Mandated Shunning is a Crime

by Lee Marsh 110 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • MeanMrMustard

    Also, what is the objective, general principle that allows you single out "mandatory shuning" as a basis for government intervention into freedom of association? Why isn't something else not justification for the intervention? If shunning is "harmful", even over the long term, and "harmful" is a reason for government intervention, then why can't we justify that any group that promotes fat body acceptance lose their 501c3 status? - after all their view is harmful, even deadly!!

  • Simon

    Reminder: the WTS can't shun you (or you don't give a flying fuck if they do). So what if a few million people you'll never meet shouldn't talk to you, when the practical reality is that they won't know, and you won't know who they are?

    The only people who can shun you are your friend and family, and that is on them. Don't give them the "out" that they "have to", because someone, somewhere said so. It's on THEM. Heap the guilt on them as much as you can because they are the ones doing it.

    They ask yourself why you want to associate with or be friends with anyone who'd shun you based on someone else's say-so, someone they'll never even meet?

    Fuck them and fuck the horse they rode in on - find better, truer, friends.

    But don't try to get the government to help. Any help they offer is not going to make your life better.

  • MeanMrMustard

    @Jan and Lee - and I suppose others similarly situated:

    The people who reject you this way aren't your loved ones. They aren't your friends.

    You might think they are your friends, and you might care for them. But objectively they are not your friends, and they don't really care for you.

    I know this because they chose a publishing company over you. Whether its your friends or family, its not real. They might even believe they care, but they don't.

    If its your parent, then your parents chose a publishing company over you. They chose to excise you from their life because a publishing company told them to.

    People that do that aren't your friends either. They can't be. Part of the explicit definition of "friend" (and family) is to stick by your side when you are in need. These people literally did the opposite.

    You might be reaching for the "if the WT would only change" excuse. If so, you still don't get it - all it took was one word, and your friends and family effortlessly moved your entire world into their trash bin. They didnt have to, but they did. You are worth less than a label given to them by a publishing company. That's the tragedy, that's the painful thing. The WT didn't take anything away from you - you never had it. It was all fake. Sure, you might have had "stand in" friends and family. But the foundation was always fake. That's what you get with a WT family. That's why it's a cult.

    It makes it seem like your family and friends are all there, with all the warm acceptance your remember, if only... if only this pesky org would let them accept you. This tiny technicality. No, it's fake from the start, from the root. Don't let them off the hook!

    Since you mentioned experiencing rejection, I'll share a little story about my cousin. She grew up in one of those families that were in deep. Really deep. Not as deep as mine. They took it seriously. When I left the WT, my cousin was right there with my aunts and uncles, righteously shunning me. I think some of them even wrote me letters to tell me the sheer amount of rebuke I was going to get, although I don't think this cousin was one of them. Time passed, she got married and eventually screwed it up. She had a guy in the side, got DFed, had a couple kids with him, and then he left her. Of course her family rejected her, completely and utterly. At some point she contacted me through social media. I didn't even know any of this had occured because I was out a long time before - I didn't care to keep aprised of any family that shunned me. I listened to her for a bit, and then reminded her that she did to me (and undoubtedly others) what her family is going to her now. It had to sting a bit. But as long as she wasn't rejecting me, I wouldn't reject her. She apologized a few days later. Good for her. She actually became good friends with my wife. They even have matching tattoos. But that's a story for a different time.

    But here's the part that matters to the topic - her parents still wanted to see the grandkids. Of course they would subtly try to affect the kids. My wife's parents did the same thing. At some point we told her she should think about what she's allowing her parents to do. Her kids would become aware of the treatment soon, and she was just letting them treat her that way. So she decided to pull away, not to be vindictive, but to keep herself and her kids away from the moral depravity and gaslighting. She told them that she would no longer accept the shunning. Everything is a packaged deal. Everyone or nobody. You know what happened? They all shunned the living shit out her. I mean they stepped it up. And why not? After all, she had allowed it in the past. But she just cut it off. Time passed. It hurt, but she would later tell my wife and I that it was for the best. Being away from the treatment and gaslighting allowed her to get a clear head, and she said she felt more content than she had ever really felt. Soon, a message from the mom came. She held her ground. Time passed. More messages. After about 2 years, her mom conceded, came over, hugged her daughter and played with the grand kids. Her father was tougher, but eventually conceded too. Of course, if you ask him, they are doing nothing wrong.

    From what I heard, they both got some mild gaslighting from the other family (Jah might judge you adversely for this) But that's about it. Nobody was willing to take it to the next layer of people.

    People can choose! - but they won't if you let them think what they are doing is ok. They have personal accountability for their decisions. Don't let them push it off onto the WT. And if they absolutely won't give it up - it sucks but they aren't "loved ones". They never were.

  • Simon

    That's the thing, there really are no repercussions for people who don't go along with the shunning. It's entirely their choice to do it, and for some it's an excuse to be evil judgemental pricks.

    There's no legislating that people who choose to do that will somehow be all close with you and everything as it was.

  • vienne

    Built into the laws of many countries is freedom of associations. We get to choose our associates. That means we can choose whom to avoid. Someone else can say, "oh, they're bad associates," but the choice to associate or not is an individual one. No one shoots a JW for following church policy. It's not a crime in any sense when someone won't speak to us. We may not like it, but it is not criminal.

  • jhine

    So , if a member of someone's family does something that warrants shunning and their family doesn't shun would there be no comeback on them ? Or does that depend on individual Kingdom Halls and the elders ? Can people be punished for not shunning?

    Also I have always understood that JWs are told that because someone is outside of the Truth then they are doomed . So by shunning the " wrongdoer " to force them back into the Truth they are being loving .

    Surely that is mind control at work and takes the guilt out of shunning if you can tell yourself that you are doing it for the ultimate good of person being shunned.

    I suspect that if told that they will lose privileges then the WT would feel " new light " coming on .

    Jan from Tam

  • TonusOH

    jhine: So , if a member of someone's family does something that warrants shunning and their family doesn't shun would there be no comeback on them ?

    When I was in, they judged this depending on a few factors. If it was a close family member who was living in the same home, then they were expected to avoid spiritual topics or discussion, but otherwise could interact as normal. For those who had relationships that required some contact (business dealings, health issues, etc), they were allowed to communicate only as necessary, and also avoid spiritual discussion.

    Aside from that, members were expected to avoid any interaction with disfellowshipped persons. If you were found to be talking with someone who was DF, you probably got a 'reminder' the first time, with the understanding made clear that continuing on this course of action could lead to you being DF as well.

    If it seems odd that they specifically forbid spiritual discussion, remember that they expect such guidance to come from the GB and through the elders and ministerial servants. I don't think the WTS trusts the rank-and-file to handle such matters.

  • joey jojo
    joey jojo
    Nevertheless, even if governments try to legislate only mandatory shunning, it is still going to be difficult to put it in law and choose the right wording.

    From what Ive read, if a religious group shuns an individual, because it is their belief, it is somewhat protected by law. As JW org is an American religion, JW;s have often hid behind the first amendment in the U.S. The question is, do the rights of the group override the rights of the individual being shunned?

    My opinion is that organised shunning should be illegal. In a group setting, if someone f%ks up really badly and hurts people (pedophilia, murder, assault etc), it is absolutely the right of anyone affected to treat that person however they want to. In fact , no one has to like or dislike anyone for whatever reason.

    But to tell a whole group how they should feel and act toward someone is cruel to the individual and actually disrespects the intelligence and rights of the group too. But thats what you would expect from the borg.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous
    So , if a member of someone's family does something that warrants shunning and their family doesn't
    These days there are a lot of people that don’t strictly follow the shunning rules. First of all, people would need to report to the elders, the elders often have their own sons or daughters they should be shunning but don’t. So it really depends on congregation. At best nothing happens, at worst you lose ‘your privileges’ and get marked which many don’t want privileges anyway.
    You have to really openly disagree with the DF arrangement (basically become an apostate about it) in order to be DF’ed. I was in a very strict congregation, there was a person that kept visiting with his DF’ed daughter, even talking to her in the hall. He simply kept saying he was weak, eventually made it to ministerial servant (because they’re running out of people) and then faded from the borg shortly after I did.
    I have never heard of someone being DFed for simply ‘being weak’ about not talking to family. It may happen, but there are a lot of outs for people (there are various exceptions)

  • DesirousOfChange
    But don't try to get the government to help. Any help they offer is not going to make your life better. ~SIMON

    Most things the government touch go to sh!t. You cannot get past the bureaucracy. The old "too many cooks...." thing.

    So , if a member of someone's family does something that warrants shunning and their family doesn't shun would there be no comeback on them ? Or does that depend on individual Kingdom Halls and the elders ? Can people be punished for not shunning? ~jhine

    My experiences with the WT Service Dept was that elders are told to STAY OUT of anything dealing with association with FAMILY and they have a very broad definition of "family". (The case I questioned was regarding a DF "former" step-daughter who was homeless and a pioneer sister who was no longer married to the girl's biological father was offering to allow her into her home. "If they claim to be "family", then they ARE family".) IF it was to cause concerns (gossip) in the Cong, then her qualifications as a pioneer could come into question. (That would also apply to men serving as Elders or MS.)

    However, if there is no familial relationship, active members in good standing can be warned if they are found out to be associating regularly (BRAZENLY) with DF persons. (Business relationships may be exempt but hardline elders with a grudge could push that. Failure to cease association could result in the "wrongdoer" being "marked" or even DFd for "brazen conduct".

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