Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 9 years ago

How does it work this disciplining with Jehovah's Witnesses?

My husband felt very strongly about the environment and also may have been a bi-polar manic depressive, but was not diagnosed as he refused to see a doctor.

He got baptised in his 20's in the UK. (Congregation no.1) Then he went off and disassociated himself and got involved in protests for Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace. He was arrested in the Houses of Parliament for shouting at the Prime Minister, but I think he was let off on the grounds of mental health issues. His family kept it all a secret, so it's hard to work out, but I read his diary after his death and got a bit of the picture.

He rejoined the JWs in Ireland when he went to live with his parents there. (Congregation no.2) His parents say that the elders had taken pity on him and he was reinstated. What happens when you are reinstated? Is there an anouncement, or was it that in his case they didn't let anyone know that he was even disassociated? He met me in that country and invited me to the meetings. The trouble started when someone had made the assumption that I was his sister and I explained that I wasn't and that we were engaged. This is when he got lots of counsel against being an aerobics instructor as that is where you meet girls from the 'world' like me. Neither of us could understand why it was against the bible to be an aerobics instructor and I didn't like their insults towards me, including a brother referring to me as the 'evil temptress come to take him away from Jehovah' so we both stopped going to the meetings.

After our marriage in the UK we both attended the meetings there and they knew that he was a brother and I wasn't a sister. (Congregation no.3). One day we visited his family in Congregation no.1 in the UK and an elder came up to me and asked me if I was a sister and I said 'No, but I'm married to that brother' and he knew him from the past. He asked my husband 'What happened since you disassociated yourself all those years ago?' He replied 'I thought that was all sorted out.' Next thing he is having a private conversation with his own brother and I don't know what was said. Then we went back to our congregation (no.3) and he spoke to the elders in front of me and said 'I disassociated myself many years ago and since then I got together with my wife here'. Then the anouncement was made that he was disassociated. However, his family said that he was properly reinstated after being disassociated and that had been over with many years ago.

Anyhow, I experienced a lot of domestic violence with his mood swings, after which he would always get tearful and say how depressed he was while they all weren't talking to him. He got severe migraines as well as the next minute being hyperactive. He attempted suicide when I was taken to Women's Aid the first time. When I got back he would say, 'you should meet someone else, I'm a bad person' etc. I just wanted a normal life as a young married couple with a baby and another one on the way. I don't understand your system of all this disciplining. Also, as a campaigner against pornography, I was truly shocked to hear that your people think it is a matter of conscience to look at page 3 of the Sun, while you punish others for their sins. How disgusting!

How can a person not know if they are disassociated or not. Do your elders actually contact the previous congregations to discuss what happened in the past? Like in most cases of mental illness, my husband's family kept it very hushed up as they were afraid of being judged by society as people do?

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I was brought up from birth as a Jehovah's Witness but left that organisation in the 1970's. 15 years ago I became a Christian and came to realise that "disciplining" from the elders is a form of control to keep people in their place - in total obedience to the organisation. They will shun people who do not conform or who question the "authority" of the elders. If anyone speaks out openly against the organisation, they will be disfellowshipped - thrown out. Even if a person disassociates them-self from the organisation, they run the risk of being shunned by family or friends unless they "repent" and conform to the rules and regulations. Unquestioning loyalty and obedience to the organisation is demanded. They use a variety of control techniques to keep people from leaving, such as being disciplined by the elders. Check out the links below.

    With regard to the power exercised by elders, this official document spells out how people can be disciplined, shunned and disfellowshipped:

    True Christians know that "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment" (1 John 4:18). Jehovah's Witnesses will punish anyone who does not obey the leadership. Get away from them and their influence as fast as you can.

  • 9 years ago

    I am sorry to hear about your experiences.\

    It is very hard to live with someone who has bi-polar.

    By the sound of it, your husband really struggled with it and not everybody knew he was having all this trouble.

    I am glad your husband was reinstated. Obviously at one stage the elders found out that he was mentally unstable and got into trouble because of it.

    No there is nothing wrong with being an aerobics instructor.

    As witnesses we hold up a very high moral standart. We don't have sex before marriage because the Bible says we should stay chaste until we marry.

    You could look up information on this link if you wish:

    So it was not being an instructor but it was about he moral stand he was probably counseled on.

    It is hard for the elders to know everything about a person unless they tell them

    As for porn

    If you walk in the street and see a drunk vomit and make rude gestures, you would immediately walk away and leave the scene. That is the same with looking through a paper or the internet or video you would immediately turn away from it.

    Please message me with your questions and i will try help you

    kind regards

  • 4 years ago

    They are handled similar to someone else. Counseled and if now not repentant and difference they may be able to be publically reproved and eliminated. They will also be disfellowshipped. Being an elder makes nobody greater than the leisure. It is a function of accountability and there's standards to be met to be appointed and maintain the function. If you have been a Witness for forty yrs. you then will have to understand this. Phishing are you?

  • 9 years ago

    I'm not a JW, so I can't really comment on the details. However, I have read in quite a few places of the fact that the Witnesses are an extremely closed society with very rigid rules of behavior and conformity to the "party line" on all issues. They have been called a cult for good reason, they get your life so intertwined with the "religion" that you end up cut off from the rest of the world in many ways.

    And I suspect that mental illness would not be accepted at all. I don't know how the UK deals with mental illness, I know that in the US, there is a lot of stigma even now.

    Sorry about the loss of your husband. Really. He sounds like a very troubled but good man caught up in a "religion" that was not very supportive. I've been diagnosed with a couple of mental issues myself, but I've been blessed with good support networks and it makes a difference.

    And I regret that I cannot answer on the details of how the JW's operate, but since you are not in the faith yourself, all I can say to you is to stay as far away from them as possible.

    Blessings on your Journey!

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