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JW Canada: Judge authorizes class action for Jehovah's Witnesses sex abuse victims

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"The organization of Jehovah's Witnesses is very hierarchical, led by men, and encourages a culture of silence," the judge ruled.

Citing a hierarchy that “encourages a culture of silence,” a Quebec Superior Court judge has authorized a class-action lawsuit for current or former Jehovah’s Witnesses in Quebec who were sexually abused by other members as minors.

Authorized last week, the class action argues the church’s internal reporting policies conceal abuse and have silenced hundreds of sexual assault complaints through the years. It seeks at least $250,000 in damages for each alleged victim.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Lisa Blais, a Quebec woman born into a Jehovah’s Witness family. She alleges she was repeatedly sexually abused and assaulted by her brother, 13 years older, beginning when she was only 10 months old.

It’s estimated there are roughly 27,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Quebec.

“Given that the lawsuit is based on sexual assaults, a class action is the appropriate measure,” Quebec Superior Court Judge Chantal Corriveau wrote in her 27-page decision. “It would be difficult and impracticable for members to individually come out of the shadows and try to make their claims known.”

The lawsuit targets the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada, the parent company of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the country, and another society based in Pennsylvania that’s responsible for the church’s communications and publications.

At the heart of the class action is whether the church failed to protect its members when they tried to denounce sexual abuse.

According to the lawsuit, Blais, now in her 40s, first spoke out about the alleged abuse when she was 16 years old. She sought help from her parents, another Jehovah’s Witness and an elder — members who act as spiritual leaders in different congregations — but says she was discouraged from reporting the abuse in order to protect the community.

Blais left her family at 17 and was officially disfellowshipped at 24.

Lawyers arguing against the class action contended Blais’s allegations were too vague, that her wounds stem from the incest and her parents failing to protect her from it, and that it isn’t the court’s place to interfere with religious practices.

But Corriveau found otherwise, ruling Blais’s allegations are “based on a set of substantiated facts.”

“The organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses is very hierarchical, led by men, and encourages a culture of silence,” Corriveau wrote. “The internal treatment of complaints of sexual abuse illustrates that.

“It is easy for the Tribunal to conclude that, as a result, victims who have not been encouraged or supported to denounce these assaults also do not have the courage to confront their aggressor and the organization in court by instituting an individual lawsuit.”

Reached for comment on the ruling, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada said it’s considering its options for appeal.

“The class action was authorized solely on the basis of unproven allegations,” a spokesperson wrote in a statement.

“If this matter proceeds to trial the facts will clearly show Jehovah’s Witnesses report allegations of abuse to the authorities, in line with the Youth Protection Act,” he added. “The well-being of children is of utmost importance to Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

Blais’s lawyer, Sarah Woods, said her client was pleased with the ruling.

Lead plaintiffs in class-action suits involving child abuse often remain anonymous through the proceedings, but Blais chose not to.

According to the class-action application, filed two years ago, Blais wanted to lead the suit “in order to assist other victims” and “to provide access to justice” to other potential class members.

“There is a sense that if victims are willing to be the face of such a recourse,” Woods said on Monday, “that hopefully it will encourage other people to come forward and speak out.”

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12 hours ago, Indiana said:

She alleges she was repeatedly sexually abused and assaulted by her brother, 13 years older, beginning when she was only 10 months old

Let me get this straight. One child abuses another within a family, and it is the fault of the congregation elders?

Is it alleged that:

12 hours ago, Indiana said:

The organization of Jehovah's Witnesses is very hierarchical, led by men, and encourages a culture of silence," the judge ruled.

Take them out of the picture for a moment. Are we to imagine that the mom and dad of this family would have otherwise marched their kids straight down to the police station to make sure justice was done? 

There is a part of me that thinks what really gets in sticks in the craw of this judge is that Jehovah’s Witnesses are “hierarchical”, whatever that is supposed to mean, and that they are “led by men,” as though anything less than a free-for-all is evil.

Perhaps it is even implied that men are inherently evil, so that the greatest travesty of all is to be led by them.

 

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My guess is that it's not what happened within the family  ... it was the coverup within the Congregation that the Law is concerned about, as respects the Congregation.

Same thing happened to Richard Nixon ... it was not the Watergate burglaries (for which he had plausible deniability) ... it was the systemic coverup that destroyed his Presidency.

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2 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

My guess is that it's not what happened within the family  ... it was the coverup within the Congregation

 

It is not possible to mishandle what you never attempted to handle in the first place.

The clear implication of rulings such as this is that religious organizations ought not to look into the conduct of its members, for it is only by doing so that they can step into messes like this.

“Be like the mainline churches,” the ruling says in effect. “Preach to them on Sunday and be done with it. It’s none of your business whether they apply it or not.”

However, the verse says that it is their business. “You, the one preaching, “Do not steal,” do you steal?  You, the one saying, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery?” If you claim that your teachings improve the moral fiber, you must have mechanisms in place to ensure that that is indeed the case, especially if your view of God is that he insists on a “clean” people.

Framed that way, the ruling is a state attempt to regulate religion and could be argued on that basis.

Plus, such thinking completely ignores the far superior role of prevention of CSA, in order to zero in exclusively on meting out punishment when it occurs, as though THAT is the means for the problem to be solved. How’s that project going, anyhow? Thirty years into the all-out CSA war, is it just about snuffed out? Or is it only the tip of the iceberg that has been revealed?

I’ll take the kids you have criticized, Caleb and Sophia, any day, for teaching parents how to protect their children.

    Hello guest!

 I’ll take the 2017 Regional Conventions any day, in which every Witness in the world was assembled to hear detailed scenarios in which child sexual abuse might take place, so that parents, the obvious first line of defense, can be vigilant.

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@TrueTomHarley Quote "It is not possible to mishandle what you never attempted to handle in the first place."

Ah is that how they think they can get away with it then ? They listen to the details but don't help. 

But aren't the Elders supposed to be, a rock, or, a sheltering place from the storm ? No ? 

From the news report " According to the lawsuit, Blais, now in her 40s, first spoke out about the alleged abuse when she was 16 years old. She sought help from her parents, another Jehovah’s Witness and an elder — members who act as spiritual leaders in different congregations — but says she was discouraged from reporting the abuse in order to protect the community. "

Now if that is true it helps to confirm what I and many others believe, that Elders and others within the JW Org try to keep it all secret. 

This 16 year old girl needed help but was told to just keep quiet. Was she still being abused at 16 ? Was her father an Elder ?  Presumably it will all come to light in the court case, if such actually happens. 

But one good thing is that it gives opportunity to other victims to speak up now.  

As the report says, it would be very difficult for one individual to take the JW Org / Watchtower soc' to court. The Org would have top lawyers, but one individual could not afford such. So a large group of victims working together makes sense. 

But of course TTH and others still will not agree with any of it. 

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There lies the problem for opposers, ex-witnesses, apostates, and JW’s in name only. The word “if” makes the difference. According to internal leaked information, that the probability becomes narrow to that all cases are kept secret as indicated by those individuals.

Therefore, it’s not a matter of individuals speaking out. Anyone should. However, they should speak out as to the truth and not exaggerate events in order to receive a bigger payout, as was the case with one member of the ARC witness that pleaded with the Elders not to turn her father in to the authorities and couldn’t be used as fact in a panel of judges that limited the scope of testimony. In hindsight, they should have. The Watchtower would have probably  gotten sued for not keeping the priest-penitent privilege, but it would have been better to get sued for that, instead of listening to a 15-year-old with her mother right beside her stating not to harm their father and husband, yet it is now okay to harm the Watchtower 40 years later, because of their personal decision not to harm the father and husband of side family.

This also presents a problem for the Watchtower, incompetence (ignorance of the laws) is no excuse in most democratic countries. This should be an important lesson for Elders that believe they can handle a case, without reviewing the guidelines set forth by the Watchtower, and decide to go it alone without further legal assistance.

In the case of Blais that was disfellowshipped for unknown reasons that are not mentioned in the class action lawsuit, it seems an argument for payback, and retaliation.

But of course, Sarah Woods is an appointed litigant by the courts. So, this kind of shows the bias of the court as to accept an independent inquiry.

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But surely Billy if these problems have been going on for fifty years or more, and the JW Org has a bethal/head office in each country , then surely someone within each head office should be up to date on all procedures. These are not new problems. The GB or their legal department has 20 years worth of accusations on record just in the USA, and probably much more earthwide. I cannot see any excuses to any of this. 

And if all Elders were told to report everything to the police and/or outside authorities then it would probably make their lives a lot easier. 

It could be announced from the platform in every KH that all types of crimes reported to the Elders would be reported to the authorities. Then people would be able to make the decision whether to tell the Elders or not. 

Apart from some strange idea of wanting to know how many pedophiles are in the JW Org, what is the point of just keeping it all on record ? Keeping records is not protecting anyone. And our neighbours are supposed to be everyone, so the protection of everyone, especially children, is important. How can keeping internal record protect people outside the Org ? Are the Elders going to follow pedophiles around all day to keep them from attacking people outside ? 

Tell the authorities, the Police, then the matter can be dealt with by those trained to deal with it. 

 

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57 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

It could be announced from the platform in every KH that all types of crimes reported to the Elders would be reported to the authorities. Then people would be able to make the decision whether to tell the Elders or not.  

I would bet real money that this would solve the problem ... or at least 95% of it .... for EVERYBODY concerned.

I wonder what ulterior motive is being cherished NOT to have this simple solution adopted everywhere?

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@JOHN BUTLER finds it irresistible to point out how I write books, and I hate to let him down. Perhaps from this episode another chapter can be written:

“Citing a hierarchy that ‘encourages a culture of silence,’ a Quebec Superior Court judge

    Hello guest!
for current or former Jehovah’s Witnesses in Quebec who were sexually abused by other members as minors....[The plaintiff] alleges she was repeatedly sexually abused and assaulted by her brother, 13 years older, beginning when she was only 10 months old.”

Do I understand this correctly? One child abuses another within a family, and it is the fault of the congregation elders?

The Canadian judge stated that: “The organization of Jehovah's Witnesses is very hierarchical, led by men, and encourages a culture of silence.”

Take the organization out of the picture for a moment. Are we to imagine that the mom and dad of this family would have otherwise marched their kids straight down to the police station to make sure that proper punishment was meted out?

There is a part of me that thinks what really gets in sticks in the craw of this judge is that Jehovah’s Witnesses are “hierarchical,” as though any other organization is not, and that they are “led by men,” as though anything less than a free-for-all ought to be taboo. Perhaps she even implies that men are inherently evil, so that the greatest travesty of all is to be led by them.

However, says my nemesis: “My guess is that it's not what happened within the family. It was the coverup within the Congregation.”

Well—it is not possible to mishandle what you never attempted to handle in the first place.

The clear implication of rulings such as this is that religious organizations ought not to look into the conduct of its members, for it is only by doing so that they can find themselves in such a spot as this. “Be like the mainline churches,” the ruling says in effect. “Preach to them on Sunday and be done with it. It’s none of your business whether they apply it or not.”

However, the verse Christians feel obligated to follow says that it is their business. “You, the one preaching, “Do not steal,” do you steal?  You, the one saying, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery?” (Romans 2:21) If you claim that your teachings improve the overall moral fiber, you must have mechanisms in place to ensure that that is in fact the case, especially if your view of God is that he insists on a “clean” people, as free of misconduct as possible.

Framed in this way, the ruling is a state attempt to regulate religion, and could be argued on that basis.

Plus, such thinking completely ignores the far superior role of prevention of child sexual abuse, in order to zero in exclusively on meting out punishment when it occurs, as though that is the means by which the problem will be solved. How’s that project going, anyhow? Thirty years into the all-out war against child sexual abuse, is it just about snuffed out? Or is it only the tip of the iceberg that has been revealed?

I’ll take the kids,

    Hello guest!
, video any day, for teaching parents how to protect their children. I’ll take the 2017 Regional Conventions any day, in which every Witness in the world was assembled to hear detailed scenarios in which child sexual abuse might take place, so that parents, the obvious first line of defense, can be vigilant. Who else assembles all its members and then trains them so?

***~~~***

 

“Jehovah’s Witnesses have a serious problem of child sexual abuse in their midst?”

 There are two ways of looking at this.

1.) They do not.

2.) They do, but the situation is far worse everywhere else.

One must look no farther than who is being outed as perpetrators. If you want to find deviants in most places, you look no further than the leaders. If you want the same ‘catch’ among Jehovah’s Witnesses, you must broaden your search to include, not just leaders, but everyone. A Jehovah’s Witness leader committing child sexual abuse is rare. Not unheard of, but rare. Elsewhere, it is the pattern.

Okay, if the leaders are not committing the child sexual abuse, are they nonetheless "hiding it?" How do they compare with other groups? It is a little hard to say. Nobody else has ever found it. They looked the other way, taking no interest in looking at wrongdoing within their midst. Thus, when child sexual abuse was found, it was a.) found entirely independent of religious affiliation, and b.) it was found that the leaders themselves were the abusers. How would members fare in comparison? There is no data. Nobody ever bothered to look.

Courts will go where courts will go. Will they take the above into account? Time will tell. There are few organizations with pockets--it doesn’t matter if they are religious or not--that are not being flooded with lawsuits today. In New York State, my own state, the governor has just signed into law a bill greatly lengthening the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse. Out of nowhere has appeared a major sponsor of programming I watch--a legal firm seeking to sign up clients. The ads briefly eclipsed other legal firms of accident litigation running non-stop ads of how “[So and So law firm] got me $3 million dollars, 15 times what the insurance company offered!” Put together, lawyers have become by far the premier sponsors of television. Can a society really endure that way?

Make no mistake. No one is saying that it is wrong to sue for grievances. But one must sometimes ask whether there will be any organized group on earth left standing when the suing is done. Of course, there will be some. Governments can just raise taxes to recoup legal payouts. Businesses can raise prices. But groups like the Boy Scouts, investigating bankruptcy at last report, are out of luck. One wonders how other voluntary organizations will fare.

The typical person congratulates the client who has come into an extraordinary bonanza via lawsuit. Then he opens his insurance premium bill. It calls to mind, as a rough parallel, the statement of Alexander Fraser that democracy can only endure until “the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury.” The world has become a lawyers’ playground, with massive transfers of money flowing in all directions--the barristers netting a third, they being the only consistent beneficiaries.

When the rules of the game change, you can hardly blame the small players for adjusting to accommodate them. There was a time, those my age will remember, when nothing was so crass as for lawyers to advertise. It was against their universal code of conduct, possibly even against the law. It explains the phrase “ambulance chaser”—you actually had to chase an ambulance to sign up a client before another lawyer could. You couldn’t just broadcast to the whole wide world that you were scouring the earth for clients.

Someone dear to me was sued several times with regard to property, in another matter that had a very long statute of limitations. When what proved to be the final lawsuit came in, the person sought to make defense through his insurance lawyer, but that one attempted contact several times and could not get a response from the firm bringing suit. Finally, that firm admitted that they were having a hard time locating their client. Seemingly, they had left no stone unturned in seeking business and had finally found “aggrieved” ones who’s cases were so tenuous that they couldn’t even be bothered to show up and make them.

I wonder, too, whether the popular demand for public apologies isn’t largely just a PR event, or even worse, an encouraged legal strategy to secure a clear admission of guilt, thereafter better enabling future lawsuits. Few things are done for the noble ‘window-dressing’ reasons that are given. At any rate, it is worth noting that when the government of Australia apologized for decades of child sexual abuse, and opposers praised that apology to the heavens because they thought they could thereby embarrass Jehovah’s Witnesses, the victims nonetheless rejected it as ‘too little, too late.’ Better than any apology is prevention. Of course, it is good to call in the grief counselors in the aftermath of a school shooting. But it is far better not to need them in the first place.

The situation is a far cry from the Quebec of 70 years ago, during which 400 Jehovah's Witnesses generated 1600 arrests, on charges as minor as peddling without a license but as major as sedition. A key case involving sedition was lost before the Supreme Court of Canada,

    Hello guest!
on a rarely-used provision of "rehearing," at which the Court acknowledged that Witness literature and ministry included nothing that incited to violence--a necessary ingredient of sedition--but only contained that which made a powerful faction squirm. The situation is much different today, with altogether different charges, and the game is barely recognizable. But deep within, is the underlying intent not nonetheless the same, cloaked behind a veneer of righteous indignation?

    Hello guest!

 

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Boring, read it all before. TTH just loves covering pages with words. :) 

Let's get horridly blunt here. 

If Jesus had been put to death because he had been a pedophile, then he would have died in shame not glory. 

The JW Org is not being shot down for trying to serve God properly, so do not try to kid yourselves or anyone else. 

The JW Org and its GB are being shot down for it's vile ways and it's sly deceptive practices. Trying to wash the outside of it's 'dish' but leavingth inside disgustingly filthy. 

Jesus served his heavenly Father fully and purely and has been rewarded for it. 

The GB and it's Org are also getting their payment right now. They are receiving the just punishments for the wicked deeds they have  performed. 

Do i care if the GB and the JW Org are wiped out by the heavy fines, no i don't. 

What i  care about is Almighty God having a clean and respected name. And i care about Jesus Christ sorting out this Earth by removing the wicked 'world' that exists upon it. 

The Nation of Israel was taken captive and left in ruin for its sins, but God raised it up again, so that it could serve its purpose.. 

I have faith enough to know that if the JW Org is what God wants to use, then he can raise it up again to serve his purpose. 

Time will tell us exactly what God wants to happen, because God's will is what will take place through Jesus Christ. 

Meanwhile Tom will keep writing books :) , and us lot here will keep on bickering. 

 

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Unfortunately, laws change faster than what people can implement. Therefore, there is a process when certain people might not be in the loop as to what direction is appropriate. This is why the Elders are "asked" to contact the legal department. Especially if they're not clear on how to proceed with the laws at hand.

The Watchtower legal department works as fast as humanly possible, but just like any government, it takes time to implement new changes to policies that include those new changes.

This also presents a problem when it comes to interpreting the new laws. As you are well aware, many changes were made after 2013 to include areas and departments that had previously been excluded under the then present laws.

I would have preferred for instance with respect to the AU judgment by the ARC, all laws should run retroactively to all territories like Bro. Jackson suggested and was not implemented. That would eliminate clergy privilege across the board. The Watchtower does not adhere to that privilege per se, but at times has to adhere to and respect the rule of law for certain cases within that democratic government.

Therefore, it’s not a matter, of the Watchtower circumventing their will over the will of people with Caesar's laws. So, ask your legislator to change your government’s laws to eliminate that clergy privilege of confession.

There are thousands of Priest that have gone to jail for not breaking that confessional privilege. If the government makes that change, it will open that door to allow clergy to sue the government and an individual for coming to them for a confession.

When do the lawsuits end? When will the people be satisfied? How will the government finally bring an end to the horrors people, inflict upon each other?

The Watchtower headquarters and the branch offices have been consistent with that message. Meanwhile, they have to work within the laws given to the nations.

If an individual makes an accusation, there should be enough proof to merit an investigation. If there isn’t the government can’t proceed. What could Elders do, within these cases? Certainly, the government would be aware of it. However, what if the case was made out of malice and no proof. People can be liable before Caesar's law as well as Gods law.

    Hello guest!

    Hello guest!

    Hello guest!

    Hello guest!

    Hello guest!

I just saw a female defendant charged for making a false police report that alleged sexual assault in my region.

Meanwhile, what will the openness result be?

    Hello guest!

Where is this individual today? This is something that even you John needs to consider.

 

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4 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

And if all Elders were told to report everything to the police and/or outside authorities then it would probably make their lives a lot easier. 

Couldn't agree with you more on this! However, it really is not a be all and end all solution, not for the victim. You know yourself that the police do not always act. So if elders were told to report to the police every time, it would actually be in the elder's interest to do so, but not necessarily in the interest of the victim. The elders could wash their hands clean off the whole situation by passing it onto the police. Which is great, no more civil lawsuits for the organization. Done. But reporting to the police does not always guarantee justice for the victim. In fact, where the victim wishes to keep it within the family, (for example if the perp. is one of the parents) then it could cause more heartache for all involved. Of course in all this it is only the perpetrator that should be the one who is punished. But it often doesn't work like that....

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Sadly, the actions of Elders shifting the obligation of reporting and investigation does NOT end the responsibility for the Watchtower.

Anyone showing just, cause, for instance, where clergy privilege exists, those Elders would be liable under Caesar's law that would warrant a civil lawsuit.

There are no clear cut solutions, there is no one situation that can be modeled to work for others.

In the cases of fornication, homosexuality, adultery, etc. Would the Elders be obligated under the present laws if everything was lumped together be seen as a viable claim, since secular authority doesn’t deal with the majority of those issues, except maybe adultery? In the past, adultery was good grounds for divorce since it said a lot about morality. Morality has been hijacked to almost becoming none existent. Bible thumpers are losing the battle to the gay community.

The Watchtower in the past has experienced both ends of that spectrum. Sued by either the victim or the accused. The best course that anyone can imply is what scripture states, Parents are responsible for their children. They are the ones obligated to teach their children the dangers of life, regardless if it’s within an organization full of God's spirit or out in the world.

Teach your child to know all possible dangers even if it becomes an embarrassing subject. My parents taught us that we couldn’t even trust, our own family. In many cases, that was the truth for various reasons.

It’s time, for witness parents to think outside of a fantasy world. It’s time to teach their children the cold hard facts of life as only a parent can provide. Why? Because they know their children the best. They know their family environment. They understand the community in which they live.

Meanwhile, the Watchtower should continue doing what they do best, keep the public informed. Keep the members informed. What is the best way for that, through publications?

It would be a service for JW’s to research the old publications to use as a model for prevention and deterrence.

The thing to note. What opposers are looking for is the shock value? I can remember the early stages of the ARC. A leaked internal memo of how many child abuse cases had been handled by the Australia Branch Office. The number 1006 was thrown out there to achieve the maximum shock value. JW’s ran with it.

What opposers and fake JW’s failed to state at every turn was, that number was gathered within a 65-year span.

Opposers went one step further. When they leaked the excel list, they tampered with it to insinuate that the majority of those cases were not given to secular authority. They simply changed the word yes to no and then leaked the document as is and all those fake witnesses ate it all up.

Therefore, it is inconceivable, people won’t find something else to sue the Watchtower. We live in Satan’s world where everything is possible.

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Anna said:

Couldn't agree with you more on this! However, it really is not a be all and end all solution, not for the victim. You know yourself that the police do not always act. So if elders were told to report to the police every time, it would actually be in the elder's interest to do so, but not necessarily in the interest of the victim. The elders could wash their hands clean off the whole situation by passing it onto the police. Which is great, no more civil lawsuits for the organization. Done. But reporting to the police does not always guarantee justice for the victim. In fact, where the victim wishes to keep it within the family, (for example if the perp. is one of the parents) then it could cause more heartache for all involved. Of course in all this it is only the perpetrator that should be the one who is punished. But it often doesn't work like that....

@Anna quote "The elders could wash their hands clean off the whole situation" 

The Elders could wash their hands of the legal side of the situation and help the JW Org to show honesty and openness.

Then the Elders could deal with the spiritual side of the situation. 

Even if the police did not take action, the Org should have written proof that the situation was reported. Thereby putting the responsibility for the legal side of the matter squarely where it belongs. 

In my opinion the victim should not have the right to keep it within the family. I know that sounds heartless but if there is a definite pedophile in the family then that one needs reporting to the Police. It would safeguard others outside the family and in my opinion it is part of showing love to neighbour quite literally as it may be a neighbours child that suffers next if the person is not reported. 

Plus if the perp' is one of the parents then that parent needs removing or the child needs removing from that situation. 

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I will repeat what i wrote previously. 

It could be announced from the platform in every KH that all types of crimes reported to the Elders would be reported to the authorities. Then people would be able to make the decision whether to tell the Elders or not.

If it was made clear that ALL CRIMES would be reported to the authorities then I wonder if that would remove the 'clergy privilege' excuse. 

As for the others things you mentioned Billy, if they are not crimes then the authorities do not need to be involved. I suppose in some countries homosexuality may still be a crime, I don't know. 

Did I read on here that an Elder at the ARC said that he would not report a murder ?  If so then where is his love of neighbour ? 

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Sad to say, John, the Elders can say whatever they want, and scream it at the top of their lungs. Unless the clergy privilege is abolished by law, it will remain active wherever it is stated by law, and the Elders are obligated by law to uphold it.

So, merely stating that all crimes will be subject to be turned over to secular authority will, in my opinion, suppress a victim even further from making a legitimate claim of child abuse.

As for keeping a pedophile in the family only, in the US, there is a system in place to warn the community about the location of a pedophile. Therefore, a witness family cannot hold that in silence regardless if that person is disfellowshipped. In the US, the registry works wherever that person moves, and in most cases of serious crimes, a registration for life.

However, if you look at legislation, an example of how the government is balancing what they thought previously what constituted to be labeled a pedophile, California is changing its definition to “exclude” certain people with new laws that will allow them to be removed for that list of pedophilia, thus removing them from any national or local registry.

offender.jpg

This is an attempt by the government to learn from their past mistakes of conforming to public hysteria rather than confronting the social issue.

 

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33 minutes ago, BillyTheKid46 said:

Sad to say, John, the Elders can say whatever they want, and scream it at the top of their lungs. Unless the clergy privilege is abolished by law, it will remain active wherever it is stated by law, and the Elders are obligated by law to uphold it.

So, merely stating that all crimes will be subject to be turned over to secular authority will, in my opinion, suppress a victim even further from making a legitimate claim of child abuse.

The Clergy Privilege is a PRIVILEGE THAT ONLY EXISTS IF IT IS CLAIMED!!!!

If we RECANT it ... it will INSTANTLY cease to be a factor in any deliberations.

That little piece of fluff is REMOVED from the considerations of any firm, persons', corporations', or religious organizational OTHERWISE legally mandated reporting requirements.

Even though in courts of law the Society now claims the Elders and up  are Clergy, and that the World Headquarters is a "Monastery", for real estate zoning purposes, and we should be treated with the same deference as the Catholic Church, this position is held when it is beneficial, and claimed not to exist when it does NOT serve the Society's financial and political  interests.

The Clergy Privilege is a PRIVILEGE THAT ONLY EXISTS IF IT IS CLAIMED!!!!

And CLAIMING something does NOT make it so.

A sad little Lizard claiming ancestry with a T-REX dinosaur only makes it a sad little lizard ... but since happy lizards are in such short supply, I might have a penchant to humor him.

But NOT when The Society demands they be treated like Clergy .... that is flat out DANGEROUS.

To understand that, which I do, would require an essay of massive proportions.  It's a lot simpler to watch the 1939 movie "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", with Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara and understand how important the concept of "Sanctuary" is as it has evolved over the centuries, and also the "Priest/Penitent" religious custom which is embodied like concrete in the societal matrix ... and even extends to lawyers who have inviolate "lawyer/client" privilege.

That is between ONE person and ONE other person.

Although when it is to their advantage, the Society has represented themselves in court many, many times as being a hierarchical organization "exactly like the Catholic Church", in matters of Clergy/Penitent privilege, and also in the ownership of Kingdom Halls and other real estate assets, the fact remains that a Congregational trial is held before three or more people, with full details the Circuit Overseer,  copies to the Society's legal department, prepared by the Congregational Secretary, so all in all,  not to even mention back channel gossip from Elder's wives whose curiosity would put Sherlock Holmes to task, this "confidential matter" might be shared with 8 to 15 people.

These Clergy/Penitent laws have a 1200 and more year history in Roman and British and others' "common law" and it has ALWAYS been between ONLY two people ... at least in Theory.

In actuality, the Priests of the Catholic Church have ALWAYS acted as political intelligence officers for the nations they were prostitutes for, and of course for the Vatican, so while giving absolute lip service to the Priest/Penitent relationship, in order to get the gullible faithful to believe in THEM, as they served as spies with that information, serving their own interests.

People KNOW this, but believe to the very core of their bones it is not the way things really are.  They want to see examples of honorable men, where there are none ....or at the least, very few.  Very VERY few.

The Society is trying to have it BOTH ways ... trying to convince the legal systems that they are due the same respect, deference, and privileges long firmly established by the Catholic Church,, when in fact BOTH are completely disingenuous.

Simpler to watch the movie, than for me to continue for the next 20 pages.

If that does not work, read the 1831 novel by Victor Hugo.

I have an audition to host a local radio talk show next  week, and I did not sleep at all last night, mind racing like a mile wide tornado, so I am completely worn out.

Also, remember Ferengi Rule of Acquisition No. 48:

"The Bigger the Smile ... the sharper the knife".

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Jehovah's Witnesses may appeal a judgment that gave the green light to a class-action lawsuit against them for alleged sexual assault on minors.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses in Quebec may appeal a judgment that gave the green light to a class-action lawsuit against them for alleged sexual assault on minors.
      The Quebec Court of Appeal on Monday granted them the right to appeal a judgment authorizing the class action, handed down in February by Justice Chantal Corriveau of the Superior Court.
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    • By The Librarian
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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      In February, a Russian court sentenced a Danish citizen who was a legal resident of Russia to six years in prison for such an extremist offence as organizing other Witnesses to shovel snow from their church’s property.
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      Vidéo par écrit « La reconnaissance de notre oeuvre au Québec »-Semaine du 21 janvier.pdf

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      « La reconnaissance de notre œuvre au Québec »
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      Quel tract spécial ont-ils diffusé, et quel en a été le résultat ?
       

      Qu’est-ce qui est arrivé à frère Aimé Boucher ?

       
      Quelle a été la décision de la Cour suprême du Canada concernant l’affaire de frère Boucher ?
       
       
       
       
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      Que s’est-il passé quand, sous les ordres d’un prêtre, des policiers ont interrompu un office des Témoins de Jéhovah ?
       

       
       
       
       
       
       
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    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
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      ---------------------------------------------
      I wonder when we will be seeing this news on the JW.ORG Web Site?
    • By The Librarian
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    • By The Librarian
      OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada says a Jehovah's Witness who was expelled from his Calgary congregation cannot take his case to a judge.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , the high court says the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench has no jurisdiction to review the congregation's decision to shun Randy Wall over alleged drunkenness and verbal abuse. Several religious organizations took an active interest in the case, given questions about the degree to which the courts can review such decisions by faith-based bodies.
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      The judicial committee told Wall that he, too, would be expelled because he was not sufficiently repentant.

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