Hi all, I grew up as a dub, and I was taught that there weren't specific reasons why people got disfellowshipped. I was taught they didn't announce what the wrong was as they were df'd because they were 'unrepentant'. Now I know the WTS is full of **** and I see a few posts about tattoos and piercings etc being cause for df'ing. So forgive my ignorance but please can someone clear this up for me. If there are things you can get df'd for, what are they? Can I see a full list? Also, where can I read an elders 'manual' that I hear so much about? Thanks in advance and I wanr to say I absolutely love JWN. What a great place that helped me through a lot and has so much info. Thanks to all of you out there. GapingMouth
You can get away with anything except apostacy (saying ANYTHING negative about WTBTS) if you say the right things or know the right people. I know of a MS (unmarried) who fornicated with a married sister, she had his child, and he never got any public reproof, restrictions, nothing. I'm sure it helped tremendously that his father was PO. If you listen to JW conversations, you can descern what the elders want to hear in JC meetings. Alot of times they proclaim much of it from the platform;show humility like King David in the Psalms, beg for forgiveness, you are sorry for your mistake, you don't want to bring reproach on Jah's name, blah, blah, blah. You can fool them once you know their game, unless one or more of them have it out for you. In that case, whatever you say, you are SCREWED! So it really doesn't matter what you did or what you say, if they want you out, you are out.
"I know of a MS (unmarried) who fornicated with a married sister, she had his child, and he never got any public reproof, restrictions, nothing."
You're sure? Sounds mighty strange.
I think it is generally true that providing you show you are truly repentant there is no way you would be dissfellowshipped. For the witnesses it is a last resort. They can't afford to lose anybody unless they are a danger and if they were then they would be dissfellowshipped. If you had a position in the cong you may well be stripped of it but at least you wouldn't be thrown out.
Thanks guys, I'd like to hear more and how elders do JCs. And a link for elders book?
"Thanks guys, I'd like to hear more and how elders do JCs. And a link for elders book?" I have seen the book online, hopefully someone can help. Here is my opinion on JC's and what the party line is: Party Line: The basis of the JC is to "readjust" the individual in order to see if they are "repentant" for what they have done. That repentance may have already been demonstrated, or it might not be demonstrated until they are presented/accused of what they have done. (They love to throw out of the example of David - how he was "cut to the heart" when Nathan called him out for his sins) If the person does not respond, cannot be readjusted, he is to be disfellowshipped. The length is to be determined by the course of action, how many meetings they come to, etc. Reality: This is my experience. Most JC are basically "Crime and Punishment" The more severe the offense, the more chance of disfellowshipping. You could be "cut to the heart" but if you have done something that is rather shocking to the committee, more than likely you are served a 6-month disfellowshipping. (BTW - there is nothing in writing that stipulates a time period - however, most elders use a sentencing structure - 6 months, 1 year, etc) If you turn on the water works and are generally liked by the body, you might get off with a reproof, especially if you "fessed up" to your sin. If the body doesnt like you or a family member, or the body feels you tried to hide you activities, you are basically going to be disfellowshipped. If you are repentant, but dont show much emotion due to your makeup or adversity in your life that may have hindered your ability to turn on the tears, that works against you big time. There is no consistancy - I know of cases where girls were like the village bicycle and were not disfellowshipped, then would hear of a case from a distraught friend or family member who would tell me of a one-time incident where a person was really sorry, and they would still get DF'ed.
I think if you read further, other posters said that tattoos and piercings are NOT df'ing offenses.
If you have access to a WT-CD, it lists most of the df issues in the index.
grounds: w98 3/15 22; w92 7/1 19; w89 9/15 18; w88 4/15 26-7; it-1 788
absolute endangerment of mate’s spirituality: w88 11/1 22-3
apostasy: w89 10/1 19; w86 3/15 15; w86 4/1 30-1; w86 10/15 31
bestiality: it-1 292
bloodguilt: w06 9/15 30
blood transfusion: jv 183-4
dishonest practices: w86 11/15 14
drunkenness: it-1 656
employment involving gambling: w95 5/15 23
extortion: w89 1/15 22; it-1 789
extreme physical abuse of family members: g01 11/8 12; fy 150; w88 11/1 22
fits of anger: g01 11/8 12; g97 6/8 20; fy 150; g93 2/8 14
fornication: w06 7/15 29-30; it-1 863
fraud: om 142-3
gluttony: w04 11/1 30-1
greed in relation to bride-price: w98 9/15 25
gross uncleanness: w06 7/15 30-1
loose conduct: w06 7/15 30-1
lying: g00 2/8 21
persistent gambling: w89 7/15 30
polygamy: jv 176
pornography: w06 7/15 31
promoting sects: it-2 886
reviling: w96 7/15 17-18; it-1 991; it-2 802
sexual abuse of children: g93 10/8 10
slander: w89 10/15 14; om 142-3
subversive activity: w95 10/1 31
use of tobacco: w06 7/15 30-1; w95 5/15 23
whether violation of secular law is: w86 10/1 31
willful nonsupport of family: w88 11/1 22
*** dx30-85 Disfellowshipping ***
grounds: w83 3/15 31; w80 9/1 30; g78 6/22 28; w75 287; km 2/74 4, 6; w73 594; km 9/73 8; w72 543; ad 217, 550, 602; w67 127; g67 2/22 4; ms 163; w63 410-11, 413; w61 63-4, 96, 284-5, 596-7; yb61 133; g61 11/8 4; w60 159-60, 277-8, 684-5, 690, 725-8; w59 171, 176-9; w58 95, 209-20, 478; g58 3/22 26; g58 4/8 25-6; w56 345-8, 563-6, 590-8, 667-8; w55 126-7, 500, 607; w54 590-6; w52 133-5; w51 239-40; w49 240; w46 75-6
abandoning wife and eloping with another woman: w79 11/15 31-2; w76 728
apostasy: w83 4/1 22-4; km 8/80 1, 4
bestiality: w83 6/1 25
employment violating Christian principles: km 9/76 6
following mourning customs that involve false worship: w85 4/15 25
homosexuality: w83 6/1 24-6
incestuous marriage: w78 3/15 26
parents condoning immorality: w56 566
planned adultery to break Scriptural marriage ties: w83 3/15 29
refusal to cease fellowship with disfellowshipped: w81 9/15 25-6
The elder manual gives reasons that a Judicial Committee may be formed. Keep in mind that many updates have come out since this 1991 book was published. Updates are letters to the elders or notes in the (very wide) margins of this book. For instance, the book doesn't have the correct announcement to be made when one is DA'ed. Anyway, the gist is there to see why JC's can be formed. And remember that the only reason to DF is unrepentance, IOW not agreeing to do whatever the elders tell you.
And one problem with this summary is LOOSE CONDUCT. They have added stuff to what that means and not made all of that available to the members. Still, tattoos and boob jobs are not on the list at all and have not snuck their way into LOOSE CONDUCT. Anyone who says they had a JC for such probably had a JC for their attitude toward the elders when asked about the boob job or tattoo- that would constitute apostasy as the following article will show and would specifically be ...deliberate action disrupting the unity of the congregation or undermining the confidence of the brothers in Jehovah's arrangement.
Starting on p. 91 from http://wikileaks.org/leak/flock-translations/flock/index.htm
Uphold Jehovah's Righteousness
Wrongdoing is increasing in frequency and in depravi-
ty; such can infiltrate and affect the Christian congrega-
tion. (2 Tim. 3:1-5, 13; .Jude 3, 4, 11-13)
The Scriptures clearly show that Jehovah forbids certain
conduct among his clean people; brothers need to up-
hold Jehovah's righteous standards regarding the follow-
A degree of guilt could result from careless driving, care-
less maintenance of one's automobile, or other careless or
thoughtless action that causes injury or death. (Compare
Deuteronomy 22:8. )
Being a professional boxer may be viewed in a similar
way. (w817/1 pp. 30-1)
Attempted suicide may be the result of deep despair or
major depression; deal carefully and compassionately with
such a person. In most cases a judicial hearing is not
required. (Ps. 88:3, 17, 18; Prov. 15:13; Eccl. 7:7; g90
9/8 pp 22-3; w90 3/15 pp. 26-30; w90 3/1 pp. 5-9; w83
8/1 pp. 3-11)
Sexual misconduct, including; adultery, fornication, and
other forms of "por.ne'a.."
Uncleanness includes an intentional momentary touching
of sexual parts or caressing of breasts. ( I Thess. 4:7, 8;
1 Tim. 5:1,2)
"Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"
Such minor uncleanness can be handled at the discre-
tion of an elder or two; it does not require a judicial
There is a need for strong counsel, admonition, and
assistance to help the individual to maintain chaste
conduct in the future.
If not corrected, such conduct may escalate in gravity
and by frequent repetition become loose conduct.
Loose conduct is a shocking, flagrant disregard for Jeho-
vah's moral standards. (Gal. 5:19; w83 3/15 p. 31; w73
9/15 pp. 574-6)
It may include the willful practice of heavy petting or
the fondling of breasts.
The nature, circumstances, and actual extent of what
has occurred may indicate loose conduct, which would
require judicial action.
Such practices can easily lead to por.nei´a.
"Por.nei´a" involves immoral use of the genitals of at least
one human ( whether in a natural or a perverted way ), and
there must have been another party to the immorality‹a
human of either sex or a beast; willing participation incurs
guilt and requires judicial action. It is not a casual touch-
ing of the sex organs between persons but involves the
manipulation of the genitals. (w83 6/1 pp. 23-6; w83
3/15 pp. 30-1)
It includes oral and anal sex or mutual masturbation
between persons not married to each other, homosexu-
ality, lesbianism, fornication, adultery, incest, and bes-
tiality. (Lev. 20:10, 13, 15, 16; Rom. 1:24, 26, 27, 32;
1 Cor. 6:9, 10)
Also included are sexual abuse of children, including
practices involving a catamite (a boy kept for purposes
of sexual perversion). (Deut. 23:17, 18, Ref.: Bi., ftns.)
Victims of sexual abuse need to be treated with
extreme thoughtfulness and kindness. Elders should
always do what they reasonably can to protect
children from further abuse;
follow the Society's directives on such matters. (g85 1/22 p. 8)
UNIT 5 (1 )
Self-abuse, or masturbation, is not "porna'a," nor
would one who was raped be guilty of por.nei´a. (w83
3/15 p. 30; w74 3/1 p. 160; it-l pp. 862-4; tp p. 144)
The term por.nei´a lays emphasis on both the lewd
nature and the intent of the person's conduct, and it
embraces all illicit sexual activity characteristic of that
found in a house of prostitution.
Copulation (as in penetration) is not necessary to
constitute por.nei'a, and neither is sexual climax.
In borderline cases, it is the responsibility of the
judicial committee to weigh carefully the Scriptures
and the particular facts in the case to determine
whether por.nei'a was involved.
This responsibility should not be taken lightly,
especially when Scriptural freedom to remarry is
involved. (Mal. 2:16a)
Apostasy is a standing away from, a falling away, defec-
tion, rebellion, abandonment; it involves teaching false
doctrines, supporting or promoting false religion and its
holidays or interfaith activities. (Deut. 13:13, 15; Josh.
22:22, ftn.; Acts 21:21, ftn.; 2 Cor. 6:14, 15, 17, 18;
2. John 7, 9, 10; Rev. 18:4)
Those with sincere doubts should be helped, dealt with
mercifully. (Jude 22, 23; w82 9/1 pp. 20-1;w80 8/1
Apostasy includes action taken against true worship of
Jehovah or his established order among his dedicated
people. (Jer. 17:13; 23:15; 28:15, 16; 2 Thess. 2:9, 10)
Persons who deliberately spread (stubbornly hold to and
speak about) teachings contrary to Bible truth as taught
by Jehovah's Witnesses are apostates.
If it is learned that a person has taken up association with
another religious organization, the matter should be inves-
tigated, and if verified, a committee should be formed.
If it is clearly established that the person has joined
another religion and intends to remain with it, the
"Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"
elders would make a brief announcement to the congre-
gation that such- one has disassociated himself. (w86
10/15 p. 31 )
Working secularly for a false religious organization could
put one in a position similar to that of one preaching false
doctrine. (2 Cor. 6:14-16)
Celebrating a false religious holiday would be similar to
performing any other act of false worship. (Jer. 7:16-19)
The Bible condemns the following:
Causing divisions and promoting sects.
This would be deliberate action disrupting the unity
of the congregation or undermining the confidence
of the brothers in Jehovah's arrangement.
It may involve or lead to apostasy. (Rom. 16:
17, 18; Titus 3:10, 11 )
The practice of spiritism. (Deut. 18:9-13; I Cor. 10: 21, 22; Gal. 5:20)
Idolatry. ( I Cor. 6:9, 10; 10:14)
Idolatry includes the possession and use of images
and pictures that are employed in false religion.
Drunkenness. (I Cor. 5:11; 6:9,10; it-l p. 656)
Stealing, thievery, fraud. (Lev. 6:2, 4; I Cor. 6:9, 10; Eph. 4:28; it-l p. 870)
Deliberate, malicious lying; bearing false witness. (Prov. 6: 16, 19; Col. 3:9; Rev. 22:15; it-2 pp. 244-5)
Reviling; slander. (Lev. 19:16; I Cor. 6:10; it-l pp. 989-91; it-2 pp. 801-2)
Obscene speech. (Eph. 5:3-5; Col. 3:8)
Failure to abstain from blood. (Gen. 9:4; Acts 15:20, 28, 29)
Greed‹gambling, extortion. (I Cor. 5:10, 11; 6:10; I Tim. 3:8; it-l pp. 1005-6)
Adamant refusal to provide materially for one's ovn family‹leaving wife and children destitute when having the
UNIT 5 (a)
means to provide. ( 1 Tim. 5:8; w88 11/1 pp. 22-3; km
9/73 p. 8)
Nonneutral activitics. ( Isa. 2:4;John 6:15; 17:16)
Fits of anger, violence. (Prov. 22:24, 25; Mal. 2:16; Gal.
Misuse of tobacco or addictive drugs (2 Cor. 7:1; Mark
15:23; Rev. 21:8, Int.; 22:15, Int. )
Loose conduct. Term not restricted to sexual immorality.
(Gal. 5:19, Ref.. Bi., ftn.; 2 Pet. 2:7, Ref.. Bi., ftn.; w83
3/15 p. 31; w73 9/15 pp. 574-6; it-2 p. 264)
SUMMARY: There are varying degrees of wrongdoing.
At times there may have been an overlapping of sins, and
this must be discerned in order to determine the proper
Scriptural view of a person's conduct. In all cases, elders
should carefully weigh each situation or circumstance.
They need to find out what actually occurred, the extent
and nature of misconduct, intent and motive, frequency
or practice, and so forth. Good judgment, reasonableness,
and balance are necessary as elders assess conduct in the
light of the Scriptures.
Blondie: I think if you read further, other posters said that tattoos and piercings are NOT df'ing offenses.
Yep, I had read it, and I appreciate you pointing it out. Thats what got me thinking though as someone could say something is or is not a df'ing offence where I had been taught there was none. Guess I got taught wrong. Thanks also for the great info you provided.
Thanks also to you OnTheWayOut for that interesting reading.