Actually, you are wrong. I am an elder and my brother is a District Overseer. He has privy to information that those of us on the elder level do not have access to. The problem of sexual perversion involving children is actually a large one among Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide and it is growing exponentially. The Society is doing its best to keep this as quiet as it is possible to do. That is why people who speak out against it and who go to the media are disfellowshipped. They do not want other witnesses talking to them and finding out how extensive the problem really is. You seem like a sincere and well meaning fellow and you are not afraid to read literature and visit websites that are critical of JWs. I respect that. It is only by being fully informed that any of us can make good choices. The Watchtower shows a complete lack of respect for its members by not allowing them to explore and question what they are being taught. If their teachings were indeed the Truth, they would not shy away from its scrutiny. I wonder how you would be viewed in the congregation that you are so quick to defend if you confessed that you were reading books by Stafford and the other gentleman you mentioned? Just curious.
The elders I spoken to said the problem is minimal, but still even a minimal problem with child molesters is bad. There is about 1% that is expelled each year, and in most cases it involves adults with other adults, or teenager with other teenagers, but rarely an adult with a child. As I mentioned in another post, the Jan. 1986 issue of the WT mentioned a list of sins people were disfellowshipped from, and it mentioned child abuse among them. That does not sound like the WTS is hiding something. JR Brown was interviewed several times, as well as other Witness attorneys, regarding some cases. They aknowledged that there have been cases & discussed the WT policy in handling. One WT official in Britian openly said he regretted what had happened to 2 young girls. The elders, of the congregation in which the girls attended, were all removed from their positions for not following WT instructions, Interestingly, some sociologists, including Rodney Stark, have spoken favorably of the WTS policy. The Website http:\\www.reformation.com reveals that the problem is being faced by all churches. I believe that the WTS policy of disfellowshipping pedophiles will help deter pedophiles from entering the congregation; by expelling them, they are also exposing them. Unlike some published reports by psuedo-newswires, parents have the right to report to the authorities. Articles regarding the problem has appear in the pages of the WT publications. So they are taking a pro-active role in educating the public about the problem.
Those who were "pointing out a problem", were not only pointing out a problem. Many of those individuals were not expelled for a long time. I believe JR Brown said in an interview, that one of the individuals just "did not understand" the Witness policy. However, many of those speaking against the WTS went on to say that the WTS is worse than the Catholic Church and that they harbor pedophiles, etc. I think that when they began spreading misinformation and slandering the true Christian congregation, that it was then decided that they must be expelled. If they repent, they will be gladly accepted back to the congregation. Now, personally, I agree with the point they made that the WTS policy should be changed so that it would be required that elders in all states (not just the states that require it by law) report the accusations made against individuals. On the other hand, I understand the Witnesses viewpoint that they may not be in a position to disfellowship due to the biblical law of 2 witnesses. And the WTS has stated that if accused is brougth to court, and additional evidence comes to light, such as DNA evidence, that evidence can be taken as a second Witness. Also, it is simply not true that JW's are worse than the Catholic and other churches. The Jehovah's Christian Witnesses Congregation is the only major Christian group that expels pedophiles, thus exposing them. Also, the Jehovah's Witnesses Congregagation was the first to deny elder or teaching positions to those guilty of child abuse. And while it is true, that current policy requires elders to report in state where the law demands it, elders can themselves report it , and can encourage parents to report child abuse cases, even if there are not 2 witnesses. The cases that I knew about in early 1980's were reported to the authorities. The WTS policy of expelling child abusers and encouraging parents to report it to the proper authorities helps maintain the congregation relatively free of those unrepentant perverts. Unlike the Catholic Church, which had transferred hundreds of priests that had confessed to abusing thousands of children, Jehovah's Witnesses have immediately removed any elders from their position and expelled them from the congregation. And even, if they repent afterwards, they cannot become elders. That was a completely different approach which the Witnesses were the first to institute and proves that they want to protect children (a few other churches later followed).
I mentioned in an earlier posts that other Witnesses have read books like from James Penton and Raymond Franz. Now-a-days, many prospective Witness converts get a library of anti-Witness books, including those written by Ex-Witnesses. Many of them still accept the true Jesus of the Bible and believe the WTS is teaching the truth, although it may take them longer to be convinced. Carolyn Wah (WT attorney) and Gregg Stafford have read their books, and they're still Witnesses. I don't know why you mention Gregg Stafford since he writes mainly pro-Witness books (although his second one on the Three Dissertations has some critisms, which I and other Witnesses disagree with, he does not viciously attack the Witneses and holds to the view that they teach the truth. In fact, he plans to releases a 3rd and updated edition of his book Jehovah's Witnesses Defended which is expected to be out in March 2006 (see elihubooks.com) . True Witnesses are not encouraged to Anti-Witness books, especially those by apostates. It has led some to have doubts. However, you cannot be expelled for reading them. A WT alluding to some reading ex-Witness books mentioned that some of them began doubting, and, in some cases, it took them awhile to overcome them. But they were helped to become firm in the faith again, not expelled. Othedr have read them and were not bothered by them, because they have a firm standing in the truth and cannot be deceived. And there appears to be more and more cases of individuals coming into the truth even after reading anti-Witness books given to them by friends or relatives. The truth is the truth, and those who study the Bible and believe it, will reject apostascy, and stand with Jehovah God and Jesus.