Editor’s Note: As many people in the community of former Jehovah’s Witnesses know, Daniel Walker, who writes under the pseudonym “Covert Fade” on the website JWsurvey.com, announced that he is writing a book about the Australian Royal Commission Inquiry of 2015, of which Jehovah’s Witnesses were a part. One woman who testified at that Inquiry, under the pseudonym “BCG,” objected to his plans, as he had not even spoken to her about this issue, and she was very uncomfortable with having him handle her story of molestation and abuse.
What followed were several days of disgusting and downright horrific behavior on social media, aimed at BCG by Daniel Walker, Lloyd Evans aka John Cedars, and their followers. Daniel Walker issued an “apology” for the matter; screen captures below. I personally would like to address Daniel directly, and please note that these are my thoughts and my response alone.
To learn more about this issue and see screen captures of those attacks yourself, please see the links at the bottom of this page.
Thank you, Daniel Walker, for your apology, but let me explain what’s missing, and why it’s not enough, IMHO, to forgive the damage you’ve done to victim “BCG” and to the exJW community as a whole.
Number one, you lied to the community when you made your long-winded, self-justifying Facebook post, saying that the objections over your proposed book were about money, and not telling people that it was victim BCG who had the concerns. You purposely misled everyone in order to drum up support, yet again betraying BCG, leaving her out in the cold so that others could inadvertently put her down and dismiss her. Not only was this a rude thing to do to BCG, it was rude and dishonest to those posting on your Facebook wall, people who only knew part of the story, the part you decided to share.
Because of this fact alone, your credibility as a writer anywhere is now in question. Anything and everything you write will be met with suspicion by me; how can I trust that you’re not putting a personal spin on your words for your own ends and agenda? You need to take ownership of that, and of your dishonesty with the community in general.
My other issue is, why now, after all this time, all these days? You weren’t sorry when BCG was still talking to you privately, or when she was getting a thrashing on your Facebook wall, and then on Reddit. She is neither blind nor illiterate; she had to sit and see all those vile things being said about her, but you kept pushing forward.
It required a public outcry, from several different countries and individuals, and the loss of your potential audience, to make you take a step back. The point being, that woman’s words weren’t enough for you to feel sorry; you argued with her, insisting on your “rights” to repeat what is in the public domain. You needed to see that other people were shockingly in support of her before you stepped off her toes. If we had not spoken up in her defense, what would you have done? I assume that you would have kept plowing ahead, regardless of BCG’s concerns and desperate pleas for you to leave her alone, as it took a wall of supporters around her for you to understand your mea culpa. I’m going to say it; I doubt that you’re actually concerned about her feelings as much as you’re afraid of us, and rightly so, I might add.
I also notice that you make no statement as to Lloyd Evans’ abusive words, or the abuse that was heaped on BCG on your Facebook thread. Are you at all sorry that your actions opened the door for that? Again, I doubt it, since that’s what you wanted in the first place, support and justification for yourself, no matter the expense or hurt to the victim. You hung that woman out to dry and didn’t care how people spoke about her, or to her; you thanked people for supporting you on that thread, knowing how they were betraying an actual child sex abuse victim who testified at the ARC.
The fact that you say nothing about the public abuse she suffered because of your actions, both in brazenly announcing this project without even trying to speak to the victims first, and then in continuing to justify yourself with a misleading post even after BCG voiced her concerns, seriously calls into question the genuineness of this apology. How was BCG treated any different by your supporters than when congregation members gang up on the victims of abuse who dare speak up against the great leaders of their precious organization? You’re responsible for that, but you say nothing about it.
It’s also interesting that you briefly touch on BCG’s feelings, and then go into a long speech about your plans for the book and your intentions. Shouldn’t her concerns, why she had those concerns, and her pain and distress be of utmost importance in an apology, not an explanation of your “intentions”? This isn’t about you, Daniel, or your work; that’s the point, and I don’t think you’re getting that. I said it in my column, I will repeat it here; if you still don’t understand what you did and why it was so hurtful, and I don’t think you do, then you don’t belong anywhere near abuse victims, especially female victims of horrific, violent, child sexual abuse. You’re not qualified to handle their stories in the least. It’s still about you, your work, your actions, and not them, their feelings, their mentality. Your last line, that you wish BCG every success and happiness in the future, reveals that you have no plans to even communicate with her while this project is underway. Yet again, you’ll do what you want, she won’t exist while you’re doing it, and any potential damage done along the way be damned.
BCG has just given me her own response to this apology, asking that I simply check for typos and such; once I can do that, I will publish it word-for-word, as I did her first statement. [See BCG’s response to Daniel Walker’s apology here.] When I do, I will stubbornly insist that people show respect to her and I, and don’t even hint that I may have had any sway or influence over her feelings; BCG was up and discussing this issue with others long before I even awoke this morning. I won’t entertain any more rubbish about anyone “exploiting” or “persuading” her in any way.
In the meantime, Daniel, this apology is a step in the right direction, thank you for that, but it’s only a start, as I personally am disappointed that you’re even continuing to plow ahead with this project, without considering other avenues for effective activism that don’t come at the expense of the victims.
For more information and background regarding this matter, please see, “Activism Should Never Be At The Expense Of The Victims.”
Read BCG’s public statement regarding these social media attacks at, “Public Statement of “BCG” In Response to Recent Manufactured Social Media Attacks.”
Please read BCG’s statement in response to Daniel Walker’s apology at, “Public Statement of “BCG” In Response to Daniel Walker’s Apology.”
Lloyd Evans has offered an “apology” to BCG, who has not accepted it. Please read her statement on the matter at, “Public Statement of “BCG” and Response to Lloyd Evans’ Apology.” Read my response to Lloyd Evans’ apology at, “My Personal Response to Lloyd Evans’ Apology to Victim “BCG””
Please also note “My Personal Response to Lloyd Evans Calling Me a “Regressive Activist’“