Former elder wants your advice--PART 4

by Confession 37 Replies latest jw friends

  • Country Girl
    Country Girl

    Awesome story! Thanks for sharing that with us...

    I wouldn't approach the police in your state with your information, unless you are legally obligated to do so, without first approaching the victims. Because they are adults, I would approach Chad and Jared and ask them if *they'd* like to report it first. Assure them that you will do whatever you can to support and encourage them, no matter their decision, but make clear that you feel compelled to protect the interests of other children, too.

    Because of the nature of pedophilia (), and the fact that this man was not reported to the police, he may very well have taken liberties with other children because he feels he is above the law and probably won't get caught.

    Check if the Statute of Limitations has run out in your state, or wherever the incident happened, before you go to the victims. This may, in some way, urge them forward if they feel they have some remedy under law.

    If they refuse to report this to the Authorities, you could go to the police yourself, and plant a bug in their ear. I think you will have covered all your bases at this point. The best thing is to do everything on the up and up. Make sure that Jared and Chad *know* you will go to the police, whether or not the Statute is up, or whether or not they go themselves.

    All people should be under obligation to report matters of abuse to children to the proper authorities, regardless of whether they are ministers, priests, counselors, or other. One day, I hope all states have legislation that makes this obligatory for all adult persons.

    Good luck.


  • luna2

    I can't give advice as I have no experience or special knowledge in regards to your questions. Just wanted to say that I found your story very compelling. We sometimes get to elder-bashing here and forget that there are good, honest-hearted men behind the title who are/were trying the best they knew how, with the knowledge they had, to do what was right. The WTS is disgusting in how it offers no proper training to those they expect to handle these situations...except on how they'd rather keep it all very low profile. I think you did an excellent job given the circumstances at the time.

  • MidwichCuckoo

    May I reiterate my views

    The Society believes it has 'dealt' with this matter.

    Congregation children are not at risk.

    The Society believes it has no responsibility toward 'Worldly' children - the 'Society' only rely on 'Worldly' Justice when it is to their benefit (and in no means to discredit the Org)

    If James has a 'problem' with kids, he will be encouraged by the 'Dub' ruling.''I got away with it''......

  • Legolas

    You are a great writer!

    I agree with Lisa...PLEASE phone the police. Like she said Chad and Jared might not be the only ones...AND he is probably STILL doing it!

  • jstalin
    As for the secular authorities, I frankly don't think it's any of their business. You weren't dealing with criminals, but with people who needed help.

    Excuse me? Molestors are criminals and they deserve to be punished. This man molested two children, and it's extremely unlikely that they are the only two. This is a criminal matter and the guy should be turned in. Praying for pedophiles doesn't protect children - jail does.

  • Crumpet

    Extremely well written and you certainly have given this some thought. You don't state the ages of the people involved but I assume that boys were children and James was an adult when this occurred?

    I think you do have a duty to the community to report this man. Isn;t concealing a crime a crime in itself? How come elders don't have charges brought against them when they don't report sexual abuse of children for not reporting the crime? If they knew someone in the congregation had committed a murder - would they disfellowship the person and not tell the police? And if that person went on to murder someone else wouldn;t it trouble their consciences a little bit that they could have saved the victims life? How can the crime of child abuse be any different?

    I do understand however that you weren't able to think for yourself at the time when you were an elder - I have spent most of my life not able to think for myself properly.

    I think if you do plan to report him so that other victims, other children can be protected, that you do need to let the families of the two boys know because ultimately the police are going to question them to verify your allegations.

    You could do it anonymously as Crystal suggested - in your situation this is what I would be very tempted to do, but I am a coward. The problem is will they take any notioce if you do?

    At the very least this man needs to be on a sex offenders list and prevented from taking employment which puts him in charge or around children.

    What a dilemma. Good luck and you know the right thing is to protect other kids, however hard this is on you or even if the boys families do not wish you to report this.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    All I can say is WOW.

    Your perspective, void of generalizations and organizational characatures is refreshing to read. So often, so many of us are so angry at the organization for matters of this sort and others, that we fail to really probe how we felt and thought as witnesses. Which is the essence of why there is so many wrong things within that group - like you stated at one point - We were in a circus, but we didn't know we were in the circus.

    Well written - and I can see why you struggle with the next move, if there is one.

    Two groups are involved here as I can see it;

    • The witnesses in the area that were affected by this guy and his possible future perversions
    • Outsiders who would have no knowledge of the guy and his problems

    The first group was apparently well informed of the nature of the problem by James himself, according to your account. His being DF'd satified justice in thier minds. The gossip within the organization probably insulated them from harm from this guy, at least in the near term. But by this point, many years later, congregations change, new ones come in, some die, others leave. After the shuffle, there might be some potential victims out there completely unaware. Not to mention that he could travel to other areas, find new victims. So the first groups immunity from his perversions was dependent on his staying local, perhaps disfellowshipped. The current complexion of that group and it's dynamics makes it plausible that danger exists there now for them and the children. There is little you can do there outside of contacting some you know could be in danger, and you could be accsused then of slander, both legally and within the congregations.

    The second group - the rest of the world, is at risk from him if he has continued his ways. If he left the organization behind and never returned the danger is now with everyone else in the world. Even if he has returned to be reinstated as a witness, the world outside would be completely unaware of his actions past. They are at risk if he is still having these tendencies.

    I think you need to have a quiet conversation with the proper authorities, as they may already have information that would protect others that you are unaware of at this time. Some child may not have to suffer this if the right authorities are aware of him. There might be unsolved cases that you could put a name to for them, who knows? OR they may have suspected him without any real info that he had been involved in something like you described. Even if the crimes committed by him, and that you are aware of, are no longer under the statute of limitations for prosecution, you may have valuable infomation that will save the current Jareds or Chad's in his world.

    Mostly - this matter is still heavily on you mind. You are bothered about it for some reason, though you felt at the time that you did all you could and should have. Your conscience is active. Not the one that the WTBTS instilled you with, the one that God instilled you with. The real conscience! I think you should act on it. You did not spend hours writing this account in detail for no reason. You need to clear this matter to the right people. Of course, my opinion, and a buck, will only buy you a cup of coffee. So for what it is worth.

    As to your statement as to why others did not report it;

    None of them had been JWs for years; it certainly didn't have anything to do with organizational pressure.

    I am not so sure about that to be honest. Many leave this organization, but the organization does not leave them. They can't shake it. They still trust it. They still believe what it says and does is right. They still feel it's pressures even though not in attendance at the meetings. In short; they are still brainlocked to it. That would explain why they thought in the same manner as you did as to the matter of reporting it.

    BTW - nice writing style. Enjoyed it. Keep us up to date if there is more to know.


  • Gretchen956
    Summary : Civil claims

    First, this is not a civil claim, so the 8 year statutory limitation for civil claims would not apply here. This is a felony, and I believe a class A felony. In most states there is a specific statute on paedophilia, and it will state the limitation within that, I'm sure you could find that on your state legislative website.

    Here in Washington they changed the statute so that there is no statute of limitations on rape when it pertains to a child (at the time of the incident) under age. (I can't remember where they set the age limit). It would definately be worth looking into. I'd check but I have to run out to an all day meeting and won't be anywhere near a computer until tonight.

    I maintain that in the interest in protecting children, the authorities need to know about this. Since you have this knowledge, you are complicit.


  • Confession

    Thank you for your comments, everyone...

    Why Georgia...

    I don't know where this incident took place. I see that you are in California. We went through something like this in my family when I was still living in California.

    It happened in Michigan.

    Have you thought of asking Kimberly Norris, the attorney?

    Yes, I notice she contributes here quite a bit--and has on at least one of my threads. I await her comments.


    As for the secular authorities, I frankly don't think it's any of their business. You weren't dealing with criminals, but with people who needed help.

    You must know that pedophilia is a crime. So, yes, they do need help, but they certainly are still criminals. Do you believe that efforts must be made to ensure these people don't strike again? If so, who will ensure that if not the secular authorities?

    Thanks, Rebel8. This is what the site you linked me to says...


    Statute: § 722.623 (1), (8); § 722.631

    Professions That Must Report:

    Health care professionals

    Mental health professionals

    Social work professionals

    Education/child care professionals

    Law enforcement professionals

    Others: Clergy

    Standard: Have reasonable cause to suspect

    Privileged Communications:




    You don't state the ages of the people involved but I assume that boys were children and James was an adult when this occurred?

    Actually I did.

    In the Spring of 1997, a friend of mine in the congregation (a publisher) approached me during our Theocratic Ministry School. He asked if we could step outside the front door…

    So Dan went on to tell me how five years previous a young man in our congregation (Chad) had accused James of trying to fondle him. Chad was now 18 and in another congregation, so this had occurred when he was 13…

    Jared was now 24 years old…

    Jared said he would often stay over James' house and be invited to sleep in his bed… At that young age, (perhaps ten), he decided that it was just James' way of showing him that he loved him.

    This judicial committee was held eight and one half years ago, in the Summer of 1997. From my notes, it appears that the events of pedophilia occurred around 1983 and 1992.

    Thanks again, everyone...

  • Odrade

    Since this is not your field, and I doubt that many of us are in this field either, perhaps you should contact someone who is, and tell them the story, ask what you should do. Someone suggested contacting Kimberlee Norris. I think her handle here is StillConcerned. kdnorris at lovenorris dot com.

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