Attitudes of JCs

by rhian 10 Replies latest jw experiences

  • rhian

    I just finished reading Crisis of Conscience. I had read half of it but never finished; something I read on this forum prompted me to pick it up & finish it.

    My question is this: I'm curious, for those who have had experience with judicial committees, what has been the prevailing attitude? Franz wrote about the lack of brotherly love in both the committees at HQ in NY and in the cong in Alabama.

    I've had two experiences; won't go into the details for the sake of brevity. In the first, about 18 years ago, the brothers were kind and compassionate, and I was privately reproved (but I had voluntarily confessed my "sins" and was repentant waaaayyy beyond what my behavior really demanded).

    The second time (1-1/2 years ago) the brothers were very kind and understanding UNTIL THE ACTUAL COMMITTEE MEETING. It blew me away. I was expecting to be treated with the same kindness and dignity I had been treated with when they first came and spoke with me about the allegations, which I did not deny. They were cold and I felt very much the victim of an inquisition, as Ray Franz had said. I felt like they weren't listening to anything I said. I wasn't sure what the point of their interrogation was; I had already told them what happened. It was the most horrible thing I've ever experienced, and was completely unexpected.

    I wondered how God's holy spirit could be working in men who were so cold and unfeeling. I certainly didn't feel it. But then, I hadn't felt God's spirit there for years...


  • candidlynuts

    i had good cop/bad cop and one brother that said very little

    i wish i'd been more prepared for the experience. i just bawled and shook the whole time like i was facing god himself.

    they'd see a different candy now a days!!

  • anewme

    Rhian, I think alot has to do with the elders who are dealing with the case.
    My JC was made up of men who had known me since I was 18.
    All were very sad. One was teary eyed. It was not like an arrest or anything so mean or severe. It was solemn and respectful and sad.

    Sorry you had a bad experience Rhian. Some have insisted on having a spouse with them during the procedure or a parent. Im sure that keeps things calmer.

    Either way, you are out now and have the free time now explore this forum and read books that will explain what you have been through.

    When ex elders come on here they will tell you what they know.

  • merfi

    I think it might depend on the elders... My two JC meetings were horrible. Just horrible. They SAY they wanted to help and restore me, but their attitudes and demeanors were not in the least kind and merciful. It was totally like being on trial, but in a kangaroo court where they assumed guilt until proven innocent. Which was going to be futile anyway, as I was prejudged. I told friends later that I'd have felt more at ease in front of Jehovah himself than those elders. Two of them had personal issues with me and the third (in my last and final JC) said maybe four sentences the whole 4 hours. When he started to say "what you need to do..." I thought all RIGHT!! Finally, here comes something positive as the other two had done nothing but beat me down with how bad I was. Nope, the rest of that sentence was "... stop saying 'screwed up'. You're actually saying the 'f word'." o....k.... WTH ever.

    The classic comment from my JC was from the PO. He told me that if I was in Israel times, I "would be dead." This was at the end of the meeting where I was already completely crumbled in a ball of worthlessness and sadness. Nice, brother. Nice. I wrote my DA letter over the next two days after that JC...

  • collegegirl21

    With the few that I had, they were very kind and compassionate with me. I think its because I was the "example" in our congregation for younger kids, so they tried to reason with me as best as I could - first time - I repented and cried and I think that's why.

  • sass_my_frass

    First time I was forgiven, and they seemed nice because of that, and also because one of them actually was. The second time was different guys, and was a slightly polite inquisition. Funny thing though, I went to them to confess thinking I'd be shown mercy, but there's just a rule; there is no mercy the second time around. If I'd known that I'd have just walked away.

    There's this thing that happens just after they've told you their decision; now that they have all the answers they need and know what they want to do, they're confident that they can treat you like dirt and not be held accountable to god. They told me that their punishment would have been a lot more harsh if we were Israelites (I assume they meant that they'd have stoned me to death in the car park), but they're going to let me earn Jehovah's mercy by disfellowshipping me. Now leave; we're done here. I was kind of expecting that we'd close in prayer...

    I've come so far since then.

  • moggy lover
    moggy lover

    I suppose most elders are shortsighted, well-meaning men, who, being theologically inert, still presume to stand for what they have predetirmined are "righteous principles" During the time that I served as an elder [75-84] I had the misfortune to serve on at least five JCs and none were exactly uplifting experiences

    Before we would meet with the "subject" we would get together first. We would "pray" then cast around the Bible trying to find some "principle" that would fit the situation. Usually we found none, and thus had to rely on some relevant WT presentation. The supposed goal of the entire excercise was bring the person to ''repentance'' but it is only in retrospect that I can see that in reality it was to intimidate and force a rigid compliance to an established fiat.

    I would like to believe that at least while I served on these committees, that we gave a fair hearing to the accused. However, there were occassions where a somewhat forceful elder would turn the procedure into a starchamber event. To my shame, I would have to admit, that rather than show any dissent I would comply with the majority decision even if I felt it wrong.

    I have often wished that I could apologize to these half-forgotten memories, because they were real people, in real life emotional situations, and who were seeking solace, but instead were subjected to brutal, unbridaled exercises of pwer



    How you are treated varies from each elder body. Some factors as already mentioned are: If they have known you for a long time or not, what the sin actually is "apostates" are treated with more disdain and suspicion than a fornicator would be, also the individual elders on the committee and their personality.

    I have been on a few with one particular elder who was very kind and understanding and a few with another brother who I guess thinks his sh*t doesnt smell and he does no wrong so therefore looked down on the person even calling them stupid and immature behind their backs. It really just depends on the individual circumstances.

  • truckerann

    Whenever I have had to visit the "little room in the back of the hall" it had been an this day I often wonder what was the purpose...I would sit there they would ask questions and then I would be asked to sit out and wait while they discussed my fate...which was usually a private reproof because I was repentance..whether I was or not was not the family said that I knew just how to answer the questions and jump through the hoops basically telling them just what they wanted to hear. It was kind of like an act...The funny thing now about the whole situation is where the elders on the committee are now-one is D'Ad, one was D'Fd to going out on his wife, and the other one ran away with a younger married sister...who knows where he is rather ironic now because these men know things about me that not even my family knows....they could write a book and it would be a best seller...LOL only one of the elder on the Committee showed any kind compassion for my "situation"

  • Forscher

    The few I've ever had any invovlement with weren't very nice. I recently had a conversation with a Da'd person who had many years with the organization like I did. He'd even been an elder and served on a number of such committees. He told me that it always struck him like a firing committee in a big business where two or three supervisors will sit down with somebody to tell them they've been fired. I've never worked for a company big enough for that, but it is quite a telling observation.


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