Honest Questions About Child Abuse

by Richard Oliver 207 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • OrphanCrow
    Vidiot: ...I still think that if it were revealed - and confirmed - that there were/are abusers in the very highest echelons of the Org (or riddled throughout at the grassroots level, for that matter, as the pedo database would no doubt reveal)

    I have thought of this off and on and recently realized that the probability of there being victims of sex abuse at the higher echelons is a higher probability than there being abusers.

    Which, too, would explain the secrecy and reluctance to comply with turning over the records. Who would be named as victims? And by who? The victims are the ones entrusted with keeping the secret. Whose secret are they keeping?

  • sparrowdown

    What I would love to know is what they are doing with all that acummulated data of what amounts to an ongoing study of child abuse victims?

    Why do they keep this info?

    We know they do not use the information to change the way they handle child abuse so what do they do with it?

    Something doesn't make sense about why this organization even needs to keep a data base if not using it to report?


    Where's "honest question" guy??!?!?? That didn't last long....


  • Vidiot

    @ sparrowdown...

    I've lost count of how many times I asked that very question.

    Usually the response is "to protect themselves from liability" or somesuch, but that makes me scratch my head almost as much. After all, wouldn't documentary evidence that they knew about the problem but concealed it cause even greater liability if it were to fall into "the wrong hands"?

    It's also been suggested that because the higher-ups were full-on True Believers, they really did think that Armageddon would drop any day now, and therefore, said record would never be scrutinized by "Satan's World"... not to mention that truly believing they were following "God's Word" in the matter (particularly with regards to the two-witness rule) would also reinforce the belief that if they "stayed the course" just a little bit longer, it would sort itself out.

    (There's also the odd historical phenomenon that authoritarian regimes can't seem to help but keep meticulous records of everything they do, no matter how awful.)

    The closest I've personally come to a plausible theory is that the Org started keeping records of all the shitty things its members did, in order to ensure that unqualified brothers wouldn't be given congregational privileges and then f**k up and embarrass the Org (wow, that worked so well )...

    ... but because of the prevalence and institutionalized nature of child abuse in the Org, that particular data subset ended up evolving into its own thing (the current database), a step removed from records of the usual disfellowshipping offenses like adultery, gambling, etc.

    They had to keep recording instances of abuse in the Org in order to try and leash these assholes, but there were so many increasing reports and poorly handled cases (not to mention outdated social views that exacerbated rather than mitigated the problem), that it couldn't help but get away from them.

    By the time they realized how bad it actually was - partly thanks to Barb Anderson, ironically - they were too locked into the methodology. Reforming it at that stage would be acknowledging that their beliefs and policies had made the problem worse rather than fixing it, not to mention that the kind of reforms needed to fix it would have been too radical and liberal for the Org to comfortably implement.

    Completely unacceptable for "God's Earthly Organization" (not to mention that change naturally comes very slowly to ultraconservative groups).

    Add internal resistance from higher-ups who themselves may have been guilty of past offenses...

    ...and it all led up to the current legal catch-22... screwed if they stopped it, humiliated if they if they released it, buggered if they didn't, and legally f**ked if they got rid of it.

    The Org really does seem to have a knack for "Biblically-based" actions that come back later and bite them on the ass.

  • Vidiot

    @ Orphancrow...

    I've heard that victims whose trauma remained unresolved often become abusers (or at the very least, enablers) themselves.

  • cha ching
    cha ching

    What would the Borg say?

    According to one ex-elder I know, they would say:

    "to protect the sheep from bad men slipping into the organization."




  • prologos
    Why do they keep this info?

    sparrowdown: I second opinions already expressed above, They might want to check recommendations that came in from the CO of new elder, MS appointments against that list in the branches. The problem with publishing is, that the list might contain false accusations, also, are theses offenders grades from voyeuism "from a distance" to violent child rape, from toddler victim to 17 year 11 month olds? homo and hetero? true or false, accused or convicted? possible libel suits against wt?

  • Richard Oliver
    Richard Oliver

    Prologos: You are correct there are going to be false accusations or accusations that have been reported to the police and either charges were not brought or dropped. And if a person's name is released as a suspected child abuser without a conviction, they open themselves up for actual winnable law suits for libel. That is why when people are DF'ed in the congregation the only thing that is said is that "they are no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses." That is not a false statement, they don't announce someone is an adulterer, a liar, or an apostate, because if it comes out later that they are not any of those things then there is nothing can be claimed as a libel statement. That person is no longer a JW. And by the way that is why no one at least in the US can win a lawsuit over a disfellowshipping. Even the courts recognize the limit to release this information. In the Trey Bundy

    Even the courts recognize the limit to release this information. In the Trey Bundy report Irwin Zalkin reports that he is bound by a court order not to release any information about the records he does have. So a judge listened to the arguments on both sides and weighed the facts and made a determination that the probative value of the release of the information does not outweigh the right of privacy that those named in those reports have. The California Court of Appeals also recognized that even though a plaintiff has the right to the information they don't necessarily have the right to disseminate that information or to use the information in a civil trial.

    And yes the branch does use the records in order to prevent accused child molesters from ever holding a position of responsibility in the congregation. Everyone here agrees that an accused child molester should never hold a position of authority or responsibility, like a pioneer, MS or elder, so how do you suggest that they confirm if someone has been accused before or not?

    Also, everyone here demands that the congregation report to the whole congregation when a suspected child molester is in the congregation if that is what I can glean from the comments. How about if the elders follow everything that is suggested here, where they are immediately reported to the police, but let's say that the police don't bring charges or the person is not convicted, should the whole congregation know about it?

    Also, everyone here wants contradictory things. They want the congregation to have the duty to protect and warn but at the same time you demand that the congregation not delve into what each one of you do. You don't want them any control over anyones life except you want them to protect everyone from each other. The law does not recognize a duty to protect or a duty to warn for anyone that is not legally bound to do so. This is not just in cases of child abuse but it is a bedrock of jurisprudence, at least in the US, that you cannot force someone to protect someone from a third parties action. To do so would open up a huge can of worms. To illustrate a man is driving under the influence down a busy highway, and that driver hits an innocent victim who is responsible for the damage to the victim. It would be the driver who was under the influence. Under what you suggest with the duty to warn, every person that saw the drunk driver and did not warn the innocent victim would be liable for the injury. That is why there is a difference between the moral thing to do and the legal thing to do. The California Court of Appeals also recognized that there is a difference between misfeasance and nonfeasance. The court ruled that the congregation in the Conti case was not guilty of nonfeasance as a matter of law but they were guilty of misfeasance. But as we have seen juries vote with their heart but appeals courts vote with the law.

    And I know that everyone here is going to say that Watchtower is just using legal loopholes to get out of doing the right thing. But that is the way things work, just like plantiffs use the legal system to their benefit, Watchtower uses the same law to it's.


    Also, everyone here wants contradictory things. They want the congregation to have the duty to protect and warn but at the same time you demand that the congregation not delve into what each one of you do. You don't want them any control over anyones life except you want them to protect everyone from each other.....RO

    Your comparing normal private lives,with child molesting..

    Your "white washing" why & how the Watchtower Hides Pedophiles..



    causing disgust; offensive to the physical, moral, or aesthetic taste. ... 1745-55; disgust + -ing2. disgustingly, adjective. disgustingness, noun. loathsome, sickening, nauseous, repulsive, revolting, repugnant, abhorrent, detestable.

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