The Judicial Committee

by minimus 108 Replies latest jw friends

  • recoveringjw

    I was subjected to three JC's. I don't remember much about them, truthfully. Different elders each time. Some were understanding, some were assholes.

    I see good ol' Sword of Jah is lurking about, so I won't go all crazy and start ranting and raving, because I am not in the mood to hear his/her lips flapping the wind, but Judicial Committees are sick and wrong. Be that as it may, if they were going to change them around a bit, I think they should allow sisters to be on them. Oh man, what I am saying? That would NEVER happen!!!


  • AlmostAtheist

    I was before a judicial committee, but I *knew* I was going to be DF'd because I was unrepentant. The committee tried very hard to give me a way out, 'maybe you'll see things differently given time', 'I *know* you, you're not like this', stuff like that. It obviously pained and upset them to conclude that they needed to DF me. I felt I was being dealt with very fairly and reasonably. I was DF'd.

    Then I changed my mind. :-)

    And it seemed then that they flopped to the other side. Now they were resistant to let me back in. I cried the tears of a broken person, I was the prodigal son, but instead of giving me a robe and gold rings, they said, 'Let's give it a few months.' They quoted the OM book where it says it may take 'several months, a year, or even longer' before a person could be accepted back. It tore my heart out. I couldn't accept that Jehovah was torturing me this way. Then one of the committee members pointed out that it isn't Jehovah. He may well have accepted me back already. It was the imperfect men that had only their experience and knowledge to draw on for direction. (So much for the holy spirit argument!) That was a hellish period of my life that I would never choose to live again. From the time I wrote my first letter to the committee to the time I was reinstated was five months, making mine a very fast reinstatement. I don't know how people who are trying for over a year keep any semblence of 'self' about them. I found the whole process extremely crushing. I cried nearly every day, and at every meeting.

    Essentially it taught me that the organization is geared toward helping you stay in if you're in, and keeping you out if you're out. It's much easier to keep from getting DF'd in the first place than to get reinstated later.

    And of course, once you're reinstated, you're still under "restrictions", eased over many months and more hearings. You bear the badge of disfellowshipping for a long, long time.


  • Undaunted Danny
    Undaunted Danny

    Basketball 3 My JC Kangaroo court experiences offsite at my personal Blog:

    The perpetrators are named so the mods might censor.

  • willyloman

    Can't let sword's comment go unchallenged:

    Although elders are guided by holy spirit, this does not mean that they are inspired when making their decisions. They are using Biblical guidelines.

    No, they use human guidelines laid down by the WTS's spokespersons, the DO and CO in private meetings at which no tape recordings are allow nor are any hard copies of letters or memos distributed; in fact, making copies of such is unauthorized. Elders are to make their own notes (that way it isn't 'officially' from the WTS) in the margin of their elder's manual, which discusses these "guidelines" in purposely fuzzy language.

    But these guidelines can sometimes be ignored, therefore, ignoring the guidance of the holy spirit. This is why there is an appeal process offered by the F&DS. This is to safeguard the rights that the accused has if he/she thinks the decision is not appropiate.

    These guidelines are indeed often ignored, but judicial proceedings are one-sided and unfair whether the elders bother to read the instructions first, or not. The accused may only appeal on the basis that "a serious error in judgment was made," not just because "he thinks the decision is not appropriate." That may sound like I'm nitpicking, but there's a big difference. An appeal based on "I was repentant but they just didn't see it" is the most common, and is almost never overturned. In all my years on JC's and appeal committees, we overturned one, and that was because the elders had no grounds for DF'ing the young woman -- they just didn't like her attitude. We invited the parents of this 17-year-old to the appeal hearing, and they contradicted the charges brought by the original committee (which did not invite them to their hearing with a minor child).

    I have been part of an appeal committee that overturned a brother's disfellowshipping. ... The brothers humbly accepted our counsel and decision.

    So have I, and the results were very different. Of the three, two never spoke to us again. One, the youngest, approached me privately and said the experience taught him something and he was grateful. But the other two went out of their way to avoid me and the other elders on the AC, and were clearly pissed.

  • core
    Although elders are guided by holy spirit, this does not mean that they are inspired when making their decisions. They are using Biblical guidelines.

    Does this mean that if they pray for the guidance/blessing of the Holy Spirit at the outset and still get it wrong that the Holy Spirit has failed - surely if they ask for its help it should always guide them to what is right?

  • minimus

    The JC does not have any more holy spirit than you or I have. HS does not make mistakes....and I'm not talking about Hillary_Step!

  • Balsam

    Only been before one JC while I was a JW. It was upon exiting. Personally I feel like it depends on your own attitude as to how you view it all. I had my mind all made up before it happen. The Elders were doing their job as they viewed it and I did not give a flip what they thought.

    I had left a JW husband who let out 15 year old son die without blood that could have saved him. He was verbally abusive all the 30 years I was married to him and resorted to physical violence and injury to me. He hated me and didn't try to hide it. Also there was a number of affairs he had been involved with through the years. He himself had been disfellowshipped once. The Elders always said we needed to stick it out and we did. The feeling of hatred was mutual after 30 years of marriage. The brothers loved and respected him, and will I was a woman and viewed as the weaker vessel. LOL And I had found my lost love from high school again after 32 years and was running away with him to start a new life. (no I was not raised a JW, became one at 21 with my then husband)

    Ok so then I told my then JW husband I was leaving him, he told the Elders and they called me in. I wasn't going to go in, but an Elder I liked was on the committee and I went because he asked me too. I had written a short and very brief letter to them and gave it to the husband to give to them prior to the invitation. The good Elder was kind, even helpful, the other one was shocked and didn't know what to say. The third Elder played the evil Elder out to call down the devil on me. I kept my composure and and would not budge from my decision and told them to disfellowship me because I would not change my mind. I told them why I was ending my marriage I met with them once, and it was all over. I felt wonderful. Called my lost love and we talked about my flight to his arms. Have been happy ever sense now for 3 years. I

    Don't be wishy washy unless you want to stay in the religion. Stand your ground if you are really ready to be out. We don't need to apologize for wanting something more than the life we lived as a JW. We don't need to feel any shame either.

  • SwordOfJah

    I want to add that there is also a third appeal process if the accused does not agree with the decision taken by the appeals committee. The third process involves the branch. The accused can then write a letter stating his case and the reason for disagreement to the Branch. The decision is then turned over to them.

    Regarding the guidance of the holy spirit, you have to also add the human element. One example is Judas Iscariot. He was named with the guidance of the holy spirit to be an apostle. He was also guided as he ministered to Jesus, but he chose to not follow the guidance of the holy spirit when it came to treason. I will not sit here and say that mistakes are not made during judicial proceedings, but that is why there is three or four sitting on each judicial committee and why there is a an appeal process. This process might get mocked, but it works well in most decisions. I've been in judicial hearings were one of the elders wanted to disfellowship, and the other two reasoned with him that this would not be the right decision. They reasoned with their fellow elder by using the Bible and publications entitled "Determining weakness, wickedness, and repentance"

  • wheres caleb?
    wheres caleb?

    Good post Willyloman.

    I knew an elder that was being removed and the whole elder body was in agreement on his removal. The process of removal was instigated by the more influential ones in this body and it was personal. They just didn't like him. The elder in question went into the congregation with a rap that he was going to improve the spirituality of the congregation because he was such a better example than those presiding there already. This really upset the existing body and they were ready to exploit any flaw they could find on this brother. They found one! (Who would have thought?)

    Their act of digging for this info is what ruined their plan. The CO jumped all over the body of elders because in the pursuit of their case, they got Bethel involved as well as other congos where this elder served. It was blatant power abuse.

    The elder in question is no doubt an asswipe hack who pontificates from the platform. His record of being run off from other congos after he leaves his stink is well known. His spin is that he wants to be used to help others and Jehovah leads his way by holy spirit. The elder body was right about him but they handled it wrong.

    The wrongfully accused moved to another congregation (spanish no less). He was being sent to where the need was great, as he put it. To get back at his fellow brothers, he was trying to get a talk assignment at his previous congregation just to spite them. He didn't get it, thankfully.

    What a wonderful brotherhood! This is a wonderful example of how the holy spirit works in Jehovah's organization.

  • rocketman

    I sat on a jc on several occasions. hated every minute of every one of them.

    Perhaps the worst one was dfing a woman who had just moved into the area because she smoked. No one in the congregation knew her, and when her dfing was announced, there were looks of puzzlement on many faces, and a few asked afterward who she was.

    She may have attended one meeting, an elder found out she smoked, and before I knew it, I was sitting to judge her. I should have opened my mouth and protested the whole thing, but I went along with the elders, one of whom was much more dominating in personality than me and the other who was older and more experienced.

    During the meeting the woman cried and the elders with me showed no compassion. I felt bad for her, but didn't speak up. And frankly, I never bought into smoking as a dfing offense anyway.

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