The Scarlet Letter- Disfellowshipping of Jst2laws and Joy2bfree, Conclusion

by jst2laws 40 Replies latest jw experiences

  • jst2laws

    The Scarlet letter Part 4 The Conclusion Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

    Request to appear for a "short meeting".

    The judicial committee was silent for two months as if it had died. Then, finally, about February 10 I received a phone call requesting I attend a "short meeting". For those of you not familiar with this processes, the word "short" told me their decision. I call it "their" decision, and they will say it was their decision, but it was not. Having dropped the word "lawsuit" they were required by society policy to correspond with the WT legal department before taking action. This would take at least a week for them to agree on the language of the letter and another 4 to 6 weeks for the WT to respond. Thus after about 7 weeks they were ready to meet again, but with a 'theocratic strategy' that was unussual.

    How did I know the purpose of the meeting by their adjective, ?short?? Those who have been in the in the three chairs of judgment in these proceeding know that if 'mercy' is to be extended then a good deal of time is to be spent reviewing scriptural admonishment regarding the aberrant behavior and how scriptural principles and laws had been ignored in a form of a 'scriptural reproof'. But in a 'short meeting' no scriptural reproof is offered but simply involves a statement of their decision to DF, one's right to appeal the decision, and basic steps to attain reinstatement. So I attended this meeting (JOY chose not to attend and I don't blame her) with full knowledge this was going to be a "We are done with you , goodbye" meeting of about 5 minutes.

    The ?Short Meeting?

    As I entered the KH I first made a right turn into the "Men's" room. This was not alarming to the elders, as I'm supposed to be nervous facing a fate worse than a firing squad. What I was doing, however, was turning on my digital recorder I had used in initial JC meeting. I was more experienced now after the Saturday Night Live moment I had enjoyed at the past JC meeting.

    The decision, as anticipated, was to disfellowship both my wife and myself. This was cool. We had anticipated this. I had only hoped the legal threat would have had more impact. So I asked: "Based on which of the many charged brought against us are you disfellowshipping us?" After a short silence one spoke up and said they were not going to get into that. I conceded we did not have to "get into that" but we, my wife and myself, did have a right to know for what alleged infraction we were being DF'd. Still I was stonewalled. I objected and reminded them that I was not knew to this process. I had "served" for many years on appeal committees. I reminded them if I choose to 'appeal' their decision they will meet with the appeal committee and they will have to state the specific offense, the time, place and the witnesses. I reminded them that this was a violation of procedure and my rights. We even laughed together when I suggested they were breaking from proper procedure just to get me to Appeal so they might feel they had deferred responsibility to a higher court. But they would not budge. I don't know if this was their own ploy are instructions from WT Legal. But I accepted it.

    Why did I accept this without a fight? It was apparent to me that this was being pushed by A postacy .

    Yeah, this time I got the entire (30 minute) discussion recorded but doubt I will every use it. Those judicial committee members were good men (yes, they harmed us, but they love people and think they are doing right). I would use any ethical means to expose the Watchtower, even damage the society as an institution because it would mean fewer people harmed by them. But the only outcome of using this recording would be harm to people I still care for.

    Where am I in this journey now ?

    Most of my family members have ended our relationship. This is the outcome I fought to prevent. But I am FREE now. No more worry about what I say or who is listening. No more looking over my shoulder. No more putting up with people I didn?t even like because I have to ?love the brothers?. I can now express what I feel to true friends who understand and agree. And I wear my Scarlet Letter with pride. Its my badge for speaking out, for disagreeing with and taking a stand against wrong teachings and harmful policies.

    I some times look back and think ?what a waste?. Thirty nine years in a cult. They robbed me of my life. But then, I?m not dead yet. In fact, I spent about 14 years of youth without the WT burden and I might have another 26 years to live. If I live so long that will be 40 years out vs 39 years in. So I guess I have the rest of my BETTER HALF of my life to live. I?m not going to let one half of my life ruin the other half. I am still dealing with side affects of decisions made as a cult member. Some things are irreversible and will cause pain indefinitely. But I?m playing the cards I have been dealt ( ) and the game looks better every day. I?m going to move on and enjoy the rest of my life.

    Steve Imhof (Jst2laws)

  • Carmel


    I applaud your taking a stand, taking full responsibility for your actions, facing the future with a positive outlook and I hope, not letting the pettiness of the elders and company retard you quest for freedom of thought and expression. Please accept my electronic pat on the back and words of encouragement. You took the same road I did over forty years ago. It was a matter of principal not one of expedience. Family or no, I have to live with myself and have never regretted the stand I took.

    Peace and blessings upon you


  • StinkyPantz

    Thanks for sharing your story with us

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    After reading the first two installments earlier this week I know I wanted more. Thanks for continuing the story and providing the ending - well the new beginning.

    I have posted it in the Best of in 2 places actually once in the Personal experiences and a second time in the continuing series - just so it doesn't get lost again

  • wednesday

    that was an impressive story , esp the part about the tape recorder. U are quick on your feet( just 2 claws and joy)

  • Narkissos


    Thanks for sharing the whole story. It sure brings back a lot of memories.

    I do enjoy the wisdom, humour and kindness in the way you tell it.

    Take care,


  • ballistic
    I some times look back and think ?what a waste?

    Well, when I met you three years ago, you definately didn't strike me as someone who would ponder that question for long, as you are the kind of person who makes the most of any situation.

    In fact, I asked you at the time, as well as others, how they felt about "wasting time" because it is something that played on my mind at the time. And you told me about some positive things you had done with your life.

    I too, no longer think much about this question. To be honest, along with all the many other positive ways of looking at it, is this bottom line; most people I know get up early for work, go to work, come home late, shower, eat, sleep, and the cycle starts again for most of their working lives with an occasional holiday. Well, looking back my life was a lot more interesting than that. I have stories to tell (just as you have in this post), something I have experienced which I can use to try to help others, and resolve that I will do a lot more in the future than run in anyone's hampster wheel. All of us can truly say we've had an experience and, like you see on news reports of hijack survivors, for example, the rest of our lives actually take on a greater meaning and we aquire a new outlook on life.


  • Simon

    Great reading Steve.

  • toreador

    Very interesting Steve!

    Thanks for posting and letting us in on what goes on behind closed doors. It is truly amazing what these elders will do in the name of the Org/God. I admire you for still saying they are people you still like after how they treated you guys. You have a truly admirable attitude. If it comes to this same end for me and mine I hope I will find it in me to have the same disposition as you and hold no grudges.


  • willyloman
    It is truly amazing what these elders will do in the name of the Org/God.

    Go ahead and hate your neighbor

    Go ahead and cheat a friend

    Do it in the name of heaven

    You can justify it in the end

    --One Tin Soldier

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