"It is the victims right to approach authorities" The weak excuse used by the society
I personally know an elder close friend of mine who was deleted for telling the victims family that they should go to the police about their son being physically assaulted by another jw. When the elders found out, they went to the victims family to discourage them from going to the police. They told the family they cannot go to the police. The elders wrote to the service department recommending his deletion which was approved. This elder was in shock as how they can print saying elders do not tell victims not to report to authorities yet he was deleted for encouraging them to do so. When this elder called the Circuit Overseer, he was told that although victims can go to the police, elders must remind them of the reproach this will bring upon the Organization. Those elders were not reprimanded or deleted for telling the family not to go to the police. Yet he was removed.
This shows that whats in print and what happens in real life are very different. All the paperwork of his deletion is kept in the Cong files. I wonder if those files could one day be subpoenaed to prove that victims truly are discouraged from reporting abuse or any other crime for that matter. Also those files will prove what really happens when an elder encourages victims to call authorities.
BTW: This family did go to the police about the abuse. The former elder moved to another state, I can locate him if his testimony would help or be relevant. Im not sure if he would cooperate though.
For at least 35 years the position of the WT was:
*** g79 3/8 p. 12 Living with Law—Now and Forever ***
But for handling most differences between Christians, men well grounded in Biblical principles are available in the congregations. They are even now helping many to resolve such matters without the public notice and consequent reproach of court action. In some cases Christian love may even move one to “suffer injury” rather than harm the good name of the congregation before those outside.
But there was an adjustment in 2014:
*** lv (God's Love - 2014) p. 223 Resolving Disputes in Business Matters (footnote)***
In rare instances, one Christian might commit a serious crime against another—such as rape, assault, murder, or major theft. In such cases, it would not be unchristian to report the matter to the authorities, even though doing so might result in a court case or a criminal trial.
Plus there's the difference between what's written in the pages and what's said by the elders.
It would be very rare for an elder to condone going to the police. For a start he would need the agreement and concensus of other elders, and for the majority, contacting the police is just too shameful for the congregation.
stuckinarut2 - "...'keeping matters confidential' to protect the reputation of the Organization..."
Jeezus, even as a f**king ten-year-old, I grasped that reporting offenses (committed by members) to the authorities would far better "protect the reputation of the Organization" than not.