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Indeed, this is precisely the course of action encouraged in the notorious October 1st 2012 letter to all elders for any who are “known to have sexually abused a child in the past.” “It would be appropriate for elders to talk kindly but very frankly to individuals who have manifested a weakness in this regard, strongly cautioning them to refrain from displaying affection for children, to avoid hugging or holding children on their lap, never to be alone with a child (other than their own), not to allow children to spend the night in their home, not to work alone in field service (hence, they should always be accompanied by another adult), and not to cultivate friendships with children.” – Letter to all bodies of elders, Oct 1 2012 If elders have no control or responsibility over who works with who at a field service arrangement, as Watchtower is insinuating in this reply brief, then precisely how are elders now expected to ensure that a known predator is always “accompanied by another adult” in field service?A frankly sickening aspect of Watchtower’s argumentation is their insistence that they are ‘off the hook’ because the abuse happened For Watchtower to argue in such a callous manner demonstrates a complete disregard for the insidious nature of the crime and the case itself.Whether or not Kendrick was or is a “grown man” has no bearing on the decision of Candace’s parents to trust him with Candace because, unlike the Fremont elders, they didn’t know his track record.Countless child care professionals around the world are “grown men” but this doesn’t automatically give rise to suspicion that such individuals MUST be pedophiles.
To suggest otherwise would be to suggest that field service meetings are a free-for-all as far as partners are concerned, which has never been the case in my experience.
This is also reflected in the excerpt from the October 1st 2012 letter quoted above, where a range of restrictions are to be placed on known child molesters regardless of whether or not they are considered “repentant.” If a child molester’s professed repentance represents a cart blanche for him or her to have contact with other children, then why is this ridiculous, naive and dangerous approach not reflected in Watchtower’s own most recent instructions to elders?
As though all of this isn’t bad enough, Watchtower callously singles out Candace’s parents and suggests they bore more responsiblity than the elders, even though neither Neal nor Kathleen Conti had any possible way of knowing Kendrick’s track record – and the elders did.
Watchtower has filed its much-anticipated “reply brief” as part of its ongoing appeal against the June 2012 Candace Conti verdict.
Much of Watchtower’s defence rests on its insistence that the Fremont elders held no “special relationship” with Candace.
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Fremont elders have testified under oath that they remembered Candace as a child in the congregation during the period in question, and this alone implicates them if they knew there was a chance that she might come into contact with Kendrick, who they knew to be a child molester, but failed to stop this from happening.