ARC: WT cf VAG
(I never was a JW).
As a retired child abuse professional, I followed (and continue to do so - it's an ongoing process) the ARC proceedngs closely. My understanding is that the purpose of the ARC is to establish what current practices exist in various organisations and institutions, how those practices compare with accepted best practice, and what organisations and institutions need to do to bring their procedures and policies into line with best practice. (And to find a way to compensate victims for what's been done wrong).
WT is case study #29 in the ARC process. I confess that I have no idea how the other groups have measured up, except from comments by HHJ McClellan - other groups seem to have acknowledged deficiencies and are prepared to improve.
In contrast, WT (as evidenced by its response to Mr Stewart's proposed findings) seems to have gone into completely defensive mode and has missed the point.
The ARC has given WT a golden opportunity - as emphasised by HHJ several times - to accept its shortcomings, to propose changes, to become more mainstream, to do the right thing. So far, it seems, WT wants no part of it and wants to stick with the sad specimens that appeared on behalf of WT to give evidence.
Their choice, of course.
I am minded to compare their stance with that of the Volkswagen Audi Group which has a major PR problem world-wide because of its admitted deceptive practices. It's not dealing with its problems perfectly, of course, but all the commentary I've read suggests that it's on the right lines.
Admit your faults, face up to them, change management if necessary, suggest a way to fix them, compensate victims.
Whether VAG have got it right or not, time will tell. But Toyota had something similar and got over it.
The world has now seen - or has the capability to see - the best that WT has to offer. It's a pretty poor and shoddy best, I submit.
It was very interesting to hear you a retired child abuse professional.. Thank you for your insights..
The sad thing is that the JWs that I have spoken to are eating up what the WT is saying. They think that all of the cases of child abuse are because of individuals and not because of the organization's policies. They swallow the phrase "it's all apostate lies". The rest of the world may be wise to JW policies and how they are responding, but JWs, by and large, are not.
All the WTS has to do is create an overall orchestrative policy to contact any possible cases of child sexual abuse within its congregations to local police authorities .
If after an investigation has been followed through upon, from there the WTS can conduct their own policy on how these ones should be treated, this might include temporary suspending social privileges or eldership in the congregations of which they attend ...... ie. DFed and so on.
It should be kept in mind that child sexual abuse is a criminal act that results in serious penalties in just about anywhere in the world , it is not just a sexual moral misconduct in the same vein as fornication or adultery.
The JW team did little to inspire trust or respect in the face of the ARC commission, overall.
The sad thing is that brought out into the "broad daylight" and being brought into scrutiny - the JW team appeared out of their usual habitat, where they never have to answer questions or be accountable etc.
They handled the questions and the whole process as they would answer a "readers question" - always framed within the JW thought process.
They were asked honest questions - the JW team did not give a "good witness".
They even failed to appear as simply "dellusional and yet pious" - they came across as something else.
I don't believe there would have been any non-witness in that court room who would have been moved to listen with true respect, to have had their "eyes opened' to the deep christian integrity of the JW organisation.
The JW team, overall, displayed something uncomfortably deceptive...
I have to say, that the crime of child sexual abuse IS about the deviance of the individual - I haven't a problem with that. But, the organisation when asked to assist with the inherent problems of child abuse within organised communities, failed to weep for the hurt done to victims.
Not rocket science Admit your faults, face up to them, change management if necessary, suggest a way to fix them, compensate victims.
The Royal Commission held a public hearing in Melbourne from Monday 2 February to Friday 13 February 2015. The hearing examined the response of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi to allegations of child sexual abuse.
MELBOURNE’S Yeshivah Centre has today agreed to compensate sexual abuse victims up to $80,000 each.
“The Yeshivah Centre deeply regrets its failure to protect those who were victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by people in a position of trust within the Yeshivah Centre and its schools.”
The Orthodox Jewish centre has set up an independent panel to determine the amount of payments made to victims on a case-by-case basis, with payouts dependant on whether a victim is deemed to have suffered significant abuse ($10,000 to $20,000), severe abuse ($20,000-$50,000) or extreme abuse ($50,000-$80,000).
“The scheme has been established to ensure that these wrongs committed against children will no longer go unnoticed or unacknowledged,” Mr Belfer wrote.
He said he did not know how many victims would come forward.
"We've got trained professional social workers who'll then meet with them, assess their claim and may also assist them if they have other issues they need psychological care or support [with]," Mr Debinski said.
"Yeshiva funds the scheme, but in every other respect we've been very careful and diligent to establish it in a way that all of the contact points are independent of Yeshivah."
“Often it’s not only the sexual abuse itself that leads to trauma, but also the secondary abuse brought on by the institution’s response — the cover-ups and intimidation — which often is worse than the primary abuse,” he said.
“There’s no doubt that many of us have been traumatised and re-traumatised by Yeshivah’s actions and inactions.
“But it’s great to see the wrongs of the past are finally being recognised.”
The Yeshivah Centre will hold a community event to discuss the sexual abuse on Wednesday at 7pm.
While not perfect at least it acknowledges the abuse and is establishing a redress scheme for sexual abuse victims.
Possum: That's a very encouraging report.
Can anyone here (you know WT better than I do) imagine WT making a similar statement?
I thought after Jackson's testimony the WT would make some real changes. However, after reading the WT response to the ARC it seems sadly like they are still not willing to admit to any wrongdoing. I'm not sure what it is going to take for them to finally fess up.
" I'm not sure what it is going to take for them to finally fess up."
Me neither. It doesn't get much more serious than a Royal Commission. At some points during testimony it seemed as if they were open to change - but they weren't, as evidenced by the WT response. The WT lawyers back home watching the evidence must have been shouting at the screen.
I suppose that the false modesty and humble meekness was just 'theocratic warfare' after all - blended with incompetence and ignorance. I hope it comes back to bite them on the ass. Their deceptions and other reprehensible behaviour is out there for all the world to see. I hope that it is being noted by, for example, the UK Charity Commissioners in their investigation, by the UK Inquiry into institutional abuse, and by individual lawyers world-wide in progressing cases.
Compensation for past cases is very important, of course, but what is crucial is acknowledgement of failings and putting things right for the future. That may be a forlorn hope.