved in observing Watchtower Victims Memorial Day while in Belgium…

During my trip I also had the pleasure of being interviewed about the recent “Texas billboard” initiative on the “Ask An Atheist” podcast, and I was delighted to be involved in this conversation about cults with ex-Scientologist YouTuber Chris Shelton…

As productive as this trip ended up being, the timing could not have been worse as far as developments in the world of Jehovah’s Witnesses are concerned. Why? Because this trip coincided with Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, and its case study of Jehovah’s Witnesses – arguably the most significant development in the sphere of Watchtower and child abuse since the Candace Conti verdict.

The sheer volume of meaningful information brought to light by the commission, and especially the skilled questioning by senior council Angus Stewart, took me completely by surprise. Likely it will take weeks or even months to fully process what came out of the testimony of various elders and Watchtower officials, including governing body member Geoffrey Jackson. In fact, I have no doubt the information gleaned will prove useful in analyzing the organization and its processes for many years to come.

I’m extremely grateful to “CovertFade” and Karen Morgan for keeping the home fires burning with their articles on various parts of the Witness testimony during my absence. I have now set to work on an article and video aimed at delving into the testimony given to the commission by Geoffrey Jackson that will highlight some of the outright deceptions contained therein.

Though I’m disappointed not to have been available to cover the commission evidence while it was in progress, I was at least able to discuss it during this conversation with fellow activists Marc Latham, Louise Goode and Karen Morgan during my trip…

Apart from picking up the pieces with the royal commission, over the coming weeks I will be working on a special project to commemorate “JWsurvey Day” on October 4th – a new event to mark the site’s first launch on October 4th 2011. Along with a number of fellow exJWs and activists I will be releasing a special montage video titled “What you DON’T know about apostates.”

If you are interested in getting involved with the video or some other aspect of JWsurvey Day, please join the JWsurvey Day group on Facebook for more information (PLEASE remember to use a fake account when using Facebook if you are a current or fading Witness). The music to be used in our special montage, slated for release on October 4th, is below…

Over the coming weeks I will be preoccupied with attending to various other business, such as finally getting the results of the 2014 global survey published, and working on my book. I am also currently exploring the viability of a special partnership with a YouTube network aimed at getting the John Cedars channel (and thereby this site) more exposure.

There’s plenty to do, but I love my activism work and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In the meantime, I apologize to everyone for going AWOL over the last few weeks. I will try to make it up to you with some quality articles and videos in the near future!

 

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98 Responses to An apology, and update on what’s in store for JWsurvey

  1. Enuffsenuff says:

    Sister Drifter, you asked the question of what the Australian Royal Commission is doing now that the JW component is over. The ARC is still very busy as there are other institutions still being examined. In addition as “Grace” a regular contributor to these pages has pointed out in her contact with the ARC, because of the live streaming other affected people have answered the call to tell their story and the backlog of interviews is 10 months long as we speak. There will probably be even more people coming forward. Just from this alone you can see what an onerous task the Commission has due to the callous disregard and sheltering of so many paedophiles by various institutions, especially the religious ones.
    So, with regard to what happens next, the Commission intends to return WITHIN (capitals for emphasis) 2 and half years and see what Jw’s along with all the other recalcitrant organisations have done to clean up their processes to eliminate this scourge within their ranks. Along with that, the issue of how to compensate these victims is still being decided. When that comes you will probably see the WT fight the Commission tooth and nail, as they don’t want to pay any money.
    I would also suggest that the matter of criminal charges will be considered, although that has not been directly referred to. One problem that I have wondered about is Terry O’Brien for WT attempted to mislead/deceive the Commission over the true circumstances of Geoff Jackson. There is also the matter of culpability for elders especially under the NSW crimes Act for failing to report indictable crimes.
    Hope this helps, it is a case of stay tuned you will see results one way or the other. Cheers

  2. honza says:

    Cedars,

    You are doing a very good job.

  3. Ted says:

    @Catalina,
    To try and answer your question, “Is a one time occurrence of
    paedophilia dealt with by Private Reproof”?

    The, “Shepherding the Flock of God” book, page 131 states.

    “You should immediately call the branch office for direction
    if you learn of an accusation of child abuse. The branch office
    will then give direction “Based on the Circumstances involved
    In each situation”.

    It’s the branch that makes all the decisions in these cases, not
    the local elders, and there is no fixed way , no one size fits all
    method of handling accusations of paedophilia . Wether it’s one
    occurrence or many.

    Elders in the past may have had their own ideas and methods
    of dealing with such cases. But now it’s such a hot issue
    the Org, doesn’t trust them with it. Regardless of the claim
    of appointment by Holy Spirit.

    Hope this is helpful, Best wishes.

  4. JKL says:

    Hi again Eyes Opened.
    Love your “name” by the way.
    Thanks for answering my question. I think there are several Watchtower-like Facebook pages. But none from jw.org itself. And I wonder if that will ever happen. And more important, I think they would like the ARC hearing videos and transcript to simply disappear. But as we all know, that will not happen even though we have to wait for a final result. In the meantime, thoe ones that want to think and question still have access to the information they need. But sure, the ARC material provided by jw.org itself would be fantastic.

    Keep up the good comments!

  5. Gina says:

    GREAT JOB! GLAD TO HAVE YOU BACK!!

  6. Ted says:

    To add to my last comments. The one primary consistent
    feature in handling accusations of child abuse is concealment.

    This is why elders are ordered to immediately contact the branch,
    and when they say “we will decide each case on its merits”.
    it’s not the discipline of the of the offender they’re thinking of.

    The main concern is, what are the factors that will enable us
    to cover this up. For instance, is the accuser willing to leave it
    in JHVS hands and are they willing to let the elders deal with it.

    So whatever discipline the perpetrator receives, one thing he can
    be sure of is. The org, will “Pull out all the stops” to keep his crime
    secret. Hence the 1006 unreported JW pedophiles in Australia.

    • @Ted . Exactly Spot on . The JW Organisation likes to highlight paedophiles & immorality amongst Catholics . BUT OUR JW Organisation is Soooo PURE & CLEAN!! …. WELL Noooo Sir! MR LETTS!!!
      1006 KNOWN PAEDOPHILES,Many ELDERS & Ministerial Servants in Australia! So what is the Figures worldwide,probably what the BBC Panorama said over 10 years ago over 24,000 on the Database at Brooklyn & that is only 24,000 perpetrators NOT VICTIMS!!!
      Jehovah highlights ALL The SINS of his Servants OPENLY in the Bible like DAVID,SOLOMON,SAUL,PETER,Even LOT who had SEX with his DAUGHTERS!! So why Does The GB HIDE the SINS of the Paedophiles???

  7. Sparlock says:

    Just want to thank you for your work! JWSurvey has become the first website on its topic. I take a look at it every few days. There’s no place where I can find more information and better support and encouragement.

    • Criticus says:

      Hi there,

      there is in fact another website that is expounding on this subject ever since right after the GJackon-hearing, but it is a German site: http://www.bruderinfo-aktuell.de. I am aktually working my way through the Jackson-hearing-script, summarizing & analyzing each point and posting my findings in the forum there. Other parts of some portions of the hearing have already been translated into German & posted there. So, they are already on it for a few weeks by now.

      What I have also done is this: I downloaded both Jackson-hearing-videos from Youtube with a video grabber-app, along with the transcripts of all eight days, burn them on a DVD, and hand it out to non-suspecting “faithful Witnesses” by saying: “Here is a very interesting testimony of brother Jackson, very fascinating explanations, never heard before, we can learn a lot from them.” That’s no lie –correct? Having the video away from Youtube is good, bec. in this way, the viewers don’t stumble over the avalanche of negative comments attached to the Youtube-clips, which would immediately fry their brains: “OOOOOOH NOOOOO, THIS IS BAAAAD EEEVIL APOSTATE CRAP I AM NOT GOING TO WATCH THIS …”. Tell me about “mind automation”, Pavlov conditioning, the salivating dog … you know what I mean.

      Regards,
      Criticus

  8. Ted says:

    My own view on the orgs, future handling of the pedophile problem
    is, they will drop the 2 witness rule in these cases. The issue is
    costing them so much money, not to mention bad publicity that any
    accusation will be accepted, and the accused will be straight out of
    the door.

    “Apostates” have been saying all along how ridiculous that rule is
    and how inappropriate and useless it is in cases of sexual crime.

    They will find some way of rationalising their past use of it, they’ve
    had plenty of practice at that, by justifying their many former
    cock ups. As usual the R&F will swallow it “Hook line and sinker
    and will even applaud them for making the correction.

    • Meredith J says:

      As long as we are discussing what Watchtower will do now, I thought I’d put my 2 cents worth in Ted. The Watchtower Corporation is very stubborn I find and I think that they will keep the two witness rule and claim that persecution is trying to stop them from keeping to a bible principle. Well, anyway, that’s what I think but who knows? Whatever they do, no doubt it will be very crafty in order to fool the masses without losing face.

  9. Kat says:

    the GB will do anything to avoid having to pay out money.

    I agree with you Ted.

  10. Rick says:

    I’m just amazed at the loss of words that governing body member Jackson has here.
    It makes you really wonder about what they really know regarding the rules and regulations they interpret. In addition what about the blood issue did that really even have anything to do medically.???? It had to do with eating it. There’s a big difference from taking pleasure in something vs. saving your life with something. See Royal commission questioning him about the two witness rule regarding sexual assault.
    https://youtu.be/erWV8YnTFto?t=1h42m40s

  11. Elizabeth White says:

    Have watched all your critiques of jw Broadcasting on youtube. Thanks for keeping us informed on what’s going on with the organization. I cannot believe how they justify their actions regarding child abuse cases. Glad you and your family had some time off. Await your return. Have passed on your site to my brothers, also exjws.

  12. Terry Franklin says:

    Dear Cedars,

    when are you going to allow people to help you expand JW Survey? Why should Ex JWs be stuck posting on antiquated websites full of unintelligent Ads? I know of a group of individuals who are willing to fund JW Survey expanding like Huff-Po, why not expand providing users a newer, fresher website than the 1980s style Message Boards we thought died with AOL back in 1989? Its time to attack and help people, don’t be like your main competition by allowing your site to rot! Ex Jehovah’s Witnesses have few resources navigating their lives, think about making unnamed websites obsolete because in reality, their dying a thousand deaths!

    • Cedars says:

      If there really is a legion of benefactors willing to improve the quality of JWsurvey, they know how to find me. But I won’t go cap in hand to anyone. And you are the first person to complain about ads. I’m not sure how you could consider publicly lambasting this website’s appearance as “antiquated” and “rotting” to constitute a helpful, constructive approach.

      • Terry Franklin says:

        John, none of the remarks about “stale” or “rotten”, “bombardment of useless advertisements” were spoken about jwsurvey.com You don’t have message boards, do you? Many of us are sick and tired of the Thrifty Canuck’s message boards, a reader must scroll through a mountain of sh&t to find any worthwhile article.

        Visiting it gave me chills down my spine, all intellectual prowess has found peace of left it, now the animals are running the farm! JW Survey’s quality is shining, the question was to ask you how to better support you, cash or equipment, what do you need to create something that will finally let Simon’s website die in peace?

        My patience was lost on tirades about pedophiles, anti-theists attitudes and blatant hatred of anyone not following Simon Say’s rules. If your audience is terrified there’s no Moderator or one that is half asleep, their site has lost its relevance!

        To your needs, with access to German and Chinese Manufacturing electronics, I should be able to you secure some equipment and financial support to help finally put to sleep that painful Oldie Board, it’s time for it to go away like the dodo bird!

        The skeletons remaining on your competition’s website offer nothing to witnesses seeking answers about the Watchtower organization.

        Please examine the post again, think about what kind of items would benefit you or would a cash infusion help you push the difference between your modern BMW website and the Canucks Yugo?

        • Cedars says:

          Thanks Terry. It’s good to know you weren’t aiming your insults at JWsurvey, but without specifying which website you were referring to in your initial comment I obviously had no way of knowing what or whom you were referring to and assumed you were criticizing us.

          I am no fan of the forum you refer to, but I am also not interested in seeing its demise, and I don’t view ANY exJW website as “competition.” In my view the more resources we have online for people exiting the Witnesses the better, and people should be free to figure out for themselves which websites work for them and which don’t. Despite its rather unsavory elements, JWN still serves a useful purpose as an archive and repository of information that people have posted over the years. I still search through its articles myself from time to time when researching if there is some information I need to get to quickly, but I don’t think I could consider posting there again even if my ban was reversed. It’s just not a level playing field.

          As to financial backing for JWsurvey – again, I always welcome offers for help, and I think adding a full well-moderated forum would be an excellent idea. But any improvements to JWsurvey will simply be with an eye on what WE’RE doing, not with any consideration to torpedoing some other site.

          • Terry Franklin says:

            Financial backing is the best idea, got it! Can you come to the United State’s and tour if we provide your expenses, lodging, travel plus a “honorarium”?

            Let’s talk off the this site and set up the logistics to tour the United States so you can meet with fellow friends who love your work. My first reply was poorly written, please forgive me!

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