What exactly does it mean to be "marked", anyway?

by Amber Rose 21 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Amber Rose
    Amber Rose

    What are the concequences of being marked? What qualifies a person to be marked? Who determines whom shall be marked? How does word get around? Are the elders allowed to tell thier wives? Can the marking be lifted? How do you know if you are marked or maybe people just don't like you or everyone in your congregation is just unfriendly? Anything you can tell me about this enegmatic thing would be appreciated. Thank you!

  • avidbiblereader

    It means that you are about one expressed thought from being DF'd, one bad attitude from being unacceptable as an associate to socialize with the rest of the congregation, it is almost a preliminary to being DF, not enough established DFing evidence yet but either straighten out or get out.

    It is kind of a test run of DFing policy.


  • theinfamousone

    it means the red dot (laser sighting) is on your forehead... they are about to shoot you!

    the infamous one

  • BluesBrother

    This is the policy. The quote is the conclusion of a lengthy article on the subject. It alway seeme strange to me. Either someone was part of the congregation family, or they weren't? Are they?

    w99 7/15 p. 31 Questions From Readers

    ***"Paul did not lay down detailed rules as if trying to create a complicated procedure. But it is plain that the elders should first counsel and try to help a disorderly one. If they do not succeed and the person persists in a way that is disturbing and that has the potential for spreading, they may conclude that the congregation should be put on the alert. They can arrange for a talk on why such disorderliness is to be avoided. They will not mention names, but their warning talk will help to protect the congregation because responsive ones will take extra care to limit social activities with any who clearly display such disorderliness.

    Hopefully, in time the disorderly one will be ashamed of his ways and will be moved to change. As the elders and others in the congregation see the change, they can individually decide to end the limitation they have put on personally socializing with him.

    In summary, then: The congregation elders take the lead in offering help and counsel if someone is walking disorderly. If he does not see the error of his way but continues to be an unwholesome influence, the elders may warn the congregation by means of a talk that makes clear the Biblical view—be it of dating unbelievers, or whatever the improper course is. (1 Corinthians 7:39; 2 Corinthians 6:14) Christians in the congregation who are thus alerted can individually decide to limit any socializing with ones who clearly are pursuing a disorderly course but who are still brothers."

  • dedpoet

    This is from the flock book:

    If individuals Persist in "walking, disorderly" in serious
    violation of well-established Bible principles, but not yet
    to a degree warranting judicial action, they may be
    «marked» by members of the congregation. (2 Thess. 3:
    6, 14, 15; w85 4/15 pp. 30-1; om pp. 152-3)

    However, this would occur only after repeated efforts to
    provide authoritative Scriptural counsel and admonition
    have been ignored and in many cases after a warning talk
    has been given to the congregation. (w85 4/15 pp. 30-1;
    w81 9/1 pp. 19-21 )

    If a person who has been marked continues his wrongful
    course in brazen defiance of Christian standards, ada-
    mantly rejecting loving Scriptural counsel,
    judicial action
    may be taken if the situation becomes scandalous loose


    As far as I can remember, and I only ever heard one marking talk, the person
    isn't named in the talk, but most of the congregation will know who it is, and
    will be expected to avoid associating with them.

  • Rooster

    They were going to send an elder to my house when I stopped going to the kingdumb hall. I said, "I have personally marked that brother and it would be spiritually destructive to me if he came to my house". He never came and I didn’t hear back from them at all.

  • PinTail

    Well Amber, I will try my best to make some sense out of this:

    Being Marked means that you are not very good person to associate with in the congregation (most of the time it means you have stumbled someone with what you said or done.) Many times your friends in the hall that you have had for a long time will drift away from you, and so you ask them what's the problem, and they may say well me and so and so, have marked you because of blah blah blah and no longer want to spend as much time with you because you discourage us, blah blah blah.

    Hootie Hoo

  • willyloman

    This is one of those JW rules they keep on a shelf in the store room out back.They trot it out once in a while, when they don't know what else to do. It is not widely undertand by the rank and file, which is just the way the "boys" want it. When I was an elder, we explained it like this: "The person is not marked, it's the behavior that is marked. If you see someone doing the marked behavior, be forewarned and limit your association with them." Of course, this gave license to all sorts of antisocial, unloving behavior, but this is a high control group that majors in judgmentalism.

  • greendawn

    The JWs basically have just two ways of punishing their members either DFing and total shunning or marking which again is bad since it means a damage to one's reputation and a drastic limitation of social life. A marked person is not dangerous enough to be totally avoided but must be kept at arm's length. It's a milder form of Dfing.

  • Atlantis

    (Credit goes to ezekiel3) http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/12/87606/1.ashx

    This is the complete text from Chapter 14 of Organized to Do Jehovah's Will. Prepare to hear more about "sifting" from the Org...

    CHAPTER 14

    EACH year thousands of people flock to Jehovah's house of pure worship, in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. (Mic. 4:1, 2) How happy we are to receive them into "the congregation of God"! (Acts 20:28) They appreciate the opportunity to serve Jehovah with us and to enjoy our spiritual paradise. This spiritually clean and peaceful environment is made possible by the operation of Jehovah's holy spirit and by our applying the wise counsel found in his Word, the Bible.?Ps. 119:105; Zech. 4:6.

    Application of Bible principles enables us to put on the Christian personality. (Col. 3:10) We make every effort to conform our way of life to Jehovah's righteous standards. For this reason, we put aside petty disputes and personal differences. By accepting Jehovah's view of matters, we overcome divisive worldly influences, and this allows us to work unitedly in love as an international brotherhood.?Acts 10: 34, 35.

    Nevertheless, from time to time difficulties arise, affecting the peace and unity of the congregation. What is the cause? In most cases, it is a failure to heed and apply Bible counsel. We still have to cope with our imperfect human tendencies. Not one of us is without sin. (1 John 1:10) Someone may, without fully realizing it, take a false step that could introduce moral or spiritual uncleanness into the congregation. By our thoughtless action or unguarded tongue, we may offend someone, or we may feel offended because of what someone has said or done. (Rom. 3:23) When such difficulties arise, what can we do to set matters straight?

    We can be thankful that Jehovah has lovingly taken all of this into consideration. His Word provides counsel on what to do when difficulties arise on account of inherited imperfections and limitations or when wrongdoing is introduced into the congregation. Personal assistance is available from loving spiritual shepherds. By applying their Scriptural counsel, we can enjoy a fine relationship with all in the congregation and maintain a good standing with Jehovah. If we require discipline or reproof because of some wrongdoing on our part, we can be sure that such correction is an expression of our heavenly Father's love for us.?Prov. 3:11,12; Heb. 12:6.


    There may be times when personal disputes or difficulties of a minor nature arise between individual members of the congregation. These should quickly be settled in a spirit of brotherly love. (Eph. 4:26; Phil. 2:2-4; Col. 3:12-14) Very likely you will find that most problems of a personal nature involving your relationship with another member of the congregation can be resolved by applying the apostle Peter's counsel to "have intense love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins." (1 Pet. 4:8) Such minor difficulties stem from human imperfection. We all stumble many times. (Jas. 3:2) By recognizing this and applying the Golden Rule, doing to others just as we would want them to do to us, wecan usually dispose of minor offenses by forgiving and forgetting.?Matt. 7:12.

    But if something has disturbed your relationship with someone in the congregation so much that you feel that another approach is needed, wisdom dictates that you do not delay in resolving the matter, knowing that your relationship with Jehovah is also involved. Jesus counseled his disciples: "If, then, you are bringing your gift to the altar and you there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, and go away; first make your peace with your brother, and then, when you have come back, offer up your gift." (Matt. 5:23, 24) There may have been a misunderstanding. If so, it should be cleared up by giving priority to Christian unity and keeping the lines of communication open. Good communication among all in the congregation goes a long way toward preventing misunderstandings and resolving problems that arise because of human imperfection.


    At times, overseers may find it necessary to counsel someone, trying to readjust his thinking. This is not always easy. To the Christians in Galatia, the apostle Paul wrote: "Brothers, even though a man takes some false step before he is aware of it, you who have spiritual qualifications try to readjust such a man in a spirit of mildness."?Gal. 6:1.

    By lovingly caring for the flock, overseers protect the congregation from many spiritual dangers and prevent serious problems from developing. Shepherds of the flock should strive to make their service to the congregation measure up to Jehovah's promise through Isaiah: "Each one must prove to be like a hiding place from the wind and a place of concealment from the rainstorm, like streams of water in a waterless country, like the shadow of a heavy crag in an exhausted land."?Isa. 32:2.


    Willingness to overlook offenses and to forgive does not mean that we are unconcerned about wrongdoing or that we approve of it. Not all wrongs can be charged to inherited imperfection; nor is it for our brother's good or for the good of the congregation to overlook wrongs that go beyond minor offenses. (Lev. 19:17; Ps. 141:5) The Law covenant recognized degrees of seriousness of sins and transgressions. This is also true in the Christian arrangement.?1 John 5:16,17.

    Jesus outlined some specific procedures for resolving problems involving serious wrongdoing that may arise between fellow Christians. Note the steps that he set out: "If your brother commits a sin, [1] go lay bare his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, [2] take along with you one or two more, in order that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. If he does not listen to them, [3] speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector."?Matt. 18:15-17.

    The illustration that Jesus subsequently gave, recorded at Matthew 18:23-35, shows that the sins considered at Matthew 18:15-17 are evidently such sins as those involving financial or property matters ?failure to make proper payment for something or some action involving a measure of fraud?or the damaging of someone's reputation by actual slander.

    If you have solid evidence that someone in the congregation has committed such a serious sin against you personally, do not be hasty to turn to the overseers or others, asking them to intervene on your behalf. As Jesus counseled, speak first with the one against whom you have a 'complaint. Try to resolve the matter between just the two of you without involving anyone else. If he does not respond favorably to your efforts, you may let a little time pass before taking the matter further. Keep in mind that Jesus did not say 'go only once, and lay bare his fault.' Therefore, if the person does not initially admit the wrong and ask forgiveness, it may be good to consider approaching him again later. If the matter can be straightened out in this way, the one who sinned will certainly appreciate that you have not told others about his sin or marred his good reputation in the congregation. You will have achieved your objective of 'gaining your brother.'

    If the one who committed the offense accepts responsibility, seeks forgiveness, and straightens the matter out, there is no need to carry the matter further. This shows that although serious, the offenses here discussed are limited to those that can be settled between the individuals involved. This does not include such offenses as fornication, adultery, homosexuality, blasphemy, apostasy, idolatry, and similar gross sins. (1 Cor. 6:9,10; Gal. 5:19-21) These sins require more than forgiveness from an offended individual. Since the spiritual and moral cleanness of the congregation may be threatened, such matters should be reported to the elders and handled by them.?1 Cor. 5:6; Jas. 5:14,15.

    If you are not able to gain your brother by 'laying bare his fault between you and him alone,' then you may do as Jesus said?take along one or two others and speak with your brother again. Those you take with you should also have the objective of gaining your brother. Preferably, they would be witnesses of the alleged wrongdoing, but if there are no eyewitnesses, you may choose to take along brothers to be witnesses to the discussion. They may have experience in the matter at issue and may be able to establish whether what occurred was truly a wrong. Elders chosen as witnesses do not represent the congregation, since the body of elders has not specifically assigned them in the matter.

    If you are convinced that your brother has committed a serious sin against you and you have evidence to prove it and the matter has not been resolved after repeated efforts?when you spoke with him alone and when you went to him with one or two others?and you feel that you cannot let it pass, then you should report the matter to the overseers of the congregation. Remember that their goal too is to maintain the peace and cleanness of the congregation. Having approached the elders, you will have taken the matter as far as you can. Leave the problem in their hands, and trust in Jehovah that it will be resolved. Never should you allow the conduct of someone else to stumble you or to rob you of your joy in Jehovah's service.?Ps. 119:165.
    If upon investigation it becomes evident to the shepherds of the flock that the brother has indeed committed a serious sin against you and yet has been unwilling to repent and try to make reasonable and appropriate amends, it may become necessary for the overseers to expel the unrepentant wrongdoer. In that way they protect the flock and safeguard the cleanness of the congregation.?Matt. 18:17.


    In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul warned of certain ones who were walking disorderly and who if accorded good standing in the congregation could exert an unhealthy influence. Paul admonished the Thessalonian Christians "to withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition you received from us." He further clarified that statement by writing: "If anyone is not obedient to our word through this letter, keep this one marked, stop associating with him, that he may become ashamed. And yet do not be considering him as an enemy, but continue admonishing him as a brother."?2 Thess. 3:6,14,15.

    Occasionally, someone not known to be guilty of practicing a grave sin for which he could be expelled nevertheless displays flagrant disregard for theocratic order. This could include such things as being grossly lazy or critical, being a profitless talker who is a constant 'meddler with what does not concern him.' (2 Thess. 3:11) Or this could include one who is scheming to take material advantage of others or indulging in entertainment that is clearly improper. The disorderly conduct is not so minor that it can be handled by applying Bible counsel and manifesting love; rather, it is serious enough to reflect badly on the congregation and potentially to spread to other Christians.

    After giving repeated admonition to such an individual and finding that he persists in disregarding well-established Bible principles, the elders may decide that a talk should be given to the congregation providing appropriate counsel concerning such disorderly conduct. Elders will use reasonableness and discernment in determining whether a particular situation is sufficiently serious and disturbing to require a warning talk. This talk will not name the disorderly one. However, those who are aware of the situation described in the talk will take heed and limit their social contacts with such individuals.

    The loving concern and firm stand of faithful members of the congregation could indeed move the disorderly one to shame and repentance. When it is clearly evident that the individual has abandoned his disorderly course, it would no longer be necessary to treat him as a marked individual.


    After taking the steps outlined at Matthew 18:15, 16, some individual brothers or sisters may report to the elders cases of unresolved serious wrongdoing. (Matt. 18:17) On the other hand, individuals may also approach the elders either to confess their own sin or to report what they know regarding the wrongdoing of others. (Lev. 5:1; Jas. 5:16) Regardless of the manner in which the elders first hear reports of serious wrongdoing on the part of a baptized member of the congregation, an initial investigation will be made by two elders. If it is established that there is substance to the report and that evidence is available showing that a serious sin actually has been committed, the body of elders will assign a judicial committee of at least three elders to handle the matter. Regarding serious wrongdoing by one who is unbaptized, see pages 157-8.

    While exercising watchful care of the flock, seeking to protect it from any elements that would be spiritually damaging, the elders will also endeavor to use God's Word skillfully to reprove any who have erred and will try to restore them. (Jude 21-23) This is in harmony with instructions given to Timothy by the apostle Paul, who wrote: "I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is destined to judge the living and the dead, . . . reprove, reprimand, exhort, with all long-suffering and art of teaching." (2 Tim. 4:1, 2) Doing so may take much time and effort, but this is part of the hard work of the elders. The congregation appreciates their endeavors and gives them double honor.?1 Tim. 5:17.

    In every situation where guilt is established, the primary endeavor of the overseers is to restore the wrongdoer if he is genuinely repentant as indicated, for example, by his producing "works that befit repentance." (Acts 26:20) If he is repentant and they are able to help him, their administering reproof either in private or before onlookers with knowledge of the case serves to discipline him and instill a wholesome fear in any such onlookers. (2 Sam. 12: 13; 1 Tim. 5:20) In all cases of judicial reproof, restrictions are imposed. Thus the wrongdoer may be helped to 'make straight paths for his feet' thereafter. (Heb. 12:13) In due course these restrictions are removed as the individual's spiritual recovery becomes manifest.


    If a judicial committee determines that an individual is repentant but that the matter is likely to become known in the congregation or in the community or if for other reasons the elders believe that the congregation needs to be advised, a simple announcement will be made during the Service Meeting. It should read: "[Name of person] has been reproved." The presiding overseer should approve this announcement.


    In some cases the wrongdoer may become hardened in his course of sinful conduct and thus fail to respond to efforts to help him. Fruitage, or works, befitting repentance may not be in evidence, nor may genuine repentance be apparent at the time of the judicial hearing. What then? In such cases, it is necessary to expel the unrepentant wrongdoer from the congregation, thus denying him fellowship with Jehovah's clean congregation. This is done to remove the bad influence of the wrongdoer from the congregation, thereby safeguarding the moral and spiritual cleanness of the congregation and protecting its good name. (Deut. 21:20, 21; 22:23, 24) When the apostle Paul became aware of the shameful conduct of a member of the congregation in Corinth, he admonished the elders to "hand such a man over to Satan ... in order that the spirit [of the congregation] may be saved." (1 Cor. 5:5, 11-13) Paul also reported the disfellowshipping of others who had rebelled against the truth in the first century.?1 Tim. 1:20.

    When a judicial committee concludes that an unrepentant wrongdoer should be disfellowshipped, it should let him know of the decision, clearly stating the Scriptural reason(s) for the disfellowshipping. When informing the wrongdoer of their decision, the judicial committee should tell him that if he believes that a serious error in judgment has been made and he wishes to appeal the decision, he may do so by writing a letter clearly stating the reasons for his appeal. He will be allowed seven days for this, from the time he was notified of the committee's decision. If such written appeal is received, the body of elders should contact the circuit overseer, who will designate elders to serve on an appeal committee to rehear the case. The elders selected to care for this weighty responsibility should be men who are experienced and qualified. Every effort should be made to conduct the appeal hearing within one week after the written appeal is received. If there is an appeal, announcement of the disf ellowshipping will be held in abeyance. In the meantime, the accused person will be restricted from commenting and praying at meetings or from special privileges of service.

    An appeal is granted as a kindness to the accused and allows him a further hearing of his concerns. Thus, if he deliberately fails to appear at the appeal hearing, the disf ellowshipping should be announced after reasonable efforts have been made to contact him.

    If the wrongdoer does not wish to appeal, the judicial committee should explain to him the need for repentance and what steps he can take toward being reinstated in due time. This would be both helpful and kind and should be done in the hope that he will change his ways and in time qualify to return to Jehovah's organization.?2 Cor. 2:6, 7.


    When it is necessary to disfellowship an unrepentant wrongdoer from the congregation, a brief announcement is made, simply stating: "[Name of person] is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses." There is no need to elaborate. This will alert faithful members of the congregation to stop associating with that person. (1 Cor. 5:11) The presiding overseer should approve this announcement.


    The term "disassociation" applies to the action taken by a person who, although a baptized member of the congregation, deliberately repudiates his Christian standing, rejecting the congregation by his actions or by stating that he no longer wants to be recognized as or known as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Because he is disassociated, his situation before Jehovah is far different from that of an inactive Christian, one who no longer shares in the field ministry. An inactive person may have failed to study God's Word regularly, or because of experiencing personal problems or persecution, he may have lost his zeal for serving Jehovah. The elders as well as other concerned members of the congregation will continue rendering appropriate spiritual assistance to an inactive brother. (Rom. 15:1; 1 Thess. 5:14; Heb. 12:12) However, the person who disassociates himself by repudiating the faith and deliberately abandoning Jehovah's worship is viewed in the same way as one who is disfellowshipped. A brief announcement is made to inform the congregation, stating: "[Name of person] is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses."

    Concerning those who renounced their Christian faith in his day, the apostle John wrote: "They went out from us, but they were not of our sort; for if they had been of our sort, they would have remained with us." (1 John 2:19) For example, a person might renounce his place in the Christian congregation by his actions, such as by becoming part of a secular organization that has objectives contrary to the Bible and, hence, is under judgment by Jehovah God. (Isa. 2:4; Rev. 19:17-21) If a person who is a Christian chooses to join those who are disapproved by God, a brief announcement is made to the congregation, stating: "[Name of person] is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses." Such a person is treated in the same way as a disfellowshipped person. The presiding overseer should approve this announcement.


    A disfellowshipped person may be reinstated when he gives clear evidence of repentance, demonstrating over a reasonable period of time that he has abandoned his sinful course and is desirous of having a good relationship with Jehovah and His organization. The elders are careful to allow sufficient time, perhaps many months, a year, or even longer, for the disfellowshipped person to prove that his repentance is genuine. When the body of elders receives a written plea for reinstatement, the judicial committee that disfellowshipped the person should, if possible, be the committee that speaks with the individual. The committee will evaluate the evidence of works of godly repentance on his part and decide whether to reinstate him at that time or not.
    If the person requesting reinstatement was disfellowshipped by another congregation, a local judicial committee may meet with the person and consider the plea. Thereafter, the local judicial committee will communicate with the body of elders of the congregation that disfellowshipped the individual, giving them its recommendation. The involved committees will work together in unity to ensure that all the facts are gathered and a just decision is made. However, the decision to reinstate is made by the original judicial committee of the congregation that took the disfellowshipping action. If some members of the original committee are no longer in the congregation or qualified to serve, other elders from the original congregation can be chosen to replace them.

    When the judicial committee is convinced that the disfellowshipped person is genuinely repentant and should be reinstated, an announcement of the reinstatement is made in the congregation where the individual was disfellowshipped. If the person is now in another congregation, the announcement will be made there as well. It should simply state: "[Name of person] is reinstated as one of Jehovah's Witnesses."


    What of unbaptized publishers who become involved in serious wrongdoing? Since they are not baptized members of the congregation, they cannot be formally disfellowshipped. However, they may not fully understand the Bible's standards, and kind counsel may help them to make straight paths for their feet.

    If an unbaptized wrongdoer is unrepentant after two elders have met with him and have tried to help him, then it is necessary to inform the congregation. A brief announcement is made, stating: "[Name of person] is no longer recognized as an unbaptized publisher." The congregation will then view the wrongdoer as a person of the world. Although the offender is not disfellowshipped, Christians exercise caution with regard to any association with him. (1 Cor. 15:33) No field service reports would be accepted from him.

    In time, an unbaptized person (adult or minor) who was removed as a publisher may wish to renew his association with the congregation and become a publisher again. In that situation, two elders would meet with him and ascertain his spiritual progress. If he has a good attitude, a Bible study may be held with him. If he progresses spiritually and eventually qualifies, a brief announcement can be made, stating: "[Name of person] is again recognized as an unbap-tized publisher."


    Serious wrongdoing on the part of minor children who are baptized should be reported to the elders. When the elders handle cases of serious sins involving a minor, it is preferable that the baptized parents of the young person be present and cooperate with the judicial committee, not attempting to shield the erring child from necessary disciplinary action. Just as in dealing with adult offenders, the judicial committee endeavors to reprove and restore the wrongdoer. However, if the young person is unrepentant, disfellowshipping action is taken.


    All who are associated with the congregation of God today can certainly rejoice in the rich spiritual estate that Jehovah has given to his people. Our spiritual pastures have indeed been made lush, and we have been provided with an abundance of refreshing waters of truth. We have experienced Jehovah's protective care through his theocratic arrangement under the headship of Christ. (Ps., 23; Isa. 32:1, 2) Being in the spiritual paradise in these troublesome last days has given us a feeling of security.

    By maintaining fine conduct and Christian unity as ministers of God's good news, we will continue to let the light of Kingdom truth shine forth. (Matt. 5:16) With Jehovah's blessing, we will have the joy of seeing many more people come to know Jehovah and serve with us in doing God's will.

    Cheers! Atlantis-

  • Frequent_Fader_Miles

    OOOh ... I really like this: The congregation elders take the lead in offering help and counsel if someone is walking disorderly. If he does not see the error of his way but continues to be an unwholesome influence, the elders may warn the congregation by means of a talk that makes clear the Biblical view—be it of dating unbelievers, or whatever the improper course is. (1 Corinthians 7:39; 2 Corinthians 6:14) Christians in the congregation who are thus alerted can individually decide to limit any socializing with ones who clearly are pursuing a disorderly course but who are still brothers." I've made sure the elders have nothing to worry about. Made my own decision to limit my socializing with the JW. I've voluntarily removed myself from their "precious" congregation, and wont be "influencing" anyone ... so I'm harmless right? Aint it just great being a member of the "enigmatic class of marked ones"?

  • bigmouth

    The piece from the 1999 QFR that bluesbrother posted; 'The congregation elders take the lead in offering help and counsel if someone is walking disorderly. ', would seem to be an adjustment from my understanding of marking in the '80's.

    I recall that it was proper for an individual to mark somebody even though no talk had been given.

    Can anyone recall this being the case?

  • Fangorn

    That was the understanding at one time but they decided that people making a decision of their own on something of this kind wasn't really acceptable. It's another 'control' thing.

  • jgnat

    I might be able to help, as hubby and I are 'marked'. I'm a real degenerate. I won't study to be a JW, I make more money than my husband, and I'm a Sunday School teacher at a local church.

    What qualifies a person to be marked?

    They weren't bad enough to be DF'd. The elders may instead decide to remove priveledges. Hubby's been reproved for lying to the elders, losing his temper, failing to tell them about our marriage, and pre-marriage fornication. The best advice I heard from one of the elders was for us to promise not to fornicate any more. I laughed when I heard that. We still do 'it' but now it's legal!

    How do you know if you are marked or maybe people just don't like you or everyone in your congregation is just unfriendly? Who determines whom shall be marked? How does word get around?

    Since no official statement is made, and even the "disorderly one" may be unaware of the arrangement, individual congregation members judge if someone is worthy to associate with or not. They will likely take cues from elders and other members of the congregation.

    What are the concequences of being marked?

    For a JW it means you can greet the DOG and ignore the owners (This really happened to us)

    You don't get invited to social events in the congregation.

    The JW's are very rude and are a bad witness to their neighbours. Sometimes their invitations can sound downright weird to outsiders. For instance, hubby and I were invited to a Witness party. When I hesitated, the inviter said, "You are allowed." Hm. Now I REALLY wanted to go. I tried out the phrase with a few of my worldly friends, and they had the same ambivalent response. "You are ALLOWED to go to the party? What is THAT all about?"

    Can the marking be lifted?

    I'd like to know how. It must take years (Also from personal experience).

  • jelcat8224

    I got 'marked' once. The talk was SUPPOSED to be directed toward me and ALL my 'friends', and this is what I was told by the elders. So like a good little girl I went and sat at the meeting waiting patiently for the elder to get up and give his 'marking' talk. Funny, as soon as the elder was introduced to take the stage, ALL of my 'friends' got up and left, (except for one who was on a trip to bethel with the step son of one of the elders) leaving ME to be the ONLY 'young person' left sitting in the audience for the entire talk. As you can imagine, EVERY eye was on me, and although most of the talk was directed at the others, the entire congregation assumed I was the rotten apple. Turns out later, these 'friends' had teamed up with the elders and were tring to get me DF'd. (one of the elders broke down and admitted this about a year later)

    This story is soooooo much more twisted and devious than I have presented it here in this short post. Remembering that whole period in my life makes me incredibly happy to be on te outside now. Those so-called 'friends' can KEEP their devious ways and their twisted tongues. I now see the entire process for what it is. The whole thing was unjustified and wrong, and only happened cuz I didn't have as much money as the other families. I never fit into the elder/pioneer clique and that's ok with me!

  • WTWizard

    I believe being marked means that you are not supposed to be taken as a friend, but you are still supposed to take counsel and be hounded into doing ever more. You do not get any of the "fun" (as if there was any: this "fun" has been getting phased out since the mid 1980s). However, you will still be hounded and harassed if you miss the meetings, and you are still supposed to go out in service.

    What do you get marked for? Basically for things that are not serious to warrant disfellowshipping. Marrying an "unbeliever", masturbation, watching porn or R-rated movies, listening to rap and heavy metal music, or playing dirty video games are the most obvious offenses that will get you marked. You can get marked for disobeying counsel, also. This means if they see you attempting to meet a sister when they counseled you to just meet other men, you might also get marked for that. Or, if they see your collection of CDs and don't like some of them, they might mark you for failure to throw them away. Excessive materialism, stinting on donations, and not putting in "enough" service are also potential marking offenses. Whether you actually get marked or not depends on the kangaroo courts of the hounders when they have those hounders' meetings, and when the hounder-hounder is cracking down. And some will get away with things for which another will get marked for.

    Does a marking expire? Not in the same way a disfellowshipping does. They will not announce you as unmarked. The hope is that gradually you will change your ways (this is another way they control you: they could keep you always one step away from being unmarked). Then they see the change, and you are no longer deemed weak. What all too often happens is that the requirements escalate, and a person will stay marked for life. Or some will never see the person as improving at all.

    I, personally, would rather be disfellowshipped than active/marked. Getting disfellowshipped cuts off all association, including those harassing houndings to go to the meetings and out in service. Get marked, and the houndings will continue. And you will still not get good association either way. Better to totally blow them off than be marked so they can keep dangling the unmarking in your face.

  • LongHairGal

    I am pretty sure I was marked by a certain clique.

    I suppose the whole purpose of marking is to make the marked person feel ignored by the persons doing the marking or shunning. The shunners (would be controllers) are hoping or assuming that the shunned person will go up to them and say "....why are you acting this way, etc. or what have I done". Besides, if the marked person is very busy they may never know they are being shunned!!

    Well, I had no intention of playing into this bullshit. I am not a charade player and I would never respond to anybody who engaged in such things, which is what I consider marking to be - a stupid charade. I just acted like I was not aware of any shunning. This is nothing more than a pathetic control mechanism that never worked on me. I wonder how many people I frustrated because I never gave them the satisfaction of acknowledging that I even noticed?


  • Rethinking

    What I would like to know is: why are "disorderly ones" always regular publishers? Elders, MS and the higher-ups do act disorderly as well; but nothing ever happens to them.

    "Marking" is a control issue. If I can't find anything to disfellow(s)hip you for, then I'll make sure that you are marked. It HAS happened. It is a 'do as we say or get out OR we'll make things miserable for you'.

  • WTWizard
    It is a 'do as we say or get out OR we'll make things miserable for you'.

    And they wonder why I'm helping to expose them so that things will be miserable for them. Ultimately I would like to help ruin the Watchtower Society. Then let's see how miserable things will be for them.

  • erandir

    It all makes sense to me now. We (my wife and I) were brought into the "truth" a few years ago, and so this concept of being marked never really made sense. And, we never really paid attention to it. We used to have a good friend (she and her husband studied with us--i.e., we were counted as their bible studies) who is the daughter of an elder. She would feel the need to let us know about certain ones in the congregation who were not good to be associated with outside of field service and meetings. She warned us about a good many people...some of which later became good friends of ours. We ended up regretting that we paid attention to our "friend's" warning about them.

    Recently, we turned the tables on her and told her that we thought she wasn't a very good friend or witness because of all the slandering of other people that she had done over the years. We ended our friendship right then and there after years of putting up with this pattern of slander, gossip, and back-biting.

    So, basically, if my understanding of this "marking" is correct, she was actually doing the congregation a favor and behaving as a good witness. She was marking others, passing on information from her father the elder, and protecting her new studies from bad influences.

    That is just TWISTED and SICK, in my opinion. Yet another reason I'm glad I am leaving.

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