More on my Mom and the elders

by Mulan 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • Mulan

    Mom and I have both talked to the elders at her KH, to tell them what the guy at Patterson told us........that there is no problem with her living here, and that people should be visiting her. Mom misunderstood, and thought she was supposed to call ALL the elders. I am sure the fellow meant to tell an elder, so he could tell the others. He did tell both of us to do it, though.

    Yesterday, she called another elder to tell him........and he took exception to her call, saying that she didn't follow the proper procedure, and "why did you call New York?" She was so hurt by his attitude, that she didn't tell him that I was the one who called New York..........and she just told him she couldn't talk anymore, and hung up.

    She was quite upset tonight.......won't tell me which elder. I tried to make her feel better about it, but she IS 90. She is very hurt by all of this, and thought more of all of them, than they deserved.

    Marilyn (aka Mulan)
    "No one can take advantage of you, without your permission." Ann Landers

  • Lost Diamond
    Lost Diamond


    I am so sorry your mother has to go through this. My mom lives alone and very fragile, and I feel like I have to protect her when the elders have started to intimidate and harass her too. I understand your frustration and concern for your dear mother. Hang in there!

  • Mulan

    The thing that got me is that instead of talking to her about this situation, he hits her with a "violation of protocol".

    Marilyn (aka Mulan)
    "No one can take advantage of you, without your permission." Ann Landers

  • Princess

    He very cleverly took all the responsibility from himself and placed it upon a 90 year old woman who was recently widowed. What a kind shepherd of the flock he is.

    Rat him out to the PO. Even if she won't tell who it is I'd call him and let him know one of the elders said that. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out who it is though. I would count out all who are older than dirt. That leaves two. MacDougall or that other tall guy who had just moved in when Steve and I were leaving. Can't remember his name. My guess is it was Tom though. He is a snake, remember how he handled Sharon's disfellowshipping.


  • Mulan

    I thought it might be him too, but Mom said it wasn't either of those guys. There are two new ones from when we were there. It was one of them. I hate to call PM again. He'll get tired of it all.

    Marilyn (aka Mulan)
    "No one can take advantage of you, without your permission." Ann Landers

  • larc


    My heart goes out to you. You have done everything you can to make your mother's life a peaceful one. You showed a lot of fortitude and strength by taking the initiative to make things right for your mother. I am so sad that some elder would upset your mother the way he did. Your mother, at the age of 90, does not need this kind of stress in her life. She should be given the same kind of love from her friends that you have given her. This whole experience makes me ashamed of the organization I was once a part of.

    Mulan, I am so proud of your initiative and how you handled yourself on the phone with the pleasant, but dedicated witness. I don't think I could have responded with the presence of mind that you did.

    You have fought the good fight.

  • patio34

    Mulan, I second what Larc said. You are doing the right thing and certain *$&% aren't. They are Pharisees and clergy. Worse than the ones they condemn.

    But, anyway, you can know you are being noble, responsible, loving and correct. All the best, Pat

    All intelligent people are confrontational.--HBO's Winston Churchill

  • Pathofthorns

    Elders often hate it if you go over their head, even with legitimate reasons. They need to be kept in line, because they often take liberties when they are not. Many seem to think they are at the top of the ladder in this organization, when in reality there are those with much more authority over them than that which the elders exercise over the publishers.

    Unfortunately for your mother, I doubt that even with the Society saying it is not right for people not to visit your mother, the reality is usually that only a few will visit only occasionally.

    Likely this will be an elder or two cutting service on the weekend or one or two publishers with a genuine heart.

    This is because no matter what the Society says in this regard, the reality is they have created an uncomfortable and awkward situation due to their demonizing apostates and their disfellowshipping doctrine. The Society also cannot force people (with the exception of elders) to visit your mother, so much is dependant on the ethics of the local publishers.

    I think this is a sad situation which is unlikely to have the ending you are hoping for. Perhaps your mother will wake up to the reality of what JWs are all about. Then again, she is elderly and it might not be good to come to that realization at this point in her life.


  • Had Enough
    Had Enough

    Mulan, I have been following this horrible episode and I feel so terrible for what your mother is having to go through at the hands of so-called loving people. The callous and cold reaction of that elder and the gossipping busy-bodies is all too familiar for many of us.

    Too often, this behaviour will be excused by that all-too-familiar phrase, "We are all imperfect humans so bad behaviour is bound to happen". But with all the frequent meetings and constant reminders the JWs have that should keep them on the right path, this kind of treatment is inexcusable.

    While it is true that there are individuals in the congregations that do have a "real" heart and genuinely follow Jesus example of love, they, in all reality, are few and far between.

    The sad fact is that even if your mother was in another environment, she would probably not be visited much anyway. I have observed this personally time and time again when older ones who have been "pillars of the congregation" are left to sit in there homes or nursing homes, day in and day out, with only an occasional visitor, if even one.

    My mother is another example of someone who reached her 90's and spent her days pining away for someone to just even pop in to say "hello".

    Path said:

    The Society also cannot force people (with the exception of elders) to visit your mother, so much is dependant on the ethics of the local publishers.
    Yes I agree...yet even though the elders are required by the WTS to take the lead and set an example of visiting the elderly and infirm etc... bottom line?....they just don't do it!!! And what is done, is just token and temporary. Again I speak from experience.

    And yet when my mother died just a few months ago, her service and loyalty to the org. was praised to the roof. I wanted to jump up and scream: "if you think so highly of her, why didn't you show your "love", why didn't you spend some time with her, why didn't you even just pop in for even 10 minutes and share a story or a laugh. That joy would have lasted her for days on end.

    Part of the problem stems from the pressure for the "amount of time" one is expected to report for service. So to take out even a 1/2 hour from counting time, is begrudged. How much better would it be to not have to be so "time-conscious" so that the publishers could feel free to spend their time visiting the sick, the elderly, the widows, the down-hearted, like Jesus did, without having to worry about not getting in their precious "10 hours".

    On top of that, your family is not even da'd or df'd Mulan. How can they justify their treatment of her because of your inactivity? Absolutely mind-boggling!!!!

    Mulan, you mentioned in another thread that the one you called in Patterson said to keep him informed. Why not do just that and inform him of this latest unchrist-like retort from that elder to your mom. Perhaps some "elder cleanup" action from the "higher-ups" may come of this.

    I wish you could tell your mom of the love pouring out to you and her from here.

    Had Enough

    "Never doubt that a small group of citizens can change the world.
    Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
    ...Margaret Mead

  • ozziepost

    Had Enough,

    You sound just like me! I couldn't have put it better myself.

    To you and Mulan and the experiences at the hands of the elders, I could say "Add the name of Mrs Ozzie to that list". Mrs Ozzie has suffered horribly at the hands of men who should be 'taking the lead' in "caring for widows and orphans in their tribulation". Instead of this, we see widespread abuse of individuals, especially women. It reminds me of Jesus' view as expressed in Matthew 9:36 "On seeing the crowds he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd". (NWT)

    Women such as the mothers of Mulan and Had Enough are "sheep without a shepherd". Yet Jesus was speaking of the Pharisees who acted much like the men you have described in your posts.


    "If our hopes for peace are placed in the hands of imperfect people, they are bound to evaporate."

    - Ron Hutchcraft Surviving the Storms of Stress

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