Australian branch co-ordinator Terrence O'Brien gets called out for lying to the Royal Commission

by Mickey mouse 12 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse

    Watch from 1:47:00 as Angus Stewart of the Royal Commission investigation into child abuse calls out the Australian branch co-ordinator for lying about Geoffrey Jackson's role on the governing body.

  • Mickey mouse
  • Listener

    Here's part of the transcript from yesterday when Stewart spoke to the JW Lawyer about Geoff Jackson. Mr O'Brien today admitted that he had coached the lawyer as to what to say.

    MR STEWART: Your Honour, just prior to resuming the

    8 examination of Mr Spinks, I might take the opportunity to

    9 say something about Mr Geoffrey Jackson. He is a member of

    10 the Governing Body and he is currently in Australia --


    12 THE CHAIR: That is the Governing Body in New York?


    14 MR STEWART: That's right. Some weeks ago it came to the

    15 attention of the Royal Commission that Mr Jackson, a member

    16 of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses in New York,

    17 was in Australia. We wrote to the lawyers acting for

    18 Jehovah's Witnesses in Australia and asked if their client

    19 would procure a statement from Mr Jackson and make him

    20 available as a witness. The reply that was received was

    21 that Mr Jackson was in Australia for private, compassionate

    22 reasons and, also, that since the Governing Body was not

    23 involved in the implementation and administration of

    24 policies and procedures in relation to child sexual abuse,

    25 he would not be able to give relevant evidence.


    27 The Royal Commission then left the matter at that

    28 point, but subsequently came to the view that Mr Jackson's

    29 evidence would likely be useful for this hearing,

    30 particularly in relation to the formulation of policies and

    31 procedures by the Governing Body and the possibility for

    32 change of policies and procedures in the future. We

    33 therefore wrote last week asking whether the lawyers for

    34 the Jehovah's Witnesses in Australia would accept service

    35 of a summons on Mr Jackson. The reply that was received

    36 reiterated that for reasons of compassion related to why

    37 Mr Jackson was in the country, it would, as it was put, be

    38 unconscionable for him to be required to prepare to give

    39 evidence and to give evidence.


    41 Taking that into account, Mr Jackson has not been

    42 summonsed to give evidence. We would, however, welcome

    43 evidence from him, or another member of the Governing Body,

    44 particularly with regard to the setting of policies and

    45 procedures and the possibilities for change of those

    46 policies and procedures, and the door is open for the

    47 Jehovah's Witnesses in Australia or the Watchtower Bible &

    .04/08/2015 (152) 15676 R P SPINKS (Mr Stewart)

    Transcript produced by DTI

    1 Tract Society of Australia to present such evidence for

    2 this hearing, including by video conference.


    4 THE CHAIR: Gentlemen, I don't know which of you two

    5 should respond to that. Could I make it plain, if it is

    6 not plain already, that the Commissioner and I have concern

    7 about the process of investigation and determination of

    8 allegations within the Jehovah's Witnesses and whether it

    9 is a safe and effective process for the determination of an

    10 allegation by a person that they have been sexually abused

    11 by someone within the church.


    13 Now, I understand the theocratic foundation for the

    14 present position - at least, I think I do. But at the

    15 moment, we do not have a witness, as I understand it, who

    16 can tell us what the way forward might be to enable the

    17 church to bring its processes to the point where, rather

    18 than run the risk of increasing the trauma on those who

    19 have been abused, the processes can assist in alleviating

    20 the trauma. It is of fundamental importance to people who

    21 have been abused that when they go to the relevant

    22 authorities - and in this case, it is the church, because

    23 the church demands a complaint be brought to the church -

    24 their story is accepted and they have the opportunity to

    25 tell the whole of their story to a forum which they can

    26 have trust in, and which will enable them, then, to pass,

    27 as it were, some of the burden to that institution, which

    28 requires, in this case, that it report, or that person

    29 report.


    31 Now, these are very significant issues. They are not

    32 small issues, they are significant issues. At the moment,

    33 we are, as I say, facing the situation where we can see

    34 a problem, but we do need assistance from the church in

    35 what is the solution. We rather thought that Mr Jackson

    36 might be able to assist us in that respect.


    38 I understand the reason for compassion being extended

    39 to him. I have no difficulty with that. And for that

    40 reason, I have not issued a summons requiring him to

    41 attend. But at the moment we face a serious issue with

    42 which only the church can help us.


    44 Whether that needs a response now, I don't know, but

    45 we would like you to reflect upon that situation.


    47 MR TOKLEY: Your Honour, may I respond on behalf of the

    .04/08/2015 (152) 15677 R P SPINKS (Mr Stewart)

    Transcript produced by DTI

    1 persons I represent. Your Honour's points are being taken

    2 on board, are being addressed, and are being given the most

    3 earnest consideration by the authorities. Mr Jackson would

    4 probably not have been of any assistance in any event,

    5 because his role and his responsibility is in relation to

    6 the translation of matters; it's not in relation to these

    7 sorts of matters.


    9 However, Mr O'Brien, who will give evidence before

    10 your Honour, is able to assist your Honour in regard to

    11 some of the matters your Honour has raised. I can assure

    12 your Honour that to the extent to which Mr O'Brien is

    13 unable to assist your Honour, we will do everything that we

    14 can to ensure that the Commission is given the assistance

    15 that is required from us and to help the Commission.


    17 THE CHAIR: The assumption I make at the moment is that if

    18 there is to be change, it's change that has to be

    19 ultimately sanctioned, if not directed, by New York. Am

    20 I right?


    22 MR TOKLEY: Your Honour, ultimately it is a matter for

    23 submission. We understand your Honour's point and we

    24 understand your Honour's particular concern about the

    25 environment in which these matters are reported. So that

    26 has not been lost upon us at all. The question, I think,

    27 at the end of the day, is the adaptability of the present

    28 structure to the individual circumstances of any particular

    29 person and whether that present structure is inappropriate,

    30 so it must be done away with, or whether the appropriate

    31 structure can be modelled for the purposes of an individual

    32 person's case. I think that's probably one of the more

    33 difficult questions that the Commission will have to deal

    34 with at the end of the day.


    36 THE CHAIR: It is. But if there is to be change, again,

    37 I had assumed that change has to be either directed or

    38 sanctioned in New York.


  • opusdei1972
    that since the Governing Body was not

    23 involved in the implementation and administration of

    24 policies and procedures in relation to child sexual abuse,

    25 he would not be able to give relevant evidence.

    Interestingly, if the GB is supposedly the channel of God on earth, and the organization led by the GB is supposedly God's organization, it means that the policies on sexual abuse in God's organization are not inspired by God. This means that that policies are men's policies, so the Australian branch co-ordinator is admitting that Jehovah's Witnesses are following men's policies and not God's instructions.

  • Marvin Shilmer
    Marvin Shilmer

    The chair needs to issue a summons for Jackson. It may be the last (only!) chance he gets to have one of Watchtower's top decision-makers answer for what that organization has done and intends to do for abused children in Australia.

    It's of course understandable to give Jackson some room to deal with his aged ailing parent. But what of the thousands of children exposed to Watchtower's inept and torturous policies? I thought JWs don't sorrow as the rest because, after all, they have such firm hope on a resurrection. Right? So why should Jackson not be summoned to speak for a policy for which he sits on the organization's ultimate decision authority?

    Better get that summons on the way, and now!

  • _Morpheus

    Its such legalize bullshit. Every witness everwhere in the world KNOWS the GB is soley responsible for policies and that what they say goes without question.

    Even by the GB's own standards this is a question, not of organizational policy alone but of policy based on theological constructs. The two witness rule and rules regarding the conducting of judicial cases are based on theology, that is witness understanding of the binle. That understanding comes directly from the GB by their own admission. Game. Set. Match.

  • Listener

    The Commission told the lawyers yesterday that they would be happy to hear from Jackson or any of the other GB members. They abused the invitation and previous contacts regarding the matter and once the Commission realized they had been hoodwinked decided to take firm action.

    Jackson, with the help of the JW lawyers and Branch Office Committee put himself in this predicament.

  • Mephis
    Absolutely agree with that Listener. O'Brien was asked about how long he'd been in country. Answered 'one or two weeks'. It's been three weeks. Any member of the GB could have accepted the invitation and so allow Jackson to attend to his father. But as they're happy to hide in Brooklyn and pay multiple millions in damages rather than turn up to a court, well, I think McClellan is right that there's room here for Jackson to attend to the responsibility of being in charge of a religion which fails those inside it.
  • StarTrekAngel
    If Mr. Jackson doesn't show up of his own will (no summon required), the lie will be further substantiated in my book.
  • Heaven
    The GB don't want to appear because they know they are ultimately responsible as they vote on all policy. They know they are f'cked.

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