Quote: When a pedophile is revealed within a congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, the Body of Elders appoints two of their number to investigate the allegation to see if there is any substance to the charge. If the claim is established upon investigation, then the local Body of Elders appoints two of their number to call Watchtower's Legal Department to report the matter. The Legal Department representative then fills out a computerized form using a question and answer format over the telephone.
If two elders who investigate an allegation are not able to establish the matter at the mouth of "two eye witnesses" will the “specialized shepherding arrangement” see anything recorded at Patterson , New York ? Please note in the letter to all Body of Elders in England , dated June 1, 2001 , this comment:
"There are, however, many other situations that are connected with the abuse of a child. For example, there may be just one eyewitness, and the brother denies the allegation. (Deuteronomy 19:15; John 8:17) Then again, a young child might be abused by someone who himself is a minor, perhaps in his pre- or early-teens. In these and similar cases no entry will be made on the Child Protection List. Rather, information should be kept in a sealed envelope in the congregation's confidential file as described below. When such individuals move, the Congregation Service Committee should write a letter addressed to the Society's Legal Department seeking advice as to whether to communicate the details to the new congregation."
This appears to indicate that the local congregations keep the information and only if the accused molester moves would any consideration be given to check with Watchtower Legal or even alerting the new congregation. Are these individuals considered part of the 23,720 molesters on file?
If not, then the logical conclusions would be that there are far more accused child molesters than the 23,720 on file who have either confessed or been convicted at the mouth of "two eye witnesses." Taking into account the number of 93,154 congregations worldwide, a conservative estimate would mean one child molester for every four congregations, based on the 23,720 figure. (end quote)
I didn't get that from your first post - nor from the initial reading of this information at your sight. I forget that the WTBTS has different language and qualifications for who can be accurately referred to as an "accused." A man/woman with two witnesses to the act of child molestation, or one witness with him/her confessing. Young teenagers don't count. And, of course, "similiar cases" - which is left undefined. Anyone who didn't meet these rigorous standards of accusation wouldn't be heard any further than a local elder.
The entire investigative process discourages parents from going to the police. After the child is traumatized by the untrained elder investigation, they then have to go through a judicial hearing in which they face a second tramatization while being brought face to face with the child molester. At this point the child is so messed up, their testimony has been tainted by the process and the actual police if turned to will have a difficult time at best getting to the truth of the matter. I define that as "discouraged." No where in any publication written by wt are parents encouraged to call and report child molestation as a first option. -bill
I understand better now what your saying about being "discouraged" - and the ramifications afterwards. To be quite honest, for the length of time this subject has been talked about on the net, this is the best explanation I've read about what "discouragement from reporting to police" really can refer to.
A jw will normally think of the word "discouraged" as a somewhat silent counseling in the KH - such as "he was discouraged from pursuing a college degree." He will not think of it as a whole plethora of acts, words and connotations.
That's actually only a small part of what you're referring to. It's an agenda of actions, or lack thereof. Now, in many places, even parents are counseled by therapists & police to not even ask their children specifics of molestation - because even in the words we use, we can "taint" their thinking and replies.
If a child has to basically "go to court" against their molester - even if it's "only" just in front of God, the elders, their parents, and the molester - the inaccuracy of the questions & answers in that arena could tear a kid apart - and ruin a police & medical investigation. I'm guessing it's been done more than once - as for years, kids weren't to be trusted - again, universal.
Thanks for this further explanation of the term "discouraged" as used in this context. Makes a world of difference. I, however, strongly believe in the position and use of a Devil's Advocate. I believe it's a necessity and makes for a stronger, more lucid, argument - such as you've presented here.
As we've all said before, we appreciate your work. And now I understand it just a tad better.