How I obtained my personal files from Bethel


Viewed 11221 times

    M jwfacts posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 09:40:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 5017 of 8024
    Joined 6/25/2005

    It has taken me a long time, but I have finally put together an article outlining how I used the law to force Bethel to send me my personal files. It is a very long article full of scans, so I have linked to it at

    In brief, in 2006 I requested that Bethel send me my files on the basis that the Australian Privacy Act 1988 entitles people to receive a copy of any information a corporation holds about them. Bethel refused, so I referred it to the Privacy Commissioner. It took 3 years for the matter to be settled and in 2009 I finally received my documents.

    I found it very hard writing this document and put it off for over a year. It has been an emotional experience as I have basically just relived my entire life as a Witness - the "privileges" such as becoming a pioneer, MS and going to Bethel, along with the constant discipline that I received.

    I think many of you will be surprised to see the type of information Bethel is still holding about you.

    If you notice any errors or find the information hard to understand, let me know and I will try to fix it.

    M What-A-Coincidence posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 10:11:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 4905 of 4634
    Joined 11/23/2005



    Aussie Oz posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 10:40:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 522 of 3751
    Joined 11/12/2009

    what a trip!

    Aside from the obvious desire to get you for something, what stood out to me was the bald faced lies about the financial turnover.

    I hope your life has settled back to some serenity!

    ps... you have a pm


    M fokyc posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 10:50:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 1298 of 1871
    Joined 5/30/2006

    Well done, but what a painful fight to get what is rightfully yours.

    I had a similar fight with the UK branch office and a congregation.

    The Australian Privacy Act 1988 and the UK Data Protection Act 1998 are the WTBTS's worst enemy.

    A great pity the US doesn't seem to have similar laws.

    teel posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 10:51:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 552 of 945
    Joined 8/28/2009

    Thanks, that gave me an idea to do the same. I consulted online the relevant laws in my country and it seems it's even easier here, the law is simple: if you have data on someone, you are bound by law to share them at most once a year per request with the subject of the data. There are a few exceptions, but the WTS doesn't fall in that category, financial turnover is not a criteria (who made that law about financial turnover anyway? what does that have to do with them storing info on me?)

    What bothers me though is that I found an online registry of the entities operating with personal data, but I haven't found the WTS in it. It may be that they simply lied their way out of this, denying any sort of data gathering.

    F yesidid posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 11:05:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 1489 of 1970
    Joined 12/11/2002

    WOW! What a journey.

    Your persistance paid off. A lesser man would have given up.

    I'll bet the branch co-ordainator had great trouble signing that letter.

    Thanks for making all that info available.

    While I was there I had another look around your brilliant site.

    I just have to copy this great quote I'd not noticed before:

    "The point is that Christians have implicit trust in their heavenly Father; they do not question what he tells them through his written Word and organization." Watchtower 1974 July 15 p.441

    Keep up the good work.


    M leavingwt posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 11:38:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 6830 of 14200
    Joined 6/16/2008

    Broken Promises posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:05:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 289 of 5147
    Joined 3/7/2010

    Hi Paul,

    I have just finished reading that page and all the associated documentation – WOW!!

    You have a PM.

    zoiks posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:17:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 671 of 1950
    Joined 9/27/2009

    Well done!

    awildflower posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:19:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 949 of 1155
    Joined 5/17/2009

    Actually this is an excellent idea, we should all do this, for those of us out. This would give the WTS a new headache and a way to get some control back from a very controlled life. I'm going to look into this.

    M mkr32208 posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:32:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 3912 of 3977
    Joined 5/24/2004

    No I don't want my files deleted but if you could please burn the place down next time you get a chance?

    THanks in advance

    lepermessiah posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:32:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 507 of 646
    Joined 8/26/2009

    Wow....Amazing as usual, Paul!

    it is simply a legal, worldly corporation run by men.

    Your final sentence on that page of your site says it all. You are just a file in a cabinet in "The Truth".....

    F cognac posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:39:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 2312 of 2568
    Joined 1/7/2008

    How would you be able to delete files now? If you can, just delete all of them, lol.

    carla posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:40:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 5572 of 7119
    Joined 4/23/2005

    on the publishers card why is there is spot for anointed or other sheep? what is that?

    Mad Sweeney posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:41:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 1301 of 6956
    Joined 11/2/2009

    Thank you for doing this. ALL of it. The leaving the borg, the gathering information, forcing the borg to give you your files, and the documenting it on your website. You're an inspiration to all of us.

    If anyone discovers any way for Dubs in countries other than Oz and UK to get this stuff, be sure to post it please. Does the borg keep anything relating to our blood documents? Maybe we could get HIPAA law to somehow come into play in the USA.

    M OnTheWayOut posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:42:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 10821 of 18586
    Joined 9/8/2006

    I read your journey. Thanks for posting. Strength to you. If it helps, your website has been extremely valuable to my exit.

    M jwfacts posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:44:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 5019 of 8024
    Joined 6/25/2005

    Thanks for all the comments.

    WAC, I thought you are a great looking guy until I realised that is Matthew Broderick.

    FOYKC, thanks for including the UK law. I will add that to the article and any similar laws from other countries that members may be aware of.

    JustHuman14 posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 13:07:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 330 of 732
    Joined 3/24/2009

    Dude we have similar history...I was disfellowshiped exactly one year after from you...

    WT is like FBI they have tones of files of your life

    F blondie posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 13:07:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 29360 of 37886
    Joined 5/28/2001

    carla, if a person eats the bread and drinks the wine at the memorial (and is a baptized jw) they are considered "anointed" and it will be marked so. Those who don't partake are marked "other sheep" O/S.

    M leavingwt posted Thu, 22 Apr 2010 13:58:00 GMT(4/22/2010)

    Post 6834 of 14200
    Joined 6/16/2008
    Shortly thereafter, I received a covering letter and corresponding documents from Bethel. The documents are somewhat incomplete, missing my extensive Bethel application and Vow of Poverty.

    Their refusal to fully meet their legal obligations reminds me of Luke 16:10:

    "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much."


      Confirm ...