Dis-association Vs Inactivity

by Listener 9 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Listener

    Is it just me or is this just really bad double talk?

    9.372 Moreover, the suggested finding has no connection with preventing or responding to child sexual abuse and, furthermore, appears not to appreciate the difference between disassociation and inactivity. As was explained, if someone decides to no longer associate with Jehovah’s Witnesses that is a personal decision and no disciplinary action is taken against that person.

    If a person chooses to no longer associate with JWs that is DISASSOCIATION.

    This is the dictionary definition of disassociation "To remove from association; dissociate".

    9.373 For example, Mr Geoffrey Jackson stated:283 “I thought I made it quite clear I don’t agree with that supposition”. We do not have a “so-called spiritual police force” to chase after ones who no longer want to be Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
    9.374 For example, Mr O’Brien stated: 284 “They don’t have to disassociate themselves to stop associating. They don’t lose their spiritual or familial association by being inactive.”

    Again O'Brien's comment is nonsense. Disassociating is the same thing as not associating.

    Is this what they really meant to say or are they just caught up with their own nonsensical procedures? Looking at the Shepherding the flock book makes it a little clearer.

    1. Whereas disfellowshipping is an action taken by a judicial committee against an unrepentant wrongdoer, disassociation is an action taken by an individual who no longer desires to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses. (1 John 2:19) Actions that may indicate disassociation indude the following:
    • Making known a firm decision to be known no longer as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. If the individual is agreeable, the committee should first try to speak with him and provide spiritual assistance. (GaL 6:1) Does he really desire to disassociate himself, or does he simply no longer want to associate actively with the congregation? Is the desire to disassociate prompted by doubts or discouragement? If he is adamant in his position, he should be encouraged to put his request in writing and sign it. If he does not, then the witnesses to his request should prepare a statement for the confidential files and sign it.

    According to them there is a difference in not associating with the congregation (which they call being inactive) and disassociating. Their own definition of disassociating is no longer being known as a JW.

    Although we know what they mean to say, what they do say is not correct. It comes down to the use of the word disassociation. It is not the correct terminology.

    Firstly, is the misapplication of the word disassociating intentional? Absolutely, many JWs associate the word with being inactive according to it's true meaning - a person who is not associating. This results in many inactive JWs being treated the same as a disfellowshipped person.

    Secondly, since the reality is that the term disassociation applies equeally to a person who no longer wants to be a JW and to a person who is inactive, what would be a more correct terminology to use in the first instance? I think 'resign' would be more accurate.

    Had they been using this term then there would have no misunderstanding in the JC and no confusion about treating inactive ones differently.

    This brings up another possibility for those wishing to disassociate without the severe repercussions that follow. A poster on another forum shared a letter that they wrote to their parents but I think it is just as appropriate to write it to the Elders.

    This is where the original letter is and written by 'lightsgettingbetter'


    It could be modified to read:

    To the BOE,

    Out of respect for your loving concern for our family, it is time that we share with you our current situation.

    As of now, we are no longer active within the congregation.

    The reason is a personal matter. We will not be discussing what the reasons are.

    We are not disassociating ourselves.

    We have not caused any problems within the congregation. There is no one in the congregation that we have problems with. We have done no wrong doing within the congregation.


The Awake, July 2009, it clearly states “No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family” and goes on to say: “God allows each person the freedom to choose how they will respond”.

    It is clear from this that our choice to be inactive is our own.

    Furthermore, these statements were included in a submission made by the WTBTS at the recent Australian Royal Commission into child abuse.

    9.372 .... As was explained, if someone decides to no longer associate with Jehovah’s Witnesses that is a personal decision and no disciplinary action is taken against that person...

    9.374 For example, Mr O’Brien stated: “They don’t have to disassociate themselves to stop associating. They don’t lose their spiritual or familial association by being inactive.”

    Therefore, there is no doctrinal or scriptural reason for you to indicate to the congregation, our family members and our friends that there should be no communication with us, we are simply exercising the freedom granted to each human.

    In fact, in instances where the Bro's or Sisters who would otherwise shun us or approach you for advice, that you make clear to them that inactive ones should not be treated as either disfellowshipped or disassociated ones and that there is no scriptural backing for them in doing so. We feel assured that as you are loving individuals who are taking the lead that you would encourage good christian behaviour.

    At this same Royal Commission hearing, Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson gave testimony to the following -

    We do not have a “so-called spiritual police force” to chase after ones who no longer want to be Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    As this courtesy is extended to disassociated ones we would request that the same be extended to us as inactive ones.

    In a peaceful spirit, we request that you do not contact us to either discuss this or provide us with any form of 'sherpherding'.

    Yours sincerely ....

    This is by no means a foolproof option for those that want to disassociate and hopefully avoid shunning, particularly from family but feel that they need to stop the elders from annoying them. However, if it backfires the individual/family will have some strong basis for comeback.

    What do you guys think? Is it worth suggesting to some who feel they need to do something and helps to clarify their position? After all, is it really necessary to state that you no longer want to be known as a JW when a true christian baptism was not to an organization, to be known as a JW regardless of what the organization would like people to think?

  • Simple Minds
    Simple Minds

    what the org says publicly and what happens in reality are two completely different things

    if you are inactive most will ignore you but they will talk behind your back about how spiritually weak you are and that you secretly must be doing something wrong, it is all about control and them feeling superior to boost there own egos

    but not me i have decided not to worry about there judgments

  • The Hermit
    The Hermit

    They will still disfellowship you even after you'd became inactive. My cousin was baptized at 16, became inactive 4-5 years later. He then met a non-JW girl, later they bought a house together. He was still under scrutiny even though he had been inactive for some time. Elders couldn't disfellowship him... until his girlfriend got pregnant. Now they had proof my cousin was a Fornicator with a capital F and he was disfellowshipped on the spot. The results is that now my grandmother, my mother and my aunt all act like he's dead. Yet they all talk to me, because I was never baptized. I've been doing drugs, drinking and smoking during most of my teen years until my mid 20's, but it was still ok for them to associate with me at the time. My cousin has been a responsible down-to-earth hard-working guy all his life and now they shun him for having a baby (now two). So much hypocrisy. My aunt is shunning her son and missing on the childhood of her grandchildren and for what? Heartless rules, peer pressure, idiocy.

    Watch out faders, the Elders still hold you to the same standards as active witnesses.

  • Listener

    The Hermit, a similar situation happened in my own family. Even more ridiculous because I was never officially disfellowshipped. They needed two witnesses and my sister wouldn't testify. I was shunned but two of my siblings that had never been baptized lived a very interesting life without the same repercussions.

    The best thing is not to get baptized in the first place. Pushing to have children baptized is so wrong.

    Even if the baptized person stops 'sinning' it makes no difference unless they get re-instated by the Elders.

    Very little is left up to the individual conscience

  • freddo

    The Gruesome Twosome (Jackson and O'Brien) were squirming under pressure from a well prepared and competent lawyer and a "velvet hand in an iron fist" razor sharp Judge.

    When they and their minion CO's are presiding over elders meetings it is a different story.

    Yes, you can "go inactive" i.e. "fade" and after several years go off the radar. But if you live near your own congregation or anyone who knew you as a witness then don't hang up the Xmas lights or get your girlfriend pregnant or smoke in public because it can hang like the sword of Damocles. Nowadays a picture of you celebrating Xmas on Facebook may get you DF'd.

    But fading is very often the best way to go because often the elders won't chase you down - especially if you weren't high profile or you don't have a spiritual policeman in your close family stirring up trouble - and if they do, by the time they DF you in absentia you don't care so much.


    The GB have a standing "code red" order. Brainwashed, Stockholm syndrome Dubbies will carry out their orders.

    The WTBTS has no problem lying in print, or in their speech to anyone.


  • The Hermit
    The Hermit

    The best thing is not to get baptized in the first place. Pushing to have children baptized is so wrong. -Listener

    Yeah well I understood this very early. I was already planning my exit at 10 years old, was free at 13. All the friends I had were worldy, 0 friends in the congo, inactive dad, disfellowshipped mom, divorced parents, it was easy.

    Years after my exit all my cousin's friends were non-baptized born-in J-dubs. They were all living double lives, smoking pot, going to parties, doing things kids do. Even at the KH they acted like frat boys. The elders back then were old and weak. CO came, said WTF is this, all the teens had spiky hair and drove sport cars with loud fart can mufflers like in the Fast and the Furious. New elders were brought in, parents were reprimanded, the kids were given a choice; get serious about Jehovah or else you lose our support. They all got baptized, my cousin didn't want to fall behind. They were the most pathetic bunch of Dubs I have ever seen, smoking cigarillos and just being plain vulgar when their parents had their back turned... behaving like perfectly pure young men when amongst other Witnesses.

    Obviously too young for baptism (not that anyone should ever get baptized at any age IMHO). I told my cousin ''Your heart is not in it, why are you doing this? It is NOT the Truth, it's bullshit! Mark my words: You WILL be disfellowshipped, I know you. Our family will shun you, I know them.'' His answer was ''It's easy for you to say, you got lucky''. He sure seemed happy to dedicate his life to god, poor guy.

  • konceptual99

    Whilst the WTS is more than happy to twist definitions and use semantics to wriggle away from criticisms they hate it when the same tactic is used against them.

    As has been pointed out, fading away into inactivity might be permitted in as much as the elders leaving you alone is concerned but be under no illusion - you remain a baptised Witness in their eyes. If there is good reason to use that against you or your family who remain "in" then they will do so.

    Writing a letter arguing semantics will have zero effect when they catch you celebrating Christmas 5 years down the line.

  • Vidiot
    Reading the OP gave me a headache.
  • linda 5
    linda 5
    Looking for advice about this topic but want to remain anonymous due to family.

Share this