Policing the Flock: Does it vary from country to country?

by Londo111 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Londo111

    So many stories I’ve read on JWN shows that the policing the flock is alive and well. Elders come after faders, especially if they are suspected of the dreaded A-word, the JW scarlet letter, A for Apostasy. If elders are gunning for a person, they will do whatever it takes.

    My grandfather said that in the old days as an elder, they would follow people. He followed the Theocratic Ministry School conductor into a gay bar and found him holding hands with another man. He followed another person who was suspected of having an affair with his secretary, but they were never able to prove anything. Eventually, the Society instructed the elders, “Do not police the flock.” I’m not sure when this policy change was. However, I’d lay odds that it came about as a response to a lawsuit.

    In my locality, people can fall of the grid, as it were. The elders don’t seem too motivated in coming after anyone, though I’m sure there are gung-ho elders who might. I might be proven wrong eventually if and when my time comes.

    However, this is not a universal experience. I do wonder, could it differ in other countries? Maybe it differs from Branch to Branch? Zone to zone? Or maybe even District to District depending on the mood of the traveling overseer?

  • Oubliette

    So your grandfather told you he " followed the Theocratic Ministry School conductor into a gay bar and found him holding hands with another man "?

    Hmm, strange. Even if it's true, it's just wrong.

    There is no Biblical basis for the elder to act like cops. That's what the Pharisees and the Saducees did.

    On the other hand, I once knew an elder that "claimed" he went into a strip-club because he "had been told" that a sister was working there. I never believed him for a minute.

    I suspect he made up that story because another publisher saw him there.

  • Londo111

    It was most definitely wrong. But stakeouts used to occur frequently.

  • sosoconfused

    We had a brother in our hall that the brothers "Staked out". He was married to one of the pioneers family and the marriage ended in divorce. Someone said that she saw the two enter the same residence together and he spent the night there. Which was true. The sister that he was married to committed adultery, and so she left to move in with the other guy. The hubby stayed there until he could get on his feet. We were not privy to this info until we spoke to the pioneer sister.

    Ultimately he had to find somewhere to go immediately so as not to "cause an uproar" in the congregation. Stupid

  • Oubliette

    I'm sure they still do. Some of the elders clearly get their rocks off playing cops and robbers.

    In a sick and twisted way it's understandable to a certain degree; I mean: what else have they got going on in their empty, pathetic little lives to make them feel important? Zero!

  • cedars

    Country to country, congregation to congregation, elder to elder.


  • laverite

    How in the world did/do these guys ever have time for that kind of policing? What about their children? Their wives? What about their jobs? The idea of an elder following another into a gay bar to catch him holding hands with a guy is just so disturbing. I feel so bad for the one who was followed. It's so wrong. BUT it sounds like it was only ONE witness in that case. Not two!! I seriously hope the victim denied everything, while winking and making blow job signals to the private investigator/elder when everyone else's backs were turned.

  • Londo111

    Back then, they might have had two elders do the following to ensure two witnesses.

    In the early 2000's, a former study who never got baptized talked my grandfather into going with him to follow the former study's baptized wife--and cult indoctrination kicked in. It wasn't official congergation action by any means. I don't think they found anything.

    A las, the cult identity really makes people do some horrendous things. My grandfather is not naturally this type of person. He’d give you the shirt off his back…that is his authentic identity. While the modern JW will do little to nothing to help another person out, unless they can count their time, my grandfather did much to help people out when he could.

    The cult dynamic is very complex.

  • BluesBrother

    Country to country, congregation to congregation, elder to elder.

    Cedars is right. The instructions are there to "protect the flock" but it is up to them how they chose to do it..As I see it, if say a sister said she suspected her husband of staying the night with another woman instead of where he said he was, and they were also suspicious they would probably check at dawn to see if he comes out - but they would need a good cause to suspect.

    As for Apostasy, they have left me alone. I have told at lleast 4 of them in 4 congregations of my reasons for not participationg. They have not wanted to rock the boat and call me apostate. If I started a campaign and went for everyone of the cong, no doubt they would do something

  • Oubliette

    Londo: The cult dynamic is very complex.

    That is so true.

    It's good that you see the difference between the CULT and the AUTHENTIC personality in people.

    The sad thing is that generally speaking the CULT PERSONALITY wins in any conflict between the two.

    It's like the fable of the Scorpion and the Frog, you can totally trust an individual in a cult to do whatever the cult requires anytime push comes to shove!

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