[pullquote]Keep in mind that the branch office, not the local body of elders, determines whether one who has sexually abused a child is considered a known child molester. – Watchtower letter to the elders[/pullquote] Those who are sensible and spiritually mature realize, of course, that it is not just literal orphans and fatherless boys who deserve special protection. All children are vulnerable to cunning child predators. And the world has sunk to such a depraved state child sexual predators are proliferating.
And the case can be made that the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses are especially vulnerable. That is because in a congregational setting children are in close association with a lot of men. And children and adults are even encouraged to mingle and “associate” with each other. And all are trained to respect the elders and ministerial servants, since they have been appointed by holy spirit.
It is well known that child predators slyly groom their intended victims over a period of time in order to win the trust of both the parent(s) and the child. It seems that the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses are an ideal setting for pedophiles to operate. But the environment is made even worse by the Watchtower’s policy of secrecy. As Bill Bowen of Silent Lambs put it some years ago: The organization is a pedophiles’ paradise.
While most men are not sexual predators, if there is just one animalistic individual among the flock all the lambs are in peril. And if Bethel knowingly allows a pedophile to lurk without alerting parents in the congregations, then that is a huge problem and a gross breech of their fiduciary responsibility.
The question really comes down to this: How valuable is the life and wellbeing of a single child? What do you suppose Jesus Christ would say in answer to that question?
“ALL THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH ARE BEING SHAKEN”
Returning to the 82nd Psalm, Jehovah says of those in the “divine assembly”: “They do not know, nor do they understand; they are walking about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are being shaken.”
As the rationale for their policy of secrecy the Watchtower claims that their primary concern is to protect Jehovah’s name from reproach. Truly, they do not understand. They are in darkness.
Obviously the Watchtower’s now-public record of mishandling of child abuse has brought tremendous reproach on the name of God —far more reproach than the actual crimes committed by the pedophiles. After all, God places the weight of responsibility to protect his flock on the shepherds, not the sheep.
So, when the lawyers representing the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses go on public record to say that Christian elders have no fiduciary duty to protect children from the crimes of a congregant; or when Bethel informs the bodies of elders that it reserves to itself the right to appoint men to the office of overseer who may seem upright but whom they know have committed crimes against children, they have reproached the name of God in a way that no one else can.
What does it mean that they have caused the foundations of earth to be shaken?
All human societies on earth are founded upon basic concepts of justice. Certainly Christianity is founded upon the very justice of God, in that, he gave his only Son as a ransom to pay the sin of Adam. As the questioner noted, communities throughout the United States have sex offender registries. There is even a national sex offender registry (NSOPW) run by the United States Department of Justice.
It is truly shocking that those who bear the name of Jehovah before the world have used their godlike powers to pervert justice and oppress those whom God has charged them to protect.Their outrageous contempt for God’s law has indeed caused the very foundations of the “earth” to be shaken.
Returning to the 82nd Psalm the concluding verse read: “I have said, ‘You are gods, all of you are sons of the Most High. But you will die just as men do; and like any other prince you will fall!’ Rise up, O God, and judge the earth, for all the nations belong to you.”
The “divine assembly” before Jehovah is the anointed congregation, concerning which Paul wrote to the Ephesians, are sitting in heavenly places. That is why they are called “sons of the Most High” — having been adopted as his sons.
In Revelation Jesus is said to walk among seven lamp stands, which symbolize the congregations. But within some of those congregations are wicked individuals. Balaam and Jezebel are named as corrupting influences. There is also a sect of Nicolaus, which Jesus hates.
The coming judgment of God will commence within this “divine assembly.” As an expression of God’s disapproval all the sons of God, referred to as “princes,” will fall. God will remove his spirit so that they die, spiritually — ultimately, some quite literally in the second death.
The eighth chapter of Daniel speaks to this, where it says with respect to the last king: “It grew so great that it reached all the way to the army of the heavens, and it caused some of the army and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down. It exalted itself even against the Prince of the army, and from him the constant feature was taken away, and the established place of his sanctuary was thrown down.”
In keeping with the aforementioned, the “stars” of the “army of the heavens” represent the anointed who have a place in heaven. The “sanctuary” is Christ’s congregation — the “divine assembly.”
The prophecy of Zephaniah, which finds its ultimate fulfillment during the fiery day of Jehovah, similarly indicates that God operates within a grouping of men who are princes and priests, but who do violence to the law, ultimately betraying him and proving unfaithful. Zephaniah 3:3-5 states: “Her princes within her are roaring lions. Her judges are wolves in the night; they do not leave even a bone to gnaw until morning. Her prophets are insolent, treacherous men. Her priests defile what is holy; they do violence to the law. Jehovah is righteous in her midst; he does no wrong. Morning by morning he makes known his judgments, as unfailing as the daylight. But the unrighteous one knows no shame.”
When the Watchtower makes abused children their adversaries at law, can it not rightly be said of them that they “know no shame”?
Isaiah also foretells the judgment of the princes under the Prince of princes, where God says: “Your first forefather sinned, and your own spokesmen have rebelled against me. So I will profane the princes of the holy place, and I will give Jacob over to destruction and subject Israel to insulting words.” – Isaiah 43
Certainly, we have a recent demonstration of one of “your own spokesmen” lying before the Australian Royal Commission. Here is an excerpt taken from the Daily Commentary from August 21, 2015.
Like their ancient counterparts – Israel and Judah – the Watchtower organization simply refuses to acknowledge any error or make amends for the damage that it has wrought. If anything the leadership of the organization is becoming more entrenched, devious and stubborn.
That was painfully evident in the testimony a representative of the Governing Body recently gave to the Australian Royal Commission public inquiry into the Watchtower’s child abuse policies.
Under oath Goffrey Jackson told the Commission that it would be much easier if Australia would just simply pass a law requiring ministers to report crimes against children, because Jackson claimed that Christian elders are bound by the Scriptures not to overstep their authority in such private matters. He was implying, though, that if there was a law in place that required them to report such crimes, that would solve their “spiritual dilemma,” as he called it. If compelled by law then elders could then set aside the scriptural principles that they claimed prevented them from reporting a crime committed against a child by one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (To read the transcript of the Governing Body member’s testimony download PDF – Transcript-(Day-155)
Of course, Jackson was lying.
For one thing, elders do not make the decision. Since the late 80’s all elders are under strict orders by Bethel that whenever a report of child abuse comes to their attention they are to do one thing and one thing only: They are to pick up a telephone and dial Bethel’s Legal Department hotline. The Watchtower’s lawyers will then advise the elders whether to report the crime or not. And their determination is apparently based upon whether or not the legal authorities in that particular jurisdiction require it. If no law requires them to report, then Bethel forbids elders from reporting crimes committed against the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses. That is why of the 1,006 crimes the WT has on their records not one was reported to the police, because Australia does not require it.
So, contrary to what Goffrey Jackson told the Royal Commission of inquiry, Jehovah’s Witnesses elders are not restrained from reporting crimes because of their adherence to Bible principles. They are prevented from doing so by the Watchtower’s Legal Department.
To be clear, if an elder neglected to obey the guidelines of the lawyers and acted upon his own in notifying the police, he would more or less be immediately removed from serving as an elder.
While the Australian Royal Commission may be bamboozled by such flimflam, we may be sure that Jehovah is not. Just as there is a penalty in the human realm for lying under oath, there are also consequences for playing false to God. While it is unclear if Jackson will be charged with perjury, not that it would matter in the universal scheme of things, we may expect Jehovah’s heavenly court to address such matters in the near future when this present system implodes.