by Mary 43 Replies latest jw friends

  • Mary

    I feel really angry and upset. A good friend of mine is going through hell because they are being shunned by their children and grandchildren. Their sin? Believing that Jesus died on a cross, not a torture stake.

    I'm lucky enough where I haven't had to endure any shunning (yet), but seeing as the Governing Body refuses to back down on their tyrannical doctrine of destroying families when someone doesn't agree with them, I'm wondering if it's time that we started writing to our Members of Parliment, Senators or whatever government officials available. Freedom of Religion is one thing. Destroying the very fabric of our societies---the family unit---- because a few senile men have their heads up their asses and have literally put themselves in place of God is another. Especially as these same men deny us the very same priviledge---Freedom of Religion----that they themselves enjoy without accountability or reason.

    If enough of us wrote letters, what do you think our chances would be of getting some law passed that forbade religions from telling people they must shun family members?

    I'd appreciate your input on this.

  • ferret

    Well said Mary I agree with you 100%.

  • Taythan

    Shunning will not cease as long as the JW cult exists. It's interwoven into the fabric of the rules made for the rank and file by the suits in Brooklyn. Shunning can only be stopped on an individual to individual basis. This usually results in the one that stops shunning realizing how wrong they were and in turn getting the treatment from those they know too. Only the entire collapse of the "Society's" control over the JW rank and file culture and the destruction of the organization as it is today could result in the abolishment of the "rule"
    Any law passed targeted at the JW's view on shunning could be abused in other ways. It doesn't take a JW to shun. Many families have rifts within their structure due to financial or other disagreements which cause a member to shun another.....suddenly this would be against the law? There is also no way to enforce a law of this kind. You can't pick up the phone and call the cops crying "My brother is shunning me!" It's just not feasable in a real world situation as nice as it sounds.

  • fullofdoubtnow

    Mary, I have been shunned a few times since I left, it takes time to get used to, but I have nothing in common with the shunners anymore, so it doesn't really worry me. However, I have no other family in the org, so it's not family members who are doing the shunning. I really don't know how I'd handle it if it was.

    I can sort of understand how people feel when their family are shunning them, but I really can't see how it can be stopped. Let's face it - it's a wts rule that they apply to those who have left, and most dubs follow the rules. They are afraid to do anything else. I think if shunning was to be stopped, the gb would have to order it. It's not illegal to ignore someone you have a disagreement with, so even if a law was passed, no one could make jws talk to former members. I can't see how such a law could be enforced anyway. I wish it were differrent, and I could still approach some of my former friends in the org and get a response, but it isn't. A letter writing campaign might sway politicians a little, and even persuade them to see things from our point of view, but any amount of letters won't change the attitude of the gb, and they, ultimately, are the ones that decide wts policy.


  • Quandry

    I think it has been shown through many court cases that a religion has a right to set its own dogma. If a person knowingly joins the group, they are agreeing to follow the precepts of the religion. This has been upheld as a freedom of religion issue. This being said, I don't see that new laws could be made to effect change.

    What I do, however, see happening, is that the WT is becomming rather like the Puritans of old. They came to this country to have freedom of religion, because they felt that the Church of England was not "pure" any longer in its teaching. They were obviously very pious and strict. Later on, because they were such an isolated group, they began to turn their attention to destroying each other. This was very evident at the Salem witch trials.

    Fear was the motivating force behind the finding of people guilty of witchcraft. If one tried to defend a person, they too could be viewed with suspicion, and have the same fate.

    The same with shunning. Many shun because they will also be punished if they do not go along with it. Only now, the cases of apostacy are growing at an alarming rate. People realize that they can be df'd for merely asking a question about a past WT, or something they have heard, like the UN scandal.

    Eventually, I see this as perhaps the downfall of the Society. One poster here mentioned that no longer is df'ing a last resort. It is now seen as a following of the old law code whereby a person must be punished, usually with glee by those who love to lord it over others.

    Even people who they feel are repentant must be punished, thereby heaping the proper humiliation on them.

    The fact that this is such a big issue is highlighted by the recent magazine articles demanding that a strict shunning policy is the only policy that God will accept.

    I think that the guilt factor will send some over the edge. They simply will not be able to reconcile this with a loving creator.

    We'll see what happens.

  • DaCheech

    I really get a soar from hearing ...--> Sister so and so was persecuted by her unbelieving husband for 20+ years for being a Witness.

    They seem to think it's unfair when anything close to shunning happens to them, but at the same time thinks its loving to do the same to their family members!!!!


  • IW

    JWs do not baptize in vacuums. We of all people know how much is indoctrinated into a person before they get baptized. The Bible Study, the meeting attendance, the life style changes, the field service, the long list of questions to go through etc. The Watchtower does not hide its disfellowshipping and shunning policy nor what is expected. Loyalty to the Organization and its teachings are paramount. Everyone in the JW community knows this.

    On what basis then do those of us who leave claim an injustice? I understood the shunning policy when I got baptized as a teenager. My children understood it. There were many Watchtower articles teaching the why and where of it.

    I'm not saying I agree with it, BY NO MEANS! If anything we should shout it on the housetops to all who may come in contact with JWs and warn them about it. But the truth is most, if not all, of us were well aware of it before we baptized and probably at times even to some degree participated in it afterwards. Unfortunately though for many it does not hit home until it happens to them.

    Freedom of religion is as important as freedom of the press....we should not tamper with it. imo.

  • parakeet

    ***If enough of us wrote letters, what do you think our chances would be of getting some law passed that forbade religions from telling people they must shun family members?***

    Probably not a chance, Mary. Freedom of speech gives us the right to speak or not speak with whomever we like (within certain limitations). A law forbidding the practice of shunning would ironically violate our civil rights, and there would be no practical way to enforce it.
    Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your politics), there is no way a government can force families to treat one another humanely.

  • DaCheech

    What if shunning creates economic sanctions against someone?

  • parakeet

    DaCheech: ***What if shunning creates economic sanctions against someone?***
    There was a thread a while back about an Amish storekeeper refusing to sell items to a shunned Amish woman. I believe she sued and won, so there are legal limitations to shunning. However, in the situation Mary describes above, the shunning is taking place within the family. However immoral this type of shunning is, it is legal and likely to remain so.

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