My RC hearing brought forward. Will be in two weeks

by umbertoecho 72 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • umbertoecho

    All comments here are valid. I understand that this whole issue of child abuse must be the focus. To take a general list of "complaints" that are not relevant to this RC could sound petty or smack of religious bias. The RC are interested in the means by which such abuses have been allowed to happen in the past and prevent future abuses. This means they are taking a close look.........A very close look at this religion and it's relationship to normal society.

    The Clergy/Penitent issue is well worth investigating as one commentator mentioned, for I have not seen it as a part of the standard within the "known" practise of this religion. There is room for change in this area. I feel that taking children out on the preaching work is another thing that is wrong. Children need free time and happy times to enjoy on the weekends. Mandatory reporting is bound to occur here. I think every comment if valuable and am aware of the need to stay on track with this.

    The tax exempt status they have enjoyed is a misplaced one. They do nothing charitable toward their fellow man. I believe they attached themselves to a case in America when a religious leader was battling to keep in money from sales of book and such. WTBTS showed a friendly interest and when the case was lost, all magazines were supposedly free from that point onward. It will be easy to find this case again. I have taken all comments and kept them to see what the main wishes are for those concerned with abuse. There is a general harmony of thought from what I have read.

    Thank you for your time people.

  • umbertoecho

    Good points all of them. I recognize that I need to stay on track with this particular issue of Child Abuse and how the ARC wishes to find a way to deal with it in relation to the unusual two witness rule that JWs live by. I think legislation is what every one is recommending. No internal judicial committees, just straight reporting to the relevant authorities.

    Strict back ground checks on all who are dealing with children and perhaps penalties for those who do not comply. It is a crime not some religiously defined sin.

    Thanks to all

  • konceptual99
    It's official doctrine ( of which Jackson is guardian ) to comply with any law of Caesar which does not conflict with the Bible. Jackson feels that mandatory reporting would be a good thing, therefore, it must not conflict with the Bible. This begs the question, "Why hasn't the WTBTS always reported allegations of child sexual abuse voluntarily?"
    Where is the logic in suggesting mandatory reporting, if you plan on disobeying that law? If plan to obey the law, why not practice the principle behind that law? Surely the one true Xian denomination does not need Caesar to force them to do the right thing....

    Exactly DD.

  • Coded Logic
    Coded Logic

    I feel there are several things that can be done to help protect the victims:

    1.) When an Elder or MS first hears of a child abuse complaint they should be required to encourage the accuser and or guardian to file a police report.

    2.) Regardless of the accuser's and or guardian's intention to - or not to - file a police report the Elder or MS must make the authorities aware of the complaint.

    3.) Any and all testimony taken from the accuser by the Elders must be recorded and made available to the authorities upon request.

    4.) Any and all testimony taken from the accused by the Elders must be recorded and made available to the authorities upon request.

    5.) Upon receiving a complaint of child abuse the Elders must inform the congregation that a child abuse complaint has been made by one of the congregation members against another congregation member. If the accuser and accused are in separate halls the notice must be made in both halls. The identity of both the accuser and accused must remain confidential.

    6.) If the accused confesses to the Elders that they abused a child then the identity of the accused and nature of their crime must be made public to the congregation. If the accused transfers to another congregation the new congregation shall be made aware of the name accused and that they have admitted to child abuse.

    7.) If an individual has been convicted of child abuse in the court of law it shall be made known to their congregation by the elders that their is a convicted child abuser in the congregation and the identity of the offender. When the individual transfers to a new congregation it shall be made know by the elders that individual is a convicted child abuser.

    8.) If a complaint is made in a hall or it becomes known that a convicted child abuser is in the congregation a special public needs talk shall be given on what children should do if they are abused, on what members should do if they suspect a child has/is being abused, and what legal resources are available to them.

    9.) Parents who have children that are minors in a congregation that has a confessed or convicted child abuser must be allowed to transfer their families to another congregation if they wish to without interference from the BOE.

  • Simon

    Your rules seem to be based on the idea that the elders should have some authority and involvement. They don't and should have none.

    1. Report it to the real authorities.

    End of rules. They have no business talking to the accused or taking testimony of any kind. Call trained professionals who have the force of the legal system behind them.

    The idea of announcing that "oooh, there is someone bad about" is unworkable and impractical. It doesn't help and will result in libel / slander. Do they announce "oh, it's OK now, he's gone" if someone stops attending?

    Better to set the tone of "be watchful of people taking an unhealthy interest in your children and don't trust people just because they show up at the same church.

  • Vidiot

    konceptual99 - "Why is the WTS so unwilling to apply best practice that has already been implemented in other organisations? Why is the WTS so unwilling to unilaterally prioritise the reporting of alleged abuse to the authorities then worry about the internal disciplinary process once the facts are independently established? Why is the WTS so unwilling to make the procedure completely open, transparent and clear to anyone inside or outside the organisation?"

    Because, as "God's Earthly Organization", they are convinced their ways are inherenty superior to that of "Satan's World" (particularly religious ones), no matter how it may seem otherwise.

    Because, as an authoritarian high-control group, they are unable to refrain from legalism, secrecy, etc.

    Because, in all likelihood, there are high-ranking WT individuals with abuse-related pasts who are anxious to avoid exposure.

    Because if the degree of institutionalization, prevalence, and irreparableness of the problem were truly made public in a way that no one could deny, their claims of exclusivity would be too deeply undermined, they would be publicly humiliated, and enough rank-and-file parents would cease supporting the Org (by leaving, withholding donations, or simply preventing their kids from growing up as loyal JWs) that the WTS would find its own survival at considerable risk.

  • truthlover123

    Elders are not trained to handle social and psychological issues - they are window washer, truck drivers, work part time, no college, no real social skills to deal with abuse or mental illness crisises.

    The WTBTS can be mentioned along these lines as they constantly berate those who want a better education, threatening to remove elders and MS if their child goes to college - so how in ....... can they deal with child abuse or emotional/mental illnesses????

  • Mephis

    1.) If the view of the GB is that elders' consciences should move them to report, then they should explicitly give guidance to elders saying that. Write it down, no weasel wording, but a direct message to elders: "Your personal conscience is very important. Use it regardless of whether or not the law specifically obliges you to try and protect children. You are responsible before Jehovah for your own actions and inaction. Take advice from those qualified to give it on child protection issues, which the service desk is not, and act accordingly."

    2.) A formal and fully documented procedure for elders to follow when child abuse is reported to them should be written for each different jurisdiction which takes into account both local law but, more importantly, that this is about protecting children as the priority. The 'sin' aspect of things comes after that. A long way after that.

    3.) Involve recognised outside child protection experts in creating a curriculum and training course for elders. Allow them to provide it at elders' schools. This will help to raise awareness as well as give elders outside perspective of the issues involved and the need to pass things to people who can help appropriately. Regularly seek updated perspectives from child protection professionals on amendments to policies - review of what is effective and what isn't is important.

    4.) Acknowledgement of there being an issue publicly. Openly admit the problems being faced and what is being done to solve them. No weasel wording. No passing the buck. An acceptance that they are a hierarchical religion and a willingness to accept they have a duty of care, sometimes legally but most definitely morally. An apology to those they've failed and public statement of what steps they are now going to be taking to try and ensure it doesn't happen again.

    Sorry I can't be more practical with suggestions, and it's sad that even those will have little chance of being approved by Brooklyn. If someone keeps closing the curtains on the inside, it's hard to get sunlight from the outside.

  • Lee Elder
    Lee Elder
    Governments should require the implementation of a "Child Protection Policy" by all tax exempt organizations. The plan should meet minimum required standards as set by the government and be readily available for inspection by all.
  • konceptual99
    Quite @Vidiot.....

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