If you force mandatory reporting you will no longer have a clergy penitent mechanism
SO Then what do you have ? Appears jackson wants mandatory reporting so they will never have to deal with it then no more judicial comitees. Corect me if im wrong
Even with Mandated Reporting requirements, elders are instructed to investigate, call the Branch, THEN call law enforcement. The process is still fraught with problems and not even close to "best practice or standard of care"
Watchtower has lost repeatedly in court when claiming clergy penitent privilege. Two elders investigate, the Branch is called where two more Service Department elders are informed, three elders then form the Judicial Committee, finally a report is made and filed with the Branch. All of these processes have been illustrated in court as breaching clergy penitent privilege.
thegirlnextdoor: Even with Mandated Reporting requirements, elders are instructed to investigate, call the Branch, THEN call law enforcement. The process is still fraught with problems and not even close to "best practice or standard of care"
I totally agree. Mandatory reporting will not fix the systemic problems of the JW judicial system.
The JWs have the idea that if a problem is out of sight, it is out of mind. "Let's kick the bad guy out of the congregation and everything is hunky dory" - "Keep the congregation clean!"
The lifestyle/culture of the JW religion is such that it is a sin-based, rule-based culture that deals with sin in a punitive manner and all of those rules and sins and punishment are determined by men only. It is the JW culture itself that is harmful and the systemic problems will not be solved by simply putting in place a mandatory reporting law.
Hell, according to the WT lawyer/lizard himself, V. Toole, the WTS legal team has difficulty in interpreting the laws that existed even before mandatory rules were put in place. The WT legal team hasn't even abided by the laws that require a person to report a known crime and they ignored the mandatory laws that were in place in some areas. I know that some of the WT goons has said that they did report, but the Commission's evidence says otherwise.
Mandatory reporting is just one tiny step in the right direction. It doesn't solve the issue of how children are treated once they come forward with an allegation of harm done to them. The child is still put through the damaging process of giving testimony and the JW judicial system is woefully inadequate in dealing with the problems associatd with handling child witnesses. Allowing a child to simply have a "support person" with them is not enough to ensure that 1.)the child is not re-traumatized, 2.) the evidence is not contaminated.
Check out this link here to see how the real justice system handles child witnesses and you will discover how horribly inadequate it is to just have a JW woman with a child when they are forced to give testimony:
Compare how children in the secular legal system are treated when giving testimony with how the child abuse allegations are handled by the JWs. The process has been described where a JW elder would visit the child's home, and, either with a parent present, or sitting in another room, he would sit down with the child and record the child's story, "gently" and "sensitively" probing for details about how that child had been forced to have sex acts with an adult. And, to top it off, there can be a voyeur in the room - an "observer" elder. Yuck. It sounds like something that would happen in Thailand.
The provision that the JW judicial system has put in place that allows a child to write out their testimony and hand it over to that same body of men is again, woefully inadequate.
Allowing the child to write out their sex experience and hand it in for all those men to read and mull over, and discuss, and return to time and time again, and to pass on those intimate sex stories with children to even more men and more men to read, is a HUGE problem. It is even worse to compel the parent of the child to document, in writing, how their minor child was subjected to sexual acts by an adult, complete with as much detail as possible. This "provision" only makes the parents into accomplices in the collection of those child sex stories.
The JW elders are incompetent and do not have the skills or knowledge as to how to collect and evaluate sensitive evidence that may lead to a criminal case. They should be prohibited from investigating in child sex abuse claims in any way at all. They should be stopped from the process of collecting and storing the intimate details of child sex.
Dr. Applewhite had given testimony that even with mandatory reporting in place, the JW judicial system would still happen alongside of any criminal investigation that is occurring. This is horribly wrong at so many levels.
I agree with the assessment of Ann Cousins, the Commission's expert (she really is an expert), that the JW policies and processes are medieval and bizarre.
Yes. Put in mandatory reporting by all means. But, the road ahead is a long and hard one and fraught with problems that extend far beyond that first small step of mandatory reporting.