If someone is spoken of as being guilty of the above-titled offense, what does it really mean? Here are some definitions of the expression “talking out of both sides of your mouth”:
• Being two-faced.
• Speaking dishonestly.
• Speaking with a forked tongue.
• Saying one thing, but meaning something else.
Not too long ago on the JWS forum under a thread entitled “DFd even though repentent – how do they do that?” Sister IJA and Brother Londo had this exchange:
IJA: I used to believe (and tell others who would ask) that only those who weren’t repentent for sinful actions were DFd. Since then, I’ve heard a ton of experiences, and seen a few first hand, where that was not the case.I know these are personal and painful stories, but if you went through this yourself and are willing to share…how on earth did the elders justify it? Do they just say to you, “Nope, sorry, we don’t believe you”? Do they say they aren’t sure so they have to go ahead and DF you? Did anyone have this happen when it was only one incident? (Not that I think that matters, obviously you can still be truly repentent even if it was several incidents, I’m just trying to piece together their reasoning.)The goal is supposed to be to restore the person. It’s just so wrong that someone can be repentent (which is supposedly the goal) and then still be DFd. It’s much more often used as a “punishment” rather than to restore. I’m just curious how they actually justify it, or if they even try.
Also, has anyone EVER been reassured that Jehovah knows their heart even if man can’t see it?
Thank you if you are willing to share your experience….
Londo: As Steven Hassan said, in high control groups, words get redefined. Therefore, repentance, mercy, happiness, joy, love, forgiveness, attitude, humility, pride, and so forth end up meaning something quite different in the organization than they do in the common vernacular.I think JJ’s video, ‘Elders: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’ does give a fair perspective on the matter. And in Brother Franz’s second book, the chapters on Shepherding and Disfellowshipping dissect the problems, both with the belief and the practice. Elders for the most part have their hands tied…they are there to implement the Flock book and whatever marginal notes and instructions that have come from the CO and DO. If they do not do so, they risk losing their position. Thus, the good elders are either deleted or step down–or they go against their conscience and find some feat of mental gymnastics to justify it to themselves so they can go to sleep at night. As Randy Watters has pointed out, there is a trinity of voices. One voice to the public, one voice to the flock, one voice to the elders–and yet they come from one [WT] Society.
One voice says to the public, ‘We only disfellowship unrepentant ones and it is the last resort. It is up to the individual whether they shun them or not.’ One voice says to the flock, ‘It’s not the action that disfellowships a person, it’s their attitude. Shun your disfellowshipped friend and family or else!’
One voice says to the elders, ‘an individual may have gone so far into sin that be may not be able to demonstrate sufficient repentance to the judicial committee at the time of the hearing. If so, he must be disfellowshipped, allowing time to pass for him to prove his repentance.’ Also, ‘the degree of repentance ought to be commensurate with the degree of deviation.’ They define repentance, like they define salvation–by works…therefore, they often disfellowship a person because to get them to prove their repentance with enough ‘works’ of their choosing, which amounts to meeting attendance for six months to a year. So they try to punish a person to wrangle out of them the suffering to what they feel is equal to their sin. And even then, with some committees, it’s never good enough.
First of all I’d like to thank IJA for asking the question, and then Londo for being so perceptive in his response. It illustrates nicely the double-speak and prevarication that goes on at the Kingdom Hall and in the WT literature. Indeed, this “trinity of voices” carries over into the very thought processes of some Witnesses. As with many other large corporations and businesses, internal memos often sing a different song than the publicly approved jingles and ad copy used to sell the companies products.
Big tobacco has been caught red-handed on more than one occasion; they even made a movie about it called The Insider with Russell Crowe. The Watchtower Corporations have also been caught red handed more than once- can the movie about their misdeeds be far behind? The recent case involving Ms. Candace Conti is a good example. The courts have ruled in her favor, levying some $28 million dollars in damages against her attacker and his accomplice, the Watchtower Organization.
The blood issue is another example of this happening: Even though the official teaching and policy of Jehovah’s Witnesses state that they do not take transfusions of blood, in practice many Witnesses do and are never sanctioned for it. There are a number of proofs of this strange contradiction, as testified to by only these two points:
- Literally entire bags of WTS approved fractionated blood are transfused regularly by Witnesses. Is this alone not a contradiction of the literal interpretation to “abstain from blood”? Do JWs really abstain from blood? Or is there another hidden subtext at work, allowing one kind of blood but not another?
- The Watchtower Society has agreed, in a legally binding document, to allow Jehovah’s Witnesses in Bulgaria a free choice regarding blood transfusions with no sanctions for any that take blood.
The Bulgarian situation especially highlights how the WTO will say one thing applies to them, but in practice an entirely different outcome is the reality. In the meantime, policies from the self-appointed leadership in upstate New York continue to flow. New terms are coined or old ones are adopted and the former jargon is discarded. (See article entitled Jargon and “Theocratic Language”) Terms such as calling the leadership our “mother”, and other unique word meanings continue to erode faith in the Lord Jesus as our only Savior. Notice these verses from the New World Translation that illustrate the pure and simple gospel that comes from God’s Word as opposed to the trinity of voices from the upstate New York Watchtower Corporations:
1 Corinthians 3:11: For no man can lay any other foundation than what is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
John 5:22-23: For the Father judges no one at all, but he has committed all the judging to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He that does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
1 John 5:1: Everyone believing that Jesus is the Christ has been born from God, and everyone who loves the one that caused to be born loves him who has been born from that one.
1 Timothy 2:5: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus.
Acts 4:12: Furthermore, there is no salvation in anyone else, for there is not another name under heaven…by which we must get saved.
What a contrast! What an easy message to accept and digest- that Jesus is our savior, it is HE that we go to and no man need stand between him and us. No man needs to be consulted for forgiveness of sins. No council or magesterium can craft our faith, our creed, or our certain hope. As for how many other sides of the “Watchtower mouth” we will be hearing from in the future that is anyone’s guess. The question is, how long will the rank and file brothers and sisters continue to listen to and obey the WT’s “other gospel”? (Galatians 1:7, GNB) How long will their trinity of voices hold weight with each of us as individual Christians?