Abolish religious law that allow Jehovah's Witnesses to make it open season for pedophiles
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Thousands of children are in constant risk of not only being raped. But also undergoing mental health issues in the future due to the fact that their family will either deem them liars or completely cut contact with the victim for the rest of their life.
The below will explain the connection between why child abuse has become one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisational trademarks, how their interpretation of a Biblical quote makes it incredibly easy for a crime to be committed without consequence and how their shunning practice allows it to continue with each generation.
The shunning process, otherwise known as 'disfellowshipping' is when a baptised individual is completely cut off by everyone they have ever known, following on from a dispute that the elders of the congregation decide that they are bad association. A person as young as 6 years old can be influenced to be baptised. To be clear, this can happen for several reasons including the follwing:
1) If an individual chooses to take a look at a document that encourages critical thinking in terms of their religion and other belief systems.
2) If they have a conversation with anybody who is disfellowshipped.
3) If they promote the facts of their own experiences which put the religion in a bad light.
4) Asking too many questions regarding Bible scriptures in order to find out why they can be seen as contradictory.
Let’s brake down the above points:
1) It is taught within this religion that every piece of literature that is not published from their headquarters cannot be trusted. Often what can clearly be seen as fact in external documents, is in fact dubbed as an outright lie that the Devil himself is manipulating in order to steer God’s only chosen people, the Jehovah’s Witnesses off course into a life of sin. This of course means that most of its members do not have access to the full picture of what happens behind closed doors and cannot even make an informed decision of if this is the right lifestyle for them, based on the entirety of the truth. For instance, it is common that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the 2015 Australian Royal Commission enquiry into the 1006 cases of pedophiles within their congregations that were not reported once to the authorities - is actually a fabrication of the truth. When prompted with the fact that these reports actually came from their own records, they simply refer to Bible teachings that say that Satan himself controls the media, court systems and governments and wants to paint God’s people in a false light. Furthermore, the leaders of these congregations do not attempt to approach the matter to its members with transparency, even though they themselves know where these documented child abuse cases originated from.
2) In my personal opinion, an educated Jehovah’s Witness is an Ex-Jehovah’s Witness. A lot of these people that have gone through the ordeal of being cast out of their social circle have come to realise that them being deemed as ‘bad association’ was nothing more than the elders starting to recognise that their metaphorical eyes were beginning to open. Imagine in any University degree that your lecturer is teaching you only in the eyes of his own personal findings and that you are prohibited to research into any external literature that may potentially contradict it. You are told that he has eyes everywhere and if you are found to be consulting with somebody from another class, you will have your privileges revoked so that you may never attend any university in the world and will never gain a higher qualification. Now imagine the complete opposite situation in where you have to engage in critical thinking throughout your course and cross reference facts and opinions with a presented backed-up argument. Which student do you think will have a better understanding and broader knowledge of the subject? Most people would answer the latter. In the same way, the ‘less educated’ people who follow the rules of this religion are being manipulated to the means that they cannot possibly seek or even listen to ‘higher education’. The only difference is that the above example restricts an individual from gaining an educational degree, whereas in the real world they are threatened with death for themselves and their children. This is one of the ways that make it possible for over 8 million people to be unknowingly trapped inside an invisible prison without the luxury of visitation.
3) In general, sharing past events can bring happiness, knowledge for others, closure and everything in between. Though it is possible that this is not the case for you if you are someone who belongs to the Jehovah’s Witness faith. For instance, in the early stages of a child coming forward to these religious elders about a congregation member that has sexually abused them, it is more often than not discouraged for them to escalate the matter to the authorities for fear that it would “bring reproach on Jehovah’s name” – A phrase that is widely used in several possible situations. In some cases, empathetic and level headed elders will in fact follow up the matter with the perpetrator and possibly the authorities. Though generally, this is not done. The lack of action also includes referrals to mental health professionals, which of course can create a butterfly effect for the victim to spiral out of control of their own life in the future, which in turn puts themselves at risk as well as walking on thin ice to be disfellowshipped if they open up about their past to the wrong person. In most cases of child sexual abuse, the ordeal is kept within one mind (or one congregation) until that one mind grows into adulthood. When the facts present themselves, it is common that these religious elders will not get involved in any way in terms of providing statements to authorities and helping to bring justice to the perpetrator and clarity to the victim – Even if they know information that they know cannot be verified elsewhere. From an outside perspective, the reason behind this lack of action could be construed as the corporation avoiding legal action as well as a negative light being shed on them by the media, both which would cost them financial resources. From an inside perspective, the number one priority of any situation is protecting Jehovah’s name and converting as many people as possible to the faith. This very article is being written by a baptised member of this faith who is choosing to distance himself from the organisation and bring to light their ongoing problems. These words are grounds for the disfellowshipping process to take place without my knowledge or consent.
4) Within all religions that claim to follow the Bible, there is no doubt that controversy arises due to its contradictory documentation and forever changing interpretations of it. Taking all of the above information in this article into consideration, it should be clear to you by now that the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses adapt their lifestyle and thought patterns around what is taught to them, even if that includes an unhealthy upbringing for their children. Some would go as far to say that they constantly undergo what is known as cognitive dissonance when their beliefs are challenged. For the few of them that extensively do their own research within the Bible and cross reference scriptures (and therefore teachings), they will find inconsistencies in what they are being told. If a person appears to be unsatisfied with the basic answers to their complex questions and continues to return to the elders with their concerns, it is usually met with opposition and blame that the individual is ‘spiritually weak’. Sometimes congregation privileges are taken away from them as punishment. Understandably, this may raise further concerns with the curious individual and prompt them to seek out truth. Even if the elders have no proof that this person has broken the rules by exploring external research, they can usually tell with the language or ideas that are being presented to them. The result of this hunch is ex-communication.
Now that you have some context of what the possible outcomes are for the search for justice and displaying curiosity within this organisation, let’s rewind and tackle the seemingly bizarre reason of why this article has the heading that it does:
The internal members of this society refer to their faith as “the truth” – It is ironic that they do so for the reason being that in their leader’s eyes, the truth is subjective. So why is it so easy for predators to sexually abuse children without consequence? Quite simply, one of the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses is that there has to be at least 2 witnesses to a crime for it to be taken as truth and action to be taken. Conveniently, this teaching is not applied to a case where a member is accused of conducting external research, hence making him or her a risk to educate others on their findings. However, this principle is indeed applied to any child or adult that approaches the elders and accuses somebody of sexually abusing them. As you can imagine, it is extremely rare that a pedophile will abuse a child in a place that is not private and has the possibility of somebody witnessing the event. The ramifications of this groups' door to door work and their teachings on this Bible rule will undoubtedly continue to attract sexual predators because they know that they can act without consequence.
There are plenty of governmental laws throughout time that have been abolished because they are outdated and not applicable to the current climate, as well as other reasons. Yet this organisation causes, escalates and hides unspeakable crimes that are being permitted and in turn stunt the growth of children and future generations, because of their interpretation of two sentences from a book that was written by unconfirmed authors thousands of years ago. Where is the logic?
If laws were put in place for:
1) Religious elders needing to report to the authorities of any child sexual abuse that they have heard of even by a single witness.
2) The disfellowshipping process of a former member was made illegal.
The results would be:
1) Every child sexual assault would be known to the authorities, hence investigations being made and protecting further children, both inside and outside of these congregations.
2) Family members would not resort to the burden of shunning their own family members out of fear of being shunned themselves - This in turn would promote truth and information being shared freely on matters that may in fact protect children still in and out of the congregation.
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