J. R. Brown, Organizational Spokesman for Jehovah's Witnesses
Dr. M. Ruth Infante, Psychiatrist, Psychopharmacologist
David Sinclair, Congregation Elder
Philip Brumley, General Counsel for Jehovah's Witnesses.
Jehovah's Witnesses' Policy on Dealing With Child Abuse
Mr. Brown: We have a very aggressive policy to handle child molestation in the congregations. And it is primarily designed to protect our children. And then it also is in compliance with the laws of the land, or the state, so that there is not a conflict.
Dr. Infante: I think that's a very good policy, that the elders essentially would take charge of the situation of reporting the abuse to the authorities if there is no adult in authority, any other adult in authority to do that, to protect the child.
Mr. Sinclair: If we didn't have a policy, it might be confusing to some who have never dealt with things like that before, like I had never dealt with it before. You are not sure where to turn for help. But when you know that there is a policy in place— that you can go and get the help that's needed— that is very comforting. And then, within the congregation, through the arrangement of the congregation, you can provide the spiritual help and the encouragement to get over the difficulties that the individuals have faced in their childhood.
Mr. Brumley: There are instances when a situation that should have been reported is not. Or where care should have been extended and it was not. But to say that the policy is not followed perfectly is a far cry from saying that there exists a policy to affirmatively minimize, or hide, this problem. The policy that Jehovah's Witnesses have on how to handle cases of child molestation is without equal in the religious community.