HELP NEEDED: In publications, reference to suffering due to DF/DS

by EdenOne 8 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • EdenOne

    Hello everyone.

    I need your help again.

    Please point me to instances in the publications of the Watchtower (video links also valuable) where there is evidence of the Watchtower's awareness that shunning inflicts suffering / damage to the excommunicated and to family members, friends, fellow Witnesses, friends ...

    .... or that shunning is DESIGNED to cause distress and suffering to the excommunicated (with the purpose to hammer him/her back into submission).

    .... or that shunning treatment is objectively and purposely a differentiated treatment vis a vis to what treatment is given to unbelievers in general.

    I need to be able to locate those publications in the WOL, and then find the Portuguese version of it, to then print.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

  • ZindagiNaMilegiDobaara


    watchtower 1988 4/15 page 27 para 7-10

    watchtower 2015 april 5 page 30

    awake 1996 sept 8th page 26


  • ScenicViewer

    This is not a specific example, but In the Awake Magazine, Watchtower quoted Psychology Today showing that "isolation is a killer". Of course the Watchtower practices of DF'ing and DA'ing takes away peoples' entire lives by putting them in a state of deep isolation. The quote shows the horrible effects of isolation, including suicide.

    (Awake 5-22-1983 p15)
    And the consequences? “I know of no more potent killer than isolation. . . . It has been shown to be a central agent in the etiology [starting cause] of depression, paranoia, schizophrenia, rape, suicide, mass murder, and a wide variety of disease states.”—Psychology Today, August 1980.

    Despite being fully aware of the negative effects of isolation, Watchtower continues with practices that isolate people, calling it, in so many words, 'God's loving way.'

    Related to isolating people is giving them the "silent treatment," something the Awake Magazine also condemned.

    (No quote box below, it wouldn't work for some reason.)

    (Start quote) Awake 6-2013, p4, par3)
    "when it is used as a means to retaliate or manipulate, the silent treatment not only prolongs conflict but also erodes [...] respect" (End quote)

    The silent treatment between spouses is directly condemned by the Awake article as unloving, unproductive, retaliatory and manipulative. Just because you might not be married to someone doesn't make this behavior any better or somehow loving all of a sudden. In fact participating in the systematic and indefinite "silent treatment" of shunning is far worse than giving a spouse the silent treatment for a few days.

  • slimboyfat

    I think there are stronger statements that imply psychological pressure, but this is one I found from a quick search.

    The Christian congregation is our spiritual family. When someone is disfellowshipped, he is no longer a part of that family. After experiencing the results of his bad conduct, he may realize his mistake and remember how much happier he was when he had a good relationship with Jehovah and the congregation. This may encourage him to come back to his spiritual family.

    To help a disfellowshipped person come back to the congregation, we need to show him love by being firm. For example, imagine two hikers waiting to be rescued on a cold winter day. Because it is so cold, one hiker gets very tired and wants to sleep. But if he falls asleep in the snow, he will die. To help him stay awake, his friend slaps him in the face. Even though this hurts, it could save his life. David expressed a similar idea when he said: “Should the righteous one strike me, it would be an act of loyal love.” (Psalm 141:5) David recognized that even though discipline was painful, it would help him.

    Just like that slap, disfellowshipping is often what a person needs to come back to Jehovah. Julian’s son, mentioned at the beginning of this article, changed his life and returned to the congregation ten years after he was disfellowshipped. Now he is an elder. He admits: “Being disfellowshipped brought me face-to-face with the consequences of my lifestyle. I needed that sort of discipline.”​—Hebrews 12:7-11.

  • Diogenesister

    Article "How to treat a disfellowshipped person" on JW.Org

    "Third, our firm stand for Bible principles may even benefit the disfellowshipped one. By supporting the decision of the judicial committee, we may touch the heart of a wrongdoer who thus far has failed to respond to the efforts of the elders to assist him. Losing precious fellowship with loved ones may help him to come “to his senses,” see the seriousness of his wrong, and take steps to return to Jehovah.​—Luke 15:17.

    Also, Eden, unrelated but good for your research, there is an excellent medical/academic article on forced coercion to refuse blood by dissident JWs. I have the PDF. I can send it to you if u let me know your email

  • EdenOne

    Thank you for the articles you've pointed out so far. They will certainly be useful.

    I have a vague memory of an article that mentioned someone who was disfellowshipped; that while we was being shunned by family he experienced loss and even suicidal thoughts (?); and the agony was such that he longed to be reinstated, which he was (the article put a positive spin on the psychological suffering). I made several searches, but came back empty.

  • dropoffyourkeylee

    WT quotation from SBF's post:

    "The Christian congregation is our spiritual family. When someone is disfellowshipped, he is no longer a part of that family. After experiencing the results of his bad conduct, he may realize his mistake and remember how much happier he was when he had a good relationship with Jehovah and the congregation. This may encourage him to come back to his spiritual family."

    The outrageous thing about the WT arguments supporting shunning is that they always present it as someone with 'bad behavior' or 'bad conduct'. Sure, there are examples of people who go off the rails and find themselves in trouble, but the vast majority in my experience are people who don't find the religion satisfying or believable and just want to move on in their lives. This is especially true of young ones who were baptized at an early age when they hadn't thought through the consequences. Later as they reach adult age they start thinking for themselves and decide differently. They do something which breaks some minor WT rule and get disfellowshipped. The shunning policy is a grave injustice.

  • slimboyfat

    I think attitudes have changed a lot on disfellowshipping both among JWs and former JWs. I don’t think disfellowshipping is as common in the organisation as It used to be. I can think of two possible reasons. First of all elders may be less inclined to pursue “wrongdoers” than they used to be: a symptom of the general apathy that affects all JW activities compared with past decades. Secondly, I think far fewer ordinary JWs are willing to confess of their own volition. Again I think this is because JWs take the religion less seriously than they did in the past. Many disfellowshippings in the past occurred following voluntary confessions (ironic, since repentance is supposed to the criterion for not disfellowshipping) by people who felt too guilty to keep it a secret. Nowadays many JWs don’t believe in the religion any more, or at least take it less seriously, so they keep their “sin” to themselves.

    It’s only my hunch, and limited observation, that lead me to suspect that fewer people are disfellowshipped now than in the past. It would be good to have proper data on that, but not very likely we ever will.

    Among former JWs I have noticed a change over the past 20 years too. At one time there was still a residual attitude among ex-JWs that some disfellowshippings were just and some were not. Whereas now I don’t detect much appetite for distinguishing between reasonable disfellowshipping and unreasonable. (Outside murders and violent and sexual offences, but these should be addressed as crimes anyway.) The whole disfellowshipping arrangement is viewed as unjust. There is no distinction between between people who are “rightly” or “wrongly” disfellowshipped.

  • EdenOne

    SBF, I would disagree on the laxing of disfellowshipping pursuit. I have observed that, especially after publishing the brochure "Return to Jehovah" there has been a deliberate effort to reach out for inactives and pressure them to come back or "take a stand" for or against the Organization. This seems to be driven by pressure from Circuit Overseers. They want congregations to purge the unproductive who are now regarded as bad examples and potential apostate material. As a result I've seen more disfellowshipped, not less.

    But I would agree with you - there appears to exist a growing perception that disfellowshipping process has little fairness to it.

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