Problem addict said-
In speaking about the harm that shunning can do from disfellowshipping, would it not be beneficial for the sake of the public.....to 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.