This is in response to Blondie citing the Paul Berry case. It is an example that there's always 2 sides to a story.
I know Paul Berry very well. We were friends and he worked for my families construction co. We were next door neighbors for about three years. I was shoveling my driveway when the police pulled up and made the initial arrest.
Now please understand that I'm not trying to defend anyone, for I'm aware that I don't know and will never know the whole truth.
But from what I observed Paul was a loving and caring father. One of his daughters lived with him while he was my neighbor (another one visited on weekends) and both of them displayed an open, natural and loving relationship with him. I never saw any trace of fear or hestation in the girls towards Paul. They were often at my house visiting w/o their father and always spoke very lovingly of him.
Sarah, the girls mother, was always bitter and evasive.(Even while being a pioneer) She turned apostate.(Which is very strange for me to look back on now from this side of the fence) In the process of her leaving, her oldest daughter left with her.(Which is Paul's step-daughter,neither of the two previously mentioned girls) The accusations they brought up were from events that had supposedly taken place when the whole family was still together.(I want to say maybe 6 yrs. prior to the arrest)
Now in the position I was in (as well as many in the cong.) it was hard not to side with Paul. Understanding the history of these people and the path that Sarah and her daughter had chosen it truly seemed as though they were simply angry , bitter people looking to lash out at someone, anyone. Even the story that they presented thru the trial had many discrepancies.
Unfortunately , Paul for some reason didn't take the whole thing very seriously. He had a terrible lawyer.( Almost every witness the defense presented, the judge thru out because they were not properly prepped) He kept telling Paul not to worry because their story would never hold up. Paul was even in field service the day before the sentencing and wasn't a bit worried.He thought for sure he would be acquitted and the whole thing would finally be over.
Another part of this whole thing is that my father was one of the elders who had worked with the family. They were having all sorts of marital problems ect. and the elders were trying to help. I know all of the elders on the committee (the ones now part of the law suit) very well. And while yes they are part of a cult and have even had to expell and shun me , I know that they are good , kind men. All of them, not just my father. I personally don't believe they had any idea as to the events of abuse that were supposedly taking place. I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams, them knowing these things were taking place and trying to keep it under wraps and allowing Paul to be in good standing in the cong. and later appointing him as a servant.
In the midst of the trial Sarah was asked why she didn't report the abuse until years later. She replied that she was not aware of it until her daughter brought it up recently. So she admitted that she didn't even know what was going on at the time and now she's claiming that she had told the elders and they were covering it up. Her own testimony contradicts her current accusations.
It's long and complicated but the bottom line I'm trying to get to is that we shouldn't be to quick to jump on every story against the Witnesses.
There are liars in and out.