Victoria, Australia: Steven Unthank's Press Release: JW's Hierarchy Formally Charged Today With Child Abuse

by AndersonsInfo 243 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Gayle

    I get so impressed with the analyzation skills and critical thinking of so many in this JWN group and those on this thread. I learn a lot. So I just want to thank all of you.

    Just wanted to add this. We had a crack in the windshield of our car. The insurance paid for it. The insurance company sub'd this out to another company. We made an appointment. A day later we had an email from the glass replacement company verifying the appointment and they verified the name of their representative coming out, with his picture and that he had a background check and included the number.

    I was so impressed with the company that would take this responsibility, realizing their accountability with their reps and to assure their customers this way. He wasn't even coming into our home, but would have access to our car in the front to repair.

    Any reputable organization should have their people who they are sending out to people homes provide for this fundamental safety process.

  • steve2

    Thanks sizemilk. Excellent analysis. Yes, I see how the judiciary looks beyond the 'personal presentation' of a case to the legal points at hand. I'd like to think they'd come down fair and square on any organization that does not comply, regardless of who is initiating proceedings. As they say, the law should not be swayed by appearances!

  • dgp


  • smiddy

    How many of us have said in the past , because of a miscarriage of justice.....the law is an ass.?? I certainly hope that doesn`t end up the case here.

    One other thing I would like to bring up is , shouldn`t all other groups who have complied with this requirement, be looking at this case very carefully ? ? And if the WTB&TS can,by using a legal loophole, circumvent this law,this could set a precedent for other groups to defy the law.


  • MrMonroe

    Evidence. It all comes down to evidence.

    In the Sunday Herald Sun story on July 16, a Victoria Police spokeswoman said: "``For any charges to be laid police must have evidence an offence has occurred.''

    I want to know your thoughts on this: What evidence would a court require to prosecute the WTS? Knowledge by an ex-JW that they routinely go doot-to-door, or in cars, with unrelated minors is not enough. How will Steven present evidence that a magistrate would accept?

    He will be naming several elders from his local congregation as part of his charges. What evidence will he, or could he, give to the court that would nail the case? Normally a cop would give evidece that he/she saw something take place, and the magistrate would weigh that up in determining guilt. The WTS ain't dumb. They'll be demanding evidence.

    What's your suggestion?

  • The Quiet One
    The Quiet One

    In return, could Mr. Unthank not ask the Watchtower to provide printed evidence that they have recently instructed the elders that they must never be alone with children under any circumstances? And surely it would be taken into account that any such direction, if it exists, is hardly legally binding, how could THEY prove that elders won't misuse their position of trust and authority? (I've never been in court, as a born-in have never been interested in legal matters, so I've no idea how it all works, just throwing out ideas). And isn't it the WTBTS that has to provide evidence for why they've failed to comply? Surely Unthank doesn't have to give evidence to prove that any excuses (if not supported by evidence) that they make are not valid ones?

  • The Quiet One
  • MrMonroe

    He'd have to prove an offence. The WTS in Australia has previously claimed in the media the WWC law doesn't apply to them because there is no common ongoing adult-child contact. "We don't have Sunday schools." The onus of proof will be on him to show they are committing an offence by engaging in child-related work without having gained police checks.

  • sizemik

    The best evidence I can think of would be past victims coming forward to testify that they were in fact subject to abuse . . . I seem to recall a major TV channel doing a full investigative program a few years back where an XJW told his story . . . even JW Elders were interviewed. I can't see why that individual at least, would not be prepared to contribute. Could not the program itself be presented as evidence?

    Also in that program was an XJW lawyer who testified to the doctrinal issues giving rise to the problem, along with an indication as to the extent of the problem. I wish I could remember more about the program . . . does anyone else remember it?

    Has Steve Unthank looked into this?

  • sizemik

    Also . . . it would appear obvious that the WTS has not complied with the ACT . . . they simply regard themselves as exempt. So I take it what SU needs to demonstrate and provide evidence of . . . is that the JW's SHOULD in fact be subject to the requirements of the Act. As an XJW, and after reading the Act itself, I find it hard to believe they could in anyway be exempt. The evidence is available . . . he just needs the right people to testify and give evidence that children are at risk . . . I find it equally hard to believe that this is an overly difficult task.

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