Impact of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on JW policies and procedures

by steve2 29 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • steve2

    The Royal Commission is not yet over. The summary of findings on JWs is not the end of the story. The legal process is unfolding and the only open question is the extent to which jw organization in Australia will be legally mandated to change its policies and procedures on child sexual abuse.

    (On the question of shunning those who leave, the Commission is well intended but has strayed beyond its legal brief. Expect a wet bus ticket on that issue)

    Jw organization is perfectly entitled to respond, point-by-point from the perspective of their beliefs. Whether this is seen as arrogant or 'speaking their truth' is a matter of perspective. Although, even jw organization must know they do not emerge from this smelling sweet - and what a shameful issue to be in conflict with caesar over! So, as far as it can do so, jw organization will want to put a "decent" gloss on existing policies.

    Ultimately, despite the huffing and puffing from both sides, I think the Royal Commission has made the organization significantly more aware of evidence-based responses to child sexual abuse. And some of the more egregious aspects of judicial committees (e.g., expecting the child to confront their alleged abuser) have already been stopped. And even before the Royal Commission, the organization loosened the hitehrto literal interpretation of the two-witness rule as applying to two different incidents involving the same alleged offender. But not nearly enough, I know. The point is, the organization at some level has realized its policies and procedures are out of step with accepted practice. This is also about 'saving face': Bringing about internal policy and procedure changes without making it overtly appear a forced outcome of any commission of inquiry.

    Despite its tiresome posturing about 'following the Bible' and not being ruled by man, jw organization cannot help but be aware of how its policies and procedures look to the wider community i which they live. This is an organization acutely sensitive to how others, including existing members, perceive it.

  • Jonathan Drake
    Jonathan Drake

    Personally I feel the best case scenario we should aim for, for the moment, is the negative PR.

    make sure as many JWs as possible see what's happening and know how terrible this organization has been and continues to be in their treatment of this inquiry.

    Beyond that, I feel there is a danger in putting to much hope or stock in any outcome. If the exJW community starts hyping about the outcome and the real authority steps in and guts the recommendations or completely acquits the organization - then not only will the Watchtower flout this as a victory, not only will active JWs throw it in your face, but freshly questioning JWs may shut down all doubt because God has "clearly helped his people."

    As much as I hope for Watchtower to get shredded, I think focusing on the moment, and showing all these terrible things they've said on camera and in writing is the best thin we can do. This way regardless of the outcome, it doesn't change the horrendous things they've said and the outright lies every witness will be able to clearly see.

    I by no means intend to deflate your topic at all, I just felt I wanted to say this regarding the endgame. Watchtower may by all means get off completely free and change absolutely nothing.

  • the girl next door
    the girl next door

    I think the shunning issue is apt to the situation of those abused being manipulated by the fear of shunning. It had to be fleshed out by the Commission to display the full impact of how shunning could never be "best standard" of care for abuse victims.

    Watchtower is definitely learning lessons, despite the stance they take in written response. They are taking a huge hit in PR, which affects their bottom line. JWs will leave. There will be fewer converts. Nobody likes an organization that protects pedophiles and puts themselves above the best interests of children.

  • tim3l0rd
    They'll only change once it affects their bottom line. They've proven that over and over (the 2012 letter to the BoE is an example). I can't wait for the commission to wrap up and force change through monetary measures.
  • Simon

    Yes, the shunning is as it applies to child protection and handling of abuse - i.e. compounding the harm by failing to handle things which leaves the only option for the victim to leave at which point they are punished for leaving.

    I think the RC may have overstretched a little by straying into biblical interpretation but a lot of the things are relevant including how much of a basis there is in scripture and whether they also follow other scriptures from the same set of rules - i.e. are they cherry picking convenient verses to prop up their policies vs setting policies based on the verses (but I haven't seen that highlighted anywhere).

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower
    I think it was good that they touch on the bible and beliefs of the Corporation since they will use it as a defense might as well expose the inconsistencies of their apparent immobility on certain issues and makes them libel on all grounds.
  • OrphanCrow

    Well, I think that where the changes will come is in criminal and civil court.

    Don't forget that some of the victim files have already been turned over to the police and criminal investigations are imminent.

    Which, too, would explain the WTS' recent call for soliciters in Australia. I think that the criminal court system will be requiring some JW lawyers real soon here.

    The WTS will have no choice except to change in the face of how the criminal cases, that ensue from the RC, are handled. The Royal Commission is merely setting the stage. Very nicely, too.

  • ttdtt

    One comment from the first post.

    And even before the Royal Commission, the organization loosened the hitehrto literal interpretation of the two-witness rule as applying to two different incidents involving the same alleged offender.

    This is a heinous change not a loosening. This assures that at least 2 people (kids) need to suffer first, before something is done. Just think of how this would work? Most people don't come forward ever - so the 2nd abuse victim could easily be the 3rd 4th or 5th. Still there is no protection of the congregation, or the public in general, since even a DFing does nothing for the neighbors of the abuser.

    Your Brothers

    UnChristian Congregation
    of JDubs

  • steve2

    And even before the Royal Commission, the organization loosened the hitehrto literal interpretation of the two-witness rule as applying to two different incidents involving the same alleged offender.

    This is a heinous change not a loosening.

    I agree. Main point is jw organization has shown a preparedness to "adjust" policies in a vain effort to make them less disagreeable. In one form or another, jw organization is aware of what a dreadful PR exercise the Royal Commission has become.

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower
    I'm thinking jail time for some of these guys once the legal court system gets going on these guys obstruction of justice, aiding criminal activity, recklessly putting minors at risk, and more. I think what the RC uncovered will be used for legal action against them in the US court system and may even wind getting the GB some jail time eventually over their undeniable authority they have making policies that can not be disobeyed by any branch even if in direct violation with the law of the land. The evidence is mounting against them in the public arena of life and their badness is finally coming prosecutable due to their extreme arrogance.

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