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?
- Physical and Psychological torture are abhorrent, most witnesses would never consider shunning to be the second one, but it absolutely is.
- 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.
- 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: