Why is shunning wrong?

by noonehome 34 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cultBgone

    It's one thing if we choose not to hang out with a person because we don't care for their traits or personality. Who among us never changed our service group to avoid spending hours with bro-bad-breath or sis-gossips-alot? Who among us doesn't have a neighbor with whom we don't socialize because we run in different circles? That's normal human behavior. You might deep-down love your auntie but not enjoy her company, right?

    It's another thing altogether if we are effectively FORCED to shun that person because we are in fear of being shunned ourselves. THAT is the fear and mind control used by the jws to keep people in line.

    Just plain EVIL.

  • millie210

    Well noonehome, objectivity is hard for me on this topic but here goes....

    Shunning is found in many societies and even among animals. Therefore shunning can serve a purpose. It can help an individual to moderate their behavior to remain part of a group when survival depends on being part of a group. It can help the group identify individuals that might be of danger to the group.

    The thing is, you would only find that being used with the most extreme examples of anti group behavior. Murder for example (not killing - that is different than murder).

    What the JW's have done is take the concept of not associating with someone spiritually and applied that to practical day to day living.

    Completely lacking any factual basis anthropologically OR scripturally speaking.

    If a JW doesn't want to spiritually converse with someone at the Hall, that's fine. But to take the "shunning" outside the Hall or anywhere near the family arrangement is an over reach on their part.

    It smacks of the same pharisaical mind set that Jesus condemned. It isn't scriptural. It isn't applied with fairness.

    It has become a cruel aberration that serves the purposes of a harsh leader - the governing body.

  • Mum

    Shunning people because they have learned something else and believe differently from you or just want to be themselves (all JW justifications for shunning) is the heght of immaturity, stupidity and rudeness. I have a friend who hates Catholicism, but she doesn't shun Chatholics.

    Once, years ago, I was watching a TV program about the pope visiting the U.S. The pope was sitting in a big chair behind a Catholic woman who was lambasting the Church for its treatment of women and proscription against birth control The pope was sitting very calmly and taking it "like a man."

    In ths sane world, it's fine to leave one church and go to another. The family might try to get you to "see the light" and go back to their church, but they won't treat you as if you don't exist.

    There was a post on this board years ago about a JW couple (I think one partner was "apostate") who had a child and were divorced. The JW member of the couple would not speak to the "apostate." Allegedly, a judge ordered them to stop being childish and to consider the welfare of their son or daughter.

    There are extreme cases in which I can understand shunning and it probably is justified. If someone tried to hurt my child, I think I would avoid them and shun them. Even then, if I had something to say to them, I would say it.

  • Quarterback

    I have to admit that there exists differences of concepts between Jesus, Paul, and the FDS. If I were to choose, I would chose to follow the pattern of love from Jesus example. I know that the Bible canon is Inspired and that Paul's words are there. But, I don't even believe that the current FDS follow Paul's words accurately.

  • Gentledawn

    How does divorce work inside christian churches?

    Does adultry count if only one of the marriage mates is a cheater? Yes. How do we know? Because Jesus verbally set the standard. A divorce can take place if EITHER mate commits adultry. The innocent mate gets to walk away. They are free.

    Watchtower/ JW.bOrg committed the following abuses/blasphemies:

    • were members of the United Nations from 1992 (actually applied in 1991 and were accepted into membership in 92) until 2001, when a Guardian newspaper article exposed them. They quickly (matter of days) quit being members under the Watchtower name at the time (apparently they are members currently under different corporate names). According to their own teachings, the U.N. is a filthy "wild beast", and one of the powers under Satan's control. Plus, neutrality.

    • made false predictions as to the end time, and quickly blamed the low-ranking membership for 'getting overly zealous and running ahead'. No. It was their (watchtower's) chanting, mantras, speeches, and examples that all pointed to: 1874, 1914, 1925, 1975, "before the end of the 20th century" (1914 old Awake! masthead was prime example, until Oct 1995 change) and so on. They are false prophets.

    • they replaced "holy spirit"/ghost with "god's spirit-directed organization on earth today" as part of the baptismal vows. In "worldly"-speak: they inserted themselves into the "trinity" itself.

    • they lie, sanction lying (only for the leadership and their butt-monkeys, not regular rank & file members) under the banner of "theocratic warfare". Theocratic warfare also means they can lie under oath in courts of law. They can stand at attention in court while their lawyers make false assertions about the "heirarchy" inside the "church" itself, stating that there is "clergy-laity priviledge" for confessions of serious (criminal) wrongdoing (Gordon Leighton trail being prime example). They destroyed documents before the trial of Mark Sewell, a former elder who molested and raped multiple congregants.

    • they change teachings on the fly. Anyone who has the "wrong" bible will get more than a mere raised eyebrow.

    • They literally changed the bible to suit their teachings and to make it so it supports their current dogmas. They removed the first 12 verses of John chapter 8 because it was too inconvenient to have Jesus display blanket forgiveness in such a way. The editors of the new silver bible are not theologians, nor are they trained in ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek. Otherwise they would not have inserted the word "jehovah", sprinkling it all higgledy-piggledy, whenever the whim struck them to replace the word "lord" in the NT/greek scriptures.

    • 1914 means nothing. Look for it in the bible. And yet if you say that out loud within earshot/hearing of any elder/male leader, you will likely find yourself going into a backroom of a kingdom hall and face some stern questioning.

    • you cannot state out loud that the governing body (the seven leaders in Brooklyn, New York USA) are not god's spokespersons on earth today. If they are, then they can prove it: they seem to love using the Old Testament to draw their current rules (Deut. 19:15 is were they get their 2 witness rule that protects pedos and rapists in the congregations):


    1 Kings 18: 22-24
    22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23 Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.”

    Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”


    Let the governing body PROVE they are god's prophets/spokespersons on earth today, just like Elijah proved he was, and Baal worshippers were not.


    Anyhoo, the Watchtower / Jw-Borg are a bunch of abusive, lying cheaters. They'll lie down with any corporation, government or organization in order to get their way. And they will lie to those ones, too, just like they lie to their baptized followers.

    So, shunning is only a one way street? Yes. Is it a punishment or teaching tool? It's an abusers weapon of choice, in order to keep fear as a stranglehold on their locked-in followers. But guess what? We're not locked in if THEY (watchtower/JW-Borg) lie and cheat on us!

    • They lie. Repeatedly.
    • They also obfuscate the true-truth about what the organization is all about. Most people don't find out about the GovBody men until baptism or afterwards.
    • They cheat. They were a "friend of the court" during the Jimmy Swaggart IRS trial, because the decision in favor of Swaggart would also favor them. They had ZERO qualms about yoking themselves to that con-artist Televangleist.
    • They were members of the United Nations, an organization that they (watchtower) vilified as being part of Satan's organization.
    • They do NOT follow the teachings of Jesus. Proof? Who did Jesus shun? Did he teach shunning? Paul and the old testament characters get more name droppings in articles than Jesus ever does, except perhaps at memorial time of year. That's when they troop out the Kenny Loggins "jesus" drawings/photos.

    No person is free to walk away from the JW-Borg with his/her dignity intact. That is a tactic of an abuser/abusive life-mate/marriage partner. Just one more log put into a bonfire pile of things stacked against this false religion.

  • Simon

    The shunning is done based on a dubious rulings and rumour simply as a form of control.

    Everyone is allowed to speak to or not speak to whoever they want. The insidious thing is when others tell them that they shouldn't speak to someone else under threat of being shunned themselves. This is nothing like what you described (OP)

  • westiebilly11

    Jesus shunned no one....

    I too no longer believe the jws have 'the truth' ...

  • ABibleStudent

    IMHO it is alright to excommunicate or disfellow members, but it is not acceptable for an organization to promote that members must ostracize former members. Organizations that promote ostracation (e.g., shunning) or discrimination (e.g., not associating with non-members) victimize their members. Organizations that use undue influence to promote ostracation or discrimination are worse.

    People have brains and should be free to make their own decisions - good or bad.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


  • LongHairGal

    I had "shunning" happen to me on some level while I was still active in the JW religion.

    It is a pathetic control mechanism and it did not work on me. Did the persons doing it think I was going to go up to them and ask what is wrong?? Well, I did nothing of the sort and just acted like they weren't there. I imagine this must have frustrated them but it would be rather awkward for them to say: "haven't you noticed I'm ignoring you?"

    JWs are hypocrites, though, and imagine they are going to benefit from some phony brotherhood when they need it. I didn't have so much of a problem if somebody there didn't want to bother with me. What I DID have a problem with is if that same hypocrite thought I was going to help them if they were in trouble.

    Anybody who wants to shun had better not think that the person they are shunning is going to help them in the future. This goes for JW parents and other JWs in a family who imagine a shunned child or sibling is going to give them money or any other kind of material assistance. Imagine the nerve?

  • Xanthippe

    Noonehome I'm finding your logic a bit shaky and I can't quite follow what you mean. The dedication thing, well I dedicated myself to a fake being at fifteen. You cannot be held to something by law that you agreed to as a minor in any civilized country as I understand it.

    However I do agree with this

    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.

    Exactly, well put! It grieves me that we are born into a family and this is how we have survived and thrived for thousands of years and yet religions try to take that warm, safe place away from us. Goodness knows if the human race will survive doing stupid things like this. Sod the tiger, I wonder if we will become extinct from our own stupidity.

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