Hi Smiddy - well done mate.
Here's my email to the ARC that I sent a few years ago, entitled A few thoughts on the Jehovah's Witnesses (Watchtower Society):
Dear Mr Stewart
I've been watching with interest the recent testimony of Spinks and O' Brien before the Australian Royal Commission into the response of the Jehovah's Witnesses organisation (Watchtower Society) to child abuse.
Both yourself and His Honour, Justice McClellen, are doing a great job of dissecting and analysing the response (or lack of it) of the WTS to the recommendations made by the Commission in 2015.
I'm a baptised Witness who has managed a successful fade. I belong to an exJW discussion forum and faders like me are in a minority.
People who don't want to be a JW anymore often experience shunning to some degree. Although I've faded, I myself experienced being shunned by a JW 'sister' whom I knew from a time when I lived in SE England. I greeted her, she refused eye contact and blanked me, saying nothing. Granted, this was mild and I'm lucky I don't have family 'in'. But most people aren't so lucky.
Another thing: you and Justice McClellen asked "why do JWs shun people who disassociate?" ... and answer came there none. You were very close to the truth when you suggested "you shun disassociated people because the bible says so" - JWs shun disassociated people because the JW hierarchy says so. In this instance, unlike cases of disfellowshipping, there are no scriptural references, as far as I'm aware.
There have been talks at the kingdom hall where the JW speaker (usually an elder) has held up a black bible and said "if the Governing Body told me this was red, I'd say it is red!" and nobody in the audience disagreed.
The Watchtower Society has cult-like characteristics. Governments need to monitor and persuade this religion to make changes, the 'big three' being the issues of child abuse, blood, and shunning.
The Australian Royal Commission is working towards this end.
Keep up the good work!
I also sent a similar email earlier in 2015, using my uni email and received a reply from Angus Stewart's office. I don't have that at hand but I appreciated the reply at the time.
I spelled Justice McClellan's name incorrectly but I'm sure that wasn't too bad. He does have one of those weird, Gaelic names, unfortunately. XD
But he also happens to be an excellent judge and a fine bloke, as you Aussies would say.
It definitely is nice when you receive a reply from these fine people.