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.

127 thoughts on “The Worst Convention Ever – Part 1: Shunning

  • June 2, 2016 at 5:54 am
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    The governments need to institute conditions on religions that they need to be obedient to. If one of the conditions are not met, the government needs to remove them as a recognized religion in the country. Essentially removing their tax-exempt status and any rights that they might have had. Then, once a religion has met the conditions, the government should validate all conditions and through a period of testing for fitness and reinstate them as a recognized religion.

    In this way, Watchtower can experience how it feels to be emotionally blackmailed.

    I believe one of these conditions, is the illegality of shunning, in any form.

    • June 2, 2016 at 7:49 am
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      @DocObv – That sounds like the ideal solution, but being former JW mindset also means I have become more enlightened about individual liberties and freedoms. Corporations have been penalized in civil courts to the point these embrace respect for the individual and diversity/inclusion, yet religions (not only Witnesses) have not had this penalty levied as yet. Religious choice and practices are one of the “golden calves” provided in the USA and many imitators of its form of government.

      JW’s are not alone in “shunning” and exiling former members. Amish and Mennonites also “shun” and Mormon communities can also exhibit harsh exclusion practices when someone turns counter to the belief systems.

      Some religions still practice racism as a tenet. As long as that believe is docile (no arms accumulated for a race war, nor lynchings), the group has a peaceful existence. However, the tendency is that these groups given a “pass” on some basic human rights always cross a legal and moral boundary.

      As we saw with Branch Davidians who foray into arms accumulation ended in fiery chaos, Ruby Ridge, etc. so too the Watchtower is digging its own fiery bunker end with a litany of child molestation and adult rape cover-ups. I also have heard rumors that there could be another layer of this coming if Branch and Bethel sexual harassment and assaults become public (example: prurient talk, jokes or questions directed to young, naive and intimidated young men or women with no explicit corporate policies against or avenues for bringing a concern without fear of retaliation).

      The Watchtower possibly might not end, but its walls of seeming infallibility and tenability would crumble and a long nightmare of feudalism would end.

      • June 2, 2016 at 1:34 pm
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        It always a difficult situation when it comes to government regulation of religion. Most democratic governments have a laissez faire attitude when it comes to religion. But I think we could see some progress around certain actions perpetuated by a specific group, such as harassment and intimidation. If it can be proven in a court of law that shunning and other similar practices are a form of harassment and intimidation, then there may perhaps be grounds for litigation or legislation against groups promoting such behavior. But it’s a tricky thing to hold a specific group or organization accountable for.

        WS

      • June 3, 2016 at 7:05 am
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        American companies are held accountable when there is sexual harassment in their company. The company’s C-Level execs abhor sexual harassment in the workplace. However, the employees themselves may think differently. Just as the GB abhor Child Sexual Abuse. However, their people think differently on the matter. That is why the government holds the company responsible for sexual harassment. The government needs to hold the religion responsible if they know of Child Sexual Abuse. As far as shunning, I feel that it is a form of bullying. If you have shunning and Child Sexual Abuse, you have a deadly combination. Shunning magnifies the real problem. This is where the government needs to have certain standards and laws in place to have a checks-and-balances system with religions. When there is no checks-and-balances you have a permissive entity that thinks they can do whatever they want.

  • June 2, 2016 at 6:21 am
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    two observations I had while watching the wt clips, how nice of a home was that they used for the couple [and later family], who was supposedly missionaries, while just recently suggesting that persons with such a home, give it up to spend more time slaving for the org. how on earth does one go from ‘full time servant’ to having a home like that one that the girl ‘left’.
    please explain WT, what employment that is ‘part time’, or approved employment by the GB that gets one such a home? I make a good hourly wage cleaning homes, but in order to afford a home even close to that caliber, Id have to work 70 hours a week, leaving me no energy or time to attend a single meeting.
    second, the announcement, she is now reinstated to a Jw. That is key. No mention of being a ‘follower of Christ’. The bible scriptures they seem to be using so much of lately is from the old testament. they are in fact trying to be like ancient Jews/Israelite’s are they not? Christ was a follower of the law, but only condemned the heavy handed pharisees when they obviously stepped out of line,[ but never do I understand Jesus to say they taught wrong teachings.] and so the GB want to people be willing members of a religious sect of ancient Jerusalem in a modern world which as we know is not possible.

    • June 2, 2016 at 1:45 pm
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      I have not watched the video (reading or watching anything from watchtower for more than a few minutes turns my stomach at this point in my awakening) and have not had a chance to view Cedars rebuttal video yet, but do I understand correctly that the young woman is not reinstated for 15 years?!

      Was she sinning that whole time, jumping from partner to partner? With most young people who leave, they usually settle down into a normal life, getting married to their partner and having children. Let’s assume she moved in with this young man after her parents kicked her to the curb. A few years later they get married. At this point she is no longer sinning by JW standards, so why is she not immediately reinstated? Oh that’s right, she has not gone through humiliating reinstatement process. I wonder how many times she had to petition for reinstatement, what hoops she had to jump through, what intimate details she had to share with a committee of creepy old men? In the only Bible record of excommunication, the young man is welcomed back as soon as he stops sinning. Why do the JWs refuse to follow this example?

      WS

      • June 2, 2016 at 4:31 pm
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        Because they are just a bunch of bastards, that’s why. Seriously, WS, myself and other awakend ones have posed the same question, is someone has quit “sinning”, why not immediate reinstatement? Oh but, they love to see begging and groveling, don’t they?

      • June 3, 2016 at 1:03 pm
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        Stomach churning can be minimized by scooting through the video fairly quickly. I watch a few seconds here and there and get the gist.
        It’s an odd symptom and one I note crops up regularly here.

    • June 2, 2016 at 4:39 pm
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      @chatpal – if you search on jwsurvey.org you will find an article on the murder/suicide of a JW family in USA where the residence looks upper-middle income.

      There are several JW.org videos that also seem to be non sequitors–typical JW disconnect from rational and holistic thinking–a young woman pursues pioneering, works part-time, and yet seems to afford world travel. Later her part-time working husband support them both while they ambitiously strive for “evangelizing school” and fervently eschew the “blessings from J*” of having a child or two.

      Children–with some historical exceptions–are anathema for JW’s on the ambitious full-time service career track; in some past cases, couples “accidentally” having a child, were pitied and soon excluded from the social “circuit” of ambitious devotees to pioneering, or serving in expanded ways.

  • June 2, 2016 at 6:37 am
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    I dont think anything has made me more annoyed than this video….pure emotional blackmail….studies should be told up front of this draconian edict…you seem pretty annoyed too Lloyd…to think I once participated in this for many years makes me feel so guilty… it is an evil way to act towards a family member and goes far beyond the instructions of Corinthians…. I wish I could apologise to everyone I have shunned… I am deeply deeply sorry.

  • June 2, 2016 at 7:03 am
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    This is awful. My wife attends with my my kids (8 & 12) and I don’t know how to get them out. I haven’t been to the meeting in about 2 years. I refused to attend the Memorial and Convention because of this BS. I remember when I started studying with the Witnesses in the early 90s and hearing how witnesses break up families. My conductor said it was ridiculous because of all the articles and books the society has written to keep families together, but in recent years I noticed how Jehovah’s Witnesses are horrible for families. I agree with you, Lloyd. The media should be ashamed. The only thing that got some attention was the horrible homophobic cartoon, but that’s because it’s a subject that has a lot of attention now.

    • June 2, 2016 at 7:46 am
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      @ Will

      The media unfortunately, reports news worthy items for ratings. The more people watch, the more ratings they receive, and thus the more their sponsors will advertise on their News shows to sell their wares.

      Jehovah’s Witnesses are not newsworthy, only when a JW does some outlandish thing like attack an airport in New Orleans does it make national news or a media celebrity dies like Prince.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/03/21/new-orleans-airport-attack-scene/25136201/

      Less than 8 million strong worldwide, on a good day (if you can trust what the WTBTS says), Jehovah’s Witnesses are considered by most as a “fringe” religion bordering on fanaticism. A cultist, negative bunch of doomsday naysayers, socially inept losers and misfits, uneducated buffoons that merit only a worthy, curt “not interested” dismissal at your doorstep.

      Even here in the Southeastern part of the United States, barely 200 miles from Washington, D.C., rarely are Jehovah’s Witnesses mentioned in the news media. Why? No one cares, period. Sad but true. :(

      • June 2, 2016 at 4:47 pm
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        @Big B – that is classic. The scripted and rare individual heaping praises on Witnesses for honesty, etc displayed at conventions and meetings is a self-aggrandizing action.

        But, the words to memorize from henceforth are “Fentanyl” and “wrongful death suit.”

        What happens when you defer needed surgery to relieve pain because a belief system obfuscates what is a “kosher” medical treatment or not “kosher”? Pain reliever medications.

        http://www.startribune.com/prince-died-from-opioid-overdose/381663221/

    • June 2, 2016 at 8:28 pm
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      Will says: “This is awful. My wife attends with my kids (8 & 12) and I don’t know how to get them out.”

      Here’s what you are up against. Watchtower doctrine can be distilled into two distinct points:

      1. God’s name is JEHOVAH and He is gathering his witnesses together in these last days. Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only ones who use God’s name.

      2. Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only organization preaching the good news of GOD’S KINGDOM to the entire world before the end comes.

      Therefore, JWs believe that God has chosen the Watchtower organization and it’s Governing Body as his earthly representatives. For most Witnesses, these two points over rule any doubts they may briefly consider.

      Obviously, you are not so easily fooled. However, your wife wants to continue believing Watchtower lies, for the time being. Hopefully, the bizarre antics of the Governing Body may be enough to make your wife finally realize that she does not have the truth.

  • June 2, 2016 at 7:03 am
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    I had the thought just this morning to contact local news outlets and then I came here. I have been fortunate up until now to have parents that are still in to have something to do with their disfellowshipped, “unrepentant wrong-doer” of a child. My mother told me she would always be kind and that they would always take my call and be available if I NEEDED them. Now, I’m not so sure. I know this convention will be devestating to them. They are in agony enough and my mother has expressed that she has prayed that this particular policy (my word, not hers) would be changed, but that if it stood, then it must be Jehovah’s way. She is in because of her strong belief and hope in the resurrection. I know that this convention will be difficult for her but she will be bouyed at the end when they show the video of some being resurrected and everyone who was LOYAL living happily ever after. I fear this will strengthen her resolve to then do as they say and not even take my phone calls any more. I don’t make waves. I don’t rock the boat. I have been silent, as I knew that speaking out would brand me an apostate in their eyes. But I am ready to make some waves. I don’t want to be silent and I certainly don’t want to be diplomatic. I’m losing my family.

    • June 2, 2016 at 8:01 am
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      Ive been in since 60s woke up about a year ago .have felt somthing was badly wrong for years though especialy since the ” new” governing body appeared .its gone into some sort of lockdown .ive most family in and wife so have been fading.i havent done anything in the cong since 80s had depression and breakdown ..am better now out of borg mind control. I am keeping quiet like you as im hoping family will see whats going on . But ive promised to take wife to friday and sunday convention but am so uoset at the shunning and the horrible bunker scenes that remind me of the terror i felt as a child in 50s when we were constantly told “how to survive nuke war”.in fact i was so upset after seeing the vid i had sleepless night.and children my grandchildren will be subjected to this evil vile stuff im near to screaming at the KH .as you say this assem is my last..

    • June 2, 2016 at 8:01 am
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      Ive been in since 60s woke up about a year ago .have felt somthing was badly wrong for years though especialy since the ” new” governing body appeared .its gone into some sort of lockdown .ive most family in and wife so have been fading.i havent done anything in the cong since 80s had depression and breakdown ..am better now out of borg mind control. I am keeping quiet like you as im hoping family will see whats going on . But ive promised to take wife to friday and sunday convention but am so uoset at the shunning and the horrible bunker scenes that remind me of the terror i felt as a child in 50s when we were constantly told “how to survive nuke war”.in fact i was so upset after seeing the vid i had sleepless night.and children my grandchildren will be subjected to this evil vile stuff im near to screaming at the KH .as you say this assem is my last..

  • June 2, 2016 at 7:34 am
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    I have just watched the ‘bunker’ videos….. they are a disgrace…children should not be allowed to see these frightening scenarios…especially the one on faith at the end ..fear inspiring brainwashing…Im shocked.

  • June 2, 2016 at 7:54 am
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    After 15 years of unforgiveness- F$&@ them!

    Jehovah won’t forgive them for their unforgiveness. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”.

    • June 3, 2016 at 8:59 am
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      You are so right! Isn’t it funny how those who proclaim to be the chosen religion or most righteous (whatever that means) are the ones that are the most unforgiving? The very tenants of christ, love, freedom from law, and forgiveness, is not on the radar for this horrible religion/cult. They use law of the old testament and the letters that Paul sent to congregations thousands of years ago ONLY when it’s convenient to them (GB and WT leadership). They aren’t christian! They are modern day Pharisees! The ‘brood of vipers’ that Christ spoke about.

  • June 2, 2016 at 8:23 am
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    Im sorry to post again but these videos have realky disturbed me…Im walking around my house saying out loud..’this is a disgrace’…and..’I cant beleive this’… I know my husband will come home full of it when he sees it…and my children…and all I can think is….Wake Up!!!!!….. they would laugh if another organizattion made this…and now one of the bunker videos intimates Witnesses shouldnt have long coffee breaks with workmates…..what can I do to make my family see? Today I really am…Idontknowhatodo.

    • June 2, 2016 at 8:44 am
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      @ Idontknowhatodo

      Where can these “bunker” video’s be found, other than going to the Kingdom Hall? I would like to see these “videos” myself as many have written about them on this site.

      Many Thanks

      • June 2, 2016 at 9:05 am
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        They are videos being shown at the convention on the Sunday…I saw them on a link from the previous column about the assembly…they depict a group of witnesess in someones basement while the GT goes on around them…this includes 2 small children…they all discuss different experiences that include a video of that experience…the final one is entitled faith and you hear the GT going on around them… till finally the door is broken down by men in police riot gear as they look loudly for witnesses…you see the door of the basement being knocked down and there is music played to biild up the fear factor…the women and children are ushered behibd the men of the group who have only just stopped discussing scripture and the men in riot gear move threateningly towards the group of defensless witnesess…the music reaches a climax and you have a close up of ‘brother browns’ face…and fade….

      • June 3, 2016 at 2:15 pm
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        @ Big B-

        Search avoidjw.org – 2016 regional convention. They are the vids from the Sunday symposium. A light-hearted way to end a joy-filled weekend of indoctrination.

    • June 3, 2016 at 12:41 pm
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      I am doing the same thing, I have faded because of all the rubbish the Org spouts but my only daughter is still in, I don’t want her head filled with This garbage, don’t even know if she will still talk to me afterwards. She is my only family. They are truly evil people. I feel they will fall sooner rather than later.

  • June 2, 2016 at 8:47 am
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    I find it very difficult to comprehend how a child can be thrown away by parents just because at some point in their lives they are acting up.

    There could be a million reasons why a child rebels. Do the witnesses try to talk to the child and understand what is going on in their lives, what could be missing, what other factors may be a play?

    No, they simply throw them away. Children are a gift from God, we were told that in the meetings, and yet they should be thrown away just because they act up and are not being repentent in the eyes of men who are not pyscologists or have any proper training in the emotional ups and downs of teenagers.

    Some of these kids by acting out are in reality crying out for help – but they are not being heard. And therefore they continue to act out.

    It is shameful that a religion that professes to follow the example of Jesus would treat children this way.

    I am so disturbed by the practices of the witness religion and it makes me so angry and sad to think that people will actually leave the assembly and remarking how great the program was.

    The media needs to get on this abhorrent practice of shunning.

    • June 2, 2016 at 6:03 pm
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      With teenagers and young adults there certainly is a time to consider “tough love.” But this is typically a last resort when all other options have failed. And the door needs to remain open when the person starts to make changes or agrees to seek professional help. It does not involve shutting a child out of your life for 15 years.

      WS

      • June 3, 2016 at 7:47 am
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        I agree with your comments and find it unbelievable that the religion would actually present a scenario that shows a 15 year shunning. How sad that witnesses look at this and think that it is ok. I am sickened by this whole tragic mess.

      • June 3, 2016 at 5:16 pm
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        I totally agree with you once again, WS. Tough love after all else fails. And not because some self-named “Judicial Commitee”, AKA Kangaroo Court, tells you as parents to do so.

    • June 3, 2016 at 9:18 am
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      @Rob,

      “It is shameful that a religion that professes to follow the example of Jesus would treat children this way.”

      I commented earlier to a post, but it’s worth saying again. It is usually the religions (not just JW’s) that claim they are the only ‘chosen’ or most ‘righteous’ (however that term is defined by them) that are the most unforgiving and cruel. Just as Jesus said to the Pharasees, “You brood of vipers”. This applies to the modern day Pharasees called the GB and WT leadership down to the overly zealous elders. They forgot all about the tenents of Christ; love, freedom from law, forgiveness. Christ even said to his disciples that it’s not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. He didn’t in any way, shape, or form say to ignore someone who needs help and guidance. These GB circus clowns use the old testament laws and letters that were written by Paul thousands of years ago to congregations that no longer exist for there rule making and judgement. They are truly Pharisees!!!

  • June 2, 2016 at 9:23 am
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    I am no longer a witness, and do not approve of the practice of shunning. However, I do have a question.

    Someone mentioned in the comments about the “illegality” of shunning. Please explain and/or elaborate. Even though it is an abhorrent, immoral practice, I doubt seriously that it is “illegal”.

    Other than being extremely hurtful to the one being shunned, it is a choice that people of this cult make and if that is illegal, then something is wrong.

    Yes, they were “never told” about the shunning when they first joined, etc etc. But when they did find out about it they had choices, i.e. stay in and shun, or get out because it’s a horrible thing to do.

    Bottom line, immoral and hurtful, yes. Illegal – no. Or at least I hope not. Government has too much say in our personal lives as it is.

    • June 2, 2016 at 10:21 am
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      The domestic abuse law has been extended in UK to now include coersive and controling behaviour towards a family member so as to cause metal and emotional distress .it can be punished by up to 5years in jail or heavy fine..so if you know anyone is beinf sujected to this or names of elders telling family members to do this report it to social services and police it is now a criminal offence…more court cases for WTUK.

    • June 2, 2016 at 12:06 pm
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      @ M Saurus

      I agree with you; shunning is both immoral and hurtful. However, even in the eyes of the U.S. government, they must adhere to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Which is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot, Paris.

      Eleanor Roosevelt supported the adoption of the Declaration as a declaration rather than as a treaty because she believed that it would have the same kind of influence on global society as the United States Declaration of Independence had within the United States. In this, she proved to be correct. Even though it is not legally binding, the Declaration has been adopted in or has influenced most national constitutions since 1948.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights

      The third column (articles 18–21) is concerned with spiritual, public, and political freedoms such as freedom of association, thought, conscience, and religion.

      “The right is enshrined in Articles 18 and 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

      Article 18
      1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

      2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice”.
      http://www.claiminghumanrights.org/thought_religion_definition.html

      Although not an universal law per se we must agree that in the eyes of the signers of the UDHR the WTBTS coerces its membership into staying in the organization and will punish (by shunning) those that don’t. This egregious behavior should not be allowed to stand in the eye’s of world opinion.

      A warning to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses (calling themselves ‘the Faithful and Discrete slave’) and the WTBTS:

      Your “great tribulation bunker videos” will be a self-fulfilling prophecy as the world moves against you and your cult followers for your inhumane treatment of those that disagree with your inane practices. Namely: shunning, pedophile protection, and ad hominem attacks on those who dare to fade quietly.

      THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!

      • June 2, 2016 at 12:31 pm
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        I respectfully disagree. To read this thread, you would think that to leave this cult you have to sneak out in the dead of night and that they will come for you with pitchforks and torches.

        That is just not true. The “coercion” is in the minds of the ones that want to leave. If you are fed up with this cult and it’s craziness – LEAVE! And when you are “visited” by elders or CO’s – respectfully tell them you have nothing to say to them. Ask them not to come back. Then LIVE YOUR LIFE!

        The fact that people don’t want to deal with being shunned is on THEM. I know I will get slammed for this, but this is NOT as big a deal as people are making it.

        If you are depressed or have suicidal thoughts after leaving due to the shunning – GET PROFESSIONAL HELP.

        To say that the government has to protect you from the teachings of a religion is ridiculous.

        Sorry, not sorry.

        • June 2, 2016 at 12:59 pm
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          @ M Saurus

          The UDHR although not legally binding on any nation, is signed by many nations that agree to uphold its principles. By signing the UDHR document infers that they (the signatories) will protect people of different religious persuasions to worship within reason and the right of adherents to ‘leave or change religions’ without fear of reprisals from the governmental or from their former religions.

          To say “that the government has to protect you from the teaching of a religion” is not the point I’m trying to make. My point is: Does anyone have the right to punish (shun) you for freely leaving any religion? Is leaving any religion to join or not join another religion a crime? I say it isn’t and my personal opinion is that the UDHR would agree.

          The pertinent question is ‘will they (the signatories) enforce it’ (UDHR)? The answer remains to be seen.

          Always enjoy your comments. :)

          • June 2, 2016 at 1:14 pm
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            In a “free” (such that it is) country, I think I have the right to shun (speak to, associate with) anyone I see fit without being sanctioned by the government.

            If I belong to a group that says I have to shun someone, and I don’t want to shun them then I don’t. If that means I can’t be in the group any more, so be it. That was MY CHOICE.

            This cult, although persuasive, does not hold a gun to anyone’s head and say they can’t or must do something. People can do or not do anything they CHOOSE. But if it goes against the “rules” of the group, then they aren’t a member anymore.

            What is so hard about this?

            PS – I enjoy your comments too!

        • June 2, 2016 at 2:14 pm
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          I agree that shunning isn’t legal at least in the USA. But I do think it’s reason enough for the government to reasses the wt tax exempt status. An org that has created enforces harmful procedures and serves absolutely no value to the rest of the community should not be tax exempt.

          • June 3, 2016 at 9:23 am
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            Honestly, no religion should have a tax exempt status. If the government is blind to religion, then they should be blind to the fact that they are a religion and make them pay their FAIR share of the burden of society.

        • June 2, 2016 at 4:59 pm
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          @M Saurus – you seem to be non-JW or perhaps a recently interested party in JW’s?

          Thus, it may seem like no big deal to simply wake-up and say, “I’m done with this church and moving to another one”. However, what you probably are not aware is that to become a JW, one is encouraged and disciplined, even prodded, to cut social ties with non-JW friends and family that are opposed to the new progress toward becoming a JW.

          If you are raised JW, you are encouraged to avoid seeking social ties with non-JW’s. For some JW families, the non-JW (or shunned) members barely see their grandchildren, nephews, cousins, etc who are JW. Thus, if you do “wake up” and if you choose to immediately sever all ties, you have NO social network since JW’s have innocuously made themselves your sole social network. And, by extension, they also seek to take away family ties.

          So, “getting over it” is not as simple as it is to state.

          That is why faders probably have a semblance of a plan, if they are using their “gray area” to build social ties, relationships, and even spiritual journey outside of Watchtower community.

          If your family members also became JW’s along the way, they are encouraged, as this video suggests to not have extended social ties with you.

          This was not always the case, at one time, it only meant family could not discuss spiritual matters or exchange spiritual ideas.

          • June 2, 2016 at 6:38 pm
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            I’ll add to his chain that this extreme treatment may be on par with things like cyber-bullying, which has been reported to have driven some people to commit suicide. Technically cyber bullying is not a crime, “However, prosecutors have used existing laws on the books to prosecute individuals suspected of cyberbullying. Criminal harassment statutes can often provide a basis for bringing charges in severe cases, and more serious criminal charges have been brought in cases where the offense has resulted in suicide or other tragic consequences.” – See more at:
            http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/cyber-bullying.html

            It should be similar with issues due to coerced shunning.

            WS

          • June 2, 2016 at 6:59 pm
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            J-Bob – my mother became a witness in 1973 when I was 10 years old. I have been raised in the cult since then up until I decided to leave in 2013, along with my husband and grown son (also raised in it).

            My mother, who lives out of state asked why we left and we told her (child abuse scandals, UN involvement, 2013 “new light”). She has not spoken to us since.

            I live in the same town I lived in when we became associated in 1973. I have had the same “friends” in local congregations in the area for over 40 years.

            So, yes, I had a lot to “lose” and no it wasn’t easy, but not really that difficult either. It was necessary. Why would I stay associated with this organization? To retain “friendships”? To make my mother happy?

            My experience in leaving may not be typical – but the experience can be as easy or as difficult as you wish to make it.

  • June 2, 2016 at 9:44 am
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    Obviously the Convention videos are propaganda geared for the average JW , why the public is even invited is puzzling. The shunning video was shown while a speaker was talking about apostates . In a youtube video I saw . The whole intent of the convention is not loyalty to J , but loyal to the organization GB . I saw also a dooms day senario video shown durning the convention, that illustrated JWS hiding from persecution in a celler , that one stuck out , that the GB is incorporated fear mongering as well.

    • June 2, 2016 at 5:11 pm
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      @Mars – yup, fear, uncertainty and doubts. The same tactics used pre-1975 with emphasis on the Nazi German persecution of Bible Students and persecution in various South American, European, and African lands. It was to create a “bunker mentality” (An attitude of extreme defensiveness and self-justification based on an often exaggerated sense of being under persistent attack from others.)

      I do believe as M Sauros noted that individuals may choose NOT to abide by the intimidation of the Governing Body, but it will also depend on how “loyal” and ambitious the local elders are in enforcing this policy. There are a number of reasons to think that the local elders would NOT have incentive to enforce this policy:

      1) the donation, or tithing, edicts
      2) what’s the up-factor for being loyal? the District Overseer posts and Circuit Overseer posts are saturated and a few substitutes may be hand-picked here and there, upward mobility is less likely and only some younger MS and naive elders would fall for this “loyalty” schtick.
      3) elders have family and friends that are in the “gray” and faded
      4) while blackmail is a “cardinal sin,” the thick atmosphere of “cover ups” is rife for someone to bring out photos and “remember when you—“.

  • June 2, 2016 at 9:46 am
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    I’m going to write a screen treatment about this and shop it to Hollywood….Titled: The Shunning

    An action movie melodrama following the exploits of Nigel, the fader, who has to go through evasive measures….car chases….being followed by gestapo elders…..and former bean pod friends ( like the people in Invasion of the body snatchers ) . Hopefully it’ll do well and will be a trilogy, like the Godfather….no pun intended

    • June 2, 2016 at 3:31 pm
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      INT. NIGEL’S ROOM – DIM
      Nigel hides in his closet, barely visible in the dark. Sweat drips from his brow. He’s trembling.

      We hear slow FOOTSTEPS approaching from the hallway outside the room. They stop.

      Nigel’s eyes are wide with fear.

      BOOM. BOOM. BOOM. Pounding on the door.

      ELDER (O.S.)
      Nigel? Are you in there? Nigel?
      We’ve missed you at the meetings…
      You need to return to Jehovah, Nigel.

      Nigel stares as the door handle begins to turn.

      • June 3, 2016 at 8:19 pm
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        Lol I’d love to paste it but can’t. The picture of Jack Nicholson from the shining as he peers in through the door he has just hacked a hole in….

    • June 2, 2016 at 3:46 pm
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      I am completely disgusted! This exact same thing happened in our family. My 17 yr old daughter got involved with an “unbeliever.” Long story short, she was disfellowshipped. My husband and I couldn’t do it. We could not dispose of our daughter. We loved her unconditionally. We were “warned” that if we continued to associate with her that we would probably be disfellowshipped also. So we decided to take our chances in the “world” and guess what…we’re still alive!!! We are now able to live a happy life with our daughter and her family. NEVER going back! EVER!!!

      • June 3, 2016 at 4:06 am
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        to SVAL! Right on. You did the right thing!
        Good for you guys, The Wt is the same as the NAZIS. They are Brown shirts in fancy suits, They rule by fear. Do you notice I all those talks there is barely a mention of Jesus Christ or his name? Everything is Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah? They claim to follow Christ but rarely use his name or refer to him. If you read the Christian Scriptures they rarely use the name Jehovah but always Christ but not the WT,

        • June 3, 2016 at 11:18 am
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          Technically HC, the New Testment (to avoid the JW cult jargon) never uses the name Jehovah. Of the nearly 5000 ancient copies of the NT that have been recovered, there is no indication that the Tetragrammaton was used in any of them. The Watchtower took it upon themselves to decide it was okay to add it to their translation of the bible. I recently came across an interesting analysis of this at: http://www.neirr.org/Tetragrammaton.htm

          WS

        • June 3, 2016 at 11:28 am
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          Trying again, as my previous reply was blocked:

          Technically HC, the New Testment (to avoid the JW cult jargon) never uses the name Jehovah. Of the nearly 5000 ancient copies of the NT that have been recovered, there is no indication that the Tetragrammaton was used in any of them. The Watchtower took it upon themselves to decide it was okay to add it to their translation of the bible. I recently came across an interesting analysis of this at: http://www.neirr.org/Tetragrammaton.htm

          WS

      • June 3, 2016 at 9:31 am
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        GOOD FOR YOU!!!! Shunning can work the other way too!

        • June 3, 2016 at 10:08 am
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          Exactly. Why do you want people like that in your life? Its healthier to be without them. It takes a few years for most raised in it to undo the indoctrination but it is not impossible. Sometimes you just have to cut the cords. Way too much drama and emotional manipulation as far as im concerned.

      • June 4, 2016 at 12:39 am
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        Fabulous to hear that, Sval.

  • June 2, 2016 at 9:56 am
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    Two words for the Sonja video: Slut Shaming!

  • June 2, 2016 at 10:31 am
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    My nephew committed suicide because of being df’d.
    And I wish there were a way to get the stats on the high rate of suicide among the so called “happiest people on earth.”
    The hypocrisy of this cult run by the “gang of seven” is mind boggling.
    According to their literature this “loving god” Jah doesn’t have any qualms about killing billions of people on this planet. And we call Hitler a monster?
    However, won’t it be wonderful for them!
    Too bad those billions of Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, Seventh day Adventists, Catholics etc. etc. etc. didn’t get the “inspired” Watchtower message!
    What is so disturbing is how effective relentless propaganda is and how “group think” takes over a person’s ability to think clearly.
    Their videos make me sick because they are so emotionally abusive, manipulative and damaging to children’s psyche.
    This religion is becoming more and more judicial and less and less loving and compassionate.
    The “faithful and discreet slave” has effectively replaced Jesus and his message of forgiveness.

  • June 2, 2016 at 10:37 am
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    No religion is perfect nor will any religion do anything perfect. The bible does say that if a christian acts a certain way that they should be removed from the congregation, it does say that. However, I don’t understand who authorized the governing body to do so and what makes them believe they’ve been endorsed to add there own little interpretations of it.

    Moses was sent to the nation of Israel after 40 or whatever years of training. Upon arriving, Jehovah had his staff turn into a snake and had his arm develop leprosy before going clean again as an undeniable sign he was to be the chosen leader. Despite Jesus going around healing folks, resurrecting, expelling demons etc, God still spoke from heaven 3x’s to tell everyone this was his chosen one. According to the Witnesses or bible, even Satans “worldly” manmade government have been endorsed by God as being put in place to maintain some order.

    One day Charles Taze Russell went in a room, came out, said this is the truth believe it or die. And thats it. No endorsement whatsoever. And somewhere down the line, even though CT Russell had one, no beards or you lose all your “privileges”. However after 100+ years, and the millions who were living but are long dead, still no endorsement from God himself which doesn’t even follow the scriptural pattern of God’s “chosen” people and their leader. Unfortunately I choose to remain an active witness for my entire family, literally, are Witnesses and its my personal choice. But for the most part I just go to the meetings waiting to hear this endorsement from God himself that they’ve never gotten.

    • June 2, 2016 at 10:46 am
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      They authorized it themselves, the same way they appointed themselves to be the Faithful & Discreet slave! No credentials necessary!

    • June 2, 2016 at 3:06 pm
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      To Chico: I understand how you feel and for a while Id di the same thing as you for the family. After a while I could no longer stomach it and I had to stop. Since you are doing this for the sake of the family what would you do if you or your family had an medical emergency and needed a Blood transfusion?

      I could not allow my kids to die for refusing a blood transfusion.

      Or what if your children want to join a sports team or a club at school? Or part take in a Birth day celebration?

    • June 2, 2016 at 3:42 pm
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      Chico,
      Small side point, but I think there may new light on the whole beard issue. The September 2016 Watchtower (Study Edition) contains the following:

      17. What are some factors that may affect
      whether a brother wears a beard?

      17 What about the propriety of brothers
      wearing a beard? The Mosaic Law
      required men to wear a beard. However,
      Christians are not under the Mosaic
      Law, nor are they obliged to observe
      it. (Lev. 19:27; 21:5; Gal. 3:24, 25) In
      some cultures, a neatly trimmed beard
      may be acceptable and respectable, and
      it may not detract at all from the Kingdom
      message. In fact, some appointed
      brothers have beards. Even so, some
      brothers might decide not to wear a
      beard. (1 Cor. 8:9, 13; 10:32) In other
      cultures or localities, beards are not
      the custom and are not considered acceptable
      for Christian ministers. In fact,
      having one may hinder a brother from
      bringing glory to God by his dress and
      grooming and his being irreprehensible.
      —Rom. 15:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 7.

      • June 3, 2016 at 3:52 am
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        Telescopium,

        That’s interesting about the beards. I’ll have to read that. But where I’m from thats not going to fly. Its funny, where I’m from the brother’s shave their heads. We see nothing wrong with it, its very common, and you can do it whetger you’re appointed or not. But I was shocked to find out in some places in the US, including bethel, its not allowed, or “frowned upon” in Witness lingo.

        • June 3, 2016 at 4:16 am
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          TO Chico: What area are you from Chico? Why do the brothers shave their heads there? Is it a culturall thing or they are doing it for a certain style or look?

  • June 2, 2016 at 11:03 am
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    i am curious, this shunning of people who aren’t disfellowshipped, are baptized, but have left the JW org. are families not allowed to talk to them at all?? though they have really done nothing but left the organization?

    • June 2, 2016 at 11:19 am
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      Technically that is correct. If you pass them on the street, you are to look the other way. I know of lots of witnesses, however, that do NOT shun adult family members… they just haven’t been caught yet.

    • June 2, 2016 at 11:29 am
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      New guidelines unveiled at this convention state that if a “fader” or “inactive” one (baptised and left but not FD or DA) is known to be “sinning” (basically anything you can get DA or DF for) then yes. They are to be shunned.

      • June 2, 2016 at 11:35 am
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        thanks for your prompt answer and the explanation

  • June 2, 2016 at 11:17 am
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    If they stay in that bunker for three days they will smell like corpses. Something fishy always turns out to be a fish. The trouble with this charity is that the shunning of perceived wrong doers is not very charitable. Charity begins at home so that’s an easy one if you have permission to kick out your kids. Its not as if the kids go around murdering people, how can anyone reduce their children to rent boys and girls because they sling them out without a care, to the mercy of a world they know little about. These gifts from god are a christmas jumper to be discarded after a season as not suitable. I do hope god sees all this and takes note cheerless Ruthlee

  • June 2, 2016 at 11:33 am
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    Ok so here are is my observation for you. Did anyone else notice how the announcement was based on the old school style? “Sonya Ericsson has been disfellowshipped”. They’ve not said that since the 90s. They now would say “Sonya Ericsson is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses”.
    Apart from that huge oversight by the GB who supposedly check everything with Divine backing, who else thinks that is a great name for a woman? The female version of Sony Ericsson. Great product placement!

    • June 2, 2016 at 11:35 am
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      I think that might actually have been deliberate, since Sonja was apparently disfellowshipped at least 15 years prior to her narration of the video.

      • June 3, 2016 at 4:24 am
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        Cedars: Did you also Notice in the Video after Sonja was DF’d and by herself apparently watching TV that they gave her dark baggy looking eyes trying to make her look tired, worn out, depressed? All apparently bc she was DF’s and left the BORG? Also I do not remember seeing anything about a husband with the children so we have to assume she also got a divorce right? Giving more evidence that the WT is ALWAYS correct and she married that BAD Worldly person!

        Another thing Cesar. I thought you did a great job in your you tube Video around 39-40 minutes into it when you discussed the point about how Jehovah cleansed the heavens to protect his spiritual family by sending the demons down to the earth! Now his physical family as to fight them. That was great how you rolled your eyes in sarcasm. It actually was good food for thought. How important for God to get rid of these pesty demons right but then he gave them to mankind to deal with and of course the F&D Slave as well of al of JW’s now have to fight them!

  • June 2, 2016 at 11:34 am
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    They put this young woman up for shunning because of immorality and not because she found out the Watchtower is financial supported by billions of stock on Wall street which include Defense and Tobacco in the portfolio. http://nccsweb.urban.org/communityplatform/nccs/organization/profile/id/386043103

    It’s always about the problems of the followers and not the leaders and their child abuse problems. Shifting the blame for so many leaving the faith and so that they don’t have to address their U.N. involvement.

  • June 2, 2016 at 12:43 pm
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    Over 40 years ago I threw my 18 year old son out of
    the family home. I was influenced by a WT article
    stating, “That any elder having disruptive older
    children that were a bad example, if he wished to
    remain an elder, should remove the unruly children
    from the house hold.

    My son, at the time had acquired a liking for a few pints
    of strong ale ( still has ) and was coming home past
    midnight. Another elder became aware of this and
    complained to me about it, adding more pressure.

    That particular elder, I had seen, one time “Blind drunk”
    knocking back whiskey shots in one go, saying “Now I’ll
    show you how a Scots Man does it” ( do as I say, not as
    I do)

    Adding more pain and confusion to my situation was a
    meeting with the D,O, in which he commended an elder
    who stepped down in order to give more time to his son
    who was spiritually weak. ( They pull the string one way
    then the other).

    I decided from that point, to use my own judgement.

    Paternal feelings, instincts, returned also remembered
    my own, far from unblemished youth. I asked my sons
    forgiveness and implored him to return home. Which he
    did, after some persuasion.

    I still have bitter regrets over that un-necessary episode,
    although I accept the blame, for allowing myself to be
    manipulated, allowing strangers to interfere in my family.

    • June 2, 2016 at 4:39 pm
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      You’re a very good father and you really are a nice man.

    • June 3, 2016 at 4:33 am
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      to TWMACK. I did some of the same things with my son when he was like 15-20 years old. I have apologized to him for being a weak WT influenced
      maniac at times. I never threw him out of the house but I did things to make his life uncomfortable and tried to micro manage him due to the Brothers saying I could not b an Elder if I let him play sports or allowed him to go to Rock Concerts once in a while. He was a strong individual at the time and I am proud he saw thru the BS of the WT! He actually helped me fade away by his example and the way he was. We today are very close. Only his mother is still in and his sister but they are both on the extreme side still. Let’s see what happens after these shunning talks? You and I both made parental mistakes but we have learned and are free now.Let’s be glad the chains are broken.

  • June 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm
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    “Conventions are typically a big money-spinner for local businesses, so journalists are often compelled to write favorably about these events.”

    True, bec. “The answer is always money”.

    Big $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ rules. Pecunia non olet. For $$$, we don’t care, we are ready to swallow crap, cockroaches, rats, toads, … yum!

  • June 2, 2016 at 1:28 pm
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    Yes, shifting blame is what the GB does best.
    Their politics involve throwing out “red herrings” and assigning blame .
    Not once have they apologized to all the children whose lives have been ruined .
    Jesus, hit the scribes and Pharisees hard. Illustrating how corrupt they had become, and heartless. They would measure out “the tenth of the mint and the dill and cumin” while forgetting what really mattered, namely, mercy and kindness.

  • June 2, 2016 at 3:17 pm
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    I am completely disgusted! This exact same thing happened in our family. My 17 yr old daughter got involved with an “unbeliever.” Long story short, she was disfellowshipped. My husband and I couldn’t do it. We could not dispose of our daughter. We loved her unconditionally. We were “warned” that if we continued to associate with her that we would probably be disfellowshipped also. So we decided to take our chances in the “world” and guess what…we’re still alive!!! We are now able to live a happy life with our daughter and her family. NEVER going back! EVER!!!

    • June 3, 2016 at 9:59 am
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      Excellent. I congratulate you. Stand strong against their brainwashing.

    • June 3, 2016 at 8:35 pm
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      GOOD FOR YOU!

  • June 2, 2016 at 4:23 pm
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    To this day, I cannot watch any of the videos or talks. I am instantly irritated at any of the sounds of the bland talks and zombie acting videos. I still cant believe I fell for this religion’s beliefs and practices for so many years. What a waste!

  • June 2, 2016 at 5:36 pm
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    This scenario reminded me of the situation in Japan where the parents of a 7yr old boy abandoned their child on the edge of a remote bear infested forest in an attempt to ‘teach him a lesson’ and punish him for being naughty. As far as I know he hasn’t yet been found and is still missing presumed dead. The world is outraged at their actions!!
    Granted he was only 7 and not 17 but to me the principle is the same!
    Why would any parent send their beloved child out into ‘the world’ (when it’s drummed into them that it’s such a dangerous satanic place) and expect them to return unharmed and repentant for their misconduct?
    Likewise if it’s a parent that is shunned by their adult children- how does that show ‘honour’ to their mother/father?
    When has it ever made sense to expect to receive love in return for hate??

    • June 3, 2016 at 8:34 pm
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      The boy was found. He was dehydrated but alive.

  • June 3, 2016 at 3:45 am
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    No children. Family all adults. If they don’t want blood I’m not about to force it on anyone. I use to work in one of the top hospitals in the US by the delivery dock. Because I’ve seen how they handle it, blood, I’m not in favor of it myself, at least on me.

    • June 3, 2016 at 4:41 am
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      Chico: We might not be in favor of blood and try other alternatives but sometimes it is the ONLY alternative right? So if it came down to a life and death matter you would still refuse it? If so is this bc of your JW beliefs and you feel God would punish you? Blood has saved a lot more lives than it ever harmed.

  • June 3, 2016 at 3:55 am
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    DISGUSTING…..Why many act like this beats me…and forced to do this under guilt and fear says it all,may be those concerned should see what unconditional love is as that is what is taught to many JW..and yet not practised

  • June 3, 2016 at 7:23 am
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    For 15y the woman in the video was ignored until she compiled.
    Can anyone tell me what her children did to their grandparents for them to be ignored too?

  • June 3, 2016 at 7:34 am
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    Grandparents. . . .’we would have sent you presents but we don’t celebrate Christmas or birthdays’.

    • June 3, 2016 at 9:54 am
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      For real! Lol. Yet in turn they accept christmas and birthday gifts dont they? Hypocrites.

  • June 3, 2016 at 7:42 am
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    And so the reinstated woman takes her children along to the meetings and the cycle of abuse continues only for them to be later disfellowshipped
    and their children to suffer the same fate.

    • June 3, 2016 at 9:56 am
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      Exactly Gary. They are not able to break the cycle of abuse so they pass it on. To paraphrase the bible (as JW always do) ‘like a dog returning to its own vomit’.

  • June 3, 2016 at 8:07 am
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    Do any of the septopopes at Bethel even know what its like to live in the real world? They get their meals prepared for them, their clothes laundered, free housekeeping, free luxury travel, a winter getaway in Palm Beach Florida (disguised as a training facility), free health care, and never have to do an honest days work and have lawyers and accountants surrounding them who really run the show.

    They live off of the backs of working class people who send them their donations and sometimes leave them their estates when they die, and they are adored by millions of witnesses worldwide. So when they set these shunning rules or other rules that are so invasive and family destroying, they dont give a care as to the consequences, because it does not affect them or their cushy lifestyle.

    But I still believe that God sees this whole mess and will bring justice to those whose lives have been destroyed or whose families have been torn apart by this awful religion. Unfortunately it just isn’t happening soon enough.

  • June 3, 2016 at 9:42 am
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    Have you ever notice how hung up on sex, genitals, and the like that the WT and many other religions have? This is ‘serious sin’ unless performed exactly as we say you should. If it’s so bad, then how did 8 billion people get on the earth? Seems like it works pretty good in my humble opinion. Teenagers and young adults are going to have sex. That is just natural and part of being a living human being. Granted, it shouldn’t be forced upon anyone or performed on any child. That is breaking personal barriers and wrong! Any time anyone tries to limit a natural function, not just sex, it seems like bad things come of it. Just look at the record of the JW’s and Catholic priesthood sleazeballs that have come to light lately.

    • June 3, 2016 at 11:26 am
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      Searcher,

      I once learned that in the early Puritan settlements there were laws passed that required sex only be performed in the missionary position (man on top). So the extreme obsession with sex predates the JWs. It seems most high control religions have an obsession with it.

      WS

      • June 3, 2016 at 11:38 am
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        To Winston. Rememebr the Ayatollah Humeni who overthrew Iran in the 80’s and kicked out the Shah? He became the political and Spritual leader of Iran after that. He had 100’s of rules on proper sex positions and the proper way to have Sex.

        He also was religious fanatic who wanted to institute his way of rule into every aspect of life. Cults do that as a regular way to control;.

  • June 3, 2016 at 9:50 am
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    Just another fanatical psycho religion that caters to the imbalanced. My parents not only banned their own families but also banned their only two children yet wanted to be involved with the grandchildren. Nope. You just dont get the chance to indoctrinate another generation. Now the last living parent is 70 years old and alone; but after over 25 years of estrangement how are the children supposed to care for this bible thumping fanatical induvidual who has no awareness of the damage he has inflicted and still beleives he is a good person who did the right thing?

  • June 3, 2016 at 10:33 am
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    I’m not sure, even in Aaron’s day, that the offence of a teenage Isrealite sleeping with, say, a teenager from the Philistines would be of the same rank of seriousness as usurping the High Priest’s priveliges and duties by ‘offering illegitmate fire before Jehovah’. In fact there are numerous cases in the Bible where illicit relations were forgiven by Jehovah, even where, as in King David’s case, a death, effectively a murder, resulted. King David simply repented, albeit straightaway, but only when he was rebuked by the priest. So – Aaron’s son’s sin justifies present day ‘social death by shunning’????? not sure on this at all.

  • June 3, 2016 at 10:45 am
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    @ KimJones, Holy Connoli. Thanks for your kind and
    helpful comments. Battles of will between parents and
    their teenage children are a natural part of life.

    But when the adult is in an indoctrinated state, these
    battles can become bitter and distressing, even destroying
    relationships.

    One reason for this is, that compromise comes over from
    the platform as spiritual weakness, so there is no giving way
    even an inch on the parents part. Rules replace
    reasonableness.

  • June 3, 2016 at 11:07 am
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    Funny that witness tribunals view fornication between two single people the same as adultery.

    Correct me if I am wrong but in the old testament if a single man slept with a virgin, he would have to marry her. But if two people committed adultery they would be put to death.

    Shunning a person for 15 years – how revolting.

    • June 3, 2016 at 1:11 pm
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      There are quite a few of these ‘clever conflations’. For example, somehow, dressing in neat clean clothes = ma;e JWs MUST wear suits. Because all Bros can afford them. Well all bros can afford face tattoos too!! Or ‘Showing Love’ = Love for Jehovah and Organisation = Love for Elders = no duty for ordinary members to love each other. Brilliant wordsmithery, really.

  • June 3, 2016 at 11:34 am
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    I thought the most perceptive comment came from a Commentator on the Raw Story article, called “bibleexpert”:

    Point 3 raised: “The Makers of the video failed to note that the parents are actually ignoring “the biblical lesson of Aaron” by acting sad their daughter left home”

    Another example of WT’s “Iron fist in a velvet glove”! Poor, hurt, faithful….henchmen and women. Unable to exercise their freedom of conscience and speech, and living in fear of these Tyrants.

  • June 3, 2016 at 1:31 pm
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    And the veiled threat award goes to Jehovahs Witnesess for ‘lose living in your family home if we don’t forgive you’.
    Bastards.

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