I have been reading through this Flook Book thing and I have come across something distrubing. Check out the choice of words the Flock Book uses when talking about an Elder that was appointed and confesses to other elders that he did something that was deserving of a judicial committee and didn't tell anyone (bolding mine):
Flock Book pg 39:
Procedure for Reviewing the Qualifications of
Appointed Brothers Who Experience Difficulties
22. Do not be quick to recommend deletion unless
there is a solid basis for doing so. It may be possible
to assist the brother so that he can correct the reasons
for disqualification and continue to serve. Has
the brother served faithfully for many years? What
has he done or failed to do that raises questions? How
did he react to counsel? Has he had such difficulties
in the past, and how did he then respond to efforts to
help? Was his wrongdoing really so serious that it requires
restricting his privileges? Possibly hejust made
a mistake, using poor judgment on an occasion. The
congregation in general may still have respect for
him and confidence in him as an elder or a ministerial
servant. Perhaps thematter is not widely known, if
at all. If he realizes his action was unwise, has learned
from his mistake, has a good attitude, and wants to
improve, it may be that he can continue to serve.
Notice the outs that are given? They are like cherries for the picking and oh so sweet. Talk about licence to sweep something under the carpet!
Now lets check out the language of how they are to treat Rank and File "wrongdoers" (bolding mine):
Flock Book pg 91+:
Determining Genuine Repentance
6. In Greek, two verbs are used in connection with
repentance. The first stresses a changed viewpoint or
disposition. The second emphasizes a feeling of regret.
Therefore, repentance involves a deep regret
over a damaged relationship with Jehovah, remorse
over the reproach brought upon Jehovah's name and
people, and a sincere longing to come back into
God's favor. It includes a heart-motivated rejection of
the bad course as something repugnant, hated. (Rom.
12:9) Such an attitude should be demonstrated by
"fruits that befit repentance," making evident to an
adequate degree a sinner's claimed repentance.-Luke
3:8; it-2 pp. 770-777.
7. Judging repentance is not simply a matter of determining
whether the wrongdoer is weak or wicked.
Weakness is not synonymous with repentance.
(w95 1/1, pp. 27-29) Neither should the judicial committee's
decision be determined by the notoriety of
the wrong. The judidal committee should look for
clear works of repentance commensurate with his
wrongdoing. (2 Cor. 7:10, 11) In order to extend
mercy, the committee must be convinced that the
wrongdoer has a changed heart condition and that
he has a zeal to right the wrong and is absolutely determined
to avoid it in the future. Even if this is the
individual's first time before a judicial committee, it
is necessary to determine whether his actions and attitude
indicate that he has repented and can thus remain
in the congregation.
8. The extent to which the person deviates from
righteousness may be major or minor, and logically
the degree of regret (repentance) ought
to be commensurate with the degree of deviation.
Was the individual caught off guard so that he
Chapter 7 91
momentarily succumbed to temptation, or did he
plan to do wrong? Was he unaware of the gravity of
his sin, or did he deliberately ignore counselor warnings?
Was it a single offense, or was it a practice? The
more an individual repeats serious sin, the more that
one reasonably gives evidence of being like wicked
people who are "practicers of what is hurtful." - Ps.
28:3; it-2 p. 771 par. 5.
9. While there is no such thing as automatic disfellowshipping,
an individual may have gone so
far into sin that he may not be able to demonstrate
sufficient repentance to the judicial committee
at the time of the hearing. If so, he must be
disfellowshipped, allowing time to pass for him to
prove his repentance. Or it may be that the individual
has been dealt with judicially a number of times in
the past. Because he appeared repentant, he was reproved
each time. Now he has sinned again. In such
cases his life course may indicate a lack of repentance.
-w81 9/1 p. 26 par. 23.
10. Below are some indications of repentance.
However, none of these is the sole criterion for determining
whether the sinner is repentant or not.
• Was his confession voluntary, or did he have to
be accused by others? Some offenders are so
deeply ashamed or have such difficulty expressing
themselves that they are reluctant to speak.
• Is the individual truthful? (Acts 5:1-10) When
questioned, are his answers forthright? Is he cooperative
with the judicial committee? The judicial
committee should be especially cautious if
the individual has shown himself to be guilty of
hypocrisy, lying, or deliberate efforts to deceive.
• Has he contritely prayed to Jehovah and sought
his forgiveness and mercy? Keep in mind that
some wrongdoers, though repentant, find it difficult
to pray.-Jas. 5:14.
92 "Shepherd the F1ockofGod"-l Peter 5:2
• Has he made restitution, expressed willingness
to do so, or apologized to offended ones, those
damaged by his sinful course? Has he sought
forgiveness of those wronged?-w92 9/15 p. 10;
w81 9/1 pp. 25-26; w73 p. 35l.
• In cases of adultery, has he confessed to the innocent
mate and asked for forgiveness? - w73
pp. 351-352; w68 pp. 319-320.
Note: The option to forgive adultery rests with
the innocent mate. The guilty mate cannot be
viewed as repentant if, after committing adultery,
he refuses to inform her and allow her the
opportunity to forgive. If the wrongdoer is unwilling
to confess and ask for forgiveness because
of fear of violence hy the innocent mate,
contact the branch office before proceeding.
• Does he manifest a spirit of agony and regret
over having damaged his relationship with Jehovah?-
Ps. 32:3-5; 51:1-4.
• Does he demonstrate godly sadness or worldly
sadness? (2 Cor. 7:8-11) Is his sadness primarily
because of hurting Jehovah and bringing
Him into reproach or because of the disappointment
he has caused to family and friends and
the shame he has experienced? (Ez.ra 10:1; Luke
22:59-62) Individuals vary in their emotional
makeup and control. Tears do not necessarily indicate
sincere repentance; neither does a lack
of strong emotion show a lack of repentance.
-Gen. 25:29-34; 27:34.
• Does he accept responsibility for his error, or
does he minimize or justify his bad course?
-1 Sam. 15:24; 2 Sam. 12:13.
• Does he recognize the fact that lesser sins led up
to the wrongdoing, and is he determined to
Chapler 7 93
11. Each case is different. The judicial committee
should consider all the unique factors involved, including
any extenuating circumstances. For example,
the wrongdoer may have been a victim of
some type of abuse in the past. Extenuating circumstances
do not excuse the wrongdoing. (g93 10/8
p. 4) However, discerning them will help the judicial
committee to understand better the wrongdoer and
his response to the judicial committee. Nevertheless,
there would be no basis to extend mercy if
fruits of repentance are lacking.
12. The same is true regarding wrongdoers who
suffer from mental or emotional problems. (See
6: 16) The congregation cannot overlook his wrongdoing
if he is able to discharge normal responsibilities
toward himself and the community in a reasonably
acceptable manner and others generally view
him as one who could be held accountable for what
he does and says. However, the judicial committee
should show consideration and patience in their
dealings with him and be especially aware of the
need for discernment in evaluating his repentance.
On the other hand, if the judicial committee discerns
that his mental condition is so severe that others generally
regard him as not being responsible for what
he does, they may recommend to the body of elders
that no judicial action be taken, explaining the reasons
for their recommendation.