Open Letter from the Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses

JW NEWS | WORLD EXCLUSIVE

| January 12, 2012 | jwnews.org |

JW News has been approached this week by family members representing a number children within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses with a personal request that we publish and distribute their children’s “Open Letter to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses”.

Those making the request simply asked “could you please publish this letter on the internet so that it can get the widest possible public distribution and so that it can eventually be read by each member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. We’ve written to the Governing Body in the past and they have refused to respond.”

When asked why they had approached JW News to publish the ‘open letter’ the reply was “the media and the newspapers have not yet fully covered the story of our children and how our religion and the [Watch Tower] Society have broken the child protection laws. The only way we can get this open letter into the newspapers is if we pay for a whole newspaper page and publish it ourselves. We can’t afford this. But getting the letter out there is very important for the children and also for everybody else. Hopefully those who read the letter will share it with as many people as possible.”

JW News is proud to publish the below ‘open letter’ as requested by the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It touched our hearts when we first read it and it is our hope that it touches yours.

JW NEWS

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AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
TO THE GOVERNING BODY OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

January 1, 2012

To the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Dear brothers,

We were wondering why you did not help look after us and protect us children in Victoria, Australia, by having the elders get their working with children cards and why you have not said sorry for breaking the law.

When us kids are naughty or we do something bad we have to say sorry to the people we did wrong to. This is what Jehovah and Jesus says in the Bible that we must do if we want to be good people. Sometimes when us kids are naughty at home we get ‘time out’ and sometimes if we are really naughty we might also get punished. If we break the rules at school then we can also get ‘time out’ or we might get yard duty or even suspended or expelled.

Why have you not said sorry to us kids and why are you hiding what you did wrong to us? Why has Jehovah not punished you and why are you still elders? Why aren’t you upset that you broke the law and that you did wrong things against us children, the little lambs? We know we are only kids, but why don’t you care about us like Jesus cares about us and all of the children?

Why didn’t you do anything to help us when you were first told about the new laws to protect us children all those years ago? All these good laws try to do is to stop bad people from spending time with us or from trying to hurt us. You could have stopped all these problems if only you listened when you were first told. Now you could go to jail for what you did wrong.

Our parents tell us that Jehovah always disciplines those he loves. Why has Jehovah not disciplined you? Don’t the laws in the Bible apply to you? Do you believe in the Bible and what Jesus says we must do if we sin against other people? Should you still be our elders or our governing body if you break the law and cover this up? Should you brothers be disfellowshipped for breaking the law like when you disfellowship other brothers and sisters when they break the law? Can Jehovah or Jesus use the Watch Tower Society if they know the Society broke the law and are trying to get away with it? Would that make Jehovah and Jesus sharers in the sins of others? It would.

Does Jehovah like elders that are naughty against children or that don’t try to protect them? Are you still allowed to pray to Jehovah? When we are naughty we have to say sorry first before our prayers to Jehovah are heard.

You should go to the courthouse and tell them you are “guilty” and did wrong and say sorry to everyone even if it means getting into trouble. You always tell us in The Watchtower magazine that this is what Jehovah says we must do before he will forgive us. You tell us that pride is why people do not apologise. You tell us that real Jehovah’s Witnesses always say sorry.

Will you please tell us the answers to all our questions and if you will say sorry to us at all for what you have done to us kids? Also, we would like to meet with all of you elders on the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses so you can say sorry to all of us children one at a time. Our parents tell us that this is what Jesus has told you that you must do, say sorry. Our families and us kids would like to meet with all of you at our Traralgon Kingdom Hall before your next criminal court case on February 21, 2012, so you can tell us why you broke the law and to give you the chance to say sorry and make amends. We have a list of how you can make amends.

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It makes us sad that you have broken the law for a long time and not said sorry but hide what you have done instead. This is not love. If you do say sorry to us kids and mean it then we will forgive you. This is love.

We are only children but we will be grown-ups one day and then we will learn everything you did to us.

Warmest Christian love,

signed by us kids – the children in the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses for all the children in the State of Victoria, Australia, and the World

P.S. Our parents and families helped us write this letter because this is what Jesus said we must do to those who sin against us. See Matthew 18:15-17. This letter is from us kids because it was us kids that you elders knowingly committed sins and crimes against and then deliberately lied to.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PARENTS AND FAMILIES OF THE ABOVE CHILDREN

Dear Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses,

On July 26, 2011, you men and the Watch Tower Society were charged with a total of 35 serious criminal offences committed against our children because you refused to comply with our state’s child protection laws in the Working with Children Act 2005. Each offence carries up to Au$144,000 in fines and up to two years imprisonment. Your lawlessness in this matter has been going on since July 1, 2008. You have broken the law in every single congregation in Victoria, Australia, thousands of times every single week for over three years – from July 2008 onwards. Everybody warned you of the need to comply with these laws and you refused to listen. You ignored the Department of Justice when they offered to personally help all elders and “ministers of religion” to comply with these child protection laws. Even though the government had waived all fees you refused to comply. Your disregard for these laws became so bad that charges of lawlessness were made in the Christian Congregation against you men. You were charged with “loose conduct involving children” (child abuse). The charges were ignored.

In November 2011 you issued letters to all elders and congregations in Victoria, Australia, that they must now comply with these laws. This is too little, too late. You complied only after 35 criminal charges were filed against you and then only after you repeatedly failed to have the charges thrown out of court. By refusing to comply with these child protection laws for well over three years you have “taken a stand against the arrangement of God” and the Scriptures say you “will receive judgment.” – Romans 13:1-5

Jesus made it very clear when he ordered YOU “to see to it that YOU men do not despise one of these little ones.” (Matthew 18:1-10) In his sermon on the mount Jesus also said that we should stop everything, including our service to God, and sort out our problems with others first. (Matthew 5:23-26) As parents and families with children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses we have repeatedly asked you to sort this matter out with us over the past three years and every time you outright refused and ignored us all. Will you now “despise” our children and refuse to say sorry to them?

Finally, could you please inform us where we can find a copy of the Child Protection Policy that is ‘used’ by the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

signed by THE PARENTS AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE CHILDREN WITHIN THE TRARALGON CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES FOR ALL THE CHILDREN

[END OF 'OPEN LETTER']

Click HERE to download a pdf copy of the above letter

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Is the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses capable of apologizing to the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

JW NEWS

| January 12, 2012 | Op-Ed | jwnews.org |

Clearly there exists a disturbed relationship between the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is highlighted by the fact that there has been no explanation and no apology forthcoming from the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses nor from the Watch Tower Society for their failure to comply with mandatory child protection laws in the State of Victoria, Australia, for over 3 entire years.

In the above ‘open letter’ a very powerful question was asked by the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses:

Why have you not said sorry to us kids and why are you hiding what you did wrong to us?

This was again reiterated in the letter’s conclusion:

It makes us sad that you have broken the law for a long time and not said sorry but hide what you have done instead. This is not love. If you do say sorry to us kids and mean it then we will forgive you. This is love.

We are only children but we will be grown-ups one day and then we will learn everything you did to us.

Courts deal with crime. Religions deal with sin. Clearly these children have approached the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses in relation to their alleged “sin” and lawlessness. The ‘sin’ being the failure of the religion to “comply with legal requirements that do not conflict with God’s laws, such as… obtaining required licences and permits” as they apply within the Working with Children laws for “religious organisations”.

The book “Organized To Do Jehovah’s Will” -the official code of conduct and practice for the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses- has this to say on pages 31 to 37 in respect of the individual overseers comprising the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses:

The overseers would be individuals who have the courage to speak up when wrongdoing exists and to take the needed action to correct it, protecting the flock from any who would selfishly exploit them. (Isa. 32:2) The overseers would be men recognized by all in the congregation as spiritually mature, having genuine concern for the flock of God. Their overall way of life would show this.

…Members of the congregation could confidently approach the overseer for counsel and advice on a wide range of personal matters having to do with family life and Christian living. Having conducted themselves properly within the family arrangement as well as within the community in general, these men would also be irreprehensible, be free from accusation, and have a fine testimony even from people on the outside. No valid charge of improper conduct could be brought against them to mar the reputation of the congregation.

…They would be known in the congregation and in the community as upright and God-fearing men who have demonstrated over a period of time that they conduct their entire life on the basis of God’s principles. Their blamelessness would give them freeness of speech before the congregation.

…Their oversight of the congregation would be refreshing to the brothers and would serve to unite the congregation in rendering sacred service. Their conduct and the fruits of their labors would give evidence that they are appointed by holy spirit.

…The overseers of the congregation have both responsibility and accountability in caring for those entrusted to them.

Among those “entrusted” into the care of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses are the children.

Jesus Christ said of his true followers “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:35) The Apostle Peter encouraged Christians to “love one another intensely from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22) It is this unconditional intense love that children possess. Children love unconditionally and are always willing to forgive. Their young innocent consciences often prod them to forgive or to even say sorry when they do wrong. Occasionally they need some encouragement.

A conscience either accuses or excuses. It never acquits. A good conscience moves one to take the initiative to apologize to others when they have wronged them, even if unintentionally. On the other hand, a hardened conscience causes one to excuse their actions or to justify their wrong course of conduct, often by blaming others. Either way, the outcome is a clear conscience, genuine or self-deceptive.

In a written article on apologizing, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society had this to say:

 Why Is It So Hard to Apologize? [*** w02 11/1 p. 4-7***]

One reason why a person hesitates to apologize may be the fear of rejection. Troubled by the thought of being given the cold shoulder, he may not express how he really feels. Why, the person who was hurt might totally avoid the offender, making reconciliation very difficult.

A lack of concern for other people’s feelings may be another reason why some hesitate to apologize. They may reason, ‘Apologizing will not undo the blunder I have already made.’ Still others hesitate to say that they are sorry because of the possible consequences. They wonder, ‘Will I be held responsible and be asked to make compensation?’ However, the biggest hurdle to admitting a mistake is pride. A person who is too proud to say “I am sorry” may in essence conclude, ‘I don’t want to lose face by admitting my blunder. That would weaken my position.’

For whatever reason, many find words of apology hard to utter. But is it really necessary to apologize? What are the benefits of apologizing?

Apologizing—A Key to Making Peace

…A person should never be too proud to swallow his pride, apologize, and seek forgiveness. Of course, for sincerely humble individuals, apologies are not so difficult to make.

…Offering a sincere and appropriate apology for a wrong committed will go a long way toward making peace.

It is often said that “God does not condemn those who make mistakes but judges only those refusing to rectify them.”

Will the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses apologize to the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and then seek their forgiveness?

That all depends on whether their conscience accuses or excuses.

Click on the above image or click HERE to download a pdf copy of the above Open Letter issued by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses

JW NEWS | copyright 2012