Thursday, 18 February 2010

Podcast 12- The final verdict.

play the audio

This is the last part of the podcast series which charts the so called "judicial" process.

Remember the decision that is reached impacts a persons family and social circle and perhaps their livelihood and ultimately as Jehovah's Witnesses believe their life itself, in the event they term "Armageddon".

This decision is meant to be just and fair and arrived at by means of the Holy Spirit directing these men's actions. The Bible should also be the ultimate source to determine a person's wrongdoing in situations such as these.

Please listen and make your own judgement.


  1. Matthew: Is there anything you miss about being one of JW, do you feel they are sincere people?

  2. I miss some former "friends" and some former "family" and the social scene wasn't too bad. But the cycle of never ending work to prove yourself to "Jehovah" ,no I don't miss that one bit.
    Regarding them being sincere? Well I think most of them are sincere, but does that make them right? No. I believe that they are sincerely wrong and misguided. It is the Governing Body who have misled them in this way , whether they are aware of this fact or not I honestly do not know. If they were aware they were not "the truth" it would be worse, but should that matter?
    If you are going nowhere you stop and get your bearings, the direction you then take is up to you.
    Matt Barrie

  3. You made a powerful point when you said it would have been better if you had declined the initial shepherding visits. Without making those comments, you would have been permitted to fade away without the ignominy of excommunication.

    It was revealing that those elders continued to insist that you state your views on doctrines and decided that on the basis of your silence you were therefore in conflict with the organisation. They made the point that as a member of a "club" you'd be expected to hold to the doctrines of that club. But with what consequence if you didn't? A valid question to ask them at that point was this: Do they believe that everyone who was baptised as a JW and subsequently faded away should be summoned to a judicial committee, interrogated on whether they still believe the answers they had given prior to baptism, and be disfellowshipped and shunned if they conceded they do not?

    I have checked the Pay Attention book and on the point you raised, you were right and they were wrong. It says (p.94): "Persons who deliberately spread (stubbornly hold to and speak about) teachings contrary to Bible truth as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses are apostates." The evidence that you were deliberately spreading those teachings was weak indeed: (a) you answered questions put to you at a shepherding visit and (b) there was hearsay evidence that you had tried to convince your parents they were believeing a lie.

    The appeal was a worth a try, I guess, to save yourself the humiliation and needless drama of DFing, but ultimately the appeal was a charade, a futile gesture with a predictable outcome. The jury was biased and prejudiced. In their mind God's original judgment on you has been confirmed. In reality they are simply mirroring the vindictiveness of an organisation that has only limited means of controlling its members.

    All I can say is enjoy your freedom. As an ex-member, I do what I can do inform potential converts of the facts the WTS withholds. I wish I knew in the early 1980s what I know now. Fortuinately, only a part of my life was wasted on them.

    Many thanks for the recording.

  4. Matt,

    I just stumbled upon your blog. Listened to everything intently and feel bad for all the needless stress they put you through, as well as the outcome.

    You fought, brother, but you had no chance. They were out for blood and they weren't backing down...

    Well done. I commend your articulate and calm reasoning and the display of enormous (well at least my my standards) restraint.

    Wish you all the best!

  5. You mentioned the Walsh Trial. Regarding false prophecy. The appeal judges did not acknowledge the trail or what was admitted by Watchtower representatives. As this trail is in the public domain, they should have taken the time, and looked at the transcript to verify your concerns. As it happened they dismissed your concerns. Having representation supporting you at your appeal hearing would have objected to this. And the court transcript would have been submitted as evidence, showing your concerns.

    Another example of fair and due process being abused.

  6. Fair and due process in a court of law follows clear principles. For example the rule of fair unbiased hearings before Judges or a Jury.

    The case is heard before one or more Judges or a jury. Two sides of a case are heard. One from the Prosecution. The other from the Defense.

    In a matter of life or death, it would be unfair,unheard of for Judges to be both prosecutor and Judge, wearing both hats. The hearing would start from a biased position.

    To make matters worse if the Judges who are acting as Prosecutor, calling their own witnesses and acting as Judges. Disallow the accused to have defense representation. That the accused is only allowed to represent themselve.

    The hearing is loaded against the accused from the beginning... Judges can not be seen, for the prosecution or the defense. To hear a matter unbiased, Judges must be separated from the prosecution and the defense.

    Organizations who have Judges acting as prosecutors and Judge have a biased judicial system. On top of that, if they allow no representation for the accused. There are serious grounds for a mistrial. Fair and due process, fundamental, universal human rights must not only be upheld, but must be seen to be respectfully upheld. History shows dictatorships
    eventually implode from within.

  7. Matthew,
    I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast series and found it riveting. As a former JW who drifted away, I was never under the heat lamp of a "judicial" proceeding firsthand but did see both my parents go through it as an adult. I have had an elder come by my house and torment my wife and family about our sinful ways to try and cajole us into coming back to the KH for what I suppose would be a disfellowshipping meeting. I've imagined the satisfaction of expressing my views in the same matter of fact and calm manner in which you have. I don't for one simple reason. I'm no longer a member of their club so why should I give them the satisfaction of meting out discipline to a former member. What was your motivation for allowing them to subjugate you to their rules? (Other than the extreme entertainment and educational value for those of us listening). You obviously had a well informed opinion before any proceedings against you.

    1. Thanks Chris. I was going to be removed whatever so felt that having my "day" in "court" was worthwhile, for my satisfaction and the benefit of others. Seen from afar the organization look pretty insignificant now.

  8. I just can't believe that these elders would visit you as a shepherding call and then set up a Judicial Committee against Matthew.

    The more JC's that are being recorded the more it becomes clear that these guys are not interested in bible truth's rather their prime importance is placed on believing what the WTBTS teaches. Yes indeed, believing in whatever a small group of men choose to teach at any given time.