Watchtower updates UK child safeguarding policy. How much has really changed?
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A bit of a stir has been made in recent weeks about the latest version of Watchtower’s UK child safeguarding policy, which was revised by the organisation for 2017. For those not aware, every charity in the UK is required to have a printed child safeguarding policy that members of the charity and the public can read, and as Watchtower is a charity they are required to comply.

The policy, which can be veiwed on the letters page of the Avoidjw.org website, at first glance appears no different from Watchtower’s previously stated (and officially discredited) polices and positions on reporting child sexual abuse.

However, point 13 has caught the eye of some. It reads:

If any congregation elder learns of a case of child abuse in which a child may still be at risk of significant harm two elders must contact the legal department at the branch office for legal advice on compliance. A report to the police or other appropriate authorities will be made immediately by the congregation elders if it is determined that a child is still at risk.

Now, some have taken this paragraph to mean that Watchtower has shifted its policy of not reporting child abuse allegations (or even actual confessions to crimes and or/allegations with multiple witnesses) to the police.

And trust me, if this was genuinely the case, I’d be a very happy Covert Fade.

But lets actually look at the wording of this paragraph, and the circumstances surrounding the release of the document to see if this is really the case.

What does this policy actually say?

Firstly, you will note that the instructions in the first sentence for an elder who suspects a child might be at risk is to contact…the police?

I mean, that’s what you’d expect if this document finally allows what on the surface it may appear to allow, right?  After all, if the elders are concerned for the safety of a child, contacting law enforcement should be the first step.

So is this what the first sentence says?

No.

If any congregation elder learns of a case of child abuse in which a child may still be at risk of significant harm two elders must contact the legal department at the branch office for legal advice on compliance.

The first step is to contact the branch. 

This should be a huge red flag to anyone familiar with the previous policies of Jehovah’s Witnesses in this area. It is the branch who will decide if the child is “at risk,” not the local elders, and without branch authorisation these local elders cannot contact the police even if they wanted to. Moreover, this policy does not state the criteria the branch will use to assess the risk to the child, or the level of training in child protection and law enforcement possessed by the people who will be making this assessment.

Thus, one cannot say with any confidence that the risk to the child will be accurately assessed, or that elders will make a report to the police even if they disagree with the branch assessment and maintain that there is a danger to the child. Remember how every Elder who gave testimony at the Australian Royal Commission stated that they had more or less no scope to follow their own consciences when it come to these matters; that they followed branch direction to the letter.

Also consider the following; it would not be hard to imagine that, given its previous refusal to report to law enforcement any case of child abuse at all, that Watchtower’s criteria for designating a child to be at risk and thus worth reporting to the police may be very VERY narrow. In fact, possibly so narrow that they are never used in real life. 

In other words, the actual real world result of this policy is still to cut the authorities out of the loop.

An additional point to keep in mind; this apparent allowance for the branch to authorise elders to report abuse to the police if they suspect a child is in danger, only appears in this UK specific document.

At this time, there is no general letter that has been sent to other bodies of elders worldwide mentioning this process, or even a letter separate to this public policy to bodies of elders in the UK. No update or modification has been made to the KS-10 Shephard the Flock of God book (the elders manual) to this effect. In the event of a clash between this public-facing safefgaurding policy, and the KS-10 book, the KS-10 book will assume precedence. And the KS-10 book does not authorise elders or the branch to report to the police in the absence of legal compulsion.

Additionally, it should be noted that Watchtower has been very happy in the past to give public statements that are demonstrably misleading, both during the ARC over child absue, and on jw.org as regards shunning and other matters.

What is the goal?

When dealing with Watchtower, one must always keep their eye on the ball.

So what are we looking at here?

We are looking at a document that attempts to feign a change in policy towards a more reasonable stance, whilst in reality allowing Watchtower leeway to carry on in real terms more or less as before.

Why have they done this?

Well, it’s entirely possible that this addition to the safeguarding policy has been made as an attempt to placate the UK Charity Commission, who are currently investigating Watchtower over the issue of their child sex abuse handling, or perhaps as a result of pressure from some other legal body or compliance regulation in the UK. As we have previously, Watchtower is not adverse to releasing misleading descriptions to the public or to the legal system when it suits their purpose.

It may be that in the UK, enough Witnesses have been asking to see this policy that the branch have amended it to appear as though it does allow for the police to be contacted by the elders, and thus attempting to placate any Witnesses concerned that their religion is engaged in something unethical.

Whatever the case, this document appears to have been carefully crafted to present the appearance of change, whilst hiding a complete lack of it in real terms. Remember, when dealing with Watchtower one can never take what is said at face value: It’s always wise to keep your eye on the ball.

Watchtower is very good at the shell game.

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48 Responses to Watchtower updates UK child safeguarding policy. How much has really changed?

  1. alanv says:

    The trouble is Watchtower have shown over and over again, that they speak out of both sides of their mouth. They will say whatever they think authorities need to here.
    Then when it comes to actually putting that into practice, they often do the complete opposite.
    When an organisation thinks they are God’s chosen ones and that the authorities are run by Satan, then it is hardly surprising that they act like that.

  2. Zeb says:

    There really shouldn’t be a need for the branch to “determine” anything. If two men are sufficiently concerned to contact the legal department over a child being at risk then that’s really already over the threshold most people would use to decided to contact the police or social services or even the NSPCC for advice.

    I wouldn’t think it will fool anyone who spends a few minutes asking questions about it. Who does the determination? How? With what appropriate child safeguarding experience or skills? And if none, then why contact them? You don’t call your lawyer when your house is on fire.

    • Tara. says:

      I like your comment Zeb. ‘You don’t call your lawyer when your house is on fire’. I will be storing that argument away for possible further use.

  3. Eric Arthur Blair says:

    Good work Covert Fade. Point 13 of this document reminds me of the September 8, 1991 Awake cover series on the United Nations, which was produced in order to meet criteria for membership. The last paragraph of that series is particularly insidious; carefully worded to appear to mean one thing to one group of people, and another to a different group. It sickens me the way this organisation operates. I too long to see a definitive and honest change in Watchtower policy – to protect children. But I fear just more of the same – a sly modification to protect the organisation only. A leopard does not change its spots. Of course, any progress would be welcome if it truly protected children in this organisation on a global scale (and not just U.K.), but even if the sexual abuse issue were addressed (which would be welcome) it would still not negate all the other lies the children of indoctrinated JWs are subjected to. Sadly, they would still be at risk of exploitation by this organisation.

    Thanks to all the team at JWsurvey, you’ve done Stirling work these last few weeks especially. No doubt you will also be covering Watchtower’s return visit to the ARC this coming Friday (pun intended! )

  4. John Peters says:

    Did you notice it says contact the branch for legal compliance. This means if it’s not legally required of you in your area you will be told not to report this.
    Also IF the child is still at risk. What about the damage that has been done or could be done to others. If the child is out of the home or this is historical abuse they will be told not to report it.
    It’s all a play on words to fool the ones that are afraid to question the organisation.
    This is an illegal document and they should be prosecuted for producing it.

    • John Peters says:

      Also the cover letter with this policy to the elders states. “Parents are responsible for the welfare and safety of their children. But elders do all that they reasonably can as spiritual and confidential counsellors to safeguard the cleanness of the congregation and to protect children and other vulnerable ones.”
      Did you notice the parents are responsible! This means get the parents to report not the elders. It also says “Confidential counsellors” in other words. Keep it confidential-quite- don’t tell anyone . All the usual non reporting we have seen before.

      • John Peters says:

        Also the word “reasonably” it should be all that they can without limitation to protect a child.

  5. Chiafade says:

    Stunning, they have thoroughly shown that they just don’t want to do the right thing. What other conclusion could anyone come to other than this organization just doesn’t want to report the crime of child abuse to the police?! This shouldn’t be happening.

  6. Susan Gaskin says:

    I find the wording they used to be tricky: “a case of child abuse in which a child may still be at risk of significant harm”. The sentence should end at “a case of child abuse”. All cases of child abuse should be reported to the authorities. The elders clearly are not capable of deciding if it’s “just” a case of child abuse, or a case of “significant” child abuse.

    Also, by the time they report “significant” cases only to their branch, important forensic evidence can be lost. This evidence many times acts as the second witness to the crime. Once again they pretend to care for children, but are clearly hiding pedophiles. Why? I just don’t get it. They could take the high road and say “under no circumstances will we hide abusers. The authorities will be contacted in all cases of child abuse and suspected child abuse.” Because of their continued blood guilty policies, they prove yet again that they are a wicked cult.

    • Big B says:

      @ Susan:

      The Watchtower (Jehovah’s Witnesses) are a “pedophiles paradise”. Where else can these miscreants find a place to practice their perversion without fear of reprisals? Without any checks, other than the two witness rule, the elders and the congregation are stymied by Watchtower’s “legal” department.

      Thus even if the pedophile is dis-fellowshipped (by their confession) the congregation will not be told why and if not reported to the authorities, after the dis-fellowshipping, the community as well as the congregation is still at risk.

      What’s really sad is that they can be reinstated, what about that reality? No jail time, no psychiatric sessions, no reporting to the authorities, no nothing. This is the reality; you really don’t know who you are sitting next to at the Kingdom Hall do you? Or who is going to the assemblies or in field service hunting for their next victim? Sad as well as infuriating isn’t it!?

  7. exjwlemming says:

    Report to the authorities if there is “a case of child abuse in which a child may still be at risk of significant harm.” When would a child not be at a future risk of being sexually abused? Any abuse causes significant harm. The only time would be if the perpetrator has died? Every abused child is at a future risk. These people are idiots.

    • Covert Fade says:

      Indeed. And even if the child is now 100% safe, there is still the matter of a serious criminal attack that the police and government need to investigate and bring to justice.

  8. Vox Populi says:

    ‘Semper Eadem’.

    Watchtower will continue to look after their own interests at the expense of the ‘flock’.

  9. Kat says:

    They don’t care about the children, from the top down they all try to cover their back sides, the GB blame the elders, the elders blame the parents and the legal department hope they can get away with tricky speech.

    This disgusting organization posing as a Christian religion is being shown up by their own negligence and pride.

    They will pass down all the fines to the local congregations, and pinch every cent our of widows and children and the poor.

    • ruthlee says:

      That is my thought Kat. 100% I think the legal team at GBHQ prevaricate, stall and generally drag their heels in every legal case involving child rape. They won’t answer directly or be honest about their mistakes. They cover their own legal position and the buck stops with the victim and the suckerfish who contribute to the upkeep of this dirty org. All the fines already paid and all the out of court settlements have been paid for by duped rank and file who believed their contribution was going to a world wide kingdom evangelising work. Promoting Christ’s interests. We know they don’t even provide adequate funds for old clapped out exbethelites . This has been a pyramid scheme from the beginning and all the time it seemed to be harmless and a nice place to hang out with the vague promise of paradise Hey! everything was hunky dory. But many have awoken from slumber and seen the true corporation that wants money by hook or by crook. Hook em in with a false hope and crook the money out of them by guilt or sincerity, it dose’nt matter. Just get the blood money to uphold the pyramid tip. If children had not been victims the scheme could have carried on in it’s delusion of false doctrine and newlite and the general twist of scripture to their silly hearts and stupid heads for infinity ad nauseum. However we see the corruption and power and lies of snakes in suits who are in it for the money. So they will lie to the old ladies and charm the money out of them to support the empire as it crumbles. They will not even take responsibility for this and squeeze every last cent from all the fools who are soon parted from their cash. It would be honourable to donate all their worldly goods to all baptised witnesses including ex-ones and shut up shop. If they gave up their worldly treasures then they may get a crown in heaven as they claim to be inheriting any moment now. What does jesus want with warwick anyway. does he not have Jerusalem? Even slaves under the old law had rights but we are expected to walk away and not say we have been fleeced. It would have been better if they had tithed at least there would have been a limit on our giving and their taking. But this wicked religion took all of it and demands more . At the end they will chuck you back your soul because there is no money to be made from that. Keep warm and well fed but give us all your money. Ruthlee

      • Big B says:

        @ Ruthlee;

        Wow! A great summation of the so called ‘faithful and discreet’ slave. I concur 100% with you on this.

        This religion is nothing more than an ‘AMWAY’ pyramid scheme; except those at the bottom make no money and have absolutely no chance of ever starting their own pyramid or getting to the top of the current one.

        The Governing Body, (the seven dwarfs of doomsday prophecy) are fishers of NOT men but fishers of suckers. (I count myself one as well). Making absurd promises for God that are completely unscriptural to the point of delusional nonsense. So called ‘promises’ that God or the Governing Body cannot or will not be able to deliver. ‘Paradise earth’ yeah, right. Find that quote anywhere in the scriptures!

        Truly, they are the worthless ‘evil slave’ class. Other than the Spanish Inquisition, back in the days of Columbus, has anyone else seen the ruthlessness of this organization in the way they ‘beat’ the other slaves (adherents) into giving more time and monies to their cause? After all the master is delaying in his return.

        Do these seven mental midgets expect to be rewarded for their efforts to promote a fake gospel message, join Babylon the Great in riding/supporting the U.N. (scarlet colored wild beast) for ten years, and covering up child molestation problems/practices to name just a few of their egregious errors in judgement. And they truly believe that they have “God’s Holy Spirit”; really? If this is the Holy Spirit in action….God help us.

        I wish I could say that they are only fooling themselves; unfortunately I can’t.

        To those poor, deluded ‘sheeple’ who come to this site, please do your research and see just how deep the rabbit hole really goes. You are being fleeced of your funds, and worse still you are being robbed of your most important asset, namely your TIME by these ‘Time Bandits”. Time you can never get back, ever! Time wasted serving these greedy, sneaky men for absolutely no reward or monetary gain in your lifetime.

        If you think ‘treasures in heaven’ are worth having then try getting a ‘withdrawal’ or collecting those treasures. Good luck with that as you certainly aren’t part of the 144,000!

        To all J.W.’s; please don’t spend decades (like me) serving these deluded men only to regret it latter in your golden years. Over fifty years of servitude to those imbeciles is enough already!

        • ruthlee says:

          Hi Big B I do my best as I see this corrupt and wicked org. To think we squandered our lives on a bag of old rope and ashes. I was thinking about Joshua’s words in OT that the tower like to quote… All the good things god promised came true not one word went without fulfilment. Well I can say with hand on heart everything the watchtower published was a lie and not one iota of it has come true not a jot of it. There is not one promise they made that has come to pass and now their god has let them down by putting a spotlight on their paedophile activities. Like you my quiet activism is writing my thoughts on this site hoping it will spark someone out of their slumber and waste no more time in this rotten stupid cult. I live to regret every lie I swallowed like poison and there is no apology, reward for faithfulness or hope . It was all a twisted lie and I sometimes wonder if it was a human experiment. But to the young people get out quick we who gave everything are getting old now and have nothing to fall back on. There is no reward just regrets and plodding on in our lives after the cult. Don’t trade your donkey for a bag of beans. There is no giant to kill and no gold at the end of the path. Cheers Ruthlee

          • Big B says:

            @ Ruthlee;

            The young people, at least, have something that we didn’t have when we got involved in this cult; namely the world wide web.
            Everything is on the internet, the good, the bad and the indifferent. One only has to type in the information and up pops dozens of sites where information can be found not just JW.org but so called apostate sites too.

            However, neutral news sites can be perused for information regarding the foul-ups of this absurd counterfeit Christianity.

            It is my belief that with the joining of the U.N. for over ten years and now with pedophile lawsuits coming out in droves along with paranoid shunning attempts by the Watchtower against former members, one has to ask; “Is it possible that this organization is the Evil Slave” mentioned in Jesus parable and is part of Babylon the Great that we should get out of? I believe it is by the preponderance of evidence, namely the following:

            1. mis-identification of the rider of the white horse of Revelation as compared to Jesus’ Olivet prophecy identification of being a ‘false’ Christ (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21);

            2. an invisible presence of a non-existent Christ (false as per #1 above) Rev.1:7. No one has seen him or recognized his so called ‘invisible’ presence except Jehovah’s Witnesses;

            3. false promises and prophecies for the ending of this system of things, the last being in 1975;

            4. the following of imperfect men namely the bullying, drunken sot J.F. Rutherford and his interpretation of scriptures along with their name, place of meeting, and their “ministry”of cold calling door to door, etc.

            5. pedophile protection within the congregation and non-reporting of the same to local governmental authorities;

            6. U.N. involvement as a non-governmental organization for ten years until outed by the ‘Guardian’ newspaper, thus inadvertently making their unknowing adherents guilty of being a part of Babylon the Great;

            7. the death of thousands due to the continued mis-interpretation of the prohibition against EATING blood NOT medicinal usage to save lives and the former prohibition of organ transplants as ‘cannibalism’.

            Thus unfortunately, the list goes on and on ad nausum. One sin piling on top of another. I only hope the ‘sheeple’ will get enough chutzpah to search these things out for themselves and get free of this paranoid dystopia of never ending work and lies masquerading as New Light, calling itself “Jehovah’s earthly organization” before they die disappointed, disillusioned, discouraged and despaired.

          • Winston Smith says:

            @Big B
            They certainly do fit the bill for the evil slave:

            ‘if that wicked slave says in his heart, ‘My master is delayed,’’ – So many delays: 1874, 1881, 1914, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1940’s, 1975, 2000

            ‘and starts to beat his fellow slaves’ – All the rules and demands you already mentioned above

            ‘and eats and drinks with drunkards’ – Rutherford a literal drunk, GB drunk with power, Judicial committees drunk with blood of the innocent

            ‘[Christ] will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites’ – They are no different than the churches of Christendom that they claim to be better than. They are actually worse in many ways.

            WS

    • RB5 says:

      Well said!

  10. messenger says:

    @CF

    For some time now WT has instructed its elders to contact its legal department upon hearing any suspicion of sexual child abuse. Here WT is asking elders to also tell the legal department if continuing danger to the victim exists. That makes sense for WT’s legal position, because WT is responsible for preventing reoccurrences of abuse, after its elders are notified of an initial occurrence. True, WT has lost or settled some cases, upon first occurrence. But as far as I know in those cases the pedophile had a history of abusing other victims. In its case with Ms. Fessler, I don’t think that was so…instead her abuse continued by the same pedophile, after her elders were notified. To protect itself WT seems to be more willing to notify authorities if a threat to a particular victim remains. For instance, if the molester was the child’s parent, the treat would remain.

    The Charity Commission, the IICSA, and/or the ARC will be making recommendations to their respective governments forcing WT to change its protection policies, by bringing them in harmony with whatever new governmental regulations are legislated. Once that happens in one or both of those countries WT will change those policies worldwide, not just for uniformity, but also doing so to make its corporations less liable by having appropriate (government approved) policies. Now WT wants to see what new regulations will be mandated. Once some are WT will change. WT will change when the law says they have to. And I believe now WT wants a clear understanding of what those changes must be to satisfy (all) governments.

    But as for this letter, in some instances the elders will know if a threat remains. In others they won’t. Elders don’t know everything about their congregants. For instance, they don’t know I comment on your site, for no one knows messenger.

    Thanks for your work CF.

  11. Stirring Awake says:

    My concern is more with the last sentence: “A report to the police or other appropriate authorities will be made immediately by the congregation elders if it is determined that a child is still at risk.”

    There’s a gaping hole here that allows infinite scope for interpretation – “IF it is determined” is so ambiguous I don’t even know where to start. Who determines if a child is at risk? Who decides that the victim or children in the congregation are at risk? The branch? The elders? The parents? The congregation?

    While a police report may be made by the elders, there’s nothing in that public facing waste of paper that holds any weight as it allows open ended interpretation of the words written. It allows for a ‘he said, she said, scenario with no real responsibility laid upon anyone’s shoulders.

    This kind of non-transparent doublespeak BS truly gets me amped up!

  12. ScotWm says:

    Could there be anything wrong with an older, widowed brother taking an interest in a teenaged boy and inviting him out in field service? Would it also be appropriate for the older brother to invite the younger brother over to his home for some private meetings?

    According to the March 2017 JW Broadcasting, this behavior is not only appropriate, it is to be encouraged. To give this unique male friendship even more respectability, a scene showing biblical characters David and Jonathan hugging each other is provided. “To quote the young man: “As I spent more time with Max, I realized it was just like David and Johnathan.”

    Watchtower’s pedophile protection policies are currently undergoing intense, worldwide criticism. It’s difficult to imaging what the Governing Body members were thinking when they decided to present this dramatization of male bonding between a young boy and an older man. This part of the program starts approximately 40% of the way into the video.
    https://tv.jw.org/#en/video/VODStudio/pub-jwb_201703_1_VIDEO

    • Stirring Awake says:

      In WT’s defense (and that’s never going to happen often) there’s a big difference between teenage boys and young children. Having an older male mentor a younger one can often be a benefit to some young adults despite how how we may feel about the organisation as a whole. Especially if there aren’t any good male role models in their life.

      In saying that, due caution should still be exercised by all and absolutely nothing will ever excuse WT policy for allowing the covering up of known offenders.

  13. Paul says:

    This is the usual Watchtower smoke and mirrors trick. Say one thing to the authorities and do something completely different behind the closed doors of a JC, inside the congregation and in the elders manual.

    They are not to be trusted at all as countless hours of testimony at the ARC and molestation trials have proven conclusively.

  14. Will says:

    Elders should really pay attention to this. If a child abuse investigation comes from WT’s bad advice, they are screwed. Individuals will not only sue WT, but sue the elders also. A thinking elder should really step down.

    • messenger says:

      If WT fails to cover its elders’ rear-ends then many of them probably will step down. Remember JR wrote that the attorney representing the elders in the Fessler case charged $4000 a day during the trial, that he is one of the most expensive lawyers to hire in that area, and that the preparation for that trial covered part of three years. Those elders’ congregation in Penn. couldn’t have had the money to pay that attorney. WT must have picked up the tab.

      WT did a money grab some time back. I believe now WT just allows congregations to keep $5000 plus several months operating expenses on hand in congregation bank account. WT instructed elders to send all funds in excess of that amount to WT. No way could the congregation have come up with the funds to pay that attorney shy some huge donations from individuals donated to use for that court case, which I believe is very unlikely.

      WT will either financially cover its elders, or many will leave, and some elders might even sue WT for getting them into financial trouble if that happens.

      I foresee one of the greatest dangers WT might potentially face is a loss of a rather high percentage of its elders. Even now I have heard from an elder that one reason WT doesn’t readily remove elders when WT has knowledge they don’t operate with love and compassion is because WT is afraid it won’t have enough elders, if they do that. That sounds like a copout to me. But the elder stating it must have heard it from someone higher up than an ordinary elder-my guess it came from a CO. The elder told me that more than once.

      • Ricardo says:

        @messenger,
        When Watchtower took over ownership of every kingdom hall, allowing only $5,000 to be kept in reserve and instigating the tithing-by-stealth arrangement, it would also pick up the legal responsibilities of the elders.

        I don’t believe your elder has told you quite enough about why the GB doesn’t want to stand aside incompetent elders. My CO friend gave an explanation which adds to your information and clarifies it: the GB is looking for support from the elders. The GB stays in power with elder support. The GB can’t afford to have the elders off-side. So there is more elder-centricity happening as the GB gets more and more paranoid. Thus the push for younger and younger elders: the more elders the GB can get fixed in that position, the more secure the GB is. And if the brother is a son of an elder even better, it becomes most unlikely that the younger elder will leave.

        I have been reading Franz’s second book about The Search for Christian Freedom. He was very aware of the authoritarian attitude this organization has toward the leaders. It’s an excellent book.

        How lovely if there were no elders and just MS’s looking after the congregations.

        • messenger says:

          Yes I agree with you Ricardo. I think I kind of covered some of that in the first sentence of my last paragraph. The danger to WT, if many elders step down and leave, and especially from leaving is that a broad exodus of elders would take other publishers with them. Elders and their families make up a large percent of congregations. If they leave their families and some other families will leave also.

          Elders are not inherently bad people. They are promoted from ministerial servants, so I don’t see any change if ministerial servants replace them. I’ve known a lot of elders that are really nice people. And I’ve worked with many that are nice, sincere, and loving people. I don’t have anything against elders because they are elders. I don’t agree with the lying ones, and the ones that try to punish people for petty reasons that aren’t even sanctioned by WT.

          Our religion, at its core, is a very judgmental organization. Without getting rid of ALL the judgmental rules its not going to matter much whose running the congregations. For instance, some elders might act like jerks towards you merely because you have a university degree. But the religion itself is what’s judging university degrees as Satanic (with you selling out to the world for getting one). The jerk elder is a natural result when an org makes those type of unscriptural judgments. You got the degree, because you believe the org’s views about it are unscriptural, but the elder believes your position is a disobedient one and tries to punish you, as best he can, because of it.

          JWs are a large population. So statistically we have a large enough sample to give us a cross section of society. Its not the people, but our teachings, and rules that cause these problems which are uncommon to some other organizations. We are too judgmental. We judged everyone on the outside, and then started a process of cannibalizing our own members. Hitler’s Third Reich-march to the monarch or oligarchy, or get mowed down.

          I don’t buy the GB are paranoid at this point. The GB has the elders under its thumb by means of the ideas it teaches- follow me so you CAN follow God. But if the GB ever does something really stupid that causes a mass exodus of elders, then the gb will get paranoid.

          I don’t believe what my friend thinks is true. I was just sharing a thought I heard, assuming it came from a CO. But I took his idea as an excuse, not the truth. I think the gb lets jerk elders get away with some bad actions because they are just not that concerned about those actions. I don’t believe they look at the actions that are reported to them as being very significant, unless the reports have to do with anything sexual. Maybe Jado can tell us why they will move against an elder because of a sex issue but almost nothing else, except apostasy.

          Both of R Franz’s books are very good. I read the first one and about 300 pages of the second. I did the reading of both online for free. Maybe I’ll finish the second one some time in the future…it’s been about 6 months since I’ve looked at it. Pretty much everything I’ve read on any, so called, apostate site is in R Franz’s first book. But Franz is redundantly thorough. He put more in that book than I’ve read on any of these sites.

          My belief is that R Franz had a good understanding of what Bible based Christianity is. I think WS and some others here share Franz’s view on that…the reason I previously wrote I agree with them about it.

          • Ricardo says:

            @messenger,
            Some appealing thoughts there, messenger. I find it encouraging that you have found some elders who are nice, sincere and loving people. In my experience with elders I can’t find any who I would describe as nice, sincere or loving. No joke, I can’t. If there were sincere elders around, they would say something to stop the crooked elders from hassling me. I really don’t know any elder who cares. I am told there is such a thing, all the time in the Watchtower and at the meetings. I hope one day to find one. I don’t think it has anything to do with me and university. I see it as the culture inside the organization.

            I have seen quite a number of nice guys become elders and get swept up in the politics of the congregations. It is as if there is an evil force running through the congregations which unrelentingly makes the nice guys into unfeeling mongrels. That’s my experience.

            As far as the GB and paranoia, observe how the GB is concentrating power around themselves. Now THEY are the ‘faithful and discreet slave’. THEY micromanage us in so many ways. They are becoming more and more sensitive to criticism, even strongly instructing members not to have negative thoughts and to keep away from anybody with negative thoughts. And we aren’t to say anything negative about the elders or the GB, even if justified, just get over it and move on, thus painting the elders and the GB as untouchables.

            Like the Pharisees, I believe these men are having their reward in full: they have the respect of the majority of Witnesses at present, who are willing to believe the sun shines out of the backsides of these men.

            These guys make it very difficult to want to live forever with them as our princes. I hope the anointed kings can materialize and guide us in the new world.

          • Winston Smith says:

            @Ricardo,
            There are some decent elders out there as there are always new ones being appointed, some of whom do have the best interests of others at heart. And some good ones manage to fly under the radar of the more tyrannical ones or in some cases fight against them. My grandfather was a very kindly elder who all the congregation members loved. Of course he was always at odds with the tyrants who saw him as an obstacle to their quest for power over others, although none ever succeeded in removing him. When I was an elder I knew things were not right, but at the time thought this was still God’s organization and that it would be corrected. For me it eventually came down to this: either side with the tyrants and keep my position or resign. I chose the latter

            But you are right: there IS an evil force running through the congregations: the tyranny of a hierarchical organization obsessed with control of others. Doesn’t get much more evil than that. Diametrically opposed to the message of Jesus Christ.

            As for the GB being paranoid, that’s to be expected: all cult leaders and tyrants are paranoid of loosing their control over others. It reminds of the line from one of the Star Wars movies: “All those who gain power are afraid to lose it.”

            WS

          • messenger says:

            @ Ricardo

            Neither WT or its elders will have any say in overseeing a New World. I agree with everyone on this site that JWs are deluded in their belief about that issue. As others have stated, that delusion causes much of the problem JWs have. JWs have all their eggs in that basket, Watchtower’s. WT has taken the place of Christ for them, without WT their is no salvation.

            And WT is run a certain way. If a person no longer believes it they look at everything else differently. For instance, I think Christians in other denominations are my spiritual brothers and sisters. I don’t recognize WT, or its elders, as exercising ANY authority over me; if they called a meeting or investigation into any of my activities I would not attend, or even discuss my personal business with them. Personally, I don’t believe WT can harm me (though I understand some here don’t share that belief). And I don’t believe I need to be viewed as a JW to be a friend of God. I feel I’m closer to God and know God better since I stopped believing in WT. WT isn’t that important to me anymore.

          • Ricardo says:

            @WS,
            Well, you and Messenger have confirmed that there are some good elders out there somewhere. Honestly, I have not found even one which I would describe as good. There are many righteous ones, being self-righteous or overly-righteous. But loving, caring and sincere? I have been in several congregations and the elders have all been complete mongrels. If I keep praying hard I might be able to meet one with divine intervention.

          • messenger says:

            You might be right Ricardo for two reasons, no one is completely good, and some of the nicer ones I’ve known are no longer elders. Another point, with some of the guys I came up with I never served in the congregations they were in when they were promoted to elder; so I assume they acted right once promoted, but I didn’t verify that.

            What I have seen is two things though. If the society is looking at a congregation that is having trouble and so sends in elder(s) who were told to look for misbehavior then those are sometimes more likely to step up and attempt to solve the problems. In other instances under the same circumstances they do essentially nothing to help. Secondly, most elders who are not jerks do nothing to stop the jerk elders from acting in unscriptural (unloving) ways.

            Your best chance is just to end up in a congregation that does not have jerks presiding. There are some like that. But those will still enforce all WT policies. Self preservation motivates most elders not to make too big a wave. And sometimes when they do they don’t remain elders after that, especially if they change congregations, because their former congregation will send a bad report about them (advising not to reappoint them).

            The more radical are like the folks on this site. Most JWs are not like that, and hardly any elders are. WT calls them sheep. Which was Christ, a radical, or a sheep?

          • messenger says:

            As an example: I have one friend, but I never served in a congregation with him. He was sent into a congregation out of his area to help. The brother was serving as both an elder and a pioneer at the time. He told me that some of the elders were treating the publishers so bad that he left for that reason.

            His example suggests the problem lies with the WT. Because this brother was sent in it makes sense that he did report his finding to the CO. Why didn’t the CO fix the situation, even if it meant removing the jerks? That didn’t happen. Instead my friend left the congregation, and remained an elder and pioneer after that.

            I have another friend who worked for a CO going into places (kingdom halls) having trouble. The elders didn’t like him or his suggestions. His CO boss moved on like they all do. In one of the halls the elders attempted to set my friend up by lying about him and his wife. So before the CO left he moved my friend for his protection. He was still appointed but the elders where he was moved to threatened him. So, my friend moved on again. And then those elders sent the letter (DO NOT REAPPOINT- means good but sticks his nose in other people’s business).

            A different elder was sent into a congregation that was having trouble, one that the COs sent everybody and his brother into to straighten it out. But no one did, and those sent in would eventually leave. The elders labeled this brother (elder) an apostate and disfellowshipped him, or at least attempted to. The CO had to come to his rescue and save him. I did hear a couple of those elders got removed though. DFing the elder sent in to investigate you? Yep! Come to are congregation and challenge us and we’ll fry you on the grill.

            But generally speaking, wouldn’t you agree that Jehovah’s people put on a pretty face at the kingdom hall?

            I could tell you some personal stories of …stuck in the crap, but those would identify me. I’ve been in a few stinky congregations (because of elders who wore big badges) myself. Maybe you should Seig Heil them in your kingdom hall!

            If you say a peep about WT its procedure is to fry you-burn you on the stake. When people spoke against Christ he did not respond that way, nor did he say a people will not be forgiven if they do that in the future.

            Now WT is in some countries that respond like it does. They printed all that stuff about the world’s governments following Satan. And look what’s happening to them in countries like Russia, and Korea. I guess they thought they could condemn others, without paying a price, like the price they heap on others who disagree with WT. As my friend outandabout says,” Way to go Watchtower!”

          • messenger says:

            couple wrong spellings, but u get the point.

            are=our in last post

          • Big B says:

            @ messenger;

            “But if the GB ever does something really stupid that causes a mass exodus of elders, then the gb will get paranoid”.

            I would have thought that being an NGO at the U.N. would qualify as ‘something really stupid’, however 10 years have passed and no mass exodus of elders has occurred. Why? Because the Governing Body, through silence, kills the story.

            Most elders are by far the most uneducated, uninformed, people I have ever met. Oh, they know some Watchtower policy procedures, or field service tips (like most salesmen) but that’s about it. How in the world would congregation elders ever find out if or when the Governing Body makes a mistake or does ‘something really stupid’? They won’t, period!

            Personally, I wouldn’t follow any of them (elders or this Governing Body) through a buffet line or into the water.

          • messenger says:

            Hi Big B
            True the gb does stupid things now, like tell lies anyone that’s halfway intelligent should see as a lie, like the recent statement in WT that the JW religion has no internal hierarchy.

            But by really stupid I was thinking of something that hurts a large percentage of elders. For instance: Suppose some court eventually gets its hands on the WT child molestation files that WT has been refusing to turn over. And those records might include over 20,000 cases of molestation.

            Since clergy are mandated to reporting in some states (in the USA), what if WT’s legal department told thousands of elders who handled those cases they didn’t have to report, because they’re not clergy (like they told elders in the Fessler case). If that happened, and a court found that out, it could turn over all the names of guilty elders to DA offices in the proper cities. Because so many elders could be involved the word of that happening would spread throughout the org.

            If WT did that it would have been stupid….but here’s really stupid. What if that happens and WT refuses to pay the elders’ fines, because there are so many of them, and instead WT tells the elders to pay those fines. By really stupid I mean something to piss-off a large percent of elders so they quit.

          • RB5 says:

            Hi, would you please share the site where you have found R Franz’s book? Thank you!

          • messenger says:

            @ RB5

            http://www.scribd.com/doc/20333975/crisis-of-conscience-2004-unencrypted

            RB5 on the site above you can read an online copy of the book. This is possibly the site I read from. But it was over a year ago, so I’m not sure. I just looked this one up for you right now.

            If you want to reach me for a request I’ll more likely get your message if you ask me on one of Cedars most current post. I’m not notified of additional comments to posts. And I don’t keep reviewing older posts.

            Tonight I just woke from sleep, came to Cedars’ site and looked to see recent comments, then clicked yours. I could have easily missed it, because only the 4 most current ones are listed.

            If the above email address doesn’t work for you try to google the book’s name and PDF.

            I probably read it from the site above though. Today the pages seem to be moving slowly. Probably because it is a large book. When you open the site the book will automatically open also, on the left side of your computer screen. Scroll the pages.

            best wishes!

    • ruthlee says:

      I brought this up abut 3 years ago it is called vicarious liability. If the org can dump on the elders and buck stops with the congregation then the wives and children will pay. The legal fees will have to be met with the sale of private real estate because the congregations don’t own kingdom halls anymore and I suspect the society have already got something inplace to distance themselves when the avalanche happens. So who ultimately pays? the kids who got raped and the people who tried to better themselves by investing in this world when the congregation is presented with a hefty legal bill. So my advice to any elder who never served on a judicial involving a child or a paedophile, get off that crooked body fast so you don’t lose what little you’ve got. And get off the named list of the local charity (in Britain) for they will come after you.The fools who protected known paedophiles should seriously be looking for legal help from an outside source BEFORE this all hits the fan. I reckon some will do prison time for negligence. Sisters should think about protecting their finances after all the widows a orphans are soft easy targets.Run Forest run

  15. Jw.org…thinks only of their…appearance as to being all whitewashed….Pressed and painted…they care not for the poor childern of past and present who have and are having their innocence taken away from them by their disgusting, lying ways…definitely they have proved themselves to be a major part of the “crooked and twisted generation”! May they recieve their “reward in full”! Disgusting and shameful they are….People need to be warned as to this group…government leaders need to know…maybe more than one will check into their leadership and proceed to do as Mr. Putin, but it is the Gov. Body who needs to suffer, and be called into acct…not the ordinary Witness, many who are sincere, trying to live by Bible principles. Keep up the gd work, Jw Survey and team of as well as all involved in this..Thanx Covert for this article.

  16. outandabout says:

    They can’t change. That’s the trap they’ve set for themselves. They’re on a one way trip because of their utter stupidity.

  17. Russell Cook says:

    Absolutely true. This is a farce and as a former elder of 26 years i am dismayed. I have now left the “truth”. I am so sad so many are misled.

  18. Simone L'Amour says:

    I guess I’m late to the conversation. New to all this, but as a victim of the organization’s child sexual abuse and cover up, I can no longer stop myself from weighing in. Watching so many people come together recently to help expose this evil cult…. I can’t even express it. Trey Bundy and Reveal are currently working on it and I am shaking with anticipation of their downfall and residual fear from my experience and in real life, since my parents are still in their ranks and so is my offender. Please God, let it be known to all people’s!!!