Dec 242004
 

Two days after I sent Letter 1, I received a call from two the the elders of my congregation. They asked if I were formally disassociating myself. When I replied that I was not, I was invited to appear before them to face charges of apostasy. I sent this letter as a reply to that invitation. The elders never replied either in writing or verbally.

December 17, 1999

Dear Brothers,

I realize how difficult all of this is for you in dealing with me, what I said in my recent letter and where all of this is likely going. My purpose in writing that letter was not to cause any of you any trouble, but just to let my old friends know what was happening with me. In that letter, I was able to address you and the others I wrote to as friends, some of whom I have known for more than twenty five years. I know that you are doing what you think is right, but please realize that I am doing the same. None of what follows in this letter is meant to cause any of you any personal grief. Despite all this I love you brothers very much.

In my recent phone conversation with Paul W___ and Paul D______, I was not surprised at all at the way our conversation went. Having dealt with many judicial situations while I was an elder, I know that friendship ends up taking second place to organizational concerns in situations such as this. Since you are dealing with me, not as friends, but as elders appointed by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Incorporated, and since I think there is good reason to believe that you will be consulting and/or reporting to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Incorporated, I feel I must respond to you as agents of that corporation rather than as I would like to – as friends.

I have decided that I will not formally disassociate myself from the Portsmouth Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses or from Jehovah’s Witnesses in general. I came to this decision for several reasons. First, there is nothing I see in the Bible that calls for a formal letter of disassociation in my situation, or any other. It seems to me that the provision of formal disassociation is a matter of convenience for the legal department of the Watchtower Society rather than serving any real religious purpose. It allows people to be pigeon-holed into nice neat little categories rather than dealing with the real issues involved. Also, I have no problem with the Portsmouth Congregation or its members. My disagreement is with certain actions, policies, teachings and writings contained in publications that are produced and in oral teachings promulgated either individually or collectively by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and its legal corporations, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Inc. and the International Bible Students Association.

The purpose of this letter is to clarify certain matters and to secure and protect what I consider basic human rights in dealing with agents of the multinational, multi-billion dollar Watchtower corporations.

Since you have asked me to appear before a judicial committee to face charges of apostacy, there are a few things that I must ask for and which I feel must be clarified before I will even consider meeting with a judicial committee.

1. I shall be notified in writing of the time, place and purpose of any meetings with a judicial committee.

2. I shall be notified in writing of the exact purpose of the meetings.

3. I shall be notified in writing exactly on whose behalf the judicial committee was convened and is acting: the Portsmouth Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses or its legal corporation the Portsmouth Company of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses or its legal corporations, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Inc., the International Bible Students Association or any other agency not here named.

4. If any other agency other than the one for whom the judicial committee has informed me they are acting for is consulted, reported to, or allowed to have any bearing on the outcome of the judicial process, I will consider the judicial committee as acting in the their behalf.

5. I shall be notified in writing as to my status as a member of any and all of the organizations for which the committee is acting or to which the committee will report.

6. I insist that the judicial committee immediately cease, and in the future desist from any actions toward or against me in behalf of any corporation or organization of which I am not a member.

7. I shall be notified in writing of any accusations against me, the names of persons making such accusations and the substance of any evidence against me.

8. I shall be notified in writing of any and all of my rights and responsibilities involved in the judicial process.

9. I shall be given sufficient time between notification of any meetings with a judicial committee and the time of the actual meeting to prepare a response to any accusations.

10. I shall be allowed to have one person of my choice present during all meetings between me and the judicial committee as an observer. Since I think there is good reason to believe that the judicial committee may consult with one or more lawyers, specifically those employed by the Legal Department of Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Incorporated, the person of my choice may also be a lawyer.

11. During the meetings with the judicial committee I and/or my observer will be allowed to take whatever notes we feel are necessary.

Additionally, if the judicial committee takes any judicial action against me :

12. I will not recognize any action taken by the judicial committee as valid unless it is communicated to me in writing, stating the exact nature and reason for the action.

13. In this written communication the judicial committee must state exactly on whose behalf they have taken the action, specifically the Portsmouth Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses or its legal corporation the Portsmouth Company of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses or its legal corporations, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Inc., the International Bible Students Association or any other agency not here named.

14. If the judicial committee has stated that it is acting only for the Portsmouth Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is enjoined from notifying any agency outside the congregation of their action. If the judicial committee or anyone acting in their behalf notifies of reports to anyone outside the Portsmouth Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I may take any appropriate legal action.

15. I may appeal any action taken by the judicial committee.

16. Before I will meet with an appeal committee, that committee must notify me in writing of the names of all of the members of the appeal committee and who each one represents: the Portsmouth Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses or its legal corporation the Portsmouth Company of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses or its legal corporations, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Inc., the International Bible Students Association or any other agency not here named

17. There shall be no contact between the judicial committee and the appeal committee other than to inform them of the time and place of my meetings with them. If I determine that there is any contact, communication or attempt on the part of any of the members of the original judicial committee or anyone acting on their behalf to, in any way prejudice or sway the appeal committee, I will insist that a new appeal committee be formed.

18. I shall be notified in writing of any and all of my rights and responsibilities involved in the appeal process.

19. I shall be allowed to have one person of my choice present during the all meetings between me and the appeal committee. Since I think there is good reason to believe that the appeal committee may consult with one or more lawyers, specifically those employed by the Legal Department of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Incorporated, the person of my choice may also be a lawyer.

20. During the meetings with the appeal committee I and/or my observer will take whatever notes we feel are necessary.

21. I will not recognize any action taken by the appeal committee as valid unless it is communicated to me in writing, stating the exact nature and reason for the action.

22. In this written communication the appeal committee must state exactly on whose behalf they are taking the action, specifically the Portsmouth Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses or its legal corporation the Portsmouth Company of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses or its legal corporations, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Inc., the International Bible Students Association or any other agency not here named.

23. If the appeal committee has stated that it is acting only for the Portsmouth Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is enjoined from notifying any agency outside the congregation of their action. If the appeal committee or anyone acting in their behalf notifies or reports to anyone outside the Portsmouth Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I may take any appropriate legal action.

24. I understand that if I am disfellowshipped by the judicial committee and the disfellowshipping is upheld by the appeal committee that I am, at that point, no longer considered to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I also understand that it is necessary to make a brief announcement that I have been disfellowshipped. From then on, I will consider any attempt to convince by speeches, talks or teaching; to coerce by implied or actual threat of similar judicial action; or to encourage by private counsel or suggestion any of Jehovah’s Witnesses to treat me differently from any other person that is not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses to be a serious violation of my civil rights and I may initiate any legal action, civil or criminal that I deem appropriate. This includes any attempt to convince by speeches, talks or teaching; to coerce by implied or actual threat of similar judicial action; or to encourage by private counsel or suggestion any present Jehovah’s Witnesses to shun or avoid me, cease or otherwise modify their doing business with me, or terminate or otherwise abrogate any lease, rental, mortgage, or any other legal agreement that I may presently have with them. I may consider such to be an infringement of free trade and may initiate appropriate legal action.

25. I consider any communication between the members of the judicial committee and myself and the appeal committee and myself to be ecclesiastically privileged. Any attempt to reveal the substance or tone of those communications to any other person or group will be considered by me to be a breach of that privilege and may result in legal action. This includes any announcements beyond the fact of my disfellowshipping, speeches, talks, or any other communication, written or oral, public or private.

I fully realize that you may be unwilling or that the Watchtower corporations will not allow you to comply with the preceding.

I respectfully await your written response


  3 Responses to “Letter 2”

  1. You forgot, “Don’t knock on my door again”….I am in the process of disassociating. For me, it is a simple, less confrontational manner of exit. I am older, with major health issues, caused in part by 40 years of confrontations and lack of love from the Watchtower Tract and Bible Corporation Organisation Congregational Committee, Glorious Ones. They stressed my life to the limits, and they hid what they were. I am as imperfect as anyone, but I did not misrepresent who I was all those years…I am glad to have true men in Christ to speak with now…a place I can enter into and have dignity with the spirit of Agape Love. Thanks Doc., Joe

  2. Wow! That was truly amazing! I may need some help in constructing a letter like this in the near future and this definitely seems to be one of the best ones out there that I’ve seen so far!

    Thank you!

  3. Fantastic!!! I was told I HAD to write a letter to disassociate myself, in 1998.
    My father and sister shunned me from 2002 after the letter appeared in the KM.
    their rules/policies change by the week in that religion, and it sickens me greatly.
    Now, it seems u don’t have to write a letter!!!!!!

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