Myths

Fighting the DF monster…

Are you disfellowshipped, dear one? Do you now feel lost, bereft, and directionless? If so, know that when Jesus looks down from heaven, he feels toward you exactly as he felt toward individuals during his earthly ministry. Matthew 9:36 says regarding him: “On seeing the crowds he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.”

By his life course, Christ our Exemplar showed us how to live. (1 Peter 2:21) There is no record of him of shunning anyone. In fact, he did just the opposite, eating with individuals from God’s dedicated nation who had strayed–sometimes severely so–and this is what gave such ones the strength to turn their lives around. (Luke 15:1, 2, NIV). Should we not then imitate our Lord in all things? In carrying forth Paul’s admission in Corinthians not to worship as a group with an unrepentant sinner, could we break God’s instructions to us given through the life course of his Son? Should not the Lord’s example be the overriding factor, especially in regard to repentant wrongdoers?

The unfortunate truth is: there are many myths that sincere Jehovah’s Witnesses hold in regard to disfellowshipping. These myths are what cause an “insensibility of their hearts” toward those in the so-called ‘disfellowshipped state’. (Mark 3:5) When an active Witness encounters a disfellowshipped one on the street, you often see severe discomfort in their body language and facial expressions. In some cases the Witness will even cross to the other side of the road to avoid passing nearby; if it were not so sad, it would be humorous.

The absence of empathy and the hardening of the heart that occurs comes from a lack of accurate knowledge, from myths that have been perpetuated from the publications, the platform, and casual conversation. Unless a person has passed through this fiery trial, they are not truly equipped to speak in regard to the reality as those of us who have.

Many myths have an element of truth. The stereotype of the brazen, unrepentant sinner with a bad attitude might characterize some judicial cases for sure, but certainly not all. I have come to believe that many cases involve poor shepherding and legalistic adherence to traditions of men that contradict Scripture. (Mark 7:8)

Let us consider just three myths.

Myth #1: Disfellowshipping is the last resort, reserved for those who are unrepentant, determined to continue in sin.

While this might describe some who are disfellowshipped, it certainly doesn’t describe everyone. Repentance is defined as “deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition for a past sin”. Many who go before a judicial committee feel this way. They may have ceased their sinful course, even for some months, and are displaying “fruits that befit repentance”. They may even brought the matter to the attention of the elders in hopes of getting spiritual help. (James 5:14-16) And yet, they still disfellowshipped. What is the problem?

One elder said to a repentant one, “The issue is not whether you are repentant, but whether you are repentant enough.” This falls in line with what elders are instructed in their secret handbook, Shepherd the Flock of God. (KS10)

“The degree of regret (repentance) ought to be commensurate with the degree of deviation.” (KS10, page 91)

“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.” (KS10, page 92)

 

Remarkably, there are no scriptures cited that back up these statements, and these decisions seem that they could become quite subjective. How do you measure the degree of regret a person feels? While it is true that actions should reflect repentance, like an iceberg, most of this quality lies beneath the surface, beyond the eyes of human scrutiny.

 

Some elders might say, “Well, Jesus could read hearts. We cannot.” But remember, Jesus left “YOU a model for YOU to follow his steps closely”. His life course on Earth was a master class, as it were, in how we are to carry out our earthly course. Is it valid for a Christian to refuse to follow the Lord’s example, using the excuse, “Well, Jesus was perfect, I am not”? Absolutely not! So then, if imperfection is no barrier in showing true Christianity, then neither should our inability to read hearts be a barrier in carrying out Christ’s teachings in our lives.

 

And notice what Jesus says about determining repentance at Luke 17:4, “Even if he sins seven times a day against you and he comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

 

According to Jesus, the matter was pretty straightforward. A person is repentant or they are not. And if somebody professes their repentance, they are not to be put through a long ordeal to make them prove it, but rather Jesus told us we must forgive. Does Jehovah do any less? Should we?

 

What did Jesus do? (See Luke 19:1-10) Zacchaeus extorted his fellow worshippers of Jehovah God. Did Jesus wait for the degree of repentance to be commensurate with the degree of deviation before associating with him? Verse 5 says: ‘Now when Jesus got to the place, he looked up and said to him: “Zacchaeus, hurry and get down, for today I must stay in your house.”’

 

This did not go unnoticed. Verse 7 says, ‘But when they saw [it], they all fell to muttering, saying: “With a man that is a sinner he went in to lodge.”’ The Pharisees grumbled that Jesus wasn’t shunning the man. But all the shunning in the world had not helped Zacchaeus up to that point. Jesus knew this and gave him the support and attention that he needed. To what result?

 

Verse 8 says, ‘But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord: “Look! The half of my belongings, Lord, I am giving to the poor, and whatever I extorted from anyone by false accusation I am restoring fourfold.”’

 

Not only was Zacchaeus moved to repent commensurate to his deviation–he went magnitudes beyond. That is the power that living by Gospel teachings can have on people today.

 

On the other hand, think what a damaging thing for such a ‘shepherd’ to tell a repentant person, “You are an unrepentant sinner and no longer a servant of God.” If a person begins to believe this lie about themselves they could well go down a wrong path indeed, resulting in overindulgence, depression, self-medicating, and even suicide.

 

Myth #2: It is not the sin that disfellowships a person, it’s their attitude.

 

To be sure, some people who have appeared before a judicial committee might have indeed been quite disrespectful, insolent, and contemptuous, saying, “I’m going to do what I want to do when I want to do it and nobody has the right to tell me otherwise.” But that does not describe everyone. In fact, I suspect most have been respectful, humble, and contrite.

 

Attitude is defined as “manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation”. Like repentance, judgment of attitude can be quite subjective. Oftentimes, attitude is confused by mood. Goodness knows that if judicial committees were held before people got their first cup of coffee, there would be no mercy on anyone.

 

Many erring ones have the attitude of the sinful woman who wept on the Lord’s feet. (See Luke 7:36-50) And yet, elders are told in the Shepherd the Flock of God, “tears do not necessarily indicate sincere repentance”. (KS10 page 93) There was a certain disfellowshipped sister in my old congregation who often left the meeting in tears, time and time again. How could the elders see this woman so obviously repentant and not accept her back immediately?

 

Whose attitude really disfellowships a person and keeps them disfellowshipped? It seems to me that an elder has to work to shut “the door of his tender compassions”, his empathy, his mercy, even his common sense to uphold traditions of men. When Jesus sees this, do you not think he look down at these men with “indignation, being thoroughly grieved at the insensibility of their hearts”? Most definitely he does!

 

Myth #3: Elders are stars in the right hand of Jesus, Holy Spirit guides their decisions, and thus have divine wisdom. We can’t question their decisions because we don’t know all the details.

 

This is certainly what I used to believe. In Revelation 1:20, however, is there any indication that the elders are the stars of the congregation? It is a matter of Watchtower interpretation to be sure! If we let Scripture define scripture, then maybe we should take Scripture at its word when it says “the seven stars mean [the] angels of the seven congregations”, those congregations to whom Jesus was speaking to in the first century, rather than reinterpreting them to be elder bodies some nineteen hundred years later. Indeed, Revelation 1:1 says, “And he sent forth his angel and presented [it] in signs through him to his slave John.”

 

If we are truly in doubt of this then perhaps we should let “wisdom is proved righteous by its works”. (Matthew 11:19) For, while some elders as individuals can be guided by Holy Spirit just like the rest of us, the fact is elders have made serious lapses in judgment. I know firsthand that my judicial committee had no special window into my heart and were quite blind to my repentance. The things they said in the backroom of the Kingdom Hall were very off. They rarely used the Bible, but for a handful of stock verses. They did not exhort, encourage, or help me scripturally in any way. They offered no special insights.

 

I had believed that Jesus would intervene by means of Holy Spirit during the judicial committee and guide these men to see my repentance and they would come to my aid spiritually. However, these men’s hearts seemed to me to be hardened, and their skulls were thick as well. That day, when myth met reality, I saw into the heart of the organization and I realized that something was seriously wrong.

 

Can elders be mistaken in a judicial capacity? As one sister, who had awakened to the truth about the ‘truth’ said: “If these men were guided by Holy Spirit, they would have known how I felt about the Society, and they would never have reinstated me. If they weren’t guided [by God’s Holy Spirit] in reinstating me, how could they have been guided by Holy Spirit in disfellowshipping me?”

 

I will second that statement. In the eyes of the Watchtower Society, I am liable to eternal death, because I do not believe they represent God’s sole channel of communication. The elders never asked me my feelings regarding this and I didn’t divulge them. My meetings for reinstatement were about my repentance and I truthfully was repentant. However, if God’s Spirit were guiding them, would they have not detected my feelings about this Organization and disallowed me to return to the fold? No? Well, could they have been infallible in their decision to disfellowship me in the first place? Either they were mistaken about disfellowshipping me or mistaken about reinstating me–one cannot have it both ways.

 

In a secular court, everything is transparent and the full text of the law and due legal representation is available to the defendant. However, these ‘judicial’ meetings are held in secret, without outside observers and recordings, representation or jury– nor is there a transcript afterward that is made public. Even if the one being tried requests these things, they would not allow it out of “confidentiality”. On top of everything, there are secret rules that come in the elder’s handbook, letters from the Society, secret elder schools, and directives from traveling overseers that the one being tried is not privy too. I feel if Witnesses were allowed to know all the details, many would likely awaken to the truth about the ‘truth’, because sometimes, that is what it takes for a person to awaken.

 

# # #

 

I firmly believe that when a person seriously sins, they need more support, not less. They need their friends and family to rally around them and upbuild them! Disfellowshipping, as practiced by the Watchtower Society, does the exact opposite. In many cases, shunning tends to keep people away, rather then restoring them. And when they do return, why is it that they have returned? Were there motives to serve God more fully or merely to regain association?

 

Think of it this way. Genesis 2:18 says, ‘And Jehovah God went on to say: “It is not good for the man to continue by himself. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him.”’ If it was not good for a perfect man to be alone, how much more so, a sinner? Again, they need more encouragement, not less!

 

Proverbs 18:1 says, “One isolating himself will seek [his own] selfish longing; against all practical wisdom he will break forth.” While this can be true if an individual isolates themselves, is it not just as true if they are isolated against their will? By isolating an erring one, we could actually make matters worse! Some do, in the despair of utter loneliness of being shunned by everyone they know, seek to fill the void by a course that draws them further and further from their Heavenly Father.

 

If there are any active elders reading this who serve on judicial committees, I advise you to seriously weigh the words of Ezekiel 34. Let us consider a few verses:

 

4 The sickened ones YOU have not strengthened, and the ailing one YOU have not healed, and the broken one YOU have not bandaged, and the dispersed one YOU have not brought back, and the lost one YOU have not sought to find, but with harshness YOU have had them in subjection, even with tyranny.

5 And they were gradually scattered because of there being no shepherd, so that they became food for every wild beast of the field, and they continued to be scattered.

6 My sheep kept straying on all the mountains and on every high hill; and on all the surface of the earth my sheep were scattered, with no one making a search and with no one seeking to find.

7 “‘“Therefore, YOU shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah,

8 ‘“As I am alive,” is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, “surely for the reason that my sheep became something for plunder and my sheep continued to be food for every wild beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, and my shepherds did not search for my sheep, but the shepherds kept feeding themselves, and my own sheep they did not feed,”’

9 therefore, YOU shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah.

10 This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘Here I am against the shepherds, and I shall certainly ask back my sheep from their hand and make them cease from feeding [my] sheep, and the shepherds will no longer feed themselves; and I will deliver my sheep out of their mouth, and they will not become food for them.’”

 

You dear ones who have been disfellowshipped, who have been scattered and feel ravaged by such bad shepherding, especially consider our last verse at Ezekiel 34:11, “For this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: “Here I am, I myself, and I will search for my sheep and care for them.”

 

Please know that Jehovah loves you very much. He gave his Son for you. If you ever feel lost, Jehovah himself will look for you. There is nowhere you can go, even Sheol itself, where he will not even be able to find you. He will care for you. This is his promise and assurance. Take courage!

 

In Christ,

Londo

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169 Comments on The Myths of Disfellowshipping

  1. lifeforce says:

    Dear Brother,

    you write well and in an informed manner. I am curious and put to the idea that when we look at the scriptures for the qualifications of spiritual men I don’t see where thay are appointed as judges. 1Cor 12 tells us the gifts that we are given by spirit:

    2:4 Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 12:5 And there are different ministries, but the same Lord. 12:6 And there are different results, but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. 12:7 To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the benefit of all. 12:8 For one person is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, and another the message of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 12:10 to another performance of miracles, to another prophecy, and to another discernment of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 12:11 It is one and the same Spirit, distributing as he decides to each person, who produces all these things.”
    And TITUS 1:

    1:5 The reason I left you in Crete was to set in order the remaining matters and to appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 1:6 An elder must be blameless, 6 the husband of one wife, 7 with faithful children 8 who cannot be charged with dissipation or rebellion. 1:7 For the overseer 9 must be blameless as one entrusted with God’s work, 10 not arrogant, not prone to anger, not a drunkard, not violent, not greedy for gain. 1:8 Instead he must be hospitable, devoted to what is good, sensible, upright, devout, and self-controlled. 1:9 He must hold firmly to the faithful message as it has been taught, 11 so that he will be able to give exhortation in such healthy teaching 12 and correct those who speak against it.”
    (from Net bible)

    I do not find scriptures to support the role of a Judge being amongst the ‘GIFTS’ of men or a quality required for being an Elder.

    Maybe this need to be explored in more detail. Thanks for your article.

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  2. spike says:

    Great article Brother!

    I have experienced first hand what goes on in the secret ” back room ” investigations. No love, scriptures taken out of context, a cold, calculating, even aggressive attitude. The experience was very eye-opening for me. It really was as though a conscious effort was made to shut down normal human emotions in favor of organizational procedures. I will never forget the lesson that I learned. The Holy Spirit is not leading these proceedings. If scripture is ignored and twisted and Christ’s example is not followed, how could the Holy Spirit be involved? I had many of my beliefs about TTATT confirmed, and my faith in our Father and his Son strengthened. This a great article and will encourage those who read it.

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    • Spike, you said, “It really was as though a conscious effort was made to shut down normal human emotions in favor of organizational procedures.”

      You are sooooo right! I was dumbfounded when this happened to me.

      Dennis

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  3. JJ says:

    Thanks Londo for this outstanding and loving coverage of what our brothers and sisters that have been “cast out” go through.

    This doctrine goes beyond what is written and is anything but loving!

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  4. Londo111 says:

    Thanks, everyone. I do hope that it is upbuilding to those who have found themselves cast out and wondering, “What in world just happened???” It is important for them to realize that Jehovah did not disfellowship them, it was a tradition of men.

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  5. Ruth says:

    JJ
    This article is very powerful in reality.
    Quote: Think of it this way. Genesis 2:18 says, ‘And Jehovah God went on to say: “It is not good for the man to continue by himself. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him.”’ If it was not good for a perfect man to be alone, how much more so, a sinner? Again, they need more encouragement, not less!—————–

    “If one has done even the worst kind of deed and has repented form the heart. ‘Yes, they need to be loved and helped if they were totally honest with themselves and with God .

    “What true Christian would not be there to help them after all “Let him cast the 1st stone that is without sin.
    Once they get over shame and have repented all parties feel Gods spirit. “The ones who stuck by them, and the sinner who repented. “A lot of honesty is involved for a cure”

    Something l find so unnatural is when people are so scared to be honest about there sins in fear of gossip and retribution. “That is so sad. Most need a shoulder to lean on but fear even their close associates relatives and friends. We are a society who look down in stead of looking up.

    Another thing also.
    If a person keeps practicing sin and hates it. Where can he turn if Gods children shut the door to there hearts. He’s turned to God on his knees. But because of indoctrination of shame he cannot even turn to his best friend. “The one who will not look down on him but love and help him or her with a sincere heart. “Who are these men who make rules to cruelly hurt, even further?

    We all love honesty. When our friends and family are so honest about sin. We ourselves.included.
    Will have understanding hearts that leads them into a pattern of true love.

    Ok so they have weaknesses. “But truth always help if they find a loving soul like Jesus
    In John Jesus says,”Come to me you who are loaded down and l will refresh you.
    JJ This article has opened my heart to remember others before myself. Thanks for this wonderful article.
    Sister Ruth.

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  6. Ruth says:

    Goodness it was Londo111 who wrote it! Thanks for a very encouraging article.Thats a lovely side of you. “Well done then”
    Ruth

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  7. Londo,

    What a great, well written and upbuilding article! Thanks so much for taking the time to put it together. If you don’t mind, I would like to link to it on our website, visaliabiblestudents.org. Let me know if this is OK with you.

    Dennis

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  8. Freethinkerinjah says:

    Thank you for writing such a profound article on df. I as a sister many moons ago was subjected to a closed of meeting and I was shocked at how expertly the scriptures were twisted to prove their own judgemental views regarding dress. But there more to it than that the standoffish way and intimidationing demeaner and more that was so shocking I had to pray to Jehovah to not let me slip into a panic attack. I felt the presence of darkness in that room that I will never forget and never had since.it got worse when an elder with no previous warning some weeks later pupil lily at a evening meeting actually condemn anyone from talking to me and saying I was df I was never df or df for any moral issues but on a word I used in a letter 10 years ago explaining why I wanted to be inactive for awhile to get help for a severe post traumatic stress I incurred after leaving and abusive marriage. I at the poor advice of an elder used the word disassociciate which meant to me because of severe post t syndrome I was disassociating in emotions and could not function at that time as a jw in service and other responsibilities . Any way when I looked up the term disassociating, I was shocked because that was not my intentions.i was never asked how I was doing or any help offered or If I understood what I was doing. Not till years later did I discover the judgement passed on me so when I was ready to come back they ran me thought judicial meeting with 3 men in a closed room and if holy spritit was really guiding them they would have never put me in a room with 3 men alone knowing I have be abused physically by men in my past which they did know this but totally disregarded this as important to me to be safe. Then to treat me as a morally wrong person and telling me I don’t have a relationship with Jehovah and I am condemned by God woke me up to a huge question mark this is not how Jesus would handle this any way I went into a deep depression and almost gave up then I got in touch with a women’s group that is expert in dealing with all kinds of abuse and in their resources the found a book for me the subtitle power of spritiual abuse by jeffVonderen which explained what I went through without mentioned the names of any religion. There is no doubt that Jehovah lead me to this truth about the truth and opened up a whole can of worms on the pharissis and their practices that were condemn by Christ and seemed very similar to what I have seen and heard in my over 25 years of being a jw any way I realize that Jjehovah has sustained and completed my training where men have failed which is actually a scripture in the bible. Now I see I being protected from the wolves in sheep”s clothing while now I have a beautiful relationship whith Jehovah and still uphold the bible in every way but now I can discern when someone is in harmony with the bible or not. So if I had to go thought this stuff to be where I am now well I guess that’s what it took because the real issue with me that I didn’t,t know was that I was a pleaser of men and allowed men and groups to define who JEhovah and Jesus was but now I know about the ttatt. Thank you for this site and all the wisdom that goes into it from personal experience of going through the fire Jehovah knows how to save no matter what JAh bless you all you are in my prayers daily freethinkerinjah

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    • Sister,

      Reading what you have gone through and how it seems to have turned out reminded me of a scripture.

      Romans 8:28
      And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

      Christian Love,

      Dennis

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    • Londo111 says:

      Dear Sister Freethinkerinjah,

      That is a very touching experience. I’m male, but even I did not feel safe before such a male tribunal like that. I well know what you mean by the Presence of Darkness that the judical commitee can bring.

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  9. Londo111 says:

    Brother Dennis,

    Thanks! That is more than fine with me! :)

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  10. Freethinkerinjah says:

    Dear brother Dennis Parker, thank you for your spritiual share thought and scripture. I love it when the bible tells it like it is. All those years of studying the scriptures really paid off because in those dark days Jehovah helped me to remember most everything I read and the bible really came alive with meaning. Also in being alone and cast off Jehovah became real and I found out I was not alone. Everything had to get dark, so the only light I could see was Jehovah,s and Christ.. Jehovah always turns evil into live which is the opposite spelling of evil-live . Yup, Jehovah has never let me down I just did not believe because I did not know what did not know.i have no regrets now regarding the negative experiences regarding the elders because they actually in a backwards way help me to see the truth about the truth. As echart tollie said in his book, the new earth we all go through any experience which is needed to wake us up, I believe this because the scales have fallen from eyes also. It took fire the separate the dross from the gold in me. I think every human is going thought this now even on a speeded up pace. I really see the clay and iron in the feet of the statue of the book of Daniel at odds.. Anyway I having fun relying on Jehovah daily and experience great freedom in Christ and still get to others about Jehovah when the opportunity is available but now it’s real because I have wittnessed Jehovah,s power of love with no added burdens. May all praise go to Jehovah. Thank you again Dennis and to all my brothers and sisters may Jah bless you freethinkerinjah

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  11. andre says:

    GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM

    1. From the Patriarchal times as far back as Noah, the family head served as priest for the family offering up sacrifices to cover not only his sins but those of his family (Gen 8: 20,21)… this same system was instituted and recognized by Jah until the nation of Israel was formed.

    2. From this point forward you had the roll of Moses which was initially Israels family head,but the Israelites wanted a king like the nations around them and Jah,allowed this concession,never the less Moses’ roll was to act as judge and mediator between Israel & Jah (Ex 18:13)

    Aarons role as High Priest was also mediatorial in nature, you would offer him your sacrifices to at-one for your sins and ONLY through his office would your sins be forgiven.These offices were to continue until the Christ. (Jer 31:34)

    It was highly offensive to Jesus’ opposers that he would dare to accept the dual role of King & High Priest by openly and boldly forgiving the sins of repentant ones (Mt 9:2,6)

    If Jesus’ authority and relationship to you his property is recognized than you as a Christian should be able to sincerely confess your sins to the Father through the Son and have your sins blotted out!! Meaning they do not exist anymore in Jah’s eyes.

    “Removing the wicked man from our midst” is scriptural (1 Cor 5:13) Due to our utterly false teaching that Jesus is not the mediator for the so called great crowd of other sheep. The organization has conferred that role upon itself.(mediator) Which is why rather than following the holy spirit,the society writes secret hand books for elders.Where they as noted above are put in the spiritually compromised position ie; the broken sheep & their own ,to try and decipher from body language or who knows what if a person is repentant.

    (2 Sam 12:13) Nathan the annointed prophet acted as mediator and related to David,God’s forgiveness for his grave sin. Was their a probation period,NO his kingship was active immediately upon repentance as is the case of the prodigal son at (Luke 15:22-24)

    2. Disfellowshipping simplified: All Christians are a part of Christ’s body, the society doesn’t acknowledge that but if you are not a part of his body that’s akin to being outside the ark there is no third alternative. As a member of his body we must be clean in mind,body and spirit( 2 Cor 7:1) if another body member is defiling itself it can potentially affect the whole body so our Christian responsibility is to try to offer guidance to a wayward spiritual family member (Mt 18:15) the society in a WT last year tried to downplay this scripture,saying that this counsel only applies with minor matters such as an insult or other minutae. Yet look closely at the words here, our goal is to SAVE our brother the opposite of which we would lose him ie; he would be lost to God. That seems to suggest as sin graver than talking on your cell phone while driving,or uttering a rude saying. If our brother persists in this action we take 2 or 3 vs 16. Wise counsel because if this one persists in their action and the matter has to be brought before the cong. we’ve proactively established the matter,legitamized it. vs 17.
    3. Disfellowshipping should be applied ONLY toward those that are actively engaging in a wicked course. (1 Cor 5:1) states that this incestuous relationship was currently happening ‘a certain man HAS (not had) of his father”
    vs 11 instructs us to quit mixing in company with anyone that IS, not was any of those things.
    4. The society has twisted this loving safeguard to the cong. in Pauls second letter to the cong. he recognizes at (2 Cor 2:6) that the rebuke was given by the majority,meaning their were some who for a number of reasons found this distancing to be unreasonable,(wife,children,etc.)

    In closing I want to encourage all of my brothes and sisters out there to AVOID the trap of becoming enemy centered. The society has become what it once rallied against “religion is a snare and a racket” it is now one itself. The wheat and the weeds are going to grow together until the harvest,weeds have an uncanny ability to choke out wheat. I encourage all of you to read God’s word daily.Pray incessantly to Jah about what he wants you to do so that you may fully accomplish your ministry. You hurt sheep out there as was mentioned above are precious in Jah’s eyes. This dark time was prophesied (Ez 34 ) whole chapter (2 Thess 2:1-5) but as the saying goes it’s always darkest before the dawn. In closing please meditate on these words (Luke 21:28) ” But as YOU see these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near”

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  12. susanna says:

    Hi all
    Every one of your comments including bro JJ ‘s topic had more scripual information then any Watchtower Study,ever has about Jsus.
    The comments all made perfect sense , all biased on Gods word.

    One question that was presented was ,Why haven’t we seen how emotionless the elders are at these committee meetings until now ?

    is because that committee has set themselves up as judge . When the scriptures point out that, Christ has the appointment to judge the living and the dead.
    Take notice the ones that are being judged in our generation are the ones who know the truth being judged by those that have put their trust in men.
    A person cannot see inside that organization , its very dark in there. This includes the Elders who are Faithful to the self appointed Slave.
    The light is outside in the wilderness.
    Until all connection is broke with them , your in the dark.

    Why !!
    Because as 2 Thess 2: 4 brings out they have usurped Jehovah’s Temple. The head of the body which is Jesus Christ has been replaced by a Governing Body ( dwell upon that title for a moment,) GOVERNING
    A body of men, became the SELF appointed Faithful Slave.

    vs 4 of 2 Thess 2:reads
    He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God(I) or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

    They replaced Jesus with them self.
    Jesus is out side with us that’s the reason we can see the light .
    The first thing Jesus does if he isn’t already, is to inspect the Temple/
    (Those who are going to rule with him or his church.)Those reaching out for the higher calling.

    The Temple class are spiritual Jews. ( will be Anointed )
    Revelation 2:9
    New International Version (NIV)

    9 I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich!(A) I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan ******

    .(Revelation 3:9
    New International Version (NIV)

    9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.******

    So when the Two Witnesses ( the remaining bride ) are selected from those outside of a man made organization , then they inside will know. Revelation 11th Chapter.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Excellent, very encouraging. Thank you.

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  14. Chris says:

    Wonderful article, thank you Londo

    Its interesting that the attitude of the WTS to people in the world in general, is one similar to the Pharisees derision of the common Jew as “people of the dirt”.
    While they make great claims about how loving the preaching work is, we all know, and have experienced, how totally ineffective it is in making people disciples of Christ.
    To me it gets clearer every day that true Christians will come out from all of Christendom.
    What a wonderful thing to be able to worship a genuinely loving God who does not compel us to worship him but recommends his own love to us. That alone makes me WANT to please him.
    I can almost hear the WTS (and others) calling “Lord, lord did we not do many powerful works in your name”?
    And he will say to them “I NEVER KNEW YOU”

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  15. DanielB says:

    The very structural hierarchies of the religions of this world , make “excammunication” or “disfellowshipping” A matter of concern . To the more goat-like and more abusive-type religions of the world , and to some who are more gentle with their parishioners .

    “You will know them by their works” !

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  16. Londo111 says:

    Thank you, Brother Chris.

    I agree. There is no true love in the Organization. One feels the love when one is new, or in a special circle: an elder, pioneer, or servant giving talkings. It is all performance based…if their is no “progress” then the love cools very quickly. If an elder or pioneer steps down, or life circumstances take them from the meetings, it is the same deal. The relationships formed can be fickle and shallow. Even in the family setting can be “no natural affection”. There are exceptions to this, but at best, Witnesses certainly do not have a monopoly on John 13:35.

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  17. DanielB says:

    Sad but true bro londo .

    The Bible in Basic English says it this way : (Joh 13:34, 35) I give you a new law: Have love one for another; even as I have had love for you, so are you to have love one for another. By this it will be clear to all men that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.

    The humming buzz of family closeness is not exemplary in the homes of witnesses . There is too much fear in the air , and questions over other things that are not centered upon our Master .

    One day , and I hope soon , this Earth will transform so that all living will enjoy family love on Earth .

    Hallelujah !!!

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  18. DanielB says:

    I just finished a phone call with my mother , who is 89 years old . By the time we finished up talking and catching up on what we are doing in the next couple days , she finished up our conversation with , ” well all right dear , sleep tight ” . Isn’t that nice ! This is only natural affection . She doesn’t even claim to be a Christian , and she is in a nearby senior residence , which she calls ” the Home ” .

    But her heart is with me , and for me . She , in effect , “tucked me in” for the night . NATURAL , inherent , considerate LOVE ;

    Oh , if only I had found such love among the witnesses ! They would have had me , ” hook , line , and sinker ” !

    When it was said that “All will know you , if you have Love among yourselves” , we will (sadly) find better love away from the fears and insecurities of the rank-n-file JW .

    I look for my real Brothers and Sisters to come on out of that organizational mess . And in addition , may we always be looking to help other strays along The Way . . . .

    In Christ ,

    bro dan

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    • Londo111 says:

      Brother Dan,

      Your mother does “by nature the things of the law” and she demonstrates “the matter of the law to be written in their hearts”. (Romans 2:14, 15) The Law is summed up in one word: Love. Our heavenly Father only wants us to do what we were made to do. He appeals to our better nature.

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  19. Freethinkerinjah says:

    Thank you London,Dennis,Andre,Susanna,anonymous,Chris,Daniel b,and all others for such wonderful spritiual food. After being in the desert for awhile it’s nice to hang out at the oasis. Love you all. Wow what a cool family I got. Jah bless freethinkerinjah

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  20. Londo111 says:

    I thought this was pertinent to the topic at hand:

    http://www.freeminds.org/index.....Itemid=333

    I learned a few things about the Prodigal Son parable that I did not know. A wonderful experience!

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  21. Disappointed says:

    Excellent article bro Londo. I particularly liked your example of Zacchaeus. It really emphasises the difference between the way Jesus saw sinners and the way the WT does!

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  22. Freethinkerinjah says:

    Greetings. Thank you for all your posts in the last couple of days. Looks like my post of yesterday. Did not go thought so again I will thank you all. I am very grateful of the in gathering of the sheep and appreciate the spritiual oasis in the desert. This is all very spritiual healing for me and again proves the power of Jah to save no matter what. Keep the spritiual food flowing! Agape,freethinkerinjah

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    • Londo111 says:

      Thank you for your posts too! We are all members of one Body and you have contritbuted as well to the upbuilding we all need. Keep it up!

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  23. Londo111 says:

    Thank you, Sis!

    I gave the example of Zacchaeus, as well as elaborating the Prodigal Son, during one of my reinstatement check-ins. A pointless waste of time if there ever was one, both for them and me. They could not refute Christianity 101. They had nothing to say–they didn’t even open the Bible one time. They just said, “Understand, this is what we are told to do. You don’t have to agree with it. We just want you to understand.” They are beholden to the Hierarchy and its procedures.

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  24. Ruth says:

    Bro Dan.
    My heart knew what you were saying because it ached as l read what you said about your mum.
    The love you show all of us is so appreciated because they are not just written words.
    Wish someone would say nice words to me before l go to sleep each night.
    Then again my German Shepard has her way of saying it to me before she tucked up in her
    bed.
    Sometimes we get over spiritual and forget each others needs here on forums about xwitnessess.

    Your appreciated Bro dan.

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  25. Freethinkerinjah says:

    Greetings to my spritiual family may you trust in Jah because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-11. Today I was thinking ,what was the worse thing I have been through? I at one time believed that Jehovah and Christ did not love me? That was the unforgivable sin, the missing of the whole point of Christ dying for me. It felt unforgiving in my neg thoughts toward myself and Jah. Part of the reason for this is that I was raised in an alcoholic family and severely abused as a child. Of course I would think god did not love me, because my early childhood was one of distrust pain and isolation. Little did I know that when I got involved with jw, I had unknowingly transferred my childhood bagged to the congregation and was looking for healing from my new parents sisters,brothers elders gb etc. I did find some love, some encouragement some spritiual shelter from my pain but something was missing.
    I did not have a developed spritiual relationship with Jehovah and also lacked understanding about the role Christ had in my life. Understandable, given that I was depressed, suffering from major trauma from childhood abuse and then trusting in man for something I needed to trust in Jah. So all the trials I went throught finally put me in a position where I felt like giving up it felt like dying to everything I thought I knew about myself Jehovah the congregation,all my beliefs systems surrounding jw and the whole world in general. I remember that day of dying I felt cast of from jehovah forever. Then everything got real quiet. Then I started to laugh and thought well, if I am dead then it does not matter what I do. So I did something I did not do before. I started talking to Jehovah thinking what do I have to lose. So I started to tell him everything, how I felt, all the bs I went throught the resentments I had what I thought about some of the elders, how mad I was cause I was born in such a abusive family, what is my purpose for even being here,and more. I spared no emotion no words I poured my heart to Jehovah and really said what I felt with no restriction that I am going to offend jehovah or hurt his feeling, because remember with the help of the elders I was lead to believe I was not loved by Jehovah and I was condemned along with how my parents abused me. Well guess what today I am still pouring my heart out to Jehovah and found out Jehovah loved me all alone regardless of being whatever reason the elders said I was df even though I was not practicing wrong doing but I saw that their beliefs were not in agreement with Jehovah’s ways. And they detected that I trusted in Jehovah and saw through the scriptures being twisted.jude4 I became a threat yes I was emotionally devistaded for awhile but all lead to feeling abandon by Jehovah but then Jehovah stepped in and everything changed. By the worlds abandonment I saw Jehovah’s love. I had to die to live. That what Christ said we have to die to ourselves our neg thinking put on us by this worlds neg spirit and it will all be beat out of us all eventually, to separate the dross from the gold. Once I got the truth Jehovah loves me I got the power like mentioned in is 40:29-31.i learned what 1 cor 2 :12 means for me. -he cares for me. It had to get so dark that the only light I would see was Jehovah’s in my case the darkness came by those who were closest to me so I could learn about Jehovah’s love. Ps 55:12-14 ps118:5-7 ps 52:8 ps 25:2 ps62:10,11 so today I am living prove that Jehovah knows how to save and have a way out 2 cor 4:8-10 oh ya I also believe that Christ is my personal mediator so to rid of the middleman. That why Jehovah did that, Christ died for All men! When I finally got that I realized I don’t have be annoited to come under Christ help of a high priest. And I finally understood the bible is written for anyone willing to find GOD. The truth about the truth set me free Jah-hoo! I hope my personal experience is of help. Take what you like and live the rest. Love you all sister freethinkerinjah

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  26. Freethinkerinjah says:

    I am really enjoying reading everyone’s input and daily reading the information on this site. It has been very encouraging to read about others experiences which are real and honest . I always said that if the organization forgot how to be honest and candid as the bible was , they would lose one of the indentifying marks of having jah’s holy spirit. But truth was always left to the babes, the downtrodden the people of the earth, as the pharissis put it, the foolish ones. So thank you for sharing I am benefiting from all the positive spritiual food. I would write more but seems like every time I try to sent in a long comment, the iPad seems to have a word limited. Maybe that’s good makes me keep things simple. Love you all you are all in my prayers. Ruth, that’s a good point on being encouraging to others thanks for the reminder. Agape,sis freethinkerinjah

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  27. DanielB says:

    Excellent story sister ! It is so refreshing to open our eyes to the fact that any of man’s religious or political organizations induce us to servitude , which is in opposition to Christian Liberty . I am glad that the WTS got this point right , however they won’t officially admit that they are part of Christendom , which will be destroyed . But there is LIFE in Abundance in Christ !

    Your brother in the Lord , bro dan

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  28. dudley cook says:

    Am I supposed to have my own website??
    Why? How?

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    • Londo111 says:

      Brother Dudley,

      Galatians 5:1, “For such freedom Christ set us free. Therefore stand fast, and do not let yourselves be confined again in a yoke of slavery.”

      You are free to do so. Why and how are between you and God… :)

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  29. man oh man says:

    GREAT Article!!!! Elders are not stars in Jesus hand as they are not qualified according to scripture but by company standards.

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  30. Londo111 says:

    Thanks, brother!

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  31. Freethinkerinjah says:

    Hello to all you beautiful people in spritiual freedom,
    I just read that profound poem by jan groenveld on one of the earlier posts, about df titled it hurts. Wow, the poem really told the story my story especially I was illegally df, not based on any scriptural bases and even if I done anything wrong the whole df process is illegal, sort of like when the pharissis tried Jesus at night and brought in false wittnessed. Of course we know Jesus was totally beyond condemnation. Anyway I was treated as a df person and it took me several years to heal from it. I am grateful that there was not any scriptural bases for the elders treatment because it made it even more obvious of what they were doing. Interestingly ther are some of the friends that do not treat me as the elders and know that something is amiss and they wonder and act with caution. What really blows some of the friends away, is how Jehovah has more than made up for so called loses friends who really are caught in the trap and have not found there way out yet. I can see the fear on their faces, the pain the stress the knowing something is wrong, and I pray for them often so that will be set free. I smile when I see them and say hi, hoping they can see the joy I have in my life because of having a real relationship with Jehovah. About a week ago I saw a friend who is a jw Whos been df twice. Now back again in good standing. Anyway I said hi and and asked how things were. But soon came the question are you df? I said well the elders think so but not Jehovah. Anyway this person said I can’t talk to you. I smiled and said well that’s your choice I’ll see you in god’s kingdom. The cool thing was I still loved this person very much, and it did not bother me at all, but I had a sense of loving detachment and respect for this persons beliefs. Also I had applied a 12step saying I learned many moons ago. It is non of my business of what others think of me. Anyway for anyone who’s been df Don’t give up or dispare. 12 step programs are great for getting spritiual help. Alanoon has helped me and coda which is a meeting helping with dis functional relationships with is usually what you find in many congregations. The book the subtle power of spritiual abusre by jeffVonderen has really helped to identify the dysfunction in a congregation without attacking any particular religion. And of course this website is a great gift to encouraging many who are hurting, the wealth of spritiual gems is amazing and I just discovered this a few weeks ago. Thank you for all your shares. Please keep sending in your thoughts! Romans1:12 or rather that there may be an interchange of encouragement among you by each one through the others’s faith,both yours and mind. Agape, your sis Freethinkerinjah.

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  32. DanielB says:

    Our true friends , Sister , will keep on loving us , whether or not they are witnesses . I know that this is what you are seeing too . If I still lived in the town I was disfellowshipped in , I am certain that I would see and appreciate this too . And they will see , as our lives go on , that we have many more Christians to associate with , and we can even have a decent standing in the community where we live . And this is not because we turn to “friendship with the world” as some of them view it , but rather our lives can be a recommendation of our consciences , so that some will begin opening their eyes . It is so reassuring that Jesus will gather ALL of his own !

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  33. freethinkerinjah says:

    dear daniel,thank you for your share. i sense alot of jah wisdom behind those words. i am grateful that this site is helping to bring in the scattered sheep. jehovah always provides reminds me of the scripture in ezekiel 34;22-and i will save my sheep and they will no longer become something for plunder and i will judge between a sheep and a sheep 23- and i will raise up over them one shepherd, and he must feed them—- matter of fact the whole chap of ez 34 is so right on about scattered sheep and i never really knew about this chap till i went through what this chap talks about. anyway life is good and jehovah is great and i got my brothers and sisters thank you agape your sis freethinkerinjah

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  34. Alden says:

    Great article and splendid comments! It’s really a knockout point where the WTBTS is failing in exhibiting true love in their practice of DFing.
    Under the George Bush administration there was a debate if water-boarding were torture. Their attitude was “if it doesn’t kill you, it can only make you stronger”. But human rights organizations disapproved vehemently as I’m sure you all can imagine.
    Disfellowshipping, as practiced by the WTBTS, is most assuredly also a form of torture. To withdraw love from another human being is the worst action that can taken toward them without directly killing him/her. It has the appearance that the WTBTS would preferably be resorting to stoning like in old mosaic times and have the matter done with, but they do the next best thing by making their fellow human “non-existent” to friends and loved ones, something I have come to believe to be the highest form of hate possible.
    Interesting in the article were the quotes from Ezekiel, which is currently being read in the congregations. Many of the things mentioned passed through my mind during the readings.
    From my experience, it’s also remarkable that little use is made of “public reproof” as a form of probation, where the accused can be given the benefit of the doubt. The public reproof would have the advantage of distancing the congregation from the actions of the accused while ‘preserving face’ or keeping the congregation free of “reproach”.
    There is reportedly also a program for the elders to visit the dfed ones once a year. The dfed people I’ve talked to have never received such a visit. So much for shepherding!

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    • JJ says:

      Alden

      Good points indeed. It is a harsh unloving policy of men, used for control and fear primarily. Once you go beyond what is written things fall apart.

      The “once a year visits” to DFed people are difficult to keep up with, and the elders lose track of many of these disfellowshipped ones as it has been estimated that lists of people’s phone numbers and addresses change by about 30% per year.

      During the years I was an elder we rarely had “success” when calling on these ones, or even contacting the majority of them, but we did attempt it every year.

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      • Alden says:

        Bless you, JJ, you took your sheparding seriously! My sympathies for the elders working over their capacity. It’s a good thing there is a tireless Shepard working above. Despite the address change, the “sign of Cain” goes with the dfed person and he is confronted with it all his life. I don’t think Paul intended it that way.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    i don’t know about this but my hole life had family in the truth but right now i know for her there is one of you ( JW0 that needs to be kiked out . DRINKING , ON facebook dating always partying etc What happened to the GOOD OLD JW u are not out there any more . I truly am saddened buy this . You all need to clean up your act !! It is truly out of control !!!! [Comment slightly edited by Admin]

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    • JJ says:

      VRCalGirl

      Welcome to the site!

      Your message is hard for me to understand, as I’m not sure who you are referring to. But it is obvious you feel strongly about this person and want to help them. Email or message me anytime if you want to talk.

      In Christ,
      JJ

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    • Londo111 says:

      Anon,

      Personally, I live a quiet moral life that is 180 degrees from what you described. Such a generalization does not sound Christ-like at all.

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  36. Anonymous says:

    A Circuit Overseer was visiting the congregation in my community . The congregation knew who I was , a disfellowshipped man in their territory . One day during his visit , he was walking with a local ministerial servant along my front yard . I began walking the same way to a neighbor’s and past them up . The CO grabbed my attention and said , “Dan ? Dan Wallace ? ” I slowed up with them , and said “Yes , hello” . And the CO said he is the CO and that “We would like to come over and visit with me sometime this week” . I said ” Yes . I would like that ” .

    He never came by .

    I don’t really know what the word is out on me in that organization , but I don’t think it’s very good .

    Right now , I am in much better company with all of you .

    Christian Love ,

    bro dan

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  37. Anonymous says:

    It ain’t me either , bro Londo . I think we need Brother Agent 007 to sniff this one out !

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  38. Danile says:

    Well if the person disfellowshipped seeks there own selfish longings and does not draw close to Jehovah and commits more sinful acts then I guess they were only sad because they were being punished not because they feel saddened by their acts of sin

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    • Londo111 says:

      Heed to words of the Lord at Matthew 9:13, “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

      Never guess and fret over the pain in somebody else’s heart. By learning the essense of the Gospel, Christianity 101, rather than myths and sterotypes, we can learn to draw people to God and not push them away.

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  39. Jane says:

    I am disfellowshipped and I have to say that in my experience it was without a doubt warranted .. I dedicated my life to do Gods will and not my own selfish desires . Somewhere along the way I lost sight of that, lacked meeting attendance , stopped praying , stopped reading the bible .. Started hanging out with the wrong people .. Got caught up in what was going on in nightlife and then wounded up committing adultery ( which is wrong on any religious playing field) I was seeing this man for several weeks and did so knowing it was wrong .. But he wasn’t even the first I had been involved with … Bottom line I wasn’t repentant about what I did that was wrong and so ultimately I disfellowshipped myself by my own actions . I didn’t get disfellowshipped for good repentant behavior . I was disfellowshipped because of my own selfish , utterly wrong decisions . I broke a vow to my husband and Jehovah .. Why should I be able to represent Jehovah when my lifestyle hasn’t been in line with what the bible teaches ? I wasn’t sorry for what I did … I didn’t learn from being privately counseled and readjusted .. I can’t go door to door teaching ones about the bible if my actions are In contrast .. It’s like this you either accept discipline and learn … Or you become angry because you are being disciplined in which case you are saying I have done NOTHING wrong. Repentance is more than feeling sorry for your actions .. Its turning away from them and fleeing from it. If you want to do what is right …. You will … And if you struggle you pray to Jehovah and stay busy to combat temptation . We disfellowshipped ourselves by our actions . Take it or leave it

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  40. Londo111 says:

    To be sure, adultery is a serious sin. And I glad that you have recognized it and are now repentant. Here’s the thing: now that you are repentant, can you just now go to the elders, pour your heart out, and be accepted back? Alas, punishments are mandatory one size fits all. At the minimum, it’s a year out and at least six months of attending meetings. How much punishment is TOO much? It does vary from individual to individual.

    And why disfellowship those who come forward and confess their sins? Why did Paul counsel to reinstate such a repentant one before they got overly sad?

    None of what has been said minimizes the seriousness of sin. Nor is it to say everyone who was disfellowshipped did nothing wrong, that we should not combat temptation.

    What is being said here is that repentant people, who turned away from their bad course, are being disfellowshipped and that not everyone fits the ‘myth’ that people have of these ones. This is the danger when we stray from the scriptures and rely on the ideas of men.

    As I said to the above post, at Matthew 9:13, Jesus says, “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

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  41. Jane says:

    Drawing close to God means obeying his commandments .. And yet they are not burdensome.. Christianity 101 isn’t about just extending mercy. One must be accountable for their actions despite sinful tendencies .. We are all fall short from time to time and take false step …maybe without realizing it .. But do we learn from it or continue on a course that is clearly against what God has set forth in the scriptures .. We either do what is pleasing to God and be self sacrificing ( as Jesus was ) or we pursue all our selfish desires and make Satan happy. Would you marry someone that was only faithful to you when it was convenient for them ? Would you feel that if they cheated on you repeatedly , they were truly sorry for what they did .. And if they apologize why are they doing it ? Out of impulse , because they got caught red handed, or because they truly regretted cheating on you on several occasions . When a marriage begins it begins with a serious vow .. Similarly our relationship with God is just as serious .. We must maintain it and be fixed and firm in our resolve to do Gods will and to be upright .. When we do sin we can pray for forgiveness but when lines are crossed it shows a lack of concern for how Our actions make God feel …. When we sin unrepentantly We show no regard for Gods feelings and we are not showing our love for him sacrificing his only begotten son for us .

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  42. Jane says:

    What you are not understanding is that simply saying your sorry after being unrepentant. ( especially for an extended amount of time ) doesn’t give evidence of clear repentance .. Disfellowshiping takes place under different circumstances but all things are weighed in … If someone was secretly having an affair (which I hope you know is wrong ) for months and months and then decides one day well I’m sorry for doing those things .. Well they weren’t sorry the first month of having sex (outside the marriage bed ) and they weren’t sorry for courting with someone or defiling their marriage bed or defiling themselves and then to carry it on for a whole nother month … It is clearly in all BIBLES a clear command you must not commit adultery and yet …an affair doesn’t take place over night it begins with flirting talking texting sexting and then touching and kissing then sucking then sex…. If one has a bible trained conscience … Something is going to go off in your brain saying this isn’t right .. Jehovah HATES this I should stop .. And then to add insult to injury to do this again and again. . And then be sorry afterwards … Seems like one might be wanting to remove the feelings of guilt by confessing whst they did … Because the confessing took place months after the affair … When you vow a vow to God you can not BEG off your responsibility to keep your integrity .. That was my mistake .. Making excuses or trying to bring up scriptures that cite Jesus mercy is for those who have sinned and are sorry .. To that end their conscience does not allow them to do things that are wrong in the eyes Of God … We must have integrity in our life .. Yes we may fall short … But as far as it depends upon us we must .. Keep and maintain our integrity so as to not become slaves to sin ..

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    • Alden says:

      Dear Jane,
      You reflected and that made the difference. It was not because you were shunned that you decided to change. Shunning in its extreme form is pointless, harmful and unjust. One size does not fit all is the point the forum has been making. Each case is individual and much more allowance needs to be granted for each ones conscience in dealing with disfellowshipped persons or any person who does not share our faith. I’m eager to learn what will be said at the “Safeguard your conscience” assemblies; whether we will be told what our consciences should tell us or whether we will have allowance to form our own consciences by our own level of faith and our own prayerful meditation without being judged by the house servant of another. I fear the former will be the case. Hopefully, I’m wrong. Best wishes to you, dear sister!

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  43. Damaged... says:

    I just found your article…

    I came into the truth by myself when I was about 18.. I was reading the Bible every day.. feeling God in my life every minute.. but realised that I needed to find who were God’s people.
    I did a vast amount or research on all religions and denominations and which led me to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I went and just walked into my first ever meeting.

    .. after a whirlwind Bible study I was rushed into getting baptised not in any real way appreciating even what it meant. It’s all a blur now. It did not seem to be about my spiritual well being or development… but about a pioneer getting points and another notch on his stick.

    As soon as I was baptised I was all but dumped and left entirely to my own devices.. My new brothers and sisters seemed to totally forget that I was so young and had no
    family in the truth at all so zero support from anywhere or anyone. While they all sat secure in their warm and supportive very large extended families that went back through generations
    of witnesses. I was alone. I did everything that the organisation required and more.. I gave my entire life and existence to the organisation and congregation.But the organisation and
    congregation did not give itself to me.

    I became so alone and desperate that I ended up in a serious depression. I was thrown out by my mother because of the truth when I was maybe 22 and no one in my congregation
    even noticed or cared. The only place I could find to live and rent was in a cockroach infested bedsit with a family of black magic practising Africans in a different area so I had to
    even change congregation. My own congregation did not even me go missing. No one even enquired or visited me. My mother eventually let me back home and it was not even noticed
    that I had returned when I went to my original meetings.

    A short while later I had to go into hospital for an operation on my shoulder. I was told by the surgeon that I would have to have blood and if I did not there could be very serious complications.
    I refused and signed the medical form releasing them of all responsibility. The operation went ahead and fortunately I was ok.. But in that time no one from my congregation came to see or support me in the hospital. That too I went through completely alone.

    I used to have to walk several miles to get to the Kingdom hall for the meetings.. various brothers and sisters that lived very near me used to pass me in their nice cars with empty seats
    and just wave… but never offer me a lift no matter the weather.

    I could sit here and recount story after story of total abandonment.. absolutely no shepherding or loving support from anyone that I read existed in all the literature but never experienced.
    It was the coldest and most desolately lonely time of my life… In the 4 years I was in the truth… not one elder had ever visited me in my home. Not once. This group of people was the coldest
    and most unloving I have ever experienced in my life. I felt so utterly destitute, and unworthy of love. I know now that what I was experiencing was racism.

    I was in trouble. To try to fill the empty void and emotional vacuum I was living in I began to associate with people outside the congregation…this led to me starting smoking… trying
    marijuana.. and having a physical relationship with a girl. At every single stage of wrong doing I went and confessed everything in gory detail to the elders. So.. the only time I ever got to
    talk to my elders was at a judicial committee. They asked if I was repentant… of course I was..it was me myself that went and confessed and asked for help.. I got none.. I was desperate.. I told them all my experiences and of the utter loneliness I was feeling and how I desperately needed help. They did not seem to be even able to relate to me in anyway at all.. my emotions and life were alien to them. They just seemed to want to get back to their wives. I had no one to defend or speak for me.. I did not even know how to speak for myself.. I knew nothing..

    They disfellowshipped me while I was there at the meeting… After 4 years of trying my utmost best to serve and do the right thing they just severed my entire life from me in one swift blow.

    I was now shunned by all at 23 years old… It should not have happened at all. It was all very wrong and completely unjust.

    I have never gotten over that moment. 25 years have past.. I have travelled the world in 32 different countries.. yet it still seems like yesterday. It still hurts. Only the death of my mother from cancer compares anywhere near the pain. The pain of my mothers death is waning. The pain from that congregation is as fresh as the day it happened.

    I feel they have wrecked my life and sent me off course for 25 years.. they caused me to remain away from Jehovah for 25 years.

    I have finally managed to get it together and go back to the meetings at a different congregation. For 6 months I have been going and no one says a word to me… brothers and sisters turn away from me when they discover I’m disfellowshipped. They won’t even look me in the eye. Yet in that 25 years I have never stopped believing in Jehovah for a second. He has always been with me. He has kept me alive. I have defended Him at every opportunity. Several of my friends are now attending meetings because of me talking to them over the years.. I think two have been baptised. Yet I am still outcast.

    I have grown a lot stronger since then.. I am no longer the young vulnerable boy desperate to find love and acceptance from any group of people. I no longer beg for or crave or need the support of the brothers and sisters as I did when young. I see quite clearly through that dream now.

    These new elders commend me for the last 6 months of regular attendance… they even apologise for the failings fo the last set of elders. But I have to say my faith in any kind of elder is truly deeply damaged. I can never trust again like I did before. That pure trust and belief in people is sadly ruined. By the way I have never married or had a family of my own in that 25 years. I have wanted to very much but have been too afraid as if I am unable to trust or believe in God’s people then who can I possibly ever believe in?

    Although it sometimes hurts I don’t mind when no one speaks to me now.. it means I can concentrate purely on Jehovah and nothing else. What saddens me more so is that they continue to punish me so very harshly still after 25 years for having a cigarette and sleeping with a girl. And I just found too that I may have to attend meetings for up to a year still with no one speaking to me. and at the same time end all worldly associations and all worldly friendships and relationships.. (and so setting me up in another impossible emotional and social void…) and even when.. and if they decide to reinstate me I read somewhere that I can’t partake in the ministry for a year.. become a ministerial servant for several years.. and not be considered to be an elder for ten years…

    So.. for having a cigarette and sleeping with a girl 25 years ago.. despite confessing both of these myself at the time the very next day… they have set me up for a punishment that lasts for 37 years. I wonder how long David had to wait after committing adultery with Bathsheeba and having her husband slaughtered before being granted God’s favour again.. or how much time before Paul murdered his last Christian before Jesus personally came down and chose him for his special work.

    Nothing I have even done in my life is anywhere in this league… yet I am punished and tortured cruelly for a life time.. Something is very wrong with this picture. Why did Jehovah let this happen to me? What I read of the love of Jesus and what I see in the reality of people claiming to know him are two very different things.

    I can’t see much light in any direction. Today for the first time I quite calmly contemplated suicide.

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  44. man oh man says:

    I say this to Jane above. If a person sins willfully and does not repent, say a family member or very close friend, then why can’t they just no longer be part of the congregation and that be enough? Why do they have to be shunned. Any person could make a personnel decision not to associate with them outside of the congregation if they wish. But why enforce a shunning rule? This is not what Jesus taught. If you have been disfellowshipped and this teaches you something, well good for you, but this will not help every individual, so why not do as Christ taught and treat them as someone of the nations? You will note that Jesus never shunned anyone. Do I follow him or the governing body? Easy to answer. I would also add that the reason the shunning rule is important for the governing body is that it will help keep the truth about the truth away from the erring one. And does it make since to punish those that have done nothing wrong by cutting them off from their erring family member?

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  45. man oh man says:

    I meant to say keep the erring one from teaching family truth about the truth above. This website is giving me problems and can’t edit.

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  46. Damaged... says:

    I just found your article entitled Walking a path of Integrity

    I came into the truth by myself when I was about 18.. I was reading the Bible every day by myself.. spending entire days in my library with 10 big books open searching for God. and I found him!..

    I was feeling God in my life every minute of every day….. but realised that I needed to find who were God’s people.

    I did a vast amount or research on all religions and denominations and which led me to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I went and just walked into my first ever meeting.

    .. after a whirlwind Bible study I was rushed into getting baptised not in any real way appreciating even what it meant. It’s all a blur now. It did not seem to be about my spiritual well being or development… but about a pioneer getting points and another notch on his stick.

    As soon as I was baptised I was all but dumped and left entirely to my own devices.. My new brothers and sisters seemed to totally forget that I was so young and had no
    family in the truth at all so zero support from anywhere or anyone. While they all sat secure in their warm and supportive very large extended families that went back through generations
    of witnesses. I was alone. I did everything that the organisation required and more.. I gave my entire life and existence to the organisation and congregation.But the organisation and
    congregation did not give itself to me.

    I became so alone and desperate that I ended up in a serious depression. I was thrown out by my mother because of the truth when I was maybe 22 and no one in my congregation
    even noticed or cared. The only place I could find to live and rent was in a cockroach infested bedsit with a family of black magic practising Africans in a different area so I had to
    even change congregation. My own congregation did not even me go missing. No one even enquired or visited me. My mother eventually let me back home and it was not even noticed
    that I had returned when I went to my original meetings.

    A short while later I had to go into hospital for an operation on my shoulder. I was told by the surgeon that I would have to have blood and if I did not there could be very serious complications.
    I refused and signed the medical form releasing them of all responsibility. The operation went ahead and fortunately I was ok.. But in that time no one from my congregation came to see or support me in the hospital. That too I went through completely alone.

    I used to have to walk several miles to get to the Kingdom hall for the meetings.. various brothers and sisters that lived very near me used to pass me in their nice cars with empty seats
    and just wave… but never offer me a lift no matter the weather.

    I could sit here and recount story after story of complete abandonment.. absolutely no shepherding or loving support from anyone that I read existed in all the literature but never experienced.
    It was the coldest and most desolately lonely time of my life… In the 4 years I was in the truth… not one elder had ever visited me in my home. Not once. This group of people was the coldest
    and most unloving I have ever experienced in my life. I felt so utterly destitute, abandoned and unworthy of love. I know now that what I was experiencing was racism.

    Jesus said if you leave mother o father or brother or sister for you will have new brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers etc… I did what he asked of me.. yet remained an orphan.

    There was no love.. the only thing I really needed from these people was love. God taught me to ‘love my brother as myself’.. and I did it with all my being.. except that my brother did not love me back.

    I was in trouble. To try to fill the empty void and emotional vacuum I was living in I began to associate with people outside the congregation…this led to me starting smoking… trying
    marijuana.. and having a physical relationship with a girl. At every single stage of wrong doing I went and confessed everything in gory detail to the elders. So.. the only time I ever got to really ever talk to my elders was at a judicial committee. They asked if I was repentant… of course I was..it was me myself that went and confessed and asked for help.. I got none..
    I was desperate.. I told them all my experiences and of the utter loneliness I was feeling. They did not seem to be even able to relate to me in anyway at all.. my emotions and life were alien to them.
    They just seemed to want to get back to their wives. I had no one to defend or speak for me.. I did not even know how to speak for myself.. I knew nothing..

    They disfellowshipped me while I was there at the meeting… After 4 years of trying my utmost best to serve and do the right thing they just severed my entire life from me in one swift blow.

    I was now shunned by all at 23 years old… It should not have happened at all. It was all very wrong and completely unjust.

    I have never gotten over that moment. 25 years have past.. I have travelled the world in 32 different countries.. yet it still seems like yesterday. It still hurts. Only the death of my mother from cancer compares anywhere near the pain. The pain of my mothers death is waning. The pain from that congregation is as fresh as the day it happened.

    I feel they have wrecked my life and sent me off course for 25 years.. they caused me to remain away from Jehovah for 25 years.

    I have finally managed to get it together and go back to the meetings at a different congregation. For 6 months I have been going and no one says a word to me… brothers and sisters turn away from me when they discover I’m disfellowshipped. They won’t even look me in the eye. Yet in that 25 years I have never stopped believing in Jehovah for a second. He has always been with me. He has kept me alive. I have defended Him at every opportunity. Several of my friends are now attending meetings because of me talking to them over the years.. I think two have been baptised. Yet I am still outcast.

    I have grown a lot stronger since then.. I am no longer the young vulnerable boy desperate to find love and acceptance from any group of people. I no longer beg for or crave or need the support of the brothers and sisters as I did when young. I see quite clearly through that dream now.

    These new elders commend me for the last 6 months of regular attendance… they even apologise for the failings fo the last set of elders. But I have to say my faith in any kind of elder is truly deeply damaged. I can never trust again like I did before. That pure trust and belief in people is sadly ruined. By the way I have never married or had a family of my own in that 25 years. I have wanted to very much but have been too afraid as if I am unable to trust or believe in God’s people then who can I possibly ever believe in?

    Although it sometimes hurts I don’t mind when no one speaks to me now.. it means I can concentrate purely on Jehovah and nothing else. What saddens me more so is that they continue to punish me so very harshly still after 25 years for having a cigarette and sleeping with a girl. And I just found too that I may have to attend meetings for up to a year still with no one speaking to me. and at the same time end all worldly associations and all worldly friendships and relationships.. (and so setting me up in another impossible emotional and social void.. one where I will possibly ‘break out against all wisdom’ yet again.) and even when.. and if they decide to reinstate me I read somewhere that I can’t partake in the ministry for another year.. become a ministerial servant for several years.. and not be considered to be an elder for ten years…

    So.. for having a cigarette and sleeping with a girl.. despite confessing both of these myself at the very time they occurred… they have set me up for a punishment that lasts for 37 years minumum. I wonder how long David had to wait after committing adultery with Bathsheeba and having her husband slaughtered before being granted God’s favour again and acceptance from the nation of Israel.. or how much time before Paul murdered his last Christian before Jesus personally came down and chose him for his special work.

    Nothing I have even done in my life is in this league… yet I am punished and tortured cruelly for a life time.. Something is very wrong with this picture. Why did Jehovah let this happen to me?

    Before I went to that first ever congregation I had a beautiful belief in Jesus.. and great faith in and a relationship with God.. and an amazing hope for the future.. then I gave my life to them and lost EVERYTHING..

    They have made it that I even view myself.. my own identity.. and the measure of my spiritual relationship with Jehovah through their eyes and with their measures.

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    • Londo111 says:

      Damaged,

      If you can, read the book In Search of Christian Freedom by Brother Raymond Franz, especially the chapter on Shepherding. You will see that you are not alone. You are not an isolated incident. It is said, but your story is a story that can be heard time and time again. But know that you are not alone.

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  47. andrew says:

    I feel for you brother Damaged. No human should have to go through what you did. The organization has damaged most of us here on this blog and the forum, some more than others.

    At one time we all put too much faith in men and in an organization. We were all disillusioned.

    We don’t need an organization telling us what to believe nor acting as some kind of mediator between us and Jehovah. Jesus already is our mediator. (1 Tim. 2:5)

    Jehovah and His son aren’t responsible for what people do out of ignorance. Through out history man has dominated man to his injury. The organization is just another means for one man to dominate another.

    Seek to establish a relationship with God without the need of any organization or church.

    I would also highly encourage you to seek professional counseling for your grief and depression. There’s absolutely no shame in it. Quite a large percentage of JWs have mental issues because of the high control of the organization.

    Andrew

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  48. Freethinkerinjah says:

    Dear damaged, I feel bad that you have gone through so much suffering and I will include you in my prayers. A lot of what you shared reflects similar situations regarding lack of support and feelings of abandonment which created much sadness and depression in me. But as the years went by I learned to rely on Jehovah and come under the ransom of Christ and have a wonderful prayerful relationship with Jehovah. It seems for me I had put too much trust in men where I needed to put my trust in Jah. I remember years ago I would tell my bible students, have the kind of trust and faith in Jehovah that will withstand anything in this system even if all humans stoped believing in Jah, you still stand for Jah. How that came true for me, because many closest in the true had hurt me the worse. But in time I healed, why? I never gave up praying to Jehovah even when I was told to give up by an elder long ago when I was once df in my 20, then later I was reinstated. I went through a few back in and out situations and when I not involved in any wrongdoing strange politics prevented me from being accepted back. But I still did not give up ,I got therapy to help with my depression, read Jeff Vonderen ‘s book on when Christians let you down and the subtle power of spritiual abuse. I got into a 12 step coda program to help address dependency issues regarding people and got a sponsor so l could talk out my pain with a caring person. I read lots of books on issues I was dealing with since childhood. And I continue to read the bible and rely on prayer. Today I am depression free, I love to have prayerful chats with Jah I do not need approval from other humans and I am free from pleasing man because that was my lesson to learn. In my weakness jehovah showed his strength. In my loss I gained much. A day with Jehovah is worth more than the world,s attitude toward me .and ironically now I have a huge support group of friends including this website. But that’s the key they are a support to me not a dependency anymore. Another thing I would think about is what job went through how he lost much and later gained insight in Jehovah. Also what Christ went though,his own brothers thought he was crazy, and of course judas betrayed him, and at his last breath he asked god why have you forsaken me? That must have been the worse thing to feel forsaken by his own father. Anyway I think we all are being tested and refined for a higher purpose and to have no more doubt who is our real friend and the one who really cares for us, Jehovah and his son and the angels cheering us on. Hang in there brother please don’t give up. You are loved by jehovah very much that’s why Jesus went through so much in dying for you agape your sister freethinkerinjah

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  49. Chris says:

    That is good counsel Andrew and so very true,

    After I finally stopped listening to the loop tape the WTS plays over, & over, & over again, I have at last come right in my head. I am free, but Christian freedom has a special flavour and smell to it, and as I taste it more and more I have learned that it is good for me and very different from the taste of freedom that others offer (including many former JWs who have left for selfish reasons and have become God haters).
    Like so many people sighing and groaning over Satan’s system we want to believe there is better future for mankind, and granted, the WTS does highlight that mankind’s hope lies with God not men, but they have interjected themselves somewhere between our Master Christ and our God Jehovah. That is where the bad taste lies and it is bitter and sour and does not nourish our spirit. Rather it makes us dependent on them for our sustenance like a craving that is never filled. These mental withdrawal symptoms can take some time to dissipate.The journey to spiritual cleanliness is difficult but so refreshing when you can finally taste the spirit with a clean palate.

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  50. Jane says:

    Damaged I feel very sorry that at that time the ones sheparding over you lacked compassion .. It is good that you have began attending meetings again . I believe you should speak to the elders Again about your situation .. When we fake false step and are corrected we must try not give out when corrected .. You were very brave despite all you went through .. There is only one person that delights in seeing us err .. That is Satan the devil . He enjoys it and can push us to see what we will do. I feel sadly that your hall gave little to no support to you … I know what that can feel like my husband and I both agree that in our particular situation we didn’t put ourselves out there .. We rarely made meetings and were calked on by shepards of the flock … Wee were anti social always sat in the back .. We didn’t try . In your situation I pity those that have stumbled you .. Jehovah will hold them all responsible for stumbling his sheep . He takes it very seriously , Despite all you have been through damaged you must not give out .. We are to close to the end .. And despite what people on here can say.. We have to all bear our own load ,and we must all incite to fine works not forsaking the gathering of ourselves , but most importantly we must “preach this good news of the kingdom. I’m sure if someone wanted to just go door to door (not being a witness just a freethinker ) they could . Kind of disorganized because where will you take your householder to worship at (seeing as how you don’t think a kingdom hall is appropriate ) it’s a selfish view to say yeah believe in Jehovah just don’t go to the hall because you shouldn’t have to be accountable for errors .. Come on now .. Who drew away from who? Jehovah our God does not change . I moved away from my relationship with him before I committed gross sins .. So do I not deserve to be held responsible for them .. I mean the thing with any and all sins it doesn’t just go to that level X over night it starts out slowly little by little we take our spiritual suit of armor and chip it away until it’s non existent and our conscience allows us to do it because we are not thinking about our actions .. For myself personally I am firmly resolved to not let discipline get me down .. I put myself in a bad situation and now it’s just Jehovah and I I’m working on my relationship with him .. And attending meetings I have no influence of any members in the congregation because I can’t speak to them I’m disfellowshipped .. So whatever they could say to help me at this point they can’t .. It’s me getting my relationship with Jehovah back . I must ask a question .. If disfellowshipping lasted for a month … What would you really learn … Or maybe three …what would you learn .. You were disfellowshipped because you dropped your relationship with God and You sinned seriously in his eyes and repeatedly … How seriously would you take it if you were only out fit six months ? I thought I was just going to be reproofed when I sat before my committee .. But I realized my actions were not that of a Christian . They were those of the world and I wasn’t repentant by any means .. If I had been I wouldn’t have gone as far as I did .. I just knew they weren’t going to df me .. But they did and what a loving thing they did .. Did you know that in bible times people were killed for adultery ? I have not been touched physically .. Yet just emotionally and spiritually .. The ball is in my court now because I could just walk away from this all because of my poor choices and because I’m being disciplined .. What purpose would that serve .. It would be cowardly to take wrong step (clearly) and then be angry with those that must keep the congregation clean … A little leaven ferments a whole lump .. Or I could start over with Jehovah and grow in my relationship with him .. The one I severed .. And ignored because he does not move ..or change His position .. We do ..

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    • andrew says:

      Hi Jane, welcome to the site.

      One question I would like to ask is if you believe that one must be in the Watchtower organization to have Jehovah’s approval?

      I was raised to have the superstitious belief that the org. was some kind of an ark of safety and that when Armageddon struck only those inside the “ark” would survive.

      Is this somewhat similar to what you believe?

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    • Alden says:

      Dear Jane,

      I am happy that you are getting back on your feet and never would want to disrupt the progress you are making. I hope you are reinstated very soon and get this blight of dfing lifted from off your head. Will you still talk to us then? It is evident that you strongly believe that the WT organization is God’s ordained servant to shepherd the house of God. They are only people, however. Not seldom they do give good council, but at times they miss the mark gravely. This is the reality. We have to use our own minds to form our awareness and build our relationship to God. We can’t let others do our thinking for us, regardless of how good their intentions may or may not be. By all means continue to attend meetings if they benefit you in the awareness that no man has the right to judge you. Whether your request for reinstatement is accepted now, later or never, you have only to answer to Jesus Christ as your Head and to no human or institution when it comes to worship.

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    • Alden says:

      Did someone not like my comment and delete it?
      [Admin: It was in the spam filter- it has been un-spammed!]

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  51. Anonymous says:

    No human organization is God’s organization that is an Ark of Salvation . If this were so , we would need to become Jews and move to Jerusalem . The JWs don’t understand this . At the end of this world , as we know it , people will be called into God’s favor from all tribes and peoples and tongues , but not into the immagined “ark of salvation” that the JWs think .

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  52. Freethinkerinjah says:

    Thank.you London 11 for your share aug 24′ and Andrew your thoughts aug 25′ and Chris you comments aug 26. Encouraging and the shares reflect my thoughts also. Agape your sis freethinkerinjah

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  53. MDC says:

    Recently I created my own Youtube channel. It was for the purpose of helping myself in continuing progress for positive changes in health, both mentally and spiritually. It encompassed my career and reasons why I have been making changes. I want to glorify God and his Son Jesus as why It is the reason for my changes. A roadblock I have come across in that it is hard to speak the truth about my years as a Jw, then disfellowshipped, in these videos. http://www.youtube.com/user/TheParadiseseeker. Family would think that I am nuts. LOL!. But the truth is I was depressed and anxious as a JW and then as a DF’d JW. Only until taking on the mind of Christ and coming to him personally without the albatross hanging around my neck, i.e., ( seeking reinstatement, trying to prove myself before men, etc. etc.) have I been the happiest and mentally free from “the Truth”. I thank Jehovah and his Son for allowing me in there presence, without the help from ( or lack of help ) from the elders. Being DF’d essentially for having mental disabilities in thoughts and or addictions, is the worse thing one can do to a JW. Sending him packing with all his baggage with him, then losing your family as a result of all that. Well friends praise God that I have seen the light. Since Jesus has come into my life and his “load is light” he has added no further burden on me to seek or prove myself worthy for reinstatement into the congregation. My work keeps me focused and the beautiful country I witness everyday fills my heart with gratitude towards Jehovah and his Son and Savior Jesus Christ. Love, MDC

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    • JJ says:

      MDC this such a great comment- it made my day frankly!

      Please keep up the good work brother, because you are free to serve The Lord and up build the body of Christ now any way you can. That’s what our lives should be about right?

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      • MDC says:

        Thanks JJ. And my pleasure. The building up and the edification of one another in the Christ is a no brainer. A prerequisite for living a spiritual life and one where like minded Christians can partake in thought, speech and action. For me it is what I love to do, and it is for me a healing. I have been all over the country, and just took a break the last couple of weeks. Suffice it to say I was looking forward to hitting the road once again. And here I am. It is there that my desire to share “glad tidings” of “the gospel”. Truth is my focal point, and Gods word is my “sword” and a “lamp to my roadway”, in more ways than one. I think I shared with you that many of my family are still active JW’s, and my actions I hope are louder than my words.

        Having been raised as a witness with a large family, I am 49 now, the indoctrination or the mental picture of armageddon and the import of works hit me as a child truly differently than other young ones, or maybe not. Having mental and anxiety problems all my life coupled with an inferior complex played harshly with the “works oriented indoctrination of armageddon right around the corner”. I have been a mess mentally all my life, an inward torture, a breakdown mentally in 1992. Shortly thereafter DF’d for smoking, after a few unsuccessful committee meetings. The short is they DF’d me because I couldn’t attend another meeting with them, I refused. I could go further and tell you the ugly truth about my bad behavior, and how it ostracized me and my wife and 3 daughters, but I won’t. Gods word tells us we reap what we sow. I think the drug addiction for a time, was for
        self medication. After three attempts to quit and attend meetings for months at a time, desperately wanting association once again with the congregation, because the anxiety I felt was that if I don’t have friends or family, I will fail even again, a pattern. Meds for anxiety never worked, because it was not manufactured to heal the part of my brain that was infiltrated by “watchtower dogma”, namely that I was a lost cause. Christ taught his disciples about the “seed that fell on the rocky soil”, never able to take root, might sprout for a time, but wither away from the heat, or trampled on. Medication couldn’t heal that. And men can’t see what is in the heart of men. It has taken me a few years to realize that Jehovah knows my heart and his son forgives me. And even when pressure or anxiety rears its ugly head and makes me feel unworthy, I cry to my Lord and say, “Thank you Lord, because you did not come to save the righteous, but you came to save the sinners”. And sickness is a sin, inherited. Men who judge others for having a sickness are in reality doing what Christ condemned them for,” Let he who has no sin, cast the first stone”. Love, MDC

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  54. Freethinkerinjah says:

    Wow great share mdc! It is really encouraging to see so many friends waking up. Back in 2007 I had a feeling that something like a huge amount of friends would see the truth in a whole new light. Matter of fact I hinted at this by saying to an elder back in 2007 , if you think things are wild now with all the problems you elders are dealing with, well hang on because you have not seen what’s coming up for you guys! Of course he said, our you saying something wrong within the organization? I just smiled and said you elders are going to have yours hands full within the next few years and you won’t believe what will happen. Anyway things are getting very interesting and are perfectly timed by Jehovah stay tuned! More surprises to come! Agape your sis Freethinkerinjah.

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  55. Jane says:

    Alden , I feel terribly bad for anyone who Is sheparding over Jehovah’s flock and not overseeing if in a just , fair , unbiased , manner . They will be dealt with. By Jehovah of that we can be sure . In my particular situation I was not repentant .. I repeatedly engaged in conduct I knew was wrong .. And I was deemed unrepentant because I truly was not repentant … I mean think about it .. We weren’t disfellowshipped for good behavior . It is a child that scorns discipline and gets more angry when corrected .. You can’t change that truth ..

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    • Manong says:

      I think, this time that I will be replying to Jane’s comment, she is now already reinstated. But for me don’t focus your attention to the Elders’ shortcomings. Just do whatever you can to be reinstated because at the end of the day ( when Armageddon comes) individually, we are all accounted to Jehovah. BTW, I am df too.

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  56. John S says:

    Dear friends Damaged and Jane.

    I’m sorry for both of you guys. I was disfellowshipped for a couple of years, too. I resigned from JW’s over 5 years ago. The book of John gives great comfort to ones who would really want to know what Jesus wants us to think and do at times like you are experiencing. You shouldn’t be ‘lumped’ into a category….not my intention. Jesus did say, “Come to me.” By reading his teachings in Gospel of John, you will go for the best advice of all.

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  57. LDubzya says:

    I’m being told so many different things. If there is no arbitrary number of months that a person needs to remain out, why am I hearing I need to wait a year. Ok, so if a person is DF’d in January and they don’t do ANYTHING for six months, could he/she be reinstated at 6 months or does he or she need to wait a year? If a person sincerely tried but struggled off & on, one month good, a mis-step, 2 months good, a mis-step, finally 5 months good, that’s still not enough? What if a person walked away, stayed out for 5 years, then started attending meetings for 6 months, is that enough?

    Signed,

    Very Confused, first time offender.

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  58. Londo111 says:

    Alas, Christianity is just not being practiced. There has been a legalistic structure built around this practice that has no scriptural support. The intel from the new one-day elder school is downright frightening…the Society is directing elders to be harsher, not more compassionate.

    They show a video of a young man who gets his lady friend pregnant. He comes forward on his own and confesses. He is in tears. The older elder doesn’t want to disfellowship him, but the other two elders do. The older elder acquiesces.

    The Society tells the outside world, “Disfellowshipping is a LAST resort. Every effort is made to help the wrongdoer.” The Society tells the elders a different story.

    My personal experience is: the minimum sentence is a year. During that sentence, there has to be a minimum of six straight months of meeting attendance. If the elders let a person back soon, the circuit overseer will come down hard on them. The elders could potentially keep a person out for as long as they want…longer than a year. If you look TOO downcast at meetings, that can count against you. If they catch you talking to people, that can count against you. A person is at their mercy.

    There is nothing reasonable about the process. No amount of logic or heartfelt petition will make them budge. I tried reasoning with the elders, talking about the Prodigal Son, Zacchaeus hiding in the tree, the simple Gospel lessons of Jesus. They said to me, “Understand, this is what we are instructed to do. You don’t have to agree with it. Just understand.”

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    • whateverhappenedtome says:

      londo, as far as i know, if a dfd person uses scriptures to the elders as if correcting the elders way of discipline will only slow down the reinstatement. i have a friend who got dfd, and even Attended the meeting on the day he was announced, his sin was a one night stand with a sister from the same cong. he confessed, she denied, he got dfd but never stopped going to the meetings, she is still commenting at the wt studies. two years and a half passed he was not reinstated, until recently. and then he spilled he’s been texting this elder with questions, and asking them when he’ll be reinstated, and the elders kept telling him, wait we will call u with the committee, until he started studying and researching, and had new sets of questions to throw at the elders, then even the elders stopped talking to him..when he stopped texting those questions, it took him 6mos, after the 2 years that passed to get reinstated again..but now he knows more than what he knew before..but decided to go back anyway for family reasons.

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  59. Anonymous says:

    RE: DF. procedures. My PERSONAL OPINION.. Get Legal advice on your rights before attending a Judicial Hearing or meeting with Elders in any way. WTBTSs are registered as Not For Profit Corporations. As such they must conform to the Articals Of Incorporation in the District or Country they are Incorporated in. These are available online. Contained in these documents are Specific Rules governing all aspects on how a NFPC conducts its affairs. (Including acceptance of members,removal,and treatment of members etc.) No organization can engage in Self Serving Justice. JW Elders claim Ordained Minister Status, They use this Status in order to invoke the right Not to discuss or reveal information told to them in confidence. However the Accussed can instruct an Ordained Minister to reveal any information to any person of his/her choosing. Also when you confide in an Elder or any JW (all JWs claim to be Ordained Ministers) Anything said MAY NOT BE SHARED WITH OTHERS! Make this point clear when speaking to any JW. Remind them there are Legal Concequences if they break this trust. Ask for something in writing stating a Reason why you must attend a Judicial Hearing. KNOW YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS. One may choose not to attend a Judicial Hearing.(or take phone calls or any verbal communication) This way one would get written notification of DF. and reason why. The above is my own personal opinion and is not to be considered advice of any sort.

    Feedback?

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  60. JimmyG says:

    Anonymous: If it reaches the judicial hearing stage, JWs have no rights. Nothing will be put in writing and given to the ‘accused’. If the ‘accused’ refuses to attend, then disfellowshipping will be the result ‘in absentia’.

    The WT is big on pursuing human and legal rights to ensure the right to preach etc in various countries, but strips these very same rights from their own adherents who are subjected to their ‘in-house’ judicial process.

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  61. danielB says:

    A judge with much sense at all would listen to your arguments brothers , if it should come to that for some reason . But the society would have their legal department right on it .

    Bro. Anonymous , are you also Brother Mediator who has posted here ?

    Your Brother , in Christ , . bro dan . . .

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  62. danielB says:

    That’s sad dear Bro Londo . I’ve seen these very things too and way back in the 90’s and 80s . The wisdom of the secular judicial process is better than that false Theocracy .

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  63. Every thing that has happened to me.. To my family… makes sense in this very moment.Seconds in time. eternity. I am frustrated but rising. Channeling my anger. Keep a level head what I tell my self. Institution for 19 years. Scholar I am. Theres beauty in the land. See it now. Was down low but i float on the road to those that need me now. I show the love that was never shown. To people that.. that are evil. So i thought. People are going to remember me in this life or the next. Think of me releasing deeper verses. Disfellow the fellow. Tears of red ice bubbling from a cold maroon soul. Apostate is what theyll say im am. Cuz I tell you whats on listons 8.listons 8 haha. Im man but come on follow me those battered and Bloodied. Follow to a brighter future out of darker days. Lets put our hands on shovel and bury them. Gimme a mic , your words will flow through me. Be the voice get me mega on the phone. Put me on high on the low.. always humble speaking gainst them foes. But…
    Put me in a booth and lemme speak OUR brain. Our binary shalt never be in vain. I know you’ve felt the pain and feeling shame. Rise lame ones. We are of different races and backgrounds but rise my blood… Rise with blood that bonds us. Ideals that molded our weak minds can no long hold us. We are strong. Wrongs have brought us together. make this right. Be not for the dark night we’d never know the Light. Emplore is why I spit this. We must fight. We must storm. The fortified gates. Built strong. Lies and deceit is what they leave. Cleave this demented thought. Brandish the scythe . Cloak me in light. Cast the crystal pic. Thread the needle and pass it to me. Ill sow with thread. threefold cord. My mouth. Our voice. Love. our lords ultimate and supreme quality. Im acting with a quality out of no falsity. Let me show. This. Our story. My story. Your story. Blood bound story.
    Rise broken and teetering
    Rise
    Fear not.
    Light shines because there is someone up above.
    Every thing needed is soul that shouts to heights above.
    Tune in…
    Lets rise up to greater heights.
    Lets fight.
    There is help.
    Each other.
    Lets get ‘em.

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  64. MrVic says:

    99.9% of the time, it’s ALL about damage-control and limiting the effects of free thought. That is IT! Any thinking that deviates from the organizational mantra must be silenced.

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  65. goingback4jah says:

    I am df, its my fault. I told the elders to, I had go e to far and Satan had to tight a grip, tears running down my face as the elder on the line begged me to reconsider and to talk to the elders. but it was not to be for I knew I did not have a Christan heart. even though I was raised in it from birth, I just did what I was told, did what I thought I was supposed to. and then I started doing what I wanted to do and slowly but surely I gave in. and was in to far to just say oops I made a mistake no I had made many. and in the 14 years I’ve been df I had realized until a few months ago even though I was babtized, a pioneer, a shoe in for a ministerial servant, I was really never a true Christian, I knew the words, I knew the Bible, I knew everything one would need to know to defend god and his teachings, I just never had a heart for any of that to mean what it should of, but its taken me 14 yes to have the heart needed to feel loved by Jehovah, about a year ago I made a move across country with just me my son and whatever fitted in my truck and a small trailer. I worked at a crap job. lived in a tiny two bed apartment with my parents, and then everything in my life started to get better, for no reason, or so i thought. I got a new job, pays twice as much, work less, and not as hard. shift changed, now have more time with son, relationship is better then I could even dream, never new the blessing it is to be a father. I live in a three bed room townhouse with no parents now, I own toys that allow me to experience the outdoors in ways I’ve never had the opportunity to enjoy. why was my life so much more pleasant now then it ever was before. before I have been homeless, broke, alone, in a abusive marriage with a drug addicted alcoholic. no enjoyment in life what so ever, other then the illusion of self gratification. it all just changed. It took so much pain and suffering in my life to get me to this point, and I then i realized. every time I made a heart felt plea for Jehovah to help me, he did. I asked him when I was a boy to give me thesame wisdom he gave king Solomon, he did that’s how I was able to excel in the truth when I was younger, should of asked for Jobs faith and and love like Abraham, or Jacob. when I asked him to show me the way home when I was lost a light came on in the dead of night that lead me to a Christian half way house that took me in in for four days and secured a bus ticket for me thru the salvation army to get back home some 800 miles away. when I asked him to protect my unborn child from the drugs my wife was doing when she would leave for days on end leaving me stuck at home with no phone, he did and now my son is three and thanks to the courts my ex wife can’t look at my son unless I say its okay, I never asked for that kind of authority it was just given to me by both my ex and the court system. when I was waiting to hear back on my credit approval for a new truck, that’s when I asked god give me what I need not what I want. that’s when it all started to get better for me those were the words god wanted to hear because ever since then my life has seen blessing after blessing and now its time I give back to god what he’s been giving me, love and happiness. I got to the meetings not for me, not for the org. but for him, an act of declaration that I will publicly prove I am repentant, I love my heavenly Father, and I will do what ever it takes to show him that I am sorry I had not had a softer heart as to appreciate who he was, and that I made him show me in order for my heart to soften to his will. I didn’t realize what I had asked at the time when I said give me what I need, not what I want. and not that materialism had anything to do with it, I was driving a very unreliable vehicle while being a single parent, and was going to be moving to another state, and would not have anyone to help me if my current vehicle broke down it was over 20 years old and had over 230000 miles, I really needed something else if I were to just be safe. and my credit was well the worst, because of all the hardships I brought on to myself thru the years. so when I drove away in a brand new truck, I mean new new, I knew Jehovah was listening, he always was,because i never lost faith in him, I just didn’t have the heart to feel him. since then my heart has soften so much, I cry when I read the bible, I am overcome with joy when I think of all times I called out his name for help and he’s answered me with actions. he has faith in me I have faith in him he’s shown his with acts of love I can and will do the same. I m going back 4 jah!

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  66. C. Preston says:

    Please help if you can. Raised a jw i was df’d a bit over 2 years ago. I was drugged and raped resulting in a pregnancy. At about 7 months preg i begged my folks to allow me to live back on their property in a travel trsiler. They relunctebtly did. However they demanded i be reinstated within a specific amount if tome. I gave chosen to not return. Now they are kicking my sun and i out. Even stopped paying my car insursnce which they had been paying up ubtil then. I have nowhere st all to go. I cut all “worldly” ppl from my life. What am i going to do?!?!

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  67. danielB says:

    What State are you in , C. P. ?

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  68. danielB says:

    My reason for asking this , C. Preston , is that there may be someone who frequents jwstruggle who is spiritually qualified and is in your geographical region , at least , who would be glad to meet in person with you to help with these crucial concerns . . . . just a thought .

    Is there anything that we can do to help that comes to mind right off ?

    You will find sincere friends here .

    bro dan

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    • Reader says:

      danielB: Is there anything that we can do to help that comes to mind right off ?

      Note I know no more than told in the box above, this is ‘right off’.
      The first bit may hurt somewhat:
      -Have you shown some gratitude for the help already given? In word or attitude, gratitude “pays” the giver. And if they feel their help was worthwhile; they are more inclined to extend help more or longer.
      Your Mother is likely all churned up about this inside and seeking any ‘end’ to her torment; you are her child just like your son is yours. Your father may be feeling publicly humiliated, but of course I do not know any history to this.
      You say you choose not to go back to the Congregation,……

      ok, there is a midway here mentioned in the Parable but not as the point of it: Luke 15 v 18,19.
      Last line “Make me as one of your hired men”.
      I do not like compromise with Scripture, but, could you humble yourself before Mom & Dad and bring your life to a behavioral moral standard which at least will not embarrass them? Like an unbeliever working in the house for them – a hired man.

      What would you allow in access to their grandson? Consider but its not my place to suggest any answer.

      Make peace Mom & Dad may already be too old to want this kind of trouble?

      Lastly consider the Scriptural requirements for Elders and Ministerial servant “Family wise” BUT DO NOT SHOOT THESE AT YOUR DAD: 1Timothy 3 v 4-5 & 12-13 and considering how some of this shunning is going to far, note 1Timothy 5 v 8 a sin the overzealous fall into easily!

      Many JW parents over do things and end up in a war with their children, Parents can make a mess of things too, families forgive.

      Your son is their grandson, the three of you should make a peace for his sake.

      Wishing you and parents a happy life together.
      B

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  69. bill says:

    i have been dealt with twice judicially in my fourty eight years. i was shocked to read how others also felt as i did in that room it was not holy spirit it felt like a nightmare more like it was satan. think very carefully about what i just said, transforming himself into an angel of light. the honey that hides the poison

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  70. Rupunzelsawake says:

    Hi Bill. I’m 48 too! Spent 22 years as a JW. I was disfellowhipped in June. I demanded it becuase I refused to disassociate (because they say that is “renouncing your stand as a Christian”) I was disfellowshipped because of my conscientious stand against some of the WT teachings. I could not teach that all members of Christendom are “rejected”. I could not teach that only JWs will survive Armageddon. I could not teach that JWs are the only channel…based on my observations, experiences, and study of WT literature. That one can be disfellowhipped for following their “Bible-trained conscience” (and I am a very good bible student), is indeed EVIL. It certainly is not the direction of holy spirit. It is the direction of misguided and imperfect men! I hope you have found peace brother! I have!

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  71. bill says:

    just remember when jehovah began leading the isrealites out of egypt who else did he allow to leave? some egyptians left with them. i remember a district convention part about 5 yrs ago or so that this reasoning was false reasoning, if that is true whos purpose and control does that serve? you know the answer.

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  72. Rupunzelsawake says:

    Interesting you bring that up Bill. Earlier in the year when I was visited by an elder (on his own), he brought that up. It is his hope that at Armageddon, many upon “seeing the sign of the son of man” will “come over to Jehovah’s side” and at that late time, be saved…just like with the Egyptians who accompanied the sons of Israel out of Egypt. He actually mistakenly thought the July 15 2013 WT was saying this too. I had to correct him on that! A WT I read suggested that any who thought this way, ie. that Jah will NOT destroy millions at Armageddon, are well on their way to developing apostate thinking.(w 86 3/15 pg 15-20, par 14) The above mentioned elder served on my judicial committee. When alone I confronted him saying, “I know that you, in your heart, do not believe Jehovah will destroy all these people”. He replied something like, “We hope for Jehovah’s judgments as He has done in the past. But I can’t teach that because that isn’t what the faithful and discreet slave say.” You can hear the recording of my meeting on youtube if you haven’t already.

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  73. bill says:

    lets talk about the judicial committee did you now realize that an elder serving on your committee can be hiding a serious sin of his own? under the umbrella of holy spirit, can be judging you, but as long as and if he brings it to the attention of the body and has all the right answers which he already has the guide book for he can remain an elder and continue to teach and judge? you will probably never even find out because of the confidentiality on the body. no class distinction? give me a break. i always wondered why the title of district and circuit servant was changed to overseer? what do you think eric? even you and i who have had years of dealing with people on judicial matters have a fear of sitting in front of one ourselves, if these hearings were held and others in jehovahs organization were notified and invited to attend there would be such a change in the way the sheep are treated in these star chamber meetings, or have a jury of other brothers or sisters picked to judge their brother or sister, not these egotistical power loving personalities. even though the term older men is scriptural, it doesnt mean an abusive process that is to be conducted with no rights of the accused recognized. even if you have just a tweak of an attitude trying to defend yourself against an accusation your screwed , just a few thoughts.

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    • JJ says:

      This is a very good point Bill- I have seen it happen where serving elders are guilty of what WT calls “gross sin” and then they confess to the body and are given a pass. All the while the congregation NEVER knows, and the double standard is upheld as they get away scot-free and retain their power and position.

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  74. JimmyG says:

    Excellent point Bill on why the change from ‘servant’ to ‘overseer’ was made- it had never dawned on me before reading it now.

    Regarding the act of JUDGING- where in the NT is it stated explicitly that elders or ‘older men’ have been commissioned by God to act as judges of others? It’s certainly not in the lists of qualifications in Titus 2 and 1 Tim 3. The WT likes to use James 5:14,15, but this scripture is describing shepherding, not judging. In that scripture (verse 14), the person is ‘sick’, which could mean a number of things. Then in verse 15, distinct from the person being ‘sick’ and receiving help from the older men for that sickness, it says: “IF he has committed sins, it WILL be forgiven him”.

    No complicated, man made judicial procedure there, or am I missing something? Your use of the expression ‘star chamber meetings’ is apt. WT judicial procedures do not resemble in any way what would be expected in civilised societies. The ‘accused’ is stripped of all human rights and dignity. Matt 18:17 says, “speak to the CONGREGATION”, not a selected group of 3 or more elders who are somehow regarded as being able to objectively act as both judge and jury.

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    • bill says:

      the watchtower spins the speak to the congregation into the congregation being represented by a judicial committee not even the whole body of elders is considered the congregation, if it involves matthew 18 after the two steps have been taken, its a judicial committee, where is that stated am i missing something? if anyone reading this really wants to have some fun, the next time an elder or two approaches you and ask to meet with you, you should always ask why? and what is the meeting about? they should tell you up front before hand what they want to address with you, however many elders will not tell the person what is going to be discussed, if you insist on knowing what they want to address with you they still may not tell you but they should , even there own 1991 watchtower 9/1 states that when elders act in an overly secretive way it can cause distrust and discouragement! most will just meet without any pre questioning and when two investigate, if things dont go well because of not having any fair discovery up front , the next thing you know the body could appoint a judicial committee and off you go.point being, if they are truly wanting to help a person why the secretive behavior when asking someone to meet?,if that person has no idea what the reason could be? but if you insist on your right to know they will and may still not tell you creating a stalemate but who is responsible for that situation the elder or two are.then right off the bat you could be accused of having an attitude problem. why is the element of surprise when you finally get behind closed doors so important? because if they catch you in a lie then the situation becomes more serious than the original situation, and the perfect cause to form a judicial committee because you may have lied to them…even in a court of law everyone has the right to discovery to prepare the facts for a proper and fair defense. so many in the organization have no idea what can and does go on behind that door, and what they even in a slight way should know to help prevent being railroaded.

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  75. Rupunzelsawake says:

    Here is the unorthodox invitation I got to my JH. (I pretty much knew it would come because I literally asked for it.) One dark evening two elders arrived at my door. My husband answered. They chatted a few minutes about cars, then my hubby came and got me. Upon entering the room, Elder Good Cop put his hand out for mine. I gave it to him, then he pulled me into an embrace.(HUH?) He said the BOE had decided to have a JH with me. He invited my husband to come along to “pick up the pieces”. (So it seems my df’ing was already decided.) He hugged me again. Then as he was leaving to go out the door, he put his hand out again, and I reached to shake his hand, but he grabbed my hand, brought it to his mouth, and kissed it. The Judas kiss, I reckon. Bet you’ve never heard one like that before!

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  76. JimmyG says:

    My advice is to NEVER agree to meet with 2 elders. Even more alarm bells should ring if they are being evasive about the reason for the ‘meeting’. The 2 elder approach is the ‘fishing expedition’ (the 2 elders would usually have been chosen at an elders meeting). where they expect the confronted person to answer all their questions. Another name for this is ‘self-incrimination’. Under normal rules of justice, this is illegal. Under WT rule, to refuse to self incriminate, it’s “not co-operating with one of Jehovah’s theocratic arrangements”.

    This approach is used where a person is suspected of a particular offence, for example apostasy, but they only have hear say and rumours to go on. The ‘fishing expedition’ provides them with the evidence they need to go to the judicial stage, with the 2 elders fulfilling the 2 witness rule. Being evasive is a deliberate ploy to catch the person on the hop, with no time to prepare- confessions come more easily that way.

    If approached, be specific when asking about the reason for the meeting. For example- “What EXACTLY or SPECIFICALLY is the meeting for?” If the answer is vague, then ask “Am I being accused of something?” This could force a ‘yes’ answer- if they say no, then they are lying. If they answer ‘yes’, then you can go along the lines of ‘are you inviting me to a judicial hearing?’ If they’re not, then politely decline their request for a meeting.

    I can’t cover every scenario, but many of us who visit this site are ‘faders’ and so approaches from elders are inevitable. To protect ourselves and our families from the evil shunning policy of the WT, we have be shrewd. No one should feel they have to supply the evidence the elders need to disfellowship them, under the guise of ‘co-operating with a theocratic arrangement’.

    Not all elders are like this, but many are willing to be used this way by the WT, like a type of secret police. Believe me, I was an elder up until about 2 and a half years ago.

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  77. ElderMcBanal says:

    What if there was a lost Gospel of John 8:1-15 and the words were changed for the Governing Body and Elder classes? I played around with the John 8 and came up with this.

    A Woman Caught in Adultery
    1Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3As he was speaking, the Governing Body and their Pharisee elders brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
    4“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5The law of Moses says to spiritually stone her! What do you say?”
    6They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
    9When the Governing Body and their elders heard this, they began throwing stones from the Top to the Bottom of the Organization, from the least of the elders to the most of the Governing Body. Knowing even the Pharisees and Religious leaders knew the crowd who followed them had a heart, and refused to judge this woman, Jesus said “How dare you stand in the place of God and judge the little ones! Truly, I saw to you, you will be in Hell Today! The ground opened and swallowed this self-proclaimed mediator of mankind! Cursing Jesus on their way down to Gehenna and crying out to their god, the Governing Body and elders were swallowed up with all their silent followers, never heard from again!
    10. Jesus’s crying out to his Holy Father with deep emotion prayed “Father, you hear my prayers and I know you hear them, these men who claimed to love you, killed this little lost sheep!” Jesus weeping, yelled “Woman, I say to you, get up! Her face, her body and flesh were as good as a child’s flesh, rejoicing and raising his eyes to Heaven, he grabbed the woman by the hand and said “Your sins are now forgiven, go in peace and practice the love God showed to you this very day! 11. Watching from the corners of the booths, a few remaining elders burned with great rage, “How dare Jesus not demand this woman to be excommunicated for a minimum of two years!” We will get this man, so the elders and remaining Governing Body joined Judas and Caiaphas to find a more opportune time to destroy a man who forgave sins without making people jump through hoops!

    Original Text reads:

    “A Woman Caught in Adultery
    1Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
    4“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
    6They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
    9When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
    11“No, Lord,” she said.
    And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
    http://biblehub.com/nlt/john/8.htm

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  78. Rupunzelsawake says:

    Wow. Can the two elders on their “fishing expedition” really count themselves as the two witnesses? One elder told me I was “allowed” to have “different views” (contrary to WT doctrine), and it was ok to talk to the elders about them. So we had some enjoyable discussions. I was baffled. I asked why it was ok to share my alternate views with them, yet that was taboo in the congregation, and I would get the phobic apostate reaction. “It’s because we’re trying to help you” he said. Of course, unlike them, I actually read WT literature, and I know we are not allowed other views…certainly not talk about them. I think a letter to elders, some years back, said even “thinking” other ideas was apostasising.

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  79. JimmyG says:

    As I said, not all elders are like this, but we know what happened to you Rupunzel EVENTUALLY for expressing your ‘alternative views’.

    Yes, some elders will resort to acting as witnesses, judges and jury. Just look at the Matthew Barrie case, when ‘evidence’ from an elder (also Matthew’s fleshly brother) was used, obtained via a private conversation along with information from shepherding calls (‘fishing expeditions’).

    A copy of the letter you refer to is from late 1981 and is available for download on JWleaks. Coincidentally (yeah right) it was around the same time that Ray Franz was being judicially ‘handled’. A number of the GB believed him to be an apostate in 1980, but they didn’t have the numbers to remove as such, so he resigned. He was disfellowshipped under a WT technicality about 18 months later for ‘eating with’ a disassociated person. It was an obvious ‘fit up’, as no one was interested in his wife, who was also present at the offending meal. They had got their man and that’s all they were interested in.

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  80. bill says:

    your right jimmy he ate a meal with peter gregerson. you are also on point about the proper questions to ask the ss, even though they know i am aware of procedure they still try to play games. it got to the point were the inviting ss officer told me it wasnt an accusation, i looked at him like i couldnt believe what he just said. then why the big mystery about the agenda for the meeting? to get right to the point you just look at them and ask “am i being accused of breaking a biblical law, if so which one?. if they only have one witness to an accusation the direction is to leave it in jehovahs hands. lol. then more mind games begin such as not being as friendly with you as before(elders). and somehow others begin the same routine all in an effort to cause one to confess. stand firm let them play those games, i could never do that with someones life. at least for those who care its better than being shunned by the rest of your family and most have lots of family in the organisation.

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  81. JimmyG says:

    The use of the term ‘biblical law’ is another excellent method of getting the ss to prove what they are saying. The WT makes great claims that they adhere to the bible in EVERYTHING. This is a joke and no more clearly seen than in these situations, where biblical Law and principles are thrown out in favour of WT regulations and procedure.

    Yes the mind games go on and on, but we have to hang in there. Whatever they’re saying, it must be biblical and don’t let them get away with statements like: “The Society (GB, FADS, Org etc) says…..” or “This is the way the Society does things…….” or similar. Watch out for the word “theocratic”- this word is used in these situations to intimidate- don’t be. If it’s used, ask “Where in the bible is that word used?” Of course it isn’t and while the word may sound official and scary to some, it’s actually meaningless.

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  82. bill says:

    jimmy, they told my friend unless he meets with two there will be no further progress in the congregation, on top of not giving him a straight answer as to why they want to meet, they did all they could to get him into the library except put handcuffs on him and walk him in. something is seriously wrong with this picture you cannot have it both ways, he is nervous when he goes to the hall now to do what he thinks is right. can you believe this? since when should someone be afraid to go to worship jehovah and jesus? its insane, dont misunderstand me if someone is committing a gross sin and has a pattern and a practice of doing so and makes it clear they will continue in that course i guess the person is asking for it. im talking about a much more sinister approach from the older men, by lying being deceitful to get rid of someone trumping up a charge or charges against them in order to dis them. thats what the jews did to jesus. the reason i continue to comment on this subject is because its the single most damaging emotionally destructive act that this organisation can do to someone, and it has been abused and will continue to be abused . help jimmy , any further thoughts on keeping away from the snare of a sit down as the mafia calls it?

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  83. JimmyG says:

    Hi Bill. I’m not sure what ‘progress’ they are referring to, except for sounding like another ploy to get him into the backroom. He should NEVER go into ‘the backroom’- this is intimidation. He needs, as politely as he can, to say something like this: “If you’re not going to invite me to a judicial hearing, with respect, I have nothing further to say to you” and simply walk away. The ball is then in their court to use what they have or leave him alone. More later

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  84. JimmyG says:

    If they’re insistent, he needs to just keep repeating it. They obviously don’t have enough on him, so they will try to extract the ‘evidence’ using this backroom method.

    From what you’re describing, these guys are henchmen and bullies, even going beyond what the WT would expect of their ss. I recommend that he stop going to this congregation’s meetings immediately, perhaps even take a break for a while to help ‘re-gather’ himself. After a break, if he still feels the need to go to the KH, then go to another congregation if possible.

    These guys may persist by phoning or arriving at his front door unannounced. If so, he can just repeat the statement. Some, after asking elders to leave their property, have even said that they will call the Police if they don’t leave immediately. Some even send a lawyer’s letter to the body of elders requesting that they desist from questioning the person they are harassing. It can come to this in extreme cases and this one sounds a bit like this.

    The key thing for your friend is to say nothing more, give them NOTHING.

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  85. bill says:

    jimmy i have given him very similar advice in the legalistic sense, you are so on point about your approach, a prominent elder who is still serving used the same word you used, harassment, they will let 3 months or so go by then they approach again, this is becoming a pattern, i understand what you mean about him going to another congregation but as you know all the body or service committee has to do is send a poison pen letter then it all starts back up again.correct me if i am wrong but didnt the direction as of late to bodies of elders from the organisation tell them to stop sending poison pen letters about individuals moving to another congregation for legal reasons like a law suit? however this still goes on and good luck getting your hands on that letter just to read it. By the way that prominent elders advise was also if a straight clear answer cannot be given, then politely tell them to stop harassing him. in the name of religion this is such a shame that these legalies have to exist it just never set well with me , true point also if they had something more concrete two or three witnesses to a matter , confession,etc. they would as you say notify him that a jc has been formed and what the charge or charges are,and time and place of the meeting. to date this has not happened! so lets go fishing and use the two witness rule, thanks jimmy would love to hear more from you.

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  86. JimmyG says:

    Obviously I don’t know your friend’s circumstances, but if he does move, the further away the better- maybe even where he is not known by the cong he finds to associate with and don’t tell anyone what he’s doing, especially the henchmen. I know it’s not always possible, as it isn’t for me, but I have never struck anything like this personally.

    Letters are sent between congs when people move. I’m not aware of any advice from the WT regarding ‘sensitive information’ in these letters, but what you say wouldn’t surprise me, especially in the US, which is a particularly litigious society.

    A letter from a lawyer or even from a Justice of the Peace (if you have them where you are), simply saying desist from contacting the person, but not threatening legal action (that threat could be used later if they don’t get the point), may stop this intermittent harassment. It always has more effect if a letter looks ‘official’.

    Please keep us all posted.

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  87. bill says:

    jimmy just a side point he was baptized before 1985 as a minor, his father serving as po more or less forced him to get baptized because of course being image consciouse to the congregation. what do you think about maybe an invalid baptism defense? but then again that may require meeting with them at some point. by the way during the last conversation he was having with the elder trying to convince him to meet, he was told by the elder that he has emotional problems! that is as improper as it gets and false, just because he was holding his ground as your excellent advice has spelled out. im sure if that ever was brought to the for it would be denied. that wouldnt be the first time a one on one with an elder created statements that were later denied by the elder.

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  88. JimmyG says:

    He may feel that his baptism is invalid. I feel the same about my baptism, which also was before 1985. Believe me, the WT won’t give a damn about that. If he tries to use it, it just gives the ss the opportunity they need to get him- unnecessary contact with the ss, conversations, meetings etc.

    As to the ’emotional problems’ statement: he could ignore it or and especially if it’s used again, he could say something like: ” I appreciate your concern with my general health, but I prefer not to discuss this, as I regard it as a personal and private matter”. I think you get my drift- you are saying in a nice way, ‘mind your own business’.

    Does he have a small recording device? It’s good to record these conversations, in case elders conveniently ‘forget’ they’ve said certain things.

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  89. bill says:

    jimmy i know you also served as an elder, if you dont mind my asking what caused you to change your thinking, i can tell by your replies that you are very knowledgeable about the organisation and its local legal procedures. just curious.

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  90. JimmyG says:

    Hi Bill. It was a number of things really. For many years, alarm bells rang in my head over certain things, but I never allowed myself to think about anything too deeply, after all, the WT’s always right- or so I thought.

    Also as an elder I observed the behaviour of some so called ‘older men’, wondered why we had this secret elders book with all these rules in it and NEVER felt comfortable in judicial situations. There’s more, but I think you get my drift.

    When a relative, who had been drip feeding me little bits and pieces about the WT for a few years (I was probably what you would call a more open minded JW than most) told me about the WT’s UN involvement, that was it for me. From there, I allowed myself to investigate this and yes, it was true. I was disgusted and it was the catalyst for me to widen my research on the WT.

    The tyranny of the WT judicial process is of special interest to me. I know how it works from the inside, but now I see it for what it is. I hate seeing people shafted by this evil practice and if I can be of help to anyone, I am happy to do so. I am, after all, trying to prevent the full force of it coming down on me and my family- but you’ve got to know how to play the game. I’d prefer not to, but the WT forces this on those who would simply prefer to leave openly, with no repercussions. But being open about it brings horrendous effects on a person and his/her family, hence the need for knowing how to ‘play the game’.

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  91. Reader says:

    Dear jimmyG;
    Different in many ways but then a

    ………….”that was it for me”….moment

    and I walked away. What you now call faded. Hurt me greatly at time, soon be 20yrs. I try very hard to keep promises etc.. many issues are not that critical and the sense of loyalty prevails, but it cant crush some things. Ouch!
    Still have friends and family, its us who have to be discreet while churned inside!
    And to some extent still a bit loyal as it gave me a good upbringing, and my interest in Scripture and belief remains. Still trust in Jehovah men I dismissed.
    B

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  92. bill says:

    dear reader thats because you may have not been the subject of a judicial hearing yet to help you feel that something serious is wrong hear not many at all are like the ones this website has posted to view ,in most cases you can barely get a word in as you try to defend yourself unless your asking for it as it were. i actually have to commend the elders who handled erics case i have never seen anyone handled with such patience. jimmy for you. what if it gets to the point with my friend that they are attempting to invite him to a judicial hearing would you advise going? they may just be using this as a tactic and last resort to trick him into some kind of meeting, i would advise him to decline , as you know the body can form a committee but if there still is not enough evidence for their witch hunt at that point they still hold the decision from the committee in obayance, whats your thought? you know as well as i do that this is not going away for him, and all of his family are elders,pioneers etc. so in his mind he has a lot on the line because if the worst happened to him they would act as if he were dead, for real. and as you also know an appeal is always a stacked deck and is in most of all cases is just done to appease. i remember asking my own brother one time who is called upon often to serve on an appeal committees, dont you feel upset or bad for ones before the committee who are pouring their hearts out to you brothers and are practically begging not to be disfellowshipped? his answer was “why should i feel that way? no i dont. their the ones who got themselves in that position to begin with!!” i couldnt believe that was coming from my own brother as a judge? wow! typical i have seen that same attitude several times serving on appeal committees myself, even laughter before the poor upset christian was invited back into the room to hear the rubber stamp decision. we are upholding the original decision to disfellowship you…….and as instructed do not inform them that they can write to the branch if they still feel that an error has occurred. all in an effort to help the poor erring sheep. BS. jimmy please respond.

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  93. JimmyG says:

    Hi Bill. I will respond to your question, but it is late at night where I am, so I would rather respond when I’m not so tired. In the meantime, you could check out the website ‘Marvin Shilmer’ as he has an excellent article on this subject, under the heading “Judicial Hearing Preparation”.

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  94. JimmyG says:

    Sorry, it’s under “Judicial Committee Preparation”.

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  95. JimmyG says:

    Hi Bill. If you haven’t read the article yet, I suggest you do so- it’s very informative. If you think they are capable of using a pseudo judicial hearing just to trick him into attending a meeting (but is in fact, not judicial) then they are not much more than ‘pond life’.

    Under these circumstances, ANY conversation with elders and ministerial servants (who can be informants for elders)in particular, should be treated with the utmost suspicion. This is why I suggest that he withdraw from the meetings altogether, at least for now.

    However, if approached and they say vaguely or explicitly that he is required to attend a judicial hearing, he should get very specific with his questions:

    “So, are you saying that this is a judicial hearing in contrast to an informal discussion with one or two elders?” If the response is evasive, then ask again, with an additional comment that he has a right to know the specific nature of the meeting. If they say it’s not judicial, then revert to the ‘nothing more to say’ statement. If it is judicial, then he can follow with some or all of the suggestions in the Marvin Shilmer article.

    It’s important that he doesn’t let them get away with the ‘it’s Watchtower Policy’ if they refuse to tell him anything to do with the hearing. If they try that, then he can ask for written proof that it is WT policy. Elders may use this tactic and go way beyond WT policy, which is contained in the Shepherding book.

    There is only one outcome in declining to attend an official judicial hearing and that is he will be df’d ‘in absentia’. His absence will be proof enough of his guilt, especially to elders who are behaving like this. That’s why it’s so important for him to get them to specifically say whether this is an official judicial hearing or not.

    Hope this helps.

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  96. bill says:

    thanks jimmy yes i did read the article and its excellent,however can you really imagine an accused one operating this way in front of a committee? they would nail him for a bad attitude for just trying to protect his rights,you know thats the catch all for df someone where even guilt has not been properly established, there is no beating this system, and its all based on the secretive nature. nobody is allowed to inquire, just trust remember?. where do ones civil rights come into play here? i know some of marvins article touched on this topic,even when one voluntarily joins so to speak an organisation, that gives the organisation then the right to violate an americans civil rights? i would love to argue this in a real court of law. you never here about suits being brought or settled by the organisation. there has to be some, being that elders are told to be very careful when dealing with someone for this very reason. i dont want to sound demeaning but this organisation for the most part has individuals who no real money or college to really give them a run for their money. i have always noticed this point for years. people silently begging to be led. i will never forget seeing a brochure from patterson when one of my relatives came back from visiting, one of the pics was a brother sitting at a desk and behind him were all of his sheep skins hanging on the wall , i said to myself, what the hell? but dont you go to college! about your comment on being df’d in absentia, a committee that cant establish guilt is instructed to hold any decision in obeyance? correct?

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  97. bill says:

    o and jimmy how about the special ID in order for elders to enter kingdom ministry school. that alone should wake someone up to say why such secrecy? lol.

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  98. Alden says:

    Just got back from a circuit assembly. There was ONE person baptised. Maybe, after all, people are catching on as to what they’re getting themselves in to. I wonder if the WTS is content with this “growth”, and will it ever dawn on them that their harsch policies are responsible for it? It used to be one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Just a symptom of the ‘time of the end’? How much self-convincing is necessary to believe that?

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  99. bill says:

    good points alden, just in todays wt lesson there are yet more changes or new light, most act like its a great thing, when they should be alarmed once again. whats the next new light going to be? there will be no great tribulation or armagedon? cant have that there will be no more fear to drive this organisations pulse. do you realize that the society just sold some of their buildings in brooklyn NY? for a reported amount of 700 million dollars. and their not done selling out yet. why all the selling of buildings that have been paid off for years? isnt the end just around the corner? but we should sell out and down size to be a pioneer.

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  100. JimmyG says:

    My advice is for your friend to have as little to do with these so called elders as possible. Don’t give them anything to use, they are obviously capable of anything from the description you have given.

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  101. bill says:

    jimmy were you ever able to or given a straight answer as to why the organisation was involved with the un? i know some around here wrote and received a bs letter from patterson. just wondering. if you get a chance read my post on mind reading and reinstatement.

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  102. JimmyG says:

    The straight answers never come from the WT to questions posed to them. The ‘bs’ from the WT is of course, the UN library card. Are you saying that you don’t know the real story behind this? It’s a bit off topic, but I can steer you in the right direction if you need the info.

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  103. bill says:

    ya go ahead steer me in that direction, i would like to look into all sources that i have not seen.

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  104. Frank says:

    thanks jimmy yes i did read the article and its Bill: “…excellent,however can you really imagine an accused one operating this way in front of a committee? they would nail him for a bad attitude for just trying to protect his rights,you know thats the catch all for df someone where even guilt has not been properly established, there is no beating this system, and its all based on the secretive nature. nobody is allowed to inquire, just trust remember?.”

    Hi Bill, nice to make your acquaintance. Jimmy has some good advice there. I too have written reams of judicial transcripts of a number of cases found on Governing Body.org (FV). I am particularly interested in the civil rights aspect of such an arrangement (there are none). You are right, it is ‘perfect’ from their point-of-view and designed to be that way deliberately. Obviously justice is not a priority here and depends on whether 3 humans warm to the victim personally.

    There are mainly two ways if you are trapped by circumstances and there appears to be no way out. (1) Do as JJ has done, stand up to their demands and make a bold statement about how the person feels before they push the victim over. (2) Make a statement at the beginning that there must be two witnesses with unambiguous first-hand statements that verify the charges. If there aren’t plead “the fifth” and politely refuse to be maneuvered into making any statement that could be misconstrued. The latter method was used by Jesus.

    These are only suggestions, but make sure they actually have evidence before proceeding. I would suggest the person accept the ‘invitation’ and keep control of the proceedings

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  105. bill says:

    Hi frank, a person could fade without enough evidence to go judicial, the problem in some cases is the rest of the persons family are all prominent elders as it were and because the person is now voluntarily no doing well spiritually they basically begin a smaller version of being marked or disfellowshipped.

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  106. Frank says:

    Hi Bill. This is an interesting case. Fading itself is the way in this situation, but the person must be cautious in what he says to any individual. Loyalty is over-rated and few will see their familial connections as relevant if “apostasy” is involved. The congregation technically can only ‘mark’ someone if there is evidence of wrongdoing. This is why what someone says is so important. ‘Mum’s the word,’ so to speak; and ultimately trust no one to keep a confidence when it comes to personal views. Be wise and apply Theocratic War Strategy.

    This was definitely the situation in the Matthew Barrie Glasgow case. On Governing Body.org there I have constructed a full transcript of the case to read as you listen to the recordings.

    Frank

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  107. JimmyG says:

    Hi Bill. As far as the UN is concerned I supply the following reference:

    http://www.jwfacts.com/watchto.....iation.php

    Regarding being invited to a judicial hearing, I have another suggested response. Ask: “On what basis is the hearing to be conducted?” Likely response: “What do you mean?” “Is the hearing convened on the basis of allegations or am I actually being charged? Either way, I do not intend answering any questions put to me regarding this matter. This is not to be difficult, but is based on the norms of natural justice- one of those norms is an accused person cannot be forced to give evidence against himself.”

    This forces them to either use what they have or leave the person alone if they know that they don’t have enough to disfellowship.

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  108. Frank says:

    Hi Bill. Just quickly, the UN motivation can be judged on the basis of the WTBTS’s present alliance with the OSCE – a UN-sponsored European organisation.

    Jimmy makes the points I would make about avoiding being caught in an attempt by a judicial committee that would persuade the victim to bear witness against himself; today called the Right to Silence. This was one of the 21 ethical violations I personally picked during the recording of the Matthew Barrie Scottish judicial case.

    Basically, Matthew was set up by a powerful elder and the latter managed even to get Matthew’s fleshly brother to bear witness against him. The testimony the two elders (the only witnesses called by the Prosecution) had been entirely taken from the contents of shepherding calls.

    Matthew appealed on the basis that confessional confidence had been violated and that he could prove he had been set up. When the appeal committee repeatedly urged Matthew to express his personal beliefs, Matthew declined, stating that his beliefs are his own and that doing so had already got him into trouble. This is what the appeal committee concluded:

    “Appeal Chairman: Okay, Matthew, we’ve reached a decision as an appeal committee and that’s to uphold the decision of the original committee to disfellowship. I’ll show you a Scriptural-basis for why that is the case, um, Jude.

    “In discussing those who apostasise (apostatise), it says in verse 8, it says, ‘In like manner, not withstanding these men, too, indulging in dreams or defiling the flesh and disregarding lordship, and speaking abusively of glorious ones.’…

    “…The definition given for apostasy; one of the many points that we mentioned to you earlier, it wasn’t just one – a number of them. It says, ‘they may claim to serve God, but reject his representatives,’ and we saw that clearly both with the evidence we saw from the eyewitnesses with regard to different points that you believe and your rejecting us as his representatives in discussing these, which was your choice.”

    http://thegoverningbody.org/ma.....cotland-4/

    Had Matthew indulged in dreams or defiled the flesh and disregarded lordship, speaking abusively of ‘glorious ones’? Listen through the whole case and you’ll find Matthew was the model of politeness, kindness, and respect to this kangaroo court. Yet this committee saw fit to trump up the false charge that by not answering ALL their questions, Matthew was being ‘disrespectful.’

    Frank

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  109. 2537decf@opayq.com says:

    Even Jesus remained silent before his accusers at times,or said just enough to qualify as an answer when he knew their questions were insincere or designed to frame him.

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  110. bill says:

    even in a case were someone has issues in this regard(apostasy) the older men congregation or judicial committee, are instructed to warn the person twice with effort,before disfellowshipping them, this biblical instruction is another point that is clearly avoided by elders serving on a judicial committee, another major discrepancy between the biblical instruction from the apostle paul and the wbts. i never understood why so much was placed on the danger of reading apostate material,either you believe and have faith in the watchtower and nothing will shake your faith,or you dont,and nothing you read will disturb your thoughts,if you have faith in the organisation. dont be like the boreans you may be shocked with what you discover.

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  111. Frank says:

    What needs to be borne in mind, here is that there is so much to hide for the WTBTS. The Internet has made this otherwise hidable information easily accessible. This now requires the need to widen the definition of “apostasy” to its stretchable limits. Are Raymond Franz’s books that reveal the cracks about this religion apostate? Is going to the OSCE’s homepage and typing in ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ and discovering a hundreds of requests for help from this political organisation apostate? What about the UN scandal?

    In Matthew Barrie’s case, even his thoughts were considered to be the property of the WTBTS and he was punished for not revealing them. Any other charge had no evidence that was presented. This is totalitarianism. The only way to escape is to lie about how one truly feels or be prepared to suffer under this system. What would it be like to live a millennium under this system?

    Frank

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  112. bill says:

    frank the same thoughts here,i know of individuals that had to lie in order to be reinstated just to satisfy any previous charge or charges that were false or may have even had some truth to them.so how can the angels rejoice over someone that had to lie to a committee in order to be reinstated to the congregation? it goes back to loyalty to god or an organisations protective measures.i remember one brother on a four member committee asking the accused if he felt that jehovah had forgiven him? this is because there is no holy spirit operating on a situation like this,giving these men the answer as to reinstate or not. i will go one further, i know a brother who at different times of being reinstated twice,at the time the committee had decided to reinstate him he was committing fornication with two different girl friends, where was the holy spirit on those decisions? how about a brother who was appointed as a ministerial servant,only to have to be quietly removed because of a long practice of stealing from his employer surfaced.and the list goes on.

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  113. Frank says:

    It is an unfortunate side-effect of man-made systems that morals are violated for it to function. This is the evidence that it is man-made. Where personalities, personal taste, and whether or not the victim is a social butterfly and therefore are part of the committees extended social family, are also going to enter the decision of elders who are less spiritual.

    If you ask me, an agnostic, about any ‘spirit’ here, I’m bound by the rules you set to doubt any presence of this ‘spirit.’
    Obviously what is going on is fully human.

    This is why the Matthew Barrie saga is so valuable as a resource – the whole case, from “Shepherding” calls to judicial appeal are on tape (and the case is fully transcribed) and the course can be followed through. Any self-respecting individual will conclude that human disdain played a vital role in the final decision. It certainly wasn’t irrefutable evidence that Matthew had done anything wrong.

    Frank

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  114. bill says:

    can you imagine if matthew ever tried to be reinstated? under these conditions? never happen,thats unreal. and only human.

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  115. Frank says:

    I understand Matthew never returned, like so many others who clearly see only the man-made system it is.

    In a system that believes that human decisions ultimately are ‘influenced’ by something external to themselves will dangerously reduce the motivation to be strict in how a case is tried (“It’s in God’s hands whether judge right or wrong”). There is no question as to the false claim that the judges are “impartial,” firstly because the investigators are usually the prosecutors, and secondly, because using scriptures that ‘encourage’ the subject of the hearing to ‘confess their sins’! Thus the person goes to trial with the verdict already in place.

    The reality is that the humanness of this system can be characterised as desiring to remove those who are PERCEIVED as “enemies of the state.’ Then the removal of human rights becomes expedient. Though obviously more politically-draconian, Stalin’s Russia held secret trials to destroy dissension, and Nazism had their “Night of Long Knives.” The principle is the same – do what is necessary to remove the threat so that the whole doesn’t become infected. Trouble with this methodology is that it exposes little more than human desire without any external influence being necessary. As Christ said, “By their fruits you will know them.” This works negatively too.

    Frank

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  116. sw says:

    As much as I feel your pain. I was disfellowshiped several years ago and disfellowshiped again now….won’t love of Jehovah move us all to return to him no matter what? Remember where you learn the bible truths from. Was it not this organization.? We all love and admire dear David. But don’t forget he was betrayed by his own son Absalom. Remember Jesus was abandoned by his disciples and completely denied by Peter. Though telling organization is surely imperfect….just as imperfect as we are….they are well meaning. And Jehovah does not allow what we cannot bear. Let us be strong and remain loyal. Let no one’s opinion or judgement keep you from your God. I love you all and cannot wait to share with your our reward.

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    • Rupunzelsawake says:

      Welcome sw. Thanks for sharing, and for your encouragement. I take it that you felt you had left Jehovah when you sinned, and were subsequently disfellowhipped. Perhaps you feel your judgment was righteous then. Many of us here, including myself, were disfellowshipped, not for violating the Bible’s moral code (which is the only basis for disfellowshipping that the FAQ at jw.org gives) but for standing up for righteousness and truth, following deep bible research and study (which, incidentally, we are encouraged to do). In fact the reason for my being df’d was that I had “different ideas”. You can hear that in the recording of my judicial committee hearing. I know some JWs have different ideas but choose to suppress them. I suspect most do not even do any study in order to have different ideas. Anyway, my conscience was being affected and was making me physically ill and I couldn’t just go on bottling things up. I felt duplicitous and very conflicted. I have no regrets about leaving. Yes, I learnt many good things while in the organisation, but they came from God’s Word. I learnt many good things as a Catholic also, before I became one of JWs. I continue learning good things, better things in fact, from God’s Word. I feel now I am growing as a Christian, whereas before I was stagnating. As grateful as you are to the organisation, remember it has also taught countless falsehoods, while at the same time condemning the churches of Christendom for the same thing! You correctly point out that the org is run by imperfect men, but they say Jesus is leading the org and that they are “spirit led”. Some of their flawed teachings that “go beyond the things written” have really hurt people. People have even died. This is evidence that what they say comes from men and not from God. What folly it is to follow human leaders. Our one Leader is Jesus Christ. He’s all you need. Matthew 23:10 “Neither be called ‘leaders’, for your Leader is one, the Christ.” It sounds like maybe you have worked that out. Thankyou for your encouragement to be strong and to remain loyal. The same for you dear fellow believer!

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  117. Frank says:

    Hi SW. You speak passionately of your love for God.

    As you are anonymous by the letters you use, would you care to share the nature of your ‘crime’ against righteous principles? You see, the nature of something like adultery, fornication, or similar is completely different from being accused of so-called apostasy. Either an act of sexual indiscretion took place or it didn’t. This is usually open-and-shut. Apostasy’s dynamics are based mostly on whether a committee arbitrarily decides they are uncomfortable with the accused person’s viewpoint. There is also the matter of collusion and grudge-bearing that can come into play (as in the Matthew Barrie case).

    Have you read the transcripts or heard the recordings of the Matthew Barrie case?

    My point is not that the Christian congregation should not have disciplinary procedures, only that the employing of human reasoning can devastate a victim and/or his family. And don’t forget that there is no Biblical precedent for a tribunal, secret meetings, or the removal of just about every human right that humans have fought for over the centuries. I list at least 21 ethical and human rights violations in the Matthew Barrie case.

    Frank

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  118. Needing spiritual food says:

    Hello I am 36 years old I was raised in the truth since I was young my mother pushed and demanded me to go if I didn’t I was put on punishment I got baptized as a teenager around 16 but was soon disfellowshipped I got introduced to sex and went on a rebellious path I went to a meeting about a year ago once but I didn’t like how it felt the looks and stares I really didn’t feel welcome so once the meeting was over I left and never been back I have been making positive changes in my life ever since I prey to Jehovah from time to time I sometimes feel he is mad at me because I’m not back in the truth there are a lot of things I’ve read and examined and I’m confused the thing that bothers me the most about being disfellowshipped is not getting spiritual food I believe I was too young to get baptized I should have waited I felt pressured living with my mother if she would have went about it differently it might have made a difference anyway Jehovah sees my changes I’m certain of that when I pray a few minutes later I feel better I just don’t know what to do I think the shunning is wrong…if Jehovah didn’t shun me why do people who are supposed to be spiritual family do it that is why it’s Very difficult to go back so I sit and wonder if I change my life in a way that is pleasing to my Heavenly Father will I make it through judgement day or is it a requirement to be a Jehovah’s Witness to make it there is so many things on my mind “needing spiritual food”

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  119. danielB says:

    Hello Needing Spiritual Food . It’s so nice having you openly share these things here . All that you say is so understandable . I particularly liked how you said this : ” if Jehovah didn’t shun me why do people who are supposed to be spiritual family do it ” . So true , isn’t it . . . I’m sure most of us here have personally experienced the same disappointment .

    One thing is for sure in our own path of life : this earnestness that you feel and that we can relate to will keep us in Jehovah’s favor . There is no earthly organization that has all the answers for us regarding God’s day of judgment ; not entirely . But keep reading the Scriptures and personalizing them , and you can be sure Jehovah will be in front of you and with you and behind you , in company with our fine shepherd , His Son .

    And as for our relationship to those struggling in the organization , there is a way to live through it . ” Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace . ” – Eph 4:3

    Very good hearing the genuine nature of your comment . . .

    bro dan

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  120. Rupunzelsawake says:

    Hi needing Spiritual Food. Welcome! I share in danielBs sentiments! I’m so glad you recognise that just because you are not in the congregation, Jehovah has not abandoned you. He is far more merciful than human shepherds who can’t read the heart. Do you know you don’t have to have an organisation to “have the truth”. We were conditioned to believe that we did, and that our life depended on it. But remember Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life”. You recognise your need for spiritual food. Why not start by drawing close to our saviour Jesus. Just start by reading the gospels. Learn about his love. There is no fear in love (1 John 4:18). We are promised to receive help from the holy spirit. We don’t actually require men to teach us. Please let us know how you get on!

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  121. Mark says:

    Great article. One question though.
    Can the children of their disfellowshipped father have a relationship with him, wether they are adults or not ? (wether they still live at home or not ) Any references…….
    Thanks

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    • Rupunzelsawake says:

      Hi Mark. If you look at jw.org FAQ section, regarding shunning former members, it says that blood ties remain and normal family affections and dealings continue. So, going by that information, yes, children of whatever age (whether baptised or not)can have a relationship with a df’d father. However, that’s what the public get to read. If you look at material intended for JWs only, you get a different story. The Jan 15th 2013 Watchtower magazine (pg 16, par 19), says you should not associate with a disfellowshipped family member, even by e-mail. A talk was also given at the 2013 District convention where members are instructed to avoid any association with a disfellowshipped family member. You might be interested in this video where ex-JW Kim phones HQ with a question about this. She mentions the WT article. He tries to down-play it saying that the word “association” is referring to “spiritual association” only. but all JWs know this is untrue. The brother directs her to the web-site. No doubt he thinks she is just a member of the public. Here’s the link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlTqvpy6i0Q

      She addresses the shunning issue approx 26 mins into the video.

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  122. Frank says:

    Hi Mark. This is one of the many failings WTBTS policy has with the greater scheme of things. Children are not disfellowshipped, and if unbaptized, are not Jehovah’s Witnesses (only children of JWs). This leaves them free to have whatever relationship with their father they wish.

    If the children live at home with the father, the WTBTS prefers they avoid their father, but can do nothing if they chose to have the affection God intended. If the children (young adults) move away from home and are baptised, they will be viewed with suspicion if they have social contact and may not get privileges if they persist.

    Simple and easy to follow?

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  123. danielB says:

    Mark , it is true that what is written in the publications does not necessarily follow suit in real life . When I separated and divorced my former wife and mother of our minor children , it was handled with less compassion than the article reference above . I could go into detail , but to your question , “Can the children of their disfellowshipped father have a relationship with him, wether they are adults or not ? (wether they still live at home or not )” , my answer proves to be no . The kids were told what a wicked father I was , and without clear understanding . They would be frowned upon as being weak , at least ‘ if they had any more than a small token of a relationship with me . It’s a long story . . .

    It’s like the subject of dancing . Is it OK , some ? , much ? , what steps and where ? . . .

    Some make their own rules to “be closer to Jehovah” , ( for appearance sake , or under a genuine misstep ) .

    ” The ORG rules must come 1st ! ”

    . . . sad .

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  124. Needing spiritual food says:

    thanks for the support it really helped a lot I also wanted to know about blood transfusions only taking part of certain parts Ive looked on http://www.jw.org but it doesn’t explain anything I want to know the best way to go about it that is not displeasing to Jehovah if I get into a life threating situation any suggestions also the last time I commented a hour later I received a bible I haven’t had one in years it feels good to read it im reading five chapters a day every day

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  125. irvin says:

    So Im 19 years old, and im in love. yes I am in love and I know loving someone is strong and you would want to further the relationship in marriage. so I fell in love with this girl. she was a Jehovah’s witness at the moment and I got interest into the truth because she told me about a few things like celebrations, pledging the flag, and many other things that caught my attention. so I started to study and the more I did the more I loved it. so I fell in love with her and she did to and we got together knowing that hey someday we’ll marry. it wasn’t just to mess around or play with each others hearts it was serious. so we made a mistake on sexting. she told them how regretful she felt and tears came down her precious face. the announced her disfellowshipped. she wasn’t able to talk to me or text me or hangout with me even if I was just studying. we couldn’t hold back but to keep hanging out. Genesis 2:18 says, ‘And Jehovah God went on to say: “It is not good for the man to continue by himself. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him.”’i felt like I was the one to help her up again because of our mistakes and because I wanted our love to not disappear or for her to go on out to destroy herself. so we went on to hangout for several months and kept our love. until she said we need to stop talking so I can come back to everything that I miss. which was her family, friends, and being ale to hang out with me without any worry. i need help on bring her back and for us to love again. please help me…i feel empty, sad, emotionless at times, and i don’t eat as much, and i worry about her health and safety. i want to be her man of the house. i really want her back. please help us.

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  126. rupunzelsawake says:

    Hi Irvin! You have found yourself in an intolerable situation! But your girlfriend is in a worse one. Of course she wants to have back the love of her family, and perhaps she feels condemned in God’s eyes, although that certainly is not the case. It seems she was deeply repentant about her “wrong doing”. Can you see that the disfellowshipping arrangement is used as a control, a sort of emotional blackmail? It is not a loving practice and was only adopted by JWs in around 1954. Prior to that they condemned the Catholic Church for the same thing. She will be experiencing a great deal of external pressure and internal angusih. It seems she wants to continue a relationship with you after she gets reinstated, but that will be unlikely unless you are baptised. Even then, all eyes will be on you. Are you prepared to be baptised into this organisation? (ie. have a binding agreement/contract for life) The organisation will make many unscriptural demands of you, some that in time may bother your conscience and make your life miserable.If you change your mind later you will be disfellowshipped. If you have not been studying long you may not know much yet. I suggest if you haven’t already done so you should educate yourself about the facts. JWfacts.com is an excellent factual site to visit. You have to let your girlfriend follow her own conscience though. Perhaps if you educate yourself you may be in a position to help her in the future. I don’t know if this was the advice you were wanting, but I wish you success in your love together…maybe some day in the future! Please feel free to come back to this site for any advice or support!

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  127. miscreant droid says:

    The Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses has a very specific group of ‘sexual sins, that does’t really match scripture. They require a contract with ‘Caesar’, that is, the government, to verify the validity of a marriage. In the bible, in Deuteronomy, if a man was to seduce a virgin the only requirement according to God’s law was that he had an obligation to marry her. No one was outcast for falling temptation to desires that are approved of by God as long as the lovers then went on to make their commitment before Him. The JWs even require a formal contractual commitment before ‘Caesar’ in that a ‘common law’ marriage (one that is recognized by the state as a formal marriage arrangement) is not good enough because JWs are so terrified that they will be accused of being ‘worldly’. You came here asking for help, Irvin, but what can we do? You’re dealing with a litigious entity, not God’s mercy and justice. If you want to help your girlfriend according to the standards that she is concerned about then toe the line with the Organization. If you talk to elders then they won’t like you because you’re the one who is ‘worldly’ and got her into this trouble in the first place, but if they believe you are sincere in your desire to join their club, you might get a little leeway. You have my sympathies. I’d rather you learned all you could about the bible and took your poor girlfriend to live a Godly life far, far away from people who will always put their private interpretation of God’s law ahead of what is actually written in the bible. Undoing the brainwashing is what all of us here are dealing with, and I doubt you have enough experience at your age to effectively counter what all of us here are also failing to counter.

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  128. danielB says:

    Yes how true MD . Good advise . I would like to ad to your statement : “In the bible, in Deuteronomy, if a man was to seduce a virgin the only requirement according to God’s law was that he had an obligation to marry her. No one was outcast for falling temptation to desires that are approved of by God as long as the lovers then went on to make their commitment before Him. ”

    In that account it was a situation where the man would get the virgin pregnant . So it wasn’t said that premarital sex in itself was wrong and that there were any consequences if there was not a pregnancy . Also the man would need to compensate the woman’s father since he was loosing her from his family .

    Of course since that time God’s own chosen people no longer must comply with those portions of the “Law” . . .

    So what we have seen is that churches of Christendom , which very much includes JWs , make up the rules as they go .

    I hope that our young friend Irvin will use an open mind , a mind that Jesus and his Father will guide , before wholly buying into JW doctrine . It’s true that they understand some bible doctrine . However they have swallowed much of the devils trickery too . . .

    Best hopes & wishes for Irvin and his dear young lady friend .

    bro dan

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  129. Art Fern says:

    When I stumbled into JWStruggle while doing some research, I was shocked and greatly saddened with the stories of shunning and methods used to control members of Jehovah Witnesses. To all of you affected by this practice I am so sorry for the needless heartache you have all suffered. Let’s say that on balance the bible specifically records shunning as being part of the culture within the early church, we know that it was a belief that mental illness was simply possession by evil spirits, that birth defects were due to the sin of a parent, that it was OK to own slaves and as long as you didn’t kill them you could pretty much do whatever came to mind including selling a child, there were no rules against concubines and having lots of wives. The point I’m making is simple, we don’t do these things anymore and our beliefs have changed. So if it was a practice to shun the person who sinned for having independent thoughts or reading the ideas of other religious thinkers or to toss out and shun a person for having had sex with another person of the opposite sex sorrowful and repentant or not,there is no reason to continue to break hearts and to destroy families using this destructive practice. I wish you all the best hoping that your pain will come to an end and your families can unite putting the natural love we have for children, brothers and sisters, parents and others above the control of an ungodly sect.

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  130. rupunzelsawake says:

    Thankyou for your kind words Art Fern! The extremes to which the shunning practice/policy is taken is so unatural and it does destroy individuals and families. “Advocates for Watchtower Abuses” (AAWA.co) has been set up to address the abuses and to put pressure on the policy makers, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Domestic violence and child sexual abuse are not adequately dealt with either in the organisation. The policies tend to favour the abuser and punish the victim. There are many heartbreaking stories to be read on-line regarding the abuses and injustices within the organisation. This website has been started to hopefully get the attention of the GB.
    http://openletterstogoverningb.....tower.html

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  131. Frank says:

    Hi JJ. If you would like to host the full transcripts for the Matthew Barrie judicial case (Glasgow 2008), I will pass on the proofs I made. Also I have an essay on the 21 ethical and human rights violations I personally found as I got them together.

    Let me know if you’re interested.

    Frank

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  132. Marli says:

    I’ve never in my LIFE felt like someone took exactly how I was feeling and put it in literally perfect words… word for word. You are such a beautiful person. I am 22 and ever single word you mentioned actually moved me to tears because I feel the SAME way through and through and I feel like holy spirit would’ve intervened if it was real because I was genuinely repentant and I was disfellowshipped and for the most irrational reason given me by the elders. I feel like God is real but I have believed in this religion since I was a very little girl and as I get older I just feel like it has good motive overall but the judicial aspect is VERY VERY flawed. I agree that those of us who are not aggressive and angry and yelling at the elder… those of us who are humble and sincere and who have erred but want to return and who are just cast out are treated like garbage completely opposite of what the bible says. They cut out the first verses of John chapter 8 in the New World Translation and as I get older I realize why because they don’t believe in it… and this makes me sad. My family has shunned me and I do not judge them for it at all because I think everyone has a right to believe in what they want but I wish they could understand the way you do because something is very wrong with the judicial system… I think of that isolation scripture all the time as well. What I needed most was the encouragement of the friends and my family to stay strong in the truth and not just kicked out and cast aside like a wicked demon. So many things gone wrong … I am just glad someone understands my heart is so happy just for that and this article has made me regain faith that there is a god out there who loves me and that Jesus still cares as well and he sees us because what you wrote is so beautiful and true. Thank you.

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    • Londo111 says:

      Thank you, Sister. You are not alone. This is a story that has repeated tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of times the world over.

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  133. rupunzelsawake says:

    Hi Marli! I decided to leave the organisation because I no longer had confidence in the Governing Body. I saw them behaving as jealous task masters, beating the sheep in their care. Experiencing the judicial procedure for myself left me in no doubts as to the rottenness of this organisation. JWs often point to the rotten fruitage of the churches of Christendom and conclude that the tree is rotten. Well, they need to take a long hard look at their own “tree”! How many lives have been destroyed and families broken up? Would Jehovah and His son really be responsible for this? No, of course not. A loving shepherd goes after the one sheep. If you enjoyed Londo’s article, you will enjoy his Christianity 101 series on youtube. Your sister, Rachel

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  134. Barath says:

    The very essence of Christianity itself is forgiveness. Jehovah forgave even though David committed such as gross adultery and murder. The way WBTS do Jehovah really sees and they must give an account during the manifestation of Jesus Christ. Definitely what Jesus did with Zacchaeus is an excellent example. If our leader Jesus himself shows such an attitude means, how much we his servants should show. Definitely the WBTS is not like Jesus. The watch tower society will lay in desolate during the manifestation Christ.

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  135. Frank says:

    “Her case (Bibi Rahmanova)is not unique for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Turkmenistan. Witnesses routinely suffer serious violations of their fundamental human rights.”

    http://www.jw.org/en/news/lega.....rahmanova/

    Again, this is rich coming from an organisation that routinely removes the human rights, including article 18 of the Universal Constitution of Human Rights (UN), from Jehovah’s Witnesses forced to face the humiliation of a Judicial Committee, the ‘true colour’ and secret face of the WTBTS.

    Anyone aware of the ‘disciplinary’ system will know what I mean.

    How loudly the shout goes out when the ‘right to practice religion freely’ goes out when Watchtower has its wings clipped!

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  136. Dancegirl says:

    I was a JW for over 30 years and my closest friends were the elders and their families. My daughter left when she got married and they told me I could not associate with her any longer as she was going to a church and that made her “apostate, evil, and dead to us”. All this because she left. Didn’t they take most of the JW’s from other religions? But JW’s are evil if they leave the organization. My daughter lived 5 houses from me and they would have different JW’s relate back to the elders whenever they saw us together. I was taken back to the back room many times and told not to mention or see my daughter and her children again. Then they marked me for still seeing her. My mother was within weeks of dying and my daughter and I would fly to GA to see her, so I asked the JW’s to leave me alone until my mother died as I was ready for a nervous breakdown with her dying and JW’s telling me not to see my daughter. They said “no way, you will be disfellowshipped now”. I told them to do it as I could no longer stand the horrible treatment and mental cruelty they were putting me through just because my daughter, who was raised a JW, wanted to leave. It was her choice. They said it was my bad attitude that got me disfellowshipped as I did not believe that they were the only true religion and I had to follow what they said. If I wanted to totally believe they were “super holy” I would have become Catholic (the Pope). I know of too many ex-JW’s who are scared of going into another church as “they” are evil. No man was going to tell me I did not worship God any more as I left the so-called “true” organization and that they were the only ones. I went to a non-denominational church where you only need to worship Jehovah and accept Jesus as your Savior and I have NEVER been happier. It was scary but the love of the people and their love for God got me thru with Jehovah’s help and I got over the brain washing of the JW’s that they are the only ones. My relationship with Jehovah and Jesus is stronger than ever and my love for people is so much more powerful. Thank you JW’s for disfellowing me. It is not an organization we are to follow, but Christ. No religion has it all right, they are run by man. We can only accept Christ as our Saviour and try to walk the Christian walk the best we can and each one of us will be accountable for what we do or did. No “man” or organization can save us, only Christ. It was the best thing ever even though I did not know it at the time. GO TO CHURCH AND BECOME FREE all you ex-JW’s.

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  137. Kat says:

    I found and article on jw.org it explains elders are only human and make mistakes. This is why I don’t tell them anything.

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  138. Kat says:

    This is a great web site.

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