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 14, 2015 at 7:30 am
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    Oooooh….women on the investigating body…….circumstances becoming a 2nd witness….no shunning of disassociated ones…etc…from the mouth of one of the GB….I wait with bated breath……not!
    Such wonderful and careful questioning…..
    Because I had listened to every day of the RC I knew exactly where it was heading…GJ did not…
    And the classic…..Thats a very good question…
    Its called playing for time….

  • August 14, 2015 at 7:31 am
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    Hi All,
    Some articles are starting to surface about Geoffrey Jackson ‘s appearance in court, you won’t believe his arrogance!Ugh!
    1. http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/08/14/03/37/inquiry-to-hear-from-top-jehovah-member
    2. http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/senior-jehovahs-witness-geoffrey-jackson-says-church-might-offer-redress-scheme-to-abuse-victims-20150813-giyxuu.html
    3. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/sex-abuse-royal-commission-church-elder-reveals-seven-men-control-jehovahs-witness-teachings/story-e6frg6n6-1227483516098

  • August 14, 2015 at 8:44 am
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    Mr. Stewart discussed the one witness aspect of rape in De 22:25-27, and said Jesus was not talking about rape or child abuse in Mt 18.

    Jackson replied he would like to ask Jesus about that, but Jesus was not available, or something to that effect.

    They are such slaves to WT organization rules they can’t see what their own Bible plainly says: the two witness rule helps expedite simple cases, but it’s not the final word in matters of dispute. And because they are so insular, they ignore the clear provision given in De 17:8,9: take it to a judge (the secular authorities).

    And of course WT ignores Jg 4:4, where Israel had a female judge.

    • August 15, 2015 at 11:02 am
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      Jackson replied he would like to ask Jesus about that, but Jesus was not available, or something to that effect.

      What?! I thought that Jesus has been guiding this organisation since 1914 and has authorised the GB to make up the rules on his behalf.

      And Jesus is not available?

      The hotline doesn’t work?

      Jesus isnt answering prayers at the moment?

      You couldnt make this stuff up ….

  • August 14, 2015 at 11:41 am
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    ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT ANGUS STEWART in NAILING Geoffrey Jackson to the Wall or should I say STAKE!! If These Elders & Branch Servants& JW Lawyers are The Best Jehovah can Provide then I am GOING OVER to SATANs Worldly Side as they are more COMPASSIONATE,CARING,& CONCERNED about VICTIMS of CHILD SEX ABUSE!!
    Geoffrey Jackson !!! Where is YOUR APOLOGY to the Way your Elders handled those 1006 Sex ABUSE Cases!!! Where is your Christlike Demeanour since you claim you are going to rule beside him!

  • August 14, 2015 at 12:25 pm
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    A predictable outcome, no firm concessions on the main issues,
    2 witness rule, women as decision makers in a judicial capacity,
    shunning, sharing in a joint reparation scheme.

    After failing to make a convincing defence of these concerns, he
    gave weak promises, that the gb, would give consideration to
    them. I think we can be sure, if changes are made it will be just
    “Window dressing” ( as per blood fractions ).

    Any J W still under the spell and who was watching will chalk it
    up as a win. The only way to get meaningful changes is to put
    their tax exemption on the line. I’m sure they’ll be able to come
    up with some new light to justify an about turn then. It wouldn’t
    be the. first time !

    • August 14, 2015 at 6:55 pm
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      Very true! If their money is at stake there will be all kinds of new light.

  • August 14, 2015 at 12:51 pm
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    Ted,

    As a fellow Brit, we can bring this evidence to the attention of the Charity Commission, who is investigating the WTBTS as we speak.

    It would be good if we could have an Australian and a British version of the same elder letter, with practically the same wording, if not identical.

    I’m good at ideas, but not good at doing them, so if anyone wants to have a go at that, then that would be great.

    The ARC has been an excellent opening act, and its evidence and findings will assist us for years to come. We now have our own investigation here in the UK.

    I know that some of us have already written to the committee, but it doesn’t hurt for more of us to do so. Drop them an email and have your part in the process.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • August 14, 2015 at 2:51 pm
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    I noticed how caring Mr Jackson was to take time out from tending to his dying father to see what Mr Spinks had testified to at the RC but he didn’t have time to read BCG or BCB’s statements to get insight into the pain these women had suffered for years.

    That in itself showed the spirit of these spiritual men.

    • August 15, 2015 at 4:18 am
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      Grace,

      Great point! He went further, though. He used Spink’s testimony to shove Spink under the bus!

      The elders and branch workers passed the buck up to the governing body, then a governing body member passed the buck down to unnamed helpers at various branches!

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • August 14, 2015 at 3:15 pm
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    Yes, and I also couldn’t get over that he had not heard of this stuff going on before. Please Mr Jackson. Tell us another porky pie. Anyone can go look on Youtube to see the evidence in the form of news stories and documentaries on the Watchtower’s history of not giving a stuff about child sexual abuse. I’m not clever enough to put a link on here but you can find Bill Bowen’s (incidentally, my hero) efforts to organise a famous march in 2002 after he formed the Silentlambs.org, in the middle of New York City straight down to Bethel Headquarters in Brooklyn with quite a number of victims. The Governing Body sent a number of Bethelites to go to the gates and lock them, away from the victims, like they were some kind of danger and threat to their very existence. I was disgusted and wrote to Bethel in Sydney about it. No reply of course. They left toy lambs on the steps as a symbol of their plight and pain. God love them. Now how can that man sit there pompouslike and say he wasn’t aware of the situation. What a big fat lie.

  • August 14, 2015 at 5:56 pm
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    Jackson was not quite as inept as I thought he might have been prior to taking the stand. To be fair, on the plus side, he was poised, respectful, articulate, not cocky, all-in-all he gave a good account of himself, he was quite slick. If anybody out there was expecting or hoping that he would collapse in a heap or discredit the Watchtower Society in any way you would be disappointed. True he was evasive on occasion, his answers were of topic at times and it was obvious he made a concerted effort to avoid any compromising entanglements. If this was a boxing match and points were awarded I would say 60/40 overall in favour of the Crown.

    • August 17, 2015 at 12:14 pm
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      I totally disagree with Mr. Jackson “not being cocky.” True, he never lost it, but he was at times VERY condescending, in a quite sophisticated way though. Repeatedly, he tacitly told the commission off: “May I correct your statement?” One of the highlights was this one: “Well, this is always the problem when ‘worldly commissions’ are trying to explain the Bible. May I help you with this?” At several occasions, he made it clear who the all-knowing ones are as respects Bible interpretation, like, when saying cheerfully: “I am glad you give me the opportunity to elaborate on this”, and then graciously opening his treasure store of heavenly wisdom. One cannot help but note that he is not in want of self-confidence, like at the beginning, when stating with conviction: “I WAS APPOINTED TO SERVE ON THE GB BEC. OF MY SPIRITUAL QUALIFICATIONS.” Oh yeah. The one exalting himself will be humiliated, dear Mr. Jackson. But I guess without this chuzpe, this reckless self-confidence and audacity you cannot really pull through in such a position as being a member of this self-appointed human central committee pretending to be the sole an dexclusively chosed divine mouthpiece.

  • August 14, 2015 at 6:36 pm
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    Mr. Stewart called Mr. Jackson a “scholar” which really bothered me. I don’t see Mr. Jackson as a scholar at all. Mr. Jackson made a comment that when it comes to headship that there are many happy wives in the organization. I wonder just how happy those wives would be if they had the Shepherd the Flock book where they could read it for themselves, especially on pages 84, 85 where it talks about when the accused is a wife and the husband gets to attend the committee and hearing meetings but when it comes to the husband, she does not get to attend his meeting because of his confidentiality. Also, it says that during that meeting with the elders when the husband is accused of adultery or anything else, he can go on and on about all his adultery and the wife doesn’t get to know what all he said during that meeting but she is supposed to ask him what all he said during that meeting but they aren’t allowed to tell her and he doesn’t have to tell her and if she resumes relations with him, now she is not allowed to get a scriptural divorce from him. All the elders can do is “suggest” to the wife that she talk to him again. I can’t think of a more disgusting way to treat women than the JW religion!!! There is a good reason, the elders don’t want that book public information.

  • August 14, 2015 at 8:58 pm
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    I’m wondering what is going to be done about all this. So anxious to know if the Watchtower is going to pay in some form or fashion. What about the abusers in each of the cases that were covered up? Are they going to be investigated and punished by law? I think that if someone is covering up someone’s crimes, that makes them an accessory to the crime!

    • August 15, 2015 at 2:58 am
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      I bet the WTBATS are right now hiving off their land holdings, cash and other assets in ring fenced companies in lieu of the litigation risk. They have been covering up child abuse for years and have finally been caught out.

  • August 14, 2015 at 8:58 pm
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    What he said was very ambiguous. While trying to not get his fellow GB men angry by giving away too much, he was also trying to appease the Commission. What comes of this will be interesting in the final outcome when they fail to perform the changes they are supposed to make as the GB flatly reject some of the suggestions.

    • August 14, 2015 at 10:05 pm
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      The interrogators were seeking an admission from Jackson that there is no graceful way to leave the Watchtower cult. You are either in, or you are out and shunned. This fact was used to illustrate how a female child sex abuse victim might be reluctant to reveal the crime to a judicial committee. If they didn’t believe her, she might be thrown out of the cult.

      Jackson refused to concede this point and he told the commission that the church would not change a rule which requires alleged sex abuse victims to appear before a committee of male elders.

      • August 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm
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        That’s right. So she just has to cop it sweet and “wait on Jehovah”. And if that turns her or him inside out then that’s her fault for not having enough faith. As far as they are concerned, if she loses her faith then she is worse than the perpetrator. What a screwy, cruel religion.

  • August 14, 2015 at 10:29 pm
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    Geoffrey Jackson made a serious concession which could cause him some problems with the Governing Body. He indicated that the Watchtower might provide apologies and compensation for child sex abuse victims who were further abused by the Watchtower’s “less than perfect” responses to sex crimes.

    There will never be apologies to sex abuse victims from the Watchtower Governing Body. Governing Body member Stephen Lett has already gone on record stating that those stories, which claim that the Watchtower is permissive toward pedophyles, are “apostate-driven lies and dishonesties.” The Watchtower Governing Body will never admit to any wrongdoing in this matter.

    If the Watchtower officially offered any admission that its handling of child sex abuse crimes was “less than perfect”, it would open a floodgate of new lawsuits and a Watchtower apology could be used by the victims as evidence in court. Having Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson state that apologies from the Watchtower may be forthcoming could mark the beginning of the end for him as a Governing Body member.

    However, Jackson was correct in saying that there may be Watchtower financed compensation to sex abuse victims. Compensation will continue to be paid by the Watchtower in the form of court judgments and secret out of court settlements.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-14/compensation-may-be-on-the-cards-for-victims-of/6699236

    • August 15, 2015 at 7:26 pm
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      If there were to be an apology I imagine that it would not be public. It would come in the form of a generic branch letter. I doubt that they would broadcast it on JW.org even though they should.

  • August 14, 2015 at 11:08 pm
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    I would like to know when the governing body ever officially apologized for anything as GJ stated… I can’t think of anytime in history…

    • August 15, 2015 at 2:13 am
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      They actually did. During the Second World War, the Australia Branch were running low on certain things. I cannot remember what but they began making their own stuff because of all the rationing and not being able to get regular supplies. Apparently, it worked well for them, and when the war ended, they turned the making of these supplies into commercial businesses. Eventually, they came to realise that it was wrong to be making money commercially from a religion so they apologised to Jehovah at an assembly. I don’t know if they had conventions then. That was just in Australia. Maybe that is what Jackson was referring to. How things have changed since then.

    • August 15, 2015 at 9:00 am
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      “With the appearance of the book ‘Life Everlasting – In the Freedom of the Sons of God’, and its comments as to how appropriate it would be for the millennial reign of Christ to parallel the seventh millennium of man’s existence, considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. There were statements made then, and thereafter, stressing that this was only a possibility. Unfortunately, however, along with such cautionary information, there were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility.” Watchtower March 15, 1980.

      And here’s the Watchtower’s weak, insincere, passive-voice apology to those foolish enough to believe Fred Franz’ false prophecy:

      “It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated.”

      The Watchtower Governing Body then went on to blame its lowly cult believers for failing to understand that the 1975 date was “only a possibility” and not a definite date.

      http://www.culthelp.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=331&Itemid=8

  • August 15, 2015 at 3:06 am
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    I wish that Mr. Stewart would push what the Shepherd the Flock book says but in my opinion are falling short. This is what it says on page 72:

    #38
    “If wrongdoing has not been established but serious questions have been raised, the body of elders should appoint two elders to investigate the matter promptly. For example, there may be just one witness. If so, it would be loving for the witness to confront the accused and encourage him to take the initiative to approach the elders. The elders can then allow the accused a few days to approach them. (For the witness by himself to confront the accused may not be advisable in all cases-for example, if the witness and the accused were involved in sexual immorality together or if the witness was a victim of incest or rape by the accused or is a child and the victim of sexual abuse. Or it may be that the witness is extremely timid.) Whether the witness approaches the accused or not, the two elders appointed should speak with the accused.
    39
    If the accused denies the accusation, the investigating elders should try to arrange a meeting with him and the accuser together. (Note: If the accusation involves child sexual abuse and the victim is currently a minor, the elders should contact the branch office before arranging a meeting with the child and the alleged abuser.) If the accuser OR THE ACCUSED is unwilling to meet with the elders or if the accused continues to deny the accusation of a single witness and the wrongdoing is not established, the elders will leave matters in Jehovah’s hands.”

    The Australia Commission only seems interested in the fact that the Society is insisting the the accuser does not have to appear before her accuser at a committee meeting but the Shepherd the Flock book clearly says that if the accused refuses the accusation and the accuser has no other witnesses, that no committee meeting will be held to determine whether or not the accused actually committed the crime and the elders will leave it in Jehovah’s hands.

    If the accused is an elder, that elder has the Shepherd the Flock book and knows that all they have to do is deny the accusation and refuse to appear before the committee.

    Also, if a woman tells the elders that she has been raped, that woman will have to convince the elders of the rape or she could be disfellowshipped for pornea or adultery. A woman can’t just say they were raped. So for instance, the woman is married and she gets raped and gets pregnant. She has to convince the elders that she was raped. She can’t just say she was raped. Since she became pregnant by another man’s sperm, if she can’t prove she was raped, the husband could have grounds for a scriptural divorce.

  • August 15, 2015 at 3:49 am
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    In the “Pay Attention to Yourselves and to all the Flock” book from 1981, on page 150 under the topic of Self-Defense it says: “A woman threatened with rape should resist by screaming and physically resisting. (Deut. 22:23-27; 1 Cor. 6:18) Other details are given in w68 6/1 pp. 345-350; g73 4/22 pp. 16,17.”

    This is what it says in that 1968 Watchtower from June 1, on page 347 “Resistance is imperative, because the rapist is after, not just money, but your virtue. An issue of integrity to Jehovah’s laws is involved here. So by no means would it be proper quietly to submit to rape, as that would be consenting to fornication. – 1 Thess. 4:3…..Would it be different if the man had a weapon and threatened to kill you if you did not submit? No, the Scriptures plainly state that Christians are under obligation to “flee from fornication.” (1 Cor. 6:18) It is true that you face the possibility of death in this case. But you have no guarantee that if you meekly submit, your assailant will not kill you anyhow to avoid identification.”

    If a woman or a young child claims to have been raped, she has to prove it or not make the claim. No matter what those men say on the stand, the Society will make that girl or woman prove that they were molested or raped and if not, nothing is done about it.

    If the accused denies the claim, no committee meeting will be held and the accused is considered still in “good standing” in the congregation and so it will bring “reproach” on God’s name if they report it to the police.

    All those men who the Commission has brought up on the stand for the Society are not telling the “whole truth and nothing but the truth” and that to them is okay because it’s “theocratic warfare”.

    • August 15, 2015 at 3:09 pm
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      I think Stewart was just concentrating on this particular case and BCG’s comments in her statement. I am sure anonymous this aspect of the book will be analysed when other cases are examined. According to Grace there are many to be analysed.

      • August 15, 2015 at 4:38 pm
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        Meredith J, is there more to the commission looking into the Jehovah’s Witness religion and child sex abuse? I can’t remember where I saw it but it sounded like Jackson’s testimony was the last one concerning the Witnesses. If so, I am disappointed as I think there’s a lot more to be exposed than what has been brought out so far.

        • August 15, 2015 at 10:46 pm
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          I know as much as you anonymous. Perhaps there will be more revealed next week about the subject on the Royal Commission website. They had a pattern of reporting every few days of what their next steps were. I have no doubt they will reveal in time what they will do. They seem to keep investigating each institution behind the scenes. Some churches and schools have had continuous investigation after their first hearing.

          I have been told by my daughter whose husband is friends with one of the victims who appeared in the Sunday program in Australia around 2006 that they (all the victims on the show) have been speaking to the Commission also. I am not sure but the wheels seem to be in motion for more action, whether it is through the commission or court cases but now there is a precedent set so that makes it so much easier now I’d say than it was before the ARC. Finally, the world including the legal profession are seeing what is really going on.

          I also read a report from the Washington Post about the ARC and they said (not sure where they got these figures from. They may or may not be correct) that they had 5,000 cases. I don’t know if that is pure speculation or if there was a leak but that is what the Washington Post said, not me. However you look at it, it can’t be good for the Watchtower.

          • August 15, 2015 at 11:08 pm
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            I just wanted to add that what I have said is heresay and nothing else. Sometimes I just have a big mouth.

  • August 15, 2015 at 4:53 am
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    Excelsior,
    Your suggestion to write to the Charity commission in Britain
    Is a way of doing something positive about the rottenness in
    JW.org, while the opportunity exists.

    One email may seem like a whisper but many added together
    can make a big noise, and cause someone to take notice.
    Best wishes Ted.

    • August 15, 2015 at 2:49 pm
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      To Excelsior & Ted,

      That’s sounds like a great idea. If you could provide email links to everyone, I for one would write from Australia as this is not just an Australian problem, it’s a worldwide problem with Jehovah’s Witnesses. I hope that they hold a Royal Commission In Britain & the US as well.

      It was heartwarming & confidence building for us Aussies to know that letters to the ARC were sent from around the world in support for us here.

      Love & Peace to you all.

  • August 16, 2015 at 6:38 am
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    Grace,
    Thanks for your enquiry, The commission has an on line form
    that you can access. If you type in, —
    Complain about a charity – GOV.UK That will get you to the
    relevant page.

    Then move down the page to the bold type heading, —
    “Other serious complaints”, underneath that you will see
    “Report serious concerns.” If you tap on that it will bring up
    the form.

    Like most people I’m not keen on forms, but even if you phoned
    or wrote a letter they’d still ask you to fill it in. I understand the
    commission has received more complaints about JWs than any
    other charity. If anyone else has better info, on how to contact
    the charity commission I would welcome it.

    Best wishes Ted.

    • August 17, 2015 at 10:33 pm
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      Thank you Ted,

      I will get a draft ready to send. I want to make sure I word it well.

      Gosh! more complaints than any other charity? That’s got to be a huge red flag there.

  • August 16, 2015 at 2:23 pm
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    Has anyone seen the Latest DISGUSTING 3 minute Video on TV.JW.Org of how Jehovah’s Loving? Organisation of Brothers & Sisters helped a SEX ABUSE Victim prior to coming into the truth!!! Very very strange this video was put out yesterday so soon after Geoffrey Jackson Testified to Royal Commission!! Makes me SO ANGRY as if Jehovah’s Organisation SOooo HELPS SEX ABUSE Victims!!
    Oh if it wasn’t so SICKENING!!

    • August 16, 2015 at 5:32 pm
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      Pickled Brain,
      We will have our revenge and vindication. This cult is just digging its own grave. There are many savvy witnesses out there that see the timing of the commission and the skit on TV and realize it’s just more Watchtower damage control and propaganda under the guise of “caring” . We’ll get em! It’ll just take time.
      G

      • August 16, 2015 at 7:36 pm
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        @Garrett . Thanks for your comments & YES WE WILL GET THEM ; I thought Geoffrey Jackson showed ABSOLUTELY NO LOVE or COMPASSION with ABSOLUTELY NO PERSONAL APOLOGY to the CHILD SEX ABUSE VICTIMS who were handled DISGUSTINGLY by the MEN ELDERS!
        Where is the Christlike Attitude??!?
        Yes you are right that there are MANY SAVVY JWs & I am one of them working on the inside still playing the Game of my OWN THEOCRATIC WARFARE but in Reverse Determined to Save my Family & STUFF the 7 SMIRKING SLIMEY 7 MEN of the Governing Body & These WICKED ELDERS !!!

  • August 16, 2015 at 8:45 pm
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    The 7 MEN of the GB have NO LIVE,JUSTICE,MERCY or FAITHFULNESS towards any SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILD! Nor Have ANY of the ELDERS who are ACCESSORIES to the POLICIES of the Governing Body!!
    Would JESUS Agree with A Policy of putting a CHILD in front of 3 Elders & the CRIMINAL ABUSER many who were Elders & Ministerial Servants going over All the DISGUSTING DETAILS !! The WHOLE Hierarchy is Perverted!! Look at Previous members of the Governing Body : LEO GREENLEES & EWART CHITTY who were removed. These were the ones who were found out!! BUNCH of FLIPPING PERVERTS!!

    • August 16, 2015 at 8:48 pm
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      Apologies but in the first line where I said ‘LIVE’ it should have been ‘LOVE’

      • August 17, 2015 at 2:09 am
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        Now that makes more sense.

  • August 17, 2015 at 3:20 am
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    Folks,

    I just watched the three minute video on JW Broadcasting, which is an interview with a child abuse survivor.

    I have great sympathy for the lady who was abused, as we all do. Her abuser, it seems, was not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. And still she is not encouraged to go to the police! That’s right, folks! The WTBTS even protect paedophiles WHO ARE NOT JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES.

    This is what the governing body feel is the correct response to the ARC? Immoral and useless!

    That poor lady was not encouraged to get professional help for her psychological trauma. She was not encouraged to go to the police.

    We are going to win, WTBTS. Eventually, you will be held accountable for what you have done, and continue to do.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • August 17, 2015 at 3:32 am
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    Our friend Meleti Vivlon over at Beroean Pickets published an excellent accounting of Geoffrey Jackson’s performance before the RC, which I recommend to all concerned.

    I quite agree with Decimus when he said, above: “Jackson was not quite as inept as I thought he might have been prior to taking the stand. To be fair, on the plus side, he was poised, respectful, articulate, not cocky, all-in-all he gave a good account of himself, he was quite slick.”

    Still, there was more than enough in his testimony to indict him and his organization for willful deception and disingenuous obfuscation. He put about the best face the organization could have put on the situation; I guess
    JWs can thank Jehovah it was he, not Tony Morris or Stephen Lett on the stand!

  • August 17, 2015 at 3:57 am
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    Nemorino, thank you for telling us about that site. I was especially impressed how it brought out that Jeff Jackson actually called the Watchtower Society presumptuous by claiming to be the only spokesmen for God, which of course we know they do claim to be. Mr. Jackson said it would be presumptuous to be calling itself God’s sole spokesman. That is something we can all use and it came straight from a Governing Body member.

    • August 18, 2015 at 7:47 am
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      The definition of presumptuous: “(of a person or their behavior) failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or appropriate.”

      Yes! I agree with Mr. Jackson! It would be presumptuous for the WTBTS to claim itself as the only spokesmen for God. I would like to say in retort to Mr. Jackson, “Yes, you are presumptuous!”

  • August 17, 2015 at 4:56 am
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    STEWART: “Well it’s hypothetical in a sense, but what I’m driving at is, is the scriptural basis – and you’re the scholar, I’m not – is the scriptural basis for the two-witness rule really solid, or is there not space for your Governing Body to recognize that in cases of sexual abuse it can’t apply?”

    JACKSON: “Again, if I could just mention the fact that we’ve already acknowledged that circumstances can also be one of the witnesses.”

    STEWART: “Well, I’ll come to that but my question is a different one. It’s whether the scriptural basis to the two-witness rule in relation to cases of sexual abuse has a proper foundation?”

    JACKSON: “We believe that it does because of the number of times that that principle is emphasized in the Scriptures.”
    It would seem that Brother Jackson feels that the number of times the two-witnesses principle is emphasized in the Scriptures means that there is no possibility of an exception to it. The fact is that it is found 5 times in all of Scripture: Regarding false worship (De 17:6); interpersonal disputes (De 19:15-20; Mt 18:15-17); accusations against one in authority (2Co 13:1; 1Ti 5:19). It is never applied to sins of sexual abuse or rape.

    Mr. Stewart has provided Brother Jackson with a valid scriptural basis for disregarding the two-witness rule in cases of sexual abuse and rape, but Brother Jackson feels that the question is hypothetical and cannot be determined until such time as he meets Jesus to ask him.
    Is the Governing Body God’s channel of communication or not?

    Earlier in his testimony Brother Jackson says that they arrive at their decisions based on an examination of all Scripture, not just selected verses. Here is an excellent example of just that methodology and yet he seems unwilling to apply it. Instead he doggedly sticks to established JW tradition.

    http://meletivivlon.com/2015/08/16/geoffrey-jackson-speaks-before-the-royal-commission-on-child-abuse/

    • August 17, 2015 at 8:26 am
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      Kat,

      Fantastic logic in your penultimate paragraph!

      Why doesn’t Jehovah reveal the answer to this question through the Holy Spirit? After all, the whole Organisation is supposedly spirit-directed, isn’t it?

      It was fascinating to hear the gibberish spewing forth from Mr Jackson’s mouth. He sounded as if he were giving a talk at an assembly, rather than answering serious, pointed questions under oath! And that’s the point. Mr Jackson knows that the public of Australia is now disgusted by the WTBTS. They won’t be getting many new converts now! So, his whole testimony was pitched towards the rank and file. It was all about creating enough of a smoke screen using unconnected bible verses to fool the already indoctrinated that the WTBTS’ child protection policies are completely bible based and so cannot be changed.

      I hope that Mr Jackson will be able to be there for his father. As a human being, I have sympathy with him, having lost my own father four years ago.

      As a religious, Christian leader, he is a disgrace. I did not feel as if a “brother of Christ” was talking. He did not inspire confidence in me at all. His insult to people who attend “your churches” was a classic cult statement. Thanks for that, Geoffrey!

      Still, at least Mr Jackson told us that the assumption by the WTBTS that it is God’s sole channel on earth is presumptuous! I wonder if he could direct us to the other channels? Because I certainly don’t want to be using his one anymore, with all this child sexual assault going on!

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • August 17, 2015 at 8:14 am
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    Folks,

    I just had a brilliant idea! I was watching Katie Kitten’s latest video, and it came to me, fully formed and tied with a bow.

    This is something we can do internationally.

    My cunning plan is this: we call the bethel in our country, posing as a loyal witness. We make up a name and congregation. We ask the branch to confirm our interpretation of Tony Morris the 3rd’s order to report child abuse to the “appropriate authorities” as meaning the police. We tell them that we have had a worldly relative present us with apostate driven lies about there being a problem with paedophilia in Jehovah God’s clean Organisation. We wait for the Bethelite to confirm our interpretation.

    If the Bethelite doesn’t confirm that the “appropriate authorities” are the police, we have them!

    If the Bethelite does confirm that the “appropriate authorities” are the police, we have them!

    We need to record clearly the whole conversation, and then we can upload them to YouTube as an international phenomenon!

    Sound like a good idea? Please let me know what you think. I believe it could be a really good bit of activism, disguised as loyal rank and file JWs defending the honour of their “spirit-directed Organisation” from those evil apostate, gangrenous, mentally diseased ex JWs!

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

    • August 17, 2015 at 8:23 am
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      No, encouraging people to violate fraud and wiretapping laws is not a good idea.

      If you want to take legal action against WT, hire a lawyer.

      • August 18, 2015 at 5:16 am
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        Well its not obtaining goods or services by deception, so it isn’t fraud.

        Recording your own call (not being a third party) is perfectly legal, and if you are still worried you can simply say at the end “Is it ok if i pass this info on? I mean it isn’t PRIVATE is it?”.. of course they will say its ok.

    • August 18, 2015 at 7:56 am
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      I have to say this with all due respect, but two wrongs don’t make it right. Let them fight below board. The elders and GB are both showing what side-steppers and dancers they are to try and cover their tracks. Don’t stoop to their level of deception. Stay with the law.

      • August 19, 2015 at 8:36 am
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        Searcher,

        Thanks for your respectful and pertinent comment.

        I take it that you would be willing to call and ask if:

        1. You used your own name, address, congregation and current status with the WTBTS (current, disfellowshipped etc)

        2. You did not record the telephone call

        Is that correct?

        Thank you, folks, for giving me your opinions. They are of great help to me. I want what is best for the women and children of this disgusting cult, and your insights help me to ensure that my activism is the best it can be.

        Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • August 17, 2015 at 8:32 am
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    Simon Kestral,

    Thank you for pointing this out. Do you have any suggestions to modify my plan?

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • August 17, 2015 at 9:45 am
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    I’ve been away from my computer for a couple of days. What’s happened in the meantime?

  • August 17, 2015 at 2:38 pm
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    Jackson was very smooth and slithery and used his hand gestures to make himself look more credible and authoritative and he also used stalling tactics to compose his thoughts – such as “that is a good question”.

    Clearly he was coached by the lawyers.

    But when he skirted many questions by saying “I don’t know and that is not my department” He was lying and he lost credibility. We all know that everything is micromanaged by the inner circle at headquarters and they control everything. He clearly did not want to provide an answer that could get him into hot water at headquarters.

    He may get many accolades from his GB buddies for this performance and for standing up to this persecution and what they will call “Satan’s media” but I and many others saw through the lies and evasion and dodging of questions. More importantly God saw through this as well.

    My hope is that one day in the not too distant future, the poor victims of this awful religion will be compensated and will have justice.

    • August 17, 2015 at 9:42 pm
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      Thanks for the info.

  • August 17, 2015 at 3:05 pm
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    If I wasn’t a Witness and I was watching those men on the stand, I would see them as creepy and trying to hide something. That goes for every one of those men and the woman they hired to represent their teachings, came off as ignorant of the teachings. I agree with Louise Goode. I don’t think anybody who wasn’t a Witness would want anything to do with them when they go knocking on doors from now on in Australia.

  • August 17, 2015 at 6:01 pm
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    After the hearing mr. G. Jackson, i wonder why not there new articles from Cedars. I am waiting impatiently!!!

    • August 17, 2015 at 10:10 pm
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      I know me too! My guess…they are analyzing the entire thing… I can’t wait to see the final analysis!

  • August 17, 2015 at 7:16 pm
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    I like to watch a TV series called Deadly Devotion. It has covinced me that no matter how fanatical, abusive, bizzare, or hypocritical the Watchtower becomes, they will continue to be around for a long time. They may hemorrhage members and money, but there will always be a core of ultra indoctrinated poeple who will completely shut off all common sense and blindly follow these men with the passion of psychotic lunatics. It won’t end until the GB makes everyone drink the kool-aid.

    I find it fascinating how easily people will hand over their conscience, free will and gut instincts to others; how much people want to be led by others; how quickly the religious mind betrays the very principle that should be central to any religion – love. I believe in faith, but I would have thought that there is an obvious line between faith and “kool-aid”. If that line isn’t obvious then our religion doesn’t have love and has truly failed us.

    My parents are along in years and I sometimes wonder if trying to “wake them up” is even the loving thing to do. It would be devastating to get to the end of your life only to find that everything you’ve ever believed is a lie. My relatives continue to insist that it is all just the actions of a few bad apples in the bunch, but “Jehovah will take care of them”. I wonder how far it has to go and what it’s going to take for them understand that their faith is in the traditions and doctrines of men.

  • August 18, 2015 at 3:27 am
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    questionall451,
    Very good comments. I have relatives, some of whom have wasted
    up to 55 years serving this organisation and some who are extremely
    ill. They tell me they are just waiting for the new world to have their
    bodies repaired and they don’t want that taken away from them.

    So I have decided it’s not the loving thing to do, to disillusion them.
    There’s no point to it at this stage of their life, it would be snatching
    the straw from a drowning man.

    Thankfully I woke up 34 years ago with a good part of my life in front
    of me, although they did get most of my youth. Wasted years that
    could have been used in a more worthwhile way.

    Best wishes, Ted

  • August 18, 2015 at 5:06 am
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    Q. And do you see yourselves as Jehovah God’s spokespeople on earth?

    A. That I think would seem to be quite presumptuous to say that we are the only spokesperson that God is using. The scriptures clearly show that someone can act in harmony with God’s spirit in giving comfort and help in the congregations, but if I could just clarify a little, going back to Matthew 24, clearly, Jesus said that in the last days ‐ and Jehovah’s Witnesses believe these are the last days ‐ there would be a slave, a group of persons who would have responsibility to care for the spiritual food. So in that respect, we view ourselves as trying to fulfil that role.

    A rare but welcome example of humility from the Governing Body?

    ….
    ….

    Q. Is it not the case that had Jesus been asked about a case of sexual abuse, he may have referred back to this part of Deuteronomy and said that it’s not required to have two witnesses?

    A. I certainly would like to ask Jesus that, and I can’t at the moment, I hope to in the future. But that’s a hypothetical question which, if we had an answer, then we could support what you said.

    Why not? Has Jesus not returned since 1914 and been running this organisation? Then why can’t the GB ask Jesus for guidance right now? Are prayers not being answered at the moment? So when for example Tight Pants Tony goes off on another rant, is it safe to assume that he is just abusing his position of ‘slave’ to foist his personal opinions on others, opinions that have not been endorsed by Jesus as he isn’t taking calls right now? Does he not have a duty to make that clear so that the wider JW community can choose to ignore him should they so choose?

    I welcome the less arrogant tone of Jackson but his answers do raise questions about the credibility of the Governing Body to direct the ‘flock’ when a member freely admits that he has no way of communicating with Jesus, especially on such a damaging issue that threatens to destroy the reputation of the entire organisation and alienate people who might otherwise give them a chance?

    • August 18, 2015 at 7:18 am
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      Jackson may appear less arrogant with his manner and smile, but they all support the same lie: the WT “faithful and discreet slave” is completely trusted by Jesus.

      They didn’t wait for an answer from Jesus when claiming the title of “faithful and discreet slave” for themselves, so why do they need a direct answer from Jesus to understand the two witness rule?

      De 17:8,9 already provides the clear answer: take the case to a judge. Why can’t they see that simple truth? Why do they need Jesus to tell them what the Bible plainly says? Those verses do not require interpretation; just read them and apply common sense.

      When Jackson said the governing body’s role is to guard WT doctrine, he revealed a deep flaw: they substitute WT doctrine for Jesus, and worship the WT organization in place of God.

      We should not expect truth or honesty from an organization that claimed the title of “faithful and discreet slave” all the way back in 1881. You can’t build a house of truth on a foundation of lies.

      • August 18, 2015 at 2:50 pm
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        Simon Kestral,

        All the governing body need to do is read Romans 13.

        There is no need for a slave, faithful or otherwise, to protect vulnerable children and young people from paedophiles.

        Child abuse is a crime. The police need to investigate crime and the courts need to prosecute criminals, and punish accordingly.

        This is in complete harmony with God, Jesus and all the Holy Angels.

        I have no interest in who the faithful and discreet slave is. If Jesus was raised on the third day, then he has everything in hand.

        All we need to do is be loving to other people and everything will be fine.

        Peace be with you, Excelsior!

        • August 18, 2015 at 11:45 pm
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          In two words you’ve said everything. Thank you Excelsior.

    • August 19, 2015 at 8:28 am
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      Mark,

      Excellent argument, sir!

      Just how “spirit-directed” are they? How does Jesus “talk” with the Annointed governing body anyway?

      The Jesus I have read about in the New Testament would want children and young people to be protected from paedophiles. He would never have instigated or condoned behaviour or procedure that harmed anyone, especially children.

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

  • August 18, 2015 at 5:23 am
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    Governing body is a just one big lemon party!

  • August 18, 2015 at 7:31 am
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    Minor complaint. I have been telling everyone I knew that a “Body Member” would be supplying testimony to the Royal Commission and to read the fine coverage at jwsurvey.

    It’s Tuesday…………………. I’m sure the administrator and your team are working on something, but this didn’t get any in depth coverage anywhere that I could find. Counting on you guys and can’t wait to read some substantive analysis.

    Thanks in advance.

      • August 18, 2015 at 10:40 am
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        Pages 42 – 45 Is the two-witness rule really so solid?

    • August 18, 2015 at 3:06 pm
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      Jakemon75,

      Maybe they’re having to put their brain in overdrive over this one because for me, Jackson spoke a lot of riddles & I’ve had to sit & read each one of his answers to understand what the hell he was saying. There were many things that stuck with me about his answers but I haven’t been able to put it to words. All I can think is that he spoke a lot of “BWB”.

      One thing that stuck with me besides those that were already brought out here was that same thought stopping cliche that he used about JC’s & disfellowshipping used for the sake of “keeping the congregation clean”. My question is who is deemed “clean” enough to judge another man of his uncleanliness? Aren’t we all meant to be unclean because of imperfection?

      I think that JC’s, disfellowshipping & shunning create a toxic environment of self-righteousness & judgement especially where there is an abuse of power & secrecy.

  • August 18, 2015 at 7:56 am
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    @questionall451

    Your comments are very insightful and I do agree that some people will blindly follow and just want to be told what to do. Perhaps the watchtower gives them structure or a sense of belonging to a group.

    Unfortunately they do give up their freedoms and ability to question anything mandated by the watchtower but most importantly they give up their right to manifest all of their talents and their individuality. The world inside the watchtower religion is very insular and traps individuals in a conundrum of rules and regulations and takes away all individuality. People become clone like.
    They must conform, they must be controlled, they must be just like every other witness.

    I too struggle with trying to wake up my relatives from this religion. I suppose that each person has a right to choose what religion they belong to, but I grit my teeth and bite my tongue, each time I see or hear things that are obviously and blatantly different from what Jesus taught and what Jesus stood for, which was love.

    Jackson is a typical “company man” who is all about protecting the organization. He is phoney and proves by his words that this religion is all about policy and rules.

    This religion is not about love, and anyone who is hurt by the religion must not complain, they must trust the organization and if they chose to disagree with policy or the rules, they are simply viewed as collateral damage. The mothership must be protected at all costs.

  • August 18, 2015 at 8:06 am
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    hi all just a thought did anyone notice that mr j rarely said yes to a question because if he did well that would be biblical and you know anything else well… you fill in the blank i have another thought they are so hung up on the old law and the two witness rule well as i recall even slaves had rights under law and im sure rape was not allowed but it seems our children were/are less than slaves as they are not believed not protected and not defended i suppose because they are not a financial asset until of age is that a bit too cynical? a slave provided a service and had ameasure of protection but it seems to me children are to be disreguarded unless they have something to give just being a child and growing up in gods love is not enough because when all is said and done there is no love here if there was we would not have slick lawyers and endless departments and constant upgrades letters edicts and new light whatever happened to being wronged accepting discipline saying sorry and making recompense this whole fiasco should be a stark warning that these men are simply not from God He does not need a legal dept or canny power and the law of love spaks for itself shame on them and all of us who believed and put trust let us hope God will do the decent thing and put it right reguardless of who is the agent sorry ive gone on a bit but im a bit angry last thought isnt mr Angus a wonder he is very dignfied intelligent and his composure speaks volumes very inciteful in how these things proceed rl

    • August 18, 2015 at 9:46 am
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      BBC Website has just published a Church of Scotland PUBLIC APOLOGY to All CHILD ABUSE Victims & has Published Public Details of ALL Child Abuse Allegations between 2006 to 2013 and will FULLY investigate ANY Historical Allegations made right back to 1947!!!!
      WELL Geoffrey Jackson & ALL GB Members ?????
      HOW ABOUT Following the EXCELLENT EXAMPLES of BABYLON the GREAT!!!

  • August 18, 2015 at 10:10 am
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    GJ’s performance went exactly as I expected it would. He looked and sounded as though he were giving a talk to the Royal commission on the Theocratic Ministry School. He got a “Good” on delivery-poise, gestures, illustrations, etc. I would give him a “work” on the content of his message. It was almost completely untruthful and misleading. I also thought personally that he was condescending in his treatment of the ARC. Though acting humble and respectful, he made it seem that the ARC is incapable of understanding religious or scriptural matters, along the lines of – “you can’t understand because our organization is a spiritual one and you are secular authorities.”(blinded by Satan in his mind) He spoke for hours and didn’t say anything of any substance. He could have summed up his whole testimony and his answer to every question by saying “maybe yes, maybe no, we’ll see.” Unfortunately I think the GB and other indoctrinated JWs will think his performance was a success.

    • August 18, 2015 at 3:15 pm
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      Mr Fair,

      Beautifully said. I thought the same thing. He showed the typical PUBLIC VERSION of this religion as opposed to the insular version, the one that we all know & have lived but the records speak for themselves & all of the “BWB” that GJ used doesn’t hide the fact that it is on record that they disregard the secular authorities in every shape & form. It’s like when a police officer pulls over a drunk driver that has a history of speeding fines & DUI’s, he can deny & make excuses all he likes but his record says otherwise.

      To me, he just sounded like a charming cult leader.

    • August 19, 2015 at 9:12 am
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      Mr. Fair and Grace,

      I agree with you fully. He did show style, manners, and poise as any WTBTS trained speechmaker would have. In reality, he had a really good pair of tap-dancing shoes on. Jackson said a lot without saying much at all. He reminded me of a politician that has been caught and called to the carpet.

  • August 18, 2015 at 1:47 pm
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    Obviously this is mainly about child sexual abuse.
    But that is not the only abuse.
    If there is to be compensation for victims of sexual abuse then this could open the floodgates in terms of compensation for emotional abuse.
    Particularly the emotional damage caused by shunning. Either feeling obliged to shun or by being shunned.
    It runs through our culture and divides families and causes tremendous emotional damage.
    It would be impossible for the magnificent 7 to back track in this.
    How many people have cut themselves off from their children, parents,siblings for decades?
    It would do too much damage to those who have obediently followed this direction. They would lose numbers.
    Then we come to the damage that people have suffered by remaining single because they are quite simply fishing from a small pond and fear being marked if they find someone ‘worldly’.
    Or childless.
    Or those who have forfeited an education and are unemployable.
    Or those who were advised not to take out life insurance or pay in to a pension fund.
    Could they not claim compensating for being misled?
    The opportunities are endless.

    Drifting is not easy.
    I am in my late 50s and I am finding it a very very hard process with many losses along the way.
    But I cannot go back.

    Anyone else out there finding this process difficult?

    • August 18, 2015 at 2:19 pm
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      @Sister Drifter UK . I REALLY REALLY LIKE your Reasoning point by point of ABUSE not just of a sexual nature but in so many other areas of Life the 7 Men of the GB control JWs by their SUFFOCATING MAN MADE Policies & Directives which Really Most of them should be down to an INDIVIDUALS CONSCIENCE!!
      I Am from the UK too ,but my family are totally Brainwashed whereas they will research everything Thoroughly on websites when they are buying a washing machine;a car; a cooker ; going on holiday.etc ! They will spend Days, weeks, even months doing research on material things BUT when it’s 7 FALLIBLE MEN who constantly change interpretation of scripture EVEN admitting so in Watchtower Studies, YET will not EXAMINE THOROUGHLY outside Research or Independent Websites!!’ FRIGHTENING HOW FEAR of LOSING FAMILY & FRIENDS Can keep people in SLAVERY to 7 Mainly WHITE AMERICAN MEN!!! Very very SAD!!!

      • August 18, 2015 at 2:30 pm
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        @Sister drifter UK. May I add YOU Have GREAT LOGIC & DEEP UNDERSTANDING of how Really Evil these 7 men are in their MANIPULATION of People’s LIVES,TIME,MONEY & ENERGY!! Whereas their FULL POTENTIAL as A Loving,Kind, Compassionate Human Being is STRANGLED by CUTTING OFF FAMILY MEMBERS just because they have a Different Opinion to what the Bible says & they were Encouraged to be Baptised at 11,12,13,14,15,16 when Really no youngsters understand the FULL IMPLICATIONS of what they are getting involved in & the consequences!!

    • August 18, 2015 at 3:03 pm
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      Sister drifter UK,

      Believe it or not, the governing body already have!

      Please listen to Anthony Morris III’s talk about abuse. He talks about emotional abuse, as well as child abuse!

      There are a lot of gems in that nine minute or so section! He was trying to talk to too many audiences at once, and he used language that was necessarily vague. Priceless!

      I was given the Royal Order of the Boot twenty years ago, so I haven’t had to fade.

      My advice is always to find the least you can get away with and still be left alone, do a little bit more than that, and be super duper enthusiastic about “Jehovah God’s spirit-directed Organisation” whenever anyone comes sniffing around. Of course, this advice is coming from someone who hasn’t had to actually do this, so….

      It comes from the fact that JWs short cut everything. They don’t really read the bible, they don’t really think about what it says, because everything is shortcutted to the organisation. This is why I say to do just a little bit more than the minimum and say the right lines, dress the right way, don’t make waves and they will shortcut you into the background. Dependent on individual circumstances.

      We are all here for you.

      Peace be with you, Excelsior!

    • August 19, 2015 at 7:36 am
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      I too am in my late 50s and am trying to plan my exit strategy…its hard and demoralizing…I just have to listen on this site to the advice to remember my mind is free even though I may not be … if I left I would lose everything…family and friends ALL Jw’s… I am heartsick at my lost opportunities and when I think how fullfilled my life could have been… I am learning to look ahead not behind… I feel as a child born into this religion I have been mentally abused and also because I am a woman ….we really have no voice…. what they say from the platform is laughable if it was not so damaging… Im reassured by the fact I am not alone…. keep going… you are not alone either.

    • August 19, 2015 at 4:45 pm
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      Yes, Sister drifter UK, you are absolutely right. So many of us gave up things, precious and once in a lifetime things, for this cult, especially those of us who came in from the ‘world’. We cut ourselves off from family, which you don’t get back, good jobs and worldly pursuits which were really normal and not unscriptural. But of course if they interfered with those insightful meetings then they were bad.

      Pioneer, pioneer, give every cent you’ve got to spiritual interests. Armageddon’s coming, so it doesn’t matter about anything except getting the preaching work done, get yourself in debt, make illogical mistakes, they will all be fixed at Armageddon. Go and serve where the need is great and you’ll be rewarded spiritually. What was my reward for that escapade? I suffered a serious nervous breakdown and our children changed schools umpteen times. Our kids were so smart too and could have done so much better had they not had to change schools so many times. I believed the Bible and I still do but I don’t believe the WBTS

      We lost out on so much materially that now that we have gotten older, would have counted a lot now. If only I knew what I know now I would have told those two ladies that I wasn’t interested when they came to my door in 1979. I am sure that is how many of us feel. Ripped off!
      So yes, you are absolutely right. There is so much pain and shattered dreams involved with the Watchtower, and what I have said has only scraped the surface. All those told not to have children, not to get married and those who have lost family through the blood issue would be hopping mad about it. Not to mention the debt people end up carrying by attending all those conventions and not working to make their lives more ‘spiritual’. Wow, one could go on and on.

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