Jehovah's Witnesses Scripturally Based Position on Child Protection
The issue ... and this is THE issue ... is that the elders are not qualified to investigate and decide if a child is still in danger or not.
That one statement "the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses will instruct the elders to report the matter IF a minor is still in danger of abuse or there is some other valid reason" leaves a lot open to subjective interpretation. I think that by them putting this is writing, they are opening themselves up to lawsuits later on. This will come back to bite them. They are instructing their elders to make a judgment call that is typically done by trained professionals, i.e. social workers, etc. That makes them liable.
When are they going to understand: STOP INVESTIGATING! CALL THE AUTHORITIES! HELP THE VICTIM REMAIN SAFE UNTIL AUTHORITIES ARE CONTACTED. Those should be the only instructions given to elders when it comes to child abuse.
What the G.B.of J.W.`s put in print for the rank &file can differ widely from what the G.B.of J.W`s put in print for the non "witness" public in general .
What Jehovah`s Witnesses say they do for the public consumption and what they actually do in practice are two totally different things .
The G.B. / WTB&TS /Jehovah`s Witnesses are masters of speaking out of both sides of their mouth at the same time.
Another classic example is of how they claim to be champions of the family unit and marriage. In their magazines , JW.org broadcast etc ,
Yet in practice they destroy marriages and the family unit ,the internet is full of examples of how they have destroyed family`s and that what is published on the internet is only a fraction of what is happening and not being reported on the internet .
smiddy3: I know the WT is king of double speeches. However, this document, though not so easy to find for the common JW, it is still out there. Now, if a JW asks for a document that has to do with how pedophelia is addressed, they will have this document, if the elders in the congregation don't tell them about this document, another member of the congregation could and this could put the elders in a very difficult place (they could loose their privileges over something like that).
Before, if someone complained about a procedural issue, the elders would say: How did you get access to the elder's manual and go into an "Apostate hunt" mode, diverting from the real issue: that they would not respect the procedures. Now, they have no way around this. It is public. Accessible to anyone. Elders can now be put in their place by R&F who use this document.
THAT is a HUGE change.
Credit where credit's due...
...they've become experts in portraying legal (and moral) compliance whilst completely subverting it under the radar.
Telling the truth in a way that actually lies was the kind of shit I used to pull when I was a teenager and trying to get away with breaking the rules.
Vidiot: they've become experts in portraying legal (and moral) compliance whilst completely subverting it under the radar.
Yeah, you're right about that.
"Of course we report to the authorities .... if ... we are required by law".
And somehow, they never interpret the law that way. Even if the law is there, they will argue that it did not apply to each of the particular situations they faced. Regardless, the end result is: They don't report.
"Of course we report to the authorities .... if ... the child is still at risk".
And yet, they say it is the responsibility of the parents, washing their hands off of this. Regardless, the end result is: They don't report.
I do believe that the "rank and files" and the elders will read that document publicly available. They will see the hypocrisy of it when they live through that situation. I already know of a very well respected elders who stepped down (but remained JWs) as a result of this. Even if he still believes, he no longer supports the congregation. About a year later, many members made the connection when a documentary appearing on national tv mentioned his congregation shielding two pedophiles.
Wild_Thing - "...When are they going to understand: STOP INVESTIGATING! CALL THE AUTHORITIES! HELP THE VICTIM REMAIN SAFE UNTIL AUTHORITIES ARE CONTACTED..."
Never, I suspect.
As I've suggested before, if the pool of "qualified brothers reaching out" really is getting lower and lower - and all anecdotal evidence indicates this - they can't.
Running the Org at the grassroots/congregational level becomes way harder if "known" abusers can no longer (by their own stated - albeit internal - standards) serve as MSs or elders (let alone getting R&F parents to stay in a congregation where their kids are at risk).
If alleged abuse isn't actually reported, then it doesn't become "known", and the alleged abuser is therefore available to serve...
...not to mention that he'll have particular incentive to be loyal and obedient if the Org keeps mum and sits on the info...
So, if a kid reports an adult abuser and they don’t live in abusers home, if parents are notified then the community is safe?
Reporting abuse isn’t merely about removing one child from immediate danger. My family is filled with abusers and it doesn’t stop with one child.
Yeah, pretty sure the WTS doesn't give a flying fukk about the danger an abuser poses to the rest of the community.
BTW, I do think that a significant component to the Org's near-pathological insistence on abuse-related secrecy is the fact that its formative years were in the 1930s and 40s...
...a time when sexual abuse was almost always swept under the rug by just about everybody, because it - among other reasons - was believed that larger public knowledge about it would (correctly, IMO) undermine public confidence in the authorities and social systems of the time.