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.