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Found 9 results

  1. Jehovah’s Witnesses facing tax turmoil The secretive Christian group has begun legal action against the charity watchdog after it quietly revoked the organisation’s tax-exempt status over concerns with its opaque global structure. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?offerset=ta_4for4_premium&sourceCode=TAWEB_WRE170_a_GGL&dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2Fnation%2Fjehovahs-witnesses-facing-tax-turmoil%2Fnews-story%2F64acd93d531eb6b7301dda758e7ee2ff&memtype=anonymous&mode=premium&adobe_mc_sdid=SDID%3D7EC7ED7628D12DA5-58A80C25FED2095D|MCORGID%3D5FE61C8B533204850A490D4D%40AdobeOrg|TS%3D1618785359&adobe_mc_ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F I received this alert in my Google feed as well as the exjw who posted it. I am not getting a subscription to the Australian newspaper to verify the article. I'll leave that up to the readers here. I am sure it will come out in other news sites soon. As usual, the organization puts money ahead of the lives of individuals. This is the copied article supplied by the exjw: The Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken legal action against Australia’s charity watchdog after it ­revoked the organisation’s tax-­exempt status over concerns with the religion’s opaque global donations structure and alleged failure to protect vulnerable people. The organisation’s charitable arm, the Watchtower Bible and Tract ­Society of Australia, which posted an income of $32m in the year to August 31, has been ­accused of pushing cash offshore after directors splashed $16m of its total expenses on undisclosed­ ­donations and “overseas aid”. The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission informed Watchtower in November of its intention to revoke the ­organisation’s charity status, citing a litany of concerns about alleged contraventions of the Corporations Act and a failure to comply with a host of governance and conduct standards. Lawyer and abuse survivor Alec Spencer, a PhD candidate at James Cook University, said the ACNC’s decision was comparable to the abolition of the so-called “Ellis defence” in NSW in 2018, which ended the Catholic Church’s long-standing immunity to lawsuits. “If registration were to be removed, it would serve as a wake-up call for many other religious charities who have systemically failed to protect sexually abused children,” he said. “The removal of charitable registration would be an extraordinary outcome, both for the commission and the religious charity sector in particular.” The charity, which is seeking judicial review of the ACNC’s ­decision in the Federal Court, has been accused of “operating outside of Australia” and breaching its requirement to protect vulnerable people, including children, when conducting operations overseas. In a statement, Watchtower ­director Terry O’Brien denied the ACNC had moved to strip the ­organisation of its charity registration. “The ACNC has assured the ­directors that they do not intend to revoke Watchtower Australia’s charity status,” Mr O’Brien said. However, court documents filed last week reveal the ACNC sent a notice to revoke Watchtower’s charity registration to the group’s directors in November. The ACNC has accused Watchtower’s directors of failing to comply with key conduct standards, including a requirement to disclose conflicts of interest and a requirement to protect children who are accessing benefits under the charity’s programs. If the court upholds the ACNC’s decision, Watchtower will lose its status as a registered charity and will not be entitled to receive tax concessions, including lucrative tax breaks. According to an application for judicial review filed by Watch­tower, the ACNC’s decision is ­“unlawful” and an “unreasonable and inappropriate exercise” of its discretion. The organisation, which has nearly 70,000 members in Australia, has allocated almost $120m from 2014-20 to “donations and overseas aid”. “As a donor, I would be very troubled by this,” Mr Spencer said. “And as a regulator, their hands are tied due to the differential treatment bestowed on basic ­religious charities. “The ACNC could deregister a charity but the decision and why that occurs is not disclosed,” he said. “It allows them to operate in a cloud of secrecy.” Watchtower argues that the decision contains multiple errors of law, including that the legislation confers “no function with respect to child protection” on the ACNC. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse warned that there were systemic problems within the ­Jehovah’s Witness religion in dealing with abuse, including a failure to report credible alle­gations to the police. The commission heard Jehovah’s Witnesses had documen­tation of abuse allegations by 1800 children involving more than 1000 perpetrators since 1950. Former church member and child abuse survivor Lara Kaput said revocation of Watchtower’s charity status would be a “watershed moment” if it were upheld by the Federal Court. “They were reticent to revoke their charity status because the charity commission knew it would set a precedent, and they don’t want that to happen,” Ms Kaput said. An ACNC spokeswoman said it was unable to comment on the “particular circumstances of a charity” and whether or not a charity was being investigated.
  2. "This is my first video. I'm not sure how many videos I will do. I hope to reach out to Jehovah's Witnesses and former JW's in the Missouri area. My reason to do these videos is not to hurt anyone but to bring awareness to the issues that face JW's that are in a high control group." Please, hear his words. Elders are realizing that as "shepherds", compassion must be regulated according to men, and not according to the Bible.
  3. "A News Corp investigation into the global Christian sect Jehovah's Witnesses has revealed they have allegedly pushed cash offshore to avoid paying compensation to Australian child sex abuse victims." https://www.news.com.au/national/special-investigation-into-jehovahs-witnesses/video/a334969a3052132c8cab3c94ccc4925e
  4. Second link is G.J. testimony from August 14 2015 https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/case-studies/case-study-29-jehovahs-witnesses https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/file-list/Case Study 29 - Transcript - Jehovahs Witnesses - Day 155 - 14082015.pdf
  5. . TIRED OF BEING MANIPULATED BY FAKE NEWS? VERY SIMPLE SOLUTION ... GET EDUCATED ABOUT WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON AROUND YOU! Royal Commission Case Study 54: What to expect - by an anonymous reporter who DOES homework ! With Case Study 54 only a few days away, THIS FRIDAY (AUSTRALIAN TIME) MARCH 10, 2017 (You do the math for local time...) a lot of discussion has been circulating as to exactly what we can expect when Watchtower appears once again before the Australian Royal Commission. I’ve decided to chip in a few observations here to help set expectations and to contribute to the discussions as best I’m able. So without further ado, let’s quickly run through what we know: What exactly will be discussed? According to the Commission website, the scope of the study is as follows 1. The current policies and procedures of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd in relation to child protection and child-safe standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse. 2. Factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of child sexual abuse at Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd institutions. 3. Factors that may have affected the institutional response of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to child sexual abuse. 4. The responses of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to relevant case study report(s) and other Royal Commission reports. 5. Any related matters. The purpose of this public hearing is not to inquire into individual sets of facts or particular events as has occurred in previous Royal Commission case studies. Why does the Case Study 54 hearing appear to be only one day long? This may appear at first glance to be a surprise. How can a single day of testimony possibly be enough to cover the vast and complex issue of Watchtower’s child abuse scandal? Well, remember that Case Study 54 isn’t a fact finding mission. That was Case Study 29. The Commission spent days digging and interviewing, and ultimately issued a detailed report on every aspect of Watchtower’s failure. As far as the Commission is concerned, the facts are in. There is no further debate. Case Study 54 is tasked purely with a quick review of those facts and then with publicly asking Watchtower what is has done to address the damning failures identified in Case Study 29. Remember what Justice McClellan said to Watchtower’s legal team? That they were going to come back to Watchtower and publicly ask them what had been done to address the issues? That’s what this is. So what has Watchtower done in the 21 months since Case Study 29? As far as I am aware, the only potential effort from Watchtower to address any of the concerns raised in the Royal Commission has been to no longer require an abuse survivor to confront their attacker. However, it was not clear from testimony if this practice had actually been halted before the Commission sat. Watchtower seemed to insist in testimony that it was, but their documentation did not reflect this. Thus one cannot say with certainty that even this potential change has come as a result of the Commission report. So Watchtower is going to stand before the Commission, after 21 months, and basically say they’ve done nothing at all? I have no idea. I mean, that would be the honest thing to do, but remember how slippery and devious Watchtower was in Case Study 29, with senior Watchtower officials like Rodney Spinks, Terrence O’Brain and Governing Body Member Geoffrey Jackson attempted to mislead and outright lie to the Commission on multiple occasions. As far as I can see, Watchtower has three options Admit they’ve done nothing and that they don’t intend to for religious reasons, and turn the whole thing into an issue of religious freedom. Try to stall and muddy the waters by saying they’ve not had enough time, that they have no authority to make the changes required without Brooklyn agreement, knowing full well that Brooklyn is beyond the reach of the Commission. The idea here would be to stall until the day is over, then slink away and wait, knowing no further testimony is required. Dive full into another round of misleading doublespeak and outright lies to try and pull the wool over the Commission’s eyes. Which one will they pick? Again I have no idea. Judging from Watchtower’s jaw-dropping legal incompetence in Case Study 29 and in the recent Fessler case, it’s very hard to predict their strategy. It seems to have no rhyme or reason, but keep in mind three things. The men in charge of Watchtower are firstly very deluded. They genuinely think they are defending God’s organization against Satanic and apostate attack, and feel that compromise will be a victory for Satan. The men in charge of Watchtower are very out of touch with real life, spending all their days in a world where you don’t question Watchtower or those who run it, and now they’ve risen to the top. Their word is law. Odds are that no-one has told Anthony Morris III that his ideas are stupid for a very long time. They have no idea how to handle the kind of environment the Royal Commission brings to the table. Geoffrey Jackson’s excruciating performance, where the Commission made mincemeat of his arguments, was proof of that. The men in charge of Watchtower are caught between being honest with a Commission that has all of their dirty little secrets on the one hand, and playing to the growing audience of JW’s who they know WILL find out about March 10th one way or the other. They have to both be as compliant as possible to the Commission whilst also appearing to be steadfast and unmovable to the Witnesses who will end up seeing the testimony on YouTube. So delusion, seclusion, and public relations are all going to crash into once horrible mess as they did in Case Study 29 and as a result I have no idea what Watchtower will do on Friday. We hope to preserve the live steam video for future reference as the Commission does not archive or make this video available once the live stream is over. However, technical gremlins are always a factor so if you have the ability to record the live stream, it would be a great idea to do so as well. The more people do this, the less chance of this footage being lost forever. Lastly we will of course be following up with articles on the day, giving you a more detailed analysis of what has transpired. Get your popcorn (and your coffee if you’re staying up late) and lets all observe the car crash together! And one last thing: if it is safe for you to do so, please tell as many Jehovah’s Witnesses as you can about the events on March 10th. Their children are at risk and they don’t even know it. They may choose not to look up the Case Study, but simply being aware that it exists is the first step in raising awareness that the Governing Body is not being honest with them about the international scandal of child abuse inside the Watchtower organization. (edited for political correctness and other stuff ...) JTR
  6. (New news ....) A MONTANA Judge Orders Jehovah’s Witnesses to Turn Over Internal Documents Related to Childhood Sexual Abuse April 12, 2018 On April 5, 2018, Judge James Manley of Sanders County, Montana ordered the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization to produce documents and testimony related to internal reports and investigations into the childhood sexual abuse of NPR’s two clients. In this case, the two Plaintiffs were sexually abused as children by a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Elders in the local Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Thompson Falls, Montana were aware of the abuse and failed to report it to the police, choosing instead to handle the reports and investigations internally pursuant to Jehovah’s Witness guidelines. Their decision not to report the abuse to authorities allowed the perpetrator to remain in the congregation and continue to abuse one of the Plaintiffs. Throughout this case, and similar childhood sexual abuse cases across the country, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have refused to produce documents related to their internal handling of reports of sexual abuse and related investigations and disciplinary actions claiming that the information is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Through briefing to the court, NPR convinced the Judge that Defendants’ privilege claims were unsupported and improper under the law. The Court agreed that Defendants could not blanket everything related to their investigations in secrecy and that they must turn it over to the Plaintiffs. Often, this is the very evidence that can win or lose a case like this against a religious institution. The case of Nunez, et al. v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, et al. is set to go to trial in September of 2018. The plaintiffs in this case are represented by NPR partner D. Neil Smith and associate Ross E. Leonoudakis. ---------------------------------------------------------- A Jury of 12 held in public view ... or a tribunal of three held in complete secrecy. Which would YOU choose, to get Justice?
  7. Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Watchtower leadership in Australia testify
  8. All Exhibits for Case Study 54, Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower, have been released by the ARC. http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/exhibits/10908a67-70c5-4103-94cc-dac096fdb585/case-study-54,-march-2017,-sydney EXHIBIT LIST Joint Statement of O'Brien and Spinks Child Protection Guidelines for Branch Office Service Desk Child Safeguarding Policy of Jehovah's Witnesses in Australia (draft version as presented to ARC) Legal Guidelines on Reporting Obligations (State-by-State) Correspondence between Watchtower and Governing Body Summons to Produce Watchtower body of elders letter Watchtower response to ARC plus more. From page 3: Child pornography: Showing pornography to a minor is considered to be child sexual abuse. Although viewing child pornography is not considered to be child sexual abuse, it is still a serious violation of Jehovah’s standards. A person in-volved in viewing child pornography should be strongly counseled. Depending on the frequency and the extent of his viewing, he could be subject to congregation judicial action. In such cases, the Service Department may decide that branch-imposed restrictions are warranted.—See the April 10, 2012, letter to all bodies of elders I will allude to the April 10th 2012 letter to elders that made a distinction between regular porn and "abhorrent" pornography: He may continue to serve if his involvement consisted of (1) a few brief viewings, (2) he displays a heartfelt desire to desist from looking at pornography in any form, (3) the elders are convinced that he will refrain from viewing pornography, (4) he continues to retain the respect of others who are aware of what he did, and (5) his conscience allows him to do so. ... An entrenched practice of viewing, perhaps over a considerable period of time, abhorrent forms of pornography that is sexually degrading. Such pornography may include homosexuality (sex between those of the same gender), group sex, bestiality, sadistic torture, bondage, gang rape, the brutalizing of women, or child pornography. Brazen conduct would be involved if the offender was promoting such material, such as by inviting others to view it, thus giving evidence of a brazen attitude. — w12 3/15 pp. 30-31; w06 7/15 p. 31. ... Thererefore, viewing pornography escalates to gross uncleanness if the type of pornography viewed was abhorrent or sexually degrading in nature, as described in the second example above. An additional factor to be considered would be if it were a practice for "many years." As a general principle, when these elements are present, a judicial committee would need to handle the matter. At Ephesians 4:19 Paul stated: "Having come to be past all moral sense, they gave themselves over to loose conduct to work uncleanness of every sort with greediness." (Gal. 5: 19; w83 3/15 p. 31 par. 3) When an individual has 'given himself over' to this unclean practice as evidenced by his repeatedly viewing abhorrent pornography, the matter has escalated to gross uncleanness and needs to be handled judicially. — w06 711 5 pp. 29-3 1.
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