Could a petition to make shunning illegal work?

by aboveusonlysky 115 Replies latest jw friends

  • aboveusonlysky

    We're currently watching Leah Remini's series about scientology and the main thing she seems to focus on is the shunning policies of the scientology organization which let's face it are very similar to JW procedure.

    I Was wondering with all that's in the media recently about bullying could a petition be put together to get the goverment to consider making religiously mandated shunning illegal? Has such a thing been tried before? says the following -

    How petitions work

    1. You create a petition. Only British citizens and UK residents can create or sign a petition.
    2. You get 5 people to support your petition. We’ll tell you how to do this when you’ve created your petition.
    3. We check your petition, then publish it. We only reject petitions that don’t meet the standards for petitions.
    4. The Petitions Committee reviews all petitions we publish. They select petitions of interest to find out more about the issues raised. They have the power to press for action from government or Parliament.
    5. At 10,000 signatures you get a response from the government.
    6. At 100,000 signatures your petition will be considered for a debate in Parliament.

    100,000 is a lot but with a website and some media attention it could be possible and maybe wouldn't need that many signatures anyway. Given that shunning for apostacy is often a blatant violation of the human rights agenda I've wondered how organizations like watchtower get away with their policies in the 21st century, ideas anyone?

  • Landy

    No. You can't force someone to talk to someone else.

  • The Rebel
    The Rebel

    Nobody is forced to shun. It just takes courage and love" NOT" to shun. A petition to make " shunning" mandated is like a petition to make " courage" and " love" compulsory.

  • carla

    While you cannot regulate love, a petition could bring the policy of shunning by jw's to the public's attention. Make it very public. Not sure how UK laws work concerning human rights etc...

  • aboveusonlysky

    I hear you, I'm not df'd but am currently being shunned by some family and friends, what I'm talking about is making the '..... is no longer a JW' announcement illegal or at least the shun or be shunned policy actionable by lawsuits.

    Let's face it, the only authority the org fears is being sued and a change to the law might make that possible, also the org having less power over apostates would help others to wake up too.

  • RubaDub


    Rub a Dub

  • Finkelstein

    I think where the WTS contravenes the laws of human rights to freedom of choice without hatred and prejudices is when a person who was once involved in the JWS but decided to make a personal choice to leave it for another religion or none at all, the WTS. shouldn't be allowed to Dfed this person and cause a break down of the relationship with their own family and friends.

    The WTS may have the right to orchestrate their rules of behavior while a person is being an involving and participating JWS though.

  • blondie

    Non-religious organizations and clubs can place restrictions on their members, certain behaviors required, for example, but not because of race, ethnic group, gender, etc.

    The problem I see with shunning is that ex-jws are fired from their jobs with jw companies, lose jw customers especially if they have mostly jw customers, where family and friends are threatened with expulsion if they choose to associate with these people outside work, the club, or organization (of course, the WTS makes it appear to be a personal choice), won't give the person a good work recommendation just because they don't share their religious beliefs.

    But as has been said, you can't force love or respect.

  • pale.emperor

    Unfortunately, the shunning policy is carefully worded so that if it ever went to court it would show that the individual is choosing to shun you and that it's not a commandment. And they themselves would think it was their own choice too. Brainwashing at it's finest.

  • Giordano

    The thing with shunning is that it is compulsory....... it is required. While the Society plays this aspect down and even lies about is so.

    Unfortunately it is carried to the extreme. One example was in a recent JW Assembly Video presentation where a parent doesn't answer the phone when their 18 year old DF daughter calls. No consideration is made if she has been in an accident, or is sick, or some other serious issue.

    We also learn about serious illness and deaths in JW families without keeping a shunned son or daughter apprised of the situation, as well as the reverse.

    This punishment continues for life and not only effects the DF or DA person but also their family.

    How many JW's would prefer to say hello, how are things going......... to a family member or close friend who no longer associates?

    When shunning is Mandatory with punishment if you don't........ you have crossed into a form of coercion which is actually a criminal act. It's often called a 'crime of duress'. Criminals depend on coercion to extract money, staff the sex trade and maintain discipline.

    With their present policy in effect....... the WTBTS could be labeled a criminal organization.

    Shunning in many respects is another form of torture. One that can last for a lifetime.

    As far as religious freedom goes religions have a long history of committing violent acts against people who believed differently or acted in ways that were condemned in their holy books. Stoning, torture, burning a person alive are all banned in most religions.

    And while it's true that you can't compel someone to speak to someone else a religion should not be able to compel someone to shun when they are not inclined to do so.

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