Huffpost: A Reason (and Season) to Stop Shunning

by AndersonsInfo 9 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • AndersonsInfo

    A Reason (and Season) to Stop Shunning

      THE BLOG
      12/20/2011 05:42 pm ET Updated Feb 19, 2012

      One of the least discussed aspects of bullying and mobbing, and perhaps the most powerful and damaging is the practice of shunning. Shunning is widely practiced among certain religions; the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Scientology, even the otherwise forgiving Amish have made shunning a religious tenet to control the conduct of its members. Families routinely shun other family members, whether through disinheritance and outright withdrawal of any contact or support, or the deafening “silent treatment” that some spouses and parents engage in as a form of punishment for real or perceived offenses. People are shunned in their communities, their clubs and their schools. But perhaps shunning is most common in the workplace, when a worker is targeted for collective aggression and elimination, or “workplace mobbing.”

    When a person is marked for punishment or elimination by management, workers instinctively avoid being seen with that person for fear of their own status being tarnished in the workplace. But to targets of shunning, the near instantaneous isolation almost always comes as a shock, and the intensifying silence that encircles them is indeed deadly. The impact of shunning is so severe that those religions, organizations and families which routinely employ it do so because they know just how effective a form of social control the practice can be, debilitating even the strongest people once it commences.

    When a person is shunned, it is because they have done something to displease someone, or are perceived as distinctly “different” from the group and are therefore an “unknown” force. Shunning is thus a feature of a broader spectrum of aggressive behaviors, including accusation, sabotage, investigation and other efforts to control or remove the person from the group. To shun a person consequently isolates them at the very point when they most need support. It further erodes their self-esteem and their ability to withstand attack. Moreover, when a worker is targeted for elimination, once they are shunned it becomes very difficult to defend their position as former supporters disappear, and even more difficult for them to find new work. And shunning is a particularly effective tactic to undermine a worker’s legal claims, however legitimate, because it is very difficult to prove a negative. Shunning is a non-action — to shun is to avoid, not to interact.


  • jp1692

    Thank you for posting this Barbara!

  • Daniel1555

    Great blog

  • ToesUp

    Great article! Thank you for posting Barbara.

  • poopie

    Thanks barb but as we know shunning also damages the person doing the shunning phsycology teaches that as well. Remember people on this sight are Well imformed.

  • poopie

    Your son seems like good person he has just been misled into thinking shunning is good and right by the bible. That's how he was trained it's not so much his fault it's those who taught him that a God of love would punish and torture others by causing them to shun another human how false that is one day they will pay.

  • Diogenesister

    Poopie Isnt that the most evil thing about religiously mandated shunning; its usually not done out of malice or meaness but they play on the better part of our nature...the wish to do what a god of love requires.

  • poopie


  • steve2

    Thanks Barbara. - very informative overview of the practice which is not unique to JWs.

    I can think of little worse in life than to be in a household where my nearest and dearest give me the ‘silent treatment’ and/or work in an environment where others who were once fellow worshippers collectively shun me.

    This article names shunning for what it really is: Cruel and manipulative.

    Good to see JWs lumped in the same company as Scientologists and the Amish. Here in New Zealand we have another fundamentalist group that “eliminates” members who question church authority: the Exclusive Brethren. Whatever is said about this latter religious group, at least Exclusive Brethren make no attempt to give their “shutting out” rule an air of reasonableness as does JW organization.

  • smiddy3

    Jehovah never shunned Satan and neither did Jesus what does that tell you .?

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