:: Sorry, bro, but as my teenage daughter would say, "you have issues". It seems to me that your smoking problem has caused you to defend the JW organization -- even though you claim that not to be so -- much as any abuse victim often defends the abuser. Your defending posture is proved by the mistakes in logic that you've made, that a more objective person would not make.
: YOU do not know ME.
I don't need to. Your words are sufficient to characterize you for purposes of these posts.
: And you're being objective.
: But, this is a good way to disquallify my statements as having another agenda. Is that what you intent is. As I do not know YOU I am not sure.
This is not a disqualification of your statements -- it is a way of characterizing your motives. Your motives are easily discernable through your words. Indeed, many of your statements have been disqualified on their lack of merit.
:: What difference does it make whether enough information was posted to allow you to evaluate the validity of the child's complaint? Either you accept it or you don't. Either you think the child is lying, or the poster is making all up, or you don't. All information eventually becomes "third hand". Do you discount newspaper accounts of a murderer's conviction because the information reaches you "third hand"?
: You miss the point. What one person calls sexual molestation another might call a peck on the cheek accompanied by an out of place comment. See studies by Janet Wakefield PhD: forensic psychology
If I missed the point, it's because you didn't explain it clearly. Participants on this forum are not mind readers.
As for your 'clarification', it should obvious that the complainer was not talking about a mere "peck on the cheek".
Really, man, your words are precisely those of a molester who wants to justify his perversion as being "not so bad". If you don't understand that, it's no wonder you're posting nonsense.
:: Your assertion that the incidence of child molestation among JWs shows that you have no idea what you're talking about. No one has done a definitive study -- indeed, such a study could not be made because everyone knows that a lot of people, including victims, who know about such molestation would cover it up even if they knew that they would not suffer personal consequences for revealing it.
: Most cases of child molestation are discovered by teachers, medical practitioners, as reported to authorities by the parents of a molested child's peers. This does not yield definitive results. So you are correct in this regard. My apologies.
:: Having been "out" for some time pretty well disqualifies you from making any judgments on this matter, wouldn't you say?
: No more than anyone else herein. I can read. :)
Reading tells you little. Talking to people who have had actual experience, either as victims or as elders who have dealt with such cases or with the aftermath of previous elders screwing up tells you a lot. Guess which I have experience with.
Your notion of how the Watchtower operates is obviously based on nostalgic wishful thinking of the good times you had as a JW. We all had plenty of good times, but unlike you a lot of ex-JWs haven't forgotten the bad times. Clearly, you may be out of the Tower but the Tower isn't out of you. That guilt is what is pushing you to such silly heights of apologetics, in trying to defend something you have no direct knowledge of.
:: The Watchtower most certainly is responsible for how elders handle cases of abuse, unless the elders fail to implement the Society's policies. Those policies include what is written in publicly available literature, the semi-secret Flock book, letters to bodies of elders, oral statements given to elders by COs and DOs and other Watchtower officials, and last but not least, the overall attitude towards dealing with anything that could "bring reproach on Jehovah's name" engendered by Watchtower practice over the last fifty years. All of those things figure in what elders do in specific cases. If you don't know what the real story is in each area, then you just don't know what you're talking about.
: I reply. I do not ignore these facts;
: but, aside from providing a template for proceedure, they have no real bearing on each individual case before each individual body of elders.
Of course they do. What do you think a template is for?
Again, you have no knowledge of this topic. Have you served as an elder? Have you served on a judicial committee? Are you familiar with the contents of the Flock book? Have you read the letters to bodies of elders that bear on child molestation? If not, then educate yourself or clam up.
:: The Watchtower is responsible because it itself appoints the elders who do its bidding. It is responsible for training elders to act on its behalf, so if the training is so bad that elders often don't uphold actual WTS policy, or if the WTS appoints elders who are unwilling or incapable of implementing its policies, then they are still responsible. The only way to avoid responsibility is simple: institute a blanket policy of reporting all abuse cases to secular authorities.
: This is simply not true.
This is simply true.
See how easy it is to say things without giving good justification?
: Each congrgation makes recommendations as to who should be appointed to fill which post of resposibility. The society only ok's the appointment or not. Usually it is ok'ed if no contrary information exists in the publisher's file.
That's right, and that's exactly where the Society is screwing up when it comes to child abuse. These elders are laymen. They have no more business dealing with issues of establishing guilt in child abuse cases than you do, or than any layman has in determining guilt in murder cases or as respects any other major crime.
The Society completely ignores this fact and tells elders and publishers alike that elders reach their decisions through divine guidance. That makes elders cocky and publishers afraid to challenge stupid rulings. Who is it that creates this idiotic situation? The Society. Therefore it is responsible for the actions of those it appoints, just as any corporation is legally responsible for the actions performed by its legally appointed representatives when they are on duty.
:: Your words about establishing proof for allegations of abuse are at the heart of one of the biggest complaints lately voiced against the Society: its standards of proof are nearly impossible, in practice, to meet -- unless the abuser confesses. Absent a confession, the basic standard of proof for a judicial committee is straightforward: two or more witnesses for a given incident. For certain kinds of wrongdoing, the Society explicitly spells out that two witnesses to different incidents are acceptable, but these are with respect to wrongdoing that obviously pushes the buttons of Watchtower leaders much harder than child abuse does. Actual "case precedent" shows just what these hot buttons are: smoking and fornication.
: I reply: The burden of proof in our society has always rested on the plaintiff. Why should it be different in handling judicial matters herein when our legal system's burden of proof laws are based on Judeo-Christian systems?
You're not listening. No one is saying that the burden of proof of wrongdoing shouldn't be upon the accusers (although one would think that good Christians would be somewhat less technical than "Caesars'" lawyers). What we're talking about are the standards of proof.
It's obvious that "Caesar" accepts standards of proof that the Society does not in the case of child abuse, namely, various kinds of circumstantial evidence, and the testimony of several witnesses to separate events of abuse. While certain bodies of elders will sometimes accept such testimony, the exact standards of proof are carefully not spelled out in any WTS literature. That is criminal, since it puts the burden of proof -- a proof that is impossible most of the time -- on children, who are quite incapable of pursuing justice for themselves without the help of a competent, concerned adult. It is people like you who perpetuate this abomination within not just the Watchtower organization, but many other religions.
:: Your discussion of who is a pedophile or molester is insane. Yes, the precise legal definition of "pedophile" as opposed to "predator upon minors" depends upon the particulars of local law. The age cutoff varies according to local law, but so what? In everyday speech, a pedophile is someone who sexually preys on children. Are you claiming that a 15-year-old is not a child? Perhaps according to some local laws, but not according to others. Are you claiming that a sixty-year-old man who uses guile and/or threats to have sex with his 15-year-old grandaughter is not a pedophile? What kind of idiot are you?
: No reply.
I thought not. A typical fundamentalist sidestep.
: This is an insulting flame.
It's insulting, but not a flame. It's a simple statement of fact based on your own words.
: However, no, a sixty-year-old man who uses guile and/or threats to have sex with his 15-year-old grandaughter is not a pedophile. He is a hetrosexual predator.
From Webster's: "pedophilia: sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object".
Which part of that don't you understand? Are you claiming that such a heterosexual predator does not have a 15-year-old as his preferred sexual object? Are you claiming that a 15-year-old is not a child? Are you saying that the cutoff age is 12? Or 13? Or 14? Or what? And based on the laws of what jurisdiction?
Obviously I only gave one example. I could have chosen others. How about a sixy-year-old man who sodomizes his 15-year-old grandson? How a 12-year-old? How about the same man "digitally raping" his 3-year-old grandaughter?
Where do you draw the age line between the "soft" crime of raping a teenager and the "hard" crime of raping a child closer to an infant?
:: Your excuses are exactly those that a practicing pedophile often makes to excuse his perversion to himself. "It's not really so bad. Besides, she likes it or she wouldn't let me do it."
: No reply, this is another uncalled for and shallow flame.
No, it is a very deep and studied insult designed to bring you to your senses. The fact is, your excuses are exactly the same as pedophiles use. You don't think so? Do a Web search for websites dealing with sexual abuse and see what they have to say. Then come back with your tail between your legs.
: As for your 'finding' "Jehovah's Witnesses to be an unusually well adjusted group", that proves that you've not carefully examined them, or you're just fooling yourself. JWs as a whole are somewhat worse adjusted than society as a whole, at least, in the well-developed areas of the world. I've spoken to a number of psychologists about this and they concur. Some psychologists make a very good living treating exclusively JW patients. Of course, because going to a psychologist has traditionally been condemned by the Society, not many JWs will admit to it. You're simply naive if you believe what the Society tells you. JWs have unusually high rates of those ill-defined and hard-to-diagnose problems related to depression, such as chronic fatigue syndrome. Not surprisingly, these things often go away when a person quits the JW religion and starts living a normal life, free of the pressure to "do more" and to conform to strict, pharisaic rules.
: I have associated with Jehovah's Witnesses on and off for 29 years. I stand by my comment.
I have associated with Jehovah's Witnesses on and off for 49 years. I stand by my comment.
Proves a lot, doesn't it.
All you have to do to see the truth of what I've said is to read the experiences of hundreds of people who left the JW organization. They all tell essentially the same story of spiritual and emotional abuse. You can find these on any of dozens of websites.
Besides, if you're so weak in the JW faith as to not be able to rely on "Jehovah's spirit" to help you stop smoking, it's obvious that you haven't "got the sense" of the JW religion. Why then, do you think you're qualified to claim different from what I and hundreds of others who had the clarity of vision to leave the Watchtower organization do? As an admitted moral weakling, what do you think you have that we don't? We all had the morality and strength of character to leave a burning ship, even though most of our former peers can not, and most important, will not, see the smoke.
: Not all children enjoy having the rights that their peers enjoy taken from them. But in the caring famililies I know other fulfilling activities replace the more harmful ones of the world.
Out of the mouth of a babe. Let me tell you something: I have two stepsons who were exposed to the Witnesses up until about age 11. They are extremely happy that they are not JWs today, because they know from looking at some of their JW relatives how messed up JWs can be. They don't want any part of it because they can see for themselves the "fruitage" that JWism often produces. My own daughter, at age 14, decided entirely on her own to leave her JW mother and live with me. Do you know why? Because even at that tender age she could see the many bogus teachings and outright hypocrisy among the JWs with whom she associated. Today she lives a very normal life, free from JW-induced stress, and about as happy as any young girl is these days. Her life as a JW was far from fulfilling -- it was deadly dull and, in the end, something she hated. Today she has all kinds of opportunities open to her, ones that would be denied if she were still a JW.
: Perhaps your own hatred for the organization has blinded you to the success stories.
I don't hate the JW organization or JWs. I hate what the organization does and what it stands for and how it treats people. I hate its practices and the attitudes it engenders in otherwise intelligent people. You yourself are a fine example of the kind of deadness of soul that it produces -- someone who stands up to defend the disgusting coverup of child molestation -- even after being abused by their pharisaic 'law' against smoking. I feel very sorry for you.