Jump to content
JWTalk - Jehovah's Witnesses Discussion Forum
Bob

Bible-Based Child Protection Packet Released

Recommended Posts

22 hours ago, Bob said:

But mishandling child abuse cases are not the same as deliberately covering them up, as often alleged.

Indeed not. And I am fully aware of that.

In fact I take a gamble by saying the following, because it could be misinterpreted by some that I am somehow minimizing the trauma that the victims have suffered, but I feel the biggest problem with later adult survivor disclosures and their subsequent interpretation by others, including the media, is that those survivors who go to the media are those who hate the organization regardless, not entirely because of what happened to them, but because they no longer want to be a part of it. They want to live a different lifestyle. They feel their life was wasted as a JW, and on top of that they have received unsatisfactory (to them) closure to their bad experience as victims of sexual molestation while in the organization. An explosive combination! In contrast, those who want to remain loyal to Jehovah might bring the perpetrator to justice by means of secular authorities, (police, courts etc.) but they do NOT take their story to the media. It seems like I am stating the obvious, but it appears like this is not being fully understood even by some government officials; that it is a matter of fact that you are going to hear embellished bad stuff from someone who holds a grudge for whatever reason. There is very little objectivity to be gleaned from that kind of a situation. And the media is of course more interested in a sordid story than they are in facts. It would be great if some of those survivors who are still JW would step forward to counteract the false claims, and tell their story. But of course this won't happen, and it's understandable. It would just become a kind of tit for tat scenario. Our way is to sit tight and let the truth speak for itself. The truth always comes out in the end. 

 

As Lance says, and he has 30 years of experience as an elder, these situations are not clear cut and dry, but can be very complex, sometimes there is no satisfactory solution for all, due to extenuating factors he describes. Many can sit in judgement but have actually no idea of the facts. Pedophiles are very clever and will usually target victims who are less likely to talk. Unfortunately this means that children of dysfunctional families or children in a divided household and those who are not close to the congregation will become "ideal" candidates. You can already see how this is a recipe for disaster.....

 

For my part, I am grateful for this consolidated information because it will help those who may be getting twisted information from other sources, and also it will make those who have never suspected anything like this in our organization be less naive and able to protect themselves and others if the situation arises. Forewarned is forearmed.

 

And I am sorry if I sounded unfair, it was a misunderstanding.

Edited by carlos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, annakot said:

There is very little objectivity to be gleaned from that kind of a situation. And the media is of course more interested in a sordid story than they are in facts.

Good point. The media now has no choice but to get the facts thanks to this document. Already, the organization gave this packet to media members in Pennsylvania when they came asking about our policies, and they shared the document with their TV audience during a news segment.

 

I am of the view that the organization is clearly not going to play by the rules of the media. The media is used to organizations doing "damage control" by granting interviews to answer allegations, so they believe they have a right to cross-examine "top officials" of our organization based on unverified or unverifiable allegations.

 

That shifts the burden proof onto us and off of the accuser and the courts. No court in ANY country have ever found our policies unlawful. So the brothers have no reason to speak to the media, and can ignore them and be about their business of the Kingdom work. That puts the burden of proof right were it belongs -- on those making the claim.

Edited by Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/24/2018 at 5:24 AM, annakot said:

Bob and Carlos, yes, of course we would never deliberately cover up child abuse, but mistakes were definitely made. You may be right in saying that the primary reason for this packet is to counteract the misinformation in the media, and that the points underlined have been in practice for decades, but how would you explain situations where the perpetrators went on to molest more children after the first victim, despite the elders knowing about the first victim? I am sure you will agree this should have never happened. But it did. This is no media exaggeration, those are facts. A true pedophile does not stop, he merely finds more devious ways.  But with this new packet the likely hood of this happening are much slimmer now, because all relevant persons will be duly informed and the perpetrator no longer able to hide under the guise of "repentance". So I do think that as well as being relevant to those in the media, it is also very helpful for all members of the congregation.

Anna, thank you for your post where you explain there was a misunderstanding. :)

 

I'd like to address one detail from this previous posts of yours. I don't think we are disagreeing, it's just a clarification: Yes, it's true that mistakes have been made, that some victims were told not to go to the authorities, and that more implication in some cases could have prevented further victims. All of this is regrettably true.

 

But all these rather rare mistakes were made by disobedient individuals, not by the organization nor by Jehovah's people. Since Jehovah's organization exist on earth in modern times, it has never been our policy to minimize rape or abuse, to tell the victims to keep silent or to let pedophiles unleashed in the congregation. Never. When those things happened, it was because elders ignored the instructions from the branch and followed their own opinion. If they had listened to the branch, none of those mistakes would have happened.

 

Have our proceedings to handle child abuse accusations improved? Absolutely! We have learned a lot from experience and from the research of experts, and now we are in a better position than ever to help the victims. But this doesn't mean that we had inappropriate practices or policies. JWs have always cared for their children and have tried to protect them from every danger.

 

I'm sure you agree with this point. :)

 

 

Edited by carlos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the group InvisibleChildren.org, 1 out of 5 children in the United States will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old. It follows that you should be able to look anywhere and find a bumper crop of abuse cases. Most likely, child sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witness community is significantly less prevalent than in the greater world. The reason abuse is linked with Jehovah’s Witnesses is that the latter make a point of investigating wrongdoing in their ranks for the purpose of applying discipline and safeguarding congregation members from such ones. There are cumulatively a lot of child sexual abuse cases, but there are many more anywhere else. However, they are never linked with religion (how often do you hear religious affiliation when an abuser is nabbed by the authorities?) because no one else is proactive enough to look into such things in their own ranks.

 

Witnesses worldwide attend annual Regional Conventions, for (usually) three days of instruction based upon Bible teachings. During 2017 a section dealing with child sexual abuse was a part of the program. Especially emphasized was the fact that a perpetrator is likely to be someone a child knows and trusts. If a relative, or friend, or anyone else, seems overly attentive to your child, it is a reason to be watchful, said the program speaker. If there are tickling sessions, if there are sleepovers, if there are trips alone to the public restroom, if—there were several other scenarios. They are all potential red flags: maybe harmless, but maybe not, and the parent must be aware.

 

Nobody, but nobody, assembles their entire membership as Jehovah’s Witnesses did and reviews detailed scenarios under which abuse might happen so that parents, the first line of defense, can educate their children and themselves. Thus the Witness organization is quite proactive at combatting what has turned out to be a worldwide pandemic.

 

It is not accurate to say (as the media often does, taking a cue from apostates) that Jehovah’s Witnesses are forbidden to contact outside authorities in the event of child sexual abuse; plain statements appear on both their printed and digital literature that they are free to do so. I would not challenge, however, that many, especially in the past, have been loath to do so, as it is the very opposite of what they aspire to be and of what they advertise.

 

As I get older I get to indulge some interests, primarily writiing. An ebook addresses the topic in a chapter of 9000-some words. After relating matters pertaining to the Russian ban, Part 2 explores the accusation s made against us and the defences one might make. (Pedophile charges did not come up there, but they do in other areas)

It is entitled Dear Mr. Putin – Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia, and can be downloaded for free in PDF and EPUB version at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/815620

There is also a version that is exactly the same except that all quotes from extremist sources are redacted: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/826384

Chapter 12 is entitled Pedophiles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/26/2018 at 7:25 PM, carlos said:

But all these rather rare mistakes were made by disobedient individuals, not by the organization nor by Jehovah's people. Since Jehovah's organization exist on earth in modern times, it has never been our policy to minimize rape or abuse, to tell the victims to keep silent or to let pedophiles unleashed in the congregation. Never. When those things happened, it was because elders ignored the instructions from the branch and followed their own opinion. If they had listened to the branch, none of those mistakes would have happened.

I agree with you a 100% but unfortunately those few "disobedient individuals" are seen by opposers as THE organization, and as Jehovah's people, (since in actuality they are Jehovah's people), so that's where the problem lies. You and I know the facts about this, but try explaining to opposers that a few individuals do not represent the whole. In any case, they are not interested an explanation I'm sure! So yes, I don't think we are disagreeing, just looking at the same subject from various perspectives 😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The opposers though come from a completely different perspective again. John 8:44 - There is no truth in them ... they are looking for the mistakes to magnify them, twist them and mislead with them, while NOT giving any hope based on scriptural truth in return.

 

It doesn't matter that 'we' - which includes both the individuals and the organization have put safeguards in place, not just presently, but quite in depth safeguards for a long time.  

 

If there was not those slip ups either in procedure or as individuals acting on their own from within the organization, the opposers would have made something up ... we should not be worried about what they think, but rather worried about protecting the innocent at all costs and pleasing Jehovah. Sometimes we all me included give these opposers too much ammunition by way of trying to disprove them ... let them be I reckon and embrace positive changes and tweaks so we can cotinue to follow our God in the purest way we can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

According to the group InvisibleChildren.org, 1 out of 5 children in the United States will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old. It follows that you should be able to look anywhere and find a bumper crop of abuse cases.

Additionally, child abuse in the US is out of control. Child abuse is reported, on average, once every ten seconds in this country. But this is flatly ignored by opposers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, annakot said:

I agree with you a 100% but unfortunately those few "disobedient individuals" are seen by opposers as THE organization, and as Jehovah's people, (since in actuality they are Jehovah's people), so that's where the problem lies. You and I know the facts about this, but try explaining to opposers that a few individuals do not represent the whole. In any case, they are not interested an explanation I'm sure! So yes, I don't think we are disagreeing, just looking at the same subject from various perspectives 😊

I agree. It is impossible often to try to reason with those that oppose us.   The April 2018 Study Edition of the Watchtower, Questions from Readers is helpful in this regard. 

Edited by JW2017

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, annakot said:

I agree with you a 100% but unfortunately those few "disobedient individuals" are seen by opposers as THE organization, and as Jehovah's people, (since in actuality they are Jehovah's people), so that's where the problem lies. You and I know the facts about this, but try explaining to opposers that a few individuals do not represent the whole. In any case, they are not interested an explanation I'm sure! So yes, I don't think we are disagreeing, just looking at the same subject from various perspectives 😊

The following is also helpful. 

 

https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/respond-to-accusations/

Edited by JW2017

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, JW2017 said:

So imagine if the organization decided to defend against all these allegations. What would that accomplish? Well, it would only give more free publicity to the lies. Secondly, it would be a HUGE distraction from the more important work we have to do, because of the sheer amount of interview requests that would be granted to the media.

 

And there is really no point in the organization responding anyway. The media 9 times out of 10 goes to apostates first. But the sliver lining in all this is what that article perfectly explained -- God's people would be hated in line with Jesus words.

 

Think about this too; for Jesus to be put to death, his enemies would need to be deliberately incited against him. Historically, the best way to turn the public on us is to incite persecution. Persecution, therefore, often begins with a lie.

Edited by Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stories about child sexual abuse are not nothing, and it is easy to see why a journalist would go there. Chapter 12 of "Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah's Witnesses Write Russia," on pedophiles, serves to supply background information, the absence of which leads to a seriously distorted picture.

 

The real story when journalists report should never be ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses investigated child sexual abuse in their ranks but did some aspects of it wrong.’ The real story should be: ‘Nobody else even attempted the job.’ All Christian groups should have. In fact, any group professing that their beliefs contribute to better conduct should take measures to see that that is in fact so. The Book of Romans says “You, the one preaching, “Do not steal,” do you steal? You, the one saying, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery?’ The Witness organization was proactive at a time that no one else was to combat a great moral ill. They were not proactive enough, however, to realize that their vigilance made them de facto enforcers for the greater authorities.

 

Data uncovered by the Australian Royal Commission suggests that a child is up to six times safer in the JW community than in the overall Australian world. Thus, the Witnesses vigilance along with their teachings have paid off. It is fine to handle a case of child sexual abuse properly. But it is far finer if the abuse does not happen in the first place. It is similar to calling in the grief counselors in the wake of a school shooting. Of course, it is a good thing to call them in, but how much better to not need them at all. A case of child sexual abuse ‘properly handled’ does not mean that it did not occur, and the child is only somewhat less damaged than if the case was properly handled.

 

In 2005, evangelical leader Ronald J. Sider wrote a book called ‘The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience,’ in which he observed that ‘church discipline’ was once an accepted aspect of many denominations, but in “in the second half of the twentieth century, it has largely disappeared.” Due to this, he laments, the conduct of the evangelical church member today is indistinguishable from that of the overall world, whereas the entire draw of the Christian religion is that it is to be an oasis from illicit conduct having free rein outside.

 

Important as it is to handle abuse cases properly, it is not so important as preventing them. JW’s vigilance and relative success in this should always be a part of any story about them. Otherwise, a reporter does his readers a disservice, painting one of the ‘cleanest’ organizations around as one of the foulest.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom

“Data uncovered by the Australian Royal Commission suggests that a child is up to six times safer in the JW community than in the overall Australian world. ”

 

I assume that this conclusion was reached by the rate of occurrence in the general population versus the rate of occurrence  within Jehovah’s Witnesses of Australia... ?

Do you have the numbers, because this is very quotable factoid.?

Edited by Lance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lance said:

Tom

“Data uncovered by the Australian Royal Commission suggests that a child is up to six times safer in the JW community than in the overall Australian world. ”

 

I assume that this conclusion was reached by the rate of occurrence in the general population versus the rate of occurrence  within Jehovah’s Witnesses of Australia... ?

Do you have the numbers, because this is very quotable factoid.?

Yes,  please share a link to this if you have one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Stories about child sexual abuse are not nothing, and it is easy to see why a journalist would go there. Chapter 12 of "Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah's Witnesses Write Russia," on pedophiles, serves to supply background information, the absence of which leads to a seriously distorted picture.

 

The real story when journalists report should never be ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses investigated child sexual abuse in their ranks but did some aspects of it wrong.’ The real story should be: ‘Nobody else even attempted the job.’ All Christian groups should have. In fact, any group professing that their beliefs contribute to better conduct should take measures to see that that is in fact so. The Book of Romans says “You, the one preaching, “Do not steal,” do you steal? You, the one saying, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery?’ The Witness organization was proactive at a time that no one else was to combat a great moral ill. They were not proactive enough, however, to realize that their vigilance made them de facto enforcers for the greater authorities.

 

Data uncovered by the Australian Royal Commission suggests that a child is up to six times safer in the JW community than in the overall Australian world. Thus, the Witnesses vigilance along with their teachings have paid off. It is fine to handle a case of child sexual abuse properly. But it is far finer if the abuse does not happen in the first place. It is similar to calling in the grief counselors in the wake of a school shooting. Of course, it is a good thing to call them in, but how much better to not need them at all. A case of child sexual abuse ‘properly handled’ does not mean that it did not occur, and the child is only somewhat less damaged than if the case was properly handled.

 

In 2005, evangelical leader Ronald J. Sider wrote a book called ‘The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience,’ in which he observed that ‘church discipline’ was once an accepted aspect of many denominations, but in “in the second half of the twentieth century, it has largely disappeared.” Due to this, he laments, the conduct of the evangelical church member today is indistinguishable from that of the overall world, whereas the entire draw of the Christian religion is that it is to be an oasis from illicit conduct having free rein outside.

 

Important as it is to handle abuse cases properly, it is not so important as preventing them. JW’s vigilance and relative success in this should always be a part of any story about them. Otherwise, a reporter does his readers a disservice, painting one of the ‘cleanest’ organizations around as one of the foulest.

If you can post a link to the data uncovered by the Australian Royal Commission please do so.  Thank You.  I mentioned this in another post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Out of curiosity, I printed out the ARC's summary of findings on the Roman Catholic Church and also their findings on Jehovah's witnesses. I used  WORD at 12 point type.  There is little to compare" The Catholic Church file resulted in eight pages of material, this was both a summary of findings and recommendations. The same print-out for Jehovah's Witnesses was less than one full page. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Old said:

Out of curiosity, I printed out the ARC's summary of findings on the Roman Catholic Church and also their findings on Jehovah's witnesses. I used  WORD at 12 point type.  There is little to compare" The Catholic Church file resulted in eight pages of material, this was both a summary of findings and recommendations. The same print-out for Jehovah's Witnesses was less than one full page. :)

The words of the ARC are not pretty for either group. Be forewarned should you decide to go there. I only referred to it for someone who wants a defense for the issue. At no point are they friendly to us.

 

It is Case Study 54 from which data of ‘up to six times’ can be extracted. That doesn’t mean that the ARC itself recognized their significance. Their mission was somewhere else. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Lance said:

I assume that this conclusion was reached by the rate of occurrence in the general population versus the rate of occurrence  within Jehovah’s Witnesses of Australia... ?

 

Yes.

 

Still, the figure must be used with care, because there are some qualifiers. It is why I don't want to post it out of context, much less link to the ARC. The book contains endnotes to the ARC source, and the entire discussion of rates of occurance is found in the last several paragraphs of chapter 12. The ebook is free and the subject is so 'hot' that I like to keep things within the context of the entire chapter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may also be helpful to direct people to the What Others Have Said About Jehovah's Witnesses article in the  August, 2010 Awake especially what was said by Elio Masferrer from Mexico and the Professor from Ukraine.  Also the first article in the magazine;  What Do You Know About Jehovah's Witnesses. 

 

It's all available on the www.jw.org website.  We could also use the September 1, 2015 Watchtower; Who are Jehovah's Witnesses.  The cover article of the Awake had a similar title.  But they are both available on the website.  The first page of the Watchtower article is good to direct people to I feel. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom

I looked at your numbers and how you came to that conclusion...  and why you are concerned with some aspects of them.

You are comparing apples to apples so that is fair comparison with the numbers presented..

So in 2017 there were 67,418 publishers in Australia with 12 non historical reported cases of abuse which means  .0178 percent rate of abuse

In 2017 there were 23,968,973 Australians with 27,058 reported cases of abuse which .means .1129 percent rate of abuse

So the bottom line you are over 6 times safer in a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses then in the world.

Also a major difference, all the cases of Jw’s were in a familial setting and no elder was involved.

So our rate of abuse amoung elders or “leaders in the church” was zero ..

The churches do not track parishioners who are involved in a abuse but we do.

As we all know “one abuse is one too many” ... but these numbers do show our vigilance 

Edited by Lance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Lance said:

Tom

I looked at your numbers and how you came to that conclusion...  and why you are concerned with some aspects of them.

You are comparing apples to apples so that is fair comparison with the numbers presented..

So in 2017 there were 67,418 publishers in Australia with 12 reported cases of abuse which means  .0178 percent rate of abuse

In 2017 there were 23,968,973 Australians with 27,058 reported cases of abuse which .means .1129 percent rate of abuse

So the bottom line you are over 6 times safer in a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses then in the world.

Also a major difference, all the cases of Jw’s were in a familial setting and no elder was involved.

So our rate of abuse amoung elders or “leaders in the church” was zero ..

The churches do not track parishioners who are involved in a abuse but we do.

As we all know “one abuse is one too many” ... but these numbers do show our vigilance 

A friend of mines told me he couldn't even find more than 6 guilty elders worldwide after researching this.

 

This is probably the closest thing any organization gets to preventing abuse, especially when it relates to just how widespread it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lance said:

You are comparing apples to apples so that is fair comparison with the numbers presented..

Not entirely, as the book goes into. It is reports sifted into degrees of seriousness on the Australian side, versus unsifted reports on the JWs. That's why I take the '6 times greater' as a starting point, but it is not something that you can take to the bank. It is the most likely scenario, but it is not a guarantee. 

 

As you pointed out, the real problem in making comparisons is that other denominations were not responsible or proactive enough to look into the problem; hence they produced no records. The 'six time greater' figure is not the silver bullet. it is just the best that can be done under the circumstances

Edited by TrueTomHarley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree it is raw data .... It dosn’t take into account unreported numbers, which we will more than likely never know. 

It is true that 65,000 versus 23 million is huge difference in sample size ..

That being said 65,000 is a huge sample when it comes to averages  ... Psychological  mental health  forecasts  are conducted on a far smaller sample to indicate trends in population health and welfare.

On top of that,  these raw averages hold up over many decades...  So we are not taking a sample from one discrete year in time.

So the bottom line is that Jehovah’s Witnesses are multiple times  less tolerant to sexual abuse issues than the average population. That dosn’t make JW’s perfect or without fault. It does show  we are aware and we are cognizant of dealing with the issues. From my  personal experience we as an organization are proactive in dealing  with the issues and assisting  the victims in whatever way we can. 

 

 

Edited by Lance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry if I'm posting too much information.  It is common knowledge and I don't name names. 

 

People complain about Jehovah's Witnesses handling of things.  I know someone who asked a Psychiatrist about the legal system and the Psychiatrist said that it fails most people most of the time.

 

I know someone who was publicly reproved for molesting his teenage step-daughter.  Well I thought that the legal system went easy on him when I found out that he spent just one year in prison and later I found out that he got work release doing his trade during the day and he was considered guilty of three counts.  

 

Well I found out that he spent a year in jail not prison and he does not have to register as a sex offender, he was one point away from that.  I thought that he would have to register as a sex offender but he doesn't.  

 

I know other things that I won't mention on here.  It is common knowledge that he molested his step-daughter and paid legal consequences although a lot of people think that it was prison.

 

 

Edited by JW2017

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.

JWTalk 18.9.15 by Robert Angle (changelog)