Prelude to a disfellowshipping

by rory-ks 63 Replies latest jw friends

  • rory-ks

    I was 25 years a congregation member; ten years an elder; all told, up to 18 years an appointed man; a decade or so as a full-time minister; assembly speaker, with the pinnacle giving the public discourse at a district convention.

    I stopped being an active member of the congregation in November 2010, but it had been brewing for several years, with the customary gradual drifting away - all the necessary mental gymnastics as my spiritual views changed and doubts set in; quitting the Theocratic Ministry School; ceasing to answer; sitting quietly off to the side. I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was when “family worship” inevitably became “Family Worship”. I had already felt troubled by it, but I found myself swallowing back the tears when comments began to be made at the meetings about it being Jehovah’s provision. It seemed like a whole charade to change the meeting arrangement but slot in something called “family worship” - essentially a meeting at home which you were made to feel equally guilty for neglecting. Enough was enough.

    I had one or two meetings with concerned elders, but pretty soon these tailed off, and for a year or more I had been left to my own devices. I was not interested in causing trouble. I was not embittered. It was simply that my spiritual outlook had changed. I was always sure not to say that I no longer was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I worded it carefully - I simply said I was finding it increasingly difficult to defend the Faithful and Discreet Slave.

    In June or July of 2011 I experienced something of a spiritual epiphany and I decided to write about my spiritual outlook. I opened a blog - - but kept it private. August/September time, after about a dozen or so articles, I decided to throw caution to the wind and go public. If by some bizarre coincidence it was discovered, so be it. Even so, I was somewhat startled when it was discovered not four weeks later. I wasn’t even told directly. A friend I work with is an active Witness. He received a phone call from a local elder. Was he aware of my website? He wasn’t - I had been sure not to tell him about it. Apparently the Coordinator had spent half-an-hour on the telephone with the Circuit Overseer discussing what to do about it.

    I braced myself, but the tension was unnecessary. I heard nothing, and again it was only my friend who informed me that he doubted the elders would do anything. He had been speaking to a local elder at a recent assembly and they had decided to “maintain the status quo.”

    Several months went by. It was curious the way things went. I took the extra step of sharing one or two articles on facebook, but these seemed to go by largely unnoticed. Then I wrote an article I felt particularly comfortable with. A week or so later I received a phone call from a local elder - could I meet with a couple of the elders to have a chat because, “We know about your website.”

    The next evening - Monday, February 13, 2012 - I met with them and basically had the conversation I thought we were going to have several months ago. They referenced articles from back then, but when I inquired about what had changed regarding the circumstances, they declared that they had only just found out about the website. Because the website does not attack Jehovah’s Witnesses, their questions could only really address fundamental questions about Christianity, and my view of the bible. There was one reference to a comment made about Jehovah’s Witnesses being simply another religion.

    Once or twice they asked if I considered myself a Witness any more. I answered that I did not want to bear witness against myself. The brothers would have to make their decision based on the information they had. I told them I did not relish the upheaval of being put outside the congregation, but it had to be their decision. I recognised it put them in something of an awkward position, but...

    One of them speculated that it could be decided that they would make a simple brief announcement to the congregation that I was “no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” and the congregation would decide what to do. I thought this was somewhat disingenuous, as the congregation would know fine well what to do if such an announcement was made, as that is the only announcement that is made these days when someone is put outside the congregation. Still, they said they would report our discussion to the rest of the body of elders.

    I haven’t heard anything since. One of the elders said that this was all new to them - what to do about a member of the congregation blogging their radically altered spiritual viewpoint, without categorically attacking the religion itself - so I can only imagine that they have decided to ask the branch office how to proceed

  • TOTH

    WELCOME to the board...

    I'm glad you are able to voice yourself. I am sure they will "MARK" you at the very least. Please let us know how things progress.

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    Welcome! I look forward to reading your blog this weekend.

    Fascinating story. You have them terrified because they're afraid of the light of day... and you're not. "Confidentiality" is really to protect the elders from the embarassment of everyone discovering their unjust methods. All of this stuff is only supposed to take place in a windowless back room where THEY ask the questions and YOU are supposed to keep your mouth shut. Clearly, you're not keeping your mouth shut.

    They realize that if they kick you out, they will be adding fuel to the fire. They're using the threat of disfellowshipping to try to control you, put some fear in you. But if they actually disfellowship you, you won't have anything more to fear from them. They can only disfellowship you once. You will then be free to openly blog all the WT absurdities and they can't stop anyone from reading it... and likely all of them will be reading through your blog as well. You clearly have their curiosity and they'll have a hard time ignoring whatever you write.

    And if push comes to shove, just inform them that you've decided to disfellowship them for conduct unbecoming Christians.

  • Lozhasleft

    I had already felt troubled by it, but I found myself swallowing back the tears when comments began to be made at the meetings about it being Jehovah’s provision. It seemed like a whole charade to change the meeting arrangement but slot in something called “family worship” - essentially a meeting at home which you were made to feel equally guilty for neglecting

    Hello and welcome rory-ks -When I read the above my heart went out to you. I can identify. So many right hearted people so distressed by watching the F&DS turning love for god into guilt tripped legalist rules. It's their misrespresentation of almighty god that breaks my heart too. But they appear not to care what they're doing and are intent on focusing on the survival of a lucrative publishing company. Love is being left out of the equation more and more, and they don't appear to have any scruples about that. Fear of being disfellowshipped and alienated from family and friends of decades is being used to control. I dread to think what god thinks, he who 'loves a cheerful giver'.

    I am sure you will find this forum beneficial in your journey. There are a mixed bag of folks here, some are embittered by the hurt they've gone through, and allowances are made because it's understood, but by and large the folks here are kind, caring and supportive. The WTBS has managed to turn so many towards atheism. I am not surprised, but it hasn't happened to all. We almost all share the experience of being a JW, most are licking their wounds, and thankful to have escaped. Many have lost far too much.

    I wish you well in your journey and look forward to your future posts.

    Loz x

  • cantleave

    Cults shoot their wounded!!

    Welcome to the group, yours is a familair story, certainly not too disimiliar to mine. The so and so is no longer a JW tells the congregation, your family and lifelong friends to shun you.

  • nugget

    Welcome to the board. Anything published on the web is public and as a result will be used against you. Even if you do not criticise the society directly they will see any refusal to answer their questions as evidence that you have fallen away.

    The control is growing and there are greater efforts to track down internet faders and cleanse the congregations of opposing views. They know that if they announce that you are no longer a witness you will be shunned there is no choice and members are not free to make up their own minds.

    I wish you well and look forward to reading your blog.

  • Sulla

    cantleave, I was just thinking that, about the shooting of the wounded.

  • Tater-T

    welcome rory-ks looking forward to future posts~~

  • Amelia Ashton
    Amelia Ashton

    Welcome rory-ks

    This is a brilliant place to discover WT BS, flip-flopping doctrines and make new friends. Friends who won't shun you because your belief in a god, deity or nature differs to theirs.

  • truth_b_known

    rory-ks, welcome!

    I have found that this website is the root cause for helping cut all ties to the evil empire. Although I was inactive for 5 years and saw serious issues within the organization, it was not until I read some great posts from those who post here that I knew in my heart that Jehovah's Witnesses as a religion is a snare and a racket.

    You will find many members who were elders and bethelites that have contributed eye opening stories as well as people like yourself who retell storied of their bravery when confronted because of their beliefs.

  • 00DAD

    welcome, rory-ks!

    Sadly it seems that you're about to experience the true face to the WTBTS. But it appears you know what's coming.

    May you find comfort and solace here among many that have undergone similar circumstances.


  • Londo111


    Welcome. I like the title of your blog. No matter what happens, we will be here for you.

  • iamwhoiam

    The Mormons have a better idea. They have "Family Game" Night

  • Think About It
    Think About It

    Welcome to the board. Nice first post. You probably will have some interesting things to say.

    Think About It

  • PrincessCynic

    Rory, you have a PM

  • ABibleStudent

    Welcome rory-ks to JWN. Are you an American citizen? Did you disagreed with any WTBTS's religious doctrines in your blog? If you are an American, didn't disagree with doctrines, and the WTBTS disfellowships you, you should write a letter to the Treasury Department, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and Americans United (AU) asking them to challenge that the WTBTS is entitled to receive tax exemptions under Title 26 §501(c)(3), because they infringed on your rights to freedom of religion and speech by disfellowshipping you and there by promoting other JWs to shun you (i.e., read an article in the July 16, 2011 Watchtower, Study Edition) . Writing to the aforementioned organizations may not help, and it will not hurt your situation.

    In the 1970's and 1980's the IRS revoked the Title 26 §501(c)(3) tax exempt status of Bob Jones University and Goldsboro Christian Schools, Inc. because both organizations prohibited students from having interracial relationships while attending their religious schools. The Supreme Court sided with the IRS in BOB JONES UNIVERSITY, GOLDSBORO CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS, INC. v. UNITED STATES. 461 U.S. 574 (1983). In the past the Supreme Court has narrowly construed tax exemption and taxation of religious organizations in its decisions.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


  • Wishididntknow

    welcome to the board.

  • RayPublisher

    Great blog Rory. Thanks for sharing! Several interesting articles I've already read- very philosophical I like it.

    Especially learning about " Litost"!

    ...Please Sir...may I have some more????

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    Great first post and welcome to JWN.

    I've really enjoyed some of your blog posts. Your perspectives on "Christianity" are practical and refreshing.

    All the best to you.


  • Quandry

    Welcome to the forum. Do you have family that accepts your new views or will they shun you?

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