When my daughter was 10 years old...

by NOdenial 19 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • NOdenial

    My 22 year old, married daughter came by to visit this weekend. She was baptised 12 years ago - when she was only 10 years old. (I know! ... As a parent... what was I thinking back then?!) I was a young ambitious Ministerial Servant, aspiring to be elder at the time.

    My daughter told me yesterday about her experience of going through her baptismal questions with the elders. She then asked me if she ever told me how "Brother So-and-so" was dressed during her review of the questions. I said I never heard about this experience of hers.

    She then told me that this 55 year old 'brother' (who was the congregation overseer at the time... very pious and righteous) sat ALONE with my 10 year old daughter... dressed in his bathrobe... !! This elder was sitting directly across from my young daughter. She said that she remembers how at the innocent young age of 10, she noticed how his bathrobe kept opening up, and showing way up his thighs. My daughter tells me now that she reflects back on this experience and questions how inappropriate this was. (God!! Ya THINK??!!)

    I have been sitting pondering this experience over night now. I am getting angrier and angrier as I think about it. In a congregation that typically goes out of their way to criticize and discipline those whose fashion choices do not meet with the conscience of the elders. Yet... this congregation overseer could inappropriately expose himself to my young innocent child. (it was totally innapropriate - because my daughter remembers this experience to THIS day!)

    This TICKS me off!

    So... now I'm wondering what to 'do' with this. My daughter is married, centered, grounded... and quite logical. I believe my daughter and son-in-law are going through the awareness exercises and observations that come before their own 'fading' from the congregation. I believe that it will happen with time. As a parent of an adult child now, I don't know what to do with this. I am not in this congregation where the elder is - and I don't know if I want to go there.

    Where do my obligations (today!) start and end with my parenting?! She is an adult now - and I wonder if the correct thing is to let her be in control of the situation. If I step in and stir things up - I may alienate my daughter from the path I believe she is taking: getting the hell out of the borg. I MUST be careful here!

    I'm open to comments and opinions. Thanks.


  • jgnat

    Tough one. I think this is a sexual assault. But you have to leave your daughter in the driver's seat. To bring this out before she is ready can do more harm to her. Ask her if she would like to register a complaint with the police. What is the statute of limitations for such things where you live?

  • blondie

    Crap, Nodenial, that was child abuse...and he violated the WT rule not to be alone with a sister as well. What the hell were the brothers thinking!!! I wonder how many other "young" girls he did this to.

    It's up to your daughter. If he is still in a position of power in the congregation, he may still be pulling such "games" and hurting other children. She could check with the authorities and see if it would help.


  • seven006


    You seem to have answered your own question in the process of asking it. Read your own words and your logical process of reasoning and you will see you already know exactly what to do and what not to do.


  • StinkyPantz

    Legally, I doubt there is anything you can do. In the U.S. we have what's called "statute of limitations" and I bet that that time has elapsed.

    This got me thinking though, and maybe some former elders can answer this: why are elders allowed to be one-on-one with a person answering baptismal questions, but there must be 2+ when 'counsel' is being given? In either circumstance, something (like this) inappropriate could happen. As I think back to when I was answering the questions, I was alone with this grown man for quite some time.. ANYTHING could've happened!

  • NOdenial


    My daughter is Canadian (as am I). This happened in the province of British Columbia.


    You're right... but I am always open to another perspective. It helps me stay out of 'denial'. LOL


    If this qualifies as child abuse, I don't think my daughter (or even myself) knows it is. My instinct says it is - but I can't describe the 'crime' or 'offence'. On what grounds does this qualify as such? (verbally - how is this defined or explained to her?!)


    NO... denial

  • blondie

    SP, according to all the elders I have talked to when talk alone to a sister, 2 elders are required according to WT policy, whether counsel or baptismal questions.

    The only exception might be if an uncle, or father were going through the questions but then non-family members are preferred for the questions.


    Statute of limitations or not, if she wants to, NoDenial, she should check with the authorities. There might be cases going on that are current with this guy and her information may help.

  • NOdenial


    Do you know of any attorneys or legal action in Canada that would be interested in hearing about something like this?

  • codeblue

    I must say that when my step daughter shared this info with NOdenial and I, I was "appalled" and"disgusted". This was sexual abuse....very inappropriate actions for someone WHO claims to have been appointed by holy spirit to be a spiritual leader.

    Makes me wonder who else he has had inappropriate actions.

    I guess if only one elder is there for baptismal questions that makes NOdenial's daugher's baptism null and void, based on the 2 witness rule?

    Now, that's a thought, isn't it?????


  • Sassy

    OMG, how horrible! I can't believe it.. and how confused a 10 yr old would be in that situation, thinking she is safe...

    how totally in appropriate.. what the hell was he thinking?

    jeez.. I guess because she is an adult, I'd talk to her about your feelings on this and tell her how much you are fighting inside to do something, but ultimately I'd let it be her choice what happens.. since you have both faded.. maybe for all of you, it is easier to not do anything..

    even though I can see what you would want to..

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