Jehovahs Witness Shunning & the Crusades

by freemindfade 17 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • freemindfade

    While discussing being mistreated by my own JW family last night with my wife, I wanted to try to make her think critically about what shunning really is, and at its root what how beneficial it is.

    Earlier in the day i sent her non-apostate scholarly article on religious shunning being tantamount to psychological torture

    And most witnesses don't think into much about why they do things, its more of a "this is the way we do it, don't over think it" process.

    So I told my wife, visualize dark age priests and religious leaders who would physically torture a "heretic" in order to get them to say, "what was I thinking... of course the earth is flat... yes there is a god... please can we put the fire out now, thanks"...

    If the end means is same, to cause someone to be forced to claim they believe what the church says because of the extreme discomfort, either physiological or physical, what does that really accomplish?

    1. Physical and Psychological torture are abhorrent, most witnesses would never consider shunning to be the second one, but it absolutely is.
    2. if someone concedes and says "ok, I am wrong, you were right all along" just to get the torture to stop, it didn't make them a believer it just made them want to stop the pain. Again, what was the point? Ego.
    3. If someone refuses, they are in effect tortured to death, in dark ages literally, in these wacko modern religions socially they are executed. They refuse and they are dead to all former witnesses, and in the case of "apostasy", the whole thing I think makes them never want to return, and see it for what it really is. This is probably where you get the stat that 2/3 never return. (by the way I hear this statistic a lot, does anyone have references to where it came from?)

    Anyway, just sharing my musings. Witnesses never think too deeply into these things, I know when I was "in" I just followed the rules too. If anyone is interested in watching a video to that end, check this out:

  • OneEyedJoe

    To answer your question about the 2/3rds thing, I think you might be misapplying it. The statistic (at least the one that I know of) is that roughly 2/3rds of born-ins leave. This is inferred from a pew poll that indicated that roughly 1/3 of people polled that were raised JW still identified as JW.

  • Laika
    I think you're thinking more of the inquisition then the crusades but I see your point generally.
  • Vidiot

    In previous decades, the WTS viewed disfellowshipping (partly) as a means of compelling wayward members back into the fold, because membership volume and "growth" was a major priority.

    Nowadays, though, it's used first and foremost for information control; I've lost count of all the stories I've read here of BOEs who stonewall potential reinstatements, as if they actually don't want DFed ones to come back.

  • done4good

    Good OP

    Religion and its effects are very insidious to a person. Otherwise normal, good people will do very hurtful things because of it, to maintain their belief system when that system is threatened. This is the root of where cognitive dissonance comes in within this context, and religions thrive because of it. The WT just happens to be one of the bigger religious offenders today, mostly because socially it has evolved very little since the 19th century. The RC church, and others have had much more time to evolve to a more docile version of themselves. Shunning was considered perfectly normal in 19th century America. It is not today. The atrocities committed during the Inquisition and Crusades were even more atrocious, but unfortunately were also considered "normal" during their period.


  • freemindfade
    Yes thank you, inquisition, too early to start typing these things lol.
    It has become so ingrained in the JWdom, like 1914, that no matter how gravely wrong, it seems they can't change it now, to quote the movie 'Focus' die with the lie....

  • cappytan
    freemindfade: If you don't mind my asking, how is your wife reacting lately? Is she steadily becoming more accepting of your beliefs? Is it getting worse? better? about the same?
  • Caedes

    You could use this when a JW knocks on your door. Act interested at first and then 'explain' that you can't join the JWs as your current religion has a shunning policy for anyone who leaves and you don't want to lose friends and family.

  • freemindfade

    cappytan, she is like a different person, she feels my family has totally stepped out of line and doesn't agree with them at all. She is way less "culty" if that is a word. She says I have taught her a lot about not being judgmental and other typical negative JW behavior. Family things has gone down hill.

    You know about 2 years ago i guess she was freaking out about my view of the bible as not true, so she ratted me out to the CO and an elder friend, so they came and talked with me, I told them all these things about how I can't settle out bible stories with science, history and archeology. They were both actually super cool, I thought I was gonna get DF'd. They just said they thought I was intelligent, and they loved me, and to just not completely give up. And that was that. Fast forward two years, I come out with this to some family members and they take it upon themselves to completely disassociate me.

    Like literally no one will speak to me, all my family on IG disappeared. It's so disappointing. But the wife will listen now, our debates don't turn into WW3 and she is very sympathetic. I think since she has had to deal with it for the last few years, and she sees I am still really the same person that she loves, it's a shock to her system to see them all act so... hypocritical. Especially since many of them have been involved in some pretty scandalous things and disfellowshipping everything you can imagine, they are not living the standard JW model, they miss most meetings and don't go out regular, and they are taking the lead in trashing me. She is not dumb, she sees how f---ed up that is. Especially since I have been so kind and generous to all of them and never spoken a harsh word, even when I was on top of my JW game and they were floundering

  • freemindfade
    lol or you could say my religion says I can't talk to apostates...
    Kind of like putting them in a round room and telling them to pee in the corner

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