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

by StephaneLaliberte 27 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • flipper

    STEPHANE- Great thread, thanks for posting it. I'm in total agreement with you. These jackasses at WT headquarters that run this organization don't give a rats behind about the safety of child victims of sexual abuse. The only thing they care about is the financial fallout and liability and bad press in the news media they get from their piss poor child abuse policies.

    To my knowledge it's very rare that elders ever report these crimes to police at all. I believe the current instructions in their latest elders manual tell them to not prevent publishers in the congregation to report child abuse - that JW individuals " have the right " to report it- but it still doesn't instruct elders to TELL JW's to report child abuse- it's up to each individual. It's a disgusting policy- to say the least.

    And what makes it worse is elders are ALWAYS instructed to call WT legal department first before EVER talking to attorneys , law enforcement, etc. In fact as the case goes on the elders aren't allowed to talk to prosecuting attorneys at all unless those attorneys prosecuting a JW child molester have talked to WT legal. I remember that is in the new elders manual from a couple years ago. WT is all about protecting the money - period. Nothing else. Pretty disgusting

  • StephaneLaliberte

    konceptual99: Thank you for your input. It looks like they are, in fact, reporting, in some specific scenarios. But from the numbers and reports, this appears to be very rare. At this point, I am wondering exactly on which criteria they base their decision to report or not.

    In his ARC testimony, Geoffrey Jackson made it clear that the mother of a child abused by her father would be the one who would be expected to call the authorities, they would not.

    So, than, perhaps, if the kid only has one dad, no mother, and the father turns out to be the abuser, perhaps they will report then?

    One thing for sure: they are not so highly motivated by the law. There is such a law in Quebec and yet, last week, they sent a letter to a well-known journalist were they omitted making any reports or contributing with the authorities. If they were sincere about their “when it is the law” statement, they would not question every dot and exclamation points found in those laws.

    Now, considering your testimony and that of Geoffrey Jackson, I would tend to believe that their primary motivation is to preserve the absolute authority of the legal guardians; unless they conclude that the guardians are inadequate - in that case, they will report to the police.

  • cha ching
    cha ching

    So true, Flipper, when you simplify it:

    Elders are always told they have to call the Society.

    Victims are never told they have to call the police.

    Their values are transparent.

  • Vidiot

    Let's not forget that anonymous tips received over public phone lines are almost never followed up on by the police, because they already have tons on their collective plate, and it's virtually impossible to corroborate an anonymous tip by another party, on account of said tip being, you know, anonymous.

    Rest assured people, WT Legal is well aware of this fact and takes advantage of it accordingly.


    There is no need for them to go to a phone booth and do it anonymously. Why?

    One JW Elder phones in anonymously = Nothing will happen..
    The other JW Elder witnesses the phone call = They have met their legal obligation..

    The WBT$ kills 2 birds with one stone and 2 morons..

  • konceptual99

    In principle I don't actually completely disagree with the instruction to call Bethel Legal in as much as there are potentially legal obligations and implications for the elders that they may not be aware of, especially in a country where local (e.g. state) laws and agencies may differ. The problem is that the WTS has a cultural deficiency in being able to understand what is the moral and ethical right course of action compared to what their legal obligations are. They would rather the government tell them what to do than even consider changing their policies to reflect the best practice being implemented by many other organisations.

    This is a cultural meme that replicates itself through the hierarchy. It is why elders, some of whom are intelligent and thoughtful people, cannot find it in themselves to follow their conscience and take action even when not explicitly forbidden by their superiors at Bethel. It is why relatives of victims cannot take action as their deference to WTS culture overrides their own moral judgement. It's why loyal congregation members support the organisation and it's policies without ever questioning or considering that morals, ethics and conscience can override whatever the legal obligations of a organisation or individual may be.

  • freddo


    That post should be on the front page of this forum glowing and flashing as encapsulating everything that is wrong with the WTS.

  • StephaneLaliberte


    In essence, the JWs have been conditioned to such an extent to always seek out instructions from the watchtower when trying to exercise their conscience that when they receive no specific instructions, they don’t do anything.

    Very interesting.

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