Since Geoffrey Jackson's appearance before the Australian Royal Commission on Friday there has for some been an expressed feeling of anticlimax.
It is as though he was given too much latitude to preach, to claim ignorance and to skirt questions.
More to the point, as much as I myself thought I would never have expected to say this, GJ actually came across as likeable and - don't throttle me please! - personable.
Okay, we can debate the extent to which this is about perception and public performance. But, no one here has so far put him in the same category as the bumbling JW elders who appeared earlier.
Perhaps we were harboring the hope that GJ would himself be an arch-bumbler or that the counsel would have ripped him to pieces. I would love to see a member of the GB dissolve under scrutiny! I could dine out on that for a year!
But then, if that were our hope, we have lost sight of what this commission is about: An Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
It is NOT a criminal trial and none of the parties subpoenaed have been charged with any crimes.
It's purpose was never to grind parties into the ground and leave them not a single skerrick of dignity which in itself could be construed as a form of trauma by trial.
Understandably many of us will have wished GJ of all parties could have been legally and ethically pummeled. But it is a commission of inquiry in which there is a super fine line between thorough and persistent questioning and leaving GJ no decent way back home. You could even have had a backlash against the Commission if GJ was perceived to have been treated badly.
As another poster said, the Commission depends on the cooperation of the various parties and counsel cannot shout, "Liar! Liar!" as much as they may feel justified in doing so.
Besides, the next stage will be the collation of all the Exhibits accepted by the Judge and the collation of all the information gathered from everyone's testimony which will lead to a draft report with findings and recommendations.
The hearing might be over, but the analysis has yet to begin.
We can expect a pretty damning report in which even the JW organization's expert witness, Dr Monica Applewhite will likely find her "evidence" eviscerated.
Recommendations will not be flimsy but will carry muscle. Imagine God's so-called unique channel of communication being compelled to take on board the finds of a secular commission of inquiry. The light burnishes bright, not due to the guidance of the holy spirit, but the evidence based best practise procedures of responding to child sexual abuse.
The Governing Body will find no snake-like way to slither through the legal and ethical compulsions resulting from the Commission of Inquiry. What the law cannot compel, public shaming can accomplish. Who wants to be seen to be endangering children and in particular child victims of sexual abuse.
In closing, my hat is off to the wonderful female counsel for BCG who is probably the only woman to have ever closely and directly called any member of the Governing Body to account for their policies and procedures of responding to child sexual abuse. I did not get her name but she is certainly up there with Angus Stewart in her acumen and intelligently persistent questioning.
Bring on the next stage!