Just wondering. . .for those that are Ex-Elders . . .

by HappyBlessedFree 16 Replies latest jw experiences

  • HappyBlessedFree

    Did your conscience ever bother you when you were counseling/reproving/disfellowshipping ones in the congregation? Did it feel extreme or justified based on your biblical understanding at the time.

    Also are there any ex-elders here that dealt with child abuse accusations? If so was the 2 witness rule applied and they went on there merry way?

  • Vinny

    No. Because I still BELIEVED IT ALL, when I was an elder, I did not have a guilty conscience when reproving/disfellowshipping others. I was doing 'God's work' lol.

    Nor did it bother me to ask did they have or use condoms (proves premeditation if so) when learning details of premarital sex or fornication.

    Actually what bothered more than anything else was seeing how other elders, when their own kids were in trouble, would try to get extra chances, would ask me to look the other way, would even drum up phony excuses/stories when their own children (or an elder friend's kids) were in the hot seat and in trouble.

    I saw that way too much and was mind boggling. It was as if these other elders weren't even believing what was being taught but more like they were raised in it, kind of stuck and looking for ways to keep their 'positions'.

    I only knew of one person who was 'suspected' of child abuse of some kind. Many people thought he was a bad guy that way. And he was a fellow elder. No kidding. He loved all the little kids way too much. Would have them over for sleepovers or camping. One day after a shepherding call with me he opens up about how much he was having feelings for a young girl (all this while he was married, without children), and I raked him over the coals for even having feelings for a teenager like that. I think he was shocked that I would turn on him so quickly.

    But the 2 witness rule was very much in effect for everything not just child abuse charges so of course it creates a haven for child abusers and a get out of jail free card for anything else where you don't have clear proof, a confession or at least two witnesses corroborating the same basic thing.

  • HappyBlessedFree

    Wow so Elders kids did get special treatment!

    Why would a single man Elder or not have children sleep over, big red flag! That is so scary, I’m glad you gave it to him. Do you know if he’s still an active Elder?

    So my Elders told me that if an Elder was found guilty of child abuse he could NEVER serve again. Is that true? I’ve heard conflicting info.

    That’s so interesting that they ask things like “did you use a condom” I mean what if a wife carries one because her and her husband are spontaneous, she/he could just have it on her. And what is with the premeditation anyway! This is not a murder trial!!!

  • waton

    Coming from a authoritarian back ground made me apply wt rules to the "T", despite misgivings. Here a case involving the wt "2 strikes and you are out" rule: Young brother gets involved with worldly girl, in small town, everybody knows. Convention, and young love has it, they should get married. Of course that means eventually not cessation of intercourse, (a sign of repentance) family of girl insists on catholic wedding only, which means signing away the right to educate children in a non-catholic way, which is apostasy. which meant--.

    stupid, regretted decision.

  • blondie

    Remember that elders are given the authority to judge whether individual jws that come before a judicial committee are truly repentant, so that means a JC could decide that a pedophile is repentant and let him come back into the congregation.


    When elders serve on a judicial committee, their role is spiritual, or religious. Guided by the Scriptures, they judge whether the abuser is repentant or not. If he is unrepentant, he is expelled, and an announcement is made to the congregation. (1 Cor. 5:11-13) If he is repentant, he may remain in the congregation. However, the elders will inform him that he may never qualify to receive any congregation privileges or to serve in any position of responsibility in the congregation.

  • Vinny

    The elder was married rather than a single elder. So he could get away with having kids to spend nights with "uncle" elder and his wife. Only the wife hated camping and he was often alone with them. But was an elder so nobody really fussed that much about it, officially, though many of us felt uneasy and brought it up.

    That elder died about 6-7 years ago. He was only in his 40s but had major diabetes problems.

    Yes, elders of kids, in my last congregation, received very special treatment. As did their friends when they too were in trouble.

    No, you generally don't carry condoms when you are JW and not married. :)

    And when get caught climbing in through another JW's window you need a reason if not sex. But they initially said the intention was just fun. Then agreed it had been taking place more than once and confessed to sex multiple times in the end. The condom question clarifies intent. If you show up with condom well there's a reason for it. That's disfellowshipping offense then because consider practicing rather than one mistake. Two judicial committees though. One for he and one for she. Ours decided 'she' should be disfellowshipped because they were clearly practicing it and only came clean after being CAUGHT. But the other committee (and an elder's son) went ahead and just did public reproof for him. So we could not DF our girl when they just reproved the elder's son for same exact things. Our committee was not happy because if you are a JW at least do it the right way. That stuff goes on all the time.

  • HappyBlessedFree

    Wow interesting Vinny! I was a witness for 25 years but neither my husband or I have family in the org. So I never had an inside elder view of things. I have been privately reproved but never disfellowshipped.

  • Biahi

    I think my elder dad protected me, I guess I would have been disfellowshipped, I moved 30 miles away, never moved my files, never attended again. They were not happy. At my dads funeral, at the KH, I was there, with my worldly husband, and 2 year old child, I saw 2 elders commiserate, see if they could “get” me. The other looked at the size of my husband and shook his head “no”.

  • eyeslice2

    When I was an elder I did feel bad about disfellowshipping people and often was the lone voice against recommending it. In the end though it is a committee decision, so the majority prevails.

    On the matter of child abuse, I was once away from my home congregation only to find on my return that a family had been 'marked' over an incident of alleged child abuse. I was pretty upset about it and whilst you can never be too careful with these things, it turns out the the accuser who was not a baptized witness but had associated for a while was, know for making wild accusations. He once had gone to another elder and said said something crazy about myself, so I, and other elders, knew not to trust this guy. Also, the police had been involved and there was nothing to the story, so I didn't understand the ostracism of this particular family.

    Due to the upset, the family eventually moved congregations and are still very much associated some 20 years later. I felt sorry for them at the time but then again the elders in our congregation were pretty ruthless.

  • James Jack
    James Jack

    Never felt bad about any decision I made. After all, we had scriptures and or Watchtower publications to back up our decisions(some misapplied). However, once I was deleted(son fornicated), I did apologize to many that I DF'd (still out) and to a once Elder that I was instrumental in getting deleted.

    On the 2 Child Abuse cases that I participated in, I broke ranks and told the parents that they had the right to go to the authorities and that there would be NO recourse from the Elders. My line was," We only handle the Spiritual side of the offense, the authorities handle the criminal side.

Share this