Will the Watchtower always win the sex abuse cases ???

by run dont walk 8 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • run dont walk
    run dont walk

    After following the Berry case, I wonder if anyone will ever win against the Watchtower, looks like their shake up in 2000 wasn't really needed after all.

    I guess the general feeling will be since elders DO NOT GET PAID, like Catholics or other religions, they will never be found liable, one more for the Watchtower, what a corporation.

  • JH

    What sex abuse cases???

    The JW's don't do that

  • Elsewhere

    I am hoping that these court cases will compel the legislature to pass new laws that will prevent the WTS from getting away with such horrible cruelties.

  • ezekiel3

    Amen, a revised set of laws for US child abuse/religion is needed.

    However, this affects all religions and will have the affect of making JWs think the wild beast is about to munch the hoar.

    Wouldn't that be ironic. Closing the abuse loophole would fulfill JW prophecy.

  • jst2laws

    No, they will not always win.

    Marci Hamilton, who tried the Berry case, knows better then most attorneys the uphill battle involved in finding ANY religion liable for the harm they cause. As part of the Jeff Anderson team they have won against the Catholic church many times but the JW's are a different situation. The abuser in the Berry case was not an elder (although it is alleged he was appointed a ministerial servant even after the charges of child abuse were brought to the elders) and was not secretly shuffled to another congregation by the WT society to hide his crime, as the Catholic hierarchy did. The main WT culpability in the Berry case, as I understand it, was the local elders

    1 Did nothing to deal with the problem and did not send the mother and children to the authorities

    2 Even advised them to not go to the authorities and to in essence leave it to 'Jehovah'. Especially to do this in the presence of the molester surely fortified his confidence that he could continue the molestation without risk of exposure.

    Watchtower's accountability would be for creating the environment that this could happen, where members would come to untrained elders with criminal behavior and then the elders being more concerned about the congregations reputation than protecting it's children.

    Presently the legislature protects religious institutions and even exempts them of the common laws that society must obey by letting them hide behind the First Amendment and state Ecclesiastical Exemption laws. If you combine this with the seemingly distant connection of the GB to what happens in a local congregation compared to the actions of the Catholic church in hiding pedophile priests, you can imagine how difficult it is going to me to demonstrate the Watchtower's accountability. This is going to be a process of educating the courts in how the Watchtower operates and the control they exercise over the local elders and individual JWs.

    Hamilton is not finished with the WT. I think she will become a major entity in this battle in the future. Meanwhile, some interesting cases are coming to court soon from the efforts of the Love/Norris team. It is hopeful that some precedents will be set paving the way for many victories against the WT.

    Its a slow process. We just have to be patient and come right back after each set back.


  • blondie

    As the group against abuse in the Catholic religion knows, the reporting laws need to be changed and religious institutions and their representatives have to be held accountable legally.


    Check with the regional SNAP groups in your area and see what is being done already to do this and how you could help.

    Marci Hamilton was the key speaker at the national convention of SNAP in Chicago this year and she stressed this point. The judges can only enforce the laws on the books. To change things in the courts, the laws have to change and the legislature in your state has control over that. Who is your legislator? Whether you voted for them or not, they represent you. Especially if you voted for them, contact them about your concerns in this area.



    BTW, there are message board access at the end of these articles. Try going out and expressing how you feel about this issue as a JW or ex-JW.

    We have to realize that this is not just a fight against the WTS but against every religious institution that hides behind the 1st Amendment when it comes to reporting child abuse.

    Marci A. Hamilton is the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. An archive of her columns on church/state issues - as well as other topics -- can be found on this site. Her email address is [email protected] Professor Hamilton's book, God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press 2005), an Amazon best-seller, was recently featured on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart.


  • DannyHaszard

    Jehovah's Witnesses are predatory psychopaths who succeed by intimidation through litigation. They are bullies, plain and simple.

    Culpability comes with the Power (can't have your cake & eat it too)

    Either the Jehovah's Witnesses elders are ordained ministers (don't forget that they say they are,in fact perform weddings and assert that they are APPOINTED BY HOLY SPIRIT) OR they are just 'good ole boys' with no ecclesiastical privilege you can't have it both ways culpability comes with the power trip.

    Below is top ranking worldwide JW news as i type, they have lost in the public perception already.

    Jehovah's Witnesses CHILD ABUSE Intimidation by Litigation
    Pressbox.co.uk (press release), UK - 7 minutes ago
    It represented a four year battle with hundreds of thousands of donated funds of Jehovah’s Witnesses be spent with law firms in the New Hampshire area to ...

    They will NEVER win a jury trial and they know it.I mean civil OR criminal.Why criminal?Because it's just a matter of time before they come after somebody like Danny Haszard and it will be 'spectacular'.

    Come and get it.....

  • DannyHaszard

    I luv my liitle guy

  • Gerard

    Paul Berry was convicted and received a sentence of 56 years. Yet, Paul Berry remains a Jehovah’s Witness in good standing and upon his release from prison will be required to make visits to the homes of the public.

    [It is estimated that well over $500,000 has been spent in donated funds of Jehovah’s Witnesses for the legal defense of Paul Berry.]

    In the the latest development, I believe, the court declined WT responsibility and therefore remuneration to the victims.

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