My Disassociation Letter - Should I post it ?
I posted a question in November on whether I should DA - and I got a surprising level of response - I was also swayed towards not 'playing the WT game'.
However, I feel I want closure.
Please see below the letter I have just finished writing - I plan to post it later this week, but would like to know your opinions:
1) Should I send it - Yes or No
2) If you say yes - can you suggest any amendments I ought to make ?
8th January 2002
I am sorry that I haven’t spoken to you in ages. I have been feeling guilty about not being around when you call.
Along with my apologies also come my thanks and appreciation for your determination in maintaining contact with me.
I haven’t associated with the congregation for some years now, in fact not since 1997. Throughout these years, I have continued to maintain a belief and confidence in Jehovah. I would say that you and a few others have helped me in that respect. The ones I would particularly single out apart from yourself are XXXX, XXXX and XXXX. Each of you have displayed what comes across to me as a Christian kindness and concern. Some others have, I regret to say, shunned me and my children.
As you know, I have had a great plague brought down upon my family, and try as I have, I cannot help but think that this would not have happened if my family had been protected from ‘wolves disguised as sheep’. I can understand the Societies rules on maintaining confidence with personal information, but this policy placed my marriage and family in grave danger. I have since found out that XXXX had ‘history’ of destroying families, yet nobody at any time approached me and told me of the extreme danger that was posed.
I do not view anyone as personally responsible for what happened except the perpetrator. I would hate for you or anyone else to blame yourselves, but I would hope that a policy change in the organisation would come about. How many more innocent people and their marriages, families and children have to be placed at risk before something is done about it ?
XXXX, I truly appreciate the time and effort you have spent in delivering the Watchtower and Awake! magazines to me. They have served to reassure me of Jehovah’s existence and my faith in him.
However, issues have been emerging for me for a while now that have caused me concern. These include further changes and ‘new understandings’ relating to the use of blood products and another, although relatively minor, the appropriateness of voting in political elections. The arguments delivered through ‘Questions from readers’ and set out in long complex explanations remind me of Matt 23:24 which reads ‘… who strain out the gnat but gulp down the camel.’ Especially as, reading between the lines, these changes are being brought about by what appears to me as Political manoeuvering rather than spiritual enlightenment.
The United Nations
What really has shaken my confidence in the Society though is the news that was reported in ‘The Guardian’. I collected the following from the Guardian website :
Jehovah's Witnesses link to UN queried
Sect accused of hypocrisy over association with organisation it has demonised.
Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent
The Guardian Monday October 8, 2001
The United Nations is being asked to investigate why it has granted associate status to the Jehovah's Witnesses, the fundamentalist US-based Christian sect, which regards it as the scarlet beast predicted in the Book of Revelation.
The UN itself admitted yesterday that it was surprised that the sect, whose formal name is the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, had been accepted on its list of non-governmental organisations for the last 10 years.
The Watchtower Society has been denouncing the UN and its predecessor the League of Nations for 80 years, believing them to be a world empire of false religion, predicted in the Book of Revelation.
Being a recognised NGO with the United Nations - as more than 1,500 organisations are - gives status though not grants. To qualify, organisations must show that they share the ideals of the charter, operate on a non-profit basis, "demonstrate interest in UN issues and proven ability to reach large or specialised audiences" and have the commitment and means to conduct effective information programmes about UN activities.
Paul Gillies, the Witnesses' spokesman in Britain, said: "We do not have hostile attitudes to governing bodies and if we are making representations on issues to the UN we will do so."
"There are good and bad bodies just as there are good and bad politicians. We believe what the Book of Revelation tells us but we do not actively try to change the political system."
A spokeswoman for the UN said: "I think we may not be aware of their attitude, which seems to be really strange."
I can recognise the words within the report that are incorrect, but the actual facts reported are that the Society has been associated with the United Nations since 1991. The Society have since admitted this and have given reasons for their association. However, based on their teachings to me over the past 20 years, I find it absolutely unacceptable
If I or any other one of Jehovah’s Witnesses had done this, then we would have been disfellowshipped. This whole situation smacks of hypocrisy and removes all illusions I had of an organisation true to Jehovah. Either the United Nations is the ‘disgusting thing … standing in a holy place’ or it is not. Either way, I believe the Society have unforgivably compromised themselves.
The Society has in the meantime resigned their membership.
My dedication to Jehovah
I dedicated my life to Jehovah before the public declaration was changed to one of subjecting oneself to an earthly organisation. I believe that a day will come when I will have to explain my choices and behaviour before God, and I would like the choices I have made to be ones I have made myself and not those of someone who has written something today and will change it to something else tomorrow.
I understand that this letter will identify me as someone with independent thinking. However, I find reassurance in the words of Galileo Galilei:
‘I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.’
I now know that I wish to permanently disassociate myself from the international organisation known as ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’. Luke 6:22,23.
It’s with a heavy heart that I choose to disassociate from people such as yourself XXXX, that I have the greatest of respect for. I do not and never would seek to weaken your faith or to work against you.
May Jehovah continue to bless you and your family as well as the ones in the congregation who truly serve the one true God.
Wow, great letter.
My wife and I disassociated ourselves in 1989, via a very long letter detailing our belief that the Watchtower is a blind guide.
The question you have to ask yourself is: "Can I live with the consequences?" If you have family or friends in "the truth" this letter will end all contact with them. If you aren't going to be leaving anybody important behind, or can live without contact with them, mail the letter. For us it came down to putting a spiritual relationship with God ahead of all others.
For the record we haven't ever regretted the decision.
If you want feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
hey jeff - thank you for that - it IS encouraging that you have never regretted it - luckily for me, my family is out with me :)
Yes, a rather excellent letter!
It's early days for myself, though I have gone through many occaisions where I felt that I needed 'closure'. I have held back only for the reason that I would be acknowledging their rules if I was to DA.
Ideally I think that it would be just great if all the newly (or old for that matter!] inactive ones sent their DA letter in at the same time....now THAT would really discourage a few in the congs.
Imagine having a DA letter read out at every meeting!
I'm sorry but I really do want people to get a hold of the 'real life' and wake up!
I shall copy your letter if you don't mind...for when the time is right for me....
eek! they read it out ? mind you, i expect that to read it would be like associating with an apostate, so perhaps they just announce or read the 'i choose to disassociate' bit ? ... gulp ...
i love the idea of a mass DAing ...
letter not copyrighted - yo uare very welcome to use any bits you wish
Greetings: I DA and I wish I did not. I now wish I could have stayed around a little longer and planted some seeds of truth. DO you have a lot of friends and family still inside?
The letter is very good, however, a bit long. The elders will not read much more than three/four paragraphs tops. Can you get it down to that with attachments?
Just my thoughts..........
“We all fell down from the milky way, hanging around here for the judgement day, heaven only knows who’s in command.”- Jimmy Buffet
"I understand that this letter will identify me as someone with
independent thinking. However, I find reassurance in the words of
‘I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us
with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
I like this the best.
You said: The Watchtower Society has been denouncing the UN and its predecessor the League of Nations for 80 years, believing them to be a world empire of false religion, predicted in the Book of Revelation
Just one small point. The League and UN have NEVER been considered as the World empire of false religion. They come under the guise of the wild beast. Remember the beast that was and is not and becomes the 8th king? It's political.
I think in such matters one has to ask "what is the objective?" Closure is certainly a legitimate objective but, the problem is, will you know if you have it? Will the letter accomplish it? JT makes some great points.
Personally I wouldn't send it since, in a sense, it is confirming to the elders that they have legitimacy. If you escaped from being kidnapped, what would you do?
But, that's just my opinion. Good luck with yr decision.
ps: why not first send a copy to stephen bates of the Gdn and see what he thinks - he might be interested in the story.
Wow, I could not have been so nice. I think you are really bending over backwards to sound like you care about these people and do not want to change them, however your remarks could do little else but cause them to question thier faith.
I don't think anyone will read it, but sending it will cement your future. You will be shunned henceforth. If that is acceptable I say send it just as you have written it, from your heart. Maybe one elder will actually read it all.
Have you considered sending it to anyone else?
I recently sent such a letter asking to have clarification as to my standing. I have had no response whatsoever.
I think that they are supposed to handle this stuff verbally now a days, so no one can be blammed after the fact for bad decisions.