They want it both ways

by jeremiah18:5-10 23 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • DavePerez

    If they state a specific reason (eg theft) when the person hasn't been found guilty in a criminal court of law, they face liability for slander (and are less able to defend against such a suit, as the best defense against slander is truth, and a criminal conviction for the act serves as proof). Elders are not criminal investigators and face liability for stating someone committed a crime (or act, eg adultery) when it hasn't been proven in a court of law.

    It's similar to the principle from employment law: if the employment terms were "at-will" and the employer needs to fire the employee, it's smarter if the employer doesn't give a specific reason for terminating them, just to avoid a wrongful discharge suit. After all, that's the WHOLE POINT of the at-will arrangement: either side can terminate the relationship at their will, but any reason offered can only potentially be used against them to support a claim.

    But practically speaking, for most R&F members, the difference between DF vs DA is pedantic, creating a distinction without a difference: the end effects are the same.

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    which again proves this is not a religion, when they deal with ex members like ex employees

  • DavePerez

    Well, i t's a principle straight out of civil law, and all other religions have to follow the same rules when announcing ex-communications, or be sued in court for defamation.

    Show me a religion which DOESN'T do the same, and you'll have found a religion which just likes losing court cases and being slapped with jusgments and/or paying out settlements to ex-members. In fact, it's common practice amongst religions to lower their liability exposure in such ways, so it's a behavior that actually supports that JWs ARE an organized religion (which is a moot question, anyway: no one in the US doubts JWs are a religion, and hence they're entitled to enjoy freedom of worship, just as all other equally-misguided citizens are free to do the same, be it Scientology, Islam, etc).

  • goatshapeddemon

    I dislike that they've combined the statements. For those of us who want to make a point of leaving on our own terms and maybe make people think "why would they disassociate?" this creates a complication. JWs always assume the worst: two married JWs, no longer JWs? They probably engaged in swinging or they did the deed before they got hitched. Because no one would ever, ever just leave "their mother"(ship).

  • Bobcat


    I can see your point from a purely legal standpoint. I think many are dismayed that the Society calls for the R&F to 'suck it up' and endure all the consequenses of their DF policy out of loyalty to Jehovah. But the WT applies no such standard to themselves. They do whatever they want to avoid any 'pain' that DFing might bring to themselves. (Matt 23:4) Thus, they want the R&F to 'understand "DFed" without the Society actually saying "DFed." In fact, the hypocrisy is worse than that. They use the "independant agent" elders as their stooges, whilst making sure that all the paperwork is free of any reference to themselves. They perfectly typify what Jesus said at Matthew 23:25-28.

    In fact, they've always been this way in many things, not just DFing.

    Take Care and thanks for your view.

  • cobaltcupcake

    Back in the '70s they used to say that someone was disfellowshipped for "conduct unbecoming a Christian." They've really watered it down.

  • GLTirebiter

    It's CYA double-talk, courtesy of the ultimate Governing Body: the WT legal department.

  • happy@last
    [email protected]

    The change was made in the revised OM book, and the CO pointed it out on his visit/checkup with the elders several years ago. Don't remember exactly when, and I don't recall anyone asking why the change.

  • ziddina
    "...Show me a religion which DOESN'T do the same, and you'll have found a religion which just likes losing court cases and being slapped with jusgments and/or paying out settlements to ex-members. ..." Dave Perez, post #68

    Problem is, Dave, MOST religions nowadays do NOT cut off members arbitrarily just because they decide that that particular church - or religion - is not for them...

    Such behavior smacks of the extreme religious partisanship that existed in Ireland in the last two - three centuries, for example.

    What modern religion that wants to exist in harmony with the modern world, would act like an 18th-century despotic theocracy?

  • DavePerez

    Nope, Ziddina: look it up, as it's well-known that most religions DO ex-communicate members as a means of punishment (behavior modification), and it's even been ruled constitutional: the SCOTUS has ruled that the practice is allowed under freedom of association. However, they cannot break OTHER laws (eg defamation laws) and claim it is protected activity under the free association right: freedom to associate doesn't require you to defame those with whom you choose not to associate. And hence the current policy.

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