CBC Canada - Jehovah's Witnesses: Internal judicial process 'catastrophic' for members alleging child sex abuse

by OrphanCrow 23 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • OrphanCrow

    Jehovah's Witnesses: Internal judicial process 'catastrophic' for members alleging child sex abuse

    Radio-Canada's Enquête investigates allegations that the closed religious movement fails to protect children

    CBC News Posted: Dec 01, 2016 5:00 AM ET

    (full article at link)

    Mélanie Poirier was 10 when she started taking piano lessons and it would prove to be an experience that changed her life forever. At that very first lesson, she said, her piano teacher sexually assaulted her. It went on for five years.

    "Week after week, at every piano lesson, he would masturbate in front of me. And he would ask me to touch him," Poirier told Radio-Canada's investigative program, Enquête.

    Her father, Benoît Poirier, was in the next room waiting for her lesson to be over, completely unaware, she said.

    Poirier said she couldn't tell her father, who was a Jehovah's Witness elder, or anyone else what was happening because her piano teacher was also an elder in the congregation that her family belonged to in a Montreal suburb.

    "He was well-known, an elder, an example to follow," she said.

    The biggest obstacle, however, was the fact she didn't have a second witness to the alleged abuse — a key requirement of the church's internal judicial system.

    "If I told anyone, nothing would have happened. I wouldn't be believed. The elders wouldn't have even stopped to listen to me," Poirier said.

    Internal policies — and no police
    The Poiriers are among several former Jehovah's Witnesses in Quebec and the United States who spoke to Enquête about the church's policies for dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse and their failure to protect victims.

    Among those policies: complainants are made to answer inappropriate questions if they report an assault, and their stories must be corroborated by a second witness for a case to even be heard by an internal judicial committee. Until this past summer, accusers were also forced to confront their alleged abuser before a panel of elders.

    Radio-Canada also heard allegations that a five-year-old boy from a Quebec congregation was made to repeat his story in front of the man he said abused him. The boy's mother told Enquête the allegations were dismissed because the child did not have a second witness to the alleged assault.

    In its investigation, Radio-Canada obtained a questionnaire designed to guide Jehovah's Witness elders interviewing children alleging sexual abuse. It includes the question: "How many elders believe the victim is to blame or willingly participated in the act?"

    The questionnaire was drafted by the headquarters of the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, in the state of New York. The Watchtower Society declined Enquête's request for an interview.

    The CBC is doing an excellent job of covering this story and giving voice to those who have been victimized.

  • NikL

    I just popped on to the CBC News website to check out the news and it was the first story staring at me

  • OrphanCrow

    I know someone who knows someone...you know...that kind of thing

    Anyways, if Radio-Canada receives enough interest and requests, they will likely run an English version. Let them know that you want to hear it in English, and they will gladly air another edition. Just because they are French down there doesn't mean they can't or won't speak English!

    There will be both English and French transcripts available on Radio-Canada's website.

    And, I wouldn't be surprised if the dubbing is or has happened. Lots of time before it airs. Easy to dub. Just a little bit of overtime for the CBC Radio-Canada crew and super support from our one and only Peter Mansbridge.

    So, if you have a few free minutes, send Radio-Canada a quick note and ask for the program to be re-aired in English. It would probably happen if there are enough requests

  • Vidiot

    Every time this stuff shows up in the media again, Jehovah's Witness and the Watchtower look more and more like clueless idiots.

  • yalbmert99

    Thanks for posting!

  • TheWonderofYou

    Will it become the topic of conversation in the service this month? Time to work out new sample presentations,

    "How can we reach the hearts of people by mentioning we are JWs and are not as evil as you think?"

    "Improving our skills in the ministry if someone mentions abuse cases and remain in Gods love"

    "We have a governing body and wait for him to clarify such matters. Meanwhile we succeed not discussing such matters which are only rumors. Its the press that is slandering us."

  • DesirousOfChange

    I can hear their reply: "You know you can't trust anything you hear on the internet or on the news. All of that is part of Satan's Worldly Organization. Today, with Photoshop and all the technology, they can create all kinds of false things and I know many apostates that would stoop to doing things like that!" . . . . Doc

  • Vidiot

    @ Desirous...

    To which I'd be inclined to counter with... "Okay, then. Nevertheless, is It true? Yes or no??"

    He's given a choice of full-on lying and saying "no"...

    ...or blusteringly refusing to answer, which - for anyone who has more than a five-year-old's grasp of basic human psychology - means "yes".

    I think the Org would have gotten away with a lot less bullshit over the years if the rank-and-file had the balls to take elders to task when shit got real.

    I could be wrong.

  • wannaexit

    I could be wrong.

    @ Vidiot I think you could be right :)

  • Muddy Waters
    Muddy Waters

    "How many elders believe the victim is to blame or willingly participated in the act?"

    Gah, This clueless question makes my blood boil!! They are such clueless idiots. You know, I hate to say this, but being a JW (thankfully, EX-jw!!) has made me understand the mindset of other extremists, like ISIS and Jim Jones followers, and how they can be so absolutely clueless and full of "blame-the-victim" mentality.... Clueless hateful fracking idiots.

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