Are Parents Who Shun Their Children At Risk?

by Englishman 33 Replies latest jw friends

  • Englishman

    Who looks after the welfare of ageing witness parents who have disfellowshipped children? Are these DF'd children (actually, some of these DF'd children are in their 60's) meant to ignore being ignored and then care physically for their non speaking parents? Also, can DF'ing your own children lead to witness parents suffering illness or even death as a result?

    Well, I'm going to answer the second question myself, because I have the answer. In the last 2 weeks, I have seen how DF'ing adversely affects the welfare of the parent doing the shunning.

    1. My mother has had a minor stroke. Her vision has been affected as a result. She lives 2 -3 hours drive away. I want her to come and convalesce at my home, where we have plenty of room and facilities.. She can't do that though, because I am DF'd, so she is now denied care, not by me, but by the morons who invented this stupid means of control.

    2. Last week, my ex-wifes Father died. Some months ago, I posted how he had renewed the shunning of his DF'd daughter after pressure from elders. He collapsed on Friday in front of a switched-on gas cooker. He was found dead on Tuesday in very warm kitchen after complaints from neighbours. His DF'd daughter who is extremely family orientated, is distressed because she would certainly have visited her Father had the shunning not been reactivated. Whilst she may not have been able to save him if he was still alive, at least she wouldn't have to imagine the 4 days that he was dead on the floor.

    Now, I don't recall ever reading anything about what parents can accept from their DF'd offspring, but one things for sure, the rules need changing!


  • metatron

    No amount of suffering will ever influence the theocratic reptiles on this subject.

    The 'truth' ends up being a kind of drug addiction - you can't stop and it
    ruins your life, bit by bit.


  • Gopher

    I have wondered about my parents, now 65 and 70 and shunning both of their children. I don't really expect anything from my parents (including an inheritance, which I assume is now deeded over to the WT Society), but what about the help we could give them??

    What they tell me is that "if anything important happens, we'll tell you". What if they're UNABLE to tell me?

    Metatron is right. The Society is built on the backs of suffering and sacrifice of average, ordinary people.

    Shame, shame.

  • freedom96

    Another sad example of how twisted and self centered the WTS is. They keep this garbage up, they will never see the rank and file numbers that they would like.

    You don't see normal religions with such hatred and shunning and hurt as the Witnesses.

  • TweetieBird

    Nice analogy, Metatron. I never thought of it like that. I have so many addicts in my family, I could scream.

    I have a die-hard JW mother, but she would never shun any of her children. I am not df'd but I have a brother that has been since 1972 or 1974 (whenever smoking became a dfing offense). She has never shunned him and never will. But, unfortunately, I know too many aging witnesses that have shunned their df'd children. I guess the burden will fall on the congregation members, God help them. At the congregations I have attended, you can't even get people to say hi to you, let alone wipe your butt when the time comes.

  • Valis

    Greetings Englishman. Thanks for bringing up this topic. It might also be worthy to note that most JWs have no semblance of a retirement fund. What does this mean? This means they will be looking to their kids or their JW "brothers and sisters" for living assistance as they age more and more. Well guess what?! All those years of mistreating their own kids will surely come back to haunt them. It must be sad to die alone and not have any family around. I for one really don't think I'll be taking care of my parents when they get too old to help themselves and need assistance. I don't think I could see myself driving them to meetings for instance...that would be way too much for me to handle...*forsees auto crash* *LOL


    District Overbeer

  • Englishman


    I'll tell you something now. I actually paid of a debt incurred by my parents with an elder. Not once did he even say thank you as the amount owing diminished each month. One month, I was over committed, and the cheque I wrote to him bounced. I received a strong letter admonishing me and saying "Kindly make sure that this does not happen again!"

    I replied that, as my never-a-JW wife had never even met him, perhaps he would like to write a letter of thanks to her for making the financial sacrifice for parents that wern't her's, to a man she had never met, who refused to acknowledge the existence of her husband.

    A thank-you came by return of post.


  • Valis

    Well Eman the choosers will be beggars some day..somewhat of a comforting thought eh?


    District Overbeer of the " nursing home sounds like a plan" class

  • LyinEyes

    My dad is is 56, with no retirement, no pension etc. He still works like he is 25 yrs old. He is diabetic and already has been to the hospital for heart problems. I always wanted to be there for him when his time came to need my help. But he has pushed me away , and did so even before I d/a myself. And I might add , the reason he treats me this way is beyond me and can not be blamed on my being d/a or not, I am not sure he even knows it yet, but by now he might. Now he just has a good reason to ignore me. No different than before. Good thing he married a young wife, she will take care of him and he now has another daughter who is only 12 yrs old, I am sure he is priming her well to take care of him in his old age. I know this sounds jealous , but my dad has three daughters and threw 2 away and made the baby everything he ever wanted . It hurts so bad to know I did nothing to deserve his treatment of me. I never even as an adult disrespected him, or talked bad about him to others, I left that secret inside. My dad must have it all figured out, he will not need me when he gets older, unless the baby sister leaves him. Who can say. I don't know what I would do if he ever changed, I would not believe it. It has been too many years of the same pattern , I see no way unless he leave the JW that fuels his own evil behavior. I wish he would need me one day, I would be good to him, but I will never get that chance , he would probably rather die than accept any words or help from his d/a daughter. I am angry , but what can I do. I am angry at the WTBS for taking my mother away so young and for fueling my dad's hatred towards me, just because I want religious freedom. I will not be called when he is sick , or when he is dying or when he is being buried. No matter how mean and cruel he has been to me , as a child and as an adult , I guess, I was taught to love and respect your parents, but I never thought they would turn on me, all because of ignorant misapplied bible doctrine.

    I never got in trouble, never begged the man for money like some relative did, never intruded on his new family, never spoke anything but love for him. I tried to visit his home, but felt unwelcomed by his current wife, but still tried. Tried to call, but the calls where all superficial. I asked my father for support during a bad time in my life , due to depression, I wanted to build a stronger relationship with him. It took him several months before he made an attempt to call, right before an assembly, he knew he would have to face me there. I swollowed the lump in my throat and acted like everything was ok. I only gave up on our relationship a year ago.

    But , I will be denied the privledge of taking care of my dad in his old age, because of his cold heart and because the WT enforces that view. This is sad , this is so damn sad.

    I am trying to move on, but it hurts and my heart goes out to all who are being shunned, for whatever reason . Maybe one day my dad will see what he has done, but take my word, I doubt it.

  • Dia

    This may be bad timing, but I think the media might be interested in your story.

  • Farkel

    : Who looks after the welfare of ageing witness parents who have disfellowshipped children? Are these DF'd children (actually, some of these DF'd children are in their 60's) meant to ignore being ignored and then care physically for their non speaking parents? Also, can DF'ing your own children lead to witness parents suffering illness or even death as a result?

    This may be considered harsh, but any parent who shuns his or her own child, doesn't deserve to receive anything from that child. I can think of no worse pain for a human being than to be totally rejected and treated as dead from that child's own parents.


  • BluesBrother

    Firstly, I am very sorry to hear of the bad news in your family E Man . You have my sympathies and I hope that things improve.

    In our day, elderly parents were still viewed as the responsibilty of cong members even if the parents were d/fd . If an old sister had needed the help of a d/fd son or daughter then it would have been viewed as "Necessary family busines" and accepted

    Apparently the August 2002 K M changed that and brought in a harder line. Many of the dubs that know would { I believe } still honour family responsibilities but i can see from comments on this board that some have taken it as a big change and now cut them off.. A sad case of rulebook thinking .


    I will be denied the privledge of taking care of my dad in his old age

    You are an angel!

  • Englishman

    First off, my aged mother has relaxed the shunning thing considerably since the 1914 generation debacle, which pleases me greatly of course. However, whilst she does indeed visit me for 2 days a year, the problem is that she now needs some care, paricularly whilst she recovers from her stroke.

    This is the sticking point, she can't actually accept my offer of care because she is well known in the WSM area, and also the congregation in Telford will know where she is too.

    She's had lot's of visitors and flowers from the dubs, but that just means that she's spends much of the day making cups of tea as they drop by.

    Re my ex-father in law, his funeral was held today.


  • Fire Dragon
    Fire Dragon


    I printed this and put it up in my office:

    "I can think of no worse pain for a human being than to be totally rejected and treated as dead from that child's own parents."

    Thank you. It couldn't have been said any better.

    ((((((Lyin Eyes))))))


  • Marilyn

    My mother is very sick with breast cancer. I ignore the 'hovahs and get on with what needs to be done. Unless they ask you not to help you should carry on as normal. To do otherwise is to play by the WT rules - and christs knows they are crazy!!!


  • think41self

    Speaking for myself only (of course),

    I have informed my parents that I never want to hear from them again.....period.

    I told my mother if my dad gets sick, don't call me. If he dies, don't call me. Tell dad the same regarding you. In other words, don't contact me and I will do the same with you. I will not invite you to my kids weddings, nor send birth announcements for their children, I will no longer send you photos of all of us so that you can pretend you are a part of our lives.

    I did add one caveat...I told her if she ever quit being a JW she could call me. Otherwise, I hope she lives a happy life and I intend to do the same. For me, it was closure that was needed. She is dead to me anyway, as I am to her...but it's like going on living with a corpse in your house without ever having the funeral and saying that's what I did.

    I'm not recommending this for anyone else...but it was something that worked for me. You'd have to know all our history to understand....but I actually felt great after putting that in writing and sending it to them. I feel free.


  • DannyBear


    Good for you. You took all the wind out of thier sails. I know it was not easy, and many tears were shed while writing that letter, but like you said.....truly liberating.

    I love my sister's and family, but if they choose to shun me, I choose to do the same. When and if they contact me, I will be overjoyed....but until that day....Iam with you.


  • Mulan

    You are all assuming something to be true, that isn't their policy. I don't have access to the precise WT, but I know that a JW is not let off the hook, to take care of their aging parents, if that parent is disfellowshipped. The reverse is also true.

    Earlier this year, I called Patterson (I posted it) and talked for some time to the man at the Washington State Service desk. Mom had been criticized for coming to live with us, and even though we are not disfellowshipped or disassociated, the gossip was hurting her and no one was visiting her. He told me, and then Mom too, that we were doing the right thing, and that even if we were disfellowshipped, no one should criticize a child for caring for their aging parents. He then said he was writing a letter to the congregation to that effect, which he did. He cited the WT, I alluded to above.

    It isn't a new policy.

    I am just as critical of them as the rest of you, but what you are talking about is personal choice, not the policy of the organization.

  • garybuss

    As many of you know, my parents are in their 80's and are card carrying JW's. They do not contact me and have not for years. If I contact them, they scream and yell and slam doors at me and even blame me for their illnesses. Back in 1995 I wrote them a letter and told them if they wanted any further contact with me the burden of initiation of contact would be on them from now on. I have never heard from them since.

    None of the old tricks work on me anymore. I am absolutely not willing to play any of the JW games at all. If Witnesses suffer due to their own behavior, they suffer with willful self righteous piety.

    It is incredibly difficult to rescue a person who is happily deluded and willfully ignorant.

    I let my parents know by letter if they needed anything like food, clothing, medical attention, or shelter, they needed to ask me. Then I moved on to live my life. They live in a large, wealthy, JW community and most of my relatives, including my brother, are JW's. They brag about caring for their own. I am sure they will do that before they call me.

    Shunning JW parents are unlovable (by me) and unhelpable ( by me). If they are uncomfortable, they certainly have earned that. They have divorced me and I have accepted that.


    Edited by - garybuss on 3 October 2002 14:39:28

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