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JOHN BUTLER

RECLAIMED VOICES new letter to JW brothers and sisters.

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1 hour ago, Outta Here said:

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, failing in 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.

So you are condemning the ELDERS of JW org then ? Thanks I agree with you. 

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53 minutes ago, Anna said:

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.).

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/

 

elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individual. 

That is not the same as informing the whole congregation. If Elders only inform the parents that have children. 

And this does not help parents outside the congregation to protect their children. 

" If it is determined that one guilty of child sexual abuse ..."  If it is thus determined then I hope the Elders report it to the police so that the outside community can be protected too. 

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37 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

So you are condemning the ELDERS of JW org then ? Thanks I agree with you.

Actually, I condemn the action (or inaction) of every single last one of you who hide the facts of child abuse from the relevant authorities. I don't differentiate on the basis of any perceived status in or out of any organisation. You are all in the same bag to me.

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1 hour ago, Anna said:

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.).

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/

 

Agree with you on first paragraph.

About that  congregation will be informed, and how will be informed, from par. 11 i am not so glad about policy.

Trouble part in quote about it is this;  elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individual.

They said here about informing, NOT all CONGREGATION in public announcement , NOT all CONGREGATIONS IN WHOLE COUNTRY, ....BUT ONLY PARENTS OF MINORS in particular congregation!! 

Is this enough? Policy makers decide how it is. WT Lawyers obviously gave advice about this way of dealing with issue. Maybe must be that way. Don't know. But looks problematic to me. I am aware how no one have "perfect" solution on this. But it seems to me, how WT experts not gave enough efforts for PROTECTING children and their families.  

About issue how elders will monitoring Individual persona aka molesters is funny idea.

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5 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:
21 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.

Srecko, it is still irrelevant. It does not matter. The ultimate goal is that the perpetrator does not molest any more children. How this is done, whether by the police, the elders, or both does not matter.  Remember, the handling of the matter by the elders does NOT replace the handling of the matter by the authorities.

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1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individual. 

That is not the same as informing the whole congregation. If Elders only inform the parents that have children. 

And this does not help parents outside the congregation to protect their children. 

" If it is determined that one guilty of child sexual abuse ..."  If it is thus determined then I hope the Elders report it to the police so that the outside community can be protected too. 

So do you think that because only parents with minor children are informed, that 'so and so' is a danger to children, i.e. is a sexual child molester, it will not become common knowledge in the whole congregation? Come on, you know better than that :). Short of announcing from the platform that 'so and so' is a pedophile, this is another way of letting the whole congregation know.

And yes, that is the goal, that someone determined guilty of child sexual abuse is reported to the police in order for the rest of the community to be protected. In America, such a person is put on a sex offender registry for life, and anyone can find their name and address. Also these people are not allowed to live within a certain perimeter of schools and other child facilities.

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49 minutes ago, Srecko Sostar said:

Trouble part in quote about it is this;  elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individual.

They said here about informing, NOT all CONGREGATION in public announcement , NOT all CONGREGATIONS IN WHOLE COUNTRY, ....BUT ONLY PARENTS OF MINORS in particular congregation!! 

Is this enough? Policy makers decide how it is. WT Lawyers obviously gave advice about this way of dealing with issue. Maybe must be that way. Don't know. But looks problematic to me. I am aware how no one have "perfect" solution on this. But it seems to me, how WT experts not gave enough efforts for PROTECTING children and their families.  

See my comment to John about the same question. Is it enough? I don't know. What I do know is that the goal is to protect children. As you say, there may be laws on what you can and cannot do. But regardless, I am sure you will agree, no one wants children to be harmed. What I do know is that if a perpetrator moves to another congregation, their record card is sent to the new congregation, and all those details will be on that record card. 

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1 hour ago, Srecko Sostar said:

About issue how elders will monitoring Individual persona aka molesters is funny idea.

Not really. The police also monitor a sexual predator that has been released from prison. How do you think the police do it? Do you think they are with the person 24 hours a day 7 days a week? Of course not. There are various degrees of how a person can be monitored. Prison is the best way. The other ways depend on the reasonable ability of the ones doing the monitoring. For example the elders will be alert to anything going on in the congregation or congregation activities. But they will not sit inside his house, or go shopping with him. Neither will the police.

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About an hour ago I messaged the local police by private messenger system to ask if they have a private email address for me to give them the details that I have. The messenger system is too difficult to send a large message on and an email I could save a copy for myself for my reference. 

This local police force covers the town in which i live and the town where the congregation is.  When / if I receive a reply i will give them all the details i have. By doing it via email I will be able to word it carefully so that I do not accuse the young man, but just give the facts as they were given to me... 

Then if this young man does something wrong, the police will at least have reference to him. It really is a great shame that i do not have the victims name of details, as I am more concerned for her welfare. Hopefully if the police investigate, they will get full details if indeed the accusation actually took place. 

I know it's wrong of me to judge anyone, especially in such a serious situation. So I will give the police details as to me leaving the JW Org and as to why they may not wish to believe me. That way I feel i would be giving them a balanced viewpoint. 

Hopefully they will contact me this evening. 7.30 pm now. 

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21 minutes ago, Anna said:

Not really. The police also monitor a sexual predator that has been released from prison. How do you think the police do it? Do you think they are with the person 24 hours a day 7 days a week? Of course not. There are various degrees of how a person can be monitored. Prison is the best way. The other ways depend on the reasonable ability of the ones doing the monitoring. For example the elders will be alert to anything going on in the congregation or congregation activities. But they will not sit inside his house, or go shopping with him. Neither will the police.

How and why to compare elders and police officers in this? Elders are supposed to care only about spiritual safety of flock, according to WT Lawyers. So by what authority and by what qualifications would elders be prepared to execute the order?

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5 minutes ago, Srecko Sostar said:

How and why to compare elders and police officers in this? Elders are supposed to care only about spiritual safety of flock, according to WT Lawyers. So by what authority and by what qualifications would elders be prepared to execute the order?

I think we have a misunderstanding here, out of context. The elders are responsible for the flock in a spiritual way, but do you think if someone would try to physically assault someone inside the congregation they would just stand by and not do anything? They will help, and if necessary call the police. So in context, the elders are going to help someone from physical (or sexual) harm inside the Kingdom Hall, not just the elders, but any brother or sister will try and help. But if there is a problem outside the congregation building, for example domestic violence inside a home, then the elders will let the police handle that.

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6 minutes ago, Anna said:

I think we have a misunderstanding here, out of context. The elders are responsible for the flock in a spiritual way, but do you think if someone would try to physically assault someone inside the congregation they would just stand by and not do anything? They will help, and if necessary call the police. So in context, the elders are going to help someone from physical (or sexual) harm inside the Kingdom Hall, not just the elders, but any brother or sister will try and help. But if there is a problem outside the congregation building, for example domestic violence inside a home, then the elders will let the police handle that.

 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. 

Well, monitoring. Parents will monitoring children after they received elders message. 

Well, specifically admonished (is very serious speaking to somebody)will be instrument for elders to show, discipline molester who is repentant.

Now i get. No police! Why? Because elders decide molester is repentant! 

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3 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

 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. 

Well, monitoring. Parents will monitoring children after they received elders message. 

Well, specifically admonished (is very serious speaking to somebody)will be instrument for elders to show, discipline molester who is repentant.

Now i get. No police! Why? Because elders decide molester is repentant! 

No Nooo! Police being involved or not involved has nothing to do with  the molester being repentant or not repentant. Again, remember: The elders’ handling of an accusation of child abuse is not a replacement for the authorities’ handling of the matter.—  This applies whether the elders disfellowship the molester or not.

Par. 11 Follows from par 10:

10. Child abuse is a serious sin. 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.—

and then:

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.

Remember the Elders responsibility is the spiritual well being of even the molester. The molester may have been released from prison, he may be on a sex offender registry, he may have social restrictions, he may be attending special counseling. But If there are clear signs that the molester is repentant from a Biblical stand point, then the Elders cannot deny him his right to be in the congregation. This does not exclude police involvement. The police can be involved at any stage in this process (with prison, counseling, social restrictions etc.).

In fact I personally know a brother who is on a sex offender registry for something he did in the past. So the police were very much involved. He even went to prison for 6 months. He is still a member of a congregation. This is why Christ died for us, so that no matter how bad the sin/crime, we have a chance of forgiveness.

 

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On 1/10/2019 at 5:04 AM, Srecko Sostar said:

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

Here's what I think is funny, but not really, So John becomes the subject of conversation in this thread and scorn from some because he has not reported abuse to the police based on the knowledge he may have. These same folks who point the finger at John, defend a policy that does not report anything to the police. 

 

There is only one description for this kind of behavior. 

 

Hypocrisy! 

 

And this surprises me none coming from those who support the wt and gb.

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20 hours ago, Anna said:

Again, remember: The elders’ handling of an accusation of child abuse is not a replacement for the authorities’ handling of the matter.—  This applies whether the elders disfellowship the molester or not.

It seems how Problem is about Two Jurisdictional system that existing and working in parallel mode. One is in hand of JW elders and the other is in hand of Secular Government, who is appointed by God as it is quoted in Romans: "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." 

It seems, by this words, how God of Bible was not give any authority to anyone  outside of Secular Governments arrangement. 

Once again, It seems how Bible contradicts itself, because in other place (Corinthians) verse say something different, as this: "Suppose one of you wants to bring a charge against another believer. Should you take it to ungodly people to be judged? Why not take it to the Lord’s people?  Or don’t you know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? Since this is true, aren’t you able to judge small cases?  Don’t you know that we will judge angels? Then we should be able to judge the things of this life even more!  So suppose you disagree with one another in matters like this. Who do you ask to decide which of you is right? Do you ask people who live in a way the church disapproves of? Of course not!  I say this to shame you. Is it possible that no one among you is wise enough to judge matters between believers?  Instead, one believer goes to court against another. And this happens in front of unbelievers!"

What they were, this small cases in 1 century? 

But perhaps something was wrong inside Corinthians congregation what caused for brothers to go to secular authority for justice:   "When you take another believer to court, you have lost the battle already. Why not be treated wrongly? Why not be cheated?  Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong. And you do it to your brothers and sisters."

Judges in congregations, elders, also doing wrong and cheat. Is this report just type - anti type illustration? :))) or just normal fulfillment of some other Bible words as: "All this I have seen, applying my mind to every deed that is done under the sun; there is a time when one man lords it over another to his own detriment."

 

20 hours ago, Anna said:

In fact I personally know a brother who is on a sex offender registry for something he did in the past. So the police were very much involved. He even went to prison for 6 months. He is still a member of a congregation. This is why Christ died for us, so that no matter how bad the sin/crime, we have a chance of forgiveness.

Christ died for sinners of all kind. Idea of forgiveness. And other wonderful ideas that we have. Nice. But no one want this type of sinners in close to, near by the children. So, what would be decision? 

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1 hour ago, Srecko Sostar said:

It seems how Problem is about Two Jurisdictional system that existing and working in parallel mode

It is not a problem, it is exactly how it is. The jurisdictional system in a congregation deals with sin, the Jurisdictional system of the Government deals with crime and both can be applied to the same instance at the same time. In the case of child sexual molestation, it is both, a sin and a crime. So both jurisdictional systems are needed.

1 hour ago, Srecko Sostar said:

there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God."

It seems, by this words, how God of Bible was not give any authority to anyone  outside of Secular Governments arrangement. 

It might seem like that. But if you read the context, and other scriptures which talk about this subject, then it becomes clear that for Christians, God is to be obeyed above anyone: Acts 5:29: "In answer Peter and the other apostles said: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men". For example, secular law does not prohibit Adultery or fornication. However God does.

So, as you say, there are two parallel  jurisdictional systems. One is religious, based on sin (adultery and fornication are a sin), the other one is secular, based on crime (adultery and fornication are not a crime).  That is why Paul was able to say: "After all, it is none of my business to judge outsiders. God will judge them. But should you not judge the members of your own fellowship? As the scripture says, “Remove the evil person from your group.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13).

1 hour ago, Srecko Sostar said:

What they were, this small cases in 1 century? 

These would have been personal disputes between two brothers (or sisters) that did not involve a sin or a crime.  It would be better if these brothers could handle this between themselves peacefully, rather than get "worldly" courts to judge who was right and who was wrong.

1 hour ago, Srecko Sostar said:

Judges in congregations, elders, also doing wrong and cheat. Is this report just type - anti type illustration? :))) or just normal fulfillment of some other Bible words as: "All this I have seen, applying my mind to every deed that is done under the sun; there is a time when one man lords it over another to his own detriment."

Possibly. But in any case, we can be sure that ultimately God will judge everyone (Romans 14:12)

1 hour ago, Srecko Sostar said:

Christ died for sinners of all kind. Idea of forgiveness. And other wonderful ideas that we have. Nice. But no one want this type of sinners in close to, near by the children. So, what would be decision? 

If you were an elder, what decision would you make?

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4 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

These same folks who point the finger at John, defend a policy that does not report anything to the police. 

Except that the policy does support reporting to the police :)

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16 minutes ago, Anna said:

Except that the policy does support reporting to the police :)

Who are you trying to fool? You or others? Because it isn't me that you are fooling. 

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11.25 pm Friday,  That's over 24 hours and NO reply from local Police on the matter. 

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11 hours ago, Anna said:

It is not a problem, it is exactly how it is. The jurisdictional system in a congregation deals with sin, the Jurisdictional system of the Government deals with crime and both can be applied to the same instance at the same time. In the case of child sexual molestation, it is both, a sin and a crime. So both jurisdictional systems are needed.

Product of such System and Idea is Absolutely Confusing Situation. In such case JW People have at least  3 Judges; Elders, 144000, Court of the World, JHVH, Jesus, People around you, ...You yourself. :)))) funny and tragic. 

This is The Problem!! 

Distinction, difference and similarity about sin and crime. Confusing. Basic idea of Mosaic Law have not such idea, Sin was same as Crime and vice versa. All ended in Punish. By One Court Body. Not existed 2 parallel system. 

Because Christians movement not forming Nation or Nations as Jew, they are subject to Worldly system of Justice. Worldly system have paragraphs on what is forbidden and what you have to do, otherwise you can be sentenced in some way. 

What is good or bad, sin or not sin is theological issue. Not belong to Secular Ideology. Again, Romans book clearly said how ALL Christian must obey Law of Government. Secular Court is appointed to deal with JW and their acts in all cases that are described in Law books and other Obligation for citizens. If some is not satisfied with that there are a ways how to change Legislative about particular case.    

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      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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