I always thought it was ridiculous that when a person was disfellowshipped they didn't tell us why. Everybody would speculate, but we wouldn't know the real reason. Also I thought they were only supposed to be disfellowshipped if they weren't repentant and wouldn't stop doing the wrong thing. So you have to assume that everyone disfellowshipped was not sorry for what they had done and were still doing it!
I was in when they did use to say. Didn't really stop the speculation. Just fanned it really - "who with?!". To be honest, it was kind of rare in my congregation not to know why someone had been disfellowshipped - small communities and all that fun. And if you were still not sure, local needs was always enlightening after public reproof. All a bit of a farce really. It's not like the PO ever stood up and said "X has been disfellowshipped because he said he stopped with the koolaid and realised it was BS" or "We disfellowshipped Y because we just really didn't like her so decided not to believe her story after asking her inappropriate questions for several hours".
who says disfellowshipped? it could be the person quit, DAed. same announcement . Last Sunday's Public talk comment: Disassociating is a worse move, offence than disfellowshipping. yeah.
I always thought it was ridiculous that when a person was disfellowshipped they didn't tell us why.
At one time in the past, a talk preceded a DF pretty much describing the offense (or what came up). You are not supposed to assume anything now. When some one is DF, the person is no longer a JW.
Every community has rules of conduct, and consequences and penalties for violating any of such rules. The JW "community" too has rules of conduct and everyone must obey them from the GB down to JoePub. The consequences of breaking JW rules (as everyone knows) is DF. But, DF is not always the case. But, when the case is DF, the person can stop doing what he did that got him DF, prove that he has repented, and he can be accepted back into the JW community. You cannot have people going around breaking rules that everyone must obey. These rules are for the good of all and so is DF according to the WT. Family members many times break up and refuse to talk to each other or deal with each other for many years and sometimes for a lifetime. They get orders of protection, a spouse may not allow the child to see or visit the other parent and a lot of other vicious and vindictive and retaliatory ways for non JW reasons, and the Courts enforce such family separations. So, do not say that DF breaks up families when the legal system enforces family breakups for so many other reasons. The way JW family members deal with DF family members is personal but they do so within WT guidelines.
About 25 years ago, a brother returned to Europe after living in the USA for much of his adult life, he was almost 70 when he returned, he wanted to spend the last few years of his life in the land of his birth. He was quite humble, but unpleasant in his appearance but I liked him. He started attending the congregation I was in but was not liked by the then PO, and he was viciously mobbed out of the congregation by this elder. He started attending another congregation some distance away, but because he was old and also had a disability he was more of a liability than an asset, and he was not really treaty very well in that congregation either.
The older ones in any congregation really do need the support of the younger ones in the congregation, but he received none. I was in a different congregation and was not fully aware of his needs, and as I was a pioneer at the time I had little spare time. I did make an effort to visit him once a month, just to have a chat and see how he was, he never told me of the problems he was having.
One interested person, a woman 25 years his junior, took pity on him and went to visit him 2-3 times a week, would clean his home and cook for him. Well the elders found out that she was visiting him regularly and did something about it. As she was not even an unbaptized publisher they could not do anything to her, so they form a JC and disfellowshipped the brother. He told me the next time I visited him and I listened to his story. Being a member of the bOrg collective I was obedient and stopped all contact with him. Not long after being disfellowshipped he died, with a broken heart after serving Jehovah almost all his life.
Fast forward 20 years (last year), I was at the annual district convention and sitting in front of me was an elderly man belonging to the congregation where this brother had been a member. So I mentioned the old brother's name and this elderly man, an elder, started to explain to me why they disfellowshipped him, I did not ask why, I asked nothing. This elder demonstrated to be by the way he talked to me about the subject that the elders 20 years ago had no valid reason to disfellowship this older brother. What was his crime, he was old and required help and received it from someone 25 years his younger.
What possible rule did this guy break?
An old and very respected elder in my mum's congregation got disfellowshipped two years ago. Nobody had a clue as to why and everyone was really shocked, including me who hadn't been for years. I felt really sorry for this man. I asked my mum if she knew why and the only thing she could come up with was "he organized a lot of trips for the brothers and sisters so was taking too much time away from theocratic activities". I was shocked that she believed that was the reason why he was disfellowshipped. Although she was only guessing. He has now been reinstated. My dad who is no longer a witness used to call it a 'secret society' because of this.
I remember when they move try he doing talk a couple weeks later, and anyone that missed a meeting would be calling to find out!
(Matthew 18:17) "If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation (ekklesia, not presbyterion - body of Elders!) If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector."
(1 Timothy 5:20) "Reprove before all onlookers [in the congregation] those who practice sin, as a warning to the rest."
Nothing about only the Elders knowing what offenders were up to!
"What possible rule did this guy break?"
He didn't. They wanted him out bottom line. If the BOE don't like you or your family, they will OUT you. I believe some of these brothers get their rocks off DF'ing people. Not all Elders are like this but the pattern we are seeing is they don't want the compassionate/kind/loving Elders on the BOE anymore. Only henchmen and yes men!
My case was a bit different. I was being accused of being a drunkard after a LONG investigation into a night out with some in the congregation. There were elders who came in from other congregations, some as far as 2 hours away to meet with the various brothers and sisters in the group whose conduct was in question. By the time they got to interview my then husband and I, many had told the elders that both my husband and I had been drunk on the night in question. We went to the meeting armed with info from the watchtower and said we were not drunk that on the night in question. I made the mistake of saying that I knew I was not drunk that night because I did not throw up. Well, apparently that was the wrong thing to say. They then began to ask me how many times I had thrown up from drinking, when was the last time I had thrown up from drinking and what was I going to do to correct it. The "interview" then turned into an impromptu judicial committee meeting as there was a third elder in waiting.
LONG LONG story...but I refused to give in and say that I was a drunkard when I clearly did not have a problem with drinking. All of my friends and family were willing to vouch for me, even my kids! I was 39 and while I had been drunk in the past on occasion, I was by no means a drunkard. It was when they asked me if I felt stabbed in the heart like David did for going against God's laws, I said yes I do feel a stabbing, but it is not in the heart, more like in the back by my "friends". They also compared getting drunk with committing adultery. Just one time of committing adultery was a sin, so therefore getting drunk just one time was also a sin and needed to be taken to the elders. After being asked what I was going to do to make sure I didn't get drunk again, I said before I answer that, let me ask you, how much is too much to drink? I asked why they drank and wanted to know at what point in drinking that I needed to stop before I had sinned against God.
Needless to say, they disfellowshipped me. I was considered unrepentant because I would not admit to my being called a drunkard. That was 5 years ago this last January. We appealed it, to no avail. My friends and family were in shock as they all knew me. Letters were sent into the WT headquarters by my parents and other friends, only to be either unanswered or were told that there was nothing to be done about it.
SO I guess what I am trying to get at, is sometimes people are wrongfully disfellowshipped. It was that I was not what they were accusing me of, so I didn't feel the need to repent for it. I questioned them, which I found out the hard way, that you do NOT do!! All in all, there were 6 who were publicly reproved because they admitted to being drunk on the night in question, 3 others were DF'd for various other reasons that came up in their interviews. Only 2 of the 4 who were disfellowshipped were reinstated. Myself and my x-SIL are still disfellowshipped and are still best friends!!
Would I change the way I reacted?? NOPE!! Not at all. No regrets. I am a much happier person now. I am finally free to think for myself and not how they want me to act or think. I am NOT the bad person that they labeled me to be. I am actually a good person and I am finally living the life that I always longed for.