Frank and Barbara Kavelin's recent disfellowshipping for 'apostasy' two years after they stopped going to meetings made me ponder why exactly the WTS frequently pursues people long after they have disappeared off the JW scene.
At first glance it seems a counterproductive strategy to make enemies out of people who would otherwise leave quietly. I've had the pleasure of getting to know Frank and Barb over the last year or so and I know for a fact that Frank's story would not be on JWN and Freeminds if he hadn't been disfellowshipped. Now tens of thousands of people will have the chance to read about yet_another_decent_set_of_people screwed over by the WTS. And thats surely counterproductive. Or is it?
Here's why I think the WTS had to disfellowship Ray Franz, Barb Anderson, Bill Bowen, Frank Kavelin etc:
1 - Cults demand purity. So they have no option but to uphold Jehovah's standards of perfect justice. The evildoer must be rooted out. And more importantly drilled into perpetual inadequacy loyal followers look at Frank and see a warning example of one who succumbed to some sort of weakness, and redouble their own efforts accordingly. How many of us know situations where 'average' JW's become uber JW's when someone close to them leaves the group? Black and white thinking leaves no room for gray. Disfellowshipping Frank is an effective reminder to the rest to try harder....
2 - Cults dispense existense. The WTS is the de facto co-mediator with Jesus for 99% of JW's. Eternal life is not possible without affiliation with the WTS. So Frank had to go. People can't just leave without the WTS terminating their right to life officially. Fear of being cut off from the source of life and the loss of self-worth through not being connected to your purpose in life is a powerful fear control mechanism. Disfellowshipping Frank is a timely reminder to the faithful of the consequences...
3 - Cults need to be right. They have airtight logic with no room for questioning the leadership. And the sacredness of their 'science' should therefore never need to be departed from. Because the WTS is right that makes Frank wrong. If he is wrong he has to be disfellowshipped. There is no other option.
I'm sure there are other reasons I'm missing.
But the WTS having all the indicators of a cult makes it unlikely they are capable of behaving otherwise. Its inevitable, even if its counterproductive. They simply can't help themselves.
The Internet amplifies their stupidity. But when you're the voice of God on earth that probably doesn't concern you too much. Significant attrition in the membership is only causing them to become more cult-like. It's a vicious cycle that will keep beating the flock until morale improves. Their loss is our gain.