Where Does The Governing Body Stand On "Obeying The Superior Authorities" @ Romans Something Or Other?

by Brokeback Watchtower 8 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower

    Where do they stand of the issue obeying the governments even though they publicly teach that all governments are under satanic control and doomed to destruction by their Jehovah deity.

    And have they considered this scripture on their past and currant policies of not reporting any fellonies to the superior authority their elders have had to handle judicially and keep it confidential.

    And if they have taken into consideration what Misimprisonment of a fellony is:


    Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three ...


    “Misprision of felony” is a crime that occurs when someone knows a felony has been committed, but fails to inform the authorities about it. The crime originated in English common law and required that citizens report crimes or face criminal prosecution. (Common law is law originating from custom and court decisions rather than statutes.)
    Due to the harshness of imprisoning people merely for failing to report a crime, most states chose not to include misprision of felony in their criminal laws. Instead, conduct that would fit the misprision definition is covered by other laws, such as those dealing with accomplice liability.
    Federal Law
    First enacted into U.S. law in 1789, misprision of a felony in the federal system is a felony punishable by a fine and up to three years in prison. The common-law rule criminalized simply knowing about a felony and not notifying the authorities. But contemporary federal law also requires that the defendant take some affirmative act to conceal the felony. The crime has four elements:
    • a completed felony
    • the defendant knowing about the felony’s commission
    • the defendant failing to notify a proper law enforcement authority, and
    • the defendant taking some affirmative step to conceal the felony.
    (18 U.S.C. §4.)
    Typical acts of concealment include making false statements, hiding evidence, and harboring the felon. Whether someone’s actions amount to concealment is for the jury to decide.
    Suppose Marty knows his neighbor, Biff, is growing marijuana. Marty wouldn’t be guilty of federal misprision simply for remaining silent. But if he lies to the police about Biff’s growing, he’s committed the crime.
    Although the crime has a broad definition, misprision prosecutions are uncommon. Prosecutors usually reserve misprision charges for people with special duties to report crimes, such as prison guards and elected officials. That said, nothing in the statute’s language limits it to such cases. The authorities might invoke it for certain types of crimes where the government wants to encourage reporting, like treason and terrorism.
  • Island Man
    Island Man

    Their position is: Obey the superior authorities to the extent that doing so does not conflict with the requirements of GOD (Guardians Of Doctrine). So obeying Watchtower policy always takes precedence over obeying the secular authorities.

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower

    The fact that they could over ride edicts of the government by declaring god's rules(their interpetation their of) take precedence over governmental laws will work against them in a court of law.

    I think governments are going to have a field day with that one in future legal battles and the credibility of the WT to testify truthfully and make them libel big time.

  • 4thgen

    I was always confused on how it worked together until I figured out that - it doesn't. They will obey when it is convenient for them. When they can cover up wrongdoing in the organization, it's suddenly god's will to disobey the authorities.


    So, GOD must approve of covering up pedophilia....


  • Vidiot
    Data-Dog - "So, GOD must approve of covering up pedophilia..."

    Well, considering just how much deviant sex found in the Bible seems to go unpunished, is it really much of a surprise?

  • BluesBrother

    The concept of "relative subjection" is ok (IMHO) if it is kept to what it was originally described.... No man of conscience and principle would follow the diktats of a "corrupt" government if he knew them to be morally wrong. They still pursue Nazi war criminals for not refusing orders.

    If a Christian is ordered to do something that is clearly against his Bible , he refuses,and takes the consequences .

    Does that extend to ,say, keeping the J C notes of a paedophile away from the CID who are investigating him? Not in my book !

    When I was still an elder and heard such things I knew I would never do that. Thankfully, I never had to. I consider it perverting the course of justice .....

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower


    The concept of "relative subjection" is ok (IMHO) if it is kept to what it was originally described.... If a Christian is ordered to do something that is clearly against his Bible , he refuses,and takes the consequences .

    I agree, the problem I'm stressing is the fact that Jehovah Witnesses belief as to what the Bible teaches, means, or is mandatory for them to do is heavily under the control of the Governing Body so that they can basically get their members to commit a misprison of felony.

    So I'm thinking that since they exercise such extreme control over their me members and can order them to do these things that they too are guilty of not obeying the superior authorities.

    This fact in a court of law will really hurt their defensive position that they encourage subjection to the superior authority, and open them up for prosecution be it just heavy fines or incarceration.

    The WT claims subjection to the superior authorities for the legal protection that they can gain but the courts can see right through that.

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower

    I thinking that what ever the WT corporation and it's Governing Body may have to say to the courts that their actions will show up their claimed saint hood that they hide behind and show no mercy.

    Every judge that has to deal with them in court, I'm sure knows they are a self serving mind control cult that don't give a shit about any of their members, they will look at them as villains, nut jobs, psychos that hate higher education, and will let their members loose their lives for bull shit compliance to orders from them about blood transfusions(LISTEN OBEY AND BE BLESSED). They are doomed.

    All's he has to do is a wiki search on the WT and Jehovah's witlesses and the dirty things is for his perusal why would he resist?


    Jehovah's Witnesses have attracted criticism from mainstream Christianity, members of the medical community, former members and commentators over their beliefs and practices. The religion has been accused of doctrinal inconsistency and reversals, failed predictions, mistranslation of the Bible, harsh treatment of former members and autocratic and coercive leadership. Criticism has also focused on their rejection of blood transfusions, particularly in life-threatening medical situations, and claims that they have failed to report cases of sexual abuse to the authorities. Many of the claims are denied by Jehovah's Witnesses and some have also been disputed by courts and religious scholars.
    Social criticisms[edit]
    Authoritarianism and denial of free speech[edit]
    The religion's leadership has been described as autocratic and totalitarian, with criticism focusing on the Watch Tower Society's demands for the obedience and loyalty of Witnesses,[4][150] its intolerance of dissent or open discussion of doctrines and practices[151] and the practice of expelling and shunning members who cannot conscientiously agree with all the religion's teachings.[152][153][154]
    Raymond Franz has accused the religion's Governing Body of resenting, deprecating and seeking to silence differences of viewpoint within the organization[155] and demanding organizational conformity that overrides personal conscience.[156] He claimed the Watch Tower Society confirmed its position when, in a 1954 court case in Scotland, Watch Tower Society legal counsel Hayden C. Covington said of Jehovah's Witnesses: "We must have unity ... unity at all costs".[157] Sociologist James A. Beckford noted that the Watch Tower movement demands uniformity of beliefs from its members;[158] George D. Chryssides has also reported that Witness publications teach that individuals' consciences are unreliable and need to be subordinated to scripture and to the Watch Tower organization.[159]
    Sociologist Andrew Holden said that Witnesses are taught their theology in a highly mechanistic fashion, learning almost by rote.[160] Raymond Franz and others have described Jehovah's Witnesses' religious meetings as "catechistical" question-and-answer sessions in which questions and answers are both provided by the organization, placing pressure on members to reiterate its opinions.[161][162] Former Witnesses Heather and Gary Botting claimed Witnesses "are told what they should feel and think"[163] and members who do voice viewpoints different from those expressed in publications and at meetings are said to be viewed with suspicion.[164] Raymond Franz has claimed most Witnesses would be fearful to voice criticism of the organization for fear of being accused of disloyalty.[156] Authors have drawn attention to frequent Watch Tower warnings against the "dangers" and "infection" of "independent thinking", including questioning any of its published statements or teachings,[165][166][167][168] and instructions that members refrain from engaging in independent Bible research.[169][170][171] The Watch Tower Society also directs that members must not read criticism of the organization by "apostates"[172][173] or material published by other religions.[174][175] Heather and Gary Botting declared: "Jehovah's Witnesses will brook no criticism from within, as many concerned members who have attempted to voice alternative opinions regarding the basic doctrine or application of social pressure have discovered to their chagrin."[176] Beckford observed that the Society denies the legitimacy of all criticisms of itself and that the habit of questioning official doctrine is "strenuously combated at all organizational levels".[177] Witnesses are said to be "under official surveillance" within the congregation[178] and subject to a disciplinary system that encourages informers.[179][180]
    Heather and Gary Botting argue that the power of the Watch Tower Society to control members is gained through the acceptance of the Society "quite literally as the voice of Jehovah – God's 'mouthpiece'."[163] Franz claims the concept of loyalty to God's organization has no scriptural support and serves only to reinforce the religion's authority structure, with its strong emphasis on human authority.[181] He has claimed The Watchtower has repeatedly blurred discussions of both Jesus Christ's loyalty to God and the apostles' loyalty to Christ to promote the view that Witnesses should be loyal to the Watch Tower organization.[182] Religion professor James A. Beverley describes the belief that organizational loyalty is equal to divine loyalty[183] as the "central myth" of Jehovah's Witnesses employed to ensure complete obedience.[184] Sociologist Andrew Holden has observed that Witnesses see no distinction between loyalty to Jehovah and to the movement itself;[185] Heather and Gary Botting have claimed that challenging the views of those higher in the hierarchy is regarded as tantamount to challenging God himself.[186]
    The Society has described its intolerance of dissident and divergent doctrinal views within its ranks as "strict", but claims its stance is based on the scriptural precedent of 2 Timothy 2:17,18 in which the Apostle Paul condemns heretics Hymenaeus and Philetus who denied the resurrection of Jesus. It said: "Following such Scriptural patterns, if a Christian (who claims belief in God, the Bible, and Jesus) unrepentantly promotes false teachings, it may be necessary for him to be expelled from the congregation ... Hence, the true Christian congregation cannot rightly be accused of being harshly dogmatic."[187] Sociologist Rodney Stark says that Jehovah's Witness leaders are "not always very democratic" and members are expected to conform to "rather strict standards," but says enforcement tends to be informal, sustained by close bonds of friendship and that Jehovah's Witnesses see themselves as "part of the power structure rather than subject to it".[188] In a case involving Jehovah's Witnesses' activities in Russia, the European Court of Human Rights stated that the religion's requirements "are not fundamentally different from similar limitations that other religions impose on their followers' private lives" and that charges of "mind control" in that case were "based on conjecture and uncorroborated by fact."[189] Despite the intolerance of dissident views within the organisation, the Watch Tower Society and its affiliates have, through litigation, been instrumental in establishing civil liberties in many countries, including Canada and the United States.[190]
    Description as a "cult"[edit]
    Authors Anthony A. Hoekema, Ron Rhodes[191] and Alan W. Gomes,[192] claim Jehovah's Witnesses is a religious cult. Hoekema bases his judgment on a range of what he describes as general characteristics of a cult, including the tendency to elevate peripheral teachings (such as door-to-door witnessing) to great prominence, extra-scriptural source of authority (Hoekema highlights Watch Tower teachings that the Bible may be understood only as it is interpreted by the Governing Body), a view of the group as the exclusive community of the saved (Watch Tower publications teach that Witnesses alone are God's people and only they will survive Armageddon) and the group's central role in eschatology (Hoekema says Witness publications claim the group was called into existence by God to fill in a gap in the truth neglected by existing churches, marking the climax of sacred history).[193]
    Jehovah's Witnesses state that they are not a cult[194] and say that although individuals need proper guidance from God, they should do their own thinking.[195][196]
    American religious scholar J. Gordon Melton has stated that "the idea of calling [Jehovah's Witnesses] a cult has fallen by the wayside".[197] He repeated this opinion when, called as an expert witness, he also denied the People's Temple and the Children of God were cults.[198] Ex-cult watchdog John Bowen Brown II[199] and Knocking producer Joel P. Engardio reject the claims that Witnesses are a cult.[200][201] The two volume encyclopedia Contemporary American Religion stated: "Various critics and ex-members in recent years have wrongly labeled Jehovah’s Witnesses a 'cult.'"[202]
    Since 1920 the Watch Tower Society has required all congregation members participating in the preaching work to turn in written reports of the amount of their activity,[203] explaining that the reports help the Society to plan its activities and identify areas of greater need[204] and help congregation elders to identify those who may need assistance.[205] In 1943 the Society imposed personal quotas, requiring all active Witnesses to spend at least 60 hours of door-to-door preaching per month, claiming these were "directions from the Lord".[206] Although these quotas were subsequently removed, Raymond Franz claims "invisible" quotas remained, obliging Witnesses to meet certain levels of preaching work to remain in good standing in the congregation[164] or to qualify for eldership.[156] Franz describes repeated urging for adherents to "put kingdom interests first" and devote increasing amounts of time to door-to-door preaching efforts as coercive pressure. He says many Witnesses constantly feel guilty that they are not doing more in "field activity".[156]
    Former Witnesses Heather and Gary Botting, claiming an emphasis on a personal track record would mean that salvation is effectively being "bought" with "good works", observed: "No matter how long a Witness remains an active distributor of literature, the moment he ceases to be active he is regarded by his peers as good as dead in terms of achieving the ultimate goal of life everlasting in an earthly paradise ... Few realize upon entering the movement that the purchase price is open-ended and that the bill can never be paid in full until death or the advent of Armageddon."[163]
    The Watchtower, however, noted that although public preaching is necessary, such works do not "save" a Christian and it urged Witnesses to examine their motive for engaging in preaching activity.[207]
    Russian religious scholar Sergei Ivanenko, in a dissenting opinion to a report by a panel of experts to Moscow's Golovinsky Intermunicipal Court in 1999, stated, "It would be a serious mistake to represent the Religious Organization of Jehovah's Witnesses as a religion whose leadership forces its rank and file believers to engage in one form of activity or another, or place upon them strict restrictions or directives." Ivanenko, who based his view on a study of Watch Tower Society literature, concluded: "Jehovah's Witnesses strive to live in accord with Bible principles on the basis of an individual, voluntary choice ... This also applies in full measure to preaching." [208]James A. Beckford, a professor at the University of Warwick, England, who published a study of English Jehovah's Witnesses in 1975,[209] also told the court: "It is important for each of them to exercise free moral agency in choosing to study the Bible and to live in accordance with their interpretation of its message."[210] On June 10, 2010, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) stated in regards to a charge of coercion of family members, that "Quite often, the opposite is true: it is the resistance and unwillingness of non-religious family members to accept and to respect the [Jehovah's Witnesses] religious relative's freedom to manifest and practise his or her religion that is the source of conflict."[211]
    Medical and legal commentators have also noted cases claiming that Witness medical patients were coerced to obey the religion's ban on blood transfusions.[212][213][214] In a case involving a review of a Russian district court decision, however, the ECHR found nothing in the judgments to suggest that any form of improper pressure or undue influence was applied. It noted: "On the contrary, it appears that many Jehovah’s Witnesses have made a deliberate choice to refuse blood transfusions in advance, free from time constraints of an emergency situation." The court said: "The freedom to accept or refuse specific medical treatment, or to select an alternative form of treatment, is vital to the principles of self-determination and personal autonomy. A competent adult patient is free to decide ... not to have a blood transfusion. However, for this freedom to be meaningful, patients must have the right to make choices that accord with their own views and values, regardless of how irrational, unwise or imprudent such choices may appear to others."[215]
    Main articles: Jehovah's Witnesses and congregational discipline and Shunning
    Witnesses practice disfellowshipping of members who unrepentantly engage in "gross sin",[216] (most commonly for breaches of the Witnesses' code of personal morality),[217][218] and "remorseless apostasy".[219] The process of disfellowshipping is said to be carried to uphold God’s standards, preserve the congregation’s spiritual cleanness, and possibly prompt a change of attitude in the wrongdoer.[216] The practice requires that the expelled person be shunned by all members of the religion, including family members who do not live in the same home, unless they qualify for re-admission. A person who dies while disfellowshipped cannot be given a funeral at a Kingdom Hall.[220][221] Members often face difficulties and trauma once expelled because of their previously limited contact with the outside world.[222][223] The Watchtower's description of those who leave as being "mentally diseased" has drawn criticism from some current and former members; in Britain some have argued that the description may constitute a breach of laws regarding religious hatred.[224][225]
    The Watch Tower Society has attracted criticism for disfellowshipping members who decide they cannot conscientiously agree with all the religion's teachings and practices. Sociologist Andrew Holden says that because the religion provides no valid reason for leaving, those who do choose to leave are regarded as traitors.[226] According to Raymond Franz, those who decide they cannot accept Watch Tower teachings and practices often live in a climate of fear, feeling they must constantly be on guard about what they say, do and read. He says those who do express any disagreement, even in a private conversation with friends, risk investigation and trial by a judicial committee as apostates or heretics[227] and classed as "wicked".[228]
    Franz argues that the threat of expulsion for expressing disagreement with the Watch Tower Society's teachings is designed to create a sterile atmosphere in which the organization's teachings and policies can circulate without the risk of confronting serious questioning or adverse evidence.[229] The result, according to Holden, is that individuals may spend most of their lives suppressing doubts for fear of losing their relationships with friends and relatives.[230] Penton describes the system of judicial committees and the threat of expulsion as the ultimate control mechanism among the Witnesses;[231] Holden claims that shunning not only rids the community of defilement, but deters others from dissident behavior.[222] Sociologist Ronald Lawson has also noted that the religion allows little room for independence of thought, and no toleration of doctrinal diversity; he says those who deviate from official teachings are readily expelled and shunned.[232]
    Watch Tower Society publications defend the practice of expelling and shunning those who "promote false teaching", claiming such individuals must be quarantined to prevent the spread of their "spiritual infection".[233] They have cited a dictionary definition of apostasy ("renunciation of a religious faith, abandonment of a previous loyalty") to rule that an individual who begins affiliating with another religion has disassociated from the Witnesses, warranting their shunning to protect the spiritual cleanness of the Witness congregation on the basis of the reference in 1 John 2:19 that those who leave Christianity are "not of our sort".[234] An individual's acceptance of a blood transfusion is similarly deemed as evidence of disassociation.[235] They say Witnesses also obey the "strong counsel" at 1 Corinthians 5:11 that Christians should "quit mixing in company" with people who unrepentantly reject certain scriptural standards.[236]
    The Witnesses' judicial process has also been criticized. Hearings take place in secret,[231] with judicial committees filling the roles of judge, jury and prosecutor.[221] According to Franz, witnesses may present evidence but are not permitted to remain for the discussion.[237] Critics Heather and Gary Botting have claimed that Witnesses accused of an offence warranting expulsion are presumed guilty until found innocent. They say the onus is on the accused to prove their innocence and if they make no attempt to do so—by failing to appear at a hearing set by the judicial committee—they are assumed to be guilty and unrepentant.[238]
    When a decision is made regarding disfellowshipping or disassociation, an announcement is made that the person is "no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses," at which point shunning is immediate. Members are not told whether the person has disassociated or has been disfellowshipped. Neither testimony nor evidence in support of the judicial decision are provided. Congregation members are told to accept the rulings without question and Witnesses who refuse to abide by a judicial committee decision will themselves suffer expulsion.[231] Members are forbidden to talk with the expelled member, removing any opportunity for the person to discuss or explain their actions.[237][239] Penton claims judicial committee members and the Watch Tower Society frequently ignore established procedures when dealing with troublesome individuals, conspiring to have them expelled in violation of Society rules.[240] Critics claim that Witness policies encourage an informer system to report to elders Witnesses suspected of having committed an act that could warrant expulsion, including deviating from organizational policies and teachings.[241][242]
    Criticism has also been directed at the 1981 change of policy[243] that directed that persons who disassociate from (formally leave) the religion were to be treated as though they were disfellowshipped.[244][245] Holden says that as a result, those who do leave the religion are seldom allowed a dignified exit.[222] Heather and Gary Botting claim inactive Witnesses are often pressured to either become active or to disassociate themselves by declaring they no longer accept key Watch Tower Society doctrines.[238]
    Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and blood transfusions
    Jehovah's Witnesses reject transfusions of whole allogenic blood and its primary components (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma), and transfusions of stored autologous blood or its primary components. As a doctrine, Jehovah's Witnesses do not reject transfusion of whole autologous blood so long as it is not stored prior to surgery (e.g. peri-operative extraction and transfusion of autologous blood). This religious position is due to their belief that blood is sacred and represents life in God's eyes. Jehovah's Witnesses understand scriptures such as Leviticus 17:10-14 (which speaks of not eating blood) and Acts 15:29 ("abstain from blood") to include taking blood into the body via a transfusion.[246] Controversy has stemmed, however, from what critics state are inconsistencies in Witness policies on blood, claims that Witness patients are coerced into refusing blood and that Watch Tower literature distorts facts about transfusions and fails to provide information that would allow Witnesses to make an informed decision on the issue.[154]
    Fractions and components[edit]
    In the case of minor fractions derived from blood, each individual is directed to follow their own conscience on whether these are acceptable.[247][248] Consequently, some Jehovah's Witnesses accept the use of blood fractions and others do not. However, fractions that carry out "the key function of a primary component" or make up "a significant portion of that component" are not permitted.[249]
    Such a stance of dividing blood into major components and minor fractions rather than either accepting all blood or requiring all blood components to be poured out onto the ground has led to criticism from organizations such as the Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood.[250] Witnesses respond that blood as the fluid per se is not the real issue. They say the real issue is respect and obedience regarding blood, which they perceive as being God's personal property.[251][252] Members are allowed to eat meat that still contains small traces of blood remaining. Once blood is drained from an animal, the respect has been shown to God and then a person can eat the meat. Jehovah's Witnesses view of meat and blood is therefore different from the Jewish view that goes to great lengths to remove even minor traces of blood.[253][254]
    According to lawyer Kerry Louderback-Wood, a former Jehovah's Witness,[255] the Watch Tower Society misrepresents the scope of allowed fractions. If taken together, they "total the entire volume of blood they came from".[256]An example of this can be seen in blood plasma, which consists of 90-96% water. The remaining amount consists mainly of albumin, globulins, fibrinogen and coagulation factors. These four fractions are allowable for use, but only if taken separately. Critics have likened this to banning the eating of a ham and cheese sandwich but allowing the eating of bread, ham and cheese separately.[257]
    Storing and donation[edit]
    Jehovah's Witnesses believe that storing blood violates direction from the Bible to 'pour blood out onto the ground'. They do not donate blood except for uses they have individually pre-approved.[258] However, they are told that acceptance of blood fractions from donated blood is a matter of conscience. A 2006 issue of Jehovah's Witnesses' newsletter Our Kingdom Ministry stated, "Although [Jehovah's Witnesses] do not donate or store their own blood for transfusion purposes, some procedures or tests involving an individual’s blood are not so clearly in conflict with Bible principles. Therefore, each individual should make a conscientious decision" [emphasis added].[259] Critics have challenged these policies because acceptable blood fractions can only be derived from stored blood provided by donors.[260]
    Legal considerations[edit]
    Regardless of the medical considerations, Jehovah Witnesses advocate that physicians should uphold the right of a patient to choose what treatments they do or do not accept (though a Witness is subject to religious sanctions if they exercise their right to choose a blood transfusion).[261] Accordingly, US courts tend not to hold physicians responsible for adverse health effects that a patient incurred out of his or her own requests.[246] However, the point of view that physicians must, in all circumstances, abide by the religious wishes of the patients is not acknowledged by all jurisdictions, such as was determined in a case involving Jehovah's Witnesses in France.
    The situation has been controversial, particularly in the case of children. In the United States, many physicians will agree to explore and exhaust all non-blood alternatives in the treatment of children at the request of their legal guardians. Some state laws require physicians to administer blood-based treatment to minors if it is their professional opinion that it is necessary to prevent immediate death or severe permanent damage.[citation needed]
    Kerry Louderback-Wood has claimed that Jehovah's Witnesses' legal corporations are potentially liable to significant claims for compensation if the religion misrepresents the medical risks of blood transfusions. Wood claims that constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion do not remove the legal responsibility that every person or organization has regarding misrepresenting secular fact.[262]
    Animal blood[edit]
    The Watchtower has stated that "Various medical products have been obtained from biological sources, either animal or human ... Such commercialization of ... blood is hardly tempting for true Christians, who guide their thinking by God's perfect law. Our Creator views blood as sacred, representing God-given life ... blood removed from a creature was to be poured out on the ground, disposed of."[263]
    Reporting of sexual abuse[edit]
    Main articles: Jehovah's Witnesses and child sex abuse and Silentlambs
    Critics such as Silentlambs have accused Jehovah's Witnesses of employing organizational policies that make the reporting of sexual abuse difficult for members.[264][265] Some victims of sexual abuse have asserted that when reporting abuse they were ordered to maintain silence by their local elders to avoid embarrassment to both the accused and the organization.[266][267][268][269]
    The religion's official policy on child protection, which discusses the procedures for reporting child sexual abuse, states that elders obey all legal requirements for reporting sex offenders, including reporting uncorroborated or unsubstantiated allegations where required by law. Elders are to discipline pedophiles in the congregation. Victims are permitted to notify the authorities if they wish to do so.[270]
    While a Witness may lose congregation privileges following a single credible accusation of abuse,[271] Jehovah's Witnesses claim to be scripturally obliged to require corroboration ("two witnesses") before applying their severest forms of congregational discipline.[272] If there is not an actual second witness to an incident of abuse, a congregation judicial committee will accept medical or police reports, or a witness to a separate but similar incident as such a second witness against a member accused of sexual abuse.[273]

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