Branch committee coordinator Terrence O'Brien was accused of intentionally trying to mislead the Commission
Branch committee coordinator Terrence O’Brien was accused of intentionally trying to mislead the Commission

This is the latest summary of the Royal Commission in Australia by non-disfellowshipped JWsurvey reader “CovertFade,” who is standing in for the JWsurvey writing team as we process the fast-paced events “down under”…

The closing moments of Day 7 of the Royal Commission’s investigation into Watchtower’s child abuse procedures saw some heavyweights from Watchtower’s Australia branch face up to some brutal questioning by the Commission’s Senior Council, Angus Stewart.

At one point the following remarkable exchange took place in which Terrence O’Brien, the coordinator of the Australia Branch, is accused of deliberately trying to deceive the commission in an apparent attempt to protect Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson from being called to give evidence.

  • Mr Angus Stewart SC: Mr O’Brien, you have given evidence that you gave instructions to counsel on the point of Mr Jackson not being able to assist and his activities being in relation to translations. I, as a matter of fairness, must put to you that those instructions you gave were false, were they not?
  • Terrence O’Brien: No, I don’t believe so. Mr Jackson does oversee the translation work, but as part of the writing committee member, which he is one of the Governing Body members on that committee. So —
  • Stewart. And I suggest to you, or I put to you, that when you gave those instructions, you knew them to be false?
  • O’Brien. No. I disagree.
  • Stewart: And by giving those instructions, you sought to mislead the Royal Commission, to protect Mr Jackson from any potential summons to appear?
  • O’Brien: No, I disagree. I think the reason we asked consideration to be shown to Mr Jackson was the grave situation of his father – the very reason he is in Australia.
  • Stewart: Yes, and in relation to that, in view of what I have put to you, perhaps you can answer this: how are we to know if what you say about Mr Jackson’s compassionate circumstances is, in fact, true?

Attempting to mislead a Royal Commission is a criminal offense. If charged and convicted, Mr O’Brien could face a fine of up to $20,000 and up to five years in prison. So how on earth did the normally legally-savvy Watchtower manage to put itself in a situation where the head of its Australia branch was caught out in such a clumsy lie? Especially when the previous six days of testimonial curb-stomping clearly demonstrated that the Commission team was very smart, very aware of Watchtower’s inner workings, and quite prepared to examine matters with a fine tooth comb until it uncovered the truth.

Well, with hindsight, one can see the answer, and it revolves around the Cult Of Personality that the Watchtower has recently started to build around its Governing Body.

By Day 5, it was clear that a number of aspects of Watchtower’s handling of child abuse were seriously troubling the Commission. They included the two witness rule, the all-male nature of the judicial process, allowing a guilty-but-reproved offender to remain in the same environment as his victim with no real sanction, and more.

It was also clear that Watchtower considered these policies unchangeable due to their supposed scriptural basis, and that it was eagerly offering concessions in some lesser areas while carefully trying to sneak the weightier matters of concern out of the Commission’s spotlight unaltered.

The logical conclusion being drawn by the Commission was that they simply had to talk to the Governing Body. Ordinarily, this would be impossible; the seven members of the Governing Body reside in Brooklyn USA and as such are beyond the Australian Commission’s reach.

However, it transpired that Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson had actually been in Australia since early July. The Commission made two separate approaches to Watchtower to organize testimony. Watchtower replied to the effect that Mr Jackson was in Australia for private, compassionate reasons and, also, that since the Governing Body was not involved in the implementation and administration of policies and procedures in relation to child sexual abuse, he would not be able to give relevant evidence.

The idea that a Governing Body member would not be able to give relevant evidence in this matter is absurd. Yet it should be noted that this fits a pattern of behavior. Gerrit Losch also refused to appear in defense of the organization’s child abuse policies in a US civil action the previous year. Nonetheless it appears the Commission was content at that point to let the matter go, and did not issue a summons. (It is important to note that refusing a summons to a Royal Commission is a criminal offense than can carry a sentence of up to six months imprisonment.)

However, by Day 6 it was clear that not only was the Commission realizing no meaningful change was possible without Governing Body sanction, but also that Watchtower was pulling out all the stops to firewall Jackson. My theory is that Watchtower Australia was given strict orders from Brooklyn that under no circumstances was Jackson to be summoned.

The damage to the cult of having one of the illustrious seven Faithful and Discreet Slave members, together comprising a revered mouthpiece of God, cut to dry-mouthed ribbons under examination as to his support for indefensible child abuse policies, was too awful a scenario for them to permit.

Nowhere was this more obvious than in the Day 6 testimony of Senior Service Desk Elder Rodney Spinks.

In the context of what we now know, it’s clear Spinks was tasked to mislead the Commission into believing Watchtower Australia had the authority to implement any changes the Commission might recommend, and thus shield Jackson from involvement. He does this in a manner that would make some of the most slippery political spin-masters green with envy. Let’s look at “Slippery Spinks” in action as he answers a simple, direct question. (By the way, the simple, direct answer to the question is: Yes we would need permission from the Governing Body.)

  • Mr Angus Stewart SC: But if you are to publish something new which sets out how child sexual abuse allegations are to be dealt with within congregations in Australia, would you need to get the clearance or the go-ahead from the Governing Body that what you have set out is fine, because it is not in conflict with the scriptures?
  • Spinks: I think the documents would show that we correspond openly with the Governing Body on matters of interpretation. I think my point is clear, that if recommendations from this Commission, and some things that we can obviously see ourselves – so, for example, if there is a legal requirement, whether it’s because of mandatory reporting or because of a criminal law that is less familiar to me than you, but if there are legal implications and we are working outside of those, you can be certain that an adjustment will be made here in Australia and a document produced relative to Australia, including collating those, as you see it – and correctly so – references from decades, that would be better into a single document tailored for the law, the culture, the expectation here in Australia. Absolutely.
  • Stewart: And you would only do that through engagement with the Governing Body?
  • Spinks: That’s – as many things could be done here in Australia, what I’m saying is we have such great respect for the Governing Body, we would have no issue at all with corresponding with them back and forward. I am confident there would be no issue, if we don’t stray from the scriptures, that they are happy for each branch committee – remembering that those members of the Governing Body are simply, as well, unpaid members of the organization that are selected from elders from different countries. So that’s not the issue. The issue is: is it in harmony with the scriptures and is it appropriate here in Australia. And the Australia branch committee would have that.

Notice how Spinks tries to dance around a simple and truthful “yes” every time, never quite telling an outright lie but still giving the false impression that the Australia branch can give the Commission everything it wants and thus there is no need to trouble Jackson.

During Day 6, the question of Jackson’s participation again comes up, and this extremely significant exchange takes place between Justice McClellan and the Watchtower Legal Council, Mr Tokley (bold is mine):

  • Justice McClellan: Now, these are very significant issues. They are not small issues, they are significant issues. At the moment, we are, as I say, facing the situation where we can see a problem, but we do need assistance from the church in what is the solution. We rather thought that Mr Jackson might be able to assist us in that respect. I understand the reason for compassion being extended to him. I have no difficulty with that. And for that reason, I have not issued a summons requiring him to attend. But at the moment we face a serious issue with which only the church can help us. Whether that needs a response now, I don’t know, but we would like you to reflect upon that situation.
  • Mr Tokley: Your Honour, may I respond on behalf of the persons I represent. Your Honour’s points are being taken on board, are being addressed, and are being given the most earnest consideration by the authorities. Mr Jackson would probably not have been of any assistance in any event, because his role and his responsibility is in relation to the translation of matters; it’s not in relation to these sorts of matters.

Remember that specific wording. That’s going to come back in a big way. Watchtower has just set something in motion that cannot be undone.

As Day 6 ends, it’s clear that Slippery Spinks has failed to protect Jackson. The Commission is clearly unconvinced. But it’s Day 7 when the wheels spectacularly come off the wagon for Watchtower Australia. During examination of the first witness of the day (Vince Toole, the elder in charge of the Legal Desk) the Commission submits a piece of previously unseen evidence.

  • Mr Angus Stewart SC: You say your understanding is that the branch committee members are equals. One of them is actually designated coordinator, is that not right?
  • Toole. Yes, I think he’s the coordinator of the – of the branch committee.
  • Stewart: And that designation or responsibility also is an appointment by the Governing Body?
  • Toole: I believe so, but I’m not absolutely certain – but I believe so. I’m sorry I don’t have a lot of information on that, but I just – I’ve never been involved.
  • Stewart: There are other copies coming shortly, but I’d just like to show you – there’s a copy for you – a document. You see it’s headed “Branch Organisation Effective December 15, 1977, Revised February 2003”. It says “This material in Branch Organisation –being the name of the publication –should not be copied or duplicated except with the permission of the Branch Committee.” It’s published in the USA, I understand, by the Governing Body. Have you seen this publication before?

Yes, for reasons that will come to light in a future JWsurvey article, the Royal Commission managed to obtain a copy of the Branch Handbook. If you thought the elders handbook was hard to obtain, that’s nothing compared to the Branch Handbook.

If the elders handbook is all about running a congregation, then the Branch Handbook is all about running a multi-million dollar worldwide corporation, and details, among other things, the full responsibilities of the Governing Body – the same Governing Body Watchtower Australia is desperately trying to insist has no say in the issue.

The day continues. Toole disgraces himself in his own special way during testimony, and also frantically tries to avoid giving straight answers as to the role of the Governing Body. Yet finally he is done, and Watchtower Australia’s big cheese, Terrance O’Brien, takes the stand.

Keep in mind what has happened up to now. Previous elders have been frantically spinning the narrative that Jackson is not needed, yet the Commission is clearly deeply suspicious, and most critically of all, Watchtower legal council has officially stated that Jackson’s role is limited “to the translations of matters.” To back away now would expose their deceit, and lead to possible criminal charges. But at the same time, it’s clear the Commission have all the evidence they need to see through the ruse. They have the Branch Handbook for crying out loud!

This is the no-win situation confronting O’Brien as he takes the stand, on an international live webcast, to face Mr Angus Stewart Senior Council, who has previously made mincemeat of every elder placed before him (even Slippery Spinks) and who now possesses the very publication that tells O’Brien how his own organization works.

The transcript records Stewart using the Handbook to establish Jackson’s role spanning multiple committees, including the writing committee and the teaching committee, both of which have direct involvement in the Commission’s area of interest. Then, the final nail in the coffin:

  • Stewart: I understand that you have not served as a member of the Governing Body, so I’m asking you from what your understanding is. But your understanding is that the seven members of the Governing Body, as a Governing Body, meet weekly, do they, every Wednesday?
  • O’Brien: Yes, so those who are present meet weekly.
  • Stewart. It will be that Governing Body as a whole, or those who are present, who would authorize the various publications and guides and guidelines, and so on; is that right?
  • O’Brien:. They would give the final approval for the publishing of them, yes.
  • Stewart: You will have heard yesterday that senior counsel representing the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia and the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of Australia said that Mr Jackson would not be likely to be able to assist this Commission, because his role is in the translation of matters. Now, that, do you accept, is in clear variance to what you have explained in your evidence?

Think about it. What would you do? Admit the truth and your previous deception, or keep trying to deceive, even though it’s clear that the evidence to disprove your testimony is literally resting in the hands of your opponent? O’Brien makes his choice. Stick with the lie.

  • O’Brien No – sorry, it’s not. The translation, it comes under the writing committee, as I understand, which is what Mr Jackson is a member of.
    Stewart: But he’s also the coordinator of the teaching committee that has many other responsibilities, and not translation – not so?
  • O’Brien Yes, he – as a member of the Governing Body, he has a number —
  • Stewart. So can you explain, Mr O’Brien, how it came about that senior counsel representing the organization was given instructions that Mr Jackson’s role is confined to the translation of matters, when it clearly is not?

Finally! It took two solid days of testimony, of dancing around the issue by various senior elders, and dogged persistence by the Royal Commission to establish an answer to the simple question of: What does Geoffrey Jackson do? Two Days!

It’s not over yet. When Justice McClellan next speaks, the webcast audio records a softness to his tone that underscores that severity of the situation more than a raised voice ever could.

  • Justice McClellan: Mr O’Brian, did you give those instructions to senior counsel?
  • O’Brien: The instructions regarding Mr Jackson?
  • McClellan: Yes.
  • O’Brien: Yes.
  • McClellan: It led me to believe that there was little that Jackson could add to the discussion, and no doubt that is what you expected would happen; is that right?
  • O’Brien: That’s true, and I still concur with that.
  • McClellan: Well, I’m starting to form a totally different impression, I have to tell you.

The day ends on Watchtower’s worst case scenario: Justice McClellan issues a summons for Geoffrey Jackson. What will the fallout be?

At the time of writing, it is unknown if O’Brien will face charges. On the surface it would appear the case against him is compelling, and it’s clear both Mr Stewart and Justice McClellan viewed O’Brien’s misdirection seriously. Additionally, it’s clear this was part of a strategy of misdirection employed by every Branch-level elder who testified. Yet even if all involved escape legal sanction, the fact of their deception is preserved online for all the world to see.

Google doesn’t forget.

What of Jackson? He has three options.

  1. Refuse to appear before the Commission, stay in the country to look after his reportedly dying father and go to prison.
  2. Appear before the Commission and take part in the worst PR debacle the cult has even seen.
  3. Refuse to appear, flee the country and make it clear to the world that he is so scared of the Commission he will even abandon his dying father to avoid testimony.

There is one final irony. As mentioned, the witness preceding O’Brien was Watchtower Australia’s top lawyer, Vince Toole. During his testimony, the concept of theocratic warfare was directly put to him:

  • Ms David: In the Watchtowers in 1957 and 1960, have you heard they say that: “As a soldier of Christ, you are in theocratic warfare and you must exercise added caution when dealing with God’s foes. Thus the scriptures show that for the purpose of protecting the interests of God’s cause it is proper to hide the truth from God’s enemies.” Have you heard of that?
  • Toole: No, and I’ve never read 1957 magazine articles, I’m sorry. I only became a Jehovah’s Witness in 1972.
  • Ms David: But, as a lawyer, you would be aware of such concepts, wouldn’t you – that you can lie to protect Jehovah’s name?
  • Toole: (Visibly angry) We are truthful. To be a Christian, you have to be truthful.

Maybe O’Brien didn’t get the memo?

 

CovertFade

 

You can watch a full playlist of the Royal Commission below…

Related video…

473 thoughts on “Royal Commission’s Angus Stewart accuses Watchtower representative of deliberate deception

  • August 10, 2015 at 2:52 am
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    Inciteful, well written, just beautiful!
    Thank you again.
    Keith and Gail

  • August 10, 2015 at 3:23 am
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    I wonder what must be going through the minds of JWs, around the world, who are watching all of this?!? It has simply got to be “faith shattering” for at least some of them. Mr.Jackson of the Governing Body is all to aware of the fact that JWs around the world are watching this too…the heat is on. If the Royal Commission sense/see in any way, shape or form that Jackson tries to lie & deceive them, there’s no question that he will go to Prison along with the other Elders who have already committed these acts of perjury. It could possibly be that WTs worst nightmares are about to come true….

    • August 10, 2015 at 4:42 am
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      I think the average JW brain just goes into lock-down. The Royal Commision is set up from Satan, is Gog of Magog, attacking true religion, thus the JW’s must have the truth because prophecy is fullfilled etc.

      It’s sad, but I don’t think that this will serve as a wakeup call for most JW’s. They WANT to believe, they DON’T want to come to the realisation that they were mislead. Not even over such a serious matter as child abuse cover-up.

      • August 10, 2015 at 5:16 am
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        I agree Darlene. The majority of witnesses would just dismiss this issue and say that “Jehovah will clear this up his name is involved”. This they’ll say without giving thought to the fact that, and I’ll say this as a currently active witness, we are supposed to be defenders of said name. Yet the governing body has twice staunchly REFUSED to do just that. It’s unjustifiable, indefensible, and disgusting.

        If as Mr. Toole pointed out “we are truthful” then what’s to be afraid of? The truth doesn’t need to hide does it? This whole case is just disturbing. It should give pause to ANY active witness giving money and time to this organization. Sadly as you said Darlene many will just shut their minds off and go into defense mode. This is what they have been indoctrinated to do. “You can’t trust the worldy news media you know who is in control of them” or “its a worldy court of law of course they are going to attack God’s people!” Never mind the fact that the royal commission is justifiably questioning and hopefully penalizing watchtower for its negligence and lack of cooperation.

        I would like to see one of these elders try to get away with their line of reasoning on a judicial committee. Thank you covert fade for this well written and informative article.

        • August 10, 2015 at 10:53 am
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          Agree with both of you, but, not all will fall for this line of thinking, only the desperate ones will and though that may be many, its not all of them, i think many of JWs will see through these lies and start thinking for themselves, mark my words, doubt will be planted in many

      • August 11, 2015 at 5:42 am
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        Darlewne. I agree the average JW will feel they are being persecuted. In fact my wife is a JW and she gets mad at me when I bring this stuff up and believe me I do bring it up quite often. I have others in my family who are JW’s as well and they all deny it is a problem. They say yes, we have child molestation but it is exaggerated and being publicized by APOSTATES that hate us. They are like Robots overall. There are some that will see what is going on but most will keep their blinders on. It is hard to admit something you gave your life to was misleading you and not truthful all the years you were giving your life to it.
        I wish it would be a Worldwide awakening but it appears at this time they just keep being sheeple.

    • August 10, 2015 at 4:55 am
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      Most jw do not know about this or any lawsuit.
      I know many of them and none of them knows about it.

      They refuse to read in to it, yes this is haw strong the indoctrination really is.

      I’m living in Belgium, maybe this is different in other parts of the world?

      • August 10, 2015 at 5:24 am
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        No its not any different here in the U.S. I can tell you that. Most witnesses are abysmally ignorant of the many child abuse cases over here. As a matter of fact many don’t watch or read the news. They prefer the fluff in the watchtower or JW.org which is precisely what the gb wants. It’s been said from the platform on more than one occasion “stay away from the news” “don’t watch the news” and we all know how that becomes law in a witness mind. I remember bringing up many disturbing things and the response was “I don’t worry about that stuff half of it ain’t true anyway”. Makes you want to pull your hair out.

        • August 10, 2015 at 7:01 pm
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          Agree completely with your comments. Haven’t seen any coverage of the commission hearings in the US. When trying to show my wife the information she just quotes Letts and tight pants Tony about how wonderful the ORG is in handling child abuse. So sad!!!

          • August 11, 2015 at 1:43 am
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            I live in Australia and apart from the initial media coverage at the start, there is not much on the news about it. But that doesn’t mean that the average JW doesn’t know about it. The feedback I am getting from an in-law’s relative who is still in it is that some are saying it is disturbing and others are saying it is persecution. Still, they are talking about it and they must know it is currently going on. CNN did a very good coverage and I believe these reports went pretty much everywhere. I think the general mood around from people outside the Watchtower is that they have got major problems in their ranks. Really, I think they have lost their credibility and it is sure to get worse as time goes on.

          • August 11, 2015 at 9:32 am
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            What is mind boggling is that under legal matters in JW.org there is not even a blip of information regarding this case in Australia. All you’ll find are stories that Paint the witnesses as victims of religious persecution in other countries such as Azerbaijan or Russia banning the JW.org site.

            I certainly think that this qualifies as a LEGAL matter and it is something all JWs should be aware of. This is especially the case because of the possible financial culpability the watchtower may receive. Culpability that the rank and file witness will be expected to pay through donations. Even more disgusting is the fact that they will not cease any of the building work to help pay for these legal penalties. The average witness will just be asked to pay for both. “It’s all for Jahs praise brothers”.

        • August 11, 2015 at 4:51 am
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          Yep true Jaak
          Watchtower got a firm grip on their sheep due to keeping them very busy and telling them to only visit JW.ORG.
          I think every little helps as Tescos in the UK would say so where ever you are in the World if you can possibly bring it up to them at their carts or if you see them round your neighbourhood about what is presently going on it would help to wake them up and bring on a snowball effect
          You could mention its before the Royal Commission Jackson may have to appear and its been on CNN news and take your mobile phone with you to show them the relevant video clip as proof

      • August 10, 2015 at 5:40 am
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        It is the same here in India as well. I had asked my cousin who is trapped inside the cult whether he knew of any significant developments in JW and he was ignorant. When i tried to inform him he said that they were unverified lies coming from Satan. Sigh wonder when he will wake up.

        • August 10, 2015 at 6:57 am
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          I’ve been pitching it to relatives like, “Hey, did you hear about all the “persecution” the brothers are under in Australia? They’re facing possible fines or jail time.” This naturally makes them want to at least look into what is going on over there.

          • August 10, 2015 at 7:15 am
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            Just wanted to say that your approach in couching it “persecution” to peak their interest is brilliant. Nicely done.

          • August 10, 2015 at 9:19 am
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            Good angle to present it. Hopefully,they’ll be moved to watch the hearing.

    • August 10, 2015 at 8:58 am
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      My faith has been shattered for some time now.

      • August 10, 2015 at 10:28 am
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        @ Bart,

        That’s a good thing. Faith is silly and infantile anyways. Count yourself lucky.

    • August 11, 2015 at 3:56 am
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      But how many current JWs are aware this is all going on? I think unfortunately that only a very limited few know about it
      I say this because over the last week Ive spoken to approx 7 different JWs at 2 different locations and none of them had a clue about it

    • August 11, 2015 at 4:25 am
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      i wish that bloke who wrote crisis of conscience was still alive

    • August 11, 2015 at 3:18 pm
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      (2nd attempt to post this)

      Well, the GB has already tried to musically prepare the mind of “faithful marching Witnesses” to what is coming. Just note part of the first stanza of the new song 137:

      “There are many who oppose us And who try to bring us shame.”

      And the 2nd stanza has this:

      “Give attention to the threats Of those who persecute and blame.”

      To me, that fits perfectly what was going on in the ARC down under.

      If GB didn’t know (and we all know they are not inspired, do we; they are VERY bad prophets) what was coming, they must have had some kind of a hunch. They must have felt for quite a while now that something is brewing.You may not yet be seeing the freight train that’s coming your way, as long as it is hidden behind the curve and the hills, but you feel the tracks trembling. And of course, nobody else is “trying to bring shame” to the JW – the shame they are in process of incurring (or which has already been heaped upon them) has been brought upon them by none other than themselves.

      Looking forward to Friday; that’ll surely be fun.

      Love y’all.

      Criticus

  • August 10, 2015 at 4:36 am
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    THIS IS PRICELESS!!!

    THE HOUSE OF CARDS HAS BEGUN TO FALL!!

  • August 10, 2015 at 5:40 am
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    One thing I HATE: double standards. How can you say that you have to be in obedience to the superior authorities (taken from the Bible and in this case refers to the Royal Commission) and actually use them to your advantage (defending the basic human right to meet for worship & preach your ideas etc) and yet at the same time call them objects of Satan and refuse to cooperate with them, especially as they are trying to root out “an evil of our time”?
    This is what I as a JW can’t understand. As I’ve always been brought to believe from parents & teachers alike, ‘if you’re innocent then you’ve nothing to worry about’.
    I have been using the Royal Commission site as a reference to all my close friends and encouraging them to read the transcripts for themselves.
    I still think that this should get more coverage from reputable sites like the BBC so that more JWs can see for themselves this unfortunate situation.
    It’s making it more complicated than it needs to be: “Have you as an organisation screwed up in regard to child abuse policies?
    Yes, we have and we are sorry.
    Will you allow us to enforce policies that work and suggest how you can compensate the former victims?
    Yes, we will.”
    I can see that’s how it SHOULD work so why can’t the GB? If they truly believe in Jehovah and that he wants the best for his organisation then they should just tell the truth and leave things in his hands, including facing up to government imposed sanctions for terrible negligence.
    The more they leave things to carry on like this, the more God’s name is getting dragged through the mud: not due to apostates, not due to disgruntled ex-JWs, not even due to Satan, but rather all thanks to their pride and deception.

    • August 10, 2015 at 11:18 am
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      I absolutely agree with you, Average Joe! Best as I can logically conclude: If these guys are orchestrating a purposed lie in front of a national government commission for an organization as directed by the organization, then THIS CANNOT BE GOD’S ONE AND ONLY ORGANIZATION HERE ON EARTH. It has proven again that the WTBTS is a fraud and now a purposed liar!!! The truth hurts in this case and the representatives of the JW/WTBTS cannot even come clean. I agree, if they had faith in God, and they truly believed it was God’s organization, then they would be doing everything to rightly and justly resolve these matters as God would set things strait. But no, they can only lie and talk in circles. God’s organization and the GB is the true mouthpiece of god? MY BIG BUTT ON FIRE!!!

      • August 10, 2015 at 1:43 pm
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        @Searcher, search from the Bible you’ll find that JW/WTBTS is God’s Organization as you can see… (1 Samuel 15:3) 3 Now go, and strike down the A·malʹek·ites, and devote them to destruction along with all that they have. You must not spare them; you are to put them to death, man as well as woman, child as well as infant, bull as well as sheep, camel as well as donkey.’”

      • August 10, 2015 at 5:04 pm
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        After just eating a bowl of chili your statement “MY BIG BUTT ON FIRE” made lol hard. Never heard that before. I agree with your other statements as well.

  • August 10, 2015 at 5:44 am
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    In the distant past Terry O’Brien would frequently portray himself as having all of the answers to as he would taunt us with the line ‘any question, any subject’ and I must say he was good at covering himself pretty well on so many subjects that he clearly knew nothing about. I mention this because he really does back himself and was and is a sharp thinker.
    I always knew he would go to the top ranks of the JW’s, as at the ripe old age of 25 he was clearly rousing attention. He has been chosen by the upper level since way back, and for good reason, they know exactly what they require in a leader, and he has always fitted that bill to a T in number of ways.

    • August 10, 2015 at 5:12 pm
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      It just goes to show you that even the best and most prestigious among JWs fail on some of the most basic points of reasoning. If he is as bright as you say though it may also indicate the extant he is willing to go to protect the organization. Even to his own detriment.
      The reasonableness of the royal commission stands in stark contrast to the watchtower representatives.

  • August 10, 2015 at 6:01 am
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    And a personal message to Terry O’Brien in response to his manipulative approach in trying to protect a governing boy member from answering to the RC. Two words you know exactly what they refer back to in 1980, and your day out preaching. `NO PLEASE’, and your performance on day seven was a copy of your opponents performance on that day 1980.
    Unreasonable argument – persistent defence of same.

  • August 10, 2015 at 6:16 am
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    At the risk of possibly upsetting some people, I’m still going to say this: It’s like listening to the perverse testimony at the Nuremberg Trials all over again…”Just following orders”…”Our superiors know best”. But what is MOST disturbing is that these Elders are completely oblivious to the complete mind control and hive mentality that they’ve been imprisoned by!!
    Any Star Trek fans here?? The Borg!!
    Oh, and not to mention the arrogance and pride of those testifying. They’re not doing themselves or the Borganisation any favours by their haughty responses.
    Exposure of this dangerous, evil, malevolent cult has been a long time coming!!

  • August 10, 2015 at 6:30 am
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    Brilliant reporting and analysis, CovertFade.

    I am so glad that GB member Geoffrey Jackson has received a summons to the Commission. Well done to the Commission for seeing through the jaw-dropping duplicity (‘theocratic warfare’, my *&!&*!), of the WT.

    The WT’s heinous lack of safeguarding of children and vulnerable people in its organisation has to change. The momentum is unstoppable now — and about time.

    • August 10, 2015 at 8:12 am
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      Thanks Carlos for the update! I also enjoy the article’s title…

    • August 10, 2015 at 9:09 am
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      HUGE! IF he indeed does show up. More of the curtain will be pulled back on this cult.

      Look forward with anticipation to hearing his testimony. A. Stewart, and the entire ARC, have been nails during this entire process.

      Theocratic Warfare from the WT will be seen once again.

    • August 10, 2015 at 5:16 pm
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      Unprecedented if he actually does show up! I’ll believe it when I see it. I can’t wait until Friday! I may skip work.

  • August 10, 2015 at 8:16 am
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    The point about hiding the truth, or even lying to protect God (the Society) was revisited upon the elders ( if not also the publishers, which I believe it was) by the Society in the 80’s and even into the 90’s. For a lawyer to say he has no recollection concerning such statements… well… I’m really at a loss how to comment.

    From my personal experience when I was an elder, we were trained to protect the Society (including the governing body) from any kind of inflammatory attack, even if it should cost us prison time or fines. Any faithful elder believed that Satan was wielding his evil power against God’s agents, and it was our duty to protect Mother.

    As for child abuse cases. Sad to say the two witness rule was strictly applied in most cases… even with repeat offenders. Fortunately for me, I never sat a committee dealing with child sexual abuse, but was on one where parent neglect drove a young teen female into the arms of a predator. True, it was in the early 80’s, a different time back then, enlightenment and understanding concerning such issues having grown in the medical and social communities since then.

    Still, there was no guidance from the Society other than to treat a young teen like an adult… protecting others in the flock by keeping to congregation ‘clean’… and not to look into underlying matters for a child’s actions. Let the chips fall where they may, so to speak. Love and mercy often meted out by the whip.

    From my experiences with judicial cases, the Society kept a ‘hands clean’ approach, making the untrained elders cast the stones in judgment so that if anything later hit the fan the Society could be absolved by accusing the elders for mishandling the problem. “Circle the wagons about Mother”.

    Sadly, I couldn’t see those things at the time, and it’s only been through reflection that I’ve come to understand the unloving cruelty I helped dispense at times feeling it was God’s will.

    • August 10, 2015 at 11:04 am
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      I wish my dad, who’s been an elder for all of my 30+ years, could see things the way so many of us do now. On the other hand, if he ever did, it would crush him, so part of me just wants him to be happy doing what he’s doing for the rest of his life, even if it has indirectly torn our family apart.

      • August 10, 2015 at 11:07 am
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        The longer you serve as a Witness, the more you have at stake. That’s why you see so much blindness, because people do not want to admit the possibility that they have devoted their whole life and sacrificed so much for a religion that is inherently flawed just like all the rest.

    • August 10, 2015 at 12:31 pm
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      Thank you Rae. Your open and revealing observations serve others trying to escape this awful organization. I left in 2013 after further changes to the NWT (the removal of verses that had been present for more than 2000 years,…that harmed no person ever). These taught a lesson of love and mercy exercised by no other than God’s own son! I have been struggling ever since trying to deprogram, wow it has been work! This organization has damaged countless thousands if not a millions, most of them even oblivious to it. Your reporting really helps me and I know it helps all others who have become disillusioned for various reasons. Thank you.

    • August 11, 2015 at 8:04 am
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      Rae,

      The good news is that you can see what you did was wrong now. We all have regrets and things we did as JWs that we are ashamed of.

      The fact that you are here contributing to this discussion speaks volumes of your moral compass. Good for you, Rae!

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • August 10, 2015 at 8:18 am
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    This whole case is proving to be dynamite. I am a current JW and am ashamed of the blatant evasiveness, unreasonableness and outright lies of these men who blindly follow and defend the governing body no matter what. If they thought they could pull the wool over the eyes of the RC, they have made an enormous mistake that will come back to haunt them.

    I have been glued to the videos over the past few days whilst attending the regional assembly in Glasgow. As I watched Mark Sanderson give his talks, my mind would drift in and out of what was happening in Australia. This has got to be one of the biggest events happening since the crisis/witch hunt at Bethel in 1981.

    • August 10, 2015 at 9:32 am
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      Joe I believe you’re right on with your assumption of this matter related to the 81′ “apostasy” purge. If not much worse. Unlike the star chamber tribunals which occurred in 81′, this is being televised and saved on YouTube for generations to come.

      The outcome of this hearing could prove financially fatal. The ARC has already stated they expect to receive redress funds from each of the institutions based on the number of claims each institution has against them. No doubt, future child abuse cases will refer to this hearing as a basis to establish redress.

    • August 11, 2015 at 8:08 am
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      Joe,

      Thanks for your comment. It gives me hope when I read comments from good hearted current JWs like your good self.

      We have had to endure many, many comments from JW apologists in the past, and it’s great that current Witnesses are agreeing with out demand for justice and compensation for the many victims of paedophilia in the WTBTS. Thank you for strengthening my faith in human kindness, Joe!

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • August 10, 2015 at 8:32 am
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    It’s confirmed ! Can’t wait until Friday..

    The Royal Commission’s public hearing into the Jehovah’s Witnesses will recommence in Sydney on Friday 14 August 2015 at 11:00am.

    It is anticipated that the hearing will hear from one witness, Mr Geoffrey Jackson, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/2015-08/public-hearing-into-the-jehovah%E2%80%99s-witnesses-to-rec

    • August 10, 2015 at 5:41 pm
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      RE: “It’s confirmed ! Can’t wait until Friday..”

      Governing Body member Gerrit “I Do Not Answer To Watchtower” Lösch blew off a summons to testify in a child abuse trial, which resulted in a default judgment against the Watchtower. I am concerned that Geoffrey “He Has No Authority Over Us” Jackson will do the same.

      The use of theocratic warfare would allow Jackson to lie and promise to appear even though he really planned to sneak out of the country before Friday. I hope I am wrong, because it would be interesting to hear Jackson lie to the Royal Commission.

      http://jwsurvey.org/cedars-blog/i-do-not-answer-to-watchtower-stunning-gerrit-losch-declaration-revealed

  • August 10, 2015 at 8:53 am
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    Thank you Cedars for bringing the Australia commission to my inbox! Excellent piece CovertFade, very well written. A pure delight.

    Making this available online to anyone daring to listen to their inner gut feeling, to infringe this embedded principle of turning away from any source of information other than that of the authoritarian WT and to read about this Commission’s proceedings is vital.

    WT is fearing more than ever reaching the final financial knockout. There are leaks everywhere. They will use this like scoundrels again, when they can’t hide it anymore, to turn it to their advantage to scare JWs into believing the WT’s predictions were right all along, and that the end is very near! So be generous and get your credit cards out. These court matters are very expensive and may land financially fatal penalties.

    They have conditioned all JW to protect the GB at the risk of facing justice themselves for lying to protect their abusers. Some may lie in fear of losing their all-expenses-paid honourable and highly-respected position in the org.

    The saddest part is the consequences in terms of post-traumatic stress disorder victims of this cult, and especially victims of sexual abuse, will have to live with for the rest of their lives. I think it’s the least of the GB members’ worries right now. It’s way past time to put a definite end to this.

    Part of the healing process for the victims is seeing the truth come out. It’s about time fattened enriched WT leaders know a bit about what being stressed and tormented is all about.

    Can’t wait to see the next proceedings. What conclusions will the Commission reach and what recommendations will be made. What will change with regards to the law and how will it be possible for authorities to interfere, control and audit what goes on in this and other cults? How to see what is going on behind closed doors? This is very delicate.

    As long as people are scared, it is very difficult to get the children out of dangerous situations. Trying to get people aware of the evil of these cults is one huge step towards prevention. Control is a whole other ball game.

  • August 10, 2015 at 10:55 am
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    Excellent coverage and writing, @CovertFade

  • August 10, 2015 at 11:31 am
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    This is excellent coverage of the proceeding and I thank CoverFade and Cedars for bringing it to the forum for discussion.

    For anyone that is still in the JW cult and not quite sure, then this has to be the final straw to show that the “Truth” isn’t really the truth, that this organization isn’t “God’s only organization here on earth”, and the GB is not “God’s Faithful and Discrete Slave” representative and mouthpiece. I agree with Average Joe that these guys (in Australia and the GB too) would be doing everything they could to expose the truth and not hide or try to deceive. If these leader had true faith and understood that they are God’s chosen ones, would they need to lie and deceive? Wouldn’t they have no fear in setting things right and just? Of course not! They are frauds, and here is proof that they (WTBTS leaders and the GB) know it too.

    Unfortunately, people will believe what they want to believe. Those that are heavily invested over the years in this cult will rationalize away these lies and ‘guidance’. They will say, “this is Satan attacking the God’s organization, so the end must be near!” It’s pathetic and pitiful for those in the rank and file. I really feel for those people and how hard it is to accept the fact that their faith was misplaced in these disgusting SNAKES on leaders.

    • August 10, 2015 at 11:34 am
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      correction: “…SNAKES AS leaders.”

  • August 10, 2015 at 11:34 am
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    At least one GB member has said they devote much time to reading WT material, presumably to approve it. So the GB is not doing much writing; WT staff produces the “script” that determines WT policy.

    WT staff is a big machine; not even the GB can control it. So I don’t expect much revelation from Jackson’s testimony.

    • August 11, 2015 at 8:10 am
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      Simon,
      I think it was Samuel Herd, but I could be wrong!

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • August 10, 2015 at 11:45 am
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    I agree with most of this report except:

    What you failed to mention in regards to O’Brian’s response when asked about how he can prove that what he is saying about Jackson’s dad being sick is in fact true….O’Brian went on to say that they can provide a doctors note and medical records.
    I am anti-watchtower. But, let’s be honest on how we report.
    thx

    • August 10, 2015 at 1:53 pm
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      Adrian, I read the article again and so should you before you imply that the writer wasn’t being honest. No where in any of these articles was anybody saying that Jackson’s father isn’t ill.

    • August 10, 2015 at 2:34 pm
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      I think my reply might have gotten eaten by the internet, apologies if it shows up later and this is a shorter repeat.

      I understand that point you make Adrian. My use of the quote was intended to show how the commission had come to view O’Brien in terms of his ability to give honest testimony. Whilst it true that he does give the response you cite, it doesn’t really change the overall thrust of the what I intended to show: that they don’t trust him, have ample proof of one deception, and thus don’t feel that they can trust anything else he’s said.

      Since Cedars and the team have ensured the full video footage is linked on this website, and other articles on the site also link to the transcripts, I think people can quickly view and put the whole exchange in full context if they wish. I personally don’t feel the context alters the point I was making, but I respect that others might feel differently.

      The comments section on an article like this is always a valuable tool, for readers to challenge articles and add extra perspective and depth to coverage if they feel something was lacking. Discussion always illuminates things, and I always welcome it about anything I write. :)

      • August 10, 2015 at 10:32 pm
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        A prime example of the difference between “mentally diseased” apostates. And the borg… You welcome critical thinking about your articles instead of expecting the reader to just ignore what he/she considers to be inconsistencies.

        Great work CF

  • August 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm
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    You can bet that Jackson is sitting with the watchtower lawyers as we speak, being “prepped” for Friday.

    The lawyers will make sure to think of every question and contingency that may come up in the hearings.

    In my opinion, Jackson will be evasive and will tip toe through the difficult questions.

    • August 10, 2015 at 2:12 pm
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      True, but remember the commission have a week to prepare as well, and they know now full well what kind of organisation they are dealing with. Jackson can tip-toe all he like, it’ll only make it worse for himself when they catch him out doing it.

      • August 10, 2015 at 2:38 pm
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        I agree that the commission already know who and what they are dealing with and hopefully they will be ready for the probable evasiveness and manouvering by Jackson.

    • August 10, 2015 at 11:39 pm
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      RE: “You can bet that Jackson is sitting with the watchtower lawyers as we speak, being “prepped” for Friday.”

      Just how far does the theocratic warfare umbrella extend? Does lying to protect the Watchtower have any limits?

      Jackson might be able to get out of appearing by faking a medical emergency. It won’t surprise me if Jackson somehow manages to avoid his Friday date with destiny.

      • August 11, 2015 at 9:34 pm
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        I’m afraid of that happening as well. That would be all to convenient. But it would most certainly earn them a penalty.

    • August 11, 2015 at 8:18 am
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      Rob,

      Yes, he’ll be in a huddle with his rubbish legal team, desperately trying to come up with some way not to be slaughtered by the commission on Friday!

      If he was a real man, he would be by his father’s side and if he were a true Christian, he would be expecting his “Big brother” Jesus to guide his tongue!

      However, since the revolting cult he helps to run has no relation to Christianity, I guess he’s better off with his rubbish legal team after all!

      I am looking forward to his testimony.

      Folks, if you want a good laugh, check out the YouTube channel, My Plastic Microphone. He has a short snippet of a video where Geoffrey Jackson is ogling a young woman on a dance floor, and she runs away as fast as she can! Very, very cringe worthy!

      However you slice it or dice it, the WTBTS is up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • August 10, 2015 at 1:37 pm
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    “What of Jackson? He has three options.”! I like this! David, GRANDFATHER of Jesus, had to face such a painful situation of making a choice among three painful choices! What will do Geoffrey Jackson, the BROTHER of Jesus? Let him read this Bible story for guidance:

    (2 Samuel 24:12-17) . . .Go, and you must say to David, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Three things I am laying upon you. Choose for yourself one of them that I may do it to you.”’” 13 Accordingly Gad came in to David and told him and said to him: “Should there come to you seven years of famine in your land, or three months of your fleeing before your adversaries, with them pursuing you, or the occurring of three days of pestilence in your land? Now know and see what I shall reply to the One sending me.” 14 So David said to Gad: “It is very distressing to me. Let us fall, please, into the hand of Jehovah, for many are his mercies; but into the hand of man do not let me fall.” 15 Then Jehovah gave a pestilence in Israel from the morning until the time appointed, so that out of the people from Dan to Beʹer-sheʹba seventy thousand persons died. 16 And the angel kept his hand thrust out toward Jerusalem to bring it to ruin; and Jehovah began to feel regret over the calamity, and so he said to the angel that was bringing ruin among the people: “It is enough! Now let your hand drop.” And Jehovah’s angel himself happened to be close by the threshing floor of A·rauʹnah the Jebʹu·site. 17 And David proceeded to say to Jehovah, when he saw the angel that was striking the people down, yes, he proceeded to say: “Here it is I that have sinned and it is I that have done wrong; but these sheep—what have they done? Let your hand, please, come upon me and upon the house of my father.”

  • August 10, 2015 at 3:01 pm
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    Might I defend Scripture.
    The two witness rule, is not as the Mosaic Law functioned.
    Check out: David & Amalekite [over Saul’s death] incident.
    Similar application is shown in Jesus’ trial.
    They would not have had problems with the present issues.
    Child abuse would be rape I suggest.

    • August 10, 2015 at 3:31 pm
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      David is not the best example for arguing a case of one witness testimony; he was impulsive and did not always follow the law.

      But you have the right idea about rape and one witness testimony.

      Deuteronomy 22:25-27 show that a man guilty of rape can be put to death on the testimony of one witness. As those verses say, no one was nearby to hear the woman scream, the only witness was the victim herself.

      Does the two witness rule nullify her claim? No. The two witness rule is meant for expediting cases where the facts are not in dispute.

      Deuteronomy 17:8,9 in the New World Translation, 2013 edition says:

      “If a case arises in one of your cities that is too difficult for you to judge, whether it is a case involving bloodshed, or a legal claim that has been raised, or a violent deed that has been committed OR OTHER MATTERS OF DISPUTE, you should rise up and go to the place that Jehovah your God chooses. Go to the Levitical priests AND TO THE JUDGE SERVING IN THOSE DAYS, and make your inquiry, and they will hand down the decision to you.”

      So when there is a DISPUTE, such as the case of a single witness, a JUDGE can decide the case. Having two or more witnesses simply means there is no dispute, and the local older men can handle the case quickly, without consulting a judge.

      Again for emphasis, the two witness rule is meant for expediting cases where the facts are NOT in dispute, but it’s not the final word on a matter. That’s what judges are for, and that’s where Jehovah’s Witnesses fail in their application of the Bible. They stop short of the full procedure given in their very own Bible!

      And they claim to be teachers of it!

    • August 10, 2015 at 6:05 pm
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      Yes, agreed, the law covenant had a clear rule that if a female was raped and screamed but nobody was around to hear it, then then offender was to be put to death, so there would have only been the victims testimony as a witness, and that system was fine at that time. It is only the rule makers in Brooklyn who have made life difficult by their insistence on a rule that is nonsensical.

  • August 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm
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    If Jackson does appear, it will be more of the same, “We cannot
    go beyond the things written” “We must obey God as ruler rather
    than men”. Thereby setting themselves up as the persecuted ones,
    and champions of “Gods holy word”.

    How can they compromise on the 2 witness rule, or that only male
    elders can make decisions in child abuse cases or rape, or joining
    in with Babylon the Great organisations in a joint fund to make
    reparation to victims ?

    They’re already deep in it and it will really hit the fan if they back
    down on any of those issues, considering how they’ve encouraged
    brothers in various countries to die before before giving a inch on
    Bible principles. What ammunition that will provide for us apostates !
    All this they are acutely aware of. So they will dig their heels in. IMHO.

    • August 10, 2015 at 6:09 pm
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      I wonder if the names Leo Greenless and Theodore Jaracs will come up. Two ex governing body members with a very scathing sexual past. No doubt the files in Brooklyn would have info on them and there’s enough notoriety about them online that the royal commission could easily capitalise on. The ARC has been very thorough in their research so I wouldn’t be surprised if it came up. I’m sure bro. Jackson would just say he wasn’t present as gb in those days and therefore has no input but still IT WOULD BE EVEN MORE RIVETING THAN IT ALREADY IS!

  • August 10, 2015 at 3:21 pm
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    I know both Terry Obrian and Vin Toole and once upon a time would have believed anything they said.
    This commission has really exposed the leaders for what they are,worshippers of an organization,how ridiculous to think that they needed to obfuscate and lie on Jehovah’s behalf!
    I wonder if any of them are going to be doing jail time, it’s a lot like the time when Jo Rutherford was put in jail for illegally manipulating the brothers back in 1914,now these guys could face jail for illegally protecting peadophiles,lieing about it,and calling it Jehovah’s will!
    Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it, I believe Jehovah himself is showing its time to dispose of the hierarchy and all it represents if we are to carry his name.

  • August 10, 2015 at 3:42 pm
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    Human nature is human nature, the more you’ve got to hide the more cautious you will be. I once said to a legal mind, if you can smell bullsh-t there’s usually a pile not far away.

  • August 10, 2015 at 5:49 pm
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    Is so upsetting when you think these losers one time have controlled our life’s and we believed all the bullshit they have told us. I am wondering after so many lies have told the committee, these people will ask their God (given fake name Jehovah) please forgive our sins, and the reproach will bring to your fake name in to the world. shame on you JEHOVAH WITNESSES

  • August 10, 2015 at 5:50 pm
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    Another interesting point from Tooles testimony…
    His legal studies at University were paid for in full by Watchtower. He let this slip in cross examination. So it is OK for WT to tell the rank & file that higher education is a big No-No, but if they want some legal guns on their side they are more than happy to break the rules and use the contributions of those lowly paid rank & file members to pay for it – Hypocrites!

  • August 10, 2015 at 6:22 pm
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    i’m also an active witness with privileges in the congregation and it’s been awhile since i had to open my eyes and come to the realization of how human our organization is and how far from the truth we are. It’s all about idiolizing the organization and protecting this naive and utopique idea that we call spiritual paradise.
    I agree with all of you it does not matter how shocking the outcome will be, we have been well conditioned to interpret these events as sign of satan’s world attack. But with time and patience a new generation won’t have any choice but to realize how wrong we were. The WT is running out of time considering its interpretation of the word “generation”. You can’t bring a more sophisticated explanation of that word than the one we have now.
    But we need to stay and raise these “positive” questions and avoid any questions that could come out as an attack on the organization. That would just trigger a defense mechanism that will shut down their critical thinking ability. Innocent question and “positive” concerns that will raise question would guide them to the right reflection. It will take time but it will happen in their mind once they are alone with their thoughts. A lot of our fellow friends will need people like us the day the truth comes out in an unexpect it way. A lot of them will be lost in life. A lot of have them have made sacrifices that have no meaning.
    I don’t think that the royal commission will change anything yet BUT the beauty of this event is that none of the commission witnesses are “apostates” are speaking (except for one) and this does not come from the press. It’s all facts established by a judicial process nothing has been exaggerated. All the interrogated witnesses are respected brothers with ranks in the organization and nobody can reproach us or anybody for watching this. So I will send some of my friend to the website and I will tell them that I got the news from a Google alert on witnesses (since I like to hear our legal victories around the world brought by the world press ;) )

  • August 10, 2015 at 10:09 pm
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    This was a really good article. I had listened to much of the real life Royal commission drama but to have it explained underscored the rubbish that the Watchtower were coming out with. Thanks for making it clearer. Jackson is definitely in the hot seat. He can’t get out of this one. If he turns up, then this must be the first time a governing body member has taken the stand, what since 1918 or so? Very historic and yet it will not even rate a mention amongst faithful Witnesses. You would think they would be interested in all this as matter of personal interest and gaining more faith in their beloved Watchtower. They are all brainwashed beyond belief.

  • August 10, 2015 at 10:09 pm
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    It’s sad that this is getting absolutely no coverage in the U.S. I’ve written to several news outlets asking them to cover this story, but haven’t heard a peep.

    Everyone needs to hear about this. This dangerous cult needs to be exposed to the entire world.

    • August 10, 2015 at 10:40 pm
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      To a tiny minority of ex JWs it’s important, but to the population at large, the whole JW organization is insignificant. News outlets need ratings, and this won’t do it for them.

    • August 11, 2015 at 5:08 am
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      Richard
      I too have contact dozens of news outlets and have yet to see anything on the news in the U.S. Maybe they had their fill with all the Catholic sex abuse cases .

  • August 10, 2015 at 10:59 pm
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    It is the beginning of “the end”. Of the WTBTS, not the world.

  • August 10, 2015 at 11:19 pm
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    Geoffrey Jackson is one of the seven self-appointed members of the Watchtower’s Governing Body. The members of this exclusive fraternity have made some very spectacular claims about themselves, which are summarized below:

    “The faithful and discreet slave: A small group of anointed brothers who are directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food during Christ’s presence. Today, these anointed brothers make up the Governing Body. That faithful slave is the channel through which Jesus is feeding his true followers in this time of the end. It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave. Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel.”

    If Jackson actually shows up to testify before the Royal Commission, he will have a hard time convincing the investigators that he has no authority over Watchtower underlings and no involvement in Watchtower policy making decisions. He will have an even more difficult time claiming that he has no knowledge of Watchtower doctrine and procedure as it pertains to handling child abuse cases.

    http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/w20130715/who-is-faithful-discreet-slave/

  • August 10, 2015 at 11:23 pm
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    The Jehovah’s witnesses/GB/organisation claim to be a bible based religion, so in my mind if you can reason form that prospective, despite the law, it will or should have a greater impact.
    The two witness rule is effectively their defence.
    I would ask a Jehovah witness their view on deu 22 with regards to the sexual crime of rape (23-27). My point would be this. . . . Even if a person heard the woman scream he/she would not necessarily be an eye witness to the rape, the scream would be the circumstantial evidence which would be enough to convict him, nevertheless, in the place where no scream could be heard (out in the field) the prepitriator could still be convicted even if there was no one to corroborate her story. . Is that correct?
    Matt 18 follows a similar formula, take a witness as to his attitude because he’s not listening, then two, three, the entire congregation, were they all eye witnesses to the sin?, no but to the circumstantial evidence. . . Is that correct? In other words you do not need two eye witnesses to an actual event to establish guilt.
    Once that issue is proven to a JW there can be no argument as to the wickedness of the stance taken by the organisation in this regard.
    The reality is the organisation adopts this stance to avoid litigation and is self serving (peddlers of Gods word comes to mind).
    I would be interested to hear the teachings committee response to this.

    • August 11, 2015 at 12:19 am
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      Very well said Jake, as I have said before that WT is misapplying the 2-witness rule and I have quoted even the same scripture in Deut. chapter 22. and I believe the 2 witness rule would apply AFTER Mathew chapter 18 was applied. Take a witness with you for the first attempt to confront/establish the wrongdoing…if he doesn’t listen then take 2 and after 3. THEN and only then could you go to the Elders, so they’re misapplying the 2 witness rule by not looking at those Scriptures as a whole v.s. reading them individually and taking them completely out of context. Anyone with 1/2 a brain knows there’s rarely/never anyone present as a second witness to a crime of rape. Those that usually are present have been known to be part of those networks of child trafficing.

  • August 11, 2015 at 12:16 am
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    Just a point on the Royal Commission. It is not a Court of Law. It has different powers and greater ones at that than a Court of Law. If you are are summoned by The RC then you cannot do a Gerrit Losch and think you can get away. They will if necessary put out an international arrest warrant and extradite him back to Australia. Rest assured he will appear.
    As many contributors on this page have noted or realised, Jackson will have been coached, his memory will not recall incriminating events but will recall in great detail all other events. He will not have read things older than the year 2000 just gone, everything prior to that was old school and it has all been changed and he didn’t want to read that rubbish anyway, like Vin Toole, who said he had never heard of theocratic warfare. I have heard of some whoppers in my time but never a lie on that scale before.
    Finally, that don’t even believe the book they claim to support. Because events of the Christs last days prophecy haven’t turned out like they expected and since the GB are all under 75, half under 65 years of age they invented the “overlap” theory to explain their “anointing. Why? Because they are not of the generation that would “see all these things occur’. Meaning that Christ’s prophecy already had a fault with it. So I did a little research on the net and lo and behold guess what? Around the world there are approx 1.5 million people who were born in 1914 or prior to it and still alive. Whether it is accepted that Christ’s prophecy is true or not they should believe it, and they don’t, but that “generation” is still alive and bearing witness against them. They really don’t have much going for them do they?

  • August 11, 2015 at 12:24 am
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    Don’t you just hate it when you forget to do an edit? The following sentence should read
    Finally, that don’t even believe the book they claim to support. Because events of the Christs last days prophecy

    Should read- Finally THEY don’t… and- events of CHRIST’s

  • August 11, 2015 at 2:25 am
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    Can’t wait to hear how the RC got a hold of the Branch Handbook!!

    Is there a secret army of faders at Bethel,trying to bring the cult down from within??

  • August 11, 2015 at 7:17 am
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    If Jackson tries to use the Bible as his authority when it comes to the two witness rule and he goes by the Hebrew Scriptures from the Law Covenant that God supposedly gave to the nation of Israel, I would hope that the Commission would have him look up a few scriptures in the New World Translation and ask for Jackson’s explanation of those scriptures. These are scriptures that I don’t believe Jackson would have an answer for when it comes to the old Law Covenant with Israel:

    Jeremiah 7:22 “For I did not speak with your forefathers, nor did I command them in the day of my bringing them out from the land of Egypt concerning the matters of whole burnt offering and sacrifice.”

    Jeremiah 8:8 “How can you men say “We are wise and the law of Jehovah is with us”? Surely now the false stylus of the scribes has worked in sheer falsehood.”

    Colossians 2:23 (speaking of the law) “Those very things are, indeed, possessed of an appearance of wisdom in a self-imposed form of worship and mock humility, a severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in combating the satisfying of the flesh.”

    Ps. 51:10 “For you do not take delight in sacrifice-otherwise I would give it, In whole burnt offering you do not find pleasure.”

    Acts:7:42,43 “So God turned and handed them over to render sacred service to the army of heaven, just as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘It was not to me that you offered victims and sacrifices for forty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel? But it was the tent of Moloch and the star of the god Rephan that you took up, the figures which you made to worship them. Consequently I will deport you beyond Babylon.”

    If Witnesses read the Bible and think about what they are reading, it makes it pretty clear that when the angel appeared to Moses in the thorn bush and the voice of Jehovah is what Moses heard, it was an angel called Jehovah who Moses heard and not God. The Watchtower likes to explain those scriptures away by saying that it was God speaking through an angel but actually if you take the rest of the Bible, it is saying that the Law was the worship of angels. It says in that one scripture in Acts that it wasn’t just the worship of the golden calf that was to Molech but it was during the whole forty years and beyond that the Israelites were worshiping false gods. The Watchtower went ahead and put the name Jehovah in the Bible over 7,000 times but who is Jehovah? Is Jehovah the angel who gave the Israelites the law or was it the other God who said that he didn’t take delight in burnt offerings?????

  • August 11, 2015 at 7:51 am
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    It appears that these proceedings have not been picked up by the media in the USA, but if it turns out that criminal charges are laid or there is some type of sanction placed upon the witness religion in Australia, one can hope that it will gain international attention.

    Even though I rarely discuss religion with witnesses anymore, I decided to have a quick discussion with a witness relative and I said to him, – Perhaps the “new system” as envisioned by the watchtower may not come in your lifetime” – He looked at me as if I was crazy and and said that he knew that the end was very near. I then said – If in 1950 you spoke to a witness who was maybe 45 years old and told him that the “new system” may not come in his lifetime, what would have been his response? He did not reply – discussion ended.

    • August 11, 2015 at 8:22 am
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      “He looked at me as if I was crazy and and said that he knew that the end was very near.’

      Sad, of course the analogy to is this the loser at a casino, always going back with a new scheme. Always near – always soon! BTW, I love the “you just wait” fist shaking approach!

      IMHO

      dogstar

  • August 11, 2015 at 8:21 am
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    why am I enjoying this whole drama as it unfolds?

  • August 11, 2015 at 8:45 am
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    I know what the JW.org are gonna do. To keep the followers in check, they’re going to make a broadcast about how the whole thing is “Satan is attacking once again just like it was for Rutherford so be vigilant oh soldiers of the most high” Then threaten who ever follows the proceedings with disfellowship.
    “Isn’t it wise therefore brothers to leave such matters in Jehovah’s hands and concentrate on preaching”? clap clap clap.

  • August 11, 2015 at 9:49 am
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    As I recall, the reason Rutherford was imprisoned was due
    To the fact they were publishing seditious words in their
    Finished Mystery book. Anti-government stuff that riled
    The Justices in that WW1 era. Some called it a compromise that he agreed to rip those pages out of that
    Publication and they were released from jail. Some how
    That was some prophetic fulfillment as well. Now, bringing this up to speed, Rutherford brought his tortures
    Upon himself to prove he was of Christ. Persecuted followers of Christ. Cannot it be said that he taunted the
    Bull?
    So it goes here in civilized society, when you rattle, you
    Must roll.

  • August 11, 2015 at 9:58 am
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    Jackson actually has a FOURTH option, but it is arguably just as impossible as the first three.

    I obviously can’t speak for a GB member, but f I were him, and I’d been watching the proceedings, and seeing how the RC was lining up all their ducks and systematically eviscerating every policy, excuse, and testimony, and I was now faced with running that gauntlet MYSELF…

    …I’d seriously consider eating a bullet between now and Friday.

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