As a born-in, I innocently picked up and accepted stuff that in any other context would be disturbing.
A "softening" work steadily precedes fully embracing shunning. Every single time the topic comes up among JWs, it is overly slanted against the disfellowshipped individual. JW organization employs a strategy known as "Blaming and/or vilifying the victim":
In the language and framing of the organization, disfellowshipped individuals have:
- unrepentantly continued to engage in ungodly and immoral behaviors,
- cared little for their loved ones and family by their actions,
- spurned the loving help elders have extended,
- turned their back on our loving Creator, Jehovah God who always has their longer term best interests in mind,
- pushed ahead of Jehovah's organization,
- allowed pride and a selfish spirit to rule them and cloud their judgement,
- shown total disregard for weaker ones in the congregation,
- not cared if they stumble faithful servants of Jehova,h
- proudly tried to get congregation members to stop worshipping in truth and follow them,
JW organization knows that the shunning teaching "works" primarily because those who are shunned - or are about to be shunned - have been dehumanized and cast in the worst possible light.
Over 20 years ago, at an extended family reunion organized by a non-JW family member - but which included several JW family members and relatives - two much younger and intoxicated JW cousins rushed up to me and shouted in front of everyone, "You've caused all the trouble in our family." The older of the two then physically pushed at my chest whilst giving me the most menacing look - I barely knew either of them but other JWs had told them "all" about me. Others present told them to stop it and go back inside the hall where most of the extended family still were.
Whilst non-JWs expressed shock at the unprovoked attack, JWs present slithered away without a word. I have no doubt that the local elders did a "fine" job of demonizing me, casting me in the most unflattering way so that sentiment against me was readily inflamed in the context of alcohol consumption (BTW, I'm a life long teetotaller).