Two witness rule: Stop using it, its not working on JWs!
Elders aren’t police. They deal with the congregation. The PARENTS should go to the police.
Why is this so difficult to understand?
If a normal person (non-jw) has an abuse allegation do they expect their minister to tell the police for them? NO, the minister/priest deals with the congregation and the parents call the cops.
The problem was never the two witness rule, it’s that parents were advised not to go to the police (Parents are no longer told this, at least that’s the letter I heard read in my cong a few years ago) and subsequent shunning if they do
Even if a pedo was DFd w/o two witnesses they’re still walking free if the parents don’t tell the police.
Why would a parent take the advice of some random elder in a criminal matter? Elders had no business telling parents not to tell police and parents had no business asking the elders in the first place.
wallsofjericho: We all know that the parents are the first one that should report. However, in many cases, the parents will not alert the police because the abuser is a member of the family, is a friend, or is simply ignorant of the possibility to do it.
And then, there are those times where the police are yet, they get absolutely no collaboration from the congregation and the elders, preventing them to gather meaningful evidences, stalling the investigation!
For the JWs disown their responsibilities in this while shifting the attention to the parents is light years away from the love though by Christ, whom they claim to represent!
Years ago. there were no laws standing on abuse or child abuse. Women and kids were second-class citizens and that is still true today in many areas of the world. So cases of abuse and incest went unreported or children had to put up with relatives and parents abusing them. Many in the law turned away from doing anything or let the perp off with a warning to go home and repeat...the same way the elders handle a case..
When someones conscience started to work, this all changed but then crimes went underground. We know sex crimes take place, people try to stop it, but those who are seedy characters still commit these wrongs. The Bible speaks of many sexual issues yet nothing is mentioned about a child being abused yet anyone with a moral compass does not need to have a scripture to protect an innocent. The two witness rule was discussed among adults of the age- parents were responsible for a child and as such, their protector. Why do parents allow their children to go with someone in a congregation they think they know?? Even to the bathroom alone during a meeting or assembly? There are still states that do not have laws to report these crimes..why? Org is taking advantage of these loopholes to not report..Times have changed and so better the org or bankruptcy will follow along with 50% of their pubs- that appears to have started
The issue is too. If a child tells the elders that they were molested and the elders do cooperate with the police by saying that the child said, what good is that in court. That isn't evidence, that is hearsay evidence and no court in the western world allows the hearsay testimony.
Scenario one: So, elder reports that a child was abused by Pedophile brother. Police gets a search warrant and find thousands of pedophile stuff on the brother's computer. Pedophile brother goes to jail.
Scenario two: Brother repeats the story from the kid. Police goes and gets story from the kid. Police gather's further evidences and brings it in court. Kid tells his story again. Now, they will examine and cross examine if the story he told the elders, the police and than the judge are contradicting in any way.
Scenario three: The elder gets collaboration from the watchtower who inform him that the same man abused another kid in another congregation, in another municipality. That information is brought forth to the police.
I could probably go on like this, but the bottom line? Collaborating with the law would be a tremendous help.
Well, the first scenario doesn't actually require cooperation in fact even just an anonymous report which for some reason people here feel is terrible would do the same thing. Scenario 2 would again be hearsay, a witness can only describe what they know first hand and not based on someone else's report of telling them something. Scenario 3, would be inadmissible in most courts as prior bad acts which are not allowed in court cases.
Scenario 1: Police would not get a search warrant from an anonymous call. And on which ground would a loving religion punish an elder helping a victim get help from the police/child services?
Scenario 2: Depending on the details of the conversation reported by the elder, it could indeed be included in the prosecution's case. For instance, details that collaborate with the other stories that the elder could not have possibly known about unless the victim told him.
Scenario 3: You can bring a pedophile in court for molesting two different victims in the same case. What you are thinking about would apply if the pedophile was brought to court in two separate cases at separate times.
Point here is : You, me, the elders, we are not the professionals here, yet, you are telling me the elders should not collaborate based on false assumptions? What kind of an argument is that? Information provided by the elders could help the police and child services and these professionals alone are in a position to decide the value of that information. Not the elders.
Are you saying that the police dont respond to anonymous complaints even in cases of child abuse. In many states the statute allows for anonymous complaints. The police will investigate regardless of there is a name on the complaint or not
Do you understand what hearsay is? You can only testify based on what you know not on what someone told you
Yes a pedophile can be charged with two different cases. But that is not what your original scenario was. You said that they can inform on a different municipality. Even if that person was convicted previously the prosecutor cannot use that in the instant case.
AbusedandPissed, listen, you're arguing on specific scenarios when, in the end, it is the professionals that should evaluate what they can do based on the help they get from the elders and other members of the congregation. I am sure they will have much more options with their help than the alternative: No help at all.
Essentially, this is what drive me crazy here: Why would the Watchtower play these legal games when all they should be concerned about it spirituality? What does spirituality have to do with the professional skill set required to properly handle abuse cases?
Wouldn't it be much easier for them to collaborate? At least, they could honestly say: "We did everything we could to help this child? What more can we do?"
You finally made a reasonable argument. If you are going to make a legal argument then you have to do your research and not just think that the legal and the moral things are the same thing.
But again you also fall into the clergy-penitent privilege and what the US Supreme Court says about that privilege. That it is everyone's human right to seek spiritual advice from another person and expect that advice to be held in confidence.