Inattentive elders...anyone else experience this?

by B_Deserter 30 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    Just had a "head-slap" moment reading about WT Wizard's "hounders". BTW, I've always loved that term of yours WT Wizard. But I just now "got" a bit more of your personal ex-JW lexicon when you wrote this:

    I know it's a matter of time before the hounder-hounder is going to dredge up that card and get the hounders to do their jobs.

    Hounder = Elder
    Hounder Hounder = C.O.
    (and I'm guessing on this)
    Hounder Hounder Hounder = D.O.
    and so on?

    I love it!

    Anyway, I went through a period in my younger days of being almost a non-JW. During that time I did not want to be "hounded" whatsoever. I wanted to be left alone to figure things out on my own. As a result, when I finally got an elder hat many years later, I would RARELY call publishers under the guise of "to see how they were doing" when in actuality I was just being a Borg truant officer.

    If a fairly regular meeting attender abruptly missed say 3 or 4 meetings in a row, AND they were in my book study, OR they were a close friend, I would give them a call out of genuine concern. Also, if I KNEW they were sick or injured or going through some other trauma and I thought they would APPRECIATE me giving them a call, I would. Otherwise, I was a Bad Elder by Borg standards. I'm sure many folks liked that about me. In fact, some have told me as much. Others may have wanted more calls. But it just wasn't in me.

    There you have it.

    Open Mind

    (of the, never was a very "GOOD" elder, class)

  • bigwilly

    Tristram, don't forget that they also have a good number of people that come to them with everything. I know in my old congo there were people that consulted the elders on every little decision they faced. I can only imagine how old that would get.

  • mentalclearness

    From what I've noticed and my own experience, elders usually take an interest in you (home visits) when you have already commited some wrong doing and are at the brink of being df'ed...You can be years in a hall and not inform field service or be irregular and it's not really a huge deal for them..That's why so many slip through the the time they finally take an interest it's usually too late anyways...I think their is more importance on "cleansing the congregation" than on actually helping you if you are weak...I guess that's why it's easy for us who have always been on the fringes can make a clean break.

  • J-ex-W
    Other than that aloofness pretty much is the order of the day. I can't really blame them though, as most are so overwhelmed and bogged down by everything the organization puts on them, compounded with the dwindling ranks and fewer future elders in the pipeline.

    I agree with this quote. --Also that it depends on the BOE. But the biggest thing, IMO, is that they have slowly been making a general policy change over the years to leave alone those who don't come to the meetings because, as I've heard repeated many times, "We don't want to make anybody mad." [meaning nonbelievers who want no association] I think it's been a gradual policy turn-over response to some legal action taken by people who wanted to be left alone and chose to fight back through the courts.

    In my circumstance, though, spiritual neglect [lack of real help, even shepherding calls] was already the order of the day, my case...I see this [the response to me while attending vs. response to me NOT attending] as being NO CHANGE.

  • White Dove
    White Dove

    YES!!! I was abandoned right out of the congregation. I hated it then, but now I love it. If it wasn't for their neglect, I would still be trapped. I know they are very busy with cong. business and life outside the khall, but they promised to do a job and they aren't doing it. It makes me think that they don't view meeting attendance as very important, either.

  • mimimimi

    I have not gone to the hall now for well over a year, and in that time have received two telephone calls from my book study conductor. I know for sure that the last one was at the time of the CO's visit and probably the one before was, too. THe first one was on the answering machine and I never called back. THe second one I made the mistake of not screening the call (we do not have caller ID) and actually talked to the guy. He kept asking me how I was and I kept telling him "fine". He sounded like he was amazed that I was fine, which I am sure is because I had told a couple of sisters who called me before that I had health problems. He invited me to come to the meetings for the CO's visit and then told me that he and another elder wanted to come by and talk to me. I put him off, so he said he would call me again in a month to set it up. It has now been about 3 months and I have heard nothing more, which is the way I want it.

    In the meantime, I have been in the hospital and had complications while I was there. One of the elders was in the hospital at the same time and saw me in my room when he was walking the hall and stopped by to see me. He never brought up anything JW at all, just visited briefly. He does business with my non-and never was- witness husband and probably feels he needs to respect my space because of it.

  • fresia


    Elders who don't really give a hoot about you.

    Then they get a 'wiff' of a wrongdoing, even if your not attending, and they haven't spoken to you for months, but suddenly decide they want a chat???

    Suddenly they care enough to try to 'help' you?


    Very true, you can miss a month of meetings being ill and hear nothing unless it is the week before the C.O visit, but if they suspect you for something then a rude unanounced visit or the asking around the congregation about you, and that creates suspicion and demeans you. There are very few in the many congregations I have been in that really even care for youre well being, its not Christian its wicked.

  • BluesBrother

    Absolutely true....they dont care if you slide away ....

    I have been able to lead a life of an "apostate" for years , nobody cares . I kept for a long time an e mail I sent to an elder in which I asked him to have a chat..He said "yes, we must arrange that" and never did ...

    My wife is an active dub, only just, but they do not want to meet and help her either, despite her requests...What do they do?

    "My sheep kept straying on all the mountains and on every high hill; and on all the surface of the earth my sheep were scattered, with no one making a search and with no one seeking to find."—Ezek. 34:2-6.

  • brokenperfection


    Well my dad is an elder in my congregation. And my mother was asking him why families dont get shepherding visits from the elders is because people think "what have i done wrong" or "i didnt do anything wrong" to get a visit. My dad is nicer than some of the elders in my congregation. I find it amazing that the elders get busy when the co comes.


  • SirNose586

    I'm going to find out right now. I've been ducking bookstudy for a couple months now. Of the ones I decided to go to, I've never been the full hour. One time I came in during the half.

    Not a word. Not yet, anyways. People are a bit more aloof to me in the hall since I got demoted, but no one hates me yet...I don't think....


    Well my dad is an elder in my congregation. And my mother was asking him why families dont get shepherding visits from the elders is because people think "what have i done wrong" or "i didnt do anything wrong" to get a visit. My dad is nicer than some of the elders in my congregation. I find it amazing that the elders get busy when the co comes.


    Hey, welcome to the forum, brokenperfection!

    When I was an MS, the PO was kicking around the idea of me accompanying him on "upbuilding" shepherding hounding calls, but not the regular hounding calls (which were for elders only). I never brought up the subject with him because I didn't want to bug the people in the bookstudy. One family had to work hard to make ends meet, and so didn't have perfect meeting attendance. Another young family was dealing with more or less the same issues (plus typical dub incompatability problems), and similarly couldn't make every single bookstudy.

    I don't know if they ever got a visit. The former family is apparently going through divorce, and I haven't seen them in the longest time. The latter family switched congregations. So either they both got "encouragement" that backfired, or they were neglected. Doesn't look good either way.

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