Have the Elders ever been instructed by their bethel to call the police for abuse?

by StephaneLaliberte 27 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • StephaneLaliberte

    An additional reason why I believe that they are in fact not officially reporting any abuse anywhere is that they would have used some type of statistic while defending themselves against the Australian Royal Commission (ARC). For instance, Geoffrey Jackson, at some point, said that they would report it if it was the law. If they did actually do that, he would have gone on and said something like:

    We do report these crimes in other countries such as ….. and states like …… Last year, we have reported [x] pedophiles and [y] of them were officially accused by the authorities.

    If they did indeed report, they would have those numbers. They have compiled statistics on hours, studies, baptisms, constructions, volunteers, contributions, etc. If they cared a little, the number of Pedophiles they have helped bringing to justice would be on top of their list.

  • shadow

    Occurred in mandatory reporting state, USA. Explicit instructions from HQ. Apparently to satisfy letter of law and also keep congregation out of it. approx 10 - 15 years ago. Don't know if current practice

  • aboveusonlysky

    When I was an elder I had to ring London bethel on two occasions about a child abuse incident, this was in 2010 and 2011 and the victim was an adult by then and was thinking of reporting the abuse herself.

    The voice on the phone was undoubtedly Bevan Vigo and the instruction he gave me both times was exactly the same 'don't give the victim any advice either way, it is her absolute right to report the abuse to the police if she wished to but we would never encourage it'

  • konceptual99

    The WT have written instructions used within Bethels where mandatory reporting is required that say elders are to report anonymously. I have heard anecdotal evidence of instructions being passed in other circumstances involving minors but I think this is very rare.

  • aboveusonlysky

    Continued from above post -

    The fact he told me exactly the same thing twice tells me it is probably the organization's official statement to elders who ring about child abuse incidents.

    When I heard Jackson tell the A.R.C. elders will always encourage the victim or the victim's family to report I just couldn't believe my ears, I've since encouraged the victim to report the abuse and I am going to write my experience to the UK enquiry.

    Sure individual elders sometimes encourage reporting because there are some good guys in the org, but I'm still certain the inner policy is to try to hide any scandal so that the org can point their finger at other religions while brainwashing their own followers, it makes me sick.

  • StephaneLaliberte

    Konceptual99: Through the years, I have seen plenty of Jehovah's Witnesses make up thing to make the organization look better. That is why when we have "heard anecdotal evidence", to me, that sounds like a game of "telephone" where the original instruction has been completely changed. On the other hand, aboveusonlysky got instructions directly from the Bethel. Unfortunately, the victim was an adult. Still, the words: "We would never encourage it" is obviously very telling.

    Regardless, one thing we can agree on is that for the very least, it appears that reporting to police by the watchtower would, in fact, be very rare.

    The anonymous tipping of the police? Sorry, but this really sounds like something made up by loyals trying to make the watchtower look better. I cannot think of one valid reason why the society would need to be doing this anonymously, especially if it is the law.

  • freddo

    My experience with talking to London bethel by phone as an elder matches "above us only sky's" experience.

    I cannot hand on heart say that the anonymous voice at the other end said do not report this to the authorities but that was how the conversations were steered (two).

    One was a historical sex abuse case which the branch knew about and I said to the toady at the other end (this was when you could get advice as one brother phoning in, not two) that a brother who was a victim wanted to go to the police and the reply was "while that is his right, you might ask him what he thinks it will achieve after all this time".

    The police were informed by the brother and I testified my (hearsay) knowledge of the case to the police without telling the branch.

    The second was just before I resigned as an elder and we had a family in the cong. where the four kids were borderline being neglected by their dopey jw. mother who would avoid the social services like the plague because she knew that she would be at risk of having one or more of the kids closely monitored or taken into care.

    Anyway, one older kid began to threaten a younger sibling with scissors and knives and it came to the elders attention so two of us phoned the branch where the anonymous brother said it would be better if the mother or a relative called in the social services. We said that they (the jw mother and a jw aunt) wouldn't and we felt we should.

    Again the toady on the service desk didn't want elders going to the authorities but said we "might encourage the relatives to go to the social services as that would be the best option."

    When I said they undoubtedly wouldn't he said try to get them to and then come back to us if they won't.

    Myself and the other brother decided between us to go to the social services and ignore the idiot at bethel.

    The family was monitored closely from that point onwards with even a well handled police involvement where the older kid had professional help with no criminal charge or conviction.

    My view is that the twisted bastards on the service desk are more concerned about keeping their board and lodging and keeping the "outside of the grave" clean rather than children's welfare.

  • Vidiot

    They'll instruct elders to report... anonymously... from a payphone...

    ...oh yeah, justice'll be served.

  • StephaneLaliberte

    Thanks Freddo for your experience. This is the kind of experience I was looking for.

  • konceptual99
    The anonymous tipping of the police? Sorry, but this really sounds like something made up by loyals trying to make the watchtower look better. I cannot think of one valid reason why the society would need to be doing this anonymously, especially if it is the law.

    I only mention anecdotal as I did not have first hand experience. I have had two elders (one was my father) relate experiences they have dealt with where they were advised they could report. This was in the case of minors at risk. There is no doubt this circumstance is rare and I am certainly not suggesting that there is any proactive response by the organisation when the question of the moral and ethical responsibilities of the elders is raised - the precisely opposite situation is the case in the 99% of cases, as shown by the first hand experiences on this thread.

    There are specific instructions to report anonymously as evidenced by the internal Bethel memo posted as part of the ARC submissions. This only applies in the case where mandatory reporting is concerned.

    The anonymous aspect of the reporting is typical Bethel legal nonsense designed to protect the organisation from being dragged into the matter in any manner.

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