?? for one time elders or co's

by lost_light06 6 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • lost_light06

    I’m curious. For those of you who were at one time an elder or circuit overseer. What exactly is contained on a publishers card? Do they keep track of past transgressions where you may have been reproved or had a j.c.? Is this at all scriptual?

  • LittleToe


    Name, address, status (e.g. MS or Elder), date of baptism, Hours and placements, also whether the individual claims to be of the Anointed.

    A separate compiled list is now maintained of Child Molestors, but that's a recent innovation.

    As for scriptural basis, there's none.

  • Legolas

    Welcome to the board!

  • Dismembered

    Little Toe is right on the money. Actually they're boring


  • Elsewhere

    If you want to know what records they keep on you, just read chapter 7 of the Branch Organization Manual:


    Chapter 7

    Files and Filing


    It is necessary to keep some permanent records of

    the branch

    ’s activity. These should be filed properly in

    manila file folders, or whatever is reasonable in cost in

    your country, and never destroyed, so that they can be

    looked into for reference many years later. We have

    bound volumes of The Watchtower and Yearbooks, but

    these records do not deal with all the service matters or

    financial records and other things that are needed.

    2. BRANCH PERMANENT FILES: A permanent

    folder should be kept for each year with copies of all the

    annual reports together including the write-up. The

    monthly field and financial reports, etc., can be kept

    separate from the annual reports rather than clipped together.

    All of the annual reports should be kept as a part

    of the permanent file, but monthly reports may be kept

    just three years and then discarded, unless for some

    reason it is desired to keep them longer and you have

    plenty of filing space that will permit this. Monthly inventories

    and filled orders can be kept two years and then discarded,

    unless for some reason you feel it is advantageous

    to keep them longer. For financial reports and

    related files, please see 6:62-65.

    3. There are other permanent records that a Branch

    Committee coordinator may want to keep, such as for

    big events like international, national, or district conventions,

    and the contracts, printed forms, advertising, copies

    of programs and things of this nature in connection

    with these events. After four or five years have gone by

    the file can be sorted out so that just two copies of each

    thing, like the program, advertising material and other

    matters, would be kept. This would thin out the file, give

    you more space and you would have the essentials for

    this permanent file.


    material comes to the Correspondence Desk that can go

    into a temporary congregation file. But to keep it permanently

    or even for seven years would take many filing

    cabinets. So for the Correspondence Desk the following

    system is adhered to.

    5. Make out a folder with the name of the congregation

    on it. In this you should file congregation order blanks

    (S-14), congregation magazine requests (M-202) and

    general information concerning the congregation that

    can be discarded within a year’s time. As opportunity

    affords, someone can go through these files and discard

    material usually over a year old.


    a folder for material that is to be saved indefinitely. Toward

    the back of the permanent file folder is the Congregation

    Disfellowshipping or Disassociation Record

    (S-80). Although entries are no longer made on this form

    it contains information on persons who were disfellowshipped

    prior to the introduction and use of the new S-77

    form. It should be retained as part of the file. The S-77

    forms should also be kept toward the back of the file

    folder for easy access to mark reinstatements. The Congregation

    Application (S-51) should also be in the back

    of the permanent file folder. If the Congregation Application

    is not in the file, then the oldest circuit overseer’s

    report should be stamped "Do Not Destroy." The current

    copy of the Congregation Territory Assignment (S-54)

    should be kept attached to the previous copy. All others

    can be thrown away. All correspondence (except disfellowshippings)

    is kept in date order, with previous correspondence

    dealing with a specific case being stapled

    together and filed according to the date of the latest correspondence.

    The last circuit overseer’s report prior to

    the elder arrangement should be stamped "Do Not Destroy"

    and retained as part of the permanent file. On rare

    occasions we may refer to this report. Correspondence

    with regular pioneers may also be kept in this file.

    7. The latest S-2 form or S-52b appointment letter

    showing the appointment date and capacity of all elders

    and ministerial servants currently serving is to be kept in

    the permanent file. The S-2 form showing the appointment

    for the current presiding overseer is also to be retained.

    The last five copies of Report on Circuit Overseer’s

    Visit With Congregation (S-303) with the S-2 form

    attached are to be kept. As each new set of forms is put

    in the permanent file, the oldest set may be removed and

    destroyed. Any S-52b letter(s) for appointments made

    between visits of the circuit overseer should be with the

    more recent S-2 form. For those involved in an adulterous

    marriage, child molestation, or other scandal, this

    material should be marked "Do Not Destroy." All other

    S-2 forms and S-52b letters and correspondence dealing

    with appointments and deletions can be destroyed, unless

    there is a reason for retaining them.

    8. The annual S-10 report on the congregation may go

    in this file. General letters may be disposed of after one

    year. Correspondence about disfellowshipped or disassociated

    persons can be retained five years after the

    person is reinstated, unless the branch feels it advisable

    to keep the correspondence on a particular case for a

    longer period.

    9. Probably every two or three years, when time permits,

    a competent person working on the Service Desk

    can go through these files and weed out correspondence

    that is no longer needed, such as older S-303 and S-2a

    forms, general letters, etc. But things marked "Do Not

    Destroy" should be retained in the files.

    10. GENERAL FILES: Thousands of individual persons

    write to the branches. This material is filed in what we

    call a general file. These are files where everything is put

    away alphabetically according to the last names of the

    individuals. This includes general correspondence that

    does not concern a congregation or a pioneer. The files

    are set up in four-month periods of alphabetical files from

    A to Z, and in large branches you can break it down and

    have folders for letters like Ab-Ad, Ae-Al, Am-An, and so

    forth, for easy filing. All the correspondence that comes

    through from September to December inclusive is filed in

    one four-month alphabetical file. Beginning with January

    1, up to and including April, a second set of files is used,

    and so forth. In smaller branches just one folder may

    suffice for the current year and one folder for the previous

    year. Hold the old files for one year while you make

    up a new year’s files. Then when a four-month file for the

    new year is complete you discard the corresponding

    four-month file of the previous year. In that way you have

    one full year’s file plus the current four-month file. There

    is hardly any need for having more. Usually if someone

    has ordered a publication he will make reference to it or

    write about not receiving it within a month, and it is easier

    to find it if you know in what period of months the correspondence

    was carried on. The contents of the file being

    discarded can be cut up in half-inch (15 mm) strips and

    sold as wastepaper or be burned and the folders used


    11. In these general files you can put letters pertaining to

    general complaints that you have handled, small orders

    from individuals and anything that is not filed under a

    congregation or a pioneer. If letters are written to any

    individual, then the carbon copy of the letter is attached

    to the letter from the individual and this correspondence

    is filed in the general file.

    12. Letters regarding donations to the branch are put in

    separate folders in the general file and held for seven

    years, or according to the Statute of Limitations requirements

    in your country. Such letters should be marked

    "Donation" in red pencil so they will be filed in the right

    section of files.

    13. As the Congregation Analysis Reports (S-10) are

    received, the information on the front is tallied and then

    these S-10 forms are put in alphabetical order according

    to state (province), city, and congregation in the congregation

    file. General letters may be disposed of after one

    year. Correspondence about disfellowshipped or disassociated

    persons can be retained five years after the

    person is reinstated, unless the branch feels it advisable

    to keep the correspondence on a particular case for a

    longer period.

    14. LABEL FILE: After an order has been filled by

    Shipping, the carbon copies of the labels are filed under

    the month the orders were received and made out by the

    correspondence clerk. Under each month the stubs are

    grouped alphabetically according to the first letter of the

    individual’s name. Stubs are retained for one year and

    then discarded.

    15. PIONEER FILE: A file folder is made out for each

    special pioneer and circuit and district overseer or for

    each married couple who are both in special full-time

    service. The files are arranged alphabetically. The Questionnaire

    for Prospective Special Pioneer (S-208) and, if

    a traveling overseer, the Questionnaire for Prospective

    Circuit Overseer (S-323) are a permanent part of the file.

    Personal Qualifications Reports (S-326) from the current

    and previous visits of the circuit overseer should be kept

    in the special pioneer’s personal file. Personal Qualifications

    Reports from the district overseer on the circuit

    overseer are kept in the circuit overseer’s file. The personal

    files of special pioneers should contain the current

    congregation assignment. Items such as order blanks

    (S-14) (which pioneers would use only when they are not

    associated with a congregation and need supplies directly

    from the branch), letters asking for information,

    and other general matters, are kept in the file for about a

    year. General correspondence that is more than a year

    old may be disposed of when the files are cleaned out.

    When someone goes on the special pioneer list whose

    mate is already a special pioneer, they should share the

    same file folder.

    16. When a special pioneer goes off the list, the file

    folder is put in the removed file. Removed files are held

    for one year after the special pioneer is removed. Such

    files should have the original application, and recent Personal

    Qualifications Reports (S-326), as outlined above,

    and other correspondence in connection with the special

    pioneer’s removal. Anything put in the removed file concerning

    a special pioneer’s questionable conduct might

    be held indefinitely if felt advisable. Such information

    should be marked "Do Not Destroy" when it is filed in the

    folder so it will not be thrown out when the files are discarded

    after one year. The Volunteer Card (S-217) is

    kept indefinitely.

    17. At the end of one year the branch will determine if

    "Do Not Destroy" material from the pioneer’s file is to be

    discarded or retained. A special "Do Not Destroy" file

    may be kept in alphabetical order for pioneers and other

    individuals if this will make it easier to find things in the

    future rather than having them in a congregation file. In

    such case "DND" should be written on the Volunteer


    18. ISOLATED PUBLISHER FILE: Wherever practical,

    isolated publishers are put in touch with nearby congregations

    so they can report through the congregation, also

    receive information and Our Kingdom Ministry through

    the congregation, etc. However where this is not feasible

    due to distance, we still want to care for such publishers.

    In this case a folder for each isolated publisher group

    that cannot be formed into a congregation is arranged

    alphabetically according to the name of the place where

    the publisher receiving mail for the group resides. In this

    file goes all correspondence from and copies of letters to

    the group, also reports on isolated groups from the circuit

    overseer. When a group is established as a congrega-

    tion, the name of the folder is changed and it is placed in

    the congregation file. A file folder is also made for isolated

    pioneers. The S-4 field service report from isolated

    pioneers is kept for a year in the folder.


    A file

    folder is made out for each district. In this is put information

    regarding the particular district. This will usually be

    correspondence from the district overseer involving the

    district and anything that pertains to the district as a


    20. A file will be made out for each circuit and in this will

    be put reports from the district overseer on the circuit’s

    activity (S-313) which will be kept for one year. General

    information letters may be disposed of after one year.

    The current appointment letter (S-325b) for the assembly

    overseer and assistant assembly overseer will be retained

    in the file. If correspondence from the circuit or

    district overseer pertains to his personal field activity or

    his own personal affairs, then such correspondence

    should be put in his personal folder. The S-326 report

    that the district overseer submits on the circuit overseer,

    along with the file copy of any letter written to the circuit

    overseer pertaining to the report, should be put in his

    personal folder rather than the folder for the circuit.



    A file of disfellowshipped

    or disassociated persons should be kept (filed alphabetically),

    for which the branch prints cards called Record of

    Disfellowshipping or Disassociation (S-79a and S-79b).

    The S-79a card is orange in color and the S-79b is tan in

    color. This card file provides a ready reference as to who

    are disfellowshipped or disassociated in the country, the

    congregation that handled the case, date of the action

    and the reason the person was disfellowshipped or disassociated.

    Along with the S-79a and S-79b cards the

    judicial committee sends the branch a Notification of

    Disfellowshipping or Disassociation form (S-77) in a special

    colored pre-addressed envelope with the branch

    address. This form provides information needed for the

    file about the basis for action taken. The congregation

    keeps a copy of this form in its confidential files. After the

    action is checked in the office, the S-79b card is date

    stamped and returned to the congregation, and the congregation

    retains this card until such time as the person

    is reinstated. At the same time a replacement supply of

    the S-77 form and the S-79a and S-79b cards is sent to

    the congregation. The office should stamp the S-77 form

    "Do Not Destroy" and attach related correspondence, if

    any, behind it. It should be filed in the congregation’s file


    22. When the person is reinstated, the S-79b card is

    mailed back to the branch office by the congregation,

    giving the date of reinstatement. If necessary, the congregation

    can supply additional information in a letter

    attached to the card relative to the reinstatement. The

    card is to be signed by the person indicated. The congregation’s

    copy of the Notification of Disfellowshipping

    or Disassociation form (S-77) should also be marked to

    show the date of reinstatement. As a general rule the

    congregation that did the disfellowshipping does the reinstating,

    even if the person moves out of the territory.

    This may mean dealing with the matter by mail between

    the disfellowshipping congregation and the congregation

    to which a disfellowshipped or disassociated individual

    may have moved.

    23. Receiving notice of reinstatement, by means of the

    returned Record of Disfellowshipping or Disassociation

    card (S-79b), the branch office removes the S-79a card

    from the alphabetical file of disfellowshipped or disassociated

    persons and replaces it with the S-79b card,

    showing that the person has been reinstated. The S-79a

    card may then be destroyed. The S-77 form is marked to

    show the date of reinstatement. There is no need to

    have a separate card file for reinstated persons.

    24. After one has been reinstated a full five years, if the

    branch feels there is no longer any need to keep the "Do

    Not Destroy" material on the case in the congregation

    file, it can be destroyed. If the branch concludes the

    material should be retained, then it can be kept indefinitely,

    or as long as the branch feels the material should

    be kept. Though the correspondence marked "Do Not

    Destroy" may be destroyed after five years from the date

    of reinstatement, at all times the S-79b (Record of Disfellowshipping

    or Disassociation card) is retained as a

    permanent record.


    Congregation Report cards (S-1) are not posted. They

    are kept for a month or two and then thrown out. However,

    before this the branch will want to be sure that they

    have received a report from each congregation. Once it

    has been determined which reports are missing, a record

    can be kept of these and the congregations checked off

    as their reports are received. It will not be necessary to

    post Memorial attendance figures for the individual congregations.

    After the Memorial attendance for the country

    has been compiled the individual congregation Memorial

    reports can be destroyed.



    Reports of

    field service (S-4) from isolated publishers and isolated

    pioneers are not posted. These can be kept for a year in

    their folders and then disposed of after appropriate figures

    are added to the totals of the Congregation Analysis

    Report (S-10). When the correspondent for an isolated

    group sends in the monthly report for the group, using

    the S-4 form, he can show the total number of publishers

    for the group on the bottom of the report slip.


    of field service activity for district overseers and their

    wives, circuit overseers and their wives, and special pioneers,

    should be maintained. Branches that have the

    Branch Administration computer program can keep

    these records up to eight years in a computer. Smaller

    branches that do not have this program can keep the

    Monthly Report (S-301) forms and Special Pioneer Report

    (S-AB-212) forms in an alphabetically arranged file

    according to last name for eight years. In either case, an

    eight-year record of field service activity should be on

    hand for use when needed.


    The branch keeps a computer

    record or Volunteer Card (S-217) for each person

    in special full-time service alphabetically arranged. (No

    card is made out for regular and auxiliary pioneers.) In

    large branches with many in special full-time service,

    such records may be kept in a computer file. This alphabetically

    arranged file includes active district overseers

    and their wives, circuit overseers and their wives, special

    pioneers, missionaries and members of the Bethel family.

    Some larger branches may find it convenient to keep

    the various categories under separate sections. When

    one is removed, the removal date and reason are shown

    on card S-217 or computer record and it is put in the removed

    file alphabetically arranged and kept permanently.

    When the person returns to special full-time service, the

    Volunteer Card (S-217) or computer record is brought up

    to date with any additional full-time service as a regular

    pioneer and then is put back in the active file. Entry dates

    are shown at the left and removal dates at the right. If he

    has been off for less than a year, his file folder will be on

    hand and can be put back in the active file too.


    a new application is approved it is filed alphabetically in

    the active regular pioneer file. When the pioneer goes off

    the list, the removal date is posted on the application

    form and it is filed alphabetically, with any former applications

    attached, in the inactive regular pioneer file. If the

    person reapplies later, the new application will be filed in

    the active file. (Be sure that there is some indication on

    the form that there was previous full-time service.) In

    such cases there will be application forms for the person

    both in the active and inactive regular pioneer files. If the

    pioneer should later go off the list again, the newer application

    should be attached to the older one(s) in the removed


    30. COUNTY FOLDER FILE: Two folders can be kept

    for each county or similar territory division having unassigned

    territory. Into one set of these folders, kept in

    state or province order and filed alphabetically within the

    state or province, go any material to be sent to the congregations

    or pioneers who work the territory. This keeps

    such material separate from the master maps and other

    office information that are filed in separate permanent

    county folders. When the territory is assigned to a congregation

    or pioneers, the items for the towns assigned

    are taken from the file and sent to the pioneer or the

    congregation. By having the extra set of folders it is not

    necessary to sort through the files for appropriate material

    to send to those sharing in the isolated territory campaign.

    31. FILE EFFICIENCY: Your filing should be kept up to

    date so you can find letters when you need them. Always

    file letters to the front of the file as you will then know

    where the latest material is. Periodically, when the office

    is less busy, those who are capable and experienced can

    go through the files and clean out what is no longer

    needed. That which is cleaned out of the files can be

    destroyed either by burning or by cutting into half-inch

    strips. In large branches if cut into half-inch strips from

    top to bottom so that nothing can be read, it can then be

    sold as waste paper.



    A stencil is made for each congregation,

    and these are placed in alphabetical order

    according to state (province), city and congregation. In

    small branches where stencil equipment is not used

    small cards are used instead. Changes in congregation

    presiding overseer addresses, adjustments in Our Kingdom

    Ministry supply, and so forth, should be made as

    soon as you get the changes, so the stencil or card file

    will always be up to date. In the upper right-hand corner

    of the stencil or card is shown the congregation number.

    Then a few spaces after the congregation presiding

    overseer‘s name is shown the number of Our Kingdom

    Ministry sent to the congregation. Under that the number

    of the circuit is shown, and finally, where needed, in the

    lower right-hand corner is shown the parcel-post rate and

    shipping information. Some branches may find it practical

    to maintain separate addresses for mailing literature

    supplies from what is used for general correspondence.

    Cards for city overseers may also be kept in this file.



    A stencil or card is made out

    for each isolated publisher group, using the name and

    address of the brother or sister who receives supplies for

    the group. These stencils or cards are filed alphabetically

    according to the names of the places where the individuals

    live. The number of Our Kingdom Ministry sent is

    shown a few spaces after the individual’s name.



    Brothers serving as news representatives

    will be selected by the circuit overseer in the

    same manner that other circuit volunteers are chosen.

    The circuit overseer will send the branch the Circuit

    News Service Representative card (S-304) providing the

    name, address, telephone number, congregation, and

    date appointed. This card will be filed alphabetically or by

    circuit number within state or provincial divisions. Each

    time a change takes place, or if there is a change of address,

    the circuit overseer will send a new card which will

    replace the existing one in the file. A blank S-304 form is

    then sent to the circuit overseer for future use.—See


    35. PERMANENT FORM FILE: You should have a

    permanent file of all sample forms supplied to branches,

    for your own reference and that of the zone overseer

    when he visits. As new forms are sent to you, you should

    place these in your permanent file, keeping only the latest

    copies in this file. File them according to the symbol

    found in the lower left-hand corner.


    When forms are discontinued the United States

    branch will inform you of this and you will remove the

    form from your file. If a form is reprinted and it has the

    same number as the form you already have, then remove

    the old form and put the new in its place. If the

    date on the form is different from the one in your file, it is

    because some change was made in the form. The latest

    forms printed locally in English or other languages can

    be filed in place in this form file. Thus you will also always

    have here a record of what you have printed.

    37. Files containing correspondence with Brooklyn may

    be weeded out after three years. Annual reports should

    be kept along with other items that are of value such as

    correspondence or newspaper clippings relating to bans,

    matters of consequence regarding individuals, property

    and building information, policy matters, legal matters,

    appointment letters, important financial transactions, etc.

  • lost_light06

    Thanks all, I was just curious. Also, sorry for posting it twice, still learning the board.

  • serendipity

    Hi lost light, welcome to the forum!

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