Phrases NOT to say if you are in a judicial committee meeting for apostasy

by BonaFide 41 Replies latest jw friends

  • drwtsn32

    Don't sit down and say "I'm gonna open up a can of apostate whoop-ass!"

    That doesn't work too well.

  • Amazing


    You stated,"For some this is a pretty funny subject. But for some like myself, who have so many family and friends in that we want to rescue, it's a serious deal. Once the elders want to form a judicial committee with you, you better be ready."

    We are mostly a very experience bunch of people on this forum ... and sometimes injecting a little humor helps to cope with an otherwise damn serious situation. My first post on page 1 of this thread was of a more serious nature ... if you read my exit story, you will see what I went though in dealing with JCs ... my second posting above went along with some humor. My brother, who was in the middle of a war zone called Viet Nam, said that at their camps it was much like the TV show M.A.S.H ... they had to have humor just to survive daily life threatening combat.

    While some of us rely on humor ... we are no less committed to the serious aspects of dealing with the Society ... most of us have learned long ago what to say and not say to Elders, or even fellow JWs, and how to manipulate the system enough to try and fade away when it is safe to do so ... but have also learned that while the Elders love TV, and want to go home, they will go the extra mile to weed out what they think are apostates ... and, in the end, it is almost impossible to fade out entirely without getting some scars in dealing with the Elders.

  • GoddessRachel

    Sorry to offend you, Bonafide, I appreciated your initial post, but then I laughed a whole lot at AK-Jeff and ChickPea's posts! They were just funny!

    But really, it sounds to me like you are trying to keep up a farce, and I respect that you feel the need to do that for yourself, but I for one am relieved to not have to deal with them, and if I ever get called in for another JC I will politely decline, "Thank you so much for the offer, but I'm fine, have a great day."

    Seriously, they are not my bosses. Not now, not ever again.

  • GoddessRachel

    Oh, and I do have family in. I don't think living a lie will ever help them out. I think living the truth as I know it has a slim chance of helping them see the light someday.

    My two cents. I still have much empathy for your situation and am glad my spouse isn't stuck in there! That would be so terrible!

  • oompa

    holy fluck gotta know this dont show......away you go......hell ya they will df you if you do not show up......oompa

  • BonaFide

    Usually I have a pretty good sense of humor. Rough week I guess.

    I think what I am trying to get at is that of course any one of us in this situation can tell the elders where to go. Or say "Hey its none of your business." Easy to say, easy to do.

    BUT WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES? If you are ready for the consequences of telling the elders to mind their own business, then that's fine.

    But what if you WANT TO STAY IN? Then it's time to really be careful about what you say. Some of the advice that is said on here to say as little as possible with the elders. However, some elder bodies view that as "rebelliousness." You would be surprised at how ridiculous some elders are in that room when no one but them is in there. They think they are speaking for God, and just because they "feel" something, they think its from God himself.

    So its a delicate catwalk to show you are humble, sorry for whatever possible mistakes, respect for the Organization, but not admitting to apostasy while at the same time not being rebellious.


  • Amazing


    So its a delicate catwalk to show you are humble, sorry for whatever possible mistakes, respect for the Organization, but not admitting to apostasy while at the same time not being rebellious.

    Agreed. Maybe you would like to read my exit story which is now hosted at: I will one day add to the story to include a couple of chapters on my testimony on behalf of JW abuse victims.

    I spent a number of years avoiding the Elders and being careful while serving in the congregation ... and once I had my family all out, then I let the house or cards collapse ... so you have made some good points ... and it all boils down to what each individual feels that he/she can do at the time. Some ex-JWs feel strongly about leaving and not hiding behind a facade, while others are very careful not to be identified while they continue to operate in the congregation, hoping to find a good time to leave. One of the ways that ex-JWs get some good inside material is through disaffected JWs still operating on the inside of the organization ... you should have seen the look on the Bethel attorney's face when during a deposition, we popped out the Watchtower corporation meeting minutes that were supposed to be confidential, and submitted them for evidence ... what lampoonery ... and yes, it was damn funny.

  • drwtsn32

    I think it probably ranges from easy to very difficult because the elders' attitudes vary so much depending on the area, the personalities of the elders, who you are, and who you're related to in JW-land.

    In my case I never had a JC. When I stopped going to meetings, the elders came by after a month or two to talk to me. I just told them I wasn't really interested in talking. They left and never bugged me again. I have done many things that they could easily DF me for.... obvious celebration of Christmas, writing opinion letters to the paper on evolution and gay rights, etc.

  • Narkissos

    "We're all different!-- I'm not.-- Shhh..."

    So, fwiw, I suppose at least some who have put themselves in the situation to be df'd for "apostasy" are not ready to say anything just to avoid this outcome, no matter how much they may dislike it. Call that conscience, honesty, self-respect, candour or naïveté, but that happens. No judgement from me on those who have their own reasons for "pretending" or "faking" -- just, it is not an option to some, and that doesn't mean they want to be df'd either.

    When I was summoned before a JC -- in May 1986 -- I expected to be df'd. I didn't want to. I had made my walk to this point as slow as possible, by simply not professing what I didn't believe anymore, and focusing on what I did believe and was not directly antagonistic to the organisation. As the famous Watchtower QFR about "specific JW beliefs" had been published a few weeks before, I knew exactly what I was going to be asked. Moreover, since I had left Bethel only a few months before and two circuit overseers were unexpectedly sent to the congregation I had been assigned to (I was still a special pioneer technically), the target and outcome were quite clear before the JC started.

    When we finally got there I simply tried to keep a "humble" and "honest" attitude. No aggressivity on my part. I hadn't been "guilty" of teaching anything contrary to the WT (which until recently had been the definition of "apostasy"), and there was no charge against me from this angle. The only thing that came up in a previous meeting with the COs and elders is that a friend of mine and I were "talking too much about Jesus". The discussion led to constituting a JC as was intended to. My friend had been df'd first, so the first question I was asked is whether I would support the Committee decision when it would be announced. I said that to my knowledge he hadn't been promoting any "apostasy" and that I would act according to my conscience. Then came the expected list of questions (FDS, 1914, two hopes, blood, etc.) to which I was asked to answer by "yes" or "no". I didn't accept that frame and insisted on explaining where I stood, which, in most cases, was simply: I do not say the Society teaching is wrong, it just happens that currently I am not convinced anymore that it is right and consequently I cannot consciously teach it. I didn't rule out the possibility of being convinced by them or later, just stated where I honestly stood at the moment and argued that it would be dishonest on my part to pretend otherwise. Incidentallly (not!) the COs didn't sit on that Committee, which was made up of several French elders, only one of whom was of my (Portuguese) congregation. So they ended up discussing every issue (which they didn't want to do at first) and the hearing went on for hours. They rendered their preset decision as expected, but at least they had heard me enough not to be fully satisfied with it. When they read me the "ground" text of 2 John 9-11, I could easily point them that they hadn't found any instance of me "going beyond the teaching of Christ," quite the contrary in fact: they df'd me because I wouldn't "go beyond" as I felt the Society did. I said I would appeal on this motive, and did. On the appeal committee the two COs were there, which I challenged right away as they had clearly organised the first one in remote control mode; the discussion was much more straightforward, and shorter. But at least this procedure left me with no regret or doubt, and that was just what I needed to move on. A more provocative attitude I would probably have regretted, and a more "submissive" one was simply unthinkable.

    My point I guess: any "strategy" must take into account what/who/where you happen to be at the moment. Not being able to face yourself in the mirror is, imo, too high a cost for avoiding the practical consequences of being disfellowshipped. Again, I mean absolutely no judgement on those who are strong enough to "pretend," in a more or less cynical way, and subjectively own to it. They are stronger than I was, good for them. But not all can do that without harming themselves deeply.

  • Scarred for life
    Scarred for life

    Good post, Narkissos.

Share this