WT Letter about elders' sins

by IT Support 13 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • IT Support
    IT Support

    Someone recently posted a topic which included a link to a WT letter to bodies of elders.

    The letter stated that if an elder confessed to having committed a serious (i.e. disfellowshippable) sin a number of years ago, and nobody knew about it, he need not be removed.

    I've searched for it for days, but cannot find either the original post, or the link to the scanned letter (a .pdf, I think).

    Can anyone help? Or did I just imagine the whole thing?

    Many thanks,


  • TheListener

    You didn't imagine it. The letter covers any member of the servant body. That means elders and ministerial servants.

    Brings up some interesting ideas: young brother so and so "comes to know" brother farmer's sheep in a biblical sense and keeps hush hush about it for a number of years. In the meantime he becomes a servant or elder (or was already). At some point he feels the need (god knows why) to get it off his chest (so to speak) and all is forgiven because obviously God continued to shower his holy spirit on him (in a good way).

    As long as no one turns him in everything turns out ok - in dubland.

    If anyone has the actual letter I would love to have a copy myself.

  • upside/down

    The way it was explained to me was that if a significant period of time had gone by and the individuals conduct during that time was "good", than better to leave sleeping dogs lie. It was emphasized that these two things coupled together proved the person was truly repentant and therefore acceptable to God. Funny how the angels and "holy spirit" failed to expose it!

    It reminds me of owing the IRS- you owe no matter what, but if yo wait long enough and stay under the radar, they will many times let you go as it were (offer in compromise).

    So you can speak up and do your time - or shut the hell up and wait till it's so far in the rear view mirror you can't even make it out anymore. I wonder how this makes the naive fools who thought "coming clean" with the elders and suffered lifelong humiliation feel? I know how I felt, I was one of those fools.

    Never again


  • avishai

    Nice. They have a statute of limitations now?

  • Ginosko


    Some years ago, when I was an elder, the Elders Body of my congregation used this instruction, for the benefit of a Ministerial Servant.

    Actually, I'm looking for a scan of this information either.

    Maybe this instruction was used to not remove the Bethel elders, that was involved in the WTBT-ONU fiasco, and who knows, maybe also in the Pat Garza accusation of Ted Jaracz.

    I would apreciatte if some one publish the link for the scan.



  • Gamaliel

    I believe it was in a letter which I don't have. But it was also referenced in a km question from the mid 70's (I think) and is therefore on the Watchtower CD. I will try to find it tonight. Gamaliel

  • pillsbury

    Here you go:


    km 10/72 p. 8 Question Box ***




    What is meant by "some years ago" on page 170, paragraph two, in the "Organization" book?

    This indicates more than a year or two. It may be noted that it did not say "many years ago." So it is not an exact number of years, but more like two or three years. It was not intended to have a brother go back into the distant past to bring up wrongs of which he repented years ago and that have evidently been forgiven by Jehovah and are not being practiced now. In many cases the wrongs occurred prior to the time when the "Watchtower" drew attention to what the Scriptures say on such misconduct.

    If a brother has been serving faithfully for some years and has seen evidence of Jehovah?s blessings upon him, why should he now step down from office? If he has the right viewpoint now on conduct and will give good counsel he should be able to continue to serve. If the local body of elders see that he has the respect of the congregation and has shown the proper qualifications over the last two or three years, he may remain in his position of service.

    Must wrongdoing be brought to public attention after many years? The book (page 168) under "Public Reproof" quotes 1 Timothy 5:20 and mentions reproof of those who confess to committing more than one offense. But it really has to do with recent events. The "Interlinear" refers to those "sinning," something going on at the time. So if repentance occurred some years ago, three years ago or more, and sinning ceased, and he is respected by the congregation, it is not necessary now to publicly reprove one who committed more than one offense "some years ago."

  • Voyager

    This might be the letter your looking for. Please note paragraph 4 in the Watchtower letter.




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    How to handle with Child Molesters

    By Rado Vleugel

    On June 1, 2001 the Watchtower Society of Britain send a letter to all bodies of elders about how to handle with child molesters in the congregation. The letter shows that it is no problem at all that elders and ministerial servants, who in the past have abused children, continue to 'serve' the congregation.

    The letter writes:

    "The elders may have written to the branch office and given full details about a former child abuser who is currently serving as an elder or ministerial servant. In such a case, if the branch office has decided that he can be appointed or continue serving in a position of trust because the sin occurred many years ago and because he has lived an exemplary life since then, his name should not appear on the List, nor is it necessary to pass on information about the brother's past sin if he moves to another congregation unless contrary instructions have been given by the branch. "

    Below are the scans of this letter:

    "This is the text of a letter sent to all Presiding Overseers in the UK. It was given to an elder by his PO. This elder was so shocked by what he read he had two copies made and had them notarized by a solicitor as true copies. We met this elder the same day. He showed us the original so we could verify its authenticity ourselves, and he gave us both copies. He made two small alterations to the copies. He obliterated a two-letter code that preceded the date. This identified the congregation. He does not wish to identify his congregation at this time because of the potential repercussions to the PO who inadvertently broke the Society's instructions by letting the letter out of his possession."

    I received the scans of this letter from one of my sources. The additional information that you find above and below are taken from the e-mail I received from this source.

    "I have obtained a copy of a Society letter pertaining to procedures involving pedophiles (child molesters). Julia and I have verified that both the elder and the letter are genuine. (We are not at liberty to disclose his identity at this time, but we can tell you he has been a JW for nearly 30 years and an elder for almost half that time.)

    He is angry and upset at what the Society are now doing in relation to the issues surrounding this subject. In his home congregation is a known pedophile Ministerial Servant currently being investigated by the Police. The elder states that he has been appalled to see the other elders shield him, and that this protection is endorsed by the Circuit and District Overseers. He is still being allowed to serve as a Ministerial Servant in all capacities and, of course, go from door-to-door.

    The elder had notarised solicitors copies made before asking us to make the letter public. I would therefore request any of you who have websites to post this as you see fit along with any personal observations you may wish to make.

    Those of us who have had extensive dealings with the Society know exactly what the "legalese" is all about. Its called (in polite circles) "covering your backside!" We personally feel that the fourth paragraph is a shoking indigtment of how "safe havens" are created in the congregations for these child abusers.

    It is our hope that you will be able to use this information to help sincere JW's see the true face of the organisation. Our experience is that those in control of the Society are motivated now largely by self-preservation and self-interest. Rather than being "the Truth" they will do almost anything to cover up the truth.

    As you read this, the latest episode in the "Watchtower Pedophile Tragedy", spare a thought for the thousands of innocent young victims that needlessly suffer horrific abuse every day because of Watchtower legalism."

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  • Why Georgia
    Why Georgia

    You know whenever I hear follow Ceasars Laws from JW's it makes me want to scream!

    There is no Ceasar anymore and I don't care if they are just being representative in their statements!

    It's just dumb!

  • Buster

    I wonder if you may have read it at 'Freeminds." There is a story of an elder that that attended an Edler's Mtg at an assembly in Gervais Oregon. At that mtg, they were instructed that elders; (and perhaps MS' - I forget) indiscretions could be overlooked (or someshuch) if they were far enough in the past. They had to be long enough ago such that no one was likely to find out and that the elder had repented.

    the writer remembered remarking how it seemed to be a separate priesthood class.

    I spend a few minutes looking for the story - but I didn't find it. Also, I don't remember him referring to any specific written document. But if you read Randy's site (Posts as Dogpatch here), you may be able to find it there.

    (And man, that British letter instructing the elders to allow convicted sex offenders to change congregations without notification to the new congregation really fires me up.)

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