“We will decide who is a predator!” – New Watchtower Instructions to Elders on Child Abuse
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The Watch Tower Society has released a new set of instructions to elders in the wake of the Conti verdict – but little has changed

The Watch Tower Society has issued a new letter to all Bodies of Elders instructing them on how to handle cases of child abuse in the wake of the Candace Conti verdict.

It was hoped that the Governing Body would use the lessons learned from the Conti case to bring the Society’s child protection policy into conformity with the law, not to mention the basic principles of community responsibility.

However, it is shocking to note that this October 1st letter addresses none of the key procedural flaws that lead to the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses being routinely exposed to predatory pedophiles within the organization. Such individuals are often aware of the loopholes in the judicial practices of Witnesses and how to effectively exploit these to gain access to new victims. Still, despite the jury’s multi-million dollar award of punitive damages against the Society in the Conti case, little is being done to ensure that similar cases do not arise in the future.

If anything, the Society has rigidly stuck to its stance on the “two witness rule” and has assumed yet more jurisdiction for itself in deliberating over these sensitive and often complex cases. In an astonishing development, the Society is now insisting that the branch office should have the final word in deciding whether a pedophile is to be considered a “predator”, or even a “known child molester”.

Only if the brothers at the branch office determine that a brother is a “predator” can parents in the local congregation be warned of his tendencies. Only if the branch office decides that a brother is a “known child molester” can he be blocked from ever serving as an elder. Many would rightly argue that whether or not someone is to be classified in these ways depends on the local law enforcement authorities, not some remote branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Campaigner Barbara Anderson believes this letter will expose the Watch Tower Society to greater liability

Barbara Anderson, who is a well-known campaigner for the protection of children in the organization, noted the significance of these dramatic changes in policy, saying: “Both of these are radical departures from Watchtower’s historical position that matters are decided locally.” She added, “By taking these decisions in-house, Watchtower is admitting that judicial decisions are not made purely by local elders on the scene. This is a pill being swallowed by Watchtower, the result of recent litigation. I believe this letter opens up the Watchtower for more liability, not less. In my opinion, a religion shouldn’t be making a psychological/criminal evaluation that others in the religion are counting upon. This could lead to serious problems.”

The letter was once available for download on these pages, but has now been removed for legal reasons. However, if you have a friend or relative who is an elder, he should be able to confirm its existence. In the next few paragraphs I will be explaining (with quotes) why this letter falls so woefully short in offering guidance to elders that would genuinely serve to protect Witness children, and why so little has changed despite the June 2012 verdict.

The “Two Witness Rule” still stands

At the epicenter of the Watch Tower Society’s entire approach to the handling of cases of child abuse is their love affair with the “two witness rule”. It is because of this rule that a pedophile is considered innocent unless two people witnessed the abuse (the victim and someone else) which is hardly ever the case in instances of child molestation. Usually child molesters are smart enough to carry out their despicable crimes without someone else watching.

It is also because of this rule that the Society insists on managing all child abuse cases themselves to the extent possible, because (in their view) they do not want those accused of child abuse to be judged by “worldly” standards, but through God’s standards as determined through a mistaken application of the Mosaic law.

The Society also has a keen eye on its public image and reputation, and its latest measures to increase its power and control over congregational decisions is a clear indication that local application of the “two witness rule” on its own is becoming increasingly inadequate in their eyes. This raises the question, if the rule is becoming so complicated to implement with regards to child abuse, does this alone not indicate that its application needs to be completely revised in judging cases of criminality?

Indeed, it was hoped that the Conti case might result in the Society revisiting the “two witness rule”, and perhaps coming to the realization that they are wrong to apply it to criminal matters. However, sadly this has not happened. Note the following comments in paragraph 11 of the new letter…

“In addition, the elders should investigate every allegation of child sexual abuse. When elders learn of an accusation, in addition to this letter, they should carefully review the direction outlined in the Shepherding textbook, chapter 12, paragraphs 18-21. However, in evaluating the evidence for internal congregational purposes, they must bear in mind the Bible’s clear direction: ‘No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin . . . At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses the matter should stand good.’ (Deut. 19:15) This requirement to consider testimony of two or three witnesses was confirmed by Jesus. (Matt. 18:16) Thus, although they investigate every allegation, the elders are not authorized by the Scriptures to take congregational action unless there is a confession or there are two credible witnesses. However, even though the elders are not authorized to take congregation action when there is only one witness, the elders should remain vigilant with regard to the conduct and activity of the accused. (See paragraph 12 of this letter.) If two persons are witnesses to separate incidents of the same kind of wrongdoing, their testimony can be deemed sufficient to take judicial action. (1 Tim. 5:19, 24, 25) If the person is not repentant over the gross sin, disfellowshipping action would be warranted.”

You will see from the above quote that the Society uses two citations from the Greek Scriptures in support of their application of the Mosaic “two witness rule”. These are as follows:

“Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go lay bare his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, in order that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter may be established.” (Matthew 18:15,16 – New World Translation)

“Do not admit an accusation against an older man, except only on the evidence of two or three witnesses. Reprove before all onlookers persons who practice sin, that the rest also may have fear…. The sins of some men are publicly manifest, leading directly to judgment, but as for other men [their sins] also become manifest later. In the same way also the fine works are publicly manifest and those that are otherwise cannot be kept hid.” (1 Timothy 5:19,24,25 – New World Translation)

If you notice the text that I have highlighted in bold in both scriptures, something should become immediately apparent. That is, both scriptures apply the “two witness rule” of the Mosaic Law in judging over cases where a brother in the congregation commits a sin. In the case of Matthew 18 it is a case of a brother committing a sin against another brother. The scripture in 1 Timothy describing an “accusation” appears to be little more than a rewording of Jesus’ words in Matthew 18. The fact that the “accusation” refers to some form of sin is made clear by the context (highlighted by the Society) in verses 24 and 25, which I will go into in greater detail shortly.

The problem we have is that the Society has an entirely wrong perspective of child abuse as being first-and-foremost a sin, and only coincidentally a crime depending on the laws of the land. This is the reason why, if an accusation of child abuse comes to light, the elders will assume this falls under their jurisdiction to investigate the matter (because it is a sin), when really the supreme jurisdiction should fall to the superior authorities for these to investigate the matter and determine guilt.

If a brother was seen killing someone by a single witness, the body of elders wouldn’t hesitate to phone the police immediately to arrest him – why should a child molester be treated any differently?

For example, imagine for a moment that a brother murders another brother in your congregation. You alone see him do it, and you telephone an elder to tell him what happened. The elder would not question the validity of your accusation because you were the only witness, nor would he delay for a moment in calling the police (if you hadn’t already done so). He certainly wouldn’t tell you that the body of elders first needs to launch their own investigation to determine guilt before the authorities can be notified, if they are told at all. Murder is a crime, and therefore the police would be called straight away to intervene! Anything else would be reckless in the extreme, and would leave the killer on the loose to kill yet more people.

Just because life is not always lost when a child is molested, child abuse is still a crime and should be treated as such. Therefore, if the Society wishes to insist on using the “two witness rule” to determine whether the SIN of child molestation has been committed, this is their decision. However, just as with murder, child abuse is a crime – therefore the jurisdictional priority falls to the police for them to intervene and determine who the culprit is before anyone else is harmed.

Unfortunately, the Society completely underestimates the harm caused by child abuse. As an example, you need look no further than the previously quoted scripture in 1 Timothy 5. Please read again what it says in verses 24 and 25:

“The sins of some men are publicly manifest, leading directly to judgment, but as for other men [their sins] also become manifest later. In the same way also the fine works are publicly manifest and those that are otherwise cannot be kept hid.” (1 Timothy 5:24,25 – New World Translation)

What Paul is saying here is that when some people sin it is “publicly manifest” because someone witnesses it. However, sometimes when people sin, it becomes “manifest later”. In other words, the sinful pattern continues until the person makes a mistake and gets caught in the act by two or more witnesses. By using this scripture, the Society is effectively saying: “Don’t worry if a pedophile abuses a child but nobody witnesses it, because he will very likely abuse another child, and THEN we will catch him.”

You may find the way I have paraphrased this verse shocking, but this is effectively what is being said in the way this verse is applied in the letter. This highlights more than anything else the Governing Body’s callous disregard for the serious and devastating effects of molestation on young children. They feel that abused children are expendable as “evidence” in the primary goal of bringing a sinner to repentance. The law views things very differently, and maintains that a molester should be brought to justice BEFORE he abuses another.

In this way, through their stubborn refusal to let go of the “two witness rule” in judging cases of child abuse, the Governing Body demonstrates how oblivious and dispassionate they have grown regarding their responsibility to protect the children under their stewardship. Our Governing Body should be letting the Law judge cases of crime, and only THEN, after the Law has intervened, busy themselves with deciding which of these crimes constitute sin. Instead, they proudly bypass the law and allow themselves to judge cases over which God has appointed the “superior authorities” to adjudicate. – Romans 13:1

This is the problem that lies at the very heart of this ongoing problem with child abuse – a total failure to grasp the seriousness of it as a crime first-and-foremost. It is for this reason that, rather than humbly conform to the law and basic principles of community responsibility, the Society proudly continues to drag this on to the bitter end. The Governing Body would rather “go down fighting” and try to weather the storm of lawsuits and adverse publicity than reform its policies and thereby protect children.

No change on reporting

The letter instructs elders to advise parents that they bear the primary responsibility for protecting their children, but it does not explicitly state what this means – namely that parents should immediately contact the authorities to report an accusation of child abuse without fear of reprisals in the congregation.

Paragraph 10 of the letter attempts to shift blame for when things go wrong from the elders to the parents, who in most cases turn to the elders for guidance and are assured by them that everything is being “dealt with”. The Society uses this passage in the letter in a cowardly way, getting elders to inform parents that they bear responsibility rather than directly reminding parents through their publications to report all cases of abuse to the police.

Note what is said in paragraph 10…

“Regardless of whether the law requires the elders to report an accusation to the authorities, steps need to be taken to protect children. Elders should help the parents of the children involved to understand that they have the primary responsibility for protecting their children. Obviously, such parents will be keenly interested in taking precautions in this regard. Our publications contain helpful information on how parents can protect their children.—w10 11/1 p. 13; w08 10/1 p. 21; g 10/07 pp. 3-11; lr pp. 170-171; g03 2/8 p. 9; g99 4/8 pp. 9, 11; g97 4/8 p. 14; w96 12/1 pp. 13-14; fy pp. 61-62; g93 10/8 pp. 5-13.”

The Society’s publications on child abuse only advise parents on how to help prepare children to withstand abuse. They offer no firm guidance on what to do once a child has been molested.

I have checked each of the above publication references to see what they say, and they mostly offer advice on how to prevent child abuse in the first place using such precautionary measures as (1) discussing sex with your child at an early age, (2) telling children how to respond to would-be attackers, i.e. “I’m going to tell on you!” (3) not allowing teenagers to dress provocatively, (4) keeping an eye on the child’s use of the internet, (5) being vigilant of other adults’ behavior towards your children.

Out of all the above-quoted references, the final reference from the 1993 Awake! article is the only one that comes close to instructing parents to contact the authorities in the event of child abuse. It has this to say:

“Some legal experts advise reporting the abuse to the authorities as soon as possible. In some lands the legal system may require this. But in other places the legal system may offer little hope of successful prosecution.- Awake! 1993 10/8 page 9

The Society would likely argue that the above half-hearted admonition doesn’t dissuade parents from contacting the authorities. However, it’s surely plain to see that the word “some” was inserted in the first sentence to immediately instill doubt as to whether this is always the right course of action to take, and the final sentence in the paragraph hardly fills parents with hope of a favorable outcome if they call the police. In short, the paragraph is inserted in the article by the writers through legal necessity, and the Society does everything they can to make contacting the authorities sound like something that is either optional or sometimes ineffective.

The article even goes on to urge similar caution with seeking help from a psychiatrist, and suggests parents or victims should only do this if the professional will “respect” Witness beliefs.

“Parents must therefore make every reasonable effort to protect their children! Many responsible parents choose to seek out professional help for an abused child. Just as you would with a medical doctor, make sure that any such professional will respect your religious views. Help your child rebuild his or her shattered self-esteem through a steady outpouring of parental love.” - Awake! 1993 10/8 page 9

Overall, the references provided in the letter as evidence that the Watch Tower Society “protects” children are at best insulting if used on a parent whose child has just been molested (i.e. if you’d done all this, it wouldn’t have happened!), and at times the statements made in the quoted publications are downright hypocritical. Consider the following quote, also in the 1993 Awake! article…

“AFTER using children to satisfy perverted lusts, after robbing them of their security and their sense of innocence, child molesters still want something else from their victims—SILENCE. To secure that silence, they use shame, secrecy, even outright terror. Children are thus robbed of their best weapon against abuse—the will to tell, to speak up and ask an adult for protection.

Tragically, adult society often unwittingly collaborates with child abusers. How so? By refusing to be aware of this danger, by fostering a hush-hush attitude about it, by believing oft-repeated myths. Ignorance, misinformation, and silence give safe haven to abusers, not their victims.” – Awake! 1993 10/8 page 5

The hypocrisy in the above quote is astonishing, coming from an organization that refuses to openly encourage parents to always report those who abuse their child to the authorities in the first instance. The failure to encourage parents to approach the authorities is precisely the sort of “hush-hush” approach which, to use the words of the Awake!, results in the Watch Tower Society unwittingly collaborating with child abusers. The only difference is, with each passing lawsuit and media onslaught, the Society’s damaging stance on child abuse becomes less and less “unwitting”, and more and more deliberate.

Branch to decide on who is a “predator”

In these new instructions, elders are told to “remain vigilant with regard to the conduct and activity” of someone accused of child abuse. This advice applies “especially” to those who are found guilty of child abuse but who are not disfellowshipped (reproved), as well as those who are disfellowshipped for child abuse and later reinstated. Consider what is said in paragraph 12 of the letter…

“Loving elders should take steps to protect children, especially when a judicial committee determines that the one who has sexually abused a child is repentant and will be allowed to remain a member of the Christian congregation. The same concern would be shown when one who has sexually abused a child is disfellowshipped, later cleans up his life, and is reinstated. The elders should be especially mindful of the activity of any who are known to have sexually abused a child in the past. They should also ensure that newly-appointed elders are made aware of this caution. It would be appropriate for elders to talk kindly but very frankly to individuals who have manifested a weakness in this regard, strongly cautioning them to refrain from displaying affection for children, to avoid hugging or holding children on their lap, never to be alone with a child (other than their own), not to allow children to spend the night in their home, not to work alone in field service (hence, they should always be accompanied by another adult), and not to cultivate friendships with children. This not only serves to protect children but will help to prevent those who have sexually abused a child from putting themselves in the way of temptation, being subjected to an unfounded accusation, or doing things that may cause concern to others in the congregation. (1 Cor. 10:12, 32) If the individual does not follow this direction from the elders, the elders should immediately call the Service Department for assistance.”

As mentioned, the above guidelines are specifically applied to cases where a child molester is found guilty of child abuse by the elders and either “let off with a warning” (reproved but not disfellowshipped) or disfellowshipped and then later reinstated.

Paragraph 11 indicates that a person who is accused of child abuse but not found guilty by a second witness may also have his “conduct and activity” watched, although the letter does not make clear whether an accused person would be warned or watched to the same extent as a reproved or reinstated person, or how long this surveillance would go on for. One assumes this is left to the discretion of the branch office, who advise the elders on how to deal with each case individually.

With all of the above in mind, what happens if someone accused or found guilty of child abuse ignores the elders’ warnings and spends time around children? Please consider paragraph 13…

“If the individual [the accused, reproved or reinstated child molester] does not follow the above direction from the elders [to completely avoid children], or if the elders believe he may be a ‘predator,’ the elders should immediately call the Service Department for assistance. A ‘predator’ is one who clearly lacks self-control and by his actions provides reason to believe he will continue to prey on children. Not every individual who has sexually abused a child in the past is considered a ‘predator.’ The branch office, not the local body of elders, determines whether an individual who has sexually abused children in the past will be considered a ‘predator.’ If the branch office determines that an individual will be considered a ‘predator,’ parents with minor children will need to be warned of the danger that exists so that they can protect their children. In such a case, and only after receiving direction and instructions from the Service Department, two elders should be assigned to meet with the parents of minor children in order to provide a warning. At the same time that parents are warned about an individual, it would be appropriate for the elders to inform the individual that parents in the congregation will be discreetly informed.”

On the surface many elders reading this letter may feel satisfied that the Society is finally allowing them to warn parents in the congregation of a predatory pedophile being in their midst. However, when read in context, elders are ONLY given this permission at the sole discretion of the branch – not the local law enforcement, or even based on their own concerns or observations. It is left to men in a remote office with only second or third hand knowledge of the situation to decide whether families should be warned that there is a predatory pedophile in the congregation worshipping alongside them.

Most disturbingly, even these seemingly robust instructions still allow loopholes through which committed and cunning child molesters may still find opportunities to prey on young children. By way of an explanation, consider the following scenario…

A loophole in the “predator” rule

Imagine a man is found guilty of child molestation following a judicial committee hearing. Despite his best efforts to cover his tracks, a mother in the congregation has discovered him molesting her child and has immediately reported him to the elders. Because there were two witnesses to the abuse (the mother and the child), the man sees little point denying it and confesses everything to the elders when they question him.

In the judicial committee hearing the man weeps profusely and expresses deep regret for what has happened. He tells the elders that he is spiritually weak, and needs their help. The elders decide he is repentant and they reprove him, but do not disfellowship him. Instead, they warn him to stay away from other children in the congregation, and advise him that they will be keeping a close eye on his “conduct and activity”.

When it is announced from the platform that a brother is reproved, no one is told what the reasons are

An announcement is read from the platform, “Brother So-and-so has been reproved” as per the instructions in the elder’s manual. Nobody in the congregation (apart from the elders and the victim’s family) know what he has been reproved for, and the parents of the abused child are informed by the elders that the matter has been “dealt with”.

It is now for the branch office alone to decide whether he is a “predator”, and so far (to the elders’ knowledge) he has only abused one child, so they proceed under the assumption that he will not abuse another. Therefore, no other parents in the congregation are warned of his abuse because the branch have not deemed the brother a “predator”.

The parents of the abused child are hesitant to approach the authorities, because they have been assured that it has been dealt with judicially – even though they have been informed that the “responsibility” for protecting their child rests with them (and shown a number of articles to imply that it was their fault in the first place for not taking better care). The elders may never have told the parents NOT to inform the authorities, but neither have they told them that they SHOULD report the abuse. The parents are therefore under the illusion that this is first-and-foremost a judicial matter against their “brother”, and from their viewpoint, everything is under control. They have trust that Jehovah has resolved matters, and that no other children will be harmed.

Many elders struggle with work and family pressures as it is. They are now being asked to keep tabs on pedophiles to preserve confidentiality rather than simply informing parents of the danger.

The elders are now supposed to be “on alert” regarding ANY contact that the brother may have with children in the congregation. The problem is, this is a relatively small body of elders, all of whom have jobs and families of their own, and they cannot be everywhere all of the time. Only the victim, the victim’s parents and the elders themselves know what has happened, and all of these individuals are observing strict confidentiality according to the Society’s guidelines.

The man belongs to a field service group that is under the oversight of an elder who works long hours. Although the elder takes the field service arrangement on a Saturday, he entrusts the midweek field service arrangements to his group assistant, who is a ministerial servant. This servant knows that the brother has been reproved, but doesn’t know what for, because this is strictly between the brother, the elders, and the victim’s family.

It is the time of the school holidays, and the brother shows up at the midweek meeting for field service and asks to work with a young girl who is there with her mother. The mother knows nothing, the girl knows nothing, and the servant who is leading the group is also completely oblivious to any danger. They go out in service together.

If a pedophile is determined enough he will find opportunities to re-offend, especially in a congregation where nobody knows his track record

The man finds he has opportunity to work with the young girl repeatedly through the school holidays in midweek. He is fully aware of the warning from the elders and cunningly goes out of his way to only work with adults during the weekend when the elder is present. The servant feels no need to tell his Group Overseer anything because he doesn’t know what the brother has been reproved for. Also, the servant sees the brother working with adults during the weekend, so he suspects nothing.

So you see, even after these latest guidelines from the Society have been implemented – a cunning and determined predatory pedophile could still find loopholes to exploit, allowing him or her to gain access to children in the congregation at an opportune moment. I have considered just one scenario in this article, but there are many similar permutations that a determined child molester could conceivably take advantage of, whether they are accused, reproved, or reinstated.

One victim of child abuse is one too many

Even so, some might say, “Well, even if that brother does something to the young girl, he might then be caught, disciplined by the elders, and labelled a ‘predator’ by the branch – and under the new rules all the parents in the congregation would then be alerted by the elders”. However, those who argue in this manner are, like the Society, failing to see the point. If the confirmed child molester in the above scenario succeeds in abusing just one more young girl before being caught and exposed to other parents as a “predator”, he has still abused one victim too many who could otherwise have been protected if the elders had been allowed to perform their duty to warn parents in the congregation of someone who has previously been found guilty of child molestation.

This is precisely the problem with Watchtower policy regarding child abuse, it allows opportunities to pedophiles where none should exist – and just one victim who is abused as a result of these loopholes is one victim too many. This is what the Society fails to understand, because they do not fully grasp the seriousness of child sexual abuse.

Branch to decide who is a “known child molester”

In the eyes of the law, a “known child molester” is someone who is known to have molested a child. In other words, if a body of elders are aware that a brother or sister in the congregation has molested a child, then in the eyes of the law that person is a “known child molester” to them. However, even in this simple area the Watch Tower Society insists on having their own definition of the term. Why? This is all to do with the matter of who gets to serve as a congregation elder.

Note the following words from paragraph 15…

“Who is considered a known child molester? The January 1, 1997, Watchtower article ‘Let Us Abhor What Is Wicked’ mentions on page 29 that a man ‘known to have been a child molester’ does not qualify for privileges in the congregation. The expression ‘known to have been a child molester’ has reference to how such a man is considered in the community and in the Christian congregation. In the eyes of the congregation, an adult ‘known’ to be a former child molester is not ‘free from accusation’ or ‘irreprehensible,’ nor does he have ‘a fine testimony from people on the outside.’ (1 Tim. 3:1-7, 10; 5:22; Titus 1:7) In view of his past, those in the community would not respect him and congregation members might be stumbled over his appointment. Keep in mind that the branch office, not the local body of elders, determines whether one who has sexually abused a child is considered a known child molester.”

Notice from the above how, regardless of whether a person has been found to molest a child with the elders having full knowledge of their actions, the Society insists that only THEY should have the authority to decide whether someone is to be considered a “known child molester”. What is the reason? Put simply, they do not believe that molesting a child at some point in the past is necessarily grounds for a brother to not serve as an elder in the future. It’s shocking, but true.

If this sounds too outrageous, you need only read paragraph 22 – and the first sentence in particular…

It cannot be said in every case that one who has sexually abused a child could never qualify for privileges of service in the congregation. However, the elders will certainly want to be very cautious, especially when dealing with one who had repeatedly engaged in this kind of wrongdoing or who had been disfellowshipped for such an offense. Before privileges can be extended, such a man must meet the Scriptural qualifications of being ‘self-controlled’ and ‘irreprehensible.’ He must ‘also have a fine testimony’ from individuals inside and outside the congregation. (Titus 1:6-8; 1 Tim. 3:2, 7) Elders should keep in mind what is stated in the January 1, 1997, Watchtower article ‘Let Us Abhor What Is Wicked,’ page 29, paragraph 2: ‘Child sexual abuse reveals an unnatural fleshly weakness. Experience has shown that such an adult may well molest other children. True, not every child molester repeats the sin, but many do. And the congregation cannot read hearts to tell who is and who is not liable to molest children again. (Jeremiah 17:9) Hence, Paul’s counsel to Timothy applies with special force in the case of baptized adults who have molested children: ‘Never lay your hands hastily upon any man; neither be a sharer in the sins of others.’ (1 Timothy 5:22).’”

Once again, here we have a clear example of the Society not taking child abuse seriously enough. They admit in their own publications that “many” child molesters repeat their “sin” – yet they stop short of admitting that, for this reason, it would be entirely wrong to allow ANYONE who has previously molested a child to serve in a position of trust as an elder or ministerial servant. By making such a serious lapse in judgment, they fall foul of the words they themselves quote from 1 Timothy 5:22 and become sharers “in the sins of others”.

A terminally flawed policy

The Watch Tower Society’s child abuse policy is like a leaky bucket – however it is adjusted or reworked, it is rendered entirely useless by the Society’s insistence on the “two witness rule”. No matter how they try to adjust the policy, it is still ineffective and dangerous because it allows determined pedophiles to find loopholes through which to operate without hindrance.

Watchtower’s child abuse policy is like a leaky bucket – no matter how it is patched up, it is entirely unfit for purpose so long as the two witness rule is insisted upon

What is needed is not an amended patched-up policy that still allows child abusers to exploit loopholes, but a NEW policy – one that recognizes that it is the God-assigned role of Caesar’s law enforcement authorities to decide who is or isn’t a child abuser, and not unqualified ministers.

At the core of any such new policy should be three key principles. These principles might be summarized under the acronym “RIP”, or “Report, Inform, Prevent”, as follows…

  • REPORT – Child abuse is a crime. Therefore, accusations or confessions of child abuse should be reported to the police or law enforcement authorities immediately when they come to light.
  • INFORM – Parents in a congregation should be discreetly informed by the elders of any known pedophile who might potentially come into contact with their children by worshipping alongside them. There should also be no repercussions for parents who wish to inform other parents of a known child molester if the elders fail to do so for any reason. Elders should also be freely able to inform the elders of another congregation if a known pedophile decides to move on.
  • PREVENT – Child molesters should be prevented from serving in positions of trust in any congregation, or from enjoying privileges that would enable them to gain unsupervised access to children or conceal their history from congregation members.

The above principles are both reasonable, legally compliant and scripturally justifiable. They reflect the fair expectations of a modern society where any institution bears a responsibility to protect the children under its care from known child molesters. The sad part is, most Witness parents probably expect some if not all of the above principles to already be in place, but the truth is – none of them are.

It is disturbing to think of the number of children who are taken to Witness meetings each week by parents who are totally oblivious to the true depth of negligence in their congregation’s child abuse policies as dictated by the Governing Body. If all Witness parents were fully aware of the true ramifications of such policies, many would likely be shocked and appalled.

How it is…

As things stand, child abuse victims and their parents are often locked into a “triangle of secrecy” with their abuser and the elders. The police are marginalized and the Branch assumes complete control of the situation through the elders. In turn, the elders take their orders only from the branch and not from the local authorities, who are mostly kept out of the loop unless they are contacted and therefore able to intervene. Other parents are also oblivious to what is going on, meaning that the abuser has a greater likelihood of finding more victims.

Unless the abuser openly tries to spend time with other children, other parents are not to be informed of his “sin”, even if he is found guilty and disfellowshipped according to the “two witness rule”. Child molesters can therefore use this “triangle of secrecy” to bide their time and prey on yet more victims, as I have already discussed in my hypothetical scenario above. But it doesn’t need to be this way!

How it should be…

If everything were to be done properly, the police would be involved from the very beginning in every case. If the victim (or the victim’s family) approached the elders BEFORE informing the police, then the elders would tell them to phone the police immediately. The police would then assume full management of the situation, including conducting their enquiries with the accused, supporting the victim (taking evidence, offering therapy, etc), and informing the elders as to whether other parents in the congregation need to be warned (for example, if the accused is released on bail until the trial and still wishes to attend meetings or go out in service).

Under this correct arrangement, the role of the elders would simply be to pass on information, protect the other children in the congregation, and provide spiritual support wherever needed (as depicted by the grey arrows in the diagram). If the Governing Body wishes, there wouldn’t even be any need for the elders to accept a criminal prosecution as evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the accused if they don’t want to – they simply have to fulfil their responsibility to inform others who may be at risk, and not impose any sanctions on those who take it upon themselves to do this.

During the investigation, this would mean the elders warning other parents in consultation with the police if the police deem it necessary, and advising the branch office of what is happening. Contact with the branch office would be of particular importance if the accused was an appointed man (an elder or ministerial servant) within the congregation, but otherwise it would be a mere formality because the authorities would be managing the situation, and the elders would be taking advice straight from them.

This is how it should be, but despite the modest improvements in this latest letter (which actually make the Society more vulnerable to lawsuits than ever before), we are still a long way off from seeing policies introduced that would genuinely protect Witness children from devious, cunning and committed child molesters in the future.

What this letter proves

Firstly, this letter proves that despite the enormous uproar surrounding the Conti case the Society is STILL refusing to seize this obvious opportunity to introduce urgently needed reform to their out-dated, ineffective and dangerous child abuse policy. Over the decades the Watch Tower Society has clearly grown out-of-touch and oblivious to the very real dangers that its current flawed policy exposes children to.

I have already demonstrated this by highlighting the Society’s use of 1 Timothy 5:24,25 to imply that, even if a child abuser succeeds in covering his tracks to begin with, he will eventually be caught when he repeats his “sin” in the future – as though the number of victims a child molester accumulates before he is stopped are expendable. As another example of the Society’s failure to take the threat posed by child molesters seriously, consider the following statement in paragraph 11 of the letter…

“If the decision is to reprove [a child abuser], the reproof should be announced. (ks10 chap. 7 par. 20, second bullet) This will serve as a protection for the congregation. Information concerning an individual accused of child molestation, proved or otherwise, should be placed in the congregation confidential file and marked ‘Do Not Destroy’ and kept indefinitely.”

Precisely how is the congregation “protected” by an announcement from the platform that “So-and-so has been reproved” when there is no information as to the nature of his wrongdoing? The very fact that the Society can consider a vague platform announcement as a “protection” is extremely disturbing, because it demonstrates that they have no idea what they are doing. Just because an individual is reproved, this does not mean parents will assume he is a child molester – or is this how all parents should now look upon anyone in the congregation who is reproved?

The very release of this letter on the internet proves that there is growing unrest among conscientious elders

In addition to giving clear evidence that the Society is seriously out of its depth in coping with this urgent problem, the very release of this letter proves something else, perhaps even more profound. This letter, which must have been leaked by a conscientious elder, proves that there is a growing movement of unsettled elders who know there is something deeply wrong about the organization, and are starting to find the courage to do something about it.

I salute the honesty, bravery and conscientiousness of whichever elder forwarded this letter to my colleagues for our analysis and distribution to others. Whoever did this has real courage and is to be greatly admired for putting the needs of Witness children first above everything else. The very fact that the Governing Body can no longer release letters in privacy shows that any claims that their organization enjoys the support of God’s spirit are entirely unfounded.

What can you do?

As you read my article, you may perhaps feel helpless or even enraged that so many children within the Witness faith are being endangered by the Governing Body’s neglect in their approach to child abuse. This is completely understandable, and as you can perhaps tell from my writing, I share this sense of deep despair and frustration.

As I’ve said before, the Governing Body has shown itself to be completely disinterested regarding the concerns and opinions of those whose lives they control, but this doesn’t mean we should all simply give up and not try to do something about it. If you have the courage and the circumstances, please pass the information in this article along to someone else so that as many people as possible can learn about this new letter and how it falls so woefully short when it comes to protecting children.

If you’re not able to take such bold action, that’s totally understandable. Still, I would urge you to register your disapproval of the Watchtower’s shamefully negligent child abuse policies in our 2012 JW Survey (to take part, click here). Four of the options in the final question relate directly to the issues I have discussed in this article, so you can make your voice heard (anonymously, if you want) by ticking to say that you disagree with the Governing Body’s approach to child abuse. This is only a relatively small thing that you can do, and there are no guarantees that it will make a difference – but it’s still a means by which you can tell the Governing Body that you disapprove of its failure to safeguard the children under its self-assumed duty of care.

 

 

 

 

 

For more background on this issue, please read Barbara Anderson’s new essay entitled ‘Megan and Candace – Casualties of Known Molesters

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140 Responses to “We will decide who is a predator!” – New Watchtower Instructions to Elders on Child Abuse

  1. The Watchtower’s absurd ‘two witness’ rule is an overextension of 2 Corn 13:1 and is unfairly applied.The two witness rule permeates everything JW even social sins like gossip and congregation back stabbing.

  2. musicman4283 says:

    I am so happy that there is someone like you out there who has the drive and dedication to continually update this blog to keep myself and others aware. This blog has become the primary place for me to get information about current events regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses. I can’t thank you enough as I know that it must take much time to prepare and can aslo be an emotional drain. Thanks a million!

  3. AGuest says:

    Thank you, dear cedars (and peace to you!), for posting this online. I am not sure if you mentioned it in your commentary but there seems to be a pretty big contradiction in their policy (between Paragraphs 15 and Paragraphs 21-23). I posted about that here:

    http://xjwsforchrist.madmooseforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=3044#3044

    Mayhaps this will be the beginning of the end for her. Too bad… too bad…

    Peace to you!

    A slave of Christ,

    SA

    • Cedars says:

      Hello AGuest, and welcome to JWsurvey! I’ve checked the paragraphs. Yes, there is a contradiction – but not in the eyes of the Watchtower. They are saying that a KNOWN child molester cannot serve as an elder, but that a child molester can so long as he/she isn’t KNOWN. They are also saying that they get to decide whether a child molester is KNOWN or not, depending on how widely his habits are known in the community and congregation (i.e. irrespective of whether the elders know about it). That’s how I read it.

  4. silentlamb_silentnomore says:

    Ok first instinct WTF sorry I am enraged at this after years of publicity they are still holding that scripture to use for their shameful policy in regards to child protection, never mind the fact the new Great Teacher book enraged me enough as an abuse victim that the child should say “NO Stop doing that and I’m going to tell on you” (Honour your father and your mother springs to mind there) So how do we as an Ex jdub community help these children and protect them? I feel powerless at times especially as this is the 21st century (time to move with the times GB) As I have said before in previous posts across boards across the internet if they really want to follow the bible then they should take heed from Romans 13:1-7 which states 13:
    1. Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
    2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves.
    3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.
    4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
    5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
    6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.
    7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour.

    I am outraged that they do not understand the meaning of this scripture. I for one am no longer Christian however I fully understand what is meant by that scripture and the WTBTS are not following scripture and therefore not following the big man/woman upstairs which tells me this is not “the truth”. Let’s protect the children, [post edited] silent lambs the organisation who started the ball rolling to get the WTBTS to listen. It’s obviously they have not listened but hopefully one day. Then the children will be safe.

    Blessed Be!

  5. It would be reasonable to expect the organization to modify its policies on child abuse cases after the huge wake up call of the Conti case, but it has not. Something unreasonable is going on. I would dare to suggest that there may be people in important decision making positions that want pedophiles to have easy access to children, that they actually feed off of the anguish caused by the situation. It is not uncommon for psychopaths to be attracted to organizations that give them cover to operate. These policies certainly do that.

  6. Just a remarkable article on the reality of how detached the Governing Body and it’s WT legal department are from the issues of child abuse and it’s refusal to obey the laws established by our Government regarding child abuse. They still feel they are above the laws, and that no Court or Judge on this planet can tell them what to do and that it is “ok” in their book to DISOBEY the law. I f you are an Elder seving in a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesess and a child is sexualy abused by another member in that congregation immediately notify the proper authoritys so other children can be protected. It’s the “ONLY WAY” to make sure that other children can be protected.

  7. AGuest says:

    I see what you mean, dear cedars (again, peace to you!), but I think that’s the problem. And if they had kept to their former policy (no privileges ever) they might have saved themselves. But this new one not so much because it would require the BOE to cover up having a known (to THEM) molester around children.

    A solution? Have all those who wish to serve in the capacity of religious leaders… where they might have contact with children (and, saving monastic monks, who of them wouldn’t?) get fingerprinted. Just like do for school and childcare workers.

    Imagine what THAT would flush out… and how many children would be saved from harm…

    Peace!

    A slave of Christ,

    SA

    • Jessica Levy says:

      In addition to paedophiles wrecking a child’s life and causing untold psychological problems, for example an inability to hold regular employment, abusive relationships and the most extreme being self-destructive behaviour, addiction, leading to premature death and sometimes suicide.

      Aside from some of the effects above, the effects of child abuse on adult survivors. Child abusers can and do often kill children. They abuse children, penetrate them and them murder them.

      Here in the UK there is the recent story of April Jones. The following quote is taken from a recent news report today

      “A man has been charged with the murder of missing five-year-old April Jones. Mark Bridger, 46, was arrested the day after April went missing from near her home in Machynlleth, mid Wales, on Monday evening.”

      So back to the watchtower. This delaying, this ruminating over whether a paedophile is repentant or not, or a repeat offender is a very dangerous delay, time delayed can not only result in more children being abused but also in child murder.

      The watchtower are outrageously irresponsible and seem to provide an excellent area for child abusers to play about in and indulge their fantasies, untouched by the law. They are playing with fire. One day a child will be not only abused but killed. Shame on them.

  8. SaritaJ says:

    Thank you for keeping us up to date on this matter. From the latest letter, it is clear that this organization does not have God’s spirit.

  9. Braincleaned says:

    This is a scandal, yet again. Bravo for exposing it. Whether they like it or not, nothing is secret anymore – and they will choke on this. I will watch this all-American organization crash with a feeling of justice. Time is on the side of the abused. Presumptuous pricks.

  10. Alan says:

    Cedars your writing skills get better every time you write an article. The society like to make everything they do as complicated as possable so that witnesses just think the society must be right. You have shown very clearly how the solution is actually very clear. The police have to be the ones that investigate an offence. They are trained to do that, the elders are not.
    Well done and keep up the good work.

  11. JW says:

    I read the Elders letter first before reading your comments, and was thinking exactly the same thoughts as I read the letter. So ITA competely with what you wrote. I´m so upset, that I cannot even bring myself to write what I want to write. NO HUMAN CAN stop me from telling other parents in the congregation if I knew for a fact that one of us was a molester, or to report to the cops. Enough said.

  12. Aunt Fancy says:

    This is an excellent article and thank you for the information. I was enraged when I read this because they have not learned a thing. They are arrogant men who don’t care about children and it is obvious by their policies. I was reading this to my husband (former elder) and he feels that there have to be men at the top with this problem because again they are protecting the abusers instead of the victims. I asked him how he felt about these different letters when he received them and that was one of the many reasons why he stepped down and just recently left the org. I don’t know how these men live with themselves. It should be reported to law enforcement and let them take care of it because these brothers have no training what so ever and they shouldn’t even be trying to deal with it. I will never forget the look on a sisters face, who had three young children, when she found out a so called brother was involved with a teen girl. She was so angry and said she would never allow her children to go into the bathroom alone at the KH, needless to say she left the org. Good for her! Thanks again for your hard work presenting the information and to all of those men and women who have worked so hard to make this disgusting crime against children public. I am thinking of ways I can get this info out to some still in!!

  13. susanna says:

    Seems like the Watchtower may have been struck blind . Hebrews 10:30-31
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is aterrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.******

    The elders want to be careful, as to whom they are obedient.
    Jehovah is not one to be mocked .

  14. susanna says:

    I just went over the posts.
    I agree with others on this board that there is more here, then meets the eye.This case may be kept open for more to be uncovered.
    Jehovah has the upper hand here, where the courts are in session. THE WT ) may be the first to go down, at least that will free THOSE THAT ARE KEPT IN THE DARK , WITH TIME LEFT TO SEE THAT JESUS IS tHE WAY ,THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE >

  15. QuietLurkerElder says:

    It appears that a change in qualifications to serving as an elder are in order. When a brother is recommended by the congregation, and the branch sends an approval back, the elders are required to ask the brother several questions before his final “approval”. One of those questions is “Have you ever been involved in the sexual abuse of a child?” The instructions in the letter state that if the brother answers YES to any of the questions, including that one, then his appointment does not get announced and he is not appointed.

    From what is stated in this newest set of instructions, a brother who HAS been a child molester in the past CAN serve as an elder. I find this terribly disturbing, as do others, because the proverbial BAR is being lowered.

    An extension of your “scenario” could put a brother with a past history of child abuse, now serving as an elder, in a position to look “less harshly” on someone else that may have a liking for children. Sound far-fetched? I’ll bet it doesn’t, all of a sudden…

    Cedars, I too read the Letter to the BOE, firsthand, prior to reading your comments. I agree with some of the other readers, that the red flag warnings are ringing rampant, and it doesnt take a rocket scientist to see the problems with the whole issue, including the obvious deflection of blame, not to mention the attempt to control the brothers, who for the most part, want to do what’s right…

    I agree with Ms. Conti’s comments, as I am sure are many other elders who are following this debacle….. any man worth his salt WILL take the RIGHT course of action, even if it means taking a few personal hits in the chin! No “title” or “privilege” is worth covering up, or “not telling” others about the wrongs done to a child.

    I for one, will be at the forefront of “telling” other families if one of these miscreants steps foot in our KH, despite any “instructions” given.

    Cedars, you and your fellow “mentally disturbed” friends keep up the vigilant fight for our children. :-)

    We will do what we can on this side. For any other brothers and sisters in the congregations who are following along silently, watching how all this turns out…… PROTECT OUR CHILDREN, do what it takes, even if it isnt popular or “in the instructions”. BS to that…….. DO WHAT’S RIGHT! Follow your GUT INSTINCTS!

  16. John Hoyle says:

    What more can I say? Cedars – you have written an excellent and thorough presentation of this subject unlike any of the rest of us. We can only hope that at some point in the near future that the Watchtower Society’s leaders wake up to the facts and start to act like reasonable and responsible human beings. Are they all that dense? Can seven (now eight) men be so completely out of touch with reality that they can not see that this single issue threatens the very existence of the organization and brings shame upon their god Jehovah’s name and reputation. Is Jehovah powerless to give them proper direction in this matter? Or is he like the false gods of the pagans who were only made of wood and stone? If Jehovah is all powerful and just, how is it that the Watchtower is always on the wrong side of this issue? How many more children will suffer at the hands of evil ones associating with those who only want to serve God and do good? Who really is directing the Governing Body?

  17. John F says:

    Thank you for your concise explanation and understanding of the WT’s recent letter to the Elders.
    It seems to me they have some concern, although misguided for the victims ‘inside’ the congregation. But by not involving the secular authorities they seem to have little or no concern for children ‘outside’ the congregation. How do they know if the ‘molester’ is assaulting others not in their midst? They can’t make that determination. Only the proper governmental authorities are in a position to investigate the matter fully.

  18. DNCall says:

    The 1997 Watchtower states:”Experience has shown that such an adult may well molest other children. True, not every child molester repeats the sin, but many do. And the congregation cannot read hearts to tell who is and who is not liable to molest children again. (Jeremiah 17:9)”

    Although the congregation “cannot read hearts to tell who is and who is not liable to molest children again,” (i.e., predators versus non-predators) the Branch Office is nevertheless taking on this function. Here’s a clue: let those trained and experienced in predatory behavior, namely law enforcement personnel, make that call.

  19. Sarah Puffer says:

    I was raised by Jehovahs Witnesses. After paying for me (yes I have the Papers) I was adopted by Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were not kind to me, just as they were not kind to her daughter from a previous marriage. Her daughter was molested many times by her husband. At the time he was not an elder in the Congregation. There was a lot of turmoil in the family due to his problem. It was overlooked by everyone. When the girl graduated from high school she left home, never to return. She was excommunicated because she chose not to belong to a religion which allowed this to go on. Not long after she left home he started on me. He admitted to it and was never punished. I was punished more than he was. There was physical abuse, mental abuse and sexual abuse. Yes, he went before the other elders and was forgiven because he sought repentance. It was not quite that simple for me. When I left home and chose not to be of their religion, I was the one looked down upon. When people asked where I was they were told horrific lies about me, ie: I was in love with him and I wanted him to leave his wife and marry me. This was done with the intent to make people believe that I was a horrible person so that they would not talk to me or associate with me. That way if I ever came back and said anything they would not believe me. When I lived at home, I was used as a maid, punished for every little thing, molested, beaten so bad that her daughter had to threaten CPS if she ever saw it again. When he died, his witness friends had the audacity to walk over to me and thank me for taking care of his funeral arrangements, and I was told: Why I had no idea that they had children, they raised us kids and we were told they had no children. These people discarded 2 young girls like we were trash. He and his wife left every last thing they owned to their Organization. If J.W.’s are self sufficient and non-denominational, why do they take peoples property in wills? Kind of reminds me of Jim Jones and hundreds of other fakes who talk from both sides of their mouth. I was not allowed to have friends or go places with friends, and when I was, they either sent a friend along with me or I was only allowed to associate with adults who would report back every word that I would say. They are mean cruel twisted people and should not be allowed to make any decisions when it comes to childrens well being. Many years down the road I asked her daughter why she never stayed close to her mother? Her reply was: “She was my real mother, she was supposed to help me and defend me, she knew it, he admitted it and nothing was done.” How sinful to waste a childs life on such garbage and get by with it. These are things we never get past because no one seeks our forgiveness or acknowledges the bad they did to us. We Do Count.

    • Geronimo says:

      Sarah, I really feel very sorry for what happened to you two girls.
      Pls trust in Jehovah because he is just and will not forget to pay sinners what they deserve.
      And i know how easy rumors appear heavy for victims of a crime like this.
      Hope you con find your balance again…….I pray for you!

  20. Ryan says:

    October 1, 2012 letter to the Body Of Elders

    Paragraph 4:
    Most states have child-abuse reporting laws that, depending on the facts, mandate elders to report an accusation to the authorities. Thus, when elders learn of an accusation of child abuse, two elders from their congregation should immediately call the Legal Department for legal advice.

    Paragraph 13:
    The branch office, not the local body of elders, determines whether an individual who has sexually abused children in the past will be considered a “predator.”

    Paragraph 13:
    If the branch office determines that an individual will be considered a “predator,” parents with minor children will need to be warned of the danger that exists so that they can protect their children. In such a case, and only after receiving direction and instructions from the Service Department, two elders should be assigned to meet with the parents of minor children in order to provide a warning.

    Paragraph 15:
    Keep in mind that the branch office, not the local body of elders, determines whether one who has sexually abused a child is considered a known child molester.

    Paragraph 22:
    It cannot be said in every case that one who has sexually abused a child could never qualify for privileges of service in the congregation.

    Paragraph 24:
    If the elders as a body conclude that one who has sexually abused a child in the distant past may now qualify for privileges, they should assign two elders to call the Service Department.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are now doing what no other religious organization on the planet is doing, warning congregation members if it’s established there is some prior incident of sexual assault. Jehovah’s Witnesses are rising to a very high standard on combating child abuse. Marvin Shimler constantly raved on his blog and forums about this and opposers are still trying incriminate the organization’s response to what’s a social epidemic. Mandatory reporting laws are explicitly mentioned more than once in this letter. This is hard evidence that opposers online are lying, slanderous human beings that care nothing about the protection of children, they simply want to carry on their hate campaign.

    The reason for contacting the legal department is simply to prevent a person from being falsely accused. There are slander statutes to consider.

    • Cedars says:

      Ryan, like the Society you seem to miss the point I’m afraid. “Mandatory reporting” can be mentioned from beginning to end in this letter if this makes you feel happier, but these words mean nothing if elders are not given the freedom to contact the authorities immediately as soon as an act of child abuse is reported or confessed – which is ALWAYS the best and most responsible course of action whenever a crime is committed. The Society simply wants to be able to keep things “hush hush” in States where mandatory reporting has not yet been legislated, because they do not treat child abuse seriously enough as a crime. It is ALWAYS in the interests of justice to have the authorities judge guilt when a crime is committed rather than a group of untrained elders whose bias is to protect the abuser if the two witness rule has not been satisfied.

      I can only repeat: “let the bible judge sin, let the law judge crime” – which part of that slogan do you have a problem with?

      Cedars

    • if you are wise Cedars, you will comprehend what Ryan stated in his comment.

  21. Rip Van Winkle says:

    Cedars,
    Thank you for exposing the doctrines of men from the WTS. Their letter to the BOE ,Oct, 2012 speaks volumes. And thank you to the elder who provided this document.

    The WTS , as usual, continue their blatant and unyielding disregard of innocent children. They are more concerned with the Congregation’s reputation than they are in protecting children. How dare they insist that they are to judge whether or not someone is considered predatory. The Governing Body has continued to make themselves a god.

    The WTS should have their heads bowed, hat in hands and showing some kind of remorse, or humility by changing their unfair, unjust and uncompromising “2 Witness Rule”.
    Instead, they have decided to firmly dig in their heels and clearly made the stance that they will not yield. The rule STANDS. The WTS continue to be blind men leading their followers off into destruction.

  22. Aunt Fancy says:

    My heart goes out to you. I can’t imagine the horror you went through and it is awful that this org thinks so little of children that they would throw them away like that instead of being a comfort and a protection to them. I have always hated the way they deal with children even the fact that they have no “Sunday Schools” according to their age group, instead of having them sit through adult meetings and taking them out and spanking them when they don’t listen. They have no activities for the youth and they keep them from participating at school functions because of “bad association”! They take away their childhoods by not offering them anything but adult meetings! I should have run after the very first meeting I went to and I sat beside a woman who kept taking her child out and hitting her with an object. The little child was just restless. I hope you are getting the help to overcome the horrors of child abuse. Hang in there Sarah.

  23. Yan Bibiyan says:

    “The reason for contacting the legal department is simply to prevent a person from being falsely accused. There are slander statutes to consider.”

    Ryan, I call BS on the above statement (just to mention one).

    Knife cuts both ways. Slander is also punishable by law and would serve as a deterrent against baselessly accusing people.

    Back to Cedar’s point, if the crime was suspected murder instead of a suspected child abuse, would the possibility of a slander be even considered while calling the authorities?

    Look in the mirror and answer the question honestly to yourself.

    -Yan

  24. Charles Huff says:

    Sarah, please know that there are people out here that understand your anguish, and are standing with you… Please accept my condolences for having to live such a hard life… I pray things go better for you as you go along. I can tell you that life does get better the longer you’re out of this lie of a cult that destroys people.

  25. How many decades of sexually abused children and failed WT policy do you need before you get that the system in place does not work? This Organization Inc. has had decades to work through this problem and their chosen method of self preservation and damage control is the same as the Catholic Church has used for decades in order to protect their own reputations over the safty of children. You people remind me of the wind up toys that continually bump into the walls hoping for a different result, just because “SOMEONE” tells you to. Use your common sence, obey the laws outlined by our state and governments to protect our children. Aren’t you people taught that you are “suppose” to obey the laws of the land anyway!!

  26. The above was a reply to Yan Bibiyan. Using slander as an excuse to contact the WT legal department before notifying the police is just an attempt used by Watchtower to hide a pedophile problem “contain” and keep secret.

  27. Ryan says:

    Some clarification; the legal department is to determine if an elder is a mandated reporter, the branch office makes a determination if a person meets the criteria of a “predator.” The centralized administration is simply to reduce the chances of a mistake being made.

    If you do know anything about the recent litigation involving the Watchtower Society, governmental authorities didn’t find Jonathan Kendrick to be a “predator. In 1994 he was simply convicted of a misdemeanor with no restrictions placed on his freedoms whatsoever, but a civil court found the Watchtower Society and two elders liable for not determining his propensity for future abuse, nonetheless. Evidently, the standards of Jehovah’s Witnesses have to be higher than that of the federal government. Why do you think this letter has been released? If you  probe this latest lawsuit, you’ll see other things that are rather bizarre and a legal premise that rests on falsities, even proven perjury from the plaintiff. That’s why Jehovah’s Witnesses are appealing the case. In the mean time, Jehovah’s Witnesses are meeting the challenge and are going above and beyond any other religion by instructing the elders to visit with parents and issue a warning about a potentially dangerous person in their community. 

    As for the comparison to murder, there’s no comparison to what we’re dealing with here. That’s much more serious. If you read this letter, you could be dealing with abuse that took place many years ago, even repressed memories. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s adults with first hand knowledge, adults that are eyewitnesses, adults that are primarily responsible for making a report to the authorities. The way laws are evolving, states are beginning to abolish any distinction between a “professional” and other adults when it comes to a legal responsibility to report child abuse. That’s the way it should be anyway. The elders are simply laymen that volunteer their time on a limited basis to the congregation. They’re not “professionals.” Unless, an elder is an eyewitness to something, there’s nothing that distinguishes them from other adults when it comes to collaborating with the authorities.

    • Cedars says:

      Ryan, you’re evading the points that I’ve made, so if you don’t mind I’ll ignore the smokescreen you’ve thrown up about the Conti case and drag you back on to the points in question:

      “In the mean time, Jehovah’s Witnesses are meeting the challenge and are going above and beyond any other religion by instructing the elders to visit with parents and issue a warning about a potentially dangerous person in their community.”

      This is a lie. Elders are only instructed to warn parents if the branch, with only second/third hand knowledge of the circumstances, deem the accused a “predator”. Only then can parents be warned, and I have gone into great detail above in describing how this latest adjustment could still lead to a determined molester abusing a child. Perhaps you should read the article again before commenting further?

      Ryan, in all seriousness, if you are going to comment on such a sensitive issue, please get your facts in order. Given the severity of this matter I will have to delete any future comments of yours that are unfactual, because I don’t want people researching this topic to be misled. Disagree with me if you want – just make sure that what you say is factual. I’ve put considerable time into researching this topic and made sure that everything I’ve said is true. If you’re going to start arguments with me, the least you can do is make these arguments factual or tell me specifically what I’ve written that is wrong.

      “As for the comparison to murder, there’s no comparison to what we’re dealing with here. That’s much more serious.”

      Again, you entirely miss the point of the “murderer” illustration. I was not saying that murder is more or less serious than child abuse. I was highlighting the fact that murder is considered a crime by elders so the two witness rule is bypassed entirely if a murder is reported. If the Society truly regarded child abuse as a crime, they would treat it in the same way as a murder and inform the authorities immediately in all cases. This is not unreasonable, this is just the right thing to do.

      I can only repeat (since you didn’t answer the question)…

      “Let the bible judge sin, let the law judge crime” – which part of that slogan do you have a problem with?

  28. Frank says:

    Il go one step further and not only blame the society for their lack of compassion and responsibility and duty towards children but more so the ELDERS! Why you may ask.. Because the elders are in the men in every single congregation with the knowledge that a pedophile is in their midst and maybe serving as elder or a ministerial servant or a publisher and very well aware of the sickening rules the society has imposed on them but still choose to uphold it and put these innocent lives at risk..so PLEASE no compassion for the elders they’re not children or infants not to comprehend the seriousness of child abuse PLEASE PLEASE do NOT feel sorry for the elders!!

  29. Geronimo says:

    Pls consider:
    “5. The Legal Department will provide you with legal advice based on the facts and the applicable law. If the individual who is accused of the child abuse is associated with a congregation, please provide the Legal Department with his date of birth and, if applicable, his date of baptism. After a report has been made to the Legal Department, depending on the need, the elders may be directed to contact the Service Department for assistance with questions regarding theocratic or ju-dicial aspects of the case or regarding how to protect children.”

    (As mentioned,”the legal department will provide” elders ” with “legal advise based on the facts AND APLICABLE LAW”.)

    Considering missing exeprience of most of elders with crimes like this it is a good advise to talk first to experts, even if part of the congregation, and than taking action, of course also to inform authorities, police, prosecutor or anything similar.

    The letter to our elders does not say not to inform authorities, AND I KNOW SEVERAL CASES elders HAVE given victims and parents the advise to inform authorities.

    So pls take care and do not judge where it is not necessary to judge.

    • Cedars says:

      Geronimo – can you give an example of how it might NOT be a good idea to contact the authorities when a child is molested, regardless of the “applicable laws”?

  30. Geronimo – You say and I quote, AND I KNOW SEVERAL CASES elders HAVE given victims and parents the advice to inform the authorites. Sounds like this oranization has a serious Pedophhlie problem and your speacking only about the area you that you live in.
    Attorney for Defendant (Watchtower) Robert Schnack said in his closing arguments that Wathtower is stunned by the verdict because this is the “FIRST” time that the Jehovah’s Witnesess have had a case of child abuse, and that we (WT) are not like the Catholic Church. If the Watchtower attorney’s will lie in a court of law then why should I believe what you say Geronimo?

  31. Ryan Townsend says:

    “Again, you entirely miss the point of the “murderer” illustration. I was not saying that murder is more or less serious than child abuse. I was highlighting the fact that murder is considered a crime by elders so the two witness rule is bypassed entirely if a murder is reported. If the Society truly regarded child abuse as a crime, they would treat it in the same way as a murder and inform the authorities immediately in all cases. This is not unreasonable, this is just the right thing to do.”

    The “two witness rule” just pertains to whether or not a judicial committee is formed to make a determination whether or not a person may need to be removed from the congregation, it has nothing to do with whether or not a report is made to the authorities. The elders can’t form a judicial committee unless a matter is established. The secular courts aren’t much different. In many jurisdictions, rape, especially sexual abuse of minors, has no statute of limitations, but this doesn’t change the fact that our judicial system adheres to a premise of scientific evidence and testimony based on credible witnesses. 

    If the elders were to learn of a murder, how do you think they find out about something like that? It obviously wouldn’t be from the victim. It would be from someone who witnessed someone getting shot or stabbed. The eyewitness is undoubtedly the person responsible for informing the police about what they witnessed.

    99% of the time, this is the way the elders find out about anything. Other adults tell them things. In the Candace Conti lawsuit, Evelyn Kendrick was a witness to an accusation from her daughter and confession from her husband four months before the elders were told anything.

    “Ryan, in all seriousness, if you are going to comment on such a sensitive issue, please get your facts in order. Given the severity of this matter I will have to delete any future comments of yours that are unfactual, because I don’t want people researching this topic to be misled.”

    I won’t answer to any bias moderator. I won’t be commenting on your blog again.

    • Cedars says:

      I am a moderator who is biased by the facts, and I make no apologies for this. I go to a great deal of time and effort to research my articles, so if anyone wishes to refute anything I have written that is fine, but I expect that they will do so on a factual basis. Your previous post contained atleast one blatant lie about the new “predator” rule, and I don’t see why I should tolerate people on this website who seek to deliberately misinform my readers.

      Your latest post describes the two witness rule, and I feel I have made it clear that if the Society wishes to use this to determine sin, that is their decision as a religious organization. What is inexcusable is impeding the intervention of the law enforcement authorities in the mistaken belief that child abuse is first-and-foremost a sin and should be dealt with as such. This is the point I make in this article, and so far you haven’t provided me with a single paragraph or sentence that isn’t factual. If you are going to debate with me, please do so clearly and based on facts – especially on an issue as sensitive as this where some of those reading this article are actual victims of abuse (i.e. Kathleen and Candace Conti) and are therefore understandably emotional about the matter.

      I notice there is still no answer to my question: “Let the bible judge sin, let the law judge crime” – which part of that slogan do you have a problem with?

  32. Templelijah says:

    “”If a brother was seen killing someone by a single witness, the body of elders wouldn’t hesitate to phone the police immediately to arrest him – why should a child molester be treated any differently”"

    Well you cannot pilfer 60 million in “out of court” settlements, and set up the JW org for more massive judgments as part of the financial kill move on the worldwide JW org;

    This is part of the overall covert actions being conducted inside the org since awareness of the 1991 globalist UN promotions within the GB;

    No one would do things like this without a broader objective, it is surreal now to the point of being absurd like comedic tragedy, and is easily reverse engineered to determine the confidence profit motive and future positioning objective to compromise the JW org in the future, a “coup de grace” attempt – which already has two trended phases on record since 1991 – expect a third strike;

    SOON;

  33. susanna says:

    The Society also has a keen eye on its public image and reputation, and its latest measures to increase its power and control over congregational decisions is a clear indication that local application of the “two witness rule” on its own is becoming increasingly inadequate in their eyes. This raises the question, if the rule is becoming so complicated to implement with regards to child abuse, does this alone not indicate that its application needs to be completely revised in judging cases of criminality?

  34. Frank says:

    By insisting that the Two Witness rule will remain, the WT is saying that Paul’s re-iteration of the Mosaic law is a moral absolute. When the law was made in Moses’ time the primitive conditions under which Israelite justice was carried out, this law may have been an advantage. Two thousand years ago, the separatism between Christianity and the Roman State may also have made this law necessary, but where does Romans 13:1,2 fit in then?

    The WT decides for itself how it will limit Paul’s admonition (Romans 13) here to suit its own agenda. Fitted together, the two principles become close to a moral absolute (the Bible doesn’t actually teach moral absolutism) and should be exegetically interpreted alongside all the science and modern policing available today. WT policies show they know nothing about a paedophile’s psychology – to the detriment of the victims.

    • susanna slaz says:

      Frank you said
      (WT policies show they know nothing about a pedophile’s psychology – to the detriment of the victims. )****
      They really don’t know ,
      Wasn’t there a accused pedophile on the governing body, that was found guilty of this very issue ? I think he died last year. I’m sure there was.

      That governing body surely was aware of this man being among them, and now have the nerve to they say they have been appointed the faith ful slave.

      Faithful to whom.?

      • Geronimo says:

        Dear susanna,
        sorry i do not know which member of the GB you are talking about.
        Please tell me more about that.

        But: Don’t you think, a heavy sin of a member of the GB does not automatically mean that all of them knowing his sin did not bring this to accusation? How can you claime an accusation like this? Do you have real evidences or are we walking about rumors here?

        Imagine the other members of GB realizing the heavy sin of one of them and taking action immediately after disclosure! Do we have to complain about all other members of the GB based on a heavy sin of one of them in that case?

        Do you really believe that a person with heavenly appointment still living as imperfect humans are free from any risk connected with “the law of sin” Paul described so properly?

        • susanna slaz says:

          Geronimo, Its all on internet , I would rather you do your own reseach , to make sure of all things, one clue is to look into silentlambs.

          as far as the BOE being appointed by Holy spirit, Alans post says it all.:)

          • Geronimo says:

            Hi Alan, all you clarified is – following my understanding – summarized in Acts 20:28: “Pay attention to YOURSELVES and to all the flock among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers….”.
            Considering Acts 14:23, recommendation of men to serve in a responsible position was – and is – done under prayer, but
            “…they committed them to Jehovah….”.
            Meeting the demands of a ministerial servant or an elder is one thing, keeping these high standards is another thing!
            Paul pointed out that “the holy spirit has appointed you…”.
            So he made clear that finally Jehova and/or Jesus through Holy spirit allowed some brothers to take over responsibility – to serve “the flock” and to take care for Kingdom interests.
            But Paul also said they should “pay attention to YOUR(them-)selves..”, and we all know why.
            Alan, if you know about servants not free of heavy sins it is – according to Matthew 18 and 1. Timothy 5:22 in connection with
            James 5: 13-15 – also up to you to help them to confess and change….to allow the holy spirit to work with them again.
            Anyway – of course authorities should be informed in cases of child abuse/molestation according to Romans 13:4….as I already mentioned before, there is no doubt about this despite it might be the intantion of some “elder men” to kepp things covered.
            Don’t do it!

  35. Geronimo says:

    Thank you for your attention.
    It is not necessary to give you an example BECAUSE as far as I unerstood new recomandations to elders there is no reason to WAIT for an decision of elders in a congregation before the molested person and/or its parents contact authorities.

  36. Alan says:

    When an elder is appointed by holy spirit, all that means is that the bible (which was written under inspiration) was used to set the benchmark for the qualities an elder should show. That is all well and good if the person is totally truthful and open about everything in his life. Sometimes an elder or ministerial servant is harbouring a guilty secret which only comes out later, if at all.
    Certainly I new many ministerial servants that were apparantly appointed by holy spirit, and yet they carried on all sorts of immorality that never became known to anyone in authority, and yes I did as well.
    The appointments are no different to a boss, who when interviewing a prospective candidate for a job, looks for certain qualities in that candidate. However many people often act a lot differently on interview than in their normal every day working life.
    Therefore the organisation should not be surprised when one of their elders or ministerial servants sins badly. Rather than try and cover it up and keep it ‘in house’ they should allow the police to do the job they are trained to do, which is investigate fully the one accused. If the person is cleared then all well and good. Either way it will be a much better investigation than a bunch of untrained elders, who often do not want to bring ‘shame on the organisation’

  37. susanna slaz says:

    A;lan your post was right on the mark, so glad you see it as I do.
    If a person knows in his heart that he feels he really doesnt meet the qualifications for a responsible position, then let him speak up and say hes not ready yet.

    Why greave the spirt because of pride . Jehovah is not one to be mocked.

  38. KtotheRAD says:

    Well, lets examine every case I’ve ever witnessed personally where a charge was made against an Elder…what is the Society’s standard procedure to humiliate and intimidate the accuser and discourage them from making any challenge legal or otherwise and to build up the accused in the eyes of the congregation? POWER!The old PR game as misusing the platform? That’s right…the very first thing is the ol’ “Put ‘em up on the platform” policy as well as “Rape the Sheep and Praise The Wolves!” which will continue for as long as necessary until the accusers give out because the Society can’t be wrong or lose and especially before the Congregation. Has anyone noticed how Elders never seem to get removed or Disfellowshipped? They are not held to the same judicial standard as the lay class (Sheep) and are constantly fed the propaganda from the Society of “Unity” even if it is with wrongdoing/doers…more control! Scarier…

    • Geronimo says:

      Dear disputant,
      yes I HAVE SEEN several cases elders lost their “position” and/or fellowship caused by heavy sins committed by themselves.
      In cases of charges against men in responsible positions everything has to be clarified immediately to protect the congregation AND themselves.

      I know such cases…..

      • KtotheRAD says:

        Well I’m not a disputant I’ve been in and associated with the organization for 30 years and seen pedophiles and criminals etc who have not so take your generic many and post their names and I will be happy to post the cases of some of the many who have not!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hi Alan, all you clarified is – following my understanding – summarized in Acts 20:28: “Pay attention to YOURSELVES and to all the flock among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers….”.
    Considering Acts 14:23, recommendation of men to serve in a responsible position was – and is – done under prayer, but
    “…they committed them to Jehovah….”.
    Meeting the demands of a ministerial servant or an elder is one thing, keeping these high standards is another thing!
    Paul pointed out that “the holy spirit has appointed you…”.
    So he made clear that finally Jehova and/or Jesus through Holy spirit allowed some brothers to take over responsibility – to serve “the flock” and to take care for Kingdom interests.

    But Paul also said they should “pay attention to YOUR(them-)selves..”, and we all know why.

    Alan, if you know about servants not free of heavy sins it is – according to Matthew 18 and 1. Timothy 5:22 in connection with
    James 5: 13-15 – also up to you to help them to confess and change….to allow the holy spirit to work with them again.

    Anyway – of course authorities should be informed in cases of child abuse/molestation according to Romans 13:4….as I already mentioned before, there is no doubt about this despite it might be the intantion of some “elder men” to kepp things covered.
    Don’t do it!

  40. Alan says:

    Hi Anonymous, you are quite right of course when you say I should have tried to get the guilty ministerial servants to confess what they had done to the elders, as Mathew 18 tells us. However in reality that seldom happens in the organistion. Most members do not have the guts to talk to someone direct about a bad course they are following. And as I said before I was engaged in wrongdoing as well, so I could hardly tell one of my peers to confess and stop sinning when I was as bad.
    The point I am trying to make is that, being appointed by holy spirit as it is called means nothing. Those individuals are no different to anyone else. They can easily be enticed into sin the same as anyone else in the congregation. However most of them are smarter than the average member and can keep their sin or sins quiet. We see this with the sex abusers in the org. They know the organisation is a great place to get to know and groom youngsters for sex. There are many opportunities which outside the organisation they simply would not get. Door to door work where an individual can ‘help the parents out’ by going on the preaching work with a son or daughter. Visiting families in their homes is another way. Arranging demonstrations for the service meeting with a child is another way. As Bill Bowen rightly said 10 years ago it is a paedophile paradise for anyone who is that way inclined. Things have improved a bit, but still much needs to be done

  41. KtotheRAD says:

    As long as the Society indoctrinated in Elders this “Doctrine” (root of indoctrinate) that UNITY! is the priority which equates to loyalty “to Jehovah” (which really means liability to WTS) you will deal with this issue! Until each Elder comes to accept the Bible standard that unity with the wrongdoer/doing is sharing with the accountability as well and will render such when due. No matter what fleshly men gave them “instructions” or “directives” since they always had the Bible in their hands! And it screams from start to finish to “Stop touching” and “Remove yourself”, “Get out from among!” and “Don’t associate with” Their own Bible trained conscience should have accused them as well…We each will render an accounting before God and I doubt The Society’s Attorneys will speak then!

    • Geronimo says:

      Yes, you are right IF reputation is more important than God’s law!
      Unity is never in reach as long as heavy sins are covered by responsible persons – it doesn’t matter whether responsible relatives or responsible brothers in WTS.

      But I cannot see the doctrine you mentioned because GOD’S word is the only “doctrine” we have.

  42. Geronimo says:

    Hi, Alan, thank you for being that open!

    With view to “the guts” I can tell you that I myself know very well what it means to “have the guts”.
    But – with view to my sisters and brothers, their spiritual wellfare and my own relation to Jehovah there are enough reasons to force myself to discover things – but allways based on GOD`s advice HOW to do it, e.g. Matthew 18

    Yes, I am aware of the problem that our organization CAN be a place for people with wrong sexual tendencies. My wife herself pointed in more than one case out brothers showing more empathy than to e expected to our daughter. I missed these “signs” but checked it and had to admit that my wife was right.

    Bu I also have seen people changing their personality by the power of God’s Word coping with wrong sexual tendencies!
    And we may not forget compassion and mercy…..
    …but we have to take care, that’s a fact!

  43. Frank says:

    Geronimo, you seemed to have missed the point. Failure to report criminal offences is in violation of Romans 13:1,2. Simply pleading innocence on the basis of “Oh, we’re just imperfect humans!” is no excuse in the eye of the law. To insist that a second witness be present is to say that this is a perfect law (a moral absolute) and would apply in all circumstances. Science works in partnership with secular authorities to create a “second witness,” which is why the Society should be counselling their elders to seek Caesar’s help rather than rely on “their own understanding.” This is Biblical.

    It was claimed that Leo Greenlees was the person in question. There is anecdotal evidence as far as I know with victims claiming to have been abused.

    One thing to keep in mind is that suing a dead priest means the person in question cannot defend himself, but as Jimmy Saville (British entertainer) was accused and has apparently undeniable evidence against any claim of innocence means that he is now dishonoured. This means that evidence is evidence.

  44. KtotheRAD says:

    Chitty and Greenlees were both silently “moved” to Elder positions in other congregations as I was saying?

  45. KtotheRAD says:

    @ Sarah ~ The fact that you are here reaching out says very clearly that you have not forgotten Jehovah and he has never forgotten you! You have always mattered and you know the indisputable truths that know man’s badness can deny…dejected and outcast people are special to him and I know this first hand and for a fact! Hold on because there are things happening that you are not aware of…

  46. Geronimo says:

    See what I wrote on 8th of October:
    “Pls consider:
    “5. The Legal Department will provide you with legal advice based on the facts and the applicable law. If the individual who is accused of the child abuse is associated with a congregation, please provide the Legal Department with his date of birth and, if applicable, his date of baptism. After a report has been made to the Legal Department, depending on the need, the elders may be directed to contact the Service Department for assistance with questions regarding theocratic or ju-dicial aspects of the case or regarding how to protect children.”

    (As mentioned,”the legal department will provide” elders ” with “legal advise based on the facts AND APLICABLE LAW”.)

    Considering missing exeprience of most of elders with crimes like this it is a good advise to talk first to experts, even if part of the congregation, and than taking action, of course also to inform authorities, police, prosecutor or anything similar.

    The letter to our elders does not say not to inform authorities, AND I KNOW SEVERAL CASES elders HAVE given victims and parents the advise to inform authorities.

    So pls take care and do not judge where it is not necessary to judge.

    So, dear Frank, in my opinion I did not miss YOUR point but it might be necessary to make a distinction between what the above mentioned letter includes AND what elders might to accept.

    By the way – we might understand that Acts 20:28 describes how elders became elders today, but it also might be necessary to accept that these men in responsibility have to make sure that they do what Jehovah wants them to do – there is no reason to cover crimes for reasons of reputation. Jehovah never did so in cases one of his anointed kings did a heavy sin. So woe don’t have to…..

    And: tHE WO WITNESS rule cannot be a dogma in any case of sexual crime, everybody knows this.

  47. Geronimo says:

    calm down, be just and trust in Jehovah.
    I never did hold me back to do necessary steps in cases of heavy sins in a congregation, steps within the congregation and/or with authorities. Do the same!

  48. Braincleaned says:

    Most of this thread really seems moot to me. There is NO holy spirit and Jehovah is the figment of the imagination of barbaric men, that’s why he resembles so much imperfect humans, jealous, vengeful, prompt to genocide, slavery, then regrets.

    Our sense of morality today is much sharper than back then.

    Hence, any “Organization” that claims to represent him, will have the flaws of such ridiculous mythological deity. The WTS only has the authority YOU give it.

    As for pedophiles, only trained Police and Judges have the tools to deal with each case – they are trained for it.

    All reference to 2,000 year old scripture is not only idiotic, but irresponsible. Put your thinking caps on.

  49. Geronimo says:

    Dear disputant, you’ve choosen the right pseudo!

    It is always fun to see how self-confident a person con claim that Jehovah himself and/or the HOLY Bible are simply an “oldish” concept born in human fantasy.
    I feel attempted to ask you for the reason(s) being that self-confident. But I do not give in to that temptation – I think it does not make sense.

    You see an high-tech product like a CT and you self-confindent claim: ” This is a product of evolution, not a product developed and produced by high-skilled people”!?

    Don’t try to argue this is a totally different topic – it is not!

    And do not try to explain origin and/or advantage of ethics – you will never find proper arbuments!

    Cheerio!

    • Braincleaned says:

      So you ask the questions, and give the assumed answers?

      May I answer myself?

      Evolution is not in debate here, because it is a fact. The evidence is plethora. Denying it is akin to those that still believe the Earth is still flat (yes, they exist too).

      Caution though; I do not not claim that Intelligent life is impossible in the Universe – in fact, I’m starting to think Nature has more a design than we think. So I do not say say god(s) cannot exist (although I find the word “god” loaded). So I’m the contrary to self-confident on all this.

      However, Yes – I am convinced, and have written much on this subject, that the Abrahamic god is no less a myth than Thor, Zeus, and Vishnu to name a few. The Biblical stories would be laughable if they were not horrid, and inspired hate and war to it’s readers.

      It is ironic that Christians who mock Evolution seem to not see how ridiculous the story of two naked people in a perfect paradise ruined all humanity because of a talking snake! And when I ask for proof of God’s existence, I am asked to look at nature as proof! This is just as asinine than to ask people who don’t believe in Thor to look at thunder and lightning, as if it was obvious proof of Thor’s existence. Reason and logic needs a bit more, don’t you think?

      Please look into the Dover Trial to see how complexity does not – at all – prove the existence of a Deity.

      As for Konrad, I assume you are talking to me? If so – I have just as much weight and reason to comment here. I was a JW for over 40 years, very active. But I kept on studying hard, deep. I came to the conclusion that the WTS was just a bunch of men with no special power (except that of keeping much of the flock after lying thru their teeth repeatedly).
      Granted, saying to another person here “shut your mouth or leave” suggests you are only a 10, maybe 12 years old. In view of that, I will just let it pass for what it is.

    • Braincleaned says:

      Geronimo, also – about the question of ethics, or morality – it may be pointless to invite you to read the works of Sam Harris. What can I say? Can’t force anyone to see the obvious. We are better today than biblical morality. We shun slavery, we celebrate woman’s rights, and we would so anything to stop genocide. More that what the old Jah would do.

  50. KtotheRAD (Konrad) says:

    Well then you have nothing to worry about do you? If you are wrong However then I suppose the lack of attempt and opposition are a real concern for you…Either way, this would be the wrong place for you so sit back and shut your mouth or leave! This is not your issue any more than posting these same comments on a forum for foot fungus or endometriosis or the issues of unemployed circus performers…(???)

  51. KtotheRAD (Konrad) says:

    “May I answer myself?” ~ You did!…”But I kept on studying hard, deep. I came to the conclusion” ~ You understand the definition and root? To conclude? Now you move on to other things and by the way, it’s 30 years for me and since I didn’t invite you this makes it spurious and undesired so stop! I don’t believe you anyway or you wouldn’t be here..Next stop for this train is Harassmentville…Whoo! Whoo!

    • Braincleaned says:

      Yes. I conclusion is the results of what you have added up. It by no means the door is not open to further knowledge, that may even chance that conclusion. Who are you to invite me? Are you the administrator – if so – is this how you get rid of difficult questions and opinions? Have I been impolite? No. Never am. I do debate hard when needed – but are you telling me to scram because that the only answer you can give? If so, I will gladly leave this page. Otherwise, I was under the impression that the good Cedars was in charge here. I must have been wrong…

    • Braincleaned says:

      Sorry for the many self correcting typos.!

    • Braincleaned says:

      KtotheRAD, I will ask Cedars if I have been in any way harassing. I’ll let you know of his answer. If I have, I will leave. Sad, I thought I made some points worth answers, instead of showing me the door.

  52. Cedars says:

    Hi KtotheRAD and Braincleaned. I welcome open discussion on this website, and I understand that things may get a little heated at times. Braincleaned – I feel you have overlooked the fact that this site is predominantly to help JWs and help them to see using their own bibles that their cherished beliefs make little sense in the cold light of day. You may personally hold the bible in contempt – I don’t hold that against you. But please understand that it is difficult to help or reason with JWs without using the bible, and THEIR interests always come first when I am writing my articles. People who are already out of the cult don’t really need my help. People who are still indoctrinated do. KtotheRAD, I understand things got a little heated, but I’m sure you didn’t really want Braincleaned to leave just because of a disagreement. Everyone is welcome here, and we don’t all have to have the same views. It is, however, nice if we are friendly and accommodating wherever possible. I hope that makes sense, and I value the involvement of both of you on this website. Warm regards, Cedars

    • Braincleaned says:

      Thank you Cedars. I apologize KtotheRAD, for having misunderstood the goal of this site. It’s true that I get passionate.

      I like the fact that you mention that it is difficult to help or reason with JWs without using the bible. I use that way of reasoning with my family too – Bible in hand. I am still considered a JW (I know – eventually, they will catch up with me)!

      I realize I was on the wrong tangent – again, I apologize.

      I love this site – the information is stellar. Thank you.

  53. KtotheRAD (Konrad) says:

    Trying to make a point and no..I don’t have the authority and it’s not my site!

  54. KtotheRAD (Konrad) says:

    I can appreciate your feelings but when Jehovah has decided that he has heard enough the “crying and wailing” is prepared now to intercede on behalf of the weak and sick who are,have been begging and pleading even from the grave, are you going to tell him no? There is no guarantee that the legal entity “as known” will survive into the New World or ever was intended to. “Twofold accounting”, Watching over your souls with an accounting”, “Judgement begins with the House of God” , cold death dealing injustice and brutality “What is crooked cannot be made straight”

  55. alan says:

    Hi,yes there are indeed many religions that teach wrong things. However in the JW organisation,they too have taught many wrong things. The big difference is that JWs have no choice but to obey what they are told by the imperfect governing body, if they want to stay part of the organisation
    You seem to forget the reason the org changes things is because they have no choice. Their understanding of prophesies on the future have all proved totally wrong. 1914, 1925, 1942, 1975, The generation teaching, 1935, and now even the FADS apparantly does not refer to the remnant on earth of the 144000. They are now saying it is just the governing body. These changes are nothing to be proud of. They simply show how those men do not have a clue about the future.

  56. alan says:

    Hi Konrad, every day that Jehovah lets go by means he will have to slaughter another 200,000 people. That is how many are born each day around the earth. Do you think maybe JWs have not got their doctrines completely right?

  57. KtotheRAD (Konrad) says:

    I get your point but I think you may want to reconsider the figures since that is more likely to be the daily global death rate…

  58. alan says:

    Hi Konrad, I just checked online and the figure is that the actual world population rose by 1.1% in 2011. If you work through those figures it is as I said around 200,000 extra people on earth each day

  59. KtotheRAD (Konrad) says:

    Okay, I didn’t know for sure…

  60. Frank says:

    Geronimo: “And: tHE WO WITNESS rule cannot be a dogma in any case of sexual crime, everybody knows this.”

    What on earth can you mean by this? The Candace Conti Case is all about this! Under the First Amendment (some) religion does not consider it the business of government to interfere with their so-called justice system. This is moot when government’s job is to care for it’s citizens. WT was taken to court because they KNOWINGLY withheld vital information from those who DESERVED TO KNOW (re: theocratic war strategy). California law requires MANDATORY reporting of criminal activity, in this case, sexual child abuse (not “alleged child abuse” as the WT put it in their official statement on their site – until recently).

    Geronimo: “Considering missing exeprience of most of elders with crimes like this it is a good advise to talk first to experts, even if part of the congregation, and than taking action, of course also to inform authorities, police, prosecutor or anything similar.”

    By “good advice,” do you mean impartial advice? Just listen to the Matthew Barrie Judicial case (and read the transcripts) to find out how ‘impartial’ such experts are.

    Geronimo: “The letter to our elders does not say not to inform authorities, AND I KNOW SEVERAL CASES elders HAVE given victims and parents the advise to inform authorities.”

    Several people have seen alien spaceships too. Do you have anything more than hearsay?

    And as for elders’ letters. It’s easy closing stable doors.

  61. Braincleaned says:

    I wonder who Genesis Matthew is… troll maybe?
    In any case, bottom line, the official authorities are trained into making the call if it’s slander or outright pedophilia; the elders are not. The WTS should not impose this choice on the elders – nor trust their judgement on this.
    Cedars has it right – Pedophilia, like murder, is a crime. It should not be treated like a sin. It is WAY off the range of just “missing the mark” – as is the meaning of sin.
    It’s a CRIME. Period.

    • Cedars says:

      Genesis Matthew has been blacklisted. I don’t have time for people who stick up for the blatantly damaging teachings and policies of a human organization without being open to the possibility that these might be wrong and harmful.

      If any visitors with JW sympathies would like to genuinely point out any factual errors in any of my articles, my email address is on the “Contact Us” page. If I feel you are genuine, I will respond and make any needed changes. Otherwise, I won’t give trolls a free platform on a website that is designed to help people escape the mental and emotional clutches of a damaging cult.

      Also, I simply don’t have the time to argue with people who can’t be bothered to do objective research about their beliefs – especially when the information is freely available online. I’m sorry, I would love to be in a position to exercise more patience and tolerance of such ones, but that’s just how it is.

      Cedars

  62. Frank says:

    The only answer to this ‘dilemma’ (it’s not, it’s just religious pride in their own ‘righteousness) is from now on that the Watchtower should instruct parents to go FIRST to the authorities and ONLY THEN to report the allegations/incidents to the elder body. Anything less is simply unacceptable; after all, has God’s blessing been evident so far in this issue?

  63. alan says:

    So true. It is totally unacceptable for the organisation to say to the victim or the victims parents, ‘You have every right to report this to the police if you want to, but we will be looking into it ourselves’.
    Clearly they should be telling the victim that they should report this to the police immediately as they alone are the ones who can investigate the allegation properly.

  64. Frank says:

    Under the present policy, if someone said to me, “How does the WT stand on the issue of child abuse?”‘ we would have to reply, “They abhor it, but they also reserve the right (First Amendment) not only to decide if someone is guilty (judicial committee) but also how a confessed criminal should be punished (removal of theocratic privileges).”

    Stating that there will co-operation with state laws means little when the Conti case showed that the Californian mandatory reporting law was not followed.

    When the official WT policy states that “anyone who has information of the allegations has the perfect right to report the allegations to the authorities,” would this include the elders who sat on the judicial committee as well?

  65. KtotheRAD (Konrad) says:

    “They abhor it…”, I have seen no evidence systemically of this or regarding abuse, criminal behavior or violence in general. They abhor accountability to civil authorities and relish their perceived ecclesiastical privileges to avoid having to do that but I can’t speak for individuals, of course…

  66. Frank says:

    Unfortunately, organised religion has rarely, if ever seen children and women as little more than collateral. It is pretty obvious then that any damage to a child will come off second-best against the reputation and perceived power of an organisation. That’s just the way it is. However, slowly as a race we’re waking up to the fact that if we allow damage to our young ones, we damage our own futures. Conti’s case could be the ‘Berlin Wall’ the world needs right now.

  67. Braincleaned says:

    I understand Cedars. I also, in the past, have wasted precious time with trolls (or hardcore biased defenders of the WTS) of the sort.
    Although I have turned to Atheism, I still feel the pain of my over 40 years in the so-called “truth”. Your site really helps – probably more than you think.

    A couple of years ago, I survived a serious suicide attempt. If it wasn’t for a good neighbor and the cops that yanked me out of my house and brought me to the hospital, I would be dead. I have so many regrets and guilt that I attempted this, because I have two wonderful kids that I love SO much! I don’t even know how it went down precisely, suffice to say I was dumped from my ex-wife because of my drifting from the WTS, and a year later, my new promised to be, also a JW who knew who I was, decided I was not good for her spirituality. Both have shunned me, although my ex has been very good with open-communication for our children.

    Anyway, just saying – keep up the good work. ;)

    • alan says:

      So sorry to hear about what you have gone through. You must have been so low to attempt that. I’m sure your kids are so pleased you are around for them. Leaving the org can be so difficult. Of course it is made like that to stop as many as possable from leaving. The whole thing about if you leave and then tell someone why you have left, then you could well be disassociated and therefore shunned. It truly is a horrible religion. It took me 25 years to get out of it and start enjoying life again. I am truly pleased you feel you can speak about it now. Good luck for the furure.

    • Cedars says:

      Thanks Braincleaned. I had no idea you have been through so much because of your JW experience. I do admire you for putting that behind you and rebuilding your life. I’m glad you find this site helpful. Cedars

  68. Braincleaned says:

    Thank you Alan and Cedars!

    It has indeed been a struggle to free myself, and I must admit, there are still some bitter back-tastes of it all, albeit very tame at this point. My ex who decided to stay in the cult noted that I am just as passionate for my atheism and ‘apostasy’ as I was when in the “truth”. I was one of those that would pioneer at every occasion, and very into my personal study.

    It’s my deep personal study ironically helped make sense of what seemed to be so many conflicting thoughts, both in the Bible and the org.

    I’m a internationally published cartoonist (no fame though), and I have a few projects in the works to teach children the beauty of natural selection, and the more complex issue of morality. But now I’m thinking about something that would help exJWs as well.

    I realize there are two main reasons for leaving the cult, although at one point some, like me, end up embracing both those reasons:
    • The personal conclusion that there is no biblical god, and that science is the best we have to support logic and reason thru evidence.
    • Still believing in God, but concluding that the WTS is far from serving his purpose, and are the dangerous cult they are.

    In my case, I left for the first reason, still feeling the WTS was sincere in their efforts. THEN, I realized the deception, and the mind-control they sneak onto their followers, being guilty of destroying families and giving pedophiles a free pass to commit further crimes.

    I sometimes still overflow with excessive passion in my new found understanding, and I do apologize for having done that even here. I will be more careful. This site is essential to many, and I must remember that not all leave both the org and faith altogether. The real issue is to free ourselves from this horrid cult, that puts on the face of purity like a mask hiding a real dark cult honoring a few American blokes at the top that have self-appointed themselves between Christ and HIS followers. If there is a God, they will have to answer to him – and it will be a blessing to have no part with them.

  69. Frank says:

    Hi Braincleaned. On your point 2, Professor Stephen Law in England believes that from the Bible and present conditions we could just as much perceive an ‘evil God’ as we could a ‘good God.’ He believes not that there is such a being, but that each concept cancels out the other and ends up with there being no God.

    For me, nowadays I try to be an open-minded agnostic about what I was taught as a JW. I asked the question, “Why does God execute the innocent along with the guilty?” I have been told that I shouldn’t ask that question as no Christian will attempt to find an answer.

    For many, the WTS’s present indifference to the security of JW children is an exercise in Old Testament ethics. God ordered the death of Canaanite children – how are we to process such an military order? Why were humans with fragile emotionality and tendency towards racial hatred used to carry out such a deed? In reality a child who has committed no sin bringing forth death, who individually has had no time to decide whether to serve God or not, simply cannot be ‘executed.’ They can only be murdered!

    It is only when we understand this, we can understand why modern religious fundamentalism sees children (and often women) as acceptable collateral damage up against the progress of an organisation. After all, religions prefer to think of themselves as collectives and not individuals.

    I hope it turns out that the Bible isn’t inerrant. That way, at least I could believe that Israel’s history has not been conveyed correctly and that there is actually a good God we can trust.

    So far I’ve drawn a blank.

  70. Braincleaned says:

    I understand Frank. You bring up another good point as to the character of God.
    I have come to the conclusion that even if I had enough evidence that YHWH exists, and he IS the God of Abraham – I would rather die than serve him. My conscious could not give allegiance to a god of that violent nature, demanding love and even worship.

    Difficult subject, I concede.

  71. Frank says:

    Actually, Sam Harris is prescient on the subject of modern morality. His book The Moral Landscape makes good reference to that which you speak. Humanism, a non-religious philosophy, is based on minimising as much UNNECESSARY pain as possible and doing only what would only be for the best for mankind. Naturally, this leaves open personal and, obviously, religious, opinion as to what is ‘best’ for mankind. This is where Harris comes up trumps.

    As to the WTS, how can they say they have an ‘aggressive’ policy to protect the children of JWs when the official policy honours the ‘two witness’ rule as if it’s a moral-absolute! The ethics are 2,000 (much older in the OT context) years old and should be interpreted, not only within the context of Romans 13:1, 2, but also in light of modern technology and psychology, neither of which are the possession of the WTS.

  72. Braincleaned says:

    Absolutely! Sam Harris’ book “The Moral Landscape” blew my mind. One of those I had to go back repeatedly and think about. Great work.

    I agree that the WTS is totally off by abiding to an old Law, obviously created in the historical context where women were crap and the massacre of babies was not an issue for god. Also when stoning was the standard for even rebellious teens (sic.)

    We have evolved to a much better morality. We understand today that genocide and slavery is plain wrong. Even fundie JWs would agree on slavery and genocide. Ironic that their very conscience is better than that of the god they claim to worship. It is frustrating to hear the copout that He knows better than us. I never understood the logic in that. After all, not once in the whole Bible has even Satan been stated guilty of genocide or ethnic cleansing. Not once is he accused of personally killing even just one baby. YHWH has.
    Satan did torture Job, but that was with YHWH’s blessing… since that was the deal – or part of the “bet”.

    Troubling questions that got me backing up and leaving the whole thing. These Beliefs have hurt me (and my family) so much.
    Thank goodness I discovered the beauty of the scientific method – granted, not perfect – but the best we have to test truth objectively.

  73. Braincleaned says:

    I apologize if this sounds a little too bitter to religion in general. Fact is that the WTS does build on the Scriptures – even if ill-interpreted. It stays that the Bible is the source of the 2 witness rule, where even at the time, it could not seriously be expected as valid for a rape or child abuse.

  74. Frank says:

    While Harris gets it right as to modern morality, like others, he doesn’t quite grasp that stoning teenagers and sabbath-violators was done within the context of a system that was nomadic and free from prisons and taxes. Practical, granted, but today, such extremism still lives on within a modern context. Likewise, studied closely and within context, slavery to the ancient Israelites would have been the equivalent today of a welfare system.

    The major problem is that fundamentalist thinking such as the “child protection policy” of the WTS is that it still reflects even in a residual way, the ancient attitudes of that 3,000 year set of laws.

    I believe that modern morality (which appears to transcend Biblical ‘morality’) germinated in The Age of Enlightenment and grew, not BECAUSE of religion, but DESPITE it!

    Children rightly hold a special place today BECAUSE we understand they are the future. Damage them and we damage our race.

    One day I came across a news photograph by chance online, that, even in the instance I could glance at its gruesomeness, showed the body of (I assume) what looked like a thirteen-year-old girl who had been decapitated. Her body was laid out in a dignified way in a coffin which had what I assume was her grieving mother beside it.

    The question occurred to me, not: What did this girl do? but: What COULD this girl do to have deserved this? To my mind, only a religious paradigm could have actioned this situation. I have no idea the circumstances surrounding the picture, but likely it wasn’t a car accident.

    I am an agnostic because I can’t give up hope that ultimately there is a good God (I notice you use lower-case ‘g’ here) but, at times, I am flabbergasted how male-dominated organised religion has not been able to exegete the Bible against our modern world!

    I hope you don’t give up on a good God too, Brain-cleaned.

  75. Braincleaned says:

    Thank you for your interesting comment, Frank. Indeed, millenary old standards were barbaric at best. You also make a good point pointing out the welfare system of slavery.

    However, it is important to remember that slavery was not just a system for protection – it was also encouraged by YHWH when invading other peoples – in those cases of sheer intended genocide, God’s people were allowed to take slaves for themselves, and even take women for their own sexual use, in other words, rape. Those legitimate slaves were not different from what we understand the practice to be today. You could even beat to a pulp your slave and get away with it if he/she survived after 3 days. I think it’s fair to state that we are far from a welfare arrangement there.

    As for WTS standards, I totally agree with you.

    I am open to creative intelligence in the universe. I avoid the word ‘god’ because it is a loaded word. But quantum mechanics is showing us the possibility that design may very well be organized naturally. I would never state that everything is reducible to matter. There is too much we don’t know.

    As for the idea of a personal, more religious god – I feel quite strongly that it is very unlikely. He has not offered anyone today evidence of his existence, and all the miracles and supernatural occurrences in the past are just ‘hearsay’ – something unacceptable as hard evidence. They were hearsay even 2,000 years ago, so I feel it reasonable to suspend judgement, at the least, to make an assertion on the existence of such a deity, whatever the religious base.

    But magnetism is an honest stand. I’m not sure I would call myself an agnostic atheist, because I have dismissed the possibility of any religious based god. However, I’m more than open to the new scientific paradigms. QM is an exciting science – my guess is that the Universe (and potential for the universe) may very well have an a natural intelligence after all.

    I love Bertrand Russell’s words in his 1959 interview – addressing the question of hope hope being a good enough reason to believe:

    “Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true.”

  76. Braincleaned says:

    Sorry for the auto correct – not “magnetism” but “agnosticism”! LOL!

  77. Frank says:

    I would never argue with your reasoning about ancient paradigms, Braincleaned. It is precisely because of the way the Canaanites and others who inhabited the ‘Promised Land’ were treated that I make the point that such ancient thinking leaches into the modern religious fundamentalist mind; re: the decapitated girl.

    The welfare system was for “God’s People” and converts, not to be enjoyed by “pagans.” You clearly make the point that women and children (virgins, etc) were taken for breeding stock (as the Scriptures depicts it) and perhaps we can see why, like many modern religions, the WTS claims a ‘powerful’ child protection policy while implementing little or nothing that ‘powerfully’ demonstrates this. For instance, it advocates the Confronting your Perpetrator outdated form of justice. How would this work for a 5-year-old, even in the presence of his/her parents? Do the GB not understand anything about trauma?

    Your comments on Quantum Mechanics is great too. I have seen film of what appears to be microscopic particles coming from nothing! Of course, not to be forgotten is that “nothing” is relative to what we see. In actual fact is that the origin is energy, the only truly infinite (but invisible) reality in the universe.

    Richard Dawkins, often unreasonably maligned by territorial theists, posits that the universe would look quite different if it had a perfectly-loving God as its creator. One Bible-defender even once told me in a blog that we live in “fallen universe”! I though it was only mankind who had “fallen.” Simply throw back to these individuals that long before our sun runs out of hydrogen the human race will long be dead, and see what they say; usually: “God works in mysterious ways.”

    Then there’s the matter that the fossil record clearly indicates that 99% of Earth’s species have been made extinct by nature, NOT MANKIND. So, are we dealing with a ‘divine tinkerer’ as Dawkins puts it? At best, Adam and Eve, evidentially were merely allegories. What alternative is there?

    The WTS, by their writings show that they go by Divine Command Theory (which posits that whatever God commands is righteous) and believe that the Bible is inerrant. The number of religions mitigates against this and leaves only humanity’s ability to cherry-pick their own patterns that they see within its 66 books. Bart Ehrman, a Christian, turned agnostic wrote a book called God’s Problem: Why the Bible Fails to Answer Why Humans Suffer (or something similar).

    One question I have is: why has God employed a purpose (plan) to redeem mankind that has meant the greatest cost to those whom he claims he has perfect love for?

    Certainly he does work in mysterious ways.

  78. Braincleaned says:

    “The God Delusion”, from Dawkins is definitely a book that got me coming out as an atheist – that and “God is not Great” from Hitchens. Plus a few more. I also love the clear reasoning in Sam Harris’ “A Letter to a Christian Nation” – powerful stuff.

    But if God should indeed exist, it would be wonderful if he was indeed “Love” instead of this barbaric despot that ‘demands’ love and worship! (How can Love be forced?).

    You may enjoy the following video (and all of QualiaSoup’s good work). It’s an exercise in logical thinking. Quite a good argument, I would say.

    As to your question – like you – I would love an answer. ;)

  79. Braincleaned says:

    Oops! Wrong video – good one – but not the one I intended!
    Here it is! Sorry! :D

  80. Braincleaned says:

    Another attempt – I dunno what the problem is…

  81. Braincleaned says:

    Okay – I give up. Please YouTube “Lack of belief in gods”… thats the one! ;)

  82. Frank says:

    You and I tend to read the same books, Braincleaned! It seems ironic that by the logical writing of such men that light is thrown upon what’s truly wrong with modern religious fundamentalism. Presently I see organised religion as merely institutionalising our personal prejudices. Old Testament ‘ethics’ and the modern Divine Command Theory provides the nourishment for such a drive keep mankind’s mind from progressing.

    To give you an example, one of my favourite debates is where Hitchens (missed a lot) is the token atheist on a panel of theists. Characteristically, he take the reins and makes mince-meat of the weak claims of the theists, telling us that God holds out to us an eternal life of happiness if only we would endure the insanity of this present Earth and that he offers this freely. Hitchens flies back that: Does he really? No. If you refuse his ‘kindness’ then be sure to burn in Hell or some other place of torment for your refusal!!

    Fundamentalist religion teaches the vindictive God who holds humans in disdain, but undeservedly holds out the hand of help to filthy, sin-filled humans. Atheism and, to some extent, agnosticism challenges this fundamentalist view and attempts to build the self-esteem humanity has lost as a result of such hierarchical systems. People like Hitchens say exactly what our race should have said centuries ago. But some memes do tend to hang around to our detriment.

    Often the Old Testament is used as an example of the danger of fundamentalist thinking. The WTS, for instance, melds its disfellowshipping system (social shunning as a form of “stoning” or being “dead” to their believing relatives) and, as previously discussed, the moral-absolutism of the “two witness rule.” But here’s a conundrum of Old Testament ethics up against our modern educated view:

    How different is it ethically and morally to destroy, eradicate, an ancient people for the crime of offering up children as human sacrifices and then offering the children of the Canaanites as spoils of war? Is life truly sacred to the person who ordered the ‘execution’ of those who had committed no crime (unless the ‘crime’ was being born to the wrong people at the wrong time)?
    How sacred is blood when it is innocently shed?

    Is practical expedience a good reason for such a war-crime?

    Obviously you’ll see the parallel here with the subject of this blog, Braincleaned.

  83. Frank says:

    I meant to say that the melding of the two doctrines is with Christian principles with Old Testament commands, the latter which was done away with Christ.

  84. Braincleaned says:

    Well articulated, Frank.

    I miss Hitch so much! But what fantastic body of logic and proper rant he has left us with!

    I agree with all you say here. Even as a kid, the Canaanite issue has always left me wondering if YHWH had a special hate for them just because they were practicing what he wanted special glory for; the sacrifice of his own son.

    It always seemed to me that this deity was created in the image of man rather than the opposite, as his character is that of the most petty of men; jealous, demanding worship, despot, and ready to kill for a protocol that he himself has invented on a whim of self-indulgence (as he has nobody to answer to). Also, a god that can massacre 42 young boys by having them ripped to shreds by 2 she-bears – just for calling a prophet “baldy”, has some serious issues of proper measure in punishment! (2 Kings 2:23-25).
    * This said, I never bought the story, as the bears would have caught only the few that ran slower than the others – I can’t for the life on me picture how 42 kids can get ‘caught’ by 2 bears – no matter how big. In any case – even if not literal, what quality is this supposed to show from this self-named loving God? What is the moral of this story?

    Bottom line; the OT is an embarrassment to morality, science, and logic. The NT is not much better, because Christ totally defended the OT and it’s barbaric laws. Matthew 5: 17-19 is clear on his stance. Furthermore, Jesus added a special twist in the commandment to worship God; he said “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”
    Yep, it is the first new commandment calls for “compulsory love”.

    How can anyone be forced to love, and damned if one cannot? This is easily one of the most ridiculous impositions from Christ.
    I will pass the many other unloving things he stated, like the only reason for divorce being adultery – not a word for a battered spouse or a marriage where the husband (or wife) abuses the children, etc… nope – just adultery (which falls under the all too natural human behavior of just looking at a person with sexual desire).

    Granted, he had beautiful words of wisdom too – but nothing original that was not said 800 years before him by Confucius

    So much can be said – and it’s nice to say it amongst friends of a same understanding. But one must not hold one’s breath in thinking that any evidence of logic will ever deter a faithful, unless also a seeker and ready to question one’s own bias.

  85. Braincleaned says:

    All of this follows the opening article by Cedars.
    The WTS stance is unacceptable with our modern moral conscience.
    They clearly and criminally confuse the term “sin” with “crime”.

    But we must realize the problem runs MUCH deeper. Right or wrong, the WTS’s policies are based in Biblical law and requirement.

    True, the Bible contradicts itself enough to confuse anyone, as “love” should be enough of a reference to negate the 2 witness rule of other age-old protocol.

    My point being we can’t just point fingers at any one cult or religion. What we must analyze it the source of their moral code.

  86. Frank says:

    Of course, Hitch wasn’t an atheist, but an avowed anti-theist. Listening to his lectures (free online) reminds you that when he sees the OT and the fundamentalist interpretations religion uses to maintain its all-too terrestrial power, he saw traditional church teachings of devotion to a hierarchy as being in a “celestial North Korea”! He could say this when, as a journalist, he relates the bloody war-crimes and the immediate aftermath of these conflicts (headless bodies, mad dictators who treated their people like cattle, as well as describing the zombie-like state of those who live, as he put it “under a Necrocracy (dead dad, reigning son – an arrangement one-short of a trinity).

    Today I finished Dinesh D’Souza’s new book, God Forsaken: Bad Things Happen. Is There a God Who Cares? Yes. Here’s Proof. As one of the Catholic Intelligentsia I find a few of his arguments interesting, but I’ve heard most of them before in his debates.

    Fond of self-created tautologies, one of his oft-used arguments is the so-called “Fine-tuning” anthropic argument. He considers this knock-down argument that has ‘become an embarrassment to the atheist empire.’ Actually, it’s fundamentally flawed and it’s not hard to see how. This argument is based on the idea that ‘the universe was made for man,’ not the evolutionary counterpart, ‘man was made for the universe.’ The latter simply argues that we live in a universe that is conducive not just to life, but also to oxygen-breathing life. As it is often observed, if the dinosaurs had not become extinct, human life probably would not have arisen. There, that was easy, wasn’t it?

    I remember Hitch embarrassing D’Souza almost into silence when the latter described Einstein as a theist! Hitch quickly reminded his opponent that Einstein had written extensively that he resented being called a believer in a personal god.

    William Lane Craig, touted as one of America’s leading Christian apologetic debaters, is one to look out for. His sleight-of-hand methodology is to take control of the debate by laying down 6 or 7 bases on which HE will debate the existence of God and then state that unless his opponent logically destroys his philosophical set-up and then erects his own knock-down arguments, he has won the debate! This is common among theist debaters who have little or no demonstratable science with which to adorn what they claim.

    Hitch also lambastes the Catholic Church for its dark child abuse secrets and delivers a stinging rebuke in the Intelligence-Squared Debate: Is the Catholic Church a Force for Good? Well worth a listen (along with Stephen Fry).

    I think time itself will sort out eventually what is true and what is not.

  87. Frank says:

    Yes, you’re right, Braincleaned; the OT is an embarrassment, and often invites silence when old morality wounds are exposed.

    Finkelstein and Silberman, two archaeologists (notice their names?), went into the Promised Land the ’80s to prove the Bible correct through archaeology and were surprised to find that, to their understanding, the evidence unearthed (their book is called The Bible Unearthed) that the Jews were actually the Canannites! Far from being any evidence of major conflicts, only small tribal skirmishes appeared to have taken place.

    Most notably, there seems to be no break in the cultural evolution from polytheism to the better-known monotheism! (interestingly, this was attempted without success at least once in ancient Egypt under Tutankhamen’s dad’s, Akhenaten’s reign). Perhaps it was that what we see encountered the OT was the painful realisation that a new morality needed to replace old standards and this required the set-up of a new revolutionary way of thinking!

    This would be fully consistent with the parsimonious idea that the stories accounted were likely inspirational cautionary tales told over camp fires among the Bedouin tribes that became something bigger. And, boy, did it ever!

  88. Braincleaned says:

    Absolutely on both your comments. I still rerun all I could get from Hitch’s YouTube videos – such a pleasure to watch and listen.

    I find myself flirting with the term anti-theist, because even if I am proven mistaken on the existence of YHWH, and suddenly have proof of his existence – I would still rather die than worship such a despotic monstrosity. Survival is not paramount to good conscience. I would consider any allegiance to him no better than that for Hitler.

    I don’t agree with this god’s morals, that I find insulting to any thinking and well-intended human being. One must be consistent with one’s conscience, and my conscience most definitely refuses such an allegiance.

    The platitude and lame excuse suggesting that we cannot know what He knows and that his ways are perfect is also a slap in the face of logic, kindness, love, and all of the good qualities I can think of.

    So in view of this – I may well be an anti-theist myself; to all the gods I know of, in particular the one I know best, as an ex-christian.

  89. Braincleaned says:

    I admire your courage to read Dinesh D’Souza’s book. He has always been a joke for me.

    He did well to resign from Kings College after it was publicly revealed that he was engaged to a 29-year-old woman while still married to his wife of 20 years.

    Fine example for a man who defends God.

  90. Frank says:

    Someone said…I think it was Hitch, that Christianity is a ‘cult of human sacrifice.’ Some see this as God saying that, “I sacrificed my son, so you should be willing to do so too.” The WT have happily obliged their adherents to do this in two major doctrines at least – refusal of a certain medical procedure and in requiring social shunning (“treating as if dead” [stoning]) when disfellowshipped. The relationship too may be seen in the subject of this blog. Enter Western ethics and, in many cases, court orders are written to ensure that such parents are not burdened with having to make the mistake of making a decision with permanent consequences on the basis of their own religious viewpoints.

    At the moment I’m reading Martha Beck’s book, Leaving the Saints, in which she recounts her belief that her father, a high-ranking Utah professor and apologist, sexually molested her. Obviously controversial, we are told of the gynecological tears in her reproductive parts, strange nightmares that go back to when she was aged 5, and a “methinks they do protest too much” denial from within the eschalons of the church.

    Some of the book has chilling parallels and reminded me of possibly how the allegations made against one of the WT governing body members was handled; the name of the alleged perpetrator being equal to the reputation of the organisation.

    What is it called in politics? ‘Plausible deniability’? We know from actual documented evidence from the UN that the Organisation’s relationship was likely more than a desire to use a library card. Yet, today, the desire to get this serious violation of political neutrality (another GB doctrine) out in the open meets only with “We’re only imperfect men,” “now there’s more light,” and attempt to stop talk by closing down the conversation! (and as ‘evidence’ that the critic is not doctrinally in full agreement with the GB [a disfellowshipping offence called, 'apostasy']).

    You may know Plausible Deniability by the more pseudo-Biblical religious rhetorical tool of “Theocratic War Strategy.”

    It seems D’Souza’s trouble stemmed from stupidly introducing the lady on his arm at a function as his ‘fiance.’ He sent an email to all who follow his site stating that nothing improper went on during his time with her, but that he is estranged from his wife.

    It’s funny, people say to me, when I ask them to answer the question: Why does God destroy the innocent with the wicked? “We just don’t know. We can’t know everything!” To which as tell them, “I don’t want to know everything, but this question goes to the heart of basic Bible and human morality. Surely, a Christian apologist can tell me why God couldn’t have found a more practical way to accomplish his will without such a cost to humanity!”

  91. Braincleaned says:

    If people would use their logic and prudence in their view of religion or gods with the same logic and prudence they deal with business, health, and other personal and family choices – they would never be this gullible of putting faith in something with not a shred of evidence, with a hope based on what is not seen (Heb.11:1).

    Everyone has a healthy dose of skepticism – they don’t trust just anyone with their children, their money, or their health – yet that skeptical critical thinking just vanishes in the presence of gods – conveniently different in varying cultures.

  92. Frank says:

    “The elders should not ask an alleged victim, the accused
    person, or relatives of the victim or accused to call the Legal Department. The elders should call the
    Legal Department even in the following situations:…After a report has been made to the Legal Department, depending on the need, the elders may be
    directed to contact the Service Department for assistance with questions regarding theocratic or judicial
    aspects of the case or regarding how to protect children.”

    - Body of Elder Child Abuse Letter from the Governing Body.

    Looking at just this small quote from the leaked Body of Elders letter dated 1 October, 2012, could we honest say that this represents an “aggressive child protection policy”?

    Further on, this statement is made: “Elders should help the parents of the children in-volved to understand that they have the primary responsibility for protecting their children.”

    The situation arises where a parent (continuously up to now admonished to tell elders of accusations against congregation members) informs an elder/elders of their accusation. The elders form a judicial committee (or not if there is a denial during the initial investigation) and the accused person confesses to sexually molesting a child of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    The perpetrator cries buckets of tears and the elders, moved by his genuine repentance, tell him they will not take the matter further but he will receive a severe rebuke and loss of congregational privileges. The congregation is not informed that there is a sexual molester in their midst.

    How, in this situation, have the investigators helped the situation? How many incidents of molestation have they investigated? One? Probably. Have they ascertained whether or not that this person has a history, possibly a long history of sexual crimes against children? Obviously not.

    In not informing the congregation, how are parents to shoulder their “primary responsibility” to protect their children when the elders, the only protection between the molester and their potential victims, have kept the details and even the identity of the offender “private” (secret)?

    The WTS has a long history, like serial-prophesying, of making unwarranted claims; one of which is that ‘God’s People’ live in a ‘spiritual paradise,’ part of which is knowing that you can trust each and every member of this ‘righteous’ people. It is quite possible that if a parent/parents refused continually to let their children work with ministerial servants and elders in the field service ‘for their advancement,’ they may be spoken to and even disciplined for not co-operating with a ‘theocratic arrangement.’

    What the WT doesn’t yet get is that child molesters are more-often-than-not recidivists and are simply waiting for an opportunity to indulge their perverse ‘tastes.’

    • susanna says:

      Graham Spanier, other Penn State officials showed ‘total disregard to the suffering of children,’ AG says | PennLive.com
      In the Penn State case
      The decision is made, if any organization hides a sex offender its to prison they go if the child abuse is not reported to the police,
      The three should be sentenced tomorrow.
      Now what is the Watchtower going to do ?

      Sorry I am no good at putting up links.

  93. KtotheRAD (Konrad) says:

    @ susanna ~ It’s the same perceived Ecclesiastical privilege and from the other side, tolerance and allowance shown to Religion that is counted on to allow abuse of all types against the sick, weak and vulnerable to thrive in cloistered orders…I’ve heard it I don’t know how many times and even in the presence of police officers more than once where Elders have declared their “Ecclesiastical Privilege” because they were taught that by the Society. The first time the officer asked, “What is that? This is a criminal investigation…you have no privileges here” The second time, I explained to the Elders in the presence of the officers that there was no Ecclesiastical Privilege during the course of a criminal investigation. Ecclesiastical Privilege does apply in confidentiality matters pertaining to certain information and circumstances that are case specific but not where a criminal investigation is at hand.

  94. Frank says:

    One of the above illustrations, that of the little girl putting her hand out to say, “No!” to the potential abuser, clearly shows why this “aggressive” policy could be deadly to its victims.

    As the comment below it indicates, the responsibility is put on a child’s parents to train their children and then second to this PLACES SUCH A RESPONSIBILITY ON THE CHILD TO REFUSE THE ADVANCES OF AN ABUSER.

    The purpose of the policy is that the elder body is bypassed for any responsibility under the “aggressive” WT policy. Under secular law that potential abuser would likely not even be in the bedroom of the little girl. This is because their name would be on a sex offender’s list that the public can access. Conversely, it could be that even the girl’s parents may not know when in a sleepover situation.

    How much good is it in such a situation if the nature of the abuser is not seductive, but violent? I don’t think a held-out hand is going to be effective here.

  95. Frank says:

    The first reason why the decision whether a perpetrator is a sexual predator should not be left in the hands of untrained religious leaders is, as discussed above, that they have no understanding of the recidivist nature of paedophiles, who merely await their opportunity. They are there to investigate ONLY the specific accusations made and likely have no knowledge of past crimes.

    Second, lack of objectivity, because likely the accused will be known to the judges. In order to be truly impartial (a word bandied around during judicial hearings) the investigators/judges will need to objective. Obviously, this underlines the need to hand it over to secular authorities who are objective and truly impartial.

  96. Frank says:

    “Loving elders should take steps to protect children, especially when a judicial commit-tee determines that the one who has sexually abused a child is repentant and will be allowed to re-main a member of the Christian congregation. The same concern would be shown when one who has sexually abused a child is disfellowshipped, later cleans up his life, and is reinstated.”

    This ‘advice’ alone should be considered dangerous for any children affected by it! Obviously this is a system that knows nothing about the serious subject it makes itself judge of.

    Louis Theroux, a British documentary maker, made an American paedophile penitentiary the subject of one of his episodes. Some of the inmates complained that they had been incarcerated AFTER they had served their jail sentences by court order, others told of how they would NEVER leave the institution. This should be a warning to all those affected and those who deem themselves qualified to state as above.

  97. Willows says:

    “People agree one child abused, ….. is one too many.”

    The one who abused this child is a predator!!

    Deciding who is and who is not a predator is … absurd, contrary to reason or common sense,…. in short,… mentally ridiculous.

    “One child abused, is one too many.”

  98. Sarah Puffer says:

    You are so correct. Having been one of the children, my father not only molested me he also molested my mothers daughter from her first marriage. He destroyed her life and mine. He became an elder in the Congregation after molesting me. He and my mother lied to people in the Congregation about me when I left home, totally destroying my reputation. After lying they moved from the Southern part of the State where I grew up to the Northern part of the State, and proceeded to tell people that they had no children. Imagine how shocked the Congregation was when I showed up after finding out how ill he was before his death. At his Memorial Service, several of the people in the Congregation that they belonged to had the audacity to come up to me and thank me for arranging his funeral and the financial help I provided. They had the nerve to say, we didn’t know that they had any children, they told us they didn’t have any (another lie they told and got by with.) They are not right mentally. They live apart from the real world making it very hard for their children to cope in the outside world when they become adults, unless they remain in the Organization and lead their sheltered little lives. They adopted me when I was 5 years old from my real Grandmother who was in their Congregation. They do abuse their children, they do buy children, my real sister has my papers, they do lie and they are not a healthy type of people to be around. I was so overprotective of my children because of the way that I was raised, that my daughter will not speak to me because her friends convinced her that I was not normal. All I wanted was for my children to NOT have to experience the hurt that I had to when I was growing up. Yes the Governing Body IS TO BLAME. They make the rules.

  99. Frank says:

    Friends, when I read through these comments I feel such rage (at the perpetrators) and such sadness for the victims that I want to burst. And the sickening part – this is just the tip of the iceberg. Well, men may appoint themselves to all sorts of positions, and claim all sorts of authority, but there is One above them all, with whom true justice resides.

    As to the discussion, let’s add the following:

    1. Jehovah describes Himself particularly as the Protector of the powerless (widows and orphans are mentioned repeatedly) – and He promises to bring vengeance against those (in authority) who fail to do His Will in this regard. So – by refusing to place the interests of abused children first – the WT Society has placed itself in a confrontational situation with the very One they claim to worship.

    2. The Mosaic Law was provided for a particular people, at a particular time – the Jewish nation. The state was both a secular and a religious authority. So the Law provided a set of rules, one of which was to protect innocent people from being framed. For this reason, the ‘older men’ of the villages and towns ‘sat in the gates’ and held judicial enquiries IN PUBLIC, so that everyone was aware what was happening. Therefore, in ancient Israel, if a man were caught raping a child, he would be tried IN PUBLIC – and executed by stoning. So, if the WTS wishes to cite Mosaic Law, it needs to be consistent at every step – cherry picking is not allowed, or it makes a mockery of the WT Society, and the very Law they claim to uphold. And it causes additional injury to the victims.

    3. Forensic science and other investigative methods weren’t available back then – BUT THEY ARE NOW. SO TO DENY THE JURISDICTION OF THE ‘SUPERIOR AUTHORITY’ makes the WT Organization guilty as an accessory. And, I would suggest, if an abuser uses the arcane and incomprehensible legalistic juggling of the WT society to abuse further victims – THEN THE WT SOCIETY IS AN ACCOMPLICE. And should rightly be tried as such. Each and every time.

    4. Not all abuse is sexual, or of minors: Here’s a case history provided by an elder, (name withheld): “I was invited to assist a special pioneer with a small congregation that was inexplicably dying. We soon discovered that the problem was the presiding overseer, who bullying various members of the congregation. None of the victims ever mentioned sexual abuse – yet one and all they were dead scared of him, and were adamant they would never be alone with him (e.g. in the field-service). When he became aware that we were investigating, he tried every trick in the book to mislead and later, discredit us. We however, persevered, and won the confidence of some of the victims, and the story started to emerge. My own ‘moment of truth’ came when he found a moment to be alone with me, and suggested we work together to “get rid of” the special pioneer. When he realized that I was not to be bought, he later physically assaulted me. It happened like this – I was working alone in the Kingdom Hall flat. Suddenly I was grabbed from behind, pinned to the chair, (I was typing) and the assailant started to throttle me. Instinctively I fought back, and a struggle ensued. The next bit is still confused in my mind, but I think there was a noise at the door, maybe one of the sisters looking for my wife, who was out. Startled, my attacker released me, I jumped up, and we confronted one another face to face. And he just laughed it off, with the words “they’ll never believe you. Now why don’t you just go away, and leave us alone.” The first bit proved true. He was feared, he was even detested, but he was still regarded as a ‘pillar of the congregation’. Much later he was caught out, with the necessary witnesses present. And we thought it was all settled. Sadly, a year later the special pioneer phoned me to say that the decision to remove this abusive bully had been overturned on appeal to the branch. The abuser had moved on to another congregation, and been re-appointed.“

    5. It has been (quite understandably) claimed that the WT Society creates a ‘paradise for pedophiles’. Again, it’s not for me to judge, but we can identify the following factors:
    The Society has an obsession about its own authority. This is indisputable. It is simply the Medieval concept of the “Divine Right of Kings” translated into modern terms, backed by misquoted passages from Mosiac history. And it breeds a culture of abuse of power. History bears witness, all the way back to King Saul of Israel, and beyond. Put it all together, and it tells me that the WT Society doesn’t understand the basic principles of Christianity – where power is used with love, for the benefit of the weak, and NEVER abusively.

  100. Braincleaned says:

    Wow Frank… makes me want to meet this bully and beat him up. I know a few like that. I never backed down, and one finally left – I mean LEFT – the Religion, everything! 2 years down the road he got caught for killing a man over diamonds. Nice guy. Obviously he was made an elder thru the Holy Spirit! :D

  101. Braincleaned says:

    I thought this page was pulled out… glad to see it’s still on!

  102. JBob says:

    As the movie quote goes, “let’s see how deep the rabbit hole goes”. Are you sure the body of elders would call the authorities if there is only one witness to a crime? A corpse can tell the tale, we now know with criminal forensics. Let’s suppose a sister poisons her abusive husband or otherwise causes his demise so that cause of death is questionable. She rushes to have the body cremated; the elders do not call in the authorities, or demand an inquiry into cause of death, to cause injunction to the cremation. Still think the elders are so “innocent” as to defend against murderers and manslaughter?

    Slip a little poison into one of the Governing Body, or Bethel member’s, coffee (or tea) and it seems like a cardiac–no investigation.

    Believe me, you’re lucky to get out of this group with your life.

  103. CAMOKO says:

    If possible. I would like to get a copy of that letter. Please sent it to me thru my email.

  104. Prairiesgal says:

    God! This article made me mad. The WTS says we are mentally disturbed but I think it is the other way around!

  105. Prairiesgal says:

    Why is the WTS sticking to Mosaic Laws when Jesus came along and wiped everything and gave us two commandments: 1. Love yourself (2. love your neighbours?

  106. KtotheRAD "Konrad" says:

    “Believe me, you’re lucky to get out of this group with your life’ ~ Tell me about it! They’ve been trying to kill me for years! And came pretty close more than a few times…No Human control or efficiency or absolute clockwork precision could operate as this organization does at such a task across Europe and the countries of North America and the US without the assistance of spirit forces!
    Nor could I have been spared and be alive with out divine protection!

  107. rc says:

    I fail to see the reasoning about the two witness rule,because pedophiles operate in secret and is very hard to have two witnesses to oversee the crime being committed,but I also like to mention that accusing someone without any evidence or proof can be a double edge sword, Granted if the individual has confess to the allege crime for which he or she should be punish to the full extend of Caesars law.

  108. george says:

    RC, I agree that false accusations are not good. However, an accused person is innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers, in a court of law.

    Personally, I would always inform the authorities and let professionals handle the case. It is absolutely not acceptable for untrained elders to decide if a case has to be answered.

    As mentioned by other posters, these despicable individuals are cunning and are willing to wait for their sick thrills. We cannot afford to give individuals the benefit of the doubt – not with the safely and well being of children at stake.

    False accusations are incredibly rare, and can be uncovered by professionals. We must believe children who come forward and we must pass cases to the authorities immediately. Only then can we hope to create a world where our children are safe.

  109. Rc says:

    One in 10 Falsely Accused of Abuse: Survey–.

    One in six of the respondents personally knew someone who has been falsely accused of domestic violence, child abuse, or sexual assault
    About twice as many persons have been falsely accused of child abuse as domestic violence or sexual abuse
    Three-quarters of the falsely accused persons were male
    Nearly seven in 10 of the accusers were female
    In over a quarter of the cases, the accusation was made as part of a child custody dispute
    Nearly one in 10 – 9.7% — of respondents said they themselves had been falsely accused of abuse

    One in 10 adults has been falsely accused of domestic violence, child abuse, or sexual assault, according to a survey conducted by Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE). The survey also found a strong disparity between the number of males and females falsely accused: more than three quarters of all false accusations are levied against men. Nearly seven in 10 false accusers are female.

    The survey is the first of its kind to be undertaken, and uncovers distressing trends within the American abuse-reduction system.

    Child abuse is the commonest false charge — about twice as many people have been falsely accused of child abuse as of domestic violence or sexual assault. In over one quarter of cases, the false allegations were made in a child custody case. as you can see False accusations are not incredibly rare. I am not in any one approving of those who are guilty of pedophilia in the JW organization and being fount guilty.

  110. Debi says:

    Sarah, I’m so sorry. I know your pain. I was abused by and elser in my cong. also, and nothing was ever done to him and I was the evil Lolita at age 12!! My mother believed them and I was beaten and punished and got to watch his smug face every week at the kh. Hate them and everything they stand for. Hope you were able to move forward, as I am still working on it after many years of therapy, anger, hurt and mistrust. Hope you have been able to find your happy place and have some peace with the knowledge that they are in the hells they built for themselves, and it ain’t no damn paradise!!

  111. LAC says:

    So an older man gets to boink a child and you are not suppose to say anything just because he’s old? I really don’t think this is what Jehovah meant at all. Funny thing though I was told by Elders that they don’t deal with child molestation cases at all and they said they are not suppose to deal with them. So here is the problem we have blind Elders. They are suppose to turn a blind eye to anyone who is a victim of pedophilia. Guess what? WT doesn’t deal with it either until they are dragged to court!

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