Judicial committees are famous for having 3 Elders on board, but more can also be had:
complex cases may warrant having four or even five experienced
elders on the committee.
An interesting admission is the possibility of being harsh in judgment, and even insinuates that the Elders would pay with their lives if the wrongly judged 'lost their spirituality':
an individual unjustly dealt
with may have difficulty maintaining his spirituality.-Matt. 18:6.
But whoever stumbles one of these little ones who have faith in me, it would be better for him to have hung around his neck a millstone that is turned by a donkey and to be sunk in the open sea.
When it comes to Judicial Committees, women and children are recommended to have their husband or father present in most cases, but for a man it's his choice.
Suicide or threats of lawsuits are a possible way to put a Judicial Committee in abeyance, at least temporarily if not indefinitely.
If an Elder is asked about a specific judicial case, they have a complete statement prepared:
"The spiritual and physical
welfare of Jehovah's Witnesses is of paramount concern to the
elders, who willingly provide spiritual assistance to congregation
members. The elders extend this spiritual assistance confidential-
ly. This makes it easier for those who seek the elders' help to do
so without worrying that what they say to the elders will be di-
vulged later. Consequently, we do not comment on whether el-
ders are currently or have formerly met to assist any member of
If there is a need to do so, the elders may ob-
tain the inquirer's name and phone number and inform him that
their attorney will contact him. The elders should then prompt-
ly telephone the Legal Department.
Here's a description of the opening minutes of a JC:
The judicial hearing is opened with prayer with the accused pres-
ent. Generally, observers are not allowed. (See 15:12-13, 15.) The
chairman then states the reason for the hearing and explains
that audio or video recordings of the hearing are not permitted.
He should then read a scripture
I include the following quote only because it's hilarious, in a sad way, how unchristian and legalistic the language is:
In the rare event that testimony presented during the hearing
causes the judicial committee to conclude that the matter should
not be handled judicially, the hearing should be suspended. In-
form the person that he will be contacted further regarding the
matter. The body of elders should then be consulted to deter-
mine whether the judicial committee ought to be disbanded.
Ex-JWs have often complained about the impropriety of Elders surrounding a woman to ask impertinent or titillating details of a sexual sin. As with many other things, the leadership keeps up with apostate material and addresses it sooner or later:
The judicial committee should be thorough but not in-
quire about needless details, especially in regard to sexual mis-
If they decide you aren't repentant enough, then you could be decided to be disfellowshipped before the Judicial Committee even begins no matter what you do or say:
keep in mind that if the wrongdoer has demon-
strated few or no works of repentance before the judicial hear-
ing is held, it may not be possible during the hearing to move him
to demonstrate sufficient repentance to justify extending mercy
If you're insane you might get a pass:
judicial committee discerns that his mental condition is so severe
that others generally regard him as not being responsible for what
he does, they may recommend to the body of elders that no ju-
dicia I action be taken, explaining the reasons for their recommen-
When it comes to the unscriptural practice of congregation reproof taking place by a few behind closed doors, there is one loophole to fulfill the scriptures:
If witnesses testified during the hearing, they may
be invited to hear the Scriptural reproof. In this way the wrong-
doer is reproved "before all onlookers.'' (1 Tim. 5:20)
If giving a public talk, you are NEVER allowed to use another translation on its' own. If another translation is quoted, it must be immediately followed by the same verse in the New World Translation.
Here is something I have never, I mean NEVER heard of, and if somebody has experienced this, please let me know:
Symposiums: The body of elders determines whether it would be
beneficial for an inexperienced public speaker to be assigned the
first 15 minutes of a talk and for a more experienced speaker to
be assigned the remaining 15 minutes.
To avoid liability, and have suicide vow cards be viewed as a 'personal decision', this:
The body of elders should not invite Hospital Liaison Committee
members or medical professionals to present or to share in a lo-
cal needs part, such as regarding filling out the durable power
of attorney (DPA) card or some related matter. Likewise, they should not arrange for such individuals to present special talks
or programs at Kingdom Halls or other locations for this purpose.
Here's just a random rule:
At congregation meetings, speakers should not project any mov-
ing video footage on screens or monitors unless directed to do so
by the organization.
Regarding tie in phone lines, I can say that my congregation doesn't obey the following rule:
it is not necessary to
monitor who has access to congregation meetings.
Regarding head coverings for female sign language interpretors, one is required for talks, prayers and songs, but not required for one on one tactile signing.