Question: Can't You Just Ignore A Judicial Committee?

by Sorry 27 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Sorry

    One thing I've never understood is judicial committees. Yes, I understand it's held to see if elders should go through with the disfellowshipping process. But why give them all the power? Someone ratted on my cousin for SMOKING (mind you she hasn't been to a meeting in 3 months), so I just told her to ignore it and just keep on doing her own thing (I admire her for just saying 'screw it' and leaving/if you read my previous posts, I don't have that same courage). She said she has to do it.

    It you don't show up and ignore their requests, are they still allowed to df you? Will they take it as an admission of guilt or will they just give up and move on?

  • schnell

    Why does she now feel she has to if she earlier said screw it? Maybe she wants to face them?

  • Phizzy

    Just ignore it if that is your choice, of course they cannot make you do anything.

    You may be DF'd in absentia, but so what ?

    Send back any letters from them unopened. That way you will never know if you were Df'd.

  • RubaDub

    It's like not showing up for work and your employer calls.

    At some point, you are fired.

    Rub a Dub

  • dubstepped

    If you don't show up they'll DF you by default, which shows the presumption of guilt is the way they work . Guilty is what they truly want to find you.

  • Giordano

    She probably feels she needs to make it right because her family is in the 'tooth' and she doesn't want to lose the relationships. Or she is conflicted with the religion and still feels like they could be right.

    Anyway Welcome to the forum Sorry!

  • Sanchy

    No, she can't just ignore the JC since the elder's book instructs them can go ahead and carry out the proceedings even without the accused present. Once a JC is formed it's almost impossible to get it cancelled, however, here are some options:

    -There is a loophole in the elder book that says that if after various attempts they can't reach the person in question to arrange the judicial committee date, they should just leave the matter pending. So one might attempt going into hiding for a few months, not answering any calls, and hoping the elders would just forget. If your cousin has already spoken to the elders, then it's too late for this method.

    -If there was only one witness to her alleged smoking, she can deny the accusation and the elder's would not be able to proceed with a JC so long as they don't have 2 witnesses nor a confession.

    -If she doesn't want to get DF, she can go into the meeting, put some pepper spray in her eyes, shed a few tears, tell the elders that she's so embarrassed that she "hurt her relationship with Jehovah by smoking", that she only smoked a few of them in a moment of weakness, and that she never ever ever wants to hurt Jehovah again like that. Maybe they'd only privately reprove her in this situation.

  • Sorry

    schnell: To elaborate, when she said 'screw it', she meant packing up her stuff, becoming a roommate to her 'worldly' friend and just stop going in fs and meetings. Her parents hate it, but they're just glad they can freely associate with her. I think she's worried because if she's actually df, she loses that (I have similar fears).

  • DesirousOfChange


    There are a couple ambiguities here.

    Was she invited to a "Judicial Meeting"? or just to speak to the Elders.

    The difference is that (according to the procedure in the Shepherd the Flock book) the Elders cannot form a JC (3 elders) unless they believe they have the "evidence to convict" a person -- they need TWO witnesses or other evidence (like a photo of her smoking). Without that evidence, it is just an "investigative committee" and typically only 2 Elders.

    IF there ARE NOT two witnesses and she ignores them, they can do not DF her. Basically, they can do nothing. It did not happen if there are not two witnesses to it. (Note that it does not require two witnesses to the same event. One witness could ave seen her smoke at work, and another seen her smoke at WalMart, and that constitutes TWO witnesses.)

    IF there ARE two witnesses to her smoking, or other clear evidence (photo) then they can proceed with the JC and DF her even if she has refused to attend.

    Wish her good luck! . . . . Doc

  • Magwitch

    They invited me to my committee meetings by sending me 3 separate registerd letters (3 different meetings, two different committees) I never signed and absolutely never showed. They finally just DFed me.

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