Inactive to be disfellowshipped!

by Pureheart 17 Replies latest jw friends

  • DIM

    this article is almost 10 years old

  • NameWithheld

    Yep, it's almost 10 years old alright, which must mean it's not truth anymore, right? It's 'old light'? BTW, what's the shelf life on JW 'light' nowadays? 10 years? 5 years? 1 year? Can't see it being much more than 5 years myself ...

  • ISP

    A good number of those inactive are ignored by the elders. I know many who because they are not associating ...are considered not to be a threat etc. It depends on your local body of elders. Some will be more militant!
    'Cygnus' got DF'd after being I/A for 3 years. He was playing pool/drinking with a Df'd person! Thats was all!


  • AlanF

    Hi NM,

    : But if one moves and doesn't have his publisher's record card transferred, doesn't that mean that he is still technically a member of the congregation he moved away from,

    I don't think so. If someone makes a permanent move from New York to Los Angeles, in practice he can't remain a member of the NY congregation.

    : and that that congregation could still theoretically take action against him? I understand that the logistics might be such that the body of elders in the old congregation might not bother, but if somebody particularly ticked off the Society, it seems to me that they would still have the option of taking action against him through whatever congregation he was last associated with.

    They might well try to do that, but their conundrum is that it would put them on extremely sticky ground. My point was that they've created a serious problem for themselves, but one that has yet to be tested in court. By their own internal rules given to bodies of elders, the Society cannot direct them to DF someone. These rules are now public knowledge, thanks to a few elders who have posted them on the Internet and/or verified that they were given orally, and that elders were instructed to write them down in the margins of their Flock books.

    Suppose someone moves across the U.S. and the Society decides to see if they can get the elders in the congregation's territory in which the person lives to DF him. The elders don't know the guy, and so the only information they have is what the Society gives them -- unless the guy tells them about himself. If he tells them to go away, then the only basis they have for investigating him, forming a judicial committee, and finally DF'ing him, is the Society's instructions. If this went to court, it would be nearly trivial for the man to prove that the elders did not do the DF'ing apart from explicit direction by the Society. He could have them subpoeanaed and deposed, and possibly even some of the Society's officials deposed. Finally, because the Society's own elders manual states that it is action and knowledge on the part of local elders that results in DF'ing, the man would have an excellent case for a lawsuit against the Society. So in practice, I doubt that they would take a chance on opening a gigantic can of worms this way. Keep in mind that, in actual fact, the Society does direct plenty of DF'ings, and so they will certainly put the kabosh on any action that could result in them getting sued. I am living evidence that this is now their general policy.

    :: The same goes for someone whose record card is thrown away, which is technically supposed to happen after five years.

    : Does the literature somewhere specify this five-year limit? I had always understood that the cards were held as long as the person lived, unless he was disfellowshipped.

    I don't have personal knowledge of this, but someone posted this idea on this board sometime in the last 2-3 days. My own experience was that I became inactive in 1983, and when I moved to a neighboring town I never asked for my record card to be transferred. I have no idea if it was, but if so it was either due to their own efforts or those of my now-ex-wife, and certainly not my own. When the elders decided to "deal" with me back in 1996, after they learned that I was about to remarry, I told them to bugger off. Later I called up one elder and pointed out that I never joined their congregation, never went in field service, never indicated to anyone that I was still a JW, and that all of my actions since I became inactive in 1983 supported that I was not, in actual fact, any longer a JW. He more or less agreed, and after, in so many words, I threatened the elders with a slander lawsuit if they failed to leave me alone, he agreed to leave me be. I've not had any problems since.


  • one

    You can not become a jw if you dont become "active". They wont allow you to get baptized... even if yo go to all mettings

    If you become inactive you are rejecting a basic requirement to be a jw, the same goes if you commit fornication. By his/her actions the person is rejecting the religion. The same for a blood transfusion etc.

    They must DF anyone who becomes inactive.
    no matter what else she/he is doing.


  • julien

    If the society did DF someone (using a local cong. to do the dirty work) what exactly could you sue them for?

    (I am inactive for nearly 10 years now, but for family reasons don't want to ever get DFd.)

  • DIM
    Suppose someone moves across the U.S. and the Society decides to see if they can get the elders in the congregation's territory in which the person lives to DF him. The elders don't know the guy, and so the only information they have is what the Society gives them -- unless the guy tells them about himself

    thank you Alan - very comforting to me. This is exactly my situation -I just moved to WA from PA and haven't gone to a meeting since. For family reasons I do not want to be df'd. Thanks for posting this.

  • cyberguy

    Hi NeonMadman, AlanF,

    Many years ago there was a letter sent to elders instructing them to throw out publisher cards when a person was inactive for 5 years or more. However, the Society has changed its policy yet again! In the BOE letter dated Feb. 15, 2002 (see copy @, direction is given as follows:

    Inactive publishers are part of the congregation and need help. (Psalm 119:176) Such inactive ones should be assigned to book study groups. To enable the elders and the circuit overseer to give adequate attention to such ones, the last Congregation’s Publisher Record card for each inactive publisher should be kept indefinitely.
    So there you have it. "We're watching you, until you're dead!" -- Local body of elders.

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