Shunned by family
Should my fiancé have attempted to disassociate himself from the jws prior to being disfellowshipped? Now that he is df, is it too late?
As Geoffery Jackson pointed out in the video, one can formally disassociate themselves by having it announced, which is the que to the congregation to begin shunning, or one can choose to just leave and say nothing. When someone just fades away, they don't typically make a ruling on the person who simply leaves quietly until they want to come back. In view of that video it seems to me your fiance' could point out to his family and the Elders that he shouldn't have been DF'd in the first place and could even threaten legal action against the congregation because of the resulting consequences they've caused .
He was invited to attend, but it would have meant a long interstate journey and as he said to the elder who called, he no longer has anything to do with them, so it was really of not much concern to him.
Even more proof that he is no longer a JW and is not under their jurisdiction anymore and they shouldn't be making rulings on him and involving themselves in his personal life. Since they are HER elders, the only thing they should have done is confirmed to his exwife that she is free to marry again if she wants.
I am not sure that the video alone would be strong enough to sway his parents by itself (even if we can get it to them, which is problematic). Maybe in conjunction with the circuit overseer who initially advised them it was a matter for their conscience?
Maybe he could email the video to those Elders and let them know that based on what Jackson said, they were wrong to disfellowship him and he wants them to reverse their decision .
The annoying thing is that nothing has changed. My fiancé was living (very happily) in sin with me and his parents were allowed to associate with him (they knew although of course they had never been explicitly told). He was then disfellowshipped for the same reason and now they're not allowed to associate with him.
It is so hard to understand how they are persuaded that anything has changed.
It's all about technicalities in JW land, so long as no official ruling is made, lots of JW's are ok with looking the other way.
As a side note: Sorry if I'm getting the wrong end of the stick here but it seems as if you may be more concerned with his family situation than he is. Shouldn't he the one trying to figure out what to do?
Thank you for all your comments and suggestions, they are very helpful and constructive.
Please be assured, my fiancé is distraught, although he always knew it was a possibility. He only got final confirmation today that his parents will be shunning him and he does not yet know I have joined this forum. Having been a jw, he is probably more resigned to it than I am. I hate injustice of all kinds, so I suppose I was hoping that there might be something we could do. I will discuss it all with him tonight when I get home.
Thanks again for your detailed reply.
I was hoping that I might be able to be a liaison between my fiancé’s mother and my fiancé, but having spoken to his mother this morning, I am not sure how welcome that will be. She said that I might be able to call her every six months or so and that it is all scripturally based
You could continue to try to go down this track. There is no reason scripturally why she can't talk to you often. You have never been a JW and those rules do not apply to you. You could tactfully ask her about this, as well as expressing your desire to get to know her better
It's the "scriptural" divorce which has caused this (accepting that the real cause is JW pressure and his parents choice to follow it).
Your fiancé's informing his ex-wife that she is scripturally free is what has led to this.
The ex-wife "needs" to be scripturally free if she is ever going to re-marry in JWland. Like a whitewashed grave she "needs" to appear whiter than white because JW's "need" to appear - like the Pharisees of old - pure and clean.
So the lackey elders at her hall will have consulted their branch office or the latest circuit overseer and been advised that the "reputation of the congregation" needs protecting as your fiancé has in effect admitted to having a sexual relationship outside of marriage and the ex-wife needs to have it shown to all and sundry she is free to marry.
His parents are so brainfrozen, desperate, needy, entrenched, unable to be wrong or whatever after decades of following false hopes and thinking they would be of a select few in paradise petting lions with their deceased loved ones that they are probably incapable at their age (assuming 80 plus) to act differently.
The best hope you have is acting as the "go between" (but likely not in the presence of your fiancé) as if you are not a baptised witness then they - even by the rules of JW land - should not be shunning you.
You might also, with no guarantees of success, stay a while and ask about "loopholes" in the shunning/disfellowshipping/disassociation process/game. There are posters here who can find WT literature quotes that might support some contact in the case of "necessary family business" which individual JW's can use to ease their conscience when trying to do the "right thing."
A good start is on the JW dot org website under "FAQ's" where the question "Do Jehovah's Witnesses Shun Former Members of Their Religion?" is shown. This is the "public face" of the religion and they paint it in a less severe light.
They type so much drivel you can find contradictory statements which may, just may, get through to one or both of your fiancé's parents.
Best of luck.
BTW are you in the UK?
freddo- His parents are so brainfrozen, desperate, needy, entrenched, unable to be wrong or whatever after decades of following false hopes and thinking they would be of a select few in paradise petting lions with their deceased loved ones that they are probably incapable at their age (assuming 80 plus) to act differently.
How true, after all those decades of false hopes and endless clarfifactions..... for them remains at least a certain kind of paradise, the work of cleansing and monitoring as well as shunning in the congregation.
Dear Ruth, in dealing with the JWs there will be no real logic, common sense or consistency. And very little real "morality" or human kindness.
If it suits their purposes they will use their own rules and "scriptures". Otherwise you can count on inside politics, grudges, gossip and resentments, and fear to motivate their behavior. They will throw their family under the bus so they can cheat death and get the "paradise."
I've learned this from being married to Flipper for 10 years and seeing what the JWs have put him through.
You are a good, caring spouse, concerned about how events have unfolded. If only there were a decent, human heart at work in the organization, there might be a way to resolve this so that your husband can see his elderly parents. There may come a point where you yourself need to develop a spirit of acceptance regarding his parents', sister's and adult child's "stand" because it could eat away at your peace of mind. Lots of incredibly unfair and hurtful things happen in life and sometime the best we can do is acknowledge what's happened and take care of ourselves and our loved ones. Sorry this cannot be resolved in a loving and just manner - yet this can be something that strengthens your own resolve to continue being a loving supportive spouse.Best!
In view of that video it seems to me your fiance' could point out to his family and the Elders that he shouldn't have been DF'd in the first place and could even threaten legal action against the congregation because of the resulting consequences they've caused . ~ Pete ZaHut
I'm assuming you are in the US. Hiring an attorney to file a lawsuit can be expensive, but just the formality of filing and serving the defendants is not outrageously costly. Actually going to court is expensive.
If you are financially able to have the lawsuit filed, perhaps based on his civil rights being violated (based on Jackson's testimony) or just to sue for monetary damages for his being wrongly "slandered" could work. If I was on a jury, I would see it as him being "wronged" and suffering greatly in emotional damage. Look what the jury awarded to Candice Conti ($28million). The WTS might get scared shitless if they see that a jury could hang them out to dry and set a precedent on this.
On a side note, you could also point out the WT that says that "necessary family business" is allowed with DF family members. Surely caring for the needs of elderly parents IS "NFB". If they don't agree, your husband can insist that is how HE views it.
The greatest revenge is living a happy & successful life!
Thank you to everyone who has taken the trouble to respond to my issue. You have provided us with some great information and support.
Last night, I showed my fiancé the posts and we watched the video of Geoffrey Jackson from the Australian Royal Commission into Child Abuse. That together with some other posts has given him some hope. My fiancé has decided in the first instance to see if he can get the disfellowshipping overturned.
If not, I guess the second option it to appeal to his parents with the what evidence he can to see if some contact could be maintained. His parents live in another state, so most contact is by phone, with a couple of visits a year. Their day to day needs are taken care of by their daughter. That said, my fiancé is emotionally very close to them, especially to his mother. I agree that emotional well-being is definitely necessary family business.
If all of this does not succeed, I will endeavour to maintain contact myself as originally intended.
I will update this forum as we go through this process.
For the record, we are not in the UK or USA. We are in Australia. I don't think that the legal route is such an option here, although that is something to bear in mind
We are in Australia. I don't think that the legal route is such an option here, although that is something to bear in mind.
It might be worth the small cost of discussing it with an attorney or solicitor (correct title?)
Hope things work out for you. Good luck!