The announcement, "John (or Mary) Doe is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses", is happening some 70,000 times each year. The Society wants its flock to believe that the member became so unrepentantly contaminated with evil that it became necessary to remove him from the faithful members.
I suggest that nothing can be further from the truth.
These members had lost their trancelike acceptance of Watchtower interpretation long before that formal announcement. While it's true that recent reminders to the flock that the governing body needs obeisance on a level virtually equal to that of Christ, the root of the cooling down of a member to the point where an announcement is made is not necessarily a rejection of Governing Body power grabbing. When I was a faithful adherent I felt that if they had asked me to stand on my head and stack greased BB's, I would have given that task a valiant effort.
That's the way it is with hypnotized folks. It doesn't matter what the suggestion, they'll try to do it. From Wiki, the following definition is from James Randi, a professional magician and skeptic. His definition is "a mutual agreement of the operator and the subject that the subject will cooperate in following suggestions".
Enter credibility. Nothing destroys confidence between parties more than when one of them sees chinks in the armor of the other. Husbands and wives encounter this all too frequently and we see divorces as a result. Familiarity breeds contempt goes the expression and that is displayed daily. One spouse fails to hold up his end of the bargain -- unfaithful behavior, hygiene, lack of respect and attention -- and the other sees it. Behavior that used to be viewed as humorous before marriage is now viewed as contemptible after tying the knot.
In the Watchtower structure, many folks finally see chinks in the Watchtower armor. Contradictions in doctrinal matters and teaching flip-flops are major reasons. Not surpising when Watchtower says there are none. "Wait on Jehovah" is the common defense to these issues. "Simply put it on the back burner", is another much-used suggestion from those in authority. Many of the old timers accept this.
The problem here is that back burners have only so much room. The individual's sense of propriety becomes, in my opinion, the overwhelming control. The old saw, "the Society makes mistakes because they're human", no longer cuts it. We inherently know right from wrong as we grow into adults. We know what honesty is, for example, and a lie is vastly different from a mistake. My mama told me more than a few times, "there may be honest mistakes but there's no such thing as an honest lie." To many, the proven lack of honesty within pages of Watchtower publications is the deal-breaker.
This adherent becomes disillusioned at his new-found discoveries. His back burner uncomfortably nudges him every time some person challenges him in the ministry. What once were easy-to-follow prohibitions -- immorality, dishonesty, tobacco use -- all become free game to the newly-susceptible witness. Now, when tempted into acts that would have been easy to reject, the witness says, "Why not?" "Who are they to give me orders? I've had enough of their self-righteous proclamations after seeing what they've published over the years. They're the ones who should be held up to some universal court of law. If they find out, who cares? I'm no longer under their jurisdiction. I'm not doing this in spite of them. I'm doing this because of them. They're to blame."
Faulty reasoning, of course. Coming down with some STD is no just reward for one's newly-found freedom from the hypnotic state. But it happens. This person becomes another victim of disillusionment. He drank the Kool-aid long enough. Fortunately, in most cases it wasn't a fatal drink. Fortunately, he may -- or may not -- be able to pick up the pieces. Suicides seem to happen at a rate higher than normal among this purportedly "happy people". Fact is, Watchtower truly shares some of the responsibility in this adherent's downfall.
The bottom line? The victim becomes cut off. Sure, he engaged in some act that was against their standards but in most cases he wasn't surprised. "Are you sorry for what you did? Are you repentent?" More than one elder with judicial committee experience has told me that lack of repentance is the reason behind most disfellowshippings.
Why then, this lack of repentance? Who has the greatest fault? You be the judge.