So for an organisation that is supposedly being directed by the Almighty, he must've been asleep while these things were happening
AUSTRALIAN ROYAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY: MAIN CONCLUSIONS ON JW ORGANIZATION
by steve2 30 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse
Of all the issues that a self-proclaimed true religion could expect divine instruction on - children's safety - the instruction instead comes from a secular authority.
Why does a secular authority care more about safe policies and practices in responding to allegations of child sexual abuse than 'the one true religion' has ever done?
And why don't its people care?
steve2 - "...Why does a secular authority care more about safe policies and practices in responding to allegations of child sexual abuse than 'the one true religion' has ever done?"
Because said "one true religion" isn't concerned with safe policies and practices.
It's concerned with being the "one true religion".
In the vast majority of cases, they're woefully (or willfully) ignorant.
And why don't its people care?
Excellent question schnell.
We can almost expect religious leaders to be shamefully obsessed with reputation and sticking to their guns - but the rank and file's indifference towards the issue of child safety and/or their uncritical preparedness to "wait on Jehovah" is also shameful.
Reminds me of the social psychology research in which people are pressured by "authorities" to act in harsh ways towards others. Often, when questioned about it later, people said, "I was only doing what I was told to do."
Despite all their outward professions of being different from other religionists (especially those in the churches of Christendom), JWs are as a people no different. However, it is affirming to see a few former and current JWs posting here who have been disturbed enough by this issue to seriously investigate it for themselves.
I`ll be very interested in how they will put a spin on the 2 witness rule, a God given direction plainly stated in the Bible.
They love to point out that they are a Bible based religion that they alone follow ,how will they get around that one.?
Will they ,can they drop it ?
Listener , you say Vin Toole has been challenged for his testimony in violation of NSW law ? am I correct ?
Do you have any reference to that effect ?
Smiddy, it was noted in the Findings released by the RC a year ago. This is one thread where it is mentioned
Cofty's post has the quote from that 'Findings Report' and I'll requote it-
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.
Compulsory reporting applies in 2 states in Australia. 1006 cases known to the branch and zero reported to the police, Therefore numerous serious crimes have been committed by elders and branch lawyers.
Now we know why the Australian branch is searching for lawyers and accountants.
As mentioned earlier, they are continuing to look at this matter and in the current Report just released they have said this (I’ll highlight some of the more interesting points) Also, note the heading –‘ Concealment Offences’, sounds like a big problem for them.
Knowing that they will obey the law and being told that they are breaking the law, they would then be obliged to report all cases of criminal activities that fall under that legislation that the Org. becomes aware of. This may include things like rape, stealing, illegal immigrants and so on, depending on the requirements of the legislation. They get away with not reporting it in the USA and other countries because of either an exemption for religious institutions or the perceived idea that they have privilege under 'clergy confession.' The RC is about to tell them that they don't.
Concealment offences The Royal Commission heard evidence that, before the public hearing of this case study, the Jehovah’s Witness organisation did not consider that concealment offences were independent of obligations under mandatory reporting laws to report child sexual abuse.562 Mr Toole said the Jehovah’s Witness organisation had not reported child sexual abuse in New South Wales because it believed that only the mandatory reporting laws applied.563 In New South Wales, section 316(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) makes it a criminal offence for a person with knowledge or belief that a serious indictable offence has been committed not to report to authorities information that may materially assist in securing the apprehension or prosecution or conviction of the offender. Similarly, in Victoria, section 327(2) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) makes it a criminal offence for a person to not disclose to a police officer information that leads the person to form a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed. Both jurisdictions provide a defence of reasonable excuse for withholding information.564 In Victoria, a person will not contravene section 327(2) if that person is (or was at the relevant time) a member of the clergy of any church or religious denomination and they learnt the information in the course of hearing a religious confession.565 There is no equivalent provision in the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). However, in New South Wales a prosecution under section 316(1) of a person who learnt the relevant information in the course of practising a prescribed vocation (and a person Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au 63 practising a ‘prescribed vocation’ includes a ‘member of the clergy or any church or religious denomination’566) must not be commenced without the approval of the Attorney-General (section 316(4)).567 The Watchtower & Ors submitted that when a survivor of child sexual abuse discloses their abuse to an elder in New South Wales:568 the elder is not required to report the same to the authorities because of the application of the qualification in s.316(1) of ‘without reasonable excuse’ when those words are considered and understood in the light of the requirements of s.316(4) of the [Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)], s.127 of the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) and the usages and rituals of the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith. First, section 316(4) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) does not offer a defence to a charge of failure to report under section 316(1). Rather, it is relevant only to when a prosecution in relation to a specified class of person may be commenced. We do not consider that section 316(4) is relevant to the determination of whether an excuse is ‘reasonable’ within the meaning of section 316(1). Secondly, we disagree that section 127 of the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW), read together with section 316(1), will mean that an elder of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation will always have a ‘reasonable excuse’ for withholding from authorities his belief or knowledge that child sexual abuse has been committed. Section 127 provides that a member of the clergy is entitled to refuse to divulge the fact and/or content of a religious confession made to that member of the clergy. Whether information has been obtained in the course of receipt of a religious confession will depend upon the specific facts of any given case. It is not apparent to us how the example of a survivor disclosing their abuse to an elder in accordance with the documented policies of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation569 would constitute a ‘religious confession’ within the meaning of section 127 of the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW). On their face, those documented policies are directed primarily to the protection of the ‘spiritual and moral cleanness of the congregation’ from the threat of ‘such offenses as fornication, adultery, homosexuality, blasphemy’.570 The policies do not appear to be directed to encouraging a person to seek absolution for their sins. Even if the example given contemplated the disclosure of their crime to an elder by a perpetrator (rather than a survivor) of child sexual abuse, we are not satisfied, having regard to the evidence before the Royal Commission on the purpose and function of the internal disciplinary process of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation, that such a disclosure would on every occasion constitute a ‘religious confession’ within the meaning of section 127 of the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW). We do not accept that an elder of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation will never be obliged to report his knowledge or belief that child sexual abuse has been committed. Particularly where the abuser confesses to their crime, the obligation to report is compelling. 64 Report of Case Study No. 29 The Royal Commission will consider further the issue of the protection of the confessional in a later public hearing.
Thanks listener for that update., I only hope that the Australian authorities carry through with their obligations to protect children who have been abused and prosecute those that have been negligent in protecting those in their care .
Anything less than that is a miscarriage of justice and if that occurs I will be the first to protest against it and hopefully many more will fpllow.