Review: revised Elder's manual, part 2

by neat blue dog 10 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • neat blue dog
    neat blue dog

    Then we get to one of the main purposes of the book, a catalog of all the sins you can get disciplined for. Just to be sure, this disclaimer kicks things off:

    Listed below are offenses that may require review by a judicial
    committee. Of course, this list is not comprehensive.

    You'll find the standard pornea definition:

    It is not a casual touching of the sex
    organs but involves the manipulation of the genitals.

    In case you're a complete idiot and don't know what that means, the following illustration is lovingly provided:

    For example, it is one thing to touch a
    musical instrument; it is something different to make
    "use of" a musical instrument.

    Musical instrument? I guess they're referring to the skin flute? And while we're at it, what is this "casual touching" they speak of? Do you brush your hand lazily across while looking at the ceiling and whistling?

    But I digress. BTW, if you're a doc or practice animal husbandry, you're in the clear.

    For example, a
    doctor may need to manipulate the genitals in
    examining a patient. A veterinarian, farmer, or rancher
    may do something similar to an animal. However, the
    intent is not sexual gratification.

    I remember reading a WT letter from years ago that said "all" instances of smoking are judicial, but apparently that's not the case now:

    or two elders may handle matters by means of counsel
    if a Christian abused an addictive drug or smoked
    cigarettes on one or two occasions and the matter is
    not widely known.

    Marijuana is also okay and can be in good standing as long as nobody's stumbled:

    If a medical
    doctor authorizes and/or prescribes marijuana for a
    medical problem, a Christian may choose to make use
    of this form of treatment. Although no judicial action
    would be taken, if an issue arises in the congregation,
    the elders will need to determine whether the individual
    can be viewed as exemplary.

    Associating with disfellowshipped ones is also not judicial in nature if it's done discreetly:

    he would not qualify for congregation privileges, which
    require one to be exemplary. He would not be dealt
    with judicially unless there is persistent spiritual
    association or he persists in openly criticizing the
    disfellowshipping decision.

    There are two handy definitions of "fraud" and "slander", ironic because WT leadership practices both regularly with impunity:

    Fraud is defined as the intentional use of deception, trickery, or
    perversion of truth for the purpose of inducing another to part
    with some valuable thing belonging to him or to give up a legal
    right. Slander is defined as a false report meant to do harm to
    the good name and reputation of another.

    They practice fraud by not telling converts everything they should know before baptism, coercing children to get baptized, controlling information and using their right to family etc. as a threat. They practice slander by demonizing other religions and people, and doing the same thing to 'weak' ones, but especially by disfellowshipping and branding as 'wicked' or 'apostates'.

    There are more inconsistent overreaching rules with regard to gambling. For instance, despite JWs saying they 'do not gamble', the book says that it is allowed as long as spirituality isn't affected and nobody gets stumbled. However, merely having a job in the industry IS judicial:

    An individual continuing in employment directly involved with
    gambling or employment making him a clear accomplice or pro-
    moter of gambling would be subject to judicial action, usually af-
    ter being allowed six months to make the needed adjustments.

    I find the next quote funny, not because it talks about death, but because it refers to the government as "Caesar", with no quotation marks. Seriously? We aren't living in ancient Rome. It just stands out like a sore thumb and seems so unaware. I wonder what any non-JW would think reading that.

    Aside from deliberate murder, bloodguilt may be
    incurred if a person causes loss of life through carelessness or
    because of violating a traffic law or other safety law of Caesar.

    Moving on . . .

    Apparently if you've faded they may not even bother to deal with you judicially, but it's a toss up and totally up to their discretion. And then there's also the possibility of self-imposed disfellowshipping, which they recommend:

    Depending upon the length of inactivity and other factors noted
    above, the elders may determine to hold the matter in abey-
    ance. In such a case, they would make a record of the person's
    questionable conduct for the congregation file. (See 22:21-27.) If
    the individual shows interest in returning to the congregation,
    the elders can clarify matters at that time.-w08 11/15 pp. 14-15
    pars. 12-13.
    If the sinful conduct is known only to believing family members
    and no congregation action has been taken, believing relatives
    will likely determine to curtail family association severely, viewing
    the relative as bad association.

    It's been brought out before that if Elders commit a judicial offence and a few years pass, it can be swept under the table. It looks like this privilege has been extended to everyone, including those with other privileges:

    if wrongdoing occurred more than a few
    years ago and the individual is genuinely repentant and recog-
    nizes that he should have come forward immediately when he
    sinned, counsel by two elders may be sufficient.
    If the individual is serving in an appointed capacity, such as a
    ministerial servant, elder, or pioneer, his qualifications should be

    If you're elderly and need to live with your non-JW child and their boy/girl friend, you wouldn't get privileges:

    If a publisher were to allow an individual to commit sexual im-
    morality while living in the publisher's home, he would be giving
    tacit approval to immoral conduct.
    Such a publisher would not be exemplary.
    For certain reasons,
    however, he may feel that he has no recourse at the present time.
    For example, elderly Witness parents may need the assistance of
    an unbelieving son or daughter. Under such circumstances, no
    judicial action would be taken, but the qualifications of the pub-
    lisher to serve in an exemplary position would be reviewed by the
    body of elders.

    A lot has been said of "marking", but not much said about un-marking. To accomplish this, an Elder must make a display of "associating" with a marked one, and that'll give the congregation the go-ahead:

    If the disorderly one is moved to change, the elders can individ-
    ually decide to resume personally socializing with him. This will
    indicate to the congregation that they consider that the individ-
    ual is no longer marked.

    Apparently, not all pornography is abhorrent, as the book mentions:

    abhorrent or nonabhorrent

    I guess everything but simple hetero stuff. Still bad, but may only require council. An Elder can also continue to serve as long as he doesn't 'manipulate the instrument' while watching, to use their own lingo:

    Was the viewing of por-
    nography accompanied by masturbation?

    This couldn't help but remind me of Clinton, who smoked marijuana, but didn't inhale. Anyways, if you watch it regularly (non-abhorant) you won't be kicked out, but you also won't get privileges:

    On the
    other hand, a Christian who persists in viewing nonabhorrent
    forms of pornography cannot be considered as exemplary and
    thus does not qualify for special privileges in the congregation.
  • ZindagiNaMilegiDobaara

    The Elders Manual????

    Wait you do mean.... The Governing Body's Instructions !


  • neat blue dog
    neat blue dog

    I wish lol

    That book has long been rumored, I think alluded to in Crisis of Conscience, but no more clues beyond that. This is just the standard Elder's book.

  • jp1692

    I found the juxtaposition of these two comments humorous:

    Was the viewing of pornography accompanied by masturbation? On the other hand, a Christian who persists . . .
  • neat blue dog
    neat blue dog

    Lol if you switch hands it doesn't count

  • sparky1

    Elder's Coordinator: "Young Brother Jerk and Squirt, we have called you to this meeting to discuss a delicate matter. There have been reports of you and Sister Hot to Trot spending an inordinate amount of time together alone."

    Brother Jerk and Squirt: "I see brother Elder. Yes we do spend a lot of time together. We share an interest in music and musical instruments."

    Elder's Coordinator: "Yes Brother. What we here on the service committee are trying to determine is if you and she have used each others instruments."

    Brother Jerk and Squirt: "Of course! She lets me play with her 'squeeze box' all the time and I let her perform on my 'organ' any time she likes."

  • HiddenPimo

    I always found it interesting when studying the various versions of the Elders manual when I served as an elder that Scriptural backing was often times absent from the different guidelines provided to elders. It make some think that maybe the Scotch was the only spirit directing these writings.

  • DesirousOfChange

    Is this a new 2019 edition?

  • john.prestor

    Manipulate the genitals? God doesn't that sound arousing. What fucked up language.

  • sir82

    There's nothing really "new" in the book - it is essentially a compendium of the previous version plus various letters written from the WTS to elders folded into the text.

    But yeah, for a religion that criticizes Jews for their "oral law" and Talmud and whatnot, it's striking that they have come out with their very own version of the same thing.

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