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Justice McLellan: "If the organisation doesn't acknowledge that they were abused, that imposes a great burden on them, doesn't it?"
Mr O'Brien: "We don't disbelieve a person who makes an accusation. That's why we investigate every accusation brought forward by the elders."
Justice McLellan: "Yes, but if there are not two witnesses you don't accept it, do you?"
Mr O'Brien: "Because scripturally we're not able to."

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.

According to that EXACT same reasoning .... IF I MURDERED SOMEONE ( ... my Doctor recommended that I should kill the people that irritate me ... not exactly in those same words ... he said I needed to reduce my stress level ...) , and there was ONLY one Witness ... I would get a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card from the Congregational  Elders ... AND they would not report me to the Police, OR sanction me Congregationaly .... as there was ONLY one Witness.

.They would be obligated to report me IF ... they learned I was GOING to kill someone ...  but without two witnesses the ONE Witness that SAW me kill someone ... it would be my word against his, and according to current INSANE doctrine ... the Elders would be required to "Leave it in Jehovah's hands".

This is what happens when you extrapolate the rules that were for a SPECIFIC time period, and worked in a SPECIFIC culture to include all people, everywhere. 

FAILURE !

..... excuse me ... I have to practice my Mad Scientist maniacal laughter while rubbing on copious amounts of hand lotion ....

They REAL reason that we have the shunning policy where rational humans are NOT ALLOWED to talk to each ... is it has to be kept hidden ... where the "bodies" are.

  .... and of course ... there is that awkward moment when you are burying a body in the back yard ... and find other bodies.

 

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48 minutes ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Doesn't a professional opinion count as a second witness??

I think it does to a point. But regardless whether it does or not, if a professional opinion finds the alleged perpetrator guilty, then he/she will be dealt with accordingly and the brothers can then also act accordingly. The problem arises when a suspect is not reported to the authorities and the brothers try and establish facts by themselves....the brothers really should not try and investigate, and should report it to relevant authorities as soon as possible. 

So what I want to say is that I think the two witness rule will become irrelevant and will only be used in congregational judicial settings when secular authorities find the perpetrator not guilty.

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51 minutes ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Doesn't a professional opinion count as a second witness??

It's more like 'forensic evidence' that counts as a 'second witness.'

However, where is that documented in the elder guidelines?

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34 minutes ago, AllenSmith said:

That’s an interesting observation. Let's perform a séance to call on the ancient powers to speak with Caylee Marie Anthony, Nicole Brown Simpson, Jimmy Hoffa, the Black Dahlia, the Lindberg Baby, oh yeah! Jack the ripper to get input from both sides.

 

And all the unsolved crimes that pass through the legal secular system that is, supposed to have the “best” forensics available. Talk about watching too much “fake” news, this thread is a good example. But, how boring would this world be without exaggeration and sensationalism? When the “VICTIM gets further victimized by the “very” people that are paid to “Protect” and “Serve” the victim by covering up the allegation to protect high officials, or the government itself.

 

REPOST: UNITED KINGDOM
Reuters

Britain's inquiry into historical child sex abuse, dogged by problems since it was launched three years ago and leading to the resignation of three chairmen, finally began holding its first public hearings on Monday.

The inquiry, one of its largest and most expensive ever undertaken, was set up in July 2014 by now-Prime Minister Theresa May in her former role as interior minister after a series of shocking abuse scandals dating back decades, some involving celebrities and politicians.

It is expected to take some five years to complete.

In a number of cases, victims said institutions had actively covered up cases at the behest of powerful establishment figures including senior lawmakers, spies and police officers.

"This is an important day for the work of the inquiry," chairman Alexis Jay said. "Today marks ... the opening of the first public hearing in which the inquiry will hear live and read evidence from complainants."

Posted by Kathy Shaw

No one is saying if you take an allegation of child sexual abuse to the authorities all will be solved. Of course there is no guarantee of that. Just like there are unconvicted murderers running lose, there will be unconvicted child molesters running lose. The point is, just like suspect murderers should be reported, so should suspect child sexual abusers be reported. Both are crimes.

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37 minutes ago, Ann O'Maly said:

It's more like 'forensic evidence' that counts as a 'second witness.'

However, where is that documented in the elder guidelines?

All witness testimony requires some level of interpretation does it not? No less so 'forensic evidence' surely. That's where the professional input comes in.

Prompt reporting to the authorities would (hopefully) enable due attention to be given to safety of actual and potential victim(s) and initiate the appropriate type of investigation to deal with the criminal element of the matter. Let's face it, if you found someone hit by a car in the road, you would call for professional help immediately to deal with both injury and safety, as well as investigating the cause, would you not?

In the case of abuse, the spritual side could then proceed, greatly facilitated if there was a witness issue. However, if an arrest had taken place there may well be challenges to the progressing of a judicial matter from the congregational standpoint.

Not sure I recall this aspect ever being discussed, let alone documented, although there was vague reference to circumstantial evidence in the form of "trauma" serving as a "witness" in both Case Study 29 and 54.

As for the inevitable "slagging" of secular authorities that occurs in discussion threads on this matter, this serves about as much purpose as that done in connection with JW attempts to handle this heinous crime and, quite frankly, for me, obscures the real issue, which is the protection of children and the successful prosecution of those who abuse them.

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12 minutes ago, AllenSmith said:

So if you're going to be judgmental, then be equal across the board. When it comes to child safety, there’s no clear solution by “anyone”, other than a new system of things, but as a human race, we “all” fail.

Yes, true of course. But I think the point is that as JWs, the elders, (and any member of the congregation really), if they have reasonable evidence or a suspicion of child sexual abuse, they should report it to the authorities, like they would with the reasonable evidence or suspicion of any other crime.....

1 hour ago, AllenSmith said:

This “leaked” report has to be viewed with skepticism since the Excel document was not protected, and anyone could have made changes.

Possible. But still doesn't change what I said above.

By the way, you all might know this already, regarding today's hearing (case 54) copies of either the pdf or word docs are available for download on the ARC website.

This is an extract from the opening address regarding what happened with the 1006 alleged perpetrators who were never reported to the police:

Page 12-13

1.                In Case Study 29, Watchtower Australia produced 5,000 documents comprising, among other things, case files relating to 1,006 alleged perpetrators of child sexual abuse dating back to 1950. Officers at the Royal Commission reviewed these case files and as a result the Royal Commission referred information in relation to 514 alleged perpetrators to police in accordance with its power under 6P(1) of the Royal Commissions Act 1902.

            Of the remaining 492 alleged perpetrators identified in the case files, officers at the Royal Commission determined that there was either   insufficient evidence in the case files to warrant referring matters to police or that the matters had already come to the attention of police.

 

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Also:

                  The Royal Commission will hear evidence that of the 17 allegations of child sexual abuse that the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia have received since Case Study 29, they have reported 15 allegations to the authorities.  In both cases that were not reported, the adult survivors of historical abuse elected not to report and the Jehovah’s Witness organisation abided their decisions.

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11 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

In my neck of the woods, the process was clear cut. The majority of Elders would place the safety of the victim first. Even with just an accusation, in my culture, those Elders would chastise the accused without evidence. That was then, and the humanist society changed. Regardless of the secular authorities handling the criminal investigation which needs a heavier burden of proof, the body of Elders would decide on the lesser preponderance of, evidence.

I've been involved in looking into matters of immorality (fornication, "loose conduct" etc) but have only seen a child abuse case from a distance. I would agree however that not all elders are the same. So I can't speak for the reaction to a case of child abuse, but I would certainly guess that you are right in that elders would surely place the safety of the victim first even if they could not prove that the accused was guilty.

But in areas of immorality, elders don't always agree on recognizing the victim. I've seen cases where two sinners were treated equally wrong, but have also seen cases where the majority of elders missed a victim-in-the-making or treated the victim with more punishment than the aggressor.

  • There's the all-too-typical case of a brother who takes advantage of a sister who lives alone, and offers to do things for her around her house, making sure that he gradually stays around later and later, stays for a meal and a TV show and finally "pushes the envelope" to see where a backrub or a massage might lead.
  • There's the sister who has too much to drink and a brother claims to have been seduced.
  • There's the sister-down-the-street who just happened to notice a brother's car parked overnight in "Sister Pioneer's" driveway.

In that last case, we know that both parties to the overnight guest have been disfellowshipped for denying the sin, and thus being both unrepentant. That is surely a case where the elders decide without a heavy burden of proof (and only one witness!)

The case of the tipsy sister, I have seen blamed on the sister as seductress, so that hers was the greater punishment.

The brothers who worm their way into a single or widowed sister's home are usually both considered equally guilty even if it takes months for the prowling brother to discover the moment of weakness.

The exposure and discussion of these matters is making us all more aware and more attuned to the right action to take.

11 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

What should be done if the “victim” and the “guardian” plea to the Elders NOT to contact the local authorities, as was the case in Australia?

My wife, serving as principal of a high school with nearly 3,000 students has had to deal with this a couple of times. As a mandatory reporter she has been screamed at and begged not to turn in an incestuous abuser in one case, and a physically violent abuser in another. But it's the law. The best you can do sometimes is to get a social worker, or CPS rep to take over, but sometimes a mandatory reporter ends up breaking a family apart. It's the nature of the law, but more importantly, it's the nature of the crime.

Of course the most insidious thing about institutional response to following the rules about contacting local authorities, is that, especially in religious institutions, there is the expectation that no one will believe you. It is often a person taking advantage of their authority and position in the first place. This makes the victim expect that even civil authorities will do nothing. When a priest, elder, deacon, or branch overseer is the perpetrator, then it's even worse: the victim and victim's guardians expect not to be believed. Guardians, other elders, and most of the entire congregation aren't expected to really believe the victim either. 

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5 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Prompt reporting to the authorities would (hopefully) enable due attention to be given to safety of actual and potential victim(s) and initiate the appropriate type of investigation to deal with the criminal element of the matter.

The average time between the abuse and the time of reporting that abuse is still about 30 years. So the kinds of forensics are quite different from a car accident, or what can be found in a "rape kit" for example.

 

5 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Not sure I recall this aspect ever being discussed, let alone documented, although there was vague reference to circumstantial evidence in the form of "trauma" serving as a "witness" in both Case Study 29 and 54.

I wanted to interpret that into the "circumstantial" evidence mentioned, too. Disappointing not to see this show up in documentation. Also disappointed to see so many "holes" in our own documentation that were so easily pointed out by the ARC. Also saw about three openings made in the Spinks/O'Brien testimony that could hurt us further. One was, of course, the huge discrepancy between in trying to define the age of "approaching adulthood" admitted to be 16-17 generally, then anecdotally to 15, and then later aligned with the age of baptism! It was fortunate that Stewart didn't realize that this places the age back to as young as 8 years old.

5 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

However, if an arrest had taken place there may well be challenges to the progressing of a judicial matter from the congregational standpoint.

It adds an element that almost makes the congregational judicial matter moot. If the person is arrested and the matter becomes public, then there is already going to be a loss of congregational privileges. If there is a court case, how would it look if a judicial committee found the person "unchargeable" (not necessarily innocent) while the civil courts found him guilty. If the courts did not establish guilt, it is quite unlikely that the congregation could, yet we would be so wary of a repetition that the loss of position and privileges (along with probable monitoring to some extent)  would produce the appearance of guilt even if the accused were potentially innocent.

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5 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

What should be done if the “victim” and the “guardian” plea to the Elders NOT to contact the local authorities, as was the case in Australia?

Valid points made in AllenSmith's posting. 

The inconsistency and complexity of legal requirements in Australia was recognised by the ARC and the Society's affirming a desire for something consistent and simple was invited.

Compare the confusion in Australia:  

    Hello guest!
 

with that in the US: 

    Hello guest!
 

    Hello guest!

where definition on who constitutes "clergy" is inconsistent or vague with only Guam making any sense, and where "clergy-penitent" privilege is abrogated or permitted depending on constantly changing state law.

This is compounded immeasurably when considered on a global scale. For Jehovah's people who aim to transcend the fragmentation of nations, operating in a united way in such a Babel-like confusion is an enormous challenge. Rom 13:1 demands respect for Caesar, but today there are many Caesars. Applying a global policy is impossible, hence region-specific instruction and the Branch contact requirement. 

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

The average time between the abuse and the time of reporting that abuse is still about 30 years. So the kinds of forensics are quite different from a car accident, or what can be found in a "rape kit" for example.

Quite true, but no reason for a weak policy as some abuse comes to light considerably earlier. And surely the aim in part is to promote this?

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

Also disappointed to see so many "holes" in our own document

Agreed. Left hand and right hand comparisons tempting here.

To be fair though, the intense scrutiny levelled against Jehovah's Witnesses in this situation would probably mean that anything submitted would be crticised unless virtually worded by the the ARC themselves. It was prudent to wait for the ARC comments before distributing the policy doc even if the proclaiming of the wisdom of doing so came across as a little self-promoting.

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

three openings

The fudged discussion on defining "inactivity" and "disassociation" was embarrasing. Is that included?

 

 

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On 3/10/2017 at 9:51 PM, JW Insider said:

It was fortunate that Stewart didn't realize that this places the age back to as young as 8 years old.

If you realize this, then you know that it is not right. An 8 year old cannot fathom the consequences of many decisions an adult makes, but yet they are held to the same requirements as an adult. I have no doubt that Mr. Stewart did realize this fact, but the trial was more about the actions taken since the inquiry. 

Posting this from another thread: 

 I'm curious as to what the average jw thought. Was it a good representation of the wt?

Did the testimony make you proud to be a part of the organization?

Do you feel that there was places in wt doctrine that could be adjusted or improved on?

Was it succinct and complete?

Do you feel that Mr. Spinks and Mr. O'Brian were in cooperation with the courts requests? 

Were the statements from the court and counselors "apostate lies"? 

On 3/10/2017 at 6:38 PM, AllenSmith said:

That in itself has made many claims here and elsewhere overreaching without the proper facts. That suggestion that Elders have a strict code when it comes to delicate matters would, therefore, be false. Since NOT all Elders handle a case the same way. You also have to weigh in secular laws.

Isn't this what the Elders handbook is for? To direct the elders in handling these types of matters? Hasn't there been letters to all congregations directing elders on how to handle these situations? Is there not a procedure in place for elders to follow? There is, so if there are elders who deviate from the direction given on handling such matters, they are rogue and not following the standard procedure, the standard procedure which is under investigation. 

 

On 3/10/2017 at 6:38 PM, AllenSmith said:

That's Why Bro Jackson suggested to the ARC to make the AU laws clear-cut so there wouldn't be any confusion when it came to priorities.

The law was "clear-cut" in Pennsylvania, but Stephanie Fessler was not protected.

 

On 3/10/2017 at 6:38 PM, AllenSmith said:

None here are lawyers.

 Assumptions are never good at providing facts. 

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1 hour ago, Shiwiii said:

[1] I'm curious as to what the average jw thought. Was it a good representation of the wt?

[2] Did the testimony make you proud to be a part of the organization?

[3] Do you feel that there was places in wt doctrine that could be adjusted or improved on?

[4] Was it succinct and complete?

[5] Do you feel that Mr. Spinks and Mr. O'Brian were in cooperation with the courts requests? 

[6] Were the statements from the court and counselors "apostate lies"? 

This is what I think, along with some speculation.

QUESTION #1: I thought it was an awkward representation of the WT. They could have done better with better spokespeople. But Toole was apparently fired from the Branch after the last performance and for getting Brother Jackson involved. And O'Brien had been exiled to New Guinea for the same reasons. A better spokesperson took his place within the Branch but the court either was not aware or wanted continuity. A couple of the other spokespersons from the Branch could not be used because of conflicts of interest related to some of the individual cases themselves. 

QUESTION #2: Not particularly. I am proud that we have the courage not to participate in war and other divisive political issues. I am proud that we have a reputation for preaching the good news of the Kingdom in all the inhabited earth. I am proud that we promote Bible reading, Bible study, and more than 100 meetings and conventions every year for this noble purpose. I am proud that we search the Bible for improved teachings that do not depend on traditional teachings, and that even if we might still be wrong on some, we keep making adjustments and improvements. I'm proud that we can come together humbly, putting our own interests aside and get along with persons of different languages, nationalities and races. I'm proud of the way we trust one another, look out for one another. I won't bore you with 100 other things I'm proud of. But the point I just mentioned  about trust  is taken advantage of by some, and perhaps this makes us more vulnerable than some other institutions to the crime of child abuse. We are clearly not the only ones affected, so I don't mean to limit the many factors at play.

QUESTION #3: Yes. And they are 100% Biblical.

QUESTION #4: It was succinct and complete from the ARC's perspective. This had the sound of a pending ultimatum.

QUESTION #5: No. They continually had opportunities to show where they could have been pro-active, and they almost made a point to highlight how they had only been re-active on some points and even in-active on some. This was primarily O'Brien's big mistake, which is bound to cost the Society a lot more than would have been necessary in the area of redress. Spinks played into the trap of not realizing what this kind of hearing was about. Whether sincere or not, other institutions figured it out and made pro-active amends. 

QUESTION #6: Of course not. But they were no doubt helped along by ex-JWs with an inside knowledge of the Society's weaknesses in Australia and elsewhere. 

 

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Thank you first and foremost for genuinely answering. I really do appreciate the feedback. It helps me understand where some jws place their opinions and why. 

 

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

QUESTION #3: Yes. And they are 100% Biblical.

Can you elaborate on this a little? I mean, if we are to go strictly from the Bible, then there are plenty of changes that can be made. 

I agree with your assessment on question #4, it does seem to be building to an ultimatum, I just wonder what. 

I agree with you on #5 as well, I just feel it is a shame that it takes a secular gov't to bring this to light and force some sort of change. Shouldn't (we) be proactive in protecting not just our children, but the rest of society if there is a person preying on others criminally.? 

#6:  Why should a society that claims God's backing have any weakness in which the courts or laws could leverage against? That is a complete side note, I just wanted to make that statement. I do understand that every group has its faults, but not every group is claiming sole ownership as "God's people", some do and some don't. 

I don't think that its fair to assume that this was mostly from the assistance of ex-jw's. That is just playing into the theory that "all ex-jw's" are "bitter" or haters or "mentally diseased", I thought it was compelling that Justice McClellan brought up the fact that there are going to be some who just cannot continue to associate with jws, based on how unfairly they were treated by the organization, and will have their whole social structure ripped out from under them. There are many cases where someone does not want to lose their family and friends, but cannot continue to adhere to wt policy. His point was that it was cruel. I'm not too sure this will have any impact, as groups can and do have their own rules, but it is still a human decency issue.  

1 hour ago, AllenSmith said:

es, well don’t start confusing Australian laws with that of the United States. Stephanie Fesslers case which was settled prompted a question with how the USA laws are written. That why Candace Conti case that was awarded a huge amount in, punitive damages, was overturned by the California Supreme Court. that’s why Bro Jackson suggested a clear-cut legislation that everyone can understand without confusion.

was the law not clear cut in Pennsylvania? 

 

As far as clergy goes, I believe that the wt has stated many times that they do not have clergy, if need be I can dig up sources from the pubs if you like, only to claim this privilege in the Fessler case?  Which is it? Do they or do they not? Does it only matter when in court? Or is it the amount of money they stand to lose if they choose not to use it? 

Also, if the support for the "elders" in the Fessler case was the use of clergy, then why did they settle instead of taking the full trial and seeing how the cards would fall? I mean a settlement is used as a way to save face if you know you are going to lose in the end. 

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36 minutes ago, Shiwiii said:

Can you elaborate on this a little? I mean, if we are to go strictly from the Bible, then there are plenty of changes that can be made.

I agree, but what I would propose would still be incomplete in terms of encompassing so many different possible circumstances, and I don't really want to think about all these possible circumstances. Also, the ideas I would incorporate have mostly been discussed already, in a general way at least, and have mostly already been recommended by the courts in some form, too. If I have some time to fill some of the gaps, I might join a separate discussion about this. The gap I still have is in the nearly arbitrary age definitions that one might start out with. There is no Biblical definition of what defines a child vs young adult vs adult. But there are some common sense ideas, which will always be subject to exceptions. A congregation or any church institution should choose elders who have common sense, and therefore have the ability to make sensible exceptions when necessary. That's one of the reasons for the intended level of qualifications and life experience and other requirements for elders that is suggested in the Bible (Timothy, Titus, etc). We should never expect the Christian congregation to start forming legalistic procedures, but we should expect the Christian congregation to continue looking for ways to deal with every problem in the most loving and efficient way possible.

1 hour ago, Shiwiii said:

I agree with you on #5 as well, I just feel it is a shame that it takes a secular gov't to bring this to light and force some sort of change. Shouldn't (we) be proactive in protecting not just our children, but the rest of society if there is a person preying on others criminally.? 

I'm not surprised, though. The sons of darkness may know more about taking care of such problems than the sons of light do.

(Luke 16:8) 8 And his master commended the steward, though unrighteous, because he acted with practical wisdom; for the sons of this system of things are wiser in a practical way toward their own generation than the sons of the light are.

In general, JWs are not lawyers, so we don't meet up with as many related cases as certain types of lawyers would. Even if we try to collect info on a lot of cases and put it in one place, we can't always have the expertise to make proper inferences about them. In general, JWs also do not work in law enforcement, social work, psychology, or other professional medical fields. So we don't necessarily have enough of those kinds of experts to call together into one place for the purpose of combining expertise through discussion in order to come to some helpful conclusions. Besides, among JWs, some of these persons would be women, and we are a patriarchal organization. There are people in authority in other places who have the power and resources to bring a lot more minds together. I have even heard that Barbara Anderson was asked to go to the Vatican because the Vatican was interested in what processes could be implemented to protect more victims.

Because of their experience, the ARC, for example, was able to point out several clear flaws in our sets of documents. Of course, finding fault is a lot easier than coming up with a comprehensive solution. And even a supposed comprehensive process solution doesn't mean it will really work all that well when imperfect people implement it.

And, yes, of course we should be more proactive in looking for ways to protect all persons, in all parts of society, even showing that we love our enemies.

4 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

#6:  Why should a society that claims God's backing have any weakness in which the courts or laws could leverage against? That is a complete side note, I just wanted to make that statement. I do understand that every group has its faults, but not every group is claiming sole ownership as "God's people", some do and some don't. 

I think the principle from Luke 16:8 might answer a portion of that question. I can also think of lots of other ways in which people who are "babes as to badness" might find themselves out-leveraged and shown up as weak in courts of law. It happens all the time. This is not a direct defense of the current problem however.

(1 Corinthians 14:20) 20 Brothers, do not become young children in your understanding, but be young children as to badness; and become full-grown in your understanding.

It's true that we want to represent ourselves in a manner worthy of calling ourselves "God's people." But it has never been true that "God's people" did not have weaknesses and faults.

4 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

I don't think that its fair to assume that this was mostly from the assistance of ex-jw's.

I didn't assume it was mostly from the assistance of ex-JWs. I do sense some participation however.

4 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

His point was that it was cruel. I'm not too sure this will have any impact, as groups can and do have their own rules, but it is still a human decency issue.

He made some powerful and relevant points. But you are right. Shunning is practiced by some religions much more strictly than in ours. I don't see a Biblical requirement for shunning in the way many JWs still practice it. I think that, except for a few rare cases, the Biblical reasons given for shunning don't really apply to the types of persons that JWs tend to shun.

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50 minutes ago, AllenSmith said:

I could go on, but since your “spiritually rounded” hypocritical world, doesn’t recognize simple script like 1 Corinthians 6:9? I’ll leave it at that.

Hard to tell what all that was really about. But if it was intended as a response to the end of my last post, then I think you may have unwittingly helped to make my point.

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6 minutes ago, AllenSmith said:

That your delusional to think certain things can't be applied scripturally, only in your tiny world that doesn't constitute God's vision entered in scripture. Yet you are advocating child safety and unscriptural "shunning" that is an apostate misleading word for distancing ourselves from the very circumstances your hypocrisy is attempting to convey, it must be nice to eat your cake and have it too.

No comment. I just had to save this in case your original got edited or disappeared. Classic!

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@AllenSmith I am not defending ANY religion on here. All I am asking is that you refrain from attacking others based on their beliefs. I don't care if they worship a cow in India with purple earrings... You have a right to your opinion just like others do. State your opinion and move on. 

 

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14 hours ago, JW Insider said:

In general, JWs also do not work in law enforcement, social work, psychology, or other professional medical fields.

Then why act as though they do? 

 

14 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I don't see a Biblical requirement for shunning in the way many JWs still practice it. I think that, except for a few rare cases, the Biblical reasons given for shunning don't really apply to the types of persons that JWs tend to shun.

I'm glad you feel that way, I hope others do as well. There is of course a significant difference between a serial unrepentant murderer and someone who just doesn't feel that the wt is God's org. 

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Just piping in here. I have a question. It seemed to bother the ARC that the WT side was not represented by a member of the Governing Body, and that is quite understandable. To quote them:

"Given that the Governing Body is based in the United States, the Royal Commission does not have the power to compel a member of the Governing Body to give evidence in this hearing. Nevertheless, on 16 January 2017, the Royal Commission wrote to Watchtower Australia requesting that a member of the Governing Body be available to give evidence at this hearing whether in person or by video link. On 31 January 2017, Watchtower Australia informed the Royal Commission that a member of the Governing Body would not be available to give evidence.  That is a matter of considerable regret given the degree to which the Australia Branch is subject to the control of the Governing Body on matters of policy, procedure and practice". - page 4 of the OPENING ADDRESS BY SENIOR COUNSEL ASSISTING.

The only possible reason I could come up with for a member of the GB desisting from participation is that one member cannot act on behalf of the other members in that capacity. But they could all be present by video link surely? So does anyone know what the reason could be?

And why did the GB think it was OK to have Tool and O'Brien again, if, as JWI mentions, their last performance was evidently not appreciated by the GB. It indeed seemed an awkward representation of the WT. If a member of the GB could not give evidence, then surely one of the GB helpers could have? With something this important.

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30 minutes ago, Anna said:

And why did the GB think it was OK to have Tool and O'Brien again, if, as JWI mentions, their last performance was evidently not appreciated by the GB. It indeed seemed an awkward representation of the WT. If a member of the GB could not give evidence, then surely one of the GB helpers could have? With something this important.

The following contains opinion, of course:

I know this might sound cynical because it echoes the 'follow the money' line of thinking. But unfortunately, this was the reason that all branches moved as much of their money as possible to New York, and moved toward trustee arrangements for property ownership. (My guess is that this arrangement will also come into play when redress is defined.) The next step to reach the same goal is to cut the legal ties between the HQ and the branches and even the branches and the congregations. In spite of the need to call up a centralized legal department for serious cases, the legal arguments in court tend to push liability as far away from branches and HQ as possible. I was told that some court arguments by WTS lawyers have treated the WTS as just a service that "congregations and their circuit overseers" subscribe to. A place from which to order publications, training and distribution materials.

Therefore, it will always be necessary to keep GB members (or anyone from "HQ") away from these types of court proceedings at all costs. Even if it looks like the local legal teams are being left to hang out to dry, or be "thrown under the bus" that's much safer than allowing some court to tie liability directly to the WTS HQ. The Vatican is able to do this, too, which is why you hear of local diocese having to sell buildings to pay redress for victims, rather than money coming from central Vatican coffers. You might have noticed in the hearing that the WT in Australia changed their legal team since the previous hearing. That's partly because there was a shakeup of the local WT legal team. I've heard that the same thing happened in UK and Canada.

Although that might sound cynical, the brothers at HQ are also doing their best to protect the assets of the organization so that they may be put to the kind of use that fits both the expectations of the brotherhood and the corporate charter. It's fiduciary responsibility.

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9 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I know this might sound cynical because it echoes the 'follow the money' line of thinking.

Well, not really. In this system there is very little you can do without money. Even God's word recognizes that money is for a protection. I can see why such actions you describe would be prudent. If we take it to its grass roots, and remember Satan is the ruler of this system, then he could very well be using the world's systems (legal or otherwise) to incapacitate or halt the work of the Witnesses. To survive in this system, in the sense that the Witnessing work can carry on, you have to beat the system at its own game. So what you have said about the reasons the GB perhaps not wanting to participate makes complete sense, and I never thought about it that way. The problem some have with that is that they immediately assume "following the money" means someone is lining their pockets, sipping Sangria on a private island, while others are suffering.

 

P.S. Although brother Rook swears all the money is being pooled into HQ so that Br. Morris can buy a Rolex and Br. Herd his blingy cuff links......

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

I know this might sound cynical because it echoes the 'follow the money' line of thinking.

 

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

The Vatican is able to do this, too, which is why you hear of local diocese having to sell buildings to pay redress for victims, rather than money coming from central Vatican coffers.

So they have adopted the practice of the Catholics in this area? (as well as other things)

 

1 hour ago, Anna said:

If we take it to it's grass roots, and remember Satan is the ruler of this system, then he could very well be using the world's systems (legal or otherwise) to incapacitate or halt the work of the Witnesses.

Or could it be the other way around? Think about this for just a moment, I'll explain the other side of the coin I am referring to in a moment. 

 

 

So you both can see the manipulation, whether for good intentions or bad, and acknowledge that the move of money/assets to NY USA as well as detaching the "head" from the "tail" so to speak  to protect those in NY from the government(s) who may strike out against the wt directly. Ok, I'm in agreement as to this happening, but I am not going to swallow it so blindly as to accept it as for the greater good. I do not want to derail this thread, so feel free to not reply, I just want to bring up some things.

Ok, so we have all these cong's all over the world flowing money into NY for "the work of the wt", not to mention those older folks who have left their estate to the WT. What about the millions in real estate already sold within the last 5 to 10 years? Just in Brooklyn alone its astounding the amount of money that was able to be liquefied. now I'm sure that some of those buildings could have sold for much more, or less, but the point remains the same......tons of money on top of operating costs which were somewhat being sustained by monthly contributions world wide. Now to the point I am trying to make, what has happened within the past 15 years to denote furthering of the "work of the wt"? What expansion has been done? Warwick? ok, but that was planned ahead of time as guided by the Bible (Luke 14:28)? If so, then that cost had already been accounted for. What has happened to the length and structure of the wt and awake magazines? They have shrunk in half, using less paper, less shipping costs, lower printing costs, etc. You get the point. Take a look around and how many kingdom halls have been sold and cong's consolidated? Is this expansion? Is this the money being used to further the "work" ? Where is the evidence that anything has expanded? Is it the reduction of sound equipment in kh's in place of prerecorded talks? The only thing I can see new is the jw broadcasting (much like tv evangelicalism) and a countryside palace or sorts.  Outside of that, there isn't much in the expansion pile but significant reduction in most everything else. 

 

All of this is only my opinion from my perspective, take it with a grain of salt. 

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2 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

 All of this is only my opinion from my perspective

So in your opinion, what do you think is happening with all the stacks of money that in your opinion is surplus from estates sold etc.?

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14 hours ago, Anna said:

So in your opinion, what do you think is happening with all the stacks of money that in your opinion is surplus from estates sold etc.?

That's just it, I don't think anyone knows. It certainly isn't being used to expand kh's or literature. What was the last "book" produced? God's Kingdom Rules? or the return to Jehovah ? I'd hardly call those "books", and as far as older books, those have been phased out almost completely with nothing to fill the gap left. 

Speculation is one thing, I'm not claiming they are using this money for this or that, but taking a hard look at what IS happening is a completely other thing. The past 5 years has not produced anything worthy of that kind of money. 

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On 3/10/2017 at 10:09 AM, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

.

According to that EXACT same reasoning .... IF I MURDERED SOMEONE ( ... my Doctor recommended that I should kill the people that irritate me ... not exactly in those same words ... he said I needed to reduce my stress level ...) , and there was ONLY one Witness ... I would get a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card from the Congregational  Elders ... AND they would not report me to the Police, OR sanction me Congregationaly .... as there was ONLY one Witness.

.They would be obligated to report me IF ... they learned I was GOING to kill someone ...  but without two witnesses the ONE Witness that SAW me kill someone ... it would be my word against his, and according to current INSANE doctrine ... the Elders would be required to "Leave it in Jehovah's hands".

This is what happens when you extrapolate the rules that were for a SPECIFIC time period, and worked in a SPECIFIC culture to include all people, everywhere. 

FAILURE !

..... excuse me ... I have to practice my Mad Scientist maniacal laughter while rubbing on copious amounts of hand lotion ....

They REAL reason that we have the shunning policy where rational humans are NOT ALLOWED to talk to each ... is it has to be kept hidden ... where the "bodies" are.

  .... and of course ... there is that awkward moment when you are burying a body in the back yard ... and find other bodies.

 

Let me see... the ONE witness that saw you and the DEAD person! There's your two witnesses!

If someone goes looking for 'jack' and 'jack's' found dead, and you were the last one seen walking into his flat- and no more 'jack' AND the conscious moves the person to say they SAW you kill him - AND that person is 'credible' - well, your guilty as charged by three witness:          

1. Credible witness

2. Dead Jack

3. Circumstances 

 

LoL. I solved the crime!  Unfortunately, this would be too much for a victim to go through.   Too much trauma not to be believed.  Sadly, it happens.  ?

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1 hour ago, Sharon Washington said:

Let me see... the ONE witness that saw you and the DEAD person! There's your two witnesses!

If someone goes looking for 'jack' and 'jack's' found dead, and you were the last one seen walking into his flat- and no more 'jack' AND the conscious moves the person to say they SAW you kill him - AND that person is 'credible' - well, your guilty as charged by three witness:          

1. Credible witness

2. Dead Jack

3. Circumstances 

 

LoL. I solved the crime!  Unfortunately, this would be too much for a victim to go through.   Too much trauma not to be believed.  Sadly, it happens.  ?

Did you ever see the classic "must see" movie "Deliverance"?  Bodies and evidence disappear, or is never found or linked ....  all the time. 

There are infinite variety scenarios to everything ... including making, in the game of Golf, a "hole in one" that would NEVER have happened if not for a squirrel that dropped an acorn out of its mouth a hundred years ago, it grew into an oak tree, and now in the present day, the golf ball bounced off of the tree ... rolled across the green, and plopped into the little cup.

Add time element to "WOW! What are the chances of THAT ( ... pick anything the mind can imagine ..) happening ?".

It helps to think about such things after three beers, while sitting in a darkened room, in a comfortable chair.

This would be an "Infinite Variety" scenario.

Let's say I murdered "Bro. Jack" .....  "Bro. Bobby" saw me do it, and I took the body several states away and buried it in a corn field ... and denied I had ever been with Bro. Jack and Bro. Bobby that day ... that I had been, say, walking in the woods taking photos somewhere in the other direction.

To everybody else but Bro. Bobby .... Jack just disappeared.

According to the "two witness rule", the elders COULD NOT EVEN REPORT ME TO THE POLICE for investigation.

Why?

Only one Witness.

BRO. BOBBY, however,  could report me to the police, as any responsible man with a conscience would and should, and would HAVE to do to avoid MORAL complicity in a CRIMINAL activity, and and deny JUSTICE to Bro. Jack.

If we as claimants to God's special favor, and carry his Name,  deny basic, elemental, natural human MORALITY, that even most atheists are born with, and continually pervert Justice ... it is WRONG .. and a great slander and reproach on our God, Jehovah, and his reputation.

... and, it makes the administrators of those policies ..... EVIL.

... and a million published words, spoken and written a thousand times, will not make that go away.

quotes-1984-george-orwell-hd-wallpapers.jpg

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18 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

According to the "two witness rule", the elders COULD NOT EVEN REPORT ME TO THE POLICE for investigation.

Why should they take Bobby's word for it? What if Bobby is not the sharpest tool in the box? Or what if Bobby has raised false alarms in the past? But they should definitely encourage Bobby to go to the police and the police can start their investigative process.

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15 minutes ago, Anna said:

Why should they take Bobby's word for it? What if Bobby is not the sharpest tool in the box? Or what if Bobby has raised false alarms in the past? But they should definitely encourage Bobby to go to the police and the police can start their investigative process.

It does not matter if they take Bobby's word for it or not ... OUR responsibility is to DO WHAT WE CAN ... all that we can .. for basic JUSTICE!

ESPECIALLY for those in our extended family of the Brotherhood!

FOR EVERYBODY!

.Otherwise, like those men who refuse to take care of their families ...  we are worse than those who are without the Truth.

.

 

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15 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

That's just it, I don't think anyone knows. 

Perhaps they are building giant underground bunkers to survive Armageddon?

No seriously, it seems to me you are just being septical without having concrete proof for anything. Perhaps you should start another thread since it really doesn't belong here, and then we can discuss it to death.

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3 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

According to the "two witness rule", the elders COULD NOT EVEN REPORT ME TO THE POLICE for investigation

You will have to think of a better example because reporting Bro. Jack as a missing person would open the investigation regardless of any ambiguity over "who dunnit?"

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22 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

. It only took over a year to affirm what I have stated all along. The mere fact that these people start their dialog with” I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, or “as a Witness” is profaning the very utterance of God’s name, by perverting it.

Much as I hesitate to offer observation to Allen because he knows more than I do on most things: on the internet, you assume up front that everyone is a liar. It's icing on the cake if it turns out otherwise, and you never know for sure, because they are digital bits. Through participation in one thread and reading this one, I get an idea of who is who. But I don't know any of it. Nor does anyone know if that guy in the blue shirt and goofy hat is really me. Nor do I assume the overlords here are Witnesses; if they are, they certainly are avant-garde Witnesses. They're all liars, or potential liars, on the internet. It's only those you personally know that you can be sure of.

I have an entire circuit full of people that like me, and I them. I know who they are, or can readily find out. If I want association, I go there. If I want to brawl, I come here. I'll keep coming here, because sometimes I like to brawl. (or share something light somewhere else) But it's hardly fine association as can be had among real people. And I don't offer suggestions to God's organization as to how to conduct itself because no one has asked me. Anyone here who asks me doesn't count.

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14 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Nor do I assume the overlords here are Witnesses; if they are, they certainly are avant-garde Witnesses. They're all liars, or potential liars, on the internet. It's only those you personally know that you can be sure of.

That's why one shouldn't take anything personally and keep things merely factual, without too much emotion. These are merely discussions (or unfortunately sometimes debates) and people expressing their views and opinions and then giving reasons for their views and opinions. It we can respect that, then one can have some meaningful discussions sometimes.....Just my opinion! :D:D:D

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No. I don't believe that. I don't believe one can have meaningful discussions with apostates (and I'm not saying that you do). 

You can reason with the surly neighbor. You can reason with the person who hates Jehovah's Witnesses' guts. You can reason with one who has left the faith, for sometimes they reassess. You cannot reason with apostates. They're easily smart enough, but they have no interest in reasoning. They have only interest in persuading. How many apostates have you seen budge one iota here? Imagine yourself a one-time Mormon. For whatever reason, you left the church 10 years ago. And yet you spend huge amounts of your time trolling the comments of your one-time fellow Mormons, trying to shake them from the religion. Are you one who can be reasoned with?

I say, blow them out of the water, until the overlords say you cannot, and if they should say that - well, that also tells you something. Expose their motives. Expose their bizarre obsession with ruining the faith of others without offering any substitute. I mean, as World War III breaks out, can't you imagine Ann (has she been on this thread or just the other one?) upset that the Australian commission has to desist from questioning our people?

Of course, your indignation must be controlled. For one brief moment, Allen gave reign to wrath, and it's back to Bible 101 for him! But he will gain a refresher certificate (I know, because I have a few of them) and then he will be back for more battles. Or maybe he will move on to other things. Either way, he will be fine, and I am glad to know he is around.

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TrueTomHarley:

In any REAL  civil debate the TRUTH will always win out.

IT IS EVERY SEEKER OF REAL TRUTH'S RESPONSIBILITY TO PRESENT ACCURATE FACTS, AND TO KNOW WHAT IS TRUE ... if for no other reason that YOU PERSONALLY can win an argument on any topic, Antarctica to Zepplins ... based on facts, reason, logic and common sense.

Calling people names and trying to disparage their character, or appealing ( read: WHINING) to "overlords" only sends up a red flare into the night sky, that you cannot defend what is true, based on what is actually true, and need a "Big Brother" to shut the opposition down .. because you cannot defend your position, facts, philosophy, perspective of Theology in the REAL world, outside of pretzel shaped sentences and words.

The TRUE test of ANY philosophy, perspective or God supported religion is this ;

1.) It must make plain 'ol common sense outside of a convoluted million word semantics trap, where ANYTHING can be rationalized, and explained with applied stupidity.

2. It has to be based on free will, without coercion in any way, shape or form.

3. It has to be defendable against ALL COMERS ... in every circumstance ... in every case ... and the Arena Of Ideas by necessity must run red with rivers of blood from bad ideas exposed, and piled high with the bodies of the deluded, to stink in the hot midday sun.

The reason people inside, and outside of the Brotherhood fail at this is that they are afraid of philosophical combat, and TRYING to find out what is true.

THEY FEAR BEING PUNISHED SEVERELY FOR RATIONAL THOUGHT AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH.  This is why in in a judicial system based on FEAR, in 50 years, with 1,006 criminal child molesters, in over 5,000 incidents ... ONLY ONE was reported to the Australian police.

The word the entire Planet uses for this  ... is TYRANNY.

Without rational thought being encouraged, and Freedom of Speech, with EVERYBODY encouraged ... we become draft animals for anyone who, even though they may have the highest goals and the very BEST motives as rulers, and shepherds ... THEY INTEND TO RULE.

The effect  ALWAYS is an almost imperceptible slide from fear, to accepting tyranny as "the way things should be",

Instead of debating and abandoning what is false ... they debate and defend their untenable and wrong positions, ideas, and totems, and lose the simplest arguments about what is True and what is not, resorting to "Theocratic Warfare", where lying is an acceptable tactic.

It's a TRAP.

Wandering from Outline .jpg

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21 minutes ago, AllenSmith said:

And how is that any different from Non-fallacious reasoning ad hominem attacks, that many here are only interested in disparaging the WTS by misinterpreting and perverse what the society is about. It’s quite “clear” the Administrator has taken an interest to admonish me while playing favoritism NOT to admonish others. So, if the “truth” is what you seek, this is a perfect example of a double standard. TRUE STATEMENT!

Is that OK! Administrator, and Queen Esther? Since you are going to start to "mark" my post as "dislike" while posting "like this" to those other forms of ad hominem attacks.

Thank you Allen, for providing an EXACT example of what I was talking about ... WoooOOoooEEEEEEoooooo !

Be Happy .jpg

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Uh oh. The overlords have their heads in their hands and are crying. 'Don't we have a day job we can back to?' they are asking each other. So lets go back to a previous point.

Someone said that the Australians were miffed that a GB didn't appear at their second hearing. Were they? If so, should they be?

The Australian commission has authority in Australia, and nowhere else. Why should not the response be to send our own people who have authority in Australia alone? Seems to me representatives from the Australian Branch should do just fine. Everyone wants to talk to the top guy, assuming all underlings are orangutans.

Our people are united. It isn't our fault if the world is carved up into 200 separate entities. What if they all insisted upon meeting the top guy? No. People overseeing the territory they oversee should be enough. Send more if you want. But it shouldn't be expected.

....SIGH!!!....the LIBRARIAN will YYYEEEEEELLLLLLLLLL!!!!! at me, and i will 

1.  have to 

2  AGREEE!!! with HERR that

I am

FOUR!  behaving BADLY by IMITATING a certain APOS**TATE who 

5. INSISTS on absurd and bombastic styyyylllling. 

6. I CAN'T HELP IT!!!!! GILL TEE as Charged!!!!!!!!!!

There. Try to make some sense out of that. I'll take the hit, if need be. Maybe this thread needs be split into several new ones. If so, name them after Anna, not me.

Oh, and now for some JTR-esque graphics:Image result for monster

 

Flying Woman Public Domain.jpg

blast-1300019_960_720.png

I mean, C'mon. Some of these characters are firing off statements that are barely coherent. I should be able to do it, too.

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9 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Our people are united. It isn't our fault if the world is carved up into 200 separate entities. What if they all insisted upon meeting the top guy?

I agree. But the ARC were made aware in case 29 (which was the case held in 2015) that the GB have the last word in all decisions, so I guess they just wanted to cut out the middle man...

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There was also a suggestion somewhere that our people are acting so as to safeguard assets for any place they or individual elders may have erred. Even the word 'cynical' was used.

Oh? And everyone else approaches the bench with wallet opened: "Here, Judge, help yourself! Take as much as you want!"?

Regardless of the merits of any case, pedophilia or otherwise, lawsuits today are the premiere growth industry, which in itself says much about this system of things. 

From 'Tom Irregardless:' "At any rate, early in 2010 a Portland, Oregon jury determined the Boy Scouts of America was responsible for the above gross sexual abuse of a child, and assessed a judgment of $18.2 million in damages. That was said to be the largest such verdict in American history on behalf of a single plaintiff.

"Eighteen million is a lot of dough. What’s one person ever going to do with it? But it plays into that uniquely Western notion that money is the way to compensate for anything. Sometimes I think much anti-West sentiment is stirred up through that mindset, especially among nations where family ties are strong. Some foreign national is killed through Western action. “Gee, that’s a shame,” is the response, “oh well, here’s some money.” Who can forget the French peasant in Tale of Two Cities who wasn’t satisfied with the silver coins tossed from the coach of the aristocrat which had run down his child?

"Possibly one can argue that, if money truly is the god of society, anything short of a huge monetary penalty will have no effect. You can’t shame or guilt anyone, so the theory goes, since we have ridden ourselves of those concepts. A representative of the plaintiff’s legal team stated afterward his belief that the Boy Scouts have undertaken a truly noble and important task in mentoring young boys, for which they are to be commended, and it was his sincere hope that the $18 million judgment will impress upon them the need to do it better. Now, that is an American sentiment if ever there was one. I guess I’d be more persuaded if that team plowed their one-third of the award back into charitable causes, perhaps even the Boy Scouts themselves, with the stipulation that it be used for anti-pedophile purposes. And maybe they did. Do you think so?"

I'll even put a crass link for the

    Hello guest!
: I've already written this stuff. I'm not going to reinvent the wheel.

Where I live, a local legal team is running non-stop ads: "After my accident, Friskem and Goode got me $5 million, 35 times what the insurance company said." That comes out of the fatcat insurance company's pocket? Of course not. It comes out of my neighbors' pockets. They celebrate with me at my bonanza with the insurance company. Then they open their insurance premium bills.

Whatever Bethel may be doing with contributed funds is well over my head. But they are the 'faithful steward.'

 

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7 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

Interesting they didn't insist on calling the "POPE" if they want to cut out the middle man. Funny how things work, here and elsewhere.

That's maybe because they don't view our GB as they do the Pope, which I'm glad about! The Pope has celebrity status, I hope our GB are not viewed that way. (I just has a visual of him answering questions in his skull cap and and white cape...the Pope I mean) And also the Pope is just one, whereas we have 7 representatives and one of them was already a part of the hearing in 2015. They obviously thought it wouldn't be any trouble for him to repeat the gesture. 

2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

There was also a suggestion somewhere that our people are acting so as to safeguard assets for any place they or individual elders may have erred. Even the word 'cynical' was used.

Oh? And everyone else approaches the bench with wallet opened: "Here, Judge, help yourself! Take as much as you want!"?

Regardless of the merits of any case, pedophilia or otherwise, lawsuits today are the premiere growth industry, which in itself says much about this system of things. 

From 'Tom Irregardless:' "At any rate, early in 2010 a Portland, Oregon jury determined the Boy Scouts of America was responsible for the above gross sexual abuse of a child, and assessed a judgment of $18.2 million in damages. That was said to be the largest such verdict in American history on behalf of a single plaintiff.

"Eighteen million is a lot of dough. What’s one person ever going to do with it? But it plays into that uniquely Western notion that money is the way to compensate for anything. Sometimes I think much anti-West sentiment is stirred up through that mindset, especially among nations where family ties are strong. Some foreign national is killed through Western action. “Gee, that’s a shame,” is the response, “oh well, here’s some money.” Who can forget the French peasant in Tale of Two Cities who wasn’t satisfied with the silver coins tossed from the coach of the aristocrat which had run down his child?

"Possibly one can argue that, if money truly is the god of society, anything short of a huge monetary penalty will have no effect. You can’t shame or guilt anyone, so the theory goes, since we have ridden ourselves of those concepts. A representative of the plaintiff’s legal team stated afterward his belief that the Boy Scouts have undertaken a truly noble and important task in mentoring young boys, for which they are to be commended, and it was his sincere hope that the $18 million judgment will impress upon them the need to do it better. Now, that is an American sentiment if ever there was one. I guess I’d be more persuaded if that team plowed their one-third of the award back into charitable causes, perhaps even the Boy Scouts themselves, with the stipulation that it be used for anti-pedophile purposes. And maybe they did. Do you think so?"

I'll even put a crass link for the

    Hello guest!
: I've already written this stuff. I'm not going to reinvent the wheel.

Where I live, a local legal team is running non-stop ads: "After my accident, Friskem and Goode got me $5 million, 35 times what the insurance company said." That comes out of the fatcat insurance company's pocket? Of course not. It comes out of my neighbors' pockets. They celebrate with me at my bonanza with the insurance company. Then they open their insurance premium bills.

Whatever Bethel may be doing with contributed funds is well over my head. But they are the 'faithful steward.'

 

So in other words you are saying that it's understandable that WT might be trying to safeguard assets. Which is what I said.

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7 minutes ago, AllenSmith said:

then one shouldn’t imply the high status of the POPE that happens to be just a normal man, and is only falsely venerated by his status, not as a chosen member of GOD. So, that status then becomes irrelevant to anyone mentioning it as a difference.

It's irrelevant to me, but it is not irrelevant to the "world" and that is who we were talking about. I very much doubt the ARC would have summoned the Pope if he was in Australia. Trust me, they do not view the Pope the same as the GB of Jehovah's Witnesses. Not in this case anyway.

11 minutes ago, AllenSmith said:

Yet, your suggestion of the GB not being seen as any other than a Group of “anointed” brothers (assistants) Acts 6:3 that GOD has found acceptable for the purpose of GOD’s spiritual work; they’re NOT there to argue legal matters either

It wasn't just about cold blooded legal matters, it was about policies to better protect children from sexual abuse, and how to better care for victims and deal with perpetrators, policies which need to have the approval of the GB in order to become valid policies.

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