Our own "Russia" style letter writing campaign to request our private data!?!? Please share

by stuckinarut2 11 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • stuckinarut2

    We all know of the tactic employed by the society to flood the Russian govt with the mass letter writing campaign. No doubt, one of their aims was to send a clear message of the Governing Body's views to the Russian authorities.

    What can't we all do the same TO the Governing Body?

    With the advent of ever tightening data privacy laws occurring in many countries around the world, we now have a valid and legitimate reason to write the Society! Please check with your local data privacy laws, and find out how your country is responding (such as the new European laws recently enacted)

    We have the legal right to request any and all personal data held by the congregations, branch offices, and departments of the organisation.

    If every ex witness wrote and requested this, it would send a clear message to the GB that they need to respect personal boundaries, and that they do not have the right to withhold our data, or use it in a way that besmirches our name or character.

    We could request the publisher cards held on us, any correspondence about us, any medical forms kept on file about us etc....

    Feel free to share this idea far and wide. Perhaps on other forums such as reddit etc...


  • DesirousOfChange

    I think it's a great idea!

    Though you'll likely find that organizing "apostates" (or xJWs) is about like herding cats. Plus there are many of us that are not interested in spoiling our "fade" (not that this privacy act applies in the US).

    Go for it!

  • dubstepped

    I love the idea, but getting exjws to participate in a coordinated effort is much harder than getting brainwashed masses to do so. I've had a number of ideas, but heck, I couldn't even get my local exjws to join me on my first Shunniversary. They all backed out but one childhood friend.

    The number of people that are actually active in the community I think might be quite small. Most of the exjws I personally know, okay all of them, do no activism, aren't on any forums, just disavow it all.

    Love the idea. I've though it would be cool if all of the shunned ones out here picked a meeting and we all just showed up to it all over. No signs or anything disruptive other than our presence, to signify that we're all still here. Executing this stuff is a whole other ballgame.

    I'd love to see you get momentum and don't mean to be a downer, but I just want you to have a view of what you're up against. Like herding cats. (DOC beat me to it!)

  • Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho
    Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho

    @stuckinarut2 I actually tried doing that, and I got a response!

    Please find attached the letter they sent back:

  • neat blue dog
  • dubstepped

    Something you might be able to do if a large scale effort doesn't take off is to research and create a document that helps people understand the process and who to contact and what countries it's applicable to. You could reach out to people with a following and put it up on sites like this and reddit as a first step. That would probably be super helpful. Many find this stuff confusing or don't know their rights. I'm all for keeping HQ busy with stuff like this.

  • sir82

    If every ex witness wrote and requested this, it would send a clear message to the GB


    Hate to rain on your parade, but the GB doesn't "accept messages".

    They are (in their own minds) answerable only to Jehovah.

    They're not going to be swayed by a few hundreds, or even thousands, of letters from ex-JWs. Not to mention that there are a dozen or so layers between "mail room lackey who opens the envelopes" and "the GB". The GB will never see your letters, never even come close to seeing them. The WTS attorneys might - MIGHT - mention to a low-level service dept. lackey "there seems to be a slightly higher than normal volume of data demands lately". And that is as far as it will ever go.

    Write, by all means, and demand your personal data. You have a right to, and the WTS will comply.

    Just don't expect anyone to get any sort of "message" from it.

  • neat blue dog
    neat blue dog
    Hate to rain on your parade, but the GB doesn't "accept messages".
    . . .
    They're not going to be swayed by a few hundreds, or even thousands, of letters from ex-JWs.

    It was the same with Russia. I don't think anyone seriously expected them to reverse their decisions against JWs, but it was done for publicity, to send a message to the public. That too would be the motivation behind any such endeavor by ex-JWs.

  • stuckinarut2

    Fair responses. Thanks all for your feedback.

    I hear what you are saying.

    Well, I know of at least three local appointed men who have simply stopped attending (not DF or DA) who have sent in letters to their respective congregations requesting any and all data held on them by any office of the organization.

    The local governmental departments that deal with Privacy Laws have given their support and backing to the endeavours.

    Lets see how it unfolds.

  • Listener

    I called the Sydney, Australia Bethel today and the guy was reasonable to talk to. The address he provided was
    PO Box 280
    Ingleburn, NSW 1890

    He advised that I would need to include POI, such as a drivers licence.

    When I initially called, a Sister answered and asked who I would like to talk to. I said it was in relation to obtaining personal documents. She asked if it was computer related??? I started to explain what I was after but she was really quick to say she'd just put me through to the Service Department. It seemed like she was a little nervous that I would be telling her too much and her position didn't allow that.

    Anyway, there were some interesting things that were discussed.

    The guy from the Service Department advised that they have retained the same 'retention policy' but on inquiring he said the retention policy was confidential.

    I mentioned about the information that was discovered through the Royal Commission so I said, since the information 'discovered' at the RC was in relation to discipline then that would still be held. He would not confirm.

    He said that if I was entitled to the information under FOI or privacy laws then I would receive it although their legal department would have to determine that. I said I hoped their wasn't going to be a situation of whether the Branch thought they were above the law by applying their own consideration of 'entitlement' under their theocratic warfare policies. He wouldn't deny this and again referred to the legal department as making the determinations.

    Having mentioned the RC I was very surprised with the information he did tell me. He said they were still in discussions in relation to this matter and there may still be some policy changes. He confirmed that it had not been finalized. I reckon these guys at the Branch must be having a real hard time trying to be reasonable and sensible but probably being stonewalled by HQ. He used the words that it was ongoing, being reviewed and that there could be changes.

    He mentioned that I could check out their current policy on JW org. I asked him for the links as I couldn't find anything about the Australian RC on there. He said it was a Worldwide Policy that was accessible on their site as they don't publish in regards to individual countries. I mentioned that was disappointing and strange since they report so much about individual countries, Russia being just one example.

    It's about time I requested my information and with privacy laws constantly changing I would like to obtain whatever they have before or if they are ever destroyed.

    Thanks for the reminder Stuckinarut.

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