Over the past 25 years, the active membership of the organisation in Australia has grown 29 per cent from approximately 53,000 members in 1990.
In the same period Australia’s population growth has been approximately 38 per cent.
This statement by the ARC is one of the single most poignant statements made in relation to JWs self-belief on organisational growth. It strikes at the heart of the problem ... an overinflation of one's self-worth. In 1999 Watchtower and the JWs appeared before the Australian Senate and claimed they have just over 100,000 associates in Australian alone. This is an almost double amount of the facts. Theocratic warfare.
Watchtower and the JWs have been stripped naked and exposed to the world for all to see. The big problem now is what to do with them. They will not reform. They cannot apologise and admit their system is flawed. To do so would require an admission worldwide as the system comes from the governing body and Watchtower's elder/lawyers.
Geoffrey Jackson publicly criticised the ARC for attempting to understand the bible. But the reality is that Jackson and his fellow six governing body members believe only they themselves can interpret the bible accurately and that their interpretation is the only one endorsed by god. By contrast the ARC could have just as easily criticised Jackson & Co for trying to interpret the law in Australia, but they didn't as the dismal facts spoke.
The current operation of Watchtower in Australia is untenable. They cannot be permitted to continue to operate in breach of the law and as a clear and present danger to the wider Australian community as well as the rank-and-file JWs.
Watchtower will stumble and fall as they seek to dodge liability by weaving fallacy after fallacy. They will try to bluff the ARC by providing a pseudo Child Protection / Safeguarding Policy that actually protects the Watchtower and no one else. No doubt any such policy will ultimately blame the victims and their family. This will be no coincidence because it comes from the governing body and 'faithful and discreet slave' - both of whom never say sorry.
It took over three years of fighting and court battles to get the JWs in Australia to comply with the working with children laws and for the elders and ministerial servants to undergo a police check as required by law for charities and religious institutes. Now some 7,000 JWs have now done the check, were issued their cards and complied with the law. This was a victory for those who took on the cause and a slap in the face to the governing body.
The Catholic Church has appeared this week to receive their report card. They also apologised, made amends and made compensation. They acknowledged they were protecting their public image. They provided a list of victim payouts which totaled some $275million. In the most part they are on the way to forgiveness.
The Watchtower and JWs appear on the 6th of March. There has been no apology. The recent Fessler case showed that they have not learnt a single lesson. They are beyond reform. They have not, will not and cannot admit that their actions were to protect their image, because their actions were not motivated by image or even money. The motivation was the furtherance of a religious cause - the existance and power of 'the faithful and discreet slave' and its governing body.
It will be interesting to see if Watchtower made any payouts as they have no redress scheme. I know of one JW family in Australia that asked Watchtower for compensation of 99 cents and an apology. Their compensation claim was rejected.
The ARC has the power to recommend to the Australian government that Watchtower and all 800 plus associated charities be wound up and shut down. The ARC has the power to recommend that all public JW places of worship be deregistered so as to protect the community. The ARC has no power to go after the JW religion as it does not exist as a legal entity, it only exists in the mind of JWs. In this situation the Ellis defence (an Australian legal precedent) applies.
Two members of the governing body need to appear before the ARC on behalf of all members and plead for forgiveness. Won't happen. Arrogance. The bible says you reap what you sow.