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Dutch parliament not satisfied with minister's letter about JW abuse


Jack Ryan
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This is an interesting concept and has a bit more to it than it's context. For the congregation, in the absence of an alternative, there is a 2 witness rule. Now the debate about what does or sho

I can't for the life of me see why this kind of topic should be presented in such a sinister and threatening manner. At the worst, investigations could reveal nothing.  At the best, evil peo

They did as a whole, however the problem was the total misapplication of 1 Corinthians 6:5-7 by some elders. I personally know of an instance where the elder advised to keep the matter away from secul

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Tomorrow: Dutch Motion calling for an investigation into child abuse will go before Parliament

This is the translated text of the motion that will go before Dutch Parliament tomorrow:

The House of Repsrenstatives, 

having heard the deliberation,

noting that there have been many reports of sexual abuse in the community of Jehovah's Witnesses, but that these reports for various reasons have not all led or will lead to complaints to the police;

noting that there are indications that the culture of closeness in the community of Jehovah's Witnesses has contributed to the fact that many have remained indoors and that this system still does not offer the right guarantees to protect children as much as possible against abuse;

noting that the administration of the Jehovah's Witnesses is unwilling to investigate the alleged abuse;

is of the opinion that investigations into alleged abuse should not be avoided;

 Calls on the government to ensure that, with due regard to the protection of the reporters, independent investigation is carried out into the reports, the possible underlying pattern, the rules, practices and structures used within the community, taking into account the complaints already filed to the police;

And proceeds to the order of the day.

Van Nispen

Kuiken

Van Toorenburg

Buitenweg 

source: https://www.tweedekamer.nl/kamerstukken/moties/detail?did=2018D35528&id=2018Z12157

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5 hours ago, Jack Ryan said:

Dutch Parliament agrees unanimously on a investigation.

I can't for the life of me see why this kind of topic should be presented in such a sinister and threatening manner.

At the worst, investigations could reveal nothing. 

At the best, evil people who have wormed their way into the congregation will be exposed and ousted. The naivety of those inadvertantly contributing will be shown up and addressed. Processes will be reviewed and refined. Hopefully, victims will be acknowledged and gain some real benefit from the whole experience (although, sadly, this is not guaranteeed).

Admittedly, there are implications in terms of financial costs, time and attention of a large number of people, emotional impact on victims and their associates, reputational issues around perpetrators exposure, issues around mishandling and injustice due to distorted exaggeration driven by the bias and prejudice of opposers and those easily swayed by opinion, and the inevitable media brouhaha.

But really, what's to fear or to lose? Nothing changes in the greater scheme of things, but the immediate benefits far outweigh the costs.

I mean I am sure Bro Rutherford's experience was unpleasant at the time, but what was lost? And what was gained?

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The greater world places huge emphasis on punishing child sexual abuse, but relatively little on preventing it, unless it is figured that the example of punishment IS preventing it, but that idea hasn't exactly worked out, has it?

It may be that the Dutch authorities will uncover information as did the Australian Royal Commission, that while there are instances of abuse not coming to the attention of the authorities, there is much less of it to begin with in the JW community. The reason abuse is linked with Jehovah's Witnesses is that they have a policy of investigating it, along with all other types of wrongdoing. Had they not done so, instances of abuse would still have happened, but they would usually not be associated with religious affiation, as is the case elsewhere. 

Any group maintaining that its influence leads to greater morality ought to take steps to see that this is, in fact, the case. Romans says "You, the one saying 'do not steal,' do you steal? You, the one saying, 'do not commit adultery,' do you commit adultery?' It will not do with God to bury your head in the sand. You must be proactive to search out and investigate reports as they occur. Who else did this other than Jehovah's Witnesses? 

When I wrote 'Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah's Witnesses Write Russia,' almost as an afterthought I included a Part II, outlining what about Witnesses Russian authorities found so objectionable, along with defenses for those accusations. Almost as an afterthought again, I included a 9000+ word chapter 12, 'Pedophiles.' It is an accusation that has never arisen in Russia, but it has proven hot elsewhere. That chapter becomes one of the most relevent chapters of the book as time moves on. It is free, and I link to it here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/815620

 

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8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

You must be proactive to search out and investigate reports as they occur. Who else did this other than Jehovah's Witnesses? 

They did as a whole, however the problem was the total misapplication of 1 Corinthians 6:5-7 by some elders. I personally know of an instance where the elder advised to keep the matter away from secular authorities lest it brought shame to Jehovah. That was the attitude of some in the 80's as far as I know. It was never the policy of the society on the whole though. I am so pleased we have a concise, transparent document now which informs not just the elders, but also the publishers and anyone else of how cases of child abuse should be handed. Every one can be on the same page now. I particularly like par. 10 because it makes a clear distinction between congregational matters and secular matters of the same same instances:

"Child abuse is a serious sin. If an alleged abuser is a member of the congregation, the elders
conduct a Scriptural investigation. This is a purely religious proceeding handled by elders according
to Scriptural instructions and is limited to the issue of membership as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
A
member of the congregation who is an unrepentant child abuser is expelled from the congregation and
is no longer considered one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (1 Corinthians 5:13) The elders’ handling of an
accusation of child abuse is not a replacement for the authorities’ handling of the matter.—Romans
13:1-4.

This is also good for instances where congregationally a perpetrator is not disfellowshipped because of lack of evidence or some other reason, but if the perpetrator is convicted of a crime by secular authorities, especially the crime of sexual abuse of children, then this notoriety may warrant disfelowshipping.

For those who haven't read  the document yet:

https://www.jw.org/en/news/legal/legal-resources/information/packet-jw-scripturally-based-position-child-protection/

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6 hours ago, Anna said:

This is also good for instances where congregationally a perpetrator is not disfellowshipped because of lack of evidence or some other reason, but if the perpetrator is convicted of a crime by secular authorities, especially the crime of sexual abuse of children, then this notoriety may warrant disfellowshipping.

That means that Theocratically, we can trust the judgement of the secular authorities judicial system MORE THAN OUR OWN.

The presumption is that the secular judicial system has in fact established the facts beyond reasonable doubt, whereas the Congregational judicial system was UNABLE to do it .... OR ... in the case of an unjust conviction by the secular authorities ...the fact would be that the Jehovah's Witness is innocent, BUT that his being SLANDERED by the secular authorities and the news media IS ENOUGH TO GET HIM DISFELLOWSHIPPED !

Fun, eh?

For thousands of years, the Jews had a court system that was completely public, open, and transparent, and in the City Gates, where anyone could observe, and SEE if Justice was being done ...  see who was telling the truth, and see who was lying. A person in the back could CHALLENGE anything that was said, and those giving testimony KNEW that.

The Governing Body chose the system we have now, as contrasted with the one Jehovah God set up, which worked well for thousands of years.

Fun, eh?

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11 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

That means that Theocratically, we can trust the judgement of the secular authorities judicial system MORE THAN OUR OWN.

 

For once, I think that JTR is right. However, I also think that it does not happen. I think the findings of secular and relgious systems operate enitrely independent of one another.

It is part of the GB's "problem." Come hell or high water, they put their understanding of the scriptures first, showing little deviation due to "the opinions of men."

 

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11 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

For thousands of years, the Jews had a court system that was completely public, open, and transparent, and in the City Gates, where anyone could observe, and SEE if Justice was being done ...  see who was telling the truth, and see who was lying. A person in the back could CHALLENGE anything that was said, and those giving testimony KNEW that.

 

Of course! Just like in a secular court of law today where any Tom Dick or Harry in the spectator section can rise to his feet and holler "I object!"

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

It is part of the GB's "problem." Come hell or high water, they put their understanding of the scriptures first, showing little deviation due to "the opinions of men."

The problem with that caveat, is that their understanding of the scriptures ... ARE THEIR COLLECTIVE PERSONAL OPINIONS ... and they are in fact "men", like any other men, who put their paints on one leg at a time, and have some ... and occasionally many opinions that are completely divorced from reality and plain old common sense.

1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Of course! Just like in a secular court of law today where any Tom Dick or Harry in the spectator section can rise to his feet and holler "I object!"

You and I probably watched  too much "Perry Mason" growing up ... but if Tom, Dick or Harry in the back of the courtroom stood up and yelled  "That is NOT TRUE", in a secular court I guarantee he WOULD BE HEARD.   The Judge may bang his gavel and the Bailiff may get tense, but he would be heard.

In OUR court system, held in complete secrecy, and no witnesses allowed  .... there is nobody to "stand up" for injustices that are the part of all "due processes."

There is a real and valid reason why Jehovah set up the system that served Israel well for two thousand and more years ... and there is a reason why we do not use that system today.

It  is that their understanding of the scriptures ... ARE THEIR COLLECTIVE PERSONAL OPINIONS ...

Sometimes they make sense ... many times they make no sense at all ... and apostates are CREATED ... where there were none before.

 

 

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On 7/4/2018 at 4:02 AM, Gone Away said:

But really, what's to fear or to lose? Nothing changes in the greater scheme of things, but the immediate benefits far outweigh the costs.

I agree with this idea, too. And as you mentioned a few other possibilities in your preceding paragraph, the few things that might change in the greater scheme of things could result in some longer-lasting benefits, too. As you said:

On 7/4/2018 at 4:02 AM, Gone Away said:

Processes will be reviewed and refined. Hopefully, victims will be acknowledged and gain some real benefit from the whole experience

And there are also longer-term benefits when any of the "evil" people (perpetrators or deliberate enablers) were in positions of responsibility, as is often the case, or when persons, through a misplaced sense of priorities or naivety, inadvertently contribute (enablers) are put on a correct path. As you said:

On 7/4/2018 at 4:02 AM, Gone Away said:

At the best, evil people who have wormed their way into the congregation will be exposed and ousted. The naivety of those inadvertantly contributing will be shown up and addressed.

I really appreciated that your comment was thoughtful and covered a lot of bases.

 

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58 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Sometimes they make sense ... many times they make no sense at all ... and apostates are CREATED ... where there were none before.

 

There is not a New Testament writer who does not deal, sometimes at length, with apostasy. 

Is that because the first century governing arrangement screwed it up, too?

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