Two witness rule: Stop using it, its not working on JWs!
Most JWs don't see this as a problem. They reason that. just like the JWs, the police will not convict a pedophile over the story of one victim alone, there must be collaborative evidence.
Instead, the message (in the media or protest posters) should be "Collaborate with the police" or "Why don't you work with the police?".
They fail to understand that JWs are actually a problem in the investigative process.
1) They do not advise or offer help to their members to go to the police.
2) They do not help police investigation, non what's so ever. Went as far as to advise elders not to take notes and not to keep them at home; even destroy them.
3) They do not urge their members to collaborate with police investigation.
4) They have never stated that evidence gathered by police could be considered a second witness.
Due to the above, they unwillingly shield the pedophiles from justice.
Unfortunately, though the documentary on W5 will be highly effective with non-JWs, I fear that most of the JWs will look away as soon as criticism to the 2 witness rule is brought up.
I completely agree with you, but as they already announced more than once: They will NEVER change the 2 witness rule. :(
There were no witnesses to my daughters sexual abuse. The abuser was convicted and went to prison.
That being said, I understand your frustration. The statistics of actual abuse to conviction is extremely disheartening.
The issue with the “two witness rule” the JWs adhere to is that they are not judge, jury, executioner. It is not their place. When crimes are committed or alleged to have been committed, the proper arena to deal with those allegations is in a court of law.
JWs usurp the rule of law by shielding law breakers under a cover of the “two witness rule”
They also are not trained in any way to recognize that there are many “second witnesses” to be found and listened to in a court of law that are not necessarily human observers to a crime.
The 2 Witness rule is not the main problem, though it is plainly non-sensical in the case of Child Abuse etc.
The problem is that the JW's do not report any hint of Abuse to the proper authorities, wringing their hands and saying "We can't do anything without two witnesses", that is bollocks, O.K, internal discipline may be a problem for them but :
The only moral course is to report, STRAIGHT AWAY, and therefore protect the vulnerable.
JW Org's attitude is IMMORAL.
As Phizz says... the Watchtower can use whatever 2 Witness or 30 Witness rubbish they want for matters pertaining to their organizational mumbo jumbo. Who cares. They can say ah ha no Witnesses, and make the bastard an elder, they can make him a governing boob, who cares.
But when they hear that a crime has likely been committed, they must inform the authorities. The relationship between police and criminals is unaffected by their personal feelings or judgements.
I was exposed years back to a case that involved illegal wiretap. I was told not to report this to police. More recently I was exposed to a case that involved financial fraud over $50k and I was told not to tell police. All crimes are hid in Watchtower land.
I wonder how elders would react in the case of murder. Now, murder is a capital offense. I will imagine that elders would not report it, but would understand that there is a body and the police will certainly be involved. So their reaction would be to disconnect and run. They would later tell police that they had no knowledge of it, like at the ARC... “I don’t recall”
I agree and have seen it expressed here before. The two witness rule is the wrong focus. It should be the difference between a crime and a sin, that such matters should be taken to those trained to handle it, not elders. Police involvement should be the only way, not merely "not discouraged" as they say like the weasels they are but rather "encouraged as the means to handle crimes". The JWs have no reason to ever even hear these cases in the first place. It should be taken away from them. The two witness rule is then irrelevant.
How is it that Watchtower is allowed to decide what the FBI or the RCMP should or should not investigate? That’s some kind of religious freedom eh..
I don't think JWs shouldn't be the target audience for activism. I have given up on getting through to JWs with anything - let the brain dead be brain dead. I feel any activism needs to be directed at the media as the only hope of affecting this religion and those in it is to educate the public. Police, politicians, lawyers, teachers, doctors, counselors, neighbours, parents ...
sparrowdown: If you don't aim JWs, you may actually give the wrong tools/arguments to the people. As dubstepped said, they are weasels and can play and dance with words to such a level that they can take any politicien to school.
The point is that they can easily dance around the "two witness" accusation. However, it should be harder for them to do the same thing concerning actually collaborating with the police.
Sure, they will say: We report to the police where the law requires. Then you can ask them: is it the law in my state? My province? My country? If not, you are telling me you will not collaborate with the police then. How do you explain that? How do you dance around that?
Legislative action could be a focus of any and all so called clerical privileges are removed and all who have knowledge of a crime against a minor or vulnerable citizen are required to report it.
Then there is a line down in the sand that can provide no one with an excuse to keep these crimes hidden from authoritie.
Clearly removing the sin/crime distinction with jws(or any group) is not going to be possible, but holding every elder, parent and any person with knowledge of abuse criminally and civilly liable could change things, especially if the repercussions were severe enough.