Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Anonymous Combats The Watchtower Society

Anonymous has taken aim at the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses for their policies of secrecy concerning child abusers in that religion. They are also upset about the Watchtower Society practice of allowing and even encouraging known sexual predators to represent the religion in their door to door ministry. This means that they are also negligently putting the public in danger in addition to their own children.

They have produced several videos about this. It appears that they are in the process of trying to hack the official Watchtower websites. They also want to obtain the extensive list of known child abusers that is thought to be kept at Watchtower headquarters. It is thought that some of these known pedophiles are serving in positions of authority as congregation elders or ministerial servants.

The Watchtower Society claims that known child abusers are never allowed to serve in positions of authority. However, private correspondence to the elders shows that they are only referring to people who are known to be child abusers by the congregation or the community. Since they try very hard to keep these cases secret, it is likely that many elders and ministerial servants have a history of child abuse that is known by the Watchtower Society, but unknown by their congregations.

It will be very interesting to see how this develops. Although I'm not able to condone illegal activity, a revealing of Watchtower secrets could pressure the Watchtower Society to reform their dangerous policies and could help to protect many children in the future.

In any case, I'm grateful that awareness of this serious problem is becoming more common outside of the Ex-Jehovah's Witness community. I hope this will either result in change or a decline of the Watchtower Society's influence.

See also this discussion about Anonymous.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Protecting Children Is In The Public Interest

As you may have already heard, the Watchtower Society has gotten into trouble for multiple violations of the Working With Children Act in Australia. For years, they have refused to comply with the law that requires that their ministers get background checks. They have finally begun to comply with the law, but they are still liable for numerous violations over a period of several years.

The authorities in Australia have been reluctant to enforce this law. However, Mr. Steven Unthank has initiated a private prosecution of the Watchtower Society and related corporate entities. This private prosecution has overcome numerous hurdles, including several hearings. There was the hope the the state would take over the prosecution soon.

Now, Mr. Steven Unthank has received word that the Director of Public Prosecutions is interested in taking over the cases “for the purpose of discontinuing them.” It was suggested that prosecuting these cases is "not in the public interest".

I'm dumbfounded that prosecuting individuals and corporations for crimes against children could be considered as "not in the public interest".

I have emailed the Director and tried to convey my disgust over his stand.

A law that isn't enforced is worthless. The children of Australia have a right to be protected by this law. It's a shame that the government has so far avoided its responsibility to protect the children.

It's interesting that the progress so far has been primarily the result of the actions of a single individual who has been doing the work that should be done by the government. I'm amazed that they are willing to drop the cases at this late date after much of the work has already been done and after it has already received international attention and scrutiny.

The world is watching. I hope they will make the courageous decision that protecting children is in the public interest.

See also, this blog post and this discussion.