Jehovah's Witness elder Max Horley was among the elders who failed to impress when giving testimony before the Commission
Jehovah’s Witness elder Max Horley was among the elders who failed to impress when giving testimony before the Commission

The following article has been submitted by “CovertFade,” a non-disfellowshipped reader who credits this website with helping him wake up from Witness indoctrination a year ago, and who wishes to comment on developments in Australia…

As recorded this week in major news outlets all over the world, The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia has been presented with incontrovertible evidence that, due to the explicit policy and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1,006 alleged child molesters in Australia have not been reported to the police, with hundreds of these molesters allegedly being repeat offenders.

The evidence comes, not from “apostates” or “Satan’s media.” It comes from the brave and gut-wrenching testimony of abuse survivors, the jaw dropping and sometimes infuriating testimony of elders who dealt with their cases, and Watchtower’s own internal documents. And it is utterly damning, confirming everything that child protection activists and critics of the Watchtower organization have long claimed: Victims forced to confront their accusers in closed off, all-male tribunals. Elders not reporting cases of abuse to the police, even in the face of actual confessions from the abuser. Victims being told to be silent or be shunned.

Sounds awful doesn’t it? Both for the lives of the victims, and for the reputation of the organization that has so spectacularly failed them. But trust us, unless you’ve actually observed the hearings, you’ve not even seen the half of it. And observe you can.

In complete contrast to the closed off, star chamber style of court that Watchtower calls “justice,” the Royal Commission has published its sessions online for the whole world to see in the form of video recordings and transcripts.

The actual commission has looked at two case studies so far; examining the testimonies of two separate abuse survivors from inside Jehovah’s Witnesses (known to the commission as person BCB and person BCG), and the subsequent response of the Watchtower as an institution when it became aware of the allegations.

Both cases date from about twenty years ago. So far, the Commission has taken testimony from the two survivors, and from five elders involved in their cases. To give a blow-by-blow account of all of the suffering, failures and jaw-dropping incompetence displayed in the sessions would take an entire book, not an article. But nonetheless here are a few overall points that can be gained from observing the proceedings so far. (As I type this, day three of the two week hearing has ended, and the commission in taking a one day break before resuming on Friday 31st July.)

Above you can watch a YouTube playlist of video coverage from the Royal Commission

Watchtower’s strategy in dealing with the commission is crumbling. It’s hard to believe that the Elders appearing to testify will not have been coached by Watchtower’s Legal Desk. Indeed, one can see a distinct trend in the testimony each man gives, which speaks of a coordinated response.

Each man takes the stand and begins by trying to press a specific narrative: “We’re not saying everything was handled perfectly in the past: everyone was still new to the problem and didn’t fully understand how to proceed. But we’ve learned since then, and fixed the problems, and now it’s all fine, trust us, no really, and please pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

Trouble for them is: the commission is blowing holes in that narrative wide enough to drive Jehu’s chariot through.

Firstly, it has now been demonstrated that even by the standards of the time (both cases being around 20 years old) the elders involved in the process demonstrated horrific incompetence and even active deceit. For example, elder Max Horley admits at one point to “not taking seriously” the wording of a letter he wrote to the branch about the sex abuse case he investigated, with that flawed letter later resulting in a significant and incorrect minimizing of the perceived seriousness of the abuse.

But it’s not just incompetence on the part of the elders that has been uncovered, because on day three, the commission caught elder Dino Ali apparently lying under oath.

Ali had claimed before the commission, and in his written statement, that when he and his fellow elders had investigated the allegations made by a young girl (known to the commission as BCG) against her father (allegedly a friend of Ali), the committee had been unable to disfellowship the father or take any action against him, even though they claimed to believe the allegations, because they had neither two witnesses to the crime, nor a confession from the father.

Ali regretfully but firmly stated that since it was a case of one person’s word against another, there was nothing the elders could do. He was asked during hearings to confirm if he’d have found the father guilty if he’d had two witness or a confession. Ali agreed that either one would have allowed him to do so.

Much to his obvious shock, the Commission then produced a set of aged, handwritten notes. They spent a great deal of time getting Ali to confirm that the notes were his, written during his investigation of the abuse. Ali, as recorded in the transcript and videos was clearly uncomfortable, and tried to dance around the issue, but was soon left with little choice in the matter but to accept that they were his, apparently obtained by the commission from the congregation file.

The Commission then proceeded to read Ali’s own account, from Ali’s own notes, of how not only the daughter BCG had accused the father of abuse, but BCG’s mother had also testified to Ali that the father had abused the two younger daughters, and the eldest of the four daughters had also stated to Ali that she had been abused.

Sounds bad? It gets worse.

Later in the notes, Ali in his own hand had recorded the father confessing to the abuse. The commission thus pointed out that, far from having only one witness and no confession, Dino Ali actually had three witnesses and a confession – enough evidence to find the father guilty.

Having been caught in either an act of gross negligence, outright deceit, or both, Ali spends most of the rest of his testimony trying and failing to convince the judge that three witnesses and a confession is not actually three witnesses and a confession.

Secondly, it quickly becomes apparent that while Watchtower may have changed some things they have not made changes where it really matters, and all the elders confirm this under oath.

The two witness rule. The practice of three men interrogating a survivor of sexual assault, sometimes in front of their attacker. The policy of not reporting to the police unless legally mandated to do so. These core problems are still alive and kicking in Watchtower. Thus, despite Watchtower’s attempt to spin a certain narrative to the Commission, the Commission has in just the first three days left that narrative in tatters.
And that leads us to the next point.

The failure is systemic to the Watchtower organization from the top down. These are not the actions of a few bad apples or incompetent men. Every single elder has confirmed (with the exception of Ali’s apparently deceitful behavior which, for the sake of fairness, was likely not directly sanctioned by Watchtower) that they were following direct printed policy regarding these matters. Indeed, these elders feel that they cannot deviate from the policy even if they disagree with it. The testimony below from Max Horly is typical of the repeated responses from the elders interviewed…

  • Justice Peter McClellan: Mr Horley, I understand how the church is organized, but what the process means is that the investigation, in a case such as this one, of a woman’s allegations is made entirely by men; correct?
  • Max Horley: I’m sorry, the —
  • Justice McClellan: The investigation within the church is conducted entirely by men?
  • Horley: That’s correct, yes.
  • Justice McClellan: Do you think that’s appropriate when the allegation comes from a woman, and maybe a young woman?
  • Horley: That’s – that’s the procedure that we have in place.
  • Justice McClellan: I know, but I’m asking you a different question.
  • Horley: Well, that sort of comes into my personal feelings. I think I would still have to be bound by what the branch directs me to do.

This is an oft repeated theme in the hearing. Elders follow orders, and they cannot question those orders, even if they disagree with them.

And disagree they do.

Most elders interviewed disagreed with the Watchtower policy when pressed. Out of the four elders specifically questioned about the key concerns of the commission, three of the elders (Max Horley, Doug Jackson, and Kevin Bowdich) eventually conceded in part or in whole that the process was flawed and needed to change. Below we have some such excerpts from the transcripts demonstrating this.

  • Mr Angus Stewart, Counsel for the Commission: The point is, do you accept that in the face of the person accused, it may be very difficult for a person who has suffered abuse to say everything that happened to them?
  • Max Horley: Absolutely, yes.
  • Stewart: And in front of other men as well, at least two elders; is that right?
  • Horley: That’s true, yes.
  • Stewart: So it’s not a process that is necessarily going to come out with the full story, is it?
  • Horley: Obviously not at the first meeting and, in this case that’s borne out, but – yep.

 

  • Justice McClellan: The problem, Mr Jackson, is really not addressed in that way, though, is it? The problem —
  • Doug Jackson: No
  • Justice McClellan: — is the whole structure of the arrangement with two male elders, a male accused and then a female, in an environment in which she could never feel comfortable, being asked to tell intimate details of a sexual nature – the structure doesn’t work, does it?
  • Jackson: Well, I agree, your Honor, I certainly do.

 

  • Mr Angus Stewart, Counsel for the Commission: It’s not a good process, is it?
  • Kevin Bowdich: It could be better.

Only one elder, Dino Ali, stubbornly insisted that the process was fine as it was, though his contradictory and sometimes bizarre responses to the commission indicate a man either being deliberately stubborn in refusing to admit the possibility his church may have flaws, a man terrified of publicly contradicting the Watchtower, or a man of such limited critical thinking skills that he cannot understand simple logic and reasoning.

Here is a typical example of the Judge trying to lead him to water, but of Mr Ali refusing to drink, when discussing the practice of bringing a sexual abuse survivor before a three-man committee.

  • Justice McClellan: And you still think that’s an appropriate process for a young woman who is bringing allegations of sexual assault by her father, do you?
  • Dino Ali: I believe it’s a step in understanding the process of what happened. It’s – I understand how difficult it was for her.
  • Justice McClellan: But what she is saying to you is, because of the way this process was conducted, she wasn’t able to tell you all that she could have told you about what happened to her. Do you understand that?
  • Ali: True, true. I understand that.
  • Justice McClellan: So the three of you weren’t actually receiving the whole story, because the process wouldn’t allow it. Do you understand that?
  • Ali: I understand that, too.
  • Justice McClellan: Well is that not suggesting to you there is a flaw in the process?
  • Ali: No.

So of the four elders interviewed, three agreed the process was flawed and thus proved that the Commission’s concerns were valid, and the fourth refused to admit the process was flawed even when the flaws were demonstrable.

Wait, I said four Elders. Wasn’t there a fifth guy?

Yes, there was. Elder Joseph Bello, but he didn’t spend long on the stand. Basically, he appeared to present rather nervous and shamefaced testimony confirming that, when abuse survivor BCB and her husband had been considering going to the Royal Commission with her story, he had made the statement: “But what would that accomplish other than dragging Jehovah’s name through the mud?”

This prompted the following exchange…

  • Mr Stewart for the Commission: I take it within your faith, Jehovah is considered as a loving God?
  • Joseph Bello: Definitely.
  • Stewart: Would Jehovah, then, not also then not be more concerned about the victim than his own name?

At this point, you’d think Mr Bello would take the olive branch being offered, but instead he gives the following insight into why the Watchtower would rather abusers go free than victims go public

  • Joseph Bello: Jehovah would be concerned about the victim, but Jehovah is concerned about his own name, too, that’s what the scriptures told us.

In other words… no.

Yikes.

Oh, and before he got off the stand, he also admitted that he had no real idea what the Commission was for or what it did, and that despite being summoned several weeks ago, he had done no research. When the astonished Judge told him that he must have been aware of the Commission’s work though the news, Mr Bello admitted to never following the news. The look on the face of Justice McClellan after this response spoke a thousand words.

This is just a small snippet of the opened can of worms that the elders interviewed thus far have strewn across the Commission floor. Not a single elder has carried themselves with any grace. They have all either collapsed into a deflated, shame-faced mess under questioning, or showed themselves to be unreasoning, deceitful fanatics.

With over a week of further testimony lying ahead, including the testimony of some high-ranking members of Watchtower Australia, it’s hard to see how the organization can possibly pull out of this legal and PR nosedive.

It would be hilarious, if it wasn’t so tragic.

If you decide to view the videos and read the transcripts, please be certain to take in the harrowing testimony of BCB and BCG. Please listen carefully as they relate how their lives were destroyed by men who should have protected and loved them.

Please listen as they relate how the elders and policies of the Watchtower organization acted to make an awful situation even worse. Please consider their courage, and their pain.

And please consider that these are just two of potentially thousands of victims around the world whom Watchtower has failed and will continue to fail until rule of law, financial penalty and public opinion force it to revise its bronze age approach to child abuse.

 

Covertfade

 

Further reading…

Related video…

130 thoughts on “Elders shamed under questioning by the Royal Commission

  • July 30, 2015 at 3:41 am
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    Thankyou for publishing this article. I hope the evidence against the cult brings a sense of closure to their victims.
    The ones that haven’t committed suicide.

  • July 30, 2015 at 3:48 am
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    Very nicely written and summarized. We find the proceedings hard to watch,it bring back sad memories of certain elders and people we knock suffering under the heavy yoke of the WT. may more JW wake up. It’s about time.

  • July 30, 2015 at 4:22 am
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    All this torment and suffering for a small group of deluded men. They say that the follow the Bible but in reality the follow man. Have you seen a contribution box for the poor in your KH? Have you ever read a Bible verse where Jesus asked his followers to build a headquarter?
    The Bible was translated in greek only and Christianity had a huge success. So why investing hard earned money to translate cult material in all the languages? It is a wasted effort. We are in the modern world, people are rational now. They do not need the JW.org version of Santa Claus.
    Jesus was against organisations, where rules, procedures, polices are above people. Organised religion is by definition against freedom. Sooner or later they will hide their dirty secrets. Russell although deluded at least it was more honest. He was against religions organizations. He righly belived that God is the focus for a Christian.
    But since the bigot Rutherford we are seeing the organization has replaced God.
    The jw.org propaganda is a momentary thing. The generations cannot overlap forver!
    The two witnesses rules is just a scandal filter. For my personal experience when something happens the first thing they worry about is the organisation reputation. When jw.org reputation is at stake the elders act quickly in ghestapo style. When a person is disfellowshipped and depression, loneliness kicks in and support is needed they have better things to do. After all you are a a evil person.
    Dealing with the victim is just annoyance. The real effort is to protect their golden calf, the organisation. Many JWs are seeing that, but because of the mafia style blackmail cannot leave.

    • July 30, 2015 at 5:17 am
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      @David. You Express yourself well & ALL the points you have made are SO VALID . Your spelling & English are not perfect But that doesn’t matter because you have Common Sense, Good Logic & DECENCY unlike the EVIL, CRUEL 7 MORONS of the Governing Body who are more concerned about their LUXURIOUS HQ at Warwick than Holding their hands up & APOLOGIZING for the YEARS of UNTOLD DEVASTATION & EMOTIONAL DAMAGE done to these ABUSED CHILDREN in facing their Attackers in front of 3 Elders in a Judicial Committee who haven’t a Clue how to Question a Victim which can be just as TRAUMATIC as the Event Itself.!! These Elders are mainly tradesmen… Painters ,Buikders,Electricians,window cleaners,or Clerical workers!!! Oh Please WAKE UP BROTHERS & ESPECIALLY SISTERs!!!!’ Your Children are IN DANGER!!!!!

  • July 30, 2015 at 4:41 am
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    How long will it be before Jehovah’s directly appointed Faithful and Discreet Slave are in the dock? The Aussie JW bosses are due to be grilled next week, and the Brit. Charity Commissioners, if they are doing their job properly, must be discovering that there is zero of a charitable nature in JWdom.

    The Execrable Seven cannot continue indefinitely throwing their sacrificial skivvies to the wolves. It is time they were devoured on their own account. How many judges would be convinced by any buck passing back to Jehovah himself?

  • July 30, 2015 at 5:11 am
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    So, the elder wants to protect the “name of Jehovah” by keeping a covert pervert in the congregation?

    So, Jehovah is the organization and the organization is Jehovah? Ha!

    I’m not a Christian, don’t believe hardly any of the bible is true, but if I did, it would be easy to see that they commit blasphemy every time they open their mouths.

  • July 30, 2015 at 6:42 am
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    Joe Bello’s voice starts to waver badly around the 17min mark onwards after the pressure cooker turns up the heat. I thought they’d have had more coaching and direction from the Branch as they normally can’t say two words in an official public speaking capacity without it.

    • July 30, 2015 at 6:43 am
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      July 28, Part 2 video

    • July 30, 2015 at 8:10 am
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      Did you notice how he started off trying to hold back a nurvous smile, and how the judge looked at him? (Joe) that was interesting. Then that smile quickly turned into a dry mouth and cracked voice. What is said is simply amazing, but even the expressions are showing more evidence of a crumbling organization

  • July 30, 2015 at 7:12 am
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    Its amazing how rank in file appear to be crazy when they spew the same lines they’ve repeated at meetings/assemblies/conventions to someone asking a reasonable question. That elder talking about the name of Jehovah being above the concern for the victim is an example of most of the “faithful” JWs who will find this commission to be the hand of Satan for not accepting that response. I hope that those who have an ounce of sense see this and realize how wrong this is.

    This is SOO big but I don’t want to have my hopes dashed, but this can certainly tear the shroud JW’s have covered themselves with completely off and allow them to be scrutinized not for what they put themselves out to be, but for what they really are.

  • July 30, 2015 at 7:26 am
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    Dang, what a wonderful preamble pointed argument by Justice McClellan to this elder named Ali. I nearly fell off my chair reading Ali’s response to a rather pointed question about the 2 witness Swiss cheese process.

    Justice McClellan: Well is that not suggesting to you there is a flaw in the process? Ali: No.

    So in the end, they are just following… quote, “This is an oft repeated theme in the hearing. Elders follow orders, and they cannot question those orders, even if they disagree with them.” Certainly sad watching and reading a live performance of the infamous Milgram Experiment – Obedience to Authority(to a fault*). Seems like a lot of insult to injury stemming from the highest level. Otherwise, Satan is well seeded in the organization. Is house cleaning next after this type of exposure and payouts?

    * add in

    IMHO

    dogstar

  • July 30, 2015 at 8:07 am
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    Elders disfellowship people all the time without giving a second thought to the victims. Some of these ones had been molested by elders and were disfellowshipped for trying to warn others or for going to the police – and some of them went on to commit suicide. I’m so glad these elders at these hearings are able to see the devastating affects of their flippant decisions. So many lives have been ruined all because the elders chose to follow Watchtower policy. It’s just as Jesus said, they obey the letter of the law but miss the whole point of the law namely love, justice and mercy. They truly are the modern day Pharisees.

  • July 30, 2015 at 8:24 am
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    I have been watching every hearing And am not suprised by their preprogrammed delivery of responses from being brainwashed and indoctrinated by their Govering Body. If only Ray Franz could be around to witness the fulfillment of his words.
    These men are so dilousiinal and buckle under the least amount of pressure of the true reality.
    The world needs to see and hear this it’s unbelievable the arogance of this society of self proclaimed men.
    My heart goes out to these victims.

  • July 30, 2015 at 8:50 am
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    Its astounding how brainwashed they are, faced with the reality of the questions they can’t seem to comprehend, sad really they are all victims of the GB evil policies passed down that affect the most vulnerable, hopefully some may wake up from the WT spell.

  • July 30, 2015 at 9:12 am
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    It will be interesting to see what type of damage control will be forthcoming from watchtower headquarters as they must know by now that people all over the world are following this story.

    As we all know, the 7 GB will take counsel from the lawyers and try to spin it as coming from God and will probably try to whitewash everything and will say that the media is Satan attacking the organization – and unfortunately many of the rank and file will follow without questioning.

    But hopefully there will be other countries that will follow suit and investigate this organization. Once that snowball turns into an avalanche, perhaps justice will finally be served for the victims who have suffered at the hands of an arrogant organization that has no love, justice or mercy.

    • July 30, 2015 at 1:42 pm
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      I made a comment earlier on just that very thing but for some reason it didn’t post I’ll try to repost later. But what I mentioned had two scenarios. The gb will claim a greater understanding of the two witness rule then blame the elders for not applying the rule properly. All while not offering any kind of apology. Or, the worldwide effect of a negative judgement will cause them to post a JW broadcast entitled “Is this the start of the great tribulation?” to maintain control of those who would defend the organization no matter what.

      • July 31, 2015 at 9:16 am
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        Chiafade you had me laughing out loud! It would not surprise me if they made this into the ‘start of the Great Tribulation’ , but then I’m afraid the Great tribulation would have to start ‘overlapping’ soon after that. All joking aside though, this is all very tragic! I wonder if the elders who recognized (and voiced in court) that the 2 witness rule was flawed will have some judicial action against them for not standing up for the WT?

  • July 30, 2015 at 10:24 am
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    I realize the governing body are calling the shots and giving the direction for elders, but it doesn’t matter, these congregations deserve better. A lot of these elders are probably family men, which blows my mind. Why isn’t anybody concerned with protecting their “flock”? It’s so disturbing, to say the absolute least.

  • July 30, 2015 at 10:32 am
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    The Witnesses should not be dealing with sexual abuse problems at all. It’s not in the Christian remit. The Bible clearly says that criminal matters should be left to the Government. Paul wrote to the Romans (13:1-4)and told them that the Government was ‘God’s Minister’ and was the one responsible to deal with criminals.
    Let the Government decide what crimes have been committed and take action to protect the congregation. The Israelites were given the Mosaic law in which we find the ‘two witness’ law, but common sense was also needed. The law told the Israelites ‘Investigate thoroughly’. The Israelites were to use evidence, as well as decide what was obvious, when judging.
    Solomon, when judging the fate of a child, decided who the mother was without two witnesses. It became obvious who the mother really was. Solomon did not abdicate his responsibility because he did not have two witnesses.
    The Witnesses keep claiming they stick to Bible rules but they have not done so and thus have ended up in a mess.

  • July 30, 2015 at 10:33 am
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    Elders attending classes, to be instructed in org, policy
    have been persuaded that the judicial system in the congs,
    is “Theocratic” and therefore superior to the worldly courts.

    In practice it resembles in many ways that which operates
    in totalitarian dictatorships.

    1- Trials, inquiries, held in secret. 2- The main concern,
    the regimes image. 3- Influential and prominent people
    either exonerated or let down lightly. 4- Silence enforced
    on victims by coercion, and or threats.

    The Royal Commission has revealed that all these elements
    are endemic in the wt,org. God’s organisation? A theocratic
    arrangement? No way!

  • July 30, 2015 at 3:09 pm
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    I can’t wait for the questioning to the WT Lawyer, Vincent Toole. This will be a sword fight of words as he knows how to speak legal language & will have slick words for his defence.

    It’s becoming plainly obvious that the double speak doesn’t work on the Royal Commission. JW’s often don’t realise that they are speaking one version to the public but speaking cult language to each other and it’s just not working for them here. They don’t realise that they lie either, I have caught many out lying but they’re oblivious to it because they’re in the “true” religion.

    Hopefully, this might be the beginning for more people to sit up & take notice of the damage that destructive religious cults have on its members & not just look at the obvious ones like Islam.

    I’ve been wondering while watching the enquiry, how many secular authorities are watching this, especially therapists like Raphael Aaron, who is aware of the JW mental health conditions & cult watcher. Then there is Child protective advocates like Hetty Johnston(one of my heroes here in Australia) & Nick Xenophon, an Australian politician who has been pushing for the investigating of cults in Australia & their charitable status for quite some time now.

    Then there are analytical researchers who could find out numbers of followers who suffer from religious trauma as a result of being involved with such cults.

    I just hope that the discussions keep going on further afield. People do find it interesting, when I talk with my outside friends about what it has been like being then leaving a high control religion, they are really fascinated by what they hear.

  • July 30, 2015 at 3:23 pm
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    Hi to y’all,

    this Doug Jackson C.O. is probably one of the dumbest, stupidest, most uneducated COs I have ever seen. How in the word could such a blockhead ever have become a CO within the WTS-org.? He is absolutey, totally, and utterly incompetent. It was just hilarious to see how the judge and the younger interrogator grilled him in regard to “uncleanness” and “loose conduct” in part 4. How could such a d…a… ever have been let loose as a CO on “God’s flock” without knowing the most fundamental basics needed for handling “judicial cases”? He “couldn’t recall” such a fundamental scripture as Gal 5,19 this whole “uncleanness” and “loose conduct”-WTS-shenanigans is based upon. He did not have the slightest clue with regard to the meanings, nor the differences between “akatharsía” and “asélgeia”. The panel actually had to explain all these things to him; the younger interrogator seemed to knew exactly what the term “pornéia” meant, whereas our CO-brother could just parrot GB-org. guidelines empty-headedly. This shows the true nature of WTS-procedures, and the “(non)quality” of WTS-mandated “judicial” acrobatics. I only watched part of this section, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this Doug-guy, after having left the hearing room, broke down and cried snod & tears. They literally took him apart, limb by limb.

    This whole things points to one of the (many) basic and underlying flaws of the Watchtower system, which is: Incompetent people who neither have the needed education, nor the intellect to understand, explain and apply the Scriptures, are the “bosses” and are running the show, lording it over their fellow believers.

    I couldn’t help but chuckle seeing one of those “Glorious Ones” being in the hotseat, being held to the fire by a woman – something utterly anathema and unthinkable within the confines of the sunny “spiritual paradise” under the iron rule of “theocratic order”. Imagine a sister hard-core-cross-examining a male member – let alone a C.O. – in tribunal-style. In fact, I was lol several times; this is very entertaining.

    Greetings,
    Criticus

  • July 30, 2015 at 3:46 pm
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    I am riveted by the Australian Royal Commission videos.
    I do feel for the elders to some degree having served on endless committees but they MUST see how the GB are exposed as cowardly and unfeeling. The original British colonies in America PROVED that religion’s rule is completely unworkable. Then Communism tried. Sharia law. Ku Klux Klan. Kmer Rouge. TV Evangilists. The list is endless. When will people stop all this ‘faith’ nonsense? Maybe I’ll start a religion based on motorcycles if there are THAT many stupid people in the world!?! Oh wait… there IS one…MotoGP.

  • July 30, 2015 at 4:28 pm
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    I call the brooklyn bethel three time and i inquire some truth about the australia child abuse enquiry, and the reports from CNN,ABC,NBC, and the video inside the courtroom. to my surprise, the service desk deny these allegations as the truth. They told me these are false accusation from satan. the media is instrument of satan and don’t believe what the media say. The only thing they offer me is to read ascription from the bible. unfortunately jehovah witnesses are deaf.

    • July 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm
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      Ha ha ha. Well, what else could you expect? They will be denying this and claiming persecution till the walls crumble around them.

    • July 31, 2015 at 7:08 am
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      Same thing over here (in Texas, U.S.A.). I asked some “elders” why there isn’t the slighest information given by WTS as regards the Candace Conti and other currently ongoing child abuse cases, and when there will finally be sth. said to that effect to the “publishers” – blank stares, silence, then “This is all but lies and falsehoods, smear campaigns, don’t you know this, how dare you even ask us such a silly question” etc. When I referred them to the URLs of several reputed U.S.-newspapers and TV-channels that are reporting about these cases, and that people by and large are beginning to take note of this, they pulled out the “ultimate weapon”: “WHICH APOSTATE WEBSITES HAVE YOU GOTTEN THIS FROM?” Nobody wanted – or seemed to – care that this is not “apostate crap”, but serious news media information. Well, I guess they must have received their instructions from “above”, and things will develop in a similar fashion as with the “U.N.-membership”-incident from a decade ago (“We just needed the U.N.-library for research” blablabla): Only when the tide reaches the brim of the dam and begins to spill over, then they’ll graceously disclose some slanted information to the “dumb flock”, trying to explain the facts away in some self-exonerating manner so that the “stupid sheep” will believe that Candace, Bill Bowen & Co. are nothing but vile liars, dirty muckrakers and mudslingers who will croak miserably in the burning flames of Marhageddon.

  • July 30, 2015 at 5:00 pm
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    OMG Rikos,

    That phone call would just make me want to yell through the phone! You mean to tell me that they are accusing every one else of lying but themselves.

    Good on you for calling them, I wonder if the phone lines are lighting up there in Bethel.

  • July 30, 2015 at 5:01 pm
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    After reading this article. I think, I may have more respect for the POPE than for the G.B. What a mess. Hard to believe these men can be so stupid, lack so much common sense and be so mind controlled. I have to believe it because it comes from their own mouths. I’m glad I watched. They are stupid, stupid, stupid without common sense.

    • July 30, 2015 at 5:30 pm
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      Common sense says a two witness rule does not apply to murder; there may be no living witnesses to that crime. But it’s still prosecuted and the guilty jailed or executed.

      Same goes for sex crimes. A two witness rule fails in most cases, so justice needs common sense. WT misapplies the two witness scriptural principle in defiance of justice and common sense.

      But that’s what happens when people worship an idol (the WT organization). They abandon common sense.

      • July 30, 2015 at 9:16 pm
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        Hi Simon Kestral–you make a great point and I was just thinking of that exact same thing. When you get a chance, read in the Bible Deut. 22:25-27…there was no second witness to the rape. It says clearly at the end of verse 27, “but there was no one to rescue her”. So clearly, WT is misapplying the 2-witness rule!

  • July 30, 2015 at 5:18 pm
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    So far Dino Ali gets my vote for future GB member. He was unapologetic, unreasonable, and the epitome of a true “Company Man” that just follows orders. All the others elders/representatives had just enough humanity left to make them seem “spiritually weak”. I see a bright future for Dino Ali.

  • July 30, 2015 at 7:45 pm
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    The next trick?

    Change “it is prosecution brothers” to “it is persecution brothers!”.

    They are pretty close in spelling, but way different in meaning. These are REAL crimes, not some “persecution”.

  • July 30, 2015 at 8:27 pm
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    Seriously watching this Royal Commission is so educational even for JW’s.

    The so called expert for the WT, Dr. Applewhite has been shown up to be the student not the teacher in matters of child abuse prevention/protection.

    I wouldn’t even pay her 30 shillings for her opinion.

  • July 30, 2015 at 8:38 pm
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    I thought that it was good that the Judge brought out the difference between clergy confidentiality of the Catholic Church & JW clergy confidentiality. Usually, the priest is the only one to hear the crime. With JW’s, it gets passed through the elders then the branch & whoever is scouring the so called confidential files. So it’s not so confidential after all.

  • July 30, 2015 at 9:11 pm
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    The Royal Commission is ripping those Elders wide open! WOW! Those Elders are stumped over their own words or are either in total silence, just not knowing how to respond….isn’t the holy spirit suppose to help them to speak/know what to say? So either the holy spirit has departed from them, or they never had it in the first place. It will be interesting to see if other countries follow along with what Australia is doing and I am so glad to see that the Royal Commission is taking these steps to help protect children & see to it that the victims get the justice that WT had denied them for so, so many years.

  • July 30, 2015 at 10:16 pm
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    I, as many others that have commented, hope that these latest news stories will help enlighten and help awaken some jws to logic and clear thinking. In the bigger picture tho, these laws that allow a priest or elder to possibly hear a terrible act, such as abuse of a child or even murder and allow the hearer (and even force the hearer) to keep it private and hidden is the larger more urgent problem. The priest- penitent privilege is awful. No human should be privy to criminal actions by others without revealing them. Such a privilege, I would imagine, only calms and benefits the criminal furthering their abuse and crimes on even more victims. All religious leaders across all boards, religions etc need to be redefined and classified as mere humans with no special powers or privileges.

    • July 30, 2015 at 11:08 pm
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      @Grace. You Highlight an EXCELLENT POINT in your comments about the AWFUL WAY the GB claim Clergy Privilege & the difference between the Catholic Church!! How in Gods Name ?? Can the GB claim Clergy Privilege when the confession of CHILD ABUSE is not before just 1 Man & the guilty person BUT in front of a Judicial Committee of 3 Elders & the Branch Office & Legal Department & maybe a Circuit Overseer !!! Believe me some Elders wives will also know the Score too !!

      • July 31, 2015 at 12:58 am
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        @pickled brain,I just had to add too your comment on elders wives, one of the elder defendants said the reason why records of peadophile judicial committees was destroyed was because they “didn’t want to upset their wives ”
        How can an elders wife know these facts if either the elder tells his wife,or she’s reading the congregation files, either way confidentiality and correct procedure have nothing to do with what’s going on in the org.

        • July 31, 2015 at 5:48 am
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          @Wild Olive. I AGREE TOTALLY with your comment!! Yes why destroy the incriminating files to stop elders wives nosing around & reading them. One Elders wife I spoke to who was later herself disfellowshipped for immorality said she knew where her husband kept the files & had a sneak look at them every now & again. CONFIDENTIALITY??? It’s a Flipping Joke in the congregation!!Everyone knew why a certain person got reproved or Disfellowshipped! Nothing was Secret in our congregation!

  • July 31, 2015 at 1:35 am
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    this arrogant inferior mongrel pedophile protector should see the inside of a max prison and let the inmates teach him about what they think of child abuse.
    I would imagine his days of going door to door are over. Who an is ever going to value the words of this ungenuine,phony misborn man ever again

  • July 31, 2015 at 2:20 am
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    Brilliant coverage CovertFade.
    This court case shows up the organisation for what IT REALLY IS, a load of blithering idiots!
    William Niles –
    Liked your point – at Luke 11-12 it says’ ‘But when they bring you in before public assemblies and government officials and authorities, do not become anxious about how or what you will speak in defense or what you will say, for the holy spirit will teach you in that very hour the things you ought to say.’
    Looks like these chaps were expecting Jehovah’s help!
    Got it wrong again boys – God ain’t with you!
    Would it not be ironic if the downfall of this organisation came from their misinterpretation of the ‘TWO WITNESS’ rule. If you research these scriptures, the witnesses are not necessarily eyewitnesses to an event but are ones who have questioned the accused and either got an admittance of guilt or are sure that his testimony is either true or false and he is judged accordingly.
    It looks like the Royal Commission is doing a grand job in bringing in not just two, but a multitude of witnesses to the incompetence of the Watchtower organisation.
    We must take our hats off to the brave souls who have helped to expose this disgusting situation.
    Maybe God’s spirit is really helping them!

    • July 31, 2015 at 7:44 pm
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      Bad Penny, so agree…..blithering idiots. I had also researched Matthew 18 on the 2 witness rule and came to same conclusion as you. Once AGAIN, WT misapplying the Scriptures to their own benefit.
      The Elders on the stand have no where to run, no where to hide under the relentless, but respectful questioning by the Council for the Royal Commission. The Holy Spirit doesnt seem to be coming to their aid, now does it?

  • July 31, 2015 at 3:40 am
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    Thank you, CovertFade, for this article. You are helping to keep the spotlight bright on the WT’s heinous lack of safeguarding procedures. We’re all going to keep the pressure on exposing this issue until rigorous safeguarding procedures are shown to be in place.

  • July 31, 2015 at 4:02 am
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    Covertfade thank you for taking the time to write such an excellent analysis of the proceedings. Although I have followed the hearings continuously your take was well worth reading. Please continue with summations.

  • July 31, 2015 at 4:06 am
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    Lett’s video where he said that child abuse allegations were all lies has been removed from their tv. I think this should be reported to the Australian commission. The jw.org corporation actions shows how they do not like justice but are ready to hide abuse information and insult people without reason.

    • July 31, 2015 at 8:58 pm
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      You have got to be kidding me?! That was one of the most infuriating statements made on JW.org and I can’t believe that it was said with such conviction. That’s deceitful and shameful “Shaaaame on them” (Tony Morris voice from July broadcast)

    • July 31, 2015 at 8:12 am
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      The video of Stephen Letts saying accusations of GB permissive towards child abuse is at TV.Jw.org then click on ‘Program and Events’ & scroll down to Stephen Letts talk on ONENESS of SPIRIT ‘ It is a 10 minute video & the stupid phrase he uses is in the second half of the video!!
      What is so Disgusting is that the THEME is ‘Oneness of Spirit’ which is SICKENING considering the ABUSE these VICTIMS have Suffered & I bet your bottom dollar these victims DO NOT FEEL at ONE with STUPID Stephen Letts !!!

  • July 31, 2015 at 6:23 am
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    So this is Jehovah’s clean organisation, this is the predator free spiritual paradise is it?
    Years and years of hidden child abuse, years and years of children suffering. . . Absolutely dreadful.
    Had they applied the two witness rule correctly and had reported all accusations of abuse they would have had praise, theres a reason why Gods minister carries a sword and rightly so.
    And this is just one country

    • July 31, 2015 at 8:05 am
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      Hey Peter–great points. Yes, this is only 1 country, I wonder what would be discovered if the U.N. conducted the same kind of investigation that the Royal Commission is doing…with over 1,000 confirmed people not being reported in 1 country alone, like John Cedars had said in his previous post here, the number would easily go into the tens of thousands. Back in early 2000 when it was exposed in the US that the names of over 23,720 pedophiles were kept on a WT database, the WT said it was all lies and slandered the people who shed light on this terrible truth…..the truth will always come out and it’s easy to see who was really lying v.s. telling the truth. If the Bible says that God is a God of truth, then wouldn’t the type of attitude/response that WT is showing to these accusations be considered an attack on the very principles that they profess to uphold? It would be an attack on the the Bible itself, the very book that they claim to follow! I did check out the video from Stephen Lett that others here are saying was removed…and it was. I wonder how the GB must being feeling right now with all of this hypocrisy coming to light…do they even feel anything at all? People who don’t know the difference between right v.s. wrong usually don’t feel anything at all…their conscience is hardened/insensitive and for these sick, disgusting men(I refer to them as freaks) being in Bethel, or being an Elder, is nothing more than a job or routine for them.

  • July 31, 2015 at 6:36 am
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    Max Horley flat out lied in his questioning. He said that when Bill was allowed to step down that it is the same as him being removed.

    From the outside it could be seen that way but internally that is a measure that is given so that this pervert could save face and others would just assume he was tired and needed a break. That is why they did not remove the Book Study from his home. That worded with his recommending his reinstatement “after this has passed” shows that he was covering and only doing the bare minimum in response to the victims allegations.

    • July 31, 2015 at 8:36 am
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      That is an absolute truth. At the time if an Elder was found guilty of a disfellowshipping offence he was allowed to step down and save face with dignity.

  • July 31, 2015 at 6:56 am
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    They are indeed full of dead men’s bones.
    It’s like watching the Nuremberg trials. . .i was just following orders. . .
    The real culprits belong in New York.
    Again and again the committee has probed the conscience of these men and again and again they admitted it troubled them and yet it is all apostate lies.
    The Watchtower Society cannot blame past mistakes on their predecessors while their currently sitting on their hands, they could make a difference today.
    1000 indecent scavengers and not 1 apology or recognition of the mishandling of perhaps thousands of incidents and all kept confidentual. Who’s intrests was that policy in? The irony of the policy of confidentiality. . .you can not mention to those within the congregation of the accusation of abuse you’ve made its gossip. . But you can go to the police. . Ridiculous.
    Very self serving Watchtower wasn’t it?

  • July 31, 2015 at 10:47 am
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    Excellent write up thank you. My feelings are so mixed when reading about what is happening in Australia. I am so horrified and upset by what so many children went through, I am so angry at the cowardice and stupidity of the elders and I am so pleased that all this has finally come to light and something is being done.

  • July 31, 2015 at 12:29 pm
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    So Jehovah’s Witness and the Governing body are ‘proud’ of their record in handling child abuse cases (quote from Tony Morris on one of the latest JW.org videos)
    The question individual members of Jehovah’s witnesses need to ask themselves is are they?
    The young woman’s testimony at the tribunal is very deeply moving, what an example, an example the Watchtower should follow. . . Honesty.
    What a brave young woman.x

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