Honest Questions About Child Abuse

by Richard Oliver 207 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Richard Oliver
    Richard Oliver

    I have two honest questions for everyone here.

    I understand that most here want retribution from the courts against Watchtower for child abuse allegations.

    But let us take away the instances where someone was accused of child abuse and then later put back into a position of authority, such as an elder or an MS. Let us just take the cases where a regular publisher or even an appointed person, with no previous accusation of child abuse has come up against that person. Why do you feel that Watchtower is responsible for that person's actions against the child?

    Many here are looking for and trying to only sue Watchtower over child abuse. But doesn't that require a child to be abused and to be hurt along with years of litigation and then mental health support. Why is it that more and more people here aren't encouraging each other to try and work with your state or national legislatures to get laws changed for everyone to to be mandatory reports of child abuse? This would be something that actually helps future victims.

  • iwasblind

    Hi Richard, many are trying to change the laws. Have you seen the ARC, I think this will have a big effect.

    However why should not the WT pay for their gross mismanagement of warning people of pedophiles in the congregation. I have known many affected by the lack of transparency - this has led to multiple serial offences when it could have been prevented simply by showing logic and the correct love.

    For example, elders are not permitted to warn the parents of children if a pedophile moves into the congregation. These people may need help but why are they allowed to assocaite with the children and fuel their problem?

    It was blatently obvious in the ARC that not only are their procedures flawed, but they don't give a stuff about their own people. Every other religion is being forced to pay for and help the victims, why should the WT be exempt.

  • blondie

    Why is it that more and more people here aren't encouraging each other to try and work with your state or national legislatures to get laws changed for everyone to to be mandatory reports of child abuse?

    --------I have brought that point out many times on this board. Through my own experience and my family's dealing with child abuse in the WTS, I learned that the best way is to strengthen the laws in your state, seek out organizations like SNAP as well to change the statutes of limitations and not let religious leaders/organizations hide behind the clergy-penitent policy.

    If you goal is to punish the WTS only and think that will solve the problem, you have not yet understood the scope of the problem, in your state, country, etc. Working together with the people fighting to change the laws and have the enforced will help more people, in the WTS and outside it.

    What are the laws in your area? Who can you contact to help change the laws?



    Remember the movie SPOTLIGHT last year....this was SNAP beginning

  • Richard Oliver
    Richard Oliver

    Iwasblind- My point was not for cases where a previous allegations was made. My point was, how can you expect Watchtower to be responsible for the actions of a member when they have never heard of an allegation before. Can any association be responsible for the actions of another person if they have never been warned about it?

    Also too many people here don't realize that the ARC doesn't have any actual power to make changes. They can submit their findings to the law enforcement, and legislatures around the country but they don't have the power to make any changes themselves.

  • Landy
    But let us take away the instances where someone was accused of child abuse and then later put back into a position of authority, such as an elder or an MS.

    Unfortunately you can't take those cases away as that's where they are at their most guilty. You're correct, they aren't responsible for cases where the abuse is by someone previously unsuspected.

    But where there's been previous allegations their lack of proper safeguarding procedures has been absolutely criminal.

  • Richard Oliver
    Richard Oliver

    Landy- I am trying to find the correct case but there was a case where a man sued Watchtower because he was abused by a man who was a witness in his hall when the plaintiff was a child. The material facts of the case included that the plaintiff's step-father was an elder in the congregation and had knowledge of the perpetrator's previous allegations. But in the capacity of the child's step-father, he allowed the child to associate with the perpetrator. In your opinion who is responsible for the abuse that was put upon this child?

    I am not trying to start an argument with anyone. I have legitimate questions.

  • OrphanCrow
    Richard: Why is it that more and more people here aren't encouraging each other to try and work with your state or national legislatures to get laws changed for everyone to to be mandatory reports of child abuse?

    Because mandatory reporting is already in place in all of Canada. It has been for years. The law is not the problem here...the problem is the WTS that tells their members to not drag Jehovah's name through the mud. The problem is the way the WTS treats the victims and tells the elders not to report.

    For every single suspected case of child abuse, the elders are told to phone headquarters for legal advice. In Canada, that advice has been wrong.

    The problem is the WTS, because their lawyers do not follow the law even when mandatory reporting is in place. Even in Australia, where not one case was reported, some of those cases occurred in mandatory reporting areas.

    Yes, mandatory reporting would be great - what would be even greater is if the Watchtower Society lawyers followed the laws already in place and told the elders to report all suspected cases of child abuse to the proper authorities (ie...people with the professional training on how to question a victim and how not to lead a victim in questioning - which the elders do all the time- and how not to harm the victim further with those questions). The elders follow the advice of the WT lawyers. The elders don't follow the law and they don't follow correct handling of questioning - the elders are NOT trained properly and they are NOT professionals. And the WT lawyers do NOT give correct advice.

    Instead, the elders are told to take on the responsibility of determining if a criminal act of a sexual nature occurred by questioning a minor child in front of the person accused of inappropriate sexual action - the elders get to question all involved and discuss the nature of the actions that occurred to determine if a sexual sin happened and was acted out on a minor child.

    I am disgusted by the way that accusations of a sexual nature are handled by JW non-professional men only behind closed doors - men who have no clue about how to engage with a victim or about what a crime really is. My stomach heaves to think of all the victims of child abuse being subjected to questioning by a panel of men...men only...questioning a child about sex...another man. And what that man did to their bodies sexually. The elders dig and dig for every single little detail that they can. On the guise of saying it is to determine guilt - as in...how many fingers did he use? Did he make you touch his penis? etc, etc....

    What I don't understand is why JW elders go along with this perverse activity. Why? Why would a man agree to question children about sex abuse? Why? Why has there not been an internal revolution by men who know that this is wrong, wrong, wrong???

    Where are those men who care? Have they just left?

    Or is it just men left in the JW org who get off on the secretive nature of those JCs (combined with the secretive nature of the sex with children)?

    Which is it? Do the JW elders like dealing with child sex abuse or do they think it should be handled by professionals?

  • rebelfighter


    Never a JW here, I belong to one of those you know organizations that are referred to as Babylon groups and we work with the youth groups. We really do not care what the state and federal laws are, it is our policy if we as much suspect child abuse we do not question or investigate we simply call the proper authorities. They are trained to investigate and either deal with the matter or clear the matter.

    One of the incidents recently was a child that her father was from the ranks. If I had to relate thus to a JW situation probably like a CO. This man went to his superiors immediately complaining and reporting us. Their response was real clear you better be clearing this up with the proper authorities and make sure YOU and your family are on tract because we DO NOT tolerate this behavior. You need to do what they say to clear this from the records .

    PS we are all Certified Adult Volunteers both male and female if a female youth approaches a male CAV he is instructed to immediately find a female CAV turn the youth over to the adult female. NO male adult CAV is to ever be present when a female youth is talking about abuse!!! Those are the rules.

  • Bud Stars
    Bud Stars

    OrphanCrow- YES! What kind of men go along with this arrangement? It's gross, isn't it. I believe the kindest and truly caring elders don't last in the elder body. And often the most intelligent leave.

  • OrphanCrow

    Yes, it is gross, Bud.

    I cannot imagine being married to someone who gets all dressed up in a suit and tie and goes down to the KH to question a child about sex. I cannot imagine being the wife of one of those elders.

    I cannot imagine being a child who has had to talk about sex with a bunch of men - men who smile and pat the child on the head when they see them at the KH afterwards - all along while they know that some guy had stuck his penis in the child's mouth. And that the child had to describe that to them.

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