14 Bible Verses That Dismantle Shunning As Practiced by Jehovah’s Witnesses
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Jehovah’s Witnesses are generally respected as a friendly, polite, law abiding people. It is hard for an outsider to envision a Jehovah’s Witness being rude, insulting or cruel.

But despite Witnesses having mostly admirable qualities as individuals, the leadership of the religion is coming under increasing scrutiny for some of its more disturbing practices – especially that of shunning former members.

When you challenge a Jehovah’s Witness on their religion’s treatment of disfellowshipped or disassociated former members, you will typically be met with a response that goes something like this: “We do this as an act of loving discipline out of loyalty to God’s command.”

Those on the receiving end will reply to this by pointing out that ostracism to the point of not speaking to someone is anything but “loving,” and this sort of behavior has driven shunned ones to depression and even suicide.

But what about shunning being “God’s command?”

It turns out when you consult the Scriptures, the biblical justification for Watchtower’s disfellowshipping policy is flimsy at best. In fact, there are 14 verses I will point to in this article that either question or flatly contradict this controversial rule.

Before listing these verses, perhaps it would be helpful to briefly go through the Bible verses commonly invoked in support of disfellowshipping, along with the basic reasons why I believe these are misapplied. 

Bible verses used to support JW shunning

1. Deuteronomy 21:20, 21; 22: 23, 24

and say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, and he refuses to obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city must stone him to death. So you must remove what is bad from your midst, and all Israel will hear and become afraid. … If a virgin is engaged to a man, and another man happens to meet her in the city and lies down with her, you should bring them both out to the gate of that city and stone them to death, the girl because she did not scream in the city and the man because he humiliated the wife of his fellow man. So you must remove what is evil from your midst.

Are we really supposed to stone sinners to death? The law of Moses was supposedly nailed to Jesus’ torture stake (Col 2:14), which is why we’re no longer executing adulterers (or rape victims who don’t scream!).

If you are a Witness, before you say “But that’s an extreme example! The organization would never use those verses in defense of shunning!”, please consult the Organized book on page 140.

2. Matthew 10:34-37

Do not think I came to bring peace to the earth; I came to bring, not peace, but a sword. For I came to cause division, with a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Indeed, a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of me; and whoever has greater affection for son or daughter than for me is not worthy of me.

When read in context, this passage is clearly describing Jesus’ followers being shunned by their unbelieving family members, not vice versa.

3. 1 Corinthians 5:5-7, 11-13

you must hand such a man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven ferments the whole batch of dough? Clear away the old leaven so that you may be a new batch, inasmuch as you are free from ferment. For, indeed, Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. … But now I am writing you to stop keeping company with anyone called a brother who is sexually immoral or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man. For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do you not judge those inside, while God judges those outside? “Remove the wicked person from among yourselves.”

There is obviously a difference between not “keeping company” or socializing (i.e. dining) with someone and ignoring them as though they don’t exist – not even speaking to them. And “anyone called a brother” needn’t be applied even to family members. Even Watchtower makes allowances in this regard, allowing a disfellowshipped husband to remain with his wife and permitting children to continue living with their disfellowshipped parents. Also, 2 Thessalonians chapter 3 sheds more light on 1 Corinthians chapter 5, as I will explain later.

4. 1 Timothy 1:20

Hymenaeus and Alexander are among these, and I have handed them over to Satan so that they may be taught by discipline not to blaspheme.

“Handed over to Satan” does not specify shunning as practiced by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

5. 1 John 2:19

They went out from us, but they were not of our sort; for if they had been of our sort, they would have remained with us. But they went out so that it might be shown that not all are of our sort.

This verse merely describes those who stop believing, or “disassociate.” It does not advise that believers should shun such ones.

6. 2 John 7-11

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those not acknowledging Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Look out for yourselves, so that you do not lose the things we have worked to produce, but that you may obtain a full reward. Everyone who pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. The one who does remain in this teaching is the one who has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him. For the one who says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.

This verse is talking about “antichrists” who deny Jesus. Clearly, not all who are disfellowshipped cease to be believing Christians. Even those who do cease to be religious needn’t be shunned according to this verse, because it is contradicted by another Bible verse that I will come to later.

Obviously there are other Bible verses appealed to by Watchtower when it comes to promoting the practice of shunning (verses describing the divine execution of certain Israelites, e.g. Aaron’s sons or Korah and his followers, spring to mind) but for the sake of argument I have tried to focus on the most compelling and/or prominently-used scriptures.

Bible verses that contradict JW shunning

Having breezed through the Bible verses most regularly appealed to by Watchtower in defense of its shunning policy we can now get stuck in to the verses that contradict it. And it turns out there are more than you might think.

For the purpose of brevity I will only partially quote some of the longer verses quoted, but I would recommend looking up and reading the cited passages in their entirety, particularly if you are skeptical about the way I am applying them.

1. Matthew 5:43-48

“You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? You must accordingly be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

You cannot love your enemy in any meaningful sense if you refuse to talk to him or her. This verse also gives context to Matthew chapter 18, which I will mention later, since there Jesus said that avowed sinners should be treated as being “of the nations” (in other words, no longer “brothers”) and here he is saying that his followers should take no pride in only greeting their brothers.

2. Matthew 9:10-13

Later as he was dining in the house, look! many tax collectors and sinners came and began dining with Jesus and his disciples. But on seeing this, the Pharisees said to his disciples: “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Hearing them, he said: “Healthy people do not need a physician, but those who are ill do. Go, then, and learn what this means: ‘I want mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came to call, not righteous people, but sinners.”

Jesus here advocated the principle that, just because someone is a sinner, this does not mean they should be shunned. In fact shunning makes it impossible to help someone correct their course. Mercy, according to Jesus, was the dominant consideration.

It’s also interesting to note that Jesus’ eating with sinners was a continuing source of irritation for the Jewish religious leaders, specifically in the synoptic gospels. If Jesus wanted to leave his followers with the impression that sinners were to be shunned and avoided, he did an appalling job. (Compare Matthew 11:19, Mark 2:16, Luke 5:30; 7:34; 15:1, 2)

Jesus was rebuked by the Jewish religious leaders for socializing with sinners (Image source: JW.org)

 

3. Matthew 18:15-17

“Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go and reveal his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, so that on the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector.

No allowance here for kangaroo court-style judicial committees made up of Jehovah’s Witness elders. Rather, believers were to sort out grievances between themselves. Also, since Jesus ate with tax collectors (as we have already established), clearly JW-style total avoidance wasn’t on the menu even in the worst case scenario.

4. Luke 6:27

“But I say to you who are listening: Continue to love your enemies, to do good to those hating you

Again, it’s impossible to love someone or do good to them if you are refusing to acknowledge their existence. And we are talking here about “enemies” who “hate” believers. Most disfellowshipped Jehovah’s Witnesses I know of have nothing but love for their believing family but are shunned all the same.

5. Luke 6:35-37

“On the contrary, continue to love your enemies and to do good and to lend without hoping for anything back; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind toward the unthankful and wicked. Continue being merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Moreover, stop judging, and you will by no means be judged; and stop condemning, and you will by no means be condemned. Keep on forgiving, and you will be forgiven

Again, you cannot show kindness toward “the unthankful and wicked” by shunning them. Jesus warned his followers to be forgiving rather than judgmental, reminding them that mercy should be the preeminent factor. Can separating someone from their loved ones be considered merciful?

6. Luke 10:25-37

But wanting to prove himself righteous, the man said to Jesus: “Who really is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell victim to robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went off, leaving him half-dead. Now by coincidence a priest was going down on that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the opposite side. But a certain Samaritan traveling the road came upon him, and at seeing him, he was moved with pity. So he approached him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. Then he mounted him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said: ‘Take care of him, and whatever you spend besides this, I will repay you when I return.’ Who of these three seems to you to have made himself neighbor to the man who fell victim to the robbers?” He said: “The one who acted mercifully toward him.” Jesus then said to him: “Go and do the same yourself.”

In Jesus’ famous parable, which I consider to be the most beautiful passage in the Bible, the true neighbor turned out to be the heretic (the Samaritan) who had what Jews considered to be apostate religious beliefs, and it was precisely such a neighbor to whom his followers were reminded to show love.

7. Luke chapter 15

Now all the tax collectors and the sinners kept gathering around him to hear him. And both the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then he told them this illustration, saying: “What man among you with 100 sheep, on losing one of them, will not leave the 99 behind in the wilderness and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he has found it, he puts it on his shoulders and rejoices. … In the same way, I tell you, joy arises among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Then he said: “A man had two sons. And the younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that should come to me.’ So he divided his belongings between them. A few days later, the younger son gathered all his things together and traveled to a distant country and there squandered his property by living a debauched life. When he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred throughout that country, and he fell into need. He even went and attached himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to herd swine. And he longed to be filled with the carob pods that the swine were eating, but no one would give him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, while I am dying here from hunger! I will get up and travel to my father and say to him: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Make me as one of your hired men.”’ So he got up and went to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was moved with pity, and he ran and embraced him and tenderly kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quick! bring out a robe, the best one, and clothe him with it, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. Also bring the fattened calf, slaughter* it, and let us eat and celebrate, for this son of mine was dead but has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they started to enjoy themselves. … ‘But we just had to celebrate and rejoice, for your brother was dead but has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

This chapter of the Bible, when read in context and fully contemplated, is dynamite to Watchtower’s shunning policy, which is probably why it rarely features in material on how disfellowshipped ones are to be treated.

Notice that the entire reason for Jesus launching into the parable of the prodigal son was that he had again been chastised for being too friendly with sinners. He responded by reminding his accusers that it was impossible to help someone or be a good example by refusing to interact with them.

In the parable itself, Jesus describes an errant son who only returns after exhausting his funds, making it impossible to continue his debauched lifestyle. Such a person would be disfellowshipped by Jehovah’s Witness elders for only exhibiting “worldly sadness.”

Worldly sadness, according to Watchtower, “mourns the unpleasant consequences wrongdoing brings. But it does not mourn over the unrighteousness itself, or the reproach it brings on God.​” (w72 7/15 p. 438) Furthermore, it is telling that the father runs to embrace his son “while he was still a long way off” – in other words, before any repentance could be determined.

The father ran to welcome his prodigal son while he was “still a long way off” (Image source: JW.org)

 

8. 2 Corinthians 2:1-7

For I have made up my mind not to come to you again in sadness. For if I make you sad, who will be there to cheer me up except the one I saddened? I wrote what I did, so that when I come I may not be saddened by those over whom I ought to rejoice, because I have confidence that what brings me joy brings all of you the same joy. For out of much tribulation and anguish of heart I wrote you with many tears, not to sadden you, but to let you know the depth of love I have for you. Now if anyone has caused sadness, he has saddened, not me, but all of you to an extent—not to be too harsh in what I say. This rebuke given by the majority is sufficient for such a man; now you should instead kindly forgive and comfort him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sadness.

Interestingly, in his follow-up letter to 1 Corinthians (in which the most direct counsel on the treatment of wrongdoers is given) Paul sounds a vague note of regret at what he had written, or at least how it had been interpreted. (“For if I make you sad, who will be there to cheer me up except the one I saddened?”) He reminds the congregation of the need for forgiveness lest the wrongdoer “be overwhelmed by excessive sadness,” and even suggests that a “rebuke given by the majority is sufficient for such a man.” This indicates it is not necessary for each and every individual in a congregation to “rebuke” a wrongdoer. It was possible, in Paul’s mind, to apply his words too harshly.

9. Colossians 3:13, 14

Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely even if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Just as Jehovah freely forgave you, you must also do the same. But besides all these things, clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.

Self explanatory! Are you really putting up with someone or freely forgiving them by treating them as though they don’t exist?

10. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; 9-12

For this is the will of God, that you should be holy and abstain from sexual immorality. Each one of you should know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not with greedy, uncontrolled sexual passion like the nations have that do not know God. No one should go beyond proper limits and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because Jehovah exacts punishment for all these things, just as we told you previously and also strongly warned you. For God has called us, not for uncleanness, but for holiness. So, then, the man who disregards this is disregarding, not man, but God, who gives you his holy spirit. … However, concerning brotherly love, you do not need us to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. In fact, you are doing so toward all the brothers in all of Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to go on doing so in fuller measure. Make it your aim to live quietly and to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we instructed you, so that you may walk decently in the eyes of people outside and not need anything.

Paul repeatedly expressed his belief that the punishment of wrongdoers was in the hereafter rather than the here and now

Paul believed that God would punish wrongdoers, and it was God, not man, to whom they were accountable. This is a recurring theme in Paul’s writings, namely judgment in the hereafter rather than the here and now.

Believing Christians were not to take punishment into their own hands. They were to “love one another” and “mind their own business.” 

Can Jehovah’s Witness elders who investigate and interrogate congregation members over accused wrongdoing (to the extent of delving into sexual matters in gratuitous detail) be considered to be minding their own business? Can it be considered evidence of “brotherly love” to behave in such a manner?

11. 1 Thessalonians 5:14, 15

On the other hand, we urge you, brothers, to warn the disorderly, speak consolingly to those who are depressed, support the weak, be patient toward all. See that no one repays injury for injury to anyone, but always pursue what is good toward one another and to all others.

Again, self explanatory. You cannot “support the weak” by ostracizing them and weaponizing family relationships against them. Patience is required, as is the avoidance of vindictive, judgmental behavior, i.e. repaying “injury for injury” through excessive discipline.

12. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15

Now we are giving you instructions, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw from every brother who is walking disorderly and not according to the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you should imitate us, because we did not behave in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat anyone’s food free. … For we hear that some are walking disorderly among you, not working at all, but meddling with what does not concern them. To such people we give the order and exhortation in the Lord Jesus Christ that they should work quietly and eat food they themselves earn. For your part, brothers, do not give up in doing good. But if anyone is not obedient to our word through this letter, keep this one marked and stop associating with him, so that he may become ashamed. And yet do not consider him an enemy, but continue admonishing him as a brother.

If you read 2 Thessalonians chapter 3 and compare it with 1 Corinthians chapter 5 you find both passages are discussing the same problem of how to deal with wrongdoers.

Rather than being separate instructions – one for “disfellowshipping” (1 Corinthians) one for “marking” (2 Thessalonians) – Paul makes clear that the recommendation to merely “stop associating” (socializing) with “disorderly” ones applies to all the behavior outlined in “this letter” of 2 Thessalonians (see verse 14) which in the previous chapter includes a rebuke of the “man of lawlessness” who “did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Remember 2 John 10 (cited earlier) where readers were told to ostracize the “antichrists” among them by not receiving them into their homes or saying a greeting to them? Well, here we have different instructions. Paul’s suggested punishment for such ones was far less extreme. As far as he was concerned, the “man of lawlessness” who “stands in opposition and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship” could be dealt with more leniently, because it was for Jesus to “do away” with such ones “by the manifestation of his presence” if they failed to correct their course. (2 Thess. 2:3-8)

Again, Paul apparently believed that morbid fear of the impending destruction of wrongdoers was sufficient motivation to bring them to their senses, hence his repeated counsel for Christians to not take matters into their own hands.

Even when describing believers distancing themselves from “disorderly” ones among them, this was only to be done to a limited degree, i.e. by refraining from “keeping company,” eating with, or “associating” with such a person – and, even then, they were to “continue admonishing him as a brother.”

13. 1 Timothy 5:8

Certainly if anyone does not provide for those who are his own, and especially for those who are members of his household, he has disowned the faith and is worse than a person without faith

If you are not providing materially or emotionally for a family member, perhaps because you have been persuaded to shun him or her by religious zealots, you are worse than a person without faith.

14. Hebrews 10:26-31

For if we practice sin willfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left, but there is a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a burning indignation that is going to consume those in opposition. Anyone who has disregarded the Law of Moses dies without compassion on the testimony of two or three. How much greater punishment do you think a person will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God and who has regarded as of ordinary value the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and who has outraged the spirit of undeserved kindness with contempt? For we know the One who said: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again: “Jehovah will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Interestingly, this verse was cited in a 1947 Awake! article titled “Are You Also Excommunicated?” (g47 1/8 pp. 27, 28) – an article that predated Watchtower’s practice of disfellowshipping, which wasn’t introduced until 1952. (Scans are available here and here.)

The article argued strongly that excommunication, which Watchtower has equated to disfellowshipping (see “Expelling” in Insight Vol. 1), is an instrument of “ecclesiastical power and secular tyranny,” “not without pagan influence,” that is “altogether foreign to biblical teachings.”

The verse from Hebrews chosen by Watchtower to argue this point again highlights Paul’s belief that punishment was exclusively God’s remit, not that of men.

Cruel, unbiblical, and detrimental to Watchtower’s aims

So next time a Jehovah’s Witness tells you that, by shunning their disfellowshipped family member, they are following God’s command, politely remind them that the New Testament is strewn with cautions to show love and mercy, and to refrain from being judgmental or taking punishment into one’s own hands.

Even Paul, Watchtower’s poster boy when arguing in favor of shunning, believed that sinners were answerable to God alone, and seemed to express regret to the Corinthians that the advice he gave them in his first letter could have resulted in “excessive sadness” when ruthlessly implemented.

But the biggest irony of Watchtower’s shunning policy is that, in addition to being cruel and unbiblical, it is actually detrimental to the organization’s aims. If the Governing Body were to reverse their policy of shunning, their organization would instantly shed a large portion of its cult reputation making it easier to attract new converts.

Yes, there would inevitably be an exodus if Witnesses were allowed to vote with their feet or were otherwise no longer bound to a captive organization. But whoever remains (I believe we would still be talking in the order of millions) could be truly considered devout believers whose loyalty to the organization would be beyond question.

Sadly, the penny is unlikely to drop any time soon. The Governing Body have wedded themselves to the shunning policy they inherited from their 1980s forebears in a string of Watchtower articles and propaganda videos reinforcing the rule to shun disfellowshipped family members (there were two video dramatizations in 2016 alone).

The stubbornness of these men knows no bounds. Their delusion is not only ruining lives for former members, it is also self-destructive both for the organization and its members who are forced to bypass their humanity in order to comply with “God’s commands.”

It is for this reason that JWsurvey remains committed to highlighting the abusive policies inflicted on Jehovah’s Witnesses, who do not deserve to be exploited, threatened or lied to. Even though the “faithful slave” seem unmoved by the suffering they are causing, we who feel the brunt of their cruelty are appealing to the outside world loudly and persistently, and the media and various law-makers and influencers are starting to take an interest. Slowly but surely, our voices are being heard.

 

 

Author of The Reluctant Apostate and How To Escape from Jehovah’s Witnesses.

 

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Further reading:

* All scripture quotations are from the New World Translation, 2013 revision (obviously!)

** It should be noted that, despite quoting from the Bible and arguing along theological lines, the author of this article is an atheist. I am no longer persuaded that the Bible is a sound moral authority for reasons I have explained on my YouTube channel. However, even though there was nothing stopping the Bible writers from advocating shunning as currently practiced by Jehovah’s Witnesses, it turns out this is not the case when examining their writings (or it can be said their advice on the treatment of wrongdoers is inconsistent at best).

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211 Responses to 14 Bible Verses That Dismantle Shunning As Practiced by Jehovah’s Witnesses

  1. Fireman says:

    I would have to add my favourite scripture, and the one that the Jehovah’s Witnesses took out of their new Bible, “He that is without sin, cast the first stone.” Jesus was saying that if you don’t have any sins yourself, then you could go ahead and judge others. No wonder the Governing Body just couldn’t stand to have this important lesson from Jesus in their ‘Silver Swords’.

    • Cedars says:

      That’s a great one! It’s a shame that, as you mention, it was taken out. I get that it was considered by some to be apocryphal, but that was acknowledged in the previous version.

    • The reason it is taken out of the new Bible is that it was taken out of the old Bible and the one before, and any Bible by anyone who knows anything. The passage is spurious. it appears in none of the oldest manuscripts, a fact easy to corroborate.

      • Cedars says:

        Tom, please research the New Testament and learn a bit about how much of it scholars consider “spurious.” There is no such thing as a pure, original master text of known authorship with no evidence of being tampered with. And again, I find it very curious that you are engaging with me – an avowed apostate – online despite your religion ordering otherwise. Are there any other commands (e.g. fornication, drug use, celebrating Christmas) that can be observed on an a la carte basis?

        • Resister says:

          I think it’s a cultural thing. We live in an era when everyone loves to play the Blame Game. Point the finger at EVERYONE else. Even on an international level. The Muslim Fundamentalist crazies accuse the West of being The Great Satan, yet refuse to address their own barbarism and perversions, including pedophilia. We in the West are supposed to believe that North Korea and terrorism are what’s keeping us from eternal bliss and security. Yet, we fail to address gun violence and other forms of mass murder (eg. running people over with a van), the epidemic of child sexual abuse, drugs, political, police, & judicial corruption, not to mention economic weakness (massive DEBT), which are the REAL threats to our security. No, it’s so much easier just to point the finger at the other guy. No one wants to hear “He that is without sin, cast the first stone”. So they lick their fingers and rip that page out. Convenient.

          • Robin Kish-miller says:

            VERY good points. thank you.

          • outandabout says:

            Is there an epidemic of child abuse or has it always been there, Resister. I say it’s always been there and we have now found the courage to address it. I saw on the news last night where the Pope was apologizing for child abuse and protesters to the side with placards reading things like – ‘arrest the Pope’. The veil is coming off and hopefully WT will gets it’s turn.

        • Among the people participating here are thinking people. I don’t expect to win any converts. I simply want to present the other point of view, and you are both gracious and honest enough to let my view stand, accessable by clicking on my name. It is not an attempt to ‘swipe’ viewers. I disabled my comment section some time ago, as I would feel an obligation to monitor comments but lack the time, or sufficient interest to make it a priority. To the extent that doing what I am doing is “engaging,” well – that it what it is.

          In any forum where participants simply reinforce the prevailing view, matters eventually become skewed and inacurate. So I add the counterpoint, which I present for consideration and leave it at that. You have been after me for debate since you became aware of my existance, and this is as close as you are going to get. You are correct that Witnesses generally decline debates. Should I debate on your podcast, with all your chums cheering when you land a punch & wincing and doing damage control when I land one, while my chums don’t go in for that sort of thing in the first place? I don’t think so.

          When Kathy Griffin holds aloft the fake severed head of the President, are we to imagine that her Republican dad (if he is) says: ‘That’s my lass! She speaks her mind! It won’t affect holiday family cheer, though’? The example may help to explain how doing a 180 from previously held deeply moral views might cause a rift in the Witness family.

          It has been about a dozen years since the word ‘disfellowship’ has been heard in a Kingdom Hall. Instead, from time to time, an announcement is made that ‘so-and-so is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.’ If he has done a 180 from ‘witnessing for Jehovah’ can anyone say that he is? I can recall no talk or article saying ‘this announcement means that.’ It hasn’t happened, to the best of my knowledge. It is even said by some on this forum that they are ‘fading’ and no announcement of any sort has been made, yet they still come to feel shunned, whether that word is the accurate description or not in such cases. Adding to the situation is that Witnesses do not celebrate the traditional holidays, occasions where family members customarily regroup, whether they like one another or not, leaving only funerals as the inevitable occasion for gathering.

          The GB does not ‘tell’ people to shun family members. Instead, they say that if one has triggered what would cause separation, there is no reason to say that because he or she is family, that matters are necessarily different. Members apply that counsel as they see fit, but whatever they do, they do not have the sense that someone is telling, much less ordering them, to do so, but that someone alerted them long ago to relevent Bible passages on the subject, after which the Bible passages themselves guide them in what to do, as they consider whatever mitigating circumstances there are in their own family, often finding none, but not inevitably so.

          The idea that Witnesses can turn off love for a family member is incorrect (given that there are variations in families). A separation causes deep pain in those remaining ‘faithful.’ It is not just the departing one who suffers. However, they tell themselves that the family member did bring it own him or herself, that Jesus said his words could cause division in the family, and should that happen, loyalty to God trumps that for even family members. The door that was closed as a last ditch attempt at ‘discipline’ was never locked and it is always possible to return.

          It is the notion of Christianity as a movement separate from the world, trying to serve as a beacon to it, pointing to something better, that is under attack, especially when people have gone atheist, all the rage today and a marked divergence from all previous history. The concept of ‘separateness’ from the greater world inevitably brings about situations such as the topic of this thread, yet it is a concept integral to Christianity. It is only by staying ‘clean’ that Christians feel able to lend a helping hand to others. I understand that will come across as very self-righteous, but it is not meant that way. Members freely confess that they screw up all the time, but that to the extent they are able to adhere to God’s standards, their lives improve, and their abilities to help others.

          • Everyone screws up. I regret in the above that I said ‘Many participants here are thinking people,’ implying that many are not. That was uncalled for and I apologize. I would have editted the comment were that option provided.

          • Maxwell says:

            When the Governing Body (GB) authorizes the production of a video to be shown at the Regional Convention which shows a mother refusing to pick up the phone when her DF’d daughter is calling then let’s call a spade a spade and acknowledge that they are “telling people to shun family members”.
            Here is the instruction elders have on how to treat JW’s who refuse to shun disfellowshipped (DF’d) family members. This is a quote from page 116 of the Shepherd the Flock of God book that has been in the public domain since it was introduced as an exhibit during the Australian Royal Commission (ARC). For those not aware this book contains the official policy of the GB. As this shows in certain cases a JW CAN BE DISFELLOWSHIPPED if he does not shun a DF’d family member.
            “6. If members of the congregation are known to
            have undue association with disfellowshipped
            or disassociated relatives who are not in the
            household, elders should counsel and reason with
            those members of the congregation from the Scriptures.
            Review with them information from the
            “God’s Love” book, pages 207-208; The Watchtower
            of April 15, 1988, pages 26-30; or the article “Display
            Christian Loyalty When a Relative Is Disfellowshipped”
            in the August 2002 Our Kingdom Ministry.
            If it is clear that a Christian is violating the spirit of
            the disfellowshipping decree in this regard and does
            not respond to counsel, it may be that he would
            not qualify for congregation privileges, which require
            one to be exemplary. He would not be dealt with judicially
            unless there is persistent spiritual association or
            he openly criticizes the disfellowshipping decision.”

          • Though the discipline of the congregation is admittedly rough on those who will not be guided by it (like Saul ‘kicking at the goads’) ones here expand it to make it seem much harsher than it is. Yet when @Maxwell actually quotes an elder’s handbook, (presumably giving it his best shot) he reveals something much less harsh than what he portrays. Elders “counsel and reason,” not exactly the same as “ordering.” In the event that a congregation member does not respond to counsel, he is not thrown on the spit but he “would not qualify for congregation privileges.” Is that not a big ‘Duh’? If you want to enjoy privileges anywhere, you must toe the line more than if you do not reach out for such privileges. “He would NOT be dealt with judicially” unless there is “persistent” [not occasional] “spiritual association” [not nuts-and-bolts association] or he “openly” criticizes the disfellowshipping decision, thus undermining the method of governance that he signed on for in the first place.

            So it is not so harsh as portrayed. Moreover, it can be avoided, and once incurred, it can be repaired. The ‘crime,’ then, is the congregation’s desire to fulfill the Christian mandate of staying ‘separate from the world,’ the only position from which it feels able to render assistance to those who feel crushed under the latter’s weight. The book ‘Secular Faith – How Culture Has Trumped Religion in American Politics’ attempts to reassure its secular audience through examining the changing moral stands of churches on five key issues. The book points out that today’s church members have more in common with atheists than they do with members of their own denominations of decades past. Essentially, the reassurance to those who would mold societal views is: ‘Don’t worry about it. They will come around. They always do. It may take a bit longer, but it is inevitable.’ Jehovah’s Witnesses have thwarted this model by not coming around. The congregation thinks it important to stick to the values that they signed on for, and they knew from the start God does not work through democracy. In order to preserve this unchanging model, it is necessary to have practices such as under discussion here, which can be tweaked some, as has happened per previous comment, but cannot be abandoned. No one has been able to ‘hold the line’ through decades of time without them.

            Cedars writes that he disapproves of Witnesses being arrested a jailed in Russia and I have no doubt that he means it. However, he disapproves in the same sense that the California arsonist disapproves of the state burning to the ground. One of the driving forces of the ban in that country is one Alexander Dvorkin, who pushes the same ‘anti-cult’ narrative endorsed by Cedars. He pushes it on many groups, not just Jehovah’s Witnesses, though they have been his prime target. He wants to ‘protect’ people by preventing them from hearing ideas that he thinks are ‘socially destructive,’ a goal not unlike some of the goals expressed here. The only difference is that he has seen it more fully accomplished.

            Acting on his prodding sends a clear “open hunting season” on religious minorities. Various human-rights and law experts convened in France in January 2018, where one of them observed of Mr. Dvorkin: He “enjoys disseminating inflammatory narratives and hate speech.” The reason that Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses have not caved under his mischief (which is added to nationalistic and dominant Church pressures) is that they do not see themselves as followers of “eight men,” the meme pushed here, but of the Bible. Acquiescing to the authority of the eight men taking the lead is little more than acquiescing to the authority of the teacher, boss, military leader, coach, parent, or consulted advisor, something that was once routine and unremarkable but is now portrayed as selling out one’s soul.

          • Andre says:

            Let me ask you about morality then. If there was a disfellowshipped individual that is living a happy and clean moral life because they love God and wants to go out for some coffee, would you go out with them? Or would that be going against God’s will?

            Don’t lie to people and say that shunning is only done because individuals in the congregation want to stay clean. Because of that you shouldn’t even be welcome here. Keep it real ok

          • “Because of that you shouldn’t even be welcome here”

            Andre, Cedars will determine that and I will respect him should he show me the door. Overall, I do respect him, though he is an enemy, for reasons stated above. He slants facts his way, but who doesn’t? He doesn’t make anything up, that I have ever seen, and does not seem to tolerate anyone that does go inaccurate on him.

            It is possible that even my own people will point me to the door, and I do not think that I am above them. They do not “order” me to stay out, as Cedars said (an example of something ‘slanted,’) but there is no question that such participation is not what is advised, by reason of some verses cited and some not yet. To some extent, I am being a ‘bad boy.’

          • Resister says:

            Tom, you won’t get any resistance from me. Please continue on your path!

          • Ricardo says:

            @Tom, I have been d’fed because I broadcast too loudly and to too many brothers that the local elders were liars who covered over their lies with a fake letter they had created themselves. These facts have been verified by the CO. I am not immoral. But the elders claim I am causing divisions. And for revealing the elders sins I am being shunned by friends and family. Am I really someone you would want to keep away from? What would Jesus do?

          • Ricardo says:

            I meant to mention that the fake letter the elders created they claimed came from the Governing Body.

          • Ricardo says:

            The elders got away with their serious wrongdoing scot free. Unlike what Tom states above, I was not given repeated warnings and stubbornly resisted the elders’ help. I was given no warnings to stop talking to other witnesses about the misdeeds of the elders.

          • John freeman says:

            it is not true that the GB do not instruct jws to ” shun” feb 2016 WT study highlights a daughter doing the ” right thing ” for refusing to visit or speak to her mother until she ” returns to jehovah” i was shocked by it after 50 years a jw.also the awfull shuning videos in the conventions and on the broadcast.so its not true that the GB do not promote this evil policy..i believe that they are bloidguilty because of the suisides caused by this family breaking teaching..as paul said to timothy in the last days disobeidiant to parents disloyal having no natural affection..that a self fullfilling prophecy now in jws congregations..

          • Cedars says:

            “I simply want to present the other point of view,” well, that’s partly true, Tom. You want to present “the other point of view” on your own terms – i.e. by trolling me in comments and tweets. You don’t quite have the guts to come on my YouTube channel for a conversation where you can express “the other point of view” (Watchtower’s point of view, which everyone is already aware of) in front of thousands of people. You’d much rather selectively violate the command to refrain from engaging with apostates as it suits you. Again, I wonder if there are any other commands from your masters “the Slave” regarding which you feel it’s ok to pick and choose? Or is your hypocrisy confined solely to this particular area of Watchtower’s rulebook?

      • Tranquillo says:

        Ok Tom, let’s agree that this beautiful scripture is more spurious than others. What do you think of the other 14 or so verses brought forward by John? Is shunning bible based?

        • Sarah says:

          Hebrews 5:1,2 says that a priest (or elder) deals moderately with erring ones because he, (the elder), is surrounded by his own weakness and must accept that he needs Christ’s sacrifice as much as anyone. So it says pretty much the same as ‘let the one without sin cast the first stone’.

          Tom, your comments are not true and you know they aren’t. Disfellowshipping is still very much a word used by all Witnesses, even now. The GB does enforce shunning, to the point of disfellowshipping those who don’t. Like Diotrephes mentioned in 3 John 10 the GB throw people out. There won’t be many left.

          • Sarah, when I said the word is not heard in the Kingdom Hall for a dozen years or so, I meant an announcement to that effect is not made. The phrase I mentioned, “so and so is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses” is the announcement made from time to time. I did not mean to indicate that the word has disappeared from JW vocabulary..

          • Maxwell says:

            I remember when the announcement used to be: “So-and-so has been disfellowshipped for conduct unbecoming a Christian.” I wonder if the wording has been watered down in order to avoid lawsuits.

          • Andre says:

            @Tom – Why even mention that point? The results are the same regardless. You sound like a Watchtower, mentioning something that “sounds” good but really has nothing to do with anything. It’s just filler text that may be a mind blowing statement to those who don’t think

  2. outandabout says:

    Lloyd has demonstrated the absurdity of the Bible. Scripture, like prophecy, is a numbers game and if almost every situation a person may encounter in the 1st century is included in the bible, even if a contradictory piece is already included and as long as nobody notices that, preachers can cherry pick and create whatever view they like. Same with prophecy – just include every event or natural disaster which could remotely occur and you can’t miss because sometime, anywhere in the world and at any time, a ‘sign’ will be there. When that ‘sign’ doesnt come to pass, just forget about that one and look for a new conflict or disease or disaster and apply scripture to that. A never ending game for fools.
    At the moment there are about 1.3 million deaths per year due to conflict and war and this can be used as a ‘sign’ because it’s mentioned in the Bible. About 1.3 million people die on the roads around the world per year as well but is anybody going on about that? No cars in the Bible, I guess and it’s most definitely not being viewed as a sign of the end times. Pathetic.

    • Morris says:

      1 peter 4:8. Above all things have intense love for one another. Does intense love mean shunning? ‘Above all things’ trumps everything as nothing is above all things.

  3. outandabout says:

    The trouble is Morris, isn’t shunning presented to the JW’s as a ‘loving provision’? In their eyes they’e showing love by shunning?

    I’m concerned about the the physical fitness of JW’s and whether or not they’re up to the arduous task of door to door work. What I propose is the measuring of the distance from the WT headquarters in New York to the point where Stephen Lett ran back to said headquarters when approached by reporter Trey Bundy. Witnesses worldwide could compete for the honor of the much coveted ‘Fearless before all Opposers’ award, presented by Steve himself. Perhaps second place could qualify for the ‘I have nothing to do with Watchtower’ award, presented by the fine example himself, Mr Gerrit Losch. Third place could be the ‘Opps, I didn’t realize I could be hauled before the Courts in Australia before I showed my face there’ award, presented by Geoffrey Jackson.

    • Maxwell says:

      Actually it was Anthony Morris III who was approached by Trey Bundy on the sidewalk outside of the Watchtower building. His response to Trey was that he couldn’t take the time to talk because he had to ‘go preach the good news’. A door quickly opened and Morris made his escape.

      • Random Element says:

        Yeah, he ducked into WT HQ to preach to all the Bethelites! Ha.
        Rambo Morris scurried away like a little beeeatch.
        So much for “preach with boldness”…….

      • When a person is unexpectedly accosted by a reporter wanting an answer to something that will take more than a sound byte to answer ,everyone knows it is a cheap shot. That is not to say they do not cheer if it is an enemy, but they nonetheless know. People are not AI machines. His mind is a million miles away. Still, his discomforture is inevitably and dishonestly painted as ‘proof’ that he is a flat-out liar. That is why respected sources content themselves with: “So and so was contacted but declined to comment for this article.”

        • Maxwell says:

          I listened to a recording of the encounter and knowing the background that Mr. Bundy had been trying unsuccessfully for months to have an interview with a member of the GB I’m quite sure he wanted more than a sound byte. He would have been more than happy to spend an hour or more having an in depth discussion with TMIII concerning WT policy on child sexual abuse. Was TMIII really so busy going to ‘preach’ that he couldn’t make an appointment to have Mr. Bundy meet him later that day for a sit down?

        • Random Element says:

          Even if that were true, Tom, Anthony Morris III is still a little beeeatch.

          • Ricardo says:

            Is it proper to address Tight Pants Tony, a glorious one, in such a way?

          • Random Element says:

            Maybe not, but it is fun!

          • Random Element says:

            Also, political correctness is overrated, and has been played to death.

          • Random Element says:

            Tom Harley, I noticed your older comments were more anti-watchtower. Now they are more pro-watchtower. Are you pulling the ol bait-and-switch, old boy? Again, overrated and played to death.
            This is the “thug” tactic from old India, where highway robbers would befriend an unsuspecting traveller, then rob and strangle him or slit his throat. Google “Thuggery.”
            Stay awake people.

          • Random Element says:

            Or rather Google “Thuggee.” More info.

            The
            Hate
            U
            Give
            Little
            Infants
            F*cks
            Everyone

          • Random Element says:

            The price of freedom is constant vigilance.

    • Pat says:

      So true. Con me the lot of them

  4. Jeff says:

    Great post Cedars… Cheers from down under…

  5. messenger says:

    To its adherents WT has made itself a Messiah and mediator between God and all Jehovah’s Witnesses. Go to WT for Salvation! No one saved without following WT! Follow only WT for salvation! What’s the difference between a spiritual mediator between God and men and that? I see no difference.

    The scripture in 1Corinthians 5 that is most often quoted by WT when instructing members to shun is shown at 2Cor 2:1-7, ( which states, “This rebuke given by the MAJORITY is sufficient, “) not to be a demand which must result in punishment for noncompliance. Paul wrote both scriptures. And Paul wrote those about the same matter there. If Paul believed those associating with a fornicator should themselves be kicked OUT the church why would he say the rebukes were just coming from a majority and not from all members of the congregation. If Paul felt those who kept associating with him. should also be dealt with I believe he would have stated that here. And remember there he was writing about a sinner who was a fornicator, and it is implied some might have continued association. The only counter argument I see is to argue some might not have crossed his path, but that’s rather thin. To be clear in that case I believe Paul would have left the number of those shunning, which was just a percent albeit a majority out of his statement. Why say that and make the matter unclear in that case?

    WT goes way beyond scripture while telling you JWs not to go beyond things written. That is you don’t go beyond things written in WT. When objectively analyzing WT writings a really objective look reveals those writtings are not much different than the book of Mormon. But instead of writing about the lost Isrealites who came to America WT writes about a so called remnant of Spiritual Isrealites’ trek in the 20th and 21st centuries.

    Which scripture in the Bible claims there is or more precisely would come to be a REMNANT of spiritual Isrealites who are Christians? None I am aware of. I’ve read of Christians Christ acknowledges as such and Christians Christ claims do not belong to him. But I’ve never read about a remnant of Christians in the Bible’s Last Days or during any other time period in which the Bible writtings speak of Christians. That also appears to be WT fiction. And WT fiction allows WT to maintain its hierarchy of WT rules makers and rule enforcer.

  6. Brad Bower says:

    Another great article Lloyd, i remember watching a vlog you did about this. Glad you have pout it to writing, I am going to print this out ans keep it handy for the next time i hear that knock on the door. I remember going to a markets not to far from here and i was talking to a friend of mine, he had been disfellowshipped. A pioneer who also worked at the markets came up to me while i was talking to him and said to me, do i know this person has been disfellowshipped, i said yes but i don’t believe in shunning people. To that he said, we don’t shun, i said yes you so. I think it is sad how these people listen to man and destroy lives all over the world

  7. Tranquillo says:

    Great post John. Shunning i indeed one ofe the tracts that clearly qualify JW as a sect . To show them and to the world that it is not Bible based means exposingg their true aims, silencing opposers and thinkers

    • VictorE says:

      VictorE
      ……not saying a greeting to them is not the same as shunning and cannot be used to defend this cruel and heartless treatment of anyone. In the first century, saying a greeting meant much more than saying hello. It was giving your approval of whatever that person was doing. Saying a greeting would be like a JW telling one to have a merry Christmas or happy birthday or other such saying and giving their approval of it. It is not the same as saying hello and talking. This bible instruction of “not saying a greeting” cannot be used to justify shunning.

      Will a Jehovah’s Witness say merry Christmas or happy birthday to anyone? No. That would be saying a greeting or giving their approval. They do not shun nonbelievers and refuse to talk to them. They just don’t say a greeting to them like what this bible instruction meant in the first century. So when Christ gave the instructions how to treat one disfellowshipped in Matt 18. Like a person of the nations or tax collector he did not mean shunning.

      Shunning is exactly like the tactic used by Pharisees of kicking people out of the temple. The threat of cutting a person off would force that person to give absolute obedience to them. As the say …power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Shunning is nothing more than enforcing absolute power over others which is what the leaders of JW’s use it for. Jesus gave no such instruction nor does any scripture. It is a total twisting of the Bible.

      My question to the leaders of JW’s is why do they reject Jesus instructions to treat disfellowshiped ones like people of the nations etc. Do they shun people of the nations? No! Then why are they shunning disfellowshipped ones? The only thing I can conclude is that Christ must not be the head of their congregation since they refuse to obey him.

  8. Thank you Lloyd for this excellent article. They are and will be held accountable to Jesus on that ‘great day of history’s for their cruel and ruthless acts of judgment. Trtr

  9. Ted says:

    Don’t shun a brother.
    We would not refuse to treat one as a brother because he did not believe the Society is the Lord’s channel. If others see it in a different way, that is their privilege. There should be full liberty of conscience.
    WT. April 1st 1920, pp 100-101.

    “… a simple “Hello” to someone can be the first step that develops into a conversation and maybe even a friendship. Would we want to take that first step with a disfellowshiped person?” Watchtower 1981 Sep 15

    “Do not look for excuses to associate with a disfellowshipped family member, for example, through e-mail.” (wt, Jan 1st 2013 p16.). /

    The changed stance on Shunning. Which version is more
    compassionate and mature? Which one would Jesus choose?
    And which would be the Pharisees choice?

  10. Resister says:

    I knew this guy who continued to occasionally associate with me even after I escaped, probably because I was his only friend. But this guy was such a nut job that eventually even I couldn’t stand him anymore. So I “ghosted” him – stopped responding to his calls, Emails, etc. Some time later I heard he was telling people that HE was shunning ME. What a joke.
    Man, Wackytower really does attract the Crazies. 😀

  11. Paul says:

    I don’t want to say too much but a great article and after 40 years in the Org with “privileges” I learnt some great points from this article. From am ex in North Yorkshire

  12. eyes opened says:

    Wonderful article. Thank you, thank you.

    I would like to share a few thoughts that my husband and I have often discussed on this subject. Just thoughts to ponder…

    When looking up the word shunned in the Bible, it is never applied to shunning people with the exception of the apostle Paul being shunned and of course that was a bad thing.

    In the 1st century the Christians gathered for worship in individual homes where they would pray, read scriptures and partake of meals. It is likely that during those times they may not want ones to attend who may be there to undermine the faith of Christ’s followers. However that is still not saying they should be treated as nonexistent.

    It seems it was the Jews that turned their backs on the Christians, not the other way around.

    When it comes to families we can look at Naboth. He had a vineyard the king wanted but Naboth refused to sell it because it was his inheritance and that would be against Jehovah’s law. Are not sons and daughters an inheritance from God? And yet the GB would have us cast them off. If Jehovah would punish someone for selling a plot of land, surely he would be very displeased if we were to treat a parent or child with such heinous cruelty.

    One final thought…the fruitage of the spirit. The Bible says there is no law against displaying those qualities. So how could it ever be wrong to treat someone with kindness? Shunning as practiced by witnesses is more like the works of the flesh.

    Jesus warned that there would be ones attempting to mislead his followers, to draw people out after themselves. Clearly that is what has happened with the GB who are more interested in their own standards than those of God and Christ.

    Thanks again for the wonderful article, May we all find peace.

  13. Doc Obvious says:

    Excellent research Lloyd. Enjoyed your examination.

    The Pharisees started the practice of shunning. Not Jesus or Jehovah. Wonderful. Watchtower copying a Pharisaical practice.

    • Peter the Digger says:

      They copy a lot of non-JW stuff. Like 1) the short back and sides look and suits (Corporate greed advertising executive culture from the 1900s US, itself derived from 1800s UK colonising military style, and the suit was invented by a louche syphilitic called Beau Brummel). Christ never wore very posh garments. 2) The everlasting dolling up of the sisters, despite scriputures saying your beauty is not in the external braiding of the hair – also a corporate invention, by L’Oreal etc to keep us consuming in the era of the 1920s when mass production threatened to overwhelm the market. 3) The secrecy of the Gov Bod, akin to the Scientologists, like no direct email contacts.

  14. Ellyn Galecki says:

    By taking Bible verses out of context, which the organization is known for, it is possible to ‘prove’ anything. Years back when I was Wiccan, I was a member of a Wiccan chat room. There was an evangelical that would come in and try to convert us. It was pissing the members off in a big way. So I dug out my old KJV and Strongs Concordance and began pulling verses out of context and by doing so was able to ‘prove’ that God doesn’t exist. The next time the dude popped into the room I uploaded my work of art. After that he never came back again!

  15. Random Element says:

    I just have to share this because it fits in perfectly with an earlier comment of mine. I was watching one of those comedy fests on TV and a comedienne came on talking about her crazy religious parents.
    “As my parents get older, all they talk about is death, funerals, how they want to be buried, etc. I said to mom, ‘Why don’t you just enjoy the time you have left?’ She said, ‘This life is not for fun. In the Next Life we’ll have fun.’ What if she’s wrong? What if I get to Heaven and it’s not fun? Then I complain to God, and God says, ‘You didn’t have fun in the last life? I left you DVD’s, alcohol, sex, pornography. Those clues were not enough for you???'”

  16. VictorE says:

    VictorE
    Excellent article Lloyd. Your research and coverage of this should open many eyes of current JW’s. Did you ever notice how great promoters, scam artists and merchandisers etc. will advertise their weak point as a good thing. For example a product that is made out of cheap inferior thin material they will advertise it as “lightweight and easy to carry.” So the very thing that makes the product a piece of junk is what they portray as it’s good point.

    The WT does the same thing with the cruel act of shunning by selling it as showing love, (making a bad thing into a good thing) and upholding God’s principles, (making a lie into a truth). Just the opposite of what it is. It’s sick, but shows how good a snake oil salesman they are. If you analyze how much effort they put in this to sell it, you can see how they are doing what the Bible condemns, turning darkness into light and bad as something good.

  17. African Apostate says:

    I became an Apostate and divorced a JW woman manipulated by Elders (ks10 “6:13”)! The video on this link: https://youtu.be/n0hezrAGKlg shows that “It is better to be a lion one day than a sheep a 100 years”! Of course, “I do miss [Sister Kolotilida] very much, but [seeing her on that photo] helps me to cope.” as you can read it from w18 March p. 22 (https://wol.jw.org/rw/wol/dsync/r127/lp-yw/r1/lp-e/2018324#h=30) !

    This is a cruel cult and should develop effective mechanisms to cope with their cruelty. I fail to understand how they managed to change the heart of that loving African woman. Anyway, It is better to be a lion one day than a sheep a 100 years.”!

    • Random Element says:

      Interesting how the bible claims “It is better to be a live dog than a dead lion.”
      But they got it ass-backward.
      It is better to be a live lion than a dead dog!

    • Robin Kish-miller says:

      SHE loves Jehovah. She probably has a genuine heart but misguided.

      • Resister says:

        Indeed, she loves jehovah. She is obviously a wonderful, intelligent, highly-principled, strong and stable individual, who has simply been misguided.
        Kinda like demonic possession, you know, like in The Exorcist.
        So to all decent, intelligent, principled folks out there, to prevent the same thing from happening to you, I suggest you wear a clove of garlic around your neck, carry a small vial of holy water, and have a cross ready to flash in case Doctor Evil approaches you with his giant Brain Magnet.

  18. Resister says:

    R.I.P. John McCain.
    You resisted.
    Bravo Zulu

  19. outandabout says:

    Was it in January 1947 when Watchtower, while taking another swipe at the Vatican, printed that shunning was pagan, unscriptural and an instrument of control. By 1952 they had changed their minds on that and introduced shunning to maintain control. Very cultish. Once, I believe, they used the KJ Bible until such a point was reached where followers were pointing to the KJ and saying “Oi!, this doesn’t match what you are saying” – enter the NWT. Another sign of a cult – printing their own bible.
    Catholics have long since abandoned shunning and followers are encouraged to surround a dissenter with love instead. More bee’s can be caught with honey than vinegar but WT, probably aware of their toxic practices, are just not prepared to risk that approach.

    • African Apostate says:

      I pity these “Sheep Around Here” who have nothing to do with these “Holy wars” and are paying the highest price. In the arycles “The Crusades—A ‘Tragic Illusion’ BY AWAKE! CORRESPONDENT IN ITALY I can read: “The most heartrending thing was that mothers themselves cut their sucklings’ throats or ran them through, preferring them to die at their own hands rather than be killed by the arms of the uncircumcised.” (Read g97 10/8 pp. 12-15; https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/l/r1/lp-e?q=g97+10%2F8+pp.+12-15 )!

      When JW sing the time of vengeance has come, those who have eyes to see see and those with ears to hear hear!!

  20. outandabout says:

    Given that most of Trumps supporters are Christian and I could be wrong on this observation, why is it that when push comes to shove, the Christians behave in an unloving fashion towards outsiders while the opposing camp, more likely to be Atheist, behave in a more Christian way.
    If life is a test and there is a Heaven, it’s the Atheist’s who will be going there. Christians are told to be humble but by their very beliefs cannot help but be the opposite. The folly of the Bible, probably written by the Devil as a double blind.

  21. Whip It says:

    Great Article, i have just had to attend the Friday Season of the Regional Convention in Brisbane, Due to keeping Wife Happy, gob smacked at the Fear Mongering, with a smile, the Video’s were a farce, especially the Family whose Dad left them, mmm why can’t we get both sides of the Story, he was obviously DFF, & the family remain loyal to God, Surely the Dad will still want contact with his Kids, made my blood boil, One woman here who would be in her 70’s has shunned her Daughter for 30 Plus years, i feel so sorry for her,

  22. Resister says:

    It seems there is not enough room on planet Earth to contain the Watchtower’s hate.
    But then what do I know?

  23. tranquillo says:

    May I ask from which publication the picture of Paul comes from? it has some nice subliminal images in it.

  24. Doc Obvious says:

    Watchtower – Losing Team

    We review all the fears and anxiety which are so inherently symptomatic of a losing team.
    The mind is a strange thing, men.
    We must begin by asking it “What is losing?”

    Losing is a disease as contagious as polio.
    Losing is a disease as contagious as syphilis.
    Losing is a disease as contagious as bubonic plague attacking one but infecting all.
    Ah, but curable.

    Now, I want you to imagine you are on a ship at sea on a vast calm ocean gently rocking.
    Gently rocking. Gently rocking. Gently rocking.

  25. messenger says:

    It is absurd that eight men teach they set the religious standards for the world while they admit they are not inspired of God and have had no contact with God. In other words God never told them or showed them anything he wanted them to do. A group of men did that instead of God. Those rulers of men that were put in their positions by men are the ones that need disfellowshipping and they are going to get it. And then is when their weeping will be.

    Tom any one can temporarily act nice, and maybe you are nice, nicer than me. But nice is as nice does. Even Mr. Gump knew that. When people like me, who don’t always speak so nice come and go between Earth and heaven doing our jobs for Christ we’ll remember how the governing body threatened to kick us out of the church we joined for not believing and teaching everything they taught us and how they did kick some of our friends out for similar reasons. I know I’ll remember. And I am not as nice as Christ. And yet it has already been decided I’ll work for him. And I know Christ will remember how people kicked him out of his church and killed him for his contrary beliefs and expressing his beliefs. Some JWS will be there. But I wouldn’t bet on the judgmental ones. But who will be there is up to Christ not me .

    But remember the flip flop in the rich man and Lazrus parable. Usually the riches referred to in the Christian scriptures speak of people’s perception of spiritual riches not material. See Pual’s claim on what he considered refuge or dog dung for confirmation. And so it was with Christ’s teaching. The ones many think will be first will end up being last to Christ.

  26. MY HAPPY OUTCOME says:

    The mind can be so strong and be weak at the same time. People who shun their own kids aren’t happy. The governing body are egotistical bullies.

  27. James says:

    Hello I thoroughly enjoyed your video and this article on shunning. Long story short I have recently reconnected with my parents and have stopped shunning them and your videos have played a big part in that. I thank you for your thorough research and the way you present it is so logical and easy to grasp unlike the explanation of Daniels prophecy as told by the society. Again thank you for your great work.

  28. James says:

    I meant to add this to my previous comment but Romans 13:10 says that love is the law’s fulfillment. So if the law is being carried out by love how is shunning someone into psychological duress showing love. I am working on doing some research on the effects of solitary confinement on prisoners and drawing a correlation to witnesses who are shunned. I had a friend who was disfellowshipped for 12 years for an addiction and was isolated from his social circle and therefore never got any real help from the congregation he ended up getting his own help.

    • Resister says:

      Good for him. “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” No one needs those watchtower phonies.

    • Ricardo says:

      @James, that is a disgrace. How can the org continue when it treats people like this? And there are thousands of similar examples. It makes me want to vomit blood. I have seen a generation of young ones kicked out by unreasonable elders here in Asia where a new generation of active young ones is sorely needed. The young ones got sick of the pettiness and cr*p coming at them from the leadership who are untouchables. A genuine supporter of true worship can only hang his head in disappointment and cry. Why doesn’t this org have the love it claims to have?

      • James says:

        @Ricardo

        Two words cognitive dissonance. People can be abused in all sorts of bad ways and still go back to the abuser. It’s sad that it doesn’t wake them up instead. The people think it’s loving and are blinded and misguided. This happens in abusive relationships of all kinds. I just gotta wake my wife up and I’m gonna get the hell out. I think the organizations days are starting to become numbered.

        • “I think the organizations days are starting to become numbered.”

          Time will tell. The enemies of Jehovah’s Witnesses have succeeded in doing what they could never have succeeded in doing alone, putting the Cause before the world. Russia persecution triggers international sympathy. Shunning and child abuse cover-up allegations trigger international frowning. All three are diluted by the fact that there are endless atrocities today to compete for people’s limited attention.

          Cover-up allegations and shunning complaints are bad. Invariably they are exaggerated, such as people are wont to do, but they are seldom manufactured. Countering the bad press will be the good things that Jehovah’s Witnesses have to offer, things that are never alluded to here.

          A recent development of the Witness organization is self-guided, online Bible study lessons at their website, addressing such age-old questions as ‘Why does God permit suffering?’ ‘What happens when we die?’ and ‘Is there realistic hope for the future?’ Is it only opponents that can use the web? People want such answers. Cedars says (pityingly) in a video that Witnesses ‘crave certainty.’ Isn’t that a big ‘Duh’? Anyone here enjoy playing Russian Roulette with their finances or health? The more certainty we can lay hold of the better.

          Will Cedars ask me to leave, as Andre suggested? Maybe, but I don’t think so. He strikes me as an honest man. He several times asked me to debate him. If I appear here and behave myself, is it not what he wanted? And if he did ask me to leave, after asking me to engage, surely THAT would indicate something. it is my own people who are more likely to ask me to leave, perhaps even kicking me in the rear end as they do so, and I will have to cross that bridge when I come to it. Ironically, should I vanish, people will fuss for some days over whether they lowered the boom or was it Cedars.

          Bible answers are Jehovah’s Witnesses’ strong suit. Christians are directed in the Bible to stay separate from the greater world, as they offer it a helping hand. Anything with an upside will have a downside. The downside zeroed in on exclusively on this forum is real, but it does not negate the upside. Therefore it depends upon where is your focus. ‘Bible education’ is the overall goal of the Witness organization, ‘preaching the good news,’ As the online study sessions demonstrate, with only some exaggeration, if push comes to shove, the essential components of the Witnesses’ work can be run out a server in someone’s dorm room.

          Meanwhile, going atheist holds some attraction, mostly escaping anyone who would tell you what to do, as though one does not simply put themselves under the ‘control’ of other deep-pocketed parties telling you what to do, be it Trump, Soros, the Russians, Big Defense, Big Pharma, pro or anti climate change with the enormous economic and lifestyle consequences both bring. Atheism will appeal to some, but never all. The yeartext presumably agreed upon here is: “Sh*t happens. Get used to it. Maybe we can elect the right politicians to fix it.” How’s that project going, anyway?

          No, that yeartext will just not cut it for everyone.

          • Resister says:

            “Invariably they are exaggerated, … but they are seldom manufactured.”
            How does one exaggerate without manufacturing, Tom?
            Please explain.

          • Resister says:

            … And what exactly do you mean by “Invariably”?
            Are you alleging that all apostates, as well as victims of abuse, are compulsive exaggeraters or story-tellers, like watchtower? That we just can’t get our stories straight, just can’t report the facts?
            That’s quite an allegation, Tom.
            Or should I call you Doubting Thomas? 🙂

          • Resister says:

            … Again, I think I can speak for folks by saying that we all eagerly anticipate your elaboration on this issue.

          • Register: Saying ones exaggerate is not meant to be a slam on anyone here. It is simply human nature to exaggerate what is in one’s favor and play down what isn’t.

            It is why I am not likely to comment on anyone’s personal experience. Am I to say that they misinterpret their own experience? How would I know?

            I am just playing into the truths of human nature that people tell the story from their own point of view, sympathetic to their own cause, unsympathetic to the other. When was the last time you heard, after a guilty verdict, the defendant say: “You know, they gave me a fair shake. I appreciate that.”?

            An example of a slant, however, is Cedars’ outrageous video assertion that elders visit patients in their hospital room to make sure they toe the line on blood policy. It doesn’t even make sense. Why would they care? If there is any violation, it is between the individual and God, and anyone can say anything afterwards. No. They go to visit because they are caring shepherds who take time from their own families and duties to attend to others.

          • Resister says:

            Of course, atheists, Trump, Soros, the Russians, Big Defense, Big Pharma, and pro/anti-climate change advocates do not come knocking on our doors to make converts. Can we please be left alone to choose our own poison?

          • Resister says:

            You’re an excellent liar, Tom.

          • Resister says:

            Tom, are you one of Watchtool’s scumeating lawyers?

          • Ricardo says:

            @Tom, no doubt Watchtower has good Bible study programs. These may attract some people. But it is the treatment of victims of the organization which will bring it unstuck. When JWs are persecuted in Russia we make a big hew and cry to anyone who will listen: the courts, the UN, the press, anyone. When it is one of their own brothers getting abused by leadership there is complete silence. The number of victims of sexual, mental or emotional abuse in the congregations is growing year by year, but nothing is being done to stop it. We are told to keep in subjection to the corrupt elders, while nothing is being done to rein in the elders.

            At least sexual abuse can be taken to worldly courts. And Watchtower is being found guilty. But Watchtower is changing nothing.

            Being able to explain the Bible while at the same time not displaying Christian love is the great downfall of the org. And it will cause the org to fall down.

          • messenger says:

            Christians are told to remain separate from the world however what WT labels the world and what the world is according to scripture is two separate things. Look at what the bible claims the things of the world are yourself, so that you can know.

            As for your people telling you to leave this Site they already have and you know that, so stop the pretense.

            Why don’t you tell us which scriptures inform you that you must listen to the rules made by men who represent themselves as representing Christ. RULES like you are not permitted to read this or express your opinions here. I don’t come often but I’ll look for your scriptural answer. And you might leave a direct scriptural answer how the Bible defines the things of the world. Thank you.

  29. Resister says:

    At the risk of repeating myself, I just want to make sure everyone gets this wise counsel. There is still talk of ‘good-hearted’, supposedly intelligent, principled people being “misguided” by watchtower or the elders or whatever, as if their minds have been somehow possessed by Beelzebub. Great, if that’s your opinion, stick with it. That’s what democracy is all about. Freedom of thought. Freedom of opinion. Freedom of speech.
    Now here’s my opinion:
    If you believe the average decent, principled, thinking person can be so easily manipulated, can have their minds hijacked, akin to demonic possession, then I suggest you start walking around with a clove of garlic around your neck, a vial of holy water in your pocket, and a cross ready to flash in case Doctor Evil shows up with his giant Brain Magnet.

    • Resister says:

      I once heard the DF/DA rate was equal to 400 congregations/year. Let’s generously assume 100 per congregation. That’s 40,000 people/year. That was back in the day. Let’s adjust for, you know, “inflation”. In fact, let’s double it. 80,000. And just to make things super-easy, let’s round up the number of JWs to 8,000,000. You don’t need a calculator to see that’s an annual loss rate of only ONE PERCENT. So, to anyone who still thinks the vast majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses are kind, gentle folk, “good-hearted” individuals (whatever that means) who have simply been railroaded, deluded, hornswaggled, Welcome to mathematics.

      • Resister says:

        Sorry, I guess I’m a little behind the curve on this one. Apparently I rounded DOWN to 8,000,000. Damn, they’re like cockroaches! Anyway, proves my point even more. That makes my result even less than 1%.

  30. Resister says:

    I get a kick out of the ‘covert operators’ who claim to be “bad boys” in their congregations, then come here and do nothing but apologize for Watchtroll. Keep going, 007.

  31. outandabout says:

    messenger, old buddy…..lets get this straight again. In the archives of the Brooklyn Public Library you’ll find in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Wed .May 19th, 1943, Page 2, Fred Franz swore before a judge and jury that the Watchtower magazine had Jehovah God as it’s Editor.
    Fast forward to the ARC and we have Geoffrey Jackson telling the commission he’ll “ask Jesus when he see’s him next” regarding an alternative scripture suggested to him. Jesus got back to him within a couple of weeks or so and “no’ was the answer.
    Let’s not make any mistake, these clowns are totally out of their skulls with delusion on a scale with that 94 yr old cadaver who heads the Mormon Cult and who claims he’s in direct contact with God.
    If the GB are saying they aren’t inspired or don;t talk to God, they’re talking out both sides of their mouth which is exactly what a cult must do to survive but the thing is, all the adherents have their heads up their backsides and don’t notice.
    And whats this kinder and more gentle messenger we’re seeing lately? What’s happened to our bar room brawler? Our bastion of faith? Where’s all the “how dare you presume to know me you intellectual pygmy! don’t you know I’m the smartest guy in America!” etc. You’re making me nervous. Please return to normal so I can at least finish my thesis.

    • messenger says:

      Well I guess you miss the scraps. And I have to admit it was fun. Now I’m typing on a phone with automatic fill that changes words so forgive the mistakes. Ricardo didn’t exactly size up WT because he should have wrote it interprets the Bible incorrectly.

      I believe Franz really believed he represente God and had a special calling. Jackson probably believes that too. But Franz seemed more emphatic. I don’t think that any of them were contacted by God because as you say it is a cult. And if any were contacted they are lying by not telling since WT claims that no longer happens. As with God contacting people in Bible days when that happens he gives proof even today. I was contacted as a JW but I learned a lot after that. None of the GB members except Ray Franz has ever shown that they learned the teachings of Christ that I can see. And Ray Franz was not. contacted.

      I never claimed I was the smartest. Being the smartest won’t help in all situations either. The only distinction I made of myself is that of being contacted by God, shown. a detailed future that already came true,one too. detailed to have been coincidence, shown a small part of a distant future not yet occurring and having a waking vision and several supernatural dreams which have not occurred since 2009.That’s all, not being the smartest.

      What I Learned more than anything is that Christians should never judge all other Christian groups like WT does. Nor should they judge others in their group like WT does. But the thing I learned from the contacts is in the future I’ll be going and coming from heaven or the spirit dimensions to Earth. And on Earth I’ll interact with people and I’ll look like me when I was around 50. And I was shown by God his concern for me.

      • outandabout says:

        yeh, I know about your dream, messenger, but have you considered the Hindu or the Buddhist who also no doubt have dreams foretelling them of future events concerning themselves and their gods, gods you dismiss. Do you discount their dreams? Or the stockbroker making the right move because of a dream. Or someone dreaming of meeting their future spouse somewhere. Precognition is not only for Bible believers. I see precognition as a numbers game – if there are 7 billion people in the world and they all have a few dreams every night, the number of dreams had over 30yrs by the worlds population must be so numerous that thousands of people must have dreamt of the future and got it right over that period. Another factor to consider is the subconscious brain beavering away in the background giving one a sixth sense and while a person is sleeping, it’s sorting out all the information that’s come in during the day which can have a person awaken a four am with the answer to a problem. I’ve had it happen to me a few times.
        You see messenger, you being a Christian and having dreams like yours, you need to be careful of arrogance slipping in. Christians are taught to be humble but the very nature of their beliefs makes that a difficult job.

        • messenger says:

          Yes I discount that which you mentioned as having no spiritual significance and possibly coincidental. But I don’t have experience with that so can’t say for sure.

  32. Resister says:

    Wow. Just read Cedar’s tweet about that – what do they call them again? – oh yeah, “celebrity”, Serena Williams. What a joke. Reminds me of an “interesting” friend I used to have (after my escape). His mom turned out to be a JDum, but he was “worldly”. Apparently she either didn’t try hard enough (though this guy was a real Mama’s Boy lol), or she came into the “truth”-LMAO- when he was older and had developed psychological defenses and a mind of his own. Long story short, I would dis’ watchtower to this fool, but he kept defending it. I’m sure being a mummy’s boy contributed to his motivation. But then he actually had the nerve to tell me I should read the bible. Really, jackass? I’ve read the bible cover to cover. How much do YOU know about the bible? NADA.
    Just like Serena What’s-Her-Name. It’s like, “Crack cocaine is important to me. I’ve never actually used it, but YOU should.”
    PS Speaking of Her Royal Highness, I saw something on TV the other night showing her saying nasty things to the referee at one of her matches, ’cause she didn’t agree with the calls. Real JW behavior. Keep trying, honey.
    WTF is she? Watchtroll’s Unofficial Ambassador or something? Geez. Some mothers do ‘ave ’em!

  33. Resister says:

    Why do JWs and their apologists still feel the need to come and argue here??? They criticize us for not following Watchtattle’s rules, yet they feel free to break one of her cardinal rules: to avoid “worldly” scum, ESPECIALLY apostates. They must know they’re not going to convert any of us – we’ve already been there, done that. And if Jehovah were indeed the true God, then our little Merry Band of Apostates would pose no threat whatsoever to them or their faith!
    Could it be something else? Could it be personal vanity and human pride???
    Tisk, tisk, tisk, not things jehovah approves of, fellas. 🙁

    • outandabout says:

      That was a pretty good run-down of WT’s faults above by Ricardo and no doubt the Russians, when looking for excuses to ban WT just had to jump on the internet and find all the excuses they needed. If we type in Mormon cult, Scientology cult, Exclusive Brethren, Watchtower…… any cult one can think of, one is able to scroll down and view the endless amount of negative publicity about all these frauds, manipulators and charlatans and what’s one of the many signs of a cult?…..why lookee here, ‘a constant stream of negative publicity’.
      The average Russian wants exactly what we want – three meals a day and safe environment in which to raise children into successful adults. So when the WT comes knocking offering separation from friends and family, coercion into suicide by refusing medical treatment, not recognizing the government but happy to help suck it dry, receives tax benefits but gives not an ounce of charity, has bogus claims about itself, fosters a negative view of humanity and promotes paranoia about the world and it’s intentions, discourages education and learning, tells people how to dress and groom and who they should associate with, etc etc etc. If WT has anyone to blame for being banned in Russia, it’s themselves. Persecution? – they wish!! Stupidity and truth catching up with them, more like it. If WT knows everything, how come they didn’t predict the internet – the instrument of their downfall.

  34. messenger says:

    As for Tom saying elders do not go to the hospitals to make sure no blood is used that is true of some untrue of others. A friend of mine told me he does that and that he’s even spent the night at a hospital to make sure it didn’t happen. This fellow also worked as a spy for the circuit overseer before by following groups of JWs and filming them doing that also while he was an elder

    • outandabout says:

      I’ll second that, messenger. I heard from a very close friend, a nurse, about an Elder behind a hospital privacy curtain laying down the law to a couple about giving their baby a transfusion. Where do these liaison goons get off playing god like that and making such huge decisions that are absolutely no business of theirs. If they came near my family in such a way they’d be physically removed by whatever means necessary.

  35. Tim Ratley says:

    Had an 18 year old son. He left home and got disfellowshipped for fornication. We sent him money when he needed help. We let him know our love for him was endless yet respected Jehovah’s feelings on unrepentant wrongdoers. 3 years he led an immoral lifestyle. He called said he wanted to come home and return to Jehovah. He did, got reinstated in 6months, married a sister 14 months later and is an ministerial servant. He says to this day that our stand helped him to understand Jehovah gives discipline to those he loves. We got our son back from Satan’s crazy world. Jehovah hates the sin,yet extends mercy to all sinners. He says he probably wouldn’t have returned had we acted contrary to bible principles.

    • tranquillo says:

      Dear Tim, I have a friend that did almost the same. But she’s homosexual, so the choice is between leaving her loved one and getting back her family. What do you think of that?
      If your son really believes that there is some truth to be found among JW, good for him to be back. How much do you think that getting back with his family was relevant in his choice? Did he know the sister before and got back for her? Did he just met her and marry her after only a few months? For a 21 years old this may not be the wisest of all decisions.

      • Tranquillo: One can sympathize here. I don’t know the answer. JWs do not ‘go after’ gays as do many churches. The 2018 Regional Convention devoted about 2 minutes to it in a video (which created an uproar) in a program lasting three days. Okay? They don’t crusade. And they certainly don’t do what evangelicals do to manuever politicians into passing laws forcing gays to live as they do. Nor do they go in for simple-minded and abusive practices as ‘conversion therapy.’

        The meme ‘born that way’ becomes the dominant meme by endless repetition. However, the Wt has acknowledged that genetics might play a role. Alternatively, it might be environment, psych endorsement, discredited Freud-type ideas (discredited mostly because they are unpopular) universal gender-bending hormones/plastics in common use, even epigenetics. Who knows? One thing for sure: sexuality has proven far more fluid than anyone of my day would have thought possible.

        The GB likely feels that they have no choice, given what the Bible, their guide to life, tells them. They take it as wisdom from God, who knows us better than we do ourselves. Gays within our ranks do not swim against the current, nor into it, both recipees for disaster. They are prepared to swim parallel to the shore, likely for a long time, in hopes that their urges will eventually reallign. One could argue that their faith is stronger than most Christians in that they stick to what they believe is right despite the very real testimony of their own bodies. It hardly seems fair, does it? It is why I have the greatest respect for such ones, who will mostly remain anonymous, and ZERO respect for the frothing church types who rail against gays, as they are demanding the latter lift a load the comparison of which they theirselves would not be willing to budge with their little finger.

        • Imgonaburn says:

          Tom, my son is gay. He was raised jw but never made a dedication to Jehovah or got baptised. It hit me like a ton of bricks that had he taken those steps he would likely have to face a life without a partner or be disfellowshipped!
          Don’t try and say that jw don’t ‘go after’ homosexuals because they do!! Even though my son is not baptised his siblings that are baptised have not been in touch with him once in the past 5 years since he told us he is gay!!
          I myself left the religion shortly afterwards because my sons well being is more important to me than any rule book. I am now shunned even though I’m not dfd. Any ‘thinking person’ would know instinctively that it is wrong to turn their back on a loved one. Jehovah’s Witnesses like to consider themselves as the greatest ‘thinking’ people on the planet but all evidence points to the contrary. They are told what to think, how to act and -under the undue influence of their religious leaders- justify their abhorrent behaviour as … ‘just obeying orders’ from their self appointed higher authority. Their ‘God of Love’ promises his own global holocaust to wipe out mankind to benefit their select ‘race’ of chosen people and use shunning as a means to force us to return. It’s a high control cult.
          The punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

          • Tranquillo says:

            Thank you Imgonaburn for your reply. I wasn’t able to post one. Tom, you wrote a lot, but behind the smoke screen of words the sad thruth is what Imgonaburn said. JW go after gay people. As a gay you would have to deprive you of any chance of having a fullfing emotional, sentimental and sexual life. No place for loving and being loved. No hopes at all. A life of repression and nevrosis.
            Imgonaburn, you did the right thing. Any loving parent should do so

    • messenger says:

      I see a problem with the rule making that isn’t in scripture, but purely opinions. Like dfing for voting though God arranged affairs for Joseph, Daniel and his 3 friends, and Isrealite Kings to become government officials? Many of WT rule are clearly add ons to Bible teachings? Interpretation of how they teach scripture should be practiced, Pharisee like. Other examples:smoking, celebrating holidays which contradicts Pauls allowance of that, even military service considering Cornelius, not believing WT doctrine etc.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Tim, “Jehovah gives discipline to those he loves. ”

      I went to the elders about an elder who was a special pioneer who was writing love letters to my brother-in-law. I got disciplined and told to repair my relationship with the elder. The CO stepped in and now the elder is no longer an elder or special pioneer.

      My wife left me and complained about me to the elders. The elders had a meeting with me which turned into a judicial committee which disciplined me. The CO stepped in and the discipline was rescinded and apologies given, but not before my name had been dirtied by an announcement of judicial action taken against me. The judicial discipline was rescinded because the judicial meeting did not have a necessary basis.

      I was regular pioneering. I failed to get the necessary hours for the year by 1 hour. I was disciplined. The elders came to my front door and raised their voice at me in front of my family and wanted me to step down. The CO stepped in and I was allowed to continue pioneering.

      The local kingdom hall was being dedicated. I was a regular pioneer. I was disciplined. My family was not invited. I was the only regular pioneer not invited.
      The CO stepped in and the elder responsible for giving invitations admitted he didn’t invite me because he didn’t like me. He said I should have been invited and apologized.

      My wife separated from me and jumped into bed with a guy.I was disciplined: the elders didn’t inform me. The CO stepped in and an apology given.

      The elders made a fake letter from the Governing Body to get my friend to stop investigating into their lies upon lies upon lies. I was shocked. I almost couldn’t motivate myself to go preaching. I told several others what the elders had done, because the CO had confirmed the elders had ‘seriously sinned’. My friend who was the victim also told others. We were disciplined. We were both disfellowshipped.

      Wow, Jehovah must really love me!

      And you call Satan’s world crazy! At least Satan’s world has a judicial system, like an ombudsman, to look into irregularities. The spiritual paradise just allows the incompetence and injustice to fester.

      • tranquillo says:

        Wow Ricardo, I’ve been reading you for quite a while, but each time you add more sopruse by this “loving” organization.
        Maybe if such a thing as Jehova does really exist, he was telling you to go away from them!! So if you want to see it that way, he does indeed love you.
        I don’t think so, but who knows? Apart from messenger, of course.
        Sorry for all you went through. Really sorry. All that mess is the result of the policies of the GB, it is not the result of mistakes but of the willingness to implement an oppressive system to easily govern their flock.

        • messenger says:

          There are no humans that are supposed to be governing the flock. WT’s big hoax? The head of every man is Christ? Or, the head of every man is Tony Morris?

    • Tim: Cedars assertion that when persons apply for reinstatement they do so just to reestablish social ties is mostly wrong, though I have known it to happen. It is easy to spot by the level of involvement afterwards. This whole meme of ‘bullying’ is way overdone, though one should never say that there is not peer pressure nor individual variation.

      • tranquillo says:

        mostly wrong, overdone, exaggerations. So you would also say that it is ok to ask questions to elders about pedophilia? that is ok if you speak with your brothers and sisters of that issue? maybe question the policies of the GB? That if you have questions you can simply ask them to the Bethel and get answers? That is simply up to you to choose wheter you sign your blood card or here in europe the document about privacy?
        really?

      • Ricardo says:

        @Tom, please accept my apologies because I know you addressed your comment to Tim, but I was gobsmacked by what you said in that comment.

        You said Cedars assertion that people apply for reinstatement mainly to reestablish social ties is mostly wrong. You can see the abuse I have received from elders. Do you imagine I would apply for reinstatement because I like getting abused and I just can’t wait to get flushed down the toilet by the elders again? The only, only reason I would apply for reinstatement is to reestablish social ties. In the Asian congregation where I have been, almost all my friends are either d’fed or have stopped attending meetings, and we all socialize very happily. But when I return to Australia, my good friends who are bodily out but mentally in will not speak to me; they follow the rules because they know they will get into trouble otherwise.

        ‘The whole meme of bullying is way overdone’ !?!!!

        You can see how much I was bullied while still an active witness. The elders’ pettiness knew no limits. I was bullied by being excluded, ignored, belittled. My name was dragged through the mud publicly . What further degrading thing could the elders possibly have done to me? If that is how the elders treat an active productive brother, how do you think they treat d’fed brothers? You think the description of bullying is overdone? I suggest you get your head out of your backside and learn some empathy for the victims of the abuse the organization causes.

    • Imgonaburn says:

      So, your 18 year old son left home? Why?
      He was still a teenager! He goes off the rails for 3 years without any emotional support from loving parents and you think Satan’s in control of that? You gave him money and think that’s letting him know you love him? What happened to him during that time that was so bad that he actually returned to the religion? He might now say the ‘stand’ you made helped him to understand that Jehovah gives discipline to those he loves because that’s how JWs justify shunning. That’s the party line/approved response whenever JWs are questioned on the morality of shunning. One of the many adverse consequences of shunning is its impossible to determine what really triggered a person returning to the congregation. If you had continued to support your son in EVERY way then obviously he may never have returned…but if he did return and wasn’t being shunned then all would know it was motivated by love for Jehovah. I have seen many people leave or get dfd over the 30 years I was an active member. Dozens! I only know of 3 who returned. 2 of those have since left again, one because of the stigma attached to being dfd in the first place. She was dfd as a teenager (fornication) so to fix things she married her lover. He turned into an abusive violent man who made her life hell. The elders attitude was you made your bed lie in it! She eventually divorced him (he was unfaithful) then he stalked her and threatened to kill her. He had a shotgun license and access to guns. She had to flee for her life! He asked a brother if he could attend the Memorial (to intimidate her) and the sister who was the victim told the elders her ex would have to attend a different Kingdom Hall from her as she had an indefinite restraining order against him. She informed the elders that if her ex turns up he’d be breaking the restraining order and would be arrested because she’d be in danger and would have to call the police! She was told SHE should go to a different hall and that she was preventing her ex from coming into the truth. It was suggested to her that if she insists he goes elsewhere and he subsequently decides not to attend then she’d be blood guilty!!! You couldn’t make this sh*t up!!
      The second was dfd for being a lesbian. She returned to get reinstated then slowly faded again but her elder dad and her mum can now talk to her. She’s back in a lesbian relationship but not dfd or shunned again. She played the system and got away with it.
      The third was another sister dfd for fornication. She married the man too but her husband is a better man. He never joined the religion so she’s been in a ‘divided home’ for 30+ years. Her children are both JWs and she is one of the ones like your son who say being shunned brought her to her senses. They are the only 3 I know of who ever returned after being shunned. The latter, like your son, were just lucky I guess. Had their relationships (with their spouses not Jehovah) not worked out so well then it may have been a different outcome.
      When asked Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Shun Former Members (questions from readers 26/06/2012) they have this stock reply…Those who were baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses but no longer preach to others, perhaps even drifting away from association with fellow believers, are not shunned. In fact, we reach out to them and try to rekindle their spiritual interest.

      We do not automatically disfellowship someone who commits a serious sin. If, however, a baptized Witness makes a practice of breaking the Bible’s moral code and does not repent, he or she will be shunned or disfellowshipped. The Bible clearly states: “Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”

      Whilst I was drifting away I received 3 text messages from an elders wife inviting us over to her home for a meal. Every single time she did this I also received a follow up text within a few minutes saying “sorry, I didn’t mean to send that to you-it was meant for someone else”… 3 times!! If you’re going through problems and facing major dilemmas my own experience has been that others withdraw from you. They don’t want to get involved because they don’t want their own faith to be compromised by having to consider what they would do in your circumstances.
      Look at the situation with bible studies. Whilst they are making spiritual progress they are deemed heroic and virtuous. If they start to slip then there’s a flurry of panic and knee jerk flush of social invites to reinforce the love bombing program. If a bible study says they don’t want to study any more they’re set adrift. All contact ceases. They too are out of the loop. It may be said that if a person studies for a while and decided it’s not for them then that’s all well and good. However, they’re still dropped and only usually see JWs from then on when given memorial invite or by happenstance.
      I was a witness for most of my adult life. I was baptised at age 20. I came out of the world into the fold. No family in the religion. I met my husband to be and got dfd myself for fornication. I am the fourth person I know who returned to the flock after being dfd. Within a month of being dfd I married my lover. 2 days before wedding I found out I was pregnant. Like your son I was reinstated after 6 months. My husband got baptised shortly after. We had 4 kids and raised them well. I considered myself one of the lucky ones. Our children had health problems. 2 have autistic spectrum disorders, one of these also has diabetes (type 1), neither of these are baptised and they are not now, nor ever will be practising JWs.
      My eldest is diabetic too- he is a jw in good standing and well liked. Only one has no health problems and she is the only one that has completely shunned me and now also shuns my husband/her dad.
      Our family has been ripped apart by the shunning policies. Neither my husband or myself are disfellowshipped. I chose to support my gay Aspergers son. We were then both stumbled by our daughter shunning us for our choice to no longer attend meetings. We now have 2 grandchildren by her that we are not allowed to have any contact with. There’s no such thing as ‘necessary family business’ where they are concerned. We were offered the chance to meet our latest grandchild briefly in a public place as a one off never to be repeated whilst we’re not attending meetings offer. It’s just cruel.
      Our lovely daughter married a man that she studied with along with an elder. As soon as he was baptised they made their relationship ‘official’. Everyone advised her to be cautious. She rushed into marrying a man she barely knew, a man who had already told her that he ‘hated her family’. It was never going to be easy for us to continue our previously happy loving close relationship with our daughter.
      Shunning is a weapon used by the weak. It’s another tool in the belt of coercive control. It’s NEVER a good thing. It’s NEVER motivated by LOVE.
      It destroys and breaks people down instead of supporting and building them up.
      If you apply the logic of my former elders and CO when dealing with the aforementioned sister ie if you prevent a person from attending meetings then you’re blood guilty surely this would put a grave slant on the practise of shunning loved ones? My being shunned is completely counter productive! I will never endorse emotional blackmail and return to meetings to gain relationships that by nature I should have access to. Don’t put a gun to my head and tell me it’s a loving provision from our Creator! Anybody that adheres to the societies ridiculously cruel shunning policy could be setting themselves up to grieve the Holy Spirit and make themselves blood guilty before Jehovah. We were taught that every other religion is false, therefore if shunning us causes us to lose our faith then where do we go from here?
      All of this is just the tip of the iceberg that froze my heart towards my former religion…..and yet I STILL feel like I’m one of the ‘lucky ones’.

      • messenger says:

        I read part of your story. You might suggest to the sister whose exhusband got the shotgun to buy a Smith and Wesson 357 magnum. It should cost somewhere between six to eight hundred. She can keep it unloaded with 6 rounds in a dish somewhere out of sight close to the gun when she sleeps, and tell her to lock the gun up when she leaves or is not close to it in daytime. That will give her a fighting chance if the ex breaks in. I hear in TEXAS AND SOME STATES an open carry law exists.If she lives in one of those she might want to carry. Last bit of advice which can also be heeded by anyone suffering elder abuse: even an animal understands pain.

  36. Ricardo says:

    An Indian judge recently said: Dissent is the safety valve for democracy. If dissent is not allowed, democracy will burst under pressure.

    Where is the safety valve in the congregations? If you complain about anything you become an automatic target of the elders.

    Watch while the organization bursts under pressure of all the victims.

  37. Ricardo says:

    I have come to India to look for a good Hindu wife. Last time I married in the Lord and my wife ran off with a Pakistani Muslim. Since I have just been d’fed I have to look for a wife outside the congregation, someone who won’t run away and leave me to look after the child.

    I have booked into a beautiful seaside homestay, quiet and calm. The manager of the homestay, a guy named Gideon, just informed me he is a Jehovah’s Witness. What is the chance of meeting a witness in India? 1 to 40,000. How can I be so lucky? Does God hate me?

    • Resister says:

      I get it. Sometimes I think I was Hitler in a previous life.
      Then there’s the other possibility – that Watchcrotch has her very own “Mossad” operation going.
      Think about it. Remember the commenters who talked about being followed, and filmed, by the elders? That Gideon guy could be a ‘plant’. You must’ve had to apply to this place beforehand, fill out forms, etc, even online. Information is an easily accessible commodity. Gives them time to set something up.
      Before folks dismiss this as crazy conspiracy theory stuff (which, I admit, is fun), think about this: not only governments engage in this stuff anymore – corporations do it (Corporate Espionage), there have always been Private Investigator types (many with police or military backgrounds, not to mention the contacts and access privileges that come with that), and now even private citizens can play the spy game, with internet, drones, “smart” phones, pinhole cameras, minitiature recording devices, etc, etc, etc. I know. I’ve been spied on / tracked by certain ones too.
      In the real Mossad, there are only (allegedly) a few dozen actual agents active around the globe at any given time, because in every country, there is already a willing network of civilians ready to serve. Watchtracker may very well have modeled her own operations on that system.
      As someone commented, The price of freedom is constant vigilance.
      Check Six.

    • Resister says:

      I get it. Sometimes I think I was Hitler in a previous life.
      Then there’s the other possibility – that Watchcrotch has her own “Mossad” operation going.
      Think about it. Someone already commented that they were followed, and filmed, by the elders. You must’ve had to apply beforehand to this place, even online. Information is an easily accessible commodity. Gives them time to set something up. This “Gideon” person could be a ‘plant’.
      Before folks dismiss this as crazy conspiracy theory stuff (which, I admit, IS fun), think about this – it’s not only governments who engage in this stuff anymore – corporations do it (Industrial Espionage), there have always been your Private Investigator types (many with Police or Military experience, not to mention the contacts and access privileges that come with it), and now even Joe and Jane Q. Citizen can play the Spy Game, with internet, drones, “smart” phones, pinhole cameras, mini recording devices, etc, etc, etc. I know. I myself have been spied upon / tracked by certain ones. Not trying to sound like James Bond. It’s just a fact of life these days. I met a guy who told me he woke up in the middle of the night to see a drone hovering outside his bedroom window.
      The real Mossad only (allegedly) operates a few dozen agents around the globe at any given time. That’s because, in every country, there is already an established network of willing civilians ready to serve. Watchtracker may very well have modeled her operations on that system.
      As someone already expressed, The price of freedom is constant vigilance!
      Watch your Six.

    • Resister says:

      Testing

    • Resister says:

      I get it. Sometimes I think I was Hitler in a previous life.
      Then there’s the other possibility – that Watchcrotch has her own “Mossad” operation going.
      Think about it. Someone already commented that they were followed, and filmed, by the elders. You must’ve had to apply beforehand to this place, even online. Information is an easily accessible commodity. Gives them time to set something up. This “Gideon” person could be a ‘plant’.
      Before folks dismiss this as crazy conspiracy theory stuff (which, I admit, IS fun), think about this – it’s not only governments who engage in this stuff anymore – corporations do it (Industrial Espionage), there have always been your Private Investigator types (many with Police or Military experience, not to mention the contacts and access privileges that come with it), and now even Joe and Jane Q. Citizen can play the Spy Game, with internet, drones, “smart” phones, pinhole cameras, mini recording devices, etc, etc, etc. I know. I myself have been spied upon / tracked by certain ones. Not trying to sound like James Bond. It’s just a fact of life these days. I met a guy who told me he woke up in the middle of the night to see a drone hovering outside his bedroom window.
      The real Mossad only (allegedly) operates a few dozen agents around the globe at any given time. That’s because, in every country, there is already an established network of willing civilians ready to serve. Watchtracker may very well have modeled her operations on that system.
      As someone already expressed, The price of freedom is constant vigilance!
      Watch your Six.
      Innocent as Serpents
      Cautious as Doves

    • outandabout says:

      refuse to be a victim Ricardo. The authority of the Elders is fake so stop giving them power over you. Walk away and put it down to experience and try not to obsess.

      • Ricardo says:

        @outandabout, I want to embrace victimhood, so I can expose the simplistic arguments of ones like Tim and Tom. The wickedness and bullying done by the leadership of the organization must be exposed. Just as Watchtower broadcasts how it is a victim of persecution to the whole world, I would like to do the same, being a victim of Watchtower leadership persecution.

        I want to be the posterboy of Watchtower directed persecution. As someone who loves Jehovah and has been a tireless, effective and fruitful supporter of the organization for many decades, look at how the org treats me. Can Watchtower be proud of this?

        I accept Jesus as my saviour. I love Jehovah. I loved preaching. I believe the Bible. I was shocked by elders creating a false letter from the GB. Result: disfellowshipped.

        Well done for scoring an own goal, Watchtower. Way to go!

  38. Resister says:

    I get it. Sometimes I think I was Hitler in a previous life.
    Then there’s the other possibility – that Watchcrotch has her own “Mosad” operation going.
    Think about it. Someone already commented that they were followed, and filmed, by the elders. You must’ve had to apply beforehand to this place, even online. Information is an easily accessible commodity. Gives them time to set something up. This “Gideon” person could be a ‘plant’.
    Before folks dismiss this as crazy conspiracy theory stuff (which, I admit, IS fun), think about this – it’s not only governments who engage in this stuff anymore – corporations do it (Industrial Espionage), there have always been your Private Investigator types (many with Police or Military experience, not to mention the contacts and access privileges that come with it), and now even Joe and Jane Q. Citizen can play the Spy Game, with internet, drones, “smart” phones, pinhole cameras, mini recording devices, etc, etc, etc. I know. I myself have been spied upon / tracked by certain ones. Not trying to sound like James Bond. It’s just a fact of life these days. I met a guy who told me he woke up in the middle of the night to see a drone hovering outside his bedroom window.
    The real Mosad only (allegedly) operates a few dozen agents around the globe at any given time. That’s because, in every country, there is already an established network of willing civilians ready to serve. Watchtracker may very well have modeled her operations on that system.
    As someone already expressed, The price of freedom is constant vigilance!
    Watch your Six.
    PS Mosad is intentionally misspelled. The comment wouldn’t clear otherwise.
    “Innocent as serpents, cautious as doves.” 😀

  39. Resister says:

    Tim Ratley, that was a sweet story. But then, some people just can’t cut it on the outside.

  40. Resister says:

    Testing

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