Philip Brumley - Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
In a recent interview with the media Philip Brumley Director of the Legal Department for Watchtower Bible and Tract Society made the following statements.
"Church general counsel Philip Brumley said the church's own investigation of previous lawsuits found church elders did nothing wrong as they tried to protect victims."
It has clearly been stated in the lawsuits that victims were threatened or admonished to not report matters to police. Yet Brumley states clearly their investigation has determined this never happened. In this statement he once again is clearly calling abuse survivors liars.
``We abhor child abuse,'' Brumley said. ``The assertion or allegation of a cover up, or a nonchalance about child abuse, is just so far from the truth.''
Using the word abhor means nothing when policy dictates otherwise. Who is it that has made the "assertion of nonchalance about child abuse?" The abuse survivors by the thousands that's who. Once again Brumley chooses to slam abuse survivors and call them liars.
Brumley explained the requirement stems from biblical references that no single witness should rise up against any man. But he denied the church discourages victims or their parents from going to police.
Brumley reinforces that a lay minister investigation of child rape is to be determined as factual only if a child can produce an eye witness to the rape in the face of the molester's denial. He fails to mention that the alleged molester now is deemed innocent if the child cannot produce an eye witness and remains in good standing in the congregation with the family of the victim being charged to remain silent to all members of the congregation with the threat of expulsion.
"Where molestation allegations are corroborated, the abuser is banned from the church and is never again allowed to hold a position of authority if the excommunication is rescinded," Brumley said.
Here is a blatant lie being given to the public. In a press release dated 8-7-01** JR Brown Director of the Public Affairs Office makes this statement;
"Jehovah's Witnesses condemn child molestation, and they do not tolerate such activity within their membership. If there is sufficient evidence that someone has exploited children in this way, he may be disfellowshipped (excommunicated). A sincerely repentant former child molester may be allowed to remain a member of the faith, but he is strongly warned against being alone with children unless one of the parents or another responsible adult is also present."
Now either Brumley or Brown are lying you can't have it both ways. Either an "abuser" is "banned" or a decision is made based on "repentance" to "ban" him or not. Brumley carefully omitted this clarification to make it appear all abusers were kicked out.
In the second part of his statement Brumley commented, "and is never again allowed to hold a position of authority if the excommunication is rescinded.."
This is a misstatement of the truth that is easily proven by the following statements. The first comes from the www.jw-media.org website. There is a policy statement given there on Child Abuse. The following comment is made;
"In a few instances, individuals guilty of an act of child abuse have been appointed to positions within the congregation if their conduct has been otherwise exemplary for decades - ... - Let us say that 20 years have passed."
In addition, the following comment is made in a Body of Elder letter (internal administration correspondence) http://www.silentlambs.org/education/6101boe.cfm sent out to all congregations in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2001. Regarding appointed child molesters the following statement is made;
"The elders may have written to the branch office and given full details about a former child abuser who is currently serving as an elder or ministerial servant. In such a case, if the branch office has decided that he can be appointed or continue serving in a position of trust because the sin occurred many years ago and because he has lived an exemplary life since then, his name should not appear on the List, nor is it necessary to pass on information about the brother's past sin if he moves to another congregation unless contrary instructions have been given by the branch."
Philip Brumley remains an elder in good standing as well as lead counsel for the Legal Department. As can be shown from the following statements he is no longer irreprehensible for implying to the media that abuse survivors are liars and then directly misstating long time policy on how child abusers are handled in the congregation. By these actions he has disqualified himself as an elder.
At silentlambs we call for a public apology for insulting victims by calling them liars and a retraction of his statement on the banning of abusers as well as implying abusers are never reappointed in the congregation.
** JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE
For Immediate Release August7, 2001
Sexual abuse of children is a terrible crime that can leave lasting emotional scars on its victims. Often, child molesters are attracted to organizations that have children as members, which makes protecting children from sexual abuse a complex and important societal concern.
Jehovah's Witnesses condemn child molestation, and they do not tolerate such activity within their membership. If there is sufficient evidence that someone has exploited children in this way, he may be disfellowshipped (excommunicated). A sincerely repentant former child molester may be allowed to remain a member of the faith, but he is strongly warned against being alone with children unless one of the parents or another responsible adult is also present. Moreover, as a protection to our children, former child molesters are not permitted to receive positions of responsibility in our religion.
If an accusation of child molestation is made against a member of the congregation, the elders immediately work to assure the safety of the victim. Also, they make every effort to comply with the law. This includes complying with laws that mandate reporting the incident to the proper authorities. This is even done when a child is the only one to report the wrong conduct or when the elders received the allegation of molestation in confidence.
The victim or the victim's family may also report the matter to the authorities. They have an absolute right to report and none should interfere with this. If you would like to receive more information on how we report such matters, please contact Mario Moreno, Watchtower Legal Department. (845) 509-0416 or (845) 306-1000.
Contact: J. R. Brown, Director. Public Affairs Office, telephone: (718) 560-5600
Watch Tower, 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York 11201-2483 USA.
Telephone: 718-560-5600 Facmile:718-560-5619