YESTERDAY, A JWN POSTER E-MAILED ME ASKING IF I WOULD POST ON THIS DISCUSSION BOARD HIS RECENT EMAIL TO STEVEN UNTHANK AND ALSO POST STEVEN’S REPLY.
THE REASON FOR THE REQUEST IS BECAUSE THE POSTER HAS NEED TO REMAIN COMPLETELY ANONYMOUS. I AGREED TO SHARE THE EMAIL BECAUSE I KNEW YOU WOULD FIND STEVEN’S REPLY INFORMATIVE AND INTERESTING.
I take my hat off to you for your tenacity in going after the WT for their failure to obtain the Working With Children Card, yet more importantly for exposing their failure to protect children from sexual abuse in the organization.
If there is anything you would like to pass on to ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses as I`m sure you’re aware of their great interest and support for you in your quest?
I hope your health is standing up to all this as it must be taxing. I`m sorry to hear of the families, especially of the children in the Traralgon Congregation who have had to endure the ostracizing this religion dishes out to victims of such abuse. Please pass on my sympathies and also sympathy from the rest of JWN who are following this case.
HERE IS STEVEN UNTHANK’S REPLY:
Yeah, I'm not giving up. Not for what they did to me, not for what they did to my family, and not for what they did to the children.
Before all this started going public, including the bringing of criminal charges against the religion of the working with children laws, and before even going to court or even the Parliamentary Inquiry this week, we invited the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society to settle our dispute with them over the actions of a group of elders, not only for the sake of peace, but because it was the right thing to do and the Christian thing to do.
We invited them to apologize and to make financial compensation of 99 cents. To help them out, and so that there was no burden on them, we each placed $20.00 in the contribution box at the Kingdom Hall to cover any phone calls, letters, postage, even the 99 cents itself.
The paying of compensation, even a paltry 99 cents, is a provision allowed within the congregation, i.e. "the making of amends." Our reason for choosing a financial compensation amount was that if financial compensation was made, no matter how small, then no legal action could ever be commenced by us in a civil court in pursuit of damages. In other words, "Say Sorry", hand over 99 cents and everyone has the assurance that this is the end of the matter. No further discussion, no talking within the congregation, just peace.
Further we invited representatives from both the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society to a mediation meeting at the Melbourne Assembly Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. They refused.
Instead, a few weeks later they sent their lawyer to visit our congregation to give a talk from the platform. Our body of elders informed us that the talk was directed specifically at our family. The Watchtower lawyer stood up, identified himself as the Society's lawyer, and directed his comments right at our family sitting there. He carefully stated that if anyone went up against the Watch Tower Society...
"with a view to seeking justice, even if you have actually been wronged, then you can expect to be wiped out and left penniless."
Our family had been wrong, we were seeking justice, the Watchtower Society knew this, and hence the public threat of harm and detriment.
We later informed our congregation that we had a Divine Right to justice and that we will continue to seek that Divine justice.
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, both directly and through the resources of the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses, then launched an unprecedented wave of non-stop vicious persecution and attacks on both myself and my family. They have not stopped.
Our body of elders, at the time, informed us to personally write to the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses seeking immediate protection. We did and included all our evidence. A short time later, Geoffrey Jackson flew in and met with those persecuting and attacking our family. The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses then sided with those attacking us and refused to hear our cries and pleas for help, protection, and justice.
Until the Watchtower Society backs off, withdraws the public threat of harm and detriment, and then leaves me and my family alone, I will not stop defending us. It's not about going after the Watchtower Society, or the Church of Jehovah's Witnesses, or even the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, it is about our self-defense and our right to defend ourselves.
As Witness for the Crown I cannot comment on my giving evidence before the Parliamentary Inquiry on Monday, February 18, 2013.
Prior to appearing, I had prepared extensive evidence in relation to my personal financial losses to date as a result of the attacks from the Watchtower Society etc. This included the loss of my home, personal effects, my business, and so on. My direct losses and expenses were over $500,000. That's just for me. It is impossible to calculate the indirect financial loss. I guess, in a way they did indeed cause me to be left "penniless" but I'm not wiped out.
Then there is losing your family, your religion, your friends, and your health.
The newspaper reported that other people attended the hearing to give evidence against the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watchtower Society. I cannot comment on them, as everyone gave evidence at different times, and not as a group.
Ironically, Divine Justice now requires that those who threatened both myself and my family be "wiped out and left penniless."
(P.S. you're welcome to share this email on JWN)