Mandated Shunning is a Crime

by Lee Marsh 110 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • EasyPrompt
  • Vidiot

    As far as I’m concerned in regards to shunning, attempts at lawsuits or criminalization, et al are all a waste of time and resources.

    The simplest (and, IMO, most elegant) solution is initiate legislation that any organization who shuns - religious or secular - becomes ineligible for charity status / tax exemption.

    Federal governments and their revenue agencies have every right and responsibility to set (or revise) bare-minimum requirements for qualification… especially ones that that minimize discrimination in any form… but more importantly…

    a) …nobody’s being “forced” to do anything, ‘cause applying for and acquiring charity status / tax-exemption is entirely voluntary…

    b) …the only real opponents would be groups and their lobbyists who actively - and obviously - want to shun / discriminate, and those assholes are rarely on the winning side of history, and…

    c) …anyone stoopid enough to holler “persecution” just because they have to either follow the rules they already agreed to OR “pay back Caesar’ things to Caesar”, doesn’t look like a champion of religious freedom, a victim of tyranny, or a righteous martyr.

    To anyone with half a brain, they just look like a whiny little bitch.

  • MeanMrMustard

    It is not, nor should it be considered a crime.

    Also, I don't agree that shunning is violence. There has been a push lately to move non-physical force into the realm of "violence". Something isn't violent just because it is "hurtful" or "unpleasant". "Emotional violence" is like "hate speech", it's a very subjective term and should have no place in law, which should be based on objective standards.

    And that's the issue - when you start to say shunning should be illegal, the rubber hits the road when you are forced to actually make a law, put something in writing, and enforce it. You have to think, first, how others are going to interpret your subjective language. And think of how it undermines what should be a sharp distinction between private life and government. You give the government a hammer to bash your enemies, it keeps the hammer and bashes other things, other people, or you.

  • MeanMrMustard

    Also, it just ticks me off that we let our "loved ones" off so easily. For some reason, we can't accept the truth : the people who claim to love you have a choice. That's what's great about this - they CAN choose to do the right thing. But noooo, they are just people blown around in the winds of life with no personal accountability. If only the WT would just change. Nobody ever stops to think your so called "loved ones" were going to abandon you for a publishing company.

    Either they really believe, which means they agree and will shun you even if the WT changes, and are morally retarded, or they don't really agree and are so weak as to choose a publishing company over their family, which means they are morally retarded.

  • Vanderhoven7
    "The simplest (and, IMO, most elegant) solution is initiate legislation that any organization who shuns - religious or secular - becomes ineligible for charity status / tax exemption."

    Perfect solution VI.

  • jhine

    I agree Vanderhoven.

    MeanMrMustard l do see your point but if the Watchtower removes the rules about shunning then the die hards will stop doing it , because as you say they just follow the rules . That will save many people a lot of misery.

    I've never been shunned but the thought of being cut off from loved ones is heartbreaking. Anything that prevents someone from going through that nightmare has to be worth considering.

    Jan from Tam.

  • jhine

    PetrW l don't understand your comment about the command form of the verb ' to love ' . Why would being told to love cause deaths ?

    I genuinely don't get it .

    Also l don't think that outlawing mandated shunning is the same as forcing people to love .

    Jan from Tam

  • PetrW


    Here's how I think: Somewhere on this website there is a published case of an elder in the congregation who was convicted of pedophilia.

    Suppose the elders in the congregation had actively intervened earlier to excommunicate this pedophile. But he would have defended himself - ironically - precisely on the basis of not being allowed contact with others. And he is, by virtue of the presumption of innocence, truly innocent until proven guilty. Human justice is just as imperfect and easily abused.

    Jan, I'm not a lawyer. But what little I do know of the philosophy of law is that a law that denies something must have penalties. And someone has to review that. So excommunication would have to be reviewable by the courts, for example. But in terms of the economics of litigation, they may also decide to place higher demands on the elders in the congregation. They may make a demand for some additional training in the basics of law, psychology, sociology, history of religion or pedagogy...

    Every such law extends the influence of the state into the religious life of its citizens. And when the state takes over, sooner or later it will become a "malheur".

    And the state will then start persecuting "different-minded" people who refuse, for example, to promote homosexuality in a Christian congregation...

    The result will be that people will actually lose interest in a religion, as any dispute will result in exhausting legal wrangling.

    And then if we look at states that turn into totalitarian structures, then their efforts at total control of the citizens, actually ends in the death of the citizens...

  • TonusOH

    I agree with Vid- reduce/withhold subsidies or tax breaks for any group that enforces a shunning policy.

    As for 'shunning is a crime,' I don't think it's possible to make it a crime on an individual level. Perhaps you could make it a crime for it to be an official/documented organizational policy, and require organizations or businesses to remove/amend such policies or rules. But individuals shun one another all the time, for any number of reasons. It would be impossible to legislate.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    First, shunning is a serious issue among JWs and other high-control groups.

    So, something needs to be done but I'm not sure criminalising shunning is a sensible solution.

    Let's go thru this. If shunning is a crime, then what comes out of that is that people must interact with others or else risk being arrested and charged for shunning. That's nuts.

    Shunning's not nice and causes problems. But I'm not sure criminalising it is the best way of tackling it.

    I think the best way forward is good education in general, and help for people who want to exit high control groups.

    Shunning shouldn't be a crime, however unpleasant it is.

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