It seems to be unclear if things like public or private reproofs and details around those events being recorded and traveling with you. It seems like the details are largely part of whatever judicial paperwork there is and not necessarily attached to your publisher card permanently. I changed congregations a few years ago and it appears the letter the body wrote only covered the most recent issue and said nothing of a reproof that had happened a few years prior. Which I was thankful for since my dad was an elder and the previous reproof would have likely been far more upsetting to him. Anyways just curious on some clarity on how records on those things is kept, whether the details travel with you, etc. Thanks!
What's actually recorded in publisher record cards?
Beforexthey became hidden they just listed name, baptism, annointed, and sales record. There must be other secret files.
Publisher service records aka "publisher cards" contain mundane data as RTN described above, plus date of birth and any notes a publisher or pioneer may have voluntarily included on his/her monthly service, such as "illness" or "emergency LDC duties" being the cause for an uncharacteristically low hour or low production report.
Although some elders will stubbornly resist, any publisher may request to review his/her publisher service record data. (km 10/98 p.7 par.3) A typical print of a publisher's service record will include a simple spreadsheet of the most recent six months to one year of reported ministry activity.
A publisher or pioneer usually requests a print copy of his/her ministry service record to personally review their own "spiritual progress", or simply because one lost their personal calendar notebook. A few elder bodies have from time to time provided these spreadsheets to each publisher in the congregation (privately) to drum up a spirit of "self examination"... i.e, 'where can you improve in the ministry?'
Some of the most scandalous records pertaining to a given publisher or family are any "letters of introduction" which one body of congregation elders will transmit to another body of congregation elders when an individual publisher or family relocate to different congregation. Those letters are strictly confidential and often contain crafty remarks (above & beyond historical monthly sevice reports) which the receiving body of elders will typically accept as fact before consulting with the subject publisher or family, under the culty assumption that a fellow body of congregation elders would transmit only thoroughly investigated fact and truth.
Another source of scandalous records are applications for special service, which often include very sensitive information about the applicant's healthcare, finances, congregational standing and confidential (sometimes backstabbing) remarks from individual elders about those areas of the applicant's life.
The most notorious of publisher records are the official forms and other communications secretly exchanged between local congregation elders, circuit overseers, and departments of oversight within the main offices of Watch Tower corporations in regard to navigating deletion of personnel, scandals and legalities.
Without relentless legal subpoena or rogue leaks, most of that material will remain obscure to the courts and public society.
But, they will lovingly let you see a spreadsheet of your monthly sales timecard... Cheers!
I know for sure my letter of introduction would be colorful.
In my day as secretary the record card just contained mundane stuff like name address d of birth, and baptism date and whether you were anointed or other sheep. Every month it would be updated with reported hours and placements .
Records of Judicial proceedings were separate and kept in sealed envelopes with your name on it . If you moved The Sec would write a letter of introduction (I tried to be nice) . Anything they needed to know might be conveyed in a phone call to the new cong.
I have seen a guidance to keep such letters brief and factual,due to fear of a data subject request but I don’t know if that is followed
Elder bodies can get into trouble when only one elder composes/signs a letter of introduction, or when there are 'phone calls of introduction'.
There has been clear direction that a letter of introduction be signed by three elders, ideally the three elders of the congregation's service committee (Coordinator, Secretary, Service Overseer) This procedure is intended to ensure a balanced well-supported letter, but is still vulnerable to slanted language from a domineering or underhanded elder, which can be devastating to the publisher or family subjected in that letter of introduction. Many a grudge have appeared between the lines in letters of introduction.
In some cases, a draft letter of introduction is read to the entire body of elders before transmitting in order to gather additional input from other elders in that home congregation. This might be practised when a publisher relocates under circumstances where the elder body of that home congregation would no longer recommend the publisher retain certain privileges in the destination congregation but has not yet taken action to officially delete those privileges from the publisher. 'We would no longer recommend Brother/Sister continue to serve as an elder/pioneer because...' This is often referred to as an unfavorable letter of introduction, and can come as a rude shock to the relocating publisher/family.
One's publisher record "cards" may look very good in terms of monthly ministry hours and publication distribution count, but if the accompanying letter of introduction is not 100 per cent favorable, that publisher/family will begin to notice their new congregation receive them differently but will not know exactly why unless the confidential content within the letter of introduction can be discovered via a willingly communicative elder (maybe elder's wife), or getting your hands on the letter itself by earning appointment as an elder in that congregation with lock & key access to the congregation files.
Oddly, some elder body coordinators do not permit file access to every elder on 'his' team even though the official direction is each elder/equal access to 'positively under the appearance of the flock.'
If you want to see any files beyond your publisher service record, it may require legal action; and as we know, Watch Tower would sooner pay costly court fines with your donations rather than transparently release files.
I heard it as a fact that these ‘letters of introduction’ contain unflattering things about the person who is relocating.
A certain sister (whose husband likely heard the confidential gossip from an elder) told people of the unfavorable contents of one such letter about another sister who had relocated and the restrictions placed on her, etc…So, there is NO fresh start somewhere and opinions and biases will follow somebody across the globe!
I can only imagine what such a letter would say about me: ‘She doesn’t do favors for all the Users or throw money around. She’s independent and outspoken. Make sure nobody talks to her and don’t invite her to any get-togethers’. 😉
They can keep their letter. I never told anyone where I moved or a forward address. I did I good fade. When they do come around, I'm not answering the door.
Besides, they don't know my name even after a name change. They can pound sand.
I faded the same way, overrated, no one could find me. I literally had no phone (no cell phones then), for a whole year, so if they tried to get a number, they couldn’t find anything. I’m not a big phone person, and there was a pay phone down the block, so I didn’t care. Good luck finding me now, 3 addresses later, and a new name. Gone about 38 years lol.