My phone call last week

by LennyinBluemont 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • LennyinBluemont

    Hi gang,

    I've transcribed the phone conversation with the two elders last week. (Accidentally recorded over the last 5 minutes.) If anyone's interested I can post it here, but it's a little lengthy. Is there a way to attach a Word document in a post? When I click on the Attach Files button above I just hear a strange noise, but no window comes up.

    Uncle Lenny

  • Emma

    I think you have to past it to Notebook first, then to your post, but I'm really not sure. Someone will pop up with instructions soon...

  • candidlynuts

    copy paste to notepad then copy paste to here..

    a lot of us would love to read it..i hope you get it posted.

  • rebel8

    Go to the upper left hand corner where you see something like this:

    Inbox (0 new messages)
    Profile :: Files :: Logoff

    Click files, and upload the file. Then come back to this thread and click on the paper clip in your post.

  • ithinkisee

    Definitely post the transcript. We'll read it. Even if it is lengthy. -ithinkisee

  • fullofdoubtnow

    Yeah, please post it, I look forward to reading it.


  • LennyinBluemont

    rebel8: I tried that, but this site only allows you to upload jpg or gif files. So, I'll just do a cut and paste. Sorry for the length, guys. For any who want the background to this thread, it can be found at:

    Lenny: OK, Robert. Sorry about that. I’m back.

    Elder 1: That’s alright. Did I catch you at a busy time?

    LENNY: Well, yeah, we run our business from the home, here

    ELDER 1: Right, right. So I’m not gonna keep ya but we did want to try to set up a time when we could get with you and discuss some concerns that have come up, and I know you, I don’t know if you got your questions answered, but we do have some, I guess at this point they’re serious concerns that we wanna help you, and Karen, if it’s at all possible. Is there a time that we could meet? It would be a judicial meeting.

    LENNY: It would be a judicial meeting?

    ELDER 1: Mm hmm.

    LENNY: What is the accusation?

    ELDER 1: Well, um, non-neutral involvement

    LENNY: Based on what?

    ELDER 1: Based on some activities you’ve been involved in.

    LENNY: Well, you can’t be specific?

    ELDER 1: Well, you’ve been uh, you’ve emailed some folks about some rallies you’ve attended

    LENNY: Mm hmm.-How have you come into possession of my emails?

    ELDER 1: Well, I don’t have your emails, but we were told about the situation. We would be happy to talk with you about it. If there’s been some misunderstanding, then that’s one reason we would want to do that.

    LENNY: Well who’s the person bringing the accusation?

    ELDER 1: (Long pause) Well, we can talk about that, if you wanna meet.

    LENNY: So, you’re not willing to tell me?

    ELDER 1: Well, that’s something we would talk about in person. I’m sure you realize that.

    LENNY: Why is that?

    ELDER 1: (Long pause) Better forum, Lenny

    LENNY: If someone’s made an accusation against me, don’t I have a right to know who it is?

    ELDER 1: Uh, yes, and we can talk about that

    LENNY: Well why couldn’t you just tell me?

    ELDER 1: Well, are you denying it then? If you’re denying it then, ya know, are you denying it?

    LENNY: I’d like to know more information. You’re not being very specific.

    ELDER 1: Well, I mean, did you attend a rally, or not, I mean that’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it?

    LENNY: Why would you ask?

    ELDER 1: Uh because, I told you why we asked, because someone had mentioned that

    LENNY: Well, if you’re not willing to tell me who the accuser is, I don’t know that we’re going to go any further. I think I have a right to know that.

    ELDER 1: Well, you do, but I’m just asking you if it’s true or false. If you’re telling me that it’s false, then ya know, we’ll take another route, I mean, if it’s not true then there’s no sense in our, ya know, meeting at this point. Is it true?

    LENNY: Again, I have to know specifics.

    ELDER 1: You have to know specifics to know whether you did or didn’t?

    LENNY: Did or didn’t what?

    ELDER 1: As I just mentioned that you were involved in some non-neutral activities, such as attending a rally

    LENNY: What kind of rally?

    (Long pause)

    LENNY: If you want me to respond, I need you to be specific. I want to know what the specific accusation is and who the person is bringing the accusation

    ELDER 1: Well, we can talk about who the person is bringing the accusation later, uh, right now we’re just trying to determine if we have a reason to meet with you, Lenny

    LENNY: Well, when you’re prepared to provide me with the specifics I guess we can move forward at that point.

    Elder 2: Well what would be a good time to get together, then?

    LENNY: Well, I don’t know that we need to be personally face to face for me to find out who it is.

    ELDER 1: Well, at this point we’re not going to tell you who it is, but we certainly could tell you if you want more detail

    LENNY: That’s, do you know what that’s like? That’s just like the Inquisition. You know, they would bring forth charges against people and they wouldn’t let them know who the witnesses were.

    ELDER 1: I’m not saying that.

    LENNY: Well, I’ve asked

    ELDER 1: I told you if we need, if we need to do that, then we’ll do that. But you’re not even telling me, you know, do we even need to do that

    LENNY: mm hmm.-

    ELDER 1: I mean, you’re being evasive. Any reason why you’re being evasive?

    LENNY: I’m not the one being evasive. You called me and I asked a question and you’re evading my question. Why are you saying I’m being evasive?

    ELDER 1: No, well I already told you that at this point I’m not going to tell you, but what I have asked you is if you’ve been involved in activities that would not be, you know, in conformance with principles that you know, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, we know the Bible teaches.

    LENNY: Well, as I said, I’m not going to discuss it with you until I can get some specific information. You know, you’ve raised the issue. You’ve contacted me, and

    ELDER 1: Well, if the information you want is the who, as I mentioned, we can get you that and I’ve asked you specifically if you’ve been involved in rallies, specifically concerning anti-war, or things of that nature.

    LENNY: Mm hmm.-

    ELDER 1: Well that’s a pretty straight forward question. If you’re telling me, no, you haven’t been involved in any aspect, things of that nature, then, um, everything else becomes mute (sic) and then we go back and say, OK, where’d you get this information? Why do you feel this way? You know. How we, we, you know, my understanding is emails were passed around and got back to various people.

    LENNY: Have you seen any such email?

    ELDER 1: Uh, to be honest with you, have I read them, uh no, but I certainly can pull out a copy of it.

    LENNY: So you do have

    ELDER 1: As you know, they have to do, at a minimum with anti-war, and I know you have some problems with some of the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses. So again, if you’re telling me this is not true, then we don’t have any reason to take it that route.

    LENNY: So you do have the email in your possession, you say you can pull up a copy of it

    ELDER 1: There are, yes, emails that could be pulled up.

    LENNY: Could I be provided a copy?

    ELDER 1: Well, Lenny, the first thing is, are you denying that

    LENNY: I’ll tell you what, why don’t you send me a copy of the email and I’ll tell you whether it’s accurate or not.

    ELDER 1: Uh, no. uh I’ve asked you a question. If you want to see all that there’s there’s a venue for doing that. You did voluntarily agree to come under the direction of the congregation. If you don’t want to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses you could write a letter. Would you want to do that?

    LENNY: Why would I do that?

    ELDER 1: Well, because if you don’t want to work along with the arrangement of the elders, which you did agree to at your dedication and baptism

    LENNY: I never agreed that I would submit to any process, by an accuser that’s unknown to me.

    ELDER 1: Uh, we’re not asking you to do that. But what we are asking. . . . . go ahead, Glen.

    Elder 2: Well, we’re asking you to meet. To do it on the phone is just inappropriate.

    LENNY: I’m not suggesting we discuss it on the phone, I just want to know who the accuser was.

    Elder 2: Right, but if we meet, we can provide that information, and you can give us your side and

    LENNY: Why is it you could provide that face to face but not now?

    ELDER 1: Well, what we’re asking right now is are the accusations true? And if you don’t want to say yes or no, then there’s no point in giving you any more information.

    LENNY: Well,

    ELDER 1: Are the accusations true?

    LENNY: Well, I return to my question, why are you able to provide that information face to face but not now?

    ELDER 1: Um, are the accusations true?

    LENNY: Well, we’re at loggerheads here, if you’re not going to answer my questions, I’m probably not going to answer yours

    ELDER 1: Well, Lenny, actually, you know who you wrote emails to, we don’t think we have to

    LENNY: I write emails to many, many people.

    ELDER 1: OK, and have you written emails to anyone concerning political activity you’ve been involved in?

    LENNY: Whatever email I write to an individual is personal correspondence which you don’t have a right to.

    ELDER 1: Well, if you write an email to an individual, unless you specifically told that individual do not share these thoughts or concerns with anyone, then obviously, some have.

    LENNY: Well, how do you know the email doesn’t specifically say that?

    ELDER 1: Lenny, when you’re dedicated and baptized, you willingly came under the direction, of your own free will, of the Christian congregation, directed under the auspices of our lord and savior Jesus Christ

    LENNY: Robert, can I ask you a question?

    ELDER 1: who directs the congregation, now if you want to work with us, we really want to help you, we want to clear up any misunderstandings you have or any questions that you feel, if you feel something’s been done wrong, we wanna help

    LENNY: Well, I definitely feel that something’s been done wrong. . .

    ELDER 1: So what we wanna do is do this Jehovah’s way, and, and if you want to work with that, we’re happy to work with you on that

    LENNY: Well, let me ask you a question. If someone had somehow come into possession of your wife’s personal diary, and then shared it with other people because they thought what was in there was interesting, how would you feel about that person?

    ELDER 1: We’re not talking about a personal diary.

    LENNY: We’re talking about a personal email, Robert

    ELDER 1: Yes, we are.

    LENNY: Yeah.

    ELDER 1: Now, obviously, did you tell anyone never to share your concerns with anyone else?

    LENNY: I would need to know specifically what the email was and see the email.

    ELDER 1: I’m not, have you ever told anyone in an email, discussing your political activity that uh, not to share this with anyone else? (notice how the implication is made that I’ve already admitted political activity, in an attempt to gain a confession, based on an unrelated question. Just like a friggin lawyer!)

    LENNY: There are emails that I’ve sent to people in which I’ve either asked for confidentiality or they’ve promised me confidentiality. Whether or not that’s the email you’re making reference to I have no way of knowing since you’re not telling me anything.

    ELDER 1: OK, but again that has nothing to do with the fact of whether you have or have not been involved in any of these, have you been sharing views that are contrary to scriptural beliefs that uh, we believe as Jehovah’s Witnesses. But that doesn’t call for anything. You know how you feel, you know what you’ve been doing. Does it really matter? That’s just like me asking Lenny, did you steal, did you steal a thousand dollars out of someone’s account? And you wanna say, well I wanna know who’s account you’re talking about.

    LENNY: It does matter to me if that, it was an email where there was a promise of confidentiality involved. It matters a lot to me. I think it would matter to you, too.

    ELDER 1: Well, and if that was, we, we’ll deal with that at that point, but we’re gonna take this one step at a time. And you

    LENNY: Well, that’s the first step

    ELDER 1: You don’t have to work with the congregation, you wanna write a letter and say you don’t wish to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and work along with the congregation, you can do that, You’re free to do that. I can give you an address that you can write that to.

    LENNY: Do you think that I’m unfamiliar with that process?

    ELDER 1: OK, so then is that what you would like to do?

    LENNY: No.

    ELDER 1: OK, then if that’s the case then, you’re saying

    LENNY: If I wanted to do that I would have done it, Robert.

    ELDER 1: So then, you’re saying you’re willing to work with the congregation arrangement as it exists.

    LENNY: Well, I’ve spent 12 minutes on the phone so far here talking with you. That’s not exactly being uncooperative, is it?

    ELDER 1: OK, well then, but you haven’t answered the question.

    LENNY: And neither have you answered mine.

    ELDER 1: And I’ve told you forthrightly why I’m not going to answer your question, because it will be answered at some point, um but right now we’re just asking you, ya know, is it true or is it not true? And you refuse to answer that question.

    LENNY: Well, because, you’re coming at me from the darkness here. If someone’s made an accusation against me I think, even according to the Watchtower, I have a right to know who that person is.

    ELDER 1: Well you certainly do.

    LENNY: And that’s all I’m asking. If you’re unwilling to provide me that I think this is an illegitimate process that your proceeding with.

    ELDER 1: Well, you first have a right to say whether we should be pursuing this or not.

    LENNY: Well, that’s up to you. You have the freedom to ask questions of anyone you like, and I have the freedom not to answer questions if I choose not to.

    ELDER 1: Because we would much rather do this working with you.

    LENNY: Uh-huh

    ELDER 1: You know, sitting down, and trying to get whatever questions you feel have not been forthright, whatever

    LENNY: OK, well here’s my position then Robert. I think I understand where you’re coming from. What I would like to know is the name of the person who’s made the accusation, and I would like to have a copy of the email that is the basis for you’re making a phone call to me. And once I have those two things then I will agree to sit down and talk with you.

    ELDER 1: Well, Lenny, if you want to work with the congregation, you know how it works.

    LENNY: Well, yeah, I do, and I don’t think what I’m asking is unreasonable.

    ELDER 1: Well, I’m not saying whether it’s reasonable or not, you know how it works.

    LENNY: And I don’t see how it’s out of harmony with the Society’s process.

    ELDER 1: Well, the process is first, we see if we even have a reason to sit down and talk

    LENNY: Well you already said it would be a judicial meeting.

    ELDER 1: Well it would be a judicial meeting based on your answer to that question.

    LENNY: Well I think you stated earlier in our conversation that this was a judicial matter

    ELDER 1: Well, it, it, meaning that, yes, the allegations, they’re serious enough to be judicial, so I didn’t want you to think that we were just going to talk, you know, talk from old times and ya know what great talks you used to give and how we used to enjoy that talk on the Trinity, and you know, hey, we haven’t seen you and Karen in a while, can we help you, anything we can do, you know, it’s not just a shepherding call. So that was the reason for that.

    LENNY: Right.

    ELDER 1: OK, so there have been some serious allegations made

    LENNY: Well, I think I’ve

    ELDER 1: And if you’re telling me that they’re not true, then you know, that’s a totally different avenue.

    LENNY: Mm hmm.-

    ELDER 1: Right? I mean you know that, right?

    LENNY: Well, I’m not sure I understand your question there.

    ELDER 1: Well, you’ve got workers, that work for you, or subcontractors and one of your clients call up and say, hey one of your guys stole something from me, from my house. It was here and it’s gone and it was on the table, etc. etc. Now you may ask them some questions, like why do you feel it was my person and they may say well it was here before and they were the only ones in here and now it’s gone, etc., etc. Then what would be the first thing you’d do?

    LENNY: I would go to that employee and say this particular person has made an accusation against you and this is the basis of their accusation, here’s the evidence they’ve presented, do you have anything to say?

    ELDER 1: That’s right.

    LENNY: Yeah, and that’s all I’m asking for.

    ELDER 1: Well that’s what I’m telling you. I’m first telling you the accusation, is there any basis for that? Of course we’re not dealing with a specific spot, or specific client, so basically, so, as with that, we’re just dealing with, first of all, is the accusation true?

    LENNY: Well, you have information in your possession that you’re unwilling to give me, that

    ELDER 1: It has nothing to do with the fact as to whether you can answer the question as to whether the condition’s true or not.

    LENNY: Well, it has everything to do with the fact that you’re being uncooperative

    ELDER 1: Wait, wait a minute, let me ask you one question

    LENNY: Well you won’t let me finish my sentence

    ELDER 1: Does this have anything to do with whether the accusation’s true or not?

    LENNY: It has everything to do with your whole approach here. You don’t have any right to go to a person and make an accusation of them without presenting the evidence and the name of the accuser when that’s requested of you

    ELDER 1: Well, if we were having a judicial meeting all of that would set out

    LENNY: It’s not necessary, where does it say in any of the Society’s publications that that can only be revealed in a judicial meeting? Can you give me a reference for that, cause I don’t remember that one.

    ELDER 1: Well, Lenny, if you want references, if you want to deal from the Christian congregation’s standpoint, I’m a representative of the local congregation and if you want to cooperate, I’m just asking you some questions.

    LENNY: Well that’s one more question you haven’t answered of mine. I don’t know if there’s any point in going further here if you’re just going to stonewall me every time I ask a question.

    ELDER 1: Not trying to stonewall you.

    LENNY: Well, which of my questions have you answered?

    ELDER 1: Well, it’s based. .

    Elder 2: We only asked you one and you haven’t answered it.

    LENNY: Right. And I think you’ve asked me a very personal question regarding an accusation of something serious and I think I have a right to know, what is the evidence, who is the accuser before we have a discussion of it

    Elder 2: I think it’d be more prudent to answer whether or not it’s true. Because if it’s not true

    LENNY: Prudent for whom?

    I accidentally erased the last 5 minutes of this recording. The question finally came around to their specifically asking, Did I attend an anti-war rally? Since I haven’t, I told them, finally, OK, I have not attended an anti-war rally, so now I’ve answered your question, now will you tell me who my accuser is? And they still refused. I told them this was an illegitimate process and they were not dealing in good faith with me. He then asked if there were other areas that I didn’t agree with the Society. I told them, OK guys, now you’re just on a fishing expedition and I don’t want to go any further with this. He read me the scripture from Hebrews 13 about being submissive to those taking the lead among you and to be obedient to them, applying it obviously to himself. I asked him if that meant absolute obedience in everything. He said, yes, as long as it didn’t go against the scriptures. So, I said, it’s not against the scriptures to wear a blue shirt, so if an elder tells me I must always wear a blue shirt, must I obey him? He avoided the question.

  • misspeaches

    Oh Lenny! The circles in that conversation made me dizzy!
    I don't know how you stood it...

  • karen96

    i thought this statement was interesting:

    ELDER 1: So what we wanna do is do this Jehovah’s way, and, and if you want to work with that, we’re happy to work with you on that

    So this is Jehovah's way? Or the borg's? Since the Pay Attention book outlines the process for these judicial hearings, and the rank and file don't have access to this book, all you have is their word. How are you supposed to be prepared to defend yourself at this meeting when they can't provide these details for you?!? This really makes my blood boil.


  • xjwms

    Wow Lenny

    As for me that is just too many circles to go...No way No way No way

    I would just have let them know in no uncertaian terms that liars keep chashing the inactive ones...and my advice to the elders...

    go out and make some money .... yer gonna need it for retirement.

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