Jehovah’s Witnesses Forced Teen to Listen to Her Own Rape

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Miles
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Jehovah’s Witnesses Forced Teen to Listen to Her Own Rape

Post #1

Post by Miles »

.


"Earlier this week, the Utah Supreme Court heard a horrific case alleging that, more than a decade ago, Jehovah’s Witness leaders psychologically tortured a 15-year-old girl by forcing her to listen to an audio recording of her own rape.

The woman, whose name we have chosen not to print here, says that a fellow congregant four years her senior first raped her in December of 2007. He raped her multiple times and recorded at least one of those instances. Then, for unknown reasons, he provided a copy of the recording to the congregation’s leadership.

Given that the age of consent in Utah is 18, those leaders should have taken the evidence directly to law enforcement and reached out to offer the girl support in seeking justice, while demanding that the rapist take responsibility for his actions and attempt to make amends.

Of course, that’s not what happened.

Premarital sex is a sin in their faith, so a tribunal of church elders convened in an attempt to convince her to confess. They wanted her to admit that she had engaged in consensual sex outside of the bonds of matrimony. The meeting, during which they played the recording repeatedly, lasted at least four hours. She was, at the time, still a minor; the tribunal convened in 2008.

After suffering from trauma symptoms that impacted her day-to-day life for years, she filed a lawsuit alleging “intentional infliction of emotional distress” — or, to put it in simpler terms, emotional abuse. She wanted those leaders to be held accountable for traumatizing her.

In addition to the four elders who participated directly in the tribunal, she sued her local Kingdom Hall and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the nationwide organization that governs the Witnesses as an organization.

The case initially came before the Second Judicial District Court in 2016. While that court admitted at the hearing that it would have “no hesitation” about proceeding with the case if the abuse had taken place in a secular setting, the religious angle complicated matters. Ultimately they ruled that holding the church liable for traumatizing a young teenager would violate the leaders’ First Amendment rights.

Robert Friedman of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, who’s serving as the plaintiff’s attorney, says the lower courts got it wrong. While he and his colleagues acknowledge that religion was a motivating factor for the elders’ behavior, their appeal argues that it cannot justify their clearly reprehensible actions:

The [Establishment] Clause’s prohibition on government action “respecting an establishment of religion” does not immunize intentionally tortious conduct — like the seriously harmful acts at issue here — simply because the tortfeasor has a religious motive or the conduct somehow relates to religious discipline. That rule, if allowed to stand, would give actors free rein to injure others under the guise of religious freedom.

… When a defendant violates an independent and religiously neutral principle of civil law, the Establishment Clause imposes no obstacle to relief even if that defendant asserts that he was motivated by a religious belief.

Defense attorney Karra Porter, described on her firm’s website as “one of the most experienced and successful appellate lawyers in Utah,” argues that the government is legally prohibited from meddling in a church’s efforts to determine whether a congregant has committed a sin. She also argued that, while she would draw the line at physical torture, “infliction of emotional distress” is less clear-cut."
source


There's a bit more conversation about the position taken by the prosecution and that taken by defense, but in main this is about it. Access the link for more.


So, what are your thoghts?


.

nobspeople
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Re: Jehovah’s Witnesses Forced Teen to Listen to Her Own Rape

Post #2

Post by nobspeople »

Miles wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:37 pm .


"Earlier this week, the Utah Supreme Court heard a horrific case alleging that, more than a decade ago, Jehovah’s Witness leaders psychologically tortured a 15-year-old girl by forcing her to listen to an audio recording of her own rape.

The woman, whose name we have chosen not to print here, says that a fellow congregant four years her senior first raped her in December of 2007. He raped her multiple times and recorded at least one of those instances. Then, for unknown reasons, he provided a copy of the recording to the congregation’s leadership.

Given that the age of consent in Utah is 18, those leaders should have taken the evidence directly to law enforcement and reached out to offer the girl support in seeking justice, while demanding that the rapist take responsibility for his actions and attempt to make amends.

Of course, that’s not what happened.

Premarital sex is a sin in their faith, so a tribunal of church elders convened in an attempt to convince her to confess. They wanted her to admit that she had engaged in consensual sex outside of the bonds of matrimony. The meeting, during which they played the recording repeatedly, lasted at least four hours. She was, at the time, still a minor; the tribunal convened in 2008.

After suffering from trauma symptoms that impacted her day-to-day life for years, she filed a lawsuit alleging “intentional infliction of emotional distress” — or, to put it in simpler terms, emotional abuse. She wanted those leaders to be held accountable for traumatizing her.

In addition to the four elders who participated directly in the tribunal, she sued her local Kingdom Hall and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the nationwide organization that governs the Witnesses as an organization.

The case initially came before the Second Judicial District Court in 2016. While that court admitted at the hearing that it would have “no hesitation” about proceeding with the case if the abuse had taken place in a secular setting, the religious angle complicated matters. Ultimately they ruled that holding the church liable for traumatizing a young teenager would violate the leaders’ First Amendment rights.

Robert Friedman of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, who’s serving as the plaintiff’s attorney, says the lower courts got it wrong. While he and his colleagues acknowledge that religion was a motivating factor for the elders’ behavior, their appeal argues that it cannot justify their clearly reprehensible actions:

The [Establishment] Clause’s prohibition on government action “respecting an establishment of religion” does not immunize intentionally tortious conduct — like the seriously harmful acts at issue here — simply because the tortfeasor has a religious motive or the conduct somehow relates to religious discipline. That rule, if allowed to stand, would give actors free rein to injure others under the guise of religious freedom.

… When a defendant violates an independent and religiously neutral principle of civil law, the Establishment Clause imposes no obstacle to relief even if that defendant asserts that he was motivated by a religious belief.

Defense attorney Karra Porter, described on her firm’s website as “one of the most experienced and successful appellate lawyers in Utah,” argues that the government is legally prohibited from meddling in a church’s efforts to determine whether a congregant has committed a sin. She also argued that, while she would draw the line at physical torture, “infliction of emotional distress” is less clear-cut."
source


There's a bit more conversation about the position taken by the prosecution and that taken by defense, but in main this is about it. Access the link for more.


So, what are your thoghts?


.
I'm not surprised. JWs. Mormons. Scientologists. Those religions are all cut from the same cloth as far as I'm concerned. I've personally known members of these cults (cult defined correctly as a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object much to the chagrin of some I'm sure) or have had direct personal contact with them. They're frightening in not only their beliefs, but also the fervency in which they believe - almost with not independent thought. Belief in magical, invisible things causes people to do all sorts of things - not all of them good.
In this case, it seems to me, knowing little about it admittedly, shows the power and influence religions can hold over legalities that govern everyone and the ability to do terrible, many times illegal things, and hide behind religious freedom.
It's very sad and disturbing at the same time (much like most religions if I'm honest).
I wonder how many people of this religion would side with their religion and how many would side with the person raped? I doubt I'd be surprised.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: Jehovah’s Witnesses Forced Teen to Listen to Her Own Rape

Post #3

Post by Tcg »

[Replying to Miles in post #1]

If the JWs followed the Bible they wouldn't let this happen in their church:
1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
Rather than expelling the wicked person who is guilty of rape, they retraumatize the victim. I can't think of a more disgusting practice.


Tcg
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Re: Jehovah’s Witnesses Forced Teen to Listen to Her Own Rape

Post #4

Post by Miles »

Tcg wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:07 am [Replying to Miles in post #1]

If the JWs followed the Bible they wouldn't let this happen in their church:
1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
Rather than expelling the wicked person who is guilty of rape, they retraumatize the victim. I can't think of a more disgusting practice.
Tcg
Absolutely. When one reads that "Premarital sex is a sin in their faith, so a tribunal of church elders convened in an attempt to convince her to confess. They wanted her to admit that she had engaged in consensual sex outside of the bonds of matrimony." one has to wonder just what the **** was going through their minds. How in **** could anyone, especially representatives of a church, do such a thing. If there be a hell let's hope they roast in it. If I was considering joining the church this would drive me from it in a heart beat.

Absolutely despicable people. And if this truly represents their faith then it's an absolutely despicable religion.




.

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Re: Jehovah’s Witnesses Forced Teen to Listen to Her Own Rape

Post #5

Post by nobspeople »

Miles wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:36 pm
Tcg wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:07 am [Replying to Miles in post #1]

If the JWs followed the Bible they wouldn't let this happen in their church:
1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
Rather than expelling the wicked person who is guilty of rape, they retraumatize the victim. I can't think of a more disgusting practice.
Tcg
Absolutely. When one reads that "Premarital sex is a sin in their faith, so a tribunal of church elders convened in an attempt to convince her to confess. They wanted her to admit that she had engaged in consensual sex outside of the bonds of matrimony." one has to wonder just what the **** was going through their minds. How in **** could anyone, especially representatives of a church, do such a thing. If there be a hell let's hope they roast in it. If I was considering joining the church this would drive me from it in a heart beat.

Absolutely despicable people. And if this truly represents their faith then it's an absolutely despicable religion.




.
For the record I agree.
But to be fair, just because people are in 'a church' of a religion doesn't mean it's a good, positive, loving religion, no matter how much they may espouse it. We've been accustomed to think 'church' means 'safe', but that's not the case too many time.
This shows, at least this sect, are filled with deplorables at the very least.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: Jehovah’s Witnesses Forced Teen to Listen to Her Own Rape

Post #6

Post by Miles »

nobspeople wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:58 pm
Miles wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:36 pm
Tcg wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:07 am [Replying to Miles in post #1]

If the JWs followed the Bible they wouldn't let this happen in their church:
1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
Rather than expelling the wicked person who is guilty of rape, they retraumatize the victim. I can't think of a more disgusting practice.
Tcg
Absolutely. When one reads that "Premarital sex is a sin in their faith, so a tribunal of church elders convened in an attempt to convince her to confess. They wanted her to admit that she had engaged in consensual sex outside of the bonds of matrimony." one has to wonder just what the **** was going through their minds. How in **** could anyone, especially representatives of a church, do such a thing. If there be a hell let's hope they roast in it. If I was considering joining the church this would drive me from it in a heart beat.

Absolutely despicable people. And if this truly represents their faith then it's an absolutely despicable religion.

For the record I agree.
But to be fair, just because people are in 'a church' of a religion doesn't mean it's a good, positive, loving religion, no matter how much they may espouse it. We've been accustomed to think 'church' means 'safe', but that's not the case too many time.
This shows, at least this sect, are filled with deplorables at the very least.
In as much as those who run a religion (elders in this case) are the ultimate representatives of that religion, they stand as its spokespeople who tell the world this is what our religion is. If they do despicable things in the name of their religion this brands that religion as despicable.


.

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Re: Jehovah’s Witnesses Forced Teen to Listen to Her Own Rape

Post #7

Post by nobspeople »

Miles wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:41 pm
nobspeople wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:58 pm
Miles wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:36 pm
Tcg wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:07 am [Replying to Miles in post #1]

If the JWs followed the Bible they wouldn't let this happen in their church:
1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
Rather than expelling the wicked person who is guilty of rape, they retraumatize the victim. I can't think of a more disgusting practice.
Tcg
Absolutely. When one reads that "Premarital sex is a sin in their faith, so a tribunal of church elders convened in an attempt to convince her to confess. They wanted her to admit that she had engaged in consensual sex outside of the bonds of matrimony." one has to wonder just what the **** was going through their minds. How in **** could anyone, especially representatives of a church, do such a thing. If there be a hell let's hope they roast in it. If I was considering joining the church this would drive me from it in a heart beat.

Absolutely despicable people. And if this truly represents their faith then it's an absolutely despicable religion.

For the record I agree.
But to be fair, just because people are in 'a church' of a religion doesn't mean it's a good, positive, loving religion, no matter how much they may espouse it. We've been accustomed to think 'church' means 'safe', but that's not the case too many time.
This shows, at least this sect, are filled with deplorables at the very least.
In as much as those who run a religion (elders in this case) are the ultimate representatives of that religion, they stand as its spokespeople who tell the world this is what our religion is. If they do despicable things in the name of their religion this brands that religion as despicable.


.
It makes me wonder what, if anything, was going through the minds of people like this? Do they really think this is the best option? Have their minds been so warped with religion and its tales they think it right, or is there some other reason?
The human mind, and it's ability to act on beliefs no matter how sound or lubricous they are, is truly amazing. And not always in the best way.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: Jehovah’s Witnesses Forced Teen to Listen to Her Own Rape

Post #8

Post by Miles »

nobspeople wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:21 pm
Miles wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:41 pm
nobspeople wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:58 pm
Miles wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:36 pm
Tcg wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:07 am [Replying to Miles in post #1]

If the JWs followed the Bible they wouldn't let this happen in their church:
1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
Rather than expelling the wicked person who is guilty of rape, they retraumatize the victim. I can't think of a more disgusting practice.
Tcg
Absolutely. When one reads that "Premarital sex is a sin in their faith, so a tribunal of church elders convened in an attempt to convince her to confess. They wanted her to admit that she had engaged in consensual sex outside of the bonds of matrimony." one has to wonder just what the **** was going through their minds. How in **** could anyone, especially representatives of a church, do such a thing. If there be a hell let's hope they roast in it. If I was considering joining the church this would drive me from it in a heart beat.

Absolutely despicable people. And if this truly represents their faith then it's an absolutely despicable religion.

For the record I agree.
But to be fair, just because people are in 'a church' of a religion doesn't mean it's a good, positive, loving religion, no matter how much they may espouse it. We've been accustomed to think 'church' means 'safe', but that's not the case too many time.
This shows, at least this sect, are filled with deplorables at the very least.
In as much as those who run a religion (elders in this case) are the ultimate representatives of that religion, they stand as its spokespeople who tell the world this is what our religion is. If they do despicable things in the name of their religion this brands that religion as despicable.


.
It makes me wonder what, if anything, was going through the minds of people like this? Do they really think this is the best option? Have their minds been so warped with religion and its tales they think it right, or is there some other reason?
I think religion-warped minds is a good assessment. That, and their perceived sense of absolute rule and infallible judgment.
The human mind, and it's ability to act on beliefs no matter how sound or lubricous they are, is truly amazing. And not always in the best way.
Probably the same kind of disconnect with reason and empathy that Catholic priests have who delight in sexually abusing women and children. Or mega-church fundamentalist preachers have in squandering millions of donated dollars on personal aircraft and prostitutes.


.

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Re: Jehovah’s Witnesses Forced Teen to Listen to Her Own Rape

Post #9

Post by William »

Defense attorney Karra Porter, described on her firm’s website as “one of the most experienced and successful appellate lawyers in Utah,” argues that the government is legally prohibited from meddling in a church’s efforts to determine whether a congregant has committed a sin. She also argued that, while she would draw the line at physical torture, “infliction of emotional distress” is less clear-cut."
This is what happens when religion and state become bed-fellows.

When one realizes just how many Christians there are in the world, one has to conclude that they practically run things, especially in areas where their numbers are large. All we can do is wake up and see things for what they are, as clear-eyed as we each possibly can, bearing in mind that in doing so, we still might not change the world, but at least we can understand why the world is as it is...

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Re: Jehovah’s Witnesses Forced Teen to Listen to Her Own Rape

Post #10

Post by William »

William wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:57 am
Defense attorney Karra Porter, described on her firm’s website as “one of the most experienced and successful appellate lawyers in Utah,” argues that the government is legally prohibited from meddling in a church’s efforts to determine whether a congregant has committed a sin. She also argued that, while she would draw the line at physical torture, “infliction of emotional distress” is less clear-cut."
This is what happens when religion and state become bed-fellows. Two edges of the same sword.

When one realizes just how many Christians there are in the world, one has to conclude that they practically run things, especially in areas where their numbers are large. All we can do is wake up and see things for what they are, as clear-eyed as we each possibly can, bearing in mind that in doing so, we still might not change the world, but at least we can understand why the world is as it is...

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