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Why John Butler Left Jehovah's Witnesses

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4 hours ago, Anna said:

@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.

In period of 1980 and on JW magazine talking about, as i read in this magazine, only women as victims. Second, WT talking about issue as a sin, not crime that have to be handled by secular authorities. 

And WT was seen perpetrators as persons who, if repent enough,  are as other ordinary sinners. 

So, i have to ask; IF GB and His Holy Nation and Only Organization on Earth not received much more better Instructions, from Heaven, in this matter - What makes WTJWorg so better from others in the past time  (from 1980 period on, because GB members loved to mention on TV how this Organization was almost first that spoken about this issue) ?  

Surely one who was sexually abused as a child can be certain of God’s understanding and loving acceptance. Why, Jehovah forgives even those who, unlike the abused child, commit gross sins—if they repent and change their course of action!1 Corinthians 6:9-11. https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/w19831001/help-for-victim-of-incest/

From this it can be seen how "Scriptural Based Position" looks like. Child molestation is a gross sin that can be handled without much fuss in Judicial Committee of elders. 

 

Next thing: 

Thanks for link you provide. There is 3 point that is modern, advanced (21 century) view  made by WT. And they said;

A) Child sexual abuse is a perversion

B) Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and view it as a crime.

C) Child abuse is a serious sin.

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

 

When and how GB WTJWorg came to this NEW Instructions and attitude about issue?? With a Little Help of people who are under "devil control". When Courts, experts for child healthCommissions and other Secular Institutions made more talking and made some pressure on religious and other group, institution who HAVE Problem with this. 

Until today, as what i know,  WT Legal Department are not willing to fully cooperate with Courts and other Secular authorities in benefit to victims. Some victims want money, and why not. Because WT victims was not and perhaps will never heard Words of Sincere Repent and Apologize from all those who make them so miserable because not handled their matters and problems in a way that would imitate Heaven's Love, Comfort and Justice.  JWorg web was never, until now, said how GB and other people in position (elder) made (and making still now) big errors and not handled this properly in harmony with all good Instructions that can be found in The Holy Book and in Secular Books too.

Until now NO Public Apologize to Victims! Perhaps, and if they do it public, it would not be sincere ??!!  

This public attitude on JW TV how WT are purely innocent is something disgusting.

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24 minutes ago, Anna said:

By the way John, @JOHN BUTLER I never created this topic. It was the Librarian @The Librarian I wish he would stop doing that without asking! And if he wants to create a topic he should put his own name to it.

HAha, yes sometimes other people use our "Intellectual property" and make new topic. It is understandable, people sometimes gave us some new idea with what they said in comment.

Maybe it would be nice and polite to have little conversation, agreement and mutual exchange of ideas. :)))

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5 hours ago, Anna said:

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!)

Sound!!

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9 hours ago, Anna said:

 @JOHN BUTLER I don't have time reply in any detail now (I will some time later) but I just want to let you know I am neither American, nor an elder, nor an elder's wife xD. The closest I come to an elder is my step dad is one.

Ah, Thank you. That is still a close relationship to one. :) I thought i could see some influence there. 

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7 hours ago, Anna said:

@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.

Thank you for this honest reply. 

I don't know exactly what  'accusatory statements' you refer to but I'm sure if you pinpointed some i could come up with the information needed. Something like this maybe ?

 https://www.revealnews.org/blog/jehovahs-witnesses-tab-for-child-sex-abuse-secrecy-2m-and-counting/

https://outlook.live.com/mail/AQMkADAwATYwMAItZDdmMC05N2MwLTAwAi0wMAoALgAAA6zYzl6NWINBh5mEBtpxYecBAOZT%2BWnUkplMsl09lQMAhOQAAAIBVAAAAA%3D%3D/id/AQMkADAwATYwMAItZDdmMC05N2MwLTAwAi0wMAoARgAAA6zYzl6NWINBh5mEBtpxYecHAOZT%2BWnUkplMsl09lQMAhOQAAAIBVAAAAOZT%2BWnUkplMsl09lQMAhOQAAdr6294AAAA%3D

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/04/jehovahs-witnesses-congregations-efforts-to-block-inquiry-squashed

This might not be what you are looking for but it's a start. 

In your reply you said that the brother was removed from his position but was still a full time pioneer. So, he was still allowed to represent Jehovah full time although being known to be acting in a way that Jehovah hates. He was also a danger to the public but the Elders didn't seem to worry about that. 

That is one important point that JW's don't seem to think about. Yes they say they deal with matters 'in house' but that pedophile doesn't live 24 /7 'in house' does he ?  The Pedophile goes out into the public places, such as on the ministry and in general life. 

Does the general public not deserve to be shown the love, to be protected against such pedophiles ?  Law or not, surely the Elders have a 'duty of care' to the public and to report a suspect to the police. For instance, the police can get a search warrant to search a person's home, to look at content on a person's computer, maybe finding images of children being abused, and information about other pedophiles in pedophile rings. All this could stop further child abuse.. 

ONe other point to your reply. You said that child Abuse wasn't known about or as common years ago. Then why did the Governing Body start building up a 'collection' of files for the last twenty years. 1997 - 2017 and why did they refuse to obey the law of the land by refusing to hand over thins information to the courts ? 

The Two Witness rule meant that many accusations were deliberately dismissed as lies. Therefore no proceedings of any type took place against the accused and that person maintained a clean record of conduct within the Org. That meant in some cases that if it was a man he could become an Elder or continue as an Elder, giving him ever morescope to abuse young ones.

Enough for one reply i think, John 

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5 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

She did not do this.

What she essentially said is that you are too close to a tree to properly assess the forest.

She did not say what you are saying at all.

However although you have sneakily got that comment in (using anna as an excuse)  I cannot see how you have come to that conclusion.

The forest I'm looking at consists of, Australia, Canada, America, The Netherlands and the UK. Is that a big enough forest for you ? 

Maybe the tree you refer to is the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a rotten tree giving off rotten fruit. And the forest I'm looking at seems to prove my point.

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