It’s been a while since I was able to check in.
I tried having a Holiday EXJW Secret Santa Spectacular but unfortunately real life got in the way a bit and it fell apart.
I am still planning Memorial on Memorial, which should be several events nationwide or internationally on the day of Jehovah’s Witnesses annual memorial (This year the date falls on Friday, April 19th, 2019.) Feel free to join the planning group, especially if you have lost loved ones to refusal of a blood transfusion or suicide.
In the meantime it’s important at the beginning of this year to recognize all the incredibly monumental things shaping up for this year. In a few short days on Feb 15th Sharon Tyson and Amber Sawyer will be protesting in Mississippi.
I expect that VAA will be updating more events on their calendar in no time.
In Kansas, Sheldon’s law is gaining overwhelming support. This piece of legislature was drafted in order to introduce mandated reporting statewide. It was named after a heroic young boy named Sheldon who despite surviving sexual abuse and the cover up by his local church has stood up to raise his voice alongside his family and demand justice not only for himself, but for all survivors who have been abused and then silenced by clergy.
In New York the Child Victims Act was recently passed, allowing victims to come forward up to 55 years old. Click the link to read more about what that means for you, and if you are in the New York area and seeking representation I highly recommend contacting Zalkin Law Firm.
This past year was a most momentous year for me personally. It was the year I came out publicly about my sexual abuse, it was the year I became political and voted for the first time, it was the first year I EVER organized a protest.
It was also extremely long, tiresome, and I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons about pacing oneself, and keeping timing in perspective.
As my mother always says, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Legislative action, advocacy, more groundbreaking stories, and heavy hitting voices are needed in 2019. More protests. More media. More marching.
Just recently I made a post on Facebook regarding the Watchtowers perfectly timed upcoming study edition on child abuse.
Quoted from post:
“Some will see this as a step forward and a hard line against protecting abusers, but notice here what it says.
It describes child abuse as a sin, not a crime. It then goes on to say how these acts sin against the victim, the congregation, secular authorities, and Jehovah (God), but it makes sure to highlight elders ARE NOT required to report abuse.
Understand when it mentions not shielding them from the law, this is theocratic/legal terminology that sends the message if an abuser is found out and reported to law enforcement by SOMEONE ELSE, the elders should not do anything to protect the pedophile and essentially should distance themselves from him. Hands off.
But it makes sure to highlight that is is STILL not their responsibility to report a allegation of child abuse TO authorities. Even if there are multiple allegations.
The shepherding book still states that when an allegation arises elders should call the organization’s legal department above anything else.
Does this still seem like an article for victims? Or does this seem like reinforcing policy in a way that makes the flock feel secure, when it remains the same old story, different day. It’s a protection for the organization. It is a silencing for victims, and it leads to ignoring red flags and still breeding a culture of abusers, and people who abuse repetitively BECAUSE of the two witness rule policy.
If there isn’t a second witness to the allegation, then it didn’t happen. Nothing needs to be done. Jehovah will take care of it. Read your bibles and say your prayers, boys and girls.
This is why making mandated reporting legislation pass nationwide is the ONLY WAY to protect children and families from what truly is a public safety issue. Jehovah’s Witnesses are not the only organization with rules and regulations that protect them legally from responsibility towards their youth, so many other organizations do this as well.
It is considered satanic to be critical of the organization and therefore what you’re currently reading is considered apostate material to a witness, and I am considered an apostate.
Even though I am a survivor of rape inside the organization, even though I was born, raised, and cultivated in the ways they taught me.
Even though I am a living testament to the extent of their policy, now speaking out after 20 years of silence.
Put victims first, protect your children, and above all else use your thinking ability.
Your children will be looking to you when it counts, and on that day the organization will not protect you, either.
I also appreciated John Redwoods post regarding the same topic:
“The latest Watchtower study article dealing with child abuse is sickening. Witnesses are told that elders comply with secular laws “in places where such laws exist.”
This has been proven false time and time and time again.
Just last year, a JW congregation settled with the State of Delaware, who fined Jehovah’s Witnesses $10,000.00 per elder for failure to report child abuse in this mandatory reporting state. Watchtower headquarters was complicit in this case, and in fact argued that clergy privilege applied- and that the elders should NOT have reported anything to the authorities.
The state of Delaware disagreed, and rightly so.
In Montana, a jury awarded one victim $35 million dollars in her lawsuit against Watchtower, in which the judge had ruled prior to trial that the elders and Watchtower had broken Montana’s mandatory reporting law.
I personally spoke to Watchtower’s lead attorney just weeks after the trial, and he told me that the judge “broke the law” in that case, and that those elders had “neither the right nor the duty to report” that child abuse.
And yes- I have this documented, and when the time is right I will release the evidence.
Watchtower is attempting damage control right now, and hopes to right the ship. Watchtower’s head attorney told me that “child abuse is a lighting rod, and even when you’re innocent, a jury will always find you guilty.”
Watchtower wishes to emphasize the difference between “crime” and “sin” – stating that elders handle sin, and the law handles crime. Yet over and over again they obstruct justice, and convince rank and file JWs that elders are cooperating with the law.
They are NOT cooperating with the law.
Elders have been privately instructed to destroy, shred, or otherwise obscure documents from the authorities- and have lied over an over again in courts of law to protect the organization. The do so intentionally- using the “Rahab principle”- which instructs elders and others to lie or conceal information from “persons not entitled” to such information.
This is the opposite of Christianity- the opposite of truth.
The time is up. On the 31st of January Texas Dioceses named 286 Catholic Leaders accused of sexually abusing children. In San Bernadino they release 84 names of Priests accused of sexual abuse. In Tennessee they are pushing for an end to statute of limitations. And of course in Pennsylvania the battle is still underway to introduce better legislation for survivors after rallies in Harrisburg and on the heels of the scathing grand jury report that found over 1.000 children had been abused in PA’s Catholic Diocese alone.
Time is on our side, and there has never been a better time to speak up and get active in our communities to rally for a permanent change.
I have been silent on my personal affairs because there is still a lot in the works for me, and I have been trying to find solitude in rest, peace, and quiet as much as possible.
However 2020 is fast approaching, and although it’s only February of 2019, in the blink of an eye it will be over and we’ll be fighting not only a battle for our own sake, but for our country, and as always, for our children.
So let’s get to work. Let’s empower each other. Let’s make stands, organize, collaborate, create. Move this movement.
Let’s make 2019 an absolute racket! Use your voice! Be the change you want to see in the world.