Letter to the Press
I in good conscience can no longer serve as an elder because:
The Watchtower has developed a position toward molested children that is harmful. This is done through a church policy that dictates that local elders involve themselves when molestation issues arise. They use an ancient old law edict that requires two witnesses before a matter can be established. The elders who investigate have no experience with pedophiles or child molestation as a rule. When the pedophile denies the charge the elders then bring pressure to bear on the victim to produce witnesses or supporting evidence to prove the allegation. In effect the victim is accused of lying and now he/she is guilty until he/she can prove they are telling the truth by producing either people who watched it happen or photos as tangible proof. AS you can guess in 90% of the cases the victim cannot, and as a result is told since he/she cannot prove their case the victim is required to view the pedophile as an innocent man. Hence, the victim cannot warn others or speak about the matter to anyone, otherwise he/she will be guilty of slander and this could result in being “disfellowshipped” from the congregation. “Disfellowshipped” means complete cutting off from family and all friends who are in the faith until you agree to live by the above guidelines. The victim is encouraged not go to the authorities as it will bring reproach on god and make the church look bad. When the victim does this anyway he/she is on their own with absolutely no help or support from the elders. The elders will claim ecclesiastical privilege to get out of offering any corroborating testimony and anyone in the church is discouraged from helping for the reasons offered above. The pedophile on the other hand is given great sympathy as a falsely accused person and often has the full support of the church. This results in a pedophile refuge mentality in the Watchtower organization; pedophiles can freely move about, discreetly molest children and have the protection of church leadership to keep charges from being established.