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Baruq JW

Open letter to Daro Weilburg

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Baruq JW -
Shiwiii -
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44 minutes ago, Shiwiii said:

I really want to know your opinion on this, Do YOU think it is right that elders are to contact the legal dept and not the police? 

More appropriately, does one think it is right to contact the POLICE about criminal matters FIRST?

...... and then as a follow up, contact the Society's Legal Department!

The Elders will NOT tell you what is going on.

Bypass them!

 

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5 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

More appropriately, does one think it is right to contact the POLICE about criminal matters FIRST?

...... and then as a follow up, contact the Society's Legal Department!

The Elders will NOT tell you what is going on.

Bypass them!

 

I agree with you.       Why can't the wt see this as well?     Why does it take force to do the right thing?    Why does it take secular laws to force the wt to be Christ-like? 

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6 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

And again I ask:   

Did they (edlers/wt) act in a Christ like way in the way that they handled any of these cases? 

I cannot say because I do not know the details of all these cases. But it leads me to your other question:

6 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

I really want to know your opinion on this, Do YOU think it is right that elders are to contact the legal dept and not the police? 

Personally? Personally think that if an elder/elders are convinced that there is a legitimate cause for concern then they should report it to the police, and if necessary, not in the capacity as elders, to whom a confession or report has been made, but as congregation members who have come to know of a cause for concern.

The reason why elders are to call legal is to see whether they are mandated reporters or not. This clergy penitence stuff should be abolished by the law, it is archaic and harmful. Unfortunately, the organization seems to think it has to abide by that law. One reason is that if an elder learns of a matter that has been disclosed in confidence to them by a victim, then the victim has the right to decide whether the matter should be taken to the police or not. Not the one to whom the matter was disclosed in confidence

It has to be remembered that just because an elder applies clergy confidentiality, this does not mean that anyone else in the congregation is bound by it. Anyone and everyone has the right to make a report, even if unsubstantiated! In many states, a person who has suspicions, which are later found to be unfounded, is protected by law and they cannot be sued for defamation. However, a person (elder) acting as clergy, who has broken the clergy penitence privilege, can be sued for divulging what has been told to them in confidence (in states where clergy privilege applies). This also applies to lawyers. If you disclose a private matter to a lawyer, that lawyer cannot go to the police without your consent, no matter the crime.

Most of the lawsuits involve the debate whether at the time of disclosure, the elders were mandated reporters or not. This is the case of the Montana lawsuit. I discuss this in detail in the JW closed club. If the court decides that the elders were not mandated reporters, then the whole thing flies out of the window.

In any case, personally I think that elders should not claim clergy penitence privilege regardless. They are not clergy. However, in the eyes of the legal system, their function is clerical....so you see, you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. This is why he best thing would be if the law would do away with clergy penitence, period. One state legislator in Kentucky tried to get this law abolished in 2003, but it did not pass. Kentucky remains one of the clergy penitence states.

This is what the article stated in part:

January 10, 2003

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A state legislator has outraged religious groups by introducing a bill that would abolish the right clergy now have to stay silent when they learn in a confessional that a child has been abused.

The legislation strikes at a central Christian tenet that is also written into state law, guaranteeing confidentiality when priests or ministers are acting as spiritual advisers.

"People are not going to violate their oath," said the Rev. Nancy Jo Kemper, a Protestant minister. "They'll go to jail."

Kentucky already requires members of the public, including clergy, to notify civil authorities about child abuse if they learn about the wrongdoing outside of the confessional.

But Democratic Rep. Susan Westrom, a former therapist who worked with abused children, felt the law should go further.

Under her proposal, the "clergy-penitent privilege" would be eliminated only in cases of child abuse or neglect.

The Catholic Conference of Kentucky said Westrom's legislation violated the First Amendment right of religious freedom. A similar bill proposed last year in Connecticut failed.

"This is not a victims' rights issue," said Scott Wegenast, the conference's lobbyist in Frankfort. "It violates a tenet of our faith, the sacrament of penance, which is an absolutely confidential conversation between the penitent and a priest and it cannot abridged."

Under church law, a priest who disclosed a confession could be excommunicated, Wegenast said.

Kentucky has been hit especially hard by the sex abuse crisis that has battered the Catholic church nationwide.

"No right is absolute, whether it's free speech or free assembly or free religion," David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. "If an exception is to be made to the clergy-penitent privilege, I think this is a smart and good one to make."

Like I said, this Bill did not pass. So today,  2019, if a disclosure is made to an elder in Kentucky in confidence, then the elder has no duty to report it to the police. Obviously anyone else can.

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In MANY court cases the Society's Lawyers have argued, under oath, that Jehovah's Witnesses ARE Clergy .... AND that they are ENTITLED to the respect and privileges OF clergy.

Unless like on Orwell's "Animal Farm", we are all equal ..... but some are MORE equal than others.

 

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12 hours ago, Anna said:

The reason why elders are to call legal is to see whether they are mandated reporters or not

Why? Give me one good reason why one would NOT report it? 

 

12 hours ago, Anna said:

Unfortunately, the organization seems to think it has to abide by that law.

I disagree. The law does not state that clergy is NOT allowed to report. That being said, if they report, they are not breaking the law. 

 

12 hours ago, Anna said:

One reason is that if an elder learns of a matter that has been disclosed in confidence to them by a victim, then the victim has the right to decide whether the matter should be taken to the police or not. Not the one to whom the matter was disclosed in confidence

This is partially true, the clergy privilege is when something is confessed one on one, not in the group setting as in a judicial meeting. 

 

12 hours ago, Anna said:

It has to be remembered that just because an elder applies clergy confidentiality, this does not mean that anyone else in the congregation is bound by it. Anyone and everyone has the right to make a report, even if unsubstantiated

How would anyone else in the cong know if it was only confessed to the elders?  They wouldn't, unless they were part of it  This is why a private reproof is BS! 

 

12 hours ago, Anna said:

This is why he best thing would be if the law would do away with clergy penitence, period.

again, you are thinking along the lines that secular authorities need to correct the wt, they will, just wait and see. 

 

Why is it that in the elders handbook that vandalism is reported immediately but child abuse is not? Does that seem right to you? I know it doesn't and that you don't think that way, but the wt does. 

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