Question for elders about child abuse

by LevelThePlayingField 5 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • LevelThePlayingField

    Must the testimony of two witnesses of child abuse be them witnessing the abuse as it happens (seeing or hear it), or can it be two witnesses of strong circumstantial evidence as described on the back page of the July study edition Watchtower?

    If the two witnesses must have actually witnessed the abuse take place, how would that work in the two scenarios below?

    Scenario 1.

    Pioneer Johnny has been privately counseled by the elders in the past not to be so “touchy” with kids in the hall, always given them big hugs and the like. One day Johnny goes out in service and there are four people in the car. A married couple, pioneer Johnny and 14 year old Suzy. They finish up their field service and the married couple tell Johnny to just drop them off at their house instead of at the Hall (one of their cars is there) because they had forgotten to turn off the oven with food in it. So, Johnny drops them off and on the short drive to the Hall, Johnny gropes Suzy. As Johnny pulls into the Hall parking lot he sees elder John & his wife, who’s supposed to take Suzy back home. Pioneer Johnny and elder John exchange a quick “how was service”, and then elder John & his wife start their drive to take Suzy home. Suzy, still stunned, is silent the whole way. After being dropped off, Suzy runs inside the house and tells her parents that Johnny abused her. Being good JW parents, their first call is to the elders.

    Scenario 2.

    Same exact circumstances as Scenario 1, with the same sequence of events, except the elders privately counsel Johnny not to be “touchy” and always hugging on the sisters,Suzy is 24 years old and Elder John & his wife just wave bye to Johnny as they pass by each other in their cars, with Johnny and Suzy pulling in and Elder John & his wife leaving. Johnny still gropes Suzy.

    • In both scenarios there is strong circumstantial evidence that Johnny groped Suzy.

    • The witnesses to the circumstantial evidence are the married couple and Elder John & his wife.

    My point being, even though all the circumstances are the same, I think if Suzy was 24 years old, Johnny would find himself in a judicial committee as fast as a New York minute because of the strong circumstantial evidence, but if Suzy was an early teen the elders would tell poor little Suzy’s parents that they need two witnesses to the act of abuse before they can move forward.

    How do you think it would be handled? Do elders take witnesses of strong circumstantial evidence as a warrant for a judicial committee for child abuse?

  • the girl next door
    the girl next door

    If Suzy was in her early teens, the elders would call her a whore and claim that she seduced Johnny by her sexuality, immodest dress and blatant flirtation. She would be disfellowshipped if baptized, declared no longer a publisher of the good news if not baptized. Johnny would get some private reproof and be running the microphones again in no time.

  • smiddy3

    Or he may get no reproof at all as in the case of Lot who the bible says is a righteous man. 2Pet.2:7

    Lot had incest with not one but two of his daughters that he had sex with on 2 occasions .gen.19:31-38

    Its alright for some ,its not what you know but who you know apparently.

  • keinlezard


    when I read this article ... I ask me and what about gay people ?

    If a man spend a night with another man ? Or a girl ?

    Do I think that only "man and woman" could not be friend ? And when they sleep under the same roof they are doing sexual act everytime ?

    I'd rather think that the old men are seriously mad, and must be avoided. They are totally mentaly mad !

    Best regards

  • The Fall Guy
    The Fall Guy

    If there are not two witnesses or no confession is made regarding a charge of paedophilia, elders are instructed that nothing can be done to the accused. The "two witness" rule must be applied to child-rape!

    Disgustingly, the organization abandons the "two witness rule" when it suits - on two counts:

    a) If two people see a member of the opposite sex entering another person's home and then leaving the following morning, an assumption is made that sexual intercourse has taken place, and both parties will be subjected to a Judicial Committee hearing based upon that assumption - not upon eyewitness testimony!

    b) Also, elders can accept the testimony of one witness to a serious sin, if another witness can be found to a similar but separate sin by the same accused person.

    There is a scriptural principle at Deuteronomy 22:27 where no one hears the woman screaming or sees her being raped.

  • Vidiot

    Personally, I think one of the biggest problems with trying to utilize "Biblical" standards of law and morality is the one everyone seems to forget...

    ...that in Biblical times, the vast majority of human beings were considered property.

    A lot of the weirder, more nitpicky scriptural rules are actually a lot more understandable in that context.

    Unfortunately for Biblical literalists, said rules become, at best, way more problematic, or at worst, completely irrelevant and unethical, when trying to apply them to modern society where we don't do that sort of thing.

    It's why we end up seeing a lot of semantic pretzel-twisting justification amongst Biblically-literate fundamentalists, IMO.

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