The Rules of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Rules In The 2010 Publication For Elders, "Shepherd The Flock Of God" - 1 Peter 5:2
The handbook "Shepherd the Flock Of God' deals with the structure, organization, and rules of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Loyalty to the organization is ultimately the most important factor in the Jehovah's Witness faith.
Individuals demonstrate their allegiance to Jehovah by obeying 'the faithful and discreet slave' Matthew 24:45, by speaking in agreement, attending meetings, participating, volunteering at Kingdom Halls, and reporting 'field service' activity, - i.e. going door to door preaching the 'good news'. Anyone who doesn't do these things is considered a 'spiritually weak' person.
Preoccupation is outward appearances is evident throughout this 143 page publication. Matthew 23:27. In many cases, wrong doing can be forgiven and swept under the carpet. This is especially true if a Witness of Jehovah is repentant and has a healthy attitude towards the organization. However if wrong doing is public knowledge, or rumors are being spread, the punishment can be more severe.
Obedience, loyalty, and full cooperation without disagreement is expected of all Jehovah's Witnesses. The rules are written in such a way that any inactive Jehovah's Witness who has a negative influence on the organization can become a target for excommunication. Faithful Jehovah's Witnesses are expected to be actively involved, doing as much as they can for Jehovah's organization.
Summary of the Rules.
page 48. Elders are to act 'decisively' when they detect symptoms of 'spiritual unsteadiness' and 'fatigue'. This includes such things as, 'lack of self-control in eating
drinking, and pursuit of pleasure; a complacent spirit;
loss of enthusiasm for the truth, including daily
Bible reading and personal study; harboring serious
and lingering doubts; neglecting association at congregation
meetings; and becoming overly critical of elders and the organization.-w861/15 pp. 18-19'
page 50. Elders also give private counsel in the 'sensitive' areas of 'dress and grooming and entertainment'. ... 'before bad trends progress too far'.
page 53. Being legally divorced doesn't mean JW's can remarry. They must be 'scripturally free' according to he Watchtower's interpretation of the Bible. They cannot get remarried unless their former spouse commits adultery first.
page 53. Separation or divorce may disqualify a publisher 'from receiving special privileges'
pp. 54-55. Witnesses can seek professional help for emotional distress. However they are cautioned against the 'revealing of confidential facts about other members' and therapies that may conflict with Watchtower doctrines. (w88 10/15 pp. 28-29; w82 6/15 pp. 25-29; w75 pp. 255-256)
page 59. Manslaughter deliberate or unintentional due to carelessness. Elders are instructed to 'investigate and if warranted appoint a judicial committee to hear the matter'.
page 59. Attempted suicide. 'In most cases a judicial hearing is not required.'
page 59. Porneia is not allowed.
page 60. Brazen and loose conduct is not allowed. This includes but is not limited to unbridled lust, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence, something that violates conduct that is socially acceptable, disrespect, disregard, contempt for 'divine' standards, laws, and authority.
page 60. Willful, continued, and unnecessary association with disfellowshipped non relatives is said to be brazen conduct.
page 61. Child sexual abuse is considered brazen conduct. 
page 61. Cannot date a person who is not legally or scripturally free to marry.
page 63. Gross uncleanness and/or with greediness 'could lead to one's being disqualified from God's Kingdom'. 2 Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 4:19;
page 63. Gross uncleanness may include heavy petting and sexually arousing activities between unmarried persons.
pp. 63-64. Casual dating without the intention of getting married is said to be gross uncleanness.
page 64. Immoral conversations by telephone, internet, email, chat rooms, etc is considered 'unclean'.
page 64. Viewing pornography that is sexually degrading is unclean.
page 64. Misuse of tobacco.
page 65. Extreme physical uncleanness brings 'reproach upon Jehovah's name and his people'. This can lead to disfellowshipping.
page 65. Misuse of addictive drugs.
pp. 65-71. Apostasy, defection, falling away, rebellion, Celebrating 'false religious holidays', participating in interfaith activities, saying things 'contrary to Bible truth as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses', ... 'disrupting the unity of the congregation', employment that makes one an accomplice or promoter of false religion, spiritualism, idolatry, drunkenness, gluttony, stealing, malicious lying, bearing false witness, fraud, slander, insulting or obscene speech (oral, written including chat rooms, phone sex, email, greed, gambling, extortion, refusing to provide materially for one's family, fits of anger, violence, professional boxing.
page 116. Association with disfellowshipped or disassociated relatives is not allowed. If a person does not listen to the Elders, they might not qualify for 'congregation privileges'. Judicial committees would not be involved unless 'there is persistent spiritual association' or if persons openly criticize the disfellowshipping decision.
pp. 124-125. Persons who display a flagrant disregard for theocratic order are 'marked'. e.g. a person might be grossly lazy, critical, or getting involved with matters that don't concern them. If the behavior is generally unknown and poses no threat to the spiritual well being of others, Elders should talk with the individual. If the person continues to be an 'unwholesome influence', a warning talk may be given to the congregation.
page 125. Dating an unbeliever or an unbaptized JW can lead to a person being 'marked' by the entire congregation.
page 126. An Elder should not marry people who are not 'seriously involved in the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses'. p. 126
page 126. An Elder should not marry a baptized JW to an unbaptized, disassociated, or disfellowshipped person.
page 126. An Elder should not remarry a couple who was married years ago as this would imply the first wedding was not valid.
page 126. Before performing a marriage an Elder should inquire about the couple's conduct during courtship.
page 127. Use of a Kingdom Hall for marriage ceremonies. Persons in the wedding party do not have to baptized but their lifestyle should not grossly conflict with Bible principles as taught by JW's. Only music from Kingdom Melodies or their songbook may be used.
pp. 127-128. Elders are not to tell humorous stories, read poems, entertain, or amuse the audience during a marriage talk.
page 134. Generally speaking JW's are not allowed to take another JW to legal courts outside of the organization. That would include a corporation owned by JW's. Exceptions would include getting a divorce, child custody and support, alimony, insurance compensation lawsuits, .... counter suits, ... etc.
Disassociation is similar to disfellowshipping. Persons who disassociate themselves are shunned and treated as apostates.
When a Jehovah's Witness does one of the following, it is assumed by the Elders that the person has disassociated themselves.
When this happens, no judicial committee investigation is required. Disassociated individuals are treated in the same way as disfellowshipped ones.
An announcement is made to local congregations that the person 'is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses'. pp. 110-112
A Jehovah's Witness disassociates themselves by doing one of the following:
- Orally or in writing resigns from the JW's.
- Joins another religious organization.
- Willingly has a blood transfusion and/or is unrepentant afterwards. See Are Jehovah's Witnesses A Cult?
- Takes a course contrary to the neutral position of Jehovah's Witnesses. e.g. Joining an organization that is not neutral or taking employment that makes a person a party to non neutral activities. A person should be given a period of time up to six months to make an adjustment. If he does not, he has disassociated himself. pp. 110-112
1. Sexual child abuse is said to be 'brazen conduct'. Victims can report abuse to police. However the JW's believe that in cases of wrong doing there must be two or three eyewitnesses. p. 71
2. How important are women within the organization? Do they have the same rights as men? Is there inequality? See Equality
3. See 141 Things Jehovah's Witnesses Can't Do
4. How is it possible for millions of Jehovah's Witnesses to believe in exactly the same things with no disagreement? Jw's are proud that they 'speak in agreement' and there is complete unity with no dissension whatsoever. Some JW's have told us this proves they have the truth because in other religions 'you can't get ten people to agree on anything'. They are absolutely correct. Critics say no disagreement within a group of seven million people is not normal behavior in any free society. See Religious Control
5. Why are Jehovah's Witnesses leaving their religion?
6. What is the difference between Christian baptism and being baptized as a Jehovah's Witness? Examine what JW's believe about baptism
7. Critics say most of the rules of Jehovah's Witnesses come from a misunderstanding of God and the Devil. Both are feared. Find out Who Is Jehovah. And what about the Devil? Is Satan real? Is he the God of this world? Is he the reason for wickedness in the world? Who is The Devil
8. The Watchtower says there are two opposing organizations, - Jehovah's and Satan's. WT Jan 15, 2001, Article: 'Keep in Step With Jehovah's Organization'. Either you're on Jehovah's side or or you're on the devil's side. JW's don't see that this as a false assumption. They believe it is true. That's why they support the organization 100%, - even if they have nagging doubts and see that their religion is imperfect just like any other. They believe the only other alternative is for them to leave and join Satan's organization (which would include every single religious sect in the world today). Certainly good people don't want to leave God for Satan. If you've never been involved with the JW's, certainly you see the fallacy behind this mental programming and way of thinking. There are endless possibilities beyond only two organizations to belong to. For an in depth discussion about this false assumption and others, see the Two Choices fallacy.
9. Here's a good video that exposes the religious trap Jehovah's Witnesses find themselves in, - - What Rainbows Can Teach Us?
10. This book is fascinating information if you're a JW or are interested in what they believe. Shepherd the Flock of God was made available to Elders in 2010 with strict orders to keep it's contents secret at all costs. However it immediately fell into the wrong hands. It will take some effort, but if you look hard enough, you'll find this document all over the internet. It's no longer a secret. However it may be a secret to zealous JW's who are afraid of considering information that's forbidden. They believe the Watchtower keeps them spiritually safe and enlightened by hiding information that might weaken their faith. Even though Shepherd the Flock of God is written by the Watchtower, the majority of Witnesses are afraid of asking questions about organizational policies (no doubt because they believe the organization is run by God. For a JW, questioning Watchtower rules would be virtually the same as challenging God's rules). See Rebellion Against Jehovah's Organization
- Some JW's may not be aware the book exists
- Some believe that it's a waste of their time to read the information because it's for Elders. It doesn't apply to them
- Some JW's would like to read the book but know it's forbidden. Fear controls them and they will not take the time to find this book online
11. Why did the organization intend to keep the Elder's manual hidden from everyone except Elders? See Jehovah's Witness Rules
12. Why are organization's most important rules kept under lock and key?
All JW's should have a copy of this book, especially before they say their baptismal vows. Why? Because JW's dedicate their lives to Jehovah and God's spirit-directed organization (the WT).
JW's are entitled to know that they must obey all WT rules. They need to know exactly what the rules are and how they will be enforced. They need to know that obeying the WT is not an option. It's not just a nice thing to do out of respect for their teachers. It is required.
Because of WT interference, JW's can't put God first. If a JW prays to God and God gives them an answer that's different than what the wT teaches, JW's must put the wT's rules first and God second. JW's should know this before they sign up.
Failure to provide this information to JW's and those who are interested is like asking people to sign a contract without allowing them to read the fine print.
Although JW's are 'free' to leave, leaving comes with a steep price. JW's are told to shun and even hate their friends and relatives who have become 'enemies of Jehovah' because they disagree with the WT. Excommunication from the WT has destroyed millions of relationships since 1952.
Some have devoted and sacrificed most of their lives before stumbling upon the truth that the WT is competing with Jehovah. Obedience, loyalty, devotion, and reverence is required. The organization has assumed the authority of God and cannot be challenged. Had they fully appreciated this fact from day one, - that they can't put God and what the Bible really says first, they might have decided against being a JW.
13. The rules are written in such a way that anyone can get disfellowshipped if they know to much and have the potential to influence other JW's. Watch this video. [A special 'anointed' JW and member of the 144,000 gets disfellowshipped when she accidentally notices a WT false teaching during a Bible study she was conducting.]