Child Sexual Abuse: The Organization Oozes Self-Congratulations over Non-JWs Tireless Work

by steve2 6 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • steve2

    Wow - the May Watchtower study edition is out. Who could have anticipated entire Watchtower study articles devoted to Child Sexual Abuse?

    An appreciative shout out to all the people who worked tirelessly over so very many, many years to call the organization to account over its defiantly self-serving policies and practices on responding top allegations of child sexual abuse. And a huge thumbs down for the organization's pharisaical white-washing of its own "record" on the topic of child sexual abuse.

    I guess the rank and file JWs should be - what's the word? - "grateful:" that the GB has seen fit to "adjust" some of its policies on child sexual abuse - policies that are by any standard based on little more that patriarchal self-entitlement.

    If nothing much has been on floor before, hungry ones are inclined to gratefully gobble up crumbs. But, as the reasonably fed will tell you, crumbs are only crumbs so don't get overly excited by the small pickings and call it generosity.

    So the GB state what in any other context would be a minimal given, such as parents and others having a right to report allegations of abuse to the relevant secular authorities (wow, thank you very much, brothers!) and it is the abuser not the victim or their support people who bring reproach on Jehovah's name (well, duh! where did the victims get the idea they were bringing reproach on Jah's name? Right from the elders themselves!).

    As for the more subtle "shifts" such as a picture showing a mature sister present when elders meet with the young female victim, who suggested the idea of having a mature female present to support female victims? Oh, right, Mr Angus Stewart, lawyer who questioned Geoffrey Jackson during the Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse in institutions! You've got to love the way that, when cornered, the GB slyly smuggle in others' ideas that are then presented as loving provisions of Jehovah's earthly organization. Crafty devils.

    Meanwhile, you can search JW org all you like - including its legal menu - and you will not find one single acknowledgement that the Royal Commission devote an entire chapter to an overview of JW org's policies on child sexual allegations and the Commission's recommendations for addressing the organization's extensive list of problematic policies.

    Consistent with that, the May Watchtower makes no mention of well publicized media reports of JW land being a pedophile's paradise nor of the extensive years and years of hard work by ex-JWs to call the organization to full account for its totally inadequate and damaging policies on how elders should respond to allegations of child sexual abuse.

    Oh, and the disgusting "two witness rule" - which Scriptural context shows was not for allegations of serious crimes but for relatively minor sins - remains firmly in place - only now it has been sugar-coated.

    As they say, a leopard cannot change its spots

  • john.prestor

    But see, it shows a mature sister sitting in with the Elder, but do we have any kind of confirmation that they actually changed that policy? Or is that just window-dressing like usual with these people? Until I see a letter to the Body of Elders or they reissue Shepherd, I'm going to assume Sisters still can't sit in on that. Besides, the arc told them to let Sisters talk to Sisters, not a sister and a brother. I'm not mad at the OP, it's just how long does it take these people to understand the obvious?

  • steve2

    You raise an important point, John. If the availability of a provision is not stated in writing, it can be side-stepped and/or ignored.

    Angus Stewart made the suggestion that, if an alleged victim requests a support person- especially a woman, be present, her wish should be granted.

    I recall that, in the GB's subsequent letter addressed specifically to Australian JWs and that was scheduled to be read out at one of the meetings, there was mention that a mature sister could be called upon if an alleged victim requested it. I do not have a link to that letter - perhaps someone else does.

    That letter would be the sole instance I can think of where the organization states in writing the 'provision' of a mature sister. It raises additional questions: What if the alleged victim wants her own support person at the meeting with the elders? What if the support person is not a JW or an inactive JW? I doubt elders would say, "Yes". As I said, these "adjustments - both written and implied - are only crumbs but made to look like 'meat in due season'.

  • ScenicViewer

    I presume these are the pictures of a 'mature sister' sitting in...

  • stuckinarut2

    Those pictures were no doubt a deliberate attempt to imply changes to the authorities such as the ARC.

    An outsider may think that these pics show a woman being involved in the process, but we KNOW that this does NOT indicate that a woman is ACTUALLY in the official cong proceedings.

    At best she could sit in while a "shepherding meeting" takes place AFTER or BEFORE a judicial committee.

    These pics were an attempt at whitewashing, and a form of manipulative damage control at their "finest"

  • steve2

    Imagine the furore if the mature sister said anything at all during the meeting with the two elders! She would know she has to learn in silence. Oh, the sad and frustrating lot of sisters. If she spoke up, she’d end up facing her own meeting with the elders - and I bet she wouldn’t be allowed to have another sister sit in as a support person!

  • john.prestor

    Exactly, we shouldn't give them any credit for some pictures they printed in a magazine until we see hard evidence they actually fixed the problems the ARC highlighted. Why include men at all in the preliminary investigation? Could be wrong, and by all means the victim should get to decide themselves, but I don't think most women want to talk about their sexual abuse with men. People don't like to talk about this stuff in general, its embarrassing and makes you remember things you don't want to remember. And from other reports I've read on this forum Elders sometimes ask questions that come across as voyeuristic at worst or invasive at best.

    Point being: they need to listen to McClellan and Stewart, let women talk to female victims and determine whether someone indeed abused them (the vast majority of the time people who make allegations like that tell the truth, of course) let men decide the punishment (they really should allow women to be Elders but we know they won't budge on that one so there's no point insisting on it)

    And finally, if anybody does have a copy of that letter sent to Australian congregations PM me

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