by steve2 40 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Mephis

    Applewhite's problem was that she was reviewing the literature without any understanding whatsoever of the context in which that literature would be read. Stewart's line of questioning was brilliant in opening that aspect up, and also forcing her to step away from 'defence expert who wrote a review of literature devoid of context' into 'professional child protection expert'.

    But her reports have fed the JW view of themselves. That they are different, that they are God's chosen organisation, that they do everything better than anyone else. For them, that's the point they are defending. They see everything as 'one bad apple' or 'a failure of parents'. They are absolutely blind to the concept that their religious practices, beliefs and formal procedures create the climate where not only can abuse continue unchecked, but which may also contribute to abuse happening in the first place. That's going to be a very hard concept for them to grasp. I don't think they ever will. They've not even fully realised that they have a duty of care here, in spite of losing cases in at least two countries on that issue.

    Instead, it's far easier to retreat into the idea that this is Satan persecuting them, trying to force them to deviate from God's written word, and to treat it as 'war' where they are required to fight against it. In what could be a collaborative process, that stands out. The commission's suggested already that they've noticed 'antipathy' towards secular authorities. To me, much of the elders' evidence has already shown that. Bowditch's comment on him telling a 'close friend, if I associated with them' outside the congregation stank of it, for instance. His comment that he hadn't read the statement of the survivor because he "wanted to be truthful" too. And Ali's failure to mention that they had a confession as well as other witnesses. But to his mind, that was ok, because the confession didn't count and the other witnesses weren't 'reliable'. They're rationing the truth until pinned down under direct questioning and demonstration that they've been misleading at best.

    How do you force this cult to come to realise they have issues here? When to admit them then destroys their own self-decreed exceptionality? And to properly address the issue would require some major doctrinal changes?

  • username

    Dr Applewhite stated the only reference she had were publications. Personally I think the watchtower pulled the age old trick of information control. They only produced positive (in the watchtowers opinion) material, little did both the watchtower and Dr Applewhite know the commission had really done it's homework. leaving this cult with its tale between its legs.

    It's been a long time coming, but finally the smug attitude of the watchtower is coming to an end.

    Train wreck alert!

  • Xanthippe
    I think the GB assumed it would be like the U.S. where it seems you can stand up and say I am religious and I am defending the rights of religious people - and get immediate respect. This is Australia and a different ball game altogether.
  • Ruby456


    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.


    And I hope that the Royal commission, once they have finished their inquiry, will take first world governments to task about why they have let the issue of child abuse founder and not taken it as seriously as now for so long and only really woken up to it because of the staggering costs to the nations' budgets. In the US the annual financial costs are over $103 billion (Ching-Tung and Holton 2007 - child abuse and neglect) and in the UK over £1.4 billion (Allen 2011 - child abuse). I don't have figures for Australia but they are probably just as staggering.

    But I think this focus on economic costs is a good thing, even if ethically it ought to have come much earlier, because I subscribe to the view that it is better late than never.

    edit: Steve it isn't just Dr. Applewhite and Jehovahs witnesses who are about money.....the commission lawyers have to get paid too

    Money makes the world go round (but at what cost particularly at what human cost when child abuse is the issue?) sobering isn't it?

  • scary21

    And what is so great about publishing magazines ??? They're a publishing company, that's what they do.

    I bet they have published more on the life of zebras than other religions too.....They are so wonderful... NOT!

  • Ruby456

    found the article I was looking for


    see page 34 for stats re UK and child abuse costs

    the whole article is worth reading - very compassionate - thanks Mr Allen

    this is sad


  • jhine

    What the WT fails to appreciate , it seems , that in a " contest " with other religious organisations they would now lose hands down .

    Certainly there have been major problems with the issue of child abuse , in other faiths but they have cleaned up their acts a LOT . The WT still falls woefully behind .

    So it appears that they , and their lawyers, are completely out of touch with " the world " if they don't realise that they are playing catch up to Christendom !


  • TheListener
    I hope the UK charity commission is watching and learning...
  • Heaven

    The real issue is are the published policies actually working? And is the organization REALLY protecting victims? I think over 1,000 known abusers since 1950 without one ever being reported to the appropriate authorities shows they are not. I see this as the bottom line goal of the RC's inquiry and I applaud it.

    If Applewhite knew of abuse cases I think she should have made a simple phone call to the police to see if there were any cases open with them and what the results were or what status the case was in (if they are at liberty to discuss that). If there were no open cases, I think it is her duty to inform the police that she has received information about cases and did they want that info. To me THAT is the proof in the pudding. That's what I would do. Doesn't sound like that is something she's ever done.

    So far I'd have to say that Botchtower's words are substanceless. You can say whatever you want but if your behaviours don't mirror your words, then the words are meaningless and really, lies.

  • OrphanCrow
    joe: I think she was certainly knowledgeable in her field.

    If she was knowledge in her field, then she should have been familar with this document:

    Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-serving Organizations: Getting Started on Policies and Procedures


    Component 5: Responding to Inappropriate Behavior, Breaches in Policy, and Allegations and Suspicions of Child Sexual Abuse Goal
    To respond quickly and appropriately to (1) inappropriate or harmful behavior, (2) infractions of child sexual abuse prevention policies, and (3) evidence or allegations of child sexual abuse.
    General Principles The ultimate aim of child sexual abuse prevention efforts within youth-serving organizations is to prevent child sexual abuse from ever occurring; however, an organization needs to have communicated clearly what it and its employees/volunteers should do if policies are violated or if child sexual abuse occurs.
    Define inappropriate and appropriate strategies
    Clarify that it is not the role of an employee/ volunteer or your organization to evaluate or investigate an allegation or suspicion.
    • Let child protective services, law enforcement, and child advocacy centers investigate allegations or suspicions. • Know that an organization’s investigation can harm the youth or the legal investigative process.

    Her testimony did not indicate that she was familiar with those guidelines. Her position was to try to fit ecclesiastical procedure into a framework that could be accepted as suitable by the Commission. She did not criticize the judical procedure at all - she supported a practice that has been identified by experts as being harmful to victims in and of itself.

    Her expertise is only inside of institutional structures - and that is exactly the problem that the Royal Commission is addressing - how institutions maintain a myopic system that is harmful to the children. She was an "expert" on insular procedures and policies.

Share with others