I was pondering the recent influx of lawsuits against WT, specifically in regards to the child abuse cases (ie. Conti, Fessler, Lopez, etc).
In each of these, WT has settled for an "undisclosed" amount, assumed to be in the millions of dollars each. I know there are many many more cases, subject for a different thread I'm sure.
I was reading something completely unrelated a while back that mentioned the dangers of settlement agreements for a large corporation or business (not just WT). In effect, the quicker the settlement, and/or the larger the settlement (even if specifics are not known), creates in itself a dangerous paradox. It exposes their willingness (or weakness), financially, to ignore the right thing to do and just get rid of the problem, to buy it out, to cover it up.
Once a company or organization goes down the settlement road, a horrible, irreversible precedent is set. I think there is even a specific legal term for it, but cant think of it right now.... That company's cards have been shown (figuratively). They have just shown onlookers that they have a fat wallet, and are willing to cut a check, because ultimately they really don't care about anyone but themselves.
So now, anyone who has been on the fence about what to do about their particular situation is shown a better option or possible outcome to a lawsuit that they may initiate. Likely, a long trial process will never come to fruition.
EXAMPLE: I run a small company. If there is EVER a problem with products or services with my name on it, I will do anything and everything in my power to resolve the situation personally. Even if a lawsuit is initiated, I will do my very best to be honest, explain all the circumstances, show documented evidence, and then take my knocks if they come. (Fortunately, this has never happened, and our customer service is second-to-none). I would NEVER just say "lets settle, here's a check". If I were to do that, then anyone could sue me for anything, as that precedent has been set. My company and reputation would be trashed in no time. Granted, this is a small-scale example, but I think you see the point.
My thought was this: Has WT made an even LARGER mistake by going down this road, repeatedly? Would it not have been less painful in the long run to admit mistakes, make policy changes, and take things to trial, even accepting monetary FINES and punishments? It seems to me that everything WT does is extremely SHORT-sighted. Even if settlements are reached AFTER a trial has concluded, would not the long-term benefits outweigh the short term gratification of making the "problem" go away? After all, no problem, or discussion of child abuse and outright lies and deception never really goes away. The internet has a way of making this stuff come up so often, that even the most die-hard JW's will see it, and after they keep seeing it time and time again, sooner or later they will look it up and read about it. WT can only say "apostate news items" and "apostate websites" for so long, as more and more LOCAL cases will educate their flock about what really goes on.
You could even begin to think that the "collateral damage" that comes from some of their members learning the real "truth" is an acceptable percentage of loss. A "calculated risk", if you will.
After all, as long as their total membership and percentages of "growth" continues in the plus column, who cares about the "truth"!