Your elder friend is lying to you to "soften" the organization's image.
Next time you see him, ask him, if he is a baptized Witness. Then, when he says, "Of course," ask him if he was baptized. When he says, "Of course," ask him if, prior to baptism, he studied questions for baptism from the book Organized to Accomplish Our Ministry.
When he tells you, "Yes." Tell him what is found on Pages 150-151 of the 1983 edition of that book.
It reads as follows under the subheading Disassociation:
"The term disassociation applies to the action taken by a person who, although being a baptized member of the congregation, deliberately repudiates his Christian standing, rejecting the congregation and stating that he no longer wants to be recognized or known as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. As a disassociated person, his situation before Jehovah is far different from that of an inactive Christian who, having grown weak spiritually, no longer shares in the field ministry. Such an inactive person may have failed to study God's Word regularly, or his zeal for serving Jehovah may have cooled off due to his experiencing personal problems or persecution. (1 Cor. 11:30; Rom. 14:1) The elders, as well as other concerned members of the congregation, will continue rendering appropriate spitirual assistance to the inactive brother. (1 Thess. 5:14; Rom. 15:1; Heb. 12:12) However, the person who has disassociated himself by repudiating the faith and deliberately abandoning Jehovah's worship is viewed in the same way as one who has been disfellowshipped. A brief announcement would be made to the congregation that the person has voluntarily disassocated himself from the congregation.
Concerning those who renounced their Christian faith in his day, the apostle John wrote: "They went out from us, but they were not of our sort; for if they had been of our sort, they would have remained with us." (1 John 2:19) Also, a person might renounce his place in the Christian congregation by his actions, such as by becoming part of a secular organization the objective of which is contrary to the Bible and, hence, is under judgment by Jehovah God. (Compare Revelation 19:17-21; Isaiah 2:4) So if a person who is a Christian chooses to join those who are disapproved by God, it would be fitting for the congregation to acknowledge by a brief announcement that he has disassociated himself and is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Such a person would be view in the same way as a disfellowshipped person." [Bold mine; italics theirs.]
Ask him if there has been "new light" on this subject since 1983.
The answer will be, "No." Or there will be some hemming and hawing. INSIST on seeing the publication that proves to him and to YOU, that he was correct when he told you recently that shunning a disassociated person "wasn't something that the society supported."
When the truth is found to be lies
and all the joy within you dies ... -- Darby Slick, Somebody to Love