Now That's What I Call Nonsense 6

The Disfellowshipping Paradox

This event really happened. As unlikely as it seems, it highlights how heavily flawed the society’s amateur court arrangement truly is.

The dialogue is a matter of licence but the subject and outcome are quite true.

Brother Richey Robert’s judicial hearing. 

Brother Roberts is sat before the elders at his judicial hearing. His father is outside in the Kingdom hall car park, anxiously awaiting the outcome. The elder, chairing the committee coughs and looks at Richey.
“So – Richey. tell the committee what you told me at the last meeting.”
Richey looks at the three men; clears his throat.
“Do you know Sophie Potter?”
There is a general shaking of heads.
“She’s in another congregation.”
They nod in unison. They don’t know her but they know where this is going.
“Well, we’ve been secretly living together for six months.”
Richey pauses to gather his thoughts.
“And – did you have intercourse?”
Richey blinks.
“I said that we lived together for six months.”
“Does sister Potter know you’re here?”
“I told her I was feeling very guilty and told her I was going to confess. She was very unhappy about it.”
After a period of close, prurient questioning, Richey is asked to wait outside. Eventually he is called back in.
“Richey, we’ve found nothing to suggest in your testimony that you’ve shown any signs of repentance. Your disfellowshipping will be announced next week.”

Richey feels bad for himself, his family but especially for Sophie who will face the same thing.

Sister Sophie Potter’s judicial Hearing.

Sister Potter is sat before three men who have know here since was born. She’s clearly uncomfortable and unhappy in equal measure.
“Before we start,” she points through the window outside, “I don’t care what Richey says, we haven’t done anything wrong.”
The elders sit stunned by this defence.
“You’re saying that you didn’t commit immorality with Richey Roberts?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“But he says you two lived together.”
“He’s lying. He does it all the time.”
They’re not sure how to tackle this. 
“So you’re saying that no immorality took place and he’s making it up.”
“Yes.”
“Why would he lie?”
“You’d have to ask him.”
“Are you saying whilst Jehovah is judge and can see into your heart, that you’re telling us the truth?”
“Yes. We didn’t do anything.”
After more pressure and persistent questioning, Sophie leaves the room. Presently she returns. The elders are uncomfortable and confused. 
“We will have to ask for direction from the branch. We’ll reconvene.”
Sophie stands. “No we won’t. I’ve told you the truth. Nothing happened.”

She leaves.

The elders dropped Sophie’s case; there weren’t two witnesses to back up Richey’s testimony of immorality with her therefore nothing took place. However, Richey’s disfellowshipping stood, because he had confessed to immorality with someone who didn’t actually commit immorality . . . and so it  goes.  

As I said at the outset, this is a true story. The paradox here is that Richey appears to have committed immorality with no one. There is no second party. 

This begs such questions as what would have been the outcome of an appeal by Richey?

It really is nonsense. 

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Grant Davis

A former member of Jehovah's Witness. Now a professional writer.

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