Thank you for posting this!!! This paragraph is a humdinger!!!
Supportive communities for people coming out of religion. With or without the net (but especially with it) believers sometimes find their worldview in pieces. Before the internet existed most people who lost their faith kept their doubts to themselves. There was no way to figure out who else might be thinking forbidden thoughts. In some sects, a doubting member may be shunned, excommunicated, or “disfellowshipped” to ensure that doubts don’t spread. So, doubters used keep silent and then disappear into the surrounding culture. Now they can create websites, and today there are as many communities of former believers as there are kinds of belief. These communities range from therapeutic to political, and they cover the range of sects: Evangelical, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, and Muslim. There’s even a web home for recovering clergy. Heaven help the unsuspecting believer who wanders into one of these sites and tries to tell members in recovery that they’re all bound for hell.
This paragraph reminds me of the old saying about how tyrants used to hang people by the rope, now they do it by the pen. Same with organized religion, especially organizations like the WT/JWs. People with their mentality used to burn people at the stake, and think about all of the ingenious methods of torture that came to fruition during the Dark Ages. Today, they can't physically do people like that any more for legal concerns, and the WT has even acknowledged that their hands are tied due to the legal ramifications. So they resort to killing someone socially, financially, spiritually, emotionally, amongst other ways shunning destroys a person. In some cases the WT even gets lucky and a person commits suicide. It's nice that the internet has provided a social cushion to combat the sometimes deadly affect of shunning.