After 10 years do they give up on you (hoping so)

by Spiral 19 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Spiral

    I think I read somewhere that if you have been inactive for ten years plus, the elders will not try to meet with you and corner you to get you back "in". Is that true?

    I just realized that Mr. Spiral and I haven't gone to meetings or reported time for over ten years. Recently some uber dub relatives have made some friendly overtures. We are not sure what to think (or if we even care, but that's another story). Hoping that some of the former elders here can comment? Is that why no one is trying to "shepherd" us (ugh, hate that term)?

    Thanks for any info you have,


  • Finkelstein

    It varies from elder to elder and person to person.

    If they dont see you at a Hall for a couple of years they most likely wouoln't approach you and ask when are you coming back ?

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    There is no set amount of years. Ten sounds so safe doesn't it? Well, it has more to do with how you are viewed in the community and in the congregation. If you are seen as acting like a JW or claiming to be one (either by the congregation or in the community) they have the thumbs up to come after you. It depends on who really "likes" you. Just don't seek any contact or respond to any contact no matter how long its been. Once they contact you they can turn back the clock as if no time has gone by.

  • Scully

    They haven't bothered me (much), but I don't go poking the bear either, if you know what I mean.

    Not even my JW relatives have made attempts to try to bring us back to the fold. Not once. It makes me wonder if they really don't believe the doctrines, or they don't give a $h!t about us enough to want us to be in Paradise™ with them. I have a few snappy retorts in my pocket if any JW relatives try to make a snide remark about atheism or creationism, but once I whip them out, they get Offended™ for insulting their beliefs (yet I'm not allowed to get offended when they insult my beliefs). That's a no-win scenario.

  • snare&racket

    There is no official time scale but I believe they are taught that a faded JW who no longer identifies as a JW and doesn’t comment on JW’s after a few (?3) years ..... is not pursued.

    Remember that Anthony Morris said in court, to a judge, that if an ex JW is off celebrating Xmas and not identifying as a JW, they would not be pursued.


    The elders gave up on me 10 years ago. I have been inactive the last ten years and haven't attended any meetings in seven years.

    The elders would hound me with telephone calls, bring Circuit Overseers and District Overseers when they were in town for the assemblies. Since I have over 20 Jehovah's Witnesses in my family, I always knew when they were in town. I did not answer the phone or the door. If they made a surprise visit, my wife would always answer the door and tell them I wasn't home.

    My family ( brother, aunts, uncles and cousins ) all leave me alone. They still talk to me, have me over their house and go on 2 day getaways with them. They never ask me why I don't attend any longer or if/when I'll come back.

    I do go some wake/funerals/ funeral memorials and everyone leaves me alone. The elders do shake my hand and have small talk but I leave as soon as the small talk is over.

    I did have one self-righteous asshole elder last year at my moms funeral ( she was a Jehovah's Witness for over 45 years) say to me ( with my wife standing next to me) as he was leaving the funeral home.....''If you want to see your mom in the new system, you will both need to go back to the meetings''...and walked away. THE ODDS ARE SLIM TO NONE...... !

  • The Fall Guy
    The Fall Guy

    When it comes down to it, Elders anywhere in the world will unilaterally decide if/when to to attack shepherd a lost sheep.

    Always be prepared to respond if confronted by any JW; "I appreciate your concern, but there's nothing private & personal I wish to discuss with anyone at the moment. Thanks anyway."

    Then exit, stage left - immediately.

  • Phoebe

    It depends on your local elders. For example, in my town we have a young ex brother - faded - lives with his girlfriend, has a baby, smokes, celebrates Xmas etc. They don't bother him or pursue him because he also happens to be the son of one of the most prominent families in my congregation.

    Apparently, he is not now 'seen as a JW' so they leave him alone.

    The WT say often enough they 'don't hunt people down to DF them'

    However, there is also a sister in my congregation who has been DF for smoking. She hasn't attended meetings in years and years no one locally would view her as a JW. Yet, they saw her smoking and DF her.

    As Fall Guys says elders will decide if/when to 'attack' you. Always be prepared.

  • redpilltwice

    There is no 10y rule, I also think many elders are too old and tired and certainly not motivated to watch over "lost" sheep for so long.

    I can confirm however (like wasanelderonce said) that in my old cong there is this unwritten policy that it does matter if someone is still viewed as a JW by the general public. Smoking, celebrating "pagan" holidays etc. can still be a reason to be disfellowshipped.

    I was damned lucky to already be left alone by the elders after 8, 9 months of my fade and 6 months after my last (fake) field service report. Not even an official invitation for the memorial.

    I probably know too much and also their observation that we soon stopped praying might have left them with no hope... lol

  • Pistoff

    When it comes down to it, Elders anywhere in the world will unilaterally decide if/when to to attack shepherd a lost sheep.

    This exactly.

    I quit going to meetings in 2002, haven't been to a memorial in 10 years, but one elder was determined to meet with me 2 years ago.

    He left messages on my home phone, my mobile, and on a weekday, came to my door.

    I didn't answer the door.

    Just never meet with them; make up an excuse, or put them off, and off, and off.

    No good ever came from a faded JW meeting with an elder.

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