ARC Case Study 54 - List all media reports here for future reference

by jwleaks 13 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • jwleaks
  • jwleaks
    jwleaks

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/inside-the-jehovahs-witnesses-a-perfect-storm-for-abuse-20170309-guukur.html

    Inside the Jehovah's Witnesses: A 'perfect storm' for abuse

    March 10, 2017

    "They love bomb you. They sell you this vision of a perfect community. It is anything but. It's indoctrination. It's a cult, it really is. But they convince you it's a religion."

    The Jehovah's Witness church and its overarching body, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, came to the attention of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Sexual Abuse with a 2015 case study hearing more than 1000 allegations of paedophilia had been made against the organisation over 60 years yet not one complaint was reported to police.


    ...

    Another former member, Lara Kaput, describes the Jehovah's Witnesses as "cruel".

    Ms Kaput, 44, was raised in a Jehovah's Witness family in Victoria where close contact with people outside the church was discouraged, women were taught to obey men and the teachings of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society were unquestioned.

    She left the Jehovah's Witnesses when she was 19 and was shunned by the community. Over the past 25 years she's had only sporadic contact with family members who are still involved in the church.

    "You are ostracised from your entire family and friend network," she said. "Prior to (leaving) they incorporated me as a regular family member. After that I was dead to them."

    Ms Kaput has launched a campaign on change.org to have charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission, investigate the organisation.

    "This is not an organisation which should have charitable status," she said.

    Nor is it a safe organisation for children, the royal commission determined when it handed down its findings into the institution last year.

    Shine Lawyers principal Lisa Flynn specialises in institutional sexual abuse and describes the culture of Jehovah's Witness church as deeply problematic.

    "The Jehovah's Witnesses have many practices and policies which create a perfect storm for child abuse," she said.

    Ms Flynn describes the organisation as "controlling, insular and isolating".

    "Anyone who complains faces the risk of being shunned and isolated from their families and friends and the way of life they have known," she said. "That makes people very reluctant to report abuse."

    And those who do report face hurdles such as the "two witness rule" which requires two eye witnesses to an allegation, having to confront the alleged abuser and giving evidence to a panel of male elders.

    "It's often the case that no action is taken," she said. "That leads to a climate where a perpetrator is free to go off and continue perpetrating."

  • AndersonsInfo
    AndersonsInfo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5WN5hFmEas

    Jehovah's Witnesses accused of failing to adopt abuse inquiry recommendations: ABC News

  • NikL
  • NikL
  • darkspilver
    darkspilver

    Interesting comment at the end: The commission heard the Jehovah’s Witnesses had referred 15 of 17 child abuse allegations to police that had arisen since the commission hearings, noting that in two cases the adult survivors did not want it reported.


    The Guardian, Friday 10 March 2017

    Uniting church has faced 2,500 reports of child sexual abuse, royal commission hears

    Uniting church says it now has new policies, but Jehovah’s Witnesses fail to change two-witness rule or shunning in response to 1,008 allegations of abuse

    The Uniting church has been subject to about 2,500 allegations of child sexual abuse in its 40-year history, the royal commission has heard.

    The child abuse royal commission also heard that there were 1,006 alleged perpetrators of abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but the congregation did not report a single one to police.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses, the inquiry heard, were still refusing to change a second century biblical rule requiring two witnesses to prove wrongdoing.

    The royal commission returned to its examination of the Uniting church and the Jehovah’s Witnesses on Friday, seeking to understand how each had reformed its handling of child protection and abuse complaints.

    Counsel assisting, Angus Stewart, SC, said the royal commission had analysed data provided by the Uniting church on 2,504 child abuse complaints since 1977.

    Of those allegations, 133 related to abuse that occurred in places of worship.

    The church had paid out about $17.5m to survivors, and had been the subject of 255 civil claims, Stewart said.

    ...

    Earlier, the royal commission heard evidence about the extent of abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    It heard there were at least 1,008 survivors of alleged abuse, and 579 Jehovah’s Witnesses members confessed.

    About 400 alleged perpetrators were expelled from the congregation, and 230 later reinstated. The royal commission reported 514 perpetrators to police.

    It also heard victims were still shunned if they left the organisation.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia consider that they are prohibited by scripture from altering the application of a two-witness rule that applies in all cases of complaints of wrongdoing, the royal commission heard.

    The commission found the organisation wrongly relied on that rule in the context of child sexual abuse, saying complainants were subject to ongoing traumatisation if their allegation wasn’t corroborated by a confession by their abuser or a second “credible” eyewitness.

    Stewart said the Jehovah’s Witnesses had failed to address many of the inquiry’s recommendations, including that they revise or modify the application of that rule.

    He said the organisation had also failed to address the particularly devastating practice of shunning victims who disassociated from the Jehovah’s Witnesses because their abuser remained in the congregation, while maintaining it was not a policy.

    The commission found the Jehovah’s Witnesses did not respond adequately to child sexual abuse complaints and did not adequately protect children from the risk of being abused.

    But senior members of the Australian church dispute the commission’s finding that the organisation has a general practice of not reporting child sexual abuse allegations to police or authorities unless required to do so by law.

    “We have never had a practice of not reporting,” Jehovah’s Witness Australian branch committee member Terrence O’Brien told the commission on Friday.

    O’Brien said hundreds were reported, although not by the organisation because it was left to the elders handling the case or the parents.

    The commission heard the Jehovah’s Witnesses had referred 15 of 17 child abuse allegations to police that had arisen since the commission hearings, noting that in two cases the adult survivors did not want it reported.

    Rodney Spinks, who advises church elders on how to handle child sexual abuse cases, said victims or their parents were told they had the absolute right to report abuse to authorities and that the elders would fully support them.

    READ MORE: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/10/uniting-church-has-faced-2500-reports-of-child-sexual-abuse-royal-commission-hears

  • jwleaks
  • Listener
    Listener

    From the guardian article

    O’Brien said hundreds were reported, although not by the organisation because it was left to the elders handling the case or the parents.

    I am confused about this and wonder if this is exactly what O'Brien said. The RC reported that not one case of over 1,006 abusers were reported by the organization, does this mean that there were cases reported by Elders? I would have thought that the Commission would have viewed any reports made by Elders as having been made by the Organization.
  • jwfacts
    jwfacts
    O’Brien said hundreds were reported, although not by the organisation because it was left to the elders handling the case or the parents.

    I am confused about this and wonder if this is exactly what O'Brien said.

    That is what Terry said. I see this as trying to distance the organisation from any legal liability and put in on the shoulders of the elders. Further, whilst he makes it seems elders had been left with the responsibility to report, the reality is that they never did, but left it up to the parents; in fact, regularly discouraged parents from reporting as well.

  • jwleaks
    jwleaks

    From major newspapers in Australia.