What would happen if somebody pointed a gun at you and told you what to do?
An implied threat would motivate almost every person to do as they were told.
What about in a religious context? What if a "gun" were pointed at members of a religion?
The "gun" is the SHUN.
Pointing the SHUN at you and threatening to cut you off from your loved ones is a psychological brutality.
Absolute Obedience is required.
Holding family and friends "hostage" as an extortion strategy may be their most potent weapon of enforced conformity.
The chief goal and purpose of the Watchtower Society is enforced conformity consisting of LOYALTY to the leaders known as the GB or Governing Body.
In effect, like an armed criminal who points a gun at you and threatens "Your money or your life", the Watchtower leadership
holds the power to separate dissenting members from those whom they most cherish: family, friends and loved ones.
We are all aware of friends and family who are STILL INSIDE the Kingdom Halls with no actual conviction that they are in "The Truth"!
They have been whip-sawed into the folding chairs at mind-numbing meetings....with an implied: or else!
What do we call such persons? I'd say VICTIMS.
These victims are condemned to a joyless life. It is a Double Life.
Pretending to be what they are not, each day is filled with compulsory duty enforced by watchful eyes of leaders with the power to destroy the solidarity of Family.
I know a married couple who were each the children of Congregation Elders and who secretly celebrate Christmas but who can quickly remove all traces of this when the grandparents come to visit. They are compelled to live like Bootleggers hiding a still from Federal agents!!
Imagine, if you will, the stress on the kids! Imagine the distorted sense of loyalty being taught! Imagine what values are at conflict and the psychological destruction being wrought!!
What can you say, what can you do that could possibly solve this horrifying Sophies Choice for them??
In effect, such Jehovah's Witnesses-in-name-only, suffer an identity crisis which destroys any sense of reality and which makes a genuine life impossible.
Over time, these victims have chosen a living hell which they LEARN TO LIVE WITH as though it were NORMAL!
Repression, suppression and dual allegiences are default settings in their consciousness and consciences.
IS THERE ANY SOLUTION?
For one thing, "yes", if we stop thinking of Disfellowship Policy as a mere quirk of a religious organization intent on "purity" of worship.
We need to delineate carefully.
The shepherds of christianity are vested with responsibility to acquire and maintain the flock which belongs to Christ WITHOUT LOSING ANY!
Going after stray sheep is what Jesus himself fashioned his goal and purpose around.
Leaving the 99 sheep to seek out and return with a stray was Jesus' PRIORITY.
When confronted with betrayal by Judas---the only action Jesus took was to encourage choice in saying "What you must do--do quickly."
There was no judicial committee meeting involved and no condemnation spoken! Judas was not expelled nor shunned!
When Peter denied Jesus as his teacher three times publicly there was no movement by the other Apostles to create a mechanism of threat and punishment for his weakness and misdeeds!
It becomes clear what motivates the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses.
The demand for loyalty without question is demand made with a threat of expulsion and condemnation.
It is a powerful psychological weapon coercive in force and absolute in its intention.
Disfellowship threats, pressures and coercions need to be treated as Human Rights violations because the total absence
of due process is enforced. No transparency is allowed. No written copy of charges, accusers or evidence is granted. No attorney of record
In many cases the person under suspicion is blind-sided with the expectation they will incriminate themselves when confronted.
If a procedure were in place whereby an accused JW refused to speak or be intimidated without an attorney present--the entire process
would immediately soften into a less one-sided Kangaroo Court.
"I'm sorry. Brother Elder, I am within my rights to obtain counsel before submitting to your authority. I will need a written statement of accusations and a list of accusers before proceeding. Any refusal on your part to proceed without compliance to this reasonable request will result in my pursuing litigation. Am I understood?"
I know, I know...
You are saying to yourself: Fat Chance of that!
But, what if......