Talk to My Lawyer

Some opposers argue that the Watchtower Society is ran by lawyers and as such the policy set forth is just a smokescreen to mislead others from knowing the real policy that the lawyers follow. But consider this:

If lawyers run the Watchtower corporation as some opposers claim, does it seem reasonable that they would counsel the Watchtower Society to tell victims not to go to the authorities and threaten disfellowshipping anyone who did? Would they tell the Watchtower Society to appoint former child molesters to positions of authority in the congregations? That would be inviting lawsuits. Are the Watchtower lawyers so stupid and incompetent in child molestation cases yet such brilliant lawyers in other legal matters such as gaining freedom and liberties for Jehovah's Witnesses? That defies logic. Would you like to see some actual quotes from some of the Watchtower lawyers demonstrating that their advice is in harmony with the Watchtower policy?

Here are several quotes from Mario Moreno, general counsel for the Watchtower Society.

From the Paducah Sun 1-28-01: When asked if the parents of the victim would be allowed to tell fellow congregates why a member is disfellowshipped, Moreno replied, "That would be their choice. We don't tell them that, but it would be their choice." "

Louisville Courier-Journal, 1-4-01: "If there is a law that mandates reporting, that takes precedent over any confidentiality, whether in church policy or statute...In states where there is no reporting requirement, it's a different scenario...Elders might have the victim relocated away from the abuser or have the parent or guardian of the victim, or even the accused person, report the abuse to police."

"Victims and their parents are free to seek help from police or therapists and should not blame the church if they choose not to do so. Parents are encouraged to do whatever they need to do to protect their child."

"They haven't committed a sin by turning in a Jehovah's Witness to the authorities. It's a very personal decision."

"That's not scriptural. We teach the Scriptures. The Scriptures don't say, 'If you file criminal charges against an abuser you're going to have eternal damnation.' The one in danger of eternal damnation is the abuser."

According to a CBS AP News article dated July 29, 2003, general counselor for the Watchtower Society, Philip Brumley also concurs with what they have in writing. It states of Brumley: "...he denied the church discourages victims or their parents from going to police." And it quotes Brumley as saying, "Where molestation allegations are corroborated, the abuser is banned from the church and is never again allowed to hold a position of authority if the excommunication is rescinded"

As we can see from the above quotes the advise and instructions from Watchtower lawyers is no different from the policy that is in writing. But didn't the Watchtower lawyers argue that neither the elders nor the Watchtower Society had any responsibility whatsoever to protect the children?

Chapter Fifteen: Reporting for Fiduciary Duty