R.Franz "Christian Freedom" Bk - Misuse of Disfellowshipping -WT Hypocrisy

by flipper 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • flipper

    Just finished the chapter in Ray's " Christian Freedom " book on " Misuse of Disfellowshipping . I highly recommend anyone reading it as it has NUMEROUS experiences of individuals who were mistreated so unjustly by the WT society's rigid rules - many in spite of 40, 50, or 60 yrs. of faithful alleigance to the WT society's rules. Too many to list here - but buy the book it's worth it !

    I wanted to hit on some brief main points to whet your appetite or interest. First of all- What the WT society SAYS and what it DOES in regards to DFing and shunning are TWO different things. In public relations statements here are what certain GB and WT representatives stated :

    Walter Graham , WT Canadian Branch, quoted in a Toronto Newspaper - " If someone doesn't want to live by our principles, he's free to leave. There's no badgering here, no physical or emotional harassment.... We don't dictate from headquarters. "

    Samuel Herd GB member quoted when he was a C.O. in the Chicago Tribune - " We're not spiritual policemen.... We don't try to stifle anyone in his opinion. "

    Robert Balzar , WT headquarters public relations man - " If people do not want to stay they are free to leave.... I cannot understand why those disagreeing simply do not leave quietly . "

    Is this an accurate portrayal of WHAT happens if one chooses to LEAVE Jehovah's Witnesses ? Notice Ray Franz quote on pg. 358 from " In Searcxh of Christian Freedom " It states, " Those who think of " quietly withdrawing " know that they have a gun at their heads, the weapon being the threat of official disfellowshipment ( or that of being officially pronounced " dissassociated " producing the same results. ) Though not physically being placed before a firing squad, any Witness attempting to leave the organization for conscientious reasons can do so only at the risk of being labeled heretical, unfit for true Christians ( other Jehovah's itnesses ) to associate with, someone that even family members should treat as an " outcast ". The organizational policy allow no possible way to LEAVE WITH HONOR. Only a person insensitive to human feelings could think that there is " no emotional harassment " involved. "

    In the Ancient Israelites days people were to openly confess their sins to one another in a manner where others would have access to information about circumstances involving a sinner where people would be able to make a assessment THEMSELVES of how to view the offender or offense- instead of elders locked in a back room in clandestine, secret meetings outnumbering the sinner 3 to 1 with NO eyewitnesses !

    But how are witnesses told to deal with a fellow member who sins today in JW congregations ? Franz states on pg. 374 , " The rigid policy advanced in the final analysis actually works against helping persons who slip into error. A Witness cannot even go to a friend in his congregation to discuss a sinful error with any degree of assurance that what he or she says to the friend will be kept confidential. If the sin is anything the organization classifies as a " major sin " its officials must be informed and the ecclesiastical court must decide whether actions need to be taken or not. Witnesses are made to feel that they are NOT showing love if they fail to report fellow members who have not " gone to the authorities"(elders ) about their personal wrongs. " Ray Franz continued saying an interview of Circuit Overseers in 1987 indicated that they " believed that by far the majority ( some gave figures of 70 % or more ) of elders were NOT qualified to serve in a judicial capacity. Actual experience shows that adherence to organizational policy is paramount with the great majority of such men and that legalism all too often stymies the natural feelings of compassion they might otherwise have. "

    Ray continues on pg. 384, " The harsh reality of the situation strikingly reveals the hollowness of public relations statements " earlier expressed about JW members being " free to leave" with no " badgering ". " There are hundreds, thousands of persons who know how contrary to fact those statements are. They know that to express ANY disagreement, no matter HOW respectfully made, or to engage in any discussion of a viewpoint that differs with ANY of the organization's teachings, even in private conversation among close friends, is ti invite investigation and trial by a judicial committee. They know that it is almost impossible to withdraw quietly, that the view is, in effect, " you cannot quit, we must fire you. " Why ? Because by so doing the person who has conscientous concerns about the organization's course and teachings is then placed " OFF LIMITS " to all other members. There is NO DANGER of these members conversing with such ones and beginning to think about matters that the organization declares to be unthinkable. "

    So there you have it ! Disfellowshipping is done , not so much to help a sinner see the error of his or her ways - but more importantly to the WT society it is done to prevent any disfellowshipped members from sharing information with active Jehovah's Witnesses which may influence their minds against WT policies and teachings. It , in effect, " cuts off " ANY communication with a witness who has been kicked out ! Even IF the information is important to the remaining ACTIVE JW's - they are told to automatically reject ANYTHING a former witness says. And this even includes INACTIVE WITNESSES !

    So- Have you seen these things occur that Ray Franz speaks of ? Feel free to share any experiences you have seen with this happening too. The more we talk about the WT injustices we've seen - more people will get access to information they need to make informed decisions ! If you get a chance to read this book- I highly recommend it . It was amazing HOW MANY people have been unjustly abused by the WT society. As always I look forward to your input ! Peace out to all, Mr. Flipper

  • 5thGeneration

    Yes. I found that to be a powerful chapter.

    Especially considering how I at one time was super judgemental against anyone trying to 'quietly withdraw'.

    Still burns my butt reading those PR quotes too.

    Thanks for the reminders Flipper.

  • flipper

    5TH GENERATION- Yeah, I agree it was a powerful chapter indeed. Even though I was in the organization for 44 years until 7 years ago- I NEVER was aware that SO mANY people who served 40, 50, or 60 yrs. in the orgainzation were treated so disgustingly until I read their experiences in this Chapter. The quotes from those WT society men are so arrogant - I agree. Thanks

  • metaspy

    Having gone the "fade route" aka "quietly withdraw", I can tell you from personal experience it is not easy and it is anything but quiet. When I first stopped attending meetings I got 2 phone calls a day from different people I knew - they would all tell me how much they missed me. Which is really ironic because for the previous 3 years no one gave a crap about my life or my problems.

    The elders too hounded me - telling me I was going down the wrong path, or that I had "apostate" thoughts.

    Now that it has been 2.5 years since I stopped attending, I have friends that I grew up with who refuse to talk to me. All because I am "inactive". Or in some people's eyes they think I am "apostate" even though I go out of my way NOT to tell anyone why I left.

    Those PR quotes are a load of bull. There is tons of pressure, nagging, and crap that the organization throws at those who try to bow out of the borg.

  • flipper

    METASPY- Very true what you say. I've experienced the same thing that you did. Sorry you had to go through that. A person can ATTEMPT to " fade quietly " but former JW friends will still shun us and call us " apostates " just for the fact we have stopped attending meetings ! I've been told by elders I have " apostate leanings " , been told by my youngest daughter I sound " apostate ", I mean it's ridiculous how paranoid with fear of us these JW people are ! It is instilled into them by the WT society. Like you said- we can even be quiet about what we believe and the apostate " headhunters " still come out after us ! I agree- the PR statements by the WT reps were bull. Total untruths

  • Bonnie_Clyde

    Although Clyde and I are not disfellowshipped and most witnesses will speak to us if we see them on the street, our daughter has absolutely shunned us for four or five years all because of a brief conversation I had with her and her husband regarding the organization. I posted part of our conversation right after it happened (see link) but never dreamed it would completely destroy our relationship.


  • designs

    If you want to see how the Society's Shunning and DFing policies play out go to your old Circuit Assembly where people knew you and watch the crowds part like Moses crossing the Red Sea.

  • NeonMadman

    " If people do not want to stay they are free to leave.... I cannot understand why those disagreeing simply do not leave quietly . "

    Yeah, just like people who become JW's quietly leave their old religion, without condemning or criticizing or knocking on the doors of people who still belong to that religion to tell them that they are wrong...

  • OnTheWayOut

    I have not been hounded in my fade because I made a bold stand when I resigned as an elder. My statements were short of what was needed for a DA/DF but strong enough that they are afraid that the "doubt" or "apostasy" might rub off on them. That, and the P.O. really isn't interested in getting rid of me as I don't try to associate with the cong. members.

    But still, I must laugh at the official comments that people are "free to leave." People have family members in the religion and they are only "free" to leave if they leave all of them one way or the other. If they choose to have contact and manage a way to do it, they (like me) are not really "free." I have to maintain the "inactive" status so it creates limitations. Others, such as Flipper, lose much contact with family even though he isn't DA/DF'ed.

    I appreciate the book's discussion on not being able to go to a "friend" in confidentiality. I have definitely felt that with a friend and with family.

    All we can really do in each family is suffer the losses if we haven't found a covert position and wait for family to hopefully come to the freedom of mind they need.

  • zoiks

    Excellent chapter in an excellent book

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