by Terry 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Terry

    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.


    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

    is premitted.

    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......

    what if?

  • Finkelstein

    Unfortunately organized religions have no restraint or set guidelines on how they are to conduct and implement their recognized authority

    over their own adherents. They set the guidelines themselves as statures of governing powers, which inevitability assures their own complete

    power and control.

  • Finkelstein

    It should be also recognized that the WTS. leaders derived and cultivated their own seemingly power thorough means of coercion and corruption

    and take the retaining standing position with similar aggressiveness.

  • Oubliette

    You just plagiarized yourself!

    The gun is the SHUN: the JW's who no longer believe but cannot leave!

    Great phrase: The Shun Gun.

    The incessant need for control betrays and deep-seated and profound insecurity on the part of the WT leadership.

    Frankiespeakin should do one of his psychoanalytical articles on it.

  • Nickolas

    One of the worst things George Lucas ever did was remaster and re-release Star Wars IV.

    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??

    Who is responsible for whom in this context? It's kind of a rhetorical question but ultimately the parents are responsible to their children. They alone bear responsibility for the distorted sense of loyalty and psychological damage wrought by their example, precisely because it is their example. What they're teaching their kids is duplicity. The opposite end of the truth spectrum. If they're being sucked down the black hole of The Watchtower they're dragging their kids down with them. Unless you accept they have a legitimate mitigating circumstance that puts their own welfare above that of their children, you cannot accept their behaviour as appropriate. Is it really a Sophie's Choice? I enjoyed that movie. But I think if Sophie could have grabbed hold of her two children and escaped the Nazi death camp to shiver and subsist for years in the surrounding woods it is what she would have done in a heartbeat, rather than sacrifice one of them to save the other. These parents are sacrificing all of their children and saving none.

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    I think their "shun gun" is becoming increasingly ineffective. Although we still see lots of cases where the family will "kick their kids to the curb", those that still have contact with family are on the rise. WT is more than willing to have an elderly JW parent be cared for by a DFd child than have the congregation care for such "charity cases".

    Twenty years ago, my parents would have turned me in for apostacy based on the things that I've told them in the past year. But not now. They realize now that my concerns about WT and JWs are valid, and that they certainly don't want to stop talking to me. They've always known that the "silent treatment" never worked on me. If I did something and Dad would give me the silent treatment for it, I was completely indifferent and could give him the silent treatment for far longer... which drove him absolutely crazy. And since most of the local JWs are nutty and/or needy, my parents really don't feel a closeness to any of them. The only time my dad mentioned my disfellowshipping was actually in the context that I'd disassociate myself and how unhappy they'd be if I didn't talk to them. And the whole DF/DA thing would be difficult/embarassing for them to explain to non-JW family and friends.

    As I see it, there is often that "turning point" where the "shun gun" is causing far more damage to those still JWs than for those that leave.

  • blondie

    I grew up in an abusive home, jw mother, non-jw father. I learned that I first had to love myself and that who I am came from within. That way abuse through shunning, threats, name-calling had less and less effect on me. I learned not to think that family would be caring just because they were DNA related, or part of a self-named loving religious group. In a way it was why I stayed too long at the circus, the WTS. It is important to make healthy connections without unrealistic expectations. Some of us find that our family are not the loving people we thought they were, or "friends" at the KH. To have one loyal friend is a great thing, two can be a miracle. I found that the only thing I had in common with jws was their perverted sense of love and god and not much else. Did you have the experience of moving to another congregation in the same town and finding few from the old congregation call or keep contact and make the excuse that they are too busy with "spiritual" activities. You might as well have been on another planet let alone inactive.

    Build up respect and love for yourself and it will keep the abuse and the sources at bay.

  • Pickler

    Blonde, your family situation sounds a bit like mine. I know the term "abuse" can cover a wide range of actions.

    What if your raised like this, with abuse, but, it's called love? What if this happens for years & years. So how do you love yourself? You don't even know what love means? What if hearing the word love makes you feel queasy & anxious? When I hear the word love, I still feel sick because every beating I got came with a talk about love. Before & after.

    having children made me learn a different concept of love.

    Now I am learning that in order to be a good parent I must learn to love myself.

    its all so hard!

    Back to the original thread, sorry for going off topic, but, the "shun gun" is used with "love" also. Seems to me more bad things are done for love than good.

  • LongHairGal


    I saw the shunning routine from some self-important individuals while I was STILL active in the religion.

    I recognized it as a control mechanism and it didn't work on me. They weren't even my friends, so why would I care?

    Hell could freeze over before I'd go near them.

  • brinjen

    Been reading the book 'The Clan Of The Cave Bear' recently. A fictional story loosely based on history and it got me to thinking how much shunning is really a modern version of the death curse used back then. If someone was caught breaking the rules the curse would be carried out by the clan member in charge of their magicial/spiritual needs and as soon as it was carried out the victim would be regarded as dead. The other members usually believed the victim really was dead and just a spirit pleading with them to be allowed back into the clan... a very evil and deceptive spirit that knew how to 'push their buttons' so to speak. The victim was usually faced with watching their former clan members destroy their possesions and then left to face the world alone where they usually died from starvation, exposure or a predator.

    The clan carried these curses out from the fear that allowing that member to continue on with them would bring bad luck from the Gods... that it was necessary for their survival... interesting read.

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