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

by HappyBlessedFree 16 Replies latest jw experiences

  • eyeslice2

    "My line was," We only handle the Spiritual side of the offense, the authorities handle the criminal side."

    Nice one.

  • jeremiah18:5-10

    I served as an elder from age 28-33, looking back, I was woefully underqualified to be determining such things as being DF'd. I felt self conscious in the hearings and looked for reasons NOT to DF rather than reasons TO DF, this was unpopular, and I often relented due to worrying about how the other elders would view me, embarrassing now to think about.

    I did serve on one committee regarding alleged child abuse. The accused was maybe 15 and the victim maybe 2 or 3, too young to speak yet. I advised the victims parents to consult authorities as I felt we were unqualified to determine this matter. The committee's focus seemed to be mainly to settle between the families and to not reflect badly on Jehovah. We called the Service department and were advised to handle as discreetly as possible, with sensitivity and to be cautious since no witness to the event. The "evidence" causing concern was the little girl being sensitive in her private area and having redness. The boy had been babysitting the girl. Ultimately he was reproved and told to not be alone with kids. The victim family changed congregations. I cautioned my wife as were parents of 2 young children and were neighbors of the boy. I was unable to warn others, in retrospect, I should have ignored that direction.

    Irony, this boy later worked at one of the restaurants I was in charge of and was witness against me for smoking that led to me being DF'D. This was a couple years later after I had been deleted for stated reason of not presiding over my household (my wife had stopped believing and stopped attending and was very bitter over the organization). I had become depressed, desperate, lost, and disillusioned, and sought worldly friendships, this led to drinking and smoking.

    Anyway, my two cents on your question.

  • ZindagiNaMilegiDobaara

    How about this one ? a couple friend of mine pretty spiritual and did all for Jehovah,looked up by many, brought many into the "truth", very active. One time the husband was approached by a very young baptised brother for help for which he had to travel to another country.He went for 3 weeks to hep this bro out. Wife was on her own for 3 weeks, happens all the time in the world.But no, not with this cult. As soon as the hubby was back 2 eldumbs counseled him privately about leaving wife alone and going away for 3 weeks. Do not understand the logic but there it is. This was counseling from a eldumb whose wife always goes away for over a month on her own at least 3 times a year.

    Sadly, they came and told me coz could not see any fairness or logic and neede to vent..the eldumbs reflected that thier relationship was on shaky grounds, sign of spiritual weakness!!! You tell me how is this any sign of something wrong between a couple? So all that they did spiritual together n for god was made null n void .Just that 3 weeks of being away from each other (for a specific reason) was the defining point ! well done eldumbs, you really are dumb.

    My friends are still in.


  • blondie

    But brothers can be gone for a few weeks for KH building projects, I think it is really a decision both husband and wife have to make, not the elders. Why not worried that the husband would be the unfaithful one? People don't need 3 weeks separated to commit adultery, unless the elders are thinking about themselves, how little control these elders have.

    It is like the elders being to df a jw who stays overnight without a chaperone with someone of the opposite sex. As if people don't have sex during the day.

  • Solzhenitsyn

    To the OP:






    When you are a PIMI company man everything is cold and sterile.

    It's when your out that all those judical processes, procedeures, outcomes, and damage becomes a painful reality that requires PTSD counseling and EMDR therapy.

  • inactive1

    I served as an elder and will confess that it was a power rush. I thought way too much of myself. I was not a good father or husband. It seemed I was going through the motions, doing what WT expected of me. I said things I now deeply regret. My wife got sick with severe mental illness in the late 1980's. That became a turning point. I was pretty much looked down on indirectly. When my wife was in hospital for two weeks I received no support from fellow elders. It only got worse. The power struggle within the body eventually forced me to give up privileges as an elder and lead to my resignation as an elder in 1994. My kids suffered the most as no parent would allow their kids to associate with our kids because of their mentally ill mother. My kids left the organization never embracing its beliefs. Can't say I blame them. I learned more about being a compassionate person after resigning. In fact I took it upon myself to collect articles from WT publications that emphasized compassion, empathy, kindness as primary qualities that an elder should display. My wife divorced me unscripturaly in 2002 putting me in a difficult situation not free to remarry. I've been deeply discouraged seeing so much emphasis placed on performance, ie, becoming a pioneer, elder or servant. Do more, do more attitude. It feels like one is never doing good enough. I have become invisible since 2015 when I was diagnosed with chronic depressive disorder. I had a second serious heart attack in 2018. No one from the witnesses knew. I was in a congregation that was dissolved and was never notified. My faith has been shaken to the core especially with all the news about child abuse cases. I don't feel I will live much longer. My life has been empty for so long. I don't fit into the mold WT expects me to. No one seems to care. All they expect is that I come back to meetings. They want their records to look good. It seems it's all about appearances. Unless you are wealthy, prominent, hold a high position or something similar, you're nothing.

  • OnTheWayOut
    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.

    This young lady came to me and confessed that she was involved in heavy petting with the young man.

    It wasn't even sex that the two were involved in, they were both still virgins. Unfortunately,

    prolonged heavy petting is considered the sin of "loose conduct" among Jehovah's Witnesses and can

    require a judicial committee to address the violation of the rules. I wanted to tell her to forget

    about it and just be careful in the future, but it was clear that she felt that she had committed

    some awful sin against Jehovah and must face the proper discipline in order to be forgiven.

    So the judicial committee was formed and I was the chairman. It was a simple case. She confessed

    when we met with her and the way these things are handled, she would have to step down from her

    pioneering work since no glorified titles can be retained by sinners (except the elders). She was

    very embarrassed by the whole situation and was going to be glad it was over. What a shame it

    wasn't over. Despite her insistence on bringing her terrible sin to Jehovah through the elders,

    the young lady was already changed by this matter. She was so fragile and didn't want anyone else

    to know what had happened.

    One of the other two elders on the committee felt that we needed to make

    an example of her to the congregation. He said that there are many young ones just like her that

    need to know that it is easy to fall victim to our own treacherous hearts when getting involved

    with the opposite sex. He wanted to announce to the congregation that she was "reproved." I told

    the other elder that no such announcement needed to be made. We could announce that she was no

    longer a pioneer, but to let the congregation draw their own conclusions as to why that was so.

    An "announcement of reproof" is only necessary when the matter is widely known. The other elder

    said that the matter could become widely known. I disagreed and told him that if I were wrong, the

    procedure was to make an announcement later if and when the matter became widely known. Further, I

    told him that we shouldn't put people through a bunch of embarrassment and use them as warning

    examples to the congregation.

    He knew I was right, but didn't want to let it go. As the chairman,

    I told him we would not make such an announcement unless all three elders on the committee agreed

    to it, and I would not agree to it. This elder decided to go around me. If congregation elders are

    ever unsure on how to handle a matter, they can call Watch Tower's "Service Desk" (the people who

    direct these matters) for procedural clarifications. This elder called Watch Tower on his own

    (instead of insisting that all 3 of us contact them) and he related the situation in some manner

    until they insisted that an announcement must be made that this woman had met with a judicial

    committee and was reproved.

    The "service desk" at Watch Tower called our coordinator of the elders and told him that the

    chairman (me) must make that announcement. I was told all this during a congregation meeting just

    minutes before the announcements were to be made and had to go out in front of the audience (and

    this young lady) on a moment's notice to do this. The further embarrassment the young lady received

    from my announcement and people gossiping about her nearly destroyed her. She actually never spoke

    to me again because she initially came to me for help and I made that announcement. I think one

    good thing came out of that- she learned never to confide in the elders again.

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