Reflecting on the Australian Royal Commission (Day 3, Part 1)

Abuse survivor Karen Morgan gives her take on evidence given by Dino Ali (above) at the Royal Commission
Abuse survivor Karen Morgan gives her take on evidence given by Dino Ali (above) at the Royal Commission

As you can appreciate there is so much information coming out of this investigation, it’s difficult to know where to start with reviewing it. I would like to begin by focusing on day 3, part 1, which sees Mr Dino Ali on the stand. He is one of the elders who dealt with the case of BCG.

I would love to know what advice/direction the elders have been given prior to this investigation. To me, the elders seem extremely unprepared and very out of their depth.

They are a far cry from the elders who sit in judgement on Judicial Committees and speak eloquently with authority and confidence from the platform.

The other thing that strikes me is the Commission seems to have a lot of the original paperwork, including notes taken by elders at Judicial Meetings. During my own case, the Society and the elders were asked to provide all paperwork related to the case, but they claimed paperwork was destroyed. Maybe in Australia the elders are more organized.

Back to Mr Ali who struggles to interpret his own notes that he took at the time (although I do wonder whether his struggles are related to the fact his own notes are about to drop him right in it).

Ali’s own notes clearly show that more than one child had been abused by their father, and that the elders were told about the abuse at the time of their investigation. However, the fact there were at least two witnesses as required by JW rules was not enough for the elders. It beggars belief, and I find myself saying out loud, “what the hell were you thinking?” I just cannot figure out what goes through these elders’ minds.

After countless judicial meetings, no action was taken against BCH (the father) until it transpired he had been involved in immorality with an adult female. This called for another judicial meeting where his immorality was the focus of the discussion.

At this meeting, the abuse of his daughter was again discussed. His notes state that BCH admitted to everything, and he stated that whatever his daughter BCG had said about him was true. It was only at this point that he was disfellowshipped. So at this point the elders had an admission at last, so there should have been no reason why BCH could not have been disfellowshipped for the abuse.

But no! Mr Ali claims that as this meeting was concerning immorality, then that’s all they could deal with. Also, and this is the killer, Mr Ali suggests that they couldn’t accept that admission as the elders felt it might not be true! Absolutely ludicrous.

So BCH gets disfellowshipped for immorality, but still no action is taken by elders on the child abuse claims. Let’s not forget that, at this stage, all four daughters and even the wife of BCH had all told the elders of the abuse that had taken place.

We then come to the letters sent by the elders to the Branch. The letters contain lots of information about the immorality, but no mention is made of the abuse. Mr Ali claims that at that time the guidelines did not require reporting of child abuse. He refers to the older version of Shepherd the Flock of God. What screams out at me here is: did they really need to have it in black and white in order to report it to the Branch?

Mr Ali is asked if he recalls BCH actually admitting to the abuse. His response: “Well I was only there as a bystander, I wasn’t directly involved.” He goes on to say that he “can’t remember,” which seems to be a common claim among these elders when asked any awkward questions.

Now here’s the clincher: Ali is asked the question I’ve been waiting for. Did he consider reporting these matters to the police? His answer: “No.” Even after the confession, they still did not feel any need to report to the police. Why? “Well, we were still trying to find all the facts on pornea which he was guilty of and we didn’t have the direction in order to do that.”

So in other words, because someone on the end of a phone didn’t say it’s a crime and needs to be reported, the elders didn’t report it. But it’s OK, because the elders tell the accused he/she is never to be on their own with children anymore, and they are not to have children staying overnight. They feel that is enough.

The next part of the questioning turns to the fact the elders had a full confession from BCH, and yet they still did nothing. Mr Ali goes back to his terrible explanation that they had to be sure BCH was being truthful in his confession. He claims that BCH may have only confessed to molesting his daughter to get out of the situation. Now, I don’t know what situation BCH found himself in at the time, but I’m struggling to think of ANY circumstances that would mean a father would falsely say he had been molesting his daughter?

So BCG claims to have been molested by her father, her father admits to molesting her, but the elders still weren’t sure. They were also worried that he may deny it later and they would find themselves stranded. We are supposed to share their concern about what would happen if they had gone to the police and then he had changed his mind. How would they live with themselves? Absolutely farcical!

The questioning moves to the suggestion that no one wants to accept that elders and ministerial servants would carry out child abuse because they are appointed by the Holy Spirit. Mr Ali denies this is the case, and he then describes being an elder or servant as the same as being a ‘Slave’ – claiming it is not a dignified position at all. You have to just laugh at that statement. He will not admit that it may have been a mistake to appoint BCH as a ministerial servant.

Mr Ali spent sleepless nights after hearing what BCG went through with her father. However, this did not prompt him or any of the elders to actually do anything. In fact, the four girls remained at home with their father until he later moved out. So these men appointed by Holy Spirit allowed four young girls to remain in the same home as their father who had abused them physically and sexually.

Let’s not forget that their mother was also aware of what was going on, and she too did nothing. So wouldn’t it have made sense to go to the police and allow them to properly investigate the crime? Mr Ali doesn’t seem to think so, as in 1988 they were following the old guidelines and it’s completely up to the victim to report.

The Judicial Committees are clearly designed to assist the wrongdoer and not the victim. The hope is that the wrongdoer will see their mistakes and repent and come back to Jehovah. Mr Ali feels they are well equipped to deal with the victims of child abuse. His reasons? Publications, circuit overseers, and the ability to ring the Bethel.

Elders also follow up by reading scriptures with the victim, but only within the committee meetings. The elders never told BCG that they believed her, or that it was not her fault. Mr Ali also claims that he was unaware of the gossip in the congregation that BCG was telling lies. He also doesn’t recall BCG had attempted suicide after these events.

The similarities between this case and my own experiences are scarily similar. I was subjected to countless meetings with elders, some on my own, some with my dad, and some with my abuser. I received NO support whatsoever outside of those meetings. My abuser was never disfellowshipped for what he did to me, he was disfellowshipped for admitting to being drunk and belligerent.

I too was called a liar by my congregation at the time, and also a trouble maker. Listening to this case takes me back to my own experience, and when I hear the victims describe how they felt, I know exactly what they are talking about.

Surely Jehovah’s Witnesses must realize how ridiculous their policies are when they watch this Commission? It’s sad, but I suspect your average Witness has no idea of these developments. Even if they do, they will view it as persecution and not see it for what it is – sorely needed exposure of a damaging organization that is failing children.

 

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Karen is herself a victim of child sex abuse as a Jehovah’s Witness. You can read more about her story here and here.

Further reading…

Watch an updated playlist of Royal Commission footage…

105 thoughts on “Reflecting on the Australian Royal Commission (Day 3, Part 1)

  • August 5, 2015 at 6:22 am
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    I think you are right Karen when you say the elders are out of their depth. They are so used to being judge and jury, but now it is them that have to explain their actions, and they are finding that very hard.
    I would not say the Australian elders are more organised because they still had their notes, they just didnt destroy them as the gov body wanted them to.

    • August 5, 2015 at 6:40 pm
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      Yep, their destroying of notes was one of the major early revelations of the Royal Commission.

      Here’s Max Horley (an active elder) spilling the beans https://youtu.be/03fcjN_Dglw

  • August 5, 2015 at 7:27 am
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    “It beggars belief, and I find myself saying out loud, “what the hell were you thinking?” I just cannot figure out what goes through these elders’ minds.”

    Basically, they don’t think. They are mind-controlled, conscience-numb robots. If whatever situation isn’t explicitly explained in the their publications and mother Bethel cannot answer them, then they are lost little automatons. PATHETIC at best and SICKENING at worst.

  • August 5, 2015 at 7:28 am
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    Great article and recap. Nicely done.

    As I listen to all of the hearings, I am constantly stunned by the level of bureaucratic dehumanizing non-sense passed off as “loving arrangement/direction”. At times I felt like I was watching the Terry Gilliam movie “Brazil”.

    If it wasn’t so tragic, it would be comical.

  • August 5, 2015 at 7:56 am
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    It seems to me that under the reasoning and logical questioning from the Attornies and Judge the elders were exposed for what they are….incompetent and brainwashed to follow whatever direction given by that mystical place ‘The Branch’…it made a mockery of the Two Witness rule…and the classic and straightforeward reasoning from the Judge….’Paul said women cannot teach…he also said women must be silent…do you carry that through also?’… and if I hear one more time from those elders..’I dont remember’…’I dont recall’…’I dont know’…I will go mad!… They are ultimately stooges and they dont even realise it… it is sickening.

    • August 5, 2015 at 9:45 am
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      I completely agree on the elder’s memory lapses. If you only have dealt with one or maybe two child abuse cases in your life, and especially ones that are as shocking as those presented in this case, it would be hard to forget the matter even if 25 years in the past. You’d have to be emotionally or mentally numb to forget such horrific stories, details. I think they used their supposedly faulty memory to try and slink out of it. Thankfully (and sadly) they kept written records of this stuff and were hit over the head with it.

      • August 5, 2015 at 1:05 pm
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        Selective amnesia?

        • August 6, 2015 at 6:03 am
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          “Theocratic Warfare”?

  • August 5, 2015 at 8:26 am
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    It is tragic that worldly people have to teach them how to deal with sexual abuse cases. For the GB is hard to understand that a young gild would find easier to talk to a woman instead of three men. It is difficult to convince religious bigots that shield themselves with their personal flawed Bible interpretations.
    It is also comic how they always compare themselves with other religions. If they really protect children why do not put in place the best practices instead of practices that are a bit better then anybody else? Convincing them that they are deluded is a lost cause but hopefully people will do some research instead of losing their freedom for myths.

    • August 8, 2015 at 1:39 am
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      I remember when I was an Elder. At first I wanted to help all the Brothers and Sisters be happy people and be a good leader to the congregation.
      As time went on I began to see that these problems as Elders we were told to deal with were outrageous! We were not qualified to be counselors of sexual abuse victims! We were not qualified to be
      practice family law and child psychologists and all the other things that come with dealing with heavy human and societal problems. As time went by it seemed that all we were told to do was to “protect” the Society and the WT against Lawsuits. There wasn’t over concern for the victim ever! It seemed like I was doing volunteer work for a law firm not shepherding a flock. I finally realized to myself what am I doing with my life and I never signed up for this. I am not a lawyer, I am not a Psychologist,
      I am not a sociologist and neither were any of the people on the committees I was on. In fact many of them had the same problems we were dealing with. It was no longer a Religion but had become a legal law firm trying to protect itself above all others and we were all doing pro bono work for them!

  • August 5, 2015 at 8:28 am
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    One of the most impressive features of this whole show is the professionalism of the lawyers. They are so calm, measured and courteous, even when the replies and lack of them would inspire rage and head banging in many of us.

    It is certainly great to see the self important elders, and later, the branch and legal wallahs up before the inquisitor. If all goes to plan it now seems that Geoffrey Jackson’s attempt to hide behind the humble role of GB translation gaffer has misfired, and he may have to face the music next week.

  • August 5, 2015 at 9:01 am
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    Some very good comments. Karen is right. “Surely Jehovah’s Witnesses must realize how ridiculous their policies are when they watch this Commission? It’s sad, but I suspect your average Witness has no idea of these developments. Even if they do, they will view it as persecution and not see it for what it is – sorely needed exposure of a damaging organization that is failing children.” With ongoing investigations in the UK into former British Prime Minister Edward Heath people will soon put it down to the prevailing culture. No child deserves to be abused.

  • August 5, 2015 at 9:15 am
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    Mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse will surely make “Jehovahdom” fall. I wonder how criminals will confess to Elders knowing they will be reported to the Police. A wise or crook criminal will now choose to eliminate its victim… What about Africa?

    *** w86 7/15 p. 6 Do You Respect God’s Gift of Procreation? ***
    Is the same thing happening today? Yes, for after reading past issues of this magazine, thousands have been helped to bring their lives into harmony with the Bible. Consider the example of a teenager in Africa who was sexually molested as a child. In time, she got involved in all sorts of immoral conduct, including lesbianism. “The world may give pleasure for a short while,” she said, “but it becomes like a drug resulting in a lost, worthless feeling.” In desperation, she tried to commit suicide, but during this crucial period something happened that changed her life. She began attending meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses and accepted the advice to read the Bible daily. This gave her strength to overcome immoral practices. “I feel so much better now,” she says. “It’s amazing what Jehovah can do for a person.”

  • August 5, 2015 at 9:15 am
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    Watchtower Governing Body member Stephen Lett has dismissed all criticism of Watchtower child abuse policies as being “apostate-driven lies and dishonesties that Jehovah’s organization is permissive toward pedophiles.” Jehovah’s Witnesses are trained to believe that all utterances of Governing Body members, no matter how asinine, are inspired by holy spirit. So brainwashed Jehovah’s Witnesses will continue to go along with the Watchtower’s paedophile protection policies.

    Fortunately, the members of the Australian Royal Commission aren’t so easily fooled. However, the only concession by the Australian elders that I have been able to find is that they have agreed to obey the law from now on and report all sex crimes to the police.

    So, will obtaining this modest concession from Watchtower elders be all that this Royal Commission can accomplish? Will there also be some sort of punishment for those involved in this massive child abuse cover up? Could the Watchtower lose its tax exempt status and be forced to pay huge financial penalties? Will the congregation’s confessed paedophiles and the elders who pimped for them face any punishment?

  • August 5, 2015 at 10:33 am
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    “. . . I suspect your average Witness has no idea of these developments. Even if they do, they will view it as persecution and not see it for what it is – sorely needed exposure of a damaging organization that is failing children.”

    You could not have said it any better. Excellent article!

    • August 5, 2015 at 11:39 am
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      I should imagine that they’ve been instructed not to watch the proceedings. Unless the witness elders assume that the org will come out looking wonderful for their scripturally-based way of dealing with paedophiles. They got that wrong didn’t they! ;)

      • August 5, 2015 at 7:50 pm
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        I actually would like to know what instructions the congregations in Australia are receiving.

        It would be very hard to respect anything coming from an elder after watching them get torn to pieces by the royal commission.

        • August 5, 2015 at 11:29 pm
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          @Chiafade
          No instructions, announcements or mention of it thus far. There’s only been one mid-week meeting thus far AND this week had a local needs partin the KM, so it was a prime opportunity to do so IMO.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s completely slipped past the majority of witnesses. Glossing over one or two news reports versus watching the RC hearings and reading the statements/evidence etc. are vastly different. One could easily assume that without critical thinking abilities and relying on blind faith alone, there’s bound to be thousands of heads still buried in the sand.

        • August 6, 2015 at 11:15 am
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          I have a friend there, I’m tempted to ask .. I was wondering the same thing.

  • August 5, 2015 at 12:14 pm
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    Vincent ( Oh! ) Toole, Top Aussie JW, has conceded they will
    now cooperate with mandatory reporting of child abuse, and
    claimed. “Coming to this commission has been a wake up call
    for me I can assure you”.

    Sounds like an act of contrition, but were he to come before
    a committee of elders it would not meet the requirement of true
    remorse.- Elders would be guided by, Shepherd the Flock of God.
    manual p92 para,10,–under the section, indications of repentance.

    Which asks, “Was his confession voluntary or did he have to be
    accused by others ?” Well bro Toole didn’t volunteer to appear
    before the Royal Commission, he was subpoenaed.

    Were that not the case he would have continued to keep quiet about
    all the fresh cases of abuse, 4 every Month, knowing full well that it
    was binding on all citizens to report them.

    It’s just cynical manoeuvring, the victims according to JW.org are
    just “Proud, greedy and litigious ” and where the law allows it
    the victims will be thrown under the bus, And Toole and his bosses
    will keep schtum.

    • August 5, 2015 at 7:24 pm
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      I know Vin Toole quite well and once upon a time would have believed anything he said,he can speak with a lot authority.
      However time and the royal commission has shown the true colours of all these “spiritual men” and their deluded leaders.
      If ever there was a time to distance oneself from the org it’s now !

    • August 5, 2015 at 8:01 pm
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      Wow I haven’t watched that yet I’m still catching up. You are absolutely correct on that statement about contrition. In a judicial committee of his peers it wouldn’t be enough. “This was a real wake up call for me brothers” Eders :”well his repentance has to be commensurate with the sin committed and in his case we have multiple counts of covering over someone’s sin for YEARS! Wake up call is not enough. I move to dissfellowship”

  • August 5, 2015 at 4:54 pm
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    Wouldn’t you have thought that if the Watchtower had nothing to hide that they would be positive about this Commission? Surely, they should have been urged to pay it close scrutiny so that the GB would come out looking sparklingly white and clean. And if this was the coming of Armageddon then also surely they should be interested in the proceedings. No, they are not because they are full of it. Their brainwashed babble has come to entangle them. Let’s hope it is the beginning of their end.

  • August 5, 2015 at 7:18 pm
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    The “elders” obviously did not know what to do because their rule book is full of flaws. The GB at headquarters has only till recently issued new procedures in handling sex molestation cases which their legal department has to handle because all the lawsuits are totaling in the millions of dollars . It’s again obvious . I don’t want so much to say by enraging readers but I don’t think the Watchtower should be held responsible for the criminal actions of its members , they should have expelled the molestors from the Kingdom Halls when news of improper conduct was “reported” to them . Logically the victims had the right to go to the law (hello parent JWs) so this vicious circle repeats it’s self over and over……..

      • August 5, 2015 at 8:25 pm
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        While it’s true that the parents should have called as well one thing to remember is the amount of loyalty to the organization present in these cases. Both on the parents part and the elders. The parents(parent in this case) trusted in an arrangement that they feel comes from God so do the elders. So this comes into play when dealing with such a serious matter because all JWs are encouraged/told to come to the elders with serious problems.

        Since they feel that they are trusting in Jehovah they ignore ALL common sense which includes calling the police when this kind of crime is committed.

        I understand why you feel the organization should not be held responsible but keep in mind they make the policies that are followed. Now the leaders of the organization deny all of these reports calling them lies and the witnesses blindly accept these statements “you see those stories aren’t true, bro Lett said so”. This is a systemic cultural issue within the witness organization. Plenty of blame to go around.

    • August 5, 2015 at 8:16 pm
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      The truth is Ken, that this is not new. This has been going on for years. You may not have been aware of this but this mistreatment of vulnerable young persons has been made an issue many times in the media but has not made it to mainstream press like this has. It is an old issue that keeps getting tucked away conveniently by the Governng Body. Many victims have been treated extremely badly. Some have suicided over the years. Many have been cut off from family and left to figure all this out on their own which has left them damaged. When a victim takes on the Watchtower Society they are faced with a whole contingent of lawyers looked after by the Watchtower. They have as much expert help at their disposal which is available, while the victim has limited funds and limited emotional stability to carry it through. It is like the situation of David and Goliath. It got to a point some years ago that it was alleged that they paid off a number of victims in the US making them sign a statutory declaration that they would not take it to the media. But there are so many victims, it is incomprehensible. I think you possibly need to look into this further as I am sure you will find it comes from the top. These elders are just brainwashed puppets who do as they are told and not allowed to question anything and that is why this has all happened. It’s the wrong scriptural counsel in this instance as it is dealing primarily with the rape of children who have no voice or wisdom to know what is going on.

    • August 5, 2015 at 11:35 pm
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      @Ken . You are right on the point the GB change the advice on child abuse in the book for Elders(KS) recently because of the compensation claims are damaging but the GB have done this for years. When the GB or then Knorr back in the 1940s a complete reversal on the ban on VACCINES because the Society knew the U.S government would either imprison or financially sting them because of the Advice how to avoid the Smallpox Vaccine in the 1930s primarily coming from Clayton Woodworth who wrote most of the Golden Age & the early Awake Mags . Remember Clayton Woodworth was one of the 7 men with Rutherford imprisoned in 1918 by the U.S Government & then in the year 2000 BLOOD FRACTIONS were allowed whereas before they were banned by the GB in older Watchtower Mags & advice to Elders prior to this was to Disfellowship for taking Hemoglobin & other Fractions in the 1960s & 1970s, but again the GB knew to avoid Financial compensation & Law suits against the GB the Advice changed so more damage limitation could be avoids against the GB!
      This organisation changes its interpretation of scripture when it is to their financial benefit! That is why it is Just a BOOK PUBLISHING ORGANISATION & PROPERTY EMPIRE!!’ Nothing Inspired by Holy Spirit!! GOD DOESNT CHANGE but the 7 GREEDY MEN who Use INNOCENT CHILDREN does Change to Grab More Money & Property. That is why they don’t publish Worldwide Annual Accounts to see how much of the Donations are paid to CHILD ABUSE VICTIMS & How much is paid to 7 GB Members & Families & their new Lovely Lakeside HQ Buildings at Warwick,Walkill &Patterson & the New 88 acre site in England at Chelmsford which is 4 times size of Mill Hill the current Bethel in England.

    • August 6, 2015 at 11:10 am
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      I can remember the ‘disfellowshipping’ talk at one of the recent conventions. The brainwashed many in this organizations are ‘instructed’ to throw away their own children if it is a choice between the children and the organization. The GB, leaders, and elders that support them and support this despicable organization would rather lie, dismiss from memory, cheat, or other devices to preserve the organization. It is a religion to them and goes to their very core of belief. Very sad. Children and parent’s grown children have to carry the brunt of this rotten organization and it’s depraved leaders.

  • August 6, 2015 at 12:21 am
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    I have never understood why the Governing Body, if claiming to be guided by the Holy Spirit finds itself incapable of using the words of Acts 15:28

    “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: ….” (NIV)

    Times had changed, the Gentiles had entered into the congregations… issues like dietary requirements and ethics had prompted a review.

    The Elders of Jerusalem back them took on the responsibility of reviewing principles, laws and commandments and putting them into a new time and context.

    Today, the only thing the current body of men seem capable of doing is Cherry picking outdated instructions given to a vulnerable Nomadic tribe for its protection against the elements and influences of the time.

    Take the principle… and, rewrite the Christian Statute book to reflect the needs of our Times. The JWs have grown from a Nomadic tribe into a substantial Nation.

    It is time for reform…under their own appointment .. only they can do it .. the onus and the judgment is on them, Squarely!

  • August 6, 2015 at 1:55 am
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    Couldn’t help but chuckle to myself when I read the transcript of Day 152 between the Chair and Mr. Tokley when trying to get one of the GB to turn up (page 42 of the PDF document, lines 26-34):

    Could anybody that has seen the video tell me the expression on the Chair’s face please? I can imagine him rolling his eyes when he said “and you realise where HER evidence ended up!”
    In all, I am very impressed by the quality of questioning & reasoning on the part of this commission. They are truly professional & impartial. Maybe the GB should think about employing THEIR services if they are really concerned about the welfare of the organisation.

  • August 6, 2015 at 1:57 am
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    Oops, this is what happens when I try to be clever and use HTML in my comments!
    Here’s the quote:
    “THE CHAIR: … We had Dr Applewhite, last Friday, and you realise where her evidence ended up —
    MR TOKLEY: Yes, I do, your Honour.
    THE CHAIR: — in terms of the church’s process. Although she came to say that they were good, the ultimate position, as we understand what she said, they are flawed. Those flaws are the things that I’m talking to you about now.”

  • August 6, 2015 at 2:30 am
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    Hello
    I’m just commenting trying to see if anyone has an email address to the Jehovah’s Witness headquarters. I have searched online for a week and found nothing. I called their headquarters and the woman said she is a switchboard operator who has no emails to give out. I was sexually abused by a brother in a Kingdom Hall as a child and that act has lead to several other sexually abusive acts. It’s literally ruined my life. I feel the least they can do is hear what happen to me and acknowledge it. If anyone has an email to their headquarters please let me know. Please! I would be very grateful. Thank you.

    • August 6, 2015 at 3:43 pm
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      Anonymous Speaker,

      I hate that you have to go through this. I hope that you can get through to them to get things on record.

      Have you been to the Police about it? Please report this person to the Police if you haven’t already done so.

      Please take care of yourself & stay strong.

      Love & Peace.

    • August 8, 2015 at 1:53 am
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      anonymous speaker: So sorry to hear what happened to you. Here is my suggestion if you cannot get a direct email to the WT to hear what happened to you and report this person. Contact the former congregation elders you were with in writing and tell them the name of the “brother” who did this to you. They will be forced to look into it and they will have to contact the legal department from NYC. That is why you need to put it in writing and
      ask them to report it to Brooklyn headquarters.
      Also it is not to late to go to the local police and report the crime to them and identify the criminal who did this to you. Also you can go to the JWORG web site and I believe thee is an email on their to
      request books, literature, bible study etc and send your information through that email address. I hope that helps but don’t just forget about it.

  • August 6, 2015 at 3:19 am
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    @Anonymous Speaker
    I haven’t found one for the HQ, but here is one for the Australian Branch if that helps:
    [email protected]
    My source:
    Watchtower Australia Submission in response to the Royal Commission’s Summons to Produce Documents No S-NSW-391
    http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=fa4e009e-4eef-4573-8d0f-aa8334d6069b&type=exhibit&filename=WAT.0001.001.0001&fileextension=pdf

    Here’s the email of the “professional” Dr Applewhite, who may be more disposed to helping you get in touch with NY HQ after her recent fiasco:
    monicaap[email protected]
    My source:
    Annexure 1 to the Statement of Dr Monica Applewhite – Letter from Watchtower Australia to Dr Applewhite
    http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=75531773-267b-4d0f-8a29-b7dacc21e03b&type=exhibit&filename=STAT.0606.001.0012&fileextension=pdf

    Links have been included to prove that this info is in the Public Domain and I’m not disclosing any private info. I hope you manage to get some closure on your case, truly.

    By the way, as a side issue and this is coming from my experience in the computer industry, does anyone else not find it strange that a “professional” like Dr Applewhite uses a free email address like Yahoo? Maybe it’s just me being a teccy snob but if I see any business that has a freebie email address instead of one from their own domain, I immediately question how professional they are. Just thinking out loud…

  • August 6, 2015 at 4:17 am
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    @Anonymous Speaker
    I’ve responded to your comment/request with the email addresses I’ve found and the links to back them up but my comment is still awaiting moderation. When LLoyd or one of his team have had chance to review it you should then be able to see it.
    @Stirring Awake
    I posted a link to that manual on here but from the official Royal Commission site. That way, the WTS can’t accuse anybody from getting hold of it via “apostate” sources!

  • August 6, 2015 at 5:05 am
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    @Average Joe,
    Are you able to provide the Document ID please? I may have missed your earlier comment and can’t seem to locate the file in the list of Exhibits.

    Thanks.

      • August 6, 2015 at 8:34 am
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        @Average Joe,
        That’s the link to the Shepherd the Flock book. I’m fairly sure everyone has that one now in one form or another.

        The link I posted was for the complete rundown on Branch Operations, outlining everything from policies and processes pertaining to the Branch… i.e. the Governing Body and Branch Committees, Bethel Home Organization, Files and Filing, Legal Matters, Annual Reports, Donations and Purchasing etc. It’s the 1997 document (2003 revised version). I haven’t seen this manual posted anywhere on the recent threads.

        • August 6, 2015 at 8:51 am
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          Oops my mistake, sorry.
          I didn’t know about such a manual so thanks for sharing. I will download it and have a butcher’s later.
          Cheers!

  • August 6, 2015 at 5:31 am
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    The Society’s lawyer, Mr. Tool, seems to think that pleading ignorance of the moral law to report that a child is being abused is going to get them off the hook but I think most thinking persons can see that these men are lying to protect the precious name of the Organization. In the U.S. ignorance of the law is no excuse. Also, the fact that they get three to four calls per month shows that the Society is still not protecting the children.

    This commission into the child abuse within the Organization is even an eye opener to me the way they brought out that when a person knows of a wrong doing that they are under obligation to report the abuse but unless they have another witness that they will not be believed. I know what a terrible position that puts a person in because the same thing happened to me and at one point we were having the circuit overseer’s visit and it was a Friday night and they were having a closed meeting with the elders at the Kingdom Hall and I drove to the Kingdom Hall and the doors were locked but if the doors hadn’t been locked, I would have went into that Kingdom Hall, I would have gone into the Kingdom Hall and screamed my bloody head off at them because of what I was going through because I got absolutely no support from the elders and they know what I was going through with my husband so I fully know of the frustration at abuse victims go through. One good thing that came out of it was, was even though I was almost at the point of suicide, I went to the internet to find some support (since I could get none from the elders) and I found JWsurvey and JWfacts. If it hadn’t been for that point in my life, I’d still be in the bubble.

  • August 6, 2015 at 9:52 am
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    Karen, I’m so glad you found the personal strength to survive the elder’s negligence and worse!

  • August 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm
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    I think that the RC should make all congregations of Australia submit their personal files to the RC.

    There will be some creeps around Australia these last few months shitting bricks at this point wondering who has dobbed them in. Wondering when they will be called up to answer to the Authorities.

    Sisters & brothers, if you are shy about going forward, do it now while you have a voice. You will be protected. It’s the only way to heal.

    The sisters that are still in that shared their stories with me, they have hard copy files on their matters. Sisters, I hope that if you are reading any of these comments & listen to your conscience, go forward so that justice maybe served.

    The many times that you repeated your story wasn’t because you were murmurers, it’s because you weren’t being heard.

    To those that I listened to over the years, I loved you & it hurt me to see your pain & not be able to do anything about it.

  • August 6, 2015 at 3:37 pm
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    Anonymous speaker –
    After watching this hearing I would say the best thing for you to do would be to report the matter to the police. Historic cases of sexual abuse are becoming more and more common. If the perpetrator is still alive, he can be questioned by police and the correct procedure will follow. I would not rely on JW headquarters for any assistance in the matter. It seems that they are currently in denial of these abuses happening in their ‘clean’ organisation.
    I hope you will succeed in getting the needed help and ultimate closure to your ordeal.

  • August 6, 2015 at 4:10 pm
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    Does anyone know if the Society can be held criminally negligent if they refuse to comply with the commission’s suggestions as to changing their policies to protect the children?

  • August 6, 2015 at 5:07 pm
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    Sorry if this post comes up twice.

    I think that the RC should make all congregations of Australia submit their personal files to the RC.

    There will be some creeps around Australia these last few months sh’ing bricks at this point wondering who has dobbed them in. Wondering when they will be called up to answer to the Authorities.

    Sisters & brothers, if you are shy about going forward, do it now while you have a voice. You will be protected. It’s the only way to heal.

    The sisters that are still in that shared their stories with me, they have hard copy files on their matters. Sisters, I hope that if you are reading any of these comments & listen to your conscience, go forward so that justice maybe served.

    The many times that you repeated your story wasn’t because you were murmurers, it’s because you weren’t being heard.

    To those that I listened to over the years, I loved you & it hurt me to see your pain & not be able to do anything about it.
    Reply

  • August 6, 2015 at 5:54 pm
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    I had a dealing with Vince, when serving as an elder, certain elders hid a letter outlining evidence showing a brother being guilty of child abuse, i never knew of the letter, nor was i aware of the case & the letter being hidden, Vince said to me that we were to keep silent before the police, & that we were on our own legally, i was not prepared to do that, in the end nothing happened, the brother confessed to the police & the matter was dealt with. I have long been vocal in the congregation that this practice is wrong, & now we are seeing the truth, except as someone has said this will be hidden from the average JW, as they are to scared to have a good open look at whats going on in real life, another comment has been made as the financial situation, we have already seen the payouts in America & very soon it will happen here, its no wonder they have just drained all the local accounts of cash for the world wide work, how convenient!!! we have saved $50,000 for our refurb, mmmm i wonder if that will ever happen now, at least as i say to many disgruntled members, they didnt get a cent of me or my family, i am also waiting for a new financial venture from them, another con to get our money, too pay for this mess..

  • August 7, 2015 at 1:14 am
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    Some have asked if the WTS is liable for criminal prosecution this is the Act of NSW Criminal Code. I believe Vin Toole is sweating bullets, and so many elders have been put in a precarious position of being guilty of serious charges under the Code. Have to wait and see on this one

    New South Wales Consolidated Acts
    [Index] [Table] [Search] [Search this Act] [Notes] [Noteup] [Previous] [Next] [Download] [Help]
    CRIMES ACT 1900 – SECT 316
    Concealing serious indictable offence
    316 Concealing serious indictable offence

    (1) If a person has committed a serious indictable offence and another person who knows or believes that the offence has been committed and that he or she has information which might be of material assistance in securing the apprehension of the offender or the prosecution or conviction of the offender for it fails without reasonable excuse to bring that information to the attention of a member of the Police Force or other appropriate authority, that other person is liable to imprisonment for 2 years.

    (2) A person who solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any benefit for himself or herself or any other person in consideration for doing anything that would be an offence under subsection (1) is liable to imprisonment for 5 years.

    (3) It is not an offence against subsection (2) merely to solicit, accept or agree to accept the making good of loss or injury caused by an offence or the making of reasonable compensation for that loss or injury.

    (4) A prosecution for an offence against subsection (1) is not to be commenced against a person without the approval of the Attorney General if the knowledge or belief that an offence has been committed was formed or the information referred to in the subsection was obtained by the person in the course of practising or following a profession, calling or vocation prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this subsection.

    (5) The regulations may prescribe a profession, calling or vocation as referred to in subsection (4).

  • August 7, 2015 at 2:40 am
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    I have only one comment to say, how does it feel?
    Bob Dylan, like a rolling stone.x

  • August 7, 2015 at 6:45 am
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    Karen, I am so sorry you had to go through such a terrible experience. Here in the U.S., it looks like the only media to pick up on this story is National Public Radio (NPR.)

  • August 7, 2015 at 7:12 am
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    The commission realises that any change to WT, policy on
    child abuse will have to come from N,York, not Australia.
    But the supremo’s are keeping their distance, even though
    one of them ( Geoffrey Jackson ) is already in Australia.

    The commissions request to summon Jackson to the inquiry
    was rejected, with the statement , that it would be “Unconscionable”
    ( How did they not choke on that word ) as he’s in Australia for
    compassionate reasons,

    So Stephen Lett’s claim, that we take “Action” against anyone
    who would threaten our young ones, is just wind from a horses ar-e

    Those appearing for the Aussie branch have repeatedly avoided
    admitting they are controlled by N,Y, and have skirted round the
    Issue by obfuscation and verbiage.

    Why is their conscience not seared? It’s probably because they’re
    so used to defending the indefensible, that it’s normal for them.

    The commission is doing a great job, exposing a truly awful
    religious cult, but the gloves need to come off. Tough action
    from the law is needed to protect the children, inside the JW org,
    and those on the out side.

  • August 7, 2015 at 7:40 am
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    Hi, I am not sure if it is known that Jackson has been summoned to appear at the RC on Tues or Wed of this coming week. Keeping in mind that Aust is anywhere from 10-15 hours ahead of the US keep that in mind if your are trying to watch it.
    On the last day of the public hearing of JW’s there was quite an exchange between Senior Counsel (SC) Angus Stewart and The Aust Branch Co-ordinator Terry O’Brien. Stewart put it to O’Brien 3 times that his statements regarding Geoff Jacksons reasons for not appearing were false, (a polite way of saying he was a liar), O’Brien denied it unconvincingly.
    SC Stewart called for proof that there was something wrong with Jackson’s father. That caused a scramble of offers of affidavits, doctors statements and other feeble offers.
    At that point the Head of the RC Peter Maclellan said he was issuing a summons for Jacksons appearance and that everyone has to cope with ill parents at some time or other, and Jacksons circumstances were no different than anyone else’s and there was no reason for him not to appear. God help if he doesn’t front. I love Maclellan.

    • August 7, 2015 at 11:20 am
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      I love Mclellan too…he really cuts away the camouflage and gets to the facts…I loved it when he said..’.these (family sickness etc) are things we all have to deal with,but as a commission we are investigating many matters that affect many people including members of his own church….exactly…how much does Geoffrey Jackson care about the thousands of victims worldwide that he is supposed to love…ones also that he and the others have instructed thier families to shun…lets see shall we?….and I loved that shunning was on the table as a cruel and agonising punishment…and the Branch Co-ordinator was not quite truthful again!

  • August 7, 2015 at 8:04 am
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    And a little further on the reasons for O’briens’s probity being questioned. I and others thought that Jackson was in Australia for treatment for his health. Then we find out that it was not him but his father. The impression that Rod Spinks and Vin Toole seemed to convey was that the father was on death’s doorstep and Jackson was so stricken and mortified that no words would come out of his mouth because of grief (that may be a little hyperbole but not much). Then we find out that Jackson has been in Australia for 3 weeks and hiding out of sight.There was a deliberate plan to deceive the Commission. O’Briens role in all this was to say that Jackson just worked in the translation Dept at Brooklyn and he would be of little use in helping the commission determine where policy came from in Brooklyn. Can you believe that? They really thought in their arrogance that the Commission was as stupid as they were.
    SC Stewart primed O’Brien with a series of questions about the writing Dept and O’Brien “keen” to help informed him that Jackson was the head of that Dept. That was when the fit hit the shan.
    He was called a liar. I think everyone at the branch shivered at that point. I did hear later that branch staff were complaining that the RC was nit picking and this was all evidence that Satan was after them. Good grief, they haven’t needed any help from Satan to show them up for what they are and have been. They have proudly done this to themselves. They really are the Evil Slave.

  • August 7, 2015 at 10:37 am
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    No better chance, as being part of God’s mouth piece and spiritually guided, to show the truth!

    Geoffrey Jackson where are you? They count on you!

  • August 7, 2015 at 12:31 pm
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    While watching day 7 part 3 , I was thinking it would be
    Highly appropriate to bring into evidence the Herd talk
    On women not having the brain power of a man. He is
    Testifying as to how respected women are in the org.
    And so forth, but they should dig up that talk. It would
    Totally discredit the logic he puts forth.

    • August 7, 2015 at 2:24 pm
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      THREE CHEERS for the ROYAL COMMISSION of AUSTRALIA!!! Oops shouldn’t have said 3 cheers!! It’s PAGAN ?? Oh well 3 Cheers to the Satanic Worldly Royal Commission!! I have just made up some VOODOO DOLLS of Stephen Letts, Geoffrey Jackson & Anthony Morris & Sticking SPEARS through their Brains( Actually Genitalia, but what’s the Dilfference).!!!!!
      Australia might have soon lost the ASHES to England by tomorrow in the 4th Test ( the YANKS won’t understand what I’m talking about)BUT the Australia Royal Commission is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!’
      HIP HIP HOORAY to Angus Stewart!’ I normally detest the Scots( can’t understand a word what they say) .the man is brilliant!!

      • August 7, 2015 at 10:51 pm
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        We deserved to winx

      • August 8, 2015 at 4:06 am
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        Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • August 7, 2015 at 5:00 pm
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    The Royal Commission are really making monkeys out of the elders.
    Max Horley, when asked about the death of Bill the abuser, said yes, he had died and then he unhesitatingly stated that he had gone to his funeral!
    Anyone who goes to a witness funeral, which Bill O’Neill probably had, will know that witnesses go to praise the life of their dear departed. It appears then that he was forgiven by Max for his misdemeanours. I bet they never mentioned Bill’s record of child abuse. But, of course, he has the resurrection hope! What hypocrisy!
    The poor victim of his advances had no support. Her evidence showed that she took the blame on herself.
    ‘Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasturage!’ ….. ‘you have not turned your attention to them’ …… ‘Here I am turning my attention upon you, for the badness of your dealings,’ (Jer:23:1-2)

  • August 7, 2015 at 5:23 pm
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    It appears that Geoffrey Jackson has weedled his way out of appearing at the Commission.
    What a shame he forsook the chance of supporting his dear brothers who are undergoing such a trial.
    Of course, as a substitute for Christ, he is following His example?? Jesus always left his followers in the lurch didn’t he?? I don’t think so.
    Jackson, I believe that Revelation 21:8 applies to YOU! Appointed by holy spirit, my ass!

    • August 7, 2015 at 10:40 pm
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      Please no, he has to appear!

  • August 7, 2015 at 5:26 pm
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    Geoffrey Jackson absolutely CANNOT be allowed to get on that plane and fly away to the protection of the United States. The pedophile protecting policies that exist and the incalculable suffering by children and families lies right at the doorstep of this sick human being and his fellow cult leaders and policy makers the Governing Body of Jehova’s Witnesses.
    Everyone. PLEASE write the Royal commission immediately and tell them they must absolutely not let him leave the country without arrest/ full testimony and trial. Here is the email address everyone.
    [email protected]

    • August 7, 2015 at 10:38 pm
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      Done it and begged, and thanks for the link.x

  • August 8, 2015 at 12:32 am
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    An interesting exchange of dishonesty and being caught. Counsel for JW’s tells a porky and has to retract. All comments in brackets have been added and are not part of the RC transcript

    .05/08/2015 (153)
    Transcript produced by DTI
    15871

    THE CHAIR: Before I come to that, Mr Tokley, at the
    moment I am troubled by what I now understand as to the
    role of Mr Jackson in the organisation. It does seem that,
    having regard to the issues we have canvassed, he would be
    able to help. Do you want to respond to that?

    MR TOKLEY: Your Honour, I can respond. I can certainly
    try to take further instructions. For reasons which are
    obvious, I think, your Honour is entitled to whatever
    assistance should be provided to your Honour. My
    understanding remains as I was instructed, that in relation to these legal matters, Mr Jackson would be of no assistance.

    [The WT Lawyer was instructed to say Mr. Jackson would be of no assistance.]

    THE CHAIR: It’s not legal matters. The discussion has
    moved a little from the history to the future.
    MR TOKLEY: Yes.
    THE CHAIR: At the moment, I can presently understand the injunction that is felt in relation to elders, but
    a process, a deliberative process for the church – it’s
    possible to imagine it being one which was not entirely
    conducted by elders. But, secondly, a process which the
    church engages in because of its adherence to the Bible,
    which allows a person who those who are deciding the matter have no doubt has committed the abuse, to, nevertheless, remain in the community, raises other issues as well.
    MR TOKLEY: Yes, your Honour, I understand.
    THE CHAIR: They won’t have eluded you or Mr Coyne, as
    they were raised.
    MR TOKLEY: No, your Honour.
    THE CHAIR: I mean, if you put yourself in a position to
    care for other people and you fail, then consequences flow.

    [The GB will be held responsible.]

    Now, these are issues which clearly have emerged from
    our discussion, and we would like as much help as we can.
    As he is in the country, it would seem logical that we ask
    him to come and help us.
    MR TOKLEY: I understand your Honour’s point and I am not seeking to not address your Honour’s point.
    THE CHAIR: No, I understand that. Having said that,
    I appreciate the circumstances of his father, but we all
    have to face those difficulties from time to time in our lives.

    MR TOKLEY: Yes, your Honour.
    THE CHAIR: What I’m going to say is I would like you to
    take up the matter with Mr Stewart and we will make
    arrangements some time next week to hear evidence from Mr Jackson, unless Mr Stewart comes to me and says that that can’t be done.

    [He has directed that Geoff Jackson appear]

    MR TOKLEY: I understand, your Honour.

    MR TOKLEY: Yes, thank you, your Honour. Just before my
    learned friend rises, I can assure your Honour that there
    was no intention, obviously, on my part to mislead
    your Honour in any way.
    THE CHAIR: We accept that.
    MR TOKLEY: Thank you, your Honour. The other aspect of
    it is that, if I may, it may be necessary for my learned
    friend Mr Stewart and I to perhaps approach your Honour in relation to Mr Jackson’s medical condition, simply because of the privacy of the matter, and to inform your Honour –

    [Deliberate attempt to mislead the court into thinking it was Geoff Jackson’s
    medical condition.]

    THE CHAIR: It is the medical condition of his father.

    MR TOKLEY: Yes, your Honour, I beg your pardon.

    [Caught out and applogized.]

    THE CHAIR: That is as I understand it.
    MR TOKLEY: Yes, it is.
    THE CHAIR: At the moment that’s all I know, and that’s
    not enough for me, now, given what I know about his role in the organisation –

    [Reason’s for not attending not accepted by the RC]

    MR TOKLEY: Understood, your Honour.
    THE CHAIR: — to say that we shouldn’t have the benefit of his understanding.
    MR TOKLEY: No. I think I will endeavour to obtain
    a consultant specialist report on the matter.

    [Attempt to redirect and continue to hide Geoff Jackson]

    THE CHAIR: That won’t actually necessarily solve the
    problem.

    [Redirection failed]

    MR TOKLEY: I understand, your Honour.
    THE CHAIR: It is regrettable and I appreciate his
    position, but we all have to face these issues as well as
    our other responsibilities, and this Royal Commission, of
    course, carries great responsibilities for many, many
    people, some of whom are members of his church.
    MR TOKLEY: Yes, it is understood, your Honour.
    Thank you, your Honour.
    MR STEWART: If I might hand up the direction with regard to submissions, it is self-explanatory, I believe.
    If there is to be any appreciable delay on the matters
    your Honour has been discussing with my learned friend,
    then he might approach your Honour with regard to an
    amendment of the direction.
    THE CHAIR: Yes. Well, we will face that when we come to
    it, if we need to. Otherwise, I have made the directions
    in those terms. Mr Tokley, feel free to approach Mr Stewart, if that’s
    necessary.
    MR TOKLEY: Thank you, your Honour.
    THE CHAIR: The expectation we have is that at an
    appropriate time next week there will be maybe one or two hours set aside.
    MR TOKLEY: Understood, your Honour.

    [Geoff Jackson has been directed to appear]

    • August 8, 2015 at 12:43 am
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      Cool :-)! And thank you:-)

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