Fear of man and the consequences of disobeying his rules.
Oz..Many elders have df'd people for doing what their own faded baptized children do.
I recently had a longtime friend DF'd... the week before he was df'd witness friends and relatives visited him and carried on like nothing was wrong, this despite the fact that he had stopped going to meetings several months ago and was now living in a commonlaw relationship.
He underwent a messy divorce to his former JW wife a few years back after she left him and the (truth). He went through quite a depression and lost everything and has only gotten his head screwed back on right since meeting this woman but says marriage is not in the immediete future plan.
The elders showed up unannounced and told him to write a DA letter as it would make it easier for everyone, he wouldn't so they told him to get married or move out. He refused that so they gave him seven days to comply, appeal or be df'd.
So in the nutshell all those JW's who were aware of his circumstances associated with him until three men who don't know him judged him and labeled him as unfit. Did he change in those few weeks, no he's the same person but now to be seen with him would put these friends and relatives at risk of being df'd as well.
Can you blame them, I guess not...when we were faithful dubs most of us did the same thing. We followed man made rules and sanctions out of fear, fear of being caught and having an unfit label placed on us.
BTW...K and V, if you drop by this site...know you are among friends.