By Srecko Sostar
Newcastle Herald senior journalist, Joanne McCarthy.
Catholic, Anglican, Uniting and some others with WT-JW in the same pot. This prove how JW are not so different as religion/organization who claim to be only true and only one religion with highest moral standards above all others.
Catholic church and JW looking at child molestation as a sin, moral failure. According to recommendation they need to change that view on issue. GB changed many past "truths" and replaced "firmly bible based teachings"Â with "new teachings" giving same explanation - this new teachings is also "firmly established on Bible" :))). Will they change "two witness rule" in cases of child molestation? Until now they said "firmly" NO. Â But future can/might give "new clarification" on this matter :)) And all members will see that new instructions as "proper food in proper time". hehe
"Jehovah's Witnesses accused of failing to adopt abuse inquiry recommendations"
PostedÂ Fri 10 Mar 2017,Â Â http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/worldtoday/jehovahs-witnesses-accused-of-failing-to-adopt/8343354Â Â
By Srecko Sostar
A group of alleged sexual abuse survivors from across the country have filed a $66-million class action lawsuit against the Jehovah’s Witness, CityNews has learned.
The victims are seeking $20 million for damages from sexual and mental abuse by elders, $20 million for failing to protect children, and another $20 million for breach of duty of care.
By Jack Ryan
A former member of the Jehovah Witness congregation will appear in court next week after he was charged with sexually assaulting four boys.
The charges stem from ongoing investigations linked to the Royal Commission into institutional child sexual offences.
Police allege between 1993 to 2013, the 44-year-old man sexually assaulted four boys aged between 14 and 16 at the time of the offences.
READ MORE: http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/former-wa-jehovah-witness-charged-with-alleged-historic-child-abuse-offences-20170512-gw37yd.html
Girl who was abused by her father from a age of 11 sought assistance from Jehovah’s Witnesses only to be molested by one of their eldersBy Guest Nicole
A WOMAN who was molested by her father over 5 years and afterwards by a Jehovah’s Witnesses she asked for assistance has oral out about her ordeal.
Terrified Angie Rodgers, from Ayrshire, was abused weekly by her perverted Jehovah’s Witness father Ian Cousins from a age of 11.
Angie Rodgers was 11 years aged when her father started abusing her
The dauntless teen eventually plucked adult a bravery to disclose in a Jehovah’s Witness elders, who took small action and she was after abused by one of them too, Harry Holt.
Angie, now 36, said: “I incited to a church for assistance and we was abused a second time.
“I was a child and they should have helped, though they incited on me. They make me feel sick.
“I don’t consider I’ll ever get over what happened. I’ve usually schooled to live with it.
“I have nightmares and flashbacks all a time and been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress.”
Angie’s father was detained for 5 years in 2002 for his crimes, while Holt was usually jailed final year for Angie’s attack along with 7 others he molested.
Now aged 36, Angie, a mother-of-four, has bravely waived her anonymity in a wish her story will assistance other people.
She said: “Dad did it whenever he got a chance, even when we was ill.
Angie Rodgers poses here with others in a Jehovah’s Witness community
“Once, we was throwing adult with gastric influenza when father brought me home a feathery bunny, with a organic white floral dress and bloomers.
“My wordless went to a Kingdom (church) and my father scooped me adult in his arms from a couch, took me to his room and molested me.
“I prayed my wordless would come and save me though she never did. After that he used to try to hold me whenever we were alone. It got worse and worse.
“We went to a Jehovah gathering when we was about 14 and he attempted to rape me in a tent. He was usually interrupted when an elder shouted him from outside.”
At a age of 15 Angie confided in a friend, whose father led a opposite church, in a wish that they would be means to stop a abuse.
While her father Cousins was called in for a “judicial meeting” no movement was taken, as Jehovah’s Witness elders can't act opposite suspects unless “there is a admission or dual convincing witnesses”.
Angie was afterwards subjected to an talk by 3 masculine elders including Holt, where she was done to plead insinuate sum of a abuse.
She explained: “They even asked what I’d been wearing, as if it was my fault. It was excruciating. we was so genuine we was still personification with toys and Lego during 18.”
As Cousins showed plea for his sins he was authorised behind into a church after being reprimanded – and a abuse stopped.
A brief while after in 1997, Holt done a pierce on Angie when pushing her home following a event door-knocking for members.
She said: “On a approach home in a automobile he grabbed my leg and felt his approach adult towards my underwear.”
Shocked, a immature lady told her relatives about a occurrence and a explanation led to Holt journey to Edinburgh.
It was suggested in justice final year that he went on to abuse some-more children.
Angie motionless to make a censure to a military about her father when she found out he had also abused another dual girls.
She also incited her behind on a Jehovah’s Witnesses during 19 in a wish of starting fresh.
The sacrament is pronounced to inspire members to reject people who leave, and Angie claimed that she didn’t see her mom for 6 years after she left.
In 2014 a censure was done opposite Holt, and Angie concluded to come brazen and pronounce about her horrific experience.
In Feb 2016, 71-year-old Holt was condemned to three-and-a-half years in jail for a abuse of 8 girls between 1971 and 2004.
Angie said: “If what happened to me helps usually one immature lady – or child – go to a military it will have been value it. What happened to me is horrible though I’m perplexing to pierce on, differently my abusers have won.
“The sacrament is zero though a cult. Children are kept wordless by fears of Holy condemnation and Armageddon if they move a church into ill repute.
“It’s that fear and a fear of being shunned by friends and family if we leave that stops victims from stating to police. It’s primitive and it has to stop.”
When contacted, a Jehovah’s Witnesses wouldn’t criticism on Angie’s box though they did criticism on their position in general.
The matter said: “Jehovah’s Witnesses detest child abuse and perspective it as a iniquitous crime and sin. Safety of a children is of a pinnacle importance.
“Elders do not defense abusers from a authorities. Anyone who commits a impiety of child abuse faces exclusion from a congregation. Any idea Jehovah’s Witnesses cover adult abuse is false.
“We are doing all we can to forestall child abuse and to yield devout comfort to any who have suffered from this terrible impiety and crime.”
Russian Government Seeks to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses
April 03, 2017 5:00 PM Victor Vladimirov FILE - Stacks of booklets distributed by members of Jehovah's Witnesses are seen during the court session in the Siberian town of Gorno-Altaysk, Dec. 16, 2010.
MOSCOW — Several U.S. legislators have criticized the Russian government for plans to effectively ban the Jehovah's Witnesses, a nontraditional Christian movement, as an "extremist" organization.
On March 15, Russia's Justice Ministry filed a claim with the country's Supreme Court, calling on it to designate the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia an "extremist" organization and liquidate the group's national headquarters and 395 local chapters in Russia.
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian Christian group founded in the United States in the 1870s. It is known, among other things, for door-to-door preaching and refusing to perform military service, salute national flags or accept blood transfusions. Its adherents have frequently been persecuted by authoritarian governments, including that of the former Soviet Union.
"At stake in the upcoming court case is the legality and, perhaps, the survival of the Jehovah's Witnesses — and, in fact, basic religious freedom — throughout the Russian Federation," said Congressman Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican who co-chairs the U.S. Helsinki Commission. "If the Supreme Court of Russia declares this faith group an extremist organization, it is an ominous sign for all believers and it marks a dark, sad day for all Russians."
Russia's Justice Ministry reported on its website last week that since 2009, it has identified 95 materials of "an extremist nature" that were brought into Russia and circulated in the country, according to the Tass news agency. Tass quoted the website saying, "As many as eight local cells of the organization were recognized to be extremist ones, banned and disbanded since 2009."
FILE - The iconic Watchtower sign is seen on the roof of 25-30 Columbia Heights, the current world headquarters of the Jehovah's Witnesses, in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Dec. 9, 2015.
However, Anatoly Pchelintsev, chief editor of the magazine Religion and Law, said the accusations are incompatible with the principle of freedom of religion.
"Formally, the semblance of legitimacy is observed [by the Justice Ministry]," he told VOA's Russian Service. "However, there is actually no extremist activity and, in fact, it is baseless and bogus. There are multiple videotapes showing how banned literature is planted [on Jehovah's Witnesses]."
If the Supreme Court rules against Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, its 175,000 followers face the threat of criminal prosecution.
That, according to Pchelintsev, would be "total madness."
"Of course, there will absolutely be prison sentences, just like it was in Taganrog [in southern Russia's Rostov region], where 15 innocent people were sentenced," he said. "But a majority [of the Jehovah's Witnesses] will go underground. They will also be congregating, praying and so on. Stalin couldn't do anything about them even though he deported them to the North. Hitler also couldn't do anything about them, even though he sent them to concentration camps and physically destroyed them."
Pchelintsev recalled that the Jehovah's Witnesses were recognized in the early 1990s as having been victims of political repression during the Soviet period, and received official documents to that effect.
"If they're being banned now, should their documents be revoked?" he asked. "And then, after a while, when a new president is elected, should they receive their documents back? It's a bizarre logic. We cannot live according to the constitution; we're constantly looking for an enemy, either external or internal."
Pchelintsev added: "You may not share their beliefs and there can be different attitudes toward them," he said. "However, from the standpoint of law and the constitution, they have every right to exist. Otherwise, we will become the first country in the modern world to ban the Jehovah's Witnesses."
Valery Borshchev, a veteran human rights activist and member of the Russian branch of the International Association of Religious Freedom, agrees that harassment of the Jehovah's Witnesses violates the principles of religious freedom.
"The Jehovah's Witnesses are not involved in any extremist activity," he told VOA. "Yes, they have some controversial views that confuse others — for example, the ban on blood transfusions. But it's a debatable issue."
In any case, said Borshchev, this has nothing to do with extremist activity.
"All the accusations against them are unfair and anti-constitutional," he said. "It violates the principles of the freedom of belief and conscience enshrined in the constitution."
According to Borshchev, those calling for the Jehovah's Witnesses to be banned do not understand the nature of religious organizations.
"They would do well to learn the history of religious movement in the Soviet Union, where nobody could do anything about the alternative churches," he said. "The same thing will happen now. More than that, this adversarial position will escalate the conflict. The members of the organization will feel like they have a mission and it will strengthen their rigor."
According to the Helsinki Final Act, which was signed by the 57 participating countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation Europe (OSCE), including Russia, "the participating States will recognize and respect the freedom of the individual to profess and practice, alone or in community with others, religion or belief acting in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience."
VOA's Svetlana Cunningham contributed to this report, which was produced in collaboration with VOA's Russian Service.
By Guest Nicole
Legal News Reporter
Published: September 20, 2016
A Lorain County trial court erred when it ordered the West Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses to produce certain documents for discovery in a child molestation case.
However, the trial court was correct in concluding the majority of documents that were compelled are not protected from disclosure via the clergy-penitent privilege or the First Amendment, according to a recent decision by the 9th District Court of Appeals.
Former West Congregation member Elizabeth McFarland sued the Lorain-based church in 2013 for negligence, ratification and fraud by omission/concealment.
According to case summary, McFarland was a member of West Congregation from 1997 to 2001, when she was 10 to 14 years old. McFarland’s parents told church elders that Scott Silvasy, a fellow member, had molested their daughter for several years.
Silvasy died in 2003. McFarland claimed elders never disciplined him or reported the issue to their superiors, and discouraged her parents from doing so.
In her suit, McFarland said church elders were aware Silvasy had previously molested a minor and was a danger to her. She sought compensatory and punitive damages.
After discovery began, McFarland served Watchtower – which was responsible for disseminating literature to the Bodies of Elders at each local congregation – to produce certain documents, including:
• A 1997 letter from Watchtower asking local elders to report any current or former members in a Society-appointed position with a known history of child molestation.
Watchtower argued that Silvasy never served in a “Society-appointed position.” The trial court found McFarland’s request was overbroad, but that any reports that specifically mentioned Silvasy were relevant.
• Any documents the West Congregation had relating to Silvasy and herself.
The appellants cited clergy-penitent privilege, attorney-client privilege and the First Amendment.
• All letters that Watchtower/Christian Congregation sent to the Bodies of Elders between Jan. 1, 1980 and Dec. 31, 2002.
The court ordered appellants to produce 10 letters from the Service Department elders to the Bodies of Elders, plus 15 other letters and memos.
Church officials filed an appeal over 19 of the documents they were ordered to produce.
In a 3-0 opinion written by 9th District Judge Beth Whitmore, the panel found four of the documents were privileged because they were requests for spiritual guidance, so the church need not produce them.
“The trial court did not err when it concluded that the remaining fifteen documents at issue here are not protected from disclosure by virtue of either the clergy-penitent privilege or the First Amendment,” Whitmore stated.
Appellate judges Jennifer Hensal and Julie Schafer concurred.
The case is cited McFarland v. W. Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Lorain, Ohio Inc., 2016-Ohio-5462.
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