Two witness rule: Stop using it, its not working on JWs!
That is the key thing. You need to get laws to change. Right now there is a legal reasoning behind not reporting. But if you remove that legal basis than that makes it different. The issue is that you cannot remove it from one religion and not alls, and that is where the fight is. You will be going up against all religions including Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims and every other religion that is legally defined as hierarchial not congregational.
AbusedandPissed: I am not against the right to confession. This is likely what the Catholics and other religions would fight for. However, what Jehovah`s witnesses do have nothing to do with confession. If a pedophile confesses to an elder, that elder will break secrecy by automatically telling 2 other elders about it. Then, as a group, they will inform the parents and meet with the child.
Why, in that scenario, would the perpetrator have the right to expect the religion NOT to inform the police is beyond me. I believe they should loose this and I am not sure that the other religions would actually fight for it.
Well, it is because in most states the confidentiality says that it stands when it is communicated and handled in the manner of the discipline of that established denomination. That is how the Barry case was determined when it went to the state supreme court. The court asked, what about a client meeting with their lawyer if the lawyer is the partner in a firm and communicates with other people does that lawyer break the privilege? No, it is in the normal duty of their job. Even in the MacFarland case the court again ruled that even if it is seen by a number of people who are authorized to see it in their capacity of a religion and the information is of a spiritual nature that the privilege still exists.
The Girlnextdoor 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.
Yes I've never understood why they don't realise that forensics, for example, is often far more accurate as a witness than humans - who are prone to error.
The Girlnextdoor The issue with the “two witness rule” the JWs adhere to is that they are not judge, jury, executioner. It is not their place.
Too right. The two witness rule is beside the point. Render cesaers things unto cesaer and *report all crimes* to the authorities to sort out. This is all that is asked of them!
If a jw is convicted in a court of law, albeit with one witness, will they not disfellowship the perpetrator? Of course they will!!
The pernicious culture of Watchtower - whereby the corporate reputation comes before even the safety of their own children - is at bottom of the issue.
This has nothing whatsoever to do with privileged communication between a clergy member and a lay person. Nothing.
If a JW child says “mommy, brother Bastard stuck his blah blah blah” then that Mommy needs to call the police, period.
I don’t care what brother Bastard said or didn’t say to brother elder idiot at the kingdumb Hall or any other place. It’s irrelevant.
What does matter is JW elders preaching and enforcing the Watchtower’s dogma and dictates, using undue influence in convincing JW rank & file that they should stay silent when they have knowledge of a crime.
What does matter is Watchtower threatening to bust up your family if you do the right thing and inform authorities of crime.
What does matter is the lame ass governments and the law unenforcemnt cowards who allow religions to get away with cowing their members into silence when crimes have been committed.
AbusedandPissed: In the exemple you cited, lets say the perpetrator tells his lawyer. Would the lawyer then go see the victim and the parents and ask if it was true? That's where that "clergy/pennant secrecy" is broken.
lastmanstanding: You are absolutely correct. They could go see the police where they are informed by the victim, unless the victim didn't want to. The problem at the root is there lack of assistance in bringing the victim outside help (police, children services, etc). They shift the responsibility onto the parents when, very often, the parents ARE the abusers.
Actually yes they would. They would go and investigate because that is their job. You would say that this person is saying this or that in general terms, you wouldn't give specifics and you wouldn't say that they admit to anything.
If you have a problem with the analogy take it up with the Vermont Supreme Court.
Then it is clear that the Vermont Supreme Court don't understand how JWs actually work.
I think that they do. they just looked at it from a neutral fact-finder position and not the hatred that other people have.
Not only should elders be encouraging going to police but they should also be encouraging going to counseling. They should be supporters of the victims helping them go to police and counseling.
However, the Watchtower organization still does not come close to understanding how sexual abuse effects the victim. They do not get the far reaching, life long lasting damage. The crushing soul destruction. They don't seem to even be able to display basic compassion in listening sessions when complaints are brought to them.
Basically, the Watchtower is useless. Sorry, just my rant.😡