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Jack Ryan

Interesting changes in the 2019 "Shepherd The Flock of God" elder's manual

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Here some points I noted not sure if these r different from the previous edition:

  • medical marijuana is a personal choice

  • Any allegations of child sexual abuse r to b given to the legal department to tell the elders how to proceed.

  • Also specific instructions to not make abused persons face their accuser

  • The elders should all b made aware of any sexual predators and if they move the new congregation elders should b made aware including parents of children in the congregation. This is only done if the legal department says to.

  • Victims of abuse or their parents r to b advised that they can go to the police and r not to b discouraged from doing so.

  • Masturbation is not pornia and is not really covered. Not sure if this is new and the org is backing away from discussing it.

  • Probing sexual questions r to b avoided during a judicial committee

  • Sexual offenders r not to receive any major privileges in the congregation, possibly minor ones such as handling mics after an extended time has passed.

  • The elders r to clearly tell people that they r being invited to a judicial committee and what the meeting is about up front.

Things they r still clinging to:

Highlights from the book above (2019 links added)

  1. The three year rule is re-iterated without specific mention of "three"

  2. An elder or MS will be removed if he allows his adult DA'd child to move into family home

  3. An elder can be removed for filing for bankruptcy

  4. The language around the definition of rape is better - no more references to the woman having to scream

  5. The stayover rule is still there. If you stay in the house of a member of the opposite sex, and two people know about it, it's a judicial matter.

  6. "Abhorrent" forms of porn are now a DF offense. Gay, Lez, child, violent, bestial.

  7. Gluttony is now listed as a DF offense. Not sure if it was there before

  8. They have narrowed the definition of apostasy: " Deliberately Spreading Teachings Contrary to Bible Truth " the end of that sentence used to read "as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses"

  9. I think this the first time they explicitly stated that marking talks can be given based on misconduct from unbaptized minors

  10. There's a whole new section on CSA. It seems like an improvement overall and includes the child no longer having to confront her rapist in most cases, but it still doesn't have the promised female representation from Jackson's promise to the Australian court.

  11. Willingly taking blood remains an automatic disassociation offence.

  12. Reinstatement is "several months, a year or even longer"

  13. Ownership of kingdom halls. They make clear that regardless of what it says on the title, a congregation does not OWN their own kingdom hall.

  14. jw.org email - all correspondance between elders is now via the elders private account on jw.org. I guess they want to make sure they know EVERYTHING

  15. Congregation file: Still they say the best place to keep it is at the KH. Therefore, paper records of all judicial matters should be in those files. ALL CSA RECORDS HAVE "DO NOT DESTROY" WRITTEN ON THEM

Here's the entire section on legal action as a result of judicial action. I think it's worth noting that it demonstrates that they will leave you alone if you write a legal letter:

 

IF THE ACCUSED THREATENS LEGAL ACTION 18. If the accused threatens legal action against the elders, the elders should suspend proceedings and promptly telephone the Legal Department. 19. If a member ofthe media or an attorney representing the accused contacts the elders, they should not give any information about PREPARING FOR JUDICIAL HEARINGS CHAPTER 15 “SHEPHERD THE FLOCK OF GOD” the case or verify that there is a judicial committee. Rather, they should give the following explanation: “The spiritual and physical welfare of Jehovah’s Witnesses is of paramount concern to the elders, who willingly provide spiritual assistance to congregation members. The elders extend this spiritual assistance confidentially. This makes it easier for those who seek the elders’ help to do so without worrying that what they say to the elders will be divulged later. Consequently, we do not comment on whether elders are currently or have formerly met to assist any member of the congregation.” If there is a need to do so, the elders may obtain the inquirer’s name and phone number and inform him that their attorney will contact him. The elders should then promptly telephone the Legal Department. 20. Ifthe authorities request confidential congregation records or ask that elders give testimony regarding confidential congregation matters, the elders should promptly telephone the Legal Department.

 

This seems like a big change below as it codifies what we have all been hearing about ownership of KH's:

 

OWNERSHIP 2. A Kingdom Hall is dedicated to the worship of Jehovah. Whether the property title, or deed, is held in the name of a local corporation or by means of a trustee arrangement or it is held in the name of a legal entity managed by the branch office, no congregation should conclude that it “owns” the Kingdom Hall. However, it is the responsibility of the congregations using the property to care for it and see that it is used in harmony with Kingdom interests. 3. As many as three or four congregations may be assigned by the branch office to use the same Kingdom Hall auditorium in order to make full use of the facility and to keep expenses to a minimum. The branch office will generally correspond with only one of the congregations using the facility regarding legal, property, and related matters. Usually, this contact congregation holds the documents related to the Kingdom Hall and the property on which it is located. This is for practical reasons only and does not provide a basis for the contact congregation to make unilateral

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