Britain | Jehovah's Witnesses hushed up child sex scandal | July 16, 2013

by jwleaks 172 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • konceptual99

    At the risk of being accused of being an apologist's apologist on this most sensitive subject, I think I can see where Prime is coming from in as much as the suggestion seems to be that since we don't have a mandatory law on reporting accusations or suspicions here in the UK then it could be claimed that the WT society and the elders are able to follow whatever process they like without it being illegal. There is no doubt that being wrongly publicly accused of being a pedophile can have significant and lasting effects on a person's personal and professional life.

    My view is that this of course means that everything becomes a befuddled mess. I see evidence that some elders do let their own moral compass compel them to do the right thing but this is the exception and therefore allows this situation of a "pedo paradise" to exist. It is certainly not clear that the approach of the Society is anything other than a way of trying to protect the reputation of the organisation. What the Society refuses to realise is that it's authoritarian culture breeds an army of weak minded and subserivant elders who simply lose sight of the bigger picture in their compulsion to follow direction. The only people that suffer are the victims.

    It is shocking that the Society is happy to hide behind a suggestion that victims are never prevented from reporting an accusation themselves is sufficient. There is no direction to ensure the victim does this. There is no direction to support them in doing so. There is no direction to even make the suggestion. There is no direction to ensure the victim is assured of the Elders' support in doing this. There is every chance that this option will not be freely offered. There is every chance that this option will be presented with very strong overtones of disapproval. There is every chance that any elder who acts in a decisive and morally sound way shall lose the support of the majority, if not all, of his fellows and even the branch.

    I can see an argument that in the absence of a law complelling disclousre of any accusation, every organisation has the right to implement processes as it sees fit and there should be some acknowledgement of the dangers of false or even malicious finger pointing. What I cannot see is that anyone can realistically defend the WTS approach and not be prepared to admit that it is fundamentally flawed to the point where it is entirely feasible that a pedophile could be left to continue to offend right under the noses of Elders who have every knowledge of the rishk that person poses.

  • besty

    Just because there are no mandatory reporting laws in England, Wales and Scotland (Northern Ireland does) does not mean that the UK government is silent on the subject.

    On the contrary there are recommended best practice guidelines - "What to do if you're worried a child is being abused"

    One of the first directions is:

    10.2 Remember that an allegation of child abuse or neglect may lead to a criminal investigation, so don’t do anything that may jeopardise a police investigation, such as asking a child leading questions or attempting to investigate the allegations of abuse.

    Perhaps Prime (or anyone else) can explain how the Watchtower Society child protection policy complies with this basic initial instruction?

  • The Quiet One
    The Quiet One

    Besty- Predicted response (from Prime anyway): "The elders do not investigate or ask leading questions, so what you quote has no legal bearing on this case. The Watchtower has no right to direct them to do anything that the law does not obligate them to do. I was not primarily discussing the Watchtower child protection policy. In a totally unrelated incident in some school somewhere, some headmasters prefer not to report all suspected abuse (although they no doubt would if they had been told abuse occurred, but let's gloss over that). In fact, the majority of the nation don't agree that all suspected abuse should be reported. This is not just my opinion, I state it as fact. No evidence required, Prime has spoken and so it shall be." ;)

  • besty
    The elders do not investigate or ask leading questions

    The facts of the Gordon Leighton case would contradict such a claim.

    The elders confronted him and he confessed. If that's not an investigation I don't know what is. In fact, I believe the elders referred to this process as an 'investigation'.

    The government guidelines qualify their statement with 'such as', meaning this is not an exhaustive list of things not do, just two of the most obviously simple examples.

  • Phizzy

    I would suggest that most Congregations that are registered as Charities breach these guidlines fom the Charity Commission:

    " 5. Child protection procedures and systems

    Procedures and systems provide clear step-by-step guidance on what to do in different circumstances and they clarify roles and responsibilities. Systems for recording information and dealing with complaints are also needed to ensure implementation and compliance. Child protection procedures should be linked with the Local Safeguarding Children Board's procedures or the All Wales Child Protection Procedures, as relevant.

    The procedures and systems should include:

    • A named person (and deputy) with a clearly defined role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, appropriate to the level at which s/he operates.
    • A description of what child abuse is, and the procedures for how to respond to it where there are concerns about a child's safety or welfare or concerns about the actions of a trustee, staff member or volunteer. Relevant contact details for children's services, police, health and NSPCC helplines should be available.
    • A process for recording incidents, concerns and referrals and storing these securely in compliance with relevant legislation and kept for a time specified by your insurance company.
    • Guidance on confidentiality and information sharing, legislation compliant, and which clearly states that the protection of the child is the most important consideration.
    • A code of behaviour for trustees, staff and volunteers. The consequences of breaching the code are clear and linked to disciplinary and grievance procedures.
    • Safe recruitment, selection and vetting procedures that include checks into the eligibility and the suitability of all trustees, staff and volunteers who have direct or indirect (e.g. helpline, email) contact with children. In the case of trustees, because of their position within the charity, we take the view that whenever there is a legal entitlement to obtain a CRB check in respect of such a trustee, a check should be carried out. This goes beyond circumstances where the trustee comes into contact with children.
    • A complaints procedure which is an open and well publicised way in which adults and children can voice concerns about unacceptable and/or abusive behaviour towards children.
    • Systems to ensure that all staff and volunteers working with children are monitored and supervised and that they have opportunities to learn about child protection in accordance with their roles and responsibilities.
    • Requirements for trustees, staff and volunteers to learn about child protection in accordance with and as appropriate to their roles and responsibilities.

    It is important that each charity's safeguarding policy and procedures are tailored to the type of contact that the charity has with children and it also needs to take into account any particular vulnerabilities of the children with whom the charity has contact; for example disabled children who are at increased risk of abuse; babies and toddlers who are vulnerable due to their age and dependence on adults;

    - See more at: "

  • besty

    agreed phizzy - thats why the Elders must phone Legal Dept - to make sure they comply with UK law, not best practice guidelines or what is morally obvious.

  • Iown Mylife
    Iown Mylife

    Many people cannot bear to admit to themselves that they have been in a mind-controlling cult. Read the definitions of mind control! The WT is a cult and they control people's thinking.

    Child abuse sexual or otherwise is a horror nightmare. It RUINSlives. Governments send armies overseas to protect entire countries but whether or not to report child abuse is too big a problem to make a decision about.

    Put yourself in a child's place who is forced to do sex acts with an adult. How do you feel, maybe hopeless and powerless and confused?

    Decent adults have got to be responsible and think of children first, defend children FIRST, then worry about precious reputation of the F*****g WT, who by the way does not worry about anyone else's reputation, i can tell you that first hand.

  • besty

    The Watchtower mind control and the nature of the crime is powerful enough to keep child abuse victims silent for many decades. I know this 1st hand.

  • BobFlanagan007

    Prime said - Apostates salivate over anything scandalous and will exploit, exaggerate and even tell outright lies about the Witnesses. It would take all of about five seconds to prove that. Now, you are accusing me of being a pedophile because I'm relaying the facts as stated in court cases, this and other articles.

    And the winner of stupidest post of 2013 on JWnet goes to...

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    @Prime: You never answered my question - why did the elders REFUSE to cooperate with the police. Why did it take 3 years and a court order to make them cooperate? Why, if your duty is to report, does the WTBTS require you to call their legal team first for advice when the WTBTS is not the organization that's involved and does not protect individual elders (they are not barristers or lawyers to the elders)?

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