Is shunning getting more intense - visited non-jw relative at jw compound

by Madame Quixote 8 Replies latest social family

  • Madame Quixote
    Madame Quixote

    My jw family, with whom I no longer attempt any sort of contact, lives about 20 miles away and have their own little riverfront "compound" of sorts - several adjoining properties owned almost exclusively by JWs, with some rentals to various "interested ones." I think the renters usually move away when they become disinterested and none have fully converted to the jws yet, LOL! I guess spending a year or so around my jw family innoculates them with some sort of cult immunity.

    Anyway, my mom's non-jw siblings (whom I rarely see) were there, staying at my jw grandmoter's. She (my grandmother) tells them that she does not believe in shunning (but this non-belief seems only to exist when my favorite aunts & uncle are visiting her. Probably because she gets plenty good harassment from them about how stupid the policy is; unfortunately, she also gets it from my jw relatives after the nons leave).

    I don't go around her or the rest of the jw family due to the harassment she gets and because of the headaches (in sadness and anger) that it causes me. It's such a bizarre situation. My sister lives next door to my grandmother and when my aunt and I (with Grandma), came outside for a walk and started to pass by her house, my sis hopped in her car and drove off (although I had no intention of visiting with her anyway). My grandma also suddenly decided to go back indoors as we got past my sis's driveway (probably because she was chilly, but who knows).

    My aunt remarked how weird it all was that neither my mom, dad, brother or sister even would speak to me the whole time I was there; I did see my baby brother ogling my bumpersticker that reads:

    "Stop Watchtower Abuse" That was the first I realized that he was even in town.

    I'm sure they all saw the bumpersticker and are completely scandalized by my apostasy,(teeheehee). Imagine such an apostate's vehicle parked at the top of a jw compound's road for all to see, all day, two days this week! Thanks grandma. You're alright!

    BTW, I think a jw elder was sortof stalking me while I was shopping the other day (before I visited the compound). He kept walking past me, over and over at the wine section while I was trying to choos a wine, and just happened to check out at the same time that I did, and happened to be parked at the same section of the parking lot I was parked in (at an enormous superstore parking lot). I'm going to have to start paying attention to this sort of thing now, I guess; I'll bring my picture phone and start taking pics of these guys if it continues. Has anyone else had experiences like this after displaying the anti Watchtower bumper stickers?

    I wonder if the extreme shunning at the family compound is partly due to the bumper sticker, or has the WT society come down really hard lately on shunning? This is the first visit where I actively made a firm decision to speak with no JWs even if approached by them, esp. my immediate family. My grandma is the exception because she made the exception to allow me in her home; although I expected she'd be gone on the second day (as she was on the first). On the first day, we went out hiking and winetasting (in a different vehicle) and left my car parked in my grandma's drive; when the JWs got home from Sunday meeting, they saw my car, (with its apostate bumper sticker), and just drove past, to my parents' and stayed there all day, thinking I was in the grandma's house.

    I thought it was sad when I realized what had happened and made a remark about it to my aunts and uncle, something like, "I knew she went over to my parents' to take a nap because she - (or my parents) - is afraid of being contaminated by my apostasy." The aunts & uncle did not pick up on it until I made the remark. I did not belabor the point and thought it had been ignored.

    However, I think someone (non-jws) must have had another showdown with my parents and grandmother over shunning me, which always happens when I try to visit my aunts or uncle. The jws know it's wrong and don't want to have to keep explaining it to people who "don't understand Jehovah's way;" and by their standards, my grandma is "weak", but by my standards, she is strong. To face down my overbearing JW parents and let me visit her is quite something; however, it worries me (for her well-being). I hope she is not caused to suffer shunning or some sort of reproof because of all this nonsense. I don't think she would tell anyone on the outside if such a thing happened to her because of the strong need to protect the society.

    My mom & grandmom were planning to go out when I came to visit my aunty again on Tuesday, but mom cancelled out, claimed illness and left grandma at home with us. I had previously made it clear that I did not want to hang out at my grandmother's due to all of the nonsense it causes, but Tuesday's weather was bad and the only things to do together would have involved outdoor activities, so we just hung out at grandma's, ate, and watched movies the society would definitely not approve of, LOL! I'm sure grandma won't be discussing them out in field service, unless it is to illustrate the damaging effects of worldly associations! My aunt said,"Oh, mom, I'm contaminating your mind." We all agreed that the use of the "F" word in "Crash" was somewhat distracting; and my aunty thought "The Human Stain" was one of the best movies she ever saw. And grandma didn't ask us to turn off the naked dancing scenes.

    BTW, my aunty and grandmom informed me that my parents are going to be forced off their property due to some "imminent domain" issue; the state has plans to install a port on their compound. I know I should be sad for them, but it fills my little heart with glee. They will have to see their dream home demolished for the sake of a state port. I think I'm going to apply for a job working for the wrecking crew. Not nice, am I? Well, neither are they.

    I decided that I will not go visit anyone in the vicinity of my jw family any more after this last visit. I'll visit the non-jw relatives on my terms from now on, or not at all. The JWs will not make the rules for us any longer, at least not for me.

  • wombat

    No one is responding Madame Q.. So I'll put in my two bob's worth.

    I reckon the bumper sticker was over the top if you really wanted to achieve healing.

    Personal experience has proved to me that setting a non-aggresive example gets better results.

    But then again, I probably don't fully appreciate your circumstances.

  • Balsam

    I've found that shunning is more extreme and more pointed if the individual is labeled apostate on top of being disfellowshipped. If you are disassociated that also falls under the label of apostate usually. At least that was how it was 4 years ago while I was in. Your bumper sticker is definately is enough to get you tagged as apostate. Your grandma sounds pretty cool. The way is around all this is all non witness family member go together to visit Grandma, and then the JW visit her all together. Tough situation.


  • Madame Quixote
    Madame Quixote

    They make it tough. BTW, I did not put the bumper sticker on the car because I planned to visit my family. I put it on some weeks ago, before the visit was known to me; however, I did not intend to remove it, nor to make an issue of it. After all, it's my car. I think they labelled me apostate years ago, anyway, because of my political activism. It's really their problem, anyway. If they don't like the "apostate" news, they don't have to look it up; I won't try to prevent them from remaining ignorant. But I won't stop warning others about the borg because they want to show their asses and be all intense about disfellowshipping. Like I said, I won't play by their rules anymore. The non-jw family will have to visit me if they want to see me, not the other way around.

  • Finally-Free

    I never cease to be amazed at the utter stupidity of JWs. They print and distribute worldwide millions of pieces of literature that is often rabidly critical of other religions, governments, lifestyles, etc., and they think that is ok, but when one person puts a bumper sticker on a single vehicle they get all huffy and accelerate their stupid shunning.


  • Madame Quixote
    Madame Quixote

    Thanks, all for the feedback. I agree, Finally Free. They make such a damn big stink about all their rights to free expression - knocking on doors, refusing to salute flag, refusing to defend their own rights in wartime and expecting all the worldly lawyers and other "sinners" to do it for them (defend and protect them in every way), etc., but they don't do much to defend or protect others, unless it happens to be coincidentally.

    Most of them won't even go to college to learn how to defend themselves as lawyers, or advance in the business world, or take a class to learn how to defend themselves (because it might take them away from their false ministry). And they're demanding the right to practice a stupid cult religion that actively damages others and that stunts the development of their children and families - shunning their own relatives, denying each other important medical care and advanced education, calling themselves full of love. They're full of something else and it ain't love.

    Most of them care little about anything beyond promoting their so-called faith. Many can't even be bothered with doing even simple things like re-cycling or donating to the needy (other than other jws). They do nothing for anyone except themselves and protect jws who don't deserve protection - child molesters, for instance. What I have observed is that they are easily the most narcissistic, self-protecting group I've ever come across. They demand everything of the outside world and do the barest minimum to get by in the world, doing little or nothing to contribute to the well-being of the outside community because the only community that matters to them is their own little dying clique.

  • jwfacts

    The WTS has always been very strict in its advise to avoid d/f people. However the members vary greatly in how they follow it.

    It is not necessary to be apostate to be shunned. A friend a mine was d/f at 18 for sex with a worldly girl before marriage. He is still married to her, and yet the family shun him and the grandchildren.

    With me, some flee before my path, where as others act like nothing ever happened. I am surprised at how many JWs talk to me as much as they ever did.

  • heretic

    Yeah you dont know what to expect hey, when you say gday its cold shoulder time but then you expect an ol fashioned shun o rama and theyre nice as pie. mind games, i just shun them all now including my family, ive got an uncle and auntie that act like my parents so im lucky. My oldies are cool but theres always that 'edgy feeling' you just cant ask any advise cos youll get some regurgitated answer, and you get the feeling they want you to have problems so they can say 'well when you get your life back on track things should go better for you, if you start doing things jehoblahs way, theres no other way, the worlds got nothing, doom dooom blaah blah'

    sorry where was I.

    never mind

  • Madame Quixote
    Madame Quixote

    My auntie's leaving tomorrow a.m. and I thought it would be nice to try a visit tonight, bring food or parting gifts and play a game of Scrabble or something. It didn't work out though, because my jw family were coming straight back from KH meeting to spend time with her (or just to spy on and hog up my grandma and aunt).

    I drove 45 minutes in the rain to drop some little gifts off to my grandma and aunt. My jw sis was there, staying home from the meeting so she could visit my aunt (and keep tabs (spy) on my grandma, probably). When I first came in, my sis casually walked away to hide out in the kitchen until I left (and to pretend she wasn't shunning me because my aunt was there). She came back out as I was leaving and then followed me out to the front porch to have one of her private little "stern discussions" (about how much inconveninece I'm causing them, or to preach or some such thing), as usual, per my visits. After 25 years, I know the routine. Guess what? I finally figured out that I'm the one who doesn't have time for that, so I just left. "Sorry, it's late, my daughter's waiting, I've got to go, I'll call."

    Then I immediately called her from the car so she would have to talk to me on phone in front of my aunt rather than privately, as she attempted. It's obvious that she (and the rest of the jw family) know it's stupid and/or embarrasses them to have to shun me or to discuss it in front of normal, sensible people (aka "worldly ones").

    Of course, in our phone conversation, she didn't touch on disfellowshipping and mentioned we could talk about the "other things" later. Fat chance; I'm no longer discussing it - Jehovah's Witness crap - with any one of them for any reason. If they bring it up, I'm busy, in a hurry, have other things to do - the same way they always have had other things to do when I wanted to talk with them about something actually meaningful or important; or when I chose to question their behaviour and attitudes. They sure can dish some shit out, but they can't take it, can they? No, gotta go hide in the kithcen or go chase the apostate onto the front porch to count some secret little field service time!

    Anyway, I felt good about driving up to say good bye and to thank my grandma for her kindness in letting me visit. I know it causes her harassment from all sides; but, she says she doesn't agree with it (disfellowshipping), so I'm not going to worry about it. If they dis her for it though, I'll be doing more than embarassing them over it.

    I think it's time for me to start my apostate mailing campaign. The time is ripe for causing dissent (also known as free thought). The smarmy little apostate rubs her hands vigorously together and grins evilly.

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