I've had a careful look at the article, and I agree that it is shocking, but it might be difficult to present a clear cut case to non-Witnesses, even though we all know ourselves that the purpose of the article is to incite fear and hatred of apostates. The actual mention of apostates is a quotation from a "bible scholar", so I'm fairly sure if any journalist went to the Society about it they would just say "we were only quoting a secular source, why don't you investigate them?"
But this is exactly the same thing I was talking about in the other thread yesterday. The Society chose to quote that particular passage because it advances the rhetorical point of the article. It happens to use the word "apostates", which for the Society is a technical term used to refer to a certain group of Jehovah's Witnesses. Other commentaries referring to the same passage use different language. For instance, Montgomery's commentary refers to "the slaughter of the personnel and followers of the Baal cult ... through the ruse of Jehu himself celebrating a great sacrifice (v. 19, in v. 25 holocaust) to the Baal in his temple" (A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Books of Kings, 1951, p. 410). The Word commentary however happens to use the word "apostate", which is loaded with extra meaning for JWs and so advances the application of this story to the present-day situation among Jehovah's Witnesses. This simply wasn't a historical article about an ancient personage. The article repeatedly drew parallels between that ancient situation and the present-day social circumstance in the congregation.
"JEHU was a champion of pure worship. In carrying out this role, he was energetic, prompt, relentless, zealous, and courageous. Jehu manifested qualities that we would do well to imitate."
"Today, no servant of Jehovah uses physical force against opponents of pure worship [a.k.a "apostates"]. 'Vengeance is mine,' God says. (Heb.10:30) But to rid the congregation of potentially corrupting influences, Christian elders may have to act with courage similar to that of Jehu. (1 Cor. 5:9-13) And all members of the congregation need to be determined to avoid the company of disfellowshipped individuals [a.k.a. "apostates"].—2 John 9-11.
"No doubt you can see that circumstances faced by Christians today require that they manifest certain qualities possessed by Jehu. For instance, how should we react if tempted to engage in any activity that Jehovah condemns?"
"When it comes to our godly devotion, we cannot tolerate any rivalry toward Jehovah."
"Yet, it does provide a lesson for us. We can never take our relationship with Jehovah for granted."
Non-Witnesses would need to understand that the word "apostate" isn't simply a biblical expression; it is a label used by the Society to refer to certain people among Jehovah's Witnesses as well as former members with social ties to other Jehovah's Witnesses. The phrase "slaughter of apostates" isn't simply something from a dusty Bible commentary but has added meaning on part of the use of the term "apostates" by the Society. It adds to the climate of repression and fear. Also the threat of shunning is quite paramount here. The Society may deny that shunning exists or is compulsory but the analogy between Jehu and the modern-day congregation kind of breaks down without it. The "slaughter of apostates" corresponds to "Christian elders ... rid[ding] the congregation of potentially corrupting influences" (hmmm, notice "potentially," now its no longer simply apostates but preemptively getting rid of those with potential of becoming apostates?). Now when Jehu slaughtered all those apostates, it was problem solved for him. Those persons ceased to be an influence on the rest of the people. (And he made the mighty point that nobody messes around with Jehu — unless you are Shalmaneser III, that is). In order for the purge analogy to work, apostates purged by elders today must similarly be "dead" to other JWs. Hence the reference to shunning: "all members of the congregation need to be determined to avoid the company of disfellowshipped individuals". This is phrased weaker than "Stay away and shun all apostates", but the message is clear — someone who has been disfellowshipped has effectively been "slaughtered" by the elders. The person for all intents and purposes is "dead".