- The Watchtower and it's Duplicity Regarding the Abuse of Children
- Does the Watchtower Society Protect Pedophiles From the Authorities?
- Do Jehovah's Witnesses Think Molesting a Boy is a "Homosexual Sin"
The Watch Tower Society continues to speak out of both sides of its mouth regarding the subject of child abuse with Kingdom Halls around the world.
For the protection of our children, a man known to have been a child molester does not qualify for a responsible position in the congregation. Moreover, he cannot be a pioneer or serve in any other special, full-time service.—Compare the principle at Exodus 21:28, 29. [emphasis mine] - Watchtower, 1997. 1/1 p. 29 Let Us Abhor What Is WickedThis seems fairly straightforward:
- within the pages of the public-facing literature of Jehovah's Witnesses, in this case the Watchtower magazine, the Governing Body publish a statement whereby they assure everyone that men known to have been a child molester do not qualify to serve in responsible positions
- let's imagine that "responsible positions" include the office of overseer, or elder
- let's imagine that "responsible positions" include serving as a Ministerial Servant
- let's imagine that the man is not currently abusing children, but at some point in his past he did
- let's form the conclusion that this man would not now, or ever, qualify (i.e "does not qualify") for the "responsible position" of elder or Ministerial Servant in the congregation(s) of Jehovah's Witnesses
So, the public position of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, as espoused within the publicly distributed pages of the Watchtower magazine is clear.
However, is the Governing Body consistent in this position, or does it have other standards when the audience isn't the public, but is instead the elders who govern over the local congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses?
In 2010 the Watch Tower Society, as directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, published a book called "Shepherd the Flock of God". This book is intended for the following limited audience;
From the introduction to the book "Shepherd the Flock", used here under "fair use" principles.
As you can see, this publication is not for the public, or even the "rank and file" Jehovah's Witness. It's for elders only.
The Watch Tower Society is fairly dogmatic that only elders get to see this book;
From the letter to all Bodies of Elders, dated October 7th 2010 used here under "fair use" principles.
Again, only elders are to see and use this book. In other words, it's possible that the Watch Tower Society, under the direction of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, could issue policy updates and procedural amendments that would superseded those published in public-facing magazines such as the Watchtower, and the public - along with "rank and file" Jehovah's Witnesses would never know about it.
Now, remember the public position the Watch Tower Society, under the direction of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, has taken on the issue of men known to have been child abusers being appointed to any position of responsibility? Decide for yourself whether this statement tallies;
"Shepherd the Flock of God" page 38, used here under "fair use" principles.
We've gone from the public statement....
For the protection of our children, a man known to have been a child molester does not qualify for a responsible position in the congregation. Moreover, he cannot be a pioneer or serve in any other special, full-time service.—Compare the principle at Exodus 21:28, 29. [emphasis mine] - Watchtower, 1997. 1/1 p. 29 Let Us Abhor What Is Wicked....to the private policy that it's likely a man who has abused children will be disqualified from the position he already holds. Ignoring the fact that the Watch Tower Society does not background check anyone who is appointed to a position of trust or authority, background checks that would surely alert the organisation to convicted child molesters in their midst, elders are told that it's only likely an already appointment man who later confesses to abusing children would be disqualified.
And even then, it's not a strike out for the man;
He's only likely to be disqualified but this policy allows for reappointment to a "responsible position" in the future.
Why the duplicity? Why say one thing to the public and "rank and file" Witnesses, but publish another thing in the secret hand book only given to elders?
Jehovah's Witnesses, how comfortable are you with these policies? How comfortable are you in your Kingdom Hall knowing that there could be men serving as Ministerial Servants or elders who have, in their past, abused children? How comfortable are you with the knowledge that even if they confessed these crimes to the other elders they wouldn't automatically be precluded from continuing to hold that position of trust and authority, and that they may re-qualify in the future?
Jehovah's Witnesses, remember, these policies are contained in the "spiritual food" provided by the "faithful and discreet slave" class and its representative Governing Body. And that same Governing Body claims that it alone on earth today speaks for Jehovah God himself, a group of men who claim that they need to be recognised and obeyed in order for you and your children to receive eternal life.
Are you happy with that?