Is disfellowshipping as popular as it was years ago?

by minimus 46 Replies latest jw friends

  • steve2

    More older men and more pliable submissive woman.

    In comparison to the 60 's 70 's where there were huge number of young people in the halls.

    I would guess that there are more circumstances of people fading out before they are DFed as it were.

    Finkelstein's comments are likely close to the money. During my upbringing in the 1960s, many many young people came into the organization who had not been raised in it. They often brought their particular "proclivities" with them and sooner or later started to engage in "unChristian conduct" and were reproved or disfellowshipped.

    It was easier for them to cut their hair and clean up their physical appearance and wear nice clothes than to "change" their behavior. Being relatively "new" to the organization, with few family and friendship ties, being disfellowshipped was hardly difficult for them.

    Nowadays, new ones coming into the organization as young or older adults who have no previous connection with Witnesses is relatviely rare.

    Most have been raised in the religion and those who do stick around are on the older side.

    When I see JWs out door-to-door (which is infrequently), they are invariably older women and a few older men. Also, locally, it is the same demographic who man the literature trolleys.

    The ageing of the JW demographic has likely contributed to a decline in disfellowshippings - although I concede that there is likely significant regional variation in frequencies.

  • BluesBrother

    I have noticed also the lack of d/f activity these days (don't speak too soon, BB !)

    Some sensible comments here about the shift to having more old ones - perhaps the young ones are smarter and don't get caught?

    When I was involved, there were a lot of J Cs that resulted in private reproof with no announcement made. Perhaps there is more of that?

  • neverendingjourney

    I agree with the "it varies from congregation to congregation" comments.

    When I stopped attending, I received one courtesy call from the presiding overseer who made it clear he had no intention of prying. It was evident he was simply going through the motions and checking a box. I don't think we wanted to be burdened with the additional work that would result from discovering any "wrongdoing" on my part and I can't blame him.

    Contrast that with an elder at a neighboring hall who acted like a private detective. He was known to conduct stakeouts to smoke out evil fornicators, a real prick of a human being.

    I've lost touch with what's currently going on in that world, but disfellowshippings were still quite popular in my area as recently as the early '00s. It was hard to fornicate in secret within such a small, tight-knit group.

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    I remember hearing way long ago that teenagers accounted for half of all disfellowshippings. It was explained that they were more sexually active and less experienced at hiding it. Even though there are fewer young ones nowadays there might be more disfellowshippings of older ones for apostasy. What goes on above the waistline is what worries them the most.

    I wonder if disfellowshippings are still 1% per year.

  • badcompany
    Wow...I'm shocked at the difference of opinion. I was df'd in the 70's so I'm out of touch. When I was in borg df happened frequently, mostly to young ones like me. I do remember it was consistent across the circuit. The day I got df'd there were 3 of us at the same time. Totally unrelated events.
  • insidetheKH

    Bluesbrother is right.

    Nowadays less people are disfellowshipped and more of them get private reproof with no announcement made

    I was in 3 different congregations since 2008 and never heard of anyone df'ed

  • krejames
    It's quite difficult to get disfellowshipped in the UK I think. You don't really hear if it so much now. I mean, c'mon, I had five judicial committees within a space of 3 years and never got disfellowshipped. There were some watchtower study articles about five years ago directed at the elders, that said they had to be more merciful and use disfellow shipping as a last resort. One of the elders in my judicial committee said the aim was to discern between "weakness" and "wickedness" lol.
  • dozy

    Things do seem a bit different nowadays. I remember when I was growing up there was always a few hapless people sitting on "disfellowshipped row" at the back of the Kingdom Hall and it seemed that every other month there was the dreaded announcement. My father was the PO & I remember regularly driving to the KH & he was really agitated & nervous & my mother would ask him quietly "not another announcement?" and he would nod his head.

    I think demographics certainly plays a part , as others have said. I think also elders have been more inclined in recent years to reprove rather than DF. I can think of a few cases locally which seemed to be open & shut DF cases where the guilty party / parties got off with a reproof. One was where a brother & sister in the congregation ( both married to other people ) had been having an affair for 18 months before they were eventually rumbled. Lots of deceit , lies - yet still just an announcement of public reproof for them both. One of the marriage mates who was being cheated on was so upset at the decision she burst into tears. I presume it was cases like this that have led to the recent videos at the elders schools trying to tighten up and disfellowship more wrongdoers.

    I also think younger JWs are much cleverer than when I was a teenager at staying below the radar , keeping clear of the elders and leading a double life. Social media - texting etc there are a lot more ways to conduct relationships without anyone finding out.

    But maybe the biggest trend is that so-called "weak" JWs aren't busting a gut to "stay in the truth". If they are doing wrong things ( eg affairs , dating non believers etc ) then they are quietly slipping away rather than face the inevitable consequences.The demise of the home book study group has been a factor in this as well where no elder is really responsible for individual publishers. I've seen this in the large city congregations especially where there are numerous marginal JWs.

  • TheOldHippie
    Must be close to 20 years since the last one in my congregation.
  • DwainBowman

    I think more are keeping their mouth shut, out of fear of losing family and friends. And many others, just walk away!


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