I have an issue I would like raise. So far I have transcribed at least one full Judicial Committee Hearing and appeal. This one in Scotland (The trial of Matthew Barrie). I have studied at least two others, and one thing I’ve noticed is common to each of them is: the ever-present personal grudge.
Strongly attested in the testimony of the accused is that their cases were motivated by these grudges. As I tend to write evidence-based essays on this I would like to share the evidence presented below. This evidence strongly suggests why accused strongly JWs need to have representatives.
I'm guessing many will be familiar with Matt Barrie's judicial case. He and his wife (iknowall) had faded from the Society, she eventually disassociated. But following a Matthew 18 inspired confrontation with local elder Ron Hunter (Bishopbriggs Congregation), Matt found himself faced with a judicial committee meeting on the grounds of apostasy, where Brother Hunter was the key prosecution witness.
Matt happened to record the audio of all of the meetings between himself, and initially his wife, and the local elders. He also recorded the first judicial hearing, and the subsequent appeal hearing where he sat in front of Ian Shanks (Riddrie Congregation), Martin Benzie (Motherwell Bellshill Congregation) (who was chairman), and Philip Jones (Riddrie Congregation).
These recordings have been available online as downloads, and as a podcast (link opens iTunes, if installed). To date, the recordings have been downloaded 15,000 times. The audio has also been transcribed, allowing you to read how treacherous the whole disciplinary process against Matt was.
I've published 2 articles - submitted by the person who transcribed the audio recordings referred to above - on the ethics of Jehovah's Witnesses. This new series will examine the part that personal grudges play when a person is tried by a Judicial Committee.