I finally did it! After 3-4 years of being inactive I wrote a DA-Letter and faxed it to the headquarters of the "Christian Congregation".
I am planning to be more active in helping Ex-JW and I have become a member of the newly founded "Netzwerk Sektenausstieg" (Cult Exit Network) in Germany. Since I do not want to get kicked out I rather prefer to cancel membership myselfs.
For decades, German JWs were not members neither of the WTS nor of the local congregations. This has changed in 1999 when they gave each publisher a letter stating that they formed a new association (called "Religious Community" like the "Christian Congregation" in the US) and that each baptized JW belonging to a congregation automatically became a member of that. We even had to sign our Publisher Card to agree that the Elders are collecting personal data.
Okay, now I wrote the letter stating that I never agreed to becoming a member and that I want to get out of it. I also demanded all my data to be destroyed (incl. my Publisher Card) and withdrew my signature that gave them the right to collect any data.
Now I am looking forward to their response.
I Have Finally Sent My DA-Letter
I finally did it! After 3-4 years of being inactive I wrote a DA-Letter and faxed it to the headquarters of the "Christian Congregation".
Good luck on the destruction of personal data...how would you verify that?
Congratulations, well done, keep us posted.
>Good luck on the destruction of personal data...how would you verify that?
I cannot. But at least I went the legal way. Either they are law-abiding - or they have to lie. If they lie about this that can make someone at Bethel think.
Or maybe there is another case of burglary as was in Scandinavia some years ago. Some documents that were meant to be destroyed were stolen. Very embarrassing for the WTS back then...
COOL...is there a post on this board about the Scandanavia incident?
You can find the story at the Wachtower Observer:
The files of Jehovahs Witnesses
Jehovahs Witnesses came into the limelight of Danish media when the organisations secret registration of the sine of the followers was revealed by an ordinary burglary.
by Søren Bo Henriksen
0n the night between the 23rd and the 24th of July 1991 a burglary was
committed against the Danish branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses in Holbæk.
The police were told that a considerable amount of money, together with
"some documents", had been stolen. Holbæk Amts Venstrblad,
the local newspaper, pubIished an extensive story about the burglary. Just an
ordinary crime, or so it seemed.
But on Sunday the 17th of May 1992 the Copenhagen daily Politiken
informed the public that a confidential file containing deeply personal
information about expelled members of the Jehovah's Witnesses had been stolen.
The existence and the scale of this file came as a big surprise to most people
including expelled Witnesses who never knew they had been registered.
On the basis of the information produced by the press, the Registertilsyn
(the Danish government's "Inspection of Registers") went into the
case around the 20th of May. The Registertilsyn declared (in
a statement of the 14th of September) that the register in question was
unlawful. Jehovah's Witnesses received an order to destroy all the personal
information referring to disciplinary cases and their treatment by November
1992, A short time before this deadline the Jehovah's Witnesses stated that they
had carried out the order of the Registertilsyn.
THE PURITY OF THE CONGREGATION
This "file case" is interesting because it exposes the workings of
an organization like the one behind the Jehovah's Witnesses, and it tells us
something about the followers' view of the society which they have turned away
Many have indeed asked: "Why does the Jehovah's Witnesses need a
file like that'! And will the organization really follow the order of the
Registertilsyn to destroy it and comply with the order in the future?"
The disfellowshiping policy of the Jehovah's Witnesses is an inseparable
part of the teaching of the sect. The "demand of purity" is at the
basis of the policy of disfellowshiping, which is the cornerstone of large parts
of the organized religious life within the sect - e.g. in connection with
responsible tasks. And this "demand of purity:' is in its turn inseparably
linked with the belief of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Witnesses live according to the principle that "a little leaven leavens
the whole lump". When it comes to disciplinary cases this principle is
enforced in a very consistent manner, and it is absolute.
To Jehovah's Witnesses, obedience to God comes before obedience to the laws
of the country if they think that a law prevents them from complying with a
Biblical commandment admitting (in their opinion) no delay, as does in this case
the demand for "purity in the congregation".
GOD'S INTERESTS ON EARTH
To the Jehovah's Witnesses this means that whatever the
authorities may decide in this matter, they will only comply with an order
inasmuch as it does not prevent the sect from keeping the information needed for
the control of a sinner in order that he constitute no threat to "the
demand for purity" at some later time.
Therefore it is doubtful whether they will comply with the demand of the
Registertilsyn. Given their organizational policy they will not be able to
accept the banning of registration of persons against whom disciplinary cases
have been conducted. Typically the argument would be that the leaders need to
know what the case was about, the person's attitude to and behavior in the case,
and the need to "protect" the congregation against a potentially
harmful influence from the person concerned.
To throw some light upon the willingness of Jehovah's Witnesses to follow the
order of the Registertilsyn in this case, I shall present a number of quotations
from their Watchtower literature. The citations are not only
illustrative - they are part of the "law" that the Jehovah's Witnesses
want to follow in a case like this.
The context of the quotations presented is the Jehovah's Witness's claim to
stand on Biblical ground when saying that there are situations where it is
justifiable to lie, speak "half truths" or conceal facts, if the
"loyalty" to God and his interests on earth demands so.
DELUSION IN TIMES OF WAR.
The Watchtower of February 1, 1956 printed an article that told the
readers how the Jehovah's Witnesses must act and react towards those who resist
them or persecute them:
"Remember that there was a war then. The enemies did not
deserve to learn the truth to the hurt or endangered Jehovah's servants. In
wartime it is proper to misdirect the wolfish enemy." (Page 80)
"In wartime it is proper to misdirect ..." Please
remember that Jehovah's Witnesses feel they are in a state of spiritual warfare
with society outside their own organization. This world is under Satan's power.
Consequently the maneuvers chat Witnesses might consider appropriate for
covering up their acts will always be justified.
"Since the unchristian wolves declare war upon the sheep and
choose to make themselves '"fighters actually against God," it is
proper for the inoffensive "sheep" to use war strategy toward the
wolves in the interests of God's work. No one against whom this strategy is used
is unrighteously hurt because of it, whereas the "sheep", or those
interests that deserve tp be protected are safeguarded. God does not oblige us
to show the stupidity of sheep and play into the hands of our fighting enemy ...
It is proper to cover over our arrangements for the work that God commands us to
do. If the wolfish foes draw wrong conclusions from our maneuvers to outwit
them, no harm has been done: to them by the harmless sheep, innocent in their
motives as doves ...
If for conscientious lessons he (i.e. a faithful witness) refuses to tell everything
he will be willing to suffer the consequences if he be judged deserving a
penalty. He refuses to tell everything, not to escape punishment, but facing punishment
for conscientious reasons." (Page 86 and 89)
He refuses to tell everything for conscientious reasons. To
a Jehovah's Witness "conscientious reasons" means keeping a clean conscience
before God and the supreme leadership of the Watchtower organization, the
SUPPRESSION OF FACTS
The Branch Office Procedure contains instructions to
the leadership of national offices concerning treatment of
"unfortunate" information. In chapter 24:11 it is said, among other
"Also, have in mind the possible effect
of the article on the people living in your territory. Sometimes it is best
not to say certain things, even though they are true. Be careful not to submit
material for Publication that might cause difficulty for our brothers, or for
the work in your country." (The emphasis is in the original
As far as the present case is concerned, everything was not admitted in the
beginning, and facts were only admitted gradually as they could no longer be
Reasons of conscience can also be the need for protecting "the
interests of the Kingdom", convincing yourself that those who demand
answers to specific questions are Satan's servants and consequently have no
right to know it all - that cunning is permissible in times of war.
The Watchtower of the 1st of September, 1960 dealt with
the question of whether one must always speak the truth. On page 351 it said:
"God's Word commands: "Speak truth each of you with his
neighbor." (Eph. 4:25) This command, however, does not mean that we should
tell everyone who asks us all he wants to know. We must tell the truth to one
who is entitled to know, but if one is not so entitled we may be evasive. But we
may not tell a falsehood ...
There is one exception, however, that the Christian must ever bear in mind.
As a soldier of Christ he is in theocratic warfare and he must exercise added
caution when dealing will God's foes. Thus the Scriptures show that for the
purpose of protecting the interests of Cod's cause, it is proper to hide the
truth for Cod's enemies ...
This would come under the term "war strategy", as explained in The
Watchtower, February 1, 1956, all is in keeping with Jesus' counsel that when
among wolves we must be as "cautious as sheep. Should circumstances require
a Christian to take the witness stand and swear to tell the truth, then, if he
speaks at all, he must utter the truth. When faced with the alternative of
speaking and betraying his brothers or not speaking and being held in contempt
of court, the mature Christian will pull the welfare of his brothers ahead of
his own, remembering Jesus' words: "No one has greater love than this, that
someone should surrender his [life] in behalf of his friends."
By the expression "God's foes" is meant all who are
not Jehovah's Witnesses. especially those who speak negatively of Jehovah's
Witnesses or work against them. The expression "the interests of God's
cause" comprises among other things that you endeavor to maintain the
"demand of purity".
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TOPICAL CASE
The fact that the Jehovah's Witnesses tell lies if necessary - also in order
to cover up things that are embarrassing to them - has been shown by this
"file case" several times. At times the organization denied the
existence of such files when the newspapers reported it stolen. Jørgen
Larsen and Erik Jørgensen (both from the Jehovah's Witnesses'
branch office in Holbæk) have spoken lies several times in newspapers and on
the newsprogram of Denmark's Channel 2. They denied several facts that later
became public knowledge.
The verdict of the Registertilsyn itself even contains examples that the
information given by the Jehovah's Witnesses is not correct. According to page 3
and 4 in thc verdict the Jehovah's Witnesses have claimed:
a) That a registralion is only kept for 5 years after a readmittance.
b) That the number of cases in each local file is limited to somewhere between
zero and "maybe" 7 or 10, and the organization conveys to us the
impression that it is a matter of about 2300 cases altogether.
Concerning point a) the Copenhagen daily Politiken was able to
disprove this claim, e.g. by means of a facsimile showing that several of the
registered cases were: more than 40 years old and were stamped "Must
not be destroyed", and also in cases where the expelled Witness had
THE EXTENT OF THE FILES
As far as the extent of the registration is concerned (point b),
the Jehovah's Witnesses have today about 225 congregations in Denmark, which
gives a statistical average of 10 files for each congregation. If there
are congregations without- any registered cases, it can only be a
matter of recently formed congregations. By means of simple calculation,
however, the figure starts to look different. After 40 years with 100 to 150
cases a year (according to Politiken of the 21st of
May 1992, based on figures from the Jehovah's Witnesses) the real number becomes
4000 to 6000 cases.
One thing we must not overlook is the fact that the files also
comprise disciplinary cases which have not led to disfellowshiping. Any
disciplinary case leading to a "reprimand", whether it he
"public" before the congregation) or "private" (only in the
presence of the accused), is registered and reported to the branch office in
Holbæk (in accordance with the: "demand of purity"). Politiken of
Sunday 24th of May 1992 brought the example of a disciplinary case against a
Witness who had partaken in the Regatta 'Round Seeland, which was not
"The file case" has in many ways contributed to shedding some light
upon the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, which keeps a tight rein on its
(Translation from Danish by Frans Mikkelsen).
The Watchtower's Complaint To My ISP - Telenor Online AS:
The data protection act - remove my files!
VG ? Norway?s Biggest Newspaper and Censorship
Lying is acceptable to protect the Watchtower Organization!
Good work, German!
I wish you well in your future work. It is really needed, and the world is better for having folk like you in it.
congratulations on your decision, and keep us posted on the release of the new MBoBS.
Thanks GermanJW for this interesting post! Just wanted to ask you; were you baptized some time ago? You said that baptized witnesses were made members automatically. If this were the case and you were baptized in the past, then when you decide to disassociate yourself, you will then be shunned as severely as someone who got disfellowshipped. There is no honorable way to leave this cult - probably the best way is to stay inactive indefinitely and they may ignore you eventually, especially if you move away from the area....
Ritchie, thanks for your input. Yes, I am well aware of the consequences - I was baptized in 1989. I have moved too, so they are having two problems: 1) in which congregation shoud it be announced and 2) where the heck is this guys Publisher Card.
As stated: My name now appears in the list of the Cult Exit Network and I know this guys: they will DF me and tell the public that I was DF for unbecoming conduct.
I want to say I have never been DFed but cancelled membership myself after years of fading.