Holy Spirit in Judicial Committees

by Mr. Falcon 28 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Mr. Falcon
    Mr. Falcon

    One of the most controversial practices of Jehovah's Witnesses is the operation of Judicial Committees. These specially-assigned inquisitory boards are manned by at least 3 elders and interrogate, investigate and finally prosecute a person believed to be guilty of any number of offenses. These offenses can be anything from heavy drinking, masturbation, swearing to infidelity, apostacy even issues of bloodguilt. The official WTBS company line is that this practice is necessary to keep the congregation clean and "lovingly" help the "spiritually-sick" individual (defendant).

    "Sister Greatass, we want to help you spiritually. By the way.....on the night

    in question, what kind of panties were you wearing?'

    Being raised and sheltered inside the Watchtower Cave, certian beliefs were instilled in me. Since being mentally-free of the cult's teachings (hopefully physically, one day...) I have found it rather interesting to reflect back on what I felt before "waking up" and trying to determine why I felt such a way.

    It wasn't until I got appointed and got a glimpse of what goes on behind that scenes that I got my first sight of the horror that has always been viewed by most JWs as "justice". Elders began to confide in me regarding certain "judicial" matters, thinking they were training me as a MS soon to be elder. The things that I was told were horrifying and many of their verdicts, even scarier. I won't go on and on with the details, since so many here have experience first-hand what this painful process can do to you. And it's not exactly the point of this thread to talk about every single facet of every questionable JC verdict.

    What I did want to speak about is how I viewed such things in my ignorance. I was under the belief, as I get the impression that many rank & file JWs are too, that the elders would deal with a person is this type of setting, hear all the evidence, testimony and circumstances, and then would turn to Jehovah for an answer. This belief was reminiscent of how Moses would deal with issues involving the Isrealites. Something would happen, Moses would ask Jehovah, and God would miracously produce some "sign" as to what to do. Or God would just come out and say what he wanted. Either way, according to the Bible stories, Moses would have a definite answer from the Almighty. Case closed. And I, and perhaps others, believed that this sure-shot way of requesting God's decision on a matter was still in practice today, especially in the case of judicial matters.

    I seemed to believe that after hearing the matter, they would pray to Jehovah, and he would suddenly make the answer appear to them, even if in their heads. Sort of like how the WTBS speaks of those who are supposidly "annointed". If you are one of these 144,000 then you will just know that you are. Hey, good enough for me! Not like I was allowed to think too deeply or question anything, anyhow.

    "God just spoke to me and told me that he's guilty."

    "God spoke to you? That's proof enough for me!"

    But as I mentioned before, all that changed when I got to see the real truth about "The Truth". Individual bias, vendettas, complete abandonment of referring to the Bible in some instances, and personal judgement instead of "seeking God's thoughts" replaced any supposed "holy spirit". In fact, between all the intimate questioning regarding underwear styles, sexual positions, revenge-inspired verdicts and elders getting erections from hearing "juicy" testimony, I hardly think there is any room for the one known as God.

    So, has anyone else had these feelings at one time? The belief that Holy Spirit was this infalliable, magical power that always ensured that justice was carried out?

  • sabastious

    One thing that gets my blood boiling about JC's is that they are considered spirit-directed even though they admit they can have wrong verdicts. When a JC commits an error there is no justice and the congregation is told that "Jehovah eventually takes care of everything." Do these wrong verdicts go into some sort of queue for God? GRRRR.


  • alanv

    It does not matter how hard the elders pray or how often, the fact remains that they can get it wrong and have done on many occasions.

  • Mr. Falcon
    Mr. Falcon

    Exactly, Sab. And if they admit to making wrong verdicts, then why is there no accountability for the hurt they've caused, even if they may have actually been well-meaning?

  • punkofnice

    As a 'born in' victim of the cult I used to think that Holy Spirit prevailed and any injustice would be dealt with by Jar Hoover in the end. The old 'wait on Jar Hoover' schtick.

    That was when I was rank and file.

    On becoming an elder I was shocked!

    I couldn't believe that we'd pass judgement that came from the 'Holy Spirit' on a 'wrong doer' then give 7 days for appeal. It made no sense. The fact that some of the elders that made the star chamber desicions were as thick as pig turds started to grate on me.

    Too many red flags. They were more worried about obeying the rules in aletter from the GB or the 'skin the flock alive' book, their own reputations and 'reproach on the WTB$'s cash flow for the GB/filthful and dsgraceful silyva cl-a$$ Jar hoover than the justice for the victim. It was my journey out!

    I never heard, felt or saw any holy spirit in action. Just the cold evil machinery of a corporation that only cares for power and cash.

    I now know it's just a big business that's run like a business trying to avoid law suits. The more people we warn is the better for them and will hopefully sound the death knell for the WTB$/GB.

    IMHO the GB should go to the chair for crimes against humanity.

    No one got DF'd on my watch!!

  • punkofnice

    Just to add.....nepotism wins the day.

    I've seen a convicted fellon, elder's son, let off and still carrying the mics in the indoctrination sessions. His family made up 99% of the body! I kid you not!!

  • unstopableravens
  • Mr. Falcon
    Mr. Falcon
    No one got DF'd on my watch!!

    Glad to hear that!

    punk makes an interesting observation concerning how the WTBS seems to be run like a corporation that is worried about being sued. That was my thoughts exactly. The whole BS about the blood parts, Hustler bad vs. Playboy okay pornography debate, oral sex okay/not okay during marriage debate, 7 day appeals........ all just legal mumbo jumbo to help cut lawsuits down. Well if God is so powerful and always victorious, why does he need legal counsel? Ahhh, the ol' What Does God Need With a Starship question.....

  • punkofnice

    The whole DF/excommunication thing is just a business 'fix' to skin the flock.

    The cult was against it originally as per this Asleep article. I was intrigued by how closely the 'excommunication' follows the same result as DFing.

    Awake! magazine of January 8th 1947, disfellowshipping has pagan origins:

    Where, then, did this practice originate? The Encyclopaedia Britannica says that papal excommunication is not without pagan influence, and its variations cannot be adequately explained unless account be taken of several non-Christian analogues of excommunication." The superstitious Greeks believed that when an excommunicated person died the Devil entered the body, and therefore, "in order to prevent it, the relatives of the deceased cut his body in pieces and boil them in wine." Even the Druids had a method of expelling those who lost faith in their religious superstitions. It was therefore after Catholicism adopted its pagan practices, A.D. 325, that this new chapter in religious excommunication was written.

    I have never personally experienced anything that made me feel any holy spirit was at work in JC. Just favouritism or obeying the skin the flock book or a letter from GB HQ.

  • Quendi

    Thanks, punkofnice, for quoting the Awake! article. I suppose the initial reaction to using star chamber proceedings to disfellowship people it expresses was due to how J.F. Rutherford used disfellowshipping to purge people who stood up to and criticized his way of running the organization. It is strange how his successor N.H. Knorr felt about this, but then he later not only embraced it wholeheartedly, but went further with it than Rutherford had.

    I remember hearing a talk in our congregation in which the elder said that the job of any judicial committee was to discern what decision Jehovah had already made in the matter. In other words, the wrongdoer/sinner was already disfellowshipped or not before meeting with the committee. The hearing was simply to lay the evidence before Jehovah and then get his decision. So the congregation should have the utmost confidence that whatever was decided was in full accord with the divine will. I certainly believed this until I had my own judicial committee hearing.

    I was told that the elders did not want to disfellowship me, but felt they had no choice. I thought that was strange. Why hand down a decision that you did not want to execute? When I asked for reinstatement, matters got even stranger. After arguing among themselves (their voices were so loud that I could hear them through the walls!), the elders would tell me that they couldn't decide and needed more time to discuss my case. I thought it strange that this spirit-directed group could not get the divine aid needed to render a decision. The handling of my case played a major role in my eventual decision never to return to the organization for it clearly demonstrated that the claim it is "spirit-directed" was a damned lie.


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