How does the WTS define "former member"

by Cappuccino OC 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • Cappuccino OC
    Cappuccino OC

    The WTS claims on their web site that they do not shun "former members". It would be interesting to know exactly how they define "former members".

    Does anybody else sense that the WTS is playing with the lexicon, meaning, of words.

    For example, does former member mean DF, DA, or just not attending? If not attending, after how many months or years are inactive JW's classified as former?

    Do they define inactive and former the same or different? By reading their literature, if your DF or DA you are shunned.

    The WTS could have stated "We do not shun DF, DA or former members," but instead they write "Vague."

    The WTS has become very proficient using word games to play with our minds. In this case they don't use DF or DA, because any potential converts would not agree and/or join.

    This also reminds me of "theocratic warfare." In this case, they don't define former. They print only half of their own "trvth."

    Capp OC

    Edited to correct typo. It's past my bedtime. zzzzzzzzzz

    Edited by - Cappuccino OC on 6 October 2002 2:0:47

  • truman

    In your parsing of this passage of WTspeak, I think you have pointed out a very "Clintonesque" style of language, ("there IS no relationship", "it depends on how you define 'is'".) The object is to say something, and at the same time, say nothing, or even worse give one message to the uninitiated, and another to those 'in the know'. How ironic it would seem to be that tactics of obfuscation used by a 'worldly' politician should also be used with such facility by "God's organization".


  • UnDisfellowshipped

    Actually here is what the Official JW Media Website now says:

    "Those who simply leave the faith are not shunned."

  • Marilyn

    Perhaps it would be more accurate if their site stated: Jehovah's Witnesses cannot simply leave the faith. (if they do they will be tracked down and a kangaroo court convened and a bunch of irrelevent issues will be discussed and they will be disfellowshipped and then we'll shun them.)

    The Witness Web site is a bald lie. Can I sue them for this lie as I've been shunned for 20 yrs for leaving the faith with no 'wicked' actions involved!



  • A Paduan
    A Paduan

    I don't see why you can't - apart from all the other lies they've got ready for law suits.

  • TTBoy

    I argue that you can infact leave without problems, being hunted down, or DF/DA. There have been many examples of those who slowly drifted.

    I can't remember who started this one very informative thread on his encounter with elders but they spelled it out easy. A former member is someone who left. Once you leave you are no longer bound by their rules because you are no longer a Jehovah's Witness. If anyone shuns you (if you have just left) they are either going against the GB or are proving the GB liars.

    It sometimes takes years to leave. The best way is to drift slowly and never givethem any reason to DF you and never DA yourself.


    Edited by - TTBoy on 6 October 2002 8:14:24

  • Cappuccino OC
    Cappuccino OC

    "Those who simply leave the faith are not shunned."

    Thanks for the update Undisfellowshiped. This is also a play with words. It depends on how the society defines "simply leave". They don't clarify by saying

    • "those who no longer believe in the faithful & discreet slave,
    • those who no longer abide by the WTS's rules,
    • those who do research on WTS's failed prophecies."

    Truman mentioned it's "Clintonesque" in style; it's very evasive. It's also left open for interpretation.

    TTBOY I don't argue. Yes there are some examples of those who drift but they are in the minority. As long as your "actions" (partying, going to churches, being involved in politics, etc.) are not seen or heard of your okay; but if they see you as "brining reproach on jjeehhoovvaahh'ss name or the BORG then a "kangaroo" court will be setup.

    You mention "give them a reason to DF you". Our actions should NOT be judged by the WTS. Why should we HIDE from them? Who are they to CONTROL our lifes? By "never gifing them a reason to DF you" means giving them POWER over your life. Letting them govern your life style and actions and or living in fear because you'll be seen for example taking your child to the neighbor's b-day party or going trick-or treating. This isn't psychologically healthy for anyone.

    The WTS uses overt (WTS hunting you down) and covert styles. Covert is more or less when your JW families gives you the "SILENT TREATMENT" per mommy's orders. Covert or overt there is shunning in some degree.

    Other religions employ shunning; yet, the vast majority lets you walk away - no strings attached.

    Capp OC

    Edited by - Cappuccino OC on 6 October 2002 9:11:24

  • rwagoner

    If you follow the link in my profile, I talk about this very thing and link to two quotes on the "Official site" that of course contradict each other.

    They do say that those who leave the faith are not shunned and then also say that a letter of DA is simple a notice that a person is no longer a witness. The double speak is a few paragraphs later (on the 2nd link) when they reverse their position and explain why shunning a DA's person is appropriate.

    Very heated issue at the moment give nthe "New Light" in the Agust KM. But then again I know I'm preachin to the choir here.


  • DanTheMan


    uninitiated person viewing the WT website would think, based upon the statements made, that any JW at any time can just say, "hey everybody, you know, I've been doing some thinking and research, and I've decided that JW isn't for me. I'm going to stop attending meetings now. I'll also be reverting to the lifestyle I led prior to becoming a JW, which means celebrating holidays and voting. But we can still be friends, right?" to which the response would be, "Oh, yes, we understand this isn't for everybody. Take care, we'll see ya around."

    Which of course is not the case, you lying sack-o-poop Watchtower.

  • blondie

    Why not let past WT publications explain why the WTS and the rank and file are so confused as to what constitutes a member.


    *w57 2/15 114 - **Being one of Jehovah's witnesses means more than saying, 'I am one of Jehovah's witnesses.' Are you witnessing? Regularly? All physically able have the responsibility to preach publicly and from house to house, as did Jesus, and in addition take advantage of all opportunities to witness to friends, neighbors, etc., while the physically infirm are privileged to witness to visitors, write letters, make telephone calls, and in other ways share in giving the mighty witness. Without exception each witness of Jehovah is aware of his obligations in this regard, as set out in Ezekiel 3:17-21. If one does not witness, he is not one of Jehovah's witnesses. To call ourselves witnesses of Jehovah and then to refrain from witnessing, which is ministering, would be taking Jehovah's name in a vain or worthless way. Never may that happen, and it will not so long as a proper view of the ministry is maintained.


    *w59 12/1 722 -

    **All who are counted as Jehovah's witnesses are active preachers of the good news meeting the Biblical standard of morals, since an inactive Christian or one not meeting the standard is not a Christian at all. He is not a witness for Jehovah.


    *w67 1/1 11-12 - **If you call yourself a Christian, you should be doing what Jesus did or the disciples did. The early Christian congregation showed zeal for God and his kingdom and walked in Jesus' footsteps.


    *w68 2/15 118 - **One brief experience: A sister, inactive for three years, related to the overseer that 'it is going to be difficult to come back into the truth. I have been away so long. How can I even think of going out in the service or to the meetings?' She had been caring for her critically ill mother for so long until her death that she, herself, had become spiritually weak and inactive. She was encouraged to feel that she had never really been out of the truth but fulfilling a feature of her ministry so vital to good Christian conduct and love, and that Jehovah had not forgotten her works of love. She was told that brothers in prison could not share in meetings or field service but they weren't out of the truth.

    *km 11/70 1 - **And, are there inactive ones in your congregation or even in your own family? Cool treatment is not the therapy. What a thrill if they begin to love again through your kind example and encouragement


    *w71 1/1 11 - **Do you beg off from what God's written Word says, and still call yourself a Christian?

    *km 2/82 7 - **Learning that Jehovah did still care, the inactive sister began to weep. She had stopped associating due to many family problems and discouragement, wrongly assuming she had been disfellowshipped because of her long absence. This 'lost sheep' came to appreciate Jehovah's mercy and that he was still interested in her. She soon found her way back to active service with the congregation.

    *w82 5/1 26-7 - **Two elders made a call on an inactive couple who in the past had been exceptionally zealous Witnesses. No sooner had the conversation begun than the inactive husband defensively remarked that he knew he should be out in the field service teaching others. "Right now I don't think you should," was the surprising reply of Russell, one of the elders. "If you had a member of your family sick, would you tell him to go out and mow the lawn? Well, we're not going to tell you to 'mow the lawn' either. We want you to get well..


    *w84 6/1 22 - **Even though you may have specific times set aside to share in certain features of the witnessing work, a dedicated servant of Jehovah should be praising him in word and deed at all times. Are you doing this? Jesus' early followers were spoken of as belonging to "The Way." (Acts 9:1, 2) So they were not serving God only a few hours a month. Their service was a way of life! Are we like the first-century Christians if we are irregular Kingdom publishers who rarely engage in witnessing activity? Can we rightly call ourselves Jehovah's Witnesses if we say little or nothing to others about our hope?


    *w86 12/1 11 - **It is not enough to call oneself a Christian witness of Jehovah. To have the mind of Christ, we must regularly fill our minds with understanding of Jesus' life and example. That means we need a regular and genuine study of the Scriptures along with Bible study aids that help to clarify meaning and context.

    *w93 7/15 27 - **Inactivity in the ministry or in attending Christian meetings does not mean that the sheep is no longer part of the flock. He remains part of "all the flock" for whom the elders must "render an account" to Jehovah.

    *w93 4/1 30 - **In contrast, overseers in the Christian congregation remember that all of God's sheep are precious in his eyes, and they deal rewardingly with each one of them. They care not just for the 99 who are healthy but also for the one who is weak or emotionally disturbed.-Matthew 18:12-14; Acts 20:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:14, 15; 1 Peter 5:7.


    *km 6/96 1 - ** Most who are inactive have not abandoned the truth; they have simply stopped preaching because of discouragement, personal problems, materialism, or other anxieties of life. (Luke 21:34-36)

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