Australian Child Abuse Royal Commission rejects Dr Monica Applewhite's evidence and testimony.
[QUOTE] Dr Applewhite acknowledged that her report did not identify the basis on which she had formed her opinions.657 She accepted that her report failed to identify the ‘current standards’ of other religious organisations658 or which ‘religious organisations’ she referred to in writing her report.659 Dr Applewhite told the Royal Commission that her understanding of material provided to parents and families about sexual development in children by other faith-based organisations was ‘anecdotal’.660
Dr Applewhite accepted that it would be difficult for the Royal Commission to accept the opinions expressed in paragraphs 36, 45, and 46 of her report because her report did not identify the basis on which those opinions were formed.661
We do not consider that Dr Applewhite’s report and the opinions expressed therein assist the Royal Commission in its inquiry for the following reasons:
•Dr Applewhite did not identify in her report or in oral evidence the facts and assumptions that she relied upon in forming her opinions.
•Opinions that Dr Applewhite expressed were in large part directed to how the Jehovah’s Witness organisation compares with other religious organisations in its response to child sexual abuse. The material on which the comparison could be made was not apparent in the report.
•Dr Applewhite’s report did not include consideration of the experiences of BCG and BCB or of any other survivor of child sexual abuse whose complaint was dealt with by the Jehovah’s Witness organisation. The report is limited to an opinion about the documented policies and other material rather than about the practical application and effect of those documented policies.
In these circumstances, we do not accept the opinions that Dr Applewhite expressed in paragraphs 36, 45 and 46 of her report. The evidence before the Royal Commission reveals serious failures in the practices and procedures of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation with respect to the sexual abuse of children.
Pages 74, 75.