Australian Royal Commission Findings released
56 Of the 1,006 members against whom allegations of child sexual abuse were made, 108 were elders or ministerial servants at the time of the first instance of alleged abuse.123 The files do not reveal how many of the alleged perpetrators were elders or ministerial servants at the time of any subsequent instances of alleged child sexual abuse. The files record that 28 alleged perpetrators were appointed as elders or ministerial servants after having been the subject of an allegation of child sexual abuse.124 57 Finally, the files record that 401 alleged perpetrators were disfellowshipped in relation to an allegation of child sexual abuse,125 and that 230 of those alleged perpetrators were subsequently reinstated.126 Of those disfellowshipped, 78 were disfellowshipped on more than one occasion in relation to an allegation of child sexual abuse.127
f) is in conflict with the organisation’s professed support for freedom of religious choice
Failure to support the freedoms protected in the Constitution should be just cause to remove the group's tax exempt or charitable status. Why should citizens support any group that is not in agreement with basic freedoms?
I'm reading through the JW rebuttal, because that's what they've done, of the suggested findings. Incredible attitude from them. They're now claiming:
"Irrespective of whether a parent or guardian of an abused child takes responsible action, if a congregation elder believes that children are at risk, then the elder can inform the authorities so that children are protected." (which cites Jackson's evidence to support it)
"The safety of the victim and other children is paramount. In cases where the parent or guardian of a minor fails to take necessary measures to protect the child, a congregation elder can inform the authorities for the protection of the child or other children."
But they need mandated reporting, which allows no loopholes for them to avoid reporting, because they firmly believe in the right of the family to be free from interference in such matters? Which is it? The whole point of mandated reporting is to place child safety first. That's why we report. Because Brothers Dimwit and Footinmouth really aren't best qualified to be making those calls.
Deeply bizarre response from them. Not unexpected. But, even so, how can they be so willfully blind?
As someone who has personally been effected by those horrendous policy's, it feels good to hear someone who's doesn't have a axe to grind with this Org come to the same conclusion we all have known for years.
" Dr. Applewhite's report is therefore rejected. "
Angus is my hero. He has been for months and he still remains so!
"F56 This report is referred to the Law Society of New South Wales in relation to the conduct of
Mr Toole in having failed to advise congregational elders of their obligations to report their
knowledge of the commission of certain criminal offences to the police."
Whatever, Toole's performance was shambolic and pathetic. One can imagine that he is likely to be struck-off/disbarred by LSNSW (rightly so, IMO).
That brings me to the recent WT Oz letter looking for qualified lawyers and accountants. My guess is that there won't be that many. I would also guess that qualified and licenced professionals may be more likely than most to be inquisitive and that lawyers in particular are following ARC proceedings.
Members of the hierarchy of WT have only to obey to be blessed, but JWs who are professionals (e.g. lawyers) must comply with the standards of their professional regulators to maintain their standing (and their licence). I wonder whether a lawyer who is doing quite nicely thank you and who happens to be a JW would be happy to compromise everything if he was called on to do something by WT that goes against his professional judgement.
I shouldn't make personal judgements, but I will. I spent my professional life around lawyers and I have some experience of them. On the basis of his appearance before ARC I would say that Toole was an ideal WT lawyer. He presented as evasive, weak, lacking in knowledge and a weasel who could be easily influenced. But he had the all-important Practising Certificate and thus was useful for signing stuff. Sorry if that's harsh, Mr Toole, but you knew or should have known what you were doing. You can't be a respected independent professional and a WT drone at the same time.
On another point - there were some comments posted here from posters who were disappointed at the lack of showy courtroom fireworks during the ARC hearings. I think that the ARC findings show that the best way to do these things is politely, calmly, professionally, clinically, forensically. Still working through the documents but I am very impressed so far. (Note that unlike WT publications everything is properly referenced and checkable). The bits of WT rebuttal I've read so far seem to be fairly poor. I wonder whether Toole was invited to assist with the rebuttal, or if WT is already trying to distance themselves from him.
The ARC is only valid within Oz, of course, but with other enquiries going on elsewhere (CC in UK and the wide-ranging enquiry just started) I have little doubt that the evidence arising from ARC won't go unnoticed, especially because the Oz and UK legal systems and procedures are compatible and - usefully - ARC has demonstrated that WT policies and rules are dictated world-wide by the GB.