Dave Brown's letter of disassociation--or, you can't quit, you're fired!

by GLTirebiter 6 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • GLTirebiter

    Even with a polite DA letter, sometimes you won't be left alone to go your way in peace. Dave Brown recently posted a series of letters (6.3 MB pdf file) related to his leaving the Encanto, AZ congregation in 1980. It starts with his letter of disassociation, then a letter he received telling him he'd been disfellowshipped in absentia, written to him more than five months after his DA letter, and more than a month after the announcement to the congregation (We thought you should be the last to know!). It continues with his reply to the congregation elders, and eventually to Fred Franz and the rest of the Governing Body. He points out that they had not followed the procedures in the "Pay Attention..." Elder's manual, and that there was no reason to DF him because he already was no part of the congregation. It concludes with several pages of documentation explaining his doctrinal disagreements with the Watchtower.

    For a small sample, here's the introduction of his letter to Fred Franz:

    Dear Mr. Franz,

    The May 15, 1980 Watchtower (page 30) relates the almost unbelievable response one man received when he wrote to hls local Catholic Church to have his name removed from its records: "Under no conditlons can we remove your name from any Baptismal or other Sacramental records. As you know the Catholic Church is the one true Church founded by Jesus (Matt 16) and to so remove your name would be a sin against the Holy Spirit." Surely, such an attitude by that Catholic Church is hypocritlcal and preposterous. Due to recent developments I feel compelled to ask if a similar attitude is to be encouraged among Jehovah's Witnesses? I do not believe you think so.

  • Finally-Free
    Even with a polite DA letter, sometimes you won't be left alone to go your way in peace.

    That's what I suspected when I wrote my letter, so I made it a point to be impolite, and made it clear they were not to attempt any contact with me.


  • MeanMrMustard

    Actually, as David suggested on his introduction page, it was a different time. This was a time when someone could disassociate themselves from the organization and still remain in contact with their family. Only the label of "disfellowshipped" would get the shunning treatment prior to the Sept. 15, 1981 WT article. It seems at that time being disassociated was a loophole - one that I bet many were using to exit the organization and still keep in contact with the family they cared for. I think its because he started causing trouble after he left, sending letters to his friends and to headquarters, and since he started sending letters to headquarters, telling them that he thought they were intellectually dishonest in areas, it was time to make sure he didn't have any further contact with other witnesses.... In other words, I bet if he just DAed and kept quiet, they wouldn't have disfellowshipped him. Once they reworked the "disassociated" status, they gave up on it.

    It was interesting to read ...


  • designs

    As an old CO, Nick Kovalac, use to tell us Elders 'you won't be able to resign you will be deleted or removed and an announcement will be made from the platform'.

    Wasn't it all a fun trip through crazyland

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I'm writing of a distant time, ca. 1970. My father dragged me to the KH against my will. He'd pinch me if I did not put on a good show there. It was agony. When he died, I informed my mother when she told me to get dressed for KH that the only way she would get me to attend would be to drag be my hair. I had rights and I would assert them. Strangely, the rest of the family went but never returned again. I don't think they even discussed it. My mom's family dates back to Russell's time. Being a witness was associated with love. My JW extended family, including two uncles who served time in prison and Bethel (joke) shocked me when they still loved me. They spoke with us. We weren't on the JW inner ring of bliss. There was a strain but I expected damnation.

    We were in separate geographical areas. Is it now JW policy to act as private investigators and ferret out associations? If I were rejected, my bitterness would be unbearable. What if one wrote a letter stating that a lawyer, giving a name from the yellow pages, have been retained to protect interests. Privacy rights must trump religion that is no longer your own. CULT< CULT<CULT- it may be a politcally loaded word but in this case, it is an accurate word.

  • man in black
    man in black

    "Wasn't it all a fun trip through crazyland"

    wow,,, that was a really deep, disturbingly true comment !!!

  • GLTirebiter
    In other words, I bet if he just DAed and kept quiet, they wouldn't have disfellowshipped him.

    That's likely true, and I agree in that situation holding one's tongue would be prudent: his wife remained in the congregation, so she would be affected by the congregation's attitude toward him. Those letters to his friends worked against any hopes for peaceful coexistence. Never the less, the DF was vindictive, and (as Brown points out) went beyond policies in the Flock book which were in effect at that time.

    Surely it is quite unethical for the Encanto congregation to represent me as a member of that congregation and then subject my reputation and character to the stigma that goes with disfellowshiping, when it was a settled matter that I was no longer a witness. The way the Encanto congregation handled their disfellowshiping procedure is also reprehensible. I was never notified in advance of a committee meeting to disfellowship me. Neither was I invited to attend. I was not informed of their action until the middle of January, a month and a half afterwards.

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