Hey ya'll! My first post. Please help. In need of advice/comfort.
They will not do anything...to play safe tell them you have chronic fatigue...tired all the time and you feel overwhelmed with anxiety from "this system of things ." They will pray together read some texts and go.
Welcome to the forum Stepford Wife. It is a difficult situation that you are in.
You say that you will agree with everything that the Elders say if you meet but remember that your husband will either be there listening to it all or the Elders will tell him what you said.
If they ask you about the blood issue or the card and you lie, your husband will know and you would need to consider the problems this might cause.
However, unfortunately, there might be a bigger problem and that is to do with your daughter. You say that you would do anything for your family.
I don't think you said whether your daughter was baptized or not. If you actively support her from not attending meetings then this is going to potentially take things to a different level.
You might talk to your daughter privately but if she takes a stand herself not to attend and you support it, how will your husband feel about this? He might accept it but when he is confronted about it by the other elders then he might tell them that you are allowing it and basically, he can't fight you both. If he hasn't already been stood down as an elder then this might be another catalyst. But the Elders will want to talk to you and they will now have (what they think) to be just cause to df you. They could potentially have their 'two witnesses', your daughter and your husband.
I haven't been through this situation and I might be wrong about it but I believe that if someone is just trying to fade or become inactive it is easier to do but when there are other people affected by your actions or you actively encourage/support another person not to attend then the situation is different.
Welcome to the board. You have been given lots of advice some I agree with and others I don't. But ultimately you are in a sticky situation and you have to do what's best for you and your daughter.
I was DF'd and divorced. This is most definitely the worst way to leave. So if you could leave any other way and keep relationships in tact I would.
Take care and keep us informed
Hi Stepford...,(you are so not a Stepford wife btw!!!)
there is a "faders guide"on here, unfortunately I cannot use the search facility on my mobile, (if someone could post link I would appreciate it) it may be under a user called "the searcher"he's a current fader and gives great advice - could you pm him if you cannot find it?
generally you should avoid meeting elders, they come in twos for a reason - to dig for evidence. Their priority is the org and the cong/their own butts, not you - ordinary publishers come way down the list.
If you must meet them I believe being stumbled by the arc is your best option as it allows you to keep tighter reigns on your daughter. Say you just need time to sort things out yourself, wait on jah etc rinse and repeat - don't give them anything else. Many folks site depression/anxiety issues but this may be awkward if hubby as an elder doesn't want to mislead. They will not inform other halls and their desperate need for men taking the lead may work in your favour re hubby's position - though if they have already mentioned his stepping down that may be a done deal - be prepared for them to use his position to blackmail you into coming back. I would suggest you asking them to watch the arc with you in order to respond to your question - that may send them scarpering !!!!! Lol!
I wish u all the best but I will say freeing your daughter would be my priority, imho ! Xxxxx
Please be sure to inform your doctor about your new stance on the blood issue. It's important to have it in your medical record in the event of an accident. And do the same for your daughter.
Discuss with your husband how important it is to him to remain an elder. He should be running interference between you and the elders. And make a deal with him about your daughter...either he accepts her inactivity or you will simply refuse to meet with the elders, and then he'll lose his position.
Medical decisions regarding children, especially the blood issue, are often made by the state when the child is a minor in life/death situations. And both parents have equal say in those decisions otherwise; tying to end run around her husband by going to the doctors about this for your daughter will result in a lot of carnage and will end with lawyers and lawsuits. If she is thinking about this strategy, the first visit should be to a lawyer.
Her husband remaining an elder may be important. Or not. She has indicated that he seems to love the Dark Lords more than her. If he does he isn't going to be interested in 'running interference' for her. Forcing his hand or using the daughter as leverage in a manipulative maneuver in a quid pro quo move is rife with problems and makes it even less likely he is going to feel all warm and fuzzy about protecting her from the BOE.
If I was him and she did that to me, I would view it as a shot across my bow. An act of war. I would immediately take all necessary precautionary moves to counter her. It is likely a very, very bad strategy.
Our experience: Wife became inactive. C.O visited with an elder from our congregation. I was not present. Wife was very careful with what she revealed, but C.O. got on the platform and gave a talk about her anyway. Singled her out as walking dead. I believe it was a marking talk. She learned about it from another sister and wrote him a letter telling him that talking about his impressions from a personal visit, on the platform, had discouraged her further. He phoned to apologize.
I told the BOE I felt, with my wife’s inactive status, I should step down. They contacted the C.O. Met with the BOE and C.O. They all felt I should not step down, that the congregation understood the situation and my wife’s spiritual demise would not be considered ‘my fault’. This stepping down thing was going nowhere, so a few meetings later, just before the announcements, I handed the ministerial servant going to the platform a note to read saying “The elders wish to advise the congregation that for the present time brother Wheels will not be serving as an elder”. He read the announcement.
My wife now believes it is best not to meet. After the C.O. visit she began using the phrases “I just don’t feeling comfortable discussing my personal situation” “too painful to talk about” “nothing to be done” which has worked well for her. And they have tried to meet with her many times.
Myself, I’ve talked to quite a few, and have been quite open that my beef is with the Watchtower. I won’t allow any JW to come into our home and I would not attend a formal meeting for encouragement otherwise. The last time the C.O. turned up I kept him on the step, in the winter cold, even though it was evident he wanted in. We talked about 15 minutes. If they want to talk I bring up disturbing points that are not debatable. Tell them I’m really disturbed and troubled. I would never answer THE QUESTION however and I think they know it. After all they were the ones that taught us how to use theocratic warfare LOL.
Each congregation treats the inactive situation differently. Some ignore them and don’t even visit. Some try to bring them back. Others prefer to get rid of them. My experience says if you want to fade don’t profess fatigue or depression just let them know kindly that this is a ‘no help’ situation.
Oh, and be careful what you tell your hubby. He may open up to other elders, wanting help to correct your viewpoint. When other elders see you can’t be helped, his info could be used against you.
Good Luck SW!
Good morning, StepfordWife! Welcome...
I was the wife of an elder..... I have seen many situations with "committees" and "elder's visits"..... When you first hear of them, they sound so 'innocent'... so 'loving'.... so "we want to help you-ish."
Remember, the organization comes FIRST.
It really doesn't matter if you have done ANYTHING wrong, if the elders in your hall 1. like your husband and want to help him 2. don't like you 3. want to show their power 4. want to get rid of your husband 5. want to impress the CO 6. are just nimwits..... they can & will either "mark you" or DF you.... They can do it w/o a meeting. I have seen it.
People who just testify at trials, and tell the truth, and piss off the Society get DF'd... The WT just sends it's minions to your hall, appoint them as 'new elders to help out' and THEY simply go "talk to" the right hearted truth teller, then come up with some self righteous reason to DF them. No meeting, no notice, no nothing.
My family made it out together... it took some time... All the males were DF'd, the women were not (not that I couldn't be).... BUT, even tho I am not DF'd, my mom won't "talk" with me (as a normal human being... just righteously business like) because "you don't go to the meetings anymore".
I went to some "helpful elders meetings" and had nightmares for a year. I would never, ever, ever submit myself to that. Don't think you are smarter, don't think you are tougher... they CAN and WILL use even your attitude or ANYthing they want to find a reason to simply 'cast bad light on you'? They don't need to DF you.... Nowadays, many JWs will treat you very differently just for not going to meetings. It all depends on the people..... you never know....
Court? Libel? That is something everyone wishes they could do, but you have to prove they have effected you monetarily to have that work. The Society has lawyers that are quite adept at bending the law, filing rebuttals at the last moment, and all that takes time and money....
If your husband really, really wants to be an elder, and if that is his number one priority, I agree with others here, tell him "Keep this quiet about how I feel, and you'll have a better chance of remaining an elder. If you make it an issue, you will have a good chance of being removed."
I have seen soooooo many elders remain elders even when their kids left, people drank themselves silly, etc, etc, because "they tried their best.".... But, on the other hand, when they are not popular or well liked, if there is a will, there is a way, and they will be removed.
ARC.... This may be a good choice to bring up to hubby. I am wondering if these elders, that did not report the crimes of the pedophiles in Australia, will get jail time? maybe they will have to pay $$$???? In any case, ask your husband how he would feel if he had not stuck up for these children, and helped them escape? Is he prepared to go to jail? Would his conscience bother him?
As a poster pointed out, perhaps you can say, "I don't feel it is safe for my daughter in this org, so many pedophiles being protected by the 'two witness rule. Jesus said, "whoever stumbles one of these little ones gets the millstone, and gets tossed into the deep blue sea"... I can't support this type of activity, my conscience would bother me deeply"
Really.... really, really, really, do NOT meet with them... they will screw your brain, whether you give them the info or not.
Get a job, work at night, take classes that are on meeting nights... ??? or just, as one person said, just say "no thanks" and move along. ;-) From one ex-elder's wife to another...
SW - I haven't read the rest of the thread so may be repeating others but just thank them very kindly for their offer of a meeting but you're ok at the moment. Tell them you know where they are if you need them.
Don't get drawn in to debate, express doubts, challenge doctrine or any of that shit. Just keep your head down and your mouth shut and they'll stop bothering you.
They need a reason to form a JC - don't give them one.
1. Continue to STAY away from all meetings. If you meet a friend on the street that is a witness and they ask, tell them you are tired and discouraged, trust me, they will not question this, they are all tired and discouraged.
2. DO NOT MEET with elders under any circumstance. Don't give them any reason other than you are not able to meet with them at this time and you will get back to them.
I can't stress that enough.
They can sense that something is up with you; don't give them any ammunition, don't ask questions, don't talk about blood, don't talk about anything.
3. When you feel the need to vent, come here to do it!
WELCOME to the rest of your life!