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 11, 2015 at 10:47 am
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    Average Joe and Ream I am very happy to meet you guys on this website. I am an active witness also. I attend meetings two to three times a month to keep my family happy. I became inactive when I became overly saturated with the org insulting my mind. They are insulting my mind. Recently I had a conversation with two ‘sisters’ who feel the society uses emotional black mail (disfellowshipping) to make people come back into the ‘truth’ when that should return because it’s from the heart. The point I’m making is many thinking witnesses are afraid to speak up. This website is an excellent place to come to because it is non judgemental. It gives active witnesses who are waking up from indoctrination a safe place to come to. Active witnesses who are waking up find they have to deal with hateful judgemental people inside and outside of the religion. Waking up takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight.

    • August 11, 2015 at 1:22 pm
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      @Catalina
      Pleased to meet you. Your observations are very perceptive. There is indeed a good spirit of fellowship here between the active and non-active JWs even though our opinions differ but we seem to be able to talk about things in a civilised manner: totally opposite to what the WTS teaches. As yet, I still haven’t met a horrid, diseased apostate on here!

  • August 11, 2015 at 11:02 am
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    @Jake

    Mt 18 is not necessary in the case of serious crimes such as rape.

    The two witness rule is meant for expediting cases where the facts are not in dispute, but it’s not the final word. 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.

    De 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.

    The two witness rule does not stop the victim’s claim. As De 17:8,9 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 dispute, such as the case of a single witness, a judge can decide the case. WT fails to apply this provision, denying the very Bible they claim to teach.

    • August 11, 2015 at 2:10 pm
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      Excellent comment, hence the superior authorities, I agree.
      In fairness to Watchtower and other religious organisations, if they have a confession (as I understand it and hopefully I am wrong, but it’s well worth the discussion) they are legally bound by clergy, laity privilege?

      • August 11, 2015 at 3:01 pm
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        Not in Australia Jake. Aside from the legal perspective there is no confidentiality in the organisation for ordinary Witnesses only the organisation gets to keep secrets.

        • August 11, 2015 at 5:53 pm
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          Keith is correct. There’s no such thing as ‘ecclesiastical privilege’ (something that was brought up during the RC) as testimony, confessions etc. are provided to more than one person during a Judicial Committee.

      • August 12, 2015 at 10:01 am
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        Agreed and thanks for the reasoning

  • August 11, 2015 at 1:30 pm
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    my hope is that this commission will help many see the ‘truth’, but for those deeply entrenched, they will not watch this, and will wait for the governing body to give them the news as the governing body sees fit. My own father who left years ago and doesn’t plan on going back, has become an apologist, believing only good things about Watchtower. He is still terrified about being labeled an apostate. Once I woke up fully, it was impossible to look at this organization the same way ever again. A person has to be open to seeing the truth though, whatever the truth may be. Many stay loyal to the organization out of pride and arrogance. Thank you for the great concise articles, much appreciated.

  • August 11, 2015 at 1:34 pm
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    Jackson can have all of the coaching he wants but it won’t help for a few of reasons. First, lawyers could be of service for someone who only has to consider legal matters but they don’t help much when you’re a delusional cult leader who thinks that your religious policy supersedes human courts. Second, since the arguments have to be in line with JW doctrine they’ve already been used by Spinx, Toole and OBrien. The ARC has already proved that the JW position is indefensible and ineffective. He can repeat the arguments if he would like but I don’t think it will help much. On that note, my thought is that Jackson’s best bet would be to go apostate as a rogue GB member by throwing their policies under the bus. On the other side he could consult with the GB (which I’m sure will be happening tomorrow) and come ready to comply with the ARC’s suggestions in Australia. Third, the ARC is not suckered by double talk which is absolutely essential to Jackson and his legal team for convincing people that the policies already in place are good.

  • August 11, 2015 at 1:46 pm
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    Just a note on some of the comments about the lack of publicity here in the U.S. and the general apathy/ thought stopping of the witnesses confronted with it. My wife and others are completely oblivious of what’s happening. When I mentioned the Jose Lopez case in the past, she told me that we can’t trust the media and was even suspicious of me for a while. I see that there is another “don’t trust the media” article coming out. It’s so hard/ disheartening to fight against that crap. What can we do? How can we get this information into people’s hand in a way that may arouse curiosity? I was thinking of making a friendly anonymous letter with the actual news clippings, relevant sections of elder books/ policy letters, websites etc. and mailing it to everyone in my congregation. Is it worth it? Has anyone tried it. I know they’ll probably just throw it away but I wonder if it couldn’t wake somebody up. I appreciate Lloyd and other activist but I can’t personally have a website or YouTube channel right now.

    • August 11, 2015 at 1:59 pm
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      Anonymous letter to the whole congregation? I don’t know if it will do much good, but it might get the hornet’s nest stirred up!

      Consider mailing yourself a copy too, for plausible deniability.

      • August 11, 2015 at 2:21 pm
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        I have my doubts about the effectiveness of changing minds but at least they would have the information available to them if they were the least bit concerned about the recent mentions of the subject by GB members. What are accusations that they feel they have to defend themselves against? I would send myself a copy too but it might still get pinned on me. I tend to have that apostate look in my eye…

        • August 11, 2015 at 5:38 pm
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          It is just an exercise in frustration; I printed out the branch manual that directly contradicts the watchtowers statement, that a man that is known to be a molester would never qualify as an elder or ministerial servant, and gave it to a family member who was also molested. Not only did this person continue to defend the Borg, she also reported me to the elders. It makes otherwise loving people defend something everyone else knows is repugnant and indefensible. It’s crushing to see the cult have such a powerful effect on good people.

          • August 12, 2015 at 5:42 am
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            Good for nothing slave,

            How awful for her and for you. I am sorry that this has happened to you both.

            This experience highlights the terrible power of undue influence. That poor victim has suffered unnecessarily due to her being fooled into believing that Jesus came down to earth invisibly, and chose an offshoot of the Adventist movement as his sole channel! Therefore, they can deny her justice, recognition of her suffering and compensation.

            What can we do? I think the only thing we can do is to be compassionate to them. I am no longer a believer, but there is no defence against kindness.

            Don’t raise this again, and try to do something kind for her. Let her know that you love her.

            It is for people like your family member that we are fighting the WTBTS. We are winning.

            Peace be with you, Excelsior!

      • August 13, 2015 at 9:12 am
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        Wow! Could you image the “Local Needs” talk that would follow something like that?

        Risky!

    • August 13, 2015 at 6:46 pm
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      I emailed to my JW father (an elder), in 25 or more separate emails, a link to every online news article concerning this whole thing, as well as copying and pasting each entire article to reach of those emails. I did not use any articles from apostate websites so he could see this stuff is in the news, in the world’s public eye. I didn’t expect to receive any type of reply, and I haven’t yet received one, but I’m hoping and praying that he doesn’t just delete everything I sent. Hoping and praying that maybe something gets through to him! Doubt it, but at least I tried, and will continue trying in this way, as the hearing goes on.

  • August 11, 2015 at 1:59 pm
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    Yes, I wonder and anticipate the upcoming testimony of
    Friday. How will he handle the interrogation?? Only he
    Knows, but I assume he will plead the “I don’t recall
    Scenario” that they have all resorted to. Just tell the
    Truth guys. The outcome will be better for you. The
    Truth is the truth right??? Either way, the world sees you
    As oddballs, …. take for example that Mormon creep who
    Was raping little girls Neffs? Was it? Now please brothers,
    Don’t act cowardly like he did. Also I am not implying
    That you are anywhere in that league, but, don’t cower
    From the stance you have allowed to prevail in this community. The Society has hidden pedos. now pay the
    Proverbial piper. Haven’t we?????

  • August 11, 2015 at 4:33 pm
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    I am sending invites out to current JW’s to see their Own GB member fulfil prophecy (Matt 10:18-20).
    I’m hoping it will stir their interest enough to watch.
    This hearing will prove costly to Watchtower and I do fear that something may happen to Geoffrey on his way to the Commission. Remember how Russell was silenced! I do hope history does not repeat itself!

    • August 11, 2015 at 6:37 pm
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      I give up… What did happen to Russel, Bad Penny? What do you fear could happen?

      • August 11, 2015 at 8:33 pm
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        I think Russell died in 1916 when he was on a train. Not sure what of. As my memory, which could probably stand corrected, seems to recall, there was a group of men who were taken to court for what I cannot remember. Watchtower claimed they were trumped up charges and the lot were sent to prison for a while, maybe a year or two. When they were released around 1919 they claimed they fulfilled prophecy and Judge Rutherford was pronouned their leader pronouncing that they had to “Advertise, advertise the King and the Kingdom to all the world.” I remember reading this in one of those old black Watchtower books from the 1920’s. I don’t recall it’s title. I was so eager back then to find out the history. What a sucker I was. Really, though, how could anyone have ever known whether those books ever told the truth?

    • August 12, 2015 at 5:52 am
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      Bad Penny,

      Charles Taze Russell was not murdered! He died of natural causes. If you have any evidence to the contrary then I would be very interested to see it.

      The imprisonment of the directors of the WTBTS was not on a murder charge. They are not linked.

      There is plenty of evidence that is verifiable fact to beat the WTBTS with. We don’t need hearsay and inaccuracies, we can leave them for the WTBTS to try to use.

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • August 11, 2015 at 8:27 pm
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    I am getting comments from some, that this is going to lead to the banning of religion, so wait for it guys, prophecy fulfilled, whatever happened to the king of the north/south stuff, all gone quiet on that one.

    • August 11, 2015 at 9:16 pm
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      That very well may be the spin that they try to use. But the fact that it’s not even mentioned in the legal matters section on JW.org shows that the GB isn’t too concerned about that. More like they are planning a preemptive strike to keep this quiet and let it fly under the JW radar.

      The GB also knows that there are serious financial penalties to be paid should this go south. ” How do we keep our Warwick retirement home construction going with stuff like this coming up?” “Lets make another donation broadcast!”

      • August 12, 2015 at 11:51 am
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        I think it’s not in the legal matters because I don’t think the Borg wants witnesses to look further into this. My wife had no idea this was going on in Australia until I told her and I suspect most witnesses are clueless. If the Borg posts it on their website, it will create a storm of inquiry.

        • August 12, 2015 at 4:55 pm
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          Will, you have me intrigued. Where did you get the Borg from. Everyone used to call it the Org but I don’t think it deserves that kind of recognition. Is it Bloody Organisation or Boring Organisation? Both of which seem fitting. I am intrigued.

          • August 12, 2015 at 5:15 pm
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            The “Borg” is from Star Trek Next Generation. It was an alien humanoid species. Via mental telepathy, they shared a collective mind, having no personal or individual will.

            They were an enemy of the Federation, raiding populated planets and assimilating the victims into their collective hive.

            Kind of like the WT …

        • August 14, 2015 at 6:07 am
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          @Will
          As an aviso Star Trek fan, i just take offence to your comparing the WTS to The Borg. They are a highly intelligent body, only looking out for improving other’s lives and striving towards perfection, although their methods leave a lot to be desired. I’m talking about the Borg by the way! :)
          The WTS are more akin to the Romulan High Council: paranoid of anything outside the organisation and quick to label everything non-JW as a threat. They too use fear tactics to keep the common Romulan in their place and obedient to the empire.

    • August 12, 2015 at 12:36 am
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      @Wip it. Yes your right about the new King of the North should come first as it disappeared once the USSR was disbanded when Berlin Wall came down. In last years AGM Geoffrey Jackson Alluded to the GB might reveal who the new King of the North would be in this years AGM in October!! Maybe Geoffrey me old Jokey GB Matey will be in an Australian prison by then & the GB can say Australia is the new King of the North !! Might as well be as the Aussies were thrashed in Cricket recently by part of King of the South(Britain) . I Just received Holy Spirit as I was drinking my Gin& Tonic . ?? I AM ANOINTED by G&T. Well probably I have a better claim to being Anointed than the 7 Charlatans in Brooklyn who are Milking the Poor Publishers of all their money& time to build their LUXURIOUS LAKESIDE HOTEL on that TOXIC DUMP Warwick!!

      • August 12, 2015 at 2:45 pm
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        Keep rubbing it in Pickled Brain. haha. Yes what a humiliating defeat the Aussies had but wait until we come back with a vengeance.

        Also, that’s interesting that they will wait until October to reveal who the K of the N will be. Why, I wonder. What do they have up their propaganda sleeve to keep everyone in anticipation for another few months.

      • August 12, 2015 at 3:09 pm
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        And the “King of the North” came storming out of the South to reclaim the beloved “Ashes”. Watch for the fulfilment in 2016.

  • August 11, 2015 at 9:44 pm
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    My mother told me today, after I had an argument with my dad, that they don’t expect the preaching work to reach the 30 lands and they are stubborn nd wont listen to me that its gonns be hard nd won’t happen anytime soon. She said thats why they have JW.org so that they can reach the other lands. Any thoughts on this

  • August 12, 2015 at 12:18 am
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    They kept the Silentlambs protest march a big secret too, when they locked the gates from those dangerous insidious victims of child sexual abuse back in 2003. Not a word was said. That is how they operate. This is part of their passive warfare. It is so pathetic. And the idea of the beginning of the end for religion, isn’t that a Watchtower prophecy back to front? Wouldn’t trust anything they had to say.

  • August 12, 2015 at 2:49 am
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    One question I would really like them to ask Jackson if he appears ! How do you explain the fact you went back and forth over 8 times whether its porneia if a girl was raped and she did not scream and should be disellowshipped ?

    • August 13, 2015 at 9:30 am
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      I tell you, these WT theologians really get hung up on that word “porneia”. I assume it’s just another one of their versions of a witch hunt to stir the masses. Sexual behavior is an inherent part of the human condition and touches every one of us, so stretching the Greek word “porneia” to fit doctrine just touches everyone right down to our core. They are well aware of that fact. Only a TRUE greek language scholar could really define what the watchtower has defined 10 ways from Sunday just to make their twisted points.

  • August 12, 2015 at 7:54 am
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    In my opinion, what should happen is that the watchtower changes its policies on child abuse, becomes a defender of abused victims and works in conjunction with the local authorities to see that the abuser is properly punished by the courts. They should also apologize to all the victims and their families for covering up the abuse.

    What will probably happen is that the watchtower will continue to say that they have to keep God’s name from reproach ( I think that God doesn’t need man to keep His name from reproach) and they will continue to cover up the abuse to try and protect the organization and they will proclaim that the end is so near because now they are truly being persecuted as God’s only chosen people.

    Unfortunately in an “us vs.them” scenario, the average witness will eat this all up and become even more entrenched in the bizarre cocoon that is the watchtower organization.

    Jackson will probably try to whitewash and evade and skirt around all the questions and “not remember”.

    I believe that the truth will in the end prevail and one day justice will be served for the poor victims who have suffered needlessly due to the pharasiacal rules within the watchtower organization.

  • August 12, 2015 at 9:27 am
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    rob,

    You may be right, sir, about the rank and file’s response. However, the ARC has done a great job of inoculating the public from joining the cult.

    With two thirds of young witnesses leaving, and with less new victims to fleece, the WTBTS will inevitably shrink. It’s been happening for years.

    I am hopeful that the ARC will be the first of many significant blows to the WTBTS.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • August 12, 2015 at 9:59 am
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    :-) this is like waiting for a summer blockbuster:-)!
    I have Thursday and Friday off work:-).
    Can anyone post a link to the live webcam and what time do I need to begin to watch here in the UK?
    I have my popcorn and cocacola at the ready:-)

    • August 12, 2015 at 11:48 am
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      Thanks for that, starts at 11am according to the commissions website, if I’m right that should be around 2am Friday UK time

  • August 12, 2015 at 12:14 pm
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    @Rob, your comment is very well said!

    John Cedars thank you for your hard work and great
    articles!

  • August 12, 2015 at 12:19 pm
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    15th cent, philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli stated,- ” If a ruler wants
    to maintain control. He as to be prepared to Lie, torture, steal, kill,
    and do whatever is necessary,”

    At the same time he must, – “PRETEND to be merciful, faithful,
    humane. But above all RELIGIOUS.”

    So far it’s been the lackeys, lying and doing what’s necessary,
    on Friday it’s the turn of one of the seven Autocrats.

    Do they all really believe the baloney that this shell game religion
    dishes out? Can they all really be that dumb? Especially those at
    centre of the deceit and chicanery.

    It smells of pretence, to maintain power and keep the plebs under
    control.

  • August 12, 2015 at 1:32 pm
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    @Ted
    I ask myself the same question – “do they all really believe the baloney that this shell game religion dishes out?”

    I think that deep inside many know that all is not right within this religion but most will not question because of fear, or because they dont want to lose friends/family or simply because they love the feeling of superiority that this religion instills in them.

    When speaking to many witnesses I can feel the pretentiousness. I look at them and wonder how they can live in such a bubble.

  • August 12, 2015 at 3:00 pm
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    Just to let you all know. This will not be over on Friday.

    I have held off from saying too much about it but I have told my story to a lovely lady at the RC. I have to wait though for 8-10 months before I get to meet with someone for an interview. She told me that there has been an influx of people reporting their story & that’s why I am in a waiting list that they have to go through.

    I told her that I am really looking forward to what Mr Jackson has to say for himself as one of the leaders of 8 million plus people. Her comment was, “yes, it will be an interesting interview”.

    So the onlookers outside of JW’s are fascinated with this as well. They have a sense of justice.

    It’s stands out as obvious that Jehovahs’ shepherds that were supposed to be the “hiding place from the wind” didn’t do their job & that “satan & his hoards” have had to step up & be the hiding place for the victims. Shame, shame, shame.

    • August 13, 2015 at 2:57 am
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      Well done, Grace. Thanks to your bravery, and now the bravery of many others contacting the ARC, the momentum against this arrogant organisation’s cruel lack of safeguarding policies continues ever more.

      How I look forward to what transpires at the ARC on Friday 14 August 2015. Spotlights will be even more glaring on all this chicanery and duplicity and hypocrisy! Watchtower GB, you really can’t fool all of the people all of the time…

  • August 12, 2015 at 3:08 pm
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    That I should have lived to see the day a member of the governing body called to a witness stand to justify one of their misguided policies. This is going to be GREAT.

  • August 12, 2015 at 3:14 pm
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    I forgot to mention that they will be asking me what changes would I like to see made to the religion. I have pondered this for a while as to what I will say.

    My first thought was that I don’t giving a sh%$ about this religion anymore but something inside still does. I would like to see their charitable status removed because they claim charitable status by their preaching but the counter claim to that is that they cause more damage than good with their doctrine.

    My thoughts as to what changes could be made if this religion were to keep going is to take their right to hold JC’s as this is an obstruction of justice. That each member should be doing what the bible says & deal with their crisis as they see fit as they have a brain of their own. They don’t need to involve elders. Especially if it’s a criminal matter.

    I also think that the GB should stop all disfellowshipping & shunning policies because it violates the UN’s human rights policies. I also believe that’s why they conveniently took out the scriptures in John 8…”those without sin cast the first stone” so that a person can’t argue or question why they are in JC in the first place.

    That’s just my thoughts, I have a few more months to think about it.

    • August 12, 2015 at 5:09 pm
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      Good points Grace.
      If you have the commissions ear, use it.
      I would love to see the commission lobby the UN to make the world aware of what is going on and have the same standards for them in every country.
      I.e.
      1- No tax exemption in any country anywhere. As a charity they do zilch and as a religion they protect pedophiles. They do not deserve tax exemption EVER.

      2 All their records must be handed over in regards to the child molestation. That means all 20,000 names they have withheld.

      3 Anyone abused should be allowed to now come forward retero activly no matter how many years ago and sue the Watchtower Society with no statute of limitations.

      4 disfellowshipping should be banned. Let each person decide for himself if he wants to hang around with someone or not.

      5 Governing Body should face a trubunal and be held criminally responsible for its pedophile protecting policies.

      Grace…. Use that time wisely to push them to act on our behalf.
      G

      • August 12, 2015 at 5:36 pm
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        Thanks Garrett,

        I’m going to write down your notes so that I can put it to the commission.

        I may be just a little irritation in the throat of the WT but if everyone speaks we can become a lump in their throat & hopefully they will choke on it.

        That’s why I also love this website it does give a voice to the silent majority. It’s helped me to build my own confidence in speaking up.

        • August 12, 2015 at 5:48 pm
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          Some of the demands above may sound desirable to ex JWs, but to the world at large and the superior authorities, will sound ridiculous.

          Disfellowshipping, for instance. That’s a personal, elective social behavior that no government can regulate.

          Limit your demands / advice / suggestions to things that are actually feasible for authorities to implement. Otherwise, they won’t take you seriously.

          • August 13, 2015 at 9:38 am
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            Simon Kestral,

            Disfellowshipping is “a personal, elective social behaviour” is it?

            What role does the WTBTS have in this choice, Simon? Is there no causal connection at all? Do you think that “the superior authorities” won’t understand that undue influence is at work?

            I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt over the reason for this advise.

            I do think that you could have been far more diplomatic in your wording, though, Simon.

            Please remember who you are talking to. Grace has suffered terrible abuse and her suggestions are perfectly reasonable. I don’t think that “the world at large” would find Grace’s suggestions “ridiculous” at all.

            Do you, Simon?

            Grace,

            Well done, madam. It is through the bravery and decency of survivors like you that the ARC has been able to hold the WTBTS to account so well. Thank you.

            Peace be with you, Excelsior!

    • August 12, 2015 at 5:37 pm
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      Good on you Grace.

  • August 12, 2015 at 3:53 pm
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    Good point Rob, “Living in a bubble”, an ego trip, a feeling
    of superiority that would vanish if they confronted the TTATT.

  • August 12, 2015 at 5:15 pm
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    Hi Grace, it is devastating to think how many more victims there are including your own experience. I think every one who reads your thoughts has a great measure of empathy.
    I saw the remarks that you may raise about the charitable status of the WTBTS to RC. I have always thought that they do not do any charitable works except with strings attached. Unlike the Good Samaritan principle. Therefore when they say they do charitable works such as going from door to door all they are doing is looking for converts, that is the motive, not charity. They have no business being excluded from taxes on the basis of their charitable works because they don’t do them. I wish you all the best with what amounts to a emotional journey.

    • August 12, 2015 at 5:55 pm
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      Thank you Enuffsenuff,

      I didn’t realise how many others suffered with unfinished business like me until I started to go to ‘apostate’ sites & forums & read so many accounts of people suffering at the hands of this regime. I told the lady at the RC that I was naive as to how many others went through similar to me & were silenced in many ways. I thought that I was the only one & that it was just an isolated incident until I had friends confide in me about theirs. I told her that what drew my attention initially to looking & listening to others was a famous case in America that dealt with Candace Conti. I realised that there was something going on worldwide & that it wasn’t just me. She said that she was aware of the case & that it is a huge problem & reassured me that this wasn’t just me.

      I wrote an email thanking the RC for helping to heal from my story as well.

      From what I can gather they have had a huge response. The response from the members including maybe some outsiders caught up in the web of the WT like non JW family members & therapists to JW’s etc would be enough proof to see that this religion needs some serious looking into besides this one issue.

  • August 12, 2015 at 5:31 pm
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    Garrett and Excelsior!
    Sorry about the delay in replying to your question, I’ve been very busy.
    My research over the past couple of years into the origins of Watchtower has led me on an extremely long, yet interesting journey.
    Charles Taze Russell, the founder of Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, as you are probably aware, had links to the Freemasons. There are reports that people had tried to poison him on a number of occasions and that he became so obsessed that he had a personal taster who tried the food before he did. His death on the train on Halloween, 31st October, has been viewed by some as suspicious. Some say he died from cystitis, some say he was actually poisoned. We will never really know as no Death Certificate has yet been found to verify his demise.
    You can do much research for yourself on this man if you want to, there is plenty of info on the web. Court documents on his divorce are available to read which show what sort of man he really was.
    Back to the present – I’m sure Geoffrey will have his day before the Commission. I just hope the outcome will benefit the victims of these terrible abuses.

    • August 12, 2015 at 7:11 pm
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      At Bad Penny.

      I just am amazed that just when you think you got to the bottom ,the rabbit hole goes even deeper. He was obviously a free mason.
      His grave stone and all the symbols easily prove that …. If anyone doubts that they need an education.

      As to him possibly being poisoned?…. Well… This is a new one on me…… I’d have to have facts to believe it but everything I thought to
      be true with the Watchtower Society being the truth is false… Perhaps there is a basis there.
      Would love to hear more..

  • August 12, 2015 at 7:52 pm
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    Will he really take the stand? If he flees, it will be just as damaging. Imagine the personal conversations between all these high up elders that have been embarrassed shamed humiliated on the stand , for carrying out policy with such exactness and obedience. And a policy maker just so happens to be in the country(jehovahs hand???? right….) to “set matters straight” and help them answer to this mess. More than likely the trial has shaken these men to their senses quite a bit. If he leaves without helping them I wouldn’t be surprised if the Australian branch is quite rattled.

  • August 12, 2015 at 8:55 pm
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    You know when I left 12 years ago, there was nowhere to go. There were a few sites on the net but speaking freely was very difficult. I had heard rumors that Watchtower was working hard at shutting down as many ‘apostate’ sites as possible.

    Our daughter in law wanted me disfellowshipped because I had given her a video to watch. A kind elder got me off that one. We left damaged, shattered and in terrible shock. When family turn on you it breaks your heart. We soon discovered though the pleasure in freedom.

    Thank you Cedars for creating this site and blog, and for the great team of writers that you have. We need it. The waiting has seemed like it was never going to come. We had to bury our feelings deeply in order to cope. We will still probably have to wait but at least now this is not secret anymore.

  • August 12, 2015 at 10:24 pm
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    Is it not funny that earlier today my in laws came over
    Now mind you my bro in law is getting up there, but
    So kind, so loving to me I was amazed. Now, I have told
    Them all about the hearings and the funny part is they
    Just listen, and I know my old bro in law gets it, but
    Remains quiet in front of his wife, who by the way I love.
    So we exchanged a few private looks here and there with
    An understanding of what the real issue was. It is funny,
    They all come to my home under the radar, cuz, I put out
    The goods. Luncheons are like buffets at my home. But
    In all fairness, I have eaten at their homes as well. It just
    Has not been in the last 20 years. Hee hee

    • August 13, 2015 at 12:03 am
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      Maybe, just maybe, the penny has dropped Exhausted. How strange that would be. Hang on. I’m running ahead here.

  • August 13, 2015 at 1:02 am
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    hello a thought to Grace you are in a unique position in that we have no voice and you have a little one that might start off as a tiny candle in a dark place so use your time and convictions in a way that you know is best and truthful i think you know we will support you with our love in my old cong one of the elders put his hands around my neck and shook me from behind and said ” Im going to kill you” it was because he a little man liked to be in control that to me was a rapacious nasty act but there is no redress no one cares not even my sledgehammer husband so i say to you dear grace if you have the honour of putting the tent peg into this org then what an honour you have and i will watch from the sidelines and know you will do the right thing respect and love RL

  • August 13, 2015 at 3:06 am
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    The latest that I have on Jacksons appearance is that it will be by videolink. Jackson is in Brisbane (I think), the RC is in Sydney, therefore apart from the intense coaching he has had, I think that the V/link lets him off the hook a fair bit from the heated atmosphere of the lawyers. It would have been good to see him in person grilled as the star chamber J.Committees have done to so many people. If it is correct about where he will give evidence then I am thoroughly disappointed, What will be will be.

    • August 13, 2015 at 3:36 am
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      I agree, Enuffsenuff, that it would be far preferable for Geoffrey Jackson to be physically present at the ARC, rather than via video link (as may turn out to be the case).

      However, I don’t think we should under-estimate how taxing GJ will find any sort of incisive questioning over a prolonged period of time. Members of the WT GB must spend most of their daily lives pronouncing and announcing, exhorting and distorting — and being deferred to for their very presence. Hence, they may not have experienced a secular discussion for aeons!

      So there will definitely be a substantial cognitive pressure on Jackson, as well as all the political/etc pressures, as he attempts actually to listen and respond logically to the questions that will be put to him.

      • August 13, 2015 at 5:12 am
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        I also agree with you on this EE. I hope my info was wrong to tell the truth. I want him to be on the stand in Sydney. Notwithstanding, SC Angus Stewart and Peter MacClellan have done a fantastic job and I think everyone on these pages never saw coming, what has happened so far, especially and including GJ’s appearance. I don’t think so far there has been anything so devastating in the last 100 years to see WT men, lie, treat women (the lawyers at the ARC) so contemptuously, evasive to the point of deceiving and exposure of practises that clearly don’t fit the scriptures that they claim to hold so dear. Everything I have seen or read about for the past fifty years the men in charge tackled problems, horrendous ones (i.e. WW2) with gusto and vigour and the firm conviction that they were right and following the spirit of God’s word. Not so here. it has been cheap, shabby and tawdry, and for the abused disgusting. Worst of all for me I can’t think of a single justifiable reason for their behaviour and cruelty.

      • August 13, 2015 at 5:15 am
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        Agreed. Whilst it’s a shame that we won’t get the full live experience, don’t expect a video link to shield Jackson in any way. It might been he squirms a little less, but the questions asked of him will be exactly the same, the answers he will have no choice but to give will be equally damning, and the Commission will keep drilling until it’s satisfied.

        I mean, you’ve seen Stewart and McClellan in action, right? ;)

  • August 13, 2015 at 5:42 am
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    One other thing that my wife is worried about is will the v/link be shown so that we can see Jackson. One of the things that has become obvious about the cross examination has been that viewing has given us a far greater insight than just hearing by itself. The body language, the expressions on the face, the discomfort of facing the truth and so on. My wife has described Vin Toole as having “dead eyes” like a snake, and, while I have not met him others I know, and who have, describe him as having no empathy for others. Then again, they all seemed like that to me seeing them on the stand. Back to my wife she feels that if individuals email the Commission, and ask to see Jackson’s testimony, as he gives it, would be most revealing. Then you see the man and whether his face reflects what he says.
    And, yes I have seen Counsel and Commissioner at work, and they are good.;-)

    • August 13, 2015 at 12:22 pm
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      That’s a good observation. I’ll drop them a line now. Thanks for the idea.

  • August 13, 2015 at 5:45 am
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    Grace
    I think it is noteworthy that the person you spoke to about your ordeal was a woman (take note watchtower).
    CoverFade I wonder if Jackson because he is on video link will be reminded not to have any written notes other than those from the commission. Angus Stewart (superlawyer) reminded one of the previous witnesses of this. This hearing has proved pivotal in so many ways that as a still in (just) witness it is now a permanent part of the healing/awakening experience for many years to come. How many of us still have that nagging doubt that Jackson will somehow pull out at the last minute possibly family bereavement. We can only wait for the next 24 hours to pass by in anticipation of a potentially mouth watering experience.

    • August 13, 2015 at 12:20 pm
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      I would image that the video link-up will be in a place approved & monitored by the RC so as to make sure that Geoffrey behaves himself!
      It’s being broacast live at 2am Friday morning here in the UK and as much as I would like to see it live, I will have to wait for the retransmission via YouTube. I look forward to everyone’s comments.
      AJ

    • August 13, 2015 at 10:15 pm
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      That’s my nagging doubt. I hope it doesn’t happen and I hope for a nice stable video stream lest they say ” you see Jehovah intervened to protect his name”.
      I remember a JW urban legend where during a court case in a particular u.s. state something happened. There was a high ranking bethelite present and during the lunch break he told members of the congregation that were present to “pray for confusion”. Low and behold the ” worldy attorney ” could not recall what his next piece of evidence was supposed to be and the witnesses won the case!
      You know that’s what any who are aware of this case are doing right now. Well, their prayers have been answered just not in the way they thought. Confusion describes the elders who were put on the stand. Without direction from “mother” on what to do under those circumstances they were lost and confused or just lying. “I can’t recall” ” I don’t know “.

  • August 13, 2015 at 6:55 am
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    Although it seems incredible, apparently these senior members of the Organization did not foresee this disaster and obviously thought they could pull the wool over the eyes of the Commission the same way they have to the Rank & File all these years.

    It’s been almost 100 years since the leaders of this religion have been brought to trial for their contemptible views so perhaps it shouldn’t be all that surprising that they obviously feel that they’re untouchable. They’re so used to squashing any discontent or any serious questioning of their doctrines that they have been completely caught off-guard by the fact that what was “once hidden” is now “revealed” for all the world to see. And it doesn’t paint a very flattering picture of them.

    Of course, this all could have been avoided had they simply changed their pathetic stance on reporting child abuse to the authorities, getting the victims some much needed help and kicking the molesters to the curb. Their arrogant attitude, even after the Dateline story in 2002, is that “no one is going to tell US what to do.”

    Can’t wait to see what Geoffrey Jackson says on the stand. I hope the RC is prepared for a deluge of “I don’t know”, and “I’m not aware” answers along with a trail of outright lies.

  • August 13, 2015 at 9:08 am
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    I think that the RC will be prepared and will ask the questions that Jackson must answer and they will ask questions that he cannot avoid answering.

    However in the end, if Jackson does lie or does “not remember” he will have to live with himself, knowing that he is guilty of hiding information.

  • August 13, 2015 at 11:21 am
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    @Excelsior

    The law recognizes a potential for “undue influence” in contract and probate law.

    But in a social / religious context such as disfellowshipping, “undue influence” is not a matter of law. Individuals voluntarily follow the leaders teaching such practices, and it would be utterly impractical for the law to regulate their choice of friends. As far as the law is concerned, those are private matters for individuals to decide.

    A request to “ban disfellowshipping” may seem like a good idea to ex JWs, but the authorities can’t take it seriously, because they know they don’t have that power.

    Hence my advice to keep it real when making requests of the authorities.

    • August 14, 2015 at 12:41 pm
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      Simon Kestral,

      It has been legally established that the second baptism question, where they ask, “Do you understand that your baptism identifies you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, in association with God’s spirit directed organisation” is a verbal contract.

      By your definition, the law could address this issue, could it not?

      After all, disfellowshipping can only occur to a baptised JW, can it not?

      Can a child be held to a verbal contract? If they can’t, then surely that would invalidate the verbal contract they entered when they declared “yes” to the second question?

      I don’t know about you, Simon, but I’m not legally trained. But it seems to me that a case could be made that the verbal contract was not entered into legally. It would be great to get a professional opinion on this.

      Thank you for your polite and informative reply.

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

      • August 15, 2015 at 4:50 pm
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        In a contract one party promises to do something in return for a promise from the other party to provide a benefit of value. So professing loyalty to WT is not a contract in the legal sense.

        If you have enough money to spend on lawyers, you can sue almost anybody for almost anything.

        But in the USA, lawsuits against religious disfellowshiping have little chance of success. Any appearance of attacking religion can be political suicide. Law and politics walk hand in hand, and most judges would not touch it.

        This is not a professional opinion. Just common sense.

  • August 13, 2015 at 2:14 pm
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    Hi Simon,

    “I also think that the GB should stop all disfellowshipping & shunning policies because it violates the UN’s human rights policies. I also believe that’s why they conveniently took out the scriptures in John 8…”those without sin cast the first stone” so that a person can’t argue or question why they are in JC in the first place.”

    If you re-read what I first wrote above, it was to the GB not the secular authorities & it was just my thoughts on what should change with this religion.

    The RC can make suggestions to the church as to what is the least damaging to it’s members, especially victims of crime.

    I’m sure though that there would be something in disfellowshipping that falls under discrimination & prejudices. All of my family work in Government jobs & discrimination is a huge factor in the work place & taken very seriously.

    Shunning someone because they have been disfellowshipped is forming a prejudice to that person especially if you don’t know what they have been disfellowshipped for. For all we know, they could have disagreed with the GB or the elders on matters & where deemed apostate. Members are therefore forming an opinion of someone & shunning someone out of ignorance & the recommendation from someone else without knowing the other persons story.

    • August 13, 2015 at 3:52 pm
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      I know, it was Garrett who said “disfellowshipping should be banned.” I was replying to that remark.

      And I agree with you that “discrimination is a huge factor in the work place & taken very seriously.”

      But WT is not discriminating in the workplace. Ex JWs may dislike their disfellowshipping policy, but it’s not illegal.

      You can publicly denounce WT to anyone who will listen. But we should not expect the law to correct social injustice where they lack power over it. The power we have as individuals is to either support WT teachings, or reject them. If we reject them, we can also preach against them, in the hope of helping others avoid the WT snare.

      I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. I support you. I hope you contribute meaningful input to the RC. All I’m saying is, when dealing with authorities, stick to the facts, and don’t expect more than they can deliver. That way, they are more likely to take you seriously.

  • August 13, 2015 at 4:13 pm
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    Garrett –
    … would love to hear more … I could write a book –
    There is so much info out there, how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go? If you want to start at the bottom go to ‘Jehovah’s witnesses EXPOSED – Compiled and edited by David J. Stewart, (Turn down the eerie music, it’s a bit off putting) or Russell bloodlines by Fritz Springmeier. Plenty of food for thought here.
    It’s amazing how smokescreens have been used in the distant past and how they are still being used with the current issue of child abuse.
    I’m so tempted to stay up till 2 a.m. British time to see the start of this episode with Geoffrey. I think I’ll just grab a few hours sleep beforehand … zzzz!

    • August 13, 2015 at 7:19 pm
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      Bad Penny.
      70* degree dew point and 90 degree heat has me also done for the day from the construction site. It’s earlier here central time but I tried to watch live and the server is so overloaded that it’s like being Oliver Twist in a soup line. I’ll wait for the ” best of” series for the Commission.
      I’m sure there is a ton of information out there like you reference. Where was all of it when we were becoming witnesses? Would we have ever joined up if all those things about free masonry and other crazy crap www known?
      Not me.

  • August 13, 2015 at 5:10 pm
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    The witness for the prosecution is stronger than their defence. I wish you all well and hope you receive everything you are deserved.x

  • August 13, 2015 at 7:23 pm
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    Oh my, watching… Unbelievable!!

  • August 13, 2015 at 9:03 pm
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    Didn’t manage to catch it all but he sounded just like he was giving a talk. You know, like when you are at an assembly and some stuffed shirt Bethel brother gets up there like we are all supposed to started bowing and clapping. How typical. Some of the stuff he agreed with is never going to happen and has never happened. Distorting the truth seems to be in their nature.

  • August 14, 2015 at 1:47 am
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    Garrett
    Thanks to the www we have everything at our fingertips now.
    I don’t believe anyone from outside would have got involved if they had known the real truth about the org.
    The only poor souls to stay with it would be the ‘born ins’.
    Eye opening cases like this one should decimate the JW population in Australia. When the Royal Commission spreads their enquiries around the world it may lead to an end to the ‘preaching work’. The more exposure to this child abuse within JWs, the more damning it will become.
    The case of Jimmy Savile (radio & TV personality) in the UK has lead to a huge outcry. More and more cases are coming to light of paedophiles among the ‘elite’.
    If JW’s hit the headlines in the UK, I believe they will be spat upon in the streets. It will be a case of ‘The End is Nigh’ turned on them! Can’t wait!

  • August 14, 2015 at 4:31 am
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    Angus Stewart is gooooooood! He’s REALLY gooooooood!

    Jackson was lucky enough to be given some legal support in an attempt to not be caught off guard like every other elder before him, but wow… Stewart is brilliant at pinning people down, in a corner, of a locked room, on an island…. with just his words!

    Day 8, Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erWV8YnTFto
    Day 8, Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBE_oof1RzE

    • August 14, 2015 at 8:17 am
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      Agreed. The section where he nails Jackson to the wall over the cruelty and tyrannical nature of shunning was especially succulent.

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