BBC Radio 4. 14th February 2016. ''Sunday'' program with article on Witnesses and child abuse.

by ThomasCovenant 76 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • slimboyfat

    Going by the 2005 church census, attendance in various denominations in England was as follows, with JWs included for comparison:

    Catholics: 893,100

    Anglicans: 870,600

    Methodists: 289,400

    Pentecostals: 287,600

    Baptists: 254,800

    Jehovah's Witnesses: 100,000 (estimate assuming slightly lower attendance than publisher number and excluding Scotland and Wales)

    United Reformed: 69,900

    Salvation Army: 47,600

    Orthodox 25,600

    Seventh Day Adventists: 16,800

    Quakers: 8,800

    Lutheran: 4,200

    Moravian: 1,200

    Although Baptists and Pentecostals are counted together they actually comprise lots of smaller organisations of a few tens of thousands of adherents each. Plus there are a dozen or so independent and new churches ranging from 1000 to 45,000, none of them equal in size to JWs. Mormon attendance is a mystery but assuming a generous "activity rate" of 40% would not be more than 70,000.

    Including world faiths, JWs probably rank in the top ten religious institutions in the UK in terms of active members.

  • konceptual99
    There is no one in this world more desirous of seeing WT's accountability in this child abuse mess come to light through the courts and media than me as I do have a dog in this fight! But I've learned a long time ago that before I rush to judgment, I need all the facts, otherwise my credibility is at stake. The following is some of what I wrote on my website about this accusation that WT ordered elders in the UK to destroy evidence:
    While the BBC’s report is correct that all Kingdom Halls were given direction about the destruction of certain internal documents, there is some debate and many unanswered questions as to whether this was a “change of policy” specifically intended by the Watchtower Society to prevent the Commission’s access. Watchtower branch officers in the UK claim that this was not the case – and there is some evidence to support their claim. On the other hand, the Watchtower’s critics claim that the instructions regarding document destruction were specifically designed to complicate and frustrate the Commission’s investigation.

    I for one really appreciate your considered and journalistic approach to this Barbara. I am very glad to see someone with your track record and credibility highlighting the issues without drama, supposition and biased spin.

    As I suspect you probably know the general instruction to audit personal notes and the congregation files is a yearly instruction. Any member here who as served as an elder should be able to verify this. What I don't know is if the most recent letter was different in tone or nature of it's instructions. Perhaps there are copies of previous years' communications which could be compared?

    I am sure the WTS is sure in their mind the instructions do not contravene the Inquiry's letter. They will feel that notes written by elders during JCs are simply jottings and not valuable or relevant. They will conclude that the official record kept is sufficient. The instructions for matters related to child abuse are separate and they would claim this clearly shows there is no intent to deliberately rid the files of relevant information.

    This is exactly the tack they followed with the ARC. Whilst their legalistic and semantic "theocratic warfare" might be at least arguable in a legal context, what they keep missing is that this approach does not show any willingness to cooperate, any desire to admit failings and move forward. It's not just the law that the WTS needs to work with, it's the spirit of the law and their lack of progression with this is what is constantly coming back to bite their credibility firmly on the backside.

  • jhine
    Hi folks , l have just heard back from Katie / Louise about the Justice Goddard letter . As far as she knows the letter ordering the preservation of all documents was sent to Bethel back in the Summer . However just to be sure she sent a copy to London Bethel in January , at the start of her campaign . Jan
  • slimboyfat

    "As far as she knows" - what does that mean? It could mean she has some reason to believe they got a letter. Or it could mean she's making a guess like anyone else. Just wondering which.

    We already know Lousie sent them a copy, so they definitely have a copy. But given the way the BBC programme was presented, I think it's important to know if JWs were included in the 18 religious institutions contacted directly

  • jhine
    OK , l should have quoted Louise directly . She emailed " l was told by llCSA that this letter had been sent to all organisations "
    Surely it is not unreasonable to think that " all organisations " would include the WT . Sorry for not being clearer .
  • Ruby456

    I got the impression that prominent has to do with what has been prominent in the news - on this understanding Jehovahs witnesses have been very prominent in the news regarding child sexual abuse.

    regarding whether or not they are among the 18 that are going to be asked to give an account of themselves - I think we will have to wait and see.

    they can argue that they do not have a duty of care here in the UK as they do not separate children from their parents for any actitivties. But as I said previously, the field ministry as has happened in the Conti case, is a grey area that is worth emphasizing cos here children can be assigned to work with others

    edit: this point has been emphasized for so many years now I was really surprised that it was not picked by Conti's lawyer. That pressure is put on parents to make sure their children seek out older spiritual brothers and sisters to associate with and work with in the ministry. Who would be more spiritual and therefore better equipped to help children spiritually than a witness who has allegedly overcome a sexual interest in children?

  • Phizzy

    "they can argue that they do not have a duty of care here in the UK as they do not separate children from their parents".

    I have no doubt they will use this and pathetic arguments like it, they are that disgustingly low on the matter.

    A Duty of Care for Children and the Vulnerable is morally incumbent upon all Organizations that have such individuals in their midst, whether for separate activities or not.

    There is also a Legal obligation upon them as follows :

    " . The Children Act 1989 indicates that anyone who has the care of a child should "do what is reasonable in all the circumstances for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child's welfare.”

    Everybody knows that Paedophiles will be attracted to where the vulnerable are, and will find ways to abuse them. It is everyone's responsibility to ensure this does not happen, for the JW Org to try to wriggle out of this is nothing short of wicked, and is motivated by not wishing to pay out for their past errors in this area.

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