Just Saw "Spotlight"

by DNCall 4 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • DNCall

    We just returned from seeing “Spotlight” and really enjoyed it. The film is based on the account of the Boston Globe’s expose of the systemic problem of pedophilia within the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. The end crawl of the movie documents the prevalence of this problem in archdioceses worldwide that have come to light since that time in the early 2000s.

    Of course, the scale is much, much smaller within Jehovah’s Witnesses, but one thought from the movie especially resonated with me. It put forth the idea of a conspiracy of silence growing out of priests knowing that a high percentage of them violated their vows of celibacy through, among other things, pedophilia. This idea speaks to the psychology behind a conspiracy of silence such that it’s not just about protecting the image of the Church. There is a personal component that drives it.

    This rang true to me, knowing as we do that there is knowledge among the Governing Body of similar abhorrent sins by its own members. Although there is no celibacy doctrine to obey, there is the expectation that the Governing Body of the One True Religion be “unspotted, unblemished.” Knowing that this has not been the case fosters a culture of silence from the top down.

    I should point out that I am not just accepting anecdotal evidence of this level of sin among the Governing Body. When I was serving as an elder, in the course of conversation, a sister in our congregation volunteered that her younger brother was molested by a member of the Governing Body back when they were members of the same congregation in Brooklyn. The Governing Body at the time dismissed their fellow member but he remained in good standing, serving as a Special Pioneer outside of Bethel.

    As of now, we have heard “conspiracy of silence” applied to cases of pedophilia among Jehovah’s Witnesses in court documents and in transcripts from the Australian Royal Commission proceedings. I think a personal component driving the conspiracy of silence has merit. What do you think?

  • Oubliette

    "Shocking as it is, even some who have been prominent in Jehovah's organization have succumbed to immoral practices, including homosexuality, wife swapping, and child molesting"
    - Watchtower of January 1st, 1986

    You raise an interesting point. It has always struck me as curious that many--maybe even most--people will avoid recognizing the obvious truth when it confronts them in undeniable ways.

    Never knowing any of the GB directly, I can only speculate. But they are human too and subject to the same failings as all of us, perhaps more so due to the universal isolation from living in the real world combined with lack of higher education among any of them.

    For these and perhaps other reasons, they have demonstrated a now institutionalized willingness to sweep issues under the rug that would otherwise force them to realize that this is NOT the "One True Religion" and they are NOT part of "the anointed," "The Faithful and Discreet Slave" and that even their role as "Governing Body" is all a delusional farce.

    This may help explain why there is such a clearly top-down cover-up of the pedophile problems within the WTBTS.

    It would be nice if the media would focus a spotlight on the JW coverup of pedophiles, but as you observed, "
    the scale is much, much smaller within Jehovah’s Witnesses."

    "We need to focus on the institution. ... Show me that it came from the top down!" - Line from the movie: Spotlight

  • Oubliette

    For those not familiar with the issue of pedophiles and homosexuals among the GB members, here is an article Randy Watters wrote about it:

    Homosexuality at Bethel and among members of the Governing Body of the Watch Tower Society

    In this article, he discusses three former GB members: Leo Greenlees, Percy Chapman and Ewart Chitty.

    [Edited for clarity in light of Simon's comments below]

  • Simon

    You just said "pedophiles" and then linked to an article about homosexuals which are different things. You may want to draw a clear distinction for any casual reader.

    The "evidence" in the link seems to be based on a topic here (dig that old forum format !):


  • Oubliette

    You just said "pedophiles" and then linked to an article about homosexuals which are different things.

    True. I did not write the article and don't feel it's my place to change the title.

    Anyone that reads the article will see that Randy Watters addresses both within the ranks of GB members at Bethel.

    Thanks for pointing out the need for clarity. ;)

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