why won't legal department simply release all the secret pedophile files?
@ThomasCovenant - Do you personally have the opinion that Jehovah's Witnesses handle child sexual abuse allegations in a way that protects children to the best of human abilities? If not, where do you think they fall short? If you do, please highlight the ways in which they best serve children in these cases through their policies.
Thank you for asking me that question.
1) In my opinion as a layman, no I don't think they do.
2) I suppose I think they fall short by not reporting to the authorities
3) I don't.
That was quite easy.
Just think about the ARC that was conducted here in Australia with 1006 cases of child sexual abuse handled by Elders that were never reported to the authorities or police over the past 35? years .With a population of about 60-70 thousand Jehovah`s Witnesses.
Now compare that with how many Jehovah`s Witnesses there are in the USA and what the ratio is likely to be with child sexual abuses in the congregations their.
If somebody more adept than me can do the correlation I would appreciate it.
If the rate of reported cases were statistically similar in both countries, then ...
If there were 1000 reported* cases of child sexual abuse for a membership of 30,000 to 70,000 publishers in Australia, then in the U.S., there could be 16,000 - 17,000** reported* cases of abuse during the same time period. [U.S. publishers ranged from 500,000 - 1,200,000 during the same time period (1980-2016).]
This is assuming there is the same rate of abuse in both countries. I think the prevalence rate of child sexual abuse for the general population in United States and Australia may be similar, but I have read in some places that Australia's prevalence may be a bit higher. (I'll let someone else research that).
16,000-17,000 cases. If it is correct, that number is staggering to me, yet I would suspect the number is probably higher for the U.S.
* These are only the ones reported. I personally suspect the actual figure of abused children to be much higher.
** Check my math.
Another reason is that all incidents, even cases that turned out to be unfounded are contained in these files. Why would Zalkin need all the US file anyway? because the judge said so?
I have yet to see a case as severe, or similar to the US olympic gymnastic coach, or the Canadian ski coach that had relations with a twelve year old, and got a 15 year old pregnant, among others, show up on the Watch Tower list. By it's nature the religion keeps a lid on things, even on the personal level.
One can not just "release a list" with so many variables in it.
May not just be what's in the pedo-files but a precedent it would set to open the wt to legal tsunami.
Think of all of the old timers that they are housing in those nice apartments in Fishkill NY. How much do those ones know? I’m thinking that WT knows these ones know where their skeletons are hidden. So WT released thousands of Bethelites over the years but they keep housing these old timers. Interesting! Take a look at the annual meeting every year. Focus in on the seats on the floor, especially the ones towards the front. What do you see? Old timers that know all the dirty little secrets of Watchtower.
Watchtower is protecting those documents just just like they protected Chitty and Greenless so many years ago. They disappeared, never to be seen again. Watchtower has an image/money to maintain and will try to protect that at all costs.
What is blowing a hole in that image is the internet, now it’s Karma’s job to do the rest. I just hope I’m alive long enough to enjoy watching Watchtower sweat and squirm.
If the WTS were to release the names in their confidential files, I believe they would see a tsunami of lawsuits from many of those individuals who had been assured their conversations with the elders would always remain confidential due to ecclesiastical privilege.
What a windfall for lawyers who will begin huge radio & television advertising campaigns hoping to represent all the victims and/or all of those alleged perpetrators In class action lawsuits.
I think that now, the WTS are between a rock and a hard place. If they release the information the court has required of them Pandora's box is opened, there is no way of controlling the damage caused. The ultimate sanction the court has is to make a finding without further representation from WT. That would inevitably mean a massive punitive award to the plaintive.
So, I think that the WT will still refuse the hand-over and attempt to appeal in a higher court, ultimately trying for the US Supreme court. This will buy them time but hey are ultimately mortgaging their future.
i don't think they have the legal arguments or the chutzpah to win these battles any more so they will be in a spin of appeal, lose, heavy penalties, rinse, repeat.
A new low for Fishy. It's the parent's fault their kids were molested. Sure, they had no knowledge but the organization did in cases, but it's anyone's fault but the organization. After all, with great knowledge comes no responsibility, says the pedophile protecting Fisherman. Disgusting.
The cult wants control. Turning over the protection of kids and their insular standing would take power away from them. No narcissist wants that.
Fisherman: Not hard to get df from JW: If you watch porn, or smoke; and if you miss a lot of meetings you get shunned. How much more they will do to someone who is a child molestors.
How much more? Absolutely nothing is how much more they can do.
Nothing. That is what will happen. Nothing at all.
In a JW person's mind, disfellowshipping is the ultimate punishment/control. However, it is meaningless. Disfellowshipping means nothing at all.
Disfellowshipping a JW pedophile does nothing to protect the larger community. It does nothing to protect the "worldly" child next door.
This whole notion that "disfellowshipping" is the be-all and end-all of JW justice is pathetic. Pathetic.
Albeit meetings and fs is not a daycare and parents should not trust anyone with their precious kids -and then blame watchtower.
Fisher, I almost agree with you here. The primary responsibility for the care of children is with the parents. Unfortunately, there is a double problem.
Firstly, JW parents are taught by the WT that the "brotherhood" is to be trusted over and above anyone else.
Secondly, never underestimate the ability of a predator to insinuate themselves into family situations in order to betray the parents' trust and to exploit the child. And this action has been encouraged by the WT itself - "look out for the children of single parents or the child who has an unbelieving parent", encouraging 'brothers' to spend time with children from these "disadvantaged" families.
That aside, how do you suggest family incest should be handled? Who is responsible there? And, according to the WT itself, most of the sex abuse inside the JWs occurs within the family circle.
Fisherman has, in principle, made a couple of reasonable points. There is a privacy aspect to the release of confidential files, especially in the case of where essentially you are talking about allegations as opposed to proven cases of abuse. As a parent I would also say that there is a responsibility on them to ensure their children are as safe as possible.
However, in the context of the larger picture about JW child abuse, these are red herrings.
The courts have determined there is legal merit in the WT releasing the information from their files and they could easily cooperate with the authorities to ensure data is handled in a responsible manner to ensure that justice is served to everybody's benefit - especially the victims. Right now the one group left out of this loop of justice are the victims and it is simply immoral for the WTS to ignore them on the pretence of protecting others.
As for the responsibility of parents there are two obvious issues with a blanket statement about their responsibilities. Firstly, a high number of abuse incidents are perpetrated by at least one parent, sometimes with the knowledge, even support, of the other. Other close, naturally trusted, family members are also abusers. Secondly, the WTS breeds a culture of trust amongst it's members. Where you have elders abusing their position to abuse minors then you cannot simply transfer the blame onto the parents.