Does the Policy of the Watchtower Create a Safe Haven for Child Molesters?

by listen 149 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • thirdwitness

    And of course here is the exception that is mentioned in the WT's policy:

    "In a few instances, individuals guilty of an act of child abuse have been appointed to positions within the congregation if their conduct has been otherwise exemplary for decades. All the factors are considered carefully. Suppose, for example, that a long time ago a 16-year-old boy had sexual relations with a consenting 15-year-old girl. Depending upon the U.S. jurisdiction where he lived when this happened, elders may have been required to report this as an incident of child abuse. Let us say that 20 years have passed. The child abuse reporting law may have changed; the man may have even married the girl! Both have been living exemplary lives and they are respected. In such a rare case, the man could possibly be appointed to a responsible position within the congregation."

  • Odrade

    How do you know she was not ostracized? Were you there? I've known people who were shunned for less. All they have to do is give a "local needs" talk that loosely identifies her as "marked," and nobody in the congregation would lift a finger to help her. Nothing in your editorial proves any kind of lie on her part.

    Now, I read your blog. I read your ridiculous editorial on the account of S. Poisson. You have yet to show a single FACT that proves that any of this is a lie. You also have yet to show a single definitive POLICY regarding the handling of child molestors. Either you don't understand what a policy really is, or you are just being belligerent in your defense of the indefensible. Saying that one should report where is is required, is not a policy. It is simply a suggestion, and a very weak one at that.

    In addition, what possible protection is it for a congregation with children, when a child rapist is reproved privately (because he is repentant supposedly,) and nobody in the congregation is ever informed that he may present a danger to their children? There is absolutely no protection at all, yet this possible, even likely scenario, would have been handled within the scope of the "policy" of the WTS.

  • fullofdoubtnow
    You have told us stories about child molesting some of which appear outlandishly exaggerated and none of which have been substantiated in a court of law.

    You ask for examples, so here goes, and these can be checked in the archives of UK newspapers, so don't brand them as apostate lies:

    UK, Scotland: Ian Cousins, then a jw in good standing, was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment after ADMITTING in court that he was guilty of sexually abusing his two daughters. He admitted this to the elders when his daughters complained, and was given a public reproof. When the daughters went to the police, they obtained a copy of his confession to the elders under the Data Protection Act, which the elders had chosen not to make available to the police.

    UK, Rugby, England: James Barrett was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for sexaully assaulting 2 boys. He was serving as an elder at the time of his arrest, and congregation records, again obtained by his victims, showed that his fellow elders were aware of his "problem", but allowed him to continue as an elder until his arrest. What was that you said about no abuser being allowed to be an elder os ms 3rd witness?

    UK, West Midlands, England: Jazwan Pati was sentenced to 5 years in prison after for sexually abusing two boys in his congrgation. Both families went to the elders first, but no action was taken. When the police became involved, again through the boys families, not the elders, an elder from Pati's congregation visited one of the victims family and tried to question him. He also called the boy a liar. The police had to threaten this elder with arrest to prevent him from further intimidating the boy and his family. After Pati's CONFESSION, conviction and sentence, the body of elders made it clear that they still believed him to be innocent and the boys to be liars. Both families left the jws and are now shunned, whereas Pati remains a jw in good standing. A clear case of the victims being persecuted.

    You can check those examples, but I doubt you will. You accuse me of rhetoric - well I've provided examples of times when your precious jw child abuse policy, in your own words the best one in existence, wasn't applied. Perhaps there weren't 2 witnesses to these acts, but I that doubt if someone is going to rape a child they would do so in front of witnesses. Fortunately for the victims, the police don't go by scriptural rules. If they suspect a crime has been committed they investigate, and if they find evidence that there has been a crime, they prosecute. That is why these men, and others, are in prison now, not because the elders reported the allegations, but because the victims did.

  • sf

    A Response to Thirdwitness' Accusations : [ ]

  • serendipity
    you are just being belligerent in your defense of the indefensible.

    That describes 3W in his appearances on e-watchman, Al's Jehovah's Judgment board and on H2O. His approach so blatantly ignores fact that some have wondered if he is a 'black propagandist'.

  • keo15929

    You all are obiviously very concerned about the safety of children and I am also. But false allegations can and do occur. And they can be for any reason. A lot of times psychologists are guilty of creating false memories in children. I just wonder how all of you would react if you were the one being falsely accused? Say you work with children, a child gets mad because you punished them for talking too much so they decide to tell everyone you molested them. You are immediately suspended or fired from your job. Your life is virtually over because of something stupid. What a nightmare that would be. I could go right now and accuse anyone I want to of being a child molester and spread that news from here to China and ruin your reputation and your life. If a child really has been molested by a person in the congregation then they should tell their parents who in turn tells the authorities. I would hold the parents responsible for the safety of their children and they should do whatever it takes to protect them. And I would consider it logical and proper for the victom to warn others who have children that might have some sort of contact with the accused if the accusations were true. Only the child would know that. I would in no way recommend anything that keeps a child in harms way. And I haven't personally seen any situation where elders instruct someone not to give warnings to others. All I'm saying is that the elders make decisions based on their understanding of the Bible and they feel it is against the Bible to take one persons word over another in any kind of judicial decision. They feel they simply can't biblically do anything to the accused without the proper evidence. Unfortunately the proper evidence in this kind of situation often times is not possible to attain. The elders feel that if such an accusation is true that Jehovah will bring it to light one way or the other. That's where it can become harmful to have such a strong belief. This is one of the very things that convince me that God is not directing matters. Elders are supposed to be appointed by holy spirit yet I personally know of a former elder who was in that position for many years even after commiting acts of child molestation. Also some have been appointed as such who were just spys sent to gather information on the organization. I strongly feel that most elders and the WTS leaders are genuinely sincere but they feel bound to a book for every little detail and unfortunately that book doesn't always lead them to reasonable solutions to problems. The Bible does contain a 2 witness rule and I disagree with it in the case of child molestation but I have to be honest enough to admit that I disagree with the Bible and not just the witnesses.

    How do you all feel about the passages in the Bible where God tells the Israelites to kill off every man woman and child? Now that's pure evil to me. Thats another reason I doubt the Bible very seriously. Kill innocent children just because their parents are supposedly bad......????

  • Gary1914
    Since JWs do not judicially punish members for reporting crimes or for separating from their mate...............

    You, Sir, are beginning to try my patience.

    Any Witness knows that if the elders preceive a member took a wrong action, there are ways that they can be punished that have nothing to do with a judicial hearing. There are other ways that a member can be ostrasized and made to feel that he is punished.

  • parakeet

    keo, in an earlier post you said this:
    ***The elders might say "She brought it to our attention that she was sexually abused by a fellow elder but he denied it and since there is no way for us to know whether or not this is true other than to take her word over his, which we believe is against Bible principles, then we could not take any action. If she has humility she will accept this and be patient and wait on Jehovah to straighten things out knowing that if it is true Jehovah will not leave the abuser unpunished."***
    ***See what I'm saying. It is the same incident looked at from 2 very different viewpoints. Because both parties have good reasons to feel the way they do I would not cast judgement at either one.***

    And now you're saying this:
    ***The elders feel that if such an accusation is true, that Jehovah will bring it to light one way or the other. That is why it is harmful to have such strong belief. This is one of the very things that convinced me that God is not directing matters.***

    First you say that you would not cast judgment on the elders for "waiting on Jehovah" because it's the "same incident looked at from 2 very different viewpoints." Then you say their beliefs are "harmful."
    I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here.
    BTW, I agree with you that God is not directing matters. Nor do I believe the Bible is God's word.

  • IP_SEC

    Policy Shmaulicy

    Personal experience:

    The congo I served in had a seemingly very distinguished brother move in from a near by town. The congo was enthralled by his spirituality, comments, and love for the friends. Then we got a letter from the CO. It seems he molested his daughter, she came forward, he confessed to an act of uncleaness (in his words) was removed as an elder and DF'd.

    Now he (at that time) was reinstated and wanted to change congos cause the elders didnt like him.

    The CO told us (per the WTS instructions) that under no circumstance should any in the congo find out about his status from us.

    Now think about that policy for a moment. Everybody in our hall loves the guy. I can see it all now.

    Brother Innocent: Hey Brother Unknown Molester. My wife and I would like to go out on the town/away for a day or two/whatevah. Could you watch our 6 y/o daughter. You are so upstanding and trustworthy and well little Jenny just loves you guys to death

    Brother Unknown Molester: *wringing filthy hands together* Why sure Brother Innocent, I'd be happy to watch Jenny! You guys take all the time you need.

    Their written policy be damned.

    Now everyone who would listen to me knows plus he's df'd again now anyhow. The point is, Yes the policy of the WTS creates a safe haven for child molesters.

  • keo15929


    The only thing I was trying to say is that I feel that most elders are sincere and are not evil people who are out to get you. That doesn't mean that I don't believe some of their beliefs are harmful. Like I have said consistently, I prefer to attack the issues not the person. It's just that many people on this site seem to think that all WT leaders are dishonest, evil, vile and discusting. I personally haven't seen enough evidence to convince me of that. But I will say this, Odrade spoke of someone who is a convicted child rapist but is still giving talks at kingdom halls. That disturbs me big time. I was taught that a person cannot serve in this capcity ever if they are a known child molester.

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