You're in front of 3 elders and are being asked all types of questions. You are afraid that you might get disfellowshipped. The elders tell you that you must speak the truth, since Jehovah hears all and since Jehovah hates a liar. You blurt out what you did. You confess. After a few more questions and answers, the elders ask you if you would mind leaving the room while they discuss things. You are sitting, worried that the elders might not believe that you're telling the whole truth. You're afraid that they might view you as unrepentant. You start to think about what you actually said and what you should have said. A half hour later, the chairman asks you if you could come in. Now, all 3 members look VERY serious.......What did they discuss while you were away? .......They asked questions to each other as to whether each elder thought that you were repentant. 2 are pretty sure that you were genuinely repentant but the other elder has nagging doubts. After all, this isn't the first problem that they have dealt with you over. You seemed to not really take their previous counsel too seriously. As a matter of fact, your spirituality has been slipping for quite a long time. The elder that remembers everything about you, brings up other matters that begin to make the other 2 start re-thinking their position. Since all should be unified and the elder that knows more about you feels that you're not truly repentant, guees what? Just to be on the safe side, the decision is made to disfellowship! This "discipline" from Jehovah can help you get back to your relationship with Jehovah. Although you will miss the "sweet fellowship" of the loyal brothers and sisters, you can apply for re-instatement in no time. You are then told that you have 7 days to appeal the decision if you feel that God's Appointed Servants made an error.......You are now dismissed.
What REALLY Happens During A Judicial Meeting
It's a real show. A kangaroo court for dum dums. They make disfellowshipping look like a prison term.
I never was in a judicial meeting. I would never accept to be tried by these clowns.
Your future is subject to the whims of three men who usually don't have the whole picture. No religious organization should put imperfect officials (elders) in the position of casting judgments. The whole method is subject to abuse. If you get on the elders' bad side, you're toast before you even get in there. They might not even sweat about it for 30 minutes as in your scenario above.
As has often been shown on this board before, if the organization were truly not dysfunctional, they would be able to trust their members to make mature judgments about who is and isn't good to associate with, and there would be no need for these heavy-handed judgments coming down from on high.
Edited by - Skeptic on 3 February 2003 21:24:22
It is a rather intense experience, isn't it? And quite alot for a 17 year old to cope with. With hindsight I still can't believe such young people as I was were subject to such unloving and accusatorial behaviour...by people who have been considered your father figures and dearest friends.
And the reinstatement meeting isn't much better...months of feeling isolated and worthless whittle your self esteem to zero. Then you have to show at the same time how you have repented of your earlier sin (if indeed there was one) and still are humble yet eager to rejoin the flock. And have 3 middle aged men grill you repeatedly over details of your sexlife "do you engage in unclean acts with your husband?" "have you indulged in oral sex? anal sex? partner sharing?". OMG I was 18 and newlywed, having been raised in the borg...I was a prude! But still they wanted to hear me say it "no Bro X, I dont perform fellatio on my husband, I have a stop sign tattooed on my butt, and I don't engage in menage-a-tois (at least I dont think so, I am blindfolded and handcuffed to the bed LMAO). Seriously, it is sad that even when trying to return to your family and friends you are cheapened and vilified before you even get to first base. Then when you finally get the nod and your return to the fold is announced, you get to endure all the false smiles and hypocritical welcome-backs from sisters who gossiped that you fell pregnant (not) and brothers who knew they had tried to hit on you and were scared that you'd dobbed them in so never spoke to you again.
Ahhhh what a loving, upbuilding, wholesome place to be....wish I was there NOT.
While many have dogged JR Brown, I can believe with all my heart that each one of you will agree with JR Brown as he describes the elders:
Paducah Sun 1-28-01
Mario Moreno, associate general counsel at the church's New York headquarters,.
J.R. Brown, public affairs director for the church,
Both Brown and Moreno said that the elders, who volunteer and are essentially untrained clergy,
Now think about this- you are fastened into your first class seat that put you and the Little Lady back almost 2 Grand on this flight- a new Boeing 747-
You are heading out to see Lady "C" and I for the weekend here in the lovely Capitol of Washington DC.
Then on the PA system comes Leroy- he annouces that he along with "Pimp Daddy Larry" from Compton and FRED better known as Bubba from West VA will be flying your plane today . He goes on to state that they are volunteer and are essentially untrained pilots, n
Now do I need to ask how many of you will be seeing Lady "C" and myself this weekend- If this is the flight you must take- smile
this is all bible based.
having experienced what minimus shared with us, when my step son got into some trouble, i can tell you i was deeply disturbed at what i experienced, and what i saw happen right before my eyes. i only wanted some help, some guidence.
instead i got an instant judicial commitee.
just add water.
when i think about things that i saw over the years, i get so damn mad at myself.
why didn't i have the testicular fortitude to admit to myself something just wasn't right?
why couldn't i have just walked away from the whole thing years ago and save myself years and years of stress and physical trauma?
zev....now hitting the post button before i go way to far.
After all the embarrassing questions. After all the guilt and shame they heaped on me. After all the probing questions which I answered honestly it came down to one question.
If the situation was the same would you make the same choices?
Well I made my choices based on being totally depressed and suicidal. I made my choices out of desperation because I had enough of abuse and wanted a way out of my marriage. I was raped for some of my choices.
What kind of a question is that? Sort of like asking if I wanted to be raped.
My answer to the question was based on the fact that given the same situation I thought that was the only choice I could make. So I said YES and they DFed me. Oh well a blessing in disguise
These men know nothing about mental illness or psychology or abuse or its effects on people. That I trusted them now is unfathomable to me. And I am glad I can't fathom it now. That could mean I understand that mentality - something I never want to be that close to ever again
hmmmm and I always thought they were selected by Jehovah and guided by holy spirit....not exactly volunteers. But if it gets you a good defence in court, then call it whatever you like *insert cynical smiley here*