By Srecko Sostar
Article from 1/24/2020: Jehovah’s Witness abuse victims unhappy at lack of care, report shows
.....The Dutch branch went to court to try to stop the publication of the report but judges on Thursday ruled that it could be published in the public interest.....
Below is final part of that report.
Results in context
International studies conducted in Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom show that the issue of sexual abuse in the Jehovah's Witness community is not restricted to the Netherlands. Furthermore, studies conducted within the Dutch Roman Catholic Church and the youth care sector in the Netherlands show that the issue of sexual abuse is not exclusive to the Jehovah's Witness community.
Our study and the international studies show that the Jehovah's Witness community can be characterized as a closed community. Each of these studies shows that fixed structures and protocols have been established based on the Bible.
Furthermore, all of the international studies showed that the Jehovah's Witness community does not adequately handle reports and complaints of sexual abuse against minors and that victims find themselves in a vulnerable position.
Our study and the studies conducted in Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom also suggested that the closed nature of the community hinders transparent handling of reports of sexual abuse. At first glance, this closed nature also seems to have a negative influence on the willingness to file a police report. International studies into the Jehovah's Witness community have found that there are very few opportunities to make such complaints outside the community and that doing so involves a very high risk of shunning and exclusion. The victim-support mechanisms within the community appear to be insufficient, no support is provided to enable external reporting of sexual abuse and according to many respondents, external reports are discouraged.
The obligation to notify the authorities of suspected or actual sexual abuse is a vital measure that has been taken by or recommended to the Jehovah's Witness community in Australia and Belgium. The Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands has also been advised to introduce a notification obligation. Since the studies in Australia and the United Kingdom were conducted, the Jehovah's Witnesses have set up a protocol to determine how elders must handle allegations of child abuse. The effects of the measures taken by the Jehovah's Witness community in Australia, the United Kingdom and Belgium in order to improve child safety are not yet known.
When we look at the three Dutch studies examining communities (closed or otherwise) that were examined during this study (the Roman Catholic Church, the youth care sector and the Netherlands Ministry of Defense), we note that being in a closed community hinders people from reporting a variety of offences. At the time, the minors who reported sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church community seemed to be in an extremely vulnerable position (due in part to the lack of personal counselling), which - among other factors - discouraged them from notifying external parties. Studies within the youth care sector and the Netherlands Ministry of Defense indicate that non-religious organisations also have structural inadequacies concerning the protection of members against undesired conduct and external reporting of such conduct. Furthermore, it can be carefully concluded from the studies within the Roman Catholic Church and youth care sector that the weak levels of procedural transparency concerning issues, such as to whom the incidents should be reported and how the reporting process is conducted, appear to have negatively impacted the willingness to report offences.
Utrecht University Conclusions
▪ A total of 751 participants shared their experiences of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community via our contact point. These experiences included 292 accounts from people with personal experience of abuse and 459 accounts from people who know somebody who suffered abuse.
▪ 80% of the participants in the study reported their experiences of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community. ▪ 30% of the respondents notified the police and 27% of the respondents filed a police report.
▪ Three-quarters of the victims awarded a score of 5 or less for the handling of their report by the Jehovah's Witness community (average score: 3.3). ▪ 63% of the victims awarded a score of 6 or more for the handling of their report by the police (average score: 6.4).
▪ Compared to internal channels (80% report the offence within the community), a relatively small proportion of the participants in the study engage external channels (30% notify the police and 27% file an official police report). There are reasons to assume that the filing of a police report is hindered by the closed nature of the community and the risks involved in informing external parties. However, our study does not provide causal evidence for this factor and follow-up studies would be required for such evidence.
▪ According to our respondents, the closed culture within the Jehovah's Witness community can also be linked to the problems concerning the handling of reports of sexual abuse. The board has now put protocols and instructions in place to establish procedures for responding to reports of sexual abuse, although these mainly seem to focus on protecting the community - and, by extension, the culprit - rather than the victim. As a result, victims receive limited support and insufficient recognition, which can result in secondary victimization.
▪ While the community has taken steps over the past 10 years to improve how reports of sexual abuse are handled, the Jehovah's Witnesses' formalistic system still provides no guarantee of an adequate response to sexual abuse.
Based on the findings and conclusions in the study, we have formulated recommendations for the Jehovah's Witness community and for the Dutch government.
▪ We appeal to the community of Jehovah's Witnesses to ensure better support for and recognition of victims and alleged victims via measures such as the following:
o Providing more explicit information regarding the options for reporting the abuse externally or filing a police report and/or seeking external help as well as providing clear assistance with these external channels.
o Setting up an internal reporting centre for victims of sexual abuse, with adequate knowledge of the subject and of the internal and external options for victims. Clear agreements must be established within this reporting centre concerning timely engagement of external parties for the purposes of reporting the offence and/or supporting the victim.
o Compiling annual reports regarding the activities of the internal reporting centre in relation to its own website, fellow believers and the public.
o Training and educating elders in how to handle in cases of sexual abuse, in order to better equip them to provide support to victims.
o Investing in openness and transparency in relation to sexual abuse and how it is handled.
o Initiating cultural change that establishes a clearer position for women.
o Engaging in discussions within the community and with other parties - such as politicians, the police, the authorities and the Reclaimed Voices foundation - concerning how to prevent and handle sexual abuse.
▪ Furthermore, the results of this study could help to ensure relevant parties - such as the municipal health services and the police - are better informed of the influence of closed communities on victims of abuse.
▪ The Netherlands board of Jehovah's Witnesses actively cooperated with our study. The board also stated that it complies with the law of the land and the Reclaimed Voices foundation confirmed this policy principle. This situation provides the Dutch political system with the opportunity to take action and enter into talks with the community about patterns, church rules, other rules, customs, structures and their consequences for the willingness to report sexual abuse within the community of Jehovah's Witnesses. Within this context, a law is being considered that would make it mandatory for the Jehovah's Witnesses and other organisations to report instances or suspicions of sexual abuse to the police. Other countries have already introduced this type of law. Assessment of the usefulness and desirability of this instrument for the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands will require further research.
▪ Finally, we recommend supplementing the independent scientific research presented during this report with additional future research. After all, the number of missing values/responses for a number of variables and the self-reports presented here imply that establishing truth is not the purpose of this report. Furthermore, no solid causal links concerning willingness to report sexual abuse can be derived from this report. Further research would be necessary to determine how applicable the findings concerning sexual abuse are to the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands and in other countries, as well as within other organisations. However, the research presented in this study into sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands provides ample grounds for future research to establish a more comprehensive picture of the people reporting sexual abuse, the people not reporting sexual abuse, and the perpetrators of sexual abuse among Jehovah's Witnesses in the Netherlands and in other countries.
It seems that major news outlets play more and more dog and cat videos and less and less investigative journalism as time go by.
Anyone else noticing this trend?
I think this is a result of most people getting their news from social media and no longer “tuning into a news channel”
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
TIRED OF BEING MANIPULATED BY FAKE NEWS?
VERY SIMPLE SOLUTION ... GET EDUCATED ABOUT WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON AROUND YOU!
Royal Commission Case Study 54: What to expect - by an anonymous reporter who DOES homework !
With Case Study 54 only a few days away, THIS FRIDAY (AUSTRALIAN TIME) MARCH 10, 2017 (You do the math for local time...) a lot of discussion has been circulating as to exactly what we can expect when Watchtower appears once again before the Australian Royal Commission.
I’ve decided to chip in a few observations here to help set expectations and to contribute to the discussions as best I’m able. So without further ado, let’s quickly run through what we know:
What exactly will be discussed? According to the Commission website, the scope of the study is as follows
1. The current policies and procedures of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd in relation to child protection and child-safe standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.
2. Factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of child sexual abuse at Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd institutions.
3. Factors that may have affected the institutional response of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to child sexual abuse.
4. The responses of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to relevant case study report(s) and other Royal Commission reports.
5. Any related matters.
The purpose of this public hearing is not to inquire into individual sets of facts or particular events as has occurred in previous Royal Commission case studies.
Why does the Case Study 54 hearing appear to be only one day long? This may appear at first glance to be a surprise. How can a single day of testimony possibly be enough to cover the vast and complex issue of Watchtower’s child abuse scandal?
Well, remember that Case Study 54 isn’t a fact finding mission. That was Case Study 29. The Commission spent days digging and interviewing, and ultimately issued a detailed report on every aspect of Watchtower’s failure. As far as the Commission is concerned, the facts are in. There is no further debate. Case Study 54 is tasked purely with a quick review of those facts and then with publicly asking Watchtower what is has done to address the damning failures identified in Case Study 29.
Remember what Justice McClellan said to Watchtower’s legal team? That they were going to come back to Watchtower and publicly ask them what had been done to address the issues?
That’s what this is.
So what has Watchtower done in the 21 months since Case Study 29? As far as I am aware, the only potential effort from Watchtower to address any of the concerns raised in the Royal Commission has been to no longer require an abuse survivor to confront their attacker. However, it was not clear from testimony if this practice had actually been halted before the Commission sat. Watchtower seemed to insist in testimony that it was, but their documentation did not reflect this.
Thus one cannot say with certainty that even this potential change has come as a result of the Commission report.
So Watchtower is going to stand before the Commission, after 21 months, and basically say they’ve done nothing at all? I have no idea.
I mean, that would be the honest thing to do, but remember how slippery and devious Watchtower was in Case Study 29, with senior Watchtower officials like Rodney Spinks, Terrence O’Brain and Governing Body Member Geoffrey Jackson attempted to mislead and outright lie to the Commission on multiple occasions. As far as I can see, Watchtower has three options
Admit they’ve done nothing and that they don’t intend to for religious reasons, and turn the whole thing into an issue of religious freedom. Try to stall and muddy the waters by saying they’ve not had enough time, that they have no authority to make the changes required without Brooklyn agreement, knowing full well that Brooklyn is beyond the reach of the Commission. The idea here would be to stall until the day is over, then slink away and wait, knowing no further testimony is required. Dive full into another round of misleading doublespeak and outright lies to try and pull the wool over the Commission’s eyes. Which one will they pick? Again I have no idea. Judging from Watchtower’s jaw-dropping legal incompetence in Case Study 29 and in the recent Fessler case, it’s very hard to predict their strategy. It seems to have no rhyme or reason, but keep in mind three things.
The men in charge of Watchtower are firstly very deluded. They genuinely think they are defending God’s organization against Satanic and apostate attack, and feel that compromise will be a victory for Satan. The men in charge of Watchtower are very out of touch with real life, spending all their days in a world where you don’t question Watchtower or those who run it, and now they’ve risen to the top. Their word is law. Odds are that no-one has told Anthony Morris III that his ideas are stupid for a very long time. They have no idea how to handle the kind of environment the Royal Commission brings to the table. Geoffrey Jackson’s excruciating performance, where the Commission made mincemeat of his arguments, was proof of that. The men in charge of Watchtower are caught between being honest with a Commission that has all of their dirty little secrets on the one hand, and playing to the growing audience of JW’s who they know WILL find out about March 10th one way or the other. They have to both be as compliant as possible to the Commission whilst also appearing to be steadfast and unmovable to the Witnesses who will end up seeing the testimony on YouTube. So delusion, seclusion, and public relations are all going to crash into once horrible mess as they did in Case Study 29 and as a result I have no idea what Watchtower will do on Friday.
We hope to preserve the live steam video for future reference as the Commission does not archive or make this video available once the live stream is over. However, technical gremlins are always a factor so if you have the ability to record the live stream, it would be a great idea to do so as well. The more people do this, the less chance of this footage being lost forever.
Lastly we will of course be following up with articles on the day, giving you a more detailed analysis of what has transpired.
Get your popcorn (and your coffee if you’re staying up late) and lets all observe the car crash together!
And one last thing: if it is safe for you to do so, please tell as many Jehovah’s Witnesses as you can about the events on March 10th. Their children are at risk and they don’t even know it. They may choose not to look up the Case Study, but simply being aware that it exists is the first step in raising awareness that the Governing Body is not being honest with them about the international scandal of child abuse inside the Watchtower organization.
(edited for political correctness and other stuff ...) JTR
Thai Officials Using Jehovah’s Witnesses Publications To
Address Social Issues
This year marks three years since Thai Government officials started using
publications by Jehovah’s Witnesses as part of the national initiative
to educate the public officials on how to address some key social
issues. These issues include prevention of domestic violence, effective
parenting, and improving physical and mental health.
These government’s national education initiatives are orchestrated and
implemented at over 8,700 regional Community Learning Centers that are
spread across the country. The government has also set up 11 Community
Development Learning Centers (CDLC), whose main focus is to train the
The director of CDLC in Nakhon Nayok province Chaiwat Saengsri, says the
goal of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is very clear and aims at helping the
people and communities get to know their Creator. This is the same goal
that CDLC has; assisting the community in raising their standards in the
quest for peace and better quality life.
Mr. Chaiwat also requested the Jehovah’s Witnesses make their
publications available during the SMART Leader seminar. This seminar
seeks to bring together 20 instructors and 100 community leaders from 28
provinces, who will receive training on community building and leadership.
The spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Thailand Anthony Petratyotin
says, “We are happy to know that community leaders are making such good
use of the Bible-based advice found in our publications. We will
continue to make our literature available to officials, along with our
primary means of distribution—our public ministry.”
Some of the publications that have been used include the /Awake!
Magazine article, “How to Avoid Hurtful Speech”. This article was used
to teach the community leaders on how to handle conflict in marriage
without unleashing a torrent of hurtful words whenever a conflict arises.
The publication seeks to explain why conflict in a marriage happens, and
what can be done to end it without necessarily using words that will end
up hurting the spouse. Some of the suggested ways to avoid using hurtful
words include showing empathy, being respectful, reviving the feeling
the couple once shared, avoiding verbal attacks, postponing a discussion
when tempers begin to flare.
Another article, “An End to Domestic Violence
helps the participants in dealing with domestic violence by
understanding the prevalence of domestic violence cases, why this
happens, and what can be done to stop it.
The publication offers practical advice that can help violent spouses
change their behavior. The education has helped many spouses replace
violence with kindness and respect. Violent spouses learn how to treat
their better half, and eventually become witnesses that domestic
violence can stop.
The publication teaches about honor, mildness, and self-control, and
condemns abusive speech in marriage.
Thai Officials Use Publications From Jehovah’s Witnesses to Aid
Community Development https://t.co/qX63wYvCdY
Jehovah’s Witnesses -Awake!
Jehovah’s Witnesses -How to Avoid Hurtful Speech
Jehovah’s Witnesses -An End to Domestic Violence
10 Feb 2017 Posted by Alison Lesley
Thai Officials Use Publications From Jehovah’s Witnesses in Community Development.pdf
By Guest Nicole
The tech industry has long been famed for its luxe work environments—free lunches, ping pong tables, green juice on tap—but there's a lot more than perks that goes into creating a workplace employees love. To bring you this list, Fortune partner Great Place to Work to surveyed more than 42,000 employees of U.S. technology companies. The two resulting rankings are grouped by company size, one for large tech companies and one for small and medium-sized ones. You can read more about the list, and the role that diversity and innovation plays in these businesses, here.
1. ULTIMATE SOFTWARE
Employees say: "Management and HR are aligned to make sure the culture is protected so that everyone feels supported in this work environment. I believe this feeling of safety and culture of support is what drives our innovation, creativity, and drive to succeed as a team."
"Take care of the 3,300 families in the organization, be the best, and the company will unequivocally support me and my family forever."
Industry: Online Internet Services
HQ location: Weston, Fla.
Employees say: "I feel very blessed to work at Intuit. It provides me with every opportunity to do my best work. I have received 100% support to create a vision for the company regarding sustainability. Intuit walks the talk regarding its values and that makes my job a joy."
"The company has a culture of truly caring for each other as employees, for the wellbeing of our customers, for the betterment of individuals, and for the health of our community as a whole. Ultimately, we fundamentally believe that we can make a difference in the world."
HQ location: Mountain View, Calif.
Employees say: "Salesforce truly cares about the success and happiness of its employees as well as making a positive impact on the community. Seeing our organization respond to actions against the LGBT community and Women's rights over the past year has made me incredibly proud to work here."
"Working at Salesforce is more than just a job. I feel like our mission is really to make the world a better place both in business and in life. It's not just a software company. We have a greater mission."
HQ location: San Francisco
4. Zillow Group
Employees say: "It's a creative and collaborative work environment that allows for exploration in different areas that are maybe not entirely related to the specifics of the job. During our "Hack Week," for example, we had a team of employees design a Zillow-related puzzle room to foster team collaboration, morale, and creative thinking in a fun, relaxed environment."
"This is one of the most diverse and amazing companies I have ever worked for. I think that has to do with the fact that we have all types and all kinds here to make this a better place to work. Whenever you walk in it feels like home!"
Industry: Online Internet Services
HQ location: Seattle
Employees say: "Every day you are given the opportunity to learn in so many different ways. A webinar here. A seminar there. On-demand learning over here. It's understood here that if you work hard, your options are almost endless."
"I have never worked for a company that succeeds so well at keeping their clients and employees happy by sticking to its core principles."
HQ location: Pleasanton, Calif.
6. SAP America
Employees say: "SAP genuinely cares about people and impacting society through its innovations for the greater good of humankind. For its' employees, striving to provide a fair, equitable and respectful workplace and a culture which values the uniqueness of every individual."
"The company has continued to reinvent itself to stay a leader in the market. I tell new people joining us that we create a mess because we need to; we clean it up; and then we create another mess and clean that up. By embracing a constant change and the need for a little chaos in order to innovate, it makes our environment very exciting."
HQ location: Newtown Square, Penn.
7. World Wide Technology
Employees say: "We have strong core values and we see the positive impacts of them on a daily basis. Most places I’ve previously worked at had values, however, managers followed them when necessary, a common 'do as I say, not as I do' type of mentality. Working at WWT has shown me there are companies out there that still practice what they preach."
"The culture of innovation and collaboration is very impressive at our company. With the diverse experiences of our employees, our culture encourages reaching out to others to solicit new ideas and solutions to problems. It is encourages people to experiment and when failure happens, learn from it and try something new."
Industry: Hardware, Software, Online Internet Services, IT Consulting, Storage/Data Management
HQ location: St. Louis
8. SAS Institute
Employees say: "Because this company provides such a great work environment and offers great work life balance, most employees give very much in return. In contrast to other companies I've worked for, it's a comfortable work environment with minimal politics, and allows employees to give much greater focus to innovation, creativity, and detail."
"There is an understanding that we're all creating something together, and we want it to be solid, so we do our best wherever we can. There's an excitement to that."
HQ location: Cary, N.C.
9. Adobe Systems
Employees say: "This is the best place I've ever worked. This is a company that promoted me two weeks before maternity leave with my second child to make sure I was excited to return and excited about my role. It's also a company that let me chart my own path and create a new program. It's empowered me to take my ideas and work to incredible places and work with some of the most creative and innovative people of my career."
"Nobody at Adobe has to worry about fitting into a mold as they walk into the doors—everyone is encouraged to be themselves and it really helps people feel part of something bigger."
HQ location: San Jose, Calif.
Employees say: "The company as a whole firmly embraces diversity. We've found strength through that diversity, and attribute much of our success to the wisdom that comes from a variety of backgrounds and demographics."
"Management is willing to listen and sincerely understand different opinions on projects. ... This helps our company of thinkers and innovators understand, accept, and apply new understanding to the business in the future."
HQ location: Westlake, Ohio
A Brooklyn woman has been living with the corpse of her adult son for a nearly a decade, police sources saidBy JAMMY
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