Have you ever been stalked/spied on by fellow JWs?
I have/had family members who were elders. Eventually Watchtower instructed the elders, “Stop policing the flock.” Why? Most likely lawsuits.
Before that elders followed people suspected of “wrongdoing”. For instance, one family member in the role as elder followed the theocratic ministry school conductor who was suspected of being gay into a gay bar and found him holding hands with a man. He was promptly disfellowshipped.
The same family member followed another person suspected of having an affair with his sectary and so followed him, but they could never find anything on him.
In one of Ray Franz’s books (both which I highly recommend you read if you are interested in this organization) he highlights how the Greek Branch spied on a gathering of “apostates”, and photographed who came in and left. When caught, Watchtower denied responsibility and allowed the man spying to fall on his sword for them.
It is not official Watchtower policy anymore. HOWEVER, it is still known to happen. There are many reports here of elders on stake outs and waiting outside people’s houses to see if there is wrongdoing. Most likely zealous elders who are drunk on their own “authority”.
This is an organization were informing on errant thoughts and behavior is expected, even if it breaks medical or other privacy laws. Some JWs can sometimes snoop and have no sense of boundaries.
Since you are a “bible study”, JWs view you basically as a “spiritual” child. And like any “parent” can and will snoop “for your own good”.
Wow. This is extrem. What I meant by stalking is the possibility that some members can track you down on social media
Unfortunately I told my study conductor what school I attend (which is also my workplace). I'm affraid she might used this info against me later on.
Stalking on social media definitely happens all the time. In my experience this is mostly done by the women in the congregation (who invariably love to gossip - I'm not making a statement about women in general so much as JW women who are kept powerless and have little outlet for their natural desire for some feeling of control) and if they find something out they'll report it to their elder husband/father.
When I was a study, an elder started coming to where I worked. I thought he was an old customer (I worked in the closed off area in the back, where no customers go). Turns out he had just started coming there recently, after I started studying with a sister in his congregation. It was very creepy, to say the least. Especially when the people at the front desk told me he asked a lot of things about me.
He almost always had a fake, vacant-eyed smile on his face, no matter where he was, which didn't help at all. Unblinking, wide and unnatural, like Hannibal Lecter or something.
When I changed congregations after getting baptized he (congo secretary) didn't transfer my records. I called him up, and he proceeded to chew me out in no uncertain terms. Again, this time around I was baptized and not a potential recruit any more.
The flip of the switch between love and hate was staggering to me. I never really had that same feeling going to meetings after that (and a few other angry people from the former hall chewing me out for stupid stuff, too), even tho the new hall was calm, sedate and very loving of all comers.
The whole turnabout was so jarring, I started missing meetings and didn't go to the memorial the following spring. Why I stuck around with the religion after that is beyond me. It was nothing but drudgery from there on out. There definitely was a bunch of fake love (see "love-bombing") in the initiation process ("bible" study), but the guy couldn't keep up the facade after I got baptized. Funny, he always treated his pre-teen son like crap, no matter who was around. Probably treated him a whole lot worse at home, where he was free to beat him. Hindsight being 20/20.
While extreme, for this organization, it is the norm rather than the exception. If members will go to this extreme by physically spying, why would they dial it back on social media where it is easier to do so in the privacy of their own home?
So the answer is yes: members can will track other members on the internet and then go report the matter to the elders (if the person snooping is not themselves an elder). And for those who are Bible studies, inactive, or someone they perceive is spiritually ‘weaker’, some might just do this to find out what is ‘hindering’ you and help you ‘progress to maturity’.
Just take a look at this picture from one of the study Watchtowers:
The Watchtower, September 1, 1987 pages 12-15:
"One day Mary (who worked as a medical assistant) faced a dilemma. In processing medical records, she came upon information indicating that a patient, a fellow Christian, had submitted to an abortion. Did she have a Scriptural responsibility to expose this information to elders in the congregation, even though it might lead to her losing her job, to her being sued, or to her employer’s having legal problems? Or would Proverbs 11:13 justify keeping the matter concealed? This reads: "The one walking about as a slanderer is uncovering confidential talk, but the one faithful in spirit is covering over a matter."—Compare Proverbs 25:9, 10.
Mary was somewhat apprehensive about the legal aspects but felt that in this situation Bible principles should carry more weight than the requirement that she protect the privacy of the medical records. Surely the sister would not want to become resentful and try to retaliate by making trouble for her, she reasoned. So when Mary analyzed all the facts available to her, she decided conscientiously that this was a time to "speak," not to "keep quiet."
On the other hand:
Gordon Leighton: Jehovah's Witness whose child abuse was covered up by church elders is jailed
Three years those elders made the court wait for that already given confession (Yes, the molester/rapist was known as such by those men, but he was still held in higher regard than the victims).
Clergy-laity protection is what they claim, but tell people on the inside that we're all equal, that there are no class distinctions? My ass.
What a creep!!! Were you suspected of wrongdoing?
People inside the JW congregations can of course be surreptiously stalked for other reasons, like crushes on the unavailable persons.