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Why John Butler Left Jehovah's Witnesses

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OMG! @The Librarian is at it again..... Ok...Ok... I will go now and ask the developers to look into threaded replies... AGAIN.....

You really need to chill  ;-).  You are your people are SO intense.... I don't understand half of what you guys argue about in all honesty.

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2 minutes ago, The Librarian said:

@JOHN BUTLER  I am not judging you for your stance on the scandal within JW.org or even your leaving due to a daughter being disfellowshipped.

I simply wish @admin would give us "threaded replies" so that people could stay on topic.

Nothing worse than starting on one topic only to find an interesting conversation about tree fungus nested 5 pages inside.

Yes. I do believe in freedom of speech as well.

Wow, underhanded or what. 

I DID NOT LEAVE THE JW ORG BECAUSE ONE OF MY DAUGHTERS WAS DISFELLOWSHIPPED. 

In fact at the time i didn't know if she had left of her own accord or been disfellowshipped because my concern was for her wellbeing not for the nitty gritty details. I'm English you see, I think it makes a difference. We English actually care about people. 

 

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5 minutes ago, admin said:

OMG! @The Librarian is at it again..... Ok...Ok... I will go now and ask the developers to look into threaded replies... AGAIN.....

You really need to chill  ;-).  You are your people are SO intense.... I don't understand half of what you guys argue about in all honesty.

I think I'm ruffling feathers in the JW brigade. There seems to be a gang up on JB movement taking place :) 

Is The Librarian American ?  He does seem to have attitude. 

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@JOHN BUTLER  ok. I stand corrected. I thought that was part of your reason.  (nothing underhanded intended)

As for the English. ... Well... I wouldn't differentiate them from those in the USA all that much. 

Neither side is squeaky clean. Need I mention British Colonial rule?

@admin Thanks for checking into that again. Don't mean to be a bother.

 

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2 minutes ago, The Librarian said:

@JOHN BUTLER  ok. I stand corrected. I thought that was part of your reason.  (nothing underhanded intended)

As for the English. ... Well... I wouldn't differentiate them from those in the USA all that much. 

Neither side is squeaky clean. Need I mention British Colonial rule?

@admin Thanks for checking into that again. Don't mean to be a bother.

 

I tend to comment on the previous comment, not go back into the distant history of what a person many have said before. However you are entitled to believe whatever makes you happy.  I've never ever said that my daughter's problems have swayed my thinking in that regard. 

I could let it niggle me but I won't, as I'm sure that is what you intended. 

I don't know who is for or against the JW Org and it's not important to me. I only know that, at this moment in time i cannot be part of it. 

I'm hoping God will sort it all out soon as those in or out of the Org will need some guidance at Judgement Day. 

 

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11 minutes ago, The Librarian said:

@JOHN BUTLER I am American yes. Originally from "New England".

 

Um thought so. Well at least that will give me some reason for not taking your comments too seriously. :) 

I do honestly think that in America 'collateral damage ' is taught as being unimportant. That can make a big difference to people's thinking. 

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On 9/25/2018 at 3:05 PM, JOHN BUTLER said:

to believe something.

Generally said: Fact how we do believe something or we do not believe something, not making that thing as it is true or it is false.

We have freedom to believe what ever we want.    

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@JOHN BUTLER

First of all I want to say I am very sorry you had such terrible experiences as a child. I understand more now how this issue must affect you.

Also I think we’ve had quite a bit of misunderstanding here  as well. I am sorry I doubted the pedophilia  problem was the only reason you left JW.  You make a lot of accusatory statements  but you don’t back them up with facts.  I know, this would take a long time so here are just a few facts that I am familiar with; Yes, there is no doubt that some elders mishandled child molestation cases. I know of one personally in my old congregation in England which involved an influential elder.  When his disgusting behaviour was found out (he actually never had sex with his victims, but he was a groper) he was merely removed from his position as Elder but remained a full time pioneer.  This happened  sometime in the late 80’s. I was  a teenager busy with my teenage life so I didn’t pay much attention at the time. I just remember the notoriety and rumours surrounding this man. Even my mum told me some stuff about him. Anyway, a few months ago I got to talking to a friend on FB.  I will call her Jane. She had faded about 25 years ago and is no longer attending meetings etc. The conversation turned to a  mutual friend of ours from the same cong. and I said I had the feeling that her dad had abused her as a child and that is why she was messed up.  Jane then proceeded to tell me that when she was in her early teens this elder would grope her inappropriately while having Bible study with her. She never said anything to anyone then.  Some months later the same Elder made a big mistake by groping the breast of another friend of mine while she was breastfeeding her first child (at an assembly of all things!). When the father of that sister found out he went ballistic and said if he ever sees that elder he will kill him. (I remembered that).  This got the attention of the elders in the hall and they began to handle the matter. In the meantime my friend Jane did a #metoo and I believe another sister came forward as well.  Like I said, a judicial committee was held in another city, with the CO involved, but all that happened was the elder got stripped of his position. Jane told me that she had to sleep with the lights on for weeks in fear that this elder would get her because she ratted on him.  I didn’t know anything about this at the time. She also told me that she holds no grudge against the org. That they did the best they could in those days as it wasn’t the custom in society ( I mean society in general)  to deal with those things the same way as they are being dealt with now.  She told me her parents weren’t discouraged from going to the police, but they never went.  I guess because it didn’t involve rape.  (The father was not a JW).  Why I am telling you this real life story is because it highlights a few factors.

 1. Child molestation (sexual or otherwise) was not discussed in society in general some decades ago.

2. What happened and how/if things were dealt with in the congregation was very much a matter of how much fuss there was made. This depended on:

3. People. The congregations are comprised of all kinds of people, some very shy and others very outspoken. The father of the sister who was breastfeeding was very outspoken. My mother, if anything like this would have happened to me, would have been very outspoken, no questions asked she would have caused an almighty fuss. And if she deemed it necessary she would have marched to the police, no questions asked.  And she is a very spiritual and zealous JW and the elders respected her very much.

I am sure you have heard of the Candace Conti case while you were doing your research. The Conti case was a classic example of a dysfunctional family that was not fully aware of what was happening in their own lives, never mind that of their child (Candace).  My friend Jane’s parents were not bad, but they were different to my family. Had the elder groped me while having Bible study I would have gone straight to my mum and told her what happened. I know I would have done that because my mum and I have a very close and communicative relationship. In fact an uncle of mine (not a JW) groped me one day ( I was 14) and I went straight to my mum and told her about it. She went straight to her sister (my aunt, also not a JW) and told her what her husband did to me. So my aunt went straight to the uncle, furious. Needless to say my uncle never touched me again.

You see it takes all kinds of people who make up a congregation, and that is why no single case is the same, and why some cases never come to the fore until decades later, and why some cases drag on and never seem to get resolved.

What I take away from all this is that of course no elder or publisher or parent, or anyone in their right mind wants to shield child molesters. Of course the org. doesn’t want to shield child molesters.  No one does. (Why would anyone want a pedophile running lose in their congregation?! The elders have children too!) The only people that are protective of child molesters are those who are in the child porn and human trafficking industry.  And if you want to look at it from a very logical perspective, why would Jehovah’s Witnesses, with their ultra high moral standards, of all people, would want to willingly shield someone who was practicing the vilest of moral depravity?

For decades JWs have been publishing magazines on the dangers of moral decline and the dangers of child sexual molestations and took it even further than “stranger danger” by drawing attention to the fact that this danger can come from  people the child knows, and even from family members. I still remember that Awake magazine. Did the dysfunctional families that needed to read this information read it? Probably not....

There is no denying the child sexual molestation issue was not always dealt with in the correct way, but it seems none of the ideas (like not reporting to police) came from instructions from the org. but was decided on by the body of elders, or sometimes even just one dominant elder. In the past, the elders were not required to call the branch for advice like they are now, and they pretty much did their own thing. This is the reason why now elders have to call the branch as soon as anything like this comes to light, so that they get consistent  instruction on what to do.

And yes, I believe the ARC did us a good service. I believe it was because of them our child policies have become transparent across the board in the shape of the Child protection packet:

https://www.jw.org/en/news/legal/legal-resources/information/packet-jw-scripturally-based-position-child-protection

As for the two witness rule, well that is not much different to secular authorities implementation of "innocent until proven guilty". But notice in par 10 of the document it mentions this: "If an alleged abuser is a member of the congregation, the elders conduct a Scriptural investigation. This is a purely religious proceeding handled by elders according to Scriptural instructions and is limited to the issue of membership as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A member of the congregation who is an unrepentant child abuser is expelled from the congregation and is no longer considered one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (1 Corinthians 5:13) The elders’ handling of an accusation of child abuse is not a replacement for the authorities’ handling of the matter".—Romans 13:1-4.

So in view of that, the two witness rule applies only in a congregational setting. If secular authorities find enough evidence to convict said perpetrator, and this is where it gets interesting, then even if elders have not gathered enough evidence to support their decision to disfellowship or not disfellowship, then the fact that said perpetrator has been charged with sexual molestation will automatically warrant a disfellowshipping. So either way, the perpetrator will not escape punishment.

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