By Jack Ryan
In previous decades, when someone was disfellowshipped, they were told their time would be 6 months. Now it’s a full year?
Why did that change from 6 mo to a year? and are they getting more ppl to come back with the increased time? With the less members staying in the org, you would think they want to lower the “jail time “
Also are there any other religions that gives you months or years of time out, if you commit a sin, even if you actually want to come back?
Also any former elders here? Why is there a standard set time for everyone? And why can they reject someone’s letter who wants to come back? Don’t they need more members ?
Today's 'examining the scriptures daily' : "what if someone close to you has to be disfellowshipped? Would you take decisive action by ceasing to associate with that person?"By Jack Ryan
"Sunday, December 30
Asa’s heart was complete with Jehovah all his life.—1 Ki. 15:14.
Each of us can examine his heart to see if it is fully devoted to God. Ask yourself, ‘Am I determined to please Jehovah, to defend true worship, and to protect his people from any corrupting influence?’ For example, what if someone close to you has to be disfellowshipped? Would you take decisive action by ceasing to associate with that person? What would your heart move you to do? Like Asa, you can show that you have a complete heart by fully relying on God when you are faced with opposition, even some that may seem insurmountable. You may be teased or ridiculed at school for taking a stand as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Or colleagues at work may taunt you for taking days off for spiritual activities or for not often working overtime. In such situations, pray to God, just as Asa did. (2 Chron. 14:11) Remain firm for what you know is right and wise. Remember that God strengthened and helped Asa, and He will strengthen you.
w17.03 3:6-8 "
By Jack Ryan
This was a case where in June 1987, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the Witnesses' right to shun those who fail to live by the group's standards and doctrines, upholding the ruling of a lower court.
Has there been any cases after this, where DF cases went to court? Have there been cases in other countries were DF decisions were challenged and reversed?
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Here in the United States we have Cable TV with such things as "History Channel", "Discovery Channel", "Scifi Channel", and "A&E" the "Arts and Entertainment Channel". Apparently around November 13 of this year they had a famous (?) TV star, Leah Remini, who had been a Scientologist since she was eight years old turn Apostate, and she has done at least two TV seasons exposing the ills of the Church of Scientology", do an Expose' of Jehovah's Witnesses.
I do not watch TV as a rule, and missed it, and I spent a few days looking for it and trying to download a copy. It was not on YouTube, but I did find it under "Aftermath Jehovah's Witnesses" on the Russian equivalent of YouTube, "Rutube.ru". It would not download with my usual download software, so I had to find a free screen capture software, which took about four hours to get the settings just right, and I was able to download the two hour program from my monitor, as it was playing.
Therefore, I watched the TV program three times, as I experimented with the settings to get a good screen copy to my hard drive..
I could see both sides of the program viewpoints presented, and did not find us to be misrepresented in any way whatsoever ... but if there was EVER a clear example of the Law of Unintended Consequences, the horror the Governing Body has caused in disfellowshipping the way that it is currently done ... by ripping families apart, and creating irreparable damage that can never be corrected with reinstatement, was chilling, and puts us in the same class as Scientologists ... which completely disregarding the horror and hardsip, and cruelty without any mercy whatsoever it creates locally, shames Jehovah's Name and Reputation over the whole planet.
I don't believe there is anything a local Jehovah's Witness could do ... rob a bank ... have a harem ... have sex with horses ... etc., ad nauseum ... that would besmirch Jehovah's name and reputation globally as much as our current blatantly cruel public policies of destroying whole families for the sins of one person.
I am very glad to have the education I have to know that the TRUTH is still the truth .... even though the 85% drivel has rotted and fermented into rotten sewage.
Most JWs do NOT have this educational advantage ... so their lives are permanently destroyed.
I don't expect much from people, and almost NOTHING from groups of people .... so for me, like getting one of those great salads at the Olive Garden Restaurant, and finding a big chunk of solid sewage in it ... I hold my nose, and eat around it.
This TV Special is global news .... what could I possibly say to the average person that would clear the Name of God, that the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, NOT THE TELEVISION PROGRAM, has corrupted by its Pharisaic policies that have real world consequences?
The exact same thing happened in ancient Israel, and a system that God blessed and supported for a thousand years and more was abandoned by God.
The exact same thing.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
CAN A PERSON ... OR SHOULD A PERSON …. BE DISFELLOWSHIPPED IN ABSTENSIA?
Here is the situation ..... a person REPORTED to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses is accused, and NOT convicted ( ... because he is a fugitive from Justice ...) .....
Apparently he was at one time in a "Position Of Authority", which possibly alludes to his being an "Elder", and he may have relocated to another State or even another Country. Possibly using an alias.
The various Congregation Elders cannot find him, the Society cannot find him, and the U.S. Marshal's Service cannot find him.
Not having any indication to the contrary ... at least from the information given in the pseudo-Wanted Poster shown above, he is possibly still officially one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Whether he is or not, his bad example raises an interesting aspect of trying to figure out how the disfellowshipping "system" protocol actually works.
Can any of the Congregations he went to disfellowship him without his being present to answer charges ?
... and SHOULD he be?
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
DO WE STILL DISFELLOWSHIP THE MENTALLY ILL ?
I was a teenager in the 60's, and I had a good friend that on Scout camping trips I introduced to the Truth, and I was there in NYC at Yankee Stadium when he was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witness. He was a true "straight arrow", and pioneered, always dressed immaculately, and eventually over the years became an Elder.
One night, at an Elder's Meeting, he announced to the other Elders that he was Jesus Christ, and that his mother was the virgin Mary, and of course he was disfellowshipped.
He spent several years in private mental institutions until his insurance money ran out, then in a State institution for several years.
He called me up, and told me the story, and I told him I was the Great Turtleman, and every November, before I hibernated, I rose from the swamp and gave toys to all the good little boys and girls. I was just pulling his leg, but he was dead serious.
Later, he was in England, while his wife was trying without success to get him to take his medications, and fell over a balcony at Heathrow Airport and got killed.
DO WE STILL DISFELLOWSHIP THE MENTALLY ILL ?
By Jack Ryan
a heartbreaking video has emerged online showing how far reaching and deeply ingrained this shunning policy is; a video showing Jehovah’s Witnesses clapping in applause as a little girl announces she is shunning her own sister.
Little Melody, and the sister she doesn’t have.
The incident appears to take place at one of this years Watchtower conventions. The video was posted on youtube by the girls parents, apprently eager to share with the world how they had trained one of their children to pretend her sister didn’t exist purely on the basis of religious dogma.
The video was comment-protected once viewers began expressing concern and displeasure at what they saw, but at the time of writing the video itself is still live and can be viewed below on the family’s youtube page. (EDIT 11/09/2017 – The video has been removed, but we have linked to an alternate site which has a copy)
t shows a little girl called Melody. She is ten years old, and was apparently baptised when she was 9. This means that Melody is now committed to the religion for life, and will be shunned if she ever leaves, or “unrepentantly” breaks any of its vast array of detailed rules.
During the interview, Melody explains that she has a sister who was “disfellowshipped,” which is the Witness term for one who is excommunicated; someone who was thrown out of the faith rather than leaving of their own accord. We are not told the reason for the disfellowshipping, but one can be subjected to it for a wide range of reasons such as pre-marital sex, celebrating Christmas or birthdays, voting, taking a blood transfusion, joining the military, or simply questioning any of the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Melody states that her sister was trying to contact her, and asking her to stay in contact despite Watchtower decreeing that she be shunned. Remember, Melody’s sister has probably lost all her family and friends at this point; everyone she ever knew and loved.
Melody admits that she misses and loves her sister, but states that she was afraid that if she didn’t cut her sister off completely, she might be tempted to keep some form of relationship going. Thus, she has decided to shun her completely, as Watchtower demands. She claims that this was to protect her relationship with Jehovah.
The audience of Jehovah’s Witnesses watching this announcement applaud.
By Jack Ryan
This comes from the final talk at the Birmingham, AL Convention. Herd talks kind of low and there is some background noise, so here is a transcript starting at about 1:25.
I thought this was interesting because it doesn't appear to be in the talk outline. Admittedly, I just skimmed through the outline quickly, so it might be in there. Either way, there is something twisted about comparing the shunning of children to casting out demons from heaven.
Edit: For those wondering, this talk is from August 5. The part before when the transcript starts is Herd talking about King Asa removing his grandmother from her position.
By Jack Ryan
Jehovah's Witnesses declare war on the media
By: Richard Wagner
Numerous negative media reports about a systematically scandalous handling of abuse cases forced the religious community to make a comprehensive counter-attack.
The allegations were a year-long tactics, but this has not led to the allegations decreased. Now they have decided to go over the attack and sweep up all the media that disseminate negative information about Jehovah's Witnesses as malicious, devilish, and hypocritical in order to discredit them in this way.
In the magazine Watchtower of August 2018 (study edition) under the heading "Do you know the facts" now all believers are sworn to how to position Jehovah's Witnesses correctly.
Here are some excerpts from the article:
In a box is shown where the believers should inform themselves: Only on the websites of the Watchtower Society reliable information can be found.
It remains a mystery how this religious community could become a public corporation by reading those manipulative and anti-social views.
Note: Just take out the "B" in Borg
Source in German:
Tips is a regional newspaper in Upper Austria (there it appears weekly), Lower Austria (in Amstetten weekly, otherwise partly biweekly, partly monthly)
Founded in 1986, the newspaper is part of the Wimmer Medien Group ( Oberösterreichische Nachrichten ). The publisher and owner is Rudolf Andreas Cuturi. In 2017, there will be 30 Tips-Regional editions, 16 of them in Upper Austria and 14 in Lower Austria. According to Arbeitsgemeinschaft Media-Analyzes MA 16 - Regional Weekly Papers, Tips has more than 1.1 million readers per issue in Upper and Lower Austria, which corresponds to a coverage of 65.6% in Upper Austria. The newspaper is delivered to all households as a direct mailing.
By Guest Nicole
The Supreme Court of Canada Thursday heard arguments in a fight over a church’s “shunning” practice, and said it would release a ruling later, but the congregation involved and several other groups argued that the justices had no right to even take part in the fight.
The fight is between Randy Wall, a real estate agent, and the Highwood congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization in Calgary.
Wall was expelled from the congregation for getting drunk and not be properly repentant, court records said. He pursued a church appeals process, unsuccessfully, then went to court because he said the church’s “shunning,” that is, practice of not associating with him in any way, hurt his business.
He explained his two occasions of drunkenness related to “the previous expulsion by the congregation of his 15-year-old daughter.”
A lower court opinion explained, “Even though the daughter was a dependent child living at home, it was a mandatory church edict that the entire family shun aspects of their relationship with her. The respondent said the edicts of the church pressured the family to evict their daughter from the family home. This led to … much distress in the family.”
The “much distress” eventually resulted in his drunkenness, Wall said.
See the WND Superstore’s collection of Bibles, including the stunning 1599 Geneva Bible.
Wall submitted to the court arguments that about half his client base, members of various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations, then refused to conduct business with him. He alleged the “disfellowship had an economic impact on the respondent.”
During high court arguments Thursday, the congregation asked the justices to say that congregations are immune to such claims in the judicial system.
The lower courts had ruled that the courts could play a role in determining if, and when, such circumstances rise to the level of violating civil rights or injuring a “disfellowshipped” party.
The rulings from the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeals said Wall’s case was subject to secular court jurisdiction.
A multitude of religious and political organizations joined with the congregation in arguing that the Canada’s courts should not be involved.
The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms said in a filing, “The wish or desire of one person to associate with an unwilling person (or an unwilling group) is not a legal right of any kind. For a court, or the government, to support such a ‘right’ violates the right of self-determination of the unwilling parties.”
Previous case law has confirmed the ability of religious or private voluntary groups to govern themselves and dictate who can be a member.
But previously rulings also reveal there is room for the court system to intervene when the question is one of property or civil rights.
The Association for Reformed Political Action, described the case as having “profound implications for the separation of church and state.”
Its position is that the court should keep hands off the argument.
“Secular judges have no authority and no expertise to review a church membership decision,” said a statement from Andre Schutten, a spokesman for the group. “Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere.”
John Sikkema, staff lawyer for ARPA, said, “The issue in this appeal is jurisdiction. A state actor, including a court, must never go beyond its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court must consider what kind of authority the courts can or cannot legitimately claim. We argue that the civil government and churches each have limited and distinct spheres of authority. This basic distinction between civil and spiritual jurisdiction is a source of freedom and religious pluralism and a guard against civic totalism.”
He continued, “Should the judiciary have the authority to decide who gets to become or remain a church member? Does the judiciary have the authority to decide who does or does not get to participate in the sacraments? Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere. Here we need separation of church and state.”
The Alberta Court of Appeal, however, suggested the fight was about more than ecclesiastical rules.
“Because Jehovah’s Witnesses shun disfellowshipped members, his wife, other children and other Jehovah’s Witnesses were compelled to shun him,” that lower court decision said. “The respondent asked the appeal committee to consider the mental and emotional distress he and his family were under as a result of his duaghter’s disfellowship.”
The church committee concluded he was “not sufficiently repentant.”
The ruling said “the only basis for establishing jurisdiction over a decision of the church is when the complaint involves property and civil rights,” and that is what Wall alleged.
“Accordingly, a court has jurisdiction to review the decision of a religious organization when a breach of the rules of natural justice is alleged.”
By The Librarian
OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada says a Jehovah's Witness who was expelled from his Calgary congregation cannot take his case to a judge.
In a decision today, the high court says the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench has no jurisdiction to review the congregation's decision to shun Randy Wall over alleged drunkenness and verbal abuse.
Several religious organizations took an active interest in the case, given questions about the degree to which the courts can review such decisions by faith-based bodies.
Wall, an independent realtor, was summoned in 2014 to appear before the judicial committee of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, a four-person panel of elders.
He admitted to two episodes of drunkenness and, on one of those occasions, verbally abusing his wife -- wrongdoing he attributed to family stress over the earlier expulsion of his 15-year old daughter from the congregation.
The judicial committee told Wall that he, too, would be expelled because he was not sufficiently repentant.
By Jack Ryan
Mike MartindaleUpdated 6:11 p.m. ET Feb. 16, 2018 Keego Harbor — A quiet residential street became a horrific crime scene Friday with news that four people — a couple and their adult children — died in what police are describing as a triple murder-suicide.
By late afternoon, some yellow police crime scene tape remained around the two-story wood frame bungalow in the 2300 block of Cass Lake Road where police were sent about 8:10 a.m. on a welfare check after a relative became worried about the family, Keego Harbor Police Chief John Fitzgerald said.
One of four bodies is removed from the home of the 2300 block of Cass Lake Road. (Photo: Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News)
“A relative had concerns and asked us to look into it,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s tragic and our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
Inside the house officers found four bodies who neighbors identified as Daniel Stuart, 47, his wife, Lauren, 45, and their children, Bethany, 24, and Steven, 27.
Fitzgerald said the “perpetrator” was among the dead but would not provide details other than to stress “we think we know what happened here and there is no danger to neighbors.”
Fitzgerald said police have recovered what is believed to be the murder weapon but would not elaborate. He said all the deaths remain under investigation.
Keego Harbor Police Chief John Fitzgerald briefs the media on the murder-suicide. (Photo: Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News)
Neighbors John and Jackie Tristani said they awoke Friday to learn police were outside the victims’ home.
“My son said police were repeatedly calling out ‘Lauren, come outside,’ " said John Tristani. “When she didn’t respond they (police) went inside. A few minutes later, they came back outside, shaking their heads.”
Tristani said he had been watching television late Thursday night and never heard anything from the Stuarts' home.
Sources close to the investigation said the family pet, a dog, was also slain by the killer. Investigators also found a note which may help explain what led up to the deaths. They would not discuss its contents.
The deaths puzzle the Tristanis, who knew Lauren Stuart as a “hard-working” neighbor who could often be seen working in her yard and remodeled the house largely on her own.
“She would often come over and borrow tools – a saw, a pickaxe – whatever,” said Tristani. “She was always doing something.”
The Tristanis said in one of their first meetings with Lauren Stuart a few years ago she attempted to “recruit” them into the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“I said we were Catholics and weren’t interested,” he said. “She accepted the answer and it was the end of that.”
Lauren Stuart worked at an area gym, he said, and her husband was involved in some form of medical business in the Ann Arbor area.
Darlene and Dennis Buck, who live a block away on Cass Lake Road, said they were enroute home from a trip to northern Michigan when they learned of the murder-suicide.
“We have lived here since ’74 and nothing like this has ever happened in our neighborhood — not even close,” said Darlene Buck.
Jackie Tristani said she found it all “scary” – not just the deaths but that something might have been going on in a neighbor’s home without her knowledge. She had tried to get Bethany a job at her workplace and her son knew both Bethany and Steven. There was never any mention or indication of trouble inside the home, she said.
“I would hope that if there was a problem inside there someone would have reached out, we would have tried to help,” she said, her voice quaking. “Maybe we could have done something.
“But you never really know everything there is about your neighbors, do you?”
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