Visitor: Why won’t you answer his questions? (Part Three – 0:58)
Judicial Chairman: We don’t have time…
Visitor: You don’t have time?…
Visitor: He was asking you guys for help…. (Part Three –1:08)
Judicial Elder One: And you know what – your faith is apart from ours. There’s the door… (Part Three – 1:15)
Visitor: (pleading) Could you tell…?
Judicial Elder One: You know what? In a god-like form, I absolutely DO HATE HIM… (the accused)… (Part Three – 6:33)
Visitor: You know…You know what – I have never seen such a lack of love in all of my life. What happened to the rest of Galatians – the part that talked about love? (Part Three – 5:12)
- Excerpts from The Jonathan Lee Religious Judicial Case
Disclaimer: This material is reproduced with permission from the author (March 16th, 2011, Jon: “You are more than welcome to use whatever material you’d like yourself”). I have re-edited the transcript to be consistent with other case found on this site, and have done this by personally listening to the public domain recording.
Every effort has been made, using personal voice recognition, to match voices with names found in this recorded podcast. I have no personal relationship with the persons involved, and have sought to be as accurate as possible with everything that has been said. Due to two or more persons talking simultaneously, or where voices are too low to hear with any accuracy, minor transcript errors may have occurred. This is not intentional.
Introduction (Jonathan): We (I and my companion) arrived at the kingdom hall shortly before a meeting of the T….. M……. congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Confused, I shortly noticed J….. F………., and we quickly made our way to the backroom where J… R……, and some elder I have never met before (possibly the new circuit overseer), were waiting. The following transcript starts with us first arriving inside the building.
Part One of Three
Jonathan: Hi! (0:02)
An anonymous Jehovah’s Witness inside says a greeting.
Visitor: I’m J–. I think I probably met you before up here… Er, I came Wednes…no…Thursday.
Jonathan: Which congregation is this again? (0:12)
An anonymous Jehovah’s Witness inside the hall: “T….., T….. M…….”.
Jonathan: T….. M…….… Oh! Hey…
At this point I spotted J….. F………..
(My friend [in the transcript named “visitor”]) and I made our way to the lobby, and subsequently to the backroom.
Jonathan: Yeah, Sorry…Hello. (In greeting to some anonymous congregation member in the lobby) Confused with all the cars…
Hah! (To the elders waiting in the backroom)
Judicial Elder One: That’s all right. Come right in…
Visitor: Hi, my name’s J…. (0:36)
Judicial Elder One: I’m J… (R –).
Visitor: All right, I kinda like that name, heh…
Judicial Elder One: (Indistinct)
Visitor: I’m J… H…… Good to meet you. (0:45)
Judicial Elder One: What’s your name?
Visitor: J… H……
Visitor: (Indistinct) …T…..’s like that. This place is so confusing…
Judicial Elder One: So you’re old friends?
Jonathan: Yeah. This is a brother from Louisiana.
Visitor: We’re, er… we go back about 5 years now, but, er… I’m only 25 (Jonathan laughs) so that’s like a fifth of our lives.
Judicial Elder One: So, are you a Witness…are you one of Jehovah’s Witnesses or…?
Judicial Elder One: Are you? In good standing, or…?
Visitor: Yeah, of course.
Judicial Elder One: Louisiana, huh. (1:46)
Visitor: Yeah, yeah… (indistinct) We really, er, …my wife and I haven’t been back for… well really, since Hurricane Rita. And my brother’s house was, like, 12 feet underwater at the time. And it was just… (Loud crack) amazing so…
Judicial Elder One: Bad.
Visitor: Yes, sir.
Judicial Elder One: Er, J… I guess J… is a Witness from Louisiana.
The case begins:
Judicial Chairman: Well, thank you very much for coming. What we’re concerned about is er…, majorly… is that, er…we do the right thing. (2:43)
Jonathan: Mmhm, absolutely.
Judicial Chairman: And, er… you know you can’t record this. And so I have to ask you: Do you have a recorder? (2:31)
Jonathan: Er…yeah, I have a tape recorder, yeah. Um…now, why…why exactly is that…that I can’t record this?
Judicial Chairman: Well, it’s the policy of the Watchtower Society.
Jonathan: Okay what’s…is there a Biblical basis for that?
Judicial Chairman: I don’t believe they had recorders back then (laughs).
Jonathan: Well, fine, I know, er…
Judicial Chairman: No, that’s just the establishment of the meeting. And if you’re going to record it then we can’t have the meeting. (2:52)
Jonathan: Okay. Well, here you go… (Gives over the recorder). Okay.
Judicial Chairman: Do you have a second one?
Jonathan: No I don’t. That’s the only tape recorder I have. (3:03)
Judicial Elder One: We’d like to start with prayer.
Jonathan: Go ahead.
Judicial Elder One: Would you like to do that, J…..?
Judicial Elder Two: (3:07) Jehovah God, we come before you now to give thanks for allowing us to be part of your organization; to use the Bible and, er, to adjust our thinking; help our…our members in doing the same things, so that, er, we can all reach the same goal. We ask that you will be with us now to have a mild spirit, to be able to, er, speak freely. I’d like to give this prayer to you now in Jesus Christ’s name.
Judicial Chairman: And what I’d like to do is just read a scripture to you to start with… (3:41)
Judicial Chairman: It has to do with what our purpose here is. It’s in Galatians 6…
Looks up scripture
Jonathan: Galatians 6?
Judicial Chairman: Galatians 6. First, er, first verse.
Judicial Chairman: It says, “Brothers, even though a man takes some false step before he’s aware of it. You who have spiritual qualifications, try to readjust such a man in a spirit of mildness. As you each keep an eye on yourself, for fear you also may be tempted.” (4:20)
So, the reason we wanted to meet with you is to see if there’s some way we can assist you to be able to see things, er, clearly as to Jehovah’s organization, the Watchtower Society, and the various sectors of that…
Judicial Chairman: That’s our purpose…
Judicial Chairman: …is to help you. (4:43)
Judicial Chairman: All right. So, based on that – your thinking today is what in regards to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society?
Jonathan: Well, what should it be?
Judicial Chairman: Well, do you…do you want this to be confrontational? (5:00)
Jonathan: No, no, I’m asking what…what should…, you know, as an elder it would be of great assistance if you could define what should be my position to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. (5:09)
Judicial Chairman: The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is a legal corporation.
Judicial Chairman: And in…within that legal corporation, those who have put it together…
Judicial Chairman: …are those of the governing body who are part of the One Hundred and Forty Four Thousand.
Judicial Chairman: The Governing Body are the ones that, er, give all directions throughout the earth. And I guess the question would be: Do you believe that that governing body is appointed by Jehovah to do that?
Jonathan: What basis would I have to believe that? (5:38)
Judicial Chairman: The Bible.
Jonathan: Okay and where…? Could you…if you could help me…please point that in the Bible.
Judicial Chairman: Matthew 24. I’m sure you know where Matthew…
Jonathan: Matthew 24:14?
Judicial Chairman: No, 24.
Jonathan: Oh, the whole thing. Okay.
Judicial Chairman: No, 45.
Jonathan: Oh, okay – the ‘faithful and discreet slave.’
Judicial Chairman: There you go, good.
Jonathan: Okay. Yeah, Matthew 24:45 in regards to the ‘faithful and discreet slave.’
Judicial Chairman: That is correct.
Jonathan: What is the ‘faithful and discreet slave’?
Judicial Chairman: See, you’re asking the question and what you want to do is convince us of what…
Jonathan: No, I’m not trying to convince you. I’m asking a question, because, as an elder, I have these questions, and it would assist me greatly if you could answer them for me. (6:12)
Judicial Chairman: The answer that I gave already is… (Indistinct)…the Governing Body.
Jonathan: Okay, so the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ is the Governing Body.
Judicial Chairman: ‘One hundred and forty four thousand’; those that are left here on the earth – the Governing Body is part of that – that is correct.
Jonathan: So you’d say the Governing Body then represents the ‘faithful and discreet slave.’
Judicial Chairman: That’s true.
Jonathan: Okay, so where’s the Governing Body then in…in the Scriptures? (6:32)
Judicial Chairman: Same place as, er, where Peter and John, and all of them, were in Jerusalem. That’s where Paul went to visit them, all the various ones…
Judicial Chairman: …That’s where all the various ones went.
Jonathan: You’re talking about the Jerusalem ‘council.’
Judicial Elder One: You know, er…
Judicial Chairman: You know, it’s… (laughs)
Judicial Elder One: Excuse me a second…
Judicial Elder One: Our…our purpose in being here is…is not to debate these things, but to find out if…whether you agree or disagree with what you’ve been taught from infancy… (7:00)
Judicial Elder One: …based on the Bible. And, to answer our questions with questions is only to stimulate debate, and we’re not here to debate.
Jonathan: Well it’s…it’s not stimulating debate, it’s…it’s… I find questions-with-questions, um…it actually allows us to ‘argue.’ And ‘argument’ is where two people, two parties, come to a common conclusion, um, and so therefore, I…I can’t be sure – you say I’ve been ‘taught from infancy,’ but a person isn’t sentient until they’re three years old. Um…
Judicial Chairman: Now, what we need to do is stop it here. (7:31)
Judicial Chairman: If you do not believe that the Anointed on the earth today are directed by the Governing Body today…
Judicial Chairman: …then we have no more discussion.
Jonathan: Simply because if, theoretically, I didn’t have that belief that would be the end of discussion?
Judicial Chairman: Absolutely, because, that means that you do not…
Jonathan: Would it…? Okay, the scripture you cited said that you were to ‘readjust my thinking,’ so if my thinking is off – then you are to readjust me. Is that correct? (7:59)
Judicial Chairman: The point is that you don’t desire, evidently, to be readjusted, because you…
Jonathan: How is…? Okay…
Judicial Chairman: …incidentally ask questions. We give you a simple answer, and you want to know why that answer is given.
Jonathan: I’m trying to ‘make sure of all things,’ (1 Thessalonians 5:21) ‘make the truth my own’ (Song 191, Sing Praises to Jehovah, 1984, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society) Do we do that by asking questions? We come to a knowledge of the truth by asking pertinent questions.
Judicial Chairman: Well, do you remember the other part of that scripture? (Galatians 6:1 – New World Translation)
Jonathan: Well, what is the other part of that scripture? (8:12)
Judicial Chairman: That we just read, where we protect ourselves…
Jonathan: I…I’ve been looking at the Watchtower, and I…I would think you might find this interesting, it says: “Since we do not want our worship to be in vain, it is important for each one of us to examine his religion. We need to examine not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God’s Word? Or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination.” (9:00)
Judicial Chairman: Absolutely.
Jonathan: “It should be the sincere desire of every one of us to learn what God’s will is for us and then to do it.” That’s from The Truth that Leads to Everlasting (Eternal) Life, 1968 p. 15 (actually page 13, paragraphs 4, 5, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society)
Judicial Chairman: I…I understand that, …
Judicial Chairman: …but that’s not what we’re talking about. Let me ask you a direct question: …
Judicial Chairman: Do you believe in the Trinity? Is that a belief of yours today? (9:16)
Jonathan: Could you define what the Trinity is?
Judicial Chairman: No, I’m not going to define what the Trinity is, …
Jonathan: Well, if we can’t define…
Judicial Chairman: …because you know what the Trinity is.
Jonathan: Obviously I don’t. What is…what is the Trinity, please?
Judicial Chairman: I’m not going to argue the Trinity with you.
Judicial Elder One: In all of its variations…
Judicial Elder One: …In all of its variations, and there are a variety of ways to apply the doctrine.
Judicial Elder One: In any of it… do you believe in the Trinity in any form…? (9:43)
Part Two of Three
Jonathan: In any form?
Judicial Elder One: Any form.
Jonathan: Well, that’s…that’s, er… I… ‘in any form’? The ‘Trinity’ – the word is not found in the Bible.
Judicial Chairman: That’s true.
Jonathan: So, in that I would say “no.”
Judicial Chairman: Then do you believe that God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one?
Jonathan: How do you define “one,” because Jesus Himself said “I and the Father are one”? So obviously that’s a Biblical sentiment (John 10:30).
Judicial Chairman: Well, he also said ‘all of his apostles were one with him.’
Jonathan: Okay, so, there you go! I mean, do you have…we have to define terms in order to understand what we’re talking about first. (0:32)
Judicial Chairman: But we’re never going to get to a definition of terms, because you already have a mindset and that mindset that you have is not acceptable to us; you don’t want that readjusted. (0:43)
Jonathan: It…it’s not… No, I do want it readjusted. If I am wrong in any way it’s your duty to readjust my thinking. (0:50)
Judicial Elder One: To readjust the one who wants to be readjusted.
Jonathan: And I do want to be readjusted. To…to judge my desires – no man can judge the heart, right? (0:58)
Judicial Elder One: That’s true.
Jonathan: Okay, so how can you prejudge my desires?
Judicial Elder One: We’re not.
Jonathan: Okay, well then—then I do. All I can say is that I do want to be readjusted. If I am wrong in any way, please point that out. (1:09)
Judicial Elder One: Well, maybe it would be easier if you…if I may, …
Judicial Elder One: You tell us…select just one doctrine that Jehovah’s Witnesses adhere to, based on the Bible, that you disagree with – just one. Let’s not go around.
Judicial Elder One: Well…
Jonathan: Well, …well, what makes you believe that I disagree with any doctrines?
Judicial Elder One: That’s why we’re here, …
Judicial Elder One: …because we had heard this because of what you have said to your family members.
Judicial Elder One: And you have posted, we understand, on the Internet.
Jonathan: Do you have proof of that? (1:46)
Judicial Elder One: No! I wouldn’t look at postings.
Judicial Elder One: I have proof in the form of witnesses who’ve said they saw it, we do. We’ve heard that. So all we’re saying is…
Jonathan: Well, who are…? Can I…can I ask who are these witnesses?
Judicial Elder One: Absolutely. J – and E –…
Judicial Elder One: …and, er…C –, and um…er…J –. (2:06)
Judicial Elder One: Your own grandfather…
Judicial Elder One: …heard your words and your… and, er…and what you were saying.
Judicial Elder One: And they’re happy to come and testify to that, but I don’t think that’s necessary. If we take this down to its very base, er, …point of the discussion… (2:26)
Jonathan: Uh huh.
Judicial Elder One: …we can see whether or not you want to remain as part of this organization.
Judicial Elder One: If I may, …
Jonathan: Go ahead.
Judicial Elder One: …if we find one teaching that you disagree with, rather than us trying to banter on terms and words – give us one you’re having difficulty accepting. (2:43)
Jonathan: It’s not a matter of ‘difficulty accepting.’ I…I actually affirm a teaching – that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, or that God’s organization should not be involved in political affairs. I believe that. Now why did the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society join the United Nations in 1992?
Judicial Elder One: You’ve been given an explanation for that. So…
Judicial Chairman: You know the explanation for that.
Jonathan: What is the explanation, then? How have I been given an explanation? Wh…what do you mean?
Judicial Elder One: Because it was…
Judicial Chairman: Go ahead.
Judicial Elder One: The Society wrote and explained all of that and…and we don’t need to get into any of these definitions of what it appeared…why it appeared that way.
Judicial Elder One: Let’s stick to just a basic Bible doctrine so we won’t spend a lot of time, …
Judicial Elder One: …because if you don’t…
Jonathan: Let me…let me ask you a question then on…on doctrines. (3:31)
Judicial Elder One: Before you do…
Judicial Elder One: So you understand clearly why we’re here?
Judicial Elder One: …If a person, Biblically, poses a threat to the unity and the cleanliness of God’s organization here on earth, we then are charged with the responsibility to investigate that, and for the sake of purity and cleanliness and to uphold holy standards –1 Peter 1:16 –… (3:56)
Judicial Elder One: …“You must be holy, because I’m holy” – then we will discharge that responsibility whether the person who we’re speaking to or not agrees or disagrees. (4:06)
Judicial Elder One: That’s not for you to decide.
Judicial Elder One: So what we’re saying is: to get rid of all the periphery…
Judicial Elder One: …let’s bear down to one basic thought – not debate terms… (4:19)
Judicial Elder One: …Take one thought and if we can or cannot agree on it, we’ll use that for the basis of our decision. How would that be? (4:26)
Jonathan: Well, um, you…you pointed out that a number of procedures on how that’s…how that’s to go. Er, it’s interesting, Matthew 28 says that we’re also to ‘bring this before the whole congregation.’ It says, you know, that if you have a problem with your brother, er, go to him, and then that if…if that…if he doesn’t seem to be responsive; he doesn’t want your help then to…then to, er, go to the ‘older men’ then to go to the congregation – the ‘whole…the ‘whole congregation.’
(Note: I was thinking Matthew 18:15-17, but it doesn’t actually mention the “older men” in that passage)
Um…I mean, well…I’ll give you an example: “Since the local court was situated at the city gates, there was no question about the trial being public (Deut. 16:18-20). No doubt the public trials helped influence the judges toward carefulness and justice, qualities that sometimes vanish in secret Star Chamber hearings. What about witnesses? Witnesses in Bible times were required to testify publicly.” Okay, so that’s the Awake! January, er, 22nd 1981 (article: Searching out Legal Roots). And…and as I was citing Matthew 18:15-17 – “speak to the congregation”. (5:22)
Judicial Elder One: Are you debating with the procedure here? Is that…?
Jonathan: I’m not debating. I’m…I’m asking a question: Why, exactly do we have this backroom procedure at all? Why isn’t it brought before the congrega…? You…you were explaining, er, why we’re here, and that’s why I’m asking: Why is it that we’re here in this locality? (5:39)
Judicial Chairman: We are charged…we are charged to protect the congregation and therefore you must go through us to get to the congregation. (5:44)
Jonathan: Okay. So it’s…it’s…
Judicial Chairman: That’s all there is to it.
Jonathan: So are you…you don’t believe that it was literal when he said “speak to the congregation” in Matthew 18.
Judicial Chairman: No, … (5:51)
Judicial Chairman: …not for us today! In those days we don’t know what ‘the congregation’ was. I mean, …
Jonathan: Ah, okay.
Judicial Chairman: …we weren’t there – ….
Judicial Chairman: …How do we know what it was? (5:59)
Jonathan: So, the basis of changing that would go back to the organizational legitimacy – … (6:06)
Judicial Chairman: All right, all right….
Jonathan: …that this is God’s organization so we can change that interpretation?
Judicial Chairman: …Is this God’s organization or not in your mind? And that’s…that’s all I can ask.
Jonathan: Okay, well that’s…that’s my question. My…my question is if this is God’s organization, what is the Biblical basis to show that? You…you mentioned the ‘faithful and discreet slave,’ okay, how do we identify it? Because Matthew Henry…Matthew Henry’s Commentary, which is cited extensively by the Watchtower, um, basically states that the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ is an example for ministers; for gospel ministers…that…that anyone who takes it upon them; that is called to be a minister in that role, should be ‘faithful and discreet’ in execution. (6:39)
Judicial Chairman: You know what? This meeting is over. (6:42)
Judicial Elder One: Yeah, there’s no point.
Judicial Chairman: There’s no point in discussing it.
Jonathan: There’s absolutely a point! It is your duty to readjust me. (6:49)
Judicial Chairman: No.
Judicial Chairman: Your meeting is over. (6:52)
Judicial Elder One: Yeah.
Judicial Chairman: That’s it.
Jonathan: Okay, well before it’s over let me…let me give you something. Um…
Visitor: I have a question. Can I speak?
Judicial Elder One: Sure.
Visitor: Um, why can’t you answer his questions?
Judicial Chairman: Because we know his thoughts. We know…
Jonathan: You know my thoughts! You’re psychic! (7:09)
Judicial Chairman: Pardon?
Visitor: How do you know his thoughts?
Jonathan: Yeah, how do you know my thoughts?
Visitor: I was just talking to…
Judicial Chairman: I read your thoughts. (7:15)
Jonathan: Oh, okay.
Judicial Chairman: Your grandfather had them… (7:18)
Judicial Chairman: All the things that you wrote…
Jonathan: You have alleged writings.
Judicial Chairman: Pardon?
Jonathan: You have alleged writings from my…my grandfather. Well do…
Judicial Chairman: Your grandfather…
Jonathan: Well, let me give you something. Would you be willing to accept my…my thesis, J….. (Judicial Elder Two)?
Judicial Elder One: No. You know what we’ll accept from you?
Jonathan: Okay – is a letter? (7:38)
Judicial Elder One: Yeah.
Jonathan: Okay. Sure.
Judicial Elder One: If you…
Jonathan: Here…here’s my letter.
Judicial Elder One: And what is it?
Jonathan: Would you like to read it? (7:45)
Part Three of Three
Jonathan: (continued) Here, I’ll…I’ll read it out loud: “Dear Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watchtower organization; self-styled ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses,’ is an apostate cult. It is a high-control group that fosters a unique puritanical culture of its own…”
Judicial Chairman: You’re…you’re dismissed, bye bye. (0:11)
Judicial Elder One: Thank you.
Judicial Chairman: Thank you for being here.
Jonathan: Well, God bless.
Judicial Elder One: Thank you for helping us to resolve the matter.
Judicial Chairman: Thank you for… (indistinct).
Judicial Chairman: Now the only other question we have is: Shall we talk to your mother and your brother? (0:24)
Visitor: I can’t believe you won’t even answer his questions, and I don’t understand why. (0:29)
Judicial Elder One: Yeah you do.
Visitor: No, I don’t.
Judicial Elder One: But we’re done…we’re done now.
Judicial Chairman: Then you must not be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Judicial Elder One: You’re not (laughs sardonically).
Judicial Chairman: And my question to you is: …
Visitor: Why won’t you even…?
Judicial Chairman: Should we talk to your mother and your brother? (0:42)
Jonathan: And what would be the point?
Judicial Chairman: The point would be: If they don’t want to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses we need to let… (indistinct).
Jonathan: That’s…that’s not…I have no idea what their thoughts…I don’t read anybody’s thoughts. (0:52)
Judicial Chairman: As far as…
Visitor: Why won’t you answer his questions? (0:58)
Judicial Chairman: We don’t have time.
Jonathan: Frankly, this is satanic.
Visitor: You don’t have time?
Judicial Elder One: We don’t have time for it. We’re not…we’re not… This is a matter of debate. So we’re not here to debate. (1:05)
Visitor: He was asking you guys for help. (1:08)
Jonathan: You know, 1 Peter 3:15 says every man must make a defence for his faith.
Judicial Elder One: And you know what – your faith is apart from ours. There’s the door. (1:15)
Visitor: But mine’s not, so let me ask you…
Judicial Elder One: Well it is. We can look at you and tell it is. You’re sharing with him – you must be by association, and if you want to change that, go back to the congregation you came from and address it with your elders who know you. We don’t know you. Anymore… (1:30)
Visitor: But you’re brothers, right?
Judicial Elder One: We are indeed. The three of us are, not to you. (1:35)
Visitor: Why not?
Judicial Elder One: Because, it’s obvious… (1:38)
Judicial Elder One: Why don’t you come back at another time without him and we’ll visit. Why don’t you make an appointment to come see us? We’ll see you individually if you so choose.
Visitor: Are you going to answer my questions when I come back?
Judicial Elder One: If they’re not in the form of debate, and if they’re sincere. But if… (1:57)
Jonathan: How…how can you judge…judge my sincerity?
Judicial Elder One: Well we’re not talking to you.
Judicial Chairman: Not sincerity as to what you believe, …
Judicial Chairman: …but sincerity as to…
Jonathan: But I have serious questions.
Judicial Elder One: No you don’t. (2:07)
Jonathan: Yes I do.
Judicial Elder One: Our conversation is over.
Jonathan: How serious can you be when you say this is not God’s organization? Prove it to me.
Judicial Elder One: Our conversation is over. So now, my point to you is this: If you are sincere you may certainly get our attention…let us know…and we’re happy. If it goes in the same direction, we’re happy to meet with you, but if it goes in the same direction we’ll dismiss you as we’re dismissing him. (2:25)
Jonathan: I would just like to say, if you keep this on file, because this is my Letter of Disassociation.
Judicial Elder One: Oh, we will!
Jonathan: Okay, thank you very much. (2:31)
Judicial Elder One: Oh, we will!
Jonathan: Well, why don’t we—why don’t we go, J…? Because, they’re unreasonable so…
Jonathan: No, we…we should go… Have a nice day!
Judicial Chairman: Thank you.
At this point, (my friend) insisted on remaining inside the kingdom hall and pleads with the elders to be reasonable. They refused. The door was open, but the recording is much quieter at this point. After a few moments I walked back toward the doorway.
The transcript continues 32 seconds later:
Judicial Elder One: …The memory of all of these faces will not be called to mind, including the names of those who set themselves apart from God’s organization – he won’t even remember their name. Isaiah said it – we didn’t. It’s a serious matter; it’s a very serious matter. (Isaiah nowhere mentions “organization”) (Deuteronomy 9:12, 13?)
So, with humility in your heart, when you come to a doctor, as he used the scripture, to adjust that bone, and you’re in great deal of pain and the tears are streaming down you; and you’re in anguish – and you come to talk to us to help you adjust that bone, as Galatians 6:1 says, and you debate with us; whether or not we have the credentials to adjust it and how we’re going to adjust it! I would think you’d want the bone set! (3:56)
Visitor: I didn’t know I was having a bone set.
Judicial Elder One: But you weren’t invited here.
Visitor: Yes I was! He invited me.
Judicial Elder One: Not by us. So I’m saying the invitation to come to this holy place; to have our attention; to have an audience with us; to help you – is open to you – not to him. And you’ll get the same hearing ear, but if you take the same position at the outset we’ll dismiss you, because we don’t have a sharing in that! (4:22)
Jonathan: Because they can’t tolerate dissent, that’s what it comes down to.
Visitor: But, he invited…look, he invited me here as his witness…
Judicial Elder One: We didn’t…he makes a statement that’s true. We do not tolerate dissent against Jehovah’s organization (He makes it sound as if “dissent” is somehow synonymous with rebellion). (4:32)
Jonathan: Because it’s not Jehovah’s organization! It’s dissent as: Is it Jehovah’s organization? That’s my question.
Judicial Chairman: You know, gentlemen, this meeting is already over. (4:38)
Judicial Elder One: It is. But I just want you to know the door’s open if you humbly come back and ask for help.
Visitor: But I came here humbly today.
Judicial Elder One: Well, but we weren’t expecting you to be here. You come another time. If you’re sincere, you make an appointment. You know how to reach us. You know our meeting nights. (I told them weeks in advance that I wanted a witness to observe the proceedings)
Visitor: If I screw up are you guys going to treat me like…? (Indistinct)
Jonathan: No, let’s…J –…J –, let’s go, come on.
Judicial Elder One: Could be. We’ll dismiss you if we don’t feel comfortable being in your presence. (5:02)
Visitor: You know…You know what – I have never seen such a lack of love in all of my life! What happened to the rest of Galatians – the part that talked about love? (5:12)
Judicial Elder One: You know what? You’re just caught up in the emotion of it. We respect that. We hope that you’ll see the light. (5:19)
Visitor: What’s going to happen to him and everyone he knows?
Judicial Elder One: You know the best thing you can do for yourself, J…? Separate yourself from him; get yourself from him; never speak to him again from this moment forward, and that’ll be the best thing you can do for yourself. If you love God…If you love God – not us, not him, not even yourself – if you love God…!
Jonathan: If you love God, you will want ‘TheTruth.’
Judicial Elder One: Never speak…never speak to this man again. Come back to this holy place, strip yourself of your pride and let him affect your heart, and you will see things differently. Don’t have to come to this hall… (indistinct) …place. (5:54)
Jonathan: Uh huh.
Judicial Elder One: Go to another Kingdom Hall, but do not speak to him ever again, and you will be on the road to life. That will start you down that road.
Visitor: I don’t have any hatred in my heart. (?)
Judicial Elder One: We don’t have any hatred for you.
Visitor: How am I supposed to start down that road?
Jonathan: No, actually, according to the Watchtower you’re supposed to hate apostates. So… (Watchtower 1993, 1st October, p. 19 par. 15 “Search Through Me, O God”) (6:11)
Judicial Elder One: We don’t have any hatred towards you (to visitor).
Judicial Chairman: (Indistinct)
Judicial Elder One: None whatsoever. We are sorry for you. (6:16)
Jonathan: Might as well be, because you can prejudge him, so…
Visitor: (pleading) Could you tell me…?
Judicial Elder One: You know what? In a god-like form, I absolutely DO HATE HIM, just as Jehovah does. He’s insulted our God in God’s house! How else should we act? (6:33)
Jonathan: If you’re talking about the god of the Pleiades star system, then absolutely I would insult that.
Judicial Elder One: You can step outside and close the door. If you’d like to say something, it has to be here.
Visitor: But he didn’t even say anything about God or anything, he’s just talking about a bunch of stuff and he had questions. And you guys… (6:52)
Judicial Chairman: No, he didn’t.
Judicial Elder One: Listen. I’ll reiterate this so you make sure when you walk out the door you know our doors are open to you. We will hear you again. We will hear you again, not in a judicial form, because we don’t know you! You say you’re one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. We don’t know.
Visitor: He said I’m a witness from Louisiana. I’m his witness.
Judicial Elder One: Are you or are you not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses? (7:12)
Jonathan: He’s absolutely one of Jehovah’s witnesses; because Jesus is Yahweh and he…he is a Christian.
Judicial Elder One: Well I…I’m out of words. You know, I only have so many words per day, and I’ve used them up, so have a great evening.
Judicial Elder One: And if you want any help you come back without him, in a different time and a different setting or another Kingdom Hall with other elders – they’ll share the Bible with you, but they’ll dismiss you if you assume…assume the same posture. That’s just how it is. (7:39)
Jonathan: That’s how it is.
Visitor: Logical debate is bad?
Jonathan: Yes it is. Let’s go J –…
Judicial Chairman: Go on, J –.
Judicial Elder One: Have a good evening.
Jonathan: C’mon. (Walking out) Oh, thank you for the, er, record. (7:54)
Judicial Chairman: I knew you were lying.
Jonathan: It’s not a tape recorder. I said I have no tape recorder. (8:00)
Judicial Chairman: Well I knew…I knew exactly what you were doing.
Judicial Chairman: Have a good night.
Jonathan: You too!
(End of Transcript 8:07)