It finally hit me today. Why do religions enjoy shunning. Because many people feel like being close to God makes them special however just being special is not enough for many religious people that shun they must feel extra special How? By not speaking to someone they feel has been abandoned by God himself so if my religous leaders tell me that John has been abandoned by God and you want to feel close to God you must also abandon John or you will not be close to God . That's the reasoning wow and it works psychologicaly.
I finally get why people like to shun.
Shunning goes all the way back to childhood. Remember saying to a playmate that you weren't getting along with: "I don't like you and I'm not going to play with you anymore!"?
I always saw it as a 2 combined reasons.
1. FEAR - dont get your koodies on me and dont want the elders to give me a hard time.
2. SUPERIORITY - JWs use everything to feel like they are BETTER than someone else. Privileges, service, that they are stricter with movies, they live in a worse hovel, dont wear tight clothing....
Shunning also reconfirms a presence of self righteousness, that these religions like the JWS indoctrinate people into..
What becomes ironic is that I've seen JWS shun people who were publicly DFed but at the same time were committing sinful acts of behavior themselves, such as adultery, crooked business dealings, child abuse etc.
What really is appalling is when once someone gets baptized they can be DFed or shunned for the rest of their life if they leave for apostasy or for others reasons and this is the reason why so many families have been permanently broken apart.
I've just talked to a girl I use to know as JWS in my old Hall and I brought up her family particularly her brother who used to be my best friend and she told she hasn't talked to either her mother or her brother for more that 15 years. I guess they remained JWS and she didn't so those family relationships were dissolved over the years.
They shun because they feel betrayed by the person who has left the religion. Abandoning the religion is, in their eyes, abandoning them.
Shunning is the one bit of personal power JW's are granted by the Governing Body. The rest of their life is "do as you're told" situation.
They shun because they are assh*les.
I look at it as, it is their loss, not mine. I am a nice person. A filthy mouth but...nice. lol
I've only ever shunned people if they have repeatedly made me feel uncomfortable, so it's very hard for me to understand the motives behind what the JWs do other than fear of getting caught and being shunned oneself.
One thing that has always puzzled me is why more JWs don't communicate to their DF'd friends and family in secret. In today's computer saturated environment of anonymous web-based email and PGP encryption, getting away with it would be trivially easy and yet not one of my friends has agreed to communicate with me this way. Are they afraid that Jehovah will tell on them to the elders? I would think that the very naughtiness of such an act would prove attractive and actually deepen friendships on the principle that the relationship has now become totally private instead of being mediated through the bOrg. Also, it would be a way of rebelling against the elders without taking on any real risk.
I guess I just have no grasp of human psychology.
I think it's also part of the religious hierarchy. Think about the caste system: you have the few wealthy highly respected people at the top (leaders/royalty), then another well respected group (warriors, noblemen, teachers), followed by merchants/traders; then service providers, farmers; and finally the untouchables.
Shunning among JWs makes people who have left The Truth™ "untouchable" - the lowest of the lowest class possible. IIRC, they've even said that a believing JW who is a child molester is a better associate than an Unrepentant™ Apostate™. We've committed the ultimate sin of disagreeing with the Governing Body™ and being able to prove that they are not worthy of the station they hold. Shunning us - treating us as though we are dead - is a show of solidarity with the baboons running the machine.
Abuse of power! plan and simple. The Watchtower printing corporation spends a lot of effort indoctrinating people about 5 or so hours a week, and so that much indoctrination/brainwashing to Obey Listens and be Blessed gives them tremendous power over the people indoctrinated. They will even shun their own flesh and blood children if the WT so to do so.
Threat of being disfellowshipped for not believing anymore also acts as a very strong force to keep people brainwashed and never think outside the WT box,, thus firmly implanting unquestioning loyalty to their printing/propaganda business.