My D/f appeal meeting went amazingly, but the still want to d/f me

by jwfacts 78 Replies latest jw experiences

  • jwfacts

    Sorry how long this is but i found the meeting very exciting. The short version is I said directly that i do not believe in the WTS, feel being d/f is unfair on my JW family so asked them to just leave me alone. It didn't work.
    I had my appeal meeting today. It went incredibly well, but they will disfellowship me regardless. I have to say it was the most fun I have had with a group of JWs for a long time. I was feeling extremely nauseus and dizzy from stress to start with, which was a blessing as it stopped me from becoming aggressive, yet I was still able to control the direction of the meeting for the entire session.
    To summarize, 2 weeks ago the elders approached me on a charge on apostasy for my website I refused to acknowledge it is mine, but then proceeded to say in no uncertain terms that I am extremely against the WTS, no longer consider myself a JW and will sue each one individually if they go ahead with the meeting. I had a lawyer send a letter saying that any further harassment will lead to legal proceedings against them. They went ahead with the first hearing without me anyway and called to say I was to be disfellowshipped. I appealed and so a second meeting was arranged with 6 elders, including 3 bethelites and a circuit overseer.
    When I arrived all 6 brothers were seated, so I took my seat and asked where I could plug in my tape recorder. They said it was unacceptable to have it taped and if I turned it on they would leave the room. I replied that it makes me very concerned about how they have refused to put anything in writing, refused a tape recorder, refused me to have an observer present, yet have 6 witnesses against me. That behavior seriously brings into question the honesty and intentions of those present, and is considered illegal and unethical by most people and corporations as it lacks transparency. (I actually did tape the proceedings with an MP3 player in my bag but it is almost unintelligible, unfortunately I did not have a chance to get some proper equipment)
    First they discussed a letter I had sent to have my baptism annulled, which I will post as a separate thread as in some situations it does work. They said I can not have mine annulled. It had been considered by the bethel service department and due to the length of time I had been baptised and that I had signed other contracts with the WTS, such as becoming a pioneer they could not annul it.
    They then discussed my website. I had refused to admit it was mine to the first elders which had made them quite angry. I realized why, they only had the hearsay of one witness. What they had to do to prove it was mine was paste together a number of comments of mine from JWD, my site, Wikipedia and an internet registry site, I was impressed with the lengths they had gone to and had to laugh with them at the great job they had done.

    I then took over and pushed some doctrinal issues;

    I showed why disfellowshipping is wrong from a scriptural standpoint and aligns with cult behavior - I used the cult concept repeatedly throughout the proceeding as I had provided them all with Lifton’s 8 identifiers for cult behavior.

    I asked them to explain why brothers who are fornicating are made elders if holy spirit directs appointments, as stated in the Watchtower. They kept skirting the issue, but I would not let them move on. One brother said Jehovah takes time to disfellowship, which I said was not the question, it was why are they appointed whilst committing gross sin. Another brother then went on to explain that the holy spirit no longer acts in the same way as in Christian times. Which again I explained is wrong, as holy spirit acted visibly during the entire bible times, and so should still today, otherwise how are we any different than any other organisation.

    I then asked them to consider that the meeting we were having would be exactly the same whether they were Mormons, 7 day Adventists, Catholics, etc, they all would still sit there saying they are right and I am wrong. What makes them so arrogant as to believe they, 0.1% of the world’s population, are correct and 99.9% are wrong? Again, they are just behaving like any other cult. Why are they a JW? Because they are Australian. If they were one of the 4 billion people in other countries that will never hear the word Jehovah they would be a different religion but equally convinced that there religion was right.

    We then started to nit pick over some terms etc, so eventually I said to cut to the chase. It was quite strange as at this point it became quite jovial, we laughed together quite a bit, even though what follows is very hard hitting. I went on to say I am not a follower of the WTS, I am not considered one of the congregation anymore, I am not socializing with JWs, so the only reason I attended today was to raise enough doubt in their mind as to why they need to attempt to destroy my relationship with my family by formally announcing me. They said they have no choice but to follow the bibles rules. I corrected them and said they had no choice but to follow WTS rules.

    They then said they had to consider 3 things;

    Am I affecting Jehovah’s name?

    Am I affecting the congregation?

    Will d/f me help readjust me?

    My response was;

    I am no longer recognized as a JW, so am not affecting Jehovah’s name.

    I do not associate with the cong so am not affecting it.

    Will never return to a cult.

    I just want to be left alone free from WTS harassment. However if they announce me I will go to the greatest lengths possible both legally and through the press to make sure everyone is aware of the tactics of the JW cult. If they announce me I will assist 10 times the number of people to leave the organisation as if I am left alone. Presently the only people I affect are the ones actively searching the internet for answers, but if they d/f I will actively go out of my way to find opportunities to alert JW’s to the truth about the org. This will have significant affect on the name of the WTS and the congregation.

    The chairman responded by saying they have to follow procedure and that the meeting was only to see if the first meeting had been decided correctly and they had to deduce that it had, I am apostate and so I will be disfellowshipped on Thursday.

    I said I will appeal the decision. He said I can not. I told him not to lie to me, I know I can and took out a copy of the elders book someone had kindly lent me and showed I am able to appeal directly to bethel.

    I then apologized for what they were pushing me to do but said if my name is announced I will have to sue each one of them individually. I pointed to the richest looking one and said I hoped he had plenty of money. He and then some of the others said how they didn’t have any money. I laughed and said I don’t want money, I will only do it to alert others to the practices of the religion. They then requested I seriously reconsider any such action for the hurt it will cause my family (what a joke, it is their action that will be affecting my family).

    The chairman concluded by saying he was obligated to advise me that if I ever wish to return to the org the offer is always there and I will need to put such a request in writing. I responded that I won’t be taking up the offer, but if any of them wish to understand why the WTS does not teach truth the offer is always there for any of them to approach me individually, which they had a bit of a chuckle about.

    The oldest brother said ‘you are only 35, how did you get so far so quick’ which I am still not quite sure what he meant by it.

    I concluded the meeting by mentioning that they need to be realistic about the future of the org and 1.2 billion hours of preaching had only led to a net increase of 81000 witnesses in 2005. At that point the oldest brother said he can’t listen to it and walked out. I continued that it would not be such a bad org if they could fix up the unchristian way in which disfellowshipping is practiced and also the blood issue. The Chairman is the head of the Hospital Liaison committee in Australia, so I mentioned the new legal situation that will seriously affect the WTS, and that the current blood stance is in an illogical state of limbo and has to be changed. I finally said that many people need religion and I do not want to affect the faith of those content with their lives in the org. I just want to help those searching. But if they are unable to leave me alone when I am not associating with the congregation then this truly is a cult and people need to be alerted to that fact.

    I then asked if I could leave, to which they all go up and shook my hand and were incredibly nice. So I apologized once more for the difficulty I was causing them but that I can not let my relationship with my family be affected and urged them to seriously reconsider any announcement being made to disfellowship me.

    It was interesting to watch the 3 members of the initial committee as they were observers only. Each is a 2nd or 3rd generation JW. The leader of the first group looked angrily at the floor the whole time. The single bethel brother listened for a while, than sat flicking through his bible like he was ignoring anything being said. He is the one that had said previously to me that every worldly person deserves to be killed by Jehovah as at heart every worldly person is no different than a German Nazi, with the inbuilt ability for untold evil. But the third brother is about 35 with a wife. He sat for the entire time leaning forward on the edge of his seat with his eyes popping out of his head. He told me last week that this case was having an extremely difficult affect on him. I will be interested to see how his faith is affected in the long term as my last words to him were, ‘How many families do you plan to destroy during your time as an elder?’

    Why did I go to so much trouble and stress instead of just disassociate myself? I strongly disagree with disfellowshipping and wanted to test every means possible to see if the elders can be encouraged to just leave exJWs alone. It is particularly difficult in my case as I am too well known by the bethelites, but I have learnt a lot over the last few weeks and will try to put together what the options are for people in different situations.

  • greendawn

    If you said to them that you no longer believe in the WTS then to them you are an evil apostate and they will difelllowship you without fail. It's great that you held up your views, come what may. If the WTS is unreasonable and suffers a member drain that's their tough problem.

  • serendipity

    Very interesting! Thanks for taking the time to share that with us!

  • jgnat

    Just like MJ, you did it your way, with creativity and flair. Bravo.

  • gumby

    Interesting read bro!

    Why did I go to so much trouble and stress instead of just disassociate myself? I strongly disagree with disfellowshipping and wanted to test every means possible to see if the elders can be encouraged to just leave exJWs alone.

    An elder(s) who disregards your arguments are not about to deviate from the rulebook they use ....if they are doing things the way th rulebooks say they should do and are familiar with it. You have a sharp judicial committee for the most part.....not a buncha hillbilly dummer than dirt guys who can botch up a free meal like many committees are made of. Elder bodies vary in every hall.

    I'm very surprised they are DFing you for apostacy when disassociation is the legal term they now use since legal matters for them can become a problem. I'd for legal ramifications against this one.


  • Forscher

    Thanks for the update Facts! I guess the organization is now determined to go after anyone it sees as a threat (your website would make you a threat) in the same manner as the Scientologists. I guess you could say they are in good company!

    Carry on!


  • tall penguin
    tall penguin

    Congratulations! Nice work. I admire your courage. I went through an appeal committee about 6 years ago and being in a room with 6 elders is scary to say the least. I'm proud of you for being able to stand your ground with them.
    My thought as I read your post was that there may have been at least one elder in that room who was sickened by the behaviour of his fellow elders and may be interested in learning more about what you said. I think you've planted some seeds my friend. Watch as god makes them grow. ;)
    tall penguin

  • IronClaw

    Bravo for you. I dont know how long it will take them to can me. I wonder if you can type out what was taped if you can make it out what they are saying and share it with us. It would be a good read.

  • LittleToe

    Well handled

    The oldest brother said ‘you are only 35, how did you get so far so quick’ which I am still not quite sure what he meant by it.

    Reminds me of John 8:57:

    Therefore the Jews said to him: "You are not yet fifty years old, and still you have seen Abraham?"
  • YoursChelbie
    my last words to him were, ‘How many families do you plan to destroy during your time as an elder?’

    Food for thought, no doubt. You handled yourself very well. Congratulations.

    Thanks for letting us in on the details.


Share this