A teacher has been suspended after trying to force a Witness child to take part in the oath of allegiance
A teacher has been suspended after trying to force a Witness child to take part in the oath of allegiance

A teacher from Florida has been suspended without pay for forcing a Jehovah’s Witness fourth-grader to take part in the oath of allegiance.

The incident took place on September 11, when the boy’s teacher asked his class to salute the flag on the 12-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

When the boy refused to participate, teacher Anne Daigle-McDonald is said to have taken his wrist and placed it over his heart.

When the boy protested and pulled his arm down, the teacher is quoted to have said, “You are an American, and you are supposed to salute the flag.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses take political neutrality extremely seriously, and as such would find any such behavior offensive. Indeed, following an enquiry into the teacher’s conduct by the school district, it was found that Daigle-McDonald “violated a number of state education rules, professional conduct principles and the student’s right to free speech and freedom of religion.”

Daigle-McDonald has thus received a five-day suspension from work without pay. She has also been issued a formal letter of reprimand, and instructed to attend diversity training.

Is this teacher’s punishment fair?

Everyone will have their own opinions, depending on their religious or political views, as to whether Daigle-McDonald’s punishment fits her crime. Indeed, some extremely patriotic Americans might argue that no crime was committed at all.

I would argue that, though losing pay over this seems quite harsh, it was right for this teacher to receive some kind of disciplinary action without losing her job. Why do I say this?

I grew up as a Witness myself, and can remember only too well being involved in a similar incident with a teacher when I was only about seven years old.

On the day in question, my teacher asked my class to take part in coloring in a poster advertizing the school’s upcoming Christmas Fair. I knew instantly that I wasn’t allowed to do this as a Witness, and that my parents would be unhappy if I were to participate in something that promoted what I understood to be a pagan celebration.

By belittling a Witness child's beliefs, you are only fueling Watchtower's persecution complex
By belittling a Witness child’s beliefs, you are only fueling Watchtower’s persecution complex

When I respectfully told my teacher that I couldn’t do it, she stood me infront of the entire class saying, “[John] doesn’t want to help the school!” As punishment, I was made to stand outside in the winter by myself, in a courtyard overlooked by my schoolmates.

When I came home and told my parents, they were infuriated. They drove to the school to take the matter up with the teacher. I can’t remember whether an apology was given, but I certainly remember this story being proudly told countless times thereafter as an example of me standing up for my beliefs in the face of persecution.

My point in relating this experience is that the harsh punishment by my teacher only fed into my developing persecution complex, and strengthened my identity as a Jehovah’s Witness. Any kind of arbitrary punishment or belittling behavior by non-Witnesses, whether school teachers or co-workers in later life, only feeds into a Witness’ persecution complex and strengthens Watchtower’s influence by vindicating the organization’s suggestions that “worldly” people are cruel and intolerant.

So I applaud the fact that the teacher in this case received corrective discipline for a direct infringement of this boy’s free speech and freedom of religion, but I am relieved that she did not lose her job over such a relatively trivial matter. After all, in the end, nobody was hurt.









Further reading…

Picture credit: the main article picture is taken from the book Revelation – It’s Grand Climax At Hand, page 196.

104 thoughts on “Teacher suspended for forcing Jehovah’s Witness child to salute flag

  • November 10, 2013 at 11:31 am


    Your citing of Dawkins missed the point completely. He was not ‘pro-punishment,’ but rather pointing out the ridiculousness of the bible’s standards of morality. The bit you chose was a tongue in cheek comment.

    Regarding blood, you did a cursory review of the facts, buy refuse to dig deeper. For sure, the bible says to abstain from blood. There are issues though. 1) The bible also forbade non-priests from eating the temple bread, yet that was ok in a life-saving situation. 2) Blood is a symbol of life. Where does a symbol become more important than actual life? 3) The story in Acts about abstaining was based upon the circumcision issue. Most bible scholars (notable Ehrman) have concluded that this story is fiction, that it never really happened but was a later creation.

    Sure, you may claim to be “free thinking,” and you are to a limited extent. However, your “free thinking” is firmly based in apologetics, and that builds blinders that foul the free thinking process.

  • November 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Cedars, she is not returning to the school as a teacher, so she in fact did lose her position.

    From the New York Times:
    Daigle-McDonald was in fact removed from student contact and given an alternative school job on Sept. 12. She was also suspended for five days without pay and ordered to undergo diversity training.

    Still I believe she should have been terminated from the school district. The physical contact is criminally wrong, whether religion was involved or not.

    • November 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention wednesday. I’ve double-checked your quote, and I note it says she was removed from student contact and given an alternative school job on September 12th, which was only the day after the incident. It sounds to me as though this was therefore a temporary punishment in the immediate aftermath of the incident pending the full district investigation, which has since been completed. If the suspension had been permanent, the article would have reported her as being banned from teaching at the school rather than suspended. At least that’s how I read things. If anyone can shed any further light on this I will gladly amend the article accordingly.

      • November 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm

        Ok, I see it can be read that way as well. Given the alternate job “in the meantime” so to speak. Ultimately returning to her teaching assignment. Unfortunate situation for all involved.

  • November 10, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I wish the teacher had taken pity on the child and let it go. He’s in a cult, doing what he is told. His life is already going to be stuffed up, why help make things more difficult by bringing attention to him like that? Just cruel.
    I remember having to stand in assembly, staying silent while all the other children sang christmas songs, I didn’t feel awesome for not joining in with the ‘pagens’ singing the pagen songs, I felt awkward and like everyone was staring at me and I’d think ‘why can’t I just sing along, I’m still not going to get presents, it’s just singing’.

    • November 11, 2013 at 11:55 am

      I felt the same way. Never once was I sitting there feeling superior. I was embarrassed, but too scared of my parents. I had a sister and a few other JWs in the school who would have tattled if I’d done what I really wanted to do and joined in.

  • November 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    This is what the WT wants you to believe that while you can make your own choices making the “wrong” choice will get you killed at Armageddon. If you are a JW child and your parents tell you that if you salute the flag you will be killed at Armageddon are you going to salute the flag? If you as a JW child go to the KH and hear over and over again about neutrality or you will be killed at Armageddon are you going to get involved in politics including saluting the flag? So I beg to differ but that child is not making his own decision….do or die is what all JWS are under….

  • November 10, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    So we will be zapped no matter what we do!

    • November 10, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      Agree, Ocma and LMC. No JW child has free will. They have the free will to do as they are told, or suffer the consequences for being weak.

      It’s like a “free-thinking ” JW’s 5-year old daughter being told, “it’s your choice, honey. Do you want to please Jehovah’s organization, or do you want to die at Armageddon because you choose to have go and eat cake at your little friend’s birthday party? I’m leaving this decision up to you! I’m not forcing my beliefs on you. Nope, not me. I wouldn’t do that to anyone. You choose, dear!”

      • May 5, 2016 at 6:08 am

        Not everyone accepted Jesus as the son of the true God, and they went to far as to kill him and the made them feel surperior. Today it’s no different. If your own parents can’t tell you what to do or what not to do in school, as regards the pledge and anthem, then why should your teacher or peers? Don’t have to be very smart to answer that.

  • November 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    The moral degeneration of the youth is a direct result of a socialistic/humanistic experiment. The facilitators of the plan understood from the beginning that to change society an educational revolution will need to take place. H. J. Blackham, father of modern British Humanism, said that humanists “are more revolutionary than any conspiracy to overthrow the government.” (September – October 1981 issue of The Humanist)

    “Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school ofhumanism. What can a theistic Sunday school’s meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?”

    – Charles F. Potter, Humanism: A New Religion, 1930

    “I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly view their role as the proselytizers of a new faith… The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new; the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of Humanism…”

    – John J. Dunphy, A New Religion For A New Age, in

  • November 10, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    “To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family tradition, national patriotism,and religious dogmas….We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents,our Sunday and day school teachers, our politicians,our priests….The reinterpretation and eventual eradication of the concept of right and wrongwhich has been the basis of child training, the substitution of intelligent and rational thinking for faith in the certainties of old people, these are the belated objectives…for charting the changes in human behavior.”

    – Brock Chislholm, 1959 Humanist of the Year and former head of World HealthOrganization,inthe February1946 issue of Psychiatry

    After reading the above quotes it becomes crystal clear that, not just a conspiracy, but an all out battle has been waged on the mind of the child for nearly a century – and all at the expense of the taxpayer. An indoctrination of a “new faith” begins from the moment we enter the first grade, and continues unimpeded throughout our formal education. The public school system – or the “arena of conflict” – succeeds in an escalating resocialization of society itself; the goal being a world government with its citizens having been brainwashed out of their patriotism, family traditions, religious values and teachings. Humanists do not mince words and are brutally honest: “some opponents of Humanism have accused us of wishing to overthrow the traditional Christian family. They are right. That is exactly what we intend to do.

  • November 11, 2013 at 2:18 am

    It’s only crystal clear in the minds of the deluded.

    It’s ironic that a person who stands for a religion that is known for forcing conformity through extreme community measures cites something to do with losing individualism in society. Right. You should look at that more carefully.

    The thing about conspiracies is that there is little to no evidence and the proponents feel that they have special knowledge that the rest of the world lacks or fails to see. This sounds very much like the basis of the JW faith. It is very powerful and seductive. Shine the light of reason upon them, however, and they both crumble under scrutiny.

  • November 11, 2013 at 4:12 am

    So Pot and Milo, you both agree with the WTBTS on their way of dealing with child abuse.

    I assume that neither of you have experienced this first hand have you?

    You disgust me. People like you two perpetuate the crimes of the WTBTS every day. It’s people like you two that cover up the abuse, and wait patiently for your God to miraculously heal the physical, emotional and psychological scars that abuse brings. Wait patiently for your God to punish the perpetrator, with no warning given to other potential victims.

    It is morally untenable for you to claim to love God whilst agreeing with the cover ups that have and will continue to occur.

    I shall simply have to rely upon your consciences to steer you to a better conclusion.

    I only hope that you are not confronted by this outrage in your lives.

    People like you remind me that leaving your organisation was the best thing to happen to me. I am free from people like you have forgotten the age old lesson – the ends never justify the means, not ever.

    Peace be with you


  • November 11, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Its true. I myself love pedophiles. They’re just good people. Now if someone has sex outside of marriage, or talks to a disfellowshipped person, or even watches the wrong kind of movie, I will personally hunt them down and make sure they are thrown out of the faith. No matter what it takes. I will hound them to no end and make their life miserable until they confess. Now a pedophile, well that’s just a person who is top notch. Sure it might be illegal. Some might even consider it repugnant. But those are the type of people I like to be around. I even think that I would let my kids hang out with them. We just have to make sure our organization looks perfect. That means we disfellowship everyone for everything under the sun, except child molestation. I’m sure you will agree that this is only sensible.

  • November 11, 2013 at 8:55 am


    Sarcasm as a response to a question of that seriousness? I think I may have hit a nerve.

    So, PotcallingKettle, would you allow the WTBTS to not report your child’s alleged molestation?

    Would you leave it with Jehovah if there was only one witness (your child) to satisfy the incorrect application of the two witness rule?

    Would you allow some people at Bethel to decide whether a molester is a serial molester or not?

    I can categorically say that I would not. I would inform the police immediately.

    Would you care to say what you would do? Can you explain to me how expecting immediate reporting is unscriptural? Can you explain to me how that would violate any biblical law?

    Why doesn’t the Shepherding the Flock of God book advise witness rank and file to do this?

    It merely states that no action will be taken against those who choose to do this. Why is it secret anyway?

    If you are ok with the WTBTS’s child protection policy, then you can readily and eagerly answer my sincere questions.

    The case is this; you cannot defend the child protection policy to people who are aware of it. It simply won’t work. I am disgusted by it. It makes me boggle that any decent hearted person could have any defence for it.

    Jesus said that his followers had to become like little children. He cared deeply for them. The Jesus I have read about would not support the WTBTS child protection policy. He would not care about the supposed damage to the WTBTS’s reputation. He would urge anyone to report it to the superior authorities and warn others about the molester.

    You have read the gospels. Do you really think that Jesus would be ok with the covering up of sin? Do you think that he would want innocent children to suffer because of the two witness rule?

    This is my final appeal to you, as a fellow human being, to really think about what you are defending. Think deeply on the anguish of an innocent child, and then tell me that that suffering is worth a coverup?

    Just as you can shun, so can I. I can decide to refrain discussing issues with you as your morality is questionable. I do not want to do this. I would prefer a real, honest answer from you.

    I really hope that you will refrain from sarcastic remarks, used as a crude device to show contempt for my questions. Do you really think that I am a terrible person for caring about the welfare of children? Don’t you too?

    Part of the problem of the WTBTS is that they paint ones who leave their faith as morally bankrupt. Do you believe it is morally bankrupt to genuinely care about the welfare of children? Do you think it is morally reprehensible for someone to care about the plight of disfellowshipped ones? Didn’t Jesus say that we should love our enemies?

    Please take this opportunity to really consider my honest questions. I really want to know what you actually believe.

    Peace be with you


  • November 11, 2013 at 9:01 am


    A child is molested by a pedophile and yet, since there is only one witness, as is often the case, there is no justice served at the Kingdom Hall. The family and the victim are told to wait on Jehovah. Nobody is warned at all that there might be a predator in their midst. Then another child is taken victim. While waiting on Jehovah for justice, another child is molested. You worship a god that, rather than acting and rooting out the problem, waits for another victim. What a great example of miraculous justice.

    What about formication? A family drives by a brother’s house and sees a sister’s car parked in the driveway very late at night. Enough witnesses are there to prove fornication, even if she may just be a little too drunk to drive and sleeping on the couch.

    If only the proceedings in your religion’s kangaroo courts were public. From time to time recordings of these surface and thinking people everywhere are appalled.

  • November 11, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Please take note of what is actually said in the policy:”If during that meeting the accused still denies the charges and there are no others who can substantiate them, the elders cannot take action within the congregation at that time.”

    Did you see that the elders cannot take action “within the congregation”? So although the elders cannot take CONGREGATIONAL action judicially speaking, this does not mean that the elders do NOTHING. There is actually a number of things that are done in this case to protect the child or other children.

    1. It is reported to the Watchtower Society.

    The policy continues: “However, even if the elders cannot take congregational action, they are expected to report the allegation to the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses in their country, if local privacy laws permit.”

    I’m doing this from my phone at work. More to come regarding this.

    • November 11, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Pot – please be warned, you’re on thin ice at the moment. Your sarcastic post where you were flippant about pedophilia was only JUST tolerated, and now you are trying to confuse people over the handling of child molesters.

      Have you served as an elder at any stage? If not, I advise you not to talk (or write) off the top of your head, as your above comment shows you are incapable of thinking logically.

      In the event of ANY accusation of child abuse, the local branch office is informed immediately anyway. This is not disputed. Yet, your above post gives the impression that the branch office is only informed after elders have completed their investigation.

      I warn you – don’t try to use this website to confuse people on such a sensitive issue. It won’t end well for you if you are interested in making future comments.

    • November 11, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      You know as well as anyone else, Pot, that the JW policy is designed to protect the reputation of your horrible little cult. The children do not matter. You must be aware of all the court cases coming the JWs’ way. That will probably cost them so much cash and bad publicity that there will be some ‘New Light’ on the Deuteronomy 2 witness rule. As you know, preserving and augmenting the capital value of the Borg is a principal driver of your cult. If door knocking becomes even more dispiriting than it currently must be, and the mag. trade becomes unviable, what scams will your bosses think up whereby to exploit their unpaid labour force?

  • November 11, 2013 at 9:12 am

    2. If there is a mandatory reporting law it is reported to the authorities.

    Continuing with the policy: “In addition to making a report to the branch office, the elders may be required by law to report even uncorroborated or unsubstantiated allegations to the authorities. If so, we expect the elders to comply.” If their is a mandatory reporting law it is reported to the authorities regardless of the age of the victim or whether the allegations are true or not.

    3. If a child is in possible danger it is reported to the authorities.

    A 1988 letter states: “There is a duty to report when one has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that there is abuse or a substantial risk of abuse and parents have failed to protect the child.”

    • November 11, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Wrong – authorities are only informed by elders if told to do so by the branch office. They cannot report to the authorities of their own volition – only if told to do so by the branch office depending on local reporting laws.

    • November 11, 2013 at 10:22 am

      What you call “the policy” is actually an extremely cleverly-worded press release from the old jw-media.org website that can be read in full on this link…


      As anyone will see if they click on the above link, you have completely misquoted the article. In fact, misquote isn’t strong enough. You have re-written the quote to make it say something it doesn’t say.

      Here is what it actually says…

      “However, even if the elders cannot take congregational action, they are expected to report the allegation to the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses in their country, if local privacy laws permit. In addition to making a report to the branch office, the elders may be required by law to report even uncorroborated or unsubstantiated allegations to the authorities. If so, the elders receive proper legal direction to ensure that they comply with the law. Additionally, the victim may wish to report the matter to the authorities, and it is his or her absolute right to do so.”

      So instead of saying “If so, we expect the elders to comply,” what it ACTUALLY says is “If so, the elders receive proper legal direction to ensure that they comply with the law.” That is something completely different. At all times elders are expected to comply with instructions from the legal department RATHER than the police. They cannot act independently of the legal department and report matters to the police, which is the impression you attempt to give.

      Again, I’m so glad I took the decision to ban you. You’re a liar, plain and simple.

      As to the 1988 letter you quote – again, this is country-specific to Canada. The July 29, 1988 letter begins by saying…

      “Provincial law in all provinces of Canada requires that child abuse be reported to child welfare officials so that immediate steps can be taken to protect the children.”

      It then adds…

      “The difficulty is to balance between your obligation to report such matters and your congregational duty to maintain confidentiality. We have asked our Legal Desk for some comment, and the following legal opinion is passed on to you:

      When to report?

      There is a duty to report when one has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that there is abuse or a substantial risk of abuse and parents have failed to protect the child. The report shall be mane forthwith to the local child welfare authorities. Sexual offenders are notorious repeaters. Therefore, careful investigation should be undertaken to ensure that no other children are at risk from the same person.”

      The full letter can be read on this link, which I will happily share with JWsurvey readers even if you won’t…

      So again, all you are proving by quoting this letter is that the level of protection a Jehovah’s Witness child receives depends on a birth lottery as to which country or State she happens to have been born in.

      If the Watchtower can get away with concealing abuse from authorities, they will certainly try.

  • November 11, 2013 at 9:13 am

    4. Elders offer to go with the child to the authorities.

    December 1, 2000 letter: “If the complainant is a child the elder might offer to accompany him or her to discuss the situation with a parent (but not the alleged abuser) or to one of the above authorities.”

    5. The victim or family can report it to the authorities without sanctions.

    The policy continues: “Additionally, the victim may wish to report the matter to the authorities, and it is his or her absolute right to do so.” And a February 15, 2002 letter states: “Never suggest to anyone that they should not report an allegation of child abuse to the police or other authorities. If you are asked, make it clear that whether to report the matter to the authorities or not is a personal decision for each individual to make and that there are no congregation sanctions for either decision. That is, no elder will criticize anyone who reports such an allegation to the authorities.”

    • November 11, 2013 at 10:30 am

      There is no doubt the December 1 2000 letter, which is country-specific, is a marked improvement on Watchtower’s policies for dealing with instances of child abuse in, say, the United States – where in some States Watchtower can get away with covering things up depending on local laws. But by quoting it you are giving the impression that it is applicable universally, which it most certainly isn’t.

      Also, the following paragraph is typical of Watchtower’s half-hearted approach…

      “Never suggest to anyone that they should not report an allegation of child abuse to the police or other authorities. If you are asked, make it clear that whether to report the matter to the authorities or not is a personal decision for each individual to make and that there are no congregation sanctions for either decision. That is, no elder will criticize anyone who reports such an allegation to the authorities.”

      In other words, “Don’t urge them TO go to the police, but never tell them NOT to. Cover your asses.”

      And we all know what decisions many Witness parents end up making once elders assure them they’re “dealing” with the matter, remembering Watchtower’s counsel not to take their brother to court.

      It’s simple – “let the Bible judge sin, let the law judge crime.” If child abuse is REALLY a crime in Watchtower’s view then they should be telling ALL elders in ALL countries to report ALL accusations to the police immediately – period.

  • November 11, 2013 at 9:14 am

    6. All in the congregation have a responsibility to report it to the authorities.

    A 1992 letter states: “As members or the community in which Caesar still acts as God’s minister and hence still has a certain authority, ALL in the Christian congregation would want to consider their personal and moral responsibility to alert the appropriate authorities in cases where there has been committed or there exists a risk that there might be committed a serious criminal offence of this type (see ks91, page 138) In child abuse cases such authorities might include the family doctor, the Social Services, the NSPCC, or the police.”

    • November 11, 2013 at 10:03 am

      This is too easy. You are throwing up a smokescreen by quoting from a January 30, 1992 letter to all bodies of elders in BRITAIN, and relying on people to assume that it applies to all countries.

      The fact that this letter is intended for British congregations is obvious by the reference to the NSPCC – a UK child abuse charity.

      And as with your quote from a similar December 2000 letter to British congregations, the onus is on reminding parents to CONSIDER their responsibilities rather than telling them to go to the police straight away.

      I’m glad I’ve banned you. You deliberately misquote letters and make letters for one country sound like they can be applied universally – a typical apologist tactic.

  • November 11, 2013 at 9:15 am

    7. Elders are to encourage those who are aware of abuse to handle their responsibility to report child abuse.

    A December 1, 2000 letter also offers the same comments as the 1992 letter stating: “all in the Christian congregation will want to consider their personal and moral responsibility to alert the appropriate authorities…” But it further states: “His (the elder’s) counsel should always include advising the complainant that the congregation cannot take over the God-given responsibility of the ‘superior authorities’ in dealing with crime. Accordingly, the complainant should consider his or her responsibility to report the matter to the authorities without delay. (Compare Romans 13:4, James 4:17)” The cited scripture James 4:17 says, “Therefore, if one knows how to do what is right and yet does not do it, it is a sin for him.” Accordingly, the elders are to encourage others to report child abuse when a person knows of it. To do otherwise would be shirking his responsibility.

    • November 11, 2013 at 9:50 am

      This is total spin and propaganda. There is a world of difference between elders “encouraging” victims to approach the authorities, and reminding them to urgently consider their obligation to do so depending on the laws of the land. The December 1, 2000 letter reads…

      “His counsel should always include advising the complainant that the congregation cannot take over the God-given responsibility of the superior authorities in dealing with crime. Accordingly, the complainant should consider his or her responsibility to report the matter to the authorities without delay.”

      Notice the very clever wording. The complainant needn’t be urged to report without delay, but to “CONSIDER his or her responsibility to report the matter to authorities without delay.”

      And the December 1 2000 letter is addressed to “All Bodies of Elders in Britain.” It does not represent organizational policy for the United States.

      See this Wikipedia article under the heading “Country-specific reporting rules for the UK”…


      So all you are doing by highlighting this letter is proving that Jehovah’s Witnesses in some countries have better protection from pedophiles than in others, because Watchtower knows it can only restrict reporting in countries and states where they will be allowed to get away with it.

  • November 11, 2013 at 9:17 am

    . The accused is likely removed from all assignments until the matter is cleared up.

    December 1, 2000 letter: “Likely it will be advisable for a brother who has been accused not to be used for assignments until the matter is resolved.” Jan 30, 1992 letter: “It may be advisable for the brother who has been accused not to be used for assignments until the matter is resolved.”

    9. The accused is watched more closely.

    The December 1, 2000 letter tells elders the importance of protecting children even if there are only ‘allegations’ against a brother. It states: “When an elder receives an allegation that a child has been abused the first essential is to listen.” Later on, when addressing the way in which elders should respond to these ‘allegations’ the letter states: “The elders should not lose sight of the fact that victims urgently need to be protected from further abuse and abusers need to be prevented from finding additional victims

    • November 11, 2013 at 9:40 am

      “Likely” is the operative word here – and again it is the branch office who makes the final call on all such matters. “Watching more closely” (as you put it) is impossible for elders to do in all facets of the congregation, including what goes on in private homes during bible studies, etc. Again Watchtower is assuming a surveillance role that belongs to the police. It should be the police driving any investigation and advising the elders on how to protect parents in the congregation, not the branch office.

  • November 11, 2013 at 9:19 am

    General counsel for the Watchtower, Mario Moreno, confirms this to be the policy. The Paducah Sun, January 28, 2001, states of Moreno: “…if there is only one witness and the accused denies the charge, he (Moreno) said elders have the responsibility to watch the accused more closely. He added that elders sometimes advise the accused to not put himself or herself in suspicious situations.”

    10. In some cases the elders may give a warning to the congregation.

    The November 1, 1995 Watchtower, on page 27-28, under the subheading “What of the Alleged Abuser?” states: “A person who actually abuses a child sexually is a rapist and should be viewed as such. Anyone victimized in this way has the right to accuse his abuser.” From this quote and from a reading of the entire article we can clearly see that the Watchtower is addressing cases where there is only one accuser. Now notice what may be done in some cases even when there is only one accuser. The Watchtower continues: “If there is some valid reason to suspect that the alleged perpetrator is still abusing children, a warning may have to be given. The congregation elders can help in such a case.”

    You will take note of the term ‘alleged perpetrator’. He is an alleged perpetrator because there is no confession and there is only one witness to the abuse. Even so, if there are valid reasons to suspect abuse, the alleged victim, with the elders help, can give a warning. This coincides with what the Pay Attention to the Flock book says on page 93, “Elders should always do what they reasonably can to protect children from further abuse;” Thus elders take reasonable steps to protect children which may indeed mean giving a warning to the congregation if the need exists to do so even though the accused is still an ‘alleged perpetrator’ or abuser.

    • November 11, 2013 at 10:37 am

      “he (Moreno) said elders have the responsibility to watch the accused more closely. He added that elders sometimes advise the accused to not put himself or herself in suspicious situations.”

      So (1) elders are charged with “watching more closely,” and (2) the suspected pedophile is asked to police himself. How reassuring! I for one would rather the local police were “watching” pedophiles in my community rather than part-time janitors.

    • November 11, 2013 at 10:43 am

      In the final two paragraphs to your comment you are talking off the top of your head, to put it politely. You are giving the false impression that elders have free license to warn the congregation of their own volition if there is a suspected pedophile in their midst when this is quite clearly NOT the case. Just ask Candace Conti.

      Granted there were recent changes in the October 1st 2012 letter whereby elders can warn parents in the congregation if there is a “predator” in their midst, but it is the branch office who gets to decide whether an accused pedophile can be classed as a “predator” or not – NOT the police.

      In all cases it should be the police handling such delicate matters and advising elders on whether/how parents are to be warned – NOT a bunch of guys in an office with no personal liability or hands-on experience who could well be in another country entirely.

      Let the Bible judge sin, let the law judge crime.

  • November 11, 2013 at 9:21 am

    11. If the court provides further evidence then the two witness rule is met.

    Jan 30 1992 letter: “Also, should further wrongdoing come to light during the trial it would be necessary for the matter to be re-examined, as is true of any judicial matter when additional wrongdoing is discovered.”

    From the above information it is quite obvious that the statement that the elders and the Watchtower Society do NOTHING if there is only one witness is another falsehood put forth by opposers of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The elders and the Watchtower Society, even when there is only one witness, take many reasonable and needed steps to protect the children.

    • November 11, 2013 at 10:53 am

      You are confusing people by jumping to a scenario where the trial has already been held and the person convicted. According to Watchtower policy, the trial can only be held in the first place if the Legal Department gives elders the green light to exercise their moral responsibility to inform the police.

      Apart from anything else, if a pedophile receives a criminal conviction, the parents in the congregation should find out about it anyway through word of mouth and take steps to protect their children accordingly – regardless of what the elders decide to do in response to his “sin.”

      “The elders and the Watchtower Society, even when there is only one witness, take many reasonable and needed steps to protect the children.”

      This is utter falsehood. If there is only one Witness, and no other child in the congregation comes forward with a similar accusation, then the likelihood is the whole thing will be swept under the rug according to Watchtower’s current policies.

      More smokescreens, lies and confusion. I’m so glad you’re gone!

  • November 11, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I was told to give a response. This is my response. If giving conflicting information to what your site claims gets me banned, then how is this any different than what you yourself claim the GB have done?

    • November 11, 2013 at 9:36 am

      You are banned for spamming this site with tonnes of Watchtower propaganda that I now have to spend an hour or so trawling through and debunking, item by item. This is a website for facts and reason – not for Watchtower spin. If you are intent on defending those who protect pedophiles, please do it elsewhere. Expect a reply to each and every one of your points. They are the last points you will make on this site.

  • November 11, 2013 at 9:36 am

    It comes down to a humanist point of view. Man’s determination of justice surpasses God’s. It is the original lie told by Satan “your eyes are bound to be open knowing right and wrong”. In effect he told Eve “Are humans not also gods?”

  • November 11, 2013 at 9:51 am

    A direct copy and paste from thirdwitness’s blog. Or maybe this is the witless one himself.

    NOBODY is claiming that the elders do nothing. That is a straw man. What some DO claim is that their methods are ineffective. The string of casualties that make the news (and the ongoing anecdotes on the web) bolster the claim of an ineffectual policy.

    I work for a large company. We have many policies. They are well organized in a book, and available in a searchable document (for staff) online. Where is this policy book for JW’s? What is the policy number for dealing with molesters?

    The elders are untrained to deal with this, yet they are placed at the forefront. They are to ‘watch the accused more closely.’ What does that mean? What tools are they given to do this effectively?

    At the same time as they are told in letters to report this crime, they are told not to take brothers to court, but rather let themselves be wronged. They are also told to keep god’s name holy and not to do things that would besmirch it, to not publicly air dirty laundry. Where does the clear policy directive stand?
    Here is the thing: the WT says many, often contradictory things. Rather than have one clear policy, the have scads of letters over decades.

    All that leads to is plausible deniability. This is where thirdwitness comes in. Unfortunately, where reality hits the streets, every person who has had to deal with their system for molestation (myself included) will tell you it works very differently.

  • November 11, 2013 at 9:56 am


    Show me how it is ‘justice’ according to god’s ‘perfect law’ that a rape victim should marry their attacker?

    Show me how god’s justice is right to kill 42 youths for calling a prophet ‘baldy.’

    Show me how capital punishment should be meted out for disobedient children.

    Yes, man’s justice, albeit far from perfect, is higher than god’s.

  • November 11, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I was fraternizing with girls on the internet in ways that I shouldn’t have done as a married man. I had a big issue with cyber sex and pornography, which I had developed as a teenager, and which remained with me even into my marriage. A direct quote ftom cedars. Definition, Laws, & Defense

    On-line solicitation of a minor for a sexual purpose, that is, with intent to commit a sexual activity with that minor, is one of the most investigated and targeted activities by both federal and state law enforcement in this day and age. [See my Blog for details regarding a recent sting operation involving the Murphy Police Department involving Dateline NBC and Perverted Justice]. The “on-line solicitation” as it known as, is usually in the form of contact by electronic mail (e-mail), instant messaging, or other use of the Internet.

    • November 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Milo, I see you are insinuating that I am a pedophile based on the fact that I confessed to looking at porn on the internet in another article.

      Skally also tried this. I am not sure how the brains of you guys are wired, but I would suggest you need some form of counselling if you cannot look at the word “pornography” without leaping to the conclusion that it must mean “child pornography” or the grooming of minors.

      You are sick and insulting, and you are no longer welcome on this site. Bye.

  • November 11, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Why do you assume ‘minor?’

    Mudslinging degenerate. How dare you take a man’s words, words uttered at a time of soul searching and soul baring, and twist them into something to suit your apologetic agenda.

    The WT has harmed many of us, we all bear the scars in one way or another. Some of the scars are superficial and others run very deep. Do not let this degenerate mar your healing more than it needs to. What you have done here, in this ‘place,’ is powerful and clearly helpful to many, myself included. The problem is, when you expose your wounds, especially the fresh ones, some <> will run to the smell of blood and delight in causing more pain.

    Know that, from you pain, good has already come.

    • November 11, 2013 at 11:28 am

      Thanks Reader. It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one to find Skally and Milo’s mudslinging outrageous and repulsive.

      I guess it’s normal in my line of work to have enemies who will stoop to whatever lows are necessary to drag me down.

      As Winston Churchill said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

  • November 11, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Had “insert preferred expletive here” in the middle.

  • November 11, 2013 at 10:48 am


    I’ve already stated that human justice is imperfect, so pointing it out does not bolster your claim. Humans are, have been, and always will be, imperfect. So will their justice. And, like humans, it will always be striving for improvement.

    You failed to address how the ‘justice’ of the bible is better, as I pointed out the flaws. It reminds one of justice in Arab nations, where the world decries injustice. Men enraged by drawings of their prophet, women treated as property, and children treated harshly.

  • November 11, 2013 at 10:58 am

    My point is the religous leaders want the law passed. The b.o.e is blocking it. If you truly value human justic you should start a campaign against them as you have against WT. There is no difference. Would the b.o.e not be as responsible in your mind as wtbts at harboring pedophiles.

  • November 11, 2013 at 11:40 am

    It is not my personal responsibility to cure all the world’s ills.

    I have experience as a JW, and a vast knowledge on their teachings, the benefits, and the harm that they cause. I use that experience to warn others of the dangers. It is my self-imposed penance for knocking on doors for years to convince people that they possessed the unfiltered truth of god’s word.

    You must hold me in high esteem if you view me as some sort of caped crusader of internet justice, railing against every injustice the planet has to offer. I am not that person.

    Both in my online and offline life I deal with things that I am knowledgable and capable, and do my best to leave the world a better place, within my sphere of influence.

  • November 11, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    It’s interesting that everyone assumes the teacher was suspended for a lack of diversity not for assaulting (touching) a child. Of course, this story doesn’t include all the incidents leading up to this one–the frustrations this teacher may have experienced as her JW-student flaunted her authority and countered her citizenship lessons as patriotism, or perhaps in misplaced rebellion was reticent to follow her directions instead of rebelling against abusive authority at home and in congregation.

    However, on 9/11 emotions and patriotism feelings run strong and deep, now eclipsing those felt during Dec 7th and Pearl Harbor due to recency. Islams and other diverse citizens often feel the heat on this day because flag-waving, drum beating and fife-playing citizens [think Archibald Willard, http://s2.hubimg.com/u/2766377_f520.jpg%5D insist on being uber-American on these sensitive days.

  • November 11, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    As a teacher, I say too right it’s fair. A teacher is meant to respect diversity no matter his or her own feelings on the matter. To force a kid to do something like that which touches on religious diversity is extremely unprofessional. Sure, we know it’s a cult, but forcing a JW kid to say the pledge would be the same as forcing a Muslim girl to take off her hijab in class. You just wouldn’t do it, even if you as a teacher thought the hijab was wrong. It’s not about your beliefs, it’s about creating a classroom environment in which all students feel safe to learn and express themselves irrespective of religion. The way that teacher acted was extremely unprofessional. It would have brought disrepute to the school and the education department and the teacher should have known better ie read the state’s code of conduct for teachers. They were too right to suspend her.

  • November 13, 2013 at 4:46 am

    Good for you, Cedars!

    May I also add my disgust on the implication that you were viewing child pornography. What a vile thing to accuse you of.

    Did you notice, folks, that neither Milo or PotcallingKettle answered my question about what they would do if one of their children was molested?

    No, they couldn’t find it in themselves to say that they would follow the WTBTS on this, if their own child was involved.

    In a way, that is comforting. I should hope that many of these apologists would fail to follow this disgusting policy if it happened to them.

    These apologists are to be expected. The success of this site, coupled with Cedars’ recent decision to formally identify himself, have inevitably increased the pro witness apologists’ comments.

    My hope is that, in time, people like Milo and Pot will come to realise that they have made a mistake in following the WTBTS.

    After all, it took many of us a long time to wake up and then get out of the WTBTS.

    Thank you so much, Cedars, for your tireless work. I wish you and your wife, and your new baby all the best.

    Peace be with you


  • November 30, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    A revisit to the pledge of allegiance with American flag…

    The pledge was incorporated into law in the early 1940’s (1942) by the US Congress but had existed as a populist expression since 1892 when Francis Bellamy conceived of it and introduced it with a salute that eerily resembled and predated the Nazi’s extended forearm salute which was revised shortly after the passage of the Flag Code of law.

    After Jehovah’s Witnesses lost the first Flag Salute case in 1940 (Minersville School District v. Gobitis), Congress introduced the Salute into law, thus the 1942 Supreme Court reversal of once deemed private matter but now a “law of the land” and thus the government mandating an action that violated religious expression. In December, Congress revised the Flag Code to drop the madatory Bellamy salute which closely resembled the Nazi salute and was often used to smear individuals as anti-American by truncating the half-side of photo showing the American flag as object of salute and strongly suggesting that the individual rendering salute was a Nazi sympathizer. Curiously, the “under God” phrase was added sometime in the 1950’s along with “One Nation Under God” onto coins and currency.

    I believe the impression JW’s and some history texts present is that the Flag Salute and Flag treatment laws had existed since the inception of the Union, or the Civil War, but not true. The flag salute was a matter of training children in the manners of good citizenship and moral codes of conduct.

    Many details of this Florida incident sound similar to the Minersville details especially where teachers attempted to physically compel students to salute and pledge.

    Some additional points to the flag salute “doctrinal” views, which Rutherford introduced somewhat instantly at June 1935 assembly and caught on like wildfire among the Rutherford-led JW’s, it was previously a matter of conscientious objection or pariticipation [not dogma] and it was expressed as the President’s personal viewpoint–keeping in mind that he was not presented with saluting a flag in his daily routine and that he believed the salute was “ascribing salvation” to the emblem by focusing on the loyalty element.

    Many other dogma viewpoints that JW’s cling fastly to present are introduced in the same fashion–one leader’s personal views forming a group-think and eventual mandate–including blood transfusions.

    On the question, how do JW’s become naturalized citizens when immigrating to the USA as the oath of citizenship includes a pledge of allegiance to the Republic, the following link may be helpful http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/im-jehovahs-witness-cant-take-oath-can-i-still-become-us-citizen.html as there is a modified oath [of course, being a bureaucracy it’s a request form that must be filed]. And, for those who view this as a weak loophole that “enemies of the State” may use, there is a caveat that the form must include official JW letterhead stating the person objecting is in “good standing as a JW”.

    Now, given the recent letterhead requesting certain nationals to return to their homeland, will HQ’s approach to those seeking citizenry be an offer to return rather than “sponsor” their citizenship requests?

  • April 29, 2014 at 10:42 am

    The teacher’s punishment was not to harsh. When she stated “You are an American, and you are supposed to salute the flag.”, she was expressing her personal opinion not the law, and imposing said opinion above the law of the land. And that’s the beauty of the US Constitution, every American citizen has the right to believe what they want to believe and act according to those beliefs. To force an American to do something they do not want to do, no matter how patriotic the intention might be, would be unconstitutional and Un-American.

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