Watchtower's response to Royal Commission shows they have learned nothing and will do nothing
Here is an unsubstantiated claim that they make
9.26 On a global basis the honesty, candour, and quality of the elders’ evidence should be acknowledged by the Commission along the lines of that reported by Janet Fife-Yeomans at page 32 of “The Daily Telegraph” on 1 August, 2015: While people from other churches dragged to the Royal Commission have obviously been coached by PR gurus and lawyers in how to present themselves and say the right thing, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were totally devoid of artifice.
Forget that the whole article that Yeomans wrote was scathing of the JWs at the Commission and called them hypocrites..
... the Jehovah’s Witnesses were totally devoid of artifice.
The rank & file will twist this into, "See? We are unlettered just like Christ's disciples."
That response is old. Let's see how they respond to the findings just released. - girlnextdoor
No it's a point-by-point reply to the Commission's report. They would have had a copy before it was published.
It shows that they reject every single word of the commission despite their earlier claims that they wanted to work with the commission to make any improvements that were required.
They have no humility at all. I hope their belligerent response leads to robust action from the Australian judiciary.
The slimy snakes within the Org never cease to disgust with their forked tongues.
When bad things really start happening to them as individuals, may their putrid acts of worship to the beloved Org - their words and deeds - come back and seriously haunt them. They deserve it!
9.383 Accordingly, this suggested finding F70 (d) should not be made.
F70 The Jehovah’s Witness organization’s policy…….
e) is adopted and enforced in order to prevent people from leaving the organisation and thereby to maintain its membership.
9.384 This suggested finding ought not be made because:
(b) it is not true as a matter of fact – Jehovah’s Witnesses are a voluntary faith-based organization that persons are free to join and to leave;
(d) it is not at all relevant to the Commission’s Terms of Reference;
Surely this now means anyone can just walk away and not face consequences,from now on if anyone is chased by the 'spiritual policemen' they can produce this document :
The policies and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not require any individual who no longer wants to be subject to their “rules and discipline” to formally disassociate themselves. They can simply stop associating with the congregation. Such individuals are not shunned.
For example, Mr Geoffrey Jackson stated:283 “I thought I made it quite clear I don’t agree with that supposition”. We do not have a “so-called spiritual police force” to chase after ones who no longer want to be Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
For example, Mr O’Brien stated: 284 “They don’t have to disassociate themselves to stop associating. They don’t lose their spiritual or familial association by being inactive.”
9.304 The suggested finding wrongly assumes a broad obligation upon Jehovah’s Witnesses “to protect children in the community” but fails to identify how such an obligation exis
I couldn't be more pleased that Watchtower said this. I cannot wait for the RC to lambast them for it and I am posting it to Facebook right now.
The tone of the two documents is very telling. The ARC present a balanced, common sense approach in interpreting the evidence presented. They have no particular axe to grind against the WTS as opposed to other organizations, only to present their findings in respect to child safety and make recommendations.
The WTS response is nasty and litigious, they've employed some shark lawyers to nit pick and pull apart the findings on technicalities, it's BS of course but it looks to me like they are paving the way for litigation against compensation claims.
When I read the part of the RC findings commenting on the biblical basis for some of their beliefs I thought immediately "that is something the WTS will pick up on"
I don't think the RC should get into biblical interpretation. Are they going to question the beliefs of the Catholic Church for instance? If not then the WTS could claim they have been treated differently and thus unfairly.
They should focus on the practices and policies that affect the welfare and protection of children, not the religious beliefs..
I don't think the RC should get into biblical interpretation. Are they going to question the beliefs of the Catholic Church for instance? If not then the WTS could claim they have been treated differently and thus unfairly
I will add that I 100% agree with Simon here. By going into scripture like this the ARC has given them a way out. Just like debating with any believer, they will (and they did) come back with, "your interpretation is wrong mine is right." The ARC can't just say, "no YOURE wrong," because this is a theological battle now. In the current world climate regarding religious beliefs nobody gets to say who is right or wrong.
The only hope that will allow these particular findings to stand is that the ARC could easily clarify their findings to explain their meaning as, "not only is there no reasonable way to conclude shunning is scriptural but it is a violation of human rights and a cruelty and cannot continue." This I think was their intention, but I think it should have been done without bringing scripture into it.
Here's the telling thing to me. In all its many words of response, nowhere does Watchtower offer a single valid reason why as of now it has yet to publish a policy that actively encourages its followers to report allegations of child molestation to secular authorities charged to investigate and protect the greater society from such criminal behavior.
The passive policy Watchtower touts 'it is each members absolute right to report...' blah, blah, blah betrays something more sinister given the ease of an active policy that 'we encourage victims of child molestation to report their victimization to local authorities...' Neither policy would require victims (or guardians) to report to secular authorities, but the latter would offer a much greater degree of support by underpinning that a decision to report is not only a right but, more, it is a good thing to do.
But, Watchtower's hierarchy is, after all, running a business called religion, and business decisions are not expected to run parallel with moral decisions.