blondie’s first thoughts review 7-21-2019 wt study (may 2019, pages 14-19 (comfort abuse victims!?)
EXCELLENT GENERAL WEBSITE: www.jwfacts.com
This article is designed to accomplish at least 2 things:
1) Proving in print that the WTS tells others how to comfort abuse victims. So, they seem to know how and that they encourage others to do so.
2) Imply that not all abuse victims need comfort, perhaps suggesting that only those who are not really depending on their god need it.
As a victim and a survivor of child sexual abuse and as a jw at the time, I can read this article with a special viewpoint, not that I feel “special” because of this.
My First Thoughts as reading paragraphs
First, in paragraphs 1-21
Comparing a scraped knee to child sexual abuse!
Suggesting that a parent is a credible source of comfort when he/she is most likely the abuser!
(Side thought: Who play the parent role in a jw’s life, the elders, the organization, their god?)
What does the WTS consider justice?
What would you consider justice if you were such a victim, or justice for any child, not just one you might know personally?
What is swift? Waiting until their WT god chooses to address it, but not before many more children are affected?
Abused as a child still struggles…as an adult—implies that only some children would still struggle as an adult.
Why may those—replace “may” with “will”
Who can provide—replace “can” with “will”
For some adults…comfort may be needed—replace “may” with “will”
We must first realize that children are very different from…adult—unless a child can choose to be baptized
If children can’t trust their parents, or the elders, or the organization and their god, who can they trust?
“Abuse often occurs in the home, close family members and family friends are common perpetrators.”—parental figures, so-called family-like congregation?!
“can make it hard for that child to trust others, even years later”—“even” years later implies that not all would be affected years later
(Note where can is used that “will” should be replaced in this article)
Remember that jw children are told that they cannot trust anyone outside the WTS organization and now the child cannot trust anyone inside that organization.
If “children are not fully developed in their ability to think, to reason, or to recognize and avoid danger” why are they able to make a serious decision such as dedicating their life forever to serve the WT god?
Does the WTS decide who is decided to be told the truth, that some people can be lied to?
Lying generally involves saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth and doing so with the intent to deceive or to injure him or another person.
Child is to blame as if they were able to consent
Must be kept secret (not to bring shame on the congregation)
May grow up—will
Unworthy of love—a theme at any congregation meeting—undeserved kindness, not able to measure up, do more, etc.
Sexual abuse can cause lasting harm—will, implies that only some will be harmed lastingly
WTS then excuses themselves by saying that abuse is widespread outside their organization, as if that says that jw members should not be shocked to find it inside the WT organization. So, is it clear evidence that people today are living in the last days—if no natural affection is found in the WT organization, that there are wicked men and impostors that advance from bad to worse in the WT organization?
While their god is said to be fully aware of the pain victims experience, why has the WTS told members like this to “wait on” their god to do something?
Why use David as an example as one who received comfort? He was they one that violated his friend’s trust by committing adultery with his wife. He was the one who arranged to keep his sin secret by having that friend put to death. He was not the victim in this situation.
Did David comfort his daughter Tamar, when her half-brother Amnon, David’s son, raped her?
(Note that the WTS says that their god uses jw members, part of the so-called spiritual family, to comfort; elders, mature sisters (?who have proved able to keep things confidential because which sisters would know ahead of time?) Can comfort really be provided if the abuser has not confessed or found guilty and unrepentant or worse yet, found repentant by 3 imperfect elders who cannot read minds or hearts, and then returned to the spiritual family, like a wolf among sheep?)
True, the WTS organization is like a family, a dysfunctional family. When was the last time did you feel like elders or anyone in the congregation viewed you as a helpless child, needing protection and nourishment? Like a nursing mother). What tender, gentle words did you hear?
Are elders the only ones—aren’t the only ones trained to do so, aren’t they the only ones who have access to the situation (or should be), how can a person comfort another person without knowing the source of the unhappiness?
Mature Christian sisters—proven not to be gossips?
An elder or two may discreetly ask a mature sister—why one or two (two is better if the elder wants to CYA); how discreet can it be when even elders can’t keep things confidential?
*The WTS says seeking qualified professional help is a personal decision; the real message is that elders/mature sisters should not bring up the subject nor encourage it; not that jws are always ready and eager to give you advice about any other medical situation (depression is a medical situation BTW)
Be careful not to pry into matters..prefers to keep private—so why be different now about keeping a confidence, especially with such a juicy gossip item?
What can we do—or rather what will we do?
Practical help—notice that this does not mean putting band aid on a scrape. Child sexual abuse leaves a deep injury that a one-time fix does not help. It takes much help over a long time, and setbacks will occur.
So, a hot meal, a modest gift, or a thoughtful card will not hack it.
So, the comforter might find it uncomfortable to listen or help-- imagine how uncomfortable it is for the victim to talk about it! Especially to someone who hasn’t had the time to send a card when a close family of the victim’s has died in the past?
Make feel safe—assuming that the victim has felt safe in the congregation to start with because their abuser was in the same congregation still when the victim is now an adult?
Yes, their god had an angel to send, a miracle; so, are other jws a miracle from god?
So jw victims don’t feel safe in a KH conference room? The proverbial dreaded back room that jws talk about. Is it a place of safety or where unsuspecting jws will be jumped with some serious sin that someone unknown other jw has accused them of and then the elders deal with it as if it is a fact?)(Note that in the picture at home, one elder has a suitcoat on the other is sleeveless, and another sister is with the victim (not her husband? Her mother? Who? Some mature sister who up till then knew nothing about it?)
Be a good listener—after years of not being one?
More than staying still and saying nothing—ever have some elders do that to you, as if they are waiting for you to confess?
Why use their god as an example for the elders who can neither read minds or hearts?
How can (will) we show sympathy (empathy is better)
To be kind we must have empathy. Empathy goes farther than sympathy, for in empathy we put ourselves in the other’s place, we actually feel what he feels.
w63 2/15 pp. 105-112 - The Watchtower—1963
Might say: No child should be treated this way (why not make it personal rather than general?)
Should the elders ask for the details to determine if the abuser is guilty as in the case of other sex related investigations?
Is it an interrogation?
Do not interrupt to give advice
Do not interrupt to correct the person’s thinking
Good advice for all so-called jw comforters but especially the designated ones, the elders
Need to pour out their heart more than once
Wow, what a concept.
Rather than trying to provide solutions
(how often have I heard that men look for solutions not feelings)
Pray earnestly—why does the WTS add “earnestly” to this? Aren’t all prayers supposedly to be earnest?
If a person feels unworthy, have the elders suggested that the abuse victim someone how played in part in the “sin”?
How many times did the elders ever pray with you, use your name?
Do elders soothe, or beat the sheep with a stick of fear?
Choose words that console. How many times I realized that elders thought kindness was giving the person a reason to excuse themselves for their sin.
Past abuse may have convinced them that they are dirty, worthless, or unloved—more like the past spiritual abuse by elders and others in the congregation. Were the victims believed ever, did the victims feel safe approaching so-called mature ones in the congregation; if they did were the treated like the sinner or criminal?
Yes, again, the WT god sees all, knows all, but the WTS and their appointed representatives don’t seem to think that. They seem to feel that their god does not see what they really think and what they really do. Do they feel like the Israelites did, that god is not seeing, and he has left the land?
As far as Isaiah 65:17 says, it seems to be that all jws that have not been already lobotomized now will be in the WT paradise.
I have true empathy with any current jw or ex-jw victims/survivors of child sexual abuse after having read this article one more time. Just remember that the WTS does not speak for god regardless of how many times they have said they do and will say it again. Find a healthy and supportive environment outside that organization, a real place of safety.