F&DS does not exist?

by leaving_quietly 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • leaving_quietly


    It was mentioned in here that the attorney claimed that the F&DS does not exist and is only a theological arrangement. I apologize if this has been thoroughly discussed before, but I couldn't find anything concrete. Not to discredit Steven Unthank, but all we have is his word for this. I have not been able to find the actual court transcripts for the hearing where this was said. Has anyone else?


    During the court hearing on October 11, legal counsel for the Watchtower Society, Rachel van Witsen, from Vincent Toole Solicitors (the Watchtower Society’s in-house law firm located inside Bethel, Australia) made a statement on behalf of the Watchtower Society that:-

    “The faithful and discreet slave is not a legal entity.”

    Vincent Toole Solicitors then went on to present arguments that the “faithful and discreet slave” do not exist as a “person” nor do they exist as an “unincorporated body” and nor do they exist as a “body” of Christians.

    Obviously, if it was claimed that the F&DS does not exist, that would be a major issue. However, what was the context? What were the arguments presented? For example, was is said that the F&DS does not exist as a legal entity only? Or that it just plain does not exist period? Was it said that the F&DS was simply a "theological arrangement" and that no persons really existed that makes up what JWs have come to believe as the F&DS?

    Personally, I have a hard time believing the WTS' attorney would claim, with approval from WTS, that the F&DS does not exist, period, and that they are just some made up thing, just some "theological arrangement." So, I'm looking for clarification, and hopefully, the transcripts of what was exactly said . . . not just Steven Unthank's version of it. Again, no offense intended. Just like I'm looking at the sources of WT articles for context, I can only, in all fairness, do the same here.

  • AnnOMaly

    Yes, it is startling. However, WTS legal counsel (separate case) recently argued that JWs are a hierarchy just like the Catholic church, in contrast to what has been drummed into the r&f for years that it's a 'theocracy,' so it shouldn't be too surprising that WTS lawyers will say all sorts in court if it gives them a legal advantage. The trouble is, the FDS comment is reported only by Unthank - so far it hasn't been independently verified - there is no transcript of the hearing (anybody who knows otherwise, please say!).

  • Witness My Fury
    Witness My Fury

    You are quite right to seek confirmation from sources and not to just take one mans word for it. Quite a few invested a great deal of hope and support and belief into Mr Unthanks endeavours.

    He has been known and shown to "exagerate", "embellish", and make shit up on occaisions. This obviously doesnt negate all of the positives that came of his efforts, but it sure didnt help much.

    Some here have said they attended some of the proceedings, but whether they were there for the "FSD doesnt exist" line coming out of the WTS attorneys mouth is a totally different matter. Maybe they can vouch for that. Other than that then court transcripts will need to surface to confirm it.

    Stands back and awaits the flaming....

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Something I wrote that might help:


    which is included in


    I have not revisited the subject since then, so further examination could be needed.

    The Governing Body is not the FDS. The GB represents the FDS.

    The entity which has been presented in defence of the WTS is the religious Worldwide Order in which its members agree to a life of obedience and poverty. I read a court transcript in which the WTS defence counsel argued that this Order was the same any other religious order. Maybe a search of the www would help.

    And do not forget the "principle" of Theocratic War Strategy, and that they define "lying" as not telling the truth to someone who deserves to know the truth. In other words, honesty is defined in terms of the worth of the hearer.


  • designs

    Having the Watchtower attorney admit in Court that the Wizard of Oz is fictional is #1 on this year's list.

  • dgp

    On the other hand, Casper the friendly ghost is real.

  • AnnOMaly

    Another thought.

    How is the 'faithful and discreet slave' prosecutable?

    w11 8/15 p. 22 Questions From Readers

    Memorial partakers. This is the number of baptized individuals who partake of the emblems at the Memorial worldwide. Does this total represent the number of anointed ones on earth? Not necessarily. A number of factors-including past religious beliefs or even mental or emotional imbalance-might cause some to assume mistakenly that they have the heavenly calling. We thus have no way of knowing the exact number of anointed ones on earth; nor do we need to know. The Governing Body does not keep a list of all partakers, for it does not maintain a global network of anointed ones.

    This will be why the WTS lawyers would have said 'the faithful and discreet slave' does not exist ... as a legal entity that can be prosecuted under law. If the FDS was a person or body of people, s/he or they could be legally accountable and I guess that's why the lawyer pressed the point. For legal purposes, the FDS do not exist. Even as a religious concept it's very nebulous as the above Watchtower quote shows and as WT critics have already known for a long time, but it still would have been a shock for the JWs in the gallery to hear.

    Like the 'JWs are a hierarchy' argument. The reality is, they are. JWs are just fed the religious line ('not a hierarchy like false religion and worldly orgs, oh no, we're a theocracy'). But how does a court use secular law on a 'theocratic' religious construct? And so, legal terms have to be defined, clarified, nailed down, and this doesn't always conform to the religion's own lingo and mythological ideas about itself.

    Does any of that rambling make sense?

  • cedars

    leaving_quietly - as has been said, you're right to exercise caution and take everything at face value until proven. I suspect you picked up that link from one of my threads. I'm sorry I didn't have anything more concrete to offer. The "catholic" quotes are documented in the form of a court transcript, but no transcripts of the "theological arrangement" quotes have been made available to my knowledge. I may email Steven and ask if he can point me in the right direction to obtain a court transcript, because I actually think this statement (if true) was one of the most significant things to come out of the case in Victoria.

    Having said all that, the statements were made in a public court, and witnesses were said to have "gasped" when hearing them. I would imagine the Society wouldn't waste a moment in suing Steven for defamation if the account was fictitious, hence my readiness to accept it. However, I don't blame anyone for being a little more thorough in establishing facts.


  • cedars

    leaving_quietly - I have sent Steven an email requesting more info.

    If I manage to get hold of a transcript, I will post a copy on this thread.


  • leaving_quietly

    AnnOMaly - This was exactly my thought, and, frankly, the statement you referenced was when I started questioning things.

    Cedars - Thanks. It would be good to get the actual statements of record. If I showed this to my wife as it is right now, no way she'd believe it. If I have court documents, well, that's an entirely different story, depending on what they say. I suspect it's more of a legal angle as has been pointed out by others, but for the moment, it's all supposition.

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