Saturday 25 December 2010

A look at the ethics of Jehovah's Witnesses.

This post is to expose the unethical, un-scriptural actions of the men involved in the "judicial" processes of jehovah's Witneses. The lack of fair minded impartial justice shown to me during my "judicial" case is a result of what they (the elders) are directed to do by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesess. I am not alone of course. Many people have been through similar and will do again in the future, sadly. I hope that those who read this study in it's entirety will acknowledge that what they put people through is wrong on many levels. As you read I hope you will recognise they are seriously flawed in their methods also.
This study has been kindly and painstakingly put together at great effort by an anonymous person who I believe is an active Jehovah's Witness, but feels very strongly about this particular issue. He has given me permission to publish what he has written on his behalf.
The full study is available here to read and I would strongly recommend all to read it. It is a wonderfully well written, well researched and well thought out peice of work. The logic employed is very difficult to refute. Written not as an attack on JWs in any way it brilliantly points out step by step where the author feels things went wrong. I hope you enjoy it.
Study of Jehovah's witness ethics


"The purpose of this essay is for the education of others who may find themselves part of this arrangement one day, and for stimulating constructive discussion on the content of this judicial case and its methodology. If you agree with the views expounded, tell us why . If you wish to challenge the opinions stated, that's fine also - tell us why, and be ready to have those views challenged. This is a forum for honest discussion and your comments are appreciated. Engage the author, engage Matthew, engage this philosophy." - The Author


  1. Preface to the Essay: The Martyring of Matthew Barrie:
    Often the truth of reality robs us of our reasonable expectations.
    Many a time I have listened and studied these unique podcasts (unique because they contain the judicial process from inception and motive to verdict) and drew the conclusions that this judicial case represents a betrayal of trust.
    What is more important than one man's attempt to protect his position by destroying another's reputation is that there was a system to back him up that feels it wise not to ask too many inconvenient questions about the way things have been handled.
    History is cyclic, so is human nature. Take the time out of your busy schedule to take this journey with Matthew. Read the transcripts as you are listening to the podcasts, starting particularly with podcasts 8 (important as this podcast reveals the drive behind what is to come) through to podcast 12, where we find how far things can go with few, if any, checks or balances in place to prevent injustice.
    It is not an essay about Biblical judicially precedented methodology in handling congregational discipline, rather it is an account of human folly and the systematic build up of “cattle-prod” policies that finally fail to reflect the freedom of conscience that all Christians are called to.

    The author

  2. "...the criteria for association with the DPI, published apart from the application itself, contains language that we cannot subscribe to, and when we realised this, we withdrew our registration in 2001."
    This is a quote from the WTS response to Brant Jones's letter of enquiry about the reason for becoming an NGO to the UN in 1991.
    I've read a lot of grizzling and supporters' spin on this issue, but I wonder, can anyone tell me where to find the "criteria apart from the application" that contained the 'language' that could not be 'subscribed to'?
    I would be grateful to set my mind at rest, as I see this as central to the truth about the matter.

  3. One of the visually better-put-together websites supporting the WTS’s stand on its 10-year relationship with the United Nations is The Watchtower Society as a United Nations NGO – A Look at the Conspiracy Theory (
    Once you’re past the visuals, however, and you begin to read it, the site’s agenda becomes clear. Apart from the unnamed author’(s’) predilection towards finger-pointing pejorative words and phrases, such as ‘apostate,’ there seems to be some quite dodgy reasoning. Rather than read through predictable spin on the subject, I fast-forwarded to the “Miscellaneous Questions” page and to one particularly interesting point.
    The author asks: Doesn’t the Watchtower teach that the UN is the unclean thing and should not be touched?
    No, he answers.
    Technically this is true if you factor in that 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 refers to religious things. However, despite the author’s apparent attempt to demonstrate that the WTS has, albeit a tenuous respect, for the existence and the work of the UN, he appears to be oblivious quotes such as this:
    ‘What “disgusting thing” has been “put in place” in modern times? Apparently, it is a “disgusting” counterfeit of God’s Kingdom. This was the League of Nations, the scarlet-colored wild beast that went into the abyss, or ceased to exist as a world-peace organization when World War 11 erupted. (Revelation 17:8) The “wild beast,” however, was to “ascend out of the abyss.” This it did when the United Nations, the 50 member nations including the former Soviet Union, was established on October 24, 1945. Thus “the disgusting thing” foretold by an angel – the United Nations – was put in place.’ – Page 269, paragraph 24, Pay Attention to Daniel’s Prophecy!, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1999.
    Most Witnesses will know that the Scriptural reference referring to not ‘touching the unclean thing’ applies to Babylon the Great which they are taught to view as the ‘World Empire of False Religion.’
    Is the author then suggesting that ‘infiltrating’ by use of the UN’s libraries was ethically acceptable?
    Notice, too, that its publication date is 7 years before the saga began and only 3 years before it ended.
    Related to this is a further question on the site: Although there was nothing technically wrong with being an NGO with the DPI in 1992, should the Watchtower have not avoided anything to do with the United Nations to avoid stumbling the brothers?
    To this question the author likewise answers No.
    The fact is the action did cause a major stumbling when the news was exposed (within 24 hours of the newspaper article is bound to raise eyebrows!) While most Witnesses would have to meet their end with a millstone around their necks for ‘stumbling their brothers,’ it seems that others are exempt.
    Ethically, what happened would be like us asking Adolf Hitler if you could use the Reichstag library during World War Two to write anti-Nazi propaganda leaflets.

  4. Hi Matthew,

    much improved layout for your site since I last commented!!

    Have read the full account of the procedures you went through and while it was obvious just by listening to all the podcasts, the written summary also helps to see the injustice both legally and biblically.

    Very informative.

    Though it is a private decision- is the person who wrote this still classed as an active witness?

    If so, do they feel able to share this information freely- such as to the elder body concerned, the London branch office or to Brooklyn Bethel itself?

    If yes, have they done so and what was the outcome?

    If no, does this not confirm that as a responsible christian it is impossible due to fear of disfellowshipping to avoid being part of a unjust arrangement?

    I have been disfellowshipped in 2004 (correctly due to biblical sin) and re-instated about 3 years ago (2008)

    The re-instatement process is clearly a form of punishment and completely unlike what we read at Matthew 15:11-32.

    And I also understand that records of all disfellowshipped ones is kept around the world at various Bethels and Brooklyn- which seems to make God look wishy- washy or unnecessary- Isaiah 1: 18

    However, what the re-instatement process DID benefit me with was the ability to learn to watch and say nothing for 12 months- hard for me :)

    12 months to observe a different congregation and also to observe what goes on , not as a teenager when I came to the meetings first , but as an adult with children of my own.

    Wow- how shocking it was to realise how hard things were to be a follower of Christ rather than a follower of "the faithful and discreet slave"

    The 4-5 years I was not going has sure seen things get more regimented ,judgemental and unkind than clearly was there before but when I was (correctly) disfellowshipped I did not see then.

    When I was coming back the DVD about the Whole Association of Brothers in the World made me cry- it was always the love of normal brothers and sisters that attracted me (and should of course).

    But now it is clear that the brothers are slowly having their natural instincts drained as the meetings become like Mcdonalds rather than spiritual food.

    It is no longer hard to be a Jehovahs witness: it is simply routine and sterile and this really hurts for me to say this :(

    I wonder now how you deal with faith and other issues in your current circumstances? Do you worship somewhere, read your bible etc or are you now a bit put off with things due to your troubles?

    The bible is true-period.

    God will expect us all to live up to his requirements and makes a considered judgement (thankfully) about us all.

    The wicked will be punished and his kingdom will bless all those he chooses.

    Trying to really get along with people is our daily christian challenge and being(acting)loving means more than formal ceremony.

    Thats my potted view, for what it is worth.

    I appreciate your podcasts / web site is probably classed as apostate material but we have all been given a brain and a conscience.

    With the wealth of internet information out at present is there a need for you to continue adding to this blog or is it therapy (I do not mean to be offensive in any way when I say this)?

    What you have achieved is already powerful and adding to this much more could dilute your initial experience and testimony.

    What a shame to get a label of "witness basher" when quite clearly your podcasts show you steering a even handed approach.

    Leaving the witness culture is hard for all the reasons you know.

    Building a new life is not easy becuase quite clearly the vast majority of DFd / DA individuals really care about God / Christ and the brothers.

    But if we do not let go we are still prisoners-of the past.

    Its your decision of course and I still respect your blogs , but you clearly have much more to give.

    Kind regards for you and your family,


    1. David:"If so, do they feel able to share this information freely- such as to the elder body concerned, the London branch office or to Brooklyn Bethel itself?"

      For the answer, David, read Brant Jones' letter to the WTBTS and their reply at:,

      and: and in particular the paragraphs at the end of the WTBTS response. In this you will find my answer.

      David: "And I also understand that records of all disfellowshipped ones is kept around the world at various Bethels and Brooklyn- which seems to make God look wishy- washy or unnecessary- Isaiah 1: 18"

      It also suggests God doesn't forgive.

      David: "I wonder now how you deal with faith and other issues in your current circumstances? Do you worship somewhere, read your bible etc or are you now a bit put off with things due to your troubles?"

      I can understand the neglect you presently feel. Your use of McDonald's 'food' is a good one. I like Macs too but not endlessly repeatedly.

      Your compassion is noted, but stepping back to take a more objective view of things, I have found much wanting in what I had been told. Whether the UN was meant to be a cover-up doesn't matter to me; the WTBTS has never taken genuine responsibility for this (and other) scandal(s) yet continues to disfellowhship members who, in their opinion, break neutrality.

      There has been much unnecessary damage done to the innocent of the flawed Child Protection Policy presently invoked:

      Many have been stumbled by this sort of thing and will continue to be until the issues are appropriately handled.

      David: "With the wealth of internet information out at present is there a need for you to continue adding to this blog or is it therapy (I do not mean to be offensive in any way when I say this)?"

      It is not so much 'therapy' as a tool. I have a strict policy myself that all claims must be verified and not merely claimed. Only sites that have 'checkable' information will be read (at the mouth of two or three witnesses).

      I apologise if these extracts were addressed to Matthew, but they apply similarly to me.


  5. The Judicial process of three judges questioning an accused individual. Has been well founded in the Roman Catholic Religion. It was used during the inquisition to discover and punish heretics.

    Any Judicial process has to be seen as fair towards the accused. The European Court of Human Rights is respected for due process.

    They allow representation by others to assist the accused. A young women for example could be intimidated before three male Judges, having representation takes this away and gives a grounding for fair process. The Judicial process has not only to be fair, but seen to be fair.

    The Watchtower would object if a member was not allowed representation before the European Court of Human Rights. This is something that the Watchtower should apply in their own Judicial
    hearings. The accused persons human rights demand they be assisted by representation to assist fair process. They would have a witness as to what was said, and could be called on in the event of an appeal hearing. Everything needs to be done to make Judicial process fair.

    1. What is important here is first the origin of the motive for a powerful system that presumes guilt in all cases (Crisis of Conscience by Raymond Franz). Particularly after this corporate takeover it has become plain that the workings extricate those who threaten religious purity. To accomplish this saw the return of McCarthy/Inquisitional methodology.

      Taking into account that a major ethic was violated when two elders used confidential discussions as the basis for 'evidence' of thoughtcrime, Matthew Barrie was convicted solely on hearsay 'evidence.' The appeal committee even went to the trouble in fabricating the 'crime' of 'failing to respect the authority of the Slave' to insure that the 'charges' stuck. No witnesses were called other than the two elders, one a brother/the other the evident driver behind the whole misguided situation.


  6. If the Charter of an Organization states clearly its intention.....and a member follows that intention.

    An internal hearing can not rule against the principle of the charter. Without first amending
    the charter, otherwise the ethics of the Organization are called into question.

    1. Anyone who has been through the judicial process will perhaps have understood how stacked the odds are against the accused getting a fair trial. This is most obvious in the case of 'apostasy.' Matthew's ordeal should be a precedent for bad politics and ethical corruption. None of the formal judicial process is Biblical in the sense that there was no formal judicial process in the Bible - except Matthew 18:15 - 17, where Jesus gave admonition not to allow small things to become big things.

      Of course, a disciplinary system is needed for wrongdoers, but the process must be seen to be Christian-based. If it is, as it often is, asserted that Western values are based on Christian values, then surely this judicial system must surely reflect the human rights charters we see today. Instead, fundamentalist religion labels such charters as part of 'Satan's system.'


  7. " Apostasy ". Is in the eye of the beholder. An organization can restrict members to their view of the world. Members are taught they have the "Truth". Anyone who talks against them are apostates.

    To look at apostasy from a wider viewpoint, take a few steps back and look at what an organization has printed from it's beginning say 1879 leading up to 1914, 1925, 1975, 1994.... have they mislead their members and the public.

    And then examine scriptural commands, guidelines and instructions.

    In other words an organization can separate it's self from some clear scriptural commands, guidelines and instructions without members being alert to it happening. The organization can go off in one direction when the scriptures advise nothing of the sort.

    So when people speak up and say the organization clearly went against scripture and the leaders of the organization must take responsibility. Should the organization charge them with apostasy

    At this point it has to be said, do the scriptures support this action. Are you required to condone wrongdoing and bend the knee to wrong actions, and recant, otherwise you will be branded as an apostate.

    An organization on one side and the scriptural guidelines on the
    other. God's word clearly says... Let GOD be found true and every man a liar. If an organization was to subjugate you to it's scriptural wrong doing when God's Word clearly advises to separate yourself from the wrongdoing. And if you are branded an apostate and shunned. Then rejoice, for many are listed in scripture for standing firm against wrongdoing, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ exemplified.

    An apostate of an organization is not the same as an apostate to God's commands, guidelines and instructions.