"A priest, rabbi or ordained or licensed minister of any church or a duly accredited Christian Science practitiioner shall not be required to disclose a confession or confidence made to him in his professional character as spiritual adviser, unless the person confessing or confiding waives the privilege.
So in this Berry case we have Sarah going to one or more elders asking for advise, as per WTS doctrine, because she has a problem .... the husband is abusing her daughters. Both of you know that once the elders are told something ... they send it up the line or talk to other elders. In other words ... they break the privilege (found in law) as per the Flock book.
The question is .. is this considered a "clerical privileged" conversation(s) as per New Hampshire Rule of Evidence 505.
Well, imho, ANY jw who goes to the elders KNOWS that it is NOT confidential to that elder.
1. If it is a "grave sin" ----he will tell other elders, Even if it isn't a grave sin....elders will talk together supposedly seeking "biblical counsel." Sometimes the assholes will just sit around talking about others in "pre-counsel work". That means gossiping for the rest of us.
2. The committee will be formed.
3. Also, we know that the PO will be told
4. .....and records sent to The Society
5. and infor. put on our publisher card.
6. All this occurring with at least one - or more - phone calls to the Society for guidance.
7. Written records in different files on our sins - either in the cong. and/or at Headquarters.
Now, if this is child molestation, the one reporting KNOWS that the accused is going to be spoken to. If it's a child, the parents will be brought in.
If it's a sin with witnesses..........lol, the witnesses will be spoken to for "further clarification." The sinner has no say-so in the matter. All JW's know how their system works.
All JW's also know that when they talk to an elder.......it is NOT a confessional ---it's the start of a chain of events & people who know what you've done - or have been reported upon to supposedly have done.
Did the elders EVER talk to Brother Berry about the accusations against him - even once when Sarah went those 10 times? Wouldn't that be breaking confidence? Now, if the elders argue that Sarah wanted them to speak with her husband, then she was giving her consent.
But wouldn't any jw be giving consent for elders to talk to others .......because that's how it works in the jw religion. Therefore, there is no confessional situation. There are no true secrets for a confessed sinner - or someone seeking counsel.
Sorry for being so "round-about" in thinking. I just never tried to distinguish clergy priveledge against the WT arrangement. There really isn't a one-to-one confessional. None. All JW's know this.