Disfellowshipping and shunning – a not so loving arrangement

Far from being a loving provision, Watchtower's disfellowshipping arrangement causes real harm
Far from being a loving provision, Watchtower’s disfellowshipping arrangement causes real harm

The hurtful practice of disfellowshipping (or shunning) engaged in by Jehovah’s Witnesses has been defended by apologists as a loving and righteous arrangement approved by God Himself.

It is interesting to note that many times when arguing against the Trinity doctrine, Jehovah’s Witnesses will relish the argument that the word “Trinity” is not to be found anywhere in the Bible. Well, the word “disfellowshipping” isn’t in the Bible either, but that doesn’t stop Witnesses from enthusiastically implementing this practice.

Apologists will often misquote from among the few Bible verses that are intended to suggest merely limiting association with those considered harmful to one’s spirituality. (1 Cor 5:11) Such scriptures never imply that wayward Christians should be altogether abandoned and never spoken to. Christ said that those who do not listen to the congregation should be considered as tax collectors, with whom he was known for sharing meals. (Matt 18:17; Mark 2:15-17) And Paul’s words at 2 Thessalonians clearly state that those who are “not obedient” should continue to be entreated as brothers. (2 Thess 3:15)

Ruling through fear

The Jehovah’s Witness faith is led by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, a small group of highly controlling men who rule through fear and punishment. I would know, because I was a volunteer at their World Headquarters in Brooklyn, New York (Bethel) during the 1980s. I lived with these leaders and got to see the fruits of their “tree” first hand. – Matt. 7:17-20

Journey to God's House gives a  revealing insight into what life in Bethel is really like
Journey to God’s House gives a revealing insight into what life in Bethel is really like

In my book, Journey To God’s House, I describe a very controlling and punishing type of religion. Having been a Witness almost from birth, I didn’t know any better as to how to respond to this type of control. One story I tell is that of a powerful brother at Bethel who saw fit to complain about the underwear I chose to wear, which he noticed because we changed in the same locker room.

Rather than entreating me respectfully about it, he tried to control me by hurling hurtful epithets my way. That’s right – a so-called “mature older man” resorted to name-calling with a young idealistic volunteer over nothing more than my wearing of colored briefs.

In retrospect, what business was it of his what kind of underwear I was wearing anyway? After I stood up to my overseer for calling me names in front of my friends, I was convinced I would get kicked out of Bethel – such is the way Jehovah’s Witness leaders think. They can threaten you, insult you and ultimately eject you at any time if you don’t toe the line.

The disfellowshipping practice is one of Watchtower’s best ways of controlling the “flock.” Shunning has gotten so out of hand that it can be wielded for any number of reasons. (For a list of reasons, click here) All you need to do is say you don’t really believe the year 1914 has any significance in Bible prophecy, or accept a blood transfusion to save your child’s life. Do any such thing, and you should brace yourself for brutal reprisals.

Bad association – shunning on a whim

But what is not often discussed is the paranoia surrounding “bad association.” This can be more insidious than disfellowshipping in my opinion, because at least with disfellowshipping you have a kangaroo court of elders charged with doing the deed. Marking someone as bad association is something any individual JW can do on their own.

In my final story in Journey To God’s House I relate how simply leaving Bethel was enough for me to get “marked” by everyone at Bethel I had ever known. Because I didn’t have a satisfactory excuse for leaving, and simply wanted to go home and start a family and have a normal life, I was marked as a spiritual loser to be avoided. It was as though I had a disease that was contagious.

In the end, however, I believe these practices have done more harm than good to the faith. People are seeing the religion for what it really is. I left the Witnesses myself due to the unloving conditions I endured over the years. Thanks to the influence of extreme mind control it took me many years to figure it all out.

But now that my eyes are wide open, I can see that in the end it is I who “marked” them.

 

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Brock Talon is the author of Journey To God’s House – available from Amazon on this link.

145 thoughts on “Disfellowshipping and shunning – a not so loving arrangement

  • November 4, 2013 at 10:08 am
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    As I mention in my book, Jehovah’s Witnesses constantly size up each others “spirituality” (which is based on their own works-based faith rules) and then judge each other based on that. That is the point of the last part of my article, that is, that they will deem each other not worthy of socializing with over the most trivial of issues. Often it can be what movies someone watches or how they dress. But for many, it even comes into play once a JW stops doing a particularly time consuming and difficult form of their works-based service, like being an elder or a pioneer or in my case, a Bethelite. Once a JW stops doing something extra, something that they volunteered to do in the first place, other JWs will judge them for it, even if they themselves have never done that service!

    That said, it should be painfully obvious that most JWs do not associate with non-JWs for the same judgmental reasons. So, while they will accept a gift a “worldly” person gives them, they seldom reciprocate. Why would they? To the average JW, a “wordly” person is bad association, doesn’t love Jehovah and threatens their spirituality. If they won’t spare judgment on the people they see at the Kingdom Hall every week, how do you think they feel about everyone else?

    • November 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm
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      @ Brock Talon
      Greetings Mr. Talon,
      Thanks to you, to Cedars, and all the other people on this forum that have answered the question I posted, regarding jws interacting with outsiders, in intimate and personal ways.
      It seemed like the perfect thread for me to jump into and ask, since your book deals with the topics of “bad associations”, shunning, and ruling through fear.

      The woman I reference in my earlier post, is someone I’ve know for 27 years.I thought she and I had a mutually respectful and trusting relationship, and I also thought our relationship went beyond and above the differences in our outlooks on religion/God, etc. Boy was I wrong!

      When you say that jws won’t spare judgement on their fellow kingdom hallers, you ain’t kidding! I have been a witness (pun intended) to some of the most cruel and hateful actions I have ever seen/heard, by one jw on another. So yes, what would make someone like me think they would treat me any better? The part I always found interesting, is their delusion of being better than everyone else. I now understand their need to act and feel different than “worldly” people, even though they are as worldly as any other human being on this planet. No better, no worse.

      Since her resignation, all but one of the other jws have resigned. It will be interesting to see if the last one also follows.

      Lastly, I’d like to say, that I will be ordering a copy of your book, as I find the whole watchtower and jw phenomenon fascinating.
      Thanks again.

  • November 4, 2013 at 10:23 am
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    Wow Brock! Well said!
    How about, the way they dress? Grooming? The car they choose? Jewelry? Speech? The choice or class of seeking and choosing for a marriage mate? All strictly controlled by the cult but in just such a fashion…

  • November 4, 2013 at 10:46 am
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    I meant to say not just the way they dress but…

  • November 4, 2013 at 11:31 am
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    Johnny-B. Shunned, dissent must be silenced.

    • November 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm
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      Gal, if you equate being banned from a website to being shunned by your family then you don’t know what shunning is, and have clearly never been shunned. It is not dissent that is being silenced but a determined effort to mislead people with unscientific drivel. I work too hard on this website to see it blighted by that level of ignorance.

  • November 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm
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    If no one should be expelled or “disfellowshipped” then would that not mea
    n that the organization truly would be a pedophile paradise? After all yoi eould not be difellowshiped for it?

  • November 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm
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    Gal mozzie we have not shunned JBG. I have on many occasions attempted to have a reasonable discussion with him and many others. Unfortunately, he was unable to engage in rational debate and instead belittled atheists, science, and anything else he disagreed with.

    He was unable to follow the rules of posting and I am personally delighted that I won’t have to read his passive aggressive drivel anymore.

    I will discuss anything with anyone. What I won’t do is enter into a faux discussion that only leads to insult and a singular lack of factual retaliation.

    Good riddance Johnny B Goode, I hope he wakes up and starts a genuine search for himself.

    Shunned? No, no shunning – just a final realisation that he just cannot be reasoned with at this time.

  • November 4, 2013 at 12:54 pm
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    George,

    I’m miffed as to your statements here. One, they make no sense; saying they are informative then calling for my deletion.

    Two, I replied to one of your posts days ago and you have yet to respond to anything I’ve asked or directed towards you.

    The first time you ever replied to me, you thought I was a baptized jw. I made a detailed reply to you; instructing you to ask Barb Anderson if indeed skally is such. You have yet to apologize for your assumption and you are now attacking my integrity as an advocate/activist working tohelp wt children with HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES; such as Konrad keeps pointing to.

    Cedars has yet to answer if he will devise a survey for what I suggested.

    suziq felt sympathy yet did not address the krux of any of my post.

    You have no right George to try and silence me in the exjw community. I’ve put in a lot of work helping get the corruption into main Focus. I’m not interested in how you FEEL about my life as a BAPTIZED CHILD JW. My goal and mission is to prevent other children from having to live one more day of this FILTH the way I and my siblings were forced to do by mother who had her own alterior motives for securing a man in her life.

    The fact that people who create comment sections for their sites, discussion forums and the like and then have ultimate power to shutdown anyone elses free speech, YET, in real life, offline…there is no delete button are an obstacle to encounter when trying to advocate. supremely decides who will hear what another has to say. You minimize and discount that person, as if you are better than them. Then you try to rally others to ignore that person who is not of our thinking. Do you have any idea how much this slows down the work to help these forgotten children? We all know what we speak of because we all lived and and/ or are living the wt lifesyle. To infer that my words hold no merit and I should be ‘dealt with accordingly’; silenced, is offensive, rude and out of line George, and all others who have issues with my way of handling what happened in my life experience as a jw child as an exer-jw.

    Now, if any of what I express about my experience in both those dynamics is a dis-comfort to any part of your equilibrium, you should do well to avoid what I say here or anywhere else. Or at the very least, discipline your own selves from the urge to comment. No one forces you to read what you see, just as is with any wt litterature. You do as you choose. It is not my fault. I not accept it as such either.

    This organization of men devastated my family[ that is dead now and thought the religion my mom was going into was a complete lunatic fringe and ultimately played its role in obliterarting our family nucleus] and gave me huge internal wrecking scars, sirs. Do not proceed to even try to comprehend the rage of emotion quelled up within this particular grown child now. It is patronizing, at best.

    It isn’t about hatingall men. I hate what most men ALL DO. Sir.

    Sincerely, ~skally~

  • November 4, 2013 at 12:55 pm
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    I just submitted a post cedsrs, where did it go?

  • November 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm
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    Ah, so that posted yet my reply to George, onve again does not. And when I try to resubmit, it says it is a duplicate.

    George,

    I’m miffed as to your statements here. One, they make no sense; saying they are informative then calling for my deletion.

    Two, I replied to one of your posts days ago and you have yet to respond to anything I’ve asked or directed towards you.

    The first time you ever replied to me, you thought I was a baptized jw. I made a detailed reply to you; instructing you to ask Barb Anderson if indeed skally is such. You have yet to apologize for your assumption and you are now attacking my integrity as an advocate/activist working tohelp wt children with HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES; such as Konrad keeps pointing to.

    Cedars has yet to answer if he will devise a survey for what I suggested.

    suziq felt sympathy yet did not address the krux of any of my post.

    You have no right George to try and silence me in the exjw community. I’ve put in a lot of work helping get the corruption into main Focus. I’m not interested in how you FEEL about my life as a BAPTIZED CHILD JW. My goal and mission is to prevent other children from having to live one more day of this FILTH the way I and my siblings were forced to do by mother who had her own alterior motives for securing a man in her life.

    The fact that people who create comment sections for their sites, discussion forums and the like and then have ultimate power to shutdown anyone elses free speech, YET, in real life, offline…there is no delete button are an obstacle to encounter when trying to advocate. supremely decides who will hear what another has to say. You minimize and discount that person, as if you are better than them. Then you try to rally others to ignore that person who is not of our thinking. Do you have any idea how much this slows down the work to help these forgotten children? We all know what we speak of because we all lived and and/ or are living the wt lifesyle. To infer that my words hold no merit and I should be ‘dealt with accordingly’; silenced, is offensive, rude and out of line George, and all others who have issues with my way of handling what happened in my life experience as a jw child as an exer-jw.

    Now, if any of what I express about my experience in both those dynamics is a dis-comfort to any part of your equilibrium, you should do well to avoid what I say here or anywhere else. Or at the very least, discipline your own selves from the urge to comment. No one forces you to read what you see, just as is with any wt litterature. You do as you choose. It is not my fault. I not accept it as such either.

    This organization of men devastated my family[ that is dead now and thought the religion my mom was going into was a complete lunatic fringe and ultimately played its role in obliterarting our family nucleus] and gave me huge internal wrecking scars, sirs. Do not proceed to even try to comprehend the rage of emotion quelled up within this particular grown child now. It is patronizing, at best.

    It isn’t about hatingall men. I hate what most men ALL DO. Sir.

    Sincerely, ~skally~

    • November 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm
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      Skally…

      “The fact that people who create comment sections for their sites, discussion forums and the like and then have ultimate power to shutdown anyone elses free speech…”

      Free speech is no more a consideration for this website than it is for someone’s private home. If I were to visit your home and start insulting you or trying to mislead you I would expect to be shown the door. This website is no different. It was made by myself and John Hoyle, and we take great pride in the information it contains. I do not toil for hours researching and writing articles to have anyone purloin my efforts and use them to create a soapboax for themselves. This was true of Johnny B. Goode and it also applies to you and everyone for that matter. If you have something productive to say then by all means say it, but JWsurvey was not created simply for your convenience or to give you a platform.

      As to your demands for a survey – I take all suggestions on board, but I don’t seem to be able to recall the moment when I agreed to be your own personal survey-maker.

  • November 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm
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    You will notice that Johnny B. Goode never so much as protested contested or so much as addressed my statements regarding Watchtower representatives or operatives? One thing that took place on topix. com often was a particular individual had close to an estimated 20 different accounts and names, pseudonyms that he used on behalf the Watchtower Society…many times, often he would play turncoat while bashing the Society and its policies as evil and criminal at the same time being the opportunistic saboteur or anything else he needed to be…sometimes just filling up threadspace, starting fires and drawing attention away to other threads is enough!

  • November 4, 2013 at 1:36 pm
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    milo says:

    On November 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    “If no one should be expelled or “disfellowshipped” then would that not mea
    n that the organization truly would be a pedophile paradise?”

    I got news for you…It already is and it’s violent and corrupt and has no regard for Human Rights on any level or especially dealing with Federal Hate Crimes and disabled people and the Mentally Ill…
    The issue has nothing to do with penny ante in-house shunning but the Watchtower and Elder’s inability to go to the police and criminally prosecute as we know…
    If every Elder and Ministerial Servant were prosecuted for their crimes the organization would have collapsed some time ago! virtually! But then that’s true if they would have been properly disciplined by committee as well! They would likely majority be disfellowshipped…

  • November 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm
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    Ok so child molestors should be disfellowshiped, to disagree would mean you agree with hiding child molestors which you clearly do not. Who else should be disfellowshiped, murderers, zoophiles, those that consentualy comit incest, cannibles?

  • November 4, 2013 at 3:38 pm
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    KRod,

    You and I are on the same page yet seem to be reading the story with different eyes since of course, we are two different individuals who will see things differently, occasionally. However, if you carefully read my posts here, and elsewhere on the net, you would have to come to the same conclusion that we are indeed on the same page, at least.

    Can you explain then, why my sanity, as opposed to you sanity is at question here by George and cedars?

    It is quite baffling.

    Much oblige.
    ~skally~

  • November 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm
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    “Ok so child molestors should be disfellowshiped, to disagree would mean you agree with hiding child molestors which you clearly do not. Who else should be disfellowshiped, murderers, zoophiles, those that consentualy comit incest, cannibles?”

    They should all have been in jail to begin with, first and foremost!…dontcha’ think?
    And then let the cultist go through their pointless rituals, I could care less one way or another…it has nothing to do with me! My interest has always been to see to it that Mark Suddock and David Taylor and Brian Russell at Moon Valley congregation here in Phoenix are properly prosecuted and their accomplices at the Sierra Adobe congregation as well as Spanish North and others and also, Fred Witkop, Elders in Monroe Michigan and the former Prosecutor of Monroe County Michigan, Edward Swinkey and Allison Arnold investigated by Federal authorities in regard to collusion and corruption in the Larry Mattox child abuse case and succeeding corruption and conspiracy involving bogus charges and conviction of a former member of the congregation Jeff Fraunhoffer who was one of the parents in that case….That has always been my primary objective along with the hundreds of other criminal matters that the FBI now needs to investigate along with these and including the break-in of my home last week! So far the FBI has been about as helpful as a fungal infection!

  • November 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm
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    [I don’t seem to be able to recall the moment when I agreed to be your own personal survey-maker.]

    Why do you insist on being so rude? What is the pay off you get when conducting your comments in such a manner? Is it knowing I am a female? Or that I actually know what I’m talking about on many issues when it regards the doctrine/ideology of the organization that is STILL deadly operating at full-steem, by printing lethal pieces of paper to its members; which contain fraud, misrepresentations of facts, lies outright about its own worldly corporate dealings while fleecing its ‘flock’,in a country that has constitutional legal human rights to all born inside of it?

    I suggested/proposed, in an urgent manner, that a survey be conducted about how elders conduct jc hearings where minors and sex are involved. The degrees of questioning that go on; as I KNOW FOR A FACT, AND LIVED SUCH TORTURE SESSIONS BY SUCH ELDERS. And wanted to know, by a survey, if the issue could get some numbers going and get a discussion on how we can STOP SUCH BLATANT PEDOPHILIC BEHAVIOR AT THE HEARINGS.

    Let me tell you though sir, I’m on other forums telling people who are asking if they should go or what to say, that they do not need to go to these sessions in order that some perverted elder gets his excitement…AT THE EXPENSE OF THE VICTIM {as soon as we were made to answer all your insane detailed questions, we became your silent victims of your sick thinking…this is how I really feel sir. DO NOT NEGATE THIS. It is an out of line attitude to display with whom you say you want to help. And those you work with sir. I will not be patronized at this stage of my life by men still adhered to the org , in anyway. Whether jw, exjw, pretend jw or the like. If that is abrupt then it is what it is. It is how I feel though and should be respected, supported and heard. You are only continuing the wt abuse, in a different guise. Now you are treating this exer-jw as below most of you because of whatever reasons. It is abusive and I will not stand for such abuse by any men still connected to the wt in any degree.

    I will conduct a survey of my own. I was hoping the jwsurvey name though, would have got a sizeable response and I could get a better idea on the numbers involved. I banked on not many eevn participating in such a survey too, yet thought it had a chance and why not at least try. I post on a jw recovery forum; perhaps they will allow me to conduct such.

    Good day anyway.

  • November 4, 2013 at 4:34 pm
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    cedars, I just saw this, yet might have missed it. Please just reply where it goes to bottom of list and I do not need to scroll and find it hidden way up there. Thx.

    Now, lettuce di-sect these comments sir:

    [[Skally, forgive me if I’m beginning to nag, but I have another observation to make about your posts – and that is your habit of putting parts of sentences in CAPS. [ caps also is to make an important word in a sentence STAND OUT to the viewer]It’s very irritating to read, because it sounds like I’m being shouted at, [ as above, I am not shouting. ] which I don’t appreciate. Besides, if you need to shout to drive home your argument, then maybe your argument isn’t as robust as you think it is. [See, again, an out of line insult. Why such rudeness? What did you gain from it sir?]

    Nobody is questioning the fact that one’s mind is one’s own, and nobody else’s. But that doesn’t negate the fact that the human mind can be easily controlled provided the trusted channel of information is commandeered. [ and by ALLOWING YOUR MIND TO BE CONTROLLED, which most of the time, IS THE CASE] If you don’t believe me, do some research on what’s going on in North Korea, and compare it with Nazi Germany. Not everything is as black and white as you seem to want to believe.]]

    Sir, I was born in Germany. See, there again you assume you got the whole picture of who this skally is, yet you are so off-base, it is abusive to me, when you verbalize your assaults. Research what again, was that you suggested. lol

    I’ve left you another post sir regarding your continued abusive attitude towards my postings about my life and how I feel about the men that were in it, and they way I’ve been expressing it all.

    I’m not standing for any man, still associated in any way with an org that has been proven fraudulent, assaulting and abusing me with such wtmen-like attitudes. Whom do you think you are talking to? A sister that loves a man who is in control, like my mother is obsessed with? Think again. It is just that now you men are under a different guise, yet still so much like a wt man. This is a dynamic I’m sure you will dismiss OUTRIGHT. Do not presume to continue to think when you do display such blatant disregard, I will not respond to the abuse. I will speak out and let others know that this dynamic is just like being in the org, but now its supposed exjw men trying to control all the exer-jws. Not this girl. No. Yo will not treat me as a wt maiden.
    ~skally~

    • November 5, 2013 at 1:23 am
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      Skally, calling me “sir” does not give you free license to completely mischaracterize my comments to you as “abuse.” There is not a single word in what I have said to you so far that is either abusive or insulting. You have just been all too eager to take it in that manner so that you can play your much-loved victim card. I won’t tolerate drama queens intent on using this website as their own private venting blog. Please calm down and focus your observations on the topics at hand, or you will be going the way of Mr Goode. Consider that a final warning.

  • November 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm
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    Ok so i was not trying to start sonething off topic when i used child molestation as an example of someone deserving of disfellowshipping. The fact that some people feel the wtbs is complicit in thesecases is not the topic, disfellowshiping is. So the question is if it is fine to dusfellowship, mark, or label obe as a bad associate someone who has molested a child, which we all agree on i hope or else you would be saying that child molestation should be coveted over, whay else should one be disfellowshiped for? Or only child molestation?

  • November 4, 2013 at 5:24 pm
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    cedars, by your recent tweet, i get the hint…were you dfed recently?? or are u just now being shunned by a family, they found you out or something? why the cryptic tweet and just say it?

    • November 5, 2013 at 1:20 am
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      None of your business.

  • November 4, 2013 at 5:46 pm
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    “Ok so i was not trying to start sonething off topic…”

    “The fact that some people feel the wtbs is complicit in thesecases is not the topic”

    First off, I… don’t feel that those items are off topic at all and indeed quite relevant and topical and I assure you without a doubt that hours and hours of taped phone conversations with the Society and Watchtower Legal and Elders and letters and documents confirm complicity beyond any legal standards…which we do have along with many eye witnesses and testimony!

    If the law of the law of the land applies on the street just outside the Kingdom Hall then it applies inside the Kingdom Hall and that is very much on topic from my perspective…

  • November 4, 2013 at 6:08 pm
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    KRod,

    You and I are on the same page yet seem to be reading the story with different eyes since of course, we are two different individuals who will see things differently, occasionally. However, if you carefully read my posts here, and elsewhere on the net, you would have to come to the same conclusion that we are indeed on the same page, at least.

    Can you explain then, why my sanity, as opposed to you sanity is at question here by George and cedars?

    It is quite baffling.

    Much oblige.
    ~skally~

  • November 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm
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    So if the law of the land applies then if you commit a crime yoi can be disfellowshiped, good answer! All of you who have been disfellowshiped for: drinking underage, doing drugs, having consentual sex in 30 states with a minor even if you were also a minor, and any other illegal act have nothing to complain about because “if the law of the land applies outside of the kingdom hall then it applies inside”.

  • November 4, 2013 at 11:28 pm
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    B.Goode,

    What about your religion. What about your beliefs, “can they be proven by experiment”?

    I do not know your beliefs, I will just take a couple of example from JW’s beliefs:
    1) Did Mary’s egg cell, or ovum, have any part in her pregnancy? For Mary’s child to be a true descendant of her ancestors Abraham, Judah, and David, as God had promised, her ovum had to contribute toward her pregnancy. (Gen. 22:15, 18; 49:10; 2 Sam. 7:8, 16) However, Jehovah’s holy spirit was used in transferring the perfect life of God’s Son and causing the conception. (Matt. 1:18) It would appear that this canceled out any imperfection existing in Mary’s ovum and from the very start protected the developing embryo from anything hurtful.” (w08 3/15 p. 30 par. 5; http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/l/r1/lp-e?q=w08+3%2F15+p.+30+par.+5)

    How can you match “transferring life” with “conception”? Can this stand scientific experiment? Back in sixties, the Watchtower Society had written:

    “We have no experience with the results of uniting perfection with imperfection. Scientists cannot measure human perfection or imperfection resulting from sin. Nor can they predict the powerful effect a perfect male sperm would have on an imperfect ovum. But it is evident from what occurred in Jesus’ case that the perfect male part of the reproduction dominated the imperfection inherent in Mary. Jesus’ perfect Father transferred the perfect life of his Son to the womb of Mary and the result was a wholly perfect offspring, Jesus.—Gal. 4:4.” (w67 5/15 p. 319)!!

    (Luke 11:14) . . .Later he was expelling a dumb demon. After the demon came out, the dumb man spoke. And the crowds marveled. . .

    Can you experiment that? Is that scientific?

    Conclusion: (Proverbs 26:4) . . .Do not answer anyone stupid according to his foolishness, that you yourself also may not become equal to him.

  • November 5, 2013 at 4:09 am
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    skally, I am sorry that you believe that we are persecuting you.

    I am not. I am simply pointing out that a lot of your posts are coming across as anti – men. It is not men that have harmed you. It is some men who did. I am not sexist and I am truly sorry that you suffered grievously under the heel of the watchtower society. It was individual men who hurt you so badly, not all men. And certainly not all Elders would gain sexual thrills from hearing about abuse cases.

    You seem to have been bashing poor Cedars for things that he never had any involvement in.

    Your suffering has taken away your perspective. You need to take a step back and realise that my comments and those of others are not meant to silence you or belittle you. We simply don’t like being bashed for things we didn’t do. I resent you describing the world as filthy and disgusting. It isn’t! There are grave problems but not all people are evil. Most people would want to help you, they honestly would. We all want to help you, but we can’t if you lump us in with the problem. I would humbly suggest that you direct your justified anger towards the small number of men who hurt you and not at us.

    Please don’t be insulted by my comments. I am trying to help you.

    We all need to work together to expose the corruption in the WTBTS. We don’t need to be attacking each other.

  • November 5, 2013 at 4:17 am
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    Milo, no one is saying that any group or religion hasn’t the right to expel members, of course they do! Neither are we saying that people should be forced to talk to people that they don’t want to.

    Shunning is a totally different thing. No one has the right to dictate who one talks to or not. No one has the right to expect family members to shun their family. No one has the right to dictate who is to be shunned, on a religion wide basis.

    If someone is convicted of a crime, they may go to jail. Do the jailers shun the prisoners? No, they hopefully will try to rehabilitate the prisoner and aid them into returning to society. The WTBTS does not do that.

  • November 5, 2013 at 6:30 am
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    Ok so disfellowshiping in its self is not the issue but how that person is treated. So if someone was to be disfellowshiped for an unrepentant wrongdoing, it is announced from the stage ” so and so is no longer one of jehovah’s witnesses”. Woud that not be marking? Or labling someone as bad association? According to this article that can be more damaging than being disfellowshiped and shunned.

  • November 5, 2013 at 7:55 am
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    So disfellowshiping is ok. Its the right of a religion to practice that, fine. A person sins and is unrepentant that person is disfellowshiped, an anouncement is made, “so and so is no longer one of jehovah’s witnesses”. Would that not be a marking? According to the article here to mark or label someone as bad association can often be more insidious than the act of disfellowshiping.

  • November 5, 2013 at 10:57 am
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    Excellent article. Its my experience that the lack of love and true kindness within Jehovah’s Witnesses is the single greatest detractor…and by far the biggest reason people decide to leave. It’s ironic that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t realize how closely they emulate the Pharisees of Jesus time.

    http://www.leavingjehovahswitnesses.org

  • November 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm
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    Why on earth do you want to go back in??

  • November 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm
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    Poor Brock…He was totally sidelined by the Watchtower perps, freaks and weirdoes who came on here doing their Watchtower thing!
    I haven’t read the book but from what I gathered and from his posts it sounds like he’s right on the money!

    I strongly suspect and have reason to believe that if anyone wanted to hear from our associate “skally”, all they would have to do is start a post exchange on this article and thread:

    http://jwsurvey.org/cedars-blog/watchtower-announces-new-international-conventions-while-downsizing-district-conventions-for-2014#comments

    And I would wager money (if I were a wagering man) that we would see an almost instantaneous appearance once again on this thread! There are things you all don’t know about sublime messages sent to me in the double post above regarding past criminal conduct, emails sent and intercepted by the Society etc,

    “Can you explain then, why my sanity, as opposed to you sanity is at question here by George and cedars?”

    But when trying to disrupt a thread directly doesn’t work then diverting attention away is the next best thing…the rest is all well staged melodrama…

  • November 5, 2013 at 5:08 pm
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    @Galmozzi
    I think this is more the case of silencing a person who repeatedly refuses to abide by the protocols of this forum, and its moderator. Not so much shunning someone for dissent. I think Cedars has been MORE than plenty tolerant of this individual (the Johnny B. not-so-good guy).

    One can disagree, without being cruel, disrespectful, or crass.And not everyone who disagrees with you is persecuting you. There are differing opinions even within the jws themselves, regardless of how much brainwashing they may have endured. They will agree with each other on many things, yet still disagree on others.
    Peace!

  • November 5, 2013 at 5:08 pm
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    Konrad,

    Thanks for the sympathy, but I do not feel I was “sidelined” by anybody. My article stands pat. No amount of off-topic comments and rambling silliness can change it. The same goes for Cedars wonderful site.

    Also my book continues to be purchased and read, every day as a best seller in its category. At least once or twice a week I hear from people who love the book and tell me it has helped them and that they are passing it onto a loved one who can benefit from it as well.

    That’s what I focus on.

  • November 5, 2013 at 7:24 pm
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    Hi Susie Q.

    “The worldly”, and “The walking dead”, will die just like the jws will die. The outsider “non-persons”, and the insider “persons” are all made of the same essential elements, physical and non-physical.

    While it may be a wonderful little story they tell themselves, about never dying, and being special, in the end, they ARE like everyone else, and they die, like everyone else.

    I do certainly do not claim to understand what makes some people “drink the Koolaid”, and others not. I do however feel fortunate, that I have never been inclined to even take one tiny little sip.

  • November 5, 2013 at 8:24 pm
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    I concur with Cedars’ assessment of that being a silly comment. And would add that skally needs to work on seeing more deeply into people, as Jesus did, and feeling deep pity for them, rather than being so judgmental of them.

  • November 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm
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    milo says:

    On November 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    “So if the law of the land applies then if you commit a crime yoi can be disfellowshiped, good answer! All of you who have been disfellowshiped for: drinking underage, doing drugs, having consentual sex in 30 states with a minor even if you were also a minor, and any other illegal act have nothing to complain about because “if the law of the land applies outside of the kingdom hall then it applies inside”.”

    That’s your taking the ball and running with it! Like I always say, Give ’em a micrometer and they take a light year!”

    “Waat we have heeya is a faila’ ta c’municate” (- :

    The real issue at hand is the Federal Government in the US has permitted under the “Freedom of Religion” provision for the “Right of sanctuary or asylum” just as it was in medieval England or Europe except that the protection and benefit does not go to the lay person or common man but to the criminal priest class and church itself! The State and government won’t touch or investigate those who commit the crimes and do the horrendous brutal acts because they are the church and cry, “Sanctuary!!!” against the lay persons who are making the charges…what’s wrong here? What’s upside down and backwards?

  • November 6, 2013 at 5:38 am
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    Actualy the issue at hand on this thread is disfellowshiping. My point is that everyone agrees with some being disfellowshiped, those that commit horrible crimes for instance. So who sets the limits for disfellowshiping, how are those ones to be treated? Its seems people want to complain about something theyoffer no alternative for.

  • November 6, 2013 at 7:37 am
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    Milo, hate the crime not the person. By shunning someone, the WTBTS is treating them as if they were dead. They are hating the whole individual’s life.

  • November 6, 2013 at 8:51 am
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    To expound on the illustration of a prison. If a person commits a crime and is found guilty then convicted that person is sentenced, lets say the crime was severe enough to warrent imprisonment. That person is removed from society for its better good. The only contact that person has in prison is with the gaurds and other inmates. His family in some cases may be allowed to visit him, some inmates cannot even recieve visitors. Does one blame the judicial system for destroying that persons life, not even letting him see his family? Or did the individual make a choice knowing the aftereffects of his decision?

  • November 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm
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    Milo, the prisoner can talk with guards, fellow prisoners and even have contact with their family. A disfellowshipped person can only talk with the Elders, not even fellow disfellowshipped ones at the hall.

    A prisoner has been found guilty in open court by a jury of their peers, not a committee of 3 elders in camera.

    Also, Miro, a sentence will eventually come to an end. Even with a whole life tariff, no shunning is involved. Talking with guards, fellow prisoners and visits from family will be the norm, saving exceptional circumstances. Shunning is potentially a whole life punishment.

    Another difference is that shunning/disfellowshipping has no set time limits for different levels of seriousness.

    Someone can go to prison for a short stretch or a whole life term, depending on the severity of the crime committed.

    There is no such provision with disfellowshipping and shunning. A person can be disfellowshipped for many different reasons but suffer the same penalty.

    I will never accept shunning as morally right. It is a well known fact that shunning is psychologically damaging. It is not a loving thing to do.

    No legal system in the West uses shunning as a punishment. Not many religions choose to interpret their holy writings to endorse shunning.

    If you want to go and shun folks, Miro, then I am sure that you can read from my posts I support your right to decide. But be aware that it will cause psychological harm to the shunned and that Jesus did not shun anyone.

    Peace be with you,

    Excelsior!

  • November 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm
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    milo says in part:

    On November 6, 2013 at 5:38 am

    “Actualy the issue at hand on this thread is disfellowshiping. My point is that everyone agrees with some being disfellowshiped, those that commit horrible crimes for instance”

    Milo,
    You are beginning to tick me off…and that’s not an easy task! You have taken liberties on speaking on people’s behalf at least twice and mine which verily frustrates me but what’s more? You are not getting what you want from this conversation so what you don’t want to hear you quickly label, “off topic!”
    That is absolute and 500% Watchtower! Along the lines of, “Let’s not stray from…” or, “Let’s stay focused on…” or, “speculation” or, “Scriptural basis”
    The facts…are that the word “Disfellowshipped” is cultspeak and an exclusively manufactured JW word when this very article is in fact about criminal and Human Rights abuses in the Jehovah’s Witness religion!
    You, just like the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society are neither one the craftsmen or engineers of facts or reality and the point…that I keep trying to get back to is that if these individuals were properly prosecuted in harmony with existing civil law? They would not be present in the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses to commit crimes! Period! They are not largely due to the existing reverse and perverse “Right of Sanctuary” condition as it stands…aside from the corruption and unwillingness to report from within the organization but either way? That is very much on topic!

  • November 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm
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    No doubt shunning doeseving harm. It is very hard to accept discipline, wether youvare the one recieving the discipline or it is a loved one. But those that are disfellowshipped are not to be treated as someone who is dead as many believe. I will share my experience. My younger sister was disfellowshipped some years ago, I had decided accordding to my conscience to not associate with her. Then one night my father came to my door with my sister, she had been heavily involved in drug abuse and had burned all her bridges with her friends and had become homeless, jobless and had even tried on that evening to kill herself. Did i callously close the door and say “sorry your disfellowshipped!”. No even close. My wife and i brought her into our home, helped her get help for her substance abuse and housed her for more than a year. Was i being defiant in my stance to the disfellowshipping arrangrment? Wad i being a hypocrite for associating with her now and not before ? Far from it. I researched many scriptures and even many wt publications. One that stood out to me on dealing with disfellowshipped ones said you should not treat a disfellowshipped person ad if they are dead, it gave an example of helping a disfellowshipped person with a flat tire on the road it would br your christian duty to do so. Also of a disfellowshipped person lives in your house they can sit in on family study sessions. So no the wt never says tteat them as if they are dead. So why the shunning at all? To illustrate a petson running for public office will oftrn distance himself from those that oppose his thinking. If you are running based on your firm stance on gun control you would not hang out with gun rights activists or you would be called a hypocrite, those in your party may even get angry with you. Why? Because you are bringing reproach upon your name and the name of your party. The smear campaigns by the opposing side would drag yout name through the mud. If humans see the wisdom in who you associate with being conected to your name and what you stand for, would not jehovah and jesus also ser that wisdom? If people hold so dear their own reputation and name should we not hold even more dear the holy name and reputation of jehovah? Yes it hurts to be shunned and believe me it hurts to shun. But what really matters in the end is not how you are judged by humans not even if you are disfellowshipped and arr searching for answers, but how dear you hold your relationship to jehovah and all that his name stands for. I am thankfull for you allowing me to post on this sight, i hope i have not offended anyone that is not my intent. Also i dont judge you thats not my place. Your thoughts on this site are yours to have. I just wanted to sharr mine as well.

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