Loving your beutiful children

by jambon1 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • Balsam

    I realized something when I read your thread because your attitude and feelings for you children are so different from my ex-husbands. My ex-husband refused blood to save our 15 year old son in 2001 and he died. An auto accident on the way home from the KH presented the life & death race. He rejected our youngest son and in turn when he tried to make nice with him a year ago, my son told him never to call him again. My ex denied he ever mistreated any of us and he especially never neglected my son or his brothers. My son only laughed at him and told him he is disowned piece of sh-- and never wanted anything more to do with him. My ex does talk to our oldest son but he more or less connected better with his dad than our youngest son ever was.

    My ex-husband must have never really loved our sons I guess, I don't understand it. I left the witnesses after Dak died and divorced my children's Dad because of his proud sacrifice of our son on the alter of Jehovah. He literally bragged at the KH about how he refused blood for Dak knowing he would die. They were possessions I guess, and he just never felt anything like you did for your kids. I remember one time he proudly told the boys if you leave Jehovah your mother and I will shun you. I immediately told the boys I would never shun them because they are my heart. My ex later told me how important it was for us to stand together to scare the boys into obedience to Jehovah. I remember asking him where is god's love in any of this? It obviously wasn't in the JW's.

    Your children are so fortunate to have you, to know you love them more than than your own life and that you would never allow anything to stand in the way of saving them. Thank you for sharing that, I realize now that sometimes parents sometimes just don't really love their kids and that is sad.

  • jambon1


    How terribly sad. My heart goes out to you. I don't understand it & I never will.

    The vulnerability of children is what gets to me a lot. They rely on their parents for everything. Love, care, approval. They deserve everything you can give them.

    I'm guessing that Jehovah's Witnesses are fulfilling what the bible says about lacking 'natural affection'. They are unnatural. Sub-human.

    Best wishes,


  • Scully

    One of the pivotal moments in my JW life was during a time when I was desperately trying to cling to the belief system despite unloving treatment from JWs while I'd been suffering from severe postpartum depression after the birth of my youngest child. My depression was finally under control, with the help of a physician who had the expertise I needed, plus some medication that put my brain chemistry right again.

    I was still struggling with hurt feelings toward the JWs - these were people who were supposed to gladly lay down their lives for me, yet they spread malicious gossip about me and my family, they avoided me as though I was Demonized™, they treated me like dog $h!t they'd scraped off their shoes. Anyway, I reached out to one Sister™ who had been my friend for several years, someone who'd leaned heavily on me when she was going through hell with her JW family (even though she wasn't DFd or even Inactive™), and we went out for coffee. I poured out my heart to her, telling her I was having a hard time reconciling the way I was being treated with Jesus' words at John 13:34, 35. Since I certainly wasn't seeing any love from the JWs I knew - how could they possibly be Jesus' disciples?

    What she said to me next, I will never, ever forget. She told me: If you're going to turn your back on The Truth™, you may as well take your three beautiful children out in the back yard and blow their heads off with a gun. That way they won't go down with you at Armageddon™ and will at least have a Resurrection™ in the Paradise™. Her words shocked me. They stabbed me in the heart. She was loud enough that other customers in the restaurant could overhear her, and they too looked on in shocked disbelief. To this day, when I think about that incident, I can hear her saying those words as clear as I did when she said them, and it's been over 15 years.

    That was the instant I knew that I would never go back to the JWs.

  • palmtree67

    If you're going to turn your back on The Truth™, you may as well take your three beautiful children out in the back yard and blow their heads off with a gun. That way they won't go down with you at Armageddon™ and will at least have a Resurrection™ in the Paradise™.

    Scully, that gave me the chills.

    ((( Balsam )))

  • Truthexplorer

    H i Jambon,

    I have copied and pasted an extract from an essay someone had written called 'Jehovahs witness and watchtower doctrine analysis'..

    It is a bit of a long read (about 14 pages long), but Is quite an eyeopener when read. It highlights where the society have gone wrong in their interpretation of disfellowhiping and shunning; and the devastating impact this can have on individuals. Hope you mange to read it. TE

    October 1, 1993 Watchtower

    pg 19 par 15

    “There’s no better way to dismantle a

    personality than to isolate it.”


    Keenan, hostage survivor

    Disfellowshipping and Shunning

    Jehovah's Witnesses are among the few religious groups (such as the Amish,

    Mormons, Scientology and Islam) that practice extreme shunning of former members----

    -a practice that has turned husband against wife, children against their parents or even

    grandparents, or vise-versa. Of all the Society's doctrines, this one is perhaps the most

    responsible for uprising among former members against the Organization that has

    resulted in exhaustive examination and exposés of their flawed teachings and history. It

    was not until 1952 that the Watchtower introduced disfellowshipping as now practiced

    and the following review of the scriptural principles involved shows that there is no

    Biblical justification for this unchristian form of manipulation.

    One of the characteristics of any high control group is an enforced policy that requires

    the members to shun anyone who leaves or gets expelled from the religion, including

    their own flesh and blood. It is, unfortunately, a common trait among ‘exclusive’ groups

    that claim to be "the Truth." The consequences of this harsh doctrinal policy are

    extreme, tearing families apart and leaving the victims emotionally and spiritually

    devastated. Suicides or attempted suicides are not uncommon, although you will never

    see this horrific side-effect mentioned in any of the Society’s literature.

    There are various reasons as to why a Witness might be disfellowshipped. Reasons

    such as smoking, celebrating Christmas, Easter or other secular holidays, fornication,

    adultery, and of course, openly questioning any of the religions’ doctrines. For this last

    offense, anyone who does not ‘cease and desist’ immediately, will be branded as an

    "apostate", even if they have unquestionable proof that the Organization’s teaching on

    a certain matter, is without scriptural basis. You are tried for being ‘disloyal to the

    Organization’, not ‘disloyal to Jehovah’

    (although in the Judicial Committee’s minds,

    there is no difference between the two)


    Jehovah's Witnesses are taught that they must hate ‘apostates’, who are often accused

    of being under the control of Satan himself. An article titled "Search Through Me, O



    , says of apostates:

    “...Regarding them, the psalmist said: "Do I not hate those who are intensely

    hating you, O Jehovah, and do I not feel a loathing for those revolting against

    you? With a complete hatred I do hate them. They have become to me real

    enemies." (Psalm 139:21, 22) It was because they intensely hated Jehovah that

    David looked on them with abhorrence. Apostates are included among those

    who show their hatred of Jehovah by revolting against him. Apostasy is, in



    The Watchtower

    , September 15, 1981, pg 29


    The Watchtower

    , November 15, 1952 p. 703 Questions From Readers

    reality, a rebellion against Jehovah. Some apostates profess to know and serve

    God, but they reject teachings or requirements set out in his Word. Others claim

    to believe the Bible, but they reject Jehovah's organization and actively try to

    hinder its work. When they deliberately choose such badness after knowing

    what is right, when the bad becomes so ingrained that it is an inseparable part

    of their makeup, then a Christian must hate (in the Biblical sense of the word)

    those who have inseparably attached themselves to the badness. True

    Christians share Jehovah's feelings toward such apostates; they are not curious

    about apostate ideas. On the contrary, they "feel a loathing" toward those who

    have made themselves God's enemies, but they leave it to Jehovah to execute

    vengeance.--Job 13:16; Romans 12:19; 2 John 9, 10.

    Another article in under the heading "disfellowshipped RELATIVES NOT LIVING AT



    also has this to say (beginning at paragraph 18):

    “The second situation that we need to consider is that involving a

    disfellowshipped or disassociated relative who is not in the immediate family

    circle or living at one's home. Such a person is still related by blood or marriage,

    and so there may be some limited need to care for necessary family matters.

    Nonetheless, it is not as if he were living in the same home where contact and

    conversation could not be avoided. We should keep clearly in mind the Bible's

    inspired direction: "Quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a

    fornicator or a greedy person . . . , not even eating with such a man."--1


    “...Of course, if the children are of age, then there can be a departing and

    breaking of family ties in a physical way, because the spiritual ties have already

    snapped..........If children are of age and continue to associate with a

    disfellowshipped parent because of receiving material support from him or her,

    then they must consider how far their spiritual interests are being endangered

    by continuing under this unequal arrangement, and whether they can arrange to

    support themselves, living apart from the fallen-away parent. Their continuing to

    receive material support should not make them compromise so as to ignore the

    disfellowshipped state of the parent.

    If, because of acting according to the

    disfellowship order of the company of God’s people, they become

    threatened with a withdrawal of the parental support, then they must be

    willing to take such consequences..



    “...the primary question under consideration has to do with a relative



    immediate family, one who does not live in the same household. Would any

    contact be possible? Again, the disfellowshipping does not dissolve the fleshand-

    blood ties, but, in this situation, contact, if it were necessary at all, would be

    much more rare than between persons living in the same home. Yet, there might

    be some


    necessary family matters requiring communication, such as

    legalities over a will or property. But the disfellowshipped relative should be

    made to appreciate that his status has changed, that he is no longer welcome in

    the home nor is he a preferred companion. This course is both Scriptural and



    The Watchtower , June 1, 1970 p. 351 Questions From Readers 54

    The Watchtower, April 15, 1988 p. 28 pars. 14-15


    New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures



    “...The situation is different if the disfellowshipped or disassociated one is a

    relative living outside the immediate family circle and home. It might be possible

    to have almost no contact at all with the relative. Even if there were some family

    matters requiring contact, this certainly would be kept to a minimum, in line with

    the divine principle: “Quit mixing in company with


    called a brother that is

    a fornicator or a greedy person [or guilty of another gross sin], . . . not even

    eating with such a man.” Understandably, this may be difficult because of

    emotions and family ties, such as grandparents’ love for their grandchildren.

    Yet, this is a test of loyalty to God, as stated by the sister quoted on page 26.

    Anyone who is feeling the sadness and pain that the disfellowshipped relative

    has thus caused may find comfort and be encouraged by the example set by

    some of Korah’s relatives.


    While the practice of disfellowshipping members and not speaking to them might

    appear to have support from the scriptures, one needs to take a look at both the culture

    and religious practices in Judaism and in the early Christian congregation to fully

    understand what the scriptures are saying.

    The primary scripture the Society uses for justification in this doctrine is found in 1

    Corinthians 5:11 which says:

    “But now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother

    that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or

    an extortioner, not even eating with such a man.”


    The scripture cited above in 1 Corinthians is clear that a person with whom the

    congregation should not mix company is one who is:

    1) "called a brother" (that is, one who professes to be a member of the

    congregation); and those who:

    2) practicing fornication, greed, idiolatry, reviling (insulting), habitual

    drunkenness, and/or extortion (theft).

    Here we need to know what the customs of fellowship and worship were practiced by

    first-century Jews and Christians

    (keeping in mind that Jesus and his apostles were


    They lived according to the Jewish lifestyle and customs of their day. Jesus

    taught in the synagogues, kept the Jewish holidays and lived the life of a Jew; He was

    also called "Rabbi." Matt.26:25; 26:49; Mark 9:5; 11:21; 14:25; John 1:38, 49; 3:2, 26;

    4:31; 6:25; 9:2; 11:8

    There were two kinds of association for religious worship amongst first century Jews:

    1) The public meetings, such as those at the temple and in the synagogues which


    was allowed to attend.



    2 John 11 (NWT)

    2) The intimate private gatherings of the different sects

    (in Judaism for example, there

    were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots and Essenes).

    Christians and Jews

    participated in both. Since the Christians at that time did not have a public meeting

    place that they could call their own, they used both the Synagogues and also met in

    private homes, usually over a special meal with prayer.

    Christians were instructed to "greet" one another with a kiss. (Rom.16:16; 1.Cor.16:20;

    2Cor.13:12; Ti.3:15; 1Pet.5:14) When Paul sent his "greetings" in a letter to the

    Christians in Thessalonica, he asked that the brothers be greeted with a "holy kiss" on

    his behalf. (1Thess.5:26) This was a custom both amongst the Jews and Christians of

    the first century, it had a special significance of close companionship amongst those

    who were related either by blood or by their faith.

    Clearly, Paul did instruct Christians to expel from the congregation fellowship those

    who was purposely practicing willful sin. The expulsion would naturally exclude them

    from being greeted by the identifying "holy kiss," as well as not being allowed to share

    in meetings and the meals for Christian worship and prayer.

    However, Paul's instruction did not prohibit

    normal conversation

    or witnessing to former

    members. Nor were the guilty party barred from attending worship in the temple or the

    synagogues. Jesus, the apostles and Paul, along with the rest of the Jews, worshiped

    God both publicly in the temple and synagogues, and privately with small groups in

    various homes. (Acts 5:42)

    It was from the private Christian fellowship for worship that

    sinners were excluded.

    What of the scripture that says: “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this

    teaching, never receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him. For he that says

    a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.”


    The above scripture is not talking about those who had been expelled from the

    Christian congregation. If you read verse 10 it is clear that it is talking about someone

    who does not

    “acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver

    and the antichrist.”

    This included Jews that rejected Jesus and people of the nations worshipping other

    Gods. Yet the Watchtower stance is to apply this only to Jehovah's Witnesses. The

    meaning of the phrase “never receive him into YOUR homes” should be understood in

    the context of the hospitality of first century Jerusalem. Since Christians held

    congregation meetings in their homes John possibly felt that inviting a denier of Christ

    into a home could be viewed as sharing worship with non-Christians. Likewise the term

    to never “say a greeting” to him needs to be understood in light of first century practice.

    “John here used

    khai ' ro

    , which was a greeting like “good day” or “hello.” (Acts

    15:23; Matthew 28:9) He did not use

    a A spa ' zo A mai

    (as in verse 13), which

    means “to enfold in the arms, thus to greet, to welcome” and may have implied




    1988 May 15 p.27


    Matt.18:15-17 (NWT)

    a very warm greeting, even with an embrace. (Luke 10:4; 11:43; Acts 20:1, 37;

    1 Thessalonians 5:26) So the direction at 2 John 11 could well mean not to say

    even “hello” to such ones.”


    This article claims the word


    is used to forbid a simple greeting, instead of

    aspa’zo mai

    which means a more affectionate embrace, enfolding in the arms, kiss,

    greeting or welcome. Of course, the average Witness is going to take this at face

    value, which is unfortunate because

    Strong’s Concordance

    defines the two words as

    just the


    of what this Watchtower is claiming:



    {khah'-ee-ro} 1) to rejoice, be glad 2) to rejoice exceedingly 3) to be

    well, thrive 4) in salutations, hail! 5) at the beginning of letters: to give one

    greeting, salute


    783 aspasmos

    {as-pas-mos’} 1) a salutation, either oral or written

    By applying the word


    to the quote at 2 John 11, it is clear that the early Christian

    congregation did not completely ignore such ones. While they would not have ‘greeted

    them with a holy kiss’ or display an overly zealous greeting, it is obvious that they

    would have greeted the person in a courteous manner.

    If the scripture at 2 John 10 were observed literally by Jehovah's Witnesses, they

    would be obliged to never to speak to


    other than another Witness in good

    standing. Yet Witnesses work with people with various backgrounds including Jews,

    Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists.....none of whom believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

    Why are they allowed to speak with these people, yet are obliged to shun life long

    friends and even family members when they get disfellowshipped?

    How did Jesus say one expelled from congregation should be treated? Far from cutting

    the person off completely, Jesus encouraged kindness:

    “Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go lay bare his fault between you and

    him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not

    listen, take along with you one or two more, in order that at the mouth of two or

    three witnesses every matter may be established. If he does not listen to them,

    speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let

    him be to you just as a man of the nations ['Gentile' in some translations] and as

    a tax collector.”


    The instruction was to bring up the matter of sin first between the two individuals



    If the sinner repented, there was no need to carry the matter further. If the sinner was

    not repentant, then one or two others should be sought for witnesses. If the sinner

    remained unrepentant, only then, as a last resort, should it be brought before the entire

    congregation (not privately with the "elders").

    If, after all that, the person was still would not listen, he should then be treated the

    same as Gentiles and tax collectors. In other words, Christians were to treat former



    Matthew 9:9-13

    New World Translation


    See Dateline story:



    just like anyone else who was not a member of the congregation

    . To be

    treated like a "man of the nations" (which is to say, a Gentile or foreigner) was far from

    being shunned. Jewish people worked with, associated with, transacted business with,

    and preached to Gentiles. As for "tax collectors," Jesus ate and associated with them.

    Matthew was a tax collector. Tax collectors were not popular, but they were not


    “Next, while passing along from there, Jesus caught sight of a man named

    Matthew seated at the tax office, and he said to him: "Be my follower."

    Thereupon he did rise up and follow him. Later, while he was reclining at the

    table in the house, look! many tax collectors and sinners came and began

    reclining with Jesus and his disciples. But on seeing this the Pharisees began to

    say to his disciples: "Why is it that your teacher eats with tax collectors and

    sinners?" Hearing [them], he said: "Persons in health do not need a physician,

    but the ailing do. Go, then, and learn what this means, 'I want mercy, and not

    sacrifice.' For I came to call, not righteous people, but sinners."


    The ironic thing about the Organizations’ view of disfellowshipping, is that they do not

    ‘practice what they preach’. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses do not disfellowship

    greedy persons. They often do not disfellowship people who regularly get drunk unless

    their conduct becomes so outrageous and publicly-known as to bring reproach upon

    Jehovah's Witnesses.

    They do not disfellowship people for many of the things which they themselves class as

    "idolatry" (for example: materialism, worshipping an organization, etc.).

    On the other hand, Jehovah's Witnesses do disfellowship and shun people for:


    Celebrating a birthday, Christmas, Easter, or other secular holidays (even though the

    founder of the religion, Charles Russell saw no problem with celebrating such days);


    Discussing personal views of the scriptures with anyone if your viewpoint differs from with

    the Governing Body says is ‘truth’


    Independent study and discussion of the Bible that brings Watchtower doctrine into


    (even though the scriptures specifically tell Christians to “make sure of all things”.


    possession of literature written by former members.


    having a meal with a former member, even if the former member professes to be a

    Christian and was not disfellowshipped for fornication, greed, idolatry, reviling,

    drunkenness, or extortion.


    Going public with revelations that the Organization has covered up acts of pedophilia over

    the years



    attending a service of any other church or religious organization.


    authorizing a blood transfusion, even to save the life of a child.

    There are numerous other actions not mentioned in scripture, but deemed by the

    congregation elders to be "unclean conduct," or "conduct unbecoming" of a Jehovah's

    Witness. "Conduct" in this case covers a broad range of actions not clearly defined by

    the Society, leaving discernment about what is not acceptable to the discretion of the



    2 Thes.3:13-15 NWT

    congregation's elders. As a result, standards by which people may be disfellowshipped

    are inconsistent throughout this religion which claims "unity" to be one of their

    identifying characteristics.

    There is no scripture basis for mandating that Christians must totally shun former

    members (that is, have no communication or conversation with them). The instruction is

    to expel them from the congregation and treat them like anyone else who is not a

    member. More specifically, there is no scripture to support shunning of one's own

    relatives--parents, children and siblings.

    The Society inevitably will use the scripture at Matthew 10:37 to support their view of

    shunning relatives where it says:

    “....He that has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of

    me; and he that has greater affection for son or daughter than for me is not

    worthy of me....”

    Yet again, this is referring to Jesus


    -----not an Organization made up of

    imperfect men and who, we have seen, have been responsible for false prophecies, flip

    flopping on numerous doctrines over the years, who have completely misunderstood

    the whole concept of blood transfusions which has cost many Witnesses their lives,

    and who have admitted in a court of law that they have promoted false prophecies and

    feel that anyone whose conscience truly cannot accept some of their rather bizarre

    doctrines, should be “cut off” and are viewed as being “worthy of death”. It should also

    be noted that nowhere in the scriptures does it indicate that either Jesus or his

    disciples were ‘disfellowshipped’ by the Pharisees from Jewish fellowship, for

    promoting ideas that differed from what the Pharisees taught. They were hated by

    many for sure, but they were never shunned.

    In addition, Paul counseled against abandoning those separated from the


    “For your part, brothers, do not give up in doing right. But if anyone is not

    obedient to our word through this letter, keep this one marked, stop associating

    with him, that he may become ashamed. And yet do not be considering him as

    an enemy, but continue admonishing him as a brother.”


    In the elder’s manual

    Pay Attention To Yourselves and to All the Flock

    on page 103, it


    "Normally, a close relative would not be disfellowshipped for associating with a

    disfellowshipped person unless there is spiritual association or an effort made to

    excuse the wrongful course."

    Despite this statement, Jehovah's Witnesses the world over are taught that to please

    Jehovah God they must shun their siblings, their children, and even their parents or

    grandparents who either choose to leave or are disfellowshipped--especially if the



    The entire story can be found on page 348 of

    In Search of Christian Freedom


    In Search of Christian Freedom

    , p. 353


    Printed in a letter to the editorial column of the Concord Monitor

    of December 8, 1984. No one from

    the Society could, or did refute them.

    crime is variance with Watchtower doctrine for which they are branded "apostates."

    And it is a fact that many Witnesses have been disfellowshipped for refusing to shun

    their disfellowshipped relatives.

    This is painfully obvious by the experience of Annette Stuart, a then 77 year old

    grandmother who lived in West Brookfield, Massachusetts and who had been a faithful

    Witness for 30 years.


    Some time in the late 1970s, her then 17 year old

    granddaughter (who had been baptized as a ‘minor’ 3 years earlier) decided that the

    pressures put upon her as a Witness was too much and stopped going to the meetings.

    Instead of just letting her walk away, the elders concluded that since she had

    ‘disfellowshipped herself’, they would simply make it official and disfellowship her

    formally. However, at that time you were still allowed to talk to disfellowshipped

    persons and, although strained, their family continued on.

    However, in 1981 with the Society’s reversing (yet again) how you were to treat

    disfellowshipped family members, this family was torn apart. This young girl was

    kicked out of the family home with nowhere to go so her grandmother took her in. As

    her husband had never been a Witness, the elders could not do anything to him but

    ordered Annette to ‘walk out of the room’ whenever her granddaughter entered and she

    was not to ‘eat a meal’ with her. When she protested with many tears that she could

    not comply with such a heartless request (as it was neither scriptural or Christlike), she

    was disfellowshipped as well. This cruel act completely split the family apart and for

    what reason? Because a 17 year old girl felt (with good reason) that the Organization

    was far too demanding and because a grandmother did what the scriptures said she

    should do: she “provided for her own” and paid the price.

    Another example of how inhumane and mean-spirited this obsession with “keeping the

    Organization clean” extends, is what happened to another elderly Witness, George

    West from the Maynard Massachusetts congregation in 1982.


    George was dying of

    bone cancer and was deteriorating quickly:

    “his head was supported in a cage arrangement since his neck bones could no

    longer bear the weight. The elders [had somehow heard] that George had

    submitted to a blood transfusion and attempted to ask him about it on several

    occasions. One night under interrogation he acknowledged having accepted

    the transfusion. His reason? His children from a previous marriage had heard

    he was dying and called to let him know they were coming.....to visit him at the

    hospital. He had not seen them since childhood. He decided to take the

    transfusion to extend his life a little longer in order to be reunited with his

    children. The elders disfellowshipped George West only days before he died.”


    As a Christian, can anyone imagine Jesus acting in such a heartless fashion? Didn’t

    Jesus stress over and over again that Jehovah “wants mercy, not sacrifice”? How is



    See section on “Blood”


    Crisis of Conscience p. 363 .

    Also see the attached letters at the end of this section


    1 Tim.5:8 (NIV)

    taking such a legalistic approach with an elderly brother who is near death beneficial to

    anyone? Especially in light of the fact that there is no scriptural basis to support the

    Organization’s view on blood transfusions.


    One can only imagine how this poor

    brother felt knowing he was dying in a “disfellowshipped state”, which, according to the

    Organization, almost certainly means he is not worthy of a resurrection.

    There have been countless other cases like these two mentioned above. The most

    famous “disfellowshipping” is probably that of Raymond Franz, who was a member of

    the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses for 9 years. Despite all the certainty of the

    ‘rank and file Witness’ that Ray was disfellowshipped for “apostasy”, he in fact, was

    not. He had resigned his position as a member of the Governing Body after realizing

    that the Organization was not being run in a loving or Christ-like manner, but had

    become far more legalistic, controlling and heartless and had caused irreparable harm

    to tens of thousands of Witnesses over the years. He was actually disfellowshipped

    for eating a meal with his employer, Peter Gregerson, who had disassociated himself at

    the time.


    If anyone doubts that this is in fact the reason why he was

    disfellowshipped, a scanned copy of the letter he received from Brooklyn Bethel at the

    time can be found at the end of this chapter.

    One can only wonder what Jehovah and Jesus think of such mindless legalistic tactics,

    especially as Jesus had condemned the Pharisees for offenses of a similar nature.

    And unfortunately, this is not just something that happens in isolated cases without the

    knowledge of the Governing Body members, as


    disfellowshippings are reported to

    Brooklyn Bethel and they are only too aware of what is going on.

    There is absolutely no historical or scriptural evidence that first century Christians

    practiced “disfellowshipping” as it is practiced by the Watchtower Society today and

    enforced on millions of Witnesses worldwide. In fact, the scriptures specifically says

    that it is a Christian’s duty to provide “for his relatives”. They way we know that this is

    speaking of those outside his immediate family is because that is exactly what the

    scripture in 1 Timothy 5:8 says


    “...If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate

    family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."


    (1 Corinthians 5:11-13) . . .But now I am writing YOU to quit mixing in company

    with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an

    idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a



    For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do YOU not judge

    those inside,


    while God judges those outside? “Remove the wicked [man]

    from among yourselves.”

    1 Corinthians 5: 11-13 is very specific as to who these words apply to. This

    advice is to be applied to someone

    "called a brother" who is

    a wrongdoer. There is

    no evidence that it is telling you to avoid this person when they are no longer



    2 Corinthians 2:5-6


    Insight on the Scriptures , Vol-1 p. 627 Diotrephes ,

    3 John 9,10


    Studies Series VI - The New Creation

    pp.289, 290

    recognized as a Jehovah's Witness. As we have already discussed, once a person

    was ‘removed’ from the congregation, they were to be treated “as a man of the

    nations” or as “a tax-collector”.

    It is not unusual for the youth amongst the Witnesses to get into trouble and

    possibly disfellowshipped for smoking or fornication. Years later they may no longer

    practice what they were originally disfellowshipped for and they are not known in the

    community as a Witness, yet the extreme form of shunning continues, apparently

    until they die, which is completely unjustified, especially where family members are

    concerned. It should also be noted that Paul did not insist that every single

    Christian participate in the shunning. Later he wrote that the "majority" participate in

    the rebuke, showing that some in the congregation may choose not to show rebuke

    to the person (obviously without fear of being called before a Judicial Committee

    and disfellowshipped themselves).

    "Now if anyone has caused sadness, he has saddened, not me, but all of YOU

    to an extent-not to be too harsh in what I say. This rebuke

    given by the


    is sufficient for such a man…"


    Ironically, the Organization likes to use the example of Diotrephes as:

    “A man mentioned by the apostle John in his letter to Gaius. In addition to being

    ambitious, proud, disrespectful of apostolic authority, rebellious, and

    inhospitable, Diotrephes tried to hinder those desiring to show hospitality to the

    brothers and to expel these from the congregation”


    In actuality, Diotrephes was being reprimanded for attempting to disfellowship “those

    desiring to show hospitality to the brothers” by expelling them “from the congregation”.

    Historical Watchtower Development

    Disfellowshipping in it’s present form, was not practiced by the Organization until

    1952. Originally, the

    congregation as a whole

    discussed an individual's wrongdoing

    and if they came to a near unanimous decision to disfellowship, the unrepentant sinner

    was not shunned but treated as a ‘person of the nations’:

    "The administration of discipline is not the function of the elders only, but of the

    entire Church. … Thus it is evident that the Elders were in no sense to be

    judges of the members-hearing and judgment were left to the local body, or

    Church. … Indeed, even if the transgressor refuse to hear (obey) the decision of

    the entire Church, no punishment is to be inflicted or even attempted. What

    then? Merely the Church is to withdraw from him its fellowship and any and all

    signs or manifestations of brotherhood. Thenceforth the offender is to be

    treated "as a heathen man and a publican." Matt. 18:17"



    Watchtower 1919 Mar 1 p.69 72 Watchtower

    1930 October 1 p.301



    1952 Mar. 1 p.147

    "According to this Scripture the very most that the church could do would be

    that, after having vainly endeavored to get the brother to repent and reform, it

    should withdraw special brotherly fellowship from him until such time as he

    would express willingness thereafter to do right. Then he should be received

    again into full fellowship. In the meantime the brother may merely be treated in

    the kindly, courteous way in which it would be proper for us to treat any publican

    or Gentile, withholding the special rights or privileges or greetings or voting

    opportunities that belong to the church as a class separate from the world"


    Both Brother Russell and Judge Rutherford were more lenient towards doctrinal

    disagreements, as they realized that trying to force all believers to think alike on

    doctrine is what originally caused the “great apostasy” in the first place:

    “Satans organization sails under the high-sounding name of "Christendom". It

    boasts of a membership of over 500,000,000 persons. Its members are in

    bondage to creeds, customs, rites and ceremonies; they dare not disown these

    or criticize or expose them. To do so would bring down on their heads taunts,

    reproaches, disfellowship and persecution. Many thousands of the Lords people

    are held in these denominations as prisoners, afraid to express their disapproval

    of the creeds, methods and customs of the organization.”


    It was under Brother Knorr that the harsh set up the disfellowshipping arrangement

    began and it is followed to this day. In the


    1944 May 15 p.151,

    responsibility to judge an individual was moved from the congregation to judicial

    committees. A 1952


    article casually dismissed Jesus’ remarks to refer a

    wrongdoer to the congregation, but with no explanation as why:

    "There is one more scripture quite pertinent here, at Matthew 18:15-17. ... This

    scripture here has nothing to do with disfellowshipping on a congregational

    basis. When it says go to the congregation, it means go to the elders or the

    mature ones in the congregation and discuss your own private difficulties. This

    scripture has to do with merely a personal disfellowshipping."




    was devoted to delivering clear guidelines on updated Watchtower

    disfellowshipping policy, clarifying what was to become an ever increasing list of

    offenses. It denounced the disfellowshipped person in the strongest of terms:

    “We might wonder, then, since this congregation which God is developing or

    bringing into existence is based on love, why anyone should ever want to talk

    about disfellowshipping or putting people out of this congregation. There

    certainly must be some reason. Well, the reason for disfellowshipping is that

    some persons get into this congregation of God that do not love Christ. …

    Those who are acquainted with the situation in the congregation should never

    say ‘Hello’ or ‘Goodbye’ to him. He is not welcome in our midst, we avoid him. …

    Such an individual has no place in the clean organization or congregation of




    1952 March 1 pp.131,134


    See Crisis of Conscience

    p. 85


    The Watchtower

    , March 15, 1980, p. 31


    Ironically, when a member is disfellowshipped for perhaps refusing to accept an erroneous teaching

    that the Governing Body members claim is “truth”, that person is not automatically re-instated with an

    apology when the doctrine is changed down the road. Instead, the shunning remains intact because it is

    claimed that the person “ran ahead of the Organization” and therefore, apparently deserved the

    punishment even though their view may have been the one the Society is now promoting as “truth”, and

    God. He should go back to the wicked group that he once came from and die

    with that wicked group with Satan’s organization.”


    In the


    1955 October 1 p.607, even to associate with a disfellowshipped

    person became a reason to be disfellowshipped


    “If a publisher refuses to do this and ignores the prohibition on associating with

    the disfellowshipped one, that publisher is rebelling against the congregation of

    Jehovah, and “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as

    idolatry and teraphim. … If after sufficient warning the publisher persists in

    associating with the disfellowshipped person instead of aligning himself with

    Jehovah’s organization he also should be disfellowshipped.”

    Since the introduction of disfellowshipping in the 1940's, there have been a number of

    changes in Watchtower doctrine and hence the reasons for being disfellowshipped

    have also changed back and forth. How can this occur if the Organization’s rules are

    directed by Jehovah? When a situation arises in a congregation that is not clearly

    specified in the Bible or in the literature, and the elders and branch feel unable to deal

    with it, it is referred to the Governing Body. How does the Governing Body arrive at a

    new principle for being disfellowshipped? Does the Holy Spirit guide them to examine

    scripture and arrive at a uniform consensus on what God’s standard is?

    No. When a new principle is discussed a vote is taken. The vote does not have to be

    unanimous, but rather, it is a two-thirds majority vote that decides the outcome.



    this reason both the regulation on organ transplants and oral sex was able to be

    changed back and forth within the space of little over a decade, with a devastating

    effect on some Witnesses lives. For instance, the practice of smoking, while always

    frowned upon, did not become a disfellowshipping offence until 1973. Having an organ

    transplant was a disfellowshipping offense for over a decade, but as of 1980, it became

    a “conscience matter”.


    Oral or anal sex between married couples was classified as;


    a disfellowshipping offence - Watchtower

    -1974 November 15 p.704


    no longer an offence - Watchtower

    1978 - February 15 pp.30-32


    once again an offence - Watchtower

    1983 - March 15 p.31

    Jesus condemned the Pharisees for creating a ‘fence around The Law’, and promoted

    mercy, common sense and compassion for his followers. Unfortunately, the same can

    be said regarding the Governing Body’s harsh rules regarding disfellowshipping, which

    inevitably tears families apart, can lead to severe traumatic depression or even suicide,

    when many times, the offense for which the member was disfellowshipped for is

    nowhere mentioned in the scriptures.



    which all members must accept, lest they get disfellowshipped themselves.


    2 Corinthians 2:5-11

    Behind closed doors

    In determining if a person should be disfellowshipped the elders form a judicial

    committee to meet with the accused. This is done in private, and the accused is not

    allowed to have a lawyer or recording device (although this probably violates his/her

    Rights). The word "judicial committee" does not appear in the Bible and both the

    Israelites and early Christian congregations kept matters open to ordinary persons.

    Rather than being done in private in front of elders only, matters were done at the city

    gates so a fair discussion with onlookers could be made. This prevented the injustice

    that could (and still does) take place whenever a trial is held in private and where the

    accused has few Rights.

    Yet Jesus instructions at Matthew 18:17 says that unresolved wrongdoing should be

    taken "to the congregation", not to a three-man body and certainly not in private.

    Overly Harsh Punishment

    Depression is not uncommon amongst Witnesses who have been disfellowshipped.

    Even though the practice in the first century congregation bore no resemblance to the

    extreme methods employed today in the Organization, even being treated as a “man of

    the nations” was apparently punishment enough:

    “Now if anyone has caused sadness, he has saddened, not me, but all of YOU

    to an extent—not to be too harsh in what I say. This rebuke given by the

    majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary now, you should

    kindly forgive and comfort [him], that somehow such a man may not be

    swallowed up by his being overly sad. Therefore I exhort YOU to confirm YOUR

    love for him.”


    Here Paul was actually concerned for this brothers’ emotional state of mind and not

    simply “keeping the congregation clean”. He realized that the rebuke given by many

    (though not all) of the congregation and for a limited time was “sufficient” and he

    encouraged the congregation to “kindly forgive him and comfort him” in order that he

    “not be swallowed up by his being overly sad.” Today, there is absolutely no

    consideration whatsoever for a person’s mental and emotional state of mind, or even of

    the possibility that he or she could be so traumatized that they could consider suicide.

    The only thing to be considered is: Keeping the congregation clean. How exactly is this

    any different than the harsh, legalistic practices that Jesus condemned the Pharisees


    When a Pharisee expressed surprise that Jesus did not do ritual washing before

    dinner, Jesus' rebuke was particularly harsh:



    Luke 11:42

    "'But woe to YOU Pharisees, because YOU give the tenth of the mint and the

    rue and of every [other] vegetable, but YOU pass by the justice and the love of

    God!" (see also Matthew 12:1-10)


    12:7 “However, if YOU had

    understood what this means, ‘I want mercy, and not sacrifice,’ YOU would not

    have condemned the guiltless ones.”


    Today, disfellowshipping can have such a traumatic effect on the individual, that

    many contemplate and carry out suicide. It is not uncommon for the person to

    suffer Post Traumatic Shock Disorder, as their entire life has been ripped apart.

    Friends and family are no longer allowed to even greet them, lest they

    jeopardize their own stand in the congregation and find themselves in the same


    Hundreds of thousands of Witnesses are currently disfellowshipped and

    estranged from their families and friends. This can have a dramatic effect on a

    person, often at a time when they most need help from others (especially minors

    who are treated the same as adults when it comes to wrong doing). The

    Watchtower Society claims that love is one of its most distinguishing marks and

    that Jehovah’s Witnesses have a ‘worldwide’ loving brotherhood.

    However, as we have seen, a comparison between how the Bible says to treat

    wrongdoers with how the Watchtower enforces disfellowshipping shows the

    Organization has gone way “beyond the scriptures”, using it as a method for

    absolute control over its members. One of Jesus’ greatest commands was to

    show love to one’s brother and to one’s neighbour (


    10:27). The doctrine on

    disfellowshipping puts serious question marks over any claim of love that

    Jehovah’s Witnesses attempt to make, especially as we have seen that

    disfellowshipping today in the Organization, was not practiced in Jesus’ day.



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