I was impressed by part of today's symposium entitled ' Safeguard your children from what is evil'
konceptual99 - "...it remains simply incomprehensible as to why the organisation is incapable of a far more proactive approach to progressing the child protection policies."
As far as the Watchtower Society is concerned...
a) ...they cannot be seen by the R&F as making changes due to pressure from secular agents, which would be viewed as compromising with "Satan's World"...
b) ...it would be tantamount to the admission of the Org administration's decades-long complicity in covering up heinous sexual offenses (something that ultraconservative organizations find even more embarrassing than most, for obvious reasons)...
c) ...the changes needed will inevitably result in more transparency, which will expose the prolific, institutionalized, and endemic scope of the problem to the R&F far too much, in a way that could not be simply dismissed as "apostate-driven lies"...
d) ...not to mention that said scope of the problem is a direct result of the Org's so-called "Biblical" stance (rather than in spite of it), which would thusly call into question amongst the R&F the value of said "Biblical" stance, and...
d) ...it will further call into question the insistence that the WTS is "God's Earthly Organization" and a "spiritual paradise", because that shit shouldn't be happening in "God's Earthly Organization" or a "spiritual paradise".
Basically, progressive reform of this problem would - inevitably - result in seriously undermining a significant percentage of the R&F's confidence and loyalty in the Org, and thusly the Org's bottom line, therefore placing its survival at risk.
Your points are all valid Vid however I would suggest that it is possible to have a progressive child protection strategy and avoid undermining the org. The key is to separate secular and biblical requirements and obligations.
For me it's actually very simple. They just need to follow principles that are applied in multitudes of other organisations.
They simply have to say that the investigation of a child abuse allegation is a secular matter and should be conducted by the secular authorities. As soon as an allegation is made then they should proactively support the alleged victim and their family to report to the authorities. They should then step back save for putting some restrictions as far as possible on the access an alleged abuser has to victims and others potentially at risk whilst in a congregational context.
Once the authorities have investigated then they can proceed with their congregational investigation which then has the prospect of having a "second witness" in the form of the evidence and actions of the secular authorities.
This is no different to what happens,for example, with a teacher who has a accusation raised against them, They are suspended whilst the authorities investigate and then appropriate action regarding their position is taken once the allegations have been investigated.
I don't see how this undermines the org. They maintain their internal judicial process. No one has to go through horrible Q&A sessions with window cleaners since it's the authorities that will investigate. They don't preempt the secular process.
Also, I am not sure I agree that the problem is endemic. Is there any evidence that there are more child abusers amongst Jehovah's Witnesses that elsewhere in society? I agree 100% that the procedures have allowed abusers to carry on their practices and there is no doubt that the risk of this continuing is great but that in itself does not prove that the incidence of abuse is any higher than society in general.
I don't think that the R&F actually believe it does not happen in the organisation or that the fact it does means it's not God Organisation. This isn't 1955 any more. Times have changed and I think the vast majority would welcome great transparency and the proactive involvement of the authorities. Most of them come up with the arguments about the elders not being the police already.
Change to the policies does not automatically open the floodgates for litigation. The authorities have their own cases to answer about poor performance and action historically. Understanding of the problem and how to deal with it has changed immeasurably over the past 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years. I think simply saying "times have changed and our policies can be improved so we are committed to improve, to reduce risk, to help keep our young people safe" is something it's actually hard to disagree with or criticise.
I simply cannot get my head around why they cannot take significantly larger steps in progressing the policies. It really isn't rocket science.