by steve2 40 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • steve2

    Much has already been written about Dr Monica Applewhite, the expert witness hired by the JW organization. Her job was to provide "expert" testimony to the Australian Commission of Inquiry into Jehovsh's Witnesses' policies and practices on child sexual abuse.

    Astonishingly, Dr Applewhite was unprepared for the Inquiry lawyers' questions. Her fluency left her at several stages, and she could not quite keep her emerging defensiveness in check. Her facial expression spoke volumes about likely feelings of awkwardness and even apprehension over the line of questioning - even when questioned by the organization's own legal counsel. To an admittedly lesser degree than the evisceration of the JW elders by the Inquiry's lawyers, she was simply out of her depth.

    Which raises questions about her poor preparation and performance on the stand. Why had the organization not ensured she was thoroughly prepared? Why hadn't she? Has she no professional pride? We heard her say her terms of reference were the organization's officially published literature on child sexual abuse in general. She protested that she had not been tasked to assess the actual organizational policies and practices on responding to allegations of child sexual abuse. For God's sake, dear doctor: Isn't that whst the whole damn Commission of Inquiry is about? Did you or your client - JW organization - not read anything about the Commission's terms of reference?

    Here's my educated guess: The GB (neither Australian nor living in that country) completely misread the gravity of the Commission of Inquiry and anticipated it would be like a walk in the park. Their religious sense of being right and above secular proceedings led them to place no urgency on ensuring they had a soundly argued and defended set of policies and practices on child protection within their ranks.

    Everyone - including me - has been totally surprised by the thoroughness of the Inquiry lawyers preparation.Boy, have they done their homework!

    I am never surprised when JW elders waltz into a complicated situation unprepared. It's their fallback modus operandi. Sure, I can still be taken by these elders' monumental stupidity and over-reliance on headquarters for directions, but a JW expert witness? I'm floored that Dr Applewhite was so floored.

    Let this be a sober warning to the JW organization and its paid nonWitness expert: Start taking this issue seriously for the children's sake and at least dignify your court appearance with some decent preparation.

    With poor preparation and performance like this, JW.org doesn need opposers.

  • doofdaddy

    I enjoyed the way Mr Stuart slowly, carefully and accurately pulled her CV apart. It was all fluff and bubble.

    But what I cannot get my head around is that as a Doctor in her professed field, she didn't reference her conclusions. Justice McClelland stopped proceedings and took her to task saying the statement was purely personal opinion and considering she is speaking for the jws, inadmissable.

  • oppostate

    The WT lawyer wanted her to do another report saying how JW's are way ahead of other religious organizations in having in place written guidelines on how to proceed with cases of sexual abuse.

    The WT lawyer, also, kept offering the commission, that they would in essence hire her for as much time as needed if she could fit them into her schedule.

    McLelland said this is not a contest of who is better. But to find what procedures are not good and what is done right. If that's what her report is then it would be useful, but a report to measure one against another religious organization would be a waste of time.

    So the WT lawyer says he understand, and yes your honor, and then says the same thing and offer the same thing. So McLelland has to repeat himself, must have had to say it to the lawyer three times.

    The WT wants to be compared because they think that having written guidelines gives them the high moral ground. But what they fail to realize is that the Commission does not find fault with religious institutions not having resources to investigate such cases and who turn to the secular authorities and let them investigate the truth of the matter, that's what those institutions are there for.

    It all boils down to the fact that the WT doesn't want to have secular authorities overseeing them and exposing their cultish controlling ways, they think they are above the law. And this fact will exposed them for the harmful religious cult that they are.

  • Mephis

    [edited because posted inwrong tab. Sorry.]

    But persecution complex, "missed the point" said the commissioner, not a surprise the WBTS felt this report was appropriate. Not a surprise that even that was because the expert hired hadn't a fricken clue what she was reviewing meant.

  • cha ching
    cha ching

    What I have the feeling, that the WT is doing, is what it always does.

    • Says as much as it can, on as many points possible
    • The WT wants quotes.....
    • Can they pick the 'testimony' apart 10 years later and quote it?
    • "Oh, and Dr. Applewhite agreed that....."
    • "Notice that we quoted Dr. F"? We have psychologists behind us! (by the way, I am going to look Dr F up (haha) and see just what he is all about! Why is he so important to them? )

    I think they are trying to be creative. They can go back to the borganization and say:

    • "We were way ahead of our time."
    • "Dr A says that we are concerned with families"
    • "No other religious group was printing warnings and articles like we were"

    THAT is why they ignore the judge and repeat, repeat, repeat. They are mining for the perfect quote!

  • joe134cd
    I think she was certainly knowledgeable in her field. But the thing that struck me was just how unprepared she was for the trial, and to have not made a comparative study was just stupid.
  • JWdaughter
    I think when your best argument is that your shit is slightly less stinky than the next guy's shit when comparing certain volatile organic compounds, then you've already lost.
  • steve2

    This Inquiry stuns in what it uncovers:

    When the religious organization prides Iitself on obeying"God's" law rather than man's, a religious defiance/pride becomes the focus and motivator. That explains why the organization is so intent on proving it is "better" (or to quote the good doctor, "a cut above" other religious groups) and misses again and again the central point of the Inquiry:

    The Inquiry is not about reputation (as in establishing the "best"group) but instead about adequacy of child-protection policies in specified religious groups but not "just" a religious group's own children but children in general as well.

    This latter point flummoxed at least oñe elder taking the stand and caught others off guard:

    To claim you have protected you and your friends' children is one thing (e.g. by disfellowshipping a pedophile in your congregation), but to be totally puzzled and unmoved by nonwitness children being at risk ( because you have refused to report the disfellowshipped pedophile to the authorities, he roams free of apprehension), stamps you as more concerned about reputation than child protection.

    As stated elsewhere on this forum, that is not dissimilar to the Catholic Church's method of dealing with pedophile priests. Yet you claim to be "a cut above" other religions.

    Applewhite, herself a Catholic, like her JW organization client, couldn't shake herself loose of this narrow-focused conceit until late in her testimony at which time she probably wanted little more than a couple of Panadol, a stiff drink, hot bath in her hotel (paid by her JW org client) and to be rid of the embarrassing task of defending the indefensible.

    It has taken Aussie lawyers from Down Under to truly shake both the organization and its expert witnesses into a dawning realization thst reputation counts for little in the justice system and that, by contrst, evidence-based child protection policies count for everything.

    You'd think a religious organization as professedly concerned about "truth" as JW org asserts it is, would have got this core point decades ago, well ahead of all the organizations and institutions it alleges are under Satanic influence. A cut above the others. Not.

  • paradisebeauty

    I think applewhite is a person who is hired by organizations that have had cases of sexual abuse and that want to improve their image, apear like they are doing something to fight the issue.

    Looks like she is hired for the image of the abusers and not to care for the victims.

  • Tornintwo

    I agree with cha.ching, they are looking for a great quote, even now they could say 'an expert witness said we were better than any other religion in our proactive publishing of literature warning against child abuse' or some such, I will be looking out for it on JW broadcasting.

    they know they control the r&f so strongly that they will just lap it up and won't research who this expert is or the context...

    The only hope is that when the reports conclusion comes (which has to be damning right?) the worlds media makes enough of it to make it headline news which JWs can't ignore and that maybe UK charities commission follows suit and so on...

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