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Who Really Abuses Children

The finding that should be spotlighted, though it was not because the mission was something else, is that children appear to be far safer in the Witness community than in the general Australian population. Case Study 54 is a follow-up to Study 29. It sheds light on the situation that will surprise some.52 Study 54 looked at the 17 instances of child abuse from the Witness organization that had occurred in the interim, from August 2015 to January 2017. Nine were historical cases and none involved an elder. All occurred in a familial setting. Of the seventeen, two had refused to report to secular authorities, as they were adult survivors and it was their right not to report. The number of Witnesses in all Australia at the time was 67,418.53

A revealing comparison becomes possible with a pool size large enough to be significant. Out of a total national Australian population of 23,968,973,54 the Australian Institute of Family Studies reported 355,925 notifications of child abuse stemming from 225,487 children (2015-2016). 12% of that number was determined to be child sexual abuse, and so the 225,487 becomes 27,058.55 From the Jehovah’s Witnesses figures, seventeen notifications of abuse over seventeen months is one per month. Let us therefore call it twelve, so that time periods of all figures equalize. Twelve abuse incidents were reported among the 67,418 Witnesses in Australia during the same one-year period that 27,058 child sexual abuse cases were reported among the entire Australian population of 23,968,973.

The figures to be used for comparative purposes are: Greater Australia:  27,058 / 23,968,973, which represents .1129% vs Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia:  12 / 67,418, which represents .0178% From these figures it would appear that a child in the Witness community is six times safer than a child in the greater Australian community. From them the conclusion can be drawn that if greater Australia had experienced child sexual abuse in the same proportion as that of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it would have experienced but 4,510 incidences of child sexual abuse, not the 27,058 it actually did experience. Thus, there were 22,458 annual incidences of child sexual abuse that would not have occurred had the entire country had the abuse prevention record of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The ARC focused on 1006 JW reports of abuse over a 60-year period. They could not be expected to focus on the 22,458 reports in one year. That was not their job. They focused on the 1006 reports over 60 years, which was their job. They were not able to look at any other entire denominations because none of them tracked abuse among their parishioners. They themselves tracked no record of perpetrator by religion, unless that figure was supplied by the religion itself, to be handed over upon demand. There is thus ‘negligence’ on two counts: one, of religious organizations keeping no record of abuse among their parishioners, as though none had ever occurred, and two: of Australian authorities themselves who failed to ascertain religious affiliation of perpetrators. One or the other should have happened for them to condemn the one faith proactive enough to maintain the records that show, upon number-crunching, that they were preventing child sexual abuse six times better. In many settings, negligence is a punishable offense. In this setting, negligence is rewarded and proactiveness is punished.

There is only so far you can go with the ‘six times better’ figure. It should not be relied upon as dogma. It is processed notifications into varying levels of severity on one side versus unprocessed notifications on the other. It is most likely that the 17 notifications from the Witness camp will break down similarly to stats overall, but this cannot be guaranteed. Small variations alter the results dramatically and large variations make it all but meaningless.  It is good only for a ballpark figure, the best that can be hoped for given that the ones who should have put their talents to work in ascertaining truth chose instead to bury theirs in the ground. It will have to do for now. Adjusted results from data clarification doesn’t have to work against Witnesses. It could work in their favor. If notifications in the greater Australian figures outnumbered victims, that could be true in the Witness figures as well. Maybe even all 17 reports stem from a single rotter like that fellow in San Diego. Kneecap that scoundrel and the record is perfect. We live in a world of buzzwords and catchphrases, few of which will endure rigorous shaking. It is enough to employ our ‘six times better’ figure as a starting bid and concede that further bids might alter the picture in either direction. Therefore, from henceforth, we will merely state that the Witness record of prevention is ‘significantly above’ that of the general population.

Addressing an instance of child sexual abuse ‘properly’ does not mean that it did not occur. It suggests the grief counselors dispatched to the school after a school shooting. Adults reassure themselves that they have addressed the situation properly. However, any student in the school will instantly say it would have been far superior had there been no need for grief counselors in the first place. The transcending lesson to take away from this hearing is not the 1006 abuse victims whose cases were not handled properly in the eyes of Australian authorities. It is the likely 22,458 cases of abuse nationwide (in a single year) that would not have happened were greater society able to imitate the record of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

It is so very typical of this world to relentlessly focus on post-disaster clean-up and completely ignore prevention. Is it not because prevention involves some limits placed upon free expression and some judgements made about morality? Even so, prevention is what should be given priority. ‘Handling child sexual abuse cases correctly’ essentially amounts to securing the barn door after the cows have fled. It is not unproductive to do this, but it is far better for them not to flee in the first place, and the Jehovah’s Witness record on this is significantly better than non-Witnesses. There may be more of these investigations to come. Those who despise Jehovah’s Witnesses are determined that their child sexual abuse policy will headline every one of them. The ‘star’ of Witness policy not aligning with policy of the greater world will continue to burn bright for such ones, but over time the rising star of the superior Witnesses’ overall prevention rate will burn brighter.

One can and should empathize with the two sexual abuse survivors of Witness background interviewed by the Commission. Their testimony is distressing, though no more so than the thousands of abuse cases the ARC heard in all settings. Yet somewhere along the line it ought to be acknowledged that there are far fewer abuse cases among Jehovah’s Witnesses than elsewhere due to their immersion in a culture where Bible principles were emphasized. Put simply, the Australian Royal Commission found much fault with how Witnesses handled cases of child sexual abuse. But they missed entirely the fact that there were 83% less of them to handle, per the Case 54 figures. Doubtless, the overall moral climate prevailing among Jehovah’s Witnesses accounts for the difference. Had the ARC not missed this fact, they might even have recommended that all persons in Australia become Jehovah’s Witnesses. And they might have awarded Jehovah’s Witnesses a Family Glory award, just like Putin did to the Russian Witness family.

From chapter 12 (Pedophiles) of 'Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah's Witnesses Write Russia'

 

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You Have to Support Your Local Buskers; You Just Have To

Summer is concert time in the city, and two days after the Skycoasters event by the shore, I went to one at the Public Market Friday eve. The public market gains in visibility each year; the city has lately poured some money into it, and starting mid-July through August, there is a series of free concerts (bring your own chair, and you can only bring in a bottle of water before resorting to the venders) called 'Bands on the Bricks.'

I got my timing mixed up and arrived when the AC/DC tribute band, Bonfire, was playing, so I had to sit though them. Don't misunderstand; it is not that they were bad - they were very good. It is just not my g-g-generation. The Led Zeppelin tribute band, Kashmir, is what I'd come to see. My wife had stayed home. Zeppelin is not her thing.

Isn't AC/DC an example of the "heavy metal" that Witnesses used to carry on about, along with rap? (so it was clear no one was playing racial favorites) They petered off on that per se, perhaps because, as my son told me, those genres mutated into other names and they still were saying 'heavy metal' and 'rap,' dating themselves with the kids and thereby making themselves look a little silly. Nowadays they just say 'inappropriate' entertainment. They never named any specific groups. They probably never knew any by name.

I dutifully scowled throughout the heavy metal AC/DC session, until the Led Zeppelin tribute band appeared, which was only slightly less heavy. In fact, THEY probably represented the greater slide into decadence, and AC/DC was just one more step. I didn't really frown for either one. A 30-year-old was holding his toddler son aloft, bouncing him to the music, and I said, "Yeah, train that boy right!" What are you going to do?

For that matter, it was thought to be the Beatles by my folks, who raised an uproar when I started to grow my hair long like theirs. My 'long hair' was laughably short by today's standards (though it later grew longer still), but Pop was raised on a farm and was familiar with the concept of shearing animals. As a young dad, he purchased a set of clippers and sheared his kids the same way, though they were barnyard animals, leaving just an upright tuft of hair front and center, like a hood ornament. Deviating even a little from that pattern was giving in to the decadant Beatle influence.

Or maybe it was Elvis. After all, HE was 'Elvis the pelvis,' not any of the Beatles.

Leaving a little before the crowds, I encountered a busker playing away on his guitar with his dog laying at his feet. I told him he had put his greatest fan to sleep and bid him a good night. I had only walked twenty feet, when I doubled back and dropped a buck in his hat. You have to support the musicians, you just have to; they play their hearts out. "Yeah, we can use it," he said, and I continued on.

57B9A82B-8FD5-4D8A-B02E-00DD2FA4EEF5Boys night out at the Led Zeppelin tribute concert.

 

C5CBBAFE-580B-4DBF-A39E-33D3343162A3Sometimes, for lesser volume, you hang out off to the side, behind the food guys.

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Skycoasters on the Lake


After the umpteenth costume change into garbs alternately goofy and gaudy, my wife paid the Skycoasters band singer the ultimate compliment. "I have to go home and watch Dr. Who, because this guy reminds me of him." At the time he was wearing LED lit lapels, as were flanking band members in lights of different colors, having just lost his sharkhead hat. There was pentup demand for the Wegman's concert by the shore. Two weeks ago it was cancelled due to rain, one week ago due to obscene heat. Wegman's mans the food tent and passes on the instinct to make profit. Hog dogs are two bucks, and other items are reasonable. I like Wegmans. Most here do.

It is the brilliant name that seals the place of Skycoasters as Rochester's premiere party band. They might win the crown in any event, but the name clinches the deal. It recalls the L-shaped wood roller coaster of Roseland Park on the shore of Canandaigua Lake, a park that existed long ago, and is now townhouses. You used to have to drive through the darkened country to get there. Today, all is one great suburb in between.

The band has been playing 50 years. They were hawking a CD of their songs, apparently with one from their first ever concert at Brighton high school in 1968. No, I was not there. I was at a different high school. They also sent someone through the audience with a hat, announcing that not all expenses were covered, and asking persons not to be stingy. This is something I have not seen before at a sponsored concert. However, it was sort of like Jehovah's Witnesses (who nonetheless do not pass hats or plates): people look around themselves, feel they obviously are getting much value for very little money (in the case of the concert, none at all), and are mostly willing to chip in something. After all, it is a nine-piece band with a significant support team and seemingly endless props.

I am practically the only Jehovahs Witnesses who has attended the Theocratic Ministry School AND the meetings of Toastmasters, since the two are essentially similar. But I was a little bit grumbling over some things at the time, and when the Toastmasters events came up my wife and I would skip the meeting at the Kingdom Hall. After my first Toastmasters talk, the moderator said: "Either you are a born natural or you have done this before." In the local chapter was the Skycoasters public relations person (I think that's what he was) brushing up on his public speaking skills. It is a curious side effect of theocracy that most of Jehovah's Witnesses can speak publicly with minimal fuss, whereas the prospect of public speaking terrifies the average person.

A co-worker of the time kept inviting me and other employees to the Toastmaster meeting. He was almost evangelical about it, as though one could be saved there. In a sense, he counted himself saved. He was painfully shy and he credited Toastmasters with making him less so. Several co-workers attended once or twice. My wife and I stayed for the longest interval, but when we finally drifted, this fellow was a bit put out, almost as though we were going apostate.

94F9E7CF-139B-40D2-9A05-ACABDC73EF9C

 

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An Open Letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer (because they did not acknowlege, much less print, the sent one)

With regard to the April 25th story, ‘Silent Witnesses,’ about Jehovah’s Witnesses and child sexual abuse: Some significant facts are omitted, and some background facts that are included are misrepresented, leading to condemnation of a religion that otherwise has a reputation for fine works and conduct.

“Overall, they’re nice, sincere people” says vehement critic Barbara Anderson, referring to the “rank and file.” The video of Jared Kushner, from before campaign days, speaking of the Witnesses from whom he would buy their Brooklyn buildings is almost unheard of in its praise—Witnesses are persons of “high integrity” with whom “a handshake deal means something,” he says. How can this be if the leadership is as vile as the reporter represents them? Plainly, something is missing.

No topic is more incendiary than child sexual abuse. In no other area is a person’s viewpoint so determined by experience. Few evils are more widespread. The organization InvisibleChildren.org reports that, in the United States, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old—despite years of emphasis on punishing perpetrators.

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ relationship to the pandemic can be viewed through a different lens than the Inquirer views it. The Watchtower organization was proactive at a time when few others were, investigating reports of this and other forms of wrongdoing within their ranks, and it is through this policy of vigilance that they come to be identified with this moral crime. In fact, any group professing that their beliefs contribute to better conduct should take measures to see that that is in fact the case. The Book of Romans says “You, the one preaching, “Do not steal,” do you steal? You, the one saying, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery?’ Few, if any, other than Jehovah’s Witnesses followed through on this obviously necessary self-examination.

Lucy Delap, writing for History and Policy, states that “clear guidelines for best [child protective] practice were not established until the 1990s,” during or even after most of the JW abuse cases under review. Thus, the Witness organization walked in largely uncharted territory, for the purpose of identifying this most pernicious group so as to apply discipline, often expulsion, to safeguard other congregation members, and to ensure that pedophiles could not slip unnoticed from one congregation into another (as they could anywhere else). To some extent, condemnation of the Watchtower for this proactive policy is a prime example of the cynicism: “No good deed goes unpunished.”

The fourteen persons that Mr. Gambacorta interviewed appear to be from a Reddit forum “devoted exclusively to ex-Witnesses,” who “discuss the absurdity of their experiences.” I have no reason to challenge the experiences the fourteen relate, and whether their perspective on what they report is the final word, I am in no position to say. However, it is inexcusable for the Inquirer article to link to an ex-Witness forum of 20,000 members, and not also to a Watchtower downloadable child-protection policy packet plainly showing that most its insinuations are untrue:

https://www.jw.org/en/news/legal/legal-resources/information/packet-jw-scripturally-based-position-child-protection/

To be fair, this latest update is released at about the same time as the article, but no mention is made of it by the reporter in subsequent material. Instead, he returns to the Reddit forum where he promises participants further incendiary reports.

I am a 45-year member of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I have authored three books about the faith, in digital format. The latest, ‘Dear Mr. Putin – Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia,’ is freely available, as it is primarily about the religious organization’s ban in Russia, which brings hardship to persons dear to me. Part 2 of the book considers the many accusations made against Witnesses, and chapter 12 of that section is entitled ‘Pedophiles.’ It is a 9,000+ word examination of that topic that includes the ARC investigation.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/815620

Case Study 54 of the ARC mentions reports of abuse from the JW community within the period extending from the ARC’s initial investigation to its final report. It is possible to work out ratios, compare them to the non-Witness community, and conclude that the Witness organization’s vigilance has paid off, perhaps by as much as a factor of six. It is fine to handle a case of child sexual abuse properly. But it is far finer if the abuse does not happen in the first place. It is similar to calling in the grief counselors in the wake of a school shooting. Of course, it is a good thing to call them in, but how much better to not need them at all. A case of child sexual abuse ‘properly handled’ does not mean that it did not occur, and the child is only somewhat less damaged than if the case was properly handled. Thus, a story on this topic should never omit the overall relative success of the Witness organization in prevention of this evil.

Stories of Jehovah’s Witnesses and child sexual abuse are certainly not nothing, and it is easy to see why a journalist might go there. However, by being so selective in what he reports, the Inquirer maligns a faith whose overall record of producing fine people of integrity has already been mentioned, by a harsh critic, no less. You owe it to your readers to publish this letter, as prominently as you published the article trashing the Witnesses. I have no doubt that the reporter behind ‘Silent Witness,’ is overall a fine journalist. In this instance, however, he has proven far too biased in the anti-Witness material he relies upon and relates without any counterbalance.

Respectfully,

Tom Harley

See Part 2 and Part 3

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"We Know that Satan's Coming After Us"

A major American newspaper has published material meant to be damning to Jehovah’s Witnesses, which refers to a group of elders at a 2017 meeting, where they were supposedly advised to destroy handwritten notes of meetings and notes of internal documents due to the potential legal harm such pose. Presumably (though it is not explicitly made clear) these are notes relevant to child sexual abuse investigations.

The reason? A Witness representative reportedly states: “Well, we know that the scene of this world is changing, and we know Satan’s coming after us, and he’s going to go for us legally. We can see by the way things are shaping up.” It is not hard to imagine what certain ones are doing with the explanation that “Satan’s coming after us.”

The reason the Witnesses have whatever child abuse records they do is that they sought to investigate this evil in their midst at a time that others did not. Should they destroy anything, it merely puts them on par with everyone else, who never left a ‘paper trail’ in the first place because they never were proactive. Seen in this light, it does indeed seem that Satan is ‘coming after them.’ It is the quintessential example of the cynical phrase: ‘No good deed goes unpunished.’

On the other side of the world, the Jehovah’s Witness organization during the same year was banned in Russia. Government and media have partnered to whip the public into a froth, hurling many virulent accusations about the faith. Yet, child sexual abuse allegations have played no part whatsoever. Chivchalov states that nobody has heard of it there. Only after the ban did the Russian Embassy, in response to one of my tweets, respond with a Western headline of pedophile charges.

In other words, they found a completely separate reason to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Keep in mind that we are speaking of the faith whose members are universally recognized as ‘pacifist’ – who will on no account resort to violence or support war efforts. It is highly unusual for a large group of people to have absolutely no blood on their hands in this regard, but they do not. It is not inconsequential that Jehovah’s Witnesses are, not just banned in Russia, but labeled extremists. Reports khpg.org (10/24/2018): “You can’t claim that people are ‘terrorists’ or ‘extremists’ and then simply knock on their doors to arrest them, though in all cases there is nothing at all to suggest that resistance would have been shown.  Instead, there are armed searches, most often by masked men in full military gear, with the suspect hurled to the ground and handcuffed, often in the presence of their distressed and terrified children.” Is it so crazy for the Witness spokesman to say: ‘Satan is coming after us?” Given the foregoing, it would almost be crazy for him not to.

Among the most heated charges in Russia are those of Jehovah’s Witnesses refusing blood transfusions, stemming from their interpretation of scripture. It is an issue that has largely been put to bed in the West because of the success of bloodless medicine and the growing recognition that transfusion therapy poses many risks. Still, it does happen from time to time that such refusal costs a Witness his or her life. Russian media rages over this, labeling leaders of the religion murderers.

Surely, somewhere along the line it should be acknowledged that Jehovah’s Witnesses have absolutely no deaths at all attributed to illicit drug abuse, overdrinking, and tobacco use, save only for when someone is slipping into old habits. Witnesses could multiply transfusion deaths 1000-fold and still not not come close to the mortality record of the overall world. Far and away, they are the ‘safest’ religion out there. Yet they are said to be the murderers.

And we are to laugh when they say: ‘Satan is coming after us?’ One thing we know about opposers: they will always overplay their hand, giving honest-hearted persons a heads-up. How can it not be getting near to crunch time?

It is in the free ebook (soon to be in print), ‘Dear Mr. Putin – Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia,’ with chapter 12 devoted to pedophile accusations. I had no idea when I wrote it that the book would so quickly become so relevant.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/815620

With the major outlets increasing dedicated to attacking Jehovah's Witnesses, it is not easy to balance the reports. One can do shares and retweets, but still. When push comes to shove, the Word makes clear that the enemies will have their day in the sun during this system of things.

 

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Use it as a Metronome

Q: When my grandmother died, they decided to hold a huge lunch at a restaurant. Same thing when a cousin died. I heard that this is common for JW. Why?

A: Because it makes sense and is considerate. Some people have come from afar. Some are in no shape to cook. I don't think it is unique to Witnesses. I think it is more common than otherwise.

In cases of family, I remember in my youth people lamenting that the only time the whole family got together was for funerals., as though love itself would not suffice, but only an obligation. I finally decided to run with it. It is what it is. Death in this system of things is a natural course of life. Use it as a metronome, to reliably bring everyone together from time to time.

Kill two birds with one stone. Bring everyone together and use the power of family to help the bereaved one heal. Stay the course, and the time will come when there is no death.

  Wittner_metronome

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Picking Strawberries

It is just a detail, not at all the main point. But I appreciate that sportwriter Ian Herbert, in his narrative of Russia while covering the World Cup, included an encounter with two strawberry pickers, who are of the same faith as me. This means that I would call them my 'sisters' and I included am saddened at what they are being put through.

It is just a chance encounter for Mr. Herbert. He writes: 

Two women, Anastasia and Elena, who approach in the sunshine of Samara's beautiful Volga embankment to say 'you are English?' turn out to be Jehovah's Witnesses.They talk about their lives. It transpires that mine is far easier than theirs. Russia and North Korea are the only two countries on earth where Jehovah's Witnesses are outlawed. Human Rights Watch reports that one Russian in their number faces a 10-year jail term, as a member of an 'extremist organisation'

Reports are that many members are being sacked from their employment, which will drive more of them to pick strawberries

 
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They Put in Some Hours

The sister in the Watchtower Study who decided not to go to law school, but work in a bank instead? I like the reason she gave. It’s not that she didn’t like law, thought it too hard, or was afraid to exert herself. She looked down the road and saw a roadblock: the near impossibility of finding part-time work. She wanted to do the ministry full-time. Just read a Grisholm novel to see the hours that lawyers work, especially new ones.

There was also that great illustration on how having goals makes each decision easier. If you know you want to go to Ithaca, for example (and who doesn’t?),

(http://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2008/06/few-odd-fellows.html)

each intersection is a no-brainer. But if you don’t know that you want to go to Ithaca, each intersection calls for pouring over the map.

 
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Journalist Down - the Youngest Reporter in Rochester

Rochester’s youngest reporter, a 14-year old from the gritty city, was robbed! He tweeted the bad news @GSLShow. They lifted his camera from his bike while he was in the Family Dollar! It was worth $1000. But he promptly started a gofundme page and had it all back within 24 hours. It’s impossible not to love this kid. The cops in Rochester certainly do and have adopted him as one of their own. When he started getting bullied (for hanging out with cops) he marched into City Hall and asked what they were going to do about it! CBS This Morning ran a very nice story about him. Alas, some editorial idiot bannered it: ‘Local Youngster Follows His Dreams!’ He’s probably just having fun, the goal of all youngsters. I hope he doesn’t get too big for his pants, but the media people will encourage that outcome with all their might.   (From: 'No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash')

Two years later the young man is still at it. He covered the Rochester Jazz Fest and landed an interview with the executive director. He is to be found at crime scenes. He has done guest spots on radio. He has thanked local business Rowe Photo for their support, calling them 'family.' He tweets that he has passed all his classes, and "10th grade here I come." His Twitter feed says he wants to make a difference in the community. He is probably being mentored by some. I hope so.

"Whipping out your phone doesn't make you a journalist. You need to ask questions do interviews and gain trust from your community. it's not easy being a journalist, especially being the youngest journalist, so before you say 'I'm a journalist,' for whipping out your phone, you're not," he tweets.

His very latest tweet, just two hours prior to this post, is alarming: "I have now declared a journalist down just about a few moments ago. @GeofferyRogers [himself] was shot by a BB gun with a leg injury."

 

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A Sloppy Piece

The June 20th Philadephia Inquirer article is rather a sloppy piece but the subject is so visceral that such things are overlooked.

All is told from the point of view of the wronged girl. I don't claim she speaks untruthfully. It is simply that, humans being what they are, we are inclined to remember things the way we remember them...embellish certain points and downplay or forget others. For example, when the judge recalled certain things in a matter-of-fact way, the victim says that's not how she recalled it, and the reporter at that point forgets all about the judge and runs with the victim. I suspect that the judge recollects it more accurately, because he has not carried the emotional baggage for two decades.

When Lett, many years later, speaks of 'apostate lies,' the reporter presents it as though he is calling his old friend a liar. Of course, he is not. No one says that the bare facts of the abuse case is a lie; it is the spin that enemies (which now seem to include the Inquirer) put on it that is the lie.

I answered at some length the Inquirer's first story and emailed it to two editors and the reporter. It was never acknowledged in any way. Instead, the reporter followed through on remarks he had made on the Reddit forum, that he had more material in the hopper that he considered damning to the Witnesses. This story appears to be what he had in mind.

I take it as evidence that the Philadelphia Inqurer wants this story told one and only one way. If there is anything to mitigate a damning verdict, they do not want to hear it. Of course, they have a story. No one would say that they do not. It is a variation of the "If it bleeds it leads" theme - a familiar staple of journalism and not so terrible in itself, but the refusal to consider or even acknowledge a different lens through which the topic might be viewed, is to paint the Inquirer, imo, as a not very good newspaper. Adding to this perception is that the paper does not seem to have a comment section for its online articles.

Comment sections are not necessarily great, as they attract many a moron, especially on 'hot' topics. But they have become standard fare, and the fact that the Inquirer does not have one seems but another indicator that they will breach no dissent on what stories they report.

It is the religious version of the shabby journalism that has become the norm today. Reporters of the right or left hype up their view to the point of hysteria, and refuse to look at things that in any way confound their conclusions.

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