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 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm
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    I wonder if the Royal Commission hands down harsh penalties or fines, the Society will take the advice they give sexual abuse victims, “just leave it in Jehovahs hands and pray more”.
    I read about a case in Australia of an elders daughter who had been repeatedly sexually abused by a family friend, a Ministerial Servant. As an adult she reported it, it went through the courts, it was not his first offence, the JWs just moved him over a couple of congregations & he was no longer a MS. At his trial she said when she told her parents and the body of elders, they told her to pray about it and just leave it in Jehovahs hands!
    That shows the incredible power of mind control the organisation has over its devout members, what father in his right mind would not support his own daughter in such a terrible circumstance?
    The MS is currently in jail, thank goodness for the “worldly” judicial system.

    • August 18, 2015 at 2:48 pm
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      @ Wanderer . You also Enunciate so well the EVIL & WICKEDNESS of what these 7 EVIL MEN are doing to Normally Loving Human Beings who are ‘CAPTIVES of a CONCEPT ‘
      The Whole JW Organisation is No better than the Catholic Church who Shuffled Sex Abusing Priests from Parish to Parish!! WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?? MAY YOU GEOFFREY JACKSON HANG Your Head in Shame the way YOUR ELDERS have Handled these POOR TRAUMATISED YOUNG CHILDREN!!! ABSOLUTELY NO WAY is This GODS ORGANISATION!’!! It’s been HELL ON EARTH for these Young Victims!!!

      • August 19, 2015 at 9:22 am
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        So True. These are not God’s “Faithful and Discrete Slave” and this is not God’s one and only organization. I can use the bible that they always refer to prove it.

        Matt 7:15 – 18: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.”

        The JW’s and WTBTS sure has born bad fruit in this case.

        • August 19, 2015 at 9:27 am
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          BTW, I’m sure the GB would ‘revise’ this out of the NWT bible if it were used against them, and I believe that GJ said he was ‘coordinating’ the Translation committee. (LOL)

  • August 18, 2015 at 4:49 pm
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    Having listened to G.J. or Mr. Potato Head, it occurred to me how he never showed any real empathy with the victims in this case, never even listening to their testimony. He was obviously playing for time with his long, laborious answers and scripture quoting. He succeeded in totally exasperating Justice McClennan. I also thought him very rude when he was quoting a scriptural text to Angus Stewart and saying, ‘Have you got that yet?’ as if he was talking to an inept student. I do not think his performance will pull the wool over the eyes of the Commission, despite his condescending manner.
    pickled brain – I think you should have stopped at ‘MAY YOU GEOFFREY JACKSON HANG….’

    • August 18, 2015 at 9:12 pm
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      @Bad Penny. I LOVE your LAST SENTENCE & your STYLE!!! LET ALL 7 GB MEN HANG & yes you are right ! I thought JACKASS ,Sorry Jackson lacked Empathy towards the victims by not reading their statements because unless he did he wouldn’t rely understand their PAIN!!

    • August 19, 2015 at 9:14 am
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      Mr. Potato head? Now that’s funny!

  • August 18, 2015 at 11:54 pm
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    Guys,

    Looks like one of our finest has defected! Look at this picture from the convention.

    http://i.imgur.com/pyr4v2V.png

    That explains the long silence on the royal commission!

    • August 18, 2015 at 11:56 pm
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      * Its a joke! and yes I should have found a pic with only living GB members in it.

  • August 19, 2015 at 12:07 am
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    dear sister drifter uk you sound like me similar circumstances we are on the scrap heap because of being duped but having heard other peoples experiences and being connected to sites like these it gives you hope because we all have one thing in common in that we have been damaged we may not see eye to eye on all things but everyone is entitled to an opinion when did the true faith get so commercial!? i still go to meetings and i cringe when i hear what spews from men but sites like these give me the voice of reason just one more point how are the org going to pay for all of this i have done my research and i hope cedars will do an article on vicarious liability it is very very interesting so dear sis keep your heart strong in the way you know best rl

  • August 19, 2015 at 2:20 am
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    People do not put new wine into an old wine skin, the fermentation process expands an already expanded wine skin and will burst it.
    A great illustration of a human mind, new teachings and their exceptence.
    Consider the difficulty, fractions, inoculations, the generation, all the belongings, organ donation, oral sex, who is the slave, e.t.c
    Did it really take the royal commission to change Watchtower policy’s and not the suffering of children?
    Though Mr Jackson heard the testimony of Mr Spinks, he failed to consider the victims testimony.
    The Watchtower blames God as God has not given direction, is the Bible therefore in complete?

    • August 19, 2015 at 3:31 am
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      @Jake . Your Point is EXCELLENT!! Why did it Take a supposedly? WORLDLY SATANIC ORGANISATION like the Royal Commission which is going to be DESTROYED at ARMAGEDDON as they don’t worship Jehovah to make Geoffrey Jackson eat humble pie & maybe make the Judicial Committee Process to be more Sympathetic to CHILD ABUSE VICTIMS??? Why couldn’t Jehovah have guided the Governing Body 50 years ago to be more CHRISTLIKE & all those years ago been more kinder & empathetic towards Victims??
      I TELL YOU WHY NOT Geoffrey!! Because you DO NOT HAVE HOLY SPIRIT!! You belong to a PUBLISHING & PROPERTY EMPIRE which is EXPLOITING Vulnerable people with the FEAR of SHUNNING to use their time money & resources!!
      ABSOLUTELY WICKED!!!

  • August 19, 2015 at 2:52 am
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    Pickled brain – Thanks for your comments – We appear to be on the same wavelength.

    zeebo – I love the pic – it’s good to exercise the chuckle muscle when you have been inundated with such tear jerking stuff!

    Sister drifter UK – Yes, I agree with you. The damage caused to thousands, or may I say millions, of minds is heart-breaking.
    I am also in the UK. I feel that there appears to be much burying of the head in the sand here. The good ‘ole Brits keep the stiff upper lip and put up with all sorts of bulls…
    Yes, it’s difficult to break away, most of us have been there. The longer you stay away though, the easier becomes your resolve to NEVER go back.
    I recently read a quote from Voltaire, which sums up Watchtower :-
    ‘To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize’.
    Another clever man said, ‘Control literature, you control what people think’.
    Come out from under the control and be free!

    • August 19, 2015 at 3:33 am
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      @ Bad Penny. GREAT Quote from Voltaire!! Really sums up the JW Organisation!!

  • August 19, 2015 at 3:01 am
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    To the governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses.
    Positively 4th Street by Bob Dylan.

  • August 19, 2015 at 8:06 am
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    The Royal Commission procedures, findings, and recommendations will have an impact on cultural and socio-political orientation on the subject in much of the Western world, of which it is a considerable part. Anyone who feels an obligation to offer a counter-testimony to the JWs’ statements has an opportunity to contact the Royal Commissioner’s Office and contribute to the historical proceedings.

  • August 19, 2015 at 8:39 am
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    For the JW elders, GJ must have delivered a mind-blowing statement when he said that “circumstances can also be one of the witnesses”.

    Not only is this a flagrant misreading of what is written – it is a spit in the face of all tens of thousands of elders who have leaned on the “two-witness rule” to dismiss allegations of sexual abuse of Children. If I were an elder and Heard this , I would have jumped up from my chair and shouted: “Why have you not told us this Before? Why do you deliver this “new light” in front of a worldly prosecutor and not first to us, your servants?

    GJ made a rather good performance for non-jw people who are not all that interested in getting Deep into the matter. He s e e m e d to give clear and sometimes even conceding answers, which s e e m s sympathetic. Had he avoided to slip this tongue about his firm conviction that he will talk to Jesus soon, then he would come out rather Clean, “impression-wise”. The Commision, though, was not impressed , well informed as they are about how WT Inc works.

    But my guess is that the GJ statements are most troubling for the JW:s, it must have been confusing to hear about the “presumptiousness of believing that JW is the only spokesman for God”, also about the concessions that “we might consider that”, “we might change this and that”, ” not outside the option pool” etc.

    If I try to Think as I did as a happy JW fanatic in the beginning of the 70’s , then I would have two thoughts:
    Either Brother Jackson is telling about “new truths that might come up in the next summer Convention” or that “he is just tactical , saying what the wordly people want to hear in order to win time and make them confused, which is perfectly OK given that they are bad people and we are good people.” Perhaps with inspiration from Luke 16…

  • August 19, 2015 at 9:54 am
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    @Excelsior

    Personally, I have no desire to call WT on the phone; I no longer dance to their music or play their game.

    But for those who want to, I agree with your proposed approach: keep it honest, and don’t use any electronic recording devices.

    However, you can lawfully make written notes to preserve important points of the conversation. You might say “excuse me while I write that down.”

    Just don’t be surprised if that has a decidedly chilling effect on the conversation …

  • August 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm
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    We called in to see our JW kids yesterday, our son and his wife. For the first time in about 9 years we had a discussion about the Watchtower. My daughter in law’s comment was that this was ancient history and that what came out of the ARC was to be taken in a positive way because now they can fix up any problems. She also said that these victims were done and dusted. I said “Well, they’ve had at least since 2002 to fix up the problems and they haven’t.” I hurriedly then explained why I left, which she had never let me do before. That is a breakthrough but it shows what kind of stuff the elders must be telling them or what everyone is saying to make up excuses for the past.

    Our grand daughter gave me a brochure while I was there which was entitled ‘Return To Jehovah’ and she asked me to read it. The Watchtower make children worried about their relatives who have left which is an added burden for them besides all the other burdens they carry. This must be working to brainwash some into going back. The brochure seems to presumptuously think that most people left because they are weak. I hate that premise. Many times I am sure they leave because they have stronger principles than what the Watchtower can produce in it’s subjects.

    On page 12 of the brochure which I quickly glanced at there was a heading that said “Return to “the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls”.” And I don’t know where they got that from but it definitely couldn’t be Jesus Christ.

    • August 19, 2015 at 4:42 pm
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      Two local elders dropped by and gave me the same brochure. I said I would look it over, and bid them good day.

      Upon skimming it, I quickly gathered its premise: I am not attending meetings due to some fault or weakness of mine! They don’t understand the very premise is false.

      If they return, I am not obligated to enlighten them, though if I’m feeling a wild urge, maybe I will.

    • August 19, 2015 at 6:26 pm
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      Meredith,

      How sad for you that they are still making excuses for the church & making you feel bad for leaving. I wonder if they put your grand child up to be the one who would give you the brochure.

      Also, do you have the download of the “Incidences of CSA in Australia” list. Of the 1006 offenders reported to the Society, it gives you the dates that they were reported. Some as soon as 2015, 2014, 2013 & still no reporting to the Authorities. So it’s not ancient history.

      I hope that your daughter in law will look at that list & see for herself that these victims didn’t “get done & dusted”. I’m sorry to have to say this but that was a really cold statement she made.

      It must take great restraint on your behalf to hold yourself back from saying more.

      • August 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm
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        Yes, Grace, I’m sorry you had to hear that statement too. My husband when we got back in the car after the visit was the first to say also what a terrible statement she made about the victims being ‘done and dusted’ too. I wondered if she was quoting what someone else also said or whether that is how she thought of it.

        I have gotten used to the silence when we visit. The talk is only about their house or work, but nothing is ever talked about in the way of the Witnesses. I am so glad I did not get disfellowshipped because I know she would have stuck to the principles of disfellowshipping. At least we have a relationship with our grand children, which I know is better than some have to put up with. I know a girl who lives not far from me who was disfellowshipped and her parents have seen her in the street and they pass her by. She has 5 children and they do hardly remember their grandparents. He is an elder and they went to serve in a foreign country for a while. How could they ignore their daughter like that is beyond me. The damage is far and wide, Grace.

        Again, I’m sorry for you to hear that comment as a victim. I would not want any who’ve been there have to know that is what some think. As anyone who has half a brain could work out that these kind of things leave awful deep scars and it’s never ‘done and dusted’.

        • August 19, 2015 at 8:15 pm
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          Don’t be sorry Meredith.

          I’m glad that you shared this because it really shows up the mindset of JW’s. I just hope that one day they wake up & see how they are while under the mind control of the cult.

          I know that when my brain started to operate again, it felt like I had come down off drugs & straightened up. It really did feel like a brain snap had happened & I felt embarrassed that my thought processes where like that.

          • August 19, 2015 at 11:22 pm
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            @Grace & @ Meredith. I agree with you both. IT IS CERTAINLY ‘NOT DONE & DUSTED ‘ these Child Abuse Cases. What a Horrible Way to look at it by relatives who are active JWs . I would ask them ‘Why is a WORLDLY Organisation like the Royal Commission way ahead of the GB in Handling & Empathetically Caring for these ABUSED Jehovah’s Witnesses above what the Elders did ?’ & Believe me anyone who is a supporter of the GB who is reading this : ‘ The GB & Elders would have KEPT on Leaving it in JEHOVAHs Hands if it WASNT for the Royal Commission & other Courts & Secular Authorities Embarrassing the GB in way of Publicity & Compensation ‘
            & As you say ‘WHAT ABOUT the 30,40,50 YEARS until the ABUSED JW DIES ,the GRIEF,TRAUMA,EXCRUCIATING EMOTIONAL SCARS & PAIN & SUICIDAL tendencies because of the DISGUSTING UN-CHRISTLIKE way these Thousands of Cases were Handled! WE WILL ALL KEEP FIGHTING UNTIL these EVIL 7 GB MEMBERS are Bought to Justice!

          • August 21, 2015 at 3:46 pm
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            Grace, I know exactly what you mean. You feel totally deflated when you realise that all your dreams and efforts were for nothing. The first thing you notice is the mental brainwashing has stopped and you feel funny. Your time suddenly increases for you as you don’t have to spend so much time in prestudy, meetings and witnessing. There is almost a feeling of “Yipee”. You have your life back. I know what you mean about being embarrassed. Then you have to explain it to people and that’s another story.

  • August 19, 2015 at 5:39 pm
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    One to watch on British TV, Channel 5 @ 9 p.m. Monday 24th August – ‘Inside Scientology and escaping the Witnesses’.
    Maybe another nail in the coffin.
    The preaching work could soon be over for JWs when people understand what a cult it is.
    Interesting, to me anyway, is that all things are being revealed that have been hidden, just as the Christ said they would be (Luke 8:17).

  • August 19, 2015 at 9:00 pm
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    1006 = a very tiny tip of a monstrously large iceberg

  • August 19, 2015 at 10:12 pm
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    Does anyone know what the Australian brothers and sisters are being told through the congregations?
    What is the general reaction at grass roots level?
    Are they all taking a ‘positive position’ on this matter- believing that WT is working alongside the Royal Commission in order to improve?
    And what happens next?
    Is GJ going to appear again?
    Do we know when?
    Everything feels a bit in limbo.

    How many faders and drifters are there reading this?
    I’m just wondering if we all actually know each other!
    I’ve been in 8 congregations in my life – worked at assemblies, quick builds, been in dramas – done it all- brought my children up in it- I know so many people and yet there are less than a handful of people I could ever be really honest with.

  • August 20, 2015 at 12:14 am
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    Where I am in Qld it seems like everyone has gone quiet. I have been going out more thinking if I run into someone I can look them in the eye & hold myself but I have not seen anyone.

    My husband has run into some while working & they seem oblivious to anything. They have been friendly to him. I keep saying to him that they are just being friendly because the latest brochure about drawing inactive ones back. You can never take Witnesses at face value, that’s the annoying thing. I always think that there is an agenda behind the actions.

    Otherwise, I don’t think that they’re reading anything about it.

  • August 20, 2015 at 3:35 am
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    Hi Sister drifter UK, in answer to your question what are publishers being told in OZ? Pretty well nothing at the moment. I think it is a case of say nothing and it will go away, silence has been a powerful tool for the WT. Newspapers have not given it much coverage and neither has tv or radio. Because the hearings were broadcast during the day many witnesses were at work so didn’t hear it or see. That is a shame.
    The other problem is that most withesses have given up so much to belong, and they have a social network of sorts, and they have donated time and money, and they face the dire threat of being kicked out and losing family and friends if they speak out so the pressure is too great.
    I brought my children up to belong and now I have to tread cautiously, insofar as my children accept what I say about what is going on and see the double standards, but they have wives and husbands with kids attached, what do they do?
    I would think that anyone on these pages who has been door to door and spoken to, say, a Catholic, and pointed out faults with that faith, and it has faults like JW’s, and the person spoken to can see that, yet will not leave that church. I used to wonder why. Now I know, it is so hard for many to do . What I am interested to see, if it will make a change, to all these ones:
    a) what happens if criminal charges are recommended against high profile Branch members?
    b) If compensation claims blow out, and I think that might come, and people realise that their hard earned donations are being wasted on the excesses of the WT, and the arrogance of its officials, the lack of of love shown by them, will they be affected then?
    c) The ARC is coming back to check on what has taken place with all these churches and groups sometime during the next 2 and a half years, I think that they will find that the WT has resisted doing any thing other than cosmetic changes, and that nothing in practise will be different, but they will claim that they have repented and all is different. Not so.
    But there is a network of email and phone discussions going on and word of mouth will spread. So the answer to your question is a little more time is needed.

  • August 20, 2015 at 7:01 am
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    Angus Stewart made the point to Jackson that it was a “Captive
    Religion”. Citing the example of baptised faders still being subject
    to cong, discipline, if discovered celebrating Christmas, or living
    in “sin” etc.

    At this point Jackson expressed Shock Horror,– “But Mr, Stewart
    your suggesting we’ve got some sort of “Spy Network” going on,
    we don’t have anything such as that.”

    If Mr, Stewart was suggesting that, he was absolutely right.
    In my experience, the whole congregation acts as a “Spy Network”
    tale bearing to elders is common practice. Very few
    follow the Bible counsel, “First confront your brother alone.”

    Such is the paranoia about keeping the cong, clean, or JHVH will
    remove Holy Spirit, that irrational measures are taken. A case in
    point, was of two elders staying out all night hiding behind the
    hedge in a garden to get evidence on a brother they suspected of
    adultery. ( They even took flasks of coffee for their all night vigil )

    Official or not , the spy network exists this is the reality, that exists
    among insecure, frightened and guilt ridden people.

  • August 20, 2015 at 7:52 am
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    The witness religion is all about “snitches” and I even remember reading in the watchtower that it was the duty of individuals to report to the elders if they knew that someone was doing something that they thought was wrong.

    Obviously they would not go to the fader and confront him, but instead would go the elders and the fader would be disfellowshipped in absentia if he or she chose not to appear before the elders.

    Jackson knows this, but chose to play dumb and again he skirted the issue of control and destruction of families by shunning. We all know how things work within this religion and so does the Royal Commission and regardless of the lies and evasiveness of Jackson, everyone knows that the witness religion is a religion which traps its members and will not let them leave without severe consequences to the individual’s social network and social structure.

    • August 21, 2015 at 5:46 pm
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      Spying and reporting other witnesses activities to the elders is something I remember very well. At school I used to spend the period during the flag salute looking around to see who else was not participating. When I identified another witness child I stayed away from them to avoid potential meetings with the elders for some alleged “infraction” of witness rules. If that is christian love North Korea has it in spades.

  • August 20, 2015 at 9:19 am
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    Spy network??? Are you serious??? It reminds me of what
    I have read of Nazi Germany when neighbors would tell
    On neighbors for being Jewish or hiding them. The same
    Fear tactics are in place and that is something that held me back from squealing on one of my friends who I knew
    Was messing around with a brother in the congregation.
    I did tell her that I knew and she should do the right thing
    Which she finally did after they got caught . I just wasn’t
    Going to be the one to come forward. cast the first stone
    And all,…. Oh that no longer exists…. Excuse me.

  • August 20, 2015 at 9:43 am
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    In my opinion, the similarities between the Nazi regime and the witness religion are pretty frightening. I have read books and essays analyzing these types of regimes and the only light at the end of the tunnel is that these types of regimes do have a shelf life.

    • August 20, 2015 at 10:45 am
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      Oh boy Godwin’s law. I won’t post a link, it’s easy to google.

    • August 20, 2015 at 8:39 pm
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      Too bad the Nazis aren’t around. One phone call to Gestapo HQ and the whole governing body would disappear in a puff of Dachau smoke.

      • August 20, 2015 at 11:08 pm
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        Garrett your comment regarding “Dachau smoke” is horrible. I have been to Dachau and seen the large photos of the people who were in their own special hell. Eight prisoners shared each wooden bed. In the movie theater it showed the unimaginable suffering. It said that the Nazis hated 3 groups above all else, The Jews, The Gypsies and Jehovah’s Witnesses. It turns out that Goebbels, the Propaganda Minister admired the JW’s for their discipline but wanted to convert them to the Nazi cause. I have a recent book on the holocaust and the only religion that it speaks positively out of dozens is JW’s. Only the JW’s faith had the courage to stand up to the Nazis from 1933. History testifies that in great detail. I have talked to 6 persons who spent years in concentration camps either in Poland or later in Siberia Gulag. I have heard their stories in detail. Whatever you feel about the Governing Body and JW’s it still doesn’t give you licence to make a comment that you did. I have read many posts for quite awhile now and yours is the most offensive one I have ever read. Shame on you Garrett.
        PS Does Garrett get banned for making a clearly offensive post? Probably not but I am sure that many will censure me or even have me blocked. I just told the truth. Go to Dachau and see it for yourself. BTW the last Regional Assembly was AMAZING. Assemblies just went up to another new level. Nothing like it ever before! For those that think we are about to “Implode” well sorry but don’t hold your breath too long. You are sooo wrong. Go to a Regional assembly and take it in. The spirit was electrifying. And so many beautiful young people!
        Oh and I also followed every day of the Royal Commission too and then the transcripts. We are all well aware of the info that has come out. We don’t have a blind faith. Yes there will be some adjustments that I agree are needed. We all need to improve our characters as we get older and sometimes our organization has to make adjustments to. It’s not perfect and neither are any of us here either including me. There is a big difference between being imperfect and being offensive. Few of us are ever offensive. have a nice day folks.

  • August 21, 2015 at 2:07 am
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    Hi,
    There has been no article on the Geoffrey Jackson hearing. Any significant development that will be revealed at a later time? The silence is surprising.

    • August 21, 2015 at 12:55 pm
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      RC,

      It’s a waiting game now with ARC. They have so many people who have come forward that they have to process. The number has been phenomenal behind the scenes. This will take some months, a year or two to process.

      Angus is going to come back with his final report about the Church & it’s handling of child sex abuse.
      Hopefully, he won’t hold back.

      • August 24, 2015 at 2:43 am
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        Hi Grace,
        Thanks for the update. However, there has been no update on this site. It has been silent for almost 2 weeks now. Any

        • August 24, 2015 at 3:58 pm
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          Sorry RC,

          I thought that you have been away for a while.

          The last time I tracked John’s whereabouts (chuckle) was that he had been doing a European work/vacation stint from Amsterdam to England. I just noticed that from his videos above. He mentioned that he hasn’t had time to sit & go through GJ’s hearing.

          • August 25, 2015 at 2:22 am
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            Oh ok Thanks for the update Grace. Comments for this blog are reaching 400. Eagerly waiting for what John has to say about Geoffrey Jackson’s performance.

  • August 21, 2015 at 2:29 am
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    When Jesus said go therefore an make disciples of people of all nations or words to that effect. One would reason that a disciple of Christ would be taught the mind of Christ….

    And having been taught,…. to know and be able to deside,…. outcomes to problems,… themselves…..

    When grown men have to refer on to headquarters what to do re Child Abuse, when the Australian organization has experienced many cases of child abuse as outlined in the Royal Commission….

    Makes one wonder what sought of job the Watchtower is doing about making disciples, teaching the mind of Christ?…

    It appears they are failing to teach the mind of Christ to these grown men!

    Even Christ’s example of the good Samaritan would have done a better job!

    Who proved himself even though not a Jew to be neighbor to the injured person he came across, even paying for the injured man’s accommodation till he recovered!

    Another thing is this, when it takes a Royal Commission to teach the Watchtower how to show compassion to abused victims,… it says a lot about the Watchtower.

  • August 21, 2015 at 3:26 am
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    I put Geoffrey Jackson’s testimony on for my husband to listen to and he listened to the whole thing and of course he thought that Jackson did a bang up job defending the “truth” and in the end, my husband’s comment was that it was good because now the Society will do something about all those terrible elders who don’t follow the Society’s instructions and now the Society will make sure the elders do their jobs correctly. So, that was good. But I argued with him that I thought that the elders were supposed to be appointed by Holy Spirit so how come they are bad elders and he said no, they were appointed by each other but Jehovah corrected it by now having he Circuit Overseers appoint the elders.

    They have an answer for everything.

    • August 21, 2015 at 6:58 am
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      I had my husband read the Jackson’s testimony (you know youtube can’t be trusted). He said the same thing. One thing he did not like was when Jackson said we wouldn’t be so presumptuous to think we are the only source to the true god.

      • August 21, 2015 at 9:11 am
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        @Mimi . I’m glad your husband noticed that because it could have been missed. Jackson said In answer to Angus Stewart something like they aren’t the only ones speaking for God which is FLIPPING NEWS to EVERY JW ever !! So does that mean there are other religions who speak for God , perhaps Jackson Agrees with Jesus words FOR A CHANGE at Mark 9 v40 where he says’Whoever is not against us is for us’ !! In response to the disciples annoyance that the man who was expelling demons wasn’t in the same group or organisation as the disciples following Jesus!!!
        So this Scripture alone means Jesus was saying YOU Don’t HAve to follow one Group of People or Organisation as long as you have Faith in Jesus!!

        • August 21, 2015 at 9:48 am
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          I am new to the commenting, been nervous for obvious reasons. I have made comments to two of my good friends and my daughter and you would have thought that I slapped them. I sent them the link directly to the Australia website and they refuse to go to it. I’m like wake up this is a civil authority and you refuse to even look at it! One of my friends said it was proof that the witnesses were right that babylon is turning on religion….I was like “false religion” hello????

        • August 21, 2015 at 5:40 pm
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          I think that the JWs will just say “he had to say that for theocratic warfare”. They are thoroughly convinced (brainwashed) to believe THEY are “IT”!

      • August 21, 2015 at 1:32 pm
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        @MimiLove, my husband’s answer to the presumptuous comment was that the lawyer was only out for money and is an ass***le for asking Jackson a “gotcha” question which didn’t have anything to do with it and of course the Society has never claimed to be God’s only spokespeople. He understands what Jackson was saying and I am just too stupid to understand it, according to him, no matter how many Watchtower articles I have shown him in the last two hours saying just the opposite.

        • August 21, 2015 at 4:24 pm
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          Mimilove,

          Your friends need to understand that prophecy has nothing to do with the ARC. This is a systematic problem with all institutions. The ARC has just got to put each of them up to see who is not protecting children to the best of their capacity.

          It just so happens that this church & its policies & procedures have failed miserably & its failures point straight to the top. It’s shown up to be a system that protects the church not the victims.

          Angus brought that out with Jackson. He wanted Jackson to agree that this RC is with good intention & not an attack on the religion or driven by apostate lies. I believe that the RC were deliberately being very careful not to put to task Jackson as there were many thousands viewing it.

          I think that they were being sensitive to those still in because their lives are so committed & it would be too devastating otherwise. I personally think that they did exactly what should have been with Jackson.

          They knew he wasn’t being honest but they had to think of his followers as well.

    • August 21, 2015 at 9:30 am
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      @Anonymous. Well done for keeping on trying to help your husband see the SHAM Erroneous teachings of the Watchtower. I believe every so Called DIE HARD JW is now having Doubts but they go into a MENTAL IRRATIONAL DEFENSIVE MODE…. But One Day Everything you have said to him will gradually wake him up especially when he lies awake at night going over in his head The FALSE EXPECTATIONS; the CONSTANT BEGGING for DONATIONS; The CONSTANT DEMAND to do MORE & MORE ; The DISGUSTING ATTITUDE & HANDLING of the CHILD ABUSE ISSUE!!’ One Day Someone or Something will get on his Nerves & then ‘BANG ‘!! All those SECRET DOUBTS Will SURFACE!! Stick in there Anonymous, you are an Intelligent Woman … TOO INTELLIGENT to be CONNED by 7 ARROGANT AMERICAN MEN !! NO HUMILITY AT ALL,Unlike Jesus !!

    • August 21, 2015 at 12:44 pm
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      Anonymous,

      There was something about what your husband said that irritated me too.

      “now the Society will do something about all those terrible elders who don’t follow the Society’s instructions and now the Society will make sure the elders do their jobs correctly.”

      Umm didn’t they follow the Society’s instructions! Without question or reasoning, using their own discernment or conscience. That’s why they’re all in this sorry state of a mess.

    • August 21, 2015 at 3:26 pm
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      Obviously, the GB are just covering their own butts individually, as this seems to be the ongoing consensus. Remember what Jackson said when confronted that he had only been on the GB for 10 years as if that somehow excused him from the situation. If that attitude prevails and they keep distancing themselves from one another then they will implode from within. It means they don’t trust one another anymore.

      Who knows what Jesus Christ will do to speed it up? I personally believe that he has sent child sex abuse as a plague to the Witnesses. There is nothing to hide behind now for them. Their cover is being removed for all to see. I am sure there are multiple prophecies that must describe this situation, as they hoodwinked so many and were so cruel in the process. You can’t profess to be ‘God’s spokesperson’ and then go and produce bad fruitage and expect that there won’t be consequences.

      • August 21, 2015 at 10:15 pm
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        The scriptures your requesting can be found in the book of Malachi, chapters 1 through 4.

        It’s ironic that every elder should know this account and its implications. The application then and now – the present day application, history will repeat itself.

        Jehovah will have another cleansing at hand, sooner than later, by way of the court system.

        My heart goes out to all the victims and their families.

        Keep hope alive,

        • August 22, 2015 at 7:09 am
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          @minion

          >>>Jehovah will have another cleansing at hand, sooner than later, by way of the court system.

          Suddenly had a thought, it’s Satan’s handiwork that is prevalent throughout the JW.org and not Jehovah’s. 1006 cases have surfaced since a certain timeline suddenly the lame(excuse) logic is “it’s a test” or “a message”?!?! Like a public corporation caught with their pants down (pun intended) a crisis management team is hired to reshape the damaged message/image and in all likelihood a purge for both internal & external consumption to show swift action. It’s much easier to point at evil(satan) than good(Jehovah). The long term problem with the GB & JW.org system of things is that the “way of the court system” is a non-JW system(i.e. non-believers), the next argument may be whether to assimilate to man-made rules or ask for a parallel legal system… shell I errrrrr, well say like islam & their sharia compliant with secular forms of government?

          IMHO

          dogstar

        • August 22, 2015 at 7:50 am
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          >>>Jehovah will have another cleansing at hand, sooner than later, by way of the court system.

          Simple curious, how many cleansings to date?

          IMHO

          dogstar

          • August 22, 2015 at 7:59 pm
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            We all joyed the way Angus Stewart maneuver and always in controled the dialogue. however, always used for the most part – an ending leading question, ‘do you understand?, then GeeJackson would answer, ‘Yes, I understand’.
            Many times over, how many times? Many times over, how many times?
            Many times over.

            Jehovah has a ‘final call or last call’ an event of grand proportions. Some have label this event as World War 3. And perhaps it is.

            The book of Malachi has much insight on how the 7 men of WT have really screwed things up. By the building, name, contributions – the cash & crab, and worship.
            Take time and read the four chapters, if you wish, and you will understand and the patience is weary out on JG.

            Peace out,

  • August 21, 2015 at 4:59 am
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    Is anyone aware of a source that documents the sex abuse cases and money paid out by the WT for these cases over the past few years? This would be a great reference to have; to be able to show JW’s what has happened and how much donation money has been lost (misappropriated) due to the society’s mishandling of such things.

    If anyone is aware of a reference source for this please let me know.

    • August 21, 2015 at 10:46 pm
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      Edgar Steele-

      I quote; Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information online from federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts, and the PACER Case Locator. PACER is provided by the Federal Judiciary in keeping with its commitment to providing public access to Court information via a centralized service.

      Who Can Access PACER?

      PACER is available to anyone who registers for an account.

      Their web address:

      https://www.pacer.gov

      Get back with us with your research – and forward to Cedars.

      Keep hope alive, true unconditional Love,

  • August 21, 2015 at 6:49 am
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    Edgar Steele –
    I can’t find a specific list of documents, but if you ‘google’ ‘Sex abuses within Jehovahs witnesses’ you will find some info. Notably $20 mill paid out in June 2012 (Jonathan Kendrick case). $13,500 paid out in Oct. 2014, no names. Case from Loughborough, England, June 2015 – six figure settlement. £275,000 case in Devon, England – V.P. Law solicitors.
    Just a taster of many.

    • August 24, 2015 at 9:25 am
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      RE: “Notably $20 mill paid out in June 2012 (Jonathan Kendrick case).”

      The original judgment in the Candace Conti case was drastically reduced on appeal: “What the revised punitive damages will be remains to be seen, but for now the $15.6 million judgment has been effectively stripped down to just $2.8 million in compensatory damages, with the $8.6 million in punitive damages against Watchtower overturned, and Kendrick unable to pay his $4.2 million in damages.”

      http://jwsurvey.org/general-information/conti-appeal-watchtowers-punitive-damages-reversed-but-negligence-for-lack-of-field-service-supervision-is-affirmed

      Because the Watchtower keeps its financial information secret, we have no way of knowing how much is being paid to sex abuse victims. However, the Watchtower is now literally begging its cult followers to give money so that they can “show appreciation for all that Jehovah and his Son have done” for them. This begging has reached a new low now that the Watchtower is specifically targeting bank accounts, stocks and bonds, real estate, wills, donations via electronic bank transfer, debit card, or credit card, cash, jewelry and other valuable personal property.

      http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/w20151115/donations-worldwide-work/

      This is an indication that at least some of the sex abuse judgments are being paid.

    • August 24, 2015 at 9:45 am
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      RE: Jonathan Kendrick and the Candace Conti case:

      The Watchtower legal department employs a very effective legal strategy which consists of stalling and appealing. The history of the Candace Conti appeal can be found by following the link below. Between its starting date of 09/25/2012 and ending date of 07/13/2015 – – 85 separate actions were registered in this 34 month period.

      http://appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.gov/search/case/dockets.cfm?dist=1&doc_id=2025979&doc_no=A136641

  • August 21, 2015 at 7:04 am
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    Sister drifter UK –
    I know exactly how you feel about the handful of people you can be honest with. I have spoken to a few witnesses who I was particularly close to about my situation, but they are now avoiding me! It would be lovely to know someone in the same boat to be friends with. I and my husband were witnesses for 30 years and brought up our son in the faith. We are all now ‘out’ of our own volition. We also moved about a bit, having been assigned to six different congs from Devon to the Midlands. It would be amazing if we really did know each other?? Meantime, you can be assured that we can be on-line ‘sisters’.

    • August 21, 2015 at 3:32 pm
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      Bad Penny, we feel isolated, but really when we all get on here too, we are many. It is great to know that we’ve all been through it too. We weren’t that stupid. We were just duped. It must be one of the world’s greatest lies.

  • August 21, 2015 at 11:25 am
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    Perfect fear throws love outside.

  • August 21, 2015 at 1:47 pm
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    bad penny and sister drifter i too an an englander and moved a lot in my dysfunctional childhood so know quite a few it would be funny if we did know each other and even stranger that this website brings us together as seekers of truth and honesty out of the corpse came honey rl

    • August 21, 2015 at 2:47 pm
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      @SisterDrifter& RuthLee& BadPenny
      I know many in some South Devon Congregations . I & my Family are in South London Congregation at the moment which I cannot reveal any more information as still very active just so I can subtlety try to save family. If they knew I was on this website it would break my family up because they would call the Elders to try & save me as I would be viewed as Spiritually weak !!! LAUGHABLE if it wasn’t SO SAD as I am still putting in about 20 hours a month in field service so I can be with my wife as I am DETERMINED This Organisation isn’t going to break my marriage up !! There are SO MANY MARRIAGES DESTROYED in the Organisation because of either Marrying too young or the STRAIN & STRESS of CONSTANTLY TRYING to ALWAYS DO MORE or One Spouse no longer believes & the other Spouse MANICALLY tries to follow the GB DEMANDS Avidly… Etc.

      • August 21, 2015 at 3:41 pm
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        Pickled Brain, if your wife is having some doubts and you have been through a lot of difficult times in the Organisation, then don’t lose hope. My husband left about 2 months before me. An elder came up to me and said “It must be so hard for you coming here on your own.” That comment made me so mad. I thought that it wasn’t hard as I kind of felt the same as him but hadn’t had the courage to go, but that comment told me that I did not want this man telling me that my husband was at fault. I never went to another meeting after that. Anyway, don’t lose hope. Communication is always good in any marriage. The brainwashing is so strong and that is what you are up against. All the best with it.

        • August 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm
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          Ditto,

          My husband & I have often talked about when it was that was the final nail in the coffin & we both agreed that we had many incidental moments. They weren’t from people making big statements that made us see things, they were subtle little comments that came from various ones.

          For instance an elder said to my hubby once, “we’re good at making rules” that stayed with him. I had a young inactive girl say to me, “the nice ones seem to be the ones that leave”. So it was little things like that that planted seeds of doubt over a period of time.

          Then there was this really bizarre assembly in our circuit a couple of years ago & 2 elders gave the talk about not putting our conscience on to others. The story they used was a bible study going to a dinner party & they were playing a game that required lying to win (I think it’s called balderdash or something like that). The bible study didn’t want to play the game because he couldn’t see how that would be entertaining to lie to each other. The elders made the point to the audience that he was immature in the faith. (I thought is he sitting here while you ridicule him). By the end of the talk my husband & I couldn’t even bring ourselves to clap. Then outside I could see people hovering around the eftpos machine & I said to him later in the car that I couldn’t be bothered coming to another assembly, it’s just a load balderdash. We went to another 2 after that but it was already over for us mentally.

        • August 21, 2015 at 10:49 pm
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          @Meredith . Thanks for your comments & encouragement. Much appreciated.

      • August 21, 2015 at 9:42 pm
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        You’re right about the difficulty in keeping the marriage together when there is a disagreement on the validity of the JW.org.

        While the watchtower claims to want to preserve marriages and families they have no compunction to talk about separation when this situation arises. The shepherd the flock of God book makes it clear that it’s okay for a JW to separate under these conditions 1) extreme physical abuse ( I agree with this) 2) Extreme spiritual danger (Where is the scriptural backing for this?)

        Number 2 is obviously directed towards someone who’s mate has gone “apostate” a crime and sin worse than pedophilia according to watchtower.

  • August 21, 2015 at 2:41 pm
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    ruthlee –
    Nice comment, thanks to CEDARS, (WHERE ARE YOU BY THE WAY? We are up to 300 comments on this one!) we can have love among ourselves. This makes up in small part for the ‘love’ we have lost to JWdom.

    • August 21, 2015 at 5:11 pm
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      Thanks for the link Grace. I loved the interview as well!!

  • August 21, 2015 at 8:00 pm
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    Dear All,

    It is refreshing to see that I’m not the only one still sticking to the organization and realizing how wrong we are. I respect those who had the courage to leave and start a new life sometimes at a high cost. Me and my wife we are not there yet. We are still close to our family and we are not ready to lose so much but we have a feeling of freedom that we never had before and i feel fortunate that my spouse sees through as well. It makes thing a lot easier. I would like to step down from my position like some of my friends did (yes I’m also blessed with friends who have come to the same conclusion).

    I also know a few that have come to the same realization but they have been in it for so long that i think they feel it’s not worth the trouble to leave or may be this defined them their existance at such a level that they could not imagine their life w/o the organization. Although it is hard when you have privileges in the congregation and have parts and talks at the meetings.

    I do not waste my time talking to brothers and sisters that went all in in “the truth”. They live and want to live in an illusion. They invested so much in it and their pride will never let them open their eyes. They have not taken one decision in their life, they feel Jehovah made all their decision (a bunch of man actually made those decision for them). They feel the hand of God in their life which is a feeling that a lot of other Christians belonging to other churches have as well, they are going through the same exact feeling and experience.

    I don’t waste my time either with those who are addicted to the “organization”, those involved in RBC (not for long though), full time servants, those who seek high position, privileges in the organization. Since they could not find a position in the world they found an opportunity to reach a position of authority in the congregation where it’s much easier. They will never listen to the voice of reason, the truth is not their preoccupation and they need this organization to survive in order to full fill their ambition.

    But we like to spend time with brothers and sisters who like to think who have not lost their critical thinking. The funny part is that most of them have a great knowledge of the Bible, true spiritual people. I raise question that are not directly critical of the organization, I share facts that are undeniable but at the end of the conversation I always make sure it ends in a very positive note and avoid to trigger a defence mecanisme that would bring their brain straight back to the darkness.

    Trying to take the organization down is a waste of time, even when all these affairs will be exposed you will still have a lot of people blindly supporting it because it defines who they are and they cannot live without it anymore. The more you distance yourself from the truth the more you hate it.

    Let’s bring one witness at the time to a smooth realization, let’s open their eyes on their terms.

    This coming generation is more educated than never before and have access to more information like never before. Those in their twenties will realize in less than a decade how wrong it was to skip college.

    The organization will disappear because the generation of our children who are not teenagers yet will find it irrelevant.

    ….and also because it’s bad business to weaken the finances of those who support you financially by pushing them to live a simple life…..so silly

  • August 22, 2015 at 12:58 am
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    Very true observations regarding the comments on marriages. I wrote to the society almost 20y ago and made the comments that within in the last ten years I had seen over 40 divorces within the surrounding area (5 congregations), 4 suicides and 5 convicted child molesters. There is a huge amount of pressure on marriages, do more, do more, obey, even over your marriage, we have the answers. It does seem to me the gentle and honest folk leave first. Conformity, despite your own conscience, is what they require, which in the end produces a toxic environment of fear and paranoia. Don’t lets get started on the false teachings and the arrogance of believing your always right.
    I’m sure there’ll be a new article soon

  • August 22, 2015 at 1:09 am
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    I’m 50 now, our generation who have had children within the organisation, well I can tell you, very few of them remain in. If I were to guess at a figure, knowing the couples I know, I would say 85% have left. It’s increasingly a toxic brand. Don’t worry about the devil out there, worry about the devil behind you in there.

  • August 22, 2015 at 1:49 am
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    Jake –
    So true, the last time I spoke to an elder in my old congregation, after I had left, he told me that I was doing the Devil’s work for him! I said, at least now I know who I’m working for, I didn’t realise I was working for him for the past 30 years!
    Just a point, don’t you think Geoffrey Jackson looked and acted like a snake in the ARC hearing. He was so slippery he could have fallen off his seat!

    • August 22, 2015 at 2:16 am
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      He’s trying to defend the indefensible. He did a good job, in certain areas, but to those in the know we saw straight through it, we’ve lived it.

    • August 22, 2015 at 9:53 am
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      @BadPenny . That’s a good definition of Jackson! He was like a slippery snake& who was the first Slippery Snake ? MR SATAN himself !!!

  • August 22, 2015 at 2:10 am
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    Have Jehovah’s witnesses been a toxic brand within marriages, absolutely. What are the facts?
    In the 1970s a question from readers asked ” is oral sex a grounds for a scriptural divorce?” The answer was yes.
    Let me paint a scenario,
    Wife is a JW the husband is not. She decides he has committed pornia and is unrepentant, she decides to divorce him.
    He may well lose living with his children, his home, pay thousands towards solicitor costs, settlements, have another man move into his home and have his reputation ruined.
    Five years later the same question was asked, “is oral sex a grounds for a scriptural divorce?” Answer was no.
    That poor b****** lost everything on a falsehood and he was completely innocent.
    Is that not toxic?, show that man an apology then.

    • August 22, 2015 at 2:22 am
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      Ahh, and JW’s, because he hadn’t committed pornia she therefore did not have a scriptural grounds for a divorce, that means of course that if she has remarried she has committed adultery. How’s that for toxic, after all God hates a divorce. Gulp Watchtower because you led them into it.

      • August 23, 2015 at 9:02 am
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        @Jake

        Well said in all your posts covering marriage & the perceived lovefest of perpetual bliss. The Pew research body did a statistical study of happiness (as I saw it) but through divorce rates across various religious groups in the USA. In short, and through the smoke and mirrors of JW propaganda (hype) there is NO significant difference across all groups. JWs are average and well within the margin-of-error. By the way, would love to see this same statistical study repeated for today’s times. The thinking here JWs would follow the general trend of the population and certainly not fight the trend!

        IMHO

        dogstar

  • August 22, 2015 at 3:12 am
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    Wt 1974 Nov 15 p703-4
    Wt 1978 Feb 15 p30
    Wt 1983 Mar 15 p27-31

  • August 22, 2015 at 5:48 am
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    I liked Anonymous’ story of what her husband thought of Jackson, (who) did a bang up job defending the “truth” … my husband’s comment was that it was good … now the Society will do something about all those terrible elders who don’t follow the Society’s instructions .
    http://spartacus-educational.com/RUSsunday.htm

    Just a little story about the The Winter Palace Massacre, in Russia. The workers at the Putilov Iron Works, 110,00 of them, were sacked. The workers and their women and children decided to go to the Tsar to get justice.
    The workers and their families thought the Tsar would help them. Instead he ordered his troops to open fire on them.
    In the attack by the Cossacks over 100 workers were killed and some 300 wounded. Alexandra Kollontai observed the “trusting expectant faces, the fateful signal of the troops stationed around the Palace, the pools of blood on the snow, the bellowing of the gendarmes, the dead, the wounded, the children shot.” She added that what the Tsar did not realise was that “on that day he had killed something even greater, he had killed superstition, and the workers’ faith that they could ever achieve justice from him.
    The moral of the story;- (Psalm 146:3-5) 3 Do not put YOUR trust in nobles, Nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs.  4 His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; In that day his thoughts do perish.  5 Happy is the one who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in Jehovah his God,
    Don’t rely on Jackson or the elders, they are only there to protect the Org and its property.

  • August 22, 2015 at 5:55 am
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    I liked Anonymous’ story of what her husband thought of Jackson, (who) did a bang up job defending the “truth” … my husband’s comment was that it was good … now the Society will do something about all those terrible elders who don’t follow the Society’s instructions .
    http://spartacus-educational.com/RUSsunday.htm

    Just a little story about the The Winter Palace Massacre, in Russia. The workers at the Putilov Iron Works, 110,00 of them, were sacked. The workers and their women and children decided to go to the Tsar to get justice.
    The workers and their families thought the Tsar would help them. Instead he ordered his troops to open fire on them.
    In the attack by the Cossacks over 100 workers were killed and some 300 wounded. Alexandra Kollontai observed the “trusting expectant faces, the fateful signal of the troops stationed around the Palace, the pools of blood on the snow, the bellowing of the gendarmes, the dead, the wounded, the children shot.” She added that what the Tsar did not realise was that “on that day he had killed something even greater, he had killed superstition, and the workers’ faith that they could ever achieve justice from him.
    The moral of the story;- (Psalm 146:3-5) 3 Do not put YOUR trust in nobles, Nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. 4 His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; In that day his thoughts do perish. 5 Happy is the one who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in Jehovah his God,
    Don’t rely on Jackson or the elders, they are only there to protect the Org and its property.

  • August 22, 2015 at 11:38 am
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    Ray Franz was true to his conscience, which resulted in removal
    from his home in Bethel. With no special commercial skills, he
    supported himself and his wife by doing yard work for his friend
    Peter Gregerson. Similarly with Ed Dunlap, aged 72 he had to
    earn a living hanging wallpaper.

    I ask myself, how can a man in the position of Jackson deliberately
    go against his “Christian conscience” by lying under oath? Claiming
    ignorance when asked pointed questions about certain functions
    and policies of an org, he has been at the pinnacle of for 10 years.
    Attempting to defend what he very well knows are inhuman, unloving,
    and unlawful practices.

    A strong incentive for Jackson and his fellow GB, members and other
    prominent ones to ignore their conscience, is the reality of what
    happened to Ray and Ed. They themselves could be cast adrift
    if they spoke the absolute truth. And at their age could find a
    government pay check is all they have to live on. Their employers
    are not known for handing out. golden handshakes.

    • August 22, 2015 at 12:15 pm
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      @Ted . You are so Right about Ray Franz & Ed Dunlap who both had REAL GUTS to Stand up for Truth & what they Knew was Right! To Give up a COSY, CUSHY LIFE at BETHEL to leave & do Menial work outside because they knew the Whole JW Organisation is ONE BIG CON !!!

  • August 22, 2015 at 12:06 pm
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    Government assistance is what two aged special pioneers
    In my former cong, ended up on. And undoubtedly is the
    experience of many.

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