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

by listen 149 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • TooOpinionated


    Perhaps you didn't get any answers in our posts because this is a subject that has been discussed in great depth, and we all know where each other is coming from. For more information, please go back to the home page of this site and you will see a drop-down box. Click on The Best Of-and then look for Child Abuse. Then you will understand the passion and emotion of our posts.


  • wednesday

    You are a vile excuse for a human being. Tell this garbage to the sisters who have been RAPED by God -fearing JWS and called LIARS and told not to report it to the police. Tell this to the next victim of the JWS RAPIST b/c the sisters could not warn anyone. Tell this to the sisters who have been abused by their God fearing JWS husbands.

    That stupidity does not fly here. we don't believe everything the WTS says just b/c they say it. They are known liars. they use legal trickery and outright lies to protect their corrupt org.


  • thirdwitness

    I ask again, What would you accept as proof? Simple. Show us where the WT's child abuse policy was in the past: 1. Elders should tell the victim they cannot go to the police because this would bring reproach upon God's name and organization. 2. Elders should tell the victims that if they go to the police or tell anyone else they will be disciplined by the congregation elders in a judicial capacity. 3. Former child molesters (other than the reasonable exceptions made in the policy) may be appointed as servants in the congregation. 4. Reproved or convicted child molesters may remain servants in the congregation as long as know one knows about it. Perhaps it would be good to transfer them to another congregation where no one knows about what he did. 5. Anyone warning others who let the children spend the night with a former or alledged child molester will face a judicial committee for gossip or slander. Surely if this was ever the policy of the WT it must be written somewhere. It is totally stupid to believe that JWs do not want child molesters out of the organization or that JWs want them appointed as servants. Even the lawyers of the WTS would say kick em out and don't let em be servants ever again. What other religious organization kicks out practicing child molesters and shuns them. I will say it again, the WTS has the best child abuse policy of any religion bar none. Rhetoric does not disprove it. Show us the proof. And not stories. So far the two cases that have been decided in court have been decided for JWs. The judge said Vicki Boer was not told she couldn't go to the police and was not told she could not seek professional help. Sarah Poisson's case was dismissed because there was no proof of the claims made. Quite to the contrary there is proof she told falsehoods. I know some are upset that I say this but her falsehoods are well documented. If that is the best cases that SilentLambs can muster up then they are fighting a losing battle. Misdirecting your anger at the WTS for something they did not do does not make it ok. Direct the anger at the molesters, not at the organization that teaches that child molesting is a gross sin and that practicing child molesters will be removed from the organization and shunned and will never be a servant again if they return. Sue the molester not the organization that kicks out the practicing child molesters. It is absurd and ridiculous. Its like sueing Mcdonalds because you were molested by someone who works at Mcdonalds.

  • thirdwitness

    As for answering Big Tex I say, hey Big Tex take them to court if you like. If the elders told you that you couldn't go to the police then they disregarded JW's policy. And go turn the molester in to the police now.

    As for the two witness rule it is clearly in the Bible and I just don't say how we can say, 'Jehovah, I know that you say there should be two witnesses to establish a matter but we are just going to have to ignore what you say in this case because we deem that you just didn't take child molesting into consideration when you made this rule. Hope you want mind'

    Now here, by the way, is what the two witness rule entails in case you don't know or didn't ever read the blog. Also take note of the scripture establishing the two witness rule.

    The Two Witness RuleThe child abuse policy of JWs states:
    When any one of Jehovah's Witnesses is accused of an act of child abuse, the local congregation elders are expected to investigate. Two elders meet separately with the accused and the accuser to see what each says on the matter. If the accused denies the charge, the two elders may arrange for him and the victim to restate their position in each other's presence, with elders also there. If during that meeting the accused still denies the charges and there are no others who can substantiate them, the elders cannot take action within the congregation at that time. Why not? As a Bible-based organization, we must adhere to what the Scriptures say, namely, "No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin . . . At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses the matter should stand good." (Deuteronomy 19:15) Jesus reaffirmed this principle as recorded at Matthew 18:15-17.

    Opposers say this is bad policy since child molesters usually do not molest with others around. This protects the molester and not the child.

    To this we say, The rule book is the Bible. Do we just throw that out. The two witness rule is actually a very good rule. In many cases critics do not realize just what the two witness rule entails. Others may know but they don't want you to know and so they try to hide just who or what can serve as two witnesses.

    Notice what the WT policy further states along these lines: However, if two persons are witnesses to separate incidents of the same kind of wrongdoing, their testimony may be deemed sufficient to take action.

    "Its about time they changed that rule," some may exclaim. "No doubt credit can be given to Bill Bowen and his SilentLambs organization for this change." But the truth is that this was stated as far back as 1981 in the Pay Attention to the Flock Book. It instructs on page 119: If there is another witness to the same type of sin on the part of the accused, this would be basis for forming a judicial committee.

    Making application of this directive, given long before Silent Lambs even existed, we know that two different children who are molested on separate occasions by the same person would qualify as the two witnesses. Other information from the WTS has revealed that the two witnesses do not have to both be children who were molested or persons who saw the molesting. It can be the court evidence and the child. It can be the DNA evidence and the child. But how would it be right if someone was DFed on the word of only one person. The bottom line is that it is unscriptural to disfellowship someone at the mouth of one witness. Surely God's word should take precedent over the thinking of imperfect men.

    But doesn't the November 1, 1995 WT, pp. 28-29 contradict this aspect of the two witness rule? Doesn't it say that "even if more than one person remembers abuse by the same individual", this would not be enough evidence to "base judicial decisions on them without other supporting evidence."? Isn't this just more double-speak by the WTS?

    No, it is not. A reading of the entire article and taking note of the context and what is being discussed in that particular WT, we see that the article is talking about repressed memories. That is why at the start of the article there is a footnote which says, " “Repressed memories” and similar expressions are enclosed in quotation marks to distinguish them from the more typical memories that all of us have."

    Experts agree that repressed memories cannot always be trusted and false memories are sometimes implanted in a person's mind. And that is why the WT article states, "It is noteworthy, however, that a number of individuals have been unable to corroborate their “memories.” Some afflicted in this way have had vivid recollections of a certain individual committing abuse or of the abuse being committed in a specific place. Later, though, legitimate evidence to the contrary made it clear that these “remembered” details could not be true."

    Then later in the article the statement in question is made that is often taken out of context by opposers of JWs: "Even if more than one person “remembers” abuse by the same individual, the nature of these recalls is just too uncertain to base judicial decisions on them without other supporting evidence." It is only in the case of repressed memories, and not the typical normal memories, that this applies. There is absolutely no contradiction here with JW's stated child abuse policy.

  • wozadummy

    To Listen & 3W

    My comments are breif - From one who has been living this experience for the past 12 years with the Watchtower ,you have no idea of what you are concluding and the pain you may be inflicting again on ones here ,you both, I conclude , are , since you are new posters living the lies you speak and are probably molesters yourselves - and if you are I am disgusted that you think you are Christian.


  • aniron

    Just before the Panorama program was broadcast an oold JW friend of mine contacted me to tell me he had resigned as an Elder.

    He had discovered that there wer TWO paedophiles in the congregation, that the Elders who made up the Judicial commttee knew, but had not told any other Elder. He told them it was a dangerous thing to do. He informed London Bethel. They sent couple guys up and sorted it out. They DF'd the two guys and censured the Elders. Because of that the Elders refused to have anything to do with my friend and he ended up resigning as an Elder and eventually stopped attending meetings .

    Another Elder friend of mine watched the Panorama program, did his own research and found that the two witness policy over child abuse was true. He resigned and left, now wants nothing to do with the JW's, and he was a JW for 40 years.

    In my old congregation I recently was told that a family who moved away a couple years ago was because the son (18?) was accused of child molesting. Then this weekend I was told he had married a woman ten years older than himself who had a 3 year old son. But it only lasted 3 months, my wife who was good friends with the family would only say that it was over something that could not be talked about.

    Yet JW's still hide their heads in the sand in the face of the evidence. Further proof on how their minds have come under control of a Satanic organisation.

  • shadow
    Do you believe that elders are qualified to question or interview a child who has been sexually abused?

    Only concerning their spiritual welfare and well being and to protect the flock. They are not professional pyschologists and some people should no doubt seek such professional help. Elders are only their to help spiritually and keep the congregation clean from child abusers.

    Should the WT apologize to victims of elders known to have a history of child molestation when they were appointed?

    If the WT knowingly put a practicing child molester in a position of responsibility of course they should apologize.

    Should the Society offer any financial assistance to care for the needs of children abused by elders or MS?

    NO, those elders or MS who comitted the crime of child molesting should pay. Should the WT pay for the other crimes that elders might do such as murder, stealing, etc? That would be absurd.

    Should the Catholic Church offer any financial assistance to care for the needs of children abused by priests?

    This is what the courts say about that. Yes, they should pay. So far 1.5 billion dollars because they reassign child molesters to different parts of the country unlike JWs who df practicing child molesters and never allow them to be servants. As for the WTS, the courts have awarded -137,000 dollars. Please see Boer Vs WT in the blog.


    If, as you admit, elders are not qualified to deal with child abuse victims, then why do they seek to do this in the context of a judicial committee meeting?

    Are you a new JW? Do you know any elders that have been around for 10 or 15 years? You can find out for yourself that the WT policy changed concerning the appointment of child molestors. Ask them about the list requested by HQ for the names of all elders and servants who had a history of child molestation. This was done about the same time as the 97 article. This action makes it obvious that such men were not excluded from being appointed.

    As for helping victims financially with therapy; " The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation". You would sacrifice caring for these children to keep the WT coffers full? You would only have a conscience if Caesar forced you to have one like they have forced the Catholic Church?

    Do you really call yourself a Christian?

  • keo15929

    How quick people are to say that another person is a "vile excuse for a human being" just because that person disagrees with them. Instead of attacking the issues they attack the person. From my experience that usually happens when a person is frustrated that their arguments really aren't as strong as the other's. They accuse others of being child molestors when they know absolutely nothing about that person. Someone is showing you the WTS policy and it simply is not a policy that is worthy of being attacked. I'm looking at things from a neutral stand point and it is obsurd to me also that someone thinks the WTS wants to have child molesters in their congregations and wants them to be Elders and so forth. I understand that people are angry but their anger really is misdirected.

    When I was attending the hall we had a child molesting case in the cong I was in. It was absolutely shocking. Someone I knew my whole life and who was probably the most prominent Elder in our area AND he was supposedly of the "anointed" class. He was the presiding overseer at the cong. He had just gotten married and his new wife found out about this. She was completely and utterly shocked and devestated. She told virtually everyone about this and guess what, she's still a Witness, she did not get reproved or disfellowshiped. I know the Elders personally who handled the case and I know those men are good people and are very sincere. They try to handle these kinds of cases the best way they know how according to their understanding of the Bible. So when people get on this site and accuse others of being evil and so forth I know from personal experience that it's not true. The WTS is not evil, they are just so convinced that they are right that they cannot accept even the possibility they might be believing in things that aren't real.

    While I disagree with the way the WTS thinks, I none the less will not accuse them of being vile filthy liars because I don't believe that it's true. So, hate me if you want but I think someone looking at things from a calm and peaceful and neutral point of view is bound to understand things more clearly than someone who is full of anger, rage, and hostility. Anger only hurts the person who is angry. Be careful that you don't have a heart attack. Why let what you percieve to be evil in others cause you to hurt your own body by feeling yourself up full of emotions that are harmful?

    Remember, I'm not trying to defend the WTS. I'm defending fairness. From my personal experience and from what I've read about the situation I don't believe the WTS wants to protect child molesters. I believe their policy of two witnesses may not always be a good policy but it is nevertheless based on their understanding of the Bible and as human beings they feel obligated to obey their own conscience. Looks like even the court of law came to that same conclusion. Why? I believe it's because they heard the situation from a neutral point of view and not through the spectacles of anger and revenge. I don't doubt that some bodies of elders handled cases the wrong way but if they did it looks to me that they went against official JW policy. Even then I see them as a group of individuals trying to handle things the best way they know how and maybe how they handled it was just plain wrong. Personally, I would disfellowship a child molester as soon as I found out it was true regardless of how "repentant" they are if I were in that position. You have to be pretty sick to be able to do such a thing in the first place. Secondly I would absolutely report them to the authorities and reccomend the death penalty and that he first be gand raped by all of the thugs and criminals in the prison cells. I would have no mercy for such a sick person. But then, I'm not bound by WTS policy. Obviously I disagree with it on some things but, again, I don't accuse them of being evil but only that they keep themselves in ignorance because of wanting so badly to believe in something that gives them hope and a reason to live.

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex
    hey Big Tex take them to court if you like

    Litigation takes 2-4 years and costs a great deal of money. Irregardless, at that time I believed (foolishly as it turned out) in that sect. To my embarassment, I believed the inane drivel that I read in the Watchtower. At the time I was much more interested in seeing the loving organization I had grown up with (or thought I had). I wanted to believe and I very stupidly kept banging my head against a brick wall, trying to see in reality what I had read about in print. I was not then interested in litigation, or (at the beginning) in having my father punished in any way. I simply wanted an acknowledgment and an apology for years of abuse. I was tired of keeping it secret. Had I received this simple thing, had those elders and overseers actually behaved just with common decency, I would probably still be a Witness today. I look back now and realize what an idiot I was then.

    Interestingly at the exact same time those elders were telling me "no one" has a problem, that they had never heard of any other Witness (much less a male) make an accusation of child abuse, at that exact same time that body of elders was desperately covering over the fact that one of the elder's sons had molested his niece. Her father, also an elder, kept it quiet and never reported it. And since everyone knows child abuse never happens in Jehovah's organization, this poor girl was called 'crazy'.

    The attitude toward me was so hostile, so unloving by so many people across 3 circuits and over a dozen congregations, over such a long peroid of time, it made me realize this is nothing more than a religious Amway -- a pyramid scheme if you will with the sole purpose of selling their literature. Your attitude and remarks on this subject reminds me very much of life in this sect from 1985-1990. Thanks for the reality check that things haven't changed and the Smug Cloud hanging over your sect is larger than ever.

    If the elders told you that you couldn't go to the police then they disregarded JW's policy; And go turn the molester in to the police now

    First I was an adult when I came forward about my father. The statute of limitations had long since run out. Legally my father, my grandfather and my mother got away with a crime. With that as a backdrop, I never mentioned the police, nor did the elders, as it was a moot point.

    My problem then, and now, is (1) the absolute evil 2 witness rule; (2) the stunningly harsh, arrogant and cruel attitudes on display from top to bottom in that sect; (3) being an offender-oriented culture, the Witnesses displayed then, and obviously currently still do, a great deal more concern for the offender rather than the victim (telling an abuse victim to shut up while coddling the rapist is hardly showing Christ-like behavior); and (4) that the focus of any matter regarding child abuse is to keep it quiet (don't bring reproach on Jehovah's name), rather than see to the spiritual needs of the child who endured the horrors of rape.

    I've never understood why Jehovah's Witnesses feel the need to insert themselves into what is clearly a secular and legal matter. If the elders feel the need to dispense a judicial edit, wait until the police, who are trained and qualifed far more than a bunch of janitors and window washers, to determine guilt or innoce. THEN if they feel that strongly go ahead and have your little committee meetings.

    As for the two witness rule it is clearly in the Bible and I just don't say how we can say, 'Jehovah, I know that you say there should be two witnesses to establish a matter but we are just going to have to ignore what you say in this case because we deem that you just didn't take child molesting into consideration when you made this rule

    No, you didn't answer my question. Show me from the Bible, not the Watchtower, where Jehovah mandates 2 witnesses are needed to establish child abuse. Show me.

    You also did not answer why Jehovah would provide for an adult woman who is a rape victim but not a child. The Society is big on using 'principles' from the Mosaic Law and Hebrew Scriptures, why would Jehovah disapprove of using a principle he himself set down as law? Children were raped 3,000 years ago, so it's not like child molestation was unheard of. Why would Jehovah not realize that child abuse takes place most often when there are no witnesses around? Why would Jehovah say an adult woman being raped merely has to say she screamed, but a child must present 2 eyewitnesses (along with a great deal of other hurdles)?

    However, if two persons are witnesses to separate incidents of the same kind of wrongdoing, their testimony may be deemed sufficient to take action.

    Operative word: may. Not will, but may. This gives tremendous lattitude and margin for error among a bunch of untrained and inexperienced elders.

    Also from the "Flock" book (pages 110-112 if memory serves as I cannot find my copy right now), please note that this important word "may" is used in connection with accepting the testimony of minor children. Elders do not have to accept the testimony of a child regarding their rape.

    This word "may" is again used when it comes to non-believers. Elders may accept them as a witness, or they may not. It's up to them. Why is that?

    And if Jehovah's Witnesses are truly blameless, please tell me what procedures the Society has put into place to correct those situations that were handled poorly, even criminally by the local body of elders. If this isn't a sham, tell me what the Society is doing - not saying- doing to correct past mistakes.

    And if Jehovah's Witnesses are truly concerned about abuse victims, why do they order the elders to report child abuse only where legally required to do so? Can you imagine Jesus, or any of the apostles, having personal knowledge of a child being raped and then doing nothing to stop it because they were not legally required to?

    Tell me please how this rule fits in with a law Jesus gave his followers about loving each other as we love ourselves. If an elder finds out a child is being assaulted but doesn't report to the police because he's not legally requird to do so, how is that loving? How is that sheperding the flock, or treating them with kindness?

    And why are victims the only ones told not to bring reproach on Jehovah's name? Isn't raping a child bringing far more reproach? Why is the Society afraid of bad publicity? Jehovah's spirit directed organization (Israel) had far more bad publicity that is still being talked about 3,000 years later. If the message in the Bible was to purge his organization of evil doers back then, regardless of who knows, why isn't the same attitude on display today in Jehovah's spirit directed organization?

    Experts agree that repressed memories cannot always be trusted and false memories are sometimes implanted in a person's mind. And that is why the WT article states, "It is noteworthy, however, that a number of individuals have been unable to corroborate their “memories.” ;Some afflicted in this way have had vivid recollections of a certain individual committing abuse or of the abuse being committed in a specific place. Later, though, legitimate evidence to the contrary made it clear that these “remembered” details could not be true."

    It is also noteworthy that a number of individuals have been able to corroborate their memories, myself included. Of course the elders in my congregation were unwilling to even listen to my worldly aunt and worldly grandmother because it's well known how worldly people lie, right. Never mind my father lying. I could talk a great deal about repressed memories, but it won't do any good will it? You're not really interested in the subject are you.

    I've always found it interesting that Jehovah's Witnesses so eagerly cackle over and embrace the Catholic Church's child abuse scandal. They have no problem believing those victims. However when the exact same dynamic crops up in their sect, they scream those victims are liars or apostates; they dismiss them, disfellowship them and then thrown them away. It's happened thousands of times, but people like you aren't interested in hearing about it because it interferes with the simple-solutions-for-complex-problems ideology that your sect espouses.

    Again, leave it up to the people who are trained and experienced in dealing with child abuse. Were Jehovah's Witnesses truly following the teachings of Jesus Christ, these elders would be attending to the very real spiritual problems that victims have in recovery from abuse. Abuse victims have a great deal of anger, fear and shame, questions about God -- why didn't he stop it for example. These are areas elders could be helpful, and if nothing else just offering a shoulder to cry on, or a pat on the back would help. At least it would be a small kindness.

    That instead this sect is full of anger at the victim for talking, arrogance directed at the victim for daring to question, and cold unfeeling cruelty in cutting victims off by shunning them says a great deal more about what this sect is really about. Your behavior on this thread merely confirms nothing has changed in 20 years.

    What Jehovah's Witnesses do speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what they say.

  • serendipity

    Very eloquent, Big Tex.

    If this 3W poster is the same 3W I've seen on three other boards, he won't address questions head-on. He'll just demand proof and insinuate that these comments are apostate lies. He'll be incredibly insensitive to victims who post their experiences.

    People are wasting their time and maybe emotional energy replying to him, but it's their choice.

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