I just wanted to thank you for the programme on shunning by Jehovah's Witnesses. Sadly this is a topic that doesn't get nearly enough media exposure. I am a Jehovah's Witness and would very much like to leave but there is no legitimate way out for a baptised Jehovah's Witness to do so without repurcussions. It is my daughter's birthday in two months time, we will be having a birthday party in secret for her because if anyone knew, we would be disfellowshipped and cut off from family. We celebrated our first Christmas this year, behind closed curtains. I was baptised at the age of 13; had I known more about the history of the religion including the repeated false prophecies related to the apparant imminence of 'Armageddon', I would probably not have done so.
Jehovah's Witnesses are warned against reading or listening to any critical information; the leadership uses thought reform techniques to control their members and quash any doubts or questions. This is not unique the the JWs, it is common practice amongst many cults including Scientology and the Moonies. Many Witnesses are able to break free of the mind control once they see the parallels in the way their religion operates when compared to other high control groups. A book called Combatting Cult Mind Control by Steve Hassan (an ex Moonie) has been instrumental in this process for many of us.
There are probably thousands of people like me trapped in the organization. Thank you for highlighting our plight.