Shutting down the Judicial Committee "invite".

by kairos 64 Replies latest jw friends

  • Watchtower-Free

    I told my elders I always record them and will sue them personally if my rights are violated. They have not answered my calls or messages for a year.

    I'm not Dfed or DAed

    I leave messages saying I have questions

  • ToesUp

    "That sounds great, please send correspondence to my lawyer and schedule a date at his earliest convenience, and oh yeah I almost forgot, we'll be recording the hearing".

    This exactly what I would say. Don't give them power over you. Once you mention Lawyer/Attorney they will run for the hills. Cowards and Hypocrites!!!

  • 3rdgen

    In your response letter request the names and addresses of the 2 witnesses to whatever you are accused of and insist they be present at the JC.

    Also request the names and addresses of each elder on your committee. Point out that the addresses need to be home or work (no PO boxes) so that your attorney can have them properly served for court.

    Stress that all concerned will be INDIVIDUALLY sued not the WATCHTOWER. Have them prepare to have their PERSONAL assets attached.

  • StephaneLaliberte

    But seriously, I believe that the best strategy is to ask them first what are the charges and who are the witnesses against you. They might not have enough to make a JC against you; mMost people simply confess at their JC and the elders often rely on this. If you can convince them that you have no intention of confessing anything, you have a very strong chance of not getting into a JC at all.

    If it is a hard evidence such as a photo, an email or anything else, you can still deny saying that the person who brought the proof to them fabricated it; thus, they will need to stand by the two witness rule.

    Also, there is the question of how the other evidence(s) was obtained. You may explained to them that you will not accept that anyone invades your privacy and may ask them what they intend to do with the ones who obtained the information illegally. You will first take the steps described in Mathew. That is, talk with your brother, then talk with that brother and another witness and then, bring him to the elders if he still doesn't listen. If the situation cannot be contained within the congregation, you will have no other choice but to use the legal system as there is no way you will accept such violation of your privacy. Of course, you hope that the elders will do what is right and avoid all this as the entire process will be painful for everyone involved. And think of how this could bring reproof on Jehovah's name? You may also state that you would not one minute believe that the Elders, representing the watchtower, would condone illegal actions by using illegally obtained material in the course of their proceedings.

    Keep in mind though that such arguments are to be brought BEFORE a JC. Otherwise, the elders will feel pressured to render a decision and that decision will not necessarily be based on logic.

  • StephaneLaliberte
    One more thing.... talk to them in person, or by phone before the JC.... Its easier to talk things out and laugh it off than to explain things by letters which tend to become threatening by their vary nature. Serious, who sends a letter today?
  • Marvin Shilmer
  • flipper
    I like all the responses so far. especially the legal angle. But Ecan's suggestion is the initial best response in my opinion - ask them to explain what the charges are and then tell them you are NOT guilty of anything to be charged with. Deny, deny, deny. I used this tactic back in 2007 - 4 years after I stopped attending meetings they came after me for "circumstancial fornication " with my fiancé ( Mrs. Flipper now ) and they tried in time DFing me in absentia for refusing to attend their JC meeting. Then I took my son as a character witness to the JC appeal meeting and I appealed the decision threatening a lawsuit if they slandered me by DFing me with no evidence . They wrote to WT legal and WT legal told the 6 appeal elders to drop the DFing- to overturn it and I won my appeal. With me threatening a lawsuit and them having NO evidence against me at all - they had no case so WT told them to drop it. With me they knew they had a live one, a tiger by the tail so to speak so they haven't bothered me since. You have to appear bigger than them, don't back down. They shrink like violets in the sun. They want to control the game and control you- but you have to yank the control stick out of their hands and control them. You have to show them that they only have the illusion of control over you
  • Marvin Shilmer
    Marvin Shilmer

    One of the items addressed in my blog article on preparing for judicial committee invites is the matter of record keeping.

    - If you want to make an elder (prosecutor/judge) squirm ask whether there will be any record kept of the "meeting" and who will have access to that record, and why they will have access. Then ask if you will have access to this record to dispute any inaccuracies from your perspective.

    - If you are informed there are no records kept then document who said this because it is a lie. Lies are punishable.

    - If you are informed there are records kept but that you will not have opportunity to see those records (about you!!!) then ask why others can see what is written about you but you cannot. Make them give you an answer. Even if the answer is ridiculous, make them answer the question. It is a naturally legitimate question, which means answering it will feel like the natural thing but, of course, answering it for an elder will be awkward because there is no legitimate reason for them to make a record about you yet not let your review the record made about you.

    - Express that if you attend the JC hearing you will insist on keeping your own set of meticulous records by writing down every single thing said. Ask if this will be allowed. If not then ask why not. (There is no Watchtower policy against doing this) If you are told this is allowable then when the proceeding begins you have a ready tool in hand to slow the process down to a snail's pace, not to mention putting serious pressure on any witnesses who testify. For example, most of the time witnesses who testify regarding allegation of apostasy end up asserting their perspective rather than keeping strictly to facts of the matter. Keeping meticulous records allows you to refute inadequate testimony after the fact.

    - If you have gotten this far then you should always demand a continuance of the JC for one good solid reason: unlike the elder prosecutor/judges only now do you finally have in hand all the supposed evidence against you in order to prepare a robust defense. Now you should leave the JC hearing and return at a later date with a written defense (refutation of testimony), and any witnesses if need be and you so choose.

    JC elders hate it when a subject (you) demands to keep meticulous records. Because JC elders are invariably untrained in universally accepted judicial standards (basic concepts of right and wrong, which are found too in Watchtower publications for this very reason) they end up letting witnesses opine away which leaves plenty of low-hanging fruit for judicial refutation. The same goes for questions presented by JC elders. Invariably these men asks lots of leading questions, which taints responses.

    This and plenty of other perfectly allowable tactics provide ample opportunity to demonstrate the utter unfairness of Watchtower JC methods, not to mention gunking up the works in the process. Once I had an elder ask me whether I would share my records. I said, "Sure. So long as you do the same with me." It caused him to think. This was an early stage for that man seeing the truth about "the truth".

    Depending on a person's circumstances and/or interests, there are reasons to attend or not attend a Watchtower style judicial hearing. But if a person opts to attend they might as well make the most of it. That's why my blog offers printable form documents expressly for the purpose of preparing for a Watchtower judicial hearing.

  • confuzzlediam

    My husband (at the time) and I were asked to meet with the elders for an "interview" which was to ask us about what happened at a social gathering that about 20 of us attended a month or more prior. They asked me to leave the room so they could question my husband, then invited me back into the room so they could question me. After they talked to me and I opened my mouth a bit too much, they dismissed us to a different room. When they asked us back into the room, there was a 3rd elder. They had an elder in waiting, just in case a judicial committee would be needed. By the end of the night, both my husband and I knew I would be disfellowshipped. A week later we met with them again when they informed me I was disfellowshipped.

    There was NO official judicial committee invite for me. They set up what I like to call an impromptu judicial committee meeting, right there on the spot. They were prepared BEFORE our interview for one or both of us to require one. When all was said and done, 6 from our group were publicly reproved and 4 were disfellowshipped. I was the only one in the group who appealed the decision, only to be turned down. They lessened my offense, but stuck with the disfellowshipping.

    A blessing in disguise. That was 5 years ago in January. I filed for divorce 4 1/2 years after I was disfellowshipped (last June). I believe that while my marriage was falling apart, being disfellowshipped was the icing on the cake. My husband could not understand why I did not want to go back, although I tried several times to appease him and his family. The last time I attempted to return to get reinstated, I had to go on anti-depressant meds and anti-anxiety meds as well, just to attend meetings. That was a little over a year ago. Crazy thing is he is no longer going to meetings...has not been disfellowshipped, just stopped going.

  • flipper
    CONFUZZLED- I'm so sorry that you had to go through all of that stress at those judicial meetings. It's hard for people to understand just HOW stressful those meetings are unless you've been in them being victimized like us. I know in the 9 months of harassment I received from elders I had to go on blood pressure medicine as it was stressing the hell out of me. I understand how stressful that must have been for you having to go on anti-anxiety meds just to go to meetings. I hope your life has calmed down now that you don't attend anymore. These elders don't realize just how much stress they put on people's personal lives by being so intrusive and nosy. Good luck to you- I wish you well my friend

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