It’s a pity, but understandable, that one of my sisters chose oblivion; she turned to crack to help block the horrific memories of what one JW paedophile did to her. Repeatedly.
All the money in the world won’t erase that – not for her, not for my baby sister (who was just 3 years old when she was molested by the same person), and most certainly not for the countless kids and teens who’ve been raped and abused at the hands of the JW’s – or any religion, for that matter. And it certainly does absolutely nothing for those who took their own lives because they couldn’t escape it, either.
Oh, we know religious child molesters aren’t limited to the JW’s – the ‘vATiCaN’ seems to breed them like fleas. What is it about putting a frock on a bloke, ‘ordaining’ him into the Order of BS, and giving him a parish full of trusting
Since when has a single inquiry, study or lawsuit, ever fixed anything, save employing a few more people to handle extra mountains of soon-forgotten paperwork?
In any event, I never did understand why lawmakers thought a fine fixes everything. What’s the money actually for, anyway? A token gesture? For whose benefit?
Is it meant to make religious corporations – like the JW’s and the vATiCaN – ensure it’s prevented from occurring again? It won’t – let’s not be daft.
Conscience money? Why? So criminal-breeding religious corporations can feel like they purchased a ‘clean slate’ and now it’s back to business as usual, just like ‘confession’? That sounds about right.
A small sense of vengeance for those do-gooders who haven’t a clue what growing up with that kind of soul-destroying, demoralizing, terrifying, personal hell is like in the first place? That sounds about right, too.
Glory for the legal firm/lawyer who single-handedly brings down an entire religious corporation? Yep, that has a ring of believability, as well.
Or do lawmakers, judges and juries expect it to magically erase the lifelong memories and horrors from the minds of the victims, just because they’ve been publicly validated and vindicated? Let’s not be simpletons.
In the end, everyone but the victims of these heinous crimes benefits.
But let’s not be too cynical! There is a small positive, I suppose, insofar as it’s bad publicity for JW’s – in fact, for religion in general. It could make things just that little bit harder for them to dodge the dogs that will now be unchained when they go door knocking. They might find fewer folks actually opening doors to them anymore. They might find that it’s just that little bit tougher to preach convincingly, to those whose privacy they’re invading, that they’re better than everyone else because they’re ‘god’s chosen ones’.
Which, in turn, brings another downside, because, yet again, their kids are going to suffer the humiliation of it at school – as if being the kid of a jw isn’t punishment enough, now they’re going to have to endure even more taunts – “your parents are pedos ‘cuz they’re JW’s!”
The wrong ones suffer, and victims just keep piling up. Sigh.
JW’s always had a policy that the paedophiles within their ranks took clever advantage of. The policy was this, in a nutshell, “if two or more didn’t see it happen, then it didn’t happen”. Tough luck, kiddies. Tell me that’s not an open invitation to destroy children for life!
And these monsters really believe their church will protect them from an outraged world? Nuh-uh. Not anymore. Not if churches are forced out of business, thanks to the bad publicity they keep bringing upon themselves, public outrage, lack of interest, total loss of ignorant ‘blind faith’ and, most importantly, the resulting lack of funds.
The damages to a molested child don’t suddenly or simply end with the perpetrator being caught and punished. No; there’s far more long term damage than many might care to consider.
Believe me, please, when I tell you that it removes your ability to trust yourself, your instincts, and your intuition, particularly when every time you desperately tried reaching out to an adult for help, you were beaten, cut down, and labelled “a liar” by those who needed to protect their sensibilities and vested interests, pretending such things didn’t happen.
It makes you look – and feel – like worthless, untrustworthy, lying, filth in your own eyes, your self-esteem plummets, and by the time you realize you’re spiralling out of control in a perpetual cycle of self-loathing and self-punishment, there’s nothing you can do to change it. You give up entirely. You find ways to try and forget; drugs, drink, living on the edge, flirting with death. You find ways to keep people at arm’s length. You can never quite see yourself as worthy of human kindness, love, and decency again, no matter how many people tell you otherwise. It just doesn’t sink in. It doesn’t ‘wash’. You’re branded for life – from within.
Worst of all, you develop an inability to trust anyone in authority, and in your efforts to keep punishing your ‘undeserving self’, you also punish and hurt those you love, who want to help you. And in the end, those who vowed they could help you, give up, too, usually deciding that you’re just a ‘manipulator’ and ‘masochist’ because they failed in their well meaning attempts to help. And in their inability to understand just how deeply the damage has infected your very soul, in utter frustration, they wash their hands of you and walk away; you feel justified, and the cycle continues.
The point is, child molestation isn’t finished just because the criminals’ institution paid a fine, the court hearing is over, and everyone’s gone home; the child carries horrific scars for the rest of his/her life (provided they don’t commit suicide first), and those scars are often so deeply scorched into their very core, that it’s almost impossible for anyone to reach them. Few have the kind of patience, compassion and selfless love it would take to do so.
I was 7 when this crap started happening in my family. A ‘respectable’ young (he was 19 at the time) JW attached himself to my family, offering his services as babysitter free of charge. My parents welcomed him with open arms. What parent wouldn’t? And because he was a ‘pioneer’ in the congregation, he could do no wrong. He surely must be as pure as the driven snow.
Yeah, he tried it on with me, but he didn’t count on my fiery little temperament and earned himself a pair of badly bruised shins for his efforts. He, in turn, left me with a threat that gave me nightmares for years to come; that he’d come back to chop me up into little pieces and flush me down the toilet if I ever told anyone.
It wasn’t until I was 14 and caught him with my two little sisters that I lost all fear of his threat and tried to alert my parents. To no avail. I was beaten for ‘lying’ and for “making seriously untruthful accusations against a highly respected man who was my elder” – even after my own mother caught him in the bathroom, with the door locked and my two little sisters with him! So I tried to alert the congregational elders. Also to no avail. They had that special rule again, you see: if two or more didn’t see it happen, then it didn’t happen”, which means you’re a liar – and a kids’ word accounts for nothing but a ‘wild imagination’.
The thing is, where does this litigation business stop in an area where it can’t possibly have any beneficial effect for victims? And if we’re all going to sue the JW’s (3 billion bucks is chump change to their boss), does that mean we can finally bankrupt the catholic church? Because that’s what would surely happen if every victim of the ‘men in frocks’ got together and began a class action of their own.
See where I’m going here? Money doesn’t fix the problem. It erases nothing, it stops nothing. Well ok, maybe in the case of the vATiCaN – if we can bankrupt that corporate monster, tattoo all their paedophiles on the forehead so they can’t hide, and then run their wrinkly, hairy, old asses out of town, it might be a good start!
Still doesn’t prevent the crime, though. It doesn’t erase the memories, it doesn’t heal the wounds and really, I’m not entirely sure what would, but I suspect forcing religions to pay business tax, and forcing their priests, ministers, elders, staff, whatever, to pay income tax, might be a good start. There’s some seedy excuses for humanity hiding behind churches who more than likely wouldn’t be there were it not for the tax-free lifestyle. Churches are, after all, family affairs – a veritable smorgasbord for paedophiles with positions of power within them.
So sue the JW’s for 3 billion dollars, by all means, but if society is going to do that, then it can’t, in all conscience, let the catholic church – or any other corporate institution – get away with it, either, or else society is making it clear that it’s only interested in the money, that it can’t see the victims for the shopping sprees it’s planning, and that the suffering of victims was in vain. All the riches of the catholic church can’t wash the filth away or heal the wounds.