The disappearance of the Special Committees

by Hecce 25 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Hecce

    The special committees are alive.

    When the body of elders decides to form a judicial committee to meet with one accused of child sexual abuse, the coordinator of the body of elders will first contact the circuit overseer. The circuit overseer should designate an experienced elder who is on the special committee list to serve as chairman of the judicial committee and, when needed, another elder from the list to serve on an appeal committee. (Chapter 13 – point 5)

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    I have a long time friend who was on one of those "special committees" and allegedly dealt with child molestation cases. He was flown around to different places where complicated cases were being sorted out.

    He is no longer a JW because he saw so many horrifying cases and was appalled at how they were handled.

    He told me about one such case that involved some girls who allegedly were being molested by their JW father. One of the girls attempted suicide multiple times and another was hospitalized after a mental breakdown. After a time, the father was DF'd and even went to prison.

    Allegedly, after the father served most of his sentence, he wanted to be reinstated so that he could go back to being a JW after he got out. The special committee voted on it and although it wasn't unanimous, he was reinstated. Allegedly, they wanted to send a letter of warning to the congregation that this guy would be attending their congregation once he was out of prison but the "society" forbade it. My friend sent a letter anyway on his own and allegedly, was removed for doing so. Shortly thereafter, he left the organization completely over this and some of the other alleged "goings on" that one sees at his level in the organization.

    Although I use the word Allegedly for obvious reasons, this is how I knew, well before any of the bad press we see today was even out, that there was a big Pedo. problem brewing in the Organization

  • Hecce
    Pete Zahut


    Very interesting information about inner workings of the child abuse issue.

  • notsurewheretogo

    It has not ended....those DF can appeal and these committees then get together...they can be different elders but usually they are from a different cong to the one that did the DF.

  • Hecce

    I keep getting confused, my understanding was that there was a difference between an appeal committee and a special committee.

    Please clarify if you know the answer

  • James Jack
    James Jack

    Special Committee is very rare. We had one In our congregation in the 90's. Many of the Friends were complaining about the Elder Body, 4 out of 6 connected by Family, not respecting the Disfellowshipping arrangement when it to shunning DF'd family members. The CO called the Branch and was told to appoint 3 of the most experienced Elders of the Circuit and give them the Power to make any necessary changes to the Elder Body as they saw fit to keep the Congregation from splitting up. The result was 5 Elders deleted and 2 Elders (pure company men) brought in from other Congregations, I was one of those brought in.

    3 of those 5 never served again. 1 was later DF'd himself and the other is currently Serving.

    I friend from a congregation in Miami, FL(Kings Bay), said the same thing happened there around 2000.

    An Appeals Committee, is appointed by the CO to hear the plea from someone who thinks an error in Jugdement was made on them being Disfellowshipped. The Appeal Committee can overturn the original Committees decision if they felt an error was made. I have served on an Appeal Committee.

  • steve2

    Speaking of an appeals committee, I have yet to hear of even one appeals committee deciding in favour of the complainant. in other words, these committees give lip service to their being just and impartial and then they back up the elders' decisions anyway.

  • sparrowdown

    Thanks for the clarification James Jack.

    In true WT style anyone who "appeals" a decision is automatically proven to have a bad attitude.

  • Lostandfound

    In case of a minor, whose abuser is merely reproved, no appeal mechanism about this lack of protection is possible . In fact the abused is warned that THEY will be DFd if they tell anyone, the abused ones parents similarly warned. No special committee to examine any lack of judicial action.

  • Hecce

    James Jack

    Thanks and one additional question, it is my understanding that after the appeal if the two committees disagree, then the reports will go to the Branch and they will make the final decision.

    Now, it might go to the CO and he will be the one making the decision. I assume that most of the time he will agree with the second committee.

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