LeakingInfo: What can be done to find out who is leaking documents?
Hi, as a brother serving at the congregation, I highly value trust and confidentiality. That being said, nothing drives me up a wall more than when information is allegedly "leaked" onto the internet to apostates. By that I mean letters and other information that is addressed to Elders or other people within the organization. Outside of turning this into some sort of prison, what can be done to perhaps discipline those who violate confidentiality like this? What can be done to find out who is doing this?
I don't think there is much that can be done. But still, the fact remains that it just needs to stop.
Thank you.JW Advisor: You have understood the situation correctly. Other than keeping filing cabinets locked and minimizing who has access to any specific file, there's not a lot that can be done to prevent their releasing them. Even files on the organization's secure servers, requiring encrypted passwords, have been leaked. The unfortunate fact is that some deceitful men think it is their duty to lie and pretend to be faithful in order to have access to those documents. There are even a few apostate circuit overseers and many apostate elders in various congregations.
Holy spirit is not a magic psychic link to identify apostates, as it is a guide, not an open person-to-person communication or sensory device. (Jeremiah 50:24) So we have to ferret out apostates the old fashioned way: set a trap. (Judges 12:5, 6) If you know that 1 of 4 individuals is an apostate because only that group has access to documents that have been leaked, then you can print out 4 nearly identical documents, each with only 1 difference from the others, (A different word with the same meaning or a phrase worded differently,) and give each individual a different document than the other 3 so that no two of them have the same document, keeping track of which individual has which document. In that case, the likelihood of their catching on is slim. Then, when one of those documents shows up anywhere online, you know which individual is the apostate.
Another way is to catch the apostate in a lie. (Proverbs 18:7) Since he is deceitfully hiding who he really is, he has to say many things he does not believe and the more it angers him to say it, the more likely he will be to slip up. I like to just really bite down hard by stating my opinion of apostates with harsh words in order to make the apostate's blood boil, because he knows he is one. I also make statements of loyalty and love about the governing body and try to make a way to obligate them to make a statement about how they feel about the governing body without being conspicuous.
You would also be surprised how well it works simply to put someone under oath whom you suspect of being an apostate to state their loyalty to the governing body or simply whether they are apostate, with a reminder of Revelation 21:8. Many apostates, despite their lies and living in constant fear of discovery, like to view themselves as honest and not cowardly, as if not deserving of the lake of fire. If they say "no" and especially if they affirm their loyalty to the organization, then they are not likely apostate. But if they cannot bring themselves to lie so overtly, then they may try to sidestep the question, deflect it onto you, or begin obfuscating over what it means to be loyal or launch into a soliloquy over their not needing to be under human authority, but under Jehovah or Jesus alone. That will be your answer.
And, of course, be sure to pray to Jehovah to help you find the apostate. (Philippians 4:6, 7)
As to discipline, it is a disfellowshipping offense to reveal confidential matters, deception and being a betrayer, all of which this essentially falls under. So those who do these things can be disciplined. But always remember to have verifiable evidence to share with the elder body. (Deuteronomy 19:15)
Sorry I can't be of more use. [July 5, 2016 at 1:24 pm]
I can certainly understand this concern here. I too find it reprehensible, and in my view, a disfellowshipping offense (though my views don't really matter as far as that goes)
No doubt, if a brother is found to have leaked letters and such to apostates (something I have also seen on the Internet) then he will no doubt be removed from his position since he can no longer be trusted, and perhaps df'd for apostasy. He will have to answer for that. That would be betrayal.
There is nothing that can really be done to stop a brother from doing that I think outside of turning the organization into a place of suspicion and distrust by perhaps removing the ability to download and print letters, but I don't think the issue is to that point anyway. I know there are apostate elders who are doing this. All there needs to be is one, however.
This can be very discouraging because we learn to trust those taking the lead among us, seeing how some of those who've turned apostate are supposed to protect us from apostasy. But if we look at certain Bible accounts, we can see that this isn't something new to God's people. Appointed men, like Korah, were proud to be apostates. They did not hide it. One of Jesus' hand-picked Apostles "leaked" Jesus' whereabouts to his would-be murderers.
So we should not be shocked, though at times it would be surprising to hear about such a thing. But we can take comfort in the fact that Korah and Judas were dealt with, so today, these men will eventually be weeded out by Jehovah. [July 5, 2016 at 5:00 pm]
JW Advisor: I like that idea of setting a trap for those apostate brothers. In fact, a couple years ago when this first caught my attention, I thought about something similar — like sending letters that had subtle, nearly unnoticeable characteristics that differentiated circuits, and then congregations, to narrow down the areas they are being leaked from. [July 5, 2016 at 6:33 pm]
JW Advisor: I that solution, also, as it is organization-wide and even if they know about it, it would make it very difficult for them to get around it. The way they could handle it online is with individual digital watermark that electronic PDF distribution companies use, which mark both the images and the electronic file as belonging to the individual that downloaded it. [July 6, 2016 at 2:03 pm]
JW Advisor: That's a great idea. This organization has been in existence for over 130 years, and internal apostasy has not brought us down, even in the early days where we would have been more vulnerable to collapse. That tells us that we have used various means to root out liars and traitors. I'm confident that they have something in the mix to catch these people. [July 9, 2016 at 8:20am]