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On JW.org, one can find the official position of Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding the protection of children. (This does not rise to the level of a policy paper, something which the leadership of JW.org seems reluctant to write.) You can click on the title, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Scripturally Based Position on Child Protection, to view the PDF file for yourself.
The title gives the reader the reassurance that this position is based on Scripture. That turns out to be true only in part. The second numbered paragraph in the document assures the reader that this has been a “long-standing and widely published Scripturally based position of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” This is also only true in part. Brother Gerrit Losch has defined half-truths as lies, which we believe aptly qualifies the two points we’ve just mentioned. We will demonstrate why we believe that to be so.
One must bear in mind that like the Pharisees and other religious leaders of Jesus’ day, Witnesses have two laws: the written law found in the publications; and the oral law, communicated via Governing Body representatives such as the circuit overseers and the Service Desk and Legal Desk at the branch offices. Like the Pharisees of old, the oral law always takes precedence.
We should also bear in mind that this document is not a policy document, but an official position. One of the recommendations that came out of the Australia Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was for the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses to have an organization-wide written policy for dealing with child sexual abuse, something which the Governing Body has made only half-baked attempts at implementing to the present day.
With all the above in mind, let us begin our critical review of this “official position document”.
- Children are a sacred trust, “an inheritance from Jehovah.”—Psalm 127:3
No argument here. As to whether this is a public relations ploy or a sincere statement of the feeling that the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses have toward children can only be evaluated by looking at their deeds. As the saying goes: “Actions speak louder than words”; or as Jesus put it, “By their fruits you will recognize those men.” (Mt 7:20)
- The protection of children is of utmost concern and importance to all Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is in harmony with the long-standing and widely published Scripturally based position of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as reflected in the references at the end of this document, which are all published on jw.org
This paragraph point fairly shouts: “Look how open and honest we are about all this!” This is likely a counterpoint to the constant and well-founded accusations of child sexual abuse victims and their advocates that the organization’s policies and procedures are shrouded in secrecy.
Please note that none of the references published at the end of this document constitutes an official policy. Missing are references to Letters to the Bodies of Elders or references to material such as the elders’ manual, Shepherd the Flock of God. These do constitute something of an adhoc written policy, but the position of the Governing Body is that such communications must be kept secret. Imagine if the laws of your country were kept secret from the citizenry! Imagine if the human resource policies of the company that employed you were kept secret from the very employees affected by those policies!
In an organization claiming to follow and emulate the Christ, we must ask, “Why all the secrecy?”
- Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and view it as a crime. (Romans 12:9) We recognize that the authorities are responsible for addressing such crimes. (Romans 13:1-4) The elders do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the authorities.
This third paragraph point cites Romans 12:9 where Paul evokes some truly beautiful imagery.
“Let your love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is wicked; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)
We have all seen two people deeply in love clinging to another, or a terrified child clinging desperately to its parent. That is the imagery we should have in mind when we find something that is good. A good thought, a good principle, a good habit, a good emotion—we want to cling to such things.
On the other hand, abhorrence goes beyond hatred and way beyond dislike. The face of a person viewing something they abhor tells you all you need to know about how they truly feel. No additional words are required. When we watch videos in which Organization representatives are being interviewed or cross-examined, when we read or watch real-life experiences revealed in the news media, when we read a position paper like this one, do we feel the abhorrence that the Organization claims to have? Do we likewise feel their clinging love for what is good? How do your local elders fare in this regard?
That the Governing Body knows its responsibility before God is evident in the Position Paper’s reference made to Romans 13:1-4. Unfortunately, verse 5, which bears on this, was excluded. Here is the full quote from the New World translation.
“Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God. Therefore, whoever opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will bring judgment against themselves. For those rulers are an object of fear, not to the good deed, but to the bad. Do you want to be free of fear of the authority? Keep doing good, and you will have praise from it; for it is God’s minister to you for your good. But if you are doing what is bad, be in fear, for it is not without purpose that it bears the sword. It is God’s minister, an avenger to express wrath against the one practicing what is bad. There is therefore compelling reason for you to be in subjection, not only on account of that wrath but also on account of your conscience.” (Romans 13:1-5)
By stating that “The elders do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the authorities”, the Governing Body has put its position in the active tense. Certainly, we do not envision elders standing guard at the doors of the kingdom Hall, giving sanctuary to a child abuser hidden within, while the police seek entry. But what about the passive way in which a child abuser might be shielded from the authorities? The Bible says:
“. . .Therefore, if someone knows how to do what is right and yet does not do it, it is a sin for him.” (James 4:17)
If you were to hear the screams of a woman being raped, or the cries of a man being murdered, and you did nothing, would you consider yourself to be truly innocent of any complicity in the crime? Qui Tacet Consentire Videtur, Silence Grants Consent. By doing nothing to bring criminals within their purview to justice, the Organization has repeatedly granted tacit consent to their crimes. They have shielded these criminals from the consequences of their actions. If these elders and Organization leaders were themselves the victims of such criminal acts, would they remain silent? (Mt 7:12)
Do we really need something printed in the law books of the land, or even in the publications of the organization, to tell us what to do in such instances? Do we need to wait for the Service or Legal Desk to dictate how our conscience should act?
This is why Paul referenced our conscience in verse 5 when speaking about subjection to the governmental authorities. The word “conscience” literally means “with knowledge”. It is the first law given to men. It is the law which Jehovah implanted into our mind. We are all created, in some miraculous way, “with knowledge”—that is, with the basic knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. One of the first phrases a child learns to utter, often with great indignation, is, “That’s not fair!”
In 1006 cases over a span of 60 years the elders in Australia, informed by the Legal and/or Service Desk as is the custom, failed to report a single case of child sexual abuse to the superior authorities. Even in cases where they had two witnesses or a confession and were thus dealing with a known pedophile, they failed to inform the authorities. According to Romans 13:5, the “compelling reason” to inform the authorities is not fear of punishment (“the wrath”), but rather on account of one’s conscience—the knowledge given to us by God of what is right and wrong, wicked and just. Why did not a single elder follow his conscience in Australia?
The Governing Body states on behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses everywhere that ‘they abhor child abuse’, and ‘they know the authorities are responsible for dealing with criminals’, and that ‘child sexual abuse is a crime’, and that ‘they do not shield criminals’. However, by their actions, they have practiced the very opposite belief in country after country as demonstrated by the numerous court cases being fought and lost—or more so now, settled—in developed countries, and by the negative news articles and expository documentaries that have been published and broadcast in recent months.
- In all cases, victims and their parents have the right to report an accusation of child abuse to the authorities. Therefore, victims, their parents, or anyone else who reports such an accusation to the elders are clearly informed by the elders that they have the right to report the matter to the authorities. Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.—Galatians 6:5.
Again, the written law says one thing, but the oral law has proven to reveal another. Perhaps this will now change, but the intent of this document is to indicate that this is the way things have always been. As stated in point 2, this is “the long-standing and widely published Scripturally based position of Jehovah’s Witnesses”.
Victims and their parents or guardians have often been discouraged from reporting by using the reasoning that doing so would bring reproach on Jehovah’s name. In quoting Galatians 6:5, the Organization appears to be putting “the load” or responsibility for reporting on the parents and/or victim. But the self-assumed load of the elders is to protect the congregation, and particularly the little ones. Have they been carrying that load? We are all to be judged on how well we carry our own load.
The Uzzah Presumption
The reasoning that has been used for decades to dissuade victims and their guardians from reporting the crime of child sexual abuse to the authorities has been that doing so “might bring reproach on Jehovah’s name.” This sounds like a valid argument at first blush, but the fact that the organization is now paying out millions of dollars in settlements, and even more so, the fact that the name which they carry so proudly is being tarnished in countless news articles, Internet groups, and video broadcasts, indicates that this is flawed reasoning. Perhaps a Bible account will help us understand exactly how presumptuous this line of reasoning is.
There was a time in King David’s day that the Philistines had stolen the ark of the covenant, but because of a miraculous plague they were forced to hand it back. In transporting it back to the tent of the covenant, the priests failed to follow the law which required it to be carried by the priests using long poles which were passed through rings on the side of the ark. Instead, it was placed on an oxcart. At some point, the cart was nearly upset and the ark was in danger of falling to the ground. An Israelite named Uzzah “thrust his hand out to the Ark of the True God and grabbed hold of it” to steady it. (2 Samuel 6:6) However, no ordinary Israelite was allowed to touch it. Uzzah was instantly struck dead for his irreverent and presumptuous act. The fact is, Jehovah was perfectly capable of protecting the ark. He didn’t need anyone else to help him do it. Assuming the responsibility for protecting the ark was an act of supreme presumptuousness, and it got Uzzah killed.
No one, including the Governing Body, should assume the role of Protector of God’s Name. To do so is an act of presumptuousness. Having assumed this role for many decades now, they are now paying the price.
Returning to the position paper, paragraph 5 says the following:
- When elders learn of an accusation of child abuse, they immediately consult with the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses to ensure compliance with child abuse reporting laws. (Romans 13:1) Even if the elders have no legal duty to report an accusation to the authorities, the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses will instruct the elders to report the matter if a minor is still in danger of abuse or there is some other valid reason. Elders also ensure that the victim’s parents are informed of an accusation of child abuse. If the alleged abuser is one of the victim’s parents, the elders will inform the other parent.
We just read Romans 12:9 which opens with the words: “Let your love be without hypocrisy.” It is hypocritical to say one thing and then do another. Here we are told that the branch office, even in the absence of a specific law requiring reporting of allegations of child sexual abuse, “will instruct the elders to report the matter if a minor is still in danger of abuse or there is some other valid reason.”
There are two things wrong with this statement. The first and most important point is that it is presumptuous and goes against the Scriptures. It is not for unqualified men to determine whether or not to report a crime. God has appointed a minister, the rulers of this system of things, to deal with crimes. It is up to them to determine whether a crime has been committed or not; whether it should be prosecuted or not. That is not the role of some civilian authority like the Governing Body, nor the Service/Legal Desk at the branch office level. There are duly appointed government agencies trained and equipped to carry out proper forensic investigations so as to determine the truth of the matter. The branch office is getting its information secondhand, often from the mouths of men whose life experience is limited to cleaning windows and vacuuming office spaces.
The second problem with this statement is that it falls into the category of a man who has been caught cheating on his wife and promises never to do it again. Here, we are assured that the branch office will direct the elders to report any matters in which a child is in danger, or if there is another valid reason for doing so. How do we know they will do this? Certainly not based on their pattern of behavior up to now. If, as they claim, this is a “long-standing and widely published position”, why have they failed to live up to it for decades as demonstrated not only by the findings of the ARC, but also by facts made public in numerous court transcripts of cases in which the Organization has had to pay millions of dollars in damages for failing to properly protect its children?
- Parents have the primary responsibility for the protection, safety, and instruction of their children. Therefore, parents who are members of the congregation are encouraged to be vigilant in exercising their responsibility at all times and to do the following:
- Have direct and active involvement in their children’s lives.
- Educate themselves and their children about child abuse.
- Encourage, promote, and maintain regular communication with their children. —Deuteronomy 6:6, 7;
Proverbs 22:3. Jehovah’s Witnesses publish an abundance of Bible-based information to assist parents to fulfill their responsibility to protect and instruct their children.—See the references at the end of this document.
All this is true, but what place does it have in a position paper? It seems like a transparent attempt to shift the responsibility and blame to the parents.
It should be understood that the organization has set itself up as a government over Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is evident by the fact that whenever there is a case of child sexual abuse, the victim and/or the victim’s parents have gone to the elders first. They are being obedient. They have been instructed to deal with the matter internally. You will notice that no instructions are given here, even at this late date, telling parents to report these crimes to the police first, then taking them to the elders only as a secondary function. This would make sense, since the police will be able to provide evidence that the elders simply are not equipped to gather. The elders could then make a much more informed decision, while the primary goal of protecting the child immediately would be served. After all, how are elders empowered to protect the child that may still be in danger. What capability, what capacity, what authority do any of them have to actively protect not only the victim, but all other children in the congregation under their care, as well as the community at large?
- Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not separate children from their parents for the purpose of instruction or other activities. (Ephesians 6:4) For example, our congregations do not provide or sponsor orphanages, Sunday schools, sports clubs, day-care centers, youth groups, or other activities that separate children from their parents.
While this is true, it raises the question: Why are there so many cases of child sexual abuse per capita within the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses versus churches where these practices do exist?
- Elders strive to treat victims of child abuse with compassion, understanding, and kindness. (Colossians 3:12) As spiritual counselors, the elders endeavor to listen carefully and empathetically to victims and to console them. (Proverbs 21:13; Isaiah 32:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; James 1:19) Victims and their families may decide to consult a mental-health professional. This is a personal decision.
This may be the case some of the time, but published evidence has shown that it is often not so. The ARC encouraged the Organization to include qualified sisters in the process, but this recommendation was rejected.
- Elders never require victims of child abuse to present their accusation in the presence of the alleged abuser. However, victims who are now adults may do so, if they wish. In addition, victims can be accompanied by a confidant of either gender for moral support when presenting their accusation to the elders. If a victim prefers, the accusation can be submitted in the form of a written statement.
The first statement is a lie. The evidence is public that elders have often required a victim to face her accuser. Remember, this position paper is being put forward as a “long standing and well published” position. Point 9 amounts to a new policy position, but it is too little too late to save the Organization from the PR nightmare that is currently plaguing Jehovah’s Witnesses in North America, Europe, and Asia.
- 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 correct, but we should be concerned by what is not said. First, it states that the “Scriptural investigation…is purely a religious proceeding…[that is]…limited to the issue of membership”. So if a man rapes a child and then repents, and is thus allowed to continue to remain a member, albeit with some limitations restricting his future privileges…that’s it? That’s what the judicial case is all about? Even that would be acceptable if what followed was a directive from the Governing Body in print to the effect that the matter should then be reported to the superior authorities in compliance with Romans 13:1-5. Remember, we are told that this is a Scripturally based position!
Stating that “The elders’ handling of an accusation of child abuse is not a replacement for the authorities’ handling of the matter”, is merely a statement of fact. What an excellent opportunity has been missed for instructing the elders categorically that Romans 13:1-4 (cited in the paragraph) requires them to report the matter.
- If it is determined that one guilty of child sexual abuse is repentant and will remain in the congregation, restrictions are imposed on the individual’s congregation activities. The individual will be specifically admonished by the elders not to be alone in the company of children, not to cultivate friendships with children, or display any affection for children. In addition, elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individual.
This paragraph contains another lie. I do not know if it is now the policy—perhaps revealed in some recent letter to the bodies of elders—that “elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with” a known pedophile, but I can state that this was not the policy as recently as 2011. Recall that this document is being put forward as a long-standing position. I remember the five-day elders’ school in that year in which the issue of child sexual abuse was considered at length. We were directed to monitor a known pedophile who moved into the congregation, but especially told not to inform parents. I raised my hand to ask for clarification on that point, asking if we should inform all the parents with small children at least. I was told by the organization’s representatives that we do not warn people, but simply monitor the pedophile ourselves. The idea seemed ridiculous to me at the time, since the elders are busy and have their own lives to lead and thus have no time nor capability to properly monitor anyone. Hearing this, I determined that were a pedophile to move into my congregation, I would take it upon myself to warn all the parents of the potential danger, and damn the consequences.
As I said before, this may now be a new policy. If someone is aware of a recent letter to the bodies of elders in which this is stated, please share the information with us in the comments section below. Nevertheless, it certainly has not been a long-standing position. Again, we must be mindful of the fact that the oral law always overrides the written one.
The assurance that the situation has being dealt with by the elders through some admonishments and counsel given to the pedophile is laughable. Pedophilia is more than a misstep. It is a pychological condition, a perversion of the psyche. God has given such ones over to a “disapproved mental state.” (Romans 1:28) On occasion, true repentance is possible, sure, but it cannot be dealt with by a simple slap-on-the-hand admonishment from the elders. Aesop’s Fable of The Farmer and the Viper, as well as the more recent fable of The Scorpion and the Frog show us the danger that is inherent in trusting someone whose nature has turned to this type of evil.
In the absence of an all-encompassing policy paper detailing precisely what elders should do to protect children in the congregation and properly deal with known and alleged child sexual abusers, we must consider this “position paper” to be little more than a public relations attempt at spin in an effort to deal with an ever increasing scandal in the media.
For an alternative treatment of this Position Paper, see this post.
One issue I have with this JW position document is that the so-called ‘two witness rule’ is not mentioned. Even if their stance has now shifted on some things which I would be surprised about. As others have commented it seems it was carefully crafted by lawyers. As such there is plenty of room to avoid what most people would understand should happen. For instance do they view one accusation from the victim that a crime may have been committed as a reportable crime? Legally they could argue that a crime has not been committed until the person is convicted… Read more »
Wriggle wriggle. The document just wriggles. Clearly the GB want someone to tell them exactly what is expected so that they do not have to work out what is right and wrong. Is that not the attitude that has run down to Circuit Overseers and Elders ? Brother Jackson, before the ARC, cannot state in clear terms that he considers the GB to be the F & DS. Why not ? On page 15935 of the report Brother Jackson says “This is how the Governing Body views their role, what they try to do”. He then cites Matthew 24 45-6.… Read more »
I want to thank everyone here for all the great comments and Meleti for all his great articles along with the rest of the crew, Tadua, and big E too. So with that being said, I feel the need for a prayer and here it goes: “Almighty and Gracious Father, We give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labor of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief for all who are in need, to the… Read more »
Perhaps you could take a moment to answer the burning question that has been haunting me for days:
Who is “big E” ?
Slapping a PDF on JW.ORG which can only be located through the search engine (at least this was my experience) is the definition of ‘burying the lead.’ Nobody even blinked when this announcement was made at the meeting last week. Nobody thinks it’s a big deal. Nor will they. They fully trust the policies of the organization even if their transparency is absolutely murky. There’s some big media stories in the pipe – expect propaganda against ‘Satan’s Media’ to ramp up this Summer in preparation. What bugs me is how skeezy everything is. There’s always some level of deception and… Read more »
That is how you know those words were written by lawyers, not by Christians who were actually dedicated to the truth. Someone should tell WT you can’t be “IN the truth” unless you TELL the truth.
Hmm … do you suppose that’s too subtle?
3. …If you were to hear the screens of a woman being raped – Spelling – screams
Thanks Charlie. Fixed.
Thank you Meleti, this is good stuff. The commentary on the Orgs position paper can be used to help others by demonstrating the insensitive, unrepentant and unloving response the Organisation has to child abuse. It is a gift in a way because it builds on the case against the Org and keeps the topic fresh for generating more questions and more discussion with those who still need help. My wife finally got through to one of her friends only last week, who she encouraged to look in to the Royal commission and soon after she messaged back, with a bold… Read more »
“The elders do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the authorities”, WT’s quote Incorrect, by breaking reporting laws elders shielded sexual child abusers. This was brought out by the ARC, Royal Commission. In some provinces, I believe Victoria is one, mandatory reporting of a crime is required by citizens. Therefore WT was informed before that commission elders broke criminal laws by not reporting known incidents of sexual child abuse. Also, in other countries clergy members are mandated reporters. WT did not always report in those other countries either when required by law. Furthermore, WT is not complying with… Read more »
It is common practice for WT to blame “lies” and “slander” and “propaganda” on “apostates”. Funny thing is, WT *never* provides concrete evidence, such as names, dates, places, examples of documents, web sites or other verifiable information to back up those attacks on “apostates”. (You ought to do a search on WT Library for the word “propaganda”. You would be AMAZED how many times they have used this accusation over the years. As they say, it takes one to know one.) In contrast, look at the anti-WT sites, and almost all of them (with an admitted few exceptions) cite specific… Read more »
Was it not Charles Taze Russell who stated that truth is truth even if it comes from Satan. On this basis, I agree with you, that if opposing sites are lying, then such lies should be exposed. Of course it may be quite hard to find those lies. So it is a shame to the GB that such lies cannot be found .
In my undergrad chemistry class, we had a formal lab section with a lab instructor, who was quite rigorous in their teaching methods. One point they made was that if we were answering some chemistry question orally, we couldn’t just state the answer, but we had to explain it. Why? The teacher’s answer: “If you can’t explain it, you don’t know it.” I feel the same standard applies to WT. If they can’t explain and prove how and why “apostate” sites are actually wrong, with independently verifiable evidence, they don’t know it for a fact, and should not go around… Read more »
“Don’t just sing it, Bring it”. Excellent reasoning Robert.
As Robert says, much of this is written by lawyers.
“The elders do not” simply states the position now, not last year or ten years ago. Whether it is a statement of policy is very much open to question, as it is possible to over ride it with “terms and conditions”.
It is what GB would like to be the position, but may be subject to change when some elder contacts the legal desk.
Looks definitely like it is written by lawyers.
Good job Meleti. I hope before long true justice is served. Dear Brothers and Sisters, if you would give me some latitude for a moment and hear me out: the organization was never God’s organization. The best lies ever told have some truth and that’s exactly what they gave us in the beginning, some truth, and we simply thought that everything after that was truth as well; but as we are seeing, these men or people are not from God. I, and like many of you brothers and sisters, might have for some time felt that something was wrong but… Read more »
LS, I couldn’t possibly agree more. Except for one thing: You AREN’T a Lone Survivor. You are with us now.
We will survive together.
LS…. I think I’ll print your comment out and stick it on my fridge. You’ve summed it all up perfectly. This bit: ‘the organization was never God’s organization. ‘ This is how I’ve been feeling for a while now, and the realisation that this organisation is nothing more than a part of Christendom is sobering, but freeing at the same time. I was christened as a baby into the Church of England. My parents made a point of having my name taken off the records of that church when they became JWs in the early 60’s because of the command… Read more »
Martha Martha you make a valid point, one that I remember well as when it struck me and sunk in, left me quite taken aback. The Org is just another one of those religions we used to rag on and Jehovah and Jesus never have had anything to do with the Org. Difficult to stifle feelings of wanting to take a swipe back in some way. I am waiting to see what the fall out if any from the privacy rules and I am thinking the same, to retrieve our records, and in some way register a vote of no… Read more »
MarthaMartha, you raise an interesting scenario. By law you have the right to request your records. The Organization might also have the right to consider your request to have your name removed as grounds for loss of membership. However, I think that the additional step they take of requiring all family and friends to shun you goes beyond revoking membership and encroaches on violating your human rights. In addition, the disassociation amounts to a powerful intimidation tactic to keep people from exercising their lawful right to have their data removed. They are effectively punishing anyone who wants to take advantage… Read more »
Hello Martha, I don’t think I have ever replied to you personally before. You said that asking for your records to be removed “will likely be taken as a declaration of disassociation”. I say, let them make the first move in that direction, if they are going to. Here is my advice to you; I hope this is helpful. 1. Inform your congregation that, in accordance with the law and for personal reasons, you do not want any personal information retained by any agency of WT. Ask them in plain English to have all records removed and returned to you.… Read more »
Hello Robert, Thank you for that comprehensive plan of action! ? I’ll keep it all in mind. My husband still attends meetings and our plan is to test the waters by asking for my record cards after 31 May when the new law comes into force,using the argument you mentioned that it is law that I have the right to all data held on me. We’ll see how that goes down. I’m not planning to make a big fuss. We can’t afford to start a court action even though as Meleti said, , there would seemingly be ground for that… Read more »
You’re welcome Martha. Those are just my opinions, and you will have to use your own judgment as to what will work the best for you. I do have one thing to add. Somewhere there is a guide that was leaked, that gave the elders instructions on how to handle ‘difficult’ publishers that were reluctant to sign away their rights. They are supposed to come up to such people and ask them, “Can I answer any questions?” By saying this, they want to put you on the defensive, and make you justify your decision. In doing so, it will cause… Read more »
Good one Robert, I got a nice laugh from that. At this point I would use the tactic I learned in the military and that is to admit nothing, deny everything and make counter accusations just like your question suggests. lol.
A good move. It will be interesting to see their reaction, and to my similar request.
Thanks Meleti, nice job in breaking it down in bite size format. Love the Uzzah acct. Well this is what happens when lawyers get involved!! Instead of allowing common sense to prevail from the get go. To Protect lthe Organisations Reputation ( indirectly Jehovah’s name) at all cost, is costing them dearly. That’s what those old oral laws were about. That’s my view as I understood decades ago, we never took brothers to court, even if you were defrauded of money. Everything was dealt with in-house. This is not how the God of Justice is. James 1:27. Isaiah 10:1-2 :… Read more »
In answer to your question about, “What about the neighbors?”, I give you this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ9DqHB5dUA
Thanks Meleti, so a failure then in obeying the second command , in at least this respect. The Elders face and response says it all.
I remember watching this in the middle of the night, and going cold seeing the look on the elder’s face. It was a defining moment in my waking up.
A true friend is one that lets his grass grow as tall as his neighbor’s.
If you find yourself in a hole the first thing to do is stop digging.
All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.
So now I’m fascinated with ‘The Uzzah Presumption.’
Thanks you for this detailed discussion. I more and more see the problem with our teachings and policies. It’s a web of complicated doctrines and policies and it’s easy to get lost. I don’t feel hate against the Gb. If anything I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes, trying to clean up all this mess. I don‘t really think they’re especially evil or something, just that the problem is that no human(s) should have that much power over 8 million people. It’s the extreme loyalty to policies and oral law thats the problem, rather than simply using our Bible… Read more »
Think about this. Those members of the GB claim they are born again, anointed. They also claim there are thousands of other JWs that are anointed. That’s what they believe. But they also believe these two things: Only GB members can accurately interpret scripture, and all other Witnesses must follow every interpretation the GB makes, including all the other members WT considers born again. And they also believe, God’s spirit bore witness with their spirit, but God doesn’t contact people in our day. I’m not their judge, but based on scripture they are apparently in a very dangerous position. It’s… Read more »
Even when men really DO come from God, they can still be wrong. In Galatians 2:11-14, Paul confronted Peter about his hypocritically pretending to “fit in” with Jews while other times eating with Gentiles. Peter was chosen by Christ himself, and yet Peter was wrong. Even good men – men who have received divine approval and spiritual gifts – can be wrong. If Paul, also chosen directly by Christ, could question another apostle about the rightness of his course, why does the GB, mere men so much lower than Paul and Peter, feel it necessary to shun and expel any… Read more »
“Even when men really DO come from God, they can still be wrong” Apostle Peter was never wrong in the same sense WT is. Peter was merely wrong in the same sense everyone except Christ is sometimes wrong. Paul was wrong that way too, so was John, James and the rest of Christ’s followers. As are you and I. What Peter, James, John, and I don’t do is make up rules and controversial interpretations while claiming those come from God and insist all Christ’s followers must follow those; and also insist those not following our so called God revealed rules… Read more »
The main difference is that when godly men in the Bible were shown they were wrong, they were sorry.
I have heard, read, and had it explained to me many times over how “humble” the GB members are.
Well, here are three things the “humble” GB members and WT itself never say:
1. I don’t know.
2. I was wrong.
3. I’m sorry.
There is a BOE letter dated 9/1/2017 that says elders should only inform parents of minors at the direction of the Service Dept. (letter can be accessed from avoidjw.org) Either there has been a more recent change to this policy or the child protection document is misleading by stating that “elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individual” without also stating that this is only done in certain cases.
Thanks Maxwell. I think you nailed it. They are again stating a half-truth with a view to imparting a false picture.