Sorry, this 'e. For example, the sin may involve past child abuse, and this would likely disqualify him for many years' - the language indicates that even a past sin of child abuse wouldn't necessary exempt an elder from serving, only that it likely might. Wow. So much wrong with all of this. Does anyone know if the charity commission have seen this paragraph?
Publisher death nail.
I have this exact situation in my family.
A cousin of mine, elder for several years, decided to confess to the body of elders that before he got married, he committed immorality with his now wife. The confession came after they were married with kids.
The body of elders removed him as an elder as punishment. He is now an elder again.
It is strange indeed that the elders manual says that, but in my experience, an elder that confesses to something like this will almost always lose it's privileges.
of course, one of the signs of repentance is supposed to be a contrite confession, not trying to hide, like the wt hero David did too. so: only if you are good at hiding and push the flock to increase aka produce blessings, is it swept under the rug. ugh.
Had I known this when I was a JW, I would not (as a regular rank-and-file publisher) reported a matter about myself to the elders.
I was under the impression that if I did not confess:
 I would be destroyed at Armageddon
 God could not forgive me without the elder's "spiritual healing"
 I would impede God's bless and the "flow of holy spirit" in my congregation and be just like Achan.
Which proves no Holy Spirit involved in appointment
I recall years ago a brother was made an elder and he lied when they asked him if he was still smoking tobacco. Then what happened was his conscience bothered him so much he admitted to the elders he had lied to them. He was then deleted as an elder and reproved. I recall another elder at the time saying that if no one knew about it there was no reason why he should have being reproved or deleted as an elder. Your point though if this organization is spirit directed, how could the elders make an error in the first place? I mean surely an all knowing god would have known the brother had lied. Maybe Jehovoo was on a coffee break at the time.
Chook - "...I suggested he get his wife's opinion of it."
I'm not surprised; as with most organisations there are two sets of rules.
One set for the 'higher' echelons, and one for the R & F.