This may be a plot point in a novel I'm working on. Will a judicial committee take testimony from a DF'd or DA person? I could see them wanting to get dirt from any possible source, on the other hand I can picture somebody saying "He's DF'd everything he says will be a lie." Maybe there's official direction or do they leave it up to the elders involved? Just curious.
Can a DF person testify at a judicial committee?
I recall the elder book saying that you could consider the testimony of unbelievers, not sure about specifically DF'd or DA'd.
It wasn't specifically forbidden to take their testimony.
They specifically state that it must be from a 'credible witness' but I don't recall where they have defined what that is.
I know of a case where they visited a DFed person to inquire about a case of another person. Don't know about testifying, but I'm sure some have been quite flexible when they are in somebody's case.
I was once on an appeal-committee where the original committee had df a brother based on the testimony of a sister and her unbaptized husband who visited the meetings. We came to the conclusion that df was not legal als the KS book ( or some letter from the branch or publication, I cant remember, it is 22 years ago), stated that testimony had to be from two baptized publishers.
The testimony of unbelievers and disfellowshipped or disassociated ones may also be considered, but it must be weighed carefully.
That's a direct quote from the elders manual.
In other words, testimony can be used but of course the elders will be more likely to think they're lying.
By the way if you want to get your terms correct, the part with the testimonies is not the judicial committee. Before a JC is initiated, the (two) elders will go on a fact finding mission to see if any sins have been committed that warrant a JC. They will talk to witnesses to the sin (including possible unbelievers).
During the JC there is not much fact finding to do other than quizzing the accused to see if they are repentant.
Only in very rare cases (according to the elders book) it may appear during the JC that a JC isn't needed after all.
Example: while his wife is out of town, a bro is seen walking around town with a beautiful blonde woman. They are seen walking with arms locked together, hugging, during a dinner for two, going into the house of the bro together in the evening, and spending the night there.
Three different JW rat on the bro to the elders. It's clear as day that something sinny is going on here, so the bro is 'invited' for a chat at the Kh. When he gets there, he is ambushed by a 3 person panel of JC judges (who never clearly explain that fact nor the procedure they're following).
They explain charges of immorality and infidelity to him and want to proceed with the JC.
The bro laughs, produces a family picture and points out his beautiful blonde sister who lives abroad and is visiting him for a few days. Yeah, end of JC.
@ Anders Andersen - "During the JC there is not much fact finding to do other than quizzing the accused to see if they are repentant."
I used to believe this "fact", and actually told non-JW's that only unrepentant sinners got D/F'd. Repentance is a secondary issue in the minds of the kangaroo court.
We now know that the wolves judge if a person's repentance is acceptable - based on whether the individual is "favoured" by the leader/s in the pack.
Actually thanks Anders - I recall that now and remember being on a fact finding mission (aka witch hunt) - in the late 1990's - when I was an elder on a young brother playing fast and loose in JW terms with several young women but there not being enough to prove how far things went with each one.
One girl confessed to what is in jw land is porneia with the chap and he said he only went as far as above the waist action. As she confessed to a blowjob with him she was dealt with judicially but he got away with strong counsel because of course there was only one witness to the blowjob as he denied and said she was fantasizing.
She "lost it" at his "lies" and stormed out the JC in tears verbally DA'd and was judged unrepentant and DF'd!
About six months later another girl confessed out of the blue to similar "porneia" with the same chap and this time he denied completely beyond kissing her.
We checked with the original (already DF'd girl) whether she still held to what she had said and she was willing to repeat what she said and used the testimony of the now DF'd girl plus the new one and DF'd his sorry ass for porneia and malicious lying. The more recent girl got a private reproof.
We asked the original girl if she wanted to get reinstated and that we would fast track it if she did. She was very polite (amazingly) but basically told us she was never coming back to a religion that used elders who "lacked discernment". I understand she is now in her mid forties, in business with her hardworking never a jw husband with teenage kids, happily married.
Not proud of being involved in the process above but just reporting.
It seems to me not all Df'd people are created equal. Many still "believe" and are making steps to "go back". In practice, these types are treated differently than someone who is blantantly disagreeing with the society in any way. By actions or worse....they say out loud they don't believe the teachings....gasp.