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JOHN BUTLER

RECLAIMED VOICES new letter to JW brothers and sisters.

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 @Shiwiii @Jay Iza @Srecko Sostar please read carefully what @JOHN BUTLER  posted on November 18th 2018: and ask yourselves,: should John report this to the police and/or social services? Or is it just me, @Outta Here and @JW Insider and (maybe others like @Arauna @TrueTomHarley)who think John should report it? 

I have been given this information :-

Somewhere between 18 months to 2 years ago, a young man that is a member of Honiton Congregation (my ex congregation) committed a sexual offence against a young girl that would have been around 7 or 8 years old at that time.. 

The young man was visiting the home of this child and he went up to the girl's bedroom and asked the girl to have sex with him. I do not think that sexual intercourse took place but from the information that I've been given, he laid her on the bed and got on top of her and 'humped' her as if he were having sexual intercourse with her.  

The incident was reported to the Elders and the police were not informed. I have no idea what action the Elders took but the congregation were not informed.

The young man ( who's name I have ) would have been in his very early twenties at the time, but his mental age is lower. He is a bit slow in learning things and possibly has mental disorders. That is not meant as an insult, but i do know this young man personally and he does act a bit strange sometimes and frightens people.  

The young man's father was a single dad of three children ( i knew this man quite well ), but he invited a foreign lady (a sister in the JW Org) over to the UK, and they married. The marriage did not go well as the woman wanted to 'be the boss'. They split up and she went back to her country of origin. But then she came back to have a 'second try' at the marriage.  I do not know the marriage situation at this time. However the whole issue would have been totally upsetting for the three children, especially for this young man that found it difficult to cope with some situations. 

The person that gave me this information, in my opinion, is completely trustworthy, and once again in my opinion, would not have any reason for making up a 'story'. As I was given the young man's name, and i know the young man and his father, it all seems quite genuine to me.

Now i come back to the duty of care.  For, in my opinion, it is the duty of anyone that has any information concerning child abuse to report it to the police. 

This could be just a one off incident, but it could be the start of a young man becoming a pedophile. I honestly don't know where my duty is here. 

The young girl that was the victim of this assault may need help getting over the situation. The information was also that the father of the victim does not want 'any trouble'. Hence he did not want the police involved. That helped the Elders to keep it secret, well almost. 

Now this young man may commit sexual assault again, within the JW congregation or outside of it.  And that young lady will be in fear of him and yet still have to attend that Kingdom hall where she will see him every week. 

So should i report what i have been told to the police or not ? Of course I would have to tell the police it is only third hand information.

BUT, if the police could get hold of the 'records' / paperwork from the Kingdom hall regarding the incident, then it would be proved as true. 

I do not expect that the Elders would willingly hand over paperwork, so I've no idea how it would work out in the end. But it's my actions that I'm concerned about here , my responsabilites. What should i do ?  

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John, I know that at least three people, including myself advised you to go to report this to the police or social services and we were disturbed and still are that you are so reluctant to go. It is obvious to me that this "young man" may pose a real danger to children. I do not wish to be insulting either, but it is well known that people with mental retardation tend to have a higher than normal sexual drive and they may not have the same moral restraints as other people.

 

The rest of the post can be found here:

 

 

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It is the father's duty to report it   The girl needs attention for allowing it .... it seems to have been consensual.  How old she was I cannot determine.   The problem is that children do get up to serious mischief because of curiosity (especially in the young phallic stage of life).

I know of children that were playing together and a lot of touching went on with young boys (one family) and girls from another family  (parents were talking too much and not watching). It caused  a rift in the congregation because the parents were blaming each other because their children 'would not have started it.'   And the maturity is often not there to sort it out and leave it behind..... people go on talking about it over and over.

The law states that lawyers and preachers have "confidentiality" regarding confessions.....  (I wish they will change this clause but as far as I know it has not changed - and in various countries it may vary.).  It seems to protect people who need a "confidant"  but also makes it hard for elders.  They may be personally liable for breech of confidence.... and they should be there for people who want to confess a sin. 

The elders most probably told the father of the girl to report it and he refused to.    I do not see the age of the young man... was he under age?  Under law this is a factor.

I know of a young man (he was about 13 at the time) who touched his cousin inappropriately and it was reported to authorities.  He went to 'special' school  and he has been branded a child molester for the rest of his life.  Curious young men do get into trouble unfortunately....      I would say - the young man in the above saga  also needs  serious attention because this was not just touching  (which is porneia).

I guess the elders worked with him and he now realizes what serious thing he did even though he is "slow". The girl too - she will now know she was involved with something unacceptable in the congregation.

The elders will keep an eye on him - the problem comes when he moves - the elders may put this on his card.... Not sure about this.

The awful thing about this is - that people keep talking and those who are the parents - do nothing.   Both parents should have been advised what to do (and usually they are advised )but decided not to take the responsibility upon themselves because it brings a lot of legal and social welfare repercussions.  So they rather blame elders - it usually is the case. No-one takes the responsibility themselves.

Mr. Butler could have gone to the elders and told them what he heard and told them that he wants to report it to the police because the father did not.... and take it from there....  but he himself does not want to get involved but just blames the elders.  There is nothing in his way to do this.  But he knows he is also acting upon "hearsay" and has no evidence to support his claim.  

Our duty is to uphold the law of the land except when it clashes with the law of Jehovah. 

The irony of this is this:  Jehovah's people have high standards and we freak out over this while the world is deteriorating fast.

I read yesterday that New jersey is now offering transgender birth certificates. Children and sex rings are being abused everywhere and it is prevalent in the highest echelons of society - but well covered up.  This is why the age of consent is getting younger and younger.

In Europe a girl of ten can now get married and have sex.   A high supreme court case in Germany recently overturned an Islamic case.  So what is happening now is that Sharia law is now eroding the values of established western law.  Germans are held to the regular law and Sharia law for immigrants.  This makes the countries' law useless because now any girl can be targeted which reaches ten. 

If it is now reported to a police station they basically - DO nothing!    In England the child sex rings have been exposed one after another and it is not in the media because of "islamophobia" .  There was one case where a father went to the police station and begged them to do something and was turned away. .......   NO law enforcement - no rule of law and no justice..... welcome to the new reality..... 

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47 minutes ago, Arauna said:

  I do not see the age of the young man... was he under age?  

 

2 hours ago, Anna said:

The young man ( who's name I have ) would have been in his very early twenties at the time, 

 

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13 hours ago, Anna said:

@JOHN BUTLER  posted on November 18th 2018:...........  "For, in my opinion, it is the duty of anyone that has any information concerning child abuse to report it to the police." 

This is a quote from the original poster who subsequently asks for the opinion of others.. The opinion of others can only be Yes, No, or Maybe. As this is a UK issue, there is a moral, not legal, duty, for an informed third party to report such matters to a suitable authority. In view of the intimate knowledge this alleger claims to have,  the option was suggested that they discuss the matter anonymously with Childline on a Freephone number 0800 1111.

What is particularly odious about the whole exchange is that the party in question is vociferously complaining and making allegations about others who, in their opinion, "cover up" such cases.

Consider:

  • An allegation has been made.The accuser has given their opinion as above.
  • Others have expressed their varied opinions. 
  • An option that would report the matter to a suitable authority, anonymously, has been given.
  • Yet the alleger continues to dither, continues to accuse others of the same moral hypocrisy. 
  • The alleged potential for further harm remains.

This person, regardless of status, is appearing to behave like an active part of the problem they are continually complaining about. Why is there even a discussion on the matter?

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Has he been confirmed to have a mental disability?   All these questions are important.  How old was the girl at the time....

A sin was committed here.  For Jehovah's people this is serious  because we do not allow these kind of things.  

There are countries in the world where "thigh-ing is legally permitted"  in the religion on children as young as one years old.  

I am sure the elders dealt with in on a spiritual level and are watching him - in my mind there is no doubt about it. They are spiritual shepherds and look to the cleanliness of the congregation. That is all.  

Did the girl testify as to what did happen? ... or is it rumor?    

The congregation will never be informed of  a case.....  whether there was adultery, bad behavior or other stuff.  We are not supposed to know other peoples business. ..... this is why they do not give a reason why someone was put outside of the congregation.      

Do you know if the young man showed repentance?  This is an important factor for not putting someone out of the congregation.  Any form of rebelliousness is a sign of wanting to follow your own way. .... and is a sure sign that he will persist in his way.   yet, he may look repentant and yet go and do it again.... but time will tell.

One cannot assume that he will do it again ...... but it sounds as if he has a problem because he seemed to have been just intent on the act. So there may be mental shortcomings.

Has the girl spoken about it?   If she is old enough she can go to the police herself.   Or she can  wait until 10 years has passed and instead of making a case against the boy and her negligent  father - she will claim thousands of dollars from the organization....  

Where was the father in all of this?  That is my question.  How does a family male friend go into your daughters room alone with her?  What kind of people are they to allow a 21 year old to enter a girl's room and close a door? And what was he doing there alone when the father was not there?

The father must be held accountable not the elders.  Why is he not reporting it himself? 

 

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21 minutes ago, Outta Here said:

Why is there even a discussion on the matter?

Yes - the alleger himself sounds very bias and confused.  He has done nothing himself but is also complaining about it all the time..... He understands what he will get involved in if he does.

It will be an interesting test in UK..... because there are numerous cities  where gangs have been operating more than 15 years and have been exposed when the [police could not keep it under wraps any longer....  - the police were aware of it and did NOTHING.... eve when parents went to them.   One whistleblower went to prison for 6 years for exposing them publicly  as Muslims....... Hate speech laws are now stronger than any other felony....  

Since this young man is not a Muslim he will definitely have the full wrath of the law upon him and the elders will too!  ......it will become a widely publicized case to prove that JWs are really rotten people..... 

But what must be done must be done.  So someone can assist the young girl to make a case against the young man.....and inform the father that it is going to be done so he can go with if he wants to. ..... If he is smart he will because the elders have told him to do so....of that I have no doubt.  That is what could be done to follow the law which is on the books.  

 

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13 hours ago, Anna said:

That's why I said:

But my response and reason for giving this example was because you wanted to know: " if it is so as this declaration No 10 say, than WHY elders must contact Legal Department first on how this purely religious proceeding must continue. ??

What i want to accent is this: If victim speaking with 3 men only on purely religious basis, then they not need some extra instructions from WT lawyers. We all know very well what is purpose of it, if lawyers are involved.

Justification for need of some extra instructions can be, by my opinion, in fact how such instructions/advises can be provide only from some more mature elders who has been in such/similar situations before, or who are more intellectually, emotionally and spiritually empowered to provide some better help/safety for victims.

And If we take what Asch said, how elders in JW congregations exists just for giving/providing only spiritual safety then again - what lawyers have with this conversations between 4,5 of them in KH?! Why we have to hear calls for 1 Amendment about this issue ??!!  

Because something is not right in all that.

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13 hours ago, Anna said:

One more thing on that Srecko; the lawyer Zalkin has hundreds of files (in his words) from WT in his office, that he is not allowed to show to anyone by law*. So WT have given him many more documents, more than he needed.

* why doesn't he make them public if it would help victims? Because he would immediately lose his license as a lawyer for breaching the confidentiality law. (or as you say secret). So he doesn't want to risk that of course.

I think how primary  reason for "ban" in making them public is because the plaintiff and the defendant found third way. Settlement out Court. I do not know how Zalkin get documents.

Zalkin must play in these way, because Court ordered him to do so. So, he obey Secular Law. Right or justice, question is now! Agree how revealing of this and other WT documents would put more light on events. 

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12 minutes ago, Srecko Sostar said:

We all know very well what is purpose of it, if lawyers are involved

If you have run a global organization then I will talk with you again.  Every country has its own laws and in most countries where there are laws against child sex abuse there is no follow up.   America and Australia are two countries who still follow up but this is becoming harder as Laws in the countries are being eroded.

South Africa has the best laws in the world but there is no longer law and order.   Murders, corruption, killings, robbery are not even followed up - only in high profile cases.  Children are abused daily in the schools by their own teachers to get marks to pass. They have the highest rape statistic in the world (of countries who report this).

It is easy to criticize a world wide organization who use lawyers.  But each country has different laws and the lawyers will apply the laws of the country.  If the rape can be proved and the level of violence established then a person will be put out of the congregation even if the laws of the country are weak. 

BUT this is one of the hardest crimes to prove.... because it is always hidden.

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There are politicians involved in sex rings in UK, EU and USA and it is covered up.  In the end - Jehovah is the judge.  People who think they can get away with crimes will face Jehovah - soon.

IN Germany young girls and little boys are regularly raped and groped.  Most cases are not followed up.  And there are court cases which are totally absurd.  A woman in a wheel chair in Sweden - case was thrown out because she did " not give enough resistance".   Germany: a woman is facing charges because she defended herself against a rapist.  The world is getting totally blinded by satan - and the ones who are assisting this are the judges and the police who get their orders "from above" - that is if they value their jobs.

I watched a video where one of the highest authorities in England - a woman who exposed crimes against children - in her capacity as the head of a large government agency was hounded by the entire police and judicial system.  It was heart breaking to hear how they put her in prison under false names so her family did not know where she was.... she lost her house,  job and everything she had worked for her whole life.  This is the kind of justice that is going on behind the scenes.   Satan is literally not ruling behind the scenes any more -  he is absolutely openly running everything through his human power-seekers!

This is not a fabrication !  It is really going on.  The truth is hidden by all the lies that are now in the public domain.  Some of the true stories sound more like fabricated stories and the lies are believed as truth.

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16 hours ago, Anna said:

Elders are not the police. So now you want them to act like the police?

They are sort of "spiritual police", we can not denied this part of their role in congregation. in the past all appointments has have to be approved by WT USA. Recently they gave that in hand of Circuit Overseer (is title correct?) So, if Overseer made bad choice, no one can blame GB and Headquarter in US. Local "marshals" will have to take all blame for bad choice of elders. 

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15 hours ago, Anna said:

This is irrelevant. You are making the mistake of mixing two separate things together. You do not need two witnesses to make a report to the police. This is only for congregational action.

For secular police not, you are right. But for inside "Police", victims must have two witnesses. No change, no progress. This is not good, because Bible told us about examples where you do not need two witness for making "justified" allegation/accusation.

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16 hours ago, Anna said:

Yes, WT always hands over any necessary confidential documentation pertaining to a case. WT will not hand over confidential documentation that has nothing to do with a specific case. The supreme court agreed with WT on that. (Any $4,000 fines per day were reversed and removed).

In March of this year (2018), the Watchtower Corporation settled cases with former members Jose Lopez and Osbaldo Padron, for alleged mishandling of sexual abuse committed against the men when they were children in the religion. During the course of these cases, the courts had ordered Watchtower to produce records of other alleged child molesters in the religion. Watchtower refused, and was then slapped with a $4000 per day sanction from the courts. As I brought out in this post, Watchtower lost their final appeal against these sanctions last November, and you can read the court’s rather scathing decision against them in that column.

This settlement with Lopez and Padron closes down both this order for Watchtower to produce documents, and the $4000 per day sanction. The terms of the settlement reached with the men are confidential, so there is no information available about dollar amounts, etc.

As you can see WT made settlement with this two men. This is reason why $ fine is stopped.

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8 hours ago, Anna said:

please read carefully what @JOHN BUTLER  posted on November 18th 2018: and ask yourselves,: should John report this to the police and/or social services? Or is it just me, @Outta Here and @JW Insider and (maybe others like @Arauna @TrueTomHarley)who think John should report it? 

I have been given this information :-

If John feels  he have to go and report case to secular authorities, I will support his decision.

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1 hour ago, Arauna said:

If you have run a global organization then I will talk with you again.  Every country has its own laws and in most countries where there are laws against child sex abuse there is no follow up.   America and Australia are two countries who still follow up but this is becoming harder as Laws in the countries are being eroded.

South Africa has the best laws in the world but there is no longer law and order.   Murders, corruption, killings, robbery are not even followed up - only in high profile cases.  Children are abused daily in the schools by their own teachers to get marks to pass. They have the highest rape statistic in the world (of countries who report this).

It is easy to criticize a world wide organization who use lawyers.  But each country has different laws and the lawyers will apply the laws of the country.  If the rape can be proved and the level of violence established then a person will be put out of the congregation even if the laws of the country are weak. 

BUT this is one of the hardest crimes to prove.... because it is always hidden.

As you has seen from short video, Richard Asch, WT REPRESENTATIVE has said clearly how elders duty is only to provide spiritual safety aka  guidance, support, monitoring, keep congregation clear and similar.

Because such WT position, JW congregations not need any secular lawyers in their midst, in their Spiritual Worldwide Paradise. Why don't need? Because all problems can be settled between brothers or in worst scenario,  by ELDERS.

WT need Lawyers primarily because of BUSINESS!!!!!   

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11 hours ago, Anna said:

You have absolutely no idea how this works in the real world do you? Having 20 years worth of child abuse accusations is of absolutely no use to the authorities unless the survivor/victim makes a report to them first. When a report is made to the authorities  by survivor/victim it is taken to court and the courts ask for any reports made, then the reports are handed over.

You seem to be contradicting yourself here then. 

If the authorities cannot act on accusations without the victim making a report first, then why are you trying to tell me to go the the Police? I don't even know who the victim is. So if I made an accusation against the young man or gave a report of such, it would be of no use it seems because you say that the authorities could not act on it anyway. Where is you logic in all ths ?  

However my point is, that if all information was handed over to such authorities, they could sift through all the information and probably find a quantity of accusations against some of the individuals accused. If for instance they found 5 accusations against one person, over a period of three years. that would be grounds enough to bring that person in for questioning. Then also they could contact  the victims that would also be named in those reports and ask if they wished to give evidence and / or take court action against the accused. 

All action and information of that type, if the names of victims and accused were known to the authorities, could make the world a slightly 'safer' place to live in. 

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6 hours ago, Outta Here said:

This is a quote from the original poster who subsequently asks for the opinion of others.. The opinion of others can only be Yes, No, or Maybe. As this is a UK issue, there is a moral, not legal duty, for an informed third party to report such matters to a suitable authority. In view of the intimate knowledge this alleger claims to have,  the option was suggested that they discuss the matter anonymously with Childline on a Freephone number 0800 1111.

What is particularly odious about the whole exchange is that the party in question is vociferously complaining and making allegations about others who, in their opinion, "cover up" such cases.

Consider:

  • An allegation has been made.The accuser has given their opinion as above.
  • Others have expressed their varied opinions. 
  • An option that would report the matter to an suitable authority, anonymously, has been given.
  • Yet the alleger continues to dither, continues to accuse others of the same moral hypocrisy. 
  • The alleged potential for further harm remains.

This person, regardless of status, is appearing to behave like an active part of the problem they are continually complaining about. Why is there even a discussion on the matter?

I really love it all. Those of you who are joining in @Anna by turning attention away from this TOPIC. 

Very clever you think ? But this topic is about the RECLAIMED VOICES letter........ And  Oh how often I get accused of going off topic. 

This topic is just one tiny piece of evidence that the JW Org hides pedophiles in it.  But it seems most of you do not care. Your own lives are not affected so you don't care. So you choose to take aim at me, so be it, my shoulders are wide enough to handle it all. 

I am not stupid and i do realise your purposes for trying to get me to put myself in the line of trouble. Remember that I LEFT the JW Org, I wasn't disfellowshipped. I was one jump ahead of them.  And i know they would just love to have a reason to call me an Apostate, to accuse me of slander, and to use me as a bad example of one who left the Org. It isn't going to happen, sorry to disappoint you all. :) 

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@Jay Iza @Srecko Sostar please read carefully what @JOHN BUTLER  posted on November 18th 2018: and ask yourselves,: should John report this to the police and/or social services? Or is it just me, @Outta Here and @JW Insider and (maybe others like @Arauna @TrueTomHarley)who think John should report it? 
 
@Anna  failed to mention that some others told me quite bluntly to mind my own business, and that all I had was 'gossip' and 'rumours'.  And that i would be doing more harm than good and possibly ruining the lives of people involved. 
 
Come on Anna be fair, there were people on both sides of this issue. I don't mind you putting me down in this way but you could at least be honest about it all.    

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2 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

there were people on both sides of this issue

It's not about the issue around who is on what side or the other.

It's primarily about the safety of children and the failure of adults, whoever they are, to discharge their responsibility to ensure that safety. And it's also about the moral responsibility of those both inside and outside of organisations who cover up detailed allegations out of cowardice and misplaced loyalties.

These responsibilities are not removed by the opinions of others.

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7 hours ago, Arauna said:

yet, he may look repentant and yet go and do it again.... but time will tell.

The problem with that reasoning is that what has to happen for time to tell? Another child is molested? Do we "sacrifice" another child so when that happens we then know for 'sure' this person is a danger and needs to be constrained in a more effective way? (i.e. prison and counseling etc.).

7 hours ago, Arauna said:

The congregation will never be informed of  a case.

In cases of child sexual molestation, unlike other judicial cases (adultery, fornication etc.)  the congregation will be informed according to the new guidelines:

par. 11. If it is determined that one guilty of child sexual abuse is repentant and will remain in the congregation, restrictions are imposed on the individual’s congregation activities. The individual will be specifically admonished by the elders not to be alone in the company of children, not to cultivate friendships with children, or display any affection for children. In addition, elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individual.

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

 

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      ---
      What do Jehovahs Witnesses say about this?
      The Jehovah's do not recognize themselves in the image that lawyer Nico Meijering paints of 'scandalous' opposition from victims of sexual abuse within the religious community. "In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, we provide access to the personal data that we have from the applicant upon request. Comment [from advocate Meijering] as you put it, therefore we are surprised, "reports spokesperson Michel van Hilten in a reply by e-mail.
      Three months ago he told this newspaper that the Jehovah's believe that there is no structural problem [of sexual abuse]. "We know a handful of incidents and reports of abuse per year," Van Hilten said.
      The Jehovah's are invited to be present at the protest, but 'prefer to have direct contact with individual victims who seek contact with us'.
      "Details of a recommended investigation by the House of Representatives have not been known to date. However, we have already informed the Ministry in advance that we are prepared to explain a few things. ''
       
      source in Dutch:
       
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      Jehovah's Witnesses will do everything to avoid having to comply with a declaration obligation for cases of sexual abuse. That experts conclude on the basis of new internal documents from the church, which are in the hands of RTL Nieuws.
      These are letters from the head office in America to departments in other countries. These letters discuss what needs to be done if a declaration is required in that country. The central management points out to the departments in the letters that they have to do everything they can to get out of such a duty to report.
      Jehovah's Witnesses are under attack because they do not report internal cases of sexual abuse to the police. The perpetrators are tried in an internal legal system, but receive no prison sentence or fine. The heaviest punishment is exclusion from the church.
      Church organization refuses to cooperate
      Reports are made of the internal legal cases containing details about the abuse and sometimes even confessions of perpetrators. MPs and victims of abuse have called upon Jehovah's Witnesses since the beginning of this year to share these documents with the police and judiciary. Until now, the church organization has refused that.
      The letters that RTL Nieuws has, show that a possible declaration obligation for sexual abuse in the Netherlands may have little effect on Jehovah's Witnesses, says Raymond Hintjes. He is chairman of the victim organization Reclaimed Voices. "Even if a declaration obligation is introduced, we see that the Jehovah's Witnesses will still try to get out of it through a deliberate action."
      Arrogant contempt for the rule of law
      Professor of criminal law Henny Sackers of the University of Nijmegen thinks the position of the church is shocking. "It seems almost a kind of arrogant contempt for the Dutch legal system, now that they want to do everything to prevent government interference, criminal government interference."
      Jehovah's Witnesses invoke the privilege of refusal when refusing legal aid. Clergymen do not have to testify under that right about what a believer has told them in confidence. Earlier, Minister Dekker (Legal Protection) wrote to the House of Representatives that it is not clear whether Jehovah's Witnesses may use the right of non-disclosure in this way. Dekker is now investigating whether it makes sense to set a declaration obligation.
      The documents that RTL Nieuws possesses can not be published because they may be able to identify the source.
      Originally posted in Dutch on RTL Nieuws
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      Religious sect Jehovah’s Witnesses has refused to hand over documents to the public prosecutor in which an ex-member admits the abuse of a child, also member of the sect at the time, RTL Nieuws reports. Samet G, now 31, was a minor himself when the abuse of his 4 year-old niece started. The abuse continued until she was 14 and was reported to the police in 2015 when the girl and her mother left the Christian sect. A court in Breda last week sentenced G to a 9 months suspended sentence and a fine for the abuse but did not have access to the confession, which dates from 2011. G is appealing against his conviction.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses have their own internal committees which sit in judgement in cases of sexual abuse and do not involve the police. A record of these proceedings is made and kept. According to RTL, the public prosecutor’s request for a copy of the confession was refused on the grounds that it would compromise the man’s privacy and that, by law, clergymen, or in this case the elders, cannot be forced to reveal what has been told to them in confidence. Although there is doubt among lawyers that the Jehovah’s Witnesses elders can claim this right, the public prosecutor accepted the refusal, RTL writes.
      The sect also refuses to cooperate in an independent inquiry and, according to minister for legal protection Sander Dekker, it cannot be forced to do so. Abuse survivors According to Reclaimed Voices, an organisation that helps ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses members who were victims of sexual abuse, the minister needs to do much more. ‘If we can’t get the files via the courts we need politicians to act. Someone must force the Jehovah’s Witnesses to hand them over,’ the organisation’s spokesman Frank Huiting told RTL. CDA MP Madeleine van Toorenburg and other MPs have asked the minister to investigate if Jehovah’s Witness have the right to refuse access to documents that might shed light on a criminal case and slated the sect’s ‘culture of silence and cover-ups,’ RTL writes. Jehovah’s Witnesses are being widely accused of silencing victims of sexual abuse within the sect. The Guardian newspaper recently uncovered a case involving at least 100 victims who claim to have been abused.

      Read more at DutchNews.nl
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Reclaimed Voices, a foundation set up in the Netherlands to denounce sexual abuse by Jehovah's Witnesses, received 46 reports of abuse in just a week's time. The number of reports is shocking, Frank Huiting, one of the founders and himself a victim of sexual abuse in a closed Jehovah's Witnesses community as a child, said to broadcaster NOS. 
      The foundation was launched just over a week ago, based on Huiting's own experiences. He was abused from the time he was seven year's old. When Huiting told his parents, they decided not to report it to the police. An elder in the community advised against it. "Then there will be headlines in the newspaper and we don't want that."
      According to the Reclaimed Voices initiators, victims within the closed Jehovah's Witnesses community are not heard and perpetrators are left to continue unchecked. Over the past week, foundation employees heard stories from a number of people who were abused by Jehovah's Witnesses. "The fact that so many reports have come in actually says enough. There are at least hundreds of cases in the Netherlands that should actually come out", Huiting said, according to NOS. He added that so many victims are too afraid to come forward.
      The main purpose of Reclaimed Voices is to be a listening ear. The employees urge victims to speak out, and hope that they also report the abuse. "People walked around with this secret for years. And the fact that they are coming out, can be a relief for them. That was also my experience. We also want to advise them to seek professional help. Also outside the religious community, for example with a social worker, psychologist or general practitioner", Huiting said.
      The foundation aims to collect as man reports of sexual abuse as possible and present them to the board of Jehovah's Witnesses Netherlands and the Dutch government. "We want to get the government to investigate these abuses. And not to start a fight, but really to focus on the victim."
      Earlier this year Dutch newspaper Trouw spoke to a number of people who were sexually abused as children in the Jehovah's Witnesses community. One victim described the religious society as a "paradise for pedophiles". 
      https://nltimes.nl/2017/11/28/dutch-foundation-gets-dozens-sexual-abuse-reports-jehovahs-witnesses
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