Problems with the Watchtower Judicial Process
- Watchtower Secrecy Regarding Elders - The Watchtower has stated: “Jehovah’s Witnesses are in no sense a secret society. Their Bible-based beliefs are fully explained in publications that are available to anyone. Additionally, they put forth special effort to invite the public to attend meetings to see and hear for themselves what takes place.” Despite these claims, there are a number of secret aspects to the Watchtower religion. In this post, I’ll discuss two of them.
- Watchtower Judicial Committee Secrecy - Watchtower judicial committees hold their hearings behind closed doors. According to the elders’ manual’s rules, significant information can even be withheld from persons who are vitally concerned with the facts.
- The Shifting Roles of Elders - Watchtower elders serve in a number of roles. Serious problems can develop when they switch from one role to another or try to serve in conflicting roles at the same time.
- Judging Repentance - Not only do Watchtower elders determine whether Jehovah’s Witnesses in their congregation have committed wrongdoing justifying disfellowshipping, but they are also called on to determine whether Witnesses have shown sincere and sufficient repentance.
- Mishandling Child Sexual Abuse Cases - In 2016, a Royal Commission in Australia investigating sexual abuse cases against children stated, “At the time of the public hearing, the Jehovah’s Witness organization in Australia had recorded allegations, reports or complaints made against 1,006 members of the organization. There is no evidence before the Royal Commission that the organization reported any of those allegations to police or any other secular authority.”