ARC: WT cf VAG
Thank you for your observations Joe.
The Watchtower response to the commission is incredibly arrogant. It doesn't concede the slightest error.
I wonder how the Australian government will react to the final report of the Commission when it is published. Will they pass legislation to force compliance?
One of the things which stands out in countries which are shaped by a more British form of common law is the very American conception of freedom of religion, as shaped by the First Amendment. It's something Candace Conti's lawyer has picked up on in the past too. The First Amendment should not be seen as a trump card to play every time one wishes to evade legal responsibility for one's actions. It's curious that a group which feels able to publish articles on how relative freedom is, should not see how freedom of religion works in many common law countries.
It's something which will come up in Britain too, I'm sure. How to frame legislation when a religion is kicking furiously against common sense on very serious subjects. It's not a new issue. eg Even in India one rarely sees Hindus forcing widows to commit suttee these days. Very minded of Napier's response to complaints about a ban there, colonial overlord though he may have been.
Realistically, I think survivors who've spoken on the issue are probably correct - ultimately it's the cost of not having those policies in place which are going to force them to 'new light' things to have them. I believe that survivors have every right to restitution in any case, but I think each one who steps forward and takes things through the legal process also is helping towards pushing the WBTS into better safeguarding children in future. It's negative publicity, it's the financial cost, and it's people inside gradually realising that the men in Brooklyn are saying one thing but doing another.
Thanks for your great work Joe