Joining the chorus: another former elder, now a conscientious objector, who left solely on principle.
An Open letter to the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses (Elders/ Ex-Elders)
Lovely. I could have used this when I was still an elder, just merely a year ago..
I was told that we were spiritual shepherds, but I was turned into a policeman. I passed judgment on peoples lives and some were forever changed. Now, I can't have an honest discussion about damn near anything with my brothers and sisters ,including members of my own family, without fear of reprisal should my view reflect negatively on the organization. So much for the promised freedom.
Missed this post originally. As an ex-elder, I 100% agree with your statements.
As an 'aren't you an elder yet?' ministerial servant, I'd always find something to screw up a few weeks before the CO visit so the local Body of Elders wouldn't consider me for their 'club.' The very thought of judging the flock was far beyond what I could stomach.
I'd add a few more points, but anyone seriously considering this faith to be 'The Truth' in absolute terms has more than enough to chew on. If not choke on.
- XD MS
This letter is undoubtedly a masterpiece, but a part of me is thinking, why even bother writing these motherf**kers at all? They wouldn't give a shit if any of us kicked the bucket tomorrow let alone care about any of our grievances. F**k 'em and all who look like them.
If anyone's seen the last episode of the prison drama Oz, you 'll know what I'm talking about when I say THAT is a better thing to send to the GB than an open letter.
whooohoooo well said!
Great letter. May not get the GB's attention, but a good piece for an email blast, flyer for the Kingdom Hall parking lot, or letter to fellow congregants.
A quick idea. In concert with the Undercover Brother campaign that has started among dissenting, active Jehovah's Witnesses I am starting a (personal) campaign to inform the uninformed.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
- Collect/harvest all e-mails (and if you do letter writing you could do your letter writing to Witnesses as well and count it as service time) from your fellow witnesses. Chain mails are great sources of random addresses.
- Send out this letter to as many people as you would like including your elders, your friends, your family, whoever you think is worthy but try to avoid the 'superfine apostles'.
HOW TO MONITOR YOUR ACTIONS:
- Send out a mass e-mail to groups in Carbon Copy and include another one of your (non-advertised or personal) addresses so you can monitor replies.
- Go to meetings and see if anyone is talking about it or ask about it yourself (be careful).
HOW TO AVOID GETTING CAUGHT:
- Test the anonymous e-mail service first and see whether or not it includes any of your personal information or sender IP addresses in the headers. Most of them (including Hushmail) do not.
- Include yourself in group e-mails (plausible deniability). If you're doing multiple mailings, only include yourself in one of them.
- Delete the e-mail if you get it in your personal e-mail box.
- Clear browser caches and history especially if you have a spouse, parent or anyone else using your computer. Most modern browsers have a "Private Browsing" feature - use it.
- Do not make conspicuous groups of people (eg. your family, your clique at the hall), try to be random so you can not be guilted by association. If you do not have enough addresses to blend, send individual e-mails.
- Do not talk about your actions to anyone in real life even if you trust that person. Do not be the first to reply to the e-mail.
- Avoid bringing up the subject frequently or being in the know about anything surrounding this campaign. If anyone asks about it, at most they know you are only a receiver of the e-mail, say something generic like "we have to wait on guidance from the organization" but try not to dismiss or discourage reading the e-mail.
- If you are being called in a back room or approached by a 'superfine apostle', at most they know you only received the e-mail and are perhaps suspicious but usually they'll just be fishing. Be very vague on the contents (you don't remember the details) and the recipients (you don't know exactly who got it, maybe 1 or 2 names of close family and friends). Never admit to anything and be natural.
- Do not send the e-mails at conspicuous times. If you're the only one working nights or usually staying up late, don't send them at that time. Having an alibi works. If using snail mail, don't go to your post office, the ZIP code alone can narrow down 'suspects'.
- Do not include personal details, your nick name on this forum or other forums or personalize the message to fit your personal story. A surprising amount of people already know your stories or can find out who you are from what you post here.
Hopefully some will listen to the message or it will reach some ears. Although I don't believe change will come to the organization, some may choose to change themselves or at least make a more informed decision. If you are unsure or feel unsafe on what to do, PM me or someone on this forum you trust the e-mail addresses you want to inform. If you are already out and running a public website or want to send this information to the (local) press that does coverage of JW events, this open letter is very well written and should be published everywhere.