Shocking talk from 2013 District Convention urges parents to shun disfellowshipped children

by cedars 153 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Tech49

    To provide one more anecdote/update to my previous post.....

    In all my years as a publisher, MS, and Elder, I have NEVER NEVER EVER heard someone say " I am so thankful you maintained your LOYALTY to Jehovah and SHUNNED me for so long, not even saying hi to me in passing or looking at me! It made all the difference! It really taught me to be humble!! "

    NEVER. Period.

  • Rebecca 619
    Rebecca 619

    TECH49: I am in tears reading your post my son is dfd,he tried to come back attending meetings and trying really hard for about a year,i often prayed to Jehovah than when he would get up and leave one elder out of 8 would get up and follow him to tell him they loved him or something but it never happened i thaught they loved my son weve been in this cong since he was 4 .they seen my son grow up and now hes 20. my son struggles as it is he is gay he tried, but now doesnt attend anymore, several people on this site have helped me to see and accept my son, and i have , not put that on him he loves jah . he attended dc and a sister who also had a son dfd went up to him and put her hand on shoulder and said we love you happy to have you here. that made my son feel good not invisible. the elders see me at kh never even ask me about my son, it hurts so much the truth, has been everything to me been baptized for 32 years and am now 50. like you said a wink a smile, thats what i try to do when i see a dfd one they need to know we love them their not invisible. thank you for your post.

  • wasblind

    I could never turn away from my child at the request of another

    As long as I'm in my right mind. I refuse to deny

    the child I carried in my body and held in my arms

    I will not toss her in the trash like some sparlock doll

    at the whim of some crooked men who bark orders from brooklyn

    It's not God they want you to serve. It's them


  • Designer Stubble
    Designer Stubble

    My tippping point was at the 2008DC, taking receipt of the "God's Love" book and reading in the appendix how DFed minors were supposed to be shunned. I looked at my daughters and knew I would never shun them for whatever reason and did not agree with this. That same evening I researched my doubts online and was out. Perhaps this talk will wake a few % up too.

  • FadeToBlack

    Couple of observations:

    First: the guy is not a good speaker (or even reader) although he probably thinks that he is. What makes it worse is that he sounds like he is actually enjoying himself (as in: I am so clever and witty! He said - this has not been the most warm and fuzzy talk of the convention; really?).

    Second: loved the point he made at 4:04 - Our relationship (with JHVH) is between us and JHVH alone. Again, really? I thought we couldn't have a relationship with JHVH apart from his appointed channel (GB). It seems to me they have inserted themselves into the equation.

    Third: is every talk from now on just going to be some eager beaver reading from a bullet list of 3 things to do, 3 things not to do? It seemd like every talk on the convention at the DC was written by someone who just discovered PowerPoint. No sentences with more than 10 words. Maybe they should just print out the outlines to save the poor people taking notes some ink.

    Might try to get the wife to watch it (if I feel brave) as this is one of the few areas regarding WT doctrine where I know she isn't totally on board.

  • Vidiot

    Has it ever occurred to anybody to try and video record a known XJW trying to engage in a peaceful and friendly conversation with one of those "shunning-is-a-myth"-types in public?

  • FadeToBlack

    Vidiot: perhaps it could be the next assignment for the recent poster (snapdragon?) who reversed witnessed to the mother and daughter team at one of the mobile cart displays about the 69 Awake? Captive audience. I wonder what instructions they have regarding what to do if a video-recorder shows up?

    They have instructions for everything else.

  • Pistoff

    I noticed the same thing, the speaker makes a real point of saying our relationship is between us and Jehovah.

    So, why is this little pedant telling us what to do?

    He deflates his own argument.

    At the risk of repeating myself:

    When I had employees, my nephew got df'd. I asked him what he was going to do, he said make his way back to meetings and get reinstated. I said fine.

    He said, you aren't going to fire me? I said No.

    (I know now that the elders must have told him to expect this.)

    Well, the elders met with me and asked me why he was still working for me. I said, well, he is committed to getting reinstated.

    They said he would understand if I fired him.

    I said, I am NOT going to fire him; he has enough trouble right now, it is illegal to fire him, I don't want to fire him and hey he is my nephew.

    They were unhappy with me, but didn't remove me. (MS)

    A couple years later, a promising young ex-bethelite interviewed for a job with my company; I agreed to hire him, he would start in a few weeks.

    Before he started, he asked (!) to be df'd.

    Again the elders meet with me; why are you hiring this person? I say, he fits the needs for the job and is commiitted to getting reinstated.

    They say:

    "We think anyone who hires a disfellowshipped person has no spirituality." Word for word, that is what they said.

    I said, that is your opinion, I don't agree.

    His elder father, from a different congregation, called me and thanked me for hiring him.

    Both my nephew and this young man were reinstated, and have nice families.

    I wasn't campaigning or trying to change anyone's mind, just felt strongly that to fire them or refuse to honor an agreement was really wrong, unkind and counter productive.

    I really just hate what elders do; of course, they do what they are told by the bosses up the line.

    They only just get in the way of the only thing the kingdom hall offers, fellowship.

  • adamah

    Problem addict said-

    In speaking about the harm that shunning can do from disfellowshipping, would it not be beneficial for the sake of the tie in the things that can land you in the state in which shunning by your family and former community is REQUIRED of those people?

    I mean a REAL list. I think for the general public, that list could be shocking.

    Interesting idea, but it's been done to death, and those most vulnerable to becoming JW members are only likely to think, "that would NEVER happen to ME, as I would ALWAYS be faithful to God!". Point being, if anyone actually bothered to research the background of JWs, the effects of their policies, etc, they very likely WOULDN'T be the type of personality to join in the first place, right?

    That's the irony: the people who most need to gain the ability to see the situation from the perspective of the shunned are ALSO the ones least likely to be able to see it from that perspective, so it's likely fighting an uphill battle. They're inherently narcissistic (as all people are, to some extent), and will likely just accept the logic of rationalizations and excuses offered in this DC talk, i.e. the benefit the policy bestows to all members of the group by making Jehovah "happy".

    Instead of focusing on the perspective of the shunned, it might be more helpful to focus on the harm it does to the INDIVIDUALS who shun.

    In the regard, group control dynamics ARE very well-understood, and the damage inflicted on the individuals who comply and "are only following orders" is very well-studied; it often leaves them MORE dependent on the authority figure as the exploitation continues and deepens (when the person tells themselves, "Oh, well, I've come this far; in for an inch, in for a mile..."). That's the truly lesson offered by social psychologist Stanley Milgram's work (see below).

    The sad reality is that humans don’t HAVE to be “evil” or have “evil intentions” to carry out what we label as “inhuman” or cruel actions (we label them as such as if it protects us, since declaring these acts as "inhuman" somehow detaches them from us; unfortunately, this type of 'inhuman' behavior is simply part-and-parcel of being human). Instead, many people only have to find themselves trapped inside of an authoritarian social setting that forces them to use the old excuse, “but I was just following orders”.

    (Ironic, since you'd think JWs SHOULD already know this, based on their past encounters with Hitler's genocide of Jews; the genocide was exactly what motivated Jewish social psychologist Stanley Milgram to conduct his studies, trying to figure out how people who carry out 'evil actions' could be so while being seemingly 'normal'.)

    The truly scary lesson offered by Stanley Milgram’s social psychology experiments in the 1960′s is that up to 2/3 individuals administered what they believed was a lethal shock (450V) to others, when ordered to do so by an authority figure:

    In essence, the GB has taken it even a step FURTHER: in the name of God, they're asking members to adminster virtual "shock therapy" (AKA shunning), even telling them they might be thanked for it later! Although not exactly new, it IS stunningly shocking (or shockingly stunning ignorant and misguided).

    Clinicial psychiatrists such as Philip Zimbardo (who conducted the Stanford Prison study in the 1970's) have shown how easily many individuals can be manipulated by authority, such that good (even banal/mundane/sociable) people can perform the most of evil acts, simply by following orders.

    Here's Philip Zimbardo (who was an expert witness for the Ahu Gharib war crimes trials) discussing his studies in a talk he gave at MIT called, "The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Do Evil Things"

    Zimbardo alone would explain why the GB is scared of rank-and-file learning the not well-kept secrets of social psychology: his knowledge is bad for THEIR business.... As Zimbardo says, "all evil acts start out at only 12V" (the level you'd encounter when touching a D battery to your tongue). Heck, the Bible wrote about this in regards to sin, warning against the cascading nature of rationalizing away "just a little" sin.


  • Jeffro

    JWs (and other religious types) often like to play the "what would Jesus do?" card.

    The Watchtower, 1 January 2005, page 12:

    Rather, when making a decision or handling a problem, we ask: ‘What would Jesus do in this situation? What would he want me to do?’

    So... would Jesus shun anyone? If we're to believe the Bible, he associated with or had conversations with:

    • general 'sinners'
    • tax collectors
    • harlots
    • Samaritans
    • 'gentiles' (though he was a bit of a prick when talking to the Phoenician woman)
    • 'apostate' religious leaders
    • demons
    • Satan

    Is there any suggestion in the Bible that Jesus would shun anyone?

Share this