Shun Don’t Shun

Shun Don't Shun Flip-Flops of Jehovah's Witnesses1947 JWs Condemn Shunning

The Jehovah’s Witnesses do flip-flops on their theology. It is an “on-and-off” system of belief when it comes to the issue of disfellowshipping members they judge as “sinners.” In a span of five years, they went from “don’t shun it’s cruel” to “shun! It’s our tool of power and tyranny that finds no parallel!”  The most revealing discussion I found is located in the January 8, 1947 issue of their Awake! magazine in the article called “Are You Also Excommunicated?” which speaks to Catholics who were excommunicated:
1947 Awake article criticizes Catholics for excommunication dogma
In 1947 Jehovah’s Witnesses openly condemned the practice of excommunication. Objections included comparison to Secret Societies and Catholics. They roundly criticized Catholics for “disfellowshipping” their errant members. In fact, they said it was altogether foreign to Bible teachings. Jehovah’s Witnesses stance was “don’t shun, it’s cruel.”

Let’s take a quick look at those scriptures in the JWs Bible, called the The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT). Matthew seems to indicate that it is proper to speak to someone if you think they hurt you somehow. Good if they listen, but if they don’t, treat them like anybody else. But, don’t mistreat them because what you loose on the earth, you also loose in heaven. That’s my take on Matthew 18: 15-19 — Karma will get you? In other words, don’t shun.

To me, the scriptures at 1 Corinthians 5:3-5; 16:22 seem to indicate that Jesus is the one who does the judging, and such a responsibility would not be left up to faulty human reasoning. Another “don’t shun” scripture.

Galatians 1:8,9 warns that if some theology beyond what is written in the scriptures is promoted, the ones responsible would receive judgment. Yet another “don’t shun” scripture.

Condemning another soul is equivalent to blaspheming. That’s my take on 1 Timothy 1:20. Hmm…still another “don’t shun” scripture.

What I find especially of interest is that excommunication was declared a pagan practice of ancient Greece and the Druids. Jehovah’s Witnesses decided that the Catholics were remiss in adopting an ancient “pagan” practice. Jehovah’s Witnesses affirmed they would never adopt any pagan practice of some superstitious Greeks or pagan Druid folk. It was supposedly a tyrannical power play which the Jehovah’s Witnesses opposed.

“as the pretensions of the Hierarchy increased, the weapon of excommunication became the instrument by which the clergy attained a combination of ecclesiastical power and secular tyranny that finds no parallel in history.”

Hmmm…”the instrument by which the clergy attained a combination of ecclesiastical power and secular tyranny that finds no parallel in history.” I find that statement by the Watchtower people to be of great interest. Why?

1952 JWs Endorsed Shunning

flip flops jw shun don't shunFive years passed and Jehovah’s Witnesses changed their stance on excommunication. Then, someone must have flipped a switch. A pagan practice was suddenly a good thing if it meant they could blackmail people and hold their own members ransom. They began the shameful practice of disfellowshipping, as announced in their November 15, 1952 Watchtower pp.703-704 and discussed in this short video. The power grab opportunity was too tempting for the cult to resist?

So, since the laws of the land forbid murder, Jehovah’s Witness members treat Apostates — ones who have left their religious organization — as dead. As in “spiritual murder”. Yes, my children and several of my flesh-and-blood brothers treat me as dead because I no longer wish to be a member of their oppressive family religion. I lost an entire network of people I thought to be “friends” after one short announcement at the kingdom hall, announcing my disenfranchisement. How does one treat another as “dead”? By shunning — completely ignoring — such ones. The new man-made rule of Jehovah’s Witnesses now eagerly included shunning. One thing is sure: I had false friends.

I speak from personal experience in saying it is embarrassing for the Jehovah’s Witnesses to admit that they shun anyone. Indeed, I couldn’t speak with anyone about my embarrassment. I was too ashamed to speak of treating my beloved mother in such a contemptuous manner. As a woman with young children, I was bullied into shunning my beloved mother because the elders judged her as wicked for leaving her abusive husband (my father). My choices were, “shun — or be shunned!” Then, years later, when I left the family religion, I was disfellowshipped and shunned. I am especially saddened to find out recently that I have two grand-children who I have never met. As a disfellowshipped ex-member of the family religion, I am being actively shunned, so my family would keep that news from me deliberately and intentionally.

Related Blog Posts

Shunning My Beloved Mother This blog includes a letter from the elder who threatened me. Read more…

Shunning Ex-Members is a Religious Requirement While browsing the internet today I stumbled across an interesting video. It is of particular interest to me because it was on the subject of religious shunning. While Jehovah’s Witnesses official stance is that they do not interfere in family life, it is a personal choice to shun or not. Nevertheless, according to the video posted, I see clearly the official stance is merely propaganda for public consumption, in order to create the appearance of a benign religion … Read More…

Residues of the Bible Without a doubt, the Bible is a most influential book, and not in a healthy way. As a child, the Bible was used by my parents to teach me obedience and subjection. It was a book that instilled fear — a book of oppression filled with harsh, punishing beliefs. My parents used the Bible to produce compliant children who were easy to control and manipulate. Read more…

Kill the Apostates! Jehovah’s Witnesses consider themselves a “moderate” religion. However, what follows is an excerpt from their Watchtower magazine, which reveals a truth about them that they might not wish to discuss when they ring your doorbell: Read more…

Outgrowing Religion I outgrew my religion. Jehovah’s Witnesses is one of many religions full of oppressive rules which members are not allowed to question. If a member has doubts and questions, he/she is viewed as a “Doubting Thomas.” The member is then watched with suspicion, as he/she might be an “Apostate” — a heretic, an infidel, a Judas. After all, he/she might be the one bad apple that spoils the entire bushel basket. The only way to prevent “spiritual contamination” is to watch everyone. Even better, if the elders could get its members to tell on one another. And that is exactly what they do. Read more…

Getting Disfellowshipped The painful story of my own disfellowshipping. Read more…

An extensive discussion of the subject of shunning and disfellowshipping may be found off-site at jwfacts.com.


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