NEWS BULLETIN: Australian Government Issues Report Condemning Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Sexual Abuse Policies
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arcThe criticisms of Jehovah’s Witnesses and their various regulations, from handling of child abuse matters to the prevention of medically accepted procedures such as the transfusion of blood, have resulted in a “smear” campaign against opposers of Witness policies.

Those who find themselves as dissenting, former members of the religion are referred to as “apostates” who are “mentally diseased” according to Witness publications.

The religion of Scientology has a parallel term – they call that person a “suppressive” individual. As stated on their website:

“To be declared a Suppressive Person is extremely rare and results in expulsion from the Scientology religion. This occurs in instances of serious offenses against the Scientology faith and can also occur when an individual is found to be actively working to suppress the well-being of others”

“When someone has been expelled from the religion, that person loses both his or her fellowship with the Church as well as with other Scientologists” –   Scientology website

unbiased_sealFor Jehovah’s Witnesses, the overwhelming fear of mingling with such individuals or reading their books, articles or web sites is so ingrained, that anyone caught reading or agreeing with this information is subject to the disfellowshipping process, leaving the questioning Witness completely isolated, without friends, family, or the support network he or she desperately needs to function as a normal human being.

That said, it is a welcome relief when independent news or governmental organizations publish facts and data which originate, not from “apostate” sources, but from agencies and professionals who seek the well-being of all members of our society, particularly the most vulnerable, our children.

While there is no escaping the fact that these pseudo-religious organizations will attempt to paint the negative reports as propaganda inspired by “Satan”, the modern day Jehovah’s Witness can indulge himself in further research without the same stigma associated with reading blatant “apostate” material. This is a loophole created by the reality that most Witnesses will at least read or watch some measure of media reports and articles to keep up with the news, while being adamantly told by Governing Body leaders that they MUST avoid opposition websites.

The end result is that some Witnesses (though not the majority) can feel justified in reading unbiased court documents, research surveys, or government reports without directly connecting them with apostate material.

This brings us to the latest report from the Australian Government and its ongoing investigation into institutions which have fallen dreadfully short of the mark when it comes to reporting cases of child abuse, in particular among Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In the past 2 years, JW Survey has published dozens of articles on the subject of child abuse within the Jehovah’s Witness organization, with a climax in 2015 when we learned that the Australian Government initiated an investigation into multiple institutions whose policies seriously endangered children. For Witnesses, it was the result of the archaic application of the “two-witness” rule, and the policy of failing to contact police or child protection authorities when abuse was discovered by Witness elders.

While Witnesses still remain in denial over the allegations and findings of such commissions, the presentation of vast volumes of evidence, witness testimony, and cross examination of Jehovah’s Witness elders, attorneys and even Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson has left no doubt that the inquiry was thorough, well documented, and available for the worldwide public to view live from the comfort of their own homes. The exhibits are published HERE, and recorded video for all testimony can be viewed on YouTube following this link.

If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, please view those links, we assure you they are not apostate material.

The 2015 Australian Royal Commission changed everything, and the awareness created has led to countless individuals coming forward to share their stories of abuse and the subsequent cover up by Witness elders due to organizational policy. One very recent example is the case of Tricia Franginha, whose YouTube video immediately went viral when she revealed the extreme trauma of her sexual abuse at the hands of her father, and the unbelievable cover-up which resulted from the lack of action from congregation elders.

 

 

While the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is still ongoing, we are pleased to report that as of November 28th 2016, the Commission has released a 110 page report on Jehovah’s Witnesses, and to put it mildly, there is not a single positive determination revealed, either from the original investigation in the summer of 2015, or in the subsequent submissions by both the Royal Commission and the defense of Jehovah’s Witness leadership.

For those who wish to read the entire report, the document can be read and downloaded here 

Though we have not yet had time to process and post every finding, there are some key sections of this document which reveal the unfortunate results of this extensive investigation. On page 77 of this document we find the following topic: (italics and bold ours)

“Response of the Jehovah’s Witness Organisation to the Sexual Abuse of Children”

“Having regard to the various matters we have discussed in this report, we have reached a number of general conclusions on the Jehovah’s Witness organisation’s response to the sexual abuse of children.

We do not consider the Jehovah’s Witness organisation to be an organisation which responds adequately to child sexual abuse. We do not believe that children are adequately protected from the risk of sexual abuse for the following reasons:

The organisation relies on outdated policies and practices to respond to allegations of child sexual abuse. Also, those policies and practices are not subject to ongoing and continuous review. The policies and practices are, by and large, wholly inappropriate and unsuitable for application in cases of child sexual abuse. The organisation’s retention and continued application of policies such as the two-witness rule in cases of child sexual abuse shows a serious lack of understanding of the nature of child sexual abuse.

• The organisation’s internal disciplinary system for addressing complaints of child sexual abuse is not child or survivor focused in that it is presided over by males and offers a survivor little or no choice about how their complaint is addressed.

The sanctions available within the organisation’s internal disciplinary system are weak and leave perpetrators of child sexual abuse at large in the organisation and the community.

• In deciding the sanctions to impose and/or precautions to take in relation to a known or suspected perpetrator, the organisation has inadequate regard to the risk that that perpetrator might reoffend. This demonstrates a serious lack of understanding of the nature and impact of child sexual abuse.

• The organisation’s general practice of not reporting serious instances of child sexual abuse to police or authorities – in particular, where the complainant is a child – demonstrates a serious failure by the organisation to provide for the safety and protection of children in the organisation and in the community.

The statements by the Commission as quoted above require very little explanation. In addition to to the outright and obvious flaws in the Jehovah’s Witness treatment of sexual abuse victims, the authorities involved delved even deeper into the psychology of Witness mind control, and revealed just how devastating it is to be subjected not only to abuse, but the anguish experienced by victims who were further victimized by being shunned by an organization which often sides with the perpetrator rather than the victim. One example is the case of victim BCG. The Commission reported:

“BCG has at times feared being ostracised, shunned and vilified by those around her. She said that she has always lived in fear of her father and that she had lived in fear of Jehovah.

BCG told the Royal Commission that, during the criminal proceedings against her father, she was terrified that Jehovah would kill her for having reported to the police and for bringing reproach upon his name

Fear and control of the emotions of victims was not overlooked by the team of investigators who examined every aspect of Witness culture.

In terms of raw processed data, the following information was presented in the 110 page report:

“Analysis of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation’s files also showed that:”

“• the allegations, reports or complaints that the organisation received relate to at least 1,800 alleged victims of child sexual abuse

• 579 of those against whom allegations were made confessed to having committed child sexual abuse

• of the 1,006 members against whom allegations of child sexual abuse were made, 108 were elders or ministerial servants at the time of the first instance of alleged abuse

• 28 alleged perpetrators were appointed as elders or ministerial servants after an allegation of child sexual abuse was made against them

• 401 alleged perpetrators were disfellowshipped as a result of an allegation of child sexual abuse and 230 of those alleged perpetrators were later reinstated

• of those disfellowshipped, 78 were disfellowshipped on more than one occasion as a result of an allegation of child sexual abuse

• In relation to the data, The Watchtower & Ors submitted that:

• there was no evidence before the Royal Commission that there were 1,800 victims

• the Jehovah’s Witness organisation uses a broad definition of reportable sexual misconduct and that definition includes ‘sexting’

• it is the right of an adult survivor of child sexual abuse to decide to report his or her abuse to the police and not that of the organisation

• there was no relevant legislated mandated reporting obligation in most of the jurisdictions in which the 1,006 alleged perpetrators were reported

• in many cases, ‘victims or their families did not want the secular authorities involved’

• a ‘mere recitation of numbers will not help the [Royal] Commission’.

We do not find it necessary to comment on these submissions. The numbers tell their own story. Most of these matters are addressed elsewhere in this report.”

During the initial inquest, Watchtower attorney Vincent Toole openly admitted that Sydney Bethel headquarters received at minimum 3-4 calls regarding sexual abuse cases every month (in Australia alone), which was followed by this comment from the commission:

“Mr Toole’s evidence on the frequency of calls about child sexual abuse is consistent with the number and frequency of allegations of child sexual abuse that is shown in the files that Watchtower Australia produced to the Royal Commission. Therefore, we are satisfied that the Jehovah’s Witness organisation in Australia receives approximately three to four reports of allegations of child sexual abuse each month.”

One needs to recall that the information provided by Mr Toole is current information, revealing that despite minor changes in Witness child abuse policies in the past 20 years, there has been no decrease whatsoever in child abuse allegations, leading one to conclude that the image of “Jehovah’s protection” upon his visible organization is just that – an image, or an imagined truth with no foundation.

In further testimony under oath, Watchtower solicitor Toole was forced to admit that the sexual abuse cases which eventually made their way to the police and other civil authorities did so without the cooperation of Jehovah’s Witness elders. The Commission concluded:

“There is no evidence before the Royal Commission that the Jehovah’s Witness organisation either had or did not have a role or any involvement in bringing to the attention of secular authorities any complaint of child sexual abuse that was investigated by secular authorities.

We are satisfied that it is the general practice of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation in Australia not to report allegations of child sexual abuse to the police or other authorities unless required to do so by law.”

The Two Witness Rule

Another topic covered extensively during the Royal Commission was the archaic application of what Jehovah’s Witness call the “two-witness” rule, a device which demands a 2nd Witness to a crime (such as child abuse) – which clearly never exits in cases of child molestation. Yet the JW Governing Body cling to this doctrine despite every opportunity to abandon this teaching without compromising their core beliefs.  The commission concluded:

“A complainant of child sexual abuse whose allegation has not been corroborated by confession by their abuser or a second ‘credible’ eyewitness is necessarily disempowered and subjected to ongoing traumatisation. To place a victim of child sexual abuse in such a position is today, and was 30 years ago, unacceptable and wrong.

The Royal Commission considers that, in the interests of child safety, institutions should review and improve all of their policies on child sexual abuse. The two-witness rule is an example of a policy position that, on the evidence before the Royal Commission, has not been revised or improved since the Jehovah’s Witness organisation was founded in the late 19th century. The Jehovah’s Witness organisation relies on, and applies inflexibly even in the context of child sexual abuse, a rule which was devised more than 2,000 years ago.”

Sanctions against Abusers

The internal tribunals held among Jehovah’s Witness elders lead most Witnesses to believe that they are safe from sexual predators, but in reality, even when such individuals are spiritually “convicted” and reproved or disfellowshipped, the danger to additional victims still exists. The commission correctly observed:

“if a known abuser is found to be repentant and for that reason is merely reproved, the abuser remains at large in the congregation and the community

if a known abuser is disfellowshipped and not otherwise dealt with by the authorities, the abuser remains at large in the community.”

As proven by the details of the Australian investigation as well as common knowledge of sexual predators, even Watchtower representative Spinks admitted that JW elders most often do not take into consideration recidivism among child molesters. The commission stated as a result:

“Therefore, a decision to reprove a person, rather than expel or disfellowship them from the congregation, involves no objective consideration of the risk that that person might reoffend.”

Shunning Condemned

It is no mystery that the Australian Commission has taken into account the extreme trauma faced by victims who have not only been abused (in many cases by Witnesses in authority) – but when they extricate themselves from this toxic organization to salvage their mental health and well being, they are further traumatized by experiencing complete shunning, either by disassociating themselves from the organization, or by being disfellowshipped for speaking out against the harms inflicted on them by Watchtower’s policy. While we cannot divulge details at the moment, JW Survey is currently investigating one case where multiple elders were recently removed from their positions as the direct result of speaking to the police regarding the molestation charges brought against one Jehovah’s Witness member.

It’s bad enough that JW elders would be removed and disciplined for cooperating with the authorities, but worse yet, abuse victims receive a double-dose of anguish when faced with the inability to speak up about the injustices they faced, for fear of extreme congregational discipline. Said the Commission:

“The Jehovah’s Witness organisation’s practice of shunning members who disassociate from the organisation has the very real potential of putting a survivor in the untenable position of having to choose between constant re-traumatisation at having to share a community with their abuser and losing that entire community altogether.”

Report Conclusion:

It is no surprise that with all of the evidence presented in the findings of the Commission, including the woefully damaging testimony of hired Watchtower “expert” Dr. Monica Applewhite, The report found no other recourse but to indict the Watchtower organization as lacking any proper consideration, sympathy and meaningful handling of the child abuse cases it had been made aware of for more than 50 years. Justice McClelland and his team were clearly appalled that the highest ranking member subpoenaed, Geoffrey Jackson, openly admitted that he had not even read or reviewed the testimony of the women whose lives were destroyed  by Watchtower policies, but who bravely came forward to tell their stories.

The summary stated:

“Having regard to the various matters we have discussed in this report, we have reached a number of general conclusions on the Jehovah’s Witness organisation’s response to the sexual abuse of children.

We do not consider the Jehovah’s Witness organisation to be an organisation which responds adequately to child sexual abuse. We do not believe that children are adequately protected from the risk of sexual abuse for the following reasons:

  • The organisation relies on outdated policies and practices to respond to allegations of child sexual abuse. Also, those policies and practices are not subject to ongoing and continuous review. The policies and practices are, by and large, wholly inappropriate and unsuitable for application in cases of child sexual abuse. The organisation’s retention and continued application of policies such as the two-witness rule in cases of child sexual abuse shows a serious lack of understanding of the nature of child sexual abuse.
  • The organisation’s internal disciplinary system for addressing complaints of child sexual abuse is not child or survivor focused in that it is presided over by males and offers a survivor little or no choice about how their complaint is addressed.
  • The sanctions available within the organisation’s internal disciplinary system are weak and leave perpetrators of child sexual abuse at large in the organisation and the community.
  • In deciding the sanctions to impose and/or precautions to take in relation to a known or suspected perpetrator, the organisation has inadequate regard to the risk that that perpetrator might reoffend. This demonstrates a serious lack of understanding of the nature and impact of child sexual abuse.
  • The organisation’s general practice of not reporting serious instances of child sexual abuse to police or authorities – in particular, where the complainant is a child – demonstrates a serious failure by the organisation to provide for the safety and protection of children in the organisation and in the community.”

As recently reported by JW Survey, the Royal Commission of Australia is far from finished with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Beginning March 20th 2017, an additional inquiry will be opened, with emphasis on the policies and procedures of the Witness organization which have contributed to the thousands of cases of abuse reported so far, and the methods by which the government will deal with this organization.

The real tragedy is that for both victims and Watchtower alike, most of this could have been avoided. The light at the end of the tunnel is the assurance that the unbiased investigation and exposure of Watchtower’s destructive policies will certainly lead to the awakening of countless individuals who have placed their trust in an organization that has victimized its own adherents.

 

 

John Redwood

 

 

Further reading…

http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/2016-11/report-into-jehovah%E2%80%99s-witness-organisations-releas

http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/getattachment/c2d1f1f5-a1f2-4241-82fb-978d072734bd/Report-of-Case-Study-No-29

http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/case-study/10908a67-70c5-4103-94cc-dac096fdb585/case-study-54,-march-2017,-sydney

Related video…

Australian Royal Commission hears that 1,006 alleged child sex abusers were covered up by Watchtower

 

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106 Responses to NEWS BULLETIN: Australian Government Issues Report Condemning Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Sexual Abuse Policies

  1. Chiafade says:

    This is a great update. I can’t help but wonder if watchtower thought this would work out any other way? Did they really think that they were untouchable? We’re they so arrogant as to believe that a just God would back their severely unethical behavior?

    They deserve what’s coming to them. After which they will switch to the “persecution” card.

    • John Walsh says:

      YES, YES, and YES

    • Chris Monk says:

      JWs organisation: Arrogance is thy name.

    • christian says:

      This is a good report and we are awake have a great responsibility before God and man to help other witnesses, from the Pharisee’s of our day. They are not the problem, but the organization, (source of the authority, power and control) is. I most times feel pity for them for the aloof attitude created in them by the governing body.

      I have taken it upon myself to give this a wide publicity in Nigeria, I use materials from Jwsurvey, Jwfacts and other material sources for this purpose.

      Though it may not really attract the intended audience at the moment, but I know and believe that with time, many will be interested. JWfact had existed more than 10 years before I started digging. All is not lot, Keep it up.

      A sample of this publicity can be found in this link, it is a popular forum here in nigeria.
      http://www.nairaland.com/3490230/jehovahs-witnesses-condemned-using-2000yo#51507808

  2. Chiafade says:

    This is a great update. I can’t help but wonder if watchtower thought this would work out any other way? Did they really think that they were untouchable? We’re they so arrogant as to believe that a just God would back their severely unethical behavior?

    They deserve what’s coming to them. After which they will switch to the “persecution” card.

  3. Garrett says:

    Why are they still allowed charity status ?

  4. Mozzie (Brad) says:

    I doubt this is going to change them tho, the RC doesn’t have the power to lay charges or anything, all they can do is recommend their findings to the government and the police, then it is up to the authorities to act in accordance with the findings. So i doubt their will be any changes made and i am interested to see what the response (If any) will be. With their attitude we saw from the GB and the elders and in general the organization, they would rather be chucked in jail than make changes to protect the people and the children for that matter. Unfortunately they have adapted a law upon themselves as an untouchable Org, and they will go down fighting that. I hope for the children’s sakes and all that something is done now to stop this org from destroying lives and blaming it on others..

    • Mary Freesould says:

      They will have to respond the Royal Commission have asked them to attend a further inquiry in March 2017 this one should be very interesting

  5. Caroline says:

    If this was the Catholic church and Australia had found 1,006 priests in that religion having not been reported to the proper authorities, the Watchtower would have been all over that in their magazines and on jwbroadcasting but when it’s them that’s being accused, they not only don’t say anything about it, they will disfellowship anybody who tells about it to the rank and file and will lie about it and the rank and file will believe their lies when confronted with the facts.

    The Watchtower can be very proud of themselves for how much control they have over the rank and file. No matter what their policies are, they know that the rank and file will stay loyal to them (Jehovah).

    At least Catholics have a choice of finding out which priests molested their kids and whether or not they still want to be Catholics and most would understand if they might want to withdraw from the religion but Witnesses will close their eyes and ears to the truth about their own religion and the Governing Body know it. They have to be laughing at the rank and file for how much control they have over almost 8 million people without a shred of evidence to support their claim that God is backing their religion.

    They all deserve to be thrown in jail for how much pain they are responsible for when it comes to those children who have been abused and are still being abused due to their refusal to admit they have never been appointed by God.

    • Big B says:

      Right on Caroline!

      My question is simply this; what is the Australian government going to do about it? The Watchtower is a cult and has been from its very inception. The Watchtower will not listen to or accept any government intervention on how to run their organization or interference into their sordid affairs.

      The Australian government banned most of the preaching work during WW2 do to JW neutrality and conscientious objections however, are they prepared to do the same thing now?

      Is there a slim chance that they will lose their tax exempt charitable status down under?

      The ‘sheeple’ are being laughed at by the GB and they deserve it for being so gullible. They (rank & file) love ignorance and like being told what to do, what to watch and what to read. Why? Because ‘sheeple’ are by nature lazy, easily led and easily manipulated. They deserve exactly what they get; namely, to be taken advantage of.

  6. Sardec says:

    It sickens me that witnesses get away with child-abuse, but my spouse is facing judicial action for something that non-witnesses wouldn’t even blink at…I mean literally. It’s a non-issue with most of the planet except for fascist, dictator type people.

    Where is the fairness?

    • Wideawake says:

      Get put now…don’t bother giving them judicial power over you…leave this cult it will never do you any favours..it will chew you up and spit you out…tell your spouse to take away their power by refusing to answer these made up charges that are not backed up by any law.. then try and start a free life together…it’s hard but at least you will have each other…my husband has been walked over and stomped on for very little reason…I have faded…he still keeps going…it’s hard doing it without the person you love most.. but even then still so so worth it to get away from these criminals who protect paedophile in their ranks…and believe me they do…my eyes have been opened…watch the ARC hearings with your spouse…you will never feel the same again.

    • Bad Penny says:

      Sardec –
      It may be a good idea to explain to your spouse that he doesn’t have to face the ‘judicial enquiry’. Why give men the power over you to destroy your self esteem and make you feel worthless? This organisation is not directed by a god of love! The child abuse that is now being uncovered proves there is no divine protection within Watchtower walls. Why would a god of love supposedly listen to seven Governing Body members prayers, and apparently answer them, and yet ignore the cries of an abused child – come on, get real!!
      Let the b…ards get on with their judicial hearing, if they disfellowship your spouse for not attending, they will have done him a favour. Get out of the abomination called jw.org. – it stinks.
      Sorry if my comments are harsh, but this covering over of child abuse, and yet nitpicking at insignificant ‘sins’ makes my anger come up. Straining out the gnat but gulping down the camel comes to mind!

      • Big B says:

        @ BadPenny

        In total agreement with you and your comments are spot on!

        For all Jdubs reading this article (a great summation by the way) and these comments NOW is the time to ‘get out of her so as not to be a partaker of her sins’ – Rev. 18:4. This so-called ‘Christian’ organization does not have the favor of either man-made governments or the blessings from Jehovah (if they ever did).

        Only a blind fool cannot see the hand writing on the wall. Research the facts for yourselves ‘sheeple’:
        1. UN membership for 10 years outed by Guardian Newspaper;
        2. lack of new converts;
        3. lack of funds resulting in televised beg-a-thons by Governing Body members;
        4. reduction of staff, Branches, and printing of literature;
        5. rampant world-wide child molestation cases being revealed, etc.

        Its high time to leave this abominable cult who dares call itself God’s earthly organization. Soon the ‘bunker drama’ will indeed come to pass. However, the ‘Babylon the Great’ that will fall will be this dehumanizing falsehood of “nattering nabobs of negativity” (Spiro Agnew).

  7. Eric Arthur Blair says:

    Thanks for the update John.

    Incredible that they can still claim that Jesus is directing this organisation. Throughout the entire 102 years of “Kingdom rule” when Jesus has apparently being “directing” and “refining” “Jehovah’s organisation” one wonders why he decided not to address the most heinous of sins and crimes first, or at all during all that time? Clearly, refining the songbook and the multitude of vacillating doctrines was more important. Clearly, out-dated lyrics are more offensive to him. After all, who wants to sing about molested bees?

  8. Da' says:

    @chiafade @john walsh
    sadly yes to all. and again at least the catholic church has been held to the fire. The day WBTS acknowledges some of it members transgressed , and moves to convict, is the day , this may all go away. Till then, keep the fight . Sadly again, most (JW) in the USA and most likely the UK pay no attention to what happens outside their community. Most have no clue what’s brewing other than brexit and Donald Trump. Need a bigger voice definitely here in the US

  9. Doc Obvious says:

    According to Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt (former Southern Baptist, now atheist) is a child abuser. However, the authorities (DCFS) has cleared Brad Pitt of child abuse ( http://www.tmz.com/2016/11/09/brad-pitt-cleared-dcfs-abuse-claims/).

    How about those who are falsely accused of child abuse. Especially in divorce cases where one of the parents falsely accuses the other of child abuse.

    I firmly believe that child abuse policies have to be changed in religious or non-religious organizations.

    • How often do children have the thought process to make false accusations without the assistance of someone that would have that mindset?

      Watchtower makes it a point to never give the CHILD the benefit of the doubt…unless the 2 witness rule applies…

      How many children are afforded someone to witness the atrocities they undergo in the privacy of their own home or the home of someone they should automatically trust? And what child of any age would be strong enough to face their scary monster under the bright light of a scary Kingdom Hall back room in front of 3 other scary men of power???

      The question here is why is the Governing Body taking something that is clearly not afforded them by the secular authorities that they so adamantly require we follow, providing it does not interfere with our service to God? Why do they require the forming of a three-person judgement system PRIOR to an actual police investigation to determine by a Court of Law if such a person with such serious allegations should be found guilty?

      Most of the time, the crime never gets reported out of fear of causing reproach on God’s name and his Spirit-Directed Organization. This goes in direct opposition to following the secular authorities requirement to report these atrocious crimes. The reproach on God’s name for covering over such terrible monstrosities to our babies is so much more damning than if it was just reported and taken care of above board.

      Jesus Christ looked at and treated children and orphans as special and needing of time, attention, and justice. Our children should be treated as our most treasured and protected valuables.

      What message does it send when a member of the Governing Body says on camera that children are important, yet won’t even show up to a court required subpoena in response to one of our children being abused?

      Child abuse policies must change on a state level before our children can get the protection that they truly need. We already know that the Watchtower’s stand will not waiver.

      Idea: If more local elders were responsible for reporting ALL suspected and confessed pedophiles and allowed the authorities to do their job, unhindered, it would take care of many of these loophole issues that severely hurt our children.

      Currently in the U.S. 21 states will protect our children, 15 states still partially protect Pedophiles, and a whopping 14 states do not even bother protecting our little ones… Just plain sad.

      We must do something, our babies souls are breaking… :'(

      • Doc Obvious says:

        I understand your point of view. However, if the authorities do get involved, just like it did in Actor Brad Pitts case, does not mean that he/she will be charged with child abuse. I view the current practices of Watchtower in handling child abuse is outdated and they should get the authorities involved.

  10. Ruthlee says:

    Thankyou Mr Redwood for a well written article and pointing out the relevant information. Isn’ it just fine and dandy if you smoke and get caught just a rap on the knuckles and stoppit. If you frequent websites like this then its the threat of disfellowshipping. If you F*** a child and no one knows you can go about your daily business and no one will ever suspect the dirty little deeds. There is one thing to say to this wicked governing body. Keep roving about just like your father and end up in the pit. It really, truly is overdue the exposure of this rotten cult. They hate kids and they always have done until they become a commodity. I hope there is some progress in Britain. Any news anyone? Cheers Ruthlee

  11. Chris Monk says:

    Thank you for this update. I’m working my way through the report. It is damning. We should all share this widely if we can. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    It’s the sheer arrogance of the JW heirarchy that is so galling and upsetting. I have found reading about and watching Australia’s public investigation very distressing. I have to read it. I have to know that SOMETHING somewhere is being done about these corrupt men. It doesn’t take away the personal trauma that survivors of child sex crimes feel (it actually aggravates it for me personally) but it makes us believe (I hope this is true) that the JW organisation will have to answer for its part in enabling paedophiles.

  12. I can verify their treatment once finding out I was abused was “Well, you seem to be doing okay now, so…”

    Later I was accused of raping my roommate at Bethel, and stalked in a gay aversion effort to the point I had to contact the FBI. There has been an uncontrollable, obsessed desire to get me to “unconvert” from being gay which… as explained to my mother, happened upon my molestation and the cycle of abuse continued with my former roommate.

    I’m emailed stories of a traumatic nature. I’m caughti in text arguments claiming people can just “think” trauma away, and I have “ex”- Jehovah’s Witnesses introducing me to girls made to look like guys.

    THIS IS how Jehovah’s Witnesses treat victims of abuse: MORE ABUSE. All of this almost 20 years after being disfellowshipped. That religion is venomous to abused victims and will purposefully go back and ruin someone’s life if they happened to overcome such abuse with therapy and experience to become a normal, well-adjusted adult. They HATE there is a successful recovery out there and that it’s in the opposite direction from the Watchtower.

  13. Sarah says:

    Please tell Tricia that I was amazed by her video. Her stamina in dealing with horrendous events is outstanding. She will help others to find a way forward. This is not to say that it will ever be easy. I know this girl will suffer all her life and my heart goes out to her.

    WT policies are incredibly bad. Christians are never supposed to deal with anything terribly wrong. The government deals with those things. The scripture which speaks about not taking a brother to court is only dealing with small things such as failure to repay small loans etc. That scripture was never to be used to cover up criminal activity.

    Likewise with the two witness rule. Evidence was to be used as a witness. Elders are supposed to investigate to uncover evidence, but they are not to deal with criminal matters.

    WT has gone against the scriptures and made their own rules.

  14. Gwen Little says:

    This pharisaic organisation that claims to be spokespersons for God has proven once again that it is just another manmade organisation that self promotes. Throughout its whole history it has always been concerned about, “Advertising! Advertising! Advertising!” over & above the wellbeing of its flock. Their whole motive has been to promote a false image. An image of squeaky clean to suck in the newly interested & to keep the rank & file from seeing whats behind their veil of secrecy.

    If you are new to this site, I urge you to go & do your research. Type in Irwin Zalkin Law Firm & see what has been kept from you & listen to what he has had to say about the colossal amount of undisclosed hush money WT paid out to silence his clients or listen to what Rick Simons (Candace Conti’s lawyer) has had to say about WT & the tough battle to get them to recognise the error of their ways.

    The WT has been riding high on donations by the billions. They have had a never-ending money pit that they have used to silence their victims. They have miss-used the donations that have been naively given to them. That donated money has been used to stall legal battles against the likes of Candace Conti & Jose Lopez (just to name a few) until they tire them out. They’re paying exorbitant money to “worldly legal firms” to fight their battles probably because they have run out of Lawyers that have been used up from the rank & file.

    They remind me of the school yard bully that keeps their little group following along with fear & threats. Now the school yard bully has to answer to the School Principal. Thank you Australian Royal Commission.

  15. JBob says:

    “The end result is that some Witnesses (though not the majority) can feel justified in reading unbiased court documents, research surveys, or government reports without directly connecting them with apostate material.”

    Dream on @Redwood–a well-written piece and solid on facts, but–

    A few critical thinkers will read these materials and reach the inevitable conclusion–it’s a faux religious organization based on dubious theories and interpretations. However, those who believe in “cuddling the pandas” or “the cobras” and hope for reuniting in marriage with dead spouses will ignore the facts. I know this because there are still Bible Student hangers-on, there are still Rutherfordite hangers-on, and even as other cults have collapsed, die-hard believers hang-on and cling to a sense of structure and belonging.

    This is how the Watchtower continues to hobble along; this is how the Worldwide Church of God implosion continues to hobble along; it’s how the 7DA continue despite a blatant failure.

    Interestingly, it is only the GB that is “taking the fall” for these policies yet most policies and practice/enforcement eminate from the Legal and Service departments–all headed by those little “helpers” who are young and stay in department posts for decades — prior to the GB members appointment and even afterward. I am going to state that everyone of us who was in the Watchtower at some point had a hand in enabling these abusers because we abided by unquestioningly the rules and policies. No? Well, why didn’t you break rank and call in the police? Undue influence. It’s not excusing the crimes, but it explains the group-think that blinded us all from our self-protecting interests and protecting the interests of individuals instead of the collective.

    • John Peters says:

      When I spoke to my circuit overseer about this last year he said wasn’t it great they found the policy the organisation have where the best in the land. I thought that was strange from what I read. But it goes to show he was just going by what he was told to say. Not even looking at the facts.
      I can’t wait for the full thrush to come out.

  16. Chad Willis says:

    I have to tell you a story that really touches home, I was visited by a friend that I always held in high regard about a year or so ago who told me about a relative of his who’s wife left the orginization in his words she went off her rocker and became opposed to the “truth”. Then he went on to praise his relation telling me how good he was for sticking to the orginization putting him on a pedisool. After I left I decided to contact the wife and get her story, to my amazement she went on to tell me that this friend of mine failed to mention the fact that the reason she left her husband was that he was abusing her (his own) children. It just goes to show you how brainwashed members of the witness community really are. This poor women had to go through all of this without any support due to witness policy, who could blame her for leaving, if my so-called witness friend ever tries to contact me again you can be sure I will call him out for the lier that he is.

  17. Sharon Christensen says:

    Thankyou…shake hard…and be amazed at the filth they are hiding beneath their fancy drain covers.

  18. JudyQExJW says:

    Excellent article John! Keep on exposing this organization of white-washed graves as the venemous hypocrites they are. Two witnesses are required for child abuse accusations but not for accusations of apostasy- in that case all you need is one person’s word (no matter how spiritual they are). The elders were at my door within 24 hours after I said goodbye to my best friend, explaining why my husband and I were leaving. If only they took child abuse accusations as seriously…. but wait, those don’t threaten the organization or anyone’s power, do they? Good for the ARC, calling WT out for their patriarchal, antiquated, self-serving policies that sacrifice innocent children on the alter of “protecting Jehovah’s name”. Here’s hoping there’ll be some actual consequences.

  19. twistedsister69 says:

    Thank you JR for that fantastic, factual, and uplifting article. And Thank you ARC, the government of Australia, and all the wonderful Aussies “down under” for doing such a superterrific job of shining the SPOTLIGHT on that twisted cult and their twisted prehistoric, PAGAN god YAHWEH.
    The only question left is: Where on Earth can they hide now???!!!

  20. Ronald montero says:

    Gentle people, the sins of the few do not condone the attempted implication of the organization of Jehovah’s witneses in the heinous criminal activities in which Satan is the perpetrator.The young lady who presents this narration accusing we witnesses is heresay by any other name. The evil person’s putting this poor young lady up on the stage are in league with the one who told the very first lie and is still the arch liar in this system of things. The hour is upon us which shall be the undoing and end of Satan’s rule in this system of things. Christ Jesus, said that the world will hate you because of me.'” How true. Jehovah God by means of his son, commands us to pray for the sinners. We are all sinners. r.m.Montero.

    • Covert Fade says:

      Your comment does not address any of the points made by the Royal Commission in the above article.

    • twistedsister69 says:

      @Ronald montero

      Gentle Ronald, your argument displays the flawed, imprecise thinking that is the result of years of subjection to a mentally-diseased cult. You imply that people are trying to ‘implicate’ the entire jw organization in the crime of actual child abuse, based on the actions of “the few” (not quite sure what your definition of “few” is). However, no one is implying the entire jw organization practices child abuse. The charge is that, the crime having been committed, the jw organization COVERS IT UP, HANDLES IT INCOMPETENTLY and HORRIBLY, and effectively PUNISHES THE VICTIM. Not sure if you actually READ the article, but, in a nutshell, those are the conclusions ARC drew from the Inquiry. It’s true, “we are all sinners”, however, we are not all child rapists or child-rapist apologists. Your persecution complex (paranoia – the product of mentally-diseased conditioning) leads you to believe that you are hated because of christ. I’ve read the bible myself, and never came across a passage where christ molested a child, or encouraged his followers to protect and conceal child molesters, or endorsed the appointment of child molesters as elders or servants.
      PS I believe in Freudian Slips. I realize that English may not be your native tongue. However, your spelling of the word “hearsay” interests me. You spelled it “heresay”. I can’t help but wonder if you REALLY meant “heresy”. 😉

    • Wideawake says:

      If that is how you feel you really are on the wrong site…you need to stay on jw.org … all I can say is from personal experience they do cover up for child molesters in their midst…encouraging victims to leave things in God’s hands…one of the things that persuaded me this is not from God is the fact that I wouldn’t be ‘allowed’ to speak to the now disfellowshipped victim but would be expected to carry on greeting the perpetrator of this disgusting crime as a brother…I have been misled for over 50 years…as you are being misled now.

    • Bad Penny says:

      Ronald – A few things to think about –
      607 BCE – Destruction of Jerusalem – LIE
      1914, Jesus begins his heavenly rule – LIE
      1918, ‘Millions NOW living Will Never Die’ – LIE
      1975 – Start of Armageddon – LIE
      ‘There is no paedophile problem within jw.org’- LIE
      Tell me, Ronald, in your opinion, who do JWs REALLY serve? The father of Truth or the father of the Lie?

      • outandabout says:

        The trouble is, Bad Penny, is that Ronald will only check those ‘lies’ out on JW Org and get the answer he and the Org want.
        The Cultist getting his answers from The Cult.

        One of the reasons JW’s don’t think they are in a cult is because their leaders don’t have them ring-fenced in an isolated community.

        What Witnesses don’t realise is that there is a fence, but you can’t see it.

        It comes in the form of ‘avoid independent thinking’, ‘only get your information from JW.Org’, people who leave are evil’, ‘anything negative about the Org comes from Satan’, ‘don’t trust the media’, you don’t need an education’ etc, etc, etc.

        WT have designed these commands specifically to keep the Witnesses thoughts and knowledge under tight control – THEIR control.

        They ring fence peoples minds with commands as if from god and cajole them into obedient, unquestioning children.

        They make a joke out of them.

    • Sarah says:

      I love Jehovah, but Ronald’s comments are unbelievably bad. We cannot accuse her of lying. Let’s learn from this poor girl’s experience and correct our approach. Let the government deal with criminal matters. That’s God’s law. Elders can deal with ‘trivial matters’ (1 Cor 6:5) but not things which are the government’s responsibility.

      God’s laws are good. WT’s interpretation has caused the problem. Of course, governments haven’t always done the right thing but they are learning quickly which WT doesn’t seem to be doing.

    • JWreality says:

      What an evil comment, given that the majority of people that visit this site are literally ex ‘witnesses’ that witnessed these Watchtower crimes first hand.
      Notice what Christ said at Revelation 22:18-21 regarding all of Watchtowers improvisation of scripture and what Proverbs 30:5,6 says about their never ending erroneous predictions. How about what Jesus Christ himself said about “he that is without sin, throw the first stone.” Oh, wait thats another part of the Holy Scriptures the Watchtower Cult Society completely deleted. “You shall know them by their works.”

  21. David Angeletti says:

    Thank you for this remarkable update. I totally agree. This commission has changed everything!

  22. Carlos says:

    Please excuse my ignorance, but what is the point of this inquest? Is the watchtower going to face any kind of punishment, financial, criminal or otherwise? It would be nice to levy a multimillion judgement or bring the arrogant cult leaders criminal charges!

  23. Tara says:

    I hope these findings find their way into other countries. I hope they are dumped on the desks of the Prime ministers, presidents and rulers of other lands. Thank you again John and team for all the hard work you do. We know for a fact though that the WT will just cry ‘persecution in the last days!’ and all the sheepies will say Amen. Makes me want to puke.

  24. Twmack says:

    Dear Ronald, you claim the org, cannot be implicated in the
    “Sins” of what you say are a “few” . Then you correctly
    designate these so called sins as what they really are–
    “Heinous Crimes. I wonder if you are as generous in your
    judgement of the Catholic Church and others!

    Contrary to your claims, the org, has always maintained
    that the sins of the few can tarnish the whole congregation
    and cause Gods spirit to be withdrawn. The members are
    instructed to play an active part in keeping the cong, clean
    by reporting any wrong doing they become aware of

    The gov, body do not follow their own mandate when it
    comes to exposing these heinous crimes. They take no
    active part, elders are counselled not to contact the police
    unless the law demands it. And even then, to try and
    invoke clergy privilege. Exposure is discouraged whenever
    possible.

    In the almost certain event of no witnesses being found
    to a crime of paedophilia the victims are told to “Leave
    things in Jehovahs hands. A gagging phrase, an action
    stopper if ever there was one, elders would be lost
    without it.

    It’s all sharp practice and flagrant hypocrisy.

  25. outandabout says:

    From ‘Families Against Cult Teachings and Abuses’;

    Warning sign number 6;
    Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

    Warning sign number 7;
    There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.

    Also signs 4 and 5 are interesting;

    Sign 4;
    Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

    Sign 5;
    There is no legitimate reason to leave, former members are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

    The last time I looked, JWOrg’s answer to the question “are we in a cult”, there is a quick mention of Jim Jones and David Koresh and then the reader is quickly moved on to how wonderful the WT is for worshiping Jesus.

    The readers doubts are quickly taken care of without any proper discussion about what a harmful religious cult actually is and how to identify one…exactly what a cult with something to hide would do.

  26. John Merriman says:

    If the truth be known to Jehovah’s Witnesses…a lot of bad things go on in every kingdom hall around the world. They try to hide it and pretend it does not happen. The Royal Commission in Australia has exposed what a corrupt and deceitful organisation it is. Can you really look at the brother/sister sitting next to you at the hall and wonder if they….walk the “Truth”?. Have they really put on the new personality and disposed of the old. Even if they are and I say eventually disfellowshipped…no actual reason is given to the congregation.In fact they never ever disclose why and the reason they got disfellowshipped. Already hiding the actual truth from the members that the congregation needs to know. Duty of Care to fellow members…..non of your business according to the elders. This commission has really opened a can of worms. The worms are squirming !
    Clear for all to see….Jehovah not running this corporate money making business.

  27. JM says:

    Wow. I just read the entire report.

    First of all my feelings go out to these two brave women, and I hope this brings some measure of comfort, relief, and peace to you.

    Additionally, I hope that your courage helps others to attempt to gather the strength to endure these crimes and that these hearings serve to stop a process that clearly is, what’s the word? EVIL.

    I have many other comments but didn’t want that expression to lose context with those comments.

    My best wishes to those who testified and the others that are hurting.

  28. JM says:

    So again, I just read the entire report. Where to start.

    The burden of proof is that the commission is reasonably satisfied. They alluded to that expression with the overwhelming majority of the statements they made.

    I gathered that the commission has decided “guilt” and that this next set of hearings in March is more or less going to determine how hard to hit them.

    I could not be more impressed with the work of the commission. They stated things clearly. You could tell when they thought one elder was being straightforward and sincere and others being far less so. I remember a powerful series of points toward the end where they recommended changes in the two witness rule, and to the not having to directly confront the accuser in these types of cases, AND THAT THEY PUBLISH THAT TO ALL CONGREGANTS IN WRITING.

    Floodgates would open. I thought that point just so clearly illustrated that the Commission is worried only about protecting children and The “dot-org” is worried about protecting themselves and their power structure.

    It sickened me how the “good old boys” club consisting of the elders on the committees did everything the could to not publish or report the charge of child abuse, choosing to protect one of their club members from the record reflecting their crime. They know exactly what that means for someone DIsfellowshipped for that offense means for their future in the org.

    It reminded me so much of the corruption that goes on at local halls when you give (this is in my experience and may not apply to all elders) a bunch of power hungry, uneducated, village idiots, that much power in someone’s life.

    This just says dumb. A government commission has to tell you publicly what you should know, what everyone knows. That this is a crime.

    How dumb do you have to be to not know that already. Arrogance. As Lloyd stated in his video, they told Geoffrey Jackson how to use the Bible to solve the problem.

    Dumb, Arrogant. Just no Jesus in this.

    A claim that your group alone is guided by god after reading this is laughable, blasphemous if you will.

    “Leave it in Jehovah’s hands” They did, and I’m glad the Australian Royal Commission is here to fix it.

    • Winston Smith says:

      @JM
      “a bunch of power hungry, uneducated, village idiots”

      Well put. I served as an elder for just under a decade and that is an apt description of what I encountered.

      If the GB were truly faithful and discreet, they would humbly accept the direction of the ARC. They would publish a public apology indicating that mistakes were made and that they accept responsibility and are implementing the following changes to address matters henceforth. But they are not faithful or humble, so I have little hope that will occur.

      WS

      • Winston Smith says:

        I might add that there is scriptural precedent for the GB to accept direction from the ARC. When Moses father-in-law, Jethro – a pagan, made a suggestion as to a procedure on how to judge the nation of Israel, Moses took his advice and applied it.

        WS

      • Caroline says:

        Winston, if they publish a public apology indicating they have made mistakes, then that would be an admission that they are not “spirit” directed by God, wouldn’t it?

        • Winston Smith says:

          Geoffry Jackson basically admitted it (albeit reluctantly and duplicitously) when he was before the ARC. But as I stated, I have illusions about them doing so. That would require humility which they have little of.

          WS

    • Ready 4 to Fade says:

      I agree with your comments completely. One of the most encouraging points I read was the ARC’s rejection of the Watchtower’s argument that the abuse was largely a family problem since they have no separate “Sunday schools” or special programs where children are taken from the parents. The ARC found squarely that it was an institutional failure in the part of Watchtower. Watchtower is strangely proud of their lack of child-friendly programs during public meetings. Children have always been an afterthought and largely just in the way of adults.

  29. outandabout says:

    @ JM

    “leave it in Jehovah’s hands. They did”

    Thought provoking. The GB were implementing Jehovah’s own rules.

    Hmmm….what can we conclude about the knowing all seeing all Jehovah, then.

  30. Twmack says:

    Should they issue an apology and even admit that the
    2 witness rule is inappropriate in cases of sexual abuse,
    they will still come up smelling of roses, even applauded
    for being humble and progressive.

    Damage will be minimal, as in the repealing of the 13 year
    ban on organ transplants, despite having to admit there
    was no scriptural backing for it.

    Then they survived the bad publicity regarding their
    10 year membership of the UN, the organisation they have
    duped their followers into believing is the “Abomination
    of Desolation” which is under Satanic control.

    They are past masters at manipulating minds and emotions
    to turn disaster into triumph.

    • JM says:

      I liked the commissions point that the abolition of the 2 witness rule, and making clear that the victim would not have to face the accuser in cases of sexual abuse be put in writing to all members. That would promote victims coming forward.

      It’s very clear that is exactly what this commission wants.

      It’s also damningly clear that is exactly NOT what the .org wants. They want it quiet, and kept in house.

      I stopped trying to debate Witnesses that I encounter in public on many of the issues that you mentioned because like any religion, they’ll fall back on the line of “That’s just what I believe.”

      Instead I ask if they accept contributions.

      They answer that they do and it supports the world wide preaching work.

      I next say “So if I gave you $100.00 dollars how much of that will go to settle claims of sexual abuse against the watchtower?”

      The looks of shock and shame appear on the faces of even the most arrogant of them. I seem to get a real reaction out of that one because there is no “canned” ministry school response to recite. They have all heard the whispers and have nothing to say in defense of something so indefensible.

      My hope is that they are shocked enough to look into it themselves as individuals and learn the facts of the matter, and see that these are not apostate lies. This is real, and it’s wrong, and it’s been that way for a long time.

      • Freed Mason says:

        Well said, in my humble opinion if you are part of this organisation you are just as responsible for these crimes against children, along with all the other blood refusal deaths, suicides, imprisonments, executions and broken people that are thrown away by their family members.
        We all have to act responsibility to stop these injustices.

        • Lynaire Williams says:

          We are all responsible, JW’s or not.The evil in the world has been put there by humankind, which happens to be all of us. Love for a favoured few of like mind is not enough.
          There is an urgent need to cultivate compassion for all who share this human experience with us. Your brainwashing has inspired you to believe and act out on a level that you now find heartbreakingly contrary to human decency.
          It is the same for every human who carry out atrocious deeds.
          Cultivating love and empathy for all is the only way out of the suffering of a world that each of us blindly created.

          • Freed Mason says:

            @Lynaire – If I understand you correctly you are saying that we need to show empathy and fellow feeling empathy to everyone, even if they are harming others on a continual basis – if so, please don’t bring feelings to a fact fight, this organistation has wrecked lives and needs to be stopped in its tracks. No amount of love and compassion will change a very cruel cult.

    • outandabout says:

      I understand your thoughts, Twmack. The thing is though, this child rape issue is the absolute worst thing they could do.

      To be hiding abuse like that for 50yrs, silencing the victims and hiding the perps while at the same time teaching Witnesses to wag their fingers at the Catholics and say “that just proves they are a false religion”,… I think it’s a tough one for them to wriggle out of.

      But yes, every Cult has a hard core of the totally deluded who’ll stick with it no matter what. People who just refuse to be wrong.

      It’s hard to get rid of these Cults when essentially they have biblical and governmental approval. That needs to change.

    • Big B says:

      @ Twmack;

      “Then they survived the bad publicity regarding their
      10 year membership of the UN, the organisation they have duped their followers into believing is the “Abomination of Desolation” which is under Satanic control”.

      They have survived the UN debacle because most newspapers did not carry the story and as to those that did it was not featured prominently.
      JW’s wouldn’t have believed it anyway as it is ‘Satanic’ propaganda.

      Most people don’t give a pinch of owl dung about such a small insignificant bunch of wacko’s that don’t amount to a boil on the butt of mankind. They don’t even make up one percent (1%) of mankind.

      So other than those of us former members who are informed, which is why most of us left this cult, the majority of those still in Watchtower are mislead, ignorant, duped ‘sheeple’.

  31. Rodger Goode says:

    Lock em up

  32. Doc Obvious says:

    I was left the leaflet, “Return to Jehovah” at my front door. I turned the brochure around and read the paragraph.

    A question on the back cover stated, “Do you ever reminisce about the good times you had with Jehovah’s people – an encouraging congregation meeting, a thrilling convention, a delightful experience in the ministry, or simply a pleasant conversation with a fellow believer?”
    All I stated in my mind was “No, I do not recall any good times being in the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion. I had no real friends in the religion. Religion, in my opinion, is not a social club. Doors slammed in my face is not a delightful experience. Sitting for 7 plus hours listening to talks is not thrilling to me at a convention.”

    After reading the back cover, I knew that the brochure was out of touch and really had no intent in understanding the real issues why I left in the first place. Therefore, I mailed the leaflet back to Watchtower with no return address.

    • Winston Smith says:

      @Doc Obvious,

      There may be some push going on right now to reach out to inactive members, hence the leaflet in your door. Yesterday I received an email from a witness relative, who normally shuns me, with some scriptural quotation in it.

      I have never read the leaflet you refer to, but from the questions you relate, I notice they are all posed to elicit an emotional response. Especially in light of the shunning encouraged at the recent convention…so now the underlying message is basically, ‘Do you want us to stop shunning you?’ Talk about emotional blackmail.

      None of the questions raised address the issues that caused someone to leave, the control, the abuse, the changing doctrines, the failed predictions, the duplicity, the covering up of child abuse. As per the ‘E’ in the BITE model, the questions are posed in such a way so as to trigger an emotional response – with critical thinking suspended.

      And I appreciated your answers to the questions, BTW.

      WS

      • Wideawake says:

        I have been inactive for a year with virtually no contact…now all of a sudden I’m getting visits one after another…so maybe it’s reach out to the inactive time.

      • Wideawake says:

        I have been inactive for a year with virtually no contact…now all of a sudden I’m getting visits one after another…so maybe it’s reach out to the inactive time.

    • Telescopium says:

      Hey Doc O.
      My wife and I received the same from a family member too. In the introduction from the Governing Body it states: “First we listened, carefully considering the circumstances and expressions of a number who drifted away.” Then it portrays three scenarios as to why people leave: anxiety, hurt feelings, and guilt.

      That’s such crap! Putting the blame on the person!

      I would guess that the majority who intentionally leave the Organization did NOT leave for these reasons. Whether it’s child abuse hypocrisy, lying, or cult control practices (and the list goes on) there are REAL REASONS why a person might not want to be “one of Jehovah’s Witnesses”. The Governing Body is aware of the reasons but can’t address them publicly because their positions are untenable. So instead, they distribute these lame publications that misrepresent all of us and allow the Witnesses to say “Oh, So-And-So is just weak. They couldn’t get over their ________.” This is sly maneuvering on their part, because it creates an atmosphere where every Witness “knows” your problem (and the solution) before you even get the opportunity to explain. This sets the path to “return to Jehovah”, which you’re expected to take. If you don’t (as many of us won’t) then you’re always guilty, they’re always right, and the Organization stays in control.
      Seriously disturbing stuff!

      Where’s Oubliette? ‘Cause I’m startin’ to think this may be a cult!

      P.S. – I don’t bother mailing anything back to them.
      I have a wood stove…

      • Winston Smith says:

        @Telescopium,
        I’d love to know how they conducted their assessment of why people leave? I doubt it was an unbiased survey. As I recall, JW Survey send them the annual survey results each year, so wouldn’t that be a truly unbiased resource to use?

        It seems to be that they simply cherry pick and use whatever data they want (we see it all the time in the Watchtower and Awake articles). I highly doubt the GB themselves listened to ANYONE from the rank and file. Rather they would have asked circuit overseers and elders why people leave the organization. And based on the ‘shoot the messenger’ principle that seems to apply, would such ones give honest answers?

        If, in reality, the line “we listened” is in anything more than a load of rubbish, their data likely was garnered from “sheeple” (to borrow from Big B) who had already returned after having left for some time. Such ones, a.) would not be honest with any fellow member or authority figure asking them why they left and b.) would be of the sort who would accept the blame for leaving. Much like the abused spouse who returns to their abusive mate.

        The GB knows the reasons why critical thinkers like ourselves left. And they don’t want us back there to rock the boat. They only want groveling, fawning, slaves who will surrender their free will to a group of pompous, arrogant dictators.

        WS

        • Telescopium says:

          Winston,
          I think you’re right. The Governing Body probably “listened” only about as much as Geoffrey Jackson listened to the testimony from BCG and BCB. Ha!

          On a side note, I really enjoyed the the vividness of the word pictures in your last paragraph. I see Egyptian slaves being whipped by a caricature of Boss Tweed.

          • outandabout says:

            Strange to hear unbridled vitriol from a measured guy like yourself, Winston. Been on the turps?

          • Winston Smith says:

            @outandabout,
            Being from The States, I had to look up the term “on the turps” – LOL. Nope, haven’t had a nip in a while.

            It has been some while since I read anything from Watchtower as well. I forgot how incensed I can get at such blatant attempts at emotional control by this group.

            Every now and again you simply have to call a spade, a spade.

            WS

  33. Twmack says:

    Outandabout, I totally agree, child rape is worse than
    anything else they’ve been involved in, it’s just that there’s
    not enough media focus on them to bring about their
    just deserts.

    In the U.K. hundreds of cases of molestation by football
    coaches on young players are just coming to the light,
    it’s been on the news every day since it surfaced over
    a month ago. Headline news at that! press, TV, and Radio.

    The news outlets seem to have scant interest in JW.org,
    it’s usually no more than a paragraph in the morning
    papers when their murky deeds are divulged. Let’s hope
    that situation changes.

    • outandabout says:

      I wonder if those football coaches, while molesting, were proclaiming themselves to be the one true coach and winning can only come through their coaching while claiming all the other coaches are frauds involved in all sorts of dastardly deeds, including the molestation of children which just proves they are false coaches…… and while I’m molesting you, I want you to know that I love you and would never molest you.

  34. Alone in MD says:

    Does anyone know when the 2017 edition of the yearbook is going to be released. Be interested in seeing what the Australian numbers for average publishers is for 2015 versus 2016. I would expect that all numbers would be somewhat less for 2016 based on the Government report. Of course I have been surprised before.

    • John Redwood says:

      Alone

      Normally it will appear at the end of December, or occasionally the first few days of January- unless we get a leak earlier. Either way we will see the statistics very soon

      JR

  35. WideAwake says:

    What I find interesting about the “numbers” is that
    like most stats. they are inherently deceptive.
    My alcoholic Elder brother-in-law ( who treats my sister like dirt) is always talking about the great increase: i.e.:
    the 8 million plus JWs on the planet.
    What he forgets is that a large portion of those numbers are witness CHILDREN and TEENAGERS who get baptized under pressure by their families.
    This cult makes me ill!

  36. Erikius says:

    Last week, on a dark and cold November night, I had a knock on my door. Outside on this gloomy evening was a man and – oh yes, I had seen him sometimes. He was a brother from my once-upon-a-time congregation. He looked kind of uncertain, and asked if I had some minutes. He was ‘in the area’ as he called it, and wanted ‘to have some words’ as he said, if I had the time. Polite as I try to be, I asked him inside, even though this situation gave me mixed feelings. I knew his mission. The thing is, this brother has been in the org for nearly 50 years, extremely loyal, and even though I left it as long back as in the late 80s, he still contacts me now and then to “talk a little” as he puts it. Those “talks” are always at the end of a month, and he delivers me some of those thin pamphlet looking magazines The Watchtower, so he can add those numbers on his monthly report, and I have told him that’s ok, if it helps him to keep the elders off his back, if they think his field service is dwindling

    It’s a bit strange, because he feels he can still talk to me, as I was never disfellowshiped, even though I have given him the ‘writing on the wall’ when it comes to the Watchtower Society. I have even used very strong and harsh expressions, words that I would not use here on the forum, except perhaps if I get a bit emotional when it comes to their blood transfusion and shunning misapplications.

    Now, to this brother I have on several occasions given information on their flawed doctrines, the UN membership, I have shown him several books written by earlier members, Raymond Franz, Jim Penton, Carl Olof Jonson, and others, but it never mattered to him. He hardly tries to rebut my doctrinal views, and those critical books he will not even touch, but starts arguing that it’s apostate literature and of no value to him. The UN membership was of course that library card according to him. But the thing is, all this information he has received, it comes from me! He has never obtained any of that by himself, or through the news media, or people within the organization or any other source. He never heard about the UN membership, never heard about those books I mentioned or their authors, Even that library card excuse was from me.

    So then, last week when he was here on his little visit, I told him about the child abuse case within Jehovah’s witnesses and the hearing by The Royal Commission. He just sat there flabbergasted, and listened. Then again he said that he had never heard about this, and that he didn’t believe it, and was also quick to ask if this was some kind of apostate conspiracy against the Society. ‘This is what is going on in the Catholic church’ he pointed out. I tried to explain and gave him some links (he has a PC and was connected to the web some years ago) and told him to google the words Jehovah’s witnesses and The Royal Commission

    The thing with this brother is also that he NEVER tries to find out things by himself, or doing any research on issues. He is extremely scared of things that might undermine the fundaments of his faith.. So, on the one hand, he has this fear, and on the other, he still dears to contacts me to deliver some magazines, although knowing I will confront him with news concerning the Org. Seems to be a fine and at the same time dangerous balance here for him to tread.

    The important part for me with this little story is that even though I believe the WT Organisation will fall – if this brother’s state of mind still reflects the vast membership’s collective consciousness, then things will take its time.

    Anyway, before he left I told him that it seemed that I was his only source of information. He didn’t answer, but looked at me and left with a nod and a smile and disappeared into the November night. There was a surreal, but spirited mood. I know I will see him again.
    Hmm… I wonder if he will look up that ARC – JW case?

    • Telescopium says:

      Erikius,
      I believe your comment has passed into the realm of fine literature.

      Perhaps all the little tidbits will add up someday and he’ll wake up. Keep up the good work!

      • Erikius says:

        @ Telescopium

        Thank you for your kind words. Over the years I have developed a ‘discrete strategy’ when it comes to communication with the witnesses. On the surface subtle, but on a deeper level it has its effect.

    • Tara says:

      Cognitive Dissonance at it’s best.

    • Big B says:

      @ Erikius;

      Great story about a sad little ‘sheeple’ who, out of fear of gaining insightful knowledge or fear of what others might find out what he’s doing, truly is getting his research information from you.

      What I have done is this: I have a bunch of 3″x 5″ cards near the front door (ones you take notes on).
      On CARD #1 Entitled “TTATT” I have the following;

      1. YouTube link to the Australian Royal Commission & Jehovah’s Witnesses;

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geUl7lc2x60

      2. Info on Candice Condi;

      http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/jehovahs-witness-takes-church-sex-abuse-allegations-29605945

      3. Info on JW 10 year UN involvement;

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2001/oct/08/religion.world

      http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/1516/2237/1600/un.pt.guardian.2001-10-15.gif

      On a completely separate card (CARD # 2) I have written on BOTH sides the following:
      “Armageddon is eminent! To find out when please turn card over.” or “How do you keep JW’s busy for decades?”

      Next, give offer them a choice as to which card they would like. (Just like the movie ‘MATRIX’).
      CARD #1 with the TTATT (Truth about the Truth) or CARD #2 ‘the moron card’. If they take the first card maybe they will look up the information or they will trash it. No harm no foul. They will either be enlightened or if thrown away, just as ignorant as before.

      If they take the ‘moron card’ well, as they turn the card repeatedly over and over, the jokes on them. They deserve it. Again, no harm no foul they’re just as ignorant as before.

      Since my X-mas decorations are now up I don’t expect any visits from the elders or their minions (‘sheeple’).

      So to all I offer a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Have a safe holiday season and keep smiling. 🙂 Big B

      • Erikius says:

        @ Big B

        Thanks for the excellent suggestions. 🙂

        I ‘ve had many strange encounters with earlier acquaintances and ‘friends’ from the entranced Witness community, some of them very unpleasant, and all with an atmosphere of deep anxiety from their side. It seems I will just have to live with that.

    • outandabout says:

      I’ve noticed similar reactions from JW’s. It seems they are too scared to look up so called apostate material (the truth) but it’s like they’ve heard a rumour or can smell somethings not right but don’t want to cross the line (step over the invisible fence) because that would be breaking the rules.

      But if they hear something from someone else, they have done no wrong and so it’s ok.

      They are just like children. Quite pathetic, really.

      • Tara says:

        Lol I’ve just noticed I have been unfriended on fb by 4 witnesses. My tree is also up. Not that I want to celebrate but I wanted to know what it felt like after 16 years of not having one….. it feels good and looks awesome 🙂

        • Big B says:

          @ Tara;

          Wonderful to feel non-repressed isn’t it. I can imagine that your tree & decorations are indeed beautiful.

          I set up my tree the first time last year since not having one since 1960 when my now deceased parents joined the WTBTS. I spend a lot of time admiring it and all the decorations around my house. How beautifully seasonal they look!

          It eats me up thinking about all the decades wasted on JW nonsense, (teachings, non-paid, cold call salesmanship & boring day long conventions) letting my children do without Holidays because of the teachings of a stupid cult.

          Well no more! All of my sons, daughters-in-law and grandchild will now have what I’ve been denied; namely, a normal childhood filled with beautiful memories of Christmas morning! 🙂

  37. Telescopium says:

    Okay, I just read the entire report and I found nothing positive about the Organization.

    NOTHING! NOT ONE THING! NIL! ZIP! ZILCH! NADA!

    Only one positive statement was made, on page 50:
    “BCB told the Royal Commission that she told Mr Horley ‘most of what Bill had done’ and that Mr Horley was ‘very kind and supportive’.”

    “Uh, Mr Horley, your humanity is showing.”

  38. Twmack says:

    When Geo, Jackson was testifying before the ARC,
    he tried to take the heat off the org, by saying pedophilia
    seemed to be a world wide problem.

    Unwittingly he was affirming that the JW religion is not
    the moral sanctuary that they constantly claim it is, and
    The chances of a child becoming a victim are just as likely,
    in fact even more so than in any “worldly” set up, religious
    or secular. —

    Mr, Justice McClellan declared, “The Commission had not
    encountered any other organisation in Australia that had the
    flaws of Jehovahs Witnesses when it came to dealing with
    child abuse”.

    Flaws! Defects! Be careful Mr, McClelland, are you not
    aware, that it’s the Almighty Jehovah himself who makes the
    policies for his org, The fact that they don’t work is
    irrelevant. It’s still blasphemy.

    1956 “Who controls the organization, who directs it? Who is at the head? A man? A group of men? A clergy class? A pope? A hierarchy? A council? No, none of these. How is that possible? In any organization is it not necessary that there be a directing head or policy-making part that controls or guides the organization? Yes. Is the living God, Jehovah, the Director of the theocratic Christian organization? Yes!” (Watchtower, November 1, 1956, p. 666.

    • outandabout says:

      To know there are organisations like the WT who are able to go door to door spreading infantile tripe and are doing so with the approval of governments…… Surely, with the globe now having instant communication, we are at the cusp of throwing all this trash out. Surely, we will eventually wake up.

  39. Average Joe says:

    Hi Covert Fade,
    Just emailed you a statement by the head of the Spanish branch to the EL PAÍS newspaper regarding what their official stance is. Like Geoffrey Jackson, I believe it’s just a lie to try and get themselves out of a tight spot.
    AJ

  40. Openmind says:

    Tara and Big B – so pleased you’re enjoying your xmas decs! Since being out my family have nothing but great memories of it all tho for a few years I felt a bit guilty, all down to indoctrination. One thing I clearly remember is JW’s saying how glad they were ‘no part of the world’ at this time of year as everybody gets into debt. What rubbish! My family have never incurred xmas debts, by choice, what others do is up to them. What I would say to JW’s is that I’m so glad to be no part of them. My memories of struggling pioneer days are all too clear. Very few personal ‘treats’, worrying about giving to a ‘new build’ and the embarrassment of wearing the same old clothes for months on end. Even a decent haircut was a luxury.
    Thank goodness for a normal life now!

    • Openmind says:

      I wonder how many JW’s get into debt ‘serving the cause’ denying themselves and their family enjoyment and making their children suffer so much at this time of year.

    • Holy Connoli says:

      @Openmind. I know many JW’s who live in debt and have no sense of money management. They are just like the “WORDLY” people when it comes to managing their funds and they charge up huge amounts on their Credit cards and then still give more and more to the WT out of guilt.

      As far as Christmas gifts and Bday presents I love it when JW’s say , ” Oh we give gifts all year long” and celebrate everyday not just on Christmas etc.
      Well as a former Elder and Super JW for over 25 years I know it isn’t true at all. They don’t celebrate anything! The so called Memorial celebration is not even a celebration, it is just another hyped up meeting they have where some JW’s dress a little nicer than normal and put flowers on the stage then they go home!

      I always called the JW the Religion of no fun! lol
      Go you your job for 40-60 hours a week, come home hurry up for an evening JW meeting, go back to work, go out in FS in any spare time, go back to work, more meetings, come home, gamily bible study, No after school fun for kids, Np PTA meetings, No sports teams for kids, No cheerleading, no Clubs, NO Artwork, put your young kids in A SUIT and rush them to a meeting, oh wait the weekend is here let’s relax a bit, go for a walk or a movie? Oh No we MUST go pound on doors and sell magazines, No Fun on the weekend. Oh wait Sunday is here…lets relax for 1 morning PLEASE? Oh wait we must get up early and go listen to a speaker at the KH, then after the meeting pound on some more doors, Wait! Wait! We have summer vacation coming so we can chill a bit right? Oh No! You MUST attend 3-5 days ( maybe more ) attending a BORING convention listening to someone tell you , YOU are not allowed to talk with anyone that has a different opinion than the WT even if it is your Father or Mother or Sibling! Then you can fall asleep and keep clock watching and ask your self when is this OVER? What a great vacation we had. Then we are told Now that we are spiritually “refreshed” we can go home and start the same “Mouse Wheel” over again.

      JW”s= The religion of no fun. FOG. Fear, Obligation, Guilt.

      • Gwen Little says:

        Holy Connoli,

        Beautifully said! If ever I get nostalgic about the “friends” that I miss, you reminded me of why I got so depressed for so long & didn’t want to face the fact that everything outside of my so-called “spiritual life” seemed happy & at peace but something was making me feel like I just wanted it all to end. I had never cried so much in my life as I did while I was a part of this religion. It sucks the life out of you. Even if you think you’re going to take a day out & enjoy your surroundings, you still feel guilty cause you’re not doing something for “Jehovah” which is really code language for the WT corporation.

        When I faced the realisation as to where the source of my depression was, I couldn’t ignore it. It took me about 2 years of grudgingly going to the meetings & trying to blame myself for not loving it like everyone else supposedly was. Thinking that there is something wrong with me, I don’t feel the same way. My BS meter was running into overdrive & I couldn’t sit through the crap anymore. I had to face it, the love affair with this religion was over for me. I realised that I was in love with the romantic notions of the religion not the reality.

        When I watched the Leah Rimini documentary on Scientology, I could see so many similarities & the ‘boiling frog’ analogy is the best description for both. You get slowly suckered in by the love-bombing & high ideals.

        I tried to ignore my doubts but my inner-voice was screaming out to be heard. That voice that kept saying; there’s something very wrong with this picture & I can’t put my finger on it.

        For me, it took the whole child abuse coverups to finally settle in my heart that it wasn’t me after all. The religion stinks to the heavens of corruption. From the top down.

        • Holy Connoli says:

          @Gwen Little. I felt the same. Even as an Elder I kept saying to myself the is something wrong here..this is not humanly healthy? I would look at all the depressed people and the the mental distress they were having and in sincerity try to help them but they were already attending meetings, going in FS, all conventions, everything was theocratic in their lives but so many were miserable and depressed. I also thought it was a lack of spirituality but then I realized it was a CULT and the mental pressure they put on everyone to conform 100% or more and good is never good enough! The WT always demanded more, more more! More time, more “study”, more money,More door knocking, more comformity. No wonder there was so much mental illness in the ORG. I concluded that once you take freedom of thought from people and instill their minds with codes and rules of comformity you take away their Spirit and that causes extreme depression. I mean as a JW you are not allowed to think or draw your own conclusions even based on your reading of the bible. It is like being in a jail with a lifetime sentence. My inner voice also cried out for reasoning and normalness. When I was a New JW in the mid 1970’s I could never understand how the 2nd coming of Christ was “invisible” and how it occurred in 1914. I tossed that around a million times and finally said this is a fake story. This is spiritual fraud. I cannot teach this anymore.I left 22 years ago nowbut still get upset with being defrauded. I guess I look at it as a journey in life but it messed with my family and my kids in a negative way.

          • twistedsister69 says:

            @Gwen Little
            @Holy Connoli

            Thank you for talking about the INNER VOICE. Unfortunately, in today’s hustle-and bustle, propaganda-saturated society, our (hopefully wise) inner voice is quickly and easily drowned out. It’s like an instinct in an animal. Animals are smart enough to pay attention to their instincts. Unfortunately, humans are not. We have strayed so far from our natural state that we have lost our immunity to BULLSH*T. It’s time to get back to our BASIC INSTINCTS (not BASE instincts) – our INNER VOICE, as you put it. I.E. … If your inner voice is telling you something is amiss, it probably is. If something FEELS wrong, it probably is. … With one caveat: Your inner voice/instincts must be properly trained, and honed with PERSONAL experience, NOT based on the input and conditioning of OTHERS. Your inner voice is YOUR inner voice, and yours alone. In other words, DEprogram, then REprogram … YOUR WAY.

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