zeb In the course of the ARC the wt claimed clergy privilege but the justice said "you claim also not to have 'clergy'- you cant have it both ways"
It's because he didn't acted like a judge in his role in the Commission. The law works in other way.
How can it be clergy confidentiality, i.e. the Catholic church penitent privilege long established is determined by<…> In the WTS procedures, the individual meets with 2 to 3 (sometimes more) elders. Thus the confidentiality starts out with more than one person acting as clergy that hears what the person has to say.
Many jurisdictions don't restrict clergy privilege to Catholic-style confession.
They have no clergy class. In fact, you will not be able to find the phrase "clergy-penitent" in the WTS publications.
It doesn't matter whether Watchtower considers its elders as separate clergy class or not. What the law of the land says is the only thing that matters.
For example, the District Court Judge's response to Watchtower's petition filed last year stated: "It is undisputed that agents for each Defendant [WTNY, CCJW and local congregation] received notice of the 2004 abuse and that these agents were all clergy as defined under Montana law" (p. 4) "All those working for all Defendants meet the definition of clergy in the Montana mandatory reporter law... See Mont. Code Annot. § 15-6-201(2)(b) ("Clergy" includes "a member of a religious order who has taken a vow of poverty.")" (p. 13-14).
And the relevant Montana statute (MCA § 41-3-201(6)(c)) also doesn't include the phrase "clergy-penitent".
For the record, I'm not saying that Watchtower is right on this issue, I would prefer to wait for further briefs and for the final judgment. But these nonsensical arguments are annoying, frankly.