Has anyone read this article..

by earthtone 85 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • jwfacts


    I know this has been bought up before, but would you be so kind as to advise whether you are a volunteer at Bethel? Both ethics and the law dictate transperancy in a corporation's actions. Very few people that know both sides of the Watchtower Story remain JWs, let alone ardent defenders of them. What is your agenda?

  • thirdwitness

    The Judge tells what she believed happened in that meeting based on the evidence and testimony of all involved:

    90] There is some divergence between the evidence of Vicki Boer and the evidence of Messrs Cairns and Brown as to how the meeting proceeded from there. I have already ruled that I do not accept Ms. Boer?s evidence that the elders told her not to seek medical assistance and not to report the abuse to the authorities. These were important points about which she was certain in her own mind. Her memory on those was inaccurate. I am therefore very reluctant to rely on her evidence as to other details of the meeting where her evidence conflicts with that of Mr. Cairns and Mr. Brown.

    91 Although Ms Boer may have perceived the meeting as a confrontation and while I am certain that it felt that way to her, I find that it did not actually proceed that way. Mr. Palmer opened by confessing some of what he had done. I accept the elders? description of the way Mr. Palmer conducted himself, that he was openly upset, stammering, tearful, and ashamed. Like them I was struck by the similarity of their descriptions and the evidence given by Scott Boer of how Mr. Palmer appeared on the much later occassion when he discussed it with him. I also accept the elders? description of Vicki Boer as being very upset and weeping but nevertheless able to give a coherent account of what happened. At times she added to or corrected details of Mr. Palmer?s account. The elders asked her questions so they could determine the extent and nature of the abuse. Ms. Boer admitted under cross examination she did not complain to Mr. Cairns and Mr. Brown that she did not want to be there and never asked or attempted to leave.

    [92] It is difficult to see what Mr. Cairns and Mr. Brown could have done differently. They were sympathetic to the plaintiff. She understood they believed her story. They knew it was Ms. Boer who had started the process. They played no role in causing her to be there and were unaware of any ambivalence on her part. They had no reason to believe that she felt she was under any compunction to be there, nor were they aware that this session had anything to do with Matthew 18. It was reasonable, and indeed appropriate in the circumstances for them to ensure that the plaintiff?s voice was heard and that they not rely solely on Mr. Palmer?s version of the events.

    [93] That said, I accept Ms. Boers? evidence that this was a traumatic experience for her. She was young and vulnerable and had not yet dealt with any of the complex issues arising from being the victim of childhood sexual abuse. Further, because of the sheltered religious environment in which she had been raised she did not feel she had any choice but to follow the process directed by the Jehovah?s Witness elders whom she had spoken to in Toronto. That process was psychologically harmful to her, the extent of which I will deal with later in these reasons. Although Mr. Cairns and Mr. Brown cannot be faulted in this regard, the fact remains that Ms. Boer participated in this whole process because of the direction she recieved from Mr. Longworth and Watch Tower, and she did suffer some injurty as a result.

  • thirdwitness

    A 1988 letter to elders in Canada says:
    "When to report? There is a duty to report when one has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that there is abuse or a substantial risk of abuse and parents have failed to protect the child. The report shall be mane forthwith to the local child welfare authorities. Sexual offenders are notorious repeaters. Therefore, careful investigation should be undertaken to ensure that no other children are at risk from the same person.

    Elders must be aware, however, that once they have knowledge, they have an obligation. They cannot just hope that someone else will report. They must follow through quickly and be sure that it is done."

    The elders in the Vicki Boer case, which took place in 1989, followed these instructions. The judge agreed.

    Here is a 1992 letter to the elders:
    As members or the community in which Caesar still acts as God's minister and hence still has a certain authority, all in the Christian congregation would want to consider their personal and moral responsibility to alert the appropriate authorities in cases where there has been committed or there exists a risk that there might be committed a serious criminal offence of this type (see ks91, page 138) In child abuse cases such authorities might include the family doctor, the Social Services, the NSPCC, or the police.

    I have never found any instructions from the WTS to the elders telling them to discourage individuals from going to the police about child abuse. Have you? Then please bring it forward.

  • thirdwitness

    Very few people that know both sides of the Watchtower Story remain JWs, let alone ardent defenders of them. What is your agenda?

    Who I am is of no consequence. When I first began to hear of the UN and child abuse accusations I did not know the truth about either subject. I decided to do an in depth and honest examination of both without preconceived ideas. I am presenting my factual findings which are in stark contrast to what opposers and apostates of JWs will tell you.

    I contend that very few people who leave JWs even know both sides of the story but only the one told by opposers of JWs. My agenda is to tell the other side of the story, the true side, if you will. So that those who may be considering leaving JWs based on what they are told by opposers can consider the whole story not just the twisted story coming from opposers of JWs. My purpose is to reach any who are not yet filled with blind hatred against JWs. Blind hatred which is based on inaccurate information. It is my purpose to expose the falsehoods being told by ones whose only agenda is to discredit JWs.

  • dozy
    It broke my heart to read about someone having to paying court fee's after wining a sexual abuse case against the WTBTS.

    (1) She didn't win the case.

    (2) The WTS waived the fees.

    Will Silentlambs be publishing a retraction? Or is their sole agenda to print damaging stories against the WTS regardless of truth?

  • thirdwitness

    parakeet: When I was suffering from depression, I was TOLD by JWs, including elders, that it would not be a good idea to go to a therapist. I was TOLD that psychiatrists were a bad idea, that they would only harm me. Not one JW from my cong offered me any help to get through that terrible time. I finally did go to therapists, and they saved my life.
    I know of several JWs who "refused" psychiatric help because they were advised by elders not to persue it, and they suffered as a result. All of us here know the WTS' "official policy," but it is not practiced. You can mouth the words all you want, but in actual JW practice, they don't mean a thing.

    If you or anyone were ever told not to seek professional help then you were told wrong. You would have been wise to do research for yourself to see exactly what JWs teach rather than listening to what someone told you. If you had researched it for yourself you would have found out that whether or not someone seeks professional help is a personal decision that should not be criticized by the elders or anyone in the congregation.

    And by the way, the judge in the Vicki Boer case ruled that the elders did practice the official policy of the WT in that the elders did not advise her not to seek professional help.

  • Crumpet

    I really thought the Canadian justice system was better than this.

    Thrird witness - are you seriously suggesting that someone who wishes to remain in good standing with the org should go against direction from the elders who have told them not to seek therpeutic help should do so anyway? You must know what the repercussions of that would be to the person. They would be marked, albeit unofficially, for not accepting the direction of the spirit appointed organization.

  • greendawn

    The WTS could have done more to protect their children and for a time now it was obvious that there are many child abusers in their midst. On the other hand it would be unfair to say that they directly encourage child abuse. They should improve on the two witness rule as no child abuser will ever be silly enough to strike in the presence of one let alone two other people. And hardly any children would make up stories to incriminate an adult.

  • thirdwitness

    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.

  • thirdwitness

    Who can show us one WT publication or letter to the elders where it was said that we should not report child abuse to the police or even that elders should discourage it or DF anyone who does? If you can't show this and you make that claim what does this make you?

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