Can a person be disassociated without their consent and without a Judicial Committee or more than one Witness?
This morning......Christmas morning......my family and I were relaxing in our living room when we received a knock on the door from the local P.O. and another brother. They haven't talked to my husband in over 4 years....and rarely with me, maybe a once a year "shepherding call."
Anyway, earlier in the morning I jokingly wondered out loud if we'd get a shepherding call on Xmas day........as we were opening our family gifts.
Well, it happened. I was in my PJ's so I ran out of view. They said they just happened to be in the neighborhood and wanted to stop. He asked Rob how work was at the hospital, and he informed them that he hadn't worked at the hospital for over 4 years (that's how "in touch" they are with us). He asked where he now worked and when Rob stated he was a deputy at the Sheriff's Dept, his eyes got wide and he just said "oh." Then he looked inside (Rob didn't let them in and they were having to stand out in the 20 degree temp) and made a comment to the effect of "so you've taken up Christmas?" Rob said, "Yeah we have." Peter said, "Well, you know what that means?" Rob said, "No, I don't." To which Peter replied, "You're going to disassociate yourself? Do we need to make an announcement?" Rob just stated, "you do what you gotta do". Peter said, "You know this way you can always come back to our loving organization." Rob replied, "I'm not interested." Peter said, "Well, I'm sorry to hear that." And basically that was it.
So, they left us with the impression that we will soon be disassociated. I protest this and do not want this, NOT because I want to be a part of that group, but because of general principle, as well as having elderly JW parents and mother-in-law. This would be upsetting to my father, who is in frail health.....I have always said to Rob, that once my father passes away, to hell with JWs... that my mom would probably still associate with me, so that that is all that matters. (Rob's mom will stick to the book and cut us off.)
I was not in the room, no did I give any impression whatsoever that I wished this to be done. And, technically, Rob didn't either, although his comments could possibly be interpreted at being such. What recourse do we have? If they announce any such action, we want to consider suing for defamation of character. If they choose to just "mark" us, well, that's their choice, but to openly restrict others from speaking with us without our consent.....I don't agree with that.
It is not like we have ever given those on the outside any impression that we ever were JWs, once we moved back to this state 5 years ago........we have not been active for longer than that (close to 6-7 years). So, we aren't giving a "bad Witness," as no one knows we ever were associated.
We know others in the area, who are opening smoking, fornicating, living with others and having illegitimate children, etc., and they are left alone. And these are ones who have been active more recently than we are.
Another "witch hunt."