Yes, it hurt my mom to shun her three children. She was in constant conflict over this and suffered a great deal. When she was dying, she kept crying and apologizing for not being a good mother. Even though she remained a faithful dub unto death, she had a major sense that what she had done had caused major damage to our family. So very sad for all of us.
I have a JW aunt who is in frequent agony over shunning her two grown daughters for the past 20-30 years. They both now have grown children - who do not know their grandmother. This is evil sh-t, visited generation upon generation. Isn't that in the Bible?
When did 'shunning' really 'kick in' in the Org?
As far as I know it became really strict and a d’f offence after Ray Franz was d’fed in the early 80ties. The atmosphere and the operations of the elders changed to the worse than it was before. So I understand the old timers I spoke to. fts
It is so very frustrating when I here them say, it is the df'ed preson that chooses to be shunned. What a bunch of crap, Like we all want our family and friends to act as if we are dead.
I make a point of saying hello especially if other people are around. The few who don't respond look like butts. I could just here their conversations...."Why did you not say hello to that person they seemed to know you?" "Because he is not a JW anymore and I love him, and the Bible say not to speak to him." I thought the JW had unconditional love because the Bible says to have unconditional love?" "Yes, we do, and as soon as he starts doing everything we say, just the way we say it, and admitts he is wrong and submits to our scrutiny, we will love him unconditionally.
My father to his credit has never shunned me but he does restrict our time together. He claims we dont talk anymore but I have to point outy that it is because he is a two subject person, first subject is "What we heard at the meetings" and the second is "When are you comming back to the meetings." And when I say I'm not he doesn't want to talk anymore. I remember once at a small family gathering my father tells some of my cousins that the reason for their (the JW) shunning me was that I chose to worship Satan instead of God.(Notice he did not say Jehovah). Well my cousins really fliped on this one until I made my dad admit to them that in his JW belief system they too are Satan worshipers.
Mary: ***Ah yes, it's "Agape love"! After all, we have to "keep the congregation clean" at all costs.....right? ***
hamsterbait: ***Shunning actually exists, not to attract the sinners and apostates back to the fold, but to keep the gofors trapped inside.***
Mary and hamsterbait got it right. Whatever "agape love" is displayed in such a loveless practice is directed to the cong to keep it "safe" (i.e. ignorant of the truth). As far as the WTS is concerned, the one shunned can go straight to the devil. Why else are there scores (hundreds? thousands?) of people on this site who haven't received a "shepherding" call in years, sometimes decades.
If the GB were set up in a Milgram-style experiment, they would instantly and gleefully zap all of us here into oblivion, because they have no conscience at all.
To determine whether or not shunning damages R&F members, all you have to do is read some of the heart-rending recent posts here of exJWs who are guilt-stricken for having shunned family and friends while still in the "truth." Some have gone as far as to seek out those they shunned and ask for their forgiveness.
The practice of enforced shunning is harmful to the extreme for JWs. At first it dehumanizes their actions, and if protracted long enough, I believe it dehumanizes their conscience.
I really believe that those who shun are very, very sad people. They don't know God's Grace as it really is and they certainly don't have the right to call themselves Christian.
What a terrible life they lead, poor souls. I much prefer to live with love for all of humankind and compassion for my brother and neighbor regardless of his or her religious affiliation (or lack of). I spring out of bed each morning because of the grace-filled day ahead of me. NOTHING the Witness cult offers compares with blissful happiness that comes from reaching out to all family, friends, and strangers.