Thinking about the "two witnesses" rule for disfellowshipping -

by JWoods 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • JWoods
    JWoods

    It just occurred to me that very possibly the JWs are violating their own rule of "two witnesses" to convict a member of sin.

    They have also long held the rule that if a man and a woman spend the night alone, this is evidence of adultery - but are there really two witnesses to adultery? At the most, it would mean that there could have been two witnesses that they stayed under one roof for the night - not necessarily that they did the deed. I personally know of certain cases where people have been DFd on this kind of "evidence" even when they protested that no sex took place.

    What it made me think about is the greatly restrictive rule on proof of child molestation - here it is practically impossible to obtain their standard of "two witnesses" - in this case, the witnesses have to effectively observe the actual act of molestation.

    Is this a double standard? Seems so to me, after thinking about it.

  • leavingwt
    leavingwt

    They make the rules up as they go.

    You can be disfellowshipped for ANYTHING, so long as three elders agree upon it.

  • JWoods
    JWoods

    Yes, of course that is true, LeavingWT - but isn't it also true that they very seldom agree on it in cases of child abuse?

    Better to sweep that under the rug -

  • leavingwt
    leavingwt

    They are a publishing corporation, evolving to survive. They are more interested in surviving than protecting innocent children. Those children will be "made perfect" in the New System. The "former things" will not be called to mind.

    They DO NOT want publicity regarding sexual abuse. Hence, the cowardly act of notifying the authorities -- anonymously -- by pay phone, etc.They do not want to pay out money to settle more cases.

    Sickening.

    So, yeah, if they wanted to, they could wave their 'two witness' rule. They don't want to, as you say.

  • straightshooter
    straightshooter

    I agree with LeavingWT . I have seen too many cases of trumped up charges because a CO or alpha elder highly disliked a person. They would proceed with df action based on a person being "unyielding" and therefore disturbing the peace in the cong. I have also known of two elders spending the night spying on a house to see if a sister spent the night with a brother so that they could proceed with df action. I have known of a brother telling others he was going camping, not inviting anyone. A couple from the kh showed up at the camp area and that night committed fornication. Not only did that couple had to be handled by the elders, but also the innocent brother who told others of his trip. The elders accused him of being the host and therefore responsible for the actions of the couple who did bad.

    Yes the elders need to be in agreement, but an alpha elder in the group usually get his way.

  • leavingwt
    leavingwt

    BTW, this is an example of DECEPTION being used during the RECRUITMENT process of this particular high-control group.

    Progressive Bible students working towards baptism are not given this information. They are led to believe that ONLY "unrepentant sinners" are expelled from the congregation. They are NOT aware of the broad authority given to the elders to disfellowship people for ANY reason they see fit.

  • liz_south
    liz_south

    Dear LeavingWT

    "They make the rules up as they go..."

    Thank you for that - you are absolutely right... and the rules change based on whether anyone knows, who knows, or the matter is "secret". Things are done for acceptance by men... not GOD.... and they are judged by Him too ... not other men.

    L

  • minimus
    minimus

    JWoods, I have brought up this same view over the years here. It's a double standard.

  • JWoods
    JWoods

    Isn't it also true that the original rule was that the man and woman had to stay in the house overnight in order to invoke this rule?

    What if they were in some sleazy motel for an hour or so during the day?

    Really, if they are just making this up as they go along (like LeavingWT accurately points out), and can disfellowship anybody they want - it is a further indictment of their total disinterest in protecting children from pedophiles in the congregation. That is, that so very few are ever DFd for child molestation even after being credibly caught.

  • leavingwt
    leavingwt

    JWoods:

    Only the willfully ignorant among us will defend the WT position on protecting innocent children, IMHO.

  • Hadit
    Hadit

    leavingWT - absolutely! They invent the rules, change the rules, say the rules never existed . . . basically they do whatever they want in order to keep their company going. It is not about religion, it is not about God and certainly not about keeping children safe. It is all about them, their money, their power and control. Period.

  • sir82
    sir82

    There is a phrase in the elders manual, that "strong circumstancial evidence can be considered".

    The example they give is the one you use, someone staying overnight in the house of someone of the opposite sex, whom he/she is not married to.

    However, in order for that to be used as grounds for DF, two witnesses have to have seen that the person stayed overnight.

    I.e., the "2 witness rule" is still in effect. However, the "2 witnesses" don't necessarily have to have head the bedsprings bouncing - they just both have to be able to verify the "strong circumstancial evidence".

    That said, LWTs point is well taken. A determined team of 3 elders can disfellowship anyone at any time for any reason.

  • brotherdan
    brotherdan

    I haven't read through the entire post, so I don't know if someone brought this up...but if it could be proven that a man and a child were alone together, then could that be evidence of molestation or rape?

  • brotherdan
    brotherdan

    Sorry...just started reading and saw you guys were already talking about it.

  • sir82
    sir82
    if it could be proven that a man and a child were alone together, then could that be evidence of molestation or rape?

    Probably not.

    In the wacky WT world, sex only occurs at night, in houses, between 2 people of the opposite sex.

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