Elder Told A JW To Ignore Governing Body Advice
I had an interesting conversation with a fellow ex-JW yesterday. For the sake of this post lets call her "Katie". Katie and I last met up when i first left. I had no non JW friends and so searched out other exJW's from my first congregation of the same age group as me. 90% of that age group have left. So we got in touch and met up last year. Katie is a former pioneer who suddenly stopped attending meetings and managed to be left alone by the elders. She lives a happy life outside the cult. Her mother is still very much a JW. I remember her mum from years ago when i was a kid in the KH. A very kind and genuine woman.
Katie asked me if i consider myself an apostate. I said by Watchtower standards i do. But, personally, i just regard myself as an atheist getting on with his life. She laughed and said her mum would freak if she knew she was out with an apostate. I asked how her mum would react seeing me in the street. She said "she'd still talk to you. She knows im out with you now and she said have a good time and to say hi".
Then she told me something interesting. She said "i dont know what went on last year, but my mum came back from the 2016 convention and was very on edge and worried. They'd been told to shun family members who aren't disfellowshipped but are living non JW lives."
I told her that I've seen the convention videos online and explained what i knew. Then she said:
"She asked me if i was going to ever "return to Jehovah". I said no, never. Then she visited Paul (and elder in the congregation). She asked Paul what she should do. She doesn't want to shun me and thinks its not right. Paul told her "dont worry about it". He said that announcement was wrong and doesn't expect anyone to follow it. And it'll probably be forgotten."
I told her that many are following that advice. My uncle who faded over 15 years ago was in full contact when he left with all my family. Suddenly after that announcement non of the family talk to him. She said it's so bad and scary how much control the org has. And that it's so much different from when she was in.
Then she said "I cant believe my own mother asked an elder for confirmation that it's ok to carry on having a normal mother/daughter relationship. Like, she couldn't decide on her own?"
I replied with a line i read on here a lot: "lets review... it's a CULT!"
Then we laughed and drank until 12:30am.
So it's interesting that at least one elder thinks the GB go too far. And i bet he's not the only one who thinks this. Let's hope more and more active JW's see the GB as the bumbling fools that they are.
The more extreme and absurd the GB get..... the more the disenchantment will grow.
The r&f gobble up little statements as though there's something HUGE going on, when in fact, it was just the way the speaker said something. The people are starved for new light or something that gives them some direction in life because they are just wallowing in the same old thing for year after year.
I'm sure that elder is not the only one who thinks like that and acts like that. He made sure he was just talking to one person then. If she told an active jw (or inactive jw) that might report her or him, he can just deny it.
I had an COBOE I've known for a long time (ex-CO too), tell me it was all right for elders to have contact with df'd family members because they were spiritually strong enough to handle it, but I couldn't do that; they hid behind the "necessary family business" clause. Not too long after that the WTS had an article chastising jws for hiding behind that clause.
jws aren't all that obedient. in their minds their are like the ancient Israelites of Ezekiel and Isaiah's day, "Jehovah has left the land and he is not seeing."
On my way out ,the elder who was trying to talk" sense" into me when I was questioning the GB's legitimacy said" he doesn't take much notice of them and just focuses on the truth " I could hardly believe my ears ,I guess the new rockstar GB hasn't found as much adulation from some entrenched jws as I thought
Very interesting story. I think it depends on how seriously individuals believe what the GB say.
My own mother used the words 'I have to remain loyal to Jehovah' when I said what would she do if I ever chose to 'officially' leave the organisation; and know full well she would shun me. I remember sighing when I heard her say that.
I felt like saying what on earth did you get me into all those years back when I was a young gullible teenager.
Shunning was my tipping point. I never shunned except for an arrogant COBE's son who called me to let me know there would be an announcement, but he would be back in a year. Turns out he embezzled funds from his JW boss's business AND the KH collection box. I was fine with shunning him, because he essentially gave the go ahead and should have gone to jail. He was back in a year.
My daughter walked away when she was 17. Stopped going to meetings cold and "respectfully declined" a shepherding call. My son acted out when his JW wife left him and was subsequently DF'd. My son and daughter both committed the same "sins".
I was told that I could still have a relationship with my daughter, because she hadn't been DF'd and hadn't been disciplined by Jehovah. She would have to straighten things out when she returned. I guess YHWH didn't love her enough.
Another elder said I could still visit my son, because of concerns for his mental health. He told me, "just don't talk about it with the friends". This same elder and his wife maintained an amicable relationship with their DF'd daughter. I told him I wasn't about to be a hypocrite. The teaching was that I should have no contact with my son, and that wasn't to going to happen.
I couldn't wrap my brain around this level of crazy. I told him I wasn't about to go to meetings and pretend I was shunning my son when I wasn't. Now I'm here.
If this elder was quoted correctly - and it is by now third hand - he sounds either very brave or very unwise. He's in a position of responsibility and should know better.
But let's get real: Unless he said it in the company of other elders, what he said amounts to diddly-squat.
I remember an elder or two siding up to me many, many years ago and saying in confidence, "Oh, don't worry; it won't happen." And when push came to shove, it happened and these two sympathetic guys had no memory of what they had so clearly said to me.
I am prepared to admit, though, there could be a grain of truth in what the elder said (it's still no excuse for what he said). I do think that unknown numbers of JWs do not apply the letter of what the GB say - hence repeated warnings about the perils of not shunning are sounded from the platform and JW.org and in JW literature.
Wow, and I thought I was really "out there" as an elder telling people that they just do not need to tell the elders everything they do.
Speaking from 20 plus years as 'an elder' and 60 plus years as a jw (faded successfully about 8 years ago), it's fairly common for elders to have little or no respect for their fellow 'elders'. In private, one on one, conversations with several fellow 'elders', who were also friends, we often criticized and scoffed at the sh*t we were "required" to do an believe.
I'm certain that any reading this post and that have ever served as 'elders' in jw land will agree that all is not well even among those "appointed by holy spirit".
I never went along with shunning and always expressed concerns about the blood issue.