Monday, 8 March 2010

Appeal letter to London Bethel

Dear brothers,

I Understand that there was an announcement to the effect that I, Matthew Barrie am no longer considered to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses on 05/02/09 at Bishopbriggs Kingdom Hall.

I am reliably informed that the brother in question , Ronnie Moffat, was concerned that in order for there to be no breach of confidentiality he acted without the knowledge of the majority of the rest of the body of elders when he made the above announcement.

I am also reliably informed that other members of the body assumed that the announcement would be on the 12th of February 2009.

This is however, in my view surely the most serious breach of my confidentiality there could possibly be.
To the best of my knowledge I have the right of appeal by letter to the appeal committee within seven days of the appeal being heard. And yet while I am preparing my appeal letter It is disclosed only four days after the appeal that not only that I am under judicial action, but that I've actually been disfellowshipped!

In my view there can only be two explanations for this situation:-

1.I have no right of appeal and therefore the brother was right to act as he did.

2.I do have the right of appeal but the brothers on the appeal committee chose not to inform me of that right, and therefore the announcement should not have been made.

This is a very serious matter. Is it fair and reasonable to assume that the person being accused is aware of all his rights and should know what to do or say at all times?

I would kindly like to point out to the brothers that I requested by letter ,dated 18/01/09 before any of the judicial meetings had taken place to be informed of what my rights and responsibilities were should the matter be taken to an appeal committee. (ref. point 18) For the brothers to ignore this request and refuse either the right of appeal itself or not to inform me of my rights or responsibilities is a serious and flagrant disregard for both my legal rights and more importantly Theocratic Justice. Is is not the case that one of Jehovah's cardinal qualities is Justice?

I would like to state for the record that in my view this case has been mishandled from start to finish, to the extent that I could not possibly receive a fair trial. I will outline below why I feel this to be so.

1. A number of the body of elders in Bishopbriggs have demonstrated knowledge of the proceedings against me and have passed that knowledge on to several publishers not connected to the case.
They have shown that they are predisposed to the possibility of me being removed from the congregation.
The men I have specific knowledge of are Lee Green snr ,Gordon Harper and most worryingly Ronald Hunter ,who was one of the accusers.
I have Witnesses of these actions of all of the above named.

2.Ronald Hunter went on a "shepherding" visit to Anne Byrne and discussed private and judicial matters relating to my case with her and Susan Hunter his wife ,who was also present. He then made several False accusations to Anne Byrne relating to me ,of which there are also two witnesses.

3.Ronald Hunter then attended a further "shepherding" visit to Peter and Nan Barrie with Ronnie Moffat.
Is it fair that my Judge/juror in the shape of Ronnie Moffat would undertake a visit with one of my accusers Ronald Hunter to gather evidence against me from my parents?(January 2009) Surely it must be recognized that this is contrary to natural justice? How can Ronnie Moffat sit as chairman of my committee and purport to be impartial?

4.When it came to my attention that Ronald Hunter had said some serious things about me and my family which in my view amounted to slander I followed Matt . 18.15 and went to speak with him.(25/12/08)
This visit was unproductive as brother Hunter refused to answer some questions, and couldn't remember having made the statements to Anne Byrne. He then made a false accusation to my face that I had been teaching her falsehoods.I had done no such thing and had little or no contact with her and certainly no doctrinal discussions. Following Ronald Hunter's visit Anne Byrne was very upset and has now disassociated herself from Jehovah's Witnesses.

5.During the first judicial after I was sent out I could not help but overhear brother Hunter in another room making sweeping hurtful statements about other young persons who are connected to the local Hall, in which he states what is clear to him about their life course and motivation. During this discussion he tries to influence the other witness Paul Barrie by saying that an honest question I had asked of brother Barrie during the hearing was "twisted, and the mark of an "apostate".

6.The testimony of brother Hunter was that I "believe" all the subjects that were discussed in the shepherding visits. At no time did I forcefully state that. Also by way of example during the course of brother Hunter's testimony He states that "Matthew made it very clear that all must partake of the emblems at the memorial if they want to be saved". I have carefully reviewed the evidence and consulted with my wife and I have a record of all the conversations I have had which involve Ronald Hunter.Unfortunately I cannot find any evidence to support brother Hunter's assertive statement.

Can I kindly point out that although Ronald Hunter and the other brothers concerned are elders, the scripture in Proverbs 6.16-18 applies with equal force to all of us.
There are six things that Jehovah does hate; yes, seven are things detestable to his soul: lofty eyes, a false tongue, and hands that are shedding innocent blood, a heart fabricating hurtful schemes, feet that are in a hurry to run to badness, a false witness that launches forth lies, and anyone sending forth contentions among brothers.

In my view given the circumstances and handling of this case and the behaviour, speech and attitudes displayed by some of the brothers involved I can only ask that the case against me be dropped .

There is no evidence against me from anyone else in the congregation and in fact the evidence I presented showed that I was being commended by both accusers for keeping any private views I may hold to myself.One of the brothers ,Paul Barrie said recently that he had no problem with me talking to him "because if you can't talk to the elders then who can you talk to?" I also have evidence which Lee Green Snr is aware of that I very recently refused to discuss any views I may hold with my good friend , his son who is a JW.

The fact that I did want to discuss My personal view with either committee is not evidence of being an "apostate", rather an entirely reasonable reaction to the situation where the elders tried to use shepherding settings to obtain and use information in a judicial environment on the premise that they were there to help.

I also feel that brother Hunter's testimony should be dismissed based on the above evidence. Matthew !8;16 says that every matter should be established "at the mouth of two or three witnesses" In my view brother Hunter would be removed as a credible witness if this was a court of law, which would leave Paul Barrie as the sole accuser.

Surely, if as Jehovah's Witnesses believe, a person's eternal salvation is at stake this should be of the utmost importance?

I hope that this can be settled amicably at this time as I didn't ask for this situation to arise. It is my hope that this matter can be resolved without me needing to take things any further.

Since the brothers were so eager to announce that I am no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses I would be happy for them to make an announcement as soon as possible to the contrary.

I await your consideration of my letter of appeal and pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you to make the correct decision .

Yours ,

Matthew J. Barrie.

29 comments:

  1. they wont give a shit,your an appostate now,doubt they will even read this.

    get out of her could just as easily apply to the jw's.

    nasty un-godly bunch.

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  2. Cher Matthew, je vous comprends très bien et malheureusement,votre cas n'est pas rare.Jésus nous a dit:A leurs fruits,vous les reconnaîtrez.
    Ces"frères" imitent-ils Dieu ou le Diable?
    C'est à vous de les excommunier comme gens nuisibles et malfaisants, et Dieu vous bénira car il n'aime pas les méchants.
    Amitiés et ne les craignez pas.Dieu vous bénisse. Lyonel.

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  3. Matthew, this is for helping you and other readers:

    http://christianwitnesses.com/id256.html

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  4. Matthew why don't you just grow up you pathetic sorrowful excuse for a brother, may jehovah strike you down dead for the lying little apostate evil person that your are.

    We despise people like you.

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  5. First of all I'm not sure if this comment is for real but I'll assume it is for the purposes of my reply. I'm not aware why my "growing up" has any bearing on this website or the events it portrays? Even if I ws the most immature person ever to walk this earth does it change anything that happened? Also I note I'm called a "Pathetic sorrowful excuse for a brother"
    At least I have the cojones to identify myself. Your unprovoked hostility is quite eye opening.
    And unless you are my fleshy brother Paul,which I doubt, you certainly are NOT my brother in any way.
    Now you say i'm "lying and evil" do you have any examples of these accusations?
    Regarding "Jehovah striking me down" are you actually serious?
    First of all the Governing Body could be termed evil for the countless children and adults they have caused the death of by their twisted medical policies.
    Regarding me being a liar? What about your own Governing Body? There are many documented cases of their duplicitous actions which I would happily email to you should you wish to contact me. If your God Jehovah was going to "strike anyone down" these men surely deserve it in view of the fact they have blood on their hands and lies on their conscience.
    Regards,
    Matt.

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  6. Courage to you, Matthew. May Jehovah save you out of the mouth of these 'judicial' lions.

    With Christian love and best regards.
    --iloowy

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  7. Yet another example of the disgraceful behaviour of elders full of their own superior importance and who revel in the powers they hold and abuse. I wish you all the best Matthew. I doubt that you'll get much help from Bethel though, sadly.
    Lozhasleft.

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  8. Hi,

    so what did eventually happen with this situation? Did they have the courage admit they did not follow their own protocol, go to podium and retract their earlier announcement?

    regards,

    Anon

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  9. Great site! Looks like I have some reading to do lol.

    Blessings...

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  10. Im glad I insisted the elders contacted me directly if they wanted a word, which they never did..... sounds like I was being set up for a fall.
    All I did was leave my abusive/cheating husband

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  11. Matthew,

    I am very confused. What are you appealing against? In this blog, you slate the teachings of this religion, based on your experience.

    Are you appealing against your expulsion? Why did they have to expel you in the first place? Surely, given your current beliefs, you would have wanted to resign from the orgainisation of your own accord?

    It does not make sense to continually appeal against your removal when your statements on this website make it crystal clear that it is hypocritical to do so.

    A very confused reader.!

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  12. Thanks for your comment anon. I'll try and answer your questions. The "appeal" of course is not my mechanism but that of the Watchtower Society. The announcement that I am no longer one of jWs has a massive impact on one's life and that is what I was seeking to avoid.
    Yes I do slate the teachings of JWs as I do not agree with their claim of authority over others nor do believe many of their teachings to be scriptural. I had decided to stop attending the meetings and they bobviously felt I represented a danger to their members locally so they acted to remove me.
    Regarding my "appeal" being "hypocritical" the website was formed post DFing and the whole process of appeal and Judicial meeting etc which is presented here is to show how JWs deal with those who dissent. It was inevitableI would be removed in any case so the whole saga was something of a charade on both sides.
    It is important that this episode was made public though so my own personal agenda is really only of secondary importance.
    Matt.

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  13. Thanks for the reply Matt. It makes things a little clearer.

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  14. Well, well... I've been reading awfull alot of thing and I cannot make my mind on who us right! It does raise a problem to you! Who are you going to congregate with now? How will you take care of your spiritual life and your wife? I know eclesia doesn't stand for a organization, but raises the problem where and who to associate with? Do you raise your own religion? Do you know that Bible students (the ones that decide not be witnesses) still exist? And that are many churches than don't preach eternal fire/trinity, but will you associate with them? I wish you all the best and that if you sincerely seek that God you will find Him no matter where.

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  15. Hi Matthew -- ex-jw from the states here. I was just wondering if you ever heard from the GB in response to your letter (which is very well written by the way)? I have seen several letters on various sites -- and some have been answered, while others have not.

    I was also not attending the meetings when the elders decided to come after me. I'm sure my elder stepfather had something to do with it as I had just recently moved in with my now husband. JW's are the only religion that comes after people even when they aren't attending. It's ridiculous. I am now df'd and my family has minimal contact with me. I have moved 1500 miles away from them, so it's much easier for me. It's been five years, and I still get angry about it when I read cases like yours and others on the internet.

    At any rate, I just wanted to see if you'd heard anything.

    I wish you well.

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  16. Thanks for sharing your story Matthew. My family was destroyed by an over-zealous elder, Richard Pinkerton, who had made up his mind that my daughter was trash even before a judicial committee was formed. She was DF'd at the tender age of 15, mostly because of his harsh attitude against her. She was sorry for what she had done, but she refused to say so to the elders because prior to her judicial hearing Pinkerton verbally bashed her, calling her candid responses, "The dumbest thing I ever heard." He was very angry with her, which is a shame, because she was giving the two elders visiting us heartfelt, honest answers, and instead of trying to 'recover' her, Pinkerton was chomping at the bit to get her thrown out of the congregation. After she was DF'd he said, "Good riddance to bad rubbish."

    Ditto Anonymous' comment posted on 11 May 2010. I, too, was asked to meet with the elders and my soon-to-be ex, after I delivered a letter to one of the elders explaining why I was filing for divorce. I refused to meet them in person, and stated I would only converse with them by email or postal mail. Of course they never got in touch with me, and now I see how that actually worked out for the better.

    I understand the desire to be able to walk away from the organization without being DF'd. People in our situation who have come to have our eyes opened don't deserve to be DF'd, but the GB and all their cronies certainly do. It will be interesting to see what happens on Judgment Day with the GB and all their loyalists, like Pinkerton.

    Keep up your faith in Jehovah and Jesus. Even though at this time we can't have the kind of association with like-minded believers that we would like to have, at least we have some measure of association through the internet. The promised helper will help us get through these difficult times.

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  17. Mathew why did you lie when asked if you were recording the meeting? You claim to be a Christian and have a relationship with God but your own recordings prove that you tell lies. You have defeated your whole argument.

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  18. Well firstly the reason I acted as I did is to publiscise these events. Since the Governing Body insist that these proceedings take place in secret, without any representation on my behalf I felt it prudent to record it all. This would not have been possible had I revealed a secondary recording device. However it must be asked why did this event take place in secret? The Bible , which JW's claim to live by directs the exact opposite to be the case 1 Tim5:20,21 "Reprove before all onlookers persons who practice sin, that the rest also may have fear. I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the chosen angels to keep these things without prejudgment, doing nothing according to a biased leaning."
    The direction is clear; reprove before all the congregation, and "without prejudice" or "biased leaning". If you listen to the recordings and read the essay at the trial of a Jehovah's Witnesess you would see that niether of these advisments are followed.
    So does the fact I followed my own agenda on this occasion mean that my claim to be a Christian and my relationship with God is no longer valid? The fact is every adult of every religion on the planet has lied at some point, does this mean we're all doomed? And also I feel duty bound to point out that the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses sponsor lying for their own purposes. Their policy is explained in Insight On The Scriptures, vol. 2, pg. 245 (1988). In the article about Lying (“Lie”) they write:

    “While malicious lying is definitely condemned in the Bible, this does not mean that a person is under obligation to divulge truthful information to people who are not entitled to it.”
    So they can lie but still claim to be "Christian" and have "a relationship with God" ,but I can't?
    Also My argument is not nullified at all. Do you even know the issue at stake?
    Or are you so lacking in objectivity and reason that you fall at the first hurdle?
    My issues are :Do Jw's represent the "truth" on earth and if so when did God appoint them as such? All my recordings and the articles serve to question this notion, and I would hope that after a person has read and listened they can objectively evaluate Jehovah's Witnesses as being the "true" religion. So really whether I lied in answer to one question is not really the issue at all.
    Thanks for your comment and I wish you well in life's journey.
    Matt.

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  19. If you have chosen not to be a Jehovahs Witness, why put so much time and effort into NOT being a Jehovahs Witness. Get on with whatever you chose to do that does not agree with their beliefs and get over it. Clearly you did something against the rules and thus received the discipline for it. Stop trying to convince everyone else you were treated unfairly, no one else cares how you live your life or if you feel you have been treated unfairly in the past. The bottom line is that if you hadnt broken the rules in the first place then non of this would have happened, you have made your own bed, now lie in it...QUIETLY!

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  20. hmmm... you get to approve what gets to posted and what doesnt...lets see if you have the guts to publish the cold truth I just laid bare...

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  21. Firstly I did not want to be a JW anymore but it wasn't my choice how it played out. I did put some time and effort in around the time left, these days I'm maintaining the blog,writing a few articles and moderating/replying to posts.
    I am "getting on" , as you bluntly put it, with my life and for the most part am "over it" thanks. And yeah I did do something against the rules ; disagreed with their teachings. Is that worthy of "punishment" as you term it?
    And thanks for your kind advice, but I'll decide for my self wether to stop what I'm doing, and leave the readers and listeners to be convinced or otherwise for themselves. Perhaps you fail to see that people do care about this issue, perhaps not about me personally, but they do care. I could be mistaken but last time I checked there were 22,000 hits here and several thousand downloads of the poscasts from itunes, not to mention the numerous emails and comments. However you are correct when you say none of this would have happened had I not "broken the rules". That is the whole point of this blog. Don't have the audacity to tell me what to do or how quietly to do it. I'm assuming that you are the same person who has just posted above. Whatkind of truth is it you just "laid bare"? The same one you are too blind or ignorant to acknowledge you are defending?
    Matt

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  22. The Watch Tower Society's raison d'être is simply to expose all other religions as false and theirs as "the truth".

    For many, many Jehovah's Witnesses, this involves speaking out against the religion their family raised them in. The Watch Tower Society pours hundreds of millions of dollars per year into aiding Jehovah's Witnesses to do this religious work.

    Shouldn't it, therefore, be reasonable for those who have left the religious order of Jehovah's Witnesses to put some effort into exposing the problems, lies and dangerous, unethical behaviour put forward by the Watch Tower Society as being "pleasing to God"?

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  23. The so called worldly courts would not be impressed with the procedures of Watchtower court hearings. The representation that is allowed in the so called worldly courts puts the Watchtower procedures to shame. To appeal your hearing and front up to three more judges without representation to help you with your spiritual or legal rights is wrong. It reminds me of the observations of one scriptural writer when he recorded under inspiration. "I have seen princes walking, and servants riding horses."

    How can justice prevail?

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  24. Im going to open a big can of worms with this one.....
    Matt,your a fantastic gifted writer,unfortunatly i do not have your way with words.
    I left the jw's about 12 years ago.when i was in my late teens.i took up a job offer,which took me out of my home town.i had wanted to leave the "truth" for years,but never had the strength,so i used this oppotunity of escape.i faded into the background as a jw,where i was now living i never attended meetings,over the years ,i met someone,and moved in(not married) i continue to live my life,away from where i was brought up,but if i vist family,and see other jws,they will talk to me.hmmmm,this makes m very angry.i have 2 sisters,that also left jw's,they were disfellowshipped,they lost contact with everyone they ever knew.it almost near broke them.they left for the same reasons as me,and now live with there partners like me.my parents now favour me above my sisters,becauses i was never disfellowshipped.this also makes me very angy.i have come so close so many times,wanting to ring the elders an tell them to just do it,becaus i feel such a hypacrite ,what holds me back? My daughter.if i get disfellowshipped,that will be the end o her relationship with her grandparents.
    Thata not all.....when i was growin up,from about th age of 8 -14 i was sexually abused by a respected member of the congregation.i never reported it,i was afraid i would never be believed.i let it go and moved on with my life.a few yrs ago,i met up with a girl who had also left jw's,she also was sexually abused,but by a different member of the congregation,she did report it to the elders,it was swept under the carpet.2 days ago,i heard a couple i had known when i was in it,had split up.talkin to her,she told me her husband used to beat her.she told the elders,it was swept under the carpet.
    This religion,that i supposed to be all the and kindness...........really????
    For a fews years after i left,i respected it,its the members choice to believe etc etc,but the damage it has done to my family,to me and to 1000s of othera out there,its alarming.when your brought up in the jw's from a baby,your absolute whole world revolves around it.if you decide to leave,everyon you have ever known,totally blanks you.your lost for a while in a big world,wih no friends or family.everything about your personality has been drummed in by jw's,so you can feel so lost as a person.
    I hate the religion now and everything it represents.i cant say theres not a god,i dont know that,but everything about that organization angers me so much.do i feel better now after a rant? No,the religion can leave scars that will never go away.

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    1. Dear Anon 30th August,

      I was deeply moved by your story, thank you for sharing it (so great for your sisters to at least still have you). I 'left' in 1968 but still bear the scars of being raised in such an abusive 'religion' (more properly described as a cult in my opinion). It is vital for those still struggling with 'the truth' to hear stories like yours, bravo, and best wishes to you.

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  25. Mathew,

    Thank you for publishing your letter. The more of this published the more signposts there are for those people dazed and confused by the Watchtower Society to escape from 'the truth'.

    I know it is a while now but was there any communication from them regarding your letter? Or any further action? It would be really good to know, thank you.

    FYI - I have been 'out' for over 40 years but am searching the web (how wonderful it is for this kind of thing) for potential help for a friend of mind who seems to be in the process of joining. She has been a good friend and I am traumatised at the thought of loosing her to the Watchtower Society.

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  26. Great story Matt.

    Is there any way to get the podcast of the JC working again on iTunes? Or you could rmail it.

    Thanks.

    Edinburgh

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    1. Hi Matt, as a "fading" J.W. I've actually met Mr. Hunter in recent times, and was left in no doubt that here was a company man - someone who thrived on the position given to him by the Org. Let him enjoy it - the Pharisees did the same. In order to continue sharing REAL truth with innocent-but-deceived J.W.'s, I'd like to leave Bible proof which proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that J.W.'s are blinded far more than they'd ever believe!
      Ask any J.W.'s why they are called JEHOVAH'S witnesses - they will gladly show you on their tablet, Isaiah 43:10,12.
      Now ask them for ONE Christian Greek scripture which says so.
      They can't show you one, because there ARE none!
      However, straight from their own 'Silver Sword', the following verses make a nonsense of the designation "Jehovah's Witnesses."
      EVERY Witness should be shown these:
      Matthew 10:18 - ".....for my sake, for a witness to them and the nations.
      Mark 13:9 - "......before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them."
      Luke 24: 47,48 - "....and on the basis of his [Jesus'] name....You are to be witnesses....."
      John 1:15 - "John bore witness about him..." [JESUS]
      John 5:37 - "the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me."
      John 8:18 - "the Father who sent me bears witness about me."
      John 15:26,27 - "the spirit will bear witness about me; and YOU in turn, are to bear witness."
      Acts 1:8 - "You [11 faithful apostles] will be witnesses of me...."
      Acts 4:17,18 - ...upon the basis of this (Jesus') name .... upon the basis of the name of Jesus.
      Acts 10:39 - "And we are
      Acts 10:43 - "To him [Jesus] all the prophets bear witness....."
      Acts 13:31 - "who are now his (Jesus') witnesses to the people.
      Acts 22:15 - "because you are to be a witness for him [Jesus] to all men......"
      Acts 22:20 - "......the blood of Stephen your [Jesus'] witness was being spilled..."
      Acts 23:11 - "..... a thorough witness on the things about me in Jerusalem..."
      Acts 26:16 -"I [Jesus]..choose you as an attendant and a witness..respecting me"
      Romans 8:16 - "The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit..."
      1 Corinthians 1:6 - "even as the witness about the Christ..........."
      1 Timothy. 2:6 - "......what is to be witnessed to at its own particular times."
      2 Timothy 1:8 - "............of the witness about our Lord.......[Christ]"
      1 John 5:9 - "the witness God gives...the fact that he has borne witness concerning his Son."
      Revelation 1:9 - "....for speaking about God and bearing witness to Jesus."
      Revelation 12:17 - ".......and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus."
      Revelation 17:6 - "........and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus."
      Revelation 19:10 -".....the work of witnessing to Jesus.... bearing witness to Jesus."
      Revelation 20:4 - "............ for the witness they bore to Jesus."

      p.s. Mr. Hunter has a copy of this research!

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  27. Matt

    Thanks for posting your letter. You are not alone, there are many of us who have been on the receiving end of a harsh judicial process. By hook or by crook they got me out. I didn't attend my initial disfellowship for apostasy but went to appeal and the charge for apostasy was dropped. However, the appeal commitee brought a charge of reviling as i had called two of the congregation eldes agents of satan. I made pretty good defence of this charge, of course to no avail, the appeal commitee brought the charge and the appeal commitee found me guilty. I requested another appeal, was told a request would be made to bethel (london). When the letter came only the chairman of the appeal commitee was in the room with me and apparantly my request for appeal was denied. I never questioned it, big mistake. I have been d/f, unjustly i believe for nearly 12yrs now.

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