Australian Royal Commission Inquiry 2015

Jehovah’s Witness Elders Admit They Should Have Known to Treat Pedophile Victims Better, Which Begs the Question…

If there is one thing Jehovah’s Witnesses love to do, it’s pray. They pray before meals, at all their meetings and conventions, before going to their preaching work, and just generally throughout the day.  Witnesses include prayers that ask for guidance and direction from god, and they believe that Jehovah does actually answer those prayers, steering their actions in one way or another.

The October 1, 2015, Watchtower had an article about prayer and it included two experiences of those who had prayed to god for guidance in supporting their families, and how they believe Jehovah gave them that guidance:

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So, according to these two, Jehovah helps them to “make wise decisions” and “choose a career.” Jehovah’s Witnesses encourage this thinking in all their congregants, as you can see from the book, “God’s Word For Us Through Jeremiah,” page 127:

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Elders specifically are taught to pray before meeting with congregants for any matter. Their guidebook, “Shepherd the Flock of God,” tells them to open with prayer before any form of counseling is done as well as any part of a judicial hearing; this refers to the investigation they conduct when someone has been accused of wrongdoing.

During the first part of the 2015 Royal Commission Inquiry Into Institutional Response to Child Sex Abuse, elders were questioned about their handling of a case where a young woman approached them to inform them of the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of another elder. As is the case with Jehovah’s Witnesses, the elders, all men, questioned her in detail and allowed the man she was accusing to sit in the room during the process. He was also allowed to say anything he wanted, even joking about her accusations.

Now, years later, under the cold light of an inquisition, they admit how that must have made this young woman feel:

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Additional testimony:

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Additional testimony:

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The elders said many times over that they now understand how difficult the situation was for the young girl, how the setting in which she was put was overwhelming for her, and that she didn’t have necessary support.

Which begs the question, Why not? Why didn’t they know, at that time, that this was a horrible situation for a young girl, a victim of long-term sexual abuse, that it just made the entire ordeal worse for her, and that they were actually victimizing her all over again by the setting and procedures?

Why didn’t they know? These elders must have prayed for holy spirit to guide them during this time, as is their standard procedure. They believe that god’s spirit gives them guidance in getting a job and raising their families, so why not at this occasion? Why didn’t this holy spirit guide them and tell them that the young woman in question was being mind-raped all over again, that she couldn’t even fully disclose all the details of her ordeal to them because of how horrific the situation?

The feelings of the victim aside, it also begs the question of why the holy spirit didn’t guide these men to a better setting so that all the information about her abuser could come to light. Apparently the elder in question groomed her for many years by tongue-kissing her and fondling her, before he was caught looking at her in the shower and then forced himself on her sexually. Would the holy spirit not want all those details to be revealed so that such a sick, disgusting man would be removed from god’s true organization? Would the holy spirit not somehow guide them into creating a safer environment where she felt comfortable disclosing all these details, for the sake of the congregation, if not for her own safety and welfare?

It’s important to note that these elders have not denied that the setting they provided and the processes they followed made the victim very uncomfortable, and they have not denied that their processes hindered all the details from coming forward:

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Elders openly admit that they now see how they traumatized her and prevented the full truth from coming out; this happened even after all their prayers for guidance, before these meetings and throughout an elder’s daily life, when he prays for god’s wisdom and spirit and whatever else. Even after all that, they didn’t see back then how harshly they were treating this victim and how she could only tell them half her story.

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Barrister Angus Stewart, lead counsel for the inquiry. Even without god’s holy spirit that Jehovah’s Witnesses claim guide them in their everyday lives, he somehow managed to create a safer environment for child abuse victims than elders.

What’s also interesting is that this victim can now speak about her story, in the equivalent of an impersonal court of law, in front of “worldly” or non-Jehovah’s Witness strangers, and men no less. In a courtroom, being questioned by lawyers and those who are not her supposed spiritual shepherds, now she can speak about her ordeal and tell the whole story, and this is without any prayers being offered, any scriptures being read. I doubt that Barrister Stewart, lead counsel for this inquiry, asked for any divine guidance or holy spirit on him before questioning her, and yet somehow he managed to provide her with a safe enough environment and present himself with a reassuring enough manner that she could open up fully about her situation.

So, again, the question is, Why not? Why didn’t these men have some type of understanding all those years ago as to their harsh and unloving treatment of the victim and of how they were hindering their own judicial process? Either there is no holy spirit to guide Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the holy spirit itself isn’t even strong enough to overcome their ignorant, unloving, re-victimizing manner. No matter how you slice it, things just aren’t adding up in their favor.

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9 replies »

  1. Im slicing it up As it is..? I’m freaking out these governing body members are Hypocrites! !..
    Where is Jehovah why is he ok with this..
    Is this the part “I am with you all the days UNTIL the conclusion of the system of things” and then what God withdraws his holy spirit to see what they do how faithful they really are?
    They and there elders are going against the bible in alot of ways..
    10 things said only 7 truths out of 10 IS NOT OF Jehovah…=LIARS
    20 things said only 10 done by who said it IS NOT OF Jehovah..=HYPOCRISY

    • I agree. I know from personal experience with the shepherds, their families, and friends(or followers-worshippers).
      The body of elders including the circuit overseer bonded together and had allegiance to a code among themselves where they had each other’s back, right or wrong, and they cared little or nothing about Jehovah,his principles,or any JWs who went against them.
      I found all this out the hard way when I went to an elder in confidence about a problem I was having with another elder, who was wrong. The elder was never counseled but the elders their families and friends turned on me and i was mobbed. When the CO came I told him and he sided with elders and joined in the mobbing against me i reported all of them, i believed they were all counseled because of their embarrassed or even angrier reaction to me. No one ever follow-up or encourage me or apologize. Everything was swept under rug and everyone carry on their duties. The incident was hurtful enough, but what was worse is being as if i have no value this unloving uncaring wicked cowardly and mean-spirited coming from so-called only true Christians and men supposedly appointed by the only true God.

  2. Fantastic article.. I am amazed by what this inquiry has brought to light. Thank you for putting this available to the public.

  3. Thank you, Alex for another, as usual, well-thought-out, concise, well-written article. I have no idea what your personal beliefs are regarding God and it doesn’t matter as far as I am concerned. For whether your personal beliefs maintain that there is a God or not, the point that comes through to me most clearly in your words, is that for an organization that claims to be directed by God and whose members spend so much time praying, asking for God’s direction, knocking on doors and making such a “showy display” of their “religious conviction” before the world, it is rather amazing that they could not manage such a simple matter of conscience, empathy and compassion where these particular types of judicial committees were concerned. Yet, a man denigrated by their own beliefs as “a man of the world” and “under Satan’s control”, somehow could. Really, that says a lot; a lot more than anyone following the same pattern as Jehovah’s Witnesses, gleefully waiting for God to kill you for pointing out these sad, sad, facts when it come to Jehovah’s Witnesses. If you are an atheist, it says a lot that you can tell the difference between true empathy and decency more than those gleefully waiting for God to kill you that clearly can’t tell the difference at all. Keep up the good work.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I did think it was striking how “worldly” courts were so much more accommodating and sympathetic to victims than Witnesses. So tragic for JW children who’ve been through this.

  4. Richard Schiller
    You still live inside a shell? Jesus prayed to his father and all of us pray to our Father in Heavens. But we do not molest a child. Period.
    Don’t you get it? You really need to open your skull.

  5. Alex James, I wish to define your intentionally malice heart. You sit with the those atheists who are wicked in heart who lie and accuse all people who say Adam is 6000 years by insisting and forcing your belief that whose who say 6000-year Adam are also saying 6000-year old Sun and Earth and galaxy and universe. This is why Moses starts with warning us that the Liar will say we are being denied ALL fruit, not just one fruit. Point is only made if you read it, and if you finish reading it, and if you choose to see it. Wicked people never hear the words of others. They hear something else while you blah blah blah and they busy themselves rolling their eyes. Yes there does exist JWs at Halls who do this while you talk to them. BIG deal! YOU are just like them. (I repeat this has been screen copied, and cam always be posted other places to show how remarks are selectively deleted and labeled as moderated, That’s why Egypt was in Facebook and Moses was not LOL.)

  6. The following comment has been copied in the belief that this site has the spirit to delete it. WHO does this article attack. Public is always accusing JWs of thinking in their heads that everything done personal to one of them is being done to Jehovah. Yet in making a good point that JWs act contrary to their prayers, this article instead directs itself to saying there is no Jehovah, he has no spirit, it doesn’t exist. This is an attack against Bible and against words of Jesus (who prayed). Did not Jehovah’s spirit guide Nebuchanezzar to destroy Jerusalem (destroy not its faithful, just its bad), but that king did not pray to Jehovah to get this spirit. The same is with Cyrus because Jehovah moves him to build a temple, but it isn’t his idea, it is Jews who come to him. Cyrus didn’t pray toy Jehovah, yet this article claims Jah’s spirit didn’t move him. This article claims that Jah’s spirit is not motivating Barrister Stewart to have more compassion for victims despite his not praying for it (like Cyrus didn’t, like Nebuchadnezzar didn’t). Like Satan it says Look Eve our Jehovah doesn’t let you eat of any fruit nor any tree. So who did this article direct itself to, not JWs, to Jehovah who will kill the author in due time. Remember the king ate like a cow for 7 years the very day he got haughty.

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