Okay: Who is Barb & What's the "news"?

by lynnmelo 52 Replies latest jw friends

  • ozziepost


    I admire your fairness but i feel that this may be based on some idealistic notion of the WTS.

    My personal opinion is that it is ultimately the parents' job to report the matter. It is the congregation's job to inform them of their right to do so--and to explain the clear reasons why it's necessary. If the parents don't do it, then the congregation can report the matter. I think, up front, before the judicial committee even begins, the elders should refer the parents to experienced professionals in the area of child sexual abuse.

    This doesn't happen in "real life". I readily think of one Australian poster BLISSISIGNORANCE who was DFd for actually reporting!

    In response to the other point quoted above, isn't it the whole point at issue that the WTS' interferes in the victim's natural justice? Just speaking about "the congregation's job" etc is an indication that they have taken it upon themselves to set themselves above the law - they decide. That's disgraceful!

    Now with regard to your initial point that further acts of a similar offense may be taken into consideration just isn't good enough. For this to work, the offender has to be caught doing it again and surely that then places innocent victims at the mercy of the dub system of so-called justice. What is dealt with in the courts of law is the crime right here and now; they don't wait for it to happen again and say, "Oh well, maybe we could consider that other case in conjunction with this one."

    So, no I cannot agree that the whole paedophilia issue in the JWs has been over-stated, and neither to the thousands of dubs who've left!

  • Gill

    Confession - What made you believe that just disfellowshiping this particular pedophile was enough punishment for him?

    What made you feel that you and your group of elders had the power to decide what punishment was suitable?

    Why did you not report him to the police?

    Why is just not being allowed to be a JW a suitable punishment for someone who abuses young people?

    Why have you still not gone to the police?

    In a non aggressive and non arrogant way, and with due respect for the brain washed position you were in...who the hell did you all think you were?

  • Gretchen956

    I was just thinking the same thing, so what, he was disfellowshipped. They say an average paedophile abuses hundreds of children in their lifetime. So lets see the timeline.

    First "known" abuse by Confession. FIVE YEARS later (how many nights or days of abuse in that time?) Confession's JC hears about the abuser. They then DF him. Now its NINE YEARS later and he is still DF'd. Ok, why isn't the bastard in prison? Confession if that person has been abusing kids for 9 years after you FAILED to report him to authorities then you are a conspirator and guilty yourself in the lifetimes of pain and suffering he imposed on the countless kids he came into contact with.

    I hope it makes you as sick to your stomach as it makes me reading your post.


  • Pistoff


    2002 brought a scandal to the WT that got some, but not enough, attention. By now you have read some of the basics: that when child sexual abuse, not necessarily by anyone with a position of service in the congregations, was reported to the elders, they:

    1. Asked the victim if they misunderstood what really happened: are you sure this really happened? (sidenote: I have a good friend who went on a camping trip when he was 20; he woke in the middle of the night to find a brother's hands inside his underwear. He reported this ministerial servant to the elders, who asked the brother if HE HAD JUST MISUNDERSTOOD what happened. He laughed and said NO. The elders did NOTHING, not even remove the brother from his position. My friend took it to the CO, who removed the entire body. In this case something happened, but the RESPONSE he found, to encourage the matter be dropped, emerges as the PATTERN all across the world: don't report it, discourage it going any further.)

    2. Ask if any one else saw the abuse, such as: did anyone else see your uncle fondle your 5 year old?

    3. If no one else saw it, and the perp did not confess, NOTHING WAS DONE. And they were told that since this was unproven, to talk about it to anyone, including police, would be GOSSIP and they could be disclipined, even disfellowshiped over it.

    This is the situation that Barbara Anderson discovered when she worked in Bethel in the 90's. She is bright and articulate, and was used by brothers in the writing department to ghost write some articles. Friends of hers were opening letters from discouraged families who had gone through the process mentioned above. She tried to get the attention of leadership with what was going on, and was met with a stone wall. Some articles were written about victims of abuse, and minor oblique references were written to the fact of abuse in the congregations. NOTHING was changed about this policy; most would agree that the policy is NOT different today, they still require 2 witnesses to child sexual abuse but now say that they NEVER discouraged anyone from going to the police. Thousands of victims say differently.

    Finally she got in touch with Bill Bowen, an elder in Kentucky who also discovered the policy when involved in a judicial case in his congregation. They decided to go public in 2002, got onto Dateline and they were promptly disfellowshiped for unstated conduct. It was inferred that she had done something wrong, and she has sued the WT for libel and slander over it.

    Anyway, last Friday she said that she has BIG news. I hope so, but personally feel that the attention she has drawn by this is good enough; it is getting people like yourself to ask who is she and why is so much attention paid to it.

    To me, this IS the issue for every witness and would be witness: CHILD SEX ABUSE POLICY. It is criminal, and they have not changed their policy requiring 2 witnesses. Every authority in the field agrees that children rarely make it up.

    Anyway, I have found everything Barbara has said to be believable, no one has ever challenged the veracity of what she has said in court.

    That to me is the bottom line.

    Now you know.

  • blondie

    Actually it must be two "credible" eyewitnesses as determined by the elder body. If one of the eyewitnesses is a non-witness, they may not be considered credible. If an eyewitness is deemed too young by the elders they may not be considered credible.

    If they are in a reporting state, the elders and any others must report even if there aren't 2 eyewitnesses, credible or not. Of course, if the elders persuade the parents, child(ren), JW eyewitnesses not to report, how will the secular authorities ever find out?

    The public WTS and the private WTS are 2 very different entities. After all the WTS teaches that it is proper to withhold information or lie to people who are not entitled to it the true facts.

    *** Insight Book Volume-2 p. 244 Lie ***

    Lying generally involves saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth and doing so with the intent to deceive or to injure him or another person.


    w60 6/1 p. 351 Questions from Readers ***
    We must tell the truth to one who is entitled to know, but if one is not so entitled we may be evasive.

    An excellent tool to find information is


    Stick to 3 main words and/or phrases

    Example: "barbara anderson" watchtower



  • AuldSoul

    Here's the distinction I don't think you are seeing fairly, Confession: You chaired the committee. You are no longer really a Witness. You were not of their sort, and I thank God for those children you spared because of it.

    The Circuit Overseer's comment would have great impact on most Chairs.


  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee


    First of all I want to thank you for your honesty. I realize you are going to get a lot of flak for it.

    What disturbs me about your post (and is not your fault but rather the society's) is what you said:

    At the time, the only important instruction from the Society was, if there is a "guilty" decision, you should neither en-courage nor dis-courage reporting the matter to the police. I know that, prior to this, it was definitely to "dis-courage" any such reporting. And both of these policies led to people thinking they would be disfellowshipped for not leaving the matter in Jehovah's hands. As a result, pedophiles were able to continue their activity and children went without the counseling they needed.

    The society states that if a person has a problem with a brother they should first go to the brother to talk about it. Impossible for the victim to do this.

    Then take a couple of witnesses to the confrontation. Well he is still going to deny it.

    Then deal with it interanlly - go to the elders. Well that doesn't get the victim anywhere either.

    The society tells people to do nothing to bring shame on Jehovah's name. Which actually means on the WTS's name. Don't go outside the congregation. Don't take your brother to court.

    Unless the elders point blank tell a person to go to the authorities all the other counsel takes presidence over even a thought about going outside the cong. "leave it in Jehovah's hands"

    This just is not good enough to "neither encourage or discourage" The WTS has already told the victim repeatedly to NOT go outside the cong

  • FreeWilly
  • Confession
    This doesn't happen in "real life". I readily think of one Australian poster BLISSISIGNORANCE who was DFd for actually reporting!

    Yes, Ozzie, I know. What I meant by "the congregation's job" was not that it actually is being done in this way. I was expressing my opinion about what they should do. The fact that these things go unreported--and individuals feel as if they'll be punished for reporting the matter to authorities is (I agree) the sad part--and just another way people are manipulated by this authoritarian organization.

    And, just to be clear what I was referring to... I had noticed quite a few posters say that it was a hard and fast rule that they can only find someone guilty with the testimony of two or more witnesses to the same event. I just wanted to point out that the elders' manual definitely does allow for the testimony of two or more witnesses to different--but the same type of event. I know this is not always followed; just wanted to make clear what the book says officially.

  • Confession


    I'll answer your questions honestly.

    What made you believe that just disfellowshiping this particular pedophile was enough punishment for him?

    What made you feel that you and your group of elders had the power to decide what punishment was suitable?

    Like most all full-on JWs (be they elders or publishers) I was following what I felt was the direction from God's sole channel of communication. Under the scrutiny of Brooklyn and our C.O., (ultimately our Gods) the elders went by the book. Although, actually at one point they went beyond. According to the book, there should not have been any investigation when only one accusation existed. Instead our elders went to dozens of families, questioning them about his conduct with their children.

    We didn't think we had the power to decide his punishment in any other area than the congregation--since that was the only place where we believed we had any say.

    In a non aggressive and non arrogant way, and with due respect for the brain washed position you were in...who the hell did you all think you were?

    We thought we were overseers, trying to keep the congregation clean. We were told that it was the victims and families of the victims who were in the position to report the matter. It is only now that I have come to learn that some states actually require people in our position to report the matter. It makes me wonder why all states don't require such a thing.

    Why have you still not gone to the police?
    I think I'll start another thread to address this question.

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