The Worst Convention Ever – Part 1: Shunning
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worst1articleThis summer millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide will flock to their regional conventions, a much-anticipated event in the JW calendar.

Local newspapers are already lining up to write articles lauding the influx of Witnesses at sports venues and convention centers. Conventions are typically a big money-spinner for local businesses, so journalists are often compelled to write favorably about these events.

“It’s a weekend to learn. In that sense, each day is less like a church service and more like an educational symposium,” opines Chelsea Davis at the Missoulian.

“The city has estimated that each of the three conventions can generate as much as $1.5 million worth of economic activity in Cornwall and area,” enthuses Todd Hambleton for the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder.

“Jehovah’s Witnesses strive to adhere to the form of Christianity that Jesus taught and that his apostles practiced,” gushes a commendably-unnamed correspondent at South Coast Today.

Every year, flattering pieces like this overlook the more sinister underpinnings of Witness conventions, which amount to little more than indoctrination rallies orchestrated by the New York-based Watch Tower Society and its Governing Body leadership.

Usually the coercive element of these gatherings is harder to spot for an undiscerning local journalist who simply wants to push out a favorable review that will sail past his editor and keep the pay-checks rolling in. But this year, there really are no excuses.

Firstly, it’s difficult to imagine a theme that is more Orwellian: “Remain Loyal to Jehovah.” Precisely how is anyone supposed to relate to this circle-the-wagons rhetoric who hasn’t been indoctrinated into equating Watchtower with God’s one true organization on earth today? How do you “remain loyal” to something to which you haven’t pledged allegiance?

Secondly, and most crucially, any remotely switched-on journalist who sits through one or more of the string of highly-manipulative videos being shown at this year’s convention should be struck by the blatant coercion and fear-mongering as though they’ve been clobbered in the face by a wet halibut.

And for the most disturbing example of this jaw-dropping video propaganda, we need look no further than a series of three appalling videos that should come with a parental warning and be titled: “How to shun your daughter for 15 years just for sleeping with someone to whom she isn’t married.”

(Below is my video rebuttal to the shunning videos, as well as one of the convention talks of the symposium in which they are shown…)

We are introduced to Sonja, a girl raised by devout Witness parents, who reaches a crossroads in her teenage years when a childhood of indoctrination begins to conflict with her burgeoning individuality. Feelings of uncertainty about her beliefs are suppressed, as she goes through the motions simply to satisfy her parents – something many raised as Witnesses will relate to.

Since even masturbation is off the menu for Jehovah’s Witnesses (despite not a single scripture in the bible supporting this prohibition) it’s no real surprise when years of sexual repression climax in a night of carnal abandon involving Sonja and a work colleague in a hotel room. Sonja initially experiences pangs of guilt, but later correctly accepts that sex is something that happens when two people are in love.

At this point, Sonja’s boyfriend Eric is jettisoned from further participation in the drama. All we know is that he was kind and attentive to Sonja, and that her love for him was reciprocated.

As far as Watchtower is concerned, Eric is an imposter who was instrumental in a Witness youth falling from grace. Any good intentions he may have had toward Sonja are irrelevant in the eyes of the filmmakers. What matters is that he is NOT a Jehovah’s Witness, and therefore should have no place in Sonja’s life. De-humanized, and with his work done, Eric exits stage left so that Sonja’s story can continue.

How Sonja’s elders come to learn of her forbidden romance is not depicted. Instead, we are taken straight to the meeting where Sonja is announced as disfellowshipped. Immediately the focus is on Sonja’s parents, and how her actions have “crushed” them. Sonja is further cast as the villain when she is shown acting obstinately, arms folded, when her father delivers the news that she needs to leave home.

A more accurate depiction of the scenario would show an errant teenager, traumatized by his or her impending estrangement from the family, pleading with their indoctrinated father or mother to show mercy and reconnect with their parental instincts. But to fit with Watchtower’s “blame the victim” message, Sonja must be a scowling, defiant brat who anyone would be glad to see the back of.

Sonja is portrayed as a scowling, indignant teen who anyone would be glad to be rid of

Sonja is portrayed as a scowling, indignant teen

 

Divine execution

With Sonja ejected from the family home, her ‘victims’ gather on the sofa to read an Old Testament account that will make them feel better about abandoning their child. The bible passage describes Aaron being instructed, on pain of death, to not mourn his sons Nadab and Abihu who have been executed by God with fire from heaven. Sonja’s parents resolve to use this account as a blueprint for purging their emotions and pretending Sonja is dead.

This is not the first time the Nadab and Abihu story has been invoked by Watchtower to order parents not to grieve the loss of their shunned children, as should be evident from the following quote from the July 15, 2011 Watchtower study edition (the same magazine issue in which apostates are described as “mentally diseased”)…

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Jehovah's Witnesses are expected to purge their emotions, as Aaron was commanded to do on pain of death

Jehovah’s Witness parents are expected to purge their emotions when shunning, as Aaron was commanded to do on pain of death

 

It isn’t long before Sonja’s parents get the chance to put their instructions into practice. Sonja is shown calling her parents’ cellphone, which begins ringing on the kitchen worktop. Her mother checks to see who is calling. On noticing Sonja’s number, she refuses to pick up.

For all we know, Sonja could have been stranded by the roadside, or in the process of being attacked, robbed, raped or murdered – but paramount in her parents’ minds is the need to show loyalty to Watchtower by pretending she no longer exists.

Sonja tells the audience that her parents did the right thing by refusing to pick up, and quotes almost verbatim from an experience printed in a 2013 Watchtower in which a once-disfellowshipped man named Robert praises his parents for not giving him the “small dose” of contact he needed that might have delayed his decision to return. Family contact, apparently, is some kind of illicit drug, and depriving disfellowshipped children of it is the humane, loving thing to do.

Watchtower is virtually holding its hands up and saying: “We expect parents to emotionally blackmail their disfellowshipped kids. If they end up returning just to end the shunning rather than because they genuinely believe the religion, at least the ends justify the means.”

In the final instalment of the shunning trilogy, after 15 years of being shunned (a punishment apparently entirely deserved after sleeping with someone), Sonja is depicted getting reinstated. Finally reunited with her family, Sonja is engulfed in a tide of post-meeting love-bombing by congregation members who now shower her with conditional love.

Not shown are the months of humiliating attendance of meetings at which she is required to sit in disgrace on the last rows of the seats while literally an entire congregation shuns her. Only by doing this can disfellowshipped Witnesses get back into Watchtower’s good books, and even then it isn’t always that simple.

In my rebuttal video (above), I give one tragic example in which a disfellowshipped Witness named Kaatje was repeatedly refused reinstatement due to her chronic depression. Her brother Bjorn is convinced that this treatment by elders directly contributed to her eventual suicide. (My interview with him will feature in a future video on the “John Cedars” YouTube channel.)

Kaatje and Bjorn in happier times

Kaatje and Bjorn in happier times

 

Sadly, Kaatje is just one of many who have paid the ultimate price for Watchtower’s extreme shunning policy, which its own literature once described as “altogether foreign to bible teachings.”

The media black-out

Even more tragic is the grim reality that there is no end in sight to this abhorrent treatment, at least while the media in general resolutely refuses to give Watchtower’s brand of shunning the scrutiny and criticism it deserves. True, Rawstory has wasted little time in describing one of the shunning videos as “disturbing,” but so far it is a lone voice.

Rather than the inevitable avalanche of puff pieces heralding the “Remain Loyal To Jehovah” convention as a commercial success, we should be seeing Sonja’s face in multiple newspapers, magazines and blogs as her foul treatment at the behest of a cruel cult is rightly condemned. It should be made perfectly clear that, in the 21st Century, such blatant manipulation and coercion by religious leaders aimed at breaking up families is intolerable, and certainly should not be endorsed through tax exemptions and even charitable status.

Perhaps the only way we can ever live to see public opinion close the gap on Watchtower is by doing what we can to give this dreadful material the exposure it deserves in whatever way possible. For that reason, I would urge all of you to share this video and article on social media (if you are able), as well as the videos and articles that will follow in this #worstconventionever series.

It may be that our efforts to get the media to take notice amount to little more than a phone call that goes unanswered, but at least by trying we honour the memory of those like Kaatje who paid the ultimate price for Watchtower’s barbarity. I can think of few better reasons to share a hashtag.

 

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This is the first in a series of six articles examining various features of the Remain Loyal to Jehovah convention of 2016. To read leaked transcripts and videos from the convention, please click here.

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127 Responses to The Worst Convention Ever – Part 1: Shunning

  1. Gary says:

    Of course if a child is so unruly so as to disrupt the rest of the family a person may decide to take such action. However, that’s not for the Watchtower to decide. Nither is it for them to decide whether you maintain contact. Conscience.
    It real does seem that the real issue of concern for the Watchtower (dressed up in another way) is exposure.
    Considering the biblical and historical point of view there is no suggestion that a person must be shunned, brother sister or not.
    A greeting in biblical terms is far more than a simple hello. I agree with this reasoning.
    Each person, having the facts of each individual case, bearing in mind the person and their ability, should themselves decide.
    Watchtower is frightened.

  2. rosemary osborn says:

    I know about shunning. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother who shun me and as one of their Watchtower articles said they should treat me as Satans follower. This has been since I believe 10 years or so. I am a Christian and a 21 year Hospice volunteer taking care of terminally ill patients. Shame. They are sooo brain-washed. Sad.

  3. Winston Smith says:

    So I finally had a chance to watch Lloyd’s video with the clips from the shunning video.
    Great job on your video, Lloyd.

    On the shunning video, why does the narrator sound like she is a 15 year old girl? I mean she is supposed to be looking back after being disfellowshipped for 15 years! If she was out of school and working when she got DF’d she had to be about 20 and now 15 years have gone by so she must be about 35. That little girl voice of the narrator creeped me out more than anything.

    WS

  4. Holly Chu says:

    Just watched the bunker video. And that was the most nauseating thing I have seen in a very long time. There is not enough space on this website to critique every thing on this hideous video series. Fear mongering, and scaring young children into submission.

  5. QuietObserver says:

    Has anyone considered if the GT video is because the Orgy know that nearly all the governments of the Western world are coming after them for their position on child abuse and oppression of women, including sexual harassment that happens at the Bethels? Here in Australia the general consensus is that they are selling off the Bethel here and all their equipment as well as many KHs before the Royal commission comes after them for the compensation scheme. If they create this fear for the R&F that the governments are after them because it’s the GT and not because of their own lies and betrayals, they will close ranks around the GB to protect them. What do you think?

    • Dwc says:

      One cannot help but wonder if the very proclamation of “she has fallen” starts with the WT Bible and tract society. I could go on and on and would really like to tell my story as so many of you have just as it’s therapeutic! Lol

      The bottom line is the organization is dying. Most intelligent people can see this. The WT for the week of June 5th is a perfect example of this.

      For me what I am most grateful to John and all who post here is the clarity to see through the messages. To take the purity and “holiness” of Gods message and twist it into a policy procedures, publishing company is incredible. But what is truly amazing is if anyone takes a look at the the parallel of the WTBS and its funding challenges like any other company out there… Except those haven’t harboured and protected pedophiles.

      Anyways interesting to see if the very organization that claims to be Gods “chosen” will be the first to go.

      DWC

  6. Mounia says:

    Hello

    Well, I was a bible student since 2 years and a proclaimer unbaptized (please don’t hesitate to correct me because my English is not good). I just sent a letter to my ex-kingdom hall to let them know officialy that I have finished with them and notified some points where I simply don’t agree. Anyway, eventhough I was not officially J.W., my “friends” simply reject me with poor arguments, such as I am under the devil, I am weak, or I must suffer so much that I need help ! Oh My God. Their “arguments” just confirm me that these people are very simpled mind, with no capability to think by themselves. In fact, by their remarks on me, they symply describe themselves… I looked twice at this video: it is empty of good sense,of responsability and spirituality. The governing body, by showing these kind of videos are killing again Jesus-Christ as they carry on searching sentences in the ancient scriptures of the bible and if I remember Jesus Christ has abolished the ancient laws by being killed on the cross. The account of the “adulteress” of Jean 8 is one of most beautiful of the Gospel. This woman sinner, condemned by the integrist ones of the time, is raised by Jesus, is forgiven, released from her indicters… with this formula remained famous: “That that which never sinned throws him the first stone. Good luck to all J.W., they really need it.

  7. vicent says:

    ALL THIS THINGS GOES AGAINST OF ”ROYAL COMISION. SUGESTIONS. AND MR JACKSON STATEMENT TO GIVE RELIEF TO THE VICTIMS,OR JACKSON APEARS WAS A TOTALLY CIRCUS..ONLY LIES BEFORE R.C. OF AUSTRALIA…….THE INTERNATIONAL COURT WILL BE INTERVIEW,PLEASE CEDAR HELP US TO SEND ALL THIS LIES THERE,PLEASE…

  8. James Broughton says:

    On Friday evening in the UK I watched the Danish TV programme ‘Dicta’, about a fictional crime reporter in Arrhus, Denmark. It opened with a flashback to when she was a teenager giving birth to an illegitimate child who was subsequently taken away from her. Returning to modern day, she was seen outside a Kingdom Hall and attempted to greet her parents whom she had not seen since then. They refused to have anything to do with her, presumably because she had been disfellowshipped, and the door was closed in her face. I have no idea how it will turn out for Dicte but it is interesting that owing to the success of the series perhaps many people who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses will learn how repulsive this cult is.

  9. Joe says:

    Hi all,

    I’d like to make couple of points. It saddens me to see
    a departure from the policies that stipulated limited contact. The reasons why limited was permitted (relatives) in my view was due to the following.

    A departure from one’s system of beliefs should not translate into a complete annihilation from their families.
    Secondly, that limited contact safe guarded the fundamental principles of family structure and the gift of free will. Anyone who’ve read the original article initially publish about how to deal with dis-fellowship relatives will know that dis-fellow shipping DOES NOT break family ties. It was clearly written in in that article. September 15 1981 Questions from readers.

  10. Joe says:

    The September 15 1981 article has two parts to it. The first deals with how to treat dis-fellowship people in general and the second part deals with relatives in particular. However, i’ve heard people saying for a very long time that families of dis-fellowship relatives are not allow to actively seek association with them just for the sake of it but should only contact them when it’s absolutely necessary. Thats far from the truth. The article in itself was not deterministic nor conclusive or lay blanket rules about those matters. Rather what it sought to achieve was to lay general principles. For example, can you invite a dis-fellowship relative for a wedding at the hall? Again, there isnt a yes or no answer. Highly discretional with the following principles in mind. The article states ” We cannot say whether a dis-fellowship relative should attend the wedding but it’ll be up to those involve to resolve”. Sept. 15 1981 Pages 26-31. Can a disfellowship person attend the reception? Well the answer lay bare in the principles that it brought out. Because the fellowship person may be more likely to seek to associate with people which includes other witnesses attending the reception it MAY be best for them not to attend. Another thing that need to be taken into account is how will other invitee’s to the occasion feel about seeing a disfellowship person around. Sept. 15 1981 Pages 26-31. Again principles in play, even though this answer leans more toward a no from a sound judgement perspective, its not conclusive, it doesn’t categorical say no or yes. The answer lies on a case by case basis because all scenarios cannot possibly be thought off or written about due to it infeasibility. Again the overriding principle was if you chose to associate with a DISFELLOWSHIP RELATIVE, keep it to the minimum; with no conditions attached to the minimum association or contact rule.
    I believe a sudden twist in policy violates two fundamental principles. The gift of free-will and the cohesiveness of the family structure. The assumption that underpins that policy is “ All witnesses children will have only two options, become a witness and remain in the family circle or have a different view and be thrown out”. Having said that I also have strong reservations about dis-associated people been classified in the dis-fellowshipped category again because it violates the principles of free will. That’s probably one of the reasons why mankind weren’t created as robots but humans.
    Point two, I don’t always agree with cedars on all published articles but a few. One of the few common grounds we share is the issue of disfellowshipped relatives and the application of Lev. 10:1-6 on disfellowship relatives. Anyone reading this passage will know that this passage was a specific instance where Jehovah executed divine judgement. It was not carryout through proxies and henceforth applying that scripture to relatives of disfellowshipped people or persons is just not fit for purpose.
    Finally cedar mention that masturbation is not explicitly prohibited in the scriptures. Cedars you’re right there isn’t a scripture that specifically prohibits masturbation but as a MST graduate you should know that there are principles that cover that subject. For example if you turn the pages of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation you’ll not find a single verse or passage that says “ do not smoke” however there are principles that governs. Paul said don’t take in anything that’ll harm your body (that passage cover smoking). As Christians we are admonish to keep morally and mentally clean and of course masturbating will NOT be consistent with that principle.

    More to come……………………

    • Searcher says:

      OK Joe,

      You say, “Finally cedar mention that masturbation is not explicitly prohibited in the scriptures. Cedars you’re right there isn’t a scripture that specifically prohibits masturbation but as a MST graduate you should know that there are principles that cover that subject. For example if you turn the pages of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation you’ll not find a single verse or passage that says “ do not smoke” however there are principles that governs. Paul said don’t take in anything that’ll harm your body (that passage cover smoking). ”

      This topic is very intriguing to me. I can’t help but bite! Please explain to me,with actual facts, how a normal human bodily function, whether self-induced or through a partner, has the same deadly danger as using tobacco. Yes, I agree tobacco is bad for you. There is factual proof it leads to cancer and other breathing disease. However, I don’t agree that masturbation is bad for a persons psyche. Some people will say, “Well, it makes you selfish.”, “It turns you into a perv”, “It gives you hairy palms and dark circles under your eyes.”, and it can go down from there. Well, there is no proof of that. I just want to know why organized religion (an not just JW’s, but overzealous Christians, Jews, and Muslims) have such a hang up on a sexually oriented topic like this? I just want to hear a fact-proven explanation about how masturbation is deadly as tobacco. Oh yeah, and don’t try using that greek-to-cult translation of pornea either. That dog don’t hunt!!! That definition has been stretched and pulled like salt-water taffy by the WTBTS to suit their control freak needs.

      If these two acts are deadly sins, then quit breathing without a gas mask! There is chemical and radiological pollution, germs, and virus in the air. These are natural acts of our bodies too and can have harmful effects when taken into our bodies. No rule on using a gas mask in the bible, but the principle is there. Right?

      I am a very skeptical mind that would like to be enlightened with factual evidence other than partial verses from the bible woven together as a collage to fit a preferred outcome. (This should be good!)

  11. Ejecting to Sanity says:

    Heinous. Hateful. Unconscionable. WT has reached their own hell. Shame on them.

  12. Doc Obvious says:

    The act of shunning is a form of bullying. I hate when people bully people into submission to a cause. Kids bully other kids at school. It is a very juvenile situation. Shunning people for different ideas or actions is very juvenile.

  13. Scrubmaster says:

    Here is the most fascinating thing about the shunning and dis-fellow shipping the Org does. A family will treat a love one as dead for years and years per the organization. Parents have shun their children for years as required. Then when these same parents face financial difficulties, guess what the org, says they should do? They should contact the one’s(children) they have shunned for years for financial support. The supposed biblical basis for this is based on a scripture 1 Tim 5:8 “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” But if a shunned love one is supposed to be treated as dead. Why can they be ask for financial support? Why doesn’t the congregation help the parents who have follow directions and shunned their children and provide financial support if it is need? Truly a case of applying scriptures in a way that benefits the organization. All the while mis-applying the scriptures about dis-fellow shipping, Shunning and apostasy(to the benefit of the org of course).

  14. hagblay says:

    They shun because they are desperate to keep fear into the hearts of those still there. Thousands will leave after this summer has sunk in. The watchtower will do anything to keep people in those seats. It is over for the control they have on people. They are going to leave because it is now hitting their families. Parents do not want more problems than they already have. The watchtower old school hold on people is over. The control is not working.These 8 old roosters in Brooklyn see the hand writing on the wall. These 8 roosters walk around with so much authority- Their heads up in the air.They act like they can walk on water. At one time the flock thought they could walk on water.No more. Those roosters will sink if they try to walk on water.No longer are they the cock of the walk.A lot of the die hards still cling to this nonsense, but it is not working. Something is wrong. The flock knows something is wrong but they are too scared to try to find out. So sad. Brainwashed zombies. A Jim Jones waiting to happen. Get out while there is still time- Flee to any where there is safety.Flee for your lives.Take your children with you. This is a wicked cult and you may go down with it. Desperate people do desperate things.

  15. hagblay says:

    People flee for your lives. Get outta there while the getting is good. Pain and suffering will be rampant if you try to stay. Its not worth it. Jim Jones stopped his people from fleeing didn’t he? Who is it to say the wt wont try the same method. Desperate business do desperate things. They want to stay in business but at your expense. So flee while there is time. Flee to any place but to a kingdom hall. Flee to a church because the church will take you in. Kingdom halls will not take you in unless you have proved your self worthy. Get outta there my people while there is still time. In the name of common sense flee. Run-walk-crawl- whatever you can get out but get out. Don’t be a statistic of a dead person. Brooklyn only cares for themselves- They do not care for you. Time has proven that. So FLEE> GET OUT

  16. Mr S says:

    So sad that generations of faimilies are ripped apart by this. Strange a so called bad person who never has been a witness can be spoken to yet a person who had the misfortune of being birn into a witness family will be shunned for making a choice. I have so much to say but put it this way 43 years of life wasted behind me should not dictate the rest of my life.

  17. Tara says:

    And so it begins. At least two of my dearest friends are shunning me. One of them is even df’d! I have stuck by her, helped her, cried with her…. but she goes to the meetings with the hope of returning you see… even if I know she is doing ‘other stuff’ behind the elders backs. But, so it looks good, I am shunned as bad association. The other one…. what can I say. Her husband does attend meetings…. but that is different some how. I guess he has a disability, can’t sit, doesn’t like crowds…. hmm. Well according to the convo. I had with him a few months back, it’s not that at all. Has to be a fall guy in all this and I guess I am it.

  18. Andrew says:

    Your prediction as to the consequences was spot on. I left the org 7 years ago, was not disfellowshipped.
    Since then I have seen my JW parents regularly.
    Out of the blue I got a text message from my mum saying she had just been to the convention and they “cannot socialize with me until I put my life in order.”
    I live alone, run my own business, employ my sister and a young JW friend of theirs. No one in my community would view me as living a disorderly life.
    What she means is go back to JWs, which I have made clear I no longer believe.

  19. RSum says:

    Thank you for this. My sister told me that she wanted to “get right with Jehovah” so she wouldn’t be talking to me anymore, 2 days after going to this convention. I have been disfellowshipped for about 9 years, but I guess this convention gave her the “strength” to fully cut ties with me. Maybe some day she will realize her fear has kept her from ever asking herself what she truly believes.
    I just found your page today and am excited to look through the articles

  20. Caroline says:

    About two and half years ago when I first started “waking” up from my Watchtower blinders, I blurted out my feelings to all my three adult children and two oc them reported to their elders what was happening with me because they were worried about me. I was never disfellowshipped but because of my talking to a few people from my congregation and my children and my husband, there was a marking talk on me but as long as I don’t talk religion or the Bible to my children or anybody else in the congregation, my children had been still talking to me.

    My son is getting married in November and because I emailed to his fiance’ my feelings about God and the Bible and the Society, now my son has been coerced into not inviting me and his younger sister to his wedding who feels the same as I do, I think by his fiance’ but he was saying the elders too and that is even though three months ago when he said he was getting married and didn’t have any money, I helped him and his fiance’ out with $2,000.00.

    I think he feels bad about it and is seeing a shrink because of his depression, and being in the cult like I was for 50 years, I can’t hold it against him for what he’s doing to me but this is the impression this is leaving on my family and all their friends who live in that town which is a large extended family:

    They are angry with my son for the fact that he is not inviting his own mother, (me, their sister-in-law, aunt, sister, and all their friends) and all those relatives and their friends will have a horrible impression of my son and of the JW religion. Stuff like that gets carried to many other people through gossip and who knows how many people this will affect in the end, because of such abhorrent treatment through shunning for saying you don’t believe in the Bible or the Society anymore.

    Before all this happened, my son had been invited over to their houses for get togethers and those friends and relatives were always there for him whenever he needed help with anything. I live 120 miles away but I was always there for him too whenever he needed help as well as his sister who is also not invited.

    The Governing Body might hold that kind of control over it’s members where they will be compelled to shun their friends and families but it will come back to bite that religion and those people in the ass and it will damage the reputation of the individual Witnesses themselves. It is so sad that they are being used to abuse the ones who love them the most.

    I love my son with all my heart but those people are not his friends and they will not be there for him when he needs them and God help him if he ever sees through all the Society’s lies and wants to leave that religion like my youngest daughter and I did.

  21. Caroline says:

    I should add that all those extended family members and their friends are not Witnesses and they will never understand why my son would not invite me to his wedding but he has sent out invitations to all those other people. They will probably not go because of my not being invited and so on and he will probably never be invited over to their houses again for get togethers. What a price to pay and I have not even been officially been disfellowshipped.

  22. Stephen J. Bailey says:

    Like the medieval inquisitors, they think that their draconian actions are necessary to save people’s souls.
    Ultimately, the doctrine that a person must be a member of a particular organization in order to be saved is a denial that Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary was sufficient for the forgiveness of all sin. The Witnesses have no understanding of God’s free and extravagant grace.

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