It certainly feels like a game-changer.
I have mixed feelings about this. I think the level of detail and the transparency of the RC provides significant open information that can be used to educate and inform Witnesses but there is still alot of ignorance about the whole process.
I have mentioned it to several people now and not one person knew about it. All expressed genuine surprise at the number of cases but I did not get any particularly strong opinions coming back of disgust, dismay or even wanting to find out more.
I think more publicity here in the UK would help but I suspect we are going to have to wait until the findings of the RC are published and the Australian branch responds to get something that can engender real discussion amongst R&F over here.
game-changer? I don't like to get my hopes up anymore. On a personal level, JWs don't change from external pressure - it comes from within. Maybe organizations are different. But I do say that the only honest JW is an ex-JW. I would like to think this RC commission thing is the Titanic first hitting the iceberg.
VIdiot - It certainly feels like a game-changer.
What I will add, is what is very different about how the RC is going about this trial, (as opposed to the civil hearings such as the Conti case), is that the RC is really making an effort to understand both the psychology and sociology involved withing the organization, and its effects on its members, and nailing it. This is perhaps the first time that has taken place. If that trend continues, the domino effect can take place perhaps much faster than anyone expects. First Australia, then the UK, then Canada, (since all are Commonwealth nations). The US would certainly feel that pressure, so this could cause things to change quickly.
It is difficult to time social evolution, but it happens for sure.
Just to add that on JWTalk the top three most read threads the non public forum where some discussion about abuse has taken place is as follows:
Abc news nightline report 3/12/2015 13 Mar 2015 174 replies 4,721 views (now locked)
child abuse cases 19 Jun 2015 134 replies 3,775 views
Did leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses cover up child sex abuse? 17 Feb 2015 136 replies 3,732 views (now locked)
The second thread has stuff about the RC investigation. Interestingly enough no one has posted since a post about the expert witness being ripped into and her testimony essentially refused by the Commission.
I hope that ice cream cone issue causes so many children to think twice before being baptized that the religion is not sustained. That was the only pleasure many of them had during the summer, with everything else either banned or pre-empted by the Grand Boasting Session. And now the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger had the nerve to take that away. Maybe if children teach the leaders of the washtowel that, take away their ice cream cones, and the washtowel won't get anything at all. I am hoping that generates a nice drop in children getting baptized.
Given the thoroughness of the Royal Commission and its eventual report and recommendations, the fascination will be how the JW organization henceforth frames its policies and procedures on child sexual abuse.
Traditionally, when changes in policies and procedures are introduced, the JW organization prefaces the changes with pompous phraseology such as, "With the passing of time, Jehovah has helped His people see the wisdom of adjusting their understanding..."
In view of the well documented and publicized nature of the Royal Commission's excellent homework and assessment of the inadeqacies of the organization's patriarchal system, will we see in future this line in the Watchtower:
"With their expertise regarding best practice, the Australisn Royal Commission has helped Jehovah's people adjust their policies and procedures on how to respond to allegations of child sexual abuse"?
Perhaps not. But it will be fascinating to see how the organization adjusts its view whilst saving face.
done4good - "...the RC is really making an effort to understand both the psychology and sociology involved withing the organization, and its effects on its members, and nailing it. This is perhaps the first time that has taken place."
It happened (to an admittedly much lesser degree) in the Walsh Trial a few decades back.
It still floors me that the WTS acquired charity-status in Scotland after that.
Personally I believe the WT will eventually take notes out of the Catholic Church's playbook on this one.
The Catholic Church once had far greater influence over the personal lives of it's flock, now not at all. You can identify as Catholic and yet live a lifestyle or make decisions which would be considered uncatholic and there are no church restrictions placed on you, no church inquisition on your behavior. You can still attend mass as you please.
Under the weight of bad press, public shaming and shrinking attendance/donations the Catholic Church has had to soften it's message and loosen it's grip.
The Catholic rulebook has become a suggestion book, I think the WT rulebook will eventually become the same.
Of course the WT will dress it up as loving nu-lite.
Another thing, what individual JWs think or notice regarding this current RC is completely irrelevant.
They are kept in the dark and fed on bullshit, so I wouldn't expect bro/sis average to have a clue what's going on behind the closed doors of it's own religion, nor care.
If the driver of the celestial chariot decides to change direction it won't be something the R&F know about until it's announced.