Letter sufficient grounds for DFing?

by dozy 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • leavingwt

    If you repent of your apostate ways, you'll probably be just fine.

    You see, when you wrote that letter, "you were depressed and distraught". You now feel "awfully foolish" for having doubted anything the Faithful and Discreet Slave says. You love Jehovah and the brothers taking the lead.


  • BluesBrother

    I think that it would be incriminatory evidence if it were used against you, without knowing the contents of course.. J C's do not have the same rules as courts of law. Evidence is not ruled 'inadmissible' because they are not supposed to have it.

    But please note that one does not get d/f'd for what you have done, you get d/f'd because of your attitude to what you have done. The letter was addressed to an elder (thank goodness) You were writing to him so as to collate your thoughts on paper and because you wanted "Spiritual help".

    You would expect that he and the other elders would recognize it as a cry for help from a sick sheep. You had hoped that you may be viewed as the sort of man described in Jude 22 "Also, continue showing mercy to some that have doubts; 23 save [them] by snatching [them] out of the fire. "...(format problems today)

    Perhaps the elders would show the spirit encouraged by the apostle Paul in Galations 6.1"You who have spiritual qualifications try to readjust such a man in a spirit of mildness"

    At least it may buy some time ....

  • blondie

    JWoods, I was merely reformatting the WT quote above my post. No endorsement of said quote. Reporting, not supporting.

  • sspo

    Very simple way if approched by two elders ( investigating you) that your questions have been resolved in

    your mind, have been doing your own research and realizing that the GB is imperfect and make mistakes and we just have

    to "trust and wait on Jehovah". They love to hear that.

    Do not give them any ammunition to DF you. Agree on everything they say.

  • grassyknoll07

    The letter is grounds for a judicial committee. The two witness rule does not apply since you have confessed in writing. The elders have a duty to help you. They should have met with you to discuss your doubts and put a sincere effort to changing your mind (Galatians 6:1). If after all efforts you continue to hold to your apostate beliefs you s/b disfellowshipped. But if you have been promoting your views in the congregation; that's a different story. You are going to have a very difficult time convincing the JC that your repetence is sincere. At that point you are considered a threat to others.

    I would see the letter as a 'sheep' crying out for help and encourage the BOE to help you. I tell friends all the time... you don't get disfellowshipped for your sins. You get disfellowhipped for your attitude during the JC.

  • Atomahawk

    As already mentioned it depends on the tone of the letter. Without actually reading it, it’s very difficult to determine if it’s in form that accuses or questions. The original readers intelligence, vocabulary and comprehension can also be a determining factor as how it can be interpreted.

    You say it was confidential, Who was the letter addressed to? 1) This particular elder? 2) All congregation elders? 3)The congregation as a whole?

    If your letter starts with Dear brother X, this letter assumes privacy for all intended purposes, unless specifically indicated within the body of the letter to the contrary. If this is the case then I can say without a doubt that he showing this letter or quoting this to anyone is a breach of elder confidentiality. In a mature congregation this would not only be frowned upon by the body of elders, but I can assure you if it came to be known by the CO this particular elder would be in some serious hot water and would most likely be removed as an elder. An elders prime responsibility is to shepherd, assist and protect each individual within the congregation. He also has the responsibility of protecting the congregation from apostasy or seditious behavior. You state that “Instead he has told his wife & daughter and virtually everybody else of my "unsound views."” Are you 100% certain of this? If so I would request a meeting with rest of the elders without him being present so you may explain the situation to them. If they deny your request I would encourage you to write a letter to the elders specifically outlining all events and CC the CO. By being upfront, you show yourself to be honest and sincere in your quest to further your spirituality and are honestly only attempting to fortify your faith. Hiding assumes shame and bad intentions and this you want to avoid at all cost.

    I hope you didn’t share your questions or point of views regarding this situation with others within the congregation? If so it can get very nasty and most likely you will be reprimanded.

  • AllTimeJeff

    Just want to go on the record that they can absolutely use that against you at any time they want. It is probably a bronzed part of your confidential file.

    It is up to you, but I would fake it if I am trying to fade. Otherwise, be prepared, they can drop that on you anytime....

  • Amazing


    Please read all of this post:

    Since you do not want to be DF'd, then there are steps you can take to try and avoid this possible consequence.

    1. It would be helpful is you could someway share the letter (not your name) in an email or PM. The content of the letter and its forcefulness are important factors. I was forcibly DA'd due to a rumor first started by the Elders, and then believing their own rumors. However, my letter to the Society and follow-up letter to the Elders determined my fate. You may PM me on this forum, or email me at: [email protected].

    2. Go to the Elders before they come to you, if it not already too late. I did not read all of the follow-up postings, so I am not sure if you said anything more on whether that took place.

    3. Express your concern that while you have some things you need help "understanding," you still accept the F&DS at God's appointed channel of Truth. This should help you.

    4. There are some good Watchtower articles you can find on CDs that will help you in how doubts are treated. Do not take these articles with you or refer to them, except in an emergency. It will make you appear to be overly prepared, as though you are only interested in preventing being DF'd. You have to appear humble, vulnerable, submissive, innocent, repentant; and for God's sake, shed some tears, but not too many! But the articles on 'helping those with doubts' will give you some ideas on how to behave and how to form your wording and attitude.

    5. All of this is only recommended, of course, because you really want to be a JW, and do feel regret at deviating from the organization. If you already do not accept the Watchtower and the F&DS or their doctrines ... then you need to consider the following:

    6. If you are an atheist, or have no concern for any integrity to God and to yourself, and if you really do not feel any repentance, then steps 1 through must be play acted, a lie. If that is the case, then so be it, but again, there are no guarantees, as Elders can sometimes spot liars.

    7. If you are still Christian, but simply do not want to believe and accept the JW system, but still remain among them without being DF'd then you have a problem. Your letter, depending on how incriminating it is, is enough testimony to get you DF'd for apostasy. Sorry, but anything in writing is enough, there is no need for additional 'witnesses' as far as the Society and Elders are concerned. All the rest depends on how you are perceived, how you act, and what you say from this point forward.

    So, assuming that Step 7 is descriptive of you, here are my thoughts: As a Christian, you should not lie. You can be honest, and still possibly avoid being DF'd, but it will not be easy and there are no guarantees. If you come back to this board as DF'd, don't be surprised. But, again, take the initiative and go to the Elders with this point of view. I have inserted some points in blue ( ... ) to explain why you need to use certain cautions):

    "Brother (preferably one Elder or brothers if two Elders. Make sure you do not see or know that the original Elder who had your letter is the Elder you are seeking help from, as you are obviously already his unspoken adversary, and he will act to protect his own interests and make you look like an apostate. Ask a different Elder or two. You want to appear innocent. And if they get the original Elder, act innocent and say that you are pleased to see him.) I asked to meet with you brother(s), because I wrote something I regret, expressing doubts about some of the things I don't understand. (Be vague and non-descript. Do not accuse the organization of anything or say that you do not believe a certain teaching, just say that you do not understand.) So, brothers, in an effort to get help, I wrote up some notes about my confusion and shared it with Elder _________ in confidence to get his help. Somehow, what I shared with him has been passed around the congregation and has caused some to wonder if I am leaning the wrong way. (Do not use the word 'apostate' in any way, as that loaded word alone will automatically put you in a bad light psychologically.) I did not mean to cause any concern in the congregation, but rather I am seeking help from you brothers to better understand some issues. I wish that Elder Trustworthy had been more careful, maybe somehow he accidentally dropped my notes. (Even though the Elder betrayed your confidence, you do not want to hit on him too hard, as it will make you appear in the wrong, even if you are in the right. You need to appear as though you are not his adversary, and no threat to him.) So, can we talk and pray about this, and help me get some answers, to get Jehovah's thoughts on things, and put this matter to rest?"

    Do not, under any circumstance, put anything into writing. That is what got you into this situation in the first place. If your letter is recovered and discussed, do not insist on covering every point. Let things drop off as really unimportant, and let the Elders convince you of you errors. Work with the Elders. Pick out one or two Elders that you respect. If you do not respect any of them, which is quite reasonable, then choose the lesser of the evils. Do not start with three Elders, as that starts to look like a Judicial Committee. Believe me, I have been an Elder and know how the psychology works with unspoken suggestion. On one JC I sat on, three of us were just standing around in the back of the Hall, when a brother started asking our advice ... and before we knew it, we were meeting with him and his family. And while we never called is a JC, it functioned that way, and action was taken from what otherwise was a small wrong by one of the brother's children. By picking one Elder or two at the most, you appear to be seeking help and guidance. You make them feel special and needed as Shepherds. Remember that Elders first role is an agent of the Watchtower Society. They are groomed, molded, trained, appointed, and maintained by the Society. They function to 'protect' the congregation, and in so doing, are not acting as much in a healing role, as they are as Judge, Jury, and Prosecution. They are in essence Watchtower style Cops, to enforce Watchtower rules, and your interests are in last place. You are the accused. This is unspoken, but it underpins their prime function. However, they have also had a measure of training in being Shepherds (albeit very poor training), they still have some humanity, and if you approach them from this perspective, it will help offset their prime role as agents of the Society. Especially if you take the initiative to work with them. All this depends on what you originally wrote, and how you acted and how you act now, and your personal integrity to yourself and to God. If my above idea does not fit with you, and you cannot play act that way, then don't do it.

    Last but not least. None of the above is guaranteed, and you still have a good chance on being DF'd. Why? Because Elders are also unpredictable, adversarial by function, and may have another concern or agenda that you are not aware. For example, you may have at one time or an other said things in conversation that have innocently or deliberately gotten back to the Elders. Unknown to you, they may already have you on a watch list. I have been there on both sides, the watch-er and the watch-ee. If that is the case, they may take any approach as simply a ruse to get off the hook, and decide to DF first and ask questions later. When I was in your boat, my first letter was written to the Society. It was not about teachings, but about local conduct toward my family and suggested some criminal issues (I had reported a child molester to the Sheriff). The Society did not respond to me, but sent a letter with a copy of my letter to the local Elders. They sent out two District Overseer visits back to back and a Circuit Overseer. They sent in a Special Representative to move in and become part of the Body of Elders. Then they trumped up a charge that I started my own Church, and then two years later the Society notified me that the local congregation Body of Elders (Judicial Committee) determined that I had Disassociated myself. Not one word was stated as to nature of the charge or evidence. The Society will not put such things into writing to avoid liable in case it is untrue. I was given a last opportunity to work with the local Elders. They showed no concern for me or the issues of criminal activity. I tried to work with the local Elders, but they deliberately made it impossible. I wrote a 29 page letter outline my theological concerns to help generate discussion ... bad move on my part as that letter came back at me during legal depositions against the Society. However, I knew I was already toast, and my letter, sent to each Elder, was designed to help them in case any one them privately had their own concerns. They never even called to say what action they were taking or if I could meet with them ... they simply announced my DA, and called several congregations in other states to make sure I was duly marked.

    Take Note: All of my above advice depends much on your actual circumstances, what you actually wrote, and how your local Elders will respond. Any or ALL of these unknown variables may have already sealed your fate. If you can, please find a way to share your letter with me, not on the board, as the Society monitors this and other ex-JW boards, and give me more details (without names or locations) as I don't need that information. I have been out formally 14 years, and do not have anymore contacts on the inside of the organization. This way, I can better determine what you may be going through.

    I do not like to post my real name on discussion boards anymore as I work in classified jobs, and background searches pick up this stuff, and cause me to have to answer silly questions. If you need to verify anything about me, contact Randy Watters at http://www.Freeminds.org and ask him if Jay Walter, aka Amazing) is a good resource.


  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    It's probably mostly about politics.

    I believe that my DA'ing was forced based on something similar - a letter or two, written in confidence, hidden in a desk or file - then bang - the person I had written to went and died! His distraught widow invited someone to clean out his 'elder files' - and suddenly I am on the firing line. At least that is my supposition - no one would tell me anything.

    I think that a 'repentant' attitude might work in some congos - not in others. If you ever crossed the big-shots and anyone holds a serious grudge, you could be in trouble too. Fake repentance might not overcome that.

    Me? Couldn't bear to play them games - so I just drafted a DA letter instead. Not saying that works for you - just saying.



  • passwordprotected

    Hi Dozy. The letter and the testimony of the elder are sufficient to start proceedings against you. You've listened to Hobo Ken's recordings, so you'll know how they'll use whatever 'evidence' they can lay their hands on if their goal is to DF you.

    You say you don't wish to be DFd. However, I wonder, if weighing up the huge amounts of ass kissing you'll need to do to avoid it, whether you'd be better off having yourself castrated!

    If you still believe in prayer and the power of the Spirit, then you'll soon find out what you need to do. Hope you get through it as unscathed as possible and with your manhood intact...

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