Australian Royal Commission Inquiry 2015

The Bible Gives the Benefit of the Doubt to Sexual Assault Victims, But Not Jehovah’s Witnesses

Before I became a full-blown apostate against the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and started this blog, I had a Facebook account under a pen name that I use for my writing clients (since deleted). Years ago, I began poking around Facebook with that account and sent a message to Bill Bowen of Silentlambs. Apparently he kept the correspondence all this time as he recently posted it publicly, and I’d like to share it here because I think the points are very valid:

   I hope it’s okay that I contact you this way. I’m an inactive JW, out for a few years now. Like many, I was appalled by the things I knew in the organization (domestic violence was common and condoned by the elders in my area) but even more by the things I’m learning now that I’m out.
   I wanted to run this by you: The “two witness” rule they abide by when it comes to child molestation is based on Matthew 18:16, I understand that. Matthew’s counsel is based on Deut. 19:15 which also says that “no single witness should rise up against a man…”
   However, note Deut. 22:25-27, regarding rape. If the incident happened in a field, “she did scream.” In other words, there was an exception to the “no single witness” rule, namely 1) sexual assault and 2) in an area where there could not possibly be another witness. In this case, the benefit of the doubt went to the victim.
   When the BBC cornered a GB member and asked about not calling the police, he responded that the Bible says to “not go beyond the things that are written.” However, they actually do go beyond quite often. There is no scripture that mentions oral and anal sex between married couples, and given the detail of the Mosaic law that included sexual behavior (along with basic hygiene and diet), I would think Jehovah would have mentioned it if it was that important (he mentions the hooves of animals for god’s sake). Masturbation, the same. There is no scripture that prohibits birthday celebrations and they celebrate anniversaries and graduations, which are similar.
   They will say that they reason to themselves based on Bible principle regarding these things, so why can’t they reason, based on Deut. 22, that there is an exception to the “two witness” rule, specifically, sexual assault? They could also reason that calling the police is not making an accusation as the police don’t have that authority; they only conduct an investigation, just like the elders do, and the District Attorney makes an accusation based on evidence collected by the police (or not).

The correspondence is rather self-explanatory; the bible does give an exception to this “two witness” rule that Jehovah’s Witnesses cling to so vehemently when it comes to acting on accusations of pedophilia, yet JWs choose to ignore that and make up their own rules. They then stubbornly put on blinders when it comes to any criticism of those rules, even criticism based on the bible itself.

Since this correspondence is a few years old, the only thing I will say about it now is that I understand how futile it is to even try to reason with Jehovah’s Witnesses. As I bring out in this post, they are blatantly hypocritical in “discerning” for themselves if a woman has actually been raped versus having committed fornication, without requiring two witnesses to make that determination. In this post I talk about how they use a scripture that mentions not taking your brother “to court” as a way to defend not calling the police in these cases, yet that scripture was talking about being “defrauded,” or civil cases, not criminal cases. I’ve talked endlessly on this website about their mistakes and hypocrisies when it comes to applying scripture, to virtually endorsing domestic violence, to creating and abandoning the victims of some of the most horrific crimes imaginable.

The bottom line? They don’t care. They just don’t care. The bible, their supposed constitution and holy book, gives the benefit of the doubt to rape victims who couldn’t possibly have a witness to their attack or methods to defend themselves (saying “she did scream”) but Jehovah’s Witnesses will not give this same benefit of the doubt to rape victims today. They don’t care about the additional horrific trauma this causes to children who suffer the humiliation and anger of not being believed and outright dismissed after having been molested. They don’t care about protecting other children from such molestation. They don’t care about the victims, and they obviously don’t even care about what the bible says.

Gawd, I was so naive back then to think otherwise.

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2 replies »

  1. I am one of the countless sexual abuse victims who was disfellowshipped for promiscuity which was a direct result of my spiralling out of control because of my abuse. I was headed for a breakdown and was crying out for help. It was my word against my abusers and my wordeant nothing. I was just evil. An article had come out asking judicial committees to ask “is the sinner weak or evil?” I was at my weakest. I wanted help so badly I uttered the words I could not for 15 years. I ended up hospitalized and the staff there reported the as use to authorities. Once the elders knew that then they did also. Months later and only to cover their asses. Once I had built myself up by myself I wrote a local paper my story. They were going to run it until the societies lawyers threatened slander. That was over 20 years ago. Today that story is like so many others and it saddens me. I was reinstated a few years later but have left again a couple years ago, disillusioned and sad. I would say it can truly ruin your life if you let it. But I’m doing my best to move on, confused and trying to make peace with my life wondering if Armageddon will come to claim my evil soul along with my children. It’s a sad existence but each day the sky gets a little brighter.

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