Jehovah’s Witnesses “will comply with mandatory reporting of child abuse”

A representative of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia stated in Royal Commission hearing that the organization “will comply with mandatory reporting obligations when they learn about sexual abuse crimes against children in their congregation.”

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is now into the middle of its second week of hearings. During its investigation it has heard that the Watchtower Society’s Australian Branch has recorded an average of one child abuse allegation or more every month – but in the past 60 years has never reported a single incident to police.

Watchtower Australian Branch Office representative, Rodney Spinx

Watchtower Australian Branch Office representative, Rodney Spinks

Rodney Spinks, the manager of the Watchtower’s Australian branch service desk, admitted that they had always handled criminal matters internally and did not encourage their members or congregation elders to report incidents to police.

The branch service desk is the primary contact for Jehovah’s Witness elders requiring guidance when dealing with reports of child abuse in their congregations. Brother Spinks said their priority is the safety of the child and that elders are referred to Watchtower publications on the matter.

Royal Commission Chairman Peter McClellan

Royal Commission Chairman Peter McClellan

Spinks claimed that elders are advised in a handbook that they “should never suggest not reporting the allegation to police.” But Spinks also acknowledged they did not usually recommend that the victim or the elders should “directly report [incidents] to police.” This drew a comment from Commission Chair, Peter McClellan, who reminded Spinks that there were already mandatory reporting requirements when any serious crime had been committed.

Spinks said he had been made aware of this and in the future the Australian branch would support and comply with mandatory reporting in spite of individual religious beliefs held by individuals who might wish to not report. Spinks commented that if mandatory reporting guidelines were consistent and required in all Australian states, they would comply.

Commission member Angus Stewart

Commission member Angus Stewart

The Commission has heard that Jehovah’s Witnesses follow a biblical rule that a wrongdoing can only be proven when there are at least two witnesses. They also require that victims confront their abusers – even if they are children or fear reprisals.

Read the entire original news article here: Link

Several websites and YouTube channels are providing videos of the Royal Commission hearings including Barbara Anderson’s WatchtowerDocuments.org and on her website and by “Christian Sparlock’s” YouTube channel. Make some time to watch these engrossing and revealing sessions. They are unforgettable.

Also be aware that the Commission website has PDF and DOC downloads of all the session transcripts and wealth of previously secret confidential Watchtower letters and documents.

http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/case-study/636f01a5-50db-4b59-a35e-a24ae07fb0ad/case-study-29,-july-2015,-sydney.aspx

Local news and editorial about current Commission investigation.


Comments

Jehovah’s Witnesses “will comply with mandatory reporting of child abuse” — 21 Comments

  1. Thank God and AAWA for progress to justice and lovingkind treatment in the future. NO intimidations and molestations tolerated.

  2. They are so devious.

    “will comply with mandatory reporting obligations when they learn about sexual abuse
    crimes against children in their congregation.”

    Spinks commented that if mandatory reporting guidelines were consistent and required
    in all Australian states, they would comply.

    What this really means IF it is not mandatory they will not report it.

    I really doubt anything will change. They have their loophole and they will continue to use it.

      • So right- These people are worse than the world that they complain about. The world is better than they are. because jws are suppose to be Godly. The world is not. So that makes the watchtower a child molestation paradise.I am so ashamed of ever being a jw for 32 years. I look back at my life and say how did I stoop so low? Why did I let them take all my rights away from me? No education, now I live on a little social security. Catholic charitys heats my home in the winter. And to think how I condemmed them back when I was young.My kids ran away from home- They hated those meetings on Thursday nights.Standing in the hall way when pledge allegiance was done. Sit some where by themselves on Christmas. No birthdays for them- No nothing- I don’t blame all 4 from running away when they got 18. To this day they still will not speak to me or their mother. We are in our last 10 years of our life. And here we sit by ourselves. This is what a cult has to offer.Thank God for raising up you tube and the blessed apostates- I love them. They are my real sisters and brothers.

        • No the Australian govt is worse. They made a law that if care agencies made a report about child abuse on their immigrant island, they could go to jail for two years. It’s called The Border Force Act

    • I have to agree with statement about being devious. I suspect that they are employing the use of “theocratic warfare” about using the tactics of lying to those who they believe have no right to know info, in this case about their compliance with mandatory reporting child sexual abuse. How do they treat accusations where the 2 witness rule applies such as with children? With what I have read so far, WT is employing an appeasement program.

      • Something that I noticed when they were being sworn in was that they they held their new Bible but when asked to repeat the oath it said. I swear to Almighty God…” I have to wonder if that is another loophole for them. They are not saying “Jehovah God”. If they determine that “Almighty God” does not mean “Jehovah God” then their oath is worthless.

        • Good thought here I never thought about that. They are so sneaky that they make a snake look sick. A bunch of Jim Jones nut cases- All are nuts or zombies- Whatever name you chose fits them to a t.

  3. McClellan showed that Jehovah’s witnesses have been breaking the law by not reporting. Whilst there are no mandatory reporting laws for “accusations”, Watchtower process is different from most other churches in that the judicial committee process establishes that a crime has been committed. In such cases, the elders did have a legal obligation to report the crime.

    • They were not breaking the law. Religious clergy,deacons are not required to report. The commission was just trying to make JWs look bad so the public will get off the govt back about them threatening people not to report child abuse. Seriously they made a law saying Aid workers reporting child abuse on that immigrant island would go to jail.

      • Micah.

        The very first sentence says: “A representative of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia stated in Royal Commission hearing that the organization “will comply with mandatory reporting obligations when they learn about sexual abuse crimes against children in their congregation.” which means there IS a mandatory reporting requirement that they were NOT complying with. Read carefully.

        The entire Commission was investigating MANY groups, almost all of them religious that were not complying with the law. The Witnesses were not being singled out. The Witnesses were simply 29 out of 40 who were being investigated.

        Plus if it wasn’t against the law to not report then the entire Commission was illegal. Which it wasn’t.

        There are laws protecting children from sexual abuse because they are the most vulnerable and require help. This isn’t an attack on the Witnesses. it was inquiry into why over 1000 cases had not been reported. That is at the very least 1000 children who had been abused who got no help. Many of those children had to go home with their abusers who now knew they could do anything they wanted to their children and it would not be reported even if the child talked again. And the abusers know they are free to seek out other victims.

        Children need to be protected and when a child goes to any adult asking for help they deserve to get that help regardless of what religion they belong to.

  4. The interpretation of scripture to support their “two witness rule” seems quite convenient doesn’t it? I think its worth noting that in cases where the victim goes on their own to the police and the person is convicted, the perp will then be disfellowshiped from the congregation – regardless of whether or not there was two witnesses. In my experience, the saving of face and organizational prestige are primary motivators in policy formation. It is the appearance of being “clean or holy” that drives policy and decision making in far too many instances. What is needed is less “whitewashing” and more action to protect children. That and a recognition that police have the tools and training to actually investigate suspected crimes – not JW elders.

    • Now there is an interesting thought. They are not supposed to be investigating “crimes”. They are supposed to be investigating “sin”. If it isn’t a crime until the police get involved (in their minds) then there is no need to report. Another loophole. They just don’t get, or don’t want to understand, that the act of sexual abuse is a crime by the nature of the act, not the involvement of the police.

      Another loophole is that they would call the police if a non-Witness sexually abused a child like a neighbor or a teacher at school. But the Bible instruction to not take your brother to court would over-ride any requirement to report the offence to the police.

  5. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been legally obligated to report any felony act in the state of California for a few decades . All residents of the state have been under state law to report sexual offences , child abuses , etc. . . . including any resident elders , “brothers & sisters” , or anyone at all living in California . But somehow . . . the WTO thinks that their people living in California are exempt from the law of the land . But ! Don’t they teach that all of us Christians MUST comply with the law of the land ? Otherwise we would be breaking God’s law ! It’s quite a mess friends , isn’t it . It’s strange . They think that they are putting God’s law first by handling these crimes internally . . . in their tribunal judicial system , and they say to adhere to the law of the land . . . which states otherwise . I think that it’s a great thing that we have the Son of God looking over all of this . He will straighten things out just right ! But in the meantime , I think that the WTO is going to go through some very tough learning lessons . They are not really “Discreet” servants of Christ after all . . .

  6. I am in the UK and iam following all of this with great interest .This is the breakthrough I have waited 15 years for . Being disfellowshipped has meant that I have been separated from one of my children all that time . His father sexually abused 2 girls and myself .When elders were made aware of this every effort was made to hide these details and dumb down both my story and the children . The effect all of this has had has been mind blowing . please keep up the good work .

  7. I would say that if you have children and take them to a kingdumb hall, that if that child has to go to a rest room then you get right up and take them there and wait for that child to come out. Then take the child back to your seats. With all this in mind that these are the only people that will get into that new world.And yet you have to watch your kids while in this place of worship. In the new world these same elders will be in charge? Think about it.

    • I would say if you have children and live in Australia, you better move. 700 reports a day are called in for child abuse. The JWs are squeaky clean compared to rest of Australia. Sodom and Gomorrah, it needs to be blown up

  8. They are fooling no one.If they are so strong in following Deut. 19-15 about a 2 witness law how come 2 chapters later Deut 21-18-21 it says if a son is rebellious and will not obey his parents they are to take that child to the elders and the parents can participate in stoning him to death.? How can one scripture be all right but not the other. To sum it up I believe that they are all into this molesting children. Molesting children is just as bad as child porn. Its older men into this sickness. I believe they like it that way. Some elders in my neighborhood has resigned from the kingdom hall. They fear that they will also be in lawsuits. They cannot afford to payout money l8ike those seven old men in Brooklyn.

    • Let me see there were ,1000 cases of child abuse by now ex JWs since 1950. That’s one per month.Australia has 700 child abuse reports PER DAY and it’s the JWs with the problem? I don’t think so.

      • Wendy I think you misunderstood. There were 1000 cases of sexual abuse reported BY THE VICTIMS or their families, Many of those 1000 victims may still be Witnesses. But the number of perpetrators is not the same thing as the number of victims. Many abusers will have more than one victim. And since the 1000 cases were not reported many if not most of those abusers ARE STILL IN THE CONGREGATIONS! They are still sitting next to your child. Or offering to take them in service with them. Under the guise of friendship they still have access to innocent children. The elders won’t tell you who they are. The elders are busy protecting them. In fact some of them ARE elders. People Witnesses are told to trust.

        Do you want one of these abusers in your congregation, sitting beside your child or grandchild?

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