Consider an example I often hear. You’re sitting at a dinner table. The topic of conversation is regarding your mother. Wild accusations are thrown in your face. Certain ones claim she is a liar, a prostitute, and evil, calling her terrible names. How would your mother feel about you associating with people who slander her? Obviously such claims about most people’s mothers would be quite extreme and do of course come across as slanderous falsehoods. At any rate, would you not be justified in cutting off association with such individuals?
(Interestingly in this example the validity of the claims are never scrutinized or dealt with. It is simply a matter of immediate action by means of loyalty to your mother and her feelings.)
The business of shunning is difficult and frustrating. You have a situation where the shunning is seemingly justified: a situation of loyalty. From a JW perspective, associating with apostates is akin to agreeing with them. This is where it gets tricky, because then the only way to actually associate with an alleged apostate is to agree with what they think, and to agree with what they think is to be one. That is a terrible notion.
Try to remember that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t want to not be Jehovah’s Witnesses. That is, in fact, the worst thing imaginable and to them the reason for mankind’s hopeless condition. Adam and Eve, universal sovereignty …murder of billions at Armageddon and all that jazz. You remember.
Every JW made a dedication… we all did folks. No matter one’s reason to leave, be it the pursuit of intellectual honesty or escape from abuse or one of the million and a half other reasons, it’s something seen as inexcusable, a shame, and 100% WRONG because of that dedication you made. That's why you are shunned. Loyalty to Big Brother.
They keep saying you have to see the big picture. I keep wanting to say that WE ARE the big picture ...we’re only alive for a short period of time and are very lucky to be HERE, TOGETHER, on this TINY speck hurtling through a universe that by a massive margin is designed to kill all living things instantly. We're all alone in this together and it's such a shame to see the immense pettiness that keeps people who love each other very much, completely compartmentalized by their own ignorance. Collectively, as humanity, we're all guilty of it to various degrees.
Anyways. I’d like to hear people’s objective thoughts on the justification of shunning.